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Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank)
Dutchman motivated by a further two years with the team
One of six Dutchmen to be selected in the Rabobank team for the Tour de France, Maarten Tjallingii has extra cause for celebration having just extended his contract with the team for a further two years.
Tjallingii has been with Rabobank since 2009 and now aged 34, technical director Erik Breukink said that his maturity plays an important role within the Dutch squad.
"He is at a high level and is committed to being there from start of the season to the end," Breukink said. "We've got a fairly young team here, and these young guys need someone who can share his experience with them, who can be of service to them. You can always build on that."
Tjallingii will play a key support role for team captains Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema during the Tour.
"I enjoy taking a lot of the work off of the team captains' hands and helping them stay fresh for their own work," he admitted.
"It's my job, especially in stage races, to give my all to the team. By doing that, I can help others improve on their performances. Also, the team allows me to focus on the spring classics. This contract gives me the confidence and motivation to go the extra mile."