The Rally Cycling squad announced today it has hired former pro Stéphane Heulot as the team's European General Manager. Heulot will run the Pro Continental team's overseas efforts from his base in Belgium.
"Stéphane will play a fundamental role in the globalization of Rally Cycling," said Managing Director Charles Aaron, "He will be focusing on sponsorship procurement, race invitations, as well as assist in athlete recruitment alongside Performance Director Jonas Carney for the men's and women's teams. Stéphane has a wealth of experience and we couldn't be more excited to bring him on board."
Heulot, who retired in 2002, is best known for his three-day stint in the maillot jaune during the 1996 Tour de France. The 47-year-old ran the Sojasun squad from 2009-2013 and was a performance director for Cannondale in 2014.
"I'm happy to be back in professional cycling again," Heulot said in a team press release. "I feel that my story in cycling is not over, and with Rally Cycling I have the ambition to do my best. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the riders and raise the overall level of the team."
Rally stepped up to the Pro Continental level for the first time this season, but have had a consistent level of overseas competition for a decade, having taken victories in Uruguay, Thailand, Korea, Portugal, Croatia, Austria, Mexico, and Canada.
This season saw the team perform at a new level, with Colin Joyce taking a stage win and finishing third overall at the 2.HC Arctic Race of Norway. Robin Carpenter won the mountains classification in the Deutschland Tour and was third on stage 2 of the Tour of Denmark.
Heulot hopes to keep the team on its steady upward trajectory.
"Every cyclist dreams of racing the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix but it's important to develop a team," Heulot said. "We have to paint a very good picture for the public, for the race organizers and the fans. When you take too big of a step, it can have bad results so you have to organize a calendar that's well-suited to the riders in the team to have the best results possible."
Heulot joins general manager Jakob Erker, performance director Jonas Carney, CFO Meagan Hazzout and creative director Sam Wiebe in the team's management.