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Fabian Cancellara has announced he will create a new Swiss professional cycling team for 2023 in partnership with watch brand Tudor. 

The former world time trial champion and Classics winner will be team owner and take control of the Swiss Racing Academy, which already races at Continental level. He presented the team a few hours before the start of the Tour de Romandie.

The team will be known as the Tudor Pro Cycling Team and race with a new black jersey at the U23 Paris-Roubaix from May 15. The team will continue to ride BMC bikes, with the development team remaining in 2023 as a structure for scouting and developing the next generation of Swiss riders.

“Today we announce that in 2023, we’re going to have a Swiss cycling team,” Cancellara explained in an interview with Cycling News.

“I was already with the Swiss Racing Academy as a mentor. From next year we’re going to change the team name and we’ll have a Swiss team back in the pro peloton.”

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Since Team BMC Racing became Team CCC in 2019, there has been no predominant Swiss WorldTour or ProTeam in the peloton, which Cancellara sees a huge loss for the country’s cycling traditions. The new team intends to register at ProTeam level in 2023, with a stated goal “of qualifying for the world’s most famous and prestigious races by the 2024 season.”  

The best-ranked ProTeams earn automatic invitations to the Grand Tours and WorldTour Classics, with other teams securing wild card invitations.  

“Switzerland needs to have a cycling team,” Cancellara said. “Especially with all the latest successes over the last years. And all the progression in terms of what the Swiss Federation has done, and the whole system in general.”

“Everything starts from the base. If you don’t work on the base, you can’t build the pyramid. It’s for me, personally, a big big day. It’s also a big day for cycling in Switzerland.”

Cancellara will be owner of the team, but explains he will not be taking an active role as a sports director or manager. 

“I’m not the trainer, I’m not the sports director, definitely. So my role will be as the owner,” Cancellara said.  

“I think my experience over the last few years, with my company and also with this mentoring with Swiss Racing Academy show me that this is a role that I fit into.”

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Peter Stuart
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