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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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2015 Tour de France Team Invitations Issued

2015 BikeRaceInfo Tour de France page

Announced January 14, 2015, the following teams were issued invitatons to the 2015 Tour:

The Tour de France organizers have chosen the teams that will take part in the 102nd edition of the Grande Boucle (July 4-26). In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following seventeen teams UCI WorldTeam are automatically invited to the three races:

AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Etixx - Quick Step (Bel)
FDJ (Fra)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
Lampre - Merida (Ita)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Orica GreenEDGE (Aus)
Team Cannondale - Garmin (USA)
Team Giant - Alpecin (Ger)
Team Katusha (Rus)
Team Lotto NL - Jumbo (Ned)
Team Sky (Gbr)
Tinkoff - Saxo (Rus)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)

In addition to these seventeen teams, the organizers have awarded the following wildcards:

Bora - Argon 18 (Ger)
Bretagne - Séché Environnement (Fra)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
MTN-Qhubeka (RSA)
Team Europcar (Fra)

Alex Dowsett's Plans to Break World Hour Record in Doubt

Movistar team rider Alex Dowsett, the Commonwealth Games time-trial champion had earlier announced plans to break Matthias Brandle's World Hour Record of 51.852 kilometers, but a training accident resulted in a broken collarbone. Dowsett will have surgery Thursday and a decision on if Dowsett will proceed with the record attempt will be made in a few days.

Others are planning attempts on the record, including Jack Bobridge, who will make his attempt on January 31 and Rohan Denis who has planned a February 8 ride. 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has also announced plans to break cycling's most prestigious record.

Tinkoff-Saxo Training Camp

Tinkoff-Saxo training camp

This press release came from Tinkoff-Saxo on Sunday, the 11th:

Tinkoff-Saxo has gathered in Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna to prepare for the 2015-season during a two week training camp. Friday evening, the riders and staff presented the new 2015 bike setup building upon the frames from the WorldTour proven and long-time partner Specialized.

Saturday, the riders took their new bikes for a spin on a long and steady training session. During the course of the training camp, the riders will gradually pick up the pace to simulate the race conditions that will be faced in just a few weeks.

Team Sky is Ambitious

This release came from Team Sky:

TEAM SKY “HUNGRY” AS IT SETS OUT ITS ‘2020 VISION’

Team Sky at the end of the 2014 Tour de France

Team Sky at the end of the 2014 Tour de France

On the fifth anniversary of its launch, Team Sky has today set out its ‘2020 Vision’ for the next five years. Dave Brailsford, Team Principal said:

“The first chapter of Team Sky was successful. We set out to win the Tour de France, to do it clean and to do it with a British rider. We have done that twice. And we have helped  inspire a million more people in the UK to take up cycling. But it is in our DNA to think that we could have gone further, that we could have achieved more. And we are now hungrier than ever.

 “Our mission for 2020 is very simple - for Team Sky to be indisputably and consistently the best cycling team in the world, and to be viewed as one of the very best sports teams in the world. We will do that by winning more races in the next five years than we did in the past five years. And do that consistently in Grand Tours as well as Classics and Monuments.

“Our vision is to continue to play a leadership role in charting a better future for this great sport of ours and changing the culture that so damaged it. That means continued leadership on anti-doping. But much more than that, we want Team Sky to be at the cutting edge of innovation and a reference point for excellence in human performance. And the purpose of all this is very simple - to do everything we can to make more people fall in love with cycling so it can have a positive impact on their lives.

“By 2020, I want Team Sky to be seen as a beacon of sporting excellence after a decade of sustained success. And how we have done it matters just as much as what we have done. But above all, why we have it done it matters most of all.”

Orica-GreenEdge Tour Down Under team announced

Orica-GreenEdge

Orica-GreenEdge at the 2014 Tour Down Under

An aggressive mindset and stage win aspirations will drive a strong seven-man ORICA-GreenEDGE squad at the Santos Tour Down Under starting next week.
Announced today, Australians 2011 Santos Tour Down Under champion Cameron Meyer, 2012 Vuelta a Espana king of the mountain Simon Clarke, 2013 Australian champion Luke Durbridge, 2014 national time trial champion Michael Hepburn and vital team leader and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Mathew Hayman will all line up in their home WorldTour race.

Joining them is New Zealand’s Sam Bewley and South African Daryl Impey.
“The Tour Down Under is a big race for us,” sport director Matt White said. “We always look forward to racing at home for our Australian fans and putting on a show for them. This year will be no different.”

“The aim this year is to try and win a stage and to animate the action. We might be going in without our defending champion but, like the national championships, it’s a time for our guys to step up and prove that we are a multidimensional team and that we can win at all stages of the year even without some of our key riders.”

A strong ride by the team in yesterday’s Australian championship and Bewley’s impressive ride for fourth at the New Zealand championship sees White confident in the team’s form ahead of the first WorldTour race of the season.

“Everyone in our team raced on Sunday except for Daryl Impey and they all proved they have prepared well over the past couple of months and are ready to chase the goals we are going to set for the Tour Down Under,” White said.

“Daryl is coming from South Africa, so he is coming from summer as well, has been to the race multiple times before and is also looking for a strong start to the season. I am really happy with the group we have assembled.”

Despite much speculation about 2015 Australian road race silver medalist Caleb Ewan, White says the team is looking at the bigger picture for their neo-pro sprinter.

“Caleb has a program that I am very confident will get him wins during the season,” White explained. “Yes, he is in great shape at the moment, but he has only two weeks until he races again in the Cadel Evans Classic. We are definitely looking big picture for Caleb with his goals for the year and his long term future which is why he will not be lining up in Adelaide.”

The Santos Tour Down Under begins with the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday, 18 January before the six-stage main race begins on Tuesday, 20 January.
Race director Mike Turtur is looking forward to the return of ORICA-GreenEDGE and past winner Meyer.

“We can’t wait to see ORICA-GreenEDGE take to the start line to compete,” Turtur said. “Being an Australian UCI WorldTeam ORICA-GreenEDGE has a huge fan base here and we know they will all be cheering roadside for their faveourite riders. It is also great to see Cameron Meyer back in the mix and this year he will be joined on the start line by three other previous winners in Martin Elmiger (2007), Luis Leon Sanchez (2005) and Michael Rogers (2002).”



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