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.