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Varese - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Vincenzo NIBALI (Italy / Team Bahrain - Merida) pictured during Tre Valli Varesine 2017 - 97th Edition - Saronno - Varese 192,9 km - 03/10/2017 - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

It looks like Vincenzo Nibali is ‘on form’ for Il Lombardia with his 3rd place in Tre Valli Varesine. Race reports, results and video from Varese, Binche and Münsterland. Plus Tour of Lombardy and Paris-Tours previews. In other cycling news: Contract news from Trek-Segafredo, Cannondale-Drapac, Wanty-Group Gobert, BMC, Quick-Step Floors, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and news of the new Movistar women’s team. Coffee anyone?

TOP STORY: Doping – Chemical and Mechanical!
There was two very sad doping stories in the news this week. One with old fashioned drugs and the other with a motor hidden in a bike, but both have a twist.

The first case is very sad when you look at the family history behind the case. Son of ex-pro Raimondas Rumsas, 23 year-old Raimondas Rumsas Jr, has tested positive for HGH only five months after his 21-year-old brother, Linas, died in mysterious circumstances.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announcing the positive finding from an out-of-competition test on September the 4th. “The athlete Raimondas Rumsas, licensed by the Italian federation, was found positive for GHRP-6 following a control in Capannori, Lucca, Italy.”

In July Rumsas won the Freccia dei Vini and dedicated the victory to his brother Linas who had died in May. Edita Rumsas was arrested by French police while traveling home to Italy with a stash of drugs in a camper after the Tour de France. She spent a month in jail waiting for Raimondas to return to France for questioning.They both received four month suspended jail sentences.

The second case is of a 43 year-old veteran racer caught with mechanical doping at a local race in the Dordogne region of France. The veteran rider was questioned following a junior and veterans race in Saint-Michel-de-Double, near Bordeaux, the race only had sixteen competitors.

It is alleged that he had made around €500 in prizes while using the hidden motor. In his defense, the rider said in a radio interview that: “I didn’t want to be a champion of the Dordogne, to win all the races, it was just to feel good again.” As to the severity of his offense he stated: “I don’t sell drugs and I didn’t kill a child, I put a motor in my bike. I’ll serve as an example but I think it will do good to cycling because I am not the only one doing it.”

The courier is now under investigation by French police and could be facing charges of sporting fraud and a long ban from competition.

Both cases show how stupid people can be.

Tre Valli Varesine 2017
Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) won the Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday, sprinting to the win ahead of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

An early break of 6 riders animated the opening kilometers of the Italian race, but the tough finishing circuit was always going to ensure that only the strongest riders were going to be in on the kill. The final three ascents of the circuit climb did some damage though and when Nibali attacked the reduced peloton with 2km to go, only Pinot, Geniez and Diego Ullissi (UAE Emirates) could follow. Nibali might have been the strongest in the group, it was Geniez who had the better sprint, with Pinot edging out Nibali for second place.

Race winner, Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We did a great race. This morning, I could tell that my sensations were good, and I really wanted to finish the season on a good note. Everyone played his role to perfection, and with Jan Bakelants, we were very much there in the final. I managed to come back to Pinot and Nibali, but really pulled myself inside out. Pinot launched the sprint, and it was a very close. Two weeks ago, I crashed while training and I was having real pain in my right knee. So I am very happy to finish the season this way. Just as with 2015, I managed to win three races in the same season. After missing out on the Vuelta, that’s a nice little revenge.”

3rd, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “I wanted to make a good race in view of next Saturday at the Il Lombardia and I succeeded. A discreet result in a tough race with high-level athletes. The team’s tactic was to try to attack during the last lap and so I went along with Thibaut Pinot. At 500 meters from the finish, Geniez came back and he was the fastest at the sprint.”

Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data): “Today was my last race of the year but more importantly it was my last race with the team. I tried to do my best and I was feeling quite good but the race was really hard and the climbers decided the final. I would like to say thank you to the team and to all the people I worked with in these nice 5 years. We had many good days together and even if I am changing teams in the future, I will always take the project that I have supported for the last 5 years, Qhubeka, with me. This team gave me the chance to turn pro and for this reason I will never forget what they have done for me. It was time for me to change teams now and that is just part of our sport.”

Tre Valli Varesine Result:
1. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:49:08
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:07
6. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
9. Daniel Martinez (Col) Wilier Triestina at 0:17
10. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott at 0:18.

Tre Valli Varesine:

Binche-Chimay-Binche – Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke 2017
Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) killed two birds with one stone on Tuesday, the Lotto Soudal rider won both Binche-Chimay-Binche and the Belgian Cycling Cup!

The 30th edition of Binche-Chimay-Binche was the last race of the Belgian Cycling Cup series. The 197 kilometers course ended with four local laps in the region of Binche. The only difficulties of the day were the Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, the Côte des Violettes and the ‘Petit Poggio’, but these were situated too early in the race to have a major impact on how the race unfolded. After almost an hour of racing, 28 riders, including: De Buyst, Hofland, Nikolas Maes, managed to go clear. Jasper De Buyst, Cavagna, Castelijns, Devriendt, Jansen, Mainard, Pasqualon, Ruijgh, Trentin and Vakoc attacked their fellow escapees, who were rapidly caught by the peloton. De Buyst secured the overall victory in the Belgian Cycling Cup by taking the points available in the different intermediate sprints. The collaboration in the peloton was not efficient enough, and that made it possible for the breakaway to stay in the front until the end. Trentin tried to accelerate at the bottom of the last small cobbled sector, but the Italian was unable to shake De Buyst off his wheel. Tom Devriendt also joined the duo at the top of the short climb. De Buyst waited for the perfect moment to launch his sprint and was clearly the strongest rider of this reduced group. This victory is Lotto Soudal’s 22nd this season.

Race winner, Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal): “I’m very satisfied with my result, of course. Binche-Chimay-Binche is a very difficult race, and if you can still win it at the end of the season, you can be happy. I beat Matteo Trentin, who is probably one of the best riders in the world at the moment, and that makes the victory a little more beautiful. There was a lot of nervousness in the peloton, partly because of the wind. At one point we were with 28 riders at the front. Moreno Hofland and Nikolas Maes were also in that group and the other main teams were well represented. With eighty kilometers to go, Trentin made a great effort to reduce the breakaway to ten riders, and that really worked in my favor, because Kenny Dehaes, my main opponent in the Belgian Cycling Cup, was no longer in the group. I was able to take three intermediate sprints, which put me at the top of the overall standings. From this moment onwards, I could focus on the race victory without any worries. I expected Trentin to try something in the final kilometer and I knew I had to stay in his wheel. When I came to the top of the climb, I had the feeling that my chances were really high in the sprint and I’m glad that I could finish it off.”

3rd, Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “In the beginning the peloton already broke up because of the wind. I immediately decided to go to the front of the peloton. That is how we went clear. When we saw that we were with four riders from the team in front we immediately started to pace. Trentin was really strong and pulled hard on a climb with 70km to go. I looked back and saw that it broke up. Unfortunately Kenny was behind. In the final I talked to Pasqualon, but we both were “à bloc” in the final lap. Trentin went full on the climb and it was close for me, but I just was able to close the gap on top. If they had waited longer, I would have started the sprint. But they started on the cobbles and I felt immediately I would not pass anymore. This is a confirmation of my good shape. Now I’m going to Paris-Bourges on Thursday and Paris Tours Sunday.”

Second in the Belgian Cup, Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “In the first group of 28 riders we were present with too many riders. The cooperation wasn’t smooth. Near to Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure, the riders of Quick-Step started attacking when I had a weak moment. I think that those 10 riders were the strongest in the race. In the local lap I felt better, but then it was already over. AG2R chased in the peloton with Roompot, but we did not get any closer. It’s not easy to organize and we also had two strong riders up front. It is painful to lose the lead now. In a number of races I lost some points. In Koolskamp Koers I was stuck behind a crash in the sprint and I did not get any points, while De Buyst scored well. I knew that this was a difficult race. I was in the good group and made no mistakes.”

Binche-Chimay-Binche – Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke Result:
1. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:11:23
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
3. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Jerome Mainard (Fra) Armee De Terre at 0:07
5. Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors at 0:11
9. Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 1:42
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.


Sparkassen Münsterland Giro 2017
The one-day race in Germany, the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro ends with a hectic finale, where BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Sam Bennett took the win. The team worked hard, showed a great teamwork to keep the gap low and brought sprinter Sam Bennett in a good position on the last kilometers. In the end Sam Bennett, Phil Bauhaus (Sunweb) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) crossed the line next to each other, the jury had to take a look on the photo-finish before the BORA – hansgrohe rider was announced as the winner.

The Sparkassen Münsterland Giro celebrated his 12th edition after starting at midday near the city of Münster. The race covered 199km on a rolling course, which was earmarked for the sprinters in the peloton. The finish in the city centre of Münster awaited with four fast laps before the winner could celebrate his victory. Last year, Pascal Ackermann surprised the fans along the road with his great second place.

A four man breakaway escaped relatively early and built up a maximum gap of 4 minutes. The German squad BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the main bunch and rode for the Irish sprinter Sam Bennett, to bring him in the finale in a good position. After 90km of racing the four men still had a two-minute gap.

With 38 km remaining, a duo attacked out of the breakaway and built a gap of one minute. BORA – hansgrohe riders Andreas Schillinger, Lukas Pöstlberger and Christoph Pfingsten worked hard and set the pace. With only 18km remaining, the peloton caught the duo and the expected bunch sprint was set up. BORA – hansgrohe brought their leader Sam Bennett in a good position for the finale.

As the race came on the finale lap the pace was high. The team brought Sam into an excellent position as the riders started also their lead-out trains. Sam started his sprint and crossed the line next to Bauhaus and Greipel. It looked like all three crossed the finish in the same time. The jury needed some minutes to look through the photo-finish before the BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Sam Bennett was announced winner of this year’s Sparkassen Münsterland Giro ahead of Bauhaus. Matteo crossed the line in a great 6th place after a long period of no races due to health problems.

Race winner, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It´s an amazing feeling to take the win, especially after this strong start-list here today! It was so close but I am so happy and want to thank my whole team for their great teamwork and work today!”

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:35:26
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Sunweb
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect
9. Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
10. Nicola Toffali (Ita) 0711/Cycling.

2017 Sparkassen Münsterland Giro Recap by Team Novo Nordisk:

Giro di Lombardia 2017
The last Monument of the season is on Saturday and it looks like the 2017 Il Lombardia is wide open. Check out Ed Hood’s Tour of Lombardy PEZ preview HERE and the race website HERE.

Lombardia team news:

Bahrain-Merida for Il Lombardia
It’s time for the “Classic of the Dead Leaves”, the last Classic Monument race of the season, will run tomorrow on the same route as the 2015 edition, when Vincenzo Nibali rode to a solo victory.

“It was one of my finest victories” – says The Shark – “who came with a downhill attack that still rages today. It will be a very difficult race on a really technical and selective course. There will not be many riders who can win”.

“I arrive at this race” – concludes – “well prepared after the Vuelta and several races in Italy with good results. On Tuesday I tried again the final and I think I’m ready to play my cards”.

Il Lombardia has a very selective route from Bergamo to Como for 248 km with six climbs and 4,000 meters of vertical elevation. The first climb, Colle Gallo, is followed by Colle Brianza; and after the town of Onno the riders climb the Madonna del Ghisallo, followed by the Muro di Sormano. The race descends to the lake of Como and onto the last two climbs: Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia, before reaching the finish line on Lungo Lario Trento e Trieste in Como.

“We have a team at the height of the event” comments SD Alberto Volpi“where everyone will play an important role helping Nibali. In the final I look forward to see Visconti, Gasparotto and Pellizotti, while others will have to work in the first part”.

“I expect the usual hard race” – he adds – “where the Muro di Sormano will be the watershed. Then the last two climbs will be the ideal trampoline for those who want to win the race”.

TEAM BAHRAIN MERIDA lineup for Il Lombardia:
Vincenzo Nibali, Enrico Gasparotto, Antonio Nibali, Franco Pellizotti, Giovanni Visconti, Janez Brajkovic, Domen Novak and Luka Pibernik.

Sunweb for Il Lombardia
This Saturday, October 7th, sees Team Sunweb line-up at Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season. With 4,000 elevation meters the race contains climbs of Ghisallo, Muro and Colma di Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia inside its 247 kilometers of racing.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED) said: “We expect Il Lombardia to be a really tough and demanding race on such challenging parcours. We have Warren as our designated team leader along with Tom and our aim is to bring these two in as fresh as possible condition into the final. We will ride offensively to avoid having to work earlier on in the race, covering attacks and taking control. We have Michael and Lennard who will have the responsibility of positioning our climbers before the Madonna de Ghisallo and we have the others who will control the final making sure that both Warren and Tom save energy for the final kilometers.”

Sunweb Line-Up:
Warren Barguil (FRA), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Sam Oomen (NED).
Coach: Aike Visbeek (NED).

Tom Dumoulin:

Direct Energie for Lombardy
Lilian Calmejane, Fabien Grellier, Jonathan Hivert, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Brian Nauleau, Paul Ourselin, Perrig Quemeneur and Romain Sicard.
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnould.

Strong BMC Racing Team Set to Line Up at Il Lombardia
After claiming fourth place at Giro dell’Emilia, Nicolas Roche will lead BMC Racing Team at Il Lombardia this Saturday October 7, the second-to-last UCI WorldTour race of the year.

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Maximilian Sciandri said the team has multiple cards to play at the last Monument race of the season.

“We saw at Giro dell’Emilia that Nicolas Roche is in great shape and can do well in these hilly Italian races. So, I think Nicolas can do well again this Saturday. Alessandro De Marchi is also looking strong and motivated after the UCI World Championships, and that’s exactly how you need to go into a tough race like Il Lombardia if you want any chance of a good result, you need the legs and you need the motivation,” Sciandri explained.

“It’s a selective course. It’s more concentrated in the final section and personally, I think it’s probably not as hard as last year’s course. The finish is in Como but from the Madonna del Ghisallo onwards, it’s a rollercoaster all the way to Como. The weather seems like it will be good and we’ll play our cards in the best way possible.”

Roche is feeling good after testing his legs at Giro dell’Emilia. “Coming out of Giro dell’Emilia with fourth place was a good indication of where my form is at the moment. The two races are quite different and maybe the short, steeper climbs of Giro dell’Emilia are more suited to me but I’m confident I can do another good result on Saturday,” Roche said.

“Il Lombardia is definitely one of the toughest, if not the toughest, one-day races of the year so it would be nice to wrap my season up well. We have a strong team and as long as the legs are good on the day, I think it will be a good race.”

Il Lombardia (7 October 2017)

Rider Roster:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Ben Hermans (BEL), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA).
Sports Directors: Maximilian Sciandri (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Nicolas Roche:

Il Lombardia
257 km of race, with official start in Bergamo and finish line in Como with the lake as background of the finish-line for the riders that will be able to complete this strong road with 4.000 meters of difference in altitude, divided in 6 climbs. The most famous and strongest are the Madonna del Ghisallo and the Muro di Sormano, that with the finish-line in Como will be very important. Among the #OrangeBlue starting the race there is Damiano Cunego, the only rider in activity to win 3 editions. 3 edition as Gino Bartali and Costante Girardengo and few other big champions. Damiano Cunego with his experience will be the leader of the team in this great monument. Ivan Santaromita and Alessandro Bisolti the expert climbers with him, together with Marco Canola and 3 young Italian talents as Iuri Filosi, Nicola Bagioli and Giacomo Berlato, supported by the Japanese young talent Marino Kobayashi at his first experience in this great competition.

The complete line-up:
Damiano Cunego, Ivan Santaromita, Marco Canola, Alessandro Bisolti, Iuri Filosi, Marino Kobayashi, Giacomo Berlato, Nicola Bagioli.

The Declarations
The #OrangeBlue leader Damiano Cunego comments with this words the road of the 111th edition of “Il Lombardia: It is always fantastic be in this race, that I won 3 times. Not many riders have the honor to win it all this times, because is very difficult to win with also one single edition. It is very hard, but the 2018 road is my favorite, with the finish-line in Como. Madonna del Ghisallo climb and Muro di Sormano climb will be the most important part of the race where we will understand who will not win the race, but then 50km will miss to the arrival, so the winner will be probably most clear after Civiglio and San Fermo.”

On the team car Mario Manzoni, the Sports Director: “The team is preparing these two important and strong races. In both races our experienced leader will be Damiano Cunego, that will help all his teammates to manage the energies, in particular way in the Lombardia. Ivan Santaromita and Alessandro Bisolti are the other experienced climbers, Marco Canola could use his good condition to keep strong. De Negri and Filosi will race only one of the two races to be ready to give all their energies for the team. With them the young talents Nicola Bagioli, Giacomo Berlato and Marino Kobayashi.”

Julien Jurdie: “Ready for this Monument”
“We are ready to finish the season with this beautiful event of the racing calendar, and are coming with a motivated and focused team. After an fine August in which he won the Tour du Limousin, Alexis Vuillermoz has shown that he is in good condition for the end of the season.

In a race where there are a lot of attacks and moving parts, he can really play a leading role. And as for Pierre Latour’s return to racing at the GP Beghelli and also the Tre Valli Varesine, he proved that he can play the role of a wild card well.

Regarding Il Lombardia, we will be facing a difficult course, particularly with the steep climb of Sormano in the final. At 247km, such a long monument, the freshness of the rider will make all the difference at the end of the race. Alexis Vuillermoz has the strength to play a leading role. Alexandre Geniez will start with a free hand as well, after his great victory at the Tre Valli Varesine. He has everything to gain. And let’s not forget Domenico Pozzovivo who has already finished in the top ten (6th in 2011).”

UAE Team Emirates to Tackle the Season’s Last Monument – Il Lombardia
UAE Team Emirates will conclude their week of racing in Italy, as they take part in the last Monument of the season – Il Lombardia. The race, also known as ‘The Race of the Falling Leaves’ due to the crisp, autumnal conditions, will take place on October 7th.

There are a total of five Monuments, which are cycling’s biggest one day races, consisting of Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia. All of the monuments have a deep rooted legacy in cycling history, Il Lombardia began in 1905 and is the only Monument not in the spring.

Il Lombardia has many comparisons with the season’s fourth Monument, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with similar style climbs, terrain and expected riding conditions. However, whilst Il Lombardia has less climbs,they span longer distances and could be a deciding factor for the race winner. The 247km route starts east of Milan in the city of Bergamo, and finishes on the shores of Northern Italy’s most famous lake, Lake Como.

Riders will be tackling five main ascents this Saturday including; Colle Gallo (with a gradient of 6%), Madonna del Ghisallo (with a gradient of 6.2%) , Muro di Sormano (with a gradient of 15.8%), Civiglio (with a gradient of 9.7%) and the San Fermo Della Battaglia (with a gradient of 7.2%).

Taking part in the race are eight UAE Team Emirates’ riders including; Kristijan Durasek (Croatia), Darwin Atapuma (Colombia), Valerio Conti (Italy), Rui Costa (Portugal), Simone Petilli (Italy), Jan Polanc (Slovenia), Edward Ravasi (Italy) and Diego Ulissi (Italy).

Commenting on the line-up for the race, UAE Team Emirates’ Sports Director Mario Scirea said: “Il Lombardia is a very difficult race and having climbers within the team selection will make a difference. We know that we can depend on some excellent athletes in the midst of our line-up, like Ulissi, Rui Costa and Conti.”

Commenting on his participation, UAE Team Emirates’ Italian all-rounder Diego Ulissi said: “Il Lombardia is one of the harder one-day Classics, it might even be the hardest, if you take into consideration the fluctuation in altitude. The most strategically important point in the race will be ‘the wall’ at Sormano, which will definitely shine a light on the strong climbers. As for me, I’m in good form and I will give it my all and hope for the best.”

Following this weekend’s race, UAE Team Emirates will compete at the final two races of the 2017 season: Hong Kong Cyclothon on 8 October and the Tour of Guangxi 19-24 October.

Diego Ulissi:

Lotto Soudal: Preview Il Lombardia
There are two historical races on the menu in the upcoming weekend: the Tour of Lombardy and Paris-Tours.

The Tour of Lombardy, or ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’ takes place on Saturday in northern Italy. This year, the last of the five cycling monuments is back on the course that was also done during the 2015 edition. This 111th edition is 247 kilometres long and features six steep climbs. The peloton will start in Bergamo and will tackle the Colle Gallo after 48 kilometers of racing. This climb is 7.4 kilometers long with an average percentage of 6%. Fifty kilometers further looms the Colle Brianza (5.7km at 3.8%). On the 174th kilometre, the riders will face the famous Madonna del Ghisallo (8.5km to 6.2%), which will be immediately followed by the Muro di Sormano. This climb is 1.9 kilometers long and averages 15.8% with some passages between 25 and 27%! The last two difficulties of the day are the Civiglio and the San Fermo della Battaglia. These climbs may not be not the longest of the race, but they feature slopes up to 10%, which will definitely make for an animated finale. The finish line will be situated in Como, less than six kilometers after crossing the top of the last climb. In total, the riders will face about 4,000 metres of vertical elevation.

Due to this challenging profile, the Tour of Lombardy has always been a race for the strong climbers. Vincenzo Nibali took an impressive solo victory on the same course in 2015. The Sicilian is once again on the start list this year and will definitely be the man to beat. Dan Martin won here in 2014 and will also be at the start. Last year’s winner, Esteban Chaves, hit the deck in the Giro dell’Emilia and won’t be able to defend his title. Lotto Soudal goes to Italy with riders in fine form: Tim Wellens showed in Wallonia and in the World Championships that he has good legs. Tony Gallopin, who took seventh place in Lombardy in 2015, has also ridden strongly in the past few weeks.

Bart Leysen, sports director for Lotto Soudal: “The course is just as difficult as the previous years. The most difficult part lies between the Ghisallo and the Sormano. The latter comes fifty kilometers from the finish but it is a real wall that you have to survive if you want to go for the victory. We have a very strong team, including Gallopin, Wellens and Benoot. Gallopin and Wellens should be our two leaders, but it also depends on the situation and on the moment in the race. There are of course many factors that can influence the outcome. The finale suits riders like Gallopin and Wellens very well. The recon of the course is also very important, especially as we don’t live in the area. The motivation and the condition of our riders is really great. They know it’s the last big race of the season and everyone will want to do their maximum to help our leaders.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal for the Tour of Lombardy: Sander Armée, Tiesj Benoot, Thomas De Gendt, Tony Gallopin, Tomasz Marczyński, Maxime Monfort, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.
Sports director: Bart Leysen.

Tony Gallopin:
Namur - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tony Gallopin wins the GP Wallonie on the Citadel of Namur in Namur, Belgium - photo GvG/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Gazprom – RusVelo is to compete in the monumental Italian race Il Lombardia
This Saturday seventh of October Russian cycling team Gazprom – RusVelo is to compete in Il Lombardia. Italian race is part of UCI World Tour and is one of the most crucial contests in racing calendar.

With the support of famous sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport the race was firstly organized in 1905. Over the years the contest has been catching on and has become one of the five cycling Monuments. As it is held in the end of professional season the race is also known as a “Classic of the falling leaves”.

The route of the 111th edition repeats the road course of 2015. Riders will roll out in Bergamo and after covering 247 kilometres distance will finish in Como. Il Lombardia is considered one of the most challenging contests in racing calendar, which is appealing for pure climbers. Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano and San Fermo della Battaglia are the main mountainous tests of the road course. Throughout the race riders are to roll on 4000 metres.

Last year Gazprom – RusVelo debuted in Il Lombardia and this year the Russian cycling team also got an invitation. Whereas young climber Ildar Arslanov is to start “Classic of the falling leaves” for the first time, experienced Pavel Brutt competed in six editions of the Italian Classic. That’s what Pavel said before the upcoming contest: “Last season Il Lombardia had a different route, but when I competed in Il Lombardia for the first time ten years ago the finish line was also in Como. This year the contest features similar road course, which is more appealing to me. Everyone in our team understands that it will be a tough challenge, however we are ready for a fierce competition and will compete with what’s left from our strength to confront the strongest teams.”

Gazprom – RusVelo line-up:
Ildar Arslanov, Pavel Brutt, Artem Nych, Igor Boev, Sergey Lagutin, Sergey Firsanov, Ivan Rovny, Dmitry Kozonchuk.

Thibaut Pinot and the Ambitious FDJ Team
This Saturday, October 7, will be played the last great monument of the 2017 cycling season, the Tour of Lombardy. After a departure from Bergamo, the riders will run for 247 kilometers on a particularly difficult course including more than 4000 meters of unevenness including the famous “Colma di Sormano” and its Muro which offers maximum slopes to 27%!

The finish will be judged this year in Como “as in 2015, on a course that Thibaut (Pinot) likes very much,” says the coach of the French climber, Julien Pinot. “Thibaut is very appreciative of this Italian week and Lombardy in particular” added Julien, “he was good in August and decided to continue the competition until this important deadline in his eyes, he is very motivated and will aim for a Top 5.”
Sebastien Reichenbach, who fell heavily at the beginning of the week, Thibaut Pinot confirms his ambitions: “Seb did not deserve this, besides he was super motivated and inevitably we all counted on him. We will be less strong without him but we always have big ambitions. I am fit and I hope to be 100% Saturday to be present in the final and play the win. The circuit so drawn, with this arrival in Como, suits me well and I will have to heart to make the best race possible, although we know that on a race of one day everything can happen. The latest results are auspicious for Saturday and I will do everything to not have regrets!”

Quick-Step Floors Team to Il Lombardia
We are fielding a strong squad for the Italian Monument, which includes two former winners, Philippe Gilbert and Dan Martin.

After two fantastic years, which saw him podium at Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné, Volta a Catalunya, Flèche Wallonne, Liège–Bastogne–Liège as well as taking a career-best overall result at the Tour de France, Dan Martin’s tenure in the Quick-Step Floors jersey will come to an end this Saturday, at the season’s final Monument, Il Lombardia, the race which “Disco Dan” won three years ago following a cunning attack in the closing kilometers.

Unlike 2014, this edition puts on the table a different course, which starts from Bergamo, finishes in Como, and includes several leg-sapping climbs. Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo (8.6km, 6.2%), Muro di Sormano (1.9km, 15.8%), Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia will all be fixtures on the route, making sure the 247km-long race, featuring over 4000 meters of climbing, will turn into a war of attrition.

Dan Martin comes at the start less than 48 hours after concluding Milano-Torino, the oldest race in the world, in 11th place. Despite not being in the select group from which the winner emerged, the Irishman impressed with his huge power output, which saw the Quick-Step Floors rider hit a one-minute peak power of 555W, a good omen ahead of the “Race of the Falling Leaves.”

“I think my condition is a lot better than I expected, you could see that on Thursday. I tried to stay focused since the Tour, although I have had a long time off because of my back. I feel good and I ride without big pressure. I have had a fantastic season, but I am motivated to finish on a high note with the team because it has been two fantastic years for me here. I really loved my time here and it has been fun riding with these great guys. It has really motivated me the last 3-4 weeks to come to Il Lombardia in good shape to end my time at Quick-Step Floors in a good way”, said Dan Martin ahead of his 18th Monument start.

“Lombardia is always a long, hard race, but I am looking forward to it every year. Last year, I think the course was a bit too hard, which took away the essence of the race, but this season it’s really a typical Lombardia”, said Dan when asked about the parcours of the 111th edition. “There’s the Madonna del Ghisallo, the Muro di Sormano and the two hard climbs in the end. Muro di Sormano is the hardest part of the race, really a brutal, brutal climb peaking with about 50 kilometers to go, and it will be very important to survive this climb to make a good result in the final, which I am hoping for and believing I can do.”

In 2017, the Irishman was one of the most consistent riders out there, the remarkable run of results he has enjoyed since February being underlined by his eighth place in the World Tour rankings, where Dan is the best-placed Quick-Step Floors rider. Now, as his season is nearing conclusion, Martin is ready to put on another trademark aggressive display in Il Lombardia, one of his favourite races of the year.

“It is a really special race for me this one, I have been twice on the podium and now it’s my last appearance for Quick-Step Floors. We will see how it goes, but I will surely enjoy it and do my very best to get a good last result with this amazing team! We might not have the strongest guy of the race in the squad, but we have strength in numbers and we are all confident and motivated to do a strong race”, said the 31-year-old, one of the only two Irishmen to come out at the top of the “Race of the Falling Leaves” since it was created, back in 1905.

For his final event with Quick-Step Floors, Dan Martin will be accompanied by Julian Alaphilippe – one of the protagonists in this week’s Milano-Torino, where he launched a daring solo attack with 20 kilometers to go – Gianluca Brambilla (another rider to make his final outing in the Quick-Step Floors jersey, after five successful years), Laurens De Plus, Dries Devenyns, two-time Il Lombardia winner Philippe Gilbert, best young rider of Tirreno-Adriatico and Giro d’Italia Bob Jungels and Pieter Serry.

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Laurens De Plus (BEL), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Bob Jungels (LUX), Daniel Martin (IRL), Pieter Serry (BEL).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA).

Dan Martin:
Peyragudes - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Daniel MARTIN (Ireland / Team Quick Step - Floors) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 12 from Pau to Peyragudes, 214.50 km - foto Poolphoto Bernard Papon/Cor Vos © 2017

Two in a Row for Gaviria?
It will soon be time to take stock of the season, but before then Paris-Tours is the final opportunity to shine on a prestigious classic. For some it will be the chance to give a fine finish to a season already crowned with success, whilst for others a victorious punch of the air will help them to forget the grimaces and missed opportunities they have experienced since the beginning of spring. Fernando Gaviria belongs to the first category, with a roll of honor in 2017 that already boasts 11 victories, including 4 stages on the Giro. The Colombian will no doubt remember that this prosperous period started in Tours one year ago, when he achieved his first major success ahead of the world’s elite sprinters, who were preparing for the world championships in Doha. The title holder will be the man to watch on the finishing straight, but his team, Quick Step, will be lining up a squad that could spring surprises, with another former winner, Matteo Trentin (in 2015), who has also won four grand tour stages this year, on the Vuelta, as well as Zdenek Stybar, 2nd on Paris-Roubaix last spring.

In addition, the Belgian team, the presence of the two biggest collectors of winners’ bouquets in the pack promises a pitched battle on Avenue de Grammont, even if Mark Cavendish (with 145 victories in his career) has only been victorious once this year and André Greipel has not been up to his usual standards (140 victories, including 4 in 2017). For example, the German sprinter completed Le Tour without a victory for the first time and will be making his first appearance on Paris-Tours since 2006. The craft of these two ‘senior’ sprinters could once again come up against the fervor of the emerging generation, which will not only be represented by Gaviria on the classic of the falling leaves. As the season has gone by, Dylan Groenewegen has triumphed on the roads of Dubai, Yorkshire, Norway, the Netherlands and especially on the avenue that is the envy of all sprinters, the Champs-Elysées, on the last stage of the Tour de France. On that day he beat Greipel (who finished 2nd), but also Nacer Bouhanni (4e), who is also seeking the chance to finish the year on a positive note. The sprinters’ appetites could however be quelled by riders capable of springing surprise attacks on the run-in to the finish. For example, such a show of strength could be within the capabilities of AG2R, who will be counting on Alexis Gougeard, Oliver Naesen and their newly crowned champion in the young riders’ category, Benoit Cosnefroy.

The main participants:

Lotto-Soudal: Greipel (Ger), Debusschere, Maes (Bel)
Quick Step Floors: Gaviria (Col), Trentin (Ita), Stybar (Cz)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Offredo (Fra), Van Keirsbulck (Bel)
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise: Van Hecke (Bel)
WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect: Ista (Bel), Spengler (Swi)
Veranda’s Willems-Crelan: Devolder (Bel)

AG2R La Mondiale: Gougeard, Cosnefroy (Fra), Naesen (Bel)
FDJ: Sarreau (Fra), Guarnieri (Ita), Konovalovas (Lit)
Fortuneo – Oscaro: Fonseca (Fra), McLay (GB)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Bouhanni, Laporte, Soupe (Fra)
Direct Energie: Chavanel, Boudat, Petit (Fra)
HP Btp – Auber 93: R.Feillu (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM: Martinez (Fra), Smukulis (Lit)
Roubaix Lille Métropole: Antomarchi (Fra)
Armée de Terre: Gaudin, Rostollan (Fra)

Team Sunweb: Arndt (Ger), Sinkeldam (NL), Kragh Andersen (Den)

Aqua Blue Sport: Blythe (GB), Nordhaug (Nor)

Team Lotto-NL Jumbo: Groenewegen (NL), Wynants (Bel)
Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij: Ligthart (NL)

South Africa
Team Dimension Data: Cavendish (GB), Eisel (Aut)

Team Katusha Alpecin: Zabel (Ger), Morkov (Den)

BMC Racing Team: Küng, Drucker (Lux) Team Katusha Alpecin: Zabel (All), Morkov (Dan).

Key points:
Ø The 111th edition of Paris-Tours which will start from Brou on Sunday 8th October is up for grabs for the world’s elite sprinters, in particular Colombian Fernando Gaviria, the winner in 2016.

Ø Mark Cavendish and André Greipel, a pair of riders who have tasted success throughout the world during their careers, have never triumphed on Avenue de Grammont. They will be among the favorites this year.

Best of 2016 video:

Tsgabu Grmay and Nicola Conci sign with Trek-Segafredo
Trek-Segafredo is pleased to announce they have reached an agreement with Tsgabu Grmay and Nicola Conci, thus completing their roster for 2018.

Twenty-six-year-old Grmay, who joins from Bahrain-Merida, is the current Ethiopian Time Trial champion and combines his TT-skills with a predilection for long climbing efforts.

Tsgabu Grmay: “I’m very happy about this move. Trek-Segafredo really stood out for me because they offer a very professional guidance for their athletes. I am confident that within this team I can continue my development as a rider in the best circumstances.

I really like stage races because they suit me better than one-day races. Of course, it would be a dream come true if one day I would be able to win a stage there. But let’s take it step by step. I want to keep learning and improving and will give it my all, and who knows, maybe one day, achieve that ultimate goal. In the meantime, I will honor my jersey, my team and my country. Being the first Ethiopian rider ever who turned pro (in 2012-ed), I feel the support of the whole country standing behind me and that gives me the strength to keep going until the bitter end.”

Nicola Conci, 20, seventh overall and second in the youth classification of this year’s ‘Baby Giro’ (under-23 Giro d’Italia) will make his debut in the WorldTour in 2018. “Turning pro is a dream for every young rider; being able to do that in of the biggest teams in the world makes it even more mind boggling,” he stated.

“The next years I hope to perform well and be able to help the team like I could do in the Tour of Denmark, where Mads (Pedersen) won. That was really an amazing experience.

I would describe myself as a climber-allrounder. I am at my best in very hard races with enough climbs on the parcours. The Ardennes are my favorite terrain, and Liège is my all-time favorite classic. If only one day I could win there, I would be so happy. But of course, being Italian, I also love the Giro d’Italia, and especially the races with starts or finishes in Trentino, where I was born and raised. I wouldn’t say no to a victory there either. Who knows, one day…”

Luca Guercilena, General Manager Trek-Segafredo: “With Tsgabu (Grmay) and Nicola (Conci) we complete our line-up for next year and I must say I am proud of the team we pulled together. We will have 28 riders representing 18 nationalities, who all have their own strengths and capabilities that will be very complementary one to another. That will allow us to show some fireworks during the whole season.

Tsgabu has shown over the past few years that he’s a decent time trialist and climber. Moreover, as his results point out, he often seems to improve during the second half of stage races. He recovers really well from long-lasting efforts which makes him specifically apt to help our GC-riders.

We had been following Nicola together with Mapei Training Center for quite some time within our youth development program. He joined us during our summer training camp in Orcières-Merlette and based on his lab and field tests, we decided to give him a chance as a stagiaire for some races in the second half of the season. He didn’t prove us wrong; on the contrary, he showed he could hold his ground in the pro peloton. We see his potential and want to give him the opportunity to grow and develop further within our team.”

Grmay and Conci:

Dan McLay strengthens Slipstream Sports’ sprint squad
Slipstream Sports announced the signing of Dan McLay on Monday, one day after his win at Tour de l’Eurométropole. The 25-year-old joins the WorldTour from Fortuneo – Oscaro.

“I’m really happy to step up to the WorldTour, and I think this is the perfect team for me as I make that move to the top level,” said McLay. “This is a crucial moment in my career. I’m getting to the age where I’m no longer considered a young and developing rider. It’s time for me to perform before the grey hairs start to appear.”

“Dan is a rider that we have followed for a long time,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “His talent is clear for all to see. It’s a big satisfaction to finally get him on board, and we are looking forward to helping him take the next steps in his development.”

Kiwi-born and British-bred, McLay began his U23 career in 2011 as a 19-year-old Dave Rayner-funded rider based out of Belgium. He took his first victory at the GP Stad Waregem, the U23 Dwars dor Vlaanderen race, and snagged another five wins in the weeks that followed. His results netted him a contract with Lotto’s development program that would eventually span four years.

McLay’s talent in the U23 ranks have slowly but steadily transferred into elite races. In his Tour de France debut in 2016, McLay sprinted into the top ten four times, including third place on stage six behind Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel. He earned another four top ten finishes at the 2017 Tour de France.

“My third place and multiple top ten finishes in the Tour were important, but there’s something different about winning,” said McLay. “I would say my sprint in Mallorca at Trofeo Palma might be my best to date. I went long and some very good sprinters couldn’t come past me. That was a good win.”

McLay, like his soon-to-be teammate, Sacha Modolo, could easily be categorized as a sprinter; yet, he’s also shown promise in the spring. In 2016, without any team support, McLay sprinted to tenth at Scheldeprijs.

“I think I can become good in the classics,” said McLay. “I’m excited to learn from my new teammates, such as Sep Vanmarcke.”

His ambitions span the entire season. “I hope to find a winning formula and get into a habit of winning,” McLay said. “That’s the main goal for next year.”

Dan McLay:

Yoann Offredo extends with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
In the margin of Binche-Chimay-Binche Yoann Offredo has extended his contract at Wanty-Groupe Gobert on Tuesday morning at the headquarters of our main sponsor Wanty in Binche. Also in 2018 and 2019 our team will be able to count on the services of the 30-year-old Frenchman. In the spring of 2017 Offredo finished 14th in Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. He also gave color to the recent Tour de France with several breakaways for which he received the prize of combativity in the second stage to Liège. Offredo suffers from tendinitis and will no more race in 2017.

Yoann Offredo: “I am a loyal person, both in love and in sports. After many years at FDJ, an extended stay at Wanty-Groupe Gobert seemed a logical continuation because I understand the team’s way of working. When I signed here there was a risk on multiple levels. It was a jump in the unknown. Eventually it was a success and I even discovered another version of myself. Someone who is capable of setting goals and achieving them: learning a new language, riding a Grand Tour, … I’ve already had a lot of fun here. ”

“I want to remain faithful to the familiar values ​​of Wanty-Groupe Gobert, a team without pressure. The team started small and already achieved participation in the Tour. She has a big French talent with Guillaume Martin, who, like a lot of teammates showed what he’s capable of in the Tour. Now it’s up to ASO to invite us again in 2018 to concretize our breakaways and talents.”

“I’m suffering from tendinitis at the knee, which forces me to end of my season. So I miss Binche-Chimay-Binche and Paris-Tours, in which I would have liked to shine. My rest period was advanced for a few days. It was a heavy season, thanks to an offensive Tour de France, a strong pre-season and unfortunately a crash in the Brussels Cycling Classic.”

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): “Yoann is an important rider for the team. At the sportive level he is one of our major assets in the spring classics. Hopefully, the successful completion of the Tour will enable him to step up one more step in 2018. Yoann is also important for our young riders’ environment. He represents everything we search for in a rider, so it’s logical that we put everything in place for an extended stay at Wanty-Groupe Gobert.”

Bourlart and Offredo:

Patrick Bevin Set to Bolster BMC Racing Team’s 2018 Roster
BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced the signing of Patrick Bevin, 26, for the 2018 season. Bevin, who is a former New Zealand Time Trial Champion, is the first New Zealander rider to join the team in BMC Racing Team’s 11-year history.

“We are very excited to welcome Patrick Bevin to BMC Racing Team next season. Patrick is a talented rider who has shown great potential in his two years at the UCI WorldTour level, and we believe we can help him to develop further at BMC Racing Team. Patrick will be a great asset when it comes to individual and team time trials and given the emphasis we place on the discipline, Patrick is a great addition to the team,” Ochowicz explained. “Patrick showed great form at the Tour de Suisse this year, narrowly missing out on a stage win, so we know he has the ability to do well at stage races at the highest level. He has experience at a lot of different races so when riders like Richie Porte and Greg Van Avermaet need support, Patrick will be there. A rider with Patrick’s versatility is exactly what we were looking for and we are confident he will fit in well with the team’s objectives for 2018.”

Bevin is excited about the opportunity to join BMC Racing Team. “I wanted to ride for BMC Racing Team as they are one of the premier teams in the world. The team’s approach is extremely professional and the attention to detail is already prevalent in all the interactions I have had. I believe I will thrive under this approach and develop as a rider in the coming season,” Bevin said. “I am already starting to work on developing my time trialling and look forward to starting the season with the New Zealand National Championships and a return to racing in Australia.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other details of the contract were released.

Patrick Bevin:

Alvaro Hodeg signs first pro contract with Quick-Step Floors
The 21-year-old Colombian becomes the fourth rider to turn pro with our team next season

Sprint prodigy Alvaro Hodeg, who is racing Binche-Chimay-Binche today – his fifth and at the same time final appearance as a Quick-Step Floors stagiaire, following the ones in Desselgem Koerse, Grand Prix de Wallonie, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen and Tour de l’Eurometropole – has penned a two-year deal with our team.

Alvaro, who before riding as a trainee for the team attended last winter’s training camp in Spain, was left speechless by his move to the World Tour with the outfit which has amassed over 300 wins in the past six years: “How crazy is this? I think I need some time to realize I just signed a contract with Quick-Step Floors. I can’t believe it right now, but I am super happy! When I got the chance to ride with the team as stagiaire, I was really excited and I wanted to show everybody my very best. Here just a little over a month after, I am left with no words to describe how proud I am that the squad wants me to stay, believing I have a future with them.”

In the last season spent in the amateur ranks, Alvaro Hodeg won the intermediate sprints classification at the U23 Giro d’Italia and finished runner-up in just his second race on Belgian turf (Grote Prijs Stad Sint-Niklaas), a sign for what was to come later, at the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir; there, Alvaro got his most important result to date, nabbing the victory on stage 6 after an emphatic sprint in Saint-Amand-Montrond, the site of one of Quick-Step Floors’ most impressive wins ever, at the 2013 Tour de France.

“The whole team, from staff to sport directors and riders have given me the best welcome. I feel already at home here and get along with everybody. For now, I want to do my best to help the team in my last race of the season, and then I will be looking forward to the fantastic journey I have ahead of me with Quick-Step Floors over the next two years. I am so motivated and excited about the future, for training harder and better, developing as a rider and learning from all the experience that is present here”, concluded Hodeg, the seventh rider to join Quick-Step Floors ahead of next year.

Patrick Lefevere, the team’s CEO, talked of the reasons behind Alvaro’s transfer and how his addition fits perfectly into the way he sees the future of the squad: “We have closely monitored Alvaro this season and we were really impressed by what we’ve seen. He has the potential, talent and determination to make it as a pro. I’m sure he will find his place in the team and learn the trade from the more experienced riders, including Fernando, with whom he shares the passion for sprints and one-day races. As you already know, we put emphasis on young riders and their development because we are constantly thinking about the future, and this transfer comes in line with several other young riders who have either signed or extended with us for the next seasons.”

Alvaro Hodeg:

Caja Rural – Seguros RGA Sign French sprinter Yannis Yssaad; Mas and Ferrari renew
The Caja Rural – Seguros RGA team has announced the signing of Frenchman Yannis Yssaad for 2018. Yssaad comes across from the French Armee de Terre Continental team coming off the back of an impressive season.

The twenty-four year old has five wins to his name this season. The most prestigious of these wins came in Paris – Troyes in March. He built on this win by taking stages in the Ronde de l’Oise , two stages of the Trofeo Joaquin Agostinho and taking the sixth stage of the An Post Ras in Ireland.

Yssaad is known for his fast finish and will join Colombian arrival Nelson Soto in boosting the teams sprinting ability.

Yssaad: “My goal was to evolve to a high level and that is what Caja Rural-Seguros RGA have given me the chance to be able to do. I’m really happy to be able to join the team. Everything will be new to me, I always raced in a French team but I don’t care. I immediately had a good feeling with the manager, Juan Manuel Hernandez, and that is the main reason why I joined the team. We have a common goal that is to win races.

I am always helpful, I always give 100% to my teammates or myself. I like all the races but what I like most are the sprint finishes and especially when it’s slightly uphill. It is a beautiful team with a beautiful race calendar and I intend to honor the jersey for next season.”

The team has also confirmed the renovation of veterans Lluis Mas and Fabricio Ferrari.

After a turbulent end to 2016 where he suffered serious injury in the Vuelta España, 2017 was somewhat of a comeback year for Lluis Mas. This year he took the sprints jersey in the Tour of the Basque Country (UWT).

The Mallorca followed this up by winning the mountains classification in the Boucles de la Mayenne (2.1). After a string of consistent performances throughout the year he was called into the Spanish team for the World Road Race Championships in Bergen, Norway. Mas will enter his fifth season with the team.

Fabricio Ferrari, has been in the team since 2010 and is the longest serving member of the current squad. The Uruguayan has tasted success this year finishing third overall in the Vuelta a Madrid (2.1) as well as fourth place on stage 2 of the Giro della Toscana (2.1).

Movistar Team confirms 8 riders for 2018 women’s squad
Spaniards Mavi García, Eider Merino, Alicia González, Alba Teruel, Lourdes Oyarbide and Lorena Llamas; Poland’s Małgorzata Jasińska; and France’s Aude Biannic have all signed with the Blues
After confirming its intentions to build a UCI Women’s Team in 2018, the new Movistar Team has already sealed contracts with a great part of their roster for next season. Eight riders have so far joined the squad, set to be directed by Jorge Sanz. The names include Spaniards Mavi García (33), Lourdes Oyarbide (23) and Lorena Llamas (30), coming from Bizkaia-Durango; and Eider Merino (23), Alicia González (22) and Alba Teruel (21), also from a home outfit, Lointek.

The women’s Movistar Team will include at least two foreign riders, as Polish climber and nine-year professional Małgorzata Jasińska (33, Cylance Pro Cycling) and young (26), yet experienced French rouleur Aude Biannic (FDJ), with top-ten Worlds and Olympics finishes to his palmarès, have both chosen the Blue team for their future.

The telephone squad’s management team hopes to bring two more riders to their 2018 roster in the upcoming weeks, in order to close a ten-woman roster for their first season in pro cycling.

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