News shorts: Morton brothers stay with Jelly Belly, Millar to lead cycling tours

Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) tries to get away on the descent

Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) tries to get away on the descent (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/

Jelly Belly renews sponsorship for two more years, Morton Brothers return

The longest-running sponsorship in American pro cycling will continue for another two years after the Jelly Belly Candy Company extended its title sponsorship of the Jelly Belly-Maxxis Cycling team.

"This kind of stability allows the program to contract riders with a degree of certainty," said Jelly Belly-Maxxis director Danny Van Haute in a statement released by the team. “Domestic cycling rarely has an organisation with this level of dependability."

Jelly Belly has been title sponsor of the UCI Continental team since 2000. The team has been known as Jelly Belly-Maxxis since 2014. 

Riders returning for the 2016 roster include Lachlan and Angus Morton, Jacob Rathe, Alexandr Braico and Josh Berry. Ben Wolfe, who rode for Jelly Belly in 2013, will rejoin the team next year. The remaining roster spots will be announced later.

Stephanie Scott, events marketing director at Jelly Belly, added: "We are proud of our legacy as the longest-running title sponsor in the world, and we look forward to more exciting racing and results from Danny Van Haute and his talented squad next season and beyond."

Jacob Rathe leads the 2015 Jelly Belly-Maxxis training camp in California.

Millar launches cycling tours with Velocamps

David Millar will host a new trio of cycling tours in 2016, to be run in conjunction with tour operator Velocamps. The former pro will help lead tours in Spain, France and Italy - specifically Catalonia, the Côte d’Azur and the Lombardy region.

The premium trips will have challenging routes and full service, with mechanics, guides well versed in the local region and high quality hotels and meals.

"It’s fantastic to have David on board and exciting to launch this new partnership which combines great cycling and the chance to spend time with one of the peloton’s most colourful characters," James Pybus from Velocamps said. "David is well known to cycling fans having had a long and successful racing career, written a best selling book and a now respected TV pundit. Cycling alongside him on iconic and picturesque roads, and picking his brains over dinner is something any cycling fan will love."

Photo: Bettini

Visit Dallas and DNA teams merge to form new Women’s UCI team

US domestic teams Visit Dallas-Noise4Good and DNA Cycling-K4 will merge for the 2016 season and jump up to the UCI level, the newly formed team announced this week.

Racing as Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling next season, the team will draw mostly from last year’s rosters, with Amanda Miller returning as headliner.

Joining Miller on the 2016 roster will be Anna Grace Christiansen, Lauren De Crescenzo, Jamie Gilgen, Mandy Heintz, Nina Laughlin, Mia Manganello, Breanne Nalder, Beth Ann Orton, Tiffany Pezzulo, Anna Sanders and Sarah Tussey.

"This team is the right mix of experience and raw talent," said team director Scott Warren. "We have a dynamic group of riders with the right chemistry that are excited to race together."

Miller is currently competing in the cyclo-cross season and has netted impressive results like fifth in the Valkenburg World Cup. On the road in 2015 Miller clinched the Most Courageous Leader Jersey on the final podium of the inaugural USA Pro Challenge Women's Race. Miller also supported Mara Abbott on the Amy D. Foundation composite team during Abbott’s successful bid to win the overall at the Tour of the Gila.

Pezzulo won the USA CRITS Series in 2015, while Gilgen took bronze medals in the Canadian National Road Race Championship and the National Track Championships. Gilgen competed in nearly 75 US calendar events in 2015, riding either solo or as a guest rider. She won the Intelligentsia Cup's NCC event and finished sixth overall in the NCC standings.

"We are proud to bring another UCI-level women's team to North America, adding to the strong and talented field," said team co-owner, Alex Kim.
"It's exciting to see the growth of this sport. We're lucky to have partnered with companies like Orbea which share our desire to support women's cycling through competition."

New recruit Jamie Gilgen will look for results next season at Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling.

Holowesko-Citadel announces 2016 roster

Holowesko-Citadel, formerly the Hincapie Racing Team, announced the 12 riders who will make up the US-based Continental team’s 2016 roster.

Mac Brennan, Miguel Bryon, Robin Carpenter, Oscar Clark, Andzs Flaksis, Charlie Hough, Jon Hornbeck, Joe Lewis and Rob Squire return for 2016. New to the team are Andrei Krasilnikau, Travis McCabe and Brendan Rhim.

Former Hincapie rider Toms Skujiņš signed a two-year deal with WorldTour team Cannondale-Garmin for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, while Ty Magner and Dion Smith will move to the Pro Continental ranks with UnitedHealthcare and ONE Pro Cycling.

Despite losing several top riders, director Thomas Craven remains confident team chemistry will be as strong as ever.

"We have talented guys but this team has never been built around one star rider," Craven said. "We excel at tough races, work hard for teammates and celebrate success together. Andrei, Brendan and Travis will fit well with our aggressive style and team-first approach."

The team will start its season in January at the Tour de San Luis, then target major North American races like the Tour of California, Winston-Salem Classic, Tour de Beauce and Tour of Utah.

The Hincapie team on the way to winning the US professional TTT championships. (Jonathan Devich)

Twitter Poll says thumbs down to Astana WorldTour licence

The sport’s governing body is definitely not in line with respondents to Monday’s Cyclingnews Twitter Poll. We asked our Twitter followers to cast their votes in a 24-hour poll on whether the UCI should have granted the Astana Pro Team a WorldTour license for 2016: A whopping 70 percent said ‘No’ while just 30 percent voted ‘Yes’.

The team’s licence came under question in 2015 when the Brian Cookson and the UCI suggested it be revoked, but the Licence Commission decided in late April that Astana would be allowed to retain its status on the condition of strict monitoring over a four-month period. That period came to an end in September, and the Licence Commission published a reasoned decision that closed the case and granted the team’s 2016 licence.

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