The title explains why things now run different under BMC’s Allan Peiper: Performance manager.
What’s clear is that Peiper will expect and demand better performances from his riders than John Lelangue, who resigned (or was forced out) after this year’s Tour de France.
Peiper is setting the race schedules and raising the bar. He’s already gone on record detailing how many races he’s like to win versus last season’s underwhelming tally. He’s set young Tejay van Garderen up with all all-French race program in an effort to provide a more hardcore build toward the Tour de France. The Tour of California just isn’t hard enough or French enough.
Peiper is also pushing his aging star Cadel Evans for one last run at a grand tour — the 2014 Giro d’Italia. In the media, he’s boosting Evan’s confidence, flattering his abilities and letting the cycling world know Peiper thinks Evans can even win the Giro.
Expectations, raising the bar, cracking the whip, serving notice — Peiper has come in with a more aggressive agenda than the more laid-back Lelangue. It would also appear that while team owner Andy Rihs has deep pockets and a fair amount of patience, that patience has run out. Time to win the Tour de France, not dominate the Tour of Poland.
Peiper has also shown he’s not afraid to tell superstar Philippe Gilbert to get his act together. In fact, Peiper was quoted as saying the Belgian is “old school” and didn’t even use a trainer. That was a shock for Twisted Spoke — think how good Gilbert could be with actual Sky-level coaching! Evidently, Peiper thinks the same and he’s served Gilbert notice that he expects better performances and bigger wins in the coming season. We have to speculate that perhaps Lelangue wasn’t capable of getting in Gilbert’s face and demanding some changes.
Nobody gets a free ride at BMC anymore — Peiper has let The Kid know if he wants to make the Tour roster he better up his game in the TT and perform at a more consistent level. Taylor Phinney is gonna have to play the game — and his race schedule — by Peiper’s rules.
All this spells good news for a squad that has underperformed for a few years despite a heft budget and a strong roster.
Allan Peiper, the new Dom has taken over.