BMC signs Van Garderen. The riches of Rihs.

Rihs. Sale on Tejay! Let's buy.

It appears that BMC owner Andy Rihs has deeper pockets than anyone suspected. He must have made a killing when he sold off that Phonak hearing aid company. That or BMC road bikes are literally flying out the door.

Today, Rihs and BMC continued their shopping spree by signing American Tejay Van Garderen and Italian Marco Pinotti of HTC-Defunct. Those two major purchases will go with the arrival of World Champion Thor Hushovd and the world’s most dominating rider in Philippe Gilbert.

That’s on a squad that already has Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and massive talent Taylor Phinney. How manager Jim Ochowicz and director sportif John Lelangue plan to juggle all these stars is up for debate but they’ll sure have fun trying.

‘Tejay is a gifted young talent with a complete set of skills that will allow him to one day be a contender in the Grand Tours. His time trialing continues to improve, as is his climbing,” said Ochowicz. “With Cadel acting as his mentor, the road to success should come quickly.”

In fact, Cadel Evans has to be thrilled with the one piece he was missing from his Tour roster this year: a serious, skinny, fearless climber to help in the Alps and Pyrenees. That puzzle piece has now been dropping into place.

‘I’d really like to go after the GC (general classification) at races like the Tour de Suisse or Paris-Nice,” Van Garderen said. “The thing I like about the BMC Racing Team is how there’s already a strong program and it’s set to continue well into the future.”

Evans has taken on a mentoring role with young riders like Brent Bookwalter; he and George Hincapie will definitely be school Tejay on how to win a grand tour. Van Garderen also joins his good pal Phinney — who will undoubtedly taking him clothes shopping.

Twisted Spoke assumes the Andy Rihs buying spree is over. His accountants are sending urgent emails begging him, “Andy, please stop .” Really, what’s left to purchase?

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  • jan from adam

    Still a bargain against a football team full of non0fir Euroseeking grarss-Succkers in Mercedesses 500's, or a F-1 team with Thrillsseekers trying ro drive their heads off for 10 millions a piece . Really, running a Pro-team for a hobby is not realy cheap but gives great fun as the riders know they have to perform otherwise they'll get sacked, and the whole cycle world is following their progress. Cyclin is COOL, so other sports SUCKS .

  • Higgins

    I guess that this must be a common dilemma, assuming you have the funds to create it. Having just one superstar GC contender isnt going to satisfy the sponsor's desire for year round publicity, and it would be too much like putting all your eggs in one basket..
    I would love your opinion on what makes a complete squad these days – how many GC contenders, sprinters, one-day specialists, climbers, domestiques etc etc.. and what decides priorities when you have a selection of potential winners to choose from.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Higgins, I'm just a man with a blog and an opinion. As far as the ideal team composition, I'd say the real mix is getting the right balance of workers to stars. And after that it's mostly about creating the right competative and supportive atmosphere within the team so guys will ride hard for leaders. Matt

  • Lyndon

    Consider one more possibility.

    Loepard merges with Radio Shack, BMC signs Cancellara. No one else but BMC riders bother showing up to races next year.

  • Jennifer

    Hate to say it, but all this news does have a monopoly feel to it.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Monopoly? Could also be pinochle. Hard to say at this point. Matt