Champions’ children go Continental

I know I am far too old for this hero worship thing but who wouldn’t think that Eric Vanderaerden is the real deal? Just one more time I will mention his win in the Tour of Flanders 1985, the greatest victory in the greatest race. Another hero from the same era is Johan van der Velde of Gavia 1988 snowstorm fame. Two great riders who both failed to get the wins that their talent merited. Now their sons Michael and Ricardo are together in the Donckers Koffie-Jelly Belly team (formerly known as Qin).

After serving his apprenticeship with the Rabobank development squad Ricardo van der Velde spent the last two years with Garmin where he has been largely anonimous. Michael Vanderaerden has, I believe, found a place on teams mainly because of his famous father who is the director of the new team.

The team’s big name signing is Kevin Hulsmans who has been “let go” by Quick Step after eleven seasons with Patrick Lefevre as a hard working team man. Hulsmans hasn’t won a serious race since 2002 and there must be long odds on him rediscovering the winning ways he had as a junior. Perhaps the two sons will take the opportunuty to move out of their fathers’ massive shadows. I am not holding my breath.

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