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Wevelgem - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Luca Paolini (Team Katusha) pictured during the UCI Flanders Classics cycling race Gent Wevelgem in Deinze, Belgium in Deinze, Belgium - photo Cor Vos © 2015

EUROTRASH Luca Monday!

Sad start to EuroTrash Monday with the news of Luca Paolini’s addiction to sleeping pills. Mathieu van der Poel is on good form with two wins at the week-end – results and video. Other cycling news: Bad Homburg wants the Tour, new rider for Lotto Soudal, new kit for Giant-Alpecin, AG2R-La Mondiale, Cannondale and Dimension Data, Wanty-Groupe Gobert 2015 line-up, Küng out with illness and a Happy New Year video.

 

TOP STORY: Paolini admits cocaine use and addiction to sleeping pills
Luca Paolini has admitted to his cocaine use before the 2015 Tour de France in an interview with Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, he also confessed to an addiction to sleeping pills.

Paolini tested positive for cocaine and was thrown off the Tour on stage 4 and sacked by his team, he did apologize via Twitter, but after that… nothing. In the interview Paolini said he started taking the sleeping tablets after his brother died ten years ago, saying: “I needed a good night’s rest to meet the physical and mental effort the next day. I started in 2004 when my brother died. The real problem is everyday life. There are big problems and smaller, but it all adds to this very stressful sport. Mentally, it affects you a lot. It’s at the time you start taking the substance, and that is sad. These errors led me to cocaine.”

Since his positive test and disappearance, Paolini has been through detox, remaking that: “I’m back to being a person. I have returned to living. If this is the price to pay to feel good as a person, I am more than willing to accept it. I take full responsibility, and I must not look for excuses. But I tell you this story so that people do not repeat the same mistakes. I am a husband, father, and a prominent sportsman, I had to be an example, I betrayed a generation that believed in me. This is what hurts me.”

At 38 of years of age it will be hard for Paolini to come back to professional cycling if he receives a ban, if he is not banned he might not want to come back and expose himself to the pressures that pushed him towards the drugs. This isn’t really a cycling story, it’s more to do with addiction than riding a bike, it’s very unlikely sleeping pills made him ride any faster. A sad story.

The final 15 kilometers of 2015 Gent-Wevelgem:

 

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Hansgrohe Superprestige – Diegem 2015
World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) doubled up at the week-end by first winning the UCI World Cup in Zolder on Saturday and then the Hansgrohe Superprestige evening cross in Diegem, Belgium on Sunday. He beat Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and European champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) in the final sprint. Superprestige leader, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) could only manage 10th due to a broken rear gear, but he held onto his overall lead by 3 points over Pauwels and 5 on Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) with two races to go in the series.

Van der Poel was on top form and was showing off his bike handling skills on the jumps after his fast start. Van der Poel, Pauwels and Van der Haar were in the action from the start, but as the speed dropped there were around a dozen riders up front by the halfway point. Van der Poel attacked and was joined by Pauwels with Van der Haar and Van Aert chasing behind on lap 5. Just before the start of lap 6 Van Aert broke his derailleur and lost a minute on the leaders.

Van der Haar and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) got across to the front runners and the Meeusen attacked on his own, but was pulled back and dropped on the last lap by the others. Van der Poel, Pauwels and Van der Haar came into the final lap together, Van der Haar attacked on the last mud section, diving for the inside, but it didn’t work and he had to dismount. Van der Poel was first onto the asphalt first due to his late braking, this gave him enough of a gap to take a fine win just ahead of Pauwels with Van der Haar coming in for the last podium place.

Hansgrohe Superprestige cyclocross race of Diegem 2015

Race winner, Mathieu Van Der Poel (BKCP-Corendon): “It was the goal to be good during the week of Christmas. The only thing that I need to work on is to pull through after an acceleration. Now they’re always coming back. That was on the limit, but I had to be in front there. It showed when I got stuck in the mud afterwards. If I hadn’t been in front, I would never have gotten the victory. That brake maneuver wouldn’t have been possible without disc brakes. Otherwise I would’ve landed in the fence.”

2nd, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “I should’ve kept going with Mathieu. Then I could have started the sprint at least in second position and would have had a chance. I don’t think I’ve ever been as good as this weekend.”

6th, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “Too bad I lost so much ground on the first lap. I didn’t get much support in the chase. I had good legs today, I thought maybe I would be able to battle for the win or the podium.”

10th, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “It’s partly my mistake. I should’ve switched bikes earlier, but I was on my limit and then you tend to skip the pit more often. There were many small rocks in that mud section and they were sticking to the derailleur pullies; then the chain gets stuck. It’s too bad to lose out on the points this way.”

Hansgrohe Superprestige – Diegem Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon in 59:06
2. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:03
4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:25
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec at 0:28
6. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 0:33
7. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:44
8. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
9. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon at 0:45
10. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:50.

Superprestige – Diegem 2015:

 

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UCI World Cup Cyclocross – Heusden-Zolder, Belgium 2015
World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) threw his hat in the ring to keep his rainbow jersey in January. On Saturday Van der Poel took the victory in UCI World Cup put on the 2015/16 Worlds championship course in Heusden-Zolder. Van der Poel got the better of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin), with Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) taking 4th ahead of Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Series leader, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) was not on a good day and finished 8th, but still leads by 16 points from Van der Haar.

Klaas Vantornout, Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and Clément Venturini (Cofidis) escaped coming into lap 2, but Van der Poel jumped across to them with Meeusen and Van der Haar with him, eventually Pauwels also joined then, but World Cup leader Van Aert didn’t have the form to go with any of the moves. Van der Haar and Van der Poel split off the front at about the halfway point and Pauwels fought his way to them and the race was going to be between these three.

With over a lap to go; Van der Poel attacked, but Van der Haar and Pauwels kept the speed up and pulled the World champion back. On the last lap Van der Poel tried again and this time took the gap as Van der Haar couldn’t chase due to a puncture. Pauwels chased hard but couldn’t pull Van der Poel back before the finish and Van der Haar came in 3rd. Meeusen won the sprint for 4th from Vantornout as Venturini was 6th. Van Aert was only 8th beaten to 7th by Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace). Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink was 10th.

Lars Boom (Astana) made a rare cross showing, but had to line-up near the back and stayed there to finish 43rd at 7:15.

Worldcup Cyclocross in Zolder

Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon): “It was really hard to make a difference. It was just before the hardest part of the course with the running section and the uphill I saw that Lars had a flat tyre. I thought that it was the right moment to make the move because I had the feeling that Lars was the strongest, a bit stronger than me today. It’s a race that really suits him. I knew Pauwels rode at his own pace. What I predicted ahead of the race came true, that Kevin and Lars would be my biggest rivals on this course. I felt good but not super. I knew it would be hard in the final lap because Kevin was pushing on,I had to dig deep again. The conditions can be very different in seven weeks, there could be snow as well. I’m more confident now than if I was tenth.”

UCI World Cup Cyclocross – Heusden-Zolder Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon in 1:09:03
2. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:02
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:46
4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:10
5. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:11
6. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis at 1:17
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 1:20
8. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
9. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
10. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:21.

Zolder World Cup – Full Race:

 

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Bad Homburg wants the Tour
The German town of Bad Homburg wants to be part of the Tour de France when it starts in Düsseldorf in 2017. At the moment Bad Homburg has the one-day race; Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt and would like the Tour to use some or part of the course. Bad Homburg is south-east of Düsseldorf on the outskirts of Frankfurt, which is heading towards France, but the problem is that it is further than 200 kilometers between the two cities which is too far for an non-WorldTour event, which the Tour will be in 2017.

The 1987 Tour start in West Berlin:

 

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Frederik Frison Becomes 27th Rider in the Lotto Soudal WorldTour Team
Lotto Soudal is pleased to add a 27th rider to the 2016 roster of the WorldTour team, just before the start of the new year. 23-year-old Frederik Frison is the lucky man, he rode for the U23 team of Lotto Soudal the past three seasons. Frison signed a contract for two years.

Marc Sergeant, manager Lotto Soudal: “I found it really important that we could sign a 27th rider. Because of the rehabilitation of Kris Boeckmans and the Olympic dream of Jasper De Buyst we had only 24 riders we could count on to ride a double or even triple race programme of a high quality, and that’s not enough. That’s why I plead to let Frederik join the team. He was a trainee at our team as of August this year. At the Tour of Denmark and Tour of Britain he proved his skills. The riders that he worked for often said he could be a useful asset and so he will be now.”

“Frederik is a rider for different terrains and can help several riders and I am 100 per cent sure that he’ll do everything he can to serve the team the next two years. He’s a rider from our U23 team. Of the eighteen Belgians we now have in the team, nine come from our own team. For all parties, like the National Lottery and the team itself, this has to be an incentive to continue on the same path and to keep offering opportunities to young riders to set the step to our WorldTour team or a Pro Continental team to maybe reach the WorldTour level later.”

Frederik Frison: “This is a really nice New year’s present. I am really satisfied that I can become pro after a season as elite without contract. It’s very difficult to get in a WorldTour team, so it’s even more fantastic when you can make your début as professional in such a team. This makes me very happy. All winter I took care of myself really well, so I’m not panicking. I am really pleased to set this next step within the Lotto Soudal team. The youth programme has evolved the past years and is more close to the WorldTour team now. I’ve always had the chance to ride a nice programme and they prepared me for this step. I learned a lot the past three years, from Kurt Van de Wouwer for example.”

“During the past season I could take part in a few races as trainee of the WorldTour team. I didn’t know what to expect, but it went really well. I could compete in some nice races, which definitely weren’t easy, like the Tour of Britain for example. I could do my job for the team. I had a great time and learned a lot. During the Tour of Britain I rode for André Greipel and that was special for me as trainee; it’s fantastic to see how he really appreciates the work you do.”

“As rider you can compare me to Stig Broeckx. You can count on us to work for the leaders of the team. I am a rider for the spring races. This year I became Belgian time trial champion in the elite without contract category. This is a discipline I want to keep focusing on in the future. Time will tell if I can score in time trials with the pros as well, but that is something I see in the long term.”

Frederik Frison:
Heydar Aliyev Anniversary Tour 2013 stage-2

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Giant-Alpecin and LIV-Plantur 2016 Revealed
Here it is: the 2016 look for Team Giant-Alpecin and Team Liv-Plantur.

Team Giant-Alpecin maintains much of its 2015 design to increase recognition, with just a few slight changes for 2016.

Team Giant-Alpecin continues to capture the team’s DNA through the two dominantly visible “Keep Challenging” stripes on the jersey. The left stripe represents the continuous development of the riders both as individuals and as athletes, and – in a collective sense – the development of the team as a whole. The right stripe represents the creation and continual enhancement of an elite sports environment. The stripes lead upward without interruption, indicating the continuity of both processes.

The team is proud to once again work with Etxeondo, its partner producing the team’s premium-quality clothing. The team welcomes Renson on the lower back side of the shorts, while Sunweb shifts toward the shoulder section of the jersey. Last but not least, the team welcomes its newly announced fleet partner, MINI, on the jersey.

Giant-Alpecin 2016 kit:

 

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Team line-up Wanty-Groupe Gobert 2016
Wanty-Groupe Gobert has 22 riders for 2016. The team of general manager Jean-François Bourlart has riders of no less than six nationalities, three more than in 2015. The average age dropped from almost 30 to 28 years.

Wanty-Groupe Gobert signed nine new riders including the numbers 3 and 7 of this year’s Europe Tour Dimitri Claeys and Gaëtan Bille, Tour de l’Avenir stage winner and Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23-winner Guillaume Martin (FRA), Briton Mark McNally and sprinter Kenny Dehaes.

The complete line-up in 2016:
Simone Antonini – 24 (ITA)
Frederik Backaert – 25 (BEL)
Jérôme Baugnies – 28 (BEL)
Gaëtan Bille – 27 (BEL) – new
Dimitri Claeys – 28 (BEL) – new
Thomas Degand – 29 (BEL) –new
Kenny Dehaes – 31 (BEL) – new
Antoine Demoitié – 25 (BEL) – new
Tom Devriendt – 24 (BEL)
Boris Dron – 27 (BEL)
Enrico Gasparotto – 33 (ITA)
Roy Jans – 25 (BEL)
Marco Marcato – 31 (ITA)
Guillaume Martin – 22 (FRA) – new
Mark McNally – 26 (GBR) – new
Marco Minnaard – 26 (NED)
Danilo Napolitano – 34 (ITA)
Lander Seynaeve – 23 (BEL)
Robin Stenuit – 25 (BEL) – new
Bjorn Thurau – 27 (DLD) – new
Kévin Van Melsen – 28 (BEL)
Frederik Veuchelen – 37 (BEL)

The team said goodbye to eight riders: Bjorn Leukemans, Francis De Greef, James Vanlandschoot (retired), Tim De Troyer (Veranda’s Willems), Jan Ghyselinck (Veranda’s Willems), Fréderique Robert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), Yannik Eijssen (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) and Mirko Selvaggi (Androni-Giocatolli).

Race planning February
Wanty-Groupe Gobert travels to Benidorm, Spain from 11 to 23 January for a training camp. On the 15th of January there will be a media day on the Spanish Costa.

The first races of the 2016 season are: GP la Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges. The following riders will ride in France: Frederik Backaert, Dimitri Claeys, Antoine Demoitié, Kévin Van Melsen and Frederik Veuchelen. Only Marseillaise: Gaëtan Bille, Jérôme Baugnies and Marco Marcato. Only Bessèges: Tom Devriendt and Boris Dron.

In the same period Wanty-Groupe Gobert takes part in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana which has returned on the international calendar for the first time since 2015. The team for this Spanish stage race: Jérôme Baugnies, Gaëtan Bille, Thomas Degand, Enrico Gasparotto, Guillaume Martin, Marco Minnaard and Lander Seynaeve.

From 8 to 11 and from 17 to 22 February Wanty-Groupe Gobert takes part in the Tours of Qatar and Oman for the first time in the team’s history.
The line-up for these races in the Gulf states is: Marco Marcato, Enrico Gasparotto (only Oman), Roy Jans, Danilo Napolitano (only Qatar), Simone Antonini, Björn Thurau, Robin Stenuit, Mark McNally and Kenny Dehaes.

Of course Wanty-Groupe Gobert will also be present in the Belgian opening weekend: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. These line-ups will be announced in February.

New team kit by KALAS Sportswear
Attached you will find the new team kit designed by KALAS Sportswear. Four new sponsors can be found on the dark blue jerseys: clothing partner KALAS, Collinet, Atar and Bizzdev. You can read more about the new partnership with KALAS Sportswear on our website.

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New Jerseys in the Peloton
Last week the UCI published the jersey designs of Dimension Data, AG2R-La Mondiale and Cannondale teams, although they would normally not be released until after January the 1st. AG2R-La Mondiale haven’t changed much, the light blue/green color of the design now goes onto the left sleeve. Cannondale have gone all green with the Slipstream Argyle pattern on the body. The new jersey in the pack is from Dimension Data, still mostly white with a black line around the middle and the Dimension Data logo in green and the big é in white on the black sleeve for bike manufacturer Cervélo.

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Vanmarcke Looking Forward to the Spring Classics
Sep Vanmarcke has had his wrist support removed after surgery last month on his right swollen wrist. He is looking forward to riding the Classics, especially the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. His season will start with the Tour of Algarve. As well as Flanders and Roubaix he will ride Het Nieuwsblad, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.

Sep Vanmarcke:
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Illness halts Küng’s 2016 preparation
Diagnosis of the Epstein-barr Virus (EBV) (mononucleosis) will force Stefan Küng to place his training for the 2016 season on hold, BMC Racing Team announced today.

The illness surfaced at the team’s annual training camp in Denia, Spain, explained BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Max Testa.

“Stefan left the training camp a couple of days early and virology tests conducted by Dr. Patrik Noack of the Swiss Olympic Medical Center confirmed the diagnosis. Although the illness is not worrisome, EBV, commonly known as Glandular Fever, requires a minimum of a few weeks’ rest. BMC Racing Team and the Swiss National Cycling Team’s physicians are monitoring Stefan’s clinical improvements on a regular basis,” Dr. Testa explained.

Küng’s recovery period is only a question of time.

“There are already signs of improvement in the past week and I’m working closely with my doctors to monitor my progress before determining when I will be able to train again. At the moment I am taking things day by day and I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike,” said Küng.

It is not yet determined what influence Küng´s illness will have on his planned race schedule for the start of the 2016 season.

“Our priority is to ensure that Stefan rests as much as possible, and only resumes training when he is fit and healthy to do so,” Dr. Testa said.

Volta Limburg Classic 2015

 

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Season’s Greeting from Lotto Soudal
Most of the WorldTour teams have made a Christmas/New Year video and the Lotto Soudal team have probably made one of the best:

 


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