Contador to receive Vélo d’Or
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) is set to receive the Vélo d’Or for 2014 following the traditional poll of international journalists conducted by French publication Vélo Magazine. It will mark the fourth time that Contador has won the prestigious rider of the year award after his hat-trick of triumphs between 2007 and 2009.
Although Contador suffered a fractured tibia when he crashed out of the Tour de France, he re-emerged to take the Vuelta a España, having previously claimed victories at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country during an impressive spring campaign. He succeeds Chris Froome on the roll of honour.
There was keen competition for the Vélo d’Or Français at the end of a hugely successful year for French cycling on road and track. Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) eventually got the nod due to his second place finish at the Tour de France, the best placing by a Frenchman in La Grande Boucle since 1997.
The winners will be officially confirmed in the next edition of Vélo Magazine, to be published later this month. On Friday evening, meanwhile, the magazine is organising an international football match in Nice between a team of French riders and their foreign counterparts. Thibaut Pinot, Kévin Reza, Nacer Bouhanni and Jérome Pineau are among those set to line up for France, while Greg Van Avermaet, Oscar Gatto and Davide Rebellin are part of the team of international riders.
Van Avermaet targets the Tour
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) doesn't want to wait as long for his third appearance at the Tour de France as he did for his second. Van Avermaet rode the Grand Boucle for the second time this season, after making his debut n 2009. With the 2015 race expected to spend three days in Belgium, the early stages are likely to favour the 29-year-old and he says that he wants to be on the start line in Utrecht.
“Maybe sometimes I need to ride less, but next year I would like to do the Tour again, although I’m going to check the parcours first. The Tour gives you a lot of publicity and, as a rider you just want to be there,” Van Avermaet told Sporza. “The only think I can possibly do differently next year is to have a rest after the spring, then I can be fresher in the spring and the autumn.”
Van Avermaet was named Flandrian of the year for the third time, earlier this week. The Belgian has had one of his best seasons of late, with second place at the Tour of Flanders and led his country at the World Championships for the first time. He is yet to take a big win at the Classics, but says that it will come.
“For that I might be a little stronger and a bit smarter, but in the mean time I have achieved the perfect age. Not everyone can be like Tom Boonen and become World Champion 25th,” he said. “I have six or seven years to win a Classic and I’m not panicking, but with a win it would have been the perfect year.”
Van Genechten leaves Lotto
Lotto Belisol have confirmed that Jonas Van Genechten will leave the team at the end of the season, despite the rider and agent agreeing the terms of a new contract. The 28-year-old has been with the Belgian squad for the last three seasons and claimed a stage of the Tour of Poland this year.
In statement released by the team, they stated that: “Despite the agent and rider had agreed with the conditions for a new and much improved contract, they still chose to be active for another team next year.”
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has tied up another one of its existing partners for a further two seasons, with private investment company janom s.r.o signing until the end of 2016.
A private investment company operating in a number of renewable energy divisions, as well as in the information technology sector, the brand’s logo will appear on the team’s jersey as of January, 2015."
“We are very pleased with the deal we have reached,” said the CEO for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Patrick Lefevere. “The core business for janom s.r.o. is based on the use of renewable energy sources and a ‘green’ business model. Cycling is probably the best means that can be put to use in order to communicate the essence of a business based on environmental sustainability.”