Thursday 09 December 2010 at 00h42

The Rabobank team presentation took place on Wednesday 1 December in the Efteling (an amusement park in The Netherlands) and was hosted by Luuc Eisenga, Rabobank's press representative. The Dutch team was presented to the press and the public during a quite sober team presentation with its 26 riders


The professionals but also cycling at large

The presentation of the Rabobank team for 2011 started last week with a video which showed that Rabobank sponsors cycling in the largest possible way: not only by sponsoring the professional cycling team but also with activities for young talents, the sponsoring of the KNWU (the Dutch federation), etc. At the end of the video it showed a summary of all victories of the Rabobank pro team in the past 15 years.

Rabobank specifically mentioned the talent days for track racing, the Rabo test in the Ardennes, the support of adapted cycling and the Continental Team (Rabobank's training team).

All these actions were summarised in one sentence which included the Dutch bank's current slogan: altogether promote the sport in The Netherlands, that's the principle, that's the idea.

A video with the victories and most important moments of the Rabobank team in 2010 was shown just after Bert Bruggink, CFO for Rabobank Netherlands, announced that Rabobank would continue its sponsoring after 2012 for another 4 years, at least until the end of the 2016 season.

Harold Knebel spoke about a big day for the Rabobank cycling team after the announcement by Rabobank that it will continue its sponsoring for at least 6 years from now. The manager of the Rabobank Cycling teams continued by mentioning the 21 victories and 74 podium places the Rabobank team obtained in 2010. He also said he regretted that the team didn't win any stages in a Grand Tour this year while this was one of the goals.

Next to the Rabobank the team has 23 other sponsors. Recently the sponsoring contracts with Skoda for the cars and with Giant for the bikes have been extended for another 4 years and according to Knebel innovation is an important point in these new contracts.

Harold Knebel also reminded the importance of the recently created a collective labour agreement for riders in The Netherlands.

The theme Time for talent remains important for the Rabobank team but it now wants to take the next step: young riders create the future. Knebel indicated he wants to get the best out of the talents of the team in sprints, during the classics and the Grand Tours.
The new shirt (see the end of the article for more information) and the new graphical style for the bus, clothing, paper, etc. also show this: the shirt has a retro look out of respect for the past success of the Rabobank team but also the start of a new future.

The changes in the team

8 riders have left the team. Harold Knebel specifically mentioned 3 of them:
- Kai Reus who unfortunately, at least temporarily, quits cycling. Knebel indicated he regrets this loss
- Koos Moerenhout who still showed very good results at the end of his career. Koos remains active in the team and will be responsible for communication and more specifically the promotion of the team in the different Rabobanks
Denis Menchov- Denis Menchov, the most successful rider in the history of the Rabobank team. The Russian team, who has been part of the team during 6 years, assisted to the team presentation and watched together with the technical director of the team, Erik Breukink, and Harold Knebel a video which summarised his 6 years with Rabobank and also showed his spectacular fall during the final time trial of the 2009 Giro d'Italia which almost cost him the final victory in this Grand Tour
The Rabobank offered the rider who will in 2011 be part of the Geox-TMC Transformers team a photo collage of the 3 Grands Tours he won (2 times the Tour of Spain and once the Tour of Italy).

Denis Menchov leaves the team for Geox-TMC Transformers together with Mauricio Ardila and Dmitriy Kozontchuk.

In addition to these five riders, Nick Nuyens (Team Saxo Bank-Sungard), Joost Posthuma (Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project) and Tom Stamsnijder (who also leaves for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project) will no longer be part of the Rabobank team in 2011.

After a short presentation of the Continental Team all riders of the Rabobank Pro Team were presented.

Before their presentation the directeurs sportifs were presented: Jan Boven, Nico Verhoeven, Erik Dekker, Adri van Houwelingen and Frans Maassen.

The Rabobank team recruited 7 new riders for 2011:
Luis Léon Sanchez
- Luis Léon Sanchez who joins the team from the Spanish Caisse d'Epargne team indicated that it's been a dream to be part of a big team like Rabobank since the start of my career and now this dream becomes truth. After a start in Mallorca his most important goals for 2011 are Paris-Nice, the Classics and the Tour de France 2011 with important ambitions for Robert Gesink.

- Michael Matthews, the U23 World Champion indicated that this victory was really great and that he enjoyed the attention of the public, family and friends. The Australian rider was in touch with Erik Breukink since the 2010 Tour Down Under and since the Rabobank team indicated being interested, he decided to sign his first contract with the Dutch team

- Tom-Jelte Slagter indicated that his first year would allow him to learn a lot by riding at the highest level and that he would like to create his place in the team. His first race will be in Majorca before the Algarve.

- Coen Vermeltfoort signed a two year contract with the pro team and switches, just like Slagter, over from the Continental Team

Theo Bos- Theo Bos comes back to Rabobank in 2011 after having loeft the Rabobank Continental Team in 2010 for Cervélo TestTeam

Maarten Wynants- Maarten Wynants will be the only Belgian rider in the Rabobank team in 2011 and comes over from the Belgian Quick Step team, just like Carlos Barredo

In addition to these 7 new riders, 19 riders stay with the Dutch team in which they rode this year already. In 2011 the team thus has a total of 26 riders for the different races. 2 less than the past season. Those riders are:

Lars Boom- Lars Boom spoke about something to occupy my time in the winter when speaking of the cyclo-cross races in which he participates. He said being a road racer above all

- Graeme Brown

- Stef Clement, recent father of a little boy named Roel, is happy to be back in the Rabobank team after an almost completely blank year 2010 because of a basin injury. He said he had goose bumps of being at the team presentation even though he didn't know yet which will be his first race

Laurens ten Dam- Laurens ten Dam starts his 2011 season with the Tour Down Under and is highly motivated to start racing again. That was also the reason why he asked to start his season early in Australia.

- Jos van Emden

- Rick Flens

Oscar Freire- Oscar Freire said he was happy with his past season even though he hadn't been able to win the most important race in Australia (the World Championships). For 2011 Milan-San Remo and the World Championships will again be his most important goals even though he would also like to do a good first part of the season.

- Juan Manuel Garate

Robert Gesink- Robert Gesink said he chose almost the same goals for 2011 as in 2010: the Tour of the Basque country, the Classics, Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico

- Steven Kruijswijk

- Sebastian Langeveld

- Tom Leezer

- Paul Martens

Bauke Mollema- Bauke Mollema, who is now known as a bad weather rider thanks to his good results in bad weather conditions in 2010, hopes to ride his first Tour de France and this would also be his main goal even though he said he also would like to peak at Paris-Nice already

- Grischa Niermann

- Bram Tankink

- Maarten Tjallingii

- Pieter Weening

- Dennis van Winden


The new shirt of the 2011 Rabobank cycling team

The new shirt of the 2011 Rabobank cycling teamDuring this presentation, the new shirt of the Rabobank cycling team was presented. This new shirt adopts, as Harold Knebel indicated, a retro look, still with the same colours but used in another way: on the chest and on the back the shirt is mainly orange with a blue line with the name Rabobank on it. The sleeves are mainly white with blue and orange at the bottom on one side and white with orange and blue at the bottom on the other side.

The shorts are mainly blue with an orange at the bottom and white on the sides (just like the shirt).

The videos of the team presentation

Below you can find the Rabobank team presentation in video (90 minutes!):

You can also discover a short summary video of Denis Menchov's career at Rabobank:

door Thomas Vergouwen
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5 comments | 14121 views

this publication is published in: Team presentations 2011


There are 5 comments!
  1. ik ben een grote fan van robert gesink en nu heb ik net uitgevonden dat hy niet in de ploeg zit voor de tour de france, wat is er aan de hand?

    | geert hilbrands | tuesday 05 April 2011 om 19h32

  2. Hij zit er wel bij. Hij zit niet in de Giro;) Maar Robert is al etappes aan het voorbereiden in Frankrijk! Dus wordt genieten!!

    | Niek | Wednesday 25 May 2011 om 16h26

  3. bedankt, dat is het beste nieuws wat ik op zat te wachten.

    | geert hilbrands | Thursday 02 June 2011 om 18h10

  4. Zie ook dit artikel over de voorbereidende trainingsstages.

    | Thomas Vergouwen | Thursday 02 June 2011 om 18h27

  5. ik ben zeer teleurgsteld in de rabo ploeg wotd het geen tijd om het manegment en pleogleiders te vernieuwen? want deze maken er al jaren niets van zonde van het geld ,het is toch van de klanten....

    | siem aartman | Saturday 16 July 2011 om 19h25

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