Tschopp, Quinziato, Santaromita, Eijssen, Van Avermaet and Moinard arrive
BMC has confirmed six new signings for 2011, as the Swiss-based team bolsters its line-up in the hope of securing a ProTour licence. Italians Manuel Quinziato and Ivan Santaromita, Belgians Yannick Eijssen and Greg Van Avermaet, France’s Amaël Moinard and Swiss rider Johann Tschopp have joined the team.
Tschopp’s arrival should provide Cadel Evans further support in the high mountains, as he has put in some impressive displays in the major tours in recent years. He won stage 20 at this year’s Giro d’Italia which went over the Passo di Gavia, while riding for BBox-Bouygues Telecom. After starting his career with Phonak, Tschopp is pleased to return to riding Swiss-made bikes. “It’s exciting to be with a team with a Swiss sponsor that is so international in nature,” he said.
Evans will also be able to count on the support of Moinard and Santaromita on the climbs next season. Moinard was consistently aggressive for Cofidis at the Tour de France and was a stage winner at Paris-Nice earlier in the year. Santaromita has spent three seasons in the service of Ivan Basso at Liquigas-Doimo and won the Settimana Coppi e Bartali this spring.
Young Belgian talent Yannick Eijssen will offer an exciting boost to BMC’s climbing armoury. The 21-year-old rode as a stagiare for Silence-Lotto in 2009 but opted to remain in the amateur ranks this season. He impressed in winning the Ronde de l’Isard and was second in the Belgian under 23 championships. Eijssen is making the full-time transition to professional cycling for BMC. “I want to be a good support rider for our leaders and I hope I can measure my performances with the team’s other climbing specialists,” he said.
BMC’s line-up for the classics has also been strengthened with the arrivals of Greg Van Avermaet from Omega Pharma-Lotto and Manuel Quinziato from Liquigas-Doimo.
Van Avermaet will strength BMC's chances in the sprints and allow him to develop his classics aspirations, with the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race high on his list of priorities. Quinziato has had some strong performances in the cobbled classics in recent years, including top 10 finishes at Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem in 2009.
BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue is pleased with his team’s signings. “The talent we have acquired will be beneficial to our stage racing group, to our roster for the Grand Tours and to our team for the classics," he said. "That's the reason we're representative all season and that's important to us."
Meanwhile, team president Jim Ochowicz suggested that his team’s transfer campaign is still ongoing. “BMC Racing Team is still evaluating talent and considering future signings,” he said.