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The BMC Teammachine of the American GC hopeful
Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out
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National theme bike for Tour's lone Japanese rider
Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) wins the sprint over Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Belgian leaves Garmin-Sharp
The bank announced recently that it will end its name sponsorship of the team at the end of this year. but will fulfil its financial obligations through 2013. The team will continue as a “white label” team without a name sponsor in the coming year.
"I have confidence in it. The riders are top notch and the staff is experienced,” Vanmarcke said in a statement released by the team.
The 24-year-old, who won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for Garmin-Sharp this year, will strengthen the Dutch team's Classics squad. "When I look at the riders, we can conclude that we have a strong block for spring,” he said. “It is perhaps a strange time right now, but I look forward with pleasure to our cooperation.”
Team leader Nico Verhoeven was looking forward to the Belgian's arrival. "It gives confidence to the riders in our team, that he is just now making the transition to our team. In September, we stated our own ambition to work with young riders in a credible and fair way.”
Vanmarcke turned pro with Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator in 2010, and finished second in Gent-Wevelgem and second overall in Circuit Franco-Belge that year. He joined Garmin-Sharp in 2011.
His biggest career success to date came in February of this year, when he joined Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in an attack with 59 km to go in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He ended up driving a trio which also contained Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha, and in the end, was a able to outsprint the two Classics specialists for the win.
There were reports in the Belgian media in August that RadioShack-Nissan was considering legal action against Vanmarcke after he had reportedly reached an agreement with the Luxembourg-based outfit after the Spring Classics, but then began speaking with other teams.