Welcome to the BMC Winter LoveFest. It’s late January, months from Flanders and Roubaix and six months until the Tour de France and everybody is full of admiration, respect and love.
Philippe Gilbert adores his good buddy and fellow Classics star Thor Hushovd and the Norse Hammer is equally affectionate about his hew teammate. Neither mind the overlap and possible classics conflicts — these two huge egos are all smiles and close as brothers.
Tour de France winner Cadel Evans loves Gilbert and Hushovd and is thrilled to have them on his short list tour squad for 2012. He can’t believe how lucky he is these two hard-men working just for him as he plans for a second Tour win.
Evans is just so happy that team owner Andy Rhys and director John Lelangue picked up just one possible climber to help him in France. For his part, new mountain goat Tejay Van Garderen is super pumped to be riding on the same team with his best buddy Taylor Phinney! He is overjoyed at the prospect of riding for Evans.
Yes, January is a time of great expectations, unbounded optimism and over-wrought affection. There are yet to be any heated disagreements about who is supporting who. Everybody is a top dog before the real races begin and the lovefest at BMC shows no signs of ending.
Big George Hincapie loves his teammates so much that he said this week he might postpone his retirement for yet another year. How’s that for love? He’ll be 39, with a wife and two kids and a thriving sportswear company but he’d rather ride through the rain and mud with his BMC hommies.
There’s just one flaw in the Winter of Love because Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet have yet to profess their mutual affection in public but that’s sure to happen any day. Sample headline: “Gilbert says Avermaet is a super cool dude!” and “Van Avermaet and Gilbert go bowling.”
Yup, things are deliriously happy over at the BMC camp and everybody loves everybody else. When asked what was different between his old HTC-Highroad team and BMC, Van Garderen said his new crew was more “tranquillo.”
No question that is true fact. Let’s see how long the loveFest lasts when the big races begin.