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BMC Racing: Make or break time for the squad following the death of long-time backer

Joseph Delves
13 Jun 2018

Future of the BMC pro-team appears in doubt as hunt for new title sponsor continues

Despite having a favourite for the Tour de France in the form of Richie Porte, and currently providing a home to pre-eminent Classics rider Greg Van Avermaet, the future of BMC Racing reamains in doubt. The news comes after the BMC bike brand announced an end to its sponsorship of the team at the close of the season.

The move follows the death of long-term backer Andy Rihs earlier this year. The Swiss entrepreneur was the owner of bicycle manufacturer BMC, as well as the BMC Racing team.

Having founded the squad along with current manager Jim Ochowicz, Rhis was long happy to run the team more for love than money.

His sad death has left the squad without a significant backer and Ochowicz in a difficult position.

Previously, multinational accountancy firm Deloitte had been rumoured to be stepping in as a title sponsor, although that deal now appears to have fallen through.

With the squad’s troubles being well-known, several of its top riders including Porte, Van Avermaet and Rohan Dennis have been linked to other teams.

If the situation remains unresolved ahead of the UCI opening its transfer window on 1st August, the team can expect a mass exodus of riders.

In an interview with the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Ochowicz admitted that whatever happens, he’s likely to lose several of his riders.

Yet having managed both professional and Olympic teams since 1981 he remains pragmatic about being able to carry on with the team.

'At this moment I would not be able to make a team because I have no money…' he said.

'I realise that I could lose a number of riders, but that would be the case if I had a budget, because there are a lot of riders at the end of contract.

'However, I also know that every year some big names only sign with a team in December.'

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