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by Anne-Marije Rook
November 9, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
The continuation of the Rabo-Liv team, WM3 Pro Cycling, today announced that former pro cyclist Jeroen Blijlevens has signed a two-year contract to join Marianne Vos’ team as Directeur Sportif.
This is a reunion for Vos and Blijlevens, who worked together in 2010 and 2011 when Blijlevens was the team director of Nederland Bloeit and Rabobank.
“We worked well together for several years,” commented Vos is a team statement. “Partly thanks to him, I took home some big wins during that time and laid down an important foundation for the successes that came afterwards. Hopefully, WM3 Pro Cycling will again benefit from Jeroen’s expertise.”
This appointment marks Blijlevens’ return to professional cycling since he was fired as team manager of the men’s Belkin team in 2013 after admitting that he had used EPO during his cycling career.
In the past few years he held a position with cycling clothing manufacturer, GSG, but expressed excitement about his return to the sport in this capacity.
“It’s wonderful to be able to step back into the team car. Especially at the highest level,” commented Blijlevens. “I want to show WM3 Pro Cycling and all cycling fans my value as a team leader. We’re going for resounding victories and will be working with our talents towards a sustainable future.”
As a racer, Blijlevens was a sprinter and enjoyed a successful career on the track and the road. His palmares includes stage wins in the Tour de France, La Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d’Italia.
“He is one of the best sprinters the Netherlands has ever had,” said WM3 Pro Cycling’s team manager Eric van den Boom. “It is especially nice that we bring such a big name to our team. He has a vast amount of experience to transfer to our riders. Jeroen also has the advantage of having been active in women’s cycling before.”
As previously reported, WM3 Pro Cycling is the continuation of what’s left of the Rabo-Liv team.
Earlier this week, the team announced they had secured financial support for the coming five years thanks to title sponsor WM3 Energie, a Dutch sustainable energy consultant company.
While Vos leads the WM3 squad, other notable names on the roster include Dutch road champion Anouska Koster, Polish road and time trial champion Kasia Niewiadoma, Australian Lauren Kitchen and Italy’s Valentina Scandolara.
Rabo-Liv’s Yara Kastelijn, Jeanne Koreveaar, and Moniek Tenniglo; and Riejanne Markus (Liv-Plantur), Anna Plichta (BTC City Ljubljana) and Israeli rider Rotem Gafinovitz round out the roster.