Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dylan van Baarle signs neo-pro deal with Garmin-Sharp

On the day where Dylan van Baarle wrapped up his Olympia's Tour crown, it was announced that the Dutchman signed a neo-pro deal with the Garmin-Sharp World Tour team for 2014-15 seasons. He will be joining a strong Dutch contingent on the team that includes (as of now) the Kreder brothers Michel and Raymond, Thomas Dekker and Martijn Maaskant. He is also the 2nd Rabobank Development rider this year to sign with a World Tour team after Daan Olivier signed with Argos-Shimano.

This is another great signing by the Garmin-Sharp team, who over the past few years have snapped up some of the top U23 talent by signing riders in past years such as Cameron Meyer (now GreenEdge), Jack Bobridge (now Blanco), Ramunas Navardauskas and Rohan Dennis. Van Baarle, while untested in any big mountains, has shown himself on hilly courses, pan-flat stages and time trials of all sorts and as of now, is Espoirs Central #1 U23 so far this season.

Van Baarle was a sensation last year with 4 wins, two of which came in TTs, but experienced a hard fall last year and broke his acetabulum, the concave area on the base of the pelvis where the femur head meets the hip. This set back ended his season and I, for one, thought he would be a slow starter this year. I couldn't have been any more wrong.

Van Baarle won two early races in a row, the Ster van Zwolle and Dorpenomloop Rucphen, in commanding fashion as he broke away both times for wins. Then he went on to 3rd overall at the Tour de Normandie even after an unlucky prologue in the rain, 8th overall in Triptyque Monts et Chateaux after a breakaway took time on a stage and then 4th overall at the Tour de Bretagne, where he won the TT and then made the decisive split on the final stage. He also rode in the Ronde van Vlaanderen Nations Cup, where he was active near the front and made the front splits to finish 30th in the lead group.Van Baarle has capped his season to date with his impressive Olympia's Tour win, which you can read about in previous Espoirs Central posts.

After a commanding win on the grueling stage 4 in Limburg in the Olympia's Tour, it only seems fitting that van Baarle would capture a big contract. Through this year so far, he has 5 UCI wins and that number should only continue to rise as the season progresses. Hats off to Jonathan Vaughters and Garmin-Sharp for this smart signing.

If you want to follow Dylan on twitter, go to @dylanvanbaarle

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