Tinkoff-Saxo invest in Tanzania
Tinkoff-Saxo's trip to Kilimanjaro garnered a lot of attention when they announced it two weeks ago. The team run by Russian millionaire Oleg Tinkov will send 80 of its riders and staff, including Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan to the Tanzanian mountain for a training camp in November, at the cost of €200,000.
It is the first time that a professional team will head to the country, which is one of the world's poorest. With a fifth of the country believed to be below the food poverty line, the team have decided to leave a more meaningful legacy to their trip by donating to the Matonyok Parents Trust Orphanage and Arusha Cycling Club.
"The team couldn't be a simple bystander," said team CEO Stefano Feltrin. "When we decided we would hold our team-building trip on Kilimanjaro, we immediately thought that our impact in the region should be felt even after we left.
The Arusha Cycling Club started the career of MTN-Qhubeka rider Richard Laizer, while the Mantonyok Orphanage began in 2005 and looks after children from the age of 2 to 17. Tinkoff-Saxo said that there will be a base donation amount that will be increased depending on how many reach the top of the climb, which stands at 5,895 metres, however they have not confirmed the amount. The team have also asked for fans and sponsors to also donate.
Nominations for Dutch Cyclist of the year
Road riders Lars Boom, Tom Dumoulin and Niki Terpstra have been nominated for the male Dutch cyclist of the year. Terpstra became the first Dutch rider to win Paris-Roubaix since Servais Knaven in 2001 and only the sixth in its 112 editions. The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider has also taken victories at the Tour of Qatar and Dwars door Vlaanderen, and secured a bronze medal at the World Championships in the team time trial.
Dumoulin has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the time trial discipline this season, ending in bronze in the individual time trial at the Worlds in Ponferrada. Boom gets a nomination for his performance during the rain-drenched cobbled stage at the Tour de France. Boom dropped his fellow leaders to take victory more than a minute ahead of most of the peloton. Last year's winner Bauke Mollema has not been named in the short-list.
Marianne Vos leads the way in the women's category, with Tour of Flanders winner Ellen van Dijk, Anna van der Breggen and Dutch champion Annemiek van Vleuten also receiving nominations. Vos has won the title eight times, but will face some stiff competition this season.
Wilco Kelderman has been named in the talent of the year category, which was won by cyclo-cross rider Mathieu van der Poel in 2013.
UnitedHealthcare announces 2015 women's roster
The UnitedHealthcare team named its 12-woman roster for the 2015 season, listing newcomers Laura Brown and Abby Mickey in addition to the already announced New Zealand's Linda Villumsen on the team with nine returning riders.
Villumsen, the Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Brown, the Canadian Olympic bronze medalist in the team pursuit, will boost the team's time trial squad in the absence of US champion Alison Powers, who decided to retire from the sport, and Mara Abbott, who moved across to the Wiggle Honda team and Sharon Laws who left for Bigla. Mickey is an up-and-coming climber who finished third overall in the Tour of the Gila this season.
Rachel Heal, the team's directeur sportif, will also return. "After a great first year for the women's team in 2014, we're really looking forward to carrying the success into 2015," Heal said. "We've kept the core of the 2014 roster together and added some great new talent for 2015. Linda brings great TT strength to the team, and Laura brings the strength from her track experience as a team pursuit rider and both these riders will add to the depth of both our Blue Train lead out and our GC team.
"Abby is an exciting up-and-coming climber and we look forward to helping her develop as an all-round GC rider. Once again, our focus will be on racing in the US, both stage races and criteriums. With several UCI races on the calendar for 2015 and the TTT worlds being in Richmond, 2015 looks set to be a great year."
2015 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Women's Roster:
Hannah Barnes (GBR)
Rushlee Buchanan (NZL)
Katie Hall (USA)
Carrie Higgins (USA)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Lauren Tamayo (USA)
Scotti Wilborne (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA)
Linda Villumsen (NZL)
Laura Brown (CAN)
Abby Mickey (USA)