After an entire career spent on Spanish teams, 34-year-old Francisco Ventoso has decided to take the leap to the BMC Racing Team for 2017, the team announced today.
Ventoso, who is nearing the end of a six-season stint with Movistar, is a former Spanish national champion and winner of two Giro d'Italia stages in recent years. Formerly a bunch sprinter, he has put more emphasis on the Classics recently, although this season's campaign was hampered when he suffered a deep gash to his leg, reportedly the result of an impact with a disc brake rotor.
BMC General Manager Jim Ochowicz sees him as a support rider for Greg Van Avermaet and for the team's Grand Tour ambitions.
"Francisco Ventoso is a very versatile rider who will fit well with BMC Racing Team's objectives," Ochowicz said in a team press release. "He is not only a strong Classics rider, but also a great support rider for the Grand Tours. Francisco has been on the professional circuit for a long time so he is experienced in the peloton and understands what needs to be done in different race scenarios, which ticks a lot of boxes for us. Francisco is also a multiple Grand Tour stage winner so when given the opportunity he also knows how to win. We look forward to seeing him in the BMC Racing Team kit in 2017."
Ventoso said he looks forward to racing with Van Avermaet.
"For me it is a great motivation to go to one of the best teams in the world and it is an honor for me to join the group of riders who will attack the Spring Classics with Greg Van Avermaet as captain," Ventoso said.
"My main goal for 2017 is to put all of my experience and my strength into the team to make BMC Racing Team even stronger. I greatly appreciate the confidence placed in me and I will give the best version of myself as a rider."