The wait is over. After months of speculation, rumour and sleepless nights, Continuum Sports, the holding company behind BMC Racing Team, have announced that their squad will race as CCC Team from January 2019.
It was announced earlier in the year that BMC would end their relationship with the WorldTour team at the end of the current year and, after a frantic, last-minute deal, Continuum Sports secured their WorldTour future thanks to funds from Polish company, CCC. The brand currently backs a Polish Pro Continental team.
"After announcing CCC as the new title sponsor of Continuum Sports in July, we are pleased to confirm that the team will be known as CCC Team from 2019 and become the first Polish UCI WorldTour team," General Manager Jim Ochowicz said in a team press release issued on Thursday.
The team will be based around Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet, who penned a contract with the team during the summer. There have been a raft of departures, with Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen, Stefan Kung and new World time trial champion, Rohan Dennis, all heading for the exit door.
Although the 2019 team lack a genuine GC contender for the Grand Tours, Ochowicz has used his experience in the market to sign a number of riders. Laurens ten Dam, Michael Schar, Serge Pauwels, Simon Gescke add stability, while Alessandro De Marchi adds a certain degree of flair and will take the pressure off the Classics squad when it comes to breakaways in stage races. Patrick Bevin came close to joining Mitchelton Scott but has decided to stay with CCC, with several other riders brought in to help Van Avermaet in the Classics.
There have been several changes in management, too, most notably with Allan Peiper announcing last week that he would be leaving the organisation. Robert Krajewski from CCC Sprandri Polkowice has joined, while Gavin Chilcott remains from the BMC Racing side. Also joining from the Polish Pro Continental team are sports directors Piotr Wadecki and Gabriele Missaglia.
Current BMC sports directors Fabio Baldato, Valerio Piva and Jackson Stewart will remain at CCC in 2019, together with Head of Performance Marco Pinotti.
"Planning for the 2019 season is well underway so there is no better time to confirm our sports director team. The rider roster and race program are taking great shape so we are approaching the coming season with a great sense of excitement and motivation to hit the ground running in January. All five of our sport directors have many years of experience in cycling and have been instrumental in some of the teams' biggest wins," Ochowicz said.