Lukas Flückiger and Ralph Näf join Absalon at BMC

Eliminator world champion Ralph Näf and cross country world championship silver medallist Lukas Flückiger are joining Julien Absalon on the BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team for 2013.

Flückiger makes the move from Trek World Racing, which announced it was ending the cross country part of its team for 2013 while Näf is transferring from Multivan Merdia. Seven-time world and two-time Olympic champion Absalon had announced prior to the 2012 Olympic Games that he was coming to BMC from Orbea, which is ending its elite men's World Cup racing team.

While some teams are discontinuing their sponsorship of cross country in the post-Olympic year, BMC MTB Racing Team is strengthening its cross country roster for 2013 and also stepping further into marathon and enduro racing. Title sponsor BMC has committed to backing the team through 2015 and is using the mountain bike team, like its road team, to help with the company's R&D efforts.

BMC Group CEO Thomas Binggeli summed up the partnership between the MTB Racing Team and the research and development department. "I believe that there will be tremendous potential for both sides. With information from the race courses, we'll be translating the progress directly into our development processes. Our engineers will have constant access to race riders to check the individual stages of development on an ongoing basis on the trails."

The team will be under the management of David Chassot and the coaching expertise of Alex Moos, who will also line-up along side European Cross Country Champion Moritz Milatz at some marathon races.

Looking toward the future, U23 racer Reto Intergand from Switzerland and Stephen Ettinger from the USA, both ongoing team members, will be joined by U23 Swiss cross country champion Matthias Stirnemann.

Two Swiss-born athletes Martin Fanger and marathon specialist Jérémy Huguenin will be lending their might to the MTB team, while Julien Taramarcaz is looking to defend his Swiss cyclo-cross national title in January.

BMC MTB Racing's enduro athletes will include Frenchman François Bailly-Maître, two-time winner of the Transvésubienne, and Swiss Florian Golay. They will occasionally be joined by Näf.

2013 BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team Riders
Julien Absalon (Fra) - XCO
Francois Bailly-Maître (Fra) - Enduro
Stephen Ettinger (USA) - XCO
Martin Fanger (Swi) - XCO
Lukas Flückiger (Swi) - XCO, XCM, Cyclo-cross
Florian Golay (Swi) - Enduro
Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) - XCO, XCM
Reto Indergand (Swi) - U23 XCO
Moritz Milatz (Ger) - XCE, XCO, XCM
Ralph Näf (Swi) - XCE, XCO, XCM, Endurance
Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) - U23 XCO
Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) - Cyclo-cross

2013 BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team Management
David Chassot (Team Manager)
Alexandre Moos (Coach)
Fabienne Heinzmann (Administration)
Steven Jonckheere (BMC Switzerland, Sports Marketing)

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