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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Thomas De Gendt Moves from Omega Pharma to Lotto-Belisol

This release came from Lotto-Belisol today:

After the signing of Tiesj Benoot, Lotto Belisol announces its second transfer. Thomas De Gendt will strengthen the team next year. The rider from East-Flanders signed a contract for two years. For the De Gendt, this transfer has to offer and create new opportunities to show his self.

Thomas De Gendt: “Of course I’m glad with this transfer. I preferred Lotto Belisol. Deduced from the conversations I had with the team management, they apparently had a strong believe in me that I could show myself and the team. That is also my goal, by racing in an attractive way and aim for good performances. I would for example not refuse good GC results in a one week stage race. There my time trial capabilities could be a great help but most of all I’m looking forward to give it all. I can get the idea that sometimes there is work to be done for the team leader, but it’s clear that this team offers chances to its riders and then it’s up to the riders to take those chances.”

Thomas De Gendt: Belgian, born 11/06/1986 in Sint-Niklaas, Professional since 2009, 178cm – 68kg

Twitter: @degendtthomas

2009-2010: Topsport Vlaanderen
2011-2013: Vacansoleil-DCM
2014: Omega Pharma - Quick Step

Thomas de Gendt

Thomas De Gendt winning stage one of the 2011 Paris-Nice. Photo ©Sirotti

BMC Signs three Riders

This release came from BMC this morning:

The BMC Racing Team announced three new rider signings Thursday: newly-crowned Under 23 world time trial champion Campbell Flakemore of Australia, Joey Rosskopf of the United States and Manuel Senni of Italy.

Each of the three fits the BMC Racing Team's initiative to identify promising young riders who can develop and eventually play integral roles for the United States-registered squad, said President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz. "This is part of our on-going initiative to bring young riders through our system as an extension of our work with the BMC Development Team," Ochowicz said. "We are always on the lookout for the best of the best and these three riders will certainly play a part in our future." Ochowicz said that Flakemore and Senni, both 22 years old, and Rosskopf, 25, will complement the signings for 2015 of Stefan Küng of Switzerland and Dylan Teuns of Belgium, both of whom raced for the BMC Development Team this season. "All of these fine young athletes fit with our strategy of bringing younger riders into the BMC Racing Team and helping them reach their potential." Specific details of their contracts were not made public in keeping with the team's policy.

On Monday, Flakemore became the fourth Australian to win the world Under 23 individual time trial in the past six years, joining Jack Bobridge (2009), Luke Durbridge (2011) and Damian Howson (2013). His less-than-half-a-second margin of victory over Ryan Mullan (Ireland) was the closest finish in the history of the event as he overcame a nearly 20-second deficit in the final 13 kilometers of the 36.1-km race. "I knew it would be close," Flakemore said. "I would have been satisfied with the podium after being fourth last year, but winning it was pretty cool." Flakemore arrives from the Avanti Racing Team and said he is looking forward to teaming with riders like fellow Australian Rohan Dennis, as well as Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen. "I think I can learn a lot from those guys," he said. "My priority for next year is to get experience and learn how it all works in a WorldTour team. I want to learn as much as possible." Flakemore also won the prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir this year and was the winner of the individual time trial stage at last year's Olympia Tour and the Under 23 edition of Thüringen-Rundfahrt. "He adds significant value to our team in his specialty, which are time trials," Ochowicz said.

Arriving from the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, Rosskopf dueled with BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans in the final kilometer of the queen stage at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in August. His runner-up finish there added to silver medals won in both the road race and the time trial at the Pan-American Championships earlier this year. He also won a stage and the overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in April and last year won a stage and the overall of the Paris-Arras Tour, as well as the Stage 4 time trial at the Tour de Beauce. "There will certainly be more pressure to perform next year," the Decatur, Georgia, native said. "I am excited about the chance to get better and prove myself. I want to take advantage of all the support the BMC Racing Team offers to better myself as a rider. I also want to be there where they need me most. So I hope to play a productive role on the team." Rosskopf raced the 2012 season for Team Type 1-Sanofi and the past two for the Hincapie Sportswear Development Team. Ochowicz said his climbing and time trial abilities make him a good fit. "He really suits our strategy of allowing new riders to come on board and achieve goals similar to the ones we have," Ochowicz said.

Senni won two climbing stages of the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta on the way to a third-place finish overall and the points classification. He also won the Medaglia d'Oro Domenico e Anita Colleoni in his home country and was fourth at both the G.P. Pallo del Recioto and Trofeo Piva Banca Popolare di Vicenza. "Manuel has demonstrated some unique climbing abilities and over the next few years, we hope to further develop him in that aspect," Ochowicz said. Senni said he is thankful of the experience gained while racing for Team Colpack and its president, Giuseppe Colleoni, and looks forward to showing his value to the BMC Racing Team. "It is one of the best teams in the world, so it is a very big opportunity for me," he said. "I want to thank Jim Ochowicz and the BMC Racing Team managers who believe in me. I hope to repay them with my performance. The first year I will have to adapt to the professional level, of course. But I hope to achieve what the sport directors tell me and I hope I can get some results."

BMC Racing Team Signings Announced For 2015:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Campbell Flakemore (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Dylan Teuns (BEL).

Campbell Flakemore

Under 23 world time trial champion Campbell Flakemore. Photo ©Sirotti

Yauheni Hutarovich Joins Bretagne-Séché Environnement

Belorussian sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich (30 years old) is moving from Ag2r-La Mondiale to professional continental team Bretagne-Séché Environnement for the 2015 season. In 2007 Hutarovich rode for Roubaix-Lille Métropole and from 2008 through 2012 he was with FDJ.

This year Hutarovich won the the Belorussian road championship, the GP de la Somme as well as stage one and the points classification of the Tour of Poland.

Bretagne-Séché Environnement has already recruited Pierrick Fedrigo and Jonathan Hivert for next year.

Yauheni Hutarovich

Hutarovich winning the 2014 Tour of Poland first stage. Photo ©Sirotti

Bradley Wiggins Is the New World Time Trial Champion

After beating Tony Martin in the World Time Championships on Wednesday, Bradley Wiggins had this to say (posted on Sky's website):

After learning he was the winner in Spain an overcome Wiggins admitted: "I don't know what to say. I knew coming into it I had the legs and when I saw the course I realized that if I was ever going to beat Tony again it would be on a course like this.

"It's been an up-and-down year and I want to dedicate this to my family. My wife and children back home have always been there for me and had to put up with me. This was my last world time trial championships, so to finish it with a gold medal - I don't know what to say."

After victory in the time trial at the recent Tour of Britain, Wiggins revealed he was comfortable heading into the event, despite the pressure. "I've prepared for things like this so many times in the past and when I know the form and the condition is there, I'm quite relaxed. I know what I have to do once I get out on the bike, so it's just a case of waiting all day. The weather turned out good and I had a good team time trial on Sunday - I knew I was strong there so... job done.

"I knew the difference would be made on that final loop. I paced it perfectly and I still had gas in the final. Even on that last descent, I heard I was 10 seconds up but I was pushing all the way and not taking any risks. It was superb.

"The hour record is my next big goal now, but to add the world title to the British title and the Olympic title means I've got the set, so it's very good, fantastic."

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins on his gold-medal ride. Photo ©Sirotti

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