The BMC Racing Team announced the signings Thursday of Italian Marco Pinotti and American Tejay Van Garderen for the 2012 season and beyond. President and General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the pair possess similar skills, but bring different experiences to the BMC Racing Team family. “Marco has been the Italian national time trial champion five of the past seven years and brings power to our team time trials, as well as incredible talent in the mountains,” Ochowicz said. “We believe he will be a great asset to the team in many ways. “Tejay is a gifted young talent with a complete set of skills that will allow him to one day be a contender in the Grand Tours. His time trialing continues to improve, as is his climbing. With Cadel (Evans) acting as his mentor, the road to success should come quickly.” Specific terms of both riders’ contracts are not being revealed.
Tejay Van Garderen most recently finished third overall at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge while earning Best Young Rider honors. At the Tour de France, he briefly wore the King of the Mountains jersey. He scored his first professional victory when he won the individual time trial at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on his 23rd birthday (Aug. 12). “I’d really like to go after the GC (general classification) at races like the Tour de Suisse or Paris-Nice,” Van Garderen said. “The thing I like about the BMC Racing Team is how there’s already a strong program and it’s set to continue well into the future.”
Pinotti, 35, has five Italian national time trial titles to his credit (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), along with a runner-up (2006) and one third place (2004). He helped the HTC-Highroad squad win the opening stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia and wore the leader’s jersey for one day. He said several things attracted him to the BMC Racing Team. “It’s really a team that’s been growing and developing fast in the last two years,” he said. “I’m an experienced rider who can share that experience with the younger riders while I hope to also find a few opportunities for myself to achieve some personal goals. I also wanted to be on the team that’s on the forefront of technology so I can perform at my best in my specialty at the Olympic Games.”