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Ochowicz unveils new team name: CCC Team

BMC Racing and CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice are merging into one squad for 2019, which is bringing about many changes.

BMC Racing is now CCC Team.

The WorldTour team will be part of a sprawling operation that will also include a women’s squad and development team under the banner of title sponsor CCC, a Polish company that makes shoes and bags. Officials confirmed key details Thursday of the new-look team for 2019.

Greg Van Avermaet is the anchor of the WorldTour team that sees BMC Racing and CCC combine forces for 2019 to become Poland’s first elite men’s team at the highest level of international racing. Gone are such marquee riders as Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida), and Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First-Drapac). Confirmed new arrivals include Simon Geschke and Laurens ten Dam (Sunweb) and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty Groupe) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) on a roster of 20 riders and growing.

A women’s team and a men’s continental-level development team will also race under the CCC banner, but each team will have its own structure and management. Longtime manager Jim Ochowicz will lead the WorldTour team that brings across some key staffers and riders from CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice, which will drop from the Pro Continental league to a development team at the Continental level for 2019.

Thursday’s confirmation reveals what’s been a few active months behind the scenes for Ochowicz, who landed the CCC sponsorship deal this summer under the holding company called Continuum Sports.

“We are pleased to confirm that the team will be known as CCC Team from 2019 and become the first Polish UCI WorldTour team,” Ochowicz said in a press release. “In conjunction with Dariusz Milek, president of CCC, we decided to adopt a short team name that will reinforce the CCC brand as the team’s identity. Whilst we are always searching for additional sponsors, CCC will be the sole title sponsor of the team.”

The arrival of CCC keeps alive much of the BMC Racing legacy, which will shutter at the end of 2018 following the death of longtime backer Andy Rihs this spring. Dimension Data will race on BMC bicycles in the 2019 season.

Besides swapping out title sponsors and a change to the jersey — the new-look squad will feature orange as its primary color in a still-to-be determined final image — there are some major staff changes behind the scenes as well.

Joining Ochowicz and his longtime partner business Gavin Chilcott will be Robert Krajewski from CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice in the senior management team, officials said.

Sport directors Piotr Wadecki and Gabriele Missaglia will make the move to CCC Team from CCC-Sprandi Polkowice, joining Fabio Baldato, Valerio Piva, and Jackson Stewart as the team’s five primary sport directors, while Marco Pinotti remains as head of performance, Ochowicz confirmed. Sporting manager Allan Peiper and sport directors Max Sciandri and Klaas Lodewyck are leaving the organization.

“Planning for the 2019 season is well underway so there is no better time to confirm our sports director team,” Ochowicz said. “The rider roster and race program are taking great shape so we are approaching the coming season with a great sense of excitement and motivation to hit the ground running in January.”

Officials said more details about the women’s team and development team will be announced in the coming weeks. All three squads will be operated independently under the CCC sponsorship banner.

Ochowicz said more details will be revealed in the near future about technical sponsors, including which bikes the team will ride, as well as additional riders to round out the roster for 2019.