Olympic gold medalist and multi-discipline world champion Marianne Vos will ride for a new road team in 2009. Her DSB Bank squad and the Dutch Vrienden van het Platteland ('Friends of the Countryside' – a Dutch regional organisation) team will merge to create an as-yet unnamed outfit that reflects the composition of these two squads.
Similarly to Nicole Cooke, whose team was assembled around her to help guide the Welsh rider to Olympic and world championships glory this year, this new squad is geared to assist Vos in her endeavours on the road. She's undoubtedly the star of the show, with her management company, Zeloo Sports, having a hand in organising the merger.
LTO Netherlands, the main sponsor of the Vrienden van het Platteland team, will be launching a new communication campaign next year, and will use the opportunity for branding to assist its cause and this new squad. It will be a main sponsor – in addition to DSB Bank – and feature on the riders' clothing.
The 21-year-old Vos welcomed this latest development, saying, "The commitments made to the new team will be enjoyed when they are delivered. Cooperation with Vrienden van het Platteland in 2009 makes it possible to run a complete programme and they also have a few strong riders in that team."
The team for 2009 consists of Marianne Vos, Angela Hennig, Adrie Visser, Annemiek van Vleuten, Liesbet de Vocht, Tina Liebig, Liesbeth Bakker, Noortje Tabak, Daisy van der Aa, Josephiene Groenveld, Bertine Spijkerman, Elke Gebhart, Agnieta Franken, Marieke van Wanroij, Janneke Kanis and track rider Yvonne Hijgenaar.