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Former biathlete Florian Lipowitz turns pro with Bora-Hansgrohe

German 22-year-old Lipowitz the latest rider to switch from other sports to end up in the WorldTour.

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Ski jumpers, runners, rowers … and now biathletes. That’s just a selection of the post-pivot athlete that will pedal in the pro peloton in 2023.

Florian Lipowitz is the latest in the steady stream of potential stars to be plucked from across the sporting spectrum and given a ride in the WorldTour.

The 22-year-old German hit the big time in a contract with Bora-Hansgrohe for 2023 after switching the biathlon skis and shooters for the bike saddle.

“I am very happy that I will be able to take to the start line in the jersey of Bora-Hansgrohe next year,” he said.

Lipowitz was cross-country skiing and shooting rifles at the top level of biathlon for the best part of a decade.

The bike was a cross-training tool that gradually gained enough favor to take Lipowitz into the Tirol KTM team from 2020 onward, and eventually, the cross-sport switch became real.

When the biathlon ace fell into the orbit of Bora-Hansgrohe trainer Dan Lorang, the door was left open for a trainee opportunity with the team of Sam Bennett, Aleksandr Vlasov, Sergio Higuita and more.

“As a stagiaire, I already received several positive insights into the team. This motivates me even more to use this opportunity to develop as a rider and support my future team in the best possible way,” Lipowitz said.

Also read: The pivot to pro cycling: Pro racing’s new breed of rowers, runners and skiers

Bora-Hansgrohe has been active in tapping talent from untraditional sources.

Former ski mountaineer Anton Palzer and mountain bike ace Ben Zwiehoff both came aboard in 2021 and impressed enough to stamp themselves in the squad through 2023.

“Florian has a big engine and we already became aware of him last year, but wanted to give him more time to really find his feet in cycling,” Bora-Hansgrohe boss Ralph Denk said.

“With our development partner team Tirol KTM Cycling he had a very good race program. However, Florian had a difficult season this year with some health problems. Nevertheless, we gave him a chance as a stagiaire and he was able to perform convincingly in the races for us. The potential is certainly there, it is now up to us to fully develop it.”