In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Holm says Cavendish may need to pick and choose targets in busy 2016; Drop in level of teams competing in Tour of Qatar; Triple world champion Stybar to ride only one cyclo-cross race this season; Ochowicz states Richie Porte can win a Grand Tour; Spat with Colnago said to be reason why Direct Energie hasn’t yet been granted 2016 licence; Spanish amateur cycling team implicated in busted doping ring; Daniele Bennati portrait; Riding Arcalís (Ordino) with Dan Martin
Holm says Cavendish may need to pick and choose targets in busy 2016
Mark Cavendish is determined to have a strong first season with his new Dimension Data team but, according to long time mentor Brian Holm, it may be necessary for the Briton to prioritise what he wants to do in what will be a very busy three months.
The 2016 season will be complicated somewhat by the addition of two additional targets to what would otherwise be his standard programme.
Next year, the Rio Olympics and a pancake-flat world championships in Qatar offer two additional targets for the Manxman. According to Holm, that will make things a little more complex.
“He has got the Olympics coming up, he has got the world championships,” he told CyclingTips. “So it is going to be confusing for everyone this year as to where the target is going to be.
“Is it going to be the Tour de France, is it going to be the world championships, is it going to be the Olympics? Are there going to be a few shots in the six shooter to do something? I am not sure he is going to do it [all].”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Drop in level of teams competing in Tour of Qatar
Although the world road race championships will be held there next year, there will be a drop in the number of WorldTour teams lining out in the 2016 Tour of Qatar in February.
Race organisers ASO announced the lineup on Tuesday, with just eight top-level squads set to take part. These are Ag2r La Mondiale, Team Giant Alpecin. Lampre-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Team Lotto Nl-Jumbo, Team Dimension Data, BMC Racing Team and Katusha.
Missing this time around are multiple race winners Etixx – Quick-Step, as well as seven others that rode in 2015. These are Team Sky, Orica-GreenEdge, Trek Factory Racing, Tinkoff-Saxo, Movistar, FDJ and IAM Cycling. There was no explanation for the drop in those teams.
The lineup will be completed by the Pro Continental squads Drapac Professional Cycling, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Wanty Groupe Gobert, Cult Energy-Stolting Group, Fortuneo Vital Concept, Bora – Argon 18, Roompot-Oranje Peloton, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team and United Healthcare Pro Cycling.
Meanwhile a total of fifteen squads have been announced for the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar. These are Ale Cipollini, Australia – AIS Cycling, Boels/Dolmans, Canyon Sram, China Chongming-Liv-Champion-System, Cylance Pro Cycling Team, Equipe De France, Hitec Products, Italian Cycling Federation, Lares-Waowdeals Uci Women Team, Orica-AIS, Rabo Liv, Team Liv Plantur, Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team and Wiggle.
Triple world champion Stybar to ride only one cyclo-cross race this season
Citing low current form and also a desire to be fully ready for the upcoming road season, Zdenek Stybar has taken the decision to do only one more cyclo-cross race this winter.
The triple world champion will line out in Sunday’s Grand Prix Rouwmoer, which is situated in Essen, a town he considers a second home.
“After the Boonen and Friends Charity Event, I talked with my team and agreed that I wouldn’t do any cyclo-cross event this season, except Essen, and instead turn my attention to road training prior to the next season,” he said. The Czech rider added that his participation last weekend in the Boonen and Friends cyclo-cross showed him that he is behind schedule.
“For me it’s a tough decision, because everybody knows how much I’m fond of this discipline,” he said.
“But I don’t want to race a cyclo-cross calendar without being in good condition, because it would be disrespectful for the organizers and the fans.” He said that after the race, he will join his Etixx – Quick-Step team at its training damp in Denia.
Ochowicz states Richie Porte can win a Grand Tour
Speaking in advance of Richie Porte starting with the team in a month’s time, BMC Racing Team general manager Jim Ochowicz has said he is convinced the Australian has what it takes to win a three week race.
“What happened in the past is in the past,” he told VeloNews, referring to Porte running into a drop in form in previous Grand Tours. “In terms of performance, he’s been a winner and a loser too.
“[His bad luck is not] due to a lack of preparation or conditioning. I’ve not seen him wither away on the bike unless there was a real reason for it.”
Because of that, he has faith in Porte’s abilities and his potential. “He can win a Grand Tour because he can go three weeks in a stage race, he has the qualities and abilities, he’s a good rider in the peloton, he can hold his position.
“He can climb and time trial, and that’s more of what this 2016 Tour is about.”
Click here to read more at Velonews.
Spat with Colnago said to be reason why Direct Energie hasn’t yet been granted 2016 licence
The reason for the Direct Energie team to miss out thus far on a Pro Continental licence hasn’t yet been made clear but, according to French publication Ouest France, money issues caused by a dispute with bike supplier Colnago are the cause.
The team is currently racing under the Europcar title and has used Colnago bikes. The company was reportedly criticised prior to the Tour by the team’s star rider, Pierre Rolland. As a result of that, the company has apparently refused to pay its final instalment of cash to the team.
This in turn has led to the team’s management company SA Vendée Cyclisme drawing on the bank guarantee lodged with the UCI in order to cover the riders’ salaries.
Teams must pay a bank guarantee covering three months’ salary to the UCI each season, with money being used in the case of financial emergency.
Team owner Jean-René Bernaudeau has reportedly taken Colnago to court in order to get the final payment, but a verdict won’t be announced until December 14.
Spanish amateur cycling team implicated in busted doping ring
An unnamed Spanish amateur squad has been implicated in a Spanish police move against a network distributing illegal doping products to athletes. Ten people have been arrested, amongst them the technical director of the squad.
Others detailed in a police raid were four pharmacists, one nurse plus a gym owner; doctors and veterinarians were amongst 11 others investigated. All 21 have been charged with a number of offences, including crimes against public health.
The raids included two homes in Cuenca and a gym in Motilla del Palancar, and saw 3,000 packs of anabolic steroids being confiscated.
According to the Spanish Guardia Civil, forged prescriptions and drugs intended for animal use were amongst the items employed by the network.
Click here to read more at the Sports Integrity Initiative.
Daniele Bennati portrait
Rouleur have printed a very interesting portrait of the Tinkoff rider Daniele Bennati, who talks about his domestique roles for riders such as Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan.
Here’s an excerpt:
Bennati, despite an impressive palmarés that includes 11 Grand Tour stage wins, began his career in the professional ranks as lead out man to Mario Cipollini. In recent years, “Benna” has taken on a more complex role, that of the road captain, serving talents as diverse as Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan.
“It’s not easy to do everything,” he says. “It’s two completely different jobs. When I work for Alberto, I am in the wind immediately, or after 5km, or 50km, or 100km. I have to put my face in the wind a lot. When I arrive at the final, I’m completely fucked.
“This is completely different to when I work for Peter, because most of the time I need to lead him out. This year, I did that at the Tour de Suisse, the Tour of California, sometimes at the Vuelta, and Abu Dhabi. It’s two completely different jobs. I don’t think everybody could do this. It’s not easy.”
Click here to read more at Rouleur’s website
Riding Arcalís (Ordino) with Dan Martin
An interesting video by the Col Collective, who ride the Arcalís climb in Andorra with its resident Irishman, Dan Martin.
You can read more here
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Roadtripping Switzerland Smiles for miles: a weekend away with Ella and Soigneur
- Ella Picks
- Five essential yoga poses for cyclists
- Daily News Digest: Tuesday December 1