UnitedHealthcare mourns soigneur Haelsen

The UnitedHealthcare team is mourning the sudden loss of its valued soigneur and trainer Bill Haelsen, 45, who died in his sleep at his Asheville, North Carolina home on Monday.

Haelsen worked with the team for the past two years, providing massages and core strength and stretching workouts for riders.

"He was passionate about making our riders physically and mentally stronger, especially with the core training programs he developed," said manager Mike Tamayo. "At the races, Bill was always the last one standing when work had to be done and incredibly passionate about his riders and their performances."

"I remember many times when one of our riders would win a race and Bill would be more excited than the athlete himself. He took just as much pride as the riders in their results. He will be greatly missed on the racing scene, in the cycling community and in the City of Asheville. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family right now."

Haelsen's friend Lesli Andrews emphasised his importance in his hometown. "He touched so many in the cycling community and worked with me with all of the special clinics and seminars we did at the gym.

"Bill also did a lot of work in the Asheville community. I had no idea how deeply he touched people until this happened. Bill had a gift. He could help anybody with any issue and he gave so much of himself to so many others. He was constantly helping other people and was selfless. From our Asheville Youth Cycling junior team to our elderly community, Bill was just amazing in the way he worked with and treated everyone," Andrews said.

There will be a memorial service for Haelsen in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, October 28.

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