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by Shane Stokes
January 6, 2016
Photography by Gruber Images, Matt de Neef & Cor Vos
NEWS & RACING BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHAPTER2 BIKES
In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Twilight criteriums kick-start Australian Road Nationals; Recovered from injury, Brammeier sees Cavendish leadout train as best route to the Tour de France; Mark Cavendish chasing Tour de France yellow, Olympics gold and road world title in 2016; Craddock eager to continue evolution after move to Cannondale Pro Cycling; Top Irish rider Irvine retires at 30; Searvogel surpasses 77 year old annual distance record; Germany begins 100 kilometre car-free bike highway; Behind the scenes: BMC Racing Team 2016 kick off; Introducing the 2016 Wiggle High5 team; The GCN Show Ep. 156: New Year, New Pro Cycling Kits and a very different pro interview
The Australian Road National Championships start in Ballarat today with three town-centre criterium races. The 1.1km Sturt Street hotdog circuit features a downhill back straight and a long uphill drag to the line.
The U23 men set off at 4:30pm, the U23 & Elite women start at 5:30pm and the elite men are off at 7pm. Here are just some of the riders to watch out for in each race:
U23 men: Daniel Fitter, Chris Hamilton (defending champion), Mathew Ross, Jesse Kerrison.
U23 & elite women: Kimberley Wells (defending champion), Lauren Kitchen (former winner), Loren Rowney, Chloe Hosking, Peta Mullens (defending road race champion), Sarah Roy (former winner), Lizzie Williams (2016 Bay Crits stage winner), Chloe McConville.
Elite men: Caleb Ewan (Bay Crits winner), Scott Sunderland (Shimano Supercrit winner), Neil van der Ploeg, Steele von Hoff (defending champion), Shannon Johnson, Anthony Giacoppo.
Stay posted to CyclingTips and Ella CyclingTips this evening for reports from the races. We’ll also have a brief preview of the time trials in tomorrow’s Daily News Digest.
The 2015 season was a rollercoaster one for Matt Brammeier, who picked up a new team, clocked up his biggest win and later smashed into a car during the Tour of Utah and ended up in hospital with multiple fractures.
Now recovered, he’s hoping for the highs without the lows in 2016 and has a very clear goal in mind.
“I want to do the Tour de France,” he told CyclingTips, speaking in Belgium prior to heading back to his base in Girona, Spain.
“That is what I am aiming for, to be selected for the Tour and to be part of the team’s leadout train in the race.”
Brammeier has never ridden a Grand Tour before. Making his three week debut in the sport’s top event will require two things. Firstly, he will need to be in top condition and to show that in the buildup to the race. The team is much stronger in 2016 than 2015, and places will have to be earned for the major events.
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Speaking of Cavendish, the Manxman has laid out some very high targets for 2016. He has said that a first-ever tenure in the yellow jersey, victory in the Olympic omnium event and a second world road race title are possible in the coming season.
“It’s a pretty full on year, but I’ve done it before, when I backed up that last half of the season in 2011 [to win] the [Tour de France] green jersey and the Worlds,” he said.
“I think I can do it again – I’m in a great environment to do it.”
Cavendish has been working on his track fitness over the winter, being based in Manchester since December. He will be spending times concentrating on that area of the sport in the buildup to Rio, being given a green light to do so by his new Dimension Data team.
However, despite the split programme, he also believes he can achieve very considerable targets on the road.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Lawson Craddock is regarded by many as one of American cycling’s most exciting young talents. His third place overall in the 2014 Tour of California is a beacon as to his ability, and so too his seventh in the 2013 USA Pro Cycling Challenge at just 21 years of age.
He’s just moved from Giant-Alpecin to Cannondale Pro Cycling, and is ready to seize his opportunities.
“I had two good years with Giant-Alpecin, and I really enjoyed the team, but there comes a time when you want to take that next step,” he told VeloNews. “When I looked at what would be the best place to progress, that was Cannondale.”
Craddock showed his strength last season in assisting Tom Dumoulin in his superb Vuelta showing and sees himself following the same path.
“I’d love to progress into a stage racer,” he said. “The next step is to get more results. I will be there to help the team when I can and when they need me, but I hope to start to target the one-week stage races.
“I want to try to get some results the next few years, and if that’s successful, start to focus on the grand tours. I am 24 [in February], so I’ve got some more time ahead of me.”
Click here to read more at Velonews.
He’s Ireland’s best track rider and one who ended a 117 year old wait for a track cycling gold medal in 2013 but, just three years after that achievement, Martyn Irvine has brought an end to his career.
The 30 year old’s bid to chase a medal in the Rio Olympics was derailed by crashes and then a shortage of form, leading to a drop in motivation.
It’s a tale many pro riders will identify with, with difficult career periods leading to self-doubt. “I hated being a donkey last year,” the 2013 world scratch race champion said on Tuesday. “I didn’t lose the love, but feel that something is gone in my head and I am just not enjoying it.
“I just hate to turn up every race and not perform as I should. I don’t like to be just pack filler, I like to be racing. I haven’t really been properly in a race for over a year now, to be honest.”
Irvine’s success has been a big help in pushing for Ireland’s first indoor velodrome. It looks increasingly likely to happen, and is expected to be constructed prior to the 2020 Olympic Games.
Click here to read more at the Irish Times. And click here to see his scratch race win, which was hailed at the time as one of the most exciting races of the competition.
Kurt Searvogel has broken the incredible – and long-standing – record held by Tommy Godwin for the most number of miles covered in a single year.
On Monday Searvogel surpassed Godwin’s 1939 mark of 75,065 miles (120,805 kilometres), covering 75,270 miles (121,135 kilometres). His attempt began on January 10 last year and he has several more days to further stretch his advantage.
The 53-year-old is from Sheridan in Arkansas, and has averaged just over 209 miles per day.
Last February supporters of Searvogel plus Britain’s Steve Abraham went head to head on social media. Abraham was also trying to break the same record, although his bid was restarted in August due to a collision with a moped that broke his ankle.
His fans argued that Searvogel’s use of a recumbent plus flat roads went against the spirit of Godwin’s record.
Click here and here to read more at Bicycling and Cycling Weekly.
Beginning a project that will eventually stretch 100 kilometres in length, Germany has opened a three mile stretch of a bicycle highway. The scheme is completely car free and will ultimately connect ten western cities plus four universities.
According to a study by the regional development group RVR, the highway should reduce the daily car volume by 50,000.
The system is constructed like a traditional highway, with passing lanes, over- and underpasses plus streetlights all included. However the exclusion of other vehicles will create a far safer environment, and one which could inspire other regions and countries to follow suit.
Click here to read more at SunnySkyz.
The riders of the BMC Racing Team get together pre-season, working on their fitness and also talking about their goals. Catch up with Tejay Van Garderen and others here.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: