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TOURS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 7 : TERPSTRA Niki (NED) of Quick - Step Floors, COSNEFROY Benoit (FRA) of AG2R La Mondiale, KRAGH ANDERSEN Soren (DEN) of Team Sunweb during the 112th edition of the Paris - Tours Elite cycling race with start in Chartres and finish in Tours on October 07, 2018 in Tours, France, 7/10/2018 ( Photo POOL by Frederic Mons / Photonews

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The new gravel sections of Paris-Tours were not a success with everyone, but they did suit winner Søren Kragh Andersen. Race reports and video from Tours, GP Beghelli, Giro dell’Emilia and cyclo-cross in Meulebeke and Ronse. Sad news of the passing of Jimmy Duquennoy – Top Story. Plus: Floyd Landis team, CCC on Giant, Criterium de Saitama, new sponsor for Nippo, more contract news and new rainbow jerseys for Valverde and Van Aert. Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY: Jimmy Duquennoy Dies of a Heart Attack
The sad news of the death of Jimmy Duquennoy was announced by his WB Aqua Protect-Veranclassic team on Saturday morning. The statement read:

“On Saturday morning we received the terrible and unbearable news of the death of our rider Jimmy Duquennoy. Jimmy died unexpectedly at his home on Friday evening. He was 23. He was the most jovial, the most kind, the most open young man. He had started out in our development team, Color-Code-Aquality Protect before fulfilling his dream by becoming a professional rider at Wallonie Bruxelles in 2016.”

Everyone at PEZ send their condolences to Duquennoy’s family and friends, both on and off the bike.

Jimmy Duquennoy:

Last week it was announced that Tanguy Turgis has had to end his career due to a cardiac abnormality. Aged 20, Tanguy was diagnosed by the Department of Sports Medicine at the Hospital Center of Rennes to have a cardiac malformation and has been advised that he should not compete in high level sport. The young Frenchman had an attack during Famenne Ardenne Classic, on September 27th in the south of Belgium. He was taken to the hospital of Marche-en-Famenne then transferred to the University Hospital of Rennes, were he spent several days to accurately determined the medical diagnosis, which unfortunately ends the dreams that he has had since beginning cycling from the age of 5.

“The doctors have unfortunately confirmed what I feared since the stress test carried out Monday,” said Tanguy Turgis, the younger brother of Jimmy and Anthony, also professional cyclists. “I suffer from an anomaly that may worsen over time and it is forbidden to take any risk. Although I can still ride at a moderate pace and share some outings with my loved ones, I cannot do high-level sport anymore and it’s like everything is falling apart. This news will change my life. It’s hard to accept because I like the bike above all else and I feel like I’m giving up on my brothers… I could not wait to see Jimmy by my side next season, under the same shirt. It will take me some time to accept this decision but I hope to stay in the world of cycling. I love it too much and I would like to accompany my brothers, help them as much as I can and give them back what they brought me all these years… Nevertheless, the cardiologist explained to me that it could have been worse and that’s what to remember. I am lucky to be accompanied by a staff that supports me and wants to help me, whatever I decide. I will now reflect on my post-career. I often thought about what I could do after stopping the bike but I did not think I had to do it so soon.”

Vital Concept Cycling Club, general manager Jérôme Pineau summed up the feelings of the team: “Yes, this news puts an end to the dreams of a kid and it is of infinite sadness. But fortunately, we have benefited from the expertise of professionals who have allowed us to avoid experiencing a drama as sport sometimes knows. Despite the shock and disappointment felt at the announcement of the diagnosis, we can consider ourselves lucky. For several days, I think a lot about the families of sportsmen and cyclists who left us by practicing their passion. Fabrice Salanson, the Belgian Daan Myngheer two years ago or his compatriot Michael Goolaerts during the last Paris-Roubaix… We had the chance to avoid this and our goal today is to accompany Tanguy as best we can and as long as he wishes.”

“This blow must encourage us to multiply the precautions to be taken to detect this type of pathology,” recognizes Jerome Pineau. “We will try to educate our peers, the other team leaders and the riders themselves. We will enhance the screening process for our athletes and continue to grow the club.”

Michael Goolaerts died after a cardiac arrest during the 2018 Paris-Roubaix, as did Daan Myngheer at the 2016 Criterium International. All riders are screened for any medical problems, usually during the winter.

Tanguy Turgis:

Paris-Tours 2019
The new format of Paris–Tours, which underwent a radical change with the introduction of unpaved vineyard tracks, set the stage for a thrilling showdown in the final 60 kilometers as the new difficulties blew the peloton apart. AG2R-La Mondiale and Quick-Step Floors, particularly Niki Terpstra, lit the fireworks, but Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) was the smartest rider in a three-man group that went clear on Côte de la Rochère, giving his companions the slip 11km before the line. After losing out to Matteo Trentin on Avenue de Grammont last year, the 24-year-old Dane made amends with a solo ride that earned him the greatest win of his career. Niki Terpstra and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale fought it out for second and third place 25 seconds later, with the Dutchman getting the better of the Frenchman. Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) brought in the chasers at 1:14.

Race winner, Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb): “I really wanted this win, but I didn’t believe it was possible. I was really focused on today so I’m super happy with the outcome. The parcours were awesome, I loved it. It’s my first classic-style win and I couldn’t be happier. I didn’t stop to enjoy it until 100 meters to go, the last 10 kilometers were super hard but it was completely worth it. The kind of guys I’ve beat here is really awesome and I’m surprised I was able to do it. It really is the best of the best here so this win is crazy.”

2nd, Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors): “I really wanted to win this race and finish off in style with the team that has shaped me as a rider over the last eight years. I worked well together with Kragh Andersen, but Cosnefroy made it confusing as he refused to take part in the work. When Andersen attacked I hesitated for a second and he quickly built a gap, showing how strong he was by going all the way. At the end of the day, I am happy to be again on in the top 3 of this tough and demanding race, just like last year. I am still uplifted though and think this season has been a fantastic one, the World TTT Title in Innsbruck serving as a beautiful ending of this cycling chapter I have been writing for Quick-Step Floors since 2011. I will miss the amazing atmosphere, my teammates and all the staff I have worked with during these fantastic years. There’s a special and unique feeling in the team, the will to win is like nowhere else and I have enjoyed an environment where I’ve been able to stay relaxed and focus on doing what I love. It’s a team I will never forget.”

3rd, Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I’m happy because it’s always a good thing to be on the podium at a race like Paris-Tours. I’m a little disappointed for the team because we had ambitions for Oliver Naesen, who got stuck behind. In the end, I was pretty much spent, and I really could not have done better. The first two were stronger than me, and I could not do anything more. I really have no regrets.”

4th, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “There is nothing to say. The best were ahead of me, and I am very happy for Benoit Cosnefroy who made it on the podium. I was hoping to come back to compete in the sprint but I was empty. I found the gravel paths a little over-done. There were a lot of sharp pebbles cutting the tires, which made the race very random. Let’s say it was an experience. My season is over now and I finish with a positive feeling. I have often been in the front. I am disappointed with my spring classics campaign even though I mostly had bad luck. I hope to do better next year.”

Paris-Tours Result:
1. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb in 4:37:55
2. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors at 0:25
3. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:14
5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
8. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
9. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 1:24
10. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo.


Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli 2018
Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema attacked with just over two kilometers to go in the GP Bruno Beghelli on Sunday. This was the winning move as he held off the rest of the chasing group, led in by Carlos Barbero (Movistar) and Manuel Belletti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) 6 seconds later.

Trek-Segafredo’s pre-race plan for the day featured Mads Pedersen as the leader for the 196-kilometer race, but this changed in the final few laps of a tough circuit. Mollema’s attack on the penultimate time up the circuit’s featured climb created the first big selection, and the start of a tactical and aggressive finale. As the eight leaders began the climb for the final time, the bunch was about to make contact. Trek-Segafredo did not want to take this group to the line with the faster legs of Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) more likely to take the win.

Mollema jumped and opened a gap. Colbrelli tried to close, but the Dutch climber powered away, leaving the rest to fight out the minor places. In the last 200 meters Mollema looked back and knew he had it. He pointed to the sponsors on the front of the jersey and raised his arms in victory as he crossed the line.

Race winner, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “It was super hard, but I was always in the front together with Toms Skujins and Michael Gogl in the final, and thanks to them I could attack in the last few kilometers. It was a really nice win, and I am super happy to win here especially since it’s close to Segafredo, our Italian sponsor. Mads was the protected leader before the race, but he was not feeling so good in the end, so he told us in the radio to go for it ourselves. Toms and Michael were both really strong, and we had three guys in the first 12 riders in the last kilometers. We played the game a little bit and attacked because we did not want to wait for a sprint with guys like Trentin. So with two and a half kilometers to go I saw a good moment, and I just went full gas and got a good gap, and it’s difficult to catch me back once I have 100 meters.”

29th, Toms Skujiņš (Trek-Segafredo): “The plan for today was to see how Mads goes because we knew it could end in a sprint but also that it would be an active race in the finale. With two laps to go on the climb, Bauke and me with six others got a gap. We worked well together, and we had 30 seconds at one point, but before the climb, everyone wanted to save energy so [the bunch] came really close. On the final time up the climb, Trentin attacked, and I had to close with Kruijswijk and Bauke on my wheel, and in the last 300 meters, I countered. I went into the downhill alone with Bauke and Kruijswijk chasing and little gaps everywhere. After the downhill Kruijswijk caught me, and we slowed a little it, and we were similar to what we were before – 8 or 10 guys – but the mix had changed. It was still Trentin, Kruijswijk, Bauke, and me, but also Michael (Gogl) was there, and (Sonny) Colbrelli also bridged. We had a gap again, and in the final 5kms everyone kept attacking. With 2.2kms or so Bauke slipped off the front, and everyone was really tired, no one wanted to chase. Colbrelli tried to bridge, but he didn’t have the legs. We ended up getting caught by the remainder of the bunch. Through the last two turns me and Michael went to the first few wheels, and we could see in the distance Bauke beginning to celebrate, and that was really nice. I have two more races this week with Milano-Torino and Lombardy next Saturday. It’s nice to finish the season with a win like this and who knows what is in it the rest of the week.”

Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli Result:
1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 4:25:04
2. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar at 0:06
3. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
5. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Leonardo Basso (Ita) Sky
8. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Koen Bouwman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
10. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.


Giro dell’Emilia 2018
Victory on Home Soil for Alessandro De Marchi as BMC Racing Team Secures First and Third at Giro dell’Emilia. Alessandro De Marchi took an emphatic win on home soil at Giro dell’Emilia after a gutsy effort saw him go on the attack early and ride solo to an impressive victory while behind, Dylan Teuns battled on to round out the podium positions in San Luca.

Alberto Bettiol flew the flag for BMC Racing Team in the early breakaway which reached the bottom of the 19.6-kilometer long Passo Brasimone, after over 50km of racing, ten minutes ahead of the peloton.

Despite the main bunch starting to cut into their advantage, Bettiol and his fellow leaders continued to work well together going into the second half of the 207.4-kilometer course, and they were still sitting four minutes ahead as they approached the 40-kilometer to go mark.

However, the race continued to intensify behind them and soon, as they hit the steep slopes of the 2.1-kilometer long climb up to the finish line for the first time, the gap was just 1:30.

The gradient, which averaged 9.4 percent, took its toll on the breakaway and at the start of the first of four laps of the 9.3-kilometer long finishing circuit, Bettiol was riding in the second group that was eventually swept up by the strung-out peloton around one minute behind the four remaining leaders.

With just 20 seconds separating the reduced main bunch from the front of the race, De Marchi seized the opportunity to jump across to the leading group, making the junction on the second lap with 26 kilometers to go.

More riders were able to bridge the gap before new attacks saw De Marchi leading the race inside the final 20 kilometers as splits began to appear between the leading riders on the third ascent of the punishing climb.

A show of strength from De Marchi saw him extend his advantage out to 30 seconds going onto the penultimate lap and, with the wet weather conditions playing to his advantage by making the tough finishing circuit even tougher, he heard the bell ring around 40 seconds ahead of the first chaser and 45 seconds ahead of the whittled-down peloton.

After safely negotiating the tricky descent, De Marchi continued to dig deep and his determination was evident with the Italian rider gritting his teeth as the grueling ascent began for the final time.

De Marchi was able to focus on his own race, remaining unfazed by the attacks that began behind him going under the flamme rouge and his impressive effort was rewarded as he powered across the line, punching the air with delight as he sealed the day’s victory.

Teuns also looked strong at the first in a series of Italian one-day races for BMC Racing Team, sticking with the main bunch on the final lap and even closing down the dangerous moves behind De Marchi before taking third on the line to join his teammate on the podium.

Race winner, Alessandro De Marchi (BMC):
Congratulations, Alessandro! What does today’s victory mean to you?

“Today was a great day for me and I think this is maybe the best win of my career so far because stage races are totally different from a single-day race and I have never raced to win a single-day race. Over the last month, I have had a small dream about trying to go solo for the win here, not from the breakaway but by jumping clear off the front of the bunch early in the final. I took the risk today and in the end, it paid off.”

What was it like when you were riding solo out at the front of the race?
“It’s a crazy feeling because only in that moment, when you are alone in front, does everything count. Once you have made the gap, and found the right move, it’s just you out there so it’s all about staying focused, maintaining a good pace and focusing every inch of the road. Everything counts and it’s special because you can wait a long time, maybe all day, and then quickly you’re laying it all out on the road.”

After today’s win, what’s your goal for the upcoming Italian one-day races?
“I think after today, I have to use the final races of the season to say thank you to Dylan especially because today, he was really helpful and he did an amazing job for me. I know he wants to race for the win and I would like to help him to do that. I have shown that I am in good shape and you never know what can happen but now is the time to do something for him and also maybe for Damiano as he sacrificed everything for me today. I want try to give back what they gave me today over the next few races.”

3rd, Dylan Teuns (BMC): “I knew from the UCI World Championships, and from the Vuelta before that, that I was coming into this race with some good form. It was a hard recovery after the Road Race Championships so I came here with some confidence but not entirely sure what I would be able to do. However, I felt good all day and that definitely gave me a lot of motivation to do a good job in the final. We did everything as planned today with De Marchi going in an early move and that was a perfect situation for me but in the end, I didn’t need to go 100 percent for the win instead, I had to protect his position. It was a great win for him and I was happy to support him and cover some dangerous moves behind. It was good to also finish on the podium and get my own result. I think I found the legs that I was looking for in the Spring today.”

Giro dell’Emilia Result:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC in 5:09:35
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:08
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:09
4. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:13
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Primož Roglič (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:15
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:18
10. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:21.

Giro dell’Emilia’18:

Brico Cross – Meulebeke 2018
On the very technical course in Meulebeke, European Cyclocross Champion Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) celebrated his return to cyclo-cross on Saturday with a win in Belgium, the second round of the Brico Cross series. The course in Meulebeke has every cross obstacle imaginable with flyovers, jumps, off-camber zig-zags, sand pit and low barriers.

Van der Poel was not affected by his break from racing after the mountain bike world championships and was in his usual winning way. The Dutchman soon had the winning group of Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon), Quinten Hermans (Telenet Fidea) and Eli Iserbyt (Marlux-Bingoal) off the front of the chase peloton.

After three laps; Van der Poel had a gap of around 10 seconds on the chasing three. With two lap remaining Van der Poel rode the sand pit instead of running and opened his lead up to 13 seconds, ending any hope for the others. Van Aert dropped the others to finish second as Hermans finished third while Iserbyt faded to finish fourth.

Brico Cross – Meulebeke Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:01:23
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 0:08
3. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:15
4. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:38
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 0:54
6. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 0:58
7. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:00
8. Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 1:09
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 1:17
10. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:31.


Brico Cross – GP Mario De Clercq Ronse Hotondcross 2018
Mathieu van der Poel Corendon-Circus), after his victory on Saturday in Meulebeke, won the Hotondcross in Ronse on Sunday. World champion Wout van Aert (Cibel-Cebon) was second (again) a small distance ahead of Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) in third.

Sieben Wouters (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) was the fastest starter, but by halfway through the first lap he had to change his bike and an eager Wout van Aert took over the lead. Van Aert attacked from the front and was followed by Michael Vanthourenhout. Behind; all eyes were on European champion Mathieu van der Poel, who closed the gap. Eli Iserbyt, Gianni Vermeersch, Michael Vanthourenhout and Lars van der Haar all tried to escape, but were all easily countered by the ‘Big Two’.

Midway through the race there were seven leaders: Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Lars van der Haar, Gianni Vermeersch, Joris Nieuwenhuis and Tom Meeusen. Van Aert made another attack, only Vanthourenhout could join him, until Van der Poel made it across. With fifteen minutes to go, Van der Poel countered with a strong jump. Vanthourenhout held on the longest, but the European champion was just too fast. Van der Poel took his second victory in as many days. World champion, Van Aert was too good for Vanthourenhout for third place.

Brico Cross – GP Mario De Clercq Ronse Hotondcross Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:01:06
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 0:22
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:23
4. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 0:47
5. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Lions at 0:47
6. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:53
7. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 1:00
8. Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Lions) at 1:07
9. Michael Boros (CZ) Creafin-Tuv Sud at 1:21
10. Marcel Meisen (Bel) Beobank-Corendon at 1:43.

Ronse Hotondcross 2018:

Team Landis 2019
Floyd Landis Announces New Pro Cycling Team – Floyd’s Of Leadville Pro Cycling Team will debut in 2019

Former Tour De France champion Floyd Landis has confirmed the start of a new professional cycling team, Floyd’s Of Leadville (FOLPCT). Although the official roster for the team has yet to be finalized, FOLPCT is predicted to have a number of athletes available in the aftermath of longtime US pro teams like Jelly Belly-Maxxis and UnitedHealthcare losing their primary sponsorships for 2019.

Landis’ company Floyd’s of Leadville will serve as title sponsor for the new team, which will be based out of Canada. Landis launched Floyd’s Of Leadville in 2016 to sell hemp and CBD products designed to alleviate soreness in athletes, inspired by the former racer’s own long journey competing and living with chronic pain.

Creating this new pro team is an act of good faith on his part, and an effort to regain trust after the scandals of the Lance Armstrong years. “I understand I hurt the cycling community,” Landis said. “Now I’d like to take all proceeds I made from the settlement and put it back where it belongs, on the development of aspiring pro cyclists.”

The Floyd’s of Leadville team roster is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Giant and Liv Announce New Partnership with CCC Team
Giant and Liv announced that they will transition away from Team Sunweb at the end of 2018 and begin a new partnership with CCC Team at the start of 2019. The sponsorship includes a pro men’s WorldTour squad (CCC Team), an Under-23 men’s team (CCC Development Team), and an elite women’s team (CCC-Liv Team).

Giant and Liv have been linked with SMS Cycling B.V, the owner of Team Sunweb, for the past five seasons. From racing to product development, the partnership delivered major wins and memorable moments in both men’s and women’s road racing.

Highlights of the partnership include world championships, grand tour stage wins and a Giro d’Italia title. Together, Team Sunweb and Giant achieved major success at cycling’s biggest event, the Tour de France, including winning the overall green and polka dot jerseys in 2017 and scoring an overall podium finish with Tom Dumoulin in Paris this year.

“Pro road cycling is always dynamic with teams and sponsors,” said Giant Group Chief Branding Officer Phoebe Liu. “We’re always striving to find the best partners to align with our mission to help athletes perform at their best. These partnerships also play a big role in helping us develop better products for cyclists of all levels. We can be proud of what we achieved with Team Sunweb, and we’re thrilled to now begin a new partnership with the promising CCC Team.”

CCC Team marks the next chapter for Continuum Sports, an organization with a successful track record of managing WorldTour pro road racing teams. Continuum Sports welcomes its new title sponsor CCC and the technical partnership with Giant for 2019 and beyond. CCC, based in Poland, is one of the largest footwear brands in Europe with more than 1,000 stores in 19 countries. CCC will also sponsor a Continental U23 team and become title sponsor of WaowDeals Pro Cycling, the elite women’s team that will ride with Liv bikes and gear. The current agreement between Giant and Liv and the three CCC-sponsored teams is set for three years.

“We are delighted to welcome Giant as the bike and primary technical partner of CCC Team,” said Continuum Sports General Manager Jim Ochowicz. “In 2019, we will start a new chapter as a team and the partnership with Giant will see our riders race on some of the best bikes in the world. The biggest WorldTour races, including time trials, one-day classics, and grand tours, have been won on Giant bikes over the years which is a testament to their expertise and groundbreaking technology and design. When discussions began with Giant, it was immediately clear that the partnership was a natural fit for both parties so we are looking forward to promoting the Giant brand, our shared vision of continuous innovation, and our passion for cycling from 2019. As CCC Team, Continuum Sports will have a new look and new objectives in 2019, so to welcome a technical partner of Giant’s caliber gives us the utmost confidence as we approach the coming season. We are excited to work together and reach new success with Giant at the WorldTour level.”

The men’s WorldTour squad will feature current Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet. One of cycling’s biggest stars, the Belgian pro has won Paris-Roubaix and numerous other major one-day classics, along with stages at the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and other stage races around the world.

On the women’s side, 11-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion Marianne Vos (2008, 2012) will lead CCC-Liv Team. The Dutch superstar, known as one of the greatest women cyclists of all time, will be reunited with Giant and Liv, whom she previously raced with for many years as a member of Team Rabobank.
Full rosters for the pro men’s team, U23 development team and Liv-sponsored women’s team will be announced later this year.

With more than 20 years of continuous support for road racing at the highest level by Giant, and 10 years of continuous support by Liv, both brands will continue their mission to develop cutting edge bikes and gear to help give racers a competitive edge. Engineers and product developers from Giant and Liv will work closely with CCC Team riders and staff to continue a leadership role in road racing technologies and innovations.

The men’s teams will race and train with the latest TCR, Defy and Propel road bikes, plus the Trinity TT bike. The women’s squad will race with the Liv Langma along with the all-new EnviLiv aero bike.
All three teams will play a critical role in helping Giant and Liv develop and test high-performance helmets, footwear, saddles, cockpit components, WheelSystems and more.

More details are coming soon regarding this exciting new partnership, including full team lineups and a closer look at the Giant and Liv products that CCC Team riders will compete with in 2019.

Giant bikes for CCC in 2019:

Criterium de Saitama 2018: Top Billing for Thomas and Valverde
He already left his mark on the French Alps by winning two consecutive stages at La Rosière and then Alpe d’Huez. Geraint Thomas went on to complete his journey along France’s roads in the finest position and is now readying himself to finish his season with the Criterium de Saitama. It was five years ago when the Welshman enjoyed his first and sole experience of racing in Japan as he took part in the first edition of the Criterium. At the time, “G” was among the ‘bodyguards’ of Chris Froome, who had just won the Tour de France for the first time. This time, Geraint Thomas will be wearing the Yellow Jersey as he reacquaints himself with the Japanese crowds, who, since 2013, have been loyal to the race along 3-kilometer long circuit that winds through the city centre. Another rider renewing acquaintances will be Vincenzo Nibali, who discovered Japan in yellow following his victory on Le Tour in 2014.

Alejandro Valverde has won the great majority of his 122 victories in Spain. He also boasts three stage victories on the Tour de France, a race on which he finished third in the general classification in 2015. What’s more, he sealed his greatest triumph last weekend in Austria, where he won for the first time at the World Championships. As a result, the Spaniard will be donning the Rainbow Jersey as he returns to the Criterium de Saitama, which he already competed in, like Thomas, for the first edition in 2013. At the time, “Bala” was the team-mate of World Champion Rui Costa, behind whom he finished third at the World Championships. How times change…

Ø The 6th edition of the Critérium de Saitama, which will take place on 4th November, will be welcoming a new Yellow Jersey with Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de France last July. The 2014 winner, Vincenzo Nibali, will also be present for the end of season event in Japan.
Ø The new World Champion, Alejandro Valverde, will make Saitama one of his first appearances with the Rainbow Jersey and will come across other serial winners such as Marcel Kittel, or the last two European Champions, Alexander Kristoff and Matteo Trentin.

Main contenders (on 5/10)
Team Sky: Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Wout Poels, Jonathan Castroviejo.
Katusha-Alpecin: Marcel Kittel, Rick Zabel, Nils Politt, Marco Haller.
Movistar: Alejandro Valverde, Imanol Erviti, Ruben Fernandez, Antonio Pedrero.
Bahrain-Merida: Vincenzo Nibali, Antonio Nibali, Franco Pellizotti, Matej Mohorič.
UAE Emirates: Alexander Kristoff, Sven Erik Bystrom, Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato.
Mitchelton-Scott: Matteo Trentin, Damien Howson, Carlos Verona, Luka Mezgec.
Tour de France Japan Team: Fumiyuki Beppu, Yukiya Arashiro.

Geraint Thomas will be flying the flag in Japan:

Season 2019: Faizanè is the New Third Title Sponsor of the Team
NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè. This is the brand new name of the team for the 2019 season. Already a sponsor of the team in the 2018 season, the Vicenza-based company Faizanè decided to increase the investment in the team becoming its third name thanks to the B2B results collected in this first year of testing. “The entrance in the cycling world has brought us visibility, new customers from many Italian regions and an increase in awareness to our brand. Becoming the third sponsor we expect a further qualitative leap in terms of image and turnover, we know that cycling can give these results.” Declares Martino Dal Santo President of Faizanè S.p.a.

NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè: this is the brand new name of the #OrangeBlue 2019 team. It is official today, the third name of the team, Faizané, that had already entered the team’s sponsor panel in 2018 and after a year of “study” and collection of the first results, has decided to increase the investment in the team by virtue of the excellent feedback in terms of visibility had with its entry into cycling.

The company specialized in tailor-made plastic and techno-plastic materials at the service of companies operates in the Business to Business market, in many sectors, from boating to food, from engineering to wind power. This is not the first major B to B company to become a “title” sponsor of a cycling team. One of the most recents case history in Italy is Lampre, which for many years has become a symbol of Italian cycling.

The Vicenza-based company, located in Zanè, recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its foundation by Pietro Dal Santo together with his wife Franca Toldo. Today it is administered by the three sons, Martino, Maurizio and Gabriella Dal Santo who decided to invest in professional cycling in the year of the 50th anniversary, also in honor and memory of his father’s great passion for this sport. Following the first year of sponsorship, the return of visibility received and the consequent increase in turnover has led the company’s administrators to invest more in the #OrangeBlue project and in Italian cycling.

“The entrance in the cycling world has brought us visibility, new customers from many Italian regions and an increase in awareness to our brand.” says Martino Dal Santo, President of Faizanè “Becoming third name will ensure us a further qualitative leap in terms of image return, notoriety of the brand and new customers to know. We are confident that NIPPO is the right team to maximize this type of results, on a sporting, ethical and communication level. In fact, the team reflects those that have been the values of our company for over 50 years. A company used to work as a team and achieve ambitious results by reasoning as a team. This is why our company has always invested in sport, in young talents and in the territory. Cycling offers unique opportunities bringing the Italian and international public to well know the brands. It is an investment that I would recommend to many Italian entrepreneurs, obviously supporting a project and Italian cycling.”

Francesco Pelosi, general manager of the team, welcomes the third title sponsor of the team: “For us it is a great pleasure to have involved a company that has taken its first steps in cycling with us, investing and believing in an Italian project. We are even happier that he decided to invest after having fully understood the value that cycling can give to a company. The growth as the third title sponsor of Faizanè means to give visibility to a company that in its own way symbolizes what is the beating heart of Italian entrepreneurship, made up of a fabric of companies born as family members, with many years of history and work at their shoulders, and structured to be competitive on an international level today. Together we will be able to continue the growth we have undertaken, both at team level and at company level, united by the common passion for this wonderful sport.”

Egan Bernal Agrees Five-Year Deal
Egan Bernal has signed a new five year deal with Team Sky, extending his current contract until the end of the 2023 season. Bernal, 21, has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the cycling ladder in his first year with Team Sky, emerging as one of the brightest young talents in the sport. After winning the Colombia Oro y Paz and the Tour of California earlier in the year, he made his Tour de France debut in July, playing a key role in Geraint Thomas’ maillot jaune success. Now, having signed a long-term deal with Team Sky, the talented climber is looking towards an even brighter future with the team.

“I’m very happy to sign a new contract with Team Sky,” Egan Bernal said. “It feels like a new stage in my life. I know five years is a long time and that it’s not too common in cycling, but the team has been great for me. They offer me everything I could want and I’m excited about the future. I imagined my first year with the team would be different and I was nervous before I joined. But I found great people, a team that was ready to help me, and I enjoyed a good season. It was made easy for me. My ambition is to keep developing as a rider – to learn from and help the best and become a key member of the team for many years to come. For me there is no better place to do that than Team Sky. I’m really happy here because I have everything I could ask for. It’s a dream team and I don’t see myself anywhere else.”

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford welcomed the news of Bernal’s new deal, commenting: “This is an important moment in the development of the team. A five-year deal in cycling is exceptional, but Egan is an exceptional talent. I believe today’s announcement demonstrates three things.”

“Firstly, it is the clearest signal of our belief in Egan as a rider, with the potential to win the biggest races in the world in the coming years. Age is no barrier to ability. Egan is part of the next generation at Team Sky, our next big leader for Grand Tours in the years to come, as we continue to build for a bigger and better future. He is a top talent who has already shown his mental and physical strength in recent months. He will only keep on improving.”

“Second, it is testament to the staff and other riders at Team Sky who have helped him develop over the last year. This is his first year as a professional and we have always taken great pride at Team Sky on being a team who can nurture and develop young riders. We all know there is much more to come from Egan. He is a big part of the next generation of Team Sky, an incredible crop of young riders, alongside the likes of Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov and Gianni Moscon. We are all excited about their unique opportunity to continue to learn from the current generation of great champions – Froome, Thomas and Kwiatkowski – as they support them on the road over the coming years, with the goal of helping them to become champions themselves.”

“Finally, it is a strong signal of intent from the team about the future. We are proud of what we have achieved together at Team Sky since our formation, but we have even greater ambitions to keep on improving and Egan will be at the very heart of that.”

Egan Bernal helps Geraint Thomas during Tour’18:

UAE Team Emirates Confirm Contract Renewals for Dynamic Duo
UAE Team Emirates has confirmed the contract extensions of Norwegian National Champion, Vegard Stake Laengen and Jan Polanc, with the duo signing two-year extensions.

Vegard Stake Laengen, who performed amicably at the recent World Championships and led the breakaway until the final 20km said: “I’m very happy for the chance to continue for another two years with UAE Team Emirates. We are a united group. I get along very well with my team-mates and the staff, the atmosphere is motivating and it helps me better my performance, allowing me to take advantage of special moments like what we saw in the National Championship and the recent worlds. I can’t wait to share more of these moments with the team.”

Vegard Stake Laengen in the 2018 Vuelta:

Commenting on his new deal, Jan Polanc said: “I couldn’t have asked for more, it is beautiful to know that I will be able to perform at the top with UAE Team Emirates for 2019 and 2020. It’s very motivating to see the team carry more and more weight in the peloton. It’s path is upwards and I’m happy to be a part of this project. I’m sure that we should be able to reach the big goals.”

Jan Polanc in the 2018 BinkBank Tour:

Docker stays with EF Pro Cycling in 2019
Road captain Mitch Docker has renewed his contract with EF Pro Cycling following his maiden season in #PinkArgyle. The Australian has embraced a leadership role within the team, which has proven integral to the team’s success.

“I’m happy that Mitch has re-upped with us,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “On and off the bike he’s the kind of rider who fits in well with this team and the things we try to do. On the road, he’s a steadfast road captain, communicating clearly, keeping guys in the right spots, keeping guys motivated. In the bus he’s a great presence as well — he brings good leadership but also a levity that’s unique. And his podcast and the way he brings fans into the sport is fantastic.”

For Docker, the decision to re-sign was an easy one. “The first reason to stay? The guys. I have loved racing and hanging out with my teammates. I knew from the first training camp at the start of the season that I was going to have a lot of fun with this team,” said Docker.

“Then there’s my race program. It’s great. I’ve loved all the races I’ve done,” Docker added. “And finally my role within the team has challenged me not only physically but also mentally. As road captain, I make a commitment to get the best out of myself and my teammates in the races.”

Docker’s commitment at the 2018 Vuelta was a key part of the equation that saw teammates Simon Clarke and Mike Woods snag stage wins at the third Grand Tour of the season. “I was honored to be named road captain of a truly stellar team at the Vuelta,” said Docker. “It was fantastic to see how the team performed – not only the riders but the staff and management, too. The whole team stepped up, and we had a fantastic vibe. It showed in the results.”

The 32-year-old expects to continue to grow in his role and contribute to his team’s ambitions during the Classics season. “My Classics campaign was riddled with crashes this year,” noted Docker. “I feel like I never had the chance to show my best. There’s some unfinished business there.”

The relationship with EF Education First motivates Docker, who traveled to the EF Dusseldorf offices early in the season. “It adds an element of accountability to meet everyone on the ground who stands behind the company and to get a better understanding of who EF is and what they do,” said Docker. “We have a proper working relationship with them. They want to get to know us and make the team as a whole better. It’s very different to any other sponsorship I’ve had.”

Mitch Docker doing a bit of shopping:

Ulissi Renews his Contract with UAE Team Emirates
Italian rider, Diego Ulissi, has just renewed his contract with the Emirati team for another two years (2019-2020), and he will be the beacon for the team in the six stages of WorldTour race; the Tour of Turkey, which is taking place from 9 to 14 October.

Diego Ulissi: “I have fantastic memories of the last edition of the Tour of Turkey: I made the most of the top form I was in, on a very interesting route that was suited to my skills. This year’s route won’t be much different from 2017’s; the stage in Selçuk, on the fourth day of the race, will still be the crucial fraction for the general classification. As always, in every stage we will have to pay attention to the wind, which could break up the group. UAE Team Emirates will be well equipped, with a good group of climbers, including Kristijan Durasek, who won in 2015; he will be a very important figure for us. I’m very happy about the contract renewal. It would be lovely, for the team and for me, to close out the season well, with a prestigious result, but I am aware of the fact that the competition will be even tougher than last year.”

The Tour of Turkey will be the last race in the career of Przemyslaw Niemiec. The Polish rider, who made it to sixth place in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, scored the latest of his 15 career successes right here in the Turkish race (the Istanbul stage in 2016). A big thanks goes out to Przemyslaw on behalf of the General Manager Giuseppe Saronni and the entire Team, for the professionalism and camaraderie that always set him apart.

Diego Ulissi winning stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse:

Astana Pro Team Extends with Nikita Stalnov
The Kazakh rider Nikita Stalnov will spend another season in the UCI WorldTour Astana ProTeam. The new agreement for 2019 has been signed recently.

“After my first season in Astana Team, this year I feel like I step on the new level, like all work done pays off. Of course, I understand, that I still have a lot to do to reach my goals, but after the Vuelta a España I got more confidence in myself. Besides, the whole season gave me new motivation and desire to continue moving ahead. I am happy to renew my contract with Astana – this is our Kazakh team and it is a big honor to represent the colors of the best team around the world,” said Nikita Stalnov.

Nikita Stalnov (27) is spending his second season with Astana Pro Team. Last year, Stalnov was second in the individual time trial of the Kazakhstan National Championships and made his debut at the Vuelta a España. In 2018 he won the silver medal in the road race of the National Championships and missed just a little to reach his first big win, finishing second at stage 4 of the Vuelta a España.

“At the Vuelta a España Nikita Stalnov showed his potential, proving he has power and character to be successful in professional cycling. He is still missing some experience, but the dynamics of the last two seasons says that the rider keeps on progressing. I hope that in the new year Stalnov will be able to do an important step ahead, which will allow him to reach the desired results,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Nikita Stalnov:

Gazprom — RusVelo Extends the Agreement with Alexander Vlasov
Russian cycling team Gazprom — RusVelo is glad to announce the extension of the current contract with Alexander Vlasov. The new agreement is until the end of 2020.

This year Alexander made his debut in the professional cycling team. The results speak for themselves: stage-victory at Toscana Terra di Ciclismo-Eroica U23; general classification victory at Giro d’Italia U23; Russian national champion’s jersey among U23 riders and the fourth place with only one second gap from clinching a podium at Tour de l’Avenir.

Alexander’s reaction for the extension of his contract with Gazprom — RusVelo: “The first season in the team went quite good and I am almost totally satisfied with the results, the only exception is the World Championship in Innsbruck. All in all, I gained a decent experience from the starts in highest category and UCI World Tour races and implemented it in U23 category. The extension of my current contract means a lot to me! We have a very friendly squad with everyone dedicated for a common aim, so I am certain about further successes and I want to thank Gazprom — RusVelo for the given honor. Speaking about the plans, I would definitely focus on the stage-races and hopefully, one day I will have a chance to compete in Giro d’Italia.”

Alexander Vlasov:

Team Bahrain Merida Renews with Chun-Kai Feng and Mei-Yin Wang
Team Bahrain Merida renews the contract with Chun-Kai Feng and Mei-Yin Wang in 2019. We are delighted to continue our adventure with these 2 Asian riders with good quality. We look forward to another successful season with them in the roster.

Feng has won us a national champion title in both road race and TT in 2017, after the accident in Tour of the Alps, he came back in Adriatica Ionica Race and got 5th place in Asian Games TT discipline, which proved he is one of the best in Asia. On other hand, Wang has been competitive in these 2 years in Team Bahrain Merida. He won combatively award in 4 Jours de Dunkerque and Tour of Guangxi in 2017. This season, he contributed to a lot in our great results of us, including Hammer Limburg, Tour of Japan, Deutschland Tour and Coppa Bernocchi!

“I am happy to work another season with Team Bahrain Merida. In 2019, I look forward to seeing myself improving with the team. Also, I will do my best to fight for a position to join the squad in Grand Tours. I know it would not be easy, as we are becoming stronger and stronger now. I would like to thank all the team members, sponsors and all the fans who have been supporting me,” says Feng with expectation for his upcoming season.

“It’s been really fast 2 years; I am happy to be part of the team in 2019. For me, Team Bahrain Merida is a big family now. In the next season, I will prove myself to be a rider in Grand Tour level, this is the goal I have always been aiming for. Thank you for all the team members, our sponsors, and my family, also for those people who gave strength and support. I will do my best in return,” says Wang after 2 successful season with Team Bahrain Merida.

From our general manager Brent Copeland: “I have been working with CK for 4 years now, it is hard to find a rider as dedicated as CK that puts so much into his racing, he has improved every year since 2014 when he started his pro career in Europe and his maturity can definitely be seen with the way he has improved, we are continuously working with the trainers and technical staff to find the best race program that suits him and hopefully this will be the year where we will see CK riding in even more WorldTour races than the past, as a rider this is what he definitely deserves and we working constantly with the trainers and technical staff to help him reach his goals.”

“Mei-Yin has been an absolute pleasure to work with this year and for this reason we are very pleased to announce him staying with us for yet another season, Mei-Yin has shown continuous improvement on the team and we feel he has lots of room for improvement, at Bahrain Merida we will support him in anyway necessary to keep growing and learning as we have seen how much interest and sacrifice he puts into his training and racing.”

Mei-Yin Wang:

Gino Mäder signs for Team Dimension Data
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is delighted to announce that exciting prospect Gino Mäder will join our team from 1 January, 2019; taking up his first contract as a professional.

The 21-year old was part of the impressive Swiss national team at the recent World Championships where he finished 4th in the under-23 road race.

That result was his most recent in what’s been an excellent year on the road. He had an excellent outing at the Tour de l’Avenir in August where he finished third on the General Classification along with securing two stage victories, in stage eight as well as in the final stage.

Mäder’s versatility sees his signature as a big coup for our team; as demonstrated as he won a stage at the Tour Alsace in early August and claimed the Points Classification. While he finished 2nd in the ITT at the Swiss under-23 national championships in June.

In Italy’s biggest amateur race, the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, he finished 2nd in the KOM jersey, with a 3rd place in stage 4 and he also claimed a stage victory at the Ronde de l’Isard in May.

Mäder is our 6th rider who will be 23 or younger in 2019 showcasing the balance in our squad between top young talent and highly experienced, senior members of the peloton.

Gino Mäder – Rider: “I’m really, really proud to have joined Dimension Data. It’s absolutely the best choice that I could have made and I’m delighted that the management of the team have shown the faith and belief that I can compete at the highest level of cycling, so this is going to be great.

I’m also really proud to ride for Qhubeka too, I think what they do is absolutely incredible and to have the opportunity to represent them and such a big team is an exciting challenge.

I will do my best to demonstrate that the team have made a good choice in taking me on board. I’m going to work hard and enjoy the next, hopefully, few years with Team Dimension Data.”

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Gino join our ranks from next year. He is one of the sport’s great young talents, showcased at the end of last month with his really impressive ride in Innsbruck.

He’s not only delivered on the bike but everything that we’ve heard about him is how impressive he is off it too, and as such he’s the perfect fit for our team as we look at a successful 2019 and beyond.

Gino becomes our ninth new addition to our squad for next season as we look take another step up with our Vision 2020 clearly in mind. It’s an exciting next phase for our team, not only with new riders joining us but also with some of our new partners coming onboard including the likes of BMC Switzerland.

Finally, Gino will not only be able to draw on the expertise from our staff and management but also on a hugely experienced senior set of riders including the likes of his compatriot Danilo Wyss. So it’s an exciting time not only for him but for us as well.”

Gino Mäder:

Benedetti, Schwarzmann and Schillinger Extend with BORA – hansgrohe
All three riders are part of Ralph Denk’s team since its very beginning back in 2010. While Benedetti extends his contract until the end of 2020, Schwarzmann and Schillinger renew their agreement for another year.

“Benedetti, Schwarzmann and Schillinger have been with my team since 2010. All three of them are important support riders. Cesare is strong at almost all terrains and has become a true pillar of BORA – hansgrohe. Schwarzi is an important rider in our lead-out, while Schilli has big experience at the Classics. I am very happy all three of them stay with us. They bring lots of expertise to our roster, which is very valuable for our young guns.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

Cesare Benedetti:

Three New Names for Roompot-Charles Cycling Team
Boy van Poppel (30) and Maurits Lammertink (28) will ride for Roompot – Charles Cycling Team next season. The two bring a lot of experience from the WorldTour to the team. Both will be allowed their chances on their favorite terrain.

Besides van Poppel and Lammertink, also youngster Justin Timmermans (22) was contracted. That brings the number of riders for next season to eighteen, a complete selection. General manager Michael Zijlaard: “We have had to work hard with the team during the last few weeks, but we are proud and satisfied with what we have realized. We’ll have a well-balanced team with a lot of experience and boys who come from the WorldTour, supplemented with young talent and the riders who have been trained at Veranda’s Willems – Crelan and Team Roompot. We are ready for 2019.”

Boy van Poppel
Boy van Poppel (° 18/01/1988) has been on the payroll of Trek – Segafredo for the past five seasons. In recent years the son of sports director Jean-Paul van Poppel mainly had to ride as a domestique, working for the benefit of the team and the team’s sprinters. Next year, he’ll be given more opportunities in the sprint, as leader. “That is indeed the intention,” he says. “In the last six years, I worked fully for the benefit of the team. Occasionally I got the chance to sprint myself, but it always takes some getting used to. You do not always get that chance to really get used to being the sprinter. I’m looking forward to giving my all as a sprinter again.”

“A few years ago I was able to take my own chance in the Tour of Britain and I sprinted against Groenewegen and Greipel, among others. I got in the top five so I know that I can get tot hat level. Only in terms of victories it has been difficult in recent years, also because I only had a few chances for myself. As it looks now, I will get many more next year. Who knows I’ll get a win. That would be very nice.”

“I especially look forward to the spring classics, those have always been my specialty. Who knows I can compete for the win in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne or Ghent-Wevelgem. That would be so nice! My main goal is those one day races. But I also want to show myself in stage races. With the chances that I will get, I want to go all out to get the points!”

What does he expect from the collaboration with his father, sports director Jean-Paul van Poppel? “I already worked with him in 2013 at Vacansoleil. Of course we know each other very well. So it’ll go well. Who knows, maybe he can give me some tips. He has done that in the past. When I have a question, I call him and he’s always there for me. If you need your father, you can always rely on his advice.”

“I know almost everyone in the team. Especially the guys from Roompot, whom I speak during the races throughout the season. I also know Huub Duijn and Michael Van Staeyen who’ll join the team. It’s a small world. I think that a strong team has been put down in the last few weeks.”

Maurits Lammertink
Maurits Lammertink (° 31/08/1990) rode two seasons for Roompot – Oranje Peloton, after which he went to Katusha – Alpecin. Lammertink keeps good memories of his first stay at Roompot: “Absolutely! I joined them when the team had just been established. The first year was great! I had a nice race program. And in the second year it only got better for me. We had a very nice month of August with a win in the Tour of Norway and the victory of myself in the Tour of Luxembourg. That was very nice!”

It was Lammertink, who gave Team Roompot its first victory in 2015, with a stage win in the Tour du Limousin: “Right, that was me”, he recalls. “Groenewegen also won that day. I didn’t expect it to be me to get that first win. That’s another reason why that first year was really great for me.”

The Dutchman wants to perform well next year in the races and terrains where he’s at his best: “I just want to race where I can be at my best, like the tours of Luxembourg, Dunkirk, Norway and Belgium. That’s where I want to get results with Roompot – Charles. We certainly have to keep trying to ride WorldTour races, but we can do well too in the other, smaller ones.”

According to Lammertink, he has become a stronger rider in the last two years. “I have been able to run a nice program with Katusha, with several grand tours. It made me a better and stronger rider in general. Riding the Tour de France at the service of a leader makes you a stronger rider for sure. Now, I’m looking forward to compete again in races like the Belgium Tour.”

“In any case, I want to be able to battle for victories”, he points out his ambitions. “I want to pick up again where I left Team Roompot in 2016. It is of course a new project, with two teams getting together. I know Sean De Bie and Huub Duijn from his time at Roompot. I’m really looking forward to it. With Lars Boom we also have a great rider for the spring classics and other races too. I think we’ll have a strong team next year.”

Justin Timmermans
There is also room for young talent at Roompot – Charles Cycling Team. In that respect Justin Timmermans (22) of Delta Cycling Rotterdam was contracted. The youngster hopes to develop as a rider.

Boy van Poppel in Kuurne’16:

New Rainbow Jerseys
Two World champions and two new jerseys: Alejandro Valverde was showing his Rainbow jersey at the Movistar sponsored event ‘Festival of the bike’ in Madrid on Sunday.

World cyclo-cross champion, Wout van Aert has signed with the UCI Continental team Cibel-Cebon for the cyclo-cross season after a fall-out with the Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team.

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