The new Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team has revealed a stellar line-up for its maiden year of racing in 2014.
The British trio of 2013 Ironman Melbourne winner Corinne Abraham (pictured), third-place Ironman World Champs finisher Liz Blatchford and former ITU racer Will Clarke are included in the 10 athlete strong line-up. The team boasts nearly 40 Ironman titles and 75 Ironman podium finishes between them, with the roster also including Bart Aernouts, Dirk Bockel, Helle Frederiksen, Sofie Goos, Romain Guillaume, Ronnie Schildknecht and Axel Zeebroek
The team will begin its life with this Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 in South Africa. “Last year, we announced our ambition to become the most successful professional team in the sport. We have worked very hard to set up a professional structure and expert support, and most importantly, to attract the talent that makes this ambitious goal a realistic one,” said Team Manager Bob De Wolf.
In 2013, Uplace and BMC Switzerland announced their plans to set up an international triathlon team. Based on the success of the all-Belgian Uplace Pro Triathlon Team (12 Ironman wins and 19 Ironman top-three finishes in 2011-2013), the two companies believe that only the support and structure of a professional team can help triathletes reach and maintain a place among the sport’s elite.
“Tri will become a team sport”
The Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team is unflinching in its goal to become the most successful long distance triathlon team in the world, as Bob De Wolf adds: “The ultimate goal is to win the Ironman Hawaii. Throughout the season, the team aims for victories in Ironman, Challenge and other key long distance races. We want to be the best team in the world and we want to measure this in results: we want to win.”
BMC Switzerland has an extensive track record in team cycling with the BMC Racing Team (who Cadel Evans rode to Tour de France glory in 2011) and the BMC MTB Team. “Triathlon will become a team sport, it is only a question of time. We want to be at the forefront of that movement and lead it,” said Andy Rihs, chairman and co-owner of BMC Switzerland.
Image: Delly Carr