19-year-old German earns an "internship" in Team KATUSHA ALPECIN and starts for the Swiss WorldTour team in Tour of Germany 2019
KATUSHA and the German RennRad magazine were looking for a rider for the first time this summer in a unique casting, one who officially became part of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN. The jury, consisting of managers, coaches and team riders of the World Tour team, has now chosen the Super Stagiaire: 19-year-old Juri Hollmann. Hollmann will be a stagiaire in the WorldTour Team and take to the startline with rising star Nils Politt in the Tour of Germany 2019.
"When Erik Zabel told me the exciting news in a telephone call, I was really happy. I immediately began to think what it would feel like to race with KATUSHA ALPECIN in big races and compete with the other pros,“ said Juri Hollmann of his first reaction.
"Our jury decided on a majority vote for Juri Hollmann. The decisive criteria for the selection of Juri is his age combined with his talent. His recent achievements in junior and U23, as well as his excellent racing intelligence and attitude toward the sport make him one of the greatest talents in German cycling," said performance manager Erik Zabel.
General Manager José Azevedo added: "Now Juri has the opportunity to compete in top-level races. We do not expect any victories from him, but we hope that he is on a good level and shows abilities that make us feel positive. He can now prove his potential. There is still a long way to go and he is only at the beginning of his development. We hope for a rider with a special attitude who brings a professional and ambitious approach."
Casting for stagiaire place by KATUSHA and RennRad magazine
Nearly 200 applicants entered at the RennRad magazine - many of them promising young riders with very different strengths, all of which had one goal: to become a super stagiaire.
Juri Hollmann: "I was surprised by this contest. I had never seen a stagiaire casting publicly advertised before. With this casting, I saw a great opportunity for me and immediately made my application."
At the end of the first phase, six riders (Juri Hollmann, Aaron Grosser, Patrick Haller, Miguel Heidemann, Joshua Huppertz and Richard Banusch) were selected. In phase two, the different candidates were closely monitored by KATUSHA ALPECIN's coaching team through training data and race analysis. In the end, the jury of experts decided on Juri Hollmann from the continental team Heizomat-Rad-Net.de.
Fighter, time triallist and taste for the classics
Hollmann has already proven his talent in his junior years. In 2017 he scored a 4th place at the Junior World Championships in the individual time trial. And even in his first season for the team Heizomat-Rad-Net.de on a continental level and just out of the juniors, he was able to indicate his potential. Despite the double burden of both school and cycling, the native Berliner successfully completed his general university entrance certificate, plus he made the leap onto the U23 national team.
Erik Zabel on the U23 national rider: "Juri brings us all the prerequisites to make the jump into professional cycling. Both his good school education and current activity as a sports soldier in the German army, in which he has learned to work within hierarchies, and his comprehensive sports cycling education in the disciplines of road, cyclocross and track speak for themselves. He has produced great results at major international events, with these results distributed over the respective age categories. In addition, we were able to get a picture of the human being Juri Hollmann and his character traits. This further reinforced our decision."
Hollmann describes himself as a versatile rider with a taste for the classics: "My strength is definitely the time trial plus the Classics suit me well. I think I'm a very combative rider who always tries to give everything. In addition, I would call myself an absolute team player."
Starts at the Arctic Race of Norway and Tour of Germany in August
Hollmann's first race will be for KATUSHA ALPECIN on 15 August north of the Arctic Circle in the four-day stage race Arctic Race of Norway. Then the Tour of Germany with the start in Hannover is a highlight for the allrounder on the program.
"I am very enthusiastic about the racing program I am offered. I am already looking forward to every single race day and am super motivated. I hope I can help the team in the best possible way and also fulfill the other tasks that are being put to me. And of course I would like to present myself and show what my strengths are, " said Hollmann.
José Azevedo: "In principle, stagiaires are not allowed to participate in WorldTour races under UCI rules. The selection of the races for Juri in August we have decided on his riding skills. Especially in the tough Tour of Germany, he will meet world-class competition."
Erik Zabel: "I would like to see that Juri is free and unconcerned at the start and with his racing intelligence, he will provide fresh wind to our team. Of course, he will have to do some teamwork now and then, but I would be especially happy if he confidently sets the tone in the races, regardless of the placements."
Photos: Fellusch/Felix Homann
Alexis Schoeb President KATUSHA Sports & Team KATUSHA ALPECIN
José Azevedo General Manager Team KATUSHA ALPECIN
Erik Zabel Performance Manager
Kevin Poulton Head coach
Nils Politt Pro cyclist
Rick Zabel Pro cyclist
KATUSHA is one of Switzerland’s leading technical cycling apparel line. Based in Geneva, KATUSHA Sports SA was founded in 2015. Hand in hand with the pro cyclists of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, KATUSHA strive to design and deliver the next generation of apparel and accessories, making everyday riding possible every day. The accumulated knowledge of the pros is shared everyday with the designers and engineers, turning every finding, every fine-tuned detail into a product innovation cyclists can all benefit from. https://katusha-sports.com
About RennRad Magazine
Tests, training, nutrition, cycling marathons, traveling, reports - this is what the RennRad stands for. Closer to the action, insider tips and backgrounds, adventures and lab tests: It’s a magazine of racing cyclists for road cyclists. At the kiosk, on the web, via app or in the social media - always real, always useful, always faster. The publishing house BVA BikeMedia publishes also "Radsport", the official organ of the German Cycling Federation (BDR). www.radsport-rennrad.de