The Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team have announced that they will apply for UCI Pro Continental status for next season, and this will be made possible due to an additional investment from title sponsor and class-action litigator Steve W. Berman, and his firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
The team who have run one of the world’s leading cycling development programmes was originally founded in 2009 with the goal of developing the best young talent into professional riders. Since the programme began, it has sent 22 riders to the pro tour ranks including: Taylor Phinney, Lawson Craddock, Joe Dombrowski, Ben King, Jasper Stuyven, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Greg Daniel.
This year has seen more riders step up to the next level with Jhonathan Narvaez signing for Quick Step Floors and Eddie Dunbar signing for Aqua Blue Sport.
“I continue to be impressed by Axel Merckx and the program we are building together,” said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of Hagens Berman. “Youth development in cycling has always been important to me, and I want to give this team an opportunity to do it on a bigger scale. Hagens Berman is excited to invest in the team and its move up to the Pro Continental level.”
The Team’s general manager Axel Merckx said, “The additional sponsorship investment will allow the team to continue its tradition of nurturing and advancing young, talented riders from the amateur ranks to the highest level of the sport. In the past nine seasons, we have sent 22 riders to the World Tour. Getting riders to this level will continue to remain our focus. We believe that this program is unique and important for the future of the sport.”
Hagens Berman fights for the rights of consumers, employees and others across the nation against corporate greed, fraud and deception. Outside the courtroom, many members of the firm’s legal team enjoy cycling to work and on the weekend. Hagens Berman sponsored one of the longest-running UCI road racing teams registered in the USA, Jamis – Hagens Berman, and also bolstered the Hagens Berman U-23 Cycling Program before sponsoring the Axeon Hagens Berman team for the past two years.
“This is another natural progression and move for Hagens Berman in our support of promising young talent in their rise to compete at the highest levels of cycling and forge the skills to succeed both on and off the bike,” Berman said.
The Team is currently competing in the Colorado Cycling Classic, a four-day UCI 2.HC event. Earlier this month, rider Neilson Powless finished fourth overall, as well as earning the “best young rider” classification at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Among the team’s victories this year are Neilson Powless winning the U-23 USA Road Race, Jhonatan Narvaez winning Stage 5 at Tour of the Gila and Logan Owen’s Stage 4 victory at Volta ao Alentejo.
“The Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team will continue to be registered in the United States,” Merckx said, “meaning 60 percent of the 2018 roster will be Americans.” This year’s roster includes riders from America, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Ecuador and Australia.