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High profile signings increase expectations for BMC
Since the Swiss weather in December is hardly suited to long hours on the bike, five Swiss members of the BMC Racing Team spent two weeks on the island of Mallorca in order to get in the necessary base miles for the coming season.
Martin Kohler, Mathias Frank, Thomas Frei, Florian Stalder and Alex Moos have been taking advantage of more suitable cycling weather conditions in Spain. "This is the second year in a row that we have come here to train in December," Kohler explained on the team's website. "We make a happy group; we can put in some serious hours every day.
"We've had a few rainy days, but it is generally about 13°C, which is great considering we would be facing -3°C at home!" he joked. Though the riders have differing schedules, they are still able to take advantage of each others' training regimes. "Some of us start a little earlier so we'll slip in a few intervals, while some guys like Mathias and Florian have a later start and take it a touch easier," Kohler explained. "But we're all basically here to build up our endurance."
With a number of high-powered riders joining BMC for the 2010 season, including World Champion Cadel Evans, the riders who have been on the team for the past several years feel an extra shot of motivation as well as a personal responsibility to live up to the heightened team expectations.
"It has been amazing to watch how the team has been growing, particularly over the last several months," Kohler commented. "Big names are joining and we can seriously hope to be invited to the biggest races of the year." The 24-year-old aims to play the part of the perfect team-mate while also working hard to earn his own opportunities at races.
"In the big races, I'm sure I'll work for guys like George Hincapie and Alessandro Ballan, but I'm always hopeful to gain some results of my own," Kohler claimed.
With a strong sprint and a talent for riding very fast short time trials, Kohler should be able to lend some fire power to the BMC campaign. "This past season I felt like I learned a lot about reading the race and consequently my on-the-bike tactics improved," Kohler said. "I want to spend time improving my time trialling since I truly believe that I can win a prologue or short time trial."