By Marcel Slagman
In addition to continuing to race for another year, Bart Brentjens will take on the responsibilities of team manager with the Brentjens Mountain Bike Team, currently known as the Dolphin-Trek team. Brentjen made the decision after current team manager, Ralf van Heugten, resigned his post effective December 31 after five years as manager.
When asked why he is taking on the additional role, Brentjens replied, "So I can hang on in the sport I love. I will give young and ambitious riders the chance to become top riders. Holland needs that.''
"For me, the Olympic Games in Beijing was a nice completion of five years of intense work on a beautiful team!" said the departing van Heugten. "It's been a great time with many ups and downs on a great team. I'm super proud of what we have achieved ... and the riders that I've been able to work with."
Brentjens, who won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1996, will reveal more information about the team's sponsors and racers in the coming weeks. He is expected to contest events such as the Cape Epic stage race and the Bart Brentjens Challenge, named after himself.
Brentjens said that he regretted not being named the new national coach after Dutch federation coach Leo van Zeeland left the job recently. Had he been offered the opportunity, he said, "I would love to do that, even with the new job I have. But it would have been more logical to work one or two years together with Van Zeeland to learn the job.
"Now Van Zeeland is not the coach anymore, I don't know who can handle the role. He had 18 years of experience and knowledge in mountain biking.''