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Ronde van Drenthe

Pieter Vanspeybrouck concludes his career in Drenthe

This Sunday, the Ronde van Drenthe will make an end to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert’s first season as a World Team, and also to Pieter Vanspeybrouck‘s fourteen year professional career. After five seasons as a rider with the Belgian structure, the 34 year old will take up his role as a team captain for the last time before starting his reconversion to sports director.

In this way, Pieter Vanspeybrouck will add his practical experience to the team of sports directors composed of Frédéric Amorison, Steven De Neef, Valerio Piva, Jean-Marc Rossignon, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Bart Wellens. He participated twelve times to races such as Ghent-Wevelgem or the Benelux Tour. Just like Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, he discovered the Tour de France in 2017 and stepped up to the World Tour in 2021. Two professional victories decorate the palmares of the rider born in Tielt.

For the final race of his career, Pieter Vanspeybrouck will join his compatriots Jan Bakelants and Tom Devriendt, the Dutch riders Stijn Daemen (trainee) and Taco van der Hoorn, and the Italian riders Riccardo Minali and Andrea Pasqualon. Under the direction of Aike Visbeek, these seven riders will have to accomplish 188.5 kilometer between new start city Assen and Hoogeveen, animated by 25 kilometers of cobbles. The last five out of eleven sections are passages on the VAM-berg (17.5%), which is again the principal attraction of the 59th edition.

« I'm really passionate about racing and I didn't really think about what to do after my career. The management saw in me a future sports director, and I didn't have to reflect for a long time to grab this opportunity with both hands as I've always wanted to pass on my experience. Contributing to the team's collective performances gave me a lot of satisfaction the last couple of years. One of the best souvenirs of my career is the Tour de France 2017, during which I really surprised myself. I remember supporting Guillaume Martin in the queen stage towards Serre-Chevalier, and finishing 30th myself. For a classics specialist this is a performance to be proud of. My entire career makes me happy, so I'll line up with my head held high next Sunday. This feeling of proudness will without doubt be accompanied by nostalgia. After the race, I will only hang up my bike metaphorically, because I'll definitely continue enjoying bike rides in a more relaxed way. My family life will probably also benefit from this career change and I want to make use of this opportunity to thank my dearest for the unconditional support, in all my choices. This change of role will be a true challenge, in which my calm character will probably help me. My competitive spirit will still fit in my new role, although it will be in the car rather than on my CUBE bike.  I think the most important challenge will be to manage my current teammates and friends. But in addition to the positive reactions from the riders it gives me a lot of confidence knowing that the team will give me the necessary time to familiarize with this new role. I can't wait to contribute to the team's success in a different way. »

« The career of Pieter Vanspeybrouck as a rider, in our team characterized by his devotion for our collective goals, inspires respect. His teammates and the sports direction recognize unanimously his qualities as a team captain, and his character enabling him to stay cool during difficult race situations. We consider this change of role as a reinforcement. Pieter can exploit his skills to bring a breath of fresh air to our performance team, which is in a continuous progress and modernization. »

« The idea to introduce Pieter as a sports director originates from an anecdote which dates from this spring. Before Ghent-Wevelgem I was impressed about how carefully he analyzed the parcours and about his clarity in sharing his opinion about the team tactics. During the rest of the season I got to know his intelligence and calm character even better. Our team captain always had an overview and kept cool, bringing a lot of stability to the team and convincing me that he was the person I was looking for in my long search for an addition to our performance team. I am delighted that Pieter was enthusiastic to end his career before planned and follow us in our growing story. The loss of his qualities as a rider is the other side of the coin, but I’m convinced that the addition of his practical experience in bunch sprints and classics will be the incentive of the team’s next step forward. I’m pleased that one of our team members will turn his focus on our sprint train, so we can convert our clear vision with our sprinters to a success story! »

Line up Ronde van Drenthe:
Jan Bakelants
Stijn Daemen
Tom Devriendt
Riccardo Minali
Andrea Pasqualon
Taco van der Hoorn
Pieter Vanspeybrouck

Sports Direction:
Aike Visbeek


General Classification


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