BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team announces 2018 line up

Chief Correspondent

The BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace announced their new team name and sponsor for the 2018 season while we were in Kona this year (more HERE).

With 2018 fast approaching, they have today revealed the athletes that will form part of the team in the new year. From a British perspective, good news for Will Clarke and Emma Pallant who remain with the squad, with – for the first time – a US athlete now present for the first time.

Here is the full news announcement.

BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace presents team line up for 2018

2018: new milestone for the team as BMC continues its title sponsorship and FrieslandCampina’s sports nutrition brand Vifit Sport becomes the new name sponsor;

  • BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace outlines ambitious targets and presents team roster for 2018
  • 8 athletes confirmed, 7 nations represented, one new face, first US athlete in the team
  • Medal at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

It was a decade ago in 2008 that Uplace, as founding partner, made the first steps into the triathlon world. Since then, the team has continued to grow and has gone from strength to strength to become one of the leading international triathlon projects.

CEO, Bob De Wolf reflects: “It is amazing to look back and see where we have come from. It is fantastic to be able to continue building on such a great project. I am elated with the continued support from BMC Switzerland for next season and the new partnership with Vifit Sport for 2018, 2019 and 2020. This is another milestone for the team and enables us to further develop and to create a real legacy in the triathlon sport. FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies with an exceptional knowledge and expertise in the dairy and protein industry. The importance of the right recovery and the right nutrition plays a crucial role in the daily life of our athletes. We are therefore extremely pleased to be able to start working with Vifit Sport.

CEO Bob De Wolf also emphasizes the importance of the long term partnership with BMC Switzerland: “The continuation of the cooperation with BMC is the result of a successful and very constructive partnership over the last 5 years. Thanks to the undivided support of BMC we have been able to further develop and become one of the leading long distance triathlon projects in the world. The BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team aims to continue to be one of the most successful and sustainable triathlon teams in the world.”

Medal at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

“It is our ultimate ambition to win the World Championship Ironman in Hawaii over the coming years”, says De Wolf. “Emma Pallant finished 2nd at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship this season and Liz Blatchford has been on the podium in Kona twice. I know these are extremely ambitious targets, but in the long run I strongly believe we have the operational set up, the support of fantastic partners and the quality in the team to do so.”

Also Troy de Haas, Head of Sport at BMC Switzerland, is extremely pleased to continue a very constructive partnership next season: “We have thoroughly enjoyed a close partnership with our professional triathlon team over the past five years, and we are extremely proud of their rise on the world triathlon stage. Supporting this group of individual athletes through a team format has proven very effective and efficient – and mirrors our approach across all our professional racing teams as extensions of the global BMC Switzerland family. Their feedback enables us to innovate and maintain our position of producing the world’s fastest Time Trial bike, the BMC TimeMachine. We are excited to see what successes this extraordinary group of sporting talent brings in 2018!”

BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team
Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media |

Lesley Cordial, Director Sports Nutrition of Vifit Sport, adds: “We are very excited about entering into this partnership with our Vifit Sport brand as we truly believe in the shared values of the team and in developing the knowledge and benefits of high-protein nutrition. The world of triathlon is growing really fast and we want to make our contribution to both lifting the current team to the highest level of performance as well as supporting the next generation of triathletes. We are really looking forward to the 2018 season and take great pride in working together with the full team to help achieve their ambitious targets for the coming years.


Team line-up confirmed

The focus for the Team in 2017 was to perform at an outstanding level throughout the entire season and to continue its journey as one of the leading teams in the world. Bob De Wolf, CEO of the BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team, indicates: “With a total of 23 victories this season including wins at Challenge Roth, Ironman Lanzarote and Ironman Malaysia and 39 podium places including a second place at the IM70.3 World Championship, the results have been outstanding. 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 this year. We continue to set out very ambitious targets for the years to come and I am therefore very proud and pleased with the team line up we have confirmed for next year.

Confirmed athletes are: Bart Aernouts (BEL), Liz Blatchford (AUS), Will Clarke (UK), Maurice Clavel (GER), Chris Leiferman (USA), Patrik Nilsson (SWE) Emma Pallant (UK) and Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI).”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 02: Emma Pallant of Britain celebrates winning the womens race at Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh on July 2, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images For Ironman )
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images For Ironman

Team roster 2018:

  • Bart Aernouts (BEL): winner Challenge Roth 2017, winner IM Lanzarote 2017, 3 x top 10 Ironman World Championship Hawaii, 12 x IM70.3 winner, IM70.3 European Champion 2014
  • Liz Blatchford (AUS): two time podium at Ironman World Championship in Hawaii (3rd IM WC Hawaii 2015 & 2013), 3 x IM Cairns winner, multiple IM70.3 distance winner
  • Will Clarke (UK): multiple IM 70.3 winner, one of the fastest British athletes at Ironman distance (7h59 IM Copenhagen, 7h59 IM Texas), Beijing Olympian 2008, top 10 IM70.3 World Championship
  • Maurice Clavel (GER): 6th IM70.3 World Championship in 2017, 3rd Challenge Roth 2017, vice European Champion IM70.3 2014, multiple 70.3 distance winner
  • Chris Leiferman (USA): winner IM Mont Tremblant 2016, winner IM70.3 Austin, 2nd IM70.3 Oceanside 2017
  • Patrik Nilsson (SWE): 4 x Ironman winner, 2 x sub 8 hours IM in 2016, winner IM Copenhagen 2016, winner IM Barcelona 2016, winner IM70.3 Barcelona 2016, 3rd IM European Championship in 2017, 8th Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in 2017
  • Emma Pallant (UK): Vice- World Champion IM70.3 in 2017, World Champion Aquathlon 2017, 2 x World Champion duathlon, winner IM70.3 Barcelona 2017, winner Challenge Gran Canaria 2017, winner IM70.3 Edinburgh 2017
  • Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI): 11 x time Ironman winner, winner IM Switzerland 2016, 4th IM World Championship Hawaii, 9 x Ironman Switzerland winner
IRONMAN UK 2017 - Photo David Pearce
Photo: David Pearce

The cooperation with Romain Guillaume and Amelia Watkinson will come to an end at the end of this season. Bob De Wolf adds: “Romain has been in the team for four seasons and has played an instrumental part in what we have been able to achieve over those four years. Both Amelia and Romain have been fantastic to work with and we are very grateful for what they have done for the team.”

One new face in the team

Chris Leiferman is the new face in the team and will join the BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team powered by Uplace from next season onwards. De Wolf adds: “Chris Leiferman is one of the most exciting talents on the long distance triathlon scene and we strongly believe in his potential. Chris had a real breakthrough year in 2016 winning IM Mont Tremblant and IM70.3 Austin. We are incredibly proud and excited to work with such a line-up of talent next season.”

Chris Leiferman is really looking forward to the up and coming season: “It’s an honor to be a part of such an elite triathlon team. I already knew I could be one of the best long distance long course triathletes in the world, but now it’s starting to become more fulfilling that a team that has such a great reputation as the BMC – Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team has put their faith in me too. My hopeful achievements for 2018 are to attain more podiums and more wins.  My 2018 goals include but aren’t limited to an Ironman distance win, a 70.3 win, and a top 10 finish at Kona. The team will help me by creating a less stressful season to allow me to solely train and race. BMC-Vifit Sport is a totally encompassing team, and I know that my nutrition and equipment are dialed in with the best brands, so I can keep focused on my career goals.”

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Latest News
Cassandre Beaugrand Beth Potter Laura Lindemann Paris Test Event podium 2023 [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
WTCS Pontevedra predictions: Will it be Potter or Beaugrand for World Championship glory?
Lionel Sanders at the press conference ahead of 70.3 World Championship 2023
Lionel Sanders filled with chocolate milk and ‘vengeance’ for Jackson Laundry rematch
Kristian Blummenfelt running at Malibu SLT in 2021 photo credit: Super League Triathlon
Malibu Triathlon and Super League race both at risk from ENDANGERED FISH
WTCS Hamburg podium 2023 Vasco Vilaca Hayden Wilde Alex Yee photo credit Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon
Can Alex Yee make it third time lucky in the bid for world triathlon title glory in Pontevedra?
Lionel Sanders Jackson Laundry Trevor Foley podium celebrations Michigan photo credit IRONMAN
Seconds out for Sanders, Laundry and Jewett as Michigan stars face swift Augusta rematch