Nederland Bloeit to Qatar without Vos
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Nederland Bloeit to Qatar without Vos

by Ben Atkins at 10:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Marianne Vos’ Nederland Bloeit team will be heading to February’s Tour of Qatar without its leader, according to The team will instead be led by Loes Markerink and Loes Gunnewijk, two strong Dutch riders recently signed from the disbanding Flexpoint team.

Nederland Bloeit (Netherlands in bloom) has taken over as main sponsor of Vos’ team after DSB Bank fell victim to the World banking crisis last year. It is part of LTO Netherlands – an organisation promoting Dutch agriculture and horticulture – and was a co-sponsor of the team last year (DSB Bank-Nederland Bloeit) after DSB Bank merged with Vrienden van het Platteland (Friends of the Countryside) – another part of LTO Netherlands – at the end of 2008.

22-year-old Vos is the current World Cyclocross Champion and will be attempting to defend her title in Tabor, Czech Republic on January 31st. This will make it virtually impossible to make the start line in the Middle East country just 3 days later.

Last year’s “Ladies Tour of Qatar” – the first edition of the race and the first race of its kind in the Middle East – was won by sprinter Kirsten Wild of the Cervélo TestTeam. Like the men’s race, which this year takes place just after the women’s, the Tour of Qatar consists of flat windswept stages across the desert terrain of the Qatari Penninsular. Consequently, the race suits powerful teams and riders used to racing in crosswinds.

The Nederland Bloeit team for Qatar – to be led by former professional Jeroen Blijlevens – will be:

Loes Markerink
Loes Gunnewijk
Janneke Kanis
Annemiek van Vleuten
Liesbeth Bakker
Liesbeth de Vocht


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