Maxime Monfort prepares second part of the season in the Sierra Nevada
Tour de Suisse next race for Monfort.
Today, Maxime Monfort will ride his final race as a professional cyclist during the Famenne Ardenne Classic. Monfort will immediately start a new chapter within the world of pro cycling as the 36-year-old Belgian will take on a role of sports director at Lotto Soudal, the team where he spent the last six years of his career.
Maxime Monfort: “Originally, I did not intend to end my professional cycling career this year, but I only received a proposal to renew my contract at the end of August, while at the same time general manager John Lelangue asked me to become a sports director. It came somewhat unexpected, but at that moment, I felt the time was right and besides, the opportunity presented itself. After the Tour de France, I did already think about my future and the idea to retire was already there, independent of the proposition to become sports director. Eventually, it only took two days to make the decision, but I had already put a lot of thought into it.”
“For me, to hang up the bike in my own province, together with my fans and family was a must. That way, I can spend the entire day together with them. Of course, there is the race, but there will also be a moment with the fans, both before and after the race. I want to make my final day as a professional bike rider something really special.”
“Cycling is and will always be my passion. I realized the dream of turning pro, but it was also a personal dream to stay in the world of pro cycling after my career. Now, the opportunity is there, a little earlier than expected, but I have a lot of ideas and I am really looking forward to it. For the past six years, I raced at the Lotto Soudal team, so I know the staff, riders and the way of working. It is nice to start my career as a sports director like that.”
“It certainly won’t be easy to immediately make the switch from pro rider to sports director, but I am 100 percent sure of my decision. For example during the first training camp, it will maybe feel a bit weird to exchange the bike for the car, but I am fully ready.”
“There are a lot of differences between a cyclist and a sports director. It may be the same sector, but it is something completely different. I think there are more benefits to a job as sports director; I don’t have to train anymore and I don’t have to pay attention to what I can or cannot eat. Now, I will be able to enjoy life a little more, but at the same time doing what I love. I am very proud of my career, but the moment has come and I definitely won’t regret it.”
The six sports directors for 2020 are: Mario Aerts, Herman Frison, Maxime Monfort, Kurt Van de Wouwer, Marc Wauters and Frederik Willems. They will report to general manager John Lelangue.
Date of birth: 14.01.1983 (Bastogne)
Turned pro at Landbouwkrediet - Colnago (2004)
Five pro victories
- 2004: General classification Tour de Luxembourg + victory stage 3
- 2009: Belgian time trial champion (Saint-Ghislain)
- 2010: General classification Bayern Rundfahrt + victory stage 4
- Twenty participations (5x Giro d’Italia, 7x Tour de France, 8x Vuelta a España)
- Eleven times top twenty GC (4x Giro, 2x Tour, 5x Vuelta)
- Best GC result: 6th Vuelta a España 2011