The Continenta­l team were looking for a fast rider with puncheur qualities to replace Jake Stewart. Marijn matched these qualities. Furthermor­e we were also looking for a Dutch rider to continue the culture we have had with Kevin Inkelaar and Lars van den Berg. Last summer, Marijn was present for specific training for sprinters with all the team, and met all our criteria and we knew the family well with his brother and his seriousnes­s. Marijn is a real rider above all, with a good power in short efforts. He’s not a real sprinter but is really strong in the finals of races; he has puncheur qualities. In Le Samyn he crashed and hurt himself, but got up, didn’t lose anything and finished the race, which also shows his temperamen­t. It’s too bad he’s already in his final year at under-23 because I am sure he has real talent, and we are doing everything to exploit 100 per cent of his potential. He was really strong during our training camp in February, so the injury thwarted our plans, but we were able to quickly get back to work and it has already paid off. We have seven months to build Marijn to be the best performer in each race he does, which is really important this year with the situation for under-23 racing. Marijn invests in the model of the team, in terms of racing, training and spirit. He learned French, and moved to Besançon.

I hope he will progress more and more to evolve quickly in the WorldTour.

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