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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...
Bora-Hansgrohe confirm Peter Sagan for Strade Bianche
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Kwiatkowski braves the elements for Milan-San Remo recon
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 pic.twitter.com/g459rdLyCE " Micha Kwiatkowski (@kwiato) February 26, 2018 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Trek-Segafredo name strong Strade Bianche squad
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Keirsbulck confident ahead of Le Samyn defence
February 27, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Abu Dhabi Tour: Stage 5 highlights - Video
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Haussler: I just wanted to smash it
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Team Rwanda to make Tour de l'Avenir debut in 2018
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Spotted: New disc brake equipped, aero Cannondale
February 26, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Surprise second place for Wisniowski at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Lotto Soudal take the initiative but leave empty handed at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Valgren: Cancellara was a lucky charm for me
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Dennis: Valverde is the most threatening rider in Abu Dhabi Tour finale
February 25, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
2018 season will be the last for Jeremy Roy - News Shorts
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Gilbert points to Molenberg as key climb in new Omloop het Nieuwsblad course
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
"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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Viviani consolidates points lead as Abu Dhabi summit finish looms
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Avermaet: It's more difficult for me without Sagan
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Dowsett settles into new role in Kittel lead-out train
February 24, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
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 Cyclingnews.com More...
Pedersen rediscovers love of cycling with Aqua Blue Sport
February 23, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
At 20, life could hardly get any better for Casper Pedersen with the Dane fast-tracked into the Olympic track programme and selected for the 2016 Rio games. The 2014 Paris"Roubaix Juniors runner-up had cemented his place in the team pursuit squad and was to be the first reserve. A phone call from the national coach the night before the race brought Pedersen's world crashing down. He would instead be the sixth rider and would not ride in any event. Instead, he watched on as Denmark won the team pursuit bronze medal and Lasse Norman Hansen enjoying the same success in the omnium. Pedersen, the only rider to fly home empty-handed. Once home, Pedersen didn't touch the bike for two months and entered thoughts of giving up the sport. Beset by depression. Slowly but surely, Pedersen started to regain his love for cycling and with it, the competitiveness of the sport.ADVERTISEMENT In 2017, Pedersen turned the page and moved teams to Giant-Castelli. The year started with a return to the track and a ride in Denmark's team pursuit squad at the Cali World Cup and a gold medal. Silver in the Madison at the Los Angeles World Cup with Julius Johansen followed. Success followed on the road with Pedersen winning a stage at the 2.2 Flche du Sud and the 1.2 GP Horsens Posten. The U23 European road race title on home road in Denmark, a place in Denmark's team for the Tour de l'Avenir, and then the opening stage of his home Tour of Denmark further washing away the disappointment of Rio. Pedersen then ended the year by signing a contract with Aqua Blue Sport and silver in the team pursuit at the Manchester Track World Cup in November. "After turning pro with Aqua Blue and moving to Girona, every part of my life is built around cycling. I can really feel that this is what my life is about," Pedersen told Cyclingnews. "I just finished school last summer so this is the first summer without school also. This is the first year of being a complete cyclist as well." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Mitchelton-Scott name opening weekend squad
February 23, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Australian WorldTour team Mitchelton-Scott has named its team for the 'opening weekend' combo of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Italian Matteo Trentin will take on a leadership role in his first classics campaign with the team with Sunday's race the major target. Australian Luke Durbridge has recovered from the broken collarbone he sustained in January at the national championships and will have a free role for the two races. Former Paris-Roubaix winner Mat Hayman and Australian national champion Alex Edmondson provide further depth for the team aims. "I am really looking forward to the weekend, the start of the classics is always exciting, and it will be good to get back into that style of racing. To be honest I don't know how to compare my form to the rest of the classics guys, with my recovery I raced twice in Spain and the terrain is different and also there were not many other classics specialists at those races," said Trentin, who's season debut was delayed due to a broken rib.ADVERTISEMENT "We come in on the back of a really good team camp in Almeria and since the rib injury back in January I've been feeling better and improving all the time. It is still early in the season, but I feel good and I'm quite pleased with my shape after Murcia and Almeria." While Trentin is aiming to hit the ground running, the 28-year-old also sees the two races as key to setting up a strong classics campaign. "It will be a different level of competition at the weekend and Luke is also returning from injury, but if we have good legs in these races then we can aim to be up there at the key moments. It's also going to be important and good for us to test ourselves against the other classics riders and see how we are going," he said You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Paris-Nice attracts strong start list for 2018
February 23, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The 74th edition of Paris-Nice will feature a strong start list of general classification riders, stage hunters and sprinters. Race organisers ASO have confirmed team leaders for the 18 WorldTour and four Pro Continental squads that will contest the March 4-11 race. Defending champion Sergio Henao will lead the charge for Team Sky, who have dominated the general classification since 2012. Sky's squad will include Wout Poels, who will also start as a favourite for the overall title. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) makes his European season debut at Paris-Nice, and in his debut at the 'race to the sun' will aim to add to his Herald Sun Tour victory in early February. The Australian team can also look to Simon Yates for the general classification, while Matteo Trentin will be an option for the tougher sprint finishes.ADVERTISEMENT American Tejay van Garderen was third last week at the Volta ao Algarve and leads the GC challenge for BMC Racing. He can count on support from Nico Roche in his bid for the yellow jersey. UAE Team Emiratesare one of several teams with dual ambitions at the race and will start with the aim of delivering Dan Martin to overall victory and Alexander Kristoff to stage wins. Martin was third overall last year and will be confident of at least a return to the podium. Former world champion Rui Costa is a versatile card for the team to play across the eight stages. Lotto-Soudalare also chasing GC and stage win success, with Ruta del Sol winner Tim Wellens aiming for yellow. Andre Greipel will lead the charge in the sprints, while Thomas De Gendt will be looking to replicate his breakaway stage win from 2017. Provisional 2018 Paris-Nice start list You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Moschetti scores Polartec-Kometa's first win
February 23, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Italian U23 road champion Matteo Moschetti scored Polartec-Kometa's first win of the season Thursday at the Tour of Antalya, outsprinitngJakub Mareczko (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) andKonrad Gessner (Leopard Pro Cycling) on the rain-soaked finishing straight. The 21-year-old now leads the overall in the four-stage 2.2. race in Turkey by four seconds over Mareczko and five seconds overGeorg Zimmermann (Tirol Cycling Team), who benefited from time bonuses at intermediate sprints during the stage. Gessner is fourth, at six seconds. Moschetti had to overcome several challenges during the155.6km stage, including a crash with 40km to go that forced him to stop for a bike change and also to change his shoes after breaking a cleat. He regained the field in time to set up for the sprint and play off the Wilier Triestina train ofMareczko, who was fresh off of two stages wins at the Sharjah Tour in Dubai.ADVERTISEMENT "This victory shows me that I have to trust a little more in myself," Moschetti said. "In the end we were Michele Gazzoli and me, but at 1,500 meters there was a crash and Michele broke his gear. I was left alone. I came through the last corner in the top 10, and when they were preparing the sprint for Mareczko, I decided to start it and I got it." The win is the first victory in the inaugural season for Polartec-Kometa, a Continental team managed by the Alberto Contador Foundation. Contador said it was "a pleasant surprise to win so soon, because it is a very young team with which we seek to train future champions, but without demanding immediate triumphs. Winning at the beginning of the season is a motivation for all and a joy for our sponsors, who are making a great effort to carry out this project". You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Naesen: I think we can be ambitious
February 22, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Belgian champion Oliver Naesen says his AG2R La Mondiale team can go into this weekend's opening Belgian weekend at Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne with big ambitions after his top 10 finishes in the races last year. Naesen finished seventh in Omloop last year in a group 52 seconds behind the podium trio of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac). In Kuurne, Naesen finished eighth from a large group that was six seconds behind winner Sagan's lead group of five. "Last year, I finished twice in the top 10 in these races," Naesen said, "and so I think we can be ambitious."ADVERTISEMENT With the changes to this year's Omloop finish - which will use much of what used to be the Tour of Flanders finale: the Tenbosse, Muur van Geraardsbergen, and Bosberg all come in the final 27km of the 196.2km race - Naesen believes the Saturday race favours his skillset even more. "Now we will borrow the Mur de Grammont, and that suits me well," he said. "We have a great team to compete this weekend." Joining Naesen at Omloop het Nieuwsblad will be Stijn Vandenbergh, Alex Gougeard, Swiss champ Silvan Dillier, Julien Duval, Gediminas Bagdonas and Nico Denz. AG2R La Mondiale will line up a nearly identical sqaud the next day at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, with the exception of Quentin Jauregui substituting in for Gougeard. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Docker pumped for first classics campaign with EF Education-Drapac
February 22, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After six years with Orica-GreenEdge, the timing was right for Mitch Docker to make a change. In 2018, the 31-year-old is riding for a new team inEF Education-Drapacbut his love for the cobbled classics remains unchanged. EF Education-Drapac may be a new team for Docker but it is also a familiar one. Docker's first contract was back in 2006 with the Drapac-Porsche Continental squad, the team going on to acquire Pro-Continental status then merging with the Cannondale team at the end the 2016 season. The signing though was a step forward and not a return to the past as Docker explained. "I think there comes a point in any job and especially in a cycling career where you need to change things up and push out of you comfort zone," Docker told Cyclingnews of the change. "I am feeling that here in this team that it is a fresh start and I am motivated in a different way again and really feeling comfortable."ADVERTISEMENT Like a number of Australian professionals based in Europe, Docker makes the long trip Down Under for the off-season and starts the new year on home roads. With the weather of his home city Melbourne increasingly unreliable, "One day it is 40 degrees and the next its 15 and raining", Docker timed his run back home as late as possible. The decision was also taken to ensure he be can in peak form and lay the foundation for success in the cobbled classics from February through to April. Docker's first race in Europe with EF Education-Drapac comes at opening weekend where he will line out at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. A seasoned campaigner on the classics, Docker will be a key support rider for the team through to Paris-Roubaix and believes a major win is within reach. The Australian backing in Sep Vanmarcke to take a breakthrough monument win after a handful of podiums in recent seasons. "We have a real contender in Sep who I think can take out these classics," he said. "I feel like in Orica we were a growing team and striving for that result in the future. I feel like stepping into EF Education-Drapac that we are ready to step on the podium and maybe take a monument or one of the big boys. I am excited to go for that goal and I am there to support him. If not, I will be there to look for opportunities as well. As always I am excited about the classics but a bit more so this year." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Dennis: Things don't happen overnight
February 22, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
If it wasn't for bad luck, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) wouldn't have had any luck at all this past couple of years. This is the man who built his 2016 season around the Rio Olympics time trial, and was on course for a medal when his challenge was ruined late on by a broken aero bar that forced a bike change and ultimately saw him drop to fifth place. In 2017, Dennis took aim at the Giro d'Italia, but his race was over before it really began, as a crash during stage 3 in Sardinia meant that the Australian would never make it to the mainland. To compound that disappointment, a crash during the World Championships time trial in Bergen ruined what had all the appearances of a medal-winning ride. "I haven't much luck for the last three years. Every other time trial during the year goes smoothly, and then when it comes to Worlds or Olympics, I get a puncture, or I get a crash, or my bike fails," Dennis told Cyclingnews at the Abu Dhabi Tour. "But I think it's just a matter of going, 'Oh that's happened' and trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. What's out of your control is out of your control."ADVERTISEMENT What Dennis has been seeking to control this past year or so is his transition from time trial star to three-week contender, and although his two Grand Tours in 2017 ended prematurely " illness forced him out of the Vuelta a Espaa " he has stuck to the task of balancing the intricate equation of paring down weight without sacrificing power. He has yet to test the results of his labours in the crucible of the high mountains in a Grand Tour, but the early evidence against the watch has been encouraging. "It's funny because last year, my time trialling was better and I did less work for it. I don't know if I'll eventually cop the consequences of doing less work for time trialling but I'm hoping not," Dennis said. "It still is a battle. I haven't mastered the whole losing weight to the point that Tom Dumoulin did last year, but then he didn't look crazy skinny at the Giro. He was lean, but he wasn't at the leanness of some of the other GC riders and he was the strongest by far. "I don't think it's a matter of making yourself look sick. I think it's about being strong as well, especially in a race like the Giro where it can get cold as well. If you get sick it's not really a good start, is it?" Giro ambitions You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Ewan: To win, I really had to nail the timing
February 22, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was in the process of talking a small group of reporters through his third-place finish on stage 1 of the Abu Dhabi Tour when an emissary from the race organisation arrived to inform his soigneur that his presence was required post-haste at the podium to receive the white jersey of best young rider. Moments after missing out on stage victory to Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and with a drive of over an hour and a half back to his hotel in Abu Dhabi ahead of him, Ewan could perhaps have done without this particular consolation prize, but he accepted the request with good grace. Even in the frantic moments immediately after a stage finish, Ewan provided a most lucid analysis of a bunch sprint, and he scarcely needed the additional time granted by the podium ceremony to formulate his thoughts on the day's action. He simply hit the front a mite too early on the drag to the line, and was overhauled by Kristoff and Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF) in the closing metres.ADVERTISEMENT "I looked at the finish before the start today, and I knew it was going to be headwind and I saw there was a drag up to the finish so I knew that, ideally, I wanted to come from behind," Ewan explained. "But then when you want to come from behind, you run the risk of not being able to get out." Almost as soon as Ewan opened his effort, he sensed he had erred, but he had no option but to commit to his sprint. Kristoff acknowledged afterwards that Ewan's familiar tucked position meant that he struggled to get much benefit from sprinting in his slipstream, but the Norwegian eventually came past to claim the spoils. "When I went, the finish line looked like it was just there, but once I settled into my sprint, I realised it wasn't coming much closer," Ewan said. "After probably a few seconds of my sprint, I realised that maybe I went a bit too early and in a sprint field like this you have to be able to nail your timing to get a win. All the best sprinters are here. To win, I really I had to nail the timing." Tour de France You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Lotto Soudal aiming for Abu Dhabi Tour stage wins
February 21, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Belgian WorldTour team Lotto Soudal is hunting stage wins at the Abu Dhabi Tour this week. Andr Greipel leads the sprint ambitions with the German aiming to add to his Tour Down Under stage wins last month. Although the team is banking on the opening three stages of success, Sander Arme and Bjorg Lambrecht will be given the opportunity for success on the final day climb up Jabel Hafeet. "We really want to win a stage at Abu Dhabi Tour this week and we have most chance on the first three days, all sprint stages," said sports director Mario Aerts.ADVERTISEMENT The sprint field at the WorldTour Abu Dhabi Tour is world class in 2018 and Aerts is under no illusion of the challenge ahead. However, with a confident squad assembled in the Persian Gulf, Aerts believe the team can add to its haul of six wins thus far this season. "Andr Greipel will have to face some strong opponents, because the list of top sprinters is long: Mark Cavendish, Caleb Ewan, Marcel Kittel, Alexander Kristoff and Elia Viviani. His two stage wins at Tour Down Under gave Andr a lot of confidence and he is surrounded by a good team, with experienced riders such as Adam Hansen and Marcel Sieberg." Due the number of teams with sprint ambitions, Aerts added that he believes there will be cooperation in controlling the stages and there will be three clear chances for wins with Greipel. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Frame focused on growth and development with Trek-Segafredo
February 21, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
A former world champion in the team pursuit on the track, Alex Frame has moved out of the velodrome and is firmly focused on making his mark in the WorldTour with Trek-Segafredo. The 23-year-old New Zealander was signed up to the team from 2018 after two strong seasons on the JLT"Condor squad that included a number of wins at 2.2 level. With Trek-Segafredo starting its 2018 season in Australia with the Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour, it was little surprise that Frame was selected for all three events to start his Trek-Segafrdo career considering the ease of flying across from New Zealand.ADVERTISEMENT The 15 race days provided Frame with opportunity to trial new roles and test his capabilities at the top level of the sport. Learning the tricks of the trade front of mind for the Kiwi. Frame explaining to Cyclingnews that he never felt "out of my depth or anything" but suffered in the heat of the Australian summer. "The level, it is not too much harder or faster than some races that I have done in the past. Even Tour Down Under was a pretty low-key race for some of the hitters," Frame told Cyclingnews. "I want to get used to it and would love to be competitive, even this year, in Europe racing against the same guys." Although Frame has several seasons of racing under his belt, he is keen to learn as much as possible in 2018 and ensure his transition into the WorldTour ranks is as smooth as possible. That doesn't mean Frame won't take the opportunity to pursue his personal ambitions should the moment arise. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Barnes, Niewiadoma lead Canyon-SRAM in Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
February 21, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The European racing season will get underway at the UCI 2.2 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana from February 22-25 in Spain. Canyon-SRAM are fresh off of training camp in the area and show they aim to start strong by sending a powerful, well-rounded team to the hilly four-day opener. Newcomer Kasia Niewiadoma, who signed a three-year deal with the team after spending five seasons with Marianne Vos' Dutch squad, will line up in Rotova for the start of stage 1 in her new kit. She will likely be a key player on the climbs while teammate Hannah Barnes will take on the sprints. The roster also includes Alena Amialiusik, Pauline Ferrand-Prvot and Christa Riffel. The team is complete with 2017 Zwift Academy winner Tanja Erath.ADVERTISEMENT "We've had a nice training camp here in Spain for two weeks, and I think everyone is really ready to race now," Barnes said. Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, in its second year, begins in Rotova with 118km that will feature Alto de Barxeta (6.2km at 3.1 per cent) and the Alto de Barx (6km at 5.6 per cent) before finishing in Gandia. The second stage will start in Castello and climb the Desert of Les Palmes (7.5km at 5.1 per cent) and end in Vila-Real. Stage 3, from Sagunt to Valencia, will be 137km with a climb to L'Oronet (5.5km at 5 per cent per cent) and the final stage in Benidorm will offer three laps of a circuit that includes the climb over Alto Finestrat (7km at 4.7 per cent), for 118km in total. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Gilbert aims for record third Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
February 21, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Quick-Step Floors will head into the opening Belgian weekend with strong but flexible rosters for Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. The Belgian team will kick off its Classics effort backing up Philippe Gilbert's attempt to win Omloop for the third time, a result that would put him on equal footing with four other riders who have also won the race three times. Gilbert last won the race in 2006 and 2008, but the 35-year-old has seen a resurgence since returning to Quick-Step last year, winning the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold among other races. Also in Gilbert's favour is the change to the course for this year's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, which will use much of what used to be the Tour of Flanders finale:the Tenbosse, Muur van Geraardsbergen, and Bosberg all come in the final 27km of the 196.2km race.ADVERTISEMENT "It will be interesting to ride the new Omloop finale, similar with the one Flanders had until 2011," said Quick-Step Floors director Tom Steels. "The new finale is a demanding one, and we'll just see if it will lead to an open race or make the riders take a more defensive approach. We will be there with many cards, strong guys who have shown a good form these past few weeks; some of them can go from afar, while others can make use of their speed in case it comes down to a small group sprinting for the win. We are confident and really looking forward to these races." Gilbert, Dries Devenyns and Zdenek Stybar will be joined in the Omloop by Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Niki Terpstra, who will also race the next day in Kuurne with Tim Declercq, Maximiliano Richeze and Florian Snchal. Sunday's roster could change depending on what happens on Saturday, however, as the team warned in its roster announcement. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Meintjes: Coming back to Dimension Data has always been part of the plan
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The saying never go back isnt one that Louis Meintjes dwelled upon when he re-signed with Dimension Data, and all indications so far are that the South African has settled back with his old team after a two-year sabbatical with Lampre and UAE Team Emirates. Starting his season at the Volta ao Algarve, the 25-year-old put in a respectable performance on the first summit finish of the race, and although his ride in the individual time trial on Friday was below his best, Meintjes is relaxed about his form as he builds towards the Giro dItalia in May. Im here to see if Im on track. If the form is good then you can try and get something for your work but its not a major goal, in that we come here looking to start with a bang. Its not the end of the world if we still see theres more work to be done, he told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 1.ADVERTISEMENT Four stages later and Meintjes can be relatively content with his ride so far. He is a notoriously quiet at this point in the year, tending to find form in late spring and summer. Friday's individual test against the clock was his first competitive outing on his Cervelo time trial bike, and although the result didnt stand out, the climber still took positives from the experience. The time trial could have gone better," he said. "It wasnt a disaster, but I need some improving. This is my first time here, and the guys say that Sundays climb should be better for me. Ill give it another go, and I felt good on the climb the other day. If everything goes well, then it could be a good day. Friday was my first real hit on the new time trial bike, and going full gas. I felt good, I just wasnt as fast as I would have liked. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Landa on the attack in Ruta del Sol
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Mikel Landa (Movistar) has moved into attack mode in his first race of the season at the Ruta del Sol, moving into second overall behind Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) on brutally steep final ascent during stage 4. Landa was in the thick of the action on stage 2 to the Alto de Allanadas summit finish on Thursday, and after that major confidence boost, on Saturday he decided to try his luck from further out on the climb. "It was very tough. I wanted to start from the bottom because I saw on Allanadas that I had good climbing legs, he said afterwards.ADVERTISEMENT Although the ascent to Alcala de Gazules hilltop centre was much shorter than the Allanadas climb, its combination of cobbles and gradients of 15 per cent made it a very tough test - and Landas result all the more impressive. The peloton of favourites shattered behind as Landa and Wellens went clear, with riders finishing in a broken single line, gasping for breadth and swaying from the effort as they reached the summit. So whilst the Belgian could finally drop the Basque, Landas second place, seven seconds clear of Jakob Fugslang (Astana), was ample confirmation that he has started the season in excellent shape. Movistar, in fact, have all three of their leaders in top shape, as Alejandro Valverde showed in the Volta a Valencia and Nairo Quintana in the Oro y Paz stage race in Colombia. Landas one regret, and it was not a small one, was that he could not take the victory. But he recognised he had been outgunned by a rider with a greater skill set, too, for the cobbled ascents. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Home favourite Oliveira shines at Volta ao Algarve
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) put in a respectable ride in Fridays 20.3km time trial to enhance his chances of a podium spot at the Volta ao Algarve. The four-time Portuguese time trial champion finished fifth in the individual test, finished safely in the peloton on Saturday and so sits third overall ahead of Sundays final stage to the summit of Malhao. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leads the race with his teammate, Michal Kwiatkowski, second at 22 seconds. Oliveira lies third at 32 seconds, with Bob Jungels, Tejay van Garderen, Bauke Mollema all within 30 seconds of Oliveiras third place. Sundays final stage is unlikely to see Thomas dislodged from the leaders jersey, but Movistar will be looking to Oliveira to hold his own on the final climb. Well aim for the podium tomorrow, the Movistar rider told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 4. Sundays final climb is really steep and really hard. Well have to say how it plays out. The time trial was good for me. The result was unexpected because last week I didnt train as much as I wanted to. Im going to try and keep in the top 10, that has to be the first main goal. With Team Sky in control of the race, the likelihood is that the British team revert to type and set the pace on the final climb in a bid to unsettle any potential attacks. With first and second locked down, it looks as though the only question is over the final place on the podium. For Oliveira, that will mean marking the likes of Mollema and Jungels, should they try to wrestle third place from him. Ill do my race, and Ill do my own climb. In the end well see what happens but Ill make sure that I suffer until the end, he said. Oliveira isnt the only Movistar rider well placed on GC, with new signing Jamie Roson also impressing. The Spaniard is seventh overall and has a string of top-10 GC places from last season. We have Jamie in the top 10. Hes a good climber, and better than me, Oliveira modestly said, playing down his own results that include a Vuelta a Espana stage win and fourth in last years time trial at the World Championships. As Portugals best hope for a top 10 in the race, Oliveira is aware of the support he has received from the home fans. This is the only real chance in the year when we can come to my country and race with the top teams. The fans come out, and a big thanks to them for cheering me on.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Van Garderen: Stage win would be cooler than podium at Volta ao Algarve
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
With one stage remaining at the Volta ao Algarve, American Tejay van Garderen sits fifth overall with the chance of a final podium still within reach. At the finish of stage 4 in Tavira, the BMC Racing all-rounder admitted that the overall win was now beyond him, with Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) leading the race by a comfortable buffer. However, Sunday's stage to the top of the Malhao - which will be climbed twice - offers a number of riders the opportunity to take a major result. For van Garderen and BMC, the goal is to win the stage. "If I can move up on GC that's great, but we're going to basically get to the bottom of the climb and then go as hard as we can," van Garderen told Cyclingnews as he munched on a post-stage snack.ADVERTISEMENT In terms of the overall, Thomas leads his teammate Michal Kwiatkowski by 19 seconds, with Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) third at 32 seconds. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), van Garderen, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Jamie Roson (Movistar) then make up a collective that could determine the final spot on the podium. "The difference between third and fifth in the Vuelta ao Algarve isn't that big a deal," van Garderen said. "If we can get the stage win out of tomorrow, that would be cooler." The American came into the race as BMC's ticket for the overall classification. He lost a handful of seconds on the first summit finish on stage 2 but put in a respectable showing in Friday's individual time trial to solidify his GC chances. BMC teammate Richie Porte, who came into the race as a previous winner, has not been at his best this week and has stated that his top form is being saved for later in the year. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Wellens: I'm not leading the Ruta del Sol by chance
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) bounced back from his near miss on stage two of the Ruta del Sol to take both the stage and the overall lead on Saturday's steep cobbled climb to Alcal de los Gazules. Wellens tore out of a severely reduced pack at the foot of the final short but steep climb to take a lone victory by five seconds on Mikel Landa (Movistar), with former leader Wout Poels (Team Sky) crossing the line at 13 seconds. Previously third overall, Wellens is now seven seconds ahead of Landa, with Poels dropping two spots to lie 11 seconds down. The reshuffling of the top positions overall still leaves six riders within 32 seconds of Wellens, whilst Steven Kruiswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) is a minute back, meaning the race is far from decided with a time trial still to come.ADVERTISEMENT As a former winner of the Guangxi Tour, the Eneco Tour and the Tour of Pologne, Wellens has a strong palmares in week-long stage races and as he pointed out "I'm not leading this by accident." "I knew on the second day I had really good legs from the second day. I also knew that the climb today was good for me, I took the chance I had," he said. "Yesterday I did a lot of research on this climb, and that paid off. I had really good legs, I knew the final climb. The fact there were cobbles and you can ride next to the cobbles on the tarmac was really good for me." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Lopez shows his Grand Tour intentions with Green Mountain stage victory
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Miguel Angel Lopez claimed victory on the queen stage of the Tour of Oman atop Green Mountain, helping his teammate Alexey Lutsenko take control of the overall classification as the Astana pair indicated they are ready to fill the gap left in the team following Fabio Aru's departure. Lopez attacked the group with his teammates Lutsenko and Jan Hirt on the final climb with only Gorka Izagirre able to follow. Lopez and Lutsenko then dropped the Spaniard, pushing away to win by 12 seconds on the punishing climb. I am so happy to win today, said Lopez after the stage. I felt very strong today, the legs worked perfectly on the climb. Actually, nobody could attack on the final climb, so we just followed our plan, and after some great work from our teammates, we went away together with Alexey. Of course, the climb was super hard, but we managed to do it as we wanted and finally, we took the stage. Its a nice feeling to win here and to start my season in this way.ADVERTISEMENT Lopez comes into 2018 off the back of a strong finish to last year where he won two stages of the Vuelta a Espana and finished eighth overall. It was a massive confidence boost for him after an extremely challenging start to the year. An off-season crash in 2016 left him with a broken tibia and meant that he couldnt begin racing until June at the GP du Canton dArgovie in Switzerland. He then headed to the Tour de Suisse to defend his title but had to abandon after stage 5 when he crashed heavily and broke his thumb. It was a very complicated season because of the fracture that I got at the end of 2016. I think that my comeback went really well with what I was able to do at the Vuelta. I didnt think that the year would go this way, Lopez told Cyclingnews. It was really difficult after the fracture but I managed to return to the level that I had at the Vuelta. There was a very high level there and a lot of strong riders and it finished off the season perfectly. No extra pressure after Aru moves on You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Izagirre moves into podium spot at Tour of Oman
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) came into the queen stage of the Tour of Omanas possibly the rider in the best position to take out the overall title. However the Basque rider had to settle for third place in the standings after a concerted effort from the Astana team put him on the ropes. Bahrain-Merida and Astana showed their intentions early in the race, with both putting riders on the front of the bunch. They allowed the days break to have a significant advantage but ensured that the last of the escapees were swept up with a little more than three kilometres to go. It was then Astana putting on the hurt. Izagirre was initially able to stay with them but was then left behind by a second surge in pace. He chased hard in the final kilometre but did not have enough to make up the time that he had lost.ADVERTISEMENT We started very fast. Astana put on very high speed. It was a hard climb for me, Izagirre said after the stage. I raced my own rhythm. In the final bit, I went really hard because I had been passed by Jesus [Herrada]. But, anyway, I am third in the general classification. All is good and Im happy. With Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) nabbing the final bonus seconds for third place on the stage, Izagirre came close to losing out on the podium altogether, but he will enter the final stage with a two-second gap over his compatriot and former teammate. It has been a solid start to the season for Izagirre, with seventh overall at the Tour Down Under last month. With Paris-Nice - where he finished fourth overall in 2017, just around the corner, Izagirre says that hes pleased with how his form is developing. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Lutsenko climbs into Tour of Oman race lead
February 18, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Alexey Lutsenko still has one stage to race but the Astana rider has all but sealed overall victory at the Tour of Oman. The 25-year-old finished second on the races queen stage to Green Mountain, after a dominant performance from Astana that saw his teammate Miguel Angel Lopez win the stage. Lutsenko had started the day in second place at just nine seconds back, but had not been one of the pre-stage favourites to take the overall title with Lopez and Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) only a few seconds back. In a performance perhaps reminiscent of the 2015 Giro dItalia, the Kazakh team put on a show of force to dwindle the pelotons ranks in one fell swoop on the final climb. Lutsenko impressed on the steep climb, finishing with Lopez. I am really happy because everything went okay but the main thing is that the team was really strong, Lutsenko said after collecting his red jersey.ADVERTISEMENT We knew that only this stage would decide the general classification so we were really motivated and the team was ready. We controlled the race from the start and the guys worked really hard. We still have three riders in front with two kilometres to go. It was also our plan to win the stage. In the last section I was alone with Miguel Angel Lopez and we did our best to get some time from our rivals and take this stage. Lopez was a key component in helping Lutsenko to the line on a scorching day in the mountains, pacing him up to the top of the climb. The pair broke clear with around three kilometres to go, taking Izagirre and teammate Jan Hirt with them, despite an earlier crash from the Czech rider. Another dig was enough to see off the rest of their competition and, despite a late resurgence from Izagirre, they were not to be seen again by the chasers. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Campenaerts denied at the last in Volta ao Algarve
February 17, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
A sympathetic round of applause was all Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) was left with after the Belgian rider narrowly missed out on victory in the stage 3 time trial at the Volta ao Algarve. The European champion and one of Lotto's newest recruits spent two and half hours in the hot seat on Friday after setting the best time earlier in the day. The 'hot seat' in this instance was an office chair positioned front and centre on the podium, meaning that Campenaerts cut a lonely and almost bizarre figure as he looked out upon the crowd as rider after rider came across the line. In return, the crowd were rewarded with watching either the race on the big screen or Campenaerts tucking into a sandwich and checking his phone. At various points during the long day, it was hard to know which view was more interesting. What was in Campenaerts sandwich? Was Tony Martin going to challenge? In the end, we only found out the answer to one of these significant mysteries.ADVERTISEMENT At the last, it was Team Sky's Geraint Thomas who denied the European time trial champion the victory. Martin, Richie Porte and a host of other big names failed to trouble Campenaerts' time of 24:20 with only last-man and race leader Thomas able to sneak home 11 seconds faster. A desolate Campenaerts put his head in his hands as he sat in perhaps the drabbest of thrones, before trudging back to the Lotto Soudal team bus. "I was in that seat for a long time and you can imagine I was hoping for something else but Geraint Thomas is a really strong rider," he told Cyclingnews during his walk back to the Lotto sanctuary. " Daniel Benson (@dnlbenson) February 16, 2018 You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Strade Bianche adds a wild card for Van Aert - News Shorts
February 17, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
The organisers of Strade Bianche, RCSSport, announced on Friday that they have added another wild card team to the 2018 edition of the race in order to allow cyclo-cross World Champion Wout van Aert to compete. Van Aert's Veranda's Willems-Crelan squad will line up for the March 3 event with Nippo-Vini Fantini and Androni Giocattoli as the other wild card teams, making a total of 21 teams along with the 18 WorldTour squads. Because of the UCI's reduction in team sizes for races this season, the peloton will be 147-riders strong with teams of seven riders each.ADVERTISEMENT Michal Kwiatkowskiwill return with Team Sky with the number 1 dossard as last year's winner, as willrunner-upGreg Van Avermaet (BMCRacing) and fourth-placed Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors). World championPeter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be on the line looking for his first win in the Italian race, which will traverse 11 sectors of the region's iconic white gravel roads for 63km total. Boom to return in Paris-Nice Three wild cards teams for 2018 Tour de Suisse BinckBank Tour returns to Muur van Geraardsbergen You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Modolo bounces back with well-calculated win in Ruta del Sol
February 17, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Less than 48 hours after he was beaten at the line in the Ruta del Sol, Sacha Modolo (Team EF-Education First-Drapac) has taken his first victory of the season in stage 3 - by a wheel. Modolo's win, his first since the Tour de Pologne last August, was not exempt from a certain amount of controversy, at least according to Movistar sprinter Carlos Barbero, who finished second. Barbero protested at Modolo's sprint tactics, but the commissaires did not uphold the Spaniard's claim and Modolo was confirmed as the winner. The Italian denied any charges of illicit manoeuvres in the final kilometre and was understandably delighted at his first success for his new team. It also enabled him to gain closure on any embarrassment he may well have felt on Wednesday in Granada after thinking he had won, raising his arms in victory, then been forced to recognise he had missed out to Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie).ADVERTISEMENT "I'm really happy, above all for the team, because they did so much work the last time [stage 1] and it didn't work out," Modolo said afterwards. "They did a great job today and it's nice it happened." Asked about Barbero's protest, Modolo said simply, "I don't know what that was about. I'm sorry if he felt that, but in any case, I don't know what's going on behind me. "When I went into the last corner, I was lying third, and I braked. But I honestly don't know where this protest is coming from. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Poels stays in control at Ruta del Sol
February 17, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
After a fast fraught bunch sprint stage in the Ruta del Sol, Wout Poels (Team Sky) bustled into the press conference both pleased his lead remains intact, but also aware the race is far from won. Poels briefly saw his lead increased from two seconds to three on the provisional GC after a crash in the last 300 metres split the field and he finished slightly ahead of the other GC rivals. "Better to get a bit more time, even if it's only a second," he told the race speaker, only to learn later that all the riders had finally been awarded the same time. Still, Poels remains ahead of the game rather than behind, and goes into Saturdays tough stage, complete with a 12-kilometre category 1 climb mid-stage, ahead of his rivals. His good humour was such he even joked about the much smaller total of journalists in the post-stage press conference on Friday compared to the media numbers who showed up for Thursday's summit finish.ADVERTISEMENT "Today was really fast, but we kept things well under control. It was a little bit hectic, particularly in the last corner, but the weather was nice and sunny and I enjoyed it. "Tomorrow [Friday] will be very different, with a good kick at the end but I'm looking forward to it, I'm in good shape." Poels recognised that the mid-stage first category ascent "could see something go, particularly from the other teams, but we are ready for it." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...
Stetina eyes Green Mountain victory in Tour of Oman
February 17, 2018 (20:00) [ Indexed from Cyclingnews.com ]
Trek-Segafredo came into the Tour of Oman after a successful start to the season and with hopes of keeping the ball rolling. With no general classification leader, stage victories have been the main goal since landing in Muscat earlier this week. Thus far, the team has been fairly active in their pursuit with Giacomo Nizzolos third place on stage 1 their highlight. Markel Irizar got them into the break on stage 3, and Peter Stetina lit things up for them again with a late attack on Al Jabal Street on stage 4. The American went with around 20 kilometres to go, latching onto the remnants of the days break before going out on his own. It didn't work out for Stetina, but it gave him a chance to test his legs.ADVERTISEMENT "You know the chances are low when you know that there are quite a few guys keen to win the stage but I'm not a sprinter but you never know you might get lucky. It's just about being aggressive in February and getting the nose for it," Stetina explained. "I think they were playing a bit of a gamble by keeping the breakaway so close at under a minute. It got real close. Katusha was setting a really strong pace trying to keep it hard to drop the sprinters but not too hard to close the gap. "I just felt good and tried to go for it. I got up to Rensburg but he was pretty toasted by the end and it was deceptively hard with a headwind into the final climb. I just tried to treat it like a 20-minute effort instead of a five-minute effort. Nibali's attack kind of sealed the deal over the top but I was with those guys and then it was just a case of sitting in the group until the finish." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com More...

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