Directeur sportif John Lelangue leaves BMC Racing

After disastrous Tour, abrupt departure leads to speculation: did he fall; was he pushed?

by John Stevenson   July 22, 2013  

Jim Ochowicz and John Lelangue of BMC Racing (copyright cas_ks:Flickr)

In the first managerial casualty of the 100th Tour de France, the BMC Racing Team has announced that directeur sportif John Lalangue is to leave the team immediately for “personal reasons”.

By anyone’s standards, the BMC team had a disastrous Tour de France. The team’s top rider and the 2011 winner, Cadel Evans was expected to contend for the victory - or at least a podium place - this year, but finished 39th. American youngster Tejay van Garderen, Evans’ heir apparent, was further back in 45th and the team’s best-placed rider was unheralded Swiss rider Steve Morabito.

In a statement anouncing Lelangue’s departure., BMC Racing team owner and general manager Jim Ochowicz said: “We respect John Lelangue's decision. He will be pursuing other opportunities and challenges. We thank him for his contributions to the development of our team, and wish him the best in the future."

Did he jump...?

Twitter was immediately abuzz with speculation that Lelangue had been pushed, rather than having stepped out for some time on his own.

Veteran cycling journalist Daniel Friebe said: “Stories of managerial bickering were coming out of BMC all Tour. Now Lelangue has gone. Big changes needed there.”

Popular blogger The Inner Ring speculated that Lelangue, “got a big push on the way out. Rare to see managers replaced in cycling.”

John Lelaangue joined BMC Racing as a directeur sportif when the team was founded in 2007. For the previous two years he had been manager of the Phonak team, which he had joined after a spell working for Tour de France organiser ASO.

When he joined Phonak, the team had been plagued with doping positives and in a 2005 interview Lelangue said his job was to restore its image. That project came somewhat off the rails when Phonak rider Floyd Landis tested positive in July 2006 and was subsequently stripped of his Tour de France title.

Evans uncertain

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans is unsure about his future with BMC Racing. Despite securing the job of BMC’s designated rider for the overall title at the Tour when he came third at the Tour of Italy in May, Evans failed to shine at the Tour.

"I have to speak to the team and so on ... [about] what they want to work on,"  Evans told Rupert Guinness of the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The Tour de France is not something you can do on your own. We will see what they want to do and see if they are confident in me and so on.”

Evans’ contract with BMC Racing still has a year to run, but if the team has lost confidence in him, he may find himself sidelined.

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

BMC is proof that a huge budget alone is not sufficient to deliver results. You can't help but feel that a fairly laissez-faire attitude seems to pervade the management style. Apart from Tejay's overall in the Tour of California (but no individual stage win), wins this season have been very sporadic, something Gilbert is all too aware off...

posted by Metjas [288 posts]
22nd July 2013 - 16:08

8 Likes

A squad of too many chiefs not enough indians as a man once said. They've always seems to lack direction and focus in the GTs in particular. Those bloody bikes are ugly too.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [562 posts]
22nd July 2013 - 16:50

4 Likes

A distant rumour said that Uran was going to be their new GC rider ?

Same rumour had Quintana taking his place at Sky. After the tour i dont think he will want to move and will be quite happy at Movistar.

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2782 posts]
22nd July 2013 - 18:25

6 Likes

Uran to OPQS rumoured.

posted by Metjas [288 posts]
22nd July 2013 - 21:38

5 Likes