God of Thunder & Gilbert join BMC

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God of Thunder & Gilbert join BMC

Postby JV911 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:52 am

Hushovd joins new BMC super team

The speculation is over. World road champion Thor Hushovd will join BMC Racing for three years beginning in 2012, the team announced Tuesday.

Hushovd joins former champions Cadel Evans and Alessandro Ballan at the American ProTeam that is making serious upgrades after Evans won the final overall classification at the Tour de France last month.

BMC president Jim Ochowicz said Hushovd fit well into the squad, which has been rumored to be courting classics king Philippe Gilbert as well.

“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,” said Ochowicz. “We’re very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond.”

Hushovd, who won three stages at the Tour and wore the maillot jaune for eight days, was in negotiations with a number of teams, including French squad Ag2R La Mondiale, before joining BMC. At the close of 2011 the Norwegian will leave the Garmin-Cervélo team he joined as part of last fall’s merger between Slipstream Sports and the Canadian bicycle manufacturer’s team.

“It’s a serious team where it looks like everything is well-organized,” Hushovd said of BMC Racing. “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.”

Hushovd’s long palmarés lacks a win in the Roubaix velodrome and he said Paris-Roubaix was the top remaining goal on his tick list. With veteran George Hincapie, Belgian Greg Van Avermaet, two-time Paris-Roubaix espoir Taylor Phinney and Ballan, Hushovd will move from one classics super team to what is becoming another.

“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.”
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by BNA » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:01 am

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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby MichaelB » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:01 am

Interesting move.

Wonder who will go from BMC to make him fit ? Wonder if Ballan is on the way out ?
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Chuck » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:46 am

I really did think Gilbert would join BMC. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely now.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby pauls51 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:49 am

Nice move.... I wouldn't think Ballan is going anywhere, but I've seen stranger things happen!
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Drunkmonkey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:19 am

Chuck wrote:I really did think Gilbert would join BMC. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely now.


Gilbert is still on contract with OPL, who are merging with Quickstep next year. His contract is still valid as OPL are not disbanding - and they want 1 million dollars just to release him (well so the rumours go).
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Drunkmonkey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:20 am

pauls51 wrote:Nice move.... I wouldn't think Ballan is going anywhere, but I've seen stranger things happen!


Ballan and BMC will have no choice if Ballan is suspended from riding...............
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Jensen » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:23 am

So the standard BMC jersey will be produced with rainbow stripes on the sleeve/collar! Fantastic news. will make for interesting team tactics in future grand tours, should Thor grab a leaders jersey - work to protect the jersey in the early stages or save themselves for the latter race stages.

Looking forward to even more visibility for the team, though
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Jensen » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:24 am

Drunkmonkey wrote:
Chuck wrote:I really did think Gilbert would join BMC. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely now.


Gilbert is still on contract with OPL, who are merging with Quickstep next year. His contract is still valid as OPL are not disbanding - and they want 1 million dollars just to release him (well so the rumours go).


As has been noted elsewhere, the Evans/Gilbert combo did not work particularly well in the past
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Drunkmonkey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:29 am

Jensen wrote:
Drunkmonkey wrote:
Chuck wrote:I really did think Gilbert would join BMC. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely now.


Gilbert is still on contract with OPL, who are merging with Quickstep next year. His contract is still valid as OPL are not disbanding - and they want 1 million dollars just to release him (well so the rumours go).


As has been noted elsewhere, the Evans/Gilbert combo did not work particularly well in the past


Gilbert is far from being a good team player.......he showed that again in thsi years TdF.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Chuck » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Drunkmonkey wrote:
Chuck wrote:I really did think Gilbert would join BMC. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely now.


Gilbert is still on contract with OPL, who are merging with Quickstep next year. His contract is still valid as OPL are not disbanding - and they want 1 million dollars just to release him (well so the rumours go).


Yeah I've read that (although not the 1mill release :shock: ). You still get the feeling he wants out.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Chuck » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:47 pm

Drunkmonkey wrote:Gilbert is far from being a good team player.......he showed that again in thsi years TdF.


I like Thor but he's not much better than Gilbert as far as team players go. He made it clear that he wasn't happy that Vaughters wouldn't allow him to work with the chase at PR. Didn't worry him that he had a teammate up the road, who did eventually win, and that Vaughters made the right call, he hasn't been happy since. Including at the TDF even though he enjoyed great personal success.

He might be a good fit for BMC at PR, and George and Bughardt may well help him achieve his dream of winning there. My personal opinion is he won't be such a good fit for Cadel when he defends his TDF crown next year. Thor is ambitious, he likes to chase stage wins and jerseys at the Tour. BMC showed this year, just as Saxo, Discovery, Postal have before it that you need everybody riding for the cause. Thor doesn't strike me as that sort of rider.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Drunkmonkey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Chuck wrote:
Drunkmonkey wrote:Gilbert is far from being a good team player.......he showed that again in thsi years TdF.


I like Thor but he's not much better than Gilbert as far as team players go. He made it clear that he wasn't happy that Vaughters wouldn't allow him to work with the chase at PR. Didn't worry him that he had a teammate up the road, who did eventually win, and that Vaughters made the right call, he hasn't been happy since. Including at the TDF even though he enjoyed great personal success.

He might be a good fit for BMC at PR, and George and Bughardt may well help him achieve his dream of winning there. My personal opinion is he won't be such a good fit for Cadel when he defends his TDF crown next year. Thor is ambitious, he likes to chase stage wins and jerseys at the Tour. BMC showed this year, just as Saxo, Discovery, Postal have before it that you need everybody riding for the cause. Thor doesn't strike me as that sort of rider.


I agree with you 100% - I can see BMC burning matches to help Thor, when they should be saving those matches for Cadel.

You have to feel sorry for Greg Avermaet, his spring classic ambitions will now make way for Thor's :roll:
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby wombatK » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:37 pm

Chuck wrote:
Drunkmonkey wrote: Thor is ambitious, he likes to chase stage wins and jerseys at the Tour. BMC showed this year, just as Saxo, Discovery, Postal have before it that you need everybody riding for the cause. Thor doesn't strike me as that sort of rider.

+1 with your concerns. I'm reading Thor's Paris-Roubaix comment as he is expecting his ambitions for stage wins and personal glory can be satisfied in other grand tour events. BMC management would have to be smart enough to cover off how it would need to be reined in for the TDF. So that we wouldn't have to worry about a rider tanking the team time-trial in order to get a realignment of the team priorities that more suits their personal goals. Not that this happened anytime in the past.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:08 pm

Will be certainly interesting to follow the team tactics in early season races and it would have been something that Thor would know coming into the team.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby number21 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:06 pm

Seems a bit strange to me also, with multiple ambitions in the one team. But the team camaraderie shown in the tour by BMC was on level I'd not seen in pro cycling so they must have a good system in place to grow that. Surely Thor would be aware of that. Remember he did lead Farrer out for a win, in yellow no less.

Could add colour to BMCs Cadel less Giro/Vuelta teams also.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Chuck » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:23 am

Interesting stuff....

"I said: 'Look Jim, you want to bring a sprinter to the team, I don't want to ride with a sprinter, because I've done that and I've done my share. If I do the Tour I want to do it for the win.'

"I was fairly clear about that and Jim was accepting of that, so it's under that basis that Thor comes to our team."



http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/hushovd ... -de-france

and more in the Herald Sun....

"If I do the Tour I want to do it for the win -- either that or I can do the Tour of Italy or the Tour of Spain or something. I was very clear about that and Jim was accepting of it. Thor comes to the team on the understanding that to win the Tour everyone has to be dedicated to the cause, especially in the modern era where teams are becoming so specialised in what they go for.



http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/evans ... 6114094385

They did manage to call Lotto a Danish team :oops:

BTW totally agree with Cadel.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby CommuRider » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:04 am

Hmmm sounds like a fairly big statement from Cadel. If Thor doesn't ride as part of the team, Cadel would prefer to do Italy or Spain...big wt? He'll give up defending his TdF if Thor doesn't ride selflessly?

Why have Thor in the team in the first place? Reputation preceding him...all sorts of disastrous scenarios can play out. Not a good start to defend the TdF next year for Cadel.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby bianchi928 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:43 pm

CommuRider wrote:Reputation preceding him


Can you expand on this?
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby CommuRider » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:59 pm

bianchi928 wrote:
CommuRider wrote:Reputation preceding him


Can you expand on this?


Thor is not known as a team player. Cadel has made a big condition about him joining the team. Lotto redux. Explicit enough?
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby damhooligan » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:09 pm

CommuRider wrote:Hmmm sounds like a fairly big statement from Cadel. If Thor doesn't ride as part of the team, Cadel would prefer to do Italy or Spain...big wt? He'll give up defending his TdF if Thor doesn't ride selflessly?

Why have Thor in the team in the first place? Reputation preceding him...all sorts of disastrous scenarios can play out. Not a good start to defend the TdF next year for Cadel.


I don't think it was cadels decision for thor to join...
(but this I don;t know)

And cadel saying this doesn't surprise me, actually he has too.. :wink:
He knows it is either this or that, wich is a good thing, and he fights for it.. :twisted:
I enjoyed reading those statements. 8)
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby bianchi928 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:39 pm

CommuRider wrote: . Explicit enough?


Easy CommuRider :roll: , I was only asking if you knew something. The reason I ask is the interviews and articles I have read have always portrayed Hushovd as a very good team player so I was interested if you knew something. Geez.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:11 pm

Thor comes across in interviews very well (give me a call Thor if you want an interview with BNA) and getting a feel for his character. he seems very confident about his role and potential when racing. I get the feeling that while we know him for his potential to win stages, he knowingly puts himself in a different role when signing up with BMC.

To the teams advantage, he has the potential to jump into a breakaway and keep tabs on it when Cadel is in the pack. He also has the strength to provide support on the critical stages. I guess if there is a scenario where he can take a stage win without this affecting the team strategy, then this could be possible however this will be interesting to follow - whether he is allowed to do so or is instructed to save himself. We are not seeing a Team Astana Contador v. Armstrong scenario where the actual team leadership is challenged - rather two riders who have to give the GC win the priority and work accordingly.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby bianchi928 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:35 pm

We don't even know if Thor is going to ride the tour next year.

He has moved from a pure sprinter from his CA days (he didn't really figure in the big bunch kicks in this years tour against Cav, Farrar and Griepel) and I think he will move to more of a classics specialist, especially as it is well documented his desire for a parix Roubaix win which based on his stage win in last years tour over the cobbles, he is a chance to do.

Why would BMC jeopardise a tour win and the exposure which is a greater value that stage wins would have .

Lets also give give Ochowiz (dodgy spelling) some credit here. Look at the team he put together for Cadel this year. BMC know what they are doing.

Pure speculation, but maybe Hushovd will adopt a role similar to that of Cancellara, focus on the classics and support Cadel in the tour. There are worst riders who I would want protecting me on the flat stages and TTT (if there is one).

BTW, Cadels twitter tonight says he is happy Thor has signed.

Its not going to be Lemond v Hinault or Armstrong v Contador. All of these riders had GC ambitions, Hushovd does not.
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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby wombatK » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:44 pm

AUbicycles wrote:To the teams advantage, he has the potential to jump into a breakaway and keep tabs on it when Cadel is in the pack.

Are they banning radios for next year ? Or are you thinking more that Thor would be exerting some control over the
breakaway's (pace etc.,.), perhaps by threatening to steal their 5 minutes of fame ?
AUbicycles wrote:He also has the strength to provide support on the critical stages.
I guess if there is a scenario where he can take a stage win without this affecting the team strategy.

The worry has to be that if he knackers himself winning a hard sprint stage, then maybe there won't be enough
petrol left in his tank to give the crucial support in the next, or even later, mountain stages.

Worse if it takes a Cavendish/Renshaw type lead-out train to win sprint stages. You could then be looking at half the
team knackered and recuperating at the back of the peloton when you need to be up the front and matching
it with the GC threats.

Cadel finished pretty close in the sprint stages this year, thanks to the team towing him into a handy position.
If he is going to win again, he needs to do that again. The hard question is whether the rest of the BMC team
are good enough to tow two riders into a handy position, and not be knackered the next day.

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Re: God of Thunder joins BMC

Postby Zynster » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:00 pm

I get the feeling this is more about the rise of brand BMC than Cadel. Having a stable of world champions looks good.
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