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The big question out of the recent announcement that Swiss bicycle manufacturer BMC will field an elite mountain biking team isn’t how well the squad will fair on the World Cup circuit, but whether BMC roadie and former MTB world champ Cadel Evans will dabble in the dirt.
Probably not, but for 2011 the team will help showcase and refine the company’s line of mountain bikes, through feedback from their new marathon and cross country riders.
“The BMC Mountain Bike Team is the tip of the iceberg of our long-term commitment to mountain biking,” said Mike Hürlimann, CEO of BMC, in a release on Friday.
Hürlimann said that the The team will be managed by David Chassot and Alex Moos, the latter being a retired road racer who will also compete with the team in marathon events.
“It is a gigantic prospect for me to be able to participate in shaping the commitment to mountain biking for BMC,” said Moos. “My experience in the professional sport will help the young riders.”
Unlike the US-based road and Under-23 teams, BMC Racing’s MTB team will be based in Switzerland and has filled its roster primarily with local riders. One exception is German national champion Moritz Milatz, the top rider on the team so far.
“After my unfortunate injury in 2010, I am truly motivated to give it my all in 2011,” said Milatz. “The material and the environment couldn’t be better.”
Supporting Milatz and Moos are the Swiss trio of Patrik Gallati, Blaz Weber and Julien Taramarcaz. Gallati did his best work this year at the European Championships and the World Championships, finishing in third in both.
Taramarcaz, like Moos, is moving to the team from a road-racing career and will also be given the opportunity for cyclo-cross races along with the team’s sixth member, Yves Corminboef.