BMC signs Van Garderen. The riches of Rihs.
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?