Bernhard Eisel and Enrico Gasparotto join Bora-Hansgrohe as sport directors
Torsten Schmidt also joins the German team as it continues an overhaul of the squad post-Peter Sagan.
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Bora-Hansgrohe has been busy behind the scenes, adding a stack of new sport directors to its stable.
The German squad has added three new DSs to its backroom staff, including two recently retired riders in Bernhard Eisel and Enrico Gasparotto, and Torsten Schmidt.
Schmidt, also a former rider who retired in 2007, brings in over a decade of experience as a sport director. He has worked with CSC, Leopard-Trek, and Katusha, and was briefly the national coach for the Swiss team.
- Sam Bennett returns to Bora-Hansgrohe on two-year contract
- Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann to leave Bora-Hansgrohe
Gasparotto has been working as sport director for the Nippo-Provence-PTS continental team this season, after calling time on his career at the end of last year. The Italian native, who switched his national allegiances to Switzerland in 2019, was a pro for 16 years.
Welcome to the #BandOfBrothers Family! 👋
Enrico Gasparotto, Bernie Eisel, and Torsten Schmidt will be part of the team of Sports Directors from 2022! 🎉
We look forward to the upcoming season with you! 💥#BandOfBrothers #BORAhansgrohe pic.twitter.com/0CS2pacxto
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) November 12, 2021
Among Gasparotto’s biggest results were his two wins at the Amstel Gold Race — in 2012 and 2016 — and his 2006 Italian national title. During his career, he rode for Liquigas, Lampre, Astana, Bahrain-Merida, and Dimension Data.
“Here we go!!! New chapter starts from 2022!! Looking forward to be a member of Bora-Hansgrohe. Let’s create memories together,” Gasparotto wrote on his Twitter page following the announcement Friday.
Eisel and Gasparotto were teammates together at Dimension Data for a single season in 2019, when the former decided to retire after almost 20 years in the pro peloton.
Here we go!!! New chapter starts from 2022!! Looking forward to be a member of #BandofBrothers @BORAhansgrohe 👊👊👊
Let’s create memories together 😜! https://t.co/rK8FjT7DPI
— Enrico Gasparotto (@enrigasparotto) November 12, 2021
The Austrian rider took some big wins in his career, such as the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem, but he was best known as one of Mark Cavendish’s support men and a solid road captain. Eisel coaxed Cavendish through many a grand tour mountain stage during their time as teammates.
Since his retirement in 2019, Eisel has been working as a TV pundit and correspondent for GCN and he will be new to work as a sport director.
“I look forward to the next season. Thanks a lot for the trust, and I know that the bar is set very high already. Pressure is on,” Eisel wrote on his social media.
Borah-Hansgrohe has undergone a series of big changes in its roster ahead of next season with 11 new riders coming into the team, including the return of Sam Bennett. Marco Haller, a friend of Eisel’s, Ryan Mullen, Aleksandr Vlasov, Jai Hindley, and up-and-coming Belgian star Cian Uijtdebroecks have also signed for 2022.
Meanwhile, the team’s star rider Peter Sagan — and his posse of riders and backroom staff — has moved onto TotalEnergies for 2022. German sprinter Pascal Ackerman has also left the team to join UAE Team Emirates.
💥 I look forward to the next season. Thanks a lot for the trust, and I know that the bar is set very high already. Pressure is on #BandofBrothers #BoraHansgrohe https://t.co/W7rw3Iy7RE
— Bernhard Eisel (@EiselBernhard) November 12, 2021