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News shorts: Colorado velodrome gets roof, GreenEdge celebrate

USA Cycling puts a lid on Colorado velodrome

USA Cycling announced that it will team up with the US Olympic Committee to create the second covered velodrome in the country. The organisation plans to build a seasonal dome over the existing 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs - the project is expected to be completed in early 2015.

"With the quickly approaching 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we are seeking every advantage to adequately prepare our athletes to compete with the best in the world," USA Cycling CEO & President Steve Johnson said. "However, this significant upgrade of the velodrome in Colorado Springs will not only provide the optimal setting for our track cyclists to live and train throughout the year in the run-up to Rio, but also represents a significant investment in American track cycling that will benefit our growing track community well into the future.”

The 333.3m outdoor cement track has been a mainstay for Olympic hopefuls since 1982, but American track cyclists have had to spend the winter training in Los Angeles, the country's only indoor velodrome. The Colorado Springs dome will allow more flexibility for year-round training for riders like multi-time world champion Sarah Hammer and those who will follow in her tracks.

"I think the modernization of the velodrome is going to further kick start the efforts on the track program and will really show what Team USA is capable of moving forward," Hammer said. "I am super proud of the two medals we won on the track in London and I know that the new velodrome cover will enable us to have more training camps and more quality training days than in previous years. It will be a game changer for our U.S. Olympic and Paralympic programs as well as our local junior and military programs. I would like to thank all of the individuals who have made this project possible."

USA Cycling estimates that it will save around $10,000 in repair work by sheltering the track during the winter, and will be able to add 400 more hours of community programs.

GreenEdge celebrate a century

With Esteban Chaves’ third place at the Tour of Beijing, Orica-GreenEdge concluded a largely successful season that has yielded 35 victories. Most of that success has come in the form of Simon Gerrans and Michael Matthews who took eleven victories between them.

Gerrans sealed his and the team’s second monument victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also gave them their 100th and 101st wins when he claimed back to back victories in Québec and Montréal. Matthews had a breakthrough year with a week in pink at the Giro d’Italia, plus a stage victory. A crash forced him to miss his debut at the Tour de France, but he added yet another Grand Tour win to his palmarès at the Vuelta a España.

“Celebrating a century of victories was a real highlight of this season for us. To be able to do so in just our third year is an incredible achievement,” said general manager Shane Bannan. “Each and every rider across the years has contributed to this milestone but it does seem fitting that Simon Gerrans, who constantly delivers for us on the toughest stage, notched up number 100 to accompany the very first that he won for us also.”

New signings Chaves, and the Yates brothers Simon and Adam have marked a new focus for the team. Chaves lead the team’s overall ambitions at the Vuelta, as they targeted the general classification for the first time in their three-year history. Adam Yates also earned victory at the Tour of Turkey, while Simon made an impressive debut at the Tour de France.

Degenkolb looks back on 2014

It has been a mixed year for John Degenkolb. He ended the 2014 season with 10 victories to his name, only three less than his compatriot and teammate Marcel Kittel. He took four stage wins at the Vuelta a España, leading to victory in the points classification. However, an infection that developed as a result of injuries he suffered during the race hospitalised him ahead of the World Championships. After closing his season at Paris-Tour, Degenkolb took to his Facebook page to share his thoughts on the 2014 season.

“Finally a break. I'm still feeling physically good, although I of course realize that it was a long season. But above mentally, I'm floored,” he wrote. “All in all, it was a very good season for me. I showed that I can go to monuments on the podium. I can win also classic, what I've proven in Gent-Wevelgem. A highlight was also to win the Green Jersey at the Vuelta.”

Degenkolb highlighted his ninth at the Worlds as one of his disappointments this season. “I'm not that happy with two things,” he explained. “First of all, I wanted to win a stage at the Tour de France, which failed me. Secondly, I am not satisfied with the World Championships. Even if the circumstances with the inflammation and the hospitalization beforehand was far from optimal, I wanted more.”

Beamon joins Team Tibco

Former Champion System general manager Ed Beamon has joined the Team Tibco/To The Top women’s team as GM and directeur sportif for the 2015 season. Beamon guest-directed for the team at the Cascade Classic earlier this year, but will step into the role full-time for next season.

“I’m excited to officially take on these roles with Team Tibco,” said Beamon. “Team Tibco has consistently been one of the best teams in America and the World for the last decade and has had a remarkable record of shepherding some of the top names in the women’s peloton. Women’s cycling is growing at a remarkable rate and I’m anxious to be a part of it and help the Tibco women achieve success.”

As well as taking on a guest role with Tibco, Beamon directed for Jamis-Hagens Berman for the USA Pro Challenge. Beamon was general manager of China’s first professional team Champion System, until the folded at the end of 2013. He was also involved in the Pegasus Racing project that collapsed after signing a number of riders.

Team Tibco is owned and managed by founder, Canadian former cyclist, Linda Jackson.

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