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EuroTrash Panzerwagen Thursday!

rnother doping case from Astana and Tony Martin going for the Hour Record are our top stories in EuroTrash Thursday. In other cycling news: Movistar receive two WorldTour trophies, team news from BMC, MTN, BORA, La Pomme and Bigla, plus rider and race news and a cat! Coffee time.

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TOP STORY: Another Astana Positive
After the positive tests for EPO by the Iglinskiy brothers Maxim and Valentin this year and llya Davidenok of the Astana Continental team being found to have used Anabolic Steroids, it has now been announced that Victor Okishev, also of the Continental team, has failed a drugs test for Steroids.

Davidenok failed his test during the Tour de L’Avenir in August, while Okishev’s positive is from the Asian Games. The official announcement reads: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that it has notified UCI Continental Team Astana Kazakh rider Victor Okishev of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in a sample collected at the Asian Cycling Championships on 29 May 2014. The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. In accordance with UCI Anti-doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.”

The two Astana teams share the same sponsors and have obvious links, but have different management companies so are considered as separate teams. Both are members of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible and under these circumstances the Continental team should suspend it’s self, like the WorldTour team did this year. How this will affect the Astana WorldTour team licence is only a guess at this point, but the UCI will want the Kazakhstani tenge (Kazakh currency) in their bank account, so a rap on the knuckles will probably be the punishment.

How Astana won the Tour de France:

header_OPQS_PRTony Martin to Go for the Hour Record
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) told German website RadsportNews that he intends to make an attempt on the Hour Record in 2015. His problem is finding preparation time, he pointed out: “I will discuss it with my team in December so that we can implement it without my goals on the road being affected. That is the essential factor. I need to find time to prepare without affecting my road shape. Since I have capable people around me, and a team that supports me, I think that we will find a date in the coming year.”

As to what preparation he would need: “Maybe two, three or four experiments will be needed to find the punch. But I want to work on it, and after the first training on the track I will be able to tell if it is realistic or not.”

The best of Tony Martin:

header_movistarMovistar Team on Top of World Cycling Again
Telefónica’s headquarters were the venue for the 2014 UCI WorldTour prize ceremony: Valverde and the Movistar team received trophies from UCI president Brian Cookson, also the Spanish Secretary of State for Sport announces the Royal Order of Sporting Merit for the Movistar Team.

For the second year on a row, the Movistar Team was present at the 2014 UCI WorldTour award ceremony, an event which recognises the most consistent and outstanding in the cycling season held in the headquarters of the squad’s title sponsor, Madrid’s Distrito Telefónica. General Manager Eusebio Unzué, who picked up the teams’ prize, and World’s No. 1 Alejandro Valverde attended a gathering which also included Brian Cookson, president of the Union Cycliste International, and Royal Spanish Cycling Federation chairman José Luis López Cerrón. José María Sanz-Magallón, director of Sponsorships and Coordination of Telefónica, underlined “the big satisfaction that means to us to support a squad and a sport which are really growing nowadays.” In turn, Miguel Cardenal, Spanish Secretary of State for Sport, announced that the Royal Order of Sporting Merit will be awarded to the squad that, led by Unzué, has stood for 35 years on cycling’s top tier.

“It’s a big recognition for all of us, not only the riders, a marvellous roster which allows us to claim such important victory and, most especially, to take cycling in our country back to the place it deserves, but also the staff, all people in our team whose efforts lead us to the top,” explained Unzué. “It makes us proud to receive these trophies at Telefónica’s headquarters, since they make really big efforts for us all the time. I also want to dedicate this victory to all cycling schools and youth teams – the young people, their families and coaches – they really help us to take this sport forward despite all bad moments our country is going through. This success is also theirs.”

For Valverde, the award becomes the best possible recognition for his excellent performances all the way from February to October, with 11 victories and almost thirty top-10 finishes in 77 days of racing: “It’s been undoubtedly a great season, and proof of that is we got this prize that rewards the best throughout the season. It’s my third time and I think it was fair, because my season was quite good. It could have been even better with minor improvements, like the Tour podium, but at the end, I gave everything I had in my body and you can’t really ask for anything else. Though it’s difficult to repeat this season’s success, there are goals we didn’t achieve yet and we will fight to conquer them in 2015.”

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header_BMCBMC Development Team Unveils Roster For 2015
A host of top returning talent and five promising new riders highlight the BMC Development Team’s roster for 2015, BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced Monday.

Pleased With Program’s Progression
The United States-registered amateur team won nearly two dozen races this year – including the team time trial at the Tour Cycliste International de la Guadeloupe – while sending Under 23 European road and time trial champion Stefan Küng and Giro Valle d’Aosta stage winner and Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah best young rider Dylan Teuns to the BMC Racing Team. “We are very pleased with the progression and contribution the BMC Development Team has made in two short years,” Ochowicz said. “Our goal from the start has been to work with young riders and get them to a higher level in the hopes that they will graduate to the ProTour. But more important than getting results has been the process of teaching them the best way to train, race and recover.”

Ten Riders Return From 2014
The team’s 15-rider roster includes six from Switzerland (Valentin Baillifard, Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny, Patrick Müller, Théry Schir and Lukas Spengler), three from the United States (Taylor “TJ” Eisenhart, Alexey Vermeulen and Tyler Williams), three from Belgium (Johan Hemroulle, Loïc Vliegen and Nathan Van Hooydonck), two from The Netherlands (Bas Tietema and Floris Gerts) and Australian Jesse Kerrison. Gerts, Kerrison, Müller, Schir and Van Hooydonck are new to the team. Some of the top returners include Williams and Tietema, who finished second and third, respectively, at the Under 23 version of Paris-Roubaix, Vliegen – winner of Triptiques Ardennais – and Eisenhart, who is the U.S. Under 23 national time trial champion. Among the newcomers, Schir is the reigning Swiss Under 23 national time trial champion, Kerrison has won stages at the Tour of Taihu Lake in China the past two years and Müller is a two-time Swiss junior national road champion. “We have some big talents with each one of them having the potential to become a professional,” BMC Development Team General Manager Jens Blatter said. “If every year two riders on this team can go up to the professional squad, we have done a good job.”

Van Bondt Arrives As Directeur Sportif
Blatter assumes the role of BMC Development Team general manager following the departure of Rik Verbrugghe. Blatter, a former Swiss pro, has been with the BMC Development Team since its founding in 2013 and will handle administration, logistics, scout potential talent and direct the squad at some races. Former Belgian pro Geert Van Bondt joins the team as directeur sportif. Winner of Gent-Wevelgem in 2000 and runner-up at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and E3-Harelbeke the same year, Van Bondt will oversee the team’s schedule and rider program, scout potential talent and direct the squad at most races. The team’s race program will be similar to the past two years and include defence of back-to-back titles won at the Tour de Normandie (with Silvan Dillier in 2013 and Küng in 2014). “Our top targets will be the Under 23 versions of Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, as well as the stage races of Normandie, the Tour de Bretagne and Valle d’Aosta,” Van Bondt said. “Like the past two years, we hope to have a team that works well together at all times.”

Rider Roster:
Valentin Baillifard (SUI), Tom Bohli (SUI), Taylor “TJ” Eisenhart (USA), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Floris Gerts (NED), Johan Hemroulle (BEL), Jesse Kerrison (AUS), Patrick Müller (SUI), Théry Schir (SUI), Lukas Spengler (SUI), Bas Tietema (NED), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Alexey Vermeulen (USA), Loïc Vliegen (BEL), Tyler Williams (USA).

General Manager: Jens Blatter (SUI)
Directeur Sportif: Geert Van Bondt (BEL)
Staff: Coach and Training Data Manager: Scott Nydam (USA). Doctor: Scott Major (USA). Head Mechanic: Nick Mondelaers (BEL). Head Soigneur: Patrice Hemroulle (BEL).

3T Cycling rolls with the BMC Development Team:

header-MTN2015 MTN-Qhubeka WCCA Feeder Team Announcement
The South African domestic racing scene reached its conclusion yesterday with the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, the 2nd biggest mass participation cycling event in both South Africa and the world. The MTN-Qhubeka World Cycling Centre Africa Feeder Team would end off a great season with an emphatic victory at yesterday’s race as Till Drobisch held a late attack all the way to the line. It was a selfless performance by the entire team that ensured the victory though, a quality the team has shown throughout the season.

While the 2014 season may have reached its climax only one day ago, Team MTN-Qhubeka and the World Cycling Centre Africa have had its sights set on next season for quite some time now and are delighted to introduce you to the 2015 team and its plans for the new season. With 6 new young and talented riders, who have already racked up a number of national and continental titles joining the squad, the 2015 season looks to be an exciting and promising prospect.

JP van Zyl – Director World Cycling Centre Satellite Africa
We will have a two tier approach next year: The Feeder Team will have the young talents from South Africa and Africa ages 18-21 and a more mature group of basically 4-5 riders that we have earmarked to possibly join the professional peloton or ride as stagiaire’s with a European Professional squad. We have concentrated on taking young talented riders, to ensure they are nurtured and trained following the best guidelines. We will expose them to high level racing and training but track their recovery, ensuring they follow good recovery protocols with nutrition being the key factor.

The Feeder Team will work closely with the MTN-Qhubeka Pro Continental team in 2015. We are in the fortunate position to tap the knowledge from the Pro Continental staff like Dr. Carol Austin (Head of Performance), Dr. Rob Child (Nutrition) and Jens Zemke (Sport Director). By working in tandem with these experts our athletes are educated in the latest techniques of power training, micro nutrition, and will have insight into tactics, strategies and approaches the sport directors take when considering different one day races, classic races & grand tours etc.

We will also adapt our training considerably going forward. Having seen the demands and data from Dr. Carol Austin recently ( 2014 Season MTN-Qhubeka), we have to be training very goal specific and teach the Feeder Team rider to mentally prepare for and approach the season more strategically. We will concentrate on health issues with our African riders and ensure that all our Feeder Team riders also understand the importance of the Adams programme. It is important that the riders familiarise themselves now with the Adams programme so that they have a less stressful transition in their first season as a professional rider.

We want to give these young talented riders the tools to be self-sufficient and be able to adapt their training and mental approach as if they were already in the professional environment. We will also spend a period of 60-90 days in Europe and expose the Feeder Team as much as possible, to high level amateur and UCI category 2 races in 2015.

2015 MTN-Qhubeka World Cycling Centre Africa Feeder Team:
Tesfom Okubamariam (ERI), Metkel Eyob (ERI), Meron Teshome (ERI), Oliver Stapleton-Cotton (RSA), Jayde Julius (RSA), Gustav Basson (RSA), Graeme Ockhuis (RSA), Clint Hendricks (RSA), Nicholas Dlamini (RSA), Stefan De Bod (RSA).

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header-bigla15Cervélo and Bigla Join Forces to Progress Women’s Cycling
New look Swiss team taking shape under new management

The new look Bigla Pro Cycling Team is proud to announce its latest partnership with Cervélo. The bicycle manufacturer will take over as technical sponsor and supply the team with its innovative R, S and P series frames.

“One of our objectives is to see how close we can get to the best team time trial teams in the world. The P5 will definitely help us in this regard as we know Cervélo is famous for innovative aerodynamic. I’ve had a long standing relationship with the company and we’re looking forward to taking it forward as we look to grow the sport,” general manager Thomas Campana said.

Managing Director at Cervélo, Robert Reijers, added, “We are proud to be the frame sponsor of Bigla Pro Cycling Team for the next years. When we evaluate sponsorship opportunities, we carefully evaluate both the quality of the rider roster and the team management alike. In the past, Thomas has helped catapult Cervélo TestTeam to a dominant position in women’s cycling. We expect Bigla Pro Cycling Team, with a strengthened, truly international rider roster to become a strong force in women`s cycling in 2015 and beyond. This announcement underlines our commitment to women pro-cycling in parallel to our presence in pro-triathlon.”

More sponsor and athlete announcements can be expected.

So far, the 2014 roster includes:
Annemiek van Vleuten, Shelley Olds, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Iris Slappendel, Vera Koedooder, Lotta Lepistö, Sharon Laws, Doris Schweizer, Joëlle Numainville.

Vera Koedooder after the Sparkassen Giro:

header-bora-agon18BORA – Argon 18 sets its eyes on the Tour de France 2015
The only German professional cycling team, BORA – Argon 18, is heading into the new season with confidence. At today’s briefing with representatives from the German media at the team’s home base, team manager Ralph Denk formulated the objectives for the coming year. In the presence of Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France who was visiting BORA – Argon 18 in its Bavarian home, the team stated that its top priority for the season is to return to the world’s most important cycling race.

“We want to be back at the Tour de France next year. We are trying very hard to get a wild card and are quite candid about our goal. It is thus a great honor to have Christian Prudhomme visiting our team in Bavaria today. The mere fact that he has made the effort underscores the Tour’s interest in Germany. And our team makes a small contribution to this,” Ralph Denk, team manager of BORA – Argon 18, said.

“We are the only ProConti team that was allowed to ride all three Grand Tours over the past three years. We reached the podium in all of these tours, surprised a lot of people with our performance and proved that we deserved to be invited. Now with Dominik Nerz we have signed one of Germany’s best tour riders to our team. He has the potential to develop into a top 10 rider in the overall rankings,” Denk continued.

Under its current name of Team NetApp-Endura, the team participated in the Tour de France for the first time this year. The German team debuted with nine newcomers to the Tour who gave convincing performances with two third place finishes, including one by Jan Barta in the time trial. Barta also won the red starting number awarded to the most active rider in the third stage. Leopold König’s seventh place finish in the general classification should be considered the team’s greatest success at its premiere in the Tour de France.

Ralph Denk, Team Manager BORA – Argon 18 meets ASO’s Christian Prudhomme
Pressekonferenz Team Bora - Argon 18

header_lampre-meridaFrom the Highlands of Ethiopia to the Roads of the WorldTour Cycling Scene
This is the path Tsgabu Gebremaryan Grmay has chosen, the first Ethiopian cyclist to have signed with WorldTour cycling team Lampre-Merida.

The twenty-three year old climber has signed a contract for the 2015 season with the formation blue-fuchsia-green, becoming the second African athlete in the history of the team (the first being Robert Hunter).

Born in Mekele, Ethiopia on the 25 August 1991, 175 cm tall with a weight of 63 kg, Grmay began to refine his potential in cycling during 2010 and 2011 at the World Cycling Centre (CMC) in Aigle, Switzerland, where he spent a two-year period during which Grmay took part in various European competitions for amateurs.

The turning point came in 2012 when he turned professional with MTN-Qhubeka team: his best results as a pro include two titles as Ethiopian road champion, two titles as Ethiopian to time trial champion, a stage win and second place in the overall standings of the 2013 Tour of Taiwan.

The technical staff and management of Lampre-Merida realised an opportunity in his potential as a climber, Grmays’ climbing qualities and abilities which are believed to still have room for improvement, as highlighted by the team manager Brent Copeland: “The quality of climber Tsgabu has been refined day after day as a daily practice, not only due to his training area of where he lives at an altitude of 2400 meters in the highlands of Ethiopia but also due to his mentality and culture of giving consistent hard work and dedication to bringing out the best in himself as an athlete and person which he is.
I already knew Grmay for his militancy in team MTN-Qhubeka and I appreciated his character and his natural talent he has for cycling, for which I believe there is room for growth and improvement. He is one of our many investments for the future, one in which we believe to bring an exponent of African cycling to the worlds pro tour cycling scene. This opportunity in which Tsgabu finds himself with is something I believe will contribute to help bring out the best in him in order for him to show his true potential.”

This is the comment by Grmay: “For me stepping up to a WorldTour team is a very great encouragement and it pushes me to work hard for the future in order to reach the biggest dream of my life; to race in the Tour de France. I am very happy and lucky to be with Team Lampre-Merida. I am the first Ethiopian rider to sign with a WorldTour team, so I am very proud about that as well and I want to say thanks so much to Lampre-Merida for this great opportunity.”

Signing Gramy, Lampre-Merida opens it’s doors to yet another cycling scene, namely the African continent, after already showing our interest in the Asian cycling world. The team management believe strongly in the development in African cycling and in the possibility of having African cyclists at the top level of professional racing in the future, thus, the reason for the investments as being a reference point for the talented riders of this continent.

Team MTN - Qhubeka 2014

header-lapomme14Team Marseille 13-KTM in 2015
French ProConti team La Pomme Marseille 13 will be riding KTM bike is 2015 and will change it’s name to Team Marseille 13-KTM. The team has also signed Ignatas Konovalovas from MTN-Qhubeka, previously with Movistar, Cervelo Test Team and Crédit Agricole. He has ridden the Tour de France once and the Giro three times with a stage win in the Italian race. He joins the team top rider Rémy Di Grégorio, winner of the Tour de Taiwan and Julien Antomarchi, the Tour of Hainan victor.

Justin Jules won stage 5 of the 2014 Tour d’Azerbaijan:
Tour d'Azerbaidjan stage 5

header-tinkoffsaxoJay McCarthy after revealing season: “I’m closer to finding myself as a rider”
Tinkoff-Saxo’s young talent Jay McCarthy has just finished his second season on Tinkoff-Saxo and as a World Tour rider. The 22-year old got the first Grand Tour under his belt and took important steps in finding his specialization as a rider.

“I’ve had a solid season in the manner that I’ve developed steadily, I rode my first Giro d’Italia and I got some more World Tour experience and power. I’m getting closer to finding myself as a rider,” says Jay McCarthy and elaborates: “Right now, I see myself moving in the direction of becoming a rider for the medium mountain or hilly stages, where you try your luck and play the tactical game carefully”.

As a young rider on the team, Jay McCarthy has ridden many kilometers in the front of the peloton working for his captain. But that in itself is a big learning experience, according to the young Australian.

“I like working for the team captains even if it completely ruins my own chances in the race. Cycling is a team effort, and I learn a lot from riding with my captains. It feels as a sort of victory, when you let go of the front after having done your very best,” explains Jay McCarthy.

Tinkoff-Saxo has made it very clear that 2015 is a year of big ambitions. The setup around the team is being improved and the riders will get more and better advice on all aspects to ensure a fine-tuning of their engines.

“This is music to my ears since it’s so important to get the coaching as a young rider. It’s hard work throughout the year, but I enjoy being on this team. And even though I’ve only been off my bike for two weeks, I really can’t wait to get back on it – especially when the entire team is so determined to perform in 2015,” finishes Jay McCarthy.

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header-hetneuwsChange in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Route for 2015
The Belgian season opener; Omloop Het Niewsblad will have an extra climb in it’s 202 kilometers on Saturday, February the 28th, 2015. Peter Van Petegem has added the Bosgat climb is one kilometre long and has a 5.5% average ramp with a 9% section.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2014 highlights:

header-qatar142015 Tour of Qatar Teams
Eighteen cycling teams have been selected to take part to the 14th edition of the Tour of Qatar will take place from the 8th to the 13th of February 2015:

Australia: ORICA-GreenEDGE
Belgium: ETIXX – QUICK-STEP CYCLING TEAM, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
France: COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, FDJ
Germany: BORA – ARGON 18
Great Britain: TEAM SKY
Italy: BARDIANI CSF, LAMPRE-MERIDA
Kazakhstan: ASTANA PRO TEAM
Netherlands: TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
Russia: TEAM KATUSHA, TINKOFF-SAXO
South Africa: MTN – QHUBEKA
Spain: MOVISTAR TEAM
Switzerland: IAM CYCLING
USA: BMC RACING TEAM, TREK FACTORY RACING.

Mark Cavendish in the Tour of Qatar 2013:

header-oman142015 Tour of Oman Teams
Eighteen cycling teams have been selected to take part to the 6th edition of the Tour of Oman which will take place around Muscat from the 17th to the 22nd of February 2015.

Australia: ORICA-GreenEDGE
Belgium: ETIXX – QUICK-STEP CYCLING TEAM, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE
France: COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, FDJ
Germany: BORA – ARGON 18
Great Britain: TEAM SKY
Italy: BARDIANI CSF, LAMPRE-MERIDA
Kazakhstan: ASTANA PRO TEAM
Netherlands: TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN
Russia: TEAM KATUSHA, TINKOFF-SAXO
South Africa: MTN – QHUBEKA
Spain: MOVISTAR TEAM
Switzerland: IAM CYCLING
USA: BMC RACING TEAM, TREK FACTORY RACING.

Stage 4 – Tour of Oman 2014 – bunny hop Peter Sagan:

header-giroGF14Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Details Announced to be Held on Queen Stage of Corsa Rosa 2015
Giro d’Italia is preparing a present for cycling fans, to put under the Christmas tree, with registrations to enter the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia opening in December.

The ride is open to aficionados and active cyclists that would like to challenge themselves and the pros on the “pink roads” and will be held on Sunday the 17th May.

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia will be held on the route of the Corsa Rosa’s Queen Stage – from Pinzolo to Aprica – and will run over the same climbs, the same descents, the same hairpins and the same distance that will test the pro riders days later, in what is one of the most keenly awaited days of the 2015 Giro d’Italia.

Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia will have two courses: a long route that will cover entirely the whole 175 km of the Pinzolo to Aprica stage, facing the climbs of Campo Carlo Magno, Passo del Tonale, Aprica, Mortirolo before the final climb towards Aprica; and a medium route, which will end after 102 km on the first passage in Aprica.

Giro Grand Fondo Profile:
GiroGF-profile

The Cat of Gent!
During the opening night of the best ‘6 day’ of the season in the Belgian town of Gent, a cat decided to join in the action. It could have been bad for riders and feline, but the miscreant was captured and the race continued.


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