Froome to ride Tour and Vuelta in 2015?
Chris Froome is likely to line up at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España in 2015, according to a report in L’Équipe. The Sky rider had initially hinted that he might tackle the Giro d’Italia rather than the Tour when the route of the 2015 Grande Boucle was unveiled two weeks ago, citing disappointment at the lack of time trialling miles.
Thursday’s edition of L’Équipe reports that Froome has been dissuaded from riding the Giro due to the effects the potentially cold and wet conditions in Italy in May might have on his asthma and allergies. It is also understood that Froome is reluctant to miss out on a high-profile clash with Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana at the Tour in July.
A source close to Froome told the French newspaper that he would have needed to begin training last week if he was truly planning on riding the Giro. Froome travelled to South Africa on Wednesday for a week’s holiday before he begins training in Australia with teammate Richie Porte later in the month.
L’Équipe also notes that Vuelta race director Javier Guillen has contacted Froome to inform him that the third week of the race will include a flat time trial of 35 to 40 kilometres. The route of the 2015 Vuelta will be presented on January 10.
Cavendish trains at Montichiari
Mark Cavendish will line up at the Ghent Six from November 18-23 in the company of Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Iljo Keisse, and in preparation for his return to the boards the Manxman has been in Italy this week training on the track at Montichiari.
Cavendish trained at the velodrome near Brescia on Wednesday and will do again on Thursday, and Gazzetta dello Sport reports that he is significantly advanced in his training regimen compared to the same point last year. While Cavendish’s 2014 season was built around his ill-starred Tour de France, in 2015, Gazzetta reports, he aims to hit the ground running, particularly as it is the final season of his current three-year deal at QuickStep – and although the course has yet to be confirmed, he will also be hopeful that the climbs of Le Manie and the Pompeiana will again be absent from Milan-San Remo in 2015.
Amstel Curaçao closes up shop
This year’s Amstel Curaçao Race will be the last, according to de Telegraaf. Race organiser Leo van Vliet – who also organises the Amstel Gold Race – told the paper that the increasing globalisation of cycling has spelt the end for the season-ending party. The extended seasons and sponsor obligations means that it has become harder for Van Vliet to attract the top-level riders.
"When I speak to the riders, I notice that there is enough enthusiasm and interest. But in the end there are always other obligations and they cannot come. The agenda has become too full," said Van Vliet. He went on to say that his small budget of €200,000 is struggling to compete with the ASO-backed Saitama Criterium, which has a whopping €3.8 million budget.
The race began in 2002 – won by Michael Boogerd – and has since been graced by the likes of three-time world champion Oscar Freire, Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, and multiple Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders victor Tom Boonen. Over the last two years, the race has become a combined event with world champions Marianne Vos and Ellen van Dijk mixing it with their male counterparts.
The final race has still brought over a good field of riders with Paris-Roubaix champion Niki Terpstra and World Championship time trial bronze medallist Tom Dumoulin. The race will take place this Saturday. Click here for our retro gallery from the past 12 editions.
Trek sponsor UK women’s pro team
The British Matrix Fitness Pro Cycling Team will turn professional next season, with the help of backing from Trek bikes. The move makes them the second British professional team in the women’s peloton, alongside Wiggle-Honda. Matrix Fitness will ride the same Émonda SLR ridden by the Trek Factory Racing WorldTour team.
“Trek are a huge brand, and it’s really pleasing they chose to partner with our team. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the project we have set out to them. We certainly hope to do them proud and hopefully we’ll be racing their bikes in the some of the world's biggest races,” team owner Stefan Wyman said in a statement issued by Trek.
Joining the team next season will be double Olympic Champion Laura Trott and up and coming talents Lucy Martin and Elinor Barker, among others.