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All eight riders who helped Cadel Evans win the Tour de France return to the BMC Racing Team for 2012. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
All eight riders who helped Cadel Evans win the Tour de France return to the BMC Racing Team for 2012. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

BMC Racing Team Announces 2012 Roster

14. December 2011

Santa Rosa, California

The 2012 edition of the BMC Racing Team is one built around being competitive in the team's major objectives, President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz and Directeur Sportif John Lelangue emphasized as the team's roster was announced.

Jim Ochowicz: A Stronger Team

The U.S.-registered BMC Racing Team begins its second season as a ProTeam with a 26-rider lineup that features defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and a veteran supporting cast, as well as a host of talented newcomers that includes world No. 1 ranked Philippe Gilbert. Ochowicz said the new riders further strengthen a squad that finished fifth in the UCI team standings. "We go into 2012 with an arsenal of riders who are competitive in any endeavor in professional cycling," Ochowicz said. "Our goals and objectives are realistic. We are not going to claim we will win this race or that race. But we should be competitive in every race we enter. That's what we want to do. If we win, then that's great, too." Ochowicz said each rider on the team has been carefully selected. "Our current roster is full of guys who are capable of either performing at a high level themselves or supporting someone else," Ochowicz said. "It also feels great to have Cadel so competitive and motivated to defend at the Tour and it's exciting to have the No. 1 rider in the world on the team. Philippe's 2011 season was spectacular and he's just as motivated looking at 2012."

John Lelangue: Two Primary Objectives
Lelangue said the BMC Racing Team has two objectives for the 2012 season: successful defense of Evans's Tour de France title and competitiveness in the classics. "First, we want to make sure that in July we have the strongest team there to defend the title," Lelangue said. "We have acquired riders who will be very strong teammates for Cadel who are classic-type riders. Our objective in the classics is to again take a proactive role. We want to go into each race with the objective that we can do something, and this year we have leaders able to animate the race. In the classics last year, we were present from the first moment to the last."

Cadel Evans: Looking Forward
Evans said being the Tour's defending champion will not change his approach to the season. In 2011, he won overall titles at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie while finishing runner-up at the Critérium du Dauphine in his lead-up to the three-week race. "As a team, we are looking forward and it's clear what our ambition is – to repeat our result at the Tour de France," he said. "We go in with an even better, stronger team. I'm looking forward to that challenge. I am preparing for another season and a big year and look forward to meeting up with my teammates next month at training camp. I'm excited to get racing with a few new teammates as well as reunite with my good teammates from last year."

Philippe Gilbert: No Pressure
Gilbert's remarkable performances in 2011 saw him win more than 15 races, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold and Clasica San Sebastian, as well as the Belgian national road and time trial titles. "I know it was incredible, but I had the support and confidence of a team – which I already have with the BMC Racing Team," he said. "I know that sometimes you can do your best and still come in second, third, fourth or fifth. But I'm ready for this. If I don't win, we as a team will still have done our best to win." Gilbert said the only pressure he feels is what he puts on himself. "I just try to restart after every season, whether it's a good, bad or just a lesser season," he said. "I always want to do my best. I don't think about winning. I always have the same motivation and goals whether I have won a race or not."

George Hincapie: Tour History Awaits
Surrounding Evans and Gilbert is a host of talent that includes past world road champions Thor Hushovd and Ballan, three-time U.S. national road champion George Hincapie, reigning Swiss national time trial champion Martin Kohler, and past national time trial champions Taylor Phinney and Marco Pinotti. Newcomers Stephen Cummings and Tejay Van Garderen will also figure heavily in the team's ambitions, along with Paris-Tours winner Van Avermaet. Hincapie begins his 19th professional season on the verge of making history. Already the only rider to be a part of nine Tour de France-winning teams, he can better the Tour's participation record by making his 17th start in Liège on June 30. "My career is a lot longer than I could have imagined," Hincapie said. "I've learned not to take anything for granted in the sport I love. That's probably why I've been able to do it so long."

Thor Hushovd: Eyeing Paris-Roubaix
Hushovd, the 2010 world road champion and multi-time Norwegian national road champion, said his focus will be on doing well at the classics before helping Evans at the Tour de France. "I want to do well at Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix," he said. "It's always been my dream to win Paris-Roubaix and now it's even bigger goal since I'm on such a strong team with a good supporting cast."

Taylor Phinney: Anxious To Contribute
Injuries kept Phinney out of the spring classics in 2011, but he rebounded to win the prologue of the Eneco Tour of Benelux and finish fifth in the Stage 10 individual time trial at the Vuelta a España. "I'm really looking forward to a solid year and am excited to ride with the new guys – especially Thor, Gilbert and my good friend, Tejay, whom I had as a teammate as a junior," Phinney said. "I made a few mistakes last year and had some injuries, but I'm hoping to be ready to go. I really want to show my stuff and prove my worth to the team this year."

Greg Van Avermaet: Enjoying Good Morale
Van Avermaet found his form in midseason, registering a dozen top five finishes that included overall victory at the Tour de Wallonie, a stage win at the Tour of Austria and runner-up placings (both to Gilbert) at the Clasica San Sebastian and the Tour of Belgium. "The classics part of the season will be very important for the team and me," Van Avermaet said. "It was a bit disappointing to not win in the beginning of the season, but my second half was good. It was nice to have a victory in Paris-Tours at the end of the year. It gave me a lot of morale for this season."

Tejay Van Garderen: Ready To Help
On the cusp of his third season as a professional, Van Garderen said he hopes to keep building on the success he enjoyed in 2011. Third overall at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, he also briefly wore the King of the Mountains jersey at the Tour de France and won the individual time trial at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. "I'm really excited to help out the team however I can," Van Garderen said. "Hopefully I'll get to help Gilbert out in the Ardennes classics and I want to make the team for the Tour to help out Cadel in the high mountains."

Alessandro Ballan: Race The Giro
Ballan, the BMC Racing Team's third former world road champion, said he aims to make his first Giro d'Italia start and be in top form for the spring classics. "On this team, we have many big riders like Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert who will have their own chances," he said. "No matter what, I would like to see a rider from the BMC Racing Team succeed. But I still want to perform at my best at the races I like, such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo."

Steve Morabito: Exciting New Teammates
A silver medalist in the Swiss national road race and a teammate of Evans's at the Tour, Steve Morabito said he hopes to follow the same program to success in 2012. "It's always exciting to have some new teammates who can bond with us," he said. "The BMC Racing Team is becoming a bigger team but it remains one big family. Last year, I focused on doing a good Tour de Romandie and Amgen Tour of California and on helping Cadel at the Dauphiné to be a part of the Tour de France team. If I can do that again next season, it will be a success."

2012 BMC Racing Team Roster:
Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Adam Blythe (GBR), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Cadel Evans (AUS), Mathias Frank (SUI), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), George Hincapie (USA), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Martin Kohler (SUI), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Steve Morabito (SUI), Taylor Phinney (USA), Marco Pinotti (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Tim Roe (AUS), Mauro Santambrogio (ITA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Johann Tschopp (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay Van Garderen (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

President/General Manager:
Jim Ochowicz (USA)

Andy Rihs (SUI)

Directeur Sportif:
John Lelangue (BEL)

Assistant Sports Directors:
Fabio Baldato (ITA)
Michael Sayers (USA)
Max Sciandri (ITA/GBR)
Rik Verbrugghe (BEL)