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EuroTrash Vuelta’15 Monday!

The EuroTrash bag is fit to burst! We take a quick look at the Vuelta course and report on the cross champs in Belgium and road champs in Oz. In other cycling news: lots of team updates, race news from Italy and Norway, the track from Canada and Switzerland and a bit of bike dance from Sagan. Big coffee.

TOP STORY: 2015 Vuelta a España
In 2015 the Vuelta turns 80 and celebrates its 70th edition that will begin on the 22nd of August in Puerto Banus, in the province of Malaga, with a 7-kilometer Team Time Trial and the joy and responsibility of reaching the level of the 2014 edition, where Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde completed an unforgettable podium.

The first week will take place entirely within Andalusia and then travel all the way up to Andorra, covering almost the entire Mediterranean. The provinces of Malaga, Cadiz, Seville, Cordoba, Jaen, Granada, Murcia, Alicante, Valencia and Castellon will be prominent in the 2015 Vuelta. After the first rest day in Andorra the race will feature one of the toughest stages in the history of the Vuelta, and then head towards the Cantabrian coastline, passing through Lleida, Zaragoza and Vitoria. This will mark the beginning of the mountain triptych in Cantabria and Asturias, with three tough finishes that could make a difference in the general classification.

The only Individual Time Trial will be held in Burgos and will give way to the last week of the Vuelta. Before arriving in Madrid, the riders will face a stage in the Madrid Mountain Range. The finale will once again take place in the Spanish capital where the 2015 Vuelta winner will be crowned on the 13th of September, having completed a tour with 9 high-altitude finishes, all of them unprecedented.

The big stage of 2015 will be stage 11 from Andorra to Els Cortals de Encamp, with six climbs and 5,200 meters of climbing in 132 kilometers. It’s going to be a tough 2015 Vuelta, stay tuned to PEZ for Ed Hood’s Vuelta preview.

Stage 1: Saturday 22nd August: Puerto Banús – Marbella (7,4 km) (TTT)
Stage 2: Sunday 23rd August: Alhaurín de la Torre – Caminito del Rey (165 km)
Stage 3: Monday 24th August: Mijas – Málaga (164,6 km)
Stage 4: Tuesday 25th August: Estepona – Vejer de la Frontera (203 km)
Stage 5: Wednesday 26th August: Rota – Alcalá de Guadaira (182 km)
Stage 6: Thursday 27th August: Córdoba – Sierra de Cazorla (204 km)
Stage 7: Friday 28th August: Jódar – La Alpujarra (188,3 km)
Stage 8: Saturday 29th August: Puebla de Don Fadrique – Murcia (188,6 km)
Stage 9: Sunday 30th August: Torrevieja – Cumbre del Sol. Benitachell (168,3 km)
Stage 10: Monday 31st August: Valencia – Castellón (152 km)
Rest day 1: Tuesday 1st September
Stage 11: Wednesday 2nd September: Andorra La Vella – Cortals d’Encamp (138 km)
Stage 12: Thursday 3rd September: Escaldes – Engordany. Andorra-Lleida (172,5km)
Stage 13: Friday 4th September: Calatayud – Tarazona (168 km)
Stage 14: Saturday 5th September: Vitoria – Alto Campoo. Fuente del Chivo (213 km)
Stage 15: Sunday 6th September: Comillas – Sotres. Cabrales (175 km)
Stage 16: Monday 7th September: Luarca – Ermita de Alba. Quiros (184 km)
Rest day 2: Tuesday 8th September
Stage 17: Wednesday 9th September: Burgos – Burgos (39 km) (ITT)
Stage 18: Thursday 10th September: Roa – Riaza (204 km)
Stage 19: Friday 11th September: Medina del Campo – Ávila (185 km)
Stage 20: Saturday 12th September: San Lorenzo de El Escorial – Cercedilla (181 km)
Stage 21: Sunday 13th September: Alcalá de Henares – Madrid (93,7 km).

Vuelta a España 2015 – Official Route 3D

header-belgium-natBelgian National Cyclo-Cross Championships 2015
Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won his second Belgian cyclo-cross title in Erpe-Mere from Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) as Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) did quite well to finish fourth.

Due to the muddy conditions he muddy conditions there was a lot of running and on the second lap Van Aert went away on a solo for the win. But it was the reigning champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) who pulled him back, then Van Aert had a mechanical problem and lost his chance for the win. Nys cracked and Vantornout caught him on the third lap. Van Aert used a lot of energy to get back to the front taking Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). With over a lap to go Meeusen looked to be the strong man on the front, but it was Peeters who attacked in the last lap. Vantornout was after him with Van Aert on his wheel and Peeters close by.

On a slippery climb Vantornout had to stop and put a foot on the ground which stalled Peeters and Van Aert. In that moment Vantornout was off and going for the win with Meeusen and Van Aert left in his wake.

Winner Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games): “Two years ago I did not know what was awaiting me. Now I enjoy knowing that I can ride a whole year in this beautiful jersey. I’m surprised too. I’ve been seriously sick but not a lot of people will believe it. I do not wish it upon anybody. Luckily I was always able to keep riding. That’s why my base form was intact. This race was all about base form.”

Third Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “All went according to plan. I was alone. I had given a lot but the others were losing ground. I was riding at a steady pace that was possible to maintain throughout the race. Then I had a mechanical. After that I never felt like I could win again. My goal were these championships and that went seriously wrong. Maybe the amount of people here influenced me when I had bad luck. Last week I won by a minute and here that didn’t happen. Things didn’t work out for me at the championships. I’ve got to do something about that.”

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) was 4th: “I feel like a winner. I head home with the confidence that I can ride a finale.”

Belgian National Cyclo-Cross Championships Result:
1. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games in 1:10:53
2. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at0:11
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 0:18.

header-dutch-natDutch National Cyclo-Cross Championships Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
2. David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Alpecin.

National Championchips Netherland Elite

The US championships were postponed for 24 hours due to mud.

header-aus-champs15Australian National Road Race Championship 2015
Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) won the Australian national road championships in a sprint from Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) as Neil van der Ploeg (Avanti) won the sprint for third from a group including Campbell Flakemore (BMC), Sam Spokes (Drapac), Jack Bobridge (BudgetForklifts) and Angus Morton (Jelly Belly).

A group of 15 riders split off the front of the 4th lap, including: Josh Berry, Brendan Canty & Jack Bobridge (BudgetForklifts), Damien Howson & Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE), Bernie Sulzberger, Will Clarke, Lachie Norris & Cam Peterson (Drapac), Nathan Earle (Sky), Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling), Campbell Flakemore (BMC), Paul van der Ploeg (CharterMason-Giant), plus Pat Shaw (Avanti) and Cam Peterson (Drapac) from an earlier break. After 70 kilometers they had just over 1 minute, but as the speed lifted and the gap went to 2 minutes the break fell apart leaving only Clarke out front on lap 14. He was joined by Pat Lane (African Wildlife Safaris), who a lap later went off on his own.

Lane was caught with 30 kilometers to go by a group containing: Robbie Hucker, Sam Spokes, Darren Lapthorne, (Drapac) Cameron Wurf, Ewan, Haussler, Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEDGE), Angus Morton, Peter Milostic, Flakemore, Ollie Kent-Spark (search2retain/health.com), Mitch Docker, Bobridge, Neil van der Ploeg and Jack Anderson (BudgetForklifts). 2 laps to go and they had a lead of 1:24 and Hepburn attacked and was joined by Spokes and Ewan.

Lapthorne attacked, but Hepburn got on his wheel, but Lapthorne had another go and Hepburn was on him again with Ewan and Van der Ploeg just behind. In the last 7 kilometers; Ewan was caught by Bobridge and the break was back together again. From a group of Spokes, Hepburn, Van der Ploeg, Haussler, Ewan, Flakemore and Morton, Spokes attacked, but was not allowed any space. The sprint was a close battle between Ewan and Haussler but the ex-German was strong enough to hold off the youth. Haussler also lost his chain as he crossed the line.

Australian National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) in 4:47:24
2. Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE)
3. Neil van der Ploeg (Avanti).

The road race by Orica-GreenEDGE:

Australian National TT Championship 2015
Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team finished runner-up to Richie Porte (Team Sky) Thursday in the individual time trial at the MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships.

Porte took the win in the 40.9-kilometer race in a time of 51 minutes and 50 seconds, 7.1 seconds ahead of Dennis. Jack Bobridge (Team Budget Forklifts) finished third, 26.8 seconds back. Dennis said he tried to gauge his effort to save energy for the return leg of the out-and-back course. “Probably with about 10 kilometers to go, I started to really feel it,” he said. “My power was still good and I thought I had conserved enough energy, but probably not enough. I still believe I held it, power-wise, over the hills. It was just in between the hills where I was struggling.” At the halfway point of the race that was dampened by rain, Dennis led Bobridge by 25 seconds, with Porte a further seven-seconds back. But BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said the return portion played to the strengths of the smaller, lighter Porte. “There was a main climb halfway through the course and coming back, they did it on the steep side,” Peiper said. “It was there that Rohan said he dug too deep and got into oxygen deficit, which he never really recovered from. In the last five kilometers he was struggling because of that effort.”

Dennis said he remains on track for his attempt to better the world hour record on Feb. 8 at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland. Much of his early season training has been spent honing his form on his BMC timemachine TM01. “It was about a 52-minute effort today and my power levels were better than where they have been, so that is a good indication,” he said. “I think with the road race on Sunday and then the Tour Down Under, it will take me to that next level where I need to be.” Peiper said the BMC Racing Team is off to a strong start following a season that saw it finish second in the WorldTour standings and win 30 races for the second straight year. “We had Jesse Kerrison of the BMC Development Team get third in the Under 23 criterium on Wednesday and we had Rohan get second today in the time trial. So there is only one place left,” he said. “Hopefully Sunday that is the one for us. That is the one we are shooting for.”

Dennis’s silver medal performance matched his career best in the individual time trial at nationals. Two years ago, he was runner-up to Luke Durbridge by 21 seconds … The BMC Racing Team’s other competitor in the event, Campbell Flakemore, finished sixth. The reigning Under 23 world time trial champion was 1:46 off the winning time while making his first appearance for the BMC Racing Team … Cadel Evans will join Dennis and Flakemore for the 183.6-kilometer road race on Sunday. The silver medalist a year ago, Evans will be participating in his final national championship after announcing he will retire Feb. 1 to become an ambassador for BMC Switzerland.
Thanks to Sean at BMC for the race report.

Australian National TT Championship Result:
1. Richie Porte (Sky) in 51:50
2. Rohan Dennis (BMC) at 0:07
3. Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) at 0:27.

TT action by Orica-GreenEDGE:

Lampre Merida Team f_chiariLampre-Merida Team to Tour Down Under
It’s World Tour 2015 time and Lampre-Merida will be once again in the elite of the world cycling.
In Australia there will take place the first event of World Tour: stages race Tour Down Under (20-25 January), that will be anticipated by the usual foretaste of the circuit People’s Choice Classic (18 January).

Lampre-Merida, that will leave Europe on 11th of January, will race Tour Down Under counting on 6 riders that were confirmed from the past season and one rider at his first appearance in blue-fuchsia-green jersey. The Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu Grmay in fact will race for the first time in his new team: he has trained during the past months in Africa, so he’ll be ready to face the high temperature that usually characterize the Tour Down Under. The other team members will be the Croatian Kristijan Durasek and the Italian riders Niccolò Bonifazio, Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Roberto Ferrai and Manuele Mori.

Lampre-Merida will be directed by Bruno Vicino, who’ll receive the support by the masseurs Redaelli and Negri, by the mechanics Mattia Romanò and Ralf Tiede and by the doctor Luca Pollastri.

The blue-fuchsia-green team aims to be competitive in the sprints thanks to the fast wheels trio Bonifazio-Cimolai-Ferrari (this last one was 2nd in the 4th stage of Tour Down Under 2013) and in the overall classification relying on Durasek. Grmay could be the outsider, Bono and Mori will be important thanks to their experience.

The race course in the website www.tourdownunder.com.au/race-routes.htm.

Tour Down Under by GCN:

header_movistar-leftMovistar Team ‘version 5.0’
Eusebio Unzué’s squad, UCI WorldTour winners in 2013-2014, launch their fifth season under Telefónica’s sponsorship; Blues aim to keep place on top as in last few seasons, take their final step forward in GTs.

Ten days before their season starts with the Tour Down Under (Australia) and the Tour de San Luis (Argentina), the Movistar Team held today their official 2015 season launch in front of VIPs and media at Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid. The 28 riders of the Blue squad showed their new outfit for the fifth season in which they will wear the green ‘M’ across the roads of the world.

After two consecutive years conquering the UCI WorldTour classification, which recognizes the most complete, regular squad in the top tier, and having added Alejandro Valverde’s third career victory in the UCI standings, the Movistar Team, which includes reigning Giro d’Italia champion Nairo Quintana in its ranks, aspires to keep increasing an already long success list -116 wins since Telefónica took over, almost 800 after the team was founded in 1980-, with the Tour de France, which they have conquered seven times, as their main goal again next year. The Vuelta a España and all events in the Spanish calendar outline a race schedule that also includes the most prestigious European races, as well as visits to the Americas, Asia / Pacific and a long campaign through the Gulf (Dubai, Qatar, Oman) as biggest novelty. Brit Alex Dowsett will gather all attention from the Blues in late February as he tries to break the UCI Hour record in the London olympic velodrome.

“Having the increasing support of Telefónica by our side, as well as a group of powerful, technology-driven sponsors such as Canyon, Endura and many others, makes us really proud,” explains Unzué. ”We have a strong reference in Nairo, a man who has adapted exceptionally well to the tasks of being a team leader and progressed impressively to become a big name in the sport – it has really surprised us. Behind Quintana, there’s a group of riders young as well as experienced, ready to support him and also stand up wherever we need one of them to take over. Also, having a man like Alejandro aboard, able to contest the win in practically every race we bring him into, as well as top directors and staff – it keeps us confident that we can take another step forward and contest the win in the Tour. Fortunately, there are many other goals we can aim in cycling: the Vuelta, the classics, the hour record with Dowsett or even the WorldTour, which we conquered in the last two editions thanks to splendid team performances. We have strong reasons to be excited about 2015.”

In turn, Carlos López Blanco, Global Director of Public Affairs from Telefónica, made an overview on the efforts from the last four years and underlined the splendid 2014 season by the Blues, with 314,666 kilometers covered -almost 8 times around the world-, 34 victories and great results from Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and up to 10 winning riders. López Blanco also spoke about the leading role Movistar has gained in international cycling and all projects developed by Telefónica to support and communicate the values of cycling.

The roster of the telephone squad’s 36th project remains quite stable. Four riders have joined: veteran Australian allrounder Rory Sutherland; 2014 Vuelta a España stage victor Winner Anacona, 2013 Tour de l’Avenir champion Rubén Fernández; and the most promising amateur from last year’s Spanish peloton, Marc Soler. All big names remain in Blue, with three national champions -Valverde, Ion Izagirre and Adriano Malori-into a 28-man group that averages 27 years old.

The Movistar Team has become a reference in the digital world through the last four years, having become one of the most followed elite teams in Spanish sports on social media -350,000 fans on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels-. Their brand-new website and the applications Bike&Go and Vive Fan have also been made so fans can become a real part of the team.


header-RCSStrade Bianche: 18 Teams Invited, Roma Maxima: 2015 Edition “Frozen”
Eighteen teams have been invited to the 9th edition of Strade Bianche, which will be held on Saturday March 7th and organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport – starting from San Gimignano and finishing in the amazing scenery of Piazza Il Campo in Siena.

12 UCI WorldTeams and 6 UCI Professional Continental Teams will take to the start line, each with eight riders:

header-novonordiskTeam Novo Nordisk invited to Strade Bianche
RCS Sport announces that, due to organizational problems, the 2015 edition of Roma Maxima – scheduled for Sunday 8th March – will not be raced.

RCS Sport announced today that Team Novo Nordisk is one of the 18 teams invited to the ninth edition of Strade Bianche. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko below:

“Strade Bianche has quickly become one of the most prestigious and sought after one-day races on the UCI calendar. For Team Novo Nordisk, this is our biggest one-day race invite to date,” says Phil Southerland, CEO and co-founder of Team Novo Nordisk. “RCS is committed to bringing a global audience to cycling, and Team Novo Nordisk is motivated to do our part to bring a new audience to the beauty and prestige that is Strade Bianche.”

“This invitation and the recent invite to RCS Sport’s Dubai Tour, show the direction and growth of this team,” continues Southerland from the team’s training camp in Alicante, Spain. “As the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, Team Novo Nordisk aims to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes worldwide and we are excited to reach new fans through our participation in such a high profile race.”

“This is an enormous honor for our young team, and we are grateful to RCS Sport for extending us the invitation,” says Vassili Davidenko, General Manager of Team Novo Nordisk. “We will bring a squad complete with several experienced former mountain bike and cyclocross riders and we look forward to competing at the Strade Bianche.”

Strade Bianche 2014: The final kilometers:

header-arcticraceArctic Race of Norway 2015, Act III – Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the North!
It was on board the ship M/S Trollfjord docked in the port of Oslo, as part of the “North in South” conference, that the details of the Arctic Race of Norway 2015 were unveiled, in the presence of Thor Hushovd, winner of the event’s first edition and its ambassador. After having wound through the Norwegian fjords around the idyllic islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen in 2013 and having led the pack to the North Cape in 2014, the Arctic Race of Norway continues its exploration beyond the Arctic Circle to discover the hidden treasures of the north, from 13th to 16th August. Sprinters, punchers and even climbers will inevitably find what they are yearning for on a varied route, under the watchful eyes of the cycling crazy Norwegian crowds (160,000 spectators and 32% of the average daily audience share on TV2 Norway in 2014).

A return to Harstad…
The riders on the Arctic Race of Norway 2015 will set off from the county of Troms on Thursday 13th August on a 210-km long stage around Harstad, the same place where Thor Hushovd won the stage and became the first rider to write his name on the event’s roll of honour, at the end of a tough sprint (the last 800 metres were at a gradient of 6 %), in front of more than 40,000 delighted spectators. The day after, the riders will head inland and will cross trough a military base 3 km from the finish in Setermoen, which could be won by talented sprinters such as Marcel Kittel or Alexander Kristoff, both present last year on the Arctic Race.

Discovering the island of Senja, “miniature Norway”
The 3rd stage will undoubtedly be the high point of the Arctic Race of Norway 2015. It will start with a 100-km loop on the island of Senja, a veritable gem of northern Norway, where the riders will be able to appreciate the beauty of a landscape that mixes mountains and oceans, long beaches of fine sand and fishing villages. However, they will not be there for a tourist excursion, since the finish of the stage is particularly demanding, with a summit finish at the mountain resort of Målselv (3.5 km at a gradient of 6 %).

A tense finish in Narvik!
The Arctic Race pack will return to the Nordland region on 16th August, with a last stage full of hazards around Narvik, a port made famous for being the theatre to a major Second World War battle in 1940. The wearer of the blue and orange leader’s jersey at the start of the stage will have his work cut out to contain the attacks of his rivals. Indeed, they could take advantage of a particularly lethal last 11 km (containing a 2.5-km slope at a gradient of 6% to be climbed four times) to pick up precious seconds and to hope to succeed Thor Hushovd (in 2013) and Steven Kruijswijk (in 2014). Beforehand, the young emerging men and women riders will have done battle in the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race, with at the back of their minds the notion of imitating their elders in the years to come…

The stages of the Arctic Race of Norway 2015:
Thursday 13th August, stage 1: Harstad – Harstad, 210 km
Friday 14th August, stage 2: Evenskjer – Setermoen, 155 km
Saturday 15th August, stage 3 : Senja (Finnsnes) – Målselv (Alpine Village), 175 km
Sunday 16th August, stage 4: Narvik – Narvik, 160 km.

Teaser Arctic Race of Norway 2015 by tourdefrance

header_trekfrt-leftTrek Factory Racing Unveils New Jersey Design
At 7:00 AM CET Trek Factory Racing revealed its 2015 jersey design via Instagram, fulfilling its promise to tell fans first. The fans around the world were asked what they wanted the 2015 kit to look like and the design was changed accordingly.

“The 2015 jersey is fast. It’s serious. It’s proud and classy. We listened to the fans and made changes to improve the visibility in the peloton,” said Joe Vadeboncoeur, VP of Trek. “When paired with a white helmet and a viper red bike, our riders will be very visible. This is a kit that our fans can be proud to be seen in”, says Vadeboncoeur and added jokingly that ‘the UCI liked the jersey so much that they couldn’t keep it to themselves’, referring to the governing body’s Twitter post from the end of December.

GM Luca Guercilena: “I like our new jersey a lot and I’m glad to see the return of the pin-stripes in the bottom part. We made our mark with those stripes thanks to the #ShowYourStripes campaign. With the addition of a large white section on the chest and shoulders and the red bikes we will be a force to be reckoned with in the peloton.”


header-tinkoffsaxo14-leftTinkoff-Saxo gets up to race speed at 2nd training camp on Sicily
Mount Etna and Sicily set the scene for Tinkoff-Saxo’s second winter training camp ahead of the ambitious 2015 season. 23 riders, excluding the squad bound for the Santos Tour Down Under, gather on the 9th of January, where they’ll train intensively for two weeks to build up race speed. Tinkoff-Saxo will also unveil the new and improved bike setup building upon the Specialized S-Works frames that will carry the riders during the camp and all of the 2015 season.

Riders and staff will meet up at team partner JSH Hotels’ resort Il Picciolo Etna at the foothill of Mount Etna, which features an ideal terrain for simulating race conditions. Head Coach Bobby Julich will overlook the training and progress of the riders. He tells why, it’s important to build in training camps ahead of a new season:

“A camp like this allows us to fully concentrate on training – both as individual riders and as a team. The trip to Kilimanjaro was about getting together and building a strong team spirit, while the first camp at Anfi on Gran Canaria was used to lay the foundation after the off-season. But this camp on Sicily will be much more specific getting the riders up to race speed, simulating race situations and pushing the general condition further”, explains Bobby Julich, who has re-joined the team before this season.

Despite the fact that the riders will peak at different races during the season, Bobby tells that the team will train in one big group.

“One thing I learned from Bjarne Riis, when I rode as a rider for the team, is that these camps offer a unique opportunity to build a great camaraderie on a team. Already now, when I look at the team, I see a unified group with a very solid team spirit. So during the more intensive rides, we’ll have the opportunity to make sure that everybody knows how they can help each other even when they’re put under pressure”.

“We’ll of course make a smooth transition to avoid overtraining or sickness. But for sure, we’ll kick up the tempo in the second part of the camp. The season is upon us, and we’re all very excited and ready for the big battles”, concludes Bobby Julich.


Michael Valgren crowned Danish Rider of the Year after first WorldTour season
Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Valgren has been named as the best Danish rider of 2014. The honor comes after just one season in the WorldTour, where the 22-year old rookie took everybody by storm after having won the national championship, claimed the overall victory at Tour of Denmark and delivered an outstanding performance at the Vuelta a España.

The jury was composed of fellow riders and experts, which only made the award more special for Michael Valgren.

“I’m really honored to receive this award that has been given to many of the great legends in Danish cycling such as my boss Bjarne Riis. It was my fellow riders that voted for me and it’s a privilege to receive their recognition. It doesn’t mean that I have to stop fighting, rather the opposite as I still wish to improve”, comments Michael Valgren.

During his rookie season, Michael went from newcomer to a respected rider in the peloton as a result of his personal success and hard work as a trusted teammate. He reckons that his second season will be just as challenging, since he now has the attention of his rivals.

“Riders also read the news, and I’ve talked to the press a lot lately. So it might be harder for me to remain unnoticed in the races, but if I want to be among the best I have to race against the best. But it’s really nice to know that I’m on the ride track with an award like this”, explains Michael, who thanks his sport director Steven de Jongh for his advice and guidance during his first WorldTour season.

The award also gained the attention of team manager Bjarne Riis, who was proud on behalf of the Danish champion.

“To win an award like this as the best of rider of one’s country is a big thing, especially on a personal note. It requires a lot of hard work and he has every right to be proud. With that said, there is no doubt that Michael has earned it. I’ve followed him throughout the year, and I’ve not only been impressed by his top performances, but also by the fact that he’s a loyal and good teammate. That is important to me and to the entire team”, says Bjarne Riis, who admits that he hadn’t seen it coming at the start of the 2014-season.

“I knew that he had big talent, but I didn’t expect to see him develop so rapidly. He still has a lot to learn, he’s only 22, but I reckon that this is only the beginning. Of course he will experience hard times at some point but I believe that Michael is on the right team to support him all the way”.


Tinkoff-Saxo Presents Improved 2015 Team Bike
As the Tinkoff-Saxo riders gather on Sicily for the second winter training camp, it’s time to unveil the official bike that will carry them throughout the 2015-season. During today’s presentation of the team, Tinkoff-Saxo revealed the new and complete bike setup building upon four high-caliber Specialized frames – the ultra responsive and versatile Tarmac, the stiff and aerodynamic Venge, the fast-paced TT-thoroughbred Shiv and the vibration damping cobbled classic bike Roubaix.

The bikes feature a revised color scheme of black and 2015 neon yellow to match the kit.

During the off-season, the technical staff of Tinkoff-Saxo has worked systematically to find the best components on the market in order to build a leading bike in both speed, handling and comfort. With full attention to the feedback and wishes of the team riders, we’re excited to present, what we believe is the ultimate setup currently available.

For the majority of the Grand Tour stages, the team will ride a 2015 Specialized S-Works Tarmac or Venge mounted with 40mm Roval carbon wheels and CPC nano-structural saddles from Prologo.

“We’re happy to have, a few months ago, re-confirmed our engagement with Specialized, which allow us to use the fantastic bikes like the ones we’re presenting. We believe the team has the best equipment, which allow our riders to perform at the highest level in order to obtain the best results. All four bikes, Tarmac, Venge, Shiv and Roubaix, are winning bikes in all the terrains they were created for. Our team was able to contribute with victories, some quite important, which now make part of the history of these bikes… it’s our will to make this history bigger in 2015”, says Ricardo Scheidecker, Technical Director at Tinkoff-Saxo.

Bike details:

With its speed and quick reaction in handling, Tinkoff-Saxo will undoubtedly opt for the Specialized S-Works Tarmac during a great variety of the races and stages of 2015. The carbon frame offers superior stiffness with a bit of flexibility ensuring absolute control on descents and the trademark climbing abilities. The Tarmac has been fully redesigned during the 2014 season with one of the biggest changes being the Rider-First Engineered concept.

The frame of the Tarmac has been individually engineered and designed, which means that it’s the only bike where every size has been developed independently based on performance targets derived from real world data. Specialized’s new approach is, among others, fueled by feedback from WorldTour riders such as Alberto Contador.

For high-speed races, Tinkoff-Saxo will make the switch to the S-Works Venge, while the Shiv is reserved for time trials. Exclusively for the cobbled classics, Specialized will provide the team with the Roubaix.

Tinkoff-Saxo will continue to mount the bikes with 40 or 60mm Roval wheels by Specialized. The wheels offer a responsive and aggressive ride quality that compliments the handling skills of the frames. For the riders of Tinkoff-Saxo it was especially important that the team provided the stiffest wheels on the market to make for fast cornering speeds and improved acceleration.

Tinkoff-Saxo has once again chosen Prologo as provider of saddles. As one of the three crucial contact points between rider and bike, the riders will select a saddle from the CPC-range featuring a sticky top layer of 3D Polyma microfibers that increase grip and work as shock absorbers.

Look continues to supply Tinkoff-Saxo with pedals from their KÉO range known for their large and wide pedaling surface and low weight of just 110g per pedal. For high-speed stages and time trials, the riders will use the KÉO BLADE, which features an integrated carbon plate for improved aerodynamics.

All bearings will continue to be delivered by the highly skilled CeramicSpeed – and with good reason. Hidden inside the crucial parts of the bike, CeramicSpeed bearings saves 6-8 watts at race speed compared to standard bearings. On a 40k time trial at 48 km/h their bearings shaves of 32 seconds.

The 2015 bike setup also includes power meters by leading manufacturer SRM, bottle cages from Tacx, low rolling-resistance tires from Specialized’s turbo range and maintenance products from Morgan Blue.


header-iamcyclingEleven days of intensive work for IAM Cycling on Mallorca
IAM Cycling is ready to attack the 2015 season with the same enthusiasm that it has shown since the team first started racing in January of 2013. Now in possession of a WorldTour license, which was awarded by the UCI in early December 2014, the team founded by Michel Thétaz, the CEO of IAM Funds, intends to continue its growth within the elite community of WorldTour teams. As the only Swiss professional cycling team, IAM Cycling will do its utmost to fulfill its ambitions. Following the first team training camp in mid-December on Mallorca, IAM Cycling has returned to the Balearic Islands for eleven days of intensive work with 22 of its riders. Only the seven riders committed to the Santos Tour Down Under, which is the first WorldTour event of the season, will be missing.

Marcello Albasini, one of the team’s directeurs sportifs, is in charge of the camp preparation and does not hide his satisfaction with the agenda for the upcoming camp. “The guys have worked hard since they picked up their training in November. In Mallorca from the 12th to the 19th of December, directly after the team presentation was completed, we were working on endurance and intensity for the riders who were slated for the first race in Australia. In total, 18 riders were there doing a good 30 hours training including a ride of more than 200 kilometers. The atmosphere was great, and I was personally surprised by the determination, the eagerness, and the enthusiasm of the riders.”

Starting Monday afternoon, Marcello Albasini has arranged for a second intensive training camp that will prepare the riders for their fast-approaching goals. “There will be plenty to do. We must take off the training wheels; school-time is over. Except for our younger riders like Chevrier, Holst Enger and Pellaud, everyone else is entering at least their third year as a pro. So I expect them to know a little more and to be able to cope with the higher level of competition. During our eleven day training camp, we will be focusing on intensity. Even if we can’t forget that for riders like Frank and Wyss, the focus is primarily the Tour de France, the program will nevertheless be somewhat different. When we approach the various tests, we will be focusing on addressing the individual weaknesses, and working on endurance, explosiveness and threshold. Since we are already facing the four days of the Trophy of Mallorca at the end of the month, any fixes of form that may be necessary we will have to take care of very quickly. But this is a race that they can use to test their condition and try to achieve something special in the sprints.”

Paris-Nice stage-5

header-lottosoudal15Frederik Willems Successfully Completed a UCI Course
Last season Frederik Willems put an end to his career as a pro cyclist. He got another function in the Lotto Soudal team, that of sports director. In December Willems followed a UCI course of twelve days in Aigle, Switzerland, to prepare for his new career.

Frederik Willems, sports director Lotto Soudal: “As of the 2016 season sports directors of World Tour and professional continental teams will have to come from a group of people that have followed a UCI course and received the diploma. For people with experience a five-day course is sufficient, but there was no place left. That’s why I followed a course of twelve days. It takes place in groups of maximal twelve people. There were many persons from continental teams in the group which was very international: Britons, Spaniards, Colombians and Chinese. We learnt from each other as well. At the end we had a test, which we had to pass to receive our diploma.”

Working in group
“We were informed about different subjects, like the anti-doping policy and technical rules. For example the positioning of time trial bikes. A sports director has to know all these guidelines. Another subject was working in group. How to speak in front of a group, how can you motivate and lead a group? That was very instructive. There were assignments for which we had to divide the tasks. The essence of this all was to get to a better result as a group in only a few days.”

Preparing for the new career
“Two days a commissioner of the UCI came to tell about certain race situations and told us why a certain decision is taken. With 25 teams in a race they have to be neutral and decide what is possible and what not. As a sports director in the car you want the best for your team, but it was interesting to look at this from another perspective. This course was definitely useful. You have to get experience by doing the job of course, but I won’t be unprepared for my first race as sports director.”

Début at GP La Marseillaise
“By taking this course the winter was already different for me than other years when I was a cyclist. I had turned that page already earlier, especially because I had stayed at home four months after my crash. I could more easily go out on an excursion with my family and also the holidays were different. Here on training camp I don’t have the urge to get on the bike. I will make my début as sports director in the GP La Marseillaise on 1st February. When I step in the team car it will be a beautiful moment.”

Photoshoot Lotto Belisol 2014 in Palma De Mallorca

header-lottonl-jumboleftTeam LottoNL-Jumbo’s cyclists ready for exciting season
Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s cyclists have been presented to the press on Friday afternoon, the 9th of January. Just before the start of the speed skating season, the speed skaters of this unique sports team were presented, and since the 1st of January 2015, the cycling section has been an official part of Team LottoNL-Jumbo. The team consists of 12 speed skaters, 25 cyclists and will be active at the highest level during the entire year.

Winning together
TeamLottoNL-Jumbo is a typically Dutch professional top-level sports team that will be visible 365 days a year and will perform at the highest level. With the merging of a professional cycling team and a professional speed skating team a basis has been created for a new organizational model in the Dutch top-level sports. A model, which revolves around sharing knowledge, cross-pollination and the combining of efforts. Sportively, as well as commercially and communicatively.

A new top-level sports culture will arise which – thanks to the sportive performances and a great appeal – will advertise ‘Dutch glory’ as an important value. With this, we will inspire a new generation of athletes and fans. Management, coaches and athletes will share their knowledge, will work together and will push each other to aim higher, with one goal: winning together!

Richard Plugge
“This is a fantastic collaboration, commercially, as well as sportively. The speed skating team, as well as the cycling team, are two of the Netherlands’ most innovative sports organizations. The combined efforts and cross-pollination are great advantages of this collaboration. The partnership with Pioneer is an excellent example of this. Pioneer already sponsored the cycling team, but the speed skaters are now also making use of the power meter developed by Pioneer, in collaboration with the cycling team. The interaction between the athletes is also an amazing thing to see. They really push each other to a higher level. The collaboration is also interesting at a commercial level. Our team will be visible 365 days of the year, this is something which is extremely attractive for sponsors. We really value the development of talents. Just like the speed skating team, we want to support young talents in their climb to the top. By obtaining several victories and titles, the speed skaters have already performed well this early in the season. We want to match up to those successes and surpass them. We are going to do our utmost to make it a fantastic year.”

Jac Orie
“During the Dutch National Championships, the speed skaters were cheered on by some of the cyclists, and there was an immediate click. This support was very important and our motto ‘winning together’ was unmistakably applicable. We are currently situated in the Innovation Factory, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands along with the management of the cycling team. The foundation for the collaboration has been laid. In the long term, and when it fits their schedules, the athletes will definitely start training together. If there are speed skaters who need to work on their endurance, they can do so with the cyclists. And during the Tour de France, for example, the non-selected cyclists can join us. There are numerous interesting opportunities.”

Nico Verhoeven
“Sep Vanmarcke will be our team leader during the spring Classics. Last year, he showed us what he is capable of, and we want to emulate that. During the Walloon Classics, our aim is to perform well with Robert Gesink and Wilco Kelderman. We want to compete for a podium place. As a Dutch team, we are looking forward to the Grand Départ in Utrecht. With Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Laurens ten Dam, we have three men who can ride a good GC. Steven Kruijswijk will aim for a good GC in the Giro d’Italia. He has already obtained a top ten classification in Italy. Moreno Hofland will focus on the sprint stages in the Giro d’Italia. Next to this, with Barry Markus and Tom Van Asbroeck at our disposal, we have a strong sprinting force.”

Johan Cruyff Institute
During the team presentation in Rosmalen, all of Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s cycling coaches received the ‘Master in Coaching’ diploma from the Johan Cruyff Institute. Merijn Zeeman, responsible for the coaches of the team, is proud of his men. “As a team, we are continually working on innovation. The Master in Coaching is a good example of this. A significant element of this program is self-development and becoming acquainted with yourself, which improves the collaboration and communication within the team. Those in the team who have a lot of experience in practice now also have a theoretical foundation. With this diploma, we can supervise the individual athlete better, but also guide the team, as a whole, to a higher level.”

Robert Gesink
“The Volta ao Algarve will be my first race of the season. The Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country will follow ahead of the Classics. The Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are my first main goals. After this, I will aim my focus on the Tour de France. In preparation for the Tour de France, I will train at a high altitude and compete in the Tour de Suisse.”

Laurens ten Dam
“I think the Tour of California and the Volta a Catalunya are amazing races. When we ride there, I obviously want to do my utmost to perform at the highest level. However, I am a year older now and I’m becoming a bit ‘rustier.’ Starting a new season takes a bit more effort. The Tour de France is the main goal. These past years, I have improved each year, and that is my goal this year. Nevertheless, I’m realistic and I know that, at 34, improving might not be possible.”

Sep Vanmarcke
“My ambition this year is to win a spring Classic. I came close to winning several times last year, which makes me extra eager to win this season. The cobble stage in the Tour de France and the World Championships in Richmond are also on my list. For me, those races are the biggest challenges.”

Wilco Kelderman
“I want to take the next step this season, by winning, for example, a nice race. Naturally, I want to obtain a great place in the Tour de France’s GC this year. My aim is to perform well during the Time Trial in Utrecht. Next to this, I aspire to ride a constant season, with top ten classifications in smaller races.”

Steven Kruijswijk
“I want to continue last season’s good form and remain competitive at the highest level. My aim is a top ten classification in the Giro d’Italia and I want to do well in the Tour de France. Especially since the Grand Départ is in Utrecht.”

Moreno Hofland
“I want to achieve a high level, just like I did during last year’s spring. This time, I want to uphold this until after the Tour of Flanders. Next to this, I wish to gain experience in the Classics. If possible, I want to obtain good results. After this, the Giro d’Italia is up. My aim is to obtain a stage victory and to complete the full three weeks. The National Championships are also a main goal for me.”

Drawback for Marc Goos
Team LottoNL-Jumbo cyclist Marc Goos has encountered another drawback, after his crash in the Tour de Suisse. The recovery from his hip fracture is not going according to plan. Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s medical staff and Goos are currently exploring an adapted recovery trajectory. It is unknown when Goos will be able to resume his training.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo wishes you a Happy New Year!

header-sky-leftTeam Sky “Hungry” as it Sets out it’s ‘2020 Vision’
On the fifth anniversary of its launch, Team Sky has today set out its ‘2020 Vision’ for the next five years.

Dave Brailsford, Team Principal said:

“The first chapter of Team Sky was successful. We set out to win the Tour de France, to do it clean and to do it with a British rider. We have done that twice. And we have helped inspire a million more people in the UK to take up cycling.

“But it is in our DNA to think that we could have gone further, that we could have achieved more. And we are now hungrier than ever.

“Our mission for 2020 is very simple – for Team Sky to be indisputably and consistently the best cycling team in the world, and to be viewed as one of the very best sports teams in the world.

“We will do that by winning more races in the next five years than we did in the past five years. And do that consistently in Grand Tours as well as Classics and Monuments.

“Our vision is to continue to play a leadership role in charting a better future for this great sport of ours and changing the culture that so damaged it. That means continued leadership on anti-doping. But much more than that, we want Team Sky to be at the cutting edge of innovation and a reference point for excellence in human performance.

“And the purpose of all this is very simple – to do everything we can to make more people fall in love with cycling so it can have a positive impact on their lives.

“By 2020, I want Team Sky to be seen as a beacon of sporting excellence after a decade of sustained success. And how we have done it matters just as much as what we have done. But above all, why we have it done it matters most of all.”

Read more about Dave Brailsford’s aspirations for Team Sky by 2020 on: www.teamsky.com

· Some of Team Sky highlights of the last five years:
· Greg Henderson claimed Team Sky’s first win at their debut race in 2010 in Australia
· Team Sky has had 165 wins in five years
· Team Sky has won the Tour de France with two different British riders
· Edvald Boasson Hagen has had the most wins for Team Sky with 24
· Sir Bradley Wiggins is close behind, with 23 wins in Team Sky colours
· Chris Froome currently has 21 wins for Team Sky
· In total, 59 riders have ridden for Team Sky (including 2015 new signings)
· 15 British riders have been members of Team Sky
· 7 founding rider members remain with the team: Froome, Kennaugh, Stannard, Sutton, Swift, Thomas, Wiggins (six of them British)
· In 2010, there were eight British riders – the same number for the 2015 season
· Team Sky have raced in 21 countries across the world, including 4 continents
· Helped inspire over 1 million more people to get on their bikes and ride more regularly
· Team Sky has the biggest following of fans in cycling.


header-canada-leftMilton Velodrome Officially Opened, International Challenge Underway
Team Canada takes top honours in three of four team events

The Cisco Pan Am Velodrome in Milton is officially opened, and the team events took place on this inaugural day of competition at the three-day Milton International Challenge.

The event started Friday with the team sprint and team pursuit events, and the riders from nine countries raced on the brand new Siberian pine track on the outskirts of Toronto, where the 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games will take place.

Team Canada, the primary World Cup squad, easily won the gold medal facing Team Canada Development (B) by overtaking their opponents just past the 2.5km mark of the 4-km race. The winning team featured world cup medallists Jasmin Glaesser, Stephanie Roorda, Laura Brown and Kirsty Lay.

Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien proudly showcased their new Canadian Champion jersey, and defeated the Trinidad and Tobago team in the women team sprint final. The two ladies took the gold medal edging Team Netherlands by just 0.05 seconds.

“It’s always fun to compete, and always really fun to win,” said Kate O’Brien, who also competes in bobsleigh throughout the winter months. “It’s been so fun to do both cycling and bobsleigh at the same time. Both federations have worked really well together. It sounds cliché, but I am totally living the dream right now.”

For Sullivan, who lost her voice in the last couple of weeks, she couldn’t be happier. “It’s awesome to be here. I can’t believe we are doing our final preparation for the next World Cup right here at home, on this track. I am still today in shock that this velodrome is ours.”

The men’s team pursuit team comprised of Adam Jamieson, Aidan Caves, Sean McKinnon and Eric Johnstone also came out on top of the podium, quickly catching their competitors just 1625m into the race to win the gold medal.

“Judging by our coach Ian Melvin, we were right on pace. The fact that we caught them just 1600m is pretty impressive. We were expecting to go through to the 3-3.5 km mark just like we did at Canadian Championships [last week],” said Eric Johnstone, a member of the young men’s team pursuit squad. “From where we were a year ago to where we stand today, it’s absolutely amazing. The progression we’ve made in the last 12 months is tremendous, and it’s so cool to be part of this program. We’re hoping for a really good ride in Cali, and crack the Top 8. We’ve looked at the numbers after London, we and were so close from the Top 10, knocking on the door. We are going to have to fight hard next year all the way, with the World Cup season and the Pan-Am Games, if we want to get to the Olympics.”

Canadian men team sprinters faced the powerful Trinidad squad in the finals, and took the silver medal. Trinidad had among its group a London 2012 Olympic finalists in Njisane Phillip, who finished fourth in the individual sprint at the last Olympic Games. Trinidad won the event with a final time of 46.356 seconds in the gold medal showdown, taking on the Canadians by more than one-second.

In the women scratch race, Norway’s Anita Stenberg won the gold medal thanks a powerful effort in the last lap, beating Americans Judith Bloem and Colleen Hayduk at the finish line.

The exciting men’s scratch race saw Nicholas Rogers of the United States take the victory after a solo effort in the last five laps. Rogers was part of a three-man attack that successfully lapped the field which included Zachary Kovalcik of the USA, second, and Dylan Davis of Canada, third.

Team NCCH took both team pursuit titles in the junior category.

Racing continues Saturday and ends on Sunday.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Flash quotes: https://www.toronto2015.org/CNC-MIC-test-event/media
Full schedule: https://www.toronto2015.org/CNC-MIC-test-event/schedule
Full results: https://www.toronto2015.org/CNC-MIC-test-event/results

About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, the Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events, and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cyclingcanada.ca.

Toronto 2015 Milton Ontario Velodrome Video:

header-BMC14Presale for the World Hour Record started
The official ticket sale for the World Hour Record attempt of Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team on the 8th of February started.

The 24 old rider of the BMC Racing Team will tackle the current Hour Record of 51,850 km on February the 8th in the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland. It will be already the second time in the last few months that the Velodrome Suisse will be the venue of a record attempt. At the race day the doors will open at noon. After a show training of the Suisse national track team, the 2011 Tour de France Winner and World champion of 2009 Cadel Evans will give the starting shoot for his Australian countryman Rohan Dennis at 2pm. Tickets are for sale at the official website of the Velodrome Suisse (www.velodromesuisse.ch) for CHF 25,-.

noon: door opening at the Velodrome Suisse; Show training of the Suisse National track team
2pm: start of the World Hour Record attempt.
Starting shoot by Cadel Evans
4pm: ending of the event.

header-saganAnd yes, another video of Peter Sagan doing tricks on his bike
Peter Sagan and Vittorio Brumotti dancing on the bike (via Instagram Sprintcycling):

Take a look at our new Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews


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