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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. - Arthur Schopenhauer

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Lotto-Soudal's early season plans

The team sent me this update:

Today, sports manager Marc Sergeant gives more information about the race programme of Lotto Soudal in the beginning of next year.

December training camp:

“The training camp in December is the real kick-off of the new season. The riders have been training for a few weeks now, but during the training camp there is a more structural build-up towards next year. Each day, group trainings and core stability sessions are scheduled and the riders go to the fitness regularly. Each rider has a meeting with me, his personal sports director and mental coach Nathan Kahan. Photo shoots, video shoots, sponsor meetings and press conferences also take place during these eleven days. It’s a busy schedule.”

January: Mallorca or Tour Down Under

“Early January, the team returns to Mallorca for a second training camp. During this training camp the trainings are longer than in December. Another difference is that there are no other obligations for the riders. Seven riders won’t come to Mallorca as they already head to Australia to prepare for the Tour Down Under (17 – 22 January) and Cadel Evans Ocean Road Race (29 January), the first new one-day race on the WorldTour calendar next season. The seven riders who go to Australia are: Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Sean De Bie, Thomas De Gendt, Adam Hansen, James Callum Shaw and Rafael Valls. Last year, Rafael Valls finished eighth overall at the Tour Down Under. Later down the season, Rafa had a lot of bad luck. This edition, he’s aiming for a top ten place again. Sean De Bie, Thomas De Gendt and Adam Hansen will pick their stages. For James Shaw, Australia will be his début as a pro rider. Just like neo-pros Rémy Mertz and Enzo Wouters he gets the chance to grow without any pressure.”

Sander Armee

Sander Armée is headed to Australia for the Tour Down Under in 2017

Challenge Mallorca

“The last week of January thirteen riders come back to Mallorca for the Mallorca Challenge (26 – 29 January), which consists of four races. Tiesj Benoot, André Greipel, Moreno Hofland, Rémy Mertz, Nikolas Maes, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Tim Wellens and Enzo Wouters will be part of the line-up for the Challenge Mallorca. Each rider will get an individual race programme. We already leave for Mallorca three days before the Challenge Mallorca and stay three more days on the island as well, which makes you can consider this as a third training camp.”

“Thirteen riders in Mallorca and seven in Australia, then there are eight left who will go to France. Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin and Jelle Wallays are part of that group. They will participate in the GP La Marseillaise on 29 January and Etoile de Bessèges from 1 to 5 February.”

February

In February we will ride the Ruta del Sol and Volta ao Algarve (15 – 19 February). The weekend before, two races are added to our programme: Vuelta a la Región de Murcia (11 February) and Clásica de Almería (12 February). At the end of February, the Abu Dhabi Tour (23 – 26 February) will take place. There will be riders in the selection who come back in competition after they will have raced the Tour Down Under in January.”

Preparing for spring

“Then we come close to the Classics. Tim Wellens will participate for the first time ever in Strade Bianche (4 March) and Tirreno-Adriatico (8 – 14 March). Tony Gallopin will ride Paris-Nice (5 – 12 February), together with among other André Greipel. Tony will be focussing more on the cobblestone races next season and will skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Sean De Bie will race the Ardennes Classics. Tiesj Benoot will get a race programme similar to this year and he will get Nikolas Maes by his side. Moreno Hofland will ride a mix of Flemish races and races in which he can show his fast legs.”

Medical package delivered to Bradley Wiggins in 2011 was decongestant

Here's the story from the BBC:

A medical package delivered to Team Sky on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine contained a decongestant, team boss Sir Dave Brailsford told MPs.

Team Sky's former head coach Shane Sutton confirmed the package was for Sir Bradley Wiggins, who won the event.

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins was the winner of the 2012 Tour de France

The team have been under pressure to reveal the contents of the package following a Daily Mail allegation.

And Brailsford revealed it contained Fluimucil, which is legal in sport and "administered on a regular basis".

You can read the entire BBC story here.

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