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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Friday, October 24, 2014

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Tour de France Points Distribution for Green Jersey Changes for 2015

To give riders who actually win stages an advantage over consistent high placers, in 2015 the Tour will give extra points to winners of the stages the organization thinks will be won by sprinters. This from ASO:

"Points classification: bonus for victory! A new points distribution system will be implemented on the 9 flat stages of the 2015 Tour de France to give more importance to stage victories. New points distribution on "flat" stages: 50, 30, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 points for the first 15 riders completing the stage. Former points distribution: 45, 35, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 for the first 15 riders completing the stage."

There will also be time bonuses for the winners of the early stages to give sprinters a chance to compete for the yellow jersey.

There will be another big change to the Green Jersey. PMU (Pari mutuel urbain, the French state-controlled betting system) will no longer be the Green Jersey sponsor. Xavier Hurstel, new CEO of the organization said, "We invested a lot on the green jersey for 25 years and will stop this partnership next year to streamline our investments in other partnerships." A new sponsor has not been announced. I assume that means those big green pointing fingers the spectators wave at races will disappear as well. I won't miss them.

Marcel Kittel in the green Jersey

Marcel Kittel in the points leader's green jersey with PMU logos that won't be seen any more.

Nicki Sørensen to Be Tinkoff-Saxo Sport Director and Coach

This release about Nicki Sørensen's career change came from Tinkoff-Saxo:

Tinkoff-Saxo is pleased to announce that Nicki Sørensen will stay on the team assuming the role of sport director and coach from 2015. Sørensen has just retired as pro cyclist after having spent 14 out of 16 seasons with Tinkoff-Saxo.

Both the team and Nicki Sørensen have valued the long and close relationship, and according to team manager Bjarne Riis, Sørensen will, with his major expertise and understanding of the sport, be a part of an ambitious reinforcement of Tinkoff-Saxo’s setup.

“I’m very happy to welcome Nicki in his new role. It’s an exciting opportunity and challenge for both the team and for him. It’s our clear ambition to step up in 2015 and deliver results. We will prepare ourselves to the fullest at home, but when we’re racing, we must perform. That requires a strong setup, and Nicki has the experience as road captain and the technical knowledge to guide the riders and help lead the team," comments Bjarne Riis.

Nicki Sørensen will be a part of the group of sport directors, initially as a kind of apprentice before getting full responsibilities at races. Besides that, he’ll coach three riders in areas such as performance, training and teamwork, while passing on his experience.

Nicki Sørensen turned pro in 1999 and has won four national championships, stage wins in Tour de France and Vuelta a España as well as having held the role as road captain. During the years of “active” learning he has evolved into a trusted mentor for many of his younger teammates.

“I’m very happy and grateful. For me, it’s undoubtedly the best-case scenario and an obvious next step in my career. I’ve been on the team since 2001 and have created close friendships with my teammates and the staff. I now have a lot of experience after nearly two decades of racing on top level that I can pass on to the current riders, whom I know very well."

“I will focus on coaching my riders on race tactics, training, how to manage life as a pro and teamwork. Besides these skills that you simply need as a top rider, I’ll also monitor training and progress as well as working with my colleagues to continuously improve the team’s approach," explains Nicki Sørensen, who also tells that he will need to lean on his fellow sport directors.

“During the first period, I will also learn from the more experienced sport directors. I’m used to analyzing the race from my bike, but it’s different from the team car. I can’t wait to get started and I notice that the team is really motivated and ready to reach our goals."


Nicki Sorensen

Nicki Sørensen checking out the cobbles of the Arenberg Forest before the 2014 Paris-Roubaix. Photo ©Sirotti

And while I'm at it, this release about Evgeny Petrov's 2014 season also came from Tinkoff-Saxo:

The season has ended and that provides a perfect opportunity to look back and evaluate. Tinkoff-Saxo’s experienced Russian, Evgeny Petrov, sums up his 14th year as a pro rider. According to him, the season started on the wrong foot but turned out great for him.

“Looking back at this season, I’m happy about how everything went. I had a bad crash during our training camp in January, which set me back going into the first months of the season, where I didn’t race. But I recovered, kept training and my season gradually improved as my shape got better”, says Evgeny Petrov, whose contract was renewed in August ahead of 2015.

Evgeny Petrov found his legs at Giro d’Italia, where he worked hard and devotedly for Rafal Majka. Petrov had originally dreamt of a stage win, but tells that he was just as satisfied to see Michael Rogers taking two solo victories. However, the personal success came in July, where he won the mountainous queen stage in Tour of Austria.

“I was really pleased to win in Austria. I enjoy working for the team. But as a rider, it’s important to experience personal success as well once in a while”, he comments and adds:

“Then I rode Tour de Pologne, where Rafal took two stage wins and the overall GC. It was amazing to feel the support from the spectators, and it definitely gave a boost when I rode at the front with the local hero in my wheel”.

Tinkoff-Saxo has announced improved ambitions for 2015 with big names joining the team and an increased attention to training and performance. Evgeny Petrov tells that it motivates him to be a part of a determined project.

“2015 will be very exciting for the entire team. Of course, there are big expectations, and we have to deliver, but we all share that goal. I’m confident in Bjarne’s decisions and it’s also special for me to work with Oleg. I rode on his team in ’07 and ’08, and the high level of ambition always characterizes it. I’m very happy”, finishes Evgeny Petrov, who’s preparing for the team building expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Evgeny Petrov

Evgeny Petrov

Team Belkin becomes Team LottoNL-Jumbo

The new team sent me this release:

Utrecht, October 23rd 2014 – In TivoliVredenburg, close to the Grand Départ 2015, Team LottoNL-Jumbo has been presented officially to the press and the world, with key figures such as Sven Kramer, Robert Gesink, Stefan Groothuis, Laurens ten Dam, Jan Smeekens and Wilco Kelderman. Jac Orie’s speed skaters, including Annette Gerritsen and Laurine van Riessen, are also a part of Team LottoNL-Jumbo and presented their new yellow and black speed skating suits, in which they will participate in the National Championships next week. The cyclists will follow as of January 1st 2015. However, the new yellow and black cycling kit was already presented to the press by the cyclists present. Jumbo Supermarkten, a Dutch chain of supermarkets, was introduced as the second title sponsor of the new speed skating and cycling team.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a typically Dutch professional top-level sports team that will be visible 365 days a year and will perform at the highest level. With the merging of a professional cycling team and a professional speed skating team a basis has been created for a new organizational model in the Dutch top-level sports. A model which revolves around sharing knowledge, cross-pollination and the combining of efforts. Sportively, as well as commercially and communicatively.

A new top-level sports culture will arise which – thanks to the sportive performances and a great appeal – will advertise ‘Dutch glory’ as an important value. With this, we will inspire a new generation of athletes and fans. Management, coaches and athletes will share their knowledge, will work together and will push each other to aim higher, with one goal: winning together!

Jac Orie: “It is fantastic news that we have completed the team with Jumbo. I am also pleased that our ladies have received a spot in Team LottoNL-Jumbo. We can continue with building a successful team the following years. I look forward to working with the cycling section on a great team, that will hopefully entertain the Dutch sports fans for 12 months a year.”

Richard Plugge: “Now that the contract with Jumbo Supermarkets is a fact, we can continue with building a future for cycling and speed skating, together with young talents. Previously, Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema have transformed themselves into top-level cyclists. Wilco Kelderman and Moreno Hofland are also part of cycling’s top. The team wants to reach the highest level shortly with riders such as Mike Teunissen and Timo Roosen. Kjeld Nuis and Annette Gerritsen are exponents in the development of talents in speed skating. Within a few years after their junior period at the team, they obtained great results at the World Championships and the Olympics. The collaboration with Jac Orie’s speed skaters enables us to work with the best athletes the entire year round, as one team. We are confident that we can excel together and can inspire a new generation of top-level athletes and to reach numerous fans.”

Arno de Jong, Marketing Director of De Lotto, “We are extremely proud that this unique initiative has finally started. Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a new and unique concept to the Dutch sports world. It brings together two extremely popular sports in the Netherlands, namely: speed skating and cycling. This under the motto: winning together! Together we have grand ambitions and are looking forward to the inspiring collaboration between athletes, coaches and management. The Dutch public and the sports will be the true winners of this alliance. We can’t wait for the National Championships speed skating and for the start of the cycling season as of January 1st.”

“Eating healthy and exercising are extremely important for a healthier lifestyle. We want to inspire our many customers to do so. The collaboration with this unique team provides us with a great opportunity. Together we can transfer our combined knowledge of a healthy lifestyle to the customers, and inspire them to live a more active life,” Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, Formula and Innovation Director at Jumbo Supermarkets. “Next to this, the team will take on the challenge of combining two teams to become even more successful. This is as recognizable for us as it is inspiring. We have also joined forces, with formulas such as C1000, during the past years. We are stronger together, and together we can win! This is something that appeals to us, and is something that we want to convey to our colleagues, partners and customers.”

Marco van Bilsen, Marketing Director BrandLoyalty: “ After having been title sponsor of Team Brandloyalty for two seasons, and having contributed to the successes of the speed skaters at the 2014 Olympics, we hope to guarantee the speed skaters their continuity for the upcoming years. We also hope to help obtain new successes for the speed skaters as well as the cyclists of Team LottoNL-Jumbo.”

Lotto-Jumbo team

The new LottoNL-Jumbo kit

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