Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tour de France 2012: The Teams - BMC Racing

With the Tour de France starting in Liege on Saturday it is time to look at the teams for this year's race. So let's look at the team that will be looking to retain the title for Cadel Evans. Team BMC's sole objective is to get Evans a second win.

Cadel Evans finally won the Tour after two seconds in 2007 and 2008 followed by two rather disappointing years. He won the Critérium International earlier in. But only managed third in the Critérium Dauphiné behind Sky's Bradley Wiggins and fellow Aussie but Wiggins team mate Michael Rogers earlier this month. He is also a former Road Race World Champion from 2009 so has the rainbow cuffs on his jersey.

George Hincapie is no stranger to trying to defend this title for his team leader. He was part of all seven of Lance Armstrong's titles as well as being a Domestique for Alberto Contador in 2007 and Evans last year. This is his 17th Tour start and apart from the first one his has finished them all. As one of two men to have ridden on 9 winning teams he is man of unmatched current experience and a loyal lieutenant.

Philippe Gilbert had a brilliant year riding the classics last year with 4 wins. He has been rather quiet since joining BMC this year. But some of the stages at the start of this year's Tour will again suit him. As someone who has won stages in all the Grand Tours he is always a danger when the conditions are right for his style of win. He came third in last year's points competition for the green jersey.

Marcus Burghardt may be best remembered for hitting a dog on stage 9 of the 2007 Tour. But the German also won the Mountain Classification on the 2010 Tour de Suisse. But he is a domestique for Evans once again.

Steve Cummings was one of the engines in the GB train that took Mark Cavendish to the world championship last year. He also in 2011 beat Alberto Contador to a mountain top finish in the Tour of Algarve, keeping the lead in the Tour until the final Time Trial. He is one the Team GB shortlist for the Olympics.

Tejay van Garderen is an exciting young American rider and potentially the successor to Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong. With HTC disbanding last year he moved to BMC. He impressed having just turned 22 in the 2010 Vuelta and last year in the Tour won enough points on stage 8 to win the Polka Dot jersey. The following day he became the first American to wear it in the race (LeMond had earned it while he was in yellow in 1986)

Amaël Moinard is another mountain man having won the polka dots in the 2010 Paris-Nice. But also this French rider did manage to finish 15th in the 2008 Tour.

Manuel Quinziato the Italian has been European Under 23 Time Trial Champion, but now at 32 is just a domestique for his team leader.

Michael Schär from Switzerland is starting his fourth Grand Tour having ridden one of each over the last 3 years. Having been national junior Time Trial champion.

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