German Olympian Adelheid Morath has joined the Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro Team, effective in 2013. The 28-year-old , who finished second at the German cross country mountain bike national championships, has known her new teammate and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Sabine Spitz for years, often sharing training camps.
"The team offers a professional environment with great partners," said Morath, who is transferring from the Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team. "I understand Sabine very well, and I think I can be of benefit to her. We've previously done some training camps together."
"Adelheid fits perfectly into our team concept, and I am convinced that we can be the world's best," said Spitz.
At the Houffalize World Cup, Morath showed her promise by finishing ninth, and she was 16th at the Olympic Games. At the Worlds in Saalfelden, she ended up in 12th.
"What I saw at the Olympic training camp impressed me because physically she is already within striking distance of me," said Spitz of her new teammate. "In terms of mental strength, there is still room to work." She noted especially the value of being able to stay calm before races.
The two German women seem to have hit it off. "I see myself a little in Adelaide, with her training zeal and consistency," said the 40-year-old Spitz. "She has the will needed to get to the top. I have experienced her as a very loyal person, which is good for teamwork."
Team manager Ralf Schäuble said it made sense to bring Morath on board the team. "It's a logical extension of our approach," he said.
Morath may be joining other teammates Katrin Stirnemann of Switzerland and Tereza Hurikova of the Czech Republic. Schäuble noted that negotiations are still underway to retain both of those riders on next year's Sabine Spitz Haibike Pro team.