Fien Delbaere joins AG Insurance – Soudal as new sports director

AG Insurance – Soudal has announced the addition of Fien Delbaere as their new sports director, marking a significant strengthening of their coaching staff. Until recently, Delbaere, aged 28, was a professional cyclist, a career she embarked on at thirteen. Her transition from athlete to sports director follows a stint at Cycling Vlaanderen in 2022 as a sports technical assistant for women’s cycling.

Delbaere’s debut as a sports director will be at the Belgian Time Trial Championship, where she will be in the team car. Explaining her career shift, Delbaere said, “Cycling has always been a big part of my life. In recent years, I knew that after my active career I wanted to continue as a team leader. That’s why I took the UCI sports director course last November in Aigle, Switzerland. This gave me peace and certainty for the future. Although my ankle fracture may have sped up the process a bit, I feel that this is the right moment. The injuries of the past two years have taken a lot out of me mentally, as an athlete, and now it’s time for a new challenge.”

Delbaere is optimistic about her new role, expressing confidence in the AG Insurance – Soudal project. “I have 100% confidence in the AG Insurance – Soudal project. The pyramid of our U19 and U23 teams, as well as the WorldTour team, is something I strongly believe in. My work at Cycling Vlaanderen has shown me how enjoyable and important it is to work with young riders. The opportunity to work with both young talents and top athletes greatly appeals to me. AG Insurance is a strong partner and very involved in women’s cycling, which perfectly aligns with my vision.”

Her ambitions are clear: “My ambitions are to help young talents in the U19 and U23 categories grow and to strive for top results with the WorldTour team. The goal is to develop AG Insurance – Soudal into one of the best WorldTour teams. We want to compete at the highest level throughout the year and get even closer to podiums and victories. This is my first role as a team leader, and I am determined to become the best version of myself and give 200% for this team.”

Team manager Jurgen Foré shared his excitement about Delbaere joining the team: “From our first conversation with Fien, it was clear that she has all the skills to be an excellent team leader. She has a clear vision of how she wants to fulfil the role, specifically in how she plans to develop our riders from the U19 category to the World Tour. Because she was recently active as a rider in the women’s peloton, Fien has a good understanding of what is needed to properly support the riders in their athletic development.”