News shorts: Safety concerns over Tour de Suisse stage finish

Cycling Australia announces women's development team roster, Limburg wants Tour de France visit in 2017

The stage 6 finish of the Tour de Suisse has come under criticism by the peloton for being unsafe and dangerous. The wet weather of the stage added to their difficulty of the technical finale which featured several sharp corners and traffic furniture. Peter Sagan demonstrated his bike skills in winning the stage but the Biel finish proved difficult for the majority of the peloton

IAM Cycling's Dries Devenyns asked why race organisers favour the tricky urban finishes.

"The stage was long, very wet, and especially dangerous in the finale. I don't understand the attraction of having that type of final kilometre which must be delicately negotiated," he said in a team release.

Former race leader Tom Dumoulin expressed similar frustration with the finish on Twitter after he lost time due to a late split in the peloton.

"Almost crashed at 7 km to go and needed to come back to the front afterwards. Not far enough, because I lost 5 valuable seconds...," he wrote, adding "Had some time to think about it, but seriously, @tds, this final? Thanks for making GC riders take even more risk next time!"

Etixx-Quick duo Julien Vermote and Zdenek Stybar both crashed when trying to take a left-hand corner on the wet roads with Vermote also criticising the race organisation on Twitter.

"Crashed in a dangerous final with a poor signalisation. I think our job is already dangerous enough @tourdesuisse ? Hope I feel ok tomorrow," Vermote wrote.

Australian Subaru High5 Women's Development Team roster announced

Shannon Malseed, Jenelle Crooks, Jessica Mundy, and Ellen Skerrit have been selected by Cycling Australia to ride for the Subaru High5 Women's Development Team. The five riders were picked from a group of 18 for their physical capabilities and mental attributes following a 'military-style' camp earlier this year at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Team coach Donna Rae Szalinski explained her excitement with the riders that have been selected, explaining their potential to feature at the pointy end of race. 

"We're taking a group of riders with the explicit goal of having an impact on racing. We're not going over there to be a filler," said Szalinski. "We want the riders to make a name for themselves, the team and our sponsors and, by the end of it all, we want teams talking about who these girls are and asking if they're available to ride on their pro teams next year.

"Everyone on the team has been chose specifically for the attributes they can bring to the team and racing at a European international level. Their selection in the team is a continuation of opportunities which they have created for themselves," she added.

Complementing the team is Australian national criterium champion Kimberley Wells with several cyclists to be brought in as guest riders and mentors.

Subaru High5 Australian Women's Road Development Team Race Schedule:

  • 17-22 July: Thuringen Rundfarht, Germany.
  • 1, 3-4 August: Kermesse Races, Belgium.
  • 8-16 August: Route de France, France.
  • 22-26 August: Trophee dÓr, France.
  • 2-7 September: Tour de Árdeche, France.

Limburg wants Tour de France stage in 2017 

The Dutch province of Limburg, which hosts the Amstel Gold Race, wants to host a stage of the 2017 Tour de France which is rumoured to start in Germany. A German start could see the Tour cross over the Netherlands on its way to France with Limburg a possibility to host a stage finish for the first time since 2006.

"We put in a request for aTour arrival since it naturally generates a lot of attention," said a spokesperson for the province of Limburg. "But if we are only a receive a stage start, we are not going to say 'no'."

The 2015 Tour de France starts with a 13.8 km time trial around the Dutch city of Utrecht which also hosts the start of stage 2 which finishes in Neeltje Jans. The Tour then heads into Belgium before crossing over into France for the remainder of the race. It is the sixth time that the Tour has enjoyed a Dutch depart.

The Belgian province of Limburg said in 2012 it would seek to host the 2018 Tour de France start.

Haas launches Attack The Pack cycling card game

Cannondale-Garmin's Nathan Haas is one of three co-creators of a cycling card game "Attack the Pack" which has been launched on Kickstarter, designed to bring the "beautifully brutal experience of professional bike racing to your jersey pocket! It can be played at home, at the coffee stop or after dinner during a three-week grand tour...".

The game is described for two-to-four players and lasting approximately 20 minutes with cards designed to fit into a cycling jersey. The game has been in development for the past 18-months.

The project has received 55 backers, reaching over £2000 of its £7,500 goal before the July 18 deadline.

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