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Late last year, Rabobank announced to pull its sponsorship away from pro cycling. Immediately contemplating started about the future of Rabo-Liv, the team of Marianne Vos, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Anna van der Breggen.
While the riders stressed that they would leave the effort of finding a new sponsor to the team management and were confident the team would continue in 2017, the first big name rider to leave the Rabo-Liv team has been announced today.
Boels-Dolmans today presented 2015 Giro Rosa winner Anna van der Breggen as a new rider for 2017. She signed a two year contract with the Dutch team.
Van der Breggen expresses her excitement to ride for Boels-Dolmans in a statement on her new team’s website: “After riding for Rabo-Liv for three wonderful seasons, it is time for me for something new. Choosing a great team like Boels-Dolmans felt like a logical step. I am happy with my two-year-contract, and hope to achieve my further goals with the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team.”
Boels-Dolmans DS Danny Stam is proud to have signed such a versatile rider: “Anna is a very complete rider who fits in with the team perfectly, and is a benefit to the team’s balance. With the addition of Anna, we have gained an extra finisher who is a Jack-of-all-trades. Also, she has proven to be loyal in the past. In short, she is a great asset for the team, one of which we can all be proud.”
The question is now what happens with Rabo-Liv. Will most of the team stay together, or will a new team be created around Marianne Vos, with riders like Lucinda Brand, Roxane Knetemann and Ferrand-Prevot transferring to other teams?
At the Rabo-Liv team presentation back in January, DS Koos Moerenhout hinted at the possibility of riders going different paths, saying: “A team should be refreshed every now and then. We have had almost the same team for the past three years and have really grown, and accomplished great results. But at some point, a new stimulus is needed. Both for the individual riders and for the team.”
We will find out the future of the Rabo-Liv team in the months to come.
Anna van der Breggen currently sits 10th in the GC of the 2016 Giro Rosa, at 1’14” from pink jersey wearer Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans). Rabo-Liv’s Kasia Niewiadoma is in second place, only 3 seconds behind Stevens, and leads the young rider classification.
Stage 4 of this Italian stage race is on today. Read what’s in store for the riders in this stage.