The Itzu Tri Team, Press Release

17.01.2017 | News

The Itzu Tri Team, a new professional triathlon team under the leadership of Luc Van Lierde

  • A professional structure supporting promising talents
  • Four recognized triathletes for 2017
  • A long-term plan with international objectives
  • Industry-leading partners at world level

The Itzu Tri Team Concept

To offer athletes the opportunity of developing further by supporting them within a professional framework, so they can focus 100% on their sport and performance. This is the Itzu Tri Team objective.

The Itzu Tri Team offers four promising athletes the chance to start the 2017 season under the expert leadership of the double winner of the Ironman Hawaii, Luc Van Lierde, providing them with the opportunity to advance to the international level of excellence of elite athletes. Actor and TV personality Louis Talpe will be the team’s godfather.

The beginnings of the team

The Itzu Tri Team is the result of a cooperation between Luc Van Lierde, the long-distance triathlon legend, and Koen Janssen, managing director of the Itzu holding. With their shared passion for the sport, their ambition was to set up a new professional international triathlon team. In 2016, Van Lierde and Janssen began the preparations for the Itzu Tri Team. On 18 January 2017, the team was officially introduced to the press.

Koen Janssen, managing director of Itzu nv, a Limburg holding company that incorporates four service companies, explains why he is taking on the role of team manager. “In common with our Itzu group, this new team has the potential to evolve. Together with Itzu and the other sponsors, we will make every effort over the coming years to make this project a success. Triathlon is about endurance, character, the perfect balance between body and spirit. An obvious match with the values and vision that Itzu and our 1,200 employees hold dear,” says the Limburger managing director.

Support from leading partners

Naturally, this project would not have been possible without the cooperation of several prestigious partners, each exceptional in their own industry. They are giving their support and equipment to the professional structure of the Itzu Tri Team, enabling the athletes the opportunity to realize their ambitions. The Itzu Tri Team can count on the support of the following partners: Itzu, Bioracer, Endless Pools, Chaintec, Ridley, CEP, Lazer Helmets, Shimano, FFWD, Contigo, Hiddit, Hands, Stadsbader, Foederer, ECS, Zone 3, Delen Private Bank and Scio Productions.

Team ambitions

Naturally, the athletes, management and the sponsors have high ambitions resulting from the guidance and advice of Luc Van Lierde, twice voted Belgian Sportsman of the Year. Luc Van Lierde did not hesitate when the plans for setting up the Itzu Tri Team were discussed. “It has always been my dream to coach athletes from professional teams. As an Itzu Tri Team coach, it is important to me that we have young talent with a great deal of potential in our team, and who can evolve in the long term. As a coach, I endeavour to bring out the best in every athlete through a calm approach, and to let them develop, some more quickly than others.”

The athletes

The four triathletes selected to wear the colours of the Itzu Tri Team for the 2017 season are the Belgians Alexandra Tondeur, Amber Rombaut and Kenneth Vandendriessche and the Spanish Saleta Castro.

Alexandra and Saleta, both 29, are specialised in the long-distance IM, and hope to move into the top 10 in their discipline this season. Kenneth and Amber, however, have other challenges. Kenneth, 25 years old, European long distance duathlon champion, is continuing his development in triathlons. His objective: a first victory in IM 70.3. For her last season as a junior (18), Amber will manage the transition to the Olympic distance gradually, combining this with her studies in medicine.