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The world champion was well guarded. Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Wyss accompany their leader in the field. (Photo by Georges Luechinger BMC Racing Team Media Service)
The world champion was well guarded. Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Wyss accompany their leader in the field. (Photo by Georges Luechinger BMC Racing Team Media Service)

BMC Racing Team's frenetic reception

17. January 2010

Adelaide

Two days before the start of the first ProTour race of the new season, the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, the teams took part in the official team presentation on Sunday in front of thousands of fans. 

Standing together along with the current World Champion and current US National Road Race Champion, the BMC Racing Team felt for the first time what it means to have such a quality line-up.  The "Red Devils" surrounding Cadel Evans and George Hincapie received the loudest ovation of any team present.  It was consequently no surprise that the first ever Australian World Road Racing Champion was equally enthusiastic: "I am extremely proud to wear and present the rainbow jersey together with the BMC Racing Team here in Australia," Evans proclaimed. 

"Big George" best placed BMC rider
After the massive opening greeting came the first toe-dip in the competitive waters for the year.  The Cancer Council Helpline Classics, which is a criterium of 51 kilometers helped the riders blow off some steam and blow the cobwebs out of the legs.  In front of an impressively large crowd of over 100,000 spectators, the New Zeelander Gregory Henderson of Team Sky snatched the first victory of the year for himself.   Finishing in 15th place, George Hincapie was the best-placed BMC rider.  Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was pleased with how the first event of the year played out for the team, "The principle goal of the evening was to get all our riders to the finish line safely and without incident.  Cadel was always protected with one or two riders, so we have succeeded in our day’s goal."