UCI issues BMC four-year ProTeam licence
The International Cycling Union (UCI) granted the BMC Racing Team ProTeam status on Monday, issuing the team a four-year licence which fulfilled one of the team's long-term goals, said team owner Andy Rihs.
"I'm very happy because we have had a vision to always be one of the top teams and this confirms it," Rihs said. "It also reflects well on what we have accomplished to date and it fits perfectly together with our program as a race team and with BMC bicycles as the title sponsor."
The Professional Continental team finished as one of the top 10 teams in the UCI World Rankings for the 2010 season.
"We can bring in young riders, for example, and build with them for the future - already looking forward to Paris-Roubaix or the Classics - in two or three years," said John Lelangue, directeur sportif. "But we still have to race well to preserve this level and be sure at the end of the year we can stay ProTeam for the upcoming years."
BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz was pleased with the team's boost to ProTeam status as it guarantees entry in all the biggest races on the calendar.
"What this means is that we can certainly prepare the team better and have more opportunities for success throughout the year," Ochowicz said. "We are proud to be included as members in this prestigious group and thank the UCI for their confidence."
BMC Racing's three-time US pro road champion George Hincapie welcomed the news. "This is a testament to all the hard work the riders, managers and staff have put into this team," Hincapie said. "I am very proud to be part of this organization and look forward to a successful 2011 season."
The first event for BMC Racing on the 2011 ProTour calendar is Australia's Santos Tour Down Under, January 16-23.
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