Tuesday, January 3, 2017 3:09:32 PM America/New_York
In Cologne on the rollercoaster with the world-class – 100th edition “Rund um Köln”
For the 100th edition of one of the most traditional races in Germany, many World Tour teams were at the start line. Together with Giant – Alpecin, Lotto – Soudal or BMC the guys from Stradalli – BIKE AID had a hard day.
The first edition of this race started in 1908 and since then the riders found the finish year by year in the city of Cologne, one of the biggest cities in Germany with a huge history and tradition. The history of Cologne goes far back to the Romans who named it “Colonia” and it was one of the major cities at the times of the Roman Empire. Lots of battles and war between Romans and Germans took place – a big history that marked all of Europe. Now, more than 2000 years later on a cloudy Sunday morning, there was another battle that took place. But this time on a different kind of battlefield with different kinds of knights using modern kinds of swords to fight. Horses that have two wheels were ridden through the hilly landscape around the city of cologne.
A battlefield with a total distance of 205 Kilometers was ahead of the “black knights” from Stradalli – BIKE AID team. Their mission: conquer the empire of the “dark Lord” André Greipel from the Lotto – Soudal kingdom.
Well, maybe the text would have been like this couple hundred years ago. Today it is more like: Continental Teams trying to present themselves among the Top riders of the World. For sure it is a fight with very different weapons, but still it is worth to fight this fight again and again. Among the best riders were names like: André Greipel (Lotto – Soudal), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Nikias Arndt (Giant – Alpecin) or Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto – Jumbo NL). And what was the plan of the guys from Stradalli – BIKE AID? Well, to put a tiny guy from Eritrea in the middle of the sprint. So far so good. Meron Amanuel, a very fast guy has to sprint against the best of the world. And all other riders would have to protect him and keep him out of all the wind and trouble that can happen during such a long race.
The plan went well, until 30 kilometers to the finish line, when Meron’s back tire punctured in a very bad moment. All that effort for nothing? No, we still had Niko to make an impact. And the small climber made it with his 55 kilos to the top 20 again, among all those sprinters. But he is a very smart guy who knows how to keep position and that led to 17th place at the end.
A great race, a nice day and an awesome city! Thanks a lot Cologne and see you next year!
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:35:43 PM America/New_York
Stage 5 of An Post Ras UCI 2.2 race finished with a small breakaway arriving 27 seconds ahead of the main group. Today Stradalli – Bike Aid missed the breakaway, but the real race for leader’s jerseys was still on in a hard way.
The 166.8 kilometer route saw the riders tackle several categorized climbs which meant many King of the Mountain points were on offer. Stradalli – Bike Aid rider, who was previously placed second in the mountains classification, put his climbing skills to work and reclaimed the King of the Mountains jersey with only three days of racing left
The mountainous route meant the race would be very hard to control and a break of 6 would eventually go up the road. None of the riders were a huge threat to the general classification, so there wasn’t much motivation from the group to chase late in the race. The team worked to protect Holler and keep him safe from any accidents.
Holler would eventually make the front group of only 28 riders and finish 13th on the day and preserving his top 10 general classification placing. Holler still remains 10 seconds behind the leader’s jersey and with more mountainous stages ahead a general classification win is still well within reach.
Stage 6 from Clonakilty to Dungarvan runs 159.1 kilometers is another hilly route, but will provide the sprinters who make it to the end with a fast flat finish. Out of over 150 riders, only 30-40 riders are consistently making it to the finish in the front group. The weather conditions and routes are proving tough for all riders involved, but the team is positive and are looking forward to another day defending the King of the Mountains jersey and chasing an overall win.
Holler and the points – on stage 5 back in KOM jersey
Nikodemus Holler gets back the lead in the KOM classification at An Post Rás (UCI 2.2) in Ireland. After lots of points today, Holler now leads with 11 points ahead of second place.
On today’s fifth stage of An Post Rás the guys from Stradalli – BIKE AID had a lot on their minds with what they wanted to do. In the language of football nowadays everybody talks about “setting goals” and so on. Whatever you may think about those kind of “plans” or “missions” one thing is for sure: in real life it is important to set some goals and to try and reach them as good as possible. And honestly, who wants to go through life without any plan?
Today the riders of team Stradalli – BIKE AID agreed together on 2 main goals: first, to take back the KOM – leader jersey for Nikodemus Holler and second, to try to put pressure on the yellow jersey today.
With these targets in their pocket, the riders from the German team went to the start line ready to fight like hell. Sure, during the Rás it is very hard to control the race as the teams consist only of 5 riders and the race is so nervous and hectic but the guys did the utmost to reach their goals. Again working hard as a team with their Stradalli full carbon Aversa road bikes, they controlled the pack until the first KOM and Nikodemus did the rest. He won the first KOM and took second in the KOM number 2 to win again the third.
With taking all these points, Niko now leads with 11 points ahead of the second and wears the leader jersey of the KOM classification again! A very beautiful one by the way, very colourful!
At the end of the stage, Niko finished with a group of other favorites on 13th place 27 seconds back on the winner Wouter Mol form dutch team De Rijke.
So there is one goal left for the upcoming days, guys!
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 1:53:29 PM America/New_York
Stradalli – Bike Aid’s Nikodemus Holler Places 6th In Oberhausen
With a great start to the season including strong outings in Frankfut and Belgium, the Stradalli – Bike Aid team has shown they can ride with the top teams in the world. That includes pro racer Nikodemus Holler who is having a great season.
Holler and teammate Dominik Merseburg competed in the Grand Prix of Modelstadt Ruck in a 120 kilometer long crit-race. It is a challenging race that demands a lot from the riders and thanks to the big money prizes, is always a battle. Riders from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands compete in the race.
After a really tough start, Holler showed his ability to read a race and made it up into the decisive break of the day where he was able to continue fighting on his Stradalli Bitonto full carbon road bike. An exceptional climber but not known for his sprinting it was a challenge for Holler to hang in with the lead pack. He finished 6th in the race won by Daniel Klemme.
The rest of the Stradalli – Bike Aid were heading to another part of Germany for a race in Villingen – Schwenningen. Patrick Lechner, Matthias Schnapka Joschka Beck are joining Janvier Hadi and Jean-Bosco Nsengimana from Rwanda in the 130 kilometer road race that will be full of tough windy conditions and a strong field. The team battled and stayed around the lead the entire race with Lechner and Beck finishing 14th and 16th.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 1:22:58 PM America/New_York
Stradalli – Bike Aid take wins at German Elite State Championships
Stradalli – Bike Aid sent three riders to the German Elite State Championships this past weekend. A field of 130 riders from all regions of Germany lined up in Kassel Wolfhagen to compete for the title of their respective State regions.
Matthias Schnapka, Joschka Beck and Patrick Lechner fought through the hills and wind of Germany to bring home incredible results in a race which only saw 50 riders finish.
Inevitably, due to the wind and hills, a breakaway would slip away with Matthias Schnapka of Stradalli – Bike who would win his elite state championship title for 2016 Saarland .
Patrick Lechner drove the race hard from the beginning, allowing Schnapka to take advantage of the breakaway when the opportunity was presented. Though Lechner missed the breakaway because of his hard work, Lechner would still place second in his respective region’s championship in Rheinland Pfaltz.
Joschka Beck of Stradalli – Bike Aid also brought home a strong second place finish against riders of his region who are noted for being exceptional racers at higher levels. Joschka placed second in the Hessen state.
Stradalli – BikeAid pro cycling team recently returned to Germany after a large block of UCI racing in Belgium. The German Championships attract the best riders in Germany, but the UCI level racing truly brings the Stradalli – Bike Aid riders to another level. Racing against World Tour teams all season has taught the Stradalli – Bike Aid riders many lessons, but their fitness is reaching new levels allowing them to win at the UCI level.
The team has brought home podiums consistently in the UCI Africa Tour and was fighting in breakaways in prestigious races such as Challenge Mallorca and Vuelta Andalucia. Vuelta Andalucia is notorious for being one of the hardest early season stage races in the year and the Stradalli – Bike Aid riders still competed in breakaways throughout the duration of the race.
2016 has been an exceptional year so far for Stradalli – Bike Aid. The team is currently preparing for Tour of Qinghai Lake, the most prestigious race in the UCI Asia Tour. The success in the German Elite Championships gives the riders and management confidence Tour of Qinghai Lake will be another successful tour on calendar of Stradalli – Bike Aid pro cycling team
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 12:56:18 PM America/New_York
Stradalli – Bike Aid today raced UCI 1.1 Dwars door de Vlaamse Ardennen, a hard 179.6 kilometer one day race starting and finishing in Erpe – Mere, Belgium.
The race runs through many famous climbs in Belgium. Though Belgium is noted for being flat, this particular race covers 14 well respected climbs. It is a race similar to many of the Ardennes Classics, which are consistently won by the best climbers in the world.
Stradalli – Bike Aid showed a full team and put their top finisher, Niko Holler, in the front group and well positioned to compete for victory. The extremely hilly race would see only 77 of 196 starters finish the race and Holler pulled an amazing result finishing 22nd and matching his result at UCI 1.HC Eschborn – Frankfurt last weekend in a field against top level riders such as UCI World Time Trial Champion from Etixx – Quickstep Tony Martin. BMC, Lotto – Soudal and Orica – GreenEdge are just a few of the top level organizations which sent riders to compete at Vlaamse Ardennen.
The team will continue its European campaign with the goal of performing at peak capacity for Tour of Qinghai Lake in July.
Pictured above is Niko Holler who looks a lot fresher in this pic holding princess than he did after today’s race.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017 11:39:48 AM America/New_York
Stradalli – Bike Aid wins stage 2 of the UCI 2.2 Tour of Eritrea.
The 179 kilometer stage from Tesseney to Agordat featured significant elevation change, but that didn’t deter the peloton from riding hard. Attacks started as soon as the riders left the start line. Stradalli – Bike Aid controlled the race with excellent teamwork throughout the day.
After Amanuel Meron’s podium finish in stage 1, the team knew he could provide a result. Amanuel Meron would be the most protected rider throughout the day due to his high general classification placing. Meron Teshome, however, is the better sprinter.
The two riders worked together to shepherd themselves in a fast final after a tough day of racing. Meron Teshome took the win, proving his sprinting ability at the highest level. Amanuel Meron followed closely behind in 3rd place giving Stradalli – Bike Aid two riders on the podium of stage 2 of Tour of Eritrea.
The Eritrean riders have special motivation to race well in their home country, but the entire Stradalli – Bike Aid team and their management are working hard to ensure success at the Tour of Eritrea. Many of their riders are native to Eritrea and it is the place where the Stradalli – Bike Aid mission of creating a better future for those who are less fortunate began.
The Stradalli – Bike Aid team is currently using the full carbon Aversa frame because of its ability to perform well under a variety of conditions. The Tour of Eritrea will feature technical roads, fast sprint finishes and high mountains.
The Tour of Eritrea continues tomorrow with Stage 3 from Keren to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. The stage will cover 93k, but it is mountainous. This stage will be the first opportunity for the real climbers of Stradalli – Bike Aid to show their talent.