In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Tours of Qatar and Oman see a drop in number of WorldTour teams; Door ajar for Paolini at Katusha if cleared in cocaine case; Renshaw only looking to play support role at MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data; Itera-Katusha Continental team to close down; Why some cyclists are getting cheaper car insurance; Boulie Tacks bill exceeds $100,000; Sugary water better for performance than some sports drinks – study; Katusha moves from Shimano/Mavic to SRAM/Quarq in 2016; In the gym with Nathan Haas; Wiggle Honda’s Pre-Season Training Camp in Spain.
Tours of Qatar and Oman see a drop in number of WorldTour teams
by Shane Stokes
As was the case with the Tour of Qatar lineup announced on Tuesday by ASO, the team listing for the Tour of Oman is also a depleted one, in terms of WorldTour squads.
In contrast to the 2015 edition, when 12 WorldTour squads took part, a total of nine will be in attendance at the 2016 Tour of Oman in February. Those teams are Etixx-Quick Step, Ag2r-La Mondiale, Team Giant Alpecin, Lampre-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Katusha, Team Dimension Data and BMC Racing Team.
It is not clear why the numbers of WorldTour squads have dropped for the two ASO events.
The Tour of Oman lineup will be completed by 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 and United Healthcare Pro Cycling.
The race runs from February 16 – 21.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Door ajar for Paolini at Katusha if cleared in cocaine case
Team Katusha has left the door ajar for Luca Paolini in 2016, should the Italian be cleared of any wrongdoing in his B-sample analysis for cocaine.
Paolini returned a positive test for the banned substance at this year’s Tour de France. He was kicked out of the race and also had his contract with Katusha terminated. Five months on, with the case still underway, Katusha general manager Viatcheslav Ekimov says he is open to potentially having Paolini back, despite the damage the rider has done to the team’s reputation.
“If there is the decision that Luca is able to ride, we will take a special meeting, we’ll sit down, talk to Luca, to his agent, and we’ll see how we can be there, either involved or not involved, together or completely apart,” he said.
“Luca is Luca, he’s a great bike rider, a very experienced rider, but on the other hand his reputation has been damaged by himself. It’s not always easy to restore your reputation, especially when we’re talking about the whole team, the image of the team.
“First we will see what the result is, and second, what we can do about it. It’s difficult to say now; I’m not excluding anything. Luca is a very experienced rider – he could be a big part of the team, not necessarily Katusha, but any team.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Renshaw only looking to play support role at MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data
When lead-out man Mark Renshaw separated from sprinter Mark Cavendish in 2012 and went to Rabobank, the Australian spent a couple seasons plying his trade as a sprinter in his own right. But on the eve of his and Cavendish’s move from Etixx-Quick-Step to Dimension Data in 2016, Renshaw says he is more than happy in a support role.
“I had a goal-setting meeting and they asked me my individual goals and I said that I don’t have individual goals,” Renshaw said. “I’ll only ride for the team and for the sprinters so the goal will be to win 15 or 20 races with Cav, to win a classic with Edvald and these sorts of goals. It’s more about being on the highest level throughout the year and looking after Cav and some of the other guys at the bigger races.
“Sure throughout the year there are always opportunities that will get thrown in your lap, normally it happens once or twice a year and it’s just whether or not you can pull it off. 99 per cent of the time I will be working for other riders.”
With the world championships being held on a sprinter-friendly course in Qatar in 2016, Renshaw is hoping for a berth in the Australian team.
“This year will probably be the next chance for three or four years so I want to make the most of that. I’ve got a good track record in Qatar and it looks like I’ll race there after being away for a couple of years. I’m looking forward to hopefully being chosen for the team and bringing something to it,” he said.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Itera-Katusha Continental team to close down
The Russian Global Cycling Project, headed by energy magnate Igor Makarov, has indicated that it will drop its Itera-Katusha team in 2016 after five years.
With the Project’s efforts being focused on the ProContinental Gazprom-Rusvelo team in 2016, Makarov believes the Continental squad would have a “lack of purpose”.
The team has proved to be a good feeder for the Project’s WorldTour team, Katusha. Seven riders on the Katusha list for 2016 raced for Itera while another seven ride for the ProContinental squad.
The team’s closure comes in the week following the announcement of one-year bans to Itera-Katusha riders Andrey Lukonin and Ivan Lutsenko.
Click here to read more at Biciciclismo.
Why some cyclists are getting cheaper car insurance
An insurance firm in the UK is making headlines by offering discounted car insurance for cyclists as those who ride are a “better car insurance risks than the average driver”.
Carinsurance4cyclists.com claims to be the first insurance provider to identify the link between cycling and improved driving and has negotiated discounts with major UK Insurance Underwriters. The discount is only available to members of UK cycling clubs.
“We have been able to demonstrate to motor underwriters that cyclists, who are part of a club, are better car insurance risks than the average driver due to their enhanced spatial awareness, road alertness and healthy lifestyle,” the firm explains on its website.
Click here to read more at BikeBiz.
Boulie Tacks bill exceeds $100,000
The Herald Sun in Melbourne reports that VicRoads, the local roads authority, has now spent in excess of $100,000 removing tacks from Yarra Boulevard in the 22 months since they first started appearing.
VicRoads has been trialling six-day-a-week sweeping following reports of continued tack drops. Several protest rides have been held in recent months and local police have invested considerable time in finding the offender(s). But as yet no one has been charged. Aidan McGann from VicRoads told the Herald Sun that calls for CCTV cameras along the boulevard are unrealistic.
“The Yarra Boulevard is an unlit road with a quiet neighbourhood and low traffic volumes during the night,” he said. “Installing lighting, which is expensive, would have an impact on the local neighbourhood and not necessarily remove the risk of tacks being dropped.”
Sugary water better for performance than some sports drinks – study
A new study in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that sugary water offers greater performance gains for athletes — including cyclists — than some sports drinks.
The University of Bath researchers conducted a study with club cyclists to determine the impact of prolonged exercise on glycogen levels. They tested various sucrose- and glucose-based drinks and also found that cyclists found riding easier (including on their gut) when they took in sugar in the form of sucrose rather than glucose.
“The carbohydrate stores in our liver are vitally important when it comes to endurance exercise as they help us to maintain a stable blood sugar level,” lead researcher Dr Javier Gonzalez said. “However, whilst we have a relatively good understanding of the changes in our muscle carbohydrate stores with exercise and nutrition, we know very little about optimising liver carbohydrate stores during and after exercise.
“We found that the exercise felt easier, and the gut comfort of the cyclists was better, when they ingested sucrose compared to glucose. This suggests that, when your goal is to maximise carbohydrate availability, sucrose is probably a better source of carbohydrate to ingest than glucose.”
Katusha moves from Shimano/Mavic to SRAM/Quarq in 2016
Katusha change from Shimano and Mavic to Sram and its associate brands Zipp and Quarq for 2016 https://t.co/gPLhwjKUxJ
— the Inner Ring (@inrng) December 2, 2015
In the gym with Nathan Haas
The team over at The Peloton Brief creates some great little videos, including this latest one with Nathan Haas in which the Australia shares his gym routine.
Wiggle Honda’s Pre-Season Training Camp in Spain
And speaking of gym work, here’s a behind the scenes video from Wiggle Honda’s pre-season camp. The team produced the best videos in the women’s peloton in 2015 and we’re looking forward to many more in 2016.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- What Chris Froome needs to do to address doubts: cycling analysts weigh in
- Opinion: Why Chris Froome’s data release is warranted, overdue and potentially a big step forward
- 2500 K’s to Brisbane, week one: What the hell have I gotten myself into?!
- Roadtripping Switzerland
- Daily News Digest: Wednesday December 2