In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Alejandro Valverde wins the UCI WorldTour individual rankings; A closer look at Tom Dumoulin’s development into a GC rider; Meintjes on Vuelta top-ten finish – ‘Another one or two years and I can be right up there’; Jack Bobridge signs with Trek Factory Racing for 2016; Geraint Thomas out of the World Championships; Kwiatkowski – I would love to spend another year in the rainbow jersey; Lucy Garner joins Wiggle Honda; Honda Civic’s Tourer concept was made with cycling in mind; New trailer for The Program; Five minutes with Richmond.
Alejandro Valverde wins the UCI WorldTour individual rankings
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will take out the UCI’s individual WorldTour rankings for the second consecutive year after what has been another stellar season from the veteran Spaniard.
Valverde won Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne, he finished third overall at the Tour de France and won three stages at the Volta a Catalunya. These results, plus a multitude of high-placed finishes in other WorldTour events see Valverde sitting on 615 points, with Joaquim Rodrigez (Katusha) second on 474. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is third on 457.
One event remains in the 2015 WorldTour: Il Lombardia on October 4. The winner of that event will take home 100 WorldTour points — not enough to dethroned Alejandro Valverde.
In the WorldTour Teams ranking Katusha leads Movistar and Sky while in the nations ranking, Spain comfortably leads Colombia and Great Britain.
A closer look at Tom Dumoulin’s development into a GC rider
This is an interesting little piece from the team at Giant-Alpecin, providing some insight into Tom Dumoulin’s transformation into a GC rider at the Vuelta and the role his early exit from the Tour de France played in that journey.
Here’s an excerpt:
“So, his performance has not come out of the blue and is in line with the progression he has been showing?
Correct. Last winter we asked ourselves the question: Is Tom Dumoulin capable of finishing on the podium of a Grand Tour within five years? This is a question we don’t ask about most of the riders in our team and was based upon the qualities of the rider. Tom is a rider who produces high absolute power values and also has a good watts/kg ratio. Those are capacities that make you a good GC rider.
With Tom we saw what he was capable of during time trials, but he was not easily able to achieve good power values at the end of a long race – something Barguil, for example, is capable of. If you really want to compete for victories, this is necessary because 99 percent of all races are decided not in the beginning but at the end of the stage or race.
This year Tom has become more consistent in showing a high level in the finale. Another weakness we saw in Tom was a characteristic that is disastrous for a GC rider: he regularly alternated good days with weak days, both during races and in training. He has also become more consistent in that regard this year.
Click here to read more at the Giant-Alpecin website.
Meintjes on Vuelta top ten finish: ‘Another one or two years and I can be right up there’
by Shane Stokes
After stepping up a level in the Vuelta a España Louis Meintjes has spoken about his improved confidence and what is a confirmation of his talent, saying that with a little more time he believes he will be a bona fide contender for Grand Tour races.
“I think with one or two more years of experience and a little more depth I could be right up there,” he said, speaking after netting 10th in the Spanish tour.
“[That means] to be right next to them instead of suffering on their wheels. My approach has always been to take it step by step up a level, and I feel like my progression has been on track.”
Meintjes’ result is the best Grand Tour finish thus far by a South African rider and highlighted an ability which was already seen in numerous races. Looking back, he considers that a better result might have been possible.
“My best day on the bike was during stage seven to La Alpujarra,” he said, assessing the race. “I feel like I held back and waiting too long. Looking back, I probably could have gone earlier.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Jack Bobridge signs with Trek Factory Racing for 2016
Trek Factory Racing has announced that former Australian road race champion Jack Bobridge will join the team in 2016.
“I’m really excited to join a new team”, said Bobridge, who is racing with Australian Continental team Budget Forklifts in 2015. “I heard great things about Trek Factory Racing and I know a couple of the guys here.
“For Trek to give me another go at the WorldTour and race the big races in Europe, that’s just fantastic. I’m excited to be able to do that again and I’m very motivated to try my best and have some good results. To be a part of such a well known team is going to be another great experience.”
General Manager Luca Guercilena said: “Jack’s record is impressive. He’s one of many alumnae of the ‘Australian Institute of Sport’ to make a successful step to the road and we’re very happy to welcome him aboard our team.”
Besides an emphasis on time trials and prologues, Bobridge will focus on the track as he prepares for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Geraint Thomas out of the World Championships
Despite being selected for Team Great Britain for the upcoming World Championships road race in Richmond, USA, Geraint Thomas has withdrawn from the event saying he doesn’t feel “physically” up for it.
“It’s been a hard decision to make but the season has taken its toll on me and I don’t feel physically up for a good Worlds,” Thomas, 29, wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want to go there just to make up the numbers, I’d want to be competitive or at least do a good job for the boys.”
“I love racing for GB and the Worlds are a really special race so it was a difficult decision to make, along with the team, but I feel it’s best to rest up now before it’s all systems go for a big year next year.”
Thomas believes a top-five result at the Tour de France is possible in 2016, as too is a medal on the track at the Rio Olympics.
Click through to read more at the BBC website.
Kwiatkowski: I would love to spend another year in the rainbow jersey
If Michal Kwiatkowski was to win the World Championships road race in Richmond on Sunday week he’d become the first rider in seven years to win back-to-back rainbow jerseys. And while the course doesn’t suit him as well as last year’s in Ponferrada, Spain, he’s not without a chance of a repeat victory.
“I would love to spend another year in the rainbow jersey,” Kwiatkowski told Cyclingnews. “It is the dream of every rider, and for sure, it is one of mine.”
Last year Poland qualified nine riders for the Worlds road race but this year only six will make it to the start line. The course features three short but steep climbs and a false-flat drag to the finish line.
“I haven’t seen the course yet and I’ve only seen profiles on YouTube or from hearing things about the course from other riders,” Kwiatkowski said. “As always it will depend on how the peloton wants to play, how the riders want to play and how the weather will play a factor in the race. For me right now, I heard it is a really hard finish and could come down to the very last kilometre.”
“I believe my condition is good for the road race at Worlds. It would be nice to have positive vibes after the two races in Quebec and to be optimistic going into the World Championships.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Lucy Garner joins Wiggle Honda
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling has announced that two-time junior world champion Lucy Garner will join the team in 2016 after signing a two-year contract.
Twenty-year-old Garner has spent the first three seasons of her professional career with the team currently known as Liv-Plantur but is looking forward to new opportunities with Wiggle Honda.
“It’s obviously a huge team, a really professional team, and they’ve had a lot of success,” Garner said. “For me, I just need the next step, a new challenge, and I feel that it’s that time now in my career when I need to make that step, and I think that Wiggle Honda they can really support me and help me with that. They’re really, really positive, and they really believe in my abilities as a sprinter.”
Team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore said in a press release that signing Garner was exciting for the team.
“It’s the perfect moment to have the opportunity to start working with Lucy,” Gilmore said. “We’ll have a very busy race schedule in 2016 and with many athletes focusing on Rio, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to support Lucy’s development and ambitions.”
Honda Civic’s Tourer concept was made with cycling in mind
Here’s Honda’s impressive effort to make a bike-friendly vehicle: the Civic Tourer concept car. The vehicle reportedly has a central fuel tank layout to allow the storage of two bikes plus a range of other cycling-specific integrations.
A retractable arm can be extended from the internal bike rack, creating a makeshift workstand, whilr a pump, retractable bench and toolbox are all included as well.
Here’s a video showing some of the features of the Civic Tourer:
Click here to read more at Bike Radar.
New trailer for The Program
The Program had its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend and, so far, it’s been met with largely positive reviews. The Guardian, for example, gave it four stars.
A new trailer for the film has just been released for the film too:
Five minutes with Richmond
Here’s a nice look at the host city of the upcoming Road World Championships, courtesy of Specialized:
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Vuelta a España photo gallery: stages 17 to 21
- Opinion: Despite a thrilling 2015 edition, it’s time for change at the Vuelta a España
- Bad days happen to the best of us
- Daily News Digest: Monday September 14