What's Cool In Road Cycling
Louhans-Châteaurenaud - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Team Sky pictured during 70th Critérium du Dauphiné (2.UWT) - stage-3 - from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Châteaurenaud 35 KM TTT - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Team Sky dominated the Critérium du Dauphiné team time trial and moved into the top four places overall. All the news, views and video from France. Bad news for Rémy Di Grégorio – Top Story. In other cycling news: Quick-Step take Hammer, Teams preview the Tour de Suisse, 2 more years for Thomas De Gendt, 2018 Tour de France news, Tour of the Alps success, 2018 Tours of Britain and Utah routes and Team Novo Nordisk’s Phil Southerland’s speech to celebrate World Bicycle Day at the UN Headquarters. It’s all here in EUROTRASH.

TOP STORY: Just When You Thought Things Were Quiet!

Positive Control Confirmed for Rémy Di Grégorio.
It has been clarified by his Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM team that after testing positive for darbepoetin, a kind of EPO, on March 8, Rémy Di Grégorio’s B sample confirmed the result of the first. The 32-year-old French rider now faces up to a four year suspension.

The B sample confirmed the presence of traces of darbepoetin, which was visible in the A sample. The positive control was taken at this years Paris-Nice and with this confirmation of both samples, perhaps the career of Frenchman will soon end? Di Grégorio had announced in September of 2017 he was retiring from the sport, saying: “I don’t write often on Facebook but today it’s to announce that after 12 beautiful years of a sporting career, I’m bringing an end to my career”, but changed his mind and signed with Delko for 2018.

The news obviously stops the career of Di Grégorio who had found some good form at the beginning of the season. Winner of a stage of the Tour de la Provence, he also distinguished himself in the 3rd stage of Paris-Nice by finishing in third place. But it was in the same event that he crossed the limits and was caught red handed. His positive result (the dope control, not his 3rd place) in the Race to the Sun was then revealed on April 11th, and his last race was the Grand Prix Miguel Indurain on March 31st.

Back in 2012, on the first rest day of the Tour de France, Remi di Gregorio was arrested by French police on suspicion of doping. In April 2013 Di Gregorio could resumed his career, since the products found in his possession at the Tour turned out to be vitamins. Prosecutors said the case was not formally closed. Di Gregorio maintained he has never doped and successfully sued Cofidis for unfair dismissal.

Katusha-Alpecin rider, Baptiste Planckaert, summed up many peoples thought in one word “ASSHOLE!”

Di Grégorio on the Etoile de Bessèges podium:

Critérium du Dauphiné 2018
South African national champion Daryl Impey of Mitchelton-Scott claimed Stage 1 in the 70th Critérium du Dauphiné as he out-sprinted Julian Alaphilippe of Quick-Step Floors. The first African to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France back in 2013 moved up on GC only two seconds down on prologue winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).

The first stage of Critérium du Dauphiné started with a second category climb. The Col de Leyrisse promised a great battle for the escape. A group of three men, consisting of Edet, Feillu and Craddock, rode more than 150 kilometers in front. The breakaway was caught in the last local lap of 12 kilometers.

The final was marked by two major crashes, which crushed the chances of a few riders. On the ascent of Barrage de Gangent, whose summit was only four kilometers from the finish, the peloton had thinned out. Sixty riders eventually sprinted for the victory of the day. Daryl Impey was the fastest.

Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - IMPEY Daryl  (RSA)  of Mitchelton - Scott  pictured during 70th Critérium du Dauphiné (2.UWT) - stage-1 - from Valence to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert 179 KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a tough day all day, I actually didn’t feel too good. I told Alex Edmondson he should go for the final himself and if I am there at the end I will try, but don’t look after me, so I surprised myself at the end. I found myself in a good position so decided to go at about 200 meters, it was a long way out but I had good legs in the final. I had no plan, even in the meeting when the team said we might go for you today, I thought it was a bit far fetched because I didn’t know how I was going. I surprised myself to beat guys like Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe just before the Tour de France, so is a nice step in my career. To win in Dauphine, it is a big race, so I am really chuffed. Sometimes the guys think you will be one of the favorites but to think that as well is a different thing. Today I just kept fighting to the end and it was nice to show myself that I could be there.”

Overall leader, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky): “It was a pretty nervous and quite technical final. Some parts of the circuit were still wet so it was very important to stay at the front. The team protected me very well. Julian Alaphilippe went pretty deep up the final climb. I was happy to stay on his wheel. That made the biggest damage I think. There were other sprinters in the bunch but they couldn’t go over. It was already a tough start with 8km uphill. In the last section I was even trying to sprint for the stage victory. But Impey was very impressive in the sprint. I’m happy the stage went the way it did.”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “Today’s plan was to work for Fabio and the team did a great job protecting him during the stage. We knew the race would become hard on the final circuit, so that’s why I remained attentive and when Teuns went I decided to close the gap, as I heard in the radio that Fabio got dropped. The sprint was a crazy one, because you had climbers, GC riders and puncheurs all going for a good result. I would have preferred to win, but I’m not disappointed, because the feelings I have are good and this result feeds my confidence for the next stages.”

3rd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt good but as we came into the finale I was blocked and couldn’t start my sprint. I have to increase the pace again and finished third. I am not really happy with this result but tomorrow will be another day and another chance.”

8th on the stage, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “On the last climb, there was a big battle with a lot of accelerations, but I could restrain myself. I saw Valgren Andersen at my side, so I remained confident. I did not have to respond to the acceleration of Alaphilippe, with the risk of sacrificing my sprint. At the top of that last climb I was well positioned. From there it was only three and a half kilometers to the line, so I knew that not many riders would return from behind. I let myself get out of position, so I was in the wind at 600 meters from the finish. I could no longer change my line and started sprinting on the wrong side of the road. Impey came from the left, I from the right in the wind. But yes, an eighth place on this WorldTour level is a good result. I had hoped for a top 10 finish, although there was probably more possible today. Tomorrow a hilly stage awaits, so I do not think we will sprint with 150 riders for the win. I will have to position myself well and focus on the top 10, although of course I hope to do better than today’s 8th place.”

Break rider, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “We were decided with colleagues to leave in the breakaway. After 5-6 km, I followed an attack and it turned out to be a good move. We tried to take a maximum of time in the first climbs. The gap even went to six minutes. But the peloton reacted under the impetus of Vital Concept and Quick-Step. On the final circuit, I strove to give everything to not have regrets. It was not for today as for the better climber jersey. I missed a little tonicity in the first bump where Feuillu went in the lead. We’ll see later in the week if I can get him back.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Result:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:24:26
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC
8. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb
10. Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 1:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 4:31:51
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:02
3. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky at 0:03
4. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:07
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:08
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:09
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:13
8. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:15
9. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Michael Valgren (Den) Astana at 0:16.

Stage 1:

Pascal Ackermann, 24, runner up at the u23 World road championship in Doha, Qatar, in 2016, took his second pro victory on Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné for Bora-Hansgrohe after stage 5 of the Tour de Romandie five weeks ago. Third on the line, stage 1 winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) moved into the lead because of the time bonus whereas Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) crashed in the finale.

Stage 2 of the Criterium du Dauphine took riders from Montbrison to Belleville, covering a distance of 180km. There were four notable climbs near the back end of the stage today, but with the final climb peaking with still 30km left to race, another group sprint was expected.

Four riders animated the early part of the stage: Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Vital concepts), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Goubert) and Nikita Stalnov (Astana). They were able to build a lead of just over 6-minutes before the likes of Sky, Bahrain-Merida and Lotto Soudal began chasing from the peloton. As the race hit the climbs, the gap dropped rather quickly and it became clear the expected group sprint was on the cards. On the final climb of the stage, Lotto Soudal ramped up the pace which saw at least half the peloton get dropped. The break splintered as the finish approached, with Stalnov going alone in the final 10km, but his chances were doomed with a strong Mitchelton-Scott team now leading the chase for Impey.

With the gap dropping steadily, the last man in the break was caught with 2km remaining and the sprinters showed their talents. They started to organize their lead-out trains to bring their fast men into a good position. Bora-Hansgrohe brought their young sprinter, Pascal Ackermann, into a perfect position, he waited until the final meters, increased the pace and took the stage win in an impressive way, his second WorldTour victory in this season.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I am more than happy with this victory. After my mistake yesterday, I wanted to make up for it today. I waited until the final meters to start my sprint and gave it all. The team brought me into a perfect position and did a great job today, therefore a huge thank you my teammates for their effort.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): “I didn’t think I was going to come anywhere close to getting the jersey coming into the Dauphine, so I am really surprising myself here. Yesterday I had a great day and today we decided to take the initiative and go for the jersey. We did a lot to bring it back and then I had a good enough sprint to take some bonus seconds. We have a great team for the coming team time trial, we have to be the fastest of course to keep the jersey. We have to try to get the biggest margin possible over the other GC guys and we will certainly be giving it our best.”

3rd overall, Gianni Moscon (Sky): “It’s been a demanding stage again today. Just like yesterday, on paper it looked pretty easy and suitable for a bunch sprint but it’s been hard all day and a group of about 50 riders sprinted for the stage victory. Kwiato has been unfortunate to crash. It’s bad luck, but let’s hope he doesn’t have any longer-lasting consequences. It’s true that we’ll be the favorites tomorrow – we have a strong team, but there are others like Quick-Step and Mitchelton-Scott [who are also strong]. We’ll ride flat out like always and hope to live up to expectations.”

2nd on the stage and 9th overall, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “It was a relatively easy start to the stage today and only when we reached the climbs did we start to go faster and it became increasingly harder. I was in a good position on the climb and made it over with the first group and then I could also keep a good position all the way down the climb, heading to the sprint. I was in a good position for the sprint but it seemed the pace dropped in front of me just at the wrong moment, so that allowed the guys behind to keep a bit more speed while we had to try accelerate again. I did all I could in the sprint but Ackermann finished faster. I am still happy with today, it showed my shape is coming at the right time and the expectation is only to get faster from here, ahead of the Tour.”

6th on the stage, Julien Simon (Cofidis): “Sixth of course it’s better than nothing but I probably missed my best chance on Monday at this first finish for puncher, my main quality. At first, Anthony Turgis managed to put me well when attacking the last bump that caused much damage. Then Nicolas Edet was with me on the top and I managed to stay with the best. Subsequently, José Herrada placed me at 3 km. It rubbed a lot with the other guys because I got into the Ackermann wheel. And in the packaging, I did my best.”

7th on the stage, Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “Lotto set a fast pace on the last climb of the day. They wanted to get rid of some sprinters, and they succeeded. That also benefited me, since I felt good. I had to force myself a little, but that was also the case for my competitors. We stayed together with the team in the fifty first riders and were never in danger. In the final we made a small mistake. It was getting nervous and we got a bit lost. I sat in the wheel of Odd Eiking under the red flag. We were just a bit too far back, but Odd did an excellent job by piloting me forward in the final kilometer. I accelerated on the left, but the sprint had already been launched. I was able to pass some riders in the last hectometers and finished 7th. Given our placement under the red flag a nice result. It was a tiring stage, but we still had five riders in the first peloton. For the team time trial it is difficult to set a goal. We have no specialists in the team, and it is a course for the rouleurs. We must remain grouped and try to lose as little time as possible. In any case, we are well prepared.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:19:57
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
3. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis
7. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC
9. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
10. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 2:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 8:51:46
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 0:02
3. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky at 0:05
4. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:09
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:10
6. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:11
7. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Sky
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:13
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 0:14
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:17.

Stage 2:

Team Sky won the team time trial of the 70th Critérium du Dauphiné with an important margin over BMC in the 35-km long Stage 3 from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Châteaurenaud. They brought Michal Kwiatkowski back in the lead of the overall ranking with an advantage of more than one minute over Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), almost two minutes over Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and more than two minutes over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) ahead of four big mountain stages.

Winning team and overall leader, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky): “I’m so happy that I got no major issues after the crash yesterday. If I could have picked up one stage win in the Dauphiné, I’d like it to be the TTT, he beamed. It’s a wonderful feeling to win as a team. We rode a perfect stage, technically and tactically, on the entire course. The 35km were demanding with changing rhythm and speed all the time. On paper we had the strongest team, but it’s a different thing to win and I’m very happy we did it.”

Winning team and 2nd overall, Gianni Moscon (Sky): “Today was just perfect. We had a really smooth ride as a team. We paced it very well on the climbs. It was simply perfect. It’s the best TTT I’ve ever done. I’m here to support G [Geraint Thomas] and Kwiato to try and bring home the overall victory. We have a super strong team here. If we commit together, we can make it. I’d like to stay up in GC as long as possible as well but it depends on how the race goes.”

Winning team and 4th overall,Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It was fluid and fast. It’s probably one of Team Sky’s best time trials ever. Now we have four hard stages ahead of us and we’ll see how it goes. But we’ll defend the jersey. We’ve got several cards to play but it’ll still be difficult to win, that’s for sure.”

2nd team and 5th overall, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “I think we did well today and we should be proud of our effort. We rode solidly over the whole course. We were consistent, smooth and really strong but to pull off the win we would have needed an exceptional and unique ride. It was a super fast course and we rode it this morning but it’s always totally different at race speed. There weren’t a lot of speed variations and not a lot of corners. I think we did a really good job staying together and relying on each other and working together. The next four stages are daunting for sure. I’m unproven in the mountains back to back like this, so I don’t have any delusions about pulling off something miraculous but I think that being said we are still here in a unique position without a favorite or a superstar rider if you will and we can have fun racing and try our best each day.”

2nd team and 6th overall, Damiano Caruso (BMC): “I think it was a perfect day. Of course, we missed the victory but we are at the Dauphiné and the level is really high. The guys did an amazing job as well as all the staff to help us be as prepared as possible. We did a good ride and now the real race starts tomorrow. The next four days are completely different to the first half of the race but we are in a good position at the moment so I think everything is going okay so far.”

4th team and 8th overall, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): “It’s been a fantastic moment to ride the team time trial with the yellow-blue jersey. I’ve felt very proud. If you told me I’d come to the Dauphiné and I’d be in this jersey one day, I would have taken it, so I’m happy. I would have loved to keep the jersey but we’ve done our best and that’s all we could ask for. Sky had an exceptional day, they got everything together. We had a good ride as well, we went as fast as we could. We didn’t make any mistakes but Sky has all world class time trialist in one team. They knew they’d beat us today. We’ll come to the Tour de France with a stronger team, time trial wise and let’s hope we can beat Sky in July.”

13th team, Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a really good team performance! We worked smooth together and kept a good rhythm from the start to the finish line. It was a though race, strong tailwind made it even harder to keep the pace high on this undulating course. All in all, we are on the right way, the passion and the team spirit are already on top level, the performance follows.”

19th team, Anthony Turgis (Cofidis): “We still have good time specialists on the team. But on a mountainous Dauphiné it is not easy to align them all. Today, we managed a clean time even if the legs did not speak in our favor. And of course there are always small details to improve. It was nice to participate in such an event to progress and debrief before the Tour de France. The course was ideal with few turns, beautiful bowls and a favorable wind of 3/4 back. We especially try to be clean before refining all that.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Result:
1. Sky in 36:33
2. BMC at 0:37
3. Lotto Soudal at 0:52
4. Mitchelton-Scott at 0:56
5. Quick-Step Floors at 1:01
6. Trek-Segafredo at 1:26
7. AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:29
8. Movistar at 1:31
9. LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:32
10. Groupama-FDJ at 1:33.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 3:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 9:28:21
2. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky at 0:03
3. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Sky at 0:09
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:21
5. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 0:48
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:52
7. Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:53
8. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:54
9. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:01
10. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 1:08.

Stage 3:

Quick-Step Floors win Hammer Limburg
A spectacular team effort netted the squad’s 37th victory of the season on World Bicycle Day

Kasper Asgreen, Philippe Gilbert, Alvaro Hodeg, Yves Lampaert and Enric Mas produced a perfect performance on the 37.2km-long Hammer Chase, the final race of the Hammer Limburg, where our team – who relied also on Davide Martinelli and Jhonatan Narvaez throughout the weekend – reigned supreme, taking this season’s tally to an astonishing 37 wins across ten different countries.

Thanks to a solid display on both the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb, where our team’s consistency was repaid with two podiums (third and second, respectively), Quick-Step Floors were the first squad from the Finalist Group to start the team time trial – a discipline we have enjoyed much success in, winning three World Championships – and the quintet rode flawlessly and smoothly on Sunday afternoon, powering around the course, trading pulls at the front and ensuring the gap over the next squad didn’t go at any point under the 50-second mark.

With two kilometers to go, it became clear Quick-Step Floors would take the overall glory at the second edition of Hammer Limburg and as soon as they passed under the flamme rouge, our riders started celebrating and congratulating each other on the beautiful overall win, before eventually stopping the clock in 40:17, more than half a minute clear of Mitchelton-Scott and LottoNL-Jumbo, who rounded out the podium.

“Winning the Hammer Limburg feels nice, because this is a spectacular concept, with three really intense days. Today’s plan was to start safely and bring all five riders across the line on the same time, so we began by setting a steady pace before speeding up”, Philippe Gilbert said as he prepared to go on the podium with his teammates to collect the trophy. “We did a great job on the previous days, being at the front every time and covering all the moves, and we knew that today we were in pole position to take the honors, so getting the job done at the end of the day makes us happy and gives us confidence for the next races.”

The Hammer Series will conclude in Hong Kong, on October 14th, when Quick-Step Floors will be in the mix with a solid shot at winning the season-long general classification.

The Hammer Chase:

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Tour de Suisse
The race will feature more than 16,000 meters of climbing and will be once again bookended by time trials
06-Jun-2018: Won in the past by some of cycling’s biggest names, the prestigious Tour de Suisse (9-17 June) is one of the races in which Quick-Step Floors has built a remarkable record of achievements, winning ten stages in 14 participations. Our team – leader of the World Tour ranking – will aim to be again one of the key players, and for that reason sends a strong team at the start, consisting of former stage winners Philippe Gilbert and Maximiliano Richeze, Tim Declercq, Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Enric Mas.

The race will start in Frauenfeld with a team time trial held over 18.3 kilometers and conclude in Bellinzona, where the riders will take on an undulating 34.1km-long individual stage against the clock. In between, the sprinters should have three opportunities to shine, the puncheurs will be expected to hit the spotlight in Gansingen – on an up-and-down course which won’t offer any moment of respite – while the climbers will look to the stages finishing atop Leukerbad (the 22km ascent which returns after 12 years) and Arosa.

Sports director Tom Steels, who will lead the team from the car together with Rik van Slycke, previewed the World Tour event: “The Tour de Suisse always proves to be a hard race and looking at the route for this year’s edition it won’t be any different. We start with a TTT, which can be a nice opportunity for the team. It is a fast, relatively flat power road with only two climbs that are not very steep. I think we will see a very high average speed from the winning team.”

“Apart from this, we have a couple of sprint opportunities with Fernando and for the rest it will be up to the climbers. We come with Enric here, who we saw shine earlier in the season when he won the final stage in Pais Vasco, on the mythical Arrate. Most of our riders are just back from an altitude camp, so we have to see how they are easing back into racing”, Steels explained. “Suisse will be also a good opportunity to work on the sprint train. Many of the contenders for the sprint stages in the Tour de France will be there, which means we have to be at our very best to get a top result with us from Suisse.”

09.06–17.06 Tour de Suisse (SUI) 2.UWT

Tim Declercq (BEL), Fernando Gaviria Rendon (COL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Enric Mas (ESP), Maximiliano Richeze (ARG).
Sports Director:Tom Steels (BEL), Rik van Slycke (BEL)

Website: www.tds.ch

Stage 1 Frauenfeld – Frauenfeld 18.3 km (TTT)
Stage 2 Frauenfeld – Frauenfeld 155.0 km
Stage 3 Oberstammheim – Gansingen 182.8 km
Stage 4 Gansingen – Gstaad 189.2 km
Stage 5 Gstaad – Leukerbad 155.7 km
Stage 6 Fiesch – Gommiswald 186.0 km
Stage 7 Eschenbach/Atzmännig – Arosa 170.5 km
Stage 8 Bellinzona – Bellinzona 123.8 km
Stage 9 Bellinzona – Bellinzona 34.1 km (ITT).

Tour de Suisse
Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou (DEN): “We line up at the Tour de Suisse with a strong group of riders. With a well-rounded team like this we have different cards to play for day results dependent on the stage parcours. A key stage for us will be the team time trial where we would like to put in a good performance. After a solid training period we’re also looking forward to welcoming Wilco back to the race action and we will aim to explore GC possibilities with him. He and Michael have just been on altitude camp in Livigno and their shape is looking very good. With such a strong team here we are motivated for a good week of racing.”

Tour de Suisse (WT)

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Sam Oomen (NED), Edward Theuns (BEL).
Coach: Morten Bennekou (DEN).

Sam Oomen:

Porte to Make Tour de Suisse Debut Ahead of Tour de France
Richie Porte is set to make his debut at the Tour de Suisse this weekend, where he will target the General Classification in what will be his final race before the Tour de France.

Porte is backed by a strong team, including Tejay van Garderen and Greg Van Avermaet, Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.

“The Tour de Suisse is a very important race for BMC Racing Team and this year, we are lining up with one of the strongest teams we have ever taken to a stage race. The race serves as the final preparation before the Tour de France so we will naturally be supporting Richie Porte for the General Classification. Richie is motivated and has been training well since the Tour de Romandie so we are looking forward to seeing how he goes. We know that Tejay van Garderen is in good shape after California, as is Alessandro De Marchi, who is coming from the Giro d’Italia, and Simon Gerrans, who showed good form at Hammer Limburg, so these three riders will be there to support Richie on the key General Classification days,” Baldato explained.

“We are always motivated to do well when there is a team time trial, especially when it comes on the opening day so I expect a strong performance from the team on Saturday. Of course our Swiss riders, Michael Schär and Stefan Küng, always want to perform well on home soil and the individual time trial is also a good opportunity for Stefan. Greg Van Avermaet showed he is racing well at the Hammer Series and I think there are a couple of stages suited to Greg. So, I think we have multiple cards to play over the nine days to finish with a nice result before the Tour de France.”

Porte is looking forward to gauging his form across the nine days of racing.

“I’m excited to race Tour de Suisse for the first time. This year, with the change in calendar, the Tour de Suisse was a good fit for my Tour de France preparation and I think the nine stages will give us a good indication of my form. I like the look of the race and I think the team time trial will be a good way to get things started,” Porte said.

“I’m feeling good and have put a few solid weeks of training in since Tour de Romandie, so I hope to continue my good results in Switzerland. We definitely have one of the strongest teams so I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be an aggressive race, and hope to come out of it with a lot of confidence before we turn our attention to the Tour de France.”

Tour de Suisse (9-17 June)
Rider Roster:

Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Stefan Kung (SUI), Richie Porte (AUS), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Allan Peiper (AUS).

Richie Porte:
Willunga Hill - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Richie Porte (AUS - BMC) pictured during 20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -5 from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5KM) - photo LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2018

Thomas De Gendt Stays Till 2020!
Thomas De Gendt has extended his contract for one season and will remain at Lotto Soudal at least till the end of 2020. The 31-year-old Belgian still had a contract till the end of 2019, but the team decided to adjust the deal. The contract extension is a sign of appreciation for the performances of De Gendt during the past few years. Since he joined Lotto Soudal in 2015, the Belgian rider not only took six fine victories but he also provided the team with a lot of publicity with his numerous breakaway attempts. In recent years, he won a stage in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. This year, he already took a stage victory in the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie.

Thomas De Gendt: “I still had a contract till the end of next year, but both the team and I were interested in extending the contract. That way, I don’t have to worry about getting a new contract at Lotto Soudal or at another team next year. Having the certainty till the end of 2020 gives me some peace of mind.”

“I feel good within the team. Lotto Soudal gives me the freedom to race the way I want and they also encourage my style of racing. So, it really wasn’t a difficult decision to sign for an additional year. I wasn’t thinking of changing teams, the only thing I was worried about was whether adjusting my contract would be possible.”

“For sure, I want to keep racing the way I did the last three years. That style of racing resulted in two victories in both 2016 and 2017. This year, I already won twice. I have always raced offensively and I gave the team a lot of screen time.”

“I still want to maintain my current level of performance for at least five years, which can only be achieved through hard work. In the next few years, I still want to grant myself a few opportunities to go for some victories. If I could accomplish that goal, I would be very happy.”

Thomas De Gendt:
Yverdon-les-Bains - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Thomas DE GENDT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during the 72nd Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) stage 2 from Delémont to Yverdon-les-Bains (173.9 (KM) - photo René Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2018

Cycling and the Planet: Tour de France Rides for the Bicycle

Key points
The Tour de France establishes a direct link between bicycle racing and daily cycling. A communication campaign was created for promoting bike riding as the best adapted means of urban transportation.
Ø To accompany this movement, Le Tour is turning to its youngest public, which it will host in the Tour Workshops: the children will receive guidance as they learn how to ride a bike.
Ø Protecting biodiversity is also highlighted in the presentation of the regions where the race will be run.

The future of cycling
The Tour de France is interested in the promotion of cycling in all its forms and therefore launches this year a communication campaign inviting television viewers to ride their bikes for their daily journeys. Four video clips that have been regularly aired on the France Télévisions channels since the latest edition of Paris-Roubaix highlight the benefits of cycling in a multitude of areas, beginning with daily life scenes. Often faster, obviously healthier, certainly cheaper and always less polluting than other means of transport, the cycling is essential in urban life as the ideal solution, both collectively and individually. “We have everything to gain,” sums up the campaign slogan.

The Tour Workshops
Since the 2017 edition, the Tour Workshops have been set up close to the start of the stages (five cities in 2017 and nine cities in 2018), to host the youngest riders and guide them as they learn how to ride. There is an area reserved for them to learn how to handle a bicycle, while another teaches them how to keep their bikes in running order (repairing an inner-tube, adjusting the brakes, etc.). Taking care of your bike also means protecting yourself: a stand run by municipal services or associations gives the right tips for securely attaching it and proposes engraving identification plates. Of course, attention is also paid to security, both in terms of equipment (helmets, vests, etc.) and traffic rules. Lessons for learning how to use your bike daily will be offered by Road Safety Authorities.

Protecting biodiversity
The Tour de France takes place on all the roads and visits the cities, the countryside, mountains and the coastline of the country with the same desire. Sensitive to the beauty of the territories, Le Tour is also aware of the importance of defending biodiversity, to preserve the equilibrium of natural sites. For the past several years, the Biodiversity Tour de France initiative put in place with the Museum of Natural History has produced films presenting an exceptional natural site for each stage, whose role in the local ecosystem is explained in detail by a man or woman from the region. The broadcasting of these clips on France Télévisions is accompanied by a particular plan and measures specifically adapted each time the race passes through a Natura 2000 area (helicopter overflight limitations, public access restrictions, etc.)

Keys figures of Le Tour’s CSR:
· 88 protected natural areas (national parks, regional nature parks, reserves …)
· 100,000 trash bags made from 100% recyclable materials handed out all along the race route
· 42 waste collection areas reserved for the riders
· 9 bike awareness zones: the Tour Workshops
The participation of 10,000 children in the Dictée du Tour spelling contest.

Sunweb Announce Tour de France Long List
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their long list for the 2018 edition of the Tour de France. The pre-selection includes a wealth of talent and experience as Team Sunweb head to France to make the first step in gaining experience in riding for the GC at La Grande Boucle, as well as aiming for stage results in the uphill sprints.

Read reactions from Tour de France coach Tom Veelers, Tom Dumoulin, Michael Matthews and trainer Adriaan Helmantel.

Tour de France (WT)
Long List:

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Mike Teunissen (NED), Edward Theuns (BEL).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED), Luke Roberts (AUS), Tom Veelers (NED).

Tour of the Alps’ Figures a Statement of Global Success
The TV audience and the web community numbers confirmed the event’s powerful outcome and media exposure that emphasized the Euro-region at the highest level.

The 2018 Tour of the Alps has left a trail of consensus still perceivable 40 days after the race ended in Innsbruck, even more after the Giro d’Italia has confirmed the prominence of many of the stars who shone on the Euro-Regional stage, starting with eventual Corsa Rosa winner Chris Froome.

2018 Tour of the Alps’ stage 2 winner Miguel Angel Lopez, Tour of the Alps’ overall winner Thibaut Pinot and Giro d’Italia’s overall winner Chris Froome, fourth at Tour of the Alps

Powered by GS Alto Garda, the Tour of the Alps that came to a conclusion on April 20th with French Thibaut Pinot on the highest step of the podium showed a clear quality leap in every aspect. The resounding media exposure greatly contributed to the promotion of the Euregio territories, while the whole event left a wake of positive feedbacks by the main protagonists – first and foremost, Giro pink jersey Chris Froome – backing up a successful organization with established technical values.

Now more than ever, the Tour of the Alps has shown to belong to the highest level of International races. Figures don’t lie: the event has been granted an extensive media coverage (both TV and Web; live, delayed and on demand), amounting to 20 hours of broadcasting reaching a 150-million audience in over 100 Countries.

The official data released by PMG Sport – entrusted with TV production and international distribution in the frame of “Ciclismo Cup” project powered by the Italian Professional Cycling League – also highlighted the web exposure that reached over 700,000 users via Facebook and the websites spreading the event.

#TotA’s web community gave another boost to the Euro-regional race’s exposure thanks to over 34,000 followers on Facebook, 12,300 on Twitter, 4,600 on Instagram and 1,500 on the Youtube channel with 254,000 visualizations of the 37 videos produced. Official website www.touroftealps.eu also collected a huge number of visitors, a total of 75,000 in the five competition days.

“We enjoyed a week of great spectacle,” Tour of the Alps General Manager Maurizio Evangelista assessed. “Our short and explosive stages were highlights of a successful format, highly appreciated by both the fans and the riders, not to mention the many brands that have showed their interest in the event by now”.

By virtue of its 227 registered journalists, photographers, TV/Radio operators and overall 101 represented media from five continents, Tour of the Alps looks forward to the next edition, with the goal of making another leap in international prestige.

Fans, photographers and cameramen on Folgaria’s finish in Tour of the Alps’ stage 1:

Innovative and Unpredictable Route Announced for 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Organizers have today [Tuesday 5 June] unveiled an innovative and unpredictable route for the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, according to Race Director Mick Bennett.

The race, which takes place from 2 to 9 September, will include a team time trial for the first time, as well as a summit finish on Whinlatter Pass in Cumbria on Stage Six.

The 1,140-kilometer route will take the world’s top riders from Pembrey Country Park on the Carmarthenshire coast in South Wales to the streets of Central London, via Devon, Bristol, Warwickshire, Cumbria and Nottinghamshire across eight stages of racing.

“This year we have worked hard to create an innovative and unpredictable route, with several surprises in store throughout the race,” said Race Director Mick Bennett. “Several stages have stings in the tail; climbs positioned towards the finale of Stages One, Two and Three will keep the outcome up in the air until the very end.

“Our partners at Cumbria County Council have helped us to achieve something that we have been keen to do for a number of years on Stage Five – a team time trial that finishes atop Whinlatter Pass. This will be a test like no other, as teams will have to get their equipment choices and tactics spot on. The race may not be won here, but some riders could certainly lose it.

“In another first for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, we return to the same climb the following day for a double ascent of our summit finish – although riders will tackle it during a conventional road stage, albeit from its harder eastern side!

“Add in stages in Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and London, where we’ll build on the successes of last year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain and OVO Energy Women’s Tour, I cannot wait for the start of September already!”

“This is our second year sponsoring the Tour of Britain and we’re thrilled to see that Bristol, home to our headquarters, once again features in what looks like an amazing route,” said Chris Houghton, CEO Energy Retail at OVO Energy. “This year, we’re dedicated to bringing our customers and spectators even closer to the action. Our online interactive maps will help fans and families plan their day by offering sightseeing information, things to do nearby, and tips on where to eat locally – at each stage of the race. We’ll also be giving spectators a chance to try out e-bikes as they await the race to begin.”

The race, Britain’s most prestigious international men’s stage race on the UCI calendar, is sponsored by the UK’s largest independent energy company for the second successive year. The battle for the race leader’s OVO Energy Green Jersey is likely to be focussed around a pair of stage finishes on Whinlatter Pass in Cumbria on Stages Five and Six (Thursday 6 and Friday 7 September).

Commenting on the launch, Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling said; “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain goes from strength to strength as a mainstay of the British sporting year which attracts new fans across the country to our fantastic sport. The 2018 route is one which will really capture the imagination of everyone, whether they cheer from the roadside or watch on television.”

As well as the challenging route, British fans can also look forward to once again welcoming a star-studded line-up of teams to race on home roads this September, including the likes of UCI World Tour squads BMC Racing, Team Katusha Alpecin and Team Sky.

The first teams to be confirmed to have been invited to the race are: BMC Pro Cycling, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton Scott, Movistar Team, Quick-Step Floors, Team Dimension Data, Team EF Education First – Drapac, Team Katusha Alpecin, Team Lotto NL Jumbo, Team Sky (all UCI World Tour), Aqua Blue Sport, Direct Energie, Wanty – Groupe Gobert (all UCI Pro Continental) and the Great Britain national team.

The final list of participating teams for the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will be confirmed week commencing 16 July.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2018 Route in detail:
Stage One on Sunday 2 September will see the modern Tour visit Carmarthenshire for the first time, as the race gets underway at Pembrey Country Park. Riders will pass through Carmarthen, Brecon and Usk before the stage finish in the city of Newport. Riders will tackle the 800-meter, 9% average gradient climb of Belmont Hill on the outskirts of Newport inside the final 10 kilometers of racing.

After a year’s absence the OVO Energy Tour of Britain returns to the South West of England and its 10th visit to Devon in the past 12 years. The stage (Monday 3 September) will start in the UK’s newest town – Cranbrook – and finish in Barnstaple following a hilly finale along the North Devon coast that includes the one-kilometer, 13% average gradient climb of Challacombe, near Woolacombe.

Bristol will host the third stage of the race (Tuesday 4 September), a short, sharp out-and-back leg into the north Somerset hills that includes Cheddar Gorge. The finish on the Clifton Down is the same one as used by the race in 2014 and 2016, where Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin and Rohan Dennis have taken victories.

Stage Four will build on the success of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour’s visit to Warwickshire in 2017 by bringing the men’s race to the county for the first time since 1993 on Wednesday 5 September. The leg will race over 183 kilometers from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa, using many of the same roads that the world’s top women will cover when Britain’s leading women’s stage race returns to the county on 13 June this year.

The race heads to Cumbria and the Lake District for two stages on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 September, the first of which will see an uphill team time trial from Cockermouth town centre to the summit of Whinlatter Pass. The 14-kilometer test gains over 300 meters across its length, with the final five kilometers of the test against the clock averaging 4%.

The following day riders will climb Whinlatter Pass twice more, from its harder eastern side, during a 169-kilometer road stage from Barrow-in-Furness. The second of the ascents up the three-kilometer climb that averages 7% will see the stage finish at the Forestry Commission’s visitor centre.

The penultimate stage sees the OVO Energy Tour of Britain return to Nottinghamshire to build upon the success of the 2017 stage in the county. This year’s longest stage of the race heads from West Bridgford to Mansfield, taking in 223 kilometers.

The 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain concludes with a 14-lap circuit race in the heart of London, using the iconic circuit that the 2015 and 2016 editions finished on, taking in Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, before the finish on Regent Street St James.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep, taking place between Sunday 2 and Sunday 9 September 2018.

Stage One – Sunday 2 September – Pembrey Country Park to Newport, 175km
Stage Two – Monday 3 September – Cranbrook to Barnstaple, 174km
Stage Three – Tuesday 4 September – Bristol to Bristol, 125km
Stage Four – Wednesday 5 September – Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa, 183km
Stage Five – Thursday 6 September – Cockermouth to Whinlatter Pass, Team Time Trial, 14km
Stage Six – Friday 7 September – Barrow-in-Furness to Whinlatter Pass, 169km
Stage Seven – Saturday 8 September – West Bridgford to Mansfield, 223km
Stage Eight – Sunday 9 September – The London Stage, 77km

Tour of Utah Unveils 536-Mile Race Route with Nine King of the Mountain Climbs
Live Start-to-Finish Broadcast Available for “America’s Toughest Stage Race”

True to its nickname as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the 2018 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will dish out 536 miles of racing and 43,780 feet of elevation gain this summer. Detailed maps and informational videos are now available online for the seven-day, men’s professional cycling stage race on Aug. 6-12.

The Tour of Utah course will offer a total of nine Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs. It is the fifth time in 14 years that the Tour has included more than 43,000 feet of climbing. The highest climb of the race comes on Stage 1 near the ski resort town of Brian Head at 10,600 feet above sea level. Returning to the Tour are the summits of three legendary climbs — Mount Nebo, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Empire Pass, the latter two classified as Hors Category (HC, or beyond classification). Mount Nebo is the highest mountain in the Wasatch Range. The six-mile ascent of Little Cottonwood Canyon will take riders to the “Queen Stage” finish at Snowbird Resort on Stage 5 and the seven-mile incline across Empire Pass with pitches of more than 20 percent will set up the showdown in Park City for Stage 6 on the final day of racing.

The Utah Sports Commission, which is a founding partner of the Tour, returns as the presenting sponsor for 13 sprint lines along the course. Stages 1-6 will showcase at least one intermediate sprint location each day, with Farmington having two sprints on Stage 3 and Salt Lake City having three sprints on Stage 4.

Highlights for 2018 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Race Route:
536 miles/ 863 kilometers
43,780 feet/ 13,344 meters of elevation gain
9 Utah Office of Tourism KOM climbs
13 Utah Sports Commission Sprint lines
First Prologue since 2011
Southern-most location for race start in St. George
Return to Park City for sixth time as overall finish

Start times for Stages 1-6 vary to accommodate live national television on FOX Sports Network (FSN), which will broadcast the final two hours of action each day in the 2-4 p.m. MT time slot. Monday’s Prologue in St. George will take place from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., before the heat of the day settles in the southernmost point of the Tour, and will be a tape-delay FSN broadcast. All seven days of racing will be shown live, start to finish, by TourTracker presented by Adobe free of charge on mobile devices and the Tour’s website. More details regarding TourTracker coverage and FSN regional programming will be made available in July.

For just the second time since the Tour joined the UCI America Tour in 2011, a Prologue will be held on the opening day of racing on Monday, Aug. 6. The race against the clock will be a fast 3.3 miles (5.3 km) in St. George, the Tour’s inaugural visit to this sports mecca in the southwest corner of Utah. The out-and-back course will take place on Red Hills Parkway, adjacent to Pioneer Park. Just like the name of the road implies, athletes and spectators alike will be treated to inspiring views of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It provides a mellow climb for the first two kilometers, followed by a short downhill to the turnaround. This provides a short climb to begin the return and a rapid, straight downhill track to the finish. The time gaps will be small for the 120-plus riders representing 17 professional teams, but it will set the stage for a great week of racing.

Stage 1 presented by America First Credit Union returns to Cedar City for a fourth time. Cedar City will also serve as race headquarters for overall start festivities, including the Team Presentation on Saturday, Aug. 4, which is free for spectators. Racing takes place on Tuesday, Aug. 7 for the 101-mile (162.5 km) Stage 1 route, which includes 8,950 feet of elevation gain. It also features the highest climb of the week through Cedar Breaks National Monument, topping out at 10,600 feet. The course is similar to the one used in 2016, this year with a new circuit finish in downtown Cedar City. The first Utah Sports Commission Sprint line will be contested in Parowan, then hit a Category 1 climb up Parowan Canyon through Brian Head. This ascent into Cedar Breaks National Monument climbs 4,500 vertical feet in 15 miles, with some sections challenging riders with a 15 percent gradient.

The riders will traverse the Markagunt Plateau and serpentine through the Mammoth Creek lava flows. After turning west in Duck Creek, the riders will face a KOM at Bristlecone, named after the 2,500-year-old Bristlecone pine trees that line the summit.

Then it’s all downhill into the college town of Cedar City. The riders will complete three circuits around Cedar City and the campus of Southern Utah University. A new finish line will be placed in front of the new Southern Utah Museum of Art, a student-centered experiential learning environment that collects, preserves and exhibits the visual arts of southern Utah and surrounding Colorado Plateau. Like the race, the Museum of Art is free for the public to enjoy.

Stage 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 8, returns to Payson City for a third time. The focus of the day will be the towering peak of Mount Nebo, making a seventh appearance in the Tour and last featured in 2016. This year, the 88.6-mile (142.6 km) route will start and finish in Payson City for the first time. After a 12-mile circuit north of town into Utah County, the race will return to Payson for a sprint in front of historic Peteetneet Museum and pass through the start/finish area at Memorial Park.

The route will then travel south through the orchards and lavender fields along Old U.S. Highway 91 for a sprint line in Nephi, then the final push on the Category 1 ascent across Mount Nebo. Sitting at 11,928 feet, Mount Nebo is the southernmost and highest mountain in the Wasatch Range of Utah. The cyclists will summit the roadway at 9,300 feet for the one KOM on the day, then have a twisting 22-mile descent for the finish back into the classic western town of Payson.

Stage 3 presented by America First Credit Union on Thursday, Aug. 9 is the longest stage of the week at 104 miles (167.4 km). A new start on the far end of Antelope Island takes place at the Garr Ranch. It is the third time the Tour has started on the island that boasts more than 600 American Bison and large herds of mule deer. After a wind-swept seven miles over the causeway to cross the Great Salt Lake’s Farmington Bay to the mainland, the race will serpentine through Davis County to the new finish in Layton City.

It is the fourth consecutive year for Davis County to host the Tour, featuring an abundance of turns and a variety road widths that make for a tough and stressful day for the racers. Sprint lines will be contested once in Syracuse and twice in Farmington. One short, steep KOM up the Bountiful Bench could be the launching pad for a late breakaway. On the return stretch from Bountiful to the finish in Layton, the race will pass through Hill Air Force Base for a second year. After three circuits through Layton Commons Park, a stage winner will be crowned on North Wasatch Drive across from the park.

Stage 3:

Stage 4 presented by Zions Bank returns to downtown Salt Lake City with a modified course. The start/finish line has moved from Capitol Hill to North Main Street, with an amazing backdrop of the Salt Lake City skyline. The riders will tackle 10 laps of the 6.8-mile downtown course for a total of 68.4 miles (110.1 km) and 5,500 of elevation gain. Utah Sports Commission Sprints will be contested at the start/finish line on laps 3, 5 and 7.

The course will flow north from Main Street through the Marmalade District to the steep ascent of 500 North, a section used for a finish line in 2015. The race will then follow the traditional route through City Creek Canyon and the Avenues neighborhood on 11th Avenue to a descent along Virginia Avenue by the University of Utah. Rounding Reservoir Park, the route returns downtown on South Temple and turns under the Eagle Gate on State Street to twist from North Temple to the uphill finish on North Main Street. It is the 11th year that Salt Lake City has served as a stage host, and a seventh time for a circuit course downtown.

Stage 5 presented by University of Utah Health hails the return of the notorious “Queen Stage,” with 9,975 feet of elevation gain. On Saturday, Aug. 11, Stage 5 will feature 94.8 miles (152.6 km) of racing from a new start at Canyons Village in Park City to the signature finish at Snowbird Resort. In the winter, Snowbird Resort is known for 500 inches of annual snowfall and powder skiing. In the summer, Snowbird Resort is known for the fan frenzy of Tanners Flat along the climb and the shake out of contenders for the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies overall leader jersey at the finish. The race has finished at Snowbird Resort 11 times, and only twice has the winner of the stage worn the winner’s jersey at the end of the week.

The day begins at 7:30 a.m. MT in Canyons Village with The Ultimate Challenge presented by University of Utah Health, a unique cycling event for amateurs to traverse the same demanding mountain course as the pros. This marks the eighth year for this non-competitive, gran fondo-style bicycle ride.

The professional teams take off from Canyons Village at 11:30 a.m. The undulating terrain of Summit County includes an early KOM past Deer Mountain at Jordanelle Reservoir, a sprint at Wolf Creek Ranch, and a two-mile stretch of dirt road on Democrat Alley. The route then goes through Peoa and up Browns Canyon to reach historic Park City for a second sprint line of the day and the ascent of the Category 1 KOM, Guardsman Pass. A blistering 15-mile descent of Big Cottonwood Canyon leads to the Salt Lake Valley below and a short traverse along Wasatch Boulevard. Then it is on to the HC climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon for the signature six-mile battle across gradients of eight to 12 percent to the finish line at Snowbird Resort.

After a one-year hiatus, Stage 6 presented by Utah Sports Commission brings back the overall finish to Park City on Sunday, Aug. 12. Historic Park City entertains the Tour for a ninth time, and a sixth time for the overall race finish. The route will pass down Browns Canyon and encounter a Sprint line in the town of Kamas before tackling a short Category 3 KOM in the private community of Wolf Creek Ranch. A technical descent into Wasatch County will allow the riders to regroup through Heber City before the final sprint line in Midway. From there, riders will jockey for position at the bottom of Pine Canyon Road for the HC climb of Empire Pass. While the road conditions have improved with new pavement since it was last used in 2016, riders continue to battle road pitches of 10 to 20 percent. The race doesn’t end at the top of Empire Pass. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and get a viewing spot on Upper Main Street in Park City for the exciting finish.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. The Tour of Utah remains a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. It is also one of the prominent road cycling events that is also part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour.

Registration for The Ultimate Challenge presented by University of Utah Health is available online for $140, with a team discount offered for groups of eight or more. More information about the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and The Ultimate Challenge can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (Tour of Utah).

2018 Tour of Utah—Stage 6:

UN World Bicycle Day – Phil Southerland’s Speech
On June 3rd 2018, Team Novo Nordisk partnered with the United Nations to celebrate World Bicycle Day at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

On Sunday, the UN General Assembly celebrated the first official World Bicycle Day in New York City. World Bicycle Day recognized the uniqueness, longevity, and versatility of the bicycle; it’s simplicity, affordability, reliability, cleanliness and environmentally fit sustainability as a means of transportation. The event promoted environmental stewardship and health.

In addition to Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland, UN leaders and diplomats, cycle advocates, athletes, and other cycling organizations gave speeches.

Phil Southerland’s speech honoring the event and the value of the bike:
“At 12 years old, I found the bike. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was only seven months old and was told I would be dead or blind by 25.

I started riding so I could eat Snickers bars. Because I had access to insulin, testing supplies and a bike, I didn’t just live life with diabetes, but I thrived with diabetes. The bike served as an equally powerful drug, and I believe everyone should have access to a bike.

I believe the bike not only helps prevent type 2 diabetes, but helps type 1, and more importantly can help every person on the planet to live the best and the healthiest life possible.

The message of hope, inspiration, and empowerment must be shared with all. No matter where you are in the world, you need to believe you can achieve your dreams, and there is no better place than the bike for those dreams to begin.

I thank the bike for bringing me to the UN. I am grateful that the bike has brought me to you, and my hope is that together we can help the world. Everyone can use the bike as a tool and ride for life. This means prevention, but also an inspiration to dream. I hope that the UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day ensures every person in every corner of the world has access to a bike, thus a chance to live healthily and to dream.

Finally, it is my dream because of World Bicycle Day that you will see every person with diabetes in your countries as a work capable and powerful member of society. Diabetes only chooses the champions, and I urge you to invest in our lives with insulin and testing supplies. Your return will be heroes and role models for the rest of society.”

For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.

Phil Southerland making his speech at the UN Headquarters in New York City:

The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Page.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.