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Welcome to the world's weirdest cyclo-cross race - Gallery

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

It was the best of times; it was the weirdest of times. Last weekend, Portland, Oregon, hosted the 10th annual Singlespeed Cyclo-cross World Championships. This very much non-UCI-sanctioned event saw hundreds of costumed 'cross racers vie for the title of the fastest man and woman on a singlespeed cyclo-cross bike.

The ball pit was the scene of much chaos
The ball pit was the scene of much chaos

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Truth be told, only a handful of riders cared a whit about coming home with the victor's tattoo. Most participants were focused on celebrating cyclo-cross in a mixture of mud and beer. Portland has a reputation for having a vibrant cyclo-cross scene and for being both hip and off-kilter. The event lived up to expectations, with a dash of serious racing, a lot of partying and a heaping of mud.

Ewoks armed with marshmallow-tipped spears were one of the many course hazards
Ewoks armed with marshmallow-tipped spears were one of the many course hazards

Scroll through the gallery for a glimpse of the organized chaos that was SSCXWC.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 8th, 2016, 12:15 am

Varnish to appeal British Cycling internal inquiry on Sutton

Jess Varnish has vowed to appeal the findings of a British Cycling investigation that was wrapped up in October after learning that only one of her nine allegations of sexist and discriminatory language from team coach Shane Sutton had been upheld.

"I am shocked and upset by this latest news, and have instructed my solicitor to appeal the findings of the internal investigation on my behalf," Varnish wrote according to BBC News. "Having provided substantial evidence to back up my complaints, to now learn that the majority were not upheld is heartbreaking. I know what was said, and I know I've told the truth."

Varnish filed a complaint against Sutton after being informed that she had not made the selection for the Olympic Games. She claimed Sutton had told her she was "too old" and to "go and have a baby".

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In October, British Cycling offered "its sincere regret that this happened" in a statement saying it had upheld her allegations that Sutton had used "inappropriate and discriminatory language".

What it did not say that the only allegation it upheld was that Sutton used the word "bitches", and did not uphold him referring to women as Sheilas, swearing, using the 'c-word', telling her to "get on with having a baby", branding women as difficult, not distributing equipment equally between men and women and other allegations of discrimination.

"I have requested from British Cycling the full investigation report to understand why the weight of evidence provided by me and others wasn't sufficient for the board to uphold my complaints," Varnish stated.

— Dan Roan (@danroan) December 7, 2016

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 10:25 pm

Lotto Soudal unveil 2017 team kit – News Shorts

Lotto Soudal unveil 2017 team kit

Belgian WorldTour team Lotto Soudal unveiled their 2017 team kits, with the squad of sprint ace Andre Greipel maintaining the red-and-black look from previous years. The main logo consists of the names of the team's two title sponsors: Lotto, the most well-known of the games organised by the National Lottery, and Soudal, Europe's leading manufacturer of sealants, PU-foams, adhesives and cycling products such as chain cleaner and lubricants. Vermarc supplies the team's clothing.

The shorts remain black with several logos, and according to the team's diagram describing the new kit, the conversation about whether to have black or white shorts was "the shortest ever in the history of the team."

Aside from logo for various team sponsors and equipment suppliers, the jersey features the mandates UCI WorldTour logo, a nod to the team's 'Captains of Cycling' effort to help support Belgian cycling. A smaller version of the Lotto Soudal logo is repeated again closer to the collar for better placement when riders are "capturing selfies."

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A detail of the 2017 Lotto Soudal jersey

Denmark will host 2017 European championships

The 2017 UEC Road European Championships will take place in Herning, Denmark August 2-6, event organisers announced today.

The championships will award European titles in the Junior, Under 23 and Elite men’s and Women’s categories and will be broadcast live on TV on Eurovision.“The Danish Cycling Federation and the City of Herning have convinced us that they can offer top quality European championships in 2017, both for the athletes and spectators,” said UEC President David Lappartient.“We are particularly enthusiastic about the idea of being able to share the official circuit with the public and amateur cyclists via a great event, which they will also be part of on some days,” Lappartient said. “Herning’s experience as the number one ‘cycling city’ in Denmark for the hosting of major sporting events totally convinced us that this would be the ideal location to organize an important and prestigious event like the Road European Championships.”

Cycling Academy add Oscar Guerrero as second director

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 9:50 pm

Team Sky to wear Kask helmets through 2020

Team Sky riders will continue to wear Kask helmets through to the end of the 2020 season.

The British WorldTour squad has used the Italian brand since its inception in 2010, and on Wednesday announced a four-year extension to the partnership.

“Having worked directly with Kask for the last eight years it was an easy decision to continue that collaboration,” said Carsten Jeppesen, Team Sky’s head of technical operations.

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“Our riders and technicians demand and expect the best in terms of protection, comfort, and performance, whatever they face in races and training. We need continued innovation and development from our helmet supplier to ensure we stay ahead of the pack in every way we can. That’s what we expect, and that’s what we get from Kask.”

The first model of helmet used by Sky was the Vertigo, and in 2012 the Mojito came along, with its ‘marginal gain’ of antibacterial and antimicrobial padding. The Infinity features vents that can be opened and closed depending on whether the rider wants comfort or aerodynamics, while many riders now use the lightweight Protone.

For time trialling, the riders use the Bambino model, recently upgraded to the Bambino Pro Evo TT, which ‘combines long-tail aero benefits with short-tail robustness’.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 8:35 pm

Offers flow in for Meintjes as Project TJ Sport's future remains uncertain

According to his agent Louis Meintjes has already been approached by at least two WorldTour teams with regards to his future should the TJ Sport team - known as Lampre-Merida this season - fail to gain a UCI license.

The Chinese squad's future remains uncertain due to questions surrounding their funding for next season and they have a deadline of December 15 to meet with the UCI if they are to prove themselves as a legitimate outfit. Should they fail to do so Meintjes, Rui Costa and Ben Swift will be among the riders scrambling for contracts.

"As it stands right now, if they don't get the WorldTour licence it's a problem," Meintjes' agent, Robbie Hunter told Cyclingnews.

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"It's a problem for the riders, the team in essence, and Louis. We are lucky enough that there's been a few enquiries if things don't go the right way with the team for next year. There are certain options but nothing is concrete at this time but there have been basic enquires."

Meintjes was second best young rider in the Tour de France this season and eighth overall, and finished top 10 in the Criterium du Dauphine and seventh in the Olympic Games Road race. It should come as little surprise that the two teams who have opened discussions with Hunter over Meintjes' future are Dimension Data and the Bahrain Merida team.

Meintjes rode for Dimension Data – then known as MTN-Qhubeka – between 2013 and 2015 but he moved to Lampre in 2016 in order to link up with Brent Copeland, a previous manager at MTN. Copeland tried to bring Meintjes with him to Bahrain Merida but the South African rider was unable to move after TJ Sport took over his existing two-year deal with Lampre. However, should TJ Sport fail to register in time, Meintjes will be able to sign for another team.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 7:33 pm

Dennis keen to test his Grand Tour credentials at the 2017 Giro d'Italia

Rohan Dennis is hoping to have a protected role within the BMC squad at the 2017 Giro d’Italia as he continues to test his ability in stage races and develop into a Grand Tour rider.

The 26-year-old Australian won the opening time trial and wore the yellow jersey at the 2015 Tour de France but is hesitant about returning to the Tour in 2017, preferring to make his debut in Italy in May alongside expected BMC team leader Tejay van Garderen. Richie Porte is expected to be sole leadership of the BMC team for the Tour de France.

Dennis has often shown his stage race potential, finishing second overall at the Tour of Britain and the Tour of California in 2016.

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"What I've put to the team, and they haven't definitely put it in pen, it's sort of in pencil, is that my goal is to basically go to the Giro," Dennis told Australian television channel SBS.

"Maybe I will just go there, freelance and even if I'm down on GC just keep chugging away and get that feel of three weeks of looking after myself. That's what I would like to do.

"I think the team is going to be going for Tejay at the Giro. If I don't get any help that's fine but I'll be trying to float around where I think is the right spot and if someone is willing to help me out, within the team, I'll take it. I think it's a matter of trying to build that respect that I'm able to be there before actually asking for a team to fully back me.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 6:45 pm

Tour de France team sizes to remain the same in 2017

Cyclingnews understands there will be no reduction in team sizes in the 2017 Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, the cobbled Classics and other races, after leading race organisers ASO, RCS sport and Flanders Classics accepted that any changes to planned team sizes must be put on hold and approved by the UCI's Professional Cycling Council that is responsible for the rules of professional racing.

On November 26, during the General Assembly of the International Association of Cycling Race Organizers (AIOCC), Amaury Sports Organisation, which owns the Tour de France and co-runs the Vuelta a España, came together with Giro d'Italia owners RCS Sport and Belgian one-day organisers Flanders Classics and agreed to limit the number of riders teams can field in races.

They announced they would reduce Grand Tour teams from nine to eight riders and reduce teams from eight to seven riders in their other events. They caused consternation by saying the new policy would go into effect for the 2017 season, despite teams having already completed their 2017 rosters and planned their race programmes.

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The race organisers cited possible improved safety for the riders and hoped that smaller teams would "make it more difficult to dominate a race as well as enhance conditions for events to offer better racing for cycling fans".

The reduction was seen also seen as a way of limiting Team Sky's dominance at the Tour de France.

However the UCI hit back at the race organisers' unilateral decision during the UCI WorldTour seminar in Mallorca, reiterating what they said in an initial reaction to the decision that "any changes to the regulations governing men's professional road cycling must be agreed by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), on which the race organisers are fully represented."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Boonen reveals nerves led him to see sports psychologist

Tom Boonen has revealed that he went to see a sports psychologist earlier this year in a bid to get to grips with nerves on the bike.

Fear is not an emotion you’d associate with Boonen, who in April cited ‘big balls’ as the key characteristic of a Paris-Roubaix winner, but the Belgian, speaking at an event alongside QuickStep directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters, admitted he didn’t feel comfortable this year at the opening weekend of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and again at the Tour of Flanders.

“At the opening weekend, I really wasn’t feeling it. I didn't dare go for the gaps," said Boonen, according to Het Nieuwsblad. "For the first time in my long career, I went to see a sports psychologist." 

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The 36-year-old had the one-off session in March, though the feelings still persisted at the Tour of Flanders in April. 

“I turned onto the third climb of the Oude Kwaremont in last place in the group – that had never happened to me before,” noted Boonen, who had been caught up in a big crash after 100km. “During the descent of the Nieuwe Kwaremont I really was scared."

Developing such fear at this late stage of a storied career seems strange, but riders often have such reactions in the wake of serious crashes. Boonen suffered one such incident at last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour, where he hit his head on the tarmack and left the race in an ambulance. It was later revealed he’d suffered permanent damage to his hearing.

The road to Roubaix

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Kreuziger: Nibali wanted me but Orica was my number one choice

Orica BikeExchange arguably made one of the most astute signings of the summer when they snapped up Roman Kreuziger on a two-year deal from the soon to be defunct Tinkoff squad, and the Tour de France top-10 finisher has told Cyclingnews that Vincenzo Nibali was keen to attract him to the new Bahrain Merida team.

Kreuziger, 30, shares the same agent as Peter Sagan and at the start of the year the Tinkoff rider sat down with his family and representative to discuss the future.

"My manager and I were talking in January and we sat down with my wife and we made a list of the WorldTour teams that would be good for me when it came to 2017 and 2018," Kreuziger told Cyclingnews from his home in the Czech Republic.

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Kreuziger and Nibali came through the ranks at Liquigas and rode the 2008 Tour de France as teammates with Kreuziger finishing 13th and Nibali 19th. A year later they both returned to the Tour and claimed spots in the top ten and although their paths split as they moved to different teams, the pair remained friends. When it came to next season Kreuziger was looking for stability and a new challenge, and while Orica could provide both, the other options out there were not quite on the same level.

"We got it down to around four or five teams but then it went quiet for a couple of months. Orica had been my first choice in January, with BMC as well and then during the Tour my agent called me and said that Orica was interested. I spoke to Matt White and I was really excited. They handled all the contracts really well and the choice for me was pretty clear.

"We had some contact with BMC but they were not sure if they could give me a two year deal at that time. When I changed teams I wanted two years, and Bahrain were also interested because I'm close friends with Vincenzo but we didn't get an answer from there. I wanted my contract sorted between the Tour and San Sebastian, and I didn't want to wait for the Vuelta. Nibali wanted me but I think that there was some misunderstanding between his team and my agent, so in the end they didn't really talk. I talked to Vincenzo and he understood my choice, because he also has a young family and he realised I couldn't wait forever."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 2:45 pm

Stefan Schumacher signs for Kuwait-Cartucho.es

Stefan Schumacher will race for the Spanish-Kuwaiti Continental squad Kuwait-Cartucho.es in 2017, the team has announced. It was rumoured earlier this week that the German would join alongside former teammate Davide Rebellin.

The team, which is a development of the Massi-Kuwaiti Cycling Project, would not confirm if Rebellin had signed up for a 25th season in the peloton but did announce Schumacher’s signing with a press release on Wednesday morning.

“For the young team he will be one of the important men for the structure, contributing experience,” the press release read.

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“The experienced rider arrives at the team to be one of the references, coming from the German Continental team Christina Jewelry Pro Cycling. After an extensive sporting career, with victories in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Amstel Gold Race and the Tour de Pologne, the German riders will be one of the pillars in the Asian and Spanish calendar, contributing his experience to the young riders and results for the team.”

Schumacher turned professional in 2002 with the Telekom team and rode for Team Lamonta, Shimano-Memory Corp and Gerolsteiner. He won two stages of the 2008 Tour de France and spent a stint in the yellow jersey. However, he tested positive for EPO substance CERA during the race and was banned from racing in France.

The ban was handed out by the French authorities, who looked after the anti-doping tests during the Tour de France at the time, and it took a further month before a two-year ban was confirmed by the UCI and was extended worldwide. Schumacher gave a second positive test for CERA in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, although it wasn’t confirmed until April 2009. He later had his result from the Olympic road race scrubbed from his record, as did Rebellin, who also gave a positive for CERA after finishing second in the road race. 

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on December 7th, 2016, 12:15 pm

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