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by Shane Stokes
December 11, 2014
Recently retired competitor Jens Voigt pledged he would remain involved with cycling after hanging up his wheels; the nature of that involvement has now been clarified, with the rider and his Trek Factory Racing team announcing Wednesday how he will stay within the sport.
“I’ll take on an active role in the team staff and my new role involves a lot of things: coaching and motivating the riders, helping out the youngsters, and directing at a few select races, once I have obtained my director certificate,” said Voigt.
His position has been described as that of a consultant, with the general term allowing him to do a range of things.
According to team manager Luca Guercilena, Voigt’s approach to cycling is something that he hopes the association will promote.
“We want to keep Jens’ heritage alive and tie it to the present team. I’d love all of our riders to ride like Jens used to ride,” he said. “He raced full gas and gave everything to the team, every race.
“Jens won a whole lot of races, but maybe he is more popular because of the races that he didn’t win than the races that he won. His attitude, motivation, and experience is something that we want to continue within our team.”
Voigt’s all out racing style earned him important victories during his career, including five editions of the Critérium International, two of the Deutschland Tour, the Tour of Poland and Tour of the Mediterranean plus stage wins in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. He also took the world hour record in September, although this has since been captured by Matthias Brandle.
Voigt’s new role will start at the Tour Down Under in January, but he is currently spending time with the team at its training camp in Alfas del Pi, Spain.
He said it was difficult not to be involved in the same way as before. “Of course, it hurts seeing the boys go out for training in the morning and leaving the “old man” back at the hotel. But I am sure that this is the dream job after my active career on the bike,” he said.
“I’ve always raced with my heart and left all I had on the road. I’m super happy to share my advice and especially help the young riders to race like that in the future. I want to inspire them to take chances and be an active part of a race.”
The news will appeal to Voigt’s fans. Although he has retired, his presence at races will bring ongoing exposure and attention to the team.