Great shot of Nathan Van Hooydonck winning a stage at the #ardenneschallenge this weekend. Thanks to his sister for the photo! #PROVEIT
James Oram capped off an extremely successful Redlands Classic by taking home 2nd Place overall. Fellow Bissell Development Team Rider Nicolai Brochner capped of a strong showing by taking home the green points jersey. #PROVEITmore
There is nothing quite like a group of riders head to toe in matching team kit. It evokes images of professionalism, uniformity, and everything else young riders aspire toward. And while the kit itself has never been something I have aimed for, putting on my first ever team attire, with a commercial sponsor on my chest to represent, definitely affirmed all the hard work I have put in so far. In California this week I rode with my 2014 Bissell DT team-mates for the first time. I loved absolutely every second of it. From long rides, to racing up climbs, to a coffee stop in ‘Badass Coffee’, the camp was amazing and left me feeling very privileged to have such incredible support and sponsors. We are looked after brilliantly well but also educated on and by the respective brands and their individual histories, something I am very thankful for, as it is now my job to represent these guys in and out of the saddle. This was my first time in the United States and although I will remember a great deal, without a doubt my enduring memory will be the camaraderie and fun within the team. We...more
Axel Merckx's team full of younger riders for 2014
As the oldest returning riders on Axel Merckx's newly reformulated Bissell Development Team, Ryan Eastman and US under 23 national road champion Tanner Putt are the squad's seasoned veterans this season - at just 21 years old.
Although both California residents will turn 22 before year's end and are joined in the ranks of team elder statesmen by newcomer Clement Chevrier, they'll be heading up a young squad that this year includes five 19-year-old riders, all of whom are currently just 18. It's a big change from the previous year, when Merckx's Bontrager team had six 22-year-olds and only two riders in their first year out of the junior age group.more
Merckx leading next generation of stars
New sponsorship and team kits may be the most notable changes for Axel Merckx's Bissell Development Team this year, but the squad is also bringing in nine new riders to the 14-man Continental team roster that will compete in North America and Europe during the upcoming season.
After directing the team since 2009, Merckx took over ownership in the off-season, and along with the new sponsor, he brought former Bissell Pro Cycling manager Glen Mitchell and director Omer Kem on board. Of the nine new riders lining up with the team this year, five are in their first year out of the junior ranks.
"I think we have probably the most talented group that has moved up from the junior ranks," Merckx told Cyclingnews during team camp last week in Santa Rosa.more
New Zealander aiming high in 2014
As the Bissell Development Team made its way back to Santa Rosa recently following a difficult day of training in the hills of Sonoma County, California, James Oram drifted back to the follow car to grab some bottles and bananas for his teammates.
The 20-year-old Kiwi, who will turn 21 in June, distributed the food, and then, as if to emphasize his new role as one of the team's senior riders, he peeled a banana for 18-year-old newcomer Nathan Van Hooydonck and hand fed the top Belgian prospect as the pair shared a laugh.
After two years of riding with Axel Merckx's U23 program and seeing six of his teammates graduate to the WorldTour, Oram is ready to assume his spot at the head of the class, and he hopes to follow that same path to cycling's top division....more
KELOWNA, British Columbia- BISSELL Homecare Inc., a company that has been a key player in the sport of cycling for many years, has signed on as the 2014 title sponsor of the new Axel Merckx U23 development team.
Merckx, the team's director and owner, said the team ‑‑ formerly known as the Bontrager Pro Cycling Team -- will continue as the top U.S. development squad.
Merckx praised chairman and CEO, Mark Bissell, saying, "his passion for the sport will be instrumental in allowing the team to continue its mission: preparing talented young riders for the WorldTour and Pro Continental pelotons."
"This is a fantastic opportunity to continue building on all the success we have had over the years," said Merckx. "I'm extremely excited about next year, and I'm looking forward to helping to develop the next generation of pro cyclists."
The original iteration of the development team was created in 2009 under the name Trek-Livestrong with the vision and mission to develop the next generation of elite cyclists together with strong partners like Trek, SRAM, Honey...more