Team Sunweb’s long-sought wish becomes reality in 2019 with the introduction of the Keep Challenging Center; a campus combining a state-of-the-art elite sport living environment with high-end support to optimise athlete development, cooperation and ultimately progress cycling into a true team sport. Alongside preparing the world’s best talents for a career on the bike, focus also is put to their education, to ensure young athletes are given the tools needed for their life outside of cycling.
The Keep Challenging Center will be used by Development Team Sunweb’s riders, as well as some of Team Sunweb’s women’s program. Located in Sittard, in the middle of the “Euregio” region (Germany and the Netherlands), emphasis will be on the cross-border activities. This region offers excellent training routes with cycling-friendly infrastructure, beautiful nature, perfect logistics (seven nearby airports) and the knowledge of companies like Team Sunweb’s technology partner, DSM, as well as its high-performance nutrition specialist, Born.
Keep Challenging’s Team work & Innovation
It’s no secret that Team Sunweb’s mission is to spearhead the movement of cycling to further professionalise and create a genuine team sport. The team takes team sports such as football and basketball as successful examples of their vision for cycling, with athlete development at its core. The Keep Challenging Center will be a place where athletes work together on a daily basis, offering excellent facilities to optimise training, coaching, nutrition, innovation projects and injury prevention, whilst being a part of everyday society in a location from where training camps in Southern Europe and altitude camps are initiated.
Team Sunweb CEO Iwan Spekenbrink said: “I’m really proud that finally the dream comes to fruition with the Keep Challenging Center. We want to make the next step to become a better team; and to optimise the daily cooperation between athletes, experts, coaches and staff who will contribute hugely in achieving that. Therefore, we want to create an elite sports environment for our athletes, with focus on utilising state-of-the-art facilities.”
Team Sunweb’s road captain Roy Curvers added: “This is a very good development for the team. In some elements we’re a conservative sport where historically each rider and member of staff live and train across the world, only coming together at a race or training camp, where high level performance is expected without a real joint preparation. So far, everyone just accepts this status quo, without looking at what is actually the best setup for riders to really excel as a team. It will be very beneficial to work on a daily basis with each other on things like nutrition, equipment and team building, and to faster implement innovations on those fields into the team. This will ensure that when at a race, riders are able to fully focus on that race and execute the plan, without distraction.”