When Ergon's founder and CEO, Franc Arnold, brought the reigning Russian Cross Country Champion Irina Kalentieva to Koblenz in 2005 and founded the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team, nobody could have guessed that one of the best XC Mountainbike / Marathon teams in the world would emerge.
In 2007, Wolfram Kurschat came on board and in his first season, the team set an impressive note with Irina's World Championship and Wolfram National German title. For more than 12 years, the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team has played a crucial role in cross-country World Cup and MTB marathons.
Over the course of the years, other high-caliber riders joined such as Sally Bigham, Robert Mennen, Kristan Hynek, Jeremiah Bishop, Erik Kleinhans and, above all, the “Albanator" Alban Lakata, who celebrated his third World Marathon title last year.
In addition to the many successes, there are also numerous stories to remember. Of note was Robert Mennen in 2013 at Cape Epic. Riding in the lead, he had an unfortunate collision with an antelope, leading to a rough crash in which he broke his collarbone. However his spirit was not crushed, and he returned the following year with Kristian Hynek and won the whole thing!
Naturally the team has transported the Topeak and Ergon brands to the remotest corners of the world. In addition, very close friendships, combined with the highest mutual respect, have emerged, reveals Franc Arnold, not without some nostalgia in his voice.
I wish all the athletes good luck, success and above all, health for the future.
Many thanks also to the team managers, support-staff, mechanics and physiotherapists. And to all our sponsors, without whose support such a success over the many years would not have been possible.
The team transfer, however, concerns only the Topeak-Ergon Pro Team, the US Team remains as it is.