After ten years as a coach in the professional peloton, Michiel Elijzen is set to retire at the end of the 2021 season to pursue coaching ambitions outside of a professional cycling team.
Retiring as a professional cyclist in 2010, Elijzen’s career then continued in coaching roles with Omega Pharma – Lotto, Belkin, SEG Racing Academy and Verandas Willems – Crelan. He joined Team DSM as a coach from the beginning of 2019, where his tactical nous played part to countless team successes, including a stunning time trial win at the 2019 Giro d’Italia, the team’s 2020 Tour de France campaign which brought home three incredible stage wins, and victory at the 2020 Flèche Wallonne. Elijzen’s passion for helping others get the most out of themselves really shone through in his role as a personal coach, where his honest, caring and driven nature proved invaluable as he guided rider’s through their personal development. With his time with the team coming to an end, Elijzen is now set to utilise his coaching skills outside of a professional team.
Elijzen said: “I’ve been a coach for ten years in many different professional teams and I’ve learned a lot, but I feel that now is the time to move on and I’m ready for a new challenge. It was of course a hard decision, but a well considered one that feels right to me at this stage of my career. I’m thankful to the team for a great three years; I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I came here with ambitions to become a better coach and I can confidently confirm that I have reached that target with the support of the team. I’ve had some incredible moments here with the riders and staff which I will cherish forever.”
Looking to the future, he continued: “I am still fine-tuning my plans for what’s next but I am really looking forward to the next phase of my life. The profession of coaching has always appealed to me and is still a big motivator, so it is likely I will continue develop in that direction, but outside of professional cycling.”
Team DSM’s head of coaching Rudi Kemna said: “We are thankful for all Michiel has done for us during his time in the team and we are pleased for him as he embarks on the next chapter of his career. He is an incredible colleague who’s passionate, easy-going personality adds to the atmosphere of the group. He brings value to our work with riders on and off the bike and challenges everyone around him to bring the most out of themselves. We are confident that he will succeed in whatever comes next – he will always remain a friend of the team and we wish him all the best with his future.”