Roulston retires from road cycling
Hayden Roulston has called an end to his road career which started in 2002 with Cofidis. The 34-year-old will turn his focus to a second appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio next year in the team pursuit. Roulston has spent the last four seasons with the Trek team having also ridden for the HTC, Cervelo, Health Net and Discovery teams.
"My career on the road as a professional is done. I won't go back on the road, I'm not far away from retiring, and hopefully I'm going to retire on the track," Roulston told Stuff.nz. "It's basically the full circle. I started on the track, I went to the road, now I'm coming back to the track to finish something I started many years ago."
Roulston's last road race was last month's Canadian WorldTour one-day Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in which he recorded a DNF. The New Zealander announced his return to the velodrome last month, naming the Oceania Championships as his first competitive event in several years. The 2008 Beijing individual pursuit silver medallist explained his decision to end his road season allows him to focus 100% on claiming a gold medal next year.
"The whole programme has changed, everything is just evolving. Same on the road, things getting more specific, it's no longer 2004, that's the way the world works," he said. "I don't believe you can do both and do them well, something has to give. So now I do just have that one focus, I think it'll be much better for me."
Roulston added he first considered returning to the track at the start of the decade and it was always a matter of when, not if.
"First discussions were 2010 or 2011 and it didn't eventuate then. A couple of years later I met with Dayle the night before road nationals and we started talking about whether it was possible," he said. "It's been a long time in the pipeline but fore me personally I always wanted to come back and they day I consider myself actually back will be a pretty special day."
While he and the other team pursuit members are still becoming familiar with each other on the track, Rouslton believes that come next August they will have ironed out the creases starting with the first round of the World Cup on New Zealand soil next month in Invercargill.
"If you can produce the goods on the day, then you've got a very good chance of going to Rio," he said. "If you've got a whole load of medals in your suitcase, but you can't produce the goods, you're not going to go. The long term goal is Rio, but there's lots of little goals to be met before I can start focusing on that."
Roulston with his 2008 individual pursuit silver medal (TDW Sport)
Francis Mourey joins Bretagne-Séché Environnement
Eight-time French cyclo-cross champion Francis Mourey will ride a new team in 2016 as he leaves FDJ who he turned professional with in 2004. The 34-year-old has signed a deal with Bretagne-Séché Environnement, to be known as Fortuneo – Vital Concept next year. Mourey's last win for FDJ came in 2013 at Tro-Bro Léon when he led home teammates Johan Le Bon and Anthony Geslin.
"It didn't take long for me to reach an agreement with [manager] Emmanuel Hubert," Mourey said. "Once I knew that I would not stay at FDJ, I knew that I was just what he sought. an experienced rider, always offensive and knowing how to serve others. At 34, my ambitions are intact. I am delighted to be able to focus on the cyclo-cross season with serenity.
"I also like the idea of joining riders that I know and appreciate from FDJ: Pierrick Fedrigo, Yauheni Hutarovich, Arnaud Gérard ... And even a sport director I know well as a rider, namely Sébastien Hinault."
During his time with FDJ, Mourey rode and finished eight grand tours but made just one Tour de France appearance back in 2005 when he finished 94th overall.
Bretagne-Séché Environnement have also signed French national champion Steve Tronet (Auber 93), Julien Loubet (Marseille 13 KTM), Chris Anker Sorensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Franck Bonnamour (Neo) and Boris Vallée (Lotto Soudal) for next season.
Cult-Energy announce Mads Pedersen signing
Danish Pro-Continental squad Cult-Energy have extended the contract of 19-year-old Mads Pedersen for a further two-seasons the team have announced. The neo-pro won a stage at the Tour de l'Avenir and doubled up at the ZLM Roompot Tour where he finished second overall as he rode a mix of U23 and professional races across the 2015 season.
"It's been a challenging first year as a full-time professional. It has definitely been harder than expected but it at the same time tremendously educational," Pedersen said. "My best experience was my overall seventh in Four Days at Dunkirk where I enjoyed the full team support as a captain and the result and experience here truly left me wanting more. And right now, the season opener seems too far away. I'm looking forward to continuing my career at Cult Energy-Stölting Group for the next two years."
The team's sport director André Steensen explained his excitement of having a promising Danish talent on a Danish team, adding he is looking forward to seeing him further develop as a cyclist in the year's to come.
"With Mads onboard the team, we have one of the biggest talents in cycling. Mads's versatility and technical skills on the bike makes him a rider with a promising future and a rookie season with top 10 rankings in several races and a stage victory in a U-23 nations cup only underlines that fact," Steensen said.
"Mads needs place and time to develop and to continue the achievements he has had this season so eventually, he has the potential to follow up on his achievements as a junior where he conquered a silver World Championship medal as well as the Paris-Roubaix. Besides his obvious physical stamina, Mads is a great teammate who also have social and tactical skills, we all benefit from."
Pedersen is also a junior Paris-Roubaix champion and silver medallist from the 2013 World Championships junior road race.
Davide Frattini retires from the peloton
Former Baby Giro winner Davide Frattini has announced his retirement from professional cycling at age 37. The Italian turned professional with the Alessio-Bianchi team in 2002 before riding for Monex, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Novo Nordosk and from 2011 the UnitedHealthcare team. Frattini's brother Francesco was also a professional cyclist.
During his career Frattini rode the 2003 Vuelta a Espana and three monuments, the 2014 Milano-Sanremo and the last two editions of Paris-Roubaix. Frattini's last race the Arctic Race of Norway in which he finished 60th overall.
This week's Cyclingnews podcast
The latest Cyclingnews podcast features several transfer related topics including the retirement of Ivan Basso and move by Marcel Kittel from Giant-Alpecin to Etixx-Quick Step. The team also look over the 2016 Giro d'Italia route and discuss how they see sprint trains operating next season,
Listen to the podcast below and click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews podcast on iTunes.