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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations. - Charles de Montesquieu


Latest completed racing:

Van Avermaet to begin recovery process following successful surgery

BMC sent me this good news:

15 November, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA):

Greg Van Avermaet underwent successful surgery to secure a small, non-displaced, distal left fibula fracture, BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa today confirmed.

"Greg underwent surgery on his left ankle following an accident while riding his mountain bike. A small plate and a few screws were used to stabilize the fracture and the surgery, which was performed by Dr. Tim Leenders of the AZ Monica hospital in Antwerp, went very well. Greg stayed overnight in hospital but will be discharged this morning wearing a walking boot," Dr. Testa explained.

"Greg will start working with the physical therapist right away so we expect that he will be able to pedal on a stationary bike in two weeks' time, and gradually increase the training load and start to use his road bike in four to six weeks. We will continue to monitor Greg's recovery progress and his condition and training program will be re-evaluated at BMC Racing Team's training camp in December in conjunction with the medical, training and management staff."

Van Avermaet is feeling as well as expected following surgery.

"I feel fine. Of course it's better to not have an injury like this but I cannot change it, and it's better now than in January. I now have some extra weeks to recover before getting back on the bike in around four weeks, and then I'll still have a big block of training before the season starts so it should be fine," Van Avermaet said.

"It was my first training ride after a few weeks off. I went into a corner, maybe a bit too fast and there was water on the ground and I didn't want to go straight into that, so I put my foot down, and this is what caused the fracture."

Van Avermaet will no longer be present at the Gent Six Day event on Tuesday evening to fire the starting shot.

BMC Racing Team will provide updates throughout Van Avermaet's recovery period.

ORICA-BikeExchange squad ready for 2017

The team sent me this news release:

ORICA-BikeExchange has confirmed the final 26-man squad for 2017, looking to build on the team’s most successful year to date when they line up for their sixth season.

Eight Australian members, including Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman and four-time Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans, will gather in Nagambie this weekend for the Winery Ride and start of the Australian camp. The majority of the remaining riders will meet on the 28th of November for a camp in Europe.

The 2017 squad features just two changes, introducing experienced climber Roman Kreuziger to support the team’s young general classification leaders and Roger Kluge to strengthen the lead out train for sprinter Caleb Ewan.

Roman Kreuziger

Roman Kreuziger in his 2016 colors

Sport director Matt White said the roster stability can be a huge advantage if handled correctly. “With only two and a half changes (including Carlos Verona who joined mid-2016) to our roster next year the DNA and group is very similar to the roster that achieved so much in 2016,” White said. This is an exciting prospect but something we need to approach with caution to ensure that we don't let any complacency slip into our processes.

“Our additions each possess specialties in certain areas that we need to bolster our existing team, enabling us to immediately improve our performance and growing ambitions."

The new signings join a very successful 2016 list, who are still yet to reach their full potential. “We had breakout years from Magnus Cort, Jens Keukeleire, Esteban Chaves and Simon and Adam Yates,” White identified. “We can expect even more progression from this crew of developing riders.”

“And as always, our older experienced campaigners never cease to surprise us along the journey of the season which turns out to be a very long and grueling campaign. We can be very excited about approaching the coming season.”

White said the overall season goal is a simple yet difficult task, but that ORICA-BikeExchange will also make some new targets for 2017. “We want consistency and that is needed from everyone,” White said. “The idea may sound simple but in such a dynamic world which makes up our sport it’s a challenge to achieve.”

“We will approach all three Grand Tour’s with general classification ambitions which is a first for the organisation. We are looking at starting off our season with a bang come January at our home WorldTour events and then aiming to take winning opportunities regularly throughout the season whilst developing the immense talent we have within our roster.”

2017 Team:
Michael Albasini (SUI, 35)
Sam Bewley (NZL, 29)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 26)
Magnus Cort (DEN, 23)
Mitch Docker (AUS, 30)
Luke Durbridge (AUS, 25)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS, 22)
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 22)
Simon Gerrans (AUS, 36)
Jack Haig (AUS, 23)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 38)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 25)
Damien Howson (AUS, 24)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 31)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 27)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 27)
Cheung King-Lok (HKG, 25)
Roger Kluge (GER, 30) - new signing
Roman Kreuziger (CZE, 30) - new signing
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)
Ruben Plaza (SPA, 36)
Robert Power (AUS, 21)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 39)
Carlos Verona (SPA, 24)
Adam Yates (GBR, 24)
Simon Yates (GBR, 24)

First meeting of 2017 Ag2r team

From November 14 until November 18, the Ag2r team will be meeting in Vaujany in the Massif de l'Oisons. The next team gathering will be December 1-16 in Gandia, Spain.

For 2017 Ag2r will wear GSG (Americans know the firm as "Giessegi") clothing. It's good stuff. I repped them for a while years ago and never had any complaints.

Stijn Vandenbergh

Stijn Vandenbergh will move from Etixx-Quick Step to Ag2r in 2017

The team has ten new riders. Here's the 2017 roster, totalling 30 riders.

Gediminas Bagdonas (Lit)
Jan Bakelants (Bel)
Romain Bardet
Julien Bérard
François Bidard
Mikaël Chérel
Nico Denz (All)
Axel Domont
Samuel Dumoulin
Hubert Dupont
Ben Gastauer (Lux)
Cyril Gautier
Alexis Gougeard
Hugo Houle (Can)
Quentin Jauregui 
Pierre Latour
Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
Christophe Riblon
Alexis Vuillermoz

Recruits: 10 racers
Rudy Barbier
Clément Chevrier
​Benoit Cosnefroy
Julien Duval
Sondre Holst Enger (Nor)
Mathias Frank (Sui)
Alexandre Geniez 
Oliver Naesen (Bel)
Nans Peters
Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)                     

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