Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel will continue her professional career with the Cervélo TestTeam after the women's squad announced the Dutchwoman had signed a one-year contract on Monday.
Melchers had been contemplating retirement after her former squad Flexpoint folded at the end of this season. However, she has instead become the 13th and final member of the Cervélo roster for 2010.
"The most important thing for me in the upcoming season will be to support the team and riders," said Melchers. "After many years at the highest level, it's obvious that I have a lot of experience to share, which would be useful for the team.
"To be a part of a leading team was one of my goals and was one of the main reasons for me to sign."
The 34-year-old also indicated that she may look to extend her tenure at Cervélo when she does come to hang up her bike. "I also started a coaching course this winter, and my role in the team could fit into this."
Her husband, Jean-Paul van Poppel, has worked this season as a sports director with the men's Cervélo TestTeam.
Melchers becomes the fourth Dutch member of the team. With a majority of Dutch riders on the team Cervélo will be registered in that country for next season.
"After the retirement of Kristin Armstrong, it was our goal to find a rider who would bring a lot of experience to the team," said Geert Broekhuizen, Cervélo's Press Officer. "With Melchers, who has already won the tough women's Ronde van Vlaanderen twice, we have achieved this aim.
"Mirjam is a top-rated athlete who brings many skills to our team. Due to the fact that she is already the fourth Dutch rider in the team, the management has decided to apply for a Dutch licence for the women's team for 2010."
|Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)|
|Emilie Aubry (Switzerland)|
|Regina Bruins (Netherlands)|
|Lieselot Decroix (Belgium)|
|Sarah Düster (Germany)|
|Claudia Häusler (Germany)|
|Sharon Laws (Great Britain)|
|Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands)|
|Emma Pooley (Great Britain)|
|Carla Ryan (Australia)|
|Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)|
|Iris Slappendel (Netherlands)|
|Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)|
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