The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project has announced that it has recruited the Italian Adriano Baffi as its latest Sports Director. Baffi joins from Team Astana, where he has worked since 2007, and previously was at Phonak when Floyd Landis won the 2006 Tour de France only to be subsequently stripped of the title.
In a long professional career, in which he rode for teams including Mercatone Uno and US Postal Service and also had two spells at Mapei, Baffi won five stages of the Giro d’Italia and one in the Vuelta, but despite racing in the Tour de France on three occasions, the Grand Tour hat-trick eluded him. He was also an accomplished track rider, with a string of six-day victories and Italian national titles to his name.
General Manager Bryan Nygaard said that Baffi’s experience was a key motivation behind his signing, explaining: “From his days as a rider, Adriano proved himself to be one of the great tacticians.
“And since he also worked successfully as a Sports Director on some of the biggest teams in the sport, I have no doubt that he will bring a lot to our program. For me, he really completes the picture of a great team of sports directors working for this team: A very reliable person with a wealth of experience and the motivation to bring something new to the sport.”
The 48-year-old Baffi joins Luca Guercilena, Torsten Schmidt, and Lars Michaelsen as the team’s Sports Directors, and Nygaard added: “Adriano is a master motivator and will be able to collaborate with the riders and his fellow Sports Directors to develop a seriously effective racing strategy.”
For his part, Baffi is relishing the prospect of working alongside a roster of riders that includes the Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara, saying: “I have worked
in cycling for so many years that I feel I can really bring a lot of my experiences to
help the team.
“When Bryan approached me saying that the team needed one more Sports Director, and wondered whether I would be interested, I was very pleased. It is an amazing group of people and a perfect way for me to find fresh motivations while, after all these years, still learning new things from my new colleagues.”
Team Manager Kim Andersen also highlighted the knowledge that Baffi will bring to the team as a result of his long career as a rider and sports director, commenting: “You just can’t buy the type of expertise Adriano can offer our team; he has worked long and hard in the sport, and will certainly add a great deal to our core knowledge.
“Adriano has the respect of the cyclists and all his colleagues, and we will be a much richer team because of his presence,” he concluded.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.