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After poor Tour BMC focuses on 2nd half of the season

BMC president Jim Ochowicz says his team has "a lot more goals yet to try to reach"

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(VN) — Although BMC has certainly enjoyed some successes of late, the heavyweight team — with four current or former world road champions and a Tour de France winner — has some homework to do after the grand tours of 2012, notably the Tour de France letdown.

“It’s no secret we didn’t have a good Tour de France this year,” said BMC president Jim Ochowicz. “We didn’t hit any of the goals that we set up for the team. After 18 Tour de Frances that I’ve done with 7-Eleven, Motorola and now BMC, that stuff happens once in a while. And it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem was.

“We did our best but just never got going in the race. That was pretty evident in the team time trial … that gives you a wakeup call that things aren’t going right. But in any event we did come out of the race healthy and still motivated. The Tour is the biggest race of the year, but we’re only halfway through the season.”

BMC will focus on another objective beginning Monday in Aspen, with Tejay van Garderen looking to follow up his Amgen Tour of California win with a victory at Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge.

“We’ve got a lot more goals yet to try to reach, and so the focus comes back to other racing, and that’s where we are now,” Ochowicz said.

The spotlight turns now to riders like Taylor Phinney and Greg Van Avermaet, who were not focused on the Tour, and to helping Philippe Gilbert defend his world championship jersey.

“And the Tour guys are starting to come back slowly, back into Colorado, with Tejay and others,” said Ochowicz. “We’re excited. We’ve got a lot of stuff on the plate left to go. We’re focused on that.

“And we’ve got a lot of depth on the team, too. So when you have that kind of depth you can reach into different levels if you need to for different things to get performance.”

The team will use the upcoming Vuelta a España to hunt stages and prepare for the UCI Road World Championships.

“We don’t have GC aspirations there, but we do have stage-win aspirations. Last year, we won three stages, and we’d love to repeat that again this year,” Ochowicz said.

As far as the grand-tour riddles go, that’s something that the team will try to solve next year, as it decides where to deploy Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour champ, and up-and-comer van Garderen. Parcours will also determine who goes where.

“It’s a little early to decipher all that. We still have another grand tour this year to get through,” Ochowicz said.

“The roles [Evans and van Garderen] play — they’re the leaders, that’s not going to change. It just depends on which races fall into their pockets and fit into their schedules.”