The Scott-Odlo Mountain Bike Racing Team has signed under 23 men's cross country world champion Michiel van der Heijden for 2015. At the same time, the team is saying goodbye to long-time member Florian Vogel, who was was the squad since 2002.
Van der Heijden joins returning stars Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds on the team.
"I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work with Nino in the next few years," said van der Heijden. "Being a part of the Scott-Odlo team gives me the chance to improve going into my first years as an elite."
Team Manager Thomas Frischknecht has had an eye on van der Heijden for several years. "Ever since I saw Michiel van der Heijden winning the junior world championships in 2010, I followed his career closely. With him we not only have an incredibly capable and fast rider, but also a personality that could not fit any better with our team. I'm looking forward working with this exceptionally talented athlete for the years to come."
Van der Heijden has signed a contract until 2016. The move comes after his Giant Pro XC team disbanded for 2015.
Van der Heijden won his second world championship title in Hafjell, Norway this fall. The Dutch rider had stepped onto the U23 world championship podium three years in a row, finally taking the rainbow stripes in his last year as a U23. He also won the junior title in 2010.
Goodbye to Vogel
Vogel, who joined the team at age 20, departs at age 32 with 23 medals at the European and World Championships. His two World Cup victories and the European Championship title, along with four national titles, only a few highlights from his cycling career.
Having spent most of his career in the shadow of Schurter, Vogel is moving on to seek new opportunities with the Focus team.
"I'm very thankful and proud of the fact that I was part of the Scott campaign since the very beginning. I'm at a point where I want to make the best out of my last years of my career and to build something for the future. Focus offers me this opportunity to not only be a leader, but also to take on new responsibilities to develop youth talents."
Another rider, junior Robin Gemperle, is also leaving the team and moving to Giant Swiss.
Marcel Wildhaber and Andri Frischknecht have also renewed their contracts through 2016.
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