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Van Avermaet: It's been harder to win than last year
March 30, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This weekend, Greg Van Avermaet vows, will be different. The BMC rider has been consistent if unspectacular on the cobbles thus far in 2018, but he maintains that the greater distance of the Tour of Flanders can tilt the balance in his favour after falling short to this point. Flanders is the race that suits me best, its the one with 260k, which makes it different to Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, Van Avermaet said at his pre-Ronde press conference in Sint-Martens-Latem on Friday morning. Harelbeke is really hard but only 200k, Gent-Wevelgem is 250k but less hard. Flanders is a really specific race, which makes it easier for me in the last 40k, because in the final there are not too many contenders anymore who can go for the victory.ADVERTISEMENT Van Avermaets credo echoes that of the American football coach Marv Levy, who would repeatedly tell his players, When its too tough for them, then its just right for them. That mantra carried Levys Buffalo Bills to four successive Super Bowls in the early 1990s, but they fell short of the biggest win of all on each occasion. Chance has not yet smiled on Van Avermaet at the Ronde, either, with crashes ruining his challenge in each of the past two seasons. He underlined his aptitude for the race with eigth place as a second-year professional in 2008, and finished on the podium three times, placing second in 2014 and 2017, and third in 2015. Now lining up for 12th participation, there will be few more experienced riders in the peloton in Antwerp on Sunday morning. Its always the main goal of the year. Ive been here several times, hopefully this weekend it all falls into place. Even with fewer results [beforehand] than this year, I have managed to get on the podium in Flanders. Im really confident about this race, said Van Avermaet, who acknowledged that his window of opportunity to win the great race is slowly yawning shut. After this year, I have maybe another two chances. Then youd have to ask me again in 2020. Ill be 35 then, but I dont know how you feel when youre getting old. Team concerns You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Daniel Martinez released from hospital after motorist attack
March 30, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Daniel Martinez has been released from hospital after he was attacked by a motorist during a training ride, his EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale team confirmed. Martinez spent a total of one night in hospital. Martinez suffered a concussion and short-term memory loss as a result of the attack, and the team says that in conjunction with their concussion protocol he will be withheld from competition until such time as he has fully recovered.ADVERTISEMENT The 21-year-old Colombian was out training with riders Julian Cardona and Miguel Eduardo Flores in Italy earlier this week when the incident happened. Martinez told El Tiempo that he had been remonstrating with a driver after he had overtaken the group. The driver got out of the car and punched Martinez in the jaw. Another member of the group was also punched before the driver fled the scene. Martinez was knocked out by the punch. Martinez joined EF Education First at the start of this season following a two-year spell on the Wilier Triestina team. He had a strong start to the year with second at the Colombian national championships, before taking fifth overall at the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz. He made his European debut at the GP Industria & Artigianto before going onto the Volta a Catalunya last week where he finished seventh overall. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tom Dumoulin recons Tour de France cobbles
March 29, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
While several of his potential rivals have gone to Belgium for the pav race conditions at Dwars door Vlaanderen, Tom Dumoulin chose to go to Northern France on Wednesday to recon the Tour de Frances cobbles. Dumoulin is not yet a confirmed starter for the Tour de France this July, but the Team Sunweb rider has been out surveying the stage 9 cobbles nonetheless. Team Sunweb has told Cyclingnews that a decision has still not been made on whether he will ride the Tour de France, but the recon was done in order to be as well prepared as possible. Dumoulin was the only rider from the Sunweb team to undertake the recon and headed to France with Team Sunweb's R&D staff member Tom Davids. He rode almost all of the route, aside from the opening 10 kilometres, on a team issue Giant Defy disc. According to the team, he tested out a number of different tyres 'just in case' and enjoyed his time on the pav. The 2017 Giro dItalia champion also took the time to pose for photos with some of the junior members of the Roubaix Lille Metropole squad. A post on the teams Facebook page says that Dumoulin also paid a visit to the famous Roubaix showers.ADVERTISEMENT Dumoulin has kept his options open so far regarding riding the Tour de France. The Dutchman is currently down to defend his Giro dItalia title this May. He and his team have said that he will wait until after the Giro dItalia has finished to make the call. The ninth stage of the Tour de France is a 154-kilometre ride from Arras to Roubaix and will feature 21.7km of the stones across 15 sectors. It is the final stage ahead of the first rest day and it is expected to be a defining factor in the opening week of racing. Dumoulin raced the cobbled stage at the 2014 Tour de France, finishing more than two minutes down on the stage winner Lars Boom. He raced the following year's Tour, but crashed out the day before the cobbles. Dumoulin, who fell ill at the start of March and crashed out of Tirreno-Adriatico, has not raced since Milan-San Remo and is not scheduled to race until Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 20. The team has told Cyclingnews that Dumoulin has fully recovered from his Tirreno crash and is due to head to altitude next week as he continues his preparations for the Giro d'Italia. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Bardet: It was a hell of a day at Dwars door Vlaanderen
March 29, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Romain Bardet said it was a hell of a day as he climbed onto the AG2R La Mondiale bus at the end of Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. Caked in mud, the Frenchman looked completely spent after rolling home in the first gruppetto, nearly seven minutes down on the winner. Bardet stood out on the start line, a lightweight climber in a field of heavyweight cobbled Classics specialists. He was in Belgium to gain first-hand experience of racing on cobblestones ahead of the Paris-Roubaix-inspired stage of this years Tour de France, and the miserable conditions meant it was far from the gentlest of introductions. Blighted by mechanicals and crashes, it was a trying day for Bardet and the whole team, who lost their leader Oliver Naesen due to a crash that could rule him out of Sundays Tour of Flanders.ADVERTISEMENT It was complicated, with the wind and the rain. It was a hell of a day, Bardet told Cyclingnews and LEquipe in Waregem. I spent quite a bit of time back at the cars " I had a few mechanical problems and I even crashed near the start of the race. So I spent my race largely on the back foot, but there you go, thats how it can be in these races. It was a tough day. Oliver unfortunately had his crash, and that made it difficult for us as a team today. Bardet had said before the race that this was chiefly a learning exercise. He has done recons of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles in previous months but wanted to get a feel for pav " albeit of the Belgian variety " in a race scenario. However, his podium finish at Strade Bianche earlier this month had shown his versatility, in being able to perform in one-day races over rough terrain. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde skips Tour of Flanders
March 29, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has ruled out racing this weekend's Tour of Flanders. Speaking with Spanish radio programme El Larguero, Valverde confirmed that he will stick to his original plan of racing the one-day Grand Prix Miguel Indurain on Saturday. We have been evaluating it, and in the end, I wont race the Tour of Flanders, he told the radio programme. We will go to Spain and on Saturday I will be in the Grand Prix Miguel Indurain. [Flanders] is a really important, beautiful race, but we decided to return home and it wasnt to be. I would like to race, but I have taken a lot from my body with continuous, really hard, racing. Indurain is a hard race, but not like Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Valverde was in Belgium this week, with teammate Nairo Quintana, to ride Wednesdays Dwars door Vlaanderen as a test of the cobbles ahead of the Tour de Frances cobbled test in July. In an interview with Belgian broadcaster Sporza, the Spaniard suggested that he might extend his stay in the country to incorporate its biggest race. While the weather appears to have played a factor in Valverdes decision not to remain, he held his own against many of the top Classics stars. The Movistar rider remained in the lead group for the vast majority of the race, putting forward several of his own attacks in the process. He was unable to follow when Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First-Drapac) made the decisive split but came across the line in the second group to claim 11th place. I am tired and still cold, he said a long while after the race had reached its conclusion. They were 180 kilometres where it was raining all the time and two or three degrees, and we had a really hard race due to the weather. The weather was worse than the cobbles. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Dijk tunes up for Tour of Flanders with solo Dwars door Vlaanderen win
March 29, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ellen van Dijk and Sunweb tuned up for Sunday's Tour of Flanders with a dominant solo win atDwars door Vlaanderen. Van Dijk added to her Omloop van het Hageland victory at the mid-week race, and now has two wins on Belgian soil in 2018. Top-10 results at Strade Bianche and the Ronde van Drenthe WorldTour races earlier this month further underline her successful start to the season. The 31-year-old launched her solo movewith six kilometres to go until the finish line in Waregem, and by the time she raised her arms in triumph the winning margin was 55 seconds. Boels Dolmans' Amy Pieters finished second after winning the sprint in the chasing group withFloortje Mackaijensuring a second Team Sunweb rider on the podium.ADVERTISEMENT "Today was a great race for the team. It's really great to see how we turned things around after our bad luck this season," Van Dijk said. "Today was really a textbook race, and we did everything that we had planned to. The girls were always really well positioned and setting a hard pace on the climbs. Me and Floortje were in the seven-rider break, and with 15 kilometres to go we just attacked and attacked, maybe 10 times in total. "With six kilometres to go Floortje attacked, and I went directly after. I opened up a gap and gave it everything I had. The win is a great way to finish this perfect team work and with Floortje also finishing third, the day couldn't have gone any better. It gives us good confidence with Sunday in our minds." Prior to this year's spring campaign, Van Dijk hadn't won in Belgium since her 2014 Tour of Flanders victory. She now has two wins in the heartland of cycling. For coach Hans Timmermans, the result was the end product of a complete performance and he believed that it was the perfect tune-up for the Tour of Flanders. Particularly with defending championCoryn Rivera to be added to the squad. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Bora-Hansgrohe name team to back Peter Sagan at Tour of Flanders
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Bora-Hansgrohe have named the team to support Peter Sagan at this weekends Tour of Flanders, with the world champion supported by experienced Classics men Daniel Oss and Marcus Burghardt. Sagan is aiming to win a second Tour of Flanders title after taking victory in the 2016 edition ahead of Fabian Cancellara and Sep Vanmarcke, his first and only Monument success. The 28-year-old Slovakian has had a mixed Classics campaign so far. He skipped the opening weekend in Belgium in favour of altitude training and only made his cobbled debut at E3 Harelbeke last week after taking sixth at Milan-San Remo. The race did not go to plan after he crashed and then missed out on a split, eventually finishing over three minutes behind the winner Niki Terpstra. He later said that he hadn't fell well during the race.ADVERTISEMENT He bounced back two days later to take a sprint victory a Gent-Wevelgem, beating Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) in the rush to the line. It was the third time that Sagan had won the event. While Sagan played down his chances for this weekend, his last victory at Gent-Wevelgem came in the same season that he went on to claim his Tour of Flanders title. Sagan is not in action at today's Dwars door Vlaanderen preferring to rest up for the Tour of Flanders. Burghardt and Oss have been his two key riders throughout his Classics campaign, with the former making several attacks throughout Gent-Wevelgem. Like their leader, they too have sat out the mid-week racing ahead of the Tour of Flanders, as has Andreas Schillinger, who will be a part of the squad. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Valverde hints at racing Tour of Flanders
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has hinted he may stay on in Belgium after riding Wednesday'sDwars door Vlaanderen and line up in Sundays Tour of Flanders. Valverde is riding Dwars door Vlaanderen with Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana in order to get a taste of cobbled racing before this years Tour de France stage across northern France to Roubaix. He was expected to head home after todays race but is considering spending Easter Sunday at the Tour of Flanders. "It is not 100 per cent excluded. In theory, the Ronde is not on my programme, but we are close to Sunday and we are in Belgium." Valverde told Sporza.ADVERTISEMENT "I love the race route, which is very beautiful. The Ronde is a spectacular race, and I would like to be at the start even if I have never raced it before. Several Tour de France contenders have been preparing for the Roubaix stage of the Le Tour by riding cobbled Classics and other one-day races this spring. Valverde's teammate Mikel Landa rode last week's E3 Harelbeke, while Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) is also riding Dwars door Vlaanderen, and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will ride the Tour of Flanders. Under UCI rules, a team can enter a rider for a race up to 72 hours before the start, with a final confirmation from that list obligatory on the afternoon before the race. A remarkable comeback but with fear of wet roads You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
USA Cycling unifies criterium, pro road championships in Knoxville
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
USA Cycling will hold its professional criterium, road race and individual time trial national championships in one venue for the first time in its history from June 21-24, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The criterium championships were previously either standalone events or combined with the amateur national championships or now-defunct team time trial championships. Now, they will be held on June 22, 2018 - one day after the pro time trial, and two days before the road races. USA Cycling revealed the courses which will be used in Knoxville, which returns as host for the championships after a successful 2017 event. The time trial has been moved from the city centre to a new course on the banks of the Melton Hill Reservoir.ADVERTISEMENT The road race has traded up, leaving last year's Jackson Avenue highway underpass start/finish location for a more scenic Gay Street locale, but will keep a similar route including the selective Sherrod Road climb. Last year, Amber Neben won both elite women's titles, while Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) won the men's time trial and Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) claimed an emotional victory in the men's road race. "Wearing the Stars and Stripes for the last nine months has been an incredible honour," said Warbasse. "I'm excited to race at the 2018 edition of the US Pro Nationals and looking forward to the proposed course changes this season. The new finish line location in downtown Knoxville on Gay Street will provide an awesome backdrop for the finale. I'm glad the climb of Sherrod Road will remain in the race, as the atmosphere there was incredible in 2017, lined with lively fans the whole way." June 21 - Individual Time Trial:Men, 34.2km.Women 22.8km. 9:15AM June 22 - Criterium:Women, 75 minutes. 6:15PM. Men, 90 minutes. 7:45PM June 24 - Road Races:Women, 115.8km (9 laps). 9:00AM. Men, 193.1km (15 laps), 1:15PM You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Five WorldTour teams confirmed for 2018 Tour of Utah
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Organisers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah announced Tuesday that there will be 16 teams participating in the event, which is held from August 6-12. Nine teams have accepted early invitations including five WorldTour teams. In January, organisers announced four WorldTour teams would start including BMC Racing, Mitchelton-Scott, EF Education First-Drapac and Trek-Segafredo. LottoNL-Jumbo is the latest to join that list of cycling's top-tier teams. The race has also confirmed the participation of Professional Continental teams Bardiani-CSF, Israel Cycling Academy and Nippo Vini Fantini. Canadian Contiental outfit Silber Pro Cycling will also be competing in the event.ADVERTISEMENT "We have an impressive lineup of international teams for the 2018 Tour of Utah at this early date. It is a tribute to the great support provided by host communities, Tour partners and staff that professional cycling teams around the world now ask to be invited to compete. The Tour of Utah has a solid reputation worldwide as one of the premier sporting events on the professional cycling calendar," said John Kimball, managing director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The nine teams announced so far improves the quality of the field compared to the 2017 edition where only one WorldTour team, BMC Racing, participated. All of the nine teams have participated in at least one previous edition of the Tour of Utah. LottoNL-Jumbo competed in the 2012 edition as Rabobank. This year, the team includes American riders Neilson Powless and Sepp Kuss. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Mark Cavendish confirms Six Day London participation in October - News shorts
March 28, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) confirmed that he will compete at the Six Day London held at Lee Valley VeloPark from October 23-28. Cavendish finished second in 2016 and 2017, previously partnered with Bradley Wiggins and Peter Kennaugh. "The Six Day Series is getting bigger and better every year and I'm so excited to be coming back to London in October. Any Six Day is hard graft. It's mentally and physically exhausting," Cavendish said in a press release from the Six Day Series organisers.ADVERTISEMENT "The crowd are amazing in London and really keep you going throughout the six days so I wanted to come back again for them. I am definitely in it to win it and I will give my all to give the crowd a home win. "It won't be easy though, there's always a really strong field in London. Having a home crowd behind me will be vital, so come down and be part of Team Cav!" Cavendish has had a string of bad luck this early season on the road, crashing out of Abu Dhabi Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and most recently Milan-San Remo. He will miss next month's Commonwealth Games due to injury. Boonen to star in new cycling series for Belgian TV Respiratory infection sidelines Keukeleire Quick-Step Floors sign young rider Asgreen You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Viviani primed for Dwars door Vlaanderen after Wevelgem disappointment
March 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Elia Viviani will end his spring Classics campaign at Wednesday's Dwars door Vlaanderen, hoping to sign-off with a final win after anemotional defeatat Gent-Wevelgem. The Italian sprinter will then take a break and begin to prepare for the Giro d'Italia, where he will be Quick-Step Floors' designated sprinter. Viviani was understandably upset immediately after being beaten by Peter Sagan at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, a race that he targeted to win this spring. He had opted to follow Arnaud Dmare in the sprint but was unable to close the gap on Sagan after the world champion jumped early on the opposite side of the road. Viviani sat in tears next to his bike as he came to terms with defeat. He was gutted to have missed out on a chance of victory in a spring Classic. On Monday, Viviani compared his loss to that of the 2016 Track World Championships, when Mark Cavendish beat him in the final sprint of the Madison, resulting in Fernando Gaviria winning the Omnium world title.ADVERTISEMENT "The day after, things feel a little better, but it was hugely disappointing,"La Gazzetta dello Sport reported him as saying. Viviani was not ashamed to show his emotions after Gent-Wevelgem, posting #itsnotruethemannevercry on his instagram account. He also wrote: "Day [sic] like yesterday (Sunday), when you do all perfect, every main point you're there with the first, you have all the team around, they believe in you but...but you meet Peter Sagan on your road, with him 1 can be Win or Lose, every sprint have his story, I lose a big chance and I can't control the emotion just because is one of the race of my dream! Like always I come back for win more stronger next time. Thanks." " Brain on Wheels(@BrainOnWheels) March 25, 2018 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
SRM and Look Keo-G pedal-based power meter prototype spotted
March 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This article first appeared on BikeRadar. Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) uploaded an image of unseen prototype pedals from SRM and Look to Twitter over the weekend. The pedals are labelled as SRM PROTO KEO-G POWER and have a serial number of 000012, suggesting the pedals are still in the early stages of development.ADVERTISEMENT Specialized launches S-Works Dual and Single power meters 5 reasons to buy a power meter Shimano power meter to dominate WorldTour peloton in 2018 Hansen, who recently finished the Volta a Catalunya, is currently undertaking a training block ahead of lining up for the start of the Giro d'Italia. It will be the Australian's 20th consecutive Grand Tour, an all-time record. The pedals are based on Look's popular Keo and feature both Bluetooth and ANT+ logos, suggesting functionality for both wireless setups. " Adam Hansen (@HansenAdam) March 24, 2018 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Rowe, Moscon, Wisniowski in Team Sky's Dwars door Vlaanderen line-up
March 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Team Sky has named their Dwars door Vlaanderen line-up with Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe,Lukasz Wisniowski and Chris Lawless among their seven starters for Wednesday's race. The quartet will be joined by sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen, Jon Dibben and Ian Stannard. For Rowe, it will be his second stint on the cobbles after fearing he would miss the Classics altogether following an accident that resulted in a broken leg. He rode his first cobbled race at Nokere Koerse two weeks ago, before riding Milan-San Remo and the recent Coppi e Bartali stage race in Italy. The Welshman has defied expectations in his recovery after breaking his leg in a white water rafting incident last August. Several days after the accident, Rowe said that it was more than likely he would have to miss out the Classics, predicting that he would probably not return to racing until the middle of the season. However, Rowe made his racing debut at the Abu Dhabi Tour at the end of February and has also been named on the provisional line-up for the Tour of Flanders. How he will fare remains to be seen.ADVERTISEMENT Dwars door Vlaanderen is a race that can be hard to predict and requires teams to have a number of options. Last season saw a breakaway win by Quick-Step Floors Yves Lampaert. However, the previous season the race came down to a small bunch sprint. With Lawless, who won the bunch sprint on the final stage of the Coppi e Bartali, and Halvorsen, Team Sky has options for the second eventuality. Moscon and Wisniowski could be cards to play if the race comes down to a breakaway. Wisniowski took a surprise second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and eighth at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last month. However, he missed the cut at E3 Harelbeke on Friday, finishing well down the standings. Moscon enjoyed a solid performance on Friday to take eighth place. He was with the front riders at Sundays Gent-Wevelgem but hit a barrier on the Kemmelberg climb, putting him out of any contention. Team Sky for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Luke Rowe, Jon Dibben, Kristoffer Halvorsen, Chris Lawless, Gianni Moscon, Ian Stannard and Lukas Wisniowski. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
D'hoore takes control of Women's WorldTour
March 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Jolien Dhoore became the third leader of the Womens WorldTour ranking after a strong week at the Classics. Trofeo Alfredo Binda winner Kasia Niewiadoma, who was not racing this week, slipped down to second place while Gent-Wevelgem winner Marta Bastianelli climbed eight positions into third. Dhoore has had a stellar week of racing, winning the inaugural Driedaagse de Panne in wet and windy conditions " her first victory for Mitchelton-Scott - and going on to come a close second to Bastianelli at Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Dhoore now leads Niewiadoma by 30 points and the results last week mark her as one of the pre-race favourites heading into the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Niewiadoma wasnt in action this week as she rests up and turns her focus on the Ardennes Classics in April. The Polish rider took over the lead of the competition after her win in the third round of the competition, with Anna van der Breggen the first leader following her victory at Strade Bianche. Van der Breggen still leads the rolling UCI World Ranking. As it was at this point last year, the Womens WorldTour has seen a different winner across each of the opening races. Bastianelli was the fifth different victor thus far, with Amy Pieters winning the second round of the Ronde van Drenthe. Bastianelli had enjoyed a consistent run through the WorldTour ahead of her victory on Sunday, finishing 11th at Strade Bianche, taking fourth at Drenthe and 13th at Binda. Gent-Wevelgem was the 30-year-olds second win of the year after taking a stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in February. With two WorldTour wins this season, Boels Dolmans retained their lead in the team classification. However, they saw their advantage slashed to just 49 points after Canyon-SRAM got Lisa Klein and Hannah Barnes into the top 10 at Gent-Wevelgem. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Quick-Step's E3 Harelbeke dominance sets the tone for cobbled Classics
March 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Much of the build-up centred on the chances of rainbow jersey Peter Sagan and golden Greg Van Avermaet, the outstanding performers on the cobbles these past two years, but blue was the colour in the aftermath of E3 Harelbeke, as Quick-Step Floors delivered a strikingly dominant showing in the dress rehearsal for next weekends Tour of Flanders. Niki Terpstra soloed to victory while Philippe Gilbert won the sprint for second place behind him, but the podium photographs and the results sheet told only a portion of the story. Quick-Steps blue jerseys massed on the front a little under halfway through the race and there they stayed in various configurations all the way to the finish in Harelbeke. Racing as racing should be, read the enthusiastic headline in Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, and the lead article was no less rapturous. If every team raced like Quick-Step did between Harelbeke and Harelbeke, cycling would be a top global sport, bigger than any ball game.ADVERTISEMENT Quick-Step certainly dominated ball possession, so to speak, at E3 Harelbeke. BMC, Bora-Hansgrohe et al could barely get a touch, as they were already forcing the pace after the descent of La Houpe when a large crash split the peloton and reduced the front group to 40 riders. Come the Taaienberg, favoured climb of the now-retired Tom Boonen, there were five Quick-Step riders lined up at the head of the group. Terpstra and Yves Lampaert pushed on over the top, with some 70km to go, and simply kept on going, while Gilbert, Florian Senechal and Zdenek Stybar policed affairs behind. Van Avermaet, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and a sub-par Sagan " a crash victim early in the race " were among those effectively marooned on Gilbert Island, as last years Tour of Flanders winner tempered his usual attacking instincts to spend an afternoon serving as a deluxe spoiler in the Flemish Ardennes. The beat goes on You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Shimano patents disc brake cover
March 23, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This article first appeared on BikeRadar. Shimano has been working on a cover to shield the rotors of its hydraulic disc brakes. The design, which was filed for a US patent in June 2017, shows a vented structure that covers a majority of the disc rotors surface and backs up neatly against one of Shimanos own flat-mount disc brake calipers. It looks to have been designed to fit a thru-axle fork. It's official: disc brake guards are happening Could disc brake guards be the solution (to a problem that may not exist)? High-profile incidents involving injuries allegedly caused by disc rotors have previously sparked safety concerns in professional competition. Some riders referred to discs as "spinning knives".ADVERTISEMENT Since then, a generation of disc rotors with chamfered (blunt) edges has been introduced. SRAM already produces chamfered discsand all of Shimano's rotors from the Dura-Ace R9100 series and Ultegra R8000 series are also chamfered. Weve also seen similar disc brake covers from Italian firm TRed and German company Tune. If Shimano does ever release a disc brake rotor cover then there's a very good chance it'll look like this one You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Chris Froome in danger of being blocked from Tour de France
March 22, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Chris Froomes hopes of winning a fifth Tour de France are reportedly under threat, with race organiser ASO ready to try to block the Team Sky rider from starting this years race due to his on-going salbutamol case. The Press Association Sport news agency has claimed that ASO will refuse to let Froome line up in the Vendee region on July 7 if his case has not been resolved. PA sport cited two senior cycling sources. Two sources have also confirmed the possibility to Cyclingnews. Froome exceeded the allowed levels for salbutamol en route to victory at last year's Vuelta a Espaa, but because salbutamol is considered a specified substance, the Team Sky rider remains free to race pending the resolution of the case.ADVERTISEMENT Froome has always denied any wrongdoing, saying that he respected medical guidelines for the use of his salbutamol asthma inhaler. He began his season at the Ruta del Sol and recently rode Tirreno-Adriatico. He has been announced for the Tour of the Alps stage race in Italy and Austria next month and is determined to push on with his plans to target the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2018. UCI president David Lappartient has previously tried to pressure Team Sky to suspend Froome from racing but he acknowledges that Froome has a right to race under UCI rules. Lappartient has accepted that a verdict is unlikely to be reached before the Giro dItalia but on Wednesday, after he UCI presented its new strategy to fight mechanical doping, he said that the decision must be on the table before the Tour de France, adding, I hope so because it would be a disaster for everybody if it's not the case. ASO seem determined to push Lappartient and the UCI to expedite the Froome case before the start of the Tour de France on July 7. Under UCI WorldTour rules the 18 WorldTour teams must accept the participation of all UCI WorldTeams. However, Cyclingnews understands that ASO traditionally have unique rights in the contracts with teams for the Tour de France, which may give them extra powers to safeguarding the image of the race and so stop a rider competing in their race. ASO is understood to be confident it could resist any legal challenge from Team Sky, possibly dragging the case into the French civil courts. However, ASO was forced to back down in a similar case in 2009 when it tried to stop Tom Boonen from riding the Tour de France following his out of competition positive test for cocaine. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme also accepted that Alberto Contador had the right to ride the Tour de France in 2011 as he awaited the appeal process of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Contador finished in the 2011 Tour de France, but was later stripped of his results after the CAS banned him for two years. Lappartient stuck in the middle You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Thwaites undergoes back surgery after fracturing vertebrae
March 22, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Dimension Data rider Scott Thwaites has suffered several fractures to his vertebral column following a training crash. In a statement released on the Dimension Data website, the team said that Thwaites had undergone successful surgery to stabilise the fractures on Tuesday night. He is in a stable condition and remains in hospital but is expected to be released in the coming days. The team gave no information as to the circumstances of the crash. Thwaites had recently competed at Milan-San Remo and was expected to be an important part of the teams Classics line-up.ADVERTISEMENT Thwaites injury is another blow for Dimension Data, who have several riders out of action due to injury. Team leader Mark Cavendish broke a rib in a horrific crash during last weekends Milan-San Remo. The Manxman had already broken a rib when he crashed at speed during the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico. He also suffered concussion following a crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour when the race directors car braked suddenly ahead of the peloton. Bernhard Eisel is also out of competition at the moment after breaking his wrist and sustaining facial injuries in a crash at Tirreno-Adriatico. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has not yet made his racing debut in 2018 following groin surgery at the end of last year. Although, the team hopes that he can return to competitive action next month. Mekseb Debesay took a heavy fall at the Tour de Langkawi earlier this week and further tests revealed that he had fractured his pelvis. Illness has also taken its toll with Tom-Jelte Slagter pulling out of Paris-Nice at the start of the month due to sickness. Mark Renshaw had to drop out of Tirreno-Adriatico due to sinusitis but returned to action at Milan-San Remo. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de Langkawi shakes up ahead of Cameron Highlands showdown
March 22, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After the breakaway stole the show and the day ended with a rider being disqualified from the race for fighting, the drama and intrigue continued on stage 4 of the Tour de Langkawi. The flat sprinters day was on paper the calm before the storm - a chance to rest the legs before the queen stage 5 to Cameron Highlands. Although stage 4 was won in a sprint by Riccardo Minali of Astana, it was a day with ramifications for the general classification, particularly for Dimension Data, who have lost Mekseb Debesay from the race after he crashed and fractured his pelvis. Debesay was the stage winner at Cameron Highlands last year and had started stage 4 of the race in seventh place and within reach of Adam de Vos' yellow jersey come Thursday afternoon. That all came crashing down with 4.5km to race into Pekan when Debesay was involved in a fall.ADVERTISEMENT "Unfortunately, Mekseb was not able to continue as a result of the crash," Dimension Data team Doctor Dirk Tenner said in a release. "We can confirm Mekseb has sustained no life-threatening injuries. He is conscious and talking, but he needs to undergo further medical examination at the hospital in Kuala Lumpur to reveal the full extent of his injuries." A statement from the race following the stage confirmed the pelvis injury for the 26-year-old, who was helicoptered to the capital. Race leader De Vos was a witness to the crash, but when speaking to Cyclingnews and Eurosport after gathering his yellow jersey on the podium, he did not know Debesay was a DNF. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne keeps the flame alive in the hope of future expansion
March 22, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After 41 years of the same format and the same, fixed place on the calendar, the Three Days of De Panne entered a new era on Wednesday with the first running of the rebranded Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, which was won in a bunch sprint by Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors). It's a curious moniker for what is now a one-day race, but the decision to retain the old name was a very deliberate one by the organising committee at Vlo Club De Panne. The race may have been moved forward by a week against its wishes, and shorn of two and a half stages, but the flame is being kept alive in the plat pays along the North Sea Coast. When Belgian Cycling supported Flanders Classics request to move Dwars door Vlaanderen to the Wednesday before the Tour of Flanders, it seemed to signal the demise of the storied Driedaagse, but the organisers have managed to keep the show on the road for 2018 in the hope of expanding back to three days of racing " though not a three-day stage race " as soon as next year.ADVERTISEMENT Organising committee president Bruno Dequeecker was a busy man in the finish area on De Panne's Zeelan on Tuesday afternoon, toggling between the television interview tent and the podium to ensure the post-race ceremonies ran smoothly. After the final bouquet had been presented and he had passed on his final congratulations to Vivani, Dequeecker declared himself satisfied with how the first day of the new Driedaagse had played out. "We're very happy and proud. We had to change by a week, and it's a totally new kind of a race," Dequeecker told Cyclingnews. "But having the start in Bruges, which is an icon in cycling, was great, and then De Panne itself has already been a name in cycling for 42 years." Echelons break up the field at Driedaagse De Panne New date In Bruges You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cummings waiting for his chance in Volta a Catalunya
March 21, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After two bunch sprint stages in the Volta a Catalunya, the race moves into much hillier, less predictable waters on day three, and breakaway specialists such as Britains Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) could come to the fore. The reigning British national road race and time trial champion finished 175th, and last, on Mondays opening stage, at 6:13 down. A further 7:42 was shipped on stage 2. He was tired after doing Milan-San Remo and then coming straight here, Dimension Data director Bingen Fernandez told Cyclingnews after stage 2. However, the time lost has its advantages, given that whatever Cummings tries to do he is no longer likely to suffer from collateral damage in the on-going GC battle.ADVERTISEMENT The great thing about Steve is nobody knows when he could try to make it into a breakaway, said Fernandez. It just happens. I think that sometimes not even Steve knew it was going to happen. Its all a bit unpredictable. The Volta a Catalunya enters equally uncharted terrain on stage 3 following the cancellation of the toughest climb to Vallter 2000 because of the risk of avalanches. Fortunately, the weather forecast is for it to stay dry, with only a minor risk of snow showers, although it will be very cold. The GC battle will likely dominate on stage 4s summit finish at La Molina, but there could well be further opportunities for breakaways in the final half of the race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Scott Sunderland crashes out of Tour de Langkawi
March 21, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Scott Sunderland's racing return following a severe concussion has ended at the Tour de Langkawi after the Australian suffered another serious head injury. Although the original diagnosis of fractured vertebrae proved to be incorrect, Sunderland was still hospitalised following the accident. Sunderland, who hadn't raced since the Tour of China II in September last year, was involved in a crash with 4.5km to race of stage 3 to Kuala Terengganu. "Scott had a crash about 4.5km to go. He got caught on the wheel of another rider and just didn't manage to get off it and went over the handlebars," Bennelong SwissWellness team official Neil Walker told Eurosport and Cyclingnews on the morning of stage 4.ADVERTISEMENT "He's sustained a head injury and there was talk about a possible fracture to his vertebrae but as far as we know this morning from a doctors report, that is not the case. He is obviously suffering from a concussion and there is a concern because of the crash he had in China." Sunderland, who turned 30 the day before the race, won the opening stage of the Tour de Langkawi last year and went on to his enjoy his best season to date. However, his high-speed crash at the Tour of China II abruptly ended his season and delayed the start of the New Year for the former track world champion. The Tour de Langkawi was to start his 2018 season, and having placed eighth on stage 1, it appeared Sunderland was ready to challenge in the sprints. However, a DNF on stage 3 due to the crash was followed by a night in hospital, where he posted a photo of his facial injuries on social media, and the race is now over for Sunderland. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour de Langkawi: Breakaway ride brings Sweeny into GC consideration
March 21, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With 30km left in stage 3 of the Tour de Langkawi, Harry Sweeny knew the breakaway was going to survive and hold off the sprint teams in Kuala Terengganu. The 19-year-old on Mitchelon-BikeExchange would have a one in four chance of winning the stage but the Australian's goal was to take as much time as possible on the chasing peloton. Breakaway wins are rare in the 2.HC Malaysian race that has traditionally been a feast for the sprinters. With no categorised climbs on the menu from Kota Bharu along the coast to Kuala Terengganu, the third sprint in as many days looked the likely outcome. Sweeny and stage winner Adam De Vos (Rally) though had different plans and willed the break over the line. Sweeny eventually placing fourth but taking his best result to date in the pro ranks "It was really good. I was really feeling a breakaway today and it was a real nice long day for us," Sweeny told Cyclingnews after cooling down under the spray of the fire hoses at the finish line.ADVERTISEMENT In the closing kilometres of the stage, De Vos jumped away from Sweeney, Daeyeon Kim (KSPO) and Nik Mohd Hazwan Zulkiflie (Forca Amskins) to finish 13 seconds clear of the trio. The peloton crossed the line 1:19 minutes after the Canadian. The result moves Sweeny from 52nd overall into third place and the jump up the standings was the rationale for pushing the break all the way to the line as he explained. "We tried to trick the peloton a little bit and just keep it easy the first 100 kay," he said of the break that enjoyed a maximum lead of seven minutes. "Then we just really ripped it home. I wasn't so much worried about the stage win but the tour overall. That is why I was putting in a lot of effort on the front, purely getting extra time. I am pretty happy." Sitting in fourth almost one minute ahead of Riccardo Minali (Astana) on GC, Sweeny is well placed in the battle for the final podium. A former junior Australian time trial champion, Sweeny is a second-year U23 rider but with the Mitchelton-BikeExchange is able to race such events as the Tour de Langkawi. His first at 2.HC level. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Chaves rules himself out of fight for GC in Volta a Catalunya
March 21, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Michelton-Scott stage race specialist Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) has ruled himself out of the fight for the GC in the Volta a Catalunya, stating categorically, "We have two leaders here, and they are the Yates brothers." "The team will support them at the Volta a Catalunya and we will try for the GC with them," Chaves told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2. "But it's not only Movistar who are the favourites, there are lots of teams here with good GC options and we are one of them." Chaves' early season has had two significant high points, with victory in the Herald SunTour this January and then a strong time trial in Paris-Nice that placed him in the top 10 on GC and which he described as one of his best ever, having done a lot of hard work in the wind tunnel. On the last day, however, after working hard for teammate and overnight Paris-Nice leader Simon Yates, he finished the outside the time limit.ADVERTISEMENT In Catalunya, Chaves has different goals and whilst retaining his innate optimism, he was categorical about the limited nature of his own chances for GC. "We are one of the strong teams here. I feel all right, but it's still only the second stage, ask me again on Sunday about how I feel. Catalunya is always a hard race because everyone is supermotivated, for most riders, it's the first GC World Tour race they do, so everybody is hungry. "It's also [going to be] cold and that's not really good for some riders, so we'll see what happens." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Bouhanni quits Volta a Catalunya
March 20, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Cofidis team have confirmed that Nacer Bouhanni did not start stage 2 of theVolta Ciclista a Catalunya due to an on-going bout of bronchitis. The French sprinter was forced to quit Paris-Nice due to illness and was then not selected for Milan-San Remo. He hoped to get his spring back on track at the Volta a Catalunya but finished seventh in the stage 1 sprint. Cofidis have confirmed that Bouhanni will now take a period of "complete rest to get back to 100% before he resumes training for his next races. It is unclear when Bouhanni will return to racing.ADVERTISEMENT Bouhanni is the Cofidis team leader but the French team has made a number of changes for 2018 in order to revive their flagging fortunes. They fired team manager Yves Sanquer during the winter and replaced him with former rider Cedric Vasseur. He has made some significant changes to the set-up around Bouhanni, particularly with the appointment of Roberto Damiani and reducing his lead-out train. So far Bouhanni has accepted the changes and team orders, despite arguing that he was fit enough to ride Milan-San Remo. However he failed to win a sprint so far this season, with second behind Mark Cavendish on stage 3 at the Dubai Tour his best result. Damiani told Cyclingnews that Bouhanni simply wasnt fit and healthy enough to ride Milan-San Remo, pointing out that the success of the team always comes before individual ambitions. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Matthews to share lead in E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem
March 20, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Michael Matthews will share the lead with Sren Kragh Andersen and Edward Theuns at E3 Harelbekeon Friday, and Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. Matthews has only completed one race so far this season but was able to claim a top-ten at Milan-San Remo last weekend. Ellen van Dijk, who won the Omloop van het Hageland last month, and Lucinda Brand are both set for the womens Gent-Wevelgem, which also takes place Sunday. In E3 Harelbeke, on Friday, March 23, Matthews and Andersen will be co-leaders. We will have to ride alertly all day and be in good position, especially in the final with the Paterberg, Oude Kwaremont and Karnemelkbeekstraat in succession, Marc Reef told the Belga news agency. We have to make sure our leaders Michael and Sren are in the front group that is going to compete for the victory.ADVERTISEMENT Matthews suffered a fractured shoulder at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but was able to finish seventh in Milan-San Remo. Andersen is returning to racing after abandoning Tirreno-Adriatico due to illness. They will be supported by Phil Bauhaus, Roy Curvers, Lennard Hofstede, Tom Stamsnijder, and Mike Teunissen. Two days later, on Sunday, March 25, Matthews and Theuns will share the captaincy in Gent-Wevelgem.The young Belgian was sixth in Omloop. Nikias Arndt will replace Bauhaus in this race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Campagnolo 12-speed could soon be here
March 20, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
This article first appeared on BikeRadar. Campagnolo could be the first of the big-three groupset brands " Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo " to launch a road-specific 12-speed groupset.BikeRadar found a Campagnolo patent filed in 2017 that includes a description of 12-speed road cassette. SRAM XX1 Eagle groupset review SRAM 12-speed Eagle eTap wireless groupset SRAM already has the XX1 Eagle 12-speed MTB groupset, and a wireless version of the group has been spotted.ADVERTISEMENT The patent claims the cassette can be "housed in a conventional bicycle having wheels and frame of a standardised size". The cassette is described as being made from an aluminium alloy and combined with the new structure design, claims to be light and sufficiently strong. Despite the extra cog on the 12-speed cassette, the maximum gear range listed is only 11-27t, compared to 11-30t on Shimanos latest Dura-Ace R9100 cassettes, or 11-29 on the current Campagnolo Super Record. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Pinot slowly but surely moving towards top form
March 20, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With only one previous race this season, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) says form-wise this year's Volta a Catalunya represents something of a voyage in the dark. But as he points out, he is not putting himself under any pressure for a top result - yet. Pinot's big goals this season will come, just like in 2017, in the Giro dItalia and the Tour de France. But with the aim of being at peak form in the summer, and also avoiding the exhaustion and illness that put paid to his chances in the Tour de France last year, this time round the Frenchman is taking the first part of the season much more easily. "I don't have too many reference points yet," Pinot told Cyclingnews at the start of the Volta a Catalunya on Monday. "I'm a way off my top form, because last year I was aiming for success in Tirreno-Adriatico, where I got third overall."ADVERTISEMENT That said, Pinot has already finished an encouraging fifth overall in his first race of the season, the Tour du Haut Var in February. Catalunya, though, is a much tougher event altogether than the French two-day early season race, and, "This time I'm not going so hard in the first part of the year like in 2017, although I'm aiming to get stronger day by day." One key reference point for Pinot will come on Wednesday's Valter 2000 climb, where back in 2013, he finished fifth behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar), as well as taking 15th in 2014 behind Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing). "I remember it was very cold in 2013, there was a headwind on the climb and a lot of wind," Pinot told Cyclingnews. "There's 4,000 metres of [vertical] climbing on that stage, too, it's a very hard final ascent: for me, it's the first big test of the season." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Poels back in training after collarbone surgery
March 19, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Only nine days after breaking his collarbone in Paris-Nice, Wout Poelsis back on the home trainer and hopes to be back in the Team Sky line-up for Amstel Gold Race in April. The Dutchman had gone into Paris-Nice as co-leader with Sergio Henao. Poels won the stage 4 individual time trial, which moved him from 17th to second in GC, only 15 seconds behind race leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana). Only two stages later, however, he crashed on a high-speed descent, leaving the race with the fractured collarbone, cuts to his left knee and chest trauma. He flew to England where he underwent surgery, and now has started his training again. "The operation went well and now I'm back on the bike," he tweeted, along with a photo of himself on the trainer indoors.ADVERTISEMENT The 30-year-old is said to be aiming to join the team for altitude training on Tenerife later this month and ride Amstel Gold. Poels had been foreseen as a back-up to Chris Froome in the Giro dItalia, and had said he would be prepared to serve as team leader should Froomes salbutamol case lead to a ban. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
DCMS select committee may yet call further hearings
March 19, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Two weeks after the DCMS Parliamentary select committee report into anti-doping created shock waves across British sport, a member of the committee has told Cyclingnews that there may yet be more revelations to come. Giles Watling, MP for Clacton and a member of the DCMS select committee since September last year, revealed that "there may be further hearings" in the future. "It's entirely possible," he said. "If further evidence arises we could look at it."ADVERTISEMENT "You can never say that it's case closed,'" Watling added. "It's for other agencies to get involved. That may include the judiciary." The fall out from the findings of the DCMS report, at least within cycling, has been significant. The key implication, that Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins used tactical TUEs to gain a performance advantage, was met with derision and dismay, with many calling for Dave Brailsford to resign and for both Brailsford and Wiggins to be stripped of their knighthoods. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Nairo Quintana on good form for Volta a Catalunya but says Valverde is likely better
March 19, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will start the Volta a Catalunya as co-leaders of the Movistar squad, but Quintana has recognised that Valverde's form could well prove to be the stronger at this point in the season. Quintana's comment is the first indication of how the Movistar hierarchy of leaders may play out in a race in which both Valverde and the Colombian have shone in the past. Although Quintana has raced less than Valverde and the Volta is his first European race of the season, both have won the week-long Catalan stage race, Quintana in 2016 and Valverde in 2017. As if that was not enough of a strong hand, Movistar also have up-and-coming local racer Marc Soler, third overall last year in the Volta a Catalunya and the recent winner of Paris-Nice with a spectacular long-range, last-stage attack, in their line-up.ADVERTISEMENT Soler told reporters on the eve of the race that his role in the Volta this year would be one of domestique deluxe, helping Valverde and Quintana to get into a winning position "and then one of them could finish it off." A partial answer as to which of the two leaders might be the stronger came from Quintana on Sunday evening, who said, "We're both in good condition, and we'll start as co-leaders with equal levels of responsibility. But I'm sure Alejandro is in better form than me, and if I have to help him, I will." Valverde was less forthright, saying "we're all in good form, and the race will decide what happens. We've got a great team, but the others aren't lacking in top names. Sky, for example, have a great line-up for this kind of Volta, with a lot of climbing in it. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Niewiadoma takes inspiration from Nibali with daring Trofeo Alfredo Binda attack
March 19, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
23-year-old Katarzyna Niewiadoma earned her first victory in a one-day UCI Women's WorldTour race and the first with her new Canyon-SRAM team in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday. Although she has been on the podium of all three 2017 Ardennes Classics and second in Strade Bianche three years in a row, the top step of the podium in a Classic had eluded Niewiadoma and her team until now. Two weeks ago, Niewiadoma put in a spirited chase at the Strade Bianche, but it was too late to catch eventual winner Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans). In the Ronde van Drenthe last weekend, Alexis Ryan came up just short against Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) in the final sprint. In the Trofeo Binda, everything went to plan for Canyon-SRAM and Niewiadoma, giving the team its first one-day WorldTour win since the series was created in 2016. "My victory was because of an amazing team. We always had control over the race, stayed calm, and things went exactly as we planned. It's amazing that we were able to put our plan into practice."ADVERTISEMENT Just as at the Strade Bianche, Niewiadoma's teammate Alena Amialiusik was part of the first dangerous move when she broke away together with Ane Santesteban (Al Cipollini) and Elinor Barker (Wiggle High5) on the penultimate lap, with 42km to go. This meant that the Pole could keep her powder dry in the peloton behind. "We were playing different cards throughout the race. This meant I could be relaxed, wait for my moment, and save my energy for the last climb. The girls were amazing, in the front all the time and attacking to make the race hard. We wanted to get a small group and then create the final move from there." On the final lap, Niewiadoma went into action. She put in a first attack on the short, steep climb to Casale in order to whittle down the rather large peloton, catching the front quartet with Amialiusik in the process. A group of about a dozen riders started the final climb to Orino together, and Niewiadoma waited patiently before taking a big, long turn at the front to ride everyone off her wheel. After the top of the climb, the Pole continued on without second thought. She said that she had been inspired by a similar all-or-nothing attack in the men's Milan-San Remo the day before. "We were watching Milan-San Remo, and we saw Nibali's move where he attacked and never looked back. He mentioned that afterwards in the interview that he just went all-out and wanted to give all that he had left in his legs. And I thought that was so inspiring, to just do everything you can and keep on going, never looking back. I am so, so happy to deliver this victory to the team after this great effort." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Quick-Step come away empty-handed from Milan-San Remo
March 18, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
In the discussion and prognostication in the week leading up to Milan-San Remo, when it came to Quick-Step Floors all the talk, as always, was of 'options' or 'cards to play'. As it was, they came away from the first Monument of the season with nothing to show for their superior strength in depth, with Elia Viviani their highest finisher in 19th. Viviani was one of three nominal leaders in a squad that also included last year's third placed Julian Alaphilippe and two-time podium finisher Philippe Gilbert. While Viviani would wait for a bunch sprint on the Via Roma, Gilbert and Alaphilippe could go on the attack on the Cipressa or Poggio climbs. Even without Fernando Gaviria, fifth last year but ruled out this time with a broken hand, they seemed to have all bases covered.ADVERTISEMENT Gilbert, however, was out of the running before the Poggio had begun after being held up by Mark Cavendish's heavy crash. Even before that, hopes of emulating last year's Tour of Flanders victory with a long-range attack had been scuppered by the headwind blowing up the Ligurian coast. "When Cavendish crashed, I was just behind him and managed to somehow squeeze and make it through, but lost some positions and couldn't return to the front, as the bunch was going full gas," Gilbert said. "Before the race, I thought about trying something from afar, but with the strong headwind on the Cipressa it was impossible, there really wasn't any opportunity to attack. I'll take from this race the fact that I felt good, despite the rain and the cold temperatures, and look now with optimism to my next races." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Forca-Amskins and Manan lead Malaysian hopes at Tour de Langkawi
March 18, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
At the end of last season, Anuar Manan's cycling career was at a crossroads. The 31-year-old's four seasons with Malaysian Continental team Terengganu had unexpectedly come to an end, leaving him in search of a ride for 2018. In March of last year, the foundations were laid for a new Malaysian Continental team created by Faiz Syarifuddin and Farooq Meer. Manan, the only Malaysian stage winner of the Tour de Langkawi, would be the figurehead of the set-up. In October, Malaysian sports drink company Forca became the title sponsor and the progress was accelerated to ensure the team would be racing in 2018 under a Continental license. "Last year I rode with TSG and we had planned with my CEO a new Continental team that we wanted to set up," Manan told Cyclingnews of the team's creation. "At the end of 2017, I found out I didn't have a contract with TSG so we planned to make a team for 2018. TSG made the decision at the last minute because they wanted me to become staff on the team but I feel like I am not ready to retire. We started a bit early with the Continental team because we had the budget and my CEO had contact with a sponsor and everything so we just started."ADVERTISEMENT An important component in setting up the team was forging a new and unique identity separate from the other two Malaysian Continental teams, Sapura and TSG. "In March we came up with the idea of forming the Continental team. We have the riders, technical expertise and also race experience with guys like Faiz Syarifuddin and from there we came up with a proposal and we started looking for sponsors," Meer told Cyclingnews in Alor Seltar. "It was important to start fresh because we bring all the experience from previous teams and everything we had and we wanted to correct everything and whatever went wrong. We wanted to create something new. We wanted a team that was based on the sprint experience of Anuar and we wanted to go forward from there." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cavendish suffers brutal crash in Milan-San Remo
March 17, 2018 (21:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
MarkCavendish suffered another serious crash in Milan-San Remo, his third bad fall of the young 2018 season.The Dimension Data rider was relatively well positioned with just under 10km to go near the foot of the Poggio, but as the peloton parted at a traffic divider, Cavendish ran out of room to avoid it and took a direct impact. The waist-high bollard launched Cavendish through the air, and he somersaulted, landing heavily on his back. Cavendish started the season off with a stage win in the Dubai Tour, but crashed on the first stage of the AbuDhabiTour, suffering a concussion and whiplash when the race's lead vehicle suddenly slowed when its automatic braking system engaged, leading to the chain-reaction crash.ADVERTISEMENT He returned for Tirreno-Adriatico, but crashed again in the opening team time trial and was out of the race, having missed the time cut. He suffered a broken rib, facial lacerations and scraped hands, knees and hips in the fall, but was deemed fit to start Milan-SanRemo. He was tucked nicely in the middle of the peloton as it sped toward the Poggio in the last 10km of Milan-SanRemo when at the exit of a roundabout, he ran out of room to avoid a large bollard. Dimension Data announced on Twitter that he was being assessed by the medical team before the race ended. Cyclingnews will update this report with more information as it is available. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Benoot 'felt like a hero' winning Strade Bianche
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Tiesj Benoot's eyes were red and tearful from the dirt roads and rain of Strade Bianche but the Belgian admitted that some of his tears may have come because he had just landed his first professional victory with a dominant ride in one of the toughest races of the season. "It's a dream come true. I was on holiday with my girlfriend in Siena last year and we ate an ice cream in Piazza del Campo. It's still difficult to appreciate what I've achieved though I'm sure it'll come soon enough," he said, the emotion of the moment clear to hear in his voice and see in his eyes. "I felt really strong today and I'm proud to say I felt like a hero. I'm proud to have won this race. People will remember it for a long time, I will too. It's my first win.ADVERTISEMENT "It's one of the nicest Classics for me. I think the best peloton in a one-day race; the best Flemish Classics riders and the best Wallonne Classics rider are here. In my first ride, I was eighth and I said I'd come back for more, that turned out to be true." Racing with your knife between your teeth Benoot is quietly spoken but articulate, even after racing in the rain for five hours. He was not afraid to be aggressive on the gravel roads of Tuscany, attacking with Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors) to go across to Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Wout van Aert (Verandas Willems-Crelan), then again to make sure he won alone in the centre of Siena. "In Belgium, we say you have to race with your knife between your teeth and that's what I did. At Strade Bianche you always have to fight for position. In these conditions, there's a part of the peloton that doesn't have that but I like these condition so I was happy to fight all day and then just made the right decisions in the finale," he explained. Benoot, not Boonen You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Peter Sagan: Strade Bianche lived up to its reputation
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) preferred not to stop after finishing eighth at Strade Bianche, pedalling as fast as possible through the passionate tifosi that had invaded the finish area in Piazza del Campo. Sagan spent all of the 184 kilometres and five hours of racing protected in a black rainbow cape covering up his white world champions jersey. He was not strong enough to go with the attacks of Romain Bardet, Wout van Aert and then Tiesj Benoot but tried to close the gap several times from the chase group. He fought his way up the steep climb to Siena, finishing 2:08 behind Benoot. Sagan had played down his chances of success after only recently completing an altitude training camp and the wet and muddy conditions meant there was nowhere to hide in this years Strade Bianche. As usual, Sagan tried to see the positive side of his performance.ADVERTISEMENT "Im pretty tired but Im upbeat because after the training Ive done at altitude, its always hard to start racing again. I think things will only get better," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport before climbing onto the Bora-Hansgrohe team bus for a long warm shower."I was happy to stay on my bike I suffered but its normal. I hadnt trained much this week because of the bad weather. "There is no doubt that Strade Bianche lived up to its reputation this year with a very hard day under difficult weather conditions," Sagan later added in a team press release. "We showed we had a strong squad with Daniel Oss, Marcus Burghardt and Gregor Mhlberger doing great work at the front. I'm happy with today's result, although, obviously, we could have wished for more. However, it's just the beginning of my European races and there is a long way ahead of us." Like many of the riders in action at Strade Bianche, Sagan headed to the Tuscan coast on Saturday evening to rest up for Tirreno-Adriatico, which begins in Lido di Camaiore on Wednesday. It will be Sagans final stage race before Milan-San Remo and his annual stint in Belgium for the Cobbled Classics. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Liege-Bastogne-Liege finish could move from Ans in 2019 - News Shorts
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The finish of Lige-Bastogne-Lige could return to the centre of Lige in 2019 for the first time in over a quarter of a century, according to Belgian newspaper La Dernire Heure. La Doyenne has had an uphill finish in the suburb of Ans since 1992, but the current agreement between race organiser ASO and Ans council expires after this years race, and it is understood that the city of Lige is keen to bring the race finale back to the city centre. Although no final accord has been signed between ASO and Lige, La Dernire Heure reports that a finish within the city limits is likely, though a precise location for the proposed new finish line has yet to be decided upon.ADVERTISEMENT In the 1980s, the race finished on the flat of the Boulevard de la Sauvenire, and the character of the finale changed considerably with the move to the suburb of Ans in the early 1990s. Removing the Cote de Ans from the finish of Liege-Bastogne-Liege would make the stiff Cote de Saint-Nicolas the final climb of the race. In 2016, the organisers inserted an additional climb between the Saint-Nicolas and the Ans finish, the cobbledCote de la Rue Naniot. Although the Rue Naniot helped to trigger the winning move as Wout Poels claimed victory, it did not feature in 2017 and is not on the route for 2018. Lige-Bastogne-Lige currently starts on Place Saint Lambert in the centre of Lige, but a new finale could also herald a different start line for the Classic, with the municipality of Aywaille, just south of Lige, reportedly keen to host the start. Colorado Summit Cycling Series will test uphill prowess Quick-Step Floors for Dwars door West-Vlaanderen You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Aert ready for switch from cyclo-cross to Strade Bianche
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Wout Van Aert is a three-time cyclo-cross world champion but admitted he was nervous when he sat down between Peter Sagan and Michal Kwiatkowski at the pre-race Strade Bianche press conference on Friday afternoon. The Belgian's latest world title and his desire to compete in the spring Classics helped his Verandas Willems-Crelan team secure a late wild card invitation to Strade Bianche. He is arguably an outsider but his presence at Strade Bianche has added an extra twist to the race, sparking huge fascination in Belgium and huge curiosity about if his cyclo-cross skills will help him be competitive in one of the hardest races of the season. "I'm sitting between two great riders I'd never met until five minutes ago," Van Aert admitted with a smile.ADVERTISEMENT "I was perhaps more nervous for the press conference than for the race, which is actually stupid because as a cyclo-cross rider I also get a lot of attention and I have also given a lot of press conferences." He explained why he was nervous. "I think this part of season is a big challenge and it's a big experience to ride the Classics. I did all 'cross season so difficult to be at my best level in every race but I accept the challenge and I want to learn a lot this spring," he said. A baptism of fire You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Deutschland Tour presents course for climbers and sprinters
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Deutschland Tour is returning to the racing calendar after a 10-year absence. The new 2.1 race will cover more than 740 kilometers in four stages from August 23-26. The ASO, organizer of the Tour de France, has taken over the race and plans to present it for the next 10 years. The race starts in Koblenz, and will run up alongside the Rhine River to the former West German capital of Bonn, where a 2,000 meter long, straight flat run-in to the finish line awaits the sprinters. Stage 2, starting in Bonn, is the races longest at 212 kilometers, and with its trip through the Eifel region, is also the Queen stage. It resembles the profile of an Ardennes Classic, with the peloton constantly going up and down, according to the race press release. A closing circuit in Trier includes a 2km long climb that is expected to create a small group going for the win.ADVERTISEMENT There is more climbing in stage 3 from Trier to Merzig, with nearly 2,900 climbing meters. It ends with two laps of a hilly circuit course. The Tour of Germany ends with a 200 km stage from Lorsch to Stuttgart, with a closing circuit that includes the Herdweg climb that featured in the 2007 World Championships. The stages are quite varied and will reward the aggressive riders. The sprinters and Classics riders have equal chances, so that things will remain exciting up until the final day, said former pro Fabian Wegmann, who helped plan the course. Stage 3 will also see a Newcomers Race, for young talents, including a race for a selection of U17 female riders. The final stage will also host a grand fondo race, the Jedermann Rennen, which will end on the finish line of the pro race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Kwiatkowski focuses on a third victory at Strade Bianche
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is focused on winning Strade Bianche rather than thinking about the glory and recognition that a third victory would mean to his career. Only Fabian Cancellara has won Strade Bianche three times, and he's the only rider to have a sector of dirt road named in his honour. Kwiatkowski won Strade Bianche in 2014 while still an emerging talent. He took his second victory in 2017 and so will start this years race wearing race number one. His impressive victory at the recent Volta ao Algarve arguably makes him the favourite for this year's race, but he is not yet thinking about where hed like his special Strade Bianche milestone.ADVERTISEMENT "I'm really happy to be here as winner of last year, theres a little pressure for that reason, but I had a great winter preparation and had some good racing in Algarve and a wonderful period in the last two weeks before coming in to Strade Bianche. I have to be happy, even with the weather. I think the race will go on and we'll have a wonderful race, Kwiatkowski said with optimism despite the heavy rain falling in Siena as he later posed for the pre-race photo opportunity with Peter Sagan and Wout van Aert. "I think it's a wonderful idea that you can have your own sector of dirt road but I'm not thinking about that too much yet. Tomorrow well go for the win but not think too much about the sector. We've got strength in our team with Gianni Moscon and other riders. I'll be very happy whoever can compete for the win. That's the important thing, winning, rather than personal ambitions. "I'll start to think about having a dirt sector named after me when I'm close to winning." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Vanmarcke to lead EF Education First-Drapac at Strade Bianche
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
An in-form Sep Vanmarcke, third in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend, will lead the EF Education First-Drapac team into Saturday's Italian Classic Strade Bianche, where teammate Taylor Phinney will make his season debut after illness forced him from the Abu Dhabi Tour. Its a special race because its heroic, Vanmarcke said. Its very hard to race on gravel roads. Like with a cobbled classic, you need to be in good position, stay focused from start to finish and have some luck. The 12th edition of the 184km raceincludes 11 gravel sections totalling 63km. In the finale, riders will battle up a cobbled climb to the finish in the scenic and historic Piazza del Campo.ADVERTISEMENT An added challenge could come in the form of snow, which has covered northern Europe over theist few days, although forecasts currently call for milder temperatures and rain on Saturday. The snow can upset this race, making it very hard, said team director Fabrizio Guidi. Were not worried about this. The weather conditions support us and our goals. One rider looking forward to the potential weather-induced carnage is Alex Howes, who grew up in the harsh conditions of Colorado's Rocky Mountain winters. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Maldonado positive for CERA at Vuelta a San Juan
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Ignacio Maldonado, from Uruguay, tested positive in a control carried out after the first stage of January's Vuelta Ciclista a la Provincia de San Juan in Argentina. Maldonado was competing at the January 21-28 UCI 2.1 race with the Uruguay National Team. He tested positive for the EPO variant known as CERA in a sample taken after stage 1 on January 21 and is listed on the UCI's provisional suspension file. Maldonado finished 27th in the opening stage of the Vuelta a San Juan, his best placing during the seven-day race, and he went on to finish 86th in the final general classification.ADVERTISEMENT Maldonado's top results previous to this year were a third place at the Uruguayan National Championships in 2017, and he won a stage of the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay in 2010. In February, a post from the official Twitter account for the Vuelta a San Juan claimed that there was a positive anti-doping result from the January race and that more information would follow. However, the post was quickly deleted and the organisation later said that a hacked Twitter account was responsible for a message that went out over social media. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Brambilla out of Strade Bianche with pneumonia
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Trek-Segafredo's options for Strade Bianche suffered a blow Thursday when the team announced that Gianluca Brambilla, third in the race in 2016, had to be pulled from the roster after being diagnosed with pneumonia. Brambilla will also miss a planned start at Tirreno-Adriatico, according to the team's Twitter update. The 30-year-old Italian moved to Trek-Segafredo this year after five years with the Quick-Step team, where he won stages at both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espaa in 2016. He also earned his best result at Strade Bianche that year, finishing four seconds behind winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo)and runner-up Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step) after making the final selection.ADVERTISEMENT The team added Nicola Conci in Brabilla's place. The Italian will join teammatesEugenio Alafaci, Fabio Felline, Michael Gogl, Mads Pedersen, Jasper Stuyven and Boy van Poppel on the white gravel roads of Tuscany. #update: Team doctor confirms @glbrambilla has pneumonia. We will update here on his recovery process, but unfortunately no @StradeBianche and no @TirrenAdriatico for him. We wish you a speedy recovery, Gianluca! @kristoframon pic.twitter.com/QsvA6X9lcf " Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) March 1, 2018 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Cecchini welcomes physical and mental game of the Classics
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
As one of Italy's top one-day racers, naturally, the pressure is on for Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM) to perform at the Women's WorldTour opener at Strade Bianche - on home soil in Siena - a result that would yield the prestigious series' first leader's jersey. "Last year, I could see that I can be that kind of Classics-style cyclists," Cecchini told Cyclingnews. "One-day races are what I love the most because of their dynamics. The courses are challenging but not super hard, and that fits me better for the kind of cyclist that I am. The spring Classics are the kind of races that I like the most. They are a mental game, not only a physical game." Cecchini has been fighting for a Women's WorldTour victory since the series' inaugural season in 2015, and she's been close. Her best showing was last year: 10th at Strade Bianche, second at Ronde van Drenthe, fifth at Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio, ninth at Gent-Wevelgem and sixth at Tour of Flanders. After Ronde van Drenthe, she was a mere two points away from leading the Women's WorldTour, something she aims to accomplish this year.ADVERTISEMENT "I would like to start strong this year, that is my main goal," Cecchini said. "I would really like to lead the Women's WorldTour after being so close last year." Cecchini believes that an extended winter of training that began last November, combined with a new focus on one-day racing, might improve her performances this spring in the Classics. "I'm not the kind of woman who likes to chase my form into the season," Cecchini said. "I prefer to start in good shape, and if I feel like I need to take some rest during the season that's fine, but I like to maintain a good standard throughout the whole season." Italy's tri-coloured champion's jersey You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Longo Borghini primed to defend Strade Bianche title
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Elisa Longo Borghini is hoping for a repeat winning performance when she lines up with her Wiggle High5 team at this weekends Strade Bianche. Last year, Longo Borghini became the first Italian to win the race, the third edition of the one-day event for women. Alongside Longo Borghini at the opening round of the Women's WorldTour will be fellow national champions Eri Yonamine and Martina Ritter as well as Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Julie Leth and Emilia Fahlin. Longo Borghini, the current Italian national road and time trial champion, started her season last weekend with 11th place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. With some big Classics to come in April, she says that she's not in her best form but she is still up for defending her title. "I'm looking forward to racing because it's always a nice race, despite the weather. I feel fine, my preparation went fine, and now it's all about spinning the legs as fast as you can," she said. "Just because I'm not in my top form it doesn't mean I'm not in the game. It's just that I'm not in my super shape and I don't expect anything from the races. I'm going with my mind really free to race.ADVERTISEMENT "For sure I don't feel too good, I just feel normal. I feel okay, I'm just going to the race to enjoy it and to try to do the best for my team and for me." Strade Bianche was Longo Borghini's second major Classic victory after she won the Tour of Flanders in 2015. After crashing hard on one of the earlier gravel sectors, she was part of a five-rider move that broke clear on the penultimate sector of gravel, before eventually being caught by Lucinda Brand and Shara Gillow. The pair attacked in the closing kilometres but were caught on the sharp rise towards the finish at Piazza del Campo by Longo Borghini and her companions. Longo Borghini's pace proved too much and she distanced defending champion Lizzie Deignan and then Kasia Niewiadoma to take the title. It was an emotional win for the Italian and a moment that she didn't want to forget in a hurry. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Garderen leads BMC at Paris-Nice
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Tejay van Garderen will have full BMC Racing backing at Paris-Nice with the American aiming high after his third-place finish at Volta ao Algarve to start his 2018 season. Van Garderen has chosen to ride Tirreno-Adriatico over Paris-Nice in recent years but with a fourth place overall at the 2013 edition of the 'race to the race' on his palmares, the 29-year-old is looking to place on the podium. "The last time I raced Paris-Nice was in 2015 where I had a disastrous day in the cold, so hopefully we can learn from that and correct the mistakes from the past and make a solid push for a high General Classification result," said van Garderen. "With the strength, experience, and motivation BMC Racing Team is bringing to Paris Nice we shouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a top result."ADVERTISEMENT Van Garderen will support Richie Porte at the Tour de France in July but across the spring will have opportunities to pursue his own GC goals. Team manager Jim Ochowicz has said that he expects van Garderen will win a stage race before the Tour. Paris-Nice a race where he will have the chance to push for victory. "Volta ao Algarve was a good form builder and confidence booster. To be able to nab a podium result was a good way to start the season as well as a chance to learn what I needed to address in training heading into Paris-Nice. I've done some more work on the time trial bike in preparation for stage 4," van Garderen said. BMC Racing has named a balanced squad for the eight-stage race with riders to support van Garderen on the flat stages and then in the mountains. Sports Director Fabio Baldato explained the team dynamics and tactics for the race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Mitchelton-Scott with options for Strade Bianche
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The Mitchelton-Scott women's team will start Strade Bianche this Saturday with a balanced squad led by Georgia Williams, Gracie Elvin and Amanda Spratt. Annemiek van Vleuten skips the race with the Dutchwoman riding the Track Worlds on home soil in Apeldoorn but sports director Gene Bates believes his riders can still make the race. "Missing Annemiek is obviously something we will notice, but I think we have a really well-rounded team here " more of an opportunistic team than a clear favourite but sometimes that's nice going into the race as a bit of an underdog with nothing to lose," said Bates.ADVERTISEMENT New Zealand road champion Williams and Spratt will have leadership roles for the race and Bates expects to duo to spring a surprise or two. "Spratty is getting better and better. She is targeting later in the spring, but we are really pleasantly surprised at how well she was going already at opening weekend so we can expect to see a lot from her. Also, Georgia Williams is super strong," he said. With snow and cold conditions expected for the race, Williams believes the weather will play a role in the outcome of the race. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Tour of Alberta leaves $1.6 million wave of debt in its wake
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The recently cancelled Tour of Alberta and the organisation that promoted the event for its five-year run still owe creditors more than $1.6 million (Canadian), according to bankruptcy documents Cyclingnews obtained this week. The Alberta Peloton Association, the organisation formed specifically to promote the UCI 2.1 race, claimed $1,615,408 in outstanding liabilities against $19,410 of assets, all of which come from "machinery and equipment." The Alberta Peloton Association claims it has no cash on hand or any other assets, according to the documents. Hotels for teams, staff and the large entourage necessary to put on the race make up the lion's share of the debt, with the Edmonton Westin, which housed the race entourage for multiple days in 2017 and 2016, owed $214,497, according to the document. Medallist Sports, the US company hired to manage the event, is owed $68,571.ADVERTISEMENT Other major debts include $177,644 owed to television production company 3G Wireless, $27,198 owed to the City of Edmonton, $41,681 owed to a commercial tent rental company, $155,685 owed to M31 Design Group, $92,025 to television logistics company NEP and $65,880 owed to the World Triathlon Corporation, which shared a venue with the race in 2016. The race debuted in 2013 to much fanfare in North America, supported initially by the province's ministry of culture and tourism as a way to show the area to a world-wide audience. With a field that included six WorldTour teams and the up-and-coming Peter Sagan, the Tour of Alberta got off to a good start. The race featured a prologue and five stages, a format the race stuck with through 2016, when it dropped to five days and by then only attracted two WorldTour teams. A slowing economy for the province's once-booming oil industry took the blame. In 2017, the race dropped another day and another WorldTour team down to just one. Teams still owed prize money You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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