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  1. #1
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    Aqua Blue in the red - Pro Cycling 2018

    The new UCI President wants to reduce the size of Grand Tour teams. He's said six riders per team but I imagine that a 33% reduction is more like an opening bid. I do wonder to what extent that could or would reduce the dominance of the richest teams though? They would still have a stronger pool of domestiques who could be team leaders elsewhere but will earn more money pulling for Froome or Aru, say.

    An upshoot of this direction of travel though is that the World Tour squads are coming in a bit smaller this year, with the four I've seen having 24, 24, 25 and the highest so far being Bora at 27 riders.

    As discussed last year, UAE Team Emirates dipped their toes into Pro Cycling with a decent investment after stepping in when the Chinese investment in the old Lampre franchise fell through about 12 months ago. Having seemingly liked what they saw, the oil dollars are coming flooding in with a number of race-winning quality riders joining the team: Aru, Dan Martin and Kristoff join Rui Costa, Swift and Ulissi. The glamour signings though do not seem to me to be backed up with the strongest core of domestiques, though.

    But other than rider moves, there aren't any major changes to the World Tour itself. As far as I can see, only one team has changed sponsors with Vaughters' attempts to find funds for the Cannondale-Drapac (ne Slipstream) team leading to them racing in 2018 under the catchy name of: EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.

    Over at Astana, Vinokourov wants to pursue damages from Aru for breaking contract 'because we were left without a top rider.' Let's hope Fuglsang and Lopez assume something has been lost in translation there (could he have meant, we are now down by one top rider?).

    Stepping down to the second tier, there are a few more tweaks noticeable:
    Euskadi Basque Country - Murias have moved up to become a PCT
    Funvic/Brasil Pro Cycling are not listed as a PCT this year (maybe because they're dodgy as fuck)
    Three US teams, Hagens Berman Axeon, Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team, and Rally Cycling allstep up to become PCTs
    A brand new French team go in at PCT level - Vital Concept, who are no longer related to Fortuneo-Oscaro - with Bryan Coquard the marquee name
    Otherwise all the old favourites are there.

    And looking down one more level, five of the six British Continental Teams are listed on Pro Cycling Stats as repeating at that level next year - BIKE Channel Canyon, JLT Condor, Madison Genesis, One Pro Cycling and Team Wiggins. The other, Raleigh GAC, appear yet to have confirmed.

    But the real kick in the pants in CT terms is that An Post - Chain Reaction are not competing in 2018 after being unable to find a new sponsor. Sean Kelly's team will look to return to the international scene in 2019 and blamed the Brexit situation for the difficulty in finding funding. Here's a look from Cycling News at some of the riders who have worn the team's jersey.
    Last edited by Kevin S; 28-08-2018 at 15:54. Reason: .

  2. #2

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    From a White Rose perspective, the Tour de Yorkshire will release full route details on the 5th of December for the 2018 edition. I'm assuming we will get some further information regarding the 2019 World Championships over the course of the coming year too.

  3. #3
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    I suppose it's safe to assume that we know one of the Giro d'Italia wildcards already. As Eurosport noted when the start was announced to be in Israel: "Pro Continental Team Israel Cycling Academy seems guaranteed its place on the start line in Jerusalem next May... the team has applied for a wildcard invitation to the corsa rosa but stressed that RCS Sport will not make a decision until January. Israel Cycling Academy was founded ahead of the 2015 season and is managed by the former Saxo Bank professional Ran Margaliot. The squad has signalled its heightened ambition for 2018 by making a number of notable signings in recent weeks, including Ben Hermans, Ruben Plaza and Edwin Avila."

  4. #4
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Seems to me that we should see how a season of eight man Grand Tour teams plays out before we start talking about further reductions.

  5. #5
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    D'you know, I'd somehow managed to forget that the reduction to eight is happening in 2018.

  6. #6
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Me Old Flower View Post
    From a White Rose perspective, the Tour de Yorkshire will release full route details on the 5th of December for the 2018 edition. I'm assuming we will get some further information regarding the 2019 World Championships over the course of the coming year too.
    I feel the fact that British Cycling posted an article about the 2018 TdY on their site is some sort of progress. Less sniping, more cooperating, would be good for the sport here.

    They even said something nice - "Next year's Tour de Yorkshire is shaping up to be the best yet with more stages for the men's and women's races and, at British Cycling, we're looking forward to working with colleagues and partners across the county to use the inspiration of the world's best riders to get even more people on bikes."

  7. #7
    longeared's Avatar
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    Good idea to start the new thread given that today is effectively the start of next season. Some teams such as Bora, UAE and Movistar have already held their initial get together training camps. Suspect the latter would have been fun given Quintana very publicly telling Landa "hey, I'm the team leader here, mate" last week.

    Not overly impressed with Lappartient so far, this six rider thingy sounds like a random idea he had one morning. He also came out with some batshit nonsense about how races might be being fixed by hacking into race radios. Cookson would have been crucified if he'd come out with shit like this.

    EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (which they can't be called in races under UCI rules, suspect they'll be EF - Drapac or Education First - Drapac) are releasing their new jersey on Friday. Word is that it's rather colourful.

    Unsure if Team WIGGINS are actually carrying on next year. Sir Brad is no longer involved. James Knox has left and signed for QuickStep (missed that announcement at the time as I was on holiday) and there's been no roster details. They had a very thin programme in the second half of last season - allegedly due to financial problems - and some riders complained of a lack of racing. That said the British Continental teams tend to reveal team line ups in a single announcement as Madison Genesis did on Monday.

    We'll find out the details of the Yorkshire Worlds in September, UCI rules prevent them releasing details of the event until the preceding championships. The Innsbruck worlds should be good given that they're exceptionally hilly and it'll be interesting to see how many climbers / Grand Tour riders actually try and co-ordinate their season at being ready for this race. Someone like Nibali will probably see this as his best chance to wear the stripey jersey.

    There was a story doing the rounds recently that Aqua Blue Sport are expected to be awarded a Giro wildcard. The Tour wildcards will be a difficult selection for ASO given that there's five realistic candidates for four places. Fortuneo and Direct Energie should be nailed on given that they won stages this year, then it'll be two from Cofidis (who have had another management change as Cedric Vasseur has taken over), Wanty Groupe Gobert and the new Vital Concept team.

  8. #8

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    Garibaldi. Sorry.
    I think it was Team Wiggins who announced that they'd signed the seemingly invincible Tom Pidcock recently, until someone (his dad?) denied it.

    My team for 2018 will be the resurrected Holdsworth Racing Team, which is Russ Downing's new project. Hopefully their new kit will look like this:


  9. #9

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    Garibaldi. Sorry.
    You can get that heritage kit from here, incidentally:

    https://www.holdsworth-bikes.co.uk/h...-clothing.html

  10. #10
    delicatemoth's Avatar
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    The other, Raleigh GAC, appear yet to have confirmed.

    Their Facebook page hasn't mentioned the Continental Tour for ages, it's been all about hillclimbs and track for the last few months. Then again, it didn't mention that former Raleigh rider Mark Christian was riding the Vuelta, which one might think would be a nice excuse for a 'remember this guy's best moments on our team' montage, so I'm not sure how seriously they regard their social media presence.

    this six rider thingy sounds like a random idea he had one morning

    Or maybe he looked at the Women's Tour. As I recall the men's races that have six-rider teams tend to be good as well, annoyingly I can't remember which ones they are right now (Eneco Tour? Arctic Race of Norway?).

    Would love to see Cofidis miss out on the TdF, all they ever do is hope that Bouhanni can manage something, which he never does.

    The Tour de Yorkshire is the best British race so I'm glad it's doing well. They might feel that British Cycling should be kept well away, of course.

  11. #11
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    Kit time! Massive picture resolution warning!

    And this first one sets a high bar, I reckon.

    Dimension Data


  12. #12
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Me Old Flower View Post
    I think it was Team Wiggins who announced that they'd signed the seemingly invincible Tom Pidcock recently, until someone (his dad?) denied it.
    I interviewed Master Pidcock last weekend ahead of the British Cyclocross Series in Abergavenny. He's certainly a very confident young man.

  13. #13
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    It seems his confidence hasn't gone unnoticed. This has been added to his Wikipedia page over the weekend.

    In November, Pidcock took the silver medal in the under-23 race at the European Championships,[26] in Tbor, Czech Republic; Belgium's Eli Iserbyt out-sprinted him to the finish line in a two-up sprint but Pidcock raised his arm in protest,[27] claiming that Iserbyt had made an irregular sprint, boxing him in at the barriers. Totally frustrated, "Cocky" broke out in tears.

  14. #14
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    EF (nee Cannondale)





    Movistar


  15. #15

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    The EF kit is very much like Lampre except the navy was been replaced with white. Shame there's no Argyle patterning.

  16. #16
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    It's difficult to see on the above photos, but there is an argyle pattern in the green cuffs on the arms and legs.



    Movistar is now quite reminiscent of Astana


  17. #17

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    Oh yes, so there is.

  18. #18
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    Wowsers, that's two big changes right there. Good to see pink back in the World Tour, should make EF easy to spot.

    Movistar, though, appear to be using the 2017 Astana kit there? (edit - beaten to the punch!)

  19. #19

  20. #20
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    I see from the European Cyclocross Championships results that Pidcock and Iserbyt finished on the same time. That must be quite rare in CX.

    Lukš Kunt, whom I'm sure everyone had been rooting for, was 35th out of 42.

    Helen Wyman was a decent 8th in the women's elite race with Sanne Cant winning it. For the men it was an all Dutch and Belgian top six (and 10 of the top 11), with Mathieu Van Der Poel taking the win.

  21. #21
    Kevin S's Avatar
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    Highlights of the European Championships - both for track and CX - are available here:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/UECCHANNEL/videos

    Here's the two-up sprint.

    Oh yeah, and nice one JP!
    Last edited by Kevin S; 06-11-2017 at 14:43.

  22. #22
    longeared's Avatar
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    Waow Deals - this is the former WM3 team. They've lost rising star Kasia Niewiadoma to Canyon-SRAM, though have some British interest next year as they've signed Dani Rowe (King).


  23. #23
    Jorge Porbillas's Avatar
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    Here is Pidcock's victory celebration from Abergavenny:

    https://youtu.be/W57Hrqwv10o?t=2h20m

  24. #24
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    First formal request that RCS move the start of the Giro

    Citing "grave and escalating violations of international law and Palestinians’ human rights", the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) published an open letter to RCS Sport that included more than 120 signatories urging the Giro owners to move the race start as the the official route announcement approaches on November 29.
    And this is the first that I've seen from a Gulf team on the subject

    A spokesperson for the Bahrain-Merida team told Cyclingnews: "Our plan is to start the Giro and we don’t want to mix politics and sport. Our team is ready whatever RCS will decide. We are invited by RCS and will attend Giro 2018."

  25. #25
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Not bad at all from Sky




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