Team Argos-Shimano announced today the roster of its new development team, with young cyclo-cross star Lars van der Haar headlining the 10-man Continental squad for the 2014 season. Van der Haar, winner of the opening UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Valkenburg last weekend, will combine his cyclo-cross career with a road programme in the summer and will join the squad next March.
"I see myself developing in this team with the right people and environment around me," Van der Haar said about his new team. "In the conversations we had I felt really good, and I am looking forward to benefiting from the set-up they want to build around me."
Van der Haar, 22, is the current Dutch elite cyclo-cross champion and finished third at the elite men's world championship earlier this year. He will stay with his current Rabobank Development Team until the first of March.
"I will ride the cyclo-cross world championships in Hoogerheide (the Netherlands) for Rabobank. After that it's time to move on in my career. It's a step I am really looking forward to."
The Argos-Shimano development team is led by former Thüringer Energie coach Jens Lang. Lang led the team where sprint aces Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb originally came from.
"Argos-Shimano will support Lars with our programme and coaching staff in order to help him improve in cyclo-cross," Lang said. "In the summer we'll offer him a programme on the road with this team in order to prepare for the cyclo-cross season."
The new Continental team features an international roster of 10 riders including three Swedes from Team People4You: Christian Bertilsson, Robert Pölder and Fredrik Ludvigsson, Argos-Shimano's Tobias Ludvigsson's younger brother.
From Germany the team recruited the former junior national road champion Jan Brockhoff and 2012 bronze medalist in the junior men's time trial world championship, Maximilian Schachmann. New Zealand's Alex Frame will be the team's designated sprinter. Junior Tour of Flanders winner Yenthe Biermans of Belgium and Danish riders Matthias Rask Jeppesen and Kristian Haugaard Jensen, winner of the mountains classification at the 2012 Tour de l'Avenir, complete the roster.