The UCI Hour Record Brings the BMC Family Together
The 8th of February will be a day to remember for BMC Switzerland. To see the No.1 rider in the UCI WorldTour, Rohan Dennis, breaking the UCI Hour Record together with the presentation of the best Mountain bike team of the World and stars from Road, XC MTB, Enduro and Triathlon having a chat together all at the same event, was something truly unique.
When Rohan Dennis announced mid-December to tackle the UCI Hour Record on the 8th of February across the road of the BMC Switzerland global headquarters, it was clear this was a unique opportunity to bring our BMC Racing family together to celebrate his attempt in a special way. The decision was quickly taken to move the BMC MTB Racing Team presentation to this event and give BMC supporters the chance to meet athletes from all our professional sports.
The biggest help to promote this event came from Rohan Dennis himself, when he pulled of a great performance at the first UCI WorldTour race of the season, the Santos Tour Down Under, which he won in impressive fashion. Bringing the UCI World Number one to Grenchen together with some of the greatest athletes of their sports such as Cadel Evans, Julien Absalon and Ronnie Schildknecht made it much easier to make this event a special one.
The Curtain Rises – the Velodrome Doors Open
The event at Velodrome Suisse kicked off at 12:15 with a show training by the Swiss National Track team. Silvan Dillier and Danilo Wyss of the BMC Racing Team took the opportunity to shelter from the sub 0 degrees outside, in the warm velodrome and mix up their training by riding some laps at high speed with the track athletes.
BMC’s Professional and Development Teams are Presented
By 13:10 nearly every seat in Velodrome Suisse was occupied. First on stage were members of four of BMC’s regional development teams; Fischer BMC Mountainbike Team (SUI), Velo Club Monte Tamaro BMC (SUI), Team VTT BMC Fribourg (SUI), Team Veloroc BMC (FRA). These young guys and girls are the up and coming mountain bike stars of central Europe and BMC are proud to support them reach their sporting dreams.
Then the cool “boys” and “girls” of the BMC Factory Trail Crew hit the stage in their baggy shorts showing their new racing kit to the audience. Next up, arguably the most professional triathlon team in the world, the Uplace-BMC Professional Triathlon Team complete with ‘Mister Ironman Switzerland’, Ronnie Schildknecht and the 2014 European Ironman Champion Corinne Abraham.
Next on stage were Swiss road stars and BMC Racing Team riders Danilo Wyss and Silvan Dillier, just back from the Tour Down Under together with their team manager, Jim Ochowicz.
Finally the BMC MTB Racing Team presentation took place in more detail. The most successful mountain biker of all time, Julien Absalon, came on the stage with former Marathon World Champion Ralph Näf, rising star Lukas Flückinger, Swiss Champion Martin Fanger and the youngest member on the team, Reto Indergand.
Beside the team presentation an array of equipment from BMC Switzerland’s four professional teams was on display.
Rohan Dennis Gets Ready to Roll
During one last training demo on the boards by the Swiss National Track Team, the Australian warrior came out of hiding, ready for battle - Rohan Dennis took up position in the team pit at the corner of the oval and began his warm-up on rollers. To an enthusiastic countdown and the screaming crowd Dennis rolled off the starting machine at 14:00 – true Swiss precision timing.
Rohan Dennis bettered the mark by over 600 metres to the thunderous applause of over 1,800 spectators.Grinding an impressive gearing of 56x14, it was already apparent by the half-way mark, barring mishap, that Rohan would comfortably overhaul Matthias Brändle’s record of 51.85 kilometres. The 24 year-old Australian looked very smooth through the opening half of his effort and even though he got visibly tired in the last few minutes he never let anyone doubt his capability to break the record. Finally he bettered the mark by over 600 metres to the thunderous applause of over 1,800 spectators.
It was perfect. It nearly felt too easy but of course it wasn't. Totally exhausted and even plagued by cramps he fell on the winner’s chair to share his thoughts with the audience. “There was a lot of pain. I couldn't really enjoy it too much to be honest. I’m pretty tired but really proud,” said Dennis. “BMC made it easy. The whole week leading into this since the Tour Down Under was really stress-less, it was perfect. It nearly felt too easy but of course it wasn’t. It was just that they made it absolutely perfect.”
BMC Racing Team Sponsor Andy Rihs said he was very proud to see the record fall at the velodrome he helped to build. "This is a very proud day for me, for BMC Switzerland and for the BMC Racing Team (Andy Rihs)," Rihs said. "Since the Velodrome Suisse was built, I have dreamed of one day having a BMC Racing Team rider break this historical record on its boards. Track cycling is a fundamental in a country like Switzerland where the winters can be harsh. Hopefully, this will inspire some young, enthusiastic Swiss cyclists to follow in Rohan's footsteps."
A unique experience
Even though cross country mountain biking, enduro, triathlon and road are all cycling categories; it rarely happens that the stars of the scene meet each other. We were proud to have brought the whole BMC Switzerland family together for the first time at this event. Our professional teams had the unique chance to meet our development teams, employees, partners, dealers, media and BMC fans. To see Cadel Evans sitting inbetween Julien Absalon and Ronnie Schildknecht at a signing session, surrounded by hundreds of supporters is a rare sight indeed!
This event was more than a usual UCI Hour Record, it showed the true spirit of BMC Switzerland; a family of athletes and bike industry professionals passionate about riding and the development of the sport of cycling in all of its many forms.