After a season that saw Nacer Bouhanni crash out of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana his first season with Cofidis, the Frenchman is aiming to kick off his 2016 season with an early victory. 25-year-old won three stages of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, along with the points jersey before adding two stage wins at the Vuelta a Espana but failed to replicate his grand tour success with two stages and the points jersey at the Critérium du Dauphiné his best results of the season.
I have shown that in spite of my bad luck, I was there from February to October," Bouhanni told Cyclingpro.net. "I always gave the maximum. In previous seasons, I won much earlier in the season. Of course it took more time, I joined a new team, we had to find the automatisms, I had to find the train that suited me best. Now I am very confident in the nucleus around me. And it is very important to trust your teammates 100%."
Bouhanni added that he have a similar race programme next season for his second year with the French Pro-Continental team.
"It will be the same as this year," he added. "My goals will be Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo which is the Classic I clearly target, the Critérium du Dauphiné, the French Championships, the Tour de France and later in the season we will have the World Championships that suit me much better than this year. The objective is also to win earlier."
Joining Bouhanni at Cofidis next season is younger brother Rayane after he rode with the team as a stagiaire from August 1 this year but is currently unsure just how many races the duo will race together.
"I am happy and proud to be professional in the same colors as him," Bouhanni said. "I hope it will go well and that it will be a great adventure. It is true that he is young. He is only nineteen years old. I was twenty when I turned pro. He must learn slowly. He will not race in the WorldTour in his first season as a pro. We may ride together again, especially late in the season, maybe early in the year too, but I will have a program focused on the WorldTour."
Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis)
Ken Vanmarcke follows Dekker in parting ways with LottoNL-Jumbo
Ken Vanmarcke, brother of Classics rider Sep, is the second member of LottoNL-Jumbo's staff to part ways with the team in the space of a week after Erik Dekker left the team due to a difference in vision. Vanmarcke will move to the Dutch Continental team SEG Racing taking up a training and coaching role.
"In this team I can take responsibility. It will be great to work with these young and extremely motivated guys," Vanmarcke said. "They are interested in what I have to say, and want to go with me on the cobbles. This is the next step in my development to become the coach and trainer I want to be.
"I’m gonna train some riders, and be sport director with Michiel [Elijzen, Performance Director]. I also will do the Flanders’ races recon with the riders on my bike. While training, I can give my feedback about the races. It’s more than just riding hard. There are lots of things I can teach the riders, so that they can ride on cobbles in the easiest way possible. I really hate cobbles, but I know how to ride them. To keep up with my brother, I had to learn how to go over them in the most perfect way."
Steven Tronet and Brice Feillu lead Fortuneo-Vital Concept at Tropicale Amissa Bongo
French Pro-Continental team Bretagne-Séché Environnement, to be known as Fortuneo-Vital Concept from 2016, will make its 2016 racing debut at the 2.1 Tropical Amissa Bongo. Brice Feillu and newly signed French champion Steve Tronet will lead the line at the Gabon race while Yauheni Hutarovitch will look to match his three stage wins from this season. The team also enjoyed a stage win through British rider Dan McLay.
Also joining the team for the January 18-24 race is Anthony Delaplace, Benoit Jarrier and Armindo Fonseca.
Fans cheer on the riders on stage six of the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. (AFP Photo)
Wouter Wippert to make Cannondale-Garmin debut at Tour Down Under?
The 2016 Tour Down Under looks like being the first race of Dutchman Wouter Wippert's Cannondale-Garmin career as he moves across to the team from Drapac. Wippert won the final stage of the Australian WorldTour race along with a brace at the v Tours of Taiwan and Korea.
Marking 50 days until the first WorldTour event of the upcoming season, the 25-year-old tweeted "50 days to go for my first race in Green! Looking forward to the 2016 season! #TDU @Ride_Argyle #goals #cannondale".
New signing Simon Clarke will also be racing the Tour Down Under as he explained to Cyclingnews last month with the team's full complement of riders to be confirmed in the coming weeks.