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EuroTrash Kittel Monday!

Marcel Kittel takes his first win of the year in Adelaide and we have all the action in EuroTrash Monday. Peter Sagan has announced his calendar for 2015, plus we have all the latest news from around the cycling World. Cyclo-cross, San Luis, TDU, Tour de France, MTN-Qhubeka, Tour of Oman, Colombia and the list goes on…

TOP STORY: Sagan’s 2015 Season
Peter Sagan will again put all his emphasis on the cobbled Classics in the first part of the season, from Sanremo upto Roubaix. Then it’s all for the Tour de France.

Sagan has confirmed his ’15 calendar to the Tour de France: Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of California, Tour of Switzerland, Championship of Slovakia and then the defense of his Tour de France Green Jersey.

The Slovakian star will be on the start line in Qatar, as in 2012, and for the fourth year will be at the Tour of Oman. The Tirreno-Adriatico, which he has won four stages, will be his first big test before facing his major objectives: San Remo 2nd in 2013, E3 Harelbeke winner in 2014, Ghent-Wevelgem winner in 2013, Tour of Flanders 2nd in 2013 and 5th in 2012, Scheldeprijs and Roubaix 6th in 2014.

The second part of the season is the same as in 2012, 2013 and 2014: California and Switzerland, where he has 11 and 9 wins, respectively, and then the National championships before the Tour de France. In the French Grand Tour he will be looking to repeat his Green Jersey win for the third time.

The big change is that he will not race in the Strade Bianche where he was 2nd in 2013 and 2014 and he will also miss the Ardennes Classics, where he was 3rd in the Amstel Gold Race in 2012. Tirreno-Adriatico is the only race before the Tour that he will ride alongside Alberto Contador.

In 2014 Sagan had seven victories: A stage in Oman, one in Tirreno-Adriatico, classic E3 Harelbeke, a stage at De Panne, a stage in the Tour of California, a stage in the Tour de Suisse and the Slovakian championships, ten 2nd places and six 3rd, no stage wins in the Tour de France but won the points jersey. His classic’s season was: E3 1st, Strade Bianche 2nd, Gent-Wevelgem 3rd, Paris-Roubaix 6th, Milan-San Remo 10th and Tour of Flanders 16th. In 2013 he had 22 wins and was second in the Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, 2012 he managed 16 wins and in 2011 there were 15 wins.

The best of Peter Sagan:

header-peopleschoice15People’s Choice Classic 2015
Marcel Kittel opened his 2015 account with a win, leading Team Giant-Alpecin in the Tour Down Under’s People’s Choice Classic on Sunday evening in Adelaide over 30 laps of a 1.7 kilometer circuit for a total of 51 kilometers. The sprint victory came after days of preparation in Adelaide and teamwork during the race. With the strongest sprinter, rival teams looked to Giant-Alpecin to control the four-man escape that dominated the 30-lap criterium. The break consisted of: Matt Hayman (Orica-GreenEDGE), Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Calvin Watson (Trek). They escaped after 8 laps and after 14 they had a lead of 20 seconds.

Team Giant-Alpecin eased off after it had the escape under control and returned to the front late, but with force. It overpowered IAM Cycling and a last-minute charge by BMC, and took the front on the bell lap with Dutchman Koen de Kort. Rival sprinters fought to ride in Kittel’s slipstream. Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal) succeeded to hold Kittel’s wheel through the final bends, but that was the best anyone could do. Kittel charged towards the line as the sun sat on Adelaide, holding off Henderson and his other rivals. JJ Lobato (Movistar) placed second and Wouter Wippert (Drapac) was third.

Race winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin): “It’s actually almost impossible to control a bunch in such a short race. I think my boys did an awesome job. We were always trying to come back, stay together (if it was possible) – and in the end it was still a good lead-out with all the chaos. It’s a great start to the season. I’m actually very happy, very proud. I’m always nervous before the first race. I want that first win immediately with the team if it’s possible. I’m here for the third time now in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under – I really love this place. I really like to race here and it’s even better if you can start with a win. We had a good time ahead of this race, on time in Australia and with time to adapt. After this win, I’m now looking forward to the Tour Down Under.”

New Australian road race champion, Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) was unable to wear his National champions jersey, but finished 5th: When quizzed after the race, the new Austrian road race champion, though he was unable to wear the distinctive jersey in this race, declared himself satisfied with his result. “I am confident going into the Santos Tour Down Under. I had to brake in the sprint in order to avoid ending up being pushed into the balustrade, but I still managed to grab 5th place. The team did a good job and I’m happy with my form. I felt really good.”

Break away rider Dario Cataldo (Astana): “The breakaway was a test to see how I am doing – for my first race in Astana colors I feel like I passed”

People’s Choice Classic Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin in 1:02:41
2. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar
3. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac
4. Chris Sutton (Aus) Sky
5. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Katusha
8. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto-Soudal.

Action from Adelaide:

header-kasteelcrossKasteelcross Zonnebeke 2015
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) dominated Saturday’s Kasteelcross in Zonnebeke taking over 1:20 out of all the other riders on a very muddy Belgian course. Looking good for the World championships where Van Aert and Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) will not compete in the Under-23 race (both are under 23), but with the Elite men.

Kasteelcross Zonnebeke Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 1:05:01
2. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:20
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:25
4. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
5. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:32
6. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:16
7. Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:30
8. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:47
9. Yannick Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 3:08
10. Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Colba-Superano Ham at 3:50.

Top performance from Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace):

header-sanluis15-leftTour de San Luis 2015
The Argentinian stage race starts today in San Luis with a top class field of many WorldTour teams and riders. Seven stages with one 17.4 kilometer time trial, sprints and summit finishes, it has something for every one.

More race details on the web site: https://toursanluis.com/

Tour de San Luis stages:
19/01/2015 Stage 1: San Luis – Villa Mercedes, 186,8 km
20/01/2015 Stage 2: La Punta – Mirador de Potrero, 185,3 km
21/01/2015 Stage 3: Concarán – Juana Koslay, 176,3 km
22/01/2015 Stage 4: Villa Dolores (Córdoba) – Alto El Amago, 142,5 km
23/01/2015 Stage 5: San Luis – San Luis (individual time trial), 17,4 km
24/01/2015 Stage 6: Achiras (Córdoba) – Filo Sierras Comechingones, 117,5 km
25/01/2015 Stage 7: San Luis – San Luis, 122,4.

2015 San Luis promo:

Lampre Merida Team f_chiariLampre-Merida to San Luis
Team Lampre-Merida has flown to Argentina where they will take part in Tour de San Luis (19-25 January).

The blue-fucsia-green selection will count on six riders who’ll be directed by Orlando Maini: Mattia Cattaneo, Sacha Modolo, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Luka Pibernik, Filippo Pozzato, Maximiliano Richeze.

In 2014, LAMPRE-MERIDA obtained in Argentina an outstanding success thanks to Sacha Modolo, who won in Terrazas de Portezuelo. The Italian sprinter will try to again be a protagonist in South America, counting on the support by top riders such as Pozzato and Richeze. In the three summit finishes of the Tour de San Luis, Niemiec and Cattaneo could test their condition on the climbs. The Argentinian race will be the debut for Pibernik in blue-fuchsia-green jersey.

“Tour de San Luis is a first important test at the beginning of the season for checking the condition of the cyclists,” sport director Maini explained. “The quality level of the starting list makes more interesting the results we aim to obtain the race.”


header-katusha15Team Katusha goes to San Luis
At the same time as the start of the 2015 UCI WorldTour in Australia, Team Katusha will take part in one more traditional race – the stage race of the Tour de San Luis, which will be held in Argentina on January 19th to 25th. The Tour de San Luis consists of 7 stages including one individual time trial of 17 km and three stages with an uphill finish.

The team’s line-up in Argentina:
Pavel Kochetkov, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini and Ilnur Zakarin.
Sports director: Dmitry Konyshev.

It might be hot for the Paolini beard in San Luis:
tdf2014stage21- 345 paolini

header-etixx-qr15Etixx – Quick-Step to Tour de San Luis
Etixx – Quick-Step has announced the selection that will participate in the 9th edition of Tour de San Luis, held from January 19th until January 25th.

Michal Kwiatkowski and Mark Cavendish were already confirmed as participants, starting the season of the UCI World Road Champion and the Manx Missile in Argentina. Also participating are Michal Golas, Lukasz Wisniowski making his debut as a professional, Fabio Sabatini, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.

“It will be the first race of the season and is a great way to prepare the condition for the next races, but it is also a good race every year,” Sport Director Davide Bramati said. “In last year’s edition it was very hot, with temperatures around 40 degrees, so we will see what the weather will be like this year and how it can affect the race. We go there and we will see if we can come out with a stage win.”

The race features mostly medium mountain stages, including 186.8km Stage 1 that starts with a climb, but is mostly descending or very small hills before a finish that could favor the sprinters.

Stage 2 (185.3km) features a climber’s finish, as there is a summit finale on Mirador del Portero. However, it will be the least difficult of the summit finishing stages.

Stage 3 (176.3 km) features a hilly profile, but nothing significant and the stage ends in an uphill finish. Bramati said he believes this stage can end in a sprint.

Stage 4 begins that stages that, on paper, could be decisive for the GC. The 142.5km Stage finishes on Alto El Amago, which features a 7.2% average gradient and some steep ramps.

The 5th stage is a 17.4km ITT in San Luis, which is far from flat, with a descending start and an ascending finish.

“It was the same race also in the last few years, it is the same parcours in 2015,” Bramati said of the time trial. “It’s not technical. After the start it will be straight on and then a left, with a big road for 8 kilometers. Then we come back in a big roundabout, and again straight on until the finish. I think it will be a good ITT for us, we have Kwiatkowski and Wisniowski, but we will see the situation the day before. If we feel good we will go full gas in the individual time trial.”

The penultimate stage, 117.5km Stage 6, is the last summit finish of the race on Filo Sierras Comechingones (7.8% average gradient). Tour de San Luis wraps up with an undulating, 122.4km Stage 7. The race finishes with a descent to the line.

“The two important stages for the GC, in my opinion, will be 4 and 6,” Bramati said. “Stage 4’s finish is a long climb, 10 kilometers or so at 7 percent with ramps of 10, 11, or more percent. Stage 6 will be a long climb of about 15 kilometers with gradients of seven, eight, nine, even 10 percent sections. I think Stage 6 will be very important for this race. Stage 4 is a long climb, but the top is at 1,720 meters while Stage 6 finishes at more than 2000 meters. As this is the beginning of the season, long climbs will not be easy for the peloton.”

Bramati said Etixx – Quick-Step will go into this race to not only develop condition, but to also see what can happen with stage victories.

“For example, we have a rider like Mark Cavendish,” Bramati said. “There are three stages that can end in a sprint, so we will see what can happen with Mark. That’s just one way we can try to get a good result at Tour de San Luis. The competition includes guys like Nairo Quintana (Movistar) who won the overall last year. But we will focus on what our team can do, first and foremost. We know we have good riders at the start hoping to do well. You never know. For sure we will try our best to win at least one stage and start off 2015 in the best way possible. Tour de San Luis is a good way to start the season, with six riders racing hard in good weather. I hope the riders will come back with improved condition and good emotions after this race in Argentina.”

Mark Cavendish (GBR), Michal Golas (POL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Fabio Sabatini (ITA), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Lukasz Wisniowski (POL).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA).

The World champion Michal Kwiatkowski will be in Argentina:

header-lottosoudal15Thomas De Gendt makes his début in Lotto Soudal shirt in Australia
Thomas De Gendt will make his début in Lotto Soudal shirt in Australia. On Sunday 18th January he’ll ride the People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide. Two days later Thomas starts in the Tour Down Under (20th – 25th January), the first WorldTour race of the season. The selection took off to Australia last week, so the riders could get used to the time difference, it’s 9h30 later than in Belgium. For the 28-year-old De Gendt it’s the fourth Tour Down Under.

Thomas De Gendt: “I love coming to Australia, although traveling to here is tiring; it takes almost two days to travel to here from Belgium. The first days we took it slow, so we could adapt to the time difference. We did some easy training rides and then we stopped to drink a coffee. As of Tuesday we increased the intensity of our trainings. We also did a recon of next week’s route.”

Agreeable temperatures
“Normally you have to get used to the heat as well, but that wasn’t the case this year. We didn’t have temperatures above 30°C so far. The next days the temperature will rise, but extreme temperatures aren’t forecasted, that’s all the better for us. In previous editions there were temperatures above 40°C and that’s not fun to ride in. Up till 30°C it’s agreeable.”

Exciting moment
“The condition feels good. The first race of the season is always exciting, just like when I was a teenager, because you want to test the legs in a race. I want to have a good season, also for the team. I don’t set a specific goal for the Tour Down Under. It won’t make or break my season, but of course it would be great to win a stage.”

Stages that suit me
“The route gets tougher every year. There are few chances of a bunch sprint. When I feel very well, I’ll spare myself for GC, otherwise I aim for a stage win. In GC it always comes down to seconds, so you have to be lucky as well. There are several stages that suit me, like the fifth stage with finish on Willunga Hill. Also in stage two, to Stirling, it goes uphill in the final. I can rely on my ultimate jump.”

1st time in his Lotto Soudal kit:
Cycling: Team Lotto-Soudal 2015

header-BMC14BMC Team for the Santos Tour Down Under
Download the BMC Racing Team’s official roster card:

Rider Roster:
Rohan Dennis (AUS), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Cadel Evans (AUS), Campbell Flakemore (AUS), Michael Schär (SUI), Peter Stetina (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
President/General Manager: Jim Ochowicz (USA).
Sponsor: Andy Rihs (SUI).
Sport Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Cadel Evans rides his last TDU in 2015:
Santos Tour Down Under stage-4

header-MTN14-leftTeam MTN-Qhubeka looks ahead to Mallorca Training Camp, Racing season begins with Mallorca Challenge
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will kick-start its 2015 season on European roads with a training camp on the island of Mallorca from 18 – 28 January. The Spanish island has been a favored training ground for endurance athletes around the world with its high quality roads and near perfect weather for many years. Logistically it is also convenient that the racing season begins on the 19th of January with the 4 day Mallorca challenge.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have 21 of its 23 riders at the training camp with Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar both continuing their season preparations in Australia. The Mallorca training camp will be key in preparing our riders for the teams early season goals as well in order to conduct further product testing. Some fine tuning will also be made to certain performance set ups before the riders embark on their individual race programs.

Jens Zemke – Head Sports Director
“The training camp in Mallorca is our second come-together and it will be our final booster for the coming season. We have only 1 week time, till we start into our triple program with the Mallorca Challenge, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race and the South African Champs.”

Dr Carol Austin – Head of Performance Support and Medical
“2015 will be a historic year for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, and we’re aiming high on a performance level. Training sessions at the camp will test and tune our athletes form to the next level. Teamwork and lead-out training will be key focus areas. Off-the-bike we will be optimizing our Cervelo S5 and P5 bike setups in consultation with Retul and our equipment partners, so that we’re 100% race ready by 29 January when our season kicks off in Mallorca.”

Adrien Niyonshuti – Rider
“The off season back in Rwanda was very good for me. I was able to spent time with my academy. Thanks to the warm weather I was also able to get some solid training done ahead of the challenging coming months. Overcoming my illness I’m really looking forward to get together with my teammates again and to return to racing.”

Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com.


header-tdf2016 Tour de France to Visit Andorra
Andorra will welcome the 103rd Tour de France, scheduled to start on July 2, 2016, from Le Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche). Christian Prudhomme, (director of the Tour de France) and Francesc Camp (Minister of Tourism of Andorra) made the announcement following the signature of a memorandum of understanding. The peloton of the Grande Boucle will stay three days in the Principality, with a stage finish, a rest day and a stage start.

The Tour de France will return to the Principality of Andorra in 2016, seven years after its last visit in 2009, when Frenchman Brice Feillu culminated a long breakaway at the summit of Andorra-Arcalís. It will be the Tour’s fifth stopover in Andorra, after the ones in 1964, 1993, 1997 and 2009.

One year before the 2016 Tour de France, the 2015 Vuelta a España will head for Andorra on September 2 (stage 11) in what is billed as its queen stage.

The entire route of the 2016 Tour de France will be revealed on October 20 in Paris.

Tour de France to Andorra in 2015:

header-oman14Tour of Oman 2015: tackling the Green Mountain!
Even if it is only celebrating its 6th edition this year, the Tour of Oman (from 17th to 22nd February) already has its place among the stage races that count, mainly thanks to the beauty of its landscapes and the variety of its terrains, enabling it to alternate flat stages along the coast with more undulating routes that are an invitation to daring feats. In this sense, it is especially the climb up the “Green Mountain” (Jabal Al Akhdhar) that weeds out the serious pretenders for the Tour of Oman title, with its 5.7 km at a gradient of 5%. It is a mountain that has only been tamed by great climbers since it made its bow in 2011: Robert Gesink (in 2011), Vincenzo Nibali (2012), Joachim Rodriguez (2013) and Christopher Froome (2014). This race has become an event not to be missed at the season’s start for the big hitters of the international elite and it is not a coincidence that the last three winners of the Tour de France (Bradley Wiggins in 2012, Christopher Froome in 2013 and Vincenzo Nibali last year) all arrived in Muscat several months after their summer triumph on the Grande Boucle.

On the Tour of Oman 2015, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will have to deal with fierce competition, led in particular by the Spanish climber Joachim Rodriguez (Katusha), his countryman Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), the best climber on the last Tour de France, without forgetting the young French talents of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), 3rd on the last Tour de France, and Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), a two times stage winner (2013) and 9th in the general classification on the Vuelta (2014).

However, the Tour of Oman also includes stages that will delight the sprinters. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Tom Boonen (Etixx) or Théo Bos (MTN-Qhubeka) can all lay legitimate claims to success in Al Wutayyah on the first stage or on the Muttrah promenade on the last day. Stages 2 (Al Bustan) and 5 (Ministry of Housing) with their hilly profile at the finish could be more suited to an all-terrain type rider such as Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), who has already won four stages in Oman, as well as Rui Costa (Movistar), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) or Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)…

The stages
Stage 1, Tuesday 17th February: Bayt Al Naman Castle – Al Wutayyah (161 km)
Stage 2, Wednesday 18th February: Al Hazm Castle – Al Bustan (195 km)
Stage 3, Thursday 19th February: Al Mussanah Sports City – Al Mussanah Sports City (158.5 km)
Stage 4, Friday 20th February: Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque – Jabal Al Akhdhar “Green Mountain” (189 km)
Stage 5, Saturday 21st February: Al Sawadi Beach – Ministry of Housing (151.5 km)
Stage 6, Sunday 22nd February: Oman Air – Muttrah Promenade (133.5 km).


header-strade-bianche15Strade Bianche Becomes Three
In addition to the classic Men’s Elite Race, this year sees the Women Elite edition on the same day and a Gran Fondo on Sunday.
The Strade Bianche, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, will become a triple event for 2015 with three races taking place across weekend; and the spectacular course running between a Unesco heritage city, the Crete Senesi region and breath-taking scenery.

The events will start on Saturday 7th March with the UCI Women Elite 1.1 category race, which departs from San Gimignano and finishes, after 103 kilometers, in Siena’s amazing Piazza Il Campo. This will be followed on the same day by the classic men’s edition, a UCI Europe Tour 1.HC rated cycling race of 200km.

Women’s Course:

The first 33km and the final 20km will be raced on the same course as the men’s edition. In total there will be 17km of gravel roads on the course, divided into 5 sectors, with a well-maintained and solid surface. Of these, the first and the last two sectors are the same as the ones on the men course, whilst in between lies a spectacular and decisive 9.5km sector between the Crete Senesi, a very long stretch with continuous up and downs in the first part, and ending in a climb with wide open curves before rejoining the paved road.

The women’s race start will start at 9 am, an hour and a half before the men’s start from the same location.

The men will face the same course as last year, which was won a rider who would also take the UCI Road World Championship six months later, Michał Kwiatkowski.

Men’s Course:
50km of ‘white road’ in ten sections, with stretches rated ‘5 stars’ for difficulty.

On Saturday 7th March, the peloton takes on an extremely hilly race route at the famous ‘Strade Bianche.’ The race may lack long climbs, but in their place it offers a long series of formidable inclines, some of them tremendously steep. What makes this race distinctive is the inclusion of approximately 50km of dirt tracks, the famous White Roads or ‘Strade Bianche’, which is divided into ten sections. The White Roads are metaled and compacted into a hard, durable surface with a small amount of loose gravel and largely free of vegetation.

From the race start, at San Gimignano, the first 33km is on rolling, asphalted roads. The route passes close to the splendid medieval village of Monteriggioni, before the first White Road section begins (Section One: 2.2km, difficulty rating: 2-stars). After another 13km of asphalt, the second White Road section follows (Section Two: 2.1km, difficulty rating: 1-star). Perfectly straight and on the slightest of descents, this section is probably the least challenging of the race. 5km separate Sections Two and Three. Section Three is the first really difficult part of the race, a 5.9km sector rated 4-stars; it begins with a short, gentle descent, before ramping upward for a longer climb at a gradient of around 10%. The fourth White Road section begins at the village of Radi, 4.4km long and with a difficulty of 2-stars. Section Five starts immediately afterwards, in woodland, over less demanding gradients (Section Five: 5.5km, difficulty 1-star).

Beyond Buonconvento lies the climb to Montalcino, the longest of the day (4km at 5%). After the descent that follows, the race joins Via Cassia, an ancient Roman road (now Strada Statale 2) for the feed zone (km 105 to 108) on the way to San Quirico d’Orcia. At Pienza, the sixth section of White Road begins. This 36km stretch of asphalt is the longest of the race (Section Six: 9.5km, difficulty rating: 3-stars), and begins with a climb over a rougher surface, leading to the village of Lucignano d’Asso, and then returning to asphalt roads towards Asciano.

At Castelnuovo Berardenga, a very short stretch of flat White Road (300m) precedes Section Eight, beginning just after Monteaperti, which covers 800m and includes a steep ramp where the gradients reach double figures. Then, the route regains asphalt roads at Vico d’Arbia, and pursues them as far as Pieve a Bozzone, where the penultimate section of White Roads starts (Section Nine: 2.4km, difficulty 4-stars) on the climb up to Colle Pinzuto, with gradients of up to 15%. The final section begins at km 183.8 (Section Ten: 1.1km, difficulty 3-stars), with a sharp descent followed by a steep ascent (maximum gradient 18%) which finishes at the village of Le Tolfe. From there, 12km remain to the finish line at Siena’s Piazza del Campo.

The demanding final kilometers, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna de Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%. 900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70 m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.

Gran Fondo Strade Bianche
On Sunday 8th March there will be another great event, this time dedicated to sportive and active cyclists.

The Gran Fondo Strade Bianche will be held on the same roads that the professional cyclists competed on just one day before, and with the same finishing line, in the Piazza Il Campo.

Details of this event will be released later in a dedicated press conference.

The Presentation by the RCS Sport Cycling Director Mauro Vegni, the Wiggle Honda and Italian Women’s National Team cyclist, Elisa Longo Borghini, and the Head of Sport of Siena City Council, Leonardo Tafani:

header-bigla15Bigla Pro Cycling Team To Wear Castelli in 2015
The Bigla Pro Cycling Team is proud to announce Castelli as its technical clothing partner for the 2015 season. The Italian company is known for making cyclists faster by revolutionizing professional rider’s clothing.

They’re focused on innovation and speed and that’s no different as we reveal the 2015 Bigla Pro Cycling Team look. The team will also be using the Aero Speed Suits designed specifically for road racing and the innovative Gabba jacket that revolutionized rain jackets in professional cycling.

Steve Smith, Castelli Brand Manager said: “Castelli is happy to return to the women’s peloton with the Bigla Pro Cycling Team and long time partners Cervélo and Rotor. Our goal is to help the Bigla team have a competitive advantage in every situation. With this partnership we want to use the team as a testing ground for innovation in our women’s performance clothing.”

The team is currently conducting a training camp on Fuerteventura where bypasses have seen the riders donning the new look. “When we started working on the design and the corporate identity of the team, we considered our objectives in the sport,” General Manager Thomas Campana said. “We want to be one of the most competitive teams on the circuit and to reach success your objectives have to be clear and uncluttered. You’ll find a clean look throughout the team design from the kit to cars and our marketing material.”

The team comprises the following riders:
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), Shelley Olds (USA), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA), Iris Slappendel (NED), Vera Koedooder (NED), Lotta Lepistö (FIN), Sharon Laws (GBR), Doris Schweizer (SUI), Joëlle Numainville (CAN), Lisa Klein (GER), Clara Koppenburg (GER), Emilie Aubry (SUI), Nicole Hanselmann (SUI), Caroline Baur (SUI).


header-cult-leftRoberts Draws Curtain on Glorious Career
Wednesday night, Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s sports director, Luke Roberts drew the final curtain on a glorious active career. With the titles Olympic, World and multiple national champion, it is no understatement to say that Luke made his mark on the world of cycling and can leave take off the helmet with his head held high.

Here is how he experienced his final race during the sixday race in Bremen Wednesday night: “As the final 60 minute Madison started, I found myself counting each minute down, which confirmed to me I am ready to end my career and would be happy that I wouldn’t have to suffer in a bike race again. When the race finished I had a very surreal experience. I sat down on a chair with my face in a towel and tears in my eyes and it seemed as though 25 years of memories flashed through my mind in the space of a few minutes. It was extremely emotional. I certainly have some sad feelings concerning my career stop. It was sad seeing my daughters cheer for me and knowing it would be the final time. However, I am proud of my achievements and can happily close the book on my cycling career, then go into the next stage of my life with my head held high.”

What are the best memories from your active cycling career?
“The major highlight of my career was winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Athens. It was my childhood dream fulfilled and no other victory overwhelmed me with so much emotion that it was hard to look happy. Another great memory was my first Tour de France in 2005 with Team CSC and realizing another childhood dream.”

Now, Luke Roberts takes on the job as a sports director for the pro continental team, Cult Energy Pro Cycling and the 37-year-old Aussie s looking forward to the time behind the wheels of the team car and being close to the riders: “What I mostly look forward to with my new job is not needing to make the sacrifices I had to as an athlete. I could never ice skate with my daughters at a Christmas Market for fear of injuring myself in a fall but I will most certainly be putting some skates on next December. My ambition with Cult Energy Pro Cycling is to help each and every rider achieve the maximum with their ability. I want that my riders are happy and enjoy racing together. The success will follow automatically because good energy always wins,” concludes Roberts.


header-colombia15Minister Botero backs Team Colombia-Coldeportes’ Giro d’Italia bid
The Giro d’Italia is still three and a half months away, but as it happens from 3 years ago, the Corsa Rosa is a very discussed topic among Colombian sports lovers already in January, The decision of organizer RCS Sport are expected on Monday January 19th, and all the cycling fans in South America, and particularly in Colombia – one of the Countries where the Giro d’Italia had the greatest exposure in the last few years – can’t wait to know the destiny of Team Colombia-Coldeportes.

You can feel the anticipation in the streets, read it on the newspapers and even on the social networks, where support messages with the #UnEquipoUnPais hashtag keep on coming to back the Escarabajos’ bid for the Giro d’Italia. Among many, even Colombian Sports Minister Andres Botero voiced on Twitter his support for the Team he followed on the Giro d’Italia roads in the last two editions.

“Listo @Col_Coldeportes para el Giro 2015. Si la organizacion nos invita asegurarà lucha y sacrificio en cada pedalazo #UnEquipoUnPais” (trans. Team Colombia-Coldeportes is ready for 2015 Giro. If the organizers pick us, we will guarantee battle and sacrifice in every pedal stroke. #UnEquipoUnPais) are the words Botero used to tell what added value Claudio Corti’s Team would bring to the start of the Giro d’Italia.

“In the wait of such important decisions, it is really good to feel the backing of the Colombian institutions and of Minister Botero. We truly hope we will be able to share with them the joy of another Giro d’Italia selection,” General Manager Claudio Corti said.


header-MTN14-leftMTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung Partners thrilled at Le Tour Wild Card
On Wednesday it was announced by the ASO that Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had received a wild card invitation to the 102nd Le Tour de France. The news took the worlds cycling media by storm and we have been overwhelmed by the response we are receiving in being the first African team to ever participate in Le Tour.

Our social media channels have been buzzing continually from the time of the announcement and the exposure the team has got in the main stream media, particularly in South Africa has been significant. It has been challenging to accurately express the magnitude of our joy and excitement and so we thought it was fitting that we asked some of our partners to share their thoughts on this historic moment.

Robert Reijers – Cervélo Managing Director:
“As a new partner of MTN-Qhubeka, Cervélo is honored to be a part of this unique moment in cycling history. This is a special opportunity for a team with such a progressive mission to compete in the Tour de France. Together with our partners, Rotor, Enve, 3T and Ceramic Speed, we will be thrilled to see our riders make their mark aboard Cervélo bikes, not only in the Tour, but throughout the 2015 season.”

Lars Janssen – Rotor:
“ROTOR is proud to be partner in this fantastic adventure, and truly honored to become part of this historic experience for African cycling. We will support the team in achieving it’s goals and help them maximize their performance to compete at the absolute Top-Level in cycling. ROTOR powers Qhubeka!”

Rene Wiertz – 3T President and CEO:
“This is brilliant news for MTN-Qhubeka and African cycling. 3T is delighted to be able to put something back in to grass roots bike riding in Africa through our sponsorship of the pro sport, and we look forward to seeing an African pro team, riding 3T components, in the Tour de France.”

MTN-Qhubeka head towards the 2015 Tour de France:

header-GCN-leftPro Cycling – 2015 Team Kits
The new road season is about to start and most of the teams have unveiled the new jerseys that will be coloring the peloton this year. The guys at CGN have made this video so we know who to look out for.

Take a look at our new 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 down the right hand side on the home page, 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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