In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Froome’s Sky backup named in bid for second Tour; Bouhanni hopeful of Tour de France start; Cannondale-Garmin reveals Tour de France team and kit; Mark Cavendish reports injured shoulder from British national championships; Zwift and Richmond 2015 world championship organisers partner to offer interactive digital rendering of course; Belarusian champion fired for not letting his boss win national title; Budget Forklifts among teams invited to Tour of Utah; The perfect race?; Punches thrown in US bike race; Ready to fight, featuring Andre Greipel.
Froome’s Sky backup named in bid for second Tour
by Shane Stokes
Chris Froome’s campaign to repeat his 2013 Tour de France victory was clarified somewhat on Monday morning, with Team Sky naming the eight riders who will back the Briton when the race begins on July 4.
Australian rider Richie Porte has, as expected, been confirmed for what is his fifth Tour de France. He had a frustrating Giro d’Italia campaign as Sky leader and was forced out of the race with injury, but will hope to be back to full strength for the Tour.
Also backing Froome will be the returning British champion Pete Kennaugh, fellow Britons Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe, Irish rider Nicolas Roche, the Czech Leopold König and Dutchman Wout Poels.
Froome said that the team was counting down the days to Saturday. “We can’t wait to get started and we are up for the challenge ahead,” he stated.
“Last year’s disappointment is this year’s motivation for Team Sky. From the moment I crashed out in 2014 I’ve had the burning desire to get back to this year’s Tour in the best possible shape.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Bouhanni hopeful of Tour de France start
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) has said he still hopes to start the Tour de France this Saturday after X-rays revealed cartilage damage between his ribs but no fractures. He sustained his injuries in the final sprint of the French nationals road race over the weekend.
Radio faite:Pas de fracture mais contusion des cartilages costaux, j'espère toujours être présent au départ du Tour de France samedi @letour
— Nacer Bouhanni (@BouhanniNacer) June 29, 2015
Bouhanni tweeted: “X-ray done: No fractures but damage to the rib cartilages, I hope to still be at the start of the Tour de France on Saturday @letour”.
Bouhanni has only ridden the Tour de France once in his career thus far (2013) and abandoned that race on stage six after illness and a crash.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Cannondale-Garmin reveals Tour de France team and kit
The Cannondale-Garmin squad has revealed its nine-man line-up for the Tour de France and the one-off kit design those nine riders will wear.
The American team will be led by last year’s Criterium du Dauphine winner Andrew Talansky and ably supported by Dan Martin and 2012 Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal. Also riding in the mostly-lime-green outfit will be Jack Bauer, Kritijan Koren, Sebastian Langeveld, Ramunas Navardauskas, Dylan van Baarle and Australia’s Nathan Haas.
“We consider the Tour de France a very special event that deserves a special design,” said Castelli Brand Manager, Steve Smith on the new kit. “Racing in hot weather is physically demanding, that’s a given, and despite the fact that Castelli makes some of the lightest and coolest fabrics in existence, wearing a lighter colour will make a big difference, both psychologically and physically, to a rider’s well being.”
Click here to read more about Cannondale-Garmin’s tactics for the Tour.
Mark Cavendish reports injured shoulder from British national championships
Mark Cavendish put in an impressive ride at the British national championships over the weekend to finish second, but the result came at some cost for the Manxman.
“I hit my shoulder on someone’s camera before the end and I might have to get that checked out before the Tour next week,” Cavendish said.
Race winner Peter Kennaugh spoke of the chaos of the final climb up Michaelgate.
“It is good racing in Lincoln. I remember it well from when I won the Grand Prix previously. The crowds have been incredible,” said Kennaugh. “It can be a bit intense on the climb when they get a bit too over excited and stand in the gutter – that’s the one place you are trying to ride because of the cobbles.
Click here to read more at the Lincolnshire Echo.
Zwift and Richmond 2015 world championship organisers partner to offer interactive digital rendering of course
by Shane Stokes
The location of this year’s road world championships in Richmond, USA may have made it difficult for some riders to do reconnaissance in the months before the race but, thanks to developing technology, they will still be able to have a good approximation of the circuit before the race in late September.
Online fitness entertainment company Zwift has announced that, in partnership with the organisers of Richmond 2015, it is working on a digital rendering of the 10-mile (16.2km) course that will be used for the road worlds between September 19 and 27.
Zwift is software that runs on personal computers connected to bikes’ power meters and heart rate monitors, enabling those riding indoors to interact with other users via the online virtual world.
The Richmond course rendering will be ready for professionals and other Zwift users to use later this summer, enabling them to preview the course in advance of the 2015 worlds.
The company stated that plans for the new Zwift course will include online group rides with the company’s ambassadors Jens Voigt, Laurens Ten Dam and Evelyn Stevens.
Belarusian champion fired for not letting his boss win national title
Here’s a remarkable story that’s come out of the Belarusian nationals road race over the weekend. Race winner Andrei Krasilnikau won the race but was then apparently sacked by his Minsk Cycling Club because he did not let his teammate and boss Aliaksandr Koetsjynski take the victory.
— Andrei Krasilnikau (@KraSy_blr) June 28, 2015
The news is as-yet unverified but when asked by someone on twitter whether the initial tweet was a joke, Krasilnikau replied: “Unfortunately not.”
— Andrei Krasilnikau (@KraSy_blr) June 28, 2015
While Krasilnikau is a largely unheralded rider, Koetsjynski spent eight years at the WorldTour level and has a second place at Gent-Wevelgem and second on a stage of the Giro d’Italia to his name.
Click here to read more a NOS.nl.
Budget Forklifts among teams invited to Tour of Utah
Australian Continental team Budget Forklifts has snagged an invite to one of the hardest races in the USA, the 2.HC Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
It will be the team’s first appearance at the race, with Chris Horner’s Airgas-Safeway team and Bardiani-CSF also making their first appearances. The 16 teams in the men’s race include three WorldTour squads: BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling and Trek Factory Racing.
“America’s Toughest Stage Race” will also feature a two-day women’s criterium series with 18 teams set to compete.
Click here to read more.
The perfect race?
The Inner Ring has put together an interesting thought-experiment in which he considers “the perfect race” from a cycling fan’s perspective. In the post he goes through the various elements which make for an exciting race. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
“When a lesser name wins is it a breakthrough or a less satisfying result from a second class rider who found themselves in a first class breakaway? There’s nuance here because the triumph of a lesser rider can be heroic too, think of Adam Hansen winning a stage of the Vuelta last year or a wildcard team rider escaping the clutches of wealthy WorldTour teams. A triumph for an unrepentant ex-doper can be a let down just as a win for someone suspicious leaves many unsatisfied.
Click here to read the full story at The Inner Ring.
Punches thrown in US bike race
We sometimes see quarrels break out between riders during bike races but these incidents are normally pretty tame. This confrontation between two riders in the Longsjo Classic in Massachusetts was decidely less tame. Contains coarse language.
Ready to fight, featuring Andre Greipel
This YouTube video bears the following caption: “Are you ready for the Tour de France? Well, please FASTEN your SEAT BELTS! The very famous Enrico Muax is back! And he is NOT alone.”
Fair warning: it’s weird.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
- Kessiakoff on Astana’s pressurising of riders, team’s licence woes, Nibali’s panache and an improving sport
- First-look review: the 2016 Giant TCR Advanced SL
- National championships round-up: men’s individual time trials and road races
- Daily News Digest: Monday June 29