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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 31, 2015

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

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves. - Ambrose Bierce

Tour Méditerranéen has replacement

The Tour Méditerranéen (Tour of the Mediterranean) early season stage race was cancelled in 2015. Now a race called La Méditerranéen has been included in the UCI calender and given a 2.1 ranking. It will be a four-stage race totalling 557 kilometers and run February 11-14.

It looks like the organizers will have a good peloton with Ag2r, Sky, Giant-Alpecin, Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, Lampre-Merida among the teams said to be coming.

Stephan Cummings

Stephan Cummings won the 2014 edition of the Tour Méditerranéen

It will start with a seven-kilometer team time trial in the Catalonian town of Banyoles.

Here are the stages:

Stage 1 (02/11/16): Banyoles - Banyoles 7 kms team time trial (Catalunya).

Stage 2 (12/02/16): Banyoles sur Mer - Beziers / 220 kms. (France)

Stage 3 (13/02/16): Cadolive - Pegomas / 200 kms. (France)

4th Stage (02/14/16): Bordighera - Bordighera / 130 kms. (Italy)

Movistar 2016 team to debut in Tour Down Under

This team posted this update:

At a little over two weeks to the start of his 2016 season, the thirty-seventh of Eusebio Unzue's teams in the top ranks of cycling, Movistar Team, confirmed the seven riders who will form the squad going to the 18th Tour Down Under (on 19 - Sunday, January 24) and the traditional criterium People's Choice Classic (on 17).

The riders going are: Rory Sutherland (AUS), Jasha Sütterlin (GER), Jose Joaquin Rojas, Juan Lobato, Jesus Herrada, Ruben Fernandez (ESP) and Nelson Oliveira (POR) -in his first appearance in blue - with José Luis Arrieta as sports director.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland will be headed to the Tour Down Under

The Australian round repeats his usual pattern of previous years, with short stages-no more than 151 km from the Queen , Saturday 23- and each year more nervous. The climb to Corkscrew Road, Campbelltown Road, in the third stage (on the 21st), and Willunga Hill, 24 hours before the conclusion in Adelaide, will be the deciding points in a race with most ending again sprint finishes.

Team Movistar was the best team of the last edition, supported by the performance of Ruben Fernandez - 5th overall, 3rd in Willunga- or Gorka Izaguirre (8th) in addition to the stage win by Juanjo Lobato in Stirling.

Etixx-Quick Step looks back on 2015; Rigoberto Uran in Quebec

This retrospective was on the team's site:

Etixx – Quick-Step had another successful season in 2015, with 54 road wins alongside 69 other podium places. Over the next weeks we will look back on the 10 biggest moments for the team in the 2015 season. Our previous moments focused on the likes of Niki Terpstra, Michal Kwiatkowski, Julian Alaphilippe or Tony Martin. Our next best moment is Rigoberto Uran becoming the first Colombian rider to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec.

On Friday, September 11th, the pack lined-up along the Grande Allée for the sixth edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, a 201.6 km-long event consisting of 16 laps of 12.6 kilometers. The challenging race put on the table four ascents – Côte de la Montagne, Côte de la Potasse, Montée de la Fabrique and Montée du Fort – a course which was very much to the liking of those capable of attacking and keeping the tempo on short and intense climbs.

As soon as the flag dropped in Quebec for the penultimate one-day World Tour race of the season, a six-rider group went clear from the peloton, who was content to give them a reasonable margin of eight minutes which was easy to control. As a result, the pace wasn’t high until the last 50 kilometers of the race, when the pack began to ride full gas and as a consequence to reduce the advantage of the escapees, the last two being caught with only two laps to go, in the final 30 kilometers.

Fresh attacks followed shortly, but the peloton reacted each and every time, which led to a compact group once the cyclists hit the final lap. Then, with just two kilometers remaining, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe accelerated, setting up Rigoberto Uran, who went clear on the final uphill, with just 500 meters to go, and managed to take a couple of seconds in hand, which in the end proved to be enough for him to narrowly keep the field off and record the first World Tour one-day race victory of his career, ahead of Michael Matthews and Alexander Kristoff.

rigoberto Uran wins the 2015 GP Quebec

Rigoberto Uran is first across the line at the 2015 GP Quebec

"For me this was a big relief after a season that was a bit unlucky, with a lot of small problems. Despite these, I never gave up. After the Tour de France I said 'ok, I have to keep the concentration and effort up'. I worked hard to be ready for the Canadian races, and the result is there with a victory. I knew this race well, as I was third in 2011. I knew with this parcours that there is a chance to anticipate in the last kilometer, and I did it. I kept going on, gave everything and arrived first at the finish line. To have finally won a one-day World Tour race felt really great", said Rigoberto Uran of his victory in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec.

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