fi’zi:k are to supply world-class saddles to the best of the UCI WorldTour, with Team Sky, BMC Racing Team, Movistar Team, AG2R La Mondiale and Lotto NL-Jumbo on the 2018 roster. The quality of the squads and their ambitions for the forthcoming season should make for some highly entertaining racing. All the riders from the five WorldTour teams will ride with fi’zi:k high performance Arione, Antares and Aliante saddles, while the full Movistar Team – along with their newly formed Movistar Women Team – are racing in fi’zi:k Infinito R1 shoes.
Team Sky hit the top the UCI world rankings in 2017 after a successful season including winning Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, Paris-Nice and the famous Grand Tour double of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. For 2018, the British team will aim for their sixth Tour de France in seven years, and could potentially win any or all of the Grand Tours. With the signing of one-day specialist Dylan Van Baarle (Infinito R1 shoes) the challenge for the major spring classics also looks strong.
BMC Racing Team
An incredible 13 riders registered wins in BMC Racing Team’s 48 victories across 2017. The Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (Antares 00) led the charge with an historic quadruple Classic victories including Paris-Roubaix. BMC Racing will start 2018 with a powerful team at the Tour Down Under including former winners Australian Richie Porte (Arione Open), Rohan Dennis (Antares R1) and new signing Simon Gerrans (Antares 00). Van Avermaet will target the spring Classics while Porte will push hard again for the Tour de France GC title.
2017 saw Spaniard Alejandro Valverde’s 100th career victory along with wins at La Fleche Wallonne and his fourth Liège-Bastogne-Liège title. Meanwhile, Nairo Quintana (Antares 00) won the Tirreno-Adriatico and took a brave second at the Giro d’Italia. In 2018 Movistar Team will set their sites on Grand Tours, targeting the Tour de France, with the squad likely to be led by Quintana and supported by Valverde and his newly-signed fellow Spaniard Mikel Landa.
AG2R La Mondiale
The French team’s 2017 season will be best remembered for Romain Bardet’s (Arione 00) podium finish at the Tour de France that included a memorable victory on stage 12. But it would be wrong to overlook Oliver Naesen, who produced a series of strong one-day performances along with victory at the Belgian Road Championships. AG2R’s primary aim for 2018 will be for Bardet to break France’s 33-year run without a Tour de France victory. And look out for new French signing puncheur Tony Gallopin.
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo
Highlights of the Belgian team’s 2017 include young Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen, winning on the Champs Elysees, and Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who won a stage of the Tour de France and took silver at the World Time Trial Championships in September. Look out for a Grand Tour title challenge from Roglic in 2018, as he’ll look to have a real for while new signing Danny Van Poppel will bolster the team’s sprint strength.
“We’re proud to announce our sponsored teams for 2018, and enjoy our relationship with all of the riders, and of course the management and support staff from the teams, who we work closely with. It’s going to be an exciting year for sure, from the start, through the spring classics, the Grand Tours and beyond… really we just can’t wait for the racing to start!” says Nicolò Ildos, fi’zi:k’s Sport Marketing Manager.
Like all fi’zi:k customers, riders from each of these top flight teams are matched to their saddle using fi’zi:k’s Spine Concept EVO. The three fi’zi:k saddle models: Arione, Antares and Aliante, correspond to three animals representing rider profiles: Snake, Chameleon and Bull. The riders are matched through anatomic profiling of spine flexibility and pelvic rotation to determine their model – enabling maximum performance in total comfort.
Riders will also have the new Open saddle option; an innovative pressure-relief design to deliver exceptional comfort, driving performance.
All Movistar Team riders – including Movistar Women Team – wear fi’zi:k Infinito R1 Movistar Team.
Other riders to wear fi’zi:k Infinito R1 in 2018 are:
- Belgian former World Road Race Champion, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors
- Welsh Olympian Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
- Italian Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana stage winner Salvatore Puccio(Team Sky)
- Belgian National Champion, Oliver Naesen (AG2R)
- Italian Matteo Montaguti (AG2R)
- Young Belgian Loic Vliegen (BMC)
- Young Dutch Tour de France stage winner, Dylan Van Baarle (Team Sky)
- Italian Vuelta a Espana stage winner Alessandro De Marchi (BMC)
- French all-rounder and Tour de France Combativity Award winner Jeremy Roy (Groupama - `FDJ)
“The importance of such high caliber riders wearing fi’zi:k shoes and riding on fi’zi:k saddles throughout the racing calendar means that we get the ultimate feedback from the highest performing racers in every condition imaginable. They tell us how our products feel and perform in every kind of weather, on long rides, harsh climbs and brutal sprints. Everything we learn together with our WorldTour riders goes into the continued development of fi’zi:k products.” Sarah Colpo, Marketing Manager, fi’zi:k.
We look forward to the performances, entertainment and success across 2018. The WorldTour program starts in earnest with January’s Tour Down Under.
More information on Infinito R1 shoes and all fi’zi:k saddles is available online at fizik.com