Former pro Verbrugghe named to central role with planned under 23 BMC Racing Team setup
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Former pro Verbrugghe named to central role with planned under 23 BMC Racing Team setup

by VeloNation Press at 2:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Belgian will continue current position until end of 2012 season

BMC Racing TeamFormer pro and current directeur sportif with the BMC Racing Team, Rik Verbrugghe has been confirmed as moving across to the new under 23 squad, which will make its debut next season.

The team was first announced just over one month ago. At the time BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz explained the aims, saying that the under 23 squad would enable the team to develop the next generation of riders for the WorldTour squad.

"It's an opportunity to seek out our own riders and gradually bring them to the top level via our own program, our own system and our own philosophy,” he said then.

The team will be based in the US and feature riders from there, Switzerland and elsewhere. It will compete internationally.

After a thirteen year pro career which saw him land stages in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia and also win Flèche Wallonne plus Critérium International, Verbrugghe retired in 2008 and spent the next two seasons as a directeur sportif with the Quick Step team. He moved across to the BMC Racing Team for the 2011 season.

"His vast knowledge, along with his understanding of our principals and his passion to work with young athletes, makes him the perfect person to fill this role," said Ochowicz, speaking about the position of team director. Team sponsor Andy Rihs sees another benefit, namely the fact that Verbrugghe’s pro career was so recent.

"Rik is still pretty fresh from the active part of the sport and that's who the young guys need to hear from," he stated. "He'll communicate very well with them in an authentic way.”

Verbrugghe will continue to work in a directeur sportif role this season, but will also carry out scouting and recruitment for the new squad. His goal is to find some of the top young riders of the future and to sign them to the BMC stable.

"I'm very excited about this project and I know it will be a lot of work," he said. "It's a big responsibility to get this team together, to find the riders, find the staff and get everything organized. But I like the challenge."


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