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Building up our identity and our future – Equipo Kern Pharma

2021 highlights

A great team victory. The debut in the Deutschland Deine Tour brought lots of learning under the rain for Equipo Kern Pharma’s riders – and a successful ending. On the last stage, the pharmaceutical team won the team classification ahead of WorldTour outfits such as Bahrain Victorious, UAE Team Emirates or Bora-Hansgrohe. This was the brightest out of the eight team classification victories that we noted down in 2021 – the rest of them were achieved in UCI 2.2 events.

Jaime Castrillo, four-leaf clover. The rider from Jaca has been the only one of the 20 EKP cyclists to line up in all of the team’s three victories this season: Enrique Sanz’s win in the last stage of the Volta ao Alentejo, and José Félix Parra’s triumphs at the Tour Alsace’s queen stage and GC.

Roger Adrià is always up there. With 11 top10 finishes this season, Roger Adrià is the Equipo Kern Pharma rider that has consistently delivered better placings over the team’s first season as a Pro Team. Furthermore, the neo-pro from Barcelona has finished 35 times among the 25 best riders of a race. Kiko Galván and José Félix Parra are close to him in the top10 ranking, with 9 top10 results each.

WorldTour debut. The 2021 season has also been Equipo Kern Pharma’s debut in the WorldTour calendar, with a total of 11 race days. The team has also raced 37 days in UCI ProSeries events, 60 days in UCI .1 and 35 in the UCI .2. As for the countries visited over the campaign, France tops the list, as the team has raced there 55 days, followed by Portugal (23 days) and Croatia (12 days).

A deep roster. The Equipo Kern Pharma riders have proven time and again their competitiveness over this season. Fifteen out of the twenty riders that make up the team’s roster have finished in the top10 of a race at least once. Between them all, they have totalled 61 top10s in 2021.

Rainbow appointments. For the first time, Equipo Kern Pharma’s riders have participated in the UCI Road World Championships with their national teams. Roger Adrià rode for the Spanish Elite national team on the Road Race; Diego López Fuentes did the same in the Mixed Team Relay; and Raúl García Pierna, Savva Novikov and the ‘stagiaire’ Pau Miquel took part in the under 23 events. Seven riders of the team have defended their respective national teams outfits for a total of 52 appearances: Roger Adrià (2), Igor Arrieta (11), Raúl García Pierna (20), Diego López Fuentes (1), Pau Miquel (2), Savva Novikov (12) and Vojtech Repa (4).

127,8 kilometers of time trial. 127,8 out of the 22.018 kilometers ridden this year correspond to a discipline that we love: the time trial, be it individual, team or prologue, well equipped with our Giant Trinity Advanced. We have enjoyed the 21.890 kilometers left of standard road racing with our Giant TCR Advanced SL and Giant Propel bikes.

Roger Adrià’s backnumbers collection. With 64 race days under his belt, Roger Adrià is Equipo Kern Pharma’s rider who has taken part in more races this season, followed by Urko Berrade, who has raced 63 days, and Martí Márquez, with 59 race days. The flip side of the coin are Vojtech Repa, who finished the year with 22 race days, and Daniel Méndez, with 17. Their schedules got very reduced due to different health problems.

A young team with a great future. Equipo Kern Pharma began the season as the youngest team in cycling’s top two tiers, with an average age of 22,5 years old. A bet for the future that defines the team, because, according to CQ Ranking, six out of the ten best Spanish riders under 25 years old ride for Equipo Kern Pharma.

The team’s fandom doubles up. Equipo Kern Pharma has also escalated on social media. In this 2021 season, the team’s fandom has doubled up: from 15.400 followers on December 2020, up to 32.800 on September 2021.

— EquipoLizarte to equipokernpharma.com

THE HURDLES THAT SHAPE YOUR FUTURE

Cherie Pridham and our young talent present:

“My three soldiers made me proud”

Israeli Edo Goldstein showed solid progress in Bretagne

Here is the unique story as seen by Cherie herself:

“We came to the Tour of Bretagne with six ICA riders, all with hopes and dreams of having a really good week. We soon found, on stage one, that Israeli sprinter Oded Kogut was very tired after a long season and just struggled, generally, for two days. The same with Jakub Bouček – I think these young guys are finding out just how hard bike racing is, at this level, particularly here in France.

“It’s not an easy race to come to, but we continued with positive vibes, and then, unfortunately, we lost Riley Pickrell in a crash on stage three, with a nasty bang to his head. Of course, we followed the protocol for concussion, so Riley retired and that left us with three soldiers; And so my three soldiers did us proud. We fought every day with a good strategy and a belief that we could come away with a strong result. 

“I’m very proud of Edo Goldstein, he was very consistent and ably assisted by Robin Plamondon and Lahav Davidzon.  Robin had also crashed in the same crash as Riley and suffered for two days, but on the final stage, we had all the hopes of doing a good ride and the circuits certainly suited us well.

“But again, luck wasn’t on our side: Another crash (Robin) and a mishap (Edo) cost us in the end, but that is part of racing and the boys understand that. 

“Edo was our best on GC and all three soldiers certainly finished the race. Maybe not quite as we would have wanted, but it’s all a great lesson in terms of how hard the sport is and the need to take a positive away from every day.  I am certain that the kids will grow from this experience.

“I’ve got to add a few words about Israeli Edo Goldstein. It’s the third time I’ve worked with him this year, Rwanda, Portugal and now on Bretagne, and I’ve witnessed him taking it step-by-step – all in the right direction. He finished 11th, 13th and 8th in three of the stages and was solid throughout.

“Edo certainly has the desire and the belief, he just needs to continue to work and be guided in the right direction, and I certainly believe that he will make it to WorldTour. But, of course, he needs to keep progressing and keep calm, and believe in the people that are working behind the scenes with him. For me, it was a great week to see how he managed the disappointments, and also how he dealt with those disappointments and worked on the positive. 

“So, we learnt a lot together, this time around, in a very difficult race. I have a lot of admiration for Lahav Davidzon, a rider with a lot of passion and great focus. 

“For me, the kids that we have here just need a little bit more work and then we will see a lot from them.”

— Tsadok to israelcyclingacademy.com