Jan Bakelants will ride next season with the Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator team, effective January 1, 2009. Bakelants, a 22 year-old Belgian racer, placed well in Brussel-Opwijk and the Circuit des Ardennes. He also won the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège race this season. His accomplishments are especially impressive in that they were achieved while he was completing university studies in Bioengineering.
"Given how the past few months have been, I am glad I will not have to occupy myself with my studies from now on. Bicycling and studies are a heavy combination. I'm excited to sign with the team that works splendidly for other athletes, especially neo-pros."
"The signing of Jan is entirely appropriate given the vision of the team, in particular training and supporting young pro hopefuls," said Christophe Sercu, Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator. "With us, he will have the chance to finish maturing.