It sounds again like crazy news or April's fool, but it is true and real. How can it be that a „small German team“ goes to the official UCI World Championships and even more: how to try to challenge the „big guys“ from the World Tour such as BMC, SKY or Tinkoff?
Yes, indeed: we have been surprised the same way But we already received the confirmation from UCI in July, so we had enoough time to prepare ourselves how we can announce this awesome news. It is a great honour for us but at the same time this opportunity means also a huge responsibility for the team, the riders and all involved people.
Yes, the guys from Stradalli – BIKE AID will be for sure the underdogs and the most important thing at this stage so far is sure to be a part of the Wolrds and that we made it there, but on the other hand everybody is highly motivated and ready to fight with all he has to achieve the best result possible. Six riders will represent the colours of Stradalli – BIKE AID besides the best teams in the world.
Also our partners and suppliers were the same way excited as we were when we told these news and there was not just one second of hesitation to support us a little extra for this event.
Team Time Trial is a huge invest in equipment, as it is a lot about aerodynamics etc. The challenge was also to adapt all of our equipment for this special demand and without any question the partners like Stradalli (TT – frames), Citec (extra disc – wheels) or Bollé (TT helmets) or Biehler Sportswear with the new developped high tech TT suits jumped on our side and did their utmost to make all this come true. So our riders will definately look fast when they will climb the starting ramp in Doha.
„This event is a rel big thing for us and means a lot“, Eric Haus – chairman of BIKE AID e.v. said. „Given the fact that we actually are a small professional team with limited budget and based on a cycling community we never could imagine that we could take all these steps from winning UCI Africa Tour in 2014 to participate as a team in the UCI World Championships 2 years later. More we can not achieve with the given budget“.
The whole concept of the team is still growing and developing and also in terms of results the team improved again in 2016. Many top 10 results in races of UCI category 1 and HC but also lot of podium places were taken this year. The best result so far was for sure Meron Teshome's 2nd place on stage 11 in Tour of Qinghai Lake (UCI 2.HC) but also Nikodemus Holler delivered many strong performances with good results in the GC in Tour of gabon (UCI 2.1), Ireland or Tour of China.
The team currently holds a special training camp in Bad Salzhausen to finetune the technique for team time trial. On monday october 3rd the last race in the Europe Tour will take place for the team at Münsterland Giro with guys like Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish or André Greipel before the riders and staff fly to Doha on next wednesday