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Absalon signs with BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team

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Elite men's podium at 2012 French National Championships: Stephane Tempier, Julien Absalon and Maxime Marotte

Elite men's podium at 2012 French National Championships: Stephane Tempier, Julien Absalon and Maxime Marotte
(Image credit: Universal Bike Racing)
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The crowds came for Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)

The crowds came for Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)

Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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A jubilant Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team) wins the La Bresse World Cup on home soil

A jubilant Julien Absalon (Orbea Racing Team) wins the La Bresse World Cup on home soil
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Julien Absalon crashed the first time through the rock garden

Julien Absalon crashed the first time through the rock garden
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

On the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games men's cross country mountain bike race, BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team announced the signing of Julien Absalon of France. The man who won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 and 2008 will race for two more years - 2013 and 2014 - after wrapping up this season's contract with Orbea.

"For our team, born in 2011 under the leadership of Andy Rihs, we are proud to host such an athlete. This will allow us to have a real presence at the international level," said Team Manager David Chassot.

BMC already supports elite rider Moritz Milatz of Germany, a development mountain bike team with riders such as Stephen Ettinger of the United States and Candice Neethling of South Africa. It also stepped up to become the title sponsor of the Swiss Cup for the 2012 season.

Team partner and CEO of the BMC Group, Thomas Binggeli explained that with veteran racer Absalon on its roster, the BMC Mountain Bike Team would be following the development strategy of the company. He hopes Absalon's signing will influence future development at BMC.

French national champion Absalon has been on the Orbea team since 2007. Previously, he raced for Bianchi.