EuroTrash Riis Thursday!
The 2015 Tour de France is just around the corner and some of the teams have made their selections and set out their plan for the big French race. We take look at the Danish doping probe and have the reports and results from Halle-Ingooigem, the Italian, Swiss and Dutch time trial championships. Plus new contract for Petr Vakoc and retirement for Thomas Raeymaekers. Big coffee EuroTrash time.
TOP STORY: Danish Doping Report
The Danish Anti-Doping commission has published its report into doping in cycling between 1998 and 2015. It will come as no surprise to many that they found that Bjarne Riis was involved in a doping operation at the CSC team during that time. The report states that Riis, his DS Johnny Weltz and Riis Cycling Managing Director Alex Pedersen and many former Danish riders all broke doping laws during that time, but as eight years have passed since the violations there will be no sanctions against those involved due to WADA’s statute of limitation.
A day before the announcement, Niki Sorensen admitted to his doping during that time (see below). He has been a Tinkoff-Saxo DS since 2014. Many riders were interviewed: Bo Hamburger said that the team (then Memory Card-Jack & Jones) had a doping centre in Luxembourg in 2000, where ‘products’ were stored. Hamburger also confirmed that in 2000, Riis had asked him to buy EPO for Jorg Jaksche, a statement that Jaksche corroborated in his evidence. Weltz admitted that he had been involved in the delivery of drugs from a pharmacy in Andorra in 2000.
Michael Rasmussen, Tyler Hamilton and Jorg Jaksche stated that CSC doctors gave riders synacthen without medical justification and that Riis advised the doctors on the administration of cortisone. Riis denied there was abuse of cortisone on the CSC team. Riis did confessed to blood doping during his own career and was aware of riders on his team were doping. The Danish Agency also pointed at Joost de Maeseneer, medical chief at Astana since 2013. At the time of CSC, the Belgian was one of the doctors who “knew and contributed to the use of banned substances in the team”.
Five riders give evidence in exchange for anonymity and there is a long list of top riders who passed through the CSC door during the time of the team, riders who are still racing now, is this the start of another purge in cycling. 2008 Tour winner, Carlos Sastre, has denied any knowledge of doping on the team, but he did leave the team after a misunderstood conversation about blood doping with Riis. His stance against doping is well known, his victory has been held up as one we can believe in.
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won the Halle-Ingooigem in Belgium on Wednesday, out-sprinting Kris Boekmans (Lotto Soudal) and Edward Theuns (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) at the end of the 199 kilometer race.
The five-man break of the day managed a lead of six minutes, it consisted of Sam Lennertz (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Xandro Meurisse & Paulius Siskevicius (An Post-Chain Reaction), David Boucher (FDJ.fr), and Dieter Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). By they were caught with 20 to go. Next to escape was Niki Terpstra & Nikolas Maes (Etixx – Quick-Step), Jesse Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo), Geoffrey Soupe (Cofidis), Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Soudal), they managed to get nearly 30 seconds on the split peloton. Maes was the strongman of the group, but in the end he was caught with a kilometer to go and the race was set up for a sprint finish. Boekmans lead-out, but Bouhanni came round him for the win, although there was a big crash in the final meters.
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis in 4:47:17
2. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) An Post-Chainreaction
6. Justin Jules (Fra) Veranclassic-Ekoi
7. Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
8. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
9. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Roubaix Lille Metropole
10. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Bouhanni takes the win:
Italian Time Trial Championships 2015
Movistar Team specialist claims convincing win in Bogogno, extends national crown for an additional twelve months before heading into the Tour de France next week.
A technical route with plenty of pace changes, not entirely for specialists, “especially into the first kilometers”, as explained by Movistar Team sports director José Luis Arrieta, yet which Adriano Malori dominated as he usually does when against the clock. The Parma-born rider claimed his third Italian time trial title after smashing the 36.6km course in Bogogno, in the province of Novara, Piedmont.
Malori, who came into the national event just three days after taking 4th in the final TT of the Tour de Suisse, clocked the fastest time through the only intermediate point (18km), 23 seconds ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) who was in 2nd, with Moreno Moser in 3rd. Moser jumped over Bennati for the final silver medal. “Having put almost half a minute over the rest in that demanding section, he really had to be feeling strong,” Arrieta said. It’s Malori’s fourth victory of the season; after TT wins in San Luis, Tirreno-Adriatico (prologue) and La Sarthe (also taking the GC lead). The Italian is now setting his sights on the Tour de France, as one of the main favorites for the opening stage in Utrecht.
Italian TT Champion, Adriano Malori (Movistar): “After making ‘Arri’ and the whole team coming to guide me into the TT, I really had to win – otherwise, if I didn’t keep the jersey, Eusebio would kick me out of the building (laughs). It was quite a technical course, with lots of turns, climbing… it wasn’t easy at all. Fortunately, I felt really great, stronger than in the Tour de Suisse, and as there were many descents between the climbs, I was able to give my everything from the very start. Now it’s time to start thinking about next Saturday: the competition will be quite stronger, it’ll be a difficult day for me… but I feel strong and motivated. There’s not much work to go: some specific training on the TT bike, with short, fast sessions… from a physical point of view, I’m ready for the Tour.”
Italian Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Adriano Malori (Movistar) in 44:13
2. Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Garmin) at 1:01
3. Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 1:13.
Swiss Time Trial Championships 2015
BMC Racing Team’s Silvan Dillier rode to the gold medal and his first victory of the season on Wednesday at the Swiss national time trial championships. Dillier powered his BMC timemachine TM01 to a winning time of 50:03.76 on the 39.4-kilometer course that comprised two laps of a hilly circuit. He was 1:16 faster than runner-up Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling), who was two seconds faster than third-placed Steve Morabito (FDJ.fr).
“This is a nice victory for me,” Dillier said. “The title is always nice to have and it is a good push for the season because I have had some bad luck in a few races. Now it is all coming together.”
Dillier was the last rider to start, but said he was not given any time checks. “The guys taking the time never told me the time gap so I was thinking I was behind and that they did not want to kill my morale,” he said. “But actually, I was in front. They didn’t tell me because they did not want me to get too excited.”
A member of the BMC Racing Team’s world team time trial championship squad last fall, Dillier completed his first grand tour, the Giro d’Italia, last month in 52nd place. Earlier this season, he helped Rohan Dennis win the Santos Tour Down Under. Three times as a rider in the Under 23 ranks, he captured Swiss national time trial titles (2010-12).
Dillier said he is looking forward to Sunday’s 192-km road race championship, which passes directly by his childhood home. “We are not the team with the most riders, so that will be different from the past few years,” he said. But what counts is how intelligent you ride. It will be a very exciting race for sure.”
2nd, Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling): “There was nothing more I could have done. I found this out-and-back stressful. I gave my all on a course that proved to be very demanding. You had constant changes in speed, but I still managed to find a good rhythm. It certainly was good training for the coming weeks, but also for the Swiss national road race that is scheduled for Sunday. I felt good, and I think I can say that I am ready for the start of the Tour de France, even though there are still ten days to go before le Grand Départ.”
Swiss Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Silvan Dillier (BMC) in 50:03
2. Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) at 1:16
3. Steve Morabito (FDJ.fr) at 1:18.
Dutch Time Trial Championships 2015
The LottoNL-Jumbo team filled the podium at the Dutch National time trial championships with Wilco Kelderman beating Rick Flens by 42 seconds and Jos van Emden by 44. The 2014 champion, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was fourth at 49 seconds. The LottoNL-Jumbo team took five of the first six places as Martijn Keizer was fifth and Maarten Tjallingii was sixth.
The new Dutch time trial champion, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I never expected this result. Tom Dumoulin was the man to beat and it was going to be very difficult to be faster than him. But everything came together today. We’re riding on a very good Bianchi Aquila and Mathieu Heijboer especially put a lot of time in developing our time trial. That’s why we believed in our chances to finish in the top three. This result is superb.”
2nd, Rick Flens (LottoNL-Jumbo): “We have a new bike and I’m feeling great on it. It’s been running quite smoothly for a while now and today, I finally got some reward for it. After everything I did for the team, it was time to ride for myself. That’s why I wanted to make it in the top three so badly. I heard that it was going to be close so I gave everything I had. Fortunately, I was able to hold that pace. I made the difference in the last ten kilometres.”
3rd, Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo): “This is good for the team, we are back on the top because our new bike is magnificent. Last year, I finished third too, but it was a very different race, especially mentally. Today, I knew that I was going to fight for the highest places and I was even the fastest after 40 kilometres. I collapsed in the last 15 kilometres unfortunately. I went very fast today, but I wasn’t able to hold my pace as good as Wilco and Rick did.”
4th, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “I was not fully recovered from last week’s Tour de Suisse, but hoped that 95% would be enough for the win. Unfortunately, that was not the case as the level turned out to be too high to take the beautiful jersey home. I set my pace using my power meter but the first intermediate already showed that my time wasn’t great so I had to accelerate, which I was not capable of. After the altitude training camp I directly went to the Tour de Suisse, where I dug deep and fought for my GC position every day. For now, I will focus on my recovery and take my rest. Regarding my ambitions for the prologue of the Tour, nothing is lost. My expectations are no less high. I have a good season in the time trials behind me and hope to be able to show myself Utrecht. The motto now is rest, rest, rest. I won’t do the road race as that is totally unwise. I have to digest the altitude training and the Tour of Switzerland and then I hope to have my normal shape in Utrecht.”
Dutch Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) in 1:02:31
2. Rick Flens (LottoNL-Jumbo) at 0:42
3. Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) at 0:44.
Tour de France 2015
The 2015 Tour de France starts a week on Saturday (July 4th) in Utrecht with a 13.8 kilometer time trial and finishes three weeks later (July 26th) in Paris. The teams are starting to release their rider line-ups, so here are the first selections:
Tour de France 2015 in Numbers:
4,500 people: organisers – teams – media – partners – advertising caravane – service providers
198 riders at the start (22 teams of 9 riders)
300 support staff
15 members of the race jury
3,360 km (21 stages)
3 countries visited (The Netherlands, Belgium and France)
26 French departments visited
37 stage sites
624 municipalities crossed (568 in France, 17 in The Netherlands, 39 in Belgium)
100 A.S.O. staff
300 temporary staff
1550 beds reserved every day for the organization and the sports teams
10 doctors (all specialties), 5 nurses
7 ambulances, 2 medical cars, 1 motorcycle, 1 radiology truck
48 members of the Republican Guard motorcycle division
13 officers on duty as the permanent police of the Tour
14,000 gendarmes / 9,000 police officers and CRS riot police mobilized
1,000 agents from the General Councils
Accredited Media (2014 edition)
2000 journalists, consultants and photographers
637 media organisations
373 newspapers, press agencies and Internet sites
92 television networks
114 photo agencies
58 radio stations
Broadcast in 190 countries
100 channels, including 60 live
8 stages broadcast in full
80 hours of live broadcast produced (international signal)
6,100 hours aired worldwide in 2014
Internet / New Media
32 million unique visitors / 146 million pages viewed on letour.fr in 2014
4 languages: French, English, Spanish, German
1,700,000 fans on Facebook
1,300,000 followers on Twitter
500,000 on Google +
100,000 on Instagram
1, 1 million downloads of applications dedicated to the Tour de France
France Télévisions coverage
8 stages will be broadcast in full
1: Utrecht – Utrecht / Saturday July 4
2: Utrecht – Zealand / Sunday July 5
3: Antwerp – Huy / Monday July 6
9: Vannes – Plumelec / Sunday July 12
12: Lannemezan – Plateau de Beille / Thursday July 16
19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – La Toussuire / Friday July 24
20: Modane Valfréjus – Alpe d’Huez / Saturday July 25
21: Sèvres-Grand Paris Seine Ouest – Paris Champs-Elysées / Sunday July 26
42 partner brands with 5 new partners (Dimension Data, Le Gaulois, Bostik, Cornetto, GoPro)
5 Club Partners
7 Official Partners
16 Official Suppliers
5 Technical Partners
2 Official Supporters
2 Media Partners
2 Official Broadcasters
3 Institutional Partners
14 million objects handed out
12 km of procession
35 minutes of show
55 people to supervise the caravane, including 13 officers of the Republican Guard motorcycle division
Spectators on the side of the road (2014 edition)
64% of men and 36% of women
54% under the age of 50, with 10% under the age of 25
80% of French spectators and 20% from abroad
More than 40 nationalities identified
6h30 of presence on the road side (6h on flat stages, 7h for mountain stages)
92% come accompanied (on average 5 people per group)
Gesink and Kelderman main guns for Team LottoNL-Jumbo in the Tour de France
Team LottoNL-Jumbo will take a group of nine motivated riders to the Tour de France. Wilco Kelderman and Robert Gesink are the team’s main guns, with Steven Kruijswijk and Laurens ten Dam as second options in the general classification.
“We selected a balanced composition of our Tour de France team,” sports director Nico Verhoeven explained. “Facing the profile, we didn’t target the bunch sprints as much as before. This year, we’re starting with more climbers. Robert and Wilco are our front men, but also Laurens and Steven proved themselves in big tours already.
“It’s obvious that a lot can happen in the first ten days of the Tour de France. With this group of four, we have less of a risk of losing our general classifications ambitions completely after the first part. We’re able to spread out our chances. That means that we’re not focusing on just one team leader. The main part of the race is in the second half, so when that period starts, we still have to be in good position.”
It will be Wilco Kelderman’s debut in the Tour de France this year. “I’m really looking forward to it,” the young cyclist said. “I’ve been preparing specifically for the Tour de France the last five weeks. I’ve had a training camp at altitude and rode the Criterium du Dauphiné as preparation.
“I’m looking forward to the start in Utrecht and to the stage to Alpe d’Huez the most. The next week and a half, I’m going to do some specific training on my time trial bike and rest so that I will be fresh at the start.”
Plateau de Beille
“The fact that we’re going to start in the Netherlands is wonderful and I’m very happy to be there,” Gesink said. “I have some great memories from the last time that the Tour de France started here and I can’t wait until the departure in Utrecht. But I’m really looking forward to the moment we leave Holland, to challenge the mountains.
“For the moment, I have to make sure that I have time enough to rest from my effort in the Tour de Suisse. Besides that, I’m planning to preview the stage to Plateau de Beille from my home in Girona.”
“Everyone is ready,” Verhoeven continued. “Most of the riders prepared themselves at altitude for the Tour de France. It was the first time to do so for Sep Vanmarcke. He improved his form in the Tour de Suisse. Robert and Laurens chose to do their preparations in the United States and that went smoothly, as well. Besides that Robert and Wilco will not start in the Dutch national road race because of their preparation for the Tour. Together, we’re looking forward to a Tour de France which is even more special for us because of the start in our own country.”
Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Laurens ten Dam, Steven Kruijswijk, Sep Vanmarcke, Bram Tankink, Tom Leezer, Jos van Emden and Paul Martens.
Sports directors: Nico Verhoeven, Merijn Zeeman, Frans Maassen, and Louis Delahaije.
Tour de France Line-up Confirmed
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce its final nine-rider line-up for the 102nd Tour de France, which starts in Utrecht (NL) on July 4. After starting in Rotterdam in 2010, the 2015 Tour de France returns to the Netherlands.
With an impressive haul of eight stage wins in the previous two editions of La Grand Boucle, Team Giant-Alpecin heads to this year’s Tour de France once again with the goal of winning a stage in the sprint stages with a difficult finale, the intermediate/transition stages and the mountain stages. Further to this, the team aims to develop the riders’ form and further enhancing the quality of the entire team.
To achieve successful results, German sprinter John Degenkolb will lead the team with his focus on obtaining good results in reduced sprints. With Warren Barguil (FRA), Georg Preidler (AUT) and Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), the team brings three debutants to Utrecht. For Barguil it will his challenge to discover his capabilities in the Tour, which will be an important step in his development as a GC rider. With the young Frenchman, the team aims for stage success in the intermediate /transition- and mountain stages. Preidler is an all-rounder and his qualities will be employed as a support rider in the lead-out as well as the mountain stages. Sinkeldam will be a valuable member of the sprint preparation for Degenkolb.
Other riders forming the line-up for Team Giant-Alpecin’s fifth start at the Tour include road captain Roy Curvers (NED), starting his fourth Tour, and trusty lead-out men Koen de Kort (NED) and Albert Timmer (NED), who both participated in all Tour de France tours the team has competed in thus far. The line-up is completed by Tom Dumoulin (NED), who is aiming for a good result in the opening time trial, and Simon Geschke (GER), who together with Dumoulin returns for his third Tour.
The team looks forward to the start in the Netherlands, and for five of the team’s riders this will be an extra special experience: to start the Tour de France on their home turf. Specific preparations have been made by the team for the Tour de France, starting back in the winter of 2014. The riders, coaches and experts have been fine-tuning every detail of the team’s equipment, training, support and logistics in a continuous preparation process, using aero wind tunnel tests, course recon’s and the altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada.
A notable absentee this year will be German sprinter Marcel Kittel, who worked hard with team’s coaches and experts to get in shape after recovering from a virus. Good progress has been made in this process, however the team decided that Kittel’s basic fitness is still not sufficient to compete in the Tour de France. Therefore the team will be strengthened for stage success over a different type of parcours, the hard sprints. For now, an alternative racing program will be determined by the performance team and Kittel himself and new goals will be set for the autumn to structurally work towards them.
“Of course I am disappointed about not participating in the Tour de France this year,” said Kittel. “But I will have to look ahead and focus on new goals.”
Coach Marc Reef (NED) is looking forward to the Tour: “Our main goal will be for a stage win, and the team for this year’s Tour has a good chance to achieve this goal. Based on the team’s specific strengths, we already have some great opportunities for success in the first week and fully expect to achieve positive results throughout.”
Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Georg Preidler (AUT), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).
Coach: Marc Reef (NED), Christian Guiberteau (FRA) & Rudi Kemna (NED).
Making History: MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung presents Tour de France team
9 riders selected for first-ever African team to ride the Grand Boucle
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is delighted to announce the final nine man team that will make history as the first African team to participate in Le Tour de France.
Starting on 4 July these nine riders will represent the African continent on cycling’s most global stage, with the objective of driving our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign so that we can mobilise 5000 kids in Africa with bicycles this July.
Our long list of 11 riders was announced on 2 June. In the two weeks since this initial announcement, we saw the magnificent performance of our African team at the Criterium du Dauphine. It was the performance at the Dauphine that gave our management team the final confirmation to select our Le Tour team.
We are delighted to select two Eritrean riders, the first men ever from the country, to take part in the Tour de France. In all likelihood, Merhawi Kudus will also be the youngest rider in the race, while Daniel Teklehaimanot will start the Grande Boucle fresh off winning our team’s first-ever World Tour leaders jersey at the recent Criterium du Dauphine.
There will be three South African riders making their Tour de France debut: the African champion, Louis Meintjes, South African champion, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
Edvald Boasson Hagen brings a wealth of experience, having been a part of two previous Tour de France winning teams. Tyler Farrar has won stages in all three Grand Tours previously; Steve Cummings brings incredible time trial strength and the ever aggressive Serge Pauwels will compliment our 5 African riders, completing our African team for the 102nd Tour de France. Natnael Berhane and Youcef Reguigi will be the two reserve riders for the team.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders for 102nd Le Tour de France
Edvald Boasson Hagen [Norway]
Steve Cummings [Great Britain]
Tyler Farrar [USA]
Jacques Janse van Rensburg [South Africa]
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg [South Africa]
Merhawi Kudus [Eritrea]
Louis Meintjes [South Africa]
Serge Pauwels [Belgium]
Daniel Teklehaimanot [Eritrea].
Brian Smith – General Manager: “It was always going to be difficult to choose nine riders from 23. It was even more difficult as history will be made in July when the first South African based team takes the start in Utrecht. We have chosen the best team suited to hit our team goals. During the Tour we are focused on helping fund 5000 bicycles for school children in South Africa who walk more than 6km to school daily. We hope to raise awareness and garner support for our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign by targeting performance goals that include a stage win and wearing a competition jersey. We will not go to the Tour with a dedicated Sprint or GC train, but look to take opportunities in most stages as demonstrated in the Dauphine. We will not sit back and be counted. Tyler Farrar will be our captain on the road and work with Edvald Boasson Hagen and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg towards the flatter stages. Steve Cummings will concentrate on the Prologue initially and look at stage opportunities in rolling terrain. We then have a climbing group consisting of Louis Meintjes, Merhawi Kudus, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Serge Pauwels. This group is an unknown and an exciting prospect. With Serge’s guidance we plan to feature in the high mountains. We will be taking nothing for granted and will make sure we make our own opportunities and take them when we can. The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today!”
Dr Carol Austin – Head of Performance Support and Medical: “Preparations are on-track; we expect each rider to perform at their best in July. At Team MTN-Qhubeka we take an individualized, athlete-centred approach to performance. At the start of the season, each rider’s race program and training plan was determined with the goal of bringing them to the Tour in peak form. Most rider’s ‘ideal’ preparation plan has been realized. I am extremely grateful to the World Tour event organisers who have provided us with the race opportunities that are critical to performance in the Tour. Where medical illness and injury have interrupted our plans, my medical team and coaches have worked creatively to overcome the challenges. Over the past four weeks we’ve been fine tuning our athletes’ form through training camps in the French Alps and Italy. We’ve taken our sports science preparations to a new level for the Tour, and will use this opportunity to further extend our insights and knowledge. Our performances in the Criterium du Dauphine demonstrate that we are ready. We look forward to realizing our Tour de France dreams, and starting a new chapter for African cycling.”
Marc Sergeant on the Lotto Soudal Tour selection
On Saturday 4th July the 102nd Tour de France starts in Utrecht. Lotto Soudal has selected these nine riders: Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Marcel Sieberg and Tim Wellens. Manager Marc Sergeant explains this choice.
“This choice is based on trust: in what they did for the team in the past, their current condition and the way we want to approach the next Tour. André Greipel remains one of the foundations of the team. Since 2011 he won at least one Tour stage each year, he got a confidence boost the past weeks in several races and with a good team around him we aim for another stage win. It’s true there are less sprint opportunities than previous years, but still this is our biggest chance of a stage win.”
“Greg Henderson, Jens Debusschere and Marcel Sieberg will support André as good as possible to achieve our goal, but the other guys will do their part of the job as well. Just think of the hundreds of kilometers Lars Bak pulled at the front of the peloton last year or the experience and tranquillity of Adam Hansen in an exciting finale. With Greg Henderson we have one of the most experienced lead-outs of the peloton. André won his most important races with Greg. Jens Debusschere can take over the role of Jürgen Roelandts, if necessary he is fast as well and can have a go of his own in the stage over the cobblestones for example. He has grown a lot and is ready for his Tour début. Marcel Sieberg is indispensable in his role, he knows André very well and works together perfectly with the other guys.”
“We want to continue our attractive way of racing of the first part of the season. We got lots of publicity and positive reactions. In each stage that won’t end with a bunch sprint our riders can attack. The fact that we don’t have a GC rider this year gives more freedom to this type of riders. Tony Gallopin, Tim Wellens, Thomas De Gendt and also Adam Hansen and Lars Bak can join a breakaway in stages that suit them. Except for Tim Wellens, for whom it’s the first Tour, they all proved they can win a stage in a Grand Tour. Tim can go the Tour without any pressure, like he raced in the Giro last year.”
Rik Verbrugghe: “We come with an opportunistic team eager to win at least one stage and protect a rider for the GC”
The Tour de France is on the horizon and will kick off with the sixth Dutch Grand Depart in the history of the race. The second three week tour on the calendar, the Tour de France will begin on Saturday, July 4th, with a time trial of 13.8 kilometers through the streets of Utrecht. Twelve days before the start of the team’s major objective of the season, IAM Cycling has named the nine riders who will carry the colors of the Swiss professional squad in the biggest race of the year.
Sports manager, Rik Verbrugghe took care to explain the choices the management made in selecting their riders after speaking together with Michel Thétaz, the founder of IAM Cycling and the CEO of IAM Funds. “We talked at length to find the right mix of riders. As always, the choice has been difficult. We come with an opportunistic team that is eager to win at least one stage and to protect a rider for the general classification. Mathias Frank has recovered from his sinusitis that he suffered from at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and will be our strong man for the general classification. We will do everything we can to allow him to be as efficient as possible throughout the big event in July. To help him achieve his goals, we have decided to go without a pure sprinter who would be likely to shine in the first week.
Jonas van Genechten is designated first reservist. This means that we will focus primarily on the second and third weeks. But still, we will remain attentive with riders like Sylvain Chavanel, our rouleur-puncheur, who will have the status that will allow him to attack whichever stages he fancies. We also have wonderfully experienced riders like Stef Clement and Martin Elmiger who will act as road captains throughout the stages. Matthias Brändle and Reto Hollenstein will fill the roles as the team’s rouleurs. And then finally, we have Jérôme Coppel, Jarlinson Pantano, and Marcel Wyss who will apply their climbing skills towards helping Mathias Frank, who like last year, will be aiming for a place in the top-10.”
Matthias Brändle (Aut), Sylvain Chavanel (Fr), Stef Clement (Ned), Jérôme Coppel (Fr), Martin Elmiger (S), Mathias Frank (S), Reto Hollenstein (S), Jarlinson Pantano (Col), Marcel Wyss (S).
Sports Manager: Rik Verbrugghe
Directeurs sportifs: Mario Chiesa, Eddy Seigneur.
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
BORA – ARGON 18 names the squad for the Tour de France
German professional cycling team BORA – ARGON 18 has selected its nine riders with whom the 102nd edition of the Tour de France will be tackled. Four German riders provide the largest contingent of the wildcard team. With the only 22-year-old neopro Emanuel Buchmann, BORA – ARGON 18 presents one of the youngest participants of this year’s Tour de France. While Sam Bennett will also make his debut at a Grand Tour, the remaining riders of the selection had already 22 appearances at three-week races.
Jan Barta (30, CZE), Sam Bennett (24, IRL), Emanuel Buchmann (22, GER), Zakkari Dempster (27, AUS), Bartosz Huzarski (34, POL), Jose Mendes (30, POR), Dominik Nerz (25, GER), Andreas Schillinger (31, GER), Paul Voss (29, GER)
“We currently see a very high performance level of the entire team. Accordingly, it was a close decision to name the final places in the tour squad. Ultimately, we decided for an experienced team that supports our dual leadership with Sam Bennett and Dominik Nerz at its best. For this year’s profile of the Tour de France, we appointed a good balance of classic specialists and climbers”, Ralph Denk, Team Manager of BORA – ARGON 18, comments the selection.
“We have proven in the past three years, what we are capable of at Grand Tours thanks to a perfect team performance and very high motivation: attacks until the last kilometer, podiums, stage wins and top placings in the GC. This year, we want to use the biggest event in our sport again to convince with results – at best, of course, with a stage win”, Denk provides the objectives of BORA – ARGON 18.
Two replacement riders who can be appointed until July 1st in case of an injured teammate complete the nine-member squad.
Reserve: Patrick Konrad (23, AUT), Cesare Benedetti (27, ITA)
Team Manager: Ralph Denk (41, GER)
Sport Directors: Enrico Poitschke (45, GER), Christian Pömer (37, AUT).
Tinkoff-Saxo to field the revolutionary S-Works Venge ViAS at Tour de France
From prototype at Tour de Suisse to official team bike at Tour de France and onwards, the all new Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS saves no less than 120 seconds over 40 kilometers. With all cable routing internally housed, a radically new cockpit and a new frame design, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan will field the fastest road bike Specialized has ever made at the biggest race of the season.
Stage 6 of Tour de Suisse: Team captain Peter Sagan has exclusively received the result of Specialized’s innovative work in the Win Tunnel at Morgan Hill, California – the groundbreaking S-Works Venge ViAS. It’s his first time ever fielding the bike in racing and after 193 kilometers he sprints to glory in a fast, technical finale thereby earning the bike its maiden victory.
At Tour de France 2015, Peter Sagan will once more cut through the air on this aerodynamically superior machine. During its development it faced intense scrutiny, leading to it being 120 seconds faster than a Tarmac SL4 over 40 kilometers. Every tube shape, trailing edge and design cue of the S-Works Venge ViAS was made to be faster.
To achieve this, Specialized had to develop special headset bearings and spacers in order to internally house all cable routing and brake lines, which resulted in the elimination of anything being left exposed. In essence, from Tour de France and onwards, Tinkoff-Saxo will benefit from the fastest road race bike Specialized has ever made. The team will look to this radically new bike on the fast stages, where its aerodynamic profile will result in saved watts during the stage and increased speed in the final sprints. At Tour de France, Peter Sagan will ride the Venge ViAS, while the entire team will be equipped later during the 2015 season.
“I’m excited to bring my new Venge to the Tour. I rode it for the first time in Tour de Suisse and I won a stage on it on the first day. I guess you don’t get a better start with a new bike than that. Of course numbers are important but that is the work of the engineers – for me the ultimate test comes, when I’m on the bike. How does it feel and is it a winning bike? It looks great and I have already won on it, so it will be great to have at the Tour”, says Peter Sagan, who is backed by Stefano Feltrin, General Manager of Tinkoff-Saxo:
“We’ve had a long lasting and very prosperous partnership with Specialized and this example of bike excellence stands testimony to how we benefit from each other. Our team and riders provide valuable feedback and offer a world class testing ground, while Specialized offer the forefront of bike technology, which we, in turn, profit from at the races. It’s a perfect bike for Peter and I’m sure that a lot of people look forward to seeing him ride it at Tour de France”.
The best of aerodynamics and bike handling
The work to eliminate drag and improve aerodynamic performance is clearly evident in the visual design of the Venge ViAS. Proprietary integrated brakes create the perfect blend of aerodynamics and power. There’s zero additional drag and best-in-class stopping power and modulation, with the front caliper completing the fork’s trailing edge, and the rear brake drafting off the seat tube and bottles, where wheel deflection is at its lowest.
Aerodynamic performance doesn’t come at the expense of fit, however. Specialized has worked intelligently to ensure that Tinkoff-Saxo’s Tour squad can ride the Venge ViAS with the same comfort as previous models. The Aerofly ViAS cockpit features a negative 17degree stem in order to provide the optimal aerodynamic profile. And to balance out the aggressive position, the Aerofly handlebars will also come with a positive 25mm rise option, while the frame and fork are both Rider-First Engineeredtm to ensure consistent performance and fit, regardless of frame size.
As for handling, the FACT carbon fork is designed to drastically reduce aerodynamic drag, while providing incredible stiffness and steering response for all out efforts and twisting descents. The fork’s lateral rigidity has been increased by 30% for sharper, more precise steering – an achievement that work to accommodate Peter Sagan’s aggressive cornering, as it did during his latest victory in Tour de Suisse.
Accompanying the S-Works Venge ViAS, is the brand new Roval CLX 64 wheelset that provides the ultimate in speed and performance. For the experts, it might come as a surprise that the CLX 64 is a carbon clincher, but extensive testing has shown that combined with the Specialized Turbo Cotton tire, the wheelset has the lowest rolling resistance in the peloton. At the same time, it has been further optimized for both head- and crosswinds and comes tubeless-ready, while the 21mm internal rim width provides enhanced traction and improved aerodynamics.
Trek Factory Racing roster for TDF
Trek Factory Racing has announced its line-up for the Tour de France with the help of the worldwide fanbase of the team. Nine select followers of the pinstriped team each disclosed the name of one of the nine riders for the Tour. The fan’s tweet got retweeted by the team and by the riders.
The nine athletes representing Trek Factory Racing at the Tour de France are: Julian Arredondo, Fabian Cancellara, Stijn Devolder, Laurent Didier, Markel Irizar, Bob Jungels, Bauke Mollema, Gregory Rast and Haimar Zubeldia.
Schleck ruled out for Tour de France
Chronic pain in the right knee has forced the management and medical staff of the team to pull Fränk Schleck from the Tour de France roster.
Schleck has been struggling with an ongoing inflammation in the knee ligament since a crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and skipped the closing time trial in the Tour de Suisse in order to recover more. An MRI in the Crossklinik in Basel yesterday showed a distinct inflammation of the medial collateral ligament and a bone injury that has not healed. This rules the Luxembourgish champion out for the Tour de France and also for the National championships on Sunday.
“This is a big disappointment for me, of course, but it had been in the air for a while now”, says Schleck. “The pain never really lessened and the only way to let it heal would have been to take complete rest. It was a catch-22: if I wanted to make the Tour team, I had to rest. I needed to take a break in the preparation to let the knee heal. But if I wanted to be fit for the Tour, I needed to train hard.”
“The knee wasn’t getting any better during the Tour de Suisse, despite daily treatments and all of us hoping for a miracle. We took the decision together and I think it’s correct. I can’t push it for 21 days straight and hope to make it to Paris. What I need is rest.”
Schleck’s program is still undecided, but the Tour of Spain could become his target. “I’ll take at least two weeks off and give the knee time to heal.”
“Not being at the tour, it’s a big thing for me. The Tour is the race I love the most, despite that it’s three weeks of stress. I did a lot of sacrifices, we did a recon of the key stages. It’s disappointing not to be able to race there and fight for the team’s goals.”
Sørensen spoke to Danish website BT.dk, saying: “I have doped, I fully admit that. I’m sorry for that, and the decision, I wish to move on. I told ADD of my own experiences. I have done this to ease my conscience and because I also wanted to help the sport of cycling. It happened in the early years of my career, and it is more than ten years back. It was my own decision to do it and I can really only refer to ADD the report when it is published. I do not even have any desire to give my explanation about anonymity, I will also appear in the report. ADD will not cover me, I have never been part of any deal. I had to approve the draft report, which has so clearly been sent to Michael Rasmussen by mistake.”
Sørensen is a DS for the Tinkoff-Saxo team and during his career he won the Danish national championships four times and stages of the Tour of Denmark, Tour de France and Vuelta a España, plus 2nd Overall in the Bayern-Rundfahrt, 3rd Giro del Friuli. His last win was the Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli in 2012.
Tinkoff-Saxo statement on Nicki Sørensen
Nicki Sørensen informed the management of Tinkoff-Saxo at the time he spoke to Anti Doping Danmark (ADD) in 2013. Sørensen advised Tinkoff-Saxo that the matters he talked about with ADD were related to before 2004 and he expressed his deep regret that they had occurred. Tinkoff-Saxo accepted that these were matters to be privately resolved between ADD and Sørensen. Tinkoff-Saxo has a deep-rooted anti-doping culture that is implemented throughout the entire team. Tinkoff-Saxo was convinced at the time and remains of the view that Sørensen has conducted himself fully in accordance with this culture over the past decade of working with the team. Additional information, if required, will be made public in due time.
Tinkoff-Saxo has supported the cooperation and collaboration by all its members with any entity involved in creating a better environment in professional cycling. The team believes that a full disclosure of negative past practices should be encouraged in order to identify and implement appropriate measures to prevent wrongdoing in the present and future sport.
Etixx – Quick-Step Reaches Agreement with Petr Vakoc for 2016 & 2017 Seasons
Etixx – Quick-Step reached an agreement with Czech rider Petr Vakoc to extend his contract for two more seasons (2016 & 2017). Vakoc most recently earned a bronze medal in the European Games Men’s Road Race, and finished his first participation in the Giro d’Italia at 22-years-old.
“I’m super happy about riding for Etixx – Quick-Step for another two years,” Vakoc said “I found my place here with the staff, riders, and my race program. I think this is a good situation to develop as a young rider. I want to be better in the one-day and short stage races, and also contribute to the team during the big tours. I know exactly where my position stands for the moment. However, it’s also a matter of simply developing as a rider and getting stronger. I am thrilled to do so with this team, and a race program that has really worked well for me. I want to thank everyone for the trust they have in me, and I am sure this contract extension will give me an extra boost to do a good second part of the season.”
“Petr is a nice, quiet, and talented guy,” Etixx – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “He knows what he wants and we are pleased to reach an agreement with him. We consider him one of the best young riders of his generation. He showed how strong he can be last year when he won a stage of Tour de Pologne with a brilliant attack, and also this year with his performance at the European Games. But Petr is also a team player, and this is important for us. We want riders who think about themselves and their development, but also the needs of the team. Petr came from our continental team, now known as AWT – GreenWay, riding one year with them. He basically grew up within this team. In just a season and a half of riding as a professional we have already seen a lot of improvement from him. We are sure the best is yet to come. He has the right attitude, always wanting to learn and get better at his job.”
Star-Studded Line Up for 2015 Global Relay Canadian Championships
Multiple Canadian Champions are back in action to earn the Red and White jersey
The 2015 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships will have many Canadian cycling stars on the start lines, starting tomorrow with the time trial.
A total of 122 men 62 women and 41 para-cyclists will partake in the event.
Notably, World Tour riders Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), as well as Professional continental riders Dominique Rollin (Cofidis) and Antoine Duchesne (Europcar) will be racing to earn the right to wear the Red and White jersey until the next edition of the Canadian Championships.
There are multiple Canadian-based team on the line, including continental teams Silber Pro Cycling, Garneau-Quebecor and Team H&R Block.
Multiple former Canadian Champions in both the time trial and road race will compete this weekend, including Christian Meier, Curtis Dearden (Russ Hays-Accent INN), Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling), Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Zach Bell (Smartstop Pro Cycling), Dominique Rollin (Cofidis Solutions Crédit) on the men’s side.
On the women’s side, former Canadian Champions Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Joelle Numainville (Équipe du Québec), Tara Whitten (The Cyclery-Opus) and Denise Ramsden (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) are registered to race.
Defending champion Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE) and former Canadian Champion Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) will not be present as they are preparing for the coming Tour de France. Leah Kirchmann, which has swept all three women’s titles last year, will be there to defend.
All Cycling Canada Trade Teams are expected to offer stiff competition, including The Cyclery-Opus, Transports Lacombe / Devinci, Jet Fuel Coffee, NCCH p/b Dec Express, Rise Racing/pb Cyclepath Woodbridge (women), SAS-MAZDA-MACOGEPSPECIALIZED (women), Santé Universelle // Marin Bikes, Stingray/Ultime Vélo/Trek and Veloselect Racing Team.
The time trial for the paracyclists start at 9am Thursday, followed at 12:30pm with women and 2pm with the men.
For more information, please check out the event website at: https://www.championnatscanadiensroute.com/
Team Novo Nordisk’s Thomas Raeymaekers Announces Retirement
In the middle of his third professional season, Belgian Thomas Raeymaekers will retire from racing to treat ongoing health issues related to Crohn’s disease, a condition he was diagnosed with earlier this year.
Raeymaekers, one of Team Novo Nordisk’s youngest riders, will assume a new role with the team as an athlete ambassador, supporting the team’s outreach efforts around world and showing other athletes living with diabetes what may be possible.
“It was my lifelong dream to race professionally and I was able to fulfill that dream as a member of Team Novo Nordisk,” said Raeymaekers. “While my career has been cut unexpectedly short, I look forward to remaining part of the team and continuing to help inspire, educate and empower the 387 million people around the world affected by diabetes.”
“As a professional team, we lose a fierce competitor who thrived in tough conditions and left every ounce he had on the road; but as an organization, we gain a tremendous ambassador who will play an equally important role,” said Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder, Phil Southerland. “Thomas is an athlete who doesn’t let diabetes stop him from pursuing his dreams on or off the bike and he is an inspiration to many.”
Thomas and the team training in Spain earlier this year:
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