Rabobank have officially confirmed the signing of Carlos Barredo from Quick Step for the 2011 season. Barredo, who took an emotional win atop Lagos de Covadonga at the Vuelta a España on Sunday, has agreed to a two-year contract with the Dutch outfit.
Rabobank technical director Erik Breukink said that he believes Barredo will be a crucial support rider in the major tours. “We were looking for a bit more balance in the team and in particular somebody who could play an important support role in the Grand Tours, Barredo was the ideal candidate,” he explained. “He has shown enough times that in the big mountain stages he will last with the leaders.”
“We want to be able to draw from a larger arsenal of climbers, so the choice of Barredo is deliberate,” Breukink continued. “He is not a man to challenge for the classification in the big tours but he can support the leader and when he gets a little more freedom he can also take his chance, like at Lagos de Covadonga on Sunday.”
In recent years, Rabobank has maintained a Spanish contingent in the team and Breukink also believes that will help Barredo’s integration into the line-up. “We feel that he fits well with our team and he is a good friend of Juan Manuel Garate,” Breukink said.
Breukink also said that Barredo should be Rabobank’s final signing for the 2011 season. “We’ve now almost completed the team, bar a few formalities,” he said, before confirming that Jetse Bol, currently a stagiaire at the Rabobank ProTour team, will return to the Continental team for one more season.
Rabobank had already signed Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) Theo Bos (Cervélo), Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne), Michael Matthews (Jayco Skins) and Maarten Wynants (Quick Step) for 2011, while Tom Slagter and Coen Vermeltfoort will be promoted from the Rabobank Continental team.