I don't understand how riders are still swapping around as many of them are beginning to train for next season. Yet this is the current state of affairs that we live with...
Marlen Zmorka, Xhuliano Kamberaj to SkyDive Dubai
SkyDive Dubai is an UAE based team that is a split between UAE riders and riders that got the team UCI points including Goku Mancebo, Andrea Palini and Edgar Pinto as well Rafaa Chtioui and Soufiane Haddi. It seems like some pet project with some bored Emirati.
The first two signings for 2016 are two riders that have been based in Italy that aren't Italian. The more recent signing is the Ukranian Muslim Marlen Zmorka, who has spent the last four season with Olivano Locatelli's Palazzago team. Zmorka is a time trial specialist but will need to work on his pack skills and endurance to complete a full road schedule.
Also joining the UAE team is Trentino-based Albanian Xhuliano Kamberaj, who won the final race of the season at the Giro d'Autunno. Kamberaj switched teams mid season from Cipollini Ale Rime to Cycling Team Friuli and has been on the cusp of greatness the past few seasons after getting lower podium spots against riders such as Jakub Mareczko, Nicolas Marini and Simone Consonni. Kamberaj still has a year of U23 eligibility left and with SkyDive being on the continental level, he could still get some chances at the U23 level and will most likely target the Qatar World Championships next year.
Mads Wurtz Schmidt rejects World Tour; signs with Tre-For
In a move that Espoirs Central wholy endorses, U23 World TT Champion Mads Wurtz Schmidt (Denmark) has decided to forgo the World Tour for now and use his final year of U23 eligibility and transfer to the Tre-For team for 2016. Tre-For is one of the biggest Danish continental teams and has had riders such as Rasmus Quaade, the Kragh Andersen brothers and Rasmus Guldhammer in their ranks in the recent years.
It is a sensible decision for Wurtz Schmidt to make at such a young age. Many young riders see dollar signs and the World Tour as a land of opportunity when many lack the foresight to see how the machine chews up and spits out young riders that are not prepared for being professionals on the highest level. While Wurtz Schmidt is a stud in the time trial, he could work on being more consistent in road races, which would help make him more marketable. He could leave Tre-For mid-year if a great offer came along or be a stagiaire at a later point in the season.
Other recent transfer news...
-U23s James Knox (Zappi's Pro Cycling), Scott Davies (GB Academy) and Dan Pearson (Zalf-Euromobil) move to Team Wiggins.
-Brendam Rhim (Cal Giant) moves to Holowesko-Citadel Racing.
-GP di Poggiana winner Stefano Nardelli is in search of a new team for 2016 after cutting ties with Unieuro-Wilier.
More transfers to follow in Transfer Extravaganza posts...
Cali Track World Cup
The Track World Cup series has been neutered this year somewhat with some events not taking place thanks to asinine Olympic rules that shot the sport in the foot. In any case...a few U23s are having a go at the Track Omnium with bids for Rio becoming available.
Viktor Manakov (Russia) won the event after a strong showing at the European Track Championships in Grechen ahead of Roger Kluge (Germany) and one of the hardest working men in cycling, Elia Viviani (Italy). Jon Dibben led up the U23 men by finishing in 5th place overall and was followed by fellow U23s Ignacio Prado (Mexico) and Sang-Hoon Park (South Korea) in 6th and 7th places overall.
German Dominic Weinstein won the individual pursuit over Andrew Tennant (Great Britain) after rolling consistent times of 4 minutes 20 seconds in the 4 kilometer event. U23s Sean Mackinnon (Canada), Corentin Ermenault (France) and Frank Pasche (Switzerland) finished 5th, 6th and 7th in the event.
Pasche was apart of the Swiss team including Stefan Kung, Thery Schir and Patrick Muller (all U23s besides Kung) that set the fastest time of the weekend in Cali with a 3'58"998 in the team pursuit. The Swiss side slowed slightly in the final against Russia but still finished a close 2nd less than a second back. Australia managed a very nice 3rd place after missing the final by less than .1 of a second. Australia brought a full U23 contingent for the team pursuit with Dan Fitter, Callum Scotson, Alexander Porter, Sam Welsford and Jackson Law.