BMC Racing Team strengthens for 2011 with new signings
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BMC Racing Team strengthens for 2011 with new signings

by Shane Stokes at 7:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Van Avermaet, Quinziato, Tschopp and Moinard amongst six confirmed additions

Greg Van AvermaetContinuing to grow after some high profile signings last year, the BMC Racing Team has today announced the names of six more riders who will compete in its colours in 2011.

The confirmed signings are Paris-Nice King of the Mountains Amaël Moinard, Giro d’Italia stage winner Johan Tschopp, former Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde runner-up Manuel Quinziato, Italian national championship silver medallist Ivan Santaromita, Ronde de l’Isard victor Yannick Eijssen and Greg Van Avermaet, who won a stage plus the points classification in the 2008 Vuelta a España.

Directeur Sportif John Lelangue is certain that the signings will be a positive step for the team. “The talent we have acquired will be beneficial to our stage racing group, to our roster for the Grand Tours and to our team for the Classics," the Belgian said. "That's the reason we're representative all season and that's important to us.”

The new riders will join established professionals such as world champion Cadel Evans, his predecessor in the rainbow jersey, Alessandro Ballan, and US national champion George Hincapie. Lelangue sees them slotting into the lineup in logical positions. He pinpoints Moinard, Santaromita and Tschopp as stage race riders, Quinziato and Van Avermaet as likely Classics contenders, and Eijssen as an exciting talent for the future.

Van Avermaet is now 25 years of age and was once seen as a successor to Tom Boonen. He has had a slightly quiet couple of seasons, but is looking forward to getting back on track and to fulfilling his potential with the US team.

“The Classics are always very important races for a Belgian rider. I like the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race the most,” he said, explaining that he wanted to aim for more than the single-day events. “But I also want to be a rider who is not only strong for the Classics, but also in the Grand Tours.”

Moinard highlighted his talent in Paris-Nice, nabbing the final stage and the prize for best climber. He is 28 and yet believes that he will continue to progress, particularly with some high-achieving team-mates to help him learn. “Racing with great champions such as Cadel Evans, George Hincapie and Alessandro Ballan is a good opportunity for me to grow,” Moinard said. "I think I can be a good teammate in the difficult stage races or the Classics.”

The other four riders all made it clear that they were looking forward to starting with the team. BMC team president Jim Ochowicz said that they were signed for their abilities and also their character, knowing that a good fit is important.

"We wanted to find riders who could not only fill our needs, but also fit well within 'the family' that is the BMC Racing Team," he explained, adding that the team is still considering other signings.

One of those who is reportedly on the team’s wish-list is world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. The big Swiss rider still has a year left on his contract with Bjarne Riis’ Team Saxo Bank, yet said that he is considering offers from other teams. The promising US rider Taylor Phinney has also been linked to a possible move by the team, but BMC Racing played this down last night.

Wether or not either of those ultimately comes on board, today’s announcement of the six new signings shows that the team is continuing to grow and has some big aims for 2011.


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