Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

November 22, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: WADA Foundation Board approves recommendations, re-elects president; IOC proposes WADA code amendment banning serious offences; Wiggins talks future plans in odd interviews at Ghent Six Day; Grassroots racing on the UCI Continental Tours; Cancellara inducted into Laureus Academy; How Luke Rowe spends the off-season; Mathew Hayman given special edition bike for Roubaix win; Behind the scenes of NBC’s Tour de France coverage; Mathieu van der Poel rode home after cancelled Koksijde; Wout van Aert fits in a sand skills section; Amateur riding the Tour de France ahead of the pros; Michele Scarponi’s off-season training partner; Cavendish shows off his dance moves.

Grassroots racing on the UCI Continental Tours

by CyclingTips

While the WorldTour is the pinnacle of cycling, the UCI has multiple circuits where racing happens all over the world. Referred to as the Continental Circuits, they began in 2001 with the goal of expanding racing outside of the traditional European Tour, where many famous non-WorldTour races now reside. On the very fringe, such as the Africa Tour, the level of events can vary widely, where even basic infrastructure can be difficult to come by.

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2016 Tour du Rwanda, part of the UCI Africa Tour.

There are as many stories of races that make it seem like it’s the ‘wild west’ with events running on bare-bones budgets. Riders tell stories of not even having a shower to use after a stage or hotel rooms booked the day-of a stage. However, the overall consensus is that spreading events around the globe have helped the sport. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

There’s still room for improvement, of course. [Dan] Craven says the propagation of UCI races in some African countries has surpassed the growth of amateur and lower-level events. Often, these UCI events will attract riders who lack the rudimentary skills that are often developed in the lower ranks. Since promoters spend their money to organize a UCI race, there’s no cash left over for a national series or lower-level events. But Craven believes African cycling is headed in the proper direction, and is not shy to credit the work of the UCI and its Continental Circuit.

Thanks to the decade-long support of the UCI, the sport is now in more places, and more riders have a chance to participate in the sport at increasingly higher levels. The number of teams and riders from Asia, South America, and Africa is growing. For example, according to the website CyclingIQ.com, Asian riders made up just 5.9 percent of professional riders in 2005. They now account for 14.9 percent. Over the same period, European representation in the pro ranks dropped from 77.7 to 66 percent.

It’s no coincidence that 2015 saw the first ever black African wearer of a leader’s jersey in the Tour de France, when Teklehaimanot — a product of the UCI’s World Cycling Center — spent four days in the polka-dot jersey. Like Craven, Teklehaimanot cut his teeth in the Africa Tour. At the 2010 Tour of Rwanda, Teklahaimanot finished second and Craven was third on the opening stage.

Click through to read more at VeloNews.

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