Para-cycling at risk for Tokyo 2020 after UCI error
Para-cycling’s place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics is at risk after the UCI neglected to submit the necessary paperwork to register its events on time to the International Paralympic Committee.
On Tuesday, the IPC confirmed 16 of the 23 sports that will feature in the 2020 Games and cycling was not included on the list. The deadline was July 28 but the UCI only submitted its application last week. The IPC will make a final decision on the final sports that will be part of the 2020 Paralympics when its board meets in Abu Dhabi between January 30 and February 1 next year.
“For the eight sports still in the running, we identified a number of issues with their submissions, or, in the case of UCI, it was submitted too late to be assessed at this meeting,” said IPC president Sir Philip Craven. “These sports must now provide further information on the issues identified during the review process if they wish to remain part of, or join, the Paralympic programme.”
When Brian Cookson was elected president of the UCI last year, he included the development of para-cycling in the “six pillars” of his vision for cycling.
British para-cyclist Jody Cundy criticised the UCI error, suggesting that it was emblematic of para-cycling’s treatment by the governing body. "The UCI look after so many disciplines - road, track, mountain bike, BMX and Para-cycling and when you look at the website, Para-cycling is at the bottom of the list and sadly that is how it feels sometimes," Cundy told BBC Sport. "Road cycling and women's cycling are on the way up but Para-cycling still seems to be stuck in the gutter.
“Hopefully they're embarrassed this has happened. When you hand in your homework late it isn't great, but this is handing in your homework late on the biggest stage of all and it is pretty embarrassing for an international governing body.”
Verbrugghe to join IAM Cycling as sporting manager
Rik Verbrugghe has revealed that he will join IAM Cycling as sporting manager in 2015 after serving as general manager of the BMC development team for the past two seasons. The Belgian had previously spent two years as a directeur sportif with BMC’s WorldTour team.
Speaking to DirectVelo.com, Verbrugghe said that he has signed a two-year deal with IAM Cycling. “I should have a more important role than as a directeur sportif,” he explained. “It’s an interesting challenge that will require me to make the team develop on a sporting level.
“I’ve found a new challenge that interests me. It’s a role that I like a lot: taking decision and organising things in a sporting structure. It was hard to turn down.”
Verbrugghe will continue in his role with BMC’s development team until December 31, and it remains to be seen whether he will be joining a WorldTour or Pro Continental team at the turn of the year. IAM Cycling confirmed to Cyclingnews that it has not submitted a formal application for a WorldTour licence but elevation to the top flight remains a possibility as it appears that only 17 teams applied before the October 1 deadline.
“I don’t know about that yet,” Verbrugghe told DirectVelo. “It’s the UCI who must decide if it will award a licence, then it needs to be seen if the sponsor wants to do that.”
Kwiatkowski meets former world champions at Sidi bash
Michal Kwiatkowski has been a busy man since winning the world championships in Ponferrada ten days ago. After a whirlwind trip back home to Poland, he appeared at a press conference in Como on Saturday, lined up at the Tour of Lombardy at the weekend, attended the Giro d’Italia presentation in Milan on Monday and on Tuesday, he travelled to Treviso for a birthday party in honour of Sidi shoes founder Dino Signori.
The event saw the presentation of a book on Signori’s life and also allowed for a unique photo opportunity of past and present world champions, as Francesco Moser, Paolo Bettini, Oscar Freire and Maurizio Fondriest joined in the festivities with Kwiatkowski. The quartet was no doubt able to impart some advice on the joys and trials of life in the rainbow jersey.
No Tony Martin in Beijing
Tony Martin will not travel to the Tour of Beijing for the first time since the race’s inception. Martin won the opening two editions of the race, but with no time trial and the addition of a summit finish, it means that the course no longer suits the German rider. In his place, Rigoberto Urán will lead Omega Pharma-QuickStep as he makes his debut in the Chinese race. It has been a busy week for Urán, who rode Il Lombardia and travelled to the Giro d'Italia presentation on Monday.
“It will be a good experience in Beijing,” said Urán. “I come back to China for the first time since the Olympics in 2008. It will be nice to return. I remember the public on the roads and it will be good to see how this race will be followed by supporters along the parcours. My goal is to go there and do a good race, and try to end this season with good memories.”
Joining Urán at the race will be young rider Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman has enjoyed a strong season with the team since turning professional with them at the beginning of the year, with a stage win at the Tour de l’Ain and top 10 placings at GP Ouest France-Plouay and at the Volta a Catalunya and Tour Down Under. Michal Golas, Nikolas Maes, Pieter Serry, Carlos Verona, Petr Vakoc and Julien Vermote complete the team.
Bennett and De Weert to LottoNL
The LottoNL team has added Belgian veteran Kevin De Weert and third year professional George Bennett to their roster for next season, according to de Telegraaf. De Weert turned professional with the team in 2003, under the name of Rabobank. He has spent the last six seasons riding for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team. New Zealander Bennett is currently with Cannondale, after joining them for the 2014 season. However, with spots at a premium in the team after they merged with Garmin, many riders have had to look elsewhere.
In recent days, the team has extended contracts with Rick Flens, Maarten Tjallingii, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants. Young riders Timo Roosen and Tom Van Asbroeck have also signed for the team.