Bora-Hansgrohe have confirmed the signing of talented young German stage race rider Lennard Kämna from Team Sunweb as they further strengthen their German-oriented roster and become less reliant on the success of Peter Sagan.
The 22-year-old Kämna is a former junior time trial world champion and was second in the under-23 road race World Championships in 2017 in Bergen. He joined Team Sunweb for the 2017 season and rode much of the Vuelta a España before focusing on the Worlds.
Kämna is considered one of Germany’s best young stage racers but took time away from the sport in 2018 to reflect on his future and cycling career. He stopped racing after Milan-San Remo but returned last summer at the Tour of Denmark.
He has raced a full calendar so far in 2019 and made an impressive Tour de France debut, finishing fourth on stage 18 to Valloire after being in the break of the day with eventual winner Nairo Quintana.
Kämna has signed a two-year contract with Bora-Hansgrohe.
"I think it was time for me to take the next step. I'm very happy with my decision to move to Bora-Hansgrohe," Kämna said.
"The team has an extremely professional environment and will no doubt offer me optimal opportunities to further develop. When one considers how Bora-Hansgrohe has advanced to the highest level with young riders, one can only come to the conclusion that the team is doing a lot right.
"My years with Team Sunweb were incredibly valuable, and I'm grateful to them for bringing me to the WorldTour."
Bora-Hansgrohe have won 42 races so far in 2019, with sprinters Pascal Ackermann and Sam Bennett stepping up. Emanuel Buchmann finished fourth overall in the Tour de France, where Sagan was also back to his best, winning a stage and taking a seventh green points jersey.
Bennett seems set to move to Deceuninck-QuickStep to secure a Grand Tour sprinting spot, while Italian national champion Davide Formolo will move to UAE Team Emirates. Kämna will form part of a quartet of stage race and Grand Tour riders, alongside Buchmann, Rafal Majka, and Austrian Patrick Konrad, who was third at the Tour de Suisse.
"Lennard is undeniably a great talent and was certainly on the wish list of a number of teams," Bora-Hansgrohe team manager Ralph Denk said.
"It was particularly impressive to see how he performed in the last week of the Tour. He was always active, always at the forefront, every day. From that, you can deduce that he can navigate challenges and has a big motor. As a strong time triallist, he's also very versatile.
"We will see where his journey takes him during the next few years. However, we will develop him just as carefully as we have done with Emanuel and Pascal [Ackermann]. He will have his chances but we will also proceed at a sustainable pace."