BMC Racing has signed Colombian Darwin Atapuma for next season, a move that bolsters the squad’s climbing abilities.
Atapuma, who joined the professional peloton in 2009, signed with team Colombia at the start of 2012. He showcased his climbing skills while riding for the UCI Pro Continental squad, and this year he won stage 6 at the Tour of Poland — which ended in an uphill finish. He was also second in the opening stage of the race, and was the runner-up in the mountains classification.
“We are happy to welcome Darwin to the team for 2014,” BMC president and general manager Jim Ochowicz said in a press release. “He has shown on several occasions at ProTour races this year his skills in the mountains. He will be a great asset to the BMC Racing Team in the grand tours and other stage races.”
Atapuma won the road race at the 2008 Colombian championships. Last year, he won stage 4 at the Giro del Trentino en route to an eighth-place overall finish. This season, Atapuma finished in the top 10 at the Tour de Slovénie (sixth) and the Tour of Turkey (seventh).
“This is a big moment for me,” the 25-year-old said. “To go to the ProTour completes my dream. I know it will be a difficult task. My objective is to work for the team and for the team’s leaders, so I will give my best.”
BMC would not provide the specific terms of Atapuma’s contract.