Sagan hoping for first victory in rainbow jersey at San Luis
Peter Sagan is hoping to get his season 2016 off to a winning start when he and teammate Rafal Majka lead the Tinkoff team at the Tour de San Luis. The 2016 race is Sagan returns to Argentina after opting to skip the event last year and make a later start to the season. This time he rides the seven-day race as the reigning world champion and a win in Argentina would be his first in the rainbow jersey.
"I look forward to the upcoming ‘rainbow season’," said Sagan. "I am also delighted to launch it at such a nice event - Tour de San Luis offers the best conditions to obtain a bit of racing pace. If I feel my legs in good form, I will also try to sprint for the first win of this season."
Majka will lead Tinkoff’s general classification hopes as he makes his debut at the race. The Polish rider had an excellent 2015, claiming his first Grand Tour podium at the Vuelta a Espana.
"It will be my first participation in Tour de San Luis,” Majka said. “I heard it's a great and well-organized race and I think it will be a good starting point for my 2016 season. I consider the Tour de San Luis as one of my preparatory races, however Tinkoff will have a strong leader. I'm excited to start my new racing season in Argentina.”
Landa, Kiryienka, Viviani and Boswell in Team Sky Giro d'Italia squad
Mikel Landa will lead Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia with the support of Leopold Konig, Sebastian and Sergio Henao, Beñat Intxausti and world time trial champion Vasili Kiryienka as he targets overall victory in the first Grand Tour of the 2016 season.
Team Sky confirmed that Chris Froome will stay with Team Sky until 2018 and revealed their major goals for 2016 during their annual media day in Mallorca. . Froome will lead Team Sky at the Tour de France, with Landa expected to lead the British squad at the Vuelta a Espana.
The USA’s Ian Boswell is set to ride the Giro d’Italia alongside Landa. It will be his second Grand Tour of his career after riding the Vuelta a Espana last year.
Also in the expected squad for the Giro d’Italia are experienced domestique Christian Knees, David Lopez, and Italian sprinter Elia Viviani, who won a stage and fought for the red sprinter’s jersey in the 2015 Giro d’Italia.
Landa finished third in the 2015 Giro d’Italia while riding for Astana. He was arguably the strongest climber in the race but his personal ambitious were sacrificed as team leader Fabio Aru tried to take on eventual winner Alberto Contador.
Valverde could do all three Grand Tours
Following last weekend’s presentation of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana route, Alejandro Valverde could ride his home Grand Tour as well as the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia this season. The Spaniard’s Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue told Spanish sports daily Marca that Valverde had signalled his interest after the route was unveiled.
Unzue said that he has no worries whether or not Valverde would be able to complete it but he doesn’t want his rider to burn himself out.
“I have no doubt that maybe would have no problem,” he said. “I think it is a matter of demand and all that he can give of himself, but not overdo it . He is addicted to this, it is a crazy profession and well ... has already hinted. He is certainly a man of variable challenges of all kinds, classic, racing three weeks and put him.”
Terpstra heading in the right direction
Niki Terpstra says that his performance at the Rotterdam Six, which is due to finish on Thursday, shows his form is on the right track ahead of the road season. Terpstra is currently in fifth place with his partner Yoeri Havik, five points and two laps down on the leaders.
“Here in Rotterdam, I feel that I'm at least back on track towards the road season. At about six days you really have confirmation that you've had a good winter,” he told Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf.
Terpstra will begin his season at the end of January with the Mallorca Challenge. He will not ride the Tour of Qatar this year, after his Etixx-QuickStep team decided not to ride it. Instead he will ride the Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana followed by Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Drops Cycling reveal their new jersey
New British women’s team Drops Cycling Team have unveiled their jersey for the 2016 season. Drops teamed up with the apparel company Prendas for the new kit. The jersey, which is made by Santini, is formed of a black background with pastel-coloured stripes around the bottom half. The cuffs of the sleeves and inside of the collar also have the pastel stripes.
The Drops name is written across the chest with Prendas printed on each sleeve and the team’s bike sponsor Trek and closing manufacturer Santini across the back. The jersey has been paired with black shorts, accented by the same stripes on the jersey.