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Castorama's Jacky Durand was a favourite during the mid-nineties.
Frenchman may join team as advisor for now
Jacky Durand has denied reports that he will fill the void at Team Europcar left vacant by Didier Rous last month, but confirmed to Cyclingnews that he may work with the ProContinental squad in advisory capacity.
"I've been in touch with Jean-Rene Bernaudeau but nothing's decided yet," Durand told Cyclingnews. "Europcar's offer is not to replace Didier Rous as some people said."
Rous announced his intention to leave Europcar late last year, after three years as a director with the squad. His sudden departure was followed soon after by news that he had joined the management team of rival squad Cofidis.
In recent days reports in the French media had suggested that Durand would replace Rous. Despite the vacancy at Europcar, Durand said commitment to his role as a Eurosport commentator meant a full-time position with professional team would be impossible and that any role would be strictly part-time.
"Whatever happens I'll be an Eurosport consultant, notably at the Tour de France, as I signed my contract before talking to Europcar. So my job would be a kind of adviser and not a full time directeur sportif's role."
The proposed advisory role would give Durand an introduction to team direction. Since his retirement in 2005 he has remained involved in the sport through his commentary position, but hasn't made the move into team management. However, Durand would appear to be a good fit with Europcar's squad of young and attacking riders, including Pierre Rolland and French Champion Thomas Voeckler.
Durand's own storied career included victories at the Tour of Flanders (1992) and Paris-Tours (1998), as well as stage wins at the Tour de France, but is best remembered for his penchant for early, long-shot breakaway attempts.
He indicated that if he does make a move into full-time team management, he will take a more methodical approach.
"If I do this work it'll be a test, as the directeur sportif role has always been an project [I've been interested in]," said Durand, who holds a French coaching certificate. "While I was a rider I took a "Brevet d'Etat" graduate in order to secure my life after the sport."