WorldTour team BMC Racing will be around for longer than 2016 with the Swiss bike company deciding on Thursday to put more money in to continue in 2017 and beyond.
BMC is reported to be one of cycling’s biggest budget teams along with Sky, Katusha and Astana.
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Sky’s budget is estimated at £24 million. The US-registered Swiss team is secret about its budget, which should be lower but in the same ballpark as Katusha and Astana. The team would also not say the number of years that owner Andy Rihs agreed to continue.
The good news – especially given Oleg Tinkov is quitting – is that Rihs decided to continue the team with stars Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis and Tejay van Garderen.
Dennis, after holding the Hour Record, won the opening stage of the Tour de France this July and wore the yellow jersey for one year. Van Garderen twice placed fifth overall. And Porte joined BMC after helping Sky’s Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome to their Tour wins.
Team general manager Jim Ochowicz needs the funding to keep the top team where it is. He now has the green light to continue and the backing to do so.
“We have always been thinking long term with our program throughout the years as we continue to develop our organization,” Ochowicz said in a press statement from the team’s training camp in Spain. “We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to the future.
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“The goals for 2016 are on four fronts. The first is that we want to be in the top three on the WorldTour team rankings at the end of the season because that reflects consistent performances in all of the WorldTour races.
“We are a team that focuses on the Classics so we would like to win a Classic. We would also like to, with one of our two GC riders (van Garderen and Porte), win the Tour de France and our fourth goal is to defend our past two years’ Team Time Trial title at the World Championships.”
BMC won the worlds team time trial in Ponferrada, Spain in 2014, and Richmond, USA this year ahead of Etixx – QuickStep.
This next season will be the 10th for BMC, which began as a US continental team. It became Professional Continental, signed Cadel Evans in 2010 and, after joining the WorldTour ranks, won the Tour de France in 2011.
“We are always thinking long term with this programme,” Ochowicz added. “We are [set] for the years ahead. Announcing this is an objective to keep this programme going. We can continue our project for the foreseeable future.”
“The BMC brand is very successful,” said Rihs. “We have good results, a top team, and the transfer of the brand into the market is extremely welcome by big international friendship with Facebook and Twitter followers. We continue to make our bicycles, it’s the best way to promote cycling
“We think we are one of the top organisation, we built it over the last six to seven years. We don’t want to give it up. We are going to try to win the Tour, the Vuelta, and the classics. We are trying, and that makes it exciting for everybody.”