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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer

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Team UAE Abu Dhabi headed to Tour Down Under

UAE Abu Dhabi (formerly Lampre-Merida) sent me this update:

Australia will host the debut of the team UAE Abu Dhabi, a memorable event for the world cycling.

Colnago bikes of the team managed by Carlo Saronni will race for the first time on 15th January on the roads of Adelaide in the criterium People’s Choice Classic and two days later they’ll debut in a World Tour race in Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 January).

Team UAE Abu Dhabi set ambitious goals for the Australian race, since the lineup will be competitive in all the six stages. Kump and Swift will battle against the fastest wheels, Ulissi will be a stage fighter and will try to be in the top part of the general classification relying on the support of Mori and of the duo Laengen-Marcato (they’ll race for the first time in the team).

As for the past year, Meintjes’s season will start in Australia.“I’m happy to go again to Australia, where I’ll find the necessary conditions for the seasonal debut, as for the past years - Ulissi explained – The courses are suitable for my characteristics, I’ll try to achieve important results and I’ll work also in order to improve my shape.

In the 2017 edition, there won’t be any more the stage with arrival in Stirling, where I obtained one success and one second place: it’s a pity, because it would have been for sure a good opportunity, however in Australia I’ll have other chances to try to hit the target and to give immediately satisfaction to the UAE Abu Dhabi team”.

Ben Swift said: “I’m really excited to be heading back to Santos Tour Down Under. I have tasted success there before and it is always a nice place to start the season. It’s even more special for me in 2017 as it marks the start of my new adventure with UAE Abu Dhabi. I’m looking forward to pulling on my new jersey and getting started”.

Ben Swift

Ben Swift in his 2016 colors at the Tour of Romandie

Some facts and figures about the riders who’ll be directed by sports director Marco Marzano: Swift won two stages in the Tour Down Under (both in the 2011 edition, in Adelaide and Mannum) and he was 3rd in the final general classification in 2011; one stage victory for Ulissi in Stirling in the 2014 edition, the same year he finished 3rd in the general classification.

Good Australian feeling for Kump too, who was 4th in the opening stage of the 2016 edition.

Meintjes will participate in the Tour Down Under for the 2nd time in his career, Mori have been raced 5 editions so far, while Laengen and Marcato will debut in the race.

UAE Abu Dhabi’s line up:
- LAENGEN Vegard Stake
- KUMP Marko
- MARCATO Marco
- MEINTJES Louis
- MORI Manuele
- SWIFT Ben
- ULISSI Diego

Staff: physician Dr De Grandi, masseurs Mugnaini and Redaelli, mechanics Bacchion and Walden.

The criterium People’s Choice Classic will be raced on 2,3 km course which will be covered 22 times (total distance of 50,6 km).

These are the details of the stages of the Santos Tour Down Under:
- 17 January, 1st stage, Unley-Lyndoch, 145 km, sprinters’ stage
- 18 January, 2nd stage, Stirling-Paracombe, 148,5 km, stage for sprinters with endurance
- 19 January, 3rd stage, Glenelg-Victor Harbor, 144 km, hilly final part of the course
- 20 January, 4th stage, Norwood-Campbelltown, 149,5 km, sprinters’ stage
- 21 January, 5th stage, McLaren Vale-Willunga Hill, 151,5 km, queen stage
- 22 January, 6th stage, Adelaide-Adelaide, 90 km, sprinters’ stage

Heinrich Haussler to have knee surgery

Here's the report from Haussler's team:

Heinrich Haussler from the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team will not join the team this weekend for their first official presentation in Bahrain due to his knee injury.

Heinrich Haussler

Heinrich Haussler at the 2015 Eneco Tour

Dr Carlo Guardascione, Medical staff of the team BAHRAIN MERIDA explains Haussler’s condition: “After a bike crash in November, the rider had suffered a cartilago injury and a ligaments torsion of the left knee. After many conservative therapies, the last MRI of control shows an ipertrofic “plica synovial” inside the knee. So today afternoon, in the Sanatorium Clinic of Schruns in Austria, the professor Schenk will do in arthroscopy a surgery treatment of the problem. The recovery physiotherapy will start tomorrow and the rider will not be able to travel in Bahrain in next days.”

The team is expecting him back on bike in the next 10 days and he will join them on the next training camp in Spain later this month.

Quick Step Floors team boss Patrick Lefevre looks forward to 2017

Quick Step Floors (formerly Etixx-Quick Step) posted this:

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team's CEO Patrick Lefevre shared his thoughts ahead of the new season.

Last year was another fantastic one for our team: 57 victories, 18 of which came in the World Tour, including 9 Grand Tour stages and the World TTT Championships. For the fifth season in a row, we were the most winningest outfit of the peloton, taking the team's all-time tally to more than 550 victories. These are some very impressive numbers that make us proud and happy, but at the same time they give us renewed motivation to reach new heights in the season that will soon start.

Patrik Lefevre and MArk Cavendish

Patrick Lefevre (blue jacket) talks to an injured Mark Cavendish at the 2014 Tour de France

With a huge degree of confidence, we'll soon embark in a new adventure with 29 riders from 13 countries, a roster that mixes experience and youth, with an average age of just 27 years. We are really looking forward to this 15th chapter since the inception of the team, an important one that awaits to be written, and we hope it will bring us, our sponsors and our fans many satisfactions and memorable moments.

Best wishes to you and your families for a fantastic year!

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