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Visma – LAB’s DS Merijn Zeeman to leave team and work in soccer

Visma - LAB’s DS Merijn Zeeman to leave team and work in soccer

Merijn Zeeman, active for the team since 2012 and sportive director of Team Visma – Lease a Bike since 2017, is leaving the team at the end of this season. After almost 13 years of being jointly responsible for the successful rebuilding of the team, Zeeman is now opting for a new step in his career.

A team with a long history

Visma – LAB has existed as a professional cycling team since 1984, when it was known as Kwantum–Decosol. It had various other names through the years, and ultimately became known as Rabobank. However in 2012, a doping scandal forced the team to rebrand as Blanco, and from there the team rebuilt. In 2014, it was known as Belkin, and then LottoNL-Jumbo, Jumbo-Visma, and now Visma-Lease a Bike.

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Zeeman is leaving the team to become the new CEO of AZ soccer. The club competes in the Eredivisie, which stands as the premier professional football league in the Netherlands.

From bikes to balls

“This is a difficult decision, which I also take with pain in my heart. Precisely because I have this great organization so close to my heart. We have come a long way and together we have made sure that we have become one of the most successful teams in recent years. I am incredibly proud of that,” he said. “Our culture with our people and our innovative approach has created an amazing development in which we were able to write history together, with the success in 2023 as the absolute highlight. Team Visma Lease a Bike is my family, which I have lovingly put my heart and soul into for 13 years.

New challenges await

Zeeman said he also believes that it is good for everyone’s development to look for new challenges and stimuli over time.

“Continuing my career at football club AZ is my next step and I dare to take that step because I leave our strong professional organization, led by my good friend Richard Plugge, in the capable hands of my colleagues,” he added. “But first we want to write history together, also in 2024. We are fully engaged in that with a very nice start to the year, and we want to follow that up strongly in the coming months.”

A remarkable time with the team

In Zeeman’s tenure, the team has had incredible success with Grand Tour wins from Jonas Vingegaard, Primož Roglič and Sepp Kuss. Additionally, he has been there for the transition of Wout van Aert from a ‘cross star to Classics and one-day standout.

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