With the end of the Canyon Topeak Factory Racing team for 2019, the team’s riders are all doing different things. Sally Bigham has retired, Alban Lakata has joined Team Bulls, and Kristian Hynek has just announced he has joined Vitalo – Future Cycling. The 2014 Absa Cape Epic winner will race the 2019 event alongside exciting young rider Petter Fagerhaug.
Hynek is a two time World Marathon Championship bronze medallist, has announced his intention to race the sixteenth Absa Cape Epic in the colours of his new team: Vitalo – Future Cycling. Alongside the 38 year old, when the new team rolls down the start ramp, will be the 20 year old Norwegian, overall U23 XCO World Cup series winner, Petter Fagerhaug.
Having been a member initially Topeak Ergon and then Canyon Topeak from 2012 to 2018 it will be take some time for mountain biking fans to get use to Hynek racing in his new team’s predominantly blue kit. “I spent 5 unforgettable years in the Canyon Topeak (Topeak Ergon) and after the team stopped with the end of 2018 season, I saw a chance for new beginning” the popular Czech explained. “In the end I have decided to go for sure the more difficult way and start my own project. It is one that I believe will last longer than my active professional career. One of the impulses for this decision was meeting Vitalo. Their interest gave me the motivation to build a new team and also help other young guys to improve and follow my way into the highest level of marathon racing” Hynek elaborated.
Future Cycling Bike & Coffee is Hynek’s bicycle shop in Prague, which was designed by his architect wife, Sarka. While main sponsors Vitalo is a premium Czech chocolaterie. The connection to cycling was an obvious one for Hynek: “The connection with chocolate makes sense to me – first cyclists love chocolate and second high-quality chocolate supports endurance, which has been scientifically proven by many researchers.” The team will not feature an all new sponsorship line-up however; some of Hynek’s long-time supporters have joined his new venture. “Another very important aspect for me is that thanks to our sponsors I will be able to race on the best material available and bikes that I am already used to. The team will be riding Canyon bikes, which includes both the well-proven and highly successful carbon hardtail, Exceed CF, as well as the latest version of the Lux CF” he confirmed.
“We are very glad that we can add mountain biking to our long-term supported activities” Gabriela Mikešová, the CEO of Vitalo Manufaktura said. “European champion and two times Worlds bronze medallist, Kristian Hynek, belongs among the best mountain biking marathon riders in the world, so him and his team was a clear choice when we were deciding which way to extend our support of the Czech sport. Supporting sport is our marketing strategy, we are already sponsoring FC Baník Ostrava and now we add cycling. I am sure that together we will accomplish big goals” she concluded.
Vitalo – Future Cycling’s line-up is completed by Czech riders Martin Stošek and Dominik Buksa, though only Hynek and Fagerhaug will compete in the 2019 Absa Cape Epic. Fagerhaug is a guest rider for the big race. With Hynek’s long-time stage race partner, Alban Lakata teaming up with fellow veteran Karl Platt, the obvious point of comparison for fans during the Absa Cape Epic will be Christoph Sauser. With Sauser partnering Simon Andreassen an interesting battle, within the larger general classification race, between the teams combining extreme youth and massive experience could well develop as the race unfolds.