Dylan van Baarle has extended his contract with Cannondale-Drapac for another two seasons, the team have announced.
The 25-year-old, who turned professional with Slipstream Sports in 2014 has emerged as a Classics specialist during his time with the team. He was fourth across the line at Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2017, two spots higher than his sixth place finish in 2016.
“I really feel confident in the team and comfortable with the team,” said Van Baarle. “I’m happy to stay, and I’m happy the team wanted me to stay.”
“We have a really good Classics team with Sep [Vanmarcke] and Sebastian [Langeveld],” said Van Baarle. “I think we started something this year with the three of us, and we didn’t finish it yet. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to stay.
“For sure my development in the Classics is something I’m very proud of but also this year in the Tour with Rigo[berto Uran] being second in the general classification, that was also something special for me and something new for me,” Van Baarle added. “I hope to be there in the next two years when he’s racing for the GC again. The Classics and the Tour are my most valued memories.”
During the next two seasons, Van Baarle hopes to convert top tens into the top step.
“I want to try to win a big Classic,” he said. “That’s my goal and that’s my dream. I want to develop myself more as a rider. Every year, I climb a little bit better, and I can still develop there. I hope to win a stage in the Tour as well. Those are the main goals for the next two seasons.”
“We know exactly what we’re getting with Dylan – talent, commitment and motivation. It’s been fun to see him grow with us these last four years,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters.
“I believe in Dylan’s ability to excel in the Classics,” said Vaughters. “He has the engine and the attitude to do something special. I’m super happy with the strides he’s already made and the results he’s already achieved, and I’m excited for the possibilities still to come.”
Van Baarle credits his trajectory over the last two seasons to his coaching relationship with Vaughters.
“JV has really helped me develop as a rider,” noted Van Baarle. “It all started two years ago, actually when they negotiated my last contract. In the beginning it was a little strange but nowadays it feels normal. We have a really good relationship, and for me, it really works.
“I train really hard, and in the last two season, my work showed in the results,” Van Baarle added. “That only motivates me more for the next winter to train hard again or maybe even harder.”