Annemiek van Vleuten confirms with Rabobank; Elisa Longo Borghini to Hitec Products-UCK
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Annemiek van Vleuten confirms with Rabobank; Elisa Longo Borghini to Hitec Products-UCK

by Ben Atkins at 2:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Marianne Vos’ right hand woman joins her captain in new Dutch super team

annemiek van vleutenAlthough it is assumed that the vast majority of the Nederland Bloeit team will be carried over to the Rabobank women’s team next year, each rider is negotiating separately with the new organisation. Until now, only World number one, and perennial Worlds silver medallist, Marianne Vos, German rouleur Sarah Düster and Dutch neo pro Thalita de Jong had officially signed, but today Vos’ right hand woman, and World Cup winner, Annemiek van Vleuten officially put pen to paper with a two year deal.

"I am very excited about the opportunity that I’ll get at Rabobank,” said van Vleuten. “I have won the World Cup and taken quite a few steps. Despite a lot of offers I wanted to remain with the team; I just see that this team will make me stronger. The structure at Rabobank is the best.”

This season the two-pronged Nederland Bloeit attack of Vos and van Vleuten proved irresistible in all but a few races; the World championships being the major exception. The two Dutchwomen won three World Cup rounds each, finishing one-two in the series. The fact that they will be together again in the orange of Rabobank next season will strike fear into many of their rivals.

Longo Borghini joins Emma Johansson in Norwegian team

elisa longo borghiniHaving enjoyed an excellent first season at the elite level, Elisa Longo Borhini is to join the Hitec Products-UCK team for 2012. The 19-year-old, who is the younger sister of Liquigas-Cannondale rider Paolo Longo Borghini, rode for the Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo team this season taking a number of promising results, including fifth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – behind new team captain Emma Johansson – and twelfth in the Giro del Trentino.

Towards the end of the season she took the young rider’s jersey at the Trophee d’Or, and was then one of the most active riders in the closing stages of the World championships; her numerous attacks put pressure on the teams of the other sprinters, allowing Italian defending champion Giorgia Bronzini to stay fresh and win the sprint.

“Elisa is a [19]-year-old Italian super talent,” said Hitec Products-UCK manager Karl Lima, “she comes from a real cycling family. Since the start of the season she has surprised everybody by following Emma Johansson in the decisive break in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

“We are sure that her positive development will continue in the Scandinavian team environment, and she will strengthen the team in the hardest races for 2012."

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