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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Friday, October 16, 2015

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

Racing schedule:

Next up: Two important races on Sunday, the 18th. In France there is the Chrono des Nations time trial and in Japan, the Japan Cup.

Tom Boonen is cleared to fly back to Belgium

Here's the press release from Etixx-Quick Step:

Etixx - Quick-Step announces good news for Tom Boonen on his 35th birthday.

Boonen received approval to fly to Belgium after a medically scheduled CT scan check-up this morning. The Belgian rider was joined by his partner, Lore, on Tuesday. They will stay in Abu Dhabi for a few days before returning to Europe.

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen winning another race, this year's Münsterland Giro

“Tom's situation is evolving as we expected," said Team Doctor Yvan Vanmol. “Once he gets back to Belgium, Tom will have to observe a few weeks of rest, after which we can begin to plan for the 2016 season.”

The team kindly asks the media to respect the privacy of Tom and his family over the next weeks and to contact the team's press office for any requests.

Ben King and Phil Gaimon and sign with Garmin-Cannondale

Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling today announced that Ben King has re-upped
with the team, and that it has added Phil Gaimon to the 2016 line-up.

Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Cannondale-Garmin Pro
Cycling said: “Ben is a very talented rider and he is still developing his skills. In
2015 he showed glimpses of what he will be capable of in the coming years,
and a highlight was his performance at World Championships, which was
absolutely amazing to watch. Plus, he loves bass fishing, which is
something more professional riders should love.”

King, 26-years old, has raced with the team since 2014.  He raced his first Tour de France that year and in 2015 he won Stage 1 of Criterium International and netted a Silver medal at the U.S. National Time Trial Championships.

King said: “I'm really excited and proud to keep living the dream with the
team in 2016. When you battle through the most difficult days, celebrate
victories, and support each other as teammates, you become really good
friends. That's the most rewarding part of the sport for me. Plus, the
entire staff has been so supportive and given me every opportunity to get
the best out of myself. I've improved every year and feel like I still have
a lot of potential to realize. I hope to have a consistent 2016 and build
on another Grand Tour and year of experience.”

Gaimon rode for Slipstream Sports in the 2014 season, where he won his
first race - Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de San Luis, finishing second
overall. He re-joins the team in 2016 and is excited to don argyle again:

“I had a great experience and the opportunity of a lifetime when I raced
for the team back in 2014. I learned a lot about how to race in Europe, how
to navigate the pack, control breakaways and better help leaders," said
Gaimon. "I’m thrilled to come back in 2016 with another year of racing
experience under my belt and apply everything I have learned along the way.
It will be good to be back in argyle.”

Ben King

Ben King having a good 2015 Criterium International

Vaughters added:  “Phil is an intelligent rider and a good person. Both are
attributes needed in any team, and we are very happy to have him back in
our ranks.”

Diego Ulissi re-signs with Lampre-Merida

This note came from the team:

The mutual esteem felt between Team Lampre-Merida and Diego Ulissi will continue also on contractual basis.

The four-time stage winner in the Giro d'Italia pointed out several times that his strongly-felt will was to link his professional path to the blue-fuchsia-green colors. During the Abu Dhabi Tour, he concluded with the team manager Brent Copeland the agreement for racing with Lampre-Merida in 2016.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi

"I declared many times that I always conceive my future in blue-fuchsia-green colors and, being aware of the consideration for me from the team and the sponsors, the contract renewal was very easy to achieve - Diego Ulissi explained - I'm aware of the fact that the team trust in me as they always demonstrated, going along with me in my professional path. I'm sure I'll be able to gratify those who support me by achieving top results".

Team manager Brent Copeland said: "Diego Ulissi is tightly linked with our group, we supported him since he was very young. It's such a good thing to have the opportunity to add another step to the common story, especially because Diego is a pure talent and we consider that he'll be able to obtain top level victories".

Fabian Wegmann signs contract with Cult Energy

Cult Energy-Stölting Group continues their build-up for 2016 with announcing the signing of the experienced German all-rounder, Fabian Wegmann. The 35 year-old Wegmann has agreed on a 1 year contract and then takes on his 15th season as a professional. With three national road race championships, numerous wins in one-day races and stages races, the Giro d'Italia mountain classification and several spring classic top-10 results under his belt, Wegmann has been and will continue to be a key figure at Cult Energy-Stölting Group in 2016.

Fabian Wegmann

Fabian Wegmann

Fabian Wegmann says: "I'm happy to sign one more year with the team and to be a part of this new project. I'm really proud of how the team performed in the first year at Pro Continental level. From the very first race, we continuously had at least one rider who did a top result, especially in the stage races. With the new signings for 2016, we even have a stronger roster so I'm sure that we will have a lot more victories than this year. With my experience over the last 14 years as a pro rider, I hope to be able to play an important role in the team."

Naturally, DS, André Steensen is looking forward to continuing working with Wegmann: "I'm very happy that we have Fabian on board next year. His many years as a top level professional provide us with crucial experience in a fairly young team. And in addition, it also provides the opportunity for a rematch in the spring campaign as Fabian was held back by accidents and illness this year. I believe that Fabian still has the ability to compete with the best in a race like Amstel Gold Race thanks to his punch and ability to predict the races. Besides, he will take an important role on the team next year as a mentor for our young riders who will be able to receive a lot of knowledge from Fabian as one of the most experienced riders in the peloton when it comes to the undulating spring classics," concludes DS, André Steensen.

Plus Cult Energy sent me this about another sigining:

Cult Energy-Stölting Group has signed a one-year contract with the Danish talent, Michael Carbel who was riding for CULT Energy Pro Cycling this season. As a rookie in the professional peloton, Carbel has gained crucial experience and put a handful of top results in his pocket wearing the Danish u23 national colors. The 20 year-old was a natural pick for CULT Energy-Stölting Group 2016 roster according to DS, André Steensen.

Sports director, André Steensen says about Michael Carbel: “Carbel is another great talent we get to work with next year. He is still only 20 years old and you have to consider his age when deciding what to expect from him. But looking at Michael's first professional season, he has been putting top-5 results in his pocket and he has been at his best in the races where we expected most from him. This gives us hope that Michael will be even stronger in 2016, a year older and more experienced. Michael has the talent to go far in his career and with more experience, he will be able to get more results for us next year, I'm sure,” concludes Steensen.

Michael Carbel

Michael Carbel

Michael Carbel states: “This season has been a rollercoaster ride considering my own results but looking in the rearview mirror, I have gained a lot of experience and I had some good moments here and there. I’m glad I decided to take the next step up after only one year as a Continental rider and I’m happy to be able to continue my development at least one more year with CULT Energy-Stölting Group. In 2016, I hope to be achieving more top results and hopefully net a few wins along the way,” says Carbel.

Giant-Alpecin expands coaching staff

The team sent me this note:

Team Giant-Alpecin is expanding its coaching staff with the addition of Morten Bennekou (DEN). Bennekou has spent the past 13 years at the Danish cycling federation, as a coach and head of development for road cycling.

“We are delighted to welcome Morten on board as a coach,” said Rudi Kemna (NED), head coach. “We sought him out because of his experience in the development of riders in addition to his skills as a trainer. He has had great success in Denmark, bringing many riders to the pro level and building a strong and stable structure inside the federation. We are happy that he has chosen to join us as the next step in his career. His way of thinking is a good fit with ours.”

“I’ve enjoyed my time with the Danish cycling federation,” said Bennekou. “I’ve had good experiences and seen some good results, and we’ve made solid progress with cycling in Denmark. I felt comfortable at the federation, but when the opportunity arose with Team Giant-Alpecin I was ready to take on a new challenge in my own career as coach. I wouldn’t say yes to just any team, but I knew this team relatively well, as we had worked together with some Danish riders and I had participated in a training camp, where we had good big-picture conversations about rider and team development. I decided to join the team because this organization shares my outlook and I have good relationships with everyone on the team.”

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