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Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team Presentation & Photos
By Karen Lambrecht
Date: 1/9/2009
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team Presentation & Photos

Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team Presentation & Photos
The Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  was presented to the press in Geertruidenberg (The Netherlands). The team consists of 22 riders, a mix of young talented Dutch riders, wily Dutch veterans and talent  from Belgium, France, Australia, Italy, Slovenia, Denmark, and Uzbekistan with a mission to grow.


The team poses for a group photo on the stage. Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

The Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team was presented to the press in Geertruidenberg (The Netherlands).The team consists of 22 riders, n international mix with young talented Dutch riders, wily Dutch journeymen and riders from Belgium, France, Australia, Italy, Slovenia, and Uzbekistan.

Belgians:  Leukemans and Veuchelen    Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Two riders weren’t present in Geertuidenberg: Sergey Lagutin (due to visa problems) and Baden Cooke. Baden Cooke appeared on a live video during the presentation from Australia where he is competing in the National Championships and preparing for the Tour Down Under. 

Video Conference - Baden Cooke    Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Baden said, ‘I’m sorry I am not with you today, but the National Championships take place on Sunday. Afterwards the Tour Down Under is in my program. We have a strong team: experienced riders and youngsters. I hope I will take some good wins in 2009. My first objective is the ‘Omloop het Volk’, then the Classics."

Clément Lhotellerie, Bjorn Leukemans, Reinier Honig and Bobby Traksel
Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Also Bjorn Leukemans was very enthusiastic about the team. He said he had good feeling from the start when contacted by the team and signed to his contract almost immediately.  "The strength of the riders is their big motivation to help each other." Bjorn went on to say  his season will be good if he wins a race, had some beautiful finishes, and helped keep the team in the picture.. If he had to chose one race to win, it would be the ‘Brabantse Pijl’.

Team Car    Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

The Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team aim can be summarised in the slogan 'Sporting, transparent and ambitious'. Supervising manager Daan Luijkx is the team manager of this challenging ambitious three-year project. This will be a huge challenge and is expressed in the following key points:

Professional organisation
As co-owner of an accountancy firm with two branches, Daan Luijkx is experienced in managing a company and knows about structure and finance. As an ex-professional cyclist, this experience has led to a wealth of knowledge of the finances of professional cycling teams and now, by being appointed as manager of a continental team, he will put this knowledge to good use in modern day cycling. The Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team have taken on staff that are a mix of ages and will bring plenty of experience from the worlds of cycling and business.

General manager, Daan Luijkx answers some questions.
Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Contribution to modern day cycling
The team know which initiatives are required in cycling to increase its popularity and credibility. For example, all Vacansoleil cyclists are regularly tested for illegal substances by an independent laboratory. This is compulsory and must be abided by as part of the UCI rules.

Lone French rider in the squad, Clément Lhotellerie. The former French Jr. & U23 Mountain bike champion made a big impact when he switched to road racing. Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Participate in at least one huge tour (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France or Vuelta d’Espana)
Our cyclists will immerse themselves in events and contribute to the team. With the team structure now in place, the cyclists are already preparing for huge tours.

To become Pro Tour in 2012
The team-ambitions are high this year, with participation  in at least one Grand Tour. Over the next three years the team wants to develop into one of the top of Pro Continental teams. Their ambition is to become a Pro Tour team by 2012.

Arnoud van Groen & Wouter Mol. Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

Next week the team has it training camp in Benidorm, Spain.
In Febuary the team will race in the Etoile de Bessèges, Ruta del Sol, Tour du Méditerranéen and the Vuelta Algarve.

Team "Axe" the Batavus Professional X  Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

 Team Ride:
The team will ride the Batavus Carbon Professional X equipped with:
Neck, seat post & handle bars:  FSA
Seat: Selle San Marco
Tyres: Vittoria
Gruppo: Shimano Dura Ace 2009
Wheels: ole Shuriken Carbon Lite
Bottle holders  & bottles: Elite
In 2008 Batavus launched a new carbon bicycle for professional cycle racing and this model has now been modified for 2009. The Professional X frame is suited for cobble streets, slopes and easy to use in windy conditions so our cyclists can feel reassured. In time trials the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team will also be able to use a newly developed Batavus frame. The fully equipped road bike weighs around 7kg.

2009 Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
Aart Vierhouten (NED)
Arnoud van Groen (NED)
Baden Cooke (AUS)
Björn Leukemans (BEL)
Bobbie Traksel (NED)
Borut Bozic (SLO)
Clément Lhotellerie (FRA)
Frederik Veuchelen (BEL)
Gerben Löwik (NED)
Jens Mouris (NED)
Johnny Hoogerland (NED)
Lieuwe Westra (NED)
Marco Marcato (ITA)
Martin Mortensen (DEN)
Matteo Carrara (ITA)
Matthé Pronk (NED)
Reinier Honig (NED)
Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan)
Thijs van Amerongen (NED)
Wim de Vocht (BEL)
Wouter Mol (NED)
Wout Poels (NED)

Sport directors: Michel Cornelisse and Hilaire Van Der Schueren
Photo © 2008 Karen Lambrecht

2009 Vacansoleil Management & Staff
General manager: Daan Luijkx
Directeur Sportifs: Hilaire Van Der Schueren & Michel Cornelisse
Soigneurs: Chris Metten, Eddy Jaspers & Wilfried Vyncke
Mechanics: Franny van Heybeeck, Geert Van de Meulebroecke, Guy De Kee & Ronny van Seymortier.

Team Website:

Main Sponsor
Vacansoleil Camping Holidays is based in Eindhoven (NL), and has 40 years of experience in luxury camping holidays as the European continental market leader, with sales offices in 9 European countries. Vacansoleil offers luxury mobile homes featuring a shower, sink and separate toilet, two or three bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator. Vacansoleil also offers comfortable bungalow tents for up to six people with real beds, fully equipped kitchen and a full size fridge. All accommodation has a set of garden furniture too. Pitches with electrical hook-up are another option when the customer prefers to take their own tent or caravan. We offer a choice of 319 top class campsites in 15 European countries, and almost all have swimming pools with separate children pools, restaurant, play area for children. A Camping Kids entertainment package is put on in high season on some of the campsites. Everyone will have the time of their lives on a Vacansoleil holiday.

Bikes: Batavus
About Batavus - BV is 104 years old and has long been established as one of the most popular brands of bicycles in the Netherlands. Batavus builds bicycles for all ages. It has created a stylish collection throughout its time and is highly sought after. Batavus focuses on everyone, from the demands of an upcoming cyclist to families with children and senior citizens. Batavus ensures there is always a Batavus that meets the individual needs and preferences of consumers. Batavus sells its products and services primarily to specialised bicycle dealers in the Netherlands and exports to countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, France, United Kingdom and Canada. The expected huge success of the Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team and the experiences of these riders using bikes provided by Batavus will definitely have a huge impact on the whole Batavus collection.

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