Dutch squad ready for third season in WorldTour
Dutch WorldTour squad Vacansoleil-DCM presented its team for the 2013 cycling season today at EYE, a film museum and theatre in Amsterdam. As "confidence" was the theme during last year's presentation, this time the team choose "pure", "pride" and "passion" as keywords. Amidst images from 2012 of Marco Marcato's victory at Paris-Tours plus Thomas De Gendt's solo stage victory atop the Stelvio in the Giro d'Italia's penultimate stage, the 2013 team was introduced.
"We want to at least equal the highest peaks," said general manager Daan Luijkx.
Seven newcomers are part of Vacansoleil-DCM's 29-man roster, including marquee signing Juan Antonio Flecha, plus Aart Vierhouten joins the team as a new sports director. "I started work on December 1," Vierhouten said. "That meant talking a lot straight away, in order to coordinate our visions. Long-term planning is at the heart of my strategy. If I look at the individual qualities within Vacansoleil-DCM, I can see it has the potential to be a top team.
"Last season, the forward momentum of the team halted somewhat. It has to be rediscovered in 2013. It is my job to increase the return. Road cycling is an individual team sport. At the moment that matters, you have to function as a team. Sometimes something doesn't matter to an individual, but he'll be the piece of the puzzle that will lead the team to victory. I want to see this kind of well-oiled machine."
Additionally Luijkx told the international cycling press about his personal worries and emotions for the upcoming season. "The sport is being damaged", Luijkx said. "There only is attention for the bad things and hardly for the performances. This season, in our fifth year as a professional team and our third year in the WorldTour, we'll be more professionally organized than ever before. We have invested hugely in our staff, but in the same time we are in a difficult era. We fight for credibility and I hope that our sponsors won't let our beloved sport down."
Vacansoleil-DCM for 2013:
New signings: Grega Bole, Juan Antonio Flecha, Wesley Kreder, José Rujano, Boy van Poppel, Danny van Poppel and Willem Wauters
Returning: Kris Boeckmans, Thomas De Gendt, Romain Feillu, Johnny Hoogerland, Martijn Keizer, Sergey Lagutin, Maurits Lammertink, Björn Leukemans, Pim Ligthart, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Marco Marcato, Tomasz Marczynski, Barry Markus, Wouter Mol, Nikita Novikov, Wout Poels, Rob Ruijgh, Mirko Selvaggi, Rafael Valls, Kenny van Hummel, Frederick Veuchelen and Lieuwe Westra