Rider type: Sprinter
Biggest success: 1st, Ster van Zwolle
Team 2011: Rabobank Continental Team
Team 2012: not yet known
Best Mock List ranking: new
Some riders explode on to the scene, others take their time to evolve and arrive. In this latter group is Barry Markus, who as early as 2006 appeared on the international scene. He won amongst others – whereby it must be carefully noted that the „others“ include 36 wins – the youth version of Paris-Roubaix, the national time trial championship and some track events. At that point the little, fat Barry was still a real all-rounder. Or he was simply so much better that it didn't matter where he rode.
He was unable to match this rate of victories and dominance as a junior, but he was in the absolute world elite as best Dutchman in his second year. The biggest success from his junior times are surely the silver medal at the European championships, the national track title in Keirin (!) and in Madison with Yoeri Havik. He also had a stage win at the Trofeo Karlsberg in Germany. Together with Yoeri Havik he won in 2009 – when both were actually still juniors – the U-23 Six Day race in Amsterdam in an impressive manner.
So it was actually no real surprise when the Dutch rider was snapped up by the Rabobank Continental Team in 2010. But based on the expectations, his first U-23 season was disappointing. He brought in nine top ten placings, mostly in the lower rankings, at smaller UCI races throughout the year. His best result was a stage win at the Thüringen Rundfahrt (2.2U). He didn't do well in the team-internal sprint rivalry against Vermeltfoort, van Poppel and Bol.
This rivalry was reduced this year by the absence of Vermeltfoort and van Poppel. His only true remaining rival teammate was Jetse Bol, who is actually not a real sprinter. With this clear situation and better position in the hierarchy, the Dutchman started doing well again immediately. The end of February he won the Dutch season opener Ster van Zwolle (1.2) out of a five-man group. This group included Jetse Bol, who helped Markus to the win. The question of the team internal hierarchy had been answered.
Two weeks later he had his second UCI victory. As in the previous year, when the race didn't have a UCI ranking, he won the Dorpenomloop Rucphen (1.2). He won this in a mass sprint ahead of his teammate Hofland, who moved up during the season into teh sprint ranks, as did several other Mini-Rabos. By the middle of March he had two UCI victories to his name and the knot seemed to have been untied. But the big wins stayed away, although Markus brought in some good results.
Up to the Olympia's Tour (2.2) in mid-May he had six top ten finishes in smaller UCI races. At the prestigious Olympia's Tour, the mini-Rabo ran up against the all-powerful Wim Stroetinga. Instead of a stage win he brought in „only“ three top five finishes. After this race, things were quiet for the sprinter until August. Then he came back with a win at the Vuelta a Leon, and was on the winning team for the team time trial.
His stagiaire contract at Vacansoleil was a big surprise. A talent like Markus, who still has two U-23 years ahead of him, usually doesn't voluntarily leave a farm team. The stagiaire contract gave the impression of a hostile takover. Markus was also mentioned as a potential newcomer to the second Netherlands team, but so far nothing further is known about this.
One should keep an eye on him in Copenhagen. In a mass sprint he would probably be the fastest Dutchman – and would surely be quick enough for a medal!
As a stagiaire Markus took part of the Tour of Britain (2.1) and sprintet to a fourth place at the first stage. At the third stage however he crashed and fractured his hand. He was not able to continue the race and won't take part at the Worlds as well. He has in the meanwhile signed a contract with Vacansoleil though.
Nominated by ogkempf, written by ogkempf, translated by Tick