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"World Tour teams have an average of around 13.5 million euros per season. Our present sponsor is willing to make a greater contribution, but we need a strong second partner. We talk to German companies."

Photo: Sirotti

BORA-HANSGROHE

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13.01.2016 @ 15:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Bora-Argon 18 wants to expand and join the elite class. Just in time for Tour de France start in Dusseldorf in 2017, the second division team wants to move into the WorldTour.

 

However, that requires a doubling of the budget and that has to be in place at the end of September, according to team manager Ralph Denk. "World Tour teams have an average of around 13.5 million euros per season. Our present sponsor is willing to make a greater contribution, but we need a strong second partner. We talk to German companies," Denk told Deutsche Presse -Agency.

 

Denk primarily has his eyes on the domestic bicycle industry. At the current training camp in Mallorca, potential backers that wish to invest in 2017, are highly welcome. "Our doors are open," said Denk who also hopes to sign prominent German riders.

 

"In Germany we have four and a half top riders - John Degenkolb, Marcel Kittel, Tony Martin, André Greipel - and Simon Geschke," said Denk. The contracts of classics rider Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and top sprinter Greipel (Lotto Soudal) will expire at the end of the season. In both cases, however, they are unlikely to change teams.

 

The current Bora flagships are German champion Emanuel Buchmann and Dominik mink. Buchmann got a lot of attention in his Tour debut in 2015. On a big mountain stage in the Pyrenees, the young German finished third.

 

26-year-old Nerz was signed as captain and is regarded as the best German GC rider but he washampered by illness and injuries.

 

Denk has big expectations for Buchmann. "He is good enough to get a stage victory, the mountains jersey or a place in the top 20. He is very good when it gets really hot. So far his preparation has gone very well,” the Bora manager said about his top talent who will make his season debut alongside his teammates at the Challenge Mallorca.

 

The 23-year-old needs to improve his time trial skills to go for GC in stage races. "Today we go to Palma in order to optimize his position on the track," Denk said.

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