News shorts: Hushovd aiming to create Norwegian WorldTour team

Hushovd wants a Norwegian WorldTour team in the Tour de France

Retired pro Thor Hushovd has set about trying to build an all-Norwegian WorldTour team with the aim of bringing the squad to the Tour de France in 2017, according to TV2 Norway. The former BMC rider has already begun to search for sponsors - an estimated €100 million for five years.

"Norway is now in a 'bike boom' and the World Championships will be in Bergen in 2017, so I think the timing is good now," Hushovd said.

"It is a monster task," he admitted of gathering the big budget required to run a top team. "I have my plans ready, and have devised a plan for going forward, but it is the job of finding money that is very tough. Once that is done, it's only a matter of finding support staff and riders and set up the organization."

Hushovd has already spoken with several potential sponsors, but said, "of course it's a long way to go, but I'm getting very good feedback. People are positive and will examine the project."

One sponsor seems to be serious about supporting the project, and Hushovd hopes he can confirm at least a five year deal.

"One hears of course if large [budget] numbers," Hushovd said. "It depends on what your emphasis is. I am aiming for the team doing the Tour de France in 2017."

Hushovd hopes to create a clean team and show the public that the sport has righted itself, and hopes to instill the team with a Norwegian identity, filling it with Norwegian riders, equipment, staff and directors. "We will build it together, but of course with the help of other nations," he said.

Froome confirmed for Sint-Niklaas post-Tour de France criterium

Organisers of the VIO Na-Tourcriterium post-Tour de France celebration in Sint-Niklaas announced that Sky's Chris Froome will star in their event. Froome will likely be joined by teammate Geraint Thomas, as well as Belgian champion Preben Van Hecke.

Cyclo-cross star Sven Nys is also among the stars to line up for the festivities.

The Post-Tour criteriums are a tradition across Europe, especially in Belgium, where racers are paid generous starting fees to take part in the events which often have a pre-arranged winner, but are fast nonetheless. The races are paired with live music and food, and the Sint-Niklaas event is free for spectators.

Teams named for La Course by Tour de France

Severan squads finalised its team for La Course by Tour de France. The 89 kilometer event takes place on the Champs-Élysées before the arrival of the Tour de France for the second year in a row.

While defending champion Marianne Vos has ended her season early due to a lingering injury, Unitedhealthcare is aiming to move up the rankings with last year's sixth place finisher and best young rider Coryn Rivera.

Sports director Rachel Heal reflected on the importance of the event, “It’s the dream of every cyclist to race on the Champs-Élysées. This event was a huge step for women’s cycling and the team is honored to have been selected for the race."

Alé Cipollini will be working for Shelley Olds, who was fifth last year.

Wiggle-Honda, meanwhile, will be putting its weight behind Belgian champion Jolien D'Hoore, who last year was seventh after being caught up in a crash in the closing laps.

“I’m excited to ride this weekend,” D’hoore said. “I rode it last year, it was the first time. It was an amazing event; the crowds were amazing, the crowds were really big. I really enjoyed it, so hopefully I will again this year.

Former world champion Giorgia Bronzini will also take part, but doesn't expect results as she is focusing her preparation on the world championships in September. “It doesn’t come at a perfect moment for me, because I’m in the middle of a training camp, but of course I know it is a big priority for the team,” Bronzini said. “I will be able to race this really hard, and I hope that the team will be able to do a good race. I know that Jolien is in shape, and also the other girls.

“I also think that it’s important to put on a good show,” she added, “so maybe the people there can see that women’s cycling is exciting; and maybe someone can put some good money into our sport! Why not!”

Unitedhealthcare for La Course: Hannah Barnes, Rushlee Buchanan, Cari Higgins, Katie Hall, Coryn Rivera and Alexis Ryan

Alé Cipollini for La Course: Shelley Olds, Annalisa Cucinotta, Marta Tagliaferro, Maria Giulia Confalonieri and Malgorzata Jasinska

Wiggle Honda for La Course: Giorgia Bronzini, Jolien D’hoore, Annette Edmondson, Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Amy Roberts.

Tour de France podcast episode 22: High drama in the Alps

In Today's episode of the Cyclingnews Tour de France podcast sponsored by British Eurosport, Stephen Farrand, Zeb Woodpower, Sadhbh O’Shea and Pro Cycling's Peter Cossins look back at a dramatic stage 19, which saw Chris Froome’s hold on the yellow jersey slip just a little and conlcuded with victory for 2014 Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali.

We dicuss the ‘polemica’ of the stage revolving around Nibali attacking the yellow jersey, and we hear from both Froome and the Italian. We also touch upon the consequences of the stage for the top 10 on general classification and the classifications that are also still in play.

We hear from new king of the mountains leader Romain Bardet on his aspirations for Saturday's climb to Alpe d’Huez, as well as John Degenkolb on how to survive the mountains. Then we look at the often-forgotten efforts to avoid the time cut that many of the riders face just to ride another day.

To subscribe to the Tour de France podcast on iTunes, click here (opens in new tab), and go here for our full Tour de France coverage.


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