In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Velon underlines backing for AIGCP, UCI in WorldTour reform, while hints of frustration amongst riders emerge; Düsseldorf confirmed as hosting Tour de France start in 2017; Armistead influences expansion of women’s Tour de Yorkshire; Women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race race secures 1.2 UCI status, bolsters Australia’s summer of racing; Off-bike punch-up at Vuelta a Costa Rica puts two riders in hospital; Looking back at INRNG’s predictions for 2015; Peter Sagan’s superb skiing on display; Fund to back ongoing rehabilitation of Martyn Ashton; Western Bulldogs ride the Great Ocean Road
Velon underlines backing for AIGCP, UCI in WorldTour reform, while hints of frustration amongst riders emerge
Commenting on last week’s declaration by ASO that it will remove the Tour de France plus its other events from the UCI WorldTour, the Velon teams’ association has said that it remains committed to the WorldTour reforms that are at the root of the dispute.
On Friday Tour organiser ASO said that it would move all of its events to the UCI Europe Tour calendar, registering the Tour as a 2.HC race. The significance of this is that it would reduce to 13 the maximum number of WorldTour teams that could potentially compete, shutting at least five out into the cold.
This in turn would create a massive instability in the sport, with the sponsors, management and riders connected to those teams no longer assured of a Tour de France place.
Responses to the issue were initially guarded – or, indeed, absent. One of the stakeholders, the team’s association AIGCP, has not answered requests for comment.
In contrast, Velon has now made its position known. It is a company representing 11 out of the 18 WorldTour teams, and states that it believes in the reforms the UCI has proposed.
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Düsseldorf confirmed as hosting Tour de France start in 2017
In September London mayor Boris Johnson unexpectedly abandoned a bid to host the start of the 2017 Tour de France; three months on from that, the site for the Grand Départ has been named.
German city Düsseldorf has stepped up to fill the void, continuing a revival of the sport in Germany.
The decision was confirmed by Tour organiser ASO on Tuesday, with the French company noting that it will be the 22nd Grand Départ outside French borders.
It also pointed out that the date was significant.
“Thirty years after West Berlin (1987), the Tour de France peloton will again set off from Germany as it launches the 104th edition of the race. This will be the fourth time that the Tour de France gets going in Germany.”
It said that further details will be revealed in January.
Click here to read more on CyclingTips.
Armistead influences expansion of women’s Tour de Yorkshire
World road race champion Lizzie Armitstead has spoken about how criticism from her helped bring about an important evolution in the women’s Tour de Yorkshire.
The British rider, who was disappointed with the 60 kilometre circuit race put on for women in last year’s first edition, said that speaking frankly about the issue led to a rethink.
“I was asked a lot, in every other interview, I was asked about the Tour de Yorkshire and why I didn’t participate in the race that they had last season,” she told BBC Radio Leeds. “I quite honestly said it wasn’t worth me making the travel for, or being able to get out of my professional contract with my team in Europe to race a criterium.”
“So that brutal honesty has paid off and yes, they’ve listened. There’s a full line 135 km stage now, so I’m very excited about it, it’s nice that they’ve given us that opportunity.”
Armitstead’s status as world champion has undoubtedly increased her influence and also the importance of race organisers having her on the start line.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race race secures 1.2 UCI status, bolsters Australia’s summer of racing
by Simone Giuliani
The women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has secured a UCI classification of 1.2, becoming the second Australian women’s race to obtain a ranking for 2016, which is bound to bolster the appeal of the nation’s summer season of racing for riders and fans alike.
Deakin University has also come on board as a sponsor of the January 30 race, which will now be known as the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, and it will be strengthened with the addition of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team in 2016.
In recent years the Oceania women’s calendar has been notable for its lack of UCI races but with the 2.2 classified Women’s Tour of New Zealand returning in 2015, the Santos Women’s Tour gaining a 2.2 ranking in 2016 and now the classification of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, the situation is looking healthier.
“From a UCI perspective there has been a very tangible focus on growing women’s cycling all around the world to raise the profile of women in cycling, to create a platform of high quality events in as many continents as we can,” said Tracey Gaudry, UCI vice president, president of the UCI Women’s Commission and UCI Oceania president.
Click here to read more at Ella CyclingTips.
Off-bike punch-up at Vuelta a Costa Rica puts two riders in hospital
It’s been a difficult edition of the Vuelta a Costa Rica, at least in terms of negative publicity.
On day one of the race several riders were injured when a taxi pulled across the road and cannoned into the peloton. More recently, riders and staff members from Reitt-Zumco-Mincho and Frijoles Los Tiernitocos-Arroz Halcon teams clashed at their team hotel, with the disagreement leading to injuries for two of the competitors.
According to La Nacion, Rónald Araya and Nieves Carrasco suffered a broken nose and cracked ribs, requiring treatment.
The farcical situation followed an earlier flare-up in the race, when one team accused another of bringing one of its riders down. The race jury didn’t sanction anyone and because of that, race leader Mainor Rojas plus his Ritt-Zumco-Mincho squad abandoned the race in protest.
This in turn led to the later altercation and the police being called to break things up.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Looking back at Inner Ring’s predictions for 2015
Cycling analyst the Inner Ring made a number of predictions at the start of the 2015 season and now revists them, assessing where those forecasts proved correct and where they were off the mark.
Here’s an excerpt:
Prediction 2: Alberto Contador will win the Giro
This one went right but was this the predictive equivalent of saying night follows day? What really mattered was whether Contador could win the Giro d’Italia and then perform in the Tour de France. Contador’s Giro-Tour double attempt was a big attraction of the season, only it seems he went too deep in May.
The prediction suggested Contador could try to establish an early lead and manage this – tapering off during the race if you like – only his best plans were countered by other teams making life as hard as possible. Astana in particular were rapacious and a serious shoulder injury made it worse for Contador.
He re-emerged in June to beat Nairo Quintana in the Route du Sud. His relative failure in the Tour de France was bad for him and a blow for the sport in general as it’s killed interest in the double for some time, although it’s worth remembering this was one case including a heavy crash injury rather than sports science proof that it can’t be done.
It leaves the Giro as the alternative grand tour, a test event to groom budding champions before a tilt at the Tour: an outcome with political and financial implications as ASO and RCS do battle.
Click here to read more on the Inner Ring site.
Fund to back ongoing rehabilitation of Martyn Ashton
A fund established to help paralysed rider Martyn Ashton to continue to maintain his physical fitness has confounded expectations, with the initial target of £7000 being exceeded many times over.
Ashton is a former professional mountain biker who found widespread fame in the sport and beyond through his Road Bike Party videos. He unfortunately suffered a spinal injury in 2013 and lost the use of his legs. Despite that, he has continued to push his limits, returning to the bike this year with a specially modified setup.
Ashton’s appeal is to fund physiotherapy, house modifications and adapted gym equipment, and the stunning response reflects the recognition of his achievements and fighting spirit. You can watch his comeback video below, and see the fund page here.
Video: Peter Sagan’s superb skiing on display
He’s known for his skills on a bike, but Peter Sagan is more than adept on a pair of skis too. Check this Tinkoff-Saxo video out, filmed at the team’s trip to the Courchevel ski station.
— Tinkoff Saxo (@tinkoff_saxo) December 22, 2015
Western Bulldogs ride the Great Ocean Road
Australian Rules team Western Bulldogs have taken to the bike as part of their pre-season buildup, riding the Great Ocean Road.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- CyclingTips merges with BikeExchange and expands into the US
- Giving back: how members of the pro cycling community are helping others
- Tacx Neo Smart trainer review
- Daily News Digest: Tuesday December 21