Written by Olpe 04ers at 14:57 20/5-2023|
When Luke Bauer opened the press conference this morning in Portugal, you could see a little bit frustration in his eye. The reason, an excellent performance from Eggens and an off day for Schwabs cost the last one the third place in the SC. That is probably not the most painful defeat, but it was still annoying for the ambitious coach.
However, these ambitions are probably necessary and the reason, why the comeback of the Olpe 04ers is so successful and indeed Luke could soon smile again. He said: "Maybe it is just noraml that after 13 tour stages in a very short time Schwabs was a bit a tired. And i mean, he won in Italy, so he reached his big goal for this campaign and so we are really happy and proud. Therefore it isnt a big thing, that not everthing was perfect."
Luke meant with this statement, especially the second stage in Portugal, where a crash costs Schwabs the not really existent hopes for the SC, before the tour really began.
Schwabs itselfs focus on the press conferenc,e his performance in Montelbano. He said: "I am really happy that I finally could win the pink jersey. I knew this tour really fits my stengths, but during my first two participations, I wasnt fast enough. Especially the last year edition was really frustrating, because the starter field was really poor and I couldnt win. So I decided to start this year in topform, what creates even more pressure. On the first stage, I felt me quite strong and I had super legs, but unfortunatetly everyone knew our favorite role. My teammates pushed really hard to make the race difficult, but the other teams didnt help us much and with the strong wind, I couldnt attack too early. When I finally launched my attack, it was not a surprise and the other leaders stayed next to me. So I could only win a few seconds on the final hill, therefore the gap wasnt as big as hoped.
In the time trial I had the advantage to know the performances by the other riders. When I heard that Desain had some problems, I knew: I dont have to risk everthing. I thought by myself, stay calm and damn you will win it. Thankfully it works. On the evening I probably drunk a bit too much, which wasnt the best preparation for the last stage, but even Luke wasnt really angry about it and normally he has high claims."
Tomorrow the the team will come back to Switzerland and celebrate its one year comeback. When Luke decided one year ago to reactivate the team, it wasnt much stronger than a complete new team. Of course some equipement existed still, but the team value was even lower and the expensive wheels didnt help the team, because of a different focus. Maybe the team had an advantage from 100k against a complete new team, definetely not more and it is really amazing to see what was possible during one year.
Of course the theam had luck with Schwabs, who was several years in the talent pool and became a great rider. However, he has still some limitations and his strengths are a bit odd.
Apart from Schwabs the team didnt found a talent during almost the whole year, but to begin the comeback a Sessouma was good enough to reach some results including a third place in the cup of the four rivers. For one and half season the team wasnt really known and competive. Then Luke decided together with Frank from Holwerda Cycling to invest in an TT center and to miss the Giro Scilia and to wait some more days before activating the TF of Schwabs. The start in Baltimore created mixed feelings by Luke, but it follows an unforgetable performance in Denmark including three jerseys.
Luke remembers himself: "The performance in Denmark was unreal, but I had still some doubts, what for Schwabs is possible in a higher divison. For me was therefore probably Schwabs win in Malmö-Skaane the most important one, because he has shown me that Schwabs can be a captain even in a higher division."
It was the last season for Schwabs to win a YC and with Montelbano and the Kangaroo tour he had two possibilities, but in both editions the concurrency was too strong. In Australia he uses even his TF, but wasnt able to win, but the TF wasnt useless, because he finally won th Helsinki GP Mini.
It followed the heartbreaking season 64, with four second places for Schwabs in tours and classics including the Perm SC, where he lost only by one small point and only had one win in a semi-classic. However, even such a season couldnt stop Schwabs, what he has now proven in Montelbano.
So the Olpe 04ers are probably a good example, how a new team can be developed. Finding one captain and than build a team with old riders from the hire list around him, but finally it is time to go on and so Luke says during he smiles: "I got one week ago a phone call from virenque and he said, I found with Camillo a nice talent which could really help you and so finally we hopefully found our pure sprint captain. And before I forget it, I was sitting here in Porto just in a cycling club, discussing with some guy the Volta results and suddenly comes Olave Leite into the club and said that he lost his job and I speak with him about our ambitions for hillsprints and that we need a guy like him and so I can present you Leite as our newest rider. Thankfully we was in Porto for the right time."
Indeed are the next big races for the Olpe 04ers with Lappi Sea GP, Grasse-Toulon and Valparaiso SC all hillsprint races, so it will be interesting to see what is possible, but first it is time to backfight Eggens in Deltawerken.
Here a list from the best results from Olpe 04ers during the last year:
1. Giro di Montelbano GC - S65
1. Helsinki GP Mini - S63
1. Fast on Wheels GC - S62
1. Fast on Wheels SC - S62
1. Fast on Wheels YC - S62
2. Giro di Montelbano GC - S64
2. Grasse - Toulon - S64
2. Lappi Sea GP (break away) - S63
2. Rotterdam Classic - S64
2. Norway Tour SC - S62
2. Perm Tour SC - S64
3. Cup of the Four Rivers - S61
3. Giro di Montelbano YC - S62
1. Swiss Rider ranking - S63
1. Shiraz Tour of the Roses - S64
Open goals for Schwabs (he defintely will not reach all goals):
- Winning all three semi classics for flat roaders
- Winning the flat race ranking one season
- Become second in the overall Swiss ranking
- Winning at least to more different SC (divison 3 or higher)
- Winning a new classic in divison 2
- Win 5 more trophies or jerseys
Definitely one of the best managed riders of the past seasons. Congrats. Shame he was a bit exhausted in Volta ao Porto.
I am following closely what you are aimaing at with Scwabs, and what you have already managed to do with him. Congrats ! I tried to do the hat trick at FoW with Clotaire Jeanson like you did with Scwabs, but only won 2 jerseys ...
Good luck wth him in the next seasons !
Schwabs is really something special!
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