Hanka Kupfernagel and her partner Mike Kluge are changing their team name to Itera Stevens to reflect their new bike supplier, and will concentrate on women's mountain biking and 'cross.
Kupfernagel, the 2007 time trial World Champion, decided not to extend her contract with Focus Bikes, but is now with Stevens Bikes, a German manufacturer according to the German Cycling Federation. The new team will concentrate not only on cross and mountain biking, but also on time trial riding. It will combine young upcoming racers and experienced racers, who will "help make women's cycling more attractive and help it to a stronger media presence," according to the Stevens website.
Stevens sees the sponsorship as a logical step. "We look forward to working with the two exceptional athletes," said Stevens production manager Volker Dohrmann. "Simply the number of world titles that Hanka and Mike have won shows a concentration of talent and spirit. Plus, Hanka and Mike have been a good symbol of German cycling for years and so are perfect advertising partners for us."
For the 'cross season, the company will provide its Carbon Team machine with Shimano Dura Ace components and Scorpo Carbon Wheels. For road racing, the team will ride Stevens SLC Team bikes and for mountain bike races, the Stevens SMC 1.