Tinkoff-Saxo get ready for Kilimanjaro
The Tinkoff-Saxo team have arrived in Tanzania for their five-day hike of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. All of the 80 staff and riders will attempt to climb the mountain as part of a team building exercise and an attempt to raise money for local charities. If 90 per cent of them make it to the top, the team will triple the amount of the donations made.
The trip includes current rider Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger, and new signings Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso. The excitement was evident from the multitude of pictures posted on twitter on Friday. Contador posted a picture to the social networking site of himself and his press officer Jacinto Vidarte with the caption “Today we woke up early, start the 'Klimanjaro Operation!” Peter Sagan made sure that he was ready for the adventure with a picture of himself clutching his McDonald’s breakfast.
The team will meet the Arusha Cycling Club on Saturday morning before beginning a four-day trek to the Karanga base camp and will begin the ascent to the top on Tuesday.
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Bole returns to professional racing
Slovenian rider Grega Bole will return to professional racing in 2015, after signing a one-year contract with the Polish ProContinental CCC Sprandi – Polkowice team. Bole spent this season with Vini Fantini-Nippo where he has taken four victories, and a number of top three finishes throughout September.
Bole turned professional in 2010 with Lampre Farnese Vini and later moved to Vacansoleil-DCM. The 29-year-old was implicated in the USADA case against Lance Armstrong at the end of 2012 but was given the green light to race by Vacansoleil, after an internal investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing. Bole spent a year with the team but was forced to step down to Continental level when the Dutch team folded at the end of 2013. His biggest results to date are a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine and victory at GP Ouest France-Plouay.
He will join Stefan Schumacher, who signed for the team after three years with Christina Watches, and Italian veteran Davide Rebellin.
Ruta del Sol going up in the world
Next year’s edition of the Ruta del Sol (Vuelta a Andalucía) will be decided by two summit finishes, as the organisers expect the race to be promoted to 2.HC category for 2015, according to the website Biciciclismo. The promotion from its current status of 2.1 would mean that organisers will be able to increase the number of WorldTour teams from 50 to 70 per cent.
The full route for the 2015 Ruta is yet to be finalised but organisers confirmed that there would be no time trial on the opening day, and that the race would be rounded off by two summit finishes on stages three and four. The 2015 race will take place between February 18 and 22. Alejandro Valverde has won the past three editions.
Bol joins De Rijke
Dutch cyclist Jetse Bol will drop down to Continental level with Team de Rijke for 2015, according to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. Bol turned professional with Rabobank in 2012 and stayed with the team through its various incarnations as Blanco and Belkin. He made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year but failed to secure a contract with the new LottoNL team for next season. Bol only found out last month that he wasn’t in their future plans but says that he’s happy with his new team.
“De Rijke is a great team, where I for one year get the chance to prove that I indeed belong among the pros," Bol told the newspaper. "I know I have not reached my best and if I have to take a step back to take two ahead, then so be it.”