The future of the Swiss cross country mountain bike national series, formerly known as the Swiss Racer Bikes Cup, was in doubt when title sponsor Racer Bikes pulled out going into next season. Once news reached BMC, the bike manufacturer stepped up to assume the role of title sponsor for 2012.
"Not having a series would have endangered Switzerland's dominance in mountain biking," said BMC's CEO Thomas Binggeli. "The MTB segment plays an important role at BMC. As a Swiss-based company, we need a racing series in order to create national and international impact."
The national series, founded in 1994 by Andreas Seeli, has drawn top international competitors for years and there are few world or Olympic champions that have not lined up at at least one of the Swiss national series venues.
"There is no way we could lose our most important races and threaten an important part of our development concept for domestic athletes," said Binggeli.
BMC is also the sponsor of the team of Cadel Evans, the winner of the Tour de France. However, 2012 is not the first time the company has taken on a major role in mountain bike sponsorship. In 2011, it sponsored its first professional mountain bike team, which was built around German national champion Moritz Milatz. It also backed a development team based in the US with riders like U23 national champion Stephen Ettinger.
"The BMC Racing Cup series will give our BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team a fantastic platform to establish itself at the world class level. We are looking forward to seven great events that we want to share with our partners and customers here in Switzerland," said Binggeli.
The new series will be known as the BMC Racing Cup 2012 and will visit seven venues and emphasize the development of young athletes while drawing media interest and spectators with the participation of top world-class athletes.
"I am happy to have found BMC as the new partner to carry on our tradition of investing in and building up young athletes," said Seeli. "I am convinced that Swiss mountain bike racing and the entire bike industry will benefit from this partnership."
For more information on the BMC Racing Cup, visit bmc-racing-cup.ch.
Swiss BMC Racing Cup 2012
March 31 - April 1: Round 1 - Buchs (SG)(Class 1)
April 21 - April 22: Round 2 - Lugano/Tesserete (TI)(Class 1)
May 3 - May 4: Round 3 - Solothurn Bike Days (SO)(Class 2)
June 16 - June 17: Round 4 - Gränichen (AG)(Hors Categorie)
July 14 - July 15: Round 5 - Graubünden (GR)(Class 1)
July 21 - July 22: Round 6 - Balgach / SG-Rheintal (National Championships)
August 27 - August 28: Round 7 - Basel/Muttenz (BL)(Class 1)