The Norwegian team has bolstered its director sportif line-up for 2023 by adding the former Dutch pro Tjarco Cuppens. He joins after a spell at the Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch team which is closing at the end of 2022 after one of their sponsors pulled out. Formerly a pro rider at Flanders-Prefetex, Team ComNet-Senges and Team Differdange, Cuppen won a stage at the FBD Milk Ras over in Ireland in the year 2000. He retired from riding in 2014 and subsequently moved behind the wheel into the DS role.
Now 46 years old, Cuppens will bring his experience to Team Coop-Hitec Products from 2023. The Norweigan team has a long history near the top of women’s cycling but has had to retarget its expectations as teams with bigger budgets have begun to become more commonplace in the women’s peloton. They finished the 2022 season ranked 20th and see a number of their riders like Ingvild Gaskjenn move up to WWT teams next year. The goal is to push on and reach the WWT qualification spots if possible next year.
“After an active cycling career of 22 years and then another seven years as team manager and sports director, I am proud to be able to work for a team like Team Coop-Hitec Products. It is a team with a great past and one of the oldest teams in the women’s peloton. The goal is to finish among the best continental teams in 2023, so that we qualify for WorldTour competitions earlier.
Furthermore, my ambition is to achieve several victories in UCI competitions, this is a goal that must be achievable. In 2023 we have several riders in the team who can finish high in a bunch sprint, but we also have riders who can ride uphill well. This is an ideal combination to fight for good results in all kinds of races.”Tjarco Cuppens