Hushovd signs with BMC. No Van Summeren in sight.

Hushovd, post Alp d'Huez. Tour de France 2011.

Thor Hushovd has signed a three year contract to ride for BMC Racing in 2011. Exact details were not announced other than noting that the contract stipulates that Johan Van Summeren isn’t invited along.

While Garmin-Cervelo and Van Summeren pulled off an amazing win at Paris-Roubaix, that was also the exact day they lost the man in the rainbow jersey, Thor Hushovd.

Select a torture for the Norwegian and the worst, most excruciating painful thing you could do to him would be to force him to ride behind Fabian Cancellara over the cobblestones of Roubaix while watching his domestique win the one race that that fills his dreams.

When Van Summeren rode into the velodrome in Roubaix, Hushovd was as good as gone. Later he would complain about team tactics and strategy, a lack of support and a misuse of his talents. He had a valid point but Garmin-Cervelo also had a monster win against an otherwise dominant Cancellara.

Today, Hushovd made it clear he plans never to be in that situation in a classic again. “There’s a plan put together for the riders for all the big and important races. Everyone knows what to do. That’s a good thing.” What he meant specifically is that it’s a good thing for him, all for Thor, all the time.

That’s not an unreasonable request. Hushovd is a true professional who delivers big results in a consistent manner year after year. After a slow start in the Spring Classics, he was on fire in the Tour de France, winning two stages and wearing the yellow jersey for seven days.

However, any assumptions that those triumphs would patch over the bitter memory of Roubaix were wiped out with the stroke of a pen. “My biggest goal is still to win Paris-Roubaix,” said Hushovd.  ”The BMC Racing Team has good riders to support me or for me to help someone else on the team win.” That last part about other riders was a nice throw away, an extra thrown in to say “I’m not an egomaniac.”

BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz was naturally sky-high about the signing. First his team scores a stunning Tour de France victory for Evans and now the huge bonus of bringing in the world champion for one day races.

“Thor brings a lot of qualities to us and complements other riders on the team in races like the Spring Classics and the Grand Tours,” Ochowicz said. “We’re very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond.”

The BMC team is based on Santa Rosa, California which will be the stage one start for the 2012 Tour of California. Expect to see Hushovd in the red and black in Cali.

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  • beth

    Thor in the red and black kit of BMC will take some getting used to. You could tell how pissed off he was at Paris-Roubaix, but are you SURE about that stipulation in the contract? He wants 3 whole years Van Summeren free? Guaranteed? That's some hard feelings there. Wow.
    BTW, did you see PhilGil help Taylor Phinney back up to the front of the peloton after a wheel change this morning?

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Beth, I was joking about the contract and Van Summeren. I hope you know that — I joke around alot. Missed the wheel change. But I don't think there's any way Gilbert comes to BMC now. Why would he? Matt

  • Sindre Ånonsen

    Good for Thor. I think most of all the lack of chemestry between him and JV lead to the split. GC is one hell of a team, and I would have loved if things had worked out for Thor there. But also: Thor is 33, and financially he needed to make a move. He's been making 1 million Euro a year for the last 4-5 seasons, but recived no bonus from GC after his WC-win last year due to lack of GC money in the bank. Now he got his 1,5 – 2 million Euro a year contract, so no matter what happens he can enjoy the rest of his career in Monaco, where he lives and pays 0 income tax. 12 TfF stage wins (including 2 TT), two green jerseys in TdF, and a world champ – he has secured his legacy :)

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Thor is a terrific rider and a class guy. I'm happy for him at BMC (Yeah America!) but disappointed that it didn't work out at Garmin. Matt

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    Now Evans is whining on how he doesn't want Thor to ride le Tour, one Tour and now he's an egomaniac, something tells me Evan's Tour luck is about to end. BMC would get more advert time with Thor who won't win le Tour than with Evans any year.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      In my book, anybody who has won a tour has a right to full 100% support. That's what it takes and if you've proved yourself, that is the deal. Cadel always sounds whiney, but Armstrong never had a sprinter on his team. Neither did Contador or Schleck. Like it or not, Evans has earned the right to insist. Matt