Five at 5.45: the class of ’16

UCI: The Class of ’16
The UCI is in the process of confirming team licenses for next season. Teams are financially audited to ensure that they are in a position to fund their activities for a year. Some who have already passed the audit have taken to social media to confirm which divison of cycling they will compete in from January. So far, we know that LottoNL-Jumbo has retained its place in the World Tour. The Pro-Continental tier has offered further continuity: Team Wanty Gobert, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Caja Rural-Seguros (pictured) are back in the second divison. They will be joined by two new teams who have moved up from Continental level: Carrefour Funvic Soul Cycling Team will be the sole Brazilian representation, and longtime French development team, Delko Marseille Provence KTM.
Back Britain’s Classic
The Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic is looking for crowdfunded sponsorship for 2016. The race wants to generate £15,000 in the next month to ensure that it can be televised next year on ITV4 or Eurosport. The Rutland-Melton is billed as Britain’s answer to Paris-Roubaix and takes place every April in Leicestershire and Rutland. It’s run on narrow winding roads and includes ‘special’ sections of off-road for the riders to navigate. It was won this year by Steele Van Hoff, who will move to One Pro Cycling for 2016. Only one rider has won the race twice, Raleigh GAC’s Ian Wilkinson, who triumphed in 2009 and 2013. To support the race, visit their Just Giving page by clicking here.
Die Große Abfahren
Düsseldorf have voted to bid for the Grand Départ of the 2017 Tour de France. London was believed to be on the brink of receiving the third British start in 10 years, but the organising team withdrew at the last minute. Düsseldorf have stepped in and have now confirmed their interest. They predict it will cost in the region of €11 million, but expect to make at least five times that amount. If the bid is successful, it will be the first time since Jan Ullrich’s ban, in 2006, that the Tour will visit Germany. It will also be the fourth time the Tour has started in Germany; Cologne 1965, Frankfurt 1980 and Berlin 1987 were the previous starts.  
A New MoviSTAR
Movistar have signed 24-year-old Antonio Pedrero for the next two seasons. The Spanish climber has taken an unusual route to the World Tour. As an amateur he raced for the Lizarte team in Northern Spain, previously the home of Joseba Beloki, Isidro Nozal and Andrey Amador. Earlier this year he moved to the Inteja – MMR Dominican Cycling team in the Carribean. He joined the team in July and raced one UCI race, the Tour of Guadeloupe, where he won a stage and finished third overall. He will join new signings Dani Moreno, Jorge Arcas, Nelson Oliveira and Carlos Betancur at the first team meeting this weekend.
Prime Argentinean Steak
The tenth edition of the Tour de San Luis in January 2016 will feature the strongest line-up assembled thus far for the race. World Champion Peter Sagan will be present as will 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali and 2014 Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana. Defending champion Daniel Díaz will aim to retain his title in the new colours of the Delko Marseille team. The race will open with a team time trial and feature two summit finishes, the remaining four stages will all suit the sprinters. Etixx-QuickStep’s Fernando Gaviria returns to the race after winning two stages last year and team mate Tom Boonen is also planning to race if he’s recovered from his head injuries. San Luis will feature seven World Tour teams and eight national teams including Cuba and Italy.

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