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PCM.daily » PCM Stories & Story Games » PCM 15: Stories
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Bontrager Pro Cycling: Pushing the Boundaries
Wiggo
www.dafont.com/forum/attach/orig/2/0/201831.jpg

Date: August 23, 2014
From:
To:
Subject: Pushing the boundary

Hi Eric. How's it going? Hope you're well. I watched the first stage of the Vuelta earlier and noticed that there was an African team riding, featuring six African riders including the first black African Grand Tour riders. I find that this is inspiring and that people in positions like us should be helping to make this sport global, and try to get the best possible riders racing from where ever they may be from. Don't you agree? It would be great to hear your thoughts.

Keith


It was this e-mail that set into motion the most stressful few months of my life. An ex-motorcycle racer turned mountain biking pioneer who started one of the most successful component brands in the world, Keith Bontrager was passionate about cycling, and as his previous career had shown, once he set his mind on a goal, it was difficult to get him away from it. As Eric Childs, his out of work directeur sportif friend, I ended up getting brought into the chaos.

Bontrager were willing to sponsor a new Continental level team, and I was the man at the head of building this team from scratch, by the opening of the next season.

When it came to team building, there were a couple of parameters to follow:

1. Aside from some American and Canadian riders (due to the company, Bontrager, being American), the riders should come from non-mainstream cycling countries.
2. Focus on youth should be at the forefront of our minds, and only a couple of riders over 30 will be allowed.

It was hard work. Scouting riders from outside my usual frame of reference, figuring out how they would work in a team environment, etc, was very difficult. Here's what we got.

Rafael ANDRIATO, 27, Sprinter, Brazil
Miguel AREDA, 19, Climber, Mexico
William BARTA, 18, Barouder, USA
Gonzarig BATBAYAR, 18, Northern Classics, Mongolia
Veer CHATTOPADHYAY, 19, Stage Races, India
Ben GASTAUER, 27, Climber, Luxembourg
CHOE Hyeoung Min, 24, Climber, South Korea
Chad HAGA, 26, Time Trial, USA
Ken HANSON, 32, Sprinter, USA
Hugo HOULE, 24, Time Trial, Canada
Jos√© Andr√©s JALLAS AMIG√ď, 19, Time Trial, Puerto Rico
Amir KOLAHDOZHAGH, 21, Climber, Iran
Gyasi OKEKE, 19, Northern Classics, Burkina Faso
Carlos OYARZUN, 33, Time Trial, Chile
Eric YOUNG, 25, Sprinter, USA
César VAQUERA, 25, Sprinter, Mexico

There's a lot of youth in there, and a hell of a mountain to climb if we're to get going as a project. This first season will, in all likelihood, be a case of giving our youngsters the best chance to develop and maybe find some success in some minor races. It will be tough, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
Edited by Wiggo on 06-07-2015 01:22
 
Wiggo
Bontrager Pro Cycling - First Quarter


It's a relatively relaxed start to the season for Bontrager. Between January 1 and March 31, we only have a few races:
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Australia, February 1
Ster van Zwolle, The Netherlands, February 28
Classica de Loulé, Portugal, March 1
Trofej Umag, Croatia, March 4
Paris - Troyes, France, March 15 [Objective: Top 3]
Grand Prix of Sochi, Russia, March 19-22 [Objective: Stage win/s]
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartoli, Italy, March 24-29 [Objective: Stage win/s]



Bontrager U23


With our aim to spread cycling and bring smaller countries into play, one of the big decisions we have made is to set up a development team to find new talent and give them opportunities to grow.

From the sixteen riders selected to join Bontrager U23, several are from the kind of countries that we want to raise in status:

Runako Price of Algeria, a stage race specialist with the potential to be a Grand Tour champion
Abdul Aik Huang of Malaysia, another stage race specialist who could become world class.
Gaizko Millar from Chile, similar to Huang
Raimondas Stashauskas, another stage race specialist, this time from Lithuania, who could become excellent.
Sergej Georgiev, a - guess what - stage race rider, from Romania who has the potential to be a decent rider.
Iregi Kiprono, a Rwandan puncher who may become a good professional.
Vedant Pillai, a Pakistani climber who too could become a good rider.

Clearly, the teams focus on finding riders with stage race potential has come good, although most other disciplines do seem to have been neglected in this particular crop of riders.

The U23 team make their debut in the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise on the same day as the main team's first race.
Edited by Wiggo on 06-07-2015 00:28
 
Welwyn
interesting idea.
 
Wiggo
Thanks!
 
Wiggo
cadelevans.com.au/images/2014/header/cegorr_header_1.jpg

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race

Around the roads of Geelong, Victoria, Bontrager Pro Cycling made their debut in the cycling world. The team consisted of leader Andriato, supported by Oyarzun, Vaquera, Haga, Batbayar, Okeke, Jallas Amigó and Barta.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/cegor_zps2rre9lu0.png

The roads were mainly pretty flat, although the final circuit did have a few hills that would challenge the fast men, it was fairly clear that the race should end in a bunch sprint.

Despite the initial efforts of Carlos Oyarzun, we were unrepresented in the breakaway, which consisted of Sky's Sebastian Henao, Drapac's Travis Meyer and IAM Cycling's Stefan Denifl, who at their peak had a gap of over 6 minutes.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/PCM0002_zpstv755naz.png

Once we got on the circuit however, Tinkoff-Saxo went to the front and worked hard to bring it back for leader Daniele Bennati.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/PCM0005_zpsuxjfbigg.png

And despite a late burst from Henao, the break was swallowed up with 12km to go.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/PCM0006_zpsaoqactyr.png

Having already been dropped, Jallas Amigó suffered a crash with about 8km to go, but it wasn't particularly serious and he was able to finish.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/PCM0007_zpsmz2ngjog.png

Coming into the finish, Andriato attempted to get on the wheels of contenders, but was slightly taken off guard by the sprint from behind that overtook him, leaving Francesco Gavazzi and Daniele Ratto to fight for the win, and Andriato fighting for positions.

On the line, Gavazzi took it by about a bike length.

i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn193/patrickhughes1996/PCM0008_zps3gwiq4kk.png

But behind, Andriato was able to hang on for third! In Bontrager's first race, we have been able to take a podium position! This bodes well for the rest of the season.

1 Francesco Gavazzi Southeast 4h04'17
2 Daniele Ratto UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team s.t.
3 Rafael Andriato Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
4 Romain Feillu Bretagne - Séché Environnement s.t.
5 Leigh Howard Orica-GreenEDGE s.t.
6 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck Etixx - Quick-step s.t.
7 Yauheni Hutarovich Bretagne - Séché Environnement s.t.
8 Jan Bakelants Ag2r La Mondiale s.t.
9 Luis León Sánchez Astana Pro Team s.t.
10 Alexander Porsev Team Katusha s.t.
32 Carlos Oyarzun Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
58 Chad Haga Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
69 William Barta Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
76 Gyasi Okeke Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
100 Ganzorig Batbayar Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
128 José Andrés Jallas Amigó Bontrager Pro Cycling s.t.
157 César Vaquera Bontrager Pro Cycling + 8'40
 
Taaramae1
A great start! Congrats! looking forward to following this one Smile great job so far!
 
emre99
3rd in a list of WT contenders!
Perfect start! Grin
Good luck Wink

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