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"Necessary step" says team
Rabobank has announced that it will part company with technical director Erik Breukink at the end of the year as part of an overhaul of the team’s management structure. “The team is undergoing a structural change, which makes this a necessary step,” read a statement released by Rabobank.
Breukink, who raced for Rabobank in the final two years of his career in 1996 and 1997, returned to take up a role in the squad’s management in 2004. His tenure included victories for Denis Menchov at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, as well as Michael Rasmussen’s controversial spell in the yellow jersey at the 2007 Tour de France.
“Much to my regret, there is no place for me in this story,” Breukink said. “I have had great pleasure in working with the biggest part of the team for ten years. I would have happily continued, but I wish Rabobank all the best.”
Raboabnk general manager Harold Knebel thanked Breukink for his work at the team. “I have cooperated with him in a great way for the past years, just like the rest of the team has. We wish Erik all the best for the future.”
In May of this year, the former Rabobank general manager Theo de Rooy told Volksrant that doping had been tolerated at the team at least up to 2007. De Rooy left the team that year in the wake of the Rasmussen affair.
Meanwhile, Rabobank has also announced that Grischa Niermann is to join the team’s coaching staff from next season. The 36-year-old German is currently riding his final professional race at the Vuelta a España and he is set to become a coach at the Rabobank Continental team.