BMC Racing Team have announced the signings of reigning world champion Alessandro Ballan and George Hincapie for the 2010 season.
29-year-old Ballan, who makes the move from Lampre, said: “I am very happy to be coming to BMC because it has always seemed like a very good team. I will have new motivation working with them to accomplish my goals, races like Milan San Remo, Paris-Roubaix and the Belgian Classics.”
Meanwhile, recently-crowned US champion Hincapie expressed his keen interest in helping younger riders to develop: “I know a lot of the American racers on the team already and have seen how talented the young Swiss riders are, so I am very excited to help mentor the riders while also focusing on my major goals at the same time.”
Showing their burgeoning ambitions, with an eye to competing in future editions of the Tour de France, the squad have also added 2007 Gent-Wevelgem winner Marcus Burghardt (Team Columbia-HTC) and Classics contender Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank) to their new-look roster for next year.
Team co-owners Jim Ochowicz and Andy Rihs explained: “When we started with the idea of the BMC Racing Team, we had a plan which would one day elevate us to the highest level of professional racing. That day is today.”
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Swiss riders Steve Morabito, Michael Schär and Simon Zahner have also signed contracts with the squad.
The Swiss-American outfit have been bit-part players thus far, only dipping their toes into the continental racing pool this year with wild card entries for Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Romandie and the Dauphiné Libéré. However, with a revamped squad high on big-race pedigree and experience, it is likely that they will be considerably more of a force in 2010.