The Axeon Cycling Team today unveiled the kit and bikes that riders will sport during the 2015 season. The U23 development program run by Axel Merckx underwent a re-branding in the offseason after six years of riding under the Trek, Bontrager and Bissell title sponsorships.
The 2015 kits retain key elements of past team designs, including a healthy amount of black and the crossed axes that have been prominent over the past several years. Alternating green and black vertical stripes on the jersey are a reference to cycling's past.
"I always loved the old Renault kit in the '80s and wanted this year’s kit to be a nod to it," Merckx said. "We worked hard on the design to really make it a reference to the past, but put our own spin on it."
After six years on Trek bikes, the team will switch to Cipollini machines this season, while SRAM will continue to supply the components. Riders will compete on the 2015 Cipollini RB800 built with SRAM Force 22.
“Things are changing, but the mission is staying the same very much,” Merckx told Cyclingnews at the end of last season. “So what I'm trying to create is a brand that is sustainable over the years.”
Merckx's program was originally founded with the goal of developing the best young talent into pro riders. Since the program began in 2009, the team has sent multiple riders to the WorldTour ranks, including Taylor Phinney (BMC), Lawson Craddock (Giant-Alpecin), Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin), Ian Boswell (Team Sky), Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Ben King (Cannondale-Garmin), Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing), Ruben Zepuntke (Cannondale-Garmin) and Clement Chevrier (IAM Cycling), among others.
The UCI Continental team will continue to be registered in the US, and the roster will be structured similarly to previous years, with 10 Continental riders and two "club" riders fresh out of the junior ranks.
Returning riders include Geoffrey Curran (USA), Greg Daniel (USA), Daniel Eaton (USA), Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr), James Oram (NZl), Logan Owen (USA), Chris Putt (USA) and Keegan Swirbul (USA). New riders include Ruben Guerrero (Por) and Justin Oien (USA), as well as club riders Will Barta (USA) and Phil O’Donnell (USA).
Merckx and his team are currently training in Tucson, Arizona.
To view the Axeon Cycling Team new kit for 2015 please click here.