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[PCT'21] Jura - Fiat | Q&A
Another Balloon!

Alfredo Balloni (swap in for Cissé)

Issiaka Cissé (swap out for Balloni)

After we had already talked about our time trialing talents, we have now managed to bring in a TT veteran, someone who will show the boys how it's done! Alfredo is already 32 years old and will be our strongest time trialist this year. We thought it would be a great idea to have an experienced leader for our TTT setup - and just like Szymon, someone who could also score a few GC points from certain stage races. Him being Italian definitely had an impact on our decision, as our heart is still somewhat bleeding to see a great rider go the other way, to Mapei...

Alfredo Balloni, Level 4.MAX, 32 y.o., Pot. 5, € 50.000 wage

And that rider going the other way is Issiaka Cissé. We picked him up in the CT draft back in 2019, and he has done an amazing job as a leadout rider in the last two years! However, given that we brought in Mikiel Habtom earlier this transfer season, and that Habtom has even some slightly more intriguing qualities, we decided to send Cissé to Italy. Mapei was looking for a leadout rider, and we can assure them that Issiaka is a fantastic one!
Thank you for all those great moments, Issiaka - we will definitely miss you!

Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of as well ^^ I think Wellens is just a bit stronger pretty much everywhere, so Nairo should actually rather try to avoid him Pfft

Yeah, we set up a multi-rider-deal with Gjensidige, that might have been decisive for Van Moer. Too bad we can't keep him after the season Wink

Thanks for the charity, hopefully I can pay you back in some way some day Smile

Thanks Smile If you promote to PCT, let's talk about him next transfers Wink

Well, then I probably shouldn't even start the season... I guess keeping slave Pernsteiner doesn't turn things around for me, either - however, you can still change that part Pfft

Sorry to hear Sad Don't know why he went so high, he's not even something *really* special. He can TT and nothing else... His 250k wage last year probably went to his head...

Know you wanted to do more in terms of sales, both in terms of number of riders and money for them, but you've built a good squad from what I can tell. Lots of great GC guys in PCT, but Nairo is clearly one of the best. Schmid is an absolute steal of a talent that fits your team identity. And I really don't think you should be worried so much about Reinhardt unless PCM 20 drastically affects how sprints work. He did his best work in PCT races last season anyway.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Late Moves

Emmanuel Morin (loan-in from BWT)
Jason Tesson (Stagiaire)

Gergely Szarka (loan-out to BWT)

While we were looking for some interesting deals until the very end (or almost), we simply have to state that we probably were too impatient at the beginning of the transfer period, as we were left with almost no wage cap or cash to sign some interesting riders. Nonetheless, we don't necessarily regret our aggressive start, as we'll conclude in the transfer summary coming soon.

So let's talk about the few minor moves we were still able to do. First is a deal that helped BWT Hyundai NC Cycling out of misery, as they were desperately looking to loan out their French talent Emmanuel Morin.
As we couldn't take him on loan without freeing up some wage cap and getting some cash on our side, we agreed on a "loan-swap-deal", i.e. we send our Hungarian sprint talent Gergely Szarka on loan to them for the 2021 season - under the condition that he'll level up twice during this time.

Emmanuel will be a very useful rider for our hilly C2 races, and might even get some good results at C1 level as well. And as we'll have a total of four Frenchies riding for us this year, there shouldn't be any integration issues, either Smile

Emmanuel Morin, Level 3.22, 26 y.o., Pot. 3, € 50.000 wage (thereof 25,000 paid by each team)

Once we had to accept that no other deal would be concluded, we decided to make the best out of our € 15,000 free wage cap, and sign a Stagiaire. As our preferred rider for that spot, German talent Juri Hollmann, had already signed elsewhere, we decided to offer a contract to yet another Frenchman in Jason Tesson. Jason has already been on a Stagiaire contract last year, when he rode for Xero Racing. This means that despite having only three handful of RDs (plus Avenir) on his schedule, he'll still be able to at least reach experience level 2. This was one reason for selecting him; the other being his interesting development path into a nice KoM hunter, as shown below. We'll see if he'll have a future on our team or elsewhere beyond this season - but for now, bienvenue Jason!

Jason Tesson, Level 1.56, 23 y.o., Pot. 4, € 10.000 wage

And this final signing definitely wraps up our transfer season! Although we weren't able to deal as much as we'd have loved to, we'll still call it a very successful one, having achieved our two primary goals! More about it in the summary - stay tuned!

Transfer Summary

The dust has settled, another exciting transfer period has come to its end. A period full of hope, joy, disappointment, incomprehension, anger - in short: a typical MG transfer period.

Let's take a look at what our goals were for this period. Obviously, we didn't announce them publicly before, but now we can openly share them with you:

#1Sign Mauro SchmidYES!
#2Sign a good PCT stage racerYES!
#3Sell riders to fund trainingNot even close
#4Get a cobbles leaderNo
#5Build up a solid TTT squadYES!

With 3/5 goals - including the two most important ones - we can call the transfer period a success! Furthermore, as we'll see with the new signings/loanees, we clearly stand by our reputation of being a development-friendly team - which is a risky strategy in PCT for sure, but we're positive it will work out well!

Before looking at the new members on our rosters, we also have to announce a few departures. In our transfer sheet, we have five riders with a "lost" next to their name - although two of them are just away for one year to gain experience with other teams. Here's the overview:


RiderOVLWageNew teamTerms
Andrea Vendrame74.6675,000Bralirwa - StevensSwapped for Habtom + € 125,000
Issiaka Cissé74.2465,000MapeiSwapped for Balloni
Maximilian Walscheid73.2550,000McCormick Pro CyclingSold for € 275,000
On Loan
Gino Mäder73.5655,000GeneraliGino to 4.MAX, 45k/10k wage split, € 30,000 fee paid by Generali
Gergely Szarka68.8850,000BWT Hyundai N CyclingGergely to Lvl 3, 25k/25k wage split, € 175,000 fee paid by Jura - Fiat

We see that none of our leaders have left the team, although there was quite a lot of interest mainly in Fausto Masnada. This was our joker in case we were really in need of cash after the most expensive deal in team history, which we'll be talking about shortly.
We were also trying to rather aggressively promote some of our other riders, but given the abundance of the Free Agent market this year, it was to no avail. Hence, 16 out of the 22 riders we had under contract last year still are, although two of them won't ride for us this year.

We do of course regret to say goodbye to our great leadout rider Cissé, but after we swapped in another very similar yet slightly stronger rider than him, and we got offered Balloni in return, we just couldn't say no. All the best to you and thanks again, Issiaka!

Vendrame is a special case, as we had him under contract the last two seasons already - but he didn't ride a single race for us. He was loaned out twice, and has now left the team for said new leadout rider, who we'll be talking about as well. The reason why we agreed on letting Andrea go is that we have a pretty similar rider still on the team with Fabian Lienhard - and our Swiss sponsors wouldn't have understood if we had given him away instead.

And last but not least, Max Walscheid had the bad luck of not finding a loan-in team in his very first year, hence losing one season of development. Due to his similarity with Thomas Boudat, we decided to promote him as available for sale as well - and McCormick greatly helped us out of our cash misery with their huge offer. Thanks again to Ulrich Ulriksen!

Gino Mäder and Gergely Szarka will get some more valuable experience with their respective loan-in teams - we wish them all the best and are looking forward to getting them back by the end of the season!

And now, let's come to the other part - the new arrivals. 8 out of 13 riders on the transfer sheet are "gained", plus two free agents and a stagiaire, so let's take a look at this whole bunch!


RiderOVLWagePrevious teamTerms
Nairo Quintana78.30600,000Voyagin - Bird€ 1,400,000 fee paid by Jura - Fiat
Mikiel Habtom74.3955,000Bralirwa - StevensSwapped for Vendrame
Alfredo Balloni73.4050,000MapeiSwapped for Cissé
Mauro Schmid72.43150,000Free Agent-
Szymon Rekita72.04100,000Free Agent / Minions-
Jason Tesson69.5810,000Free Agent / Xero RacingStagiaire
Alexys Brunel69.5650,000Gjensidige Pro Cycling€ 350,000 fee paid by Jura - Fiat
On Loan
Emmanuel Morin72.5450,000BWT Hyundai N CyclingMorin to Lvl 4, 25k/25k wage split, € 175,000 fee paid by BWT
Aaron Van Poucke72.0450,000Gjensidige Pro CyclingVan Poucke to Lvl 4, wage paid by Jura - Fiat, € 50,000 fee paid by Gjensidige
Brent Van Moer70.1455,000Gjensidige Pro CyclingVan Moer to Lvl 4, wage paid by Gjensidige, € 55,000 fee paid by Jura - Fiat
Giorgi Tediashvili69.0570,000Red Bull ZalgirisTediashvili to Lvl 3, wage paid by Jura - Fiat, € 240,000 fee paid by Zalgiris

Nairo Quintana is easily the team's biggest signing ever - and the fee of € 1.4M only confirms this. The initial price was "just" 1M; however then our friends from Sauber entered the game. As we were the first team to place an offer, it was enough for us to match their maximum bid to still get Nairo - which on one side makes us happy, on the other side we regret having interferred with their plans. We wish you all the best nonetheless, sammy!

While Nairo was one candidate for goal #2, Mauro Schmid was our main goal of the year. We were surprised to get him at the rather cheap wage of € 150,000, but once the deal was sealed we asked UBS - yet another Swiss team - why they didn't go higher, and they told that our initial bid was a little too steep for them. Our strategy therefore worked out 100%, which we are more than happy with!

And while we weren't able to sign a cobbles leader, we did clearly strenghten our TT department with the signings of Balloni, Rekita and Brunel, as well as with the loan-in of Van Moer. The aggressivity to reach this "minor" goal finally backfired, as we weren't able to compete for the cobblers once they were on the market. But well, you can't have 'em all...

The 4 loan-ins plus 8 unmaxed riders (including Mäder and Szarka) testify of our commitment to development - which we hope is a viable strategy even in PCT! Whether it is or not - you will be able to judge from our complete roster, which we will present once we have also fixed the schedules for all our leaders. We hope you'll come back to our HQ for that announcement - see you soon!

Despite your problems with selling riders, you still sold 3 times more than me Pfft

Quintana is a good addition and since you already had a very solid core of riders I don't see you struggling making it through a PCT season at all Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
Quintana was my first MG FA bid ever (of course it was invalid) last year, so it will be interesting to ride against him now. Looking forward to see your planning, but I can't imagine he and Spilak would barely meet. Both Mauro and Rekita are also great signings imo, and add some Moscon and Reinhardt to that and you're hopefully set for a nice first PCT season Smile
Technically, I sold one rider Pfft OK, I got some cash for Vendrame as well, but Cissé was really a straight swap.
I might have taken a rider from you for the right price - and, most importantly - if I had some budget left Pfft

Yeah, unfortunately there aren't that many mountain races in PCT - and even more unfortunately, Spilak is better than Nairo in pretty much every domain except pure mountains. Plus, you have a far better TTT setup, so Spilak should get clearly more points than Nairo I'm afraid...
You're right that Moscon and Reinhardt will have to carry the team - but at least I've got some wildcard guy called Masnada as well, let's see what he can do Smile
But I guess it will be a much closer fight between our teams than last year!

Announcement: Season Opening Event on October 4

Almost a week has gone since the official transfer period is over, and we haven't posted any news since. On one hand, everybody is trying to relax after this stressful period - and before the long season. On the other hand, we are busy selecting our lineups for the entire season. And there are certain topics we aren't even allowed to talk about yet.

So to compensate for the lack of information during the past and even the coming week, we officially invite you to our Season Opening Event taking place on October 4 - once MGUCI's deadline for all administrative tasks is over, and all secrets can be revealed.

The event will take place in the headquarters of Jura Elektroapparate AG in Niderbuchsiten, Switzerland. We will also offer a livestream, as there's only a limited amount of places available on-site. Coffee (freshly ground, not capsuled!) and cake will be served to those who are lucky to get a seat on-site, so be quick to secure your ticket!

We will present you the following during our event:
- 2021 Roster
- Sponsor Goals including lineups
- Leader Schedules & 2021 Calendar
- Q&A

For the last part, we need your contribution, so don't hesitate to ask us what you always wanted to know about our team, staff, riders, ... answers not guaranteed, but we'll do what we can! See you soon!

NC Jerseys

Our roster actually is no secret, as the 2021 teams and riders have already been published. And so it is no secret either that three national champions will ride for us this season. As there's already enough to be discussed on October 4, let's take a look already today at the jerseys our master designer hillis91 designed for our NCs:

Manuel Stocker
Swiss RR NC


Szymon Rekita
Polish ITT NC


Benedikt Mundle
Liechtenstein RR & ITT NC


Q&A questions

- Fabian Lienhard's signing was initially met with a lot of hype but he hasnt proven himself enough so far. How will this change his role for the upcoming season?

- It was announced that Jura - Fiat received wildcards for a couple of PT races. Will the team send their best possible teams to these or will it use the opportunity to let their talents make valuable experience against the best cyclists in the world?
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!

How have your riders received the news of Jura - Fiat possibly becoming #cursed?
Love the kit but Liechtenstein is actually a French jersey Pfft
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Gustavovskiy wrote:
Love the kit but Liechtenstein is actually a French jersey Pfft

I agree that there's some resemblance, yeah. But the French jersey wouldn't have the crown Pfft
Anyway, complaints about jerseys should be directed to our chief designer - if you dare to disgruntle him Pfft

@knockout, quadsas
Thanks for the questions Smile
What we achieved so far

Before tomorrow's Season Opener will fully focus on the upcoming season, let's take a final look back on our first two seasons, where we were racing under the name of Centovalli - Fiat. You all know about the number of points and the final rankings we got - but let's take a closer look at how this looks like in terms of wins, podiums, Top 10s and special jerseys/standings!


One-day races
WinsPodiumsTop 10s

Stage Races

Stage WinsStage PodiumsStage Top10s

GC WinsGC PodiumsGC Top 10s

Points JerseysKoM JerseysWhite JerseysTeam Standings


One-day races
WinsPodiumsTop 10s

Stage Races

Stage WinsStage PodiumsStage Top10s

GC WinsGC PodiumsGC Top 10s

Points JerseysKoM JerseysWhite JerseysTeam Standings


One-day Races
WinsPodiumsTop 10s

Stage Races
Stage WinsStage PodiumsStage Top 10s

GC WinsGC PodiumsGC Top 10s

Points JerseysKoM JerseysWhite JerseysTeam Standings

The first thing we notice is that the performances in one-day races were a lot stronger in 2020 than in 2019 - including our first (and to date only) win in Coppa Placci. Obviously, Fausto Masnada was responsible for most of those great result - but we certainly won't forget to mention Theo Reinhardt, who did especially well in HC classics. We'll never forget his 3rd place in Berlin last season - too bad the race was removed from the schedule Sad

In stage races, however, we weren't able to improve our win count - let's see if we can get at least 10 this year! However, the quality of our Top 10 spots has clearly increased, which is shown by the much higher number of stage podiums!

Plus, we finally managed to win a stage race last season, with the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. Overall, however, last season wasn't notably stronger in terms of GC results. We're definitely hoping to change that this season - and we should have some more firepower to attack those spots!

What's remarkable - and maybe slightly disappointing - is that we haven't won a single white jersey so far. And unfortunately, this isn't likely to change this year, with Gino Mäder being loaned out to PT. But maybe next year then? If we can keep on winning at least one green and dotted jersey each per season, we can already be happy.

One final thought is about the race categories. We don't have a great record for races above the C2HC category - which is something we clearly have to change this year if we want to stay in PCT! So we know what we have to do - the only thing that remains now is to actually do it!

And with these final thoughts, looking back comes to an end. We would just like to remind you that you can still ask your questions for tomorrow's Q&A session - see you then, we strongly hope!

Jura - Fiat
2021 Season Opening Event - Team Presentation

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2021 Season Opener of newly promoted PCT cycling team Jura - Fiat! Be it here in the beautiful Jura coffee world in Niderbuchsiten, or at home in front of the screens - we're happy to have you with us!

We have a lot of interesting details concerning the 2021 season for you - and so, without further ado, let's start with the most important - and likely most interesting for most of you - the team presentation!

2021 Team Presentation

Fab: I have the great pleasure to lead you through this team presentation together with our Directeur Sportif, Rubens Bertogliati. Welcome on stage, Rubens!

Rubens: Thanks, and I'd like to welcome everyone attending this event, too!

Fab: Rubens, you achieved great things with last year's team, staying surprisingly close to the Top 3 teams until the very end. What did you identify that needed to be done in order to get the boys ready for the higher division?

Rubens: Not that much, actually. We had a great core of riders, which will be the same for this season. Plus, we got back Fausto Masnado who was on loan last year - somebody mentioned that we already gained a great rider before transfers even started.
Nonetheless, we could identify three domains where we wanted - and needed - to improve:
1. Mountainous stage races
2. Cobblestones
3. Time trials
The first one was really crucial for this transfer period; and we wanted to add some firepower to at least one of the two other domains.

Fab: We achieved numbers 1 and 3, but more about that later. Before we get to the successful transfers - and to the entire team - tell us about some deals we didn't manage to seal.

Rubens: Uh, that's a long list to be honest. There's the "dreams" category, with e.g. Kudus, Summerhill, Stallaert, Zmorka, Eastman... But all of them quickly went out of reach. We probably could have secured one of them by digging really deep, but well...
Then, there were the "realistic" targets, whereof one name was Stefan KĂĽng. But we quickly understood that Generali wouldn't leave any of our offers unanswered, so we abandoned. We had lots of talks concerning Colin StĂĽssi or Marcel Aregger, but finally to no avail. We hoped to be in the race for Eddie Dunbar or Attila Valter, but finally had no chance for either of them. And finally, the Italian talents Bagioli and Aleotti, but we had to let go of both rather early. So, you see, transfers aren't easy!

Fab: Definitely not! Lots of sweat and tears shed during that period - a period that can finally still be called a success! And this leads us to the most expensive transfer in our team history so far - and the presentation of the climbers!



Rubens: While a multitude of great climbers was available, we rather quickly had to fold on the Free Agent market, and instead intensified our efforts to get Nairo Quintana on board - and we were incredibly relieved once he put his signature under the one-year contract! The Colombian brings a lot of experience - and a lot of uphill speed! The transfer cost us € 1.4M - money we had to get back elsewhere - and has a yearly wage of € 600,000.

Fab:Nairo will lead our line-up in most mountainous races, supported by some or even all of the trio Andrea Manfredi, Fausto Masnada and team senior Mirco Saggiorato. In mountain races where Nairo is not present, it will be mainly up to Masnada to lead the team - he's already shown two years ago he can do a great job even in C1 races, and he's definitely improved since!

Rubens: Absolutely! And don't forget Manfredi who won the queen stage of Tour de Romandie last year! Saggiorato will no longer be on team leading duties and could try some attacks as well. In short, we surely don't have the deepest climbing roster in PCT, but we do have some proven riders, allowing us to participate in way more mountain races than last year!

Fab: We're looking forward to those mountains, that's for sure! But now, let's head over to the other uphill department - the specialist of the short, steep climbs!



Fab: Rubens, to be honest, I can see absolutely no change here compared to last year. Is that correct?

Rubens: Except for everyone getting a year older - or gaining a year of experience, if you want - yeah, that's right.

Fab: Well, we all know the hills were one of the team's main strengths last year - but were there really no plans of strengthening this part of the squad?

Rubens: Sure, there were. One of the goals was to send team leader Gianni Moscon to a training camp - but we already had to go over budget for the Quintana deal, and then we just didn't manage to sell enough riders to generate enough training cash. We could have sent him to a rather cheap sprinter camp, but we decided it would be worth more in the long run to apply for some PT wildcards.

Fab: With the puncheur field in PCT getting really, really stacked during transfers, do you think we can still score enough points in this terrain?

Rubens: Gianni has already shown last year that he can keep up and sometimes even beat the likes of Kelderman, so yes, we think he can still do a great job! Furthermore, as we got no satisfying for key lieutenant Hermann Pernsteiner, the latter will still be there to support Gianni on short and long slopes!

Fab: A word about our two Swiss puncheurs?

Rubens: We made the experience that letting Fabian Lienhard ride alongside Moscon wasn't very useful. He'll get more freedom this year, along with Cyrille Thièry. Both are great fighters, and we expect them to show this in races where Neither Moscon nor Masnada are present to lead the team on the hills.

Fab: So let's hope we'll be competitive enough despite some missed deals and lack of training!
And with everything said about the puncheurs, let's introduce a new department - the time trialists!

Time Trialists


Fab: Until now, our best man in the discipline had a stat value of 73 - now we're up to 78 and 77. What happened?

Rubens: That's simple; we got two specialists on board.

Fab: Yeah, for sure, but why? And how did it happen?

Rubens: If you recall our transfer goals, you might remember that point 3 was to strengthen the TT domain. On one hand because we want - and need - to get more points from those races. On the other hand, because we want to give our stage racers a real chance of success in races with a team time trial.

Fab: That sounds great, indeed! But why these two men?

Rubens: We were already close to getting a deal for Alfredo Balloni last year, but finally decided to keep Leo Basso instead. This year, Mapei needed a great leadout rider, and so we agreed to transfer our beloved Issiaka Cissé over to them and get Balloni in return.

Fab: Before you throw your rotten tomatoes at us, be assured that we signed another African leadout rider instead - you'll love him as well!

Rubens: Exactly, else we'd never have given Issiaka away! But let's talk about the second signing now. Szymon Rekita obviously was fed up of getting paid only in bananas last year and denied Minions' renewal offers. Instead, we picked up this great talent from free agency, for a yearly wage of € 100,000. He will complete his development with us this season, and get on a 79 stat level next year - so that's not only an investment for this year, but for the future!

Fab: Future is a great keyword, as we'll see later that we have two more great time trialists in the pipeline - but more on that in the "talents" section. First, we'll move over to the sprinters!



Fab: There has been quite some movement in this department. Rubens, explain us what happened!

Rubens: Indeed, only two riders from last season's roster are still here. These are our super-sprinter Theo Reinhardt, and one of his most important leadouts and Swiss RR champion Manuel Stocker. The third man in this sprint train, however, is new. First, we got our new 2nd man Mikiel Habtom from Bralirwa, in exchange for Andrea Vendrame. Given that we consider Mikiel even stronger and better suited for the train than Issiaka Cissé, we later on decided to swap our Ivorian double-NC for Balloni, as seen before.

Fab: Isn't it a bit risky to break up that sprint train that worked like a charm for the last two seasons?

Rubens: It definitely is, but as said before, we believe that Mikiel is a perfect fit. Issiaka actually often ran out of steam a bit early, and with Habtom having much better resistance, we hope that he can really bring Theo on the final few hundred meters more consistently.

Fab: Let's hope you're right! And what about the rest? The lineup looks smaller than last year, right?

Rubens: That's true. We had pretty much two full sprint trains last year - but one didn't really work out. So we decided to stop that experience. The contracts of Scully and Merino Criado weren't renewed (we offered a good wage to the former; he refused and only gets 50k now...), while Max Walscheid was sold to McCormick as a leadout for Keough.

Fab: But we're still not done with the changes!

Rubens: Well, if you stopped interrupting me after each sentence, I could move on faster! You're talking about Thomas Boudat, obviously. After two years out on loan, he has now completed his development and is ready to sprint for us! He's very similar to Tom Scully, but even slightly stronger in prologues, and has much better resistance. Let's see if he can deliver more consistent results than the Kiwi - he'll definitely get his chances this season!


Fab: OK, I just wanted to make sure you're done. Thanks for your explanations, Rubens! We'll now present two special categories, containing only one rider each: the allrounder, and the flat beast!

The Allrounder


The Flat Beast


Fab: These two guys just don't fit anywhere else. OK, if one day we have a cobbles division, that's probably going to be Leonardo Basso's home.

Rubens: Sure, and he's again going to be our leaders on this terrain, as we unfortunately missed out on signing a leader. On a great day, he can be able to score a few points; he'll get four opportunities to do so this year.

Fab: But he's just so much more than a pure cobbler. His versatility makes him a valuable support member for the hills squad, and also for team time trials. We're happy to still have him around - let's hope he'll still be as valuable in PCT as he was last season!

Rubens: Oh, he will, I'm sure! And so will Benedikt Mundle, who will be chasing breakaways for one more year. Due to the big number of talents on our team, he'll unfortunately not get to race very often, but when he does, he'll be as spectacular to watch as ever!

Fab: However, we have learnt our lesson, and he won't ride any more flat one-day races - not even in the C2 category.

Rubens: Right, we have Habtom for those races now. But as I said, he'll still be an important member of our sprint preparation, as he's one of the most dreaded breakaway chasers in the peloton!

Fab: It's definitely better to have him ride for you than against you, yeah... But now, let's move on to the rider category that is an integral part of our team's identity - and a matter that's near to my own heart - the talents!



Fab: Rubens, if this is a dream - please don't wake me up!

Rubens: No, I can assure you that you're not dreaming! Certainly, many people thought - or said - "What, Schmid for just 150k???". But it is a fact: Switzerland's greatest talent available this year, Mauro Schmid, is going to wear our jersey!

Fab: We actually didn't tell you when presenting our transfer goals - but signing Mauro was our absolute top priority. In some years, we expect him to become the successor of Gianni Moscon - a world-class puncheur. It's a great honor for us that he decided to join us!

Rubens: And I promise to treat him well! Just like our other talents, of course. You already know the two other Swiss riders: Stefan Bissegger already rode an entire season with us, while Robin Froidevaux got promoted from stagiaire to full-time rider.

Fab: Bissegger will also be a key member of our future TTT line-up - along with Alexys Brunel, a great talent from France, who joined us from Gjensidige for a 350k fee and two loan-ins, as we'll see later.

Rubens: The final member of this talents section is also French, as Jason Tesson signed a stagiaire contract with us. He was in the same situation last year at Xero, and he's hoping to get enough experience for a full-time contract as well.

Fab: And that's it about our talents - almost. Because two more are loaned out for the season - but let's first talk about those who are loaned in. Our commitment to development definitely shows here as well!



Fab: We are loaning in a total of four riders this year, thereof three with already some experience, but in need of races at a higher level, and a neo-pro. Rubens, what do you expect from them?

Rubens: First and foremost, their respective teams do have expectations, namely that they can race a lot and gain experience.

Fab: Of course, that's the goal of those loans. But don't tell me you'll be happy if they "just race"!

Rubens: Obviously not. Well, for Giorgi Tediashvili, it's pretty much that. You don't put too much pressure on a neo-pro - every point he can get for us is a bonus!
But the situation is indeed pretty different for the more experienced riders. For Brent Van Moer, we were actively looking to loan him in, because he will be a key part of our TTT squad this year.

Fab: He was part of the Brunel deal, right?

Rubens: Exactly, just like Aaron Van Poucke. We took these two Gjensidige youngsters on loan, and in return got Brunel slightly cheaper than the initial asking price. And Aaron will be really helpfull both in mountainous and hilly races, so that's definitely a win-win situation!

Fab: Tell us about Emmanuel Morin - who joined us in a rather surprising way.

Rubens: That's true. His team, BWT, absolutely needed to loan him out, so he could gain enough experience to take the next step. But we couldn't really help, as we were short on wage cap and cash. But we finally agreed on a deal where they took one of our youngsters on loan in return - and so everyone is happy, and we get a great helper for the hills!

Fab: It's always a good thing when you can give a helping hand to someone - it might come back one day! And coming back one day will also our two riders who are out on loan this year - let's finally lose a few words about them!



Fab: Rubens, one of our goals was to keep Gino Mäder "at home" and make him gain enough experience ourselves. Why didn't it work out?

Rubens: We realized very soon that cash would be an issue. Gino would absolutely have needed a Grand Tour to take the final development step, but as we weren't sure we could afford applying for a wildcard, we finally preferred loaning him out. Furthermore, Generali already did a great job with Masnada last year, so we fully trust them to bring Gino to a great level as well!

Fab: Let's hope so - as he should play a key role as a mountain helper and TTT member next year!

Rubens: No worries, he definitely will. He's got a great teacher in Stefan KĂĽng at Generali.

Fab: Don't remind me of KĂĽng, or I'll start crying again... Rather tell us something about Gergely Szarka.

Rubens: Yeah, Gergely is the second part of the deal with BWT. We take Morin, they take Szarka. Gergely has convinced us that he's worthy of a full-time contract with his good stagiaire and Avenir performance last year, and we're sure he'll do a good job for them as well!

Fab: And we'll get back a decent leadout sprinter already after this season, so that's a good thing for us as well. And with this, we have mentioned all our riders, loan-ins and loan-outs - so it's time for a full overview of the Jura - Fiat 2021 roster!

Jura - Fiat 2021


Fab: Tell me, Rubens, are you happy with these riders you'll work with?

Rubens: Sure! I mean, we reached the most important goals of the transfer season, and we've got a good roster. Now, it's up to us to find the best line-up and strategy for each race - and I'm convinced the boys will do the rest!

Fab: Do you think it is a realistic goal to stay in the PCT division?

Rubens: It will be a tough job, especially given that the competition on the hills has gotten so much harder, and then we still don't have a cobbles leader who could bring some guaranteed points. But I think we should be able to stay safe, yes!

Fab: Now, that's a statement! A bold one - is it too bold? We'll find out!
Thanks to everyone for attending this first part of our presentation - we will now serve coffee and cakes to our on-site visitors, and we'll be back in about an hour for the goals presentation!

By the way, you can still leave us your questions for the closing Q&A part - don't hesitate to ask us anything, we'll do our best to find an answer!

Seems like the Fabianski/Rubens chemistry isn't amazing, with some quarreling during the team presentation... My question for the Q&A is simple: who is whose boss? In other words, who has the power to fire the other one?
Jura - Fiat
2021 Season Opening Event - Goals

Fab: We're back here in Jura's coffee world - we hope you all enjoyed coffee and cake! Rubens, we have seen the riders who are going to wear our jersey this year - now explain to us what goals our sponsors expect them to achieve!

Rubens: OK, then let's start with the first goal! As always, there's a goal for where they'd like us to end up in the team standings, and they've defined it as follows:

Goal #1 - Team Standings: Top 10

Fab: Wow, Top 10? That's truly ambitious!

Rubens: Yes, it definitely is! Of course, as a newly promoted team, our prime goal is to stay in the PCT division, meaning we have to end up in the Top 21 teams. But with a whole lot of movement in the division, our sponsors think there is a chance to surprise - that's why they set us this bold goal!

Fab: We'll see if they're right to be so positive. In each case, we'd like to introduce to you our two barometers - the safety and the Top 10 barometer! They will accompany us all season long and indicate how well we're on track for ending up in the Top 10, or even just to be safe.
For this, we took a look at the history of PCT since the introduction of the 26-team division and the current point scale - both back in 2017 - and check out how many points were required for 10th and 21st place. We found that for a Top 10, the highest points per race day average needed was 17.7, while it was 12.76 for 21st place. Given that we estimate the division to be stronger this year, we added a bit of a safety margin on top - and that's how we ended up on the goal points for both barometers:

Top 10 Barometer
0 / 3325 Points ↓↓↓ (0.0 / 19.0 PpRD)

Safety Barometer
0 / 2450 Points ↓↓↓ (0.0 / 14.0 PpRD)

Rubens: Well, those downward arrows aren't really nice. But given our PpRD of 13.0 last season, I'm convinced that we'll turn that arrow around at least for the safety barometer!

Fab: Now, that's a promise, Rubens! A bold goal - and a bold statement! Let's see what else the sponsors are expecting from us - here's our win goal:

Goal #2 - Giro dell'Emelia: Win

Rubens: For the first time, our win goal doesn't concern a race in Switzerland. The reason is simple: there's none of them neither in PTHC nor in HC, and our sponsors wouldn't agree to select "only" a C1 race. Hence, the obvious choice was Italy. The Giro dell'Emelia is a great goal for us, as Gianni Moscon has shown again and again last year that he loves those tough uphill finishes. We do think he has a real chance of winning this one, or at least of getting a podium spot!

Fab: True words! Kelderman finished 3rd last year, and Gianni and Wilco had lots of great duels last year - let's see if we can really get the desired result! You already know our team leader now - here's the full lineup for our win goal race:

Gianni Moscon79737377Emmanuel Morin74637371
Hermann Pernsteiner77757271Mauro Schmid71707274
Fausto Masnada76777375Stefan Bissegger67667173
Fabian Lienhard75667672Brent Van Moer68606573

Rubens: It's a great hill squad we have available! We have seen last year that Hermann Pernsteiner is a fantastic lieutenant for Gianni, and if our leader should have a bad day, his compatriot Fausto Masnada could try to go for a result on his own! With Fabian Lienhard and Emmanuel Morin, we have two pure puncheurs in the support team, while the remaining three will mostly be there for breakaways and helper duties in the first part of the race.

Fab: Thanks, Rubens. It looks like we should have at least some chances to achieve this goal - how about the next one? Our sponsors wanted a PTHC goal, and the closest suitable one is a race in... Austria!

Goal #3 - Pro Hallstatt Classic: Top 5

Rubens: And yet another first: a goal in a one-day mountain race! And one that was set before we even had a top-level PCT climber on board - which helps understanding why our #1 transfer goal - besides Schmid - was to sign a climber!

Fab: Which obviously means that Nairo Quintana will be our team leader in this race. Let's take a look at the full lineup again:

Nairo Quintana82746676Mirco Saggiorato76727072
Fausto Masnada77767375Mauro Schmid70717274
Andrea Manfredi78657373Emmanuel Morin63747371
Hermann Pernsteiner75777271Alexys Brunel64696473

Rubens: Unfortunately, the profile might not favor Nairo that much, as the final incline is shorter than the others. Our Colombian isn't as strong on the hills as he's on longer inclines - and his acceleration isn't top. He's a top diesel - but let's see if he can do well here nonetheless!

Fab: Let's not forget that last year's winner Sicard doesn't have top acceleration either, so there's definitely hope! And the support cast, led by our handyman Fausto Masnada, isn't that weak, either! Andrea Manfredi loves the long climbs, while Hermann Pernsteiner, similar to Masnada, is very valuable both on long and short inclines! Team senior Mirco Saggiorato's help will be highly appreciated, too!

Rubens: We certainly won't have the top favorite for the race here, but as you say, the team depth is pretty good - and we have full trust in Nairo that he can keep up with the very best! Top 5 will be hard to reach - but definitely not impossible by any means!

Fab: May you be right on that, Rubens! Top 5, Austria - that's the theme as well of the next goal we'll look at, by the way:

Goal #4 - Int. Ă–sterreich Rundfahrt: Top 5

Rubens: I remember our participation in this race two years ago, where Fausto won a stage from the breakaway, and finished inside the Top 20!

Fab: That probably was his career highlight so far, yes - but unfortunately he won't be back to confirm or improve this result. Instead, we'll try to achieve that Top 5 goal with - obviously - Nairo Quintana!

Rubens: And our goal will be to show a certain Mr. Pluchking - ehm, Pluchkin - that he's no longer unbeatable in this race! The following support squad will try to help Nairo get a great result here:

Nairo Quintana82747151Thomas Boudat51686279
Andrea Manfredi78656562Alfredo Balloni60667863
Hermann Pernsteiner75776161Szymon Rekita56617769
Mirco Saggiorato76726557Giorgi Tediashvili66676564

Fab: The mountain support is a tad weaker than in Hallstatt - precisely because we couldn't really fit this race into Masnada's schedule. But with Andrea Manfredi, local rider Hermann Pernsteiner and Mirco Saggiorato, Nairo should still get the help he needs!

Rubens: Furthermore, we also bring some riders for the non-mountainous stages. Thomas Boudat should get some good stage results on stages 3 and 6. As for the time trialists Alfredo Balloni and Szymon Rekita, the question is whether they make it within the time limit on stages 1, 2 and 4. But given that none of them are really hard multi-mountain stages, we expect them to do so - and to get some valuable stage points in addition to Nairo's (hopefully many) GC points!

Fab: GC points is a perfect keyword to present our final goal - and finally we arrive in Switzerland!

Goal #5 - Tour de Romandie: Top 5

Rubens: Fourth goal race - third mountainous one! If anyone was still wondering about our transfer target priorities, well, it should be clear by now!

Fab: Definitely, as Nairo Quintana will be responsible for fulfilling those three goals! A Top 5 should be very doable, given that we already scored a Top 10 GC result here last year!

Rubens: Oh man, I remember what a great day that was for us - and for Swiss cycling in general - when Andrea Manfredi won the queen stage here last year - securing exactly that Top 10 result!

Fab: We're obviously hoping for similar feelings this year - however, just like for Fausto in Austria, Andrea won't come back to the place of his greatest career moment so far. Take a look at the lineup, and we'll explain you why this is:

Nairo Quintana82747151Szymon Rekita56617769
Fausto Masnada77767363Brent Van Moer60687458
Theo Reinhardt57676779Stefan Bissegger66677370
Alfredo Balloni60667863Alexys Brunel64697361

Rubens: "Green" time trial stats all over the place - meaning that we want to reach the best possible result on the day one TTT to give Nairo a head-start! Except for the mountain TT on day 5, the gaps likely won't be very big, so that could already be decisive!

Fab: Which unfortunately also means that the pure mountain support will be a one-man-show, given that only Fausto Masnada will be there to support Nairo. However, he'll provide great support, no doubt!

Rubens: And if you're wondering why there was no spot available for Manfredi - well, we bring Theo Reinhardt as anti-time-trialist, and we didn't want to have another rider who can't provide much support on stage 1.

Fab: Theo has also done well here last year, taking 2nd on the closing stage - we hope that he can repeat this effort, despite having no true leadout for once!

Rubens: And this concludes our goals presentation! Just to remind you of all of them, here's a short overview of what's expected by our sponsors:

Goals 2021

Team StandingsTop 10
Giro dell'EmeliaWin
Pro Hallstatt ClassicTop 5
Int. Ă–sterreich RundfahrtTop 5
Tour de RomandieTop 5

Fab: We'll now take another short break before presenting the entire 2021 calendar. Don't hesitate to leave us your opinion about our goals! And we're also still open to receive questions for the Q&A part! Enjoy your coffee - freshly ground, not capsuled! - and see you soon!

Jura - Fiat
2021 Season Opening Event - Calendar & Leaders' Schedules

Fab: Welcome back, I hope you all enjoyed your coffee break! Without further ado, let's take a look at our entire 2021 race schedule; Rubens will then point out a few highlights, including our first ever PT wildcards!

Calendar 2021

Start End RaceCategory
09-Jan Down Under ClassicHC
13-Jan18-Jan Tour Down UnderHC
20-Jan25-Jan Tour of QatarPT
27-Jan29-Jan Hong Kong ChallengeC1
04-Feb Omloop Het NieuwsbladHC
22-Feb24-Feb Tour of UkraineHC
24-Feb28-Feb Tour of SouthlandC1
26-Feb Pro Hallstatt ClassicPTHC
02-Mar05-Mar Jelajah SKLC1
06-Mar Badaling InternationalC2
06-Mar11-Mar Vuelta al Pais VascoHC
08-Mar12-Mar Circulo de JuarezC1
13-Mar18-Mar Vuelta a ColobmiaPTHC
20-Mar Coppa PlacciC2
23-Mar Strade BiancheHC
23-Mar28-Mar Tour of EritreaC1
29-Mar E3 PrijsHC
10-Apr Macskako KerekparversenyPTHC
12-Apr18-Apr Tour de PologneHC
20-Apr GP LiechtensteinPT
25-Apr GP WalloniePTHC
28-Apr Veenendaal - VeenendaalHC
01-May Nakhon Ratchasima TrophyC1
02-May07-May Tour de RomandieC1
09-May10-May Chrono d'ArenbergPTHC
11-May13-May Tour of ChileC1
17-May23-May Int. Ă–sterreich RundfahrtHC
24-May Frankfurt EschbornC2
01-Jun06-Jun Tour of JapanC1
08-Jun16-Jun Tour de SuissePT
09-Jun10-Jun Tour of East JavaPTHC
18-Jun23-Jun Tour of South AfricaC1
28-Jun Apex Mountain ClassicC1
11-Jul17-Jul Tour de VineyardsHC
19-Jul Kenya Mountain ClassicC1
19-Jul22-Jul Tour of LithuaniaHC
23-Jul Betonexpressz GPC2
25-Jul29-Jul Tour d'AndorraC1
29-Jul30-Jul Chrono des HerbiersPT
02-Aug Sakartvelo TrophyC2
08-Aug Clasica San SebastianPTHC
16-Aug19-Aug SAA Tour d'AfriquePTHC
17-Aug21-Aug Tour of BritainHC
23-Aug31-Aug Tour de l'AvenirU23
01-Sep Paris ToursPTHC
03-Sep07-Sep Arab TourHC
05-Sep12-Sep Balkans InternationalPTHC
26-Sep Rheden GPPTHC
28-Sep GP LuganoC1
28-Sep Milano - TorinoC1
01-Oct08-Oct Tour de MarocPTHC
03-Oct Vilnius GPC1
14-Oct15-Oct Grands Prix CyclistesPT
18-Oct Giro dell'EmeliaHC

Races in bold font are goal races.

Rubens: As it was already pointed out, we were accorded a few PT wildcards - and most importantly: We will participate in the Tour de Suisse! Let's take a look at the other ones - all of them will definitely be season or even career highlights for our riders!

PT Wildcards 2021

Start End RaceCategory
20-Jan25-Jan Tour of QatarPT
20-Apr GP LiechtensteinPT
08-Jun16-Jun Tour de SuissePT
29-Jul30-Jul Chrono des HerbiersPT
14-Oct15-Oct Grands Prix CyclistesPT

Rubens: Our PT journey kicks off early in the season, in Qatar to be precise - a sprinters paradise, meaning that our chief sprinter Theo Reinhardt will get the opportunity to play with the very big boys! Furthermore - given his prologue strength - Thomas Boudat will be present as well - let's see if we can annoy those big PT guns!

Fab: Next on the schedule is an almost-home race, just across the border in Liechtenstein! This mountain challenge obviously is a perfect playground for Nairo Quintana and his support team - by the way, Nairo took 12th here last year, while Fausto Masnada was the best finisher for Generali, ending up 30th.

Rubens: Then comes THE big highlight - the Tour de Suisse! Unfortunately, with Tour of East Java being raced at the same dates, both Nairo and Theo will be in Indonesia - but we're sure that Fausto Masnada, Gianni Moscon and Thomas Boudat will have a lot of fun testing their skills against the best of the best!

Fab: Chrono des Herbiers had very, very low priority on our wildcard application list - nonetheless, we received a spot in this two-day time trial event. Alfredo Balloni, Szymon Rekita and Stefan Bissegger will ride against the clock - and against the world's best time trialists!

Rubens: Finally, the Grands Prix Cyclistes in Montréal and Québec will be the perfect warm-up for Gianni Moscon and his punchy supporters for the final race of the season - our win goal, as it has always been the case until now.

Fab: In total, we'll again have three races in Switzerland, thanks to the TdS wildcard. Tour de Romandie and GP Lugano are on our schedule again, while we're unfortunately not allowed to race in Zurich again... But as said earlier, GP Liechtenstein is an almost-home race as well!

Rubens: A total of 15 of our races will take place in Switzerland and our neighboring countries, including Tour de l'Avenir for our talents. All of our goal races are among them - so we'll be hoping for a lot of support especially in those races!

Fab: There are many more races we're really looking forward to - the best will be to take a look at our leaders' schedules to identify them!

Nairo Quintana


Pro Hallstatt ClassicPTHCMasnada, Pernsteiner
Vuelta a ColobmiaPTHCMasnada, Pernsteiner
GP LiechtensteinPTMasnada, Moscon
Tour de RomandieC1Masnada, TTT squad
Tour of ChileC1Moscon, Manfredi
Int. Ă–sterreich RundfahrtHCManfredi, Pernsteiner
Tour of JapanC1Masnada, Pernsteiner
Tour of East JavaPTHCPernsteiner, Manfredi
Apex Mountain ClassicC1Masnada, Pernsteiner
Kenya Mountain ClassicC1Pernsteiner, Manfredi
Tour d'AndorraC1Pernsteiner, Manfredi

Rubens: A ton of mountains - however, with most of them being C1 races, we have to expect some really great results! We hesitated going for Tour of America as well, but we think that we can make better use of Nairo's race days this way. Let's see how it works out!

Fab: We can see Pernsteiner's name very often in the support list - he spends about half of his race days with Nairo, and the other half - obviously - with the following rider:

Gianni Moscon


Tour of SouthlandC1Lienhard, Thièry
Vuelta al Pais VascoHCLienhard, TTT squad
Tour de PologneHCPernsteiner, Lienhard
GP LiechtensteinPTSupporting Quintana
GP WalloniePTHCPernsteiner, Lienhard
Tour of ChileC1Supporting Quintana
Tour de SuissePTPernsteiner, Lienhard
Tour of South AfricaC1TTT squad
Tour of LithuaniaHCLienhard, Morin
Clasica San SebastianPTHCPernsteiner, Lienhard
Tour of BritainHCSchmid
Balkans InternationalPTHCPernsteiner, Lienhard
Grands Prix CyclistesPTMasnada, Pernsteiner
Giro dell'EmeliaHCMasnada, Pernsteiner

Rubens: In most of the races he participates in, Gianni will be our leader. However, both in GP Liechtenstein and in Tour of Chile, he'll have to support Quintana - although we're rather going for a co-leadership in the latter. The same holds for Tour de Suisse, where he'll have shared leadership with Masnada - which is why the latter hasn't be named in the support crew.

Fab: You already mentioned that Masnada will be our co-leader in Tour de Suisse - but he actually has a few more races where he'll be our primary leader. Let's take a look at which ones those are!

Fausto Masnada


Hong Kong ChallengeC1Pernsteiner, Thièry
Tour of UkraineHCManfredi, Schmid
Pro Hallstatt ClassicPTHCSupporting Quintana
Vuelta a ColobmiaPTHCSupporting Quintana
Tour of EritreaC1Pernsteiner, Manfredi
GP LiechtensteinPTSupporting Quintana
Tour de RomandieC1Supporting Quintana
Tour of JapanC1Supporting Quintana
Tour de SuissePTPernsteiner, Saggiorato
Apex Mountain ClassicC1Supporting Quintana
Tour de VineyardsHCSchmid, TTT squad
Milano - TorinoC1Pernsteiner, Manfredi
Tour de MarocPTHCLienhard, Manfredi
Grands Prix CyclistesPTSupporting Moscon
Giro dell'EmeliaHCSupporting Moscon

Rubens: Fausto will have almost as many races as a leader and as a domestique. He'll mainly lead our team in "hybrid" races, where it isn't that clear whether climbers or puncheurs will have the edge - and as he can do both, he's a perfect choice for us!

Fab: Furthermore, in hilly races with a few TT kilometers, he'll be our man, as he's clearly stronger in this discipline than Moscon. Although he's definitely not among the division's strongest riders, we have full confidence in him!

Rubens: We have now seen our leaders in the uphill domains - let's now move over to those who prefer flat roads - first of all, our 2020 Rider of the Year:

Theo Reinhardt


Down Under ClassicHCHabtom, Stocker
Tour Down UnderHCBoudat, Habtom
Tour of QatarPTBoudat, Habtom, Stocker
Tour of SouthlandC1Habtom, Stocker
Circulo de JuarezC1Habtom, Stocker
Veenendaal - VeenendaalHCHabtom, Stocker
Tour de RomandieC1---
Tour of East JavaPTHCStocker, Thièry
Tour de VineyardsHC---
SAA Tour d'AfriquePTHCHabtom, Stocker
Paris ToursPTHCBoudat, Habtom, Stocker
Balkans InternationalPTHC---

Fab: Unfortunately, we couldn't afford sending a full leadout with Theo to every race; Tour de Romandie and Tour de Vineyards both have a TTT, where we needed the roster spots for specialists against the clock. And in Balkans International, we're going all-in on the hills.

Rubens: However, in all other races - except for East Java - he'll have at least two out of the trio Boudat, Habtom and Stocker with him. We're confident that those leadout riders will do a great job, allowing Theo to ride another great season for us!

Fab: However, Boudat only rarely races with Theo - because he'll be our sprint or even GC leader on his own in quite a few races:

Thomas Boudat


Tour Down UnderHCSupporting Reinhardt
Tour of QatarPTSupporting Reinhardt
Jelajah SKLC1Habtom, Stocker
Tour of EritreaC1Habtom, Stocker
Tour de PologneHC---
Nakhon Ratchasima TrophyC1Habtom, Stocker
Tour of ChileC1---
Int. Ă–sterreich RundfahrtHC---
Tour of JapanC1---
Tour de SuissePT---
Tour of LithuaniaHCHabtom, Stocker
Tour of BritainHC---
Paris ToursPTHCSupporting Reinhardt
Arab TourHCHabtom, Stocker
GP LuganoC1Habtom, Stocker

Rubens: The support column clearly shows - and Thomas knows this - that Boudat is one of our "secondary leaders", just like Masnada. Nonetheless, races like Tour of Qatar are tailor-made for him - a prologue and some flat stages. In this particular case, daily form will decide who we'll be riding for. And unfortunately, there aren't really many other such opportunities.

Fab: However, experience shows that teams often don't send their best sprinters to non-flat stage races - and that's exactly where we're hoping for Thomas to shine! Of course, he doesn't like mountains, but if he survives them, he'll be a big threat on the flat finishes!

Rubens: Exactly. And why not win a prologue from time to time?

Fab: You may - or may not - have noticed that not all races are covered by these 5 leaders. For example, Fabian Lienhard will be our main hope in Strade Bianche and GP Lugano - and hopefully go attacking in many other races!

Rubens: And then, we have our five C2 races, where none of those above are allowed to participate in. So, for the two hilly races - Badaling International and Coppa Placci - Cyrille Thièry and Mirco Saggiorato will be our leaders, supported mainly by our youngest talents.

Fab: Mikiel Habtom - led out by Manuel Stocker - will take care of the flat classics Frankfurt Eschborn and Betonexpressz GP. And the Sakartvelo Trophy will be the ideal playground for Andrea Manfredi and Mirco Saggiorato - probably the last time ever that this duo will be our mountain leaders!

Rubens: Ah, and we almost forgot about the few cobbled races we have to participate in; Leonardo Basso will try to get a few points out of those 4 races, and our talents have the "joy" of accompanying him there.

Fab: And so, the only races not covered yet are the time trial events; Vilnius GP will be raced by the guys denoted above with "TTT squad", consisting of all six or most of Alfredo Balloni, Szymon Rekita, Leonardo Basso, Stefan Bissegger, Alexys Brunel and Brent Van Moer. Our two ITT races will also be covered by three of these six riders.

Rubens: Wow, I realize that we've got a really long and tough season ahead! Let's go, I'd say!

Fab: I agree - almost! While we've reached the end of our calendar and leaders' schedules presentation, there's still the Q&A session awaiting!

Rubens: You're right - but please, let me first get another coffee!

Fab: Well, how could I refuse this in Jura's coffee world? Go and fetch one! Cups of coffee will also be served to the audience here on-site - and we'll come to the final part of today's event in a few minutes! This is the very, very last moment to ask your questions - post them in our forum if you want to get them answered today! See you!

Jura - Fiat
2021 Season Opening Event - Q&A Session

Fab: Welcome back for the last few minutes of our season opening event! We haven't received too many questions - but definitely some tasty ones!

Rubens: That's indeed the case! The first one might be the least spectacular one. Evonik's manager knockout would like to know our opinion about his former rider Fabian Lienhard:

knockout wrote:
Fabian Lienhard's signing was initially met with a lot of hype but he hasnt proven himself enough so far. How will this change his role for the upcoming season?

Fab: While it is true that we did expect more from Fabian last season, we also have to point out that when loaned out to Philips in his first season for us, he received the team's "Young Rider of the Year" award. That season, he rode in PCT...

Rubens: We actually believe this might be the best suited division for him. Last year, Gianni Moscon was often considered to be a race favorite, hence we - including Fabian - had to do plenty of work. We believe the situation will be pretty different this time around.

Fab: This is one point why we think he'll get more freedom to attack. On the other hand, we offer him the opportunity to lead the team in a few races, as pointed out earlier. And, he'll also participate in a few mountainous stage races - where he hope he'll be able to go for KoM crowns!

Rubens: We've had quite some discussions with Fabian during the off-seasons, and we believe that with those adaptations in his race schedule, he'll be able to really make use of his skills! We still believe in him, that's for sure!

Fab: But will he - and his teammates - actually be able to perform at all? Let's take a look at the next question:

quadsas wrote:
How have your riders received the news of Jura - Fiat possibly becoming #cursed?

Rubens: Well, first of all, I'd like to know why we should be cursed?

Fab: Already pre-transfers, we were treated by the same manager as slave masters - as he thought that we didn't treat our Austrian puncheur Hermann Pernsteiner with due respect.

Pernie: Wait, wait, wait! I definitely have to rectify this! I'm enjoying my stay here in Switzerland, and I'm really happy with the results we were able to pull off last year. Moreover, said manager didn't actively try to sign me during transfers, so...

Rubens: Thank you, Hermann, but no need to go into the details. Anyway, the moment we were "instantly cursed" was when we announced the signing of Szymon Rekita.

Fab: Right - and don't ask me why. Anyway, we asked our riders what they thought about that "curse". And it seems like they're just ignoring it - or training even harder. Let's see how it turns out - but we can definitely say that nobody was truly intimidated by the news. Sorry, quadsas.

Rubens: Instead, let's tackle the next question, asked by Chicken Master Nemolito:

Nemolito wrote:
Seems like the Fabianski/Rubens chemistry isn't amazing, with some quarreling during the team presentation... My question for the Q&A is simple: who is whose boss? In other words, who has the power to fire the other one?

Fab: Hum... are we quarreling, Rubens?

Rubens: Sure, that's part of our daily routine. Seriously, if he means the lack of coordination in the first part, well, he's obviously right that there were some bugs.

Fab: Let's say that it's a first for both of us to present a Season Opening Event, so well... And we're obviously nervous, so a simple misunderstanding could be taken the wrong way.

Rubens: But I guess what he really wants to know is who can fire whom...

Fab: I'd say I'll be fired if I sign the wrong riders, and you'll be fired if the riders don't perform. So I'd say either we're both fired, or we both stay - it's the board of directors who have this power anyway.

Rubens: Whew, I'm relieved to hear you can't fire me!

Fab: Technically, I *could*... But you won't give us a reason to fire you, right?

Rubens: Never! But as my destiny lies in the riders' hands... I guess I'll have to treat them well then!

Fab: Enough kidding now. Let's rather move on to the final question, again from knockout:

knockout wrote:
It was announced that Jura - Fiat received wildcards for a couple of PT races. Will the team send their best possible teams to these or will it use the opportunity to let their talents make valuable experience against the best cyclists in the world?

Rubens: I guess this was already partially mentioned when we presented the wildcards. Where it is possible, we'll send the best possible leaders and domestiques, along with some talents. Unfortunately, it won't be possible for Tour de Suisse, due to a race clash.

Fab: Right, our goals are twofold: annoying the PT teams by taking points away from them, and offering some of our talents the opportunity of racing against the very best. So we want to have fun, for sure, but we definitely don't want to be cannon fodder!

Rubens: Was that all? No more questions left?

Fab: No more questions left. Which means that we have reached the end of our 2021 Season Opening Event - thanks to everyone for attending, on-site or at home, and see you soon for the PCT season opener Down Under! Goodbye!

Very cool write-up! I like your leader schedules and also enjoyed the season-opening interview.
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Fabianski wrote:
Let's see how it turns out - but we can definitely say that nobody was truly intimidated by the news. Sorry, quadsas.

Funny how everyone who has suffered has said same thing
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