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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Sunday, November 8, 2015

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

Alexander Kristoff to ride the Giro?

One of 2015's most successful riders, Alexander Kristoff, is drawing up his racing plans for 2016. One of the big question marks is May racing. Does he race the Tour of California or the Giro d'Italia? La Gazzetta dello Sport says the 28-year old rider on the Katusha squad is "thought" to become a Giro participant.

Kristoff's racing will start with Qatar and Oman, Paris-Nice and then on to San Remo before Flanders and Roubaix. In July, of course, he'll be at the Tour.

Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff winning the 2015 GP Ouest

Kristoff's 2015 racing season was simply sparkling, with victories in the Tour of Flanders, Three Days of De Panne, GP Ouest-France, the Scheldeprijs and numerous stage wins. They total twenty, eighteen of which came in the first half of the year.

Lars Van der Haar wins European Cyclo-Cross Championship

This from his team Giant-Alpecin:

Lars van der Haar won the European Cyclo-Cross Championships in Huijbergen and will be the first professional rider to wear the blue jersey. In an exciting finale Lars was too strong for rival Wout van Aert.

After the race Lars said: “It was a difficult, hard race. Wout (van Aert) was stronger on one side of the track and I on the other. He got away but he didn’t crack me. He made a small mistake and I gave my all to close the gap again, which worked out.

“In the final lap I chose to attack because I thought it wasn’t a good plan to let him be in first position on the walking climb. I got a small gap and could hold it to the walking climb and even until the finish to win the race. It is a very nice win and I am extremely happy with it.”

MTN-Qhubeka to get World Tour license?

MTN-Qhubeka (to become Dimension Data in 2016) is thought to be on the inside track to get a World Tour license in 2016.

UCI president Brian Cookson spoke to the Australian website Cycling Tips:

“The situation now is that we have 17 teams that have applied. Under the rules we have the capacity of inviting another team to join if they are capable of fulfilling the criteria. That is something that we are looking at at the moment with that team.

“I am hopeful, but that process is with the Licence Commission now and not with me. I am very hopeful that they will be able to fulfil the criteria to be the 18th WorldTour team,” he stated. “In terms of their current results and the riders that they have signed as well, it would be a pretty good fit. I think we would all be delighted to see that. But as I say, it is in the hands of the Licence Commission.”

Daniel Teklehaimanot

MTN-Qhubeka rider Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the climber's polka-dot jersey for several days at the 2015 Tour.

The team did well in 2015, winning a Tour de France stage and has signed some superb riders, including Mark Renshaw, Mark Cavendish and Bernard Eisel.

Cycling Academy Team signs two more

Here's news sent by the Israeli team:

Breaking news: Canadian National champion Guillaume Boivin is joining Cycling Academy Team on a 2 years contract.

The 26 years old Montreal native, who started his sport career as an Ice-Hockey player has an impressive palmares:

He was 3rd in 2010 at the under 23 Road World championships, in a tight sprint with Michael Matthews, John Degenkolb and Taylor Phinney.

Among his main achievements are a 2nd place at the Ronde van Drenthe, 3rd at the Tro-Bro Léon and multiple stage victories at the Tour de Beauce.

He began his career at SpiderTech-C10 (Canada's first Pro cycling team) and had since raced at the World-Tour level with the Italian Cannondale Pro Cycling Team and most recently with the American Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies Continental team.

"Guillaume brings a degree of talent and a proven ability to perform at the highest levels" explains Cycling Academy Team manager Ran Margaliot. "Signing him is an important step forward in our journey towards the world's highest levels".

"The experience of riding some of the great classics and grand tours is hard to quantify but how worthy" he says. After some hard luck with folding teams, he found himself riding mainly in America so he was delighted to get an offer From Academy to be its leading sprinter. " I am really proud and honoured to take part of this great project" he said and expressed his desire to come back to racing in Europe and work with the team new head sports director Nicki Sorensen.

"He is a fast and successful sprinter with already a wide experience although his young age" said the Academy's Head-Sports Director Sorensen "He will play an important role in boosting our team performance" he said.

Sylvan Adams, the Canadian Board of Directors member of Cycling Academy Team was delighted by the signing:

"Guillaume is a real talent with outstanding leadership qualities. He can be a rouleur, a breakaway rider, and also a sprinter/finisher, both to win races and to support teammates. He will be a great asset to Cycling Academy and will help develop and promote cycling in Israel as well. Bienvenue Guillaume. Kol Hakavod!"

Cycling Academy had recently announced its intention to become Israel's first ever team to compete in a Grand-Tour by 2018.

Plus, the team put out this release:

We are proud to announce our 7th signing for 2016:

Mexican Climbing specialist Luis Lemus brings a new quality for the mountainous races next year

The 23 years old Mexican rider from Aguascalientes, turned professional at the age of 19 with the American Continental team: Jelly Belly-Maxxis, with whom he raced for 3 years, until the end of 2014.

In 2015, Lemus signed with the American Continental team: Airgas - Safeway Cycling Team.

"We had first noticed Luis talent, in the recent Tour of Azerbaijan, where we saw him bridging by himself a 3 minute gap from the peloton to the break. It was a very brave move and one that not many riders would have dare to make" said Cycling Academy Team manager Ran Margaliot "I do believe however that Luis has a far bigger potential then what we currently see. And we will definitely give him the tools to fulfil it".

"The decision to join Cycling Academy Team was natural" said Lemus "The team plans to grow and the very structured environment which the team allows, are crucial to the transition racing smoother. It will be my first full season to be based in Europe and it will allow me to make a step forward towards my goal of racing the world's biggest races one day".

During his short career, Lemus already achieved some impressive success, including: 2 consecutive Mexican national titles (in 2012 and 2013), a stage win at the 2014 Tour of Hokkaido and the most aggressive jersey at the queen stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California.

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