World Championships Team Time Trial Preview

This Sunday’s team time trial world championships is the odd one out on the calendar several times over, whether it’s the trade teams gathering for the Worlds which is otherwise all about competing nations or the presence of a team time trial race outside of a stage race, a rarity these days. Here’s a look at the format and the contenders for the first title of Bergen 2017.

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Friday Shorts

Richie Porte wants to ride the Tour de France and Olympics. “I didn’t leave Team Sky for BMC just to target the Giro d’Italia” he tells This has always been the plan and it seems the idea is to keep Tejay van Garderen on his toes, to provide internal competition for him as well as one of the most well-funded teams in the sport simply being able to buy a strong leader like this. Rohan Dennis has to fit into this too.

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Widening the Transfer Window

Yesterday’s look at the 1 August date skimmed over the rarely used “mid-season transfer window”. But later in the day we saw the announcement of Rohan Dennis’s immediate move from Garmin-Sharp to BMC Racing.

It’s testimony to sport’s special status that when an employee is allowed to move from one job to another it’s considered headline news. But Dennis’s deal could be something we’ll see more and more.

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Allan Peiper’s Managerial Debut

Have BMC discovered the magic touch? Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert are back to winning ways and apart from Jim Ochowitz’s media gaffs the team has enjoyed a great to the season.

One factor might be Allan Peiper. The Aussie is credited with helping Ryder Hesjedal in the 2012 Giro and was recruited by BMC last year. But skip back almost 30 years to see him as a rider on the Peugeot team and the video clip above shows him as a fledgling road captain with ideas on team management.

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Sunday shorts

Taaienberg Boonen

A look at the photo above. Photography allows us to catch a millisecond in time and portray the moment as a whole story. Here is a great example. We have Lars Boom taking a tumble at the foot of the Taaienberg. That’s Lars Boom, cyclo-cross champion, a rider who can handle his bike. The fight for position is intense in moments like this and Boonen doesn’t give ground. Boom runs out of road, hits the soft earth. Game over.

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2012 UCI Pro Teams

Professional cycling teams are ranked into three tiers. The top level is UCI Pro Team and the 18 teams here have automatic and obligatory access to the big races on the UCI’s World Tour calendar. In addition, there is a range of rules governing these teams that aim to ensure sporting and financial stability.

You’ll find the top-18 teams below, their sponsors explained plus riders and staff listed.

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The wealthiest men in cycling

I wrote about the wealthiest men in cycling back in March 2010, but fortunes can come and go, and now there are new names to add to the list and some names to delete.

If you thought the likes of Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish or Philippe Gilbert were the best paid in cycling, time to think again. It is the people behind the scenes who fund some of the pro teams that are the wealthiest. Read on and you will find the missing link between Damiano Cunego and Jennifer Lopez.

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Shorts: Ballan’s long arms and more

A few snippets and observations this morning.

Ballan in arm warmers

BMC’s clothing
I get plenty of press releases from teams and suppliers these days. Many are useful and informative for the news they bring. Some can include fake-sounding attributed quotes and a few are borderline spam along the lines of “X won Y race because of Z” product. No they didn’t.

But there’s a helpful one from BMC’s kit supplier Hincapie Sports. The US company will continue its sponsorship of the squad for 2012 and their press release stated as such, including beaming quotes from those involved. So far, so normal…

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BMC get Gilbert… but what next?

Gilbert BMC
Phil prepares to tow a BMC car up to the bunch

If the headlines are about Gilbert, I just wanted to ask some questions about the move and the future of the BMC Racing team. Because if the answers are hard to come by, thinking aloud does allow some reflection on the matters ahead.

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Regulating team soigneurs


BMC Racing’s troubles with a rogue soigneur are bad news for the team. The casual way which Sven Schoutteten was hired from time to time reflects the way many teams operate, a pro image up front but behind the scenes people are hiring their pals. But the role of a soigneur is crucial to the team and not something to get careless about. Indeed France has moved to regulate their role with a law in 2004.

A soigneur is a team helper, whose job ranges from general dogsbody and factotum to masseur and nutritionist. “Soigner” means “to care for” or “to treat (an illness)” in French and a soigneur is carer, although someone who works helping the sick or the elderly is usually called an aide soignante, the term soigneur is reserved for the cycling world… although it’s used to label someone who looks after zoo animals.

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