12 January, 2018

Orbea and Vital Concept Cycling Club: The Force Awakens

Bryan Coquard, one of the most promising sprinters in the world of cycling, leads a group of renowned riders who will be equipped with our best competition bicycles. If you’ve noted a disturbance in the peloton, it's because Vital Concept is already here: And we’re going for it all!

In 2018, we’re joining forces with the new professional continental team, the Vital Concept Cycling Club: a project founded with the goal of competing at the top level in the best races on the world cycling calendar.

The team, led by ex-cyclist Jérôme Pineau, has chosen the hashtag #Thereisnotry (“Do or do not. There is no try.”) to summarize their spirit and goals for the new season. Many of you will have already guessed that the phrase is taken from the “Star Wars” universe: Master Yoda says this to Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back” to indicate to him that he should not settle for just trying to do something, rather he must be convinced that he will achieve it from the beginning. And to fight until he gets it.

“That is exactly what we set out to do with this project; we want to excite our partners and fans,” says the team’s general manager. Jérôme Pineau confirms that “our aim is to stand out in every race and this way also be able to compete in the most prestigious races on the calendar: Milan-San Remo, the great classics, such as Paris-Roubaix and the Amstel Gold Race, as well as the Dauphiné.

This philosophy perfectly matches the fighting spirit and sacrifice that we at Orbea define as #RideFightWin. This is not the only synergy that has led us to commit to the Vital Concept Cycling Club: Bretagne, the cradle where this project was born, is (like the Basque Country) one of the regions with the greatest cycling cultures in all of Europe.

“We are very proud to collaborate with Orbea, a brand that will offer us their vast experience in top level competition,” Jérôme concludes.

Bryan Coquard: “The Vital Concept Cycling Club has gathered together a great group of cyclists and we are all excited by this challenge”

Bryan Coquard, team leader

At 25 years of age, Bryan Coquard has already won 33 victories as a pro; he is an Olympic medalist (silver in the 2012 London Games in the Omnium track cycling event, a discipline in which he has also been European and World champion). Everyone in the cycling world recognizes him as one of the most promising sprinters on the world peloton: back in 2016 he was about to win a stage of the Tour (the fourth, ending in Limoges; Kittel beat him by two thousandths of a second) and he came away with a proud fourth place in the Amstel Gold Race.

Those who know him define him as a natural leader, and now he is called upon to captain the Vital Concept project: one he has personally committed to, involving himself in setting up the team and rejecting tempting offers from teams on the World Tour:

I have no doubt that I have made the right decision. The Vital Concept Cycling Club has gathered together a great group of cyclists and we are all excited by this challenge,” explains the French rider in this interview with PELOTON magazine.

“We are convinced that Bryan will once again reach his true level this year and place among the best sprinters in the world,” indicates Jérôme Pineau.

In this pre-season, Bryan must train hard alongside his teammates to form the train that every sprínter needs to be launched towards stage victories:“We’ve brought several riders to Vital specifically for this reason: cyclists like Kris Boeckmans (ex-Lotto-Soudal) or Bert De Backer (ex-Sunweb), with great experience on great teams. And we mustn’t forget riders like Kevin Reza, who is extremely fast. All of them have great experience when it comes to sprints,” Bryan indicates in this same interview.

The best material for competition

Bryan Coquard has already had the opportunity to try out the Orca Aero, the perfect bicycle to fight for the victory in the flat stages and climbs that are expected to be decided by thousandths of a second, where every watt counts: “It is excellent for sprints. I’ve been able to configure and personalize it very easily, and it has the response capacity and rigidity I need,” he assures.

The Vital Concept roster includes an extensive profile of riders – climbers, Classics specialists and time trial experts – of great renown, who will rely on our entire arsenal of road bikes to tackle each of the specific challenges of the competition.

The Orca is the decisive weapon for the mountain stages: its racing geometry, combined with its extreme light weight and reactivity, mark the difference in a model that is pure performance.

The Ordu– known for being the record-setting bicycle in the triathlon – will be the ally of Jérôme Pineau’s team in the time trial stages: aerodynamics and efficiency to devour seconds with each turn of the pedal.

The Vital Concept cyclists have had the opportunity to test Orbea’s material in the first stage of the pre-season, which was held in the Alicante town of Denia in mid-December.

“The riders are thrilled with the quality and performance of the Orca and Orca Aero machines. As a matter of fact, they’re eager to start competing with them,” Jérôme Pineau points out, adding:“Our aim is to work in close cooperation with Orbea to improve their products and obtain the best possible performance from them. Our riders are also testers, so we hope for a very fruitful collaboration,” Pineau concludes.

Roster 2018 Vital Concept Cycling Club

These are the 20 riders on Team Vital Concept for the 2018 season:

Yoann Bagot. 06/09/1987, France.

Kris Boeckmans.13/02/1987, Belgium.

Bryan Coquard.25/04/1992, France.

Erwann Corbel.20/04/1991, France.

Arnaud Courteille.13/03/1989, France.

Bert de Backer.02/04/1984, Belgium.

Corentin Ermenault.27/01/1996, France.

Marc Fournier.12/11/1994, France.

Adrien Garel.12/03/1996, France.

Steven Lammertink.04/12/1983, Holland.

Johan Le Bon.03/10/1990, France.

Jérémy Lecroq.07/04/1995, France.

Lorrenzo Manzin.26/07/1994, France.

Julien Morice.20/07/1991, France.

Justin Mottier.14/09/1993, France.

Patrick Müller.18/04/1996, Switzerland.

Quentin Pacher.06/01/1992, France.

Kévin Réza. 18/05/1988, France.

Tanguy Turgis.16/05/1998, France.

Jonas van Genechten.16/09/1986, Belgium.

The debut

The first competition of the year for the Vital Concept Cycling Club will be the Sharjah Tour, which will be held on January 24-27 in the United Arab Emirates. The team captained by Jérôme Pineau will then compete in the most important races on the French and international calendar.

A new project is born. The force has awakened. And we’re not going to settle for just trying: We’re going for it all!

You can follow Vital Concept’s entire season at orbea.com, on the team’s official website, and in its social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram