Young talents stay with Rabobank

Bauke Mollema (Netherlands)

Bauke Mollema (Netherlands) (Image credit: AFP)

Rabobank Cycling Team has ensured that five talented riders will stay in its ranks. For 2008 and 2009, Bauke Mollema will make the switch from the Rabobank Continental Team to the Rabobank Professional Team. Sébastian Langeveld also renegotiated his contract, extending it by two more years, and Pieter Weening also signed for two more years while Theo Eltink and Marc de Maar renewed their contracts for one additional year each.

Mollema joined the team at the beginning of the 2007 season, during which he earned overall victories in two stage races: Circuito Montañes in Spain and Tour de l'Avenir in France. Mollema was only the third Dutchman to win at the Tour de l'Avenir. He joined Fedor den Hertog (1972) and Joop Zoetemelk (1969) on the roll of honor. He also won the best young rider category at the Vuelta a Navarra, Circuito Montañes, Vuelta a Leon and Tour de l'Ain.

Langeveld, an honorary citizen of Lisse, The Netherlands, and Dutch national under 23 champion of 2006, won the overall classification of the Ster Elektrotoer in 2007 after his spring got off to a rough start and he recovered from a fractured right wrist.

Weening will enter his tenth season with Rabobank. Among the highlights of his career are Thüringen Rundfahrt (2002), Transalsace (2002), Jadranska Magristrala (2003) and Tour of Limburg (2003). The Dutch national under 23 champion in 2002 won the eighth stage of the 2005 edition of the Tour de France to Gérardmer. At the end of 2005, Weening also record a stage victory in the Tour of Poland. He was voted Dutch Cyclist of the year in 2005.

Just like Weening, Eltink learned the ropes with Rabobank. For 2008 will be Eltink's twelfth season overall and fourth as a professional. He has won stages in the Ronde de l'Isard (2001), Thüringen Rundfahrt (2003), Tour de Normandie (2004), Tour des Pyrénées (2004) and Tour de l'Avenir (2004).

Excepting a break of one year, Marc de Maar has been a member of Rabobank since the 2001 season. He turned pro in 2006 and counts on his resume victories in the under 23 edition of Rund um den Henninger Turm and the under 23 classic Spa-Hasselt-Spa (both in 2004). In 2005, he won the general classifications of Triptyque des Monts-et-Châteaux and Tour du Loir-et-Cher.

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