Michael Schär will complete a decade riding with Jim Ochowicz's team after signing a contract extension for 2019, when Polish shoe brand CCC will take over title sponsorship of the team.
The Swiss rider started his career at Phonak and spent three seasons at Astana, but joined BMC Racing in 2010 and has never looked back. A key part of the Classics squad built around Greg Van Avermaet and a trusted domestique in the Grand Tours, the 31-year-old opted to stay with the team despite the uncertainty changes arising from the late sponsorship switch.
"I am happy to reach the 10-year mark with Continuum Sports. I have a long-term relationship with this organization and feel very good on and off the bike. Over all these years, I met many good friends and made some unforgettable memories which have really shaped my career. We have been through highs and lows together so I am really happy to continue with the team, and make more memories in the coming years," Schär said.
"I'm motivated more than ever to perform well and take responsibility at the biggest races in the cycling calendar, especially the Classics with Greg Van Avermaet. With a very positive mindset, I see good things happening with the changes in the team for 2019 and it will be exciting to see everything come together."
Schär's 6'5" build makes him a powerful rider and he has established himself as one of the most valued domestiques at BMC. He only has a couple of wins on his palmares - a Swiss road race title and a stage of the Tour of Utah - but he has raced the past eight editions of the Tour de France for the team, starting with Cadel Evans' victory in 2011.
Schär is the third BMC Racing rider to extend his contract into the CCC era, following Van Avermaet, Alessandro De Marchi, and Nathan Van Hooydonck.
The team have also signed Guillaume Van Keirsbulck from Wanty Groupe Gobert and 22-year-old American Will Barta from Hagens Berman Axeon but, after a long period with no sponsor in place, they have lost a raft of riders, including Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis, Dylan Teuns, Tejay van Garderen, Stefan Kung, Alberto Bettiol, Danilo Wyss, and Loic Vliegen.
CCC only confirmed their sponsorship on the second rest day of the Tour de France. The team made an offer to Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas but he is set to stay at Team Sky.
"When looking at our roster for 2019, it was an easy decision to extend Michael Schär's contract. There are very few riders with Michael's capacity to support the team in different race formats, from the Classics to the Grand Tours, and I have no doubt that he will be an asset for us as Continuum Sports evolves with CCC becoming title sponsor in 2019," Ochowicz said.
"Michael's experience as a road captain and his professionalism is outstanding. He works selflessly for his teammates and when given an opportunity, as we saw during his breakaway and solo attack on stage 13 of the Tour de France, Michael makes the most of it. It is a pleasure to have Michael with the team in the coming seasons."
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