American stalwart Brent Bookwalter begins a new chapter with a move to Mitchelton-Scott next season.
Team officials confirmed Bookwalter’s arrival Friday just ahead of the start of the Vuelta a España. Bookwalter, who rode 11 seasons with BMC Racing, will provide ballast to the team’s growing GC ambitions. He will also be the first American pro to ever ride for the Australia-based team.
“I am coming in to support them and the team’s ambition for grand tour podiums,” Bookwalter said. “I want to be able to contribute to those results and further cement the team as a GC threat in the peloton.”
The 34-year-old’s professional career spanned much of the arc of BMC Racing, which is set to morph at the close of the season. The team will continue in a new form with the arrival of CCC backers. Once a key helper to Cadel Evans, Bookwalter brings experience and depth to Mitchelton-Scott, which lost Roman Kreuziger to Dimension Data in a two-year deal.
“We have some young talented guys coming through, but we also need experience to steady the ship at times,” said sport director Matt White. “We were looking for a guy to help pass on his knowledge to our younger riders whilst still being very capable of delivering under pressure.”
Bookwalter starts the Vuelta on Saturday in what will be BMC Racing’s final grand tour. Richie Porte, confirmed to move to Trek-Segafredo next season, will be the GC captain.