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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 14, 2016

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

Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul. - Douglas MacArthur

Cannondale team in Australia

The team sent me this update:

Cannondale Pro Cycling Team has assembled in Adelaide with a strong all-around squad capable of performing over the varied terrain served up by the Santos Tour Down Under. The Argyle Armada plans to target the sprint stages alongside a top ten on the general classification in the WorldTour season opener.

“We selected a team that would provide us for options on every stage,” said head sport director Charly Wegelius. “Our specific objectives will be shaped on the road, but we have distinct roles in mind for every rider.”

Wouter Wippert will make his debut in argyle at the Tour Down Under as part of Cannondale Pro Cycling Team’s seven-man squad. A stage winner in Adelaide last year, Wippert hopes to snag a second sprint victory in the opening race on the WorldTour calendar.

Cannondale riders

The Cannondale team is already in Australia

“It’s good to be back in Adelaide, the place where it all started last year with my first WorldTour win,” said Wippert. “For this year, the goal is the same – start the season with a win on one of the stages. The whole team is very motivated. I’m looking forward to next week when we’ll try to get the win together in green.”

While Wippert offers the American-registered squad options in the sprints, Simon Clarke has his sights set on the general classification. The Australian, who will line up for his tenth Tour Down Under start, will also serve as road captain in the WorldTour season opener.

Alberto Bettiol, newly crowned New Zealand time trial champion Paddy Bevin, Moreno Moser, Michael Woods and Ruben Zepuntke join Wippert and Clarke in Adelaide.

“In addition to having riders that could win on any stage, we have multiple riders that could contend for the overall,” noted Wegelius. “This first race of the year is important for any team, and our riders come prepared and motivated.”

“The home team and the teams with former winners start with big expectations,” Wegelius added. “We hope to profit off teams that have far more pressure than we do.”

Multiple opportunities exist to meet Cannondale Pro Cycling Team riders during their time in Adelaide.

Cannondale Pro Cycling Team for Santos Tour Down Under:
Alberto Bettiol
Paddy Bevin
Simon Clarke
Moreno Moser
Wouter Wippert
Michael Woods
Ruben Zepuntke

Tom Boonen's racing re-start delayed

Tom Boonen had initially planned to re-start his racing at Argentina's Tour de San Luis, which starts on January 17. But recovery from his crash last October at the Abu Dhabi tour is taking longer than planned.

Boonen's re-entry is now scheduled for the Tour of Valencia, February 3 - 7.

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen's 2016 racing will begin in February

Team Sky ambitious for 2016; Froome extends contract

This piece came from Sky:

Team Sky set out its ambitions for 2016 as it announced that team leader Chris Froome would be extending his contract to the end of 2018.

Speaking at the Team's Training Camp in Mallorca Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal said: “Last year we set out our 2020 Vision. At its heart lies the goal to become indisputably and consistently the greatest cycling team in the world - and to be viewed as one of the best sports teams in the world.

“By 2020, when we look back on the decade, we want Team Sky to be seen as the most consistent and successful Grand Tour team as well as one that is regularly winning Classics. 2015 was a good year and I am proud of what we achieved together but our appetite for success has never been greater.

“Our focus is always on continuous improvement and what we can do better. We must challenge ourselves every day to push harder for more success in 2016 on and off the bike - and I believe that we have the team that can deliver that. It is a really strong group of riders with the best talent from Britain and abroad. Their different strengths give us real depth and more options.

“At the same time, Team Sky will continue to play a leadership role in moving the sport of cycling forward to a brighter future - innovating, riding clean and winning clean. We will work with the UCI and others and push for further reform to continue to rebuild trust in the sport.

“None of our success to date would have been possible without Sky as a partner. They have done a huge amount for cycling, not just with the Team, but at grass roots level - helping more people fall in love with the bike. They have got exciting plans for the year ahead and we will be giving them all of our support.”

Team Sky also announced that team leader Chris Froome will be extending his contract with the Team until the end of 2018.

Chris Froome

Chris Froome in the 2016 team kit

Sir Dave Brailsford added: “Chris is not only one of the most talented and dedicated riders in the world, he is also a fantastic ambassador for the sport. Team Sky is proud to have him as our team leader. He is a winner and it is a great boost at the start of the new season that he has committed to stay with the Team to the end of 2018. He is hungry for more success and we will help him achieve it.”

Chris Froome said: “Team Sky have been fundamental to my success to date, so it was a very easy decision to commit to the Team until the end of 2018. Their values are my values and I am proud to ride for a team that has shown that you can win the biggest bike races in the world clean. 2015 was a fantastic year for me both professional and personally and this is a great kick start to 2016. I am more motivated than I have ever been and I have got big targets for this Olympic year. I can't wait to start racing.”

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