Dekker & Dekker back on board
The presentation of the Rabobank team was held in Rotterdam on January 5, during which, it was announced that both Erik and Thomas Dekker will continue their careers with the team. For Erik Dekker, 2006 will be his last season as a rider. After he retires, he will become a sports director with Rabobank, taking over the duties of Joop Zoetemelk from January 1, 2007.
At the end of 2006, Erik will have ridden fourteen and a half seasons as a professional. With Jan Boven, Michael Boogerd and Richard Groenendaal, Dekker is one of only four riders that have been with Rabobank ever since the start of the team in 1996. Of those four, Groenendaal recorded victory number 1500 for Rabobank by winning the 'Centrumcross' in Surhuisterveen, the Netherlands. Erik Dekker has a total of 68 professional victories, and contributed 55 to Rabobank's 1500.
General director Theo de Rooij has reached an agreement over a new and better contract for the talented Thomas Dekker. The final date of Dekker's current contract would normally have been the end of 2006, but The Netherlands' Sports Talent of the year will now stay through the 2007 season. In 2005, Dekker won ProTour-stages in Critérium International and Tour of Poland and was crowned Dutch champion in the individual time trial.
With a roster of 25 riders, Erik Breukink's Rabobank team is approaching the new season full of confidence. Bringing in Juan Antonio Flecha, Mauricio Ardila and Graeme Brown, the orange brigade has gained depth. Marc de Maar will step up from the Continental to the ProTeam, while during the 2006 season, promising newcomer Kai Reus will make the switch from the Rabobank Continental Team to the Rabobank ProTeam.
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