TOP STORY: Tinkoff Buy’s Riis Cycling (again)?
This was a big non-story a month ago and we reported on it then as the Gazzetta dello Sport was convinced that Russian banker Oleg Tinkov had bought the Saxo Bank team from Bjarne Riis for around €6 million. At the time all media reported the story which was then denied by Tinkov and Saxo Bank, it now looks not to be the non-story many said it was.
A press conference has been called for Monday (today) at 3 o’clock GMT in Google London in the company of Bjarne Riis, Alberto Contador and Nicolas Roche and one would guess; Oleg Tinkov. The conference will be streamed live by GCN and you can find it on YouTube.
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Tinkov will be investing around €12 million a year in the team and have full control. Bjarne Riis will stay on as team manager for four years. Riis’s position with the team might depend on a report from the Danish anti-doping agency which is due. One wonders how chilly things might be between Tinkov and Contador considering the Twitters from the Russian aimed at the Spaniard after the Tour de France. He has changed his tune with new Tweets: “Conta is getting ready to kick ass of Froome))) and I am behind it YET” and “I believe that Bjarne Riis is the best Sport D`erector in the peloton. I also believe that Alberto Contador is able to win TdF. Regardless.” Although he recently wrote: “The internet is for porn and fun. Don’t get that serious with what I’m Saying here. It entertains. All trouble is coming from serious faces”.
***Yes it’s all true, Oleg Tinkov now owns Riis Cycling, now called Tinkoff Sport.***
We will all be in the picture on Monday.
Six Days of Zurich 2013
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider iljo Keisse and teammate Silvan Dillier won Six Days of Zurich on Saturday, adding another win to the OPQS three-discipline tally in 2013.
Keisse and Dillier were just five points outside the lead going into the final day, and were in second place even the first two days. Keisse’s track victory brings the total for OPQS to 60.
Keisse’s victory in Zurich means he opened and closed the 2013 race season for OPQS with wins. Keisse and OPQS rider Niki Terpstra also won Six Days of Rotterdam in January.
“When we entered into the last race of the week I thought that it would have been difficult for us to win this race,” Keisse said. “It was a little bit the same scenario in Six Days of Gent. We were fighting to come back, but in the end we didn’t make it. We were 25 points behind. We started racing, everyone was really tired after the night before because it was really hard. But 20 laps to go on the last night, the group exploded. We went for the lap, me and Silvan, and we were able to close the gap on everyone. De Ketele and De Buyst tried to do the same but were unable to make it by a few meters. So, we won this race and to be honest I am quite happy because of it. For me, it is a bit of revenge after the 2nd place in Gent. Before Gent I worked really hard to try and win the race of my hometown. Everybody knows how much I love that race. Now, winning in Zurich is a good compensation for all the work I did in the last weeks.”
This is the second victory in Zurich for Keisse. He won in 2011 with Franco Marvulli.
“Now I am at home, tired,” Keisse said. “After a Six Days race, when it’s possible, I prefer to go back home immediately and enjoy the day after with my family. My next race on the track will be the 5th of December in Copenhagen. Then I will fly to Spain for the team training camp. I am looking forward to the upcoming training camp with OPQS.”
Thanks to OPQS for the report.
Six Days of Zurich Result:
1. Iljo Keisse/Silvan Diller (Lerch & Partner) 258pts.
2. Kenny De Ketele/Jasper De Buyst (Riposa) at 1 lap 283pts.
3. David Muntaner/Albert Torres (Argon 18) at 3 laps 182pts.
4. Stefan Kung/Théry Schir (Lerch Promotions) at 4 laps 187pts.
5. Morgan Kneisky/Vivien Brisse (Habegger) at 6 laps 121pts.
6. Leif Lampater/Jan Keller (Samsung) at 6 laps 97pts.
7. Christian Grasmann/Andreas Graf (Haba) at 9 laps 89pts.
8. Marc Hester/Jasper Morkov (Hotel Stermen Oerlikon) at 12 laps 160pts.
9. Franco Marvulli/Tristan Marguet (Skoda) at 16 laps 160pts.
10. Michel Kreder/Raymond Kreder (Sharp) at 20 laps 27pts.
The Zurich podium:
Photo: Zurich 6 Days.
Boonen & Friends Cyclo-Cross 2013
Even with a minute’s handicap Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) won the Boonen & Friends cyclo-cross for a second consecutive year in Boonen’s birth place of Zilvermeer in Mol, Belgium on Saturday. The annual fund-raising race for ‘Move To Improve’, a charity that supports children with neuromotor difficulties.
On the sandy course Stybar caught 2009 winner Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) on the last lap, then jumped away for the victory. Wynants held on for second place with Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) in third.
Tom Boonen, who couldn’t ride last year due to a severe intestinal infection, finished 12th in the new mostly black 2014 Omega Pharma – Quick-Step kit. “It was a hard race and everybody had to dig deep. I have to say thanks to all the guys that participated here. Some of them haven’t touched a bike for a while or never raced at a cyclo-cross bike before,” said the Belgian multi champion.
Boonen & Friends Cyclo-Cross Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar
2. Maarten Wynants at 0:15
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck at 0:45
4. Floris De Tier
5. Julian Alaphilippe
6. Sean De Bie
7. Kevin Van Hoovels
8. Dennis Vanendert
9. Xandro Meurisse
10. Bert Vanlerberghe.
A day with Tom Boonen & Friends:
The Ex-Champions Event Result:
1. Arne Daelmans
2. Koen Beeckman at 0:30
3. Ken De Dijcker
4. Tom Steels
5. Marc Janssens
6. Rudy De Bie
7. Davide Bramati
8. Rolf Aldag
9. Dave Bruylandts
10. Jo Planckaert.
Tom Boonen shows off the new 2014 Omega Pharma – Quick-Step kit:
Tour de San Luis 2014: 12 World Tour Teams at the starting line
The 2014 Tour de San Luis promises to be spectacular. The eighth edition of this Argentinean race will kick off on January 20th from San Luis, capital of the namesake province that the race is named after, and will wind up on the 26th at Terrazas del Portezuelo. There will be seven stages covering a total of 1,030.80 km, with three high altitude arrivals and an individual time trial. The entire route is spectacular in all aspects and significant, high-level participation will make it even more special. No less than 24 teams – for a total of 150 riders –will be lining up for the start and of these, 12 teams are part of the WorldTour: AG2R-La Mondiale (FRA), Astana Pro Team (KAZ), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA), Garmin – Sharp (USA), Katusha (RUS), Lampre-Merida (ITA), Lotto-Belisol (BEL), Movistar Team (ESP), Omega Pharma-Quick Step (BEL), Orica Greenedge (AUS), Trek Factory Racing (USA).
Also four ProfessionalContinental teams: Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela (ITA), Bretagne-Seche Environnement (FRA), Team Novo Nordisk (USA) and United healthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA).
Two of the participating teams are Continental: Colombia Coldeportes (COL) and Jamis – Hagens Berman (USA).
Six are South American: San Luis somos todos (ARG), Provincia de Buenos Aires (ARG), Argentina’s National Team, Cuba’s National Team, Chile’s National Team, Rudi Project-DataRo (BRA).
Stage 1. San Luis – Villa Mercedes 164 km.
Stage 2. La Punta – Mirador del Potrero 170.6 km.
Stage 3. Tilisarao – Juana Koslay 175.8 km.
Stage 4. El Potrero de los Funes – Alto del Amago 168.7 km.
Stage 5. Sal Luis – San Luis CRI 19.2 km.
Stage 6. Las Chacras – Merlo (Mirador del Sol) 184.4 km.
Stage 7. San Luis – Terrazas del PorteZuelo 148.1 km.
Escartín Replaces Olano at La Vuelta
One of the top climbers in the peloton in the 90’s, Fernando Escartín, will replace Abraham Olano as race director of the Vuelta a España and will design the rare route along with Paco Giner, according to Spanish sports paper AS. Escartín was runner up twice in the Spanish Grand Tour and third in the Tour de France and was always one of the more aggressive riders in the mountains, his style on the bike was not the most beautiful, but it was effective.
Fernando Escartín wins the epic Tour de France stage to Piau Engaly in 1999:
Less Summit Finishes in the 2014 Vuelta?
AS are reporting that next year’s Vuelta a España will have less mountain finishes and will miss the Pyrenees altogether. After the start in Jerez de la Frontera in the south of Spain, the race goes north to Castilla la Mancha and Aragon before jumping to Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. The race will miss out Catalonia, Valencia (again) and the hot bed of cycling; The Basque Country.
2015 Tour de France Starts with 13.7km Time Trial
In 2015, the Netherlands will host the Grand Start of the Tour de France for the sixth time. Utrecht, one of the cities which have done the most to foster a cycling culture will be the meeting point for the riders and fans to celebrate cycling in all its dimensions. The festivities started this morning at the residence of the Dutch ambassador to France in Paris. Bernard Hinault, Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk, some of the distinguished guests in attendance, then hopped onto a Thalys painted in Tour livery which took them to Utrecht.
The countdown has begun. There is a year, seven months and six days until the 102nd edition of the Tour de France kicks off from Utrecht. The fourth largest city in the Netherlands will be at the heart of the cycling world as well as its country. After bursting back onto the scene in July 2013 with Bauke Mollema (6th) and Laurens Ten Dam (13th), the Dutch armada will work hard to shine in front of the home crowds in the opening time trial of July 4. A 13.7 km pancake-flat course entirely within the city will decide who gets to wear the first yellow jersey of the 2015 Tour.
The next day, the peloton will congregate in front of Utrecht’s Exhibition Centre for the start of the first road race stage. Plenty of cards to play for the Dutch, who have not won a Tour stage since 2005. The roaring crowds will hope that one of their heroes can follow in the footsteps of Jan Janssen and Joop Zoetemelk, who won the Grande Boucle in 1968 and 1980, respectively.
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France: “The Netherlands is a cycling nation, one which has written quite a few remarkable chapters of the history of the Tour de France. Utrecht’s main attraction was the way it’s integrated cycling into its day-to-day life. Its natural and palpable relationship with cycling is quite simply an inspiration”.
Key dates of the Utrecht Grand Start:
· Wednesday, July 1: opening of the reception area and press centre at Utrecht’s Jaarbeurs Exhibition Centre.
· Thursday, July 2: team presentation in the Lepelenburg Park.
· Saturday, July 4: Stage 1, Utrecht (13.7 km ITT).
· Sunday, July 5: start of stage 2, Utrecht–?
The 2015 Tour de France ‘Grand Depart’ in the Dutch town of Utrecht will be a 13.7 kilometre time trial starting and finishing at the cities Jaarbeurs conference centre on the 4th of July. The full route will be announced in October 2014.
2015 Tour de France Stage 1 map:
Giro del Trentino at Risk
Next year’s Giro del Trentino might not run due to the lack of local government funding. The race organisers have said that without a contribution from the Province of Trento, the race will have to be cancelled. The Province has been covering around half of the race costs with around €250,000 per year. The loss of the race would leave a big hole in the rider’s race preparation for the Giro d’Italia as it runs between the 15th to the 18th of April. The race has always been well attended by the top riders and receives TV coverage by RAI Sport, giving the region great tourist exposure.
The Giro del Trentino 2013 trailer:
Movistar will Debut in Qatar
The Movistar Team will ride in Dubai for the first time next year, plus the Tour of Qatar and Oman Tour, three Arab races in a row. The team has increased its workforce from 25 in 2013 to 27 for 2014 and so will compete in the AsianTour races.
Eusebio Unzué team kicks off in the Dubai Tour (2.1), from 5 to 8 February in the UAE, organized by RCS Sport the Giro d’Italia organisers. Then the Spanish team move on to the Tour of Qatar (2.HC), 9-14 February, and the Tour of Oman (2.HC), 18-23 February, both ASO races, the organiser of the Tour de France. Movistar has ridden in Oman previously as it part of the WorldTour and compulsory, the same as the Chinese Tour of Beijing. Movistar will also be at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, from 20 to 26 January for the third consecutive year, and also the start of the WorldTour in Australia with the Tour Down Under, 21 to 26 January.
Movistar has signed eight new riders for 2014: John Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ion and Gorka Izaguirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Juanjo Lobato (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida), Alejandro Marque (OFM), Dayer Quintana (amateur Lizarte) and Jasha Sütterlin (Thuringer). Nineteen riders have been re-signed: Alejandro Valverde Nairo Quintana, the team leaders, plus: Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Alex Dowsett, Eros Capecchi, Javi Moreno, Sylwester Szmyd, Imanol Ervin, Iván Gutiérrez, José and Jesus Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Rubén Plaza, José Joaquín Rojas, Enrique Sanz, Francisco Ventoso and Giovanni Visconti.
Contador’s 2014 Calendar
In an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca, Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkov) has outlined his programme for next year. His season will start with the Tour of the Algarve (19-23 Feb), from there onto either Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico, then the Critérium International or the Volta a Cataluña. His build-up to the Tour de France will be the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the Dauphiné. He will also go for his third win in his home race: the Vuelta a España. He will be missing the Ardennes Classics as he said they didn’t really work for him last year, commenting; “The Ardennes Classics were an ‘extra’ that I didn’t need, I was tired and competing at a level that wasn’t good, my base condition wasn’t good. The Ardennes has never really worked for me when it comes to building up for the Tour.”
Roche for Giro d’Italia
Irishman Nicolas Roche (Saxo-Tinkoff) will be on the start line of the 2014 Giro d’Italia in Belfast in May. Roche had asked his Saxo-Tinkoff team if he could ride the Giro when he saw the route. “We had our first pre-season training camp this week and Saxo Bank confirmed to me today that the Giro is on my race programme for next year, so I’m really happy to be able to say I’ll be in Belfast next May.” Garmin-Sharp’s Dan Martin (Roche’s cousin) has also said he wants to ride the Giro as has the other WorldTour rider, Sky’s Philip Deignan.
Vuelta a España 2013 – Stage 2:
Acquarone to Hold Press Conference
The suspended Giro d’Italia director; Michele Acquarone has announced that he will hold a press conference next week to explain his side of what is going on with RCS and their internal audit into a missing €13 million. In the two months since his suspension, Acquarone said he had heard nothing from RCS.
De Gendt Compensated
Thomas De Gendt has come to an agreement with his old Vacansoleil-DCM team after he took an 80% pay cut when he had to move to Omega Pharma – Quick-Step due to no replacement sponsor being found for the Dutch team. De Gendt had a contract with Vacansoleil-DCM for 2014 and had suggested he might go to court to force the team management to fulfil the contract.
Bad Boy Sir Wiggo!
It was recently revealed by a couple of different sources that Sir Bradley Wiggins had held back paying Chris Froome his share of the Tour de France win bonus for over a year. Then during the week it was reported by numerous British newspapers that he had made a sexually explicit joke at a charity event for child abuse victims. According to the Daily Mail and Daily Star: “Wiggins had donated a signed shirt to raise money and as his face appeared on a big screen he was heard saying to Jon Hammond, the auctioneer, ‘You’ve got a posh voice. I like posh voices. S*** me off’”. This was just after a speech from a child abuse victim. Sir Bradley’s representatives apologised to anyone offended by the joke, and said the knight had been enjoying ‘banter’ but was then ‘caught unawares’.
Guests at the Firecracker Ball event admitted they felt let down by what happened. “Initially there was just stunned silence. It was bizarre and shocking,” businessman David Parkin told the Star. “The chap sitting next to me said: ‘Before tonight he was my hero, but not any more’. It was completely the wrong time and place to say something like that. People were completely disgusted by him.”
Retired PR manager Malcolm Cowing added: “Bradley’s remarks were at very best completely misjudged. On a stag do maybe, but not at a dinner for victims of childhood sexual abuse.”
According to The Mail “Wiggins is also becoming known as the badboy of British sport, sometimes seen swearing at photographers, stumbling out of nightclubs drunk or having a cheeky cigarette.”
New Chilean Team Sign’s 4 Spanish Riders
PinoRoad Society is proud to announce the creation of a new men’s UCI Continental cycling team to start in 2014. Four Spanish riders will be part of the new venture: Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi), Salvador Guardiola (Team Differdange) and two Euskaltel-Euskadi riders Juan José Oroz and Pablo Urtasun. Their responsibility will be to pass on their experience to the younger riders and get results to help promote the team. Jesús Buendía will be the Sports Director, Juan Pablo Pino will be the General Manager and the team will be based in Murcia, Spain.
This is the first Chilean project with an international focus and will aim to offer young talent a platform for riders of the Andean nation to join elite cycling and develop their qualities. To do this, PinoRoad have a logistics base in Spain from they will have about six months of competition in Europe, together with three months in America this will total around 80 days of competition.
Urtasun and Oroz, both born in 1980, are the veterans of the team and have five and six years experience respectively in the WorldTour with Euskaltel-Euskadi. Mikel Bizkarra (born 1989), has competed for the last four seasons with the Euskadi Foundation, the amateur Naturgas team and Orbea. Salvador Guardiola (born 1988) has ridden for the Continental teams: Contentpolis-AMPO, Kastro Heraklion-Murcia, Deputation of León, León-Deyser Gios and this last season with Team Differdange.
The 2014 roster will include nine of the best Chilean riders: Pablo Alarcón, Adrian Alvarado, Edison Bravo, Wolfgang ‘Lobo (Wolf)’ Burmann, Pedro Palma, Paul Seisdedos Elijah Tello and brothers Luis and Christopher Mansilla.
PinoRoad Roster for 2014:
Pablo Alarcón. 1988, Osorno (Chile)
Adrian Alvarado. 1991, Puerto Montt (Llanquihue – Chile)
Mikel Bizkarra. 1989 Mañaria (Vizcaya – Spain)
Edison Bravo. 1992 Puerto Montt (Llanquihue – Chile)
Wolfgang ‘Wolf’ Burmann. 1991, Santiago (Chile)
Salvador Guardiola. 1989 Jumilla (Murcia – Spain)
Christopher Mansilla. 1990, Santiago (Chile)
Luis Mansilla. 1986, Santiago (Chile)
Juan José Oroz. 1980 Artica (Navarra – Spain)
Pedro Palma. 1989 Colonel (Concepción – Chile)
Pablo Seisdedos. 1988, Santiago (Chile)
Elijah Tello. 1994, Santiago (Chile)
Pablo Urtasun. 1980 Urdiain (Navarra – Spain).
8 Year Ban for Van Dijk
Stefan van Dijk has been banned for eight years and fined €10,000 for undergoing ozone treatment during 2011. The ex-Accent Jobs-Wanty rider retired at the end of this season due to not having a team. He told Sporza that: “I did not undergo therapy to cycle faster, It was to heal faster. I had it at that time because of mononucleosis. That bothered me fiercely during training.” His treatment consisted of the blood being extracted and infused which is against WADA regulations. This is his second infringement as he was banned for one year for avoiding an out of competition test in 2005.
How to Lose/Gain a Race Bike!
While I was looking for video some Giro video for today’s EuroTrash, this bit of fun caught my eye. This helpful chap went home with a new bike…maybe.
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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