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Confirmed: BMC Racing saved by Polish shoe brand CCC as Van Avermaet signs contract extension

Joe Robinson
16 Jul 2018

CCC come on as title sponsor while Van Avermaet decides to stay

BMC Racing will continue in the WorldTour under the new guise of CCC, the Polish footwear company that currently acts as main sponsor to ProContinental team CCC Sprandi Polkowice, it was confirmed today at the Tour de France rest day.

This agreement to become the new title sponsor means that current Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Greg Van Avermaet will continue with the team, signing a new three-year contract, taking the role of team leader.

Current BMC Racing team manager Jim Ochowicz will also continue in his role while CCC CEO Dariusz Milek becomes owner of the team.

This will see the Polish shoe company make its first jump up into cycling’s top sphere after 18 years of sponsorship.

Ochowicz was spotted with CCC CEO Dariusz Milek before yesterday’s Tour stage, even finding time to pose for photos with Van Avermaet.

In a press release, Milek commented on his excitement at the deal, saying, 'I am excited to see CCC partner with Continuum Sports and reach the highest level of cycling.

'We have been looking for an opportunity to join the WorldTour and this was the perfect chance to partner with a well established and respected team, with Greg Van Avermaet as team leader.'

Rumours had circulated that Olympic champion Van Avermaet would be moving to Bahrain-Merida as of 2019 but it is now confirmed he will stay.

As for Van Avermaet’s teammates Richie Porte, Tejay Van Garderen and Rohan Dennis, they are expected to leave the team for Trek-Segafredo, EF-Drapac and Bahrain-Merida respectively.

Whether Swiss bike brand BMC will continue its sponsorship is unknown with the team stating 'it is not expected to continue as bike supplier'. Rumours have circulated to suggest BMC will take on Dimension Data from 2019 with Cervelo moving across to Team Sunweb.

This means that Giant, Team Sunweb's current bike brand, will be without a professional team next season therefore a potential fit for the new CCC team.

In their distinctively orange kits, CCC has been a mainstay of the ProContinental circuit for almost two decades even racing the Giro d'Italia, most recently in 2017.

They are backed by Milek, who is reportedly worth over a one billion Euros, making him Poland’s fourth richest person.

However, despite Milek's personal wealth, whether CCC will match the big budget of BMC is unconfirmed. Currently, BMC operate on €29 million per year making them one of the wealthiest teams in professional cycling.

With a move to the WorldTour, it is also expected that CCC will promote several of its homegrown riders alongside staff too. As for the team's official name, that is yet to be confirmed.