Rally Cycling announces the hiring of former Tour de France yellow jersey holder and Sojasun team owner Stéphane Heulot. Heulot, who is based in Belgium, will join the team as European General Manager.
“Stéphane will play a fundamental role in the globalization of Rally Cycling,” said Managing Director Charles Aaron. “He will be focusing on sponsorship procurement, race invitations, as well as assist in athlete recruitment alongside Performance Director Jonas Carney for the men’s and women’s teams. Stéphane has a wealth of experience and we couldn’t be more excited to bring him on board.”
After a successful racing career that spanned 12 years and included three days in the yellow jersey at the 1996 Tour de France, Heulot ran the French Professional Continental team Sojasun from 2009 – 2013. His team participated in the Tour de France three consecutive years.
Heulot’s diverse experience in the upper echelon of pro cycling gives the team a new voice and a new perspective on the global racing circuit, and what it takes to be successful in Europe.
“I’m happy to be back in professional cycling again,” said Heulot. “I feel that my story in cycling is not over, and with Rally Cycling I have the ambition to do my best. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the riders and raise the overall level of the team.”
Heulot met with Aaron in Paris in late October where the two discussed the possibility of working together.
“A long-time friend whom I trust introduced us and I had a very good feeling about our meeting,” said Heulot. “I believe relationships are very important in business, and I trusted my friend, someone would not propose a program or project that is not high quality. With Charles I found that our long-term vision and values were in alignment.”
With a stage win and third overall at the Arctic Race of Norway, the KOM jersey at the Deutschland Tour, and a stage podium at the Tour of Denmark in 2018, the team is extending its international race schedule for a second year in the UCI Professional Continental ranks.
“Every cyclist dreams of racing the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix but it’s important to develop a team,” said Heulot. “We have to paint a very good picture for the public, for the race organizers and the fans. When you take too big of a step, it can have bad results so you have to organize a calendar that’s well-suited to the riders in the team to have the best results possible.”
For Aaron, signing Heulot is the natural next step in the team’s evolution.
“With our current leadership team of Jacob Erker, Jonas Carney, Sam Wiebe, and Meagan Hazzout, Stéphane is a key addition to building a best in class organization,” said Aaron. “He understands the importance of spreading our message of health and well-being across the globe and I’m excited to see him fully integrate with this program.”
Heulot will represent the team at the UCI Women’s WorldTour and UCI WorldTour seminars from December 4th – 5th in Montreux, Switzerland before attending the team presentation in Calabasas, CA, USA on January 5th.