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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Thursday, November 6, 2014

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Chris Horner Still Without a Team

Chris Horner's 2014 squad, Lampre-Merida, is not going to sign him for 2015 and so far, Horner has been unable to find high-level European squad to ride with. Lampre-Merida sent out this "Good-By Chris" press release a couple of days ago:

At the end of the season, Team Lampre-Merida sends their best wishes and gratefulness to the American cyclist Chris Horner for year he spent in the team.

In 2014 Horner had to face many unfortunate incidents, the most unfortunate being the terrible crash during training before the Giro d'Italia: for Lampre-Merida seeing Chris coming back to races and taking part in Tour de France after this serious injury was a huge success, however even after his hard work and due to these situations Chris was not fortunate enough to demonstrate his true potential, Lampre-Merida would like to show there appreciation to Horner for his proactive attitude, his passion for cycling, sacrifices and efforts he made for the team during the 2014 season: Chris has been a true professional in all senses, especially with his experience which the young riders exploited.

Team Lampre-Merida wish Chris all the best for his future: it would have been great for the team and Chris to have crossed paths earlier on in his career in order to have had a longer relationship.

Chairman Bill's note: Horner is having real difficulty finding a 2015 team sport. He has been turned down by CCC Polkowice and neither Jelly Belly nor Jamis want to sign him.

Chris Horner

Chris Horner at this year's Tour de France presentation.

But Lampre also signs Taiwan rider....

Feng Chun Kai

Team Lampre-Merida is once again proud to be pioneer in the expansion of the cycling boundary, considering that it has signed the first Taiwanese rider ever in its hostory: in 2015, Chun Kai Fei will be the first Taiwanese to take part in the World Tour circuit.

Born in 1988 in Qing'an Village, Feng is very popular in Taiwan, a Country whose cycling industry is at the top of thw world production.
Thanks to the cycling successes he achieved, Feng is the leading figure of the Taiwanese cycling movement: in 2007, when he was very young, he became Asian champion of the points race on track; in 2010 he became pro, collecting during his career three national road title (2010-2011-2013), one national time trial title (2013), one stage in Tour of Thailand in 2012 and the gold medal in the 10 km scratch.

The deal for the passage of Chun Kai Feng in the blue-fuchsia-green team has been made official in a press conference in Taiwan, where the rider was introduced by William Jeng, Merida Bikes company's senior vice president.

Lampre-Merida decided to give this opportunity of improvement to an athlete that is considered to be ready to face the challenge of the elite of cycling, endorsing the Asian cycling movement that in the next years will become more and more important for the cycling world.

"We consider Chun Kai Feng owns the skills and the fighting spirit to demonstrate that the Taiwanese cycling has come to a level that gives the opportunity to his leading figure to debut in the World Tour - team manager Copeland explained - The first part of the season will be important for him for getting settled and to adapt himself to the language and the European culture: our team's members are very warm and accepting people, so Feng will have no problem in receiving the necessary support by everybody in the team, especially by the most experienced cyclists.

During the first half of the year we'll complete the evaluation of his skills and we'll give him the support for what concerns the training programs, aiming to set a race planning that will give Feng the opportunity to exploit in the best way his qualities during the second part of the season".

This release about Michael Valgren came from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Michael Valgren

Michael Valgren

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Valgren has had an impressive season. The neo-pro was crowned Danish national champion in late June and won Tour of Denmark in August. In total, the 22-year old Dane has had ten top-5 results during 2014 and finished off the season with a 4th place in the final sprint of Japan Cup after a year of dedicated work for the team.

But Valgren reckons that there’s more to come in 2015, if he continues to work hard and learn from his trainers and teammates.

“The off-season will first and foremost be about recovering and relaxing in between activities. But with that being said, I really want to take another big step in my career in 2015 and use the momentum I have right now. But I think that it will come automatically with the sport directors, trainers and experienced riders that we have on the team”, says Michael Valgren after concluding his season.

Besides playing the role as valuable domestique, Valgren has also showed his abilities to create results. He plans on using his current momentum to improve his chances in the future.

“I want to improve in many aspects, both on the shorter climbs, the sprints, my endurance‚Ķ Everything if I have to be honest. I would like to gradually evolve into the kind of rider that Sagan is, a rider that can go for the win in the classics, hard sprinter’s stages and short stage races. At least that’s my objective, and I’m prepared to work hard to realize that dream. The most important part is following the advices I get and work for the team, while seizing the opportunities, when I get to ride my own chance”, Valgren adds.

Lotto-Belisol gets License

Ahead of the UCI, Lotto-Belisol sent out this short press release:

The UCI has awarded a WorldTour licence to Lotto-Belisol for 2015. The licence has to be obtained annually and is based on sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria.

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