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American Alexey Vermeulen signs with LottoNL-Jumbo

Vermeulen, 20, will join the Dutch outfit with plans to develop his climbing and time trialing skills to become a GC rider.

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LottoNL-Jumbo announced Tuesday that it has signed American Alexey Vermeulen, 20, to a two-year deal. Vermeulen, of Michigan, most recently rode for BMC’s development team. He finished second in the under-23 national time trial championships and fourth in the road race in 2015.

“We want to help Alexey to become a good stage-race cyclist,” sport director Nico Verhoeven said. “He is a young rider, who has developed steadily in recent years. Because of a broken wrist he missed the world championships, but otherwise he definitely would have been racing the U23 road race in Richmond. We want to guide him towards the top.”

LottoNL trainer Mathieu Heijboer said that the team aims to help Vermeulen develop his climbing and time trialing to build him into a GC rider.

“This is unbelievable,” Vermeulen said. “From the moment I first got on a bike, I dreamed of becoming a pro cyclist. This move is special for my father — his father was Dutch and my grandfather, who inspired me to start cycling. It makes me excited to learn the language.

“I like that I get to work with somebody like Robert Gesink. He’s very experienced and recorded big successes. He can help me to become a better rider. Each step is important at this level.”