Team NetApp has announced two more signings to strengthen their Spring Classics squad. Young Belgian Jerome Baugnies and German veteran Markus Eichler will join the German Professional Continental team in 2012.
Baugnies, 24, has ridden for the Professional Continental Team Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator the past two years. He has also show great promise as an amateur, finishing fifth in the under 23 World road race in 2009.
His second-place finish at Eschborn-Frankfurt this year shows that as a professional rider he can also ride at the front of the field at important races. We're convinced that Jerome will show enormous development next year,” said NetApp team manager Ralph Denk.
Eichler brings four years of ProTour experience to the young team. He rode for Unibet in 2007 before joining Milram. The 29-year-old rode for the German Continental-ranked Team NSP this year, winning the prologue of the Fleche du Sud.
In addition to riding both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana with Milram, he concentrated on the Classics, and will lead NetApp in the Belgian races next spring.
"Markus is a real classics expert. He’s raced at all the important one-day races and has been competing in the ProTour for four years. That experience is important for us – our young riders should benefit from it,” Denk said.
“In addition, Markus has been living and training near our Belgian team base for several years now, which means he’ll fit perfectly in with our schedule and the way we do things.”