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BMC selected versatile squad to Tour de Suisse

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George Hincapie in stars and stripes.

George Hincapie in stars and stripes. (Image credit: Mark Johnson/
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Karsten Kroon (BMC)

Karsten Kroon (BMC) (Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Former world champion Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) sported a smile on the start line.

Former world champion Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) sported a smile on the start line. (Image credit: Tim Van Wichelen/

The BMC Racing Team has announced its official line-up for the Tour de Suisse that begins on Saturday with 7.6km prologue in Lugano. The American registered but Swiss-based team has no designated leader but includes a versatile group of riders who are using the race as  final pre-Tour de France test.

Prominent names in the Tour de Suisse line-up and very probable bets for the BMC Tour roster include Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt, Mathias Frank, Karsten Kroon, George Hincapie, Alex Moos, Steve Morabito and Mauro Santambrogio. Both Moos and Morabito have won stages at the Tour de Suisse in 2002 and 2006.

"The objective will be to go on the offensive because it's a pretty hard race," directeur sportif John Lelangue said. "It will be a good final test for the group going to the Tour de France. Most of the guys going to this race will be on the Tour roster for the month of July."

World champion Evans is not riding but the team says he is "enjoying his UCI's No. 1 ranking as he prepares for next month's Tour de France." The Australian's top placing was the fruit of a fifth place overall at the Giro d'Italia, a win at Flèche Wallone and a string of other top 10 results earlier this season. For the team, this was an unexpected bonus.

BMC team president Jim Ochowicz said that the world ranking hadn't been in the plans when the team signed Evans, but that is was a great honour. "We were definitely trying to be competitive in our approach to the world ranking," Ochowicz said. "For the team to also be ranked (fifth) is a great performance we hope will continue throughout the year."