The new Stradalli - Bike Aid racing season officially begins
January 18, 2016 is the beginning of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, a UCI 2.1 race for some of the top teams in the world. It is also the most prestigious race in Africa.
This marks the 10th straight year La Tropicale Amissa Bongo has been held in Gabon, Africa. Gabon sits on the West Coast of Africa next to Republic of the Congo and south of Cameroon.
Team Europcar and Bretagne-Seche Environment are just two of the Professional Continental teams to frequent the race in the past. Stradalli-Bike Aid will also be competing against teams representing countries from each region of Africa as well as Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team.
This is one of the few races on the UCI schedule where amateur African cycling teams have the opportunity race with professional teams. The focus is on developing African cycling, which which is one of the reasons why it is such an important race for Stradalli-Bike Aid.
Timo Schafer, team leader for Stradalli-Bike Aid, said La Tropicale Amissa Bongo is the perfect place to begin the UCI season.
“This was a great offseason with the training and signing of our new sponsors. Stradalli Cycle gave us new full carbon road bikes as well as a chance to meet and connect with new sponsors and supporters of the cause. We picked up some incredible sponsors in the form of Stradalli Cycle and Bolle. It is nice knowing we have strong legs and strong sponsors to build the momentum before the season even begins. Now we get to go to Gabon, Africa to show how serious we are about our mission to develop African cycling.” Schafer said.
Mekseb Debesay, Eritrean professional cyclist, is the most recent success of the Stradalli-Bike Aid Continental Cycling Team. Dimension Data, UCI World Tour Professional Team, bought Debesay from Stradalli-Bike Aid because of his performances over the course of 2015. Debesay is just one success story of the Stradalli-Bike Aid team and Dimension Data are not the only major players who have noticed.
Matthias Schnapka, professional rider for Stradalli-Bike Aid feels that the new sponsors will have a huge impact for the 2016 season.
“I have been training on the Stradalli Aversa full carbon road bikes for a couple months now. It is great to know I have a quality bike to carry me through the race season. Every professional cyclist will tell you having quality equipment and preparation are the most important things when it comes to racing. I know I speak for the whole team when I say the support from FSA - Full Speed Ahead has been incredible. I can say the same for Prologo Seats . Having large companies like those go out of their way to support you is something special.” Schnapka said.