Discuss: Gilbert to BMC – Is It Getting Crowded?

Fotoreporter Sirotti

BMC finally confirmed the transfer rumor that many people had long expected – that Cavendish has signed with Sky. Just kidding! They announced that Phillipe Gilbert has signed with BMC. He joins reigning Tour champion Cadel Evans, and reigning World Champion Thor Hushovd. 

Is it getting a bit crowded at BMC? Evans reminded the media that BMC’s 2012 Tour team would be built around him, not around split aims. Hushovd obviously wants to be a leader for Paris-Roubaix, and Gilbert will want to win every race he enters – and just might try. 

BMC is shaping up to be a powerhouse, but are they sowing the seeds of their own demise? Are they too crowded at the top?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Discuss: Gilbert to BMC – Is It Getting Crowded?

  1. guy says:

    The signings of Thor and PhilGil definitely mark the end of any classics shot that Hincapie had for 2012. Wonder how he has viewed the signings? Wonder if he felt his chances were likely over anyhow?

  2. Russ R says:

    Hmmm, yeah it does seem a bit crowded… Talk about specialization! Now they've got a top GC guy, a top Belgian cobbles guy AND a top Ardennes guy!
    Things should be fine for Evans, but I can definitely see some overlap in Hushovd and Gilbert's goals. We'll see how happy those two are together. It may take some time before Gilbert really wants to take on P-R and de Ronde as his stated goals though… perhaps things will shake out before then.

  3. grolby says:

    I think Hincapie has to know inside that he is never going to ride P-R as a favorite again. He will be a fantastic superdomestique, though.

    I'm not sure that I would describe Gilbert as a "top Ardennes guy." He's a top EVERYTHING guy (well, excepting GC, of course). For 2012, Thor and Gilbert shouldn't have problems. I'm interested to see if Gilbert races P-R as a superdomestique for Thor to get a feel for the parcours. It's not a secret that he wants to win it himself one day, but next year might be too soon.

  4. Julius says:

    I think this is a great move for Gilbert. Hushovd may contend for Roubaix, but he knows that he's at best a top lieutenant for de Ronde. Exactly where Gilbert needs somebody to pressure the team so that he can do the Gilbert.

    In Roubaix it will be crowded but I think Gilbert knows he needs to "learn" that race for an edition or two before he comes in to win it.

    I think where it will be interesting is Milan-Sanremo. Either they will play off each other, or negate each other.

  5. Michael says:

    I think Big George has a solid role as the ever present veteran and manager on the road. He is there to train Phinney, Louder, and others and see to their continued development. If Phinney has a strong Vuelta, a great worlds TT, there could be quite a number of riders with some rainbow stripes on their jerseys.

  6. Jean-Pierre says:

    weren't there rumors that thor signed with bmc before the tour?

  7. Touriste-Routier says:

    With strong riders comes the need for strong management. This may be the team's biggest weakness.

    While there is potential for minor conflicts between Thor and Phil (cobbled classics), I see more of an imminent clash between Phil & Cadel. Both excel in hilly races and in 1 week stage races; they are going to have to compromise and perhaps take on different schedules. If Cadel is focused exclusively on Grand Tours, the conflicts are greatly reduced.

    I think George is going to need to be an opportunist (his days as a true favorite are long past). But the question that no one has asked is what this means for Taylor Phinney; if I were him, I'd wonder where I fit in…

  8. R_mutt says:

    Mini-Phin still has a lot to learn from the masters. He's really not accomplished much yet and he's still what- 22? Lots of time for Taylor to grow into whatever rider he wants to be.

  9. Erik says:

    I think most of you are playing up the roles Hincapie & Phinney. Phinney is a neo-pro and still needs to learn a bunch. Hincapie is to BMC as Klier is to Garmin. Also, hasn't it been stated that Gilbert and Thor are close friends and training buddies? If that's the case, I'm sure they will reconcile their schedules between each other.

    Better questions are to ask what this means for Van Avermaet and Ballan. I could see Ballan being out and Van Avermaet maybe learning from Gilbert/Thor or being a domestique to them.

    • bmj says:

      I agree regarding Ballan and Van Avermaet. I suspect BMC doesn't want to deal with Ballan's potential baggage, and is willing to let Van Avermaet learn more under Gilbert and Thor (he is only 26). The question is whether or not he's willing to be patient and become "the man" at BMC in two or three years.

  10. TomC says:

    I think this may not be as disastrous as some are predicting, Thor and Gilbert both knew the score re the tour when they signed up, they knew exactly what the plan was going to be. They are both great friends and would no doubt enjoy playing 1-2 at San Remo, De Ronde etc where either can win and also enjoy each others wins. Imagine the feeling of helping your best buddy win a monument and knowing that he can return the favour later on in the year! It is also a great way for Thor to assault P-R with Hincapie as support and Phil as a counter while he gains experience in return from both Hincapie and Thor. I'm pretty excited to see how it pans out. I can see Thor and Phil very much toying with the peloton at all the monuments where they both need to be covered by everyone else!

  11. cthulhu says:

    I doubt there are any problems with those three. Evans will solely concentrate on the Tour and maybe take a win in the Ardennes or a week long stage race on it's way. Also Gilbert probably will take of the heat from him to win before the Tour. Thor is all for Roubaix, there won't be any discussion about that, cause that is his last goal left and the one he really wants. Gilbert will probably focus on the Ronde and M-SR, since those are next on his plan to win all five monuments. And maybe if form lasts rack up a few wins in the Ardennes again. And Phinney is in a really comfortable situation to learn from the best without having the pressure to win yet as long as he shows progression. But van Avermart is surely not pleased by this deal, because although he rode really strongly this year, Gilbert was untouchable for him (and anybody else) and now he demoted to domestique and not the one to ride for, there is where I see the real trouble.

  12. cthulhu says:

    Did I hear that right? Boasson-Hagen to BMC? Now that is a peculiar move…cause i don't see where he fits..

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