Axeon Hagens Berman unveils 2017 roster

Eight returning riders and eight newcomers will make up the 2017 roster of the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team, the world’s leading Under 23 development squad.

Headlining the returnees are a host of Americans: Tour de Bretagne winner Adrien Costa, Under 23 national road and time trial champion Geoffrey Curran, Under 23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Logan Owen and Amgen Tour of California “best young rider” and Tour de l’Avenir stage winner Neilson Powless. Irish Under 23 national time trial champion Eddie Dunbar is also back, along with Americans Will Barta, Jonny Brown and Chad Young.

New to the team are Americans Edward Anderson, Christopher Blevins and Ian Garrison, Chris Lawless of Great Britain, Under 23 national time trial champion Jhonnatan Narvaez of Ecuador, Portugese twin brothers Ivo Oliveria and Rui Oliveria and Michael Rice of Australia.

Axeon Hagens Berman General Manager Axel Merckx said the team’s objectives for 2017 will remain unchanged – developing talented young athletes into champions.

“Our goal has always been to help the next generation of professional cyclists,” Merckx said. “I am confident our returning riders will blend well with the promising new riders we have coming on board.”

Anderson of Richmond, Virginia, competed in road racing and mountain biking this past season while Blevins was the winner of the Course de la Paix Juniors (Peace Race), a five-day Nations Cup stage race in the Czech Republic. The Durango, Colorado, resident also raced mountain bikes this season and finished just off the podium, in fourth, at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in July.

Garrison was the bronze medalist in the junior individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Qatar. The Decatur, Georgia, resident was also the winner of Stage 4 at the Tour de l’Abitibi Nations Cup stage race in Canada in July.

Lawless is the reigning British national criterium champion and a past national junior road race champion (2013). He was also part of the winning team pursuit squad at the British national track championships in 2014.

In addition to being the reigning Under 23 national time trial champion, Narvaez is a three-time silver medalist (2014-2016) for Ecuador in the Pan American junior road race and won the “king of the mountains” title at the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc in June.

The Oliveiras are the first twins to be part of Merckx’s program. Rui was third on a stage of the Volta ao Alentejo while Ivo was the bronze medalist in the Under 23 national time trial and winner of the individual pursuit at the 2014 UCI Juniors Track World Championships.

Rice becomes the fifth Australian to join the team since its founding in 2009. A stage winner at the Tour de Beauce, the Australian Capital Territory resident arrives from the Garneau-Québecor squad.

This year, the American continental team won a team-record 34 races and seven national titles. Three riders – U.S. national road champion Greg Daniel, Portugese Under 23 national road champion Ruben Guerreiro and British Under 23 national road champion Tao Geoghegan Hart – signed with WorldTour teams. That brings to 21 the number who have advanced to that level under Merckx’s tutelage.

Joining Merckx as sport directors will be American Jeff Louder and Dutchman Koos Moerenhout. Louder is a former 15-year professional who returns for his third season with the team. Moerenhout was the Dutch national road champion in 2007 and 2009 who was a teammate of Merckx from 2001 to 2006 on the Domo-Farm Frites, Lotto-Domo, Davitamon-Lotto and Phonak teams.

“Jeff did an amazing job with the team last year,” Merckx said. “His knowledge of the North American circuit is undeniable and he brings a lot of international experience as an athlete.

“Koos has many years of experience and he is well-appreciated and respected in Europe as an athlete and a sports director,” Merckx said. “It will be good to have someone on the ground in Europe who will be able to coordinate all the tours of Europe and potentially add some races here and there on our calendar.”

Axeon Hagens Berman will conduct its pre-season training camp Jan. 8-18 in Calabasas, California.

Axeon Hagens Berman 2017 Roster:
Edward Anderson (USA)
Will Barta (USA)*
Christopher Blevins (USA)
Jonny Brown (USA)*
Adrien Costa (USA)*
Geoffrey Curran (USA)*
Eddie Dunbar (IRE)*
Ian Garrison (USA)
Chris Lawless (GBR)
Jhonnatan Narvaez (ECU)
Ivo Oliveria (POR)
Rui Oliveria (POR)
Logan Owen (USA)*
Neilson Powless (USA)*
Michael Rice (AUS)
Chad Young (USA)*

*Indicates returning rider

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

3T Exploro – A Deeper Dive Into Low Speed Aero

exploro-outdoor-14Since 3T launched the Exploro earlier this year, there is one question I continue to hear, “why do I need an aero gravel bike?”

It’s a valid question. I had a chance to catch up with Dave Koesel, general manager of 3T’s US operations, at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo, and posed the question to him.

“Any time you are moving in air, aerodynamics is a benefit. So if you are competing in a race in the atmosphere, then you are going to have an aerodynamic benefit that’s going to your advantage.”

Cycling continues to become more and more specialized, from the events we ride to the equipment we use. This fracturing creates niche markets, but in my opinion, it can lead to more versatile equipment. If you subscribe to Team Sky’s take on marginal gains, then the Exploro could be a “n-1 bike” that has so much to offer to a very large part of the market.

Pro cyclocross is a great area to look at in a study of aerodynamics at slow speeds. Though frame companies have yet to really emphasize aerodynamics like they have on the road, you’ll see many pros racing in aero helmets, skin suits, and deep profile wheels like Zipp 404’s. Yes, there are other practical benefits from these pieces of equipment, like inclement weather protection from aero helmets that have little to no vents, but in my opinion, it is a matter of time until we start to see aerodynamics taken into a greater consideration as it is on the road. With the Exploro, 3T has become a pioneer in this area.

exploro-outdoor-15Many might think gravel racing is something new, but the early years of road racing was all on gravel. 3T’s approach to what they are calling “Gravel 2.0” is all about freedom and exploration, hence the Exploro name. The brand also puts an emphasis on performance with everything they do, so the goal became creating a bike that is fun, functional, and FAST! Testing at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel proved that aero matters, even at slower speeds.

The Squaro shape used on the Exploro blends the stiffness, strength, and light weight of a square tube with the aerodynamics of an airfoil shape. “When we created the structure of the frame,” commented Koesel, “we asked where can we add aerodynamics to give you some kind of an aero benefit. You look at events like the Dirty Kanza, and the winner does it in 8 hours or so. If we can give an aero benefit to that guy, maybe we can get the rider to the line faster or fresher, because they have been conserving.” The end result is a rounded nose that flares out to the sides before coming back to a squared off KAMM tail shape that we have seen on many aero bikes on the road.  Cutting the tail off of the airfoil keeps the benefits of the airfoil shape, with reducing the surface area for cross winds to grab. The wider tube profile on the down tube picks up the air coming off of the wide front tires and also hides the water bottle from the wind.

Testing the theory is difficult though. Knobby tires behave unpredictably compared to smooth road tires and 3T wanted to have solid data to back up their claims made for this new category of bikes. To do that, they tested a traditional round tube frame in the same tube widths, geometry, rear stay design, and components as the Exploro. Before adding a rider, 3T tested the bikes on their own. To mimic speeds typically seen in the road and gravel world, they completed the wind tunnel testing at 20 mph, not the traditional 30 mph. Sure, they could have tested at the higher speeds and possibly shown larger gains, but they preferred to keep it realistic.

sales-meeting-2016-vroomen-new-product-presentation-001The first pass, 3T ran the Exploro and the round tube frame with 700c Discus 35 wheels and Schwalbe One 28mm tires. What they found was about 65 grams of drag difference (approximately 330g vs 395g respectively) at 0 degree yaw. When swapping out the Schwalbe’s for WTB’s Nano 40mm wide gravel tire, the Exploro bumped up to about 375 grams of drag, and the round tube frame jumped to about 420 grams of drag. The interesting bit from these wind tunnel results is that the Exploro is faster than the traditional round tubed frame, even with the wider 40mm gravel tires.

 

sales-meeting-2016-vroomen-new-product-presentation-003Even when you add 750ml water bottles, the Exploro is still faster at all but about 3 degrees of angle.

 

When it comes to wheels and tires, there has been a rebirth of the 650b size on the road and adventure arena. By decreasing the rim size, you can run a wider tire (clearance permitting) and still keep the same outer circumference as a 700c wheel and tire. For example, a typical 650b x 2.1” wheel and tire combination is similar to a 700c x 33mm cyclocross tire. The widths will be different, bit the outer diameter should be pretty close, depending on tread patterns. The larger volume tire will provide a smoother ride, providing you are running an appropriately lower air pressure.

As part of the Exploro platform, 3T added the 650b wheel size to its Discus wheel range. Previously released in 32mm and 58mm depths in a 700c rim, the 650b comes in 21 and 28mm depths. These 650b wheels are optimized to run wider tires compared to their 700c counterparts. The new Discus C25 Pro wheel set is an alloy rim with a 21mm depth and inner width of 24mm. The C30W Team wheels feature a carbon rim with a 28mm depth and 28mm wide inner width. Despite the larger dimensions, the C30W Team has a claimed weight of 1,600 grams, 40 grams lighter than the C25 Pros. To increase their versatility, the end caps can be swapped with relative ease to work with 135mm quick release, and 142mm thru-axels in 12mm/12mm and 12mm/15mm front and rear options respectively.

Earlier, I mentioned that you can stuff 650b wheels with 2.1” tires on the frame. You might be wondering how the Exploro fares with fat rubber that 3T is calling Gravel Plus. Hed Ardennes wheels in 700c and 650b were used for this round of testing to try and keep things as similar as possible between the rim sizes. As a base line, the Exploro was equipped with 700c Ardennes and the WTB Nano 40mm tires. Next, they ran the Exploro with the 650b Ardennes and Schwalbe Racing Ralphs in 2.1”. Finally, they ran the round tube frame with the same 650b Ardennes wheels and Racing Ralph 2.1” tires.

sales-meeting-2016-vroomen-new-product-presentation-004As you’d expect, the more narrow 700c x 40mm tires were more aerodynamic, but the Exploro with 650b x 2.1’s has some significant savings over the round tubed frame.

That’s not the end of the story. Bikes get dirty, especially when you take them off of paved roads. I regularly ride a trail system here in Southeastern Pennsylvania that includes a section of fine gravel. On good days, a.k.a. dry, my bike will get a bit dusty. On not so good days, I’ll end up with a splattering of mud kicked up on the downtube. Think of just about any cross race, and it takes it a bit further. 3T wanted to explore how mud affects the aerodynamics of the frame, so they 3D modeled a design for mud, and created it using a 3D printer. This allowed them to consistently test from one frame to the next. What they found might surprise you.

sales-meeting-2016-vroomen-new-product-presentation-005In both cases, the Exploro and the round tube test frame with mud came up with better drag numbers than without when it came to riding into the wind. For the round tube, very modest savings were found between 0 and 7.5 degress. The Exploro’s advantage went out to about 10 degrees, and saw increased savings over the round tube out to about 7.5 degrees on the drive side, and 10 degrees on the non-drive side. While the gains are modest, about 10 grams, they continue to add up.

sales-meeting-2016-vroomen-new-product-presentation-006The final bit of wind tunnel data 3T shared during the launch shows how the Exploro with C35 Pro wheels with the WTB Nano 700x40mm tires, two 750ml water bottles, and mud, matched up to the clean round tube test frame with C35 Pro wheels and Schwalbe One 700x28mm tires. For the 0 degree headwind, you’ll save between 25 and 30 grams of drag and continue to see savings across the spectrum. I have to say, this surprised me, and shows that the Exploro is a slippery bike in all conditions.

All of this data wouldn’t matter if when a cyclist is added to the equation, the bike does not provide an aggressive, yet comfortable and stable position. Add in their performance gravel geometry, narrow Q-factor, low trail, and short rear stays, and you have the recipe for a fast and agile bike that will get you to the finish line fast.

We should have our test rig into the BWN service course next month, so check back for the full review later this month.

Heckling Editor, Image Taker, Crash Test Dummy, and Beard Master at Bikeworldnews.com

~Veggie Powered Athlete~

Location – Lancaster, PA

Current Testing Rigs – 2015 Bianchi Sempre Pro, 2014 Trek Boone 9, 2015 Cannondale Scalpel 2, 1978 Trek TX900

Dream Bike – I’ll tell you when they make it

Discipline – Cyclocross, with some dabbling on the road, mountain, and running

Favorite Rides – Quiet country roads of Amish Country, some of the best roads around.

Food of Choice – Brown rice and quinoa veggie roll, make that two

Beer of Choice – Unibroue Grand Reserve 17, aged four years

World Champ Wout van Aert headlines 2016 Zipp cyclocross roster

Wout van Aert

Zipp is proud to unveil its 2016-2017 roster of elite cyclocross teams and racers headlined by reigning UCI Cyclocross World Champion Wout van Aert of Belgium. This collection of top athletes spans the globe and includes national champions, fan-favorite veterans, and developing young riders.

Van Aert leads the Belgian powerhouse Crelan-Vastgoedservice Cycling Team that also includes Tim Merlier and Rob Peeters. Zipp also is helping to groom the next generation of European cyclocross stars through its support of the Crelan-Vastgoedservice Youth Cycling Team. Boels Dolmans Cycling Team looks to bring its road racing success to the CX course, and they have the lineup needed to do that with Christine Majerus (Luxembourg) and Nikki Harris (Great Britain). Watch also for Sophie de Boer of the Dutch NNOF Cycling Team.

Jeremy Powers
Jeremy Powers ©Balint Hamvas Cyclephotos

In North America, Elite Men’s U.S. National Champ Jeremy Powers returns to Rapha-Focus and is now joined by U23 Women’s National Champ Ellen Noble. Powers will be racing the just released 202 Firecrest Tubular Disc-brake, a wheelset he tested and raced on extensively during its development.

At longtime Zipp partner Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com, Emma White joins her brother, Curtis, along with top performers Kaitie Antonneau and Stephen Hyde. U.S. U23 Men’s National Champ Tobin Ortenblad joins a new sponsor, Santa Cruz Bicycles. Other familiar names back in the Zipp fold include Elle Anderson, Todd Wells (SRAM Troy Lee Designs Racing Team) as well as Yannick Eckmann and Amanda Miller (Boulder Cycle Sport p/b Yoga Glo).

What They Ride

  • Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubular Disc-brake – Pro proven for its performance and durability on the toughest courses in the world.
  • Zipp 202 Firecrest Tubular Disc-brake – Just released, this light weight and durable wheelset accelerates quickly and lightens your load for those long bike carries.
  • Zipp Service Course SL bars, stems, and seatposts – Designed with a fit-first philosophy, these components help every rider achieve a perfect fit while providing the durability needed for the roughest cross course.

Why ‘Cross?

For starters, we love it! Cyclocross also is crucial to our commitment to designing and manufacturing the world’s best wheels and components. Meeting the demands of top cyclocross racers – and working with them in developing products – has improved the durability and performance of our products and also has helped to position us on the leading edge of new forms of road cycling such as disc brakes and gravel riding.

Follow the action all season long with Zipp on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Total Zipp Roster:

zipp-cx-roster

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

2017 Pivot Vault perfect for Cyclocross, Road and Gravel

The 2017 Pivot Vault can be your go-anywhere, do-anything bike whether you plan to throw ride gravel events, the local crit series or if your favorite race is the one against sundown.

“Dropbar bikes are evolving as fast as are mountain bikes,” said Pivot Cycles President and CEO, Chris Cocalis. “In the same way that our really great trail bikes take MTB riders all over the mountain, the Vault is the only bike that most road riders really need. We are excited to dispel myths about what makes a great cyclocross, road racing or gravel bike by offering one truly exceptional machine that excels in every field.”

2017 Vault - Ultegra -Blue
2017 Vault – Ultegra -Blue

The 2017 Vault frameset includes an all new, full carbon, taper-steerer fork from Pivot, with an oversized crown, greatly increased tire clearance and Shimano’s new flat mount brake mount. For light weight and handling accuracy, the fork dropouts have been upgraded to a 12mm thru axle design. The new fork clears 700C tires up to 48C.

Pricing, Specifications, and Availability: The new Vault is available as a complete bike with an ideal mixed surface build featuring Shimano Ultegra and Stan’s Grail wheels for $3,999 USD. It is also available as a frameset, enabling you to customize your build based on how you plan to use it most. The new Vault is available immediately, in all sizes, at key Pivot Dealers worldwide. For immediate download of complete technical details on the Vault, as well as photos, video, instagram edit, specifications and more, click here.  For video embed, see: https://vimeo.com/pivotcycles/vault2017. For website, see http://www.pivotcycles.com/bike/vault/

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Zipp forges new partnership with Team KATUSHA

Team KATUSHA will roll into the 2016 season on ZIPP wheels. The team – ranked No. 2 among UCI WorldTeams – has a new look that includes the addition of Zipp as a supplier and technical partner and a more international roster built to excel in one-day classics and stage races. Team KATUSHA embraces the latest in cycling technology. It’s an ideal fit for Zipp’s approach of providing top pros with the most technically advanced wheelsets while also fostering technical discussions with riders and staff as part of the development process.

The team is training on the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher as it prepares for the season’s opening races including the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia (Jan. 17-24) and the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (Jan. 18-24). With Zipp®, Team KATUSHA has a wheelset at the ready for any terrain, course, and rider role. Wheel selection is crucial. For example, a rider expecting to spend the day at the head of the peloton often opts for deeper rims. In most situations, Team KATUSHA will rely on pro-proven Firecrest® technology to provide best-in-class aero performance, crosswind stability, and durability at each rim depth:

202 Tubular (32mm depth) – mountaintop finishes
303 Firecrest (45mm depth) – cobbles, Classics, all-around road racing
303 Firecrest Disc brake (45mm depth) – Option for disc-brake road
404 Firecrest (58mm depth) – all-around aero performance for all kinds of racing
808 Firecrest – (82mm depth) time trials, team time trials
808 NSW Carbon Clincher (82mm depth) – Zipp’s most advanced wheelset ever, time trials and team time trials
Super-9 Disc – time trials, team time trials

Having our riders on the most technically advanced equipment is crucial for success. Zipp provides us with that advantage and much more,” Team KATUSHA General Manager Viacheslav Ekimov said. “Zipp has a reputation that’s unmatched for designing and building the fastest wheelsets, but also for being involved as a technical partner. The guys couldn’t wait to start riding those 404s.”

Team KATUSHA also will ride SRAM® RED® eTap® components and Quarq® power measurement on team framesets including the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, Ultimate CF SLX road, and the Canyon Speedmax CF SLX time trial.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

2016 Olympics long teams named for MTB, women’s road racing

USA Cycling announced the men’s and women’s mountain bike and women’s road 2016 Olympics long teams on Friday, naming the lists of athletes from which final Olympic rosters will be selected next summer.

Track long team selections will be made Dec. 15, while BMX and men’s road team selections will be made on June 24, 2016, with the final Olympic Team selection.

The men’s mountain bike long team includes three automatic and four discretionary nominations; up to three members will be named to the final Olympic Team. The women’s mountain bike long team includes two automatic and six discretionary nominations; up to two members will be named to the final Olympic Team.

The women’s road long team includes four automatic and six discretionary nominations. Four road team members, including two time trialists, will be named to the final Olympic Team in June.

Men’s mountain bike long team
Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./Team Sho-Air-Cannondale)*
Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Race Team)
Alex Grant (Salt Lake City, Utah/Ridebiker-Cannondale)
Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing)*
Spencer Paxson (Bellingham, Wash./Kona Bicycles Factory Team)
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Team Sho-Air-Cannondale)
Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing)*

Women’s mountain bike long team
Larissa Connors (Silverado, Calif.)
Kate Courtney (Kentfield, Calif./Specialized Factory Racing)
Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing)*
Georgia Gould (Fort Collins, Colo./LUNA Pro Team)
Rose Grant (Kalispell, Mont.)
Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./SCOTT-3Rox Racing)
Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Team KENDA-M&M Racing)
Chloe Woodruff (Prescott, Ariz./Team Stan’s NoTubes-Niner)*

Women’s road long team
Mara Abbott (Boulder, Colo./Wiggle-Honda)
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/TWENTY16 p/b SHO-AIR)*
Megan Guarnier (Queensbury, N.Y./Boels Dolmans Cycling Team)*
Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./FCS Cycling-Visit Dallas Cycling p/b Noise4Good)
Shelley Olds (Gilroy, Calif./Ale Cipollini)*
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./UnitedHealthcare)
Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Bigla Pro Cycling Team)
Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/Team TIBCO-SVB)*
Evelyn Stevens (San Francisco, Calif./Boels Dolmans Cycling Team)
Tayler Wiles (Fairfax, Calif./Velocio-SRAM)

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

UCI agrees to disc brake trials in 2016

The UCI and its stakeholders, riders, mechanics, organisers, neutral service providers, teams and the bicycle industry, represented by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), have decided to continue the trial of disc brakes in professional road racing in 2016.

Initial trials were carried out in August and September 2015, with UCI WorldTour teams being given the opportunity to use bikes with disc brakes at two events of their choice.

After extensive discussions with its stakeholders, the UCI has decided to allow the use of disc brakes by riders across all divisions of UCI professional road teams:

  • UCI WorldTeams
  • UCI Professional Continental Teams
  • UCI Continental Teams
  • UCI Women’s Teams.

The use of disc brakes will be carefully monitored throughout the year with a view to definitively allowing them to be used in professional road cycling from 2017.

Following the decision to further test disc brakes, the UCI has modified articles 1.3.017 and 1.3.020 of its regulations relating to frames and forks. These changes will operate from the 1st of January 2016.

The UCI has also approved several modifications to its Regulations with regards to saddles and wheel safety characteristics (articles 1.3.014 and 1.3.018). The former will come into force on the 1st December 2015 and the latter on the 1st January 2016.

Ron Callahan is the chief cook and bottlewasher at Bike World News, doing everything from website design to bike reviews.

Colavita|Bianchi Bolsters Roster With Aussie Crit Champ Wells

Colavita|Bianchi p/b Vittoria is excited to announce the signing of Kimberley Wells to the team for the 2016 season.  Wells is the 2013 and 2015 Australian National Criterium champion, as well as a proven road racer in the European peloton. Many consider Wells to be one of the top sprinters in the world. Mary Zider, team Director Sportif, had this to say about Wells signing with Colavita|Bianchi:  “I am thrilled to have Kimberley joining the team.  I had the opportunity to race with her a few times back in 2013 with Colavita|EspnW (Wells’ was a guest rider on the team) and from that moment I knew she was the full-package and a proven leader.  Anyone who has competed against Wells knows she’s one of the fastest females in the world.  I’m just glad we’re supporting her and not chasing her.”   
Kimberley Wells 2015 Australian National Criterium Champion
Kimberley dominated the US crit scene back in 2013, but in recent years has focused on racing at home in Australia and in Europe.  Wells’ return to the US peloton will have an immediate impact, as Colativa|Bianchi will be looking to her for leadership as well as riding for her in a majority of the races.  “I am so excited to be racing for Colavita|Bianchi back in the US.  I love the USA road racing scene and can’t wait to be a part of the Colavita|Bianchi family”, said Wells. With a changing women’s calendar, the team will focus on the UCI domestic races, the National Racing Calendar (NRC), as well as select races on the National Criterium Calendar (NCC).
Emma Grant's solo win at the Boston Mayors Cup! Photo Credits - ScottKinglseyPhotography.com
Emma Grant’s solo win at the Boston Mayors Cup!
Photo Credits – ScottKinglseyPhotography.com
Gretchen Stumhofer Wins Day 3 of the Intelligentisa Cup Photo Credit - Intelligentsia Cup
Gretchen Stumhofer Wins Day 3 of the Intelligentisa Cup
Photo Credit – Intelligentsia Cup
Lauretta Hanson joins Colavita|Bianchi after a successful season with the Fearless Femmes.
Lauretta Hanson joins Colavita|Bianchi after a successful season with the Fearless Femmes.

Colavita|Bianchi has signed some other top talented riders this off-season: Lauretta Hanson, another fantastic Australian sprinter who made her mark in the US crit scene this past season; Gretchen Stumhofer, arguably the top young gun in the peloton this past season; Emma Grant, a breakaway specialist from Great Britain with an enormous engine.  Grant, as a guest rider for Colavita|Bianchi, rode straight away from the field at the Boston Mayor’s Cup to snag a very impressive victory from the stacked NCC field.  According to Zider, the additions of Wells, Hanson, Stumhofer and Grant are a total game changer for Colavita|Bianchi.  Zider added: “These four riders have the ability to win any race on the calendar.  No doubt the 2016 season will prove to be exciting every time the team toes the line.”

Rasmus Quaade extends with CULT Energy-Stölting Group

CULT Energy-Stölting Group has signed a one year contract with time trial specialist, Rasmus Quaade. The 25 year-old Dane had a rough spring campaign where he was constantly weakened by illness but in the late part of the season, he re-found his strength, delivered a powerful performance in Tour of Denmark and finished 5th overall in Poitou-Charentes.

André Steensen says:
“Rasmus had a season where he had to make the transition to the professional field and this season, he has had far more focus on road racing than before. Most of us remember that Rasmus took on the challenge in the spring campaign and showed a lot of guts by participating in a number of breakaways in for instance Liege Bastogne Liege, which requires stamina and dedication. In addition, we have seen that as the season has progressed, he has become stronger all the time, and his performance this fall in Poitou-Charentes and the Tour of Britain provides us with high hopes for the next season. With a pro-season behind him and a good winter break where he can recover, I’m confident that he will be able to combine his TT skills with his road race experiences, which will provide us with opportunities in several stage races with a time trial, and therefore we look forward to continuing working with Rasmus for the next season.”
Rasmus Quaade says:
“I’m definitely content with my final part of the season while I can’t say the same thing about the early months of the year where I was struck by illness most of the time. However, I’m happy about being able to continue my development at CULT Energy-Stölting Group. I’m grateful that the management has been aware of my track career and has allowed me to take part of the 4000 meter Danish national squad. I’m confident that I’ve grown as a rider this year and I’m looking forward to bringing my experiences into 2016”, says Quaade.

Reading 120, Thompson Criterium to be live streamed

Sparta Cycling Inc. has announced two days of live streaming for this weekend’s professional bicycle races in Reading and Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday’s Reading 120 and Sunday’s Thompson Criterium of Doylestown will feature television motorcycles and fixed cameras using the latest in cellular technology to showcase the action.

Live streaming sources for both days can be found at usporttv.wpengine.com.

“Live streaming is clearly the future for cycling,” said Sparta Cycling Inc. President John Eustice. “The professional racing circuit in the United States has served as the worldwide laboratory for its development.”

The Reading 120 will feature two TV motorcycles and four fixed-position cameras. The Thompson Criterium will feature five fixed cameras and one TV moto. Sunday’s moto images, in particular, will create a rare, close-up view of the intensity of criterium racing, Eustice said.

“We have brought in the very best moto-cam team in the U.S.,” Eustice said. “Dave Taylor will be driving Dale Wong and the combination of their extensive experience, combined artistry and the magnificent beauty of the race will set a road racing standard in live streaming.”

Eustice, the USPRO national criterium champion in 1982 and 1983, has been at the forefront of the evolution of televised cycling for decades.

“In 1992, I went with ESPN and ABC Sports to cover the Tour de France,” he said. “There, we created the first same-day coverage of the race for the American audience – something that was considered a major innovation of the day.”

Eustice worked with ESPN through 2000 and spent the next 15 years as an analyst and developer of televised races. He credits producers Kent Gordis and Gene Dixon for pushing new technology forward for the sport.

“Gene Dixon in particular, with Sport Stream Media company, has been honing his system for years through his USA CRITS Series,” Eustice said. “He is constantly experimenting with integrating innovative timing and new technologies with video images and fast racing.

“There has been a lot of talk about how to ‘fix cycling.’ But the answer is simple: build the American racing circuit and use our inherent creativity to make the best, most exciting races in the world.”