Riders from Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland are among the six joining the BMC Racing Team that already includes current world road champion Cadel Evans, U.S. national road champion George Hincapie and past world road champion Alessandro Ballan.
Stronger Team For 2011. The new riders signing on with the BMC Racing Team are Belgians Yannick Eijssen and Greg Van Avermaet, Italians Manuel Quinziato and Ivan Santaromita, Frenchman Amaël Moinard and Swiss Johann Tschopp. The acquisitions will strengthen the U.S.-based team that led the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in its first Grand Tour appearances and won Flèche Wallonne. “We wanted to find riders who could not only fill our needs, but also fit well within ‘the family’ that is the BMC Racing Team,” President Jim Ochowicz said. The BMC Racing Team is still evaluating talent and considering future signings, Ochowicz said.
All-Around Talents. Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Moinard, Santaromita and Tschopp will strengthen the BMC Racing Team’s stage racing roster, while Eijssen is a promising young climber who will be nurtured along gradually. Quinziato and Van Avermaet will mix nicely with the team’s established classics team of Hincapie, Ballan, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon, Lelangue said. “The talent we have acquired will be beneficial to our stage racing group, to our roster for the Grand Tours and to our team for the Classics,” Lelangue said. “That’s the reason we’re representative all season and that’s important to us.”
New Rider Bio Capsules:
Yannick Eijssen (BEL). The 21-year-old is a promising climber who won four races this year – including becoming the first Belgian to win the Under 23 Ronde de l’Isard – and was runner-up at the Under 23 national road championships. “I want to be a good support rider for our leaders and hope I can measure my performances with the team’s other climbing specialists,” he said.
Amaël Moinard (FRA). King of the Mountains and winner of the final stage at Paris-Nice this year, the 28-year-old has spent all six of his professional seasons with the French Cofidis squad. “Racing with great champions such as Cadel Evans, George Hincapie and Alessandro Ballan is a good opportunity for me to grow,” Moinard said. “I think I can be a good teammate in the difficult stage races or the Classics.”
Manuel Quinziato (ITA). The 30-year-old Classics specialist is a runner-up at KBC Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (2008) and has ridden for Liquigas (2006-2010), Saunier Duval-Prodir (2005) and Lampre (2002-2004). “I believe that the BMC Racing team is the team of the future,” Quinziato said. “They think modern and are technically advanced about materials and training. I think it’s the best place for me to keep growing as a rider.”
Ivan Santaromita (ITA). Runner-up in the Italian road national championships and winner of Settimana Coppi e Bartali, the 26-year-old comes to the BMC Racing Team from Liquigas-Doimo (2008-2010) and Quick Step (2005-2007). “I chose the BMC Racing Team because it is an outstanding team with great riders where I can continue my professional growth with new opportunities and the chance to also pursue my personal ambitions,” Santaromita said.
Johann Tschopp (SUI). Winner of Stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia over the Gavia pass, the 28-year-old has ridden for BBox-Bouygues Telecom (2007-2010) and Phonak Hearing Systems (2004-2006). “I hope to help the BMC Racing Team in the mountains,” Tschopp said. “I’m also happy to be back in the ‘Andy Rihs family,’ where I started my career. It’s exciting to be with a team with a Swiss sponsor that is so international in nature.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL). The 25-year-old sprint specialist spent the past four seasons with the Omega Pharma-Lotto organization – riding with Cadel Evans – and won a stage of the Vuelta a España and the points classification in 2008. “The Classics are always very important races for a Belgian rider,” Van Avermaet said. “I like the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race the most. But I also want to be a rider who is not only strong for the Classics, but also in the Grand Tours.”