Now that our first season as BORA – ARGON 18 is in the books, we want to look back to the highlights. And there were quite many of them. No less than 29 podium results, including eight high-level victories, made 2015 a very successful season. Relive our greatest success here:
Statistics of the second half of the season, August - October:
Although the Tour de France was the absolute highlight for BORA – ARGON 18, the season still contained a packed three-month calendar.
First stage race on the agenda was the Tour of Denmark. Patrick Konrad landed a coup at the most difficult day, when he finished in 5th place. Thus, he placed in a promising position in the overall standings before the decisive time trial. In the time trial, Konrad proved his talent and he finished the HC tour in a very good 5th place - the best result of the season for the neopro. He kept the great form also at the following Tour de l'Ain in southern France, where he scored a place among the top ten riders again.
At this time, a total of 19 team members raced simultaneously. In addition to France, the team also competed at stage races in the Czech Republic and in Norway. At the Czech Cycling Tour BORA – ARGON 18 dominated the stages: second in the team time trial, third in the queen stage and two podiums in the sprints. Bottom line: Jan Barta finished his home tour in second place overall, just five seconds away from the victory after four days.
In Norway, Sam Bennett proved that he recovered very well from the challenges of his first Tour de France. The Irishman started with a podium finish on the first day and he took over the white jersey of the best young rider. Motivated by it, the team prepared perfectly the sprint for the leader the next day and Bennett completed this effort with his fourth victory of the season.
The next station for the sprinters was the only WorldTour race in Germany – the Hamburg Cyclassics. Bennett arrived in top form from Norway and thus he was completely motivated. But with 30 kilometers to go all hopes were dashed when Bennett and several teammates were involved in a crash.
In September BORA – ARGON 18 travelled to Canada, the home of co-title sponsor Argon 18. It was the first appearance in Canada for the team, and they were motivated to tackle the Tour of Alberta and the two WorldTour races in Quebec and Montreal.
In Alberta, the team laid the foundations for its success again in a team time trial. With the fourth-best time the squad missed the podium just barely on the first day. On the following days Sam Bennett sprinted twice in the Top 5. Paul Voss finished in a very good 8th place overall at challenging terrain and in some extreme weather conditions. Cesare Benedetti also left a mark by riding half of the race distance in lead groups and consequently, he was awarded with the most aggressive rider jersey at the end of the tour. Benedetti kept this fighting spirit also for the following two classics in Canada.
The second part of September was initially marked by a series of Italian classics. Jose Mendes capped a strong season with a 5th place in the Coppa Bernocchi. In the parallel running series of Northern classics, Shane Archbold showed again his speed by sprinting to 3rd place at the GP d'Isbergues. At the end of September six riders of BORA – ARGON 18 rode the World Championships. Jan Barta emphasized his great ITT skills by setting the fastest time of a ProContinental rider.
The seven races in October marked the end of the season for BORA – ARGON 18. Il Lombardia was the fifth monument of the year. And again it was Cesare Benedetti who rode in a lead group for most parts of the race. When he was caught by the favorites with 50 kilometers to go, he didn’t give up but continued to fight. The 28-year-old crossed the finish line in Como with an outstanding 14th place and so he scored the best monument result in the team's history.
At the premiere of the Abu Dhabi Tour, Patrick Konrad won a Top 10 overall for the fourth time this season and thus he can look back on a very successful first professional year. At the same time, the sprinters rode their last races of the season in France. And Sam Bennett ended the year on a high: after a perfect lead-out the Irishman won the classic Paris-Bourges taking his fifth victory of the season.
185,000 race kilometers, 174 days of racing, 40 of them in the World Tour, 29 podium successes including 8 wins, classification jerseys at more than a dozen races and countless attacks: It was a very successful 2015 season for BORA – ARGON 18!