American registered Professional Continental team BMC Racing has been awarded a wildcard spot at this year's Tour de Romandie, the team announced this weekend. With four Swiss riders on its roster and Swiss bicycle manufacturer BMC as its title sponsor, the team has a prominent Swiss influence and was selected from 15 Pro Continental squads originally given a wildcard nomination by race organisers.
"This will be our first ProTour race," said team manager Gavin Chillcot. "So we will be very motivated to perform well and learn a lot."
Directeur sportif John Lelangue added: "Romandie is a perfect race for us: it is a ProTour stage race which will have a very high level. We are a American-Swiss team so our Swiss riders will be very motivated to show the jersey off to a home crowd, and the American racers will be interested in building on the successes from [The Tour of] California."
The team was given special recognition in California for its aggressive riding when the organisers handed over a 'Most Aggressive Team' award after the final stage to Pasadena. Racing amongst ProTour competition in April will undoubtedly be step up from California, though, and Lelangue has realistic ambitions for his men when the race gets underway in Geneva on April 29.
"We don't have final podium ambitions," he said, "but we will surely ride aggressively, show off the jersey and do our best to make our presence felt."