After 50 years of directing skilled cyclists from the workforce automotive, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty Sports activities Director Hilaire Van der Schueren has determined to quietly finish his run within the function.
The 75-year-old was by no means knowledgeable bicycle owner however obtained his begin with the workforce of Dutchman Jan Raas, a winner of Tour of Flanders twice, Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo along with 10 phases of the Tour de France.
Since then, Van der Schueren has primarily labored with scrappy underdog groups with smaller budgets. In 1996, he joined the Collstrop organisation and remained with them by means of rebranding as MrBookmaker – Frank Vandenbroucke’s workforce from 2004 till 2006 after he confessed to doping – and onto the ill-fated Unibet.com, the centre of the UCI’s battle with the Tour de France organisers ASO.
Van der Schueren joined Vacansoleil in 2009 and, when the workforce ended, he moved to Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2014. He has remained with that organisation since, main the workforce into the WorldTour and fielding up-and-coming stars like Biniam Girmay.
Together with successes got here a horrible blow in 2016 when Van der Schueren was driving the workforce automotive when Antoine Demoitié was struck by a bike and killed throughout Gent-Wevelgem in 2016, and Van der Schueren was one of many first to the scene.
“Antoine had simply known as on the radio asking for a bidon. These had been his final phrases,” Van der Schueren stated on the time.
“In my profession, I have been on races the place riders have died, but it surely’s by no means been certainly one of my very own. It is a lot harder to come back to phrases with it.”
Based on Wielerflits, Van der Schueren may stay with the workforce in some capability.
“My final race within the automotive as workforce chief has handed. However I’ll most likely stick with the workforce,” he stated. “We nonetheless want to speak about it correctly, however I am definitely not gone but. The workforce goes to make me a suggestion, however there isn’t a rush. We nonetheless have loads of time.”
Van der Scheuren prompt that Steven De Neef, who rode for him on Collstrop, could be a successor.
“Steven De Neef was already with the workforce once I joined in 2014. And he’s nonetheless there now, so his observe file is nice. After which we have now youthful workforce leaders comparable to Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Dimitri Claeys. I believe we’re well-equipped for the long run. I am not nervous about that.”
Van der Scheuren saved a low profile about his retirement, not even telling the riders till after his ultimate races, the Zwevezele Koers and Omloop van het Houtland.
“I did not need the entire race to revolve round me. What made me very completely happy is that we gained the final two races with myself within the automotive,” Van der Schueren stated. “Gerben Thijssen was the very best of the peloton in each … That made it a pleasant farewell.”