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[PCT] Swisslion Cycling Team | Portugal Result
AbhishekLFC
A tongue-twister and a Hug(u)e(s) rider! That's an entertaining update Pfft
 
Guave
Saber's stats Pfft If this guy can follow the best cobblers untill the end, how will he ever lose?
 
AbhishekLFC
Guave wrote:
Saber's stats Pfft If this guy can follow the best cobblers untill the end, how will he ever lose?

Can approve with two years of Saber love under our belt Grin
 
redordead
DaveTwoBob wrote:
I hope Ablenado has a good season for you Smile


So do I, I think he'll have plenty of chances to prove himself Smile

AbhishekLFC wrote:
A tongue-twister and a Hug(u)e(s) rider! That's an entertaining update Pfft


Yevgeni Nepomnyachsniy, Aberlardo Ablenado, Tyron Giogieri, Abolfazl Gilanipoor.

I think the part of the team we improved most are the names Pfft

Guave wrote:
Saber's stats Pfft If this guy can follow the best cobblers untill the end, how will he ever lose?


That's what we plan and hope for as well Smile


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/PCMdailyAwards2018/mgnewmanager.png


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogańćar
 
redordead
Rider departures


Opposed to last season, this season sees a much bigger turnover of riders leaving the team for pastures new. We wish all departing riders good luck in their future endevours. They will always be remembered for the role they played in our successful story over the last two years.


Riders transfered


Luka Pibernik

Luka was one our first signings when we established the team in 2018. A transfer from Isostar, he did a brilliant job and was one of main contributors in our promotion. He leaves for a fee of 195k to a newly founded Slovenian team, Trans Cycling Team.

Stefan Petrovski

Stefan also signed for us in 2018, but spent that season on loan at then PT outift Porto - Prio. He fully joined up with the team last year and was frequently in breakaways searching for that elusive stage win. He leaves for a fee of 220k to team Los Pollos Hermanos, where he hopefully achieves his goal of a stage win.

Cristian Munoz

Cristian was a signed on a stagiare contract last year and earned a full contract this season. But another influx of talent, mostly via loans made his race time more questionable. Luckily we were able to find a permanent spot for him on a CT team. He leaves for a fee of 105k to Trans Cycling Team.

Gabor Kasa Pello Bilbao

Gabor signed for us in 2018, he was an important domestique for us in numerous races, part of our TTT train, a road captain and a rider for our young riders to learn from. Pello came in last year and provided some needed results in the hilly semi classics. But he very much yearned for a bigger role. Gabor and Pello both leave us in a swap deal for Aberlardo Ablenado and an added fee of 300k to team Kraftwerk Man Machine.


Riders loaned out


Tadej Pogacar

Tadej will spend another year in CT, after his last season at Adastra, he will this time help out newly founded Slovenian team, Trans Cycling Team. We expect this to be the last of Tadej's loans and look forward to finally having him race for us next year.

Ahmet Orken

Ahmet joined us last season as a free agent and will spend the year developing at Berg Cycles. We think that will be a wonderful experience for him as he gets to learn from top sprinters like Ben Swift, Fabio Silvestre and Danilo Kupfernagel.



Bostjan Mervar,
team representative and general manager of Swisslion Cycling Team
 
redordead
Stagiare signings


Artur Sowinski


i.imgur.com/mDPCj9S.jpg


Spoiler
FLAMONHILTTRSTARESRECCOBSPRACCFTRDHIPRL
66696764676865606267686363


Jeremy Bellicaud


i.imgur.com/3iK3gE2.png


Spoiler
FLAMONHILTTRSTARESRECCOBSPRACCFTRDHIPRL
65696660696666606165606060


Kees Duyvesteyn


i.imgur.com/kDitRIJ.png


Spoiler
FLAMONHILTTRSTARESRECCOBSPRACCFTRDHIPRL
67646964656764606369686664


Bostjan Mervar,
team representative and general manager of Swisslion Cycling Team
 
redordead
Press conference: Team presentation and race goals


Good day to Everyone!

I am pleased to be here with all of you again today. I know it's been a year or more since we did this last time, but for me personally it has all happened in a flash. Opposite to last year there are a lot of familiar faces sitting across from me. Our entire staff remains intact. Martin Hvastija will direct our sprinters, time trialists and cobbles specialists. Marko Polanc will be directing the majority of our stage racing efforts and Gorazd Stangelj will handle the hilly and mountain classics.

As you might glean from my previous statement, we have a much more diverse squad this year, with leaders on different terrains, so myself and the directors planning should be a lot more challenging this year. But enough about that let us first take a look at our race goals for 2020.


2020 Race Goals

RaceCountry CategoryGoalCost
Balkans International PTHCTop 5****
Tour of East Java PTHCTop 5****
Scandinavia Open Road Race PTHCTop 5****
Giro dell'EmeliaHCWin****
PCT Team standings Top 10***


While our regional focus and sponsor demands have always been a key in our race goals. We have this time persuaded our sponsors to give us some leeway there. Saying all of that our first goal is Balkans International. It's our one true home race which encapsulates everything about our project to promote and develop cycling in the Balkans. Eddy Beltran is a perfect leader option for that race and with him finish 5th last year, we hope he can repeat that result this year.

With not much surprise all our race goals and centered around Eddy. The Scandinavia Open Road Race might be a race for one our new riders, but we expect Eddy to be back to defend both his title in East Java and Giro dell'Emelia. In hindsight our goal of finishing in the top 10 of the team standings seems a bit farfetched, but at least not as much as last year.

Now I would like to formally introduce Swisslion's 2020 rider squad.


2020 Squad


i.imgur.com/gbQkL7d.png


Riders loaned in are in green, loaned out in red and stagiares in black


Now I will open the floor for your questions.

Q: Lots of changes in the squad for this upcoming season. Talk to us about the new record signing Lahcen Saber. What was the thinking behind his acquisition?

Mervar: Lahcen was for sure one of our top targets on the market this year. He is a proven performer on the PCT stage with his two previous years at Philips. We see him as a rider who can spearhead our efforts on the cobbles and in sprints. Having a rider that covers two important terrains is something that very much appealed to us.

Q: Are you at all not worried at the lack of cobble and leadout support Lahcen looks to have?

Mervar: Cobble support is something that we indeed wanted to improve, but in the end there were no more funds available for that. It's definitely our aim to return to the cobbles scene in a big way, but so far all our approaches have been rebuffed. Miha Poljanec and Matija Mestric have both taken a step forward there and will be largely relied upon. As for leadouts we don't feel it's necessary to invest in that at this moment. Gabriel Marin and Dusan Rajovic will take care of the rare leadout duties.

Q: The departures of Pello Bilbao, Luka Pibernik and Costa Seibeb mean that there isn't another natural puncheur on the squad to support Beltran. Is that concern?

Mervar: Not too much I feel. Eddy was often left on his own and was able to astutely read the race situation. We have improved our climbing setup and helping Eddy will be a job of many riders throughout the season.

Q: You have spent a fair bit of your budget on signing Yevgeni Nepomnyachsniy. Do you consider that a wise decision given he is already 33 years old? A change in your philosophy?

Mervar: We have always had veteran leaders. It's true we usually signed them off the free agent market, but that was not possible this time. We feel Yevgeni can be an important part of our team and will prove to be worth the investment.

Q: Eduard, the MGUCI took some radical approaches in revamping hilly races in the offseason. What are your thoughts on that and can you reach last season's results?

Beltran: Yes, there have been quite a few changes, many that I don't understand to be honest with you. But there is nothing I can really do about that, no point in complaining about it. I simply will have to adjust and I hope my off season training helps me in that regard.

Spoiler
Eduard Alexander Beltran sprint training: 65 -> 66


Q: Luka Mezgec and Raymond Kreder have both left, but you have brought in Kris Boeckmans. How will be the dynamic between him and Lahcen Saber?

Mervar: I think we will largely keep them apart. Kris showed fantastic performances last year at Campari and deserves his own chances. We're very happy for the price we were able to recruit him for and believe he can still perform at his age.

Q: Can you please tell us a bit more about the Pello Bilbao trade. How did it all came about?

Mervar: We had a talk with Pello and it was clear that he wanted to move on in search of a bigger role on a team. At that point we decided there was no point in trying to keep a rider that didn't want to be here, but we would only sell him for a worthwhile offer. We felt we got that in the Ablenado trade and we wish Pello all the best at Kraftwerk.

Q: Speaking of Ablenado, you have completely revamped the climbing setup. Talk about that.

Mervar: We knew we had to replace what Costa Seibeb brought to the table last season and therefore we were fairly aggressive in that part of the free agent market. We are ecstatic with the addition of Giogieri and after getting priced out of quite a few free agents, the Gilanipoor deal made a lot of sense. We were content with those two, but adding Ablenado gives us another great option.

Q: Lastly you have added 4 unmaxed riders on loan, which makes it 12 in total, not counting the 3 stagiares. Isn't that a bit too much?

Mervar: Those loans partly funded some of other transfer moves and were essential in that regard. Still I feel we have a nice mix of youth and experience. All the loanees will serve a purpose and all the young riders from last year have taken steps forward. We have always been commited to developing talent and that has not changed.


That will be all for todays presentation. Our next press conference will probably be about unveiling our race calendar for the coming season. Thank you all for coming, hope to see more of you during the year.


Bostjan Mervar,
team representative and general manager of Swisslion Cycling Team
 
AbhishekLFC
I think that's a good improvement over last season with more climbing depth coming in, as well as Saber being the real big investment. Boeckmans is a like-for-like replacement for Ciolek, so that aspect should be covered.
 
knockout
Its interesting how much you trust your leaders to deliver without a lot of support. No proper leadout for your sprinter and no hills support for Beltran. I hope that you wont have to suffer due to that.

In terms of leaders and semi leaders, your squad looks stronger than last season.
A Big Thank You To All MG And ICL Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!


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Fabianski
How the new hill profiles suit Beltran could make or break your season. But he's definitely a beast and you should find enough races for him to shine.
The climbing squad has a lot of depth, but I'm afraid they might be struggling getting top GC results in PCT, given some other rosters I've seen so far.
But you definitely do have what it takes to shine in sprints, if your sprinters do a good job in train surfing Wink And especially Saber should be great in the easier cobbled races!
 
redordead
AbhishekLFC wrote:
I think that's a good improvement over last season with more climbing depth coming in, as well as Saber being the real big investment. Boeckmans is a like-for-like replacement for Ciolek, so that aspect should be covered.


Hopefully it's all a step forward and we're not just standing still.

knockout wrote:
Its interesting how much you trust your leaders to deliver without a lot of support. No proper leadout for your sprinter and no hills support for Beltran. I hope that you wont have to suffer due to that.

In terms of leaders and semi leaders, your squad looks stronger than last season.


To be honest we couldn't really deliver proper support to our leaders last year, and it didn't seem to have a huge impact. Ciolek had Mezgec and Kreder last year as leadouts and they never got involved. It didn't seem worth it, spending our limited funds on leadouts. Our pure flat support though should be better and will continue to get better Wink

We have 8 maxed riders and those are all our leaders, semi leaders and scorers Pfft

Fabianski wrote:
How the new hill profiles suit Beltran could make or break your season. But he's definitely a beast and you should find enough races for him to shine.
The climbing squad has a lot of depth, but I'm afraid they might be struggling getting top GC results in PCT, given some other rosters I've seen so far.
But you definitely do have what it takes to shine in sprints, if your sprinters do a good job in train surfing Wink And especially Saber should be great in the easier cobbled races!


Some of the new hill profiles along with the new OVL have significantly nerfed Beltran, which is quite sad and put a dent in my longterm plans Sad

The climbing squad is mostly there to hunt stage wins, as neither of them are GC guys. In fact we made an effort to stay away from that Pfft

Mostly sprints and some cobbles should be our main secondary source of points. Maybe Mottin and Nepomnyachsniy add some scoring in the races they're suited for Smile
Edited by redordead on 15-10-2020 08:37


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/PCMdailyAwards2018/mgnewmanager.png


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogańćar
 
redordead
Swisslion 2020 NC jerseys

Third year in the pro peloton and this time we have the pleasure to unveil a total of three national championship jerseys. This time none of our NC's are from our focus regions, but some important riders wearing them. So we are very proud to have them for the upcoming season.

A big thanks again goes to the_hoyle of Fenix Design for making fantastic jerseys for us to show off on the road!

Eduard Alexander Beltran - Colombian RR Champion


pcmdaily.com/images/shirtdb/20sct2mail7025c80950cbc36fe7c71844be8d66a7b4bb4881.png


Lahcen Saber - Moroccan RR Champion


pcmdaily.com/images/shirtdb/20sct2mail7196e7aa698e32256ffcd123a030bad02a1f1618.png


Michael Christodoulos - Cyprian TT Champion


pcmdaily.com/images/shirtdb/20sct2mail1257726bc108db8e6a499ea713b33c08fbfb8942.png
 
AbhishekLFC
Red Alert for Saber Grin Sweet looking jerseys!
 
hillis91
Best of luck this season, hopefully both Marin and Kurianov will contribute for you Smile
i.imgur.com/vR8EVAA.png
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i.imgur.com/5dUeeMH.png
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jandal7
Hoyle done a top notch job as per usual - I'm a sucker for full kit NC designs and these are very nice. Hope they can all get shown off - I'm sure we'll get to see the Colombian one at least on full display in some celebration photos Pfft
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
14/11/20 - Pablo Matera said "There was no respect. I play for my country."

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

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3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
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redordead
AbhishekLFC wrote:
Red Alert for Saber Grin Sweet looking jerseys!


Lahcen "redordead" Saber Pfft

hillis91 wrote:
Best of luck this season, hopefully both Marin and Kurianov will contribute for you Smile


Thanks Smile

Marin will fill the role of leadout when needed and Kurianov fits right into my own talent pool of young flat beasts Smile

jandal7 wrote:
Hoyle done a top notch job as per usual - I'm a sucker for full kit NC designs and these are very nice. Hope they can all get shown off - I'm sure we'll get to see the Colombian one at least on full display in some celebration photos Pfft


Hoyle is the best Grin

Man, I hope you are right. It would be awesome to see Saber and Beltran raise their arms in those jerseys Banana


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"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogańćar
 
the_hoyle
Oh how I wanted Saber - was my top target but very quickly outpriced. Depending on how he goes, I might be back for him...
.: Manager of :.
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Nemolito
redordead wrote:

Stefan Petrovski

Stefan also signed for us in 2018, but spent that season on loan at then PT outift Porto - Prio. He fully joined up with the team last year and was frequently in breakaways searching for that elusive stage win. He leaves for a fee of 220k to team Los Pollos Hermanos, where he hopefully achieves his goal of a stage win.



Yeah, hopefully Smile Also really hoping that when Baugnies looks next to him after the last cobbles in any race, he won't be seeing that red jersey Grin Best of luck this season, I hope Beltran and Boeckmans deliver you many points and you manage to stay in PCT again!
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png Los Pollos Hermanos pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lph.png - where something good is always cooking
 
redordead
the_hoyle wrote:
Oh how I wanted Saber - was my top target but very quickly outpriced. Depending on how he goes, I might be back for him...


The situation is very fluid for Swisslion at this moment, so he may be available next year. Never say never Smile

Nemolito wrote:
Yeah, hopefully Smile Also really hoping that when Baugnies looks next to him after the last cobbles in any race, he won't be seeing that red jersey Grin Best of luck this season, I hope Beltran and Boeckmans deliver you many points and you manage to stay in PCT again!


Hopefully Baugnies sees the back of that red jersey Grin

We'll need a bit of luck like always. Good luck to you as well, just not when we're racing against each other Pfft


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"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogańćar
 
redordead
Race calendar - Part 1



January

10.01Down Under ClassicHC
28.01 - 29.01Tour of East Java [Race Goal]PTHC
31.01Gisborne GPC1


The season starts out with the traditional curtain raiser in Australia, for the Down Under Classic. Our Oceanic travels continue with a trip to East Java, a race we fondly remember from last season and it's our first race goal of the season. To make it an all Oceanic start to season we finish the month of January in New Zealand for the hilly one day race that is the Gisborne GP. A race we have participated in the past two years.



February

01.02 - 09.02Volta a PortugalPTHC
02.02 Copenhagen-Malmo TTTPT
04.02Omloop Het NieuwsbladHC
08.02 - 10.02Hong Kong ChallengeC1
13.02 - 20.02Paris-NicePT
22.02Pro Hallstatt ClassicPTHC


For the shortest month in the year February is a jam packed month of racing for us. The team will for the most part return for racing on European soil. We start the month at the Volta a Portugal, a first appearance for us in the race that used to be known as the "Mini Grand Tour", but got shortened to 9 stages this year. We received a ProTour wildcard to the Copenhagen-Malmo TTT event.

After that the classics team will get their first run out at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, while another squad will head east once more to the Hong Kong Challenge. A race we participated in and won a stage back in 2018. February also features another ProTour wildcard appearance, this time at Paris-Nice, the "Race to the Sun". The last race of the month is the difficult Pro Hallstatt Classic in Austria.



March

01.03Geraardsbergen-BosbergHC
01.03 - 04.03Barbados Cycling FestivalHC
03.03Roma MaximaC1
03.03 - 06.03Jelajah SKLC1
07.03 - 12.03Vuelta al Pais VascoHC
09.03 - 13.03Circulo de JuarezC1
15.03Apex Mountain ClassicC1
18.03Le SamynC1
21.03Strade BiancheHC
26.03 - 30.03Tour of UppsalaC1
28.03E3 PrijsPTHC
30.03Kuurne - Bruxelles - KuurneHC


We might have made a mistake calling February jam packed, because what do we then call March?! A total of 12 races in the month, an important period for classics, sprints and TT teams. We start in Belgium on the Geraardsbergen-Bosberg circuit, with mostly the same squad expected to feature at another cobbled classic in Rome. Meanwhile we will participate in the sprinting festival in Barbados and head to Malaysia for the Jelajah SKL race.

The non-stop tenpo of races continues in the Basque Country for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco while a different team will head to western half of the planet for the Circulo de Juarez. We continue the North American trek to Canada for the Apex Mountain Classic before returning back to Europe.

The classics team should be back in action at Le Samyn with their hilly counterparts in Tuscany on the white roads of Strade Bianche. Up north in Sweden we have the Tour of Uppsala. before another Belgian cobbled double-header to finish the month. The PTHC classic E3 Prijs and Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne, where we have also participated in the past two years.


You can expect more installments like this as the a season progresses and the race calendar become revealed. This is part 1 of 4.


Bostjan Mervar,
team representative and general manager of Swisslion Cycling Team
 
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