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Paris Champs-…lysées - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - champagne for THOMAS Geraint (GBR) of Team SKY, FROOME Chris (GBR) of Team SKY, BRAILSFORD Dave (GBR) General Manager of Team SKY pictured during the 105th Tour de France - stage - 21 from Houilles to Paris Champs-…lysées - 115KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

An ultra-full EUROTRASH Thursday! Sky pull the plug after 10 years – Top Story. So much cycling news to get through: Vuelta a España 2020 to start in Utrecht, Floyd’s Pro Cycling, team news from BORA-hansgrohe, Bahrain-Merida, Lotto Soudal, AG2R-La Mondiale, Trek-Segafredo, Team Novo Nordisk, Vital Concept-B&B HOTELS, Jumbo-Visma and Katusha-Alpecin. Training camps for Bahrain-Merida, UAE Team Emirates and NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè. Cycling Canada welcomes new President, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev’s health, Rally helps Falcons and the best of Peter Sagan. Enjoy.

TOP STORY: 2019 – Team Sky Final Year
The executives of Sky have announced that it is ending its involvement with professional cycling and Team Sky after 10 years at the end of the 2019 season.

The riders and other members of staff were told of the decision in Mallorca at their winter training camp. The team intends to find a new owner and sponsor to take over the team by the end of the year, but considering how much that would cost, it might be a difficult job. Sky paid more than £150 million over the 10 year period.

Team boss, Sir Dave Brailsford said: “While Sky will be moving on at the end of next year, the team is open-minded about the future and the potential of working with a new partner, should the right opportunity present itself. For now, I would like to thank all Team Sky riders and staff, past and present – and above all the fans who have supported us on this adventure.”

In a statement Team Sky said: “In terms of the future, we are open minded. If we can find a new long-term partner to take the Team forward into a new era, then we will do so. And we will be doing everything we can to make that happen over the coming weeks and months. Equally, any future partner would have to be the right partner – one who shares our ethos and buys in to our values.

This news has only just been announced; we can’t predict what will happen from 2020 and there are no guarantees. Whatever happens, we will make sure there is clarity one way or the other about the future of the Team before the Tour de France next July.”

In recent years the team has been suffering from bad publicity, starting with Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France win and the UK parliamentary committee said that both Wiggins and Team Sky had “crossed an ethical line” by manipulated the anti-doping system to allow the administration of performance enhancing drugs before the 2012 Tour de France. After that there was ‘Jiffy Gate’ and the lost laptop and wrongly ordered patches by Dr Richard Freeman. Then there was Chris Froome’s inhaler case, but Sky insist these are not the reason for terminating their involvement.

Any sponsor loss is bad news for all the employees, not just the riders. Sky changed cycling in Britain, bringing in new people to the sport. On a sporting point; will the UCI now ban power meters in races?

Prediction for the future: Geraint Thomas wins the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Chris Froome takes his 5th Tour de France and then retires and cycling in Britain goes back to those ‘weirdos in lycra’.

Can Sir B replace the Sky behemoth?

Noord-Brabant and Utrecht Welcome the Official Start of La Vuelta 2020
Utrecht and Noord-Brabant will form the course for the official start of La Vuelta together in 2020. Vuelta Director, Javier Guillén, informed the Mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen, of this on Monday and the both made the official announcement today in Utrecht. The team presentation, the start with a team time trial and the finish of the second stage are to be held in Utrecht in August. The second stage will start in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, while the complete third stage will cover the Province of Noord-Brabant, both starting and finishing in Breda.

The municipalities of Breda,‘s-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht, and the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Utrecht have responded enthusiastically to the ultimate allocation of this major cycling event. The provinces and cities involved intend to turn La Vuelta 2020 into a festive occasion, organized both for and by their residents. The provincial and municipal authorities have plans to literally paint the place red, not only along the route of the race, but also in their respective areas.

Salida Oficial from the Netherlands
The Vuelta Director, Javier Guillén, is looking forward to the ‘Salida Oficial’ in the Netherlands. This will be the second official start of La Vuelta in the Netherlands after Assen 2009 and the fourth time abroad after Lisboa 1987, Assen 2009 and Nîmes 2017. Javier Guillén has every confidence in the successful organization of the event in these cities and provinces. The municipality of Utrecht plays a coordinating role. There is a great passion for cycling in both Utrecht and Noord-Brabant. Both provinces have experience in hosting (major) cycling events. In addition, the cultural-historical ties between Spain and the Netherlands and the topic of sustainability are to serve as the central theme. This was one of the major criteria influencing the management’s decision to award the start of La Vuelta 2020 to Utrecht and North Brabant. The Business Peloton Utrecht (BPU) took the initiative to bring the Vuelta start to the Netherlands. BPU is a business network for Utrecht companies and institutions which have a passion for cycling. BPU initially approached the authorities in Utrecht and Brabant in early 2017.

Joint Funding
Preparations for La Vuelta 2020 will commence on January 1st 2019, with the establishment of a project organization. The five municipal and provincial bodies in question have joined forces to make it possible to host La Vuelta. However, the private sector is also closely involved in funding the event. Furthermore, a grant application will be submitted to the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.

Bahrain-Merida Kit for 2019
2019 jersey is evolution of the previous two jerseys (2017 and 2018), as color scheme is the same, but this year we wanted to honor all the stakeholders of our team, all our sponsors, partners, riders, and staff, and those are represented through all the lines that are intersecting with each other, showing that no matter what we do for the team, we are working together for the same goal. It is interesting to have a jersey that is not symmetric, while at the same time it looks like typical Bahrain Merida jersey.

Floyd’s Pro Cycling Announces Name Change / First Signings / Bike Sponsor
The team is excited to announce first-round signings to the 2019 roster and their bike sponsor for the upcoming season. Additionally, legal issues with the Canadian Government have forced a name change. Floyd’s Of Leadville Pro Cycling Team will now be Floyd’s Pro Cycling.

Team director Gordon Fraser highlights FPC’s goals upon inheriting the infrastructure and mission of Silber Pro Cycling, the Canadian UCI Continental team formed in 2013, saying “We’re going to focus on developing the best young cycling talent in Canada while expanding to recruit some of North America’s most dynamic and proven riders.”

Early signings include:
Travis McCabe (USA) – formerly of UHC
Serghei Tvetcov (Rom)- formerly of UHC
Nick Zukowsky (Can)- returning from Silber team
Keegan Swirbul (USA)- formerly of Jelly Belly
Jonathan Clarke (AUS)- formerly of UHC
Carson Miles (Can)- raced 2018 Junior Worlds
Robin Plamondon (Can)- raced 2018 Junior Worlds.

Landis and Fraser are also excited to announce that they will be competing aboard Van Dessel bicycles in 2019. Van Dessel’s expertise in multi-surface applications will be in play as the team adds gravel and mtb events to their race calendar, starting in Canada on April 28 with Paris to Ancaster.

“Once we decided to race cross-category, partnering with Van Dessel made perfect sense,” added Fraser.

The FPC’s 2019 season will be funded by Floyd Landis’ personal contribution of funds. The team’s organization in Canada had introduced some legal hurdles due to the changing landscape of Canadian cannabis laws, and sponsorship by Floyd’s U.S. companies. But Landis says he’s committed to supporting the team no matter what.

“Canada is sorting out the legalities surrounding CBD and athletics,” Landis says. “My commitment to the team remains unchanged regardless of what it needs to be called. After years of litigation, I have no desire to enter another lengthy legal battle over the name.”

FPC is destined to make an impact with the talented list of riders on the 2019 roster. Heading the list of early signings is Arizona native Travis McCabe. He’s been a frequent visitor to the podium in the past five years with stage wins in Utah, Colorado, Gila, and Redlands, as well as abroad in Langkawi and the Herald Sun Tour. He’s a versatile sprinter who can win both criteriums and high-altitude stages. His engaging personality and enthusiasm for cycling fit in well with Floyd’s expanded goal of gravel and mountain bike events.

Another notable new name is US-based Romanian Serghei Tvetcov. Serghei has worn leader jerseys in most US stage races and hung on to overall victory in many of them. A world-class time trialist, he comes from the United Healthcare team and brings leadership and professionalism to FPC. That experience will be shored up by Jonathan Clarke, a seasoned veteran and former captain of UHC, Jelly Belly, and Toyota.

Former Jelly Belly rider Keegan Swirbul finished well in 2018, with excellent performances in Utah and Colorado and FPC is excited to see what he can accomplish alongside his new teammates.

Returning riders include Emile Jean and Nick Zukowsky. Emile Jean starts his fourth season with the organization, bringing proven speed and valuable teamwork to the squad. In 2018, Zukowsky won the Canadian Criterium Championships and had numerous encouraging performances on GC and in TTs, including finishing 21st at the U23 World Championships.

Twenty-year-old Zukowsky will highlight a group of promising U23 riders signed by FPC, including two riders emerging from the Junior ranks, Carson Miles and Robin Plamondon. Both riders represented Canada at the 2018 World Championships and will benefit from the tutelage of their teammates.

Travis McCabe and Jonathan Clarke in Utah:

Ackermann and Buchmann Extend Early with BORA – hansgrohe
During a press conference held at the first team camp in Mallorca, BORA – hansgrohe is pleased to announce the extension of both young German talents until the end of 2021. While Peter Sagan will be once again focusing on the Spring Classics, Maximilian Schachmann is looking forward to his first season with the German WorldTeam under the direction of Ralph Denk.

“We are without doubt very pleased to have been able to reach an agreement so early with Pascal and Emanuel. With these two riders, along with Maximilian, we have three outstanding German talents in our ranks, with whom we will pursue long-term goals. Pascal will take on the Giro d’Italia, his first Grand Tour, next season, while Emanuel will focus on the Tour de France in 2019. We will work on building upon Maximilian’s strengths, just as we have successfully done over the past few years with Pascal and Emanuel. With Peter, we will be pursuing similar goals as in recent years. His racing program differs slightly from 2018, however, the focus will remain on the Classics and the Tour. We enjoyed a very successful season in 2018, but we strive to continue to improve. If we are able to take out a Monument and the Green Jersey at the Tour, we will be very satisfied. However, it is also an objective of ours to finish at least one Grand Tour in the top five overall. Unfortunately, this has eluded us in recent years.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager

“I have always said that it was a big dream of mine to become a professional with BORA – hansgrohe. I feel at home in the team and have made many good friends here. We are like a family, and this also likely forms the basis of much of our success. Ralph Denk and Enrico Poitschke have given me time and space to develop my strengths right from the start. This is an opportunity that is not always available to young riders, so I am extremely grateful for this. For me, it was logical to continue in the same direction with the team. The fact that we now have three young German hopefuls in a German team is also certainly a good sign for the state of German cycling.”Pascal Ackermann.

“It is of course reassuring to know so early in which direction I will be heading. I feel like I am now free to concentrate on important goals such as achieving sporting success. Unfortunately, my first experience leading the team in a Grand Tour was not quite what I had hoped for, but overall my season was very good, and I have certainly made another step forward towards reaching the top. In 2019, the Tour de France will be my big goal. Last year, I was able to finish in 15th position, and I hope to achieve a top ten next year.”Emanuel Buchmann.

“It is really nice to see how the team has grown around me. Pascal and Emanuel are big talents and have developed very well, but there are also many others, such as Lukas and Patrick, who also do an incredible job. It is really a pleasure to ride with all the guys. With the addition of Jempy and Oscar, we have been able to strengthen our squad for the Classics. I will be racing in Australia and also in Argentina at the beginning of next year, and so will begin my season in Europe a bit later. My goals, however, remain unchanged: Sanremo, Flanders and Roubaix, but I will also ride Amstel and Liège. After the Classics, I will once again prepare for the Tour de France.”Peter Sagan.

“It has always been a goal of mine to ride for a German team. The guys have been very welcoming and I have to say that I have been positively surprised with the professionalism and meticulousness within the team. Although we are only in December, we have already accomplished a lot: training plans, performance tests, fittings, and adjusting all the fine details. Now we will focus on the hard yards on the bike. I am happy with my race program, and I think I will have some good opportunities. We have not yet decided which Grand Tour I will ride in 2019, but I think that one of the first highlights for me will be the Ardennes Classics.”Maximilian Schachmann.

McLaren to Become Joint Venture Partner in Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
McLaren Group has announced today that it is to become a 50 percent joint venture partner in Team Bahrain Merida, the UCI WorldTour team with a long-term vision to participate at the top level of the sport. The partnership is rooted in three key areas: technical collaboration, human high performance and marketing and commercial services, delivered through McLaren Applied Technologies and the group’s marketing specialism.

The move signals the continued ambition of the McLaren Group to innovate at the intersection of technology and human endeavor, and reflects the collective vision of its Bahraini ownership to unite its investments in sport and technology through McLaren and Team Bahrain Merida.

McLaren Applied Technologies undertakes challenging projects that naturally fit with McLaren’s skills, experience and technical capacity. Competition, racing and the combination of athlete and machine are the life blood of McLaren’s 50-year-plus history and cycling is one of the rawest examples of all those elements coming together.

McLaren Applied Technologies has a proven track record of unlocking and delivering extraordinary human performance in sport and cycling. In recent years teams at McLaren Applied Technology successfully collaborated with Californian bicycle manufacturer Specialized, on the design and creation of the legendary Specialized S-Works+ McLaren Venge racing bike.

Ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games the company collaborated with Team GB’s cycling, rowing, sailing and canoeing teams who reaped the rewards from performance management systems designed by McLaren Applied Technologies.

Team Bahrain Merida comes into the partnership from a position of strength and this venture represents a natural part of the team’s growth. The combination of the team’s upward trajectory, and McLaren technology, human performance and marketing expertise, will underpin the joint ambition to build an internationally recognized pro-cycling brand through a long-term partnership aim to be the best in professional cycling.

John Allert, Chief Marketing Officer, McLaren, said: “Racing, technology and human performance are at the heart of everything we do at McLaren. Cycling is something we have been involved with in the past and have been looking at entering for some time. It is a completely natural fit for our skills and our ambitions and a perfect partnership with Team Bahrain Merida who have the right vision and approach for the future. We will be working tirelessly in the months ahead as we know the world of professional cycling is home to some of the best athletes and competitive teams in the world of sport.”

“What Team Bahrain Merida has achieved in less than two years, off a standing start, is hugely impressive. Working together with a team this driven is a very exciting prospect indeed.”

Brent Copeland, General Manager, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team, said: “McLaren has been raising the bar for technological innovation and sport performance for decades. The combination of our passion and vision for Team Bahrain Merida to be a winning team, with McLaren’s expertise and dedication, is the perfect partnership.”

Duncan Bradley, Health and Human Performance Director, McLaren Applied Technologies, said: “To be the best in sport you need the right vision, athletes, team and technology and I believe we have all of those with the partnership we have entered with Team Bahrain Merida. We will be working side-by-side to ensure an integrated approach and that we get the best out every part of the team.”

HH Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, commented: “Our partnership with McLaren is one that gives me great national pride and excitement for the future of Bahrain cycling. We want to be the best in the world and an example to others of how to compete in this most challenging of elite sports. The partnership with McLaren will provide invaluable expertise and experience of getting the best out of machines and athletes and will help to accelerate our team’s journey to the pinnacle of professional cycling.”

Gerben Thijssen and Brent Van Moer to Become Pro on 1 July 2019
On 1 July 2019, Gerben Thijssen (20) and Brent Van Moer (20) will be transferring from the Lotto Soudal U23 team to the WorldTour team. Thijssen conquered the Belgian U23 road title this year, while Van Moer claimed silver at the U23 World Time Trial Championships. Both riders are currently in Mallorca on a training camp with the WorldTour team.

Kurt Van de Wouwer, head of the sports department of Lotto Soudal U23: “We have chosen to let Brent and Gerben join the December training camp, so they can already get to know the riders and staff of the WorldTour team. That will make their integration in the team much easier next year. Of course they get an adapted training schedule. Their season also starts about six weeks later than that of the pros, so that’s still far ahead. We decided to let them join the team halfway through the year to keep the pressure as low as possible. That’s something we already did in the past when for example Tim Wellens and Louis Vervaeke turned pro. In the spring there is always more pressure from outside the team, also on young riders. We want to give them the time to adapt.”

“Gerben made a strong début in the U23 category last year. He won the Top Competition race in Sint-Niklaas after beating Álvaro Hodeg in the sprint. And he and Fabio Jakobsen could both step on the podium as winner of the fourth stage of the Olympia’s Tour. Soon, we realized that Gerben was a rider for our WorldTour team. We hope he can stand his ground in bunch sprints. First, we can expect him to set good results in 1.1 or 1.HC races; in semi-Classics like the Brussels Cycling Classic.”

“Brent has loads of power, therefore he’s so good at time trialling. His silver medal at the past World Championships was a real surprise. He did much better than we had expected. He should definitely keep on working on his time trial skills, because he can still make a lot of progression. At the WorldTour team he will definitely be a big support for his teammates, although he will also get his own chance in some races to discover his own limits.”

Gerben Thijssen:

Official Presentation of AG2R-La Mondiale
Officially presented in Paris, the AG2R-La Mondiale pro cycling team talks about recruitment, objectives for the 2019 season and, of course, a review of the 2018 season.

The 2019 team: continue the teamwork instilled over recent years
The AG2R-La Mondiale team has been strengthened with the arrival of 4 riders with different profiles. These signings, in the wake of a fine 2018 season, should allow us to shine during the spring classics with the hope of taking one of cycling’s big prizes before turning to stage racing.

After a great year with the amateurs and as a trainee with the team at the end of the season, Geoffrey Bouchard joins AG2R-La Mondiale pro team. At 26, the amateur French champion will continue to progress with the professionals.

Dorian Godon, a professional since 2017, chalked up his 1st victory during the 2018 season. With his blistering pace, this 22 year old racer will join us to bolster the Flanders Classics group.
An experienced rider and globetrotter, Larry Warbasse will be the 1st American rider to join the team. At 28, this former US champion and stage winner on the 2017 Tour de Suisse will bring his experience to the Ardennes Classics and also to stage racing.

The Finnish rider, Jaakko Hänninen, 3rd in the U23s world championships, is part of the team as of August 1st.

The AG2R-La Mondiale team will have 11 riders from Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, i.e. more than 1/3rd of its membership (38%).

Long-term partners and a new collaboration
The team is lucky to have long-term support and more particularly in its partnership with AG2R-La Mondiale, which began 21 years ago. The riders will wear EKOÏ helmets for the 8th season running, and BOLLE glasses for the 5th season running. The association with the wheel brand MAVIC is starting its 3rd year, whilst for the 2nd season running, ROSTI will provide the team’s clothing lines with Levis providing daywear. Finally, the AG2R-La Mondiale team is opening a new chapter with the EDDY MERCKX BIKES brand which will be providing bicycles for the next 2 seasons.

“France’s favorite team” since 2014
With podium finishes on Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a best young rider shirt at the Tour de France, a silver medal in the world championship and 15 successes featured in AG2R-La Mondiale team’s 2018 season, including:

– The French time trial championships with Pierre Latour winning for the 2nd year running
– The Bretagne Classic for Oliver Naesen
– 2 stages of the Vuelta a España for Tony Gallopin and Alexandre Geniez.

Team spirit, the combative nature of its riders and the attitude of the whole group has really made its mark with the French audience, which considers AG2R-La Mondiale as its favorite team for the 5th year running (according to a Kantar TNS survey carried out in September 2018).

Vincent Lavenu, Managing Director:
“The 2018 season showed us that everything is possible. The consistency of Oliver Naesen
in the classics, Silvan Dillier’s exploits on Paris-Roubaix, Romain Bardet who was up there with the best riders in the world during the classics as well as on the Tour de France, Pierre Latour’s progress and of course the stage wins on the Vuelta a España secured by Tony Gallopin and Alexandre Geniez, marked a season full of thrills.

And I won’t forget the unconditional support of our supporters and technical partners, without whom none of this would be possible. The team will be ready to begin its 28th season in the professional ranks and I’m sure that there are still some great chapters to be written in our story. Recruitment for the 2019 season is designed to continue our work in the wake of these great performances in 2018.

The progress we’ve made over the seasons would not have been possible without the loyal, fraternal support of a partner like AG2R-La Mondiale. Today, we are able to compete with the very best teams in the peloton.

Over the years, we have built a mature, solid, united group. We work with ambition and humility, conscious that the very top spot on the podium is within our reach. We are ready to take up this new challenge, working with our leader, Romain Bardet, and a solid, ambitious team. The AG2R-La Mondiale team has everything it takes for future success! Everything is possible. That is the message I would like to share with our riders and all our partners and supporters.”

André Renaudin, AG2R-La Mondiale Managing Director: “With each great race, I am still as emotional and as proud of our riders as ever, as are all of my colleagues at AG2R-La Mondiale. Vincent Lavenu and his team perfectly embody the drive for performance and the spirit of solidarity that are very much a part of our day-to-day work. They clearly represent our values and in this way present a positive image of AG2R-La Mondiale to the general public and the people insured with us.”

José Messer, Director of sponsoring at AG2R-La Mondiale: “I was lucky enough to follow the team during training sessions and a few races this year, and to see exactly the investment that all the actors involved are prepared to make to achieve the highest level. I was impressed by the great team spirit they show every day in what they do, and I can’t wait for the 2019 season to begin to see them push themselves and reach those levels of performance again.”

AG2R-La Mondiale line-up for 2019:
Gediminas Bagdonas, Romain Bardet, François Bidard, Geoffrey Bouchard, Mikaël Cherel, Clément Chevrier, Benoît Cosnefroy, Nico Denz, Silvan Dillier, Axel Domont, Samuel Dumoulin, Hubert Dupont, Julien Duval, Mathias Frank, Tony Gallopin, Ben Gastauer, Alexandre Geniez, Dorian Godon, Alexis Gougeard, Jaakko Hänninen, Quentin Jauregui, Pierre Latour, Oliver Naesen, Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Nans Peters, Stijn Vandenbergh, Clément Venturini, Alexis Vuillermoz, Larry Warbasse.

AG2R-La Mondiale 2019:

Trek-Segafredo Announce Official 2019 Rosters for Men and Women
Syracuse, Sicily – The 2019 Trek-Segafredo men’s and women’s teams have gathered in Sicily for their annual December training camp, this year held at the I Monasteri Golf & SPA Resort, a member of Trek-Segafredo’s partner JSH hotels and resorts.

The men’s roster is comprised of 25 riders, a mix of experience and youth, with new signing Richie Porte headlining the team. There will be 19 returning riders from 2018 and five new faces, plus the reappearance of Edward Theuns after a year with Team Sunweb.

The new Trek-Segafredo women’s squad enters its maiden year and will number 13 women from 10 nationalities. The team will be highlighted by the return of the 2015 World Champion Lizzie Deignan, who is back after taking the 2018 season off to give birth to her baby daughter, born in September.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will begin the 2019 season at the Tour Down Under in January.

Trek-Segafredo Men:
Fumiyuki Beppu (JPN), Julien Bernard (FRA), Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Giulio Ciccone (ITA), Will Clarke (AUS), Nicola Conci (ITA), Koen de Kort (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Niklas Eg (DEN), Fabio Felline (ITA), Alex Frame (NZL), Michael Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (SPA), Alex Kirsch (LUX), Bauke Mollema (NED), Matteo Moschetti (ITA), Ryan Mullen (IRL), Jarlinson Pantano (COL), Mads Pedersen (DEN), Richie Porte (AUS), Kiel Reijnen (USA), Toms Skujins (LAT), Peter Stetina (USA), Jasper Stuyven (BEL), Edward Theuns (BEL).

Trek-Segafredo Women:
Audrey Cordon-Ragot (FRA), Lizzie Deignan (UK), Lauretta Hanson (AUS), Lotta Lepistö (FIN), Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), Jolanda Neff (SWI), Letizia Paternoster (ITA), Anna Plichta (POL), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Abi Van Twisk (UK), Tayler Wiles (USA), Ruth Winder (USA), Trixi Worrack (GER).

Team Novo Nordisk Adds Five New Riders to 2019 Pro Roster
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team brings in an Olympian and advances four riders from its development squad while adding changes to its GSG-designed jersey.

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, will race its seventh season with 16 athletes from a dozen countries. The five new riders joining the team include Olympian and three-time former Hungarian national champion Peter Kusztor (HUN), Oliver Behringer (SUI), Declan Irvine (AUS), Sam Munday (AUS) and Ulugbek Saidov (UZB). Both Behringer and Irvine raced as stagiaires with the men’s professional team during the 2018 season.

“I want to say a big thanks and congratulations to the 2018 squad. We had one victory, seven podiums, and 11 top five finishes, which are the most in Team Novo Nordisk’s six-year history. This success was the combined result of confidence and teamwork,” Team Novo Nordisk’s CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “Looking to 2019, I’m confident this trend will continue, and the addition of four development riders and veteran pro Peter Kusztor will serve as tremendous boosts for the team.”

All athletes on Team Novo Nordisk race with type 1 diabetes. Since its launch in December 2012, the organization has focused heavily on identifying and developing endurance athletes from around the world with diabetes, which has lead to an extensive junior and development program where riders have the opportunity to advance to the men’s professional team.

“Since our inception, we’ve set high standards for this program. To maintain this momentum, it is critical to move up this young generation of talented athletes with diabetes to the professional team,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “Our entire project is designed to provide them with as many opportunities as possible to succeed. We consciously blend our race rosters, so the neo-pros race alongside experienced veterans. This keeps motivation and moral high because the young riders are so eager to learn. Additionally, it provides all our riders with direction so they can continue to progress in a step-by-step manner.”

Four of Team Novo Nordisk’s five new athletes are products of its development program. Behringer, Irvine, Munday, and Saidov all spent at least two seasons racing as a part of the team’s development pipeline. Saidov is Team Novo Nordisk’s first professional rider from Central Asia.

For the first time in its history, Team Novo Nordisk is adding a new rider to its professional roster from outside of its development pipeline. Kusztor was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after breaking his collarbone at the Czech Cycling Tour (August 2018). Before going in for surgery, doctors checked his fasting blood glucose levels and discovered they were elevated. Eventually, endocrinologists ran a series of tests and diagnosed the 33-year-old with type 1 diagnosis. Accolades over his 14-year career include representing Hungary at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, two-time Hungary national road race champion (2010, 2012), Hungary national time trial champion (2010), winner overall at the Tour of Bretagne (2011), second overall at Gemenc GP (2017) and lining up for four UCI Road World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013).

“Our returning riders have another season of racing in the pro peloton and our stagiaires impressed me these past few races. They showed significant improvements by the end of the year,” Davidenko said. “We have big expectations in Kusztor and are proud to add him to our roster. I expect the entire project will be stronger in 2019.”

Team Novo Nordisk’s new 2019 GSG-designed jersey will feature repeating white text with the words ‘inspire, educate and empower’ down the torso below a light blue circle that serves as the global symbol for diabetes awareness. The navy blue jersey will continue to feature the words “Changing Diabetes” across the chest. The 2019 changes will continue to bring awareness to Team Novo Nordisk’s mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes.

“We are going into 2019 hungry for success. We just finished a pre-season training camp, and our riders’ fitness is ahead of schedule compared to 2017,” Southerland said. “I trust that our riders, coaches and medical staff will continue to build on this foundation and this growth with translate into success on the road, which allows us to have an even greater impact alongside Novo Nordisk to continue changing diabetes around the world.”

The 2018 season saw Team Novo Nordisk achieve its best results to date, including 11 top five finishes and seven podium appearances. David Lozano (ESP) earned the team’s second victory when he soloed to win Stage 7 of the Tour du Rwanda. The Spaniard had a standout season that saw him collect 10 top 10 finishes including fifth overall at the Tour of Estonia, fifth overall at the Tour du Rwanda and the KOM jersey following Stage 3 of the Vuelta Aragon. Frenchman Quentin Valognes, who now functions as an ambassador for the team, took home the Intermediate Sprint Jersey at the Dubai Tour while fellow Frenchman Charles Planet earned the Fighter’s Jersey on Stage 3 of the PostNord Danmark Rundt and wore the Sprint leader’s jersey on Stage 1 of the Tour of Hongrie. Planet also stood on the podium after finishing runner-up on the Tour of Hongrie Prologue.

“Looking towards 2019, our focus continues to be on developing our riders, so that they can be competitive at the top level of the sport. We do this by racing in many countries and at various levels all with the aim to provide hope and inspiration for everyone affected by diabetes,” Davidenko said.

Team Novo Nordisk’s full 2019 roster includes:
Oliver Behringer – SUI, Mehdi Benhamouda – FRA, Sam Brand – GBR (IMN), Fabio Calabria – AUS, Stephen Clancy – IRL, Joonas Henttala – FIN, Declan Irvine – AUS, Brian Kamstra – NED, Peter Kusztor – HUN, David Lozano – ESP, Emanuel Mini – ARG, Sam Munday – AUS, Andrea Peron – ITA, Charles Planet – FRA, Umberto Poli – ITA, Ulugbek Saidov – UZB.

About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.

Glaz, Noir… and Luminous, the 2019 Jersey of Vital Concept – B&B HOTELS!
White, new partners and a delicate Breton touch, the graphic designers of the Vital Concept Cycling Club played the card of harmony and visibility by drawing the 2019 jersey revealed this Tuesday. Runners, manufacturer, general manager, all praise the novelties of a tunic that keeps the Glaz and the Black for main colors, well in the Club spirit.

Lighter, more visible from a distance and with new symbols, the 2019 jersey is as effective as it is aesthetic. An outfit that Jerome Pineau would have liked to wear time of his sporting size. “It’s all about taste but this shirt is, in my eyes, one of the most beautiful that we have ever seen in the pack. Last year, we listened to remarks that told us that our colors did not always stand out in the helicopter images. The white keys will bring brightness to all, allow us to be more visible and, since our jersey 2018 was one of the public’s favorite, we wanted to keep its general line and its colors.”

Another change that appears on the upper back, the scapular, always present on the bust, is reversed and represents a roof, symbol of the hotel business, the activity of our new partner B & B HOTELS. The different sponsors, old and new, have harmoniously found their place on the new outfit. “It is a great pride to have been able to join the names of our three new jersey partners – B&B HOTELS, Synergie and Armor-lux – by remaining faithful to our graphic charter and our color code, continues Jérôme Pineau. Without their approval, it would have been impossible for us to make such a beautiful jersey.”

Ultimate innovation that should cause talk radio waves, the white lace on the back pockets of the jersey. “This detail allows us to assert a little more our Breton identity, says the general manager of the Club, even if the brand Brittany and the white and black of Gwenn-Ha-Du (the flag of the region) are already present.”
Partner of the Vital Concept Cycling Club since its inception, the manufacturer Noret was particularly attentive to the riders, who contributed to the technical improvement of the jersey by their remarks and suggestions. “We made some changes following their feedback, says Jean-Noël Bonenfant, director of the historic Breton brand. They wanted a higher collar on the shirt they will use until the end of winter. In 2018, we had already added pockets on the sides and the main other changes involved the integration of new partners, in perfect agreement with the graphic designers of the team. We continue to work with several riders, including Kevin Reza and Johan Le Bon, on improvements such as a removable hood to slide under the helmet. Seeing the runners get involved in this way is a huge satisfaction. Last spring, they visited us in Saint-Denoual (Côtes-d’Armor), on our production site and it was the first time that we could exchange with runners, listen to their wishes, before the end of the season . They discovered our tools, our employees and did not hide their surprise by discovering how we made cycling jerseys. Their exchanges with the bosses, in particular, proved very rich and, at Noret, the Club is unanimous.”

Like the shirt manufacturer and the general manager of the Club, the riders were eager to reveal their future outfit. “Do not hide it, we are still great kids and it is with great excitement that we discovered our new jersey, recognizes Bryan Coquard, model of a day during the shooting in the street art gallery DéDalE, Vannes. There are real changes compared to 2018 and the fact that the Club renews the visual aspect of the jersey to this point is significant. It is the mark of a dynamic team, who is not afraid to move. White brings light, lace is a nice nod and I do not think any team has ever worn on his jersey. I find the lace pretty fun…” True to its colors, the Club has not made a revolution in drawing his jersey 2019. Rather an evolution. “We keep our trademark, we stay in the spirit Glaz, continues the Rooster. White adds a little pep. As for the collar, it reminds me of the combination of British trackers at one time, when they had worn a turtleneck to favor aerodynamics. It will be perfect for the beginning of the season and then, in good weather, we will come back to a lower pass.”

Unveiled at just two weeks of Christmas, the Vital Concept jersey – B&B HOTELS 2019 is about to pass a test of popularity in the coming days, via social networks in particular. Jean-Noël Bonenfant and his troops.

Visma Long-Term Name Sponsor of Speed Skating and Cycling Team Jumbo-Visma
Team Oranje, in which the speed skating and the cycling team of Jac Orie and Richard Plugge are united, has secured Visma as a second name sponsor for at least five years, starting in 2019. Norwegian company Visma provides business software, IT solutions for retail and IT-related development and consultancy. Both the speed skating and the cycling team will act as Team Jumbo-Visma.

“We are thrilled to be the new sponsor of one of the world’s best cycling and speed skating teams. Visma provides business-critical software to the public and private sector across a range of industries. We have now reached a stage where we are going from being a Nordic software brand to a Pan-European and supporting team Jumbo-Visma will be an important step in increasing our footprint in Europe”, says Visma CEO Øystein Moan.

“Thanks to the fruitful cooperation and the development that we have gone through together, Jumbo dared to support our vision for a long and indefinite period of time. This has not gone unnoticed. It has created appeal within the sports world and also in the business world. The agreement with Visma is a result of this”, explains Plugge.

“Visma has been interested for a longer period of time”, Plugge continues. “The long-term support of Jumbo, the resignation of Lotto and especially the way we have positioned ourselves in recent years have convinced Visma to partner up with us. We perform with athletes who have been developed in our team. Visma is the first Norwegian company to support cycling on this scale and I am very proud of that. Moreover, in Norway speed skating counts, just like in the Netherlands. The partnership with Visma underpins the strength of Team Oranje.”

Orie concurs with his fellow director. “I think it’s great that a company like Visma has chosen for our combined speed skating and cycling team”, he says. “As a Norwegian company, they display a big interest in both speed skating and cycling, just like many Dutch companies. That’s why this immediately felt like a good match. I look forward to using their knowledge of software in analyzing our large amount of test data. I am convinced that by joining forces, we can take the next step in our development.”

“We believe this sponsorship will put the Visma brand on the European map and help Visma increase its presence and brand awareness in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. Visma is expanding its activities in the Netherlands and recently acquired one of the leading Dutch providers of payroll and HR software, Raet. Cycling is also a popular sport in both current and potential markets, making the sponsorship a great fit for Visma,” Moan concludes.

Katusha Alpecin Choses BMW as Official Car Partner
Swiss WorldTour team Katusha Alpecin will cooperate for the next three years with BMW. The official handing-over of the keys happened last Friday evening at the 2019 team presentation of Katusha Alpecin in Koblenz, Germany. Leasing company Alphabet is providing the fleet of 14 BMWs, including 12 of the 518d Touring and 2 BMW X3 models.

General Manager José Azevedo: “We are happy in this partnership with BMW. It is nice to work with this prestigious and innovative brand, but there is more to this partnership. This car offers us safety and comfort and that is, of course, important in the often very hectic circumstances of a cycling race. Safety is our absolute number one priority, but comfort is a close second. Most notably our mechanics will appreciate the roomy space. Sometimes we sit more than seven to eight hours in the car. After the races we can take our riders back to the hotel in real comfort, as post-race recovery begins the minute the race is over.”

Eddy Haesendonck, President and CEO of BMW Group Belux, is also enthusiastic about the partnership. “The dynamics of Katusha Alpecin cycling team match perfectly with the dynamic performances of our BMWs. Moreover, the BMW Touring and BMW X3 offer the necessary luxury and comfort that riders and support staff need and deserve.”

With their 4 brands – BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad – BMW Group is the number one producer of premium cars and motorbikes. In 2017, BMW Group sold 2,463,500 autos and 164,000 bikes worldwide.

During the cycling season, Katusha Alpecin and BMW Group Belux will partner on events together, both in and out of races and look forward to the winning combination of solid racing results and a successful partnership in the years to come.

Tom Van Assche (Corporate Sales Manager BMW Group Belux), Erwin Neuville (Business Manager Corporate Sales BMW Group Belux), José Azevedo (General Manager TKA), Ilnur Zakarin and Marcel Kittel:

Bahrain-Merida Start Training Camp on Island Hvar
Bahrain-Merida staff and athletes will be spending two weeks in December on Croatian island Hvar, where the Team’s last training camp before the challenges of the new season will take place.

The training camp will take place again like last year, on the beautiful island of Hvar in Croatia, where the team have found the perfect partner and generous host in the Hvar Tourist Board, that contributed a great deal in the organizational part, and Sunčani Hvar Hotels, which is an excellent base location for the whole team, our guests, partners, journalists, and sponsors. Hotel Amfora where team and all the guests, in total 160 persons, will be accommodate is located right by the sea and offer top conditions for relaxation of athletes and staff after hard work and also all facilities needed for perfect execution of the full schedule of the activities planned for the training camp. Sunčani Hvar Hotels is the leading hotel group on Croatia’s premier island Hvar with a diverse collection of modern, luxury and budget hotels. The emphasis is on fostering unique experiences in one of the most beautiful islands in the Adriatic with a goal of delivering unrivaled propositions to travelers from all over the world.

The organization of the training camp was like last year much easier due to a great support from Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board and Tourist Board of City of Hvar that helped the team to prepare all the activities through which our team members and guests can fully experience and appreciate this destination. This year Hvar celebrate 150 years of organized tourism on the island. In the last few years a lot of efforts were put into developing Hvar as an attractive destination for cycling tourism. The island has just the right amplitudes to offer great training conditions also to professionals – this year Team Bahrain Merida results confirmed that. On this training camp our guests, riders and staff will have the chance to experience the island through visiting traditional villages, riding through magnificent landscapes, pass picturesque vineyards and lavender fields, and through enjoying unique gastronomy that will all contribute in a exclusive experience for all senses.

During media days, from 12th to 14th December, journalists and photographers from all over the world will join the Team on Hvar and have a unique opportunity to spend some time with Bahrain-Merida riders and staff, to carry one-on-one interviews with them and to even ride bicycles side by side with them. A formal team presentation will be held on Wednesday 12th December at 2:30 p.m., where the Team representatives, sponsors and partners will present key strategies and tactics for 2019. Team prepares also a FUN BIKE RIDE with Merida bikes and island experience for journalists on Thursday 13th December when they will visit a local restaurant and taste gastronomic island treasure.

Team’s sponsors will also join the athletes and staff at the beginning of the training camp and spend some time on the beautiful island of Hvar and also give final inputs about the new equipment that Team Bahrain-Merida will use in the new season. With 8 new riders team will for sure be ready for a new challenges in 2019.

UAE Team Emirates Training in Spain Team’s Winter Training Camp Starts Today
The work began for UAE Team Emirates at a training camp that runs from today through December 21 in Spain. All 29 cyclists will be present and working hard towards 2019.

The team is basing itself at the Gran Palas Hotel in La Pineda, near Tarragona.

Today, the riders will have their first group ride on their Colnago bicycles, carrying out a series of drills on the Spanish roads.

But it’s not just the bikes. The team is trying out Met helmets, Champion System clothing and other materials needed for the 2019 season.

With all the riders on hand, the team’s sports directors and staff can meet individually with each cyclist to plan competitions and carry out evaluation tests, part of the base for the coming race season.

Riding in the UAE during the team camp that took place in October:

Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè: Second Training Camp in La Spezia
The second training camp looking forward to 2019 season is going to start in La Spezia. From December 11th to 16th the #OrangeBlue will be at the Hotel Il Gabbiano. Medical visits, official photos and official videos together with “lessons” meetings about, nutrition, ADAMS and communication. Sunday closed cycling open to cyclists and fans of the area.
December 10, La Spezia.

The second training camp of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè team is on its way. From 11 to 16 December the team will meet in La Spezia, at the Hotel Il Gabbiano, to carry out many important activities in view of 2019.

A full agenda of appointments concentrated in a few days, to allow then the athletes of the team to train regularly on the straps of the house until the training camp of Calpe scheduled for January, when the team will meet to finalize the best preparatory work in view of the start of the season.

In the 6 days in La Spezia scheduled medical visits at the beginning of the season and athletic tests in addition to the official photos of the beginning of the year that will have as background the beauties of the city and the province of La Spezia.

Friday it is video-shooting time, to prepare the video that will present the team and the 2019 roster to the international public. There will be moments of lessons with athletes in nutrition class, with the nutritionist of the team and with the new integrator partner who will be announced in these days of training camp. Equally important are the “lessons” related to ADAMS, the availability platform of the international anti-doping organization WADA, and the communication lesson by the communication agency Sun-TIMES, which will give important indications on the use of social media network to exploit its full potential.

As usual the training camp will close with a convivial dinner open to all local fans, at the Hotel Il Gabbiano this Saturday, December 15, and with a ride open to all fans of the area on Sunday morning December 16th.

Information about the dinner and fans ride will soon be published on the official social media channels of the team.

Cycling Canada Welcomes New President
Cycling Canada is pleased to welcome Pierre Laflamme as its new President following an election held at a Special Meeting today by the organization’s member Provinces and Territories.

Laflamme, a Quebec City-based investment advisor and accountant by trade, has a long history in cycling and has been a member of Cycling Canada’s Board of Directors since September 2017. A former racer on both the road and mountain bike, he has been the President of Club Élicycle in Quebec for three years. Laflamme is a CPA and CA and has worked with Desjardins Wealth Management in Quebec for the past 8 years.

“It’s exciting to come full circle, going from a passionate cyclist and club administrator to a Cycling Canada Board member and now President,” Laflamme said. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to give something back to the sport that I love. We’ve had great leaders in Canadian cycling and I’m looking forward to following in their footsteps. I want to thank our Provincial and Territorial partners for their confidence and I look forward to working with our Board, staff and all of our stakeholders to continue to build and grow the sport in an integrated way across the country.”

Cycling Canada announced on November 11th that its former President John Tolkamp would officially step down from his position in December after ten years at the helm of the organization’s Board of Directors. A total of three nominations were submitted for the election, including current Board member Robin Porter (Toronto, ON), as well as Stefano Rover (Montreal, QC) who previously served on Cycling Canada’s Board between 2009 and 2012.

“We want to thank John for his dedication and hard work as President over the last ten years,” said Matthew Jeffries, Executive Director of Cycling Canada. “He has been a tremendous ambassador and champion for our organization and our athletes. We’re looking forward to working with Pierre in his new capacity and we’re confident that he will bring the same level of passion and leadership to the position as John.”

Cycling Canada’s Inter-Provincial Council conducted candidate interviews during the week of December 3rd in advance of the Special Meeting. The newly-elected President will serve for the balance of the current 4-year term, which will conclude in October of 2021.

Pierre Laflamme:

Official Statement on Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev’s State of Health
Due to the identified health problems Astana Pro Team decided not to extend the contractual relations for the season of 2019 with the Kazakh rider Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev.

After a health incident at the training camp in September 2018, the certain suspicions about Balhtiyar Kozhatayev’s state of heart health have appeared. Astana Pro Team immediately has initiated and conducted a series of in-depth tests with the involvement of leading cardiologists.

According to the results of the tests and after consultations with specialists cardiologists in sports and taking into account the recommendations of the Association of sports doctors, the medical council of Astana Pro Team decided that the state of health of the athlete’s heart does not allow him to perform in professional races at the level of the UCI WorldTour.

“The state of health of Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev in the last few months has raised some questions, so we decided to perform a number of tests in several cardiac centers in order to understand the situation as accurately as possible. Fortunately, no grave pathologies, that might threaten the life of the athlete, were found. However, some deviations have appeared and they are incompatible with the loads that exist in the WorldTour. Therefore, our council informed the team’s management about the current situation and recommended the rider to quit the active professional career,” said Serge Niamke, the chief doctor of Astana Pro Team.

“For all of us it is an absolutely unexpected situation. The decision we made was a tough one, but, first of all, it was done in favor of athlete’s health, which always was and still is our main priority. The health problems that Bakhtiyar suffered this autumn, led to a number of medical tests, which, in the end, became the basis for clear recommendations – it is impossible to perform at the level of the UCI WorldTour. It is very sad, as Kozhataev is a young and talented rider, however, we simply do not have the right to put in risk the health of the athlete. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev’s contract ends at the end of this year, and we made a decision not to extend it. In any case, the team will support Bakhtiyar as much as possible in this difficult moment. On behalf of the whole team I want to thank Bakhtiyar for all the years spent in Astana and wish him, first of all, health and good luck,” said the general manager of the team Alexandr Vinokurov.

Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev:

Team Helps 100 Children from Falcons Youth and Family Services Receive New Bicycles
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and team partner Rally Health hosted their third-annual “Holiday Bike Build” at StubHub Center, where 100 kids from Gardena-based Falcons Youth and Family Services received brand-new bicycles and Bell helmets.

Gordon, a Rally Health Ambassador, led activities for the after-school event that inspired children ages 5-12 to adopt healthy habits and focus on their education.

Rally Cycling’s Brad Huff, Jesse Anthony, Megan Jastrab, Robin Carpenter, and Ty Magner joined Gordon in leading a series of health and fitness-inspired activities including football drills and potato-sack races before leading the children in a ride on their new bikes around the StubHub Center concourse.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to draw from my own experience and Rally’s message of healthy living to inspire these kids to stay healthy and stay in school, and now with their new bikes, to get plenty of fun exercise,” said Gordon.

Peter Sagan – Ready for 2019
Peter Sagan is ready for next season! Watch the Peter Sagan best moments of 2018:

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