The BMC racing team made the announcement overnight.
"It is with great sadness that BMC Racing Team announces the death of owner Andy Rihs," the team stateent said. "(He) died after a patient and valiantly endured illness... in Zurich, Switzerland in the presence of his family.
"Andy was not only an owner and main sponsor of BMC Racing Team, but also a friend who enjoyed life and loved sharing that joy."
"With him, an exemplary visionary, an avid sports fan, a passionate cyclist, and a great supporter of sport has left us.
"His generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh have shaped the man that has been by our side since the beginning of BMC Racing Team. Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values."
This sentiment was shared by many in the cycling world. Here is just some of the messages posted on Twitter following the news:
Rihs first became involved with cycling in 2000 as sponsor of the Phonak cycling team which bore the name of his hearing aid company. In the same year, he took over bicycle manufacturer BMC which supplied bikes to the team, but Phonak's links ended in 2006 with the Floyd Landis scandal.
Rihs and BMC racing team general manager Jim Ochowicz founded the team in 2007, its first grand tours coming in 2010 with famous signing Australian Cadel Evans who a year later became the first Australian to win the Tour de France.
BMC currently boasts a strong Australian contingent, with riders Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans, Rohan Dennis, Miles Scotson and sporting manager Allan Peiper. The team's future is uncertain.
In this week's podcast, our host Christophe Mallet has a chat with Steel Von Hoff, recent winner of the Men's Commonwealth Games Road race and is joined by Sophie Smith, Matthew Keenan and Wes Sulzberger to review the queen of the classics Paris-Roubaix, and preview Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.