What's Cool In Road Cycling

EUROTRASH Christmas Thursday!

The best to all you EuroTrash readers out there, but the trash still needs to be emptied. We take a look at the UCI’s other problem, Hein Verbruggen. Loads of race news from the Tour Down Under, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de France. Team announcements from Etixx – Quick-Step, Giant-Alpecin, Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Lampre-Merida and BMC. Add rider news from Nairo Quintana, Tiesj Benoot and Pablo Lastras and we have a very full bag for a Thursday.


TOP STORY: Season’s Greeting to All…
Happy holidays to everyone and your families and let’s hope 2016 is as good as this year, or better. We can also hope that ASO and the UCI can come to some agreement and we can watch the best teams ride the best races in 2017. But there is always one bad apple in the barrel to ruin a good time. One person at the party who is not wanted and won’t take the hint, who is as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. You can imagine the scene at the UCI Christmas staff party in Switzerland when the Honorary President turns up looking for his glass of egg-nog and a present (€40,000). Mr. Verbruggen is not welcome in Aigle, but he won’t go away. The 74 year-old Dutchman was UCI President from 1991 till 2005 and was also member of the International Olympic Committee, he is now the Honorary President of the UCI and Honorary Member of the IOC. During his tenure of office there were many accusations, too many to write here, just look it up in Wikipedia to get a rough idea what ‘allegedly’ went on.

Brian Cookson wants Verbruggen to leave, but he won’t and has threatened Cookson/UCI with court, but it seems an agreement was made, but money was mentioned and not paid and also secrecy was broken. So a bit of an impasse and Hein is still the Honorary President. Roll on 2016.

Old mates:
Championnat du Munde Piste dag-3


Tour Down Under kicks off the team’s 2016 season
David De La Cruz, Davide Martinelli, Pieter Serry, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Petr Vakoc, Martin Velits and Carlos Verona are the seven Etixx – Quick-Step riders to line-up for the 18th running of Australia’s premier cycling event (19-24 January 2016), which will be preceded by the traditional People’s Choice Classic Criterium.

With more than three weeks remaining until the start of the first World Tour event of next season, Etixx – Quick-Step sports director Rik van Slycke has finalized the seven-men team that will go to Australia in the first days of 2016 for the Tour Down Under. After the riders will stretch their legs in the Adelaide Criterium on January 17th, two days later they will return at the start line of the Tour Down Under, that will once again see the peloton climb Willunga Hill, which is expected to play a major role in the final outcome.

“We have a young team for the race. Petr Vakoc and Carlos Verona have asked us to go there, which shows how motivated they are. Taking into account his skills and the form which looks promising, Vakoc can go for a good result in the general classification, but we’ll take each step at a time, without putting any pressure on him. He is well-suited to this course and he’ll get the opportunity to be leader in an important race. It’s part of the development process for our young riders, to give them the leadership in some events, to deal with stress and gain experience. As for Carlos, we already saw at the end of last season that he was doing very well, he feels good and wants to continue on this road he’s started,” said Rik van Slycke.

The inaugural World Tour race of the season, Tour Down Under will see the riders of Etixx – Quick-Step travel to Australia early, in order to adjust to the high temperatures, and Rik van Slycke hopes for a smooth transition that will eventually help the cyclists have a strong week: “A competitive team goes to Australia, a team that can get some nice results. David De La Cruz was here before and can also make himself noticed in the tough stages, while Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Martin Velits and Pieter Serry are ready to work for the team and seize the day. As for Davide Martinelli, one of our newcomers, he’ll ride pressure-free, because this will be his first pro race and we don’t want to push him.”

A pro since 2014, Petr Vakoc enjoyed an impressive second season in the World Tour, during which he started and completed his first Grand Tour – the Giro d’Italia – took the overall win in the Czech Cycling Tour and scored an exciting stage victory in the Tour of Britain, after holding off the peloton. His improvement on the road was significant and gave the 23-year-old more confidence, as well as the desire to lead the team in some races, with Tour Down Under being his first opportunity to do so. Following a solid block of training in Denia, Petr Vakoc goes to the southern hemisphere hoping to capitalize on his form: “I wanted an early start, so that’s why I decided to race the Tour Down Under for the first time. I like the course and I’m very motivated for Australia. Hopefully, this race will be a starting point for a great season.”

For neo-pro Davide Martinelli – three-time U23 time trial national champion and bronze medalist in the road race at the 2015 European Championships – the event from Oz will be an important landmark in his career: “I’m excited about making my pro debut in a World Tour race. It will be a big appointment for me, because it’s going to give me an idea of the level I’ll face in 2016. I’ve heard many nice things about this race, and I can’t wait for it.”

The 18th edition of the Tour Down Under will start in Prospect and finish in Adelaide, after six stages and a total of 781 kilometers.

David De La Cruz Melgarejo (ESP), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Pieter Serry (BEL), Petr Vakoc (CZE), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Martin Velits (SVK), Carlos Verona (ESP).
Sports Director: Rik van Slycke (BEL).

TDU Race website.

17.01.16 Criterium Adelaide – Adelaide 51.0 km
19.01.16 Stage 1 Prospect – Lyndoch 130.8 km
20.01.16 Stage 2 Unley – Striling 132.0 km
21.01.16 Stage 3 Glenelg 139.0 km
22.01.16 Stage 4 Norwood – Victor Harbor 138.0 km
23.01.16 Stage 5 McLaren Vale – Willunga Hill 151.5 km
24.01.16 Stage 6 Adelaide – Adelaide.

Stage 5 of the 2015 TDU:


Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Young International team for the Season Debut
For 2016 the kick off for Lampre-Merida will be in Australia, in the criterium People’s Choice Classic, which will be the foretaste of the first WorldTour race of the season, the Tour Down Under.

Merida bikes will be on the Australian roads on January 17th in Adelaide for the traditional criterium of 51km. The Tour Down Under will start on January 19th with 6 scheduled stages.

Lampre-Merida will be in Australia relying on a well balanced selection of riders. Three riders will debut in their new blue-fuchsia-green Champion System kit: Marko Kump (Slovenia), Louis Meintjes (South Africa) and Federico Zurlo (Italy). They’ll be part of a 7 riders selection which will include captain Diego Ulissi, Manuele Mori, and the two young guns Tsgabu Grmay and Luka Pibernik. The selection is characterized by two qualities: the low average age (25 years) and the internationality of the cyclists, who represent 4 nations (two African riders).

The team will be directed by Philippe Mauduit, who’ll be supported by the doctor Beltemacchi, the masseurs Negri and Redaelli and by the mechanics Baron and Tiede.

The selection will be competitive in all the 6 stages of the Australian race: The Slovenian duo Kump-Pibernik will be on the frontline in the sprints, also considering that Kump wants to be protagonist in the World Tour after the 18 victory in the 2015 season.

Ulissi is targeting the Tour Down Under as an important appointment in his season and he’d like to repeat the 2014 performances when he obtain one stage victory and the third place in the overall classification, he’ll receive the support from Mori and Grmay. Zurlo, who’ll debut in Lampre-Merida, will be useful both in support of the sprinters and for the hilly stages.

There will be high interest in the first race of Meintjes with the team. The qualities of the South African young start could allow him to realize impressive performances in the Tour Down Under but, first of all, it will be interesting to evaluate the feeling between the rider and his new team mates.

Santos Tour Down Under – Iconic Willunga Hill:


Tirreno-Adriatico 2016: “Classic” Route
The “Race of the Two Seas” 51st edition will face a route similar to in recent years with the inaugural Team Time Trial in Lido di Camaiore, two sprinters’ stages, two finisseurs’ stages, a mountain top finish and the final Individual Time Trial. San Benedetto del Tronto will host the final stage of the race for the 50th consecutive year.


In between tradition and renovation: this is the philosophy of Tirreno-Adriatico 2016. The “Race of the Two Seas,” organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, has reached its 51st edition and will be held from 9 until 15 March, facing a technically complete course, which has become a “classic” in the last few years, with improvements in marketing and communication.

The Route: 1,019.8km of Passion
The race will start on Wednesday 9 with a Team Time Trial along the Versilia seaside, starting and finishing, after 22.7km, in Lido di Camaiore. It’s the same course that last year had to be modified to an Individual Time Trial at the last minute, due to the exceptionally bad weather that hit the area.

The second stage will go from Camaiore to Pomarance, 207km, ideal for finisseurs with a discontinous final climb 9.4km long. A ramp that alternates par at 2-3% with double digit parts, with a 15% maximum inclination.

The first stage dedicated to the fastest wheels in the peloton will be held on Friday 11, going from Castelnuovo Val di Cecina to Montalto di Castro after 176 kilometers.

The race will start back from Montalto di Castro on Saturday 12 on a route full of climbs and descents, ending in Foligno. It’s the longest stage of the “Race of the Two Seas”, 216km long.

On Sunday 13 the peloton will face the mountain finish (178km). The riders will start from Foligno before facing four King of the Mountain climbs (Valico del Soglio, Frontignano, Le Arette and Montelago) before the final climb leading to the finish line, 1,208m high on Monte San Vicino. It will be a 13km climb with constant inclination and a final false flat. The average inclination is 6.6%, the maximum 12%.

The following day, from Castelraimondo to Cepagatti (210km) returns to the ideal topography for the sprinters.

The grand finale on Tuesday 15 with the Individual Time Trial (10km) on the San Benetto del Tronto seaside, will crown the King of the Two Seas. The city of the Palms Riviera will, for the 50th consecutive time, be the host of the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. Only once, in its first edition in 1966, did the race end in Pescara rather than San Benedetto del Tronto.


Düsseldorf to host the Grand Départ of the 2017 Tour de France
30 years after West Berlin (1987), the Tour de France peloton will again set off from Germany as it launches the 104th edition of the race. Düsseldorf will host the 22nd Grand Départ outside French borders in 2017. This will be the fourth time that the Tour de France gets going in Germany.

All the details on the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf will be revealed at a press conference held on January 14 at two venues: first in Paris and then in Düsseldorf.

2017 Tour de France Grand Départ in Düsseldorf:

Tour de France 2017 Grand Départ in Düsseldorf por tourdefrance


Tiesj Benoot elected as Belgian talent of the year Lotto Soudal rider Tiesj Benoot has been elected as Belgian talent of the year. He was one of the three nominees; together with Youri Tielemans (soccer player at RSC Anderlecht) and Ketbi Si Mohamed (taekwondo). For the 21-year-old Benoot it is the coronation of his strong first year as a pro at Lotto Soudal. He made a surprisingly strong debut during the Flemish classics and later this year he showed his skills in the Belgium Tour.

Tiesj Benoot: “For sure I’m very happy with this prize, but also a bit surprised. When you look at the performances of the other nominees, then I’m honored that I won with such a difference in votes. Probably because cycling is a real Belgian sport that causes a certain emotion with lots of people and the fact that they can appreciate the development of a talent. It’s a recognition by Belgian professional sports journalists, people who follow sports day in and day out. I was happy to be part of the fifteen nominees. That I was part of the three super nominees was a surprise itself and winning is obviously fantastic.”

“I want to take the opportunity to thank some people. I can call myself a ‘product’ of the youth development of Lotto Soudal in which the National Lottery puts lots of energy. They give young riders the chance to develop from talents to professionals. The fact that I’m elected as the talent of the year is also a reward for their efforts. Secondly, I want to thank my parents and my girlfriend; they know what its like to live with a cyclist who focusses that hard on his job. I also want to thank the entire staff of Lotto Soudal and especially manager Marc Sergeant who gives young riders the opportunity and who guides us as good as possible to make sure we can develop into worthy professionals. Off course I also want to thank my co-riders of which several belong to the world top. Training and working together on a daily basis gives a young rider the opportunity to learn from the best and set small steps forward.”

Tiesj Benoot Belgian Talent of the Year (Flemish):


Penkas: adiós and thanks for everything
Movistar Team publishes a video to mark the retirement of Pablo Lastras, a point of reference and a symbol of Spanish cycling throughout his 18 year career as a professional

In 2016, for the first time for 21 seasons – three as an amateur then 18 at the very highest level – the name Pablo Lastras will not appear on the roster of Eusebio Unzué’s team. The fall he suffered on 26 March, during stage four of the Vuelta a Catalunya, ended his sporting career and forced him into a long and painful process of recuperation that is still ongoing. Even faced with career-ending injury, Penkas demonstrated the values that made him one of the most appreciated riders inside and outside the peloton: dignity, commitment, huge respect for the work of his team-mates and rivals, and, more than anything else, a heart of gold.

He started his professional career at Banesto with victory in the 1997 Memorial Galera, the Spaniard having ridden the 1996 Trofeo Luis Ocaña for the Spanish Under-23 team. Like a world-class creative midfielder in football, he could spread the play and support his team-mates or, when the opportunity arose, he could score stunning individual wins. After several seasons affected by injuries, a perennial issue down the years, Penkas took stage wins in all three Grand Tours over three consecutive campaigns. In the 2001 Giro d’Italia he won at Gorizia; in 2002 he took two stages in the Vuelta, at Córdoba and at Collado Villalba. Finally, in 2003, he took his greatest win in the Tour de France at Saint-Maixent-l’École, pointing at the sky in memory of his mother, Rosa, who had passed away with cancer a few weeks earlier. Rosa was largely responsible for convincing the young Pablo, during a difficult period in his teenage years, to persist with cycling. “If I have character and tenacity, they come from her.”


Eight years later, at the end of stage four of the 2011 Vuelta in Totana, Lastras raised his arms again, again remembering his mother, but also Xavi Tondo and all his loved ones. He even dedicated the win to the media. “They magnify this sport.” Throughout these two decades, which brought him 13 professional wins and many more by his team-mates, Penkas revealed exquisite tact and amiability to journalists and reporters, and to anyone else demanding his attention. He would often take the initiative himself: it was his way of proving that turning the pedals is only one of the duties required of elite professional cyclists.

In Pablo’s case, there is no way of separating the man from the cyclist. Charisma, humility and a formidable determination are more of the qualities that made him the very embodiment of the team spirit in Unzué’s structure. Deeply respected by other teams, to many of his team-mates he became a brother, even a substitute, sporting father. The emotions of an evening in Pamplona just over a month ago, when the team toasted and warmly applauded their ‘godfather’, will live long into Penkas’ retirement.

From the Movistar Team: “Penkas, thank you for everything.”

Good-bye Pablo Lastras:


Lodewyck signs as Sport Director with BMC Development Team
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz has announced the signing of Klaas Lodewyck as Sport Director for BMC Development Team in 2016.

Lodewyck, 27, was a member of the BMC Racing Team roster in 2015 until a medical issue forced him to retire in August. “The opportunity for us to bring him to the team, in a Sport Director capacity for BMC Development Team was a great opportunity, not only for him, but also for us. We are very happy to see Klaas make this transition, whilst still remaining within the BMC family” said Ochowicz.

The new role is a fresh start in cycling, said Lodewyck. “After all the problems I had last year, it’s a new opportunity and a new chance so I’m really happy. I had to stop (cycling) now, so young at only 27. For me, there are still some dreams that I would love to reach that are not possible anymore. So I want to help the young guys, help them develop as well as possible and help them to reach their dreams.”

BMC Development Team Manager Jens Blatter welcomed Lodewyck into the team. “I’m proud to work with our Development Team, made up of talented riders from all over the world. I’m very happy that the team management found a young and motivated Sport Director in Klaas Lodewyck and I’m sure he will be the right person to join BMC Development Team”.

BMC Development Team’s 2016 roster will comprise 16 riders from seven countries, including ten new signings for the season. In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other terms or conditions of the contract were released.

Riders continuing from 2015: Eisenhart, Taylor (USA), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Müller, Patrick (SUI), Spengler, Lukas (SUI), Tietema, Bas (NDL), Van Hooydonck, Nathan (BEL).

New riders from 2016: Appelt, Leo (GER), Dobbs, Sam (NZL), Eenkhoorn, Pascal (NDL), Lienhard, Fabian (SUI), Mostov, Ezekiel (USA), Spengler, Mario (SUI), Schäppi, Martin (SUI), Sivakov, Pavel (RUS/FRA), Swirbul, Keegan (USA), Welten, Bram (NDL).

Klaas Lodewyck:


MINI New Partner of Team Giant-Alpecin
MINI Netherlands becomes a partner of Team Giant-Alpecin. The team will drive the new MINI Clubman in 2016, in a unique relationship that finds its origins in a shared passion for innovation and sports performance.

The partnership, which will begin January 1, 2016, will perhaps surprise some, but according to Hidde-Jan Haven (NED), brand manager for MINI Netherlands, the MINI Clubman is a perfect fit for Team Giant-Alpecin: “The new MINI Clubman offers plenty of space, making it the ideal team car.” Haven is very enthusiastic about the partnership and sees many similarities between the two organizations: “MINI and Team Giant-Alpecin both have a strong focus on innovation and technology. With this partnership we are supporting a successful team with lots of potential.”

Iwan Spekenbrink (NED), CEO of Team Giant-Alpecin, also sees many opportunities in the partnership: “Our mission is to inspire cyclists around the world and to encourage sporting excellence. A top brand like MINI will certainly contribute to this.”

MINI and Team Giant-Alpecin: a good team
The MINI Cooper SD Clubman has all the right attributes to contribute to the team’s success in the coming year. With its 190 HP and 400 Nm of torque, it can tackle any mountain stage, and its sprint capacity is excellent; it does the intermediate sprint from 80 to 120 km/h in 6.9 seconds.

Iwan Spekenbrink said: “In cycling, much is asked of a team car. The MINI Clubman is the perfect reinforcement for our team. This partnership fits perfectly with our ‘Keep Challenging’ philosophy based on innovation, cooperation and continuous improvement.” In other words, the partnership between MINI Netherlands and Team Giant-Alpecin offers all the ingredients for sporting excellence in 2016!



Wanty-Groupe Gobert announce new partnership with KALAS Sportswear and release 2016 kit
Wanty-Groupe Gobert announce a new partnership with KALAS Sportswear, Europe’s leading manufacturer and distributor of sports apparel. The two-year deal sees the custom cycle wear experts supplying the team with all their technical cycling kit and casual clothing from January 2016.

Wanty-Groupe Gobert Team Manager Jean-François Bourlart is enthusiastic about the deal: “Our team is built on the support of well-established family-owned businesses who have a real passion for cycling. That’s one reason why we are so excited to add KALAS Sportswear to our roster, alongside Wanty, Groupe Gobert and CUBE. KALAS Sportswear share our ambition to grow and we are excited by the possibility to develop new high-performance race wear together.”

KALAS Sportswear CEO, Jakub Věncek, is especially looking forward to seeing the Czech brand playing their part in helping the team compete at some of the biggest races in the world: “This is the biggest team partnership KALAS Sportswear have entered into during our 25 year history. We have searched carefully for the right team and in Wanty-Groupe Gobert we are confident we have found a great fit. In the last 12 months alone we added 4 new products to our PRO range, all of which will be used by the team. We are especially proud of our new PRO Arco bib shorts, which the team will benefit from using. Attached you will find the great new kit design we developed for Wanty-Groupe Gobert and we will continue to make further product enhancements. It’s really a dream come true to see the kit we worked so hard to develop right in the heart of the Spring Classics. Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are some of the toughest races in the calendar and we are delighted to play our part in the team’s quest for success.”

From KALAS Sportswear the team relationship will be managed by former pro rider Frantisek Rabon (T-Mobile, HTC, OmegaPharma-QuickStep) who now works on product development with the sports apparel brand: “As someone who has raced at the highest level, I fully understand the demands placed upon pro race kit. Part of my job is to deliver kit to the team that can meet those demands. I already met the riders at a recent team meeting for individual fitting sessions. When the team next meet at their January training camp in Spain I will be there again to ensure all the riders are fully kitted out with our innovative PRO range of race wear in time for the start of the 2016 season.”



Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Lampre-Merida’s kit for 2016
In 2016 Champion System will still be the official supplier of cycling clothing for Lampre-Merida and in the next season they will provide a racing kit which will be a continuum with the latest editions.

Take a glimpse of the kit in the photogallery on the homepage of the team’s official website and in a video (here) in which Cimolai, Ulissi and Modolo play the role of the models.

Few changes comparing to the kits of the past two years: the racing clothing for 2016 will be part of a three years period during which the fans got accustomed to the design of the kits, becoming distinguishable. The changes will make the jersey even more visible, with the blue background and the Lampre fuchsia and the Merida green which make the kit unique. The fuchsia bow on the back of the jersey is larger so that the riders can be more recognizable in the aerial tv shoots and also the fucshia and green graphic details which underline the lettering Lampre and Merida on the front and on the back of the jersey are larger. The most important places for what concern the exposition are reserved for Lampre and Merida lettering and also the logo Champion System is placed in visible positions. The lettering Cieffe Forni Industriali is placed on the shoulders, on the chest in addition to the lettering Lamital and Lamfer there are the lettering Mitsubishi Motors and Fred Mello. On the sleeves, Samsung and Northwave have a good exposure.

“We are continually looking to innovate our garments ensuring they are race ready for another season with Lampre-Merida,” Louis Shih, founder of Champion System. “For 2016 we have enhanced our premium jersey offering for the team, developing our Elite Razor Jersey to improve fit and function. This will ensure Rui Costa, Louis Meintjes and the rest of the team will be using the most innovative clothing available – the same clothing available to our global customer base”

Ulissa and Modolo in the 2016 kit:


Quintana for the Colombian Championships
Nairo Quintana confirms his presence in the Colombia road championship on the 7th of February 7 2016, and the championships will be held in the department of Boyaca Tunja the home town of Movistar team in Colombia. The elite race will start from Sogamoso, pass through Tibasosa, Duitama Paipa and Tunja to cover a distance of 174.6 kilometers. There will be seven laps of a circuit of 14.4 kilometers with a demanding climb of 1.1 kilometers, according to the Colombian Federation.

Nairo Quintana – Best Moments from 2015:


Riders Reviewed and Previewed during Training Camp
During the Mallorca training camp earlier this month, the Lotto Soudal riders took the time to talk to the media. An impression.

Tiesj Benoot: “The expectations are higher now because of my performances this year and I have the ambition to live up to certain of those expectations. I can handle that. On the other hand, I am realistic as well and realize that I am only 21. The team supports me 100 per cent and keeps the pressure away from me. I look at it race by race and I just try to set a step forward. I would have loved to ride a Grand Tour in 2016, but together with my trainer I decided not to. I will probably add Milan-Sanremo and the Amstel Gold Race to my race program.”

Kris Boeckmans: “It’s a surprise that I am here on training camp and even more that I was able to ride the bike a few times for two to three hours. It’s a cliché, but a good health is all I wish for 2016. It’s very difficult to tell when I can make a comeback in the peloton. First, I was told it would already be great if I could ride at least one race in 2016, then it changed to a race during the summer. We look at it day by day, because I am warned a setback is still possible.”

Tony Gallopin: “I am pretty satisfied about previous season. I did really well in Paris-Nice and I achieved a top ten in five one-day races of the highest category: Milan-Sanremo, Amstel Gold Race, GP de Québec, the World Championships and Il Lombardia. In 2016 I hope to animate the races again. Paris-Nice will be my first goal, then I’ll ride the Walloon classics and the Dauphiné will be my final preparation for the Tour.”

André Greipel: “2015 was a very successful year. Everyone asks if I can repeat it in 2016, but that won’t be easy. I won sixteen times, of which four Tour stages and one Giro stage. I also won other WorldTour races and especially my victory at the Vattenfall Cyclassics was unique. My race program for 2016 will almost be identical to 2015. First, I’ll ride Paris-Nice, then the classics, Giro and Tour and at the end of the season I hope to go to the World Championships as leader of the German team and will try to conquer that rainbow jersey.”

Adam Hansen: “I’m proud that I set the record of completing thirteen Grand Tours in a row. I’d like to continue on that path in 2016. Although you never know what comes. An injury or bad luck can always put an end to it. Still, I hope to add a few more Grand Tours. I have a different role in each Grand Tour. I already won a stage in the Giro and Vuelta and hope to once win a Tour stage.”

Jürgen Roelandts: “I give myself 7/10 for the past season. I did well during the spring, but didn’t get a top result. I was eleventh in Milan-Sanremo, seventh at the E3 and Ghent-Wevelgem, eighth in the Tour of Flanders and 21st in Paris-Roubaix where I rode solo in front until Carrefour de l’Arbre. Good results, but no top result. I hope it will be different in 2016. My last victory dates back to La Méditerranéenne in 2013, I hope to change that. I don’t see Tiesj Benoot as an opponent, we can only benefit when we enter the finale with two and I really wish him a first pro victory.”

Tim Wellens: “I learned a lot in 2015, maybe even more than during the years that all went well. For the first time I had some negative experiences. The Tour de France didn’t go as hoped; luckily I still had a good season thanks to my stage win and overall win at the Eneco Tour and my victory at GP de Montréal. In 2016 I will do it more like in 2014: be as good as possible at the Walloon classics and then ride the Giro. And I hope to stand at the start of the Olympic road race in Rio next summer in the best possible condition.”

Lotto Soudal, who is the most poplar with women:


Velon Best of 2015 Highlights
Velon might be at odds with either ASO or the UCI (ASO at the moment), over many things, including TV rights and the money from same. That said, they do make good video footage. Here is their round up of 2016:


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