Britain's Adam Blythe had a great weekend, winning the Circuit du Port de Dunkerque in Northern France just as he was signed as a fully-fledged professional by Silence-Lotto.
Back in August, Blythe was signed up by the Belgian squad as a stagiaire, and the ProTour team have been so impressed with his sprinting ability they've signed him full-time for two years starting at the beginning of the 2010 season.
The 19-year-old - who turns 20 on October 1 - won a stage of Thuringen-Rundfahrt this year whilst riding for feeder team Davo, and has also been playing the role of lead-out man for team-mate Jurgen Roelandts.
"It's the best news I've had all year," explained an elated Blythe. "I didn't think at the start of the year that I'd be riding for Lotto by the end of the year.
“I told my manager at Davo that I’d like to ride as a stagiaire this year and do the same next year and maybe turn pro in 2011 so it’s a real surprise to make the move so soon.”
Unlike his peers, Blythe has not progressed to the pro ranks through the British Cycling academy system - which he left by mutual agreement at the start of 2008. Instead, he's been partly funded by Cycling Time Trials in order to live and ride in Belgium to gain valuable experience.
In 2008, Blythe won two stages of the Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai and assisted his team-mate Christoff Van Heerden to win the race overall.
Like fellow British sprinter Mark Cavendish, Blythe's turn of speed can be attributed in part to his track experience. Blythe is a regular on the Six-Day circuit and was British national madison champion with Luke Rowe in 2007.
Silence-Lotto is currently home to British pro Charly Wegelius.
Blythe makes pro debut
Adam Blythe: Rider Profile
Blythe earns stagiaire position at Silence-Lotto
Blythe leaves Academy programme
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