Rabobank signs Gesink to 2012

Rabobank has re-signed young Dutch climbing talent Robert Gesink, who hails from Varsseveld in The Netherlands, through to the end of 2012. Never before in the history of the team has it signed a rider for that length of time.

“It is very simple,” Rabobank's general director Theo de Rooij explained. “We have a lot of confidence in Robert Gesink's qualities. Not only is Robert an outstanding rider, he is also an outstanding personality. We, at the Rabobank Cycling Team, feel we can offer him the right circumstances. Robert has the same belief. It didn't take long to reach an agreement. I am extremely pleased to keep a rider with the qualities of Robert Gesink aboard for such a long time.”

Gesink has had an impressive start to his first season in the ProTour ranks. He was crowned best young rider at the Tour of California in February and came in an impressive ninth in his first ProTour race, La Flèche Wallonne. He crowned those results off just last week with a win in the hardest stage in the Tour of Belgium, a stage which took in the famously hard La Redoute, only two days after his 21st birthday.

Gesink himself is very pleased with his renewed contract. "I am very happy the team shows so much confidence in me," Gesink explained. "The decision wasn't very hard. Everything with the Rabobank Cycling Team feels good. It's fantastic to sign with such a team for such a long time!"

Robert Gesink joined the Rabobank Continental Team, run by Nico Verhoeven and Piet Kuijs, in 2006. Victories in the difficult Settimana Ciclista Lombarda and Circuito Montañes stage races made the Continental team's ProTour division stand up and take notice of the youngster. The youngster has left well known ProTour riders behind on climbs in his debut year with the squad's ProTour division this season.

Gesink is shaping up to be a well rounded rider. Along with his ability to climb mountains with the best in the world, he is also a handy TT rider, having twice won the Dutch National TT championships, once in the debutante’s category, and once as a junior in 2004. That same year, he showed his talents at the World Championships, finishing eighth in the individual time trial and sixth in the road race.

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