New Zealander Patrick Bevin is the latest Antipodean rider to leapfrog directly from Australia's National Road Series (NRS) to the WorldTour.

 

Bevin, 24, has been the dominant NRS rider over the past two years with the Avanti Racing Team and is currently leading the series after winning the Tour of the Great South Coast.

He has also taken victories in the Oceania and Asia Tours. At the Tour of Korea, he stepped on the podium seven times after five second-place finishes, a stage win, and finishing second overall on ther general classification.

His career today took a major step up with the announcement that he will ride with Cannondale-Garmin for the next two years against the best professionals in the world.

 “I am delighted to be joining Cannondale-Garmin for the next two years,” Bevin said. “To race at the WorldTour level is a big opportunity for me and I hope to play an important role in many team performances and victories over the coming seasons.”

The team also announced the aquisition of Irish rider Irishman Ryan Mullen. The 21-year-old finished second to Australian Campbell Flakemore at the 2014 under 23 time trial world championship.

 

Thursday 20 Aug 2015

Currently on the road market are mechanical and electronic groupsets, dominated by Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo but component manufacturer Rotor has just announced a a twist in the shifting wars. Hydraulics.

Rotor, in conjunction with disc brake manufacturer Magura has released the first images of the UNO groupset after six years of development.

While not much is known about the actual performance, shifting actuation or braking, the system promises smoother shifting and maintainance for the user. Rotor also said that rim and disc brake options will be available.

With Fabian Cancellara on the career wind down and collective results not exactly flowing through this season, Trek Factory Racing is due for a much needed injection of talent ahead of 2016.

The team is currently languishing in 13th place on the UCI rankings which can't be an acceptable outcome for such a high-profile team. 

Today it announced two signings,  which should go a long way in improving its presence on the results sheets next year, Belgian Edward Theuns (Topsport-Vlaanderen) and Italian Niccolò Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida).

Currently leading the UCI Europe Tour after several victories and strong performances, Theuns, 24, is a rider for the classics and was brought in to support Cancellara.

“This is huge for me. It’s all gone so fast this season. I was hoping to do a solid season and catch the eye of the big teams, but very early on Trek Factory Racing reached out," Theuns said. "I’m super happy to join a team with such a strong focus on the 'races of the north' and possibly the best classics rider of his generation, Fabian Cancellara.”

“My ambitions are to continue my development as a rider, all while supporting the team’s goals,” says Theuns. “I want to help Fabian have an amazing spring campaign and, when given the chance, I’d like to obtain a good result myself.”

Bonifazio, 21, another rider in the classics mould, has high ambitions after announcing himself early this year with a fifth place in Milano-San Remo and a victory in the GP Lugano.

“I’m super happy to join Trek Factory Racing," Bonifazio said. "It’s a team with a very good image and a focus on developing young riders. I’d like to thank the management for the trust and I hope to reward it with some good results as soon as possible.

“Winning a Classic is my dream, and I realise it takes a lot of factors to get there. Experience would be the number one thing, and I’m very motivated to start gaining experience with Trek Factory Racing.”

The full route for the 29th running of the 663km UCI Sanctioned New Zealand Cycle Classic which will be held in and around Wairarapa from 20th – 24th January 2016 has been announced by organisers.

"Next year’s New Zealand Cycle Classic will definitely challenge some of the best cyclists from around the globe,” race director Jorge Sandoval said.

“Over five days, the riders will be tested on the challenging course that takes in a variety of terrain including long straight flats, rolling hills and steep climbs.

"It will reinforce the New Zealand Cycle Classic’s reputation overseas as the country’s premier men’s cycling event. I expect this will also be reflected in the quality of the New Zealand and overseas riders taking part.”

Sandoval said the most challenging stage is tipped to be the 152.2km 4th stage.

“Stage four includes a cluster of demanding climbs and I expect will take around five hours to complete, for others much more, especially if the Wairarapa turns on one of its hot, sunny summer days.

“Between Masterton and Wainuioru, riders will complete a total of eight hill climbs, amounting to almost 30kms. After climbing the steepest hill in the region, Te Wharau, towards the end of 140 kms of racing, they will look up and see the 12km of winding road in front of them weaving up Admiral Hill. Riding to the top will test the riders to the maximum and I expect the winner of this stage will take the 2016 overall title.”

Sandoval said when choosing the race route he tried to make it as attractive and challenging for the riders as possible.

“There is only room on the top step of the podium for one rider at the end of the tour and that rider has to be the best, the toughest, the one who everyone involved in the race goes home admiring. That's what makes stage racing an epic and captivating spectacle."

Stage One: Wednesday 20 January 2016

Distance 123km:  Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park - Dixon St Circuit.

Stage Two - Thursday 21 January 2016

Distance 136km: Masterton – Martinborough 

Stage Three – Saturday 23 January 2016

Distance 130km:  Mitre 10 Mega Masterton 

Stage Four – Sunday 24 January 2016

Distance 152.5 km: Masterton - Te Wharau – Admiral Hill  

Stage Five - Sunday 24 January 2016

Distances 122.5km: Masterton – Alfredton circuit – Masterton 

Russian Road Champion Yuri Trofimov has made the switch from Katusha to Tinkoff-Saxo for the 2016 season.

"I leave one Russian team for another one and I will still have Russian riders by my side. For me that is an important aspect," Trofimov said.

"For me it was a hard decision since a new team brings new opportunities but also means a new challenge.I join the team which together with its leader Alberto Contador is going to fight for victory at the Tour de France. I am also going to have opportunities for myself to win races."
 
Torfimov's season will shadow that of team leader Contador as the multiple Grand Tour winner hopes to finish off his career with one last Tour de France victory.

"After the Giro we saw the need for a very good climber that would support Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo head sports director Steven de Jongh said. "Yuri has been a while with Katusha and was looking for new opportunities. We are excited to see him joining our team and we are sure he has all the skills to make him an excellent addition to our squad.

"Yuri's race program will be set up around Alberto's with the Tour de France being, obviously, the major focus of the season. However, he has proven to be a good leader, so he will be given that role within the team in some races."