The nascent CCC team, run by Continuum Sports, have confirmed the signing of Laurens ten Dam from Team Sunweb, with the Dutchman becoming the latest in a long list of signings. News of Ten Dam's move was first reported last month but was officially confirmed on Friday.
The 37-year-old brings 16 years of experience to the table, with 10 appearances at the Tour de France under his belt. He spent eight years at LottoNL-Jumbo - formerly Rabobank - before joining Sunweb in 2016, where he has helped Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d'Italia and then finish second at this year's Tour.
“I wasn’t necessarily looking to change teams but I’m not afraid to change, I’ve done it quite a few times in my career, and this was a good opportunity that presented itself. I really welcome the chance for a carte blanche, a clean slate, and to join Continuum Sports with some new goals and opportunities, as well as having some more freedom,” Ten Dam said.
“Although we haven’t yet discussed my program, I really like racing in the United States so I hope to be able to race there next year and of course, line up at some of the Grand Tours. I want to get the best out of myself and help the team, especially with a leader like Greg Van Avermaet as I can help him in some of the hillier races. For now, the team doesn’t have a clear general classification rider but you never know how the team will develop in the coming seasons so I look forward to seeing the team grow and playing a part in this.”
Ten Dam's departure is something of a blow to Dumoulin, with another of his domestiques, Simon Geshcke, already signed for CCC as well.
The team is essentially a merger of the current BMC Racing and Pro Continental-level CCC Sprandi Polkowice outfits, which will race under the BMC team's WorldTour licence, owned by Jim Ochowicz's company Continuum Sports. The new team, which is headlined by current Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet, has yet to name any Grand Tour-contender signings for next season, and may initially remain built around Van Avermaet's one-day Classics ambitions.
While many of the current BMC team are moving on, Ten Dam follows the signings of Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Will Barta (Hagens Berman Axeon), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Simon Geschke (Sunweb), Szymon Sajnok (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Gijs van Hoecke (LottoNL-Jumbo), Josef Cerny (neo-pro), and Amaro Antunes (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice).
"Laurens ten Dam is one of the most-experienced riders in the peloton so he will be an asset to the team when he joins in 2019, particularly as a mentor for the younger riders in the roster. Ten Dam has proved himself to be a valuable domestique at Grand Tours and stage races and it is this selflessness that is crucial to establishing a strong team dynamic. We are looking forward to welcoming Laurens in 2019," Ochowicz said.
"Laurens has raced 17 Grand Tours, finishing in the top 10 at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, and has lined up at 15 Monuments throughout this career, so his experience at the biggest races in the WorldTour calendar will be invaluable. As well as supporting the team’s leaders, Laurens will also have the chance to take his own opportunities throughout the season."