Team Sunweb had a great season opener, making their mark on the Australian summer of racing with an impressive five wins, six podiums, five jerseys and two team classification titles across both their Men’s and Women’s programs. The team’s promising pool of talent animated the racing Down Under, not only showing the potential that their young and upcoming squad has for the future, but also demonstrating their capabilities in the here and now.
It was the Women’s program that first showed strength at the Women’s Tour Down Under, with Liane Lippert dominating proceedings with two stage podiums before securing second place in the overall GC. It was a complete team performance with Lippert also claiming the QOM and best young rider’s jersey, Leah Kirchmann winning the points jersey and with the squad also winning the team classification after the four days of intense racing. The Men’s program then picked up the reigns with Robert Power taking a fantastic second on the stage to Paracombe and Michael Storer taking fifth from the break on Willunga.
Liane Lippert went on to take an emotional, first WorldTour victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race after a tremendous late attack in the rain, and after a few days of rest and recovery, the Men’s program headed to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour to continue the team’s winning streak. Here, 21-year-old Alberto Dainese picked up his first win in the pro ranks on the opening stage, Jai Hindley followed suit to take two stages and the GC win, with Michael Storer also taking an impressive 7th place in the GC and proving himself to be a solid support rider. After the strong performance throughout the week, Hindley also walked away with the KOM jersey alongside the team securing the team classification.
Such performances are a result of solid, specific preparation plans and ones that are adapted to the conditions of racing in Australia. The team already started adjusting their sleeping pattern before heading Down Under in order to prepare for the time difference, and also made good use of the facilities at the team’s Keep Challenging Elite Sports Center and Campus in Limburg, in the Dreiländerregion, where indoor training sessions in heat rooms were used to acclimatise to the demanding conditions racing Down Under brings.
Up next for the Men’s program is Tour de la Provence, Volta ao Algarve, Tour de Alpes Maritimes et du Var and the UAE Tour before the opening weekend of the Classics. The Women and Development programs head back to Calpe for another solid training block before their debut in the Classics action.