Martens, Garate and Bol extend with Belkin

Belkin Pro Cycling Team has announced that it has extended the contracts of Paul Martens, Juanma Garate and Jetse Bol. That gives the Dutch team a roster of 28 riders for the 2014 season.

Martens, 29, extended for two years. The German first joined the Rabobank team in 2008. This season he won he overall title in the Tour of Luxembourg as well as a stage at the Volta ao Algarve.

“This year, Paul established himself as one of the best riders in his field. He was really strong in the hilly stage races,” said sport director Paul Verhoeven. “On a WorldTour level Paul, he has also shown that he is someone to be reckoned with in the one-day races.”

The 24-year-old Jetse Bol will be with the team at least one more year.

"In the shadow of the team’s leaders, Jetse did a great job the last two years. He clearly made progress," said Verhoeven. "Jetse is a strong domestique in the classics and in other difficult one-day races, but he also stands his ground in stage races and in the sprint train. Jetse can finish a race off himself, as well. He’s still young and developing and we expect that he will be of value for the team again next year.”

Garate, 37, also extended for one year. The Spaniard first moved to the Rabobank team in 2009. “In the Grand Tours and major stage races, Juanma is a real captain. He hasn’t been at the front of many races this year, but behind the scenes we know exactly how important he is.”

The Dutch team will have very few changes for the coming season. Only two riders have left – Mark Renshaw and Tom-Jelte Slagter – with two newcomers, Barry Markus and Nick van der Lijke.  The only rider whose future team is in question is Luis Leon Sanchez. He missed much of the early season after being suspended by the Dutch team during an investigation into his possible links with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.


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