BMC has introduced its Development Team, which will provide young riders with experience of racing on a higher level in both Europe and the United States. The team will have a European flavour, as only four of the 14 riders come from the US.
The team is under the leadership of former rider Rik Verbrugghe, who will serve as directeur sportif and team manager. The Belgian was a direcetur sportif at the parent club, BMC Racing Team, for the last two years.
“Our main goal is to work with the young guys and bring them to a higher level in the hopes that they will graduate to the ProTour level," he said. "Of course we hope to achieve some good results along the way. But more important than results is teaching them the best way to ride, how to train, and to nurture them through our system."
The 14 riders are Valentin Billiard, Tom Bohli, Silvan Dillier, Kilian Frankiny, Arnaud Grand and Stefan King (all Switzerland), Taylor Eisenhart, Paul Lynch, Alexey Vermeulen and Tyler Williams (all USA), Loic Vliegen (Belgium), Igniazio Moser (Italy), Jakub Novak (Czech Republic), and Tim Roe of Australia.
Roe is the veteran of the group, having ridden for BMC Racing Team the last two years. His contract with the WorldTour team was not renewed, due to serious back problems which have limited his racing time. "It will be good to have Tim as a road captain as he recovers from the back troubles that affected his performances the past two years," Verbrugghe said.
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz had been working on plans for the team for several years. "Now that we're finally making it happen, we are excited about the possibilities it creates," he said. "We will be helping young athletes start their career off right and growing and developing them in a system where their progress will be closely followed."
The team will hold a training camp in Spain next month before its first European races in February. “Important early-season races for us will be the Tour de Normandie in March, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April and the Giro Bio in June, plus all the Under 23 stage races and one-day races in between," he said.