Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

April 25, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Mitchelton-Scott: How GreenEdge plans to bring Chinese riders, and sponsors, to the WorldTour; Huffman, Wiles win Tour of the Gila; Scarponi to be buried Tuesday, in cycling kit; Impey breaks collarbone in Liege crash; Vansummeren joins Synergy Baku as advisor; Averin suspended for positive maldonium test; Chad Young in stable condition after bad crash at Gila; Meeusen moves up switch from Telenet-Fidea to Beobank Corendon; Lefevere acquitted for tax irregularities involving prize money; Grafton to Inverell to feature women’s category; Black Key Bulls, Kappa Alpha Theta win Little 500 titles; Watch a Little 500 rider exchange; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Liège-Bastogne-Liège highlights.

Mitchelton-Scott: How GreenEdge plans to bring Chinese riders, and sponsors, to the WorldTour

by Matt de Neef

It was back in January that GreenEdge Cycling first announced the creation of a new Continental team. Registered in China and backed by Gerry Ryan, Mitchelton-Scott was to feature a combination of Chinese and Australian riders. So how did this new team come about? And why? What’s the link between Mitchelton-Scott and Orica-Scott? And what does the creation of the new team mean for the existing road development pathway for Australian male cyclists, the WorldTour Academy? Here is an excerpt from the feature:

While the formation of Mitchelton-Scott is a push into the Chinese market, it’s also a move to anticipate potential changes to road cycling’s team structure. For several years now there’s been talk of the UCI introducing a mandatory development pathway for the sport’s biggest teams. That change would require all men’s WorldTour team to have a second-division, feeder team; a team that would take part in .1 and .HC races — the second and third tier of racing — with those riders getting valuable experience before stepping up to the highest level of the sport.

Australia already has a development pathway for its promising young male road riders — the Jayco-AIS WorldTour Academy. Through the academy, these potential stars of the future get the chance to participate in Under-23 and .2 (fourth-tier) races in Europe. Unfortunately, it’s a significant jump from that level of racing to the WorldTour. As James Victor explains, having Mitchelton-Scott race .1 and .HC races would provide a better transition for up-and-coming riders.

“Instead of progressing, or trying to transition straight into WorldTour out of U23s, I think the gap is getting bigger and bigger every year,” Victor said. “I’ve tried to explain to the guys what I’ve seen happen over the last seven years and how that gap is getting bigger and how much harder it is to find your way in WorldTour in the first few years.

“If there was a division-two level, to race at a .1 or .HC level I think would be a better transition. And if the UCI in their regulations can allow that transition to be done a lot smoother I think it’s for the overall health of the sport and also the health of the athletes as well.”

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Today’s feature image comes from Liège-Bastogne-Liège.