A Pope’s emissary in Wollongong: the Vatican’s historic participation in the World Cycling Championships

This runner is Nothing Schuurhuis. Aged 40, this Dutchman does not really have any references in the world of the little queen. Active in continental teams (D3 cycling) in Laos and then in Australia, Schuurhuis mainly competed in minor races in Asia. His most notable achievement remains a 40th place (out of 46) in the Dutch national time trial championships.

But how does a Dutchman come to represent the Vatican? Born in Groningen, Rien Schuurhuis is married to Chiara Porro, Australian Ambassador to the Holy See.

Founded in 2019 to be “the Pope’s ambassador” in the world of sport, Athletica Vaticana is represented by Vatican citizens, both lay and clergy, and their families.

Engaged for the first time in an international competition during the last Mediterranean Games, the Vatican will send a delegation to surround Schuurhuis in Australia. A staff that notably includes the Italian Valerio Agnoliprofessional until 2019 with the Liquigas, Astana and Bahrain teams and in particular ‘gregario’ ofIvan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali.

Schuurhuis’ ambitions in Australia will obviously be very modest.

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