Improving performance and preparing riders for the ProTour are the goals of the new BMC Development Team, managed by former professional Rik Verbrugghe.
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Dillier to headline roster
The BMC Development Team will make its US debut this week when eight of the young riders take part in the 27th Tour of the Gila in Silver City, New Mexico.
The team will likely put its support behind recent Tour de Normandie winner Silvan Dillier, and led by general manager Rik Verbrugghe, who says the high altitude will be the main challenge for his riders.
"It is a new experience for a lot of the guys to race in the high mountains, especially the European guys," he said. "So we will see how they adapt and decide on a leader after a few stages." The team has been training in the area since April 22.
T.J. Eisenhart, 18, of Lehi, Utah, is one of four Americans who will be in the race for the BMC Devo team, along with Paul Lynch, Alexey Vermeulen and Tyler Williams, plus Swiss riders Dillier and Arnaud Grand, Belgian Loic Vliegen and Jakub Novak of the Czech Republic.
"All of the top Utah riders who I looked up to when I was young have always done really well here – guys like Burke Swindlehurst and Jeff Louder," Eisenhart said. "So this race is very important to me. I also know it's a very hard one because many American teams bring their guys to this race to prepare for the Amgen Tour of California."
BMC Development Team for the Tour of the Gila:
Silvan Dillier (SUI), T.J. Eisenhart (USA), Arnaud Grand (SUI), Paul Lynch (USA), Jakub Novak (CZE), Alexey Vermeulen (USA), Loic Vliegen (BEL), Tyler Williams (USA).
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