Responding to a VeloNation request for feedback after the team was not listed as one of those taking part in the 2010 Vuelta a España, the BMC Racing Team has implied that it did not seek to participate in the Grand Tour.
"When we were putting our racing program together for 2010, our initial commitment was to the Giro d'Italia. From an organizational standpoint, we felt that we could do one Grand Tour. If the opportunity came up, we could do one additional Grand Tour, like the Tour de France, as well,” said Jim Ochowicz, BMC Racing Team President to VeloNation.
“At this time, the BMC Racing Team doesn't have enough riders on the roster – or enough staff – to do three Grand Tours. Therefore, we felt the maximum of two Grand Tours was all that we could handle. We would like to take a look at the Vuelta for the future. But for 2010, it is just not doable."
The news means that Cadel Evans will have to find an alternative method of preparation for the defence of his world championship title. He finished third overall in last year’s Vuelta, then went on to win the rainbow jersey one week later.
Evans has said that he is uncertain if the 2010 worlds course is tough enough for him, and said that he might ride for another Australian rider who will be better suited to the terrain.
Team RadioShack was the other high-profile team to be absent from the list of teams issued today. While the team has yet to make an official statement, its press officer Philippe Maertens has confirmed to VeloNation that it did indeed apply for a wildcard place in the event.
In the past few minutes, general manager Johan Bruyneel has posted a message on Twitter expressing his annoyance. “Just got word that @teamradioshack got snubbed for a bike race in Spain. Stay tuned for my comments. They're gonna be interesting and spicy!”
RadioShack rider José Luis 'Chechu' Rubiera is sure to be disappointed, as this year’s race will feature the Cotobello climb on stage 16. It has been named the 'Cima Chechu Rubiera' in his honour. He is thought likely to be in his final season as a pro rider and said that he was looking forward to racing up ‘his’ climb.
“For sure I would love to be there on that stage and try to do my best,” he told VeloNation in an interview earlier this year. “I know it is going to be pretty difficult to win up there, but at the same time, the stage starts in Gijón, that is the city where I was born, so it is going to be for me an emotional stage starting at my home and finishing on the climb Chechu Rubiera.
“I want to do well, I want to be in good shape and try to be in a good position up there….to thank all of the people who remembered me and supported me for all these years and have given my name to this climb.”