Gaviria feeling the pressure ahead of San Luis
Etixx-QuickStep's Fernando Gaviria will line up at the Tour de San Luis with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. After all, it was at this race exactly one year ago that he became touted as one of the top up-and-coming sprinters in the world. The Colombian sprinter says he is in good physical condition ahead of the stage race in Argentina.
"The training went well to get to San Luis in a good condition and to try to get a victory," Gaviria said in a recent interview. "The race made me known on the WorldTour. It was the race that allowed me to be where I am now, as great as is the Etixx-Quick Step team. I feel the pressure more. Sometimes I feel more nervous than usual. I am aware that many expect a lot of me in San Luis; for that I'm working, forever trying to win."
Etixx-QuickStep will support Gaviria in the sprints and his teammates include Rodrigo Contreras, Stijn Vandenbergh, Fabio Sabatini, Lukasz Wisniowski and Maximiliano Richeze.
Wanty Groupe-Gobert want 15 wins in 2016
Wanty Groupe-Gobert are aiming to collect 15 wins during the 2016 season, announced in a team press release Thursday. The team is confident that their 22-man roster, which includes nine new signings, will be up for the challenge.
"I would like to get about twelve wins but I secretly hope for fifteen in 2016. That should be possible," Van Der Schueren said.
Some of those new names include UCI Europe Tour's top-10 riders Dimitri Claeys and Gaëtan Bille, Tour de l’Avenir stage winner and Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23-winner Guillaume Martin and sprinter Kenny Dehaes. And returning riders Marco Marcato and Enrico Gasparotto will captain the Classics.
"We have strengthened the team in a way that we are able to win every race that we start in. This wasn't the case in 2015. Especially in the sprints we should be doing better now. With Thomas Degand we have a real climber back with the team. On this terrain Guillaume Martin is also a huge talented. Gaëtan Bille and Thomas Degand are strong time triallists and this makes that we have a potential winner in every discipline of cycling," said Van der Schueren.
Cylance brings defending champion to Santos Women's Tour
The newly formed Cylance Pro Cycling team will line up at the Santos Women's Tour with defending champion Valentina Scandolara this weekend. The Italian all-rounder told Cyclingnews that she is looking forward to a leadership role with her new team, that she will share with teammate Shelley Olds, and that she is ready for the Australian stage race.
The team will also include Rossella Ratto, Alison Tetrick, Krista Doebel-Hickok, and Doris Schweizer.
"We are incredibly excited to open the 2016 in Australia. The race organization is incredibly professional and it's very exciting to take the returning champion Valentina Scandalara back to Adelaide" said Omer Kem, founder of Inspire Sports. "It's very important in an Olympic year to get the team racing as all of our athletes pursue selection to their countries Olympic teams."
Trek-Segafredo with Australian champion Jack Bobridge at Jayco Herald Sun Tour
Newly crowned Australian national champion Jack Bobridge has been confirmed as a starter at next month's 2.1 Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which will also be attended by two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky), alongside five Trek-Segafredo teammates.
"I am always glad to ride within Australia no matter what race it is. But this will be my second time at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and once again I'll bring back in the green and gold jersey of the national champion," said Bobridge who last ride the race in 2011 as national champion, finishing second overall.
"I look forward to racing over in Melbourne once again. We are at the start with a young and very motivated team and I am sure we will all do the best we can in order to obtain some good results."
Joining Bobridge are new signings Niccolò Bonifazio and Julien Bernard, along with Eugenio Alafaci, Laurent Didier and Fumiyuki Beppu. Sports director Kim Andersen explained that he believes the team can deliver some "good results".
"Of course we want them to follow Jack Bobridge"s example, who won the Australian nationals. Jack demonstrated that you just have to try and keep trying and in the end you can get a magnificent result," Andersen said. "The stages are quite short but I expect some hard and intensive racing because we will compete with smaller Australian teams that are in their high season, while we are only at the beginning of our season."
Trek-Segafredo for the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour (February 3-7): Eugenio Alafaci, Julien Bernard, Jack Bobridge, Niccolò Bonifazio, Laurent Didier and Fumiyuki Beppu.