Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo will move from Katusha-Alpecin to the Pro Continental squad Manzana Postobón next year. The 23-year-old has been with Katusha since joining as a trainee in 2015 out of the U23 ranks.
Restrepo was the best young rider in last year's Tour Down Under, and narrowly missed the podium in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race that year.
A solid one-day racer and sprinter, Restrepo says he hopes to gain back some confidence that he lost after three years in the WorldTour while racing on home soil. He does not consider the move to the second division as a step down, saying that sometimes it's necessary to progress.
"I hope to contribute my experience from these three years," Restrepo said. "I learned to take care of myself in Europe: the races, the roads, I know when to move, I know how to handle a cold day. I know I'm going to race a lot in Europe and I'm proud to represent my country. I hope we take the team to the top. This year they did very well, so we hope that we can go one better next season."
Restrepo is the all-Colombian team's final signing for 2019, and one of eight new riders including Daniel Jaramillo from the now-defunct UnitedHealthcare squad, Bryan Gómez (Hincapie-Citadel), Carlos Julián Quintero, Nicolás Sáenz, Diego Ochoa, Luis Carlos Chía and Omar Mendoza. Returning riders include Aldemar Reyes, Jhojan García, Wilmar Paredes, Juan Felipe Osorio, Bernardo Suaza, Jordan Parra, Juan José Amador and Yecid Sierra.
Three of the team's riders have moved up to the WorldTour: Hernando Bohórquez (Astana), Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) and Sergio Higuita to EF Pro Cycling. Jetse Bol and Ricardo Vilela moved laterally to Burgos BH, while the future teams of Juan Pablo Villegas, Fabio Duarte, Hernán Aguirre, and Fernando Orjuela are unknown.
Rally Cycling launches site touting biking's health benefits
Rally Cycling has launched a webpage titled "Longevity" that promotes the health benefits of cycling. The US Pro Continental team, whose title sponsor is in the healthcare business, launched the microsite on Tuesday.
The new campaign features Bob Powers, a World War II veteran and 92-year-old triathlete. The campaign celebrates the power of the bicycle, showcasing real-world examples of how cycling can enhance people's overall health and wellbeing.
"Rally Cycling is about more than competing at the races," said Circuit Sport Creative Director Sam Wiebe. "We're always looking for unique ways to demonstrate how a bicycle can improve our lives. Working with Bob on 'Longevity' was a truly memorable experience, and we couldn't be happier with the final product."
The film, which features Powers pedaling through a stark and beautiful Wisconsin landscape, highlights a recent Dutch research study that focused on cycling's longevity-boosting properties. The Rally site features science-backed examples of cycling's many unique health benefits.
Cycling Canada announces 2019 national calendar
Cycling Canada has announced it calendar of international and national events for 2019, with the Mountain Bike Canada Cup series opening the off-road calendar with what is becoming the traditional start to the XCO season at Bear Mountain in Victoria, BC, on March 31.
The Series offers an expanded number of races, with eight taking place from coast to coast. The Canada Cup Series concludes in Kentville, Nova Scotia, on August 17-18; the second year for this venue. The highlight of the season will be Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, which will host for a record third time to the UCI World Championships for both Masters (August 21-23) and Elite/Under-23/Junior (August 28th - September 1st) in XCO and Downhill. U17 men and women were added as official Canada Cup Mountain Bike categories on the XCO side land will continue next year.
The Downhill Canada Cup Series will start in Mont Tremblant as a part of the Crossroads event weekend, before returning to British Columbia at SilverStar Resort and then Fernie for the second and third rounds. Silverstar and Fernie will create a July triple-header western race schedule for Downhill, which will conclude with both the Downhill and new Enduro National Championships at Panorama, BC, on July 27-28. The domestic downhill program will conclude with the Canadian Open in Whistler on August 18.
The Canadian national Road calendar begins in June, starting with the Masters Nationals in Victoria, BC, followed by four UCI-sanctioned events in Quebec: the GP Cycliste Gatineau and Chrono de Gatineau for women, and the GP Cycliste de Saguenay and Tour de Beauce for men. From June 28 to July 1, the National Road Championships for Elite, U23, Junior and Para riders will take place in Beauce.
Road racing continues through the summer, with the Tour de la Relève Rimouski in Quebec at the beginning of July, followed by the UCI-sanctioned Delta Road Race and Global Relay Gastown GP in BC's Lower Mainland. The Tour de l'Abitibi, one of the premier stage races for Junior men in the world, returns for its 51st edition from July 15-21. The road calendar concludes in early September with the Quebec City and Montreal WorldTour races on September 13 and 15, respectively.
The BMX national calendar events will take place in July and August. Three Canada Cup events, all with a UCI C1 sanction, will take place in Toronto (July 6-7), Drummondville, Quebec (July 13-14) and Calgary (August 17-18), the host of the 2016-2017 national championships. The National Championships will take place in Toronto on the same weekend as the Canada Cup event, and will be the primary qualifying event for the 2020 BMX world championships in Houston, US.
Canada's national track programme will be centered around the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, with four of five events on the calendar taking place there. For Junior and U17 riders, there will be a Western Challenge (January 18-20) in Burnaby, BC, and an Eastern Challenge (February 9-10) in Milton. These will lead into the National Championships at Milton on April 12-14 for U17, Junior and Para athletes. The Elite and Masters riders will have their National Championships in Milton in the Fall, and the UCI Track World Cup will return to Milton for the 2019-20 season.
Peterborough, Ontario, will once again host to the 2019 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships following a successful season-closing event in 2018. Cyclo-cross enthusiasts should expect another exciting season in 2019, with finalized details of the upcoming calendar to be released in the coming weeks.
The Para national schedule consists of four events, all on the UCI calendar. On April 12-14, the Para Track Nationals will take place in Milton, followed by the Défi sportif AlterGo road event in Montreal on May 4-5. The Para Road Nationals will take place in Beauce, on June 28-29, and the UCI Para Road World Cup returns to Baie Comeau, Quebec, on August 8-11.
Exclusive Floyd Landis interview – podcast
Landis' place within cycling's history has been well covered, from his rise through the ranks to his positive test in 2006 and the loss of his Tour de France title. In the years since, he has gone through a doping confession, a huge fall from grace and several legal battles.
The former rider's path to peace is now in full swing, but we talk through the past 12 years of Landis' life – his struggles, how he has tried to find redemption, his relationships with both Lance Armstrong and cycling in general – and his hopes for the future as he embarks on team sponsorship.
This podcast was recorded in Leadville, Colorado, in the final week of October 2018. As a warning, it contains light profanity.
The Cyclingnews Podcast is brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyd's of Leadville.