EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

A full EUROTRASH Monday: We round up the Tour de Romandie with results, reports and video and preview next weeks Tour de Yorkshire and the Giro d’Italia. We say goodbye to Michael Goolaerts in the Top Story. Plus the Ardennes Classics has new agreement to 2024 and Salisbury to host 2018 OVO Energy Tour Series Grand Final. But mostly we look forward to the Italian Grand Tour including a video look-back with Tom Dumoulin. Cappuccino everyone!

TOP STORY: Michael Goolaerts – Gone But Not Forgotten
The death of Michael Goolaerts has not left the French fans untouched. A small memorial stone has been placed at the side of the road to Roubaix. The small monument ‘in memory of Michael Goolaerts’ stands on the spot where the young man from Antwerp fell on that Sunday afternoon and was resuscitated for several minutes.

The dramatic events took place on the second cobbled section of the day, between the villages of Viesly and Quiévy. The cause of the crash is still unsure, but it is suspected that Goolaerts crashed as a result of a cardiac arrest. The race doctor was quickly on the spot and immediately started the resuscitation. Goolaerts was transported to the University Hospital of Lille by helicopter, but he was declared dead at 10.40 pm that evening. Michael Goolaert’s funeral was held on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 in Hallaar, Belgium.

You can read more about Sudden Cardiac Death In Pro Cycling HERE.

Tour de Romandie 2018
One month after his memorable stage win at Volta a Catalunya, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) conquered another magnificent victory. This time he soloed to victory on the Stage 2 of Tour de Romandie.

Pretty soon after the start of the stage in Delémont five riders escaped the bunch; among those riders Victor Campenaerts and Thomas De Gendt. The Lotto Soudal duo was accompanied by Nathan Brown Education First-Drapac), Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin) and Andriy Grivko (Astana). The break got more than seven minutes advantage. After first Fabbro had been distanced due to a mechanical, Grivko was dropped on a climb; that only left Brown at the side of Campenaerts and De Gendt. A few kilometers after the first crossing of the finish line in Yverdon-les-Bains, which was the start of one lap of 34.3 kilometers, Campenaerts had to let go of his companions. About five kilometers further De Gendt left Brown behind. The peloton was no threat anymore by that time. De Gendt finished solo, with 2:04 advantage over Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) who beat Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) in the sprint for the second place.

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic had to ride hard to protect his overall lead as Woods and De Gendt could have taken the leader’s jersey, but Brown was caught on the circuit and De Gendt needed over 3 minutes. Sonny Colbrelli took another second place at the head of the peloton. After today’s breakaway De Gendt is the new leader of the sprint jersey, and he was also awarded the prize of the most combative rider of the day.

Stage winner, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal): “I did arrive solo at the finish today, but this victory is also the merit of Victor. He went out of his way to make sure I had as much advantage as possible. Originally it was our plan to warm up the legs for tomorrow’s time trial. Our advantage kept rising and that was mainly due to the work of Victor and me, because our companions didn’t go full. During the climb at less than seventy kilometers from the end, Victor told me we would draw my card. I felt very good today and when we had almost eight minutes advantage, I felt it was possible to win. We definitely didn’t just get that lead from the bunch, that was all our own merit. When we had about three minutes advantage, the peloton wanted to start controlling the gap and still we got more and more advantage. I definitely wanted to aim for six minutes lead. We kept on riding full gas and didn’t give up, we just would see where it would take us. And it turned out well. I hear that they rode very fast in the bunch and still I had two minutes advantage left at the finish.”

“As soon as I feel the victory is within reach I want to keep up my own pace. After Victor had done a few last pulls, he got distanced in the local lap. Brown was still making a good impression and I wanted to test him. I immediately got a small gap and I decided to continue on my own, even though it was still a long way to the finish. We had done a recon of the local lap on Monday, so I knew what was coming. At that moment I still had about three minutes advantage, enough to remain ahead. I knew I didn’t need to go full anymore, but because of the headwind and the long break the way to the finish was still long. I had made a goal of this Tour de Romandie. I chose not to ride the Ardennes Classics to be fresh for this race. In the past I never had a good feeling here and I wanted to change that. Last week I went on a training camp and that way I prepared for this race. I am in excellent shape. It’s nice for the team that we could also win a stage in this WorldTour race. I’ll see tomorrow how I feel for the time trial. Today was already a four-hour time trial for me (laughs). If all goes well I can end up on top twenty tomorrow, I have more chances in the stages this weekend.”

2nd on the stage and 35th overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “Second. There is not much else to say, we did a good job but Thomas was in a super day. Too bad, because the sensations continue to be good and now I just have to wait for the last stage in Geneva next Sunday.”

3rd on the stage, Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale): “The day was very hard and tense with a lot of side wind. We were involved and active throughout the stage, and we stayed together as a team. I came out of the Tro Bro Leon a little disappointed, and I wanted to get a good result in Romandie, which will be one of the only UCI WorldTour events that I will race this season. I had not planned to compete in the sprint, but second place was at stake. And even having suffered all day long, might as well try till the end. With 500 meters, I was not badly placed, and then Pierre Latour just went crazy in the lead out. In a sprint like this, I could not have managed on my own. I’m happy to show that I still have good legs… at my age. The whole team is in good shape. After today, Pierre (9th) is still in the top 10, Mathias Frank is certainly in the game, and there are some good opportunities for us in the general classification. And then for me, there is still a card to play on Sunday in Geneva.”

23rd on the stage and 12th overall, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida): “I know the route (stage 3) and is really a steady climb. The only way to deal with it is to give everything you have. I feel good and I think this time trial will be more decisive than Saturday’s queen stage.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 2 Result:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:03:05
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 2:04
3. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors
6. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky
8. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 8:14:25
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:04
4. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky at 0:05
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:08
7. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:10
8. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Sky
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:13.

Sky’s Egan Bernal won the Stage 3 9.9 kilometer mountain time trial of the Tour de Romandie. Primoz Roglic was second at 4 seconds and kept his overall lead by 6 seconds from the Colombian and 27 seconds on BMC’s Richie Porte.

Roglic finished just 4 seconds behind Bernal to protect his lead as Richie Porte took 3rd at 18 seconds to move into 3rd overall. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) also returned a good time against the watch for 4th and to move into 4th overall at 1:02. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale), Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) all lost over a minute and Geraint Thomas (Sky) more than two and a half minutes.

Prologue winner, Michael Matthews didn’t start because of fatigue.

Sky DS Dario Cioni spoke to “Egan is just showing how talented he is. We thought that he could be one of the surprises of the day and happily we were proved right. We had targeted a pace for the ride, and we knew that inside the final three kilometers it was pretty tough. We knew we didn’t want to go too early and end up suffering there. But once Egan hit that point and felt good he was able to really open up. You could see that a lot of the guys who went hard at the first intermediate ended up fading. It’s a bit of a shame to have come so close to the lead today, but there’s plenty of work to be done and we believe we can win the race. Roglic is a very solid rider and he’s obviously coming off a win in the Basque Country. He also has Kruijswijk up there as a team-mate who was really strong again today. So it will be an interesting stage tomorrow.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “I felt good until about 2km to go and then I exploded but I was happy to finish it off like I did. It was a good ride and I think all of us are extra motivated by the passing of Andy Rihs last week so, it’s nice to come to his backyard and have a good ride. Overall, I’m happy. It was a strong ride but normally I don’t think I would have blown up as badly as I did in the final couple of kilometers. However, the team has been great behind me especially my coach, David Bailey, so we’re motivated to try and finish this race off well.”

4th on the stage and overall, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I am happy with my performance today. This time trial was very difficult and it is always difficult to use your energy wisely in such a mountain time trial. You can’t start too fast and you have to make sure you have energy left for the last part. I might have started a bit too fast, but all in all it went very well.”

9th on the stage and overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I think I rode a good time trial today. I felt good in the first kilometers of the stage and was able to hold a good tempo. In the finale, however, I wasn’t able to keep the pace as high, and in the end finished in 9th place. I had hoped for a little more, however a top ten is by no means a bad result. I’m satisfied that I was able to improve my position in the general classification and am looking forward to tomorrow’s stage.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 3 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky in 25:10
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:04
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:18
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:48
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:06
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:21
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 1:26
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 1:28
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:30
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:43.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 8:39:39
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:06
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:27
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:02
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:17
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 1:22
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 1:42
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:55.

After an impressive attack in the final 15 kilometers of Saturday’s Queen Stage 4, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) finished solo for his first victory in 2018, the 15th victory of the season for the Astana team. 149km-long stage started and finished in Sion. With three 1st category and 2nd cat climbs, the riders had a hard day on the bike.

On the first four climbs, the peloton chased a breakaway of five riders, while more and more riders got dropped as the GC contenders started to pull. At the start of the final climb, the breakaway was caught and it all came down to a small group of riders. Jakob Fuglsang attacked, but got caught and had to chase the four leaders from that point all the way to the top of the climb. On the descent, Fuglsang was able to get back in the leading group. And with 15 kilometers to go, he attacked for a solo finish in the streets of Sion.

With his stage victory, Fuglsang climbed to 4th place on the General Classification, 1:16 behind leader Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo). Egan Bernal (Sky) is second at 8 seconds and Richie Porte (BMC) is in third at 35.

Stage winner and 4th overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): “I already tried to attack at the final climb, but going downhill I had to chase and close the gap with the leaders. But luckily halfway the downhill the road went up a little bit and at that point my sports director Dmitriy Fofonov was screaming at me: “Now is the moment!”, but I responded that I was already racing at my limit. But just after that moment I was in the perfect position, just behind the group that was mostly looking at each other, and so I took my chance. I’m really happy with this victory, it gives a really good feeling and a lot of confidence for the start of my preparations for the Tour de France in a few weeks.”

LottoNL-Jumbo DS, Sierk-Jan de Haan: “Today, we had four strong riders with Primoz, Steven, Stef and Bram. Especially Stef and Bram did a lot of work and controlled the race for a very long time. They proved to be of great importance. Thanks to them, the leading group never gained an advantage of more than two and a half minutes. Behind them, Primoz and Steven were well-positioned in the Team Sky train. Bernal tried it five, six times, but Primoz never got into trouble. That was an ideal scenario for us. From then on, Primoz only had to think about the bonification seconds and that’s what he did. Due to his second place he has extended his lead with two seconds. We never got into trouble today and we are confident that everything will turn out OK tomorrow. The danger is always there, but we have to rely on our strength and power as we have done all week.”

15th on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert: “On Friday I was not too happy with my result, although a mountain time trial is not my favorite type of stage. Today on the first climb I did not feel great, but I know that I would become stronger and stronger every climb. The last ascent I felt good and at the top I was not far from the first five-six riders. I had to pay attention in the descent since I lost a lens, so I could not ride a nice descent. A dozen or so riders could return from behind, but I am happy with this top 15 performance. On the first climb I attacked a few times, maybe I had to pay for that on the final climb, but I prefer an offensive way of racing. After Romandie and the Bike Day I take a few days of rest before going to Sierra Nevada on altitude training. I can be satisfied with my first half of the season. Two years ago I hardly put down a result in the spring. With a strong Marseillaise that was immediately different this year. With stage and final win in the Sarthe I set a great result, as well as my podium spot in Tour du Finistère. My performance in Liège-Bastogne-Liège was solid. Due to illness unfortunately a number of race fell into the water, including Flèche Wallonne.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 4 Result:
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana in 4:18:48
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:48
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky
4. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
5. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:50
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 2:09
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 12:59:09
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:08
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:35
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:16
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:23
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:32
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 2:32
8. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:49
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:09
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 3:12.

Despite ending in a sprint showdown on the streets of Genève, Stage 5 was littered with short climbs, including three category three ascents in the first half of the 181.8km course. As has been the case throughout the week, the battle to form the breakaway started early with five riders eventually going clear and extending an advantage of 2:45 after almost 20km of racing.

However, the peloton kept the race under control, never allowing the leaders to go more than 3:30 up the road and ultimately setting the stage for a fast and furious finish. The gap was hovering around the two-minute mark as the chase began to heat up with the sprinters’ teams coming up to the front of the bunch to help race leader, Primoz Roglic’s Team LottoNL-Jumbo teammates with the pacemaking inside 70km to go.

The gap fell to under one minute approaching the 30km to go mark with the peloton strung out along the road as the catch was eventually made 20km later. It was an intense run into the line with a late attacker caught inside 5km to go as the speed of the bunch saw riders beginning to lose contact approaching the flamme rouge.

Pascal Ackermann (BORA-Hansgrohe) took the sprint finish ahead of Michael Mørkøv (Quick-Step Floors) and Roberto Ferrari (UAE Team Emirates). All the top men finished with the bunch and so there was no change in the overall and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) held his 8 second lead over Egan Bernal (Sky) and 35 on Richie Porte (BMC).

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The guys worked hard to support me the whole day, and in the end Rudi Selig brought me into the perfect position in the last 200m. I am very thankful for all the hard work of my teammates. It was a real goal of ours to win today and we achieved this. The race has not been easy and it was difficult for me to stay within the time limit on the penultimate stage. So it is nice to see that our hard work paid off.”

Overall race winner, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m speechless. Me and the whole team are happy, very happy with this victory. The whole team has done an excellent job this week. This victory is also for my teammates. The boys were very strong and it is a pleasure to work with them and to reward their trust in me with victories. I knew I was strong and I was also optimistic, but you still have to do it. That is far from easy. Every day was tough and each stage was decisive. As a team we have done a fantastic job this week. I can’t express enough how incredibly proud I am of this team.”

3rd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “When you come into a race as defending champion, it is always nice to be good but obviously with Andy Rihs passing away last week, and with this race being one of his favorite races in his home country, I would have loved to have won again. However, that didn’t really fit with where I was coming from and my main goal is in July. It hasn’t been the most straightforward run in so far, so to be there or thereabouts at this race is a good sign I think.”

7th overall, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “I am coming out of this race with a lot of confidence. Yesterday I felt like I was struggling a little, and then there was only one point on stage one where I didn’t feel great, but for the rest of the race, I was pretty comfortable. Looking at that, and considering the pace we have been racing at, it is a good sign. I think this year, I have taken another step forward in terms of my ability to suffer on the climbs and I think compared to last year I am in an even better place. I now need to recover from this week, it’s been a hard race, but I am excited about heading to the Giro d’Italia.”

9th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m very satisfied with my 9th place in the general classification. The race was tough this year, and a top 10 result is a good achievement. I think this race shows that I have good form, and I’m confident heading into my next races. It was nice to see Pascal take the win today in Geneva. We worked the whole day for him and it’s a great way to finish the Tour de Romandie.”

4th on the stage, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “Thomas Degand kept me in front the whole stage till 10 kilometers from the line. The final was very chaotic. Xandro Meurisse protected me, but we lost each other in the nervous peloton. One moment I was ideally placed in the wheel of Ackermann. In the last corner we went way too fast. I did not come out ideally and caught the wind. Maybe a third place would have been possible. I hoped for more. But I cannot complain about this week and today’s fourth spot. I had a tough week. A few mountain stages I was just within the time limit. But I am satisfied with this test on WorldTour level. My next goals are Quatre Jours de Dunkerque and Tour of Belgium.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 5 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:09:51
2. Michael Morkov (Den) Quick-Step Floors
3. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Tour de Romandie Final Overall Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 17:09:00
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:08
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:35
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:16
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:23
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:32
7. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 2:49
8. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:09
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 3:12.

Tour de Yorkshire – 2018 Cavendish is Back
Mark Cavendish has chosen to bounce back in Yorkshire! After a heavy fall which has kept him away from the pack since Milan-San Remo, the currently active rider with the most Tour de France stage wins has programmed his return to competition in Yorkshire, the very same place where he experienced one of his cruelest disillusionments with a fall at the finish of the first stage on Le Tour in 2014 in Harrogate. Since then, the British sprinter has been unable to accept the invitations from the Tour de Yorkshire, but he will be in attendance this time with a team capable of setting him up for victory, accompanied his most faithful lieutenant, Mark Renshaw. Particularly primed for sprints, “Cav” will have to overcome finishers like Bryan Coquard, Magnus Cort Nielsen, Phil Bauhaus, Ben Swift or Adam Blythe.

However, on a route which could also be conducive to shows of strength from a long way out, the general classification could be pre-empted by an attacker able to open a gap at the summit finish at Cow and Calf rocks on the second stage. In this context, there are few who can rival with Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet, who missed his chance on his sole previous participation in 2015 (when he finished 7th), but who will be arriving with genuine objectives for victory. On this route, he will have to deal with competition from rivals such as Robert Kiserlovski, Stefan Denifl, Owain Doull or also Jonathan Hivert.

Key points:
For its fourth edition which will take place on 3rd to 6th May, for the first time the Tour de Yorkshire will welcome Mark Cavendish, for his return to competition. The British rider will be battling with other sprinters such as France’s Bryan Coquard and Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen.
· Olympic Champion Greg van Avermaet or other attackers like Jonathan Hivert or Owain Doull could take advantage of the route on the Tour de Yorkshire.

20 teams: the main participants:

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Rossetto, Bonnafond, Mate
Direct Energie: Hivert, Chavanel
Vital Concept Cycling Club: Coquard, Reza

Team Sunweb: Bauhaus, Teunissen

Great Britain
Team Sky: Stannard, Doul, Van Baarle
Madison Genesis: C. Swift, Holmes
JLT Condor: Stewart, Bibby
One Pro Cycling: Oram, McCormick, Domagalski
Canyon Eisberg: Opie, H.Tanfield
Vitus Pro Cycling: Kanepejs, Amores
National team: B. Swift, Pidcock

Aqua Blue Sport: Blythe, Denifl, Warbasse
Holdsworth Pro Racing: Downing

Astana Pro Team: Nielsen, Minali

Roompot Oranje Peloton: Weening, Ligthart

Team Katusha-Alpecin: Kiserlovski, Hollenstein

South Africa
Team Dimension Data: Cavendish, Renshaw

Euskadi Basque Country-Murias: Barthe

BMC Racing Team: Van Avermaet, Wyss
Rally Cycling: Ellsay, Young.

Pride of Place for Women’s Cycling on the Tour de Yorkshire 2018
For the first time since it was created, the 4th edition of the ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will include two stages. Made up of the best women cyclists, the pack will start out on 3rd May from Beverley and head along a 132.5-km route to Doncaster, then from Barnsley to Ilkley (124 km) the following day, for a summit finish. The current World Champion, Dutchwoman Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team), will be battling for victory with her countrywoman Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5), the winner in 2016, and American Megan Guarnier, 3rd on the last Women’s Flèche Wallonne. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), Alena Amialiusik, Danielle Rowe, Hannah Barnes and Ellen Van Dijk are other serious rivals that she will have to keep an eye on.

Van Avermaet Returns to the Start Line at the Tour de Yorkshire
Greg Van Avermaet will return to the start line at the Tour de Yorkshire next week (3 – 6 May) as part of BMC Racing Team’s six-rider roster.

BMC Racing Team will head into stage 1 with both Greg Van Avermaet and Brent Bookwalter as protected riders, Sports Director Klaas Lodewyck said.

“Looking at the race, I think we have two riders, Greg Van Avermaet and Brent Bookwalter, who can both play a role in the General Classification battle. The first day should end in a bunch sprint so we will see how the guys feel there and then stage 2 has a finish that should suit Greg. I think it will be important for us to see what the situation is like after the second day of racing and then we can look to play different options.”

“For sure, Brent, who finished fourth here last year, can also make a good GC result on the tough parcours. We are starting with six riders so it will not be easy for us. We will have to play it very smart every day and watch every move,” Lodewyck explained.

The now four-day stage race will mark Van Avermaet’s return to racing after his Classics campaign.

“After a small break, it’s good to be getting back into the swing of racing and the Tour de Yorkshire is a cool race. I’m looking forward to racing on this year’s parcours and especially experiencing the great atmosphere around the roads once again,” Van Avermaet said.

Bookwalter is motivated about heading back to the Tour de Yorkshire.

“I’ve been looking forward to the Tour de Yorkshire all spring. After a strong debut at the race last year and enjoying the awesome enthusiasm and hospitality of the fans in the area, Yorkshire quickly became one of my favorite races. It comes after quite a long period away from stage racing in which I’ve done a block of training at altitude. This race will quickly lead into the AMGEN Tour of California where I’m hoping to be in peak shape so it should be a great way to polish my condition. Whether it’s supporting the team or trying to improve on my fourth place overall from 2017, I’m ready to give it my all,” Bookwalter added.

Tour de Yorkshire (3 – 6 May)
Rider Roster:

Patrick Bevin (NZL), Tom Bohli (SUI), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Allan Peiper (AUS).

Greg Van Avermaet:

The Trofeo Senza Fine Awaits in Rome the Giro 101 Champion
Starting today for one month the Trofeo Senza Fine, destined for the overall winner of the Giro d’Italia, will be exhibited at the Rinascente in Via del Tritone. At the presence of Rome’s Head of Sport, the countdown – sponsored by TAG Heuer, official timekeeper of the Corsa Rosa – has begun. Also unveiled is the Giro 2018 Official Poster, created by American artist Derek Gores.

The Rinascente in Via del Tritone, Rome, will be the custodian from today and for the following month of the Trofeo Senza Fine, destined to the overall winner of the Giro d’Italia, which will end in Rome on 27 May. At the presence of Rome Head of Sport, Youth and Events, Daniele Frongia, the countdown that will mark how much time is missing until the end of the race and the celebration of the winner of the Giro 101 has started.

Mr Frongia said: “The countdown has begun for another world-class event that will see the city of Rome reaffirm its position as the center of major international sporting events. I am, of course, talking about the final stage of the 101st Giro d’Italia that will take place on the streets of the Eternal City on 27 May. Today it was a great thrill to see the Trofeo Senza Fine that in exactly one month will be passed to the hands of the winner of the Corsa Rosa, one of the most important international cycling events. I invite all citizens to head down to the streets and to support the champions, to enjoy a unique moment of sport, and enjoy what is a valuable piece of Italian and global heritage – an event that attracts fans from all over the world.”

Also exhibited in the Rinascente, next to the Trofeo Senza Fine, is the Giro 2018 Official Poster, designed by the American artist Derek Gores, famous for his collage portraits on canvas.

Gores said: “For the Giro d’Italia, it was a thrill to capture the victory celebration, using hundreds of small moments… the beautiful race landscapes; the fan photos; the statistics; jerseys; the details that show the blood, sweat and tears of determination to win that glorious trophy. The project was an absolute honor, and I hope to witness the race spectacle in person one day!”

Chris Froome to lead Team Sky in the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia
Chris Froome will lead Team Sky in the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia (4-27 May).

The four-time Tour de France winner and reigning Vuelta a España champion will be supported in his attempts to win a maiden Giro title by David de la Cruz, Kenny Elissonde, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Wout Poels and Salvatore Puccio.

Chris Froome takes to the Giro d’Italia start line for the first time since 2010. Ahead of the Team’s departure to Jerusalem, Froome, who lived in Italy in the early part of his career, said: “I have always enjoyed racing in Italy and it has been great riding Tour of the Alps and Tirreno-Adriatico this year. The Giro is special and full of history, and I am looking forward to racing it again after almost a decade. I’ve had a different start to the season as I’ve obviously been aiming to try and reach my peak quite a bit earlier than usual. But the target of going for a third consecutive Grand Tour has given me new motivation. Of course there is an element of risk involved in targeting the Giro before the Tour, but I think I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t give this race a go. I also recognize the wider issues and as I have said before I am doing everything I can, together with the Team, to help resolve them as quickly as possible. In the meantime I am focussed on racing. I would love to win the maglia rosa, but I am under no illusions whatsoever about how hard the race will be.”

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “As a Team we have strong Italian connections through our owners, key partners, riders and staff and we love the Giro with all its tradition in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. We have been on the podium before but have never won the maglia rosa which is a great ambition for us. Chris is also going for a third consecutive Grand Tour. Everyone in cycling knows just how tough that is. We have a strong, talented and versatile team supporting him. Every rider will have an important contribution to make. This year’s race promises to be a very tough edition with some of the hardest mountain climbs in cycling including Mount Etna and the Zoncolan. It should make for a great spectacle for the fans and all provides an added incentive for us going into the race.”

The full Team Sky lineup for this year’s Giro d’Italia is:

Chris Froome – British – age 32
The reigning Tour de France and Vuelta a España champion, Froome now takes aim at the Giro as he attempts to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time. Now widely considered as the best stage racer in the world, Froome will turn 33 during the Giro, which he tackles for the first time as a team leader. The race presents an exciting new challenge for the Brit, who will also target a fifth Tour de France title in July.

David de la Cruz – Spanish – age 28
De La Cruz has quickly settled in during his first year with Team Sky. With a stage win at Paris-Nice already under his belt this season, the Spaniard is an elite climber and stage racer, as demonstrated by a superb seventh place finish at the Vuelta a España in 2016. A key part of the team’s climbing roster, expect to see De La Cruz setting a tough tempo in the race’s medium and high mountains.

Kenny Elissonde – French – age 26
Fresh from a fantastic climbing performance at the Tour of the Alps, Elissonde arrives at the Giro in great form and will hope to once again play a key role for Chris Froome in the mountains. The Frenchman is a Grand Tour stage winner in his own right, winning the queen stage of the Vuelta in 2013, and will line up at his second consecutive Giro in Team Sky colors.

Sergio Henao – Colombian – age 30
The Colombian national champion is one of the best climbers in the world and claimed the biggest win of his career at Paris-Nice last season. Henao picked up a top-10 finish at the Giro during his first ever Grand Tour appearance back in 2012. Since then he has established himself in the mountains, and after a consistent Ardennes Classic campaign he has the form to provide key support for Froome.

Vasil Kiryienka – Belarusian – age 36
Lining up for his 19th Grand Tour, and seventh Giro, Kiryienka brings an abundance of experience to the roster. One of the most impressive rouleurs in the sport, the Belarusian is comfortable setting a torrid pace at the head of the peloton, both on the flat and on the climbs. The former time trial world champion is also a three-time stage winner at the Giro d’Italia.

Christian Knees – German – age 37
Bringing power and experience to the team, the German played a key wingman role for Chris Froome last season at both his Tour and Vuelta victories. The duo team up again for the third Grand Tour in succession, with Knees using the knowledge gained over 18 Grand Tours to play the all-important road captain role. The former German national champion is a reassuring presence on the flat, as well as very able climber.

Wout Poels – Dutch – age 30
Another impressive climbing talent, Poels secured his best ever Grand Tour finish of sixth place last year at the Vuelta a España. The Dutchman achieved that while supporting Chris Froome and has been a key super domestique in three of the Brit’s Grand Tour victories. Winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2016, Poels is riding back into form after sustaining a broken collarbone at Paris-Nice.

Salvatore Puccio – Italian – age 28
The versatile Italian has been improving year on year since joining the team back in 2012. Now on the verge of his ninth Grand Tour appearance, Puccio has proven he can play a role on flat, rolling or mountain roads. Puccio came within a whisker of a stage victory in the 2015 edition of the Vuelta, and his Classics know-how should also prove key in the hustle and bustle of a peloton fighting for position.

Chris Froome:

AG2R-La Mondiale for the Giro d’Italia
Nineteen years after participating as a rider, Stéphane Goubert returns to the Giro d’Italia. He will be one of the team’s three sports directors along with Laurent Biondi and Arturas Kasputis.

Laurent Biondi presents the squad that will be starting the Giro on May 4th in Jerusalem:

François BIDARD
Born on March 19, 1992, 26 years old
Height / weight : 1m80 / 65 kg
Giro : 2nd participation
Best result : 39th (2016)
2018 : 2 top ten
“François has participated in one Grand Tour a year since he turned pro in 2016. And we have seen since the beginning of this year that he has progressed physically. He is able to get over the climbs, and he has a fantastic sprint. He certainly could be one of the surprises in this Giro d’Italia.”

Born on March 17, 1986, 32 years old
Height / weight : 1m85 / 65 kg
Giro : 3rd participation
Best result : 61e
2018 : 10 top twenty
“A crash last spring kept him out of competition for several months. So now Mikaël returns to the Giro d’Italia, seven years after his last participation. He no longer needs to prove his strength in three week stage races. He has already finished in the top-20 of the Tour de France (18th in 2015), so we expect him to be an important rider to keep our team classification high. He is very motivated, has prepared very well for this Giro, and has the strength to win a stage.”

Nico Denz (GER)
Born on February 15, 1994, 24 years old
Height / Weight : 1m83 / 71 kg
Giro : 1st participation
2018 : 1 top ten
“After having spent the first part of the year as a member of our classics team, Nico will now race his first Giro d’Italia. He’s no stranger to the bumping of elbows and rubbing shoulders, so he will be a useful protector for our leader.”

Born on November 13, 1980, 37 years old
Height / Weight : 1m74 / 58 kg
Giro : 11th participation
Best result : 11th (2011-2016)
2018 : 3 top ten
“With Hubert, we are rarely surprised! At 37, he will start his 21st Grand Tour. He continues to be an exemplary professional, and always willing and able to transcend himself for his leader. He takes his role as the road captain to heart. He likes the Giro d’Italia, and he has already shown in the past that he is able to compete with the best in the mountain since he has twice before finished 11th at the Giro in the general classification, which is not an easy thing to accomplish.”

Alexandre GENIEZ
Born on April 16, 1988, 30 years old
Height / weight : 1m82 / 64 kg
Giro : 5th participation
Best result : 9th (2015)
2018 : 1st Grand Prix de la Marseillaise / Prologue and GC Tour de la Provence
“Alexandre has had a good start to the season with three wins. He has finished in the top ten overall of the Giro d’Italia in the past, and is motivated to play again for the general classification. He, Mattéo Montaguti and Mikaël Cherel recently all took part in a good 15-day training camp in Sicily where they pre-road some of the stages there. I’m sure this will pay dividends since we know he has the ability to finish in the Top 10 again.”

Born on April 22, 1994, 24 years old
Height / Weight : 1m76 / 60 kg
Giro : 2nd participation
Best result : 90th
2018 : 2 top ten
“At 24, Quentin has grown in maturity and experience. He is about to participate in his third Grand Tour. Similarly to Nico Denz, he will first have a role of protecting our leader during the initial stages that are often very nervous in a race of three weeks. He also has a good sprint, so if he can come to the finish in the lead with a small group, he can go for the win.”

Born on January 6th, 1984, 34 years old
Height / weight : 1m81 / 65 kg
Giro : 8th participation
Best result : 19th (2016)
2018 : 1 top ten
“Mattéo is a very skilled and professional rider, who often acts as the jack of all trades for the team! When he’s on his game, he can limit the damage in the mountains, he can race at the front of hilly stages and has a good turn of speed. As an experienced racer, he will also play the role of road captain and main protector for Alexandre Geniez. In 2016, he came close to his own stage victory (2nd), so he certainly can win a stage and knows the roads of the Giro well.”

Born on October 16, 1993, 24 years old
Height / weight : 1m65 / 60 kg
Giro : 1st participation
Saison 2018 : 8 top ten
“Clément will be the only Grand Tour neophyte for our team at the Giro d’Italia. He’s had a good start to the season, and he has been circling that great victory all year. Now he will discover how to manage himself over a three week race, but I think he is already capable of a great performance. He is a strong puncheur, which he proved last year in is victory at the Four Days of Dunkirk, and he has a strong sprint. He could surprise more than one!”

Sponsors announce Trek-Segafredo line-up for Giro
Over the past two days, nine different partners of Trek-Segafredo published the line-up for the 101st Giro d’Italia that will start in Jerusalem Friday, May 4.

Segafredo Zanetti, CA Technologies, Santini, Rudy Project, JSH Hotels Collection, NamedSport, MapeiSport, Dorelan, and Scicon all took part in releasing the lineup as well as the two directors.

Luca Guercilena, General Manager Trek-Segafredo: “We are bringing a mixture of experience and young riders to the start, with the main goal to support Gianluca Brambilla in his chase for a great result. I am confident our 8 riders will make each other stronger and motivate one another to perform well as we also hunt for stage wins. I think we can be proud of our line-up for the first Grand Tour of the season.”

The eight riders that will take part in the 2018 Giro are:
Gianluca Brambilla (IT), Laurent Didier (LUX), Niklas Eg (DK), Markel Irizar (SP), Ryan Mullen (IRL), Jarlinson Pantano (COL), Mads Pedersen (DK) and Boy van Poppel (NED).
The Trek-Segafredo riders will be guided through the three-week tour by sport directors Adriano Baffi (IT) and Steven de Jongh (NED).

Will Jarlinson Pantano be the Trek Segafredo man for the mountains?

Giro d’Italia Team Announcement
Team Dimension Data target GC and stage success at Giro d’Italia.

The 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia will get underway with the grand depart set to be an iconic occasion for cycling, as the Italian grand tour starts in Jerusalem, Israel on the 4th of May. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are excited at the prospects that await our African Team over the 3-week race.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are proud to confirm our 8-rider roster for the Giro d’Italia, which will be led by our South African general classification contender, Louis Meintjes. “It’s really exciting to be taking on a new challenge, having never raced the Giro d’Italia before. It is a great route, with some really tough stages. Obviously, as it’s the first time we have worked towards the Giro, the build up to the race has also been new for us. I know we have worked hard and prepared well though and the target remains a strong GC result. We have a great team for the Giro, and the core of our team has been together for most of the season already. We are ready to give our all and do our best to raise awareness for Qhubeka through our performance,” said Meintjes.

Joining Meintjes will be the in-form Ben O’Connor, who recently won a stage of the Tour of Alps before going on to finish the race 7th overall. It will be the debut grand tour for O’Connor but based on recent results, we look forward to the 22-year-old Australian making an impact on the race while supporting Meintjes.

For the sprint stages, Ryan Gibbons will return to the Giro d’Italia after his success in the big bunch gallops last year. The young South African was somewhat of a revelation in 2017, impressing with 6 top-10 placings in what was also his first ever grand tour.

Taking on the supporting roles, we have a strong group of climbers in Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Natnael Berhane, Igor Anton and Ben King. Jaco Venter is the final piece to our Giro d’Italia puzzle and his versatility will make him a valuable teammate to Gibbons for the sprint stages and our climbers at certain moments in the race.

Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director: “Our team is really excited for this year’s Giro d’Italia. Certainly, the start is quite unique with the opening stages in Israel, and logistically our plans for the Giro are already well underway. From a racing perspective, it is going to be a tough race, there are some difficult stages especially in the final week. We look forward to getting underway though and the team will start with some positive momentum after the Tour of Alps. We have high ambitions in every sense for the Giro, targeting success in the GC, on individual stages and in trying to raise funding to put 1000 girls on bicycles through the Qhubeka charity we ride for.”

2018 Giro d’Italia Lineup:
Louis Meintjes (RSA), Ben O’Connor (AUS), Ryan Gibbons (RSA), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Natnael Berhane (ERI), Igor Anton (ESP), Ben King (USA), Jaco Venter (RSA).

Cover Image Explained
The number 72 was worn by Alfonisa Strada in the 1924 Giro d’Italia. She was the only woman to have ever competed and completed the Corsa Rosa Strada challenged her society and her sport, when she rode all 3,613km of the Grand Tour on the racing bike she had received as a wedding present. As Team Dimension Data embark on raising 1000 bikes for girls, we are inspired by the story of Alfonisa and how she realized her dream of racing the Giro.

Please help us help 1000 girls fulfill their dreams. #1000GirlsOnBikes

DS Bart Leysen about the Giro-line-up of Lotto Soudal
On Friday 4 May, the 101st edition of Giro d’Italia begins with a time trial of 9.7 kilometers in Jerusalem. Today Lotto Soudal can confirm which eight riders will defend the team’s colors until the last stage on Sunday 27 May in Rome. These are the names: Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Victor Campenaerts, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Adam Hansen, Tosh Van der Sande and Tim Wellens.

Sports director Bart Leysen gives some more insights in the line-up. “When the route was unveiled it was immediately clear that Victor Campenaerts (26) would be part of our line-up as the Giro starts with a time trial. Victor meticulously prepared himself for the opening time trial in Jerusalem. This week he rode a good prologue in Romandie (Victor got fifth at 5 seconds of winner Michael Matthews, LTS), on a type of course that didn’t entirely suit him. With him we do aim for the pink jersey next week. It’s realistic that he conquers the pink jersey. The sixteenth stage is also a time trial, but then one of around 34 kilometres. He can aim for a stage win that day too.”

“We have one leader for the sprints and that’s Jens Debusschere (28). There are five to six sprint stages, including the second and third stage in Israel. We have faith in Jens. In the sprint stages we will fully aim for a sprint with the team. Tosh Van der Sande (27) will be the lead-out of Jens. He is very good at taking someone to the front in the chaos ahead of a sprint.”

“Adam Hansen (who turns 37 during the Giro) has had a good preparation on his twentieth consecutive Grand Tour. In the beginning of the season he didn’t perform as we had expected, but the past weeks he got himself ready for the Giro. Many eyes will be on him. I definitely see opportunities for him to attack, such as the first two stages on Sicily, but he will also play an important role in support of Jens Debusschere in the sprint stages. Also Lars Bak (38) will be a crucial factor on those days. You can always rely on him. He can pull a long time in the bunch during sprint stages, but he can also help the other riders. In certain stages he could take Tim Wellens to the front in the finale.”

“Tim Wellens (who turns 27 during the Giro) is very motivated to go to the Giro. He really wants to win another stage. There are many chances for him, because a lot of stages are suited for a break. We’ll decide later in which stages he will attack. The same goes for Sander Armée (32). His condition got better and better the past weeks, also he is ready for the Giro. He is a real survivor and in the Vuelta he was rewarded with a beautiful victory. Of course that’s no guarantee for this Giro, but it proves that he’s capable of winning a stage in a Grand Tour. That stage win at the Vuelta has also boosted his confidence. The KOM jersey isn’t a goal, I rather have that we win stages. But when you join breakaways, you can often pick up KOM points and so it’s possible that someone in our team does wear the KOM jersey during those three weeks.”

“Last but not least, there’s Frederik Frison (25), for whom it’s the first Grand Tour participation. It’s good for the evolution of a rider to ride a Grand Tour and he has the age to take on this adventure. We don’t put any pressure on him, he just needs to make sure that he can do his job for the team. If there’s an opportunity he can join a breakaway, but we don’t expect him to attack day after day. It’s important that he divides his energy over the entire Giro. Experienced riders such as Adam Hansen and Lars Bak will definitely guide him.”

“Apart from the sprint stages in which Jens Debusschere is our leader, we want to apply the same tactics as in last year’s Vuelta: attack. Because we don’t have any GC ambitions, we give every rider the chance to join a breakaway in the non-sprint stages. We aim for stage wins. It’s the first time a Grand Tour is ridden with teams of eight instead of nine riders. For teams with a sprinter and a GC rider that can raise the pressure on the riders. Breakaways will therefore get more chance of remaining ahead till the finish. In sprint stages we will need to find the necessary allies.”

Lotto Soudal Giro’18 riders:
Sander Armée, Lars Bak, Victor Campenaerts, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Adam Hansen, Tosh Van der Sande and Tim Wellens.

Lotto Soudal’s sprinter for the Giro, Jens Debusschere:

Giro d’Italia: A UAE Team Emirates built for Fabio Aru – The Line-up of the Emirati Team for the Pink Race
The UAE Team Emirates will lean its strongest men, including four Italians, to support Fabio Aru in the Giro d’Italia, May 4 to 27.

“Fabio is going to the Giro d’Italia with a huge desire to make an impact,” said General Manager Giuseppe Saronni. “This feeling of strong sentiment towards the Corsa Rosa will allow him to give his best in every situation. At his side are a group of riders who share the same emotions and are able to manage the possible scenarios correctly. Italians, four of them, give this roster a strong local flavor to honor the Giro d’Italia and give the most attention to our fifth Italian, the national champion in the tricolor jersey, Fabio Aru.

The three non-Italians Atapuma, Laengen and Polanc have shown their love for this race and their ability to contribute enthusiastically to the group. And let’s not forget that these riders know about success, just think of the six stage wins by Ulissi, two by Polanc and three by Aru. And Aru has been on the podium twice. These are the details that can make the difference over three weeks of a grand tour even in the face of teams that look stronger on paper.”

The Emirates team will back its Sardinian climber, second in the 2015 Giro, with: Darwin Atapuma, Diego Ulissi, Valerio Conti, Manuele Mori, Marco Marcato, Jan Polanc, and Vegard Stake Laengen.
Joxean Fernandez Matxin, Marco Marzano, Mario Scirea and Paolo Tiralongo will direct the team over the three weeks.

Team Sunweb Present Giro d’Italia Line-Up
After a memorable 100th edition in 2017 which saw Team Sunweb secure their first grand tour victory, the team line-up with defending champion Tom Dumoulin (NED), who will once again search for a strong result in the overall standings. With riders ages ranging between 22 and 38, the team’s line-up provides the perfect combination of talented youth and experienced riders. Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Sam Oomen (NED) and Louis Vervaeke (BEL) will all play key supporting roles whilst capitalizing on the experience of Chad Haga (USA), Laurens ten Dam (NED) and road captain Roy Curvers (NED), who between them have a combined 28 grand tour starts.

“We go into the 101st Giro with similar targets to last year; looking for a GC result with Tom,” explained Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED). “Lining up as defending champions will bring special dynamics into both the team and the race, and we will be prepared for that. Fighting for a GC result is entirely different in comparison to a stage success focus – everybody in the team needs to be completely focused for three weeks in-a-row, which is very demanding for all. We learned a lot from last year and we will bring this experience into the mix for this edition.”

“Tom, Sam and Louis have been on a team altitude camp at Sierra Nevada to put in final training efforts and once again, video recons and analyses of data from the key stages will beneficial in preparing our guys for what’s coming. On paper the course is even tougher than last year, with more climbing and fewer time trial kilometres, and we are expecting a really challenging three weeks. Our Giro squad selection is made based on the characteristics of the course with the right balance between talented climbers and our experienced captains. We head to Israel with a strong and confident squad and we look forward to getting the Giro started.”

Giro d’Italia Line-Up:
Roy Curvers (NED), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Chad Haga (USA), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Sam Oomen (NED), Louis Vervaeke (BEL).
Coaches: Marc Reef (NED), Arthur van Dongen (NED), Brian Stephens (AUS) (04-14/05) and Hendrik Werner (GER) (14-27/05).

Mitchelton-SCOTT with sights set on general classification at Giro d’Italia
Mitchelton-SCOTT will start next week’s Giro d’Italia with a firm eye on the general classification battle, lining up with dual leaders in Colombian Esteban Chaves and Briton Simon Yates. The two leaders will be supported by one of the strongest line ups possible from the Australian outfit, including the in-form Roman Kreuziger and Jack Haig, and new recruit Mikel Nieve.

The Race:
The first of the three Grand Tours of the season, the Giro d’Italia, is considered the hardest yet most beautiful. The 2018 route doesn’t disappoint with a historic three-stage start in Israel, before heading to Sicily and eventually Italy’s mainland. The 21 stages cover a total of 3562.9km and feature two individual time trials, six sprint stages, six ‘hilly’ stages and seven challenging mountain stages.

The Objective:
Mitchelton-SCOTT starts the Giro d’Italia with a clear focus on the general classification. The Australian outfit lines up with two leaders in Chaves and Yates, and a team stacked full of climbing pedigree to back them up. With a podium at Amstel Gold Race and a worst place of eighth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege throughout the Ardennes, Kreuziger has demonstrated he is ready for the month ahead, whilst fellow climber Haig also animated the same races, primed to play a key support role at the Giro.

After a pre-season crash Nieve debuted for Mitchelton-SCOTT in Liege and impressed in his first race since September 2017. He will fine tune at the Tour of Romandie and be of immense value to the team’s young leaders. Svein Tuft, Chris Juul-Jensen and Sam Bewley round out the team supporting the leaders on the flatter stages throughout.

Race History:
In the past six years Mitchelton-SCOTT has claimed eight stages at the Giro d’Italia and had five different riders feature in the pink leader’s jersey for a total of 12 days.

The most recent of that time in the Maglia Rosa came in 2016 where Chaves wore it on stage 20 before eventually settling for 2nd place overall, the team’s best general classification result in history.

Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“We are making no secret that our focus for the Giro d’Italia is on the general classification and Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves are our leaders. They have worked really well in the past in these roles and we’re expecting the same again. We are not the favorites, but we have two guys who are going to challenge the favorites whenever the opportunity arises. On paper we have a really good team, everyone is arriving into the shape they need to be in at the right time. It’s quite an interesting course because although the first indication of the overall will come early on stage six on Mt Etna, besides the last week with stages 18-20, there is not more than two days in a row of ‘effort’ for the general classification riders. It’s sporadic and this will make for aggressive racing throughout.”

Esteban Chaves:
“I’m really happy to be going back to Italy. When I became professional, I lived in Italy and it has been the place for my toughest moments, but also the most beautiful moments of my career. Like always, the Giro will be hard but I have been in Colombia training in the last few weeks and the preparation has gone well so we can hope we can find similar form to 2016. This year we have a really good team, we are looking to be competitive and do the best we can, like always.”

Simon Yates:
“I’m really looking forward to starting the Giro d’Italia this year for the first time. A last-minute change of program that meant I was unable to debut as planned last year so we decided to give it a try again this season. Even without having raced before it’s clear the Giro is one of, if not the most difficult and demanding race on the calendar. Here at the Giro I think we have assembled one of the best teams we can for a Grand Tour and I’m excited to join up with the boys, and as a team achieve the best possible result.”

The Team:
Sam Bewley (NZL, 30), Esteban Chaves (COL, 28), Jack Haig (AUS, 24), Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 28), Roman Kreuziger (CZE, 31), Mikel Nieve (SPA, 33), Svein Tuft (CAN, 40), Simon Yates (GBR, 25).

Movistar Team unveils young roster for 2018 Giro
Telefónica-backed squad brings lineup full of chances for mountain stages, looking forward to propel some of its brightest prospects’ careers.

The Movistar Team has defined its squad for the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia, which starts in exactly one week’s time (Friday 4th May) with an ITT in Jerusalem, first of three stages scheduled in Israel.

The lineup is formed by Colombians Carlos Betancur and Dayer Quintana, Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz, Argentinian Eduardo Sepúlveda and Spaniards Víctor de la Parte, Rubén Fernández, Antonio Pedrero and Rafa Valls. Chente García Acosta and Pablo Lastras be the Blues’ sports directors at the 22nd appearance of Eusebio Unzué’s squad in the Italian Grand Tour.

The Telefónica-backed squad’s roster for the Giro will be one of the youngest lineups to take the start in this year’s race, with six of its eight members aged 28 or under and three absolute debutants in the race: Carapaz, Pedrero and Sepúlveda. The Movistar Team will travel to Israel early this week.

BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team at 101st Giro d‘Italia
TBM is getting ready for another Giro d’Italia, a historical and special 101st edition of Giro with a Big Start in Jerusalem (Israel). For the first time ever that a Grand Tour will set outside Europe and the finish will be in Rome. This has happened only 3 times before, in 1911, in 1950, and 2009.

Brent Copeland, General manager of Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team is looking froward to the upcoming Giro that is around the corner: “Together with management and technical staff, we at Bahrain Merida have put together a really competitive team for this exciting Giro d’Italia, as always the Giro is a very important race for our team and makes for some of the best racing of the season, for this reason we have gone out of our way to put together the best team possible in order to offer our fans and cycling fans in general some great racing, we looking forward to show casing our team in another great Giro d’italia”

Alberto Volpi, the TBM head Sports director at the upcoming Giro d’Italia is looking forward to the second performance of BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team at Giro: “After last years’ 100th edition and a debut of our team Giro and our best rider, Vincenzo Nibali taking the third place on the podium in general classification, we are here again with highly motivated team to be at the start of Giro with a competitive ‘squadra’ that is in a good shape. We will try to be «the team» in every meaning, inside and outside the race because if you only race together, you can go trough and along the challenges, difficulties and demands and our priority is to be a strong team in every segment and to race as a team.”

The Jerusalem start will be challenging and requires concentration from the very beginning. Our riders are ready to compete, no matter that we are not one of the favorites for the GC and I think this is a gaining point.

Domenico Pozzovivo is our rider for the GC, Nicollo Bonifaziofor sprint stages and Giovanni Viscontifor middle hills finish while Matej Mohorič will be our jolly joker and he will have space to do his best as he is a very talented young rider.

If we reconsider that in 21 stages we have, 2 TT and 8 summit finishes, I think this is a Giro for real escalators, with 3 finish summits more than in 2017. We have a perfect team to support those who will try to gain those summit finishes, riders that are in a good shape and have all the qualities to be helpful during those stages. I’m talking about Domen Novak, Antonio Nibali, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Manuele Boaro.

Our team is the best, when I’m talking about our staff members that are qualified and ready to give all of them in the upcoming “day by day journey” from Jerusalem to Rome.

Team BAHRAIN MERIDA’s roster:
Antonio Nibali, Manuele Boaro, Giovanni Visconti, Domenico Pozzovivo, Matej Mohorič, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Niccoló Bonifazio, Domen Novak

Lotto Soudal becomes Lotto Fix ALL for Giro d’Italia
Lotto Soudal will be riding the 101st edition of Giro d’Italia as Lotto Fix ALL, with an adapted shirt. It’s the third time that this change takes place, after the team became Lotto Fix ALL for Paris-Nice in 2016 and 2017. This time name sponsor Soudal, the producer of Fix ALL, chose for the Giro.

Dirk Coorevits, CEO Soudal: “Because the Giro is one of the three Grand Tours and the race reaches a worldwide audience, in 171 countries, this is the perfect time for this activation. Besides, Italy is an important market for Soudal. We wish the team the best of luck at the Giro and are looking forward to seeing the Fix ALL jersey on TV.”

During the Giro there will be several actions on the Fix ALL Facebook page, including contests to win a Lotto Fix ALL shirt of Vermarc Sport. Those jerseys were a collector’s item the past years. Also Tacx cooperated and produced 6,500 Lotto Fix ALL water bottles.

Ardennes Classics: New Agreement Through 2024
Tradition does not prohibit change! Although A.S.O. is attached to the history of the events it organizes, A.S.O. also remains open to change in order to give them a fresh look. It is one of the aspects taken into account when renewing the partnership agreements concluded with the Province of Liège and the Royal Cyclist’s Pesant Club Liégeois, especially concerning the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After 27 editions finishing in the hills of Ans, in the outskirts of Liège, the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège will now be in the heart of Liège, on a site answering the desire to modify the characteristics of the final meters of the race.

The new agreement also concerns the organization of the Flèche Wallonne. The extension provides that the finish line will remain at the top of the Mur de Huy for the foreseeable future, with varying start cities. The start of the 2019 edition is already set in the town of Ans.

Key points :
Partnership agreements have been extended for the next six editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Flèche Wallonne, organized since 1993 and 1998 respectively by Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.), in partnership with the Province of Liège and the Royal Cyclist’s Pesant Club Liégeois for Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Ø The terms of the agreement also provide for the organization of the two women’s races, the Flèche Wallonne Femmes and Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes.
Ø The main change concerns the moving of the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège to the heart of the city of Liège.

Find all information on:
La Flèche Wallonne sur
La Flèche Wallonne Femmes sur
Liège-Bastogne-Liège sur
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes sur

Salisbury to Host 2018 OVO Energy Tour Series Grand Final
Salisbury will proudly show the world that it is open for business by hosting the Grand Final of the OVO Energy Tour Series on Thursday 31 May.

Wiltshire’s first ever round of Britain’s leading televised cycle race series, the 10th edition of which is taking place in 2018, forms part of the cathedral city’s recovery from the attack there last month.

A number of special activities to show off Salisbury’s united and dignified response to recent events will be included in a packed program.

Commenting on the Series’ visit to Salisbury, Race Director Mick Bennett said: “Given the grandeur and the history of Salisbury, not to mention the stunning backdrop of the city’s Guildhall that riders will pass repeatedly, I cannot think of a more fitting place to host the Grand Final of the 10th edition of the OVO Energy Tour Series.

“I’m excited to see how Britain’s best teams respond to the challenge of a new circuit, especially when the Series titles will be on the line. It promises to be a fantastic evening of entertainment – and it’s completely free for spectators!”

As well as being an unticketed, free-to-attend event, the OVO Energy Tour Series is unique in the world of cycling, as the focus in both the men’s and women’s competition is on the teams, who battle for the overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each round. Defending men’s champions JLT Condor count three-time British Olympic champion Ed Clancy among their roster, while 2017 women’s Series winners Trek-Drops have established themselves as one of the best development teams on the female scene.

Cycling fans and local residents are guaranteed an evening of fast and thrilling action; in the nine previous Grand Finals to date, the men’s Series title has been up for grabs at six.

Riders will tackle an iconic 1.2-kilometer (0.9-mile) circuit through the city, starting and finishing adjacent to the market and Grade II listed Guildhall. The anti-clockwise lap of Salisbury also takes in Minster Street and Silver Street, passing in front of the historic Poultry Cross, as well as New Canal, Catherine Street, Ivy Street and Brown Street.

Two hour-long highlights programs – one each for the elite men’s and women’s races for the first time in Series history – will be shown on ITV4 and around the world in over 100 countries in the days after the event to further promote the city’s recovery.

OVO Energy Tour Series schedule:
Thursday 10 May Redditch, Worcestershire
Tuesday 15 May Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
Thursday 17 May Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Tuesday 22 May Durham, County Durham
Saturday 26 May Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Monday 28 May Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Tuesday 29 May Wembley Park, London
Thursday 31 May Salisbury, Wiltshire

Competing teams
Men’s Teams:

Canyon Eisberg
Holdsworth Pro Racing
JLT Condor
Madison Genesis
Morvélo Basso
ONE Pro Cycling
Vitus Pro Cycling.

Women’s Teams:
Admiral Liv AWOL
Boompods EDCO NRG
Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo
Storey Racing
Team Breeze
Team OnForm
YRDP Cycling Team.

Sunday, 28th May 2017 Through the Eyes of Tom Dumoulin
With less than a week to go until the Giro d’Italia start, check out this Creating Memories Live special featuring Sunday 28th May 2017 through the eyes of Tom Dumoulin (NED).

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