Axeon Hagens Berman will start 2016 season Saturday in Portugal

The 2016 season could prove to be the most successful yet for Axel Merckx’s development team, which will compete this year as Axeon Hagens Berman after adding the Seattle law firm as a co-primary sponsor with Neon Adventures.

The addition of sponsors Hagens Berman and California Giant Berry Farms has allowed the team to grow in both size and scope, but the US Continental team’s mission of preparing riders for the next level remains the same.

The team will officially start the season Saturday at the two-day GP Liberty Seguros in Portugal, where Rubien Guerreiro took a stage and the overall win last year. Two of Axeon’s 2016 riders, Colin Joyce and Krists Nielands, also finished in the top 10 there last year while riding with other teams.


After Liberty Seguros the team will compete in the five-day Volta ao Alentejo from March 16-20. James Oram, who jumped to the Pro Continental level with One Pro Cycling this year, won a stage and was third overall there for Axeon in 2015.

“We’ll do the two stage races in Portugal and then three one-day races in Italy,” Merckx said of the upcoming European trip.

Axeon Hagens Berman will continue the 2016 season in France, Belgium and Canada through the first few months of the year while returning to the US for the Amgen Tour of California in May. The team will also target other major domestic events throughout the season.

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