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EuroTrash Bouhanni Thursday!

Nacer Bouhanni likes to double up with his stage victories; two stages in the Circuit de la Sarthe and now two in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Race reports, results, rider quotes and video from France. We also preview the Tour de Suisse, question the future of MPCC, report from Philadelphia, teams for La Course, news from Beauce and Tinkoff-Saxo change for the Tour.

TOP STORY: What is the future for MPCC?
A statement from the LottoNL-Jumbo team:

“Team LottoNL-Jumbo has been forced to end her membership with the MPCC (Mouvement Pour Cyclisme Crédible). Earlier this season, George Bennett did not start in the Giro d’Italia because of a low cortisol level. Bennett underwent several additional tests, which proved that he was kept out of the Giro unjustly. This, as well as advises from external experts, shows that the MPCC procedure is not a 100% accurate. There has been a lot of contact between the team and the MPCC. Within the MPCC, it was impossible to realise an adjustment of procedures regarding the measurement of cortisol levels before the general meeting in October, this to prevent riders from unjustly being kept from racing. Team LottoNL-Jumbo cannot conform to a procedure that is not a 100% accurate. The team supports the MPCC’s standpoints and, for this reason, regrets this difficult decision.

Standpoints
The team endorses the MPCC’s standpoints and applauds the movement’s philosophy. The MPCC has contributed to the necessary changes within the culture of cycling, and Team LottoNL-Jumbo voluntarily abides by many of their rules. The MPCC has also accomplished several things within the UCI, and we value the MPCC in this.

Unnecessary image and sportive damage
“Our team supports the battle against the abuse of corticosteroids in cycling. However, a low cortisol level is not always the result of substance abuse, and a low cortisol level certainly does not always mean an unhealthy situation. For this reason, we, as well as other teams/ team physicians and riders, are of the opinion that the procedure surrounding the monitoring of low cortisol levels should be adapted, to prevent riders unjustly being kept out of races and teams suffering unnecessary image loss and sportive damage.

We know that the procedure is not a 100% accurate, as should be the case in such procedures. Two of our riders have been kept from racing unjustly (Vuelta 2013 and Giro 2015) due to this inaccuracy. Knowing the flaws in this system, we cannot justify a rider being excluded from entering a race any longer,” managing director Richard Plugge explains.

Examination external experts
Nearly two years ago, during the general meeting of the MPCC, various team physicians have requested an examination by external experts to answer the question if a too low cortisol level is always unhealthy. This to prevent healthy riders being kept out of races unjustly.

One of the experts, approached by the MPCC, has responded during the Giro d’Italia. His conclusion: the current procedure, during which only the cortisol levels of one morning are determined, is lacking precision and can lead to false positive results, after which healthy riders are unjustly being kept out of races. He advises additional tests once a low cortisol level is measured.

The experts consulted by Team LottoNL-Jumbo, including a professor Endocrinology, endorse this standpoint. Additional tests proved that there was never an unhealthy situation, nor the abuse of external corticosteroids within our team.

#Ridethefuture
Team LottoNL-Jumbo will continue to disperse the MPCC’s standpoints. We put a lot of effort in contributing towards a cultural change within cycling and will continue to do so. Our motto is #ridethefuture for a reason!”

If a team who agrees with the idea of the MPCC has had to sever its association with the group, what must other teams be thinking. The MPCC is voluntary and so are the sanctions, a doberman guard dog with no teeth comes to mind. Will more teams leave? If so, what is the future for the MPCC?

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2015
Nacer Bouhanni gave Cofidis the big win they had been waiting for in Monday’s Stage 2. The Frenchman’s impressive jump came out of MTN-Qhubeka’s impeccable lead out train for Edvald Boasson Hagen. Race leader Peter Kennaugh held onto his yellow jersey going into Tuesday’s team time trial.

166 riders started the stage in Le Bourget-du-Lac. Arnaud Courteille (FDJ.fr) was the first attacker, followed by Perrig Quémeneur (Europcar) and polka dot jersey holder Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka). The race begun with the ascent of the Col du Chat where the Eritrean consolidated his lead in the King of the Mountains competition. The breakaway trio got a maximum advantage of 6:50 after 57 kilometers.

Cofidis and Lampre-Merida came in help to Team Sky at the helm of the peloton as the race neared the main difficulty of the day, the 1st Cat Col de Cuvéry where Teklehaimanot secured his polka dot jersey for at least one more day and probably more as stage 3 is a team time trial. The peloton led mostly by Luis Maté (Cofidis), Nelson Oliveira (Lampre-Merida) and Caleb Fairly (Giant-Alpecin) calculated the difference in order to not catch Courteille, Quémeneur and Teklehaimanot too early. It was all together with 3.5km to go. Courteille, Quémeneur and Teklehaimanot had been at the front for 170km. The bunch sprint finish was inevitable with a flat finish. A side wind caused a crash involving Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) opened the sprint with 200 meters to go and easily claimed his first ever stage victory at the Dauphiné. As Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) sprinted to second place, he deprived third placed Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) of the time bonus that would have awarded him the yellow jersey.

Stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “Today was a relief for me and for the team. After four year at being at FDJ it was tough to find a good system here at first. I was close to victory but I can’t blame just my teammates. It was me as well who was to blame and I wasn’t always at 100 per cent at some races earlier in the season. I had two blocks of objectives this season. The first was based around Paris-Nice and Milan-San Remo and the second starts here at the Dauphine before I do the French road nationals and then the Tour de France. I’m getting better and better as I head towards the main targets. Before I came here I had a training camp in the Vosges and that, along with the Dauphiné is all part of the preparation for the Tour. I’ll be in the grupetto here for a couple of days but that’s good preparation as well.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “I thank my team because I received a perfect support. My team mates helped me in getting on the wheels of the Mtn-Qhubeka’s lead out train, but Bouhanni was in a better position, where he did not face the front wind, so he could exploit this advantage for obtaining the victory”

6th on the stage, Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling): “The team did a great job for me; they had me perfectly positioned for the final. This was good for me, but also for Mathias Frank, who remained protected near the front. But I was dreading that section between 500 meters and 300 meters from the line. I was not wrong either, since I was blocked a bit and lost some speed. When Bouhanni’s train went left, I found myself on the right. Sixth place is not too bad, but I do feel a little disappointed, especially when you think of how hard the team worked for me. The day was very nervous, and all the crashes that happened throughout are ready proof. The leaders all wanted to stay near the front since they knew it was a sprint coming. So we had to juggle the sprint trains and the climbers all in the same space. Now I will certainly put myself in the service of my teammate Mathias Frank in order to help him have the best possible position at the bottom of the climbs, and then I’ll try to survive until the finish.”

KOM leader, Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka): “It was another good day for our team as I could get some more points for the jersey and Edvald was close to the win again. With the early climb it was a good chance for me to get some more points and luckily we got away quite quickly. It was a hard day with only 3 riders in the break but we rode well. After the last climb we tried as hard as we could but we were caught at 3km. I am happy to still be in the jersey and that I was able to show off our team again.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis in 4:23:46
2. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
6. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin
9. Yannick Martinez (Fra) Europcar
10. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 2:
1. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Sky in 7:30:27
2. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:02
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
4. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:06
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:08
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:12
7. Yannick Martinez (Fra) Europcar
8. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
9. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin
10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Stage 2:

Team time trial world champions BMC Racing Team justified their reputation as they won the Stage 3 TTT. The team put Australia’s Rohan Dennis in the lead exactly two years after he took the command of the race through the individual time trial. Along with his team-mate Tejay van Garderen, he’s four seconds ahead of Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali whose Astana team finished only 4 seconds behind BMC. Sky lost 35 seconds as well as Peter Kennaugh’s leader’s jersey.

FDJ was the first team in action, but the best time was soon set by BMC who stared third. They led at the first check point in Le Perreux after 14 kilometers and then all the way to the finish. BMC and Astana were both lost team-mates too early, Manuel Quinziato and Dimitri Gruzdev couldn’t hold the pace of their leaders after forcing in the technical early part of the course.

Quinziato had been the highest ranked of the BMC riders, so Rohan Dennis became the virtual leader once Team Sky appeared at the check point with a deficit of 17 seconds. Second highest ranked BMC rider Michael Schär was also not part of the quintet that scored the victory. While the other specialists, Movistar, Etixx – Quick-Step and Orica-GreenEDGE, positioned themselves behind BMC and Astana, only Cannondale-Garmin and Team Sky represented a potential threat, but the American team looked pretty disorganized and the British outfit was already 17 seconds down. Reduced to six riders, Sky kept losing time in the second half to finish sixth with a deficit of 35 seconds. On the eve of the race, Kennaugh saw no reason why they wouldn’t win it. Dennis, also the best young rider in the race, is back in the yellow-blue jersey while Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) retained the polka dot jersey and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) exchanged the white jersey for the green one as Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) abandoned the Dauphiné prior to stage 3.

Race leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “We didn’t actually talk about who would go over the line first. It was just whoever got there first. Tejay took over with 500 meters to go and I saw Dylan was just off the wheel. So I backed off and paced him back on. I just came at Tejay and Daniel and Joey and went past them, wanting to help them get to the line as quickly as possible.”

Winning team rider, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Since we knew Rohan was our strongest guy, we had him set the pace and then it was up to the rest of us to decide how long of pulls we could do at that pace. We aimed for the winning pace and told the guys if you can hold it, you deserve to be there. If you can’t hold it, then you are going to get dropped. We finished with the minimum amount of guys, but we had the best time.”

BMC Sport Director Yvon Ledanois: “It is important, not just for the Dauphiné, but also for the Tour de France. It is very important for the morale. I think the guys have confidence now for the Tour. I think it is a good, good moment to win this team time trial. When you are world champion in this event, you have to take it seriously every time,” he said. “You definitely get nostalgic. But you are also out there to prove a point. We are world champions and we went out to show them why.”

9th team IAM Cycling’s Stef Clement: “I am satisfied with the performance of the team. The course was super hard, it was almost always a false flat which means there was just no chance to recover on the wheels. From the start, we couldn’t have done more. For my part, I must admit that I was not on top form. I’m still recovering from my crash in the Giro. It looked to me like Mathias Frank was by far the strongest of us today. He was on my wheel so I really had to apply myself on my pulls, and it was important for me not to drag on too long because otherwise it would have penalized our time.”

Douglas Ryder, MTN-Qhubeka Team Principal: “The guys did start off pretty slowly, particularly in the first two kilometers but just kept building on their pace over the course. They went through the intermediate time check well down on the leaderboard but were able to move up nicely after a really strong ride over the 2nd half of the course. In the end there were around 6 teams just ahead of us who were within about 15 seconds of our time. Our guys realized they had the potential to do quite a bit more today and with the Tour de France having a similar distance TTT, on a similar type course, just showed us that we have a realistic chance of going top 10 at the Tour’s TTT and that would just be phenomenal. The guys hadn’t done a TTT in a long time and they looked good riding together today. It’s quite different doing a team time trial with 8 or 9 riders as opposed to 4 or 6 as we’ve already done this year. So the team is pretty pumped at the moment and everyone is really positive.”

Tinkoff-Saxo DS; Patxi Vila: “This deficit of 1:30 minutes now leaves the door open to other tactical choices and options, such as breakaways. We will stick to the overall plan to try positioning Kiserlovski for the GC and we still have a number of very difficult mountain stages ahead. He feels in very good shape and we will see whether he can be at the front on the climbs. We also have to keep in mind his form ahead of the Tour de France and see what we can achieve day by day.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Result:
1. BMC in 29:54
2. Astana at 0:04
3. Movistar at 0:05
4. Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:18
5. Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:23
6. Sky at 0:35
7. Cannondale-Garmin at 0:43
8. Lampre-Merida at 0:47
9. IAM Cycling 0:00:50
10. LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:54.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 8:00:37
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
3. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:04
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana
5. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana
6. Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana
7. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana
8. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
10. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar.

Stage 3:

Nacer Bouhanni managed to collect his second stage victory for Cofidis in a bunch sprint even though he was left with only one team-mate, at the line he got the better of Jonas Vangenechten (IAM Cycling) in second and third placed Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin). Rohan Dennis (BMC) kept the yellow-blue jersey going into stage 5 and the tough road to Pra Loup.

163 riders started Stage 4 in Anneyron-Porte de DrômArdèche for the longest stage of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné with 228 kilometers to be covered. After three kilometers, Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) managed to break away. They got a maximum advantage of 8:05 after 40 kilometers. BMC put Joey Rosskopf and Dylan Teuns on the front of the peloton in defense of Rohan Dennis’ lead. They held the escape at 6 minutes until 25km to go, at that point the lead was at 4:25 and MTN-Qhubeka and Etixx – Quick-Step decided to help the chase. 13 kilometers out; Keizer solo’d on the Côte de la Marquise. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) jumped across to Keizer at 8km, while Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo), white jersey wearer Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) tried to join them.

Keizer and then Wellens was caught with only 2.5 kilometers remaining. The Lotto Soudal rider to attack was Tony Gallopin, he went just before the flamme rouge. Nacer Bouhanni only had Julien Simon from his Cofidis team with him, but Simon closed the gap onto Gallopin to set his up perfectly for the sprint. Rohan Dennis finished ahead of BMC team mate; Tejay van Garderen and so the Australian kept the overall lead.

Race leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “Most of the day was standard, but the last 25 or 30 kilometers were a bit hectic and sometimes a bit scary. Leading into the final climb, there was a lot of fighting going on to get to the bottom in the front. Then, the last two kilometers, there were a lot of people touching wheels in front of me. In the last 500 meters, there were a lot of near crashes. So it was a little bit of a stressful moment. But we all got through it unscathed.”

2nd on the stage, Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling): “Today, I came very close to the victory. But it’s not only that. It’s not a catastrophe when you are beaten by Nacer Bouhanni. He is someone who has tons of experience, so I can’t say I am really disappointed. I knew that I had good legs, and I was going well, so I am still satisfied. I may have just been missing a little of the confidence I needed to win. But this was a very long stage, and it was not easy, so we had to manage our efforts. The peloton controlled the two guys who were off in the break, but the finish was very fast and chaotic. I was a little afraid of the two small climbs near the end. At that point I was pretty much on the limit, but so were a lot of the other guys, I think. I held on because I knew the sprint finish was still possible. But you feel the long day in your legs, and don’t have the same power by the line.”

4th on the stage, Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka): “The team did a really good job today keeping me upfront and leading me into the last climb of the day. All the guys were working really hard. The climb wasn’t so bad for me and it came down to the sprint. Reinie came back to the front after the climb to lead me out and he was great. It was a bit chaotic in the sprint and maybe I didn’t make the right decisions in those final seconds. So it wasn’t the best sprint from me, especially after the team did so well to pull the break back. The team is just getting so much stronger each day though which is a good sign with the tour coming up.”

Early break rider, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal): “Before the stage I already had the idea to join a breakaway. I noticed Cofidis was riding in front to control the number of escapees. Teammate Pim Ligthart already had made an attempt before I could get away after three kilometers and Martin Keizer joined me. It would have been better if the group had been bigger, then you can recuperate more along the way, while we now both had to do half of the work. Maybe we rode too fast in the first part of the stage, and we should have adjusted our pace to that of the peloton. When we still had an advantage of five minutes with 30 kilometers to go, I believed in it for a moment, but I had not much energy left. On the short climb in the finale I could just catch up with Tim Wellens who had attacked and help him through the descent until the next uphill part. I’m happy with the attempt; it was only the first time this year I got in an early breakaway. Tomorrow I’ll probably feel today’s efforts, but I’m satisfied with where I stand at the moment.”

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “The finale was perfect to try something. With riders like Tony, Tiesj and me we would try something. As a team we definitely showed ourselves. The climb 13 kilometers before the finish was ideal to make the jump. I got Craddock and Gautier with me. After Tosh had pulled for a while I bridged to Keizer and then went solo. I really believed in it, it took a while before the peloton got organized and if it would have rained I would have had a bigger chance. I felt good and love to animate the race, that will definitely be the case one of the next days again.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis in 5:30:53
2. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
3. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
7. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr
10. Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 13:31:31
2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
3. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:04
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana
5. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana
6. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana
7. Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana
8. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
10. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar.

Stage 4:

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Armitstead Wins Philadelphia International Cycling Classic and Takes the Lead in the UCI Women’s Road World Cup
Forty-two teams with riders from more than thirty countries arrived in Philadelphia this weekend to race in the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic presented by Parx Casino and Live! Hotel and Casino. For the first time in fourteen years, the UCI Women’s Road World Cup returned to the U.S., bringing world-class cycling to the City of Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia is known as a sports city, and we’re increasingly gaining the reputation as a cycling city for professionals and amateurs alike,” said Mayor Nutter. “This year’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic brought back the UCI Road Women’s World Cup event, and I thank UCI President Brian Cookson and his team for choosing to bring this prestigious event to our great city. Sunday was a great day for pro cycling and race fans in the City of Philadelphia.”

The women’s roster was impressive with 5 of the top 10 contenders for the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, creating a very exciting race. Evie Stevens of Boels-Dolmans, winner of the 2013 and 2014 Philly Cycling Classic, put up a good fight, finishing 6th overall and helping her teammate, Lizzie Armitstead, to the line first.

“We really wanted to work for Evie on the final climb, but it got a little messed up,” said Lizzie Armitstead. “I kind of had to think on instinct and go for the win, so it wasn’t exactly to plan, but at least one of us was on the podium.”

Armitstead winning is a game changer in the World Cup series, earning points in Philadelphia has moved her into the leader’s jersey and 1st place in the series. Elisa Longo Borghini of Wiggle-Honda and Alena Amialiusik of Velocio-SRAM took second and third places, boosting them to 2nd and 5th places respectively in the UCI Women’s Road World Cup standings.

2015 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Women’s Podium
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBR) Boels-Dolmans
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) Wiggle-Honda
3. Alena Amialiusik (BLR) Velocio-SRAM

Sprinter – Emilie Moberg (NOR) HiTec Products

QOM – Jasmin Glaesser (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

The men’s race was just as thrilling. Carlos Barbero Cuesta of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA won the race to the cheers of the crowds and the roar of the Fuji party at the top of the wall. Fuji Bicycles are a Philadelphia-based company and the bicycle sponsor of the Caja Rural-Suguros RGA team. Michael Woods of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies finished in 2nd and Toms Skujins of Hincapie Racing Team placed 3rd. Adam De Vos of H&R Block Pro Cycling took home the King of the Mountain (KOM) crown. Skujins Teammate and Philadelphia native, Robin Carpenter, collected the most points to win the sprinter’s award, finishing the race while offering high-fives to the fans during his last climb up the Manayunk Wall.

“The race yesterday was incredibly exciting all day,” said Carpenter. “It seemed like the race was over before it ever began. I was on the attack all day and was in the front group for nearly the whole race, representing my team in the breaks while putting pressure on other teams to chase. The sprint jersey wasn’t necessarily my objective but I think it’s a just reward for being at the front of the race all day.”

2015 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Men’s Podium
1. Carlos Barbero Cuesta (ESP) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
2. Michael Woods (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
3. Toms Skujins (LAT) Hincapie Racing Team

Sprinter – Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team

KOM – Adam De Vos (CAN) H&R Block Pro Cycling

Other additions to this year’s event included two jumbotrons, one in Roxborough and another on Lemon Hill, and livestream video that aired around the world on 9 sites, and has since been viewed in 117 countries. And the traveling entertainment along the course through Manayunk, Roxborough, Lemon Hill, and East Falls was also a nice feature for the fans. Crowds listened to music by Worldtown Soundsystem, witnessed magic by Peter Pitchford Magic By Manipulation, enjoyed juggling and stilt walking by Dick Rainer Entertainment, accordion playing by John Collins, and a mountain bike stunt show by 12x National Champion Mike Steidley in the Expo area.

About the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is a dynamic and selective 12.3-mile circuit looping through some of Philadelphia’s favorite neighborhoods. It features a women’s UCI Road World Cup event and a men’s UCI 1.2 level race, challenging some of the world’s top professional cycling teams to climb the Manayunk Wall, the most historical climb in U.S. cycling history. For more information, visit www.philadelphiainternationalcyclingclassic.com.

Elizabeth Armitstead:
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Tour de Suisse 2015
The Tour of Switzerland is a Nine day stage race and another good guide to form for the Tour de France. The race kicks off with an exciting weekend in Risch-Rotkreuz. The following stages see the tour entourage travel via Ticino and Grisons to the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden, Austria. The second half of the tour travels through the Swiss Plateau and French-speaking Switzerland, and concludes with the final weekend in Berne. The Suisse race is always hard, but does give the sprinters a chance here and there and finishes off with a near forty kilometer individual time trial.

Race web-site: www.tourdesuisse.ch

Tour de Suisse (Saturday, June 13th to Sunday, June 21st):
Saturday, June 13th: Risch-Rotkreuz – Risch-Rotkreuz, prologue 5.1 km (15h20 – 18h15)
Sunday, June 14th: Risch-Rotkreuz – Risch-Rotkreuz 161.1 km (13h50 – 17h39)
Monday, June 15th: Brunnen (Quinto) – Olivone 117 km (15h15 – 18h01)
Tuesday, June 16th: Flims – Schwarzenbach SG 193.2 km (13h10 – 18h01)
Wednesday, June 17th: Unterterzen – Sölden/Rettenbachgletscher 237.3 km (11h20 – 17h53)
Thursday, June 18th: Wil SG – Bienne 193.1 km (13h34 – 18h02)
Friday, June 19th: Bienne – Guin 164.6 km (14h09 – 18h04)
Saturday, June 20th: Berne – Berne 152.5 km (14h29 – 18h04)
Sunday, June 21st: Berne – Berne, 38.4 km individual time trial (14h10 – 17h50).

Tour de Suisse 2015 Promo video:

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IAM Cycling Suisse Team
The prospect of earning a trip to the Tour de France mobilizes the attention of many and the strengths of others throughout the month of June. Directors of the teams invited to La Grande Boucle have the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré as well as the Tour of Switzerland to help refine the list of nine riders who will eventually be called to take the start in Utrecht on Saturday, July 4th. Sports manager, Rik Verbrugghe will as a result be waiting until the evening of Sunday, June 21st before discussing with his directeurs sportifs and then deciding which riders will represent the Swiss team in July.

Jérôme Coppel has not been able to race since he had his bad crash on April 9th at the Tour of the Basque Country, where he broke his left hand and received 10 stitches to his left hip. He knows what problems will be facing him once he takes the start at the Tour of Switzerland. “This will be an important proving ground if I want to earn my place at the Tour de France, which was my season goal before I had my crash. On May 18th, I was able to resume training on the road, and for the moment, knock on wood, everything is going well. As soon as I got the green light, I went to Saisies to do a training camp. I worked hard. I am satisfied with my sensations, even if I know I am still missing the rhythm of racing. I will gain momentum and I think that I will have the advantage of freshness that will be beneficial in the month of July.”

The 28 year old winner of the 2012 Etoile de Bessèges, and second in the 2014 edition of the race, Coppel will be expected to help his leaders for the general classification. “Stefan Denifl and Sébastien Reichenbach will certainly be able to be among the top riders. My role will be to support them, and at the same time perhaps get a good result for myself in the prologue and the individual time trial. I’m not too bad at doing time trials, and I will really know my way around the queen stage which ends at the Sölden summit.”

Riders:
Matthias Brändle (Aut), Jérôme Coppel (Fr), Stefan Denifl (Aut), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Martin Elmiger (S), Jonathan Fumeaux (S), Sébastien Reichenbach (S), Larry Warbasse (USA).
General Manager: Michel Thétaz. Directeurs sportifs: Kjell Carlström & Mario Chiesa. Trainer: Marcello Albasini.

Jérôme Coppel:
61st Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol stage 1B

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Team LottoNL-Jumbo wants to score in Tour de Suisse
Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam are aiming for good results in the Tour de Suisse. After a pre-Tour de France training camp in the USA, the Team LottoNL-Jumbo front men want to take advantage of their fitness in Switzerland.

“We’re expecting a lot from Robert and Laurens,” Sports Director Jan Boven said. “Robert showed already in the past that this race suits him quite well. They both had good preparation. They only need some extra sharpness in the race.

“The first race after a training camp is always interesting because you never know exactly how your body is going to react after a period at altitude. We trained specifically for the Tour de France, but in a way that they should be helpful already for Switzerland.”

Fresh
Robert Gesink isn’t worried about how his body will react. “It’s not the first time that I trained at altitude and I know what I have to do,” he added. “Normally, I react quite well after such a training camp.”

Gesink’s season didn’t go exactly how he wanted after many setbacks, but he found his way to the top again in the Tour de Romandie and the Tour of California.

“The start of the season was strange,” he said. “After that, I was on a high level, immediately. I’m glad with that. I was forced to skip some big goals this spring, but maybe that will turn out to be beneficial in the end. I’m fresh at the moment, especially mentally. I took the next step in America and I’m going to Switzerland with ambitions for a good general classification. I’m aiming for a top 10 result and anything higher is a bonus.”

Test
The general classification is less important for Laurens ten Dam. “I want to ride a couple of good mountain stages,” he said. “Those stages will be an important confirmation that I had a good training camp in America. I returned from it with a good feeling. Tour de Suisse is an important test.”

Tour de Suisse is also a test for Tom Van Asbroeck and Sep Vanmarcke. “It’s an important stage race,” Boven added. “It’s a WorldTour race where we have to pick up some points. For Tom it’s a next step in his development because the Tour de Suisse is a tough race. Sep has been on altitude for the first time. It’s interesting to see how he reacts on that.”

Team line-up:
Robert Gesink, Laurens ten Dam, Tom Van Asbroeck, Sep Vanmarcke, Tom Leezer, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Mike Teunissen and Paul Martens.
Sports directors: Jan Boven and Nico Verhoeven.

Bert-Jan Lindeman fresh from the Giro:
Giro d'Italia 2015 ST18

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Team Katusha for Tour de Suisse
Team Katusha continues its participation in the 2015 UCI WorldTour with the Tour de Suisse, which will be held from June 13th to 21st. Traditionally for many riders the Tour de Suisse is the last step in their preparation to the Tour de France, which start in Utrecht on July 4th.

The team’s line-up: Jacopo Guarnieri, Marco Haller, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alexander Kristoff, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Sergey Lagutin, Daniel Moreno and Simon Špilak.
Team directors: Torsten Schmidt and Xavier Florencio.

Alexander Kristoff:
Cycling: 39th 3 Days De Panne 2015 / Stage 2

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Sagan leads Tinkoff-Saxo in search for stage wins at Tour de Suisse
Tinkoff-Saxo takes on Tour de Suisse with a strong line-up centered around captain Peter Sagan, who’s back after a successful stint in California to be the squad’s go to guy in the battle for stage wins. Rafal Majka, en route to Tour de France, will get his chance in the GC, while focusing on building shape ahead of July.

For Tour de Suisse, Tinkoff-Saxo lines up Peter Sagan, Rafal Majka, Matti Breschel, Daniele Bennati, Michael Mørkøv, Nikolay Trusov, Pavel Brutt and Michael Valgren.

“It’s a matter of keeping momentum”, says Tinkoff-Saxo sports director Sean Yates, who adds that “Peter Sagan will get the backing of the team in Tour de Suisse”.

“We would like to win a stage or more if possible. We’re looking to keep the momentum we had in May, while focusing on the build-up towards the Tour. With the form Peter Sagan has been showing, he’ll naturally have the support from the team to go for stage wins. It’s a race that suits him well with several lumpy stage finishes and we know that Peter is very good at sprinting uphill. Looking at the profile of the prologue, it suits Peter as well, so he could win there and take the yellow jersey, where we would then defend it to a certain extent”, comments Sean Yates.

Peter Sagan reports for duty in-shape and will be back at racing after winning the Amgen Tour of California in May.

“I’m very happy and excited to take part in the Tour de Suisse. I’m back racing in Europe and I feel in very good shape. After a very positive Tour of California, I look forward to having more fun with the guys in Switzerland”, says Peter Sagan.

Stage 5 to Sölden stands out as the only proper mountain stage of this year’s edition, but it will be a serious challenge for those with GC ambitions, as the finish line is situated atop a HC-climb at 2669m above sea level. This is where Rafal Majka will come into play, according to Sean Yates.

“From what we know, Rafal is going well, which could be promising for stage 5, which is bloody hard and will be a daunting challenge for everyone. But the most important factor is that he builds shape ahead of the Tour, where he will be a very valuable support to Alberto in the high mountains. Rafal wants to try hard and he will try hard to build form, so there’s no pressure on him, but if he has the day, then he can be up there or thereabout. And then we’ll see how he’s positioned in the GC before the final decisive TT”, explains Sean Yates.

There could be several opportunities for Peter Sagan to snatch stage wins along the 1321km nine-stage race. To support the team captain, Tinkoff-Saxo aligns a group of fast riders.

“With a rider like Peter on your team you got to support him for the stage wins. We have a combination of guys, who can support him on the road throughout the stages and guys, who have the top speed to lead him into a good position before the final sprint, such as Daniele Bennati, Matti Breschel and Michael Mørkøv. They will of course maximize Peters chances, which is important as we want him to build confidence for the Tour”, finishes Sean Yates.

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Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Lampre-Merida in Suisse
Team LAMPRE-MERIDA will participate in Switzerland from the 13th to the 21st of June it will race in the Tour de Suisse. The sport director Pedrazzini and Vicino will count on 8 riders: Niccolò Bonifazio, Davide Cimolai, Valerio Conti, Mario Costa, Kristijan Durasek, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Luka Pibernik and Xu Gang. The ambitions of the team will be committed to the group of young riders (Bonifazio, Cimolai, Conti and Pibernik) who gave many satisfactions in the first part of the season.

Durasek will come back to the races after the victory in the Tour of Turkey, Niemiec will try to exploit his condition after the Giro d’Italia and Mario Costa will try to be once again a key element as helper of the captains. The team will be completed by the Chinese athlete Xu Gang, who wants to realize a good performance after the Giro d’Italia in which he was giving his important contribution to the team until his withdrawal.

Niccolò Bonifazio:
Coppa Agostoni 2014

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Tour de Suisse with Mario Aerts
Tomorrow eight Lotto Soudal riders stand at the start of the nine-day race Tour de Suisse, a WorldTour race taking place from Saturday 13th June until Sunday 21st June.

The course is very selective. There are two time trial tests, starting with a prologue of 5.1 kilometres. The last stage is an individual time trial of 38.4 kilometres. The fifth stage is the longest, almost 240 kilometres. On the course that day lie two hors catégorie climbs, the finish line is drawn on the Rettenbachferner. That will be an important day for the GC riders. Mario Aerts talks about the ambitions of Lotto Soudal.

Mario Aerts, sports director Lotto Soudal: “Maxime Monfort and Jurgen Van den Broeck are our GC riders, we’re aiming for a top ten place. In the prologue the time gaps will be small, that will be a lot different in the time trial on the last day. Maxime and Jurgen can ride a good time trial, they proved that in the Giro. The finish on the Rettenbachferner on day five will change a lot to the classification, it’s a climb with an average gradient of ten per cent. Hopefully Maxime and Jurgen still have their Giro shape, so they can set a good result in Switzerland.”

“Jürgen Roelandts , who has just become a father, definitely has a chance to win a stage. The fourth, sixth and seventh stage definitely suit him. Jürgen is our man for the sprints, with Jasper De Buyst and Kenny Dehaes in support. We won’t get any bunch sprints, the course is too selective for that.”

“The course offers opportunities to escapees. Thomas De Gendt loves that. Also Sander Armée might join a breakaway. He won a race in Belgium last week, his first pro victory, that was after a solo ride of 20 kilometres. Sander proved his condition is good. Then we have Vegard Breen. The Tour of Norway was his first race after an elbow injury. He did well there. He will support the team’s leaders, but could attack as well. We have a strong team, hopefully we get results.”

Selection Lotto Soudal:
Sander Armée, Vegard Breen, Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Kenny Dehaes, Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van den Broeck.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Frederik Willems.

Jurgen Van den Broeck:
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Etixx – Quick-Step to Tour de Suisse
Etixx – Quick-Step has announced the selection that will participate in Tour de Suisse, a nine-stage, 1320.8km race from June 13th until the 21st of June. In the 2014 edition Tony Martin won both time trials, and wore the leader’s jersey until the 9th and final stage before finishing 4th overall. Martin will not participate. He is racing the Critérium du Dauphiné, which ends on the 13th of June.

The 2015 edition of Tour de Suisse starts with a 5.4km prologue in Risch-Rotkreuz instead of a slightly longer individual time trial that featured in the 2014 edition. Also, instead of a road race to conclude Tour de Suisse, a 38.4km ITT in Bern is now on the final day. There are no flat stages of the race, only medium mountain stages. These stages are 2, 4, 6, 7, and the 8th stage on the 20th of june. Stage 2 is considered medium mountain, but features two Category 2, and two Category 1 climbs along the parcours. The final Category 1 climb is at the 148.4km mark, leaving slightly less than 13 miles of descending into the finish. Stage 4, 193.2km in total distance, includes three Category 3 ascents and a lone Category 2 climb at the 68.7km point. There is still some undulating sections all the way into the finale of the stage. The stages that give the greatest possibility for a sprint are 193.1km Stage 6, and the 164.6km 7th stage. Stage 6 is still up-and-down, but the lone Category 3 climb is at kilometer 98.4 of the stage. The final kilometers of the race are flat enough to leave the possibility of a group arrival. Stage 7 features four Category 3 climbs, and while the finale is absent of any categorized climbs, there is still a slight uphill kick at the finish. The 8th stage features a Category 3 summit at kilometer 50 of a 152.5km parcours, and is up-and-down from start to finish.

The key high mountain stages are 117.3km Stage 3, from Quinto to Olivone, and 237.3km Stage 5, from Unterterzen/Flumserberg to Sölden/Rettenbachgietscher. The 3rd stage starts off difficult. with the summit of HC Gotthard Pass taking place at the 18.8km point. There is then plenty of descending and flat roads until the road goes up again for a Category 2 climb at the 102.9km mark. There is another Category 3 climb at the 111.1km point of the race, but there is still ascending to be done until the finish line. Stage 5 may be the most decisive for the GC. There is HC Bielerhöhe, which summits at kilometer 109.6, and a very difficult HC summit finale.

Riders:
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Michal Golas (POL), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Mark Cavendish:
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Giant-Alpecin team for Suisse
The Tour de Suisse starts on Saturday with a 5.1km prologue, followed by seven hilly and mountain stages and a concluding 38.4km time trial in Bern on Sunday.

Following a fifth overall and two second places, in the prologue and stage 7, in last year’s Tour de Suisse, Tom Dumoulin (NED) will be lining up once again this year. Alongside Dumoulin, Warren Barguil (FRA) will be leading the team to aim for a good GC result. With a third place on last year’s stage 5, John Degenkolb (GER) will target stage success in the bunch sprints.

Climbers Georg Preidler (AUT), who had a strong classics campaign, and Carter Jones (USA), who performed well in the queen stage of the Amgen Tour of California, will support Barguil in the mountain stages. Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Koen de Kort (NED) and Nikias Arndt (GER) will play important support roles in the lead-out for Degenkolb.

Coach Rudi Kemna (NED) looks ahead to the Swiss stage race, saying: “Barguil, Degenkolb, Dumoulin and de Kort spent three weeks at the team’s altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada (ESP), so they are very well prepared for the upcoming period of racing. We are going to Switzerland with two aims: one is the general classification for Barguil and the other is the sprints for Degenkolb.

“We have strong support for Barguil on the climbs, as well as on the flats in the lead-out for Degenkolb. Dumoulin will enjoy the space to aim for stage success in a possible break, the prologue and the long closing time trial.”

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Carter Jones (USA), Koen de Kort (NED), Georg Preidler (AUT).
Coach: Rudi Kemna (NED).

John Degenkolb:
Paris-Roubaix 2015

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Tour de Suisse
The BMC Racing Team’s roster for the Tour de Suisse includes double Giro d’Italia stage winner Philippe Gilbert and Baloise Tour of Belgium champion Greg Van Avermaet. The eight-day race begins with a 5.1 kilometer prologue Saturday and concludes June 21 with a 38.4 km individual time trial.

Riders:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Manuel Senni (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA).
President/General Manager: Jim Ochowicz (USA)
Sponsor: Andy Rihs (SUI).

Darwin Atapuma:
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Wanty-Groupe Gobert: Ronde van Switzerland
Wanty-Groupe Gobert will line up in the Tour de Suisse on Saturday. It’s the ninth WorldTour wildcard the team received this year. Enrico Gasparotto is ambitious for the race in Switzerland, where the Italian lives. “I felt really good last week in Luxembourg and was one of the strongest in the race. However sometimes the strongest riders don’t win. I am happy with the training I did at home and feel well-prepared for the Tour de Suisse. My goal is to go for a stage win in Tour de Suisse.”

The team led by Hilaire Van Der Schueren and Sébastien Demarbaix consists of Gasparotto and Baugnies, plus Francis De Greef (BEL), Simone Antonini (ITA), Marco Minnaard (NED), Frederik Backaert (BEL), Marco Marcato (ITA) and Mirko Selvaggi (ITA).

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Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert will ride the Tour de Suisse in a specially designed team kit.

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La Course by Le Tour de France 2015: 20 Teams Rise to the Challenge of the Champs-Élysées
In 2015 the most beautiful avenue in the world will once again set the stage for a super showdown featuring the elite of women’s cycling. The organizers picked 20 teams this year to participate in the second edition of La Course by Le Tour de France. 120 riders will set off from Place de la Concorde on July 26 on a quest to claim the throne of Marianne Vos, who triumphed on the cobblestones of the Champs-Élysées last year.

20 teams selected:
Germany: VELOCIO-SRAM
Australia: ORICA – AIS
Belgium: LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, LENSWORLD.eu – ZANNATA, TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-PRO-DUO
Spain: BIZKAIA – DURANGO
United States: OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES, UNITED HEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING TEAM
France: POITOU CHARENTES FUTUROSCOPE 86
United Kingdom: WIGGLE HONDA, MATRIX FITNESS
Italy: ALE CIPOLLINI, INPA SOTTOLI GIUSFREDI
Norway: HITEC PRODUCTS
Netherlands: RABO LIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM, TEAM LIV-PLANTUR
Slovenia: BTC CITY LJUBLJANA
Switzerland: BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM.
1 national team: FRANCE.

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Government of Canada supports Tour de Beauce and Global Relay Canadian Road Championships
Grand Prix cycliste de Beauce promotesTour de Beauce and Global Relay Canadian Road Championships on markets outside Quebec, notably in the home countries and provinces of participating racers and teams.

Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture), announces that Grand Prix cycliste de Beauce was granted funding to promote the Tour de Beauce and Global Relay Canadian Road Championships on markets outside Quebec.

This support was awarded in the form of a $26,000 non-repayable contribution through CED’s Quebec Economic Development Program.

Quick facts:
· The financial assistance enabled Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce to carry out a commercialization strategy for the 2015 edition of the Tour de Beauce and Global Relay Canadian Road Championships.

· These two sporting events have a major lever effect on the regional economy due to the many out-of-province participants and large number of avid fans they attract.

· This strategy includes the production and dissemination of a television plan via traditional and new media, hosting foreign journalists, developing promotional tools and taking out advertising space.

Quote:
“By renewing its support for the promotion of the Tour de Beauce and Global Relay Canadian Road Championships on markets outside Quebec, our government is contributing to the economic development of Beauce, the growth of the region’s tourism industry and job creation.” Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture).

Related links:
Tour de BeauceWebsite: www.tourdebeauce.com
Global Relay Canadian Road Championships Website: https://www.championnatscanadiensroute.com/

Stay connected:
Follow CED on Twitter: @CanEconDev.

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Tinkoff-Saxo unveils eye-catching Tour de France kit
Tinkoff-Saxo’s nine riders will tackle the season’s landmark race wearing a kit by Sportful that blends the team’s colors with those of its popular camouflage training kit.

With less than a month left until the start of the world’s most famous and prestigious cycling race, Tinkoff-Saxo and its partner Sportful are pleased to present a kit that will certainly stand out as the peloton rides through France in the month July.

Given the overwhelming success of the innovative camo training kit that Tinkoff Saxo presented last December and its widespread use by amateur cyclists around the world, it seemed only natural that some of its elements would be incorporated in the sleek new kit that Tinkoff-Saxo riders will don at the Tour de France.

While the kit our nine-strong squad, spearheaded by our leader Alberto Contador, will wear in France retains the traditional yellow and blue colors of the team, grey, in the form of camo patterns, and black take a more prominent place on the shirt, bib shorts and socks. As Contador stated, “I really like the Tour de France kit. It’s a nice combination of this season’s racing kit and the one we started using in our training camp in Gran Canaria last December. I like its colors and, hopefully, so will our fans.”

Tinkoff-Saxo’s training and racing kits are a result of the very strong and close partnership between Sportful and the team, and the continuous feedback provided by its riders. Whether it is suggestions for new products, adjustments to little things like zips, seam placement or seatpad preference, every small detail is taken into account for the design, not just of team clothing but the whole Sportful collection.

A limited release of the Tour de France kit will go on sale starting June 15th.

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Velon’s on-bike footage
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