At North America's only Pro Continental team spring is in the air. Three years after its founding, the American-Swiss team is laying the ground work necessary to set and achieve even more ambitious goals. This latest development is being accompanied by two experienced insiders, Rihs and Ochowicz who will be taking an active role in the progress. Together they will take a controlling stake in the team's parent company, Continuum Sports. Previous team owners Gavin Chilcott and Charlie Livermore will remain active partners in the company.
The direction this ambition will lead the BMC Racing Team is clear. "Our goal has been redefined during the last year. We now seek to earn our place, as a team, within the top tier of professional teams. This goal encompasses the sporting aspects, the technology, the support and materials. We are also working hard to both broaden and strengthen the organization that operates the team, Continuum Sports," explained Gavin Chilcott who will remain the General Manager of the team with the new ownership structure. This restructuring represents the beginning of a new era for the former professional racer and his team. "Qualitatively, the 2009 program represents the year with the most advancement of the organization overall. We are now at the point where the story of this team will take off," Chilcott is convinced. "This is an exciting time for the BMC Racing Team."
Each race treated as if it is the last of the season
Though Gavin Chilcott as General Manager ensures the smooth running and coordination of the complex administrative background, it is John Lelangue, in his second year as Directeur Sportif for the team, who has the final say in all things on the sporting side of the team. "We will consistently continue to work on our sporting development, and in the process we want and indeed must improve constantly. Not only do we want to confirm the good results we earned last year, but we want to figure more prominently at the end of each race and be sure always to place a rider in the top 10." Lelangue is convinced that the team can achieve these elevated goals. And he knows how they can do it. "The most important goal is to respect the rules and ethics of the sport and to ride each race as if it is the last of the season."
The ultimate goal: a place in the Tour de France
It is through excellent sporting results and the display of consistently high team performances that a team earns a good name for itself with the organizers of any event. This will be the defining mantra for the 2009 BMC Racing Team. "The most important thing for me is that the team achieves its sporting goals cleanly and offers young talented racers the chance to learn how to become internationally successful professional cyclists. This being said, of course the team will also function as a very effective international marketing tool for BMC," believes Andy Rihs. In addition to this, the cycling visionaries, Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz have made it their goal to see the team participate in the 2011 Tour de France. Neither investor, both passionate advocates of cycling, have any illusions about how much work still needs to be done before then. Ochowicz who found a great deal of success as owner and Directeur Sportif of the 7-Eleven and Motorola cycling teams, is realistic
and forward thinking at the same time. "We have an ideal mix of experienced and young professionals, of sprinters and climbing specialists, of all-rounders and rouleurs. We will also focus on our U23 project to make our contribution to nurturing the talent of the future providing them with the possibility to grow into a professional team that provides a longer term opportunity for success. In any case, BMC supplies us with the best materials and the highest quality service available anywhere."
New partners to be available at ATOC
Since both Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz will be present during the first stages of the Tour of California, they will make happy use of the opportunity to speak jointly to the media. In particular, the new partners will be available to speak with journalists at the start of the Stage 1 which begins in Davis, CA. They will be available by the BMC team cars to discuss further the goals and plans the team has for 2009 and beyond.