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Rabobank signs two youngsters to Continental team
The transfer carousel is turning again, and Kevin Van Impe must leave Quick Step, Kenny Van Hummel has decided to leave Skil-Shimano, and Rabobank has re-upped Dennis van Winden and signed two youngsters to its Continental team.
The 30-year-old Van Impe was not offered a new contract with the Belgian team. “Apparently they are opting for youth,” he said, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen.
Van Impe turned pro in 2001 and has ridden with Quick Step since 2006.
Van Hummel, 28, announced on his website that he is leaving Skil-Shimano after “six wonderful years”. The Dutch rider indicated that his new team is settled, but didn't yet announce it. Dutch media speculate that he will be with Vacansoleil-DCM.
It was a “difficult decision," he said on his website. “But after six years I am ready for something new, a new challenge. Now I know all the ins and outs within the team. I need a different environment, a little uncertainty about how things go. Just call it healthy tension.”
This year the 28-year-old won the overall title in the Ronde van Drenthe, after winning the first two stages. He also won a stage at the Tour of Turkey.
Young riders at Rabobank
Rabobank bucked the trend and announced the extension of one contract, as well as two new signings for its Continental team.
Dennis van Winden has extended his contract with the Dutch team through 2013. The 23-year-old has brought in a number of top ten finishes in 2011, his second ProTeam year.
He rode for the Rabobank Continental team for three years before moving up in 2010. Technical Director Erik Breukink said on the team's website that he has “made a big step forward this year. He rode well in the Classics and showed his talent in the Giro d'Italia.”
Rabobank has signed two Dutch teenagers to its Continental team, Danny van Poppel and Ivar Slik, both considered to be the top juniors in the Netherlands. Both signed two-year contracts.
Van Poppel, who turns 18 later this month, is the younger brother of Boy van Poppel, who's part of the US-based Pro Continental team UnitedHealthcare, and the son of Jean-Paul van Poppel, a directeur sportif at Vacansoleil-DCM. He has brought in a number of top results this year for TWC Pijnenburg.
Slik, 18, is a time trial specialist who currently rides with the Sinnige Construction Cycling Team. Slik has had a number of wins this season, including the Ster van Belgisch Zuid-Limburg.