Filip Meirhaeghe has been appointed coach of the Be-Gold Project by the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB) on Monday. Meirhaeghe, who retired from competition after this year's World Championships in Australia, will lead the development of riders in the new mountain bike programme, which is aimed to develop Belgian talent for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
"The KBWB has, in consultation with the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC) and the Belgian Elite sport development committee (ABCD), selected Filip Meirhaeghe as the new coach for the MTB Be Gold project," said the KBWB on its website.
A silver medallist in mountain biking at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the winner of the 2003 World Championships, Meirhaeghe said he looks forward to the challenge of working to improve his nation's chances of Olympic success in Rio de Janeiro and beyond.
"I've always hoped that after my career I would be able to share my experience and knowledge with younger riders," he said. "Now I will get the chance through the Be-Gold Project.
"I can feel the ambition and enthusiasm that I had as an athlete beginning to grow again. I am delighted to have been given this opportunity, and I consider this new role a great challenge; bring on Rio!" Rio di Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Last year, Meirhaeghe finished 32nd in the men's cross country mountain bike event at the Beijing Olympics. He missed the Athens Olympic Games after returning a positive test result for EPO in an out-of-competition test prior to the 2004 games.
The KBWB said that Meirhaeghe will head up the junior development project, while Rudy De Bie will continue in his role as coach of Belgium's existing elite mountain bike programme.
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed