Reactions to change of Dutch national coach
Lars Boom has said that he is unconcerned by the news that the Dutch Cycling Federation will not renew Leon Van Vliet’s contract as manager of the national team.
Boom was the Netherlands’ best finisher in the men’s road race at the world championships in Valkenburg in September, but the Rabobank rider was less than enthusiastic about Van Vliet’s four-year tenure.
“His departure doesn’t bother me,” Boom told Algemeen Dagblad. Boom was reportedly upset by Van Vliet’s criticism of the Rabobank riders in his line-up the day after the Valkenburg Worlds.
“Until the last Worlds, we had a great relationship, but then he said things about the Rabobank team that I couldn’t let pass,” said Boom, who does not have any specific preference for Van Vliet’s successor.
“Well, it can’t get much worse,” Boom said. “You could say that it can only get better.”
Boom’s Rabobank (which will be known as White Label in 2013 in the absence of a title sponsor) teammate Bauke Mollema praised Van Vliet’s skills at creating a team dynamic but admitted that planning ahead had not been a particular strength.
“His approach could do some very good things, Leo was a real creator of atmosphere,” Mollema said. “But a lot of things happened at the last minute, without consultation or planning. A clear programme was missing.”
On the other hand, Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Niki Terpstra was sorry to learn that the Dutch federation had dispensed with Van Vliet, who is also the organiser of Amstel Gold Race.
“I think it’s a real shame that Leo isn’t coach anymore. He knew how to get his passion across to me and to other riders,” Terpstra told De Telegraaf, noting that “during the world championships, agreements didn’t work out.”