Team Sunweb extend contracts with Kanter, Heinschke and Märkl

Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the contract extensions of three young and talented German riders. Max Kanter extends his contract at WorldTour level until the end of 2021, while Leon Heinschke and Niklas Märkl extend their stay with Development Team Sunweb until the end of 2021 and 2020 respectively.

Max Kanter

The former two-time German U23 road race champion stepped up to WorldTour level in 2019 after several promising years in the junior and U23 ranks, the latter of which were spent at Development Team Sunweb. As an U23 Kanter took some impressive wins, including two stages at the Olympia’s Tour and one at the famous Tour de l’Avenir, highlighting his ability in the fast finishes. His debut season in the professional ranks has been affected by injury but after taking time to recover and rebuild together with the team, Kanter made his return to racing at the recent Tour de Pologne. Looking to the future, it is Kanter’s abilities and potential as a sprinter and strong one-day rider that shine through.

“I’m really happy to extend my contract with Team Sunweb,” explained Kanter. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the team and chasing goals together. For next season I want to develop as best as possible, slowly growing to become a top level professional cyclist. I want to gain experience in WorldTour one-day races and stage races, learning from my experienced teammates and coaches and further developing because of that.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert said: “After a great 2018 season in the U23 category we were all aiming for a good start in the WorldTour with Max but an injury made it impossible. He impressed us by his motivation, his determination and the way in which he dealt with the difficult situation and as a result Max is now stronger as a person than he was one year ago. Together with Max we want to use our professional environment to continue to help him develop as a rider and reach his potential, so that he can perform at the highest level of cycling in the future.”

Leon Heinschke

Heinschke has had a good second season with the team, delivering strong performances throughout the calendar in support of teammates but also picking up good results himself. The highlight of those results was victory at the German U23 road race which took place on a tricky and hilly parcours, with Heinschke delivering a powerful kick to ride away from everyone on the uphill drag to the line. In the coming years with the team Heinschke looks to continue to grow and develop, improving his abilities in every facet of being a bike rider.

“I’m happy to extend my contract with the team because they operate in a way I like,” explained Heinschke. “Over the past two years I have felt that I have made big steps in developing not only as a cyclist with the team, but also as a person and both of those things are very important to me. The goals for the coming years are to continue to develop and grow, both on and off the bike, learning more about the cycling world and how it works.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert added: “In his second year with the team Leon has showed a lot of potential and developed really well as a rider. During the winter period and in the race season, he has become more consistent with his level. He’s managed to deliver some great performances for the team with his crowning moment the win at the German U23 Championships. We are looking forward to continuing the journey with Leon as one of the core members of Development Team Sunweb.”

Niklas Märkl 

Now into his second year with Development Team Sunweb, Märkl has continued to develop as a strong and punchy rider with a fast finish. Starting the season well, he took his first victory of the year in the prologue at the Istrian Spring Trophy and quickly followed that up with sprint success at the Youngster Coast Challenge. A good team-player, Märkl also works strongly in the support of his teammates at races. Looking towards next year, Märkl hopes to build on this season and continue to grow as a rider with the team.

“I am happy with the team and how everything operates both on and on off the bike, and how they work with me,” explained Märkl. “I think for me, the team is the best environment to grow as a rider and as a person. My goal for the near future is to develop as a rider, reaching a higher level with my performances and as a result go for good results in the sprints throughout the year. I also want to learn more about how cycling and everything that surrounds it works in general, helping me to develop as a person.”

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert added: “Niklas is a team player, will always give 100 percent for our goals and he is a leading personality in our team. It is not only his ability on the bike that Niklas brings to the team but also his quality as a leader and captain that makes Niklas a really good rider and person to work with. His first two years in the U23 category have had some ups and downs, including some really good performances with his two wins earlier this year. We will work together with Niklas and with the right process, will help him to develop into a top rider.”