The surprise winner of the 2013 Tour Down Under, Tom-Jelte Slagter, signed with the Garmin-Sharp team, the American squad announced today.
Slagter, 24, earned his first WorldTour victory in his third season with the Dutch team Blanco (now Belkin) on the third Tour Down Under stage to Stirling, then wrested the race leader's jersey from Sky's Geraint Thomas with a stellar ride on the finish at Old Willunga Hill. He held on to win the overall by 17 seconds ahead of Movistar's Javier Moreno.
"I am very glad to become part of Team Garmin-Sharp. Together with my agency I have searched for the best possible team and I believe that Garmin-Sharp is the best fit for me," Slagter said. "I just turned 24 and I know I have a lot to learn. I would like to become more consistent on the WorldTour level and I think Garmin-Sharp is the right place to be able to continue to develop my career."
Slagter joins a team with a host of young talent which has stepped in the spotlight as the squad's veterans stars have faded. Irishman Dan Martin and American Andrew Talansky have had successful development paths with the team.
"Dan Martin is one of my role models in the peloton, and it's fantastic to see the big races he won this year, so I am very excited to be able to race with him at some point in the future," Slagter said. "I look forward to learning from and helping the established riders on the team and being a part of this organization."
Slipstream's CEO Jonathan Vaughters has a keen eye for talent, and is pleased to bring the Dutch promise onto the team. "We are always looking to help develop young talent and Tom is a perfect fit for our team. He is an explosive rider with a lot of potential, which we have already seen with his overall win at the Tour Down Under this year. We look forward to having him on board next year and continuing to develop his talent."