Wiggins maintains media silence
Bradley Wiggins has continued his radio silence in the wake of revelations surrounding his use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) during his career. The British rider attended the rider presentation at the Gent Six Day, where he will ride alongside Mark Cavendish, but made a quick exit without speaking to the press, according to Sky Sports reporter Orla Chennaoui.
Wiggins has done only two interviews with the press since his TUE applications were published in mid-September when the Fancy Bears hacker group gained access to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) TUE servers. His first was with the Andrew Marr show on BBC television and he did a subsequent interview with the Guardian's William Fotheringham, where he set out to explain his allergies and TUE use.
Wiggins and Team Sky are also under scrutiny for the delivery of a 'medical package' that was sent to the team at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine. The Culture, Media and Sport select committee chairman, Damian Collins MP told British Cycling that they have questions about the package and are set to meet later this month.
The Gent Six Day is set to be Wiggins' final appearance as a professional rider. However, he has said that he is open to riding in 2017. Cyclingnews contacted Wiggins' management who says that he will not make any press appearances during the event.
In Ghent for 6 Day presentation. Sir Bradley Wiggins attended but left before speaking to media. Unlikely to hear from him at his last race.— Orla Chennaoui (@SkyOrla) November 14, 2016
Page joins Caja Rural, Arroyo extends
Spanish Pro Continental squad Caja Rural have snapped up young Swiss rider Dylan Page for the 2017 season. Experienced director David Arroyo has also extended his tenure with the team after joining the team back in 2010.
Page is Caja Rural's sixth signing this winter and the fourth young rider after Nick Schultz, Rafael Reis and Alex Aranburu. The 23-year-old has spent the past two seasons at Team Roth, stepping up to Pro Continental level with them this season. He finished third at the Trofeo Playa de Palma in February, behind Andre Greipel and Nacer Bouhanni.
"This is a great opportunity for me to take a step forward in my career and try something new. Caja Rural - Seguros RGA is the second biggest Spanish team. They have very strong riders and an important race program," Page said. "This season was my first one at the pro-level and I think it has been a really good year for me. I got some good results and I gained a lot of experience for the future. Now, I want to help my new team and bring what I've got to the table. I want to be stronger than I was this year and show my speed in the sprints."
Volta ao Algarve announces host cities
The organisers of the Volta ao Algarve have announced the stage starts and finishes for the 2017 edition. The race will begin in Albufeira on February 15 and finish five days later at the traditional decider the Alto do Malhão. The opening stage finishes in Lagos for the first time since 2011 and should provide the sprinters with an opportunity to get a score on the board early in the race.
Mountains beckon the peloton on day two with a ride from Lagoa to Fóia, the highest point the race will reach. Luis Leon Sanchez moved into the race lead when the race finished there this season, beating Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic following a late attack. Stage three is the traditional Sagres time trial, which was won by Fabian Cancellara in February this year. Tavira is another 2016 finish town that will return for a second helping in 2017. The route to the town will be different next time out with Almodôvar waving the riders off earlier in the day.
Loulé to Malhão will be the final hurrah as the general classification is fought out. This year saw a big battle on the climb with Alberto Contador storming to the stage win while Thomas claimed the overall victory.
2017 Volta ao Algarve
Stage 1: Albufeira – Lagos
Stage 2: Lagoa – Fóia (Monchique)
Stage 3: Sagres – Sagres (ITT)
Stage 4: Almodôvar – Tavira
Stage 5: Loulé - Malhão