What's Cool In Road Cycling
Sint-Niklaas - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Wout Van Aert, Nick Nuyens pictured during presentation of the Sniper Pro Cycling Team Crelan Willems Veranda’s on December 13, 2016 in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Maybe there is no racing, but the EUROTRASH can is overflowing with news as usual. New ProContinental road team will have a World champion on its roster. Top Story – TJ Sport saved? In other cycling news: Lotto Soudal gain riders and lose riders and Stig Broeckx is out of a coma. Aqua Blue Sport to ride Ridley, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race news, new team kit, Dubai Tour extended to five stages and NAHBS tickets now on sale and a teaser Video. Thursday coffee time.

TOP STORY: TJ Sport Saved?
Just as it was looking like the Lampre-Merida replacement team was about to flounder, it is looking like investors from Abu Dhabi will save the day. According to an Italian professional rider; the Chinese sponsor had given an amount and was supposed to pay the rest later, but the Chinese government had just made a new rule about sponsorships abroad and so their was a delay to the UCI WorldTour license application. The team say they have qualified for a WorldTour license in all ways except the money.

Colnago, the team bike sponsor, is said to have played a role reported have played a large role in finding new backers for the team. It is expected that Giuseppe Saronni and Mauro Gianetti will make an announcement today, December the 15th, revealing more details.

Team manager Giuseppe Saronni and the savior Ernesto Colnago:

Stig Broeckx Out of Coma
Great news from Belgium, Stig Broeckx is out of the coma he has been in since May 2016, he is said to have spoken some words. At one point it was reported that he was in a vegetative state. Lotto Soudal team doctor Servaes Bingé confirmed to Sporza: “He is learning to swallow independently and spoke a few small words for the first time, the progress has been positive. He sleeps a lot, but that’s because he is working very hard. Sitting in a wheelchair and he will even cycle on a sort of stair machine. Where the progress will lead, the doctors will not yet say. But on the other hand, this is already much more than anyone could have imagined a while back. Everything will obviously take a lot of time.”

Stig Broeckx:
Kuurne - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Stig Broeckx (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne 2016 - photo PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Mirko Selvaggi Announces His Retirement
The Italian rider Mirko Selvaggi has not been offered a new contract by his present team Androni Giocattoli. Selvaggi has never won a race as a professional, but has raced at WordlTour level for four years: Astana in 2010 and Vacansoleil from 2011 to 2013.

Mirko Selvaggi at the 2012 TdU:
Adelaide - Australie - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Mirko Selvaggi (Team Vacansoleil - DCM)  pictured  at the evening criterium in Adelaide - Down Under  Classic - foto Cor Vos ©2012

Tiesj Benoot stays with Lotto Soudal until 2019!
Tiesj Benoot (22) and Lotto Soudal have extended their agreement until the end of 2019. The previous contract lasted until the end of 2017. In 2015, Tiesj Benoot had a remarkable first pro season, with his fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen as the most striking result. The past season, the young Belgian got struck by bad luck in the Ronde, which forced him to forget the rest of his ambitions for the spring. Before, he had already confirmed his talent by achieving some nice top ten results. At Lotto Soudal Tiesj Benoot will get the chance to further build his career in the next three seasons.

Marc Sergeant, sports manager: “The long-term agreement we have with our main sponsors enables us to focus on the future of our team. The confidence the sponsors have in this team, makes it possible to extend the contract of Tiesj Benoot until the end of 2019. It pleases us that Tiesj finds this team the best to further develop himself. He had a very promising start of his career in 2015, as Tiesj already showed his skills quite soon. At first, he continued on the same path in 2016. Just think about his good results at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and E3 Harelbeke. Unfortunately, he crashed during the Ronde van Vlaanderen. That was a huge disappointment for him. Due to the consequences of his crash Tiesj wasn’t able to set good results anymore during the spring. But it’s a fact that Tiesj will be one of the key riders in our team the next three years. By this time we already know his strong points, but not yet his limits. We are very curious to see him develop further. In our team Tiesj finds the perfect environment to grow.”

Tiesj Benoot: “My first season as a pro went well, with my fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen as a highlight. The Ronde is a race that appeals to everybody, so everyone remembers that performance. This year, I also set some good results: I got third at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, eighth at Strade Bianche and seventh at E3 Harelbeke where I finished in a group that sprinted for the third place. Afterwards, I crashed in the Ronde where I wanted to set another good result. The crash was the start of a hard time for me. Now I look back on it, I realize it had a positive twist to it as well. That period taught me a lot mentally and it’s good to go through something like that at a young age. It has made me stronger. The past season I actually learned more than last year.”

“Why shouldn’t I extend my contract with Lotto Soudal? I get a role at the side of Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere in the Classics. Lotto Soudal gives me an excellent guidance. All factors are present to let me grow at the right pace and to aim for the best possible results. In 2017, I will start my season the same way as I did the past two years. I will ride eight one-day races in the first half of the season. I will definitely race the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche. Then I will choose three races from this quartet: Milan-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. Afterwards, I will take part in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and then probably in the Brabantse Pijl and Amstel Gold Race. Next year, I will ride my first ever Grand Tour. When the spring goes as hoped, that will be the Tour de France. It was already decided earlier to participate for a first time in a Grand Tour in 2017. Of the Grand Tours the Tour is the one which matches my other goals best. The course looks nice, although I realize that a first Tour will mainly be focussed on learning.”

Tiesj Benoot:
Tiesj Benoot (Team Lotto Soudal)

Gert Dockx Retires
Lotto Soudal rider Gert Dockx has announced he will not race next year. The 28 year-old has been a professional for eight years.

He made the announcement on his website: “After eight years at a professional level, the end has come, I loved those eights and despite some setbacks, the beautiful memories take the upper hand. I would like to issue a word of thanks to the teams for which I rode, Team (HTC-) Columbia, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Lotto-Belisol and Lotto-Soudal. I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given. However in cycling it is not only about the teams, but especially the people who work day in and day out to make you ready: team managers, soigneurs, mechanics, medical staffing etc. Thanks!”

“Because I have been riding since I was 12, I would also like to emphasize that I have always had great respect for the people who have sacrificed so much of their free time in the youth categories. Without them, I could not have grown from the youth to a professional level. About my future I can currently say nothing concrete. I’m still working out what the way I want to go in. My final thanks go to my fans, supporter clubs, family and my girlfriend. It is a nice feeling when you know that people are standing behind you. A big thank you!”

Dockx was not offered a new contract from Lotto Soudal.

Gert Dockx had some bad crashes in 2016:
Albertville - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Gert Dockx (Team Lotto Soudal) Injury fall crash val sturz  pictured during stage 1 of the 67th edition of the Criterium du Dauphine Libere from Ugine to Albertville (132 kms) on June 7, 2015 in France  - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2015

Verandas Willems-Crelan New Team
World cyclocross champion Wout Van Aert was at the presentation of the new jersey of the Crelan-Charles cyclo-cross team and the Verandas Willems-Crelan road team in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium on Tuesday. Van Aert will ride a road season with the ProContinental team after his cross season finishes.

The World champion said: “I am delighted to be part of this new team. I’ll continue with cyclo-cross, but can follow a nice road programme on this team, and so prepare for the cyclo-cross races. I want to ride short stage races like the Tour of Belgium and Ster ZLM Toer, besides some one-day races. The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix is part of my dream, but that certainly won’t be in 2017. If I ever race Flanders it will have to fit into my program. I want everything planned in advance, so I will continue for a while as a cyclo-cross rider. The aim is to be a stronger rider and that can come from having a solid road programme.”

The Verandas Willems-Crelan 2017 Roster:
Gaetan Bille (BEL), Sander Cordeel (BEL), Dries De Bondt (BEL), Stijn Devolder (BEL), Huub Duijn (NED), Timothy Dupont (BEL), Stan Godrie (BEL), Michael Goolaerts (BEL), Jappe Jaspers (BEL), Aidis Kruopis (LTU), Tim Merlier (LTU), Christophe Premont (BEL), Elias Van Breussegem (BEL), Stef Van Zummeren (BEL), Wout Van Aert (BEL), Otto Vergaerde (BEL).

The new Verandas Willems-Crelan jersey was presented by Wout Van Aert and Nick Nuyens:
Sint-Niklaas - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Wout Van Aert, Nick Nuyens pictured during presentation of the Sniper Pro Cycling Team Crelan Willems Veranda’s on December 13, 2016 in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Aqua Blue Sport to ride Ridley Bikes
The new Irish Pro Continental Aqua Blue Sport team will be astride Ridley Bikes for the next two years. The Aqua Blue Sport team would be riding the Ridley Noah SL, Helium SLX and in time trials; the Dean Fast.

Team general manager, Stephen Moore, commented: “We are hugely excited to announce this two-year partnership with Ridley bikes and honored to be working with a brand that has spent almost 20 years at the forefront of innovation while staying resolutely true to its roots. The Ridley Noah SL, Helium SLX and Dean Fast represent a unique blend – marrying cutting-edge technology and the latest developments in carbon fibre and aerodynamics with the hard-earned experience of professional racing.”

We spoke to Aqua Blue Sport’s Rick Delaney earlier this year.

The Ridley in Aqua Blue Sport colors:

Teams for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
There will be thirteen WorldTour team on the start line of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in 2017, along with four ProContinental teams and the Jayco Australian National Team.

Of the eighteen WorldTour team that have been invited, AG2R-La Mondiale, BMC-Tag Heuer, Bora-hansgrohe, Cannondale-Drapac, Dimension Data, Quick-Step Floors, Katusha-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, Lotto Soudal, Orica-Scott, Sky, Sunweb-Giant and Trek-Segafredo have accepted. The ProConti teams are: Aqua Blue Sport, Gazprom-Rusvelo, Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij, United Healthcare and the National Team.

The third Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is on Sunday, January the 29th, the women’s race is on Saturday. There is also a new criterium in Albert Park on Thursday with a team presentation on Friday. A Grand Fondo is on Saturday morning with the choice of an 11 or 65 kilometer ride.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2017 Teams:
AG2R-La Mondiale, BMC-Tag Heuer, Bora-hansgrohe, Cannondale-Drapac, Dimension Data, Quick-Step Floors, Katusha-Alpecin, LottoNl-Jumbo, Lotto Soudal, Orica-Scott, Sunweb-Giant, Sky, Trek-Segafredo, Aqua Blue Sport, Gazprom-Rusvelo, Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij, United Healthcare and Jayco Australian National Team.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race:

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team unveil 2017 jersey
Tom Boonen, Marcel Kittel, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra modeled the kit during a photo shoot for Quick-Step.

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team – the most winningest squad of the past five years – launched today its new jersey, a predominantly blue one, although in a lighter tone than the one of 2016. In addition to that, the sleeves are turning white, thus making the kit much easier to get spotted in the peloton. Blue and white, the two colors that stirred emotions throughout time, were incorporated also in the 2003 kit, when the team managed by Patrick Lefevere made its debut on the big scene.

Produced by Vermarc Sport, the new jersey of Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team will be even more visible in the bunch from an aerial view, and will see the main sponsor take center stage on both front and back of the jersey, as well as on the side panels; Lidl will continue to feature on the sleeves, together with janom and crivit PRO, but will also be visible from the front, on the lower half.

On the back, Peugeot, Specialized and Latexco (which keeps its place on the collar and on the upper chest) will be represented. Back to the front, right under the logo of Vermarc Sport, the jersey will be adorned with the UCI World TTT Champions logo, a reminder of the team’s emphatic and record-breaking victory in October last season. Staying in tone with the jersey, also the shorts are also blue, with Quick-Step Floors, Lidl, Latexco and Specialized all present there.

Cycling : Team Quick - Step Floors 2017 Zdenek STYBAR (CZE) / Tom BOONEN (BEL)/  Marcel KITTEL (GER)/  Niki TERPSTRA (NED)/  / ©Tim De Waele

For Tom Boonen, this will be the jersey he’ll sport in his final pro season, and the 36-year-old Belgian shared his thoughts on the design of the kit: “I liked it straight away! It’s a nice combination of retro and new style and it looks amazing and sharp. It’s always important to have a good looking jersey. I’m already fond of it and it will be really great to race with it next year.”

His feelings were echoed by Marcel Kittel, one of the most prolific riders of 2016, with 12 victories in his account: “It’s a classy looking kit all around, with a fresh look that will make it easy to get recognized in the peloton. The white and blue combination is a nice one, not many teams are going with it. This jersey brings excitement and makes me even more eager to kick off 2017.”

Another rider to model the new kit, Zdenek Stybar, talked of the joy brought by the Quick-Step Floors jersey: “Every year, in early December, when you get the jersey it’s a very special moment, kind of like when you open the first present on Christmas morning. The design is smooth and I’m very happy to wear it again. I can’t wait to show the kit in the biggest races of the calendar and make our sponsors proud.”

“The blue was always on our jersey throughout the years, as it’s a color that represents our sponsors. We are well-known for it and that’s another reason that makes me confident the fans will love the jersey. It’s an elegant one, and Vermarc did a great job once again with the design and fabric they picked out for our 2017 kit”, concluded Niki Terpstra.

ASSOS of Switzerland and BMC Racing Team Announce Technical Cycling Apparel Partnership
Three-year partnership Dedicated to Uncompromised Product Innovation.

Performance cycling apparel company, ASSOS of Switzerland, and BMC Racing Team are excited to announce a three-year partnership for technical apparel, effective January 1, 2017. ASSOS will outfit BMC Racing Team and BMC Development Team for all training and racing apparel needs. The partnership will be dedicated to the scientific and technical advancement of cycling apparel and equipment that will elevate team performance at the most elite level.

“At BMC Racing Team we are always looking to improve and innovate, particularly when it comes to technical apparel. ASSOS of Switzerland are specialists in engineering and aerodynamics, and have mastered the creation of racing apparel suitable for all weather conditions and elements. With their Swiss quality and technical achievements, they were a natural fit as our technical apparel partners,” BMC Racing Team General Manager, Jim Ochowicz explained.

BMC Racing Team will become an extension of the ASSOS R&D roadLab. “We recognize that by working with some of the top riders in the world at BMC Racing Team, we have a focused channel to create, experiment and develop new advancements unknown today. It pushes us to go further than just developing products for commercial use, and of course is an ideal tool to test new technology before it’s made available in our collection,” ASSOS Chairman and CEO, Phil Duff said.

Rooted in competitive cycling, ASSOS was the first manufacturer to bring time trial skin suits to competition in 1978. Fast forward to 2016 when an ASSOS skin suit was ridden to gold in the time trial at the Rio Olympics. BMC Racing Team has a strong pedigree in both team and individual time trialing and ASSOS will gather and compile data from the team to continue to push the limits of cycling apparel.

Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s, a significant percentage of the professional peloton rode in ASSOS shorts, some officially, many unofficially. “These riders knew ASSOS had a superior product, after all, we invented the first Lycra cycling shorts,” said Roche Maier, Creator, Brand and Product Chief at ASSOS of Switzerland. “Although ASSOS retired from the UCI WorldTour peloton over two decades ago, competitive cycling is in our DNA and we’ve continued to nourish it. Now, 25 years later, we are reconnecting with our roots and officially heading back into the professional peloton by entering into partnership with BMC Racing Team. Not because we needed to, but because our hearts wanted to. The entire R&D crew here at ASSOS is very excited about this.”

ASSOS will produce both authentic and replica BMC Racing Team apparel kits. There will also be a non-team version of the ASSOS SpeedFire skin suit. All of these will be available soon.

BMC-Tag Heuer Tour leader, Richie Porte:
Cycling: Team BMC Racing Team  2017 Richie PORTE (AUS)/ Team BMC (Usa)/ ©Tim De Waele

BORA – hansgrohe Starts its World Tour Campaign
During the first training camp of the season, the new UCI World Team BORA – hansgrohe, presented it’s official team kit for the 2017 racing season. The team from Raubling, Germany has set ambitious goals for itself for their first season in the UCI World Tour. Along with BORA, who are now entering their 3rd season as main sponsor, the new title sponsor hansgrohe and the new partner Specialized enabled team manager Ralph Denk to build a strong group of riders around UCI double World Champion Peter Sagan.

“At the first team meeting in October I said that this is going to be a new adventure for all of us. Like BORA is working hard on their cooking revolution, I think with this team we can start a revolution in cycling. For me it is key to have backing from the team and at BORA – hansgrohe I felt comfortable right from the beginning.” – Peter Sagan, UCI double World Champion.


“I am very happy to be back in the team that gave me the opportunity to turn pro. Obviously, a lot of things changed since I left. BORA – hansgrohe will be one of the biggest World Teams and I am impressed how Ralph manages that significant growth in all the management areas. I also look forward to have a lot of young guns next to me like Emanuel or Patrick. We have ambitious goals, but also a strong roster for 2017.” – Leopold König.

“Both of us, Leo and myself, can lead a team in a Grand Tour. I will focus on the Tour and the Vuelta next year. At the Tour, with Leo, myself but also with Peter, we can play a big role. For BORA – hansgrohe it will be important how all the new riders can integrate themselves in this new team, but what I saw until now makes me confident that we find the right team spirit very fast.” – Rafal Majka

“A lot of things changed in the team. Everything is kind of bigger now, but also a lot more professional in some areas. That is very important because today in cycling just small thing decide whether you take a win or not. I am confident that from experienced professionals like Rafal and Leo I can learn a lot. Therefore, I expect to take the next step in my development 2017 with BORA – hansgrohe.” – Emanuel Buchmann

“Unbelievable what Ralph managed to set up. For me almost everything is new here in this new World Team. Nutrition, bike fitting, training, equipment, new experiences almost every day. My personal goal for the upcoming season is, first of all to integrate myself well into the team. If also my efforts help BORA – hansgrohe to be successful, then I will be pleased. There is still enough time in the next years to follow my own ambitions.” – Pascal Ackermann

“Since 2015, when BORA entered their first season as main sponsor with us, our clear plan was to become a World Team. I already said at the beginning of this season that I think that the Grand Départ 2017 in Düsseldorf is a window of opportunity for German cycling. Together with our new title sponsor hansgrohe and new partner Specialized, we have been able to put together a world class cycling team. With the double UCI World Champion Peter Sagan we have one of the top stars for the first part of the season. For the Grand Tours we have Rafal Majka and Leopold König as key riders. Still the team will also support German speaking talents.”

“This step up to the UCI World Tour means also a lot of changes on the management side. 2016 the team had about 45 employees, now we are up to 75. I think we improved in all areas. What remains is our claim “ride.natural.”, besides a healthy diet and lifestyle, respect and fairness are core values of BORA – hansgrohe.” – Ralph Denk, team manager.


“Ralph Denk has put together a very well balanced mix of riders from young talents to experienced athletes, of GC specialists, sprinters and all-rounders, our team BORA – hansgrohe will be a great partner to support our revolution in the kitchen, and Peter Sagan and his teammates are the perfect ambassadors to bring the revolution onto the road also. We can’t wait for the new season to start. We initiated our sponsorship activities in the world of cycling almost five years ago and have been title sponsor for the last two years. Now we support our team at the World Tour and will be part of the world’s biggest and most important races. We are extremely proud of this development and of our commitment. But our investment also clearly pays off. In markets having an affinity for cycling our growth is more than 30% higher than in other core markets.” – Willi Bruckbauer, owner BORA

“The hansgrohe sport sponsorship is part of the brand’s international campaign ‘hansgrohe. Meet the beauty of water.’ There were several factors that led to sponsorship of a cycling team. The nearly year round and international presence of competitive cycling was the decisive factor for hansgrohe as a global brand. The reach of media coverage of cycling and the team increases the charisma of its brand profile. In addition, there is a large overlap between cycling fans and the hansgrohe premium brand target group. At the same time people strongly identify with athletes and their sport. The ‘Meet the beauty of water’ campaign aims at creating that same emotional bond between the consumer and hansgrohe. hansgrohe products offer outstanding design and consumer-oriented functionality. With hansgrohe products, contact with water is perceived as an experience. To that end, the brand is continually developing new and innovative product solutions for showers, bathrooms and kitchens.” – Philippe Harinck, Sponsorship Project Leader at Hansgrohe Group.

Young Pro Pascal Ackermann:

Scott and Orica Strengthen Forces
Scott steps up as a co-naming sponsor from 2017. Men’s and women’s teams to be identified as Orica-Scott from 2017.

ORICA-BikeExchange and ORICA-AIS will be known as Orica-Scott from 2017, following the signing of Scott Sports as a new co-naming rights sponsor.

Announced with the reveal of a new 2017 kit today, the teams will adopt the new name from their 2017 season debut at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic on Sunday, 1 January in Australia.

Scott has been the outfit’s official bike sponsor since its inception as Australia’s first ever WorldTour team, GreenEDGE Cycling, in 2012. Their increased commitment will see the men’s and women’s teams share the same name for the first time in history.

Scott Sports Vice President Pascal Ducrot said the sponsorship goes beyond a simple transaction and its commitment was the obvious next step in what is a long term commitment to the team’s potential. “Scott and GreenEDGE Cycling go back to the beginning, to the first race,” Ducrot said. “We recognized from the start that our shared philosophy around building young talent has been our advantage. Today we are really proud to announce that we are upping the level of our commitment. This is the next step, and for us it was quite obvious.”

“Today we are really proud to announce that we are upping the level of our commitment. We are here to build on the success of the team because we believe there is still tremendous potential.”

“We are here to build on the success of the team because we believe there is still tremendous potential. Another real advantage of our partnership is their talents off the bike. Their team culture and the way they use individual performance to drive a team spirit is very similar to how we run our company.”

Orica’s General manager Shayne Bannan welcomed Scott, proud to move towards the future with a partner who shares the team’s values and ambitions. “We are thrilled to have Scott step up into a major, co-naming rights sponsor for our team,” Bannan said. “Their progression as a sponsor follows ours as a team and together we believe the partnership will achieve great things in the coming years.”

“We are committed to providing our men and women the best environment and equipment to achieve maximum results. Scott Sports’ dedication to this cause, right from day one, has already seen us come a long way since our inception.”

“We are committed to providing our men and women the best environment and equipment to achieve maximum results. Scott Sports’ dedication to this cause, right from day one, has already seen us come a long way since our inception. Now, together, we look forward to taking the next major steps. After a breakout 2016 season, we are extremely excited for what 2017 holds for us.”

The new Orica-Scott kit for 2017:

Astana Pro Team-2017
On December 11, the official presentation of Astana Pro Team-2017 has been held in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The event was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Independence of Kazakhstan.

The presentation was attended by honored guests of the team, representatives of state government, Kazakhstan cycling federation, sponsors and partners, journalists and Astana fans and supporters.

Before starting the official part of the presentation, Astana Team took a look back into 2016, remembered the most important moments of the last season and told about new changes in the team.

“I believe, we spent a very successful season. Together with Vincenzo Nibali we won the famous Giro d’Italia, while in total we scored 34 victories and 30 podium places in the most prestigious races around the world. I am especially happy with the fact that 7 wins and 4 podiums were scored by our Kazakhstan riders. Anyway, the year is over and now we are looking forward to the upcoming season. With full confidence we can say that our project is on the right way. There will be some important changes in Astana in 2017: in the roster, in cycling clothing, bikes and other technical things. We are sure that all these changes will lead to a new step of development, both, of the team and the entire project. Today, we are presenting the renewed team to give you an opportunity to be proud of us in the next season,” – said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.


During the official presentation the new Astana Pro Team bicycles Argon 18 were presented.

Alongside, the new design of the cycling kit by Giordana Company was showed to the guests. The renewed kit received a more modern design while holding the traditional Astana turquoise color so loved by its fans. Giordana used all the newest technologies to make the clothing more comfortable for riders.

Astana general manager Alexandr Vinokurov pointed the biggest goals of the team in the next season: “Traditionally, Astana Team will focus on successful performance in the Grand Tours. This is our strong side, during our history we won 8 Grand Tours, so we are exciting to strive for the new successes. We have a strong leader Fabio Aru and the team will be built around him. Besides, we have a number of young, but very ambitions riders, who can surprise. Of course, we are planning Kazakhstan riders for the Grand Tours too. First of all, we are talking about Alexey Lutsenko, Andrey Zeits, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, but, maybe, we will try Daniil Fominykh and Artem Zakharov too. However, besides the Grand Tours, there are a lot of prestigious races in the new UCI WorldTour calendar, which will be another goal for Astana. First of all, we are talking about week stage races, but also we would like to get some good results during the classic season,” – said Alexandr Vinokurov.

In the final, the new roster of Astana Pro Team-2017 was introduced to the guests of the event as well as to the whole world’s cycling community. With exception of Miguel Angel Lopez, who is still recovering after his recent crash during the training, all other riders of the team arrived to the ceremony.

Riding for Astana Pro Team in 2017 are 28 riders from nine countries of Kazakhstan, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, Estonia, Colombia and Russia:
Fabio Aru, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Pello Bilbao, Matti Breschel, Michael Valgren, Oscar Gatto, Andriy Grivko, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Laurens De Vreese, Artyom Zakharov, Andrey Zeits, Arman Kamyshev, Dario Cataldo, Tanel Kangert, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, Miguel Angel Lopez, Alexey Lutsenko, Riccardo Minali, Moreno Moser, Luis Leon Sanchez, Michele Scarponi, Nikita Stalnov, Paolo Tiralongo, Ruslan Tleubayev, Daniil Fominykh, Jacob Fuglsang, Jesper Hansen and Sergei Chernetckii.

The Astana 2017 Team Presentation:

Dubai Tour Extended to Five Stages
The new, longer route announced and the official jerseys displayed at the launch of the Dubai Tour’s fourth edition, that will finish on the spectacular City Walk.


Of the many new features in the upcoming Dubai Tour, scheduled from January 31 to February 4, the most significant is that for the first time it’s a five-stage race. This will satisfy the requests of the riders, who are happy to extend their stay in the Emirate, ride further (a total of 865km, 194 more than the 2016 edition) and have more chance of a stage victory. The 2017 race will open the Middle East season with Dubai as the frontrunner in a quartet of races, all in February.

To present this and more news, mainly related to the route, was H.E. Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, who explained to the media, sponsors and guests attending the public show at City Walk, the race’s five-day program. “The 2017 Dubai Tour will be a very special edition because of the new additional competition day. The extra stage allows us to better explore the surrounding territories. Lengthening the riders’ stay in Dubai keeps the media and fans’ interest in the event alive for longer. These are key to our strategy and the sponsors are rewarding this vision. I take this opportunity to thank all of them, along with all the governmental authorities that allow us to perform the Dubai Tour show again.”


The Route
On the first day, the 181km Nakheel Stage, the route will take in some typical Dubai landmarks including the Al Qudra bike path where the teams usually do their last preparations on the eve of Dubai Tour, and the Camel Track, home of the traditional races. Then there are some of the city’s most ambitious construction projects: Jumeirah Golf Estates, Jumeirah Islands and finally, Palm Jumeirah, a world-renowned icon of Dubai, and the traditional seat of a sprint over the waterfront in front of the Atlantis “door”.

The following day, February 1, the Ras Al Khaimah Stage sees the peloton ride through four different Emirates: Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. On a flat route near the coast we discover the Dubai Design District, the Sharjah University and the Al Marjan Island complex, the shaped coral archipelago of four artificial islands: Breeze, Treasure, Dream and View Island.

The third stage, the Dubai Silicon Oasis Stage, from Dubai to Al Aqah, is another new feature for the 2017 Dubai Tour. Last February the Fujairah seafront witnessed the victory of Marcel Kittel in a compelling sprint. In 2017, however, the peloton will continue on the Fujairah coast that overlooks the Indian Ocean until Al Aqah.

The fourth stage, the Westin Stage, is a modern classic through the deserts of Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, to reach Hatta Dam. There are two climbs up to a 11% gradient before the finale to the dam itself. The short stretch of about 200 meters has always rewarded the puncheurs but, despite the inclination from 12% to 17%, never upset the general classification. It’s certainly an iconic stage and features the most beautiful, dramatic landscape.

The last day, the Meraas Stage, will be a spectacular parade of 124km entirely in the city of Dubai. Along the way the peloton will celebrate the most famous monuments and landmarks: firstly the astonishing Meydan Racecourse, home of the world’s richest horse race (Dubai World Cup), then the family-oriented Mushrif Park, Al Mamzar, the historical Deira, the famous Port Rashid, and the iconic Union Flag. The grand finale, with the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop, in the heart of CITY WALK, the spectacular brand new destination, is the Dubai Tour’s last stunning sprint.

NAHBS Tickets Now On Sale To Public & Teaser Video!
Tickets are now on sale for the general public to attend another great year of custom made bicycles. NAHBS will be in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 10 – 12th.

With a rich history dating back to 1829, NAHBS aims to be a meeting point for frame builders and anyone who has a curiosity for rich culture and exquisite attention to detail. Think of it as a community of bike brands and cycling enthusiasts coming together to swap ideas and showcase their talent.

Whether you know the ins and outs of the handmade bike community or you just like to be immersed in sharing of ideas and artwork, NAHBS is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

The teaser video for the upcoming show — shot with 2016 footage — is a great anecdote to the NAHBS story and getting people excited about the show. We’re hoping you enjoy this video.

Ticket sales information at: www.2017.handmadebicycleshow.com

North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) from NAHBS on Vimeo.

Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

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