Three days ago, the Bahumer Racing announced their 2017 team line-up. For the 2017 season, the team is expected to be in the front of every crit they compete in. The team showed their determination and strength as a world-class team at the start of 2016 as they had to re-build the team from scratch. Despite that, they were still battling with the best in the Red Hook Criteriums, and they won the Criterium Italia Series with Alvise Zanasca. Moreover, this whole process made them a “team of friends” as team manager Giacomo Preo puts it. Giacomo is the man behind the team and the main sponsor, Bahumer beer. “Bahumer Racing is not just a name for the team, it is the team. From day one I was involved in setting-up the fixedgear crit team.” So instead of cyclists looking and approaching possible sponsors themselves, Preo, with his brand Bahumer, communicated on behalf of the riders with prospective partners with the long-term goal of enabling the cyclist to fully focus on riding bikes. We had a talk with Giacomo Preo about the team, the achievements of last season, and the goals for the upcoming one.
Text: Brian Megens
Photography: Tornanti CC
Giacomo sees the fixedgear racing scene as “the Formula 1 of cycling, it’s more racing than a normal cycling race and Italy is one of the most developed countries in it with a lot of strong riders and teams, and of course a lot of big races with the RHC final and the Criterium Italia series”. Coming from a motorsport background, fixedgear racing fits Giacomo perfectly. He got into the fixedgear racing scene late 2014 when his friend Marco Cecchinato was racing the RHC series and he had plans to set up a team for 2015 with Ivan Ravaioli, Simone Andretta, Antonio Tabarin and some others. “I asked him if they needed me as the team manager taking care of communication, the search for other sponsors, and the day-to-day administrative tasks. This allowed the riders focus on riding bikes.” In the first year of the team, the 2015 season, we started with a very low budget and several riders still had personal sponsors. However, with “Ivan Ravaioli winning the RHC series we had a perfect start of our fixedgear adventure!”
With a brilliant first season it was hard to even come close in 2016. Especially if one takes into account that the star of the team, Ivan Ravaioli, announced to leave “so we had to rebuild the team from zero as only one of the sponsors decided to stay”.
With only one sponsor and two riders left, Marco Cecchinato and Simone Andretta, and increasing competition in the fixedgear scene, Giacomo contacted Omar Bertazzo and Ignazio Moser and with their help the team could start the season. In March, the team was complemented with with Alvise Zanasca and Riccardo Girardi, and at the end of the season Marsilli, Filippo Fortin, Nicolò Zanasca and Andrea Tincani were added. Despite the chaotic start of the team, they achieved some impressive results with 14 podiums, 6 wins, overall team win in the Criterium Italia by Zanasca, the 4th place of Filippo in RHC Milano, and of course the 4th place for Zanasca in the RHC GC. Furthermore, they grew into “a group of friends” and for 2017, the core of the team will stay the same raising the hopes of Preo to do even better than this year.
For this year, team Bahumer Racing has some big plans, entering the field with three teams, a main team, development team, and customer team. The goal is simple, go for the RHC Championship and win the Fixed42 Rad Race event. With strong riders like Filippo Fortin, who is a former UCI pro-continental and current UCI continental rider who got 6th in the UCI U23 road World Championships of 2011, and Alvise Zanasca, winner of the Crit Italia GC and 4th in the RHC 2016 GC, confirmed, and the team being backed by Ridewill, Mem Active Wear, Fizik, Oakley, Suomy, Miche, Tony Spray, and of course Bahumer, they sure are a team to put on the shortlist for the 2017 season.