Circus-Wanty Gobert can count on the experience of several riders of Team CCC to step up to the World Tour in 2021. The Czech rider Jan Hirt and Germans Jonas Koch and Georg Zimmermann will continue their careers in the Belgian team, which associated with their current Team CCC. With Hirt and Zimmermann in the spotlights in the actual Tour of Spain, their teammate is already enjoying a break.
Jonas Koch feels good in one day races, but the 27 year old already achieved good results in the general classifications of the Tour des Fjords (4th, 2016) and the Tour of Norway (8th, 2018). He was close to a sprint victory in the Tour of Austria last year, when he finished four times in the top 4. The winner of the climber's jersey at the Tour de la Provence finished the Tour of Spain in 2019 and reached the finish of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysées in September. The tall German rider joins Circus-Wanty Gobert for season 2021.
Climber Jan Hirt has won the Tour of Austria in 2016. The 29 year old Czech has six Grand Tours to his credit and becomes an important element for the stage races. He particularly shone in the Tour of Italy, by finishing 12th in the general classification in 2017 and by taking 2nd in the Mortirolo stage last year. But the resident of Andorra also excelled at the Tour of Switzerland (5th in 2019). Jan Hirt signed a contract for two years.
A crash affected the start of the Vuelta for Jan Hirt, but for Georg Zimmermann all goes well. The Grand Tour debutant showed himself twice in the breakaway and continues along the same lines in his first year as a professional. The offensive spirit of the polkadot jersey of the Tour of Austria in 2019 was almost rewarded with a stage victory at the Etoile de Bessèges (2nd) this year. The young German from Augsburg loves difficult races and dreams about the German national title and a Tour de France stage victory. In the U23 category, he standed out with two top 15 finishes at the European championships and a 5th place at the general classification of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2019. The 23 year old reinforces Circus-Wanty Gobert for a two year period.
« I'm very happy to receive the opportunity to join this growing project. This season was rather complicated, so I can't wait to be a part of this Belgian team, which is an established name in the cycling world. I'm looking forward to get to know new people and I hope to be strong again next year, in order to achieve good results and help the team. The Grand Tours, no matter which ones, will be my big goal. I'm dreaming of a stage victory, I'm pretty confident that I will succeed one day. You definitely need good legs, but also some luck. The year 2020 is difficult for all teams, for all sports, for the whole population. So I'm crossing my fingers for a nice 2021! »
« After four years with Team CCC, I'm ready for a new chapter in my career. I can't wait to get to know my new environment, but it's comforting to join Circus-Wanty Gobert together with my friend Georg, good teammate Jan and also some staff members. This will make my integration a little easier. I already had some Belgian teammates, but I'm curious about the atmosphere of a Belgian team. The cycling culture there is so vibrant, I'm eager to start the new season! »
« My first year as a pro was a rollercoaster. I was very happy about my choice for Team CCC and I was immediately strong at the start of the season. It was the beginning of a nice story, until the future of the team became uncertain. I'm convinced that I found the perfect solution with Circus-Wanty Gobert. The team is very experienced at the Pro level, and it has all it needs to step up to the World Tour. »
« My first goal is to integrate well in the team. I'm looking forward to get to know the structure and I hope to quickly find a good feeling in the races with my teammates. I want to show that I deserve the confidence of my new environment by performing well. And then we're off for two years, hopefully longer, with Circus-Wanty Gobert! »
Hilaire Van der Schueren (Sports Director):
« I saw Jan Hirt's victory at the Tour of Austria in 2016, when he was only 25 years old. He didn't stop there. He became a very good rider and after a couple of years patience, we finally managed to add him to our team. With Jonas Koch and Georg Zimmermann, we've got two strong riders with the capacities to attack in races on the highest level. During his first year with the pros, I've seen some good things from Zimmermann. Not only his breakaways at this Tour of Spain, but also when he showed fighting spirit after his crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. These are very good signals for a young rider. »
Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager):
« From the first discussions with Jim Ochowicz, we've been looking for the best complementarity between our teams, by trying to integrate as many riders from Team CCC as possible. Jan Hirt and Georg Zimmermann have a profile which was lacking in our team. They have the capabilities to finish well in mountain and stage races. Hirt has already proven this, and Zimmermann is a promising young rider. Their transfer, together with Jonas Koch, is very important. Koch is an experienced allround rider, he will be an important element for the classics and in the sprint train. I'm very happy to add the German and Czech nationalities to the team for the first time. In their countries, Hirt, Koch and Zimmermann will be true ambassadors of CUBE. Our German bike supplier is based in Waldershof, close to the Czech border. »