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EUROTRASH ‘6 Days’ Thursday!

The 2016 road season is grinding to its end, but don’t worry we have lots to talk about. The London ‘6 Days’ or should it be 5 + 1 days? Race action from Putte-Kapellen and Ronse (with video), plus a new US National Organization, The UCI Gala, Japan Cup, the end of the Colombia team, the best bits of cyclo-cross video and lot’s of contract news. A full EuroTrash.

TOP STORY: When is a 6 not a 6?
‘Six Day racing returns to UK’ said the headline in the July 9 edition of Cycling Weekly – and despite the fact that the race starts this Sunday there’s been not one further mention of it in the UK’s premier and oldest cycling publication that we can see.

We’d have thought you really need ‘press’ to sell a new ‘Six’? But it’s not a Six, is it?

It’s a ‘five plus one’ – whilst there’s no denying the quality of the top end of the field; Iljo Keisse, Kenny De Ketele, Morgan Kneisky, Andreas Muller, David Muntaner, Gijs van Hoecke to name but half a dozen, none of these riders actually participate in the full six days.

The reason being that on the Sunday when the London starts they’ll all be occupied at the European Madison Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland. We believe that the dates were set to suit Mark Cavendish who was originally billed to ride the race with Bradley Wiggins – but Cav is out with injury and Wiggo has opted not to ride.

And PEZ was intrigued to observe that the race is being conducted under the ‘UCI rules for Six Day Racing’ – but the thing is, the last time we looked, the UCI rules stated; ‘A “Six-Day Race” shall last six consecutive days.’

And in that Cycling Weekly piece from July, Mark Darbon the CEO of promoters Madison Sports Group neatly side stepped the question of a track centre bar; ‘There will be hospitality packages for track centre access, which I believe will be appropriately priced.’

The track centre bar was one of the highlights – a real fans’ favorite – at the six days held in London back in the ’70’s with the last race being held in 1980.

‘Five plus one’ and no bar or not, our man Ed Hood will be there to take you behind the scenes and bring you all the chat from the track centre.

The race kicks of on Sunday 18 October with the one day ‘1878 Cup’ – the year of the first London Six Day – with the five day race proper starting on the Monday – after the planes have landed from Switzerland – and running until Friday 23 October at the Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome.

Six Days of Rotterdam 2015 day - 5

Nationale Sluitingsprijs – Putte-Kapellen 2015
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won the Nationale Sluitingsprijs – Putte-Kapellem on Tuesday, the classic last race on the calendar, after 195.8 kilometers. The Frenchman also claimed victory in the European Tour 2015. The sprinter finish was very close, he just beat Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal).

This is Bouhanni’s eleventh victory of the season; two stages in the Circuit de la Sarthe, the GP Denain, two stages of the Dauphiné, the Halle-Ingooigem classic, the Tour of Getxo, two stages of the Tour l’Ain and the GP Isbergues. Although he failed in the French Championship, the Tour, the Vuelta and the Worlds. With this victory he has removed any doubt about the final victory in the European Tour who he disputed with Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), and also won the French Cup.

Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) Teunissen & Tjallingii (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Kreder & Van Goethem (Roompot), Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Riesebeek (Metec) Claeys (Verandas Willems) and Chevalier (Wallonie-Bruxelles) were the escape of the day. They were not caught until just 2 kilometers to go by a peloton led by Cofidis, Lotto-Soudal and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Sluitingsprijs in Putte-Kapellen 2015

2nd, Tom Van Asbroek (LottoNL-Jumbo): “Maybe it looked like a close call, but I immediately felt that I was second, again I was not far away, but I got a bit hampered in the sprint. That might have cost me the victory. All in all, it was a bit of an unlucky season for me. I crashed a lot and wasn’t always fully fit, but in recent weeks, after the Vuelta, things went better and better. Next year, if I manage to stay upright and we continue to work hard with the sprint train, I’m confident that that first victory will come.”

Nationale Sluitingsprijs – Putte-Kapellen Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis in 4:29:30
2. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
3. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Remco Te Brake (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel
6. Jelle Mannaerts (Bel) Colba-Superano Ham
7. Twan Brusselman (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
8. Dennis Coenen (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
9. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Team 3M
10. Kevin Suarez Martinez (Bel) Colba-Superano Ham.

Putte-Kapellen podium:
Sluitingsprijs in Putte-Kapellen 2015

Bpost Bank Trofee – Ronse 2015
The first round of the Bpost Bank Trofee on Sunday in Ronse was won by Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) from Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) and Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) took the third and fourth places. His win puts him in the lead of all the season long trophies.

Lars van der Haar and Kevin Pauwels were on the offensive from the start, the Dutchman picked up 15 bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint on the second lap, Pauwels 10 seconds and Van Aert took 5. By the end of lap four Nys and Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) joined the other three at the front. The speed dropped and within a lap the front group had grown with riders managing to catch up. Nys attacked on the fifth lap and was joined by Van der Haar, Pauwels and Van Aert. Van Aert was not looking so strong, but in the end he hit the front and put the pressure on until he dropped Van der Haar and Nys. Pauwels managed to hold on, but not for long as he was also left behind on a road section for Van Aert to solo home.


Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “Leading all the rankings after one month of racing is not what I expected ahead of the season. Today I had to dig deep to hold off Kevin. I wasn’t enjoying the same sensations of the previous weeks and struggled to follow. A win after an exciting race is very satisfying but hopefully I’ll find the sensations back from the previous races. In the final lap I played it smart by taking the lead. In third position you suffer just as hard but you always have to close down small gaps. I won by playing it smart. That climb is something I often do on training. I heard the MC say that Pauwels was dropped but when I looked back he still was very close so that was a bummer. I managed to continue my effort until the finish line.”

2nd, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “He was better on the previous climb so I already had to close down a gap. He had more left in his tank. I was able to fight for the victory until the end so that’s good.”

3rd, Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Alpecin): “I don’t know when they got the gap. I closed it down but then it was there again. I thought I was the strongest man in the race but apparently that wasn’t the case. It’s good to see we’re coming close to beating him (Wout Van Aert).”

4th, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “With these legs I should’ve been on the wheels until the line. I should not have positioned myself in fourth place. I thought I was good on the wheel of Lars and I wondered whether he was playing poker or not. It’s been too long since I won a race so I’m not enough of a killer right now.”

Bpost Bank Trofee – Ronse 2015
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 59:06
2. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:04
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
4. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 0:11
5. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:53
6. Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:56
7. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:57
8. Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
9. Michael Boros (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:00
10. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:05.

Bpost Bank Trofee – Ronse 2015:

Announcing ‘North American Cycle Sport’
“Making your cycling world better!”

New national entity promises lower fees for participants, better support for race promoters and local associations and stronger backing of grassroots cycling.

Rutland, Vermont – A new cycling organization promises to support bicycle riders, promoters of cycling events and local associations that coordinate bike racing.

North American Cycle Sport (NACS) will provide cyclists with a variety of membership packages for competitive and non-competitive events across the United States. One-day memberships, a special “5 for $35” program for individuals and families, and an unlimited membership package are among the group’s initial offerings.

“We want people to be out on bikes,” said NACS Chief Executive Officer Tod Manning. “We will measure our success by increasing the number of riders who participate in cycling events across North America, while creating a sense of community amongst all cycling disciplines.”

NACS has already established a business association with BikeReg (www.bikereg.com) to be the group’s official technology provider. A three-year partnership with BikeReg will provide NACS members with membership and event registration, event results and rankings, and on-line permit applications for promoters.

NACS will also focus on helping event directors by minimizing permit costs, easy permit process, and reasonably-priced insurance, including a robust and inexpensive insurance program.

“Event directors are key members of the cycling world,” Manning said. “We want to help them minimize their overhead and reduce the time and expense that goes along with obtaining an event permit. We will also provide them access to comprehensive, reasonably-priced insurance. One of the most robust features of our liability insurance is that it includes motor vehicles and motorcycles for no additional cost.”

The nearly three dozen Local Associations which cultivate the sport in specific areas of the United States will also benefit from NACS through a substantial revenue sharing model.

“Local Associations that support us on a non-exclusive basis will not only receive significant financial benefits, but they will also have ability to help shape the direction of grassroots cycling in North America,” Manning said “But Local Associations do not have to recognize or support NACS directly to receive financial benefits, albeit at reduced levels. ”

Manning stresses that NACS will operate with integrity and transparency.

“Our mission is to provide the highest quality services and programs to operate and advance cycling sporting events in a cost-effective and transparent manner,” he said. “We are going to do some great things for our sport.”

More details about NACS can be found on its official website, www.nacs.bike. The organization will also be active on social media channels such as Facebook (www.facebook.com/NACSbike), Instagram (instagram.com/nacs_bike) and Twitter (twitter.com/NACS_bike).


UCI Cycling Gala: Top Athletes in Abu Dhabi for Awards Evening
The season’s most successful road athletes received awards at the UCI Cycling Gala, which coincided with the final day of a new stage race in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Abu Dhabi, 11 October 2015 – The inaugural UCI Cycling Gala took place in the majestic Yas Marina Island “du Forum” concert venue in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday 11 October. The dedicated awards evening acknowledged the performances of the season’s best athletes, teams and countries. Although the main focus of the gala was on road cycling, several other special awards were also presented throughout the evening.

Hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the United Arab Emirates Cycling Federation, the UCI Cycling Gala was organized to coincide with the fourth and final stage of the new Abu Dhabi Tour. The highly successful stage race attracted some of the biggest names in professional men’s road cycling, providing a fitting and prestigious context for the first annual UCI Cycling Gala.

In addition to all teams that had competed in the Abu Dhabi Tour, the Gala was attended by several UCI Management Committee members, representatives of National Federations and international media.

“I’m very proud of this first edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour. It was a great challenge to organize, but I am convinced that we proved ourselves up to the task. My compliments go to its first champion, Esteban Chaves. Esteban, you rode a courageous race and climbed magnificently on the Jabel Hafeet stage. I am deeply honored to host the UCI Cycling Gala: most of the main protagonists of the 2015 season are here, bringing star quality to professional cycling’s debut in UAE Capital Territory,” declared Mr Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

“Our inaugural UCI Cycling Gala enabled us to pay tribute to the athletes who made the headlines and graced the podiums in 2015,” said UCI President Brian Cookson. “It was a wonderful opportunity to gather together some of the biggest stars of cycling for a true celebration of our sport. The fact that we could organize this event to coincide with the highly successful Abu Dhabi Tour made the occasion all the more special.”

The 2015 UCI Gala was shown live on Abu Dhabi Media, the Host Broadcaster of the Abu Dhabi Tour, who also showed 19 hours of race programming, with an on-site studio and international guests, across the United Arab Emirates and in 22 other Middle Eastern and North African nations.

Grand Gala UCI in Abu Dhabi 2015

2015 UCI Cycling Gala award recipients:
1st, UCI WorldTour Individual Classification: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
2nd, UCI WorldTour Individual Classification: Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha)
3rd, UCI WorldTour Individual Classification: Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)

1st, UCI WorldTour Team Classification: Movistar Team
1st, UCI WorldTour Nation Classification: Spain

Men’s Elite UCI Road Race World Champion: Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
Men’s Elite UCI Individual Time Trial World Champion: Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)
Men’s Elite UCI Team Time Trial Champions: BMC Racing Team

Men’s UCI Hour Record Holder: Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
Women’s UCI Hour Record Holder: Molly Shaffer Van Houwelling (USA)

Fair Play (awarded by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council): Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant – Alpecin)
Most friendly media team (awarded by the International Association of Cycling Journalists): Team Giant – Alpecin
Outstanding cycling journalism: Jean-Paul Ollivier (France)

Giro d’Italia winner: Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo)
Tour de France winner: Christopher Froome (Team Sky)
Vuelta a España winner: Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team)

Abu Dhabi Tour Winner: Esteban Chaves (Orica GreenEDGE)

Abu Dhabi tour cycling race

Blues put end to Glorious Season
Best World Team 2015, plus 1st & 3rd UCI World Tour 2015

Movistar Team, Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana all received trophies at Abu Dhabi’s UCI Cycling Gala on Sunday, after successful 2015 for the whole telephone squad. The UCI Cycling Gala took the curtain down for the Movistar Team’s fifth season in cycling’s top tier under main sponsorship from Telefónica. 32 victories; more than hundred podium finishes; appearance in both Tour -individual and team- and Vuelta a España final podiums; wins in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tirreno-Adriatico, Pologne or Flèche Wallonne; or a successful UCI Hour Record attempt, round up a magnificent 2015 for the Blues.

As the final race of the year, the Abu Dhabi Tour, came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, with the Movistar riders also awarded the overall team prize, the Spanish-based squad saw its efforts rewarded with three of the trophies given by the Union Cycliste Internationale in its annual event:

– 3rd consecutive triumph in the World Tour team ranking, confirmed last Sunday after Il Lombardia.

– Alejandro Valverde snatches his 4th UCI world ranking victory -two of them under its current naming and system- following one of his best seasons to date, including two victories in the Ardennes classics and a long-fought GC podium finish in the Tour.

– And Nairo Quintana ends his season as third overall, after coming just over a minute short from yellow in Paris and very close to the Vuelta podium thanks to a magnificent final week.

Alejandro Valverde (winner, individual 2015 UCI World Tour ranking): “These three years in a row winning the World Tour are something really important, which we deserved after such an impressive work from the whole team: riders, staff, sports directors… a group full of human value and bond that was able to fulfill our goals. These feats are very difficult to achieve and even harder to match or exceed.

“My individual victory? It’s the result of teamwork, a proof of constance, a consequence of always having great team-mates by my side, helping me out everywhere, always keeping me at the front, making sure I don’t miss anything… I put my legs, my training, taking care of myself, riding harder than the others – there’s no other secret than everyone’s job.

“I don’t know if I’m the strongest rider around, but it’s true that I’m always there, in good position, performing strong. That’s one of the ways to explain how I won this ranking four times – also that I like cycling, it’s my passion. It’s also a job, a hard sport, but passion above all. Every bit of suffering is easier to bear this way. You enjoy suffering. You’re always willing to fight, even here in Abu Dhabi, where you enjoy sort of a holiday when you’re not on the bike, but not really like that for me – I’m always focused on the racing, trying to help my team-mates out on the flat, and later on, giving my best in the mountains to stay close to the top guys.”

Nairo Quintana (3rd, individual 2015 UCI World Tour ranking): “It makes me proud that we won the World Tour team ranking again – it’s been a huge effort of all team members, not only riders but the whole staff. It’s a huge recognition we’ve put so many efforts on during the whole season, and such insistence and regularity has led us to winning it three times in a row. Alejandro? He’s been clearly the most consistent rider all season, in all races, and his success was bound to happen.”


Eusebio Unzué (Movistar Team general manager): “As I said after Lombardy, this World Tour title is as well a big satisfaction as a prize for the whole structure and our sponsors, one of the biggest goals we keep in mind every season start back in November. One of our biggest strengths in recent times has been our regularity, keeping good performances coming all the way from January to October. Though it doesn’t seem like that, this world ranking sadly not as recognized in our sport as in others, it’s extremely difficult to stay on top against such big squads, even more so three times in a row. Preceding Katusha, BMC, Sky… makes our triumph even more valuable. We’re probably less strong when it comes to team potential and budget, but the willingness and dedication by the whole group balances the fight and makes us prevail.

“Regarding Alejandro – well, all words of praise and appreciation for everything he does and represents for this team would really be an understatement. It’s the one keeping the whole team calm and confident; the man who allows Nairo progression away from any pressure; the master who brings experience and tranquility to all our youngsters, so they can grow without any hurry -Ion Izagirre’s victory in Pologne; Andrey’s fourth place in the Giro; Lobato on the sprints; Marc Soler and his Tour de l’Avenir-. I don’t really know how things will be when he retires, but every season we start with him aboard is one you’re excited about.

“It doesn’t matter where you take him: World Tour or continental races, mountainous or flat – even here, at the final event of the season, he was planning on contesting a stage win whereas I wanted him to take things easy. He doesn’t look to be tired, neither physically nor on a psychological point of view. Though it’s taken time, the world of cycling is realizing how valuable Alejandro is for the sport: a class act, full of quality, with more than ten seasons on top of the sport. There are riders as strong as him, maybe even better on certain characteristics, but if you add his extraordinary human value, he’s in advantage with pretty much everyone else – many of his biggest fans are rivals. He’s irreplaceable.”

Alejandro Valverde:

Tinkoff-Saxo finishes off 2015 season with double award at UCI Gala
The 2015 season has reached its conclusion for Tinkoff-Saxo after nine months of racing and a grand total of 291 races and stages combined. The season culminated with four action-filled days in Abu Dhabi, where teams and riders were celebrated at the grand UCI Cycling Gala 2015. Tinkoff-Saxo took home two awards with team captains Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan being honored for their victories at the Giro d’Italia and World Championship Road Race.

In conjunction with the 2015 season drawing to a close, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) threw the star-studded inaugural Cycling Gala, which celebrated the top riders of the year and those teams that had been competing and performing in the World Tour. The event took place Sunday after the final stage of Abu Dhabi Tour and saw Peter Sagan take home a framed rainbow jersey in recognition of his performance at the World Championships. After stirring up a cheerful ambiance on the stage, Peter Sagan explained the attending reporters:

“It’s very nice that everybody is so happy for me. It’s the first time that UCI is having this celebration gala and I think it’s very cool. I’m very proud of the rainbow jersey and I hope that I can be a good world champion. It’s a difficult jersey to wear but I will try my best to honor it and the sport. It has been a long season, I’ve had many second places and also some wins that I surely wont forget,” said the World Champion.

The 2015 season has reached its conclusion for Tinkoff-Saxo after nine months of racing and a grand total of 291 races and stages combined. The season culminated with four action-filled days in Abu Dhabi, where teams and riders were celebrated at the grand UCI Cycling Gala 2015. Tinkoff-Saxo took home two awards with team captains Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan being honored for their victories at the Giro d’Italia and World Championship Road Race.

In conjunction with the 2015 season drawing to a close, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) threw the star-studded inaugural Cycling Gala, which celebrated the top riders of the year and those teams that had been competing and performing in the World Tour. The event took place Sunday after the final stage of Abu Dhabi Tour and saw Peter Sagan take home a framed rainbow jersey in recognition of his performance at the World Championships. After stirring up a cheerful ambiance on the stage, Peter Sagan explained the attending reporters:

“It’s very nice that everybody is so happy for me. It’s the first time that UCI is having this celebration gala and I think it’s very cool. I’m very proud of the rainbow jersey and I hope that I can be a good world champion. It’s a difficult jersey to wear but I will try my best to honor it and the sport. It has been a long season, I’ve had many second places and also some wins that I surely wont forget,” said the World Champion.

Also Alberto Contador visited the scene at the Yas Marina Island “du Forum,” where the Tinkoff-Saxo team captain was honored for his memorable win at the 2015 Giro d’Italia.

Speaking after the ceremony, Tinkoff-Saxo General Manager Stefano Feltrin noted that 2015 had been a year of progress.

“I see it as a constructive initiative from UCI to start this tradition in order to add value to and direct focus towards the big, noticeable victories and feats of the year. It was a pleasure to see Alberto and Peter on the stage. Thanks to their teammates’ support and their own will to push through the tough moments, they were able to take to the stage,” says Stefano Feltrin before finishing:

“Although cycling remains one of the biggest sports, it’s obvious that it has potential to grow. There’s still much to improve but we’ve taken some positive steps this season and implemented a number of initiatives, organizational and media related such as the on-board cameras. The return of investment in cycling is at a high level but we will strive to create favorable economic incentives to invest in cycling, while the work to create a viable financial environment for the teams, such as the distribution of money from TV-rights, is ongoing”.


BMC for Japan Cup
The BMC Racing Team has revealed its roster for the Japan Cup, its final competition of the 2015 season.

Two days of racing open with a criterium on Saturday, followed by a road race on Sunday. The BMC Racing Team’s five-rider roster includes past Swiss national road champion Michael Schär and past Slovakian national time trial champion Peter Velits, who led the Vuelta a España for one day.

The BMC Racing Team has racked up a team-record 33 victories this year while reaching the 30-win mark for the third consecutive season.

Floris Gerts (NED), Michael Schär (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA), Peter Stetina (USA), Peter Velits (SVK).
Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).

Peter Velits:
TDFR 2014 - stage -17

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Lampre-Merida back in Japan, Ulissi will be the captain
After having obtained in May two successes in the Tour of Japan and after having won the youth and the points classifications of the Nipponese race, Lampre-Merida will come back to the Land of the Rising Sun to participating in the Japan Cup (Sunday 18th of October).

The team which will be directed by Bruno Vicino aims to continue the favorable tradition of successes in the Utsonomiya race (6 victories), that’s why the quality of the line-up will be very high: Ulissi will be the captain, Jan Polanc a top quality outsider, Feng and the trainee Ravasi will be ready to join the breakaways and Mori will do his best to honor a race in which he always find extra motivations (winner in 2007).

“Our team has always been protagonist in the Japan Cup, even if we’ve missed some victories for some years,” sport director Vicino explained. “Our cyclists are going to participate in the Japanese race at the end of a long season, during which they spent many energies, but the motivations will be higher than the tiredness. There are many Asian fans who’ll support us and we’ll receive as usual the warm welcome from the sponsors. The course changed, so now the 14 laps for the total distance of 144,2 km will be more demanding than in the past.”

For Japan Cup 2015 too, as it happened in the past edition of the race and in the Tour of Japan, Lampre-Merida will be supported by the Japanese sponsor Shukoh (official website here), whose logos will be on the race jersey which will be used in the Nipponese race.

Shukoh will organize a special event for the fans, who’ll have the opportunity to meet the Lampre-Merida’s athletes on Monday 19th October from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Shukoh One Aoyama Showroom. Riders will sign autographs and take pictures with the fans and they’ll participate in a lottery of team goods. Furthermore, gifts presented to the first 30 applicants if anyone who applies for a gift in advance on the homepage of SHUKOH ONE. The address of the Shukoh One Aoyama Showroom is: Metlife Aoyama Building 6th, 2-11-16 Minani-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Merida too, by the means of the distributor Myata, will welcome the team in a Japanese dinner which will take place on Sunday evening.

Diego Ulissi:

Colombia-Coldeportes Waves Goodbye to the Peloton
The Escarabajos will not be at the start of the 2016 season. Corti: “Feels bad, but we left a mark”

Due to the impossibility of its first backer, Colombia’s Sports Ministry “Coldeportes”, to confirm the necessary funding to continue the cycling activity at the highest level, Team Colombia-Coldeportes and its General Manager Claudio Corti regretfully announce that the only South-American Pro Continental team in cycling will not line up at the start of the 2016 season.

The road of the Escarabajos comes to an end after four years competing against the biggest names and teams in World cycling, in which Claudio Corti’s team brought the name of Colombia back on the scene, taking part to some of the biggest races in the World. In its four-year span, Team Colombia-Coldeportes participated in two Giro d’Italia, one Vuelta a España, four Giro di Lombardia, two Milano-Sanremo, one Liegi-Bastogne-Liegi, two Tirreno-Adriatico – to mention some of the most notable fixtures.

In four years, the team achieved eleven wins, launching on the big stage talented riders such as Esteban Chaves, Darwin Atapuma and Jarlinson Pantano, who are now established at the World Tour level, the top circuit in cycling. In the last season, the team confirmed all of its credentials as an aggressive and attacking team, winning the best climber’s jersey in no less than eight stage races.

“It obviously feels bad to see a cycle we had opened with enthusiasm and high hopes come to an end,” General Manager Claudio Corti said, “particularly after seasons in which the team had managed to earn big consideration from all the people in cycling. I will always regret to see this project close before bringing the Colombian flag back to the Tour de France, particularly as I think this goal was not very far away.“

“Team Colombia-Coldeportes was created to be more than just a cycling project,” Corti continued. “The significance of this team’s path should not be evaluated only on cycling results, but on the impact it had on the image of Colombia in sports and beyond, and the promotion of its identity, culture and tourism.”

“Colombian sport proved capable to compete at the highest level in the World of cycling, and that was the most important goal achieved by the Colombia-Coldeportes project. The way our team was welcomed by the Colombian sports fans all around the World is the biggest statement of what the team managed to do in four years.”

“Unfortunately, the final decision by Coldeportes was communicated to us only in the very last few days, meaning we could not proceed any further with the Union Cycliste Internationale, nor we could give a better opportunity to the whole team – riders, sports directors, staff and sponsors – that worked with us in the last year. My special thanks to Wilier, for backing us in these years with their top-level bikes. I sincerely wish to say a big “Thank You” to all those who took part and collaborated in this project , as well as to the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos and the Director of Coldeportes Andres Botero, who firmly believed in this project: without them, the return of a Colombian team to top-notch cycling would have never been possible,” Corti concluded.

Abu Dhabi Tour was the last race of Team Colombia-Coldeportes:

Barguil and Dumoulin Renew Contracts for 3 More Years
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce that both Tom Dumoulin (NED) and Warren Barguil (FRA) have renewed their contracts with the team. The agreements extend their commitment for another three years, until the end of 2018. Dumoulin is currently in his fourth season with the team, having joined in 2012, and Barguil joined the team that same year as a stagiaire.

Dumoulin has achieved eight pro wins to date. His best results at the highest pro level include two stage wins at this year’s Vuelta a España, along with six days in the red leader’s jersey and sixth in the final GC; two stage wins at the 2015 Tour de Suisse and second in the final GC; and a win in the closing time trial of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.

Barguil’s top results include two stage wins at the 2013 Vuelta a España, eighth in the final GC of the 2014 Vuelta, sixth in the GC of the 2014 Tour de Beijing, and third on stage 8 of the 2015 Tour de Suisse. This year, in his first Tour de France appearance, he finished 14th in the final GC.

“We are delighted to continue working with Tom and Warren to help them develop further as riders and achieve their maximum potential,” said Team Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED). “This year we have seen Tom make a great step forward in his development both as a rider and as a person, which has led to some impressive results already. The way he dealt with his crash at the Tour de France and how he acts as a leader within the team show that he is capable of playing a leadership role.

“With Warren, we decided back in 2013 to create a long-term performance plan to help him become a strong GC rider in the future. As a result, we sent him to this year’s Tour de France to learn and to discover his capabilities in a race like the Tour, which will be an important step in his development as a GC rider. For us, it was an obvious choice to continue executing the performance plan with Warren and our performance staff. We believe that we can continue to grow together and produce some strong performances.

“I feel really good in the team, and I trust that I can develop further in this environment,” said Dumoulin. “I will get all the support I need to make the next steps in my career. I am pleased with how we have worked together so far. We have made great progress every year, and this is one of the reasons to stay with the team. Another important factor is that my growth is paralleling the growth of the team, and it is great to be part of a challenging environment.”

“I am happy to continue with the team and to improve further as a GC rider,” said Barguil. “When I joined the team in 2012 I signed a contract for a long period of three years, and for me it was clear that I wanted to continue. I am confident that the team can help me take the next steps, and that is why I want to stay for three more years. The atmosphere in the team is great and my teammates are very helpful, and that is important to me. When I am racing I feel good with everyone around me, and I just don’t want to leave for a different team. Now that the team is growing, it is important to have the right GC support, not only during races but also before and after.”

Tom Dumoulin:
La Vuelta 2015 stage-18

Greg Henderson and Jelle Vanendert stay at Lotto Soudal
Also next season Greg Henderson and Jelle Vanendert will ride in the colors of Lotto Soudal. Both riders signed a new agreement for one year. For the 39-year-old New-Zealander, it will be his fifth year in the team. Jelle Vanendert (30) is part of this team since 2009.

Manager Marc Sergeant: “With Greg Henderson and Jelle Vanendert, we choose for WorldTour experience and their specific qualities in the team. Since 2012 Greg is the regulator and last man of André Greipel’s sprint train; together they were already successful. Despite his age, Henderson is someone you can count on. Furthermore, he helps the younger riders by giving them advice and loves playing his lead-out role for Jens Debusschere and other sprinters. He reads the race, redirects when necessary and is a team player. Recently, at the World Championships team time trial, Henderson was one of the key riders.”

“Jelle Vanendert had a rather unlucky season. He had a lot of bad luck in the period Amstel/Flèche Wallonne/Liège-Bastogne-Liège, so he couldn’t repeat his performances of 2011, 2012 and 2014. Jelle is somebody who can focus on a specific race or period and then can get the maximum out of his capacities. If the shape is just not enough, or the luck isn’t there, it’s a disadvantage, because these periods of top shape pass by quickly. Nevertheless, we see him as a valuable member of the team. Which role that shall be, will depend on his shape. In the past, he showed that he could also ride for someone else, like he did for Philippe Gilbert.”

Greg Henderson: “For me, it isn’t a surprise that I am still in the peloton on my fortieth birthday, even if I will be an exception in the team. The main factor is motivation, I’m still very motivated to be ready when I need to be in top shape. Due to my crash in the third stage during the recent Tour de France, I couldn’t play the role I wanted. After Hamburg, I went on an altitude training camp in Colorado together with my family to prepare myself for the World Championships team time trial. We really focussed on it, with a seventh place as result. I will try to be in the best possible shape when I’m in competition to share my experience with the other riders. 2015 was a nice season, but I hope that we can do the same next year.”

Jelle Vanendert: “Of course I’m happy to stay with Lotto Soudal. I feel comfortable in this team, otherwise I wouldn’t stay. It’s true that the contract extension lasted a bit longer than usual, but nowadays teams wait longer and longer before extending the current contracts. It’s a trend from the past years because some teams stopped and there was an oversupply of riders. Then it becomes a problem when you don’t perform as well as expected. I think I already proved what I’m capable of in the past seven years with this team; on the other hand, some years were defined with bad luck. And 2015 was such a year. But I’m not ready yet with cycling and will be motivated to be at my best again in 2016.”

Greg Henderson:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 3

Cameron Meyer joins Africa’s Team in 2016
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, who will race as Team Dimension Data from next year onward, are delighted to announce that Cameron Meyer has signed for Africa’s Team.

Cameron Meyer will join our South African registered team after having spent the past 4 seasons with the Australian Orica-GreenEDGE outfit. Meyer, at still only 27 years of age, is a talented time trial rider who has also proven himself on shorter climbs. Testament to Meyers abilities are his overall victories of the Santos Tour Down Under as well as the Herald Sun Tour.

As a double Australian Time Trial champion, Meyer was also instrumental in two Grand Tour team trial stage victories. And with already 8 Grand Tours under his belt, Meyer’s experience and tremendous depth will only allow our African Team to reach greater heights on the sporting front as well as in further extending the reach we have for Qhubeka.

Meyer is the 6th new addition to our African Team. We look forward to announce the signing of another African talent as our final addition to the 2016 roster.

Cameron Meyer – Rider: “I am very excited to be racing with Team Dimension Data next season. They have had unbelievable results at the biggest races and are moving ahead quickly. I am really looking forward to being a part of their future success. My main motivation for joining this professional racing team was not only the pride I would feel being an ambassador on the bike but also the pride of involvement in the successful work for the Qhubeka Charity.”

Cameron Meyer:
Santos Tour Down-Under  2015  stage - 2

Team Giant-Alpecin Adds Max Walscheid
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce that Max Walscheid (GER) will ride for the team through 2017. Walscheid, who raced this year for the German continental outfit Team Kuota-Lotto before joining Team Giant-Alpecin as a stagiaire in August, has signed a two-year contract.

The hiring reflects Team Giant-Alpecin’s commitment to developing German cycling and giving young riders the opportunity to move up.

“Max is a talented sprinter who made a good impression in the races he rode with us as a stagiaire over the past few months,” said coach Marc Reef (NED). “The logical result is the replacement of his stagiaire’s contract with a pro contract. Our coaches and experts will support him with a long-term strategy as he continues to work on his sprint. We will give him space to concentrate on improving, and in the meantime he will strengthen our sprint train. He will also take on the challenge of pursuing success in the classics in the future.”

“I’m glad the team sees my capabilities as a rider but also as a person,” said Walscheid. “During my time as a stagiaire I think I was able to show the team that I have the ability to deliver results but that I can also contribute to team successes. I’m happy that the team recognized that and is giving me the chance to turn pro.

“This is the perfect team for me for the next few years, as I will be able to work on my strengths and weaknesses. I want to improve as a sprinter, and during my time as a stagiaire I made progress, which was a good sign. I would like to continue with a race program that allows me to get some experience in the bigger races and aim for strong results in smaller races. Next to that I’m also really looking forward to working for the team and having my role in the sprint preparation.”

Max Walscheid:
109th Paris - Tours 2015

LottoNL-Jumbo signs talented Slovenian Roglic
Team LottoNL-Jumbo strengthened its roster with talented Slovenian rider, Primoz Roglic. The 25-year-old inked a deal for two years, through 2017. He had other WorldTour offers, but decided on LottoNL-jumbo because of the professionalism and the coaching team that believes in his abilities.

Roglic knows what it is like to live as a professional athlete. He was a ski jumper at a high level and a member the national team. A heavy fall put an end to that career, but opened the door to cycling during his rehabilitation. After a while on the bike, he had no problems in the peloton and could hold his ground. This year, he broke through with several race wins in the EuropeTour.

“I am very happy with this move to the highest level in cycling,” said Roglic. “I am really looking forward to it. I am a sportsman at heart. After my crash, I wanted to become a professional cyclist. It is something totally different, but elite sport remains elite sport. You have to work hard for it. I’m a rider for the heavy work in the mountains and the classification. The team’s philosophy has touched me, like their warm welcome. That inspires me! Now, we can grow together into something beautiful.”

Big abilities
The team of coaches and trainers at LottoNL-Jumbo subjected Roglic to a series of rigorous tests, including physical endurance tests. It showed that he has a big engine. The combination of that and being a small athlete gives him a big advantage. “He really impressed at different races where he competed against some good WorldTour riders,” explained Sports Director Nico Verhoeven.

“He was a top athlete. He thinks and lives like that. He has a good elite sport attitude and drive which fits us. We have talked a lot with him and turned him inside out. You can see a very fast physical development and good race insight. He is a great talent and is a fast learner with big abilities. He suits us and he can flourish in our team and win races.”

On Friday, October 16th, Roglic will meet with his new team-mates in Utrecht.

Primoz Roglic:
Tour d'Azerbaidjan stage 2

CULT Energy-Stölting Group signs Jonas Tenbrock
CULT Energy-Stölting Group has signed the 19 year-old German talent, Jonas Tenbrock for two years. Tenbrock is a talented all-rounder with great power as a time trialist. Securing Team Stölting 10 top-ten results this season and his ever-lasting loyalty towards the team has convinced DS, Jochen Hahn, that Tenbrock is ready for the next step.

Sports director, Jochen Hahn comments: “As a stagiaire in August 2014, Jonas has convinced us that he is reliable in all aspects and is 100 per cent committed to the team. I expect that he will master the big step into professional cycling and we’ll make a great effort to continue his steady development from last year.”

Jonas Tenbrock states: “I´ve been riding for Team Stölting since august last year. I started my first season in 2014 coming out of junior league before I got a spot at Team Stölting as a stagiaire. So for me it is hard to believe that I actually signed a two-year-contract with CULT Energy-Stölting Group. Now, I’m really motivated and very excited about taking the next step up to Pro Continental level, which is only possible with the support from my family and DS, Jochen Hahn. I’m looking forward to supporting the team and maybe reach some good results in the next two years.“

Jonas Tenbrock:

Youngster Alexey Vermeulen signs for LottoNL-Jumbo
Alexey Vermeulen signed a two-year deal with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The team is happy to give the 20-year old youngster from the United States the opportunity to develop himself as a GC rider. He fits perfectly into the philosophy of Team LottoNL-Jumbo, which is based on helping young talents to the top of pro cycling.

“We want to help Alexey to become a good stage race cyclist,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said.

“He is a young rider, who has developed steadily in recent years. Because of a broken wrist he missed the World Championships, but otherwise he definitely would have been racing the U23 road race in Richmond. We want to guide him towards the top.”

Mathieu Heijboer
Trainer Mathieu Heijboer explained, “We’re going to help Alexey develop his climbing and TT skills. He has had proper training at BMC, now he gets to discover his specialities. Is he best suited for tours with steep climbs or is he better on the longer climbs? It will be an exciting to discover, but it is evident that Alexey is a real GC rider.

“We’ll also see if he can come and live in Girona, so he can train with riders like Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk, from whom he can learn a lot.”

Dutch grandfather
Vermeulen is looking forward to his adventure. “This is unbelievable. From the moment I first got on a bike, I dreamed of becoming a pro cyclist. This move is special for my father, his father was Dutch and my grandfather, who inspired me to start cycling. It makes me excited to learn the language.

“I like that I get to work with somebody like Robert Gesink. He’s very experienced and recorded big successes. He can help me to become a better rider. Each step is important at this level.”

Alexey Vermeulen:
World Championships (Men Under 23)

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Ulissi, one more year in Lampre-Merida
The mutual esteem relationship between Team LAMPRE-MERIDA and Diego Ulissi will continue also on contractual basis.

The four times stage winner in the Giro d’Italia pointed out several times that his strongly will was to link his professional path to the blue-fuchsia-green colors and, during the Abu Dhabi Tour, he set with the team manager Brent Copeland (photo Bettini) the agreement for racing in LAMPRE-MERIDA in 2016 too.

“I declared many times that I always conceive my future in blue-fuchsia-green colors and, being aware of the consideration for me from the team and the sponsors, the contract renewal was very easy to achieve – Diego Ulissi explained – I’m aware of the fact that the team trust in me as they always demonstrated, going along with me in my professional path. I’m sure I’ll be able to gratify those who support me by achieving top results.”

Team manager Brent Copeland said: “Diego Ulissi is tightly linked with our group, we supported him since he was very young. It’s such a good thing to have the opportunity to add another step to the common story, especially because Diego is a pure talent and we consider that he’ll be able to obtain top level victories.”

Diego Ulissi in Abu Dhabi:

Kanstanstin Siutsou adds firepower to Africa’s Team from 2016
With planning for the 2016 season already well underway, we are ecstatic in announcing Kanstanstin Siutsou as the latest addition to our African team, set to race as Team Dimension Data next year.

Kanstanstin is one of the real powerhouses of the professional peloton and he joins our team after spending the past 4 seasons racing for Team Sky. The Belorussian comes with a wealth of experience, having raced 14 grand tours already with a 9th place overall at the 2011 Giro d’ Italia to his credit.

Kanstanstin is an experienced head who will serve as a mentor to our younger riders while also taking on the role as a super domestique for our protected riders. Kanstanstin’s ability to ride on the front of the peloton for kilometers on end will be an invaluable asset to our team in the coming season.

We look forward to finalising our 2016 roster in the coming days as the team also sharpens its focus on the further development of African talents.

Kanstanstin Siutsou – Rider: “I’m really happy to join Team Dimension Data in 2016. Having raced with some of the riders in the past, I’m sure we’ll gel well together. I’m also looking forward to share my experience with the African talents on board and to make an impact for the Qhubeka charity. It’s a great opportunity to race for a bigger cause and I’m glad to take it on.”

Kanstanstin Siutsou:
Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2015 (1.UWT)

Team Giant-Alpecin Signs Sindre Skjøstad Lunke
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce that Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR) has signed a two-year contract and will ride for the team through 2017. The 22-year-old Skjøstad Lunke joins from the Norwegian continental squad Team Joker.

Skjøstad Lunke has shown his talent in demanding races, and his results include 7th in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2015 and 11th in 2014. He is the second top-10 Tour de l’Avenir finisher the team has signed this year, after Sam Oomen (NED).

“Sindre is a climber who has proven two years in a row that he can perform strongly in the mountains,” said Team Giant-Alpecin coach Marc Reef (NED). “We have a plan to help him develop in a broad way, but with an initial focus on his specialty, climbing. We believe he has the mental and physical ability to do well in difficult climbing races in the future, but in the meantime he will also play a role supporting our GC riders, Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin.”

“Joining Team Giant-Alpecin and moving up to the highest level of the sport is a big step for me and I am really happy to get this chance,” said Skjøstad Lunke. “It will be hard, of course, but very exciting as well. I hope to learn a lot from the more experienced riders, and I’m looking forward to being guided by the team’s coaches and drawing on their experience in developing riders as I take the next steps in my own progression. I’m really looking forward to competing in the harder stage races. Now I’m best in the mountains, especially long climbs, but I hope to improve on the flats and in the TT in order to become a GC rider in the future.”

Sindre Skjøstad Lunke:

Kirsch signs one year contract with CULT Energy-Stölting Group
CULT Energy-Stölting Group has signed a one year contract with 23 year-old Alex Kirsch who rides for the CULT Energy Pro Cycling team this season. Kirsch started his career at the Leopard Trek Continental Team and after proving his worth as stagiaire with the World Tour team, Trek Factory, he signed with CULT Energy Pro Cycling. Alex has been a loyal teammate and constantly been flashing the jersey in the early breaks throughout the season.

DS, André Steensen comments on the signing: “Alex impressed me a lot in the spring campaign. He took on this season with great motivation and from the start, he demonstrated a high standard, which he brought on to the cobblestone races in the spring. He is still a young rider but I think that if he takes another step up next year, he will be crucial in the spring races for us because he understands how to position himself and he is usually on the spot at the right time while he possesses the punch needed to climb the Flemish hilltops. As a person, Alex is a very relaxed and a social type who takes on challenges unimpressed and I think this is also one of his strengths during the big races on the calendar.”

Alex Kirsch says: “Before this season I didn’t know which type of rider I could be at the professional level, but I really enjoyed the spring campaign where I was in good shape and I was able to participate in a few promising breakaways. Also being in the line-up supporting Linus to win the Tour of Luxembourg was a great experience. I learned so much this year, so I’m already very focused on the spring races which I think suit me best.”

Alex Kirsch:

Tom Boonen Update
Good News on His Birthday

Etixx – Quick-Step announces good news for Tom Boonen on his 35th birthday.

Boonen received approval to fly to Belgium after a medically scheduled CT scan check-up this morning.

The Belgian rider was joined by his partner, Lore, on Tuesday. They will stay in Abu Dhabi for a few days before returning to Europe.

“Tom’s situation is evolving as we expected,” said Team Doctor Yvan Vanmol. “Once he gets back to Belgium, Tom will have to observe a few weeks of rest, after which we can begin to plan for the 2016 season.”

Stage - 3 ENECO Tour 2015

A bit more cyclo-cross
The cyclo-cross season is here, so to get you in the mood here are some best bits:

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