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EuroTrash Thursday!

Catch up with all the cycling news from the first week of the New Year. Loads going on: will it be Giant for Argos, the Australian national TT championships and the Rotterdam 6 final. Plus news from Valverde and Rodriguez, Orica-GreenEdge, who is riding the Tour Down Under & San Luis, what is the UCI up to and new jersey’s for the Giro. All this and more in EuroTrash Thursday.

TOP STORY: Giant to replace Argos?
It was reported on Wednesday by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and repeated by most media outlets that Giant will replace Argos as co-sponsor with Shimano at the Dutch registered WorldTour team. Apparently Giant was not the original sponsor, but a last minute replacement for an American charity, details of which are not known.

At an Argos-Shimano press day in Spain on Tuesday (interviews to come on PEZ soon), no one would even suggest who the new sponsor was, plain black polo shirts were worn by everyone and the meeting was held in a restaurant away from the team’s hotel. When asked about the sponsor, Marcel Kittel jokingly suggested it was McDonalds and young French rider; Warren Barguil said he didn’t know what bike he had as the name had been taped over. The new sponsor was/is cycling’s best kept secret, and why not?

Why should the thunder of a team announcing a new sponsor be taken from it, it’s not just that the presentation has been ruined, but it could have put a sponsorship deal in jeopardy affecting the jobs of many people, in the case of Argos-Shimano that could be around 100 people.

In these times of financial strife; good, big sponsors are hard to find and difficult to keep, so why would a supposedly cycling friendly journalist release a piece of team news that was not to be made public for the matter of a couple of days. May it be a sponsor, a jersey design or the signing of a rider; it can wait till the proper moment.

We will know for sure on Monday.

The Team Argos-Shimano Express:

Australian National Time Trial Championships 2014
ORICA-GreenEDGE has taken a clean sweep of the elite men’s individual time trial at the Mars Cycling Australia National Road Championships. Michael Hepburn recorded a blistering 47.8 kph average pace around the Ballarat circuit to take his first national road title ahead of two-time defending champion Luke Durbridge and Under 23 World Time Trial Champion Damian Howson.

“It’s fantastic for us – a clean sweep of the podium doesn’t happen very often,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “We knew it was a possibility, but we didn’t expect it. Heppy getting the win is the big surprise today. But he has targeted this race and he’s a multiple World Champion on the track, so he knows how to come up at the right time for an event, and he’s done an incredible ride today.”

As the back-to-back winner of this event, Luke Durbridge entered today’s race as the overwhelming favourite. With an ominous 30″ second lead over Hepburn at the halfway mark, it seemed that the favourite was on track for a third consecutive victory. But Hepburn stepped up a notch in the second 22 kilometres of the race, clawing back an astonishing 42” over his teammate Durbridge, to take a convincing 12” win.

“It’s a bit of a surprise, but this is the perfect start to the year,” said Hepburn. “It was in the back of my mind to do a good ride here, but I was thinking more along the lines of a podium than the win. Given the quality of the field and the fact that some of these guys have much better TT results than me, winning wasn’t something I expected. I have only won one prologue before, so it’s very special for me to get the win.”

Hepburn’s win has ensured the Australian National Time Trial Champion jersey will stay with ORICA-GreenEDGE for the third consecutive season.

“Taking this jersey to Europe for the season was one of the first things I thought about,” recalled Hepburn. “It’s a great feeling know that I get to wear the green and gold this season. I’m really hopeful that this will give me the confidence I need to target more time trial wins going forward. Hopefully this is a sign of some good things to come for me this year.”

As two-time defending champion, anything but the win in this event was going to prove a disappointment for Durbridge.

“I obviously wanted to take the triple, but it just wasn’t to be,” said Durbridge. “You can only do what you can do with the legs you have on the day. Heppy is one of my best friends and a great time trialist, and I’m really happy for him. I still had a good ride. I gave it everything, and I thought it would be enough. But obviously Heppy was on a super ride today, and I’m really proud of him taking the win here.”

“Durbo is a bit disappointed not to get the win,” added Wilson. “He also did a great ride, but Heppy just rode out of his skin today. To put so much time into a time trialist like Durbo over 22 kilometres, Heppy was just extraordinary today.”

Windy conditions and a lack of time-checks proved to be the most mitigating factors in today’s race. One of the early favourites, Australian Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) was a casualty of strong winds on the Ballarat course, crashing out of the race at the midway point.

“I was aware that Rohan (Dennis) had had an issue, and that changed things in my head a bit because he was one of the big favourites,” noted Durbridge. “We needed a bit more information on timing. I knew I was 30” up on Heppy at halfway, but I had no idea where he was after that. He was obviously closing in quickly, but I didn’t have any information, so I just rode as hard as I could to the line and hoped it would be enough. I wasn’t resting on my laurels.”

The men’s team will now look ahead to the weekend, where they will attempt a repeat performance in Sunday’s road race.

“This win definitely gives me a lot of confidence ahead of Sunday, but that course doesn’t suit me, admitted Hepburn. “I don’t go uphill so well. But after today I know I’m in great form and that I’ll be able to feature in the first half of the race where I can really work hard for my teammates. We’ve got so many guys that could do well, but I’m not harbouring any individual aspirations.”
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge.

Australian Men’s National Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Michael Hepburn (QLD) in 56:25
2. Luke Durbridge (WA) at 0:11
3. Damien Howson (SA) at 2:06
4. Ben Dyball (NSW) at 2:35
5. William Clarke (TAS) at 2:51
6. Timothy Roe (SA) at 3:11
7. Marc Williams (ACT) at 4:01
8. Matthew Clark (VIC) at 4:17
9. Jack Anderson (QLD) at 4:28
10. Jacob Kauffmann (NSW) at 4:40.

Australian National Time Trial Championships 2014:

Rotterdam ‘6 Days’ 2014
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Niki Terpstra and Iljo Keisse — following a phenomenal effort in the final Madison to come back from a 12 point deficit — won Six Days of Rotterdam on Tuesday.

The final day came down to four teams and that is also how the final Madison played out. Niki Terpstra earned an essential Derny Race victory early on to keep the duo in contention for the overall victory. Keisse and Terpstra never stopped trying, and with less than 20 laps to go they were able to take a lap and win the overall.

“We were a little bit behind with the points,” Keisse said about the exciting Madison. “Niki and I had a tactic going in that we would attack during the race and if we didn’t take one extra lap during the first 200 laps, we’d try during the sprint in the last 50 laps. That’s what we did with about 20 laps to go. We went all or nothing, and we took the lap and won the six days.”

Keisse and Terpstra have now won Six Days of Rotterdam two years in a row.

“I think for Niki it’s the only six day he did this winter, and it’s his home country with Rotterdam so it’s a big event,” Keisse said. “It’s in a really nice arena in Ahoy. There’s always a big crowd, so it’s a really good six day race. Also for me it’s only a one hour drive from where I am from. So also for me it’s important to be really good in Rotterdam. Gent and Rotterdam are my most important six day races. Unfortunately I didn’t win in Gent so it was absolutely important for me to try and win in Rotterdam.”

The OPQS duo also earned the first team victory of the 2014 season, just as they did in January of 2013.

“I think it’s great that a big team like OPQS is one of the best on the road, but also concentrated on cyclocross with Zdenek Stybar and also in track with me and Niki,” Keisse said. “Also, we do our team presentation on the track. So it’s nice that a big road team is also interested in other parts of cycling. Also, of course every win is a win and it is nice to open the OPQS series of victories this season, whether it was on a cyclocross course, the road, or the track.”

Keisse said he and Terpstra will now travel to join OPQS in Calpe for team camp.

“I will arrive pretty late tonight, and I know it was also the birthday of Patrick Lefevere a few days ago,” Keisse said. “Maybe if we didn’t celebrate his birthday yet we can in the next days for that, as well as the first team victory of the year. We will see!”
Thanks to OPQS for race info.

Rotterdam ‘6 Days’ Result:
1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) / Iljo Keisse (Bel) Flanderijn Incasso 357pts
2. Kenny De Ketele / Jasper De Buyst (Bel) RTV Rijnmond 375pts at 1 lap
3. Michael Mørkøv / Alex Rasmussen (Den) VD Valk Hotel Ridderkerk 362pts
4. Jens Mouris / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Vlasman 205pts
5. Barry Markus (Ned) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Peinemann 155pts at 7 laps
6. Yoeri Havik / Nick Stöpler (Ned) AA Drink 174pts at 13 laps
7. Robert Bartko / Marcel Kalz (Ger) Tacx 134pts at 14 laps
8. Franco Marvulli / Tristan Marguet (Swi) Mako Cleanng Service 180pts at 19 laps
9. Vivien Brisse (Fra) / Marc Hester (Den) Werkgevers Servicepunt 112pts
10. Michel Kreder / Wesley Kreder (Ned) AD 52pts at 24 laps.

Rotterdam Six-Day 2014: Highlights of day 6 by SixDayRacing TV:

Cyclo-cross at the Olympics?
The Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad is reporting that the UCI is in negotiations with the IOC on the subject of cyclo-cross becoming a winter Olympic’s event. The problem is that winter Olympic rules say that all sports: “must be practiced on snow and ice”. The International Athletics Federation also wants cross country running to be included, which could help the cause of cyclo-cross. UCI President Brian Cookson is backing the move and off-road co-ordinator Peter Van Den Abeele said “If they decide to replace the rule: ‘the sports must be practiced on snow and ice’ with ‘should be practiced only during the winter months’, then there may be a chance.”

Stybar Unsure of Cyclo-cross Champs
Ex-double World cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar has not decided whether or not he will take part in the 2014 UCI World cyclo-cross championships in Hoogerheide in Holland. As he has been concentrating on the road, the Czech champion has only ridden six cross races this season with one win; he wants to have his best form for the Spring Classics, with his main goal to be Paris-Roubaix. Stybar lives only 6 kilometres from the Worlds cyclo-cross course and will leave his decision to as close to the February the 2nd race date.

Zdenek Stybar at Essen:

Tomas Vaitkus Retires
The Lithuanian Tomas Vaitkus has not found a team and has decided not to continue as a professional in 2014, after 11 seasons, the last two in the Orica-GreenEdge.

Vaitkus assumed that Orica didn’t want to renew his contract. “Things are as they are, many teams are already full, many cyclists are out of work and maybe it’s time to think about something else. And I think I did everything I could. Seems there were no more options,” he said in an interview to Ciclismo International. Double national champion, both on the road and the time trial, “I have some interesting ideas for my future, I would like to stay in cycling and even other great sports that I cannot reveal. Everything on the bike was nice and leaves me fond memories. And if I cannot find new activities, do not rule me again, “he says.

The Lithuanian rode for Landbouwkrediet (2003-2004), Ag2r (2005-2006), Discovery Channel (2007), Astana (2008-2009), RadioShack (2010), Astana (2011) and Orica-GreenEdge (2012 – 2013). His highlight was a stage victory in the 2006 Giro d’Italia. However, his last season was bitter at Orica-GreenEdge, he commented on his experience. “Since the beginning of 2013 I came into conflict with a director and since then I understood that Orica did not want me on board, so I spent all season plugging holes in races where the squad was not complete. It was very difficult to plan training and everything else in a year in which I lived as in a box waiting for Orica to give me a career.”

He raced only 44 days of competition and only four in the WorldTour. “I asked for help from the National Federation of my country to race other competitions with them and stay in shape and even get a good result for me and show that I can still race fast and win. So it was with them that I won the last stage of the Tour of Azerbaijan and then the national championship and even the Mountain Bike national title,” he added.

“That was for me to prove to myself that I did everything to stay with the best and find a team,” he says, but eventually found no place in the bunch.

Tomas Vaitkus “The Tank Engine”:

Valverde: I won’t slow the progress of Quintana”
Alejandro Valverde hopes to be competitive in 2014 and sees no problem in sharing the lead at Team Movistar with Nairo Quintana.

In principle, the Tour de France is for the Murcian rider and the Giro d’Italia is the aim for Nairo Quintana. “I’m not going to slow his progression. Eusebio Unzué divided the calendar. If I have to sacrifice myself for him, I will, as I have had to and as he has done and will do for me,” Valverde said in an interview with Spanish sports daily AS.

He stressed that his relationship with the Colombian “is very good. With my experience, I try to help young people. He has asked me for advice, we shared a room and we get on phenomenally on and off the bike.”

The Tour de France will be Valverde’s big goal again in 2014, along with the Vuelta a España, again he’ll bet on the podium despite the setbacks he has suffered in the French Tour. “I may have been obsessed with the Tour for some time; however it is true that I have not done so well.”

“I have already conquered stages, I lack the drawer. I have had the force at my disposal, but luck did not favour me. So I’m back to try again,” he said.

At 33 years old (34 in April), can he still be competitive in the coming years? “I feel good, both physically and psychologically. In 2012 I finished second in the Vuelta and third in 2013. I’m not finished with the bike yet. I have three or four good seasons left. I’m motivated, that is the key to training and looking for more wins. Evans won the Tour at 34, so why not?”

His schedule is as follows: Challenge Mallorca, Tour of Andalusia, Almeria Classic, Tour of Murcia, Strade Bianche (perhaps Roma Maxima), Paris-Nice, Volta a Catalunya (or Tirreno-Adriatico and E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem ), Tour of the Basque Country, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Critérium Dauphiné, Tour de France, Clásica San Sebastián, Vuelta a España and the World Championships.

Voeckler has Collar Bone Plate Removed
The Europcar rider, Thomas Voeckler, last week had a metal plate removed from the collar bone he broke in the Amstel Gold and will be training for the Tour Down Under. He said on his Facebook: “It was a simple operation but under general anaesthetic. I’d like to share the photo of the ‘hardware’ that was removed! After a short rest this weekend, I expect to get in a good week of training before leaving for Australia on January 12. I hope to find better training conditions out there because lately, because of the rain and wind, it hasn’t been easy to ride!”

No Sky in Algarve
Team Sky will ride the Vuelta a Andalucía and Haut Var and not contest the Tour of Algarve, as it has done in recent years. The British team has decided this year to contest the Ruta del Sol (19-23 February), which they rode in 2010 and 2011 and Haut Var (22-23 February) which they visited in 2010, instead of Algarve (19-23 February).

The Sky team have always featured in the Portuguese race in recent years. In fact, Sky has won the last three editions: in 2011, Cummings ahead of Contador and Van Garderen; Porte in 2012, and last year Henao. In addition, Wiggins won the final time trial two years ago and Porte took the General Overall.

The Tour Down Under, Tour of Qatar, Mallorca Challenge, Tour of Oman, Tour of Andalusia, Tour Haut Var will be the first races for the British team in 2014. Philip Deignan, Bernhard Eisel, Richie Porte, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton and Geraint Thomas will ride the Tour Down Under for Sky.

Sky at the Tour of Algarve 2012:

Tinkoff-Saxo Tour Down Under Team
First race of the new season for the Tinkoff-Saxo team will be lead by Nicki Sorensen with Australians; Jay McCarthy and Rory Sutherland.

Tinoff-Saxo team for the TDU:
Nicki Sorensen, Jay McCarthy, Michael Andersen, Nicolay Trusov, Christopher Juul Jensen, Michael Kolar and Rory Sutherland.

Astana Tour Down Under Team
Lieuwe Westra, the Dutch national TT champion will lead the Kazakhstan team Down Under for his first outing in Astana colours. Amstel Gold winner Enrico Garparotto leads a mainly Italian team with Italian DS Stefano Zanini at the helm.

Astana team for the TDU:
Enrico Gasparotto, Andriy Grivko, Francesco Gavazzi, Lieuwe Westra, Evan Huffman, Valerio Agnoli and Jacopo Guarnieri.

FDJ Tour Down Under Team
FDJ team manager; Yvon Madiot is taking a strong and varied group of riders to Australia with Finnish champion Jussi Veikkanen looking to improve on his 10th overall.

FDJ team for the TDU:
William Bonnet, Arnaud Corteille, Kenny Elissonde, Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier, Anthony Roux, Geoffrey Soupe and Jussi Veikkanen.

Belkin Tour Down Under Team
Robert Gesink will lead the green and black team with Australian team mates; Jack Bobridge, Graeme Brown and David Tanner to back him up.

Belkin team for the TDU:
Robert Gesink, Jack Bobridge, Stef Clement, Graeme Brown, Rick Flens, David Tanner and Bram Tankink.

Cannondale Tour Down Under Team
Elia Viviani will be looking for stage sprint wins, while New Zealander George Bennett is there for the climbs and the overall. U23 World road champion Matej Mohoric makes his WorldTour debut and Cameron Wurf is in the team for Australia.

Cannondale team for the TDU:
George Bennett, Alberto Bettiol, Guillaume Boivin, Matthias Krizek, Matej Mohoric, Elia Viviani and Cameron Wurf.

Peter Sagan and Cannondale at the Tour de San Luis
Peter Sagan will be the star for Cannondale at the next Tour de San Luis from January 20th to the 26th. The star from Slovakia is fresh off his presentation on American soil with Cannondale Pro-Cycling. Like last year, he will make his debut on the roads of Argentina in the hopes that the rest of the season will stand up to comparison with 2013, a year which brought him numerous and significant successes.

“Even though in 2013 I only scored placements,” says Sagan, “the Tour de San Luis was a great way to start the season, both for the level of competition as well as for the routes. The work performed with the team in December was positive. I set a foundation that in the upcoming months will allow me to race in top form. On paper there are several arrivals suited to my skills. This is the first race of the year and it isn’t easy to tell how competitive I can be. I’m definitely going to try to take advantage of every available occasion to start 2014 in the best way possible.”

“Although we are only in the beginning of the season, we know that we will be ready at the starting line for the Tour de San Luis with an important formation,” echoes Sports Director Stefano Zanatta, who will be guiding the squad from the team car. “There are various factors that could influence our performance in the debut, but we have riders fit for all the terrains in the race and we are going to try to make the most of our potential in order to obtain important results. Sagan will be our rider of reference but our strategy will be to support whoever will have the best chance at a result from day to day.”

Cannondale team for San Luis:
Peter Sagan (SVK), Moreno Moser (ITA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Oscar Gatto (ITA), Marco Marcato (ITA).

Peter Sagan 2013:

John-Lee Augustyn Excited Ahead Of Season Debut
Cycling fans will be watching the return of John-Lee Augustyn to the professional peloton with bated breath. The South African makes his comeback to the sport after well-documented injury woes disrupted what looked like a promising career.

More motivated than ever, Augustyn is back in the saddle and ready to pin on the first race number for the season. He makes up part of the team’s line up for the fast growing La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race in Gabon, scheduled to get underway on 13 January. “My training has been going really well, I’ve been feeling good on the bike as well,” Augustyn said from Italy. “I just have a bit of bad luck now with a cold that’s going around here so for the last few days I’ve been cutting the training load to try and get healthy again but I will definitely be ready for the race.”

Augustyn said he is very happy with his condition for this time of the year and is looking forward to building gradually through the coming months. “My goal is to get back into the racing side of things and be there to support the team as much as I can. I will then take it from there on, maybe I feel good and surprise myself.”

Included in his initial program after Gabon is Le Tour de Langkawi and Giro del Trentino among others. “My early season goals are to get back and feel comfortable in the peloton again. We will also know in these couple of days if we get into the Giro d’Italia. Right now there’s nothing with too much of a high expectation on my shoulders but I will definitely give my absolute best to make the team,” Augustyn concluded.
Thanks to the MTN-Qhubeka team.


Lloyd to Jelly Belly
Ex-Australian national champion (2008) and Giro d’Italia King of the Mountains winner (2010); Matthew Lloyd, will be making a return to racing in 2014 with the Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis team. With crashes in 2010, 2011 and 2012 his career has been a stop-start affair, but the 30 year old is said to be fit and ready to go.

UCI President looks forward to 2014 and reflects on a busy first three months in office
Cycling Independent Reform Commission Appointed

Press Release: As the new year begins and a little over three months after his election as president, Brian Cookson has reflected on the changes that have already been put in place at the UCI and looks forward to 2014 with enthusiasm as a year in which he and his team will work hard to rebuild trust in cycling and grow the sport globally.

UCI President Brian Cookson said:
“It has been a very busy three months since my election at the UCI Congress in late September. I made a number of important pledges in my Manifesto and I am absolutely determined that these promises are not only met but become realities as soon as possible.

“I am extremely fortunate to have a top class, motivated and dedicated team and we’ve made good progress on a number of fronts. The UCI Management Committee has also been totally united and at our special meeting held in October made a number of key decisions on important issues concerning the governance and transparency of the UCI, women’s cycling and international development.

“Good progress has also been made on our work to reform men’s elite road racing. There is plenty more to be done but I’m really encouraged by the positive atmosphere at the meetings we are having with all of cycling’s stakeholders and the general willingness to co-operate to build a better and more sustainable future for all involved.

“I am very pleased that our new Women’s Commission has met for the first time to start planning its work and that all UCI Commissions now have a female member. Work is well under way to transform the broadcast coverage of women’s elite cycling’s premier series, the UCI Women’s Road World Cup and I am really committed to unlocking the fantastic potential of women’s cycling.

“I am also delighted to announce that we now have the three-member Independent Commission which I promised in my Manifesto. This Commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past – allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport. Their work will also be focused on understanding what went so wrong in our sport and they will make recommendations for change so that as far as possible those mistakes are not repeated. In recognition of the scope of their task, and to emphasise that, as a sport, we need to gain a positive outcome from its work, it will be named the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC). Three individuals at the top of their respective professions have agreed to do this work, headed by Dick Marty as chairman.

“Mr Marty is a high profile Swiss politician and former State Prosecutor, in which post he was specially noted for his energetic activities fighting organised crime and drug abuse. For more than a decade, he has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In the course of this work, he has conducted various inquiries that have earned him international recognition.

“He will be supported by two vice-chairmen, Mr. Ulrich Haas and Mr Peter Nicholson.”

Mr Haas, of Germany, is a specialist in anti-doping rules and procedures. He is Professor of Civil Procedure and Civil Law at the University of Zurich and a highly respected arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Mr Nicholson is an Australian, a former military officer and specialises in criminal investigations in both national and international jurisdictions. He has worked for various governments and the United Nations where he led several war crimes investigations.

The Commission members will be assisted by Ms. Aurélie Merle, the project Director who has a background in sports with the IOC and LOCOG and also investigation and justice work for the UN, who will coordinate the work of the CIRC.

Brian Cookson added:
‘’The Independent Commission has already started preparatory work and will soon be given complete access to the files of the UCI and all the electronic data which was copied as soon as I was elected. It will also be seeking testimony from people involved in the sport or who have been involved in the past and we are in the final stages of discussions with WADA to agree how best to incentivise people to co-operate with the Independent Commission.

‘’We have agreed a budget for the Commission, which the UCI will cover in full, and we have also expressed our wish that its work be concluded this year. Other than that, the Independent Commission based in Lausanne will operate completely independently of the UCI and will organise its work as it chooses. The Commission’s terms of reference will explicitly state that the Commission will act autonomously and that its members will not receive any instruction from the UCI.

“Other work well underway includes the audit of the UCI’s current anti-doping activities by iNADO who are using top staff from the anti-doping organisations of Finland and Norway for this work which will conclude at the end of the month. This is completely distinct from the work of the Independent Commission and is focussed on assuring that our current operations are as good as they can be.

“In other ways the progress will be more subtle as we change the way the UCI works to make it a more transparent and modern organisation, one which people trust. My vision is simple, I want us to be the best international federation in the world, a federation that merits its beautiful and enduring sport, and I want our sport to be one in which everyone – fans, participants, media, sponsors, governments – can have the utmost trust and confidence” .

Further announcements on the CIRC will be made when appropriate.

ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS Launch 2014 Team Kit in St. Kilda
ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS unveiled their 2014 race kits at The Prince in St. Kilda on Tuesday. The men’s and women’s teams will debut the clothing, made in collaboration with Craft, the team’s official race and casual wear partner, at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships.

“We’re really pleased with the new kit and look forward to putting it into action at the Nationals this week and when we kick start our third season in the WorldTour at the Santos Tour Down Under,” said ORICA-GreenEDGE General Manager Shayne Bannan. “We’re excited to start a new season with a brand new look.”

“It’s been a great collaboration with Craft to date,” Bannan added. “We’ve already been able to benefit from their experience in developing state of the art technical clothing. This type of partnership is crucial for a team at this level. We’re also pleased to have Craft as a casual clothing partner. This is great for both the riders and staff who work and ride in all sorts of weather conditions during the season.”

Craft Sport Marketing Manager Daniel Högling echoed Bannan’s sentiments. He considers the long-term partnership between Craft and Australia’s top rated teams as mutually advantageous.

“We’re really happy to be the clothing partner for the ORICA-GreenEDGE family,” said Högling. “It’s a partnership that focuses our ambition to develop a great looking and exceptionally fast cycling kit. We want the team to have the access to the best clothing on the market, and we want them to win races wearing our kit.”

“Small advantages can make a big difference, and we will constantly pursue those advantages as we work closely with the team,” Högling continued. “It’s also important to us that the riders and staff look great and feel good – on and off the bike. With the new kit, I think we’re off to a solid start.”

Orica’s Executive Global Head of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility Gavin Jackman said the alliance between Orica, GreenEDGE and the AIS is a partnership based on shared values.

“We have brought together world class organisations that share an Australian DNA to perform successfully on the world stage,” Mr Jackman said. “Critical to this success is teamwork and technical innovation – whether it is the new team kit, the bike or blasting solutions for the mining sector.”
Thanks to Orica-GreenEdge.

McEwen Leaves Orica-GreenEdge
After finishing his successful racing career, Robbie McEwen carried on as sprint coach and worked giving advice on strategies in stage finishes and team PR in Australia. McEwen moved his family from Belgium in 2011 it has become more difficult, he commented; “With the bulk of the racing and the team obviously being [based] in Europe and me in Australia, it wasn’t really feasible for the team to renew the contract. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I was given by Gerry Ryan and Shayne Bannan.” McEwen will still be involved in cycling with his clothing range, Grand Fondo, Giro d’Italia VIP tours and TV commentary.

Purito Visit’s Prison
The Catalan rider Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez visited the prison of La Comella in Andorra la Vella on Wednesday afternoon. The current UCI world number one has been based in the Principality of Andorra for a few years and spoke to inmates of the prison focusing on the values of sport.

Before the visit he said: “I intend to convey how values given in cycling, in my experience, can be applied in day to day life in any situation. Values such as hard work, dedication and tenacity. Values that can be applied in their lives to overcome the situation being experienced and to face the future.”

Giro d’Italia 2014: New Jerseys Presented
Press Release: Designed by the Irish designer Fergus Niland for Santini SMS, who continue their partnership with the Giro d’Italia, the new 2014 jerseys pay homage to Ireland, the island that will host the start of this year’s race, and also promotes the event’s support of the work of Oxfam.

The new official 2014 Giro d’Italia jersey designs were today unveiled during the Pitti Immagine Uomo event. This year’s Giro d’Italia takes place from 9th May – 1st June, starting from Belfast in Ireland.

The unveiling of the 97th edition’s jerseys included testimonials from the event’s new charity partner for 2014, international charity Oxfam, with the charity’s Cristina Chiabotto, Chiara Francini and Nadia Toffa in attendance.

Created by the Irish designer Fergus Niland on behalf of Santini SMS who will make them, the jerseys’ represent the perfect match between Giro d’Italia and the Grande Partenza on the island of Ireland. The jersey features typically Irish graphics, such as tweed pattern and a stylized shamrock as symbol.

The charity partnership is proudly reinforced with the claim that “Giro Fights for Oxfam” on the left sleeve, to underline the charity causes that the Corsa Rosa and the Oxfam will support together.

MAGLIA ROSA – BALOCCO: For the second consecutive year Balocco will be the Maglia Rosa sponsor, symbol of the General Classification leader and a cycling icon around the world.

MAGLIA AZZURRA – BANCA MEDIOLANUM: The leader of this special classification, dedicated to the King of the Mountain, will wear the Maglia Azzurra Banca Mediolanum, a jersey which has the same sky colour as where the great Giro mountains stand supreme.

MAGLIA ROSSA – ALGIDA: In 2014 Algida is a proud partner of the Giro d’Italia, and brings the vortex of their cream heart on the Maglia Rossa as symbol of the Points Classification.

MAGLIA BIANCA – F.LLI ORSERO: This jersey represents the Youg Rider General Classification, symbolising freshness and novelty and embodying the F.lli Orsero fruit qualities.

Oxfam will be the Charity Partner 2014 of the Giro d’Italia.

This international charity organization is part of a great coalition, formed by 17 organisations that work in over 90 countries around the world, aiming to find permanent solutions to the injustice of poverty in the world.

The Corsa Rosa stands alongside Oxfam to promote and support projects linked to rural and women’s entrepreneurship development.

The pink, the colour of women, embodied in the symbol of excellence of the Giro d’Italia, the Maglia Rosa, brings a strong and clear social message that Giro Fights for Oxfam.

Giro and Oxfam will together build and sustain a supporting communication campaign.


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