Q36.5 Continental Team Building Momentum for Second Half of the Season

As the Q36.5 Continental Team enters the second half of the season, they are riding high on the success of their first few months. The team has been building momentum, with several notable results and a strong foundation to support their ambitions.

24 May 2024.

In April, Travis Stedman claimed a much-deserved win at the Classic Milano Busseto, getting the team off to a strong start. Since then, the team has continued to impress, with Italian rider Manuel Oioli taking two strong podiums at the Tour de Bretagne and GP Marmo. Alessio Portello has also been knocking on the door of a big result, having taken a podium place at the Circuit del Porto.

Earlier in the year, Eritrean rider Nahom Zerai made strides as he won the Criterium title and Team Time Trial at the African Games as part of the Eritrean National Team. Most recently Nahom was once again on the podium as he took a strong 3rd place at the GP Santa Rita in Castelfidardo, Italy.

June is setting up to be a pivotal month for the multi-cultural 10-rider team as they prepare to take part in the Polish stage race Tour de Kourpie and a two-week stint at Livigno at the mid-season Altitude Training Camp to prepare for highly contested races in the summer, including the Valle D’Aosta in July.

Manuel Oioli sprinting to 2nd at GP Marmo

We were able to identify and develop talent, and we expect that a couple of our riders will be able to turn pro at the end of this season

We visited the Service Course and Team House in Lucca, Italy, to learn more about the logistical setup of the team, talk to the riders who call it their home during long periods of the season, and discover what makes the region so special for training and developing skills as a cyclist.

Team Manager Kevin Campbell calls Lucca his home and spearheads the Continental Team.

“In our first season as Q36.5 Continental Team, we had several riders who were new to our structure, so it was a bit of a challenge. Some of them really needed an opportunity to develop – their bike skills, their racing skills, and even their language skills and adapt into the culture of living in Europe,” said Campbell. “We were able to identify and develop talent, and we expect that a couple of our riders will be able to turn pro at the end of this season, if not with our pro team, perhaps with another pro team in the peloton.”

One of the key factors in the team’s success is their ability to develop talent. This season, riders such as Manuel Oioli, Alessio Portello, Rafaelle Mosca, Travis Stedman, and Mirko Bozzola have each had the opportunity to race alongside their pro counterparts at Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team races, gaining crucial experience at the pro level.

We live together, cook together, and train together. It’s like a fraternity!”

“We’re lucky because we get to collaborate with our Professional Team quite a bit,” said Campbell. “We have some of our young riders who get to compete with the pro team at some events, and sometimes we have the added bonus of having some of the pro riders come down to race with us – such as Marcel Camprubí and Walter Calzoni. They bring their great experience and knowledge to our team, and that helps us develop riders further.”

The Conti team’s Service Course is located in Lucca, Italy, and serves as a central hub for the team’s logistics and operations. The team’s Team House is just a stone’s throw away from the Service Course, providing a comfortable and inclusive living environment for the riders. The house can accommodate the entire Conti roster, allowing riders to stay together and focus on their training and development.

“Because we have a number of riders who come from outside of Europe, we set up a team house in Lucca, which is very central to European racing – particularly U23 national and international races,” said Campbell. “The climate is quite mild, and we have very varied terrain – with rolling hills, coastal roads, and some nice climbs. We wanted to keep the team together in a setting that’s conducive to a great cycling environment so we have a team house where all of our 10 riders can stay comfortably.”

Colombian Juan Guillermo Martinez relishes the opportunity to stay at the team house during the season. “I really enjoy spending time at the Team House in Lucca,” he said. “It’s a beautiful home with all the comforts – we have everything we could possibly want. The training around this area is also great – we have flat roads but many climbs as well so we can prepare really well for races in Europe.”

Swiss rider Cyrill Gatzi also benefits from spending time at the team house in Lucca, spending several weeks there throughout the season. “We are always at least five or six riders in the house,” he said. “We live together, cook together, and train together. It’s like a fraternity – I feel this is really helpful for our development.”

Alessio Portello and Juan Guillermo Martinez @SprintCycling
Cyrill Gatzi and Daniel Schonenberger training in Lucca
Q36.5 Conti Team Service Course in Lucca, Italy
Manuel Oioli at Tour of Antalya @SprintCycling

We have a family environment and we make sure we look after all the needs of our riders in a single place.”

The Service Course is the logistical centre of the Conti Team – where all equipment needed for cycling is stored – with two in-house mechanics and two Soigneur it’s where bikes get maintenance done between races and where riders get physio treatments and massages when needed. It’s where management offices are also located.

“Our Service Course is also here in Lucca,” said Campbell. “We’ve had it for a number of years – it’s nicely sized SC. We keep all our bikes and vehicles here – where we prepare everything to go to races – do all equipment maintenance.It’s located within walking distance to our team house so the riders can come here whenever they want. We have a family environment and we make sure we look after all the needs of our riders in a single place.”

Aligned with our #RacingTheFuture tagline, the Q36.5 Continental Team also adheres to our three pillars of People, Planet, and Performance. We emphasize the empowerment and well-being of young riders, fostering an environment where they can develop both personally and professionally. By equipping our riders with critical thinking skills, we aim to inspire them to identify sustainable opportunities within the sport and beyond. Over a third of the 169 SDG targets highlight the role of young people and the importance of their empowerment, participation, and well-being, and Kevin and the team do their best to contribute to this.

This June will be crucial to the ambitions of several Conti riders who will be vying for their respective National Champion Jerseys at upcoming National Championships – namely Italian (Oioli, Portello, Mosca, Bozzola), Swiss (Cyrill Gatzi and Daniel Schonenberger), Eritrean (Nahom Zerai), and Portuguese (Filipe Santos) national championships.

As the team looks to continue their momentum into the second half of the season, they are well-positioned to make an impact on the international stage. With their diverse range of riders, strong development program, and top-notch facilities, Q36.5 Conti Team is targeting success in both domestic and international competitions.