The Sunweb-Projob cyclo-cross team could see a few changes at the start of the new year, the team announced Tuesday. Elite riders Jan Verstraeten and Wesley Van der Linden have not had their contracts renewed, but the team extended offers to two young riders, Sven Beelen and Kenneth Van Compernolle.
Team manager Jurgen Mettepenningen gave Verstraeten and Van der Linden until the end of November to prove themselves, but the pair were not able to meet expectations. "Jan Verstraeten may continue as an elite without contract, but wants to search elsewhere for a new professional contract. We wish both riders continued success in the rest of their career."
Beelen is in his first year in the under-23 ranks, and directeur sportif Mario De Clercq described him as one of the better Belgian espoirs. His contract runs through the end of 2010. Jehudi Schoonacker, winner of two races this season, will remain through the end of 2009 as an elite without contract.
Kenneth Van Compernolle, winner of the West Flanders championship in Koksijde this weekend, has had a highly successful season with the team, including three wins and eleven podium finishes. He will continue for another season in the under-23 ranks, and then will most likely turn professional at the end of the 2010 season.