BMC Racing Team to continue through 2016
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Friday, April 20, 2012

BMC Racing Team to continue through 2016

by Ben Atkins at 11:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Swiss bike manufacturer commits to WorldTour team for four more years

bmc racing teamSwiss bike manufacture BMC has committed to sponsoring its eponymous WorldTour team for four more years, it announced today. The BMC Racing team - which began at the end of 2006 as a US-based Continental team, rising to Professional Continental level in 2008, and then taking on elite ProTeam status in 2011 - now has guaranteed existence through 2016.

“We are fortunate to have a partner like BMC Switzerland, which permits us to participate at the highest level of the sport,” said the BMC Racing Team’s president and general manager Jim Ochowicz. “We have enjoyed a terrific partnership and plan to continue to provide BMC Switzerland with a viable outlet to test and showcase its bicycles in all of the world's greatest races.”

Building steadily throughout its Continental and ProContinental years, the BMC Racing Team hit the big time in 2010, as it signed a number of big names, including American veteran George Hincapie, outgoing World champion Alessandro Ballan, and the new rainbow jersey in Cadel Evans.

The new stars assured its invitation to virtually all of the big races in the calendar, with Evans taking the biggest results with la Flèche Wallonne, and the epic Montalcino stage of the Giro d’Italia. The Australian also wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France for a day, but a fractured elbow saw him unable to live with the best as the race crossed the Alps.

cadel evans2011, the team’s first in the WorldTour, saw the team sign American prodigy Taylor Phinney, and enjoy even greater success with Evans becoming the first ever Australian to win the Tour.

“Our best marketing strategy is to have the best cycling team in the world,” said BMC owner Andy Rihs. “I always say we are not doing it out of fun. But we have a lot of fun doing it. It's mandatory to be that if you want to be a big, growing brand in the cycling world.”

For 2012 the team has made even more big-name signings, with another outgoing World champion in Thor Hushovd joining, along with Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert.

So far Gilbert has failed to match the results that he enjoyed in a phenomenal 2011 spring, but Ballan has delivered third places in both the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix, while Evans has won the Critérium International.

“We want to have a positive image transfer from the success of the BMC Racing Team to the bicycle brand BMC,” said Thomas Binggeli, CEO of BMC Switzerland. “We also want to grow awareness of the BMC brand so it's known worldwide as a Swiss bicycle manufacturing company. And we want to profit from the knowledge and experience from the world's best athletes to build the best bicycle of the world.”

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