Direct Energie present new look
The Direct Energie team traded the green of Europcar in 2015 for a black and yellow design that reflects their new title sponsor. Thomas Voeckler, Bryan Coquard and Romain Sicard are joined by Sylvain Chavanel, who moved across from IAM Cycling. The team's presentation took place today in Paris.
Jean-René Bernaudeau fought to keep the team afloat after missing out on a WorldTour berth in 2015 due to budgetary issues. The future of the squad was uncertain as late as last year's Tour de France before finally confirming Direct Energie as sponsor in September.
Even with the new sponsor, the registration as a Pro Continental team was delayed for Direct Energie after a reported dispute emerged with equipment sponsor Colnago.
The Direct Energie team will race this season on BH bikes.
Holloway will race for reconfigured Giant Racing team
US elite criterium champion Daniel Holloway will ride for the newly formed Giant Racing domestic elite team, which is the product of a merger between Hot Route Racing and Giant Bicycles USA.
Following Holloway from 2015 team Alto Velo will be Marco Aledia, Chad Hartley and Jim Stemper, among others. The merger with the grassroots Giant team will also provide more firepower to the team’s arsenal. A complete roster and official team introduction will take place the week prior to the team launch in Austin, Texas, February 17 and 28.
“We have a lot of new goals and races we expect to be on the podium at this
year,” Holloway said in a statement released by the team. “I saw a lot of progression from some of the younger guys I raced with last year. … I look forward to seeing these guys take another step or three as we aim to be very competitive again this year.
“Merging with the core athletes from Giant’s initial grassroots program not only should allow us to control the whole peloton, but it adds to our ability to win solo or from a breakaway.”
In 2016 the team will continue to focus on winning the largest criterium events in North America. Giant Racing will also select some specific road, stage race and CX events that best suit athletes on the roster.
New sponsor Intelligentsia Coffee will support the team at select Red Hook criteriums throughout the US.
“I am very excited to try something new,” Holloway said of the Red Hook crit series. “I’ve never raced any of the events on the series, and a fixed gear on the road for that matter. I am not sure how it will play out but we will field a competitive squad at each event and I have a lot of respect for what those guys do.”
Daniel Holloway on the podium's top step at the Gateway Cup.
UCI to appeal Russian decision to clear Zabelinskaya of doping
The UCI confirmed that it will appeal the decision by the Russian Cycling Federation to clear double 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya of doping.
The 35-year-old tested positive for octopamine in 2014 from an in-competition doping control. Her RusVelo teammate, Lithuanian Igna Cilvinaite, tested positive for the same substance that year.
While Cilvinaite was banned for 18 months, and then retired in September, the Russian federation cleared Zabelinskaya in the case.
Lupus Racing confirms 2016 roster
The US Continental team Lupus Racing confirmed its 15-rider squad for the 2016 season. Though most of the riders are young, the team brought in some experience in the form of Slovenian Jure Kocjan. The 31-year-old raced in 2013 for Euskaltel-Euskadi, a WorldTour team before joining Team SmartStop in 2014. He has won a stage and the sprint classification in the Tour of Utah
Returning to the squad are Winston David, Oliver Flautt, Matthieu Jeannes, Evan Murphy, Michael Olheiser, Michael Stone, and Thomas Vaubourzeix.
“It is great to have such an international roster of talented riders for our second season at the UCI Continental level,” said Sports Director Phil Cortes. “The riders bring a great deal of strengths that will give us the flexibility to build aggressive rosters from one-day races to week-long stage races. The younger riders will definitely rely on the leadership of veterans with WorldTour experience, Jure (Kocjan), Chad (Beyer).We are all about aggressive racing, supporting our partners, and we are here not just for a solid 2016, but for the long haul.”