Cadel Evans and George Hincapie extend deals with BMC Racing
TDF champion extends by three years, US rider back in the peloton for 19th year
BMC Racing has confirmed that Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and George Hincapie have extended their contracts, with the Australian signing on until 2014 and the American rider, who this year equalled Joop Zoetemelk’s record of 16 Tour de France appearances, staying on for at least one more year.
Team President and General Manager Jim Ochowicz commented: "Having these two return to the BMC Racing Team next year allows for our continued growth by having our two captains stay on board to provide leadership and mentoring to others in our organisation."
"In George's case, we need him to help the young guys like Taylor Phinney and Greg Van Avermaet keep developing. For everyone else, he creates leadership in the classics and at the Tour de France."
Ochowicz added that further announcements regarding new riders and extensions to existing contracts would follow.
Evans, whose Tour de France victory, the first by an Australian rider, helped propel him to the top of the UCI WorldTour rankings, said: "I feel that as a team, we have grown successfully together.
"It's been an enjoyable and satisfying journey so far. From the start, I have always felt the BMC Racing Team has had a lot of confidence in me as a member and often as a leader of the team. So a longer-term contract echoes this. I look forward to the years ahead. We will keep working and progressing toward the future."
Next year will be the 19th in the pro peloton for Hincapie, who said: "I'm really excited to continue the success of the team. My two years with the BMC Racing Team has been even better than my expectations. Being able to help Cadel win the Tour de France was a career highlight for me. To be able to continue on for another year offers me more opportunities to extend the goodwill of the team."
The 38-year-old, a key team mate of Lance Armstrong at US Postal, hit the headlines earlier this year when a CBS 60 Minutes show detailing allegations made by Tyler Hamilton regarding doping at the team claimed that Hincapie had testified to US investigators that he and Armstrong had taken EPO, a claim that the cyclist has neither confirmed nor denied.
Following the screening of the programme in May, Hincapie said on Twitter: "I can confirm to you I never spoke with “60 Minutes”. I have no idea where they got their information. As I've said in the past, I continue to be disappointed that people are talking about the past in cycling instead of the future. As for the substance of anything in the "60 Minutes" story, I cannot comment on anything relating to the ongoing investigation."