Belgian Pro Continental team negotiating to increase budget
Belgian Pro Continental team Accent Jobs-Verandas Willems are currently negotiating with its sponsors in order to increase its 2012 budget, in the hope of being able to sign more riders. This is good news to those riders who are still looking for a contract, such as the victims of recent team mergers or riders that have been left without a squad due to their sponsor pulling out.
The reason for the late roster extension is the team's racing programme. "We currently have a core of 16 men, but considering the programme we'll have next year, we'd like to have 20 riders," sports manager Jean-François Bourlart told La Dernière Heure. "We'll race in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, but also in Spain or Italy. But we have to do things well, and be certain to be able to pay these possible four last riders."
Team management is thus negotiating with an additional sponsor to obtain the budget needed for further signings. If the talks succeed, then Accent Jobs-Verandas Willems could become a last chance for a fair amount of riders still on the market. "But we're not particularly fond of becoming too international - we'd prefer Belgian riders. But we don't discard any possibility at this point," added Bourlart.
The riders that have been contacted by the team at the moment include Bert Scheirlinckx, winner of the 2011 GP Cerami, who would join his brother Staf if the deal comes through. British veteran Roger Hammond was also named as a possible addition.
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