Professional Continental BMC Racing Team today confirmed that they have applied for International Cycling Union (UCI) Wild Card status as they announced their complete 23-rider roster.
The team's marquee signings George Hincapie, Alessandro Ballan and World Champion Cadel Evans will lead an international line-up as the team looks towards what they hope will be a busy schedule of top-level races.
"The past two seasons we have grown into a strong team, and combining that with the big recruitment effort we have made this year, we expect to be competitive in every race we enter from the one day classics to the one week stage races to the Grand Tours," said the team’s Directeur Sportif John Lelangue.
In addition to US Champion Hincapie, Italian Ballan and Australian Evans, the team also signed Dutchman Karsten Kroon, German Marcus Burghardt and Norwegian Alexander Kristoff. The line-up also includes a total of nine Swiss riders and eight US athletes.
Despite the pedigree of their squad, BMC's Professional Continental licence means they will have to rely on invitations from organisers of a number of major events, including the Grand Tours. As they did this season, the team has once again applied for UCI Wild Card status. If granted, it would ensure that they can participate in ProTour events, such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.
"We want to be at all the big races, though of course there are no guarantees," said Lelangue. "But I am sure we have the organization to be competitive and that is a huge satisfaction."
The team have already secured participation in at least one ProTour event. Organizers of the Tour Down Under last month confirmed that Cadel Evans will lead BMC's team for the six-stage race. The team will also take part in the Tours of Qatar and Oman.
BMC also announced today three US riders who will represent the team in the espoirs category of the sport. Chris Butler, Cole House and Larry Warbasse will be given exposure to a number of races on the European under-23 calendar.
|Alessandro Ballan (Italy)|
|Chris Barton (United States of America)|
|Chad Beyer (United States of America)|
|Brent Bookwalter (United States of America)|
|Marcus Burghardt (Germany)|
|Cadel Evans (Australia)|
|Mathias Frank (Switzerland)|
|Thomas Frei (Switzerland)|
|George Hincapie (United States of America)|
|Martin Kohler (Switzerland)|
|Alexander Kristoff (Norway)|
|Karsten Kroon (Netherlands)|
|Jeff Louder (United States of America)|
|Steve Morabito (Switzerland)|
|Alex Moos (Switzerland)|
|John Murphy (United States of America)|
|Scott Nydam (United States of America)|
|Mauro Santambrogio (Italy)|
|Michael Schär (Switzerland)|
|Florian Stalder (Switzerland)|
|Jackson Stewart (United States of America)|
|Danilo Wyss (Switzerland)|
|Simon Zahner (Switzerland)|
|Chris Butler (United States of America)|
|Cole House (United States of America)|
|Larry Warbasse (United States of America)|
|John Lelangue (Belgium)|
|Fabio Baldato (Italy)|
|Noel Dejonckheere (Belgium)|
|René Savary (Switzerland)|
|Mike Sayers (United States of America)|