News Shorts: Taxi hits riders at Vuelta a Costa Rica; Tinkoff to unveil 2016 team kit in Courchevel

Volta ao Algarve releases 2016 route, Amstel Gold Race co-founder Ton Vissers dies at 93

Taxi runs into Vuelta a Costa Rica

The start of the Vuelta a Costa Rica was marred when a taxi driver drove into the middle of the peloton just shortly after the start of the first stage from Alajuela.

Three riders were hit when the taxi pulled onto the course, according to La Nacion. The worst affected was Félix Araya of the Star Cars BCT team. He reportedly was able to continue racing after being treated by medics.

The officials blamed the accident on the race being delayed at the start by 10 minutes, and impatience on the part of the driver who was caught up in the road closure.

The taxi driver defended himself, saying he had been directed to turn left onto the road on which the race was travelling.

A video posted in Twitter by TD Mas captured the chaos.

Tinkoff to unveil 2016 team kit during ski world cup in France

Team Tinkoff will unveil its 2016 team kit on December 19 during the bib draw ceremony for the Ladies Alpine competition of the Audi Fis Ski World Cup in Courchevel, France.

Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, Rafal Majka and team technical coordinator Ivan Basso will present the new kit during the bib draw in the Courchevel ice rink.

The following Sunday, Sagan will show off his bike handling skills by riding his snow bike down the giant slalom course between the two competition runs.

“The public unveiling of the following year's colours is a milestone for every professional sports team, and holding it in Courchevel is, undoubtedly, the best way to end the season in style,” said team managing director Stefano Feltrin.

“Courchevel is an iconic ski resort, and this event will bring together the elite of two popular sports, cycling and skiing. The world's best riders will share the ice rink with the world's best female skiers.”

Courchevel is also the site of one of team owner Oleg Tinkov’s two "La Datcha" chalets currently under construction. The team unveiled its La Datcha training kit in Gran Canaria last week.

Team boss Oleg Tinkov with the team in its new La Datcha training kit

Volta ao Algarve releases 2016 route

Portugal’s Volta ao Algarve has released the route for its 42nd edition February 17-21. The five-stage 2.1 race, won by Gerraint Thomas (Team Sky) in 2015, will cover 756.6km, including four road stages and one individual time trial.

Organisers anticipate a sprint finish for the 178.6km first stage from Lagos to Albufeira, setting up the Queen stage on the following day. Stage 2’s 200km trek from Lagoa to Fóia includes a finish at the top of a first-category climb that tops out at 904 meters. Riders will tackle three categorised climbs in the final 67km.

The third stage will test the riders against the clock in an 18km individual time trial around Sagres. The sprinters will get their chance again during the 187.3km stage 4 run from São Brás de Alportel to Tavira.

Riders will face another uphill finish on the final day, a 172.7km stage from Almodôvar to Malhão. The finish features a 2.5km, 9.4 percent climb that the riders will traverse for the first time with 45km remaining. The final loop back to the finish includes the same hilly-type terrain that riders will see later in the spring at the Ardennes Classics.

Already confirmed for the race are WorldTour teams Astana, Cannondale-Garmin, Etixx-QuickStep, FDJ, IAM Cycling, Katusha, Lotto-Soudal, LottoNL-Jumbo, Movistar, Team Sky, Tinkoff and Trek Factory Racing. The race plans to host 24 teams.

2016 Volta ao Algarve Stages:
1st Stage: Lagos – Albufeira, 187.6 km
2nd Stage: Lagoa – Fóia, 200 km
3rd Stage: Sagres – Sagres, 18 km (ITT)
4th Stage: S. Brás de Alportel – Tavira, 187.3 km
5th Stage: Almodôvar – Malhão, 172.7 km

Amstel Gold Race co-founder Ton Vissers dies at 93

Following an illness, the co-founder of the Amstel Gold Race Ton Vissers has died at age 93. Vissers and Herman Krott created the Dutch race which was first held in 1966 with Jean Stablinski taking the win ahead of Bernard Van De Kerckhove. Vissers was also involved the Dutch Willem II-Gazelle team between 1966 and 1971 for whom the likes of Rik van Looy, Peter Post, and Jo de Roo raced with van Looy winning stage of the 1969 Tour de France for the team.

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