Kwiatkowski to make Team Sky debut in Mallorca, Froome to Herald Sun Tour
Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski will make a full debut with Team Sky in Mallorca. Chris Froome will participate in the Herald Sun Tour but the team has not confirmed the rest of the roster for that event.
Team Sky announced Tuesday the rosters set to race in late January and early February events, where five of their seven new riders will participate at the Mallorca Challenge, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Dubai Tour and the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Kwiatkowski will lead the team at the Mallorca Challenge (January 28-31), which will showcase four one-day races; Trofeo Felanitx, Trofeo Andratx, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana and Trofeo Palma.
The team will alter their roster each day and Kwiatkowski is schedule to race in the last three events. The team in Mallorca will also include Andy Fenn, Michal Golas, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, David Lopez, Gianni Moscon, Nicolas Roche, Benat Intxausti, Leopold Konig and Lars Petter Nordhaug.
Team Sky will also field a team at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 31 that will include Ian Boswell, Sebastian Henao, Pete Kennaugh, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe and Ben Swift.
The team will travel to the Dubai Tour (February 3-6) and that squad will include Andy Fenn, Michal Golas, Christian Knees, Gianni Moscon, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Ben Swift and Elia Viviani. And a team will also travel to the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (February 3-7) with Benat Intxausti, Vasil Kiryienka, Leopold Konig, David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Alex Peters, Wout Poels, Nicolas Roche.
Terpstra and Alaphilippe ready for Mallorca Challenge after tough training camp
Fresh off a warm-weather training camp in the Balearic Islands, Etixx-QuickStep is prepared to send a talented roster to the four events that make up the Mallorca Challenge including Niki Terpstra and Julian Alaphilippe.
The Mallorca Challenge will include a range of terrain from flat to hilly, and two are suited to the sprinters while the other two are better for climbers. The racing begins on January 28 with the Trofeo Felanitx-Ses Salines-Campos-Porreres (176.8 km), followed by the Trofeo Pollença-Port de Andratx (153 km), Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana (143.9 km) and Trofeo Playa de Palma-Palma (161.5 km).
Etixx-QuickStep’s line-up in Mallorca will also include Maxime Bouet, Gianluca Brambilla, Laurens De Plus, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Gianni Meersman, Zdenek Stybar Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote.
“After Calpe, the riders had a week of recovery, and then returned to Mallorca, where during the past two weeks we did distance training, but also small and intense effort behind the motorbike, so that they could easily get into race speed,” said director Tom Steels.
“Everybody showed a really good condition, worked hard and now awaits the start of the season with huge motivation. I noticed the riders are keen to prove themselves early, and that’s always an encouraging sign. These first races will show how everything is going, and although you have to be competitive for them, it doesn’t mean you have to be at 100%. Of course, everyone wants to win as soon the season starts, but we aren’t going to put any pressure on our guys.”
Dimension Data kicks off European campaign in Mallorca
Team Dimension Data will end their team training camp with the four-event Mallorca Challenge that begins on January 28.
The team will include Igor Anton, Natnael Berhane, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Matt Brammeier, Bernhard Eisel, Omar Fraile, Merhawi Kudus, Serge Pauwels, Youcef Reguigui, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Jay Thomson and Johann van Zyl. The specific rosters for each event will be confirmed the day before each race.
New rider Fraile is looking forward to the first race of the year in his new team kit. “Challenge Mallorca will be my first race in my new colours of Dimension Data for Qhubeka,” he said in a team press release. “It is good to finally start the year and it is always exciting because riders have changed teams and there are some new colours in the peloton. This year I am really motivated and eager to start the season. The parcours in the Mallorca races will be difficult on the second and third day but the first and final day the race will be more open with opportunities for all.”
Wanty-Groupe Gobert complete training camp in Benidorm
Wanty-Groupe Gobert finished a pre-season training camp in Benidorm, on the outskirts of Alicante, Spain, where they had three days of warm weather and long training rides.
While many teams are headed to the four-event Mallorca Challenge, Wanty-Groupe Gobert is preparing for the start of their season at the GP La Marseillaise on January 31. They will then take on the Etoile de Besseges, Volta a Valencia, Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman.
Satalyst Verve sign Sam Witmitz
Australian National Road Series (NRS) team Satalyst Verve have added Sam Witmitz to its roster for the 2016 season. The 30-year-old Witmitz previously rode with Team Budget Forklifts with overall victory at the 2014 Tour of Taihu Lake a highlight. Witmitz joins former teammate Mitch Mulhern in moving across to the Western Australian team where he will provide an important leadership role.
"It's an exciting time for me to be joining Satalyst Verve and to be part of a team with a focus on development," Witmitz said. "I feel I still have a lot to offer as an athlete, and looking forward to creating a successful culture within the team whilst assisting the development of younger riders. I've enjoyed the past three seasons with Budget Forklifts and I'm looking forward to contributing to Satalyst Verve in 2016."
Team manager Todd Elliott added that the addition of Witmitz will assist the squad achieve its 2016 goal of breaking into the top-five NRS teams
"The team is delighted Sam will be joining the squad this season for his ability and leadership," Elliott said. "We believe Sam’s inclusion will assist the development of younger riders and development as a team. We are confident the squad carries a good balance of youth and experience and look forward to a competitive season ahead."