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EUROTRASH Road Champs Monday!

The big story has to be the World Championships in Richmond, they were great! All the race reports, results, quotes and video here in EuroTrash Monday. Also we have news from Ivan Basso, Tour de France Saitama Criterium, Amgen Tour of California, new and confirmed contracts and sponsors. But the man of the day has to be Peter Sagan.

TOP STORY: Was it a Good Worlds’15?
I would say a big yes! There were many who said the circuit would not cause much of a race, it had been described as ‘a big kermess’ or ‘Flanders lite’ by some Belgians, but the cobbled climbs brought the race to life every lap and you could see by the reactions from the spectators that they were loving it. In places there were no spectators or were a bit thin on the ground and the course wasn’t too picturesque where the race passed under the motorway sections. You do need some gaps in the crowd for the riders ‘call of nature’ so that’s a good thing. The only criticism would be the quality of the TV camera work, the stationary cameras were great, but some of the moto work cold have been much better and maybe due to the high buildings the picture would freeze or was lost all together, luckily we saw the attack from Peter Sagan.

Worthy winners? Again a big Yes to all of them, from the time trials to the road races, all deserving winners. Well done Richmond.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace men elite 2015

World Championships 2015
Peter Sagan (Slovakia) solo’d to the World Men’s Road Race title on Sunday. He made his attack on the steep, cobbled 23rd Street with less than 4 kilometers to go, he looked back once and held off the chase on the last climb to the finish line. Michael Matthews (Australia) came in second at 3 seconds with Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania) taking the bronze.

Ben King (USA), Conor Dunne (Ireland), Ivan Stevic (Serbia), Sung Park Baek (Korea) managed to break away and were joined by Jesse Sergent (New Zealand), Carlos Alzate (Colombia), Andriy Khripta (Ukraine) and Serghei Tvetcov (Romania). The peloton let them take a maximim lead of just under 5 minutes, but the Dutch and German teams didn’t let them get too far ahead. They were reeled in with 5 laps to go.

Three laps out and Ian Stannard (Great Britain) attacked over the 23rd Street climb, followed by Bauke Mollema (Netherlands), Tom Boonen (Belgium), Andrey Amador (Costa Rica), ex-champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), Dani Moreno (Spain) and Elia Viviani (Italy). They managed a lead of 30 seconds, but were not working well together. Australia and Germany worked hard to pull the breakaway back after the 23rd street climb. The next attack came from Guillaume Boivin (Canada), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), Taylor Phinney (USA) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), again they were caught on Libby Hill with two and a bit laps to go.

The Italian team brought it all together again for Tyler Farrar (USA) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus) to gain 10 seconds with 7 kilometers to go, but they were caught at the bottom of Libby Hill. Zdenek Stybar attacked on the cobbles with John Degenkolb (Germany) and Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium). Again everything came back together for Sagan to make his move and no one was going to catch him before the line.

Read the full race report HERE.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace men elite 2015

World Champion, Peter Sagan (Slovakia): “In the last two laps there were difficult moments. All the champions were moving, attacking the front, and I said, no. It’s just for the last lap will be the moment. I waited in the group to see what would happen, on the last cobblestone climb I said I will try. Once I was alone I said, ‘I have to go full gas,’ it was very strange. Everything happened very fast. Boom, boom, boom and I am here. I was waiting for this moment, I did my preparation after the Vuelta. I had to recover after the crash and then I had to start preparing for this race. I came here with three weeks without racing, and didn’t know what I would do. I tried to do the best I could do to remain alone. That was the moment. It was crucial I think, because if I stayed with someone they would not pull me. The first thing I need to do is run from here and then I can celebrate.”

World Men’s Road Race Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia) in 6:14:37
2. Michael Matthews (Australia) at 0:03
3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania)
4. Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
6. Simon Gerrans (Australia)
7. Tony Gallopin (France)
8. Michel Kwiatkowski (Poland)
9. Rui Costa (Portugal)
10. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium).

The men’s race:

Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) fought hard for the gold medal in the Women’s Road Race at the World Championships in Richmond, in the final she was by far the strongest and bravest with attacks in the final kilometers and taking the sprint from Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) in second and Megan Guarnier (USA) in third.

There were many attacks, but the peloton was not going to let anyone build up much of a gap. After 4 laps Svetlana Vasilieva (Russia) took a short lived small lead, she followed by Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) who had 30 second with 40km to go. USA put Evelyn Stevens on the front and with 2 laps to go the race was all together again, although the quite a few riders had lost contact under the pressure of Stevens.

The danger group of the day formed soon after, it included: Coryn Rivera (USA), Audrey Cordon (France), Lauren Kitchen & Rachel Neylan (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Valentina Scandolara (Italy), Amy Pieters (Netherlands), Romy Kasper (Germany) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland), they gained over 1 minute.

Jasinska attacked on the final lap, the lead group pulled her back and Scandolara and Kitchen were next to go. Holland and Germany did the work in the bunch and the race was all together again at the bottom of the cobbled Libby Hill for the last time up.

Armitstead jumped up to Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland) on 23rd Street, but they were unable to gain enough space on the main field. At the start of the final climb of the day (Governor), Armitstead gave another dig, but again the other favorites in the chase group of 9 would not let her go. In the sprint it looked like Armitstead would have to lead-out from the front as the others sat on her wheel. Van der Breggen was the first to try and come round the British rider, but Armitstead was too strong for the Dutch girl and Guarnier left it too late.

Read the full race report HERE.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace women elite 2015

World champion, Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain): “It’s all you dream about as a cyclist, and it’s so strange that it’s mine, I won’t realize it until tomorrow morning for sure. I knew that the sprint was going to be difficult. I knew I had to lead it out in that situation, so I took it to one side of the road and dictated the sprint. I knew that if I was on one side of the road, they would have to attack me from the other. That was a perfect lead-out, so thank you to Anna. My plan was always to attack on Governor Street. Probably people thought I should wait for the sprint, but I knew I needed to get rid of Bronzini and Shelley, and that’s what I did. I stuck to my plan.”

World Women’s Road Race Result:
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) in 3:23:56
2. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands)
3. Megan Guarinier (United States)
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
5. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
6. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
8. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
9. Jolanda Neff (Switzerland)
10. Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) at 0:09.

The women’s race:

Kevin Ledanois (France) attacked at just the right moment and held off Italy’s Simone Consonni and his teammate Anthony Turgisto to win the Men’s U23 World Championships in Richmond on Friday.

The first break was by: Omer Goldstein (Israel), Jean Bosco Insengiyumva (Rwanda), Joao Rodrigues (Portugal) and Adil Barbari (Algeria). They were joined by Eddie Dubar (Ireland), Greg Daniel (USA) Paredes (Colombia), and Stepan Astafyev (Kazakhstan), but eventually the solid break of the day formed with: Dubar, Davide Martinelli (Italy), Oleg Zemlyakov (Kazakhstan), Maximillian Schachmann (Germany) and Jose Luis Rodriguez (Chile).

With 50 kilometers to go; Dubar was dropped on Libby Hill leaving the other four leaders to press on with a minute lead on the peloton with three laps left. Martinelli then had mechanical problems and had to drop back to the bunch. Two laps to go and the French, Italians and British teams controlled the race and the break were caught on the penultimate climb of Libby Hill.

Søren Kragh Andersen (Denmark) had a 10 second lead on the descent but the peloton caught him with 10 kilometers remaining. Martinelli (again), Nils Politt (Germany), Jakub Kaczmarek (Poland) were next to try their luck. Martinelli went solo on the cobbled climb as Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium crashed on the now wet road causing a split and Owain Doull (Britain), Mads Schmidt (Denmark) and others to crash. Turgis and Ledanois pushed past a suffering Martinelli near the top of Libby Hill and then Ledanois attacked. At the top off Libby Hill Ledanois only had a few seconds lead with Consonni and Gianni Moscon chasing with Turgis on their wheel. As they approached the line it looked like Ledanois would be caught as Consonni and Moscon were pulling him in. Ledanois kept cool and gave everything he had left to hold off a very fast finishing Consonni at the line. Had the race been 100 meters longer the rainbow jersey would have gone to Consonni.

Read the full race report HERE.


World Under 23 Men’s Road Race Result:
1. Kevin Ledanois (France) in 3:54:45
2. Simone Consonni (Italy)
3. Anthony Turgis (France) at 0:02
4. Gianni Moscon (Italy)
5. Alexander Kamp Egested (Denmark) at 0:05
6. Fabian Lienhard (Switzerland)
7. Michal Schlegel (Czech Republic)
8. Lucas Gaday Orozco (Argentina)
9. Adam De Vos (Canada) at 0:10
10. Lennard Kamna (Germany) at 0:12.

The Under 23 race:

Felix Gall of Austria won the Junior Men’s Road Race on Saturday morning after a late attack and then holding off the chase from second and third finishers; Clement Betouigt-Suire (France) and Rasmus Pedersen (Denmark).

Like the finish of the Under 23 men’s race, the juniors started their 130 kilometer race in the rain which caused many crashes and a few abandonments. There were many break attempts, one very dangerous split came at half-way, but gained only 30 seconds before being reeled in. A more serious break of fourteen riders formed with two laps to go, but they never had more than 10 seconds and the were caught on the last lap. Gall attacked before Libby Hill and held his slim lead over the top and on 23rd Street.

Betouigt-Suire and Rasmussen escaped the other chasers and closed down on Gall as he suffered on the rise to the finish line. Betouigt-Suire thought he would catch Gall, but was worried about towing Pedersen to the win as eased enough to allow Gall to take the rainbow jersey.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace men juniores 2015

World Junior Men’s Road Race Result:
1. Felix Gall (Austria) in 3:11:09
2. Clement Betouigt-Suire (France)
3. Rasmus Pedersen (Denmark) at 0:01
4. Reto Muller (Switzerland) at 0:10
5. Martin Salomon (Germany)
6. Nicola Conci (Italy)
7. Mathias Norsgaard (Denmark) at 0:13
8. Nathan Draper (Great Britain)
9. Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)
10. Pit Leyder (Luxembourg) at 0:20.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace men juniores 2015

USA’s Chloe Dygert added a road race gold medal to her time trial gold, on Friday in the Woman’s Junior Road Race. Emma White came in second to give USA another gold/silver, Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland) came in third, 13 seconds ahead of the chasers.

A break of four escaped mid-way through the race including Dygert, White, Skalniak and Juliette Labous from France. They built up a lead of 50 seconds halfway through lap three. At the end of the lap; Dygert rode away from the others and with one lap to go she had 20 seconds lead. From then on she went into TT mode and extended her lead to 1:23 over White who dropped Skalniak by 5 seconds. The double World champion and lots of time to celebrate her second gold, but didn’t.

WK in Richmond - Roadrace women junior 2015

World champion, Chloe Dygert (USA): “When I was working with the group of four we were taking pulls and I felt pretty strong, I wasn’t really tired. I knew I had the legs and when I did go off that really wasn’t the plan, but I just kind of looked back and had a little gap. So I thought, ‘OK, let’s just keep going. I didn’t want to crash, I don’t know, I just don’t think there should be anything more than celebrating with your team. I was just honored to be on the USA team and do it for the USA.”

World Junior Women’s Road Race Result:
1. Chloe Dygert (United States Of America) in 1:42:16
2. Emma White (United States Of America) at 1:23
3. Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland) at 1:28
4. Yumi Kajihara (Japan) at 1:41
5. Susanne Andersen (Norway)
6. Elisa Balsamo (Italy)
7. Grace Garner (Great Britain)
8. Yara Kastelijn (Netherlands)
9. Jessica Pratt (Australia)
10. Ida Jansson (Sweden).

WK in Richmond - Roadrace women junior 2015

Basso Gets the All Clear
Ivan Basso, winner of the 2006 and 2010 Giro d’Italia, has been given the all clear and will not have to undergo further treatment for the testicular cancer that doctors found during the Tour de France in July.

Basso abandoned the Tour on the first rest day in Pau after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his left testicle. He first noticed something strange following a crash in the fifth stage to Amiens, five days earlier. He had successful surgery to remove the tumor and numerous follow-up controls. The most recent test showed that he would not need any more treatment and that he can return to competition.

The Tinkoff-Saxo team Twitted: “Fabulous news on @ivanbasso! Results from final controls show no need for extra treatment. The dark period that started at @letour is over”.

5th stage of the 61st Tour of Andalusia Ruta Del Sol

2015 Tour de France Saitama Criterium: Another Reunion for Froome…
Faithfully present since the first edition of the Tour de France Saitama Criterium, the Yellow Jersey winner in 2015 has once again chosen to finish his season in Japan. On 24th October, he will come face to face again with his rivals from July, as well as August in Spain, including Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez, Rafal Majka, John Degenkolb and Romain Bardet…

He proved himself to be inescapable and unsurpassable on the Tour de France 2015. After picking up his second triumph on the world’s biggest cycling race, Chris Froome will again conclude his season on the Tour de France Saitama Critérium, a race on which he is a regular since his first victory on the 100th edition of the Big Loop. Although the leader of Team Sky was forced to drop out of the Vuelta a España due to an injury, he has nevertheless reassured the organizers that his rehabilitation will be complete for his traditional journey to Japan. Though he will not be going toe-to-toe with the country’s famous Sumo wrestlers, Froome will be competing against rivals that he dominated during Le Tour, but who went on to distinguish themselves in Spain. Such is the case for Joaquim Rodriguez, winner of two stages and runner-up on the Tour of Spain, as well as for Rafal Majka, who came 1st on the Pyrenean Tour de France stage that finished in Cauterets and who climbed on to the bottom step of the Vuelta podium in Madrid, with his 3rd placed finish.

The major players of Le Tour 2015 have followed different paths, but several stage winners will come together again on the urban circuit in Saitama. Consequently, Simon Geschke, the all-rounder who turned into a climber at Pra-Loup, could also spring a surprise in Japan, even if his team-mate John Degenkolb, the winner of Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix last spring, has been showing all the necessary qualities for a burst to the finish like Marcel Kittel last year. The Tour de France atmosphere that will spread through Saitama should also provide the French riders with the panache that they showed to their supporters in July. Alexis Vuillermoz, the stage winner at Mûr-de-Bretagne, and Romain Bardet, the virtuoso descender on the road down into Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, will indeed be present. However, they will have to deal with local heroes as well: although Yukiya Arashiro and Fumiyuki Beppu were not in attendance in July, they could simply draw inspiration from their rugby-playing countrymen, who achieved the massive scalp of South Africa for their first world cup match in England. Chris Froome had better watch out!

The main riders
Team Sky: Froome (GB), Porte (Aus)
Team Giant-Alpecin: Degenkolb, Geschke (Ger)
Team Katusha: Rodriguez (Spa)
AG2R-La Mondiale: Bardet, Vuillermoz (Fra)
Tinkoff-Saxo: Majka (Pol), Basso (Ita)
Team Europcar: Arashiro (Jap)
Trek Factory Racing: Beppu (Jap), Popovych (Ukr)

The program of the 2015 Tour de France Saitama Criterium
. A time-trial stage over the 3-km circuit: a para-cycling team has been invited to participate, as well as a women’s team.
. A point race: 7 laps of the circuit (21 km), involving 42 riders (Tour de France teams + Japanese teams).
. The main race: 19 laps of the circuit (57 km), involving 56 riders (Tour de France teams + Japanese teams).


2016 Amgen Tour of California will Feature Four Days of Women’s Racing, May 19-22
America’s Biggest Women’s Road Cycling Event Selected as First U.S. Event on First-Ever UCI Women’s WorldTour

The 2016 Amgen Tour of California, America’s biggest and most prestigious cycling event, is once again increasing its commitment to Women’s cycling by staging a four day/four stage Women’s race May 19-22 as part of the 2016 event it was announced today by Kristin Klein, Executive Director, Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president, AEG Sports, owners and operators of the Amgen Tour of California. It was also confirmed by cycling’s international governing body, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that the race will be part of the first-ever UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT).

Announced earlier today at the UCI Road World Championships, the WWT will be a combination of one-day and multi-day stage races and will run for 30 days from March to October across Europe, China and the United States including the recently formed one-day races La Course by Le Tour de France and La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. Multi-day events will include the Aviva Women’s Tour of Great-Britain and the historical Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile. The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will be the first WWT event held on U.S. soil and one of only two U.S. races included in the WWT’s inaugural year (the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic being the other).

In 2015, the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM became the first-ever event to feature four days of Women’s racing (three-day stage race and a Women’s Time Trial) as part of the program.

“With four days of women’s racing scheduled for 2016, I am proud that once again the Amgen Tour of California is taking an industry-leading role in creating a platform that promotes women’s cycling on the biggest national stage,” said Klein. “It is also gratifying that because of the great admiration and positive reputation the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM continues to build among the global cycling community, our upcoming event has been chosen to be the first women’s race on U.S. soil to be held as part of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour.”

The top 20 UCI Women’s Teams will be invited to participate in each event with some organizers choosing to increase the size of the peloton by offering a greater number of teams the chance to race. There will be WWT leader and young (U23) leader jerseys and individual races will also be allowed to introduce their own jerseys. As well as competing for victories in the individual races, the riders will also battle to position themselves in the overall WWT rankings.

Amgen Tour of California organizers will be announcing 2016 Host Cities in the coming weeks.


Sky Signs Ex-World Champion Michał Kwiatkowski
Team Sky has signed world champion Michał Kwiatkowski for the 2016 season.

The 25 year old from Poland joins Team Sky after four successful seasons with Etixx – Quick-Step.

Kwiatkowski has achieved 13 victories in his professional career to date, including wins at Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, Amstel Gold Race and Tour of Britain. His most celebrated triumph however, came at the 2014 World Road Race Championships, where he escaped to victory in devastating style and earned himself a 12-month spell in the iconic rainbow jersey.

The talented and versatile rider has also featured in the last three editions of the Tour de France, topping the young rider classification during 12 days of competition.

On signing for Team Sky, Michał Kwiatkowski said: “Team Sky aim for the highest goals in cycling so I’m very happy that this move has become a reality.

“Sir Dave Brailsford believes in my ability, which gives me great confidence for next season, and I know that this team can help me raise my performance levels and win big races.

“The team’s marginal gains philosophy really fits my approach to cycling and I have great respect for what this team has achieved in such a short time. I am excited and motivated to race for Team Sky next year.”

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Michał has performed fantastically well over the past couple of years.

“We have been following his career for a long time. We have attempted to sign him on two occasions previously and weren’t going to miss out this time around.

“Team Sky can help him progress and develop both his one-day racing and stage racing. Michał is still young, a great talent for the future, and will keep getting better.”

Michał Kwiatkowski:

Cannondale-Garmin Announces Simon Clarke Join in 2016
Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling today announced Simon Clarke will join the Green Argyle squad in 2016. The 29-year-old Australian burst onto the pro cycling scene when he won a stage and the Overall Mountains Classifications at Vuelta a España, his first-ever Grand Tour.

Clarke, known as “Clarkey,” has won stages at all three Grand Tours (including Team Time Trial wins at the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia) and is a previous winner of the Herald Sun Tour (2014). In 2015, he was second overall at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and wore the Maglia Rosa after helping his team win the TTT on Stage 1 of the Giro d’Italia.

Clarke cited the feel of the team as a top reason he chose Cannondale-Garmin: “There is a really balanced feel about the team with a nice blend of super talented emerging riders complementing those with greater experience, and I’m very excited to have an opportunity to play my role in the development and future successes of Cannondale-Garmin. I like its vision and feel riding for Cannondale-Garmin will give me fresh opportunities not only for myself, but to help the team achieve its goals.”

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling added: “Simon has excellent experience and is a very good road captain. He has the ability to help guide some of our younger riders and is capable of great achievements himself. He will be a fantastic addition to the team.”

Simon Clarke wins stage 4 of the 2015 Giro d’Italia:
Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 4

Rafael Valls and Tomasz Marczynski reinforce the team
Lotto Soudal confirms two new arrivals. Rafael Valls (28) and Tomasz Marczynski (31) joined the team. Spaniard Valls comes from Lampre-Merida and signs an agreement for two seasons. The Pole Marczynski gets a contract for one year and leaves Torku Sekerspor.

Rafael Valls: “Lotto Soudal offers me, with this two-year deal, a nice chance to take a step forward in my career. They give me the opportunity to prove myself in stage races of one week. It is this type of races that I prefer and so far I’ve also had my best results in such races. Next year as well, I will focus on this type of stage races. My strongest point is my climbing capacity. I am still trying to improve my time trial skills as the races against the clock are often very important in stage races of one week. I really love riding in Vuelta al País Vasco, the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Parijs-Nice. On the very top of my to-do list with favorite races there is the Tour de France, like most cyclists.”

“For the first time in my career I will ride for a Belgian team. I know Belgium a bit thanks to the Arden Classics and also from back in the day when I rode for Vacansoleil. I still know some Lotto Soudal riders (Kris Boeckmans, Thomas De Gendt and Pim Ligthart) from my period with Vacansoleil so it will be nice to ride for the same team again it will be nice to ride for the same team again. The Lotto Soudal team forms a strong unity, which really appeals to me. The riders support each other. When you see that, you want to be part of that team. This mentality will definitely stimulate me to pursue my goals and to focus on the stage races of one week.”

Tomasz Marczynski: “Of course I’m very happy that I can sign a contract with Lotto Soudal. The last two years were not easy; during the season 2013 at Vacansoleil-DCM I underwent two surgeries and didn’t race a lot. The team ceased to exist and I had to take a step back. But I never gave up and always showed the ambition to come back to the WorldTour. And I succeeded after a good season at Torku Sekerspor. I think I have what it takes to play a role at this level. I’m very grateful that Lotto Soudal is giving me that chance and I hope we’ll both enjoy the collaboration in 2016.”

“What my role within the team will be, is still to be determined by the sports staff but the idea is to focus on stage races. But most important is that I can fulfill the expectations of the team and confirm the confidence they have in me. In the past I had the pleasure to work together with some riders and staff members of Lotto Soudal and I do have good memories about that. It try to be open and friendly and would like to meet new people, so I look forward to being a part of my new team!”

Marc Sergeant: “With Rafael Valls and Tomasz Marczynski we have riders who are specialists in that type of races where we didn’t perform in the past, stage races of one week. Both rode with Vacansoleil in 2012 and 2013, so they know a few riders and staff from our current team. Rafael, with his 28 years is someone who is coming into his best years as a cyclist and will get the opportunity to go for an overall classification in this kind of races. In 2015, he was eleventh in the Dauphiné and eighth in Paris-Nice, both times in function of Rui Costa. He also achieved an eighth place in Catalonia and won the Tour of Oman. So during this year he proved more than capable to take WorldTour-points. Next to our riders like Bart De Clercq, Maxime Monfort, Louis Vervaeke and Thomas De Gendt I am very confident that we will achieve better results and can race even more attractive.”

“In June, Tomasz Marczynski became Polish national champion for the third time. He’s a strong rider, the type that WorldTour teams need to assist the team leaders. Due to bad luck he had to take a step back, but this year he has re-entered the scene. Yes, we reinforce our team with two foreign riders but in Belgium there aren’t that many riders who have the potential to succeed in this type of races, and the riders who do are already on our team. But we want to do even better. And next to the Belgian Lotto we also have Soudal, Ridley Bikes and Vasco Data Security partners who are active abroad. For them, a foreign contribution is an added value.”

Rafa Valls stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 10

Jesús Hernández to continue with Tinkoff-Saxo in 2016
Tinkoff-Saxo is happy to count for the sixth consecutive year Jesús Hernández among its core squad. The Spanish rider will provide his support to the team in 2016 and will work to help its race leaders with the same dedication that has marked his 11 years as a professional rider.

The long-time, faithful lieutenant of Tinkoff-Saxo’s team leader Alberto Contador will again be at the service of the team, with the same dedication he has shown since he joined in 2011. As Hernández stated, he considers this to be his main strength as a rider. “I commit myself 100% to the squad and its leader and place the team goals above any personal ambitions”, stated Hernández who in fact considers as highlights of his professional career the Grand Tours he won with Contador.

“I’m, obviously, delighted to be one more year with what I consider to be the best professional cycling team in the world, led by the best rider in the world, Alberto Contador. It would be my dream to help Alberto win the Tour de France, especially since it will also be the final year of his career”, commented Hernández.

“Since there is such a big pool of excellent talent in this team, I might not be able to race in the Tour next year. Nevertheless, I will show the same commitment and put on the same effort regardless of what race my team needs me in”, concluded Hernández.

Steven de Jongh, Head Sport Director of Tinkoff-Saxo, commented on the extension of Hernández’s contract to 2016: “Jesús is a skillful domestique who has a good and long-lasting relation with Alberto and we are happy to have him in the team for one more year. We are sure that he will provide key support to our leaders in all his races next season”.

Jesús Hernández:
TDFR 2014 - stage - 6

Team LottoNL-Jumbo welcomes Battaglin
Team LottoNL-Jumbo signed the Italian rider Enrico Battaglin for the 2016 cycling season. Battaglin, who rode to Giro d’Italia stage victories in 2013 and 2014, will focus on the Ardennes Classics when he joins the Dutch team.

“After four years with Bardiani-CSF Pro Team, it’s a good moment to move to a WorldTour team,” Battaglin said about his transfer.

“I didn’t ride a superb season, so I’m very glad for this chance. I spoke with several teams, but Richard Plugge quite easily convinced me to join Team LottoNL-Jumbo.”

“We have a big Italian sponsor with Bianchi,” sports director, Nico Verhoeven explained. “We were looking for an Italian rider who fits with the structure of our team and who gives our team a boost, as well. Enrico has won two stages in the Giro d’Italia in the last three years. There are not many riders who did that, especially when you notice that he isn’t a bunch sprinter or a superb climber. Besides that, he was never part of a WorldTour team, so when he performs in a better structure from the beginning of the season, he will probably be able to improve. We will enjoy this collaboration.”

Battaglin looks forward to his time with Team LottoNL-Jumbo and finds the collaboration with Bianchi a nice plus.

“I love the fact that I’m going to ride a Bianchi bike. Bianchi is huge in Italy and I’m really looking forward to test the Specialissima frame,” he said.

“I’m an explosive rider and that’s why I think that the Amstel Gold Race, the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège suit me. I participated in the Italian WorldTour races in the last years and now, I’m able to explore the other high-level races, as well. Besides the Ardennes Classics, I want to ride a grand tour next year.”

“My transfer to Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a big challenge,” Battaglin continued. “I’m the only Italian in the team. I don’t know my new team-mates personally, but I know who they are and what they’re capable of. Wilco Kelderman is a big talent and Sep Vanmarcke is a world-class rider in the spring classics. I want to adjust to my new team as quick as possible. The team’s giving me a great chance and I want to grab it.”

Verhoeven isn’t worried about that. “We’re going to teach him Dutch,” the sports director said. “George Bennett learned the language in half a year. Enrico’s English is good enough, as well, so I am not expecting any communication problems.”

Enrico Battaglin:
Tour de San Luis 2015 - stage- 5 ITT

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
In 2016 and 2017 Lampre-Merida’s roster will be enriched by a pure winner.
Team manager Brent Copeland signed Marko Kump, Slovenian sprinter who won 18 races in the season, in addition to 4 second places and to 3 third positions.

He was born in Novo Mesto on 9/9/1988 and he became pro in 2007, obtaining 30 successes in his career and prestigious victories as Under 23 (as an example, the Tour des Flandres espoirs and one stage in the Tour de l’Avenir).

His actual team is the Slovenian group Adria Mobil and on Sunday, in Richmond, he’ll be one of the most important riders for the Slovenian National Team in the World Championship. When he’ll be back from the USA, he’ll meet the management and the medical staff from Lampre-Merida to set definitely the transfer to the team.

Team manager Brent Copeland explained that: “For us as Team Lampre-Merida it’s an honor to welcome the second most winning cyclists in 2015. Thanks to 18 successes, Kump is just behind Kristoff: we’re sure he’ll be able to confirm all his qualities in our team too, also because he had already lived a past experience in the World Tour. He will complete the group of the sprinters and he won’t have problem to get settled into the team, also because he had already worked with the sport director Philippe Mauduit, who had explained us all his good skill.”

“It was great to receive an offer for a transfer in a top team as Lampre-Merida: as soon as I got offer from them, I didn’t hesitate for a second, because working and racing on such a high level has always been my goal,” Kump explained. “In the past, I spent two years in Saxo-Tinkoff, learning a lot about racing in the World Tour, so I think I’m ready to help the team in achieving ambitious goals. I thank Lampre-Merida and their sponsors and I also say thanks to my current team, which gave me the opportunities to demonstrate my skills.”

Marko Kump:
training stage Tinkoff - Saxo Cycling Team  2014

Oliveira adds talent to Blues’ 2016 project
Three-time Portuguese TT champion to join Movistar Team on two-year contract after brilliant stage win in Vuelta a España this season

The Movistar Team confirmed on Thursday that Nelson Oliveira will be part of its squad during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. A pro rider since 2010, the Portuguese talent (1.80m, 67kg) has gone through a strong progression during the last two years, shining as well in the flat, his biggest strength, as in the hills and mountains.

Winner of three Portuguese national TT championships – including two consecutive editions in 2014 and 2015 – and seventh-placed in last year’s World Championships time trial in Ponferrada, Oliveira had a breakthrough summer this season, racing the Tour, the Clásica San Sebastián, where he was 12th, against some of the biggest names in the sport – and most notably the Vuelta.

In Spain – the land that saw him enjoy his pro debut, within the ranks of the Xacobeo-Galicia team, Oliveira spent hundreds of kilometers in the breaks, stayed with the GC riders on the hardest stages –11th in both Andorra and Cercedilla – came close to a stage win – 2nd in Ávila – and took a spectacular victory in Tarazona, holding off a 30-rider breakaway with power and intelligence for the final 25km of stage thirteen.

Nelson Oliveira:
La Vuelta 2015 stage-17 ITT

Guldhammer signs two year deal with CULT Energy-Stölting Group
CULT Energy-Stölting Group has signed a two year contract with CULT Energy Pro Cycling’s allrounder, Rasmus Guldhammer so the commitment lasts until the end of 2017. Rasmus has had 23 top-10 results this season alone and he is looking forward to continuing his development at CULT Energy-Stölting Group.

About the mutual agreement, Rasmus Guldhammer says: “CULT Energy-Stölting Group was the best choice for me. I’ve been through a good development this year and I’ve been feeling stronger and stronger over the season. It has been very important for my motivation that I have had the role as a captain in quite a few races and I’ve been able to compete for the wins as well. At the same time, it’s crucial for me having a strong network within the team and I couldn’t find a better set of loyal teammates and friends than on this team”, says Guldhammer.

DS, André Steensen says about the partnership: “It is a great recognition of our talent project that Rasmus chooses us next year, because I know that he has had several major teams to choose from, which is only natural on top of the great season he has had. Besides being a very talented rider, Rasmus secures a true fighting spirit and spirit of unison that we want to be the hallmark of our team. And with the success he has had this year, Rasmus will be a rider for the hilly races in the spring campaign in 2016. He has already shown his class with top-10 results in the World Tour races like Plouay and Vattenfall and in races like Brabrantse Pijl and Laigueglia. If we can use the experience and maintain the motivation from this autumn, we can expect a strong 2016 from both Rasmus and the team,” concludes DS, André Steensen.

Rasmus Guldhammer:

Leigh Howard, Vegard Stake Laengen, and Oliver Naesen to join IAM Cycling for the 2016 season
IAM Cycling has remained deliberately discreet since the beginning of the transfer window opened on August 1st, which allowed for the signing of riders for the upcoming season. Michel Thétaz, founder of IAM Cycling and CEO of IAM Funds, has traditionally always preferred to take his time before revealing the names of his new recruits.

Thétaz, who comes from the Valais canton in Switzerland and has been successful as a financier in Geneva, remained true to the policy that he announced at the beginning of the Tour de France: “For next year, we want to have our pack of wolves a bit more compact and prominent at the front of the peloton in order to usher our sprinters to the finish line more effectively.”

The first three names of riders set to join IAM Cycling at the end of the season have now been revealed. After four years with Orica-GreenEDGE, the Australian Leigh Howard (25) responded favorably to the overtures made by the Swiss team’s management. Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen (26), the winner of the Tour d’Alsace in August, has also agreed to join the Swiss team, having come from the Norwegian Team Joker. Finally Belgian Oliver Naesen (25) will be coming to the Swiss WorldTour team after a time with Topsport Vlaanderen-Bâloise where he won the Polynormande this year.

These recent recruits are expected to replace Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Degand, Jérôme Pineau, Sébastien Reichenbach, and Patrick Schelling, whose contracts were not renewed. Additional information will be provided about new reinforcements as and when the contracts are signed and in the coming weeks.

Leigh Howard wins in Mallorca’13:

Dimension Data to become new title partner of Africa’s Team
Team Dimension Data will be the team’s new name

We are extremely happy to announce that Dimension Data, the global ICT solutions and services provider, will become the new title partner of Ryder Cycling, which owns and manages Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, Africa’s only UCI Professional Continental Cycling Team. Effective 1 January 2016, the team’s new name will be Team Dimension Data.

The team made history this year as the first African team to compete in the Tour de France alongside five other wild-card teams. The team’s tremendous successes in the race included:

· Wearing the prestigious King of the Mountain jersey for four days on the shoulders of Eritrean rider, · · Daniel Teklehaimanot – the first African rider to do so
· Stephen Cummings winning the 14th stage on Mandela Day
· Team finishing in fifth place overall in the Team competition out of a total of 22 teams
· Raising over 4,000 bicycles in their #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.

Douglas Ryder, Team Principal said, “We are incredibly excited to have Dimension Data become our new title partner. It enables us to continue to support the development of African cycling and the Qhubeka charity at the highest levels in world cycling. Cycling is such a high tech sport, and we’ve leveraged technology and data through our high performance team to build the bridge from racing in Africa to competing successfully against the best in the world on the global race calendar. Partnering with Dimension Data supports us more in this area, and will also help us be more connected with our growing fan base around the world. This is the next step in our journey and we look forward to accelerating our collective ambitions through this partnership.”

Brett Dawson, Dimension Data’s Group CEO said, “Dimension Data is proud to become the new title partner of this amazing African team. We’re a global technology organization, and because the team leverages technology – both on and off the bike – are joint goal is to take the team and African cycling to new heights. In addition, we want to help develop African riders into professional cyclists who will compete in some of the greatest cycling events on the African continent and across the world.”

Adam Foster, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Communications, who is responsible for the Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.), which owns the Tour de France, and the Ryder Cycling relationships said: “We will work closely with Doug Ryder, his team, and its other partners to provide world class infrastructure, services, and race opportunities for the team’s riders to be successful. Our partnership, combined with harnessing the power of our technologies to drive transformation within the world of cycling, will help the team accelerate their individual and collective ambitions.”

Dimension Data also confirmed it will continue to support Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief’s initiative to put more children across the African continent on bicycles, and raise funds to purchase bicycles during the period of the partnership.

Dimension Data is also the Official Technology Partner of A.S.O., and was responsible for processing and analyzing the data collated from the riders via sensors located under their saddles at this year’s Tour de France. Through its beta live tracking site, millions of fans were able to follow the race and their favorite riders real-time for the first time. Over five million records were processed during each of the 21 stages, while 664,000 fans visited the race data site during the course of the tour.


Team Giant-Alpecin is proud to announce a long-term partnership with Renson, a trendsetting Belgian manufacturer of ventilation, sun shading systems and terrace covers.

International development of the brand and team
“We’re pleased with this new partnership in cycling, which remains one of the most popular sports internationally and is perfectly in line with the mission of Renson, ‘Creating healthy spaces,’” said CEO Paul Renson.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Renson, a prestigious, innovative and socially responsible company,” said Team Giant-Alpecin founder and CEO Iwan Spekenbrink. “We are impressed by the company’s intelligent and innovative solutions to improve people’s working and living conditions. This is a perfect match with our ‘Keep Challenging’ elite sports approach based on continuous innovation, collaboration and high standards.

“We are thrilled that cycling in a broad sense and our elite sports team in particular are among the driving forces of the international marketing strategy of such a first-class brand. Renson’s significant commitment enables our team to continue our mission, expand our opportunities and keep pursuing our dreams.”

Renson, a market leader in ventilation, sun shading and terrace covers in Europe, is now taking the next steps in its international growth. The company was recently nominated as a finalist to become “Enterprise of the Year 2015” in Belgium. In addition to its European activities, Renson recently initiated activities in Russia, the United States, Australia, India, Turkey and the Middle East, and earlier this year acquired the Italian company Corradi, with production units in Bologna, Italy, and Dallas, Texas.

Renson is convinced that the partnership with Team Giant-Alpecin will help the company develop its international growth, through the composition of the team (nine different nationalities), the international race calendar, opportunities for worldwide brand activation, and cooperation with the team’s other main sponsors Giant, Alpecin and Sunweb.

Renson has been a proud partner of the Etixx – Quick-Step cycling team for the past few years, a partnership that will expire at the end of this year by mutual consent.

No speed limit on innovation
A key commonality between Team Giant-Alpecin and Renson is their constant drive to innovate. Differentiation with continuously new developments is the message. Currently more than 75 percent of the growth in Renson’s turnover is realized by products developed in the last five years. This emphasis on innovation is a good fit with the mission of Team Giant-Alpecin, which is to progress the sport of cycling. Much like Renson in its industry, the team is also pushing the limits of technology, innovation and athletic achievement. Renson inspires architects and future builders, while Giant-Alpecin inspires cyclists all over the world.

Renson, not new to Pro cycling:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 13

Groupe Gobert to remain co-sponsor in 2016
Groupe Gobert, one of the two main sponsors of Wanty-Groupe Gobert will continue to support the team in 2016. With nine victories so far, including 5 UCI 1.1-races, the Belgian procontinental team experiences a good season.

Groupe Gobert naturally sees and experiences the benefits of sponsoring a cycling team has brought to the Wallonia-based company since 2014.

“For our company the visibility and the popularity of cycling are very important. Also, Wanty-Groupe Gobert is a professionally managed team with results that satisfy us. As a company we are active throughout Wallonia and the Brussels region and therefore the decision to continue our partnership with the team is an opportune one. With joy we will ride the Belgian roads and beyond together again in 2016,” Ronald Gobert of Groupe Gobert declared.

“Groupe Gobert has been our co-sponsor since 2014 and the extension of the contract for the third consecutive year is very good news for the team,” Jean-François Bourlart, general manager of Wanty-Groupe Gobert added.

Maintaining Groupe Gobert as a partner illustrates the continuity of the team. “Groupe Gobert is an exemplary sponsor and partner. They give and keep their word,” Benoît Soenen of Wanty declared.

Jean-François Bourlart sees a promising future for his team. “It’s an honor to us because Groupe Gobert has put their faith in us since 2014. I am confident that we’ll experience great moments together again next season.”

Wanty-Groupe Gobert has now confirmed twelve riders for 2016 but more new names will be revealed soon.


Cervélo becomes title sponsor for Bigla Pro Cycling Team
Cervélo Cycles is making a strong return to the forefront of women’s pro cycling by becoming a title sponsor of Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling starting in 2016.

The Bigla Pro Cycling Team has already announced one new signing in Points Race world champion Stephanie Pohl, with recent contract extensions including Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Carmen Small, Lotta Lepistö, Lisa Klein and Clara Koppenburg. More announcements will be made shortly.

“It’s an exciting time for the team and for women’s pro cycling,” said Cervélo Managing Director Robert Reijers. “Female participation in our sport is exploding globally. One way we support women’s engagement is by supporting pro cycling. We are convinced that the quality of the Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling Team and its staff, combined with our support and that of co-sponsors Rotor, Endura and Enve, will take it to new heights.”

Cervélo is taking a keen interest in women’s cycling, said Antoine Ballon, Global Marketing Director of Pon Bicycle Group, which acquired Cervélo in 2012. Indeed, there’s more to come: “This is yet another example of our belief in the sport at the elite level,” Ballon said. “We not only want pro feedback to improve our bikes, but we hope our team will inspire more women to get involved in our beautiful sport.”

Bigla Pro Cycling Manager Thomas Campana added: “Cervélo is one of the most reputable brands in the world. Most teams would love to work with them because the technology is always advanced and innovative. We appreciate that they have seen the value in the sponsorship, and we’re excited that they have chosen to take the sponsorship to another level.”


Super Sagan!
Here is the attack of the World Championships:

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