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EUROTRASH Japan Monday!

The road season must be over now with the Tour de France Saitama Criterium last Saturday. We have the race report, result and video from Japan, plus cyclo-cross from Zonhoven and Kruibeke and track action from the London ‘6 Days’. In other cycling news: Froome physiological data, host cities for the Amgen Tour of California, end of season report card from Lotto Soudal, Bora-Agron 18 finalise their 2016 roster, Canada 2016 race calendar and more video from Japan. Yes, a full EuroTrash Monday!

TOP STORY: Chris Froome’s Physiological Numbers
While in Japan for the Tour de France Saitama Criterium, Sky’s Chis Froome told a press conference that he (and the team) would release his physiological data that was taken during tests at the GSK Human Performance Lab back in August of this year. During the conference he commented: “The results will be published not long from now, before the end of the year. It’s not about proving anything, it’s more about understanding, but again you’ll have draw from it what you want.”

Now here is the problem; when he (or any other rider) releases performance data there is a Que of ‘experts’ ready to ‘draw from it what they want’ and normally there will be one of these ‘experts’ who wants to see his name in the newspapers. Last time it was Antoine Vayer who cast aspersions on Froome’s data from the 2013 Tour de France stage up Mont Ventoux, but that particular data was open to many different interpretations. We also must consider that lab test are not the same as what can happen on the road in a very important stage of the Tour de France where a rider will surpass his expectations in the anger of the race. There have been many cases of riders who have very bad lab tests, but can win races and vice versa. So do the tests prove anything?

The last word goes to Froome: “If I had something to hide or I had some elaborate scheme going on then it would really bother me, it would be my whole world crashing down. I don’t have any skeletons in the closet; I don’t have anything to be afraid of.”

I’m sure Chris Froome can push himself much harder on the road than in a lab:

Tour de France Saitama Criterium 2015
The third Tour de France Saitama Criterium was a demonstration of cycling, especially in the finale of the main race, won by John Degenkolb, who dashed the hopes of Yukiya Arashiro in front of his home crowd. The winner of Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix missed out at the Tour, but ended his season with a tasty consolation prize.

She might not have been quite up to speed in the event, but Chika Takahashi became the first woman to sit on the start line in the Saitama Criterium, and the first rider called to the ramp in the inaugural time trial. Several minutes later, the honors went to Yumena Hosoya, who claimed victory and confirmed her status as a big hope for the future of Japanese cycling. Taking victory in her category, the Saitama high school student also rode nearly as fast (41 km/h) as the multiple world parasports champion Masaki Fujita (41.5 km/h), and even beat one of the champions of the men’s peloton, Julien Vermote, on his own terms!

The main lesson of the Saitama time trial, then, was that the Japanese meant business, with six riders in the first six positions. The best time went to Hideto Nakane, with an average speed of 45.188 km/h. In fact the usual pecking order was totally reversed, because Chris Froome, bronze medallist at the London Olympics, not to mention Yellow Jersey in the 2015 Tour, finished 12 secs down on the winner. Indeed, Froome was beaten by 2 seconds by Romain Bardet, the highest placed elite rider in the event: “Well yes, and it’s not the first time that I’ve beaten Froome against the watch, I did it at the Tour of Romandie this year,” said the man from the Auvergne with relish, clearly determined to claim the King of the Mountains jersey!

In the meantime it was teammate Alexis Vuillermoz who found himself playing a slightly unusual role in the points race. Finishing just behind specialist Marco Haller in the first sprint, the winner of July’s Mûr-de-Bretagne stage built up a lead with a breakaway lasting several laps of the circuit in the company of Belgian Yves Lampaert. “I did myself no favors going for those points. But at least I’ll go home with good memories of Saitama,” said the winner of the second phase of the day with a smile.

Shortly after the flag dropped on the main race, Romain Bardet kept his promise by initiating a breakaway in which he was joined by Yukiya Arashiro, looking particularly lively in his last outing in the Europcar jersey. But the fans’ favorite could not stop his temporary partner on the road from racking up the points he needed for his goal: “I started thinking about it this morning,” said the tunnel climber (the Saitama circuit is generally flat!). “It’s a little nod to the polka dot jersey that eluded me on the Tour.” And the man who Froome prevented from claiming first place in the mountains classification in July had no intention of stopping there, putting himself in contention in the big-name escape group that formed three laps (9km) out from the finish, alongside the winner of the 2015 Tour himself, “Purito”, John Degenkolb, Yukiya Arashiro and Fumiyuki Beppu.

Even novice forecasters could see that the German sprinter’s finish would probably prove too much for his rivals, so Yukiya Arashiro decided to put him to the test, making a solo break and still leading at the bell. But the mustachioed rider on the mainly bearded team, Giant-Alpecin, showed his class in the final kilometer, finishing ahead of Beppu and Froome, who joined him on the final podium. After finishing empty-handed at the Tour de France in July, where he couldn’t live with Greipel, Cavendish et al in the bunch sprints, his Saitama success gave Degenkolb a measure of revenge. “It’s really nice to end this superb season in this way,” explained the winner of Milan San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. “And with the atmosphere that the fans create here, you’d think you were on the Champs-Elysées.” All eyes on 24 July next year, John!
Thanks to A.S.O. for the race info.


Tour de France Saitama Criterium Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin in 1:19:30
2. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Europcar
7. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:22
8. Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek
9. Yasuharu Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team
10. Ryutaro Nakamura (Jpn) Special Team Japan For Saitama.

Best of – 2015 Tour de France Saitama Critérium:

Best of – 2015 Tour de France Saitama Critérium por tourdefrance

Superprestige – Zonhoven 2015
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) showed his running skills in the second Superprestige of the season in Zonhoven on Sunday by putting over a minute into his teammate Rob Peeters in 2nd place just ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) in 3rd. There was a little controversy in the fight for second place as it looked like Peeters moved across Pauwels to shut him down, but Pauwels didn’t make an official complaint. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) was 4th although he had been in the front group before a puncture ruined his chance of a podium place. Nys could not make a late bike change or he would have lost his fourth place as Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) was right on his heels. Bad luck for Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) who had to abandoned on the 5th lap due to a bad crash.

On the 3rd lap Van der Haar, Van Aert and Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) made a break off the front, but Van Aert was visibly stronger on the running sections and first saw off Merlier and then a lap later, Van der Haar. From then on Van Aert put time into everyone due to his running speed. For the others; it was their technical ability on the sand pit that decided if they crashed and lost time as Merlier found out with a big crash and Nys with his superior bike handling. Peeters, Pauwels and Nys passed Van der Haar to fight out the podium.

Van Aert won the first round in Gieten and leads overall from Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin).

Ronse - B

Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “It’s a very nice victory in a race that I was very much looking forward to. Diving into the sand pit during the final lap cannot be compared with anything. It’s a massive kick. The sand pit is spectacular but not decisive. It’s a place where you can lose the race but not where you win it. The crucial point is at the back of the course with the tough running section. Today I had good sensations in my legs. The plan was not to take initiative in the first half of the race but in the running sections I upped the pace. It’s something I can do without hitting the red zone. I had a gap on Lars and knew I should not wait for him. I rode at a good pace. It’s easier to ride alone over here than in groups.”

2nd, Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “I’m a man of ups and downs. I excel when there’s sand or when it’s hard. The course was never as hard as today so then I was at the front. My sand-riding skills were scary this week, mostly that would screw up the racing, but not today,”

3rd, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “Second place was possible so I was disappointed at first. The gap was small and if he moves a little to the left he closes the door. I’m pleased with third place. Wout ran away and quickly had a big gap. He was much stronger today.”

4th with a late puncture, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “I had something left to fight for second place but lost pressure (in his tyre), so I couldn’t take risks. If I had switched bikes then Lars would’ve passed me. I figured Wout would win as there was a lot of running today. If there’s something Wout is extremely good at, it’s running. We’ll see if the tide turns. If you can ride away by a minute seemingly in a playful manner then you can say you’re the best.”

5th, Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Alpecin): “I tried to hang on and it worked once, twice but then I had to let him go. He was impossible to beat today.”

Superprestige – Zonhoven Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 1:00:51
2. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 1:09
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
4. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:17
5. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:18
6. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Cibel-ERA at 0:01:45
7. David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon at 2:04
8. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) ERA-Murpotec
9. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:07
10. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 2:21.


Polderscross – Kruibeke 2015
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won his second Polderscross in a row on Saturday in Kruibeke, beating Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) by a good 30 seconds and Laurens Sweeck (Cibel-ERA) by 45. With 4 laps to go Van Aert and Vanthourenhout left a group of four and then Van Aert dropped Vanthourenhout. The race in Kruibeke doesn’t carry any UCI points, but is always fought over by the top riders.

Polderscross – Kruibeke Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:30
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Cibel-ERA at 0:45
4. Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 1:00
5. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 1:28
6. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) SunWeb-Napoleon Games at 1:35
7. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:40
8. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:49
9. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Cibel-ERA at 2:08
10. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:18.

Wout Van Aert:
Cyclocross of Gieten 2015

London ‘6 Days’ 2015
The first edition of the London ‘6 Days’ came to an exciting climax on Friday night with Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw getting the better of young British pairing of Chris Latham and Ollie Wood. The race was decided on the final sprint, with De Ketele taking the points for the overall win.

PEZ-man Ed Hood was track centre for the full six days, you can catch his thoughts and photos of the London ‘6 Days’ here in Part 1 and Part 2.

London ‘6 Days’ Result:
1. Keny De Ketele (Bel) & Moreno De Pauw (Bel) 231 points.
2. Chris Latham (GB) & Ollie Wood (GB) 224 points
3. Ilko Keisse (Bel) & Gijs van Hoecke Gijs (Bel) 214 points
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) & Yoeri Havik (Ned) 122 points
5. David Muntaner (Spa) & Albert Torres (Spa) 71 points
6. Alex Rasmussen (Den) & Marc Hester (Den) 134 points at 1 lap
7. Michael Morkov (Den) & Jasper Morkov (Den) 104 points at 2 laps
8. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) & Pim Ligthart (Ned) 96 points at 2 laps
9. Morgan Kneisky (Fra) & Lucas Liss (Ger) 98 points at 4 laps
10. Germain Burton (GB) & Mark Stewart (GB) 99 points at 5 laps.

London ‘6 Days’ Day Six Wrap:

AEG Reveals Host Cities for 2016 Amgen Tour of California
Eleventh Annual Event for World’s Premier Professional Cyclists Tees Up Eight-day Northbound Journey and First Four-day UCI Women’s WorldTour Race

The 2016 Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG, will kick off this spring in the heart of San Diego for the first time in its 11-year history and conclude in Sacramento, the first time the state capital will host the overall race finish. Competing across nearly 800 miles of quintessential California terrain from May 15-22, the course will lead World Champions, Olympic Medalists, top Tour de France competitors and other elite professional cyclists south to north for only the second time since the race began in 2006, with 12 cities to host starts and finishes along the way.

In addition to the men’s event, top professional women cyclists from around the world will converge during the latter half of the race to compete in the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM, the most expansive women’s event in race history. The race will be the first U.S. event on the first-ever UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT).

“Each edition of the Amgen Tour of California is more challenging and more beautiful than the last, and I’m excited to say that this year will be no exception,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “With one of the longer courses in race history packed with iconic and fan-favorite locations, the highest caliber of racing on U.S. soil and four days of women’s racing, the worldwide audience the Amgen Tour of California continues to attract has something special to look forward to with the 2016 edition.”

The Amgen Tour of California is regarded as the most internationally respected and esteemed stage race in the U.S. and one of the largest sporting events in the country.

“The Amgen Tour of California brings the perfect combination of stellar competition, amazing scenery and superior organization,” said Bradley Wiggins, the 2014 Amgen Tour of California Champion. “I look forward to returning to the Amgen Tour of California with Team Wiggins to once again take on the top competitors in the sport.”

“The Amgen Tour of California is an important race on the world cycling calendar because it attracts the best in the sport,” said long-time professional cyclist Jens Voigt, who will be returning as an Amgen Tour of California Ambassador for the second year. “It’s always a thrill to race (and cheer on the race) in such a beautiful place as California, and I’m proud to continue my role with the race. The outpouring of fans really makes it one of the best sporting experiences in the world.”

Stage 1 – San Diego, May 15, 2016
The Amgen Tour of California has entered North San Diego County twice before, but for the first time, the race will reach the heart of the city with Stage 1’s start and finish on the water near Mission Bay and downtown San Diego.

Stage 2 – South Pasadena to Santa Clarita, May 16, 2016
Stage 2 will begin in first-time Host City South Pasadena, with much of the race contested in the Angeles National Forest, ending with the stage conclusion in veteran Host City Santa Clarita. Of the 2016 lineup, Santa Clarita has the distinction of having hosted the most stages (11).

Stage 3 – Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara County, May 17, 2016
As well as serving as a popular training ground for professional and weekend cyclists alike, Thousand Oaks is home to biotechnology company Amgen, the race’s title sponsor since its inception. The day will conclude with a thrilling, first-time mountaintop finish at Gibraltar Road that has been 11 years in the making (road conditions precluded the oft-requested finish until this year).

Stage 4 – Morro Bay to Monterey County, May 18, 2016
Racing on Highway 1 south to north, this stage will highlight two first-time hosts this year, Morro Bay and Monterey County. The riveting and technical race day conclusion will be at a venue known for speed – the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, host to auto and motorcycle racing at the highest level.

Stage 5 – Lodi to South Lake Tahoe, May 19, 2016
From here out, the four-day women’s race will run in conjunction with the men’s, including the same start and finish cities except for this day, when the women begin and end in South Lake Tahoe. Lodi welcomed the 2015 Amgen Tour of California and is back for a second round with a men’s stage start this year. South Lake Tahoe hosted a successful two days of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race last year, and this will be the first of the four-day women’s race. Featuring a long day of climbing, the stage will reach the highest elevation ever mounted by the race: 8,600 feet.

Stage 6 – Folsom Individual Time Trial & Women’s Team Time Trial, May 20, 2016
The men’s individual time trial returns to Folsom where Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins dominated en route to his 2014 overall Amgen Tour of California victory. The women will compete in a team time trial on the same course.

Stage 7 – Santa Rosa, May 21, 2016
In 2006, the world took notice as record crowds flooded downtown to watch the race roar into Santa Rosa for a spectacular finish. This year’s stage will incorporate a portion of the uber popular Levi’s GranFondo, with the men and women competing on different courses.

Stage 8 – Sacramento, May 22, 2016
As an 8-time host, Sacramento has seen some of the most exciting stages and race moments, and will up the ante for 2016 with the grand finale of both the men’s and women’s races for the first time.

Amgen Tour of California 2015:

Marc Sergeant looks back on 2015
Traditionally, at the end of a cycling season one looks back on the achieved performances. After a record year for Lotto Soudal, the team can go satisfied in winter modus. Nevertheless, manager Marc Sergeant is convinced that there’s still some space for improvement. He analyzed this year and came to five conclusions.

1.We made well-considered choices
“At the end of 2014, we gathered with the sportive staff after a less successful season. There had to change some things and because of that, we took some vigorous decisions. One decision was to let some riders not participate in the Tour Down Under. With this, we hoped that the riders who stayed home would be fresher in the rest of the season. That way André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Jens Debusschere got more time to prepare their season. This worked well; Greipel rode the whole season on a high level. He provided a big amount of our WorldTour points and also scored on Europe Tour level. He was there when he needed to be and this resulted in some beautiful victories. Roelandts was very consistent, but lacked a top result. Sieberg was of big value for the team and Debusschere took another step in his development.”

“Also the choice to not put Jurgen Van den Broeck in the Tour de France selection was one of the decisions we made on that day. We pulled the card of Greipel and the attacking riders like Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens, Adam Hansen and Tony Gallopin. By not letting Van den Broeck ride the Tour, other riders got the necessary confidence and the freedom to take their own chance.”

“Together with Energy Lab, we chose a different training approach. Frederik Willems began his first year as sports director but integrated perfectly. Also the choice to give the young riders more chances paid off.”

“The worst fact stays the crash of Kris Boeckmans. This let a deep impression on the team. Kris was riding his best season ever and won eight races, this made him the rider who had the most victories in Belgium this year.”

2.Very good report in 2015
“Before every season, we determinate the objectives for the next year. After 2014, we decided to choose to formulate this in another way. We took down the number of victories from 30 in 2014 to 25 in 2015, but wanted more quality. Eventually, we won 40 times, of which 14 WorldTour victories. It was important that the quality of the victories remained, that’s more important than the quantity. Nevertheless, winning is always nice and good for the atmosphere.”

“Regardless the amount of victories, a top 10 in the final classification of the WorldTour was a second objective. Beforehand, we knew that 800 WorldTour points was necessary to achieve this and with our 590 points in 2014, this was a very ambitious goal. In the end, we achieved a total of 832 points and the ninth place. Greipel, De Clercq, Wellens, Gallopin, Benoot and a nice seventh place at the World Championships team time trial took care of this. This seventh place in Richmond was necessary after a disappointing performance at the World Championships team time trial last year. We don’t have the time trial specialists in our team, but we do have some strong riders like Bak, Henderson, Wellens, Benoot and Gallopin who are capable of riding a strong time trial and team time trial.”

“The riders got the task to race aggressively and put Lotto Soudal on the map. This way of racing resulted in a lot of victories, but also multiple top 10 places. Altogether, next to the forty victories, we collected fourteen podium places in WorldTour one-day races and a limited amount of top ten places in stage races. We know that we didn’t live up to the expectations in these stage races and that next year results must be better in these races.”

3.Keep developing
“On this level of cycling, we can’t allow to stay put. Every year, we need to innovate and make new choices. Concerning the program of the riders and the optimization of the staff. Together with Energy Lab, we keep improving our training approach and also in our medical team there will be some changes.”

“We have individual conversations with each rider to determine his race schedule. Within the next weeks, most of the race routes will be revealed and we can look which riders are qualified to compete in which races. It’s obvious that our core of the classic spring races and stage races will remain the same, but in terms of the Grand Tours we still need to put the puzzle together.”

4.Three real reinforcements
“We made the choice to let five riders leave the team (Boris Vallée, Vegard Breen, Dennis Vanendert, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Kenny Dehaes), but I think that everyone can give this a place. On the other hand, we welcomed three guys who can be a big value for our team on their terrain.”

“Jelle Wallays joins our classics team that rides the one-day races. In the past, he showed his qualities as a classics rider and he will be a reinforcement for the team in general. Also his aggressive style of racing suits perfectly in our vision.”

“Tomasz Marczynski and Rafael Valls have to fill up the gap in the stage races. Marczynski isn’t the rider who will be our leader, but he is the rider who has to stay as long as possible with the team leaders. Valls is the type of rider who can function as a leader and who is capable of finishing in the top ten to collect WorldTour points. The best stage race riders aren’t financial feasible for us, so we have to search on the rank just below them. The past years Valls rode in function of Rui Costa, but he has come to an age where he can take the step to ride for his own success.”

“For the outer world, welcoming a Polish and a Spanish rider could be a weird choice; but we made our choice based on sportive reasons and commercial interests. It’s not easy to find riders who are stage race specialists. Our vision is clear: first we search on the Belgian market, but if we don’t find what we look for in Belgium, we search abroad.”

5.Still room for progress
“Next year, there is definitely still room to make progress. Not in terms of victories, because the forty successes of this year will be hard to achieve again, but certainly in our style of racing and keep hammering on the quality of the victories. If we analyze the WorldTour ranking, we see that we are the third best scoring team from June till the end of the season. From this, we can conclude that our first part of the season was the period where we missed a lot of points.”

“Tiesj Benoot has revealed himself as the man for the future in the Flemish races, but also Debusschere made some steps in his development as a rider. Together with Roelandts, they can take care of the WorldTour points in the Flemish Spring Classics.”

“In the Walloon races, we expected more of our riders. Also during the stage races of one week (Tirreno-Adriatico, Vuelta al País Vasco, Volta a Catalunya and Tour de Romandie) we stayed below the expectations. Next year, we truly have a better core of riders for this type of races. Maxime Monfort can be of big value because he speaks several languages and because of his quality and experience as team captain for the riders, together with newcomers Marczynski and Valls. Louis Vervaeke had a lot of bad luck this season and is determined to do better next year. Also Bart De Clercq, Thomas De Gendt, Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin have shown that they own the qualities to succeed in this type of races. They all made progression last season. We are very confident that we will play our role in this type of races in 2016.”

Tour de France 2015 - stage 9

CULT Energy-Stölting Group signs Lasse Norman HansenCULT Energy-Stölting has signed a two year contract with the Danish talent, Lasse Norman Hansen currently doing the six-day race in London after recently taking silver at the Omnium European Championships. The 23 year-old Olympic champion has spent the last two years with the World Tour team, Cannondale-Garmin gaining loads of experience before deciding signing with CULT Energy-Stölting Group.

DS, André Steensen says: “Lasse is undoubtedly one of the biggest talents in Denmark at the moment. When he was only 20 years old, he won Olympic gold in 2012. In 2013, he claimed both Danish national u23 road race and time trial championship. It was only natural for him stepping up to become a part of the Cannondale-Garmin team in 2014 where he has gained a lot of road race experience. I’m sure Lasse will settle in perfectly and I’m happy that he will continue his promising development with CULT Energy-Stölting Group in 2016,” says DS, André Steensen

Lasse Norman Hansen says: “There wasn’t much doubt in my mind. I think going to CULT Energy-Stölting Group is the right choice for me at this point in my career. I get a chance to focus on both road racing as well as pursuing my personal goals on the track and especially the 2016 Olympic Games where I’m looking forward to defending my gold medal from 2012. In addition, I think CULT Energy Pro Cycling has done a great job on the road considering the fact that it’s their first year as a full-time professional team. I like the way they ride as a team and I like the aggressive approach. I’ll surely do what I can to win as many races as possible,” concludes Lasse Norman Hansen.

Website: https://cultenergyprocycling.com

Lasse Norman Hansen:

BORA – ARGON 18 rewards fighting spirit: Cesare Benedetti signs for 2016
Cesare Benedetti will ride for BORA – ARGON 18 also in the upcoming season. With his spectacular riding in recent weeks, the 28-year-old fought hard for his place in the next year’s team of manager Ralph Denk. Thus, Benedetti will be one of four riders next year who have been with the team since its founding in the year of 2010.

“Cesare fought hard in recent weeks for a new contract. After his great appearance at Lombardia, where he scored the best monument result in our team’s history, we established an extra place for him in the team. Certainly, this is a rather extraordinary decision, but such a fighting spirit needs to be rewarded. I thank our sponsors who agreed immediately to this plan,” says Ralph Denk, Team Manager of BORA – ARGON 18.

Cesare Benedetti won the team time trial with BORA – ARGON 18 in his home race, the Giro del Trentino. He took over the leader’s jersey after the first stage and won the sprint jersey at the end of the tour. Since the Tour of Alberta, Benedetti rode 1,100 kilometers in lead groups in 15 consecutive race days. He was awarded with the jersey of the most active rider in the Canadian tour. At Il Lombardia Benedetti again rode 180 kilometers in front, before he finished in 14th place in Como.

Currently, BORA – ARGON 18 contracted 21 riders for next year, including 13 riders from Germany and Austria:

Shane Archbold (26, NZL), Jan Barta (30, CZE), Phil Bauhaus (21, GER), Cesare Benedetti (28, ITA), Sam Bennett (24, IRL), Emanuel Buchmann (22, GER), Zak Dempster (28, AUS), Silvio Herklotz (21, GER), Bartosz Huzarski (34, POL), Patrick Konrad (24, AUT), Ralf Matzka (26, GER), Jose Mendes (30, POR), Gregor Mühlberger (21, AUT), Dominik Nerz (26, GER), Christoph Pfingsten (27, GER), Lukas Pöstlberger (23, AUT), Andreas Schillinger (32, GER), Michael Schwarzmann (24, GER), Rüdiger Selig (26, GER), Scott Thwaites (25, GBR), Paul Voss (29, GER).

Cesare Benedetti:

2016 Canadian Cycling Calendar Unveiled
The 2016 Cycling Canada Domestic Calendar filled with exciting events

Cycling Canada announces 2016 domestic events calendar for all cycling sports.

Junior and Cadet age categories will start off an exciting track season, with Canadian Cadet/Junior Track Championships taking place April 1-3 at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton. The Track calendar will also see the return of the Milton International Challenge. The inaugural event hosted in 2015 only days after the Mattamy National Cycling Centre opened, served as a test event of the Pan-Am Games and welcomed some of the world’s top competitors. The Canadian Track Championships for the Elite, Para-cycling and Master categories will take place in the fall with final dates to be announced.

Two new national sanction events will appear on the track calendar, with the Eastern Track Challenge in Milton on February 13th and Western Track Challenge to take place in Burnaby, BC (date TBC). The events, geared towards the U15, Cadet and Junior age groups, will provide a competitive platform for up and comers preparing for Canadian Track Championships.

The Global Relay Canadian Championship will take place in partnering cities Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec for the Elite, Junior and Para-cyclists. The 2016 edition of the event, running from June 25-29, will see a revamped schedule introduced. The Masters will have a separate Canadian Championships, scheduled mid-June, with more details to come in the following weeks.

Internationally, Gatineau will once again this year host the women’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau and the Chrono Gatineau in early June. The third edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce will once again be hosted on back-to-back weeks, allowing teams to compete in both events in a cost-effective way.

The Tour of Alberta is scheduled to return for a fourth consecutive year. Sanctioned as UCI 2.1 race, Canada’s biggest stage race will once again bring the best North American cyclists and some of the World’s best to Western Canada. The UCI World Tour Grand Prix Cyclistes, the only North American World Tour races, are slowly becoming classic races on the World Tour calendar, year after year attracting the best of the best to Canadian soil.

Para-cyclists can look forward to another exciting weekend of competition with the return of the Défi Sportif AlterGo in Montréal, QC.

Mountain Bike
The Canadian MTB XCO Championships will take place, as previously announced, in Baie-Saint-Paul, a staple venue in the Canadian Mountain Biking scene. The resort, located in the majestic Charlevoix region, has hosted Canada Cup and Coupe du Québec events for the last 17 years, and will host for the first time the Canadian Championships.

Bear Mountain, a partner of Cycling Canada, will be hosting for the first time a Canada Cup Mountain Bike event, slated for an early-season March 5th debut. The resort, which is the training base for the Canadian Mountain Bike Team, has developed brand new trails to host the event, which are getting rave reviews with early users. The 2016 Canada Cup MTB Series begins in March, and will run through August. The cross-country series will visit Victoria, Mont-Tremblant, Horseshoe Valley, Hardwood Ski and Bike and St-Félicien. Whistler, during the Crankworx Festival, will once again host the Series finals for the XCO and DH disciplines.

Downhillers will see the addition of the East Coast Open Canada Cup, set to take place at Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, making its debut in the national series. The series will feature a total of four races for the adrenaline seekers: Mont-Tremblant, Blue Mountain, Panorama and Whistler. The Canadian MTB DH Championships will once again take place at Sun Peaks Resort, promising riders an exciting battle for the coveted Maple Leaf jersey.

Mont-Sainte-Anne remains a classic UCI World Cup race on the international calendar. The Velirium races will take place just before the Olympic Games, allowing athletes to get final training prior to the pinnacle international event in 2016.

Calgary BMX, host of the 2015 Canada Cup BMX Finals, will be hosting the Canadian BMX Championships for the next two years and will also host the final round of the Canada Cup BMX Series for 2016.

The Canada Cup returns with seven events on the calendar in Abbotsford, Drummondville, Toronto and Calgary. The opening Canada Cup BMX events will be hosted in May in Abbotsford, aligning with the Olympic Qualification window, while Toronto’s Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre and BMX Drummond will return for an exciting second and third round of competition.

The marquee event of the season will be the 2016 Canadian Cyclocross Championships, scheduled for October 22nd. Cycling Canada is pleased to announce Sherbrooke, Quebec as the host city of the 2016 & 2017 Canadian Cyclocross Championships. The city has hosted Provincial championships in the past few years, and organizers from the Club Cycliste de Sherbrooke are ready to welcome Canada’s best in this fast-growing cycling sport.

Chief organizer, Stéphane Vallières adds: “We are very excited that Club Cycliste de Sherbrooke has been chosen to host the 2016 & 2017 Canadian Cyclocross Championships. We will work hard to ensure these championships are a success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the City of Sherbrooke, Destination Sherbrooke and the Siboire microbrewery for their support in the preparation of the bid.”

The full schedule, including all domestic events for all cycling sports and disciplines, has been posted on www.cyclingcanada.ca.

2015 Canadian Cyclocross Nationals Course Preview:

Fun in Japan!
Before the Tour de France Saitama Criterium the riders had some time off and a bit of fun and here is the video:

Une journée avec les coureurs / A day with the… por tourdefrance

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