IAM Cycling reveals Tour de France roster
Mathias Frank will lead IAM Cycling’s general classification challenge at the Tour de France while Sylvain Chavanel will have carte blanche to go on the offensive throughout the three weeks. The Swiss squad announced their nine-man roster on Wednesday, confirming that Jérôme Pineau will miss out on the Tour for the first time in his 14-year professional career.
Second overall at last year’s Tour de Suisse, Frank has had a low-key 2015 thus far and was hampered by sinusitis at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but has won the confidence of his team. “We will do everything we can to allow him to be as efficient as possible throughout the big event in July,” directeur sportif Rik Verbrugghe said. “To help him achieve his goals, we have decided to go without a pure sprinter who would be likely to shine in the first week.”
Former Hour Record holder Matthias Brändle will look to shine in the opening time trial in Utrecht, while Jérôme Coppel – 14th overall in 2011 – will join Jarlinson Pantano in supporting Frank in the mountains. Chavanel, meanwhile, lines up for his 15th Tour and will look to add to his tally of three stage wins. “Sylvain Chavanel, our rouleur-puncheur […] will have the status that will allow him to attack whichever stages he fancies,” Verbrugghe said.
IAM Cycling team for the Tour de France: Matthias Brändle, Sylvain Chavanel, Stef Clement, Jérôme Coppel, Martin Elmiger, Mathias Frank, Reto Hollenstein, Jarlinson Pantano and Marcel Wyss.
Dutch police set to bring Tour de France peloton to a halt in strike action
The Grand Départ of the Tour de France is set to be disrupted by strike action from Dutch policemen demanding improved pay conditions.
According to Dutch network Nos, the police unions have written a letter to the minister of security and justice, Ard Van de Steur, announcing their intentions to stop the Tour caravan for a traffic control on the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam on stage 2. This is also intened to bring the entire peloton to a halt and things will not be allowed to get moving again until images of the static riders are broadcast.
The unions have been fighting fruitlessly for improved conditions for fifteen weeks and plan to show they mean business in front of a global audience. Nos also report that van der Steur has hinted at legal action if security is in any way compromised.
UCI unveils new logo
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has unveiled a new logo intented to modernise the image of the organisation.
It is just the second time in 115 years that changes have been made to the logo, which still features the iconic rainbow bands that adorn UCI world champions’ jerseys. The bands are more compact on the new version, running along side the letters ‘UCI’, which are now in capitals.
The move is part of a more general rebranding and modernisation process, designed to strengthen the UCI’s identity and commercial relationships.
“The refreshed brand identity symbolises the UCI’s commitment to modernise and innovate while staying true to the organisation’s heritage and tradition,” said UCI President Brian Cookson.
Developed in collaboration with branding agency SomeOne, the logo is supported by a broader communications package, including iconography, graphics, photography and typography.
“With the aim of maximising brand exposure in line with the UCI’s development strategy, the new logo and the wider communications package will work more effectively in collaboration with events, partners and sponsors – helping to create a stronger, more recognisable UCI brand,” Cookson added.
The UCI is responsible for eight different cycling disciplines and their respective World Cups and World Championships.
Etixx-QuickStep signs Vakoc for two more years
Etixx-QuickStep has extended a two-year contract to Czech rider Petr Vakoc for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Vakoc, 22, most recently earned a bronze medal in the European Games men's road race. He also made his Giro d’Italia debut with the team in May.
"I'm super happy about riding for Etixx - Quick-Step for another two years," Vakoc said in a team press release. "I found my place here with the staff, riders, and my race program. I think this is a good situation to develop as a young rider. I want to be better in the one-day and short stage races, and also contribute to the team during the big tours. I know exactly where my position stands for the moment. However, it's also a matter of simply developing as a rider and getting stronger. I am thrilled to do so with this team, and a race program that has really worked well for me. I want to thank everyone for the trust they have in me, and I am sure this contract extension will give me an extra boost to do a good second part of the season.”
The team’s CEO Patrick Lefevere added that, ”Petr is a nice, quiet, and talented guy. He knows what he wants and we are pleased to reach an agreement with him. We consider him one of the best young riders of his generation. He showed how strong he can be last year when he won a stage of Tour de Pologne with a brilliant attack, and also this year with his performance at the European Games. But Petr is also a team player, and this is important for us. We want riders who think about themselves and their development, but also the needs of the team. Petr came from our Continental team, now known as AWT - GreenWay, riding one year with them. He basically grew up within this team. In just a season and a half of riding as a professional we have already seen a lot of improvement from him. We are sure the best is yet to come. He has the right attitude, always wanting to learn and get better at his job."
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