Brian Holm, the “king of cool," has a long history with cycling and a deep passion for the sport. He was a Danish professional rider for 12 years, with victories including the national ITT Championship in 1990, and Parijs-Brussel in 1991. But he is perhaps the most known for his domestique role in the 1990s. He finished the Tour de France all seven times he participated, including the year he rode in support of 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis.
Holm, as all of the other Etixx – Quick-Step Sport Directors, moved on to the team car when he retired as a professional rider. He was a sport director for years until HTC-Highroad, which included riders such as Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin, ended in 2011. He then joined Etixx – Quick-Step in 2012.
“I stayed with technically the same team since 1993 — changing names but staying mostly the same otherwise — until it ended as HTC in 2011,” Holm said. “I liked it. It was a good staff with guys like Jan Schaffrath, Rolf Aldag, etc., but like any team in cycling it can, and has ended, sooner or later. I spoke with Wilfried Peeters and Patrick Lefevere mid-season in 2011 about my future and I spoke to a few other teams. But I almost knew my decision where I would go next before then. My relationship with the Belgian guys on this team dates back as far as the 80s. In 1985, which was the year of my first cyclocross contract, I knew Tom Steels as a cyclist. I rode with Wilfried for several years. I trained for most of my career with him. So I was already a part of the Belgian group. I built good relationships with them. Patrick, he was the one I knew about longest in cycling. I always followed him though I didn’t personally know him. I knew his staff, and I noticed he always kept the same staff. No one ever left him, always the same people were loyal to him and he was a manager since 1983. I think that says something about Patrick and also the teams he is in charge of. I think my decision to come to this team was the right one. The same loyalty I felt to the team I worked with for so long is evident on Etixx -Quick-Step.”
Holm said he has come to know the staff in just a few years in ways he never did as a rider. “I work alongside guys like Davide Bramati, whom I didn’t like as a rider because he was so loud ... but I know now as a Sport Director that he is the best guy I’ve ever worked with in my life. He does anything and everything for these riders, from morning until night. He’s smart, he’s dedicated, even though he’s still pretty loud (laughs). But that’s the kind of guys we have on this team and I think that works really well for our success.”
Holm is noted in cycling these days not just for his abilities as a Sport Director, but his appreciation for the equipment and overall fashion of the sport. “I think cycling is like a piece of art,” Holm said. “I think it’s like a beautiful painting. I may not sleep with my bike anymore, but I love all the gear I’ve ever worn. I love the shoes, the clothing, the old stuff, the new stuff. I have clothing bags from 1971. In my mother’s basement I have suitcases full of clothing I got every year. Sometimes I go over just to look at it. I love the history of cycling and the gear is part of it. I read about the history and I collect it as well. The sport is always evolving, but there is something that hasn’t changed for me, and that is the deep love for the sport and its history. I love riders and staff who share that love…. And the ones who dress well (smiles).”