Never has a Swiss women’s formation competed at the highest world level of women’s cycling. This expectation soon seems to be over. In the wake of its initiator, the Palinzard Ruben Contreras, the “Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad” could well run the biggest races on the calendar in 2022, when the discipline is booming. This year, the first Paris-Roubaix made an impression, while a “real” Tour de France will finally be organised next July. The Tour de Romandie will follow in October 2022.
The Cogeas Foundation has been in cycling for over twenty years. It has been participating in a Russian team since 2018 and also gives its name to an Elite-level Geneva team, which develops young local prospects. Cogeas wants to go a bigger gear and hopes to be able to join the Women’s World Tour, which will increase from nine to fifteen teams starting next season. Projects like Jumbo-Visma, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, Uno-X and Cofidis are also in the running.
With the support of various local actors and sponsors, and perhaps even that of the city of Lausanne – which will therefore host a finish of the first Women’s Tour de Romandie in a year – this team should start with a budget of around 1.3 million francs in 2022, all inclusive, the first year. Such an amount should make it possible to race from the start, against top names whose costs can amount to 3 million annually.
The signed sponsorship contracts would already be signed for the long term, a guarantee has also been deposited with the International Cycling Union and the main aim is to develop young local riders. With the Roland company, well known in German-speaking Switzerland for its unmistakable “Zwieback”, the Cogeas Foundation, which works in insurance, consulting and real estate, and the city of Lausanne in the wheel, the business seems credible and well fitted.
“We still wanted to climb a rung and go to the World Tour. It was time for Switzerland and Lausanne to be represented there, says Ruben Contreras. All the big names in the women’s peloton have long term agreements and I have always favoured training. We have already launched runners to four Olympic medals. And there is also something to do around here! ”
The “Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad” team therefore hopes to shine in the cycling firmament from 2022. To do this, it can already count on Swiss riders (Petra Stiasny, 20, Swiss mountain champion, and the 24-year-old tracker. Aline Seitz, 5 times Swiss champion), Russian, German and Spanish. Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer (Aut) was surveyed, but unfortunately one of Contreras’s dreams failed to materialise.
Cogeas Source: https://www.lematin.ch/story/une-equipe-suisse-dans-le-world-tour-feminin-des-2022-389363009913