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How a Small Company Based in Indiana Joined forces with the Biggest Star in Cycling: Silca & Bora-Hansgrohe.
Too often, pro cycling decisions are driven by money: the races a team attends, the riders they hire, the equipment they use. Write a big enough check and you can get a WorldTour squad to ride just about anything. So how does a tiny company like Silca—just six employees when the deal was done—become technical partner to one of the biggest teams in the world, with the biggest star in cycling?
PELOTON / Yuzuru Sunada
When it comes to Silca and Peter Sagan’s BORA-Hansgrohe team, relationships matter, expertise matters and quality products matter. When Lars Teutenberg became BORA-Hansgrohe’s performance director he knew he wanted Silca on board. Teutenberg and Silca owner and ex-Zipp technical director, Josh Poertner, had a long history.
The duo first collaborated on wheels for Jan Ullrich, then worked together dialing in Mark Cavendish’s and Tony Martin’s set-ups at High Road. The expertise and data the two collected over the years paid off for Teutenberg in 2016, when Mat Hayman won Paris–Roubaix. It was Teutenberg who convinced him to ride the aero bike as well as dial in the tire pressure that kept the Aussie up front and out of trouble all day. Teutenberg wanted the relationship to continue.
"Lars approaches us at Eurobike saying that he has been brought into Bora by Ralph Denk and he wants us as partners so we can go do more of the same," says Poertner.
It certainly helped that the owner of Bora, a maker of very high-end cooktops, saw the Silca SuperPista Ultimate and was immediately taken with its quality and good looks. Silca was a brand he felt an affinity with.
Go behind the scenes with Silca and BORA-Hansgrohe at the 2017 Tour of California
For Silca, it gets a test bed for products and, of course, great visibility. BORA-Hansgrohe gets the best pump money can buy with HX-One, T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque wrenches. The team even relies on Silca Tungsten slugs to help its bikes reach the UCI weight limit. But, it’s the mind of Josh Poertner that opened the door and he is still energized by the challenge. He and the team are learning about the unique tire-pressure demands of highwattage riders over courses like Strada Bianche, but it’s actually over grand tour roads where Poertner believes they have made their biggest impact.
"Optimal pressure cannot only save watts, but it saves calories, it reduces muscle fatigue, which improves recovery time. Maybe most of all, it improves confidence when descending and in the rain. We also see that optimal inflation leads to lower tire wear, fewer cuts in treads that require re-gluing and overall happier riders and mechanics," Poertner tells us.
And that optimal pressure comes thanks to a Silca SuperPista Ultimate—accurate to plus-or-minus 1 percent.
For more on Silca go to; silca.cc