Dutch rider Maarten den Bakker (Milram) has signed a one-year deal with Skil-Shimano for next season. "The 37 year-old has been brought into the team to share his experience with the younger riders in the same way as Aart Vierhouten has done this season," the team said in a statement. Den Bakker will also regularly take on the role of leader. "Given his sober personality and his extensive roll of honour we view Maarten as a strong addition to the team," said team managers Arend Scheppink and Iwan Spekenbrink.
Maarten den Bakker launched his pro career at PDM in 1990, riding for TVM (Farm Frites) in 1993-1997 and Rabobank in 1998-2005. Career highlights include a second place in the Amstel Gold Race (1998), third in Liege-Bastogne-Liege (1999) and a runner-up finish in the Flèche Wallonne (1999). He also won the Dutch national road title in 1999, becoming Dutch time trial champion four years later in 2003. Den Bakker has taken part in the Tour de France nine times.
Den Bakker is looking forward to his role at Skil-Shimano next season. "I’m highly motivated to guide the team’s young riders in the peloton and share my experience, and I’m happy I’ll also have the freedom to ride for my own success when the opportunity arises," he said.