Ten Dam, Belkin confirm new two year deal, rider to continue focussing on Grand Tours
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ten Dam, Belkin confirm new two year deal, rider to continue focussing on Grand Tours

by VeloNation Press at 5:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dutchman staying put after strong Tour de France

Laurens Ten DamRumoured at the end of July to have extended his current contact with the Belkin Pro Cycling team, the Dutch squad has now made official the signing and announces today that Laurens ten Dam will remain with the team for two more years.

The 32 year old sat in the top ten of the Tour de France for several days of this year’s race, rising as high as fourth overall at one point. He faded slightly in the last week and finished thirteenth overall. It and his eighth place in last year’s Vuelta are the two best Grand Tour performances of his career and show that he continues to improve.

Ten Dam received several offers, with Astana said to be particularly interested in him, but he now remains with the team structure he has competed with since 2008.

“I'm very happy to be part of this team, working with superb team-mates and sports directors. I have really improved here as rider,” he said. “I'm happy with the opportunities I have and continue to receive. Honestly, I couldn't find any reason to leave.”

Even if ten Dam ultimately wanted to remain, being on the wish list of other teams will likely have increased his bidding power and thus the salary level he ultimately was offered.

Directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven is clear that the team values its latest signing. “In the last couple of years Laurens has proven he's a strong Grand Tour rider,” he said.

“In the Tour, we allowed Laurens to ride for himself. He did very well despite the pressure,” he said. As a result of that, more opportunity will be given to him.

“In the future, Laurens will have a free role more often in Grand Tours,” he said. “In the Vuelta this year, he will lead Belkin together with Bauke Mollema. We have great confidence in Laurens.”

Laurens, too, is gaining confidence in himself, and wants to keep pushing to see what he can achieve in the sport.

“With this contract, I can ride at the highest level for two more years. Grand Tours are what I do best, and I'll keep focussing myself on those races,” he vowed.


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