A new Dutch mountain bike team, Merlanduo-Be One was presented in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands. Both of the team's main sponsors, MerlanDuo and Be One Bikes have decided to support the squad for four years, effectively taking its riders on a four-year programme to Beijing 2008. Team manager Ralf van Heugten has gathered 12 cross-country, downhill and four-cross riders, as well as young riders with a lot of potential.
World road champion Marianne Vos (Ned) and talented Bjorn Brems (Bel) are part of the team's development riders. At downhill and four cross, Bas de Bever (Ned) is joined by Belgian champion Nico Vink and Canadian rider Claire Buchar. Buchar, top 15 rider in the World's, is also member of Warwick Patterson's Be One Canada team.
In cross-country, MerlanDuo-Be One provides a small national team and three riders that will be riding cross-country on a more international level. These are: Jelmer Pietersma (Ned), Rudi van Houts (Ned) and runner-up in the Belgian championships Jimmy Tielens. All riders are aged between 20 and 26 and are already capable of finishing top 25 in the World Cup circuit.
Team MerlanDuo-Be One will be riding the Sea Otter Classic (USA) as its first international event this April. Meanwhile, first good results were achieved in Dutch and Belgian races.
The MerlanDuo-Be One team consists of: Jelmer Pietersma (Ned), Rudi van Houts (Ned), Jimmy Tielens (Bel), Bjorn Brems (Bel), Marianne Vos (Ned), Sander Bouwens (Ned), Tim Wijnants (Bel), Bram van der Wal (Ned), Micha de Vries (Ned), Nico Vink (Bel), Bas de Bever (Ned), Claire Buchar (Can)
More information on: www.merlanduo-beone.nl