In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Sunderland, Scandolara take victory in the Shimano Supercrit; Oleg Tinkov to step away from pro cycling by end of 2016; Teams and route announced for 2016 Dubai Tour; Horner keen to race on but illness might force retirement; Marianne Vos finds form and morale at Rabo Liv camp; Rabobank ends sponsorship of pro cycling; Katusha reveals new kit; Team Sky’s new kit; The bike as a musical instrument; Brumotti climbing stairs.
Sunderland, Scandolara take victory in the Shimano Supercrit
Scott Sunderland (Budget Forklifts) and Valentina Scandolara (Roxsolt/Orica-AIS) have won the elite races at the Shimano Supercrit in St. Kilda on Sunday, with Sunderland defending his victory from 12 months ago, and Scandolara continuing her success on Australian soil.
The elite women’s race was an aggressive affair with many riders trying to break clear of the peloton in the hour-long race. Despite these attempts, the race eventually came back together ahead of the final sprint.
In that final dash for the line it was the Italian Scandolara — winner of the 2015 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under — who upstaged the pre-race favourites, beating Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda) and Chloe McConville (Orica-AIS) in the sprint. Last year’s winner and reigning Australian criterium champion Kimberley Wells (High5) was fourth.
The men’s race was similarly aggressive with many riders trying their hand at a breakaway throughout the 80 minutes of racing. Several groups managed a small advantage in that time but, as in the women’s race, the men’s peloton would come back together ahead of the final sprint.
An impressive increase in tempo from Budget Forklifts disintegrated the field in the closing laps before the team’s lead-out delivered Scott Sunderland perfectly to the sprint. Sunderland proved too fast for Shannon Johnson (CharterMason) and Jonathan Cantwell in that sprint for the line, securing back-to-back Supercrit victories.
Oleg Tinkov to step away from pro cycling by end of 2016
For months now Oleg Tinkov has been indicating he could pull the pin on his cycling sponsorship at any moment, and on Saturday that moment finally came. The Russian businessman and owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team revealed in an interview with Cyclingnews that he’s stepping away from the sport by the end of 2016.
“There are two main reasons for my decision,” Tinkov said, “I hope people will understand them and then reflect on why professional cycling has lost a guy who has spent over €60 million (AU$92 million) and who loves the sport.”
Tinkov said that after five years in the sport his Tinkoff bank has “reached all the investors we can via cycling”, before revealing more personal reasons for wanting to leave cycling.
“I’ve decided to sell the team and quit the sport because I’ve realised nobody wants to work with me to help change the business model of the sport. In the last two or three years I’ve tried to fight with ASO and the UCI, I’ve tried to find new revenue streams via TV rights, merchandise sales and tickets sales but nobody really supported me and wanted to take a strong stand with me.”
Regarding the sale of the team, Tinkov is open to the idea of Bjaare Riis coming back into the fold: “I don’t mind who buys the team. It can be Bjarne Riis if he wants the team back,” Tinkov said.
Teams and route announced for 2016 Dubai Tour
Organisers of the Dubai Tour, RCS Sport, have revealed the course for next year’s edition of the race and the teams that will make up the startlist.
The four-stage race, to be held from February 3-6, features three flat finishes and a summit finish to Hatta Dam on stage 3. The steep uphill finish to stage 3 is the same as in this year’s edition of the race which was won by John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin).
The 2016 Dubai Tour will feature 10 WorldTour teams (the same number as this year): Astana, BMC, Dimension Data, Etixx-Quick-Step, Lampre-Merida, Movistar, Giant-Alpecin, Sky, Tinkoff and Trek Factory Racing. Also starting the race will be three ProContinental teams (CCC Sprandi Polkowice, One Pro Cycling and Novo Nordisk), two Continental teams (Skydive Dubai and Team Wiggins) and a UAE National team.
The 2016 Dubai Tour will be the third edition of the race. Taylor Phinney won the first edition while Mark Cavendish won this year’s race off the back of two stage victories.
Horner keen to race on but illness might force retirement
Chris Horner might be 44 years old but the 2013 Vuelta a Espana winner still has a desire to continue racing in 2016. Whether he can will depend on how he recovers from an ongoing illness that has plagued him for the past year or so.
“I knew there was some kind of bug down there, and they finally found it at the end of October,” Horner said to Business Insider, speaking of a lung infection that reportedly became resistant to antibiotics. “I did eight rounds of antibiotics and just finished my ninth.
“But of course each round has been different, and it’s stronger antibiotics each time. Before this last round, they didn’t know what they were trying to kill, so hopefully now that they’ve done the bronchoscopy, they know exactly what they’re trying to kill.”
Horner raced with American Continental team Airgas-Safeway in 2015 but hasn’t yet renewed his contract with the team for 2016.
“I’m trying to keep the head in a good place, but if the season starts and I got a bug in the lungs, maybe I move on to something else,” he said. “If I can get healthy I’m gonna race my bike — if I can’t, then I’m going to find something else to do.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Marianne Vos finds form and morale at Rabo Liv camp
After an entire road season spent on the sidelines recovering from a hamstring injury and then from “overreaching”, Marianne Vos appears to be back on track.
Vos was given the green light to get back to training last month and has since been at a pre-season camp with her Rabo-Liv teammates in South Africa.
“The bike feels better and the time has flown, [there are] signs that I’m back on the right track,” Vos wrote in her latest blog on the Rabo Liv website. “This week has made me feel more like a cyclist.
“Training camps like this are really nice,” she continued. “The months of November and December are dedicated to building and so we are relaxed preparing for the new season. Beforehand I was very curious how I would be with the group and what might happen, but it’s actually worked out well. I was able to cycle along with the group more than I expected. The first weeks on the bike were still a lot like work, but I notice now that I am getting better and I can sit for a few hours relaxing on the bike.”
Vos’ program for the 2016 season isn’t yet clear but she is said to be working towards a defence of the Olympics road race title she took in London in 2012.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Rabobank ends sponsorship of pro cycling
by Anne-Marije Rook
While Rabo-Liv’s star rider is finding her feet after a long lay-off, one of the team’s naming sponsors, Rabobank, has announced it is stepping away from cycling.
Rabobank, a fixture in cycling sponsorship since 1996, said late last week that it is refocusing its sponsorship for a more local feel and will end its relationship with Rabo-Liv (and pro cycling as a whole) at the end of 2016.
In 2012 the Dutch bank ended its sponsorship of the iconic orange-and-blue Rabobank men’s squad following various doping scandals. At that time it also took a step back in its support of the Dutch national road team. However, it continued to support the women’s program rebranded as Rabo-Liv.
Rabo-Liv general manager Eric van den Boom said that losing the team’s title sponsor in no way means the end of the team.
“We will do our utmost to ensure continuity of this great team. With a wonderful selection and a great organization and we have something good to offer potential sponsors,” said a confident Van den Boom. “And we assume that there is one beautiful cycling year yet to come with Rabobank. 2016 is an Olympic year . The team is already preparing for a very important cycling season . We have several contenders in Rio. Who knows, we might give Rabobank a proper farewell . That would be very nice and well-earned.”
Click here to read more at Ella CyclingTips.
Katusha reveals new kit
A week or so after explaining the need for a change of image, Katusha has revealed a new kit for the 2016 season.
— Team KATUSHA (@katushacycling) December 13, 2015
The reveal came at a team launch event in Calpe, Spain over the weekend where the following recap from season 2015 was also debuted:
In addition to the new mostly red kit, Katusha has announced the creation of a clothing company, Katusha Sports, which will produce a men’s performance clothing range, followed by a men’s and women’s urban range later next year.
Team Sky’s new kit
After a few teasers in the past week or so, Team Sky has also revealed its new strip for 2016:
— Team Sky (@TeamSky) December 11, 2015
The team confirmed at the time of the kit reveal that its association with Jaguar had also come to a close. Sky will announce a new automotive partner soon.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
The bike as a musical instrument
Here’s something a little silly from Vietnam’s Got Talent:
Brumotti climbing stairs
And here’s Vittorio Brumotti with another ridiculous video. This definitely isn’t what road bikes were designed for.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Explaining the UCI’s WorldTour reform
- UCI ready to change the 6.8 kg weight limit?
- Keeping on track during the festive season