Vacansoleil to reward Wout Poels for his early season success with new contract
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vacansoleil to reward Wout Poels for his early season success with new contract

by Jered Gruber at 6:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team eager to keep young climbing talent within its ranks

Vacansoleil has endured its share of personnel problems this year by way of their two controversial signings, Riccardo Ricco and Ezequiel Mosquera. However, moving past the two tainted foreigners within the Dutch outfit, the team is doing all it can to hold on to its young native talent, in this case - Wout Poels.

According to AD and Wielerflits, Vacansoleil team manager, Daan Luijkx, is making sure that the team can count on their brilliant ascender for years to come by giving the rider from Blitterswijck, already under contract through 2012, a salary increase following a great first six weeks of the racing season. 

Such a quick reward for such a short period of racing is an interesting tactic, but one that certainly seems to already have been on the negotiation block in the months before Poels exploded.

The 23 year old climbing talent has enjoyed a spectacular start to his 2011 season and has shown himself to be one of Holland's and one of the world's best upcoming climbers.

Poels won two races in his neo-pro season - one at the Tour de l'Ain, and the other at the Tour of Britain - two great victories without a doubt, but nothing compared to what he has already accomplished in 2011.

The young Dutchman was third overall at the Tour of the Mediterranean and third on the crucial Mont Faron stage to start his year. A week later, he finished 15th overall at the Volta ao Algarve, and then roared to 4th overall at the Vuelta Murcia. His result in Murcia was a major indication of his current status, and that was with a significant time loss on the first sprint stage. Thereafter, when the road tilted upward against the likes of Menchov and Contador - he was consistently there.

After his great performance in Murcia, Poels journeyed to Italy for Tirreno-Adriatico and found more success. He finished second on Sunday, only centimeters behind winner Philippe Gilbert, then followed that with 6th on Monday, surrounded by some of the sport's best: Evans, Visconti, Scarponi, Nibali, Basso, Poels, Garzelli, Gesink, Gilbert.

With Vacansoleil's faith in the burgeoning talent and their support of his future both financially and team-wise, it seems a fair bet that we'll be seeing Poels at the head of affairs on cycling's most important climbs in the years to come.



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