It’s all for Cadel Evans and a push for the yellow jersey for BMC Racing Team in this year’s Tour de France.
The U.S.-registered squad on Sunday announced its Tour nine, which is centered on pushing Evans as high up the GC ladder as possible. American veteran George Hincapie will be back for his 16th Tour start while Brent Bookwalter, who was impressive in his Tour debut last year, will return for a second year.
“We have a well-balanced team — between the experienced classics riders, who will help keep Cadel out of trouble — as well as the riders who are there for the middle and high mountain stages,” said sport director John Lelangue in a team statement. “We also have a good squad for the team time trial, even if it is a short one (22km).”
Evans has won two of four stage races he has participated in this season, with victories in Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy in March and the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland in May. He finished second at the Critérium du Dauphiné in France last week.
Lelangue said the two-time Tour de France runner-up (2007, 2008) will have fresh legs around him, as no one on the squad competed at the Giro d’Italia.
Jim Ochowicz, BMC Racing Team president and general manager, said the team recognized the need to bolster its support for Evans, who held the race lead for one day at last year’s Tour before being diagnosed with a broken elbow. Evans went on to finish 26th.
“Last year versus this year, we are in a better position to take on the Tour de France,” Ochowicz said. “We recognized we needed to get a little bit more support for Cadel in the mountains. But we still have guys with lots of experience like George and (Marcus) Burghardt to help him, too.”
Hincapie will be making his 16th Tour de France start, tying Joop Zoetemelk’s participation record. A three-time U.S. national road champion, Hincapie has finished 14 Tours and is the only supporting rider to ever be on a Tour-winning team eight times.
BMC Racing Team for the Tour de France
- Brent Bookwalter (USA)
- Marcus Burghardt (G)
- Cadel Evans (Aus)
- George Hincapie (USA)
- Amaël Moinard (F)
- Steve Morabito (Swi)
- Ivan Santaromita (I)
- Manuel Quinziato (I)
- Michael Schär (Swi)