Michael Schär will wear the team colours for Lidl-Trek in 2024, however, transitioning from the bike to the team car as a sports director, the team announced Friday. The Swiss veteran recently completed his 18th season in the pro peloton with AG2R Citroën, his career spanning three other teams.
As a Swiss junior time trial champion, he would later claim the national road race title in 2013. He appeared in all three Grand Tours, with the Tour de France being the most consistent with 11 of his 13 appearances. Schär also represented Switzerland at three Olympic Games.
“I have a good feeling to make the transition to life as a Sports Director at this moment,” said Schär in a team statement. “I had 18 years as a pro in the WorldTour, and now I think stepping over to the other side is the right time. I’m looking forward to make the change from rider to director and start a new chapter.”
In October this year, Schär made Paris-Tours the final race as a road professional, bowing out for retirement along with AG2R Citroën teammate and friend Greg Van Avermaet. The pair had ridden together for 13 years, beginning when the Belgian joined BMC Racing Team in 2011. They remained at that programme through 2020, when it was CCC Team and then spent the final three seasons at AG2R.
Schär mentioned that it was his connection with Lidl-Trek’s General Manager Luca Guercilena that made the decision an easy one, as Guercilena used to serve as the coach for Swiss Cycling when Schär competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
“We did the Olympics and many World Championships together. In particular, the 2012 Olympics made a great impression on me due to the way Luca treated us and motivated us. For me, it was the best race I’ve ever done,” Schär recalled.
“I really liked the philosophy of the team, and the team building that was done was fantastic. I’m happy to move back into an American-style organization. It was cool to see that the riders and staff have such a strong bond together.”
He was known for his stamina to support team leaders in one-day Classics or Grand Tours, as well as his versatility to take the reins when opportunities arose. When he announced his retirement this summer, Schär said his main goal as a rider was to “contribute to the team’s success and support our leaders,” which he will now continue to do as a director.
“What I’m most excited for is to see how the other side of the sport looks in the car and getting into…