Too much yellow for TeamLottoNL-Jumbo
According to a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, TeamLottoNL-Jumbo may have to change its recently-revealed 2015 kit design because the UCI has deemed that it includes too much yellow.
Team manager Richard Plugge suggested that the team will wear a special Tour de France jersey to avoid any confusion with the race leader's maillot jaune but according to De Telegraaf, the UCI is also not happy about the team colours because several other races also have yellow race leader jerseys. Teams traditionally avoid using yellow so that race judges, television viewers and road-side fans can identify the race leader during races.
No World TTT championships Richmond and Qatar?
De Telegraaf has also reported that the UCI is considering separating the world team time trial championship from the road world championships in 2015 and 2016 due to the significant costs that trade teams will incur in travelling to Richmond in the USA and to Doha in Qatar.
The Dutch newspaper suggests that several major European-based teams have told the UCI that travelling to the USA and Qatar for a single race will cost them approximately €35,000 for each trip. WorldTour team are obliged to ride the event but other Professional Continental teams could decide not to ride. BMC won the title this year in Ponferrada, Spain.
De Telegraaf reports that several alternative race organisers have been approached about holding the team time trial world championships in Europe, including the Limburg province in the Netherlands, where the first-ever championships were held in 2012.
Cyclo-cross action in Italy and France
While Belgium and northern Europe remains the traditional home of the biggest European cyclo-cross events, the winter discipline is also becoming more and more popular in Italy and France.
Gioele Bertolini (Selle Italia-Guerciotti Elite) won the men's second round of the Giro d'Italia Cyclo-cross on Elba Island on Sunday, while Alice Maria Arzuffi (Selle Italia-Guerciotti) won the elite women's race. In France, Clement Venturini (Cofidis) beat national champion Francis Mourey (FDJ.fr) in a fast race at Marle. Road racer John Gadret (Movistar) finished eighth, while mountain bike world champion Julien Absalon was tenth.
Pirazzi targets the Fiuggi stage at the Giro d'Italia
Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) is known for his constant attacking in races and especially at the Giro d'Italia. After several seasons packed with plenty of attacks but little success, Pirazzi finally found the right break this year and won stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia, beating Belgium's Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) and Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) in a sprint. It was the first win of his seven-year professional career.
Pirazzi has revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he has already begun his winter training and hopes to win stage seven of the 2015 Giro d'Italia in his home town of Fiuggi.
"I'm going to start training today, mixing some gym work with mountain bike riding, running and walking in the hills. I'll get back on the bike later on," he told Gazzetta.
"Stage seven of the Giro starts in Grosseto and ends in Fiuggi (after 263km of racing). Winning at home would be amazing. If it's the same finish as two years ago, there'll be a short climb 3-4 kilometres from the finish. For someone like me who loves attacking, going for it there wouldn't be a gamble."