Bouet to ride for Fortuneo Vital Concept in 2017 - Transfer shorts

Bouet to ride for Fortuneo Vital Concept in 2017

Maxime Bouet has penned a two-year deal with the Fortuneo-Vital Concept as he follows Etixx-QuickStep teammate Gianni Meersman in switching to the French team for the 2017 season.

On Tuesday morning, Bouet told his Twitter followers that he had signed a new deal but kept it quiet as to where he was headed. "Signed this morning, 2 years with???” he wrote.

The official announcement came a day later, confirming that the 30-year-old would ride for the French squad. At the team, Bouet will reunite with his former Agritubel team manager, Emmanuel Hubert, who provided him with his first professional contract in 2008.

"Emmanuel Hubert found me when I was an amateur, it's a great story to sign for his team 10 years later," Bouet said. "After my experience at AG2R-La Mondiale, I wanted to discover a foreign team. There was good and less good but I learned a lot, I have no regrets. Today, I feel, for the first time in my career that I want to try and race for myself. The sports management believes me capable of doing good things. I'll give my all. I often had regrets passing the line, but I want to do the job 100 per cent in these two years."

Kelderman and Hofland to leave LottoNL-Jumbo

Both Wilco Kelderman and Moreno Hofland could be on their way to new teams at the end of the season, according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. The paper reports that Giant-Alpecin are interested in snapping up Kelderman while Hofland is rumoured to be off to Lotto-Soudal. The Dutch team's star Classics rider Sep Vanmarcke has already confirmed his departure for the Cannondale-Drapac team.

Kelderman, who has reportedly signed a two-year contract with Giant-Alpecin, has shown promise as a Grand Tour rider, after finishing seventh overall at the 2014 Giro d'Italia. The past two seasons have not lived up to the expectations and been affected by injury, with fourth overall at the Ruta del Sol his best GC result this season. Nevertheless, Kelderman would still prove a valuable asset to Tom Dumoulin as he targets the general classification of grand tours in future seasons.

Hofland is another rider that has struggled to live up to early expectations in recent years. However, he would slot well into Andre Greipel's sprint train at Lotto-Soudal, which would also prove useful for gaining valuable experience.

Katusha signs Jenthe Biermans

Katusha has signed their youngest rider yet for next season after securing the services of the 20-year-old Belgian Jenthe Biermans for the next two seasons. Biermans is a promising young talent and took victory at the junior Tour of Flanders in 2013. As a Belgian, he is keen to prove himself in the Classics.

"The worse the weather, the better I feel. I love the classics. I hope to learn a lot from a rider like Alexander Kristoff," he said. "I will be happy to work for him. I hope that he can take nice victories in 2017 and that I can contribute to making them happen. I'm taking a very big step, but I feel that I am ready for it. Last year after my second U23 season, I got some offers from Pro Continental teams, but at that time I determined it was too early to make the move.

"Moreover, when a huge team like Team Katusha knocks on your door, you don't need to hesitate any more. I am very happy. In the last week I've already seen the names of new guys coming to the team, all coming from different countries. It looks impressive. I cannot wait to start next season.”

Katusha has already confirmed the arrival of Tony Martin, Rik Zabel, Jose Goncalves, Mads Wurtz Schmidt, Maurits Lammertink and Baptiste Planckaert.  

Biermans has spent the past two seasons riding for the SEG development team and is currently signed as a stagiaire for the Belgian Pro Continental outfit Wanty-Groupe Gobert. He is set to make his debut in Wanty colours at the GP de Fourmies this weekend.

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