In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Report – Cavendish, Renshaw and Eisel to sign contract with MTN-Qhubeka on Tuesday; Despite ASO’s acceptance, no Tour de France for London in 2017; Simon Gerrans defends two-leader tactic after Michael Matthews finishes second at worlds; Brailsford signals Sky’s intention to win all three Grand Tours in one season; Anti-doping falls behind as women’s racing grows; ‘Insane’ crow encounter; Peter Sagan’s season 2015 highlights.
Report: Cavendish, Renshaw and Eisel to sign contract with MTN-Qhubeka on Tuesday
by Shane Stokes
According to Sky Sports, the backing of new title sponsor Dimension Data and new partner Deloitte will allow the team currently known as MTN-Qhubeka to sign Mark Cavendish and six others this week.
Cavendish has long been linked to the team, with his agent speaking to the squad on the eve of the Tour de France in Utrecht and talks continuing since. If Sky is correct, the contracts will be inked by lunchtime on Tuesday.
It states that the six people he will take with him to the team include his current leadout rider Mark Renshaw, plus friend and former teammate Bernhard Eisel. The latter moved with him from HTC-Highroad to Sky, but remained there after Cavendish left. Also said to be moving with Cavendish is his personal soigneur.
The identities of the other three haven’t yet been named. Two of the Etixx–Quick-Step team management, Brian Holm and Rolf Aldag, have worked with Cavendish there and also in HTC-Highroad. One or both could, in theory, also move, although neither have said thus far that they will exit the current team.
Team Sky confirmed on Monday that Eisel will leave the team, paving the way for a reunion with Cavendish.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Despite ASO’s acceptance, no Tour de France for London in 2017
London hosted a hugely successful start of the Tour de France in 2014 and secured the acceptance of a return visit from the organisers, ASO, for 2017. However, despite the green light, the English capital has now backtracked and decided not to support the race after all.
The managing director of the Transport for London (TFL) company, which would have put up the funds, explained the decision.
“To ensure value for money we must make difficult choices,” Leon Daniels told BBC Sport. “We have always said that the return of the Tour was subject to funding.”
The decision was made last week, just one day before contracts were due to be signed. The news became public Monday when the BBC reported the turn of events.
The British capital was successful ahead of Edinburgh, Manchester plus several German regions. It is not now clear who will be given the chance to take over, but Germany is heavily tipped to be the destination.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Simon Gerrans defends two-leader tactic after Michael Matthews finishes second at worlds
In the wake of his second place finish in the Worlds road race on Sunday, Michael Matthews told media that there hadn’t been the level of cohesion in the Australian team that he would have liked. He was critical of the decision to race with two leaders, suggesting that he and Simon Gerrans were “sprinting against each other unfortunately”.
Speaking to Fairfax’s Rupert Guiness, Simon Gerrans suggests that racing with one leader rather than two wouldn’t have made a difference to the result on Sunday.
“Leading into the race [Matthews] was pretty vocal saying that he would like support from the team,” Gerrans told Fairfax Media from the US. “But under the circumstances and how we both prepared for the race we decided to go with the option of giving us both the opportunity. I think we both deserved that. We were both right there at the end of the day and regardless of whether we took a different tactic, Peter Sagan I think was clearly the best guy in the race. He really deserved to win. I’m not sure there is much we could have done about that.
“The way that Peter rode, it wouldn’t have mattered how many leaders you had in the team, we couldn’t have done much about that.”
“Everyone was really pleased with the result at the end of the day. The entire team did really well. It was never the case of somebody didn’t do what was asked of them, or somebody didn’t do what was expected of them throughout the day. Everyone was aware of their roles and expectations for the race.”
Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.
Brailsford signals Sky’s intention to win all three Grand Tours in one season
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has told Sky Sports that he and his team have big ambitions for season 2016, including possibly targeting victory in all three Grand Tours.
“Winning the big races intermittently is great, but ultimately, the challenge is to maintain that level of performance over a long period of time,” Brailsford said. “That is what we intend to do and that is what is driving us forward.
“At a preliminary stage, I don’t see why we can’t go for all three Grand Tours and have a real good crack at that. It’s very premature, but that would certainly be something that looks attractive next year.”
Brailsford also has his eye on a Monument victory, something that has eluded Sky since its inception in 2010: “We have got to put a lot of thought and effort into that next year, for sure.”
Click here to read more at Sky Sports.
Anti-doping falls behind as women’s racing grows
Over at VeloNews, reporter Caley Fretz has written an interesting piece about the growth of women’s cycling and how anti-doping is falling behind in that growth. Here’s an excerpt:
““We use our resources as effectively as we can, and at the moment, we’re targeting pretty effectively I think,” [UCI president Brian] Cookson said. But this is difficult to quantify. Only one woman is currently serving a ban, and another two are provisionally suspended, compared to 42 banned and 27 provisionally suspended men. Is this lack of doping positives in women’s cycling indicative of a clean peloton or one that is inadequately tested? Optimism suggests the former, cycling’s long history suggests the latter.
This is not intended to be overly pessimistic, but merely realistic, and it’s a view held, most often off the record, by top women in the sport. That old truism that women’s cycling is clean because there is less at stake — smaller prize lists and less prestige — is demonstrably false. As women’s cycling grows, that excuse will become even more insincere. If money were the only goal, the well-educated women’s field would find a different line of work. After all, there is no minimum salary and top women’s wages are equivalent to that of a young male domestique. Motivation to dope doesn’t only rise from the potential for financial gain.
Click here to read the full article at VeloNews.
‘Insane’ crow encounter
It’s magpie season here in Australia and experienced riders know all too well where not to cycle so as to avoid being swooped. But this video from YouTuber Stevo Canuck shows that the odd magpie swooping mightn’t be all that bad, compared to the encounter he had. Warning: contains coarse language.
Peter Sagan’s season 2015 highlights
We shared a similar video a month or so back but this new cut is well worth a look as well. It features some of the best (and most talked-about) moments from Peter Sagan’s 2015 season, including his thrilling victory in the World Championships road race on Sunday.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Photo gallery: Highlights from the 2015 Road World Championships
- A beginner’s guide to prepping for a criterium
- Daily News Digest: Monday September 28
- Giro della Donna Gran Fondo: Registrations Now Live!