In July 2015, it was announced that the current Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team will become the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace from 2016 onwards. The new engagement for 2016 and 2017 of the key sponsors was seen as a crucial step in the sustainable development of the team.
General Manager Bob De Wolf added “It has been a fantastic moment and a real milestone to be able to announce the continuation of our team as the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace for 2016 and 2017. The continuous commitment of BMC Switzerland, Etixx and Uplace, enables us to create real longevity, unprecedented in triathlon history.”
Four year plan to win Kona
Bart Verhaeghe, the founding father and the president of the team, was satisfied with the decisions of BMC & Etixx. He said, “As founding partner, Uplace is proud to continue the operational running of the team and offer the team’s unique professional support structure. The intention was to establish a leading professional triathlon team with a long term sustainable vision.
“This next step demonstrates the holistic approach and professional way of running the team is working. The continuation of the BMC engagement and the further commitment of Etixx allows the team to continue to grow and to create a real legacy in the triathlon sport.”
David Zurcher, CEO of BMC Switzerland, is pleased to continue a very constructive partnership next season. He said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed a close partnership with our professional triathlon team for the past two years, and we are extremely proud of all they have achieved.
“Supporting this group of individual athletes through a team format has proven very effective and efficient – and it mirrors our approach to our professional teams as extensions of the global BMC Switzerland family. Their feedback continues to help us to innovate and improve. We are excited to see what successes this extraordinary group of sporting talent brings in 2016!”
Etixx has been a dedicated partner of the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team since 2014 with its range of nutritional support and products. Davy De Vlieger, CEO of Etixx, has a clear ambition with the increased commitment as title sponsor of the BMC-Etixx Team.
De Vlieger said, “Offering personalized advice is the core value of Etixx Sports Nutrition, and next to events our partnerships play a crucial role in this. Not only to show athletes with a goal how professionals prepare themselves, but also to test all our new products and optimize them to reach a premium quality.
“Uplace-BMC has done a tremendous job with this during the past two years. This, combined with a professional management, world-class athletes and top-partners, made it an obvious choice for us to become main partner of this team. We are convinced this will continue to be a fruitful cooperation.”
General manager Bob De Wolf, stressed that the ambition has always been to create a long-term sustainable project. “If we look back, it all started in 2008 with the first steps of Uplace into triathlon. In the past 7 years we have been able to create a unique professional structure and an athlete support set up to really optimize the performance of our athletes.
“With the commitment from BMC, Etixx, Uplace and our other partners we are now ready to outline a new four year plan to build on this legacy. It is our ultimate ambition to win the IRONMAN World Championship within this four year window. We strongly believe we have the operational set up, the professional support and the athletes to do so.”
Team line up confirmed
Since the launch of the international Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team in 2014 the results have been strong, with the team finishing on the podium in 60% of races entered. In the last two seasons the Uplace-BMC athletes won a total of 36 races and finished on the podium in 81 of them.
This includes 6 continental championship titles (IM European Championship Frankfurt, IM 70.3 European Championship Wiesbaden, IM Asian Pacific Championship Melbourne, 5150 US Pro Championship Hy-vee, IM70.3 Latin American Championship Brazil, IM70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain), a podium finish at the most recent IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii and victories in a number of the most prestigious races on the calendar (including wins AT IM Lanzarote, IM Nice, IM Cozumel, IM Cairns, IM Zurich).
Bob De Wolf, General Manager of the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team, indicated “The results of the last two years were impressive. It was our clear ambition to be a leading team in long distance triathlon and I am incredibly pleased with what our athletes and staff have achieved. Their commitment, dedication and perseverance have been exceptional.
“So therefore our number one priority was to focus on the continuation of our cooperation with the majority of our athletes. We are very proud and pleased with the team line up for next year. Confirmed athletes are: Bart Aernouts (BEL), Liz Blatchford (AUS), Will Clarke (UK), Helle Frederiksen (DEN), Sofie Goos (BEL), Romain Guillaume (FRA), David McNamee (UK) and Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI).”
The cooperation with Corinne Abraham and Dirk Bockel will come to an end at the end of this season. Bob De Wolf added, “Corinne and Dirk have played an instrumental part in what we have been able to achieve in the last two seasons. Both athletes have been fantastic to work with and we are very grateful for what they have done for the team.”
David McNamee: a new face in the team
David McNamee is the new face in the team and will join the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace from next season onwards. David is a former Team GB athlete and only recently made the transition to long distance triathlon. He had a strong season in his first year at the IRONMAN distance, winning IM UK and finishing 11th in his debut at the World Championship in Hawaii (fastest marathon time).
Bob De Wolf confirmed “David McNamee is a fantastic talent and we are incredibly proud and grateful to be able to start working with him. Only 27 years of age, he already made his mark on the IRONMAN distance in his debut year. We are now entering a new chapter as a team and the ambitions are very clear. We want to continue winning big races next season and challenge for the podium spots in Kona. I am very confident that we have the talent and quality in the team to do so.”