Sciandri Declines Position With Italian Cycling Federation
Saying it was extremely difficult to turn down the “opportunity of a lifetime,” BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri has declined an offer to serve as national team coach for the Italian Cycling Federation.
Honored To Receive The Offer
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Sciandri’s decision Tuesday at the Giro d’Italia, where Sciandri is serving as one of the team’s two sport directors. “We understand how difficult this decision was for Max and we are glad he has chosen to remain a part of the BMC Racing Team family,” Ochowicz said. Sciandri said he was honored to have received the offer from the Federazione Ciclistica Italiana (FCI) to become “commisario tecnico,” responsible for selecting riders for events like the world championships and the Olympics and ensuring the country’s development of top riders. He would have succeeded Paolo Bettini, who was appointed to the role in 2010 following the death of Franco Ballerini. “This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make because it was so important to me and it’s such an important role for my home country,” Sciandri said. “I reached out and touched something that was pretty untouchable for me. But I didn’t grab it. I let it go. And that’s difficult. But it is only because I am working with a great team that has a tremendous program with a terrific bunch of riders, staff and managers. I am particularly grateful to Jim Ochowicz for allowing me to weigh my options.”
Unfinished Business To Complete
Sciandri’s 16-year professional racing career included stage wins at the Tour de France (1995) and the Giro d’Italia (1991, 1992, 1994) and a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. He has been with the BMC Racing Team since 2011. Sciandri said he met with Italian Cycling Federation president Renato Di Rocco in person before the Giro d’Italia last week to decline the offer. “It was a tremendous honor to be considered for the job but I told him my passion at the moment is to continue with the development of some of the young guys I am nurturing at the BMC Racing Team,” Sciandri said. “I think there’s a right time for everything. Unfortunately, the timing at the moment doesn’t fall into place with the projects I am already working on that I want to see through to completion.”