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ICL19 - Teams
Shonak wrote:
Scatmaster111 wrote:
Tejay Van Garderen was high in the team's list of priorities in the initial phase of Free Agent bidding, but it was not meant to be, as the American stage racer signed for CCC at a price we simply could not match.

I wanted to write that was very ambitious as a CT team, then he went ahead and signed triple gt winner Froome :lol:

You know what they say, shoot for the moon. If you miss, you'll land among the stars Wink


24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
BZT Gazette

21/10 Former Tour de France champion Andy Schleck will ride for Brugse Zot - Trek
After first bids round of Free Agents, In Brugse Zot - Trek ranks stand out the name of Andy Schleck. The Luxembourg rider, that won Tour de France in 2010 after the known events, will lead the team in stage races.
"When you get 34 and you can't hold the level of your best days you need to take some choices, and Brugse Zot - Trek was an easy one. The team guaranteed me a leadership role and I want to repay the trust." The choice was resolute, despite team's imprint is direct to northern classics: "The call to be on the front line again was stronger than be a number in a World Tour team, I don't see the transition to the continental series as a relegation, for me having the chance to play my cards again is an honor, it doesn't matter if I won't have the support that top teams can ensure to their leaders."
Technical sponsor played his role: "I rode Trek for many years in career, and I'm happy to do it afresh."
Edited by df_Trek on 31-10-2018 17:43
Top Dog

Tru Blu CEO Martin Blockuis called together a press conference this evening at 6:00 PM EDT in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He sat on the left side of a small table, and to his right was a rider we have not previously mentioned.

We are happy to announce that we have successfully acquired the services of none other than Chris Froome. "Let me just address the elephant in the room," Mr Blockhuis said to open the proceedings. "No, you're not seeing things, and yes, I can confirm immediately. Our top dog is, well, Froomedog."

This has been seen as a huge move in the transfer discussions among different teams, and by Blockhuis' smile, it is evident to everyone in the conference hall that he believes so too. "We had to face facts," he explained. "Fabio Aru is in the Continental peloton. Our goal is to finish top 3 in the Continental Tour, yes, but that doesn't mean we're not gonna try and win it. From the start of the transfer season, we had our eyes set on a big-name captain, preferrably an anglophone to be the face of the team. Our first pick was unsuccessful, of course, but to see that after that time, Froome didn't have a contract? It was criminal for him to still be a free agent, but also a huge opportunity to pick up a proven leader who can take us to wins at pretty much any level."

Froome himself did not have that many questions, but he did express his happiness to be a part of this project. "To be honest, at the end of last season, I really didn't expect to find myself here in the States," he admitted with a wry smile. "But it's been really incredible so far. Everyone's been so welcoming, and it felt like there was a place for me from the moment I got to meet the rest of the team."

Blockuis went on during the press gathering to repeat his early-season 'no Grand Tour' rhetoric. "We're focus on the Continental Tour first. We'll still do a few World Tour races, but we simply don't have the resources to put towards a Grand Tour this year." There was no further confirmation for the team's, or Froome's, race calendar for the coming season.

During the conference, Blockhuis also took the opportunity to announce the arrival of new young stage racing talent Gao Lei, who has come across from the good folks at Grupo Argos - Quala. An additional announcement was made for new partnerships with Delta Airlines - hence why the press conference was held in Atlanta - and British Airways. Delta will be providing discounted prices for any travel within the United States, and between the US and Japan, while British Airways will do the same for any of our flights to Europe, lightening the burden of competing internationally.
Edited by Scatmaster111 on 22-10-2018 02:13


Ulrich Ulriksen
Scatmaster111 wrote:

We are happy to announce that we have successfully acquired the services of none other than Chris Froome "Let me just address the elephant in the room," Mr Blockhuis said to open the proceedings. "No, you're not seeing things, and yes, I can confirm immediately. Our top dog is, well, Froomedog."

Congrats on a bold move and I love the introduction.
Ruben Fernandez to leave Liberty Seguros

Spanish climbing lieutant Ruben Fernandez has left Liberty Seguros and signed with Aviva to support Rafal Majka in the upcoming year. The spanish rider rode an excellent Giro d'Italia and Giro del Trentino, finishing the Grand Tour on 11th, and landing on the podium in Trentino.

What may be considered a breakthrough season for the Spaniard has now culminated in his departing signature.

"I would like to grow and after so many years at the team, for which I would like to thank them dearly, I welcome the new challenge at Aviva. It will be exciting to learn spanglish", Fernadenz said, trying to brokenly communicate, somehow.

Whilst Fernadenz has left Liberty Seguros, the team is centered around its two captains - Herrada and Bananito - with VDP likely to follow suit in the coming years.
BZT Gazette

23/10 2019 roster: the cobbles squad is likely done
Brugse Zot - Trek was born targetting northern classics, and in late october they can introduce the unit for their main goal. "We can declare ourselves quite satisfied of our trading campaign" says the Team Manager, "we failed to sign an absolute leader, but we built up a good level team considering we are at our debut. Talking in football words, we have not the striker but a great midfield, and we can compete with a good team play." After treating some top names, every negotiation wasn't closed, with riders mainly involved in trades between World Tour teams: "This is not a problem for us, in our opening season we can try the best with current team, already composed of four potential leaders. At this point we will unlikely see new faces suited for this terrain."
Four arrows ready to shoot from the quiver will be Niki Terpstra, Jasper Stuyven, Stig Broeckx and Tim Declercq, supported by a mix of experienced and willing bunch with Brian Van Goethem, Willem Wauters and Romain Zingle, while the directeur sportif didn't exclude that Jelle Wallays can join the party in not too rough races. Complete the squad the youngster Quinten Aarts, with an eye to the future.
Edited by df_Trek on 31-10-2018 17:42
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Transfer Irritations - Lack of CarbonSports deals, Senechal and Sagan

It's been a suprisingly quiet transfer season for CarbonSports this time around. Journalists had already leaked first transfers but the management of the German classics team never ended up pulling the trigger on the deals.

Scources close to the team confirm that the team had and has a few promising transfer talks inclusive highly lucrative offers for Senechal but irritations towards the ICL UCI put these talks on hold. It appears that the reason is that the UCI is blocking a possible investment into the development of star rider Peter Sagan - a move that is seen with a lack of understanding by the team.

The team won't make any official comments at this point about this but it is expected that the team management won't bother with any transfers as long as the UCI position doesnt change.
Lufthansa Transfer Update - Three Riders leave Team. More to Follow?

Lufthansa have been among the most active teams in the transfer market this time, with the target of improving on their first season in the World Tour. Among the new riders signed from Free Agency and those brought in from other teams, they have released three riders who formed an important part of the team last season.

Cobbles stalwart Greg Van Avermaet was a part of a swap deal with Grupo - Argos Quala after a season leading our Northern Classics campaign last season.

Benat Intxausti was a part of another swap deal with TVM Cycling Team, and will see out his professional career at the Dutch outfit.

Kenneth Vanbilsen was sold to newcomers KBC Godiva, after an approach from their end was deemed as acceptable.

The interesting thing about all three riders sold so far is that they were all brought in last season and leave after just one season with the team. The team management assured everyone that this was more a reflection on the new direction the team is looking to take, rather than a statement of the recruiting conducted last season.

In a recent statement made to the ICLUCI, the team expressed their interest to remain involved in the transfer window with as many as five riders still being made available for sale. We've learned that these riders are Matthias Frank, Nikias Arndt, Gianluca Brambilla, Jeroen Meijers and Johannes Windischbauer. As it stands, he team still needs three riders to fill up their squad, so the intention of selling more riders will leave them with some recruiting work to do in the closing days of the transfer window.

However things unfold, we will bring you all the news from the Lufthansa camp in our next report, including a full list of all riders that they sign in the transfer window.
Aviva Futura Project welcomes a leader

23-year old Gonzalo Garcia has been hired to lead our makeshift development team in the 2019 season. He previously rode for Liberty Seguros, spending two years in the development team before moving up to the main team last season. With his move to the Aviva Futura Project his role changes from water carrier to being the clear leader all team mates will support.

Gonzalo Garcia71.768667159606764696969726566
Max Fritsch69.468696968675758656857676570
Kim Keersmaekers64.962566658666061646065616466
Philippe Ousemane64.462556061676566646859626763
Matteo Savino63.658636354585459625970635961
Mirko Scuro62.063615961606058576361596064
Lucinao Rosel61.355606258595456586563595861
Javier Guede60.059605858575456566160575560

Edited by Ripley on 28-10-2018 07:30

Champion of Japan

We at Specialized - Sony are pleased to announce the arrival of our latest transfer, double Japanese national champion Genki Yamamoto. He will be further bolstering our stage racing squad, giving us one more reliable option along with Froome and Mannion. He's still got plenty of years to ride, and is expected to be a mainstay at the team for the next few years.

We only have one more spot to fill, and we have a shortlisted rider that we have contacted for it already, but for legal reasons we cannot name them yet, not until a contract is finalized. Aside from that, our team is just about complete, and we will be ready to be highly competitive in stage races throughout the year.

Kit Updates

The team has really taken on a strong image that we didn't really expect towards the start of planning. We expect to be seen quite a lot more often than originally anticipated in CT results, and we are increasing our win tally goal to 20-25 wins. As we hope to have plenty of good results, and out of respect to the talent making up our roster, we have gone about updating the team kits. It will not look too dissimilar to the pre-season releases we have put forth, but it will be significantly refined, and will include space for our new partners, Delta Airlines and British Airways.

Main Kit


National Champion Kits (in spoiler)

Hamid Lahlou


Andrey Amador


Genki Yamamoto




A Chat with the Manager

Martin Blockhuis, Tru Blu CEO and the primary Directeur Sportif of Specialized - Sony, has been making the rounds around the world, meeting with the team's key stakeholders. His first stop was the African UCI World Cycling Center in Potchefstroom, South Africa, establishing a winter training base for our top riders. Next was the press conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where he was accompanied by Chris Froome. Next up was another press affair in Nagano, Japan, where he was accompanied by all of our Japanese riders for the 2019 season - Genki Yamamoto, Tomohiro Hayakawa, Hiroki Nishimura and Susumu Yamazaki - as well as Chinese talent Gao Lei, and our newest and final addition, Andrey Zeits.

Finally, he went over to London, UK, to speak with executives at British Airways, as well as to do a private interview with cycling news publication Cycling Weekly. The interview can be found below. MB indicates quotes from Mr Blockhuis, while CW denotes quotes from the Cycling Weekly reporter.

CW: Mr Blockhuis, it's good to finally meet you in person.

MB: Likewise, though I'll be honest, I am exhausted. I really wish the order of my stops on this 'world tour' of mine could have worked out a bit better, but that's life, I guess you'll have to deal with my jetlagged self for this interview.

CW: Oh don't worry, I know how it goes. So, Specialized - Sony, the revitalization of a team that had disbanded a year ago. What prompted the decision to start up a cycling team?

MB: Well, Tru Blu has been involved in domestic sports for a little while, but we wanted to go international, in line with the size of our brand. I've been into cycling for a while, so we basically went with that on a whim. And we knew that the former Specialized - Playstation setup was a fast-growing and successful organization, but it was disappointing that the program couldn't keep going. We chose to revitalize that in particular, the first step being to get some of the old staff on board. My secondary DS is Andreas Holdsteppe; he was the first person I went to with this, he was at the head of affairs in the 2017 season, and looking at those results I know how capable he is. We also got on board some former team alumni who have developed quite well, Genki Yamamoto and Sam Oomen.

CW: And clearly this team isn't just here to be pack fodder, with the signing of Chris Froome.

MB: Yeah, very true. We never intended to be. Our first target during the transfer period was Tejay van Garderen, but when that didn't work out, we ended up open to quite a new opportunity with Froome. The presence of a guy like Froome also really helped with the Delta and British Airways deals, and those will last on to the end of 2020.

CW: I imagine it's not all sunshine and roses, though. It's no question that Chris Froome is one of the more polarizing characters in world cycling, and with Fabio Aru already in the Continental Tour, I can't imagine too many managers are happy to be competing with Froome as well.

MB: Well, everyone had an equal opportunity to get him. Just like we didn't pay enough for van Garderen, the rest didn't pay enough for Froome. Even so, in all honesty, our bid for Froome was not exactly confident. It was a fairly conservative bid for a rider of his quality, by our estimates. We were prepared for the offer to fail, and we were already in talks with another team for a stage racing captain, pending the result of the Froome deal. It just worked out that we got him. I also don't really think that Froome and Aru are unstoppable - we still have guys like Herklotz in the Continental Tour who I think can give the top dogs a run for their money, as well as The Balkan Cycling Project who currently have three of the top 10 climbers at this level. I think the results will probably be a bit more spread out than some people think. I think that Froome's image is fine - there will always be haters. I don't think that we got the chance to sign him up because the others have anything against him, I just think that maybe most of the other teams decided they didn't need him enough to warrant too much of an investment, which may well end up being the case for them, who can say.

CW: Speaking of transfers, one question that has been leveled towards the Specialized - Sony management is the single-track focus. 'Why no sprinters? Why no classics specialists?' These are the sorts of questions that are often asked about your team.

MB: We hope to promote into the World Tour for 2020, and we have plans in place to expand our roster and broaden our goals accordingly. For this first season however, in order to attain that goal of promotion, we decided that we wanted to focus our efforts for maximum results. Stage races were considered the best option, considering the availability of climbers, the status of Japanese champion Genki Yamamoto as a stage racer, and the potential of a top-tier Anglophone captain. I'd say the transfer season worked out about as perfectly as could be expected in all those regards.

CW: That is a very fair argument. I'm sure there will always be doubters, but we will have to wait and see what the season has in store for your team. Last thing, since it is current news. The ICL UCI is currently investigating the transfer dealings of Quentin Jauregui, who has been involved with three different new teams during this transfer period. What are your thoughts on the resale of already signed riders?

MB: I'm pretty indifferent towards the basic idea of it, if I'm honest. I haven't been watching that particular situation very closely, but I mean, it depends on the circumstances. For example, maybe you set up a team and you get a good super domestique for the mountains, but you can't land that deal for a star climber. And then you come across the opportunity to get a top-tier sprinter for a bargain. I can understand a manager thinking they ought to trade out that climbing domestique for a lead-out man. That's just a random example, but just generally, I think there are situations it could be okay. That said, the rules are quite clear, and I can understand the higher-ups aren't too happy about these antics. And we gotta think about the rider too, this is his livelihood, he shouldn't have to be jumping about between teams and wondering where his next paycheck is gonna come from, in my opinion.

CW: Alright, well, that's about all the time we have. Thank you very much for speaking with us today, Mr. Blockhuis, and good luck in your 2019 campaign.

MB: Thank you, and thank you very much for having me, it's been a pleasure.



Transfers not over?

Day 12 of the transfer window - the team unfortunately confirms that the team has failed to sign Stefano Pirazzi, losing out to CCC Sprandi Polkowice. It was the team's fourth bid that was denied following attempts to sign Tejay Van Garderen, Joseph Dombrowski and Chris Froome. The team has said that quote "...won't make knee-jerk reactions and make panic buys just to complete its roster."

The team is heavilly linked with Aidis Kruopis by the Verslo žinios newspaper in Lithuania, but the team rejected the claim, stating "We already have 2 sprinters at the same level, why bother signing a rider who is only a short term solution?" The two riders he refered to are Jonas Ahlstrand, who won the Swedish RR NC title, and Dylan Groenewegen, who is new signing for the team moving from Grupo Argos - Quala.

The team also signed Wout Poels, Nicolas Roche, Alessandro De Marchi, Emils Liepins and Peter Tarvis - all as free agents. The only non-FA signing so far is sprinter Groenewegen.
Italo 2019




Ulrich Ulriksen
KBC Godiva has announced the signing of Nikolay Mihaylov as their final signing. Manager Willie McRettin commented:

"Great, Fantastic, Nikolay is a big lad and a fantastic addition to the squad, he is capable on any terrain and we look forward to seeing him showing off his Bulgarian TT champion's stripes in KBC colors."
Breaking news: Polestar ProCycling p/b Telenor as finalized the deal with Matthias Frank, as he will join from Lufthansa. With the signing of Frank the team completed its 26 rider roster which would be spread among its two squads.
Lufthansa Transfer Update - More Riders Depart, Arrivals Imminent

As was indicated in the last update, Lufthansa were looking to offload a couple more riders before the end of transfers and those deals have now materialized.

Matthias Frank, who incidentally was the first rider to be signed by the team when it was started two years ago, has left to join Polestar ProCycling p/b Telenor team in the CT.

Also leaving is Nikias Arndt, who too moves to the CT to join Project Cumbria p/b Thomas Grahams.

With these moves, the outgoings from the team look to be done for the season. Having already brought in 10 new riders and 3 neo-pros to the team, transfer business is still not wrapped up with reports that the team are trying to secure the signings of 3 more FAs before the transfer window closes. We do not have information about who those three are, but rest assured we'll be the first to report on the same if they happen.

Like promised, we will bring you the full list of in-comings to the team when the transfer window shuts down. Stay tuned...
BZT Gazette

31/10 Brugse Zot - Trek team presentation expected on 11th November
Arrived in last days of transfer period, Brugse Zot - Trek Team Manager summarizes the situation: "This week we reached an agreement with a couple of riders that will be pillars in 2019 season in both stage races and one day classics. However we are looking for one more element since our budget intended for wages isn't totally spent, we can still sign a good rider, that surelly will increase our team level." TM was refering to Jelle Vanendert and Gaetan Bille, two expert belgian riders that will thicken the team in many fields: the first can share the tasks with Andy Schleck when roads rise up, while the second is a good alternative to Moreno Hofland for flat finishes, besides can go like leadout for him.
It wasn't possible to extract any information about last transfer market operation: "We won't tell you who will join last spot in our team because we don't know neither, I can't confirm if he will be a climber or a sprinter, we are taking in consideration more than one option, what for sure is the wage around 300."
Something more instead about team programs: "Right now I announce that on Sunday 11th November there will be the Team presentation, with already had confirmation of the presence about some past superstars and a big surprise...We are waiting for you all next Sunday at 7pm under Belfort van Brugge in Grote Markt. Our sponsor will be happy to please you with a mug of good beer."
CCC is ready for debut in WT

We are proud to inform you about last 3 riders that decided to join us in the upcoming season. It's a quick news!

Stefano Pirazzi75,466767662655862676984726770
Luca Taschin73,373666874736765656963707170
Timo Roosen72,975666970697071717276726970

Updated and full roster for WT debut!

Winner Anacona76,369777568665862746972716972
Juan Chamorro76,870787570676165727176726772
Diego Ochoa75,670767566645964727177726772
Javier Gomez74,571757372715962686768706774
Daniel Jaramillo74,173747372726063706767716875
Juan Manuel Palmero65,064666461626362606864667065
Ever Rivera75,467767466646064727277716771
Ernesto Urizar68,359696754595457677362615862
Eugenio Alafaci72,971647063676574747167716769
Daniele Dall'Oste74,869757366665966747274726873
Fabio Felline75,875717568697375747175766972
Stefano Pirazzi75,466767662655862676984726770
Luca Taschin73,373666874736765656963707170
Diego Ulissi77,267767872745967797171737074
Timo Roosen72,975666970697071717276726970
Tomasz Brzeziński68,868576058645970696957666567
Patryk Komisarek76,275697371717277767471767172
Wincenty Kubicki67,869576865636257576174696464
Lechosław Molek63,360576164646059616959626159
Mateusz Nowaczek76,271677669676970727174767071
Mateusz Nowak74,473616871716275767570736971
Paweł Poljański75,172687568696869737474746871
Adrian Tekliński72,372666964686473737167726971
Lawson Craddock76,974747578766766697167727175
Tejay Van Garderen79,874797879786364747371757379

Aviva Cycling Team: Transfer Roundup and Team Presentation

Securing the star rider Majka before the actual transfer window even opened made us very relaxed when starting the rest of the transfers. Too many good Brits on the market made us take speculative - read: low – bids in the first FA round and we immediately lost out on the Yates twins. But we are happy to have signed Geraint Thomas as our new leader for cobblestone classics and stage races. We also secured the signatures of Jonathan Dibben and Tao Hart, two young British cyclists with potential and the ability to get on the scoresheet immediately. The 11th Brit in the squad is Michael Cuming, an excellent domestique.

After that we decided to deepen our focus on climbing and stage races and brought in Ruben Fernandez from Liberty Seguros as well as last year's Volta a Portugal winner Fabio Duarte. Since we were lacking riders to compete in the hilly classics we also decided on Romain Hardy, despite a disappointing season in the CT last year. Stefan van Winden is also reunited with his brother, together with our final signing Travis Meyer he'll provide valuable support for our leaders. We kept back a little budget to invest in research and training.

Geoghegan Hart76.271777468666467747275736973

In a not entirely original move we decided to focus on mountains for our first WT season. Apart from our clear captain, Majka, Fuglsang and Fernandez will also get a chance to lead the team. Tao Hart will fight for white jerseys, while Duarte and Monsalve are our superdomestiques and will at times be given free roles to ride their own races. Simon and Lowsley-Williams provide further support.

S. Van Winden71.672656767647270697173726769

With the capture of Thomas and Dibben our secondary focus is on cobblestone races. It's unlikely you'll see one of our riders on the podium, we have to hope on depth scoring. Thomas will most thrive in stage races which feature cobblestones, hills and time trials.


Our team for hilly classics is small and unthreatening, led by Romain Hardy, who disappointed in the CT last season. It's possible that Majka will have to lead in the Ardennes and Thomas will often join Hary in hilly terrain. Schorn is also decent uphill and will look for races that might suit him.

Van der Sande74.572667166696675777470747172

Schorn was fantastic in the CT last season, but we can't except much from him on this higher level. But he's all we got.

D. Van Winden71.374637171707070696673707070

We decided to hold onto Dowsett because he won British ITT NC, he'll be the only rider in the team to wear his country's colours this year. However, his main use will be to strengthen TTTs and work for his team mates. Dennis Van Winden has especially good all-round abilities, can help in a TTT and even on cobblestones. Cuming and Meyer are just as useful. Like last season, McCluskey and Birch are the first line of suppport.
Edited by Ripley on 01-05-2020 10:28

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