Vacansoleil-DCM manager rescues riders with new ProConti level team
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vacansoleil-DCM manager rescues riders with new ProConti level team

by Ben Atkins at 11:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Wanty the main sponsor for 20-25 of Dutch team’s current squad, but to fold

johnny hoogerlandHilaire van der Schueren, the current directeur sportif of Vacansoleil-DCM, has created a new team to save the majority of his riders when the ProTeam folds at the end of the season, according to Dutch TV channel NOS. The new team will be at the second division Professional Continental level, which will mean a step down from current WorldTour status, with construction company Wanty as principle sponsor.

“A driver submitted the papers to the UCI,” van der Schueren confirmed, referring to the International Cycling Union’s October 1st deadline.

The current Vacansoleil-DCM rider currently has a total of 29 riders under contract but, although nine of these have already secured other teams for 2014, van der Schueren regrets that: “I can’t take everyone.”

He has, however, given the names of 15 riders to the UCI, as per the regulations for team registration, and has managed to hold on to some of his big names.

“I have an agreement with Björn Leukemans,” van der Schueren confirmed. “He will sign today or tomorrow. I don’t know about Johnny [Hoogerland], he was talking to Alonso [the proposed takeover of Euskaltel-Euskadi by Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso - ed], Astana and Lampre. But Johnny is dear to my heart, I will talk to him tomorrow.”

Some star riders are certain to be heading elsewhere, however, due to the constraints of van der Schueren’s new, lower budget. Some, however, could well be staying.

“[Thomas] De Gendt? He would be too expensive,” van der Schueren said. “Marco [Marcato] is going; he got a better offer from Cannondale, and has signed with them.

“[Juan Antonio] Flecha called me last week; he said he wants to ride for a year and he would like to do it with me.”

While van der Schueren reports that his Wanty team is a new one, it is not the sponsor’s first entry into the sport, and comes at the expense of the current team. The new team will be taking some riders from the Belgian outfit, including Luxemburger Jempy Drucker, and is still in negotiation with several others.

Frederik Veuchelen and Mirko Selvaggi are among the names confirmed to be making the transition from Vacansoleil-DCM to Wanty, while van der Schueren is in negotiation with Romain Feillu and Tomasz Marczynski, and also hoping to take a number of others,

“Talents like Wesley Kreder, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Maurits Lammertink and Wouter Mol,” he said. “I have no contract [with them], but they are close to my heart.”


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