Belgian Gorik Gardeyn has signed with the Champion System Pro Cycling Team for 2012, the team announced today. Gardeyn spent the past two seasons with the Vacansoleil squad. A 12-year professional who rode with Silence-Lotto in previous seasons, Gardeyn's experience will be a major asset for the budding Professional Continental team.
Gardeyn signed the contract over the weekend after working out a verbal agreement in the past month. "I am happy for this opportunity," Gardeyn said in a press release. "This is an exciting new project and I am happy to have this opportunity to share my knowledge of European racing with my new teammates."
Those new teammates include a fresh crop of Asian talent who will be seeing the European Continent for the first time, and team manager Ed Beamon thinks Gardeyn will be just the man to show them the ropes, and at the same time have an opportunity to get his own results.
"I'm very happy to have Gorik on the Champion System squad," Beamon said. "He's had to suppress some of his ambition as he has been a key support rider on many of his previous teams. But we expect to give him plenty of opportunity to lead on this team – especially in the tough Belgian and Dutch classic style races."
The Champion System Pro Cycling Team, Asia's first pro-continental team, will be formally presented next month in Beijing.