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UTRECHT, Netherlands — Team LottoNL-Jumbo, which is the 2015 iteration of the Belkin team, was officially presented Thursday. Key team staff and athletes such as Robert Gesink, Laurens ten Dam, and Wilco Kelderman were on hand to introduce the team’s new look.
Belkin was involved with the cycling team for only a brief period — it’s sponsorship began mid-2013, and it announced it would withdraw from the sport earlier this year. In 2014, the team won stages at notable races such as Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya, Tour de France, and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Jumbo Supermarkten, a Dutch chain of supermarkets, was introduced as the second title sponsor of the new speedskating and cycling team.
Richard Plugge, director of the Belkin team said, “Now that the contract with Jumbo Supermarkets is a fact, we can continue with building a future for cycling and speedskating, together with young talents. Previously, Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema have transformed themselves into top-level cyclists. Wilco Kelderman and Moreno Hofland are also part of cycling’s top.
“The team wants to reach the highest level shortly with riders such as Mike Teunissen and Timo Roosen. Kjeld Nuis and Annette Gerritsen are exponents in the development of talents in speedskating. Within a few years after their junior period at the team, they obtained great results at the world championships and the Olympics. The collaboration with Jac Orie’s speedskaters enables us to work with the best athletes the entire year round, as one team. We are confident that we can excel together and can inspire a new generation of top-level athletes and to reach numerous fans.”
Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a merger of a professional cycling team and a professional speedskating team, which it says is a new organizational model in Dutch sports. The two teams plan to share knowledge and benefit from the cross-pollination that comes with combining their efforts.
“It is fantastic news that we have completed the team with Jumbo,” said speedskating coach Jac Orie. “I am also pleased that our ladies have received a spot in Team LottoNL-Jumbo. We can continue with building a successful team the following years. I look forward to working with the cycling section on a great team, that will hopefully entertain the Dutch sports fans for 12 months a year.”