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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2018 Tour de France will cross the Passage du Gois, where else will it go? – Top Story. All the results and video from the Presidential Tour of Turkey and the Tacx Pro Classic. In other cycling news: Martin Velits and Frederik Veuchelen retires, Alex Howes Stays with Slipstream, Ruslan Tleubayev for Astana, Jan Bakelants up-date and Rigoberto Uran on TV.

TOP STORY: Tour de France 2018
We will soon know the exact route of next year’s French Grand Tour. As always there are a lot of rumors about the course, but one thing for certain is that the Tour will start on Saturday the 7th and finish on Sunday the 29th of July 2018 due to the soccer World Cup in Russia. Eight man teams are also a strong probability.

We also know the first three stages:
Saturday 7 July: Stage 1 – Noirmoutier-en-Île to Fontenay-le-Comte – 195 km
Sunday 8 July: Stage 2 – Mouilleron-Saint Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon – 185 km
Monday 9 July: Stage 3 – Cholet to Cholet – team time trial – 35 km.

The first week will end with some Paris-Roubaix cobbles and a long drive (for the vehicles) to the Alps and a return to l’Alpe d’Huez. The second rest day will be in Carcassonne with Pyrenean climbs before and after. A tough individual time trial of around 30 kilometers in the Basque Country will sort out the victor the day before the final stage in Paris.

More details in PEZ with our ‘Tour First Look’ on Wednesday.

This is how ASO describes the Tour’18 presentation:
The cycling kit and helmets are, for the time being, hanging in the closet. And for this very special occasion where they will learn about the race-route of the next Tour de France, the riders who will attend the presentation at the Palais des Congrès in Paris will be decked out in their finest attire. Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil, Thibaut Pinot, Mark Cavendish, Arnaud Démare and even the recently retired Alberto Contador will be among the 4,000 attendees. Those who didn’t receive an invitation can, all the same, follow the presentation ceremony live, thanks to a streaming service that will be begin at 11:30am on the official site of the Tour de France: letour.fr. The live stream will also be accessible on the Tour de France mobile app and on Tour de France’s social media. Among the mysteries that will be answered on Tuesday morning, the Tour de France presentation will, for the first time, host the announcement of the winner of the 2017 Vélo d’Or award from Vélo Magazine, which is awarded to a rider chosen by an international jury of cycling journalists.

Key points:
The route and detailed program for the 2018 Tour de France, which will be held from 7-29 July, 2018, will be announced next Tuesday 17 October at the Palais des Congrès in Paris.
· Chris Froome, Romain Bardet and Mark Cavendish who starred in this year’s Tour will have the best seats in the house to learn about the stages that will follow the Grand Départ held in the Vendée and the Pays de Loire region.
· One among them will, for the first time during the Tour presentation, receive the 2017 Vélo d’Or award from Vélo Magazine.

Live coverage of the 2018 Tour de France on…
https://www.letour.fr/ and its mobile app, Tour de France’s social media and its Daily Motion channel, in four languages: French, English, German and Spanish.
· All around the World on the platforms of the main broadcasters of the Tour de France: France Télévisions, Eurosport, TV2 Norway, NBCSN (United-States), JSports (Japan), NOS (The Netherlands), RTBF and VRT (Belgium), Caracol (Colombia), SBS (Australia), etc.

Grand Départ du Tour de France 2018 – Vendée et Pays de la Loire:

Presidential Tour of Turkey 2017
Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his third win in a single edition of the Presidential Tour of Turkey like Mark Cavendish did in 2015 but he became the first rider to impose himself three days in a row in the modern history of the Turkish national Tour (since its promotion to the pro level in 2008). The Irishman won in Marmaris like André Greipel, Cavendish and Sacha Modolo in the past three years as he confirmed his superiority over Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and five Italians, the first of them, Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates) taking his first podium placing in Turkey.

99 riders started Stage 3 of the 53rd Presidential Tour of Turkey in Fethiye. Ferit Can Samlı (Turkish national team) and Gregory Daniel (Trek-Segafredo) rode away from the gun, rejoined a few kilometers further by Thomas Deruette (WB Veranclassic). But Lincoln Silva (Soul Brasil) who also tried to bridge the gap failed. The maximum time difference between the leading trio and the peloton was 6.20 at km 22. KOM leader Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) took fourth place at the only categorized climb of the day (km 32.9) behind Deruette, Samlı and Daniel to retain the red jersey for one more day. After 50km of racing, the deficit of the peloton led by Leo König (Bora-Hansgrohe) at the service of race leader Sam Bennett was stabilized around five minutes. It was later reduced under the action of the Wilier Triestina team.

After he won the Turkish beauties sprint with 27km to go, Daniel forged on while his two breakaway companions got reeled in. He had 40 seconds lead with 20km to go. He was reeled in 10km before the finishing line. The Androni-Sidermec team upped the tempo in the climb preceding the long downhill to the sea side in Marmaris but Bennett was strong enough to stay in the bunch. The sprint was launched by Italian neo pro Simone Consonni but Bennett timed it right to outclass Edward Theuns for the third straight day. The Irishman scored the first hat-trick of his career. However, he expects to lose the leader’s Turquoise jersey as the 204.1km long stage 4 will take the peloton to Selçuk in an uphill finish leading to the house of Virgin Mary.

Stage winner and overall leader, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m delighted, After the first stage I was wondering, can I get another? After the second, I was like, 2 in a row, I’ll be lucky to get another one, and here I am. I couldn’t have dreamed of this. I’m absolutely delighted. Since Cyclassics Hamburg (20 August) for some reason I set this race as a target. I wanted good results here. I was supposed to end my season at Münsterland, but I said to my team, Can I do Turkey? I’m normally motivated and good in the late season, I wanted to get some results and we’re actually doing it. The way the guys are riding, it’s amazing, 110% in the heat. They’re doing a great job, trying to control it. They’ve been getting some help from other teams but the guys have been working hard since day 1. It’s been a long season for them too, so I want to thank the team and staff. It was a hard last climb, I really didn’t know how I would react. I saved everything for it, I tried to keep a good position. I saw a bit of a split happening at the top and I tried to close it early. My coach when I was a teenager said it’s always better to close a gap early. I had 3 guys with me. In the final, it was fast and I was the one panicking! The guys were so confident. I was shouting at them ‘Go, go, go,’ but they didn’t listen to me. They kept their cool and delivered me perfectly. At one point I dive bombed one of my team mates which nearly ruined it all. Shane Archbold should have been there, so there would have been 4 of us. It was entirely my fault. Maybe we shouldn’t be too greedy, but we’ll try and do it again.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “In the end, I think we as a team could make it hard, but United Emirates could make it hard, and they did, but in the end Bennett was climbing also pretty good, so I just tried to save as much power on the climb as I could for the sprint. But in the end, he was still there and today I tried another tactic, I tried to take his wheel. I wanted to try and come from there but when he goes he just takes one and half meters on me. In the second acceleration, I can come back a little bit but he’s just far more explosive than I am. It’s not easy to beat him. I am a little bit more [frustrated than yesterday] because I hope today maybe we could get over the climb without him, but it didn’t work, his climbing is also pretty good because I think we were only left with 20 guys at the top, or maybe 30. So that means he’s also climbing pretty good. He’s the fastest of the bunch here and I think I am the second fastest so we are one and two again. Yeah, you cannot say a lot about it.”

3rd, Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates): “I came here to do well, for the team and myself. We were set to ride stage 1 for [Marko] Kump but he crashed and we got [Federico] Zurlo to substitute him [4th]. Yesterday I finished fifth, which was quite good, and today I knew it suited me more. I struggled a bit on the climb. My team-mates helped me to stay up there and make it back to the front part of the bunch for the last kilometer. I sprinted but against Bennett and Theuns, it’s difficult. I launched from far out and I will settle for third place for now.”

8th, Eduard Prades (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “They climbed at a fast pace today which made the group at the end very selective. In the sprint it was still fast and hectic and I did what I could, but just lacked that little bit extra for the win. At the moment I am feeling good and hopefully on one of the stages things will go my way.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 3 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:25:26
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
5. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
7. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
8. Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Turkish national team.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 3:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 13:24:28
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:26
4. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:29
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
7. Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
8. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:30
9. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Turkish national team
10. Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:32.

Turkey stage 3:

A hot favorite for the 53rd Presidential Tour of Turkey seven years after his first and only participation on the occasion of the only Italian overall victory up to date, by Giovanni Visconti, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) took the lead in Selçuk on Stage 4 as he outclassed Denmark’s Jesper Hansen (Astana) and Colombian up and coming Daniel Martinez (Wilier Triestina). Keeping a bitter taste of his second place in stage 15 of the Tour de France this year, the six-time stage winner at the Giro d’Italia is committed to ending his 2017 season in style.

From the gun, Italians Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) rode away up the hill, firstly rejoined by their compatriot Danilo Celano (Caja Rural-Seguro RGA) and later by a trio formed of Ferit Can Samlı (Turkish national team), Alberto Cecchin (Wilier Triestina) and Ludovic Robeet (WB Veranclassic). The advantage of the six leaders hardly exceeded three minutes with Bora-Hansgrohe, Soul Brasil and UAE Team Emirates staying focused with Selçuk’s uphill finish in mind. With 63km to go, the breakaway split in two. Ballerini, Samlı and Robeet remained at the front. Samlı delivered a third Turkish beauties sprint victory in four days to the Turkish national team, allowing his team-mate Onur Balkan to retain the white jersey. It was all together again 39km before the end.

First at the top of the first category climb, Celano moved into the lead in the King of the Mountain competition after he also managed to score behind red jersey holder Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) after the regrouping. The peloton was already on a high tempo with 30km to go as several Italian teams had the ambition to win above the historical site of Ephesus. Przemyslaw Niemiec (UAE Team Emirates) discouraged several adversaries by setting a strong pace up the hill. 21 year old Martinez tried his luck but surrendered when Ulissi easily masterminded his finale. It really suited an explosive rider like the winner of the GP Montreal Stage 5 will take the peloton from Selçuk to Izmir (166km) ahead of the grand finale in Istanbul on Sunday.

Stage winner and overall leader, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “The climb was suited to my skills, this is why the team worked so hard to control the stage and carry me to the last climb in the best possible circumstances. The rhythm on the climb was very fast and this led to a strong selection. I was feeling good and I managed to seal the deal on the work that my team mates had done. Tomorrow I will wear the classification leader’s jersey; it would be great and gratifying to be able to wear it until the end of the race.”

KOM, Danilo Celano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “First of all the aim was to get in the breakaway. Then when I got into the break the goal was to go for the mountains. The first climb was quite tough but luckily I had good legs. The leader from Bardiani was a lot fresher than me coming into the second last climb so I had to suffer a lot for that sprint. I was able to get second on that climb and the points I needed to get the jersey. The goal now will be to defend it.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 4 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 5:36:03
2. Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana at 0:05
3. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:09
4. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:11
5. Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:17
6. Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:32
8. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 0:34
10. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:37.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 4:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 19:00:50
2. Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana at 0:12
3. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:24
4. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:29
5. Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:30
6. Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:42
8. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:45
9. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 0:47
10. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:50.

Turkey stage 4:

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) makes it four in Izmir ahead of local hero Ahmet Örken while Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) is well protected before the grand finale in Istanbul.

The peloton left the St John basilica in Selçuk on Stage 5 without Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), due to sickness. It took twenty kilometers for a breakaway to be formed by seven riders: Onur Balkan and Muhammat Atalay (Turkey), Jonas Joch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Alex Turrin (Wilier Triestina), Jimmy Duquennoy and Lukas Sprengler (WB Veranclassic) and Matteo Spreafico (Androni-Sidermec). Shane Archbold (Bora-Hansgrohe) rejoined them before the first KOM of the day, where he passed in first position at km 52. The front group was reduced to five men: Archbold, Koch, Turrin, Sprengler and Spreafico. Their maximum advantage reached two minutes at km 60. Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates were determined to maintain a steady pace at the head of the peloton.

Turrin won the Turkish beauties sprint, which enabled Balkan to retain the white jersey. It was all together again with 31km to go. Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) moved back into the lead of the KOM competition as he crested the second KOM of the day in fourth place while Ilya Koshevoy and Daniel Martinez, both from Wilier Triestina, rode away in the climb that split the peloton in two pieces. It was all together again 7km before the end. Maestri tried his luck solo with 3km to go but he was reeled in 1.5km before the finishing line. Deprived of his usual lead out train, Bennett made his way to another sprint victory while Turkish up and coming fast man Ahmet Örken was sticking to his wheel to claim the best possible placing. It was the first podium of the 24 year old from Konya in five participations to the TUR. UAE’s Simone Consonni had enough resources left for taking a second top 3.

Stage winner, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Yesterday was so hard on every climb that I didn’t think I’d get over any of the climbs today. Yesterday I didn’t have to go the podium and do everything, so I had time for 10 hours sleep and I recovered as much as a I could. I had really bad legs yesterday. Today, they weren’t super but they weren’t as bad as yesterday. I got over the first climb and made the split, and I was OK, but then I had an acute case of crosswind paranoia. I heard Leo crashed but I didn’t know Schwarzy did too. I hope they’re OK. I still haven’t seen them Leo helped me on the first climb, and the lads were a great help on the final climb too. The beginning of the last climb wasn’t so steep; it went up in steps. The surface made a big difference. It was good, while on the first climb, the surface was completely dead.

Then I looked down and suddenly there were 4km to go. I decided to really fight. It was 50-50 whether I went for the stage or saved energy for tomorrow. I saw Theuns was struggling – well, not struggling, but fighting also – and that was good for the morale. Trek had a lot of guys, I was a bit frightened, but then Silvio Herklotz came over. In the end, the sprint was aggressive, Trek went on the left, I was on the right, I was clipping the legs of the barriers and nearly went down. I managed to get through. Then, in the final I didn’t realize we were there. The last 500m went so quick and I didn’t see the 200m to go, I only saw the 100m to go. The moment passed for Theuns to get out. He was blocked behind his lead out man who should have forced me wider. In the end, when I put down the power, it was still the same, so I think for future reference I should have more self believe, and just go at the right moment.

I’m delighted to get the win, with the effort the guys put in. Sadly we didn’t have Gregor [Mühlberger] today: we’d have loved to keep him up in GC, so we really had to fight for UCI points in the sprints. I got my 10 wins for the season, so that’s always been a career goal, and it’s the first time I’ve ever achieved that, and I’m very proud of that. I’m going to really enjoy this off season. I’m really happy.”

2nd on the stage, Ahmet Örken (Turkish national team): “This is a very good result for me. This is my fifth time competing in the Presidential Tour of Turkey and it’s my first time on the podium of a stage. It’s amazing. It’s also a confidence booster for next year when I’ll be racing at a higher level. A second place in a WorldTour race has a huge value. I feel stronger in the hills this year. I’ve trained a lot in the mountains. I was following Sam Bennett today. I knew he was the fastest but everybody was looking at his back wheel. I came very close though. Had the line been ten meters further, I might have been able to pass him but I’m already happy with what I achieved today.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 5 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:06:51
2. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Turkish national team
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
6. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana
7. Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
9. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
10. Gregory Habeaux (Bel) WB Veranclassic-Aquality Protect.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 5:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 23:07:41
2. Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana at 0:12
3. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:24
4. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:29
5. Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia at 0:30
6. Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:42
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 0:47
9. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:50
10. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) Trek-Segafredo at 1:03.

Turkey stage 5:

Edward Theuns won his last race for the Trek-Segafredo team while Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) slipped on the last curve in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul at the end of the Final Stage 6. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) claimed his first ever overall win in a WorldTour stage race. Jesper Hansen (Astana) and Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec) rounded out the final podium.

The world’s only race that bridges two continents, from the Asian to the European side of Istanbul, started with a 4-man breakaway that included Muhammet Atalay (Turquie), Patryk Stosz (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Thomas Deruette (WB Veranclassic) and Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF). Deruette won the only KOM price at km 25, after which Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF) was declared the King of the Mountains of the 53rd Presidential Tour of Turkey. National team rider Atalay won the Turkish beauties sprint on the new bridge above the Bosphorus (km 54) and therefore ensured his team-mate Onur Balkan would retain the white jersey till the very end. That’s where the maximum time gap of 1.45 was recorded. WorldTour teams Bora-Hansgrohe, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates weren’t keen to give too much freedom to the leading quartet.

Simion won the last prime of the TUR with 23km to go. The time difference was down to 40 seconds with 10km to go. It was all together again 3km before the line. A split occurred due to a crash with 2km to go but the favorites for the stage were at the front. Theuns tested Bennett at the beginning of the uphill to the historical district of Sultanhamet. The Irishman easily responded but he slipped in the last curve while being led out by Matteo Pelucchi. Theuns didn’t miss the opportunity to make it up for his disillusions of the previous day. Diego Ulissi rode conservatively to secure the fourth stage race victory of his career after the 2011 Tour of Slovenia, the 2013 Settimana Coppi i Bartali and the 2016 Czech Cycling Tour, but this is the first one in the WorldTour and he enjoyed this way to finish his 2017 in style in a beautiful part of the world.

Stage winner, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “I expected the last climb to be a little bit harder. The team did a super great job like they have done all week. They put me right at the front [ahead of the climb]. I saw the moment when we turned on [to the climb] and (Diego) Ulissi was doubting, and I said ‘okay, let’s go full from the bottom.’ It was okay the whole week, I knew Bennett was faster in the sprint, but after yesterday when we made a mistake in the finale 200 meters, I was super, super disappointed. So actually, yesterday evening and this morning I wasn’t the most pleasant guy to be with. But now this has changed, and I really have to thank the team a lot, and we can have a good party tonight. I am super happy it’s my last day riding for Trek-Segafredo, and I am really thankful of the opportunities I have gotten from the team. I had a hard period after my crash in the Tour (de France) last year, and they always supported me, and I came back, I think, to a higher level. I think there’s no better way than to thank the team than with a victory like this.”

Overall winner, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “Today my team mates again did a great job, helping me to stay in the positions at the head of the pack as we approached the last uphill of the route. It was the crucial moment of the stage, we did a good job avoiding all risks. I preferred to use some energy to stay out front rather than run any risk. I came to Turkey with the intention to win the general classification. It was a challenging goal, but my team mates and I have been impeccable all week, a magnificent week. I thank the entire team and our sponsors, I’ve closed out the season in the best way possible.”

2nd overall Jesper Hansen (Astana): “Second in the Presidential Tour of Turkey is one of the best results in my career so far. It makes me very happy. It’s the maximum I could get because Diego Ulissi is an awesome rider. The short climb to finish stage 4 was perfect for him with the good sprint he’s got. I always like to finish a season on a good note. It gives me more motivation for training in the winter. I hope to keep improving my performances in one-week races and Grand Tours in the future.”

Presidential Tour of Turkey Stage 6 Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 3:24:32
2. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
4. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) Trek-Segafredo
5. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni-Sidermec
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana
8. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Presidential Tour of Turkey Final Overall Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 26:32:13
2. Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana at 0:12
3. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:24
4. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle Itali at 0:29
5. Ildar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:30
6. Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Sidermec at 0:38
8. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 0:47
9. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 0:50
10. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) Trek-Segafredo at 1:03.

Turkey final stage 6:

Tacx Pro Classic 2017
Timo Roosen surprised by winning the first edition of the Tacx Pro Classic in Zeeland (Netherlands). While everyone expected a bunch sprint, Roosen was the fastest in a late escape of three riders. Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen completed the party by sprinting to third place. For the 24-year-old Dutchman Roosen it was his second victory of the season, raising Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s victory tally to 25 this season.

Race winner, Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo): “It was no secret that we put everything on Dylan today. But we also knew that a breakaway could be established in the end. We were alert and when two riders jumped, I joined them. Because we went for a sprint with Dylan, I did not participate. It was a logical decision, but not a fun one. Although it made it possible for me to do a good sprint in the final meters. It was pushing and pulling over narrow roads. A heavy race, with a nice result.”

3rd, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo): “We have controlled the course from kilometer zero to enforce a sprint. The fact that I still sprinted to third place, made the result all the more satisfying.”

Tacx Pro Classic Result:
1. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 4:26:53
2. Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal
5. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis
6. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
7. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Michaël Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
9. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC.

Tacx Classic’17:

Martin Velits: On Life in the Wolfpack and Retirement
The 32-year-old – who stops at the end of the season – reflects on his time with Quick-Step Floors and looks forward to new challenges in life.

I have desired to bring down the curtain of my professional cycling career
I’ve been riding as a pro since 2007, this being my 11th season, and I have been doing what I loved the most for so many years. As a professional cyclist, there are so many things that can go wrong and you never know how many good years you will get. I feel very fortunate for having enjoyed such a long career, something a lot of guys can only dream of. However, after this season I have decided that the time is right to close this chapter and open a new one in my professional life.

I don’t want to postpone my retirement to the day where I don’t want to ride a bike anymore. I want to stop while I am on a good note, when I am still enjoying riding my bike but also want to try other things in life. I weighed the pros and the cons, but there was really never any doubt. Better a little too early than too late, leaving you bow out in a state where I don’t want to touch the bike anymore. I think now is the perfect time to stop.

My twin brother Peter also retired last year, which also played a factor in my decision. He was trying to get back on the level he had before his injury but wasn’t too lucky, and the reality was he had to stop after the 2016 season. We have always trained together and even raced together when we were both on Quick-Step Floors. We always tried to find the time to train together when we were both home but after he stopped that has been almost never. It started to become lonely without his company. I mean, it isn’t that it is impossible to train without him, but there were missing something after so many years where we trained together.

I will miss my second family at Quick-Step Floors after so many years
I joined Quick-Step Floors in 2012 and I soon found my place; I also think the team found a good asset in me. I was happy with the role I had in the team and the team was happy with what I could do for them. Everybody was aligned, you can say, we knew the whole time what to expect from each other and both parts delivered, which is why I could stay with them for six consecutive years.

I will really be missing all the people I came across over the years and had the chance to work with on the team, whether it is the riders, staff members, management or sports directors. It is a long time to be on the same team, and of course the riders changed every year, but most of the guys behind the riders they worked here for many, many years and were already here before I came.

That is why you often hear guys from the team say it is like a big family. People know each other so well. That is the one thing I will really miss when I stop, the team and everybody around it. The races, the many traveling days, being on the start line with a lot of pressure that comes with it, the training and making sure you are on top of your game throughout the year, that is not something I will miss, to be honest.

Will always be part of the Wolfpack
I don’t want it to sound like a cliché, but I can only say that I couldn’t imagine a better team to finish my career with and I am really thankful for all of the people I have meet here and got the chance to work with over the years. I will for sure keep on watching the Wolfpack and be a Quick-Step guy by heart!

But until then, there’s one more page to add to my last chapter as pro, and that’s the Tour of Guangxi, which I’ll do next week with these great guys! I’ve raced in China during my debut pro season, making my first outing in a race outside Europe, and it will be nice to close out my career there with Quick-Step Floors!

Martin Velits:

Frederik Veuchelen Closes 14-Year Pro Career in Putte-Kapellen
“I would like to stay active in sports and cycling”

On Tuesday October 17 our 39-year-old Frederik Veuchelen will start his final race in Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen after a beautiful 14-year pro career. In 2006 Fré won Dwars door Vlaanderen as the last survivor of a long breakaway. He also finished 2nd in Tour du Finistère and the GP La Marseillaise. He rode all spring classics and finished the Giro d’Italia twice. But in addition to his results Fré grew into an outstanding road captain in the team. A genuinely nice rider who guided the team through the Spanish landscape at training camp in Benidorm and gave team mates council. The whole team and staff of Wanty-Groupe Gobert wants to thank Fré for the wonderful four years and so forth wishes him all the best with his undoubtedly successful next step in life.

Frederik Veuchelen: “On Tuesday October 17 I will ride my last race as a professional in Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen. Cycling has given me a lot, but after 14 seasons it is time for a new step. I would like to stay active in sports and cycling.”

“For this, I want to build on my studies of licentiate physical education at the Catholic University of Leuven and my practical experience. At the moment, I am already mentoring some athletes and cyclists and I want to retrain in various areas, including sports care.”

“Support from supporters, family and friends through all those years has made me very happy. I realize that their support in the further development of my career gives me much confidence. I also want to thank the soigneurs, mechanics, team leaders and further staff of the various teams I rode for.”

“A book is closing but the pages of the next book have already been opened. We’ll see each other again ‘op de koers’.”

Hilaire Van der Schueren: “Fré is a rider that could be used on all terrains. He was a loyal rider I could count on when we had to chase hard.”

“You have to keep a good rider. That is why I have been working with him for nine years, first five years at Vacansoleil and now four at Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Eventually he became older until the moment he was the oldest rider in the team. We could laugh with that. He then grew into the role of road captain year after year.”

“The most striking thing about Fré? I never saw him angry. He always remained calm and was open for dialogue. He never banged his fist on the table, what he maybe should have done. But by his way of speaking he could often solve problems. I admire that. He definitely deserves a function in the cycling world.”

Frederik Veuchelen:

Alex Howes Stays with Slipstream Sports
Slipstream Sports is proud to announce the contract extension of Alex Howes. The Colorado native has been part of the Slipstream Sports organization since inception. His new two-year deal covers his 12th and 13th season with the American-registered squad.

“Alex wanted to stay, and I wanted Alex to say,” said Vaughters. “It was as simple as that. He’s been with us his entire career except for one season where I farmed him out to a French team to toughen him up a bit. He’s grown up with us and has grown into the heart of this team.”

“Being based out of Colorado, Slipstream Sports has always my home team,” said Howes. “Over the years, it has become more than a just a team. It really is a family, and I have invested a lot emotionally in the team over the years. The team’s focus on producing results through grit and creativity echoes my personal racing style.”

That personal racing style netted Howes the Vuelta al Catalunya’s climber’s jersey and four victories in 2017. He won two stages at the Cascade Cycling Classic while racing for USA Cycling. He celebrated in #GreenArgyle when he was first across the line on the second stage of the Colorado Classic and the third stage of Tour of Alberta.

Howes has long shown promise at the Ardennes Classics and has made no secret of his desire to wear the stars and stripes jersey.

“I think my stage seven win at the USPRO Challenge in 2014 is my proudest moment in argyle,” said Howes. “The way the whole team rode their hearts out for me and then to pull it off in front of a hometown crowd was truly spectacular.

“This year, my hands down (or is it hands up?) Favorite moment was my win in Breckenridge at the Colorado Classic,” noted Howes. “It was the queen stage and the wildest crowd I’ve seen.

“In the coming years, I would like to head back to the Tour de France, find the top step of the US Nationals podium and find that big result in the one-day classics I know I’m capable of achieving,” said Howes. “And I plan to have fun along the whole journey.”

Like his teammates, Howes was hugely relieved when EF Education First stepped up to #SaveArgyle for the upcoming seasons. He says he was vocal about his appreciation for the team’s newest partner on social media for reasons that extend beyond job security.

“I really believe in what EF is trying to accomplish,” said Howes. “When I was 15, I traveled to Belgium to race cyclocross. That first trip to Europe at such an influential age really opened my eyes to the world beyond the US borders.

“I believe it is absolutely essential that we actively cultivate a knowledge and understanding of cultures beyond our own in order to be good global citizens. Without travel and the study of foreign ideals, we can never possess the empathy and understanding required to cooperate with our neighbors in order to make the world a better and safer place.”

With the new partner comes a slew of new teammates. Howes, who has played an integral role in creating an atmosphere within the team that feels equal parts personal and professional, is excited to welcome a new crop of riders into the fold.

“When your teammates are simply your co-workers, you can never really give 100 percent,” said Howes. “When they are some of your best friends, you give everything and more. I don’t know all the new riders yet, but I’m looking forward to showing them the ropes. I’m especially excited to see Logan Owen onboard. He’s a great guy with a ton of potential. I know he’ll fit right in.”

Alex Howes podium hat style:

Ruslan Tleubayev will stay in Astana
Kazakh rider Ruslan Tleubayev will continue with Astana ProTeam in the new 2018 season.

“I am very happy to renew my contract with Astana. Here I feel myself like at home and I am always ready to help the team in reaching the common goals. This is great when after our joint efforts we succeed,” said Ruslan Tleubayev.

Ruslan Tleubayev (30) is spending his fifth season in Astana Team. In 2014 he won the road race of the Kazakhstan National Championships, while in 2016 Ruslan took a stage at the Tour of Hainan.

During the current season Tleubayev was one of the most important helpers for team leaders at the spring classics and, also, supported Astana young sprinter Riccardo Minali. At the moment Ruslan Tleubayev takes part in the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.

“Ruslan is a strong team’s player, who is for 100% loyal to team strategy and goals. He is good in the classics, while in this season he showed himself really well as a supporter of our young sprinter Minali, who already scored a few podium places. This kind of riders is very important in every team and over the past five years Ruslan well joined Astana roster,” said Alexandr Vinokurov.

Ruslan Tleubayev:

Jan Bakelants Health Check
After his serious crash at the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday, October 7, Jan Bakelants was immediately taken to the St Anna Hospital in Como (Italy) for examinations where the doctors who took care of him, in collaboration with the medical team from AG2R LA MONDIALE directed by Eric Bouvat, diagnosed seven rib fractures, as well as the fractures of two dorsal vertebrae (D8, D10) and two lumbar vertebrae (L1 and L3), which required placing him in intensive care.

Jan must undergo an emergency operation in Belgium to stabilize the fractures of the L3 vertebra. On account of a hemothorax, among other things, it was unfortunately impossible to transfer him to Belgium in the days immediately following the crash. His condition has now stabilized enough to allow him to be transferred to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven (Belgium) in the afternoon of Thursday, October 12th.
Yesterday, a medical team chartered by Mondial Assistance arrived in Como to assist him during this transfer back to Belgium. He should be operated on Friday, October 13th in Leuven by a specialist surgeon.

Jan’s parents, his companion Daphne and his daughter Julia have been with him since Monday, October 9th. Jan and his family were shocked by the accident, and are now relieved to be returning to Belgium, and his next operation before beginning a long rehabilitation. Jan was very touched by the many messages of support that he received, but cannot respond to at the moment.

Jan and his family ask everyone, the public and the media, to respect their wish for quiet and privacy during these difficult times when the number one priority will be to allow Jan to return to the level of health that will allow him to resume his career. The AG2R LA MONDIALE cycling team wishes Jan a speedy recovery, and everyone hopes to see him very soon back in the peloton.

A new update regarding his health will be published after the operation.

Jan Bakelants:

Cheeky Rigoberto!
We’ve all seen kids behind a TV reporter messing about and of course the same thing happens at out-door sporting events with fans trying to get their faces on the TV screen at home, but you don’t expect it from a pro cyclist who is on the box quite a lot. Well, Rigoberto Uran couldn’t help himself.

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