Thomas Dekker looks set to ride for Garmin-Cervelo’s development team, Chipotle Development Team, for the remainder of the 2011 season.
Cyclingnews understands that the 26-year-old will make his debut for the team at the Tour of Portugal, which starts next month.
Slipstream Sports were set to announce the news on August 1. Cyclingnews contacted Dekker's management company SEG International, and although they refused to confirm the details, they also refrained from denying that Dekker would ride for the team, and stressed that riders signing for new teams would be announced after the August 1 transfer window opened.
Dekker served a two-year suspension for taking EPO but his ban finished on July 2, 2011.
In April, Jonathan Vaughters, manger of Garmin-Cervelo, confirmed to Cyclingnews that he had been testing Dekker with a view to possibly signing him to Garmin-Cervélo’s development team, although no contract had yet been discussed between the two parties. A move to the development team does not guarantee Dekker a pass onto Garmin-Cervelo for next year, and Cyclingnews also understands that Dekker's ride at Portugal is part of the rider's tests.
In April Vaughters told Cyclingnews, “If Thomas is successful in showing he has the physiological capability of competing clean, then we would consider testing him on the Continental team.”
Dekker had been in negotiations with Vaughters back in 2008 and the two men met after the Tour de France that year but Vaughters never offered the Dutch rider a contract and he subsequently signed for Lotto.