Of passion, continuity and innovations:
Maloja Pushbikers continue their journey on road and track
The Continental Team Maloja Pushbikers is eagerly awaiting its first racing events – and will start the road season this year at the Tour of Taiwan. A first highlight right in March, a new, eye-catching look for the entire team, an exciting international race calendar and the Pushbikers’ return to track cycling. A new course is being set, but with an emphasis on consistency.
“Our approach for the 2023 season is continuity, calm and trust,” summarises team manager Christian Grasmann. “It seemed important to us to strengthen the central group of the team from 2022 and to continue racing together. As teammates, but also as friends.” As a result, there is very little driver turnover in the team this year, based purely on performance. Road Captain Filippo Fortin, Liam Bertazzo, Max Benz-Kuch, Felix Meo, Patrick Reißig, Paul Rudys and Philip Weber continue to race for the Pushbikers. The Austrian Fabian Steininger as well as Wolfgang Brandl will strengthen the sprinting capabilities of the team around Filippo Fortin in the coming months.
Renewed focus on the track
“With Liam, we were already able to make a small return to track cycling last year” adds Christian Grasmann, “and I’m very pleased that with Roy Eefting, we’ve had another track specialist in the team since December who is riding within the world elite. This has brought a new energy that will carry us forward for 2023.” While Eefting has already completed track races in Australia for the Pushbikers and became Vice-World Champion in the scratch at the beginning of February, Grasmann and Gregor Pavlic, the Pushbikers’ new sporting director, held further talks.
With Matias Malmberg and Moritz Malcharek, we can announce two strong riders who will be part of the Pushbikers family from now on. The 22-year-old Dane Matias Malmberg can look back on several medals at the European Track Championships in the Omnium and the team pursuit as well as the Danish national title in the Madison with Lasse Norman Hansen, and two stage wins in UCI road races last year. Moritz Malcharek, the third-placed finisher in the 2023 Berlin Six-Day race, joins the team. In the summer of 2022, Malcharek won the silver medal at the European Track Championships in Munich ahead of his current team-mate Roy Eefting.
Race Calendar for the season
New impetus can be found in the Maloja Pushbikers’ race calendar for 2023, not least through Gregor Pavlic’s appointment as full-time sporting director. As the son of a former professional cyclist, he grew up with cycling, was sports director at the Union Raiffeisen Radteam Tirol for three years and brings several years of experience from the Austrian Cycling Federation in coordination and management of various road and track races. “I want to look after the riders at the races in the best possible way, offer them a suitable race calendar and the right environment to achieve good results.” The Pushbikers kick off their road campaign at the five-day Tour of Taiwan, part of the UCI Asia Tour. “A whole new tour for us as a team, but especially a combination of high-class racing and an amazing adventure”, as Roy Eefting describes it from the riders’ point of view.
Further highlights will follow, for example, with four races in Norway and Denmark in May (Sundvolden Grand Prix and Ringerike Grand Prix and, both UCI cat. 1.2/ Norway; Grand Prix Hernig and Fyn Rundt, both cat. 1.2/ Denmark), followed by the Tour of Estonia (cat. 2.1) and the Baltic Chain Tour (cat. 2.2). As in previous years, the Pushbikers will also be present at the Tour of Belgrade Banja Luka (UCI cat. 2.1), where Pippo Fortin took a stage win last year, as well as at the Tour of Upper Austria and the Tour of Romania (cat. 2.1). For Roy Eefting, Liam Bertazzo and Matias Malmberg, national events are also on the agenda, such as the Track World Championships in Glasgow in August.
The anticipation is great, but training is also goal-oriented. Filippo Fortin, Patrick Reißig, Roy Eefting, Felix Meo and Philip Weber recently came together in Croatia to prepare for the Tour of Taiwan.
The Pushbikers Look
In motorsport it’s the chequered flag, and in cycling it has its significance too: the classic race checks. Those who have followed the Pushbikers since their beginnings under different team names know that Maloja already designed a checked jersey for us over ten years ago. Now the checked motif appears again in the Maloja collection, for the Pushbikers there was a desire to implement something more eye-catching, perhaps a little more daring. “The check as a timeless pattern simply stands for racing. We see our design as a combination of retro and contemporary typography, trimmed a little more in a progressive and modern direction for the Pushbikers. The colourful gradient with warped Race Caro creates depth and dynamics,” describes designer Niculin Pitsch.
One thing is certain: our team riders will be easily recognisable in the peloton. The same goes for the Pushbikers community, many of whom received their jersey set together with the pros at the team dressing at Maloja headquarters.
The Pushbikers philosophy convinces partners and the community
It is not only for the team riders that “A life without a bike is no real life” applies. They are at the forefront of the entire Pushbikers project, and we share their stories, experiences and successes with a constantly growing community. Because we want to make cycling accessible, to inspire as many people as possible for this sport. And so we are working hard behind the scenes on a programme that, in addition to joint road bike rides, will include other events in close cooperation with Maloja for all cycling enthusiasts in the region from May onwards. The Maloja Pushbikers Future Stars, the junior team of our own cycling club, also held their first training camp in Italy and are looking forward to having a lot of fun on joint rides and races on MTB, road bike and track.
Not just competing on the finish line, but developing the sport with fresh ideas is what the Pushbikers have in common with their partners. “When we were looking for a meaningful new cooperation, we weren’t just looking for a “competition team”, but for a project partner with a large portion of passion with whom we can build a 360-degree relationship,” says Joshua Riddle of Reynolds, whom we can welcome as a new partner in 2023. We are also pleased to have the lightweight construction specialist Schmolke Carbon at our side from now on, as well as Athletic Greens and Spatz Wear as outfitters for the team.
Maloja Pushbikers 2023
Max Benz-Kuch / born 2000 / GER
Wolfgang Brandl / born 1986 / GER
Roy EEFTING / born 1989 / NED
Filippo Fortin / born 1989 / ITA
Moritz Malcharek / born 1997 / GER
Matias Gunnar Malmberg / born 2000 / DK
Felix James Meo / born 1997 / NZL
Patrick Reißig / born 1994 / GER
Paul Rudys / born 1998 / GER
Fabian Steininger / born 2000 / AUT
Philip Weber / born 1998 / GER
Christian Grasmann / Team founder and CEO
Gregor Pavlic / Sports director
Alexander Kastenhuber / Sports director
Gunther Peters / Sports director
Sam Rees / Team Mechanic
Urban Lang / Team Mechanic
Waldemar Wilhelm / Mechanic Pushbikers Repair shop
Simon Barr / Team Nutritionist
Sofia Jacobs / Physical therapist
Press release (PDF)
— Download Press release / DE
Maloja Pushbikers Season 2023
— Download Press release / EN
News Maloja Pushbikers 2023