By Susan Westemeyer
Team Milram is firmly in the hands of the van Gerwen family, with papa Gerry van Gerwen being the team owner and manager, daughter Marlies Liebregts-van Gerwen as business manager and even son-in-law Raoul Liebregts serving as a directeur sportif and head of human resources for the team.
Marlies and Liebregts met through cycling. "We met on a blind date," she told Cyclingnews. She was working as a hostess at a race in the Netherlands, and got to talking to the commissaire's driver, who said, 'I have a nice friend to introduce you to'.
That was about six years ago, and the couple married in 2007, a big year for them not only personally but professionally. Liebregts, who rode as an amateur up until 2002, was working for the police when they met, but had previously worked as a sport teacher and was studying sport management in the evening.
In 2007 Gerry van Gerwen bought the team's ProTour license and became not only its manager but also its owner, with daughter Marlies, who turns 28 on December 18, becoming business manager. "We said that when we have the whole team, then we will do it as family," she said.
Liebregts quit his job with the police and joined the team, serving as a part-time directeur sportif and full-time human resource manager. "He is in contact with all the riders, their personnel files, he knows what is happening with them, and makes sure that they have all the right equipment," she said.
Marlies van Gerwen will be one of the women featured in an upcoming Cyclingnews feature on 'Women in Men's Cycling'.