Ghent Six Days announces team line-up
The 13 teams that will take to the boards for the Six days of Ghent have been announced. Mark Cavendish will be one of the headline acts with his teammate and former winner Iljo Keisse. Cavendish announced last month that he would ride the six-day event followed swiftly by the Zurich six day. Keisse has won the event four times, most recently with Glenn O'Shea in 2010. O'Shea will return with his An Post-ChainReactions teammate Shane Archbold. Reigning Madison world champions David Muntaner and Albert Torres are another star attraction at the event.
Last year's winners Jasper De Buyst and Leif Lampater have gone their separate ways, De Buyst will ride with 2011 winner Kenny De Ketele, while Lampater partners young BMC rider Sylvan Dillier. Rounding off the former winners is 2009 victor Alex Rasmussen, who riders with Marc Hester. Amsterdam winner Yoeri Havik will be looking to carry on his form with his new partner Michael Vingerling.
Italian legend Felice Gimondi will fire the pistol to start the event on the opening day of November 18, before taking part in an autograph session later that evening.
David Muntaner (Spa) and Albert Torres (Spa)
Jasper Buyst (Bel) and Kenny De Ketele (Bel)
Morgan Kneisky (Fra) and Vivien Brisse (Fra)
Iljo Keisse (Bel) and Mark Cavendish (GBr)
Leif Lampater (Ger) and Silvan Dillier (Swi)
Alex Rasmussen (Den) and Marc Hester (Den)
Shane Archbold (NZl) and Glenn O'Shea (Aus)
Otto Vergaerde (Bel) and Nick Stöpler (Ned)
Viktor Manakov (Rus) and Ivan Savitksy (Rus)
Moreno De Pauw (Bel) and Christian Grassmann (Ger)
Yoeri Havik (Ned) and Michael Vingerling (Ned)
Andreas Muller (Aut) and Lucas Liss (Ger)
Melvin Van Zijl (Ned) and Didier Caspers (Ned)
Maté looking ahead to 2015
While some riders are still enjoying a well-earned break, the 2015 season has already started for Luis Ángel Maté and his Cofidis team which got together in Lyon in preparation for the upcoming season as the Spaniard told Marca.
"This group has been together for a couple of days doing a series of checks and routine test," he said. "This included taking measurements for the sizes of clothing and equipment, medical checks for a new phase of training and a first test to determine the current level of fitness, which still far from the maximum condition during the season.
The Pro-Continental team has signed ten new riders for 2015 and also switched from Look to Orbea bikes for 2015.
"It will be the only time we touch the bike, but it is necessary to meet the new colleagues, of which there are many," Maté added.
Maté will also learn his first races of the upcoming season, information for which is he "very eager" for as he prepares for his fifth season with the French team.
"It's going pretty well," Maté said of his training. "I have going for three weeks and the numbers are encouraging. The physical condition of this stage is pretty good and there have been no setbacks, which has been encouraging."
Costa makes history with Portuguese Athlete of the Year award
At the Gala Sports Confederation of Portugal (CDP), Lampre-Merida's Rui Costa was awarded a third straight male Athlete of the Year award to equal the record held by triple jump and long jump Olympic champion Nelson Évora (2007-09).
"I always give my best in what I like to do, which is ride a bike," Costa said at the awards ceremony at Casino Estoril, Lisbon. "I'm very happy. I hope that this trophy can give me more strength."
The 2013 world champion won a third consecutive Tour de Suisse title this year, was second overall at Paris-Nice, runner-up at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and third at Il Lombardia to finish the season as the fourth ranked rider on the WorldTour.
Bouhanni's brother signs with AWT-Greenway
Omega Pharma-QuickStep's feeder team AWT-Greenway (formerly Etixx) have signed Nacer Bouhanni's younger brother Rayane for next season. The 18-year-old has enjoyed a bumper year with victory in the junior French national championships and overall success at the Tour de l'Abitibi, he also claimed second in the national time trial championships.