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Rik Verbrugghe (driving) will continue his duties as an assistant director for the BMC Racing Team while helping start the BMC Under-23 Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Rik Verbrugghe (driving) will continue his duties as an assistant director for the BMC Racing Team while helping start the BMC Under-23 Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Verbrugghe Will Direct BMC Under-23 Racing Team

5. June 2012

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe will direct the new BMC Under-23 Racing Team, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Tuesday. The new team begins competition in 2013.

Perfectly Qualified
Ochowicz said Verbrugghe's 13-year professional career – which includes stage wins at the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, as well as victories at Flèche Wallonne and Critérium International – makes him a good fit for the elite-level team. "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," Ochowicz said. Verbrugghe will continue directing races for the BMC Racing Team while scouting and recruiting riders for the new team, Ochowicz said. Verbrugghe said he looks forward to the challenge of starting a team that will primarily consist of American and Swiss riders. "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."

Relate Well With Riders
Sponsor Andy Rihs said the young riders Verbrugghe will direct should remember Verbrugghe's career, since he only retired in 2008. "Rik is still pretty fresh from the active part of the sport and that's who the young guys need to hear from," Rihs said. "He'll communicate very well with them in an authentic way. He was a high-level professional rider, so It will be great for them to learn from such a great champion." BMC Switzerland Chief Executive Officer Thomas Binggeli said Verbrugghe's commitment to excellence matches the goal of the team: to identify the future stars of cycling. "Rik has a keen eye for finding talent and helping new, young riders grow, develop and succeed," he said. "He also brings a lot of new, innovative ideas to the table, which is the same philosophy we have here at BMC.