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BMC owner Andy Rihs dies at 75

Published April 19, 2018

ZURICH (BRAIN) — Andreas "Andy" Rihs, the owner of the BMC bike company and its pro race team, died Wednesday at age 75, according to the brand. Reports say Rihs was suffering from cancer. 

“We will create a special place for Andy inside the company. All employees, friends and business partners will have the chance to leave a personal note here for Andy,” said David Zurcher, the CEO of BMC Switzerland. "Obviously, Andy’s passion and vision will live on inside the entire brand. Andy and BMC Switzerland have always had goals — the BMC Switzerland team is more committed than ever to pursue these with great courage and dedication."

Rihs made his fortune in the hearing aid industry and entered pro cycling as the supporter of the Phonak team, which was later disbanded after multiple doping scandals. The BMC team scored its biggest win with Cadel Evans' 2011 Tour de France victory.

"Andy was not only an owner and main sponsor of BMC Racing Team, but also a friend who enjoyed life and loved sharing that joy," the team said in a statement on its website. "With him, an exemplary visionary, an avid sports fan, a passionate cyclist, and a great supporter of sport has left us. His generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh have shaped the man that has been by our side since the beginning of BMC Racing Team. Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values.

"Not least thanks to the great commitment from Andy, BMC Racing Team has been able to develop so well in both a sporting and economical sense. Andy has served as an inspiration to us all."

Andy Kessler, the former CEO of BMC and now part owner of Open Cycle, wrote on his blog that Rihs' death was "a sad day for cycling."

"I have never met somebody so passionate, visionary and driven. He had many dreams and he realized most of them," Kessler wrote. "Without him cycling would not be where it is today in Switzerland. He did so much for it, too much to list."

Zurcher said the bike brand had sales of about 100 million Swiss francs ($103 million) last year. “The company stands solid," he said. "Also, the BMC management has taken all necessary steps to secure the ongoing well-being of all BMC employees and the BMC brand. This was Andy’s heartfelt wish,” Zurcher said.

Photo courtesy team BMC.

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