World champion Thor Hushovd signs three year deal with BMC Racing Team
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

World champion Thor Hushovd signs three year deal with BMC Racing Team

by VeloNation Press at 1:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Paris-Roubaix named as big objective

Thor HushovdConfirming speculation which started prior to the Tour de France, the BMC Racing Team has announced that it has signed world road race champion Thor Hushovd to compete from 2012 onwards.

The Norwegian rider, who took two stage wins in the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for a week, will leave the Garmin-Cervélo team after one season in its ranks, and transfer across to the squad of Tour champion Cadel Evans.

“It's a serious team where it looks like everything is well-organized," Hushovd said. “There's a plan put together for the riders for all the big and important races. Everyone knows what to do. That's a good thing.”

He made it clear that he has one major target in mind, and believes that he will be in the best place to chase that objective. “My biggest goal is still to win Paris-Roubaix. The BMC Racing Team has good riders to support me or for me to help someone else on the team win.”

Hushovd was thought to have been frustrated by the Garmin-Cervélo team’s backing of Johan Vansummeren in this year’s edition of the race, who was given protected status when it became clear that he was in a position to win. The Belgian duly did so, taking the biggest one day success in the team’s history.

The Norwegian had said beforehand that his big ambition was to win the race in the rainbow jersey. However, even had he been given a green light to ride his own race in the finale, it is debatable whether he would have been able to beat Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss Leopard Trek rider attacked inside the final ten kilometres and succeeded in shedding the others in the chase group, showing that he was the strongest of those behind.

From that point of view, it’s hard to fault Garmin-Cervélo’s tactics. Nevertheless, Hushovd wants a team based around him in next year’s race.

He was also required to back Tyler Farrar at several points of the season, including in the Tour’s sprint stages; Hushovd himself has admitted that he doesn’t have the same speed in a flat gallop as he did in the past, and Garmin-Cervélo’s tactic of targeting the lumpier stages with him worked out well. Still, the chance to have a clearer leadership role on the Tour’s flat and intermediate days may well have been a factor in his decision.

Hushovd will become the third consecutive world champion to sign up to the squad. It previously signed 2008 champion Alessandro Ballan, 2009 victor Evans and now takes the Norwegian on board. Evans will remain the team’s big captain in the Tour, but the characteristics of Hushovd will mean that there will be little overlap between the two.

"Thor brings a lot of qualities to us and complements other riders on the team in races like the Spring Classics and the Grand Tours,” said BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz. “We're very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond.”


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