News – Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:51:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 News – 32 32 Top-six endurance road bikes of 2016 Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:49:51 +0000 Endurance bikes offer a solid blend of comfort and performance for long rides, fondos, or races. Here are the five best we tested in 2016.

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Endurance road bikes strike a balance between comfort and performance, which is why they are so popular with riders who test their limits with 100-mile gran fondos or big days that blend in a bit of rough road. You’ll even see top professionals riding these bikes (or similar models) in the cobbled spring classics, like Paris-Roubaix. Endurance bikes feature frames with built-in compliance for bumpy roads, taller head tubes to allow riders to sit more upright, and clearance for wider tires. Here are the five top models from our crop of 2016 test bikes.

Watch a video about the endurance road bike category >>

Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 Disc Di2

Price: $8,500
Overall score: 90.7/100

Photo: Specialized
Photo: Specialized

The Roubaix SL4 had one hell of a debut when Tom Boonen rode it to a solo victory in Paris-Roubaix. But that was in 2012. Specialized has breathed new life into the platform with hydraulic discs that let the Roubaix stop the way it rides: on any road, in any conditions, in a WorldTour-worthy package.


Canyon Endurace CF SLX 9.0 SL

Price: $7,199
Overall score: 90.5/100

Photo: Brad Kaminski |
Photo: Brad Kaminski |

Canyon’s new disc brake-equipped Endurace CF SLX endurance race machine is the answer to the question, “Which bike should I ride today?” Whether you’re hoping to climb through the hills, explore unknown roads, or even hit the local crit, the Endurace makes an excellent choice. Sure, we have some minor quibbles: The overly stout gearing isn’t ideal for steep back roads; external cable routing disrupts the sleek cockpit. But this is, without question, the best do-everything bike we’ve ridden this year.


Trek Domane SLR

Price: $9,749
Overall score: 89.1/100

Photo: Trek
Photo: Trek

After riding Trek’s newly redesigned Domane over the Flanders cobbles in the Spring of 2016 (far less artfully than Fabian Cancellara, who raced both Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix on it), it was easy to laud the adjustable rear IsoSpeed decoupler and the new head tube decoupler because I had just ridden a an excellent but stiff race bike on those same cobbles only days before — and it shattered my neck and shoulders. The Domane was a revelation with its decouplers that smoothed out Flanders’ roughest cobbles, and after several months of testing it on home roads in Colorado, I maintain that revelatory praise. The Domane is an excellent bike for everyday riding and even certain types of racing because it quiets harsh chatter without sacrificing race geometry and handling.


BMC Roadmachine01 Ultegra

Price: $5,200
Overall score: 88.8/100

Photo: BMC
Photo: BMC

BMC’s new Roadmachine01 disc brake road bike straddles the line between endurance bike and race machine. It’s built around an endurance geometry platform with a taller head tube, longer wheelbase and chain stays, and slacker head tube angle, but the frame is tuned to feel fast and exciting like a nimble race bike. It boasts loads of integrated features for a sleek and aerodynamic look and comes with smart component specs for three different levels. Plus, the Roadmachine can fit up to 30-millimeter tires, which we love. As a versatile bike that can take on rough dirt and gravel roads while still feeling like a race-tuned machine, the Roadmachine01 impresses from top to bottom.


Ridley Fenix SL 20

Price: $4,200
Overall score: 88.1/100

Photo: Ridley
Photo: Ridley

The Fenix is only nominally an endurance bike. Sure, it’s designed to help riders get over bumpy roads. But those riders are racers, and those bumps are cobbles. This is the frame that team Lotto – Soudal takes to the northern classics.


Colnago CX Zero Evo Ultegra

Price: $3,800
Overall score: 87.7/100


The CX Zero Evo is basically its own sweet spot. It has all the aspirational brand cache of Colnago, hints of endurance geometry for long days in the saddle, but a build and design touches that are 100 percent race-worthy. And it does all of that at a price that had us doing double takes.


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Strava End of Year Insights: Do you live in the fastest state? Thu, 08 Dec 2016 18:35:25 +0000 Strava announces 2016 data. Which state has the fastest Strava rides? The most climbing? The longest rides? It's all in this detailed

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Cycling’s favorite social network and online community released its third annual End of Year Insights report this week, providing valuable data about cyclists in the U.S. and beyond.

Whether you love it or hate it, Strava accumulates an impressive amount of data on cycling trends each year that can be used to make cycling better for all of us. Some of this data helps streamline bike lane projects to make commuting more accessible. Other data is used to showcase the economic impact of cycling for small communities and local businesses.

The 2016 End of Year Insights data provides a glimpse into how often and how far we’re riding, what states are the fastest, who is climbing the most vertical feet, how men and women differ in their rides and routes, and more. So how do you and your state stack up against the rest of the U.S.?

How much are we riding?

Strava athletes logged around 45 million more activities than in 2015 and generated more than 60,000 years worth of cumulative activity time.

World totals
161 million activities uploaded to Strava (32 million from the U.S.)
180 billion feet of elevation gain recorded
3.6 billion miles logged
962,369 centuries ridden

Men vs. women

U.S. men
Average distance per ride: 22.3
Average speed per ride: 15.1 miles per hour

U.S. women
Average distance per ride: 20.1
Average speed per ride: 12.8 miles per hour

Cycling by the states

Fastest average speed

  • Louisiana: 15.2 miles per hour
  • Mississippi: 14.7 miles per hour
  • Florida 14.7: miles per hour

Hilliest rides

  • Vermont: 421 feet per ride
  • Montana: 383 feet per ride
  • West Virginia: 374 feet per ride

Longest average ride

  • Florida: 38.4 miles
  • Louisiana: 37.6 miles
  • Mississippi: 36.5 miles

Most activities logged

  • California shared 7.8 million
  • Colorado shared 1.8 million
  • Texas shared 1.7 million

The top cycling segments are located in Richmond, Brooklyn, San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Houston, Sausalito, Long Beach and Key Biscayne.

Kudos = community

Strava measures its social community activity by the number of kudos given to praise another athlete’s activity. This year, Strava saw 1.3 billion kudos given worldwide, with 212 million kudos within the U.S.

12,444 kudos
– Greg Van Avermaet’s gold medal ride in Rio, the most of any 2016 activity


The U.S. saw a 165.3 percent increase in commuting during the summer months according to Strava data. May 12 was the biggest day for Strava commuters with riders logging 44,682 commutes in total.

127,913 commutes logged per week
Average commute time: 35 minutes
Average commute distance: 8.3 miles
Average commute speed: 13.6 miles per hour

79,879 Strava cyclists uploaded a commute on May 10 for the first ever Global Bike to Work Day. Strava says they saved roughly 514 tons of carbon emissions by not driving to work on just one day.

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RCS denies rumors of compromise on team cuts Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:03:53 +0000 Giro d'Italia director Mauro Vegni denies reports that race organizers have backed down on plans to cut team sizes for 2017 races.

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Contrary to reports over the last 24 hours, RCS Sport cycling director Mauro Vegni says that nothing has changed in the debate over reduced pro team sizes. Vegni, who directs the Giro d’Italia, said it never came up at a UCI meeting in Spain Tuesday, and that the issue still needs to be confronted.

The big three organizers — RCS Sport, ASO, and Flanders Classics — issued a statement two weeks ago that they would reduce the number of riders teams may bring to their races in 2017. They said teams would consist of eight men (not nine) in the three grand tours, and seven, instead of eight, in the other races. They said they want to make races safer with a smaller peloton and also make them less scripted.

The UCI is against such a move. It said that it would not allow such a change for 2017 and that any decision must pass through its Professional Cycling Council, in which decisions are shared among teams, cyclists, and organizers.

Wednesday, Spanish newspaper AS reported that the heads of state agreed in a Tuesday meeting in Mallorca, Spain, to keep team sizes unchanged for 2017.

“No,” Vegni told VeloNews when asked if they discussed the issue or made a decision on Tuesday.

“What we had in Mallorca was only the UCI seminar for the WorldTour teams. It was just between the UCI, the WorldTour teams, and the WorldTour races.

“We just had a face-to-face like every year, but there were no decisions.

“We spoke of other things. Other issues take front stage with many new WorldTour races added to the calendar and the 2017 season starting soon.”

Race director Stefano Allocchio represented RCS Sport at the UCI’s WorldTour seminar.

RCS Sport and the other organizers want change after an année noire that saw Antoine Demoitié (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) die in a Gent-Wevelgem crash and Stig Broeckx (Lotto – Soudal) suffer brain damage in another.

If they cut teams by one, the grand tours would welcome 176 instead of 198 cyclists. A race like Gent-Wevelgem would see 175 instead of 200.

Such a rule change would affect not only the races of the big three organizers.

“If [UCI and PCC agrees to the change], they will do it for all races,” added Vegni. “Us three can decide for our races, but the UCI won’t make rules just for our races and not for the others. It’ll be an all or nothing decision.”

The reduction appears destined for 2018 or at least delayed beyond the start of the first big race of 2017, the Tour Down Under on January 14.

Teams criticized the proposal, or at least the timing of it so close to the start of the new season. Trek – Segafredo boss Luca Guercilena said, “A one-year time window is more realistic. It is too late now, because we are starting next week with training camps.”

Quick-Step Floors manager Patrick Lefevere explained that 100 cyclists could be unemployed by 2018 if the change goes through because the teams would need to hire fewer riders. Vegni said in a previous interview that would not be the case with such a busy calendar where WorldTour races overlap several times in the year.

Cycling’s stakeholders must still confront the issue head-on.

“The WorldTour is about to start, and there are many issues to sort out first before of team sizes. It wasn’t a theme in Mallorca,” Vegni said today.

“Nothing has changed since two weeks ago when we sent out our e-mails. We think the change is right and needed, but maybe they are going to say we lack time.

“There was no official communication Tuesday. Maybe they will do so for 2017, maybe for 2018, or maybe not at all.”

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Pellizotti, Nibali reunited at Bahrain – Merida Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:16:20 +0000 The pair rode together for five seasons at Liquigas, and will be teammates next year on the new Middle Eastern WorldTour team.

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Franco Pellizotti, the veteran Italian climber who was at the center of a high-profile biological passport ban, has penned a deal to join Bahrain – Merida for 2017.

The 38-year-old Italian will rejoin Vincenzo Nibali (the pair rode together for five seasons at Liquigas) and slot into a climber’s role at Bahrain, the team announced Thursday.

“Regarding Nibali, we spent five years together in Liquigas and I saw him growing up,” Pellizotti said in a team release. “It’s amazing how now I can support him toward his goals, among which is Giro d’Italia, where he will be aiming for his third victory. I will be one of his men for the climbs and my aim is to help him as much as possible.”

Pellizotti brings more climbing legs to help Nibali, who is targeting the Giro as his first major goal for 2017. The team also recently signed Janez Brajkovic, another strong climber who will lend support to Nibali.

The one-year deal is a boon for Pellizotti, who returns to the WorldTour level after five seasons with Pro Continental team Androni Giocattoli. He was among several veterans looking for a contract to continue in 2017.

Pellizotti’s world came crashing down in 2010 after he was named by the UCI for “suspicious blood values” as part of the new biological passport. Pellizotti vehemently denied the allegations, and following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2011, he was handed a two-year suspension, returning to racing in 2012.

The case was considered an important milestone to confirm that the biological passport could be used as a mechanism not only to monitor athlete’s blood indicators, but as a tool to deliver racing suspensions.

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Schumacher, Rebellin linked with new Kuwaiti team Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:50:23 +0000 The former notorious Gerolsteiner teammates with a history of doping positives will reportedly ride for Kuwait –

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Former notorious Gerolsteiner teammates Davide Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher could be together again.

Officials from Continental team Kuwait – confirmed the arrival of Schumacher on Facebook, while La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Rebellin would also likely join the team. Officials could not be reached for additional comment for this report.

“The veteran German joins the Kuwaiti, Spanish project,” a statement read. “The veteran cyclist joins the team to be one of its references … and will be one of the key members for the young team, bringing experience to the lineup.”

The Kuwaiti team debuted in 2015, and confirmed this week four riders that will be part of an expanded program going into next season. Among those for next season include Axel Costa and Andreas Keusser, both from the team’s previous incarnation of Massi – Kuwait, Fernando Grijalba (MMR), and José Manuel Gutiérrez (Rias Baixas).

It’s the imminent arrival of Schumacher and Rebellin that’s attracting attention, however. Both tested positive in high-profile doping cases in 2008 as part of the scandal-plagued Gerolsteiner team. Each have had rather bumpy returns to the peloton, at least compared to some other riders who tested positive for doping and returned to WorldTour-level teams, and neither have been involved in a doping case since.

Schumacher, 35, tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, when he won both individual time trials (the same season Bernard Kohl tested positive for CERA after riding to third in the Tour and won the king of the mountains jersey). Schumacher also tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and challenged both cases in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. After serving a reduced ban, Schumacher returned to the peloton in 2010, riding for Miche (2010-11), Christina Watches (2012-14), CCC – Sprandi (2015), and Christina Jewelry (2016).

Rebellin, at 45 among the oldest riders in the peloton, also tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Beijing Games (he did not race the Tour as part of the Gerolsteiner team that year), where he won silver. The test result was revealed in April 2009, and he was eventually stripped of his medal and served a two-year suspension.

Rebellin returned to racing in 2011, joining CCC in 2013. After the Polish team did not renew his contract, Rebellin has been shopping around for a deal. It appears he’s found one to keep him in the peloton for 2017.

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Do you have what it takes to be a pro domestique? Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:28:07 +0000 If there was a prize for the season’s best domestique, chances are Movistar’s Rory Sutherland would be among the nominees. The

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If there was a prize for the season’s best domestique, chances are Movistar’s Rory Sutherland would be among the nominees.

The 34-year-old Australian did impressive work throughout the 2016 season, including big pulls dog-sledding his way across the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. Thanks to his help, Movistar won a stage and finished third overall at the Giro, and won a stage and the GC at the Vuelta.

What goes into those victories? And what does it to take to be a domestique on a top-level, WorldTour team? We sat down with Sutherland to talk about the keys to being a successful “gregario” in today’s peloton.


First off, to be a good domestique, a rider must embrace the role. A rider must recognize that they will never win the Tour de France themselves, but have the skills to help someone else. It takes a village. Though only one rider stands on the winner’s podium, cycling is a team sport, and all the big captains know they cannot win races alone. Taking pride and being part of a winning team can be as satisfying as crossing the line first.

Sutherland: “For the job that I do, I fully embrace it because I get the respect from others on the team, and you feel valued. I’ve built up this diesel engine over several years, and I can ride the front all day, and I am fine with that because I’ve trained for that. The people following behind me in the peloton are actually worse off than me. During the Vuelta this year, [Movistar teammate] Imanol [Erviti] and I figured we did about 850km or 900km together at the front. I love it, that’s my job. I really embrace that role now. If I walk down the street and no one knows, I am completely happy.”

Do the work

As Sutherland mentioned, there’s a lot of work that goes into being the first guy at the front of the peloton. Sutherland’s job is to go so hard that no one can attack, or, if there is an attack, go hard enough to neutralize the danger for his GC captain. That takes some serious horsepower against a peloton of 400 legs.

Sutherland: “My diesel engine has improved dramatically the past couple of years. To train for this work, you do less high-end stuff, and you do more of that hard-tempo training. The reason I can do it now is that four years ago, I started working with Iñigo San Millán (a PhD and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at University of Colorado Hospital’s Sports Medicine Clinic), and I’ve been doing this ‘zone 2’ stuff for years. When I was in Boulder, I wanted to go ride out on the mountains, he [Millán] was like, no, you need to go out on the flats, you need to ride at 1.1 or 1.2 millimoles of lactate for four or five hours. You start out, you can only do it for two hours, then slowly you can do it longer and longer. It’s about controlling your lactate, and by doing that, it’s created a huge base for over here in Europe.”

Know your motor

Accepting your abilities is a key step, followed up by working on your strong points. Sutherland, though he doesn’t climb poorly for a big rider, knows that his work comes on the flats. Or, on the flats after some early climbs. So he trains accordingly; to be there in the meat of the race (when no one is watching on TV), and discreetly peel off near the finish line (when everyone is watching).

Sutherland: “All professional cyclists more or less train the same amount, so it’s more about defining your specific role. I don’t need to be there in the high mountains, so it doesn’t matter if I weigh one kilo more. In fact, I need to have my kind of engine to be able to ride at the front, with one or two other guys, or by myself like it was at the Giro, to ride 40km to 100km at a tempo that doesn’t let a breakaway go away. I train for what’s specific to what I do. I am 76-77kg, and I can put out 350 watts on a normalized day, and that is six-seven-hour day. During the Vuelta and Giro, I was between 330-350w normalized power. A fit person in the public would struggle with that for an hour, but because I’ve trained for doing that all winter, and I am 34, and I’ve been doing it for a long time, I have the capacity. Some guys might read that, and say, OK, that’s what I have to do to be pro. But he’s 65kg and he has a day job. If I had a desk job, I’d shoot myself. This is my full-time job.”

Ride for a winner

Riders will turn themselves inside-out if they know that their captain can deliver. There’s nothing worse for a pro rider, however, to sacrifice his own chances and put out the painful effort only to have the team leader consistently fail to deliver. Sutherland is lucky at Movistar, where team captains Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana can have a legitimate shot at winning in nearly every style of race they start, be it one-day classics, to weeklong stage races and grand tours.

Sutherland: “It’s unique here, because we have guys like Nairo and Alejandro, that any race they go into, they can win it. So they need that support and to be put into that position. The older I get, the more of a purpose I need. I’ve spoken to [Movistar general manager] Eusebio [Unzué] about this a lot. I haven’t trained to get into the breaks, that’s not what I do anymore. When I go to a race with someone to help, I ride better. You step up 10 percent, because you have purpose. Every team has its agenda, but if I went into the Vuelta with a team like a Giant – Alpecin — there are guys there for developing, other guys are looking for breaks, and no one’s going to win a sprint or ride for the GC — why would I want to go? I’ve been more channeled to ride at the front for strong leaders, and I thrive on that now.”


A big part of the payback for being a domestique, apart from the monthly check, is the acknowledgement of a job well done. Professional cyclists are at the elite of the sport, and receive a high degree of satisfaction when the team can deliver on a strategy of winning. A team can’t win every day or every race, but patience and proper execution eventually delivers results. And when the team captains and management acknowledge the role that everyone contributed, it fuels a desire to work even more.

Sutherland: “I have a good relationship with the riders and staff, and I have a lot of respect for Eusebio. You can really see why his teams have been going on for so long. He respects people. That’s not to say other teams don’t, but you can see that there is a base of riders and staffers who are always here. You have your Nairos and Alejandros, but everyone is valued here. For me, I’m 35 next season, [respect] is the most important thing. Of course, the financial part of it counts, but the work conditions are more important for me now. If you’re not happy, and you’re not valued and respected, there is really no point.”

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Legally Speaking: This little light of mine Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:49:07 +0000 During the darkness of winter, remember that the law requires you to be visible. Here's what you need to know about bike lights.

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Last month, our smartphones observed a task we humans used to handle — setting clocks ahead one hour as daylight saving time ended. For many, it meant getting back that “lost hour” of sleep from March.

But it also meant that the sun sets at an earlier time than it did the day before. And with the winter solstice still weeks away, our days continue to grow shorter and nights grow longer. For cyclists, this means increasing chances of riding in the dark at some point during the day. Even if you expect to return home before the sun sets, one flat tire, or one “Can you work late?” request from your boss, can result in an unplanned ride home in the dark.

Are you prepared for a night ride? Specifically, are you equipped with lights and reflectors? If not, let me explain why you should be, and what you will need. Typically, states require you to equip your bike with both passive and active lighting. “Passive lighting” means reflectors. It’s called passive lighting because you don’t have to do anything to the reflector to make it work. When a light shines directly onto the reflector, it reflects the light back toward the source. If that source is a car’s headlights, it means the driver will see the light from the headlights reflected back from your “passive lighting.”

New bikes are typically equipped with a specific set of reflectors: A clear front reflector, a red rear reflector, clear or amber pedal reflectors, and side reflectors or reflective tires or wheels. (If side reflectors are mounted, the front reflector is required to be clear or amber, and the rear reflector is required to be red.)

However, in addition to reflectors, state laws also require “active lighting” — what we mean when we talk about bike lights. Interestingly, federal regulations do not require new bikes to be sold with lights. A typical set-up required by state law would include a white light facing the front, and a red reflector facing the rear. In my state, cyclists have the option of either equipping the bike or themselves with lights and reflectors.

And cyclists in every state have the option of not having lights or reflectors at all. Wait, what? Which is it? Lights are required? Or lights are not required? Well, as lawyers are prone to say, “It depends.” If you are riding during daylight hours only, you are not required to have lights or reflectors. But if you are riding during “periods of darkness” — meaning at night, but also including other periods of limited visibility, such as fog, heavy rain, blizzards, smoke, or any other atmospheric condition which limits visibility — you need at least the minimum lights and reflectors required by your state law.

And yet we’ve all seen (barely) the ninja rider, dressed head to toe in black, no lights, no reflectors, appearing suddenly from night’s shroud, before disappearing again into the night. Death wish? Too cool for school? Just doesn’t realize how hard he is to see? It’s hard to say why some cyclists go full-stealth, but once one crosses your path, you will understand why the law requires lights and reflectors. From a safety perspective, the easier you make it for a driver to see you, the more likely you are to arrive home safe and sound. And from a legal perspective, if you have the misfortune to be injured by a careless driver, you don’t want to compound your misfortune by being the bike ninja the driver couldn’t see. No matter what the driver did, the insurance company will insist that you are at fault, and will fight tooth and nail to deny you compensation for injuries. If you want to protect your legal right to compensation in a careless driving collision, one of the easiest things you can do is ride with lights and reflectors at night.

Of course, the law allows you to do much more than the bare minimum to be seen. You have the freedom to choose how bright your light is, how many lights and reflectors you ride with, whether to wear bright and reflective clothing, and so on. But there’s nothing in the law that requires you to go the extra mile, and you can’t be held liable for your injuries if you choose not to go the extra mile. For example, the law specifies how bright your front light must be; you can have a brighter light, but not a light that is less bright than the law allows. It might be a good idea to have a brighter light, and you might choose to have one, but if you don’t ride with a brighter light and a careless driver collides with you, the driver’s insurance company can’t blame you for causing the collision.

My recommendation? Make a habit of riding with a setup that meets or exceeds the requirements of your state law, even if you think you will return before dark. In particular, make sure that you have a rear light as well as the required front light. Typically, states require a rear reflector but don’t require a rear light. This goes against common sense — a rear light is obviously much more visible to approaching drivers. Still, you are required to have a reflector, so I would recommend a rear light that includes a rear reflector. That way, if your rear light fails, you are still legal because of the rear reflector. By making yourself more visible to drivers, you will significantly improve your own safety and make sure that your legal rights are protected if you should ever need them.

Now read the fine print:

Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic Games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 national championship road race.

After retiring from racing in 1993, he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske’s practice is now split between personal-injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property, etc.).

Mionske is also the author of “Bicycling and the Law,” designed to be the primary resource for cyclists to consult when faced with a legal question. It provides readers with the knowledge to avoid many legal problems in the first place, and informs them of their rights, their responsibilities, and what steps they can take if they do encounter a legal problem. If you have a cycling-related legal question please send it to Bob, and he will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions to answer in this column. General bicycle-accident advice can be found at

Important notice:
The information provided in the “Legally Speaking” column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public website is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this website. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the website without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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VN podcast, ep. 7: Honest Howes and the Chinese takeover Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:15:14 +0000 Alex Howes discusses disc brakes, the weak riders union, and Cannondale's high-five-free season. Plus, will the Chinese take over cycling?

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Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling. Executive editor Fred Dreier is your host, along with news director Spencer Powlison and senior editor Caley Fretz.

How do pros feel about disc brakes? How does it feel to be on the WorldTour’s poorest, youngest team? Why did Liège-Bastogne-Liège cause a spiritual explosion? Cannondale – Drapac’s Alex Howes joins us to discuss many things, from disc brakes to the weak riders union to Cannondale’s high-five-free season. Then, news from the Far East! We discuss the power of Wanda, a new points-race style road race put on by Infront and Velon, and the potential collapse of the TJ Sport team.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and Fretz.

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‘Gluing’ cyclocross tubulars with Carogna Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:55:26 +0000 Lennard Zinn has in-depth advice for a reader trying to re-glue a 'cross tire using Effetto Mariposa Carogna tape.

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Dear Lennard,
A month ago, I installed new Clement PDX ’cross tires to Bontrager Aeolus 5 rims (27 mm external width) using the Carogna tape M. I had used a different roll of the same width tape to secure a road tire to these rims, and I raced on them all summer.

When I removed that road tire to get the wheels ready for ’cross, the old tape pulled off the carbon rim and left only a slight sheen of residue behind. When I installed the ’cross tires, after pushing the tape down into the rim channel, the edges of the Carogna seemed flush with the very top of the internal edges of the rim channel.

In horrible mud at Jingle ’Cross, the rear tire rolled off the rim on an off-camber section of the course. The Carogna stayed affixed to the rim; the cotton base-tape stayed on the tire and simply detached from the Carogna.

I’d like to keep using this new tire, so I’ll peel the Carogna tape off the rim and reapply a new roll, but do you have any tips to keep this occurrence from happening again? There was very little tape residue sticking out between the glued tire and the rim, but should I align the tape flush with one side of the rim and cut off the tiny excess on the other side? Should I clean the base tape on the tire or otherwise prepare it for re-installation somehow?

FWIW, I weigh about 200 pounds, and I was running 32 psi in the rear tire.

Dear Eric,
This is right up my alley, as I have exclusively mounted ’cross tubulars with Carogna the past couple of years. After so many years of gluing them with a combination of Vittoria Mastik One and Belgian Tape, I have relished a much quicker, cleaner method that also will peel away from the tire so that the tire can be reused after removal. Achieving similar results with Carogna, especially in muddy conditions, requires extra steps.

Cyclocross tubulars present a unique gluing challenge due to:
1. The rim bed generally has a 12mm (or so) radius of curvature to mate to a 23mm (or so) tire, meaning that a 33mm cyclocross tubular will be touching only the edges of the rim bed, leaving a gap under the center.
2. Low tire pressure does little to hold it on. Pumping a road tubular to 130psi holds it onto the rim so well that a poor gluing job will still be sufficient to keep it from rolling off, but that is not true with the weak inward pressure provided by a cyclocross tubular at 30psi.
3. The leverage the ground applies on a 33mm-tall cyclocross tire when cornering is much higher than on a low, 23mm road tubular.

Your 27mm-wide rim is ideal; the deeper, wider rim bed provides more security for the tire. And with that wide rim, I assume you have disc brakes, which, unlike rim brakes, do not constantly push mud into the tire/rim interface. But you have to do more for muddy races.

I do believe that there is no more secure way to attach cyclocross tubulars than with the Mastik-One-and-Belgian-Tape method. I think it is because the tape’s woven fabric acts like the rebar in reinforced concrete, holding all of the cement together, and it also wrinkles and creeps toward the center, filling the space that is the mismatch between the rim curvature and the tire curvature. However, it is extremely time-consuming and messy to do (both upon installation and removal), and it can damage tires and rims upon removal.

And while one’s time is expensive, a higher cost of this method can be during tire removal, which generally results in ruining the tire and can also ruin the rim. The tire can’t be reused because torn chunks of tape will be left so firmly bonded to it that they essentially will not come off without using a solvent that could then compromise the adhesion of the base tape to the tire. As for the rim, on many occasions, I have torn patches of carbon fibers off of the rim bed of expensive carbon wheels when pulling off a tire that I had glued on with Mastik One and Belgian Tape. Since the carbon fibers tend to break off at the top edges of the rim, only the rim bed may be damaged, but sometimes a chunk of carbon gets torn off of the brake track, and this definitely affects performance with rim brakes. Also, even if you peel off any other fibers that seem loose, after sections of fibers have lifted off of the rim bed, there still may be some that are partially detached from underlying layers, so the next tire could roll off due to chunks of the rim tearing off.

Once the tire is off, Carogna Remover makes light work of cleaning the rim. After letting it stand overnight on the rim, you can easily scrape the chunks of Belgian tape off. After another coat, you can wipe any glue off with a rag. It has no fumes, unlike the pounding the lungs get cleaning rims with acetone or VM & P Naphtha.

The beauty of Carogna (though it means “carrion” in Italian) tape is that it is quick and easy and clean to apply, and the tire and rim can both be easily reused after removal. In dry conditions (which is all we’ve had in Boulder races this season other than on November 19), my tires are held on super well to 27mm-wide Zipp rims and 26mm-wide ENVE rims. Our tech editor, Dan Cavallari, was amazed at how hard it was to peel a worn-out Challenge Chicane off of one of them when I challenged him to try.

The standard steps to ensure good adhesion between Carogna and cyclocross tires are here. I recommend taking particular care to:
1. Clean the rim and the tire’s base tape with isopropyl alcohol. The rim should be completely clean and smooth; use Carogna remover to get any old glue off.
2. Don’t sand the rim. Although adhesion on the rim-side is normally not an issue, the rim side of Carogna tape requires maximal surface area of contact.
3. Use the correct width of Carogna tape (your M-25mm is correct for your 27mm-wide rims), or trim the excess width with a sharp knife before installing the tire. Exposed tape attracts dirt.
4. Make sure the rim and tire and tape are warm. Effetto Mariposa says that the ideal thermal range for Carogna application is 21°C to 38°C (70 to 100°F), allowing eight hours to reach 80% of the adhesive strength. I keep wheels with newly-taped tires warm for a week in front of the heater or out in the sun on warm days. If it’s too cold, the glue can’t develop the permanent bonds it’s supposed to. Once adhered, you can ride it at low temperatures (Effetto Mariposa says down to -40°C [= -40°F] is not a problem); I’ve ridden tires down to -5°F that are still solidly attached to the rims.
5. Inflate the tire to 60psi to cure. The 2mm-thick glue on the tire side of Carogna is pressure-activated. With sufficient heat and pressure, it will not only bond but will also flow to fill in gaps. Once adhered, riding pressure can be low (I’ve ridden mine as low as 15psi), but it’s important to keep CX tubulars inflated at their max pressure (in a warm place) for a couple of days after installation.

The parameter most difficult to control is the “readiness” of the tubular base tape to accept adhesion. Different base tapes, different coatings, traces of lube, and grease from your fingers all affect the glue bond. Effetto Mariposa suggests cleaning the base tape with isopropyl alcohol or mineral spirits, solvents which leave no dry residue and are effective at removing oils but are not aggressive enough to dissolve the glue holding the base tape onto the tire. My method of scraping any coated base tape works as well with Carogna as it does with Mastik.

While climate change is likely to result in generally drier American cyclocross racing conditions, Boulder scientists yesterday indicated that we could see occasional conditions far muddier than we’re used to. It’s not hard to keep a ’cross tire on with Carogna in dry conditions, but it is a real challenge in wet conditions. I believe this is due to mud getting in between the Carogna tape and the tire’s base tape, and due to the cotton base tape absorbing water and disrupting its bond to the Carogna tape. I’m experimenting with applying a coat of Mastik One on the base tape and letting it dry overnight before taping it to the rim with Carogna. This weekend’s Colorado state CX championships seem to promise mud, and I’m gluing two sets of all-cotton Challenge Limus Team Edition tubulars to 20mm-wide rims for rim-brake bikes. I’m taping one set without and the other with Mastik on the base tape first. The Mastik One coat is a better bonding surface than bare cotton, and it seals water from seeping through the base tape to the Carogna. To that end, in January Effetto Mariposa will introduce a primer called “Eau de Carogna” for application on the tubular base tape before Carogna taping.

I recommend checking the tire’s bond before racing on it. Near the valve stem (to least affect overall tire adhesion), try to peel up the edge of the fully deflated tire. It should be very hard to get the edge to release. If the adhesion doesn’t seem good enough, try restoring 60psi in the tubular and keeping it in a warm environment for a longer time. That can fix it; Carogna requires heat and pressure to flow and stick.

On a tactical note, you didn’t say what you did after rolling your tire, but most people run the entire way back to the pit. As long as you stop when it pops off before you tear the valve stem off, you can push the tire back on and ride on it (with care on the turns) to the pit a lot faster than you could run there. In experimenting with lots of methods to hold ‘cross tires on a decade ago, I have a bunch of experience with rolling tires in races! I tried many varieties of glue alone and rolled some tires. I tried Mastik One combined with either Tufo tape or combined with Velox Jantex tape, and I rolled tires off of both. Despite what Jensen says here about using Jantex tape in tandem with tubular glue, I highly recommend against using either of these tapes with glue. I describe what happens with the glue and Tufo tape far down the page here — BTW, I no longer recommend sealant in tubulars unless you are riding in thorn-prone areas, or re-gluing a ’cross tire at the beginning of the following season (if it is held on well, just replace it when the sidewall is shot; the sidewalls on top-tier cyclocross tires raced at low pressure, especially in the mud, will last a disappointingly short time!).
― Lennard

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VN Show: Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships Tue, 06 Dec 2016 20:36:59 +0000 What do you get when you cross a bicycle race with a costume party, add plenty of booze, mustaches, mud, and pandemonium?

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What do you get when you cross a bicycle race with a costume party, add plenty of booze, mustaches, and mud, and sprinkle in a healthy dose of pandemonium? You guessed it, you get Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships.

On this week’s VeloNews Show we analyze all of the storylines from this year’s SSCXWC. Our man Spencer Powlison attended the event in Portland, Oregon. He interviewed cyclocross’s most famous man, Sven Nys, and took in the carnage from the event (yoga ball pit, lake jump, stripper shortcut). So sit back and enjoy the mud, cowbells, and takes!

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A points race on the road? Velon and Infront step into race organizing Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:07:10 +0000 A new race series, run by the Velon teams group, is announced. It features unconventional race formats, similar to track points races.

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If race organizers won’t share television rights, pro team group Velon and its partner Infront Sports and Media will just make their own races.

According to Dutch paper De Limburger, Infront will run a series of UCI-sanctioned races in 2017 in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and South Africa. The races will have unique formats, some borrowed from track racing, and part of the TV rights will go to participating teams. The races will be called the International Team Challenge, or ITC.

The first event will take place over three days in the Netherlands beginning June 2. The first day appears to be a sort of criterium around the Sports Zone, a massive sports complex in Sittard. The second day will take on Amstel Gold’s Cauberg climb 10 times but will be scored like a track points race, with points awarded to the first riders over the climb each lap. The final day will be structured like a team pursuit, again around the Sports Zone in Sittard.

Infront is a major sports marketing, events, and broadcasting company, initially created in 2002 to handle broadcast rights for the FIFA World Cup. It is owned by the Wanda group, which is bankrolling much of the UCI’s recently announced expansion into China, which includes a new Chinese WorldTour race.

The collaboration between team group Velon and Infront should help ensure the presence of star power on the start line of the new ITC races, as Velon teams have a vested interest in the success of the ITC events.

Velon’s stated goal is to improve the economic health of pro cycling, particularly its professional teams. The ITC race deal, which includes TV rights revenue for teams, skirts major race organizers ASO and RCS. Both have thus far balked at sharing their TV revenue. The ITC deal further strengthens Velon’s relationship with Wanda as it continues to work its way into the world of pro cycling.

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TJ Sport’s uncertain 2017 WorldTour future Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:06:25 +0000 Chinese team TJ Sport faces uncertainty after UCI does not grant it a WorldTour license. Insiders say that the team may be struggling.

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — A cloud of uncertainty hangs over TJ Sport, what could be China’s first top cycling team, with its WorldTour license delayed and training camp cancelled.

Rumors of problems circulated already in October for TJ Sport, which is the latest iteration of the Lampre – Merida team from Italy. A week and a half ago, the UCI license commission announced 17 of 18 possible WorldTour teams without TJ Sport. The UCI’s footnote explained it is still reviewing the team’s application for the 2017 season.

Monday, the team cancelled its pre-season December training camp. It emailed the 24 signed cyclists — including South African Louis Meintjes, eighth in the Tour de France, and Ben Swift from team Sky — to explain the delay and to postpone any camp until January.

Team officials told VeloNews that they are busy preparing the needed paperwork and wanted to wait to say more because “it is a very delicate time and the situation is evolving.”

After nearly 25 years, the outfit risks disbanding without a license. Around 60 employees would be scrambling to find work over the Christmas holiday. Or the team could possibly drop to the Professional Continental division.

General manager Giuseppe Saronni did not respond to telephone calls for this article. The team’s sponsor liaison Mauro Gianetti went to China to hurriedly last month round up the needed paperwork. He too was unavailable to comment. After Brent Copeland left to start team Bahrain – Merida with Vincenzo Nibali, Saronni’s son Carlo took over as team manager, but he prefers to wait until after the UCI’s December 15 document deadline to comment.

“There’s some concern, yes, at least until we get the OK from the UCI,” sports director Mario Scirea told VeloNews. “We have to work for 2017 and leave the rest in the hands of Saronni.

“Logically, though, until we have that OK we are all a little worried. I have faith in him [Saronni] in what he’s done in these 25 years, though. It’s not that he just decided to sign riders and then sit back and do nothing.”

TJ Sport asked the UCI’s license commission for more time ahead of the announcement a week and a half ago due to delays in the Far East. The team told VeloNews at the time that the woman preparing the documents fell sick and lost time as a result.

It is not clear, but the delay could be over two of the commission’s four criteria: financial or administrative. The commission works behind closed doors, but perhaps proof of money or structure does not exist.

Saronni explained in earlier interviews that TJ Sport is an investment group created by China’s sports ministry to promote cycling at home. The team’s name may eventually change to one of the companies’ names in the group. Instead of Italy, it should be licensed in China.

Long-serving Lampre, a prefabrication metal company, may break completely from the team this winter. The team already confirmed Lampre would not be a title sponsor.

Colnago is supplying the bicycles. Italian Diego Ulissi collected his yesterday from the Colnago headquarters in Lombardy near Milan.

Some closely linked insiders, however, expressed concern to VeloNews in recent days about the possibly of a TJ Sport black hole, that perhaps the team may never line up for a race like the ill-fated Pegasus and Sony Ericsson teams.

One rival team manager said agents approached him inquiring about vacancies for his TJ Sport cyclists in case the team disintegrates. Hypothetically, only Swift and Meintjes could find teams in such short notice, others would struggle. Ulissi, for example, felt teams’ apathy already in September.

“We were assured that it was only a bureaucratic problem, so we are planning for 2017 as normal. Today, 10 or so cyclists visited a doctor for needed check-ups some they can receive their racing license,” Scirea added.

“It’s not as if Saronni pulled all of this out of thin air. He has contracts in hand.”

The delays could be that Saronni, instead of a private company in Italy, is dealing with a government group from a heavily guarded communist country. Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, for example, is still trying to close the €740 million ($793m) deal for his AC Milan soccer club that he made with a Chinese group in August.

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Why was Sven Nys at singlespeed CX worlds? Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:25:31 +0000 The greatest cyclocross racer of all time, Sven Nys, took part in the silliest cyclocross race ever in Portland. He was a good sport.

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PORTLAND, Oregon (VN) — The fans didn’t seem to notice Sven Nys as he walked through the muddy field. A keen eye would recognize his elfin visage, but the growing crowd was distracted by other things — a ramp jump into a pond, the pandemonium of the ball pit, a drum line — this was Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships, after all.

Still, there was Nys, the two-time world champ and six-time World Cup overall winner, standing amongst the weirdos, coated in muck. So we walked up to cyclocross’s most famous man to talk about mud, tattoos, and the overall state of cyclocross.

“There is time now to do some fun things,” Nys said. Dominant throughout his 18-year career, Nys said he came to Portland, Oregon to experience this uniquely American alleyway of his Belgian sport.

The 40-year-old is retired, but he’s not done riding his bicycle through mud. So when the opportunity to come to SSCXWC, he obliged. “There was also a question from Trek to do a fun race during the season. It’s a combination of Trek and me that wants to do something like this,” he said.

When asked about the state of European cyclocross, Nys admitted that, back home, elite racing isn’t booming like it was when he raced. “It’s on a plateau right now. Well we had a lot of successful years with a lot of interesting riders. People who are now leading in the sport are really young. So a lot of fans stopped coming to cyclocross. And it needs to grow again.”

This season’s prominent rivalry between Dutchman Matheiu van der Poel and Belgian Wout Van Aert may satisfy avid fans, but it has yet to fully blossom. “Let us give them a little bit of time,” Nys said. “They are really young and they need to grow also in that kind of things.”

In Portland, it was clear that the Belgian appreciated the broad base of participants drawn to the sport for revelry, rather than elite-level racing. After all, what race in Europe features a mud pit filled with the inflatable fit balls you’d find at a yoga studio?

Over the years, Nys has been open-minded about how cyclocross can grow and thrive. He was supportive of the first world championships outside of Europe, in held in 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky, where he won his second rainbow jersey. And he raced Cross Vegas, another event with American ‘cross flair, before it was a World Cup. Global ‘cross events, he said, can learn from single-speed worlds.

“Cyclocross needs to be fun,” he said. “That it’s different than other disciplines. That everybody can do it. It’s not so technical that if you have a cyclocross bike, you can have fun in the mud. That’s the feeling we all have, even when you are a professional cyclist.”

Based on his demeanor and actions, Nys had fun in Portland. In his familiar, aggressive position, he sped across the muddy turf. Eventually, more people recognized him, even though his skinsuit had a tongue-and-cheek misspelling of his name (S. Nice). But he didn’t look exactly like the rider we watched win dozens of World Cups and Superprestige races. There was a broad smile across Nys’s face. At one point, he took a moment to boot a yoga ball at the crowd. And by most accounts, “The Cannibal from Baal” was generous enough to give Adam Craig a clean shot at another winner’s tattoo, the race’s dubious laurel.

Yep, we’re pretty sure Nys let Craig win. After all, had Nys won, he would have been required to get the legendary winner’s tattoo, which is hard to miss.

“If I win, I need to have a tattoo. That’s the rule,” he said before the race, as pandemonium reigned in the morning “B” race.

Flush with titles and trophies of his own, Nys wasn’t in Portland to win this not-so-serious, definitely unofficial worlds. “The reason is to have fun on the bike to promote cyclocross overall. That’s why we are here.” By “we,” Nys meant himself and Trek, but really, the sentiment encompassed all — a man wearing a “Star Wars” X-Wing pilot costume, standing next to Nys at the start, a wizard holding a beer bong in the middle of the track, the “dancers” on the course’s one-dollar shortcut. Everyone.

@an_adamcraig @scottchapinator @svennys and a barbarian spectator #sscxwcxpdx

A video posted by chris mcnally (@the.scorps) on

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USA Cycling eyes gravel, gran fondo crowd Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:04:33 +0000 USA Cycling announces policy changes for 2017, intends to broaden its membership base too less race-oriented crowd.

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In an effort to grow its membership and offer elite perks to its membership holders, USA Cycling has created new license tiers to cater to both enthusiast cyclists and hardcore racers. The new licenses come with perks such as increased insurance coverage and roadside assistance.

According to Derek Bouchard-Hall, CEO of USA Cycling, the new products reflect a bigger trend that USAC is trying to tap: the growth of non-traditional cycling events such as charity rides, gravel races, and gran fondos.

“We don’t want to sit idly by and not be a part of that and influence it,” Bouchard-Hall said. “They don’t even know that we exist. We’d like to be a positive part of that community. That’s explicitly part of our mission to grow cycling.”

Amid a raft of policy changes for 2017, USAC announced another tier of its Ride membership, a product for enthusiasts, not hardcore racers. Those who opt for the Ride license can chose between $50 and $150 Ride+ options, the latter of which includes a USA Cycling racing kit. Changes are less severe for members who hold a traditional racing license. The $70 racing license is good for unlimited racing through the calendar year, with a $100 Podium license including supplemental insurance coverage as well as 24/7 roadside assistance.

According to its roadside assistance page, the upgrade plan offers assistance for flat tires, transportation in case of a crash, and extraction of a bicycle from a ditch or other inaccessible area. The roadside assistance crew will also free up a locked bicycle.

The governing body will also begin aggressively reaching out to gran fondo and charity ride events to offer sanctioning and USA Cycling racing insurance.

The push toward gran fondo and other nontraditional events represents a shift in focus for the governing body. Of the estimated 7 million cyclists in the U.S., only about one percent are part of USA Cycling, and thus far, USA Cycling has sold approximately 8,000 Ride memberships, according to Bouchard-Hall.

“That’s a lost opportunity for us,” Bouchard-Hall said. Pending a decision by the USAC board, riders could also use fondo results to upgrade from Cat. 5 to 4, which might further entice recreational riders.

Bouchard-Hall cited British cycling as a successful model with its enthusiast-class licenses. That organization’s enthusiast membership base is twice as large as its base of competitive members. “That’s the scale of our aspiration, ” Bouchard-Hall said.

The push into the gran fondo marketplace could put USA Cycling at odds with cyclists who purposefully gravitate toward non-sanctioned events such as gravel races and gran fondos. In recent years, critics have accused the governing body of sucking the fun out of some cycling events due to rules and regulations aimed at course safety, participant categories, and even course design.

Bouchard-Hall said he is cognizant of the criticism, and said that USAC is working toward a less-intrusive presence at these events. “There’s no reason why it needs to feel less grassroots,” he said. “It could be more expensive, but that’s only because the insurance product covers all eventualities. We’re trying to make it so the value proposition is better.”

Read more about USAC’s 2017 policy changes >>

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Lotto Soudal confirms 2017 team rosters Sun, 04 Dec 2016 20:12:50 +0000 Lotto Soudal finalizes team rosters for its WorldTour, Ladies and U23 teams for 2017.

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While the official team presentation is still more than two weeks away (December 20), Lotto Soudal has officially announced the roster for its WorldTour team, along with its Ladies team and under-23 (U23) team, for 2017.

The men’s WorldTour squad will consist of 28 riders, with the most notable departures being Belgian Gert Dockx, New Zealander Greg Henderson (UnitedHealthcare) and Dutchman Pim Ligthart (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij). Five new riders join the squad, including Belgian Enzo Wouters and Briton James Callum Shaw, both of whom are coming over from the U23 team.

Belgian Rémy Mertz is the third rider who makes his debut as a pro with the team. His compatriot Nikolas Maes also joins the team with seven years experience riding with QuickStep. Dutchman Moreno Hofland is the fifth and final newcomer.

Team 2017: Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Kris Boeckmans, Sean De Bie, Jasper De Buyst, Bart De Clercq, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Moreno Hofland (newcomer), Nikolas Maes (newcomer), Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz (newcomer), Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts, James Callum Shaw (newcomer), Marcel Sieberg, Rafael Valls, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke, Jelle Wallays, Tim Wellens en Enzo Wouters (newcomer).

Ladies team

Next year, 12 elite riders will be part of the Lotto Soudal Ladies team. Seven riders of the present team are leaving: Sofie De Vuyst, Willeke Knol, Claudia Lichtenberg, Emma Pooley, Anouk Rijff, Anisha Vekemans and Susy Zorzi.

In September, Lieselot Decroix ended her career after the final stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour. In 2017, the team welcomes five new riders. Annelies Dom and Kaat Van der Meulen are two Belgians who will reinforce the team. Together with Lotte Kopecky, they are part of the national team pursuit squad on the track. Also on board is Dutch rider Puck Moonen, Dane Trine Schmidt and Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer.

Once again the team has signed one youth developmental rider in Julie Roelandts, who won the Belgian cyclocross championships in the 14-year-old division last weekend.

Team 2017: Isabelle Beckers, Jessie Daams, Elise Delzenne, Annelies Dom (newcomer), Chantal Hoffmann, An-Li Kachelhoffer, Anna Kiesenhofer (newcomer), Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen (newcomer), Julie Roelandts, Trine Schmidt (newcomer), Kaat Van der Meulen (newcomer) and Fenna Vanhoutte.

U23 team

Team 2017: Ruben Apers (newcomer), Jonas Castrique, Alfdan De Decker (newcomer), Sander De Pestel (newcomer), Robbe Debuyck (newcomer), Stan Dewulf, Robbe Ghys, Mitch Groot (newcomer), Steff Hermans, Mikkel Frølich Honoré, Laurens Huys (newcomer), Kevin Inkelaar, Ward Jaspers, Bjorg Lambrecht, Senne Leysen, Milan Menten, Emiel Planckaert, Gerben Thijssen (newcomer), Mathias Van Gompel, Brent Van Moer (newcomer), Harm Vanhoucke, Thomas Vereecken and Aaron Verwilst.

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Van der Poel, Cant win Zilvermeercross Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:01:51 +0000 Mathieu Van der Poel and Sanne Cant bounce back from Superprestige losses with wins at Zilvermeercross.

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A day after finishing a distant second in the men’s and women’s Superprestige at Spa-Francorchamps, Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) and Sanne Cant (Enertherm-Beobank) rode back to the top of the podium in their respective categories at Zilvermeercross on Sunday, December 4.

The reigning Dutch national champion, who was fresh off a World Cup victory in Zeven, Germany, was denied his fifth-straight Superprestige win by reigning world champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), who picked up his first Superprestige victory of the season and his first win since Koppenberg on November 1. However, it was the previous world champ with all the answers in Mol, Belgium.

The 21-year-old Van der Poel took a mid-race lead and cruised to a decisive win in a time of 55:30 – 43 seconds ahead of van Aert in second and 58 seconds on Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea Lions) in third.

Top 10

  • 1. Mathieu VAN DER POEL, (NED), 53:30
  • 2. Wout VAN AERT, (BEL), +0:43
  • 3. Tom MEEUSEN, (BEL), +0:58
  • 4. Laurens SWEECK, (BEL), +1:44
  • 5. Philipp WALSLEBEN, (GER), +1:52
  • 6. Corne VAN KESSEL, (NED), +1:56
  • 7. Diether SWEECK, (BEL), +1:58
  • 8. David VAN DER POEL, (NED), s.t.
  • 9. Kevin PAUWELS, (BEL), +2:25
  • 10. Wietse BOSMANS, (BEL), +2:32

In women’s action, Cant once again proved to be the class of the women’s field with a winning time of 40:39. Like Van der Poel, Cant entered the weekend off a win in Zeven, but was derailed from winning her fourth Superprestige round of the season by reigning women’s world champion Thalita de Jong (Rabo-Liv). But just 24 hours later, the 26-year-old Belgian champion made it look easy with a 36-second win over Lucinda Brand (NED) in second. Fellow Belgian Ellen Van Loy ((Young Telenet-Fidea) finished third (+1:07).

Top 10

  • 1. Sanne CANT, (BEL), 40:39
  • 2. Lucinda BRAND, (NED), +0:36
  • 3. Ellen VAN LOY, (BEL), +1:07
  • 4. Los SELS, (BEL), +1:42
  • 5. Yara KASTELIJN, (NED), +2:36
  • 6. Joyce VANDERBEKEN, (BEL), +2:52
  • 7. Karen VERHESTRAETEN, (BEL), +2:56
  • 8. Lindy ANROOIJ, (NED), +3:26
  • 9. Ceylin DEL CARMEN ALVARADO, (NED), +3:40
  • 10. Pauline DELHAYE, (FRA), +4:34

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Katusha names leaders, identifies objectives for 2017 Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:00:25 +0000 Katusha-Alpecin reveals goals for team leaders Alexander Kristoff, Ilnur Zakarin and new signee Tony Martin for the upcoming season.

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Katusha-Alpecin has appointed three leaders in Norwegian Alexander Kristoff, Russian Ilnur Zakarin and German Tony Martin for the 2017 season.

The team is fresh off a training camp in Spain, which included 26 riders from 14 different nations. From that camp, the team’s objectives were defined: the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for Martin following the opening stage time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and a fifth world title against the clock; general classification at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España for Zakarin; and the spring classics for Kristoff.

“We have 40 percent newcomers, but what I saw, from our first camp in Italy in October, is very positive. The atmosphere and mentality of the group are good, “said the team’s new general manager José Azevedo, who takes over from Viacheslav Ekimov.

Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Bahrain), Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto NL) and Italian Jacopo Guarnieri (FDJ) are the main departures from the 2016 squad.

New arrivals include: Martin, as well as Jenthe Biermans (BEL), José Gonçalves (POR), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Marco Mathis (GER), Baptiste Planckaert (BEL), Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN) and Rick Zabel (GER).

Returning riders include: Kristoff and Zakarin, along with Maxim Belkov (RUS), Sven Erik Byström (NOR), Marco Haller (AUT), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS), Alberto Losada (ESP), Tiago Machado (POR), Matvey Mamykin (RUS), Michael Mörköv (DEN), Nils Politt (GER), Jhonatan Restrepo (COL), Simon Spilak (SLO) Rein Taaramae (EST) and Angel Vicioso (ESP).

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Gallery: Katusha-Alpecin unveils 2017 kit Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:46:46 +0000 Katusha-Alpecin unveiled its new kit, bike and roster at the official team presentation in Benidorm, Spain on Saturday.

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Alexander Kristoff clad in his new Katusha-Alpecin jersey for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Full frontal view of the new Katusha-Alpecin kit for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Front view of the bib shorts for the new Katusha-Alpecin kit for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Rear view of the bib shorts for the new Katusha-Alpecin kit for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Side view of Tony Martin's new Katusha-Alpecin jersey. Photo: Tim De Waele | Norway's Alexander Kristoff clowns around with Katusha-Alpecin's new casual clothing range for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Alexander Kristoff took time to put the new kit through the paces. Photo: Tim De Waele | Russian rider Ilnur Zakarin took his turn modelling the new Katusha-Alpecin kit while on the bike. Photo: Tim De Waele | Katusha-Alpecin's team presentation of the new kit, logos and roster. Photo: Tim De Waele | Katusha-Alpecin team presentation. Photo: Tim De Waele | Team owner Igor Makarov proudly presents the latest Katusha-Alpecin team bike from Canyon. Photo: Tim De Waele | It was lights, camera, action at the Katusha-Alpecin team launch.

Photo: Tim De Waele | A spectator snaps a shot of the 2017 team roster.
Photo: Tim De Waele | Canyon, Zipp and SRAM combine to create the team bike for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | The new social media hashtag for Katusha-Alpecin. Photo: Tim De Waele | Katusha-Alpecin's team bus adorned with new co-sponsor logo. Photo: Tim De Waele | German Tony Martin is one of 10 new recruits for 2017. Photo: Tim De Waele | Always time for a caffeine fix at the mobile Katusha Cafe. Photo: Tim De Waele | Presenting in style, as Katusha-Alpecin held its team presentation at the Grand Luxor Hotel in Benidrom, Spain. Photo: Tim De Waele | The 2017 Katusha-Alpecin cycling team. Photo: Tim De Waele |

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Illuminate to add women’s team in 2017 Sun, 04 Dec 2016 14:04:00 +0000 Former Airgas-Safeway squad has revealed it will expand in 2017 with the addition of a women's UCI team.

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Just a little over a week since signing former IAM Cycling rider Simon Pellaud (SUI), Team Illuminate has revealed it will field a women’s UCI team for 2017. While no official roster details were released, the American Continental program formerly known as Airgas-Safeway did reveal that the team would predominantly sign domestic riders.

“The majority of our roster is from the US, although we do have some international riders on the team,” said team director Chris Johnson. “Honestly, we have put together an incredibly strong roster and I feel lucky to have such a great group of women to work with in our first year.”

According to Johnson, the addition of a women’s team is a natural progression for the team, which adopts a community-first approach and made the switch to an all-black kit, devoid of sponsor logos.

“When you look at our overall model, we’re really building a club that is led by the professional riders,” he said. “We want people to join us, to follow the riders and to interact with the team. Our team is about bringing people together, and in order to do that we need to have a men’s and a women’s program.”

The San Francisco-based squad has targeted the Tour of California to open its racing calendar in May before heading east for the summer.

In addition to the signing of the 24-year-old Pellaud prior to the announcement of its new women’s program, the men’s team recently announced it has re-signed Colombian national champion Edwin Avila, as well as Americans Connor McCutcheon, Griffin Easter and Cullen Easter. According to news reports, the team will unveil its final men’s roster via social media.

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Gallery: Van Aert claims first Superprestige win of season at Francorchamps Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:52:27 +0000 Reigning elite men's cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert denies Mathieu Van der Poel a fifth straight Superprestige win.

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Tom Meeusen jumped to an early lead in the fifth round of the Superprestige at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on Saturday, December 3. Photo: Tim De Waele | German Philipp Walsleben raced across the circuit for a top 10 result at Spa-Francorchamps. Photo: Tim De Waele | American Stephen Hyde shows the results of a hard-fought 10th-place finish. Photo: Tim De Waele | Belgian Toon Aerts bravely navigated 'The Wall' for a third-place result. Photo: Tim De Waele | Reigning world champion Wout van Aert separated from rival Mathieu van der Poel on the climbs at Spa-Francorchamps. Photo: Tim De Waele | Dutch champion Mathieu Van der Poel chased Wout van Aert in vain on the climb midway through the race. Photo: Tim De Waele | Original race leader Tom Meeusen held on to sixth overall. Photo: Tim De Waele | Cloudless skies and stunning conditions greeted the elite men's field for the fifth round of the Superprestige at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Photo: Tim De Waele | Thousands of fans cheered reigning world champion Wout van Aert to his first Superprestige win of the season. Photo: Tim De Waele | Wout van Aert crossed the line unchallenged for the win. Photo: Tim De Waele | Mathieu Van der Poel finished second and is denied a fifth-straight Superprestige win. Photo: Tim De Waele | Reigning cyclocross world champion Wout van Aert stood atop the elite men's podium above Mathieu van der Poel (left) in second and Toon Aerts in third. Photo: Tim De Waele |

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