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EUROTRASH UCI/ASO Monday!

The power struggle between ASO and the UCI has reared its ugly head again, no ASO races in the WorldTour surely means no WorldTour. Two exciting cross races at the week-end, results and video action in EuroTrash Monday. Team news from Sky, BMC, IAM Cycling, USA, Team Novo Nordisk, Lampre-Merida, Lotto Soudal, plus race news from Paris-Nice, Romandie and Pologne and everything else we could find.

TOP STORY: ASO v’s UCI
ASO have removed their races from the UCI WorldTour, preferring to be part the UCI Hors Classe calendar. ASO’s events include the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Fleche-Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Critérium du Dauphiné, plus they have a large stake in the Vuelta a España, which has also removed its self from the WorldTour. This move has put the teams in the middle, everyone wants to ride the Tour de France, but in 2017 ASO will be able to pick the teams, unlike now where all WorldTour teams must ride, with the remainder of the places going to ProContinental teams (usually French), this would all change and ASO could pick teams that it approved of and this choice could possibly not include teams who are part of the Velon group.

So what it is all about? Money and control. The Tour has the money and the teams want it (TV rights etc.), the UCI thinks it has the control, but the ASO want to show who does. Basically ASO have taken the pitch and the ball away. Who will win? If the ASO races are not part of the WorldTour, the WorldTour is dead in the water, so unless the UCI have a cunning plan, they will have to back down on their planned reforms. If they don’t, the WorldTour will consist of the Giro d’Italia, Milan-Sanremo, Tour Down Under, Tirreno, Lombardia, Amstel, Hamburg, Québec, Montréal plus the Spanish week long stage races. The UCI could fill the calendar, but it wouldn’t be a true WorldTour.

A.S.O. registers its events on the UCI Hors Classe calendar for season 2017
Amaury Sport Organisation has informed this day Union Cycliste Internationale it has opted for the registration of its events on the Hors Classe calendar for season 2017.

UCI has actually recently adopted, from season 2017, a Reform of the World Tour calendar characterized by a closed sport system.

More than ever, A.S.O. remains committed to the European model and cannot compromise the values it represents: an open system giving first priority to the sporting criterion.

It is therefore in this new context and within its historical events that A.S.O. will continue to keep these values alive.

ASO top man Christian Prudomme, pro cyclings Bernie Ecclestone?
2011 - Tour de France 21e etappe

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UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross – Namur 2015
World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) got the better of Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) with a last minute attack, with last year’s winner Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) in 3rd.

Van der Poel, Van Aert, Pauwels, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea), Michael Boros (BKCP-Corendon), Clément Venturini (Cofidis) and European champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) made the important split, to joined by Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) with 6 laps to go.

With 4 laps to go, Van Aert put the pressure on, Van der Poel jumped after him with Pauwels closing up on him and they gained nearly a 40 seconds lead on the chasers with Venturini between. Van der Haar attacked from the chase group with Vantornout on his wheel, they soon passed Venturini, but could not get close the leaders. Aerts dropped Venturini and Nys.

On the final lap, Van Aert and Van der Poel attacked each other with Pauwels watching the fight. On the final climb Van Aert put everything into his winning effort, but it was not enough to shake Van der Poel, but did gap Pauwels. At the summit Van der Poel made his counter attack to gain a small lead on Van Aert with Pauwels giving up any chance of better that 3rd place. The World champion had enough of a lead for the win over the dominant Van Aert. The rest of the riders came across the line in ones with nearly 2 minutes between winner and 10th.

Van Aert leads the UCI World Cup with 290 points, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA-Drink) is 2nd with 261, Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) is 3rd with 255 points.The next UCI World Cup is on Boxing Day in Zolder on the same course as the World championships in January.

UCI World Cup cyclocross race in Namur

Winner in Namur, Mathieu Van Der Poel (BKCP-Corendon): “I’m enormously happy. This is one of my best victories, especially after my injury. This is what excites people, winning a duel against these two top riders. This is why I do this, why I started doing cyclo-cross. I was already over the limit when I passed Wout before the off-camber section. I was totally dead. When he sat I did so too. Then I stood while I wasn’t able too. Surprisingly enough there was more left in the tank than I thought.”

2nd, Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “It was close. In the last lap it was about timing your attack right. He did that slightly better than me. I went too early on that last climb and felt lactic acid filling up my legs. When he attacked I didn’t have a reply, It was a good battle. In the World Cup it was close before this round but I did a good job today.”

UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross – Namur Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon in 1:02:43
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:01
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:07
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:42
5. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:58
6. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:00
7. Clement Venturini (Fra) Cofidis at 1:01
8. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 1:40
9. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate-Murprotec at 1:49
10. Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 1:50.

Namur cross:

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Soudal Scheldecross – Antwerp 2015
Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) took round five of the Bpost Bank Trofee on Saturday giving him a 100% win in the series this year. World champion Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon) came in second, with European champion Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) was third. With yet another win, Van Aert leads the Bpost by 4:08 from Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), who was fourth in Antwerp. Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) is third at 7:53 and Van der Haar at 8:51.

The winning move came when Michael Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) rode into the bike of Van der Haar on the seventh lap causing a block and allowing Van Aert and Van der Poel to escape. Both worked well for a lap before Van Aert dropped the World champ with two laps to go. Van der Haar led the chase at 12 seconds with Nys and Pauwels for company.

Van Aert put in the fastest lap of the day leaving Van der Poel in his wake for a fine solo win by 23 seconds. 31 seconds later; Van der Haar out-sprinted Pauwels for third as Nys rolled in for 5th in-front of a group including Vanthourenhout, Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), David van der Poel (BKCP-Corendon), Julien Taramarcaz and Era Real Estate-Murprotec teammate Laurens Sweeck.

Bpost trophy Antwerpen Scheldecross men's elite 2015

Race winner,Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “Of course I’m pleased with this victory. On a course like today it’s always going to be hard because you don’t know what to expect. Today the differences weren’t big. Only deep into the race when everybody was getting tired I was able to make the difference.”

2nd, Mathhieu Van Der Poel (BKCP-Corendon): “Normally I’m not happy with second place. This time I’m pleased to see how my body responds on a hard week of training. I learned from the past and didn’t try to follow him. He’s better right now.”

3rd, Lars Van Der Haar (Giant-Alpecin): “I was thrown to the ground in an odd way and my arm was blocked. I popped my shoulder half out of the socket, which hurt massively. I needed to sit down to get it back into position. Due to the adrenaline the pain quickly disappeared after two climbs but I was put at distance of course.”

Soudal Scheldecross – Antwerp Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 58:29
2. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon at 0:23
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:31
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:34
5. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 0:52
6. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:54
7. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
8. David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Corendon
9. Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Era Real Estate-Murprotec
10. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Murprotec.

Soudal Scheldecross:

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Michel Thétaz “Bringing out the hatchet does not solve anything”
Michel Thétaz, CEO of IAM (manager of the IAMFUNDS.CH investment funds) says: “IAM Cycling does not want to engage in the dispute between the largest organizer of professional races, the international cycling federation, and the various stakeholders with respect to the reforms announced for 2017. For my part, I know very well that in the world of business, and in commerce in general, reforms are painful. It is important always to be mindful. Bringing out the hatchet does not solve anything. I therefore encourage our international cycling federation and our French friends to gather around the peace pipe. Primarily it seems to me to be essential to invite everyone who will be affected by the reforms (teams, riders, sponsors, etc.), to the negotiating table, and not only the two adversaries. To reach our goals and for the good of cycling in general, I believe it is essential to compose and reach an agreement that will satisfy everyone involved. I regret the slow pace the negotiations have taken. It is true that we would have been able to implement these reforms for the 2016 season. Knowing personally all the main players in these negotiations, I am, as usual, very optimistic and confident that we can find a workable solution for the 2017 season that will only improve and stimulate professional cycling.”

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Track Olympic long teams unveiled
USA Cycling announced the men’s and women’s track Olympic long teams on Friday, naming the lists of athletes from which final 2016 Olympic rosters will be selected next summer.

The women’s track long team includes one automatic and 11 discretionary nominations. One omnium, four team pursuit, up to one sprint and up to one keirin selections will be named to the final Olympic Team in June. The men’s track long team includes one automatic and two discretionary nominations. One omnium and one keirin rider will be named to the final Olympic Team.

Women’s track long team:
Kelly Catlin (Arden Hills, Minn./NorthStar Development): Team Pursuit
Chloe Dygert (Brownsburg, Ind./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR): Team Pursuit
Missy Erickson (Alexandria, Minn./BIG Picture Cycling-Mission Possible 2016): Sprint, Keirin
Dana Feiss (Telford, Pa./Chester County Cycling Foundation): Sprint, Keirin
Kim Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Chester County Cycling Foundation-Team Alliance Environmental): Team Pursuit
Madalyn Godby (Louisville, Colo./University of Colorado-Colorado Springs): Sprint, Keirin
Sarah Hammer (Colorado Springs, Colo.): Omnium, Team Pursuit*
Beth Hernandez (Oakland, Calif./JAKROO Racing Team): Team Pursuit
Mandy Marqardt (Allentown, Pa./Team Novo Nordisk): Sprint, Keirin
Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/Team TIBCO-SVB): Team Pursuit
Jennifer Valente (San Diego, Calif./TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR): Omnium, Team Pursuit
Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UnitedHealthcare): Team Pursuit

Men’s track long team:
Matt Baranoski (Perkasie, Pa./Custom Velo): Keirin*
Jake Duehring (Irvine, Calif./GS Ciao): Omnium
Danny Robertson (Colorado Springs, Colo.): Keirin
* automatic nomination

Dana Feiss:
Belgium Open Track 2015

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Mekseb Debesay and Igor Anton sign for African Team
We are delighted to announce that the young Eritrean talent, Mekseb Debesay will join Team Dimension Data for the 2016 season as will the Spaniard, Igor Anton.

Mekseb has been one of the most successful riders on the UCI African Tour this year, picking up no less than 7 victories which included 2 stage wins at last months Tour du Rwanda as well as the overall GC win at the International Tour de Blida earlier in the year. The Tour d’Algerie and Tour of Eritrea GC victories are also among the 24 year old Eritrean’s palmarès.

With all of his success coming on the African continent thus far, it will take some time for Mekseb to adapt to a full European calendar but we believe his punchy climbing talent coupled with his fast finish will make him a rider to watch in the not too distant future.

The experienced Igor Anton will also represent Africa’s Team next season, adding depth to our teams climbing contingent. Igor is already a well known rider, with a number of prestigious victories to his credit. Stage wins at the Giro d’Italia as well as at the Vuelta a España, Igor’s pedigree is well established. With a stage and the overall victory at the Vuelta Asturias this year, the 32 year old has also shown he still hungry for success after 11 years as a professional.

Mekseb Debesay: It’s hard for me to describe in words how I feel about joining this team. It’s a dream come true for me after five years of longing to joining Africa’s Team, which will race as Team Dimension Data next year.”

Igor Anton: “I always like riding my bike but joining this team adds another dimension to it due to its cause. Knowing to race for a greater good is something that I feel very special about and am very much looking forward to. It’s certainly a fortunate feeling. I always wanted to continue my career, but liked the idea to join this team. It feels like a good group of people and I’m really motivated to pin on my first number in the new outfit.”

Igor Anton:
Tour de San Luis 2015 - stage- 5 ITT

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Dennis to defend Santos Tour Down Under title
BMC Racing Team will kick off the 2016 season at the Santos Tour Down Under with a strong roster lead by 2015 winner Rohan Dennis. Dennis will be joined by fellow Australian and 2015 runner up, Richie Porte, who will make his debut with BMC Racing Team.

BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed that the Santos Tour Down Under will be an important race for the team. “We go in with the defending champion, Rohan Dennis, so we are going to be focused on the race from day one. We have two goals for the race. The first is to defend the title and the other is to see how Richie can come in as he was second last year. It’s also the first WorldTour event for the season so a good performance in Adelaide will give us a good start for 2016.”

BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager and Sports Director for the race, Allan Peiper, said that the team is coming into the race motivated. “The expectation from the public and the cycling world will be high. That puts a bit of pressure on us but we’re coming with a good team to support those two riders (Dennis & Porte). The most critical stages for Richie and Rohan will be the two climbing stages, with Corkscrew Hill and Willunga Hill in there.”

Happy to race on home soil
Dennis admitted that he is going into the race with realistic goals. “My goals have changed for the season compared to 2015. I think the best way to go into it is thinking about Rio and later on in the season, and see what happens. We’ve got a really strong team and it will be good to have myself there as well as Richie.”

Starting the season with BMC Racing Team in Australia is something Porte is looking forward to. “To start with the Tour Down Under is the best possible way to start. Having won the past two years on Willunga Hill, why not go for the trifecta? With Rohan and I there I think we’re going to have a great team, so I’m really looking forward to taking on a challenging race.”

Riders:
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Floris Gerts (NED), Richie Porte (AUS), Danillo Wyss (SUI), Peter Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Allan Peiper (AUS).

Dennis and Porte for TDU:
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Team Sky’s Sports Directors welcome Brett Lancaster to the roster
Brett Lancaster has joined Team Sky ahead of the 2016 season as he begins the next chapter of his career as a Sports Director. With 13 years’ experience in the pro peloton, the Australian retired from cycling this season and will begin the New Year with a new team and an exciting challenge. One of the most versatile riders in the peloton during his career, the 36 year old famously won the Giro d’Italia prologue in 2005 and spent a day in the Maglia Rosa.

Bringing our Sport Director roster up to six, Lancaster admits the switch from bike to team car will be a challenge – but it’s one he’s relishing. “I’m very excited. It’s a big move and I think you have to adapt from being a professional cyclist to being a Sports Director,” he said. “There’s a lot to take on board and it’s been pretty intense, but I’m over the moon.” Team Sky’s Sport Directors took time out of training to ask Brett and few questions and welcome him to the team:

Nicolas Portal: “Brett, welcome to the team! What are your first impressions of Team Sky?”
BL: “Thanks Nico. It’s been great to spend a few days with the team at the December camp. It’s a very impressive and professional operation you have here. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the riders and staff and I look forward to getting to know them even better. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m sure I’ll fit in well.”

Servais Knaven: “What are you looking forward to most in 2016?”
BL: “I can’t wait to get started. My first race of the season should be the Tour of Valencia, and that will give me my first opportunity of race experience with Team Sky. You have to learn quickly in this sport but that suits me perfectly and I’m ready for the challenge. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some good results early in 2016 to kick-start our season.”

Dario Cioni: “Are you looking forward to swapping the bike for the car?”
BL: “I love cycling so staying in the sport was very important to me. The move from the bike to the car is always going to be tough, but it’s one that I’m ready for. All the DS’s at Team Sky were great bike riders so you’ve been through the same transition. I’m looking forward to it. Joining Team Sky was an unmissable opportunity and the best next step in my career. I’m delighted to be here.”

Kurt Arvesen: “It’s great to have you in the team Brett. When did you know that you wanted to become a DS?”
BL: “Towards the end of your career you have to start to thinking about your next steps. I always wanted to stay in cycling and thought that I had the potential to become a DS. There are certain attributes that you need to be a good DS – attention to detail and being calm under pressure – and I like to think I’m good in those areas. There’s obviously a lot for me to learn and hopefully I’ll pick up some good tips from you guys along the way.”

Gabriel Rasch: “Who would win in race between all six Team Sky Sport Directors?”
BL: “Good question Gabba! I’m not sure, guess we’ll have to find out!”

Brett Lancaster:
Tour de France  2012 stage - 5

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Paris-Nice 2016: Conquering La Madone!
The details of the route for the 74th edition of Paris-Nice, which will take place between 6th and 13th March, were unveiled this morning at the seat of the Yvelines general council. Between Conflans-Saint-Honorine and Nice, this mini Tour de France is likely to be won on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, but also on a new stage finish at La Madone d’Utelle.

The Race to the sun does not always deserve its nickname… because it also permits itself to play with the concept of seasons. For the 2016 edition, the first major European stage race of the year on which the leading lights of the pack will do battle, will resemble the month of July slightly more than usual, regardless of the vagaries of the weather. As on the Tour de France, the pretenders for victory will have to demonstrate their completeness and consistency throughout a demanding week spent battling it out on varying stage profiles. In the Yvelines, it will be paramount to avoid losing time to rivals on the prologue at Conflans-Saint-Honorine. However, the possibility of pitfalls are multiplied with earthen tracks, which may remind some of the Tro Bro Léon, at the finish in Vendôme; a finish designed especially for punchers on the slopes of Mont-Brouilly; or a passage along the flanks of Mont Ventoux, on the way to Salon-de-Provence.

Whilst the climb up the bald mountain, not quite to the summit but instead to Chalet Reynard at an altitude of 1,440 m, will be the highest point of the race, it will not be the most revealing mountain test. Indeed, the following day, on completion of a new ascent measuring more than 15 km (with an average gradient of 5.7%) the penultimate stage will finish at the majestic viewpoint of La Madone d’Utelle (1165m). The best climber will be rewarded for his efforts at the summit and will most likely be in contention for outright victory. He will still have to hold off his rivals whose attacks will again be encouraged on Sunday’s stage, with the start and finish in Nice. The sequence of familiar climbs and more rarely ridden ascents is conducive to gambles that could pay off on the last descent down to the Promenade des Anglais, following the passage over the Col d’Eze pass.

Paris-Nice 2016 Stages:
Sunday 6th March, prologue: Conflans-Sainte-Honorine > Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 6.1 km (t-t.)
Monday 7th Marche, 1st stage: Condé-sur-Vesgre > Vendôme, 195 km
Tuesday 8th March, 2nd stage: Contres > Commentry, 214 km
Wednesday 9th March, 3rd stage: Cusset > Mont Brouilly, 165.5 km
Thursday 10th March, 4th stage: Juliénas > Romans-sur-Isère, 193.5 km
Friday 11th March, 5th stage: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Salon-de-Provence, 198 km
Saturday 12th March, 6th stage: Nice > La Madone d’Utelle, 177 km
Sunday 13th March, 7th stage: Nice > Nice, 141 km.

2015 Paris-Nice stage 1:

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Tour de Pologne 2016: First 5 Wild Cards Assigned
CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Reprezentacji Polski, Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team, Bardiani-CSF and Team Novo Nordisk

The starting line-up for the 2016 Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour is expanding and taking shape. The Lang Team organizing committee is pleased to announce the first 5 wild cards that have been assigned for the 2016 edition of the Polish stage race scheduled from July 12th to the 18th. The chosen teams will join the 18 World Tour formations who are participating in the race by right. There will be 4 professional continental teams, the Polish CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team, the Italian Bardiani-CSF and American Team Novo Nordisk, plus the Reprezentacji Polski (the Polish national team).

“We’ve always assigned the wild cards trying to reward those teams which have shown themselves to be worthy through their commitment and the results they achieve, teams which we believe can bring added value to the level of the race,” explains general director for the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang. “Team CCC Sprandi Polkowice is a fantastic enterprise in Polish cycling which by now has also made it to a world level and which has always figured significantly on the roads of the Tour de Pologne. Same goes for the National team, which donned the yellow jersey for one day last year and won the final time trial. On the other hand, the invitation to Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team is new and aims to serve as a further step in the growth and improvement of the professional Polish cycling movement.Team Bardiani-CSF has always brought young talents into the spotlight, obtaining important results in all the major races to which it’s been invited; just consider the lovely stage victories scored in the last three Giro d’Italia races. As for Team Novo Nordisk, in addition to their results they should be rewarded for the generosity behind the sports and social projects that the team is involved in through the commitment of their athletes, who are all diabetics, to show how this illness no longer poses a limit and that it can be defeated.”

“The 2015 Tour de Pologne was very successful for the Polish National Team, maybe the best one ever. It won’t be easy to repeat this success. There will also be two professional continental teams from Poland in the Tour de Pologne, which will increase the number of Polish riders in the peloton. We will try to do our best and to perform as well as we did in 2015,” says Waclaw Skarul, President of the Polish Cycling Federation.

“The Tour de Pologne is something special. Every year it is a major tour for our team. We always try to be 100 percent ready and fight for the best position. It is not easy, because there are a lot of top riders from all over the world fighting for victory in the Tour de Pologne. It is also something special for every Polish rider on our team, something very prestigious and challenging. So we always have a bit of rivalry inside the team, because everyone wants to start in the Tour de Pologne,” says Piotr Wadecki, Sports Director for CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

“The Tour de Pologne will be our primary goal this season. The Polish national race is very important for our team. All our preparation will be focused on the Tour de Pologne. Personally I like this tour a lot because I’ve experienced the taste of a victory. Not as a rider, but as a sports director for Mróz Team. In 1999 we celebrated Tomasz Brozyna’s victory and in 2003 it was Cezary Zamana,” says Piotr Kosmala, Sports Director of Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team.

“We are very happy that the Tour de Pologne has decided to accept our candidacy for the 2016 edition. The race is starting to stand out as one of the best on the World Tour circuit, and we are completely honored to be there for the start. It will be one of the most important events on our summer calendar and we will be taking it on with a formation that’s just as important,” says Bruno Reverberi, team manager for Bardiani-CSF.

“Team Novo Nordisk is looking forward to racing at the Tour de Pologne for the first time in 2016. This race is especially meaningful as it will be our first appearance in a World Tour stage race. The Tour de Pologne has a long and respected history and garners tremendous visibility worldwide. We aim to use this amazing opportunity to promote our mission of inspiring, educating and empowering everyone affected by diabetes throughout Poland and around the globe,” says Team Novo Nordisk’s Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko.

The organizing committee is also considering the possibility of assigning others wild cards.

2015 Tour de Pologne stage 2:

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Team Novo Nordisk Receives Wild Card Invitation to First World Tour Stage Race
Team Novo Nordisk is set to compete in its first World Tour stage race with the invitation to the Tour de Pologne, which was announced by race organizers earlier today. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko below:

Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland: “Team Novo Nordisk is thrilled to make our World Tour stage race debut at the Tour de Pologne. This race carries a lot of prestige and the invitation serves as another major milestone for the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team. Our riders are ready to take on this next level of racing and we’re looking forward to competing against the best teams in the world. I would like to extend a special thank you to the promoters for the invite, which will help us further globalize our mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes.”

Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko: “It is an honor for Team Novo Nordisk to receive an invitation to the Tour de Pologne, which will serve as the team’s first appearance at a World Tour stage race with an all-diabetes roster. This race has it all: mountains, fast sprints and plenty of breakaway opportunities. We are very excited for the opportunity to race in Poland and will come with an aggressive squad, ready to fight for results.”

Team Novo Nordisk – Navy SEAL-style Training:

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Tinkoff releases 2016 race kit in Courchevel
Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka took to the stage at the packed Courchevel ice rink during the bib draw of the Audi Fis Ski World Cup – Ladies Alpine competition to present the highly-anticipated race kit for the 2016 season.

Contador, Sagan and Majka stole the show in Courchevel as they rode their bikes on the ice rink, in front of thousands of ski fans, to the central stage where they addressed the crowds and unveiled the team’s 2016 race kits.

Our three stars were joined on the stage by team owner, Oleg Tinkov, Managing Director, Stefano Feltrin, Head Sport Director, Steven de Jongh and Technical Coordinator, Ivan Basso.

The race kit Tinkoff riders will don in 2016 incorporates the state-of-the-art BodyFit technology by Sportful and doesn’t break with the recent past, following instead an evolution of its yellow and blue colors, with minor design tweaks.

The team’s signature fluo yellow takes a more prominent position on the jersey as does the name of the 2016 naming sponsor, Tinkoff Bank. Being the largest purely online bank in the world by the number of clients, Tinkoff Bank is now working on becoming a universal financial marketplace with a focus on mobile services. The Tinkoff crest now takes center stage, at the front and back of the jersey.

The most marked color change takes place on the shorts where gray-blue becomes predominant and yellow is present in the form of a stripe at the bottom of the thigh.

Peter Sagan, unveiled his eagerly-anticipated World Champion kit, wearing the white rainbow jersey and black shorts with the rainbow bands at the bottom of the thigh.

All Tinkoff fans wishing to get their hands on the brand new kit can do it on the team’s official webshop at www.tinkoffsportshop.com

According to Stefano Feltrin, “this presentation marks the start of the 2016 for Tinkoff. With some of the world’s best riders in our team we have a challenging but ambitious year ahead of us. Alberto, Peter and Rafal will tackle the world’s most prestigious races and thanks to Sportful, they will do it in clothing that combine style and performance”.

“Sportful are excited to continue our work with Tinkoff as we head into the 2016 race calendar. Our partnership with the team allows us to develop some of the most technical clothing in the peloton, finding new ways to make Tinkoff riders the best equipped for every weather condition and every race”, commented Glen McKibben, Brand Manager at Sportful.

“The team has been vital in helping us to continue to provide innovative technical cycling apparel and we are proud to contribute to the continued success Tinkoff”, concluded McKibben.

The new jersey will make its debut in mid January, when Tinkoff’s riders take on Tour Down Under and Tour de San Luis.

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Lotto Soudal Outfit for 2016
The Lotto Soudal team for 2016 was presented at the Stadsschouwburg in Antwerp. The guests got the chance to see the outfit for next season for the first time. There aren’t many changes because the shirt design and style remain the same. In 2016 you can still recognize the Lotto Soudal riders by the red and black retro look clothes just like this year.

There are some new logos. The Mobiflex® logo, a brand from our latest partner Eurogenercis, will be visible on the left thigh. On the back of the shorts there is still the logo of mydigipass.com, but it has slightly changed. The logo of the CAPS Fuelcard is new on the right shoulder.

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Tour of Romandie and Tour of Switzerland for Mathias Frank
THE QUOTE “Mathias Frank will begin the 2016 season at the Ruta del Sol. His program will include the GP Lugano, Tirreno-Adriatico as well as the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of Switzerland, before heading to the Tour de France, which will be his main goal for the year,” Rik Verbrugghe said while he was in Palma de Mallorca to meet with his riders who were taking part in a training camp. The IAM Cycling sports manager was consequently able to explain the priorities of the team’s leader for the next Grande Boucle.

THE PHOTOS In the hopes that we can facilitate the work that the media does, for the beginning of the 2016 season, IAM Cycling will be providing images free of copyright from this training camp in Mallorca. These images may be used when credited to IAM/Merot. https://www.flickr.com/gp/iamcycling/7F66o1

THE ORGANIZER Marcello Albasini, who along with Hendrik Werner works as the team’s coach in charge of the sports performances of the riders, took the time to explain the plans that the team had during its seven day training camp on the main Balearic Island. “We separated the riders into three groups. The guys who are planning on riding the Tour Down Under worked on their intensity and sprint exercises. Riders who will be racing the classics worked on their endurance along with the climbers, who were then offered, as a bonus, the chance to tackle many of the climbs in the region. For certain, we made some good progress.”

THE NUMBER 30. The hours the 28 IAM Cycling riders spent in the saddle. Happily, ideal conditions with sun and warm temperatures tickling 20 degrees Celsius accompanied the riders almost every day.

2015 Tour de Romandie: Stage 1 Highlights:

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BMC Racing Team secures future beyond 2016
BMC Racing Team is set to continue beyond 2016 backed by title sponsor BMC Switzerland, BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced today.
2016 marks the tenth anniversary of BMC Racing Team, growing from a US continental team in 2006 to one of the most competitive teams today, since receiving ProTour status in 2011.

BMC Switzerland owner Andy Rihs said the decision to renew the team’s sponsorship was logical. “We continue to make our bicycles, so I think it’s the best way to promote cycling, besides all of the fun and excitement and passion we have with the riders and the organization. We will continue to do what we have done every year. We try to win again at the Tour de France, we try to win the classics, and that makes it exciting for everybody,” Rihs stated.

Ochowicz confirmed that the team’s future beyond the 2016 season has been a clear objective. “We have always been thinking long term with our program throughout the years as we continue to develop our organization. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to the future.”

Looking towards 2016
The announcement was delivered in Denia, Spain where BMC Racing Team’s riders and staff have gathered for the 2016 kick off. “The last two weeks have been very productive in as many ways as I can mention. Up until this point today we have accomplished all of our objectives with the December camp. We’ll all be leaving here this weekend and if everything continues to go as planned, we’ll be on our way to the holidays and then into our first competition in Australia in January,” said Ochowicz.

BMC Racing Team will have four primary objectives for the 2016 season, in no particular order, according to Ochowicz. “The goals for 2016 are on four fronts. The first is that we want to be in the top three on the WorldTour team rankings at the end of the season because that reflects consistent performances in all of the WorldTour races. We are a team that focuses on the classics so we would like to win a classic. We would also like to, with one of our two GC riders (van Garderen and Porte), win the Tour de France and our fourth goal is to defend our past two years’ Team Time Trial title at the World Championships.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other terms or conditions of the sponsorship were released.

Jim Ochowicz and Andy Rihs confirmed the team’s future beyond 2016:
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Nederburg joins Africa’s Team as sponsor
South African brand Nederburg is accelerating its support for professional cycling, confirming a three-year sponsorship agreement as the exclusive premium wine partner of Africa’s Team, which will race as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, beginning in January.

Earlier this year, the team debuted in the Tour de France and took fifth place overall in the team classification. At the time, Nederburg extended its support to us via renowned South African chef David Higgs, who was brought on board to take care of the squad’s daily nutrition.
“David is an avid cyclist and wine enthusiast, who demonstrated that our products can be part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It was as a result of our successful collaboration with him that we took the decision to step up Nederburg’s involvement with pro cycling,” says Dè-Mari Kellerman, Nederburg’s global general manager.

Now, having been granted the World Tour licence for the 2016 season by the International Cycling Union (UCI), we will make our first appearance in the Santos Down Under race in Australia in January.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will not only represent Africa in the Tour de France and 150 days of competitive cycling, but will also be riding for a cause, raising funds and awareness for the non-profit Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa. The organisation mobilises for socio-economic progress by distributing bicycles to needy South Africans in exchange for work to improve the environment, community or academic results. In this way lives are changed, increasing the distance and speed at which beneficiaries can travel.

To date, Qhubeka has distributed bikes to around 60.000 people in South Africa. In return for work done by the specific beneficiaries to develop communities. In 2015, the team through its #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, was able to raise funds for 5.000 bicycles. The majority of these were distributed to school children this year, with the balance to be distributed in 2016. Funding for some bicycles was raised during a Make It Count 24-hour ride-a-thon in late November.

Cycling has become one of the fastest-growing sports and attracts huge audiences through multiple viewing channels, reaching millions. In the UK alone, cycling attracts the biggest live attendance of any sport.

Douglas Ryder, team principal, says: “I am really excited to welcome Nederburg as a team partner to Team Dimension Data in the coming years. Its involvement in our team this year at the Tour de France was incredibly impactful and valuable. To have the support of South Africa’s most awarded wine brand is so fitting for South Africa’s first ever-registered World Tour team in cycling. We look forward to celebrating many successes together with our partners, fans, media and event organisers.”

To amplify the brand’s involvement with cycling, Kellerman says Nederburg will be running a range of consumer activations globally to reflect the busy schedule of the team.

Kellerman adds: “By partnering with pro cycling, we hope to ignite the curiosity of wine lovers and biking enthusiasts, inviting them to experience the best of both worlds.”

Nederburg is South Africa’s most awarded wine brand and distributed in 70 countries worldwide. The brand will soon unveil a new, curiosity-themed communications campaign as part of its new positioning that also includes revitalised packaging.

Steve Cummings wins stage 14 in the 2015 Tour de France:

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Lampre-Merida and Team Colpack together for a great project
In 2016 season Team Lampre-Merida will begin an important project with the Under 23 Team Colpack.

The only one Italian World Tour team and an Italian leading group in youth cycling (official website www.teamcolpack.it) will work together on many matters of the cycling activity in a project which already looks forward to 2017, the year in which the UCI World Tour reform will enter into force with the introduction of the development teams linked to the World Tour ones.

The main target of the cooperation is to create an elite cycling journey which grant to the young talent the opportunity to grow and to improve their skills starting in the Under 23, passing through the Continental development team (as by new UCI rules) and reaching the World Tour team.

In 2016, the relationship between the parties will be focused on the support from Lampre-Merida to the Team Colpack Under 23/Elite for what concerns the advices and helps on technical matters, trainings, and health topics, respecting the independence of the staff of the Team Colpack, in addition to the contribution concerning the technical materials, such as the Merida bikes.

Team Lampre-Merida is proud and happy for the kickoff of a top quality project which will be for sure a benchmark for the youth cycling and for the link between youth cycling and World Tour level.

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Peter Sagan hits the slopes of Courchevel on his Fat Boy
After showing off his new Tinkoff World champs jersey in Courchevel, Peter Sagan went for a little ride on his Specialized Fat Boy. We’ve seen him do a wheelie before, maybe he needs a new trick?


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