As national coach, Sven Vanthourenhout must ensure that the “golden” Belgian generation scores in the coming years at the Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championships. “It is therefore not easier with a golden generation”, says José De Cauwer.
An ex-cyclist is now national cycling coach and that apparently causes doubt. “I think it’s a good thing”, says José De Cauwer, himself national coach between 1998 and 2005. “He knows cycling and he knows the house.”
“He is relatively young, but has already been through a lot. He has already been able to do a bit of an internship and has come in for the European Cycling Championships in Plouay. He is sensible and calm enough to watch everything and I think we will be there in the future. going to have a good national coach. “
De Cauwer has good advice for Vanthourenhout. “As a national coach you are not allowed to consult others too much. You have to be independent enough.”
“Otherwise you will be embarrassed at some point and you will get on your sandwich that you have listened too much to that or that. Belgium is and will remain a country with different tendencies and you have to take that into account.”
“It’s not easier with a golden generation”
“Sven now has to score with this golden generation”, Verbrugghe said. “That’s a bit gratuitous,” says De Cauwer. “A medal is always the result of a collaboration and to immediately put the pressure on Sven that he must win medals …”
“Greg Van Avermaet’s gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio is not Kevin De Weert’s either. You can miss or just conquer medals – as happened in Madrid – at 200 meters.”
As a national coach you have to try to make your own mark and above all to ensure that you are proved right after a match.
“There may be a golden generation on the way, but that is not easier as a national coach. Then you get the discussion: how many men will Van Aert get, who should ride the time trial and is it all for Remco?”
“Then as a national coach you have to try to make your own mark and especially to ensure that you are right after a game. Sven’s real task is to build a team and you don’t just do that with the leaders.”
“I hope that we have left with Sven for a longer period of time, but that will mainly depend on Sven himself. He will receive support from the union and the structure is also present there. But how will he profile himself. He will anyway sometime. headwind and how will he deal with it? “
“Different hats come together at a certain moment”
Had Rik Verbrugghe’s position become untenable now that he is also starting work at Israel Start-Up Nation? “I think it is very difficult to do two such jobs well”, says De Cauwer.
“At a certain moment you come into conflict with yourself or with other teams. Those different hats come together at a certain moment and then you have problems with that. This is a better solution.”
Verbrugghe was successful as a national coach. Belgium won 3 medals at a World Championship under his rule (Evenepoel silver in 2019, Van Aert 2x silver in 2020) and 4 medals at an European Championship (Evenepoel gold in 2019, Lampaert silver in 2019, Campenaerts and Van Wilder bronze in 2020).
“Rik has worked with the riders who were there in recent years and so you have to look at how we came out as a country. I think Rik did that well and now it is up to Sven to do it his way.”