Cadel Evans has signed a three-year contract with the US-based BMC Racing Team after the announcement was made last week that he is leaving Silence-Lotto.
Road world champion Evans will join the Professional Continental BMC team from the start of the 2010 season, joining fellow new recruits George Hincapie, Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon.
The 32-year-old Australian has one aim for 2010 and beyond – to win a Grand Tour. Evans was second overall in the 2007 and 2008 Tour de France, and has often aired dissatisfaction at the lack of race support he got at Silence-Lotto.
“A great opportunity has come for me to join a growing team of like-minded individuals at BMC,” said Evans
“I look forward to working with the BMC group toward the same goals including the Tour de France. I see the BMC Racing Team as a growing but very well structured and organised team.”
BMC will have to rely on the presence of Evans and other big-hitters in its roster to get entry into the major races, including the Tour de France – just as the Cervelo Test Team did this season. BMC has its eye on gaining a ProTour licence in 2011.
“Cadel brings a wealth of experience in the Grand Tours to the team,” BMC Racing Team co-owner Jim Ochowicz said in a statement issued on Monday.
“Our team will have multiple chances to measure ourselves against the greatest teams in the world. We are pleased that we will have the opportunities to send out our most successful riders, now including Cadel Evans, to tackle these challenges.”
The BMC Racing Team is registered in the US, but is sponsored by Swiss bicycle manufacturer BMC. BMC is owned by Andy Rihs, who was behind the Phonak squad which disbanded after Floyd Landis won the 2006 Tour de France, only to have the title stripped due to failing a drug test.
Ochowicz is the man behind the successful US 7-Eleven and Motorola squads of the 1980s and ’90s, which served as a nurturing ground for Lance Armstrong, who would go on to win the Tour de France seven times. With Evans on board, Ochowicz will now be in the position of creating one of the biggest rivals to Armstrong’s RadioShack team at the 2010 Tour.
Evans to leave Silence-Lotto