'BMC is one of those teams that will be remembered': riders reminisce as US team closes

Riders applaud the team that kicked off careers and provided a valuable contribution to the WorldTour

BMC's team time trial at the Tour de Suisse. Image: Sunada
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

BMC Racing is closing out its team with one last grand tour in the 2018 Vuelta a España. The riders say it's a team that "will be remembered" well for its achievements over the past decade.

General manager Jim Ochowicz was only able to save the team by merging with professional continental team CCC Sprandi for 2019. Many of the riders and staff have already found jobs elsewhere, effectively ending the formation that began in 2007.

"This is one of those teams that will be remembered," said Nicolas Roche, who rode for teams Sky and Saxo Bank in the last few years, before signing with BMC in 2017. He'll move on to Sunweb next year. 

"It's always been a big team. Even in the first years the BMC team was always decent, it was never a small team but one full of big champions, world champion titles, challenging in the Tour and then winning that plus a lot of other races.

"It's a big team with a lot of victories. I think it'll be remembered for its consistency over the last 10 years."

BMC bikes has announced the end of its sponsorship, which began 12 years ago, when the outfit set out as a continental team.

After signing Cadel Evans for the 2010 season, it raced on a wildcard invitation in the Tour de France where Evans wore the yellow jersey. In 2011, as a WorldTour team, the Australian cyclist led the team to Tour victory.

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet carried the red and black colours well in the last few years. The winner of the 2017 Paris-Roubaix and Olympic champion on the road held the Tour's yellow jersey when the team announced the merger in July.

Van Avermaet agreed to a three-year deal. The team will race in orange and under the name CCC. Roche, Tejay van Garderen, Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis, Dylan Teuns and other stars are leaving.

"They are still going on but with a different name and a big change in the team," Teuns said.

"It's an incredible team if you see what they have achieved in the last 10 years. I owe a lot to this team, for me it was a perfect kick off to my career.

"I've been very grateful for the opportunities I've had at this team, grateful to Jim and all the management. I've been feeling very good in this team and that's why I stayed here for years, but I made my decision to join Bahrain-Merida before he could announce there was a new title sponsor coming in."

The Belgian rode for BMC as a stagiaire and then joined full-time in 2015. American time trail champion Joey Rosskopf also joined in 2015 from the Hincapie Sportswear development team. Ochowicz will still have the big motor pulling along his new CCC team in 2019.

"It'll be a whole new look next year," Rosskopf said.

"I have learned almost everything that I needed to be a professional in this team.

"I had a good start with the Hincapie team but I've learned so much from the riders and the staff here in the last three or four years. I would not have been able to do all the things I'm doing now without a team like this."

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