BMC Racing is a UCI WorldTour professional racing team, sponsored by Swiss-based bicycle manufacturer, BMC. The team is co-owned by Andy Riis, owner of BMC bicycles, and Jim Ochowicz, founder of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team. The team has signed many big name riders since its inception; Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd to name a few.
As implied by its name, BMC bicycles supply the team’s frames. Founded in 1986 by American Bob Bigelow, the brand came to fruition when Bigelow lost his distribution license for Raleigh bicycles. Undeterred, Bigelow nurtured and grew BMC, eventually garnering the attention of the now defunct Phonak Cycling Team in 2001. BMC bicycles and the original Team Machine have changed considerably in 15 years. The company has grown exponentially, and gone is aluminum as the frame material, replaced with the latest in carbon technology. This Teammachine SLR01 belongs to Richie Porte, the team’s latest star signing for the 2016 season and beyond. More about Richie’s bike…
At the 2016 Tour Down Under, Shimano supplied the groupset needs of 15 of the 20 teams in attendance. Continuing the groupset domination, Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting was present in abundance, and BMC Cycling is no exception. All of the team’s bike were kitted out with Shimano’s premium Dura-Ace 11-speed variant of the Di2 system.
Demonstrating the versatility of an 11-speed drivetrain, the gearing gaps on this 11-28 Dura-Ace cassette are relatively minimal.
SRM’s crank-based power measurement system records all of Richie’s big power numbers. While power meters certainly add a little weight to the average bike, they don’t add enough for the average pro road bike to reach the UCI weight limit of 6.8 kilograms. BMC fix that issue by adding weights into the crank spindle; but just enough to reach the weight limit.
While SRM has released Version 8 of the Power Control, Richie’s bike remains on Version 7, presented in matching team livery.
Richie Porte was among the few who preferred Shimano’s C24 tubular wheelset. Optimized for climbing with their light weight, these wheels were the perfect choice for Richie’s stinging attack on Willunga Hill during Stage 5 of the Tour Down Under.
These photos were taken on the eve of Stage 5, a stage that Richie won, narrowing his time gap to Tour Down Under race leader, Simon Gerrans.
Without doubt, the most popular choice among the professional teams in attendance was Continental’s Competition in the 25mm, Pro LTD variant. The Limited versions, only available to professional teams, have latex tubes inside.
Richie’s cockpit features 3T’s ARX II Team stem and matching 3T ErgoNova Team handlebars. Of note is the -6 degree stem, a break from the -17 degree stems that are so prevalent in the professional peloton.
BMC keeps braking simple with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9000 series dual-pivot brake calipers.
Richie sits atop a Fizik Arione K1 carbon railed saddle, fitted to BMC’s Teammachine carbon setback seatpost.
Elite’s Custom Race bottle cages keep Richie’s bidons in place.
Richie’s BMC Teammachine SLR01 may be the smallest size – 48cm (52cm top tube) per the company’s geometry chart, but there was nothing diminutive about his performance at the 2016 Tour Down Under. Finishing only nine seconds behind Simon Gerrans on the overall classification, one could expect bigger things from Richie later in the season? Good luck Richie!
Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist.
Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.