At the tender age of 18, Damon Fouchee will get his 2020 season off to an exciting and challenging start when he joins the Gsport Team in Valencia, Spain.
The South African’s contract starts on February 2 and he will be contracted for a minimum of 120 days in two time slots.
“However my aim is to ride an eight-month season for the team, but that all depends on my visa application.”
Fouchee said part of how the opportunity arose was his six-week racing stint in Spain, Belgium and France through GaeaSports, which got him into the right circles.
“I think my stage win and yellow jersey in the Vuelta Ciclista a Valladolid in Spain secured the right exposure.
“I’m also privileged to have an agent like Jorge Quintana who played a big role in making this possible.”
Acquiring knowledge from the team
Fouchee said he was aware that the jump from junior to the U23 category was huge and that he would be in the deep end again.
“It will be critical to have the right mindset and mental approach to learn from the more experienced riders.
“Race strategies and ways to conserve and save energy during a race are among the most important things I would aim to learn from the team.”
Apart from acquiring as much knowledge as possible, his goal will also be to adapt to the country and its culture.
“To be in the fortunate position to be contracted outside SA so early in my career is very exciting.
“Racing in Europe has had a huge influence on my short career and will do so even more in 2020. The hard reality is that racing abroad at this level is based on your performance. If you don’t perform it can come to a quick end.”
Short-term and long-term goals
Fouchee added that his short-term goals were to settle in and make himself count as soon as possible.
“Long-term is to gain as much experience as possible and apply that to secure my way forward.”
The challenge will be not only to survive, but also to prove myself in a very competitive environment as a first-year U23 rider. Highlights will be when I achieve exactly that.”