De Cauwer joins the Davitamon-Lotto pyramid

Belgian national selector Jose De Cauwer will now be part of the Davitamon-Lotto cycling pyramid, having finished his selector's career on a high note with Tom Boonen's World Title. De Cauwer's chief role will be to help young riders develop within the team's structure, which will also include the Bodysol-Win for Life and Davitamon-Lotto-VC Ardennes continental teams, and the Bodysol-Lotto-Cycling Team Menen for juniors. De Cauwer will be the youth coordinator for all the teams.

"Financially, this is better than the federation, but also the challenge interests me," said De Cauwer on Sporza radio. "Without the court case [where he is accused of supplying amphetamines to a rider 10 years ago] I would have also taken up this offer. The fact that Davitamon-Lotto doesn't doubt my integrity of course gives me heart." De Cauwer added that he doesn't expect a heavy sentence in the amphetamine case, the verdict of which will be known next week.

De Cauwer, 56, has considerable experience as a rider himself. He turned pro in 1973 with Hertekamp and rode for Hennie Kuiper with Panasonic and Peugeot. He did the Tour de France five times, and helped Kuiper finish second in 1977. He also won a stage in the Vuelta in 1976. After he finished his career as a cyclist, he became a team director with ADR, where he saw Eddy Planckaert win the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Tour de France's green jersey in 1988, and Dirk Demol win Paris-Roubaix that same year. He also helped direct the team the following year, when Greg Lemond won the Tour de France in sensational fashion, and a certain Johan Museeuw began his pro career.

José De Cauwer has been involved with the Belgian national federation for a few years, to begin with as a national coach for the U23s, and then for the professionals. During his time there, he has seen Jurgen Van Den Broeck win gold in the junior time trial in Lisbon 2001, Johan Vansummeren win silver in the U23 men's road race in Hamilton 2003, Peter Van Petegem win bronze in the men's road race that same year, Axel Merckx win bronze in the Olympic men's road race in 2004, and Tom Boonen win gold in Madrid 2005.

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