Organisers have announced the WorldTour and wildcard teams to ride the 2016 edition of Paris-Roubaix.

The 18 WorldTour outfits are, as usual, automatically selected, including Australia's Orica-GreenEDGE.

Also at the start will be German outfit Giant-Alpecin, which will line up without its defending champion John Degenkolb, who is sidelined due to injuries after he and several team members were run down by a rogue motorist.

Joining them will AG2R (FRA), Astana (KAZ), BMC (USA), Cannondale (USA), Dimension Data (RSA), Etixx-QuickStep (BEL), FDJ (FRA), IAM Cycling (SUI), Lampre-Merida (ITA), Lotto Soudal (BEL), Movistar (ESP), Katusha (RUS), LottoNL-Jumbo (NED), Sky (GBR), Tinkoff (RUS) and Trek-Segafredo (USA).

The wildcards include Bora-Argon 18 (GER), Cofidis (FRA), Delko Marseille Provence KTM (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA), Fortuneo-Vital Concept (FRA), Topsport-Vlaanderen – Baloise (BEL) AND Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL).

"It is a great honour to be invited once again to the most epic one-day race in the cycling world," Bora Argon 18 manager Ralph Denk said.

"This monument of cycling is for sure the most challenging race of the year, because it is not just about physical fitness, it is also about mental strength, tactics and bike handling."

SBS will broadcast Paris-Roubaix LIVE to all markets on Sunday 10 April from 2130 - 0130 AEST SBS (1930 - 2130 on SBS2 in WA).

Tuesday 23 Feb 2016

Canberra’s Louisa Lobigs has been selected as the recipient of the 11th Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship.

The Holden Women’s Cycling Team member is the current ACT individual time trial champion and in 2015 placed sixth at the Australian National Championships in the same discipline. 

The scholarship provides Lobigs with the opportunity to live, train and compete in Europe, racing for the High5 Australian Women’s Road Development Team.

The selection panel were unanimous in choosing Lobigs as the scholarship recipient because of her sporting potential, her alignment to the values of the Amy Gillett Foundation and her commitment to a career outside sport, which currently sees her completing a PhD at the University of Western Australia.

Lobigs, 25, will follow in the footsteps of previous scholarship recipients, serving as an ambassador of the Amy Gillett Foundation.

In this role she will be raising awareness about the Amy Gillett Foundation’s mission of creating safer bike riding in Australia and vision of zero bike rider fatalities.

“On behalf of the Board and management team we congratulate Louisa on being selected as the 2016 Amy Gillett Cycling Scholar, and we look forward to working with her to achieve a safer cycling environment in Australia,” chief executive officer, Phoebe Dunn said.

Amy Gillett Foundation Patron and member of the scholarship selection panel Simon Gillett was delighted to unveil Lobigs as the 11th recipient of the Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship.

“Amy had a great love for life, sport and education,” Gillett said. “This scholarship is a legacy to Amy’s life and ambitions, and Louisa is showing the same excellence and determination in her sport as well as her education.”

“Louisa has the potential to become a superb athlete, and we can’t wait to see the passion she will bring to her role as an Ambassador,” Gillett continued.

After applying for the scholarship for a third consecutive year, Lobigs was excited to discover she was successful this time around.

“It’s a real honour, a lot of amazing athletes have had it in the past and it’s inspiring to be able to represent Amy and the work of the Amy Gillett Foundation,” Lobigs said.

After her sporting career, Lobigs’ second passion in life is community health.

After completing a Bachelor of Medical Science at the Australian National University Lobigs is completing a PhD focused on biomarker and blood volume variations in relation to the anti-doping tool, the Athlete’s Biological Passport.

Juggling a PhD and training commitments is challenging but provides great perspective. 

“I love training and that takes up a good part of my day, but I find the Uni work gives me the balance I need to stay motivated in my training and at Uni,” Lobigs said.

Like many bike riders in Australia, Lobigs has kept an eye on the work of the Amy Gillett Foundation, particularly with the recent success of the Foundation’s minimum overtaking distance campaign – ‘a metre matters’-  in QLD, SA, ACT, Tasmania and NSW.

“In the past year or so there has been a big push for the ‘a metre matters’ campaign and similar campaigns coming from the Foundation,” Lobigs said.

The Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship is awarded annually on fulfilment criteria that includes cycling achievements and future potential, work and study experience, aspirations, personal and team qualities, and other sporting background.

 

I could find no significant differences between disc and canti riders, either in demographics or, more importantly, in performance. There are some suggestive trends, but nothing conclusive, at least within the top 20 male and female riders. Sorry, I know that’s a lame result. But it’s a result all the same. I’ve made some assumptions and used a pretty small and potentially biased sample, so it may not be perfect. But it’s a hell of a lot better than the prevailing “hey, look at all the cantis on the podium” argument.

When we expect discs to be superior performers, we risk affirming the consequent when we see cantis on the podium. In fact, there may be no (significant) performance advantage to either. From the data, we should see roughly the same proportions of cantis and discs on the podium as line up at the start line.

Pro riders can choose their equipment, probably on a race-by-race basis too, so they’ll pick what is faster for them individually. And this is almost certainly where the advantage to discs comes in: another equipment option to match to a rider’s skill set on a particular day. Of course, for the rest of us non soon-to-be pro racers, we have to pick a bike and go with it for at least a season or two. For me, I’ll take discs, even at a slight weight or performance disadvantage, just so I never have to set the toe-in of my G. D. canti pads ever again.

More at David Roberts blog.

"Given the tight timeframe he has to work with, Contador will probably not get to start his own team. Cycling as a sport is beset with its own series of financial problems, and when you compound those with Spain’s, you have a series of impossible hurdles in the way of starting a new team. I hope he doesn’t have to retire. As combative as he is and as shady as his past is,nobody can attack with the same type of burst as Contador. He’s a feisty rider, the cowboy antithesis to Sky’s sterile dominance of the sport. I just hope that the Eurozone crisis doesn’t keep him from doing it at the Tour de France a few more times."

More at Deadspin.

Lets put this one down as a nice problem to have. 

"Cyclists have started turning on each other as they fight for space in the city’s increasingly congested bike lanes.

 Victoria’s peak cycling lobby group says the solution is to upgrade key routes.

The City of Melbourne denies a problem, saying some lines have already been widened to cater for growth.

Slower bicycle commuters say they are copping the brunt from speedsters who see ride to work as a race, while motorists continue to fume at riders hogging road space.

Bicycles now comprise nearly 17 per cent of vehicles travelling into the CBD between 7am and 10am, and the figure is tipped to jump to 25 per cent by 2020, City of Melbourne research shows."

More at the Herald Sun.

Movistar's Jonathan Castroviejo has sustained several serious injuries in an unusual post race accident.

Castroviejo fractured his sixth cervical vertebra and broke his left arm after crashing while heading back to the team bus following the final Volta ao Algarve stage.

Following the finish atop the Alto do Malhao on stage five he was riding from the finish line to the team bus, parked on the foot of the ascent, but a spectator stepped in his way.

Castroviejo was immediately moved to the Hospital de Faro with acute pain in his neck and left arm, where treatment confirmed the fractures.

The Basque rider remains at the medical center, awaiting for new reports and a decision on the way he'll be transferred back to his home in Spain.