Human Powered Health can announce the first signing to its men’s program for next season as Norwegian climber Embret Svestad-Bårdseng signs from Team Coop. Despite a COVID-19-interrupted season, the 20-year-old from Oslo has impressed in the mountains in 2022. He has signed on a two-year deal through 2024.
“I’m really looking forward to stepping up to the pro ranks as it is a dream coming true for me,” Svestad-Bårdseng said from Australia, where he is competing for Norway as an under-23 in the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong. “It’s a very suitable team for me to up my level and take those steps. The team has great control over equipment, races and nutrition and I can hopefully get some results.”
A rider that excels when the road turns skyward, Svestad-Bårdseng has had successes in mountainous races this year, including a victory in the KOM standings of the International Tour of Hellas, and second place in the hilly Sundvolden GP.
“I think the team saw my potential as a climber at the International Tour of Hellas when I was fighting with Gavin Mannion for the KOM jersey,” he added.
Svestad-Bårdseng was also prominent in May’s Tour of Norway where he joined a 146-kilometer breakaway on the penultimate stage. He finished fifth overall in the youth classification with only WorldTour under 23s like Remco Evenepoel and Luke Plapp ahead of him.
“Embret is a very young rider in which we see a lot of potential,” said performance director Jonas Carney. “We raced in the same events as Embret several times and he impressed us not only with how strong he is at 20 years old but with how aggressively he raced at those events.”
Svestad-Bårdseng competed for his country at the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir (known as an under 23 Tour de France), where – after only just recovering from COVID-19 – he raced strongly in the two team time trials, acted as a domestique for second overall Johannes Staune-Mittet and finished fourth on the final day stage in the Alps.
“I want to have a bit more of a flawless season in 2023,” Svestad-Bårdseng explained. “My goal is to be in the mix of the races and show myself as a climber, but also a punchy climber so that I can perform on the short climbs that suit me.”
Ever the favorite pass time of Norwegians, Svestad-Bårdseng started on his sporting journey as a cross country skier from the age of seven to twelve, before making the switch to cycling after being encouraged by friends who thought his figure was perfect for biking.
“It all clicked the first time I got on the bike when I was 14. I thought ‘this is the sport for me’ and it was all-in from that moment.”
In winter he still supplements his cycle training with skiing as a way of getting a full body workout.
“It’s really good training for your quads, core strength and VO2 max (the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attainable during exercise),” he explains, before suggesting that perhaps one day the whole Human Powered Health squad could embark on a ski camp.
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Human Powered Health looks forward to welcoming Embret to the squad. Stay tuned for more rider announcements as the 2023 roster takes shape.