Scheldeprijs podium finisher Markus inks two year deal with Belkin Pro Cycling team
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Scheldeprijs podium finisher Markus inks two year deal with Belkin Pro Cycling team

by VeloNation Press at 10:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Ivar Slik will join squad in October as a stagiare

Barry MarkusAs the days tick down for the Vacansoleil DCM team and its fading chances to secure a replacement sponsor for 2014, another of its riders have been snapped up by another WorldTour squad. The sprinter Barry Markus has been handed a two year deal by the Belkin Pro Cycling team, and will be one of its designated fastmen in the big finishes in 2014 and 2015.

“Belkin is a very nice team, both on and off the bike they always look well organised,” said the 22 year old Dutcman, who this year placed third behind Marcel Kittel (Argos Shimano) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) in Scheldeprijs.

“They have a strong sprint train, and I expect to develop myself as a sprinter on higher level at Belkin. I’m looking to learn from Theo Bos and occasionally do a sprint on my own.”

In addition to that Schledeprijs result, Markus was second, second and third on stages of the Tour of Qatar and was recently second and third on stages of the Arctic Race of Norway.

Performances such as that have attracted the attention of the Dutch team, as well as that of directeur sportif Nico Verhoeven.

“Barry is young, fast and a Dutchman,” said Verhoeven, explaining three important factors for him. “He turned professional two years ago but is still only 22 years old. He has a bright future ahead of him. We are active on multiple fronts, and therefore we’d like to have other strong sprinters beside Theo Bos.”

The team’s other main sprinter, Mark Renshaw, is set to leave the setup and will reunite with Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma Quick Step.

Meanwhile the Belkin Pro Cycling team has taken on Ivar Slik as a stagiare, although it states that he will only come on board in October.

The twenty year old is currently part of the Rabobank Development team, and welcomes the chance to square off against riders from the WorldTour.

“It’s great to be allowed to race with the real men. I hope to gain experience and to see how things are done at Belkin,” he explained. “I'm sure my career will benefit from this apprenticeship.”

Verhoeven makes clear that the rider has been targeted due to his potential. “We’ve been keeping an eye on Ivar for a while now,” he said. “This way we’ll really get to know each other well. Ivar is an all-round rider and with us, he'll get the chance to see what pro cycling is like.”

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