What's Cool In Road Cycling
Megeve - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Louis Meintjes (South-Africa / Team Lampre - Merida) pictured during stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France from Sallanches to Megeve ITT, 17.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs/Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Looks like pro cycling has been saved by Abu Dhabi. The TJ Sport team will exist in 2017 thanks to a last minute deal with the Arab state – Top Story. A big bag of EuroTrash to empty: Zdenek Stybar and Lars van der Haar return to cross, Gaviria for the Giro d’Italia, Gazprom-RusVelo presentation and new rider, Lotto Soudal and LottoNl-Jumbo talk 2017, no team for Jarosław Marycz, Tour of Denmark route, Bahrain-Merida and Nippo-Vini Fantini release new jersey, Funvic-Soul Cycles suspended and we look at Wout Van Aert’s cross bike. Merry Christmas trashers!

TOP STORY: Abu Dhabi to the Rescue!
The TJ Sport (ex-Lampre-Merida) project has been saved at the very last second by Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri (President of Kopaonic company), the emirate of Abu Dhabi is forming ‘Team UAE Abu Dhabi’, and have been granted a professional UCI WorldTour license for 2017. Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri will act as the interim team representative before becoming the future President of the professional team at the beginning of the race season.

Mauro Gianetti, a former professional rider and manager, has provided strategic advice on the new cycling initiative for Abu Dhabi and the team will be managed by Giuseppe Saronni, who will aim to promote and inspire cycling, and reinforce the emirate’s position as a global sporting capital.

Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri said: “We are excited to announce Team UAE Abu Dhabi, the country’s first UCI WorldTour cycling team. The creation of the team marks a new milestone in Abu Dhabi’s journey as a world-class hub for sport, and will continue to galvanise, elevate and promote cycling in the UAE. We are proud to be entering a long-term partnership with one of the world’s longest-standing and most successful team. My gratitude goes to Mauro Gianetti – this project would not have been possible without his trusted counsel and support.”

The team issued this press release: “After the registration as World Tour team has been validated, the team which is managed by Giuseppe Saronni is ready to start with enthusiasm the 2017 season.

The trust and confidence from the United Arab Emirates led to the World Tour license assignation to UAE Abu Dhabi team, which is ready for facing the challenge of the new cycling season and to exploit the value of the roster of cyclists and of the operative staff.

The team will work on a top quality operational way, which suites the skills of the riders, and it will be able to plan interesting project for future improvement.

The management of the team had added, to successful cyclists as Ulissi, Rui Costa and Modolo and to the pure talented riders Meintjes, Mohoric and Polanc, three top international riders such as Swift, Atapuma and Laengen, the best four young guns of the Italian cycling who are Consonni, Ganna, Ravasi and Troia, and experienced cyclists as Guardini and Marcato.

The team thanks Mr Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri, who has led the project concerning the new configuration of the team, Colnago company and all the other sponsors for having created the conditions for improving the value of the sports group. More detailed info about the team will be soon disclosed.”

The new team jersey and all technical details will be announced at an official presentation scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of January 2017. It all turned out well in the end, but what about the Chinese?

Louis Meintjes would have found another team, but what about the team staff and the other riders?
Megeve - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Louis Meintjes (South-Africa  / Team Lampre - Merida)  pictured during stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France from Sallanches to Megeve ITT, 17.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs/Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Stybar Set for Two Cyclo-Cross Races Next Week
The three-time World Champion will be at the start in Loenhout and Bredene, on the 29th, respectively the 30th of December.

Before the start of the road season, Zdenek Stybar will return to his first love, cyclo-cross, for two races in Belgium, just before the New Year. The 31-year-old, one of the finest riders in the history of the sport, triple World Champion (2010, 2011, 2014), winner of the World Cup and of the Superprestige, will race in Loenhout, where he triumphed in 2008, and in Bredene, where he has emerged victorious on two occasions, 2010 and 2013.

“I’m very happy to be back in cyclo-cross after one year. It will be great to get the taste of racing there and have the old feelings come back. Of course, after switching my priority to road in the past years, I can’t promise that I’ll be a factor in the fight for victory, especially as there’s a strong field there, with many riders which are fully focused on cyclo-cross. I just want to enjoy these races and do my best,” said Zdenek Stybar ahead of his two appointments.

Loenhout will take place on December 29, with Bredene scheduled one day later. After these events, Zdenek will travel to Calpe, where he’ll continue his build-up for next season with the Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team.

Zdenek Stybar back riding cross:
Ardooie Cyclocross 2014

Lars van der Haar Back Soon?
Dutch cyclo-cross rider, Lars van der Haar is looking to return to competition after enforced lay off due to a deep muscle tear in his right leg. Originally he was to rest for 12 weeks, but it is said he wants to start on Boxing Day (Monday) in round 7 of the World Cup in Heusden-Zolder. It seems more likely he will ride the GP Sven Nys in Baal on the 1st of January 2017. In 2017 Van der Haar leaves Giant-Alpecin to ride for Telenet-Fidea Lions.

Lars van der Haar:
GP Niels Albert in Boom 2015

Fernando Gaviria to race the Giro d’Italia in 2017
The Colombian will make his much-awaited Grand Tour debut next year, at the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa

Fernando Gaviria, arguably the best neo-pro of 2016, a season which saw him win stages at the Tour de San Luis, Tour de Provence, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Pologne, but also GP Impanis-Van Petegem and Paris-Tours, one of the oldest classics on the calendar, is poised to get the taste of a three-week race next spring, at the Giro d’Italia. His presence in the season’s first Grand Tour marks a step up for the South American rider and comes as a natural progression in the development of Fernando, who made a big impression in his maiden year in the pro ranks.

“He deserves to ride a Grand Tour after the solid season he’s had, during which he proved how strong he is, but at the same time I want to be clear that we won’t put any pressure on Fernando, who’ll rely on some experienced riders to guide him through”, said Davide Bramati, the team’s sport director. “Of course, if a chance will come, he will try to grab it, as he’s shown on several occasions last year that he can go head-to-head with some of the best sprinters in the world and defeat them. But, as I’ve said, we will take each step at a time and first see how he copes with the difficulties of the race before laying out any goals.”

One of the most exciting young riders of the peloton, Fernando Gaviria – who proved he can win either in a sprint, or by escaping from the clutches of the bunch with a last-minute audacious attack – declared himself excited of the opportunity he has been given.

“I am already looking forward to it. I’m aware I still have plenty of things to learn, but I’m motivated for the Giro d’Italia. I want to thank the team for putting their faith in me and for giving me this chance. At the moment, I don’t want to think too much about it, as my focus is on the first races of the season, but when the time will come, I’ll do all that I can to be prepared for this challenge”, said the 22-year-old.

The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia (5-28 May) starts on the island of Sardinia and comes to a conclusion three weeks later, in Milan, which will be the location of the final stage of the race for the third time in six editions.

Fernando Gaviria:
Milano - Sanremo WT 2016

Cycling team Gazprom-RusVelo unveiled new roster, performance kit and new technical partners for 2017
Gazprom – RusVelo team presentation took place on 17th of December in Italian city Desenzano del Garda. The event was attended by cycling industry representatives and officials – both presidents of Russian and Italian cycling federations, special guests from Gazprom and technical partners of the team.

Deputy general director for communications of Gazprom export LLC Ilya Kochevrin: “Gazprom – RusVelo has three main pillars: professionalism, technology and striving to win. We respect that fact that nowadays it’s the only team in the professional peloton consists only of Russian riders. Want to wish them successful races next season and I to be the number one team for all the fans and supporters of Russian cycling!”

“We’ve spent a great season and reached almost everything that we planned before. Last season helped us to understand the main direction for further improvement. Having such a sponsor like Gazprom and our technical partners we have everything today to keep going towards our goals. Everyday hard work is the only path to become better, we think not only about short term goals, but also about new olympic cycle,” – Gazprom – RusVelo GM Renat Khamidulin said.

We are pleased to confirm that technical support from our partners and quality of their equipment proved that all of them are one of the best in the cycling industry. One of the biggest change for our team is a new performance kit and casual wear partner – Swiss brand X-Bionic.

Gazprom – RusVelo GM Renat Khamidulin and X-Bionic manufacturer Trere Innovation S.r.l. owner Marco Redini signed an agreement. The partnership will extend the current accessories agreement along with performance kit and casual clothing in 2017 – 2020.

Team Gazprom-Rusvelo Colnago 2017 - Desenzano - Team Presentation - 17-12-2016 - foto Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

Gazprom – RusVelo new performance kit by X-Bionic for 2017
In 2000, X-Bionic were the first company to produce high tech sportswear with a highly scientific approach. Precisely designed in Switzerland by a Think Tank that brings together qualified experts leaded by Prof. Bodo Lambertz, the owner of the brand. All stages of production then come together in the futuristic production facility in Italy, covering around 100,000 square meters.

Socks, first layers, second layers and third layers for different sports; all products have in common high tech and functional characteristics. X-Bionic® products and designs are state of the art, as many internationally acclaimed design prizes bear out.

Gazprom – RusVelo GM Renat Khamidulin: “Partnership with X-Bionic is another step in the evolution process of our team. New kit not only looks good, it represents a blend of top-notch technologies and innovative details that just started to enter the world of professional cycling. We’ll do everything to make next few seasons successful for X-Bionic and Gazprom – RusVelo.”


Full Gazprom – RusVelo roster for 2017: Ildar Arslanov, Anton Vorobyev, Igor Boev, Pavel Brutt, Artur Ershov, Aidar Zakarin, Dmitry Kozonchuk, Sergey Lagutin, Roman Maikin, Sergey Nikolaev, Artem Nych, Artem Ovechkin, Alexander Porsev, Ivan Rovny, Alexey Rybalkin, Ivan Savitskiy, Kirill Sveshnikov, Andrey Solomennikov, Nikolay Trusov, Sergey Firsanov, Alexander Foliforov, Alexey Tsatevich, Evgeny Shalunov.

Lotto Soudal Race Program for 2017
Sports manager Marc Sergeant gives more information about the race programme of Lotto Soudal in the beginning of next year.

December Training Camp
“The training camp in December is the real kick-off of the new season. The riders have been training for a few weeks now, but during the training camp there is a more structural build-up towards next year. Each day, group trainings and core stability sessions are scheduled and the riders go to the fitness regularly. Each rider has a meeting with me, his personal sports director and mental coach Nathan Kahan. Photo shoots, video shoots, sponsor meetings and press conferences also take place during these eleven days. It’s a busy schedule.”

January: Mallorca or Tour Down Under
“Early January, the team returns to Mallorca for a second training camp. During this training camp the trainings are longer than in December. Another difference is that there are no other obligations for the riders. Seven riders won’t come to Mallorca as they already head to Australia to prepare for the Tour Down Under (17 – 22 January) and Cadel Evans Ocean Road Race (29 January), the first new one-day race on the WorldTour calendar next season. The seven riders who go to Australia are: Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Sean De Bie, Thomas De Gendt, Adam Hansen, James Callum Shaw and Rafael Valls. Last year, Rafael Valls finished eighth overall at the Tour Down Under. Later down the season, Rafa had a lot of bad luck. This edition, he’s aiming for a top ten place again. Sean De Bie, Thomas De Gendt and Adam Hansen will pick their stages. For James Shaw, Australia will be his début as a pro rider. Just like neo-pros Rémy Mertz and Enzo Wouters he gets the chance to grow without any pressure.”

Challenge Mallorca
“The last week of January thirteen riders come back to Mallorca for the Mallorca Challenge (26 – 29 January), which consists of four races. Tiesj Benoot, André Greipel, Moreno Hofland, Rémy Mertz, Nikolas Maes, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Tim Wellens and Enzo Wouters will be part of the line-up for the Challenge Mallorca. Each rider will get an individual race programme. We already leave for Mallorca three days before the Challenge Mallorca and stay three more days on the island as well, which makes you can consider this as a third training camp.”

“Thirteen riders in Mallorca and seven in Australia, then there are eight left who will go to France. Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin and Jelle Wallays are part of that group. They will participate in the GP La Marseillaise on 29 January and Etoile de Bessèges from 1 to 5 February.”

“In February we will ride the Ruta del Sol and Volta ao Algarve (15 – 19 February). The weekend before, two races are added to our programme: Vuelta a la Región de Murcia (11 February) and Clásica de Almería (12 February). At the end of February, the Abu Dhabi Tour (23 – 26 February) will take place. There will be riders in the selection who come back in competition after they will have raced the Tour Down Under in January.”

Preparing for Spring
“Then we come close to the Classics. Tim Wellens will participate for the first time ever in Strade Bianche (4 March) and Tirreno-Adriatico (8 – 14 March). Tony Gallopin will ride Paris-Nice (5 – 12 February), together with among other André Greipel. Tony will be focussing more on the cobblestone races next season and will skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Sean De Bie will race the Ardennes Classics. Tiesj Benoot will get a race programme similar to this year and he will get Nikolas Maes by his side. Moreno Hofland will ride a mix of Flemish races and races in which he can show his fast legs.”

Lotto Soudal taking it easy:
Brussels - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Official Team photoshoot of Lotto - Soudal cycling team pictured during Lotto - Soudal team photoshoot 2017- photo NV/VK/PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Team LottoNL-Jumbo full of ambition towards 2017
Team LottoNL-Jumbo starts the new 2017 season next month with much ambition. Dylan Groenewegen aims to sprint to victories in big races, Steven Kruijswijk wants to go for overall victory in the Giro d’Italia and Robert Gesink a stage win in the Tour de France.

To increase the team’s chances of success, LottoNL-Jumbo tweaked the structure. Merijn Zeeman as Sportive Director will be responsible for the technical aspects and Nico Verhoeven as Race Director will be responsible for the strategy and tactics in the races.

“Today’s cycling needs a more specific focus on tasks,” General Manager Richard Plugge explained. “Preparation, both physical and mental, and materials are important. They are just as important as a performance on the road. This needs a 100 per cent focus. We are already working this way, but with a clearer delineation for 2017.”

Merijn Zeeman – Sportive Director
“I have long been engaged in coaching riders in the team,” Zeeman said. “In recent years, I did that as a sports director and I coached the riders individually. From now on, I’m going to focus on the big picture and the overall sports policy.”

“I want to motivate and inspire the whole team to increase the involvement within the team. This change fits within the policy to make the team more professional and streamlined. It is a challenge to compete with best in the world. We want to be smarter and more innovative, and get the best out of everyone. There is a lot of talent and quality in the team. With the right guidance and attention, we help them to develop themselves. We want to grow to a next level with the team.”

Nico Verhoeven – Race Director
Nico Verhoeven takes on another title in 2017. As a race director, he will consult with the coaches and sports directors with the aim of taking the team to another level. “Race director means that I am responsible for all the races and what it involves. I make the line-ups in consultation with the coaches and sport directors. I am also responsible for the tactics even for the races where I’m not the sports director.”

“We are going to continue to build our sprint train and GC train. With Dylan Groenewegen, we want to win sprints and with Steven Kruijswijk, we have the Giro as the ultimate goal. Achieving these goals requires proper planning and tactics.”

“Lars Boom joined the team, with a Dutch team leader we will start in the big spring-classics,” Verhoeven added. “Boom will be supported in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.”

“The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year. Many Dutch people are on vacation and follow the Tour from start to finish. With Team LottoNL-Jumbo, we want to race attractively, aiming for stage victories. It is the first time that we have no GC ambitions in the Tour de France. Robert Gesink and Dylan Groenewegen, for example, will try to win stages.”

Niermann and De Haan new Sport Directors
Grischa Niermann and Sierk Jan de Haan both join the sport directors team. They do so given the expansion of the WorldTour calendar and the other activities of Zeeman and Verhoeven. Niermann and De Haan both worked for the Rabobank Development Team, which is stopping this off-season. De Haan also worked for Rabobank-Liv.

Lars Boom
Boom returns to the Dutch team with any eye on the classics and has LottoNL-Jumbo’s knowledge and experience to win time trials. “It feels good to be back with the team,” Boom said. “I start my season at the Tour of the Algarve and my spring campaign really begins with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Paris-Nice. With this team around me, the main goals of this year are Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.”

“The Bianchi Aquila has developed enormously in recent years and is arguably the best time trial bike in the peloton. The team is committed to this discipline and so I win in the time trials. I’m training more than ever on the time trial bike and we managed to perfect my position on the bike.”

Robert Gesink
Robert Gesink’s season starts early this year with the Tour Down Under. He is motivated by his Vuelta a España last year. “In addition to the Tour Down Under, I ride in Abu Dhabi. I’m building towards the Tour the France. I think it’s great to start the year in an adventurous way with many different races around the world. With the first race, the Tour Down Under, it is always a big question of how your fitness is coming out of the winter, but if I have it, I’ll go for a good GC. Later in the season, I start in the Tour of California.

“I really want to win a Tour de France stage and with the whole team, we want to go for it. The last few years were really an eye-opener for me. The Tour in 2015 and the Vuelta in 2016 gave me the feeling that there is still much to do. I’m looking forward to going for stage wins in the upcoming Tour. I’m going back to my roots of offensive racing and going for it.”

Dylan Groenewegen
The team’s top sprinter Dylan Groenewegen hopes to beat the best in the world next season. He should draw on the confidence that the team gives him through the sprint train. “It all went very quickly last year. The sprint train was getting better and I started winning,” Groenewegen said. “It makes sense to continue with this project. We will have a beautiful addition to the train with Lars Boom, who is an ideal rider for that role. He can direct the train well, and knows how to put us in position and to put out big watts.”

His campaign will look similar to 2017. He will start in the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Algarve. “The major goals in 2017 are the Dutch Championship and the Tour again. I would love to keep my red-white-blue top another year and show it in the Tour de France against the world’s top sprinters. In the Eneco Tour, I showed that I can beat them.”

“I cannot wait to be able to sprint again for the victory. We prefer to do that as soon as possible in the Tour of Qatar and in classics like Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Gent-Wevelgem. Once the train rolls and sprints won, we take a huge boost for the rest of the season.”

Steven Kruijswijk
Steven Kruijswijk showed in 2016 that he can ride for the win in a grand tour. In 2017, he starts with the goal of winning the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia. Kruijswijk signed a new contract this year and has full confidence to go for a grand tour victory with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. And the team is committed to the cause. “Every moment from now on is centred on that great goal, the Giro. We will do everything to be at the start in top form.”

“With my opinion, the team brought in a number of riders who can assist me in the Giro. Stef Clement and Jurgen Van den Broeck will be important riders for me. Therefore they ride almost the same programme and they go with me altitude training. Also, the rest of the Giro team will often race with me and train with me.”

“Because of my crash in the Vuelta, my season ended quickly and I started my winter differently. Right now, I’m on schedule for the Giro. My season starts in February. After the Giro in May, I’m going to focus on the Vuelta, where I also want to go for the general classification.”

Steven Kruijswijk in the Giro:
Risoul - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Steven Kruijswijk (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during stage 19 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Pinerolo to Risoul (162km) - foto Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

Still No Team for Jarosław Marycz
Marycz rode for Saxo Bank from 2010 to 2012, since then he was with the Polish team CCC Sprandi-Polkowiceb but his contract runs out at the end of 2016 and so far he has not found a team for 2017. The 29-year-old rider, ex-Polish TT champion and second in the 2009 European championships has taken to Twitter, saying: “Still no team for 2017. Let’s check the true power of Twitter. If anyone knows someone who could help me to find a new team, let me know.”

Ilia Koshevoy and Fredrik Ludvigsson both found teams though a plea via social media.

Jarosław Marycz:
Steenwijk - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - ENECO Tour - proloog - tijdrijden - tijdrit - zeitfahren - contre le montre -  Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank) - foto Carla Vos/Cor Vos ©2010

2017 Tour of Denmark Course
The 2017 Tour of Denmark will be run over five stages from the 12th to 16th of September. Previously the race was always in late July or August. Stage 3 should be important as it is the hilly Queen stage, but the following days time trial in Randers could be the decider. The final stage finishes in Aarhus, European culture city of 2017, after 200 hilly kilometers.

Stage 1, Frederiksberg – Kalundborg (175 km)
Stage 2, Svendborg – Odense (185 km)
Stage 3, Otterup – Vejle (180 km)
Stage 4 TT in Randers (20 km)
Stage 5, Ebeltoft – Aarhus (200 km).

2016 Tour of Denmark stage 5:

Bahrain-Merida Kit for 2017
Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team presents jersey for their opening WorldTour season 2017.

Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team is proud to unveil team jersey for the season 2017, produced by Sportful.

As the season 2017 is quickly approaching, the final details of the Team are being unveiled. One of the most expected revelations is the team jersey that will visually define our team in the season 2017. We are proud to present the unique design of the jersey that carries many symbolic meanings and visualizes the team’s values and origins.

The inspiration for the design of the jersey was the logo of the team, which is a combination of metaphors that represent Bahrain and the spirit of cycling. The concentric circles depicted in ‘Bahraini Red’ represent the dynamic motion towards victory that is common to all competitive sports. Furthermore, the national flag with its stark colors and forward-moving arrows blend seamlessly in a form of water ripples, which is symbolic of Bahrain making waves on the world stage.

Bahrein - Merida 2017 - 17/12/2016 - David Plese - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

The body of jersey is ‘Bahraini Red’ which is the main color of the country and dominant color of national flag. At the epicenter of the jersey is the culture of Bahrain, seen abundant in its native architecture, depicted in ‘Royal Gold’ that is revered across the world for it’s uncontested rich heritage. The symbol works as a reminder of the culture and values that the nation and the team stand for. At the top of the pattern there is bold typeface rendered in a white, while the sleeves are colored in ‘Sea Blue’ – colors that truly represent the island between two seas. A thin continuous green line that goes through the body and sleeves of the jersey, represents co-title sponsor Merida.

Jersey video:

Nippo-Vini Fantini Jersey for 2017
The Japanese/Italian Nippo-Vini Fantini team will look very orange in 2017. In 2016 the team kit was mostly orange, but now nearly all of it is. There is still a little bit of blue for the sponsor Nippo, but there is now more red and a little green. The jersey was designed by the Italian company MSTina.

Damiano Cunego looks very orange in 2017:

Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour Suspended
The UCI disciplinary committee has decided that the Brazilian ProContinental Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour team is suspended until February 12th, 2017 due to three doping cases within a year. The team has been suspended for 55 days from December 19th, 2016 and no team riders can compete during that time.

Kléber Ramos tested positive at the Olympics and Wilson Rincon and João Gaspar failed the test in the Volta a Portugal, all three were positive for Cera. The team has been given a ProContinental license for 2017.

Funvic gets 2017 license

Russian rider Anton Vorobyev joins Gazprom – RusVelo
Gazprom – RusVelo is excited to announce the agreement with a Russian rider Anton Vorobyev. In spite of the roster for the next season being confirmed, management of Gazprom – RusVelo made a decision to sign a one-year deal with Vorobyev.

Gazprom – RusVelo GM Renat Khamidulin: “At this moment Anton is one of the best TT specialist in Russia. He has a lot of potential and we will do everything to develop his strengths. We have ambitious goals for the next season and his experience will help us to reach them.”

“I want to thank team’s management for trust in me. Even though the transfer campaign for Gazprom – RusVelo was over, we managed to sign an agreement. Team’s growing and getting better and I’ll do my best to maintain the high pace of team’s improvement” – Anton Vorobyev commented.

Anton Vorobyev was born in 1990 in Dmitrov, Russia. As a professional rider he developed himself in Team Katusha, where he spent last four seasons. In 2012 he won a World time trial championships U23. In 2014 he was the best in Russian TT Nationals.

Anton Vorobyev:

Team Gathers for Winter Camp Ahead of 2017 Season
Rally Cycling Men’s Team In Winter Park, Colorado, to Prepare for European Start
The 2017 Rally Cycling men’s team gathered at Snow Mountain Ranch in Estes, Colorado, for the first time on Sunday to prepare for the upcoming season. The team’s winter camp, December, 18 – 22, is a chance for the team to regroup, welcome new riders and dial in equipment before training camp in January. This year’s Winter Camp has increased importance as the men’s team will start the 2017 season with an early European campaign.

rally-mechanic-920Team mechanic Rick Barrow finishes building a 2017 Diamondback Podium

The four-day winter camp started on Sunday with a visit to the team’s service course in Golden, Colorado, where the mechanics of Rally Cycling are finishing up the team’s 2017 Diamondback Podium and Serios team bikes. The athletes sat down with mechanics and staff to fine-tune equipment and bike fits for the coming season. From the service course, the team traveled up to Snow Mountain Ranch. The remaining days are scheduled for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and a lot of winter fun.

“It is important to get the team together in a casual environment,” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “We had a very successful 2016 season and we are looking to build on that momentum with the addition of some talented riders and a challenging start to the season in Europe. The Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia, Volta ao Algarve, and Volta ao Alentejo are some of the best early season races in the world and we are excited to be invited. The guys are already training well and we look forward to again showing that Rally Cycling can compete against the top teams in the world.”

The team will start the 2017 season at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (UCI 1.1) in Spain on February 11, followed by the Volta ao Algarve (UCI 2.HC) in Portugal, February 15 – 19, the Volta ao Alentejo (UCI 2.1) February 22 – 26 and concluding with the Classica da Arrabida – Cylin’Portugal (UCI 1.2) on March 5.

rally-boots-920Colin Joyce and Brandon McNulty are set for their debut seasons with Rally Cycling

In addition to dialing in equipment and altitude training, winter camp is an opportunity for riders to spend time with new teammates. This season, the team welcomes Redlands Bicycle Classic winner Matteo Dal-Cin, Tour of Alberta stage winner Colin Joyce and 2016 World Junior Time Trial Champion Brandon McNulty. They are joined for the first time at Winter Camp by Sepp Kuss, who signed with Rally Cycling mid-way through the 2016 season and quickly left his mark, winning stage two up the dreaded Mont-Mégantic at the Tour de Beauce, and eclipsing the best climbers atop the Oak Glen stage of the Redlands Classic. Returning riders at Winter Camp include Britton, Jesse Anthony, Adam de Vos, Brad Huff, Evan Huffman, Shane Kline, Emerson Oronte, Danny Pate, Tom Soladay and Eric Young. Two riders not in attendance are Pierrick Naud, finishing school in Canada, and Curtis White, who is racing cyclocross in Europe.

“I just finished up the fall semester of my senior year at school, so now I have more free time, and I’m excited to ramp up my training and get together with the rest of the team to prepare for 2017,” said Kuss. “I’m really excited to be at winter camp. I grew up Nordic ski racing, so it will be great to get back out on the snow. I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of the team, staff and new riders.”

rally-ski-920Matteo Dal-Cin prepares for a day of skate skiing during the team’s winter camp

The camp also marks the first time Dal-Cin will be greeted as a teammate rather than a competitor. Transferring from Silber Pro Cycling, Dal-Cin is keen to start the season strong and arrived to camp looking fit and ready to tackle the roads of Europe.

“The off-season was awesome for me back home in Ottawa,” said Dal-Cin. “I enjoyed some time off then spent about a month on the mountain bike before starting back into more structured training. Once the snow hit, I went down to Tucson for three weeks to tune up a bit before Winter Camp and Christmas to get a bit of a head start on the season to be ready for our trip overseas. It’s great to be at Winter Camp and getting to meet all my new teammates. I’ve never had that opportunity before so I’m hoping that it leads to strong team chemistry.”

At the conclusion of winter camp, Rally Cycling will break for the holidays before migrating west to Oxnard, California, for its annual Southern California training camp. The men’s training camp will run from January 19 – 29, the women’s training camp will follow January 31 through February 12. Both squads will officially debut at a special launch event at the American Honda Museum in Torrance, California on January 30 from 5-8pm.

Rally winter training camp

BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team announces Harald Morscher as one of the Sports Directors
Experienced Sports Director and former Austrian professional cyclist, Harald Morscher has signed to be one of the Sports Directors in BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team.

Harald Morscher, born 1972 in Austria has been involved in the world of professional cycling almost all his life. After his racing career in cycling he stayed tightly connected with his favorite sport.
Morscher joined professional cycling in 1998. He won the Austrian National Road Race Championship in 2004 and finished second in 1997, 2002 and 2006. He also won many stages at different tours in his long professional career. After the end of his active racing career, he was the Sports Manager and co-owner of ProEvent Cycling Sports GmbH, where he was responsible for sponsoring acquisition and sponsoring development, purchase and inventory management, human resources development, material advancement together with the suppliers, team conception as well as the installation of the service course and the fan shop in Rankweil. In February 2012 he joined Russian KATUSHA Cycling Team project as the General Manager for the Katusha development and youngster team. In 2015 he was consulting for different small companies and Cycling Projects as well for some riders and was also responsible for the Team Management at Tour of Austria.

Morscher accepted the challenge to work in the newly established BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team and the Team Management is confident that with his knowledge and experience he will greatly contribute to the establishment of the team and its future development.

After signing the agreement Morscher said: “After quite a long time of staying in the office I am back “in the Race”. To be part of the “Year of birth” of the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team is a big honor for me and I will contribute to this unique project everything that is in my power. I would also like to take this opportunity and express my gratitude to the Team for trusting me with this important role.”

BAHRAIN MERIDA General Manager had this to say with regards to Harald Morscher: “We are very pleased to have such an experienced person signing with team BAHRAIN MERIDA, Harald has worked in all fields of a cycling team, ranging from the sportive side to the managerial side and can cover many different roles so his experience is an important asset to the team, we are sure Harald will bring a lot of value and help establish the team in the best way possible.”

Harald Morscher:
Bahrein - Merida 2017 - 16/12/2016 -  - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

Wout Van Aert’s Cross Bike
The World champion, Wout Van Aert runs through his Colnago Prestige CX with SRAM eTap HRD. Very nice set-up.

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