BMC Switzerland Extends Its Commitment To XC With A New Strategy
As the 2019 season come to its close and the approaching Olympic season draws nearer, BMC Switzerland confirms their commitment to the discipline of cross-country mountain biking with official plans to continue their long-term presence in the field. The strategy marks a new era for BMC and its love for competitive mountain biking – a pairing that celebrates its 10th anniversary next year:
The roots go back to 2011 when David Chassot first created a team of six riders on BMC bikes. One of the earliest team riders, the mountain bike marathon specialist Alex Moos soon stepped onto the other side of the tape and took on the role of Sports Director for the BMC MTB Racing Team. When double Olympic Champion Julien Absalon joined the team in 2013 bringing a new dynamic, there was reason to celebrate. Talented riders, such as Ralph Näf and Lukas Flückiger among others, rode solidly alongside Absalon to help the team achieve consecutive UCI World Cup Team Overall Classification titles from 2013 to 2017.
“World, European and National Championships, World Cup rounds and Overall Classifications: the team won almost everything possible!” says Moos. “But the team was ultimately a dream that we shared with our friends Andy Rihs and Alex; the time has come now to hand it over,” adds David Chassot.
But even as one long-running team and its impressive palmarès bows out, BMC isn’t yet ready to give up on its vision and has therefore decided to extend its commitment to the Olympic discipline.
New values and the drive behind a single project
Having partnered multiple teams on the mountain bike scene for the past season, BMC has decided to focus on one single project: Absolute Absalon – BMC. This is part of BMC’s deliberate choice to support independent teams across different cycling disciplines; take, for example, the case of their WorldTour partner, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
As of 1st January 2020, Julien Absalon will manage a team of four riders, consisting of athletes from both the current BMC MTB Racing Team and the Absolute Absalon team: Titouan Carod, Filippo Colombo and Jordan Sarrou, who will race in the Elite category, and Mathis Azzaro, who will go into his second season in the U23 ranks.
“We want to build on the work done since 2011,” explains David Zurcher, CEO of BMC Switzerland. “We had great wins, discovered new talents, helped to develop them, and acquired levels of expertise and experience that we will use to gradually climb the ladder. Alongside performance, we are also particularly committed to the values of this project and the promise of such an exciting joint venture.”
“We are delighted to be able to write this new chapter with BMC,” says Julien Absalon. “I personally have a great history with the Swiss brand, both on and off the bike, and I want it to continue. It’s an honor for me to have been able to evolve from rider to team manager.”
“I really believe in the potential of my riders, some of whom I first got to know as teammates in the BMC MTB Racing Team or later as the team manager of Absolute Absalon, and I believe we will be able to play the leading role on the international stage as early as next season. But the 2020 team is not the final goal; we will work together with BMC and our other partners to ensure that this team develops in the long term,” adds Absalon.
The riders will race on the BMC Fourstroke – the full-suspension XC bike, equipped with RAD, the world’s first integrated dropper seatpost.