Belgian cyclist Julien Vermote is a teammate of Marcel Kittel, the man who won five stages of the 2017 Tour de France. Both are members of the Quick Step Floors cycling team.
By the front door of Julien’s modest house in Flanders, Belgium, stands a statue of the Virgin Mary who discretely greets visitors. Not far is the neighborhood church, where Julien sometimes stops by to light a candle: "I was raised in a Catholic family. We used to go to Mass on Sunday with my two sisters, my brother and my parents," he explains.
"Now that I am a professional cyclist, it’s harder for me because I am hardly ever home on weekends. So I usually go by the church on weekdays, when my schedule allows it. Yes, it’s unusual for someone my age (28) to do that, but it is something I need, something that is in me. I pray almost every day, but not always at the same time of day."