Axeon Hagens Berman today announced the UCI has accepted the US development team’s application for Pro Continental status next year.
The U23 team, which will compete as Hagens Berman Axeon in 2018, started in 2009 as Trek-Livestrong before Bontrager picked up title sponsorship in 2012 and 2013. The team rode under the Bissell banner in 2014 and then signed Neon Adventures in 2015, changing the name to Axeon. Hagens Berman came on board in 2016 and will take over title sponsorship next year.
“For us, it’s another major step in the growth of the program and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of Steve Berman and his firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, that stepped up so we can be Pro Conti,” said team director Axel Merckx.
Since its inception in 2009, Merckx’s development program has graduated more than 20 riders to the WorldTour, including the most recent signings of Neilsen Powless to LottoNl-Jumbo, Logan Owen to EF Education First, Chris Lawless to Team Sky and Jhonatan Narvaez to Quick-Step Floors.
Hagens Berman has had a longtime relationship with cycling, sponsoring amateur teams in the Pacific Northwest before jumping to the pro ranks with Jamis from 2013 through 2015. Next year’s team will mark the first time Hagens Berman has taken up the title role with a pro team.
“The team’s transformation as it grows is thrilling,” said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of the national plaintiffs law firm sponsoring the team, “and we’re proud to partner with a team as dedicated to excellence as we are.”
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com