Ewan extends lead at Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic ahead of finale
Australia’s Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) has extended his lead at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic with just one more stage to go. Ewan currently tops the standings after three stages with a total of 31 points.
Ewan, who won the first two stages, finished fourth during stage 3 in Portarlington. Despite not finishing on the podium, he managed to increase his lead by seven more points.
Patrick Shaw (Avanti Isowhey) won stage 3 and is currently sitting in second place overall with 20 points. Brenton Jones (Drapac Professional) is in third, also with 20 points.
“The plan was to try and let the others have a go today because the last few stages they were all out working for me,” Ewan said in a team press release. “It was their turn to have a go in the breaks but I think because we are a pro team we were heavily marked and we couldn’t get a move away.”
The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic will conclude in Williamstown on January 4.
José Serpa announces retirement
José Serpa has brought the curtain down on his 10-year pro career, announcing his retirement on Saturday. The 36-year-old Colombian, who has ridden for the Lampre-Merida team for the past three seasons, started his career in 2006 with Selle Italia before moving to Androni Giocattoli and then Lampre in 2013.
"Today a year full of anecdotes, sacrifices, triumphs, defeats, training camps, journeys, and races comes to an end, but the celebration this year in particular is different," he said in a message posted on his Instagram account. "Today a cycle of my professional life comes to an end, and before saying goodbye, I want to reiterate my gratitude to the Lampre-Merida team for giving me the opportunity, for guiding and accompanying me during so many battles.
"I don't know how to thank everyone who has helped me over the years, sponsors, media, and fans who have always been there to support me. Above all I want to thank my family - without their unconditional love, I never would have been able to go so far."
Serpa claimed 15 wins during his pro career, including two overall victories at the Tour de Langkawi, where he won seven stages. He was also twice second overall at the Tour de San Luis. His last win came at the Trofeo Laigueglia in 2014. During his career Serpa competed in the Giro d'Italia seven times, the Tour de France three times and the Vuelta a Espana once. His best Grand Tour finish was ninth at the 2009 Giro.
Astana Women's team add Tatiana Antoshina
The Astana Women’s Team have announced their full 2016 roster, which includes the addition of key signing Tatiana Antoshina.
The 33-year-old Russian rider, who will bring key experience to the women’s UCI team, took six wins in 2015, including five individual time trials. Antoshina will target the time trial at the Rio Olympics.
“Antoshina is a very important signing,” said team president Maurizio Fabretto. “She knows how to reach top form for big events: we know very well that the Olympic year is always a bit odd. In Rio, Tatiana will be 34 and this could be the last chance to aim to a big results. For this reason we are working together with her and her coach to study a schedule to arrive in Rio with fresh legs but in top form.”
Astana have also added Russian Svetlana Vasilieva, who won the Tour of Adygeya in 2015.
The team will feature 17 riders on the UCI squad, with the addition of three non-UCI riders who come directly from the junior ranks.
The team also added Gabriella Pregnolato to its group of sports directors.
Astana Women’s team 2016 roster: Tatiana Antoshina (Rus), Sofia Beggin (Ita), Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita), Ksenia Dobrynina (Rus), Ingrid Drexel (Mex), Arianna Fidanza (Ita), Nadezhda Geneleva (Kaz), Tatyana Geneleva (Kaz), Viktoriya Pastarnak (Kaz), Faina Potapova (Kaz), Fanny Riberot (Fra), Carolina Rodríguez (Mex), Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz), Natalya Sokovnina (Kaz), Makhabbat Umutzhanova (Kaz), Svetlana Vasilieva (Rus), Yekaterina Yuraitis (Kaz).
Non-UCI riders: Martina Marchetti (Ita), Sara Pillon (Ita), Irina Zhurba (Rus)
Ride 4 Education awards $24,000 in scholarships to Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air riders
Ride 4 Education, which provides direct educational assistance to junior cyclists, has granted $8,000 each to three cyclists on the Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air team. The amounts are split into $2,000 per year of education and is to be put toward each athlete's tuition, books and other educational expenses.
The initial amount of $16,000 was to be granted to two individuals but a tie for second place led the Ride 4 Education to generously donate an additional $8,000 for the third athlete.
The three athletes who earned the awards were Marta Morris (18) from Grand Junction, Colorado, who will be attending Marian University; Zoe Mullins (18) from Winter Garden, Florida, a student at Milligan University; and Hannah Arensman (17) from Valdese, North Carolina, who will be selecting a college in early spring of 2016.
"I am so proud of the Zoe, Hannah and Marta. I have enjoyed working with each of them the past two years,” mentioned Ride 4 Education co-founder Mari Holden. “All three have such a strong work ethic and really did a great job on our team. I am happy that they will be the first three recipients of the Ride 4 Education scholarship.”
The following donors contribute to the Ride 4 Education scholarship; Barry Bonds Family Foundation, Will Chang, Biagi Brothers Inc, Rainey Miller, Dean Family Trust, Burns Family Foundation, Jackson Family Wines, Holden Family, Jeff Bernstein, David & Becky Vigil and Wendy Tonkin Philanthropic Fund.
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