HTC-Highroad duo latest acquisitions
BMC’s extensive transfer campaign continued on Thursday with the announcement that the squad has secured the services of Marco Pinotti and Tejay Van Garderen for the 2012 season.
Pinotti and Van Garderen join the team from HTC-Highroad, which will cease operations at the end of this season. Both riders had been linked with a move to BMC in recent weeks, but were unable to reveal their new team until September 1 due to the terms of their contracts with Highroad.
After bolstering their classics line-up with the acquisition of Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd, the free-spending BMC has added significant depth to its stage racing stable with the arrival of Pinotti and Van Garderen. The team's 2012 roster will also include Tour de France champion Cadel Evans.
"Marco has been the Italian national time trial champion five of the past seven years and brings power to our team time trials, as well as incredible talent in the mountains. We believe he will be a great asset to the team in many ways," BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz said.
"Tejay is a gifted young talent with a complete set of skills that will allow him to one day be a contender in the Grand Tours. His time trialing continues to improve, as is his climbing. With Cadel acting as his mentor, the road to success should come quickly."
Pinotti joins his fellow countrymen Alessandro Ballan, Ivan Santaromita, Manuel Quinziato and Mauro Santambrogio at BMC. The 35-year-old Italian was a hugely-influential figure at HTC-Highroad, and is hoping to continue in a similar role on his new team.
"It's really a team that's been growing and developing fast in the last two years," Pinotti said. "I'm an experienced rider who can share that experience with the younger riders while I hope to also find a few opportunities for myself to achieve some personal goals. I also wanted to be on the team that's on the forefront of technology so I can perform at my best in my specialty at the Olympic Games."
Tejay Van Garderen joins his close friend Taylor Phinney at BMC. The 23-year-old finished on the podium of the Criterium du Dauphiné last season and recently captured his first professional win in the time trial at the Tour of Utah.
“I'd really like to go after the GC (general classification) at races like the Tour de Suisse or Paris-Nice," Van Garderen said. "The thing I like about the BMC Racing Team is how there's already a strong program and it's set to continue well into the future."
BMC has not confirmed the length of the riders’ contracts, stating simply that the pair have joined the team “for the 2012 season and beyond” and that “specific terms of both riders' contracts are not being revealed.”
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