What's Cool In Road Cycling
Foto LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari 25/06/2017 Asti, Torino (Italia) Sport Ciclismo Campionati Italiani 2017 - Asti - Ivrea -Professionisti Maschile - 236 Km Nella foto:durante la gara. Photo LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari June 24, 2017 Asti ( Italy ) Sport Cycling Campionati Italiani 2017 - Asti - Ivrea - Professional mens - 236 Km In the pic:during the race.

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

National championships weekend and we have all the news from just about everywhere, with reports, results, quotes, photos and video. Eddy Merckx Cycles saved by Ridley – Top Story. In other cycling news: Trek-Segafredo, Astana and Lotto Soudal announce their Tour de France teams, Dimension Data release mobile app, Alejandro Valverde talks Tour, Cyrus Monk to stagiaire with Cannondale-Drapac, Bahrain-Merida injury up-date and Sunweb release Tour promo video. Thursday EUROTRASH coffee time!

TOP STORY: Eddy Merckx Bikes Saved by Ridley
The parent company to Ridley Bikes, Race Productions, has bought Eddy Merckx Cycles ten years after Merckx sold the company Van Diepensteyn NV. Last year saw the brand recorded a €5.7 million loss.

The Van Diepensteyn company made this statement: “We sold almost 1,500 Merckx bikes in the United States last year, our limited scale in particular has a negative impact on our buying and selling prices and means that the fixed costs keep our financial results under pressure. Also, as a small player we do not have sufficient clout to win the strongest international distribution partners for us. If the Merckx brand really wants to break through globally, it had to partner with a big player. We found it our responsibility to keep this Belgian heritage in Belgian hands. Ridley, with its strapline “We are Belgium”, its worldwide distribution and presence in the WorldTour peloton, is the ideal company to continue the tribute to Eddy Merckx.”

Ridley’s Jochim Aerts said: “This brand has so much history and means so much for the Belgian bicycle industry. Eddy Merckx and Ridley are the best-known Belgian bicycle brands and they can now strengthen each other. We guarantee the survival and further development of this brand. This acquisition creates a kind of cross-pollination of the two Belgian brands within our company.”

Parijs, 4-7-2003, Tour de France 2003, training, Foto Cor Vos ©2003. Eddy Merckx-fietsen, sfeer

The men’s elite road races took place in their respective countries on Sunday.

Fabio Aru wins the Italian National Road Championships
The rider Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) is the new Italian Road Champion, after a race of 236km from Asti to Ivrea (Gran Piemonte). Aru soloed in the last climb and maintained his lead until the finish line in Ivrea. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Rinaldo Nocentini (Club-Sporting/Tavira) finished second and third.

Foto LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari 25/06/2017 Asti, Torino (Italia) Sport Ciclismo Campionati Italiani 2017 - Asti - Ivrea -Professionisti Maschile - 236 Km Nella foto:Fabio Aru, Primo classificato  Photo LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari June 24, 2017  Asti ( Italy )  Sport Cycling Campionati Italiani 2017 - Asti - Ivrea - Professional mens - 236 Km In the pic:Fabio Aru

The new Italian Road Race Champion Fabio Aru (Astana): “Initially the course might have looked easy but the climb was really hard. On Tuesday, I came to recce it with Paolo [Tiralongo]. From then on, I believed I had my chance to become the Italian champion. I never experienced that before. In the u23, I finished second. That was my best result so far. I’m really happy to have made my dream come true today. It’s an immense satisfaction. The competition was so high with [Gianni] Moscon, [Damiano] Caruso, my friend Diego Ulissi and many others on good form. My plan was to go flat out from the bottom of the climb in the last lap. Once I made a gap, I was informed kilometer by kilometer. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that I was 40 seconds ahead. Looking at the speed, I was always between 50 and 52km/h. During a training ride in Sierra Nevada, Michele Scarponi and I exchanged jerseys because I had the xs size and I wanted to try the s. I haven’t told anyone but since I’ve resumed racing, I’ve been racing with Michele’s jersey. I wanted to offer it after my first victory to his wife Anna and his children Giacomo and Tommaso. Here it is.”

2nd, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m happy because Fabio [Aru] was really strong. He showed that he has better legs than anyone else. Even though we were chasing hard, he increased his lead. He deserves the win. As for myself, I can go to the Tour de France with ambition. The good work is paying off.”

3rd, Rinaldo Nocentini (Club-Sporting/Tavira): “It’s very important for me to make the podium of the Italian championship. Being part of a Portuguese team, I almost never race in Italy. Two months ago I didn’t know if I’d ride the nationals or not. When I decided to do it, I prepared well for it. When I saw Fabio Aru going as strongly as at the Dauphiné, I understood he would be hard to beat. He impressed me really.”

Italian National Road Championship 2017 Result:
1. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) in 5:52:31
2. Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) at 0:40
3. Rinaldo Nocentini (Club-Sporting/Tavira).

Neben Solos to Second National Road Title of Weekend; Warbasse Crowned as U.S. Pro Road Race Champion for Men
Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Team Velo Concept) made it two for two at the 2017 Pro Road & Time Trial National Championships in Knoxville by winning the road race on Sunday. Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich./Aqua Blue Sport) won his first Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the men’s road race.

The women covered eight laps of the 7.9-mile course for a total of 63 miles, punctuated by a steep climb on Sherrod Road reaching a maximum gradient of 14 percent. Neben won with a solo attack on the eighth and final lap by doing what she does best, time trialing to the finish. The newly-crowned women’s time trial national champion won by 30 seconds ahead of the chasing pack of 64 riders. She finished in a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, 34 seconds.

Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif./Sunweb) won the reduced bunch sprint in Old City Knoxville to secure second place, 11 seconds behind Neben in a time of 2:49:45. It was the third year in a row that Rivera has finished as the runnerup in this event. Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) finished with the same time as Rivera in third.

“Today was beyond my expections. So, I’m excited for my team, Team Velo CONCEPT, to be able to represent those guys. I just came out to ride hard and play hard. I felt really good about being out there. So, it’s a special day,” said Neben, the reigining UCI ITT World Champion. The only other woman who has won multiple national titles in road cycling championships in one year was Allison Powers of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling in 2014, when she captured all three U.S. pro championships in road cycling – road race, individual time trial and criterium.

The attacks came early in the women’s race, with Monica Volk (Kempton, Penn./Rally Cycling) Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling), Abby Mickey (Aspen, Colo./Colavita-Bianchi), Holly Breck (Santa Ynez, Calif./Sho-Air TWENTY20), Emily Newsome (Ft. Worth, Texas/Team Elevate) and Jen Tetrick (San Francisco, Calif./Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) getting up the road on the first lap.

This group of six rideres extended their advantage to more than two minutes and 30 seconds with six laps to go, when Elevate’s Emily Newsom, Texas state time trial champion and 12th yesterday in the individual time trial, attacked. Newsom was solo for almost four laps and slipped back into the peloton. From there, counter-attacks flew, but Neben was the one who took control on the final climb up Sherrod Road and timed her break perfectly.

The men’s road race Sunday afternoon took the riders on 14 laps of the circuit for 109 total miles. It took Aqua Blue Sport’s Warbasse 4 hours, 20 minutes, 45 seconds to secure the victory, outsprinting Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Axeon Hagens Berman) and LottoNL-Jumbo’s Alexey Vermeulen (Pinckney, MIch./Team LottoNL-Jumbo), who finished second and third, respectively.

“It’s insane. I’m still shocked and I’m going to be so incredibly happy to wear the jersey for a year,” said Warbasse, who competed in his first Professional Road Race Championship of his five-year career.

The three riders escaped in the latter part of the race, and gained a 30-second gap over a chasing group of pre-race favorites. Around the final bend to the downhill finish, the three-person sprint saw Warbasse coming out on top.

“I rode the course earlier in the week, and I knew that last riser (in the final kilometer) was where the race would be decided if it was a small group. I know I don’t have the greatest sprint and so I had to hit them (Powless and Vermeulen). I knew if I got enough of a gap on that downhill (at the finish) I might be able to hold them off. Yeah, I just put my head down and didn’t look behind and I was able to do it.”

The road race was highlighted by a steep ascent on Sherrod Road, with the first real break of the day taking place four laps into the event. Ian Garrison (Decatur, Ga./Axeon Hagens Berman), Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) and Daniel Eaton (Boulder, Colo./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) broke off the front, and gained a maximum of two minutes on the 146-rider field before getting reeled back by Holowesko-Citadel and Rally Cycling.

After multiple counter attacks and surges from the peloton, the winning break emerged. From there, no team could match the power of Warbasse, Powless and Vermuelen. After the trio crossed the line, Robin Carpenter (San Diego, Calif./Holowesko-Citadel) led a reduced field of 78 riders home for fourth place.

“We were all looking at each other at 400 meters to go. At that point, we were trying to figure out when to go,” added Powless, who finished third the day before in the individual time trial. “The first person to go had the big or best advantage in a downhill finish. I thought Alexey would jump on (Larry’s) wheel, but he hesitated and that’s all Larry needed and he took it to the line.”

In the women’s Under-23 category, 19-year-old Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling) repeated as the women’s champion for a second day, adding the road race championship to the individual time trial award she captured Saturday. White finished in the bunch sprint with Rivera and Winder in fifth position. Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich./UnitedHelathcare Pro Cycling) was second in the U23 standings, finishing 15th overall.

For a complete schedule, results, course maps and photo galleries, please visit the event web page. Follow the action on Twitter using #USPRO.

Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) Team Velo CONCEPT – 2:49:34
Coryn Rivera (Tustin, Calif.) Sunweb – 2:49:45
Ruth Winder (Lafayette, Calif.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:49:45

Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.) Rally Cycling – 2:49:45
Janel Cole (Rockford, Mich.) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – 2:52:01
Skylar Schneider (West Allis, Wisc.) ISCorp powered by Progress – 2:52:01.

Larry Warbasse (Traverse City, Mich.) Aqua Blue Sport – 4:20:45
Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.) Axeon Hagens Berman – 4:20:45
Alexey Vermeulen (Pinkney, Mich.) Team LottoNL – Jumbo – 4:20:45.

Steve Cummings Does the British Nationals Double
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka secure 8 medals during national championships weekend.

The National Championships weekend came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday evening with Steve Cummings winning the British National Road Title, after he also won the Time Trial Title on Thursday evening. It was a successful championship weekend for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka as our African Team picked up 5 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

Cummings was no doubt the man of the weekend after not racing since 4 April, where a crash at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco saw Cummings fracture his sternum, clavicle and scapula. Our British Champion showed he was back to his best with two incredible rides this weekend. Cummings stopped the clock 8 seconds faster than defending champion, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) during Thursday’s time trial. During this evening’s road race, Cummings soloed to victory after attacking the lead group of 4 riders with 7km to go.

The successful weekend of racing sets our African Team up nicely with the Tour de France Grand Depart the next appointment on our race calendar.

British National Road and TT Champion, Steve Cummings (Dimension Data): “It was a really tough race, but that style of competition is what you miss when you haven’t been racing. It was punchy and explosive and there were so many efforts. I’m back now so we can forget about the injuries. It’s nice to be back doing what I do and looking forward to whatever is next. It’ll be nice to be at the Tour and to get stuck in.”

British National Road Championship 2017 Result:
1. Stephen Cummings (GB) Dimension Data
2. Chris Lawless (GB) Axeon Hagens Berman
3. Ian Bibby (GB) JLT Condor.

Matteo Dal-Cin Wins Canadian Road Race Title
Matteo Dal-Cin stormed through the streets of his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, to win the Canadian National Road Race title and claim his first maple leaf jersey. Dal-Cin’s victory comes a day after Rally Cycling’s Allison Beveridge claimed the women’s title. Pierrick Naud followed his teammate across the line in sixth to give Rally Cycling two riders in the top ten.

“This year I decided not to be so zealous, try not to force anything, follow some wheels and get up the road to play my part in the team’s plan,” said Dal-Cin. “The team did a good job of covering moves all day and was well represented in every break that went up the road. In the finale, I wasn’t super confident in my sprint, but I have been working on it for the past year, and it paid off. It was incredible to return the team’s hard work with a win.”

The men of Rally Cycling took to the streets of Ottawa, looking to match the thrilling performance of the women’s squad yesterday. Rob Britton, Matteo Dal-Cin, Adam de Vos, and Pierrick Naud proved up to the challenge against stacked rosters from Silber Pro Cycling, Garneau-Quebecor and WorldTour strongman Svein Tuft. The team was aggressive throughout the 160-kilometer race, forcing splits and reducing the field to a select few. As rain and lightning rolled in for the final kilometers, it was Dal-Cin who broke clear on the final lap with Marc-Antoine Soucy (Garneau-Quebecor). The duo outlasted the chasing group by just six seconds with Dal-Cin powering to an emphatic victory.

Canadian Road Nationals continue on Tuesday with the men’s and women’s time trials. Dal-Cin, Britton, Kirsti Lay and Allison Beveridge are all considered favorites.

Canadian Road Race Nationals | Men
1. Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling)
2. Marc-Antoine Soucy (Garneau Quebecor)
3. Pier-Andre Cote* (Silber Pro Cycling).

Jesús Herrada Spanish Champion Again
‘Manchego’ escapes alongside Valverde (2nd) into decisive lap in Soria, crowns splendid Nationals for Unzué’s squad; Moreno, Barbero make it four within best five on Sunday’s road race.

For the eighth year in a row, the Movistar Team dominated the Spanish Road Race Championships held in the province of Soria this weekend. Jesús Herrada claimed his second national title, four years after his maiden ‘rojigualdo’ jersey in Bembibre, by taking to fruition a late five-man move, into the last lap of the 207.3km course in the north of the country. Alejandro Valverde, eventually silver-medal finisher, was again the best support possible for a team-mate.

The work by the whole Unzué-led squad was again flawless, both at the front of the race and behind. Soler, Gorka Izagirre, Erviti and a remarkable Antonio Pedrero made it into the longest break of the day (22 riders), which the steep climbs of the early part of the course and the lumpy local laps in the finale splitted several times. Pedrero left the group the finale, joined by Arroyo (CJR) and Verona (ORS), while a strong Héctor Carretero and Jorge Arcas kept the gaps small, always under 2:30. At the penultimate lap, the telephone squad pushed hard to break the field and left only 30 riders at the front, including nine of the Blues. From that group, the decisive move jumped with less than 10km remaining: ‘Bala’, Herrada, Ezquerra (STA), Mas (CJR) and Ion Izagirre (TBM) took a 30-second gap no one could make up. Jesús launched his winning attack into the last kilometer uphill, under Valverde’s vigilance of his rivals.

Herrada’s title, the tenth in eleven years for the organization, rounds off a sensational Nationals for the main home outfit, which already put five of their riders within the top-6 in Friday’s TT -with Castroviejo (gold) and Herrada (bronze) on the podium- and snatched a ‘four-from-five’ on Sunday thanks to great finishes inside the bunch from Dani Moreno (4th), Carlos Barbero (5th) and Rubén Fernández (8th).

Spanish National champion, Jesús Herrada (Movistar): “That big break from the start could seem a bit dangerous, but soon it was reduced to nine riders, with Imanol and Antonio, so it meant no problem for us. We kept the pace steady and strong, all of our team-mates giving their 100%, and also seeking for the right moment to attack. With two laps to go we took advantage from a less-protected zone against the wind to split the bunch, leaving those 25-30 riders at the front, and then at the same point, with like seven, eight kilometers to go, Alejandro went full-gas and only we five could follow him. Coming back into Soria, only Ion and us two were able to keep the pace – Alejandro did as he wished, setting the pace we needed, and I only had to sprint with everything I had and enjoy this victory.

“That first title in 2013 was quite more surprising for everybody, myself included. I was almost an under-23 rider, and was really unexpected. As I matured inside the team I got more confidence for races like the Nationals, and I know that this year’s finish in Soria really suited me. The 2015 race in Cáceres, when I got the bronze medal, also favored my chances, but even if it was hotter there, the route was easier – and I think today’s finish was a really steep one. The wind and the early climbs on today’s route also made for a more demanding route, so I think it has been better for me. I feel like we made it a beautiful race for the fans.

“Friday’s race was difficult to win, given that Jonathan was lining up (laughs), but to be honest, for us it was only important to take back the TT title, no matter the name under it, so we were happy. Getting a podium finish in the time trial was already great, even more so to claim this second road race title, and I hope I can aim for the TT one in the future so I can have both before I retire.”

Spanish National Road Race Championship 2017 Result:
1. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Movistar in 5:08:45
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
3. Ion Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:06.

Sunweb’s Ramon Sinkeldam Wins Dutch National Road Race Championships
Team Sunweb have taken a clean sweep at the men’s elite Dutch national championships as Ramon Sinkeldam sprinted to victory in the road race.

Team Sunweb executed their plan perfectly to secure another national title at the Dutch championships, their third title during their 2017 national championship campaign. As an initial breakaway went clear, Team Sunweb sent Albert Timmer and Tom Stamsnijder out into the leading group to keep an eye on proceedings at the head of the race. As the early break rejoined the peloton, counter attacks were launched with both Tom Dumoulin and Sam Oomen involved. The race came back together on the approach to the finale and Team Sunweb were still there with a strong team to place Sinkeldam in prime position for the sprint. After a flawless lead-out, Sinkeldam was able to finish off a successful day of well played tactics to sprint to the victory in a photo finish finale.

After the victory Sinkeldam said: “This is an amazing victory for me and the team. The guys did an amazing job throughout the whole day and executed our plan to perfection. I was able to stay fresh for the finish and could finish off the team’s hard work to take the win. It’s amazing to have the support of the staff and team to be able to sprint to the win today, I am speechless.”

Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen added: “We were there throughout the whole day keeping control with both Albert and Tom [Stamsnijder] in the early break. When they dropped we started to chase with Laurens [ten Dam] and Marc [Goos]. The plan was to attack in the final two laps and save Ramon for a sprint situation. The team executed the plan perfectly and Ramon could sprint to victory. The team did a great job and the win wouldn’t have been possible without the great work of everybody.”

3rd, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I came here to win, but those two were faster. I have to take pleasure in that. I did not consider Sinkeldam, to be honest, but on this arrival and after such a heavy route, he is the right winner. We lost and everyone is baffled, but I’m leaving here looking forward to the Tour de France next week.”

Dutch National Road Race Championship 2017 Result:
1. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb in 5:19:38
2. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo.

’s Heerenberg - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Ramon SINKELDAM (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) - Dylan GROENEWEGEN (Netherlands / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo) - Wouter WIPPERT (Netherlands / Cannondale Drapac Professional Cycling Team) - Coen VERMELTFOORT (Netherlands / Team Roompot Nederlandse Loterij) - Moreno HOFLAND (Niederlande / Team Lotto Soudal)pictured during NK wielrennen Montferland - men elite  - foto Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 017

BMC Racing Team Dominate Swiss Road Race Championships
After claiming gold and silver at the Swiss Time Trial Championships on Thursday, BMC Racing Team went one better at the road race by securing gold, silver and bronze after Silvan Dillier took the solo win and Stefan Küng and Kilian Frankiny crossed the line in second and third place respectively.

BMC Racing Team and BMC Development Team joined forces for the road race with a total of 12 riders, including three former winners in Martin Elmiger, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss. Dillier was on the attack from the beginning to form a four-rider breakaway on the second lap of the 15-lap course with teammate Tom Bohli, before Danilo Wyss bridged across to join the quartet.

With 90km remaining, Dillier attacked from the breakaway and established a solid gap on the field to effectively start an individual time trial to the finish line. Behind, the peloton caught the remaining breakaway riders and with 60km to go, Küng and Frankiny jumped clear to set up the eventual all-BMC Racing Team podium.

With three riders ahead, the rest of BMC Racing Team was left to cover the moves behind and as Dillier, Küng and Frankiny crossed the finish line to hear the bell signaling the last lap, the three podium spots were all but assured.

Dillier approached the line with enough time to dismount and carry his BMC Teammachine across the line to celebrate his maiden Swiss Road Race Championship. Almost two minutes behind, Küng and Frankiny claimed the final podium spots to secure BMC Racing Team’s best road race result in the history of the Championships.

The Winner’s Interview with Silvan Dillier:
Congratulations, Silvan! Tell us about the race today.

“It was never the plan to go so early but at that certain moment in the race, I really wanted to take the race in my hands and play my best card. At the end, I was already alone halfway through the race and I had been in the breakaway since the beginning so it was a really tough day. I think this also played in my hands because Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) was isolated and he was in my opinion, the biggest opponent. I think we made it the perfect race and I was strong enough the hold my advantage when I was alone.”

How much confidence did you take out of your Route du Sud win?
“For sure, I had a lot of confidence from Route du Sud because it was quite a similar race. Stage 3 with the Tourmalet climb gave me a lot of confidence and showed that I can ride for a really long time at a high rhythm. When I was alone with 90km to go, I thought ‘give it a try’ because on the Tourmalet I could also do it.”

When you heard that it was Stefan Küng and Kilian Frankiny behind you, did you feel like the win was guaranteed?
“At that point I knew that the rest of the bunch must be completely on their limit because otherwise they wouldn’t have let Stefan and Kilian ride away without anybody else. So, I just kept my rhythm and it was perfect.”

How excited are you to pull on the jersey for the first time?
“I’m really excited to wear the Swiss jersey. It’s really special because I had the Swiss champion jersey for the time trial but I could only wear it three or four times a year. Whereas you wear the Swiss champion jersey on the road for 70 or 80 race days and this makes it much more special. I’m really happy that I can wear it.”

2nd, Stefan Küng (BMC): “We had really high numbers in the team today which helped but Silvan Dillier was really impressive. It was the perfect ride for us. Not only with one, two and three on the podium but I think the team really worked well together. We had a good spirit and everybody was willing to help each other which is not always the case at the national championships. Kilian and I attacked about 60-70km out. A few guys tried to attack and I countered and then Kilian joined me on the climb. We were riding really hard and just rode together until we sprinted for the line behind Silvan. It was a perfect day.”

3rd, Kilian Frankiny (BMC): “When Stefan attacked, I also attacked and on the climb I made it up to him and we rode together for the rest of the race which was five or six laps to go. Stefan did most of the work because he was really strong and he was like a train in his time trial position and I was behind him. It was a really nice feeling to be on the podium. Before the start I was hoping that we could take the victory with the team but I didn’t expect to be third, and I didn’t expect that all three riders would be from BMC Racing Team so that made it really special.”

Swiss National Road Race Championship 2017 Result:
1. Silvan Dillier (BMC)
2. Stefan Küng (BMC)
3. Kilian Frankiny (BMC).

Terme Luigiane - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Silvan Dillier (SUI - BMC) pictured during team stage 6 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Reggio Calabria - Terme Luigiane, 207.00 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stybar Solos to Second National title
The 31-year-old became the 12th Quick-Step Floors rider to claim a win this season.

Zdenek Stybar captured the Czech National Road Race Title in style on Sunday afternoon, three years after his maiden success, with a dominant display in the 193km-long race held in Ziar Nad Hronom, where Quick-Step Floors teammate Petr Vakoc – second on Friday’s individual time trial – took third, proving out to be the strongest rider from the first chasing group.

Runner-up in April at Paris-Roubaix, the season’s most excruciating Monument, Stybar broke clear from an elite group a long way from the finish line together with Josef Cerny (Elkov-Author); the duo worked well together and at one point opened a 2:30-minute gap over a chasing group which included several World Tour riders.

Inside the final 15 kilometers, when it became obvious the victory will be played between the two, Zdenek attack on a short climb and dropped Cerny, but his countryman managed to bridge across before another strong acceleration of Stybar on the final hill of the race dispatched him for good, allowing the 31-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider to take a comfortable solo victory, his first of the season.

“We had a crazy start, with a big group going clear after 15 kilometers. I decided to join that group and it turned out to be a good move. With 50 kilometers left, I attacked with Cerny and we built a nice lead over the chasers. Then, when we were around 16 kilometers from the finish, I tested the waters, but he came back, so I waited for the last climb, inside the final three kilometers, attacking there and then arriving solo, which is always a nice feeling”, said Zdenek Stybar after the race.

The Czech, Quick-Step Floors’ 12th different rider to score a victory in 2017, hopes this win will bode well for the second part of the season: “I want to dedicate this success to my son Lewis, whose birthday is tomorrow. Wearing again this jersey after three years makes me very happy and confident for what’s to come from now on, but also brings back the memories, because it was as reigning national champion that I won Strade Bianche in 2015, so hopefully it will help me get other nice victories.”

Ryan Mullen does the Double, wins Irish Road Title
Ryan Mullen did the double in Wexford, Ireland on Sunday. The 22-year-old parlayed a late race attack into his first elite national road title. It’s Mullen’s first professional road victory and Cannondale-Drapac’s first road title of the season.

“This one means a lot more than the time trial title,” said Mullen. “I fought so hard for it. The time trial is a pride thing. I expect to win. I’m angry at myself if I don’t. The road race, nationals are not your typical race. I’m just really happy I won it.”

With the time trial title his main focus, Mullen hadn’t even looked at the road course map until Friday, but when he bagged the TT title, he decided he was keen to have a crack at the double. He determined an aggressive approach was required.

“It was such a hard race and it was really negative,” said Mullen. “That’s how it goes with nationals. The amateurs sit on the pros and hope if they chase everything down, we’ll tow them to the finish and give them a chance at the victory.

“Normally a breakaway rider gets away but nothing went for the longest time,” said Mullen. “I kept trying and trying and trying. I was tiring myself out and getting pretty angry that everything was being neutralized.”

Midway through the nine-lap, 176-kilometer race, Mullen was in a promising escape of four that gained a gap of nearly a minute. When the peloton proved unable to close down the move, riders began bridging across. Eventually a group of around 15 riders took shape that included all the pre-race favorites.

Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) was one of the riders that made the junction between the reduced bunch and the break. Rather than joining forces with the break, Dunne powered through it.

Christopher McGlinchey (Chain Reaction Cycles) marked Dunne. Mullen allowed Dunne to gain a minute before reacting.

“It took me about six kilometers to catch Dunne and McGlinchey,” said Mullen. “I used those time trial skills to some good effect. Then there were three of us that were a minute up. We had one lap left.”

McGlinchey attacked on what race organizers dubbed “the Wexford Poggio”. The attack dropped Dunne and blew up McGlinchey.

“That was McGlinchey’s day done,” said Mullen. “I have a lot of respect for the guy. He rode a strong race and tomorrow at six o’clock he’s back to his day job. I’ll still be in bed well past six.”

Although Mullen would have been happy to allow the race to come down to a three-up sprint, he embraced the opportunity that presented itself. With Dunne gone and McGlinchey weakened, Mullen attacked.

“There were four kilometers left,” said Mullen. “It was the right moment. I had nothing left, but I gave myself a small gap, and I managed to hold on to it until the line.

“I remember just looking down at my Garmin and thinking: ‘Hold 450. Hold 450. You can hold 450 for four kilometers.’ And I did,” said Mullen. “When I got closer to the finish line, I started thinking: ‘Hang on a second. Is anyone up the road? Could I have missed someone?’ ”

He hadn’t missed anyone. He had won. Irish road champion. Irish time trial champion, too. Mullen had done the double.

“I would have been happy to sprint those guys,” said Mullen. “I was confident I had the best sprint. It didn’t happen that way, so I had to play the card I was dealt. I had no idea how far behind anyone was after I attacked on the climb. I was just emptying myself, hoping it was enough.”

Mullen expects to debut his new POC national champion’s kit at Tour of Austria next month.

“I’m looking forward to working with POC on a jersey design,” he said. “I’m really excited to come up with something good.”

Irish National Road Championship 2017 Result:
1. Ryan Mullen (Cannondale-Drapac)
2. Christopher McGlinchey (Chain Reaction Cycles)
3. Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport).

Démare Takes French Title
The Cofidis team wanted to show a great collective strength to try to win the title of Champion of France this Sunday in Saint-Omer, a few kilometers from the headquarters of its main sponsor as well as its service-race. Several riders were instructed to mingle with the escapes so as not to have to chase. Nicolas Edet, Clement Venturini, Hugo Hofstetter, Anthony Turgis and Jimmy Turgis managed to fulfill this role and allowed their efforts throughout the day to be the most represented in the breakaway. But the peloton, led for the great majority of the day by the FDJ team, managed to make the junction in the last few kilometers on the last fugitives, causing the national title to come down to the sprint. It is quite natural that Nacer Bouhanni, attentive to avoid the breaks of the last laps of the circuit, would mix in the struggle for success. Only beaten by Arnaud Démare, the rider from Lorrain regrets the sprint process which accentuates his frustration to finish second, while his only goal was success. His performance nevertheless validates the return to the highest level that was his throughout this month of June. The Cofidis team put in four riders in the top 15, with Florian Sénéchal fifth, Julien Simon eleventh and Anthony Perez fifteenth.

2nd, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “I’m disappointed. To finish second on a championship is necessarily a big disappointment. I’m not happy with the sprint. Arnaud Démare was very strong, I do not withdraw that. But I was downgraded for less than last year on the Hamburg Classic. I do not think I made a mistake in my sprint, I was on the right track. I was not coming here to make second. Before this sprint, the team had put forward elements in order not to have to work. We had non-runners: Stéphane Rossetto, Jérôme Cousin and my brother Rayane. We were not the most represented team at the start so assuming the weight of the race would have been difficult. Of course, I also know that I have come a long way after my fall at the Yorkshire Tour, so I did not imagine being there a few weeks later. I am a competitor, I do my best, and I hope to be ready for the Tour de France. I still have a few percent to grab but I think I’m getting closer to my best form.”

French National Championship 2017 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 5:54:22
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Jérémy Leveau (Fra) Roubaix-Lille Metropole at 0:02.

Surprise Belgian Champion – Oliver Naesen
The Belgian Championships took place on a flat course of 238 kilometers in Antwerp. The riders had to complete fourteen laps with two cobblestone sections in it. In the second lap, Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) managed to break away together with two other riders. The peloton let them go and they quickly gained a 7:30 advantage. However, when the peloton increased its pace, the gap decreased rapidly. With sixty kilometres remaining, this front group was caught again by the bunch. The regrouping led to several new attacks, but no-one could get away until thirty kilometres from the finish, when a breakaway of fourteen was formed. All the main teams all had a rider in this front group, which caused that the peloton let them ride away. In the penultimate lap, five riders escaped from this group, but Tim Wellens just missed the breakaway. The chase group never came near the five leaders, who would sprint for the Belgian title. After a tough stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) was stronger than Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo).

Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal): “We thought that the race would explode quickly and that’s why we tried to be in every breakaway in the first two laps. My teammates missed out on the right breakaway, but I managed to get away on the first try. I had rather been part of a larger group, but I couldn’t change the situation. It wasn’t an option for me to let myself drop back to the peloton either, as I had put my teammates in a comfortable situation. In the end, we didn’t manage to get the result that we wanted, as it is often all or nothing in a championship. It was a very tough race today, with an average speed of 45 kilometres per hour, but I needed this number of kilometres.”

Belgian National Championship 2017 Result:
1. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale in 5:18:29
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Bob Jungels Rides to Convincing Victory in Schengen
For the fourth time in his career, the Luxembourger won the National Road Race Championships.

Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) was a man on a mission this Sunday, when he lined out at the start of the Luxembourg National Championships, which took place in Schengen, over a 19km-long circuit that included two climbs. The riders had eight laps to cover, and it was on the fourth one that the Giro d’Italia white jersey winner attacked and forged a considerable gap over Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect).

The 24-year-old went into time trial mode until the finish, where he arrived arms aloft, celebrating win number two of the season, after the one scored on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, in Bergamo. It was Quick-Step Floors’ 35th UCI victory since the start of the season, one which ensures our team will go into the Tour de France as the most successful squad of 2017.

“We had crosswinds right from the start, and that made up for a tricky race. I went away with a small group, and then, 75 kilometers from the finish line, I attacked and never looked back. I’m happy for this win and for having the chance to sport the colors of my country in the biggest races of the calendar”, explained Bob, who tasted success at the Road Race Nationals for the third consecutive year.

The Luxembourger also gave a detailed view on what’s next for him: “I came out of the Giro d’Italia very tired and it took me a while to recover, but today the condition was there, so I gave it a try from the distance and pulled it off. I will now have a few days off and then I will head to Livigno for a training camp; from there, I’ll go to the Tour de Pologne, which hopefully will signal the start of a strong second part of the season.”

Gazprom – RusVelo wins Russian National Championship
On Sunday 25th of June Gazprom – RusVelo prevailed in Russian national championship. Alexander Porsev became the champion and young Artem Nych took a silver medal.

From the very beginning of 192 kilometres route Gazprom – RusVelo riders were confidently controlling the situation. Artur Ershov made a plenty of contenders exhausted by showing a great performance in a solo breakaway. The tactic worked as planned, as on the concluding laps four out of five riders in a breakaway were from Gazprom – RusVelo: Artem Nych, Alexander Porsev, Ivan Rovny and Igor Boev. Alexander Porsev started the victorious attack three kilometres before the finish line.

That’s what Russian national champion Alexander Porsev said after his victory: “Honestly, I haven’t realized that I am the national champion yet. Throughout the whole race a competition was very intense and I gave it all to succeed. Without the superb efforts of the whole squad this victory and silver medal won’t be possible. Of course, it feels great to become a national champion and to bring such an important win for the team and our sponsor”.

The silver medalist Artem Nych also shared his emotions: “We are very glad to take over the victory and second place in the national championship. Even though the route seemed not really challenging, race went in a very high tempo with numerous attacks and no time for recovery. Fortunately, I had good legs and managed to clinch a podium. On the final laps we successfully used our numerical advantage, which resulted in a well-deserved victory and my second place. Also I would like to note a great organization of the competition, everything turned out perfectly”.

One and two for BORA – hansgrohe at German national Championships
After two titles in the individual time trials, BORA – hansgrohe takes three titles in the road races on Sunday with Marcus Burghardt (Ger), Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) and Juraj Sagan (Svk). In Germany and Austria it’s a one and two!

“What a day! I had goosebumps on the last kilometer. We were in control of the race the whole day, the team did a great job. In the end, when we closed on Degenkolb on the last climb, we were in a very good situation. Emanuel attacked immediately and I followed him a little later. After the downhill I was in his wheel and we rode together to the finish. I had to wait many years for this national title, to take it in my home Chemnitz is very special and I feel relieved now.”Marcus Burghardt.

“It was a perfect day for us. We had Lukas in the early break and controlled the race. In the last lap, Patrick set a high pace on the climb and prepared my attack perfectly. After I bridged the gap to the leaders, Lukas went away. When I saw that Gogl was on the limit I bridged again and we rode to the finish together. After I missed out to take the jersey last year, I am really happy now.”Gregor Mühlberger.

“I am very happy and proud. I will ride my first Tour de France next week and can present my special national champion jersey there. This is very special to me and I want to thank everybody in the team BORA – hansgrohe for their support.”Juraj Sagan.

1. M. Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe)
2. E. Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. J. Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo).

1. G. Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
2. L. Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. M. Gogl.

1. J. Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
2. P. Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
3. E. Baska (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Marcus Burghardt:

The time trial events took place during the weeks build-up to the road races at the weekend.

Yves Lampaert wins Belgian National ITT Championships
After two years in which he finished runner-up, the Quick-Step Floors rider has finally won the race against the clock
22-Jun-2017: 2017 is shaping up to be Yves Lampaert’s best season since turning pro. Winner of Dwars door Vlaanderen three months ago and part of the team that helped Philippe Gilbert take a memorable victory at De Ronde van Vlaanderen, Yves now crowned himself Belgian Time Trial Champion, following a brilliant ride on the Chimay motor circuit.

Four Quick-Step Floors riders participated in the 38.2km-long race on Thursday afternoon: Dries Devenyns, Laurens De Plus, Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote. First to roll down the ramp was Dries, who rode a solid ITT and stopped the clock in 48:13, remaining in the hot seat for more than an hour. Two riders improved that result, before Yves went out on the course and scorched the circuit in 46:43, putting in a blistering ride and setting the reference time at both intermediate splits, before sealing one of the biggest wins of his career.

At the end of the day, Lampaert’s time – which landed his maiden success at the Nationals – was 17 seconds faster than the one of last year’s champion, Victor Campanaerts (LottoNL-Jumbo), who crashed in the last bend and finished runner-up, ahead of Ben Hermans (BMC).

“This is a dream come true! I rode hard, fought hard and worked hard to finally get this title. Last year I came close, missing out on the win for just three seconds, and that’s why this season I was so eager to get the victory”, said after the finish Yves, who in his build-up to the National Championships rode the Tour de Suisse.

“Sweating in those mountains wasn’t easy, but it’s been worth it. It helped me on this parcours, which was very tough, especially due to the wind and heat. I had a very fast start, but then, in the second part, I slowed down for a moment before pushing the pedal to the metal once again and going in super fast mode all the way to the finish line”, a beaming Yves explained.

Next up for Lampaert is the road race, which will take place on Sunday, over a course sprinkled with cobblestones, very much to his liking: “I am so happy right now, that I can’t put it into words. I’m very honored to finally wear these beautiful colors on my jersey. Now I can’t wait for Sunday to come; I am relaxed after this victory, but at the same time super motivated and I can tell you that we’re going to do everything to fight for the jersey and keep it in the team.”

3rd, Ben Hermans (BMC): “It was a different course to last year. It was more up and down and less technical. I started in the third series, not with the favorites and then the temperature was a lot lower for the last eight riders and maybe the wind was more, maybe it was less. I lost by half a minute or so but with a little bit more or less wind, half a minute is not much. My power was really good. It was warm and I love the conditions. I think I am in good condition but now I have some rest. I still have the road race on Sunday but it’s not my goal race as it’s not a great parcours for me. This was a goal race. To end up third is a good result but I’ve been on the podium now four times and then you want to win. It’s disappointing but I can also be happy with the performance.”

Belgian Time Trial Championships 2017 Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors in 46:43
2. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:17
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:31.

Stefan Küng Claims Swiss Time Trial Championship
Stefan Küng put in a commanding performance at the Swiss National Time Trial Championships to take the win over teammate Silvan Dillier. Küng set a blistering pace on the 38.6km course and with 15km remaining, his advantage was sitting at two minutes, before he eventually crossed the line with 48:34, 57 seconds faster than Dillier. Having been named in BMC Racing Team’s Tour de France roster, Küng will roll out for the opening time trial in Dusseldorf next Saturday as the Swiss National Time Trial champion hoping to swap his red and white skinsuit for the yellow jersey.

The Winner’s Interview with Stefan Küng:
Congratulations, Stefan! How does it feel to be Swiss champion?

“I was feeling good. I was pretty confident in my form. The parcours was really nice and I enjoyed it a lot. I went out quite fast and had a big gap to the other guys so I just kept going. I overtook a lot of guys and especially at the end, I didn’t take a lot of risks. I backed off a little bit in the descents. In the end, I just had to bring it home. It will feel really nice to wear the jersey in Dusseldorf at the Tour de France.”

What did you like about the parcours?
“It had a rolling start and then a 2km climb and then it was slightly down in the valley. It was a real time trial and we had to do the laps twice. Hats off to the race organization for creating such a nice course. It makes me happy to win here and it gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the Tour de France.”

You’re lining up at your first Tour de France. How excited are you?
“At the moment I’m taking it day by day. For sure, I’m excited but I cannot imagine now what it will be like. I’ve spoken to the other guys and they have told me it will be crazy. I’m really looking forward to it.”

2nd, Silvan Dillier (BMC): “It was only a one-hour effort so it wasn’t that bad compared to the Tourmalet stage at Route du Sud last week. The parcours was nice. We had some really good rides. It was an interesting course with some up and down and corners, but nothing too dangerous or nothing too tricky. Still, you had to push hard the whole way. I felt good and I was fresh enough after Route du Sud coming into the championships.”

Swiss Time Trial Championships 2017 Result:
1. Stefan Küng (BMC)
2. Silvan Dillier (BMC)
3. Thery Schir (Team Voralberg).

Stefan Küng:
Apeldoorn - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Kueng Stefan (Suisse / BMC Racing Team) pictured during stage 1 - Time Trial individual - ITT - (9.8KM) of th 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands - photo IB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Mullen Wins Irish Time Trial Title
It was mission accomplished for Ryan Mullen in Wexford, Ireland on Thursday night. The 22-year-old recorded a personal best 40-minute power average en route to time trial gold at the Irish National Road Championships. It’s Mullen’s second elite time trial title and Cannondale-Drapac’s first national title of the 2017 season.

“It means a lot to me,” said Mullen. “I felt like I was under a bit of pressure to win, especially after Worlds last year. To be honest, I expected to win and would have been disappointed if I didn’t. I’m glad I wasn’t unrealistic or over-confident about my chances. Being a national champion is something I’m very proud of,” he added. “I will always make an effort to come to Nationals, even if the timing or the location doesn’t make it the easiest race in the world to include in my schedule.”

Mullen covered the 33-kilometer course in a winning standard of 40:48. It was 15-seconds quicker than the time set by defending champion Nicolas Roche (BMC) in second place.

“The race was run on this country road,” noted Mullen. “The surface was really bad, with holes everywhere, and it was hard to pick your line. I think that played to my strength as a heavier guy. The lighter guys probably bounced about. There wasn’t much in the way of climbs. It was a fairly straightforward course.”

A stiff headwind on the way out required a measured approach to the first half of the race.

“I had to start a little bit harder than what I could sustain,” said Mullen. “I got to the halfway point, and I hadn’t over-paced. I was 15-seconds down. I thought: ‘Well, shit. This hasn’t gone to plan.’ But Roche went out too hard as well, and I pulled back 30, 40 seconds on him going back.”

Mullen will line up for Ireland’s road race championship on Sunday.

“I haven’t even looked at the course yet,” he said. “I was all in for the TT. I wanted that skinsuit back. That was the big goal for the weekend. I did the double in 2014 [as a U23], and I’ll try to do that again, but for the road race, most of the field just sits on the WorldTour riders, there are four of us, so it’s not anything like a normal race,” he added. “I’ll definitely give it a crack.”

2nd, Nicolas Roche (BMC): “It was actually a pretty similar course to last year’s time trial. Basically 15km one way, a couple of kilometers through a town and 15km back the other way. It was mostly rolling terrain as it’s never dead flat in Ireland. I did one of my best time trials today. Ryan Mullen was just incredible strong. He’s shown over the last couple of years that he is definitely one of the best time trialists so he was always going to be tough to beat. So, I did my best time trial possible today and just came up short. I can take a lot of confidence from my performance and my shape going into the Tour de France next week. The road race on Sunday isn’t the best course for me because it’s pretty flat but we’ll see how things go.”

Irish Time Trial Championships 2017 Result:
1. Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac in 40:48
2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 0:15
3. Ian Richardson (Irl) at 2:02.

Ryan Mullen:
Schaffhausen - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Ryan MULLEN (Ireland / Cannondale Drapac Professsional Cycling Team) pictured during stage - 9 of the Tour de Suisse 2017 stage -1 - from Schaffhausen to  Schaffhausen, 28.60 km ITT - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Ilnur Zakarin is the new Russian Time Trial Champion
It was a moment of glory for Team Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin at the individual time trial of the Russian National Championships in Voronezh. Four years after his first elite TT title, Zakarin was again the best rider. Second place was for another Team Katusha-Alpecin rider, Maxim Belkov, the 2005 champion. Third place was for Anton Vorobyev (Gazprom-RusVelo).

“I am really happy and honestly I did not expect to win the gold medal today. After the Giro d’Italia I took ten days rest, and I even gained some kilo’s. When I saw that, after 20 kilometers, I had already 20 seconds to Maxim, I decided to go for my second title. This is nice. Let’s see on Sunday what we can do for our team in the road race,” said Ilnur Zakarin.

“It was good that Ilnur took some rest after the Giro. He was really tired and also too skinny. He gained some weight and that may have helped him to secure the title. He started fast and he finished fast. He did a perfect time trial on hilly and windy course,” said team director Dmitry Konyshev.

In the end, Zakarin finished the 40,3 kilometer in 49 minutes and 38 seconds, 52 seconds faster than former European champion Maxim Belkov and 58 seconds ahead of Anton Vorobyev.

Russian Time Trial Championships 2017 Result:
1. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) in 49:38
2. Maxim Belkov (Katusha-Alpecin) at 0:52
3. Anton Vorobyev (Gazprom-RusVelo) at 0:58.

Sunweb’s Georg Preidler Wins National Time Trial Championships
Team Sunweb have taken their second national victory today as Georg Preidler (AUT) reclaimed his time trial title, taking the win in Austria to wear his national colors for the next year.

Preidler set out to reclaim the title he had in 2015 in Austria today, aiming to add a second national time trial victory to his palmarés. It was a day where all of the variables matched, with the hilly course suiting Preidler’s strengths. After a powerful, flawless time trial the Austrian stormed past his rivals to take the victory by almost 40 seconds with a time of 32 minutes and 46 seconds.

After the win Preidler said: “I’m really happy with the result. I had expected to maybe get onto the podium but didn’t anticipate winning whatsoever. The competition was so fierce with two other really strong guys that I thought would take the win. I gave it my all and it worked out that I was fast enough. I’m really pleased to be able to wear the jersey again.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts (AUS) added: “Georg has had a really heavy lead up to the championships with a tough Giro followed by the Tour de Suisse but he came through it all fit and healthy. Knowing that the course today would suit him well we fine-tuned his training to go for the title. He has put in a great ride tonight to take the jersey and it’s very well deserved.”

Georg Preidler:
Foligno - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Georg PREIDLER (Austria / Team Sunweb) pictured during team stage 10 of the Giro D’Italia 2017  from Foligno to Foligno - Montefalco ITT, 39.20 km ITT, 39.20 km -  photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Tony Martin takes 7th National Elite TT Championship
The 48km windy course in Chemnitz provided a worthy challenge for Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’S Tony Martin, but the German champion was up for a repeat performance and claimed his sixth consecutive and seventh career national time trial championship on Friday.

“The parcours and especially the distance of 48 kilometers was not easy for me today, especially mentally. Jasha Sütterlin did a great job. I’m glad to have the title again,” said Tony Martin.
Joining Martin on the podium was teammate Nils Politt in the bronze position behind Jasha Sütterlin wearing the silver medal.

“Everyone can understand that my focus is on next Saturday. I do not need to worry about my form; everything is going according to plan. My body feels great. Now I am looking forward to a short relaxing time at home with my family before traveling on Tuesday to Düsseldorf,” concluded Martin.

Next Saturday the 104th Tour de France begins in Düsseldorf with a 14km opening time trial and has long been a goal for Martin. As part of the 9-man team racing for Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, Martin will aim for the win and first yellow jersey in stage 1.

Chemnitz - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tony MARTIN (Germany / Team Katusha - Alpecin) pictured during the DK zeitfahren men elite  - Time Trial Individual ITT in Chmenitz   - foto HR/Cor Vos © 2017

Castroviejo Back to TT throne in Spain
Superb Jonathan storms to win in tough Soria course, more than one minute ahead of Landa (SKY) despite a bike change, completes splendid Movistar Team performance with Herrada in bronze, five riders within best six. Sütterlin, Dowsett take silver in Germany, GB.

The Movistar Team ends a sweet first two days in their journey through the National Championships in Europe in style, with four medals and a sensational victory in Spain – his third, after 2013 and 2015 – by European TT title holder Jonathan Castroviejo. Suffering from pain in his ribs and intestine until few days before the weekend due to a crash on stage two of the Tour de Suisse, the Getxo-born cyclist dominated the 43km Spanish national TT in Soria, a windy, lumpy course with lots of ups-and-downs in its first half. A route perfect for the Eusebio Unzué-led group to show its strengths once again.

‘Castro’, affected by a mechanical failure and subsequent bike change during today’s ride, was still the fastest through the only official intermediate check (20.9km), yet with a slim, 16-second gap over Mikel Landa (SKY) – who ended up claiming silver – and 30 seconds on team-mate Imanol Erviti. At the second half, though, the high speeds and long straights much favored Jonathan, who opened his gap decisively to cross the line 1:08 ahead. After the two main contenders, Jesús Herrada – who was only 6th at the intermediate split – completed a fantastic comeback to claim bronze (+1:25), 23 seconds ahead of Marc Soler (4th). Erviti (5th) and De la Parte (6º) rounded off a magnificent display from the main home outfit.

The Nationals’ TTs brought another two medals for the Movistar Team, which saw Jasha Sütterlin taking another huge step in his splendid progression as a top rider to finish again second in Germany (48km in Chemnitz) – yet just 15 seconds behind world champion Tony Martin (KAT). An identical second place, only 8 seconds behind Stephen Cummings (DDD), saw Alex Dowsett coming close to his record-breaking sixth British TT title in the Isle of Man (44.4km).

The day’s negative notes came from Daniele Bennati, whose stomach problems 25km into the Italian TT course from Ciriè to Caluso forced him to abandon; and Nelson Oliveira, unable to even take the start in Santa Maria da Feira (Portugal) as a change in the start times – not conveniently notified to him – prevented the man from Aveiro to compete for a fourth win in the event.

Jonathan Castroviejo (via Spanish Cycling Federation): “I had to withdraw from the Tour de Suisse with that pain in my stomach, which made me difficult to assimilate any food I took, but my condition – as shown on the opening TT – was really good. I spent three days completely off the bike and got back to it searching for those good feelings, then I started thinking about this championship. It was both a test on how I was doing on the bike before the Tour and also a bid for that third title.

“The race was incredibly tough: the strong winds, the heat, the slopes. I had a little mechanical during the race and I had to switch bikes, so I didn’t have any references on the power meter. I had to use my instinct, but managed myself well over the second half of the race. I think the gaps were really made on that part, with such strong head winds. It’s a distance which suits me well, I always do great at TTs lasting roughly an hour.

“We were keeping track of our team-mates’ performances at many points with several team members and, at the final 4km, with that descent followed by the sharp entrance to the city, I was told I had more than one minute on the race and was confident I could take this one.”

Spanish Time Trail Championships 2017 Result:
1. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar in 53:26
2. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky at 1:08
3. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 1:25.

Grmay Wins Ethiopian TT Champs
Team Bahrain-Merida rider Tsgabu Grmay won the National Time Trial Championships in Ethiopia. The race was held in Awassa today. Grmay covered the course of 40 km on the roads around the city in 50:52 taking the best time. “I’m very happy because it’s always an amazing feeling to wear Ethiopian flag on the race” said Tsgabu “I’m proud to show the flag of my Country on Individual Time Trial all over the world.” Grmay won the ITT national title for the fourth time.

Tsgabu Grmay:
Vuelta al Pais Vasco 2017 - 6th stage Eibar - Eibar 27 km - 08/04/2017 - Tsgabu Grmay (ETH - Bahrain - Merida) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2017

Neben and Rosskopf Claim National Crowns in Knoxville for the Individual Time Trial Championships
Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif./Team Velo Concept) and Joey Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga./BMC Racing Team) scored the first Stars-and-Stripes jerseys of the 2017 Pro Road & Time Trial National Championships. The race against the clock was held in Knoxville, Tenn. for the first time, the first for two days of USA Cycling road national championships.

Neben, the reigning UCI ITT World Champion, was the final woman in the field of 38 in the field to leave the starthouse in the revitalized Old City section of downtown Knoxville. She crossed the line in 30 minutes, 27.45 seconds for a dominating win. Neben, the reigning UCI women’s world champion in the ITT, redeemed her second place result at last year’s championships.

Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas/Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank) earned silver, 31 seconds back in a time of 30:59.08, and Leah Thomas (Boulder Creek, Calif./Sho-Air TWENTY20) claimed bronze at 31:31.86. The professional women covered 14.4 miles, completing three laps of a 4.8-mile circuit in Knoxville.

“This course was tricky. There was really no rhythm or flow to it. Mentally, I had to ride it a lot more than physically ride it,” said Neben, a California native who said she was not used to the heat and humidity of eastern Tennessee. “It was a challenge to figure out how to pace it, and then factor in the heat. The humidity was hard. So to be able to factor that in and take care of the hydration, and then understanding there were three laps, and how important the second and third laps were going to be. I had to make sure I stayed in formation in the beginning, so that I could nail the second laps.”

Saturday’s event also crowned the women’s Under-23 ITT national champion, captured by 19-year-old Emma White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally Cycling). White finished 14th overall in the women’s event.

Rosskopf outpaced his teammate Brent Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C./BMC Racing Team) and 34 other competitors on the four-lap course for the men’s title in the 19.2 mile event, winning in a time of 36:25.37.

“It’s the most satisfying win for me,” Rosskopf said. “I’ve never been this close to a national championship before, never been able to put together a good ride. Yeah, I’m super excited, a little unexpected.”

Bookwalter, in his 11th year with BMC Racing Team, took his second silver medal in the ITT (2013) and moved up from a fourth-place finish in the event last year. Twenty-one-year-old Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Axeon Hagens Berman) finished 17 seconds behind Bookwalter for third.

“I’m probably the least surprised today at his performance. He may be one of the most under-rated riders on the team,” added Bookwalter about his teammates victory.

Amber Neben (Lake Forest, Calif.) Team Velo CONCEPT – 30:27.45
Lauren Stephens (Dallas, Texas) Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank – 30:59.08
Leah Thomas (Boulder Creek, Calif.) Sho-Air TWENTY20 – 31:31.86

Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.) Rally Cycling – 33:02.93
Margot Clyne (Boulder, Colo.) Groove Subaru Excel – 33:32.28
Sara Youmans (Ketchum, Idaho) Therapueutic Associates Racing – 34:54.19

Joey Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga.) BMC Racing Team – 36:25.37
Brent Bookwalter (Asheville, N.C.) BMC Racing Team – 37:22.80
Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif.) Axeon Hagens Berman – 37:39.76.

Trek-Segafredo fans announce Tour de France line-up
Once again Trek-Segafredo’s worldwide fans had the honor of announcing the nine-man roster for the 104th edition of the Tour de France.

Nine select followers of the team each disclosed the name of one of the nine riders on June 23, 2017 via their personal Twitter accounts, using the hashtag #TourDeTFS, a hashtag that will be used throughout the Tour de France for all social media messages related to the team. Their tweets were subsequently retweeted by the team and by each specific rider.

Alberto Contador, who has won the Tour de France twice, will headline the nine-man team.

Contador will be joined by Bauke Mollema, Jarlinson Pantano, John Degenkolb, Fabio Felline, André Cardoso, Michael Gogl, Koen de Kort, Markel Irizar who will play key support for Contador.

Trek-Segafredo will showcase a global team with seven nationalities:
André Cardoso (POR), Alberto Contador (SPA), John Degenkolb (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Fabio Felline (ITA), Michal Gogl (AUT), Markel Irizar (SPA), Bauke Mollema (NED) and Jarlinson Pantano (COL).

Astana Proteam for 2017 Tour de France
Astana Proteam is ready to start the famous Tour de France, which will be held from July 1st to 23rd in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

Team’s line-up:
Fabio Aru, Jakob Fuglsang, Dario Cataldo, Alexey Lutsenko, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Michael Valgren, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, Andriy Grivko and Andrey Zeits.
Sports directors: Dmitriy Fofonov, Alexandr Shefer, Giuseppe Martinelli.

New Italian champion Fabio Aru:
Megeve - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Fabio Aru (ITA-Astana) - Louis Meintjes (SAF-Lampre-Merida) pictured during stage 18 of the 2016 Tour de France from Sallanches to Megeve ITT, 17.00 km - photo JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Lotto Soudal: Line-up Tour de France
On Saturday 1st of July the 104th Tour de France kicks off in Düsseldorf, Germany. Lotto Soudal has lined up the following nine riders.

André Greipel, who turns 35 mid-July, conquered eleven stage wins at the Tour the past six years. Since 2008, the German has won at least one stage in every Grand Tour that he rode, amounting to a total of 22 victories. No doubt he will want to continue this winning streak in the upcoming Tour. Just like during his six previous participations Greipel can rely on the support of his friend Marcel Sieberg (35) for whom this is the eighth Tour de France. That’s as many as Adam Hansen (36) who will start the 25th Grand Tour in his career and the eighteenth in a row that he could complete.

Another very experienced rider is Lars Bak (37). The Dane has already put many breakaways to an end so Greipel could sprint for victory. Bak is about to start his seventh Tour de France. Also Thomas De Gendt (30) is a familiar face at the head of the peloton, but of course he has a reputation as a breakaway rider too. Just think of his victory on Mont Ventoux last year, on the twelfth stage of the Tour. It’s his fifth participation in La Grande Boucle.

Tony Gallopin (29) also has beautiful memories of the Tour. In 2014 he wore the yellow jersey one day and he won a stage. It is the seventh time he will start the Tour and that’s also the case for Jürgen Roelandts who turns 32 during the second stage, on July 2.

Tim Wellens (26) and Tiesj Benoot (23) are the youngsters in the team. After a first participation in 2015 Wellens is back for his second Tour. Benoot will make his Grand Tour début next week.

André Greipel:
Bourg-de-Péage - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Andre GREIPEL (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during stage 5 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, 199.50 km - foto: NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Africa’s Team Mobile Application
Download Africa’s Team to receive our 2017 Tour de France team first.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is happy to announce the release of our mobile app, Africa’s Team, for both iOS and Android platforms.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, in conjunction with FanHero, have developed a mobile application for all the friends and fans of our African Team. All the latest news, insights and behind the scenes action will be found on our mobile application first, including the announcement of our 2017 Tour de France team which will take place on Monday, 26 June.

Not only will those with the Africa’s Team app receive our 2017 TdF lineup first, but all those who download Africa’s Team between today and the end of the Tour de France (23 July), stand the chance to win a signed Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka jersey and a pair of the special edition Tour de France Oakley’s as worn by our riders at Le Tour.

Download Africa’s Team Below:

Google Play HERE. And Apple iTunes HERE.

Valverde reflects on upcoming Tour de France
The Movistar Team rider will be lining up in the ‘Grande Boucle’ for the tenth time, twelve years after his maiden appearance in 2005, completely free of any pressure after his 2015 podium finish – one he had sought for his entire career.

Valverde has four Tour stages to his account –Peyragudes (’12), Plumelec, Super-Besse (’08) and Courchevel (’05)– with two days in yellow and four consecutive top-8 GC finishes since 2013 – despite being mainly focused on supporting Nairo Quintana. The marvel from Murcia, still the rider with most UCI wins in 2017 (11), reflects on his condition and approach to the Tour exactly one week before the start of the race.

The road from the Ardennes
“After the classics I spent a week out of the bike, enjoyed some holiday for my family and then went on altitude training in Sierra Nevada. I stayed there for 23 days before heading to the Dauphiné. I felt good in France – obviously, not in a condition to target the GC specifically, but I was close to the top guys. Afterwards, I went to Andorra to refresh my mind on some of the Pyrenees climbs and, above all, stay away from the heat we were suffering in southern Spain.”

The Tour
“I feel like I’m tackling it in great form, hopefully strong enough to be by Nairo’s side and help my team-mates as much as possible. My goal is clear and certain, and I’ve stated it many times: supporting him, nothing else. We’ll be backing Nairo 100%. Anything that happens after that on the road is something we can’t really plan on. Obviously, I can’t lose much time on the GC because it serves our team’s strategical interest. If things go right and we both remain up there in the overall standings, our rivals will have to take precautions against both of us – which might turn out to be good for the team.

“I really respect the Tour, but I don’t have any fear to it anymore. I’ve really got hold of how it works during the last few years. I’m not only excited about riding it, but also certain about what I can do for the team – just as much as my team-mates are.

“I see Nairo very focused on the task. He’s training well, he’s keeping his mind fresh, and even though it’s true he’s tackling the Giro-Tour double for the first time, he’s always done better at the second Grand Tour in the past when he took on the Tour-Vuelta one. I don’t feel like it should be a problem for him.”

“I see all main rivals doing really well – I don’t feel like there’s one quite stronger to the others, either. At this very moment, it seems like Richie Porte is a bit stronger than the rest, but in a 21-day event, everything can change a thousand times. Froome has shown his quality during the past few years, and with his previous wins in the race we must consider him the strongest favorite, even if it’s true that he hasn’t shown to be as superior to the rest as he did in the past. Also Alberto, who knows how to approach the race in full condition; Bardet, who finished 2nd last season – I think all favorites are pretty much close, and that should make for an open race, exciting for the fans.”

The route
“The first week will be pretty nervous, as it always happens in the Tour. However, I like that there’s a mountain-top finish already on day five, so we don’t get too much into a sprinters’ course-dynamic and start seeing things calm down in the bunch. It will be a demanding week, with the opening TT surely creating some gaps.

“The Pyrenees stages will be really demanding. The 100-kilometer stage to Foix doesn’t seem that dangerous, but can become decisive, even more difficult than a long mountain stage. We’ll surely be starting flat-out, and with those difficult climbs, things could become really tough for everybody. The one finishing at Peyragudes brings me many good memories, but it’s not going to be quite the same this year. It was a 140km route when I won, now it’s 215km! It will be really, really tough.

“When it comes to the Alps, we know all climbs and we’re sure they’ll be demanding stages, but on week three of a Tour de France, it’s not that much about the route rather than having a team with energy left into the tank to support his leader. I haven’t really looked at the Marseille ITT, but considering how close the top guns usually are in terms of stamina, some positions within the top five overall could still be decided there.”

Cyrus Monk earns Cannondale-Drapac stagiaire position
University of Melbourne student Cyrus Monk has been granted a coveted stagiaire position with Cannondale-Drapac. The 20-year-old will join the team from the first of August, competing in the Tour of Britain, Colorado Classic and various one-day races in Italy.

“I’m really looking forward to being a part of cycling at a WorldTour level,” said Monk. “After following cycling for so long, I’m excited to be in a position of the riders who I’ve looked up to.”

The stagiaire opportunity came as somewhat of a surprise to Monk, who was not expecting such an offer so early in his career.

“I was a little frustrated with my early races, and thought that I would need some more concrete results, but luckily my consistency was enough to catch Cannondale-Drapac’s attention,” Monk said.

Monk was one of the standout riders at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in February. He has also clocked up a number of quality rides in 2017, including third place in the Oceania’s U23 individual time trial, and top 10 places at the Australian National Road Race Championships and the Oceania’s Road Championships. He is also the overall leader in the 2017 Towards Zero Victorian Road Series.

Monk currently rides for Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling’s Continental development team, Drapac Pat’s-Veg. A requirement from team owner Michael Drapac is that Drapac Pat’s Veg scholarship holders need to be pursuing either a degree or a similar education certification.

“Cyrus is an exemplar of the philosophy of holistic athletic development. From the perspective of any sporting code, he is an inspiration, and role-model, and we should be proud of him,” said Drapac.

“Drapac-Pat’s Veg has an extremely strong team this year, which has allowed me to profit, which I am grateful for. There’s always such a good atmosphere in our team, which stems from everyone having outside goals other than cycling. It’s unique in a team,” Monk said.

Monk also credits Melbourne University with allowing him both flexibility and focus in his cycling and his studies.

“The personal and professional development I’ve received from studying outweighs what I may have gained in full-time cycling instead,” Monk said.

Cyrus’s results extend far beyond the bike. The physiology student also won Melbourne University’s 2016 Male Athlete of the Year. In the future Monk has his sights set on looking for results in tougher one day races such as the Amstel Gold Race. For now, he remains focused on completing his science degree and looking for options to work in muscle and exercise physiology research alongside a potential WorldTour contract.

Bahrain-Merida Injury Up-Date
Heinrich Haussler and Ramunas Navardauskas, riders from Bahrain-Merida are recovering after the medical problems. Ramunas who suffers from cardiac arrhythmia we expect that he will join the training again after apx. one month and Heinrich Haussler started to train today after the recent Arthroscopy of the left knee.

Dr Carlo Guardascione, Medical Staff of team Bahrain Merida said about Haussler medical situation: “Ten days ago, in Orthopedic Klinik of Basel, a second arthroscopic treatment was necessary for reduce an important hypertrophic Hoffa’s fat body that created impingement inside the left knee. Surgery treatment was excellent and the first check done yesterday shows a dry knee and a good performance about movements and stability.”

Heinrich Haussler after the recent surgery feels good and he reports: “All is going very good after the Arthroscopy, no pain, not much swelling and I feel good. I went for my first ride today and it went very well. Now I will just follow the normal rehab protocol, build up my left leg up again and as soon as I can get back to normal training again I will be back with my teammates out on the road and the races.”

Dr Carlo Guardascione, Medical Staff of team Bahrain Merida announced after receiving medical results for Ramunas Navardauskas: “As a result of extensive cardiac examinations of level 2 carried out at the National Olympic Center in Lithuania, the presence of a cardiac arrhythmia requires a period of rest and de-training of at least one month, after that a further cardiological check-up will definitively clarify the evolution of the cardiac anomaly found.”

“I feel OK. And I miss racing very much. So far I am resting at home in Lithuania and waiting for what doctors will tell me to do. I hope it is just overtired after last two seasons and that I will be back on the bike soon,” said Ramunas Navardauskas while he is waiting for his return.

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

Team Sunweb Launch Video Clip in Countdown to Grand Départ in Düsseldorf
Both Team Sunweb and their title partner, the leading tour operator Sunweb, are proud that the 2017 edition of the Tour de France will this year depart from Düsseldorf, Germany. To celebrate Grand Départ on home soil, Team Sunweb and Sunweb have produced a summer track and video in the city with some of their key riders.

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