BMC is familiar team name in road cycling, but as of January 1, the bike manufacturer gave its name and support to a professional mountain bike team, too. The BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team has its sights set on World Cup glory with its line-up of international talent.
Reigning German Cross Country National Champion Moritz Milatz and the former road racer Alexandre Moos are at the vanguard of a young team with ambitious goals.
The Grenchen-based company notched up competitive road success in 2010 with performances like those of then World Champion Cadel Evans in the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. The Swiss company is presently re-discovering its origins in mountain biking and pinning its hopes on an expanded long-term strategy.
"Our mountain bikes have been of a world-class standard for years. We now want to consolidate and refine our product development work with feedback from professional cross country sport, and of course demonstrate our expertise," said Mike Hürlimann, CEO of BMC Trading AG.
"The BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team is the tip of the iceberg of our long-term involvement in mountain bike sport. We want that involvement to be an enduring partnership, so along with the two (partner) Swiss teams Fischer and Texner, we have also set up an Under 23 US Development Team to offer riders prospects at junior or development level."
"Anyone who races on a BMC should do so in the reassuring knowledge that with the right performance, they can look forward to a professional career with us," said Frank Schreiner, Head of Marketing at BMC.
For 2011, a five-man team is embarking on its first season under the sporting leadership of veteran Moos.
"It is a gigantic prospect for me to be able to participate in shaping the commitment to mountain biking for BMC. My experience as a professional cyclist is bound to help the young riders," said Moos.
Milatz, a 2008 Olympian, is looking forward to racing for BMC. "For me, the BMC team is an ideal group with the right background. Living in Freiburg, I am also very close and will be able to integrate myself well. After being plagued by injury in 2010, I am truly motivated to give it my all in 2011. The materials and the environment are perfect."
The team's other riders include Patrik Gallati, runner up in the Under 23 World Cup and European Championship and Julien Taramarcaz.
Balz Weber will join Moos in racing marathon events. Their first joint race wearing BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team colors will take place at the end of March at the Cape Epic in South Africa.
David Chassot will be in charge of its management.
The team will be competing on two BMC models: the teamelite TE01 (hardtail) and fourstroke FS01 (full suspension).
BMC Mountain Bike Team for 2011