Tom - Jelte Slagter
Rider type: Climber
Major wins: Dutch Champion 2010 U23 road
Team 2010: Rabobank Continental Team
Team 2011: Rabobank
Stars of tomorrow List – Seeding: new
The signing of Slagter for Rabobank Junior Team at first provided a few question marks: Tom who?- Actually did Slagter, before this season, not at all appear outside of his home country. However, the course of the season 2010 is now going to reveal, that Rabobank once again had a good nose for talent scouting.
Born in Groningen Slagter raced the past two years for the small Amateur Team Ruiter-Dakkapellen, which Slagter sees as one of the main reason for his current success: for two years, and without pressure for results, he could develop in peace by this small team. Lasting impression Slagters performance made in the Tour de Moselle, in the fall of 2009, a stage race in eastern France where he was able to leave riders like Nicolas Edet, Alexandre Geniez and Thibault Pinot behind, and in the final only Yannick Marié could beat him. This was the ticket for the Rabobank Continental Team.
At this professional farm team, a very different racing program now was possible for the Dutch - more tours, more mountains, more foreign assignments. This meant for the trained Mechanical Engineer, who has previously worked part time as a Production Engineer and in his spare time buckles up the skates, even had to resetting his other sports activities: his 2010s race calendar is now only slightly different from that of a true pro.
An eighth place at the Vlaamse Pijl (1.2) was worthy all honour, but the initial spark succeeded Slagter in Settimana Lombarda (2.1) in April. Even at the start, the Dutch surprised with a 14th Place in the prologue (Mountain Time trial). However, as Slagter on the queen stage was able to follow Scarponis und Riccòs attacks and had the power to participate in the final sprint, it was clear: a new Dutch climbing talent was born. The13th place in the Overall Standing – just one and a half minutes after the winner Scarponi – and the victory in the junior ranking Slagter showed that this performance was no one-hit wonder. Directly after the next race, the Circuit des Ardennes (2.2) the first victory in the Rabobank jersey could be celebrated: on the second stage, Slagter won the sprint of a small group that had separated from the field. In the U23 variant of the Doyenne (1.2U) Slagter could find no cure against Ramunas Navardauskas, but Slagter finished second, simultaneously with Niki Østergaard, and proved his fitness for the Ardennes. In May, a victory followed at the Scandinavian Open in Sweden (Mountain Criterium).
The next exclamation mark that was sat by the young Dutchman was at the Circuito Montanes (2.2) in June, when after a very good prologue (ninth place) he became best of age and finished the race on a fine eleventh place. The Form was good, and at the National Championships in Limburg, on a hilly Course, Slagter played out all his finesse. Along with teammate Ramon Sinkeldam and the Cross-coming star Tijmen Eising, Slagter attacked two laps to go and used the superiority of the Rabo-team – by that Tom-Jelte Slagter was the first ever Dutch Champion in the U23 category in the province of Groningen – such good results had not even Bauke Mollema (also from Groningen) achieved.
The Tour of Portugal (2.1) in August is the biggest and longest race in Slagters career. The Mountain finishes in the north of the country was ready set for the young Dutchman. At the finish at Alto de Torre Slagter impressed with a fighting spirit and went into the mountain with the top of the field. The attacks of the favourites he cannot follow, but as 13th with less than a minute behind present day and tour winner David Blanco Slagter again present himself as a great climbing talent. The Tour he completed on a fine 23. Place. However, Slagter do not se himself to good for flat courses: at the very flat Châteauroux Classic de l'Indre (1.1) he raced throughout the day in the leading group which only seven kilometres from the finish was caught.
Slagter is already at the team for the World Championships in Melbourne, but even more interesting for the young Groninger was – finally again – the hilly Tour de l'Avenir. With two Mountain Arrivals and a mountain TT, the race offered the right terrain in which Slagter could present himself from his best side. Only bested by the Columbians, Slagter stayed ahead of the rest and finished just seconds behind the podium. Even as fourth he does not have to worry about the future: an unwritten rule/law assure the Dutch U23-Champion a place by the Rabo-Profis in the following years. Tom-Jelte Slagter is no exception.
nominated by gardener, written by gardener, translated by emilia