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by Mark Zalewski
December 7, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marianne Vos to return to cyclocross this month; Paralympian Michael Gallagher opens up about his EPO doping: ‘It’s a good thing I got caught’; Future of TJ Sport team uncertain; Doctor presents controversial article on dehydration and climbing power; Niels Albert on van Aert form and a Nys comeback; Tom Van Asbroeck to Cannondale-Drapac; Jason Lowndes signs for Cycling Academy Team; More speculation about 2017 Vuelta route; Louis Vuitton buys Pinarello; JLT–Condor unveils 2017 kit; State of Matter MAAP Racing to fold; Italy’s Strava king, son of doping doctor, trying to turn pro at 38; Cyclist killed by truck ruled accidental due to use of headphones; Jens Keukeleire unique off-season training; Beach racing in Belgium.
When the UCI announced the teams receiving WorldTour licenses for 2017, the Chinese-backed TJ Sport team, which is attempting to take over the Lampre-Merida WorldTour license, was not on the list. Instead, the press release said that as a new applicant the team had asked for more time with the application process. However, rumors are circulating that the team is having trouble and the cancellation of its planned December training camp are adding to those speculations.
Louis Meintjes is set to ride with the new TJ Sport team in 2017.
“There’s some concern, yes, at least until we get the OK from the UCI,” sports director Mario Scirea told VeloNews.
“We have to work for 2017 and leave the rest in the hands of [General manager Giuseppe Saronni]. Logically, though, until we have that OK we are all a little worried. I have faith in him [Saronni] in what he’s done in these 25 years, though. It’s not that he just decided to sign riders and then sit back and do nothing.”
TJ Sport is the name of an investment group created by China’s sports ministry to promote cycling in China. While the licensing process includes a lot of paperwork on the UCI side, it could pale in comparison to dealing with a hugely bureaucratic system like the communist Chinese government.
“We were assured that it was only a bureaucratic problem, so we are planning for 2017 as normal. Today, 10 or so cyclists visited a doctor for needed check-ups some they can receive their racing license,” Scirea said.
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