It’s impossible to resist Sep Vanmarcke and his cycling skills have little to do with that – although he is pretty good on the bike!
It has to do with his continual smile, his full-gas positive attitude, his willingness to lend a hand to a youngster, and his ability to cheerfully chat with a sad face and light his spirit. “Being kind to the people around me comes naturally,” says our new Belgian. “It’s something I was brought up with.”
He’s a free spirit. Not everyone got it when he bought a caravan to take his wife and kids with him to train far away from home, or when he pictures himself raising vegetables in his back yard, or when he adopted two donkeys. “Everybody adores horses since they are such beautiful creatures; but I just prefer the donkeys that everyone laughs at!”
He is deadly serious and competitive when it comes to racing. “In the races, I switch to a different mode,” explains the guy who has consistently produced quality results in the classic for all the teams he has been with (most recently Cannondale-Drapac).
Those results include six top-10s, including a second-place finish and fourth three times. “I love Roubaix,” he smiles broadly. “I just feel comfortable on the cobbles, and when everybody else tries to avoid them, I enjoy them.”
He is determined to bring his leadership and expertise to Israel Start-Up Nation and lead our team in the classics. “We have good talent here, and we can produce results,” he says confidently. “I did not produce many wins in my career, but I came close many times. What’s missing? Some luck in the finish. Hopefully with ISN, it will come more often.”