The international riders union, the CPA, met with a host of top German riders last week to discuss starting a national union there, according to a release the CPA sent to media this week.
CPA leader Gianni Bugno attended the gathering at the Frankfurt Sport Academy Hotel, where riders like André Greipel, John Degenkolb, Max Walscheid and Mario Vogt met along with the German Cycling Federation Vice President Udo Sprenger and the General Secretary Martin Wolf. The German leaders showed interest in the policy of the globalisation of the CPA and said they were in favour of the creation of a German association of professional cyclists, according to the release.
"The creation of a national association is the best solution for athletes to be actively represented in the CPA steering committee, and take part in the working groups we have created on various issues that are important for the riders' job," Bugno said in the CPA's release. "We are happy that all riders share our thoughts. Even those who could not physically attend the meeting urged us to continue in this direction. All riders must be able to count on us."
The group will meet again at the end of April, coinciding with the Eschborn-Frankfurt one-day Classic. That meeting will be the first constituent assembly of the new German association, with most German pro cyclists expected to attend. Leading up to that meeting, the CPA will continue to work with the riders on the development of all needed legal and financial aspects for the association.
The CPA is also planning to meet with riders from countries that do not have a national association.
Canadian Burke signs with Leopard Pro Cycling
Burke, 23, debuted at Continental level in 2016 with the Canadian H&R Block team, and then moved to the new Aevolo development team for 2017, taking the best young rider jersey at the Tour of Alberta and finishing sixth overall.
He moved to American Continental team Jelly Belly this season and won the Mont Megantic stage of the Tour de Beauce in June. Burke finished 10th overall at the Tour of the Gila, fourth in Beauce, 11th at the Tour of Utah and 12th at the Colorado Classic.
"When the opportunity came around to sign Jack, we did not hesitate too long," said Leopard Pro Cycling team manager Markus Zingen. "He has a proven track record in the difficult American and Canadian stage races, and it will be no surprise that he will be one of our go-to guys in the stage races coming up.
"We hope that he adapts well to the European style of racing, and we will 100 per cent support him and pass on our experience. Nevertheless, we acknowledge his huge potential and abilities, and this will hopefully lead to success in the coming season."
Burke said Leopard Pro Cycling seems like an excellent feeder team and development programme to prepare promising riders to make the final step up to the WorldTour.
"I'm very grateful to be a part of that programme next year and learn as much as I can about more European style racing," Burke said. "It is no surprise that my strengths have always been in the longest and hardest stage races. I really like the long mountain climbs and selective courses, which will help me obtain great GC positions.
"A lot of the races I'll be doing next year are foreign to me, so I'm still looking over the calendar and doing my best to set my goals," Burke said. "In 2019, I would like to at least win a national title and represent Canada at the World Championships."
Burke is the final addition to Leopard Pro Cycling's 2019 roster.
Leopard Pro Cycling for 2019: Jack Burke, Konrad Gessner, Colin Heiderscheid, Arthur Kluckers, Alexander Krieger, Misch Leyder, Pit Leyder, Jan Maas, Filip Maciejuk, Gaëtan Pons, Szymon Rekita, Pit Schlechter, Mario Spengler, Bas Van Belle
Beat Cycling Club name team for Berlin World Cup
After taking several medals at the first two UCI Track World Cups so far, and gold at the Dutch national team sprint championships, the Beat Cycling track team is keen to continue their successful run during round 3 in Berlin this weekend. Matthijs Büchli, Roy van den Berg, Theo Bos and Laurine van Riessen will participate for the team, competing for podium spots in the team sprint, sprint, keirin and kilometre time trial.
Although most of the competitors at the World Cups ride for their respective national teams, several trade teams such as Beat Cycling from the Netherlands and Huub Watt from Great Britain are also on the start lines.
"The World Cup in Berlin is a big goal for us – especially the team sprint," said Beat Cycling coach Tim Veldt. "We are putting the most focus on Berlin and London before we start our preparation for the World Championships. The objective is to perform even better than we already did in Canada. Given the way the training has turned out, this certainly seems possible."
Veldt said Büchli will race the team sprint, the individual sprint and the keirin.
"That is a more difficult programme than normal, but it can help him get used to a week at the World Championships, now that he might be participating in all three of these disciplines at the Worlds," Veldt said, revealing that Bos will also be adding the kilometre time trial to his World Cup programme.
"This is the discipline in which he won World Championship bronze in Apeldoorn this year, but since then he has not raced any kilometre time trials competitively," Veldt said. "He hasn't been training specifically for the kilometre, but with his strong team sprint form, where he already races over 750 metres from a standing start, he can undoubtedly still perform well over 1,000 metres, especially because he is naturally strong in the final 250 metres."
Van den Berg will compete only in the team sprint, which is his main goal for this season.
"This weekend, the focus is on putting in very fast opening laps from the qualifying round to the final," Veldt said. "This season, Roy has already shown that he is in top shape on the first lap, so if he equals his performance in Canada, that's good enough, because in Canada he got close to his personal record every single race."
Van Riessen, the team's only Elite women's rider in Berlin, will race the sprint and keirin.
"For her, the World Cup team sprint season finished after the Paris World Cup," Veldt said. "But that means she will be able to fully focus on the sprint and keirin – the disciplines she's aiming to impress in at the World Championships next year. She shares our goal of riding faster than we did in Milton, and she will definitely be able to fight for the medals this World Cup."
Round 3 of the UCI Track World Cup takes place this weekend in Berlin, starting on Friday, November 30, with the team sprint qualifying rounds and finals, as well as the qualifying rounds and finals for the men's and women's team pursuit.