After 50 years of directing skilled cyclists from the crew 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 an expert bike owner however bought his begin with the crew 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 rebranding as MrBookmaker – Frank Vandenbroucke’s crew 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 crew ended, he moved to Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2014. He has remained with that organisation since, main the crew 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 crew automotive when Antoine Demoitié was struck by a motorcycle and killed throughout Gent-Wevelgem in 2016, and Van der Schueren was one of many first to the scene.
“Antoine had simply referred to as on the radio asking for a bidon. These had been his final phrases,” Van der Schueren mentioned on the time.
“In my profession, I have been on races the place riders have died, but it surely’s by no means been one among my very own. It is a lot harder to return to phrases with it.”
Based on Wielerflits, Van der Schueren would possibly stay with the crew in some capability.
“My final race within the automotive as crew chief has handed. However I’ll in all probability stick with the crew,” he mentioned. “We nonetheless want to speak about it correctly, however I am actually not gone but. The crew goes to make me a proposal, however there isn’t any 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 crew once I joined in 2014. And he’s nonetheless there now, so his monitor document is nice. After which we have now youthful crew leaders resembling Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Dimitri Claeys. I feel we’re well-equipped for the long run. I am not apprehensive about that.”
Van der Scheuren saved a low profile about his retirement, not even telling the riders till after his last races, the Zwevezele Koers and Omloop van het Houtland.
“I did not need the entire race to revolve round me. What made me very joyful is that we received the final two races with myself within the automotive,” Van der Schueren mentioned. “Gerben Thijssen was the most effective of the peloton in each … That made it a pleasant farewell.”