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BMC Racing owner Andy Rihs dies aged 75

Joe Robinson
19 Apr 2018

Team owner passes away in hospital in Zurich surrounded by family

BMC Racing owner and Swiss entrepreneur Andy Rihs has died at the age of 75. The team announced that Rihs had passed after a 'patient and valiantly endured illness'.

The team owner died on Wednesday surrounded by family at the Susenberg clinic in Zurich, Switzerland. 

In a statement from the BMC team, tributes were paid to Rihs' love of cycling.

'Andy was not only an owner and main sponsor of BMC Racing Team, but also a friend who enjoyed life and loved sharing that joy. With him, an exemplary visionary, an avid sports fan, a passionate cyclist, and a great supporter of sport has left us,' read the statement.

'His generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh have shaped the man that has been by our side since the beginning of BMC Racing Team. Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his value.'

Rihs' first involvement in cycling came in 2000 when he invested money from his hearing aid company Phonak into building the professional cycling team of the same name. It was also in 2000 that Rihs took control of BMC bikes.

Phonak then grew as a team over the next six year with it reaching its pinnacle with victory at the 2006 Tour de France with Floyd Landis. However just four days later, the American was stripped of the title after failing a drug test. 

This loss was then reconciled in 2011 when Rihs' BMC Racing Team took yellow at the Tour through veteran Australian Cadel Evans. 

Beyond cycling, Rihs was a major financier of the Bern-based Young Boys football team who currently sit top of the Swiss Super League first division with six games reamaining.

Cyclist extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Andy Rihs and all those at the BMC Racing Team.