EUROTRASH Simon Yates Monday!

Has Simon Yates become a scapegoat? We look at his case in the ‘Top Story’. All the race reports from the past days: Tour de Romandie, Tour of Turkey and the men’s and women’s Tour de Yorkshire all with quotes and video. In other cycling news: Giro d’Italia team previews and new app, plus medical up-dates from Cannondale, Etixx – Quick-Step and Movistar. Team news from BMC and Southeast and ‘Who is Yves Lampaert?’ video. Big Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY: The Simon Yates Positive
On the heels of the Shane Sutton case, it was announced in the English press that Orica-GreenEDGE rider, Simon Yates had returned a positive test for the asthma medication Terbutaline. The newspaper concerned wasn’t interested that he rode for the Australian team, but was very keen to stress that he had come through the British Cycling system, making the obvious connection between the two cases of Sutton and Yates.

Ignoring the rights and wrongs of both cases, it was not that long ago that the British Cycling set-up was admired not just in sporting circles, but by top business and, of course, the Olympic Games watching public. The same newspaper played its part in building up the GB team as heroes bringing home the medals: 4 in Sydney, 4 in Athens, 14 in Beijing and 12 from London, but then wants to knock it all down.

Are the two stories the product of investigative journalism or just filling column inches with scandal? Or has it more to do with one media organization trying to damage another media organization that happens to sponsor cycling in Britain?

Simon Yates: Doper or scapegoat?

Tour de Romandie 2016
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was awarded the Stage 2 victory after Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) was demoted for switching the Colombian in the final sprint. Quintana escaped the lead group with 6 K’s to go and Zakarin crossed over to him and pair held off the chasers to fight out the win. Coming into the final the pair were looking at each other to start the sprint. Quintana jumped first and Zakarin came past him for the win. Zakarin moved to one side as they came out of one of the bends to the line, it didn’t look intentional or too severe, but the Colombian gestured with one hand and the judges decided on the Colombians win. Quintana also moved into the overall lead by 18 seconds from Zakarin and 20 from his teammate Ion Izagirre.

The break of the day took a maximum lead of 5 minutes after 70 kilometers of racing, the escapees were: Igor Sillin (Katusha), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE), Danilo Wyss (BMC), Fumi Beppu (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), and Jaco Venter (Dimension Data). Behind it was the Sky team who started the damage on their lead, but Chris Froome punctured leaving only Geraint Thomas up front.

With less than 20 kilometers to go; Joe Dombrowski and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale) jumped away from what was left of the peloton and caught the break and then Rolland attacked again with Impey on his wheel, but they were all caught 10 kilometers to go at the start of the last climb. Katusha took over control until the attack from Quintana came, followed by Zakarin crossing to him. The chase group held the pair at just over 10 seconds until they pulled away to finish 26 seconds ahead of Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) in 3rd.

Stage winner and overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It was a great result for us. The team spent the whole day at the front, just like they did yesterday – all of them were fabulous. Heading into the climbs everything felt OK for me; I knew I had a chance to attack and go for the win and some big gaps if I moved near the foot; the rivals here could scare anyone, but I still wanted to try it – and that move was a big success. Obviously, Zakarin proved to be strong, seeing how he reached me down into the ascent. We two kept taking turns to build the gap and keep strong before the sprint. There, he made a maneuver the judges considered it wasn’t to be allowed, and they relegated him. Zakarin surely would have bested me otherwise, but that move made the jury to take action. I’ll try to defend this jersey tomorrow with a good TT; depending on Friday’s performance, we might as well try and profit from Saturday’s climbs. Let’s hope we can keep it up after this week’s efforts. It won’t be easy to win with such an amazing field of competitors; should we do it, it will be a great sign for the ‘yellow dream’ quest.”

2nd, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha): “Of course I am sad and disappointed with this decision. I think the decision was wrong. But all I can do now is just be better tomorrow. This situation makes me mad and gives me motivation for tomorrow’s stage – I think I can do a good ITT. I hope tomorrow I can answer what has happened today with the bike.”

Katusha team director, Dmitry Konyshev: “I completely disagree with the decision of the jury. Ilnur did a small deviation which was nothing, maybe 10 cm. If he had done this movement slowly there would be no discussion, but he did it quickly and now there is talk. In our head and in front of everyone, we won this stage. As best we can understand from the jury’s decision is that they say ‘maybe’ Quintana could have won without the small maneuver from Zakarin.”

3rd on the stage and 5th overall, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida): “I’m satisfied for my performance: I had good feelings, my allowed me to be competitive and I obtained a top result. I thank my team mates, who allowed me to approach all the climbs in the head of the group.”

8th on the stage and 6th overall, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “This is good for my confidence. I have to thank my teammates who really did do everything possible to put me in a perfect position as we were approaching the final two climbs. Looking back, I am almost disappointed that I did not try my luck also when Zakarin and Quintana attacked. But I would have been risking exploding at the end.”

Louis Vervaeke (Lotto Soudal) crashed out of the race: “I think that the injuries I sustained today are okay, so it isn’t that bad. However, I felt that they just made riding the bike more difficult, particularly with the uphill finish on today’s stage. I found that I couldn’t produce that much power anymore, and my hips in particular really hurt. But I think it hurts much more mentally and psychologically, because I came to the Tour de Romandie this year trying to achieve a top ten result in the general classification, and I also had good form and good legs coming into the race. So in that respect, it’s very disappointing to have a crash at this time.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 2 Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 4:28:40
2. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha
3. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:26
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Cannondale
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
6. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff
8. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 7:02:05
2. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:18
3. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:32
5. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:36
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:37
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:42
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale at 0:43
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:44
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Cannondale at 0:46.

FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot won the 15 kilometer time trial Stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie on Friday. The win moved the Frenchman into second place overall, 23 seconds behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar), jumping ahead of Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) who finished 7th at 26 seconds. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was 2nd at 2 seconds and Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step) was 3rd at 8 seconds. Chris Froome (Sky) put up a strong ride for 4th place at 9 seconds, the same time as Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling) and Quintana.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ): “I am very surprised, I do not expect to win today when I didn’t win yesterday. But I had better legs than yesterday. I am very happy with this result. It was a difficult time trial that suited me perfectly. A rolling start and then a climb and a non-technical descent. I wanted to do a good TT to get on the podium but I never expected to win. It was a difficult TT where climbers had an advantage. I thought about a top 5 but never the win. Yesterday I did not have great legs. Today I felt that I was on a great day. I checked the course on Wednesday and again on Friday morning. Steve Morabito long remained in the Top 10. I had his time every kilometer so I knew where I was going. I take great pleasure from time trial. I use my time bike several times a week. The work pays off and I am very happy to do it here in this race that I love. We were really good in this stage. I checked it several times and then we had a good video of the route, turn after turn. I had better legs than the day before. I realized it during the warm-up. I did two laps this morning. Then I was informed of the time of Steve Morabito and I understood that it was good. In Porto-Vecchio [at Criterium International] it was a similar course and to have won there was good for the confidence. Having won three times during the weekend in Corsica removed the pressure. My team is strong and knows I’m consistent. I do not have to fear anything. They can count on me and of course it helps my teammates. It allows us to have specific goals. I think they are very happy with this win but I have not seen them yet. Saturday, there will be a lot of fight, but I have a very good team. We will try to do as well as today. I’m 25 seconds behind Quintana. It will be difficult to pass him but the podium is the minimum target. Quintana is vulnerable. He has experienced bad days, especially during the Tour of the Basque Country. Tomorrow I will start the race to win the stage and see where my opponents are. 23 seconds to Quintana is not much and still a lot. I’m already happy to have taken time on Zakarin. Why not go for the stage victory and the podium in the GC?”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “It is very disappointing to finish second again. I rode a strong time trial but unfortunately it was not enough for the win. I didn’t make any mistakes as I paced my efforts well over the course. Luckily I also didn’t feel any stomach problems anymore.”

5th, Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling): “I am disappointed especially when I feel so good. The route was perfect for me, but also obviously suited others. I came in with almost the exact same time as Jungels, Froome and Quintana, since we were all separated by just hundredths of a second. Already this season I have lost the Sarthe time trial by 30 hundredths of a second, but now to have lost by 66 hundredths would have been huge. That will not stop me from looking forward, and I hope to be able to be fit still to help Mathias Frank on Saturday for the queen stage.”

Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “The strong headwind blowing during the initial kilometers made things a little tough and disturbed the rhythm. Fortunately I found a good flow after that, and had my legs for the demanding climb. Then I managed to finish strongly by giving my maximum on that high-speed descent. I can be satisfied with the thought that I did not lose my place (6th) in the general classification.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 3 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ in 20:21
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:02
3. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:08
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:09
5. Jérôme Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling
6. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:17
8. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar
9. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ at 0:22
10. Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff at 0:24.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 7:22:35
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:23
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:26
4. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:29
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:50
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling at 1:06
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 1:11
8. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:12
9. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:22
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 1:23.

Chris Froome (Sky) put the disappointment of stage 3 behind him and solo’d to victory at the end of Stage 4 to Villars. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) held onto his overall lead by marking attacks from Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) on the final climb. Quintana has a lead of 19 seconds over Pinot as Ion Izagirre (Movistar) jumped over Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) into third overall at 23 seconds and the Russian is at 26.

Eleven men escaped early, but they were never going to make it to the finish line on the summit of the Barboleusaz for the second time. The wet cold stage had five climbs on the menu including the Cat 1 Col des Planches and the Cat 3 La Rasse before the double climb of the Barboleusaz. Of the eleven rider, Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) and Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step) were the last to be caught after the first climb of the Barboleusaz by Froome and van Garderen who attacked the peloton at the base of the climb.

The group of chasers had been slimmed down by Quintana’s Movistar team who had been keeping the speed high to keep van Garderen close. On the last time up the Barboleusaz; Froome and van Garderen dropped Jungels and Kochetkov, while the Izagirre brothers pulled the chase.

Zakarin and Pinot tried to lose Quintana, but the Colombian was on every move. Quintana made a move of his own with 3 kilometers, but this was Pinot shut down by Pinot who had another go, but the group of favorites was to stay together to the finish. Froome dropped van Garderen to cross the summit with 20 seconds in hand on the American and 36 on the Quntana group. On the descent van Garderen was caught by the chasers and Froome won the stage by 4 seconds for the group led in by Ion Izagirre.

Stage winner, Chris Froome (Sky): “It’s been a tough race so far, so to come and win the queen stage today, especially attacking so far out, is a great feeling. It’s nice as a team for us to get a victory here and not come away empty handed. It’s a road I remember from two years ago, with similar conditions to today in the rain and cold. I thought if I’m going to get away it’s going to have to be a long way from the finish. Tejay van Garderen came with me and the two of us worked together really well. He had the objective for the general classification and I had my sights set on winning the stage. I’m just really happy that it worked out in the end. I’m not necessarily here to show anything – I’m here more for myself for preparations going forward. Obviously my big goal is to be ready for July. I needed some good racing this week to set me up for that.”

8th overall, Marhias Frank (IAM Cycling): “I made a mistake. On the first climb to Villars, I felt comfortable and I gave my jacket to a teammate to take care of. I had no expectation that the temperature would drop so quickly and so low. On the descent to Ollon, the rain just penetrated me, and on the second climb to Villars, I was frozen. I tried to turn the legs, but I really suffered with each acceleration. Before his attack, which would result in his winning the stage, Chris Froome asked me if I was up for an attack. But to my mind, the finish was still too far away, and Movistar still had a lot of riders to chase. I just did not feel strong enough to try my luck.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 4 Result:
1. Chris Froome (GB) Sky in 4:24:44
2. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:04
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
4. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale
9. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:09
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 12:07:03
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:19
3. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
4. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:26
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:57
6. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:12
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 1:16
8. Mathias Frank (Sui) IAM Cycling
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:24
10. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:27.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished in the peloton on the final stage to Geneva to win the Tour de Romandie overall. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) was in the early break of the day but still managed to win the sprint at the end of the Final Stage 5.

Chris Froome (Sky) was the strongman of the break of the day, along with Albasini, Carlos Verona (Etixx-QuickStep), Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo), Andrey Amador (Movistar), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling), Sander Armee (Lotto Soudal) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). With Amador in the break for Movistar they were allowed a good gap.

On the final climb with 36 kilometers to go, Froome attacked, but could not stay clear and was replaced off the front by Albasini, Verona, Kelderman and Amador (Movistar) and with 10 k’s to go they still had a minute in hand. The sprinters teams started to chase and had cut the lead in half with 3 kilometers left.

Into the last kilometer and the peloton were nearly on the four leaders and at 600 meters out Tom Bohli (BMC) jumped across and kept sprinting. Albasini was fast enought to come past Bohli for the win with Amador and Kelderman on his wheel for second and third. Eugenio Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo) led in the bunch for fourth.

Nairo Quintana won overall by 19 seconds from Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), with his Movistar teammate Ion Izagirre in third at 23 seconds. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) fourth at 26 seconds and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in fifth at 57.

Overall winner, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It wasn’t a calm day at all. I was feeling a bit nervous due to the weather. It was so cold in the early morning, we even woke up to snow in our hotel. It’s not easy to defend oneself in such a situation, you start the stage unprepared and require more time to get into the right temperature. However, the team was at the correct place all the time, the forecast changed a bit and things ended up well. It’s a bittersweet day, since Ion crashed and couldn’t join us for the podium. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious for him. At times this victory seemed like it would be way harder to claim than it was at the end, especially before the TT, considering how strong our rivals for that day we thought they would be compared to us. Fortunately, as well in Sion as yesterday in Villars my legs responded well; the team was fantastic all week and we covered the final stage without any complications. Compliments for what they did in Romandie are more than deserved and I’ve won this one thanks to their tireless effort. But we must not relax. The Romandie win gives us confidence and calmness, and the whole group is strong, so no matter who we bring to the Tour, we’ll be well protected. However, things can change before July and surely our rivals will bring powerful squads to the Tour. We will be just one team between many contenders. You ask me about the myth about one winning Romandie and going on to win the Tour – I hope that legend is true, so we can make the ‘Yellow Dream’ become real. I was glad to see all the Colombians happy for what I did this week, both those at home and the ones joining us here in Switzerland. This passion and excitement we always put at everything we do is a way to show the beautiful side of our country. This victory is a tribute to all of them. Now I’m heading home to stay with my family for some weeks and train in Colombia before the Tour. Later on, we will decide which race suits me best for the month of June. Why not riding the Tour de Suisse? I like this country, they’ve always treated me well here. I’ve still not decided what to do, though. What is clear to me is we’ve got a goal, we know how to work for it and we don’t have to worry about what others do. We’ll do our thing as good as we can so we can reach the start of the Tour in the best possible condition.”

3rd on the stage, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It’s never easy to be in the first group. I was in the right break, but I didn’t feel that strong. I wasn’t confident about my chances to make it into the stage’s final, but I almost won eventually. It’s a pity that I wasn’t able to take my chance in the end, but I wasn’t fast enough in the final sprint. I’m finishing this stage race with a positive feeling anyway. This wasn’t what I came for obviously, but it went wrong already in the prologue. I wasn’t good enough in the end and that’s frustrating. My body had to recover from that crash and that took a lot of energy.”

6th on the stage, Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data): “I was focused on this stage and we did our best to try make it finish in a sprint. The team was amazing and I must say thanks to all of them. In the sprint we just couldn’t catch the final 3 riders from the break. I did a good sprint and finished in the first 3 positions from the bunch but it wasn’t a podium result.”

8th overall, Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling): “I made an amateur’s mistake during Saturday’s queen stage by not keeping a jacket with me in order to protect myself from the cold. However, I will come away remembering all the good sensations I felt throughout the week, excepting of course that last climb where I froze. I will be able to recover, certainly, and return to 100% for the Tour of Switzerland.”

KOM, Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal): “I didn’t actually plan on winning the combative prize. The goal was to take the king of the mountains jersey because after the first stage, I had a few points in that competition, and at that point, I thought I might be able to take the overall mountains classification. Then I got into the breakaway again, and collected even more points, so that I was only two points short of taking the lead that was held by Quintana. I knew that today my goal was to add to my tally of points up on the mountain after the 30 kilometer mark, which I was able to do. We went hard in the breakaway, and I ended up staying with the group and taking even more points on the second climb. In the end, I had used up all of my energy and got dropped from the group, but ultimately that didn’t matter, because I had achieved the goal we had planned for today.”

Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data): “It was a good week for the team and for me. I did some good training in Eritrea at altitude before this race, preparing for the Giro. I am happy with the sensations I have going into my first Giro.”

Tour de Romandie Stage 5 Result:
1. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEDGE in 4:13:17
2. Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Crc) Movistar
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC
9. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling.

Tour de Romandie Final Overall Result:
1. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar in 16:20:20
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:19
3. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar at 0:23
4. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:26
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 0:57
6. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:12
7. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha at 1:16
8. Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:24
10. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:27.

Presidential Tour of Turkey 2016
Jakub Mareczko (Southeast-Venezuela) won Stage 5, the Salcano Alanya – Kemer Stage (189.3 km), of the Presidential Tour of Turkey on Thursday. Assisted by his team-mate Manuel Belletti, Mareczko won the bunch sprint into a block head wind, ahead of Tuesday’s winner André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Belletti himself.

Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Michal Podlaski (Verva-Activejet), Sergis Kaspars (Alpha Baltic), Peter Schulting (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Ahmed Akdilek (Torku Sekerspor) and Enrico Salvador (Unieuro-Wilier) escaped after 30 minutes of racing and built up a maximum lead of 2:10 after 100 kilometers. From then on their lead dropped to just over 1 minute, although with 35 kilometers to go their lead roze to over 2 minutes, they were all caught with 5 kilometers to go. The Lotto Soudal team controlled the race for Greipel, but Southeast-Venezuela came to the front in the final meters to place Mareczko in the front for the win.

Stage winner, Jakub Mareczko (Southeast-Venezuela): “Yesterday, I went a bit early and I was already out of contention with 500m to go. Today my team rode from the start and in the finale they piloted me, especially Belletti. The final kilometer was complicated because the pace fell, and Belletti found himself next to me with 400m to go. I went passed him and rode my sprint. But he piloted me into the final 500m. Up to now, this year, except in Belgium I have performed at every race, and I hope it continues like this all the way through the season. I had a throat inflammation before coming here, so I was at home for a week. My state of form is not great. I’m here refining my form to be competitive at the Giro. Objective is to get a good result, a placing, in a sprint or two. A podium would be a good result. I don’t want to ask for too much in my first GT. I still don’t know what my condition is. The standard will be higher at the Giro, with all the WT teams there, so certainly it’ll be harder to get a result there, but that’s my goal.”

Race leader, Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “I don’t mind coming to the press conference every night. I practice my English here, so it’s OK! Having said that, it’s been a long day, we tried to do the same as yesterday. We knew it would be a hard stage because of the wind, so we rode at the front. Without taking too many risks, we ended the stage with no problems, so it’s OK for us. Two days have gone by and we have been able to control the race with wasting too much energy, so we can say that we are in a good position to keep the race lead tomorrow at least, so maybe I am more confident now that I was. The team looks strong, and I think we can make a good race tomorrow. Lampre, Astana and CCC look like the most dangerous teams climbing, especially the Astana guy who is 4th now [Nikita Stalnov]. We have to keep him near all the time. I think we have a great climbing team so we are going to control the race and try to go with al the group in the last climb, and then our strength will give us the result. I think we are in a good position, the first 3 in GC, so I think we can be conservative, and let the other teams work. I have the jersey, so I’m going to be the last man, if everything goes OK, but José David and me are very near together, so in any move, if we have to go to the front and follow a dangerous rider, any of us can take the lead at the end of the stage.”

2nd on the stage and 8th overall, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “My team did a really good job today. They gave me a good lead out. They timed it right. But racing against the wind wasn’t easy at all. The sprint happened to be too long. I lost the momentum a bit. Mareczko was strong and fast. I couldn’t go past him.”

3rd, Manuel Belletti (Southeast-Venezuela): “This is a good outcome. Well, first and third is more than good! We had planned that Mareczko would stay on my wheel before sprinting. It was a very convincing sprint by him. Our team rode at perfection today. We took our responsibilities from the start and I completed the result with this fourth place. It’s a great satisfaction as I came to Turkey in the unknown one month after breaking my scaphoid in Belgium. Now I’m focused on the second last stage finishing in Marmaris. I’ve won there before [in 2011] and I’d like to double up.”

8th, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “I’m sorry I could not exploit a good opportunity to obtain a second success, especially because my team mates had been perfect as usual. Xu Gang, Petilli and Durasek gave their contribution in the front of the bunch in order to control the breakaway, later Ferrari piloted me in the final kilometer. I noticed that one rider was starting the sprint at 300 meters to the arrival, so I decided to try to anticipate Greipel, however I was stopped by the wind. The sports directors had told us that there was the wind blowing, however I did not expect it was so strong.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 5 Result:
1. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela in 4:20:28
2. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
3. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela
4. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Unieuro-Wilier
5. Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
6. Christophe Laborie (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
7. Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
9. Alberto Cecchin (Ita) Team Roth
10. Vadim Galeyev (Kaz) Astana City.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 5:
1. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 20:07:06
2. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:05
3. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:13
4. Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana City at 0:22
5. Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 1:14
6. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 2:22
7. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal at 3:46
8. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 5:41
9. Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 8:01
10. Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 9:38.

Jaime Rosón (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) won Stage 6, the Türk Hava Yolları Kumluca – Elmalı Stage, of the Tour of Turkey on Friday. At the end of a short but demanding mountain stage with two major categorized climbs. With 1.7 km to go, Rosón struck out alone, narrowly beat stage 1 winner and former race leader Przemysław Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), with another Polish rider, Pawel Cieslik (Verva Activejet) in third place.

Niemiec took the lead in the Turkish Airlines Red Jersey competition for the King of the Mountains. Sixth on the stage was José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). Second placed overall this morning, Gonçalves took the SporToto Turquoise Jersey of the race leader. The former race leader, his team-mate Pello Bilbao, suffered a loss of form today and dropped out of contention for overall victory. Gonçalves also took the Salcano Green Jersey as the new leader of the sprints competition.

Stage winner Jaime Rosón (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “The plan today was to get into the breakaway to control the race so that we did not have to take on too much responsibility. José Gonçalves, 2nd in GC, got in, forcing CCC to work, while we rode in the group with relative tranquillity. The final climb was very hard. I didn’t feel good all day, and the stage started fast, and I’ve had to work on other days. However, the more I climbed, the better I felt. The CCC attacked, I chased at top speed. Niemiec then caught me. I tried to wait to see if José [Gonçalves] came across to me, but there wasn’t time. Niemiec attacked twice, but I was able to respond and win the stage. Winning the Queen Stage of a national Tour is fantastic! I came close to winning the Queen Stage at Castilla and Leon against Valverde, but I was caught 400m from the finish. Today I was more cold blooded. As a team we have two stage wins and a second place, the race lead – it’s a great showing. I’ve been riding for 15 years, I was Spanish U23 champion last year. My first pro race was the USA Pro-Challenge in Colorado, where I finished 13th.”

Race leader, José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “I’ve worked hard to get into top form in this. But things have never worked out for me. I wanted to ride a good Tirreno-Adriatico, but it didn’t happen. I lost my motivation, and my head was not in the right place, but I continued working for other races and now, it’s paying off, thanks be to god. I’m super motivated, and I’m going better with each passing day. Pello wasn’t feeling good today and, when he was dropped, I was given freedom to try something and gain a bit more time on my direct adversaries. I’ve climbed better in the Vuelta a España, although I wasn’t bad today. Ricardo Vilela did an incredible job for me today, and I couldn’t let him down. With 500m to go I could see him but I couldn’t get across. You only win when you cross the line on the final day. There are two tough stages to go, with climbs, so we’ll see how I feel. I think I’ll feel OK, but all it takes [to lose a race] is one day of illness, as happened today with Pello. As a team we have good feelings, we’re riding well, we have two more days to defend the lead to the end. It won’t be easy, but we have a good team.”

2nd and KOM, Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida): “What a pity! I accelerated at the right moment. I thought [Jaime Roson] would be more tired than he effectively was. I fought till the end but I couldn’t get the stage win. However, I’m happy to lead the mountains classification. It shows that I’m climbing well and the preparation for the Giro has gone well. I’m satisfied with my results at the TUR so far: a stage win, a second place, a fourth one. After an early part of the season that was so so, I’m in a great shape now.”

3rd, Pawel Cieslik (Verva-Activejet): “It was a hard stage and I had sore legs but with 4km to go, I felt much better. I was here to work for our leader Karel Hnik but I happened to be at the front. I’ve liked this mountain very much. It was a good finish for me. I’ve thought I was going to win but it was difficult against Lampre-Merida and Caja Rural, they were very strong. However, this is a good result for my team. It’s our first season as a pro continental team. It’s a pity I was sick during the Tour of Catalunya, which was our first wild card in the World Tour, but the Tour of Turkey is the second biggest event we get a chance to take part in so a podium here in the queen stage is very good.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 6 Result:
1. Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 3:22:16
2. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 0:02
3. Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Verva ActiveJet at 0:12
4. Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida at 0:16
5. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:19
6. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:30
7. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Unieuro-Wilier at 0:38
8. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:40
9. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Sylwester Szmyd (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:51.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 6:
1. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 23:29:57
2. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:18
3. Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana City at 0:46
4. Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
5. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 4:21
6. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal at 6:46
7. Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 9:22
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 12:14
9. Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 12:46
10. Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 12:58.

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) won Stage 7 in a bunch sprint into Marmaris. The Italian out-sprinted Manuel Belletti (Southeas-Venezuela), who took second place and the overnight lead in the Salcano Green Jersey sprints competition.

Attacks from the flag. A very nervous, fast start with continuous attacks and reactions, but none of the attempts managed to stick. Eventually six riders got away: Leszek Plucinski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), David Belda (Team Roth), Paweł Cieślik (Verva ActiveJet), Florian Gaugl (Hrinkow), Bram Nolten (Parkhotel Valkenburg). They quickly built a significant lead and by the Cat. 3 climb at 32.9 kilometers they had 4:20. At the Intermediate sprint (72 kms), their lead had dropped to 2:40. Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), the winner of Stage 2, abandoned with 39.8 km to go.

The breakaway was reabsorbed by the main group just inside the final 15 kilometers. With 7.3 km to go, Lluís Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) launched a typical attack on the downhill, taking two riders with him, but with 5.2 km to go, Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal) gave chase, and overtook the Mas group. He was finally caught with 900m to go. Modolo won the sprint ahead of Belletti and Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg).

Stage winner, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “Today was perfect. The other day was perfect too, although the finish today probably suited me even better. A climb, a descent, a sprint: exactly what makes me a winner. It was not only me today by the whole team that made me a winner. Ferrari led me out in the sprint. We had a lot of bad luck in March and April. We all crashed in Milan Sanremo, but now it looks like luck is back on our side. Just before the Giro is a good time to come good. We knew the Tour of Turkey was a good way to prepare for the Giro from last year. I did the Tour of Turkey and then we went all well: with Ferrari and Richeze, we had a very good Giro. The only problem is, this year, I’ll have only one day at home between Turkey and the Giro, and it takes a lot of flights to get to Istanbul and then to Cappadocia. We have two more flights tomorrow, then there’s the flight to Holland, then from Holland to Italy. It makes for a lot of traveling. I suppose that I can rest after the Giro. I’ve been coming here for six years, since 2010, and I sincerely like the race. This year there were some doubts, with the change of organization, but it has gone all well. You can’t tell the difference between one year and the next. There has been more stress in the bunch because of the hard stage on Day Two, which we were not used to, and the wind and rain on stage 3. But it has been a beautiful Giro d’Italia. My confidence is sky high, I don’t feel inferior to [Greipel, Kittel or Ewan) as a sprinter, but as a team we are not at their level. I’ll only have Ferrari to lead me out, so we’ll have to try to do what we can. We’ve lost Richeze, who was important. On the very flat stages it will be difficult, but the Giro isn’t easy, with long and nervous stages, so perhaps I can do something on the more demanding stages.”

Race leader, José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “It was a short stage, one in which we tried to minimize our energy expenditure for tomorrow, which will be long and hard. I am very confident and motivated and so is the team. Tomorrow is a long stage and you never know how it’s going to go. There is no plan at this stage. It is the final day, and we’ll try and leave it all out on the road. If I can get through tomorrow and win the Tour of Turkey, it will be the first international stage race win of my career and I’ll be very, very happy. We all knew that Pello Bilbao was ill today. It was better for him to abandon than to continue if he can’t contribute, and to worsen his condition. We wouldn’t want that. He did what he could at the front, then he stepped off. Tomorrow, we have other riders, a good team, and hopefully his absence will not be decisive.”

2nd, Manuel Belletti (Southeast-Venezuela): “We took the responsibility of the chase behind the Lotto-Soudal rider [Greg Henderson] who was away before the sprint. Because of doing this, only two team-mates remained to lead me out and Liam Bertazzo has had to make an effort too early, at 500 meters to go. After that, the speed has slowed down a bit and I’ve been caught by surprise by the two Lampre riders and my chain dropped. I’m disappointed to have lost the stage. I wanted to win here in Marmaris for the second time. It’s a beautiful place. But that’s life.”

3rd, Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel Valkenburg): “Modolo and Belletti are stronger than me! All I could do was to finish third or fourth, so I followed them. Like every we’ve had someone from the team in the breakaway [Bram Nolten] for being seen on tv. Everyone in this team is strong. My team-mates also protected me from the strong head wind in the final climb so I could sprint and get this podium place that pleases me again.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 7 Result:
1. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida in 3:15:14
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela
3. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg
4. Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
5. Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
6. Alberto Cecchin (Ita) Team Roth
7. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
8. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Domingos Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 7:
1. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 26:45:15
2. David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:18
3. Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana City at 0:46
4. Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
5. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 4:21
6. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal 0:06:46
7. Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 9:22
8. Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 12:46
9. Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 12:58
10. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Unieuro Wilier at 13:04.

The Portuguese rider José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) was the final overall winner of the 52nd Presidential Tour of Turkey. He finished safely in the bunch at the end of Stage 8, the Spor Toto Marmaris – Selçuk Stage (201.7 km). He took the race lead on stage 6 on the summit finish at Elmalı.

The final stage 8 was won by Jakub Marecko (Southeast-Venezuela), ahead of Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), 2nd, and Francisco Chamorro (Funic Soul Cycles-Carrefour) in 3rd. It was Marecko’s second stage win of the week. His Southeast – Venezuela team also celebrated victory in the Salcano Green Jersey sprints competition, won by Manuel Belletti.

The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team completed a successful campaign which saw them take two stage wins, lead the race for five days, and win the Vestel White Jersey (Beauties of Turkey Sprints) with Lluís Mas for the second year running. In addition to their three stage wins, Lampre-Merida celebrated victory in the Turkish Airlines Red Jersey Mountains competition through Przemysław Niemiec, the winner of stage one and the race leader for two days.

Stage 8 winner, Jakub Marecko (Southeast-Venezuela): “It is a great satisfaction to win a second stage in the Tour of Turkey, especially as it wasn’t a flat stage. The big challenge for me today, setting out this morning, was to resist in the climb. My team mates helped me not to get dropped, and I managed to be there at the finish for the sprint. The first climbs were crucial. The breakaway went, which was good for us, and then on the longest climb, at the beginning, we decided to ride at the front as a team so I could stay in the first positions and not get dropped. That’s what we did in all the climbs, including the last one, close to the finish. What I did today gives me good hope for my future, because I’m a good sprinter but I have to improve my climbing so that I can be there for the sprint. In the closing section I followed my team mates Zhupa, Bertazzo and Belletti, who led me out into the final 300m. Then I took Modolo’s wheel and I managed to get past him. That’s how I won it. My conclusion of the TUR is positive. This has been excellent preparation for the Dutch stages of the Giro d’italia, and we’ll see if I can get a good placing in one of the first few stages.”

Overall winner, José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “I’m very happy. Tonight we’ll celebrate together as a team, with champagne in the hotel, and then sleep. Tomorrow, I fly home to Barcelos, above Porto in the north of Portugal. My next race is the Beiras e Serra da Estrela on 13 May. It is a little frustrating not to be able to take this good form to the Giro. The team tried to get a place there but it was not possible, so we have the Vuelta as the main objective of the team, and we will go there trying to win a stage, like last year. I didn’t come here with the objective of winning, but I knew I’d be OK. Day by day the situation evolved. My success came as a surprise to me because of the hard, windy 2nd and 3rd stages. Without those two stages, I didn’t know how it would have been, because in the mountains we have good riders. Perhaps I’d have been with them, but I don’t know. The thing is, I’m not a real climber. If you put me on a hard, 20 km mountain, I’ll get dropped. The final mountain stage here wasn’t so hard. I consider myself a complete rider who can do a bit of everything. I’m not a sprinter either, but I do OK. I think I have potential, but I have a different role from a rider like Rui Costa. We are very different. Rui has more potential than me. He’s a great rider, even if my idol is Alberto Contador, who is combative and always attacking. From now on I’ll try and get the responsibility as team leader. I tried at Tirreno-Adriatico, but things didn’t turn out as I wanted. I wasn’t at 100%. But in the coming races, I’ll try to be good, and at the Vuelta a España, I expect to have joint leadership with Pello Bilbao. This very is very important to me. I have the ambition of riding in the WorldTour. I’d like to ride for a WorldTour team. This win gives me the confidence to continue working, and we’ll see what happens. If it all goes according to plan, perhaps I’ll be able to make that final jump next season.”

3rd on the stage, Francisco Chamorro (Funvic-Soul): “This is our first year racing on the European scene, so I believe third here is a good result for us as we got the opportunity to race against World Tour riders who are going to compete in the Giro d’Italia next week. We’re very happy with our participation to the Tour of Turkey, especially because we’ve been very unlucky right at the beginning of the race. We lost five riders in a crash and only four of us managed to complete the TUR. In these circumstances, to make the podium on the last day is a great satisfaction. Brazil is a bit far for coming to Europe for one race. It would be better to come for two stage races so we’d perform in the second one. Next year we’ll have a bigger European calendar and we’ll be more competitive.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 8 Result:
1. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela in 5:46:24
2. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Francisco Chamorro (Arg) Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour
4. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Torku Sekerspor
6. Daniele Colli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
7. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast-Venezuela
8. Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
9. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Parkhotel Valkenburg
10. Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Final Overall Result:
1. José Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 32:31:35
2. David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:18
3. Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana at 0:56
4. Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:13
5. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 4:46
6. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal at 6:46
7. Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 9:22
8. Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 12:46
9. Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 12:58
10. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Unieuro Wilier at 13:08.

Tour de Yorkshire 2016
The wet, windy Stage 1 of the second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire came down to a mass sprint in Settle, where rising star Dylan Groenewegen claimed a prestigious victory on English soil mirroring LottoNL–Jumbo teammate Moreno Hofland’s win last year. The 22-year-old Dutchman was simply too fast for two other up-and-coming sprinters, Aussie Caleb Ewan and German Niklas Arndt, at the end of a stage which saw the six-man breakaway shut down before the pack entered the closing circuit.

Pro cyclists will be having nightmares about this April for a long time. Rain pounded the sign-on podium in the charming town of Beverley, start of the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire, where temperatures barely reached 7°C. Unfazed by the weather, throngs of fans came out to root for the 141 brave riders, including a certain Sir Bradley Wiggins ready to get some miles in his legs in his quest to claim a new Olympic gold in Rio. As if by magic, the rain stopped and the first rays of sunshine timidly cracked through the clouds in time for the start of the race at 11:54 am.

Disaster struck in the very first kilometer, when a group of about twenty riders hit the deck and Jeandesboz (Direct Energie), Simon (Cofidis) and Bystrøm (Katusha) were knocked out of the race. It was at this point that a six-man breakaway consisting of Williams (ONE Pro Cycling), Politt (Katusha), Cronshaw (Madison Genesis), Briggs (JLT-Condor), Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Mora (Raleigh) slipped away. Their margin grew expanded and broke through the 5-minute barrier at km 34.

Despite the wind and the rain, Sky and Orica-GreenEDGE set a sustained rhythm to bring the peloton ever closer Mora claimed the first intermediate sprint in Bubwith (km 46.5) ahead of Briggs and Politt, with the peloton trailing 4 minutes behind. The gap continued to dwindle and had fallen to 3 minutes by the time they reached the feeding zone, where Peter Weening also decided to call it a day after hurting his ribs in the earlier fall.

The undulating roads of Yorkshire softened the legs of the men in front. Briggs was the first to pop at km 107, soon followed by Cronshaw. Meanwhile, Bradley Wiggins was dropped by the peloton, as the 2012 Tour de France champion shied away from taking any risks on the wet roads to avoid compromising his build-up to the Olympics, eventually abandoning the race a few kilometers down the road. Williams went first over the only classified climb of today’s stage, Greenhow Hill, ahead of Wallays and Politt, with the peloton a mere 1:30 back.

Peter Williams, runner-up in the recent Tro Bro Léon, was the only man left in front by km 131. A counterattack by Edmondson (NFTO), Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Moreno Sala (Raleigh) caught up with the Brit, but it all came back together at km 154. The peloton, led by defending champion Lars-Petter Nordhaug’s Sky team, stayed together until just before the second intermediate sprint, where Turgis (Cofidis), Voeckler (Direct Energie) and Pauwels (Dimension Data) launched an attack, crossing the line in Giggleswick (km 178) in this same order. The former two kept on going, but the bunch gobbled them up with 6 km to go. Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) attempted a solo effort, but the winner of the stage to Mende in last year’s Tour de France was caught before the final kilometer.

Dylan Groenewegen, the final wagon in the LottoNL–Jumbo train, capitalized on his raw power and bike-handling skills to beat Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) in the tricky finale in Settle— the seventh career win for the young Dutch winner of the 2015 Brussels Cycling Classic (formerly known as Paris-Brussels). The 22-year-old sprinter seized the lead in the general (blue-and-yellow jersey) and points classifications, while the untamable Peter Williams pulled on the best climber’s jersey and was awarded the combativity prize for today’s stage.

Stage winner and overall leader, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I didn’t have to fight for my position one single moment. This was a lead-out like it should be. When I started to sprint, I actually knew already that I was going to win. I saw Ewen on my wheel, but he never came up next to me. I just finished a short period of rest. I’ve trained well and it’s wonderful to start this new period immediately with a victory.”

3rd, Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin): “I didn’t know how I would be feeling once the race started since it was my first it a while but I felt quite good until the 100km mark then my legs started to get tired. The guys did a great job today in supporting me, especially in these tough weather conditions. In the sprint, Koen did the lead-out with one kilometer to go. I ended being in a good position in the last corner but I just lacked the final kick in the sprint.”

Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data): “The weather made it a hard race today. It was very cold and rainy, and there was a headwind all day. Steve played his card in the final to try and win the stage but unfortunately he did not succeed. I was able to take a bonus second at an intermediate sprint near the finish, so we look forward to this weekend’s stages.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 5:09:11
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
6. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC
7. Christopher Lawless (GB) JLT Condor
8. Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
9. Dion Smith (NZ) ONE Pro Cycling
10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Tour de Yorkshire Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 5:09:11
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
6. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC
7. Christopher Lawless (GB) JLT Condor
8. Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling
9. Dion Smith (NZ) ONE Pro Cycling
10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Three days after Koningsdag, the national holiday of the Netherlands, a Dutch rider again stole the show in Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire. Danny van Poppel matched Dylan Groenewegen’s win in Settle on Friday with a superb victory in Doncaster. Team Sky’s fast man narrowly out-sprinted the previous day’s winner and German Niklas Arndt, while Groenewegen defended the blue-and-yellow overall leader’s jersey ahead of the leg-breaking final stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

After watching the start of the maiden edition of the ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race in the morning, the crowds were even bigger in the charming town of Otley, where world champion Lizzie Armitstead was born. At 2:45 pm, the 132-strong peloton set out for a 136.5 km stage to Doncaster on the same course as the women. The first attacks of the day came just a kilometer and a half into the stage, with Handley (ONE Pro Cycling), Mørkøv (Katusha), Lewis (Madison Genesis), Bradbury, Edmondson (NFTO) and Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) setting up a six-man breakaway.

The peloton trailed by 1:50 as UK’s Richard Handley was first over the first climb of the day in Harewood, not far from its namesake castle, which welcomed the opening ceremony of the 2014 Tour de France. Handley also took maximum points at the top of the East Rigton climb (km 17). The peloton, led by leader Dylan Groenewegen’s LottoNL–Jumbo squad, clawed back second after second and gap had fallen to 1:35 by the time Edmondson outgunned Lewis and Handley at the first intermediate sprint.

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) took advantage of a lull in the pursuit at the entrance to the feeding zone (km 75) to launch a counterattack in an attempt to bridge the 1:15 gap, which he did when he joined the breakaway at km 85. The seven escapees had a 1:45 at the time. With the BMC-driven peloton hot on their heels, Edet fired off another attack at km 102, dragging Mørkøv, who was celebrating his 31st birthday today, local boy Edmondson and Steels along. The quartet held 25 seconds over the main group with 20 km to go, but they were eventually caught in sight of the 10 km arch.

LottoNL–Jumbo, ORICA GreenEDGE and Sky worked to keep it all together until the final sprint in Doncaster. Danny van Poppel culminated a perfect lead-out by his Sky teammates, holding off a last-minute charge by fellow countryman Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and grabbing his first season win by a matter of centimeters, while Niklas Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) again finished in third place. It was the tenth career win (and the first one in his new colors) for the 22-year-old sprinter, who among other races won stage 12 of last year’s Vuelta.

Groenewegen kept the blue-and-yellow leader’s jersey by 6 seconds over Van Poppel and 8 seconds over Arndt. The Dutchman also defended his lead in the points classification, while Handley pulled on the best climber’s jersey. With no fewer than six climbs, the closing stage of the Tour de Yorkshire from Middlesbrough to Scarborough is sure to shake things up.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Danny Van Poppel (Sky): “The team did a great job, that’s the first thing to say. We were really motivated. The last two kilometers it was raining and really hectic. The team did the best they could to really take care of me and then in the last few hundred meters Dylan came really close, but I just knew that I’d won. It was a hectic few minutes. I’ve had a knee injury and this is maybe my ninth or 10th race (this year). I really needed this victory. There have been some hard times but now I think I’m back! It’s my first victory for Team Sky and it’s really cool to ride for this team.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I didn’t see the finish well, I thought that the finish line was a little bit further. That’s why I hesitated for a moment and the others were able to take a meter’s advantage. If you just look at the top speed, I was the fastest again today. The team worked hard for me in front of the bunch and delivered another strong lead-out. That makes it even more disappointing that I didn’t win, but I learn from these moments. Tomorrow, we’re going to fight for Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic. I will bring some bottles and bars for them. After these two days, it’s my turn to pay back their work.”

Roger Hammond Dimension Data DS: “Today’s stage was a lot more straight forward than yesterday. With very little opportunity to break up the peloton the bunch stayed together for most of the day. We tried to take Mark Renshaw to the line for the bunch sprint but unfortunately he lost position with 600m to go.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Result:
1. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Sky in 3:04:20
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Chris Opie (GB) ONE Pro Cycling
5. Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis
6. Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Team Raleigh GAC
7. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
8. Christopher Lawless (GB) JLT Condor
9. Russell Downing (GB) JLT Condor
10. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-GreenEDGE.

Tour de Yorkshire Overall After Stage 2:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 8:13:15
2. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Sky at 0:06
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 0:08
4. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:10
5. Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Gruffudd Lewis (GB) Madison Genesis at 0:12
7. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 0:13
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:14
9. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 0:15
10. Richard Handley (GB) ONE Pro Cycling.

Yorkshire Stage 2:

Summary – Stage 2 (Otley Doncaster) por tourdefrance

Thomas Voeckler put in a stellar performance to claim the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire after last year’s bitter-sweet third place. The Frenchman made hay of the Queen Stage 3 from Middlesbrough to Scarborough with another of his signature rides. The 36-year-old jumped clear with Nicolas Roche 5 kilometers before the line and out-sprinted his breakaway companion to grab both the stage win and the overall victory. Voeckler was crowned champion of the second edition with 6 seconds to spare on Roche and 16 seconds on Anthony Turgis.

There were quite a few nervous faces at the start of the closing stage of the Tour de Yorkshire this morning. The 129-strong peloton faced a 198 km trek to Scarborough featuring no fewer than six climbs. The course and the various classifications up for grabs, including the blue-and-yellow leader’s jersey, made Sunday’s stage very promising.

A ten-man breakaway consisting of Holohan (Team WIGGINS), Haas (Dimension Data), Chetout (Cofidis), Opie (ONE Pro Cycling), Haller (Katusha), Cronshaw (Madison Genesis), Slik, Van Der Lijke (Roompot-Oranje Peloton), Farazijn (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Wilkinson (Great Britain) formed just five kilometers into the stage. It took ten kilometers of frantic racing to convince the bunch to let them go, and their margin peaked at 2:15 at km 24.

Haas beat Cronshaw and Chetout at the first intermediate sprint in Thirsk (km 52), with the peloton trailing 1:35 behind. The first climb of the day, super-steep Sutton Bank, took things to a higher level and caused Wilkinson and Slik to be dropped and caught by the peloton shortly thereafter. Haas, first over the top, held a 2:05 margin at this point. Blakey Ridge set the scene for another fierce battle, with Calmejane (Direct Energie), Handley (ONE Pro Cycling) and Moreno Sala (Raleigh-GAC) launching a counterattack. The lead group was soon joined by the trio, only to lose Opie and Cronshaw, who were soon reeled in by the peloton. Haas, Calmejane and Chetout’s aggressive riding failed to make an impact, and the nine riders stuck together until the bunch brought them back into the fold at km 110.

Team Sky brought the hammer down, smashing the peloton apart and forcing an initial selection. Kennaugh led the bunch over the fearsome Grosmont climb, with teammates Rowe, Moscon, Roche and defending champion Nordhaug on his wheel. A few kilometers down the road, there were just nine units left in the lead group, with Yates, Juul Jensen (Orica-GreenEDGE), Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Pauwels (Dimension Data) clinging to the five Sky men on the Yorkshire highlands. A second group of 17 riders including (BMC), Voeckler (Direct Energie), Van Den Broeck (Katusha) and Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) eventually managed to bridge over. Pauwels launched an attack on the next climb, but it was shut down.

Roche (Sky), Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Kruijswijk went over the penultimate climb of the day, Harewood Dale, in first place and opened up a gap 25 km before the finish. The French duo of Voeckler and Turgis (Cofidis) made contact at km 176 and, with 10 km to go, it was obvious that the race would be decided among the five men in front, who held a one-minute gap on the chasing group with Nordhaug. Roche crowned the final climb, Oliver’s Mount (km 192), in front and forged ahead, dragging Voeckler with him. The two riders used the descent to Scarborough to expand their gap. Their 7 seconds margin at the last kilometer seemed sufficient. Voeckler, the wily 36-year-old, clung to his rival’s wheel before unleashing a sprint to which Roche had no answer, while Adam Yates finished third.

Voeckler made amends for his second place in last year’s opening stage to Scarborough and grabbed his second season victory after the Tour Cycliste International La Provence. The French rider’s 43rd career win also catapulted him to the top of the general classification, where he succeeded Lars-Petter Nordhaug as champion of the race with 6″ to spare on Roche and 16 seconds on Turgis. The winner of the first stage, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo), took home the points jersey, while Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) was the best climber of the event.

Stage 3 and final overall winner, Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie): “When you win it’s always perfect, but it was a hard day and it was difficult with all those Team Sky guys. When you are just five riders going for the win it is very stressful, so I’m really happy. Because I lost last year I knew the final kilometres would be hard, and I knew how to manage the sprint. I told myself I would take every opportunity to make sprints and take advantage of what I knew in the final 300 metres. It was not only my legs that won today, it was with my head. It was difficult for me to follow the attacks sometimes but I stayed patient and managed to always make my way back. To win the stage and overall makes me really happy. It took a lot of concentration, calculations. I had to be coldblooded and I had a lot of scenarios in my head. It was hard for the legs of course. It won due to my experience, that of my pros years but also that of last year. I had not seen the last climb (added to the course this year) but Jimmy Engoulvent, my director, had informed me and showed me pictures. I did not have the legs to make the difference on the climb but I felt I had the strength on the flat. I was not at all sure to beat Roche. Normally he is faster than me. I knew I had a chance so I said, ’Come on, let’s go, we ride together, and we’ll see what happens in the sprint.’ I am old according to the stats but in the spirit, I am still very young. This victory shows that I’m still here, even if I think I did not need to prove it. I take pleasure. I’m at a stage where all the races are a bonus for me. I have experienced many things, but still to have such emotions after 16 years feels good.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Nicolas Roche (Sky): “The plan was to do more or less what we did, the guys were really, really good today. This morning we set out the plan. Everyone had a proper role and really committed to what they had to do. Myself and Lars were to attack in the finish which we did. But with Voeckler when it comes to the cat and mouse game he’s number one.”

KOM, Nathan Haas (Dimension Data): “Tour of Yorkshire is an incredible race, you just have to look at the crowd here at the finish. This is a stadium for a race that should be much bigger than a 2.1. I have to thank both the Tour of Yorkshire and the council for putting it on but also to Dimension Data for getting behind such an amazing event that we are going to see grow and as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, it will be great to be part of that.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3 Result:
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie in 5:51:57
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:09
4. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky at 0:41
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
8. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:09
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
10. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin.

Tour de Yorkshire Overall After Stage 3:
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie in 13:05:16
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 0:06
3. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 0:16
4. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:17
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:21
6. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky at 0:52
7. Gianni Moscon(Ita) Sky at 0:53
8. Nikias Arndt (Den) Giant-Alpecin at 1:13
9. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 1:20
10. Dion Smith (NZ) One Pro Cycling at 1:21.

Final Yorkshire Stage 3:

Summary – Stage 3 (Middlesbrough Scarborough) por tourdefrance

ASDA Tour de Yorkshire 2016
A large crowd turned out for the 2016 ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race, from the start in Otley to the finish line in Doncaster, 136.5kms down the road. Defending world champion and pre-race favorite Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) wanted to star on home soil. Despite a daring attempt, the native of Otley was not able to hold off the return of the peloton in the final kilometers with Kristen Wild (Hitec Products) sprinting to a superb victory.

Large crowd in Otley
The British crowd came out on to the streets of Otley very early to take in the start of the 2016 ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Women’s race. Under blue skies, the 98 riders set off at 8:15am, behind defending world champion, Lizzie Armitstead. The native of Otley was the overwhelming favorite among the fans this morning. Wearing the Rainbow jersey, Armitstead received the encouragements and could get a sense of the enthusiasm from the very large crowd supporting the Great Britain Team led by the local rider and Emma Pooley. The 136.5km course to Doncaster is the same route as stage two of the men’s race.

Battle for the jerseys
Right from the start, the peloton set off at a brisk pace on the charming roads of Yorkshire. The reason for this elevated rhythm, two category 2 climbs counting in the climbers classification and an intermediate sprint awarding important points towards the Blue Jersey for the top sprinter. The peloton remained as one towards the first key moments of the race. In leading the way over the East Rigton Climb, Rossella Ratto (Cylance Pro Cycling) claimed the Jersey for best climber. This first place was good enough for her to take the Pink jersey, despite having the same number of points in the final classification as runner-up, France’s Audrey Cordon (Wiggle High5), who passed the last two climbs of the day in second position. Lauren Kitchen (Hitec-Products) took top honors in the sprinter’s battle thanks to her leading the way at the Scholes intermediate sprint (km 25.5)

Schweizer escapes
Following the Scholes intermediate sprint, the peloton let Doris Schweizer (Cylance Pro Cycling) go on her own. The Swiss time-trial national champion showed her qualities on the roads of Yorkshire. Supported by the massive crowd along the course, 26-year old Schweizer had an almost 1m40sec lead from the peloton after 60 kilometers. Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) remained very attentive, always at the front of the peloton before a minor mechanical incident forced her to fall back to her sporting director’s car. When the repairs were made she returned to the peloton that had already begun to thin out after Pontefract (km 60).

Armitstead takes control of the race
After the South Elmsall feed zone, the race took another turn as defending world champion, Lizzie Armitstead broke away, taking Canadian Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur) with her. They soon caught up to Doris Schweizer, and the duo quickly became a trio with only 30 kilometers remaining. Behind, in a reduced peloton of approximately 40 riders, the Wiggle High5 and Hitec Products teams took matters into their hands and organized the chase. But the gap to the leaders grew and reached one minute 20 kilometers from the finish.

Hitec Products and Wild win the duel
A proper battle began among the three leaders in front and the Hitec Products led peloton. The gap shrank from one kilometer to the next and, despite the efforts, especially Armistead’s who was pushed on by her supporters, the three escapees were finally caught two kilometers from the finish. Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini) was the first to put the hammer down but it was too early. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) finally passed her on her right and took the sprint win, using her power to hold off Lucy Garner (Wiggle High5) and Floortje Mackaij (Team Liv-Plantur) who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Lizzie Armitstead finished in the peloton in 26th place but she can take solace with the team win for her Great Britain Team. Kirsten Wild, who earlier this year won the Test Event for the world championships that was held during the Ladies Tour of Qatar, demonstrated that she is still one of the best sprinters on the planet. Lucy Garner, who won the youth classification, showed, in front of her public, the extent of her talent, which should make her one of the riders in female cycling to keep a close eye on for years to come.
Thanks to ASO for the race report.

ASDA Tour de Yorkshire Result:
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Hitec Products in 3:22:26
2. Lucy Garner (GB) Wiggle-High5
3. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Liv-Plantur
4. Alice Barnes (GB) Great Britain
5. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alè-Cipollini
6. Anna Trevisi (Ita) Alè-Cipollini
7. Jennifer George (GB) Drops Cycling Team
8. Nicola Juniper (GB) Ford Ecoboost
9. Nicole Moerig (Aus) Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa
10. Evie Richards (GB) Great Britain.

Tour de Yorkshire 2016 – Summary – Women’s Race… por tourdefrance

Giro d’Italia 2016
The 2016 Giro d’Italia starts this Friday, the 6th of May, with a 9,8 kilometer individual time trial in Apeldoorn, Holland. The teams have started to announce their rider selections.

Trek-Segafredo announces 2016 Giro d’Italia line-up
The 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia kicks off in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on May 6th and Trek-Segafredo has organized a strong nine-man squad that will vie for top results in the season’s first grand tour.

Last year’s points jersey winner Giacomo Nizzolo, 2012 Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal and Fabian Cancellara will headline the nine-man team.

They will be joined by Boy Van Poppel, Eugenio Alafaci, Marco Coledan, Jack Bobridge – all strong rouleurs who will work for the sprints and in the flatter parts of stages – and climbers Laurent Didier and Riccardo Zoidl, who will offer supporting roles in the climbs.

Fabian Cancellara, who normally eschews the Giro after a draining Classics campaign, is taking the start in his first Giro d’Italia since 2009. Cancellara will set his sight on the prologue, with the hope to take home the coveted maglia rosa – the only grand tour leader’s jersey missing from his palmarès.

Team director Adriano Baffi said this about the line-up for Giro: “We are coming to the Giro with big goals, but goals that we believe we have a very good chance of achieving. Our early target is to go for a stage victory with Fabian and Giacomo. Giacomo deserves a victory, he has been second enough times, and Fabian will try and win the first stage prologue and the dream to take home his first ever maglia rosa.

“We have opportunities in the stage nine time trial with Fabian and also Jack (Bobridge), the numerous sprint stages, and will fight to win the points jersey again. Of course, Ryder is aiming for the overall, and we strongly believe he can attain a top five and perhaps the podium if all goes well. We have a very strong team assembled and it will be a very exciting three weeks for us.”

Trek-Segafredo will showcase a global team with seven nationalities:
Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT), Jack Bobridge (AUS), Boy Van Poppel (NED), Eugenio Alafaci (ITA), Marco Coledan (ITA), and Laurent Didier (LUX).

BMC Racing Team to Target Stage Wins at Giro d’Italia
BMC Racing Team will take a diverse team to the Giro d’Italia this week where the focus will be on stage win success.

Without a General Classification contender, the team will have the freedom to take different opportunities, Sports Director Max Sciandri explained. “We are not taking one of our clear GC guys so all of the riders will have the chance to jump in a breakaway, go for stage wins, and really take any opportunity that they see. Four of our nine riders are Italian so it’s always extra motivation to do well when you’re racing at the biggest race in your home country,” Sciandri said.

BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the Giro d’Italia course is well-suited to the team. “The team is at the opening Grand Tour of the season and as always we are excited to race at the Giro d’Italia. We have a team made up of experienced riders and some of our younger guys too, and each rider will bring a different strength to the team. We’ll be primarily searching for stage wins and I hope we will have a successful Giro d’Italia,” Ochowicz confirmed.

Philippe Gilbert was originally set to race however a fractured finger sustained in April has ruled him out. “Philippe’s finger is improving well however not at the rate necessary for him to be back at 100% for the Giro d’Italia and avoid any further damage. So from a medical standpoint it does not make sense to send him to a Grand Tour when he is not in the position to be really competitive,” BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said.

Rider roster:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Manuel Senni (ITA), Rick Zabel (GER).
Sports Directors: Max Sciandri (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Darwin Atapuma:

Lampre-Merida’s line-up for the Pink Race
In Milan, at the headquarter of Gruppo Koelliker, which is the supplier of Mitsubishi cars of Team Lampre-Merida, the blue-fuchsia-green team unveiled the names of the 9 cyclists who’ll participate in the Giro d’Italia 2016, which will start from Apeldoorn (Holland) on Friday 6th May and will end in Turin on Sunday 29th May.

This is the line-up of Lampre-Merida for the Pink Race:
– Valerio Conti, born in 1993, Italian, rookie, climber
– Roberto Ferrari, born in 1983, Italian, 5 caps and 1 stage victory, sprinter
– Ilia Koshevoy, born in 1991, Byelorussian, rookie, climber
– Sacha Modolo, born in 1987, Italian, 5 caps and 2 stage victories, sprinter
– Matej Mohoric, born in 1994, Slovenian, rookie, fast rouleur
– Manuele Mori, born in 1980, Italian, 7 caps, fast climber
– Przemyslaw Niemiec, born in 1979, Polish, 6 caps, climber
– Simone Petilli, born in 1993, Italian, rookie, climber
– Diego Ulissi, born in 1989, Italian, 4 caps and 4 stage victories, fast climber

The team will be directed by Orlando Maini and Mario Scirea, who’ll be supported by Daniele Righi.

The selected athletes will represent four nations (Italy, Belarus, Slovenia and Poland); the average age is 27,5 years old (Mohoric the youngest, he’s 21; Niemiec the oldest, he’s 36); Mori took part in 7 edition of the Giro; 7 total stages victories obtained by the cyclists in the 2016 line-up of the team (4 Ulissi, 2 Modolo, 1 Ferrari).

Giro d’Italia Launches its New App
The new, official App of the Giro d’Italia, sponsored by – is now available. With a brand new look and added functionality, the App delivers the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place direct to your hands.

The 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia will be held from 6 to 29 May, starting in Apeldoorn and finishing in Turin.

The App will give you exclusive access to all the latest news from each of the participating teams and riders. Now with a new live section, users won’t miss a single second of the 21 stages. Plus, at the end of each stage, the App will showcase all the classifications, videos, interviews and stage highlights.

With a single touch, fans can discover the stunning areas visited by the Giro d’Italia. Local history, food and wine guides alongside key landmarks from each stage will be showcased. Plus, thanks to a collaboration with TripAdvisor, the Giro d’Italia App also includes GiroAdvisor, giving fans detailed information on attractions along the Corsa Rosa route.

Fans can also personalize their Giro d’Italia experience, by sharing their memories with personalized ‘selfies’ thanks to the Giro Faces function. They can then share them within the App and become one of the Giro d’Italia many faces.

Giro d’Italia is now even more digital thanks to the collaboration with Igersitalia, one of the largest Italian Instagram communities, that together with RCS Sport has organized a photographic challenge open to everyone until 29 May using the hashtags #Giro and #Giro2016

Giro d’Italia App is available for free on both iOS and Android on Apple Store and Google Play, it was developed in collaboration with Havas Sports & Entertainment, a brand engagement agency of Havas Media Group.

Giro d’Italia App for iOS
Giro d’Italia App for Android
Giro d’Italia App – Video

Cannondale Pro Team’s Michael Woods breaks hand, will miss Giro d’Itala
“This is definitely not a lost season. This will definitely make me come back stronger.” – Mike Woods

Canadian Michael Woods suffered a broken hand in three places in a fall with about 20 kilometers to go in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The crash put a halt to his maiden campaign at the Ardennes, which had been off to a sterling start with his 12th place at La Flèche-Wallonne, and will keep him out of the Giro d’Italia.

“That’s been the hardest part about dealing with the crash, is the fact that I was feeling really good. I had a good one at Flèche. I wasn’t positioned great, but I had the legs to have a top result at Liège. Maybe not to win, but definitely contend for a top five,” Woods said.

“It’s the hand, but also my back is pretty bad, too,” he noted.

Further review on Woods’ back injuries are pending, but the hand injury is enough to keep him off the bike for now. Woods now finds himself on the outside of a Giro team that’s poised for a solid run at the maglia rosa. The fact that he’ll miss that hurts.

“Rigo’s got a really good shot at winning and I would have liked to be a part of that,” he said. “But there’s still quite a few opportunities left in this season. Rio is a big goal of mine this season. I’m still looking forward. This is definitely not a lost season. This will definitely make me come back stronger.”

And though he crashed out of Liège, the foundation for what could come in the Ardennes races for Woods has been laid. “I think they’re tailor-made for my abilities. As unfortunate as it is crashing and getting hurt, I don’t think the crash reflects on me as a bike handler. I think the courses really suit me, and I’m really excited about that,” he said. “The undulation, the technical side of it. It’s just fun. And the crowds are unreal.”

His timeline for return isn’t yet known.
“Once they have a clearer picture as to what’s going on with the back I can set a clear timeline for getting back on the bike,” he said. “The sad part about cycling is it’s often more than one injury. If I was just dealing with a broken hand, it would be fine. It’s the back, too. Getting into bed is a five-minute ordeal.”

“My wife’s been helping me get dressed,” Woods said. “I feel like a four year old again.”

Michael Woods:

Fernando Gaviria Update

The talented Colombian will be out of competition in the next weeks.
One of the top neo-pros in the first months of the season, with stage victories to his name in Tour de San Luis, Tour La Provence and Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as an Omnium world title, Fernando Gaviria will skip the May races which he was slated to start – Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt, Quatre Jours de Dunkerque and the Tour of California – because of a right hand index finger fracture he suffered on Saturday, in Colombia.

Following the successful surgery he underwent on Wednesday, April 27th, at Clinica de Fracturas de Medellin, in order to correct this injury, Fernando returned home, where he’ll begin his recovery. If everything goes well in the following period, the Colombian will be able return to competition in a few weeks.

“It’s a real pity that the injury occurred in this moment of the season when I was preparing to come back to racing. The most important thing is that the surgery went well, without any complications, and that I will be ready to start training again. Of course, I’ll have a different schedule now, but I will know more about this in the following weeks, when I hope to be at 100% for my future goals of the season”, said Fernando Gaviria.

Fernando Gaviria in Sanremo:

Alex Dowsett Undergoes Minor Surgery
Briton to be back training next week after removing collarbone plate and screws, inserted following his crash in January 2015; will not race Giro d’Italia, was part of Movistar Team’s shortlist.

Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) will be released from hospital in London today after being admitted earlier this week to have his right-hand shoulder fixed by minor surgery. The Essex-born rider sustained injuries into a crash in January 2015, forcing him to postpone his hour record attempt, whose first anniversary will be commemorated on Monday, healed with a prior operation that has now brought the 27-year-old some more troubles.

“The metal plate that was inserted to fix my broken collarbone started to show through the skin,” explains Dowsett. “Because of the risk of infection, this had to be removed as soon as possible. They cut me open, took out the plate and six screws and stitched me up.”

The four-time British TT champion will be back into training next week. The incident will not allow him riding the Giro d’Italia, the Briton was part of the 11-rider shortlist Eusebio Unzué offered earlier in the month, yet Dowsett has already set his sights on brand new goals for the summer.

Alex Dowsett:

Van Avermaet Extends with BMC Racing Team
BMC Racing Team today announced the extension of Greg Van Avermaet’s contract beyond the 2016 season.

Van Avermaet, who has been with BMC Racing Team since 2011, has established his position as a key Classics contender both within the team and the peloton, BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

“Greg is a cornerstone of the BMC Racing Team organization and has been developing as a leader over some time now. The 2016 season has been quite remarkable for Greg and for the team, and so we are really happy that he has extended his relationship with us,” Ochowicz said.

“We still have a lot more to do in 2016, but to know that in 2017 we will have our Classics leader still in the team, made up of riders very capable of supporting him, is certainly something we are looking forward to. I think we can accomplish a lot as a team with Greg being part of the BMC Racing Team family.”

Van Avermaet is happy to be staying with BMC Racing Team, a team with which he has recorded impressive results.

“In my six years with BMC Racing Team I have always been really happy. I have developed a lot in these six years but I still feel that I have something extra in me and that my work is not finished with the team. I still want to win a big Classic with the BMC Racing Team kit on my back and that remains the big goal beyond 2016,” Van Avermaet admitted.

“The support has been really incredible from the team since the beginning and it is because of the team, the staff, and the riders, that I have been able to get better every year and get some good results. I have a lot of fun with the people in the team and in the end it is creating a big friendship and family around me. I have built something special and I’m looking forward to continuing with BMC Racing Team.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other terms or conditions of the contract were released.

Greg Van Avermaet:

Southeast-Venezuela Change Name
Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of Italy on Friday will see a change in the Southeast-Venezuela team as it becomes Wilier-Southeast for the rest of the season. The announcement was made on Friday in Rossano Veneto, home of the historic brand of Italian bikes. The name change also involves a color changes for the team with red in addition to gray and yellow-fluo. Venezuela disappears from the jersey and Wilier takes over as first named sponsor, followed by Southeast.

Filippo Pozzato in his new jersey:

Who is Yves Lampaert?
Lampaert is not one of the riders who’s name jumps into you mind when thinking of the stars of the road, but the leading riders of the Etixx – Quick-Step team rely on Yves and riders like him for their success and the team for successes of his own. Nice video of a farmer’s boy’s life in the peloton.

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