After an highly successful 2009 ProTour campaign, Vacansoleil has finalized their roster for the coming season.
Team manager Daan Luijkx admitted the departure of several riders was a serious blow as far as odd-ball names were concerned. “We lost Win, Gerben, Reinier, Thijs and Aart,” said the despondent Daan.
All was not lost, however, as he signed Wouter Mol and Gorik Gardeyn. “We feel like this gives us a good mix of wacky Belgian names that cycling fans outside of Belgian will have trouble with or at least smile about,” said Luijkx.
“We’re strong across the board with nutty-sounding names to go along with Borut Bozic, Lieuwe Westra and and Wout Poels. We can guarantee our sponsors plenty of media exposure and amusing mispronunciations.”
Vacansoliel will face strong name competition from several teams, especially the Basque squads, who are capable of fielding tongue twisters like Gorka Verdugo, Inaki Isasi and Amets Txurrula.
Nevertheless, Vancansoleil’s Luijkx remains confident. “We will be stronger in 2010. The 2009 season is a fairytale and we have to work hard to do out-do our kooky names,” he said.
We say good luck in 2010, Daan. Last question — what’s with the extra “a” in Dan? Kinda kooky.