We are delighted to announce the addition of Sven Jonker and Pim Ligthart to our staff after Aike Visbeek’s departure to Intermarché Wanty Gobert. Jonker, who for the last three years has been part of the management of WorldTour’s Astana Premier-Tech looking after its marketing-related matters, will head our project and oversee the operations and activities of the team at all levels as Academy Director. Whilst Ligthart will take over the role of main DS after announcing his retirement from professional cycling some weeks ago. This position will allow him to share his 10-year WorldTour knowledge in racing, tactics, and preparation with our talents.
Being able to add Jonker and Ligthart to our management and performance staff, will solidify and strengthen our organization as we move into our seventh year in the peloton. Bringing on board such experienced professionals allows us to keep on working on our quest of becoming the best development team in the world.
SEG Racing Academy’s board member, Eelco Berkhout:
“Since its inception, we’ve always invested in quality staff. That’s why we are more than happy that once again we succeed in the signing of two quality staff members who can bring the Academy to the next level. With Sven (Jonker) as Academy Director, we add someone with specific leadership qualities to the team. Sven has great ambitions and he’s really motivated. With his management, marketing, and PR experience at WT level he will bring something new to the Academy. With Sven focussed on leading the Academy in general, we had to add a strong sports director next to him. Pim is the right guy at the right place. I have known him for more than 12 years and we worked together during his professional cycling career. Pim has a lot of experience as a rider, he was a real road captain and coach for young talents during his own career. Besides that Pim is smart, serious, ambitious, and ready to share his experience with our roster. Together with Dries (Hollanders), we have two sports directors who are the perfect teachers on race days”.
Sven Jonker is ready and motivated to take on the challenge of leading the SEG Racing Academy: “I’m really excited about this new chapter in my career, as I always had the ambition to grow into a sports management position. SEG Racing Academy is very well-known in professional cycling because of their Alumni and to get the chance to lead this organization towards the goal to become the best development team in the world is simply inspiring. I want to thank Astana – Premier Tech for the trust they had in me during the past three seasons and the freedom they gave me to explore this new opportunity, I wish them all the best in the upcoming years. At SEG Racing Academy I’m looking forward to build on the foundations laid by Aike Visbeek and Bart van Haaren as well as working together with the staff that has the experience of turning U23 riders into professionals on the highest level in this beautiful sport”.
Talking about his recent signing as a sports director of the Academy, Pim Ligthart said: “I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career. I have been riding at the top level of the sport for more than 10 years and now I am keen on passing through the knowledge that I acquired during this time. I can’t wait to get started with these talented guys and do all I can to add value to their starting careers”