In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Simon Clarke inks contract with Cannondale-Garmin; UCI announces Women’s World Tour calendar and details; Linda Villumsen nearly fired over bike choice for Worlds ITT; Motor checks carried out at all events at Road World Championships; UCI to allow race radios in .1 and .HC races in 2016; Confusion over status of Johan Bruyneel and Eufemiano Fuentes in relation to sporting bans; Women’s Tour of California expands to four days; Michael Albasini re-signs with Orica-GreenEdge for two years; Nelson Oliveira joins Movistar; Other news from the transfer market; Kris Boeckmans walks out of hospital; GCN Takes On The Velodrome – With Sir Chris Hoy; Race In Richmond With GCN And Zwift – the highlights; The Road Ahead – ‘Across the Nullarbor’.
Simon Clarke inks contract with Cannondale-Garmin
by Shane Stokes
Former Vuelta a España King of the Mountains winner Simon Clarke is set to chase new opportunities during the 2016 season, with the 29-year-old confirming a move to the Cannondale-Garmin team for next year.
Clarke has been part of the Orica-GreenEdge setup for the past three seasons. It had already been confirmed that he was leaving the team, but his destination only became apparent on Wednesday.
“There is a really balanced feel about the team with a nice blend of super-talented emerging riders complementing those with greater experience,” he said. “I’m very excited to have an opportunity to play my role in the development and future successes of Cannondale-Garmin.”
Clarke’s successes include a stage win at the 2012 Vuelta and victory in the team time trial at the 2013 Tour de France and this year’s Giro d’Italia. The latter success set him up for a stint in the Maglia Rosa, which he took over on stage four.
“Simon has excellent experience and is a very good road captain,” Cannondale-Garmin CEO Jonathan Vaughters stated. “He has the ability to help guide some of our younger riders and is capable of great achievements himself. He will be a fantastic addition to the team.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
UCI announces Women’s World Tour calendar and details
by Anne-Marije Rook
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announced the launch of the UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT) and its calendar, which will replace the UCI Women Road World Cup.
The WWT will comprise a combination of one-day and stage races starting with the Strade Bianche in March and ending with the Madrid Challenge by the Vuelta in September. There will be a total of 35 race days at 17 events across nine countries in Europe, North America and Asia.
The UCI promises “substantial live broadcast and streaming” as well as a highlight packages and social media promotion. Out of the 17 races, eight will be broadcast live. Organisers meanwhile will be required to provide a news clip to be distributed to international broadcasters after the race finishes.
Only the top 20 UCI women’s teams will be invited to participate in the Tour, but race organisers may be allowed to invite more teams in the interest of increasing the size of the peloton.
“The UCI Women’s WorldTour will present a season-long calendar of events that will help build a strong narrative around our sport,” stated UCI Vice-president and Chair of the UCI Women’s Commission Tracey Gaudry. “With riders battling for honours in one-day classics and stage races as well as for overall WWT rankings, I’m convinced we now have a premier product that will bring a whole new set of fans to women’s cycling. This is an important moment for women’s cycling.”
Click here to read more at Ella CyclingTips.
Linda Villumsen nearly fired over bike choice for Worlds ITT
Linda Villumsen took a long-awaited victory in the World Championships ITT earlier this week, but the victory nearly came at the expense of her professional contract with trade team UnitedHealthcare. Rather than riding her team-issued, blue and white Willier TT bike, Villumsen rode an all-black, non-sponsor-supplied setup.
Mike Tamayo of UnitedHealthcare confirmed to Cyclingnews that team management contemplated firing Villumsen after her winning ride.
“It was discussed in order to protect our sponsors but it wasn’t something that was acted upon,” Tamayor said. “We considered all of our options with all of our sponsors.
“We found out that she wasn’t riding our team bike on the eleventh hour. It was very last minute. Our understanding from Cycling New Zealand’s performance director was that she couldn’t get the front end of her position low enough on her team bike and that they had to use a different bike and she had to use a smaller bike that our team does not make. It was more a matter of fit than one of technology.”
“Our sponsors are looking for a bit of an apology from Linda but we have as a team internal policies as far as fines for athletes as being not sponsor correct but we’ll deal with that internally and not publicly. She could be fined within the team.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Motor checks carried out at all events at world road race championships
The UCI has confirmed that all of the medallists thus far in the Road World Championships have had their bikes tested for motors, thus continuing checks that have been carried out at a number of other events this season.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) takes extremely seriously the issue of technological fraud such as concealed electric motors in bikes, and has therefore added far-reaching sanctions in its Regulations,” a statement from the UCI read. “We have been carrying out controls for many years and although those controls have never found any evidence of such fraud, we know we must be vigilant.”
“The 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond is the latest event where bikes have been controlled this season, including all top three riders of each race. These are extensive controls and nothing was found.”
The latest to undergo examinations were the medallists in Wednesday’s elite men’s time trial. The UCI didn’t indicate if the same checks will be carried out for the road race events, but this will presumably be the case.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
UCI to allow race radios in .1 and .HC races in 2016?
Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that the UCI has relaxed its rules on the use of race radios and that, from 2016 onwards, radios will be usable in .1 and .HC events in addition to WorldTour events.
CyclingTips has approached the UCI for comment on this decision but at the time of writing, no response had been received.
If indeed the regulations have been changed, it is not clear whether they would apply to women’s racing as well. As it stands race radios are only allowed in World Cup races (now Women’s World Tour races) but it’s unclear whether the rules have been relaxed to allow race radios in .1 women’s races as well.
Those in favour of the use of radios say the technology provides greater safety and helps to modernise the sport. Those critical of the technology argue it makes the racing robotic, with riders simply responding to directors’ orders from the team car.
Update: the UCI has since issued a press release confirming the changes to race radio rules in 2016, including that they’ll be allowed in “UCI Women’s WorldTour and class 1 World Cup events for Elite Women”
Click here to read more via Het Nieuwsblad.
Confusion over status of Johan Bruyneel and Eufemiano Fuentes in relation to sporting bans
by Shane Stokes
They are two of the most notorious names in cycling but, at this point in time, there is a clear lack of clarification about the status of Johan Bruyneel and Eufemiano Fuentes. They were absent from WADA’s recently-published list of support personnel who have been banned from working with athletes and others involved in sport.
CyclingTips has contacted three anti-doping organisations about the duo, who have each been linked to multiple cases of doping.
Despite the past history of the two individuals, however, none of those organisations has provided clarification as to whether or not they are considered suspended.
The status of several others on WADA’s Prohibited Association List is much more clear. This list is a collection of 114 names from the world of sport who are specifically banned from working with athletes.
Dr Michele Ferrari, Luis Garcia del Moral, Geert Leinders, Maurice Duquette, Carlo Santuccione, Mariano Piccoli, Bruno Leali and Guido Nigrelli all had past involvement in cycling and were implicated in doping practices. All bar Piccoli have been given lifetime bans.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Women’s Tour of California expands to four days
In the wake of the UCI’s announcement of the Women’s WorldTour schedule for 2016, organisers of the Amgen Tour of California have revealed that the event’s women’s race has been expanded from three days in 2015 to four days in 2016.
“With four days of women’s racing scheduled for 2016, I am proud that once again the Amgen Tour of California is taking an industry-leading role in creating a platform that promotes women’s cycling on the biggest national stage,” said Kristin Klein, the race’s executive director.
“It is also gratifying that because of the great admiration and positive reputation the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM continues to build among the global cycling community, our upcoming event has been chosen to be the first women’s race on U.S. soil to be held as part of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour.”
The four-stage race will be raced from May 19 to May 22. This year’s Women’s Tour of California was won by Trixi Worrack (Velocio-SRAM).
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Michael Albasini re-signs with Orica-GreenEdge for two years
Orica-GreenEdge has announced that five-time Tour de Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini will ride for the Australian-registered squad for another two years after re-signing with the team.
The Swiss rider has been with Orica-GreenEdge since the team’s inception four years ago, and acknowledges the successful partnership between he and the team.
“It was very easy for me to decide on staying at ORICA-GreenEDGE because I feel 100% at home on this team,” the 34-year-old said. “I feel the different roles that I have here fit perfectly with the type of rider I am.”
“I’m proud that I’m able to pass something on to the younger riders and the perspective of moving towards being a general classfication team is something I’m really exited about for us. The team has such deep line-up for the big races and I’m looking forward to doing my best for our aspirations here with guys like (Esteban) Chaves and the Yates brothers.”
“It’s great news that Michael is extending with the team and we hope that in the future he will eventually finish his career with us,” sport director Matt White said. “He has been a key member of our team since we started. He is such a versatile guy who has helped in getting us our biggest wins and who has also won some very solid races on his own.”
Nelson Oliveira joins Movistar
Movistar, meanwhile, has announced that three-time Portuguese time trial champion Nelson Oliveira will join the team in 2016 after a season that recently included a victory at the Vuelta a España.
Oliveira moves to Movistar after two seasons with Lampre-Merida and will spend at least two years racing with the Spanish outfit.
In addition to three national ITT titles and one road race title, Oliveira last year finished seventh in the World ITT championships in Spain. This year he was 13th.
Other news from the transfer market
There have been several additional announcements overnight about which riders are going where in 2016. Here’s a summary:
– Jesus Hernandez has extended his contract with Tinkoff-Saxo for one year. He has been with the setup since 2011 when he joined Saxo Bank-Sungard from Astana.
– Rafael Valls and Tomasz Marczynski will join Lotto Soudal in 2016, the former signing a two-year deal after leaving Lampre-Merida, the latter coming from Torku Sekerspor and signing for one year.
– Michael Golas and Gianni Moscon will race with Team Sky in 2016. Golas joins for one year from Etixx-Quick-Step, with whom he won Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen just last week. Moscon is the current Italian U23 champion and an all-round rider with plenty of potential.
Kris Boeckmans walks out of hospital
Kris Boeckmans’ recovery from serious injury has taken another positive step with the Belgian walking out of hospital yesterday.
— Kris Boeckmans (@krisboeckmans) September 24, 2015
It’s been nearly a month since Boeckmans crashed on stage 8 of the Vuelta, suffering significant facial trauma among other significant injuries. He was kept in an induced coma for several weeks and underwent facial surgery a week ago. With any luck he’ll only continue to improve from here.
GCN Takes On The Velodrome – With Sir Chris Hoy
Ahead of the new 6 Day race in London, the lads from GCN are joined by Sir Chris Hoy to have a bit of fun on London’s Olympic velodrome.
Race In Richmond With GCN And Zwift – the highlights
Earlier this week we published our review of the Zwift training tool/game/social network. Here’s another video from the team at GCN showing highlights of Simon Richardson racing around the Richmond Road World Championships circuit with several hundred others. Good fun.
If you’re interested in seeing the race in its entirety — as shot for a YouTube live stream — click here.
The Road Ahead: ‘Across the Nullarbor’
A few weeks back we shared the trailer for The Road Ahead: Across the Nullabor, a film which documents two brothers’ journey across the Nullarbor Plain on single-speed bikes to raise awareness for the Atma Cycles Foundation. The full-length, 22-minute doco is now online for your viewing pleasure.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Preview: elite men’s World Championships road race
- How to find a cycling coach
- #JaguarCycling ‘Why I Ride’ competition: only one spot left!
- Daily News Digest: Thursday September 24