Speculation continues about the future of Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker, who officially split from Rabobank last week. One of the casualties of the break-up was Dekker's charity fan ride the Gran Fondo Thomas Dekker, which lost its Rabobank sponsorship when its namesake lost his job.
So is this a one-time favor, or the beginning of a beautiful friendship? More below the fold.
Sportweek seems to be hinting the latter (first link above, as translated by Google):
The sponsorship of the Gran Fondo Thomas Dekker by both Dekker as Vacansoleil seen as the basis for a lasting relationship in the future. With effect from the 2009 cycling season starts Vacansoleil with an ambitious professional cycling team which already several talented riders are contracted.
(Go here for some of the riders Vacansoleil has signed. And if you've heard of any of them, please jump in and comment.)
Questions, questions, questions...
Can Vacansoleil, with a reported total budget of 3-4 million Euro, afford Dekker?
Is it in Dekker's interest to sign with a team who is hoping to participate in its first major race in 2011? I wouldn't think so, but stay tuned. According to the original story about the Rabobank break-up on Dekker's web site:
Thomas will continue in the coming weeks to consider his future and no hasty decisions, he will also continue to maintain any comment. The first time that TD will give an explanation, during his Gran Fondo Thomas Dekker on 24 August in Alkmaar.
So maybe we'll find out August 24th. In the meantime, has anyone heard gossip about this possibility?