EUROTRASH Saddle Tilt Thursday!
The UCI have seen sense over a crazy rule, what next! Riders can now adjust their saddles to suit their position thanks to a ‘relaxing’ of the time trial saddle rule. In other cycling news: The Tour of Yorkshire stages are announced and the Tour de Pologne likes change. Plus teams for San Luis and the Tour Down Under, rider updates and Eddy Merckx rides again to finish. EuroTrash coffee time.
TOP STORY: Are you sitting comfortably?
When the UCI announced that disk brakes would be allowed, they also stated they would ‘relax’ their rules on saddle positioning, allowing riders in time trialists to tilt the saddle 9 degrees with an additional 1-degree margin of error. Also the 300-millimeter saddle-length rule has been given an additional 5-millimeters.
Previously the saddles tilt was not allowed to be more than 2.5 degrees with a 0.5 degree margin for error. The new rule means that, as of January 1st, saddles can potentially tilt downwards up to 10 degrees.
Dave Schindler, who chairs the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry saddle committee, praised UCI management for its quick action in making the changes, saying: “From the time we created the recommendations and submitted them, and to have the UCI vote on them, is pretty speedy in the world of the UCI,” said Schindler, technical commander at ISM Saddles.
The saddle tilt is very important for time trials. “This allows riders to find their preferred optimal angle based on reason and data,” Schindler said. As for saddle length, the old rule specified saddles could be no longer than 300-millimeters (12 inches). While the 300-millimeter rule remains intact, the UCI will allow a 5-millimeter margin of error either on the front or back end of the saddle, Schindler said. The rule on minimum saddle length remains intact at 240 millimeters (9.6 inches).
Race commissars have declared saddles illegal that have exceed the 300-millimeter length by several millimeters, he said. “You train on a saddle for six months and it can flatten out. During the pre-race inspection one commissar will let it go, but during the final race inspection, sometimes minutes before a start, another commissar will rule it illegal. That has been a problem,” he said.
So there is some common sense at the UCI.
Thanks to Bicycle Retailer for the technical details.
Tour de Yorkshire 2016: A spectacular route
The Tour de Yorkshire, one of the most spectacular and well received events in the British sporting calendar, returns for a second year with new routes and new challenges. The huge crowds will be entertained by Race Ambassadors and a Tour de Yorkshire Caravan which will visit key points on the route before the race starts. The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire, linking together the county’s sporting, historic, industrial and literary greats.
From Stage One which begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters, to Settle, the peloton will race to Tadcaster then on to Knaresborough which was scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. Taking in much of the Grand Depart 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.
The next day, while the Men will race for their second stage, the day will be marked by the Ladies race. They all will start from Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead. Then the men will have to travel south, on roads not raced in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.
The final stage will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage, before heading over the Moors and down towards Scarborough for what promises to be a thrilling finale and a race to the very end.
Riders past and present joined host towns at a launch event in Otley, where Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and ASO’s Christian Prudhomme unveiled the full route.
Stage 1: Friday 29 April 2016: Beverley to Settle (184km)
Stage 2: Saturday 30 April 2016: Otley to Doncaster (135km)
Stage 3: Sunday 1 May 2016: Middlesbrough to Scarborough (196km).
The UCI International Cycling Union organized a two-day seminary in Barcelona from December 7th to the 8th, to discuss reforms in cycling. The Tour de Pologne came away from the initiative with renewed optimism. Further steps were taken towards completing the tasks of the reforms in the presence of the UCI’s top man Brian Cookson, plus representatives from the 18 World Tour teams and the main organizers of the races among others, including the Lang Team, which organizes the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour.
This renovation will be complete in 2019. It mostly aims to lend credibility to the movement, globalize cycling and attract an ever growing number of people, enterprises and countries. However, the real news regards an increase in the number of races and three-year licenses granted, with annual revisions, both for the teams and the races. In order to continue the job, the UCI will lead a work group made up of representatives from the teams (AIGCP), riders and race organizers (AIOCC), with the goal of finding common strategies to improve cycling on the base of the abovementioned points.
“If teams, riders and organizers all work together, I think it’s the right way that will lead to a tangible renewal of the movement,” underscores General Director for the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang, who participated in the project in Barcelona. “We are very satisfied, particularly for the decision regarding the licenses, which it seems will already go into effect starting in 2017. Becoming a part of the World Tour in 2005 has allowed the Tour de Pologne, and the entire Polish cycling movement, to grow under all aspects and take on a new dimension. Working on a three year term will guarantee more stability both to the teams as well as to us organizers, allowing us to make sound investments and develop more long lasting projects, engaging our partners with better guarantees.”
Tour de Pologne 2015 stage 1 final kilometers:
Zoidl fractures collarbone at Trek Factory Racing training camp
Trek Factory Racing’s Riccardo Zoidl crashed not more than 30 minutes into the first training ride at the Trek Factory Racing training camp in Spain Wednesday and sustained a 4-part fracture of the left collarbone.
Zoidl will return to his home in Austria Thursday and undergo surgery either Thursday or Friday; if all goes well he hopes to be back to training in around a week’s time.
“Our team doctor told me we can fix it with a pin and this way I can get back to training faster,” explained Zoidl from the team hotel in Alfaz del Pi, Spain. “I am fairly confident I can return to training and be back on the bike in one week, and then you don’t lose so much (fitness).”
The unfortunate news came not long after the team departed for its first training ride of the 10-day camp. With the team split into three groups and Riccardo Zoidl part of the second group, a report came back that a light crash had occurred amongst the leading riders. They were warned about the super slippery roundabout, but even at a slow speed it was impossible to keep the bikes upright.
Zoidl: “We knew that this roundabout was slippery as 4-5 guys crashed in the group ahead of us and so we took it easy. I was sliding a little bit, but I could handle it and thought I was safe and then my teammate next to me crashed and went directly into my front wheel and I flipped over. We were not going fast, maybe 10-15km/h, but it was really, really slippery. I think a total of 10 of us crashed there.
“I was super disappointed in the first five minutes after it happened, but now I have come to terms with it. This is the second time for me and I was really nervous the first time I broke my collarbone, but now I know what to expect with the rehab. It’s a shame that it was a short training camp for me, but everything in life has a reason.”
Trek Factory Racing team doctors will monitor the situation with doctors in Austria to coordinate the operation and rehabilitation.
Bigla Pro Cycling Team omitted from Ladies Tour of Qatar
The Bigla Pro Cycling Team who will race as Cervélo-Bigla Pro Cycling in 2016 has been dealt an early blow, after it was omitted from the list of participators for the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
The race released a list of 15 teams that are invited to the event, including all teams that are ranked in the top ten in the world as well as national teams. The Bigla Pro Cycling Team is currently ranked fifth in the world, making it the only top ranked team to miss out.
“This is a 2.1 ranked race and as a top five team in the world they let us know they we won’t be invited. We have a sprinter in Lotta Lepistö who could win a stage here but the bigger picture is the race program affects our sponsor contracts. Programs are set and training camps are set and it affects everything and we now have to adapt,” Team Manager, Thomas Campana said.
Campana mentioned the importance that race programs play in finding sponsors as one of the top teams in the world. “As a top 5 UCI team to not be invited it shows clearly that the UCI rules need to be re-evaluated. It’s a major impact for all our sponsors and partners and our race program.”
E3 Harelbeke to be Shorter in 2016
The Belgian early season Classic, the E3 Harelbeke, has been made ‘easier’ for its 2016 edition on the 25th of March. It will be 10 kilometers shorter and the early part of the race will be on wide roads from the start in Harelbeke. The organizers say it will still be a hard battle with cobbles and just as much climbing in the finalé.
Last 10K of the 2015 E3 Harelbeke:
Teams for the 2016 Tour de San Luis
The organizers of the early season Argentinian race, the Tour de San Luis, has announced the twenty-seven teams who will line up on the 17th of January and finishes on the 24th. Six WorldTour and ProConti teams and nine National teams are listed to start. Top riders expected are Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali.
Tour de San Luis 2016 teams:
Movistar, Tinkoff, Astana, Lampre-Merida, AG2R-La Mondiale, Etixx-Quick·Step, Cannondale-Garmin, Androni Giocattoli, UnitedHealthcare, Bretagne-Seche Environnement, Drapac, Nippo-Vini Fantini, San Luis Somos Todos, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Holowesko Hincapie, Sep San Juan, Buenos Aires Provencia, Team Vivo, Inteja-MMR.
Plus National teams: Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Italy, Maxico, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil.
Tour de San Luis 2015 highlights:
Trek Factory Racing for Tour Down Under
Ryder Hesjedal, Kiel Reijnen, Peter Stetina and Jack Bobridge will all have their first ride in Trek Factory Racing colors in the Tour Down Under starting on January the 19th and finishing on the 24th. The four new boys will be joined by Giacomo Nizzolo and Boy Van Poppel.
Trek Factory Racing line-up for the 2016 Tour Down Under:
Julian Arredondo, Jack Bobridge, Ryder Hesjedal, Giacomo Nizzolo, Kiel Reijnen, Peter Stetina, Boy Van Poppel
2015 Tour Down Under stage 1 highlights:
Astana for the 2016 Tour Down Under
Luis Leon Sanchez will lead the Astana team in Australia for the Tour Down Under, he will be joined by Lars Boom, Lieuwe Westra, Davide Malacarne and Laurens De Vreese. Arman Kamyshev and Maxat Ayazbayev will make their first visit to Australia.
Astana for the 2016 Tour Down Under:
Lars Boom, Maxat Ayazbayev, Laurens De Vreese, Arman Kamyshev, Davide Malacarne, Luis Leon Sanchez and Lieuwe Westra.
Tour Down Under stage 2 highlights:
Pozzovivo for the Tour Down Under
After his terrible crash in the Giro d’Italia, Domenico Pozzovivo is keen to get his 2016 season on the way by lining up in the Tour Down Under. The little Italian has a strong team behind him as he will be joined by Bagdonas, Gougeard, Riblon, Montaguti and Sergent. Cyril Gautier will make his debut with the team, new from Europcar. After the Australian race, Pozzovivo will ride in Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico.
Ag2r-La Mondiale for the 2016 Tour Down Under:
Gediminas Bagdonas, Cyril Gautier, Alexis Gougeard, Christophe Riblon, Domenico Pozzovivo, Matteo Montaguti and Jesse Sergent.
Tour Down Under stage 3 finish:
Tests at Energy Lab
Since November, the new establishment of Energy Lab Ghent is open to the public. In the Ghelamco Arena, Lotto Soudal riders do physical tests to see how good their form is. As usual, the riders do a fitness test on the bicycle but they also get a Dexa scan so their body is mapped completely. Based on these results, the riders get an individual training programme for the upcoming weeks. Wim Van Hoolst, Energy Lab coach and physical coach of Lotto Soudal, led the tests and gave professional comments.
The most important test is the fitness test on the bicycle. During this test the resistance is progressively increased each five minutes. At the end of every effort, a small blood sample is taken so the concentration of lactate can be measured. On the basis of the amount of lactate there is in the blood at a certain effort, the coach can perfectly determine the wattage, rhythm, heart rate, fatigue rate, lactate production, endurance, intensive endurance and maximal wattage during and after this test.
Wim Van Hoolst, Energy Lab: “The riders get to undergo a condition test three times in one season; at the beginning of December, at the beginning of January and once during the season before an important race or period. We do three tests because the condition of the riders improves a lot during December; this can differ 10 to 40 watt. All the riders start at 100 watt and every five minutes we increase the resistance with 40 watt. Each five minutes, a blood sample is taken to measure the amount of lactate. At the end of the test, we have a perfect view of the riders’ form and when they begin to produce lactate. Afterwards, we analyze the results and determine the heart rate zones and wattage zones. The riders can work with these figures during their training rides.”
“A professional athlete has an aerobe threshold, anaerobe threshold and maximal performance wattage of around 4, 5 and 6 watt per kilogram body mass. On the basis of these values, the different heart rate zones can be calculated for all the training types. The results are always discussed with the riders. Also the heart rate and power zones get adjusted in the training schedule. Most Lotto Soudal riders are individually followed by Energy Lab and corrected when necessary. Some riders have their own coach, in such a situation there’s a joint meeting to determine the training schedule so that every rider of the team can be followed daily.”
Tiesj Benoot: “In the past, I didn’t look forward to these tests, but now it’s better. I’m very interested in the scientific explanation behind the test results and spend the necessary attention to it. As a professional rider, you need to know what your body can do. These tests give a good view of that and they are an indicator for the coming season. As a young rider, it’s nice to compare the current tests with those from the past; every year I do better and this proves that the hard work pays off. In cooperation with my personal trainer, Energy Lab follows what I’m doing and together they determine my training schedule for the upcoming weeks. During the training camp in December, we make sure that we train in those wattage and heart rate zones during the training rides. Without these tests, we wouldn’t train perfectly when we have to do power intervals or intensive training rides. The current cycling gets more scientifically and because of this, these tests are crucial.”
Almost all the Lotto Soudal riders did their test in Energy Lab Paal, Ghent and Eindhoven. With their adjusted training zones, the riders can start working during the training camp in Mallorca. The foreign riders – Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Rafael Valls, Tomasz Marczynski and Tony Gallopin – will be tested during the first day of the training camp.
Do you want to do a test yourself, just like the Lotto Soudal riders? Check the website of Energy Lab (www.energylab.be) and make your appointment.
IAM Cycling – Michel Thétaz: The 2015 season done and dusted
Passion. Perseverance. Performance. These are three words, three sentiments even, that Michel Thétaz, CEO of IAM (the manager of the IAMFUNDS.CH investment funds) wanted to emphasis and develop during the press conference that opened up the 2016 season, which is the Swiss professional team’s second year riding in the World Tour. It is an important moment when all the riders and staff members gather together to attend the tradition that the head man established from the beginning of the team’s existence. Michel Thétaz, along with the youngest rider of the team, who this year is Sondre Holst Enger (21), breaks la marmite de l’Escalade, or chocolate pot of Escalade, which celebrates a famous Swiss victory against Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy in 1602. Yet by Thursday afternoon, Matthias Frank, Stef Clement, Jerome Coppel and company, will be hard at work for their first team training camp on the roads of Mallorca. Their camp will continue until the 18th of December, with a second phase on the Spanish island scheduled for the 11th to the 21st of January 2016.
Thétaz proudly presented the newly designed jersey for his team, which will kick off its season on January 17 at the Down Under Classic (Australia). As a prominent financier from Geneva, Thétaz is enthusiastic as well as demanding with regard to the objectives that he has set for his 28 riders, as well as the managers (Serge Beucherie, Rik Verbrugghe), athletic directors (Kjell Carlström, Mario Chiesa, Thierry Marichal, Thierry Marie, Eddy Seigneur) and coaches (Marcello Albasini, Hendrik Werner). “The 2015 season is done and dusted. Our team performed strongly and is well established. The goal now is to win more races than we did in 2015 (15 total) by using the strengths of the team. I have asked our sports leadership to target the Tour de Romandie, the Tour de Suisse, and the Swiss road championships in Martigny, and of course the Tour de France. These will be our major objectives for the year, and our recruiting of riders has been targeted accordingly. The Australian Leigh Howard, the Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen, the Belgian Oliver Naesen and the Swiss Oliver Zaugg have been called up to reinforce the team and to be at the service of our leaders.”
For his part, Rik Verbrugghe, the team’s sports manager, reiterated the boss’ statements. “We have to be among the leaders in the World Tour races if we want to improve from our last place among the 17 teams, and to meet the objectives of our sponsor. There will be other races on the calendar where we will play a more opportunistic role. With the goal to be even more visible on the center stage, and of course win more races, we have strengthened our sprint train intended to support Matteo Pelucchi.”
Boris Dron looks back at 2015 debut season
Boris Dron joined Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2015. The former rider of Wallonie-Bruxelles proved his potential during the first months of the season before having to end his first season because of injury and health problems.
“I started the season very well. I had earned my place in the team and would be ready and in shape for the Spring classics. Unfortunately at the end of March I got a virus (zona) which weakened me and resulted in fatigue for most of the remainder of the season. I couldn’t train properly anymore and had to end my first season with Wanty-Groupe Gobert mid-August already,” Dron said.
Boris Dron’ first races of the season were encouraging. He discovered his time trial ability finishing 1,17 down on Tony Martin in the Volta ao Algarve. “Without having trained for this discipline, I obtained good results in the time trial. That was a nice surprise to me.”
Despite the fact Dron’s season was marked and ended prematurely by this virus, Wanty-Groupe Gobert offered him a new contract for 2016.
“I am very happy with this second chance because there aren’t many places available on the team. They don’t come cheap, so to say. I want to thank the team for their confidence in me.”
His health problems are now behind him. “I can train properly now and will go on training camp this December as well.”
Boris Dron explains his ambitions for 2016. “In the build-up towards the next season I will train my time trial abilities specifically. I want to improve the position on the bike and am curious how far I can get in stage races which include a time trial,” Dron concludes.
Giant-Alpecin 2016 Team Presentation
Team Giant-Alpecin will have their 2016 launch on Thursday, January 7 in the Italian Embassy in Berlin, Germany. The team will present its lineup to the media and guests in a setting offering a strong association with the history of cycling. Italy has brought the world legendary riders and monumental races such as the Giro d’Italia and Milano-Sanremo, as well as the passion of the tifosi and a commitment to extending that passion for cycling to new areas all over the world.
#KeepChallenging: Team Giant-Alpecin
In 1964, Eddy Merckx became amateur World Champion in Sallanches. Would he still impress the world if he won this race today? To find out, they decided to let Eddy ride this crucial race, once more. Check out the new web clip here and live the Sallanches64 Effect. You can find more info on the new Sallanches64 carbon race bike HERE.
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