Retiring Knaven to begin Directeur Sportif role with Team Milram
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Retiring Knaven to begin Directeur Sportif role with Team Milram

by Conal Andrews at 9:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour
 
Starts this week at Eneco Tour, but team’s future still uncertain

Servais KnavenFormer Paris-Roubaix winner Servais Knaven has quickly moved on to the next stage of his career and will take up a role as directeur sportif with the Milram team.

The Dutchman will make his debut in that position in the Eneco Tour, which starts tomorrow. He will work alongside Ralf Grabsch as his assistant, learning the ropes during the ProTour revent.

The team there will be led by former Tour de France Maillot Jaune Linus Gerdemann, as well as the German national champion Christian Knees. They will be supported by six others; their compatriots Dominik Nerz, Thomas Fothen, Artur Gajek and Markus Eichler, the Belgian Wim De Vocht and the Austrian Peter Wrolich.

Knaven was a professional for 17 years, beginning in 1994 with TVM and also riding for Domo-Farm Frites, Quick Step and Columbia before moving to Milram in 2009. His victories include the 2001 Paris-Roubaix, where he benefited from strong team work by his fellow Quick Step riders, a stage in the 2003 Tour de France, the national road race championship, the Danmark Rundt and Grote Scheldeprijs.

He’s had one of the longest-running careers in the peloton and team manager Gerry van Gerwen believes that he has much to offer. “Servais Knaven was and remains a great personality in international cycling. Even after his retirement from active racing, he moves at the centre of the peloton,” he said. “Servais speaks the riders’ language, and his opinion matters. Of, course this is a new phase in his life. But we’re sure he’ll adapt quickly to his new role.”

Knaven rode his final race on Sunday, the Profwielerronde Etten-Leur criterium. He’ll be glad to have found something so quick but will also be concerned by the fact that Team Milram may well be in its final few months of existence. The current sponsor is pulling out and no new backer has as yet been found.

Several of its key riders are expected to leave, with Gerdemann being linked to the new, as-yet-unnamed squad to be based in Luxembourg and featuring the Schleck brothers. Former under 23 world champion Gerald Ciolek has been rumoured to be moving back to the HTC Columbia fold.

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Eneco Tour 2010:

17 August, Prologue (ITT): Steenwijk, 5.2 km
18 August, stage 1: Steenwijk (NL) - Rhenen (NL) 178.0 km
19 August, stage 2: St. Willebrord (NL) - Ardooie (B) 198.5 km
20 August, stage3 : Ronse (B) - Ronse (B) 191.8 km
21 August, stage 4: St-Lievens-Houtem (B) - Roermond (NL) 214.4 km
22 August, stage5: Roermond (NL) - Sittard (NL) 204.0 km
23 August, stage 6: Bilzen (B) - Heers (B) 205.6 km
24. August, stage 7 (ITT): Genk (B) - Genk (B) 16.9 km

Total distance: 1,214.4 km

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