Dutch champion Niki Terpstra excited about QuickStep possibilities
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Dutch champion Niki Terpstra excited about QuickStep possibilities

by Jered Gruber at 6:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Aggressive Terpstra ready to race for one of the best Classics teams in the world

The demise of Milram looks to have opened a new door in the career of Niki Terpstra. The Dutch Champion enjoyed a season of progress in 2010 with his first ever Dutch Elite Road title as a highlight along with a win at the Sparkassen Giro Bochum.

The move to QuickStep seems to hearken a new era for the rider that managed to leave an armada of Rabobank riders behind in June to take his country's national championship. Terpstra will leave an underdog, underperforming Milram team to take his spot in the ranks of Patrick Lefevere's QuickStep team, one of the most successful Classics directors in history.

"Lefevere has always had a strong team for the cobbled classics. That was the key for me. How often has Lefevere not won Flanders and Roubaix? The team survives for months just for those races. I want to feel that experience," said the rider currently enjoying the Caribbean sun ahead of this weekend's Amstel Curacao race.

With the departures of Stijn Devolder, Wouter Weylandt, and a number of other top riders from the QuickStep ranks, Terpstra's services will be vital to the team's success come next April. The goal, of course, is for Terpstra to perform as a super domestique a la Stijn Devolder in the crucial finales of the Spring Classics in support of Tom Boonen.

Terpstra understands his role one hundred percent and is looking forward to it, but also sees the possibilities that were so impressively demonstrated by Stijn Devolder, who, while riding in support of Tom Boonen, won two consecutive editions of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.

"Hopefully, I can take advantage of Tom, as Stijn Devolder has already done. He is the number one, and I will ride my ass off for him nine times out of ten, maybe it's the tenth time though that I'll get my chance."

When Easter Sunday comes around in 2011, there's little doubt that all eyes will be on Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara. If Niki Terpstra can manage to play his cards right, Tom Boonen might be watching a new teammate ride up the road to Flanders glory. If things go the way they should in the nine times out of ten that Terpstra refers to and the Dutch champion gives everything for Boonen, Boonen might get the chance to finally add a third Ronde van Vlaanderen to his glittering palmares.


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