Cromwell looks for second victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Tiffany Cromwell is hoping to take the top step on the podium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 27. She won the race in 2013 while racing for Orica-AIS and is aiming for the same winning start to her European season with Canyon-Sram in 2016.
"I want to have a strong spring. I would like to once again win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. It has always been my favourite race,” Cromwell told event organisers.
It will be a tall order to fill with multiple riders citing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as their early-season target such as world champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and defending champion Anna van der Breggen (Rabo Liv).
Euskal Emakumeen Bira moves to April, offers live streaming for final stage
One of the most popular stage races, Euskal Emakumeen Bira, has moved away from its traditional June slot on the calendar and will now take place from April 13-17. The race will also provide daily recaps videos and the final stage will be streamed live.
Organisers announced 20 teams invited to its race on Twitter to include Lares-Waowdeals, Drops, Cylance, BZK Emakumeen Bira, Boels-Dolmans, Bizkaia Durango, Ale Cipollini, Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope – 86, Michela Fanini Rox, Lointek, Lensworld, Podium Ambition, Mat Atom Sobotka, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Cervelo Bigla, Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion, Lotto Soudal Ladies, and national teams from Spain and Norway.
The organisation was recently under fire for releasing a poster that was deemed ‘sexist’ following a complaint from the Basque Women’s Institute. It quickly removed the poster to avoid further conflict.
Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) won the 2015 title, beating Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla).
Kachelhoffer secures South African road race title
An-Li Kachelhoffer (Lotto Soudal Ladies) won the South African road race title in Westville on Sunday. She crossed the line with a small lead over runner-up Lise Olivier (Bizkaia-Durango) and third-placed Anriette Schoeman.
“I’m over the moon with this title and really happy to bring the jersey to the team, although it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It was a slow, but hard and tactical race. I had prepared well for it, and of course winning was at the back of my mind, but when it happened I couldn’t believe it. Before the race I got an awesome video from my teammates to cheer me on. A pity I missed out on the training camp, but it was worth it," Kachelhoffer said on the Lotto Soudal Ladies website.
“There was a climb in the final kilometres of the circuit, afterwards it was downhill towards the finish line. There was lots of wind and it was very humid, a lot of riders struggled with that. When entering the last ten kilometres of the race I put in a big effort and got a gap, but Ashleigh Moolman joined me. Then it all came back together, I decided to wait for the final climb. With one and a half kilometres to go I accelerated again and could ride away from my opponents.”
Defending champion and the favourite ahead of the race, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo Bigla), finished in sixth place. She had pulled out of the time trial two days earlier because of illness and said that she was still feeling weak during the road race.
Twenty16 Ridebiker awards $5,000 community grant to those affected by San Bernardino shooting
In an effort to thank their sponsors, Twenty16 Ridebiker has created the Twenty16 Ride 4 Community grant to donate to communities in need of assistance. It will be awarded annually to a non-profit community program or disaster relief fund.
This year’s grant of $5,000 was given to the San Bernardino United Relief Fund organized by Arrowhead United Way. It will be used to address the needs of families, victims, and others affected by the shooting in San Bernardino on December 2 where 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured.
“This community is especially to close to our hearts,” said team director Mari Holden in a team press release. “We race every year at the Redlands Classic which is San Bernardino County and many people in the community have opened their homes to us. We consider them family and we want to stand by them through this tragedy.”
Arrowhead United Way is a volunteer driven organization that actively supports health and human services by focusing on education, income, and health. “We are thankful to the athletes and staff of the Twenty16 team for paying it forward and awarding Arrowhead United Way with a Ride 4 Community grant in support of the San Bernardino United Relief Fund. Every dollar makes a difference and their donation will help those affected by the shooting,” said Doug Rowand, Arrowhead United Way President.