British Cycling’s Max Sciandri will be moving on to the BMC Racing Team in 2011, where he expects to have a similar role to the one he has had with BC in Italy for the last few years – working with the team’s younger riders and scouting out new talent.
Sciandri was heavily involved in the organisation and creation of BC’s Italian base at Quarrata for the under-23 British Cycling Academy, which has been the ‘nursery’ for several riders who have gone on to turn pro.
“We created something that was very special and fantastic with BC and I’d like to do that again in BMC with the younger riders,” Sciandri told Cycling Weekly.
“We’ve got guys like [up-and-coming American track and road star] Taylor Phinney who are moving to Lucca near here, and there’s a few more already in the area. We’ll start pulling it all together.”
Whilst Sciandri will be doing work scouting out new talent, including going to races like the under-23 Tour of Flanders and the Tour de l’Avenir, he’ll also be working as a ‘normal’ sports director. He has around 40 to 50 race days initially on his calendar, with the Italian races figuring heavily on his 2011 programme.
Sciandri says the links with Ochowicz, his manager when he was a rider at the Motorola squad in the early Nineties, are a fundamental reason for heading to BMC. The Ango-Italian also has strong connections with the USA, and BMC are an American team.
“Och’ is the main reason, we had an initial talk a while back when he was in the area, and we’ve known each other since the Motorola days. There’s also [Motorola] team doctor Max Testa, who’s with BMC, so there are other people I know, too.”
Sciandri will start work with his 2011 team almost immediately, heading to a BMC get-together next weekend after the Tour of Lombardy for the squad’s new and younger riders.
Sciandri’s professional career as a rider peaked in the Nineties, when he won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games, stage wins in the Tour de France (1995) and Giro d’Italia (1991, 92, 94), and overall victory in the 1992 Tour of Britain, among others. His riding career ended with Team CSC in 2004.