BMC Winter of Love continues. Van Avermaet blows kiss.
Love knows no bounds and nowhere is that more true than at super-team BMC Racing where love continues to bloom. As we reported just a few days ago, the LoveFest is in full swing as the racing season kicks in.
Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd are as affectionate towards each other as two cuddly puppies and they both love their Tour de France champion Cadel Evans. They’ve professed a burning desire to work 100% for the Australian when he begins his tour defense in July in Liege. They’ll go for their own stage wins only if forced to by circumstance. No massive egos here, just smiling faces and mutual admiration.
Cadel Evans is thrilled to have them on his fantasy Tour squad and he can’t thank owner Andy Rhys and manager John Lelangue enough for getting him all those needed climbers. Well, actually only Tejay Van Garderen — who loves Cadel and can’t wait to pace him up the final climbs in the Pyrenees and Alps. Side note to cyclingnews reporter: never ask a rider if they plan to work for their team leader when the leader is standing right behind him — what else is Tejay going to say?
Perhaps the most lovable person on the team is big George Hincapie. He is so overcome with emotion, so caught up in the cascading waves of shared affection, that he’s prepared to postpone his retirement for yet another year. He thinks Tejay is so swell that he’s a future Tour de France contender! You know George is sending everybody free Hincapie casual wear and those jeans do look fantastic.
There was only one missing couple at this BMC Winter of Love and that was Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet. Before the arrival of Gilbert and Hushovd, Van Avermaet looked to be the rising classics star at BMC. Then owner Andy Rhys emptied his bank account and Gilbert was suddenly wearing black and red lycra. A small war of word ensued between the two riders and the Belgian journalists had a fun time with the inflammatory quotes.
However, as Twisted Spoke predicted, it was only a matter of time before we read the Van Avermaet love letter — which arrived today from the BMC training camp in Denia, Spain. First Van Avermaet downplayed the media fuss then said, “I think we have a good relationship with each other and I think it will work out really well for next year.”
That is love talking and in fact, he didn’t stop gushing about Gilbert: “It’s kind of an honor that he’s here on the team with me. I think he’s a strong rider and I’m going to try to work for him.”
There you have it: this is one happy, supportive squad bubbling over with love. We can’t wait to see all this mutual affection at the races.