Rebellin’s Ride into the Sunset
Age is just a number, but for Davide Rebellin that number is significantly larger than his competitors. The controversial Italian will extend his career by at least another season with the Polish CCC Sprandi Polkowice team. He’s the only man left in the peloton who won a race in 1996 and he wants to end his career with a World Tour team, something CCC might be able to offer him in 2017, if their ambitions are realised.
Tinkoff’s Valuable Valach
Former Slovakian pro Ján Valach has joined the Tinkoff Saxo team (Team Tinkoff from next year) as their new directeur sportif. He will replace Bobby Julich, who will leave the team at the end of the season with head of sports science, Daniel Healey. Valach had an 11-year racing career before moving into management with the Kemo-Dukla Trenčin team in Slovakia, once the home of Peter Sagan. He was also behind the wheel when Sagan won the World Championships in Richmond earlier this year. By bringing in a familiar face for the World Champion, it looks as if Oleg Tinkoff has moved away from the tough love that he has previously prescribed for his charge.
Continental Drift for Team Wiggins
Continental Tyres will supply Team Wiggins for the 2016 season. The British team, registered in the UCI’s continental tier, will put their trust in the Competition Pro ltd 25mm tubulars for racing and the 23mm tubular Sonderklasse.
Continental continues to implement its ‘wider is better’ mantra, backed by its own impressive research. The Grand Prix Season 4, for example, will be available in 32mm, as well as 23, 25, and 28mm profiles.
Sister brand edco, meanwhile, has implemented its own take on Continental’s philosophy, broadening the spoke bed on its Gesero model to 26.5mm. Similarly, the Aptera hub is claimed to be the widest on the market.
With Continental an exhibitor at the upcoming Rouleur Classic, you have a chance to win Continental Winter training kit. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/rouleurclassic.
Tour des Fjords: World Championships - take one
One of Norway’s three UCI ranked stage races, the Tour des Fjords, will have an opening stage in Bergen on the 2017 World Championships road racing circuit. The race will also move to a much later date, from the last week of May to the last week of August. The organisers hope that they can propel the Tour des Fjords into the WorldTour, making it the first ever Scandinavian race to feature in cycling's top tier.
Anyone for Chinese?
It can be difficult to keep track of where all the races are held in Europe, let alone the rest of the world, but with Rouleur’s help you can impress your mates with your geographical knowledge of the four Chinese UCI races this year:
Tour of Chongming Island - This is a women’s stage race in May, followed immediately by a one-day race as part of the World Cup, won by Giorgia Bronzini this year. Chongming Island is located in the Yangtze estuary to the East of Shanghai. It’s the largest island administered by China.
Tour of Qinghai Lake - The longest non-Grand Tour at just under two weeks, the Tour of Qinghai Lake takes place in the very high and hugely underpopulated Qinghai region in the middle of China, on the Western edge of the Gobi Desert.
Tour of Hainan - Probably best known for the 2013 event when the Belkin Pro Cycling team won all nine stages: three for Moreno Hofland and six for Theo Bos. Hainan is the smallest and most southerly province of China and is located immediately East of Vietnam. Its capital is Haikou.
Tour of Taihu Lake - The Tour of Taihu Lake has been a stage race for the past four years and takes place around 80 miles to the West of Shanghai. The lake is infamously polluted and in 1993 alone 880,000 tonnes of animal waste were dumped into it.