Six-time cyclo-cross World Cup winner Sven Nys will retire from racing at the end of the season in March, at which point he will take over as owner and manager of a rival team.
After for the Crelan-AA Drink team until the end of February, the two-time UCI world champion will switch to Telenet-Fidea on March 1, having reportedly beaten 2011 Tour of Flanders winner Nick Nuyens in purchasing the team.
Telenet-Fidea’s current owner, Hans van Kasteren, told Het Nieuwsblad that Nys will add value to the team and noted the Belgian’s ability to develop the squad’s young riders as a key factor in his decision.
“I went in search of a worthy buyer and found it in Sven,” he said. “Together with our main sponsors, I took the plunge and opted for Sven as my successor. We are all convinced that he will add value to the team. Sven Nys is an icon in cyclocross and the added value it can provide to our riders and the team structure is ultimately the decisive factor in this decision.”
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Nys, 39, also cited his desire to help develop young cyclo-cross talent as a contributing factor to his decision to move into management.
“I’ve always said I wanted to coach young riders after my active career and be a role model. That is one of the pillars of Sven Nys Cycling Centre and the Telenet Fidea Cycling Team,” he said.
“No other teams in cyclo-cross has such a tradition in this sense. The team will also be able to rely on Energy Lab with who we have a partnership and the location of the centre is perfect for cross training. With my experience, I can also help the elite riders too and the general organisation of the team.”
Nys currently sits second overall in the cyclo-cross Superprestige, behind Wout van Aert, who has won four of the five races so far this season.