Your Wednesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

February 1, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kittel takes Dubai Tour opener; Route announcement: Mt. Baldy summit, Big Bear TT to be decisive stages for 2017 Amgen Tour of California; Route details announced for 2017 Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease Women’s Race; No longer backing Contador, Majka stepping up a level in Grand Tours; CyclingTips podcast, Episode 24: Genevieve Jeanson on making peace with a tainted past; Back from the brink: The merger that saved IsoWhey-SwissWellness and the year ahead; Froome ready for Jayco Herald Sun Tour; Twenty teams to race 22nd Tour de Langkawi; Ciolek and Gerdemann retire; Simon Cope vows to clear his name; British Parliamentary group to investigate legal bias against cyclists; Video: Heroics in Bieles; Video: Interview with Christine Majerus; Video: Equipment for cyclocross.

Back from the brink: The merger that saved IsoWhey-SwissWellness and the year ahead

by Jamie Finch-Penninger

When the Jayco Herald Sun Tour kicks off in Melbourne tomorrow evening, four Australian Continental teams will be there, trying to make the most of their only Australian international race for the year. One of those teams will be IsoWhey Sports-SwissWellness, formerly known as Avanti-IsoWhey — Australia’s most successful Continental team. Despite everything the team has achieved in recent years, its owners had great difficulty in finding sponsors for the 2017 season. Jamie Finch-Penninger caught up with IsoWhey Sport-SwissWellness co-owner Andrew Christie-Johnston to learn more about the team’s battle for survival and how the team is shaping up for the season ahead. Here is an excerpt:

Securing sponsorship late meant the call for riders was also put out late. But the team still managed to secure a good, all-round group of riders. Particularly exciting will be the sprint combination of Scott Sunderland and Jesse Kerrison, who rank as some of the fastest Australians in a bunch dash, even including WorldTour riders.

“Last year we thought we were short on sprinters,” said IsoWhey Sport-SwissWellness co-owner Andrew Christie-Johnston frankly. “We only had two and with all the racing in Asia, Europe and Australia it was probably a bit much to ask them to step up in all of the races. So now it turns out we’ve got four sprinters.”

Scott Sunderland was renowned in his early years for putting out massive amounts of power on the track. But in his early road career he struggled up the climbs and in the longer races. He’s since become more adapted to the rigours of road racing and has shown that he contest the tough races as well as the easy ones.

“Scott Sunderland was a pretty late signing,” Christie-Johnston said. “We’ve been talking a long time with Scott about joining the team. I wanted to give him every opportunity to sign something with a Pro Conti team and I said I’d keep a spot open for him if he couldn’t. So we’ve ended up with four quality sprinters. AJ (Anthony Giacoppo) and Neil van der Ploeg are probably a bit more versatile than Scott and Jesse, whereas those two are more powerful. I think it’s a well-balanced sprint squad and with the difficulty of some of the races we do they’ll work really well together.”

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