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Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
Dutchman to ride for US team for two more years
Thomas Dekker will continue with Garmin-Sharp for another two years. The Dutch rider announced the contact extension in his website, saying, “I not only have faith in the future but the people around me too.”
Dekker, who just turned 28, served a two-year suspension for EPO doping. He returned in August of last year with the team's related Chipotle Developmental team, before moving up to the WorldTour team this year.
He is currently riding the Vuelta a Espana, his first grand tour since 2007. His next race will be the team trial at the World Championships next Sunday in Valkenburg.
"We, my management, Jonathan Vaughters and me, assessed the comeback so far and we made new plans for the future. I am very happy that we share the same vision and that I can keep working with these people in this team,” Dekker said.
“Garmin-Sharp gave me the opportunity to return in a good way to the highest level of cycling and I will be eternally grateful for that. Garmin-Sharp is all about clean cycling and I am very much aware of my specific role in that respect. The team supports me and I support the team and Jonathan Vaughters in their fight against doping.”
Speaking openly on the Cyclingnews forum last week, Vaughters had said that "Thomas is an arrogant prick. Or was. hugely insecure guy. It's been a lot of work with him. A lot...." He further indicated that he wasn't sure whether Dekker would be able to successfully ride again, but has evidently decided to give Dekker a further chance.
“Jonathan had already predicted that my first season would include ups and downs. I won a race (stage 5 in the Circuit de la Sarthe) but I also had to abandon races like the Tour de Suisse,” Dekker said.
“The most important thing is that we started the foundation on which we can continue to build in the next two years. I do not only have faith in the future but the people around me too."