It was exactly one year ago that we told you about the birth of the Orbea Factory Team project: a team that was created to show you what cycling is like from the inside, in all its disciplines (road, XC, endure, etc.) and which took us to some of the most demanding events on the international cycling calendar.
Today, after riding hundreds of kilometers on four continents and after hundreds of thousands of views and comments on the contents generated by the Orbea Factory Team, your support tells us that we are achieving the goal we were after: to celebrate, transmit and share a passion for cycling.
Would you like to remember the Orbea Factory Team’s first year with us?
Costa Blanca Bike Race, the debut.
Ibon Zugasti and Tomi Misser chose the Costa Blanca Bike Race (CBBR) to measure the pulse of the 2017 season. It was the only race in Spain included on the la International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar, and it featured such world-renowned competitors as Carlos Coloma, Bart Brentjens and Sergio Mantecón.
Our guys passed the first test with flying colors and then prepared for their first race abroad, “The Pioneer New Zealand,” where they competed as part of the “Imparables” team, right before tackling their first great challenge of the season.
Second in the Absa Cape Epic!
This was the race for which Ibon and Tomi had been preparing for months: the Tour de France of mountain biking, their first major goal of the season. This race showed the wildest side of Africa, and they shared the stage with some of today’s best bikers, with names like Nino Schurter, Jaroslav Kulhavý and Manuel Fumic.
In South African territory, Ibon Zugasti and Tomi Misser came away with an impressive second place in the Master 40 category, only after the pair that beat them out for the leaders’ maillot in the final stage, no less than Cadel Evans and the rider who was his teammate during his professional stage, George Hincapie. This was a milestone that began to sound the Orbea Factory Team name on an international level.
“Goose bumps” in Flanders
With barely any time to unpack his suitcases, we sent Ibon off to experience the Tour de Flandes Cyclo: one of the most important cycling festivals in the world, in a place where cyclists are real rock stars. Ibon dared to take on the walls and cobblestones typical of Flanders and the next day he experienced the Pro Tour de Flandres alongside us. It was an unforgettable weekend.
At Monegros, along with 8,000 mountain bike fans
Another goal we were after with the creation of the Orbea Factory Team was to be closer to our users. And where better than at one of Europe’s most important non-competitive cycling events? Tomi and Ibon shared the road with the rest of the Orbea Monegros participants, and Ibon also crossed the finish line in first place, ahead of a winner of the Tour, as you can see in this video.
Throughout the year, both Ibon and Tomi have shared other areas (Unibike, range presentations, etc.) with fans and dealers, with the aim of listening to you and transmitting their passion and knowledge of bicycles.
The unforgettable Transpyr: the Pyrenees, from coast to coast.
The Transpyr is a really special race: one of the ten best MTB events in the world, according to National Geographic. It’s also one that the Orbea Factory Team simply couldn’t miss: Crossing the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean side to the Cantabrian, leaving behind nearly 20,000 m of positive elevation change in seven stages.
400 bikers from 22 countries lived this incredible experience in which Tomi and Ibon climbed to the top of the podium after an intense week in which a little bit of everything happened to them…
Victory at the Breck Epic
With summer in full swing, Tomi dared to take on the imposing mountains of Colorado in one of the toughest MTB races in the United States. The Orbea Factory Team rider managed a victory in the Master 40 category, after completing a total of 386 km and more than 12,190 m of positive elevation change in six colossal stages.
Vallnord: the XC World Cup like you’ve never seen it.
With the summer came another of those moments when we could see the highest level of competition from the inside. Ibon and Tomi joined the women of the Clif Pro Team for a weekend at the Vallnord World Cup. We enjoyed a privileged position from which we discovered their preparation, the precision with which they train every line at the elite level of cross country and the incredible atmosphere in one of the world’s XC capitals.
TransCumbres MTB Argentina
Ibon Zugasti and Tomi Misser rejoined forces in Argentina after a few months of individual competitions. There, the two stars finished the year with Ibon clenching a new victory in the steep Córdoba Range: with altitudes of 2,884 m over600 km and a savage total elevation gain of 13,000 m. An excellent crowning jewel for a season in which both Ibon and Tomi entertained, taught and excited us.
The Everest Wheelie Challenge: a record in the bag!
Markel Uriarte is the Orbea Factory Team member who allowed us to enjoy enduro this year. Along with him and other Orbea ambassadors, such as Sandra Jordá, Simón André and Cesar Gairín, we discovered the tracks dreams are made of at the Transnomad 2017: an impressive adventure that makes the most of the infinite possibilities the Pyrenees Mountains have for enduro.
The rider from Aretxabaleta also dared to take on the Everesting Challenge, which consists of completing the elevation change of Mt. Everest (8,848 m) in repeated climbs up to the same port. Markel made easy work of it in 19 hours on his bike, without almost any breaks. And what makes this even more epic, he did it on one wheel! Incredible!
In 2018… Much more!
Is this it? No way! 2018 is on the way, and with it, new competitions, new adventures and, of course, new surprises are also in store for you.
We don’t want to sign off this review of our first fascinating year without a big thank you for the support from Orca, Gaes, Rotor, Mavic, Skoda, Galfer y Ternua the partners who made each and every one of these challenges possible.
And of course, a big thank you goes to each of you for following and supporting the team throughout the year: we are ending 2017 with more than 21k followers of the Factory Team’s Instagram account, more than 18k on the team’s Facebook page and more than 40k subscribers to Orbea’s YouTube channel, where we upload the team’s videos.
If you liked 2017, you’ll love 2018.Are you up for a new season with the Orbea Factory Team?