Posts Tagged ‘BMC


BMC – the Most Likeable Team in the Peleton? 2010 Preview

I can already see the cheesy promo montage in my head – Mark Knopfler subtly wails out “I want my Bee Em Ceeeeee….”, the guitar kicks in and images of Hincapie, Evans and Ballan stream by in rapid succession, intermixed with subliminal messages of Swiss precision bicycle manufacturing, displaying images of power, determination and victory.  Yes, it’s in my head, but it would make for a sweet intro video on the BMC team website.  I’m not sure how to rewrite the “money for nothin’” line to correlate it to the Hell Pro cyclists put themselves through, but dammit Jim, I’m a writer, not a songwriter/poet/bard.

In a silly season marred by Sky’s relentless approach to poaching the riders they wanted for their new team, BMC quietly (although not completely without controversy) pulled off the unexpected and possibly became the most likeable Pro team in the peleton.   With the media focusing most of their attention on the birth of the “superteams” Sky and Radio Shack, BMC accumulated arguably the best classics team this side of Quick-Step with riders like Kroon, Burghardt, Ballan and Hincapie; a GC Contender and current World Champion in Evans and did so with a combined total of 15 riders coming from Switzerland and the U.S. of A.  The subtle irony of the combination of riders from the neutral nation and the world’s heavy-handed police aside, it’s a team that with some improved marketing pieces could out-Cervelo Cervelo when it comes to presenting a team that creates a remarkably positive team/brand image along with creating immediate hype about the bike.

Adding Hincapie instantly provided class, along with the marketing visibility of his US Championship on this side of the pond.  Between earning the Rainbow Stripes and joining BMC, I even slightly warmed to Cuddles.  I’ll admit, I’ve rarely had much nice to say about Cadel – the whole “don’t step on my dog” episode and general festivus-style airing of grievances to the media he seemed to engage in set most who wrote about him in a less-than-supportive role.  However, he seems to wear the Rainbow well (perhaps credit to the Hincapie Sports kit) and his attitude seems positive coupled with a bit of bravado to match his attacking style that emerged last year.  Ballan suffered through health problems and the Curse of the Rainbow Jersey last year, but nobody should be quick to forget he is only two years removed from his Vattenfall and Flanders victories.

Early season rumors had tied Levi Leipheimer to BMC along with his buddy Scott Nydam.  I recall reading the rumors and thinking it would have been a bad choice, but little did I know the dramatic steps this team was taking.  Obviously, addition of another key player such as Leipheimer would have reduced the likelihood of the latter additions, but nevertheless, add Leipheimer to a team like this and the other proverbial superteams could have found themselves wondering what happened.

The other effect this immediately had was raising the status of the bike brand.  While many I know in the sport, including myself, found the brand intriguing but believed some of the design features to be ornamental, the perception now seems to be different.  Even more intriguing is the fact that Hincapie has chosen the Racemaster as his stars-and-stripes laden steed, a frame that is made of (gasp) quite a bit of aluminum, albeit a good choice for Big George, who has the need to emphasize durability and reliability.  Cadel Evans Rainbow Striped machine initially wasn’t the brand’s new top end machine, but the Pro Machine.  Then Competitive Cyclist’s own stylemaster Andy Clark comes out and says he’s so impressed with the new Team Machine that he might (the horror) retire his Cervelo?  Me thinks BMC might have just climbed to the top of the podium as the most likeable bunch in the peleton this year and I’m guessing you might start to see a few more BMCs riding atop a few Touaregs and X5s.


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