New name, new riders. This season the Bergamont Factory Team powered by Hayes Performance Systems is supported by two new ambitious youngsters: Reece Wilson and Patrick Butler will be burning down the tracks of the Downhill World Cup together with Ed Masters and Morgane Charre. We want to thank Rupert Chapman for being an essential part of the Bergamont team and wish him all the best for his promising career as a professional racer.
Read on to get to know our Factory Team riders and see what their goals for the coming racing season are.
My goal for this year is the same as always, to go as fast as ever.
Nationality: New Zealand
Best result 11th at Lenzerheide WC 2015
2017 Goal: Top 20 overall WC
Bike: Bergamont Straitline Team
I’m looking forward to step on that World Cup podium again and aiming to get closer to the top.
Best result: World Champion 2012
2017 goal: World Champion 2017
Bike: Bergamont Straitline Team
I know I’ve got the speed and the right equipment to be a top 20 if not top 10 rider. I feel that’s where I should be this season.
Best result 20th Meribel WC 2014
2017 goal: Top 20 WC Overall 2017
Bike: Bergamont Straitline Team
My goal for this year at the World Cups is to get top tens, maybe even top fives.
2017 goal: Top 10 Junior WC Overall
Bike: Bergamont Straitline Team
I’m really looking forward to my third season of Enduro World Series racing aboard Bergamont Bikes. The racing can’t start soon enough.
Nationality: New Zealand
Best result: 17th EWS Wicklow, Irland, 2015
2017 goal: Top 10 EWS overall
Bike: Bergamont Encore Team
Best result: German Cross Country Champion, Masters, 2009
2017 goal: German Enduro Champion 2017
Bike: Bergamont Encore Team
As 2016 season was full of pretty good achievements for me, this year I definitely want to have even more fun on my bike and will try to visit even more contests.
Discipline Dirt & Slopestyle
Best result 3rd at White Style 2016
GOAL 2017 As many podium spots as possible
Bike: Bergamont Kiez Pro
This season is the first step in a four-year plan with a single goal: qualification for Tokyo 2020.
Discipline: Cross Country
Best result: European Champion 2015 Team Relay Cross Country
2017 goal: Stay on track for Tokyo 2020
Bike: Bergamont Fastline Team / Bergamont Revox Team
Bergamont Factory Team 2017
Discipline: Cross Country, Cyclocross
Best result: German Vice Champion Master’s Cyclocross
2017 goal: German Marathon Champion 2017
Bike: Bergamont Fastline Team / Bergamont Prime CX Team
The team will be on the following rides in 2017:
The best downhill bike that BERGAMONT has ever built sets benchmarks in terms of sensitivity, riding performance and reliability. 15 years experience in building gravity bikes and the professional use in World Cup racing all went into developing the new bike.
A full-on enduro bike which was developed with the input of world-class riders and a great mix of technologies. The hybrid frame with 170mm of travel can deal with just about anything you through at it and always rides as nimble as a mountain goat.
A fast full suspension bike with 100mm of travel for cross-country and marathon riding. The Fastlane is very pedal efficient due to perfectly dialled anti-squat characteristics which has made it the choice of many cross-country racers whom believed themselves sworn to hardtails in the past.
Lead the pace with this fast cross country racer. The Revox accelerates like you would not believe and has all its angles precisely dialed to make for the ultimate 29er mountainbike geometry.
Prime CX Team
Bergamont’s PRIME CX is an uncompromising race bike for all who don’t stop at the end of the road, who overcome what is put in front of them rather than stop in awe before it.
Two races were on schedule on a chilly Sunday, during the second and final day of the UCI Cyclo-cross World championships in Bieles, Luxembourg. In each race, the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup winner of this season captured the world title in front of big crowds. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) extended his world title in the Men Elite category on Sunday afternoon. “I really didn’t expect this. Last week I was a week without bike. It seemed like nobody believed in me. It wasn’t the best preparation. I just wanted to give full gas for one hour. It’s also a pity that bad luck is with Mathieu when he has a flat tire. Of course I couldn’t wait for that. I’m so happy with my second world title”, Van Aert said. Earlier on Sunday, Joris Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands) captured the title in the Men Under 23 category after completing a long solo ride in Bieles. “In the beginning I immediately felt good. I knew before the race that I was ready for it but you don’t know in such a race like this, so I’m really happy”, Nieuwenhuis said in the post-race flash interview.
In contrast to Saturday’s first race of the day, increasing temperatures and overnight rain morphed the icy course into a sloppy mud challenge with a hard frozen subsoil on Sunday morning. Combining puddles of ice water and mud with the multiple steep climbs and drops in Bieles would benefit the stronger riders on Sunday. Countless rock surfaced due to the thaw and caused trouble in the Men Elite race on Sunday afternoon.
Young cyclo-cross stars Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) were the top favourites in the Men Elite category. Van Aert won the 2016 world title and Van der Poel was the 2015 world champion. The latter blasted away during the opening lap. While he opened up a gap in front, the mechanical problems started. Tom Meeusen (Belgium) broke his frame on the first ascent. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) was the only rider who kept up with Van der Poel but he punctured away from the front. Van Aert struggled to find his rhythm early on and he was distanced by fifteen seconds after the opening lap. Van Aert and Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) started a chase on Van der Poel in the second lap but Vanthourenhout dropped away when he flatted. The race leader started struggling too, flatting in the second and third lap. On each occasion, he was lucky enough to be at close distance from the pit area. During the fourth lap, Van Aert bridged up with Van der Poel and halfway the race it seemed like an exciting duel was coming up. The rest of the pack was at long distance, with Michael Vanthourenhout being the first chaser at more than forty seconds. Both leaders punctured in the fifth lap. Van Aert punctured for the first time just before the pit area and lost a few metres on Van der Poel. Just before the finish, Van der Poel punctured too and that turned out to be the decisive moment in the race. The first pit area was far away and by the time Van der Poel picked up a new bike he was trailing Van Aert by more than twenty seconds. Van Aert put in the fastest lap of the race with 7:30, averaging 24 km/h. From there, the duo no longer had mechanical problems but the race was decided.
Van Aert captured his second world title, finishing 44 seconds ahead of Van der Poel. Pauwels was third at 2:09 from the winner. He had a big gap over Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) and Corné van Kessel (Netherlands), Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) and Michael Boros (Czech Republic).
Joris Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands) was one of those strong riders. The Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup winner already took away all hope for glory from his rivals in the opening lap of the race in the Men Under 23 category. On Sunday morning he surged away halfway the opening lap and quickly collected an insurmountable lead. Strong Nieuwenhuis deployed great technical skills and brutal power on the slippery course. His opening lap was completed in 7:31, by far the fastest lap of the race. The 20 year-old kept the pace high and after nearly 54 minutes of racing he captured a more than deserving gold medal.
He’ll be wearing the rainbow jersey throughout the year in this category. Behind Nieuwenhuis, the battle for the remaining podium spots was only decided at the finish line. Italian champion Gioele Bertolini and Belgian riders Nicolas Cleppe and Thijs Aerts dealt well with the difficult circumstances during the first half of the race but then started struggling. Bertolini and Aerts crashed a few times halfway the race. Then, the cold and a flat tire got the better of Bertolini, who faded back to seventh place. Also Cleppe and Aerts were confronted with punctures in the final laps. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spain) stayed out of trouble and powered forward in the final lap, capturing the first-ever Spanish medal in this category. He crossed the finish line with a one-handed wheelie at 1:23 from winner Nieuwenhuis.
Sieben Wouters (Netherlands) held off Aerts and joined his compatriot Nieuwenhuis on the podium in Bieles. Cleppe finished fifth. Defending champion Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) struggled with the cold in Luxembourg. The 19 year-old Belgian rider started good but after a couple of crashes he dropped out of the top-10, eventually finishing in seventeenth place.
Next year, the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships are held in Valkenburg, Netherlands.
The 2016-2017 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup kicked off with two rounds in four days in the USA. 2015 UCI World Cup winner and reigning UCI World Champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice Continental Team) took back to back victories at CrossVegas last Wednesday evening and at Jingle Cross (Iowa City) three days later.
It was an all-Belgian podium in CrossVegas where Van Aert was joined by second-placed Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team) and Laurens Sweeck (ERA Real Estate – Circus). All three athletes are just 22 years old.
Despite suffering a cracked toe during a crash in CrossVegas, Van Aert took victory again in Iowa City, this time in front of Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games Cycling Team) and Sweeck.
Van Aert, who also took the award at both events for the fastest lap, logically tops the World Cup standings. He has a total of 160 points, thirty more than Laurens Sweeck. Pauwels is third with 109 points.
In women’s racing, Dutch rider Sophie de Boer, 25, celebrated the second World Cup victory of her career in CrossVegas beating older rivals Katerina Nash (Luna Pro Team) and US Champion Katherine Compton in the final sprint. On Saturday afternoon Compton, 37, bounced back with a splendid solo victory in Iowa City in front of French Champion Caroline Mani and young American Kaitlin Antonneau. After clocking the fastest lap time of the day in the opening lap, Nash, 38, encountered mechanical problems during the third lap and went on to finish fourth at 48s. Katherine Compton tops the World Cup standings with 145 points. Nash is second (130 points) followed by De Boer a further two points back after finishing 7th in Iowa City.
– What’s Next –
UCI World Cup round 3: Valkenburg Provincie Limburg in the Netherlands on Sunday October 23rd for categories Men Elite, Women, Men Under-23 and Men Junior
– Last year’s results –
1. Lars van der Haar (NED)
2. Wout Van Aert (BEL)
3. Sven Nys (BEL)
1. Eva Lechner (ITA)
2. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA)
3. Pavla Havlikova (CZE)
1. Michael Vanthourenhout (BEL)
2. Wout Van Aert (BEL)
3. Fabien Doubey (FRA)
1. Eli Iserbyt (BEL)
2. Max Gulickx (NED)
3. Johan Jacobs (SUI)
– What you should know about… The Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup visiting the USA –
2016 is only the second time in UCI World Cup history that the biggest international cyclo-cross series visits the USA. Last year CrossVegas was the only round to feature in the series. This year Jingle Cross Iowa City received the upgrade to World Cup status, becoming the second-ever US race to feature in the UCI World Cup. Jingle Cross is a charity event, offering its profits to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. The race was traditionally held in late November or early December, hence its name with a Christmas theme. For this year’s World Cup, the race was moved to September, earning it the label ‘Christmas Comes Early!’.
After the retirements of Sven Nys and Niels Albert it is Wout Van Aert, 22, who took over the role of top Belgian cyclo-cross rider. The slim but powerful man from Herentals excels on physical courses but also has thetechnical skills to battle along on more technical courses. During the build-up to the cyclo-cross season he captured four victories on the road, including the prologue at the Tour of Belgium.
1st UCI World Cup Jingle Cross Iowa City (2016)
1st UCI World Championships (2016)
1st UCI World Cup overall (2015-2016)
1st Belgian Championships (2016)
2nd UCI World Championships (2015)
1st UCI World Cup CrossVegas (2015, 2016)
1st UCI World Cup Koksijde (2014-2015)
1st Under-23 UCI World Championships (2014)
3rd Under-23 UCI World Championships (2013)
2nd Junior UCI World Championships (2012)
Megan Hopper Signs with The Development/FTW Racing
“When we found ourselves in a position to offer some FTW support to Megan we jumped at the opportunity. She had a good idea of what she was looking for regarding the geometry and although we build with several materials, I felt that due to her power and ability to move through the pack that our job was to turn that power into speed as quickly as possible through the use of hand selected aluminum alloy tubes and optimized for her size, weight and power. Megan made a seamless transition to the road frame we supplied, achieving instant results and when the effort turned to cyclocross she was patient while we felt our own teething pains in the early events and has been a gem to work with. She seems to know the way to the podium and we just need to follow”. – Frank Wadelton
Megan Hopper, a 17 year-old female rider from Durham in the United Kingdom, has been making waves on the cyclocross scene while progressing through the regional ranks. After getting to grips with the lay of the land between 2013/14 in her first year competing, she knuckled down with both Frank’s and The Development Racing Team’s assistance this season.
“Despite being the team’s sole road rider I’ve had a lot of support and advice from Frank, Lee, the team’s manager, and the team’s sponsors which I’m incredibly grateful for, it has all helped me to push harder. Being a female rider in such a male dominated sport where the (female) participation is rapidly increasing it feels good to be part of something that is growing fast.
Most girls say their role models include Lizzie Armistead and Marianne Vos, don’t get me wrong here, I too look up to those amazing athletes however my main role model is my father. He was the one who taught me to ride and then threw me on a mountain bike where we hit the forest trails, he was the one who put me on a road bike and got me going. He competes as well and has a huge passion for cycling, without my dad’s influence, none of what I have done would have happened.
The current cyclocross season is going really well, it has taught me new skills and continues to build my confidence further. Next year I will be moving upwards to the bigger national races, for the time being I am really happy with how this year has panned out” – Megan
Megan came to The Development Racing Team’s attention through her father’s social media platforms, he too races cyclocross and crit. I got in touch with him to see whether she would be interested in racing under the team’s colours on Frank’s frames with further assistance from the team’s current sponsors. Megan jumped straight onboard and is a pleasure to work along side, she’s becoming a powerful athlete and I am looking forward to continuing the team’s support for her.
As a few of you already know my cycling team has been mountain bike based since its inception so taking on a road-related discipline rider has been a challenge especially where the team’s current sponsors don’t manufacture anything for the road side of things. On top of that it has been a steep learning curve especially with the restrictive rules and regulations that are thrown down on the sport from British Cycling. We got there in the end though and Megan’s results speak for themselves as she was the force to be reckoned with. Although her 2014/15 cyclocross season has now concluded she is not resting on her laurels, training for the summer’s criterium racing campaign has begun, bring it on!
The Development Racing Team is dedicated to supporting cyclists coming up through the ranks predominantly from the North-East of the UK where the team manager was born and bred. 2015 has seen The Development expand, taking on riders from further afield in downhill, enduro, cyclocross and criterium disciplines.
If you would like to follow Megan and The Development Racing Team’s progress, they can be found on Facebook which contains all of their social media, news and updates: The Development Racing Team.
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup: Double Dutch triumph in Belgium on Boxing Day
During the fifth and penultimate round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, the Dutch riders brought home two Dutch victories on Boxing Day. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and Lars van der Haar (Development Team Giant-Shimano) won their races on the former F1 car racing circuit of Terlaemen in dry but chilly Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
In the youth categories the Belgians won on home soil with victories for Laurens Sweeck and Eli Iserbyt.
The prestigious location will be home to the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.
For the second year in a row, Lars van der Haar managed to claim victory on the Terlaemen car racing track. Last year he used his fast sprinting legs, but this year he simply outclassed the opposition with a long solo ride over the fast, greasy course.
In the third of nine laps Van der Haar set off and he was only seen back by his rivals at the finish line. Behind him World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team) awaited for more than a lap to react on Van der Haar. The in-form Belgian rider never got back to less than ten seconds and eventually started to fade back. Behind Pauwels a group with Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea), Swiss champion Julien Taramarcaz (Corendon-Kwadro), David van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) and German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) battled for third place.
With just over two laps to go Van der Haar was nearly a minute ahead of Pauwels when his chain came off. Due to the mechanical problems, his lead was cut back to 23 seconds. Nevertheless, Van der Haar was never in trouble and he cruised to a well deserved victory.
Due to the off-day from Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) who was formerly second in the World Cup classification Van der Haar moves into second place at 80 points from Pauwels. At the final World Cup round there are exactly 80 points at stake for the winner, meaning Pauwels isn’t completely certain of the overall victory just yet. Van Kessel won the battle for third place in Heusden-Zolder ahead of Taramarcaz, Walsleben and Van der Poel. Van Kessel remains in third place overall at 87 points from leader Pauwels. Meeusen drops to fifth overall behind Walsleben.
In the Women’s category, UCI World Champion Marianne Vos repeated the fast start that delivered her second place at last week’s World Cup round in Namur.
This time French champion and teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) was the last rider who was able to keep up with the cyclo-cross World Champion. Once dropped, Ferrand-Prevot quickly lost ground and Vos seemed to be heading for an impressive race-long solo.
In the background poorly started Czech champion Nash blasted forward, bridging up with Ferrand-Prevot at the beginning of the third lap but trailing leader Vos by half a minute. Also Sabine Stultiens (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and World Cup leader Sanne Cant (Belgium) bridged across. Katherine Compton (USA) was second-placed in the World Cup at one point from Cant before the race but she dropped out of the same chase group in the third lap and abandoned the race.
During the third lap Cant broke a spoke in her rear wheel, dropping back behind Italian champion Eva Lechner (Rusvel) and compatriot Ellen Van Loy (Belgium). Last week’s World Cup winner Nash put the hammer down in that third lap, dropping Stultiens too but riding still at half a minute from Vos with Ferrand-Prevot on her wheel. That gap went up in smoke when Vos flatted in the penultimate lap. When hitting the final lap Vos was caught back by Nash and Vos’ French teammate Ferrand-Prevot. That last lap was a true thriller in which Nash seemed to have the upper hand until she slipped away before the final climb. Vos blasted forward and grabbed her fifth victory in Heusden-Zolder, ahead of Nash and Ferrand-Prevot. Cant was seventh but extends her lead in the World Cup classification to 29 points over Compton. Ellen Van Loy remains in third place overall.
Men Under 23
Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) sneaked away at the end of the second lap in the third round of the World Cup in the Men Under 23 category. The pace dropped in front and Sweeck profited. Behind him everybody was awaiting a reaction from top favourites. Every move from Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) was covered by World Cup leader Wout Van Aert (Belgium) while Sweeck collected a lead of half a minute. Late in the race the favourites accelerated but Van der Poel quickly had to let go of Van Aert as he struggled with his shoe cleat. Sweeck held on to his lead and won his first World Cup round. Van Aert was second at 24 seconds. Van der Poel won the battle for third place at nearly a minute from winner Sweeck.
Van Aert leads the World Cup classification by twenty points over his compatriot Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium). Sweeck and Van der Poel share third place at 35 points from Van Aert.
Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) won the third World Cup round in the Junior Men category. Two Dutch riders flanked him on the podium: Jens Dekkers and Max Gulickx. Previous World Cup round winner Johan Jacobs (Switzerland) was fourth in Heusden-Zolder ahead of Gage Hecht (USA). In the World Cup classification Iserbyt leads Jacobs by 25 points.
The final World Cup round is held next month in Hoogerheide, Netherlands.