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Erik Dekker and LottoNL-Jumbo part ways over difference in vision

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2004 winner Erik Dekker (Rabobank)

2004 winner Erik Dekker (Rabobank)
(Image credit: Chris Henry)
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Eric Dekker looking a little concerned by the dolphin nibbling at his ear

Eric Dekker looking a little concerned by the dolphin nibbling at his ear
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Denmark's Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) follows his team manager Erik Dekker before exiting the 2007 Tour de France over whereabouts issues.

Denmark's Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) follows his team manager Erik Dekker before exiting the 2007 Tour de France over whereabouts issues.
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin, Wilco Kelderman, Michiel Elijzen, Maarten Tjallingi, Erik Dekker and Jetse Bole model their new kit ahead of the Tour

Belkin CEO Chet Pipkin, Wilco Kelderman, Michiel Elijzen, Maarten Tjallingi, Erik Dekker and Jetse Bole model their new kit ahead of the Tour
(Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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The last Dutch winner: Erik Dekker in 2001

The last Dutch winner: Erik Dekker in 2001
(Image credit: Sirotti)

Sports director Erik Dekker will leave LottoNL-Jumbo at the end of the year, ending a long association with the team that stretches back to the 1990s. The team announced that Dekker would leave due to a “a difference in vision regarding the sportive guidance in the future.”

Dekker, 45, paid tribute to the team but would not confirm his plans for the future.

“After 23 wonderful years, the moment to say goodbye to Team LottoNL-Jumbo has come. I’m looking forward to the future. A future that will possible look very different for me, but also one that holds a nice challenge for me. I want to thank everyone I’ve worked with so pleasantly during this period,’ Dekker said in a joint statement released by the team.

Dekker turned professional in 1992 with Buckler [ed. previously known as Kwantum and then Superconfex]. The team later became known as WordPerfect, Novell and Rabobank, and Dekker remained with the team as a rider until he retired in 2006. The Dutch squad has changed names several times in the last few seasons, while Dekker - who famously won three stages at the 2000 Tour de France – moved into a management role in 2007, just after he retired from professional cycling. He won four Tour stages in total, Paris-Tours, Amstel Gold Race, San Sebastian and the 2001 World Cup.

Team boss Richard Plugge thanked Dekker for his service at the team.

“We want to thank Erik for the significant contribution he has made within the team. We have enjoyed the beautiful moments we have experienced together. We wish him all the best for the future,” he said.

LottoNL-Jumbo last week announced that Addy Engels would join the team from Giant-Alpecin as a coach.