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Eekhoff, Gall and Salmon promoted to the WorldTour with Team Sunweb

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Team Sunweb are proud to promote another three young talents to the WorldTour from the Development program, with Nils Eekhoff, Felix Gall and Martin Salmon making the step. The three riders will join former Development Team Sunweb riders Marc Hirschi, Max Kanter, Joris Nieuwenhuis and Florian Stork, who have all made the jump in recent seasons. Eekhoff and Salmon will ride in the team’s colours until the end of 2021, with Gall contracted until the end of 2022.

Nils Eekhoff (NED)

Eekhoff has had a successful three years with Development Team Sunweb, including the win at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in 2017. The Dutch rider has continued to develop and grow each season with the team and has three victories to his name so far in 2019. A versatile rider, Eekhoff packs a fast finishing sprint but he is also adept in both time trials and trickier one-day races, making him one of the most well-rounded riders in the U23 peloton. His 2019 debut as a stagiaire saw him take a solid ninth place at the recent Tour of Britain, on a stage finale with a tricky, punchy kick to the line.

“I’m really happy to be making the step up to WorldTour level after three years with the Development program,” said Eekhoff. “I feel like it’s a great environment to grow further and fulfil my next goals. I want to continue to develop my sprint abilities, lead out and grow in the classics so that in the future I can fight for the win in the classics and be of good value to the team in the fast moments. I have already won Paris-Roubaix as an U23 rider, and my dream would be to win it with the pros in the future.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert added: “After three successful years with Development Team Sunweb and twice riding as a stagiaire with our WorldTour program, the move to become a professional cyclist is the right and logical move for Nils. He will strengthen our team in the classics and in the lead outs, but we also want to help him develop as an overall cyclist too. We are both happy and proud to have to delivered another talented rider from the Development program to the WorldTour.”

Felix Gall (AUT)

Gall is a former junior world champion, winning the road race in Richmond in 2015, highlighting the Austrian’s talents. A strong climber and GC rider, Gall won the Istrian Spring Trophy overall earlier in the year after taking the victory on the penultimate day of racing after what was a very tough queen stage. Making the step up to WorldTour, Gall will look to continue his development over the coming years, racing at the highest level of competition.

“Needless to say I am incredibly happy to make the next step with the team,” explained Gall. “I wanted to stay with the team because during the last years I have learned how the team works and trust them in how they work to develop a rider. I especially like that the team is always looking at the big picture; they want to make the riders better not only for the next race but they also think about their whole career development. Looking back when I joined the team, being a professional seemed so far away but with every year in the Development program it became more realistic and now I feel ready for it. I hope that this development continues and that I can work on my skills, especially as a climber. I also want to learn from the experienced guys and become a rider who the team can rely on.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert said: “Growing up in the Alps of Lienz, Felix is a rider that favours the climbs and has showed some great performances in the past on that type of terrain. He’s had some health problems this year but we believe that Felix is ready to step up to the WorldTour and gain the experiences needed with the team so that he can reach his full potential in the future. It’s great to see another rider from Development Team Sunweb make the step up and join his friends and teammates at the WorldTour.”

Martin Salmon (GER)

An all-round rider, Salmon has rode strongly in support of the team and he was an integral part of the team’s three back-to-back wins at the German U23 national road race. Salmon continued to impress during his time as a stagiaire within the team in the latter part of the season, where he delivered a strong and consistent performance at the Tour of Denmark. The highlight moment was his tenacious breakaway on the last stage and winning the most aggressive rider overall at the race.

“I‘m absolutely thrilled to be joining the WorldTour team for the next two years,” explained Salmon. “I am enormously grateful for the opportunity the team has given me. They have built me up as a rider step-by-step with the Development program and stood by me throughout the whole process.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert added: “Like Nils and Felix, Martin is another core member of Development Team Sunweb, helping the team to great successes throughout the season. Martin has once again showed great teamwork this year and while riding as a stagiaire with the WorldTour program, he impressed with strong performances. We’re looking forward to seeing Martin continue to develop as an all-rounder, racing full time with the WorldTour program.”