Peter Van Petegem to guide Thor Hushovd to the classics?
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Peter Van Petegem to guide Thor Hushovd to the classics?

by Ben Atkins at 3:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Belgian classics legend offered Matt White’s former role at Garmin-Cervélo

peter van petegemRetired classics specialist Peter Van Petegem has been offered the role of director sportif at the Garmin-Cervélo team, according to Sporza, in order to lend his experience to World champion Thor Hushovd. “De Peet” was one of the top Belgian one-day riders of the 1990’s whose list of victories includes two at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, one at Paris-Roubaix and three at the Omloop Het Volk (now Het Nieuwsblad).

“I first spoke to Jonathan Vaughters in Paris,” Van Petegem told Het Nieuwsblad. “There he proposed to me that I might like to guide Hushovd in the early season Flemish classics.

“The idea says something to me,” he added, “because I think I still have the necessary expertise available and those races are still very close to my heart.”

According to Van Petegem though, it was not just at the classics that he so specialised in that Vaughters had asked him to direct. With Matt White being fired by the team shortly after the Santos Tour Down Under, after he admitted sending team rider Trent Lowe to a controversial doctor for a fitness test, the Belgian has been offered the job as White’s replacement.

“Meanwhile he asked me to be team manager for the whole year,” he said. “But I fear that would be too much of a good thing. Not only do I have a fulltime job outside cycling that I enjoy, there is also our bed and breakfast and I enjoy my role within the organisation of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Ronde van Vlaanderen."

While the prospect of joining the team for his home races is tempting for Van Petegem, the whole season appears to be out. Before he makes any decision though, he must speak to the people at Flanders Classics, the organisers of the Omloop and the Ronde. A team director who also works for the race organisation could present a potential conflict of interest.

“The spring is possible, but first I must speak to Win Van Herreweghe at Flanders Classics,” said Van Petegem. “Then I will decide.”

Van Petegem has found his cobbles experience is proving valuable to members of the elite peloton lately. Last year he spent some time coaching Tour de France winner Alberto Contador on the best way to ride over the uneven stones in advance of the stage that crossed them in the 2010 race.


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