In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: UCI hands out another four Pro Continental licences, all applicants now approved; Louis Meintjes to make Lampre-Merida debut at Tour Down Under; Trek Factory Racing to become Trek-Segafredo in 2016?; Cult Energy fails to pay riders November salary; Tour de Langkawi gets new organiser, WorldTour dreams remain alive; New disc brakes rule allows customers to spend more money; Cookson – the Qatar World Championships are a risk; Ebove – “the world’s most awesome bike simulator”?
UCI hands out another four Pro Continental licences, all applicants now approved
by Shane Stokes
The UCI confirmed on Thursday that all four remaining teams that had applied for a Pro Continental license in 2016 have been given a green light.
Approved in this latest round are Bardiani-CSF and Southeast (which will be named Tharcor in 2016) plus CCC-Sprandi-Polkowice and the current Europcar, which will be titled Direct Energie from January. All four had been passed over in the previous wave of licence confirmations, but now can breathe a sigh of relief.
“We were confident about the UCI licence and this is why we already scheduled the first races of 2016 season,” said Roberto Reverberi, Bardiani-CSF manager.
Direct Energie was in the news this week when French publication Ouest France said that it had missed out on the licence thus far due to money issues caused by a dispute with bike supplier Colnago. The bike 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.
A total of 23 Pro Continental teams will race in 2016, four more than this season: Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani CSF, Bora – Argon 18, Caja Rural – Seguros Rga, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Cofidis, Solutions Credits, Cult Energy – Stölting Group, Delko Marseille Provence KTM, Direct Energie, Drapac Professional Cycling, Fortuneo – Vital Concept, Funvic Soul Cycles – Carrefour, Nippo – Vini Fantini, One Pro Cycling, Roompot Oranje Peloton, Roth-Skoda, Rusvelo, Team Novo Nordisk, Tharcor, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team, Verva Activejet Pro Cycling Team and Wanty – Groupe Gobert.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Louis Meintjes to make Lampre-Merida debut at Tour Down Under
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Lampre-Merida’s South African recruit, Louis Meintjes, will make his debut with the Italian WorldTour squad at next month’s Tour Down Under.
Racing the Tour Down Under will presumably give Meintjes a chance to test his early season form against the likes of Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis and others, particularly on the queen stage to Willunga Hill.
La Gazzetta also suggests Diego Ulissi will return to the TDU in Lampre-Merida colours and will be looking to add to the stage victory he claimed into Stirling at the 2014 edition of the race.
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Trek Factory Racing to become Trek-Segafredo in 2016?
Trek Factory Racing appears to be getting a second title sponsor for the 2016 season with Italian coffee giant Segafredo linked with the American team.
Gazzetta dello Sport suggests the team will make an announcement about the partnership in the days leading up to Christmas. The linking of an Italian brand with the team is seen as a further step by Trek to attract Vincenzo Nibali once his contract runs out with Astana.
CyclingTips approached Trek Factory Racing to comment on the Segafredo partnership but the team declined to comment.
The news comes in the day after Trek Factory Racing announced a partnership with the famed Mapei sports science research centre in Milan.
Click here to read more at Gazzetta dello Sport.
Cult Energy fails to pay riders November salary
Danish website Ekstra Bladet reports that local ProContinental team Cult Energy has been unable to pay all of its riders for November following a budget shortfall.
“The fact now is that I cannot pay part of the November salary,” team bookkeeper Rene Thill explained. “I try to handle things so that high earners receive partial payment and those with lower pay their full salary paid. Everything depends on the next developments,” he wrote.
Cult Energy nearly folded at the end of the 2015 season after ongoing financial troubles but was saved at the last minute when the Stolting Group stepped in. Thill told Ekstra Bladet that the riders would be paid the remainder of their salary in the coming days.
Click here to read more at Ekstra Bladet.
Tour de Langkawi gets new organiser, WorldTour dreams remain alive
Last month it was announced that Ciclista Sports would take over as the new organiser of the Tour de Langkawi, becoming the fourth private operator to run Malaysia’s biggest bike race in the event’s 20-year history. And while the organiser might be new, aspirations of seeing the 2.HC Tour de Langkawi become part of the WorldTour very much aren’t.
Here’s an relevant excerpt from an interesting piece over at CyclingIQ:
“Naturally, the easiest way to attract more WorldTeams is to become a WorldTour event. Prior to the UCI’s decision to establish a WorldTour race in Beijing in 2011, LTdL was touted as the AsiaTour race most likely to meet the criteria to be upgraded from 2.HC to World Tour status. Snippets of high-level discussions concerning the details of such a plan have floated in and out of media for at least the last decade.
“In 2011, there were actually Ministry-level talks about when the LTdL should be upgraded to a WorldTour event. According to the plan, I made a 3-5 year outline to upgrade LTdL to that level. People just can’t understand how much is spent,” Ciclista Sports’ Emir Abdul Jalal said. “For a LTdL at WorldTour level I already put the budget at RM30-40m (AUD$10-13 million) to the Ministry. The financial part could be negotiated, but then the other issue was ‘if we organize LTdL how will the Malaysian riders have the opportunity to ride?’.
“The key issue apart from finances is whether a local team can get Pro Continental status. If they do, then that concludes the whole logic of the system. If I have a WorldTour race here but local riders can’t compete then it’s only a show here in Malaysia and nothing to do with development. Right now, it’s not economically or developmentally viable to have a WorldTour event.”
Click through to read the full article at CyclingIQ.
New disc brakes rule allows customers to spend more money
Not everyone’s happy about the continued introduction of disc brakes into the pro peloton with many suggesting it’s simply a manufacturer-led push to get consumers to get more bikes. That’s the thrust of this clever satirical news piece at the Cycling in the South Bay blog. Here’s an excerpt:
“The UCI Rules Committee announced that professional teams will be allowed to use disc brakes in all races for 2016. “We think this will help cyclists at all levels spend more money,” said committee chairman Snookie van der Sluit in a press release.
“There is a significant need for disc brakes among manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in every market segment,” said van der Sluit. “And disc brakes allow them to meet the need for more customer expenditures, which is a key component in making cycling even less affordable as a sport or recreational activity while simultaneously accelerating the twin trends of planned obsolescence and product incompatibility.”
Reactions in the cycling world were generally positive. “I don’t give two f*cks what we ride, all my shit’s free,” said Fabian Cancellara when asked about the rule change.
Click here to read the full post.
Cookson: the Qatar World Championships are a risk
Much has been made about the UCI’s decision to hold the 2016 World Championships in Qatar and now, in an interview with Wieler Revue, UCI president Brian Cookson admits it’s risky holding the race there. (Click through to 2:03 in the video below)
Ebove – “the world’s most awesome bike simulator”?
Here’s the promo video for an interesting-looking bike simulator called Ebove.
As Road.cc reports, the device is expected to cost between $6,000 and $8,000 and is currently available for pre-order in the Nordic countries. The Ebove will be available in other markets thereafter.
Click here to read more at road.cc.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- Visiting Orbea: a bike brand 175 years in the making
- What Chris Froome needs to do to address doubts: cycling analysts weigh in
- Roadtripping Switzerland
- Daily News Digest: Thursday December 3