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Koksijde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nys Sven (BEL) of Crelan - AA Drink pictured during the 3th leg of the men's elite UCI cyclo-cross World Cup race in Koksijde - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2015

EUROTRASH Sven Nys Monday!

Sven Nys might be old and he might be about to retire, but he showed the young guys the class that has made him the cross hero he is. The 39 year old Belgian won both of the top races at the week-end, plus the Gent ‘6 Day’ wound-up on Sunday with a popular win and we have results and video. Other cycling news: Team, race and rider news, hour record and a video Tour de France look back from Etixx – Quick-Step.

TOP STORY: Race Organizers say ‘No’ to WorldTour Reforms
The AIOCC (Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes) has rejected the UCI WorldTour changes at their meeting in Germany on Friday. Seeing as ASO own most of the important races on the calendar and Christian Prudhomme is the top man at the AIOCC and ASO, this sets up a stand-off between the race organizers and the UCI, the teams and the riders.

Although there are some things they agree on; the reduction in team sizes suits AIOCC, UCI and some of the teams, but not the riders as obviously that would mean less riders. But that is about as far as any agreement goes.

In the end AIOCC/ASO own all the races that everyone wants to ride, although the races need the riders, new races with no history mean nothing to anyone, so the race organizers will win in the end. What ever happens; the argument can’t be good for the sport, although it makes a change from doping.

Christian Prudhomme: Who’s the daddy?
100 th  Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2014

UCI World Cup – Koksijde 2015
Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) topped off a great week-end by winning his 50th World Cup in Koksijde after his victory in Hasselt on Saturday. On another wet and cold day, Nys had a battle on his hands to get the better of World Cup leader Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) and the pair were equal until the sprint were Nys was the fastest. World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) made a successful comeback after his knee operation to finish third after a strong showing. Lars van der Haar, the current European champion (Giant-Alpecin) was fourth.

Nys had a slow start and was no where to be seen. World champion, Van der Poel was first to make a move with Van Aert keeping an eye in the rainbow jersey. Van der Haar was also up front, but he and Van der Poel couldn’t hold on to Van Aert and on the third lap Nys was hammering up to Van Aert. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was not on a good day and was in the chase group that was loosing time on the two up front.

Van Aert didn’t want to take Nys to the finish and would press on to gain small gaps, but the older man was unshakable. On 6th lap Van Aert punctured and had to chase for a lap before he rejoined Nys. into the final lap and Van Aert was at full gas, but Nys was holding on and as they fought through the sand and then the mud before the finish straight. Nys was first into the last bend and sprinted hard which must have demoralized Van Aert who had nothing in his legs and had to give best to the 39 year-old Sven Nys. Van der Poel was too strong for Van der Haar for 3rd with Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Laurens Sweeck (Era-Murprotec) split behind.

Van Aert still leads the UCI World Cup with 220 points, Nys on 215 and Van der Haar on 200 points.

UCI cyclo-cross World Cup race in Koksijde - 2015

Race winner, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “It’s awesome, it’s a great feeling because it’s a victory against the best of the world. He (Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won so many races with power and technique on fast courses from the beginning of the season up until now. In a really hard race which was cold, muddy and technical, I can win with an acceleration in the final 200-300 meters. That’s crazy in my last season.”

UCI World Cup – Koksijde Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink in 1:02:39
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:04
3. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:06
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 1:12
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Murprotec at 1:19
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:31
7. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:34
8. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 1:46
9. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 2:00
10. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era-Murprotec at 2:06.

Koksijde action:

Soudal Classics – GP Hasselt 2015
The rain fell on the GP Hasselt and the first mud of the 2015/16 cyclo-cross season brought Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) his first win of the year. He beat Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) in the final lap. The last Nys victory was on November the 11th last year.

Right from the start you could clearly see the intentions of Nys, Pauwels and Meeusen. The trio quickly took a small lead. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout missed his start completely and did not come into play. The three front-runners took turns testing their companions, but nobody was going to fold. So for the whole race there was an accordion-motion at the front. Eventually the trio came together and seemed ready to fight for victory, but suddenly Diether Sweeck (Era-Murprotec) made contact.

The last lap was exciting. Sweeck slipped and also a muddy strip had Pauwels off. Meeusen latched onto the back of Nys, but Nys had something extra in the tank. Meeusen had to let a little gap go and it increased. Only in the last section of the race did Meeusen bow his head. That was the signal for Nys to celebrate, he was jubilant over the finish line for his first win of the season.

Grote Prijs Hasselt 2015

Winner, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink): “Just happy as a rider of 25 to win a cross. I felt I had a lot of strength in my legs. The last stretch, where I went and secured the victory, suited me very well. I also tried to race constantly in the lead so if I made a mistake, the rest had to go round. He’s (Tom Meeusen) a boy with a lot of technique, I sometimes had great difficult to hold his wheel, but in the end I just had a little more power in the legs.”

2nd, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea): “Nys was simply the best today. I knew that Sven was going to be very close. I did a bit too much defending my podium place versus Diether Sweeck to face Sven in the breakaway at the end. He was simply the best and I’m happy with second place. The power has taken the upper hand. It was my intention to overcome the climb and go through. That first worked, not the second. I had a good feeling after Niel, but with the bad luck in Gavere I am feeling a little lost.”

3rd, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “Tomorrow I will feel the effects in Koksijde. I was third in the final round, but halfway through I got mud in my eyes and I had to leave a gap. I could not get up the last mound, before that I did not have enough strength in the legs and then they were gone. Tomorrow I will feel the effects. In the last lap I thought of tomorrow, but now I’m definitely not sure. We did not let him win, if I could beat him, I’d have done it. Sven Nys will always carry prestige, until the last cross he participates.”

Soudal Classics – GP Hasselt Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink in 59:30
2. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:07
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:12
4. Diether Sweeck (Bel) Era-Murprotec at 0:33
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Murprotec at 0:38
6. Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 0:46
7. Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:52
8. Julien Taramarcaz (Sui) Era-Murprotec
9. David Van der Poel (Bel) BKCP-Corendon
10. Radomir Simunek (Cze) Era-Murprotec at 1:25.

GP Hasselt:

Gent ‘6 Days’ 2015
In a thrilling final madison Etixx – Quick-Step rider Iljo Keisse and his teammate Michael Mørkøv have won the 75th Zesdaagse van Gent. For Keisse it was his 6th overall win in Ghent, his 25th Six Days win of his career.

Keisse and Mørkøv started as leaders on the final day. The top four teams made it a very exciting afternoon in het Kuipke in Ghent. During all the events they battled with each other for the points and the bonus laps.

In the final madison Keisse and Mørkøv started with the same points total as leaders Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke. A real thriller took place in the last hour of these Six Days of Ghent. Several attacks were launched. Several bonus laps were taken, but also re-taken by the concurrents. In the final 50 laps there was a sprint every 10 laps. After the third sprint Mørkøv launched a final attack. Keisse took over from his teammate and together they took one last bonus lap.

That lap was enough to secure the overall win in the 75th edition of the Six days of Ghent for Keisse and Mørkøv. It meant Keisse`s 6th overall win in Ghent and his 25th Six Days win of his career.

“I’m really happy about this victory” Keisse says “It’s a race that I love and I have a special feeling with the public. They really pushed me and my teammate today! Mørkøv was great. We worked really well together the whole week. He is very strong. He has a great technique and tactically he knows how to do it. For me it was a little bit difficult after the crash I suffered the first night, but fortunately everything worked out well and we finished it out with the support of the public. I think they really enjoyed the race and the balance between the teams. The last Madison was difficult but spectacular. We knew we were good with the points but we decided to try and go for the lap to avoid a final sprint against fast couples. Everything went well, and finally I can celebrate again a victory after two second places in the last two years. That’s a nice moment for me. I started as a cyclist here at T’Kuipke. This track is really magic.”
Thanks to the Etixx – Quick-Step team for race info.

Jasper De Buyst and Otto Vergaerde finished third. Jasper De Buyst: “I came here to win, even though I knew strong duos would try to beat me. Day one was hard, during the week we got better and better and after the third day we took over the lead. At the beginning of the last day we didn’t stand on the first place anymore, but the first duos were very close together in the ranking. After the first madison of the last day it didn’t look good for us. At the end we conquered a podium place, respect for the winners who were strong the whole week.”

“For Otto it was only his fourth Six-Day, last year he was fifth. It’s a big difference of course, becoming fifth without any pressure or live with the pressure of the overall win. He did a good job, but it’s logical that he had difficult moments during the past six days. After all, we are only 21 years old. A third consecutive victory would have indeed be great, but I don’t want to moan, we can be satisfied to step on the podium next to top riders like Keisse and Mørkøv.”

“Now I’ll go on a holiday. I’m leaving Monday morning and in the beginning of December I’ll go on training camp with the team. The next months I will focus on Rio. We’ll talk about this during the training camp, but now it’s time to recharge the batteries, both physically and mentally. It has been a long season. Last winter there was no time for a holiday, so it’s now even more welcome.”

Gent ‘6 Days’ Final Result:
1. Michael Mørkøv & Iljo Keisse (Etixx – Quick-Step) 0 laps 457 pts
2. Gijs Van Hoecke & Kenny De Ketele (Baloise Insurance) at 1 lap 449 pts
3. Otto Vergaerde & Jasper De Buyst (Lotto) at 1 lap 442 pts
4. Marc Hester & Alex Rasmussen (John Saey)Lecot-Raedschelders at 2 laps 212 pts
5. Moreno De Pauw & Morgan Kneisky (Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen) at 14 laps 371 pts
6. Jasper Mørkøv & Nick Stopler (Caruur) at 16 laps 156 pts
7. Melvin Van Zijl & Yoeri Havik (3M) at 20 laps 138 pts
8. Christian Grasmann & Kalz Marcel (Primus-Haacht) 20 laps 122 pts
9. Stijn Steels & Andreas Muller (Topsport Vlaanderen) at 45 laps 76 pts
10. David Muntaner & Lindsay De Vylder (T-Interim) at 49 laps 79 pts.

Cycling/Track : 75th 6 Days of Gent 2015  / Day 6

Roth-Skoda are ProConti
The Roth-Skoda team have been given ProContinental status by the UCI, they join other new teams: ONE Pro Cycling, Verva Active Jet, Delko Marseille Provence KTM, and Funvic Soul Carrefour on the second step of professional cycling. Bardiani-CSF, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Cult Energy-Stölting Group, Direct Energie (ex-Europcar) and Tharcor (ex-Southeast) are all waiting a decision by the UCI License Commission on their status.

Roth Skoda 2016 line-up:
Valentin Baillifard, Nicolas Baldo, David Belda, Nico Brüngger, Dimitri Bussard, Alberto Cecchin, Marco D’Urbano, Lucas Gaday, Grischa Janorschke, Lukas Jaun, Martin Kohler, Matthias Krizek, Tristan Marguet, Dylan Page, Andrea Pasqualon, Frank Pasche, Bruno Pires, Colin Stussi, Roland Thalmann, Nicola Toffali, Giacomo Tomio, Andrea Vaccher, Rino Zampilli, Andrea Zordan.

Bruno Pires comes from Tinkoff-Saxo:
Trainingscamp  Tinkoff - Saxo Gran Canaria

Giro del Trentino: 40 Years of Champions and Prestige
In April 2016, the Giro del Trentino Melinda turns 40. It’s an important anniversary, that testifies the historical depth, the maturity and the prestige of one of the most fascinating races on the Italian and international cycling calendar. A 2.HC race, which will take place between 19 and 22 April, the Giro del Trentino Melinda is expected to deliver a spectacular edition, that’s going to use the same well-known format (one team time trial stage, one medium mountain day and two stages in the high mountains), which basically reflects the philosophy of the event: looking forward to the future with great respect for tradition.

It is not difficult to identify the reasons that are behind the growing success of the Giro del Trentino Melinda. The most important one is the passion of the GS Alto Garda organizers, animated by unforgettable figures like those of Guido Amistadi (the founder of the race) and Nerino Ioppi, who passed away recently, but was able to leave his strong heritage in terms of skills and human relations. Next Giro del Trentino Melinda will be dedicated to him.

What made the event successful and highly appreciated by riders and fans were the perfect schedule in the international calendar as well as the race format, with its balanced and tough courses, which are a great springboard for the Giro d’Italia, that follows shortly. Then is the technical value of the race, which brings to the forefront that special charm of the historical climbs and other ascents which are lesser known, but immediately found their way to the list of those most popular among climbers: Passo Santa Barbara, Punta Veleno, Passo Redebus, Sega di Ala. Finally, there is the magic that comes with the stunning scenery of a region abounding of mountains and roads well-suited to cycling.

Giro del Trentino also boasts an incomparable gallery of names who have left an important mark in each one of the previous editions: champions, “lieutenants” and teams who have their place in the history of the race. A Trentino native, Enzo Moser was the winner of the first edition, in 1962, when the event was a one-day race. Following that year, many other great names made their way on to the winner’s list: Francesco Moser, who was two victories to his name, just as Paolo Savoldelli, Francesco Casagrande and Vincenzo Nibali. The wins standings is topped by Damiano Cunego, the only rider to finish first on three occasions. Other important Italian cyclists to triumph were Roberto Visentini, Giuseppe Saronni, Franco Chioccioli, Claudio Corti, Gianni Bugno, Claudio Chiappucci, Maurizio Fondriest, Moreno Argentin, Gilberto Simoni, Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi and Domenico Pozzovivo.

The Giro del Trentino has always enjoyed a resounding international line. Just about the winners, the first success of a foreign cyclist goes back to 1979, when the Norwegian Knut Knudsen took the final victory. Then it was the turn of the Austrian Maier (1985), of the Swiss Zimmermann (1988), the French Leblanc (1997), the Mexican Perez Cuapio (2005), the Kazakh Vinokourov (2010) and the Australians Cadel Evans (2014) and Richie Porte (2015), who have won the previous two editions.

There’s also the fact that five riders have been able to win the Giro del Trentino Melinda and the Giro d’Italia in the same season: Gianni Bugno in 1990, Gilberto Simoni in 2003, Damiano Cunego in 2004, Michele Scarponi in 2011 (after the disqualification of Alberto Contador from the latter) and Vincenzo Nibali in 2013.

With this background and the organizers already in full swing, there is no doubt that the 40th anniversary of the Giro del Trentino Melinda will be a memorable one for the entire cycling world.

Vincenzo Nibali’s resounding win at latest edition of “Il Lombardia”
Giro Il Lombardia 2015

Rapha to Support Canyon//SRAM Women’s Professional Cycling Team
Three-Year Agreement With Newly Formed UCI Women’s WorldTour Team

Rapha today announces its partnership with Canyon//SRAM Racing, a newly formed UCI Women’s WorldTour professional cycling team. The three-year agreement will see Rapha supply the team with racewear for competition while also outfitting staff and racers with off the bike in Rapha’s distinct, tailored City collection. Rapha joins Canyon Bicycles of Germany and SRAM bicycle components of the United States in support of the team.

Canyon//SRAM will be led by rising stars Tiffany Cromwell (AUS) and Hannah Barnes (UK) with a total of 9 riders from 6 countries. The team, directed by Ronny Lauke and Beth Duryea, will compete in the full WorldTour calendar with emphasis on the Amgen Tour of California and Philadelphia Cycling Classic in the Unites States of America, the Aviva Women’s Tour, and La Course. Further focus will be taken to qualify athletes to attend the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Riders will wear a brilliant, new livery designed by Rapha’s acclaimed design team and built on the Rapha Souplesse collection for women. Canyon//SRAM will also serve as a global platform, visible to fans worldwide, for development and testing of compelling new designs and products.

Canyon//SRAM will host a training camp in Majorca from December 8th to 20th 2016. Here, riders will be custom fit to their Rapha racewear and kit, Ultimate CF SLX and Speedmax team bicycles, and be presented to the media and fans. The team will begin its 2016 season with Tiffany Cromwell racing the Australian national championships road race January 6-10 and Santos Women’s Tour on January 16. The team’s first full race will be Ladies Tour of Qatar on February 2-5. Canyon//SRAM will participate in the United States at the Amgen Tour of California and Philadelphia Cycling Classic.

“Rapha are devoted racing fans, partnering with this team underlines our commitment to racing at the highest level and to women’s cycling which is a key focus for Rapha,” says Simon Mottram, Rapha founder and CEO. “The world-class riders, team management and cutting-edge partners will further elevate our product design and performance and help us develop the finest racing and riding products for women.” On working with Rapha, Directeur Sportif Beth Duryea comments “When Ronny and I discussed a clothing partner for our new team there was instant agreement that we only wanted Rapha. We saw Rapha as our number one choice and this was for many reasons. Rapha share our passion and vision for cycling. They communicate this passion for cycling with remarkable stories, images and films and like our women’s team they want people around the globe to understand how amazing this sport is.”

Tiffany Cromwell:
stage - 3 of the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour

Endura join Bridie O’Donnell’s Hour Record Team
Endura are excited to be joining Bridie O’Donnell as a technical support partner as the Australian time trial specialist prepares to take on the UCI Women’s Hour Record in Adelaide next January. O’Donnell will challenge Molly Shaffer Van Houweling’s (USA) world record mark of 46.273km set at altitude in Aguascalientes, Mexico in September 2015, who bettered the previous distance of 46.065km set by Leontien Zijlaard – van-Moorsel (The Netherlands) also in Mexico in 2003.

Bridie O’Donnell has represented Australia at three UCI Road World Championships and made twelve podium appearances at Australian and Oceania Championships in the past decade. The 41-year-old physician has been training for the attempt for twelve month since the UCI simplified the regulations for the record by authorizing the use of bikes that comply with the regulations for endurance track events.

Endura brings extensive knowledge of aero speedsuits to O’Donnell’s project, working in conjunction with Simon Smart of Drag2Zero, carrying out extensive work at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 wind tunnel and utilizing the facility’s high tech equipment to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. Apparel developed for Movistar Team’s Alex Dowsett’s successful challenge to the Men’s Hour Record has been further refined in the months since and the Scottish company will be producing suits for use in January at its cutting edge facility in Livingston, Scotland.

Bridie O’Donnell: “It’s going to be a massive challenge now that Molly has set a new world mark of 46.273kms, but I believe I’m on target and the team around me has supported and encouraged me to no end. Everything’s going to plan, and I’m hoping for a big crowd in Adelaide as it’s being staged during the Santos Tour Down Under.”

Jim McFarlane, Managing Director: “We’re very pleased to be helping Bridie take on the Women’s Hour Record next year. The development work carried out with Simon Smart has already proved itself at the very highest levels of time trialling, Ironman and on the track with Alex Dowsett earlier this year and we continue to refine the technologies and techniques to help make all of our supported athletes faster. The aerodynamic benefits of our partnership with Drag2Zero are now being made available to all riders with the launch of our triathlon range and introduction of Drag2Zero speedsuits to our WT Custom Clothing collection.”


The Off-Season Of…
The riders and staff of Lotto Soudal started their preparation towards 2016. The first training kilometers are ridden and plans are being made. Not every rider prepares the season the same way; some of them practice other sports. During the season, everything is clear; the riders race, train and rest. But what does a rider do after the season? What does he do during this time of the year? And the sports directors, how do they prepare themselves for the coming season? We asked Mario Aerts, Stig Broeckx, Adam Hansen and Tim Wellens.

The off-season of Stig Broeckx
“After a couple of weeks of holiday, I started with my training again. Everything still goes very relaxed and easy. In the first weeks it’s a matter of “waking up” the body and systematically increasing the training load. In reality, we do this with training rides in the ‘long distance zone’. I really like mountain biking, running and swimming, they are also part of my training week. I try to do as many different types of sports, but cycling remains the essential. Next to that, I regularly go for a walk or do some squashing. In the first weeks of my preparation towards the season, I take advantage of the easy training pace to sport together with my friends. For the moment, everything goes very relaxed because the real intensive training days are only planned in a couple of weeks.”

“During the hiking, I prefer to have a goal. Just making a walk in the neighborhood isn’t what I like, therefore I do Geocaching. Geocaching is an application on your smartphone which shows you where the “caches” or “treasures” are hidden. These treasures are put there by other users of the Geocache-App. I think that the kid in me rises above when geocaching, because I really like it. The application is known worldwide and everywhere you go, they use it. It’s a nice way to discover new spots during your walk, it takes you to places you would never go.”

“Mid-October is traditional the month where the corn is harvested. My parents have a farm and the workload during these weeks is so big that everyone in the family comes together to help. Given that my season is over, I also help them. During the cycling season, I’m less active on the farm and because of that I really enjoy to put on my boots.”

The off-season of Mario Aerts
“Also for the sports directors, the off-season was welcome. After a busy season and spending many nights at hotels, you really look forward sleeping in your own bed. It was a very good season for the team, therefore you can start the rest period carefree. Last winter, we did everything we could to be as good as possible for the 2015 season; and we succeeded. With the winter period coming up, we know what we have to do. Past season, we saw that our approach worked and that motivates. Because of that, everyone is very motivated and enthusiastic to give everything they have to be successful next season.”

“As of 1st of November, most riders started training again. Also the sports directors started with the preparations for next season. Every sports director is the contact person for five to six riders of the team. The riders who I assist are Bart De Clercq, Sander Armée, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, Tomasz Marczynski and Jelle Wallays. Last week, I spoke them for the first time after the team day – which took place the day after Putte-Kappellen. During these conversations, we listen to the riders in the first place and hear how their holiday was and if everything is fine. Most of the meetings with riders and sports directors are held during the training camp in December.”

“In between the holiday and the training camp in December, the sports directors gather a few times to discuss things. For example, we make the race program for next year and evaluate which races we will re-attend and which will be skipped. Also the schedule for the training camp in December is one of the agenda points and the individual race programs of the riders will be discussed for the first time with the other sports directors. During the training camp, there will be time to talk to the riders about how they see their program and afterwards, we try to make up a race program till the end of the Classics.”

“My first race in 2016 will be the Tour Down Under. I participated five times in my cycling career but the next edition will be my first as sports director. Last season went well. It won’t be easy to equal the results from last year, but we can look forward to 2016 with a healthy dose of ambition. Our young riders are a year older now and gained some strength, if they can pick up where they left it last season, great results will follow. On this subject, I’m referring to Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot. Also the more experienced riders like Tony Gallopin and André Greipel are in the bumper years of their career and can shine again next season. Tony showed that he’s capable of winning stages at stage races and André still belongs to the list of world’s best sprinters. With the current riders and staff, I’m really confident that 2016 will once again be a great season.”

The off-season of Tim Wellens
“After Lombardia, I kept training for a week because I wanted to race the Roc d’Azur. The Roc d’Azur is a well-known mountain bike race in the South of France with more than 4000 participants. The course goes through the hilly Nature Base in Fréjus. Given that this race was held the week after the Giro di Lombardia, it was the ideal way to finish my season. Together with my girlfriend, I went to Fréjus for a week to enjoy a holiday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the race due to two flat tires. The first flat I could repair, but when I had a puncture again shortly after the first flat tire, it was over and out. The Côte d’Azur is a very beautiful region to ride your bike. I will definitely go back, but it’s not decided yet if I’ll do a second Roc d’Azur next year.”

“During my rest period, I was still very busy; I’m in my senior year to become a professional bachelor in Energy Technology at the University College UC Leuven-Limburg. To receive my diploma, I have to do an internship in a company. The company where I do this internship is Ridley Bikes. During the three-week rest period after the season, I started with the internship. The plan is to finish all 56 internship days before February. My job function with Ridley is to help develop the wind tunnel. I’m helping to determine the thickness of the supply cable and the security of it. Ridley is building their own full electric wind tunnel. As a cyclist, it’s nice to be part of the development process and to know how such a tunnel works.”

“During the first weeks of my preparation towards the 2016 season, I try to avoid riding on my road bike. Therefore, I try to variate my training program by introducing running, swimming and mountain biking. The nice weather from the past weeks made it hard to leave the road bike in the garage, but I try to wait as long as possible to ride it. The reason behind this, is that I want to have enough motivation to train on the road bike when the real training months approach. This week, I go to Spain for a first training camp. Together with the ‘Jonge Benen’ (Jasper Stuyven, Sean De Bie and Louis Vervaeke) we rent a house near Malaga. The weather forecast seems to be good for the next days so I really look forward to spend some time together with the four of us. The preparation towards the 2016 season has begun!”

The off-season of Adam Hansen
Adam Hansen is the current world record holder when it comes to completing consecutive Grand Tours. In the past years, he finished thirteen Grand Tours; an extraordinary performance. Every other athlete would use the winter period to reload the batteries and to compensate the cycling season, except Adam. Next to the cycling part, Hansen runs a company that produces clothes, named Hanseeno. Because of that, Adam travels around the world to meet potential buyers. Furthermore, he’s also active as computer program developer. He developed Logiscycle, which is a cycling management logistics program that’s also used by Lotto Soudal. But there’s more. Besides being a cyclist, product developer and computer specialist, above all Adam is an adventurer. The past twelve days I was in Nepal. I did some long hiking tours from four to eight hours a day. I climbed four mountain passes in the Himalaya. First Gokyo, a mountain top at 5357 meters above sea level. Second, I climbed the 5420 metres high Cho La Pass and to finish I went to the Mount Everest Base Camp.”

“The following two days, a hiking tour to Lukla is planned, which is located 2860 metres above sea level in the northeast of Nepal.” Adam told us in-between two tours. “These tours are a real adventure. You’re one with the surroundings and also for the body it’s a hard job. This trip to the Himalaya will boost my form. The long hiking tours are ideal to sharpen the form; physically it’s pretty demanding.”

“I will start the training camp in December with a better form than in the past years. Even though I haven’t ridden my bike since the last race, I feel that my form comes back. Just before we travel to Majorca, I will start riding my bike. The hiking in the Himalaya is comparable with a Grand Tour; you physically suffer multiple days to get to the finish. During the hiking trips, the finish is on the top of the mountain. During bike races, the last day of a Tour is the ultimate finish. This adventure gives me the required energy to try finishing all the Grand Tours again next year.”

Record holder Adam Hansen:
La Vuelta 2015 stage-21

Etixx – Quick-Step Looking Back at the 2015 Tour de France
Now that the 2015 season has gone, the Etixx – Quick-Step team are looking back over the year in video form. The first film looks at their Tour de France:

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