EUROTRASH Thanksgiving Thursday!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! But the wheels keep turning and we have a mixed bag of EuroTrash cycling news: The UCI have announce the eighteen WorldTour teams for 2016 and also most of the ProConti squads. Dimension Data make the top step of cycling, another year for Grmay, Boonen recovers, Moolman-Pasio top 10, plus team, sponsor, rider news and the 2015 Giro in 2 minutes.
TOP STORY: The WorldTour Teams for 2016
With the announcement of Dimension Data receiving their license from the UCI on Wednesday (see below), the list of WorldTour teams for 2016 is complete. There are no surprises in the list of top teams, but there are some noticeable omissions amongst the ProConti teams. The decision has still to be announced on Direct Energie (ex-Europcar), CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Bardiani-CSF and Tharcor (ex-Southeast). The final list will be announced before the end of the year.
Eighteen WorldTour teams for 2016:
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
Etixx – Quick-Step
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo
Trek Factory Racing.
Nineteen ProContinental teams for 2016:
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
Cult Energy-Stölting Group
Drapac Professional Cycling
Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour
ONE Pro Cycling
Roompot Oranje Peloton
Team Novo Nordisk
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
Verva Activejet Pro Cycling Team
The best bits of the 2015 Tour de France:
The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced earlier today that our African Team, which will race as Team Dimension Data in 2016 has received a World Tour license for the 2016 season.
It is a historic day in the world of cycling and for the continent of Africa as for the first time, Africa will have a team represented at the highest level of the sport. While we were always hopeful of making it into the World Tour, the excitement of today’s announcement has been met with great joy among our team, partners and fans across the world.
The realization of this dream has only been made possible by years of hard work, strategic partnerships, incredible riders producing exceptional performances and support staff. We are delighted to rewrite the history books and place African cycling at the highest level in World Cycling. To our partners Dimension Data, Deloitte, Cervélo, Sapinda, Rotor and all the others that have believed in the future of this team thank you for your support in making this a reality. As a World Tour team we believe we will be able to mobilize more people on bicycles through the Qhubeka Charity and our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
In addition, we are delighted to announce that we will be registering a UCI Continental in 2016. This team will be based out of our training center in Lucca, Italy and will allow our young, up and coming African riders to race a solid European season.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
This is incredible, I am so happy for this team, our partners and all the staff and riders that have worked so hard over the years to keep building this team to push beyond the boundaries and believe that anything is possible. To get this news on our training camp in Cape Town as we are bonding with our new team for the future is simply the best motivation to move forward into 2016.
Brett Dawson – CEO Dimension Data
As the title sponsor, we’re extremely proud to be part of the team’s iconic rise from one of the five wild cards teams to ride in this year’s Tour de France to World Tour status. We look forward to accelerating our journey together and continue to play a role in developing African riders into professional cyclists who will compete in some of the world’s greatest cycling events.
Tsgasbu Gebremaryam Grmay Extends with Lampre-Merida
The 2015 season was full of satisfaction for Lampre-Merida and Tsgasbu Gebremaryam Grmay (complete info here) and they will continue together with a one year contract for the African athlete.
The first Ethiopian cyclist to wear the jersey of the team manager Copeland deserved the one year extension of the agreement thanks to his friendliness, his politeness and his will to improve his cycling skills, which allowed him to achieve sport satisfactions. The twenty-four years old from Mekele raced for 90 days during the season, having his debut in two Great Tours (Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España) and completing them. He achieved three victories, the road and time trial Ethiopian championship and African time trial championship, in addition to good results in the top positions of the youth classifications of WorldTour races (5th place in the Tour Down Under, 8th in the Tour de Romandie and 8th in Tirreno-Adriatico).
Grmay, who has already started to train on Ethiopian roads after the break, commented: “First of all, I want to thank all the team members and all of our sponsors for the great 2015 season. I’m so happy and lucky to be a member of the team and to have the opportunity to be a blue-fuchsia-green rider in 2016 too. I can’t wait to start racing and to get even better results for the team and for me.”
Team manager Copeland explained that: “The team management and the sport directors are very satisfied with Grmay, who had no problems in realizing good performances in his debut year in the World Tour. We feel Tsgabu will be able to improve even more his cycling skills in 2016. He already started to train with a good attitude which is positive for the whole team.”
Tom Boonen: “My Recovery is on the Right Track”
At the press conference prior to the Boonen and Friends Charity Event, the Etixx – Quick-Step rider talked about the race that is scheduled to take place on November 28th and his condition after the injury he suffered in the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Last month, Tom Boonen crashed-out of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour during stage two and was immediately taken to the hospital, where the CT scan showed a left temporal bone fracture. As a result, he had to stay in the Emirates for a couple of days more before returning home, where the doctors ordered him to rest and take things easy. Since then, five weeks have passed and the 35-year-old is making progress and started working to prepare the new season.
This week, Tom Boonen made his first public appearance since sustaining that injury, at the press conference which preceded the Boonen and Friends Charity Cyclocross that takes place for the sixth year now and reunites 50 top road cyclists at the startline, who will ride on a 2 km-long track designed inside of the Park of Zilvermeer, with the aim of backing the Move To Improve and Bijs charities: “This cyclocross is very important for me and I hope many people will come to support the riders and the two charities involved. The people taking care of this event did a fine job and I’m sure we’ll have a great time and a fun day. Unfortunately, I can’t race, but I’ll be there to welcome all my fans”, Tom Boonen had to say on Tuesday at the media meeting where he was joined by Etixx – Quick-Step sport directors Tom Steels and Wilfried Peeters.
Despite the fact he’ll not ride Saturday’s event in Mol, the seven-time Monument winner still had reasons to smile, as the doctors gave him green light to return on his bike and start training: “Things are going well after my crash. When I came back home from Abu Dhabi I was tired and in pain, but day by day I began feeling better and now everything is heading into the right direction. It’s a difficult fracture, but it’s healing well, even if I can’t compare it with any of the other fractures I’ve had. Still, I’m happy, because a few days ago I have finally returned to training – not very intense ones, around three-hour long – followed by a couple of days of rest, as the doctors recommended me not to rush things. It’s really important to listen to my body and do things right before the new season.”
Only two weeks are separating Tom Boonen of the team’s first training camp ahead of the new season, which will take place in Denia, Spain. There, the Belgian wants to reconnect with his teammates and get back in the mood for racing: “I can’t wait for the training camp to be underway. I miss the guys, the staff, that great feeling that I have when I’m with the whole team. Denia will be perfect to outline my schedule and start focusing on 2016.”
Moolman-Pasio becomes First South African in Top Ten UCI Rankings
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio has made history by becoming the first ever South African to finish in the top ten of the UCI rankings. The South African national champion moved up from ninth to sixth after her victory in Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge.
The Bigla Pro Cycling Team also finishes the year as the fifth ranked team in the world.
Last night, Moolman-Pasio was also recognized in her home country when she won the South Africa Sport Award for Sportswoman of the Year for the second year in a row.
“I’m super happy to finish the year ranked 6th in the world, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to what has been a great year with Bigla,” Moolman-Pasio said. “I have been striving to break into the top 10 world ranking for a few years now, and to finally have made it, I’m incredibly grateful. It is not easy as a rider from the Southern Hemisphere to make a career of cycling in Europe, and I hope this achievement can inspire other South African’s and African’s to realize that with hard work and determination anything is possible. I certainly didn’t do this on my own, and I’m incredibly grateful to all of those who have played a role in helping me reach this goal over the years.”
Team manager, Thomas Campana added insight to the achievement: “When we started working with Ashleigh it was never the plan to look at the UCI ranking but we noticed it was more important for her to get balance and confidence back in order to have good platform going into an Olympic year of 2016. The top ten position in the UCI ranking is just a confirmation of reaching those goals. It’s a great achievement for Ashleigh to be the first African rider to achieve these top rankings. I think in two or three weeks she will realize what she has achieved this year and it will give her more motivation for next year.”
Moolman-Pasio has had a breakout season, starting the year off by winning national and African continental road and time trial titles. In Europe, top ten placings followed in Strade Bianche, Le Smayn, Elsy Jacobs and Fleche Wallonne. Her success continued when she won her first ever tour in Europe, taking the stage and overall on the final day of Auensteiner-Radsporttage.
She continued her impressive campaign with second overall in Euskal Emakumeen Bira, missing the victory by one second then placing fourth overall in the Giro Rosa, the only Grand Tour in women’s cycling.
2016 will be an Olympic year and the games will be a target. “Finishing in the top 10 world ranking in the year preceding the Rio Olympics is great for my motivation and confidence. I feel that my consistent performance through the year and the lessons that I have learnt along the way will be a great boost going into 2016, as I continue to strive to push boundaries and grow as an athlete and person,” Moolman-Pasio concluded.
Asked what this achievement means for the new look Bigla Pro Cycling Team, Campana added, “For the team, the success of the captain is important. For next year we have a group of young competitive riders and more experienced riders and to have a leader who is in the top ten riders in the world is very important. This is pure confidence for all the athletes. After the race in Joburg all the girls were walking around with broad shoulders and you could see that they’ve grown and we wanted to end the year like this.”
Addy Engels joins Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Addy Engels will strengthen the sports technical team at Team LottoNL-Jumbo as of January 1, 2016. Engels has a long track record in professional cycling with four years as sports director at Team Giant-Alpecin. With LottoNL-Jumbo, he will coach.
Managing Director Richard Plugge is pleased with the addition of Addy Engels to the technical staff. “Our team is focused on innovation and coaching to encourage the development of our riders and thus to maximize their potential. Addy works according to that vision. He is someone who can convey the tactical plan to all members of the team. Addy can bind a group and get them to work more closely together, allowing the individual to rise above himself.”
Addy Engels is looking forward to the upcoming season with his new employer. “The past years, I noticed less of a fit with my team. If you want to continue, it is better to find a new challenge. I’m going to put most of my energy at LottoNL-Jumbo into coaching, that is my passion. The sport aspirations and focus within their three-year plan appeal to me.”
Professional continental team RusVelo, having passed the procedure of the official registration with the UCI earlier this month, finalizes 2016 team roster and brings the riders together for the first training camp. Although there are a lot of new names to be found in the riders list, the main principle on which RusVelo’s was originally built in 2012 remains the same: to give the talented Russian riders the best environment to fulfill their true potential, and for the year of 2016 it will have 21-person 100 per cent Russian line-up:
Ildar Arslanov, Igor Boev, Artur Ershov, Alexander Evtushenko, Segey Firsanov, Alexander Foliforov, Alexey Kurbatov, Roman Kustadinchev, Victor Manakov, Roman Maikin, Sergey Nikolaev, Artem Nych, Artem Ovechkin, Alexey Rybalkin, Ivan Savitskiy, Alexander Serov, Evgeniy Shalunov, Andrey Solomennikov, Mamyr Stash, Kirill Sveshnikov, Aidar Zakarin.
Summing up the important step towards the coming season, the team’s general manager Renat Khamidulin said: “With a range of new signings we complete a roster which can be defined as balanced, now we have different types of riders capable of realizing our ambitions in various types of races. We, as usual, put a special focus on development of a big group of youngsters a little over 20 years old, as well as pre-Olympic preparation of the national endurance events track team candidates. We are also happy to have a sizable group of experienced road specialists. At the same time I’d like to make it clear: we don’t lock the door, there will always be room left for strong Russian riders who would be able to show their strength during the season”.
The 2016 RusVelo team launch will take place on Saturday, November 28, in the castle of Desenzano del Garda, a few kilometers away from the Italian base of the team. The ceremony will draw a line under a four days long training camp packed with organizational meetings and other pre-seasonal events like trying on the new clothes.
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 2016 Team and New Jersey
Now that the Italian Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team have their ProConti license, after the team received a doping ban this year after two riders tested positive. The team has also changed their jersey from the mostly white design to red. The team had their first get-together in Cesenatico before moving on to Benidorm, Spain in early December.
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 2016 line-up:
Franco Pellizotti, Marco Bandiera, Marco Benfatto, Egan Arley Bernal, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Marco Frapporti, Alberto Nardin, Luca Pacioni, Daniele Ratto, Mirko Selvaggi, Alessio Taliani, Davide Viganò, Francesco Chicchi and Serghei Tvetcov.
Lampre-Merida in Darfo Boario Terme
One year later and with 30 victories more and a bunch of National titles, Lampre-Merida will gather in Darfo Boario Terme for the first team meeting in view of the 2016 season.
The thermal has been for years the launching pad for the cycling seasons of the blue-fuchsia-green team and for 2016 too the team of the manager Copeland will be in Darfo Boario Terme for setting the basis of the future. Thanks to the City of Darfo Boario Terme, the AS Boario and the pool of sponsors involved by Ezio Maffi, Lampre-Merida will be hosted in Hotel San Martino (Via San Martino 28, Darfo Boario Terme) from Monday, November 30th to Thursday, December 3rd.
The whole roster will attend the team meeting, except for Chun Kai Feng and Tsgabu Grmay, so Darfo Boario Terme will welcome top riders such as former world champion Rui Costa, Modolo and Ulissi, the young guns Polanc, Pibernik and Petilli and all the new signed athletes…
Many important activities are scheduled, first of them the medical examinations which will be organized by the Centro Camuno di Medicina Sportiva “Camillo Golgi”. Another main aim of the team meeting will be the planning of the first part of the season and the evaluation of the technical items. Also the chance to create a team spirit is one of the main reasons of the team meeting. Team staff will operate following instructions by team manager Copeland, who will be joined by the whole group of sport directors, the heads of the operative office Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani, the general coordinator Andrea Appiani and the press officer Carlo Saronni.
In order to thank AS Boario and the pool of sponsors that contributed to the team meeting, on Wednesday the 2nd, at 7 pm, Team Lampre-Merida and its champions will take part in a public meeting that will be organized by AS Boario in Sala Conferenze of Hotel San Martino. “The warm welcome we always receive in Darfo Boario Terme will help us to set the basis for the next season,” team manager Copeland said. “This meeting is very important in order to give to the riders all the necessary support and to program the 2016, also thanks to the fundamental help from our sponsors and suppliers. It will be great to meet again those riders who lived with us an impressive 2015 season and to welcome the new cyclists who’ll be in the team in the next year. Thanks to Ezio Maffi, his pool of sponsors and to the city of Darfo Boario Terme.”
Team LottoNL-Jumbo Extends Partnership with Shimano
Team LottoNL-Jumbo has extended her partnership with cycling component brand Shimano for three years. Shimano will provide the team with wheels, chainsets, pedals, brakes and PRO components, which will be featured on the team’s bikes in 2016. The riders will also be provided with road cycling shoes, performance eyewear, Dura Ace elite racing groupsets and gear shifting options.
“We’re very happy to have the best groupsets on our bikes again for next season. Shimano is an innovative brand that suits the team perfectly,” Richard Plugge, general manager Team LottoNL-Jumbo.
“Shimano components are incredibly reliable and have been race-proven time and time again. Riders trust the equipment to deliver them to the finish line. Shimano gives them one less thing to worry about during a race.”
Eyewear and Cycling Shoes
A new addition to the agreement this year is Shimano’s R-Series eyewear and cycling shoes. Having technology such as polarized and photochromic lenses with anti-fog, anti-scratch and hydrophobic treatments will be a huge advantage for protecting the riders’ eyes in a multitude of conditions.
Rudy Bouwmeester, Sports Marketing Manager Shimano adds: “Supporting bike racing is a very important part of our strategy, so we’re thrilled to be working with a highly professional and well-organized team. Having athletes of the caliber of Robert Gesink and Sep Vanmarcke using Shimano equipment allows us to continually refine, test and develop our equipment with the very best riders.”
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