Kurt Van de Wouwer will serve as a sport director for the Lotto Belisol WorldTour team in 2013, as well as continuing his work in the same capacity for the U23 team. The team made the announcement Wednesday from its training camp in Spain.
Van de Wouwer, 41, rode professionally from 1993 to 2006. He finished in the top twenty of the Tour de France three times, with his best finish being 11th in 1999.
"Of course this chance pleases me,” he said in the team press release. “When you are already working for a few years with the U23 and you see different guys moving on to the pros, then you hope that one day you can take the step yourself. At the U23 it's about developing new talent each year, with the pros you also get the chance to build something up."
He saw the move as approval of his work with the younger riders, and doesn't anticipate any problems with moving up. “A lot of the staff I still know from when I was pro, a lot of riders I have had in the U23 team; my integration definitely won't be any problem and this training camp is ideal to get to know the people I don't know yet.
“Next season my programme will be relatively limited because I will combine both functions, but I'll pass on my experience in the stage races with pleasure."