BMC Racing Team rewards Evans' support riders at Tour with new contracts
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

BMC Racing Team rewards Evans' support riders at Tour with new contracts

by Shane Stokes at 4:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Five from Tour team get extensions, two others also re-signed

Brent BookwalterFollowing Tour de France champion Cadel Evans’ decision to extend his contract with the BMC Racing Team, the squad has decided to prolong its relationship with five others who competed in this year’s Tour.

The quintet helped the Australian win the race, and have been rewarded with new deals. BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz lauded the efforts of the American rider Brent Bookwalter (pictured), the German Marcus Burghardt, the Italian Manuel Quinziato and the Swiss duo Steve Morabito and Michael Schär.

“These riders performed brilliantly throughout the 2011 season and played a major role in Cadel's victory at this year’s Tour de France,” he said, recognising their contribution. “We look forward to their continued dedication and performance within the BMC Racing Team family.”

In the past Evans felt that he didn’t receive full support from the other teams he was with, and indeed the chance to work with a team built around him led him to break his contract with Silence Lotto after he won the world championships in 2009. He left the team a year early and instead began working with Ochowicz, directeur sportif John Lelangue and the others at the BMC Racing Team, who assured him that he would be the only leader in his targeted events.

That relationship has worked far better than most anticipated, and Evans became the oldest Tour de France winner in decades last month when he won cycling’s biggest event.

Next year the team will expand with the signature of riders such as Thor Hushovd and possibly Philippe Gilbert, but there is also an emphasis on keeping things as they are with regards to many of the riders. With that in mind, two riders who were not part of the Tour team are also continuing; these are the Swiss time trial champion Martin Kohler and bronze medallist Mathias Frank.

“They have both played a key role in the team's successes,” said Ochowicz about their re-signing for 2012. “As young riders, they continue to show improvement each year in their physical abilities and race experience.”

Further details about signings for 2012 will be announced in time.

Evans is currently in the United States, where he will line out in the new USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Monday.

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