Jim Ochowicz has announced that CCC has stepped in save his team for the 2019 season. BMC Racing are set to disband and leave the sport at the end of the season and several high-profile riders including Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis are set to leave the team. Grev Van Avermaet has signed for the squad, which at the moment has no official team name for next season.
"We'll build a team around Greg. We're going to look different, we're going to feel different and we're going to have some players on the roster," Ochowicz said.
Ochowicz also confirmed that the team would not have a Grand Tour GC leader for next season. Although the team name will change, Ochowicz has retained the squad's WorldTour licence for the future.
"We can build a good team around me. I'm getting older but I still have a lot of ambition. I'm really happy. Let's bring the next races on," Van Avermaet said.
Ochowicz added that this was not a fusion of BMC Racing and the current CCC team, however, he stressed that staff and several of the roster on the Pro Continental team, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, would move to the new team. Ochowicz also confirmed that the team did not have a bike sponsor for 2019.
BMC Racing is operated by Continuum Sports, and with the folding of the team at the end of the season, the company announced that Polish shoe and bag company CCC will become title sponsor in 2019 during the first rest day at the Tour de France. CCC owner and president Dariusz Milek, joined Ochowicz in the press conference and noted that he is looking forward to seeing his brand become part of the WorldTour.
"I am excited to see CCC partner with Continuum Sports and reach the highest level of cycling. We have been looking for an opportunity to join the WorldTour and this was the perfect chance to partner with a well established and respected team, with Greg Van Avermaet as team leader," Milek said in a team statement.
With BMC bicycles no longer in a position to serve as the team's primary backer, Ochowicz had been searching for a new title sponsor. In recent weeks, he had repeatedly stressed that he had no fixed deadline to find a new sponsor and a number of BMC staff members had already left the team.
"It is no secret that we have been looking for a new title sponsor for 2019 and we are excited to be here today at the biggest cycling race in the World to announce CCC as the title sponsor of Continuum Sports from 2019 onwards. CCC president Dariusz Milek shares the same passion for cycling as our organization and together we can continue to build on the team's existing success," Ochowicz said in a team press release.
"To also be able to announce that current Tour de France race leader Greg Van Avermaet has renewed his contract beyond the 2018 season in an exciting way to begin this relationship. We have seen Greg develop into one of the best riders in the World and we are delighted to retain him as the team's star rider in 2019. We have a busy few months ahead of us as we begin to plan for the next season so I am looking forward to welcoming CCC as title sponsor."