Tour de France defending champion Chris Froome enjoyed a weekend in Seoul as he took part in L'Etape Korea by le Tour de France. The event is just one of several L'Etape's that Froome will ride over the off-season with the Australian version next on his calendar. He also rode the L'Etape London having secured a third Tour de France in July.
"It's a big honour to be part of the first L'Etape Korea," Froome told local television after a chilly first edition. "It's special to be here, I think it was a great atmosphere out on the road. I think everyone enjoyed it, which is the most important thing. It's great to see so many people riding.
"I hope to come back here in the future."
It was Froome's second venture to Asia in just over one week having also taken part in the Saitama Criterium at the end of last month in Japan.
Having won the Tour in July, Froome then headed to Brazil for the Rio Olympics where he won bronze in the time trial, before heading back to Europe for the Vuelta a Espana where he finished second overall to Nairo Quintana. He then enjoyed a short off-season before preparation for the 2017 season got underway, starting with the unveiling of the 2017 Tour route on October 18.
It appears that Froome's next long haul flight will be down under for the inurgual L'Etape Australia that takes place in the New South Wales snowy mountains on December 3. Froome is yet to confirm his racing programme for the 2017 season but has suggested it could again start the year in Australia, as he did in 2016 when he won the Herald Sun Tour.
Amets Txurruka searching for a new team
With his one-year Orica-BikeExchange deal coming to a close, Amets Txurruka is on the lookout for a new team in the 2017 to continue his cycling career. The 33-year-old turned professional with Barloworld in 2006 before moving to the Euskaltel - Euskadi team for six seasons. He then spent three seasons with Caja Rural - Seguros RGA, signing for the Australian WorldTour team at the end of 2015.
While he is without a team for 2017 in a tough market place,Txurruka told Ciclismo Internacional that "I am convinced that I can return to the highest level. He added that with Esteban Chaves, Adam and Simon Yates, and the Australian neo-pros Jack Haig and Robert Power in its books, there wasn't a place in the roster for him.
"I knew why they had signed me and what my task was. I did it to the best of my ability, giving 100% in every race," he said. "They knew it and they were pleased with it. I do not think there was any misunderstanding. Maybe if I had been more selfish, I would have done better, but this is not how I am or why they hired me."
Txurruka has ridden 16 grand tours since his Tour de France debut in 2007 with the 2016 Giro d'Italia the latest three-week race of his career, helping Chaves to second overall. With agent Angel Edo currently negotiating for the upcoming season, Txurruka is hoping for a swift resolution allowing him to focus on training for the new season.
Australian duo Cam Meyer and Callum Scotson narrowly miss madison win at Track World Cup 1
Cam Meyer and Callum Scotson's first pairing as a madison duo saw the Australian duo finish third at the Six Day London but they have gone one better, finishing second in the Track World Cup at Glasgow's Sir Chris Hoy velodrome. The Australian's finished just one point behind Sebastian Mora Vedri and Albert Torres of Spain.
"It does feel really good to come away with the silver. Especially with the new format where to be in the mix, you have to be one of the strongest teams," Scotson said. "It's my best result in a Madison at international level, so I can't complain."
With the two teams adding points to their tally at the sprints across the race, Spain managed to take a lap only for the Australian's to take a lap of their own to ensure it would come down to the wire. With double points for the final sprint, Spain took third and the gold medal leaving Australia with silver and Belgium with bronze.
"We got good points early and moved into the lead before the crunch time came. Then at the vital points of the race when it was every team for themselves, Spain just had a little bit more legs," explained Scotson. "They distanced us, got the lap earlier and got a vital four points in the last double points sprint. It certainly is disappointing," Scotson added of missing gold by one point. "To come so close is hard, but I feel Spain deserved the win. I also improved a lot technically and tactically out there from the experience I've gained from pairing with Cam recently.
"I know now that I just need to get a bit stronger to finish off strong in the back end of the race. All in all it was a good World Cup."
It was the second medal of the World Cup for Meyer after he won gold in the points race and third in total for Australia with Courtney Field adding a bronze from the women's keirin. Australia finished fifth on the medal table.
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