Lelangue resigns as BMC sport director

The Belgian had been with the squad since it was formed in 2007

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John Lelangue, BMC Racing’s sport director since its inception in 2007, has resigned from his job with the squad a day after the Tour de France ended.

Lelangue’s decision to depart was due to personal reasons, according to the team.

The 42-year-old Belgian’s highlight with BMC was steering Cadel Evans to a Tour de France victory in 2011.

“We respect John Lelangue’s decision,” team president and general manager Jim Ochowicz said. “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.”

Behind the scenes, there have been rumors that BMC management was not happy with how riders have been under-performing — particularly at this year’s Tour, in which team leader Cadel Evans struggled and finished 1:30:14 behind winner Chris Froome (Sky).

The team’s No. 2 rider, Tejay van Garderen, ended up 1:38:57 behind Froome. BMC finished 12th in the teams classification despite having one of the biggest budgets in the peloton.

Further, Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert — who signed with BMC for the start of the 2012 season — have not turned in the quality of results that they did before joining the squad.

Lelangue started working with BMC owner Andy Rihs in 2005 when the latter ran the Phonak team. Lelangue was at the controls a year later when Floyd Landis won the Tour de France but was criticized when it was discovered that Landis had taken performance-enhancing drugs during the now defunct victory.

In 2010 when Landis publicly admitted to doping, the rider said Lelangue and Rihs knew about his use of PEDs and supported it.

Lelangue’s departure is effective immediately.

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