The BMC Development Team, the outfit of New Zealand’s Sam Dobbs, will come to an end at the end of 2017. General Manager of the BMC Racing Team, Jim Ochowicz, made the announcement after the team’s four years of sending young riders towards top flight professional cycling.
In 2013 the BMC Development Team came into being, with the aim of developing young talent around the cycling world. “BMC Development Team was started in 2013, with no defined ending point, for the purpose of offering a platform for young athletes to race and train in an organized fashion against others in their age group and providing a feeder system to BMC Racing Team.” Ochowicz said in the team announcement.
The reason for the end of the BMC Development Team seems to stem from the involvement of rider agents and the effect that has had on the cost for the team and the lack of protection both BMC Development Team and other development teams have. “Unlike prior years, the athletes today are for the most part being managed by rider agents. These rider agents then propose these athletes to other teams who may or may not invest in such a program. In essence, we are now developing athletes at a cost for both our team and other teams.”
“The UCI offers no protection to development teams and no regulations exist that protect their investment or the transfer of riders from team to team.”
The end of the BMC Development Team will be the end of the team that has been home to Sam Dobbs for the last two seasons. In Dobbs’ time with the team he has been part of one of the strongest team time trial outfits in development cycling. Last year Dobbs won stages of the Tour de Berlin and Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc, both team time trials.
This year Dobbs has taken on racing in New Zealand and Australia, Belgium and France, with one of his strongest rides coming in the Gent-Wevelgem/Kattekoers-Ieper event in March. We will keep you in the loop with updates on what comes next for the Kiwi in the near future.