Red Bull and BORA-hansgrohe strengthen lofty aspirations by targeting Van Aert and Evenepoel Cycling

Red Bull and BORA-hansgrohe strengthen lofty aspirations by targeting Van Aert and Evenepoel

Red Bull and BORA-hansgrohe strengthen lofty aspirations by targeting Van Aert and Evenepoel

Red Bull's involvement with BORA-hansgrohe was one of the hot topics during the team's press day in Mallorca last Wednesday. Officials Ralph Denk and Rolf Aldag had to bite their tongues to not reveal too much, but now more information is coming out. The team plans to present its new plans before the Tour and is also targeting some big names.

Denk, who has been the figurehead of the slowly but steadily grown formation for years, is set to transfer 51 percent of the shares to Red Bull if all goes through. Objections can still be submitted to the Austrian antitrust authorities until January 26, but the general expectation within the German formation is that this will be nothing more than a formality.

The Austrian producer of energy drinks and sports tales has been active in cycling for some time, including as a personal sponsor of Wout van Aert, Anton Palzer, and Tom Pidcock, while also contributing to the BORA-hansgrohe training program. "And I have very good memories and experiences with that," said the team boss.

"It could be a really smart strategic move," Denk acknowledged from California, where he was on a 'business trip', speaking to the press in Mallorca via a video link. "This approach allows us to continue our growth. The sport has evolved significantly in recent years, especially with the rising budgets. We have to adapt to these changes, and my goal is to manage a team that's truly competitive. This could be our next big step, and that's what we're aiming for, though we're waiting fort the final confirmation."

"I've been familiar with Red Bull for several years, through impressive projects and a solid partnership. Generally, they have the capability to be a game-changer," Denk added, expressing his desire to stay actively involved in BORA-hansgrohe's new strategic partnership. Sporting Director Aldag shares this sentiment. "I have never seen anything become worse when Red Bull steps in," said the former rider, who - given the fact that he couldn't say much - was helped out by the newly acquired Primoz Roglic sitting next to him. "Red Bull gives you wings, huh," laughed the Slovenian, showing his teeth.

Red Bull and BORA-hansgrohe strengthen lofty aspirations by targeting Van Aert and Evenepoel

All joking aside, things seem to be serious. The fact that Denk was in California at the time the team presented its plans for 2024 is, of course, no coincidence. Bike sponsor Specialized has its headquarters there, and it just happens to be an important partner for the coming years. "We have already achieved our first victory for 2024, by extending Specialized," Roglic jokingly indicated, but with double entendre, on the Balearic Island.

"BORA-hansgrohe casts lines towards Van Aert and Evenepoel"

The big coup could, of course, be achieved with the help of Red Bull, although there was still some secrecy around this, keeping the Austrian authorities in mind. The renowned German news agency DPA now reports that the team might start this year's Tour de France, where BORA-hansgrohe is heading with Primoz Roglic with the clear goal of winning, possibly to unveil the new brand name and uniforms. This makes sense, knowing that the Tour still stands far above the rest in terms of attention, even in Germany.

And that's not all, as Denk more or less confirmed with his claim that he 'must respond to the higher budgets.' Currently, he has 29 riders under contract, but for 2025, this number is ten. Among them, Jai Hindley, Aleksandr Vlasov, Jordi Meeus, Lennard Kämna, Maximilian Schachmann, Emanuel Buchmann, and Sergio Higuita are ending their contracts, with several of these riders also at a crossroads in their careers.

BORA-hansgrohe and Red Bull are also actively engaged in external recruitment for their rider roster: Denk and Aldag couldn't come forward with names and numbers, but according to DPA, lines have already been cast to Van Aert, who has Red Bull as a personal sponsor, and Remco Evenepoel, who already represents Soudal Quick-Step Specialized and is one of the key riders in the bike manufacturer's stable. It's all very preliminary, of course, but the message from Germany and Austria is clear: Red Bull is here to fly.

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments

More Cycling News