Team Quick Step signs Dutch champ Niki Terpstra

The Dutch champ will move from Milram to Quick Step for 2011

2009 Dauphine Libere, stage 5. Niki Terpstra
Terpstra won out of a breakaway on stage 5 of the 2009 Dauphine

Dutch national champion Niki Terpstra will ride in a Quick Step jersey for the 2011 season.

The Milram rider has penned a one-year deal to join the Belgian outfit for next season.

“Technically, Niki is an excellent rider who can still make a lot of progress in terms of results and performance. He will be an important player in the northern classics, in which he’s already proven himself in the past with some optimal placements in some of the most prestigious races such as, for example, his third place this year in the Dwars door Vlaanderen,” said team manager Patrick Lefevere in a statement. “However, we’re also expecting great things from him in other one day races or in some fractions of the major stage races.”

Terpstra, who turned 26 in May, won the Dutch road title in June and has had a great year in 2010, with a recent affirmation in the Sparkasse Giro Bochum.

In 2009 he won a stage at the Dauphine Libere and the prologue at the Ster Electro Tour with a second place in the overall standings.

Other highlights worth mentioning include a 2006 victory in a stage of the Tour of Belgium and in the Tour de Normandie. Terpstra can also boast excellent results on the track, including a silver medal in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the World track racing Championships in 2005.

“I’m very glad to be able to race next year in a top team like Quick Step,” he said. “Personally this is a great opportunity and I hope to repay the faith Patrick Lefevere has shown in me with performances that will measure up to his expectations. I also want to thank the staff, the sponsors and the riders from team Milram with whom I shared my first years as a pro and to whom I owe a lot for the rider I am now. I wish all of them the best of luck for the future.”

(Related: A list of recent confirmed ProTour transfers, extensions and retirements)