The 2023 marked the freshman year in the UCI ProSeries for the Tudor Pro Cycling Team. Emerging from the Continental level as newcomers to the game, the team arrived with a squad of young, primarily Swiss riders and Swiss sponsors and led by Fabian Cancellara as the team owner. Many were undoubtedly curious how the team would perform in their inaugural season.
Almost a year later since we had the opportunity to experience Strade Bianche 2023 from the backstage of Tudor, then preparing for their first-ever big spring classic, we now interview their rider Petr Kelemen to reflect on the past season from the team’s and his personal perspective and discuss their goals for the upcoming season.
Inaugural season beyond expectations
The Tudor team firmly established itself in the professional peloton with solid results over the season, including a handful of wins. Their sprint train was particularly successful, with their lead sprinter Arvid de Kleijn winning the Milano – Torino and the points classification at the Tour de Langkawi, among other ProSeries stage wins. On the other hand, Alexander Kamp won the GC of Région Pays de la Loire Tour and collected valuable UCI points with solid top 10 results such as at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.
The team also created a positive image on a personal level in the peloton, according to Kelemen. Numerous rider applications came in for the current season. “When I spoke with riders from other teams, they often told me that in Tudor, we have this fresh and young vibe, and we just seem to click”, says Kelemen. “Especially during the last months as we got to know each other better. I must admit, I really enjoy being part of it. I’ve learned a lot during the last season”, adds the 23-year-old Czech rider.
Strong support and ambitious plans for 2026
The Tudor team draws on experience from other professional teams, not only thanks to the team owner Fabian Cancellara but also to several performance coaches and nutritionists coming from teams like INEOS or DSM. Their vision is to bring the best practices to the team and perhaps improve certain things on top of that.
Tudor’s ultimate goal in fact is clear: to be promoted to the WorldTour in 2026 when the promotions and relegations of teams based on their results from the 2023-2025 seasons happen. The Swiss team currently sits 25th in the UCI teams ranking, with 18 spots to fight for in the WorldTour.
The riders can rely on material support from premium Swiss brands such as BMC, Assos and DT Swiss, among others. The team is built on well-known Swiss precision and applies it within the team processes and structure, as we were told by the management in 2023. Petr told us how well the riders are taken care of medically, too. The team shares a private clinic with the Swiss Olympic Team and has 6 doctors at its disposal. Petr seems really satisfied with the support: “I broke my wrist at Algarve, the next day I had a surgery in Switzerland and the day after I was already home in Prague for my recovery.”
Focus on development
The team collaborates closely with its partners, conducting tests in wind tunnel in Silverstone or on velodrome. “The new improved TT handlebars alone gained me 21 watts, and even 85 watts for some”, says Kelemen. Assos developed a two-layered TT suit and overshoes, while BMC, in collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies revealed the long-developed TeamMachine R, the model the riders will be racing on this season. “The bike feels really fast out of the corners, especially with the stiffer handlebars being a huge improvement. It feels fast and reactive like a track bike,“ praises Kelemen.
One day races along Matteo Trentin in 2024
Kelemen’s season was eventually a bit of a roller coaster, as early decent results were halted by injury at Algarve, but placing 2nd at the Czech Nationals in time trial and 24th in the World Championships Road Race made up for that. This year, he is set to be the key wingman of the newly signed Matteo Trentin. “I’ll have a great chance to learn a lot from Matteo. I feel like he has already taught me a lot of lessons at the camp, but the key experience will surely come once the spring classics start”, says Kelemen as the team is currently finishing its pre-season camp in Calpe.
He acknowledged that Trentin fitted well into the team’s flat culture. That is one of the aspects of the Tudor team Kelemen really praises:
“No matter whether you come to the team as a cycling star or a young talent from the continental level, the team makes sure we are all equal, there is no hierarchy among the riders. Sure, we have a role to play in the races, but above it, there is the ultimate team goal. That really helps to create the team spirit.” – Petr Kelemen, rider of Tudor Pro Cycling Team
Seeking their first Grand Tour and the Spring Classics
The total of 28 Tudor riders are split into three programs: the ones focusing on one day races, including Petr Kelemen and Matteo Trentin, are going to start their season in one day races in Mallorca. Secondly, a group aiming to ride stage races plans to start their campaign with the French duo of races, the GP Cycliste La Marseillaise and the Etoile de Bessèges – Tour du Gard. Lastly the sprint train surrounding Arvid de Kleijn will head east to race at the Saudi and UAE Tours.
The spring classics are one of the main goals of the 2024 season. We may expect to see the team race most of the classics, including the Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche, and the cobbled classics such as the Tour of Flanders or Gent Wevelgem. “Depending on the invitations, I will start my campaign at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and finish at Scheldeprijs, helping Trentin in the classics”, says Kelemen. The group of riders focusing on stage races is hopeful of earning the team wildcard for Giro d’Italia. With Matteo Trentin onboard, the chances seem realistic. They might go to the Vuelta as well, but that is still to be decided.
We are very excited for the team and we can’t wait to see what the 2024 early season campaign brings for the Swiss team.