What's Cool In Road Cycling
Gran Canaria - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Oleg Tinkov (Tinkoff - Saxo) pictured during Trainingstage team Tinkoff - Saxo 2015 - Training Camp - Gran Canaria- photo IB/RB/Cor Vos © 2015

EUROTRASH Oleg Monday!

Is it good-bye Oleg Tinkov (again), or is it hello Bjarne Riis? Top story looks at the reasoning behind the Russian’s possible departure. Two cyclocross races in EuroTrash Monday and Wout Van Aert dominated, we have results and video. Race news from Utah and Dubai, team news from Katusha, Astana, Tinkoff, Lotto Soudal, LottoNL-Jumbo, Rabobank and Sky. Plus rider news from Rafa Valls and Filippo Pozzato. Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY:Oleg Tinkov to Pull Out?
The strong rumor of the moment is that Oleg Tinkov will pull out of sponsoring and managing his cycling team at the end of 2016. His reasoning is quite sound, after sponsoring the team for five years, it has run its usefulness as an advertising vessel and a different form must be found. This is quite normal for any large company and their advertising strategy. In fact many companies think that three years is the maximum time for any sponsorship/advertising plan. His other reason is that he feels no one is backing his plans to make cycling a better planned and financed business, not just a sport that goes from year to year looking for new sponsors to keep the sport running.

The team is for sale, included would be World road champion, Peter Sagan and Rafa Majka who both have contracts through 2017. How much Mr. Tinkov wants for the team is not known, but while the team has a WorldTour license it’s worth quite a bit. Would Bjarne Riis and his friends at Saxo Bank have the money to re-take over the team?

Trainingstage team Tinkoff - Saxo 2015

Superprestige Cyclocross Francorchamps 2016
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) dominated the weekend’s cyclocross winning Saturday’s Zilvermeercross and round 5 of the Superprestige series in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on Sunday.

Thijs van Amerongen (Telenet-Fidea) was the first rider to take the lead due to his running. On the second lap he punctured and was passed by Van Aert on the run-up and kept the pressure on to go into the lead. World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) led the chase group until he dropped them to go after Van Aert on his own. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) had a bad start and had worked his way forward and on the climb moved into third place with Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) for company. On the 3rd lap Van Aert was being held at around 10 seconds by Van der Poel, but the World champion had to ease off and was caught by Nys and Vantornout. On the next lap Nys attacked on the climb splitting the chase and finishing any thoughts of a win for Van der Poel who cracked to finish 12th.

With the all the jumping around behind, Van Aert’s lead went from 20 seconds to 1 minute at the half-way mark and Nys fell back to the chase group. With the race win as good as sewn-up, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) attacked the chase group with Vantornout. Nys was having none of it and chased down Toon Aert and Vantornout and dropped Aert.

It was Van Aert all the way to the line as Nys rode away from Vantornout for second with Pauwels grabbing 3rd from Belgian champ, Vantornout. Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) 5th, Aerts and Telenet-Fidea teammate Thijs van Amerongen 6th and 7th. European champion, Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) wasn’t on his best course as running doesn’t suit him. Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Tim Merlier (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) took 9th and 10th.

Van Aert now leads Nys by 9 points in the Superprestige series.

Superprestige cyclocross in Spa-Francorchamps 2015

Race winner, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “I’m extremely happy with this victory, it’s a tough course where you have to ride at your own pace for an hour. It’s those courses I like the most. When I had a comfortable lead halfway I was still suffering, with enjoyment too. I knew the steep running section favored me so that’s why I accelerated there. Straight away I had a gap at the top. From there I rode my own pace. Apparently that solo acceleration was enough.”

World champion, Mathieu Van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) was a disappointed 12th: “It was miserable today. I’m disappointed. It seemed like I couldn’t ride my bike today. It’s massively frustrating. Maybe last weekend was too good so I expected too much of this race.”

Superprestige Cyclocross Francorchamps Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 1:03:00
2. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:04
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:13
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:16
5. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 1:29
6. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:30
7. Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 1:33
8. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:42
9. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea at 2:09
10. Tim Merlier (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:46.

Highlights from Francorchamps:

Cyclocross – Zilvermeercross, Mol 2015
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) was the strongman on the sandy course of Zilvermeercross in Mol on Saturday. He and World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) tore the field apart, but Laurens Sweeck (Era Real Estate-Muprotec) managed to bridge across to the pair on the long running section. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) did manage to catch the front three, but Van Aert put the pressure on and headed off to for a solo win. Behind him Van der Poel and Sweek fought it out for second place with Van der Poel the better finisher. Sven Nys was quiet following the wheels most of the day, but in the finalé, he and Rob Peeters broke away for Nys to take the sprint for fourth.

Hansgrohe Superprestige cyclocross race of Asper - Gavere

Cyclocross – Zilvermeercross Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 1:03:32
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon at 0:20
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Muprotec at 0:27
4. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA-Drink at 0:35
5. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:58
7. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:34
8. David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon at 1:48
9. Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) BKCP-Corendon at 1:53
10. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Corendon at 2:17

Full race, Zilvermeercross in Mol:

2016 Tour of Utah – Host Cities Announced
Southern Swing Spotlights National Parks for 2016 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Professional Cycling Race Record 13 Host Venues Announced for “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM”

Spotlighting the famous red rock country adjacent to several national parks, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional cycling event will begin in southern Utah for a third time. At an announcement today in the Megaplex Theatres at The Gateway, organizers of the Tour of Utah revealed the 13 cities and venues that will host the annual, professional men’s road cycling stage race. Scheduled for August 1-7, 2016, the event will begin outside Zion National Park, the southernmost point in Utah of the event’s 12-year history, and finish on Historic Main Street in Park City.

Three venues are hosting the Tour for the first time — Escalante, Kearns and Zion Canyon Village. Park City and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort have the longest tenure as host venues, having served for eight and nine consecutive years, respectively. The additional host venues are Antelope Island State Park, Bountiful, Cedar City, IM Flash (Lehi), Payson, Richfield, Snowbasin Resort, and Torrey. Thirteen is the highest number of venues for one race since 2014, when the Tour expanded from six to seven days of racing and 12 communities served as the start and finish hosts.

2016 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Stages:
Monday, Aug. 1 – Stage 1: Zion Canyon Village to Cedar City
Tuesday, Aug. 2 – Stage 2: Escalante to Torrey
Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Stage 3: Richfield to Payson
Thursday, Aug. 4 – Stage 4: IM Flash to Kearns
Friday, Aug. 5 – Stage 5: Antelope Island State Park to Bountiful
Saturday, Aug. 6 – Stage 6: Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
Sunday, Aug. 7 – Stage 7: Park City to Park City

The overall start of the Tour of Utah will commence at Zion Canyon Village, which sits 163 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. This 12-acre business district is located outside the south entrance to Zion National Park. On the second day of the race, Escalante will also host a stage start for the first time. The race passed through this community in two previous visits to Garfield County (2013, ’14). Escalante is adjacent to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, positioned between Bryce Canyon National Park and Capitol Reef National Park.

While the Tour has passed through Salt Lake County 10 of the past 12 years, the 2016 race will mark the inaugural finish in the township of Kearns in the southern part of the county. The Utah Olympic Oval is located in Kearns, which hosted the long track speed skating events for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. This five-acre facility is known as the “Fastest Ice on Earth” and is the home to more than 100 world records in speed skating.

“Each year the Tour of Utah changes the race route, following a tradition of other UCI stage races in the world. We are able to showcase more communities across the state, as well as to provide a variety of courses for the top professional cycling teams each August. With 2016 being the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in the United States, we are privileged to highlight these world-famous parks at the start of race week,” said Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Tour of Utah.

Known as “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM”, the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah featured 712 miles of racing and 51,422 feet of elevation gain. The 2016 Tour of Utah continues to be sanctioned by both USA Cycling and the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). As a 2.HC-rated UCI America Tour event, the Tour of Utah is one of the top professional cycling events in North America.

Details regarding each stage route (race mileage, elevation gain, start/finish times) and spectator festivities will be announced in the spring. Plans will also be confirmed for a third year of women’s racing in the Tour of Utah Women’s Edition in the coming months.

2015 Tour of Utah champion Joe Dombrowski (USA) of Team Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling also participated in the announcement event. “The 2015 Tour of Utah was my first professional victory at a UCI stage race. The really hard climbs throughout the week make it a difficult race. The announcement today about starting in southern Utah will spark some buzz about the event among the athletes I am sure. I know I hope to be back in Utah in August to defend my title for the team,” said Dombrowski, who also won Stage 6 on the signature climb to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

An attendance record was set in 2015 with 380,000 spectators over the seven days of racing. A new high of $22 million in economic impact was generated at the Tour of Utah for the state. The event was the only stage race in North America to feature start-to-finish live webcasting, viewed by users from 139 countries. More than 21 hours of national television coverage was provided by FOX Sports and FOX Sports Networks, including 14 hours of live racing.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. More information about the Tour of Utah and the host venues can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah, #TOU16 #TOUWE16), and Instagram (thetourofutah).

Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) wins stage 6 of 2015 The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah:

Dubai Tour 2016: Race Route
In the luxurious setting of Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, H.E. Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, has presented to the media the program for the next Dubai Tour, the four official jerseys designed by Castelli and the list of the 16 teams invited to the race.

From 3 to 6 February, the four-day race will take in Dubai’s most famous landmarks and attract riders from all five continents, with three stages best suited to the sprinters and one to the puncheurs.

Dubai Tour is only in its third year – the first edition having been won by the American Taylor Phinney, and last year’s race by the Manxman Mark Cavendish – but is already considered a classic in the early cycling calendar due the mild weather and the superb facilities. It’s more than ‘just’ a big name: for many riders Dubai represents the perfect opening to the season.

H.E. Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, said: “Dubai Sports Council have recognized the important role of sport in a global city since its creation. We are not interested in one-off events but in regular annual appointments and the Dubai Tour is part of this vision: thanks to the riders we’re going to show our beautiful territory to the World again. Year after year one more secret can be unveiled: in 2015 we climbed the Hatta Dam, in 2016 we will discover Fujairah. But let’s not forget all our traditional and distinctive landmarks”.

Official Sponsors of the Dubai Tour Unveiled
Today, during the presentation, the list of Dubai Tour sponsors and supporters was also unveiled.

In addition to the Top Sponsors of the four Dubai Tour 2016 jerseys (Commercial Bank of Dubai, Fly Emirates, RTA, DHA), it also includes the Stage Sponsors (Nakheel, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina), the Host Broadcaster (Dubai Sports), the Official Partners (Audi Al Nabooda, Castelli), the Official Supplier (Giant) and the Official Supporters (Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Elliptigo).

Route Information:
Stage 1: Fujairah Stage / February 3
Dubai International Marine Club – Fujairah (179km)

The stage joins the beach of Dubai Marina on the Arabian Gulf with the beach of Fujairah on the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman). It runs through the entire stretch of desert between Dubai and Fujairah through the territory of four different Emirates (Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah).

It touches the Silicon Oasis area before facing the long straights that, cutting through the dunes, lead to the Hajar Mountains for a short and mild sequence of hills. It then arrives into Fujairah, where there will be a 6.6km circuit to be completed twice.

Stage 2: Nakheel Stage / February 4
Dubai International Marine Club – Palm Jumeirah (Atlantis) (188km)

A stage of two distinct parts. The first part is just outside the metropolis, partially in the desert, the second part within Dubai Marina to end in Palm Jumeirah, in front of the Atlantis “door”. The first part will pass next to the Camel Track, the Al Qudra bike path, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex pool and through the desert. The second part returns into the city touching Dubailand, the Jumeirah Golf Club and Dubai Sports City. It then heads to the finale on the Palm through an underwater tunnel before the last kilometers, with the halfway point on the artificial island. From here there will be 3200m to the final sprint.

Stage 3: The Westin Stage / February 5
Dubai International Marine Club – Hatta Dam (172km)

It’s the hardest stage of Dubai tour, 172km on a course which replicates almost entirely the inaugural edition stage, with the addition of the harder final climb of Hatta Dam, as experienced in 2015. It’s characterized by long stretches in the desert crossing the two neighboring Emirates of Sharjah and Ras-al-Khaimah. Once it has left the last buildings in Dubai, the stage will touch Labab, Al Madam and Al Malahia on the road to Hatta where, before facing the finale, riders will face two climbs, the second with peaks of 11% and a fast and challenging downhill. The last three kilometers are a continuous ascent up to face the final climb that leads to the dam: a short stretch of about 200 meters with an inclination from 12% to 17%.

Stage 4: Burj Stage / February 6
Dubai International Marine Club – Burj Khalifa (132km)

The final stage is now a classic, with just a few changes compared to the previous editions, going through the Old and New Town. It starts in the direction of the great Meydan Racecourse to reach and cross Mushrif Park and then move to the beaches of Al Mamzar. It then runs through Deira, Al Maktoum Bridge and the entire Old Town, almost to Port Rashid, and from there enters the Jumeirah Road past the large Union Flag. Then there’s a u-turn at the Burj-al-Arab to go back to Jumeirah Road and reach the Burj Khalifa which is the finishing point.

Dubai Tour 2016 – The Route:

Dubai Tour Team Line Up Announced, 16 Teams at the Start
10 UCI WorldTour teams, three UCI Professional Continental, two UCI Continental
and the UAE National Selection at the start of the 2.HC race in February 2016

Alongside the official route and jerseys presentation of the third edition of the Dubai Tour – scheduled from 3 to 6 February 2016 – we are very pleased to announce the list of the 16 teams invited to the race. The list includes 10 UCI WorldTeams (seven of those members of the Velon group), three UCI Professional Continental teams, two UCI Continental teams and the UAE National Selection. Each team at the start of Dubai Tour will consist of six riders.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, commenting the announcement, said: “I’m really excited to be racing with my team at the 2016 Dubai Tour. It’s a really exciting event and we’re looking forward to competing with some of the best teams in the world”.

UCI WorldTeams:

UCI Professional Continental Teams:

UCI Continental Teams:

National Selection:

Dubai Tour – The Great Show:

Pozzato to Tharcor (Southeast) for Two Years
Filippo Pozzato has signed a two-year deal with the Southeast team which will be known as Tharcor from January the 1st 2016. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pozzato announced that he would be leaving Lampre-Merida for the ProContinental team Tharcor, which has been racing under the name of Southeast. Pozzato has not won a race since 2013 and has not been very popular with Lampre-Merida making public complaints about the team equipment.

In the interview he said: “The last two seasons have gone wrong, but if I thought I could no longer be competitive I would have quietly stepped away and start doing other things. Instead I find myself here, and perhaps motivated like never before. I heard that Giuseppe Saronni (Lampre-Merida manager) said I was free to do what I wanted. It made me smile when I read that, but I prefer not to talk about that, at least not now.” Does he think riding at ProConti level a step down? “I do not think so. The important thing is to participate in races that interest me and in that sense we are very confident. I think the team can grow, a lot.”

Southeast will receive an invitation to the 2016 Giro d’Italia due to winning the Italian Cup.

Filippo Pozzato winning the GP de Plouay 2013:
Le GP de Plouay 2013

No More Jaguar for Sky
The Jaguar logo was not on the new Sky team jersey that was released last week, and since it has bee confirmed that the partnership between the team and the car manufacturer will end on December the 31st 2015. The new vehicle partner soon. This news comes soon after the announcement that the teams clothing supplier, Rapha, would not be with the team after the end of 2016.

TDFR - 2014 - second restday

Fofonov Replaces Martinelli as Team Manager
Long time team manager, Giuseppe Martinelli will no longer be the manager of the Astana team, his job has been taken by directeur sportif Dimitry Fofonov. Alexander Vinokourov made the announcement at the team presentation on Saturday

Fofonov was a professional rider with Collstrop, Besson Chaussures, Cofidis, Credit Agricole and Astana before he retired in 2012 to become a DS. It is unknown if he Martinelli will still be involved with the team.

Nibali, Vinokourov and Giuseppe Martinelli:
presentation Astana team 2013

Team Katusha and Katusha Sports team up for long-awaited unveiling
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of some 200 sponsors, journalists, friends and family, the 2016 Team Katusha and innovative new company Katusha Sports were presented in Calpe, Spain on Saturday evening. The collaborative effort between the cycling team and the soon-to-launch cycling clothing line received a warm response for the upcoming ambitions and goals.

With the picturesque waters of the Mediterranean lapping the nearby coast, 28 riders from twelve countries were presented for the newly branded WorldTour team as Team Katusha declared the 2016 season open.

Before moving into the new season, however, Team Katusha looked back at the most successful year so far in the seven seasons of racing for the current UCI second-ranked team. An exciting video highlighted the stunning season of 40 wins and 103 podium placings and set up the opportunity for General Manager Viacheslav Ekimov to praise the past but now look to the future of Team Katusha.

Ekimov: “We only missed a few points to be the number one team in the world and this gives us motivation to strive for more. We know we can do even better in 2016, in particular improving our Team Time Trial skills. We are working on this by setting a clear target for 2016 – to be top 5 TTT at the World Championships. We are again ambitious for Overall podiums in GT races, having guys like Rodríguez, Van den Broeck and Taaramäe. And of course we have a super train for our absolute leader Alexander Kristoff, hopefully resulting in more wins in one-day WorldTour races or stages.”

The six featured riders of Jurgen Van den Broeck, Simon Špilak, Joaquim Rodríguez, Ilnur Zakarin, Rein Taaramäe and Alexander Kristoff arrived at the podium on their bikes, outfitted in the 2016 Team KATUSHA kit which features a predominate ‘K’ on the front and back in new colors of coral, sangria and blue. Van den Broeck and Taaramäe both spoke of their excitement for new opportunities and already fitting in with their new teammates, while Špilak and Zakarin both recalled their surprising and well-deserved wins in the past season, with Ilnur revealing he will ride the Giro d’Italia with ambitions of a high overall result.

The final two interviews started with team leader “Purito” Rodríguez, who will focus once again on the Ardennes classics, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España as he looks for another successful season. And finally the most winning rider of the season, Alexander Kristoff, spoke to the crowd. In addition to reflecting on his year of winning, Alexander Kristoff was pleased to announce that the team will travel to compete in the USA for the first time and will race in May’s Amgen Tour of California, a race he will use in his preparation for the Tour de France.

A short interview with team owner Igor Makarov was followed by a special presentation by Rodríguez of the new 2016 jersey and ended with Kristoff giving his bike to the man who makes it all possible for Team Katusha. “I am sure that our team has not reached its maximum yet. We all, of course, are waiting for new highs in the new season,” Mr. Makarov said as he accepted the gifts.

The last introductions were made in groups with the Time Trial Specialists, Allrounders, Sprinters and Climbers coming onto the podium to discuss their 2016 ambitions before a final round of applause rang out for the 2016 team of riders.

Also on hand were the five of the six sports directors, headed by José Azevedo. Azevedo is pleased with what has been accomplished with the team and knows more good things are in store for Team Katusha.

“When I see all of these riders I am not only happy, I am very proud. We talked already a lot about last season but I look forward. We’ve worked hard these two weeks in Calpe and I saw that all 28 riders are hungry to make 2016 even better than last year. The number of victories is not so important, but the quality counts. A podium in the Tour, a World or Olympic title, it looks difficult, but you need to be ambitious. We will prove that we deserved to be the best team in 2015. We have the best riders and the best staff people. We all work for the same goal and we will succeed, I am sure!”

The team presentation was also used to announce the launching of new company Katusha Sports which will premiere a men’s performance line of clothing around the time of the Ronde van Vlaanderen in April, with a Men’s and Women’s urban cycling collection coming in Fall. The innovative and contemporary brand will be available online as well as with selected premium retailers.

Riding for Team Katusha in 2016 are 28 riders from the twelve countries of Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia and Spain:

Maxim Belkov, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Sergei Chernetckii, Jacopo Guarnieri, Marco Haller, Vladimir Isaychev, Pavel Kochetkov, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alexander Kristoff, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Sergey Lagutin, Alberto Losada, Tiago Machado, Matvey Mamykin, Michael Mørkøv, Nils Politt, Aleksandr Porsev, Jhonatan Restrepo, Joaquim Rodríguez, Egor Silin, Simon Špilak, Rein Taaramäe, Alexey Tsatevich, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Angel Vicioso, Eduard Vorganov, Anton Vorobyev, and Ilnur Zakarin.

Guiding them are the Sports Directors: José Azevedo, Claudio Cozzi, Xavier Florencio, Dmitry Konyshev, Gennady Mikhaylov and Torsten Schmidt. Konyshev is currently in Brazil scouting the 2016 Rio Olympic’s road course.


Presentation of Rafael Valls, the third newcomer
This week we’ll introduce the third newcomer, the Spanish climber Rafael Valls. The past two seasons the 28-year-old rode for Lampre-Merida. Read Rafael’s story about how it all began. Valls also underlines his ambitions for the one-week stage races.

Rafael Valls: “I started cycling twenty years ago; when I was eight I already took part in races. My older brother already competed and my father loved cycling; the love for the bike ran in the family. The first years I often finished in the top three, but I couldn’t win any race. I got my first victory when I was about eleven or twelve years old, so it took me some time. Also as a junior I animated the races and could show myself, but winning remained difficult. Although I often was close.”

Born climber
“As a young boy I climbed a lot, in the area where I live there is no other way. In the region of Valencia the course gets tough quite soon. Also in youth races the organization heads into the mountains. Pretty soon I discovered I was good at riding uphill. For me it just comes natural.”

“When I was eighteen I realized I might become a professional cyclist. Although my first year in the U23 category was difficult, there is a huge difference between the youngest and oldest riders in those races. It was difficult for me to adjust to the rhythm. At the time I was riding together with among other Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Angel Madrazo and several riders of the current Caja Rural team.”

“Afterwards there were many beautiful moments. My best memory up till now is completing my first Tour de France in 2010. Entering Paris was magical, a dream come true. Those are the moments why you decided to become a cyclist and that you are happy you showed perseverance. My parents have always been important for my career, because they took me to all the races and bought my material. Also my wife has been by my side for a long time. We are together since I was fourteen years old, she’s a big support. I’m really grateful to my parents and wife.”

Practise time trial
“First of all, I now want to get integrated in my new team as soon as possible. I really had fun at the team-building in November, there was a good atmosphere. Next season I want to set a new step in the stage races of one week, that’s my specialty. My climbing skills are of course very useful there, but also time trialling is a crucial factor. I want to train more on that aspect, because it’s not my strongest point. At the moment I train on the time trial bike once a week, then I do different exercises and series. I’m building up the distance week per week; first I did rides of ten kilometers, then twenty and so on. During the training camp we went to the velodrome one day to adjust our time trial position, it’s essential to strive for perfection.”

Sprint Quiz
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite music: I love many kinds of music styles, I’ll say rap if I have to choose one
Favorite film: El fuego de la venganza (Man on fire)
Favorite food: Pizza
Morning or evening: Evening
Film or book: Film
Brunette or blond: I go for dark hair, the color of my wife’s hair
Pizza or French fries: Pizza
City trip or relaxing in the Caribbean: Holiday in the Caribbean
Winning a Tour stage or the GC of Paris-Nice: Winning a Tour stage
Uphill or downhill: Uphill
Cold or warm: Warm
Time trial or race of 280 kilometers: Time trial
Best victory ever: Tour of Oman in 2015
With which (ex-)pro would you like to go for a ride: Ruben Plaza. When I was a rider in the youth categories he was pro and I saw him racing on television.
If you had one wish for next season, what would you wish for: Winning a stage race

Rafa Valls win in Oman:

Tinkoff unveils flashy “La Datcha” training kit for 2016 season
Building upon the success and popularity of the 2015 camo training kit, Tinkoff unveiled today the “La Datcha” kit for the 2016 season. The Sportful-produced kit made its debut on the fifth day of the team’s winter training camp in Gran Canaria.

One year ago, Tinkoff-Saxo broke new ground in the sport of cycling with the introduction of the first ever training kit. Although a first in cycling, this is a standard practice in most major sports, where teams have two or even three kits, as is the case with football (home, away and third kit).

The innovative kit was immediately met with a warm reception by amateur riders around the world and was sold out, beating all expectations. In 2016, the Tinkoff training clothing will again stand out for its style as well as its BodyFit technology. Featuring all of the design excellence expected from Sportful, it is the result of the strong and close partnership with the team.

The 2016 training kit breaks away from the team’s traditional colors and features a combination of black and white geometric forms. A yellow fluo stripe on the chest and back highlights the name of the kit which ties to the Russian identity of the team. “La Datcha”, French for “The Dacha,” refers to the traditional second homes in Russia, but also to team owner Oleg Tinkov’s two Alpine chalets in the French resorts of Courchevel and Val Thorens, available for accommodation in late 2016.

According to Stefano Feltrin, Managing Director of Tinkoff, “this new kit proves that, together with Sportful, we are at the forefront in cycling apparel. We feel confident that our fans will soon be riding their bikes wearing our 2016 training colors”.

“The new design is really fresh, last year’s camo was an enormous hit and as a training kit it’s very visible on the roads which helps with rider safety. This year’s is even more visible and something a little different from the rest of the teams. Of course underneath the flashy design it’s our BodyFit clothing which is the go-to kit for Tinkoff whether they are training or racing so it has all the technical details the team needs. We think this is a great way to kick off the new season in style,” stated Andrea Peron, Performance Director at Sportful.

The “La Datcha” training kit is available in the official webshop at www.tinkoffsportshop.com

Tinkoff - Saxo 2015

Rapha & Team Sky Reveal 2016 Kit Design
Designed to stand out amidst the visual clutter of the pro peloton, Team Sky will wear the latest Pro Team racewear by Rapha for the 2016 race season. The result of extensive development and testing with the team, riders will wear cutting-edge fabrics beautifully crafted to provide speed and comfort. A new shade of blue, that stands out better against black, allows team riders to identify one another more easily during races and will be much easier for fans to see roadside or watching on live broadcasts.

“The feedback we get from the riders, especially our new signings who have already tried it, is that it’s the best performing kit in the peloton,” says Rod Ellingworth, Team Sky Coach and Performance Manager. “They all say how smart they feel in it, too. Working closely with Rapha ensures that we have the best fitting, fastest, and most comfortable racewear out there.”

The addition of stripes across the front of the jersey and a new, brighter blue are the two most visible changes to the kit for this year. The stripes echo the design of Rapha’s Brevet collection and the new shade of blue, introduced by Rapha, offers increased visibility and distinction.

Rapha’s Team Sky Replica collection is available immediately from Rapha.cc and at all Rapha Cycle Club stores worldwide.


Team LottoNL-Jumbo and FuturumShop start a collaboration
Team LottoNL-Jumbo and FuturumShop have started a collaboration today for the sale of the official merchandise. The new fan shop is on air. The new team shirt can be ordered at the largest online shop for cyclists as of today.

Relevant partnerships
Managing director Richard Plugge is happy with the partnership between the team and FuturumShop. “We are continually looking for relevant partnerships that strengthen the team. In FuturumShop we’ve found a party that is a specialist regarding online sales. The complete support guarantees service for our fans; from a telephone customer service, fast deliveries, up to free shipping and returns.”

Harmen van der Meulen
“We are looking forward to the launch of the Team LottoNL-Jumbo fan shop. As the largest online shop for cyclists, we search for collaborations with top brands. Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a good example of this. Together we want to bring professional cycling even closer to the fans and our customers,” CEO Harmen van der Meulen said.


Introducing Team LottoNL-Jumbo:

Lotto Soudal reinforces its medical structureLotto Soudal expands its medical department for 2016. Three doctors, three physiotherapists, a mental coach and a nurse are part of the medical structure of Lotto Soudal. New is the introduction of the Cycling Think Tank; lead by chief doctor Servaas Bingé, sports director Mario Aerts and physiotherapist Tim Aerts. Cycling gets more and more scientific; because of that, Lotto Soudal expands its medical structure.

Servaas Bingé, chief doctor Lotto Soudal: “The medical staff of Lotto Soudal is also present during races and training camps. A total of eight persons takes care of the riders; they get optimal care and medical assistance. The medical team includes three doctors: Servaas Bingé, Steven Bex and Maarten Meirhaeghe (new); three physiotherapists: Tim Aerts, Geert Beirnaert and Bart Govaerts (both new); a mental coach: Nathan Kahan and a nurse: Jochen Fordeyn (new). Behind this operational structure, we have the ‘Cycling Think Tank’ (CTT, LTS); a breeding ground of knowledge and scientific innovation that supports the medical staff of Lotto Soudal. Supported by several scientists (Professor Romain Meeuwsen VUB, Asker Jeukendrup (international nutritionist,…), and doctors (Olivier Ghekiere (Radiologist Jessa Ziekenhuis Hasselt), Toon Claes (AZ Sint Elisabeth Herentals) and doctor Coeman (Az Sint-Vincentius Deinze)), the Cycling Think Tank wants to help the team to empower its scientific way of thinking.”

According to the CTT, current cycling needs to be supported on five important terrains: Body – Mind – Training – Nutrition – Materials, Tactics & Technique. By investing in these different areas and partnerships, CTT wants to help the riders develop. One of the partners is SANAS; a supplement partner of the team who makes custom-made sports nutrition. Also Energy Lab is one of the partners that organizes the testing, training programs and training rides.

Servaas Bingé: “We started a couple of weeks ago by reading existing scientific literature. There is already a lot of material that can be found, so we don’t need to invent new things. It’s an art to use the available scientific knowledge and put it into useful protocols and guidelines. Riders don’t need figures and graphics; they want to know what they can eat and which food is healthy. We want to keep it as simple as possible; not because the riders are stupid, because we see more and more scientific books in their rooms. This creates a nice dynamic.”

“The first focus is to optimize their nutrition. We don’t just eat whatever we like, what lays on the plate is based on several things: type of rider, kind of training, period in the season, taste,… By optimizing the nutrition and adjusting it to the training program, we can still make some progress. Next important thing is the fluid intake. During this training camp, we’re calculating the fluid intake for every rider individually. Before and after every training, we test them on multiple parameters and collect the figures so we can give the riders a perfect insight in their needs.”

The medical structure of Lotto Soudal expands in 2016 and will without any doubt lead to a positive contribution on the performances and overall development of the riders.

Do you want to be kept up to date about the activities of the Cycling Think Tank? Follow them on Twitter via @think_cycling and experience how science improves the cycling performances.

Photo shoot Lotto Soudal:

Rabobank to Focus on Local Sponsoring
Rabobank will change the accent of its sports sponsorship with effect from 2017 to a more local focus. ‘We want to get nearby our customers, in a literal sense,’ says Heleen Crielaard, who has responsibility for sponsoring at Rabobank. The change in focus means that expiring agreements with the KNWU, KNHS, the Rabo Development Team and the RaboLiv women’s team will not be extended. Both the unions and the cycling teams can continue to count on Rabobank’s committed support until the end of 2016. This timely announcement by Rabobank gives the unions and the teams the opportunity to look for new partners. The bank is consulting with the KNHB and NOC*NSF regarding future sports sponsorship.

Rabobank has been an active sponsor of cycling since 1996, supporting both the top of the sport and its grass roots. This has contributed to the current solid position of cycling, with a strong potential for medals in 2016. In terms of visibility, Rabobank already took a step back in its support of the national teams on the road in 2012. The cooperation between the KNWU and Rabobank will come to an end at the end of 2016.

Huib Kloosterhuis, director KNWU: ‘Rabobank has been a steadfast partner of cycling for 20 years. The current strong position of the sport of cycling is partly due to Rabobank’s long-term support. Nonetheless, we regret that this partnership is coming to an end.’

Rabobank has been supporting the RaboLiv women’s cycling team for the past 4 years. The team is professional and successful, and features a large number of talented young riders. Rabobank has every confidence that the team will once again deliver good results in 2016. This will provide a good basis for finding new partners. Rabobank is working in consultation with the women’s team on continuity after 2016.

Marianne Vos: ‘We have made every effort in recent years to make our team successful and put women’s cycling on the map. We will continue to try 100% in 2016, in which the sporting highlight will be the Olympic Games in Rio. I want to thank Rabobank for all the opportunities it has given the team, our young riders and to me personally.’

Rabobank has always been a partner in the sport of equitation and has been a principal sponsor since the foundation of the KNHS. The Rabo Talent Plan has amply proved its worth, featuring an excellent connection between grass roots sport, youth development and the sport at senior level. With the recent huge successes at the World Championships in Caen and the European Championships in Aachen and the prospects of continuing good performances in 2016, equitation is currently at a sporting high. In consultation with the KNHS, Rabobank is searching for solutions for the continuity of the Rabo Talent Plan after 2016.

John Bierling, director of the KNHS: ‘More than half the riders from the medal-winning teams in the Olympic disciplines at the World Championship and the European Championship seniors in 2014 and 2015 come from the Rabo Talent Team. This is unprecedented and we are immensely proud of this achievement. Our equestrian sport grew in 2015 into one of our best medal chances at the Games in Rio. But, perhaps even more importantly: together with Rabobank we have been able to help make the dreams of many people come true, also at the local level. We think that equestrian sport is the finest sport in the Netherlands and we look forward to the future with great confidence. We share this passion with one million horse lovers.’

Heleen Crielaard, Manager of Sponsoring at Rabobank: ‘Cycling and equitation have always been close to Rabobank’s heart, and they will continue to be in future. We will continue to support them on their way to the Olympic Games in Rio. Hopefully, a sporting high point at the Games in 2016 will mark the end of a period in which Rabobank has enthusiastically associated its name with cycling and equitation.’

Liv Cycling | Meet the Women Behind the 2015 Rabo/Liv Cycling Team | Liv Beyond:

Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.