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De Panne- Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Pedersen Mads - Alexander Kristoff (Norway / Team Katusha) pictured during Driedaagse De Panne Koksijde 2016 - Stage 1 - from De Panne to Zottegem - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Belgian race organizers fall out over dates – TOP STORY. Full weekend of cyclocross with the two top men sharing the spoils of victory, reports, results, quotes and video in a packed EUROTRASH Monday. In other cycling news: Katusha-Alpecin team launch, 2017 Tour de Yorkshire announced, Lotto Soudal for 2017, Will Routley and Tom Veelers retire, Cycling Academy sign riders and DS, Pirmin Lang to Roth and Marc De Maar to China, WM3 Pro Cycling on Ridley, a clean Vuelta’16 and no Tour de France for Portsmouth in 2019. Big coffee Monday time!

TOP STORY: Organizers Disagree
After ASO, RCS and Flanders Classics announcing that teams would be smaller in their events and the UCI rejecting the move due to ‘rules can’t be broken’ but have to be changed through due process. Now in Belgium there is a storm brewing between race organizers Flanders Classics and the organizers of the Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde. Wouter Vandenhaute, top man at Flanders Classics expressed the strong opinion, at the press presentation of Dwars door Vlaanderen, that his race will be the last warm-up before the Tour of Flanders from 2018. This, of course, annoyed the organizers of the Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde which has always been the build up to De Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Vandenhaute told Belgian newspapers Het Laatste Nieuws and Het Nieuwsblad that: “In 2018 Dwars door Vlaanderen will be held the Wednesday before the Tour of Flanders. There is no discussion about that.” He added, “I’m thinking of a scenario like the Walloon classics where Flèche Wallonne is held on the Wednesday before Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Perhaps the time is ripe to go to a World Tour race of less than 200 kilometers. A shorter course is a way to keep the same riders here in that period.”

With the date change Vandenhaute would expect to have the contenders for the Tour of Flanders on the start line of the Dwars door Vlaanderen. This move would force the Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde to find a new date on the cycling calendar from 2018, but where?

With new races springing up all over the World, the spring Classics season is becoming compressed and congested. But when it comes to Classics excitement, Belgium or more precisely, Flanders in the spring is the center of the Universe and should not be tampered with.

Three Days of De Panne 2016 – Stage 3a and not a cobble in sight:

Zilvermeercross – Mol 2016
Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) his ninth win of the season in the Zilvermeercross in Mol on Sunday and as you would expect, World champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) was second. Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Lions) finished third ahead of a split field.

World champion Van Aert was the fastest from the gun on the Zilvermeer sand, while Van der Poel was amongst the other riders further back. Tom Meeusen also placed well due to bunny hoping the barrier as most of the others dismounted.

Through the finish for the start of lap 2, Daan Soete (Telenet Fidea) was in the lead, chased by Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games), Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games) and Meeusen, but Pauwels was not riding well in the sand and slowed Meeusen and Vanthourenhout. Eventually Van Aert and Van der Poel caught and passed all the front runners with only Jim Aernouts (Telenet Fidea) for company. As expected Van der Poel and Van Aert were on their own and well away from the other.

Van Aert got stuck on the sand climb and Van der Poel was away. The World champion managed to hold Van der Poel at around 10 seconds, but with 2 laps to go, the lead was up to 15 seconds. Then Van Aert crashed on the sand descent and Van der Poel was gone for a solo win by 43 seconds from Van Aert and nearly a minute over Meeusen in third place.

Francorchamps - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Mathieu van der Poel pictured during the Hansgrohe Superprestige Elite cyclocross race in Spa - Francorchamps, Belgium- photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Race winner, Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon): “I was pretty happy that I was not as cold as the day before in Francorchamps, it was a great course here, a race of my heart. I like to ride the sand strips. It went pretty easy today. As I came well through the sand, I could approach the other sections perfectly. During the whole race, I could do my own thing and determine my own pace. On Saturday I have learned that I must be content with second position. You simply cannot win everything. I will now work to be ready for next weekend. We have some brilliant races in Essen and Overijse.”

2nd, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice): “I made a mistake on the climb and Mathieu could get a gap. In the next lap, I had problems in the same place and to make matters worse, I went over my head. Then my race was over, that was not my favorite section. I never found a good line. In the rest of the course, I had some seconds to make up, but then I again lost more time on the climb. I’m just glad I was able to win on Saturday in Francorchamps. I actually won the main cyclocross race of the weekend because we were fighting for a classification yesterday and this was a just single race. I must immediately catch my plane to Spain. I will go on a training camp in Calpe to work more on the condition.”

3rd, Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea): “I had a really good day and could go through the sand perfectly. I was well positioned until Kevin Pauwels crashed in front of me and I could not avoid him so I hit the ground myself. Just then Mathieu and Wout went on the attack. I tried to bridge the gap but did not succeed. To make up time on those two riders is just not easy. I’m quite happy with third place. It had been a while since I was allowed to stand on a podium.”

Zilvermeercross Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon in 53:30
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:43
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:58
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus at 1:44
5. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon at 1:52
6. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:56
7. Diether Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus at 1:58
8. David van ver Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games at 2:25
10. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) Beobank-Corendon at 2:32.

Link to Zilvermeercross video HERE:

Hansgrohe Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps 2016
World champion, Wout van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) took his first victory for a month on Saturday in the Hansgrohe Superprestige in Spa-Francorchamps. His big rival for the 2016/17 cross season, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) could not hold the Belgian on the steep run up and finished second at 32 seconds, with European champion Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) on his heels in third place.

As usual Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) was the fastest starter of the day, but it didn’t take long for Aerts to catch him. Mathieu van der Poel and Van Aert along with the younger Van der Poel, David were not far behind. Mathieu didn’t wait long and attacked as Van Aert skidded on the icy course to be nearly 10 seconds down at the start of the second lap. Van Aert made it back to the front with an impressive ‘climb’ of the grassy wall as Van der Poel, Aerts and the World champion went clear.

With three laps remaining; Van Aert went into overdrive and left the other two on the steep run-up and soon had 10 seconds lead. Van der Poel could not do anything and soon lost 30 seconds on Van Aert, but held Aerts off by 2 seconds for second place at the finish.

Francorchamps - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Wout van Aert  pictured during the Hansgrohe Superprestige Elite cyclocross race in Spa - Francorchamps, Belgium- photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice): “I want to read the analyses again. If you are always second, you have no right to speak so I never responded. But I knew that I had to, now was the time to respond with the pedals. I’ve never lost here. It’s not often in a season that you get the chance to run on such a wall. I can do that well, so it was nice to show it again. In the coming weeks, we still have beautiful duels with Mathieu in the busy month of December.”

2nd, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon): “It was a tough race. Wout has always been stronger on such a running course. It will never be my specialty. I first tried to follow Wout on the running wall, but I couldn’t. It was too hard for me. I soon realized that I would not close the gap so I chose to safely ride for second place.”

3rd, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea): “This is really a course that I like, I expected more mud, but unfortunately it was frozen. I had large sticks under my shoes for the running. But because I slipped on an icy section when I jumped off the bike, I injured my knee. Then I entertained the audience when I jumped over the flat part of the bridge. Every lap there were more and more spectators. It gave me confidence.”

Hansgrohe Superprestige Spa-Francorchamps Result
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice in 1:00:43
2. Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon at 0:32
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:35
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games at 1:25
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) ERA-Circus at 1:32
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:38
7. Jens Adams (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 1:40
8. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Beobank-Corendon at 1:53
9. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games at 2:19
10. Stephen Hyde (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld at 2:30.

Spa-Francorchamps Superprestige:

Ambitious Team KATUSHA-ALPECIN: Completion of a Clear Vision
With a large crowd of sponsors, journalists, friends and family on hand in Benidorm, Spain to welcome Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, the full roster of riders and sports directors were presented sporting the newly branded cycling kit and riding the 2017 Canyon bicycle.

Taking a brief break from the two-week training camp in nearby Calpe, the team presentation was a time to reflect on last year’s successes with outgoing general manager Viacheslav Ekimov, as he noted the 25 victories and 40 podium places for the season. Also welcomed to the stage were new GM José Azevedo and new title sponsor Alpecin with managing partner Eduard R. Dörrenberg on hand to represent the family-owned shampoo company. In addition a hearty welcome and huge thank you was given to Mr. Igor Makarov for his continuing support and sponsorship of the team. As the founder of the KATUSHA brand 8 years ago, his continued dedication and commitment are invaluable to the team and appreciated by all. Team captains Alexander Kristoff, Ilnur Zakarin and Tony Martin revealed the newly branded jersey and Canyon bike for KATUSHA ALPECIN, and offered them as gifts for Misters Makarov and Dörrenberg, the latter happy being title sponsor of the team, facing another step with a clear international orientation in 2017.

The roster of riders was introduced in groups of time trialists, sprinters, climbers and all-arounders, with special goals outlined for the team captains. Current world time trial champion Tony Martin will work to take the yellow jersey on the opening day of the 2017 Le Tour. With the prologue taking place in his native Germany, Martin will focus on earning the first maillot jaune. He will also concentrate on Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix as well as a fifth world title. Ilnur Zakarin will skip the Tour in 2017 and instead fight for general classification results in both the Giro d’Italia and la Vuelta a España. Top sprinter Alexander Kristoff resumes his determination to bolster his wins in the big spring classics, racing all of them up to Paris-Roubaix. Kristoff will look for a repeat victory in Milano-Sanremo (2014) and Ronde van Vlaanderen (2015) as well as wins in E3 Harelbeke and Gent Wevelgem to round out his palmarès.

New general manager Azevedo is pleased with what he’s seen this week in camp: “Things have come together faster than I expected especially with all of the new people. We have 40% new people in the team for the riders and we also have changes on the staffing side. It can take time for the new people to integrate into the system and understand how things work. But right away after our first small camp in Italy last October, I went home and felt very positive about what I had seen. In only four days I saw people developing a good connection. Now in Calpe we have had another week to work together and I’d say everyone feels part of the group now. This is very important to me. The atmosphere and mentality in the group is good.”

Several riders returned to the stage sporting the new KATUSHA Sports collection of clothing. Last year brought the introduction of the new line featuring both cycling and lifestyle clothing, with input and feedback from various team riders proving invaluable to the development of the performance line. The latest collection was revealed and offered on display for the appreciative audience.
Concluding the night was the presentation of the full roster of riders and directors. Declaring the season officially open, Azevedo shared his vision for the team, saying, “I want us to work together to bring one identity of KATUSHA ALPECIN. The message we share with the world is that we work with passion, that everyone here loves cycling and we will be fighting to win races.”

Riding for Team KATHUSA ALPECIN in 2017 are 26 riders from the 14 countries of Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

Maxim Belkov (RUS), Jenthe Biermans (BEL), Sven Erik Bystrøm (NOR), José Gonçalves (POR), Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kišerlovski (CRO), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS), Maurits Lammertink (HOL), Alberto Losada (ESP), Tiago Machado (POR), Matvey Mamykin (RUS), Tony Martin (GER), Marco Mathis (GER), Michael Mørkøv (DEN), Baptiste Planckaert (BEL), Nils Politt (GER), Jhonatan Restrepo (COL), Simon Špilak (SLO), Rein Taaramäe (EST), Ángel Vicioso (ESP), Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN), Rick Zabel (GER), Ilnur Zakarin (RUS).

Guiding them are General Manager José Azevedo and the returning sports directors Claudio Cozzi, Xavier Florencio, Dmitry Konyshev, Gennady Mikhaylov and Torsten Schmidt.

The Katusha-Alpecin team in Calpe:

Full Route for 2017 Tour de Yorkshire Announced
The full route for the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire has been unveiled at the Impressions Gallery in Bradford. Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity led a packed press conference on Friday morning with the Tour de France’s Director Christian Prudhomme. Scott Thwaites was one of many star riders in attendance along with Yorkshire cycling legends such as Brian Robinson, Malcolm Elliott and Denise Burton-Cole. The third edition of the race takes place between 28-30 April 2017. It encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in Yorkshire’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Fountains Abbey and Saltaire.

Stage 1: 173km – The Coast and Wolds
Bridlington to Scarborough – Friday 28 April
The race takes the peloton from the coast through the Yorkshire Wolds, starting outside the refurbished Bridlington Spa and heading into Pocklington for the first intermediate sprint. The classified climbs up the Côtes de Garrowby Hill and Goathland will get the legs pumping before the race hits the coastline again at Whitby where the riders will get a great view of the world-famous Abbey as they contest the second sprint of the day. The route continues on to Robin Hood’s Bay for the third and final climb and then it’s full steam into Scarborough for the now-legendary finish along North Bay.

Stage 2: 122.5km – Historic Market Towns
Tadcaster to Harrogate – Saturday 29 April
Starting on Tadcaster bridge – which will be newly reopened following flood damage last Boxing Day – this stage takes the riders through some of Yorkshire’s finest market towns. They will venture into Knaresborough, where the first intermediate sprint points are up for grabs, and the day’s sole categorised climb comes on the fearsome Côte de Lofthouse before the descent into Masham. It’s on to Ripon for the second intermediate sprint and the race will skirt the stunning Fountains Abbey before a fast approach to Harrogate. The action reaches its crescendo along Parliament Street, just as it did on the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

Stage 3: 194.5km – The Yorkshire Terrier
Bradford to Fox Valley (Sheffield) – Sunday 30 April
Named The Yorkshire Terrier as this is the toughest stage in the history of the Tour de Yorkshire, riders will start at Bradford City Park before heading into Saltaire. The action then briefly joins the 2014 Tour de France route at Burley-in-Wharfedale before passing the majestic Bolton Abbey and into the Yorkshire Dales. Skipton is the next town on the agenda, with the first of eight categorised climbs being contested on the Côte de Silsden. The following ascent comes on the cobbled rise up Haworth’s picturesque main street and another climb at Leeming must also be tackled before they face the infamous Côte de Shibden Wall. This cobbled brute could see splits form before the intermediate sprints in Clifton and Stocksbridge. Once those have been contested the riders then embark on a torturous 22km finishing circuit that features no-less than four categorised climbs at Deepcar, Wigtwizzle, Ewden Height and Midhopestones before the race reaches its climax at Fox Valley.

Sir Gary Verity said: “I can’t wait to see the world’s best riders tackling these routes. We’ve worked hard to design a course which showcases Yorkshire’s stunning scenery as well as delivering a thrilling sporting event. Last year the race attracted 2 million spectators and generated £60 million for the local economy, and we’ll go from strength to strength again next year.”

Christian Prudhomme said: “I always enjoy coming to Yorkshire and the county certainly knows how to put on a show. I am excited by what this year’s route looks like and am sure it will provide three days of fantastic racing.”

Asda Tour de Yorkshire – Women’s Race
It was also announced that following the success of last year, the Asda Tour de Yorkshire women’s race would be held on exactly the same route as stage two, with the women starting in the morning and the men in the early afternoon. The £50,000 prize pot is one of the largest in the sport and a stellar cast of riders will be on hand to compete on Yorkshire roads.

Sir Gary Verity said: “It gives me a great sense of pride that we are leading the way in championing women’s cycling. This race is one of the most lucrative in the sport, attracting the best teams and riders from across the globe, and the challenging course will provide a real test of ability in front of massive crowds.”

2017 Tour de Yorkshire route:

Route preview in images – 2017 Tour de Yorkshire por tourdefrance

Lotto Soudal: The Teams for 2017
December has arrived and 2017 is fast approaching. Of course, a new year means a new cycling season. On 20 December the riders of Lotto Soudal will be officially presented during the team presentation. Below you can already find the composition of the World Tour team, the Ladies team and the U23 team for 2017.

World Tour Team
Next year, the World Tour team will consist of 28 riders. The strong riders are being loyal to the team. Gert Dockx, Greg Henderson and Pim Ligthart are leaving the team whilst five riders are joining us. The Belgian Enzo Wouters and the Briton James Callum Shaw are coming over from the U23 team of Lotto Soudal. The Belgian Rémy Mertz is the third rider who makes his debut as a pro with the team. His compatriot Nikolas Maes has years of experience in the pro peloton and as from 2017, he will be able to use that experience at Lotto Soudal. The Dutchman Moreno Hofland is the fifth and last newcomer.

Team 2017: Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, Bart De Clercq, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Moreno Hofland (newcomer), Nikolas Maes (newcomer), Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz (newcomer), Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts, James Callum Shaw (newcomer), Marcel Sieberg, Rafael Valls, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke, Jelle Wallays, Tim Wellens en Enzo Wouters (newcomer).

Ladies Team
Next year, twelve elite riders will be part of the Lotto Soudal Ladies team. Seven riders of the present team are leaving: Sofie De Vuyst, Willeke Knol, Claudia Lichtenberg, Emma Pooley, Anouk Rijff, Anisha Vekemans and Susy Zorzi. In September, Lieselot Decroix ended her career after the final stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour. In 2017, the team welcomes five new riders. Annelies Dom and Kaat Van der Meulen are two Belgians who will reinforce the team. Together with Lotte Kopecky they are part of the national team pursuit squad on the track. The Dutch Puck Moonen, the Danish Trine Schmidt and the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer have also chosen for Lotto Soudal. Again, we have one youth rider in the Lotto Soudal team: Julie Roelandts. Last week-end she won the Belgian Cyclocross Championship for 14-year-old girls!

Team 2017: Isabelle Beckers, Jessie Daams, Elise Delzenne, Annelies Dom (newcomer), Chantal Hoffmann, An-Li Kachelhoffer, Anna Kiesenhofer (newcomer), Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen (newcomer), Julie Roelandts, Trine Schmidt (newcomer), Kaat Van der Meulen (newcomer) and Fenna Vanhoutte.

U23 Team
Eight riders are leaving the U23 team of which five are becoming pro in 2017: Kevin Deltombe (Topsport Vlaanderen), Michael Goolaerts (Veranda’s Willems), Edward Planckaert (Topsport Vlaanderen), James Callum Shaw and Enzo Wouters (both Lotto Soudal). Alex Braybrooke, Steff Cras and Joachim Vanreyten are the other three riders who will not be part of the team for next year. Eight new riders are joining us instead. First, there’s Ruben Apers who got fifth during the time trial for juniors at the last World Championships in Qatar. Brent Van Moer, the best Belgian with his thirteenth place at the Junior World Championships on the road, will also ride for the U23 team of Lotto Soudal. Robbe Debuyck, Alfdan De Decker, Sander De Pestel, Mitch Groot, Laurens Huys and Gerben Thijssen are the other newcomers. The team will be composed of 23 riders.

Team 2017: Ruben Apers (newcomer), Jonas Castrique, Alfdan De Decker (newcomer), Sander De Pestel (newcomer), Robbe Debuyck (newcomer), Stan Dewulf, Robbe Ghys, Mitch Groot (newcomer), Steff Hermans, Mikkel Frølich Honoré, Laurens Huys (newcomer), Kevin Inkelaar, Ward Jaspers, Bjorg Lambrecht, Senne Leysen, Milan Menten, Emiel Planckaert, Gerben Thijssen (newcomer), Mathias Van Gompel, Brent Van Moer (newcomer), Harm Vanhoucke, Thomas Vereecken and Aaron Verwilst.

Reuver - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Lotto Soudal U23  pictured during Olympia’s Tour 2016 stage 5 - from Reuver  to Reuver - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Will Routley Retires
Former Tour of California King of the Mountains Rides Towards New Opportunities
Will Routley, one of the most dedicated and well-respected riders in the peloton, has called an end to his twelve-year cycling career. In his time as a professional, Routley took several high profile victories including the Canadian National Road title in 2010, a stage and King of the Mountains at the 2014 Tour of California and a stunning sprint victory this year in stage two of the GP Liberty Seguros in Portugal on his way to second overall. Despite his impressive palmarés, it will be his dedication to his teammates and clean sport that will be remembered and missed.

“I have thought about retiring a little bit every year I raced bikes, and was pretty much certain I would stop on a number of occasions,” said Routley. “I love the lifestyle, making sure you are healthy and feeling strong, well rested, and just going out and hammering the hell out of your body. I love that, but I am also wise after so many years of racing. I have no interest in getting hurt, and was starting to race cautiously the past couple of seasons. It is time to move on from racing and accomplish other goals.”

Routley started riding bikes at age ten when his family moved to Whistler, British Columbia. It was there that he and his father discovered a passion for mountain biking. Routley stayed focused on mountain biking until making the switch to road racing at the age of 21. He made his professional debut a couple of years later with the Canadian Symmetrics team alongside Rally Cycling staff Eric Wohlberg, Zach Bell and Jacob Erker, before spending two seasons each with Jelly Belly and SpiderTech C10. In 2013, Routley made the jump to Europe with the Belgian Accent Jobs–Wanty team. It wasn’t until 2014 that he joined the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team ­­– the precursor to Rally Cycling.

Stage 4 of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, Monterey to Cambria, CA
Routley winning stage four of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California

The move served him well as he won stage four of the 2014 Tour of California and claimed the King of the Mountains competition. In addition to success on the road, the move saw Routley find his home for the remainder of his career. As a member of the team, Routley consistently posted top results and became a cornerstone of the team’s stage race efforts. His dedication to the team was never more on display than this year during stage four of the Amgen Tour of California. At the start of the day, Routley had two objectives. The first was to win the stage and the second was to take maximum KOM points to defend the King of the Mountains lead of teammate Evan Huffman. With a strong Etixx – QuickStep team controlling the stage, Routley sacrificed his chances for the stage victory in order to win the first three KOMs of the day and protect Huffman’s lead on a crucial stage. After the stage, Routley downplayed his sacrifice. “Evan has been doing great and needed to take a day off.”

Even though his time in the peloton has come to a close, Routley remains thankful for his experience and is looking toward the future with his wife Shoshauna and their new kitten Stevie Nicks.

“I got to travel the world with guys that became my best friends,” said Routley. “There were so many experiences one couldn’t get as a tourist. I drank tea with yak’s milk on the Tibetan plateau after not finishing in a race in China. I lived in an ice-cold stone apartment in the Pyrenees in southern France. I rode up a volcano to a tiny village in El Salvador, in the dark, and in a cloud of diesel fumes and wood smoke from people cooking on open fires. As a cyclist one pretty much lives out of a suitcase, and I was very fortunate to have so much family time. Shoshauna was also racing and we didn’t spend nearly as much time apart as other couples. Together we have traveled and spent winters in California, Belgium, Spain and France. Off the bike, I am proud of how I became a voice for clean sport. I never had a problem with telling it like it is and people respect that.”

Rally Cycling will miss Routley’s dedication and hard work

Former teammate and current Rally Cycling General Manager Jacob Erker expressed his appreciation for his fellow countryman.

“Will’s dedication, professionalism and good humor will be missed. I had the pleasure of racing alongside Will on Symmetrics for four seasons and joined him on many of the adventures he recalls. Those challenges and the extensive world travel shaped Will into a well-rounded athlete and person both on and off the bike. We didn’t hesitate to bring him on board when the opportunity arose in 2014. He helped maintain the team culture that Jonas Carney fostered from the very beginning in 2007 and led by example, sharing his experiences with our younger athletes. In Will’s next challenges I have no doubt that he will bring this same winning dedication along with him.”

Today, the Routley’s are focused on the next chapter of their lives. In addition to their farm outside Vancouver, British Columbia, they just launched Healthy Hooch Kombucha.

“We have done a total conversion of our workshop and it is now a brewery,” said Routley of his latest project. “We have spent every spare minute in the past three months building the project. We have been drinking Kombucha for ten years, and although Canada is a few years behind the United States in terms of popularity of the drink, it is just blowing up here in the Vancouver area. We are able to procure flavors from right here in our neighborhood because we live in the best farmland in the country with a great selection of berries and herbs. It will enable us to produce unreal flavors of kombucha.”

Will Routley:

Cycling Academy Sign Dan Craven
Cycling Academy is taking its most recognized rider to its inaugural Pro Continental season.

The popular Dan Craven, who went viral on three occasions during the recent Olympic games in Rio, is back.

One of the most fascinating and recognized faces in the world of pro cycling, the Namibian National Champion and “bearded cyclist”, Dan Craven (AKA Dan from Nam) will continue his long career, now in its 14th season, in Europe with Israel Cycling Academy team.

Israel Cycling Academy, the newest addition to the selected group of UCI Pro Continental teams, has decided to offer a one-year contract extension to its oldest (33) and most veteran rider. The contract extension for the outspoken & colorful Namibian National champion was accepted with great enthusiasm.

“There was really no doubt about where I would ride in 2017. 2016 definitely counts as a stand out year where I finally found the team environment I can truly call home.” said Craven. He further revealed, “I had no intentions or interest to go elsewhere and am super excited by the challenges that lie ahead as the team takes the big step up to the Pro Conti level. I might be reaching the latter years of my career, but spending time with the group certainly does not make me feel that way.”

He continued: “Last year I took a bit of a gamble joining the young team as I simply did not know them very well – but I had noticed something in the way that General Manager Ran Margaliot operated and decided to follow my instincts. It was a step down for me in sporting terms – but in every other way it was a step up – finding my cycling family and being placed in a much more important role as the oldest rider on the team, acting as a liaison between riders and management. The team itself obviously also took a chance signing me a year ago and I think the contract renewal shows that they are just as pleased as I am!”

The decision to offer Craven a contract was only natural according to that team’s biggest financial supporter, the Israeli Canadian businessman and philanthropist Sylvan Adams: “Dan brings a seasoned and mature presence to our “start-up” team, both as regards his success and experience as a racer, as well as acting in a mentorship role to the younger riders, in how to carry themselves and represent our team both on and off the bike” explained Mr. Adams and added: “His intelligence, unfailing good humor, sportsmanship, and positive energy, exemplify the spirit of our project.”

Craven might not have the biggest results in the team during the past season but he is certainly one of the most intelligent, humorous, and colorful characters you will find in the peloton. He is enormously popular among fans as he always makes a point to show his friendly side. In the Tro Bro Leon race in France he was on the Race Poster, hugging a baby pig he was given, and is the first ever non-French rider to be “Awarded” with this honor.

This year, during the Rio Olympics Road race he appeared to be tweeting live from his bike during the race, claiming to be “Using my Beard” as he explained. It turned out to be a joke of course, as he had given his Twitter password to his girlfriend, Collyn, who had a field day during the event – but Craven was applauded by many thousand of fans who flooded his account with support and positive feedback.

When asked if he was planning another surprise next season, the Namibian had a smile as he answered, “I will certainly think of something.”

Dan Craven:

New Pro Continental Team from Israel Gambles on Unknown Spaniard as its Number 1 Climber
Jose Manual Diaz Gallego, the best amateur young climber in Spain, will “jump right into the fire”.

Israel Cycling Academy team have signed Jose Manual Diaz Gallego, arguably the best young amateur climber from Spain, as their designated number 1 climber, for its first season as a Pro Continental Team.
Jose Manual Diaz Gallego, age 21, won the most important amateur 1-day race in Spain this season-the “Valenciaga” – and has now signed a 2 year Pro Conti contract, making the unusual leap from amateur racing to riding some of the biggest races on the Pro calendar.

While the move may be seen by some as a huge gamble, Israel Cycling Academies management see it as a natural decision for a team which believes in developing raw talent, more than leaning on proven veterans: “Maybe most teams would not have taken this path, but for us, choosing to go with Jose is really who we are” explained team manager Ran Margaliot. “When we see someone with this kind of potential who needs a chance to grow and develop, we are willing to take the risk that comes along with the great promise.”

The young rider from Jaen in souther Spain expressed his confidence that he will be able to justify the first Israeli pro teams trust in him, going into its most important and challenging season to date: “Although this will be the first time I will race for a pro team, and a foreign one, I’m not scared at all. I know that I put myself in the best hands. I actually rejected a few offers from other teams and I chose Israel Cycling Academy for a good reason: they will be able to let me grow as a rider, while giving me the opportunity to race some great races.”

Although he brings with him very little Pro racing experience, Diaz Gallego has already proven that he is a serious climbing talent in a county that produces some of the best climber in the world on a regular basis. In the last two season he stood no less than 14 times on race podiums, all of them involving climbs. “I am a pure climber” he says proudly. His frame certainly suggests that he is indeed. Coming in at 1.77m and weighing 62kg may certainly suggest that he is a climber, but it’s his mentality of just loving the sensations involved in the suffering which truly sets him apart: “You can call me crazy, but when I am well on the way up, my body creates an amazing feeling of well-being, even if I suffer a lot. Something that only cyclists know what I am talking about…”

Climbing is a part of what he has done form day one, although you have to go back 7 years. “I live in the middle of a mountain, so just to get home I need to climb 7km” he says with a chuckle. No wonder he started his career as a mountain biker, winning the first race he entered at the age of 14. It took him 3 years before he raced a road bike for the first time, But I won that race as well…”

Like most Spanish riders in the last few years, he had to pay the price due to the economic crisis that hit the Spanish Pro cycling world. “There are just not too many opportunities” he says painfully. In the last 3 years he raced for a Spanish amateur team Bicicletas Rodriguez Extramadura. Besides his great win in the “Memorial Valenciaga”, he also took 2nd in the U23 Spanish Cup. “I am so delighted to finally get the opportunity with Israel Cycling Academy. I hope to show that I am a good rider in every terrain, but especially on the climbs, and this will lead to many years as a pro” he said.

Jose Manual Diaz Gallego:

Lang Signs with Roth
Pirmin Lang will be joining his IAM Cycling teammate, Jonathan Fumaux, in the Swiss Roth-Akros team in 2017. 32 year-old Lang was second in the Swiss road race championships behind Fumaux, but has not won since 2012 with stages in the Boucles de la Mayenne and the An Post Ras. The team will be riding Kuota bikes in 2017.

Pirmin Lang:
Goes - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Lang Pirmin (Suisse / IAM Cycling) pictured during the prologue (6,4 km) of the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2016 in Goes, Netherlands - photo Carla Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

De Maar Going to China
The Curaçao/Dutchman Marc de Maar will be racing in China during the 2017 season. The 32 year-old had said he was going to ride mountain bike next season, but changed his mind. De Maar rode for Roompot in 2016, but due to a knee injury and a broken collarbone, did not achieve any results. De Maar has signed a deal with the Continental Chinese Wisdom-Hengxiang team for one year.

Marc de Maar:
Emmen - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Marc De Maar (Team Roompot Orange peloton) pictured during Dutch National Championships road  for men elite in Emmen, the Netherlands on Juni 24-2015 - photo Carla Vos/Cor Vos © 2015

Ridley Bikes and WM3 Pro Cycling Agreed a Partnership for 5 Years
WM3 Pro Cycling will be riding on Ridley bikes as from next season. Ridley agreed a durable, long term agreement for 5 years with this new cycling formation. Marianne Vos, Lauren Kitchen, Kasia Niewjadoma, Anouska Koster and all other cyclists of WM3 Pro Cycling will ride on Ridley Bikes as from January 1, 2017.

“Marianne Vos has visited us in Paal-Beringen for some extensive testing of our women’s range. She was impressed about our bikes and immediately confident about a partnership for the next couple of years”, Jochim Aerts, CEO of Ridley Bikes says. “It’s more than just a partnership. Marianne Vos and all other top cyclists from the team will be representing our new women’s range of products. We invest a lot in women’s cycling because we believe they deserve to be supported equally as men. On top of that, women’s cycling is growing rapidly. Together with WM3 Pro Cycling, we want to familiarize this growing community even more with Ridley”.

Team manager Eric van den Boom of WM3 Pro Cycling speaks about a durable partnership. “We agreed a collaboration for 5 years. Ridley Bikes is already well known and we would like to help reinforcing Ridley’s position in women’s cycling”, he says. “We’re present in various cycling disciplines. Road cycling is a priority but we’re also very active in cyclocross. Ridley can support us in all disciplines with the best materials and by this partnership we’re contributing to innovation on all aspects.”

With a common passion for bikes we’re pursuing the development of women’s cycling. Together with WM3 Pro Cycling, we’re looking forward to our partnership as from January 1.

Marianne Vos Will Race on Ridley in 2017:
Meuwen - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  photographer Anton Vos and his sister Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv Woman Cycling Team)  pictured in PEZ cyclingNews outfit   - photo Cor Vos © 2014

Tom Veelers Forced to End Professional Career, Ready for Next Chapter
A persisting knee injury forces Tom Veelers (NED) to quit cycling at the end of the current season. The 32-year-old Dutchmen – still under contract with Team Sunweb in 2017 – has been battling ongoing knee problems from the 2015 pre-season and has undergone two operations in an attempt to recover. However, progress has been slow and hopes for a full recovery have now faded. After extensive talks with the team, Veelers has decided to end his active cycling career and use his drive and experience to start a new chapter in his life – within the team. Veelers will extend his commitment to the team and will use the upcoming period to orientate for a function within the team’s coaching staff and in the team’s headquarters.

Veelers turned professional with the team in 2008 and can look back on a glorious career where he took four professional victories. Maybe even more impressive was his development as a lead-out rider in the sprint preparation and together with his teammates led the sprinters to many victories, including eight Tour de France stages, three Giro d’Italia stage wins and a stage victory in the Vuelta a España. Having fast legs, Veelers proved it with the third place in the sprint on stage four of the 2014 Tour de France. From the classics, Paris-Roubaix suited him best with a 13th place in 2010 as a highlight.

“I came to the conclusion that I can’t live any longer in an uncertainty of returning to the highest level or not, without real progression in the recovery,” said Veelers. “The last one and a half years have been tough, battling recovery. The realization that my career could have ended came gradually, and accelerated when we started talking about the future and the arising opportunity within the team.”

“I look back on my career very proudly and happily. I am blessed with the chances I’ve had and we’ve created as a team. Together we grew and have experienced a lot. As a person I’ve developed, learned life lessons and I gained confidence. In the team I learned to function as a real team, with great cooperation. This was something completely new to me at that time and this approach brought us a lot of success, and still does.”

“Of course I would have loved to continue racing for some years, but I don’t see any other possibility than to stop. I am a thoughtful person and the decision hasn’t been made overnight. This step will mean a new chapter in my life and I am very much looking forward to it. I am happy to add my value to the team in a new way now and thinking about the future gives me a new energy.”

CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) added: “It’s difficult to see a career of such a sportsmen end in this way. The progression Tom has made is impressive and together we reached the first highlights in the history of the team – where Tom played a major role. He is a real culture carrier in the team and we’re very happy and proud that we will continue to work together. Tom supports our philosophy and our approach to modern cycling and we have a lot of mutual respect for each other.”

“He will be a huge asset as he brings plenty of experience and knowledge, which he can share within the team. Next to that, Tom has been riding with the team for nine years and he has a great working relationship with everyone. We are pleased that Tom extends his commitment as he has the potential to become a valuable member of our staff.”

Team physician Anko Boelens (NED) explained Veelers’ injury: “Tom has been fighting knee pain caused by a cartilage defect on the patella-femoral joint, between the patella and the femur. To overcome his injury, Tom underwent two surgeries to fix the defect cartilage. In addition, he did physiotherapy, as well as treatments from the chiropractor. Unfortunately, he is still suffering from pain in the knee and he is unable to put pressure on the affected area, and as a consequence needs to end his professional career.”

Tom Veelers:
Trainingscamp Giant - Alpecin 2015

No positives in the 2016 Vuelta
The CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) has informed the Vuelta organization that all the anti-doping tests that were carried out during and prior to the competition, more than 400 in total, came back negative. The 2016 Vuelta controls started on Thursday the 18th of August, and ended on Sunday the 11th of September 2016. We are pleased to inform that there were no positive results.

All clear at the 2016 Vuelta a España:
Pena Cabarga - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Christopher - Chris Froome (GBR / Team Sky) - Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Columbia / Team Movistar) pictured during stage 11 from Colunga. Museo Jurasico to Pena Cabarga - Vuelta Espana 2016 - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2016

Israel Cycling Academy Signs Finn Kjell Carlström as Head Sports Director for its First Pro Conti Season
Facing its most challenging season as the newest Pro Continental team, Israel Cycling Academy has chosen the Finn Kjell Carlström as its new Head Sports Director.

The young (40) Finn will bring with him a combined 14 years of experience as a pro rider and Sports Director. His leadership skills were honed and refined while working as a Sports Director for a number of pro teams including “Sky” and “IAM”. Carlström will direct the young team in the most difficult set of races it has ever faced, as well as develop its talented but inexperienced group of riders to race at the highest of levels- the Grande tours.

When asked about this being his first time in the role of Head Sports Director, Carlström expressed confidence in his abilities to have a positive impact and to be successful: “I am aware of the enormous responsibility, but excited to get the chance he said. “The main reason I was attracted to the job is the goal Israel Cycling Academy has set for its future: To help the riders and the team to reach the biggest stage races, such as the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, for the first time. When achieved it will be sports history, as an Israeli team and Israeli riders have never done it before. So it’s a great motivation to us all.”

Carlström said that being able to develop into a pro cyclist, and later a sports director, coming from a relatively non-traditional cycling country such as Finland, only helped him to strongly identify with the Israeli teams huge task. “Most Finns prefer ice hockey” he laughed, recalling his childhood years, when he decided that he would go in a different direction. “When I finally reached the Tour de France I believe I was only the second Finnish rider to make it, so I totally understand the huge challenge that an Israeli rider, or an Israeli based team, is facing to reach its goal.”

Carlström’s pro career lasted 10 years, which he spent with teams like Amore & Vita, Liquigas-Bianchi, and Team Sky, where he ended his pro career at the end of 2011. His career highlights included a stage win in Paris-Nice, and 2nd in a TDF stage. “I wasn’t that good” he says openly. “Most of the work I invested for my teammates. But I learned an enormous lesson, which I use in working with riders as a Director: When you are not the strongest, you should be the wisest. Ride intelligently.”

After his riding career came to a close, he was not even sure if he wanted to go back to cycling in another capacity. But he caught the “Cycling Bug” once again when he was working as a VIP driver for the organizers of the Giro, and a team at the TDF: “When I returned to the amazing atmosphere, I realized how much I loved and missed it.” When the chance came to join IAM as Sports Director, he never hesitated. In the 4 years he spent there, he gained vast experience – including working as a DS in Grande Tours such as the TDF and the Giro, where he recorded stage victories in both.

Carlström believes that aside from his overall experience, that his directing philosophy will benefit his new team the most. “For me, the most important thing is that we will ride as a team. That’s why the teams’ decision that all the riders will stay in Girona between races is so crucial. I expect my riders to be 100 percent prepared, just as I expect it from myself. The smallest of details might make the difference.”

Being the underdogs in the first year as a Pro Conti team will demand a special approach stated Carlström: “In a way, it’s something I draw from my career. Not being the strongest, I knew I would have to win through breakaways. We will have to be visible in races, Ride Bravely.”

Israel Cycling Academy team manager Ran Margaliot expressed his confidence in his new DS, replacing Dane Nicki Sørensen, who will be directing the new Irish Pro Conti team Aqua Blue. “Kjell’s experience, leadership, and his tactical racing skills were crucial in our decision of appointing him. We are extremely confident he is the guy to lead this team to the next level.”

Kjell Carlström:

No Tour de France for Portsmouth… in 2019
The town of Portsmouth will not be hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2019, although the English south coast town has not given up on the idea and hopes to stage the race start sometime before 2015. Yorkshire will host the World Championships in 2019, this has been sighted as one reasons that the Tour would not be in England. Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones said in the press that: “Just because we aren’t going to have it in 2019, it doesn’t mean we won’t have it. We are still hoping to do that but it was always going to be between 2019 and 2025; you build a bid that could work any time in that period. We are in dialogue with Tour organizers ASO and it is healthy and ongoing.”

The Tour De France hits Portsmouth in 1994 for stage 5:

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