Klaas Lodewyck will join BMC Racing Team as a directeur sportif for the 2018 season having spent the past two years as part of the management team on the now-defunct BMC Development Team, which operated at Continental level.
The 29-year-old Lodewyck has been a part of the BMC set-up since 2012. He spent four seasons as a rider with the WorldTour team but his career was interrupted when he underwent surgery for cardiac arrhythmia in 2014. Although Lodewyck returned to racing at the beginning of the 2015 season, he retired later that year and became a sports director with BMC Development Team.
"When an opening in our Sports Director team became available, Klaas Lodewyck was our first choice for a number of reasons," said team manager Jim Ochowicz. "He had been doing some great work with BMC Development Team and had also joined us for some races in the past two years where he showed us his skills as a Sports Director. Of course, as a former rider with BMC Racing Team, he is very familiar with the way the team operates and our staff and riders, many of whom he raced with."
Lodewyck's outings with the WorldTour team over the past two seasons included the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway, where he helped to guide Dylan Teuns to final overall victory. The Belgian's charges at Continental level included Girobio, Ronde de l'Isarde and Giro della Valle d'Aosta winner Pavel Sivakov, who has since signed for Team Sky.
"I am very happy to join BMC Racing Team as Sports Director as it is a dream come true after being forced to retire from racing. After becoming Sports Director with BMC Development Team my goal was to step up to a WorldTour team," Lodewyck said.
"I learned a lot in the past two years with the young riders, especially how to manage the riders, talk to them, and face and solve problems. This is something I had to learn because it is completely different as a rider. I think I did this well if you look at the results from the past two years."
Lodewyck joins Fabio Baldato, Valerio Piva, Maximilian Sciandri and Jackson Stewart on BMC Racing Team's roster of sports directors. BMC holds its first training camp ahead of the 2018 season in Denia in December.