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Blijlevens to coach Rabobank sprinters

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Jeroen Blijlevens wins a stage of the 1998 Tour de France

Jeroen Blijlevens wins a stage of the 1998 Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Jeroen Blijlevens wins for TVM in Dunkerque at the 1995 Tour de France.

Jeroen Blijlevens wins for TVM in Dunkerque at the 1995 Tour de France.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Retired Dutch sprinting ace Jeroen Blijlevens will help guide the Rabobank fast men to victory in 2012. According to BN/De Stem, Blijlevens will take on the role with the pro men's squad in addition to his duties directing the Rabobank women's team.

The team was reportedly interested in hiring the ex-HTC-Highroad sprint coach Erik Zabel for the job, but the German has been confirmed to take on that role at Katusha.

Blijlevens said that the other WorldTour teams such as Katusha have employed former top sprinters as advisors, and Rabobank is doing the same. "Everything is becoming more professional. There's more attention to detail. Cipollini is with Katusha, and now Zabel is going there, too.:

Blijlevens, a contemporary of these two sprinting giants brings a decade of top-level experience and sprint victories in all three Grand Tours to the team.

"Sprinters need to talk to people who know what it's like to ride a sprint. Sprinting is a sensation you have to know. Sprinters therefore prefer to take advice from someone who has experienced it all."

The team added Australian Mark Renshaw after the exit of three-time world champion Oscar Freire from the squad, and together with Theo Bos will make a formidable presence in the sprints.

Blijlevens will continue to direct the Rabobank women's team, which will be led by Marianne Vos.