Rock Racing Hires Pevenage and LaPage to Director Positions
Rock Racing is adding an experienced management structure to its already powerful roster by announcing the hiring of Director Sportif Rudy Pevanage and Assistant Director Laurenzo LaPage.
“Without a doubt, we have two of the most experienced director sportifs that cycling has produced in the last 20 years,” Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball said. “Rudy built a dynasty with the powerful Telekom and T-Mobile teams, while Laurenzo comes to us from Astana, a team that has won three of the past five Grand Tours.”
Pevanage and LaPage are part of an elite group of Belgians who have been successful in management in professional cycling. Joining them on that list are current Astana Director Sportifs Johan Bruyneel and Dirk Demol and former Astana Director Walter Godefroot.
“With these two heading up our team, Rock Racing will have the infrastructure to compete against the very best,” Ball said. “The caliber of riders on the bike will be matched by brilliant leadership behind the scenes.”
Pevanage, 54, followed a successful cycling career of his own with a management career that included stints with Histor (1989), Telekom/T-Mobile (1994-2002) and Coast/Bianchi (2003). He guided Jan Ullrich to victory at the 1997 Tour de France victory and three of his charges swept the podium at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia: Ullrich (gold), Alexander Vinokourov (silver), Andreas Klöden (bronze).
During his own cycling career from 1976 to 1988, Pevenage won more than two dozen races, including the second stage of the Tour de France in 1980 (on the way to winning the points classification) as well as the team time trial stage of the Giro d’Italia in 1985.
LaPage, 42, helped direct Italian Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) to victory at the 2005 Giro d’Italia and he was also part of the Discovery Channel staff when Lance Armstrong won his fifth (2003) and sixth (2004) Tours de France. LaPage raced professionally from 1989 to 2002.
Ball said while Rock Racing fans can expect the team’s familiar flamboyant approach in 2009, there will be some changes that are not so noticeable – including a more comprehensive internal anti-doping program.
“We are spending more money this year to hire the best riders and the best staff that go along with being one of the top professional cycling teams in the world,” he said. “We are also investing a lot of time, energy and money in 2009 on increased anti-doping measures through Scott Analytics.”
According to the team itself, Rock Racing is the only U.S.-based professional team that has had an internal anti-doping program in place – uninterrupted – since April. The team’s testing program was developed by respected anti-doping researcher and Scott Analytics Founder and President Paul Scott, who also served as Director of Clients at the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory and Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Agency for Cycling Ethics, Inc.
The other domestic teams that had internal testing programs in place (Columbia, Garmin-Chipotle, BMC) are having to hire new companies to perform their testing, as the company they employed last year went out of business.