Vacansoleil-DCM has presented its team for the upcoming cycling season today in EYE, a film museum and theatre in the sparkling Dutch capital Amsterdam. As ‘confidence was the theme during last years presentation, this time the World Tour team choose pure, pride and passion as keywords. And confidence there still is, according general manager Daan Luijkx, his staff and the team sponsors Vacansoleil and DCM. By showing images of Marcatos victory in Paris-Tours and the tremendous stage win of De Gendt in the Giro dItalia the team defined their framework to kick off the new season. We want to at least equal the highest peaks, repeated Luijkx once again.
Among the 29 riders are seven newcomers. With Aart Vierhouten there is also a new sports director. I started work on 1 December, Vierhouten says. That meant talking a lot straight away, in order to coordinate our visions. Long term planning is at the heart of my strategy, he says. If I look at the individual qualities within Vacansoleil-DCM, I can see it has the potential to be a top team. Last season, the forward momentum of the team halted somewhat. It has to be rediscovered in 2013. It is my job to increase the return. Road cycling is an individual team sport. At the moment that matters, you have to function as a team. Sometimes something doesn't matter to an individual, but hell be the piece of the puzzle that will lead the team to victory. I want to see this kind of well-oiled machine.
Vierhouten entered the presentation podium together with the youngsters Danny van Poppel, Maurits Lammertink and Wesley Kreder. It emphasized the youthful character of the squad. A main role in the show however was for the recruited star Juan Antonio Flecha, while Daan Luijkx didnt get around the difficult subjects of todays cycling. Without timidity he told the international cycling press about his personal worries and emotions. The sport is being damaged, he said. There only is attention for the bad things and hardly for the performances. This season, in our fifth year as a professional team and our third year in the World Tour, well be more professional organized than ever before. We have invested hugely in our staff, but in the same time we are in a difficult era. We fight for credibility and I hope that our sponsors wont let our beloved sport down.