The Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) have named former professional Koos Moerenhout as new elite men’s coach, while Adriaan Helmantel will take over as the under-23 coach. Loes Gunnewijk was announced as the head coach for the women’s programme earlier this month.
"We are pleased that by attracting Koos and Adriaan, there are two professionals who bring a lot of knowledge and experience of cycling. With them on board I expect that a next step can be taken in the performance of the riders,” said KNWU general manager Thorwald Veneberg.
This is the first time that the role of national coach has been divided up in this way, with the national coach previously looking after both men’s and women’s squads. The KNWU says that the split has been made in order to ensure more focus is given to individual riders.
Moerenhout retired from cycling at the end of 2010 after a career that spanned 15 seasons. He was twice the Dutch national road race champion and has won stages of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour of Austria and the Eneco Tour. Moerenhout will work part-time as national coach as he remains in his current role as a directeur sportif at the Hagens Berman Axeon Pro Continental team.
"As a rider, I enjoyed the atmosphere around the World Championships and I want to take that experience with me in my role as national coach. Of course, it is my goal to assist the current generation of riders in the hunt for success," said Moerenhout.
Helmantel comes to the KNWU after six years with Team Sunweb where he has worked as one of their coaches. As well as being the coach for the under-23 men, Helmantel will also provide support for Moerenout and Gunnewijk by working with both the men and women for the time trial events at the Road World Championships. In addition, he will also take up the role of performance coach for the endurance riders on the track.
"After six very nice years at Team Sunweb, I am looking forward to returning to the KNWU. With the gained knowledge and experience I expect to be able to make an important contribution in the development of young talent and also at the highest level. The diversity of my job, where there is both a focus on the track and on the road, really appeals to me," said Helmantel.
Helmantel has taken over from Peter Zijerveld, who will now focus on coaching the junior men, as well as on talent development in the youth ranks.