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Sheffield - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Serge PAUWELS (Belgium / Team Dimension Data) - Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ (Spain / Team Dimension Data) pictured during stage -3 of the Tour de Yorkshire from Bradford to Fox Valley (Sheffield) (194.5k) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Dimension Data dominated the finalè of the Tour de Yorkshire on Sunday with Serge Pauwels and Omar Fraile taking the two top spots. All the news from England and Romandie with video. Astana start the Giro d’Italia with eight men – Top Story. In other cycling news: The top riders for the Giro, more team news for the Italian Grand Tour and the sad news of Chad Young.

TOP STORY: Astana Start Giro with Eight Riders
To honor the memory of Italian rider Michele Scarponi, who tragically died last week while training, Astana Proteam renounces to substitute the designated captain and will ride the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia with 8 riders instead of 9.

“What has happened to Michele is a real tragedy that no one could expect or face out. It is a huge blow for the whole team. Michele should have been our leader for the Giro and in this reason we decided not to substitute Michele in the line-up for the race, leaving his race number free. Every day in this Giro d’Italia as well as in all other races Michele will be with us and day by day we will ride trying to honor his memory, fighting and smiling as he taught us all to do,” said general manager of the team Alexandr Vinokurov.

The complete roster of Astana Proteam for the 100th Giro d’Italia is:
Pello Bilbao, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Dario Cataldo, Jesper Hansen, Tanel Kangert, Luis Leon Sanchez, Paolo Tiralongo and Andrey Zeits. The team will be directed by Alexandr Shefer, Giuseppe Martinelli and Stefano Zanini.

“I think, this is right decision and I am sure the organizers of the Giro d’Italia as well as the whole cycling community will accept and understand it. Obviously, this will not the only initiative that Astana Proteam is promoting to remember Michele and also to help his family. We initiated such an important thing as the fundraiser for his family, while many others will be developed in the next weeks and months,” added Alexandr Vinokurov.

Information about the help for Michele Scarponi’s family HERE on the Astana web site.

Tour de Romandie 2017
Stefan Küng (BMC) added to his 2015 Tour de Romandie stage victory as he battled the weather conditions in the breakaway, before proving he was the strongest on the day in a head to head battle for the win.

Bad weather saw the Stage 2 start line relocated to Aigle with riders avoiding the originally planned descent from Champéry and covering 136km of the original 160.7km course. With the race eventually underway, attacks quickly began to fly off the front of the peloton with Stefan Küng part of the successful move which saw four riders go clear after only 4km of racing.

The gap between the breakaway and the peloton continued to rise as they raced through the valley before it settled at around 5:40 after the first of three categorized climbs.

As the road continued to roll and a mix of snow and rain began to fall, the advantage of Küng’s group remained steady. As they hit the slopes of the final categorized climb to Le Châtelard, the peloton had picked up the pace behind and the gap started to fall.

However, the four leading riders continued to work well together and as they crossed the finish line for the final 25km, they were still 3:00 ahead of the main bunch. As the breakaway entered the closing kilometers, Küng and Andrei Grivko (Astana) were pushing hard at the front of the group and with four kilometers to go, they were the last riders standing from the original breakaway.

Inside the final kilometer it was Küng who led the way with Grivko sitting firmly in his wheel. Küng led Grivko through the final left hand turn with 300m to go and started his sprint, holding on until the line and raising his hands in triumph. Behind them, the peloton was approaching quickly with Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen both finishing safely in the bunch.

Bulle - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Stefan KUENG (Swiss / BMC Racing Team) - Andrey GRIVKO (Ukraine / Team Astana)  pictured during 71st Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) - stage 2- from Champéry to Bulle - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Stefan Küng (BMC):
Congratulations, Stefan. Can you describe how you are feeling after today’s victory?

“It’s amazing. I am really happy. We talked about the possibility of today being a good day for the breakaway or a good day to try and make a move. The team then gave me the freedom to go for it. If you have this opportunity and you know the roads, I had the confidence in my condition and the weather was bad so it was the perfect day for me to try and do something.”

When was it clear that this breakaway was going to make it to the finish?
“At one point when the peloton really started to chase before the last categorized climb of the day, the gap came down pretty fast. At this point I was a little bit scared as not everyone was fully contributing so then I made a really good tempo on the climb and we were able to increase the gap.”

“From then on it was pretty fast and with a little bit of a tailwind over the last 10km. In my mind, I knew that Grivko was going to be the strongest in the end and I was confident in my sprint so I knew that I didn’t need to so something at that point. In the end, it came down to a sprint and I am really happy to take this win.”

Where did you get this confidence for the sprint?
“It’s a little bit funny. During the Classics we always play with each other and do sprints and I also did a few of them against Greg Van Avermaet and it always a case of me winning one and then he would win one. If you are able to sprint as good as Greg, that gave me the confidence that after a hard day I was sure he (Grivko) wasn’t going to beat me today.”

The weather conditions were tough today. How did you find it?
“It was so cold. In the beginning it was okay and then it started to rain before we hit the snow at the top of the last climb. It was like Winter Wonderland but we had to race our bikes. You can change gloves and clothes and so on but it is also hard to stay hydrated and to stay fueled up on a day like today. After the finish it took me over half an hour to warm up, so I was actually glad I was in the breakaway. I had to ride and keep my body warm.”

Two years ago in the same area you won a stage of Tour de Romandie as a neo-pro. What is the difference between these two victories?
“A lot things have happened and not good things. I had two really hard crashes with a long rehabilitation and then illness. I was always a little up and down and I was struggling to show what I can do. I knew I could do but I just couldn’t finish it off so it is a big relief for me to get this victory. I work hard all the time. I am a really ambitious person and if you are longing for success and always running behind, you lose patience and confidence. With this victory it is really nice to get a lot of this confidence back.”

And looking ahead to the rest of the race.
“I am always happy to help and I will continue to do this. I think it is going to be interesting. We will be giving it all for our leaders and I think they are ready. When you look at them, how they move in the bunch and how they ride, you can see it. First priority for me now is to help the GC guys and then I would love to give it a go on the final TT.”

3rd, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “It was cold race. To bad breakaway made it to the finish line, so sprint was only for third place, but I’ll try again tomorrow.”

KOM leader, Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal): “In general, I can cope well with the cold, but today I was soaking wet because of the rain. Thirty kilometers from the end it started bothering me. It was not useful to put on an extra rain jacket, as the finale was coming up. At one point it went blank and I was trembling all over my body. A pity, because two escapees remained ahead till the finish. Before the stage, it was my goal to conquer the KOM jersey. Once our break had a comfortable lead, I started dreaming of more. We rode away from the bunch quite soon after the start. There were a few chasers, but we didn’t wait for them. We had quickly found a good rhythm. Yesterday, I had to sprint for the KOM points, today it was important for all of us that we kept smoothly cooperating. I did some more work on the climbs and the others didn’t battle for the KOM points. It’s possible that a GC rider gains a lot of KOM points on Saturday. If that is Simon Yates, who picked up 24 points yesterday, it’s a threat. If I want to be sure to take the jersey home I will need to take some more points. I came to Romandie to race aggressively and it’s nice that this gets me to wear the KOM jersey tomorrow.”

Richie Porte (BMC): “It was incredible to see Stefan go up the road like that and win just as he did two years ago. It was a fantastic day for the team. It was absolutely freezing today and while it wasn’t a difficult stage on paper, the weather conditions made it so hard. It was brutal.”

Warren Barguil Suffers Fractured Pelvis
Following medical examinations after crashing out of the Tour de Romandie on stage 2 today, it has been confirmed that Warren Barguil (FRA) has suffered a fracture of his pelvis.

The unfortunate news comes after a fall during the tough stage hit by snow and heavy rain in Switzerland where Barguil fell and was unable to continue. The French rider fractured his iliac crest.

Explaining more about the injury, Team Sunweb’s Team Physician, Anko Boelens (NED), said: “Warren has a fracture of the left iliac crest. The fracture is only slightly displaced. As far we can judge now surgery will not be needed, but this will be rechecked after a few days. As soon as pain permits Warren can start walking again, this is usually after one week. Riding on rollers is possible after approximately three weeks. From there on we will have to see when he is able to be competitive again.”

Barguil will stay in Switzerland for a few days before returning home to France. Further details on the recovery process will follow. In the meantime we wish Barguil a strong recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the bike in due course.

Tour of Romandie Stage 2 Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC in 3:33:15
2. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:20
4. Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-Scott
5. Ben Swift (GB) UAE Team Emirates
6. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors.

Tour of Romandie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 8:12:42
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 0:08
3. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:09
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:12
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7. José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:13
8. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar
9. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott at 0:14
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar.

Stage 2:

Elia Viviani (Sky) won the sprint for Stage 3 ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). The Italian received a strong lead-out from Chris Froome and Owain Doull. Overall leader, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) finished with the peloton to hold the leaders jersey.

The break of the day included: Davide Martinelli (Quick-Step Floors), Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Toms Skujins (Cannondale-Drapac), Victor Campenaerts (LottoNl-Jumbo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Hugo Houle (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana). They escaped just after 10 kilometers and built up a lead of over 3 minutes. Stalnov was dropped on the Grandsivaz climb with 60 kilometers to go.

On the finishing circuits of Payerne; Trek-Segafredo and Bahrain-Merida started to chase the break down, to catch them with 35 kilometers remaining. Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) attacked 5 kilometers later and was joined by Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal). They were pulled back and Movistar’s Alex Dowsett made strong move in his TT style, but he was swept up with 3 kilometers to go. Bora-Hansgrohe took over the lead-out for Schwarzmann, but Sky came through for Viviani with Sonny Colbrelli taking second.

After the stage finish; Sky’s Gianni Moscon and Kevin Reza of FDJ wERE seen to be arguing about something, in the end it transpired that Moscon had racially abused Reza. He apologized later and was allowed to START in the final stage, but the incident is to be investigated by both his team and the UCI.

Payerne - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Sonny COLBRELLI (Italy / Team Bahrain - Merida), Elia VIVIANI (Italy / Team Sky)  pictured during 71st Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) - stage 3 - from Payerne to Payerne (187k) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Elia Viviani (Sky): “I’m really happy and I need to thank the whole team. It’s exciting to have Froomey doing a lead-out with one kilometer to go. It’s not normal, but when you are in a team like ours it’s amazing when the whole team work for you and believe in you. It’s been a long time since I last won, dating back to De Panne last season – over a year ago. That’s not easy for a sprinter! And this year after six second places, finally here in Romandie I got this big win. Today the whole team were incredible, from Pete and (Ian) Boswell working at the front early, Kiry, Lopez, Gianni and Owain Doull doing a perfect lead-out. Froomey didn’t want to lose any time on the stage but he said he was quite happy to do a lead-out for me.”

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “Today the team was fantastic, really fantastic, but it’s a shame for the sprint, few meters were missing… but I do want to thank the whole team for such a great work.”

3rd, Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The guys did an unbelievable job today. We tried to do the lead-out from the front. When Sky came on the right side, Pfingsti pushed really hard to keep me up front. Then I waited a little because I thought it’s too early. Some guys passed me then out of the slipstream. End the end I just missed the win. But I think nevertheless we all showed a strong performance today.”

Tour of Romandie Stage 3 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky in 4:27:42
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-Scott
5. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
7. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
8. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
9. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) LottoNl-Jumbo

Tour of Romandie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 12:40:24
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 0:08
3. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:09
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:12
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7. José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:13
8. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar
9. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott at 0:14
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar.

Stage 3:

Saturday’s Queen Stage 4 began like most of the other road stages with a breakaway establishing within the opening kilometers. Eight riders led the way over the first climb over the day, steadily maintaining a three minute advantage: Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha-Alpecin), Tosh Van der Sande, Sander Armee, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Mickaël Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data) and Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). With around 30 kilometers to go, six riders including Michael Albasini tried to bridge across to the leaders, however, it proved to be too much and the junction was never made.

Eventually the lead group shrunk down to five riders as they fought over the categorized climbs and with 15 kilometers to go, Yates launched and worked fiercely to try and breakaway with three other riders as they descended and barreled down towards the tough final climb of the day. After subsequently catching the remaining escapee riders, the group swelled to eight and they quickly opened up a lead of one minute as they began the final ascent.

With the reduced peloton shattering on the steep slopes, Richie Porte (BMC) made his move and rapidly jumped across to Simon Yates who went on to take another victory this season for Orica-Scott.

Leysin - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Simon YATES (GBR / Team Orica Scott), Richie PORTE (Australia / BMC Racing Team)  pictured during 71st Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) - stage 4 - from Domdidier to Leysin (163.5k) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott): “On the final climb I knew Richie was coming across, so I didn’t want to keep pushing as I knew that when he caught me I would be empty, so I took a bit easy and waited for him to get to me. I managed to get him in front into the final kilometer and I think that really saved me as the wind was quite strong in the finish. I am just really happy that I was able to come around him and take the victory. I am in the race lead now and tomorrow we have the time trial. Time trialling is not really my speciality but of course I will give it my maximum and try to hold on to the lead.”

2nd on the stage and 2nd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “At the bottom of the final climb, Danilo Wyss and Nicolas Roche just exploded the race, and then we knew it was time to go. It was a little earlier than expected but in the end, it was the right time. I am happy with today’s result. Tejay van Garderen did a great job covering the wheels behind and making sure the other guys didn’t chase too hard. It’s early season for me, but I am definitely happy with this team and the faith they have shown in me. Tomorrow we have a good time trial, and we will see how that goes. We didn’t come here to finish second, but we will just have to see what happens. Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) is obviously climbing well, but it’s also a great time trial for me. It’s going to be hard, but I’m ready for that.”

3rd on the stage and 3rd overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We had a clear plan for today and it worked out really well. We wanted to try something and go early, that’s why it was perfect when Yates attacked. We both pushed hard on the front and the gap opened. The finale climb was like a TT for me, I just gave it everything. Porte closed so fast then, I wasn’t aware the moment he overtook me. Maybe therefore I couldn’t adapt my rhythm any more. I am really happy about this 3rd place, but now it’s all about the TT tomorrow. We’ll see, but a top ten in the end should be possible now.”

Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “The legs were good today. Richie Porte hit out early on the climb so, I was left marking the moves behind. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) went at one point, so did Louis Meintjes (UAE Team Emirates) but I didn’t have to work with them as we had Richie up the road. Then on the final kick, I was able to attack away from them on my own. Even though the climbs weren’t too hard today, this was a good stage in terms of my preparation for the Giro d’Italia. It was a fast start and full power all day. Now, it’s about seeing what I can do at the TT tomorrow and then resting up. I finished the stage to learn that Chad Young from Axeon Hagens Berman died at 21 years old from injuries sustained at Tour of Gila. I wish I had the opportunity to get to know him, as he sounded like an exceptionally genuine young man, and an amazing athlete. It’s just devastating and I pray for his family.”

Tour of Romandie Stage 4 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott in 4:10:03
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:30
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:43
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:52
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
9. Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott
10. David Gaudu (Fra) FDJ.

Tour of Romandie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott in 16:50:35
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:19
3. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:38
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:44
5. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 0:52
6. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:53
7. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:56
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:58
10. Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:59.

Stage 4:

Richie Porte (BMC) added the Tour de Romandie to his list of General Classification victories on Sunday after a huge display of strength in the closing time trial Stage 5 in Lausanne saw him secure the overall win. Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) took his fourth victory of the season in the Romandie time trial. In the nearly 18-kilometer stage, he topped all of his competitors and did enough to take third place in the final classification.

As the first riders rolled off the ramp, the provisional best time was changing after almost every crossing of the finish line with Stefan Küng setting one of the early benchmarks (26:05). Over the course of the day the lead continued to change hands and, despite a near miss with a race car out on the course, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) also found himself in the hot seat. The American, who has been showing his form ahead of the Giro d’Italia, crossed the line in 25:32. Eventual stage winner, Roglič set the only time under 25 minutes (24:58).

Porte was the penultimate rider to hit the course and quickly made his intentions clear, powering up the opening climb and making his mark on the race. As he headed onto the final kilometers of the course, Porte’s determination was visible with the Australian gritting his teeth while chasing the 19 seconds that stood between him and the top step of the podium. Porte eventually crossed the line in 25:06 which was enough to take second on the stage, and secure the final yellow jersey of the week in Switzerland, 21 seconds ahead of Simon Yates (Orica-Scott).

Lausanne - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Primoz ROGLIC (Slowenia / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)    pictured during 71st Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) - stage 5 - from (ITT) - Lausanne : Lausanne - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Overall winner, Richie Porte (BMC):
Congratulations, Richie. Can you describe how you are feeling right now?

“If I’m honest, it’s a bit of a shock to win. I knew I was in good condition for this race so to finish off the hard work that BMC Racing Team have put in for me is incredible. I also think I should make mention to two of our colleagues who we recently lost; Chad Young and Michele Scarponi. It’s been a tough week for all of us and it sort of makes cycling, or racing, feel a little irrelevant after what’s happened.”

You demonstrated your abilities on the final climb yesterday. That was obviously the right decision?
“I really wanted to get the stage win yesterday, and I think the team did an incredible job. I must take my hat off to Danilo Wyss who just exploded the race there. It just feels great to win this race. We are an American team firmly rooted in Switzerland so, I think we put on a good show at what could be described as a home race.”

You have already won Paris-Nice and now you have added the Tour de Romandie to your palmarès. Can you compare the two victories?
“I think they are both incredible and every win is important. Winning the Santos Tour Down Under at the beginning of the year was also a great achievement. For me, this race is special as I won my first race as a professional here. To win like this is incredible and it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Does this race give you more confidence looking ahead to the main goal this year?
“100%. The team has backed me to the hill this year. They have built a team around me, they have put no pressure on me, and it is just going so well right now. I am really happy with where I am at the moment.”

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Primož Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I am very pleased with this result. We wanted to go for a good classification from the start of this race and we worked hard with the team every day. Yesterday unfortunately I lost precious seconds, which meant that classification win was out of sight. Still, I had a lot of confidence in a good result today, which meant a wonderful victory.”

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “There was an organization car that missed the detour while following Roman Kreuziger (Orica-Scott), and I was coming up quickly behind him. It was a scary moment, but I was happy that I was able to go around him and still do a really good time trial. Overall I think I have had a good week. It was a pity about the crash in the prologue, but you can’t dwell on that. We got the victory overall with Richie Porte which was amazing, and I feel like I was showing good form and that I am strong. Now, I hope that I can carry this shape into the Giro d’Italia. It’s only four days away, and I am looking forward to getting started.”

10th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Well, it was really close in the end, just 4 seconds to the 7th place, but I am happy with my top ten result. A top ten was our goal here from the beginning. Now I will go to another altitude camp and prepare for July. We can be satisfied with this first part of my season, and I know I haven’t reached my peak performance yet.”

Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal): “I’m feeling pretty fresh actually. That means the shape is good. Today in the individual time trial I still had some great legs, but mentally I wasn’t there. When you win the KOM classification you’re on a high, so I was less concentrated. The KOM jersey wasn’t the big goal for this race. To attack and ride aggressively was. In the first stage I took a lot of points for the KOM classification. This was when I decided to go for it. I think the Tour de Romandie was a success. We animated the stages and we took home the KOM jersey. A stage win would have completed the picture, but with a bit of luck I will succeed in the next edition. We were given a lot of freedom and this was fun racing. Yesterday was a special moment, escaping with two teammates made it really enjoyable.”

Tour of Romandie Stage 5 Result:
1. Primož Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo in 24:58:00
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:08
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:34
4. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
5. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar at 0:35
7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 0:41
8. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 0:42
9. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 0:46
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin.

Tour of Romandie Final Overall Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 17:16:00
2. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:21
3. Primož Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:26
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:51
5. Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:03
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at1:16
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:21
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 1:22
9. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:24.

Romandie stage 5:

Tour de Yorkshire 2017
History repeated itself at the Tour de Yorkshire with Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) winning Stage 1 for a second year in succession in sunny Scarborough.

Huge crowds turned out in Bridlington to see the start of the third edition and bright conditions meant the county was at its brilliant best as the peloton wound its way through the Yorkshire Wolds and into the North York Moors before a frantic finish along North Bay in Scarborough. In total more than 400,000 people lined the roadside.

Banners, bunting and a whole host of ingenious land art provided a brilliant backdrop as the riders toiled across the tough and testing parcours.

An eight-man breakaway formed after 15km and Etienne Van Empel (Roompot), was the first of those riders to top the Côtes de Garrowby Hill and Goathland to earn himself a spell in the best climber’s jersey sponsored by Virgin Trains.

The last escapees were finally caught with 8.3km to go, but before then the peloton had been split to shreds on the fearsome Côte de Robin Hood’s Bay. Groenewegen was one of several star sprinters to drop off the pace on that steep ascent but his LottoNL-Jumbo team-mates worked hard to bring him back into contention and the Dutch champion repaid that faith, just as he did in Settle last year.

The 23 year old powered to the line and held off a late challenge from Orica-Scott’s Caleb Ewan once again for his first win of the season. The bonus seconds awarded for that victory meant Groenewegen opened up a four-second advantage over Ewan in the General Classification and ensured he will wear the blue leader’s jersey sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire for the second stage. Groenewegen also tops the points classification sponsored by Yorkshire Bank.

Aqua Blue Sport rider Conor Dunne meanwhile, will don the grey jersey sponsored by Dimension Data after fans voted him the day’s most active rider on social media.

Aside from the bonus seconds awarded, all the riders that were still in the peloton with 3km to go were awarded the same time after a large crash saw many riders caught up. Magnus Cort Nielson (Orica-Scott) and Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin) came off worst and were transferred to Scarborough Hospital with suspected broken collarbones.

Scarborough - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Dylan GROENEWEGEN (Netherlands / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) - Caleb EWAN (Australia / Team Orica Scott) pictured during stage -1 of the Tour de Yorkshire from Bridlington to Scarborough (174k) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I am pleased that I could sprint for the stage win. It was a hard stage and on the climb I was in the second group. The team made a big effort to bring me back in front. It’s beautiful that I won. All the praise goes to my team-mates. We knew the climb was heavy. I was pretty tired, but the team brought me back well. It was important to win here. This is what you do it for. I felt my legs and dropped back. Fortunately, Tom Leezer was there and dropped back from the front. In the last straight line, Bouhanni started sprinting. He shifted a bit, leaving space for me. Finally, Ewan came close, but I had the win.”

6th, Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data): “The team was very strong today. Everybody did a good job. On the last climb, we went really hard and I think only 30 riders were left in the peloton at that point. In the sprint, somebody hit my wheel and I was very lucky I didn’t crash. Tomorrow is another chance for us.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:09:38
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
3. Chris Opie (GB) Bike Channel-Canyon
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
5. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) One Pro Cycling
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
8. Adam Blythe (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
9. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Raleigh-GAC.

Tour de Yorkshire Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:09:28
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:04
3. Chris Opie (GB) Bike Channel-Canyon at 0:06
4. Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:08
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 0:10
6. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) One Pro Cycling
7. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
8. Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
9. Adam Blythe (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin.

Yorkshire stage 1:

Crowds on a par with those of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ turned out to watch a pulsating sprint finish in Harrogate which saw Nacer Bouhanni emerge triumphant on Stage 2.

The peloton was treated to an equally warm welcome at the start line in Tadcaster – just as the world’s best female riders had been at the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire earlier in the day – with 405 schoolchildren lining Tadcaster Bridge to signify the number of days they had been without it following the tragic floods of 2015. The Yorkshire Regiment Drums Platoon were also on hand to provide a rousing reception before the riders went on their way.

Once again the weather proved favorable and all the towns and villages along the 122.5km route did the county proud by celebrating the race in a whole host of imaginative ways as it passed by.

That must have spurred Yorkshiremen Connor Swift (Madison Genesis), James Gullen (JLT Condor) and Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel Canyon) on as they all featured in a four-man breakaway that enlivened proceedings early in the stage.

Tanfield’s efforts in the day’s two intermediate sprints saw fans on Twitter vote him into Dimension Data’s Most Active Rider jersey, but all four escapees were caught before a fast finish ensued in Harrogate.

As the sprint specialists raced towards the line Bouhanni latched onto Hivert’s wheel, but as his compatriot faded Bounhanni pressed on to seal his fourth win of the season.

Ewan’s disappointment at a successive second-placed finish was tempered by the fact that he moved into the Welcome to Yorkshire blue leader’s jersey and opened up a two-second lead over Bouhanni and Friday’s victor Dylan Groenewegen (LottNl-Jumbo).

Ewan’s consistent form also means he tops the Yorkshire Bank Points Classification while Etienne Van Empel (Roompot Nederlandse Loterij) defended his place at the top of the Virgin Trains King of the Mountain Classification. Team Dimension Data lead the Team Classification sponsored by Doncaster Sheffield Airport and FlyBe.

Harrogate - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Nacer BOUHANNI (France / Team Cofidis) - Caleb EWAN (Australia / Team Orica Scott)  pictured during stage -2 of the Tour de Yorkshire from Tadcaster to Harrogate (122.5k) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage two winner, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “The conclusion of today’s stage was hard and steep. Here in Yorkshire it seems like all the roads are hilly! Yesterday I watched the finish of the 2014 Tour de France stage here when Marcel Kittel won and that allowed me to better understand today’s sprint. I produced my effort with 400m to go and when Jonathan Hivert kicked I knew I had to react immediately. This is my fourth win of the season and it gives me confidence because the Tour de Yorkshire is my first race after a brief break. There were so many people on the road today it felt like the Tour de France.”

6th, Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data): “The team did very well today. Unfortunately, I found myself in a wrong position in the final, so I had to start my sprint too far from the finishing line. I’m not really happy with my result today as this was a good chance for me. However, the team was great. Tomorrow is a very hard day but we have some good climbers here and I will do my best to help the guys get a good overall result.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 2:45:51
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
3. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Christopher Lawless (GB) Great Britain
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
8. Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Matthew Holmes (GB) Madison Genesis
10. Adam Blythe (GB) Aqua Blue Sport.

Tour de Yorkshire Overall After Stage 2:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott in 6:55:17
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 0:02
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Chris Opie (GB) Bike Channel-Canyon at 0:08
5. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
6. Angel Madrazo (Spa) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:10
7. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data at 0:12
8. Steele Von Hoff (Aus) One Pro Cycling
9. Adam Blythe (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb.

Yorkshire stage 2:

Serge Pauwels won the Final Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire with teammate Omar Fraile securing 2nd, after what was a brilliant display of teamwork by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka on Sunday. With the final stage results, our African Team also secured 1st and 2nd overall at the Tour de Yorkshire.

The final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire started with a 7-rider break going clear early on. The peloton allowed the gap to grow to 4-minutes with Bernhard Eisel, our African Team captain, controlling affairs from the main group together with our young Australian, Ben O’Connor. Kristian Sbaragli was tasked with looking after our two leaders for the day, Fraile and Pauwels.

Eisel seemed to have an endless supply of energy as he rode on the front right up until 25km to go, pulling off just as the early break of the day was caught. Scott Thwaites then took over, using his local knowledge to drive the peloton into the first of four climbs. After Thwaites led all the way up the Cote de Deepcar climb, the peloton had shattered to contain only 45 riders. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, O’Connor, Fraile and Pauwels had all benefited from Thwaites strong pull.

Janse van Rensburg then showed his fine form and attacked twice on the Cote de Wigtwizzle to further split the group. Coming into the penultimate climb of the race, our South African put in one last effort and provided a springboard for Pauwels to launch an attack. Over the summit and Pauwels had 30 seconds on the now 8 rider chase group, but Fraile was marking their every move.

BMC Racing pegged the gap back down to just 10 seconds but they were not able to reach our Belgian before the top of the final climb, which peaked with 6km to go. As riders then tried one by one, to jump across to Pauwels, Fraile followed everything until the chasers had nothing left to give. Our Basque rider then saw his opportunity to bridge across to Pauwels which he did with an incredible acceleration.

Our 2 African Team riders then rode the final kilometer together, in front of the massive Yorkshire crowd, to complete a fantastic team effort. 1st and 2nd on the stage also placed Pauwels and Fraile 1st and 2nd in the overall classification while Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka unsurprisingly, won the team’s classification as well.

Sheffield - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Serge PAUWELS (Belgium / Team Dimension Data) - Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ (Spain / Team Dimension Data)  pictured during stage -3 of the Tour de Yorkshire from Bradford to Fox Valley (Sheffield) (194.5k) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage 3 and overall winner, Serge Pauwels (Dimension data): “I can’t believe it. This is my first professional victory and I am a little surprised with myself because usually I prefer longer climbs. Today’s stage lent itself to a really explosive rider and there were no moments of respite. I want to highlight all the work of my team, especially that of Bernhard Eisel, and of course, the presence of Omar Fraile in the final helped me a lot. This stage is comparable to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with perhaps even more people on the roadside. The crowds were incredible. This winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie but I asked to do the Tour of Yorkshire because the atmosphere here is amazing.”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 3 Result:
1. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data in 4:57:47
2. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Dimension Data
3. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:06
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
5. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 0:08
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Matthew Holmes (GB) Madison Genesis
8. Mark Christian (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
9. Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Sunweb
10. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:23.

Tour de Yorkshire Final Overall result:
1. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data in 11:53:04
2. Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Dimension Data at 0:06
3. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:07
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:18
5. Matthew Holmes (GB) Madison Genesis at 0:20
6. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Mark Christian (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky
9. Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Sunweb
10. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:35.

Final stage 3:

Women’s Tour de Yorkshire 2017
Yorkshire’s very own Lizzie Deignan wowed the massive crowds who turned out to watch the 2017 Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire by breaking away and claiming an incredible solo victory in Harrogate.

Deignan – who hails from Otley – made her move by attacking with her Boels Dolmans team-mate Anna van der Breggen on the brutish Côte de Lofthouse climb and then left her rivals in the dust as she pressed on to the finish.

The 28 year old had 55-second advantage as she raced up Parliament Street and had time to soak up the deafening support before she crossed the line with her arms aloft. American Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) took second place by out-sprinting Italy’s former world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5).

Deignan’s triumph meant she was awarded the blue winner’s jersey sponsored by Asda on the podium and also topped the best sprinter’s classification sponsored by Aunt Bessie’s. Wiggle High5 rider Claudia Lichtenberg was awarded Queen of the Mountain sponsored by Virgin Trains after cresting the Côte de Lofthouse in first place, while Deignan’s Boels Dolmans claimed the team classification prize sponsored by FlyBe and Doncaster Sheffield Airport. The Tour’s youngest rider – 18 year old Gwenno Hughes (NCC Group-Kuota-Torelli) – was being supported by Mug Shot in the lead up to the race, and despite ultimately finishing outside the time cut, will have learned a great deal from the experience.

Harrogate - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Deignan Elizabeth (Lizzie) (Great Britain / Boels Dolmans)  pictured during women’s raceTour de Yorkshire from Tadcaster to Harrogate (122.5k) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Race winner, Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans): “The race really suited me and I knew the roads better than anyone else, so I took advantage of that. With 15km to go my Sports Director was telling me to save myself for the sprint but I knew we still had some small climbs to go. I knew it wasn’t going to come back together so I went on the attack. I didn’t dare believe I’d actually won the race until about 1km to go though because I felt like I was getting slower and slower. The finish was so special and so surreal, and it meant so much to me to receive such great support. It was incredible and I’m struggling to get my head around it. This is up there with the biggest wins of my career, definitely. There were a lot of big teams here and the Tour is growing into a really prestigious race. We don’t get crowds like this in women’s cycling very often and it was unbelievable to see so many people on the roadside. The fact that the whole race was televised live as well was really important. You’ll only see stronger and stronger women coming to this race in the future because of that, and the best riders specifically targeting this race.”

Women’s Tour de Yorkshire Result:
1. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Boels-Dolmans in 3:09:36
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb at 0:55
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
5. Hannah Barnes (GB) Canyon-SRAM
6. Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Hitec Products at 0:59
7. Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
9. Roxanne Knetemann (Ned) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope
10. Danielle King (GB) Cylance Pro Cycling.

Women’s Tour de Yorkshire:

Giro d’Italia 2017
The Riders to Watch at the Giro 100: Maglia Rosa Dreaming
With little less than a week before the Giro d’Italia’s Big Start in Sardinia, let’s profile the potential GC contenders for the final victory at the Giro 100 contested from 5 to 28 May

In this unique and historic edition of the Giro d’Italia there are plenty of riders with GC ambitions, but only one of these men will be able to wear the final Maglia Rosa in Milan, lifting the Trofeo Senza Fine. Over the next three days we will share their profiles and hear their impressions before the start.
The first challenge for the GC contenders will arrive soon: stage 4, from Cefalù to Etna, which will end with a 20km climb featuring an average gradient of 6% that will start in Nicolosi and end at the Rifugio Sapienza, 1,892 meters above sea level on Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. The next climb finish will be on stage 9, Montenero di Bisaccia to Blockhaus; its final13km will feature long sections of 9% inclines with peaks at 14%.

The first few stages of the Giro 100 will not decide the final winner but will give a clear indication on the form of all the contenders before the Sagrantino Stage ITT and the great mountains waiting for the Corsa Rosa.

The GC contenders to watch out for at the Giro d’Italia are:

Mikel Landa (ESP – Team Sky). Since he came third at the 2015 Giro d’Italia, Mikel Landa has been touted as a potential Grand Tour winner. He was forced to pull out of last year’s Corsa Rosa due to sickness and rode the Tour de France as a domestique. This time around, he co-leads Team Sky with Geraint Thomas.

Mikel Landa said: “The Giro d’Italia is a special race. The people are so passionate and you can really feel their support. The fact that this year is the 100th Giro will make it even more special. The Giro is going to be a big challenge but I feel that I’m in good form and it’s a challenge I’m ready for. As always, it is a real climbers’ race and I think that will suit me. We have a strong squad and I’m really looking forward to returning to the Giro with Team Sky.”

Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) - Davide FORMOLO (Italy / Cannondale Drapac Professsional Cycling Team) pictured during Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2017 - UCI Worldtour - foto Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2017

Tom Dumoulin (NED – Team Sunweb). After spending six days leading last year’s Giro d’Italia before winning two major stages of the Tour de France while preparing for the Olympic time trial race (where he finished 2nd), the Dutchman has only one focus this time around: the overall classification of the Corsa Rosa. For the first time, Dumoulin trained at altitude in preparation.

Tom Dumoulin said: “The Giro d’Italia is a great race. Last year I had the honor of wearing the Maglia Rosa for a few stages, it was really special. It’s going to be an exciting race this year with the 100th anniversary edition but also for me personally, aiming for a GC result from the start of the Grand Tour for the first time. Me and my Team Sunweb team-mates are ready and want to perform at our best in Italy, and we’ll see what result we end with in Milano.”

Col de la Couillole - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - ZAKARIN Ilnur (RUS) Rider of Team Katusha - Alpecin pictured during stage 7 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Nice - Col de la Couillole, 177.00 km - foto NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Ilnur Zakarin (RUS – Team Katusha Alpecin). The Russian lay fifth overall in last year’s Giro d’Italia when he was forced to pull out following a heavy crash while descending the Colle dell’Agnello. Zakarin recovered in time to win a mountain stage of the Tour de France, then started the 2017 season on the right foot as runner up at the Abu Dhabi Tour – he’s aiming for more at the Giro d’Italia.

Ilnur Zakarin said about the Giro 100: “After my crash and forced abandon in 2016 I really want to show that I am able to finish a Grand Tour in the top five. I think that last year, without my crash in the descent of the Colle dell’Agnello, I would have been able to finish the 2016 Giro in the top five. This year my preparation was a bit disturbed by a bad crash in the Tour of Catalunya but I hope to be on track again just in time to perform very well in the Giro. It is the 100th edition, which is very special. It would be nice to put myself and my Katusha Team in the spotlight. I like this race; the Giro has a great history and I look forward to be part of its 100th edition. Moreover, I want to play a key role. It will be hard because many good riders are present, but I like challenges.”

Rohan Dennis (AUS – BMC Racing Team).
As he finished second at Tirreno-Adriatico after winning the inaugural team time trial with BMC Racing Team and the closing individual time trial, the former track rider announced his four-year plan to become a Grand Tour overall contender. He takes the Giro 100 as a first test, focusing on the two time trials while Tejay van Garderen handles the leadership.

Rohan Dennis said: “I have a lot to learn and I have to start somewhere where there are a lot more opportunities to get a result so I chose to race the Giro d’Italia. It’s the first Grand Tour of the year and if you can learn how to race the Giro as a General Classification rider, you can race any Grand Tour.”

“On paper, if you look at the route, I think 90 percent of the time the Giro is the hardest one every year. It’s probably the least-suited to me when it comes to the terrain so to be able to learn how to ride GC in a race that isn’t really suited to me, is a huge bonus for me in the future. My form at the Tour of the Alps leading into the Giro was spot on. I think I’ve given myself as good a chance as possible for my first GC attempt at a Grand Tour.”

Thibaut Pinot (FRA – FDJ). The best young rider (and third overall) at the 2014 Tour de France, Pinot decided to prioritize the Giro d’Italia over his home race as he’s convinced the Italian style of racing suits him better. The tattoo on his right bicep (in Italian) says everything about his intention: ‘solo la vittoria è bella’ (‘only victory is beautiful’).

Thibaut Pinot said: “I decided to take part in the Giro100 even before the 99th edition started. For several years I’ve wanted to do it… it’s the right time now. The Giro d’Italia is probably the race that suits me better than any other with the kind of mountains I like and the bad weather there is sometimes in the Dolomites in May. I’m determined to race for GC. The Tour of the Alps has been reassuring in terms of the physical condition I’m in now. I believe I’m ready to fight for the final podium.”

Geraint Thomas (GBR – Team Sky). Fifteenth overall at both the last two Tours de France while backing Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas opted for the Giro d’Italia he discovered as a neo-pro with Barloworld in 2008 and raced again with Team Sky in 2012 (taking 2nd place in the closing time trial). The Welshman will lead the British squad along with Spaniard Mikel Landa who finished third at the 2015 Giro.

Geraint Thomas said: “To go to the 100th Giro as one of Sky’s team leaders is a huge opportunity for me. It’s been a big journey for me to get here. My preparation has gone really well and I’m ready. I can’t wait to get there now. The Tour of the Alps was my last race before the Giro and so to win there was obviously a huge boost to my morale. I know it’s going to be a really strong field at the Giro. It’s going to be a tough, unpredictable race but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Edmonton - Canada - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Bauke Mollema (Netherlands / Trek Factory Racing) pictured during Stage 4 of the Tour of Alberta 2016 from Edmonton to Edmonton ITT - photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2016

Bauke Mollema (NED – Trek-Segafredo). The arrival of Alberto Contador at Trek-Segafredo has helped Mollema to return to the Giro d’Italia, a race he finished 12th in as a neo-pro in 2010. The Dutchman was second overall in the Tour de France with three days to go before dropping down to 11th. A top three finish at a Grand Tour is within reach.

Bauke Mollema said: “I am really looking forward to go back to Italy, where I rode my first Grand Tour back in 2010. For sure it will be a special Giro being the 100th edition – the Italian fans are always one of the best, which gives me a lot of motivation. I have seen a lot of stages already and I know for a fact it will be a hard Giro. Like always I could say, because with its aggressive way of racing and all the climbing, the Giro might well be the hardest of the three Grand Tours. I, myself, hope to get to my personal best level and be in the mix for the 100th pink jersey!”

Tejay van Garderen (USA – BMC Racing Team). Aged 28, the American is a Giro rookie after finishing fifth at the Tour de France in both 2012 and 2014. BMC Racing Team has two cards to play with van Garderen and Rohan Dennis. The former track rider from Australia has announced his ambition to become a Grand Tour contender after finishing second at this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, winning both time trial stages.

Tejay van Garderen said: “The Giro d’Italia is a race I have never done before and it was a race I had been asking to do for a while. This year, the team gave me the green light to give it a try and it was a good opportunity for me to lead the team in a different Grand Tour. The parcours suits me well. There is a good number of time trialling kilometers and a good number of mountain stages; it’s a very balanced Grand Tour. It’s hard, certainly, but I like the route. My lead up to the Giro d’Italia has been good. It has been a slow progression but I think I am hitting good form at just the right time.”

Bahrein - Merida 2017 - 16/12/2016 -  - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

Vincenzo Nibali (ITA – Bahrain-Merida). Among the starters of the Giro 100, the Sicilian is the only rider to have won the race twice (in 2013 and 2016). The defending champion has built his 2017 season with the sole aim of equalling Bernard Hinault, the last triple winner of the Giro d’Italia (1980, 1982 and 1985) who was recently inducted to the Giro Hall of Fame.

The ‘Shark’ said: “I am very happy to be at the start of the Giro in such a special edition. This is the 100th edition of the Giro, moreover there are stages on the two main islands, Sardinia and Sicily: this is not so common for the Giro. I am personally happy because stage 5 will finish in my town, Messina; there are not many times the Giro has arrived in Messina. My objective is to race at my best, then it will be for the road to decide.”

Nairo Quintana (COL – Movistar). With the Giro d’Italia special as his first Grand Tour victory (in 2014), Quintana, the 2016 Vuelta a España winner, declared that he couldn’t miss the hundredth edition of the Corsa Rosa. Quintana’s victory at Tirreno-Adriatico makes him the hot favorite.

Nairo Quintana said: “The Giro is one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever competed. It is special, exciting and with a lot of support from the fans. I have already won one Giro, and I’m particularly attached to this race: I could not miss the 100th edition of the Giro. Overall, I have positives memories of all my races in Italy, I got some positive results in this country and I have always received support from Italian fans: I think they like me and it is also because of them that I like to race in Italy.”

“This year, racing both the Giro and the Tour, I am facing a bigger challenge. I am confident I can fight for the victory in both Grand Tours. I will have a very strong team at the Giro, and this gives me lot of confidence. The last training in Colombia has been very positive, I think my condition for the Giro is very good.”

Giro d’Italia 2016 - 99a Edizione - 15a tappa Castelrotto - Alpe di Siusi 10.8 km - 22/05/2016 - Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) - foto Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

Steven Kruijswijk (NED – LottoNL-Jumbo). The Dutchman has become something of a Giro d’Italia specialist, having led the race for five days last year until a crash descending the Colle dell’Agnello cost him the Maglia Rosa with two days remaining. Seventh overall in 2015 and fourth in 2016, Kruijswijk promised he’d return, aiming to win.

Steven Kruijswijk said: “After last year’s Giro, I can’t hide my ambition: everybody will understand that I aim for a spot on the final podium. I’ll try to reach the maximum possible. Anyway it will become a special Giro d’Italia, because of the jubilee. And the route is very challenging. So it’s not only me who is very much looking forward to it, but it will be an interesting edition for all Italian people and all cycling supporters. I have just finished a three-week altitude training camp on El Teide and as we speak I’m in the UK for the Tour of Yorkshire to get some extra sharpness in the next couple of days. After this race I will be perfectly prepared.”

Larciano - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Adam Yates (GBR - ORICA - Scott) - Richard Carapaz (ECU - Movistar)†- Rigoberto Uran (COL - Cannondale - Drapac) pictured during GP Larciano 2017 from Larciano to Larciano 199,2 km - - GP Larciano 2017 - Larciano - Larciano 199,2 km - 05/03/2017 - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Adam Yates (GBR – Orica-Scott). The best young rider at last year’s Tour de France (finishing fourth overall) is a natural favorite for the white jersey at the Giro d’Italia in his last season in the u26 category. He’s also a serious contender for the final podium for which he and his twin brother Simon have been designated by their Australian management to co-lead the team.

Adam Yates said: “The 100th edition gives the Giro some big prestige this year and you are seeing just what that means in the quality of the field starting, particularly in GC contenders. If we can get as close to the podium as possible, that is the aim. There is a lot of time trialling and a lot of big names but we are putting the work in, we will race hard and we will see how it goes.”

Movistar Team Announces Giro d’Italia Lineup
Nairo Quintana leads Eusebio Unzué’s team at 100th edition of Corsa Rosa, May 5th to 28th.

The Movistar Team has defined the nine riders that will wear the Blue jersey in the 100th Giro d’Italia, starting in Sardinia on Friday, May 5th. The lineup, led by Nairo Quintana -in his first stop of the Giro-Tour double this season-, also includes Andrey Amador, Winner Anacona, Daniele Bennati, Víctor de la Parte, José Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, José Joaquín Rojas and Rory Sutherland. The sports directors for this race will be José Luis Arrieta and Chente García Acosta.

The Italian grandtour, kicking off again on Friday and containing three rest day, will finish in Milan on Sunday 28th after 21 stages and 3,605 kilometers. The route features five mountain-top finishes -Etna (4th stage), Blockhaus (9th), Oropa (14th), Ortisei (18th) and Piancavallo (19th)-, several mid and high-mountain stages and two individual time trials: a longer, hillier stage ten, 39.8km between Foligno and Montefalco, and the 27.8km showdown from the Autodromo di Monza. The Blues will land in Sardinian turf on Tuesday.

Gazprom – RusVelo is Ready for the Main Race of the Season
Alexander Foliforov, Sergey Firsanov and Ivan Savitskiy will lead Gazprom-RusVelo at the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which takes place from May 5-28.

Foliforov and Firsanov will target the mountain stages, while Savitskiy will be the supported rider in the sprints. They will be joined in the nine-man line-up by Pavel Brutt, Sergey Lagutin, Evgeny Shalunov, Ivan Rovny, Alexey Tsatevich and Dmitry Kozonchuk. The main goal is to place Foliforov as high up the general classification as possible. The 25-year-old won a stage of the 2016 Giro and goes into this year’s race in good form, having won the mountains classification at the recent Tour of the Alps.

Foliforov said: “I feel great and my preparation for the Giro is complete. Last year I experienced a Grand Tour for the first time and didn’t know what to expect. It was incredible to make the debut memorable with a stage win, but this year is a new challenge and we will strive to improve the result.”

Savitskiy twice finished in the top 10 in sprints at last year’s Giro and starts the 2017 edition buoyed by a third-place finish on stage four of the Tour of Croatia.

Savitskiy said: “The recent third place on the fourth stage on Tour of Croatia demonstrated that I am able to compete for victory with the strongest sprinters. I am prepared for fierce competition at the Giro and I will do my best to be in the top three on the flat stages.”

Firsanov will aim for stage wins in the mountains, while Brutt, Lagutin, Shalunov, Tsatevich and Rovny will target rolling days suited to breakaways. Lagutin proved his expertise in winning out of breakaways when he finished first on stage eight of last year’s Vuelta a España, while Rovny finished second on stage 10 of last year’s Giro. The race will be Gazprom-RusVelo’s second appearance at a Grand Tour, having made the first at the 2016 Giro.

Firsanov said: “After making our debut at Giro d’Italia last year, we go into this year’s race with more confidence and without the same pressure. I am in a good form right now and I am looking forward to targeting stage wins.”

Renat Khamidulin, general manager of Gazprom-RusVelo, said: “The racing calendar was planned to get the riders into peak form for the beginning of May. Everybody understands it’s the most important race of the season for us and we are ready to give our maximum. Our line-up is well balanced and the riders will be active on every stage. The focal point for us is to make progress and we are set up not only to repeat last year’s success, but to improve on it.”

Sunweb Team for the Giro
With the Giro d’Italia fast approaching, German Team Sunweb look forward to participating in the 100th anniversary of the race. The team have selected a strong and experienced line-up to chase its goals throughout the race, including riders from its German core who will be crucial to the team’s ambitions for the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia.

Speaking about Team Sunweb’s line-up for the Giro, coach Aike Visbeek (NED) explained: “After a good period of preparation and training, we are feeling super motivated for a great 100th anniversary edition of the race with the line-up that we have selected. We’ve just returned from the team’s high altitude camp in Tenerife and we’ve done video recons to prepare our riders and get familiar with the key sections of the course.

“Phil makes his Grand Tour debut with us at the Giro and we will focus on the development of him getting a free role on the flat sprinter’s stages to go for a stage result. On these stages we will have a common goal to protect Tom [Dumoulin] and also bring Phil into the final in good shape.”

“It will be a tough three weeks. For the difficult stages we have Simon, Georg, Sindre and Chad to support Tom, whereas Laurens and Wilco will be the last guys to go through deeper into the finale. Laurens brings a wealth of experience and Wilco has himself achieved a top 10 here in the past. Tom [Stamsnijder] is an engine that can help us out both on the hills and flat.”

Phil Bauhaus (GER), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Georg Preidler (AUT), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Tom Stamsnijder (NED).
Coach: Aike Visbeek.

Tom Dumoulin:

Kruijswijk surrounded by strong team in Giro d’Italia
Steven Kruijswijk can count on eight strong teammates in the Giro d’Italia. Last winter, Team LottoNL-Jumbo has signed Stef Clement and Jurgen van den Broeck especially for the tough third week. Obvious that they will be part of the team travelling to Sardinia tomorrow for the start of the 100th Giro d’Italia this Friday.

The lineup of Team LottoNL-Jumbo is Dutch colored. Besides Kruijswijk and Clement, the team will attend with Twan Castelijns, Jos van Emden, Bram Tankink and Martijn Keizer. The Belgian time trial champion Victor Campenaerts and the Italian double stage winner Enrico Battaglin complete the team of the sports directors Addy Engels, Jan Boven and Sierk Jan de Haan.

Kruijswijk, fourth in 2016 and seventh in 2015, aims for a top-three result in the general classification. “Last year, I crashed two days before the end of the race. I lost the highest achievable: the pink jersey. Nevertheless, I know what I’m capable to after that Giro and I want to compete again for a good result. We continued working hard to get the most out of it. It was great to wear the pink jersey last year. Now, I wish to finish on the final podium and preferably as high as possible”, says the 29 years old team leader.

Steven Kruijswijk:
Risoul - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during stage 19 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Pinerolo to Risoul (162km) - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Lineup & Preview: Giro d’Italia
On Friday, May 5, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will take the start at the 100th edition of Giro d’Italia. Our African Team brings a strong roster eager to fight for glory in Italy during the next three weeks of hard racing.

This year’s Giro d’Italia is set to be one for the yearbooks. Not only is it the centenary edition of the race, it also presents one of the strongest fields in many years. The course is beautifully designed with the opening stages on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily before moving in-land to take on the remaining part of the race.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka lines up for its second Giro d’Italia with a strong team ready to shine on all terrain. Igor Antón, Natnael Berhane and Omar Fraile will have their say in the mountains, while Kristian Sbaragli and our young South African debutant Ryan Gibbons will be the cards to play in the sprints. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Johann van Zyl will be important players for setting up their teammates and trying their own luck in the breaks, while Nathan Haas will have a chance to fight for glory in the undulating stages.

The first three stages look to be a matter for the sprinters, even though stage two may produce a surprise winner with a late climb before a long descent towards the finishing line. After these three opening stages, the riders get their first rest day as they fly to Sicily to continue the race with a difficult mountain top finish on the Etna volcano. Two of the following four stages are made for the sprinters, while the other two both include a short uphill finish to shake things up. Another day in the mountains awaits on stage nine before the riders can enjoy yet another rest day. This time, however, they really need it in order to recharge the batteries before the 39.8 km long individual time trial on stage 10, which will have a huge impact on the general classification. The following day is an undulating stage to Bagno di Romagna, which could easily see a strong break make it all the way. The sprinters will have their final chance to shine in stage 12 and 13 before the race moves into the mountains, where it stays until the very last day.

Stage 14 finishes with a 12 km long ascent up to the iconic Oropa sanctuary, while the following stage pays homage to Giro il Lombardia as the peloton takes on the same course on the final 50 km as in the Italian one-day race. Afterwards follows the final rest day of the race and, once again, the riders really need it. Stage 16 is without a doubt one of the hardest stages in this year’s Giro d’Italia – if not the hardest one. With the three infamous climbs; Mortirolo, Passo dello Stelvio and Umbrailpass on the menu, one simply can’t afford to have a bay day this grueling Tuesday.

Stage 17 is another hilly day in the saddle for the riders but it’s not as difficult as the previous stage or as the two mountain top finishes that follow. The penultimate stage of the race includes two challenging category 1 climbs, which serves as the final chance for the climbers to move up in the general classification. However, nothing is settled until the last rider crosses the finishing line on the 29.3 km flat time trial from the Formula 1 course in Monza to the heart of Milano with a beautiful finish on Piazza Duomo.

Igor Antón, Natnael Berhane, Omar Fraile, Ryan Gibbons, Nathan Haas, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Kristian Sbaragli, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Johann Van Zyl.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principle
It is a privilege to be a part of the centenary Giro d’Italia for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and we are looking forward to a spectacular race. We are really happy to take a very strong team to the Giro including 5 African riders, one of which is Ryan Gibbons, our young South African who will make his grand tour debut. This is something incredibly special for him but it also shows this team has come an incredibly long way. We have a deep passion for the Giro d’Italia and Italian cycling, and as a team we have committed to racing the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia to put 100 girls on bicycles through Qhubeka. #Giro100Girls

Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
This centenary Giro has a demanding parcour, particularly in the last week where the GC will certainly be decided. Before this tough final week though, there are numerous opportunities for the riders to try to win a stage. Some of those stages are pure sprint stages but others have that “little something”, typically Italian style stages which will generate some exciting finales. Our team will fight for these early stage victories but we’ll also look to use the experience of Igor Anton, who will start his 18th 3-week grand tour, together with Omar Fraile who has proven himself in the last week of a grand tour to achieve a big result.

Landa and Thomas to Lead Team Sky at 100th Giro d’Italia
Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, which starts next week in Sardinia (5th May) and ends in Milan on Sunday 28th May.

Thomas and Landa will be joined by Philip Deignan, Kenny Elissonde, Michal Golas, Sebastian Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Salvatore Puccio and Diego Rosa.

Ahead of the team’s departure to the Giro, Mikel Landa said:
“The Giro is going to be a big challenge but I feel that I am in good form and it’s a challenge I am ready for. As always, it is a race for the climbers and I think that will suit me. We have a strong team and I’m really looking forward to returning to the Giro with Team Sky.”

Geraint Thomas said:
“My preparation has gone really well and I’m ready. I can’t wait to get there now. The Tour of the Alps was my last race before the Giro and so to win there was obviously a boost to my morale. I know it’s going to be a really strong field at the Giro and it will be a tough, unpredictable race but I’m looking forward to it.”

Confirming the line-up, Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said:
“The 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia is going to be a special race. We want to make sure we are a key player in it and that we go there and make our mark. We’ve placed a lot of importance on performing well at this race. We have prepared properly for it to give the riders the best chance of making an impact.”

“Our focus for the race will be to compete on GC. In Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas we’re coming into the race with two key riders who will be trying to achieve that.”

“We’ve looked at the challenges this edition of the Giro presents and picked a team which we believe can fully support both of our leaders. The last week of this Giro will be particularly demanding and the severity of those stages will be determining factors, so making sure we have climbing support in the high mountains has been a key consideration.”

“Both Mikel and Geraint are coming into the race in excellent form and it’s exciting that they will be leading Team Sky into the 100th Giro d’Italia. They are two different types of rider and we see this as creating a real opportunity for us.”

“In Grand Tour terms the first serious tests come early on and so we will arrive in Sardinia focused and ready to race from Kilometer One.”

The Team Sky squad for the 2017 Giro d’Italia is:

Philip Deignan – age 33 – Ireland
Lining up for his 10th Grand Tour appearance, Philip Deignan brings plenty of experience and climbing ability to the table. A former Grand Tour stage winner and top-10 finisher in his own right (Vuelta 2009), the Irishman knows what it takes to compete at the sharp end of a general classification. After a busy start to the year Deignan has already been part of a winning performance at Paris-Nice, and most recently supported Geraint Thomas to victory at the Tour of the Alps.

Kenny Elissonde – age 25 – France
Team Sky’s new recruit for 2017, Kenny Elissonde is a pure climber and very much at home when the road ramps upwards. The Frenchman has ridden the last four editions of the Vuelta a España, and also completed the Giro back in 2015. A Grand Tour stage winner, Elissonde was another rider who helped Geraint Thomas to victory at the Tour of the Alps, in addition to his own third place at the early season Herald Sun Tour.

Michal Golas – age 32 – Poland
An experienced presence in the peloton, Michal Golas is comfortable in the role of road captain, with a key role to play across the three weeks. With starts at all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, the former Polish national road champion knows just how to position his team leader in the peloton. Golas is also able to set a tempo in the medium mountains, making him just the type of versatile rider every good Giro team requires.

Sebastian Henao – age 23 – Colombia
2017 has seen Sebastian Henao take another step in his development, with the Colombian riding harder and contributing deeper into some of the toughest races on the calendar. He played a pivotal role in his cousin Sergio Henao’s victory at Paris-Nice in March, and is also no stranger to the Giro d’Italia. Sebastian has completed the race on the last three occasions, finishing 17th in his own right last season, claiming second in the young rider standings.

Vasil Kiryienka – age 35 – Belarus
With no less than three Giro d’Italia stage wins to his name, Vasil Kiryienka is a force to be reckoned with and a veteran of 16 career Grand Tours. Never more comfortable than when he is on the front dishing out punishment to the peloton, ‘Kiry’ has become a fan favorite for his tireless work ethic. World time trial champion in 2015, the Belarusian also played his part in two of Chris Froome’s Tour de France victories.

Mikel Landa

Mikel Landa – age 27 – Spain
Co-leader for Team Sky in this year’s Giro, Mikel Landa is hoping to return to the same Grand Tour podium he stood on in 2015. Third place at the Giro d’Italia was a breakthrough result for the Spaniard, who also picked up a stage win in that race. Landa has tasted victory at the Giro del Trentino since joining Team Sky, but saw a promising run at the Giro curtailed by illness last season. He will be looking to bounce back in 2017 after showing impressive form at the Tour of the Alps.

Salvatore Puccio – age 27 – Italy
One of two Italians in the line-up this season, Salvatore Puccio is one of the most dependable riders on the Team Sky roster. Gradually building his strength and experience since joining the team back in 2012, Puccio had the honor of a day in the pink jersey at the 2013 Giro – the first of his three participations to date. An all-round talent with a fast kick and love for the Classics, he can also be relied upon to set a tempo on the race’s early climbs.

Diego Rosa – age 28 – Italy
The second Italian in the Giro squad, Diego Rosa has been a highly impressive addition to Team Sky’s roster in 2017. Having already ridden all three Grand Tours in his career, Rosa is a climbing force and has quickly slotted himself into the team’s mountain train. With a victory at Milano-Torino and a second place at Il Lombardia already to his name, Diego has quickly established himself as a rising star since stepping up to the WorldTour ranks in 2015.

Geraint Thomas – age 30 – Great Britain
Lining up in his first co-leadership role at a Grand Tour, the 2017 Giro is a chance for Geraint Thomas to show what he can do over three weeks. The Welshman carries superb form into the race, fresh from victory at the Tour of the Alps. ‘G’ has proven himself as one of the best wingmen in the sport, and an ever-present in all three of Chris Froome’s Tour de France wins. An Olympic gold medallist and Classics star in his own right, the Giro provides Thomas with a huge opportunity.

Geraint Thomas:

Van Garderen and Dennis Lead Motivated BMC Racing Team at Giro d’Italia
Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis will make their Giro d’Italia debut when they line up next week as BMC Racing Team’s leaders at the 100th edition of the race.

Van Garderen, who is the team’s primary leader, will join forces with Dennis, who is there to test his Grand Tour General Classification abilities, Sports Director Max Sciandri said.

“Tejay van Garderen is our outright leader for the General Classification. He has a lot of Grand Tour experience and we’re really excited to see what he can do at the Giro d’Italia; a race he has never done before. It is a new challenge for Tejay, the course is well-suited to his racing style and he will have the support of the whole team. Whereas Rohan Dennis is in a unique position where he has free rein to race his own race. Rohan has never focused on the General Classification in a Grand Tour, but he has proven this year that he has the legs to be up there with the best, and I think we will see a strong performance from Rohan that will be the start of his transition to an outright Grand Tour contender,” Sciandri explained.

“Behind van Garderen and Dennis, we have a mix of youth and experience in our line up. Manuel Quinziato and Francisco Ventoso are some of the most experienced riders in the peloton and they will fittingly be our road captains. Silvan Dillier, Ben Hermans, Dylan Teuns, Joey Rosskopf and Manuel Senni complete the line up and will provide crucial support on both the flat and mountain stages. I’m confident we will see strong performances from these riders, all of whom are continually progressing season after season.”

Van Garderen is embracing the new challenge that the Giro d’Italia presents. “The Giro d’Italia is a race I have never done before and it was a race I had been asking to do for a while. This year, the team gave me the green light to give it a try and it was a good opportunity for me to lead the team in a different Grand Tour. The parcours suits me well. There is a good number of time trialling kilometers and a good number of mountain stages. It is a very balanced Grand Tour. It’s hard, certainly, but I like the route,” van Garderen said.

“My lead up to the Giro d’Italia has been good. It has been a slow progression but I think I am hitting good form at the right time. Now it’s about fine tuning the big load of work that I have done since December, with my final race at the Tour de Romandie.”

Dennis has his sights set on a gradual Grand Tour development that starts next week in Italy. “I have a lot to learn and I have to start somewhere where there are a lot more opportunities to get a result, so I chose to race the Giro D’Italia. If you can learn how to race the Giro d’Italia as a General Classification rider, you can race any Grand Tour. On paper, if you look at the route, I think 90% of the time the Giro d’Italia is the hardest Grand Tour every year. It’s probably the least-suited to me when it comes to the terrain so to be able to learn how to race for the General Classification in a race that isn’t really suited to me, is a huge bonus for me in the future,” Dennis explained.

“My form at the Tour of the Alps leading into the Giro d’Italia was spot on. I think I have given myself as good a chance as possible for my first General Classification attempt at a Grand Tour. To arrive in Milan with all of my skin, top five or top ten on General Classification, and with a stage win would be the absolute best case scenario for my first attempt.”

Giro d’Italia (5-28 May)
Rider roster:

Rohan DENNIS (AUS): First time racing
Silvan DILLIER (SUI): Two participations (2015, 2016)
Ben HERMANS (BEL): Two participations (2012, 2014)
Manuel QUINZIATO (ITA): Four participations (2003, 2009, 2014, 2016)
Joey ROSSKOPF (USA): One participation (2016)
Manuel SENNI (ITA): One participation (2016)
Dylan TEUNS (BEL): First time racing
Tejay VAN GARDEREN (USA): First time racing
Francisco VENTOSO (ESP): Five participations (2005, 2011-2014)
Sports Directors: Max SCIANDRI (ITA), Yvon LEDANOIS (FRA), Marco PINOTTI (ITA).

Rohan Dennis in yellow at the 2015 Tour:

The line-up of the UAE Team Emirates for the Giro d’Italia
In the new operative headquarter in Magnago (Milan – Italy), UAE Team Emirates announced the names of the nine riders who’ll take part in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia riding on Colnago bikes.

This is the line-up of the first Emirati team to participate in the Pink Race:
– Valerio Conti
– Rui Costa
– Roberto Ferrari
– Marco Marcato
– Sacha Modolo
– Matej Mohoric
– Simone Petilli
– Jan Polanc
– Edward Ravasi

Team will be directed by sports directors Orlando Maini and Marco Marzano, with the support from Daniele Righi.

Rui Costa will be at the start, his debut in the race: “This will be the first time for me in the Giro, I have strong motivations and I’m really happy to debut in the 100th edition. There are some stages whose courses are suitable for my skills: a victory in my first participation and in this special edition of the race will have a special value for me and for the team.”

Sacha Modolo will fight in the sprints: “For an Italian rider, Giro d’Italia is a key appointment. I’m a lucky rider, I won in my career two stages in the Pink Race: I’ll do my best to live again those amazing feelings, relying on a group of special riders who demonstrated to be perfect in launching me in the sprints.”

In the team’s line-up there will be two riders who already won at the Giro d’Italia: Modolo, who obtained two stages victories in 2015, and Polanc, winner of the Abetone stage in 2015 too. The average age of the selection of the President Matar’s team is 26,5, the oldest rider is Marcato (33 years old), the youngest is Mohoric (22 years old).

BAHRAIN-MERIDA Team at Giro d‘Italia 100
Twenty-one stages, 3572 kilometers. In a few days, on May 5th, the edition number 100 of the Giro d’Italia will start from Sardinia and return to the Italian peninsula after two stages in Sicily. The final stage will see the peloton arrive in Milan for the 76th time, on May 28th.

The “Corsa rosa” will include six sprint stages, eight stages of medium difficulty climbing, five highly testing climbing stages and two individual time trials (for a total of 67.2km) including the stage that will close the 100th Giro, from the famous Monza racetrack to the Milan Cathedral. The iconic Stelvio Pass is the 2017 Cima Coppi.

“It’s a very nice challenging route” – says sport director Gorazd Štangelj – “from the start to the finish in Milan. Distractions have not been allowed since the first stages in Sardinia and Sicily. Among the most important stages, the Foligno’s time trial and the one with the double climbing of Stelvio over 2000 meters’ altitude.”

“Vincenzo and the whole team” – emphasizes sports director Paolo Slongo – “has done a good preparation as seen at the recent Tour of Croatia. We are ready. The team was designed to help our solo leader Nibali and for this reason the group from the beginning of the season has always worked and ran with Vincenzo.”

“There are athletes” – he continues – “as Siutsou, Visconti. Moreno and Pellizotti will work more uphill, while Boaro, Gasparotto and Pibernik are better suited to helping in plain or mixed stages. Valerio Agnoli will be the team’s jolly.”

“I am very pleased to be part of Giro100,” said Vincenzo Nibali – “I like also because the route touches the two islands – Sardinia and Sicily – which rarely see the “great cycling”. It will be very exciting arriving in my hometown Messina. Dreams and aspirations? No doubt, give my best and then will be the road to decide the winner.”

Along with him, the Italian Enrico Gasparotto, just returned from the Belgian classics. “It will be my seventh Giro d’Italia, a race that I really enjoy. My job, like that of my other teammates, will be to stay close to our captain. I hope to see many Bahrain Merida’s fans on the roads.”

Team BAHRAIN MERIDA’s roster:
Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli, Manuele Boaro, Enrico Gasparotto, Javier Moreno, Franco Pellizotti, Luka Pibernik, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Giovanni Visconti.

Ramunas Navardauskas won’t be joining his teammates on Giro d’Italia
Ramunas Navardauskas from BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team won’t be joining his teammates on the races in near future, due to health problems.

Dr. Carlo Guardascione, member of BAHRAIN MERIDA medical staff, explained Navardauskas’ condition: “The persistence of a gastrointestinal symptomatology, which had already appeared at the end of the Tenerife Training camp and forced him to retire during the recent Tour of Croatia, convinced the medical staff of BAHRAIN MERIDA Team to support further in-depth examinations carried out by the rider himself in Lithuania. These examinations showed a gastric infection by helicobacter pylori and some deficiencies of microelements, requiring adequate antibiotic therapy and reintegration for at least two weeks.”

This unfortunately means that, for precautionary purposes, Navardauskas will not be able to take part in Giro d’Italia, which is starting on May 5th. His fellow riders and staff fully support him in his medical examinations, although he will be very missed on the races, as one of the strongest members of the team.

Ramunas Navardauskas:
San Juan - Argentina - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS (Litauen / Team Bahrain - Merida)  pictured during  Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 35th Edition -  stage 3 - ITT Time Trial Induvidual - San Juan - San Juan - photo IB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Axeon Hagens Berman Mourns Chad Young
“I am very sorry to let everyone know that Chad Young did not survive his crash last Sunday. He passed away Friday evening, surrounded by his family.

We lost a friend, a teammate and a family member. I have no words that can express my pain over this loss. I can only say that I am very thankful to have known him and that I feel privileged to have been able to share in his passion for cycling.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support over the past few days. We ask that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

May he rest in peace.”

Axel Merckx
General Manager
Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team

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