Merry Christmas everybody and we hope you are having a great holiday, but the EUROTRASH World rumbles on! Sad news to start with; Anna Scarponi’s message and Jason Lowndes death – Top Story. Happier cycling news: LottoNl-Jumbo presentation, Beat ride National champs, Giro del Belvedere news, Rally Cycling and Vital Concept jerseys, SEG look forward and an announcement from the Tour de Pologne. We finish with Christmas greetings from the cycling World. Don’t eat too much.
TOP STORY:Yet Another Rider Dies in Road Accident
Another family faces the holiday season without their loved one.
One of the saddest stories of 2017 was the death of Michele Scarponi while training near his home in Filottrano in the Province of Ancona, Italy. As has been said many times by lots people, Scarponi was one of the friendliest, funniest guys in the peloton and will be missed by many. Facing her first Christmas without her husband, and father to her children, Anna Scarponi wrote this moving letter to the Italian magazine/website Tuttobici.
Anna Scarponi’s thank-you letter in Tuttobici:
- “For the first time since that tragic day of April 22 I’m able to do what I’d wanted and should have done but that was difficult because it forced me to think about that damned day: The loss of Michele and the opening of a wound that will never heal. With this short letter I’d like to thank you the whole cycling family for their huge show of real support with real warmth and sensitivity. I’ve managed to personally thank some friends and people I know but I also want to truly thank everyone who showed their support. Thanks to everyone’s affection we’ve never felt alone or abandoned in this dark and difficult moment. You warmed our hearts in thousands of ways: from simply being there to help in other ways.
I’m obviously writing this on behalf of my little treasures Giacomo and Tommaso. Thanks to your help and support I’ll be able to tell them about their dad and how much he was loved by everyone. This will be our first Christmas without Michele but I still want to wish you happy holidays. Happy Christmas and happy New Year to all.
Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.
On Friday the sad news of the death of young Australian rider Jason Lowndes was reported in the media. The 23 year-old Israel Cycling Academy rider was killed while training in Bendigo, Australia when a vehicle hit him from behind. Lowndes was due to race with the British JLT-Condor team in 2018.
Lowndes had been a pro since 2015, first riding for Garneau-Québecor then the Drapac team before moving to the Israeli squad. At 23 Lowndes was showing his class as a star of the future with podium places in the Tour of Austria, Tour of Korea and Tour de San Luis. He also finished 6th in the 2016 U23 World championships in Doha, Qatar and 10th in the 2017 Australian National championships.
The Israel Cycling Academy made this statement:
- “We are deeply grieved by the tragic death of our dear friend, rider, and teammate, Jason Lowndes. Jason, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday 8 days ago, was hit by a car while training today on his bike near his home town in Bendigo, Victoria. He raced for Israel Cycling Academy during the 2017 season and his constant broad smile, ever cheerful personality, and warm heart will be terribly missed forever by all of us. We wish to send our deep condolences to Jason’s family and friends all over the world. Good bye, wonderful mate.”
Everyone at PEZ sends their condolences to the Lowndes and Scarponi families and friends.
Jason Lowndes riding the 2016 Ster ZLM Toer TT:
Team LottoNL-Jumbo Announces Contract Renewal Roglic and Groenewegen During Team Presentation
During the presentation of Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s cycling team at Jumbo headquarters in Veghel, manager Richard Plugge announced the contract renewals of Dylan Groenewegen and Primoz Roglic. Both stage winners of the last Tour de France were signed up until 2020.
The contract renewals are typical of the talent development that Team LottoNL-Jumbo advocates. “We have a good plan for the future”, Roglic said during the presentation. This also applies to the former Dutch champion. “It is logical that I renewed my contract”, Groenewegen stated. “I have a lot of confidence in the team and the team has a lot of confidence in me.”
In Veghel, the contours of the racing program of the riders also became clear. New rider Danny van Poppel will challenge the sprints in the Giro and the Vuelta for instance, while the team hopes to successfully play out Dylan Groenewegen in the Tour again. For the general classification, Team LottoNL-Jumbo counts on Steven Kruijswijk in the French stage race. He doesn’t participate in the Giro. After the Tour, he will also compete in the Vuelta, although without ambitions for the general classification.
“We think that there is an opportunity to ride a good classification”, Kruijswijk said. “I have competed in the Giro six or seven times. It is nice to focus on the Tour once again. During that race, there’s a lot coming at you, but I’m not new to the peloton. I can deal with it. As a team, we will go to the Tour for team successes and for this we have a very nice squad.”
During the spring classics, Team LottoNL-Jumbo aims to perform better than last year. Lars Boom is the main rider for this type of races, although the resident from the Dutch town of Vlijmen is currently facing a physical setback. In mid-January, he will undergo an ablation to remedy cardiac arrhythmia. As a result, he will not participate in the Tour Down Under. To prepare himself for the classics in February he will engage in altitude training. After the spring, Boom will focus at the Tour de France, in which he won the cobblestone stage in 2014.
“It’s a pity that the spring is going be a little different for me”, Boom said. “We have to wait and see how quickly I will recover from the operation. They will enter my body through the groin and then take away the troublesome spot. I’m in good hands.”
In addition to Boom, Groenewegen and Kruijswijk, Roglic and Robert Gesink are normally also making their appearance in the Tour de France. The Slovenian long-range plan states that he will not focus on a classification for the coming year. Like Roglic, Gesink will participate in the Tour to hunt for stage wins and to help leader Kruijswijk. His program also comprises the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro d’Italia. During the Italian stage race a stage win will be his main objective.
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo 2018:
New riders: EENKHOORN Pascal, KUSS Sepp, POWLESS Neilson, VAN POPPEL Danny. Retained riders: BATTAGLIN Enrico, BENNETT George, BOOM Lars, BOUWMAN Koen, CLEMENT Stef, DE TIER Floris, GESINK Robert, GROENEWEGEN Dylan, GRONDAHL JANSEN Amund, KRUIJSWIJK Steven, LEEZER Tom, LINDEMAN Bert-Jan, MARTENS Paul, OLIVIER Daan, ROGLIC Primoz, ROOSEN Timo, TANKINK Bram, TOLHOEK Antwan, VAN EMDEN Jos, VAN HOECKE Gijs, WAGNER Robert, WYNANTS Maarten. General Director: PLUGGE Richard, Sportive Director: ZEEMAN Merijn, Race Director: VERHOEVEN Nico, coaches: HEIJBOER Mathieu, BOVEN Jan, DE HAAN Sierk-Jan, ENGELS Addy, MAASSEN Frans, NIERMANN Grischa.
Roglic and Groenewegen at the LottoNl-Jumbo presentation:
Race Preview: Dutch National Track Cycling Championships 2017
After a short period of rest, the riders of the track team are ready to start the second half of their season through the Dutch track cycling championships. From December 27 to 30, Theo Bos, Matthijs Büchli and Roy van den Berg will ride this national tournament, where after their gold medal at the Dutch national team sprint championships in November, they can again compete with the best national riders.
The Dutch track cycling championships will be held from Wednesday, December 27, 2017 until Saturday, December 30, 2017, in the Sportpaleis in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. The BEAT track team starts every day, except Thursday, December 28.
The track team will this week participate in the sprint and the keirin with all three riders and the kilometer time trial with Theo Bos.
Coach of the track team Tim Veldt sees this tournament as a good chance to determine where they stand as a team after a short period out of competition: “We entered a training phase after the World Cups in England and Poland. Roy van den Berg and Matthijs Büchli used this period to travel to Lanzarote to work on their strength and to exchange the track for the road, working on their base for the second half of the season. From now on we look forward to the remainder of the season.
“For us, the focus is now mainly on the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, from January 19 to 21, 2018. These Dutch championships are a good preparation for that moment. The riders’ training is showing promising results at the moment. They are doing very well but in the end you can only truly see where you stand in competition, so this coming week will be an ideal test for the form of our track team.
“For Matthijs Büchli, the keirin will be the main goal for this week. He has shown his shape on several occasions this season and really wants to show it again. Roy van den Berg will use his great team sprint starter form to put in a good sprint tournament, but he will also start the keirin. We’ll mainly use this as a form of training and as an investment in the future, by gaining even more race rhythm this way. Theo Bos will participate in both of those disciplines, plus the kilometer time trial, because the focus really lies at the kilometer time trial working towards the World Championships in Apeldoorn. He spends a lot of time in the gym, while we have prepared a new bike for him for the kilometer time trials. The time trial at the Dutch nationals is a great moment to bring all that preparation together.”
RACE: Individual sprint
PARTICIPANT(S): Roy van den Berg, Theo Bos and Matthijs Büchli
DATE:December 27, 2017.
RACE: Kilometer time trial
PARTICIPANT(S): Theo Bos
DATE: December 29, 2017.
PARTICIPANT(S): Roy van den Berg, Theo Bos and Matthijs Büchli
DATE: December 30, 2017
BEAT Track Team before the Dutch national team sprint championships, last November. Photo: Gert Bonestroo:
2018 Easter Monday brings the 80th Giro del Belvedere
Pro Belvedere’s organizers are getting down to work on the next edition of the U23 international classic race to be held on April 2nd, 2018 in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, Northern Italy)
The Giro del Belvedere will soon celebrate another anniversary of its history hosting the 80th edition of the U23 international race, on Monday April 2nd, in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, Northern Italy).
The Italian classic race has always been the perfect springboard for the best cycling prospects and the 2017 edition was no exception: 6 riders of the top-10 are facing their debut in the pro’ category, starting by the winner Aleksandr Riabushenko (joining the UAE-Team Emirates), the runner-up Lucas Hamilton (Orica-Scott) and third-placed Matteo Fabbro (Team Katusha-Alpecin). Again: Daniel Savini (fourth) joined Bardiani-CSF, Neilson Powless (sixth) the Team Lotto NL-Jumbo and Michael Storer (eighth) the Team Sunweb.
With last April’s success, dressing the European Champion jersey, the 22-year-old Belarussian Aleksandr Riabushenko further enriched the race’s prestigious list of honors, including top-riders such as Maurizio Fondriest, Silvio Martinello, Ivan Gotti, Sacha Modolo and Stefan Kueng.
The 80th Giro del Belvedere will be celebrated by the organizers with plenty of side events. “We are working for a special edition – the OC director Gianfranco Carlet explained – This anniversary give us a swell of pride as well as a boost to improve. 2018 Giro del Belvedere will be the first time without our friend Ezio Piccoli ‘Stecca’, we have to do our best to honors his memory”.
Alexandr Riabushenko celebrates the win at Giro del Belvedere with the European Champion jersey:
One team, one jersey
Rally Cycling is currently enjoying an action-packed winter camp at the Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA in Winter Park, CO. While participating in team building exercises, the riders also received their new jerseys for the 2018 season.
“We work closely with Rally’s creative team each year to develop a look that is minimal, iconic, and approachable,” said team Creative Director Sam Wiebe. “Each year we refine our look, removing superfluous elements to create something completely unique inside the peloton. We want someone putting on a kit for the first time to be as comfortable in Rally orange as our own pro riders. That is why we keep things simple, approachable and clean.”
As for the importance of the entire team coming together, here is what team General Manager Jacob Erker had to say.
“We are celebrating several milestones in 2018 with our program. Moving up to Pro Continental for the men, of course, is an important step. But we are also entering the 7th year for our women’s team as well. From the inception of the women’s program, we have always subscribed to the mantra of “one team” for both programs. Getting all of the riders together in Colorado sets the stage for a very important year ahead.”
More photos in PeloPics.
New French Team Vital Concept Show their 2018 Kit
New men on the block; the Vital Concept Cycling Club have unveiled their kit for 2018. The French Pro Conti team will wear green and black in their first season of racing.
Former professional rider, Jerome Pineau, is the head of the Bretagne based team which hopes to be in the WorldTour by 2020. Vital Concept previously sponsored Fortuneo-Oscaro, but pulled out before the Tour de France. The team will be hoping to receive a ‘Wild Card’ invitation to the Tour from ASO. Top riders on the team are: Sprinter Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie), Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal) and Steven Lammertink (LottoNl-Jumbo).
Vital Concept 2018 Roster:
Yoann Bagot, Kris Boeckmans, Bryan Coquard, Erwann Corbel, Arnaud Courteille, Bert de Backer, Corentin Ermenault, Marc Fournier, Adrien Garel, Steven Lammertink, Johan Le Bon, Jérémy Lecroq, Lorrenzo Manzin, Julien Morice, Justin Mottier, Patrick Müller, Quentin Pacher, Kévin Réza, Tanguy Turgis, Jonas van Genechten.
More info at their Facbook page.
Working towards another great year!
First of all, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy 2018 from everyone at the SEG Racing Academy.
Personally, we have been working towards the upcoming season for a while now. The team enjoyed a team building camp in Eindhoven in November, which marked our official kick 2018 and the preparation will continue in Loutraki in our two training camps in the coming months of January and February. Everyone involved with the team is working hard to help this project make the next step, and that will be shown in the next few days as we have some exciting news to share.
The 2017 season has been good to the Academy as our riders have brought the team’s colors to the top spot of races such us Tour de l’Avenir, Tour de Normandie and in both disciplines of the U23 Dutch National championships. In addition, three of our guys have completed the move to the ProRanks and joined the list of Academy Alumni, that has now 11 members after only 3 years of existence.
But most importantly, our third year in the peloton has been the confirmation that we are offering the best development program and we are heading in the right direction. It is getting bigger than ever before, but we are ready to take on the challenge and keep on growing through our values of clean sport, education of young riders and contributing to move cycling forward.
It has been great to have you following the team, but fasten your seatbelt because we are just getting start. Merry Christmas and happy new year!
More info on the SEG Racing Team HERE.
Forbes Includes Czeslaw Lang Among Great Polish Sports Figures
Another important reward for the Tour de Pologne and its General Director.
The end of 2017 has marked another important achievement for the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour. Forbes Polska, is the Polish edition of the well-known American economic and financial magazine, which is famous for its lists. This year it has once again published its list of the top 50 most influential sports figures in the Polish sports world, and once again Czeslaw Lang has been included on that roster. On this special list, the General Director for the Tour de Pologne made it to the TOP10 in 6th place. Lang was a pro cyclist in the 80’s and he was a pioneer in modernizing Polish cycling beyond the iron curtain; he also won a historic silver medal for Poland in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
The Forbes list names famous people from Polish sports past and present. First place went to Zbigniew Boniek, one of the best football players in history and current President of the Polish Football Federation. 2nd place went to Adam Malysz, one of the best Polish athletes of all time, an icon in ski jumping and winter sports. In 3rd place we find Robert Lewandowski, one of the best football players in the world, Captain and top scorer for the Polish National team. It was 4th place for Marcin Gortat, a world famous NBA major league basketball star for more than a dozen years. 5th place went to Adam Nawalka, Poland’s national team football coach, who clinched the qualification for the 2018 Russian World Cup. As we mentioned, in 6th place we find Czeslaw Lang, who has been organizing the Tour de Pologne for almost a quarter of a century. 7th place was for Kamil Stoch, two-time Olympic ski jumping champion. It was 8th place for Irena Szewinska, one of the best Polish Olympians of all time in athletics and an actual member of the IOC. 9th place was assigned to Agnieszka Radwanska, the best Polish tennis player. And in 10th place it was Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, owner of the Polish television channel Cyfrowy Polsat.
“I’m very happy to be on this list, but I am especially honored to see my name next to the names of figures that are veritable icons of sport, not only in Poland but also in the rest of the world. It’s an achievement that rewards all the hard work of the entire Lang Team staff, which organizes the Tour de Pologne with commitment and dedication. Our national stage race is a fantastic sports event that has become a brand in Polish sports and a true calling card for Poland itself; every year it broadcasts the country to the entire world through television and the work of the media. People love this event, which attracts huge crowds of all ages. It testifies to the popularity of bikes and highlights the constant growth of the Polish cycling movement. In modern society, sports represent a country’s growth index, and we are proud that the Tour de Pologne is an important part of this system,” explains the General Director for the Tour de Pologne, Czeslaw Lang.
Christmas Greetings from the World of Cycling:
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