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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf. - Rabindranath Tagore

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BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz wraps up the 2018 season

Team BMC sent me this:

30 November, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA)

As it always does, the 2018 season has flown by and has now officially wrapped up which means we saw the BMC Racing Team jersey at the start line for the final time. Before we turn our attention to 2019, it is important to acknowledge our achievements this year, the final year that Continuum Sports will operate as BMC Racing Team. No two seasons are the same and after our success in 2017, we knew it would be hard to replicate that number of victories in 2018. Whilst our win tally was not as high as it has been in the past, we celebrated some very special moments throughout the year and are proud of what we achieved.

The Rainbow Jersey
After years of bad luck and crashes, Rohan Dennis was finally rewarded with the result he deserved when he dominated the UCI Time Trial World Championship to pull the rainbow jersey on for the first time in his career. A world championship is an incredible achievement and Rohan's victory is a testament to his dedication and hard work, BMC Racing Team's performance team, and of course, the BMC Timemachine. So, to see everything come together for Rohan this year in Innsbruck was an excellent way to end the season for Rohan and for the team.

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis on his world championship-winning ride. Sirotti photo

Pink, Yellow, Red
BMC Racing Team was one of two teams to wear the leader's jersey in all three Grand Tours this year. Rohan Dennis led the Giro d'Italia for the first time in his career and added the Maglia Rosa to his collection of yellow and red jerseys, before winning the opening time trial at the Vuelta a Espana to become the first leader of the race for the second consecutive year. Rohan's three Grand Tour stage wins were all impressive displays of time trialing prowess and were a sign of what was to come at the end of the season.

Our victory in the stage three team time trial at the Tour de France was a season highlight. It is no secret that the team time trial is a discipline that we target, so to win at the biggest race of the year was a fantastic way to start the race. Not only did we stand on the podium as a team, but Greg Van Avermaet claimed the yellow jersey for the second time in his career and held the jersey for eight incredible days.

Time Trial Prowess
Of BMC Racing Team's 24 victories in 2018, 17 were time trials, four team time trial wins, and 13 individual time trial wins. That number speaks for itself. Amongst the wins, Rohan Dennis, Stefan Küng, and Joey Rosskopf all secured back-to-back national time trial championships, and Tejay van Garderen won two time trials on home soil at the AMGEN Tour of California and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Stage Race Success
Richie Porte continued his General Classification success with podium results at the Santos Tour Down Under, second place by the narrowest of margins, and third place at the Tour de Romandie, before going on to win the Tour de Suisse for the first time in his career which was an important victory for Richie, BMC Racing Team, and our sponsors. A strong performance from Greg Van Avermaet and his teammates saw Greg stand on the top step at the Tour de Yorkshire, and Damiano Caruso put in a great ride to finish second overall at Tirreno-Adriatico, as did Tejay van Garderen to finish second at the AMGEN Tour of California.

For the fifth consecutive year, Richie Porte delivered a stage win on Willunga Hill at the Santos Tour Down Under and Jürgen Roelandts and Greg Van Avermaet scored their first wins of the season at Volta Valenciana and the Tour of Oman respectively. Fast forward to the end of the season and Alessandro De Marchi's persistence was rewarded with a stunning solo victory at the Vuelta a Espana, where Dylan Teuns' determination also saw him narrowly miss a win, finishing in the top five on five occasions.

Bella Italia
BMC Racing Team's season ended well at the Italian classics, with the race plan at Giro dell'Emilia executed perfectly to net Alessandro De Marchi the win with another solo attack, and Dylan Teuns rounded out the podium with third place. Dylan went on to sprint for third place at Il Lombardia in what was his first, of many I'm sure, podium result at a Monument. Our results in Italy ended the season on a high and showed our determination to race well until the very end of the year.

Lastly, but not least, the 2018 season was dedicated to the late owner of BMC Racing Team, Andy Rihs. We wouldn't be where we are today without Andy's passion and it was an honor for us all to race this season in his name. Continuum Sports moves in a different direction in 2019 but we will forever be grateful to Andy for his friendship and support over the past 13 years.

I want to thank the staff for their work day in, day out, to keep the team running smoothly, and our riders for being part of the BMC Racing Team family. A big thank you to all of our partners for their support throughout the year, especially BMC Switzerland, our title sponsor. We have shared many great memories since the beginning of BMC Racing Team.

Finally, thank you to all of our fans, all around the world, for supporting us on the side of the road and from home. We look forward to seeing you on the road next year. In December, we will come together as CCC Team for the first time at our pre-season camp where we will make some exciting announcements and unveil the CCC Team kit. We are excited to share the next chapter of the team with you and get the 2019 season underway.

Jim Ochowicz
General Manager

2018 key results
1st Australian National Time Trial Championship: Rohan Dennis
1st Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5: Richie Porte
2nd Santos Tour Down Under General Classification: Richie Porte
1st Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 3 TTT
1st Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 5: Jürgen Roelandts
1st Tour of Oman Stage 3: Greg Van Avermaet
1st Abu Dhabi Tour Stage 4 ITT: Rohan Dennis
1st Tirreno Adriatico Stage 1 TTT
1st Tirreno Adriatico Stage 7 ITT: Rohan Dennis
2nd Tirreno Adriatico General Classification: Damiano Caruso
3rd Record Bank E3 Harelbeke: Greg Van Avermaet
1st Tour de Yorkshire: Greg Van Avermaet
1st AMGEN Tour of California Stage 4 ITT: Tejay van Garderen
2nd AMGEN Tour of California General Classification: Tejay van Garderen
3rd Tour de Romandie General Classification: Richie Porte
1st Giro d'Italia Stage 16 ITT: Rohan Dennis
1st Tour de Suisse Stage 1 TTT
1st Tour de Suisse Stage 9 ITT: Stefan Küng
1st Tour de Suisse General Classification: Richie Porte
1st United States Time Trial Championship: Joey Rosskopf
1st Swiss Time Trial Championship: Stefan Küng
1st Tour de France TTT
1st Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah Prologue: Tejay van Garderen
1st Binck Bank Tour Stage 2 ITT: Stefan Küng
1st Vuelta a Espana Stage 1 ITT: Rohan Dennis
1st Vuelta a Espana Stage 11: Alessandro De Marchi
1st Vuelta a Espana Stage 16 ITT: Rohan Dennis
2nd GP Cyclise de Quebec: Greg Van Avermaet
3rd GP Cycliste de Montreal: Greg Van Avermaet
1st World Time Trial Championship: Rohan Dennis
1st Giro dell'Emilia: Alessandro De Marchi
3rd Giro dell'Emilia: Dylan Teuns
3rd Il Lombardia: Dylan Teuns

2019 Team Sky kit unveiled

Team Sky sent me this press release:

Team Sky has unveiled its new kit for the 2019 season and revealed a return to black for the team’s tenth year in the peloton.

The kit incorporates a blue to black gradient, with the blue being inspired by the team’s commitment to Sky Ocean Rescue (SOR). The SOR logo is also prominent on the collar of the jersey, as the team continues to raise awareness of Sky’s campaign to help inspire simple, everyday changes to stop our oceans from drowning in plastic.

The jersey retains the iconic line on the back, a defining feature that has been ever-present since the team’s inception, while rider names have moved back to the side of the jersey, echoing the team’s previous designs.

The Team Sky data pattern - which featured on the jersey in 2017 and 2018 – will transfer to the team bus for 2019, where it will exist as a living example of what the team has achieved in its first nine years on the road.

The kit is once again manufactured by Castelli, who have enjoyed unprecedented success since joining the Team Sky partnership portfolio in 2017, with the famous scorpion on the top-tier of the Champs-Élysées podium once again in 2018 following Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France victory.

Team Sky Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We’ve enjoyed another fantastic year of collaboration with Castelli and are delighted with our new look for 2019.

“Castelli share our attitude and outlook in their approach to research and development and we have been continually impressed by their pioneering work from the moment our relationship started. They have played a major role in our success over the past two seasons and are a big part of Team Sky.

“This year’s jersey is a special one for the team as we enter our tenth year on the road. The design is befitting of that landmark and we believe this year's kit will be our best performing yet.”

2019 Sky kit

Geraint Thomas wears the 2019 Sky jersey

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is relishing the opportunity to wear the new kit in 2019, commenting: “I love the look of the new kit. It’s a classic design and I can’t wait to race in it in 2019.”

Current Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas is also a fan of the new look, adding: “The kit is a nice celebration of our tenth year in the peloton - I can see lots of our old designs in the new look for 2019. I'm looking forward to pulling it on in the New Year.”

Steve Smith, Brand Manager at Castelli, is excited about the new kit for 2019, commenting: “Our partnership with Team Sky continues to go from strength-to-strength and the kit design for 2019 is another hugely positive step forward in the relationship.

“Not only does the new kit look great, but we’re confident it will be the best performing Team Sky kit yet. The sixth generation of Castelli aero jerseys are more aerodynamic than ever before, as well as being lighter and more comfortable.”

Smith added: “Team Sky’s staff and riders provide us with valuable feedback which we use to continuously improve our products. This is vital for Castelli because most of the Team Sky products end up in our Castelli collection, so we’re happy to incorporate Team Sky’s expertise to make cycling faster and more enjoyable for cyclists everywhere.

“We’re proud of our partnership and looking forward to more success together in 2019.”

LottoNL-Jumbo & Tacx continue technical partnership

Here's the team's post:

Team Jumbo and Tacx continue their long standing technical partnership and signed a contract for another five years. Joining the World Tour cycling team in this partnership is the successful speed skating team of Team Jumbo. The athletes will be training and racing with the Tacx bike trainers, trainer software, bottle cages and bottles. Thanks to the long-term contract with Jumbo, the Dutch cycling and skating team, united in Team Oranje, is able to partner up with partners like Tacx for many years.

In 2019, the team will train and warm up on the NEO Smart, the most powerful, accurate and silent bike trainer to date. This trainer perfectly suits the pro riders’ needs as it is extremely accurate, resistant to the most excessive sprints and enables the riders to perform necessary, specific workouts. With help of the Isokinetic and Isotonic training modes they can effectively improve their power output and pedal stroke. Team Jumbo also gets access to the Premium Tacx software, so they can complement their training with structured workouts and training plans provided by their coach. This software also makes their indoor rides more fun with the Real Life video’s. This software even enables the teams’ and riders’ fans to ride with them as several Tacx Films are starring the Team Jumbo riders.

"Tacx is a loyal partner and emphasizes that by committing for another five years with us. I am happy with that signal,” says Richard Plugge, manager of the cycling team. "Tacx supports our ambitions and we join forces to develop products. Tacx is an innovative company with a great passion for sports and technology. Everything is developed in-house and with that we seamlessly connect. We also strive for success based on our own education and development."

Koos Tacx, CEO of Tacx, is delighted with the long-term prolongation with the team: "We’re very happy to extend the partnership with Team Jumbo for five years, which is quite unique in the world of cycling. Groenewegen and Roglic, for example, won a lot of races this year and last Tour de France the team did a terrific job by finishing fourth and fifth overall. The team is getting even stronger so the expectations for next year are high. Furthermore it’s great to see that the speed skating team with a lot of very successful Dutch skaters now also join us in this partnership."

“It’s lovely that a typical Dutch company such as Tacx now also supports the skating team”, Jac Orie, director of the speed skating team, reacts. “With their products we can optimize the warming up and cooling down at our races. And in case of bad wheater we just can ‘Tacx’. It’s essential training material.”

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