There is still a transition period until October 1, after which Natalie Clauert will follow in the footsteps of Gus Smits, who will retire.
“Replacing him is a very big challenge, but that will be the case for everyone,” says the future Belgian cycling director.
“Gus is a 1001 case man, but I’ve also been working with this for a long time. I’ve been with the guild for 21 years and started here in a management position. The microbe was there very quickly and I got infected.”
“I’m somewhat of a BCs face and I’m involved in the logistics for the national teams. I know the house and have been involved for a long time.”
What will be the vision of the new director? “I want to work towards a modern cycling union. Cycling is changing very fast and I want the union to follow this trend. Keywords are modern, professional and transparent.”
“I want to make the union accessible to everyone. There are many stakeholders: jockeys, clubs, jury members, organization staff, sponsors, … I want to get them in line and hear their story.”
The Belgian Cycling Federation is a bit like a man’s stronghold, but now women are coming to the top. “Is that surprising? Yes and no,” says Natalie Clauert.
“I am glad I was asked because of my qualities. This is a great step for gender equality. I have received the confidence of the President and the Board. I don’t know why this should not be allowed or possible.”
“I see it as kind of a hack. I’ve always been a point of contact, but now I want to be that in a more inclusive role. He can go a step further.”
“Whether more women will now be more prominently featured? That’s definitely a goal. I’m definitely not the first. Lots of women are working behind the scenes. I invite them to take a step forward.”