Lars van der Haar to Join Telenet-Fidea Cyclocross Team
Belgian newspaper Het Laastse Nieuws is reporting this morning that 24-year old Lars van der Haar from the Netherlands will jump from Team Giant-Alpecin to the Belgian cyclocross powerhouse known as the Telenet-Fidea team. An official announcement is to come sometime later today at an official press conference in the Brussels suburb of Vilvoorde.
As you might have heard, Telenet-Fidea is now being managed by the now-retired king of cyclocross, Sven Nys. While he may not be racing any longer, his mastery of the sport is obviously going to continue as he now helms the Telenet team. van der Haar, who finished second in the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships in January, will be a key asset for the team as he joins Tom Meeusen and other key riders.
The transfer has been rumored for some time, as Sven and Lars got along exceptionally well.
The name Lars van der Haar circulating since mid-November 2015, at which time plans regarding the acquisition of Telenet-Fidea by Sven leaked to this newspaper. That Nys and Van der Haar excellent get along with each other, is an open secret.
Endearingly known as “Lars van der Holeshot,” the diminutive young gun is famous for taking the lead with a strong sprint from the starting line. While his cyclocross chops are obvious, and they keep getting stronger, he’s no rookie on the road. van der Haar was most recently active when he joined the Giant-Alpecin roster for the brutal Paris-Roubaix ‘road’ race last month. Some heads turned when he was seen in the peloton above the cobbles, but…Paris-Roubaix is likely the closest to cyclocross as road racing can get. This was illustrated by former ‘cross world champion Zdeněk Štybar’s second place finish in Roubaix in 2015.