BMC Racing signs Philippe Gilbert

GENEVA -- Tour de France champion Cadel Evans' BMC Racing Team has signed up-and-coming Belgian cycling star Philippe Gilbert to a three-year contract.

The team said Friday the 29-year-old Gilbert will be team leader for the classics and other races during the season and will support Evans as well as mentor the team's younger riders, including American Taylor Phinney.

Gilbert has won more than a dozen races this season and is ranked No. 2 behind Evans by the UCI. He won the first stage of the Tour de France this year and wore the yellow jersey for a day.

"My objectives are clear: to go for the one-day classics and then go to the Tour to learn and help Cadel," Gilbert said.