American Peter Stetina will leave the Garmin-Sharp/Slipstream organization, with which he has spent his entire professional career, for the BMC Racing Team in 2014. The 26-year-old joined Garmin's WorldTour team in 2010 after coming up through the program started by Jonathan Vaughters from his junior days, but it was rumored earlier this summer that Stetina might sign with Belkin, which was eager to add Americans to please its Bay Area technology sponsor.
Stetina said he chose BMC for several reasons, including the fact that the team is headquartered near his residence in Santa Rosa, California.
"BMC is notorious for having the top equipment and the team for its top support, plus it was a chance to reunite with my good friends, Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen," Stetina said in a press release. "I also worked a lot with (BMC Racing Team Performance Manager) Allan Peiper last year and I really respect him. He was a big draw in coming. All the stars aligned, really."
Stetina has raced the Giro d'Italia three times with Garmin, but has yet to compete in the Tour de France. However, he said one motivation was to get more opportunities for himself in shorter races in addition to a chance at the sport's biggest race. "I would really like to take my own chance in some smaller, one-week stage races," he said. "So I would champion my own cause in those races and be a top mountain domestique in the biggest ones, especially the Tour de France. I would really like to ride the Tour next year for the first time."
The team's general manager Jim Ochowicz did not reveal the length of Stetina's contract, instead focussed on the qualities that attracted the team to signing him.
"Pete comes from a family of past and present cyclists and brings with him a nice balance of experience in the many stage races and Grand Tours that he has participated in over the years," Ochowicz said. "He has acted as a top support rider in the mountain stages where his teams have found success. We expect the same here at the BMC Racing Team and are eager to start our work together."