Koen de Kort at the Tour of Flanders.

De Kort retires from racing, will move into new role with Trek-Segafredo

Koen de Kort hangs up the wheels after a long career in the pro peloton.

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Koen de Kort has retired from racing and is set to move into a new role at Trek-Segafredo, the team announced on Monday.

The 38-year-old Dutchman had already planned to hang up the wheels at the end of the 2021 season, but he has called it a career earlier than previously planned following a serious hand injury sustained on June 23. After crashing while driving off-road in Andorra, De Kort was hospitalized and underwent the amputation of three fingers. The Dutch national championships in June were thus his final race as a pro at the end of a very long career.

De Kort first stepped up to the pro ranks with Liberty Seguros-Würth in 2005. He then raced for Astana before spending eight years in the Skil-Shimano organization (which has since become DSM). He has spent the past five seasons with Trek-Segafredo – and now, after retiring from racing, he will continue with the squad in a different capacity.

Trek said on Monday that De Kort and Glen Leven, who has been a Trek mechanic for years, will be Team Support Managers, and “will oversee the sourcing, testing, distribution and maintenance of racing equipment across the men’s and women’s road teams” in that role.

“For me, it’s hard to leave cycling behind in this way for sure. I’d much prefer to retire at a nice race and have my friends and family there and have a party and that’s it for professional cycling and move on to the next one. Now it’s just ending with a massive downer, which is not the way that you want to end. But I am 38 years old, so it’s been a nice career for sure. And I think I can be proud of what I have achieved and what I’ve done,” De Kort said.

“The Dutch national championships being my last race was a bit of a surprise. But on the other hand, I’m also looking forward to what’s coming and what’s next. I’m super excited that I will be continuing with the team in a bit of a different role, as Team Support Manager with Trek-Segafredo.”

De Kort and Leven will take over from Matt Shriver, who will move into a new role with Trek in the United States, with the transition set to take place in November.

“This is for sure something that I really wanted to do, it’s the job that I really wanted, and I tried really hard to get, way before my accident even happened,” De Kort said. “It’s also why I studied sport management when I did, for a role like this. I like that side of it, I like the communication part, and especially when I found out that there was a possibility for me to get this role, I was super excited to really get into it. I think especially the connection between Trek as a company and the Factory Racing Team, as Trek-Segafredo is, that’s really super interesting. I like the corporate side of it as much as I do the racing side, so I think it is a perfect combination of things for me to jump into.

“I think that we are in a perfect spot because of Glen’s background as an amazing mechanic, one of the best that I’ve ever worked with. He’s experienced with the mechanical side of it – the frames and the components. I think my side of it, [I have experience] as a professional athlete, where I know really well what we need, and I think I can also communicate very well to partners and to riders. I think it’s a great step in the right direction for the team and for Trek-Segafredo to have two people fill this role.

“Now I’m here, and able to start after such a hard moment and life changing accident. That gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of trust that my future is going to be bright still.”

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