It was a decade ago in 2013 that BMC and Uplace, as founding partner, joined forces to start a journey to become one of the worlds’ leading triathlon projects. CEO, Bob De Wolf reflects: “We are entering our 10th season as a top international team and it is fantastic to be able to continue building on such a great project. 2022 has been one of our best seasons ever taking the Ironman World Title in Hawaii with Chelsea Sodaro and Max Neumann finishing 4th in his debut race on the Big Island. Earlier in the year Katrina Matthews took silver at the Ironman World Championship in St. George, with her team mate Chris Leiferman finishing 4th. Not to forget the several Ironman & Challenge victories and several other outstanding podium results we had throughout the season. Obviously, such results can only be achievedthrough the commitment and contributions of our sponsors and partners and we are therefore very grateful for their continued support”.
“We want to continue winning big races next season and keep our position as one of the leading teams in the world. It is our ultimate ambition to win another World Title over the coming years”, says De Wolf. “We have been Ironman World Champion, ITU LD World Champion, and finished on a World Championship podium on six occasions in the past few years. I strongly believe we have the operational set up, the support of fantastic partners and the quality in the team to do so.”
Team line-up confirmed
The BMC Pro Triathlon Team has the clear ambition to continue to be a leading team in long distance triathlon. De Wolf indicates: “As we continue to set out very ambitious targets for the years to come, I am very proud and pleased with the team line up we have confirmed for next year. We feel we have a fantastic team roster in place and we are very pleased to have this line up confirmed for next season: Lucy Buckingham (GBR), Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP), Kristian Høgenhaug (DEN), Chris Leiferman (USA), Thor Bendix Madsen (DEN), Max Neumann (AUS) and Patrik Nilsson (SWE).
Team roster 2023
- Lucy Buckingham (GBR): Olympian London 2012, World Champion ITU Mixed Relay, winner Challenge St Pölten 2022, winner Challenge Samorin 2021, winner IM70.3 Gdynia 2021, winner Challenge Budva 2021
- Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP): World Champion ITU Long distance 2018, 2nd ITU Long Distance World Championship Pontevedra 2019, winner Challenge Gdansk 2022, bronze IM70.3 European Championships Elsinore 2022
- Chris Leiferman (USA): 4th Ironman World Championship St. George 2022, winner Ironman Florida 2020, winner IM Boulder 2018, winner IM Louisville 2018, winner IM Mont Tremblant 2016
- Thor Bendix Madsen (DEN): 23 y/o, 8th World Championship IM70.3 St. George, 4th IM Sweden (debut IM in 7:51:14)
- Patrik Nilsson (SWE): European Ironman Champion 2021, North American IM Champion 2019, 2nd IM European Championship in 2018, 6 x Ironman winner
- Max Neumann (AUS): 4th Ironman World Championship Hawaii 2022, Asian Pacific Ironman Champion 2020, 2021, 2022, winner Ironman Western Australia 2022, winner IM70.3 Sunshine Coast 2022
- Kristian Høgenhaug (DEN): World Champion ITU LD 2021, winner IM Hamburg 2019, Vice-European Champion Ironman 2021, winner Challenge Salou 2022
“The cooperation with Chelsea Sodaro and Katrina Matthews will come to an end at the end of this season. Bob De Wolf adds: “Chelsea (4 seasons) and Kat (3 seasons), have played an instrumental part in what we have been able to achieve as a team over all those years. Chelsea was a member of the team since 2019 and Kat since 2020 and both have been fantastic athletes to work with. The victory of Sodaro at the most recent Ironman World Championship in Kona and the Vice-World Title of Katrina Matthews in St. George earlier in the year are two of some of the most memorable moments for the BMC Pro Triathlon team. We are very grateful for what Chelsea and Kat have done for the team, as top athletes, as fantastic people to work with and for the outstanding results they have achieved as a member of our team. It has been an incredible journey and we wish them all the very best with their future careers”.
Two new faces in the team
Olympian Lucy Buckingham (nee Hall) is known for being one of the fastest swimmers in the sport. She represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games aged just 20 and then went on to make the Commonwealth team for Glasgow 2014. Lucy has since made a successful transition to long distance with one of the best seasons of her career in 2021 winning an impressive series of half distance events.
Lucy Buckingham is really looking forward to the up and coming season: “The BMC Pro Triathlon Team is a truly iconic team with a history of success in long course racing. Although we race as individuals, I take pride in being part of a team. I’m looking to step up to Ironman/full distance races and the team has a wealth of experience, that will be fantastic to tap into. The BMC Pro Triathlon Team has the best support personnel & equipment and I’m excited to have access to this leading into a new race season. In terms of my ambitions for next season, I would love to get amongst the medals at PTO series races in 2023 and major Championship events and crack my first Ironman.
Also Thor Bendix Madsen is one of the new faces in the team and will join the BMC Pro Triathlon Team powered by 2XU from next season onwards. De Wolf adds: “We are incredibly proud and excited to work with such a line-up of talent next season. At the age of 23 Thor Madsen burst onto the scene in 2022 finishing 8th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St. George. Thor is a super biker and really demonstrated his potential mixing it up with the big hitters when he finished in one of the fastest Ironman debut times earlier this year.”
Thor Bendix Madsen is excited about the season ahead: “It has always been a big dream of mine to join the BMC Pro Triathlon Team. I got into the sport back in 2015 where I followed an idol of mine, Helle Frederiksen on Instagram and I remember watching her smash the 70.3 World Record in the BMC team suit, and from that moment I became a fan of the BMC Tri team. Besides that, I want to get better at what I'm doing and I want to work with great people, and that I'm sure is going to happen being part of this team. I really look forward to being part of a team culture where we make each other better!” Thor continues: “I want to become one of the best in the world one day and I know BMC Pro Tri have the same ambitions for their athletes. I think one of the benefits about joining this team is that we as athletes make each other perform better. If one is doing great it has an effect on the whole teams' work ethic in training. And we all know hard work makes results. Also the team management is really passionate about the development of great athletes, and I can't wait to get this journey started, where I'm going to take my life as a professional athlete to the next level! In terms of my ambitions for next year, I want to continue my ongoing development to become a stable world class athlete. My more specific goals for 2023 are: regular top 10 places at the PTO races, get into the top 20 on the World Ranking, a top 5 at 70.3 Worlds and a top 10 finish at the Ironman Worlds. I know these are ambitious goals but I definitely think they can become a reality if I keep doing what I'm doing at the moment in training.
Katrina Matthews reflects on her three fantastic years as a member of the team:”Thank you, Bob and Ben De Wolf. Being part of the BMC Pro Triathlon Team for the last (and first 3) years of my career has been a professional grounding that I can only describe as the ultimate experience for a new pro athlete. Being fully immersed in a group of athletes, now friends, who are striving for excellence was eye-opening and is inspirational every day. It's been amazing to have performed well for the team but also to see my teammates win as well. Podiuming for the team at the IM WC St. George and finishing first at 'Sub 8' were my clear personal race highlights”.
Chelsea Sodaro continues: “I have been truly honoured to be a part of the BMC Pro Triathlon Team. Bob and Ben De Wolf signed me before I did my first 70.3 and have been committed to my journey and goals for the past four years. The Team supported me through my first professional long course season, pregnancy, child birth, and winning the Ironman World Championships with a toddler in tow. Through the team I have built relationships that will last a lifetime and made memories that I will cherish. I will never forget seeing Bob as I ran down Ali’i Drive towards a Kona victory. That moment felt like the ultimate collective win and is a memory that will bring me a lot of joy for a long, long time. I wish Bob, Ben, and the team success moving forward and I will be cheering them on from afar”.