The 2020 season is set to be a big one for Stefan Bissegger. He will make his move to the WorldTour with EF Education First Pro Cycling in August. Before his WorldTour start, he hopes to make his Olympic debut on the track in Tokyo with the Swiss team pursuit squad.
While the track commands the majority of Bissegger’s current attention, he’s found recent success on the road. The 20-year-old won a stage at Tour de l’Avenir, billed as a U23 Tour de France, and the opening stage at Tour de l’Ain in May.
“Andreas Klier, one of our directors, pointed him out to me,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “We watched his Tour de l’Ain stage win on YouTube – it was truly impressive.”
“He’s a huge talent, and a guy who could get a great result at U23 Worlds,” Vaughters adds. “He’s young, and he has a high ceiling in terms of what he can accomplish.”
Bissegger’s hopes those accomplishments include a medal on the track. His delayed start to the season reflects his Olympic ambitions.
“We made the deal to start for August 1 because of the Olympics,” said Bissegger. “I’m all in for the Olympics, for the team pursuit on the track. The qualification period runs until March next year, after the Track World Championships, and the team is allowing me to focus on that.”
Bissegger has been racing bikes for half of his life. He did his first road race when he 10 on a bike borrowed from his local bicycle store.
“The guy from the store told me I couldn’t start the race on the bike I had been riding around on as a child,” Bissegger explains. “He gave me a bike of his. That bike and that race started it all. And the funny thing is, the guy who gave me the bike, he’s now my trainer. I was 10-years-old. He’s been my side for 10 years now.”
Bissegger raced exclusively on the road in his early junior days. As a U19, he found his way to the track.
“From there, I developed with both disciplines,” he says. “I love them both, but I need to go all in on the Olympics to get there. Switzerland has a good team. We work well together, and we all want to qualify together.”
To qualify for the Olympics, Bissegger will need to focus on the World Cups and the Track World Championships that run from November until January. Worlds are in March. He will focus on the road after the Olympics.
Bissegger’s training on the track translates into the obvious strengths on the road: sprints, the harder the better, and time trials.
“I’m a pretty aggressive rider,” Bissegger notes.
Bissegger has opted to further develop his strengths with EF Education First Pro Cycling in part because of the team’s partners.
“I did an apprenticeship as a bike mechanic,” says Bissegger. “I worked in a shop that carried Cannondales, and I’m a big fan of the bikes. Peter Sagan was a big hero of mine, and he rode for the Cannondale team, and I always dreamed of joining the team – first Cannondale, then Cannondale-Garmin, now EF Education First.”
also like the color pink,” he added. “I’m happy to wear this color soon.”