By Bjorn Haake
Thomas Dekker feels very well with his new team, Silence-Lotto. The Dutchman joined the Belgian team over the off-season after two years with Dutch professional team Rabobank.
"The atmosphere here is really good and I feel very comfortable on this team," Dekker said to Cyclingnews. "Rabobank is more business. Here at Silence, it feels like a family."
Rabobank released Dekker mid-season last year. He signed a two-year contract with Silence-Lotto a month later.
Dekker is happy to finally be able to think about racing again. "Last year, it was not so easy. I didn't have a second part of the season."
He named two highlights for his season without any hesitation: "The Classics and the Tour." In the Classics, he will have his own chances to shine, to improve on his good placings in races like the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Dekker will race the Tour de France to help Cadel Evans win the overall classification, but expects his job to be an easy one. "I think this Tour will not be so difficult [in terms of controlling it] with the big Team Astana block."
He met his new teammates for the first time one day in November. The team met again in December during a training camp in Spain. The atmosphere of the meetings has helped to bring back his motivation.
"When you sign with a new team, you have new opportunities."