Barry Markus has left Vacansoleil-DCM to join Belkin Pro Cycling Team on a two year contract. Vacansoleil general manager Daan Luijkx recently advised all riders and staff to begin searching for new homes given the team's uncertain future.
Belkin sports director Nico Verhoeven is more than happy to welcome Markus onto his team, sighting him as a sprinter to rival their own Theo Bos.
"Barry is young, fast and a Dutchman," explained Verhoeven. "He turned professional two years ago but is still only 22 years old. He has a bright future ahead of him. We are active on multiple fronts, and therefore we'd like to have other strong sprinters beside Theo Bos."
Given the departure of Mark Renshaw to Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Markus will help to fill the fast-man void left by the Australian.
The 22-year-old rider from the Netherlands started the year strongly with two second place finishes at the Tour of Qatar and a third place finish at Scheldeprijs and will be a rider to watch at the upcoming Vuelta a España. With the support of the Belkin team, Markus is hoping to improve upon these results in the coming two seasons.
"Belkin is a very nice team, both on and off the bike they always looks well organised," explained Markus. "They have a strong sprint train, and I expect to develop myself as a sprinter on higher level at Belkin. I'm looking to learn from Theo Bos and occasionally do a sprint on my own."