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 spring:
The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix traditionally determine early April. Shane Archbold sprinted to a third stage place at the prep race in De Panne, thus he underlined his strong form in the first year as a pro. In Flanders it was Ralf Matzka, who represented the team colors in the group of the day. With a great team performance BORA – ARGON 18 showed a major development in these big classics. The Scheldeprijs shortly after the Tour of Flanders was intended to be a milestone for the sprinters. But unfortunately Sam Bennett crashed in the finale, being in a very promising position for his next success.
After he already rode in the breakaway group in Flanders the week before, Ralf Matzka also belonged to the lead group at Paris-Roubaix. Andreas Schillinger showed a strong race and finished the day ranked 16th – by far the best result in the team's history in the "Hell of the North". Away from all results, Shane Archbold showed a widely acclaimed performance. The New Zealander crashed in the famous forest of Arenberg. Rather than abandon the race he rode for 95 kilometers behind the field to the finish line at the velodrome of Roubaix. Although finishing outside the time limit, Shane won a lot of sympathy with his fighting spirit.
The April was completed with the Giro del Trentino and the Ardennes Monument Liège-Bastogne-Liège. And BORA – ARGON 18 used the kick-off in northern Italy for a sensation. With a fraction of a second, the team won the team time trial against big names like Sky and Astana. With this success, Cesare Benedetti took over the leader's jersey in his home race. After the demanding mountain stages, Jose Mendes finished the tour in a superb 6th place overall and Benedetti was able to take home the point jersey. Motivated by it, he started the fourth monument of season and determined the race in the Ardennes as part of the escape group.
The good performances continued at the first stage race in May, the Four Days of Dunkirk. Björn Thurau reached the finish of the first stage in 5th place, Phil Bauhaus sprinted to 4th on the second day and Michael Schwarzmann to 6th on the last day. Bauhaus also convinced with a fourth stage rank at the following Tour de Picardi.
The Bayern Rundfahrt was one of the season highlights for BORA – ARGON 18. In the home of both the team and the main sponsor BORA, the squad aimed for successes. And it didn’t take too long: Sam Bennett won the first stage and was also awarded with the yellow jersey. The team’s sprint leader repeated the same on the third day. Jan Barta set the third best time in the decisive individual time trial, thus securing the third place in the GC before Bennett sprinted once again to the podium on the final day.
The Velothon Berlin, the first German one-day race of the season, was on the program end of the month. Like last year, Sam Bennett had to be satisfied with the second place in the bunch sprint.