In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: National championships round-up; Bjarne Riis gives first interview after Danish doping report; Nacer Bouhanni crashes in French nationals, out of Tour de France?; Giro heads back to the Netherlands for 2016 start; Kessiakoff on Astana’s pressurising of riders, team’s licence woes, Nibali’s panache and an improving sport; UCI introduces women’s U23 category for Cyclocross World Championships; Wouter Wippert reportedly attracting interest from WorldTour teams; London to bid for 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart?; Carmen Small returns to the road; Shelley Olds rejoins Ale-Cipollini after leaving Bigla; GCN’s First Look at the 2016 Scott Foil; The Utrecht Grand Depart; Pleasure in Pain.
National championships round-up
Throughout the past week most European countries (and a few more besides) have held their national road cycling championships. Rather than fill the Daily News Digest with a whole pile of results from those races, we’ve created two separate posts for you to check out.
To see the results and short race reports from the noteworthy men’s ITTs and road races, click here. And for a great wrap of the women’s ITTs and road races, be sure to check out this post at our sister site, Ella CyclingTips.
Bjarne Riis gives first interview after Danish doping report
Speaking to the media for the first time since an Anti-Doping Denmark report confirmed he was complicit in the use of doping at Team CSC, Bjarne Riis has admitted that “my credibility is not very high”.
“There are some things in it (the report) which I do not agree with, but I’m not here to elaborate on them,” Riis told Danish television channel TV2. “Basically their conclusion is that I have failed as a leader. I confirm that and I regret that deeply.”
“I have tried for many years to correct things, do as well as I possibly could and take the responsibility that goes with that. I just have to admit that I was not mature enough to take responsibility and do what was needed in the first years, to go in the right direction. I am very sad today.”
Click here to read more.
Nacer Bouhanni crashes in French nationals, out of Tour de France?
A good run of form in recent weeks meant Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) was likely to go into the Tour de France as one of the favourites for the flat stages. But a crash in the final of the French national road race championship appears to have jeopardised Bouhanni’s chances of starting the French Grand Tour.
Bouhanni refused to answer questions from the press directly after the race but he soon took to Twitter to post a photo of himself bandaged up, with the caption: “Surely out of the Tour. Rib is cracked or broken. I’ll give more news shortly.”
— Nacer Bouhanni (@BouhanniNacer) June 28, 2015
The crash that brought Bouhanni down was caused by former teammate Anthony Roux who was stripped of his second-place finish as a result.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Giro heads back to the Netherlands for 2016 start
The Netherlands is set to host the start of the Tour de France next week when the Grand Boucle gets underway in Utrecht, but already the Dutch have another Grand Tour visit to celebrate.
Organisers of the Giro d’Italia, RCS Sport, announced over the weekend that the 2016 edition of the Italian race will start in the Gelderland region of the Netherlands.
“The province of Gelderland showed how intensely it wanted the ‘corsa rosa’ and beat the competition of other important candidates,” said Giro director Mauro Vegni in a press release. “There couldn’t be a better way of proceeding in the internationalisation process of the Giro, that in the last few years, has seen the ‘big start’ alternating between Italy and abroad, all without overlooking the south of Italy.”
The race will start in the city of Apeldoorn with an 8.1km ITT before two road stages also in the Netherlands. These will be followed by a rest/transfer day, after which the race will resume in Italy.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Kessiakoff on Astana’s pressurising of riders, team’s licence woes, Nibali’s panache and an improving sport
By Shane Stokes
He’s been out of the peloton for six months now and, with his autobiography Mitt Eget Race [My Own Race] now on the market, Fredrik Kessikoff was in a reflective mood in recent days.
The former Astana rider, who is known for his brilliant time trial win in the 2012 Vuelta a España ahead of the likes of Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Alejandro Valverde and Tony Martin plus a long stint in the Tour de France’s mountains jersey that same year, spoke at length to CyclingTips, analysing his career plus its beginning and end.
The 35 year old Swede was generally in a mellow frame of mind, being happy to talk for 30 minutes on a range of topics. However one subject causes his adrenaline to surge, his speaking rate to rise: the final year of his career and the manner of his exit still rankle, and he clearly feels badly treated.
Click here to read the full interview on CyclingTips.
UCI introduces women’s U23 category for Cyclocross World Championships
The UCI has announced the introduction of a women’s U23 category for the Cyclocross World Championships, to come into effect at next year’s Worlds in Belgium.
Prize money for the women’s U23 category will be the same as the men’s U23 category. The new category will apply to continental championships and, for countries that wish to follow suit, at national championships as well.
“Today is an important step towards greater men-women equality in terms of participation and remuneration in the cyclo-cross discipline,” UCI president Brian Cookson said. “These measures will help develop women’s cycling, one of the pillars of our strategic development plan.”
It is not clear whether the same measure will eventually be applied in road racing where U23 women do not have a separate category.
Wouter Wippert reportedly attracting interest from WorldTour teams
De Telegraaf reports that Dutch sprinter Wouter Wippert, who currently rides for the Australian ProContinental team Drapac, has received several offers from WorldTour teams for the upcoming season.
“There are some serious offers”, Wippert confirmed. “I find it important to ride for a foreign team, because they ask more of you. It’s harder to earn your spot in my opinion. I’m very fast, but I’m also looking to develop more as a rider”.
The Dutchman has taken five of Drapac’s seven UCI-classified victories this season, including a stage of the Tour Down Under. His haul last year was eight of Drapac’s 11 wins.
Click here to read more at Wielerflits.nl.
London to bid for 2017 Tour de France Grand Depart?
The Standard newspaper in the UK reports that British transport chiefs are in talks with the organisers of the Tour de France to bring the race back to London in 2017.
Preliminary talks have reportedly been held between ASO and Transport for London with a view to hosting the 2017 Grand Depart.
Full details of the proposal are being kept under wraps thus far but The Standard suggests that mayor Boris Johnson will soon be asked to authorise an official bid.
Click here to read more at The Standard.
Carmen Small returns to the road
Carmen Small has returned to road racing after ending an eight-month stint on the track in a bid to race the Rio Olympics.
“The Olympics aren’t worth being unhappy,” Small told VeloNews. “It was a rough year doing it and it was just very up and down,” Small said of riding with the US national track program. “Plus, I missed the bike. I missed being outside, I miss the long rides, and I missed racing. I missed road racing a lot.
“I had to really ask myself, what was more important: going to the Olympics or being happy doing it? I would rather fail at going, not go, and be happy rather than go and be miserable the whole entire time.”
Small has signed a contract with Bigla and will return to racing soon. She still hopes to ride in the Olympics but will instead target the road race and/or individual time trial.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Shelley Olds rejoins Ale-Cipollini after leaving Bigla
Meanwhile, as Carmen Small joins Bigla, fellow American Shelley Olds is leaving to rejoin her former team, Ale-Cipollini.
Olds and Bigla mutually parted ways and, Olds says, heading back to her old team was a no-brainer.
“I asked President Alessia Piccolo to come back and I am very glad she accepted. I am here for the team,” Olds said in a statement from the Alé-Cipollini team.
“I felt great here. It was like a big family but at the same time a group that worked really hard. I felt great with my teammates and the staff, with the President first of all.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
GCN’s First Look at the 2016 Scott Foil
On Friday we published our first-look review of the new Scott Foil. Here’s GCN’s take on the bike:
The Utrecht Grand Depart
Tour de France fever continues to build in Utrecht ahead of Saturday’s Grand Depart. Here’s another video previewing the start of the race, in particular the stage 1 ITT.
Pleasure in Pain
Here’s a video shot at the Tour Down Under earlier this year, all about the pleasure that comes through the pain of cycling. It features narration from Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
- First-look review: 2016 Scott Foil
- Cavendish, Uran, Martin and Kwiatkowski lead strong Etixx-QuickStep selection for Tour de France
- Vaughters on Cannondale-Garmin’s Tour approach: “Mix it up a bit, throw in some crazy tactics”
- Jesse Carlsson races to victory in the Trans Am