BMC Racing Team reveals Tour de France roster centered around Evans
Team BMC Racing will take part in the 2013 Tour de France with the sole ambition of securing a second Tour de France champion title for former World Champion Cadel Evans. Experienced line-up formed to help the team meet its goal.
The nine Team BMC Racing riders who will take the start in Corsica on June 29 include six who were a part of the BMC Racing Team's squad when Evans won the Tour de France in 2011: Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito, Manuel Quinziato and Michael Schär. Joining them will be reigning world road champion Philippe Gilbert and last year's Tour de France best young rider and Amgen Tour of California winner Tejay van Garderen.
BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said choosing the final roster was the culmination of a nearly year-long process.
"Selection starts the day after the previous Tour in regards to evaluation, and we take into final consideration the course design and performance and health issues leading up to this point," Ochowicz explained and elaborated "The evaluation of that information was used to select nine athletes and three alternates, who equally earn a right to take the start. But for any one of several of the selection criteria, they (the alternates) just didn't get there." Alternates for the Tour squad are Mathias Frank, Thor Hushovd and Dominik Nerz.
Evans will start his ninth Tour de France coming off a third-place finish at the Giro d'Italia last month. "My recovery and training has progressed well this time as we attempt the 'Giro-Tour double," Evans said. "When I look back at our 2010 attempt, I feel a lot better this time around."
Evans explained he thinks the team assembled around him is even stronger than the 2011 squad. "I am happy to have my three 'guardian angels' – Quinziato, Burghardt and Schär – around me, plus Brent, Amaël and Steve from our successful 2011 team. And with Tejay coming into the mix, we are a lot stronger in the mountains than in past years."
When he last raced both the Giro and the Tour as the reigning world road champion in 2010, Evans finished fifth at the Giro despite suffering from illness and wore the yellow jersey for one day at the Tour before breaking his elbow and finishing 25th. "It will be crucial to be consistent everywhere. In the flat stages and time trials, etc.," he said and added "The climbs will be particularly important this year. Avoiding bad luck is always key as well."
BMC Racing Team Sports Director John Lelangue said the six returning riders form a solid foundation for Evans's battle for the Tour de France victory.
"We have a really strong team and can go to Corsica with a lot of confidence with this team of experienced guys," he explained adding "They are all in good shape and focused on a sole objective. They also have been working well together in one-week races this year, so they know how it is to work for a leader."
Assistant Director Fabio Baldato, who directed Evans at the Giro d'Italia in which Evans finished 3rd overall, said Evans showed in the Giro that he is still always attentive to the little things that can make the difference over three weeks in the same way