Robbie Hunter has left his role as a director sportif at Cannondale-Garmin in order to pursue new projects.
Hunter, who rode for the team before moving into their management structure, will continue to work as a rider agent while he considers some other options. He has ruled out returning as a director in the near future.
“I’m looking around and have a couple of options, but I’m not going to be working with any teams as such,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I prefer to spend some time at home as I have young kids at home still. I’ve spent too much time away, and I have a couple of things on the cards. I want to stay in cycling and work with athletes, so I’m just looking at my options going forward.”
The South African and former Tour de France stage winner retired from professional cycling in 2013, having raced for Mapei, Lampre, Rabobank, Phonak, Barloworld, RadioShack and Garmin. He took up the reigns as a DS in 2014 at Jonathan Vaughters’ team and paid tribute the opportunities the American team provided him with.
“I spent a lot of time away, and we decided mutually to move on. There was nothing major to be honest. My time there was very good, and I have very good relationships with guys like Andreas Klier, Charly Wegelius, Fabrizio Guidi, guys I’m really good friends with.”
“Jonathan is a special character, and I raced for him, and then was a DS for him. He gave me a couple of good opportunities, and I’m thankful for that but now I want to make my own way in certain things. Now I’m happy on the road that I’ve taken.”
In the last few years, Hunter has represented the interests of several African riders in the peloton, including Louis Meintjes, who recently moved to one of Hunter’s old teams, Lampre- Merida. Hunter still has some African riders on his books, and he believes his experience in moving to Europe and forging a career as a rider will help them on their way.
“I’m not going forward with being a DS in whatever team as I’d like to pursue my own interest and that includes looking after riders and possibly working for a sports management company. What I’m really trying to do is look after the African contingent of guys who are coming through. There are a whole lot of really talented guys, and I’m trying to give them opportunities, but not all the teams look at them in the same light because not many of them get to race as amateurs. They’re fantastic riders, so they just need the right opportunities.”