German Pro-Continental squad Bora-Argon 18, to be known as Bora-Hansgrohe from 2017, have announced the signing of German duo Marcus Burghardt and U23 national champion Pascal Ackermann. Burghardt and Ackermann join world champion Peter Sagan, Juraj Sagan, Maciej Bodnar, Michael Kolar and Erik Baška in signing for the team from 2017.
The team will also operate under a WorldTour license from next season with Specialized to replace Argon 18 as bicycle sponsor.
The 33-year-old Burghardt joins after seven seasons with BMC Racing and marks his return to a German squad having turned professional with T-Mobile.
It is great to ride for a German team again. I am really looking forward to this new challenge at BORA - hansgrohe. For sure it is great to go into the Classics season together with Peter Sagan, but it will be also interesting for me to work with the young guys in the team," said Burghardt in a release from his new team.
The 2007 Gent-Wevelgem winner has been a key cog in BMC's grand tour squads, including Cadel Evans' Tour de France victory in 2011, and Burghardt explained he is looking forward to passing on his knowledge to the young and developing riders in the squad.
"For young riders this is a tough challenge, both physically and mentally. And I think with my experience I can help a lot, that the young riders in the team manage to take this step a little easier," Burghardt said.
Ackermann, 22, joins the team after four seasons with Continental outfit Rad-Net Rose Team with fourth place in the German national road race behind Andre Greipel, Max Walscheid, and Marcel Kittel a sign of his spiriting power and potential.
"[I] Can't wait to start this WorldTour challenge, and I hope I can adopt to this level quickly. Of course I will support the team as a domestique and lead-out man, but if there is a chance for me to go for a result, you wouldn't need to tell me twice I know at this level I will have to start from zero, but I'm keen to learn and to develop," Ackermann said.
For Ackermann, the opportunity to ride alongside Sagan on his first WorldTour team is an added bonus and one is very much looking forward to as he explained.
"BORA - hansgrohe has always been my first choice, but a few months ago I would never have expected to race on the same team as Peter Sagan. He is unique in cycling, his attitude, his style of riding, he is simply fun to watch on a bike. I am really delighted and thankful to join BORA – hansgrohe," he added.
For the full guide to 2016-17 rider transfers, click here