News shorts: Cat on the track at Gent Six, New Het Nieuwsblad route

A cat invades the track at the Gent Six

The racing during the first night of the Gent Six was suspended briefly after a cat some how managed to get onto the track.

A video posted on YouTube by spectator Hugo Willems showed how the line of riders went close to hitting the cat before it jumped back into the stands. It was eventually captured by a spectator.

Jasper De Buyst and Kenny De Ketele (Baloise Insurance) lead the Gent Six Day after the opening night of racing. Mark Cavendish and Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) are fourth but on the same lap as the leaders.

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

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2015 Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman teams announced

Race organiser ASO have announced the 18 teams which will take part in the Tour of Oman and Tour of Qatar next February. Many of the biggest WorldTour teams will compete in the two early-season races, including Team Sky, Etixx-Quick-Step and Tinkoff-Saxo. Several Professional Continental teams have secured the final places, with MTN-Qhubeka, Bardiani CSF and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise invited.

Tour of Oman and Tour of Qatar teams: Orica-GreenEdge, Etixx - Quick-Step Cycling Team, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Cofidis, FDJ, Bora – Argon 18, Team Sky, Bardiani CSF, Lampre-Merida, Astana, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, Tinkoff-Saxo, MTN – Qhubeka, Movistar, IAM Cycling, BMC Racing and Trek Factory Racing.

Extra climb added to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad route

The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, traditionally the opening race of the Belgian season and a foretaste to the spring Classics, will have an extra climb in 2015, giving the race an extra twist for its seventieth edition. The 202km race will be held on Saturday February 28, and is followed by Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on the Sunday.

The 2015 route will have a total of 11 climbs or 'hellingen', with a mixture of cobbled and asphalted climbs in the Flemish hills.

Course designer and former winner Peter Van Petegem has kept the circular route but tweaked the order of the climbs and added the Bosgat ascent. According to the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper, the extra climb is one kilometre long and climbs at an average of 5.5% with a section of 9%. The route also includes many of the climbs covered in the Tour of Flanders in April.

In 2014 Ian Stannard (Team Sky) confirmed his talents for tough racing by winning in the cold and rain, out-sprinting Greg Van Avermaert (BMC).

New name and bike sponsor for La Pomme Marseille

French Pro-Continental team La Pomme Marseille13 have announced a three-year deal with bike manufacturer KTM which will also see its name change to Team Marseille 13 KTM. The team was riding on CKT bikes in 2014.

The team won eight races in 2014 with former Astana, Cofidis and FDJ rider Rémy Di Grégorio claiming overall honours at the Tour de Taiwan. Julien Antomarchi claimed the team's other overall victory of the year at the Tour of Hainan where he also won stage wins.

Joining the team in 2015 is former Giro d'Italia stage winner Ignatas Konovalovas who spent the last two seasons with MTN-Qhubeka.

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