Gilbert to BMC. Too many chiefs?

What? You're going to BMC, too?

This year’s most dominant one day rider, a classics superstar, Philippe Gilbert has joined world champion Thor Hushovd and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans at BMC. That’s a yellow jersey, rainbow stripes and a man who wore the green maillot in the Tour for a few days.

That’s three good-sized egos and already the guessing game is whether that’s going to be a migraine for manager John Lelangue. Smart men like Johan Bruyneel and Jonathan Vaughters had trouble juggling stars so Lelangue will have to step up his game. It’ s an embarrassment of both riches and possibly conflicting agendas. (You can now add BMC to the list of big budget super squads, along with Sky and Katusha.)

Is Gilbert really ready to ride for Evans in the Tour or will he be more focused on getting his stage win in the first seven to ten days? After his overall victory in the Tour de France, Evans has every right to a 100% dedicated team with only one objective.

Nobody except Evans knows how excited or disappointed he is about the news that Gilbert is joining BMC. On one hand, it appears they got along as former teammates in Lotto and have kept in touch. However, there’s also the quote from the Aussie about sharing a tour team with a sprinter in the past and no desire to do so in the future. Evans is too nice to present ultimatums and perhaps this is one time he should have.

The other half of the equation and difficult co-habitation is Thor Hushovd. We’s sure like to know if Hushovd was told by BMC management that there was a high probability of landing Gilbert. There was probably a contract provision that Van Summeren was never to be hired under any circumstances but not mention of Gilbert.

If we were the world champion coming off two stages wins in the Tour de France and also still bitter about watching teammate Johan Van Summeren win Paris-Roubaix, then the last person we’d want to see is Philippe Gilbert. While most observers claim that Gilbert has no great designs on the Hell of the North, he’s also stated he wants to win them all and has the talent to do exactly that.

In the end, it’s probably just about dollars and nobody deserves a bigger raise than Gilbert. We distinctly remember watching Gilbert and Hushovd joking with each other at sign-in one morning at this year’s Tour de France. We hope they will still be joking next season when the classics are over.

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  • Lyndon

    It's sure going to be interesting watching the team dynamic unfold. Personally, I think the subtle differences in the riders and races will make BMC almost unbeatable next year. At Flanders, they have 2 cards to play – Gilbert for the long range strike and Hushovd for the bunch sprint. At Roubaix it will be all for Hushovd because there is no way Gilbert will be allowed to get up the road like Van Summeran did this year, and across the cobbles the big man still has the advantage. And he seems super motivated. I don't think Evans has any real interest in making one-day races his major goal anymore.
    Anyone fancy taking on Gilbert in the Ardennes with Evans as his domestique? Good luck to them….
    Finally, I have a feeling that Evans' performance at the Tour was no flash in the pan and he will be even harder to beat next year, so he'll have the full team support.

  • BikeRog

    If they can keep their egos in check, BMC has the possibility of becoming the super team that Sky only imagined they would become.

    On the flip side of this coin, both Thor and Cadel have shown they can become really bitchy and persnickety when the feel they have been slighted. So we'll just to wait and see.