PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

There will be some new jerseys in the peloton for 2018, CCC, Sunweb, Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Froome for the Tour and Dumoulin for the Giro - Top Story. Cyclo-cross from Zonhoven and Scheldecross, results and video. Other cycling news: Team presentations from CCC-Liv, Astana and Bahrain-Merida, Movistar extends sponsorship, Tirreno-Adriatico 2019, Stef Clement retires, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA project, Nicole Hanselmann extends with Bigla, Trek-Segafredo with SRAM, Dimension Data with Tacx and training with Sunweb. Coffee?



TOP STORY: Tour de France for Chris, but Maybe Not Tom
During the presentation of the 102nd edition of the Giro d'Italia, Chris Froome indicated, diplomatically, that he had not made a decision about his participation in the Italian Grand Tour. But in an interview with the BBC, Froome confirmed that the French race would be his aim for 2019: "We've got big goals next year to win a lot of bike races. My target will be on the Tour de France and I've got every confidence if we can have a season next year that's similar to previous seasons, we'll be able to find another sponsor."

2018 Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, also expects to be on the Tour start-line alongside Froome: "If we both wanted to go to the Tour 100%, as long as we both ride like we did this year, we can both do really well."

With the news of Sky ending their sponsorship deal, it's no surprise that Froome is aiming at a fifth Tour victory in 2019. The 33-year-old rider would equal Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Induraín.

On the other hand, Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin has decided he will go for the Giro d'Italia win in 2019. In a video message the Dutchman said: "After weeks of talking about it, we finally decided the main focus will be the Giro d'Italia in 2019. We had the Tour de France for a long time in our head but the Giro is such a nice course this year. I really love Italy, I love the course, and I love the race. Afterwards is very likely that I will do the Tour de France for GC, just like this year, but it's still undecided."

Thomas, Froome and Dumoulin, Tour only? Not for Tom:




UCI Telenet Superprestige Zonhoven 2018
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) was unbeatable again on Sunday afternoon in Zonhoven. The 23-year-old Dutchman made short work of the UCI Telenet Superprestige and after 3 minutes was gone. Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) finished second at almost one minute, with Toon Aerts in third at a minute and a half.

The Corendon-Circus team had an impressive start in Zonhoven. David van der Poel and Tom Meeusen took their teammate and European champion Mathieu van der Poel in tow on the first lap through the mythical Zonhoven sand pit. After less than half a lap Van der Poel found the pace of his teammates a bit too slow and took the lead. After a lap everyone was at 21 seconds.

Wout van Aert and Toon Aerts had completely messed up the start, but fortunately for them the Zonhoven course gave them the chance to return to the front, behind Van der Poel. Van Aert and Aerts were at forty-seconds to the European champion after two laps.

With 15 minutes to go Van der Poel had a minutes lead and in the final lap he had plenty of time to ease up before the line. Van Aert dropped Aerts with a lap to go after he had a chain problem. The world champion finished in 2nd place for the eleventh time this season, Aerts in 3rd place for the eighth time.



Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): "In the end I was no longer focused enough. I was a little nonchalant. It is really a tricky cross. I have chosen a pace and kept it for an hour. I prefer my form to those of the rest at the moment. I am satisfied. It was my brother's fault that I left so early, he left very quickly in that first lap. I took over to take him with me, but when I looked around I suddenly had a very big lead. That was a sign to continue. How many wildcards will I get for spring? I do not know myself. But I am going to ride a nice road program, with a few top classics. Tomorrow I give more explanations."

2nd, Wout Van Aert (Cibel-Cebon): "I missed aggressiveness in the opening lap, otherwise it would undoubtedly have been more exciting. I have no sound explanation for it, I was shocked by the lights, which quickly jumped green, but that should not be an excuse. I think that I mainly missed some aggressiveness. Not only during the start itself, but during the entire opening round. I shifted too slowly to take my position in the front. Well ... I do not have an explanation for everything. There I also had a difficult first fifteen to twenty minutes, but after that I did a decent race. That was also the case today, and that ultimately resulted in an exciting game for the second place. Admittedly, admittedly, at a very large distance from the winner. But that is nothing new in the meantime. Of course I was pushed into that situation. Perhaps you will say to Toon later: 'Congratulations on your third place'. While I have to be happy with second place. That is the fate of those five stripes (rainbow jersey) on my shirt. Yes, that sometimes feels unjust, but I have learned to see it as an honor. In the past I have been motivated there several times. I'm trying to do that again now. I especially do not want to struggle in a kind of negative spiral."

UCI Telenet Superprestige Zonhoven Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:00:33
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 0:43
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:35
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 2:03
5. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 2:22
6. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 2:24
7. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 2:28
8. Gianni Vermeesch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 2:48
9. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 2:52
10. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 3:11.

Zonhoven'18:




DVV Verzekeringen Trofee - Scheldecross 2018
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) took the win again on Saturday in Antwerp in the Scheldecross. On the second lap, the European champion rode away from his competitors Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) and Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions), who eventually ended up in second and third places. Van der Poel is now less than one minute behind Aerts on the overall standing on the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee overall standings. Both Van Aert and Van der Poel were returning to competition after training camps in Spain.

Van Aert, Van der Poel and Aerts all started well, but after only 15 minutes Van der Poel was in charge again, making the most of the sand sections. On the beach of Sint-Anneke Van der Poel's lead grew further, which was good for him as he had to make up 1:56 seconds on leader Aerts. Van Aert, Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) chased and were nearly joined by Laurens Sweeck at halfway, but as he was nearly on them, Van Aert put pressure on his two competitors and Sweeck saw the group disappear. The gap dropped to 40 seconds, but Van der Poel extend the lead again when Van Aert's chase was over.

With more than a minute's lead, Van der Poel crossed the finish line for his 14th win of the season. Behind the Dutchman; Van Aert took second place out-sprinting Aerts.



Race winner, Mathieu Van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): "In the first two rounds I made too many mistakes. Twice I drove myself into the sand. Only when I got a new bike with less pressure in the tires, I drove faultlessly. My second half was almost perfect. I escaped two times. I consciously attacked after the sand strip, close to the finish. Because in the previous passages the legs were full. So I thought I could make the difference. Van Aert was still stuck there in the wheel, but in the technical hill zone after the arrival I went through one more time and I hit a gap. The gap quickly increased because they looked at each other behind me. Moreover, the course has been adapted. The sand strips on the beach are used optimally, so that the differences are even faster."

2nd, Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon): "I'm pretty happy about today, it went the way I had hoped, although I still need a few weeks to be at my best. I did not think anyone was trying to follow Van der Poel, so I did it myself, but I soon felt that the pace was too high. Aerts had to drive to limit his loss on his overall lead on Van der Poel, but he also let it stop regularly. Personally, I was not busy with reducing the lead today, the good feeling prevailed."

DVV Verzekeringen Trofee - Scheldecross Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 58:57
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 1:02
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:04
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 1:33
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 1:54
6. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 2:42
7. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 2:44
8. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 2:57
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 3:46
10. Michael Boroš (Cze) Creafin Tüv Sud at 3:47.

Scheldecross'18:




Deceuninck – Quick-Step Present 2019 jersey
Our team have launched their new kit for 2019 with a video showing some of the lead riders trying out the specialist clothing.

December isn’t just the month of gifts, fairy lights and Christmas, but also the moment when our twenty-four riders get to discover the new kit that they will sport from January to October in some of the world’s biggest races. The new livery, designed and manufactured by leading sportswear brand and long-time partner Vermarc, consists of the team’s traditional blue and white colors, while incorporating the logos of the team’s new title sponsor – Deceuninck, leading designer and manufacturer of window profile systems – as well as that of beer brand Maes 0.0%, the mates of the Wolfpack, which appears on the back.



One of the squad’s top performers in 2018, Julian Alaphilippe enthused about his new kit: “I really like the design and can’t wait to wear it for the first time in a race, at January’s Vuelta a San Juan. Vermarc and the team have worked hard on the materials that they use, to make sure that we are comfortable, as well as allowing us to perform at our best, and for this we are grateful. It also looks very stylish and will for sure stand out in the peloton.”



As well as the regular kit, several riders will go into the 2019 season wearing the National Champion colors. This includes the eye-catching tricolor of Italian Champion Elia Viviani, best sprinter of last year, with 18 wins to his name.



“It has always been a dream of mine to wear the jersey of the Italian National Champion and every time I pull it on gives me huge joy. Vermarc have done once again a beautiful job in incorporating the beautiful colors of Italy into their design, which I will proudly display next year.”





CCC Team Unveiled the 2019 Racing Kit

The kit, produced by the team’s new technical apparel partner, Etxeondo, focuses on orange, the iconic color of title sponsor CCC, and fades to black.

CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz is proud to present the new look ahead of next season. “We are excited to finally reveal the Etxeondo kit that our riders will be racing in next year with Polish shoe and bag manufacturer CCC as our title sponsor. The orange and black design represents our new team identity and gives us a fresh look while, the quality of Etxeondo’s apparel will give our riders a technical edge and allow them to continue to race at the highest possible level. We are looking forward to the start of the 2019 season and debuting our new colors,” Ochowicz said.

Etxeondo's founder Francisco Rodrigo commented: “We are very excited to be with CCC Team. We put all our energy and experience into creating this high-performance aero jersey. The bright orange will stand out in the pro peloton; a color that is the result of a careful manufacturing process. Coupled with the tested and proven anti-abrasion bib shorts, the riders have a benchmark kit to race in."





Sunweb Reveal New Look for 2019
Along with the new year comes a new distinct look for Team Sunweb. Shifting away from the predominantly white design that has animated the peloton and podiums during the previous years, the team embarks on their new chapter with Craft with a new eye-catching kit design. Once again, all three programs will share the same kit.
Keep Challenging Identity

Their new Sunweb red colors proudly retain their recognizable two-stripe design for the sixth consecutive year, continuing the team’s reference to their Keep Challenging DNA. Besides the clearly-visible stripes, also KC watermark stripes are added. The left stripe represents the continuous development of the riders both as individuals and as athletes. The right stripe represents the development of the elite sports environment.



New year, new chapter
2019 marks the start of a new chapter for Team Sunweb, as they welcome on board a bundle of new (technical) partners including Craft. Craft, a big name in the clothing industry and the team’s new apparel partner will manufacture their state-of-the-art race kit using the latest technologies, with aerodynamics and safety at the core of their designs. Next to race clothing, the Scandinavian brand will also produce all casual and formal clothing for riders and staff.
A passion for innovation

Sharing innovative qualities, Craft, Team Sunweb’s experts and other innovation partners will work closely together to make the next steps in aerodynamics, as well as safety improvements and temperature control through clothing. The protective shorts will continue to be used with more applications of DSM Dyneema’s protective fibres expected in 2019, adding an extra layer of protection to the kit, enhancing safety and confidence.





CCC Team Sets Sights on 2019 Season
CCC Team is targeting a strong start to the 2019 season with particular emphasis on the spring classics, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced at the team’s pre-season media day in Denia, Spain.

Ochowicz presented the CCC Team kit and outlined the team’s objectives ahead of the 2019 season which will begin with the New Zealand national time trial championships before the first WorldTour race of the season, the Santos Tour Down Under.

“We are excited to get the 2019 season underway and debut our new look in the peloton. With Greg Van Avermaet as our team leader, our first goal will be a strong classics season. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in Greg and a solid team to support him at these one-day races. CCC Team will also focus on the one-week WorldTour stage races where our riders will have the opportunity to go for stage wins and where we will also target General Classification results,” Ochowicz said.

“The Tour de France is our primary objective in terms of the Grand Tours and although we do not have a General Classification contender, we will aim for a strong start in Brussels, which includes the team time trial. We hope to reach the end of the 2019 race calendar with 20 victories."

CCC Team, which is owned by Continuum Sports, will make history in 2019 as the first Polish WorldTour team in the peloton.

“Cycling in Poland is becoming bigger and bigger so it is incredibly exciting to have the first Polish WorldTour team in the peloton and history of the sport with CCC Team,” Sporting Manager Piotr Wadecki said.

“CCC has long been a supporter of cycling at the Professional Continental level and at the WorldTour level we will have the opportunity to increase the global awareness of the CCC brand and inspire the young generation of Polish cyclists. We have a strong group of Polish riders, who form part of the 23-rider roster comprised of 12 nationalities. Without a General Classification leader, all of the riders will have the chance to race aggressively and proudly wear the CCC Team jersey.”





CCC-Liv: Ambitious Talents and Established Names Compete for Success
Our new team (CCC-Liv, the continuation of WaowDeals Pro Cycling) convened for the first time during the past week in Denia, Spain. There was a get-together, training and looking ahead. The orange brigade, led by team leader Jeroen Blijlevens, welcomes five strong newcomers and strives to be decisively present throughout the entire season.

CCC-Liv unveiled its new kit for the next season on Friday. The jersey of Etxeondo is an absolute eye-catcher. With the orange base color, the riders in the peloton are easily recognizable for the fans and supporters. The riders race on the road with the Liv Langma and the new EnviLiv (aero-bike), both in a stylish, matte black design. The racing bikes are assembled with SRAM components (Red eTap). The new equipment has the same appearance as the men’s teams (CCC Team and CCC Development Team).

Professionalizing
“We have been working as a team for more than ten years and have seen women’s cycling evolve into a mature, professional sport. We have played an important part in this and we will continue to encourage further development. Our name sponsors CCC and Liv also offer us these possibilities. We have a strong selection which can cope anywhere. For better guidance we have appointed a performance manager. With his knowledge in terms of training and technology, Hidde Bekhuis will get the most out of the riders”, says team manager and owner Eric van den Boom.

Win More Often
One of the five new riders is Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. She made her presence felt in 2018 from start to finish in one day and stage races. She finished in six main spring classics in the top ten and second in the Giro Rosa. “They are nice results, I realize, but I would like to see it slightly differently in 2019. I transferred to CCC-Liv to win more often, mainly in the spring classics. I have been around for many years, but feel that I can still make progress. In an ambitious environment with professional guidance, I go for the maximum feasible.”

Establishing a Name
Jeanne Korevaar has been, after Marianne Vos, with the team the longest. In 2019 the 22-year-old, one of the biggest talents, will start her fifth season. "I am happy here and I feel that I can still learn from others. I continuously achieved a high level last season and I have been of value to my teammates. At the end, I sampled for the first time the taste of winning. With this delicious aftertaste from the success in Belgium, I went into the winter. I want to be at the top of the game more often in 2019 and gradually advance to an established name."

Down Under
CCC-Liv starts the cycling season in Australia with Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on 10 January and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race at the end of the month (26 January). “The races in Australia are not targets as such, but they are ideal for laying a solid foundation on which we can build the rest of the season. In the time between the two races, we stay in Australia for a training camp with a part of the squad. The first important races where the preparation should cash out, will take place in March”, says team leader Jeroen Blijlevens.

Roster:
Valerie Demey, Inge van der Heijden, Jeanne Korevaar, Evy Kuijpers, Marta Lach, Riejanne Markus, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Pauliena Rooijakkers, Agnieszka Skalniak, Sabrina Stultiens, Marianne Vos.

See more of the CCC-Liv presentation HERE.

Pauliena Rooijakkers and Jeanne Korevaar:




Astana Pro Team presented renewed roster for 2019
On the Indepedence Day of Kazakhstan, Astana Pro Team presented its renewed roster for the 2019 season. In Altea, Spain, where the team is preparing for the new season during a training camp, the team presented itself for the 14th season in the highest league of cycling.

"First of all I would like to congratulate everybody on the Kazakhstan Independence Day! Today, we presented 28 riders who will perform in the Astana colors in the new season. I think, that we managed to gather a well-balanced team, which combined experience and youth, specialists in various cycling disciplines. We have seriously strengthened some positions, which next year will allow us to fight for victories in the Grand Tours, prestigious stage races as well as in classics races. Last year was very successful for our team – our riders won 33 races and took 62 podium places. For two times, Miguel Angel Lopez stepped upon the podium of two Grand Tours, at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. The goal for the new season is to be at least as successful as last year and try to overpass the results. I think that's realistic. Among the main objectives are the Grand tours and the WorldTour stage races," said Alexandr Vinokurov at the end of the presentation.

Nine newcomers of Astana Pro Team in the season of 2019 were introduced at the official presentation: Yuriy Natarov (Kazakhstan), Ion Izagirre (Spain), Gorka Izagirre (Spain), Davide Ballerini (Italy), Manuele Boaro (Italy), Merhawi Kudus (Eritrea), Jonas Wilsly (Denmark), Rodrigo Contreras (Colombia) and Hernando Bohorquez (Colombia).

The complete roster of Astana Pro Team 2019 includes 28 riders from 9 countries:
Davide Ballerini (Italy), Pello Bilbao (Spain), Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kazakhstan), Hernando Bohorquez (Colombia), Dario Cataldo (Italy), Rodrigo Contreras (Colombia), Magnus Cort Nielsen (Denmark), Laurens De Vreese (Belgium), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Omar Fraile (Spain), Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark), Yevgeniy Gidich (Kazakhstan), Jonas Wilsly (Denmark), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kazakhstan), Jan Hirt (Czech Republic), Hugo Houle (Canada), Ion Izagirre (Spain), Gorka Izagirre (Spain), Merhawi Kudus (Eritrea), Miguel Ángel López (Colombia), Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan), Yuriy Natarov (Kazakhstan), Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain), Nikita Stalnov (Kazakhstan), Davide Villella (Italy), Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan) and Andrey Zeits (Kazakhstan).

At the races the team will be managed by sports directors Dmitriy Fofonov (sports manager), Alexandr Shefer, Dmitri Sedoun, Stefano Zanini, Lars Michaelsen, Sergey Yakovlev, Assan Bazayev, Bruno Cenghialta and Giuseppe Martinelli.





Bahrain Merida Presentation During Training Camp on Hvar in Croatia
The biggest news at the Team presentation for the season 2019 was the announcement of the new joint venture partner McLaren. Journalists from all over the world, guests, sponsors, partners, as well as hosts of the training camp gathered in the spectacular venue in the historic building Arsenal in Hvar.

Opening speech was held by Vladimir Miholjević, sports director and coordinator of the training camp who welcomed everyone and expressed gratitude to Hvar Tourist Board, The City of Hvar and Sunčani Hvar Hotels, partners that contributed already for the 2nd time in a row for the organization of team’s training camp. He emphasized that the island of Hvar with its perfect natural conditions and infrastructure for cycling proved to be an excellent choice for the training camp. Vladimir concluded his speech: "We promise you that we will give everything that you can be proud on our success and believe us we really want to live up to our slogan - It's not about me, it's about US - because we feel that everybody present here it's part of us."

In the first part of the event hosts expressed their welcome to the 2nd Training Camp in their beautiful Dalmatia and island Hvar. Representative of Sunčani Hvar Hotels Mrs. Renata Lichtberger said that it is a pleasure and privilege to host again Team Bahrain Merida in Hotel Amfora. “We are very happy to be part of Team Bahrain Merida project and to tell our guests that we are the destination that’s working on sport, on developing island for the sport events on the highest level.”

Mayor of Hvar, Mr. Rikardo Novak, thanked the team for choosing again Hvar and said that it is a great honor to host the UCI WorldTour cycling team, Bahrain Merida, especially since quite a lot of members come also from this region. This year is 150th anniversary of organized tourism on island Hvar and representatives of Hvar Tourist Board and Split-Dalmatia County added that such events contribute to the image of the destination as perfect for active tourism and important part of growing a cycling tourism, which has been one part of the vision for tourism development of the island Hvar and the whole Split-Dalmatia County.

Director of Split - Dalmatia County Tourist Board said Mr. Joško Stella said: ”We are having in Dalmatia County more than 3000 km of biking roads. We have different tourisms, gastronomy tourism and the most important we are 2nd county by tourism in Croatia.”

Representative of Perfect of Split – Dalmatia County Mr. Stipe Čogelja expressed satisfaction the team is back in island Hvar and he wished the team a big success in the next season.

Ministry of Tourism’s State Secretary, Mr. Tonči Glavina said: "Something we had always been good in Croatia is hospitality, Croatia is a tourist star in the past decade and the combination of hospitality, beauty of the landscape, gastronomy, culture, sun, wine, sea, cycling and sport tourism. All of this elements makes Croatia wonderful and wanted.”

The second part of the press conference was focused on Bahrain Merida Team, its bike manufacturer and title sponsor Merida and announcement of the new joint venture partner McLaren.

Brent Copeland, General Manager of the team, presented in figures season 2018 which was very successful for the team with 26 wins and announced plans for the future and commented his view of the new joint venture: "In my view this is one of the most important developments in world professional cycling in the last decade, and one that will accelerate the team’s ambitions and plans to compete at the top. McLaren can help us understand how to optimize and develop technology, human high performance management, and our brand. Most importantly, how to do that in an integrated, coordinated way."

Andreas Rottler, General Manager Merida Europe commented satisfaction with the first two seasons and new project of the team: “New partnership with McLaren will open up new possibilities for the team and of course for Merida Bikes. This is an exciting new development that will further add to our motivation to provide the Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team with state-of-the-art equipment for every single race on the calendar.”

John Allert, Chief Marketing Officer, McLaren officially announced a start of a new joint venture with Team Bahrain Merida and he said: “Cycling has been a sector of great interest to McLaren in recent years, and it was a case of believing that the right circumstances would eventually evolve that made sense for us to launch into this incredible sport. We come into this world with great humility and respect for the sport and the competition. We will play our part in contributing to a sport loved and enjoyed by millions globally. We are competitors and extracting maximum performance from the combination of human and machine is our natural world. We have been involved at the highest level before although in a more limited way in a shorter timeframe. So cycling is a natural step for us to take. Finally, but most importantly, it was the vision on two brothers, Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Salman, that created this opportunity to unite their two dreams and make the sum of the parts greater than the whole.”

In the third part of the presentation Bahrain Merida riders joined on stage in five groups where the 5th group was the presentation of the 8 new riders with Rohan Dennis, Phil Bauhaus, Damiano Caruso, Marcel Sieberg, Andrea Garosio, Jan Tratnik, Stephen Williams and Dylan Teuns.

Vincenzo Nibali revealed his racing plan for season 2019 which is to do “double”. He will race Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. Dylan Teuns a new rider in our team is excited to be a part of it and he would like to achieve his dream which is to win one of the classics. Dennis Rohan, TT World Champion, emphasized that he wants to continue in the rhythm of winnings in Time Trials and to help Vincenzo at Grand Tours.

At the end we showcased the new team kit for the 2019 season. Team Bahrain Merida is definitely ready to face the challenges of the new season and they are already looking forward to the Tour Down Under in the middle of January in Australia.





Movistar Team 2021: Telefónica Extends Sponsorship
Telefónica prolongs commitment to Abarca Sports' men's and women's squads for next three years, continues relationship started in 2011 as Eusebio Unzué's structure remains in pro cycling for over 40 years uninterruptedly.



Telefónica announced today the extension of their sponsorship agreement with the Movistar Team, which will prolong its commitment with the Spanish outfit through the end of the 2021 season, for both its men's roster and the recently-established women's outfit.

Movistar has been the team's main backer for the last eight seasons, giving life to a legendary organization in cycling, which will reach its 40th year of uninterrupted pro activity in 2019.

During those eight years, the Movistar Team has reached the top of the UCI WorldTour ranking four times (2013 to 2016); won two Grand Tours (2014 Giro d'Italia, 2016 Vuelta a España); claimed eleven podium finishes at GTs, two World Championships victories (Alejandro Valverde, 2018, and Rui Costa, 2013), a UCI Hour Record (2015) and 27 national titles.

Its 257 individual victories have been obtained at five continents, including top-level, one-day classics and nearly all main World Tour stage-races.



Alejandro Valverde (a three-time UCI World / WorldTour ranking winner / leader and a podium finisher in all three Grand Tours) and Nairo Quintana (winner of Giro + Vuelta, and a three-time Tour de France podium finisher) are the riders who have obtained the biggest success for the Movistar Team. “Their individual triumphs are a consequence of their ambition and the whole team's great work, a value which Telefónica identifies itself profoundly with,” said Telefónica's global partnerships manager Rafael Fernández de Alarcón. “We also want to thank the team's closure with their audience, the millions of fans who get to the roads around the world to cheer them on, or follow them through television and social media.”

For Eusebio Unzué, general manager of the Movistar Team, “Telefónica's support was key to obtaining those results, especially considering that their backing started in a particularly difficult moment for our sport. Our commitment is to continue to live up to the values of these big brands, and represent their employees and clients across the world.”



In addition to their sporting results, the Movistar Team's presence in the international peloton has helped bolster cycling's significance as a whole in several aspects:

· The squad has been a firm supporter of Latin American cycling's growth (with notable names including Nairo Quintana, Richard Carapaz, Andrey Amador or Winner Anacona). Latin America, a key region for the Movistar brand, has already become cycling's second most relevant market in the world by number of spectators, only behind Europe.

· They've taken massive efforts to ensure gender equality with the creation of a pro women's team, which shares methods and infrastructure with the men's team. As well as obtaining big results in its first year, the team has also become Movistar's main influx of support to women's cycling, the brand also involved in diverse programs together with the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation.

· The continuous incorporation of new technologies to training methods, including analysis through Big Data, IoT sensors and cognitive systems to plan on the best approach to races for all team riders.

· The promotion of cycling as a sport for all, through initiatives such as the Movistar Bike Festival, with gathered 50,000 people together in Madrid last October to unveil Alejandro Valverde's rainbow jersey.

· An additional impulse to awareness campaigns, directed to both cyclists and drivers, on the importance of mutual respect on the roads, under the slogan #RodamosJuntos.

The official launch of the #MovistarTeam2019 squad, next Tuesday at Madrid's Telefónica HQ, will be shown live on the Movistar+ platform's #Vamos channel and followed on social media. It will be the perfect to celebrate the extension of this partnership and continue to 'ride together'.





Tirreno-Adriatico 2019: Where Innovation Meets Tradition
Two traditional Time Trials (Stage 1 is a TTT in Lido di Camaiore, and Stage 7’s ITT is in San Benedetto del Tronto), two sprinters' stages and two hilly stages with short punchy climbs and many ‘walls’ are the recipe for the 54th edition. Total vertical elevation of the race is 9,000m. Matelica-Jesi will be the Wine Stage, celebrating Verdicchio, the renowned white wine produced in the Le Marche area.

In the Aula Magna of Recanati city council – birthplace of the poet Giacomo Leopardi which will host one of the most spectacular stages of the 2019 Race of the Two Seas, on Sunday 17 March – the 54th edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport has been unveiled today. The race, scheduled from 13 to 19 March 2019, is organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 2019 course is slightly different from recent editions, reminiscent of traditional Tirreno-Adriatico editions rich in muri – literally 'walls'; very steep and short climbs. Muri feature throughout the 2019 course, with some gradients hitting 18% and above. There are hard climbs leading to Fossombrone, with the Cappuccini wall to be faced twice in the finale, plus walls in Recanati (the hardest one close to the finish line), and longer climbs in Pomarance from as early as Stage 2. A new addition is the dedication of a stage to wine: Stage 6, Matelica-Jesi, will be the Wine Stage, celebrating Verdicchio, the world-famous white wine produced in Le Marche. Unchanged from the last editions are the two Time Trials, the opening one for Teams in Lido di Camaiore and the final one for Individuals in San Benedetto del Tronto. The two stages dedicated to the fastest wheels in the peloton are those finishing in Foligno and Jesi.

The Course:
Stage 1 – Lido di Camaiore (Team Time Trial) – 21.5km

The TTT route comprises two virtually straight sectors, rolling along the two lanes of the same road, on the Camaiore-Forte dei Marmi seafront. Halfway, the route takes a “square turn” around a block. For the fifth consecutive year Lido di Camaiore will host the start of the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport.

Michał Kwiatkowski with Neptune's Trident, the winner's trophy:


Stage 2 – Camaiore-Pomarance – 189km
The stage starts uphill, taking in climbs up Montemagno and Pitoro over its opening kilometers. A long flat stretch follows, leading all the way to the final undulations. The route passes through Castellina Marittima, Riparbella, Montecatini Val di Cecina and Volterra (including their respective climbs), up to the final ascent leading to Pomarance. The stage is made for finisseurs, and GC contenders should keep an eye on them.
It's the third time the stage starts in Camaiore and finishes in Pomarance: the 2016 stage winner was Zdenek Stybar, followed in 2017 by Geraint Thomas.

Stage 3 – Pomarance-Foligno – 224km
The route is initially wavy, and becomes increasingly flatter as it approaches the finish. This long stage follows the constant undulations of the territory of Siena, including Passo del Rospatoio, enters Umbria through the Trasimeno plain and brushes by Assisi and Spello, all the way to the final sprint around the walls of Foligno.
Foligno will host the arrival of a stage of the Race of the Two Seas for the fourth time.

Stage 4 – Foligno-Fossombrone – 223km
This stage, together with the following one, are the hardest of the race. Starting from Foligno, the route follows a wavy but uncomplicated course and then brushes by Fossombrone. Here, the route takes in a series of walls, with a variety of challenging gradients, on narrow roads across the Marches valleys, all the way to the double closing circuit. It includes a double pass over the Muro dei Cappuccini, just 5.7km from the finish in Fossombrone.
This is the first time Fossombrone hosts the finish of a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage.

Stage 5 – Colli al Metauro-Recanati – 178km
The peloton will be confronted with the iconic ‘muri’ of Recanati. Starting from Colli al Metauro and covering a semi-circuit through Saltara, Calcinelli and Lucrezia, the stage then follows a mostly flat route all the way to Recanati. Past Loreto, the route will take in nine consecutive climbs, some steep, others more gentle. A final 22.3km circuit, to be covered three times, features two leg-sapping walls (the one closest to the finish is especially tough, with gradients of around 18%).

Recanati will host the arrival of a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage for the second time after the Macerata-Recanati ITT in 2008, won by Fabian Cancellara on his way to GC victory.

Stage 6 – Matelica-Jesi – 195km
Despite its wavy and bumpy start, this stage is made for sprinters. Starting in Matelica, the route covers a short semi-circuit then heads for Castelraimondo and San Severino Marche. After the Valico di Pietra Rossa climb, towards Cingoli, the route levels out and leads all the way to Jesi, to cover three laps of the final 12.3km circuit.

Jesi is hosting the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport for the first time.

Stage 7 – San Benedetto del Tronto (Individual Time Trial) – 10.1km
The route of this 10,050m Individual Time Trial mainly follows the final circuit of the conclusive stages of the late 1990s and recent 2000s editions, and is the same as featured since 2015. The last 2.5km are on an almost entirely straight route.

This is a longstanding tradition for the Race of the Two Seas: San Benedetto del Tronto will host the end of the race for the 53rd time in 54 editions – only the very first edition of Tirreno-Adriatico in 1966 did not conclude there: the final stage was the San Benedetto del Tronto-Pescara.

The final podium of the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport: the winner Michał Kwiatkowski with Damiano Caruso and Geraint Thomas, second and third overall

Statistics:
The first Pole followed the first Colombian: in 2018 Michał Kwiatkowski became the first Polish winner of Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport. He followed Nairo Quintana, the race’s first Colombian winner in 2015 (a victory he repeated in 2017).

Triple record: BMC Racing Team has won the last three editions of the opening TTT stage at the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport, recording the fastest average times in the history of the race: 56.947km/h in 2016, 58.329km/h in 2017 and 57.777km/h in 2018.

Sagan looking for a record: the Slovak Peter Sagan, who has raced Tirreno-Adriatico consecutively since 2012, has won seven stages, one shy of the eight stage victories of Alessandro Petacchi, Moreno Argentin and Giuseppe Saronni; the three Italians are joint third overall in the stage victories list of the Race of the Two Seas, behind the Spaniard Oscar Freire (11) and the leader Roger De Vlaeminck: the Belgian who won 15 stages.

12 countries: in the last three editions (2015-18) 12 different countries have won a Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport stage, showing the great variety of international participation.





Stef Clement Ends Pro Cycling Career
Stef Clement retires as a pro cyclist. The 36-year-old Dutchman interrupted his preparation for the Tour de France in May due to physical problems and didn’t race ever since. After extensive medical research and the subsequent consultation between Clement and the team, it has been decided that the rider will get another position within Team Jumbo-Visma. He will, among other things, focus on nutrition and promotion.

“It’s not the way I wanted to finish my career. For fifteen years it has been my passion, hobby and work. I look back with pride and I achieved more than I ever thought possible”, Clement says. “If you are not sure whether a comeback is a sensible option, you start looking at alternatives. After the team offered me this position, this seemed the sensible thing to do. I am grateful to the team for this opportunity and I look forward to taking a new direction.”

Clement started his career at the Van Hemert Group in 2003 and then joined the Rabobank Continental Team, Bouygues Telecom, Rabobank, Belkin, IAM Cycling and Team LottoNL-Jumbo. On his list of achievements are four national time trial titles. In 2007 he took bronze in that discipline at the World Championships in Stuttgart. The 2018 Tour of Romandie, won by teammate Primoz Roglic, now appears to have been Clement’s last appearance as a professional cyclist.

Stef Clement:




The New Project of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA Already Works in Almería
The coastal town of Mojácar has received the new roster of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA for the first training camp of the season, which is held between the 11th and the 18th of December. This stage is served to start the new season, an opportunity for the new signings to get-together, meet each other and make contact with the material that will be used throughout 2019.

The Colombian Nelson Soto has been the only one who missed this appointment. He continues with his individual preparation in his country. Furthermore, Sebastián Mora has participated in the first days of the camp before flying, along with the rest of the Spanish track team, heading to London for the UCI Cycling World Cup. The rest of the cyclists have already completed several trainings, as well as different activities with sponsors and technical suppliers of the Navarrese team.

The riders of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA work with the goal of arriving in good shape at the start of the next season, which once again begins in the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina (January 27 - February 3) and has its debut in Europe in the Challenge of Majorca (January 31 - February 3).

José Miguel Fernández (sports director): "In 2019 we will celebrate our tenth season in a row as a professional team and we want to face it with the same dedication as the first day. That is the reason why we have added to the planning of the last years a new training camp in December to deepen the roles of each cyclist and to establish the bases that we will develop throughout the year. I am very happy with the group we have, I see everyone very focused, with a lot of enthusiasm, and this is just what we need to develop their talent."

Roster 2019 Caja Rural-Seguros RGA:
Aberasturi, Jon (Álava, 28/03/1989) – 1st season (Euskadi-Murias).
Amézqueta, Julen (Navarra, 12/08/1993) – 2nd season.
Aranburu, Álex (Guipúzcoa, 19/09/1995) – 3rd season.
Banaszek, Alan (Polonia, 30/10/1997) – 1st season (CCC Sprandi).
Cañellas, Xavier (Illes Balears, 16/03/1997) – 1st season (Feeder team).
Chernetskii, Sergei (Rusia, 09/04/1990) – 1st season (Astana).
Cuadros, Álvaro (Granada, 12/04/1995) – 2n season.
Gonçalves, Domingos (Portugal, 13/02/1989) – 2nd season (Radio Popular-Boavista).
González, David (Ávila, 21/02/1996) – 1st season (Feeder team).
Irisarri, Jon (Guipúzcoa, 09/11/1995) – 3rd season.
Lastra, Jonathan (Vizcaya, 03/06/1993) – 4th season.
Malucelli, Matteo (Italia, 20/10/1993) – 1st season (Androni Giocattoli)
Molina, Antonio (Alicante, 04/01/1991) – 6th season.
Mora, Sebastián (Castellón, 19/02/1988) ) – 1st season (Track).
Moreira, Mauricio (Uruguay, 18/07/1995) – 2nd season.
Pardilla, Sergio (Ciudad Real, 16/01/1984) – 5th season.
Rodríguez, Cristian (Almería, 03/03/1995) – 2nd season.
Serrano, Gonzalo (Madrid, 17/04/1994) – 2nd season.
Soto, Nelson (Colombia, 19/06/1994) – 2nd season.

Caja Rural-Seguros RGA training:




Nicole Hanselmann Extends Contract With Team Bigla
The current Swiss time trial and former road race champion, Nicole Hanselmann, will continue to race with Team Bigla next year, when she will commence her seventh season with the squad.
The 27-year-old has been part of the team since 2013, and is excited about continuing with Team Bigla and working alongside new teammates. “I enjoy taking on new challenges and it will be a really interesting experience to be part of a team that will have such a different roster next year,” Hanselmann explained about her decision to extend her contract with the team.

“I am also one of the oldest riders in the team and I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and knowledge in order to support my teammates. In addition, I think that I have a good ability to read not only my opponents on the road, but also my teammates, which provides me with the opportunity to better shape race situations as they unfold,” she added.

However, next year, Hanselmann is not only looking to continue to bring her experience to the team in the service of others, but also aims to make the most out of her own opportunities. As she explains, “my goals are to defend my Swiss national individual time trial title and to improve myself overall as an athlete. Team Bigla offers me the optimal support to be able to achieve such goals.”

As Team Manager Thomas Campana explains, “Nicole has been riding with the team for six years and is a valued and experienced member of the squad. This year, she opted to concentrate on her studies, and we provided her with the opportunity to do so. As a result, her sportive development progressed somewhat slower, however, from December onwards, she has again been concentrating fully on the sport. One of her goals for the future is also to represent Switzerland at the Olympics, and we will do our utmost to help her prepare for Tokyo 2020.”

Nicole Hanselmann:




Trek-Segafredo Partners with SRAM
Trek-Segafredo proudly announced a long-term agreement with bicycle component manufacturer SRAM. The new partnership was presented during Trek-Segafredo’s Sponsor Summit - a yearly meeting between the principal partners – at the team’s December camp held in Siracusa, Sicily.

SRAM® is a manufacturer of innovative bicycle components that was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in September 1987, with the invention of its first product, Grip Shift®. Throughout its 31-year history, SRAM has focused on its product development and innovation expertise in all bicycling disciplines. SRAM has also acquired some of cycling’s most exciting brands. With 3000-plus employees, offices and manufacturing in 15 countries, SRAM and its brands RockShox®, TRUVATIV®, Zipp® and Quarq® is the second largest manufacturer of bike components in the world.

“We are thrilled to have SRAM on board as the official drivetrain partner of both the Trek Segafredo men’s and women’s teams as of 2019,” said Trek-Segafredo technical director, Matt Shriver. “SRAM has a pedigree of racing that fits naturally with Trek-Segafredo’s 'best in class' product motto. Their SRAM RED eTAP wireless group and hydraulic disc brakes are a step forward for our teams. Their passion for racing shows through their commitment to deliver great service to our athletes. They are open to new ideas and feedback, which is exactly what we need from a drivetrain partner to continue achieving our performance goals in the professional peloton as well as developing products for our Trek customers. It’s exciting to be partnering with SRAM!”

The partnership with Trek-Segafredo is a major move for the Chicago based brand.

“We’re stoked to support this world-class program. This team and these riders will represent us at the highest levels at nearly every major road race around the globe. We can’t wait for racing to start in 2019,” said SRAM’s Road Sports Manager Jason Phillips.

SRAM will be equipping both Trek-Segafredo programs with the SRAM RED eTap drivetrains and HRD hydraulic disc brakes.

The announcement of the SRAM-partnership also marked the launch of the Trek-Segafredo women’s team bike scheme. The new paint incorporates aspects of the women’s kit, and aspects of the new Project One ICON design cues. Expect to see this bike at the front of the peloton starting at the Tour Down Under.





Team Dimension Data welcome back Tacx as technical partner Dimension Data partners with Tacx from 2019
Team Dimension Data and Tacx announced today that they will partner up again in 2019 after an intermission of one year. The South Africa-based team will be training and racing with the company’s bike trainers, software, bottles and bottle cages. As technical partner, Tacx will use the feedback from the team’s riders, coaches and other team members to improve the performance of their products.

The riders will train and warm up on the NEO 2 Smart, the most powerful, accurate and silent bike trainer to date. This brand new indoor trainer now features Pedal stroke analysis which enables riders to improve their power distribution and cycling performance significantly. In addition to the Zwift Academy, Team Dimension Data will also get access to the Tacx software where the world literally becomes their playground. Here they can enjoy a library filled with high quality training films, structured training plans and GPS workouts.

“I’m excited we’re back at Tacx,” said Douglas Ryder, team principal of Team Dimension Data. “This is the leading indoor trainer manufacturer with state of the art trainers like the NEO 2, NEO Bike and Magnum. We had a great experience with Tacx in the past and we look forward to partnering with them again from 2019.”

Koos Tacx, CEO of Tacx, is looking forward to support the team with Tacx products: “We’re very happy that we’ve re-established the partnership with Team Dimension Data. It’s good to see that riders like Boasson Hagen and Renshaw are part of the Tacx family again. We’re also pleased that Cavendish extended his contract. Only four Tour de France victories to go and he equals the record of Merckx!”

Team Dimension Data and Tacx can’t wait for the season to start at the Australian Tour Down Under.





The Sunweb Team Training








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