• Richie Porte (middle) and Greg van Avermaet (left) both enjoy protected status within the BMC squad at the 2018 Tour de France. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
BMC Racing Team will continue into 2019 with a new Polish naming sponsor, CCC, coming onboard.
17 Jul 2018 - 4:58 AM 

CCC owner and president Dariusz Milek joined BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz at stage 9 of the Tour de France to sign the agreement confirming that Polish shoe and bag manufacturer would come onboard as the chief sponsor of the team for 2019.

They also used the occasion to trumpet the fact that current Yellow Jesery-wearer Greg van Avermaet was signed as team’s marquee rider.

Milek, whose company CCC has been a sponsor at the UCI Professional Continental level since 2006, is excited to see CCC join the UCI WorldTour in a move that will see the brand’s visibility increase on a global scale. Milek will also become the owner of Continuum Sports, the underlying team organisation behind the sponsors, after the death this year of previous owner Andy Rihs.

"I am excited to see CCC partner with Continuum Sports and reach the highest level of cycling," said Milek. 'We have been looking for an opportunity to join the WorldTour and this was the perfect chance to partner with a well established and respected team, with Greg Van Avermaet as team leader."

For Ochowicz, the partnership with CCC represents an opportunity to begin a new and exciting chapter in the WorldTour for Continuum Sports.

“It is no secret that we have been looking for a new title sponsor for 2019,"said Ochowicz, "and we are excited to be here today at the biggest cycling race in the World to announce CCC as the title sponsor of Continuum Sports from 2019 onwards.

"CCC president Dariusz Milek shares the same passion for cycling as our organisation and together we can continue to build on the team’s existing success.”

Milek was a keen cyclist in his youth and maintained a connection to the sport through Polish Pro Continental team CCC-Sprandi Polkowice. The agreement reached is not an amalgam of the two squads, rather CCC is switching teams that they choose to sponsor.

The team announced in one of the best possible ways for brand exposure, with the current Yellow Jersey holder during the middle of the Tour de France. Van Avermaet, 33, is one of the premier stars of the classics season and the current Olympics Games champion. 

“To also be able to announce that current Tour de France race leader Greg Van Avermaet has renewed his contract beyond the 2018 season in an exciting way to begin this relationship," said Ochowicz. "We have seen Greg develop into one of the best riders in the World and we are delighted to retain him as the team’s star rider in 2019.

"We have a busy few months ahead of us as we begin to plan for the next season so I am looking forward to welcoming CCC as title sponsor.”

Van Avermaet said he is motivated to continue his career with Continuum Sports after already achieving multiple career highlights with the organization.

“I’m really happy to be able to announce my plans for the future," said van Avermaet, "especially today when I can still say that I am the leader of the Tour de France. I have spent eight years with the team and have had so many good moments over those years so it’s exciting to know that we will continue together.

"To have a team more or less focused on me and the Classics is a unique opportunity and I’m looking forward to next season with CCC as title sponsor. I think everyone will be happy to learn that the team is continuing, for the sake of the riders and staff but also for the sport of cycling."

Continuum Sports had been considering shutting down operations at the end of the season according to reports, and most of the 2018 squad have been out looking for new teams for 2019, with a high-profile move of Richie Porte to Trek-Segafredo rumoured to be on the cards.