The UCI announced Tuesday that the BMC Racing Team is among the Professional Continental squads which have been granted Wild Card status for the 2009 season.
“We are extremely pleased that the UCI has sanctioned the BMC Racing Team with the Wild Card designation for the 2009 racing season,” team consultant and liaison Jim Ochowicz said. “This designation further confirms the BMC Racing Team’s commitment to excellence in cycling.”
Endorsement opens door for important invitations
“This endorsement from the UCI shows that they believe we can succeed on both the sporting and administrative side,” General Manager Gavin Chilcott explained. “We have indicated that we are still progressing and living up to our own expectations for a multi-year growth plan.” Receiving the Wild Card status forms an integral part of BMC’s racing plans for the 2009 season since invitations to important races like the Tours of Romandie and Switzerland would be impossible without this designation. “The Swiss tours in particular are critically important to fulfilling our goals,” Chilcott said. “And for this season we have hopes of being seriously considered for invitations to other important Pro Tour level races in Europe which without the Wild Card status would be impossible.”
Great news for Jeff Louder and company … while unlikely that they’ll get a call-up for any of the Grand Tours (although, ti would be cool to see them racing in Italy or Spain), this is a huge step for the team gaining entry to the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour of Romandie, and hopefully other large stage races like the Dauphiné Libéré.
Would love to see J-Lo do well at one of the major European races, before coming home to finish in second place behind T-Bird at the Tour of Utah late this summer.