Simon Geschke complains about 'pushing' in Tweet
Following the stage 2 finish at the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol in Cordoba, where Cofidis sprinter Nacer Bouhanni won the sprint after a small main field reconnected on the run-in to the line following a challenging late-race climb, Giant-Alpecin's Simon Geschke posted on Twitter a complaint about riders receiving a push from teammates and then winning the stage.
Not a fan of sprinters that get pushed up the last climb by teammates and then win the stage.— Simon Geschke (@simongeschke) February 18, 2016
Although Geschke did not specify any particular rider or riders as the subject of his Tweet, the circumstances during the finale of today's stage at Ruta del Sol clearly point to Bouhanni.
Geschke, who finished 19th on the stage, was Giant-Alpecin's best-placed rider. He's currently 17th overall, tied on time with Bouhanni. Trek-Segafredo's Fabio Felline was second on the stage, followed by Team Sky's Ben Swift. Movistar's Juan Jose Lobato is second overall, while Raymond Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) is third.
Simon Geschke wins stage 17 of the 2015 Tour de France. (Bettini)
Amstel Gold Race announces final wildcard selections for 2016
Amstel Gold Race today announced the final wildcard selections for the 2016 race, which takes place April 17.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Bardiani-CSF, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Direct Energie Cycling Team. Former Amstel winner  Davide Rebellin currently rides for CCC Sprandi Polkowice, a Polish-registered Pro Continental team, while 2008 winner Damiano Cunego rides for Nippo-Vini Fantini an Italian Pro Continental team. Direct Energie, formerly Team Europcar, is registered in France. Bardiani-CSF is an Italian Pro Continental team.
Earlier this month, Team Roompot-Oranje Peloton, Wanty Groupe Gobert and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise. As a WorldTour race, Amstel Gold will feature all 18 division-one teams. Michael Kwiatkowski won last year’s race while riding in the rainbow jersey for Etixx-QuickStep.
Davide Rebellin could get another shot at Amstel Gold this year. (Getty Images Sport)
Orica-GreenEdge train in South Africa
"We're taking a bit of a different approach this year," said director Neil Stephens in a team video posted on YouTube. "February's all about - besides the guys who are in Qatar and Oman - to try and get ready for the rest of the year. We're at altitude here in South Africa. That's not to say we're on holiday, there's actually been a lot of hard work, some strength efforts and really intense efforts. Basically we're getting right into shape to go back to the Classics and Tirreno."
SRAM Chicago Criterium added to National Calendar
The Intelligentsia Cup powered by SRAM bike racing series will now finish with a two-day criterium omnium for the elite categories as a stop on the revamped USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, which is a combination of the former National Racing Calendar and the National Criterium Calendar.
Adding a second race to the national calendar elevates the Intelligentsia Cup series as a whole by increasing the incentive for the top professional and elite teams to attend.
The Chicago venue joins with the fifth annual Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium & Block Party, itself on the NCC since 2013, to create a two-day omnium format for the professional men's and women's categories, adding to the overall omnium for the eight-race series.
"We are extremely excited to bring the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour to Chicago for two days at our Lake Bluff and downtown Chicago venues," said series partner Tom Schuler. "With the continued support of Intelligentsia Coffee, SRAM and our other great sponsors and city partners we hope to continue and increase the great tradition of bicycle racing in Chicagoland."
The Chicago skyline serves as backdrop for the Intelligentsia Cup.
USA Cycling to sanction Gran Fondo New York
USA Cycling today announced it will sanction the Gran Fondo New York. Scheduled for May 15, the sixth annual Gran Fondo New York will be sanctioned under a new permitting level designed by USA Cycling to serve the specific needs of road cycling events like gran fondos and gravel grinders.
"During a conversation with [USA Cycling’s CEO] Derek Bouchard-Hall on anti-doping, he asked why the Gran Fondo New York Championship race was not permitted by USA Cycling," said GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme in a statement released with today’s announcement.
"It came as a surprise to him that it was because of USA Cycling’s rules,” Fluhme said. “Derek understands the value of events like ours for the sport and made sure the rules would be amended accordingly. I'm impressed how quickly the changes were implemented and I greatly appreciate the support and agility while on-boarding GFNY.”
The new level of permitting comes in addition to USA Cycling’s permitting of competitive and recreational events. The new permitting level offers a unique set of rules and pricing that is specific to this fast-growing event format.
“We are thrilled that the Gran Fondo New York, one of the best cycling events in America, has chosen to sanction with USA Cycling,” Bouchard-Hall said. “We are actively seeking to support great events like these – be they gran fondos, gravel grinders, or sportives – and to have one of the very best choose to partner with us demonstrates the value we can bring to event promoters and their participants. I’m so pleased, in fact, that I intend to be on the start line of the GFNY this year.”