After the Dust Settles: Rebuilding BMC Racing Team4. April 2016, Roeselare (BEL) — Road Team
We know from the outpouring of messages of support from our fans around the world that no one wanted to see our riders go down like they did at Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Crashes are, most of the time, an unavoidable part of cycling but what some people might not stop to think about is that a crash is never just about that particular race. It is the months of training, planning and hard work to get you to that day, the anticipation of crossing the finish line (hopefully first), and then the post-race recovery so that you can be back at 100% for the next race. It all comes crashing down, literally, in a split second.
24 hours after the crash at Ronde van Vlaanderen, we asked BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz to share his perspective on the race yesterday and how BMC Racing Team will rebuild for the rest of the Classics.
“Of course there are crashes that take place in bike races every day. We had already had one earlier in the race with Marcus Burghardt going down about 20km before the second crash that we were involved in. Marcus was already on his way to the hospital but fortunately not in a serious situation. We then had the incident with Greg Van Avermaet, Manuel Quinziato, Michael Schär, Taylor Phinney and Daniel Oss. Accidents happen but this one was a little more involved than that because this crash involved almost the entire team. We had a situation where they were really not at a critical moment of the race and when you see a crash of that nature happen live on television, your stomach sinks and you take a deep breath. You’re trying to get a glimpse of what might be reality and it was clear pretty quickly that reality was Greg clutching his shoulder, which in our sport is always a sign that a collarbone is injured.
That in itself was a big surprise and a big disappointment because Greg was our leader, particularly as he was going in with form that certainly made him a strong contender. It really just takes a lot of breath out of you.
The process of the Tour of Flanders starts all the way back in December when you’re evaluating riders and trying to put together their programs for the season. It’s certainly a lot of work for both the riders and staff so it’s a blow to the organization as this is a race that we had targeted to win from the beginning of the season. And then there are the subsequent repercussions as this leads into Paris-Roubaix and the remaining Classics.
We’ve been through things like this before so we regrouped last night after the race and we came up with a working plan for this week. We’ll be going into Paris-Roubaix with some new players on our roster who weren’t necessarily scheduled to race but are prepared to do so. In the final analysis, we probably have two to three of the riders who crashed who were scheduled to race Paris-Roubaix who may not be able to start. That was the reality we had to face last night so a new plan has been put in play and we start working again today.
We’re a strong team and I have complete faith in our ability to bounce back stronger than we were. Days like yesterday are what build teams and I’m extremely proud of the way our riders and staff handled the crash, picked themselves back up and got back to business as we look to the next race. We may have been four riders down but I have to applaud the way Daniel Oss, Jempy Drucker, Taylor Phinney and Stefan Küng banded together and finished the race. Each of these riders achieved a personal victory yesterday and they flew the BMC Racing Team flag with a strong team spirit.
We’ll be lining up at Paris-Roubaix without Greg as our leader but we’ll be just as motivated to stamp our authority on the race.”
BMC Racing Team General Manager