Three year partnership with Vifit Sport confirmed for BMC Pro Team
Announced in Kona today, from 2018 the current BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team (that features British athletes Emma Pallant and Will Clarke among its roster), will become the BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team, thanks to a three year partnership with the new sports nutrition brand Vifit Sport (www.vifitsport.com).
The news was revealed on Wednesday at Huggo’s on the Rocks, where I was also able to grab some one-to-one time with Will Clarke and Challenge Roth winner, Bart Aernouts. Those interviews will be published soon.
New milestone: BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team is the new name of the team from 2018 onwards
- Continuation of a legacy: FrieslandCampina’s sports nutrition brand Vifit Sport becomes the new name sponsor for 2018, 2019 and 2020
- BMC continues its title sponsorship of the team in 2018
- Very successful 2017 season sets up for top performance at World Championship
- Bart Aernouts, Patrik Nilsson and Ronnie Schildknecht look ahead
CEO, Bob De Wolf, is clearly elated with the continued support from BMC Switzerland and the new partnership with Vifit Sport for 2018, 2019 and 2020. “This is another milestone for the team and takes us from strength to strength. FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies with an exceptional knowledge and expertise in the dairy and protein industry. De Wolf continues: “Our team’s philosophy and vision is to provide maximal professional support for our athletes with the ultimate goal to optimize their performances. The importance of the right recovery and the right nutrition play a crucial role in the daily life of our athletes. We are therefore extremely pleased to be able to start working with Vifit Sport. FrieslandCampina’s years of experience, expertise and innovation in nutrition and recovery are unprecedented. Vifit Sport will play an integral part in our commitment of professionalism and high performance.”
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 to create a real legacy in the triathlon sport. The continuous commitment of BMC, and the fantastic new partnership with Vifit Sport create real longevity, unprecedented in triathlon history. The BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team aims to continue to be one of the most successful and sustainable triathlon teams in the world.”
Berndt Kodden, Managing Director FrieslandCampina Branded Netherlands and future President FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition, is pleased with this name partnership: “Sports nutrition will be a focus market of the newly to be established FrieslandCampina Specialised Nutrition business group. This partnership will offer Vifit Sport the perfect platform to increase its visibility in the growing market of sports nutrition. Besides, we see it as an opportunity to share our knowledge of the effect of milk protein on the performance and recovery of the muscles based on decades of research and development.”
Lesley Cordial, Director Sports Nutrition, reinforces the motivations behind the partnership and the chance this offers to increase the understanding of the benefits of after-sports nutrition: “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 and to supporting the next generation of triathletes.”
Three-year plan to medal at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii
Troy de Haas, Head of Sport BMC Switzerland, is extremely pleased to continue and extend a very constructive partnership next season: “We are very proud to be able to continue to support the Team through to the end of 2018, not just because they are driven to achieving the highest level on the world triathlon scene but because they share our vision and values too. We believe that top-class results, at any level, don’t happen on their own. It takes immense teamwork and a reliable support structure for athletes to be able to perform on the world stage. BMC has been a racing force to be reckoned over the years across all cycling disciplines thanks largely to our investments, and the success of the BMC Racing Team, but we also recognize our huge potential in triathlon. We have completely re-designed the BMC Timemachine 01 to meet the specific needs of triathletes and we expect the BMC-Vifit Sport Team to increase our visibility greatly among this target group. In turn, the team benefits from having the most technologically-advanced aero bikes at their disposal. We are especially looking forward to the BMC Timemachine being part of the winning formula in major Ironman events over the next couple of years.”
Ready for Hawaii with big ambitions.
On 14th October, the team will be present with three athletes at the starting line of the World Championship Ironman. It is the seventh consecutive year in a row that the team will have three or more professional athletes at the start line of the World Championship. The qualified athletes are Bart Aernouts, Patrik Nilsson and Ronnie Schildknecht.
CEO Bob De Wolf adds: “Hawaii is always one of the key targets for the team. This year is the first season of our three year plan to go and deliver on a Kona victory. 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 talent and the quality in the team to do so. I am very pleased that four of our athletes secured their qualification this season. Of course it is really disappointing that Will Clarke won’t be able to compete due to injury. Our focus this year was to perform at an outstanding level throughout the entire season and continue our journey as one of the leading teams in the world. I am pleased with the fantastic results we showed this year so far. With a total of 18 victories this season including wins at Challenge Roth and Ironman Lanzarote and 31 podium places including a second place at the IM70.3 World Championships the results have been outstanding. It really sets us up for a top performance at the World Championship Ironman in Hawaii.
The personal ambitions of our triathletes:
Bart Aernouts: “Kona is a special race because of its history and will always be the pinnacle of our sport. I love to race the best athletes in the world. It means a lot to me to be here for the 6th time in a row. This year my main focus of the season has been on the full distance triathlon events. It has been the first time that I haven’t combined it with half distance races. So far it has been a great season with victories in Challenge Roth and Ironman Lanzarote, but I’m still hungry for Kona. I have been able to train very well over the last few months. It has been a smooth preparation, I cannot ask for more. I don’t have specific expectations going into the race on Saturday. I feel ready and as it’s my 6th time I know what to expect. It will be hot and it will be windy on the bike, that’s for sure. I already have three top 10 finishes and I always want to improve of course. But if I have my best race of the season in Kona then I’ll be happy, no matter the outcome.”
Ronnie Schildknecht: “Kona is the biggest stage in long distance triathlon. To compete against the best in the world is a thrill and dream for every athlete! The goal is to get the maximum out of my body. Just 100% no more no less. This is my 12th time racing in Kona and it is always really special to come here. So many memories, good and bad for me. It’s the World Championship so it’s the pinnacle in long distance triathlon. As Ironman Switzerland didn’t go as planned I got back into training straight after it. This is the first time in twelve years that I haven’t finished an Ironman in July. I think I am fresher and hope that will give me the edge needed to crack the top 3.”
Patrik Nilsson: “This will be my first time competing at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. I have done most of my preparation in Texas, where the climate is pretty much the same as in Kona, with very similar heat and humidity. Ironman Hawaii is probably the biggest race in triathlon. To be at the start line of this year’s race has been a big goal for me for many years. I really look forward to racing the world’s fastest guys over the long distance and battle it out to the end. When you start the race victories or failures from before don’t matter anymore, it is during this race it is all decided. As it is my first time competing in Kona, I am not really sure what to expect. I know it will be a tougher race than any other Ironman I have done so far, with everyone at the start line in top shape. In terms of my personal expectations for the race, I want to do a race I am happy with. If I can cross the finish line and have done everything I can to deliver, I am sure it will come with a result I can be proud of.”