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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, November 7, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Nature is the art of God. - Dante Alighieri

Latest completed racing:

Movistar Team’s 2017 kit unveiled

The team posted this news:

The Rouleur Classic cycling exhibition in London played host to the official launch of the Movistar Team’s 2017 kit, designed and produced by Endura in Scotland, on Friday. Endura Managing Director Jim McFarlane and former Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett led the presentation, followed by a live Q&A.

Both the Canyon Speedmax WHR bike used in May 2015 and an Endura life-sized 3D laser printed mannequin of Alex were on display at the Endura stand alongside the new kit, which reduces its white tones to amplify the exposure of Movistar’s flatter, green ‘M’ on the navy blue jersey. Visibility on training sessions remains safe, as a fluorescent green pad has been added on the lower end of the jersey’s back.

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde in the 2017 Movistar kit

Aerodynamic advances have been an integral part of the development of Movistar’s 2017 kit. Working on a collaborative project with Drag2Zero, Endura have developed chronosuits combining innovative production techniques and the fastest fabrics to help save watts and shave seconds in both time trials and road stages.

Extensive testing in Drag2Zero's facility at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 wind tunnel helps them to produce aerodynamic garments that employ sophisticated patent-pending processes to trick the airflow over a rider's body and delay the onset of “flow separation”, so reducing drag.

By testing in one of the best wind tunnels available and by applying Endura’s extensive knowledge of cutting edge fabrics and advanced garment construction, they’ve been able to produce suits that work in a resilient, real world way with a long list of wins against the clock over past seasons.

“Our staff and aero-partners have spent a lot of time and effort on its updated design encompassing aero properties as well as other functional aspects of the fabrics and the finer details”, explains McFarlane. “We’ve been working closely with the riders and Movistar Team's technical staff to refine and optimise the designs. Just as was the case last year, it’s not just the graphic design that changes for 2017.”

Orica-AIS 2016 season wrap-up

Here's the team's 2016 retrospective:

ORICA-AIS concluded a successful 2016 season having achieved a variety of victories in their fifth year in the professional peloton. The wide spread victories, coming from eight different riders, across a broad spectrum of races was a real highlight for sport director Gene Bates.

"This year has been a great step up from previous seasons and one we have fostered to grow towards," Bates said. "Out of all the victories for the team in 2016, we had eight different race winners. This was something we spoke about as a group back in November of last year and something we wanted to focus on for 2016. It has been fantastic to see all of riders make big improvements and all develop into winners in their own right."

The team launched into 2016 on a high, achieving overall wins in the Michelton Bay Cycling Classic (Gracie Elvin) and the Santos Tour Down Under (Katrin Garfoot), along with two Australian championship titles (Amanda Spratt - road race and Garfoot -time trial). "We were quite focused leading into this season, the riders and staff really wanted to start our season on the right foot and strongly," Bates continued. "We were confident that by being successful in Australia, that this momentum would carry on to a successful spring in Europe."

Katrin Garfoot

Katrin Garfoot in 2014

As the team headed overseas they continued their successful momentum instantly at the Ladies Tour of Qatar with an unexpected stage victory from in-form Garfoot. From there the team remained consistent with strong performances throughout the season. "This momentum not only carried over into the spring, but also throughout the European Summer," Bates continued. "This level of focus and commitment is something we are very keen to carry on for 2017."

Debutant Annemiek van Vleuten became a valuable member of the Australian outfit, contributing to much of the success as an experienced team leader, personally excelling in the individual time trial and prologue events. In the early Classic races Van Vleuten worked well alongside Elvin, with the pair often featuring in the final of races together enabling Elvin defend her Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik victory and become the first Australian women on the podium in a Women’s WorldTour race.

"One of our strengths as a team is how we are able to work together, especially in stressful and pressure situations," said Bates. "It is nice to go into the final of a race knowing that the riders will give 100% for each other and achieving a team result. It really is a pleasure to see teammates as happy for each other winning, as they are for themselves. I think this is a huge part of our success this season."

In the second half of the season, former criterium champion Sarah Roy claimed her first ever victory for ORICA-AIS along with 2016 debutant Loren Rowney. The two rapid riders established themselves as consistent sprinters for the team regularly placing highly in bunch sprints. The strong performances continued as the longest serving member of the Australian outfit, Spratt had a breakthrough season stepping up into the role of one of the leaders in the team. 

"Across the board we have seen riders take big steps in overall improvement and achieve results and consistency that they haven’t achieved before," Bates said.

"We want our riders to operate to the best of their abilities," Bates went on. "I think this year the girls have shown many great examples of this such as Spratt finishing second overall in Thuringen Rundfahrt, Roy getting her first European victory, amongst many more. We try and foster an environment that encourages the riders to develop and improve every season, regardless of how long or how experienced they may be."

Look back at some of the highlights for ORICA-AIS in 2016:

First time victories
Rowney, Roy and Van Vleuten all claimed their first ever victories in ORICA-AIS colours, proving the diversity of the Australian squad as eight riders contributed to the team’s 19 wins.

Successful defense
A motivated Elvin handled pressure well to return to Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik as the number one rider and claim her second consecutive victory in the one-day Belgian race, relishing on the cobbles and in harsh European weather.

Time trials, stage races and one-day wins
Garfoot excelled in 2016 winning a variety of races from the Australian time trial championship to the general classification victory at the Santos Women's Tour then soloing to victory in Qatar. The 35-year-old rounded it all off with a hard fought bronze medal in the UCI World Championship Time Trial.

Stepping up
The 2016 season saw many team members step up to become consistent high finishers in the elite women's peloton. Spratt shone on the hilly days often finding herself in a select group in the finals of races in position to challenge for the victory like on stage three of the Aviva Women's Tour. The Australian champion also continued to step up as a leader within the team.

Olympic Games
Highlighting the strength and depth of the team this year, four of the Australian riders, Elvin, Neylan, Garfoot and Spratt were selected to represent their country at the Rio Olympic Games along with Van Vleuten racing for the Netherlands.

Van Vleuten rode herself into contention in the closing kilometres of the road race only to suffer a bad crash. Thankfully she recovered and returned to racing in the best possible fashion – with a win.

ORICA-AIS 2016 victories:
Chrono Champenois - Trophée Européen - GARFOOT
Oceania Continental Championships WE - ITT - GARFOOT
Ladies Tour of Qatar - Stage 2 - GARFOOT
Santos Women's Tour General Classification - GARFOOT
Santos Women's Tour - Stage 1 - GARFOOT
National Championships Australia ITT - GARFOOT
National Championships Netherlands WE - ITT- VAN VLEUTEN
Auensteiner - Radsporttage - Stage 2a (ITT) - VAN VLEUTEN
Festival Elsy Jacobs - Prologue - VAN VLEUTEN
Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen - Stage 6 - SPRATT
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - SPRATT
National Championships Australia Road Race - SPRATT
Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik - ELVIN
Michelton Bay Cycling Classic General Classification - ELVIN
Michelton Bay Cycling Classic - Stage 1 - ELVIN
Santos Women's Tour - Stage 3 - WILLIAMS
Michelton Bay Cycling Classic Stage 3- WILLIAMS
Boels Rental Ladies Tour - Stage 4 - ROY
Tour de Feminin - Stage 2 - ROWNEY

Racing with the national team:
Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames - NEYLAN
Lotto Belgium Tour General Classification - VAN VLEUTEN
Lotto Belgium Tour - Stage 3 - VAN VLEUTEN
Lotto Belgium Tour - Prologue - VAN VLEUTEN
World Championships - ITT- GARFOOT

Bardiani-CSF completes 2017 roster

Here's the posting from the team:

Bardiani-CSF chose the last rider to complete the 2017 season roster. Simone Sterbini, twenty-two years old, rider of the #GreenTeam since two years, renewed the contract with the team also for next year.

Adding Sterbini, Bardiani-CSF will have 17 riders in its squad for 2017. The new faces, as already announced, will be four - Luca Wackermann, from team Al Nasr-Dubai, and neo-pros Vincenzo Albanese (Hopplà-Firenze Petroli), Marco Maronese (Zalf-Fior) and Niccolò Pacinotti (Hopplà-Firenze Petroli).

Luca Wackermann

Luca Wackermann

Twelve the riders already confirmed - Stefano Pirazzi (2017 will be his eighth season with Reverberi’s family), Nicola Boem (fifth) Edoardo Zardini (fifth), Enrico Barbin (fourth), Nicola Ruffoni (fourth), Simone Andreetta (third), Paolo Simion (third), Alessandro Tonelli (third), Giulio Ciccone (second), Mirco Maestri (second), Lorenzo Rota (second) and Simone Velasco (second). As well as the riders, Bardiani-CSF confirmed all its sport management - Bruno Reverberi, Roberto Reverberi, Stefano Zanatta and coach Claudio Cucinotta.

“Our reinforcement campaign has finished” said Roberto Reverberi. “We selected three of the most promising Italian rider and added an unexpressed talent like Luca Wackermann. For them it will be important first of all to understand our team and philosophy. For all the other riders, 2017 will be immediately the chance for a new quality step”.

Bardiani-CSF want also to wish all the best to Sonny Colbrelli, Manuel Bongiorno, Luca Chirico and Luca Sterbini, whose sports path will split from the team one.

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