• Australian Cycling Academy announced plans for a women's elite NRS team (Barry Allsop)Source: Barry Allsop
The Australian Cycling Academy (ACA) announces plans for a 2019 women's National Road Series team while long time NRS dominators call it quits.
Cycling Central

Cyclingnews, Australian Cycling Academy
30 Nov 2018 - 10:19 AM  UPDATED 1 Dec 2018 - 2:57 PM

Managing Director Ben Kersten said launching a women's team was always a priority alongside the men’s team which kicked off this season.

“We simply haven’t been in a financial position to make this happen," he said. "But I can confirm it is definitely on the radar and we are edging closer to this goal. The last few years have been really exciting for women’s sport in this country and it’s fantastic that the Australian community has recognised and embraced the quality of elite women’s talent.

"There is real momentum and support there and we believe it’s the right time to harness that energy and bring the ACA’s women’s team program to life on the Sunshine Coast,” Kersten said. 

But the plan for a six to eight rider team in the 2019 NRS is contingent on the ACA securing the necessary funding, which it hopes to raise via a campaign.  

“Our focus is on ensuring that the ACA provides exactly the same opportunities for talented young female cyclists to achieve their goals both on and off the bike. To achieve this, we are actively seeking sponsorship and philanthropic support to successfully launch the women’s program. After successfully launching the men’s team this year, introducing a women’s team is now our main priority and we are working tirelessly on finding that sponsorship support,” Kersten said.

For more information on the campaign, click here

Bennelong SwissWellness no more?

In the men's NRS, things are set to change dramatically with team owners Andrew Christie-Johnson (ACJ) and Steve Price calling it quits. The duo owned and ran Bennelong SwissWellness in all its dominating iterations  - Praties, Genesys, Huon Salmon, Avanti, IsoWhey - for the past 18 years, and delivered numerous riders to the WorldTour including Richie Porte. 

Both cite family reasons for the decision. ACJ isn't calling it quits entirely: he's merging his team with mobius-Bridge Lane and will be around to share some of the back room management burden with new partner and co-owner Tom Petty. 

For more on the whys and wherefores, head to CyclingTips' feature article

Bardet cracks open the 'ol race radio, power meter ban chestnut 

The Frenchman spoke to reporters at an AG2R Mondiale training camp about a cycling utopia with no race radios or power meters, no doubt responding to questions posed to him about the topic. 

"That notion that Sky could almost win the Tour with any of their riders – that's what race organisers want to tackle, to try to create more unpredictable scenarios," Bardet said. 

"I think a world without earpieces would be a very good thing. It would make the riders take a bit more responsibility. It would heighten their tactical sense and awareness. You'd have to be more alert to the race. I think it would elevate the rider as an athlete, not having that information,"

"For me personally, I find the earpieces make you that bit more passive, waiting for information before you make a move. Without them you're looking at who is where, you can't let dangerous riders out of your sight, and it makes the race a more intense experience, from within. It gives more uncertainty."

He was less certain about a power meter ban, but wants to give it a try. 

"I don't really think it's such a bad thing to take them away, but I don't think it's the magic solution either."

"It's more about bringing ideas to the debate," he said. "These things are not easy to put in place, and reforms cannot happen quickly, but it's good to have things to reflect on."

CyclingNews has more

Mikel Landa reckons he can do Giro and the Tour

The Spaniard announced his intentions to online publication AS

"I want to do the Giro and the Tour. I'll talk with (Movistar manager) Eusebio (Unzué) and then we'll see what happens, " Landa said.

The Basque rider who admitted 2018 was a difficult year, said he was not at all concerned about having nothing left for a hard Tour after a Giro. 

"I do not think so. There have also been many mountain years in the last week in Italy and then there have been people who have been well on the Tour."

But it all depends if Movistar want to do well, or win either. The last time Movistar tried the Giro/Tour double, it spectacularly all but made a Babe Ruth style called shot with Nairo Quintana in 2017, and failed, the Colombian winning neither (2nd Giro, 12th Tour de France). 

2018 Vuelta a España wildcard team Burgos-BH bans itself  

Pro Conti team Burgos-BH which raced at this year's 2018 Vuelta on a wildcard, will not race in January and Feburary 2019 as it self-imposes a ban following a spate of doping violations.

"We have decided to voluntarily carry out a self-suspension from competition to dedicate ourselves exclusively to the prevention of doping," team manager Julia Andrés Izquierdo said in a team statement. "(Instead we'll be) gathering for three weeks where training, seminars and meetings with anti-doping specialists will take place."

The news comes after three Burgos-BH riders committed anti-doping rules violations in the last year including Ibai Salas and Igor Meriñoz who both received four-year bans in the last month.