Organisers of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race have confirmed that seven Continental squads have signed up to take part in the race on February 1.
Avanti Racing Team, African Wildlife Safari Cycling Team, Charter Mason Giant Racing Team, Data#3 Symantec Racing Team, health.com.au-search2retain Cycling Team, Navitas Satalyst Racing Team and Team Budget Forklifts are set to race against several WorldTour teams including Orica GreenEdge and Evans’ own BMC Racing team.
"The continental teams are strong competition with ambitious riders rising up the ranks," Evans said in a press release.
"It is really heartening to see the wealth of fresh young talent coming from Australia, and the mix of young cyclists new to the circuit and some of our more seasoned riders promises to make for spectacular viewing."
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race begins at the Geelong Waterfront, travels through Barwon Heads and Torquay and finishes in a three lap circuit of Geelong.
The event also features an Elite Women’s Road Race, part of Cycling Australia's National Road Series, that will see Australia's best female cyclists tackle a challenging course on Saturday 31 January 2015.
Team GB announce squad Newport Para-cycling International event
British Cycling has announced a 16-strong squad for this month’s Newport Para-cycling International event. The racing runs from January 30 to February 1 with the team including Jody Cundy, Neil Fachie, Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James as well as Steve Bate, Adam Duggleby, Megan Giglia, Sally Hurst and Liz Saul who all make their debut for Great Britain.
The three-day event held at Wales National Velodrome in Newport is in its second year and counts as a qualifying event for track cycling at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
“The Newport Para-cycling International is a key event for us and as such we’re sending a full squad with the exception of Dame Sarah Storey who has chosen to focus on her hour record attempt. With this being a qualifying event for Rio, the riders are all keen to put in a strong performance to start momentum. It’s also a good opportunity to see how we measure up against the rest of the world at this moment in time to identify the areas we need to work on and to help shape our preparations for 2016,” said Jon Norfolk, head coach for the Great Britain Para-cycling Team.
Gesink will lead Lotto NL-Jumbo in Algarve
Robert Gesink will lead the eight-rider squad that Lotto NL-Jumbo will send to the Volta ao Algarve in February. The Dutchman underwent heart surgery last year and returned to racing in August at the Tour of Poland.
The 28-year-old, who finished third at Algarve in 2006, won the Tour of California in 2012 and the Tour of Oman in 2011. He will come to the race following two weeks of altitude training before his first major goal, Tirreno-Adriatico.
Gesink will be joined by Paul Martens, Sep Vanmarcke, Tom van Asbroeck, Bram Tankink, Robert Wagner, Kevin de Weert and Maarten Wynants in the UCI 2.1 race in Portugal.
Lotto NL-Jumbo is one of 18 teams confirmed for the 41st Volta ao Algarve. The others are Astana, Ettix-QuickStep, Cannondale-Garmin, Katusha, Lotto Soudal, Sky, Bora-Argon 18, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, RusVelo, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Efapel, LA Alumínios-Antarte, Louletano-Ray Just Energy, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies, Rádio Popular-Boavista, Team Banco BIC and W52-Quinta da Lixa
Sicily training camp planned for Tinkoff Saxo
Tinkoff Saxo will have another training camp at Mount Etna when 23 riders, excluding the squad bound for the Santos Tour Down Under, gather on Friday to begin two weeks of work as a build up for the coming season.
Riders and staff will meet at JSH Hotels’ resort Il Picciolo Etna at the base of Mount Etna on Sicily, an area that features ideal terrain for simulating race conditions. Head Coach Bobby Julich will oversee the training and progress of the riders.
“A camp like this allows us to fully concentrate on training – both as individual riders and as a team,” Julich said. “The trip to Kilimanjaro was about getting together and building a strong team spirit, while the first camp at Anfi on Gran Canaria was used to lay the foundation after the off-season. But this camp on Sicily will be much more specific, getting the riders up to race speed, simulating race situations and pushing the general condition further.”
Tibco adds SVB as co-title sponsor
The TIBCO women's UCI cycling team will enter their 11th season with a name change as longtime sponsor Silicon Valley Bank steps up to assume a co-title sponsor role in 2015. The new team name will be Tibco-SVB.
"SVB’s increased support is a great example of how active Silicon Valley Bank is in the community and how supportive they are of women and an active, healthy lifestyle," said Team Tibco founder Linda Jackson. "With the Rio Games less than two years away, this is an important season for our riders in their quest to earn a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. Having additional sponsorship will make their efforts that much easier."
Silicon Valley Bank President and CEO Greg Becker said the sponsorship is a natural fit for his company.
"We’re excited to expand our relationship with the team," Becker said "We’ve worked closely with Team TIBCO-SVB for eight years and continue to be impressed with how they connect with our values of being driven and dedicated."
The Team will announce additional sponsors for the 2015 season in the coming weeks.