New Under 23 BMC Racing Team squad to begin in 2013
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Thursday, May 03, 2012

New Under 23 BMC Racing Team squad to begin in 2013

by VeloNation Press at 6:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Feeder team will give opportunities to young riders from USA, Switzerland and elsewhere

BMC Racing TeamIn a move which should strengthen both the BMC Racing team and the development of talented young riders from the U.S., Switzerland and other countries, a BMC Under-23 Racing Team will be set up prior to the 2013 season.

Team president and general manager Jim Ochowicz has announced the formation of the squad, which will be registered as an elite-level team with USA Cycling.

He said that it would help to cultivate the next wave to talent. "Having our own under-23 team will give us the chance to develop the next generation of riders for the BMC Racing Team," he explained. "It's an opportunity to seek out our own riders and gradually bring them to the top level via our own program, our own system and our own philosophy.

"This will be a U.S.-based team racing on the international calendar. It will primarily be made up of athletes from the United States and Switzerland, but we'll also include talented individuals from other nations.”

Team owner Andy Rihs has one of the biggest-budget teams in cycling, with his riders including Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, 2011 WorldTour champion Philippe Gilbert, former world champions Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan, plus young American talents such as Taylor Phinney and Tejay Van Garderen.

He recently extended his backing of the team until 2016, ensuring that it will be around for at least the next four and a half years.

Rihs believes the time is perfect to set up the new feeder programme. "I think we'll have a lot of interest from top young riders and they will have a nice chance to profit from a successful team. In the long term, we have to think about who's going to succeed some of our more veteran riders. This gives us a chance to teach them how we do things, how we work and eventually become a dependable rider for us."

According to chief executive officer Thomas Binggeli, the learning can be two-way. "I believe that it is essential for the sport of cycling to be supporting and cultivating young riders," he said. "At the same time, we can also benefit from their new and innovative ideas that may be implemented in our production processes."

The new setup will echo feeder squads with other WorldTour teams, such as Garmin Barracuda’s Chipotle First Solar, plus the Leopard Trek and Bontrager Livestrong setups which provide a talent pool for RadioShack Nissan.

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