Former road racer Jeroen Boelen signed with the Trek-Brentjens mountain bike team for 2011. The 32-year-old, who made his mountain bike debut this season, has his sights set on both national and international races, including the Cape Epic stage race, which he'll contest with team owner Bart Brentjens in South African in March.
"After riding on the road for long time, I needed a new challenge and this year I started doing mountain bike competitions," said Boelen. "During the season, it went better and better. For me, this team is the perfect chance to get to a higher level. They offered me a beautiful (inter)national race schedule and good facilities."
In the upcoming season, the Dutchman Boelen wants to move up to be among the top riders of Benelux. He'll race the cross country and marathon national championships as well as road nationals.
"I think it is great that Jeroen is going to ride for our team," said Brentjens. "This year he started mountain biking and he did surprisingly well. He won the KNWU MTB-regularity-classement this year and was on the podium seven times in national-level races, including twice on the highest step.
"And I could hardly beat him in the Bart Brentjens Challenge. Jeroen is very motivated and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish and how to do this."
Boelen's most memorable result thus far in his career is a victory at the Tour of Luik on the road in 2005. In his first season of mountain bike racing, he won races in Norg and Havelt and was sixth at the Dutch Marathon Championships and eighth at the Dutch cross country championships.