Team BMC Racing Awarded UCI Wild Card for 2010
Team BMC Racing learned learned earlier today that it has been granted Wild Card status for the 2010 season by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The decision by the UCI's license committee earns the US-registered professional continental road cycling team the right to be invited to races on both the UCI ProTour schedule and the Historic Monuments of Cycling calendar.
BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz expressed appreciation to the UCI for once again granting the team Wild Card status that has previously allowed it to participate in a number of high-profile races, including the Paris-Roubaix, the Tour de Romandie and the Dauphiné Libéré. "This was critical to fulfilling our central goals, not only for 2010 but also into the future," Ochowicz told Roadcycling.com. "It paves the way for an ambitious schedule of racing that will expose even more people to the BMC Racing Team and our outstanding line-up of sponsors."
In 2009, the UCI created the World Calendar, which brought together UCI ProTour events and the "Historic Monuments of Cycling" races. A total of 28 events comprise the 2010 calendar, 17 on the ProTour and 11 in the Historic Monuments division. The Tour Down Under is the first event on the 2010 UCI ProTour road calendar. BMC's participation in the race (January 19-24) in Australia was contingent upon it receiving the Wild Card. Director Sportif John Lelangue, who is already on-site in Adelaide with the seven-member squad that will contest the race, commented that being able to showcase riders like current world road champion Cadel Evans and US road champion George Hincapie in the world's most prestigious races is a plus for both the team and cycling fans alike.
"We expect to be competitive in every race we enter, whether it's a one-day classic, a one-week stage race or a Grand Tour," Lelangue added. "All the pieces are in place for this team to get the most out of its talent - be it in Europe, the United States or anywhere in the world."
Teams undergoing review for Wild Card status had to meet strict quality criteria in a number of areas. Sporting (results, squad members), legal (respect of regulations), financial (rigorous management, accountability), and ethical (management and anti-doping initiatives). As a Wild Card team, BMC will participate in the UCI's biological passports program by contributing to the funding of the project and providing whereabouts documentation to the UCI for use when testing riders.