Veteran directeur sportif Hilaire Van Der Schueren is still looking for one million euros to complete the budget for a new Professional Continental team for 2014. The Vacansoleil-DCM sport director is reported to have Björn Leukemans lined up as his captain.
The Dutchman had a recent meeting with a potential investor, whom he wouldn't publicly name. “I have learned to stand with both feet on the ground,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “The project won't stand or fall with him. But he would greatly facilitate the business.
“To be very specific, I'm still looking for one million. A total budget of four million.” He is not worried about finding an equipment supplier. “Oh, there are plenty of bikes.”
In the meantime, the 65-year-old is off to Canada to accompany Vacansoleil at the races in Quebec and Montreal.
“When I get back from Canada, I give myself another week. By then it should be fix,” he said with optimism.
Leukemans, meanwhile, is being coy about his future. “Who says that I don't have a new team?” he asked Sporza. “I don't need to ride for a WorldTour team. The big stage races aren't anything for me. One-day races are my thing.”
Vacansoleil's ending “is the worst crisis I have experienced,” he said. “Some will have to stop riding. But I am not worried. I have already proved myself.”