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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, December 8, 2017

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. - John Steinbeck

Latest completed racing:

BORA – hansgrohe presents new race kit for 2018

The team sent me this release

At the teams’ presentation in Schiltach (Germany), besides the team roster for 2018, the new race kit was presented. 

“It was a tough season with lots of ups and downs. The crash in Flanders, the punctures in Roubaix, then the Tour - a lot of times we had to fight back. But taking over 30 wins in our first WorldTour season, and being one of just three teams that could win at least one stage in every Grand Tour, makes me proud. I think we achieved a lot.

"Now it's more about the details. Last year was a big step up for us and it's almost impossible to make everything right from the beginning. During the winter, we will work on a lot of performance projects, aerodynamics, training, nutrition. I feel we can do better than we did this season and everybody in the team is focused on improvements. Therefore, our goals for 2018 are quite ambitious: We want to win one of the Monuments, take a top five result in one of the Grand Tours, take the green jersey in the Tour and secure a top five spot in the WorldTour team ranking at the end of the season.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager

2018 Bora-hansgrohe presentation

During the team & racing kit presentation, team manager Ralph Denk showed off a tattoo.

Peter Sagan, the triple UCI World Champion, was in good mood, talking first about his new role as a father: "Becoming a father is a natural and important part of a man's life and there is no doubt that the birth of Marlon was one of the happiest moments in my life. Both, Kate and him are doing great and I'm sure I will cherish every moment I spend with them." Then being asked if he wants to ask a question to somebody on the stage instead of being the one to answer like always, Sagan asked Denk that he heard rumors about the fact that the team manager lost a bet and had to do a tattoo. Of course, he knew already that Ralph Denk had to tattoo the Peter Sagan logo on his left ankle, after Sagan took his third world title in a row.  

“To be honest, I was a little surprised how important team work is at WorldTour level. Of course, we also worked together in the U-23, but it is impressive how organized the big teams are. Especially in Belgium, with the typical small roads and crosswind sections, you have to be in front as a whole team. It will help to be already more used to this next year. And it is important that I know some of tricky parts now in advance, that will help as well coming back next year.” – Pascal Ackermann

“The wins at the end of the season gave me a lot of confidence. Entering the off season like this, also means a big boost in motivation to do all the hard work during the winter. So, for sure my goal is also to have a strong start to the next season.” – Sam Bennett

“My season was quite good. But I want to take another step towards the top next year. My goal for 2018 is to target one of the Grand Tours as a leader of the team. Of course, to make that happen my preparations need to be perfect, it's also not decided yet which one of the three it could be, but that's my big goal for next season.” – Emanuel Buchmann

“I think everybody could see at this year's Grand Depart in Düsseldorf that cycling is really popular again in Germany. Some years ago, the situation was maybe different, but now it is really fun again to ride in front of German crowds. The German national Championships in Chemnitz was for sure also one of that great moments. Also seeing all the people and their passion for cycling here today, makes me feel we are almost back where we have been already in the 90ies with the popularity of cycling in Germany.” – Marcus Burghardt

“For sure the Giro will be a big goal for me. But because the first week of the Giro, after the start in Jerusalem, will be already pretty tough, you need to be in good condition straight away. Therefore, I think I also will be ready to perform well in Liège which is just ahead of the Giro.” – Davide Formolo

“Well, it's a new challenge for me, and after being with BMC for 5 years it was time for something new. When you change teams it's also a new approach on how you prepare a season, and a change also means new motivation. Regarding racing I think my role won't change a lot. In the past I worked for Greg, now I will help Peter in the Classics.” – Daniel Oss

“My decision to change team was not only based on the aspect to get more freedom. After spending several years at Team Sky, I felt it was time to change scenery, work with new people, finding new inspiration. But for sure it is also great being able to target races like the Dauphiné, were I am normally in good shape. Besides that, Paris-Nice, or the Ardeenes are races I want to perform well in.” – Peter Kennaugh

“I had a season every athlete is afraid of. But what can you do, that’s sport. I never stopped fighting, or believing that I will come back to my best level, and in the end of the year it already started to pay off. I was back racing in Turkey and China and had no problems at all. We changed a lot of my training off the bike and I think everything is fine now. For next season, I am quite optimistic that I can fight again with the best GC riders.” - Leopold König

“It was the first time I tried to go for the GC in the Tour de France this year. Obviously, it didn't work out as planned for us. The Tour showed why it's the hardest race in the world to be won. But I want to try again next season, I never surrendered in my career, cycling is always about getting up on your feet again. So I want to prepare as good as possible for the Tour again and then we'll see. About Innsbruck, we have to see how the season goes. My main focus is the Tour de France as I said. But the profile of the course there should suit me, and I already showed in Rio, that I can do also well in one day races, so why not giving it a go.” – Rafal Majka

“One of our main objectives is building brand awareness, it is now 11 times higher than it was when we started the main sponsorship 3 years ago. In order to increase the visibility of our brand we have modified the BORA logo on the jersey. We skip the steam symbol, but the core, our identity remains: We are BORA. And in TV spots that are presented around the races we explain who we are and what we do: Extracting vapour without a cooker hood - a revolution in the kitchen.” – Willi Bruckbauer, owner BORA

"Our sponsorship of the cycling team is based on a rational decision and fits in seamlessly with our global marketing strategy for hansgrohe. Already in the first season, awareness of our premium brand hansgrohe rose sharply. Our sponsorship engagement is already paying off, especially in important markets such as Germany and France, as well as in Belgium where professional cycling enjoys great popularity." - Philippe Harinck, Sponsoring Projektleiter der Hansgrohe Group

“We are proud to be a sponsor of Bora-Hansgrohe, which means being a sponsor of a team at the very highest level, with the strongest rider in the world. For Sportful, it’s gratifying to see professionals come back and choose us again because of the quality and the attention that we devote to every garment. It’s a responsibility that we intend to honor to the best of our ability,” - Giuseppe Bovo, brand manager Sportful 

Team Quick-Step Floors unveils 2018 jersey

This was the day for team clothing presentation. Here’s the news release from Quick-step

Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels and Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra modelled the kit that the team will proudly wear in the upcoming season.

Just like the wolf changes its hair but not its nature, so will the "Wolfpack" have a new kit to sport in 2018 while continuing to be driven by the same fierce winning mentality which has made Quick-Step Floors the most successful team of the past 15 years, with over 600 UCI victories.

For next season's jersey, Quick-Step Floors opted for royal blue and a smooth and elegant design which remains true to the team's heritage, but is also as sleek as possible and easily recognizable in a 200-man peloton.

Not only the design and the color are different, also a few elements have made their way on the back of the jersey, such as the name of the rider wearing the kit and the "Wolfpack" theme, which has become Quick-Step Floors' mantra ever since sports director Brian Holm coined it a couple of years ago.

"It's a really beautiful jersey, elegant and a bit more vintage than in the last years. I love it! I also like how 'The Wolfpack' has become a visual thing now and is part of the jersey. It's already a sign, a symbol of our team, it's unity and I think that it represents the squad really well. I'm super excited about the new kit and I can't wait to show it in my first race of next year", said Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels.

Team Quick Step Floor

Jungels & Terpstra model the new team clothing

The clothing is produced by technical sponsor Vermarc Sport, who has been with the team since 2003 and will continue at the side of Quick-Step Floors in this new and exciting chapter that will soon unfold, after signing a two-year contract extension, to the delight of both Marc Verbeeck and Patrick Lefevere.

"Straight from the start of the team, my father, Frans Verbeeck, was convinced that the collaboration would be a big opportunity for Vermarc Sport. From that day until now, the partnership became a fruitful win-win situation for both parties with a big emotional value", said Marc Verbeeck.

"Because of the long-term relationship, the alliance does not feel like a pure business deal. The contacts with the team became more and more familiar, there's direct feedback from the staff and the riders towards Vermarc Sport and this helps us to optimize the current products and to develop new cycling apparel. Another big advantage is that the name Vermarc Sport is exposed everywhere in the cycling world. As partner of one of the biggest cycling squads, our brand grew combined with the image of the team", concluded Vermarc Sport's CEO.

"We feel fortunate to be able to present our 2018 outfit together with Vermarc Sport, who once again makes sure our riders will be clothed with state of the art cycling apparel. Wearing blue is how we are recognized in the bunch, just as we want it to be. We are an aggressive team, a winning team, and we don't want to hide in the bunch", said Patrick Lefevere referring to the new agreement and team kit. "Vermarc Sport has been part of the team since its inception. It is a story of mutual benefits in which we help them in developing and optimizing their products through continued feedback and they help us going faster on the roads. And with the team's success Vermarc Sport has of course enjoyed great exposure worldwide along with our other sponsors."

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