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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Thursday, November 5, 2015

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

Tour Organization disputes bill for 2015 start in Netherlands

On November third we reported that the Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU) was demanding 140,000 Euros from ASO, the company that organizes the Tour de France. KNWU said it was to defray the costs it incurred for the Tour running its first two stages of the 2015 Tour in the Netherlands.

As expected, this is turning into a real fight.

ASO argues that in all its history it has never paid a national federation for the privilege of a Grand Depart.

Tour boss Christian Prudhomme said, "Out of nowhere, we received a bill of almost 140,000 Euros from the Dutch Cycling Federation. An absurdly high amount, baseless."

Eddy MErckx and Christian Prudhomme

Eddy Merckx and TDF boss Christian Prudhomme

KNWU has filed an arbitration case with the UCI for the 140,000 Euros. "ASO does not want to pay, but it must conform to the rule of the country it visits," said KNWU director Huib Kloosterhuis.

This fight has a ways to go, I think.

Gerald Ciolek joins Cult Energy

2013 Milano-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek is leaving MTN Qhubeka to ride for Cult Energy in 2016.

In that 2013 Milano-San Remo Ciolek was in a seven-man break that included Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and Sylvain Chavanel. Ciolek beat those luminaries to gain his greatest career win. Ciolek has also ridden for T-Mobile, Milram and Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

Gerald Ciolek wins 2013 Milano-San Remo

Gerlad Ciolek wins 2013 Milano-San Remo

Lotto-Soudal Ladies team looks back at 2015

Dany Schoonbaert, head of the sports department of the Lotto Soudal Ladies, looks back on the 2015 cycling year.

Dany Schoonbaert: “It was a huge loss for us that Jolien D’hoore left the team. Before the season started I said this would be a transition year, with a lot of young riders in the team. Still, we had a good season, with a lot of great results, although it would have been nice to win more. Our riders often animated the races, but couldn’t always finish it off. There was a fantastic team spirit, the girls were really close.”

The team had a lot of wonderful moments thanks to Italian champion Elena Cecchini. This year she successfully defended her national title and won a stage of the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg. The Italian rider performed very consistently this season, with among other the sixth place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the third place at Durango, two podium places during the Giro Rosa and the third place overall at the BeNeLadies Tour. At the Ronde van Vlaanderen she surprised by finishing on the fifth place.

Dany Schoonbaert: “Elena Cecchini was a blessing for the team, she also scored in international races. Elena performed on a high level throughout the season, from the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to the race in Madrid in September. She conquered a beautiful victory at the Festival Elsy Jacobs. And of course her second national title was a highlight as well. Apart from that, she gathered a lot of top ten places. Her fifth place at the Ronde van Vlaanderen was something we hadn’t dare to dream about, this was an impressive performance. At the Giro Rosa Elena finished two times on the third place in a stage, also that are great memories.”

In his analysis Dany Schoonbaert indicates that the team needs to be stronger in general, so the team leader doesn’t get isolated too soon. For next year he already looked for reinforcement. Dany also looks inside the team, where he saw that 24-year-old Anisha Vekemans set a big step forward.

Dany Schoonbaert: “In the finales Elena Cecchini was often alone, we weren’t always strong enough as a team in general, just like it was the case when Jolien D’hoore was part of the team. Unfortunately, Elena won’t be riding for our team anymore next year. We already looked for some reinforcement. Claudia Lichtenberg will join the team. Her teammate Willeke Knol has signed with us as well, she already worked for Claudia in their current team. Claudia is a GC rider and has to make sure we play a role in international stage races. We are also pleased that Sofie De Vuyst will come to our team, she’s a rider for different terrains. With Lotte Kopecky we get to welcome another Belgian rider in the team. Elise Delzenne, who we will ride for our team as well, is known for her aggressive style of racing. This is all promising for next year.”

Elise Delzenne

Elise Delzenne will be riding for Lotto-Soudal in 2016

“Jessie Daams had bad luck this season, she hurt her knee at the Ronde van Drenthe and didn’t return on the level we can expect of her. Hopefully this will be better in 2016, because she does have the capacities. At the Giro Rosa we saw some demonstrations of it. Anisha Vekemans had a wonderful season, with her first UCI victory at the Trophée d’Or. She also won some national races. She has set a step forward, her selection for the Worlds was an acknowledgement of it. I know what Anisha is capable of and am happy to see that she’s developing into the rider she can be. Of course the women need the time to adjust when they join the elite category. Anouk Rijff did it well in her first year as elite. Next year it’s up to Fenna Vanhoutte. We gladly keep investing in young riders.”

Chun Kai Feng 7th in climbing race

This came from Lampre-Merida:

For the most of the cyclists of Lampre-Merida, the 2015 season has already ended, but there's still someone with the energy to be at the start of the races for battling with honor.

The Taiwanese champion Chun Kai Feng, in fact, on October the 30th was at the start of one of the most exciting races in the world, that is the Taiwan Kom Challenge: 105 km with start on the sea level and finish line at 3275 meters above the sea level.

Despite not being a pure climber, Feng, who is the first Taiwanese cyclist ever to join a World Tour team and to participate in the Paris-Roubaix, realized a very good performance which gave him the 7th place in the final classification. He completed the race in 3h38'19".

Chung Kai Feng

Chun Kai Feng

600 athletes were registered in the competition, 310 reached the arrival, the fastest was Monier who covered the course in 3h34'19".

Feng preceded many experienced climbers and also the best climber in the Vuelta a Espana 2015, Spanish rider Fraille.

The next appointment for the Asian cyclist from Lampre-Merida is scheduled on 28 and 29 November: he'll participate in the Taiwanese championships, road and time trial.

In his career, Feng has won 4 Taiwanese road titles and 1 Taiwanese time trial title.

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