BMC re-sign Caruso, Drucker, Rosskopf, Ventoso

The BMC Racing Team continues to shore up its 2018 roster, announcing that Damiano Caruso, Jempy Drucker, Joey Rosskopf, and Fran Ventoso have all signed contract extensions.

Earlier this year there had been doubts over the future of the team, with the overwhelming majority of riders out of contract at the end of 2017, but Richie Porte re-signing ahead of the Tour de France was a clear indication that the foundations had been laid for 2018 and perhaps beyond. 

The team then signed Jurgen Roelandts and Alberto Bettiol, and brought up Nathan van Hooydonck from the development team, as well as extending with Michael Schär, Brent Bookwalter, Alessandro De Marchi, and Danilo Wyss. Greg Van Avermaet already had a contract for 2018, as did neo-pros Miles Scotson and Kilian Frankiny, so there are now 15 riders officially on the books for next season. 

The team is expected to confirm further extensions in the coming weeks, while the departure of Manuel Quinziato, Daniel Oss, Amaël Moinard, Manuel Senni, Silvan Dillier, and Ben Hermans means the team has room to make a couple more signings, as DS Valerio Piva told Het Nieuwsblad earlier this week. 

Caruso, 29, who is currently riding the Vuelta a España, puts pen to paper towards the end of a strong season that has seen him finish second at the Tour de Suisse and 11th at the Tour de France.

"It was an easy decision to re-sign with BMC Racing Team. [Team manager] Jim Ochowicz likes how I work and I like the team and how it works, so there was no reason to even think about changing teams," said Caruso, who joined in 2015.

"This year has been a good year for me and for the next year my goal will be to continue to grow as a rider. Our most important goal as a team is to win the Tour de France and I want to be a part of that. For me, it is important to support the team as much as possible and also go for my own results, like this year at the Tour de Suisse, so I'm happy I will be doing that with BMC Racing Team."

Rosskopf, the American time trial champion, also joined the team in 2015 and now extends his stay into a fourth year.

"Racing with the same organization for multiple years has allowed me to feel more and more at ease with my surroundings," said the 27-year-old. "My improvement in time trials this year is largely due to the amount of energy the team was willing to invest in me for this specific discipline of cycling. I may not have had a meteoric rise in the sport, but in 2018 I look forward to continuing to work hard and progress as a competitor little by little."

Former cyclo-cross rider Drucker played an important role in the huge success of Van Avermaet in this year's spring classics, with the Luxembourg time trial champion riding alongside the Belgian at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3-Harelbeke, and Paris-Roubaix. He has also fine-tuned his sprint finish, winning stages at the Tour de Luxembourg and Tour de Wallonnie this year after winning a stage of the Vuelta last year.

"I have made a lot of progression in the past three years so I want to continue that way. I hope to play an important role again in the spring classics and help the team try and repeat that same success that we had this year with Greg Van Avermaet as leader, and finally win the Tour of Flanders." said the 30-year-old. "This year I have had a few wins so I want to continue to take the opportunities I have from the team in 2018."

Finally, the team have decided to retain the services of veteran domestique Ventoso, who made his debut with the team this year after six years at Movistar.

"We welcomed Francisco Ventoso in 2016 and immediately it was clear that he is a rider who fits in very well at BMC Racing Team," Ochowicz said of the 35-year-old "Francisco brings a wealth of experience and has already played an important role in many of our victories this year. With more than a decade as a professional cyclist, he is also a very good road captain and we can count on him in any race situation, so Francisco is a great asset for us."

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