No Poggio in Milan-Sanremo due to landslide? – Top Story. We catch up with all the other cycling news: Remco Evenepoel wins Kristallen Fiets, no Olympics for Mark Cavendish, Philippe Gilbert on Evenepoel, no Giro for Total Direct Energie, Stuart O’Grady TDU race director, Julian Alaphilippe for Flanders’20, Marco Cecchini suspension, more rider contracts, Greg Van Avermaet early season, Bahrain-McLaren, BORA-hansgrohe until 2021 and Astana on Wilier Triestina. Big EUROTRASH Thursday!
TOP STORY: Poggio Closed Due to Landslides
The Poggio, the main climb in Milan-San Remo (and examined in detail by Pez himself), is currently closed due to landslides. Allegedly more than ten million euros is needed to make the climb ready for the spring classic.
The Via Duca d’Aosta, better known as the climb of the Poggio in Milan-San Remo, is closed until further notice as a precaution, Riviera24 reports. The decision was made this week after investigations into the landslide, which has already led to a partial closure of the road in recent months.
ANAS (Public Works Dept.) had advised the municipality to monitor the condition of the retaining wall, and so the town hall immediately intervened to keep the situation under control. Apparently that was not enough, because the sensors that were installed showed that the landslide is still going on and slowly moving further and further towards the valley.
That is why the surrounding roads are already closed. An inspection will take place early next week, with the main questions as to whether and when the roads can be repaired. “Further checks will be carried out during the week. But we have already called for an urgent approach from the ANAS and the regional government to protect the land and prevent instability on the whole slope,” the city council responded.
The organisers of Milan-San Remo is not yet concerned about the closed Poggio. Maurice Vegni indicates that RCS, the organiser of La Primavera, is not yet worried about the situation. “We are not worried at the moment, because there is still a lot of time,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “From the beginning of next year we will monitor the situation and see if there are consequences for the race.” Milan-San Remo will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step Win Big at Kristallen Fiets
Remco Evenepoel, Tim Declercq and Patrick Lefevere were all honoured at the prestigious gala, held Wednesday evening.
Remco Evenepoel continued to write history, two months after ending his maiden pro season, by becoming the youngest ever recipient of the Kristallen Fiets trophy, which rewards the best Belgian rider of the year.
The prize was a well-deserved one for Remco, who became the second Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider to win it, after Tom Boonen (2004-2006, 2012). His stellar campaign included five victories and several records set along the way by Evenepoel, who now boasts a palmarès that at the age of 19 already includes the European ITT Title, the Belgium Tour, Clasica San Sebastian, and the silver medal at the World Time Trial Championships.
“I am very happy and proud that I managed to win an individual trophy this year. It means I’ve had a nice season and some good performances. It’s a culmination of my first year with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which was very special, and this trophy means a lot to me. It’s an amazing feeling and it gives me wings to go into the winter break and fully focus on next year, as I am prepared and motivated to work hard. I can’t wait to go to Calpe in a few days and join the team for our winter training camp,” said Remco, whose success came just one year after capturing the trophy awarded to the best young Belgian rider.
Tim Declercq, who played a quintessential role in many of the Wolfpack’s 68 victories in 2019, took for the second time in a row the Best Domestique Prize – which since 2012 has always been won by a Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider.
“I rate this second Kristallen Zweetdruppel higher than that of 2018. The competition was really tough with De Plus and Devenyns, who has done an amazing job for Alaphilippe over the past year. Why this award always goes to one of our riders? We have many leaders and winners in the team, so there’s also a lot of domestique work that needs to be done. It’s my job and it’s what I do best on a bike. It’s really nice that I can win an award with it,” said Tim, to whom the organisers prepared a surprise as he went on the stage. “They told me that someone special would give me the trophy, but I didn’t know who. It’s amazing that Yves Lampaert was the one to give it to me. We have a great bond. We also help each other to reach a higher level. It’s really special to get the trophy from Yves.”
Patrick Lefevere, the bona fide admiral at the helm of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step battleship, also took to the podium, for a seventh Best Manager of the Year award, a new record since the inception of the Kristallen Fiets Gala: “I am very proud to be here and receive a seventh trophy. It’s an honour, but what made this night truly special was to be on the podium together with two of our riders. Their prizes serve as further confirmation of the extraordinary season we’ve had and the hard work we put in every single year. You can’t run an organisation by yourself. Everyone – riders, soigneurs, mechanics, sponsors – contributed to this success. It’s not the success of a man, but of an entire team. We are the Wolfpack, we have a really strong bond, and knowing that people want to ride or work for us makes me extremely proud.”
Eddy Merckx presented the Kristallen Fiets trophy to Remco Evenepoel:
No Olympic Place for Cavendish?
Mark Cavendish faces a difficult task when it comes to getting a spot in the British Olympic track team. The door is still held open by British coach Iain Dyer, but the sprinter is facing an enormous challenge.
Cavendish hinted two and a half months ago that he was keen for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. During the Games in Rio he took the silver medal in the omnium, but now he has set his eye on the madison. This discipline returns to the Olympic program after twelve years and the Briton has already won three World titles. However, the places for the Games are rare. National coach Iain Dyer therefore wonders if the 34-year-old rider is able to earn enough qualifying points to make the five-strong team. “Other riders are more eligible”, Dyer tells BBC Sport. “The door is open, but it is a huge challenge to take that opportunity.”
Ethan Hayter and Oliver Wood took silver last month in the madison at the Glasgow World Cup and were also part of the British pursuit team, who won silver in the Pruszków World championships. The versatility of Hayter and Wood could be an obstacle for Cavendish, who is considered “only” as a specialist in the madison.
“You always want to have five riders who can also ride the team pursuit. So with someone who is only a specialist in the madison and cannot ride anywhere else; that is not the perfect scenario,” explains Dyer. “If one of the other riders is injured, you have a problem.” Cavendish also has to get enough qualifying points for Tokyo and there is not much opportunity for that. We are halfway through the current World cup series, this month Cambridge and Brisbane and in January Milton, this is followed by the World Championships in Berlin. “The opportunities are flying away, making it increasingly difficult,” says Dyer. “You don’t do a madison alone, so although there is still a possibility, the chances are getting smaller.”
Cavendish and Keisse in the ‘6 Days’ of Gent:
Philippe Gilbert: “At first I didn’t take Evenepoel too seriously”
Philippe Gilbert is now best buddies with Remco Evenepoel, but in the beginning the Classic specialist had to get used to his eighteen year younger countryman. “I thought he was a bit crazy,” he admitted to Het Laatste Nieuws.
Gilbert still finds it a shame that Belgium was left empty-handed after the World Championships road race in Yorkshire. Gilbert crashed and tried to return to the peloton, but the Valkenburg World champion was never at the front again. Gilbert eventually retired from the race with much emotion. “We had a team on paper to become a World champion, eventually we went home ‘sans rien’. That was a shame.”
The Walloon rider, who made the switch from Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Lotto Soudal, had only Remco Evenepoel, who had just returned after a ‘natural break’, in support after his World championship crash. “The youngest of the gang was class. I thought. That too is proof of his rich potential,” said Gilbert. “He thinks and acts tactically. What he did in Yorkshire was super professional. His future looks good.”
These days they get along well, but Gilbert has had to get used to Evenepoel. “In the beginning I didn’t take him too seriously. I thought he was a little crazy. He said things before the race, of which I thought: ‘Hey boy, what are you saying here? Calm down a little.’ He would do this and attack there … Arrogant, I thought. Until a few hours later, he just put it into practice. Impressive.”
Gilbert does have a reservation about whether Evenepoel can shine in the long term on the big climbs. “He is already on top of the World in the time trial, in the middle mountains, better. But I will be amazed at how he rides against the Colombian climbing wonders on cols of over 2,000 meters. I think they are the only ones who can hurt him there. Bernal in particular is phenomenal in that area.”
Evenepoel with Gilbert trying to get back in the Yorkshire Worlds’19:
Total Direct Energie Not to Ride the 2020 Giro d’Italia?
According to the French sports paper, L’Equipe, the Total Direct Energie team will not be at the start of the Giro d’Italia next year. The French formation has earned a starting ticket for all WorldTour races of 2020 this season, but will not take the guaranteed ‘Wild Card’ from organiser RCS Sport.
Mauro Vegni already announced that he would like to invite three Italian teams for the first Grand Tour of the season. The director of the Tour of Italy prefers Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF and Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM. “Our country has given so much to cycling. I therefore hope that Total Direct Energie, which will certainly focus on the Tour de France, will refuse the invitation, so that we can invite our Italian teams,” said Vegni. The Italian now seems to be getting his way, because according to L’Equipe, Total Direct Energie is prepared to return the guaranteed wildcard.
Vegni is said to have had discussions with Jean-René Bernaudeau, team manager of Total Direct Energie, hoping to convince the former French rider to withdraw from the Italian Tour. In December we will know how many teams will be part of the WorldTour in 2020. If there is nineteen teams, then the Grand Tours might only have three wildcards to hand out.
No Giro for Total Direct Energie?
Stuart O’Grady Announced as New Race Director for the Santos Tour Down Under
South Australian Cycling and Olympic Champion, Stuart O’Grady has been announced as the new Race Director for the Santos Tour Down Under. Stuart O’Grady’s appointment follows the announcement of inaugural Race Director Mike Turtur’s retirement at the end of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under. As a former professional cyclist, and winner of the first Santos Tour Down Under, O’Grady brings over 19 years of international professional cycling experience to the race, and a roll-call of racing wins throughout his cycling career.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said: “Stuart is a proud South Australian, and an international professional cyclist who comes to this role with significant endorsements from the international cycling community. Having Stuart working closely with Mike Turtur this year will provide him with a strong platform and transition on which to build his own style of race for 2021. The appointment of a home-grown cycling legend ensures the Santos Tour Down Under will be passionately guided into its next era, after the extraordinary leadership of Mike Turtur for more than two decades.”
Stuart O’Grady said his appointment is a great challenge and opportunity. “My appointment to this role really is the pinnacle in my career. I have lived my life and career with the international cycling community, so this is a defining professional and personal moment for me. I’m excited that I will be delivering a race in my hometown, with one that I competed in, won and have watched grow its cycling participation and fan-base over the years.”
Stuart added that it was a privilege to call himself Race Director of the Santos Tour Down Under from 2021. “I am looking forward to developing my vision, and a creative race that will lead to the ongoing growth of the men’s competition and to the overall race itself.”
Stuart said that although they are big shoes to fill, he is looking forward to the challenge and is relishing the opportunity to create a new story for the Santos Tour Down Under through his directorship. “Obviously Mike is a huge part of this race, the professional cycling community and the Santos Tour Down Under. He has a lot of learned knowledge that I will be hoping to capture during my time with him over the next few months” said Stuart.
Events South Australia Executive Director, Hitaf Rasheed said: “We ran a comprehensive process to ensure we got the right person for this important role and we believe Stuart is that person. We are excited about what he will bring to the role which has been filled so brilliantly by Mike Turtur over 22 years.”
Outgoing Race Director Mike Turtur said the appointment was an important one for the future. “We needed the right person, experience, fit, and someone who had an appetite to deliver a vision and really embrace the race with their own personality and someone ready to put their own stamp on it.”
Mike added that Stuart showed incredible passion for the role. “He has terrific experience, networks and relationships globally, which will also bring new opportunities to the race and for South Australia. Stuart’s enthusiasm and energy and his desire to keep evolving the event as Australia’s Greatest Cycling Race and one of the most respected races on the WorldTour Calendar is a key ingredient to the success of his appointment,” said Mike. Stuart will start work in December and will work closely with Mike over the coming months leading into the 2020 race. Mike will stay on in a mentoring role for 12 months through to the 2021 event.
Quote from Gerry Ryan OAM (owner Mitchelton-SCOTT Racing): “The Santos Tour Down Under is now recognised as one of the best bike races in the world and there is no doubt that Mike Turtur has played a huge part in that. I believe you have selected the best person who can keep the Tour Down Under at the forefront of World Cycling. Stuart has always been a leader and led by example. When I decided to start Australia’s first World Tour team back in 2011, Stuart was the first cyclist I approached to lead this team. It was a tough decision for Stuart to make as he was the road captain for one of the biggest teams in Europe and had led them to victory in the TDF. But Stuart’s passion for Australia won out and he was one of the main reasons GreenEdge became one of the leading teams in such a short time. There is no one in Australian Cycling and few in the world who have the contact network and respect that Stuart has gained from more than 20 years in the world peloton. He has amazing relationships with most of the World Team owners and Sports Directors.”
About Stuart O’Grady:
A former two times World Champion on the track, Stuart O’Grady rode in 6 Olympic Games, and won four medals in total. He competed in the Tour de France 17 times and he wore the yellow jersey of GC leader at the TDF in 1998 and 2001. O’Grady also competed in the Paris-Roubaix 17 times, and his biggest career win came in 2007 as the first Australian to take first place at the one-day road race in Northern France.
He also competed at 3 Commonwealth Games, 2 World Championships and was the Race Director for Revolve24, a 24-hour endurance bike race in 2019 (which he will also fill in 2020). O’Grady is the current President of the South Australian chapter of the Australian Olympic Committee. O’Grady is a two-time winner of the Santos Tour Down Under, winning the inaugural race in 1999 and won the race again in 2001.
Stuart O’Grady in the 2017 TDU:
Alaphilippe to Ride the 2020 Ronde van Vlaanderen
Julian Alaphilippe will make his debut in the Tour of Flanders next year. The French leader of Deceuninck – Quick-Step team told L’Équipe. “It will be a journey of discovery,” says Alaphilippe.
“I need those new challenges. I know that I am more suited to the Ardennes, but I can gain rhythm and moreover be important for the team.” The triptych in the hills remains a major goal for the spring.
Alaphilippe received the Vélo d’Or this weekend as the best cyclist of the year from the French newspaper, L’Équipe, which also reported that Alaphilippe will start his season in the Tour of Colombia in 2020. Paris-Nice is also on his program.
Alaphilippe received the Vélo d’Or:
Year suspension for Young Italian for Positive Test in Baby Giro
Marco Cecchini has received retrospective suspension from the UCI for a year. The 21-year-old Italian was caught with Clostebol, an anabolic steroid, in June after the prologue of the Under23 Giro d’Italia. His sentence expires on 13 June 2020.
Promising rider Cecchini rode for the UCI Continental Sangemini-Trevigiani-MG.Kvis team last season. His suspension is “only” one year, because he told the relevant doping control that he had used a cream containing the substance Clostebol, Cicloweb reported.
All results that Cecchini has achieved since his positive test have been canceled, including a 3rd place in the GP Kranj (UCI 1.2) in Slovenia. In the coming year, Cecchini can race again from 13 June.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step sign Sam Bennett and Shane Archbold
The Irish Champion and the Kiwi join the Wolfpack until at least the end of 2021.
Most successful team in the world for the eighth consecutive season, Deceuninck – Quick-Step have signed sprinter Sam Bennett, with the Irish National Champion joining the squad on a two-year deal. He will be joined at the team by his good friend and lead-out man Shane Archbold, who has also penned a two-year deal, thus completing our roster for 2020.
29-year-old Bennett was actually born in Wervik, Belgium, before his parents took him back to their native Ireland when he was four, where he grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, the hometown of the famous Sean Kelly. Once he had completed his education, Sam’s talent on the bike was spotted by Vélo Club La Pomme, Marseille, where he began his path to a career in cycling that saw him turn professional in 2014. Since then he has built a reputation as on the of best sprinters around, having taken 42 victories to date, including 5 Grand Tour stages and the Irish National Championship.
Archbold, who hails from Timaru on New Zealand’s South Island, has carved out a reputation as one of the best lead-out men in the business, forging a formidable partnership with Bennett. The early part of his career was dominated by his work on the track, which is perhaps where he honed his skill for negotiating a hectic peloton and saw him win a Commonwealth Gold Medal, as well as World Championship Silver. Since then moving to the road he has forged a successful partnership with Bennett that has seen him pilot the Irish man to many of his victories.
After putting pen to paper with the team, Bennett said: “I am delighted to get to sign with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the team I had a poster of on my wall when I was a kid. I remember going to a race with An Post and seeing Quick-Step at races and I was intimidated by such a big team. I never thought I would be good enough to sign for them, so be able to say that I am riding for them is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to work with the guys and starting working and racing with them. It is a daunting task to race for this team, but it is motivating and a challenge, having been with my previous team for so long and I feel refreshed. It is fantastic to be having Shane here too. I am delighted for him as he had a few years where he wasn’t getting opportunities, so for us to both be here is special. To have a friend and a work colleague with him, it makes the job easier too.”
Upon signing, Shane said: “It is a childhood a dream for a lot of riders to join Deceuninck – Quick-Step, so I am very happy. It has been an up and down few years for me and to be able to join them is great for me and I am looking forward to being able to improve and race with what is regarded as the world’s best team. Obviously, me and Sam have had a good relationship since 2013 and it will be great to continue that. We have grown as a pair since then and to be able to be part of the progress of a great friend is an honour.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere expressed his pleasure at Bennett’s arrival: “The protracted nature of Sam’s move has been well documented but I am delighted to have him on board. His palmarès alone speaks volumes about his talent and determination, but he is also a great character and another leader to have around the team. We all cannot wait to start working with him.”
Lefevere was also full of praise for Archbold, when adding: “We know how important it is for a sprinter to have a lead-out man that he fully understands and has faith in. While we have several excellent lead-out guys already here, when it became clear that we could add Shane to our squad to help Sam, it made complete sense. He is extremely skilful at what he does and is rightly regarded as one of the best in the world.”
Travis McCabe Signs for Israel Cycling Academy Team
Travis McCabe has stepped up to WorldTour level for 2020. The 30-year-old American sprinter has signed a contract with Israel Cycling Academy: “I have always dreamed of being at the highest level,” McCabe says in a press release. McCabe rode this year for Floyd’s Pro Cycling, a UCI Continental team run and sponsored by Floyd Landis. “It is cool to race for Israel Cycling Academy, especially now that the team has made the move to the WorldTour. I want to show that I can also perform at the highest cycling level. I know I can handle it physically.”
“I also want to be a good teammate and ambassador next season,” continues Rapid McCabe. “I hope to book my first European victory in 2020, participate in the classics and maybe start in a big round.” This year McCabe won a stage in the Tour de Langkawi and the points classification in the Tour of Utah. His honours list includes stages in the Tour on Utah, the Colorado Classic and the Herald Sun Tour. “Travis will have a chance in some races,” says team manager Kjell Carlström. “Travis has a lot of experience, even though he hasn’t traveled much in Europe yet. He will also play an important role in the lead-out train.”
Travis McCabe in Langkawi:
Another Year for Leonardo Basso With Ineos
Leonardo Basso will be staying with Team Ineos in 2020. The 25-year-old Italian announced in an interview with TuttoBiciWeb. “I also hope to grow as a cyclist in my third year. We will look at my program for 2020 within one week,” said Basso.
The rider from Castelfranco Veneto had to wait a long time for a contract extension, but he did not worry too much. Team Ineos had assured him in June that he would stay. “I’m pretty calm and wait for the team to sign the new contract.” He said at the time, but now the signatures have been finalised.
Basso made his debut in 2018 for Team Sky. This year he raced as a domestique at the Tour of the Alps, Tour of California and the BinckBank Tour. “I rode more WorldTour races last season, making 2019 a foundation year. I am satisfied with my season, I have done my job,” Basso remembers.
The hard-working Italian hopes to become even better as a cyclist in 2020. “My dream is to ride Milan-San Remo. It is the most beautiful classic with the most history. As a child, I saw Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi triumph. It’s just my favourite race.”
Leonardo Basso and Michal Golas in the BinckBank Tour’19:
Burgos-BH Complete the 2020 Team with Cubero and Gibson
Burgos-BH has completed its roster for the coming season with the contract extension of Jorge Cubero and Matthew Gibson. This brings the total number of riders for the Spanish team to twenty.
Cubero (27) starts his fifth season with the team. The Spaniard rode a mainly Spanish program last year, in which he started for the second year in a row in the Vuelta a España. He has not had any wins yet, but he was quite often in the early escape. Team leader José Cabedo calls Cubero “a fixed value in the team”. “He has two Vueltas in his legs and must be one of the road captains for Burgos-BH.”
Gibson is four years younger and has only been with the team since last season. He won the final stage of the Tour of Qinghai Lake. The Briton will be a spearhead within the team in the mass sprints next season.
Last week Burgos-BH presented their new clothing, in 2020 the team opts for a purple jersey and black shorts. The team also announced that Hotel Ciudad de Burgos – a long-standing sponsor of the Spanish team – will also provide financial support for the coming three seasons.
Burgos-BH team for 2020:
Jetse Bol (Ned), Óscar Cabedo (Spa), Carlos Canal (Spa), Isaac Cantón (Spa), Jorge Cubero (Spa), Jesús Ezquerra (Spa), Ángel Fuentes (Spa), Matthew Gibson (GB), Pablo Guerrero (Spa), Victor Langelotti (Mon), Ángel Madrazo (Spa), Alex Molenaar (Ned), José Neves (Por), Juan Felipe Osorio (Col), Manuel Peñalver (Spa), Diego Rubio (Spa), Nicolas Sessler (Bra), Willie Smit (SA), Jaume Sureda (Spa), Ricardo Vilela (Por).
A year more for Cubero and Gibson:
Greg Van Avermaet Plan Towards the Classics
Greg Van Avermaet starts the 2020 cycling season in the Tour of Valencia. The Olympic champion then goes to Portugal for the Volta ao Algarve and as announced earlier he will not go to the Tour of Oman. The 34-year-old Van Avermaet – who recently became the father of a second daughter – is leaving on Friday for a training camp in Denia, Spain. The Belgian told Het Laatste Nieuws that in January he will go to altitude training in Tenerife, a few weeks before the Tour of Valencia (5-9 February). “Thanks to a new approach, we want to prevent him from getting back into shape too early,” said team DS Valerio Piva.
In Portugal, Van Avermaet hopes to work towards the Flemish opening weekend of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Then it’s time for Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico, where he wants to put the finishing touches for Milan-San Remo.
Training in Flanders:
Bahrain-Merida Becomes Bahrain-McLaren in 2020
A week ago it was announced that Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer Merida will no longer be a co-sponsor of WorldTour team Bahrain-Merida. The team will be known as Bahrain-McLaren in 2020, according to a press release below:
Reflecting its new joint venture partnership, the Bahrain MERIDA Pro Cycling Team will compete in 2020 as Team Bahrain McLaren. Behind the new team name are a number of changes in the team’s structure – with the team’s vision and winning spirit stronger than ever.
As Bahrain MERIDA Pro Cycling Team we achieved many incredible results in the past three years, learned some valuable lessons and have immensely grown as a team. Together with our primary partner, MERIDA BIKES, we built a solid foundation and are now looking forward to continuing this incredible journey via a joint venture with McLaren, the renowned racing, technology and super car brand, where competition and racing is a part of the DNA. MERIDA BIKES is stepping back as the primary partner and title sponsor but continues to be our official bicycle supplier and valued technical partner, providing our team with the best equipment possible. MERIDA played an important part in the creation of the team, coming on board as our foundation partner for the debut 2017 season.
Milan Erzen, Joint Managing Director commented: “This moment marks an exciting new phase in the history of our team. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved as Bahrain-Merida, and delighted that we can now combine that experience with our joint venture partner McLaren, to innovate together in this great sport. Cycling is developing into an increasingly technical sport, and as Team Bahrain McLaren we will be well placed to compete with the best – and to work with our many partners to challenge the status quo.”
Our new name, Bahrain McLaren, reflects the new partnership and the whole team, from riders to staff, is looking forward to representing our new team brand. We are certain that the new partnership will bring fresh motivation and accelerate the team’s ambitions to compete at the top. McLaren will contribute greatly to optimising technology, managing human high performance and developing strategic marketing and communication activities with the goal of building a lasting and successful brand in pro cycling.
To achieve this, we have optimised not only our 28-rider line-up, but also our management structure. Joining us on our exciting journey is John Allert as Joint Managing Director, Rod Ellingworth as Team Principal, Roger Hammond as Performance Director and Charlie Pym as Marketing Director, as well as numerous talented additions to our teams in Medicine, Therapy, Sports Direction, Coaching, Nutrition, and Mechanical Services.
Our new Joint Managing Director, John Allert, is excited about the upcoming challenges: “We are delighted to have formalised our joint venture partnership with Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team. As Bahrain-Merida, the team quickly established its credentials in the most elite form of road racing – the UCI WorldTour – becoming the only team ever to score a Grand Tour podium in its debut year, and most recently winning two stages of this year’s Tour de France. As Bahrain McLaren we are excited to build on that legacy, and to work with a variety of technical partners, including Merida, to write a new chapter of success.”
“McLaren’s racing pedigree is founded on decades of performance in the most technologically advanced sport in the world. We now look forward to applying this knowledge to elite cycling, for the benefit of our riders, our partners and fans of this exciting and rapidly growing sport. We are confident that professional cycling is entering a great new era, an era in which passion and technology will combine to unleash exciting new possibilities. This is what Team Bahrain McLaren is all about.”
hansgrohe Extends Title Sponsorship of BORA – hansgrohe Until 2021
At the conclusion of the most successful season in the history of the team, BORA – hansgrohe once again has reason to celebrate, with hansgrohe having extended its title sponsorship until 2021. For three years now, hansgrohe has been a valued and reliable partner of the team, and with the early renewal of this contract, we will continue to pursue our common goal to become the number one team in cycling.
“The team is very pleased about this extension with our partner, hansgrohe. It is a testament to the hard work of the riders and the entire team during this season to achieve our common goals and be successful on the road. With our strong partners, BORA and hansgrohe, at our side, we are on the way to becoming the number one cycling team in the world.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager BORA – hansgrohe.
“We are proud of the excellent performance of the team, which in addition to bringing sporting success, has also brought gains for our brand, hansgrohe. The positive impact that has been experienced by the brand and its reputation confirmed our decision to renew our contract. Together with the team, we aim to continue this success story, and are looking forward to two more seasons as a sponsor and partner of the BORA – hansgrohe team. We wish the riders and the management continued success.” – Hans Jürgen Kalmbach, CEO hansgrohe SE.
“I thank hansgrohe for their trust in us, as well as their support. This season has been extremely successful for our team. We all share a common vision and are working hard to be able to be even more successful on the bike next year.” – Emanuel Buchmann.
Astana Pro Team Presents Partnership with Wilier Triestina
Astana Pro Team proudly presents the new collaboration with Wilier Triestina. The Kazakh WorldTour team will start racing on the bikes of the Italian bike brand in its 15th season on the highest level of professional cycling.
The collaboration with the Rossano Veneto company – born out of shared ambitious sporting goals – will be wide-ranging, both in terms of duration and the areas addressed. While Wilier Triestina will initially provide its best racing products from the 2020 collection (i.e. Wilier 0 SLR and Wilier Turbine), over time, Astana Pro Team will be increasingly involved in designing products, and especially in developing new bicycles, aiming to raise even further the already excellent level of innovation present in Wilier bicycles. A level of innovation recognised internationally by the numerous awards the company received in recent years.
“I’m very glad that we start working with Wilier Triestina. It’s a very successful company with a long history and it has always been a family business. This fits perfectly with the mentality of staff and riders at Astana Pro Team, where we treat each other like family as well in our quest for victories in what will be the 15th season of the team on the highest level of professional cycling. We are happy to cooperate with this brand, I’m sure they can raise the bar for us while we can do the same for them. We’ve tested their road and TT bikes, both are an excellent piece of equipment. At Astana Pro Team, we hope that this bike helps us to win even more races next year. I thank them for their trust in our team and look forward to a successful partnership,” said the General Manager of Astana Pro Team, Alexandr Vinokurov.
“We are proud to announce this agreement that we are certain will play a central role in Wilier Triestina’s growth and overall success. Astana Pro Team concretely shares our ambition to return to winning the world’s top races. It is an essential contribution to continue creating increasingly innovative products, as the highest expression of the value of the Wilier Triestina brand. The cycling season that has just ended brought major successes to Astana Pro Team and we look forward to celebrating exciting new victories with them,” said Andrea Gastaldello, CEO of Wilier Triestina.
Wilier 0 SLR, the first ultra-lightweight racing bike with disc brakes and fully integrated cables
Wilier 0 SLR encapsulates the most complex concepts of lightness and total integration in simple aesthetics. These are the features the most demanding cyclists seek in the most technologically advanced racing bikes: ultra lightweightedness, high-speed stability and control, braking performance, electronic transmission, high aerodynamics, and full cable integration. All condensed in Wilier’s unmistakable style.
A frame with unique features and a host of innovative aspects , providing the perfect response to the needs of triathletes around the world. A product developed on the basis of four fundamental pillars: aerodynamics; braking efficiency; wide range of positions; ease of transportation.
The ultimate synthesis of these key elements , Wilier Turbine is the new triathlon and time trial frame that embodies all of Wilier Triestina’s expertise in the quest for maximum speed. Wilier Turbine transforms your power into speed, offering the highest possible levels of performance.
Wilier Turbine, Astana Pro Team edition:
BORA – hansgrohe starts the 2020 season with Ötztal as a new partner
As part of the official team presentation in Kolbermoor at Auto-Eder, who is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a sponsor of Ralph Denk’s team, BORA – hansgrohe presented the region of Ötztal as a new partner. After the most successful season in the young team’s history, BORA – hansgrohe has set ambitious goals for 2020. With five new signings and a total of 27 riders from nine nations, the team is heading confidently into the coming season. After the Classics, the Giro d’Italia is on the program for Peter Sagan for the very first time. Maximilian Schachmann will also be participating in the Italian stage race on the road to the Olympic Games, while Emanuel Buchmann’s season highlight will once again be the Tour de France. Meanwhile, Pascal Ackermann, who will be participating in both the Giro and the Vuelta, will be taking on two Grand Tours in his program for the very first time.
“We have had the most successful season in our history and ended the year in second place in the World Rankings. We were able to improve significantly, in particular at the big stage races, and I’m really pleased about that. We are very satisfied with having achieved positions six, four and six at the Giro, Tour and Vuelta respectively. However, having accomplished this, we’re not going to rest on our laurels and we are already looking towards 2020. We have big plans for next year. Our goals are to take a podium result at a Grand Tour, win a Monument like we did in 2018, and of course we’re also aiming to become the number one cycling team in the world in the future. In order to achieve this, we need the right squad, the right people, and of course sponsors. I am fortunate to be able to work with incredibly passionate partners, who are 100% committed to our journey. I am therefore particularly pleased to have been able to announce the contract renewal of hansgrohe today. I am also just as happy about our new partner Ötztal, whom I welcome wholeheartedly into our cycling family.” Ralph Denk, Team Manager
“We are pleased to be able to go on tour with this very strong BORA – hansgrohe team. Having a partner such as this squad, one of the most likeable teams in the WorldTour, we’re expecting to see wider media exposure in Germany, the home country of most of our guests, and even beyond. Ötztal has a strong affinity with the sport of cycling and offers a broad and diverse range of attractions for cyclists. On several occasions, we have featured as a stage finish town for the Deutschland Tour and the Tour de Suisse. Since 1982, the Ötztal Bike Marathon has taken place, an event that has set new standards. With this expertise, not only in elite sport, but also in recreational sport, it was a logical step to form a partnership with BORA – hansgrohe.” – Oliver Schwarz, CEO Ötztal Tourism
“I’m really looking forward to taking to the start of the Giro for the first time. Like in previous years at the Tour de France, my Giro campaign will also be focused on stage wins. My race program has changed somewhat, for instance, I won’t be racing in Australia. In addition to the Giro, my goals will be remaining the same as every year: the Classics in Spring, and the Tour de France.” Peter Sagan.
“Once again, my entire focus will be directed towards the Tour de France. Everything else is secondary to this main goal. My race program will be similar to this year’s. That worked out quite well. I’m sure that I can count on a strong team in July. The course of the Tour should suit me quite well. There are many mountain stages, no team trials and the individual time trial is also something for the climbers. The aim will be to reach the podium, and if I can make a small step forward, then this will be a very achievable goal.” Emanuel Buchmann.
“I am very satisfied with my season. I had a few difficult years and often times a bit of bad luck in decisive moments. This year it was different, and I was able to show than I can compete with the best. I could have possibly netted a better result at the Vuelta and so I will do my utmost in my preparations in order to potentially be in the mix for the fight for a podium place in a Grand Tour in 2020. It would be a dream if I could pull this off at the Giro because I really love this race in particular. The fans are incredible and the atmosphere in Italy is sensational.” Rafal Majka.
“For me, Tokyo 2020 is definitely the ultimate goal. The course should suit me well and I am very grateful to the BORA – hansgrohe team for giving me a degree of freedom in my race schedule. Next year, after the Ardennes races, which should be the first highlights of my season, I will tackle the Giro. After that, I will prepare specifically for the Olympics.” Maximilian Schachmann.
“Of course, I would like to soon show my strength in the sprints at the Tour de France and contest stage wins. But the course doesn’t allow for too many sprint finishes. Besides that, Emu needs a powerful team for the mountains. Therefore, it made more sense for me to take on the Giro. Together with Peter, we are well-positioned in the sprints and will certainly be an extremely strong team. I will also ride the Vuelta. I could see what a positive effect my first Grand Tour had on my performance level and that’s why we have decided that in 2020 I will participate in two Grand Tours.” Pascal Ackermann.
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