In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dennis and Porte confirmed for BMC at Santos Tour Down Under; Paris-Nice to feature dirt roads, Ventoux and more; Uniquely vulnerable – The Tour and terrorism; Dimension Data confirms signing of Igor Anton; Brenton Jones primed for sprinting leadership at Drapac; Avanti IsoWhey unveils 2016 roster; Alexander Kristoff – “Hopefully one day I can win Paris – Roubaix”; Always remember when you have a bike on the roof.
Dennis and Porte confirmed for BMC at Santos Tour Down Under
by Shane Stokes
The 2015 winner Rohan Dennis and new signing Richie Porte have both said they will make their WorldTour race debut next season in the Santos Tour Down Under, with the duo spearheading the BMC charge.
Dennis was best in this year’s edition, beating then-Sky rider Porte by two seconds and his own team-mate Cadel Evans by 20. He had aimed for a strong start to the season, partly due to his plans to go for the world hour record. This time around, he indicates that he might not be in the same condition.
“My goals have changed for the season compared to 2015. I think the best way to go into it is thinking about Rio and later on in the season, and see what happens,” he said. “We’ve got a really strong team and it will be good to have myself there as well as Richie.”
“Having won the past two years on Willunga Hill, why not go for the trifecta?” said Porte. “With Rohan and I there I think we’re going to have a great team, so I’m really looking forward to taking on a challenging race.”
Meanwhile BMC has announced that the team’s title sponsor has extended its commitment to the team, although the length of the contract extension has not been revealed.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Paris-Nice to feature dirt roads, Ventoux and more
The route for next year’s Paris-Nice has been unveiled and it’s a doozy. In addition to some dirt roads, the race will climb Mont Ventoux … or at least part of it.
The traditional Col d’Eze ITT has been scrapped and in its place is a 6.6km prologue. Stage 1 will feature hard-packed dirty roads, stage 2 will be a long transitional stage, and stage 3 features a lumpy finish into Mont Bruilly.
Stage 5 will
finish at visit Chalet Reynard, partway up Mont Ventoux, while stage 6 will feature La Madone d’Utelle, a 15km climb with an average grade of roughly 6%. The race’s final stage will start and Finish in Nice and will cross the Col d’Eze.
Paris-Nice is the first European WorldTour race of the season and will be held from March 6-13. Richie Porte is the defending champion.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Uniquely vulnerable: The Tour and terrorism
Cycling is a uniquely vulnerable sport, with riders and spectators routinely coming within metres of one another. As Caley Fretz writes for VeloNews, this makes terrorism a genuine threat to the sport, particularly at an event such as the Tour de France.
Here’s an excerpt from Caley’s piece:
““I don’t mean to be too alarmist, but the Tour de France is almost impossible to secure,” says David Murakami Wood, a surveillance researcher and event-security expert at Queens University in Ontario who is also an avid cyclist. “You’ve got a rolling event that moves around the country, through public roads, into some areas that are varyingly remote. There’s no way you can create the kind of island security effect used elsewhere. You just cannot protect it in the same way.” (“Island security” refers to the creation of enclosed spaces with recognizable borders that can be defended. Metal detectors, fences, and armed guards work at a stadium, but not across an entire country.)
Barring the Tour’s start and finish zones — which feature fenced-off areas for riders, media, and VIPs, with entrances manned by unarmed ASO staff in green shirts — the entire 2,000-mile route of the Tour de France is relatively exposed, protected only by police presence and the intelligence services that work with them.
Tour security is a government operation, not one dictated by the race’s organizer, ASO. “We are going to improve [security] in some aspects, but we are not the ones who write the laws,” says ASO director Christian Prudhomme. “As race organizers, we clearly follow all of the recommendations from the government. The Gendarme and the police are our best allies. Of course, we cannot give away too many details about what we’re going to do, for obvious reasons of confidentiality and for the protection of the country.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Dimension Data confirms signing of Igor Anton
Confirming rumours that had circulated earlier this month, Dimension Data has announced the signing of Basque climber Igor Anton.
The 32-year-old spent much of his career riding for Euskaltel-Euskadki but has most recently spent two years with Movistar. He has now signed a deal with Dimension Data with a view to racing the first Grand Tour of the year.
“The idea is to do the Giro d’Italia. I hope to prepare better this year,” Antón told Marca. “Also the Tour of the Basque Country, where I’ve done well and is my home race. Although, if I’m honest, I also have in mind Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne. I really want to ride them again, they are beautiful races.”
Anton has four Vuelta a Espana stage wins to his name, as well as the overall title at this year’s Vuelta Asturias.
In addition to signing Igor Anton, Dimension Data has announced that 24-year-old Eritrean Mekseb Debesay will also join the team for 2016.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Brenton Jones primed for sprinting leadership at Drapac
The departure of Wouter Wippert (to Cannondale-Garmin) leaves a considerable gap in Drapac’s sprinting stocks for 2016 but Victorian Brenton Jones is confident he can step up and play a bigger role in the new season.
“I think it’s definitely exploded the confidence maybe more than what it had been for some of the races this year,” Jones told Cyclingnews, speaking of his recent stage win at the Tour of Hainan. “It’s definitely nice to get a win and a 2.HC one which is the biggest of my career so to have finished on a high is going to make a difference leading up to our first big races in January and even now in training.
“You know if you do the hard work and do what you’ve always done you can get a result like that and keep stepping up like I have done. It’s great for me and great for the team.”
Jones will begin his 2016 season with the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic (the ‘Bay Crits’) on January 1, a four-race series he won in 2014. He’ll then race the Australian Road Nationals before making his WorldTour debut at the Santos Tour Down Under in late January.
“In 2016, after a first season as a neo-pro, I would call this season my experience and development season. Next year the team wants results and I do too. To be supported by a tremendous leadout which we have and go to races like the Tour of Turkey, where I am confident that if everything is working and comes together you can get a win.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Avanti IsoWhey unveils 2016 roster
Avanti Racing recently added IsoWhey as a co-sponsor for 2016 and now the team has revealed its line-up for the new season.
Among those joining the team are Sean Lake, Pat Lane and Oscar Stevenson, all from fellow Continental outfit African Wildlife Safaris which is disbanding at the end of this season.
Also joining the ranks is former Drapac rider Robbie Hucker, while Paddy Bevin — who is bound for Cannondale-Garmin — is a notable loss for the squad in 2016.
The full Avanti IsoWhey squad for 2016 is:
Pat Shaw, Joe Cooper, Fraser Gough, Liam Aitcheson (u23), Pat Lane, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Oscar Stevenson (u23), Mark O’Brien, Mathew Zenovich (U23), Neil Van Der Ploeg, Anthony Giacoppo, Chris Hamilton (u23), Sean Lake, Ben O’Connor (u23), Robbie Hucker, Luke Mudgeway(u23), Regan Gough (u23), Sam Crome, Cameron Karwowski and Pat Lane.
Alexander Kristoff: “Hopefully one day I can win Paris – Roubaix”
He was one of the most successful riders of the 2015 season, notching up an impressive 20 victories including the Tour of Flanders. In this video, Alexander Kristoff sits down with Cycling Pro Net to reflect on the season just past and look ahead to 2016.
Always remember when you have a bike on the roof
If you haven’t done this yourself you probably know someone that has. The way the bike remains lodged is particularly impressive … not that that will ease the pain for the owner.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Taylor Phinney Q&A: “The Olympic time trial is the most important thing on my horizon”
- Canyon fourth generation Ultimate CF SLX review
- Daily News Digest: Thursday December 17