2011 Tour de France, stage 17
Hushovd's second stage win at the 2011 Tour Photo: Graham Watson | grahamwatson.com

The speculation is over. World road champion Thor Hushovd will join BMC Racing for three years beginning in 2012, the team announced Tuesday.

Hushovd joins former champions Cadel Evans and Alessandro Ballan at the American ProTeam that is making serious upgrades after Evans won the final overall classification at the Tour de France last month.

BMC president Jim Ochowicz said Hushovd fit well into the squad, which has been rumored to be courting classics king Philippe Gilbert as well.

“Thor brings a lot of qualities to us and complements other riders on the team in races like the spring classics and the grand tours,” said Ochowicz. “We’re very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond.”

Hushovd, who won three stages at the Tour and wore the maillot jaune for eight days, was in negotiations with a number of teams, including French squad Ag2R La Mondiale, before joining BMC. At the close of 2011 the Norwegian will leave the Garmin-Cervélo team he joined as part of last fall’s merger between Slipstream Sports and the Canadian bicycle manufacturer’s team.

“It’s a serious team where it looks like everything is well-organized,” Hushovd said of BMC Racing. “There’s a plan put together for the riders for all the big and important races. Everyone knows what to do. That’s a good thing.”

Hushovd’s long palmarés lacks a win in the Roubaix velodrome and he said Paris-Roubaix was the top remaining goal on his tick list. With veteran George Hincapie, Belgian Greg Van Avermaet, two-time Paris-Roubaix espoir Taylor Phinney and Ballan, Hushovd will move from one classics super team to what is becoming another.

“My biggest goal is still to win Paris-Roubaix,” said Hushovd. “The BMC Racing team has good riders to support me or for me to help someone else on the team win.”