Time trial specialist plays a pivotal role for his team leaders
Stef Clement did not make the Tour de France line-up for his Rabobank team but his program has already included the Giro d’Italia this year. The 29-year-old grew up racing with the feeder to the ProTour squad and feels at home with the Dutch team he’s ridden with since 2009. Clement spent three years with Bouygues Telecom after graduating from the Rabobank development squad but is happy to have signed for another two years. His contract extension will see him remain with Rabobank through till 2014.
"Here I’m riding with guys I grew up with. We know each other well, go through all kinds of things together, and I want to keep contributing my part. I believe we’re on the right track, and have full confidence in the future" said Clement.
Clement’s role is one of support, looking after the general classification riders throughout tour stages and ensuring they can achieve the best result. His most recent win was at the Netherlands national championships in 2011 where he won the time trial title. Unfortunately for Clement, he could not repeat his win this year and had to settle for fourth behind title winner Lieuwe Westra (Vanconsoleil-DCM).
Team director Erik Breukink understands the important role Clement plays and is confident in his ability to also try his luck against the clock.
"Stef is an experienced force, and is an important help for the GC riders in the tour circuit. Wherever the possibility occurs, he can also try his specialty – the time trial. After a couple of years of uncertainty, during which his injuries played roles, Stef has again proven to be able to ride at a good level. He is very important for the team" said Breukink.