The first man to attack from the gun on stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under was BMC’s new recruit Amaël Moinard, and the Frenchman is hoping to fire in 2011.
Moinard is set to become a right-hand man for Cadel Evans at the Tour de France and a guide for Taylor Phinney in a near future.
“I’ve been impressed by the speed here at the Tour Down Under,” Moinard told Cyclingnews in Adelaide.
“I’ve loved riding with Alessandro Ballan”, Moinard said. “He’s such a nice guy and a great professional.”
The Frenchman left Cofidis because he wanted a new adventure. In previous years, he already spoke about his passion for travelling and meeting people all around the world and a move the American squad came after six years on the French team.
“I needed a new experience after six years at Cofidis," he said.
“I was tempted to join a foreign team. BMC was the one that showed the strongest interest in hiring me. When [team president] Jim Ochowicz and [directeur sportif] John Lelangue interviewed me, they realized that I was able to speak English. I’m interested in communicating in other languages too.”
Moinard came to the forefront when he finished fourteenth of the 2008 Tour de France. “I probably put too much pressure on myself after that,” he admitted.
“Now I know my levels. Unless exceptional circumstances, I’m not able to get a better overall result.” He feels like he has entered a different world since the words he hears the most at BMC are “no pressure” and “enjoy”.
“I’ll be looking for opportunities for myself at one-week long races like Paris-Nice, the Dauphiné or the Vuelta al Pais Vasco,” he said. “But I want to become a good domestique for someone who can win a Grand Tour. This can happen at BMC. I don’t know Cadel Evans very well yet but I’ve been very impressed by Taylor Phinney when we underwent testing at the Mapei centre in Italy. His style reminds me of Cancellara’s. He can score as early as at the prologue of Paris-Nice.
"BMC has made excellent signings with very solid riders like Greg van Avermaet or Manuel Quinziato joining, but all the young guys seem to have fantastic talent, not only Phinney but also Yannick Eijssen who is a great climber in the making and Tim Roe who has been very aggressive here in his country this week.
“Professional cycling has become a global affair and I’m happy to be part of that now”, the Frenchman concluded.