Pegasus Sports signs ex-Milram riders Christian Knees, Markus Eichler, and Thomas Rohregger
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Friday, December 03, 2010

Pegasus Sports signs ex-Milram riders Christian Knees, Markus Eichler, and Thomas Rohregger

by Jered Gruber at 5:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian Professional Continental team adds a German-speaking element with three solid additions

Pegasus Sports has just announced three more new signings for its powerful squad heading into 2011. Pegasus swooped in and picked up three riders cast adrift by the folding of Team Milram at the end of this season: Markus Eichler, Christian Knees, and Thomas Rohregger.

The three riders bring a wealth of talent and experience with them, and also add a more international flavor to the Australian-based team.

"I am pleased that our team is growing and becoming more international. With these three German-speaking riders, we have gained experienced professionals who have not yet fully realized their potential. All of them, whether climbers or all-rounders, bring skills that will help us achieve our goals for the upcoming season," says Pegasus Sports CEO, Chris White, in a team press release.

The 27 year old Rohregger, hails from Innsbruck, Austria, and as befits a rider from the heart of the Alps, he's a pure climber. The rider has netted the mountains classification in three big races so far: both the 2006 Tour of Austria and Tour of Luxembourg, as well as last year's Tour Down Under. His greatest achievement has been overall victory at his country's national tour, the Tour of Austria, in 2008.

Rohregger has shown sparks of brilliance in his career up to this point, but overall, it has been a tale much like his Milram team's - underachievement. With the right support, Rohregger still has a great chance at becoming one of the better climbers in the sport.

29 year old, Christian Knees, spent his last five seasons with Milram, and before that, he went professional with the Wiesenhof outfit over his first two years racing the sport's biggest events.

Knees has shone as a solid all-around and currently wears the German national champion jersey after taking victory in June in Sangerhausen.

Knees has been a rider to watch ever since he took a bronze medal in the 1999 Junior World Championships time trial, but has been a rider capable of excelling not only in the contre-la-montre, but in the mountains and hills as well. Knees has taken a number of solid wins in his career, including the Bayern Rundfahrt and the Rund um Köln, but he has long been a rider that can be counted on to finish in the top twenty in just about any type of race, ranging from Gent-Wevelgem (11th this year), to the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (10th overall in 2009), to the Tour de France (20th in 2009).

While he is not a superstar signing, it's clear that the potential for much more is there. Like Rohregger, Pegasus can hope with confidence that they can get even more of the rider who hails from Bonn - if they can manage that, Knees will certainly turn a lot of heads.

The third of the German-speaking trio, 28 year old Markus Eichler, is a great Classics talent with once again a lot of potential and as of yet, only a bit of it realized.

Eichler had a fairly quiet 2010 season, but did manage a solid victory at the 1.1 ranked, Batavus ProRace/Ronde van Friesland. In 2009, Eichler took 4th at Le Samyn, in 2008, 14th at the Omloop Het Volk and 16th at the Dwars door Vlaanderen. In 2007, racing for the ill-fated Unibet.com team, he took 5th at the Nokere Koerse and 8th overall at the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

Before that, racing for the Continental squad, Regiostrom-Senges, Eichler gave a small preview of his potential in 2006 with victory at the GP Ville de Lillers, the Ronde van Drenthe, Rund um den Elm, and the GP de Dourges-Henin-Beaumont, along with 2nd overall at the Boucles de la Mayenne, 4th at the Nokere Koerse, and 7th at the Vlaamse Pijl.

The story seems to be the same for all three riders - vast potential, but apart from Knees, very little of it has been achieved up to this point. All three are still under thirty and if put in the right team environment, it would seem that they all will have a chance to take a big step up from Milram, where no one seemed to be able to live up to their potential - and there were some huge talents in the squad. Pegasus could be just what the trio needs for a chance to show themselves.

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