Theunisse takes on coaching role at Rusvelo
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Theunisse takes on coaching role at Rusvelo

by VeloNation Press at 5:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dutchman joins Russian team

Gert Jan TheunisseFormer Tour de France King of the Mountains Gert-Jan Theunisse has been reported as being a new signing to the Rusvelo team, where he will fill the role of mental coach and try to help the riders to perform at their maximum.

The Dutchman previously worked in this capacity with the Milram team and, prior to that, with the mountainbiker and Olympic gold medallist Bart Brentjens.

His appointment follows the earlier collaboration between Mario Cipollini and Katusha’s sprinters, plus an association between Djamolidine Abdoujaparov and the Astana squad. The contract was reported by the Telesport website today.

Theunisse was a pro between 1984 and 1995, competing with teams such as Panasonic, PDM, TVM and Collstrop. His top result was in the 1989 Tour de France, where he placed fourth overall, won the stage to Alpe d’Huez and won the King of the Mountains title the same year.

However he tested positive on several occasions during his career, including during the 1988 Tour de France – a positive test for testosterone which resulted simply in a ten minute time penalty – and twice in 1990. He finished his career in 1995 after being diagnosed with heart problems.

Theunisse continued to race mountain bikes but in September 1997 he was hit by a car while training, and was partially disabled due to a spinal cord injury. He continued to race, albeit with physical issues such as spasms and pain, then finally retired in 2005.

The Rusvelo team has close links to the Katusha setup and has a role in developing Russian riders and helping the country’s track team prepare.


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