Steven de Jongh has joined Team Saxo-Tinkoff as a sport director, the Danish team announced Friday. He recently served in that capacity at Team Sky, but was released from his contract this fall due to violating the team's anti-doping policy.
Saxo-Tinkoff team owner Bjarne Riis said that he had long been on the lookout for a sixth sport director. “Recently I got in touch with Steven, and throughout our conversations I felt he would be a great fit for us. On top of that I have heard a lot of good things about him as a sport director, and he brings a solid amount of experience to our team. So I'm happy to welcome Steven onboard and to start working with him."
De Jongh, 39, said that he was “thrilled” to work for the team “ and one of the "best rider line-ups in the world."
"After I left Team Sky, I simply didn't know what the future would hold for me. But in early January I had some conversations with Bjarne and the team, and this developed into a job offer and a fantastic opportunity for me personally. I'm really looking forward to start this new chapter of my career as a sport director, and I'm grateful for the confidence the team has shown me," he said in the team press release.
Saxo-Tinkoff' now has six sport directors for the 2013 season: Philippe Mauduit, Dan Frost, Tristan Hoffman, Fabrizio Guidi, Lars Michaelsen and Steven de Jongh.
De Jongh rode professionally for 14 years, starting out with TVM in 1995. He rode for Rabobank from 2000 to 2005, before joining Quick Step and retiring in 2009. He won the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen in 2003 and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2004 and 2008.
He worked for Sky as sport director for three years. The end of October the team announced he was leaving, saying "After the team reaffirmed its position on anti-doping, Steven disclosed that he had taken a banned substance earlier in his career as a professional rider." He subsequently admitted to having used EPO "on a few occasions" whilst at TVM, but said that he stopped doping when he joined Rabobank.