Current Telenet-Fidea (a tv and web provider, and an assurance company) manager Hans van Kasteren had already announced he was ready to retire, and Sven Nys' interest in the team was a public secret in Flanders. After his final season (if he wins the rainbows in Heusden-Zolder Sven says he'll retire early) Nys will become the new owner and directeur sportive of the Telenet-Fidea team, current home to Tom Meeusen, Corné Van Kessel, Tijs van Amerongen and three other dudes. I have no idea if he's gonna deal with the ladies as well. That'd be fab.
Anyway. Sven is happy about the deal, which is pretty much to be expected. "I'm really looking forward to it", he told Sporza after the press conference. "It's a well-thought-out decision, and it's going to be a whole new beginning. With my experience I'm sure I can teach the elite riders and the team a little something." He's also gonna keep himself occupied with the younger Telenet-Fidea kids.
I'm not sure how much actual hands-on coaching he'll do during the races, but I don't doubt that we'll see him on the side of all our favourite courses (and some of our not so favourite ones as well). Just like Niels Albert, team leader at Wout Van Aert's Vastgoed Cycling - Golden Palace Team. Which means that next season...
SVEN NYS VERSUS NIELS ALBERT IS BACK
This time, with pawns.
ps - if you thought this news wasn't awesome enough on its own (in which case you are not only wrong, but also crazy), the Play Sports tweet on the matter reminded us that seven years ago, this happened.
pps - If you go to the vastgoed-golden palace website, Wout Van Aert is actually standing behind Kevin Hulsmans in the promo picture. When Kevin Hulsmans retired, his biggest accomplishment in the newspaper articles was "he was once in the same team as Tombo".
ppps - In 2017, there will be no Sven Nys, no Fabian Cancellara and no Tom Boonen racing. Thank god for Sep.