Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is the activity or sport of riding specially designed bicycles off-road over trails and rough uneven terrain.

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Allan Peiper will work as a directeur sportif with the UAE Team Emirates squad in 2019, getting back behind the wheel of a team car after several years as Sporting Manager at BMC Racing. Peiper is expected to work closely with Dan Martin as he targets the Ardennes Classics and Grand Tours, sharing his experience of working with Cadel Evans and Richie Porte. UAE Team Emirates have also bolstered its line-up by signing Fernando Gaviria from Quick-Step Floors, Sergio Henao from Team Sky and several talented young riders. The team also has Alexander Kristoff for the sprints and cobbled Classics, and hope that Fabio Aru can get his career back on track in 2019. Peiper was looking for a new direction in his long career in professional cycling after BMC Racing announced it was merging with CCC for 2019.ADVERTISEMENT According to Ride Media in Australia, Peiper spoke to several teams but opted for UAE Team Emirates and is already at the team base in Italy for planning meetings for the new season. French directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit recently left UAE Team Emirates to work with Groupama-FDJ. UAE Team Emirates confirmed to Cyclingnews that Peiper had joined the team staff for 2019. "UAE has ticked all the boxes. It’s a very professional outfit and a great environment for riders to develop. I’m excited about the prospect of working with a rider like Dan Martin who has become a genuine GC contender in recent years," Peiper told Ride Media. Peiper moved to Belgium as a 16-year-old to find a professional contract, going on to race for Peugeot, Panasonic and Tulip Computers. He won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. After time away from the sport he returned as a directeur sportif at Davitamon and then more successfully with the High Road set-up that included Mark Cavendish.
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Mathieu van der Poel has hit back at criticism from Roger De Vlaeminck after the former rider said the young Dutchman's recent domination had 'broken' cyclo-cross. The 23-year-old responded, saying that he doesn’t train to make cyclo-cross exciting. Van der Poel has been a dominant force throughout the current cyclo-cross season, something that has been more apparent with the struggles of his primary rival, Wout van Aert. Van der Poel won his second consecutive World Cup race in Tabor on Saturday after distancing his competitors on the second lap. He has also won the last two rounds of the DVV Trofee and leads the Superprestige series after winning every single race so far.ADVERTISEMENT On Sunday, De Vlaeminck said that many fans were put off by the dominance and that Van der Poel should ride smarter. "I think it's a shame what happens, nobody is nipping at Mathieu van der Poel's heels, he's way too good. But, I think Van der Poel has to be smarter because many people are put off," De Vlaeminck told VRT. "After 10 minutes, you've seen everything in cyclo-cross nowadays, it's no longer worth viewing. Van der Poel is a real Dutchman who wants to take everything, I understand that, but you can also make it nice if you are the best. Because I do not like it anymore, Van der Poel makes the sport a little bit broken.” Van der Poel was direct in his rebuffing of the comments, saying it wasn’t for him to make the racing exciting. He added that by waiting for rivals he could end up losing races. De Vlaeminck keen to help Van Aert
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The infamous Trouée d'Arenberg sector of pavé, used each year by Paris-Roubaix, could have the gaps between its cobbles filled in with mortar ahead of the 2019 race. Rather than being an early April Fool's joke, French newspaper La Voix du Nord reports that concerns about the grass that grows in between the cobblestones is prompting the race organisers to look at solutions to make the road safer. While the last truly wet Paris-Roubaix was back in 2002, concerns about the additional risk of wet grass overlapping the already treacherous pavé have led organiser ASO and Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix – a volunteer group that helps to repair and protect the iconic roads used by the race – to address the potential dangers.ADVERTISEMENT As chemical sprays are not permitted in the Arenberg Forest, through which the cobbled road runs, thermal weedkillers have been used in the past to control the growth of grass between the pavé, but now ASO and its race director Christian Prudhomme are looking for a more permanent solution, according to the newspaper. "If we don't change anything, then the next time it rains during the race, there are going to be a lot more crashes," president of Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, François Soulcier, told La Voix du Nord. The 2.4km-long stretch of cobbles through the forest, which made its first appearance in the race in 1968, has come and gone from the race over the years amid safety concerns, having been responsible for a number of horror crashes. Most well known in more recent years are those of Johan Museeuw in 1998, when the Belgian broke his kneecap, and was close to having to have his leg amputated in the aftermath after it became infected, and Philippe Gaumont in 2001, when the Frenchman broke his femur.
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Greg Van Avermaet's 2018 season might not have measured up to 2017 in terms of his victory tally, but the Belgian still enjoyed an eight-day spell in the lead of the Tour de France. But given the chance, Van Avermaet would trade that honour for a victory in his home Monument, the Tour of Flanders. The organisers of the Tour of Flanders, Flanders Classics, posted a quick 10-question interrogation of Van Avermaet on Twitter in which the Olympic champion says he would rather win the UCI Road World Championships when they come to Belgium in 2021 than extend his Olympic road race title. Given the severity of the course in Tokyo, which should favour pure climbers over Classics specialists, that is a more realistic goal. Van Avermaet is also asked which is the better achievement - winning the Worlds as a 38-year-old, as Alejandro Valverde did in Austria - or winning three times in a row like Peter Sagan, which course he prefers - the old Omloop het Nieuwsblad or the new one, and which was his best Flanders Classic victory, among other questions.ADVERTISEMENT Most importantly, does he prefer the florescent orange of new title sponsor CCC or the salmon coloured jersey of the RCS Anderlecht football team. Find out by watching the video below. It’s off-season for the riders, so we dished up some snackable dilemma questions for “Flanders fan favorite” @GregVanAvermaet pic.twitter.com/xXF3GYFHIr — Flanders Classics (@FlandersCLnews) November 20, 2018
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After securing Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) for next season, the Tour Colombia organisers have said that Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will also be on the start line, according to the Colombian media. The race, previously known as the Colombia Oro y Paz, is keen to have a more international roster after making its debut this season. Speaking at an event in Medellin, Colombia, where the race's headquarters was being inaugurated, the head of the Colombian Federation, Jorge Ovidio González, told the local press that Nibali would be in attendance. However, Cyclingnews spoke to Bahrain-Merida, which did not confirm his appearance and said that Nibali's current plans are to go to the team's January training camp in Catalonia before heading to Tenerife for a training camp on Mount Teide. Cyclingnews understands that Nibali has different plans for 2019 and will likely not race Tour Colombia.ADVERTISEMENT Nibali has previously said that he would like a more straightforward start to the year after he fell ill ahead of his 2018 debut at the Vuelta a San Juan. Nibali has started his season at the Argentinean race, which takes place between January 27 and February 3, for the last three seasons. The Tour Colombia does not start until February 12 and runs until the February 17, so Nibali could ride both races if he wished but is wary of travelling far afield so early in the season after his experience this year. Nibali is expected to finalise his 2019 race programme next month when the Bahrain-Merida team meet for their winter training camp in Croatia. The Italian is still choosing between targeting the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France. Nibali rode the Tour de France this season but abandoned after stage 12 after an crash on the Alpe d'Huez left him with a fractured vertebra. In addition to Froome and Valverde, home riders Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling), Egan Bernal (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) are all expected to line-up. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) has also penciled in the event for his return to racing after missing a large part of the 2018 due to mononucleosis.
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After finally securing a title sponsor for his team last month, Patrick Lefevere has added BMW as a car supplier for his Deceuninck-QuickStep team. In recent years, Quick-Step Floors have been working with French manufacturer Peugeot. The team will be supplied with 15 vehicles in total, three fewer than their current store of cars. The fleet will consist of nine X1s Drive 18i and six 520i Touring, while they will also use one of the new X7 models in March to use for VIPs. "We are really pleased to have BMW join us as our new official car partner,” Lefevere said in a team press release. “We are always looking for innovative ways to improve our set-up and support the team. We believe that having an official car partner like BMW, that is as passionate about innovation as we are, can help to deliver even more success and satisfaction."ADVERTISEMENT Quick-Step Floors was the most successful team in 2018, winning a total of 73 races. However, they lost a number of key riders, including Fernando Gaviria, due to a protracted search for a new sponsor. E3 Harelbeke gets new name and route E3 Harelbeke will become the E3 BinckBank Classic from next season after the online bank became a new sponsor. The one-day WorldTour race unveiled the route for next year at the same time, as well as a new logo. Despite dropping Harelbeke from its name, the race will still start and finish in the town. It will head toward Waregem, Oudenaard and then Zottegem before looping south toward Geraardsbergen and then heading back to Harelbeke. The route is much the same as it was this season with just a few minor changes made necessary due to roadworks. Zwift Academy announces 2018 men's winner Go behind the scenes at Prendas
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Pierre Rolland has called for his new squad Vital Concept to be given a chance to earn Tour de France selection in the early part of the 2019 season. The Frenchman joins the Pro Continental squad from EF Education First-Drapac and is aiming to make his 11th consecutive Tour appearance. In 2018, ASO announced the Tour’s four wildcard invitations in the first week of January, before Vital Concept had raced competitively, and the new squad was overlooked for one of the four wildcard places. Manager Jerome Pineau has looked to buttress the roster for their second campaign. Sprinter Bryan Coquard remains in situ, while the new arrivals include Rolland, Cyril Gautier and former French champion Arthur Vichot. “I’ve done ten Tours de France in a row, which is something quite difficult to imagine,” Rolland told Ouest France. “But every year, whether you’re in a WorldTour team or not, you’re not sure of being there. There’s always a bit of uncertainty. You need to be among the best eight riders on the team and fit in with the strategy. Now, the question of [the team] being selected also comes into play. We hope to be there, and we’ll do everything we can to do that. We just hope that the invitations aren’t handed out on January 1.”ADVERTISEMENT The four wildcards teams at the this year's Tour de France were Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Direct Energie and Fortuneo-Samsic, while Vital Concept had to make do with a limited diet of WorldTour stage racing in 2018. Although they were invited to the Critérium du Dauphiné, they missed out on all of the Grand Tours and Paris-Nice. “We’re depending on invitations,” Rolland said. “I hope that they give us time to show the jersey and prove ourselves before the invitations are given.” Rolland has finished in the top 10 of the Tour on three occasions – he was best young rider in 2011 – and took fourth at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, but he placed a greater emphasis on chasing stage victories in recent years. The stand-out success of his three-year tenure on EFEducation First-Drapac (formerly Cannondale) was a stage at Canazei on the 2017 Giro d'Italia.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com