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"There was some interest for me, but I feel good in this familiar environment where, as a young rider, I can ride for my own chances. Besides, this is simply the best team for a Dutchman," Kelderman says

Photo: Sirotti








13.08.2014 @ 12:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having recently secured the future of the team, Belkin has started the process of retaining the core of its roster. Today the team has announced that they have extended the contracts with three of their grand tour leaders Robert Gesink, Steven Kruijswijk and Wilco Kelderman who had been linked with a move to several different teams.


The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM, which recently signed a declaration of intent with De Lotto, BrandLoyalty and speed skating Team BrandLoyalty, extended the contracts of three riders. Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Steven Kruijswijk will remain with the team for the next two years.

General Manager Richard Plugge is very happy with the contract extensions. “With Robert, Wilco and Steven we keep the top GC riders with us. We’re proud that they have chosen for our vision. Along with Laurens ten Dam, Moreno Hofland and Sep Vanmarcke we now have a strong core in our team.

“Thanks to the training Rabobank provided these guys with and the initiated support of De Lotto and BrandLoyalty we can keep developing our vision. Which is to build a new future for cycling under the motto #RideTheFuture. The cooperation with Jac Orie’s speed skating team ensures that we have one team, with talents who will make their presence felt throughout the year. We are confident that the business world will appreciate this new project and will embrace it.”


Sports Director Nico Verhoeven is pleased that the team now has a solid foundation.


“This is great news for our team,” said Verhoeven. “For the next two years, we have a basis we can continue to work with. Especially in the stage races. There are three Grand Tours, so we have to make a selection which means everyone is going to get his chance. Moreover, it’s very pleasant that we, as a Dutch team, have been able to sign three Dutch top riders.”

“I’m very pleased that the largest Dutch cycling project ever will continue with De Lotto and Brand Loyalty," Gesink said. "I’m happy to be a part of this project. After a difficult period, I feel that I’m on my way to re-connect with the top and to make beautiful things happen again. Within this team, I find a lot of people whom I worked with when I achieved my best performances. I’m happy that I can keep working with them the coming years.

“The presence of Wilco Kelderman is a blessing for me, as I see him as one of the biggest cycling talents of this world. I’m ready to work and fight with him, side by side. Wilco and I connect well in terms of character and I expect that we can help each other to reach a higher level. I’m very happy to have my friend and neighbour Steven Kruijswijk as a team-mate and of course veteran Laurens ten Dam. Together we are a strong core of contenders for races which will be decided in the mountains.”

“I’m super happy to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level for the next two years under a beautiful new Dutch sponsor," Kelderman said. "I’m looking forward to shine as a team. There was some interest for me, but I feel good in this familiar environment where, as a young rider, I can ride for my own chances. Besides, this is simply the best team for a Dutchman.

“I hope to ride the Tour de France next year and to obtain great results as a team. We have the riders to do so. I also hope to improve myself every year, which should work out fine, because when you look at the team setup, everything is well organized and the conditions are perfect.”

“I’m very happy with this new contract," Kruijswijk said. "Two months ago, it was still uncertain whether the team could continue, but fortunately everything is looking good now so that we can look at the future. I’m glad that I can stay with this team. I’ve been in it for a few years now and I feel at home here. I have great colleagues and I like the way we work. I know the coaches, they know me and together we are a well-oiled machine. I haven’t been at my best last year, because of an injury, however, I’ve always felt the team’s support. I hope to get back to my old level and give the team something in return for the support.”



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