Ambassadors: Tom Boonen, Anna van der Breggen, Philippe Gilbert & more
This innovation in bicycle gear shifting was developed by a team of top Belgian and Dutch engineers who specialise in transmission systems. Soon after launching, Co-Founder and CEO Mathias Plouvier invited cycling legend Tom Boonen for a test ride. That ride was a resounding success and Classified immediately gained a new shareholder: "Tom Boonen was very enthusiastic. He saw a lot of potential for international growth and decided to invest and became an ambassador for our brand. Shifting gears with Classified is faster and can be done at full speed. That makes a real difference when sprinting or climbing. Boonen lost the 2017 Tour of Flanders due to shifting problems. With Classified, he could have won (laughs)."
Boonen wasn’t the only cycling legend to come on board as an investor and ambassador. Towards the end of 2022, the Classified ambassador team was bolstered by ex-professional cyclists Anna van der Breggen, Marcel Kittel and André Greipel. Not satisfied with 4 legends of the cycling world in their corner, Classified began 2023 with a bang by announcing another Belgian cycling hero as their latest ambassador: ex-World Champion Philippe Gilbert. ''I believe in technology as a critical element of performance and cycling itself, and Classified is the future of cycling" said Gilbert upon joining the Classified team.
Made in Antwerp
In the spring of 2022, the rapid growth of the company caused them to outgrow their Turnhout start-up office. The city of Antwerp became aware of this, and promptly suggested moving Classified to the city. Plouvier: "With the city’s guidance, we were able to make a new home in Antwerp. We have established our production, assembly and R&D here. Why Antwerp? Because the city offers the innovative environment we need to remain internationally competitive.” Classified is now located in the former Meurisse chocolate factory at Damplein 23, 2060, with an R&D hub at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.
In addition to private investors, like ambassador Tom Boonen, and the British investment fund Bridford Investments, Classified closed out 2022 with a significant funding round, led by Active Partners. Alongside Classified, Active Partners are investors in other major cycling brands such as Rapha. "The initial capital investment from Bridford gave us the opportunity to invest further in R&D and production, and this latest funding round allows Classified to set its sights even higher. This way, we are able to increase our international expansion whilst scaling up production locally” says Mathias Plouvier. “We are very excited to grow with the backing of industry leaders like Active Partners, whilst simultaneously keeping our network of suppliers very close. 90% of our parts are made in the Benelux."
International growth & more partner brands
Classified continues to conquer the international cycling world. After initially partnering with global brands such as Officine Mattio, M83, Ceepo and Firefly, Classified has also added some major cycling names to its portfolio. Big players in the cycling world like Ridley, 3T, KTM, Rose and Storck have all lined up to work with Classified. And it’s not just major bicycle manufacturers who are now offering their bikes with Classified’s Powershift Technology: some of the world’s biggest wheel brands are now building their wheelsets ready to be fitted with the Classified hub. This means that consumers can now buy ‘Classified-ready’ wheels, ready to be installed on the bike of their dreams. Mathias Plouvier: “Working with industry leading bike and wheel brands further validates the Classified product, and all of the hard work that the team has put into it. That some of the biggest brands in the world have adopted the technology, with more and more continuing to do so every day, is very encouraging.”
Adoption by the pros
Early 2023 was a big moment for Classified, as not long after Philippe Gilbert came on board, the technology was used at World Tour level for the first time. Racing for the Lotto Dstny team, pro cyclist Victor Campenaerts debuted Powershift Technology at Omloop het Nieuwsblad, the opening Spring Classic and one of the world’s biggest races.
Professional gravel team
As well as racing in the World Tour, Classified also launched a professional gravel team with international partners Ridley, DT-Swiss and Foodmaker. Entering the world’s best gravel events, from Unbound in the USA to the UCI Gravel World Championships in Italy, the Classified Factory Team has already taken multiple podiums in their debut season. Supporting Dutch pro cyclist Piotr Havik and emerging Belgian talent Daan Grosemans, the team has big goals for the coming years.
Classified currently employs more than 50 people in Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA. Plouvier: "We have multiple vacancies available across many sectors of the company. With Classified head office now firmly established in Antwerp, we are able to attract an interesting and diverse pool of new engineers, operators & sales and marketing profiles". For a list of open vacancies at Classified click here.