Swiss tycoon Andy Rihs has reportedly told his family of his intention to abandon sponsorship of the World Tour team BMC Racing at the end of 2017, according to L’Equipe.
However, BMC may still stay involved in the sport by providing bikes to one or more teams.
BMC Racing was founded in 2007 and obtained a World Tour licence in 2011. The team achieved their greatest success in 2011, when Cadel Evans won the Tour de France. In 2014 and 2015, the team won the World Team Time-Trial Championships.
BMC’s first foray into top-level cycling was when they began supplying the Swiss professional road racing team Phonak with bikes. The team’s patron was Andy Rihs, owner of the world-leading hearing-aid company of the same name. Rihs then took over BMC in 2000.
Amongst the riders on their current roster are former World Champion Philippe Gilbert and compatriot Greg van Avermaet and the American riders Tejay van Garderen and Taylor Phinney.
Seems like bike sponsors are running for the hills. About time UCI shared TV money to teams…