Bernhard Eisel, Enrico Gasparotto and Torsten Schmidt are heading to Bora-Hansgrohe as sports directors in 2022, bolstering the team’s management under incoming veteran director Rolf Aldag.
“I look forward to the next season,” Eisel wrote on social media. “Thanks a lot for the trust, and I know that the bar is set very high already. Pressure is on.”
In his 19-year career, Eisel carved out a reputation as one of the most valued domestiques in the peloton, working for the likes of Mark Cavendish in classics and Grand Tours, while also taking 16 victories of his own. Since retiring in 2019, the Austrian has been a familiar face on Eurosport/GCN, making use of his racing experience and intimate tactical knowledge.
Gasparotto is another recent retiree who joins former teammate Eisel (both raced for Team Dimension Data in 2019) in the team car. The two-time Amstel Gold winner only hung up his wheels at the end of 2020, and went straight into the role of assistant sport director at the continental team Nippo-Provence-PTS.
“Here we go!!” Gasparatto wrote on Instagram. “Looking forward to kick off properly the new year and to live this new experience. Let’s create memories together.”
Torsten Schmidt was also a pro rider until 2007, with 13 wins to his name, most of them on German soil. Since retiring, Schmidt has worked behind the scenes at Team CSC, Leopard-Trek, Katusha and the Swiss National Team.
The three new directors join Bora-Hansgrohe as the team undergoes a fairly significant shakeup. This winter, the German WorldTour outfit says farewell to two of its most prolific winners, with Pascal Ackermann headed to UAE Team Emirates, and Peter Sagan taking a small entourage with him to Team TotalEnergies, including his brother Juraj Sagan, and long-time teammates Maciej Bodnar and Daniel Oss.
The recruitment of Eisel, Gasparotto and Schmidt follows a stream of new riders include climbers Aleksandr Vlasov, Sergio Higuita and Jai Hindley, with Marco Haller, Ryan Mullen and Danny van Poppel joining Sam Bennett’s sprint squad.