Team Sunweb are pleased to welcome two new coaches and two new professionals to their performance staff for the 2019 season. Both Ben Lambrechts (NED) and Nicolas Marche (FRA) join the team as coaches, whilst Piet Rooijakkers (NED) and Narelle Neumann (AUS) join the team as an R&D expert and head of science, respectively.
Neumann is an Australian scientist with a PhD title. Her work is a combination of fundamental and applied science and involves testing assumptions, analysing large volumes of complex data, identifying trends and relationships and effectively communicating results. Neumann joins Team Sunweb in the role of head of science, to be overall responsible for leading the different expert groups at Team Sunweb, including nutrition, training, scientific, big data, bike fitting and R&D.
Neumann said: “I am really looking forward to working with this highly motivated group of people to continue to deliver key improvements and develop innovations to support high performance across the team. The expert groups already have many exciting projects underway and it will be great to continue to build on the strengths of the staff by sharing expertise and building cooperation across all these technical areas.”
Team Sunweb’s CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: “We want to make the difference through our expert-driven approach and with adding Narelle this department will be in place. We aim to be frontrunner when it comes down to effectively translating the latest scientific developments to all aspects of our training and racing. After spending three months with us earlier this year, we could see that Narelle is a highly skilled individual who we strongly believe can support our high performance goals through continuing to improve our training programs and expert areas. Through this new role we will continue to build and support the expertise across our expert areas, so that we can take the next steps to develop innovative, new approaches and contribute to high performance across the team.”
A rider for Skil-Shimano between 2006 and 2010, Piet Rooijakkers (NED) makes a return to the team as their newly appointed R&D expert. After his pro career, Rooijakkers worked in the accounting industry, expanding his club team towards UCI Continental level as a hobby. One of its first members back in 2006, Rooijakkers rejoins the team to aid managing technical research and development projects.
Rooijakkers said: “After some time out of the cycling industry as a profession I’m really excited and motivated to getting back into it. I was one of the team’s first members in the current structure with Iwan [Spekenbrink] starting as general manager in 2009, and it feels good to be back in familiar territory. I hope to make a contribution to the joint effort of reaching team goals and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”
Team Sunweb’s CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: “We know Piet from back in our Skil-Shimano days and we’re really looking forward to welcoming him back full time in the new year. His experience as a professional will of course be a benefit, but we also believe his time outside of the industry has shaped him to be able to manage our R&D projects. Piet was really one of the first riders in the team so we know him very well as a person and it’s great to have him back on board so many years later.”
Ben Lambregts (NED) joins the team following 15 years coaching with the UCI Continental Delta Cycling Rotterdam. His new role with Team Sunweb will focus mainly on the team’s Development program as helping U23 riders to grow has been his speciality in these years.
Lambregts said: “I’m really happy to join Team Sunweb. I’m used to working in an environment with talented athletes as a team leader with Delta Cycling and I want to share my knowledge with the young riders at Team Sunweb, helping them to grow into WorldTour riders. I am a big supporter of their development system, who after only being on the road for two years have already delivered two riders [Hirschi and Kanter] to the WorldTour. I’m really enthusiastic about joining the team and looking forward to what will hopefully be many successes the new year.”
Team Sunweb’s head coach Rudi Kemna (NED) said: “Ben has a lot of experience in developing young riders and has trained multiple notable riders en route to the WorldTour. His character is one that really fits to the team and one which will really benefit the riders on our Development program. We’re looking forward to having him on board.”
Nicolas Marche (FRA) joins Team Sunweb after working for the British outfit Trek Drops Cycling Team during the 2018 season, and the women’s Team FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope between 2016-2017. With experience working in the women’s WorldTour, Marche’s new role in the team will see him work as a coach for the team’s Women’s program.
Marche said: “Team Sunweb comes across very professional and ambitious to me and they are a team who are always performing well. The ways in which they work really suit my own qualities and to now be on board with them is an amazing opportunity. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the job with my colleagues and the riders to achieve our goals.”
Team Sunweb’s head coach Rudi Kemna (NED) said: “Nicolas is a really motivated and ambitious guy, and it’s clear that he is a goal-orientated individual who enjoys working in a team and helping others to success. He has worked alongside some of our long-term coaches in his previous roles and is someone who we can see will fit really well into our team.”