Alpecin & CYCLING
Alpecin has long supported cycling, as this sport is a source of great fascination. The crowds love to see the professionals ride to victory or just watch them sweat. As far back as the postwar years, Alpecin was a supporter and sponsor of major races. Right up to the late 1980s, the brand lent its name to the largest one-day circuit race in the Bielefeld region. Its amateur team marked the renaissance of the brand’s involvement in cycling. In 2015, the brand again joined the ranks of the professionals and became the sponsor of a WorldTour team.
The Team Alpecin: a cyclosportive summer's tale
The Team Alpecin was formed more than ten years ago. The idea was to give normal cyclists who raced as a hobby the chance to feel like pros for one season in a very special amateur team. To give them professional equipment and individual training enabling them to achieve their personal goal for the season and to go to their limits, or even beyond. That 2007 idea for an amateur team has grown and improved with each year and, today, a large community has developed.
Alpecin Cycling aims to show both amateur sportspeople and cycle racing fans all aspects of professional cycling – including insights into the professional team sponsored by Alpecin and the experiences of the cyclists on the amateur team.
Ride like a pro. Train like a pro. Feel like a pro. Since 2007, Alpecin and its international media partners have been giving amateur cyclists the one-off chance to feel like professionals for a season. The selected sportspeople can turn their dream of being a professional cyclist into reality, whether they have just started cycling, do it as a hobby or are ambitious amateurs: it does not depend on their level of fitness.
They are given the ideal conditions to achieve their personal sporting goals. After all, it often takes a lot of courage to test your limits. Amateur sportspeople who put their heart into it suffer just as much as the professionals; each within their own personal limits. As such, amateur cyclists’ achievements are just as remarkable as those of the elite.
Cycling History of Alpecin
Alpecin backs the Deutschland Tour with its physical care service. The sportspeople can get a massage and freshen up in the “wellness lounge”. There is also a team on the starting blocks at the Six Days of Berlin cycling event.
The Alpecin grand prix is held on Bielefeld’s marketplace and becomes a key fixture on the national cycling calendar over the coming decades. Wearing Alpecin jerseys, Pankoke and Ehmer win the German Championships Madison race.
Alpecin becomes the major sponsor of the Batavus team which, with cyclists such as Karl-Heinz Kunde and Hennes Junkermann, took part in prestigious competitions such as the Tour de France. 1969: In order to improve the training conditions for the Batavus-Alpecin team, the company’s founder Dr. Kurt Wolff commissions the construction of an 855-metre training track with banked turns in Augustdorf near Bielefeld – the Wolff-Oval. The cycling club RC Sprintax Bielefeld is established; it is still sponsored by the Bielefeld-based company to this day.
Together with the magazine ROADBIKE, Alpecin sets up an amateur team. Each year, normal amateur cyclists are prepared for a seasonal highlight, training under professional conditions and with first-rate equipment.
The Focus-Alpecin team, headed up by the successful former professionals Jörg Ludewig and Malte Urban, is established with the aim of introducing talented cyclists from East Westphalia to this top-class sport in a professional setting. Wearing a jersey with the red rhombus, Malte Urban becomes the German Cyclocross Champion.
The company holds the Alpecin Days competition in Bielefeld on 12 August: an event for amateurs as part of the German Cycling Cup with races over 40, 80 and 120 km.
On 24 September, Alpecin announces that it will be a World Tour sponsor. As of the 2015 season the team including the Tour stage winner Marcel Kittel goes by the name Giant-Alpecin.
After several decades, Alpecin once again sponsors a professional team: Giant-Alpecin. In their very first season, the German professional John Degenkolb achieves an incredible feat, winning two classic races, the Milano-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix, within the space of a few weeks. Simon Geschke wins a stage of the Tour de France. In addition to the men, the German racing team also has an amateur women’s line-up, Liv-Plantur, and an amateur team: the Gran Fondo Team Alpecin.
In the second year of sponsoring the German World Tour team, a serious accident during training dashes the hopes of John Degenkolb and his colleagues for a successful spring. During the Tour de France, the Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin wins two stages; at the Olympics he takes silver in the time trials.
Alpecin sponsors the Swiss racing team Katusha Alpecin, including Rick Zabel and the multiple time trial world champion and Tour de France stage winner Tony Martin. Alexander Kristoff wins the prestigious World Tour race on 1 May in Frankfurt and Simon Spilak wins the Tour de Suisse. Ilnur Zakarin shows his class as a circuit expert, coming fifth in the Giro Italia and taking third place in the Vuelta a España.
The amateur team celebrates its 10th birthday and all ten cyclists complete the Ötztal cycle marathon, one of the most difficult amateur races in the world.
The top-class German sprinter Marcel Kittel now wears the Katusha Alpecin team jersey. The team’s focus is on the Tour de France, with hopes that Marcel Kittel will score a number of stage wins and Ilnur Zakrarin will secure a top place in the overall ranking. Whilst Marcel Kittel has to retire exhausted after half the tour, Ilnur Zakrarin claims 9th place in Paris. The young team member from Cologne, Nils Politt, scores his first professional victory, winning the final stage of the Deutschand Tour and coming second in the overall ranking.
For the first time, the amateur team is made up of a group of international male and female cyclists. They come from Germany, the UK, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands. The season’s highlight is also a first in the team’s 12-year history: L’Etape du Tour in France, an original stage of the 2018 Tour de France.