Thor Hushovd signs with BMC Racing until 2014

Three-year deal for rainbow jersey

by Simon_MacMichael   August 9, 2011  

Thor Hushovd in the rainbow jersey LaPresse RCS Sport .jpg

World champion Thor Hushovd is leaving Garmin-Cervelo and will be riding for BMC Racing for the next three seasons. The Norwegian, who wore the maillot jaune for the opening week of this year's Tour de France, will therefore join the man who finished the race in it, and his predecessor in the rainbow jersey, Cadel Evans at the US ProTeam.

BMC Racing, which also has 2008 world champion Alessandro Ballan on its books, confirmed the news on Twitter at around 6pm UK time this evening. In a statement subsequently published on its website, BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said: "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."

He continued: "We're very happy to have his talents, enthusiasm and expertise now working with the BMC Racing Team family for 2012 and beyond."

Hushovd, twice winner of the Tour de France points classification, was thought to be unhappy at Garmin-Cervelo, which he joined when Cervelo TestTeam folded at the end of last season.

His performance in the Tour de France, in which he won two stages with memorable attacks, besides spending that week in yellow, was widely seen as a parting gift to Jonathan Vaughters' team.

Commenting on his move, the 33-year-old, who next month defends his world title in Copenhagen, said: "It's a serious team where it looks like everything is well-organized"

Hushovd added: "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."

The Norwegian added that he had one big unfulfilled ambition for his career.

"My biggest goal is still to win Paris-Roubaix," he confessed." The BMC Racing Team has good riders to support me or for me to help someone else on the team win," he concluded.

That "someone else" could well be Hushovd's future team mate George Hincapie, who has made no secret of the fact that the Hell of the North is the one race he would most like to win and who signed a one-year extension to his contract earlier this month.

15 user comments

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Wow, i didn't see that coming, but Gilbert will be next, he looked part of BMC already today in the Eneco tour

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
9th August 2011 - 18:39

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Dont know about Gilbert next, Thor has already said he wants to target Paris Roubaix and the classics which is a direct clash with Gilbert, but your right never in a month of sundays did i see him leaving Garmin after the effort they put in for him at TdeF Thinking

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2708 posts]
9th August 2011 - 20:01

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I think thats exactly why he may have left, more money after his impressive efforts now that BMC are finally getting their act together, But the word on the grapevine is Gilbert is a done deal, which is unusual unless he's going to target the tours more with Evans using the likes of the Giro to prepare for the TdF then Gilbert could learn to climb a little better and go for that Thinking Thinking

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
9th August 2011 - 21:21

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Gilbert next - watch this space. Give it a few days

posted by Alb [80 posts]
9th August 2011 - 21:44

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I'd heard that early in the season that Thor had felt trapped in to riding for Garmin Cervelo, but I honestly thought that after the effort that they had given to him at the Tour that he would have been a shoe in to stay. But maybe it is just a matter of money talking. Have BMC got any other classics riders? Hincapie is surely past his best to get a major one and really if you (as a team) are targetting the classics, one major contender is putting your eggs in one basket.

posted by 1961BikiE [80 posts]
9th August 2011 - 22:24

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Hushovd and Gilbert would be OK - for the cobbles and Ardennes respectively - but Gilbert and Evans?

posted by banjokat [20 posts]
9th August 2011 - 23:02

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that leaves a gap for a sprinter at garmin . . . can Millar lead out Cav? Thinking

posted by Hugh Lupus [31 posts]
9th August 2011 - 23:13

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Hugh Lupus wrote:
that leaves a gap for a sprinter at garmin . . . can Millar lead out Cav? Thinking

Not really with Tyler Farrar still there, dont think thats going to work

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th August 2011 - 0:11

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Rumour is Thor didn't like the tactics at Garmin more than anything.

posted by othello [279 posts]
10th August 2011 - 8:42

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So, and here's a conspiracy theory, maybe Cav is going to follow Renshaw to the new Australian team . . . and because that team has not been unveiled yet, that's why Cav is not saying much.
Has anyone seen him near kangaroos recently, or extolling the virtues of Fosters or speaking with a funny accent?

J Andrew Hill

Its a marathon, not a snickers

...

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posted by JAndrewHill [1225 posts]
10th August 2011 - 10:57

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Cant really see Cav uping sticks and moving to Oz tho, he loves in around Europe

The other thing is, I dont think he needs Renshaw, he benefits from a lead out train but is just as good jumping wheels, Its someone like Eisel he needs to stick with for getting him through the mountains

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posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
10th August 2011 - 12:50

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Cav always says that Eisel is his best mate and he couldn't do what he does without him. Sky would certainly be stronger for having him in their line-up. His experience would help the younger riders and take some pressure off Wiggins.

posted by othello [279 posts]
10th August 2011 - 13:56

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Gkam84 wrote:
Cant really see Cav uping sticks and moving to Oz tho, he loves in around Europe

The other thing is, I dont think he needs Renshaw, he benefits from a lead out train but is just as good jumping wheels, Its someone like Eisel he needs to stick with for getting him through the mountains

GreenEdge is going to be headquartered in the UK as far as I remember, and Cavendish lives in Italy, which doesn't need to change at all.

posted by italiafirenze [68 posts]
10th August 2011 - 15:52

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Is he trying to say Garmin is not serious or well organised?

I would suggest that Garmin is top-heavy with classics types and sprinters, and he has been disappointed with his place in the scheme of things / how events played out on the road. Thor is probably wanting a team that works for him for his big targets but I'm not sure what George will say about that when P-R comes around.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
10th August 2011 - 16:26

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Hushovd has already made it clear that he thought Garmin were tactically very poor in the classics. His view is that you should have a plan of attack set out at the beginning, with the key rider identified. Garmin went with more of a 'we've got three great guys, let them decide on the road who gets the support' - which, if you're one of the three, and could have been the sole leader in another team, isnt that attractive.

Personally, I dont think Vaughters has got what it takes tactically - I'm sure he's a good team boss (in terms of getting sponsorship, managing the business) but he needs some better DS's to get the wins in the classics.

posted by step-hent [672 posts]
11th August 2011 - 10:12

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