Erik Kleinhans is the new face of the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team. The South African will ride with Jeremiah Bishop to help support the duo of Alban Lakata/Kristian Hynek at the Worlds biggest stage races. Additionally, the 33-year old marathon specialist will be looking to hunt down podium trophies of his own …
”It is such a great honor for me to be a part of this great team and I feel extremely excited to start the season. Topeak-Ergon is the best marathon team in the World and the riders are respected for their talents and down to earth presence”, commented Erik Kleinhans during the signing of his contract.
The staff of Topeak-Ergon found the South African competitor to be a pleasant and intelligent sportsman both on and off the race course. When a replacement for Robert Mennen was needed, Erik’s name quickly came to mind.
Erik Kleinhans is a late bloomer, at least when it comes to the professional side as an athlete. Before he became a professional, after winning the South African Cross-Country championship in 2010, he studied Finance and Business Management, worked as an organizer for Giro del Capo, and performed other functions in the cycling industry.
Nevertheless, he holds impressive career stats after only five years. Notable results include: 2x winner in the mixed category at Cape Epic with his wife Ariane, victory at Wines2Whales and the CT Cycle Tour MTB (2015), as well as victory at the Cape Pioneer in 2013.
Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek stood out as his greatest competition over the last few years. In 2016, he will support his new teammates at the Cape Epic and other stage races with Jeremiah Bishop at his side.
Team Chief Dirk Juckwer is also more than convinced of the new team member: ”With its exceptional expertise and his many years of experience Erik will help us to succeed especially in the big stage races. So welcome Erik!”
Erik’s goals for 2016? ”Very simple: I primarily want to help Alban and Kristian win the Cape Epic and support them at other top tier stage races. Also, I want to continue to be as successful in the South African races as I have in the past.”
As announced by different media outlets, Robert Mennen left the team at the end of the year and will follow a different career path after he graduates, however, not entirely without the feeling of a heavy-heart. The 30-year old German looks back on a very successful and close relationship with the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team. He won the German Championship in 2013 and Cape Epic in 2014. We would like to use this occasion to wish him all the best!
This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.