By Marcel Slagman
The Jan ten Tusscher mountain bike team was presented in Hengelo, The Netherlands, on Thursday. The team, which is sponsored by De Brink direct mail and bike manufacturer Focus, will be headed by team manager Ten Tusscher, who has made the move from managing international-level teams to focusing on young, Dutch talent.
The team boasts six young, talented Dutch riders with five of them not yet 21. Axel Bult is the "old guy" in the team at 27-years-old. In 2007, he was the Dutch national marathon champion and he looks to defend that title in 2009 as well as race at the Dutch cross country championships.
The team's young crop of riders include Tim Lemmers (19), Marco Minnaard (19), Erik Groen (19), Henk-Jaap Moorlag (18) and Jelmer Jubbega (20) . Moorlag finished seventh at the World Championship junior race in 2008 and all but Jubbega are members of a new group based out of the Dutch Olympic training center.
The five young riders of Ten Tusscher will race predominantly Dutch races, but will also gain experience at the German Bundesliga series, at which the espoir category races separately from the elites.
Lemmers, Groen, Minnaard, Moorlag and Jubbega will also race as part of the Dutch national team during the European Championships in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands and in the UCI World Championships in Australia.