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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Monday, October 26, 2015

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

Mathew Hayman continues with Orica-GreenEdge

This update came from the team:

Veteran Australian Mathew Hayman will continue to hand down his invaluable wisdom from 15 years of professional cycling to the up and coming stars of Orica-GreenEDGE in a new deal that will see him stay at the team for another two seasons. Hayman joined the Australian outfit from Team Sky in 2013 and has most recently demonstrated his worth at the Vuelta a Espana where he lead and mentored Esteban Chaves and Caleb Ewan to three stage wins and fifth overall.

“I have been here two years now and it was a big move to come but I have really enjoyed my time so far,” Hayman said. “I have been a part of some great wins and for me it wasn’t a hard decision to return again. I don’t think when I turned professional I thought there would ever be an Australian team, certainly not at this level.  It’s exciting, it’s young and it’s dynamic so hopefully I have something to add to that.

Hayman and Durbrideg

Mathew Hayman and Luke Durbridge breaking away in the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico

“We have a really good mix of guys now and we seem to be able to win on all fronts and all terrains and that’s exciting.”

Whilst many see the obvious leadership and influence of Hayman amongst the Orica-GreenEDGE squad, there is no question the personal fire still burns within the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist.

“I still get excited about riding the Belgian Classics,” the 37-year-old said. “If you don’t have any personal ambition it’s hard to do all the training. The Classics are tough and it’s really tough to get onto the podium. In the next two years I hope I can have a stellar year and achieve that.

“I am still ambitious for my own results but I take a lot of satisfaction out of helping the young guys and I hope that they enjoy it and take it all onboard too.”

Sport director Matt White acknowledged that contribution to Orica-GreenEDGE’s developing riders.

‘Matt is one of the most experienced guys still racing,” White said. “Next year will be his 16th season as a professional so he obviously has a wealth of knowledge. We have been in little bit of a transitional phases with a lot of the older guys coming to the end of their career but with the role that Mat plays, it’s crucial that he is around the young guys to pass that knowledge and information on.

“The Flemish Classics are a personal passion of his and that’s not going to stop. I think he has some un-ticked boxes up there, especially with something like Paris-Roubaix and again the knowledge his has is invaluable for that group around him there.”

Mathew Hayman
Date of birth: 20th April 1978 (37)
Nationality: Australian
Turned pro: 2000

Palmares:
- 1st 2006 Commonwealth Games – Road Race

Cannondale-Garmin doctor explains how hotel quality impacts rider recovery

This from the team site:

Team Doctor Kevin Sprouse has stayed in his fair share of hotels with Cannondale-Garmin over the year. We asked him how hotel quality can aid or detract from recovery – and here’s what he had to say.

On a multi-day stage race, such as the Tour de France, day-to-day recovery is perhaps one of the most important variables in an athlete’s success. Having a good day on the bike is great, but the ability to be strong day after day is essential.

To ensure that a rider can perform his best, a good night’s sleep is paramount. Yet, good sleep is not as simple as it sounds nor is it always easy to come by while traveling from hotel to hotel. There are a number of factors that, when present, can make for a great recovery and, when absent, can derail a rider’s best attempts at preparation for the following day.

You may have heard any of the numerous “horror stories” regarding the quality of hotels to which cyclists are subjected when racing major events across Europe. I can assure you – most of these are true! Dirty linens, lack of air conditioning, mosquito infestation and moldy air vents are all too common. To be fair, there are some very nice places that host the teams as well. While hotel quality is “hit or miss”, the requirement for a decent place to recover after a stage is a constant.

Dan Martin

Dan Martin is one of the riders under author and team doctor Dr. Kevin Spouse's care

Whether you’re a Tour de France rider or an amateur wishing to maximize your health and performance, here are a few things to consider when traveling and training:

1. Temperature has a very real effect on sleep quality. A hot, humid environment is not conducive to a good night’s sleep, and you must sleep well to recover. Research continually shows that you will sleep best when the temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18 degrees Celsius). On the road, this requires air conditioning in the summer. Unfortunately riders don’t always have that luxury.

2. Just having air conditioning isn’t enough. Having a proper air filter and maintained system is key. You don’t want to have a 65 degree room if the AC unit is blowing damp, moldy air all over the room!

3. You’ll want to have the room as dark as possible! Even a small amount of light can disrupt sleep. And prior to bedtime, avoid blue-spectrum light such as that emitted from a cell phone or tablet computer. If you must read on your iPad, you can use blue blocking lenses to do so. POC was thoughtful and generous to provide these to our cyclists during the Tour this year.

4. A comfortable bed is essential as well. This can be a complex topic, as individuality plays a big role. In fact, some teams have been known to travel with their own mattresses. But simply having a comfortable, standard option with clean sheets can go a long way! We’ve definitely stayed in some hotels with sagging beds and dirty linens. A decent mattress and pillow can make a huge difference when on the road!

5. An athlete’s overall health is certainly closely related to their ability to recover. Hotels with questionable sleeping quarters often also have bathrooms which would make you cringe. Being able to take a shower in a clean (mold-free!) environment is essential to day-to-day performance as well. It seems simple, but when this is not an option (as is the case at times in some hotels), it can cause problems for our athletes.

In the end, whether you are contesting a major international sporting event or just trying to stay fit while on the road for work, it is the simple things that can make or break your daily recovery. Finding a good hotel to provide an appropriate environment is key. A cool, dark, clean room with a comfortable bed can make all the difference. Tonight’s sleep will set the stage for tomorrow’s performance.

Julian Alaphilippe looks back on the 2015 racing season

This season for me was a really nice one. It was a great experience, even with some setbacks that I will talk about later in the blog.

The excitement began, at least personally, at Paris-Nice. It was my first time at the race and as a French guy it was like a dream. There were several stages near my home, so a lot of people came to visit me. It was a big emotion, one of the first times I realized how great it is to race in your home country. You can interact with your fans and your family and it is very special. It was also important because even if at the end Kwiatkowski was 2nd, we worked hard every day to defend the yellow jersey. Paris-Nice was also the springboard for a period of good racing for me.

The Ardennes Classics were really beautiful for the team and myself. Kwiato won at Amstel Gold Race, and then I was always a protagonist in the races. It was everything I imaged it could be. I did my best for a great result, and to be on the podium at any of those races, such as Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, it was a wonderful feeling that is difficult to fully describe. When you are a guy who aims for these races since you are a child, it felt almost surreal.

Julian Alaphilippe

Julian Alaphilippe wins 2015 Tour of California stage 7

Amgen Tour of California was like icing on the cake. After a lot of places in big races, it was a relief to finally raise my hands as a victor. It was fantastic. As a team we won four stages, out of eight. So, I also experienced great teamwork. At the end we really worked together to try to help me win this race. At the end I was 2nd, but the stage victory is one I won't forget. The first part of this season was something great and something I will carry with me through my career.

After the first part of the season I decided with the team to take a period of rest. The French National Championship was my last race before a deserved break, to recover as best as possible and reap the full benefits of a major period of racing. I followed Le Tour de France as a spectator. It was super nice. I restarted again with a few European races before departing for Canada. Unfortunately, that was when things did not go so well for me.

When I arrived in Canada for the races I immediately had the feeling that something was wrong. I didn't feel really well. But, when you are young, you think it is simply a matter of fatigue and not fully recovering. I didn't really think about it. I tried to do my job. But, from Canada, we flew immediately to Richmond for the UCI World Championship. I spent 15 days there, so for me it was a long period mentally. Sadly, the feeling did not improve. In fact, it felt worse. I was training really hard, but my body didn't respond as I hoped. I rode the Worlds, but since the first pedal stroke I knew it would be bad for me. There was nothing I could do with my condition.

When I returned to Europe, I discovered I had mononucleosis. It was probably present in my body for a few weeks prior. For me, it was a mixed feeling. In one way I was upset, because I couldn't finish the season the way I wanted, especially with worlds on a road course I really liked. But, on the other hand, I was relieved. I finally had an answer for why my body was not at the level I expected. It was because of an illness, not because I did something wrong in training or recovery. Now I am focusing on full recovery. I had a few days with the team in meetings in Brussels, and now I will take a small period off before focusing on next season. I want to do well next year. I also had the chance to meet with Dan Martin, a guy who knows the Ardennes Classics well. It was nice to chat with him and discuss our mutual love for those races. We will see what we can do together. I think I can learn a lot from him and can start the 2016 season on the right path with Etixx – Quick-Step.

Giant-Alpecin, Liv-Plantur rosters confirmed for 2016

A few days ago I posted a note about some of the team signings. Here's the team's roster confirmation:

The first steps in the preparations for 2016 have been made at the annual team meeting, where the team wrapped up the 2015 season, new riders for 2016 had their first experiences with the team, and the coaches and experts had the opportunity to introduce the team’s way of working. Photo shoots, fitting sessions and partner activities were also scheduled. The riders will now enjoy a well-deserved period of rest and vacation before they begin their physical and mental preparation for next season.

With five new riders added to the 2016 roster, including the Norwegian and German talents Sindre Skjøstad Lunke and Max Walscheid, the 2016 roster for the men’s program is complete. It’s time to take a look at expectations for the new season together with Team Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink.

“With the signing of four young riders, each with their own talents, as well as the experienced Laurens ten Dam, we remain committed to our way of working, with the central aim of developing our riders based on long-term planning and strategy,” said Spekenbrink. “Like last season, we will have a broader focus again in 2016, and we will explore our opportunities and go where we see chances. From that perspective, we are very happy with the contract extensions of 11 of our current riders, including Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin. We look forward to continuing to work with them and helping them develop further as riders so they can achieve their maximum potential.”

New riders: Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Sam Oomen (NED), Max Walscheid (GER).

Contract renewals: Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Koen de Kort (NED), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Georg Preidler (AUT), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Tom Veelers (NED).

Under existing contracts: Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), John Degenkolb (GER), Caleb Fairly (USA), Simon Geschke (GER), Lars van der Haar (NED), Cheng Ji (CHN), Carter Jones (USA), Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL).

Departing riders: Lawson Craddock (USA), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Marcel Kittel (GER), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Daan Olivier (NED).

Cheng Jiu

Cheng Ji will ride for Giant Alpecin in 2016 under an existing contract

Team Liv-Plantur announced the signing of four new riders for the 2016 season, reflecting the team goal of becoming one of the top teams in women’s cycling.

Spekenbrink explained: “We want to become an important player in professional women’s cycling. We work according to the Keep Challenging approach, with the same standards and top sports vision as the men’s program, and we can build on the same solid, professional structure. Our aim is to develop talented riders, give them opportunities and help them reach their maximum potential, and these four signings are an important step in that effort.”

New riders: Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Riejanne Markus (NED), Rozanne Slik (NED), Carlee Taylor (AUS).

Contract renewals: Floortje Mackaij (NED), Sara Mustonen-Lichan (SWE), Julia Soek (NED), Kyara Stijns (NED), Sabrina Stultiens (NED), Molly Weaver (GBR).

Departing riders: Lucy Garner (GBR), Willeke Knol (NED), Claudia Lichtenberg (GER), Amy Pieters (NED).

Amy pieters

Amy Pieters will not be returning to Liv-Plantur in 2016

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