No privileges for sports but fighting for what brings joy
The world continues to be under the spell of the Corona pandemic, there are more important challenges than sport. The fact that we have now managed to travel to Turkey against all odds also raises questions for us. If the sport gives the signal to claim privileges for itself, that would not be right! There are many hurdles to overcome and rules to follow in order to tackle such an challenge. But they are at least the same for everyone, and even higher in sports.
But maybe sport can motivate you not to lose sight of all your goals during this time, not to resign and keep fighting for what makes life worth living for you. If we give up on that, we give up on ourselves.
We are a cycling team whose existence is based on racing. So we will fight to compete in races.
Since 2014 race in January, February at the latest. 2021 impossible not only because of Corona
Team BIKE AID has been around since 2014 and since then we have been racing every season somewhere in the world already in January or February. And 2021 has now taken it to first of April. Corona has made it hard to find a start. The point where you overcome all these hurdles and say, 'Now we're racing, even if the effort is enormous.'
"To be honest, though, we also needed some time before racing. After all, last season already took place under Corona conditions. We got our heads through the wall and delivered one of the most successful seasons in our team's history. That cost us energy. However, we were able to inspire new partners, we have reorganized almost the entire setup of our team. We integrated five new partners, which is a lot of effort. An early season start like in the past would have been impossible. But that we get it so right with day one of the new season is a great satisfaction and should also give the right signal to the new partners," says Matthias Schnapka.
Carstensen, Holler and now Wolf
In 2018, Lucas Carstensen took the opening victory at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. In 2020, Nikodemus Holler followed up by winning the prologue at the Sibiu Tour in Romania, the first major race after the the Corona break. And now Justin Wolf, the third BIKE AID rider, achieved the sucess of winning the very first race.
"After 15km a good group formed and I jumped to it. I knew im in good shape from the training of the last weeks. Most recently, I was with the national team in Frankfurt, Oder on the track. I train team pursuit on the track. Today was a long sprint. I used my streghts in the final, it was very close but it was enough. I was really motivated, as we currently have limited race scedule becuse of corona. We have to take every opportunity we get" said Justin Wolf after the stage.
New team members Pahlke and König well integrated
Team manager Timo Schäfer was also pleased with the two new additions. "Marco König and Jasper Pahlke did a good job for the team directly from the first kilometer. They are now fully integrated into the team. And to be directly rewarded with a victory gives the two a good feeling for the next races. This is especially important for Jasper, who at 18 is competing in his first season with the pros."
The race runs over four stages on the plateau of Konya, with 2.2 million inhabitants the seventh largest city in Turkey. In the coming days, it will also go up into the still snow-covered Taurus Mountains.