New Foundations For Mitchelton-Scott

The Mitchelton-Scott team gets a new sponsor, from today the team is renamed as Manuela Fundación. It’d been whispered for a while the team was in trouble, there had been wage cuts earlier in response to the Covid-19 calendar cancellation, but also doubts over the viability of the team for the long term. Now the team has a new sponsor in the Manuela Fundación, a Spanish charity funded by businessman Francisco Huertas (pictured above wearing the red shirt), and its future is secure. Or is it?

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Having Fun

It should be the best job in the world to ride the top races and get paid for it. Some of the best bikes in the world are washed and prepped for you, roads get closed for you like a visiting head of state and thousands of fans wait by the road for hours to cheer.

Only too often many teams and riders show the pressure with stern faces and serious press releases. It’s exhausting but still, it’s all meant to be fun right?

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14 Predictions for 2014

Who knows what 2014 will bring? There are some signs but it’s often the unexpected events that delight and intrigue. Here are some extrapolations and wild guesses for the year ahead.

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The moment the race was won: Milan-Sanremo

Milan Sanremo

Vincenzo Nibali attacks on the Poggio and only Simon Gerrans goes with him. Behind Rabobank’s Matti Breschel looks over his shoulder but on the left of the image you can see Fabian Cancellara about to make his move.

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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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Pirate racing

A strict application of the rules would see the top riders banned from the upcoming Jayco Series in Australia and forbid Britain’s top teams from competing in their domestic Tour Series races. Hopefully it won’t come to this but here’s the explainer…

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Greenedge registered as an Italian team

With the list of teams for 2012 in place, several squads are registered in surprising places. New Australian team Greenedge stands out at first as it is listed as an Italian team, see the screengrab image above.

But if that sounds odd, the Farnese Vini team seems to be registered in an empty plot of land in a north London suburb.

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Pro Tour paperwork

On Monday the UCI announced several teams had obtained Pro Tour licences for 2012, meaning they will be in the top division of cycling for the coming year. The full list and the press release is on the UCI website.

If there was plenty of satisfaction from the teams named, two squads were left looking less pleased:

The decisions concerning the GreenEDGE Cycling and RadioShack-Nissan teams will be announced later – the Commission is currently waiting for the teams to provide additional documents.

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Greenedge, the fastest team in the world?

Greenedge logo

This isn’t a science but I’ve listed the Greenedge recruits for 2012 by what sort of rider they are. If you think the label is wrong, and there’s plenty of overlap, leave a comment and I can change it, part of the fun of the blog is the comment and interaction from readers.

What stands out is the sheer speed of the team. Sprinters, lead out guys with a track pursuit background, you name it this is certainly a squad that should make an impact early in the season. Just look at today, Chris Sutton has won Stage 2 of the Tour de Wallonie-Picardie whilst yesterday’s winner was Robbie McEwen. Both will be wearing green next year. And today Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis said he’s joining too.

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