Three more BMC Racing Team riders took home national titles Sunday – Thor Hushovd (Norwegian road), Marco Pinotti (Italian time trial) and Michael Schär (Swiss road) – adding to the Italian road championship won by Ivan Santaromita on Saturday.
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the four titles mark a memorable moment in the team’s history. “This is great news for the BMC Racing Team,” he said. “Obviously, national championships have a lot of meaning in the sport of cycling, as does the world championship jersey. So the significance of these accomplishments are powerful for us and it makes the rest of the 2013 season, and what carries into 2014, even more memorable.” In addition to the aforementioned results, several BMC Racing Team riders also gained top 10 results in national competition Sunday: world road champion Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Belgian national road race, while Marcus Burghardt was 10th in the German national road race. Hushovd also earned a silver medalThursday in the Norwegian individual time trial and a gold medal Tuesday in the team time trial competition.
Hushovd Solos To Victory
Racing in his hometown of Grimstad, Hushovd attacked with about 25 kilometers remaining in the 198-km race to narrowly hold off runner-up Alexander Kristoff and third-placed Edvald Boasson Hagen. “There were thousands of people, a massive crowd, that gave me a lot of motivation and helped me dig a bit deeper,” Hushovd said. “I can’t remember when I have been this strong in the past. So it’s a bit sad that I was not selected to the Tour de France team. But like I have always said in the past, I respect the team’s decision.” The national road title was Hushovd’s third, adding to those won in 2004 and 2010.
Pinotti Makes It Six
Pinotti captured his sixth national time trial crown by powering his BMC timemachine TM01 to a time 1:11 faster than runner-up Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) and 1:28 over Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) in the 39-kilometer race against the clock. “I wanted to get the jersey back because the last two years I was missing it,” he said. “I wanted to set the record straight that I am the strongest time trialist in my country and that I am still there.” Pinotti thanked BMC Racing Team managers who permitted him to withdraw from the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month when he was suffering from fatigue. “That allowed me to recover and then train specifically for this race,” he said. “It was nice to have the team’s full support for this race.” Pinotti had previously won the national time trial in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was runner-up in 2006 and third in 2004 and 2012.
Sprint Key For Schär
Schär said he felt strong from the moment he pulled on his Pearl Izumi Speed Suit for the 192 km race that saw him part of a late breakaway that included teammate and defending Swiss road champion Martin Kohler. “I knew I would have to make a long sprint,” Schär said. “I trained a lot for the sprint this week because I knew I would need a strong sprint. I think that helped me a little bit.” Schär out-sprinted Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Kohler to earn the first victory of his professional career that began in 2006. “This will always be the one I remember,” he said. “I’m happy – but what makes me happier is there are so many people who are happy for me, too. I’m usually the guy who helps. But now I finally have my own victory.” Two riders from the BMC Development Team also took home national honors in the Swiss championships. By finishing sixth and seventh in the men’s professional race, Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng earned a 1-2 finish, respectively, on the elite podium.