Bora-Hansgrohe have confirmed contract extensions for a trio of riders - Patrick Konrad, Ide Schelling and Matteo Fabbro, with all three riders set to race with the German WorldTeam for the next two years.
Only a week ago the team added Sergio Higuita from EF Education-Nippo and Jai Hindley from Team DSM. The 23-year-old Higuita finished third on stage 14 and 25th overall at this year’s Tour de France, while Hindley, 25 years old, was second on GC at the 2020 Giro d’Italia.
As a newly-minted stage winner at the Tour de France, Konrad has been with the German team for seven years, when he began his professional career as an under-23 rider when Bora was a Continental squad. He has since raced all three Grand Tours, taking second place on a hilly stage 14 and following two days later with a solo victory on stage 16 in the Pyrenees.
"Bora-Hansgrohe has essentially become my home. I feel comfortable here and racing with the guys is very enjoyable. I have been with the team since 2014, back then as a stagiaire, and since then I have continuously developed as a rider,” Konrad said in a team statement.
“Winning a stage of the Tour de France gave me a lot of confidence and I'm eager to achieve more. I want to continue to ride offensively, support the team and win races in the future."
Konrad, who was in a number of breakaways before his aggression resulted in his first Tour stage win, said that it was more special to have won it in his Austrian national champion’s jersey, having won that road race six days before the Tour began.
“This is my first win in the WorldTour and it’s in the biggest race in the world. I’m really speechless. To win a stage in the champion’s jersey makes me really proud,” he said afterwards.
Schelling is seen as a rising prospect for the team, having turned pro last year and turning heads in his first Tour de France by riding in the king of the mountains jersey for five days this year. He has had three top 10 performances in one-day races including the win at GP des Kantons Aargau in Switzerland. The 23-year-old finished fifth on GC at Baloise Belgium Tour and completed his first Tour, riding to support stage winners Nils Politt and Konrad.
"I’ve found my place at Bora-Hansgrohe and that’s why I am very happy to be able to extend my contract for two years. The curve of my development over the past two years has been quite steep, which is the result of hard work, a professional environment, but above all individual cooperation. We've already achieved a lot together, including my first win and first Tour de France participation, but we still have a lot to do together," Schelling said.
Fabbro began his pro career at Katusha-Alpecin in 2018 and joined Bora-Hansgrohe last season. The Italian climber was fifth overall at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and has ridden the Giro both years for Bora.
“Ralph Denk [team manager] and the entire team had a lot of confidence in me, which gave me the strength and motivation to work hard towards our goals. I think my development speaks for itself and is the result of a highly successful collaboration, which is why I really wanted to continue here," Fabbro said.
Konrad and Higuita are currently at the Tokyo Olympic Games competing for their national teams. Konrad finished 18th overall in the road race and 31st in the time trial for Austria, while Higuita finished 81st in the road race representing Colombia.
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