Bardiani aims to upset the favourites at Lombardia
Bardiani-CSF is looking to end the season with a bang at Il Lombardia on Sunday. The Italian team has been the goliath beaters this season, with three victories at the Giro d’Italia in May. Two of those victors, Enrico Battaglin and Stefano Pirazzi will lead the team along with Giro del Trentino stage winner Edoardo Zardini and Manuel Bongiorno. The strong selection should allow them several options for the race.
“It will be a really demanding race, where as usual we’ll give it our all,” said directeur sportif Roberto Reverberi. “Bongiorno, Zardini and why not Battaglin, if there aren’t too many attacks on the climbs, they have the talent and shape to shine. First of all the two climbers have a great possibility and we trust on their chance. This year we’ve always made an outstanding performance in all WorldTour events where we took the start, so we aim to repeat and close in the best way this season.”
Betancur leads Ag2r-La Mondiale in Beijing
Carlos Betancur will lead his Ag2r-La Mondiale squad at the upcoming Tour of Beijing. The WorldTour finale will be held from October 10 to 14. The French team aims to accumulate enough points to move onto the podium in the WorldTour’s overall team standings.
Movistar is leading the overall team competition with 1360 points heading into the final two WorldTour races at Tour of Lombardy on Sunday followed by the Tour of Beijing. Tinkoff-Saxo is in second with 1186 points, BMC Racing third with 1024 points, Omega Pharma-QuickStep in fourth with 1006 and Ag2r-La Mondiale fifth with 919.
"The Tour of Beijing is the last stage race of the WorldTour calendar and one of our goals is to get as many points as possible in this race to stay on the podium of the World standings,” said the team’s director Didier Jannel.
Betancur had a strong early season with an overall win at Paris-Nice and the Tour du Haut Var. He will be joined by Rinaldo Nocentini, who placed sixth overall at the Tour of Beijing last year, and more recently took second place at the Milano-Torino.
“We rely on Carlos Betancur, who improved his physical condition on the Vuelta a España and we expect he will be in a better shape after the Italian races. So, we will see what he is able to do in Beijing. Rinaldo Nocentini is also very motivated for this race and he finished sixth overall in 2011. He wants to end this season on a positive note by getting a good rank overall.”
The rest of the team includes Davide Appollonio, Maxime Daniel, Julien Bérnard, Mikael Cherel, Julian Kern and Alexis Gougeard, who will focus on breakaways and the sprint stages.
Trek Factory Racing brings climbers to Beijing
Trek Factory Racing is sending a strong climbing team to the Tour of Beijing with hopes of sealing a top overall placing upon its conclusion on October 14.
Julian Arredondo, who won the mountain classification at the Giro d’Italia this year, will lead a team of climbers that also includes Robert Kiserlovski and Riccardo Zoidl.
“Our team for Beijing is strong and we hope to do well,” said the team’s manager Luca Guercilena. “The course looks very challenging, especially for someone like Julian Arredondo, so we hope he will deliver.”
The team will also include Calvin Watson, Hayden Roulston, brothers Boy and Danny Van Poppel and Fabio Silvestre.
Bigla announces new signings Olds, Laws and Schweizer
Bigla Cycling team has announced a series of new signings for the 2015 season that includes former British road champion Sharon Laws, former Swiss road champion Doris Schweizer and American sprinter Shelley Olds.
Schweizer ended her season with Astana-BePink with a bronze-medal performance in the team time trial at the World Championships. She spent much of the season working for Alena Amialiusik but is hoping that her new team will give her opportunities as a team leader.
“I’m pleased Astana-BePink let me go with the best wishes,” she said. “I love the new Bigla project and I’m excited to ride with all these great riders and work together with some of the best coaches. I’m very pleased the management and riders all believe in me.”
Laws is a climbing specialist who competed for the American team UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling this year where she won the mountains jersey at The Women’s Tour. She has had a successful cycling career competing with teams Cervelo Test, Garmin-Cervelo, AA Drink and Lotto Belisol.
Olds joins the team from Alé Cipollini where she secured wins at the Vuelta Internacional Femenina a Costa Rica, GP Comune di Cornaredo, Winston-Salem Cycling Classic and the Giro Toscana. She also had podium performances in Boels Ladies Tour, La Route de France, Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile and Tour of Chongming Island.