If road cycling continues to gain popularity in recent years, relatively few watch brands have been affiliated with the sport. One of the field’s most original and interesting initiatives must be credited to Tudor, which has joined Swiss cycling legend Fabian Cancellara to create a new team. Competing for the UCI ProTeam class in the 2023 season, the Tudor Pro Cycling Team is ready to get ahead with both serious ambition and humility. MONOCHROME was invited to spend three days in full immersion with the team on the occasion of their last training camp in Spain to understand how things are getting into gear. And yes, there’s a watch involved too. A special Black Bay Chrono Dark that you, unfortunately, won’t be able to get… except if you join the Tudor Pro Cycling team.
Cycling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Millions of fans watch races like the Tour de France. The competition is intense, with no respite for the riders, and everything can change at any moment. The breathtaking speed, the team tactics, and the new technical developments make pro cycling a wonderful sport… Last but not least, from a brand/business perspective, if cycling is extremely popular, enthusiasts can have serious purchasing power and are often not shy about paying over 10,000 euros for the best-in-class two-wheel technology.
Still, very few watch brands are involved in this discipline, in particular as team sponsors (and even less as title sponsors). Tissot has been associated with major cycling events, the UCI and athletes for years. TAG Heuer was the official timekeeper of BMC Racing, Richard Mille is the Watch Partner of UAE Team Emirates, and Breitling just announced their first-ever cycling partnership with the Q36.5 cycling team… Going pro, Tudor decided to embark on a brand-new project, as a main/title sponsor of a team created together with cycling legend Fabian Cancellara.
The idea was an initiative created from scratch, envisioning a team fully aligned with the brand’s vision and core values. Securing a sponsor for a cycling team is hard and the budgets are high. If cycling sponsorship is somewhat fragile by nature, with teams desperate to find a main sponsor every other year, Tudor’s long-term commitment really makes things different. At the core of the vision is a human-centric approach to cycling placing respect, commitment and happiness as top priorities. “Performance is the ultimate measure of success, but how you get to the finish line matters just as much as when you get there.” The Swissness of the team is also presented as essential and is associated with the idea of being honest, hardworking and humble. Likewise, the team’s equipment is based on the expertise of Swiss cycling companies: BMC for the bike, DT Swiss for the wheels and Assos of Switzerland for clothing…
Tudor Pro Cycling was granted a UCI ProTeam license in December 2022 with the ambition of qualifying for the world’s most prestigious races by the 2024 season. Spending a few days with them on a training camp in Spain was the opportunity to discover the roster of riders and the support team: the management, the sport direction, the mechanics, the medical staff, the soigneurs, the coaches… A crop of 15 new riders recently joined and the staff was reinforced, with top-level professionals in every department – for instance, with Ricardo Scheidecker, former technical and development director of a world-class WorldTour team Deucenink Quick-Step. The resources allocated to performance optimization and innovation in all areas are quite impressive. Last, there is also a development team racing at the continental level to develop under-23 aged riders’ skills and capabilities to eventually become professionals.
This year’s program is not fully disclosed yet but the team is expected on some nice races. They will start in late January with the Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise… we will keep an eye on their performances!
Last but not least, a team watch is part of its members’ equipment. This special edition is based on the Black Bay Chrono Dark, with additional red accents and a black/red Nato strap. As such, it is a 41mm PVD steel model powered by the COSC-certified Calibre MT5813… Pretty cool, but this is not for sale and is made available only for the team members. So if you want to get your hands on one, you know what to do; train and become one of the best professional cyclists in the world!
For more information, please visit www.tudorwatch.com and www.tudorprocycling.com.