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The Flying Dutchman

December 2, 2015

Tom Dumoulin Wins Dutch Cyclist of the Year.

Tom Dumoulin on stage ten of the 2015 Tour of Spain

The Giant-Alpecin rider romped away with the Gerrit Schulte Trophy after a stunning ride at the Vuelta a España in September, losing out in the end to overall winner Fabio Aru, but taking him to the wire with a series of gutsy performances in the mountains and a time trial win on stage 17.

After a bright start to the year, taking third at the Tour de Suisse, Dimoulin crashed out of the Tour de France with a broken collarbone. His performance in Spain represented a remarkable comeback and points to great things next year from the 25-year-old.

The women’s award went to Anna van der Breggen, the first time in nine years that Marianne Vos hasn’t topped the podium. Van der Breggen, who rides for Vos’s Rabo-Liv team, racked up 12 wins in 2015, including the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia.

Our grateful thanks to Cycling Weekly for this (edited) story.


Frank’s Not Stopping Yet

November 30, 2015

Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing) heads into his fifteenth season as a professional rider with his focus once again firmly on the Tour de France. The veteran rider, who is now 35, endured a difficult campaign in 2015 but claimed a first win in over a year courtesy of a stage win the Vuelta a Espana.

“I really still enjoy riding my bike but there’s no denying that this has been a really tough season. It’s been a rollercoaster from start to finish,” according to Cyclingnews who interviewed him at his home in Luxembourg.

Many would have forgiven Schleck for wanting a backseat for 2016 – the final year of his current deal at Trek – especially after an injury-plagued year. However, the win in the Vuelta has helped spur him on an unlike his teammate Fabian Cancellara he has no plans of retiring within the next twelve months, with a shot at the Tour de France still a major target.

“I won’t carry on riding until I’m 42, don’t worry. It’s going to be hard for me, next season, because I’ve been on the podium in races like the Tour but I know that’s not going to be easy to repeat because of the evolution of young riders who are coming through and it’s harder and harder to perform. However, I still believe that I can ride a top ten in the Tour,” he said.

“If that’s not the case then that’s fine, I can still lead the team in other ways by being at the front and helping others. I can give experience to younger riders. It’s just hard for me to say that 2016 is going to be my last year.”


Yorkshire Eyes World Domination

November 26, 2015

Sir Gary Verity, the leader of the successful Yorkshire Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014, has confirmed that Yorkshire hopes to host the UCI Road World Championships as it continues to promote cycling in the county according to Cyclingnews.com.

On Wednesday the government repeated a promise of backing a bid to host the worlds in Britain’s so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ a term coined to described the north of England. The idea was first revealed in February and Yorkshire began talks with British Cycling on the project. British Cycling would verify any bids and would eventually decide which area of northern Britain is put forward to make an eventual bid to the UCI. Government funding would help that bid.

The 2016 and 2017 World Championships will be held in Qatar and Norway, with Innsbruck, Austria expected to host the 2018 event. Other nations are also keen to bid to host the worlds in years to come. However, Verity has moved quickly to promote Yorkshire’s chances.


Wiggo to Challenge Merckx

Sir Bradley Wiggins, who set a new world hour record this summer, has hinted he will take on the elusive “Merckx Hour.”

In a new book released this week, “My Hour,” Wiggins outlined a behind-the-scenes attack on the hour record of 54.526km on June 7 at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London. In excerpts of the book posted on Sky’s website, Wiggins hinted he may take on the Merckx Hour as well.

“Merckx’s Hour was the definitive record. He’s the benchmark,” Wiggins wrote in the book. “I’ve spoken about going for the record again, and I’m toying with going for his distance in an Athlete’s Hour of my own.

“I’m planning on doing some tests with similar kit – a hairnet crash-hat and so on – to see what the numbers are. I might be way off his pace. I might not be able to hold his position and be as aerodynamic, but then Merckx wasn’t aero in the slightest.”

Wiggins’ attempt this summer came in a wave of assaults on the hour record following UCI rule changes in 2014 that allowed bikes that met UCI standards for any endurance event on the track. Eight riders took up the challenge, and of those, five set new marks, with Wiggins’ highly anticipated attempt setting what some consider a definitive new distance.

The so-called Merckx Hour (49.431km set in 1972) retains a mystical hold over the peloton because the Belgian legend was the last to set the hour record without the use of modern innovations, such as disc wheels, aero helmets, carbon-fiber frames, and arm extenders.

Wiggins is a big admirer of Merckx, and said it would be the ultimate challenge to imitate the conditions of the Merckx Hour, and try to beat it.

Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/11/news/wiggins-hints-at-taking-on-merckx-hour_389714#jB7jopTXh55PQvGl.99