Dimension Data will ride BMC bikes from the 2019 season after the Swiss brand agreed a three-year deal to replace Cervélo as bike sponsor of the South African team.
The deal comes after BMC withdrew its support for the BMC Racing team, leaving the team with months of uncertainty as team manager Jim Ochowicz searched for a replacement sponsor.
Dimension Data have ridden Cervélo bikes since 2015, when the team was known as MTN-Qhubeka, during which time they have made the step up to WorldTour level and won six stages of the Tour de France.
In April BMC mourned the death of owner and long-time investor in cycling Andy Rihs, with the company saying that they would be trying to continue Rihs’ legacy through the partnership with the Dimension Data team.
“We are very thankful to Continuum Sports [the company behing the BMC Racing team] and all the riders for the success we have achieved together as the ‘BMC Racing Team,” said BMC CEO David Zurcher.
“BMC’s DNA is racing; this was driving Andy and is driving us today. We want to ensure Andy’s legacy and that of BMC continues in a sustainable and progressive manner, in line with today’s demands.
“Joining Team Dimension Data is much greater than purely ‘racing’, we will bring our credibility, building the fastest bikes in the world and combine our visions, being stronger together.”
The deal is thought to be the first of a few in a rotation of bike sponsors between the WorldTour teams ahead of the 2019 season.
With Cervélo being replaced by BMC as Dimension Data’s bike sponsor, the Canadian manufacturer is expected to join up with Team Sunweb for next season, with the team becoming Sunweb-Cervélo.
That will mean Giant, the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer, needing to find a new home at the top level of the sport, with a deal expected to be announced with the team that is currently known as BMC Racing, but which will continue to exist in a new guise from 2019 after having its survival confirmed through a merger with the Polish CCC Sprandi Polkowice team.