Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Explainer: The Team Size Debacle

A unilateral decision could see teams forced to reduce team sizes for all races, including grand tours like the Giro d'Italia. Photo: Tim De Waele | (file)

The decision to decrease team sizes in pro men’s cycling, announced by a group of race organizers on Friday and then rebuffed by a UCI statement a day later, is a case study in strange bedfellows, circumnavigated rules, and bold politics. Here’s what you need to know.

What happened?

On Friday, major race organizers ASO (Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, Tour of California), RCS (Giro d’Italia), and Flanders Classics (Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem) sent out a joint press release announcing that teams would be trimmed by one rider for the 2017 season. Grand tours would now have eight-man squads and smaller stage races and one-day races would have seven-man teams.

The organizers cited the twin goals of increased rider safety, thanks to a smaller peloton, and increased race dynamism. The logic is that a smaller team will find it more difficult to control a race, thus making the racing more interesting.

The statement was released unilaterally by the race organizers, apparently without prior notice to the UCI or teams.
Less than 24 hours after the initial announcement, the UCI issued a short statement rejecting the change. The governing body noted that its own rules require such changes be approved by a group called the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), which is a sort of bridge between the sport’s major stakeholders. Though they were previously discussed, the team size changes were not approved by the PCC.

The UCI stated that team sizes would remain the same for the 2017 season, in direct opposition to the race organizers’ statement.

As of press time, the disparity between these two statements has not been resolved.

Why can’t everyone just get along?

Negotiations that are likely to affect the future of pro cycling generally take place between stakeholders behind closed doors. Occasionally we see public threats, as when ASO threatened to pull the Tour out of the WorldTour, but that is somewhat rare.

In this case, we appear to be watching the negotiations take place in the open, via the press.

The PCC, which contains representatives from the race organizers, teams, riders, and the UCI, is supposed to be the venue for this sort of decision making. The group met earlier this month and team size was a topic of discussion. But at the end of the meeting, the group dissolved with only a mandate to continue considering the change and reconvene to discuss at a later date. No final decision was made.

Technically, the PCC has to approve any change in team size. This is written in the UCI’s rulebook. I would say, “written clearly,” but that would be a gross exaggeration. As with many things in the UCI rulebook, the language is a bit muddy.

Nonetheless, it is clear that the PCC should be involved in these sort of decisions in some capacity or another. Race organizers circumnavigated this UCI rule and went directly to the public with their new plan. Why? Because they could.

Power structures and alliances in this sport are constantly shifting. Only the spot at the top, held by ASO, remains steady. Generally, race organizers tend to be at odds with each other, particularly Tour organizer ASO and Giro organizer RCS. But in this case, ASO has teamed up with RCS and Flanders Classics against teams, riders, and the UCI. This is a powerful alliance.

The combined leverage and power of ASO, RCS, and Flanders leaves the UCI and teams vastly outmatched in cycling’s political arena. The UCI can shout about rules all it wants but it has little recourse if the major race organizers decide to simply apply their own rules.

The UCI’s modus operandi under President Brian Cookson has been to seek consensus rather than dictate its own terms. This is something of a departure from the style of previous administrations. The result is that the UCI has been frequently pulled to and fro by opposing interests, usually teams and race organizers. Its ability to move forward in such circumstances is limited.

Race organizers’ decision to go straight to the public with a plan that seems to have quite a lot of public support (Who doesn’t want to see Sky’s grip on the Tour loosen a bit? Who doesn’t want even more chaotic classics races?) further increases the likelihood of this change going into effect.

If anyone has the right to be mad, it’s team owners. While the race organizers’ unilateral decision was a slap in the face of the UCI, it was a slap in the wallet of team owners, who have built rosters based on nine-rider grand tours and eight-rider classics races. Lots of planning just flew out the window, and more than a few rider signings are now going to be less useful to the team’s goals.

Going forward, expect a few more press releases to be tossed back and forth while discussions are ongoing behind the scenes. Someone will fold. Or, as was the case with the hotly debated change to the number of WorldTour teams, all parties will simply agree to kick the can down the road bit further.

Let’s assume the change is implemented. What will it do to racing?

The effect will likely be smaller than some hope or expect, but there is no question that dropping team size will affect racing, tactics, and safety concerns.

Trimming teams will decrease total peloton size, a goal that has seen widespread support from both teams and organizers. The Tour de France will drop from 198 to 176 riders. That’s still a large peloton, but one that is, theoretically anyway, slightly more manageable.

However, changing the size of the peloton does very little to negate the battles for position that occur near the front. These battles are the most frequent cause of crashes. It is therefore erroneous to believe that cutting 1/9 of the field will decrease total crashes in kind.

The second goal of the change is to “make it more difficult to dominate a race, as well as enhance conditions for events to offer better racing for cycling fans,” according to the race organizers’ statement. This is quite clearly a direct shot at Team Sky, which has admitted to its paralyzing effect on the Tour de France peloton.

Will dropping from nine to eight riders remove Sky’s (or any other strong GC team’s) ability to control a race? No. It will dilute it somewhat, but the small change won’t put an end to the tactic.

Eight-man teams will magnify the effect of losing a rider to injury or illness. Dropping to seven or even six severely hinders a team’s ability to control a race. Recall that of Froome’s three Tour wins, only one saw Sky finish with all nine riders. The team finished with seven and eight in the other two. Lop one rider off for this new rule and you have a GC team defending yellow with only six riders — a tricky proposition.

The change is likely to decrease the practice of teams arriving at the grand tours with both sprint and GC leaders. Teams will be wary of attempting to protect and support two different leaders with only six domestiques.

There is precedent for smaller teams increasing racing drama. The Tour of Britain is an excellent example. With six-man squads, that race is notoriously difficult to control, and is often won by a rider few picked at the start. That’s the sort of unpredictable racing this rule change seeks to bolster.

Article Source: Velo News

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Five Greatest Cycling Rivalries

Lance Armstrong vs Jan Ullrich, Alberto Contador vs Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara vs Tom Boonen. Cycling's rich history is full of incredible rivalries. Here are the five greatest.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

"What if, today, we were grateful for everything?
-Charlie Brown 

Happy Thanksgiving 
from Velo Wrench Bike Shop

Monday, November 21, 2016

Peter Sagan Eyes Record-Equalling Tour de France Green Jersey in 2017

World champ reflects on career and team dynamics at his namesake Gran Fondo

Peter Sagan at his gran fondo in California (Christopher Keiser/@KaffeineKeiser)
On Saturday in Westlake Village, California, world champion Peter Sagan patiently posed with hundreds of people who wanted pictures with him. Whether on the bike during his Peter Sagan VIP Charity Ride or at the gala dinner afterwards, the affable Sagan indulged everyone who asked.

In between the two events — which were part of a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of America — Sagan sat down with a few journalists for a quick interview.
Cyclingnews: Why go to [a smaller team like] Bora?
Peter Sagan: We were speaking with a lot of teams. The team where I go, it is not just for the money. I wanted to bring my group. The big teams, they plan everything, and it is difficult to bring in your group.
In cycling, it is very important in what group you are staying.
It was very important to take my director sportif, coach, the riders, mechanics, masseuse. That is the most important thing I have learned in seven years as a professional is to be, not relaxed, but calm [with your team].
CN: What is the future for you? What race do you most want to win?
PS: Nobody knows. One day you are winning the Tour de France another day you are home. We will see. Whatever life brings me, I want to get it.
For me, there are three parts of the season. For the Classics, I would like to win Paris-Roubaix. Milan-San Remo is a little bit of a lottery. I try every year to win San Remo, and then I won two times the world championship. I am trying, but it is racing. You can do one bad movement, and you are out of it. Cycling is like that. You are riding for six hours, then it is over in three seconds.
I would like to win the Green Jersey at the Tour. After that I can be parallel with Erik Zabel [who holds the record for most Tour de France points classification wins at six].
After that, we will see.
CN: Do you have a favorite win?
PS: My favorite win for sure is world championships. That and Flanders.
CN: Will we see you on the mountain bike in 2017?
PS: We'll see. It was part of the deal with Bora. We will see how the schedule goes during the year. It's not easy to change from road to mountain bike. This year I did a lot of preparation for the Olympics, but it was very difficult.
For mountain bike, it might be better if I go just for fun. We'll see.
CN: What does it mean to be the UCI number 1 ranked rider versus the world champion?
PS: It is much harder to win the UCI ranking, because it is an effort for the whole year. You have to beat the climbers, GC riders, and then also ride for the Classics.
Worlds is all about one day. You can have good luck or bad luck. I am very happy for the world championship win, it is unbelievable. I had a lot of luck.
CN: Some riders are sprinters, others are climbers or classics riders. What type of rider do you consider yourself?
PS: I still have not found myself.
CN: How do you feel about the pressure of being famous?
PS: It's part of the job. If I'm not winning, I'm not popular. Then nobody don't care about me. If I'm not winning, I'm not doing wheelies. Or if I do, nobody cares.
With the world championship, maybe it looks like easy, but it's not easy.
If somebody disturbs me about a selfie, it's no problem. If I can make somebody happy, it's good. The most important thing is making other people happy. Because it's a bad world, no?
CN: So are the videos you do and the wheelies for yourself, or for fans?
PS: It is for the people. Why would I have to do a video for myself? If someone can watch something and have fun for a week, great.
CN: What do you do to keep riding fun?
PS: For myself, to have fun, to relax, is to be with my family. I'll be doing my job, another 3, 4, 5, 6 years. Then I have to keep going.
CN: Do you have any must-have equipment?
PS: During my career I [have come to] understand a lot of things about cycling. You have to explore what kind of training [works best for you], what kind of product. You are meeting every day a lot of people, especially the sponsors. Everybody comes, and says, "this is the best, this is the best, this is the best, this is the best."
I met [Osmo Nutrition co-founder] Ben [Capron] in 2013. He said his new product, Osmo, is the best in the world. [Laughs.] We did all the tests. I was training, and peeing on a paper to see how hydrated I was. Osmo was our sponsor in Cannondale. I didn't have any more problem with my stomach, I didn't have any more problems with cramps. Then the team sponsorship ended, and I was trying to find a way back. They just sent it to me. They were buying it from the shops and sending it to me.
For pro cyclists, it is not about the money, it is about what is the best for you.
Article Source: Cycling News

Friday, November 18, 2016

Dowsett Aims to Break Wiggins Hour Record in 2017

Alex Dowsett en route to setting the hour record in Manchester. Photo: Crankphoto
The BBC reports that Alex Dowsett will take another run at the world hour record in 2017, in an effort to beat the 54.526km mark set by Bradley Wiggins.

Dowsett, who races professionally for the Spanish Movistar team, rode the hour for his first time on May 2, 2015, going a distance of 52.937km in Manchester, England’s velodrome. At the time, it was a new world record, beating Rohan Dennis’s result from February.

However about one month later, Wiggins shattered his fellow Brit’s record, but this time at the Lee Valley VeloPark outside of London.

Since then, only one other man has attempted the hour, Tom Zirbel, who rode in Mexico at the Aguascalientes track. The American managed to better Dowsett’s ride with a distance of 53.037 at the high-altitude track but was still well short of Wiggins. He did set a new U.S. hour record.

According to BBC, Dowsett, 26, will make the attempt in early 2017, again in Manchester.

Article Source: Velo News

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Canyon-Shimano will be Continental Team in 2017

Utah-based squad bolsters roster with Squire, Beyer, Greenburg and Winn

Cortlan Brown in action for Canyon-Shimano (Alex Chiu)
The US domestic peloton got a boost Tuesday with the announcement that Canyon-Shimano will move from amateur elite to the UCI Continental level for 2017.

The Utah-based team joins CCB Velotooler and theAevolo development team among the US programs that have declared they will seek Continental licenses for the first time next season.
The team has been competing domestically since 1994, first regionally and then stepping up to the national level in 2009. During the 2010 Tour of Utah, Francisco Mancebo competed with the team as a guest rider, finishing second behind Levi Leipheimer and ahead of third-placed Ian Boswell.
Following several successful seasons on the national calendar, team owner Mike Pratt decided it was time to go to the Continental level.
"With the team's current momentum, it seemed like the right time to do this," Pratt said. "I want to do my part to grow this sport in the US. I could not be happier with our squad this year, both our returning riders and our impressive new guys."
For its inaugural year on the Continental level, the team brought on board Chad Beyer from the now-defunct Lupus Racing team, Rob Squire from Holowesko-Citadel, Cory Greenberg from Cylance-Incycle and Australian Chris Winn from Satalyst Verve Racing Team.
Returning riders include Cortlan Brown, Michael Burleigh, Steve Fisher, Kaler Marshall and Eric Slack. Alan Schmitz will return as director.
Beyer had a resurgent year in 2016, racing on Lupus alongside Chris Horner. He scored top 10 finishes at Tour of the Gila, the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, the Winston-Salem Classic and the US pro road race.
Squire raced with Holowesko the past two years following stints at Jamis, Amore & Vita, Ceramica Flaminia and Chipotle. He finished ninth at the Tour of Utah this year, was fifth in Philly and took the mountains jersey at the Tour de Beauce.
Greenberg spent 2016 with Cylance-Incycle contesting criteriums across the country. He won the River Parks Criterium and its infamous multiple ascents of Cry Baby Hill at Tulsa Tough.
Winn spent part of the year with Australian Continental team Satalyst Verve but also competed in the US as a guest rider with several teams.
"Chris joined us periodically last year and was a great addition," the team said in its announcement. "This year we decided to make it official. Chris brings his tireless work ethic, great knowledge of the sport and constant upbeat personality to cap off a very exciting roster for 2017."
The team is sponsored by Canyon Bicycles, a chain of shops in the Salt Lake City area, and component manufacturer Shimano. The team will ride Scott Bicycles in 2017 while contesting USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour as well as a handful of international events.
Canyon Bicycles-Shimano 2017 roster:Chad Beyer, Cortlan Brown, Michael Burleigh, Steve Fisher, Cory Greenberg, Kaler Marshall, Erik Slack, Rob Squire, Chris Winn
Article Source: Cycling News

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Five Ways the 100th Giro Could Be the Best Ever

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media |
FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — The Giro d’Italia celebrates its centenary edition in 2017, and as race director Mauro Vegni says, “It will be one for the history books.”

The 2017 edition, the 100th since the race first rolled out of Piazzale Loretto in 1909, will visit most of the “Bel Paese” and pay homage to its cycling elite. And that is not all …

1. Happy 100th!

One hundred years means something in a country deprived of historical institutions. Italy only became a republic on June 2, 1946. The Catholic church is the longest-running thread through Italian society. The few remaining industrial giants like Fiat and Pirelli popped up in the late 1800s. It leaves the Giro as Italy’s key annual reference point, a three-week pink party celebrated every May — minus the war years — since 1909.

The Tour de France reached the 100th edition in 2013. Only a handful of races, such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix, the Giro di Lombardia, have reached such an important milestone.

“I’m happy to arrive here for the 100th edition,” Vegni told VeloNews. “I was there for the 100th edition of Lombardia, the 100th of Milano-Sanremo. It’s a pleasure to be here and to design the route.”

2. Embracing Italy

The Giro has begun in Northern Ireland and Greece, but this 2017 edition embraces Italy.

“These are particular years, editions that remain in the history,” Vegni said. “We are putting in all the aspects, and being able to have a Giro that touches much of Italy. There are only four or five regions that are missing: Campania, Lazio, Liguria, Val d’Aosta.”

The 2017 Giro starts in Sardinia and transfers to Sicily before traveling north from the boot’s toe to the Alps in the north. Only once, in 1961, did the Giro visit both big islands. The massive undertaking, with Sardinia covering the transportation costs for ferries and airplanes, highlights the edition’s importance.

The 100th Tour departed from France’s big island, Corsica, for the first time. With the logistical difficulties faced, some contended that that the French grand tour would not visit again for another 100 years.

3. Milan — where it all began

La Gazzetta dello Sport began the race to rival the Tour de France. The route started and finished in Milan, the newspaper’s headquarters, and traveled to seven other cities: Naples, Chieti, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, and Turin. The newspaper later used pink paper and introduced a jersey to match in 1931.

RCS Sport, the sporting subsidiary of the publishing house RCS Mediagroup, still calls the fashion capital home. It will host the final stage, not at the Arena Civica where Luigi Ganna took the first title in 1909, but in front of the city’s iconic cathedral.

“It was important for us to remember Milan, that’s our headquarters and the first edition started and ended there. In Milan, you have to visit the Duomo. Milan’s known for that. We can’t arrive with a road stage due to road complications, and so we needed a time trial.”

Of the original host cities, only Florence and Milan will see stage starts or finishes, Chieti and Bologna are passed during stages. The others were left out to keep the Giro modern.

4. Non solo una pizza Margherita

A simple pizza Margherita with tomato, mozzarella, and basil will do, but not for 21 days. Vegni’s menu shows plenty of variety.

To keep the Giro modern, he limited the historical symbolism in favor of racing. Not so long ago, the Giro featured multiple flat sprint stages. Sprinter Alessandro Petacchi won nine times alone in the 2004 edition. It also suffered from enormous transfers for years.

The new formula works. Top sprinters attend for the early stages and a chance to wear the pink jersey, and the stars stay for a chance to win one of cycling’s most prestigious titles. Because the route avoids some regions, it is able to spend more time weaving through the famous Alps.

Time trials balance the weight of the mountain stages. In fact, this year, the Giro has more time trial kilometers than the Tour. The time trial through the Sagrantino wine zone covers 39.2 kilometers and the final one to Milan’s Duomo, 28 kilometers.

5. The stars align

The Giro should attract cycling’s top grand tour stars. Vincenzo Nibali (with Bahrain next year) and Fabio Aru (Astana) will race. And reportedly, Esteban Chaves (Orica – BikeExchange), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Chris Froome (Sky) are considering it too.

“I don’t want that the Giro’s important because there’s this rider or that. The Giro and Tour make the champions, it’s not the champions that make the races, ” Vegni added.

“A fundamental motivation was to celebrate 100 years of the Giro’s history, our country. To remember some of the famous Italians who’ve participated in this race, with the start in Ponte a Ema for Gino Bartali, Castellania for Fausto Coppi, Mortirolo for Marco Pantani, Bergamo for Felice Gimondi, Forlì for Ercole Baldini … It’s the 100th edition, you have to remember these cyclists.”

Article Source: Velo News

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

French Pro League to Take UCI to Court Over 2017 WorldTour Reforms

LNC takes strong stance to defend national level races

Marc Madiot (Sirotti)

The Ligue Nationale du Cyclisme (LNC), headed by FDJ team manager Marc Madiot, is ready to take legal action against the UCI regarding the planned reforms to the WorldTour calendar for 2017.

The LNC governs and coordinates professional racing in France and has always defended French cycling and the season-long Coupe de France race series. They are concerned about the addition of 10 new races to the 2017 WorldTour calendar.
Any obligations to ride the new WorldTour events could force the French WorldTour teams to focus on international events and so damage French and other minor races in Europe that have traditionally been part of the professional race calendar.
The LNC, which said in September it would seek answers and was prepared to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to resolve the issue, claims it has been left frustrated by the UCI's reluctance to explain the reasons behind the WorldTour reforms. It has decided to commence legal proceedings after a unanimous vote by its board members.
There was no initial reaction from the UCI when contacted by Cyclingnews. 
"We have mandated our legal adviser Ellipse Avocats to initiate proceedings against the UCI under the relevant jurisdiction," a statement sent to Cyclingnews from the LNC confirms.
The LNC believes it is acting in the interests of international cycling as well of those of French teams and race organisers.
"The LNC is acting in the interest of French cycling, its riders, teams and organisers, but also in the interests of everyone in international cycling. The globalisation of our sport cannot happen via the suppression of the pyramidal system as part of the 2017 WorldTour plans," the LNC statement reads.
The LNC's belligerent position comes on the day the UCI's Professional Cycling Council (PCC), responsible for the technical and administrative organisation of WorldTour, is due to meet in Geneva to approve the rules for the 2017 WorldTour.
Cyclingnews understands that the PCC will agree that that 18 teams will be given places in the WorldTour peloton in 2017, overturning initial plans to reduce the WorldTour to 17 teams. The PCC is also expected to formalise the number of WorldTour teams, if any at all, that will be obliged to take part in the ten new WorldTour races, such as the Tour of Qatar, Abu Dhabi Tour, the Tour of California and the RideLondon Classic. New WorldTour races face significant extra costs but currently do not know which WorldTour teams will line up for their races.
In a recent opinion piece for Cyclingnews, Cannondale-Drapac team manager Jonathan Vaughters described the current WorldTour structure as a 'race to the bottom'.
Madiot has often spoken out against the reforms of the WorldTour, including in his blog forCyclingnews. The reforms have also seen Tour de France organiser ASO at loggerheads with the UCI in a power struggle for control of the sport.
"It's just impossible for a team of 30 riders to take part in all the 37 races of the new series," Madiot argued, highlighting the impossibility of dealing with clashes where teams would be expected to send teams and resources to up to three different events at the same time.
"The calendar doesn't make any sense, with three WorldTour events clashing one week after the Tour de France: San Sebastian, RideLondon and the Tour de Pologne. We'd need forty riders to do it, but budgets can't be increased just like this in a few weeks."
"There's no way I'll skip some races in my country! Sponsors in cycling need their local exposure too and it's part of our duty to support local races as well."
"Teams haven't been consulted before this calendar was established and there'll be kind of a revolution."
Article Source: Cycling News

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Get Your Bike Fixed The Same Day - New Appointment Program

Vinny goes over the new appointment program that allows you to drop off and pick up your bike the same day for most repairs. Give him a call at 707-451-4706 or visit

Thursday, November 3, 2016

'Meiyin Wang is China’s Best Ever Cyclist', Says Li Fuyu

'Meiyin Wang is China’s best ever cyclist', says Li Fuyu

Meiyin Wang (Hengxiang Cycling Team) stays in yellow (Le Tour de Langkawi 2013)

Speaking to Cyclingnews ahead of the Tour of Taihu Lake (November 5-12), China’s first ever ProTour rider Li Fuyu (Discovery Channel 2007 and RadioShack 2010) is full of praise for his protégé, Wang Meiyin, who has been signed by Bahrain-Merida for the next two years.

He’ll be the fifth rider from China to join cycling's top tier after Ji Cheng (Giant-Alpecin), who retired at the end of the Tour of Hainan last Sunday, Xing Yandong, who briefly joined him at Argos-Shimano in 2013, and Xu Gang, whose future is uncertain after three years with Lampre-Merida.
The new Chinese TJ Sport takeover of the Lampre-Merida team is yet to announce any Chinese recruits, but Wang will be able to speak Mandarin in the peloton with Orica-BikeExchange’s Cheung King Lok from Hong Kong and his future teammate Feng Chung Kai from Taiwan.
Wang will take part in the Tour of Taihu Lake and the Tour of Fuzhou (November 16-20) with his current team Wisdom-Hengxiang, directed by Fuyu, before heading to Europe for the first time ever to meet up with Bahrain-Merida at their December training camp.
“I wish Meiyin the best of luck," Fuyu said. “He’s really professional and I’m sure he’ll deliver a good show in the pro races as much as he’s done with us for the past six years. He’s definitely China’s best cyclist ever.
"He’s been approached by big teams before, like Orica-GreenEdge and Giant-Shimano, especially after the 2013 Tour de Langkawi [stage 3 winner in the Cameron Highlands, King of the Mountains, 5th overall and best Asian rider], but this is the first time that we have had a face to face discussion with a team. The request came from the head manager of Merida in China before the Chinese national championships in September. After I talked with [team manager] Brent Copeland, I’m convinced Meiyin will have a good chance to express his potential at the highest level.”
Cheng Ji paved the way as the first Chinese cyclist to have completed all three Grand Tours (Vuelta a España 2012, Tour de France 2014, Giro d’Italia 2015 and 2016). In an interview with Cyclingnewsduring the 2013 Tour of Turkey, he said: “I might not be the most talented cyclist from the country but I want to show everyone that a Chinese can also do the job providing that he acts as a professional. I’m doing these Grand Tours to give inspiration to my compatriots."
Fuyu is certain that Wang will follow in Ji's footsteps in riding the biggest race of them all, 
“Meiyin will probably take part in the Tour de France one year. I don’t know which year, but it won’t be only to finish it; he’ll ride for the podium, whether it’s to get a jersey or a stage victory," he said.
“But he can first work for [Vincenzo] Nibali. I hope he’ll do the Giro or the Vuelta next year. He’ll discuss his program with the team in December.”
Cyclingnews understands that Wang is set to debut his pro career in January with the Santos Tour Down Under, which will mark the big return of Peter Sagan where it all started for him in 2010.
“Meiyin does well in the hot weather," Fuyu added. “In the Shandong province, we have four seasons so he can race under any condition. The cold in Europe won’t be a problem for him. I won’t be his coach anymore. I’m sure he can improve his cycling under a good coach at Bahrain-Merida. With more training, he’ll become stronger.
"For a Chinese rider, being 27 year old is not too late for turning pro. He’s got five to ten great seasons ahead of him.”
Fuyu is also adamant that his protégé will easily overcome the language barrier. In an interview withCyclingnews after his fourth place at the 2011 Tour of Hainan, Wang declared his priority was to learn English and to understand the cycling world better but five years later the progress has yet to be heard.
“I’ll talk to him if his feelings aren’t good but after two or three months based in Italy, he’ll be able to speak with everyone over there," a very optimistic Fuyu concluded.
As for Wang’s replacement at Wisdom-Hengxiang, it’s all organised. Zhao Jingbiao, 21, will be given the leadership. “He was very young when he became the Chinese national champion in 2014," Fuyu noted. “He became a bit lazy after he achieved that. But now he’s mature and you’ll see him in the WorldTour also in one or two years time.”

Article Source: Cycling News