Teamwork makes the dream work
Thirty professional cyclists from 15 different countries in one team. After all, teamwork makes the dream work in cycling. Even though only one of them can be the first over the finish line, winning is a success for the whole team because you can’t win in cycling without domestiques who provide slipstreams, grab water bottles, keep the competition at bay and lead out the sprinters in the sprint.
Teamwork is a top priority in the BORA – hansgrohe team; it’s how the team has developed, improved and become more successful. The team started in the third division in 2010, still under the NetApp team name, and constantly evolved and improved. BORA got its first taste of sponsoring in 2012, having its logo appear on the jersey’s sleeve. Then three years later, in 2015, BORA decided to do it properly and became the main sponsor. Since they did, the team has come on in leaps and bounds. After the title sponsor Hansgrohe came on board in 2017, the team was finally fit for the UCI WorldTour, cycling’s premier league. The squad grew, with team members such as Peter Sagan from Slovakia joining. Known as the “rock star of international cycling”, he helped develop the team athletically and clinch some impressive, at times record-breaking, wins, such as his third consecutive World Championship (2017), his sixth and seventh green “points” jerseys at the Tour de France (2018 and 2019). He also brought the team its first “Monument” victory at the Paris–Roubaix race (2018), its first yellow jersey at the Tour de France (in the second stage of the 2018 race) and the Maglia Ciclamino jersey for winning in the points classification at the Giro d’Italia. He was by no means the team’s only key to success. Pascal Ackermann from Germany (36 wins) and Sam Bennett from Ireland (41 wins) worked hard to help rack up the victories for BORA – hansgrohe. With BORA as the main sponsor, the team had bagged an impressive 212 wins by the end of 2022, including 27 national championships (19 road races and 8 time trials) and one World Championship.
In the 2022 season, when appointing newcomers and determining its race tactics, BORA - hansgrohe focused on stage races and consequently on general classification specialists. What was initially conceived as a lengthy process already led to success in the first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia. Jai Hindley not only clinched the first Grand Tour podium for BORA - hansgrohe, he also triumphed across the board and got to don the prestigious pink jersey (known as the ‘maglia rosa’ in Italian) in the Arena di Verona.
The team remains steadfast on one crucial point: they want to nurture young talent in the team and lead them to success. Emanuel Buchmann, who came fourth at the Tour de France in 2019, turned pro with the team and is a prime example of this. For the first time ever, two riders from the BORA - hansgrohe U19 squad joined the team in 2022. Cian Uijtdebroeks from Belgium and Luis-Joe Lührs from Germany have major potential, and the aim is to ease them gently into the professional world. Being mindful of the bigger picture and open to solutions that aren’t immediately obvious have paid off in the past. This is how former mountain bike pro Ben Zwiehoff and ski mountaineer and mountain runner Anton Palzer made an amazingly great start to their first road racing season in 2021. In 2023, the team appointed two more “lateral recruits”. The first, Frenchman Victor Koretzky, will continue to compete in MTB races while supporting the team on the roads. The second, 22-year-old Florian Lipowitz, was a German biathlon champion during his ski academy days and a former member of the national biathlon team.
It’s hard to celebrate success, but it’s even harder to confirm achievements. The team’s motto for the 2023 season is therefore “to confirm its achievements”, and as such it has set its sights on another Grand Tour podium. At the same time, it aims to further establish its up-and-coming talents in world-class racing. We can’t wait to see which highlights the 2023 season has to offer.
All that remains is for the self-proclaimed “Band of Brothers” to continue pursuing their common goal. They need to have confidence, provide mutual support and be able to rely on one another. This then fosters courage, authenticity, loyalty, a sense of responsibility and ultimately success. And what could be better than team success? Everyone here at BORA wishes the team the best of luck for the coming season.
You can learn more about BORA sponsoring here.