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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 12, 2019

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Even on the most exalted throne in this world we are only sitting on our own bottom.  – Michel de Montaigne

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Mitchelton-Scott men confirm roster and goals for 2020

The team sent me this release:

Mitchelton-SCOTT has confirmed its 28-rider men’s squad for the 2020 season, one of the most stable squads in the team’s history, looking to add another consistent season with victories from January to October.

The Australian outfit recorded 35 UCI victories, just three shy of last year’s record-breaking season, in 2019. Of that success, 13 were WorldTour victories and five Grand Tour stage victories, including four on the biggest stage of all, the Tour de France.


Mitchelton-Scott time-trialing in stage two of the 2019 Tour de France. Sirotti photo

In 2020, the focus will be to continue that winning culture, providing exposure all season for sponsors, whilst continuing a specific target to perform in each of the three Grand Tours.

“The number one focus for us is to continue winning,” Head Sport Director Matt White identified. “After another great year in 2019 with 35 wins we will continue to target races from January to October, including going to each of the three Grand Tours with a focus on performing and winning, and I know we have a roster to do that.”

Of its 25-rider 2019 squad, 24 riders will return to race in Mitchelton-SCOTT colours in 2020.

Increasing to a squad of 28, four new riders will join the fold next season, including another experienced Grand Tour climber in Andrey Zeits, and three young neo-pros in Australian Kaden Groves, Hungarian Barnabás Peák and Italian Alex Konychev.

“The transition from 2019 to 2020 will be one with minimal changes, amongst the least in our eight-year history, which is sometimes exactly what you want as it ensures some stability,” revealed White.

“At the same time we’ve got some very talented young guys coming in, which you also need. It’s always good to have fresh faces and to be thinking of not just next year or the year after, but long term.

“We’ve brought in three young talents in Kaden, Barnabás and Alex to our Classics and sprint group and a really seasoned campaigner in Andrey Zeits, to bolster our Grand Tours ambitions.

“The important thing is to keep the core group, to continue to look at what you’ll be losing in a year or two’s time and not be caught out by any of these changes.  Having that next wave of guys ready to step up is not an easy process and it certainly can take time; you need to be planning for well down the road.

Mitchelton-SCOTT Men for 2020:

Edoardo Affini (ITA, 23)
Michael Albasini (SUI, 38) – retiring June, 2020
Jack Bauer (NZL, 34)
Sam Bewley (NZL, 32)
Brent Bookwalter (USA, 35)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 29)
Luke Durbridge (AUS, 28)
Alex Edmondson (AUS, 25)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 28)
Kaden Groves (AUS, 20) - new rider (end of 2019)
Jack Haig (AUS, 26)
Lucas Hamilton (AUS, 23)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 28)
Damien Howson (AUS, 27)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 35)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 30)
Alex Konychev (ITA, 21) - new rider
Cameron Meyer (AUS, 31)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 31)
Mikel Nieve (SPA, 35)
Barnabás Peák (HUN, 21) - new rider
Nick Schultz (AUS, 25)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 23)
Dion Smith (NZL, 26)
Robert Stannard (AUS, 21)
Adam Yates (GBR, 27)
Simon Yates (GBR, 27)
Andrey Zeits (KAZ, 32) - new rider

2020 Mitchelton-SCOTT – Men’s Squad Stats:

No. of riders: 28
No. of Australians: 11
No. of internationals: 17 (3 x NZL, 2 x GBR, 2 x ITA, 1 x COL, 1x ETH, 1 x DEN, 1 x HUN, 1 x KAZ, 1 x RSA, 1 x SLO, 1 x SPA, 1 x SUI, 1 x USA)
Youngest rider: Kaden Groves (20)
Oldest rider: Michael Albasini (38) - retiring in June
Average age: 27.86

Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel Cycling Academy) will ride 2020 Tour de France

Here's the team's announcement:

Tel Aviv, December 11, 2019: Israel will send a team to the Tour de France for the first time under the new team name Israel Start-Up Nation. The UCI confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Israel Cycling Academy had received WorldTour status.

Israel Cycling Academy

Israel Cycling Academy riding the team time trial in the 2019 Tirreno-Adriatico. Sirotti photo

The team was presented in Tel Aviv today to the public, media and ambassadors from all over the world, in an impressive ceremony.

“The dream of competing in the Tour de France, almost unthinkable only five years ago when we launched the team, is now coming true. A professional team with world class Israeli riders alongside the finest international talents, racing with pride in one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. Around 3.5 billion viewers in hundreds of countries across the world will see the Israeli flag and hear the message that this is a country bringing unrivalled innovation to the world,” said Israeli Canadian philanthropist Sylvan Adams, co-owner of the team.

The team will feature 30 cyclists, including four Israeli riders announced today for the first time: Itamar Einhorn, Omer Goldstein, Guy Niv, and Guy Sagiv. “It will definitely be a challenge for them. They have progressed every season, but next season they will have to do it again and this time it will be a new kind of level. I am confident, though, that they will reach it”. The 4 Israeli riders selected to the team, Guy Sagiv, Guy Niv, Omer Goldstein and Itamar Einhorn made history as the first Israelis in a WorldTour team. Sagiv and Niv already successfully finished Grand Tours during in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The new sponsor for the Israel Cycling Academy is Start-Up Nation Central, a Tel Aviv-based non-profit organization that connects companies around the world to Israeli innovation.

As a member of the WorldTour, Israel-Start Up Nation will become the first-ever Israeli team to compete in the Tour de France, the world’s third most watched sporting events. In order to compete at the highest level, the team has signed such outstanding and experienced riders including Andre Greipel, Dan Martin and Dani Navarro.

Participation in the Tour de France represents the enormous progress made by Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) over just five years. ICA was founded in December 2014 in Jerusalem as Israel’s first professional cycling team, with a clear vision to help Israeli cycling and to bring young cyclists, to the highest level of the sport. At the same time, riders from the team act as “ambassadors” for the home country, demonstrating a vision of peace through sport.

There will be another new logo on the team kit, the symbol of the Peres Centre for Peace and Innovation. “We deeply appreciate and are honored that Israel Start-Up Nation riders carry the symbol of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. We are confident that the riders will represent it with pride and honor and carry the values of peace and tolerance around the world in the world’s most important races. We ask you, the riders, to see the Peres Centre of Peace and Innovation as your home wherever you race,” said Efrat Duvdevani, Director of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation

In 2017 the team moved up to the Pro Continental ranks and in 2018 the team raced in its first Grand Tour – the historic Giro d’Italia which started in Jerusalem. ICA raced again in the Giro d’Italia in 2019. This same season, the team significantly stepped up its racing performance and recorded 29 wins.

ICA carries 30 riders from 16 different nationalities. The team is owned by Israeli Canadian philanthropist Sylvan Adams and Israeli businessman Ron Baron. Taking a minority interest this year is Kevin Lam, a Canadian, via his company,

“There are no illusions on our part: WorldTour races are very hard and the teams are top level. We need to be ready and be competitive and race hard every single race, and score points. We are determined to climb in the ranking as far as possible,” said Sport Director Kell Carlstrom.

In addition, there will be an Israel Cycling Academy Continental-ranked team in 2020, made up of eight Israeli riders and eight talented young riders from around the world. The new team will serve as a feeder of talent to the WorldTour Israel Start-Up Nation team.

“This team will ensure that we will still be giving the young riders the opportunity to develop and advance to the Pro team” said Israel Cycling Academy founder and co-owner Ron Baron.

Besides the Israelis, the team will consist of young riders from Canada and Australia and the Moroccan rider El Mehdi Chokri. The 24-year old is the current national TT champion and rode for the Dimension Data U23 Team during the past few years. It will be the first time that a rider from an Arab country will ride for an Israeli Team. Chokri has been nominated for the title ‘best African cyclist of 2019’.

The Israel-Start Up Nation (Israel Cycling Academy) WorldTour team roster:

The team roster: Matteo Badiletti (Switzerland), Rudy Barbier (France), Jenthe Biermans (Belgium), Guillaume Bovin (Canada), Matthias Brändle (Austria), Alexander Cataford (Canada), Davide Cimolai (Italy), Alex Dowsett (Great Britian), Itamar Einhorn (Israel), Omer Goldstein (Israel), Andre Greipel (Germany), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Hugo Hofstetter (France), Reto Hollenstein (Austria), Dan Martin (Ireland), Travis McCabe (USA), Daniel Navarro (Spain), Krists Neilands (Latvia), Guy Niv (Israel), James Piccoli (Canada), Nils Politt (Germany), Mihkel Räim (Estonia), Alexis Renard (France), Guy Sagiv (Israel), Patrick Schelling (Switzerland), Rory Sutherland (Australia), Norman Vahtra (Estonia), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Denmark) and Rick Zabel (Germany).

Bardiani-CSF heads to training camp

The team sent me this release:

The kick-off of the 2020 season will take place in Italy, more precisely in Zanè and Reggio Emilia. Two days full of activities, with medical visits, meetings, official pictures and dinners with the sponsors. The 2020 season of the Bardiani - CSF - Faizanè is ready to start.


The Bardiani-CSF team in 2019

The Bardiani CSF Faizanè 2020 season is ready to start, on December 16th and 17th, at first in Zanè on Monday, with a closing dinner also in Reggio Emilia on the Tuesday night.

Two intensive days where many activities are scheduled, such as the medical visits for all the 20 riders of the 2020 Roster, the official pictures, technical meetings, but also convivial moments open to sponsors and media.

On Monday 16th of December at 6.30 pm the season 2020 will be officially open with a cocktail. The location will be the headquarter of the new sponsor Faizanè, in Zanè. In this occasion some news about the team will be revealed looking forward to the 2020 season. The two days will end in the historical headquarter of the #GreenTeam in Reggio Emilia, with a dinner organized by the main sponsors, Bardiani & CSF.

These activities are scheduled on the first seasonal training camp:

-  Medical Visits in Fisiocortiana medical center of Schio.
-  Official Pictures, season 2020 of riders & staff.
-  Technical Meetings between Management, Sports Directors and riders.
-  Team rules meeting
-  Opening season cocktail, in Faizanè S.p.a. on the 16th of December 6.30 pm.
-  Presentation of some important news about the team 2020.
- Closing dinner in Reggio Emilia, in collaboration with Bardiani & CSF on December 17th.

The racing debut of the team will be in Argentina, on the 26th of January in Vuelta a San Juan.

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