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Grischa Niermann (Rabobank)
No new contract for de Groot
Rabobank announced on Wednesday that it has extended the contracts with Graeme Brown, Grischa Niermann and Paul Martens, but Bram de Groot will leave the Dutch squad at the end of the season.
Brown received a one-year extension. The Australian sprinter has been with the Dutch team since 2006 and has brought in 12 victories over that time, including four this season. “Brown is our man for the first victories in the cycling season,” said general manager Harold Knebel.
Niermann also extended for one year. The 34-year-old German has been with the team since 1999. Martens, 25, is in his second year with the team. The two Germans “are real team players," according to Knebel. “Niermann is like the invisible force: riders who we do not always see in pictures, but who are of inestimable value to a team.”
De Groot, 34, did not receive a new contract from the team. The Dutchman joined the Rabobank Continental team in 1998 before moving up to the professional squad the following year. De Groot proved to be “a worth and valued helper,” the team said. He started the Tour de France six times, finishing it four times, and rode both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España twice.
The team previously announced this week that Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha was leaving the team, and denied rumours that it was downsizing for the coming season.