BMC Racing has confirmed that Valerio Piva will join the team as sport director in 2014. The Italian arrives after spending two seasons at Katusha and he fills the place vacated by John Lelangue’s departure from BMC’s management staff immediately after the Tour de France.
A vastly experienced directeur sportif, Piva will be reunited with his former HTC-Highroad colleague Allan Peiper, who is performance director at BMC, as well as former Highroad riders Tejay van Garderen and Marco Pinotti.
Piva said that his decision to swap Katusha for BMC is due in part to the fact that his new team’s future is secure, with backer Andy Rihs already having promised backing until the end of the 2016 campaign.
“For me, it is more interesting to have a long-term project," Piva said. "The last two years I worked for Katusha, where I had a very good experience and result. But I want to be in a team which has the same vision as me.
“In the BMC Racing Team, you also have very strong and very nice riders. I know a lot of these guys. For example, I worked with Tejay van Garderen at HTC. So for me, it's very exciting to work with a top team."
Although Bobby Julich, signed as a consultant by BMC in March, was recently confirmed as a full-time trainer, manager Jim Ochowicz told Cyclingnews last month that the team was still searching for a directeur sportif to replace the departed Lelangue. Last week Gazzetta dello Sport linked Piva with the vacant position and on Monday, Ochowicz confirmed the news on Monday.
“We are excited to have Valerio joining our group of directeurs sportifs for next season," Ochowicz said. "His many years in the sport will add another layer of expertise to the team that will be a direct benefit to our riders."