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Van IJzendoorn winning the 2008 GP Groenendaal. by Bart Hazen

Jamey Driscoll isn’t the only young rider to be signing a new professional contract. Semi-professional Eddy van Ijzendoorn is a “semi” no longer, as the Dutch cyclocross rider has signed a professional contract with the AA Drink Cycling Team of Thijs Al and retired racer-turn-director Richard Groenendaal, according to Dutch paper de Gelderlander. The young Dutch star signed a two-year professional contract late last week, just five days after his 24th birthday.

While van IJzendoorn’s jersey may not change, as he wore the green and blue of AA Drink last year, his checking account certainly will. ““Last year I had no expenses for the first time, but now I will finally earn something,” van IJzendoorn cheerfully explains.

The Dutch duo of Al and van IJzendoorn should make a formidable opponent to the Belgian teams and help fill the Dutch void left by retirement of Groenendaal and the drastically reduced cyclocross racing schedule of Lars Boom.