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Felice Gimondi and his new TX Active Bianchi signee Alex Gehbauer
22-year-old Austrian mountain biker on a two-year contract
Austrian Alexander Gehbauer, 22, will join the TX Active-Bianchi team beginning in 2013 after signing a two-year agreement with the team's President, Felice Gimondi.
"This team's management knows how to bring young riders to the top, they already did it in the past with [Julien] Absalon and [Jose] Hermida," said Gehbauer. "For 20 years, TX Active Bianchi is one of the leading teams in the cross country. There's a very friendly mood in the team, while working in a very ambitious and professional way: this helps the riders to develop all their potential."
Gehbauer said his friendship with rival and soon-to-be teammate Gerhard Kerschbaumer also played a role in his decision.
"Gehbauer's signing is in line with our goal to launch young talents and aim definitely at 2016 Olympics in Rio," said Gimondi. "I have got a good feeling by him: he's a clever and eager guy, I also appreciated he already started to learn Italian... We'll line up Gehbauer, Kerschbaumer and a further élite rider in the 2013 World Cup, with [Tony] Longo and [Leonardo Hector] Paez mostly focused on marathon races."
2012 was a successful year for the Austrian rider, who captured 10 victories (including two World Cup rounds in Pietermaritzburg and La Bresse) and took ninth at London Olympic Games, where Gehbauer was the best under 23 ahead of Kerschbaumer. Gehbauer placed fourth at world championships in Saalfelden after a puncture during the race.
The Austrian rider was born in Bensheim (Hesse, Germany) and is ready to make his contribution to the team in 2013. "Alexander looks forward to starting this new experience," said Alexander Gehbauer's father Andreas Gehbauer.
Wearing TX Active-Bianchi's jersey, Gehbauer will have at his disposal the full Methanol 26" and 29" range of bikes, with the SL2, 29SL and 29FS.