Cycling News


Wild wins 3rd title as Dutch dominate track championships
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) " Kirsten Wild has won her third title of the week on the final day of the world track cycling championships with a victory in the points race on Sunday.The 35-year-old Dutchwoman also took gold in the... More...
The shaming of Sir Bradley Wiggins: MPs conclude that cycling hero DID take drugs
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Sir Bradley Wiggins took drugs to boost his performance before winning the 2012 Tour de France, a devastating report said last night.In a bombshell conclusion, MPs rejected claims that the five-time Olympic gold medallist took triamcinolone... More...
Cycling: NZ road champion Jason Christie loses appeal to be included in Commonwealth Games team
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
New Zealand national road race champion Jason Christie has lost his appeal to be included in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team.The Sports Tribunal this morning dismissed Christie's appeal against the decision not to be... More...
Investigation: Drug enhanced Wiggins performance in Tour win
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
LONDON (AP) " Bradley Wiggins used a banned powerful corticosteroid to enhance his performance while preparing to win the Tour de France in 2012, a British parliamentary committee said in a doping investigation report that accuses... More...
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall helps open new Churton School bike track
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Churton School has a new bike track and Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall joined some of the school's pupils on Wednesday to take a first ride around it.The 500m track was completed by Downer with contributions of free labour and... More...
Maori Toa triathlon all about whanau and fitness
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Nothing is a barrier to participating in the Maori Toa Tri Whanganui. The whānau focused triathlon was held for a second time on Sunday with more than 70 people participating in either a triathlon or a fun run and walk. "It's... More...
Demare wins 1st stage of Paris-Nice race in photo finish
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
MEUDON, France (AP) " Arnaud Demare won the opening stage of the Paris-Nice race in a photo finish on Sunday after edging out three other riders in a sprint to the line.The French cyclist, who also won the first stage last year,... More...
Cycling: Campbell Stewart fifth in stirring debut
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Kiwi teenage talent Campbell Stewart gave a hint of his prodigious future with a close fifth placing in the omnium on the penultimate day of the world track cycling championships in the Netherlands yesterday.The 19-year-old from... More...
Benoot 'felt like a hero' winning Strade Bianche
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Peter Sagan: Strade Bianche lived up to its reputation
March 04, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Dygert breaks pursuit record 2x at track cycling worlds
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) " Chloe Dygert broke the women's individual pursuit world record twice in winning at the world track cycling championships on Saturday.Dygert, who anchored the Americans to another team pursuit gold medal... More...
Cycling: Buchanan gets home in a rush for omnium bronze
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Rushlee Buchanan has produced an outstanding performance to grab New Zealand's first medal at the track cycling world championships in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.Buchanan lapped the field twice in the points race, the final discipline... More...
Liege-Bastogne-Liege finish could move from Ans in 2019 - News Shorts
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Van Aert ready for switch from cyclo-cross to Strade Bianche
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Deutschland Tour presents course for climbers and sprinters
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Kwiatkowski focuses on a third victory at Strade Bianche
March 03, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Vogel wins record-tying 11th women's world cycling title
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) " Kristina Vogel of Germany won a record-tying 11th women's world cycling title when she took out the individual sprint at the track world championships on Friday.Vogel, Olympic champion in the discipline,... More...
Cycling: Picture perfect snapshot of NZ
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
In the first of a series on Weekend Warriors, Mike van Niekerk talks to photographer and keen cyclist Phil Walter. Phil Walter likes to ride bicycles a long way at speed. Mid-morning on Monday, he left Cape Reinga at the northern... More...
Vanmarcke to lead EF Education First-Drapac at Strade Bianche
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Maldonado positive for CERA at Vuelta a San Juan
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Brambilla out of Strade Bianche with pneumonia
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 " Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) March 1, 2018 You can read more at More...
Cecchini welcomes physical and mental game of the Classics
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Longo Borghini primed to defend Strade Bianche title
March 02, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Clancy leads Britain to team pursuit win at track cycling
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) " Three-time Olympic champion Edward Clancy led a youthful Britain team to victory in the men's pursuit at the track cycling world championships on Thursday.Also the Olympic women's champion, Britain,... More...
Dutch win 2 golds on opening day of track cycling worlds
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) " The Netherlands won two gold medals and a silver in front of their home fans on the opening day of the track cycling world championships.The hosts had a perfect start to the championships as Kirsten... More...
Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny makes successful return to the track six months after giving birth
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Emily Nelson and Kenny set a time of four minutes 19.177 seconds More...
Van Garderen leads BMC at Paris-Nice
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Mitchelton-Scott with options for Strade Bianche
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Tour of Alberta leaves $1.6 million wave of debt in its wake
March 01, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
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 More...
Urgent repairs to Aramoho Rail Bridge footbridge section
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Repairs will be carried out this week to the Aramoho Rail Bridge after concerns raised by Chronicle readers.Whanganui East resident Peter Andrews contacted the newspaper about the bridge's state of disrepair and raised concerns... More...
Bora-Hansgrohe confirm Peter Sagan for Strade Bianche
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Bora-Hansgrohe has confirmed world champion Peter Sagan will start his 2018 European campaign at Strade Bianche Saturday. Sagan started his season in Australia at the Tour Down Under where he won a stage and wore the leader's ochre jersey for one day. Upon arriving back in Europe, Sagan then met the Pope before heading to a training camp in the Sierra Nevada and skipping 'opening weekend'. The 28-year-old has raced every edition of the Italian one-day classic since 2012 with second place to then-teammate Moreno Moser in 2013 and the same result to Michal Kwiatoski the following year his best result to date. In 2016, Sagan was fourth but abandoned the race last year due to illness.ADVERTISEMENT Supporting Sagan's bid for victory will be Italian Daniel Oss, German champion Marcus Burghardt, Pole Maciej Bodnar, Austrian Gregor Mhlberger, German Christoph Pfingsten, and Latvian Aleksejs Saramotins. Despite a lack of recent racing in his legs, Sagan is expected to one of the favourites for the race as he starts his classics campaign for 2018. Oss provides a second option in the final forBora-Hansgrohe after a strong showing over 'opening weekend'. You can read more at More...
Kwiatkowski braves the elements for Milan-San Remo recon
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski is already preparing to defend his 2017 Milan-San Remo title when the race rolls out next month, even enduring a day of training in the snow on the route of the Italian Monument. The polish rider posted a video on Twitter of himself riding in a snowstorm with the frosty precipitation piling up on his brow and glasses. "San-Remo recon done," Kwiatkowski says in the video. "Lovely." The 291km race, which takes place March 17, has seen its snow days in the past, but Kwiatkowski - and the rest of the peloton, no doubt - will be hoping for a bit warner weather this year.ADVERTISEMENT Kwiatkowski won last year's race in a three-up sprint ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Julian Alaphlippe (Quick-Step Floors), two weeks after he won Strade Bianche. After San Remo he was second in Amstel Gold and third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. So far this year the 2014 World Champion has won two stages and the overall at Volta ao Algarve. San Remo recon, if anyone asked #Kwiato #allezKwiato @TeamSky " Micha Kwiatkowski (@kwiato) February 26, 2018 You can read more at More...
Trek-Segafredo name strong Strade Bianche squad
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
American WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo has named its team for the one-day Strade Biancherace with a number of riders capable of challenging for victory. The team won the race in 2016 with Fabian Cancellara and starts Saturday's race confident of further success. The team enjoyed a fluster of early season wins in late-January and early-February with six victories. Having animated the 'opening weekend' in Belgium with fourth place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a highlight, Jasper Stuyven will be a leader for the race. The Belgian's capabilities suited to the parcours. New signing Gianluca Brambilla was third in 2016 at Strade Bianche and will look to again animate the finale. Fabio Felline is aiming for a strong classics campaign in 2018 with Strade Bianche a key spring race for the Italian. Dane Mads Pedersen is another rider Trek-Segafredo can look to for a leadership role. The Danish national champion won a stage at the Herald Sun Tour earlier in the month and like Stuyven, was active across 'opening weekend'.ADVERTISEMENT Michael Gogl and Boy van Poppel are likely to work as domestiques in the race for Trek-Segafredo and complete the squad. The 184 kilometre 2018 Strade Bianche starts and finishes in the Tuscan city of Siena. Trek-Segafredo for Strade Bianche:Jasper Stuyven, Fabio Felline, Gianluca Brambilla, Michael Gogl, Boy van Poppel, Eugenio Alafaci and Mads Pedersen. You can read more at More...
Van Keirsbulck confident ahead of Le Samyn defence
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) will be heading into Le Samyn on Tuesday ready fight off the expected cold temperatures and to defend his 2017 title in the Belgian one-day race. Van Keirsbulck, who rode with Quick-Step Floors for six years before moving to Wanty last year, overpowered Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect) in a two-up sprint to win the 2017 race, while Quick-Step's Iljo Keisse led a small group home 11 seconds later. It was an act of revenge of sorts for the 27-year-old Belgian afterQuick-Step seemingly grew tired of waiting for him to deliver on his considerable potential and turned him loose after the 216 season. Van Keirsbulck will have another opportunity on Tuesday, when he'll line up at the head of the race that will feature Quick-Step's Phlippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra.ADVERTISEMENT "It is always fun to start with number 1," Van Keirsbulck said. "The circumstances are different than last year. It will not be too bad, just very cold. I will dress warmly to warm up my muscles for the final. Then we will see who is still present." Although the course features four short-but-steep climbs in the beginning, the real action will take place on the four laps of the 25km closing circuit, which includes four cobblestone sections. "The course is tiring, but the cobblestones here suit me," Van Keirsbulck said. "Quick-Step seems well armed, and when Gilbert is here he wants to win the opening race in Wallonia." You can read more at More...
Mountain biking: Lack of stand down period for transgender rider causes confusion for field
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Confusion around the crossover period of transgender athletes is seeing some Kiwi downhill mountain bikers shy away from competition in the sport, a former world No.2 junior says. It's a result of Kate Weatherly's involvement in... More...
Abu Dhabi Tour: Stage 5 highlights - Video
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) continued his early-season winning comeback from the crash that ended his 2017 Tour de France with final day stage and overall Abu Dhabi Tour honours. The Spaniard was unstoppable in the summit finale at Jebel Hafeet, taking all before him and relegating Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez to second on the stage and third on GC. "As long as I continue winning, I will continue riding," Valverde said. "I don't know if I'm the best rider in the world, but I'm a rider who wins big races and is always up there." Race leader at the start of the stage, Rohan Dennis (BMC), had already been distanced on the climb and soon after the majority of the peloton as Valverde and Lopez skipped away. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) lead home the first chase group at 15 seconds but had to settle for fourth place overall. Wilco Kelderman crossing the line in Alaphilippe's group and taking third place overall.ADVERTISEMENT Kelderman's teammate Tom Dumoulin had another day to forget with a second mechanical in as many days ending any hope for a result or redemption for the time trial mishap. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here. You can read more at More...
Haussler: I just wanted to smash it
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Few 77th place finishes will mean as much to a rider as Heinrich Haussler at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. After a horrible 2017, where he was plagued by problems both mental and physical, the 34-year-old made his 2018 season debut in Belgium on Sunday and not only got through the race, but animated it, too. When things kicked off on the Oude Kwaremont with 85 kilometres remaining, Haussler was alive to it and wound up in a strong group of 20 riders. It looked for a while like it the decisive move of the day, though the race would eventually come back together for a sprint in Kuurne. Even so, after the recurring knee injury that limited him to just 12 race days last year and contributed to bouts of depression, it was the perfect start to a new chapter.ADVERTISEMENT "I've been through a lot of bad stuff last year, more mentally than physically," Haussler told Cyclingnews in Kuurne. "Going through the winter, things weren't exactly perfect but I still managed to get through all my training and all I wanted to do injury-free, but then I actually came back from the first team training camp and broke my collarbone. That gave me even more motivation, not to come back stronger but to try and do everything perfectly and live 100 per cent as a professional, because I'm getting older and seriously, these races, they mean everything to me." Haussler's directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman revealed how keen Haussler was to return to action at Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but the team decided it would be more sensible to re-introduce him at Kuurne. You can read more at More...
Team Rwanda to make Tour de l'Avenir debut in 2018
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
A Rwandan national team will take the start line of the Tour de l'Avenir for the first time in 2018.The national selection won the team classification of theTour de l'Espoir nations cup in Cameron to earn a placeat the 'mini Tour de France' 17-26 August. The national Rwanda team also won the Tour de l'Espoir overall withJoseph Areruyaand a stage via Samuel Mugisha. Tour de l'Avenir race director Philippe Colliou has confirmed the selection of Rwanda with Cyclingnews. The invitation comes off the back of a successful six-months for the landlocked nation which hosted the African national championships for just the second time in its history last week. From 2019, the national Tour of Rwanda will also be elevated to 2.1 status and the national federation is seriously pursuing a bid for the World Championships in the mid-2020s.ADVERTISEMENT "There's a big difference between the level here [Cameron] and the level of the Tour de l'Avenir, but it was important to allow the best African nations to encounter something new and cross a new threshold," said Laurent Bezault, UCI Consultant and African Adviser for the UCI Africa Tour. "It's the route African cycling must take in order to compete on an international scale. It will undoubtedly be difficult, but it lets them see how far they still have to go. Like I always say, if it works elsewhere, there's no reason why it can't work here." Rwanda's team for the Tour de l'Avenir will likely be lead by 22-year-old Areruya. A stage winner at the Baby Giro last year with his Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental team, Areruya won two stages on his way to overall Tour of Rwanda success last year. He started 2018 in similar winning fashion, taking a stage win on his way to overall La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in January. The first time a Rwandan cyclist had won a 2.1 stage race. Areruya's purple patch of form continued in West Africa with overall Tour de l'Espoir victory. Trade and national teammate Samuel Mugisha leading home Areruya in a one a one-two finish on stage 3 into Yaound to set up the overall win. Muguisha would finish the race in 11th place overall while Jean Paul Rene Ukiniwabo was fourth and Didier Munyaneza was ninth. Samuel Hakiruwizeye and Jean Damascene Ruberwa also raced the Tour de l'Espoir and could be considered for Rwanda's team at the Tour de l'Avenir. You can read more at More...
Spotted: New disc brake equipped, aero Cannondale
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
A new aero, disc brake frameset from Cannondale was seen last week at the Abu Dhabi Tour. EF Education First-Drapac riders Dan McLay and Kim Magnusson were seen racing on the bike throughout the week. The UCI's list of approved frames and forks lists the latest approved model for Cannondale as the SystemSix, a previously unknown model and a name that aligns with the top of the line SuperSix all-round race bike used by the team over the past few seasons. The black frameset spotted at last week's race ran hydraulic Shimano Dura-Ace disc brakes front and rear and with just one version of the model listed on the UCI's approval document, suggests that Cannondale have followed the likes of Specialized and Giant by only offering their latest model equipped with hydraulic disc brake mechanisms and no rim brake option.ADVERTISEMENT Modern aero features such as truncated tubing, lower flared seat stays and bladed forks all feature on the frameset, which also appears to have internal cable and hose routing, plus a proprietary, frame specific seat post. Cannondale have not yet responded with any further details about the frameset when contacted by BikeRadar, although we expect further details to be announced in the near future. You can read more at More...
Mountain biking: Ed Masters, Kate Weatherly take out national titles
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
Taranaki professional Ed Masters produced an excellent run in quality conditions to win his first elite title at the Altherm Mountain Bike National Championships in Wanaka on Sunday.The Pivot Factory Team rider finished nearly three... More...
Surprise second place for Wisniowski at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Team Sky turned up for opening weekend with three debutants for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and despite four of the seven riders for the team not finishing the race in the freezing conditions, the British squad will be satisfied with second place on the day. ukasz Winiowski chased back to a select group following Sep Vanmarckes (EF Education First-Drapac) attack on the Muur van Gerardsbergen, and managed to win the bunch sprint to take second place to Michael Valgren (Astana Pro Team), whose late attack won the Dane the race. Owain Doull, who endured a far tougher start to the 2017 campaign following surgery on a burst appendix, sprinted to 11th in the finale and the result gives the Welshman promise for the upcoming season.ADVERTISEMENT It was alright, I suffered a bit all day, Owain Doull told Cyclingnews while cooling down after the race, I was just pinned most of the time but I think it was the same for everybody. It was good though, obviously Lukasz [Wisniowski] was second, I think I made the top ten [Doull finished 11th " Ed.], so all in all, a pretty good day considering we havent got our main Classics guys here, its not our full squad. Weve still got Yogi [Ian Stannard], Kwiato [Michal Kwiatkowski], Gianni [Moscon], a lot of big guys still to come in so were pretty happy with that. Sprinting for second You can read more at More...
Lotto Soudal take the initiative but leave empty handed at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
There was a cruel irony in Lotto Soudals first Classics outing of 2018 at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The theme of last spring was aggressive racing and decisive selections being made early, and a subtheme was Lotto Soudal missing out on almost all of those selections. Seemingly eager to make amends at the first possible opportunity, the Belgian team took the race by the scruff of the neck on Saturday and went on the early offensive through Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot, only for the race to boil down to the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg in the final 17 kilometres, by which point they were nowhere to be seen.ADVERTISEMENT We should have just waited for the Muur..." said a rueful Wellens at the finish line. You never know if the early moves are the right choice but today it was the wrong choice. Riding the first cobbled Classic of his career, the Belgian forced his way into a group that went clear in the aftermath of the Molenberg, some 53km from the finish. That move having been neutralised, Wellens then launched a big attack on the Berendries, just under 40km out, ripping the bunch to pieces and establishing what looked like a potentially race-defining selection. Wellens on the cobbles You can read more at More...
Valgren: Cancellara was a lucky charm for me
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Of all the newspaper pull-outs and race programmes distributed in Belgium on Saturday morning, none had Michael Valgren down as even a one-star favourite for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The Danish rider, however, confirmed his emergence as a cobbled Classics rider with a stylish victory that was inspired in part by a certain Fabian Cancellara. I met him two days ago by coincidence, Valgren said of the three-time Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix champion in his winners press conference in Meerbeke. I was out training before coming here really early and I was on a climb and Fabian came up riding and said hey, why are you training so early? and I said I was going to Belgium. We talked for a few minutes and he said good luck. Maybe that was a lucky charm.ADVERTISEMENT Hes the rider I was looking up to when I started racing, because he was also on Saxo Bank with Bjarne Riis and Im Danish, it was a Danish team. Hes won the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, stages at the Tour de France and I just like his style on the bike and in races. He was always the guy I was looking up to. Cancellara would certainly have been proud of Valgrens solo victory. It may have owed more to the tactical upper hand of his Astana team than brute physical superiority but it was no less worthy for it. The 26-year-old had to respond to the attacks over the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Bosberg just to earn a lottery ticket for the finale, and his team turned out to be the strongest in the race. Having closed down threatening moves earlier on, Astana placed three riders in the group of 10 that led the race on the run-in to the finish. No one else had a teammate, and the trio were able to work over their opponents. On to the Tour of Flanders You can read more at More...
Dennis: Valverde is the most threatening rider in Abu Dhabi Tour finale
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) knows more than he could ever want to know about mechanical malfunctions in time trials, but while he was hardly unsympathetic to Tom Dumoulins plight on stage 4 of the Abu Dhabi Tour, he was just as relieved to have enjoyed a clear run himself. Saturday's 12.6km test on Al Maryah Island looked like coming down to the finest of margins between the two outstanding time triallists in the field when Dumoulin hurtled through the intermediate time check a mere second ahead of Dennis' provisional best mark. Dennis was already watching from the hot seat at the finish as Dumoulin looked to maintain his advantage over the back end of the course, but the world time trial champion's challenge came to an abrupt end when he was forced into a bike change due to a problem with the electronics in his rear shifter. A frustrated Dumoulin would cross the finish in 12th place, some 31 seconds down on Dennis, who ultimately took stage victory by 14 seconds from Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky).ADVERTISEMENT "Everyone knows all too well that Ive had my fair share of those sorts of issues and its never nice to lose a race because of that," Dennis said. "I still believe I would have won today, it was 31 seconds in the finish and we usually say a bike change is 30 seconds. So if he was one second up then he would have lost two seconds over the second part of the course. Im not going to say Im unhappy to win, but it is a shame that somebody loses in that situation." Beating Dumoulin in a time trial is by no means a novelty for Dennis, who claimed the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France before enormous crowds in Utrecht, the bulk of whom were very loudly willing their man to be the first Dutch maillot jaune in a quarter of a century. At this point in his career, however, Dennis is more keen to try to match his contemporarys achievements in harnessing his time trial power in the high mountains of the Grand Tours. He acknowledged, too, that Dumoulins calm under fire was something to mimic. "Everything hes done is a confidence boost in whats possible for me," said Dennis, who will target a high overall finish at this years Giro dItalia, where Dumoulin returns as defending champion."I think were quite similar as riders, so if someone like him or even someone like Wiggins does it, then a Grand Tour is possible. Jebel Hafeet You can read more at More...
Paracyclist Nau Puriri's Paralympics bid 32 years after stroke
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
A Whangārei paracyclist has his sights set on Paralympic glory at the 2020 Tokyo Games, despite only taking up the sport three years ago.Nau Puriri had a stroke at age 5, was diagnosed with epilepsy at 8 and at 12 had brain... More...
2018 season will be the last for Jeremy Roy - News Shorts
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Loyal to FDJ for 16 years, Jrmy Roy announced today that 2018 will be his last season in the pro cycling peloton, according to a press release from the team. "It never is a simple choice, but I've decided 2018 will be my last season," Roy said. "I am proud to belong to the category of the 'One-team men' since team FDJ accompanied me throughout my whole career." Roy, 34, has raced with the French team since 2003. In his career he has won wages at Paris-Nice and Tour du Limousin, as well as one-day racesGrand Prix D'ouverture La Marseillaise and Tro-bro Lon, all in France. Roy has competed in nine Tours de France going back to 2008. He did not compete in the Tour last year, racing his second Giro d'Italia instead.ADVERTISEMENT "It is not time now to speak of career-change plans or to schedule any 'last day' date because, before that, I still have great races to ride and big objectives to fulfil with my teammates," he said. Roy started this season at Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise, Etoile de Bessges and La Provence.Next up for Roy is Strade Bianche. Registration open forLEtape California Registration is now open forLEtape California by Le Tour de France, a mass-participation ride starting from Folsom, California, on Sunday, September 2 of Labor Day Weekend. The weekend starts on Saturday withFrench food, sights, appearances from cycling legends and family cycling fun " followed by the LEtape ride on Sunday. Rally Cycling ready for weekend double-header in France Quick-Step Floors for l'Ardche and Royal Bernard Vote online for favourite Vuelta a Espana summit finish You can read more at More...
Gilbert points to Molenberg as key climb in new Omloop het Nieuwsblad course
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
"Time fliestime flies." Philippe Gilbert(Quick-Step Floors) wondered where a decade had gone as he looked ahead to Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The race holds a special place in the Belgian's heart as his first Classics victory, way back in 2006. He won it again in 2008 and, after his spectacular re-emergence as a cobbled Classics rider last year, he has the chance to take a record-tying third on Saturday. Since then, Gilbert has built a mighty palmars, with two titles at Il Lombardia and one each at Lige-Bastogne-Lige and the Tour of Flanders, to mention just the Monuments. It also contains Amstel Gold Race times four, La Flche Wallonne, Paris-Tours and, of course, the World Championships.ADVERTISEMENT It's the missing Monuments that Gilbert now covets most; Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix are needed for the complete set. Given they are still a few weeks down the line, he was cautious when asked about his Omloop chances at Quick-Step Floors' pre-race press conference on Friday. "Back then it was different, Iknew I had little chance of winning Flanders or a big classic so I tried to advance my form because it was more realistic to win a race of 200km than a race of 260km," he said, referring to his past victories. "Now things have changed. I've had to learn to hold off on my form a bit over the last years and put more of an accent on the later races. 'It's the first race in Belgium, it's always important' You can read more at More...
Viviani consolidates points lead as Abu Dhabi summit finish looms
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Sprinters hold the top-seven general classification spots after three stages at the Abu Dhabi Tour, with Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) leading Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) by three seconds, and the rest grouped in ones and twos behind. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) breaks up the sprint party in eighth place, 10 seconds back, and Saturday's time trial should shine even more light on the final general classification outcome and provide a buffer for the specialists. The big test will be Sunday's climb toJebel Hafeet, an 11km ascent that averages 6.6 percent gradient and reaches 11 percent in spots. Kristoff won the opening sprint and held the lead for a day before Viviani won stage 2 in Yas Beach and seized the leader's jersey. The Italian finished fourth to Bauhaus on stage 3 to keep the overall lead, but more importantly, Viviani won the second intermediate sprint of the day at 82km and took a commanding lead in the points classification, a prize he'll hope to keep as others set their sights on the GC.ADVERTISEMENT "I am satisfied after these flat stages, because I have the leader's jersey and a hefty advantage in the green jersey classification, thanks to three top-five placings and today's intermediate sprint. Now I'll go full gas in the time trial and then try to help our GC guys on the fifth stage." Friday's 133km stage fromNation Towers to Big Flag, although flat, was not a straightforward affair once crosswinds blew things apart after the second intermediate sprint with about 40km remaining. Viviani took the sprint and then made the first group once crosswinds tore into the peloton.several teams tried to open a workable gap in the winds, but the race came back together when the wind changed direction, blowing into a hard head wind. From there the sprinters' team picked up the chase, with Quick-Step sending James Knox up to marshal the team's interests at the tip of the spear until the sprint trains started jostling for position inside 10km to go. You can read more at More...
Van Avermaet: It's more difficult for me without Sagan
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
While almost all the world's top Classics riders are in Belgium this weekend for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, there's one glaring absentee in Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Some might breathe a sigh of relief at not having to work out how to beat the three-time world champion, but for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)it's the opposite. Sagan won Kuurne last year and finished on the podium at the past two editions of Omloop, but has decided to plot his route to the spring differently this year, training at altitude in Spain before resuming racing at Strade Bianche. For Van Avermaet, who has beaten Sagan to the top step of those last two Omloop podiums, the 'opening weekend' remains an important step on his calendar, but he says his chances of a record third title are made harder " not easier " by his rival's absence.ADVERTISEMENT "For me, it's not an advantage that Peter is not here. I like to race with Peter. He opens up the race and rides with me full gas," Van Avermaet said at BMC's pre-race press conference in Sint-Martens-Latem on Friday. "It's strange to say, but sometimes it's easier to have a guy like that next to you, rather than being the favourite everyone is looking at. So it's going to be more difficult, I think." With wins at Omloop, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, and Paris-Roubaix last spring, Van Avermaet shook off the last remaining vestiges of his 'nearly man' reputation, and indeed he'll be a marked man. The theme of that 2017 Classics campaign was early aggression and open, selective racing, and Van Avermaet's hoping his new status doesn't change that. Muur-Bosberg You can read more at More...
Dowsett settles into new role in Kittel lead-out train
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
During his time at Movistar, Alex Dowsetts strengths as a rouleur meant that he was often placed on bodyguard duty on flat stages, shielding and shepherding men like Nairo Quintana in the body of the peloton. At Katusha-Alpecin, the Britons characteristics are proving just as useful, albeit deployed in a rather different manner, as part of the lead-out train of fellow new arrival Marcel Kittel. Dowsetts ability to hold top-end speed means that he plays a role towards the front on the run-in, but Marco Haller et al step up to the plate to pilot Kittel into the finish straight. Im really enjoying it so far. Ive got a really cool job, its something to really work hard towards, although its a bit of a shock to the system being back in a lead-out, Dowsett said at the Abu Dhabi Tour this week. Theyve changed a lot in the last five years. Now everyone can lead out, but no single team can control by themselves, so its more about trying to look after the team, while saving a bit of energy for the end, when every team just opens the taps. Its just frighteningly fast in the last 3k.ADVERTISEMENT Kittels early outings for Katusha have not worked out quite as planned, though there were encouraging signs aplenty in his second place finish on stage 3 on Friday. 24 hours earlier, Dowsett and his red guard were very much to the fore when the peloton swung into crosswinds in the final hour of stage 2, and they briefly helped to split the race into three echelons. We all knew there was a possibility of crosswind stuff, and when everybody knows theres a possibility of crosswind stuff, then theres crosswind stuff, Dowsett said. We wanted to be on the front going into it in case it happened and then we went. All bar one of us were there, which is great for morale, so it was a productive day even though it came back together. Dowsett might enjoy a productive day of his own on stage 4, a pan-flat 12.6km time trial at Al Maryah Island, though he dismissed the idea that he might have been given licence to save his legs during Fridays stage. Classics You can read more at More...

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