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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much. - Oscar Wilde

Brett Lancaster career change

First, the news from Lancaster's team, Orica GreenEdge:

Veteran Australian cyclist Brett Lancaster has officially announced his retirement from competitive racing today.

The 36-year-old enjoyed a successful 13-year career as a professional road cyclist as well as achieving the ultimate feat on the track – an Olympic gold medal. Lancaster’s decision comes after four year’s racing with ORICA-GreenEDGE having joined the Australian outfit for its inaugural season in 2012.

“Having the opportunity to join an Australian professional team and finish my career there was definitely a dream come true,” Lancaster said. “Just lining up in the Tour de France in that first year was amazing to be part of, but to be a part of the team time trial win and having Simon Gerrans in yellow in 2013 was incredible.”

Brett Lancaster

Brett Lancaster

Within his time at ORICA-GreenEDGE the Shepparton-born rider has contributed to some of the team’s biggest victories, including its first ever Grand Tour stage win courtesy of Matthew Goss at the 2012 Giro d’Italia and at the 2013 Tour de France where he played a major role in the team time trial victory and four days in the yellow jersey. He was also a major contributor in the team time trial victories at the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and 2015.

“Brett was one of the first riders selected for the inaugural year of the GreenEDGE team in 2012 and his contribution to the team has been appreciated,” general manager Shayne Bannan said. Brett has been involved in ORICA-GreenEDGE's major victories and has bought a great deal of experience to the team.

“It was a pleasure to watch his commitment and passion towards his teammates and to the sport that he has given so much too. Thanks Brett.”

Prior to his time with ORICA-GreenEDGE Lancaster was a multiple world champion and Olympic gold medalist on the track. Lancaster and his Australian team pursuit squad broke the world record in their gold medal-winning ride at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2005 and in the same year won the prologue of the Giro d’Italia to claim a stint in the maglia rosa leader’s jersey.

“When you look at all the years, nothing comes close to the Olympic gold medal. As an athlete that is the pinnacle,” Lancaster said. And on the road winning the prologue at the Giro d’Italia and taking the Maglia Rosa is a special memory. At the time I was living in Italy and riding for an Italian team so it was even more special.”

Having announced his retirement, Lancaster will join Team Sky in a sport director role.

“For many years I’ve wanted to stay involved in cycling once I finished racing professionally,” Lancaster said. “This career move and for them to believe in me, it’s fantastic. It’s moving on and it’s a massive step but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The entire team – riders and staff - at ORICA-GreenEDGE send their congratulations to Brett on his career and best wishes for the future.

And Lancaster is becoming a sports director at Team Sky. Here's the news from Sky:

Brett Lancaster has joined Team Sky ahead of the 2016 season as he begins the next chapter of his career as a Sports Director. With 13 years' experience in the pro peloton, the Australian retired from cycling this season and will begin the New Year with a new team and an exciting challenge.

One of the most versatile riders in the peloton during his career, the 36 year old famously won the Giro d'Italia prologue in 2005 and spent a day in the Maglia Rosa.

Bringing our Sport Director roster up to six, Lancaster admits the switch from bike to team car will be a challenge – but it's one he's relishing.

"I'm very excited. It's a big move and I think you have to adapt from being a professional cyclist to being a Sports Director," he said. "There's a lot to take on board and it's been pretty intense, but I'm over the moon."

Team Sky's Sport Directors took time out of training to ask Brett and few questions and welcome him to the team:

Nicolas Portal: "Brett, welcome to the team! What are your first impressions of Team Sky?"

BL: "Thanks Nico. It's been great to spend a few days with the team at the December camp. It's a very impressive and professional operation you have here. I've really enjoyed getting to know the riders and staff and I look forward to getting to know them even better. Everyone has been very welcoming and I'm sure I'll fit in well."

Servais Knaven: "What are you looking forward to most in 2016?"

BL: "I can't wait to get started. My first race of the season should be the Tour of Valencia, and that will give me my first opportunity of race experience with Team Sky. You have to learn quickly in this sport but that suits me perfectly and I'm ready for the challenge. Hopefully we'll be able to get some good results early in 2016 to kick-start our season."

Dario Cioni: "Are you looking forward to swapping the bike for the car?"

BL: "I love cycling so staying in the sport was very important to me. The move from the bike to the car is always going to be tough, but it's one that I'm ready for. All the DS's at Team Sky were great bike riders so you've been through the same transition. I'm looking forward to it. Joining Team Sky was an unmissable opportunity and the best next step in my career. I'm delighted to be here."

Kurt Arvesen: "It's great to have you in the team Brett. When did you know that you wanted to become a DS?"

BL: "Towards the end of your career you have to start to thinking about your next steps. I always wanted to stay in cycling and thought that I had the potential to become a DS. There are certain attributes that you need to be a good DS – attention to detail and being calm under pressure – and I like to think I'm good in those areas. There's obviously a lot for me to learn and hopefully I'll pick up some good tips from you guys along the way."

Gabriel Rasch: "Who would win in race between all six Team Sky Sport Directors?"

BL: "Good question Gabba! I'm not sure, guess we'll have to find out!"

Lampre team cleared of doping charges

All of the riders and staff of the Lampre team have been cleared in the years-long investigation and trial. Only a pharmacist and and a local masters rider were found guilty.

Here's the release from Lampre:

Team LAMPRE-MERIDA indicates, with great satisfaction, the full discharge of the verdict which was declared this morning at the Mantova Court, a trial lasting almost six years against some of the team’s members.

The management of the team and Giuseppe Saronni, who has been completely acquitted and cleared from any charges, would like to underline the impartiality of the verdict and would like to thank:

- the lawyer Federico and Marco Cecconi and there consultants

- the present and former colleagues and employers who shared this delicate period, some of them seeing there job being put at risk.

- everybody who supported and put there trust in the team and the people who were involved in the trial: partners, supporters and sponsor and, in particular, Lampre company and the Galbusera family, who deserve the biggest thank for the warm and true support and trust in every moment

Giuseppe Saronni

Giuseppe Saronni (center) a few years back with Alessandro Petacchi (left) and Damiano Cunego (right)

They received the gratitude for the intellectual honesty and the support which was given during the troubled time which finally has come to show the truth, thanks to the activity of the civil jurisdiction, to an happy and long awaited end.

TheMantova Court did justice to a team which has operated in the cycling world for almost a quarter of century, vanishing the senseless and repeated attempts to manipulate the facts which threatened the team in the World Tour.

Giuseppe Saronni and the team management wish to all the team’s members to have a merry Christmas holiday in a happier and more cheerful way than in the past and encourage them to look forward with the best purposes and with even more trust in their qualities for the future.

Lotto-Soudal presents 2016 racing kit

This just came from the team:

Yesterday, the Lotto Soudal team for 2016 was presented at the Stadsschouwburg in Antwerp. The guests got the chance to see the outfit for next season for the first time. There aren’t many changes because the shirt design and style remain the same. In 2016 you can still recognize the Lotto Soudal riders by the red and black retro look clothes just like this year.

 2016 lotto-Soudal kit

2016 Lotto-Soudal kit

There are some new logos. The Mobiflex® logo, a brand from our latest partner Eurogenercis, will be visible on the left thigh. On the back of the shorts there is still the logo of mydigipass.com, but it has slightly changed. The logo of the CAPS Fuelcard is new on the right shoulder.

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary