"I wanted to stay in the WorldTour at all costs" - ex-pro Hermann Pernsteiner finds new purpose in leading Team Felt Felbermayr to ProTour in 2025

The Austrian continental Team Felt Felbermayr plans to apply for a ProTeam license for 2025. The team has several ex-pros among its ranks, such as Hermann Pernsteiner, former top 10 finisher at La Vuelta, who tells his story to WielerFlits.

"Last year in June I was told that I could not stay at Bahrain Victorious. I wanted to stay in the WorldTour at all costs, but that was easier said than done. I didn't get a contract anywhere, so I had to look for alternative options," he explains.

"In the end, I'm very happy that I got the opportunity here. It is a team with great ambitions. If all goes well, we will become a ProTeam next year. It is a good and important project for Austrian cycling. If we can take that step, it could perhaps ensure that in the future the young Austrian riders do not have to end up in the same situation as me. Even riders who may not be the greatest talent among the youth, can quietly grow towards the WorldTour in a ProTeam like this."

That proved difficult for Austrian riders in the past. "Austria does not immediately have a large market for cycling. There are not many sponsors willing to invest in the sport. That is why, as an Austrian, you have to be extra strong to be able to work as a professional. Fortunately, BORA-hansgrohe has many Austrians under contract, but an extra team was really needed to get the sport off the ground."

Naturally, from Pernsteiner as a former pro, the team also has expectatioins to perform in chosen races. "Last week I was not in great shape in the Tour of the Alps. I was sick for two weeks at the end of March, which put me behind. The Tour of the Alps was supposed to help me get back to a very good level, and then there are still great months ahead with Team Felt Felbermayr. After that I would like to continue for another two to three years. Especially if we become a ProTeam, I want to continue to put my shoulders to the wheel of this project."

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