Strong Supporting Cast
The nine 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 President/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 said. “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.
Doing The Giro-Tour Double
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,’ ” he said. “When I look back at our 2010 attempt, I feel a lot better this time around.” Evans said 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: on the flat stages and time trials, etc.,” he said. “The climbs will be particularly important this year. Avoiding bad luck is always key as well.”
BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the six returning riders form a solid foundation for Evans’s run at the podium. “We have a really strong team and can go to Corsica with a lot of confidence with this team of experienced guys,” he said. “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, said Evans showed in that race that he is always attentive to the little things that can make the difference over three weeks. “Cadel has shown he can be good in all areas – whether it’s a technical parcours or a tricky final, he will be there,” he said. “We saw this at the Giro. In situations like this, he’s good and is always in good position. Plus, he has a great team around him to put him in the front.”
Van Garderen, who was fifth last year in his second Tour appearance, said repeating as the race’s best young rider is not an objective. “The white jersey wasn’t a goal of mine last year and it’s not again this year,” he said. “It just came along with me being up there every day, helping Cadel, which is my focus again this year.” Gilbert, a stage winner at all three grand tours, said he is also putting aside any personal ambitions in order to help Evans. “For me, I am just a helper, but it will be special to be part of the 100th Tour de France,” he said.
Click here to download the BMC Racing Team’s Tour de France race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics): http://bit.ly/10H3Txm.
BMC Racing Team Tour de France Roster (June 29-July 21):
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Cadel Evans (AUS), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Steve Morabito (SUI), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Jim Ochowicz (USA)
Andy Rihs (SUI)
John Lelangue (BEL)
Fabio Baldato (ITA)
Yvon Ledanois (FRA)
Chief Medical Officer:
Dr. Max Testa (ITA)
Chief Communications Officer:
Georges Lüchinger (LIE)
Bus Driver: Filip Sercu (BEL). Chef: Jean Patrick Simonneau (FRA). Mechanics: Antonio Biron (ITA), Ronald Ruymen (BEL), Ian Sherburne (USA), Thierry Viaene (FRA). Soigneurs: David Bombeke (BEL), Chris De Vos (BEL), Anthony Lafourte (BEL), Dirk Leenaert (BEL), Marc Paeme (BEL), Jeremiah Ranegar (USA). VIP Program: Jacques Michaud (FRA).