Milka Superior Mountain Bike Racing Team presented its 2012 team last week. Former road world champion and Eurosport host Danny Nelissen launched the team, which is owned and run by mountain biking's first Olympic champion Bart Brentjens, to press and sponsors.
Chocolate company Milka and Superior Bicycles teamed up for this season as co-title sponsors. "I am extremely proud to be able to present this team and to be the manager of this team. This will be the third year that my team is riding for Milka, and I am really thankful for this cooperation," said Brentjens. "This season we have a new frame sponsor, Superior Bicycles. We are their first factory team, and I am sure we will get some good results together."
The team will race in a flashy, lilac-colored kit. The team chose to present itself in Limburg in the Netherlands for a reason. "The road world championships are in Limburg this year. Our main goal is to bring two of our riders to the start of the Olympic race in London, 2012."
Brentjens manages the team, which includes the following riders: Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Marek Konwa (Pol), Tim Wynants (Bel), Jeroen Boelen (Ned), Hans Becking (Ned), Anneke Beerten (Ned) and Brentjens himself.
The Milka Superior squad is an officially registered UCI Mountain Bike Trade team. Its riders will compete in the cross country and eliminator World Cups, four cross Pro Tour races, the Cape Epic, national championships and various international and national races.
Brentjens is also supporting an additional racer, Annie Last of Great Britain, under the Milka Brentjens MTB Racing team name. Last will also race this year in the lilac Milka colour, but she has her own sponsor deal with Boardman frames. Because of this personal deal, a second UCI Trade Team was setup by Brentjens. Last was second at the European and world championships last year in the U23 women's division and is on track to race at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in August.
Competing in the Cape Epic
Team owner and manager Brentjens will take the start line a few times this season, including at the Cape Epic, where he will compete in the Master's division for the first time with Jan Weevers. Brentjens and Weevers were teammates from 2001 until 2002 with the Giant Global Team.
"For me it will be my first time riding in the masters category after six editions with the elite men in the Cape Epic," said Brentjens, who won the Cape Epic in the elite division in 2005. "It is great to team up with Jan, I know him already for a long, long time and we have been racing against each other in the Dutch competitions a lot. Jan is a strong rider, and I hope we can reach our goal: to win a stage and end up in the top three."
Weevers said, "For me it is back to full competition, with Bart who always finishes the highest. In the past, I loved to do the Tour VTT, and I heard this will even harder and more spectacular. The African continent is new for me, and I never raced there before. Bart has, so I can rely on a lot of his experience."
The Milka Superior Team will also start a second team at the Cape Epic. Jeroen Boelen will team up with Chris Jongewaard in the elite category.
The Cape Epic will run from March 25 to April 1.