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The revelation of the Giro d'Italia and Criterium di Dauphine: Wilco Kelderman (Belkin)
Dutch GC riders to remain after team secured future with Lotto, BrandLoyalty sponsorships
Both Wilco Kelderman and Robert Gesink will remain with the Belkin team for the next two seasons Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports. The team, which will be sponsored by Lotto/Brandloyalty from 2015, has already lost Bauke Mollema to Trek and Lars Boom to Astana respectively.
Belkin Pro Cycling Team announced on July 30 that it had signed a "formal declaration of intent" with the Dutch Lottery, Lotto, and marketing firm BrandLoyalty, to ensure the team's future for at least two years. The American Belkin company had announced on the eve of the Tour de France that it would end its team sponsorship after the 2014 season. Riders gave the team management a August 1 deadline on the search for new sponsor before they would start looking elsewhere
Kelderman, who finished seventh at the Giro d'Italia, had been linked to Orica-GreenEdge and Team Sky although with the departure of Mollema, the 23-year-old is likely to be the team's protected GC rider in more races next year. Kelderman expressed his aim to make his Tour de France debut next year having ridden the last two editions of the Giro.
De Telegraaf adds that Gesink will remain with the team which he ridden for since 2007. The 28-year-old returned to racing at the Tour of Poland last week, where he finished eighth overall, having undergone heart surgery in May.
Tom Leezer, Barry Markus, Paul Martens, Laurens ten Dam and Nick van der Lijke all have existing contracts for next year while Moreno Hofland and Sep Vanmarcke renewed their contracts with the team during the season until 2016.