‘THE RETURN OF THEO DE ROOIJ’
Theo de Rooij is back in cycling. The former director of
RIJSSEN - Between team managers and jury meetings in the Park building it does not even take more than two minutes before Theo de Rooij is remembered to the dramatic summer of 2007. As the freshly new race director of the Tour of Overijssel the man form Holten returned in the cycling world last saturday.
Although he felt it somewhat differently: ‘I have never left’. You can remove Theo de Rooij from cycling, you can never remove cycling from Theo de Rooij. A day in the life of former Rabobank Cycling Teams director.
A couple of hours before the start the conversation with the old man is about as following: ‘I went to the limit’, De Rooij defends himself. ‘They cannot fool around with the boss’. The man bends over his head to the ear of the race director. ‘They all do it’, he whispers and emphasizes his knowledge by stating he has been making part of the cycling world since 1953. ‘You don’t have to tell me what cycling is all about’, De Rooij bounces back to deaf man’s ears. Admirably patient he lets the man finish his conversation. ‘No it does not disturb me that people are frequently addressing me about the subject. If so, I should not have been here in the first place’.
De Rooij has left the Rasmussen affair behind him and begins this Saturday on a new chapter in his cycling career. This edition he is at the side of current race director Jan Bakker. ‘Call it a year of apprentice, II have never experienced the Tour form this side’.
To the question if he likes it until now he answers with some hesitation. ‘I am coming from a company that I constructed form the very bottom, here I landed in an already well organised structure’. Between the lines some nostalgia can be sensed, which is re-enforced when De Rooij discusses with Hennie Kuiper. ‘I am glad some things are over’, he confines him. ‘But I will not say that I am happy to have left the team behind. That would be nonsense’.
After the jury meeting De Rooij hurries to the conference room filled with guests.
‘Beautiful words’, mayor Bort Koelewijn says to him when he passes. Within short distance the riders are signing in when De Rooij explains how he has passed the winter period. ‘I have founded a sport management company: consultancy, lectures and clinics. But I have not given it a lot of publicity yet’. Just before entering a Mercedes for a five hours’ relatively quiet ride, De Rooij makes clear that as far as he is concerned it will not end with this voluntary function. ‘I am only 51. I do not want my career to be ended with last years’ Tour’.Go back to the overview page