The Vacansoleil-DCM team added the Spanish climber Rafael Valls to its team for 2012. Valls, 24, was part of the Geox-TMC squad this season, but needed to look elsewhere after the team's main sponsor pulled its support.
“We have been following Valls since 2010 and know his talent," said manager Daan Luickx. "He is a rider whose age and way of racing fit our team. I have great confidence in the fact that this rider will be a valuable addition to our team in stage and hilly races.”
Valls made a name for himself in 2010 when he began the season with a two-day stint in the leader's jersey at the Tour de San Luis and then took second to Sylvain Chavanel on the Tour de France stage 7 to Station des Rousses.
However, his 2011 season was not quite as strong as he suffered from a lingering case of mononucleosis in May. He hopes to turn around his fortunes next year with his new team.
“I have chosen for Vacansoleil-DCM because they showed interested in me in 2010 and again now after a difficult season. Furthermore at this team, young riders get a chance to get immediate results. Besides that the comfort of a WorldTour program is good to plan my season. I think to have big possibilities in this team to get better and support the leaders in hard races.”