Arguably, The Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team had no bigger signing for the 2023 season than that of the 2022 junior road race world champion, Emil Herzog. Emil joined the Axeon squad from Team Auto Eder.
"Yeah I'm super happy to join Axeon to ride with riders from other countries and make new friends,” said Emil. “Of course I also want to gain more experience and develop as a rider on and off the bike.”
To say that Emil had a great year would be an understatement. He put a huge stamp on the end of his season becoming a World Champion and German junior road race national champion, but he was a force throughout all of 2022. Emil earned victories and general classification wins at the Ain Bugey Valromey Tour, Grand Prix Rüebliland, Giro di Primavera, Course de la Paix Juniors, and Grand Prix West Bohemia. He also showed great talent in the individual time trial, placing 3rd at both the 2022 European junior time trial championships and 2022 Junior World Championships.
Emil earned his world champion rainbow stripes after an impressive chase and down-to-the-wire sprint against Portuguese sensation (and future Hagens Berman Axeon teammate), Antonio Morgado. “I still can’t believe it, that everything worked out so well and that, yeah, now I’m a world champion,” said an almost speechless Emil. “That sounds so unreal.”
Reflecting back on the season before the World Championships, the 17-year-old from Simmerberg, Germany finds his GC wins at Course de la Paix and Tour de Valromey special, “the Tour de Valromey because it's a bit the ‘junior Tour de France’ and the nations cup Course de la Paix because I think it's one of the biggest stage races for juniors,” he said.
“Emil is one of the best junior riders out there,” said owner and director Axel Merckx. “I think he’s probably had one of the best years in the junior category so we’re really excited to have him. I had a good talk with Emil and his agent a little while back and he feels that we can help him progress. He’s a great hope for the future and for what is possible. We’re excited to have him and very pleased that he came to us for his development.”