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’s Heerenberg - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during NK wielrennen Montferland - ITT men elite - foto Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

National championships week and Tom Dumoulin has retaken his Dutch TT title. We have team previews for the weekend and we start to look forward to the Tours de France and Pologne. UCI presidency battle on the horizon – TOP STORY. In other cycling news: Toms Skujins returns, Deutschland Deine Tour in Stuttgart, Hammer Series to Norway, official song of La Vuelta 2017 and Bahrain-Merida Review their 2017 Giro d’Italia in video.

TOP STORY: Competition for UCI Presidency
UCI vice president, president of the UCI professional cycling council and ex-French Cycling Federation president, David Lappartient, has opted to run against Brian Cookson for the UCI presidency. As usual there are arguments for and against both men and opinion seems to be divided.

Brian Cookson made this statement:
“I strongly believe that my track record of restoring integrity and credibility to the UCI, and developing cycling over the past four years, together with my plans for a final four year term as president, will be judged favorably by the cycling family at the UCI Congress in Bergen in September. Many things which have been achieved over the last four years of my leadership of the UCI across anti-doping, governance, transparency, women’s cycling, communication and the development of the sport. Having recently had confirmation from the IOC that at the Tokyo Games, we will have additional medals for men’s and women’s events in both the Madison and BMX Freestyle, I am proud that cycling is now the third largest Olympic sport. Having changed the constitution of the UCI to introduce term limits and improve the election process after the controversial events of four years ago, I respect other people’s right to announce their candidature. I note that so far David Lappartient has not set out very much detail in his plan or any vision he may have beyond his well known personal ambition for the role. I look forward to debating what matters for the future of cycling over the coming months.”

David Lappartient had this to say:
“I have always voiced my concerns on the various challenges I have witnessed at UCI, and as a vice-President of the organization, I have been made aware of a number of issues that must be urgently addressed if cycling is to remain a credible sport. It is crucial that we have at UCI a President with a real leadership, who is truly engaged and with a clear vision for cycling. I have these qualities and the credentials it take to lead UCI.”

Lappartient has made promises to strengthening the authority of the UCI with a President ensuring real and effective leadership, placing the UCI at the service of National Federations, making cycling a sport of the 21st century, developing an ambitious vision for professional cycling and ensuring credibility of sporting results and protecting athletes. Lappartient has the support of French Cycling Federation and it is said that ASO prefers the Frenchman to the ex-British Federation president. This could of course push the vote either way.

The vote for the president of UCI will take place on the 21st of September in Bergen, Norway.

Will the 2016 UCI Cycling Gala be Brian Cookson’s last?
Abu Dhabi - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)†- Brian Cookson (UCI)   pictured during UCI Cycling Gala 2016 - photo Cor Vos © 2016

Men’s Dutch National Time Trial Championships 2017
The perfect match between bike and rider led defending Dutch time trial champion to extend his national title today, as Tom Dumoulin (NED) charged to victory at the Dutch national time trial championships on his Giant Trinity Advanced SL.

Dumoulin set out to regain his title in Montferland today with a 50 kilometer course that suited his strengths well. After a strong start Dumoulin rebounded from a six second deficit that was clocked at the first intermediate checkpoint. By the next clock-stop, he had taken back seven seconds to put him into the lead by one second. It came down to a showdown between two which saw Dumoulin continue with his famous time trialling power to ride to the Dutch time trial victory for the third time in his professional career. He stopped the clock at 59 minutes and seven seconds, securing the title by 24 seconds.

“I’m really happy to take the win once again,” said Dumoulin after the race. “The parcours suited me well and although the heat made things quite challenging, I managed to cope with the conditions well. Dealing with the mental and physical aspects of the past few weeks have gone pretty well and have been much easier than I had anticipated. It’s great to be able to wear the jersey for another year.”

Team Sunweb trainer Adriaan Helmantel added: “We knew that the circumstances today would be quite difficult after Tom suffered fatigue following an intense racing period. He had a good few days of recovery over the past week to ensure that he was feeling fresh for today. The team did a great job in executing the protocols to perfection so that all Tom had to focus on was what he does best. We knew that it would be a mental battle above everything but he was really motivated beforehand to keep the jersey. He had a really controlled start and went at his own pace despite initially being down a few seconds. With each checkpoint his lead increased and in the end he won by 24 seconds, it’s a really strong ride from him and a great performance.”

Men’s Dutch National Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 59:07
2. Stef Clement (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 24 seconds
3. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:58.

A third Dutch TT Championship for Dumoulin:
’s Heerenberg - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during NK wielrennen Montferland - ITT men elite  - foto Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 017

Luxembourg Time Trial Championship 2017
After standing on the second step of the podium for the past two years, Jempy Drucker went one better in 2017 to become the Luxembourg time trial champion for the first time in his career.

Drucker rolled down the ramp this evening in Remerschen for the 18.7km two-lap course and proved his speed against the clock to finish with a time of 20:53, six seconds faster than reigning time trial champion Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) and 20 seconds faster than Alex Kirsch (WB Veranclassic).

It is the second time trial win on home soil this year for Drucker after he won stage 1 of the SkodaTour de Luxembourg last month.

The Winner’s Interview with Jempy Drucker.
Congratulations, Jempy! How was it out there tonight?

“It was a totally different course to last year. It was pan flat and it was almost 20km so it was at a really high speed. I felt pretty good. I came out of Route du Sud and I recovered pretty well. It’s also a surprise for me to beat Bob Jungels (Quick-Step-Floors) because he’s a really good time trialist, he’s a specialist.”

Did you realize you were on track to win?
“I was just focusing on my own performance. I didn’t wear a radio so I had no time splits. I focused on my effort and that worked pretty well. I tried to pace myself well. Also, with the heat it wasn’t so easy so I tried to keep a little bit left in the tank for the second lap because we had to do two laps.”

How will it feel to wear the Luxembourg colors at your next time trial?
“To wear the jersey for the next year will be really cool. I’m not sure where I will be able to wear it for the first time as my program hasn’t been decided but it will be really nice.”

Luxembourg Time Trial Championship Result:
1. Jempy Drucker (Lux) BMC in 20:53
2. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:06
3. Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:20.

Jempy Drucker won stage 1 of the SkodaTour:
Bascharage - Luxembourg - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Jean-Pierre DRUCKER (Luxembourg / BMC Racing Team - Timothy DUPONT (Belgium / Team Verandas Willems - Crelan) - Aksel Nommela pictured during stage -1 of the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg form Luxembourg (Ville) to Bascharage - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

National Championships 2017
The week before the Tour de France is when the battles for the National championships take place. First up are the time trials and then on Saturday and Sunday we have the road races. Here are some of the team previews.

Results in EUROTRASH Monday.

Quick-Step Floors Team to the National Championships
At the end of this week, 18 of the team’s 28 riders will be involved in races across six countries
21-Jun-2017: Since its inception back in 2003, Quick-Step Floors have been a force at the National Championships, scoring a total of 40 victories in both disciplines. Most recent of these came earlier this season, when Jack Bauer time trialed his way to a maiden New Zealand ITT title, delivering the team’s first win of the year.

32-year-old Bauer is one of the two Quick-Step Floors riders to sport a national champion jersey at the moment, the other one being Bob Jungels, who in 2016 made the double at the Nationals, after stamping his authority on his home events.

The Luxemburger, winner in May of the Giro d’Italia coveted maglia bianca for the second consecutive year, will be one of the 18 Quick-Step Floors riders to take on the National Championships between Thursday and Sunday, which will see our guys battle for a good result from Chimay to Saint-Omer and from Chemnitz to Ivrea in what will be the final appointments before the start of the Tour de France, scheduled in ten days’ time.

ITT (22 June): Chimay – Chimay (39 km)
Laurens De Plus, Dries Devenyns, Yves Lampaert, Julien Vermote.

RR (25 June): Antwerp – Antwerp (238 km)
Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Philippe Gilbert, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Pieter Serry, Julien Vermote.

Czech Republic:
ITT (23 June): Ziar Nad Hronom – Ziar Nad Hronom (41 km)
Petr Vakoc.

RR (25 June): Ziar Nad Hronom – Ziar Nad Hronom (193 km)
Zdenek Stybar, Petr Vakoc.

ITT (22 June): Saint Omer – Saint Omer (52 km)
Rémi Cavagna.

RR (25 June): Saint Omer – Saint Omer (240 km)
Rémi Cavagna.

ITT (23 June): Chemnitz – Chemnitz (47 km)
Maximilian Schachmann.

RR (25 June): Chemnitz – Chemnitz (213.4 km)
Marcel Kittel, Maximilian Schachmann.

RR (25 June): Asti – Ivrea (236 km)
Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, Fabio Sabatini, Matteo Trentin.

ITT (22 June): Schengen – Schengen (19 km)
Bob Jungels.

RR (25 June): Schengen – Schengen (152 km)
Bob Jungels.

Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote will ride the Belgian TT and RR Championships:
Gullegem - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - LAMPAERT Yves (BEL) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team celebrates the win with VERMOTE Julien (BEL) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team pictured during the 73th Gullegem Koers - photo PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

National Time Trial Championships
The national championships get underway this week with the time trials starting this Wednesday, June 21. In Germany former U23 European and junior world time trial champion Lennard Kämna will be looking for a solid result, alongside Ruben Zepuntke from Team Sunweb’s Development Program.

Defending time trial champion Tom Dumoulin will line up in the Netherlands looking to extend his title to wear the jersey for another year. Also starting in the Dutch time trial championships are Nils Eekhoff, Marc Goos and Jarno Mobach, all of whom are part of Team Sunweb’s Development Program, as well as Sam Oomen. Georg Preidler will battle against the clock in Austria and Søren Kragh Andersen in Denmark.

Also in action from Team Sunweb’s Women’s Program is former world champion and current European time trial champion Ellen van Dijk who has spent time perfecting her time trial position at TU Delft University’s wind tunnels and who has already had great time trial successes this year at the Healthy Ageing Tour. Lucinda Brand, Floortje Mackaij and Sabrina Stultiens also join van Dijk in the Netherlands on Wednesday ready to put in a solid performance.

Also participating in their national championships are Leah Kirchmann in Canada, Liane Lippert in Germany and Juliette Labous in France who took a 3rd place in both the junior European and junior world time trial championships in 2016, as well as the French title in the women’s junior road and time trial.

Men’s National Time Trial Championships
The Netherlands 21/06

Tom Dumoulin (NED), Nils Eekhoff (NED), Marc Goos (NED), Jarno Mobach (NED), Sam Oomen (NED).

Denmark 22/06
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN).

Germany 23/06
Lennard Kämna (GER), Ruben Zepuntke (GER).

Austria 24/06
Georg Preidler (AUT).

Women’s National Time Trial Championships
The Netherlands 21/06

Lucinda Brand (NED), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Sabrina Stultiens (NED).

Canada 21/06
Leah Kirchmann (CAN).

France 21/06
Juliette Labous (FRA).

Germany 23/06
Liane Lippert (GER).

Another National TT Champs for Dumoulin (see result above):
Foligno - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during team stage 10 of the Giro D’Italia 2017 from Foligno to Foligno - Montefalco ITT, 39.20 km ITT, 39.20 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

National Road Race Championships
Team Sunweb are anticipating an exciting week of racing with the national road race championships taking place across the world. With 11 riders from the team starting the German national championships, Team Sunweb will be looking to try to claim the elite German national jersey to stand next to their U23 title which was taken by Max Kanter from Team Sunweb’s Development program last month. Max Walscheid finished second here last year, and the team will be looking for another strong result.

A nine-rider line-up in the Netherlands should prove to be equally as exciting, giving the team a variety of cards to play depending on the race situation, and the team will look for ‘outsiders’ roles in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Norway.

Team Sunweb’s women’s program have a solid line-up at the Dutch national road race championships and after a season of strong results, the team will be looking to continue their great form in their battle to take home the national jersey. Coryn Rivera also fights for victory in the USA championships, Leah Kirchmann will be aiming for a solid result in Canada, Juliette Labous in France, Liane Lippert in Germany and Molly Weaver in Great Britain.

Men’s National Road Race Championships
Austria 25/06

Felix Gall (AUT), Georg Preidler (AUT).

Belgium 25/06
Bert De Backer (BEL), Zico Waeytens (BEL).

Denmark 25/06
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN).

France 25/06
Maxime Gressier (FRA).

Germany 25/06
Nikias Arndt (GER), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Lennard Kämna (GER), Max Kanter (GER), Leon Rohde (GER), Martin Salmon (GER), Florian Stork (GER), Max Walscheid (GER), Ruben Zepuntke (GER).

Norway 25/06
Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR).

The Netherlands 25/06
Roy Curvers (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Nils Eekhoff (NED), Marc Goos (NED), Lennard Hofstede (NED)
Jarno Mobach (NED), Sam Oomen (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Laurens Ten Dam (NED), Mike Teunissen (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).

Women’s National Road Race Championships
Canada 24/06

Leah Kirchmann (CAN).

France 24/06
Juliette Labous (FRA).

Germany 24/06
Liane Lippert (GER).

Great Britain 24/06
Molly Weaver (GBR).

The Netherlands 24/06
Lucinda Brand (NED), Ellen van Dijk (NED), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Rozanne Slik (NED), Julia Soek (NED), Sabrina Stultiens (NED).

USA 24/06
Coryn Rivera (USA).

Coryn Rivera for the US Champs:
Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Coryn Rivera (USA / Sunweb) - Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands / Orica Scott) pictured during the of Flanders Classics UCI WorldTour 101st Ronde van Vlaanderen cycling race women with start in Antwerpen and finish in Oudenaarde on April 02, 2017 - foto Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2017

Dimension Data for the National Championships
The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka colors are flying high at multiple national championships on two continents this week.

In Eritrea, Natnael Berhane, Daniel Teklehaimanot (photo), Merhawi Kudus and Mekseb Debesay will fight to wear the national colors that Teklehaimanot has worn with pride this season. All four riders are both taking part in the time trial and the road race. Also on the African continent, in Rwanda, Adrien Niyonshuti will line up to defend his title in the time trial, while trying to win the road race after finishing in second place last year.

For the national championships in Europe, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has riders lining up in Norway, UK, Belgium and Italy. Edvald Boasson Hagen is eager to repeat his flawless performance from 2016 when he won both the time trial and the road race at the Norwegian championships. In the UK, the team is represented by Mark Cavendish, who made his comeback to racing last week in Tour de Slovénie, Scott Thwaites and Steve Cummings. All three riders take part in the road race, while only the latter will fight against the clock as well. These two races will be the first ones for Cummings after his crash on stage 4 of Vuelta al Pais Vasco back in April.

The last two riders in action for the team this week are Serge Pauwels and Kristian Sbaragli. Pauwels will aim to capitalize on his good condition in the Belgian road race, while Sbaragli will try to do the same in Italy.

Riders Head for Home to Take on National Championships
For the first time in the teams history Caja-Rural Seguros RGA will have a presence in the USA National Championships with Californian Justin Oien and Chris Butler flying over from their base in Pamplona, Spain to take on the both the TT and road race events which will be held in Knoxville.

Neo-pro Oien claimed his first professional victory earlier this season when he claimed the final stage of the Rhone-Alps Isere Tour and will go into the event hoping for a result.

Though Butler has had a more problematic first half of the season due to a broken elbow he will take confidence from his performance at last weeks Route du Sud where he was able to finish in the main peloton on his first event in almost five months.

Both riders will remain in the US after the event where they will build towards their home races the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic.

The team will have huge representation in the Spanish Championships which will be based in the city of Soria in the northern province of Navarra.

Lluis Mas and Diego Rubio will represent the team in the TT on Thursday with Jonathan Lastra, Antonio Molina, Eduardo Prades, Diego Rubio, Hector Saez, David Arroyo, Sergio Pardilla, Jaime Roson, Josu Zabala, Jon Irisarri, Alex Aranburu and Miguel Angel Benito joining them to form a powerful 13-man squad for the road race on Sunday.

Josemi Fernandez: “Guys like Luis Mas, Diego Rubio, Eduard Prades… they will be our strongest riders for this race. The route has three pretty tough climbs at the start which shouldn’t prove too decisive but no doubt there will be some sort of shake-up. I think it will come down to a sprint from a reduced group but it is always hard to tell at a National Championships.

Of course or main rivals will be the guys at Movistar who have dominated this race in the past. Guys like Rojas, Valverde, Barbero and Herrera will make the race very difficult for us.In the TT we will have to be realistic and be aiming for a top-5.

We will also be keeping a close eye on the other riders who will be racing abroad and hoping for some good results there. Rafa Reis in particular I think can leave his mark in the TT event.”

Meanwhile on the eastern side of the Iberian peninsula Rafael Reis will be the teams sole participant in the Portuguese national championships in Gondomar. The 25 year olds best chance for a result will come in the time-trial event. Reis’ last test against the clock was during the prologue in Boucles de Mayenne where he claimed 5th place.

Swiss sprinter Dylan Page will go into his national championships in Affoltern looking for a result. The young rider will take confidence from his recent top-20 result in the Rund Um Koln (1.1).

BORA – hansgrohe presents Tour de France line-up.
UCI World Champion Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka lead BORA – hansgrohe’s team at this year’s Tour de France. With Emanuel Buchmann, Marcus Burghardt and Rüdiger Selig, also three German riders will be at the start on July 1st in Düsseldorf.

“We have a strong team going into this year’s Tour de France. The last weeks and strong results gave us confidence, and we are eager to also fulfill our goals at the Tour. To fulfill our goals, was also the main aspect in selecting the riders. We have to support two leaders and need a balance between guys for the flat, sprints, and climbers. I am confident we found that mix, and now we are ready and looking forward to the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf.”Enrico Poitschke, sports director

BORA – hansgrohe Tour de France line-up:
Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Emanuel Buchmann (Ger), Marcus Burghardt (Ger), Rafal Majka (Pol), Jay McCarthy (Aus), Pawel Poljanski (Pol), Peter Sagan (Svk), Juraj Sagan (Svk), Rüdiger Selig (Ger).

Sunweb Confirm Tour de France Line-Up
With the Tour de France just over a week away, Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their line-up for the 2017 edition of ‘La Grand Boucle’.

This year’s Tour de France is a special edition for the German WorldTour team, with the race starting in Düsseldorf, Germany. After 11 stage wins during the previous four editions, Team Sunweb head to the race once again with the ambition of stage success.

“An intricate preparation plan has been created in advance of the race for each rider on the line-up,” explained Team Sunweb’s trainer Hendrik Werner (GER). “Each plan has been carefully constructed with balanced blocks of altitude training, racing and rest periods. Their progress and power output has been recorded, monitored and analyzed by our trainers and experts to ensure that all riders are at optimum performance level.”

Team Sunweb’s Tour de France coach Aike Visbeek (NED) added: “Our nine-rider line-up has been created with the team’s overall goal of stage results at the forefront of our mind. We have selected a strong group of riders to form the lead-out train for Michael on the sprint stages with a difficult finale. The recent racing campaign was a pin-point on our year plan to work on optimizing our lead-out.”

German Nikias Arndt, the pilot previously confirmed to line-up at the Tour, will be joined by Ramon Sinkeldam, Mike Teunissen, Albert Timmer and Roy Curvers for the sprint stages. Curvers will also take on the role of team captain out on the road. As one of Team Sunweb’s core and long-standing members, the depth of his experience and understanding of the team’s dynamics will prove essential in leading the team out on the road.

Visbeek explained more about the team’s other goals: “Next to our chances in the sprint stages with a difficult finale, we have selected the trio of Warren, Simon and Grand Tour veteran Laurens, who will aim for breakaways. We aim to apply an offensive racing strategy in selected intermediate, hilly and mountain stages.”

Le Tour de France Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Michael Matthews (AUS), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Mike Teunissen (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED), Luke Roberts (AUS) and Aike Visbeek (NED).

Team Sky leader Chris Froome seeking a landmark fourth Tour de France victory.

Team Sky has announced its lineup for the 2017 Tour de France, which starts in Dusseldorf on Saturday 1st July. Team leader Chris Froome will be seeking a fourth Tour de France win and a third straight Tour victory. Froome previously won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 editions of the race.

Froome will be joined in the Team Sky lineup by:
Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas.

Chris Froome said: “The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for a fourth time. Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation. To me, each Tour tells a different story. Every Tour is a different battle in terms of getting that Yellow Jersey and then trying to hold on to it. We’re ready as a team and I can’t wait for the Tour to start now. Honestly, I just love it. It’s a feeling that you don’t get from any other race.”

Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “We’re really looking forward to the Tour. Chris is in good shape and he’s ready for it. To win the Tour once is a huge achievement, but to win it a fourth time would be remarkable. We’ve selected a strong and experienced lineup who will support him, and we’ll be looking to use the strength of the team to our advantage.”

The Team Sky squad for the 2016 Tour de France is:

Chris Froome – British – age 32
2016 winner Chris Froome returns to the Tour de France with his eyes firmly set on a landmark fourth victory and a third consecutive Tour title. Froome has spoken of the need to create his own opportunities at what is expected to be a fiercely competitive edition of the Tour, and a combative display at the Criterium du Dauphine gave an indication of things to come.

Sergio Henao – Colombian – age 29
Colombian climber Sergio Henao is enjoying the finest season of his career. Fresh from winning the Colombian national road championship in February the 29 year old won a thrilling edition of Paris-Nice, before enjoying a strong Ardennes campaign, co-leading the team alongside Michal Kwiatkowski. Henao is viewed as one of the fiercest competitors in the peloton, and Froome knows he can rely upon the loyal Colombian come rain or shine.

Vasil Kiryienka – Belarusian – age 35
Time trial specialist Vasil Kiryienka is one of the sport’s most consistent performers. Off the back of a typically committed performance at the Giro d’Italia, the popular Belarusian is sure to take the 18th Grand Tour of his illustrious career in his stride, setting tempo on the flat and in the mid-mountains. A hugely popular member of the squad, fan favourite ‘Kiry’ rarely misses a beat and is sure to be seen at the front of the peloton over the coming month.

Christian Knees – German – age 36
Christian Knees will proudly take to the start line of his 17th Grand Tour at the Grand Depart in his homeland. The German brings a wealth of experience to the table and will relish racing his first Tour de France since 2012 on the back of a resurgent 2017. He performed his typically strong and selfless role throughout the cobbled Classics campaign, then looked after Chris Froome on the flatter days at the Criterium du Dauphine. A hugely respected member of the squad, Knees will be a crucial part of the Team Sky lineup.

Michal Kwiatkowski – Polish – age 27
Racing his first Tour de France in Team Sky colours on the back of a triumphant first half of the season, Kwiatkowski is in some of the best form of his career. After winning Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, Kwiato earned two podium finishes in the Ardennes Classics, before demonstrating his versatility by producing an inspired climbing performance in support of Chris Froome at the Criterium du Dauphine. It’s that world-class versatility that will make Kwiatkowski invaluable on the road in France.

Mikel Landa – Spanish – age 27
If his Giro d’Italia form is anything to go by, Mikel Landa is likely to arrive at the Tour de France in outstanding shape. The Spaniard suffered an unfortunate crash on stage nine in Italy, ending his GC challenge, but he bounced back in superb fashion: third on stage 14 then second on stages 16 and 18, the Spaniard finally secured a famous win on stage 19, wrapping up the Mountains jersey in the process. Now his focus has switched to supporting Chris Froome and being part of a winning Tour team for the second year running.

Mikel Nieve – Spanish – age 33
One of the team’s most valued climbers, Nieve is set to ride his third Tour de France in support of Chris Froome. The Basque climber, known as Frosty to his team mates, finished 12th in the Tour in 2013, has won two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and recently demonstrated his form with a strong climbing performance at the Tour de Suisse ahead of his 13th Grand Tour.

Luke Rowe – British – age 27
Amongst his many talents, Luke Rowe can also claim to be one of Chris Froome’s lucky charms – Froome has won both editions of the Tour that Rowe has raced, in 2015 and ’16. Road captain on both occasions, the popular Welshman will have a huge part to play again in 2017 after another encouraging campaign for the Classics specialist. An impressive third place finish at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March was further evidence of Rowe’s development and he played a pivotal role in Sergio Henao’s Paris-Nice win, marshalling him through the race’s early crosswinds.

Geraint Thomas – British – age 31
2017 has been a whirlwind year for Geraint Thomas. The Welshman picked up a brilliant stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico and took the overall title at the Tour of the Alps on his way to co-leading Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia, but suffered a heart-breaking crash on stage nine, sustaining injuries that eventually ruled him out of the race. The 31 year old has quickly bounced back to fitness, though, and will hope to continue the excellent form he took to the Giro as he returns to the Tour.

Richie Porte Ready to Lead BMC Racing Team at the Tour de France
BMC Racing Team is backing Richie Porte in the pursuit of the yellow jersey at the Tour de France when racing gets underway in Dusseldorf on Saturday, July 1.

Sports Director Fabio Baldato said a strong team has been assembled to support Porte from Dusseldorf through to Paris.

“To have Richie Porte on the podium at the Tour de France would be a great result. Of course, we are lining up to win the race, to win the yellow jersey. We are going all in for Richie. All nine of our riders are coming to the Tour de France in good condition and we have a strong team. When we started planning for the Tour de France in December last year, these were the nine riders we had in mind,” Baldato explained.

“We expect Damiano Caruso and Nicolas Roche to be the last two teammates with Richie in the big mountains. We have riders like Alessandro De Marchi and Amaël Moinard who will be crucial before and between the medium mountains. For the flat stages when the race is fast and difficult, we have our rouleurs; Stefan Küng, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet and Danilo Wyss. These are the riders who will protect Richie and bring him to the line safely.”

“We would love to start things well with the time trial in Dusseldorf. Stefan is really motivated and we saw at Tour de Suisse that he is in great shape. It is his Tour de France debut but we expect he will be on the podium, which means starting the race well, with a good position on the General Classification and with a good car position. Our absolute priority is the General Classification with Richie Porte but in Greg Van Avermaet we have the Olympic champion, two-time Tour de France stage winner and wearer of the yellow jersey in 2016, so we would love to see Greg win another stage when the conditions are right and Richie is safe.”

BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz affirmed Baldato’s appraisal of the team.

“Tour de France team selection is always hard and it was again for us this year. We have a strong and motivated team around Richie Porte and I think our objectives are clear. Richie and the rest of the team are clearly coming in with a lot of confidence from performances in recent races. We are confident but everyone starts from scratch in Dusseldorf. We hope to get off to a good start and keep the ball rolling across the 21 stages that lie ahead of us,” Ochowicz said.

Porte is confident after recording one of the best seasons of his career in the lead up to the Tour de France, including victory at the Santos Tour Down Under, Tour de Romandie and second place at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“The Tour de France is the big goal of the season and it has been a great season so far. I can definitely take confidence from my races and I feel like I’m where I need to be knowing that July is when I need to perform. BMC Racing Team has put a great team together around Greg Van Avermaet and me. I think we have strength in all of the areas needed,” Porte explained.

“I am definitely a mix of excited and nervous. You can’t deny that the Tour de France is the biggest goal of the season, but that means it’s also another level of stress. It’s a balance of being well-prepared and fresh enough to race at the highest level across 21 stages, but I feel like I’m in that position now. I’m just really looking forward to rolling out for the time trial next Saturday in Dusseldorf and then having a good three weeks of racing until we reach Paris.”

Van Avermaet will line up in Dusseldorf as leader of the UCI WorldTour ranking and targeting a third Tour de France stage win.

“I’m going into the Tour de France with the same goal as always; to win a stage. After winning a stage in 2015 and 2016, and then wearing the yellow jersey last year, it would be really special to win a third stage this year. There are a couple of stages that are well-suited to me and aside from that, I’ll be there to support Richie Porte to go for the win. I think if we finished in Paris with a stage win and a good result on the General Classification, it would be a really successful Tour de France from BMC Racing Team,” Van Avermaet said.

Tour de France (1-23 July)
Rider Roster:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Stefan Küng (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Valerio Piva (ITA).

Richie Porte:
Col de la Couillole - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - PORTE Richie (AUS) Rider of BMC Racing Team pictured during stage 7 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Nice - Col de la Couillole, 177.00 km - foto POOLPHOTO BP/Cor Vos © 2017

New in 2017: 7 Riders Per Team at the Start of the Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour
Through their General Director Czeslaw Lang, the organizing committee for the Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour has officially announced that every team lining up for the start of the 74th edition of the Polish stage race, scheduled from July 29th to August 4th, will be made up of 7 riders. That’s one less rider than in the past. Based on this decision, with 22 starting teams (18 Pro Teams + 4 wild cards), the Tour de Pologne group on the starting line in Krakow on Saturday, July 29th, will consist of a total of 154 riders.

“We believe that this choice, which was approved by the UCI, can contribute to guaranteeing better safety in the race, a very important aspect that is always in the news headlines; it also plays a significant role in rendering the race even more exciting, especially in certain phases. For example, with one man less on every team, it could become more complicated for the group to control the race and catch up with fugitives. Besides us, the organizers of other World Tour races are moving in this direction. After all, it means a lot to me to remind people that the Tour de Pologne, which has always been attentive to new trends, was already a pioneer in this one when some seasons ago, in 2013, we adhered to a pilot project in association with the UCI that lined up teams of 6 riders at the start. I have always sustained that it is essential to evaluate everything and try anything that can contribute to the safety of the riders and that will make our sport more spectacular, obviously within the limits allowed under the rules and regulations and over all using good sense,” explains Czeslaw Lang, General Director for the Tour de Pologne.

Tour de Pologne 2016 - 4a tappa  Nowy Sacz - Rzeszow/Podkarpackie 218 km 15/07/2015 -  - foto Ilario Biondi/BettiniPhoto©2016

Toms Skujins Returns to Racing
As this hits your inbox, Toms Skujins will be minutes away from his return to racing in the time trial at the Latvian National Road Championships. The 26-year-old was involved in a high profile crash at Amgen Tour of California last month that left him with a broken collarbone and a concussion. He missed out on the final stages of California and sat out Tour de Suisse as he recovered in his US base of Boulder, Colorado. And now he’s back and as hungry and motivated as ever.

Skujins says that he isn’t as prepared or as focused on nationals as he has been in the past. He has eyes on a steady string of results at Tour of Poland, a month out yet, so he’s building through nationals, patiently progressing towards a target that offers WorldTour points and WorldTour glory.

We spoke with Skujins as he prepared to pin on a number for the first time in five weeks.

Q: How did the crash at California compare to previous crashes in your career?
It’s definitely the biggest crash I’ve had. It was my first broken collarbone and my first concussion. It was also the most visible crash I’ve ever had.

Q: What did the first week post-crash involve?
I was still with the team for half of the first week because I couldn’t fly anywhere because of the concussion. I had surgery two days post-crash in California. One of the race doctors came in the day after the crash. He was working in a clinic near our hotel and was able to do the surgery. He did an amazing job. The night after the surgery was really painful. Other than that, it was improvements every day – especially the head. It got better quickly after the first week. At the tail-end of the second week, I was able to ride again. I did a cognitive test and was given the clearance to ride the trainer.

Q: What did that cognitive test entail?
It’s a series of exercises done online. It probably takes around 30-40 minutes. It’s several tests that focus on memory, concentration, the ability to complete tasks – like pressing a key when the light is green or when the letters are a certain color. It’s six or eight tests that you do in those 30-40 minutes, and it generates a score that you can compare to a baseline you’ve already established. I did them last year when not concussed, without any head trauma, so that if I ended up in this exact situation, I’d have my own individual baseline that I’d need to return to before I can ride.

Q: When were you able to transition from the trainer to the road?
I can’t remember exact days. I think I did four rides on the trainer. That was all it took for me to get comfortable enough to get back on the road.

Q: Are you having any lingering impact from the crash?
There’s definitely less muscle around my shoulder. That’s what I need to start working on now. It’s been four weeks, and I’ve done another x-ray to confirm it’s healed. I pretty much have all the mobility back, maybe I’m missing 5-10%. I’m sure I’ll get that back within another month or so.

Q: How’s the form?
I’ve been riding some longer, steadier rides. I was at altitude in Boulder, and my big focus is Tour of Poland more than Nationals. I want to be ready for that, for the second phase of the year. Knowing that, I didn’t do a lot of intensity. The body feels good, and it’s race ready but it’s not RACE race ready if you know what I mean.

Q: Do you have ambitions for Nationals?
Nationals are always tricky. It’s not an ordinary race, especially in a small field like we usually have. That means it’s not always about the legs. I’m going to try to work more on mental and tactical skills and see where that takes me. It definitely won’t be easy. After Nationals, I go back to altitude so I can train hard again and get ready for Poland. Poland is the next big one with the team. I’m excited about it, but I’m trying not to get over-excited because it’s still a month away.

Toms Skujins:

The Finish of the Deutschland Deine Tour in Stuttgart
The destination of the new Deutschland Deine Tour has been unveiled: Stuttgart and its region will witness the outcome of the last stage on the German event. The name of the winner of this race, which will start in late August 2018, will be decided in the capital of the Bade-Wurtemberg länder.

Deutschland. Deine Tour (Germany. Your Tour) – The spirit of the new Deutschland Deine Tour will come alive in the region of Stuttgart. Cycling enthusiasts will be able to look forward to a final stage in the city centre, which will be very physically demanding, with the finishing line on Theodor-Heuss-Straße.

A grand festival of cycling boasting a rich and modern programme will also be organized. For ambitious cyclists, cycle touring rides with the start and finish in Stuttgart will be organized. Their routes will partially coincide with the elite race route making it possible to discover the region in and around Stuttgart. Children’s races and other family excursions will also be organized. Finally, a car-free zone will be deployed in the city centre, also incorporating Stuttgart’s cycling tracks, making for a stress-free cycling experience.

Yann Le Moënner, Director of A.S.O.: “The last stage of the Deutschland Deine Tour will be crowned by a cycling festival in Stuttgart, a city that has set itself ambitious objectives for two-wheeled transport. The overall concept of ‘Deutschland. Deine Tour,’ builds on enthusiasm for cycling, professional sport and everyday mobility. It is wonderful that our concept is in keeping with the times in many other German towns.”

Fritz Kuhn, Mayor of Stuttgart: “Stuttgart cannot wait for the new Deutschland. Deine Tour to arrive. The city will make it possible for our guests as well as its inhabitants to enjoy a spectacular cycling experience. All cycling enthusiasts will find their heart’s delight at the grand finale of the Tour of Germany in Stuttgart, whether they are spectators who have come to see the finish of the last stage, cycle tourers or people interested by the many events held in tandem with the stage in the city centre, the majority of which will be car-free for the day.”

With the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017, which takes place in Düsseldorf, and the Eschborn-Frankfurt classic, which this year has joined the family of A.S.O. races, the ‘Deutschland Deine Tour,’ is a key stage of A.S.O. committing to cycling in Germany. For the first new Deutschland. Deine Tour, a number of stage host towns have already expressed their interest and have already opened preliminary negotiations within regional decision-making bodies. In August 2017, one year before the first edition, other stage venues as well as a key element of the programme will be unveiled.

All the information about the Deutschland Deine Tour 2018 here.

Teaser of Deutschland Deine Tour:

TRAILER – DEUTSCHLAND DEINE TOUR – English por tourdefrance

Tour des Fjords deal brings pro cycling to Norway with the Hammer Series
The Norwegian city of Stavanger will host the revolutionary Hammer Series in 2018
The new cycling event will see three days of action with the best professional teams in the world battling it out in the rugged Norwegian landscape. The announcement comes in the week that the first Hammer Series race takes place in Limburg in the Netherlands.

The Hammer Series, created by Velon in partnership with the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, is an exciting new race format producing live rider data, videos and social media designed to increase engagement with professional cycling. The introduction of Hammer Stavanger will mean that the sixth edition of the dramatic and scenic Tour des Fjords next May will now be three stages, following the new three-day Hammer Series format. The partnership with Velon secures an unprecedented high-class field for both events.

The pack rides during the 180,2 km third stage of the Tour des Fjords between Odda and Karmoy in Norway on May 26, 2017.

Tour des Fjords Event Director Roy Hegreberg said: “The Hammer Series is something completely new and unique that the fans haven’t seen before. It is the future of cycling and we are proud to be one of the first ones to jump aboard that train. Velon’s main idea for Hammer Series is to innovate cycling and develop experiences that connect fans to the sport. This perfectly fits the strategy we have been following and our vision of making cycling into a big event for everybody.”

Graham Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer, Velon, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stavanger to the Hammer Series. Everything about the area, the excellent race organization and the strong interest people in Norway have in cycling, makes it a perfect fit for us. We look forward to working closely with Roy and his team and the event’s range of partners to create an exhilarating three days of cycling races.”

Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront, said: “We are confident that we will see a successful event at Hammer Sportzone Limburg this weekend that encourages engagement across the board from the cyclists to the fans. Add to that the digital coverage and we really are bringing the international cycling community as close to the event as possible. The confirmation to stage a second event in Stavanger next year is another recognition that we are spot on with the format and concept of the Hammer Series.”

Two of Tour des Fjords’ current main sponsors – Santander Consumer Bank Norge and Repsol Norge – will also support Hammer Stavanger.

Elisabeth Saupstad, Director of Tourism for Stavanger Region, said: “Such events are highly valuable for tourism and will put the Stavanger Region on the map within the global cycling community and tourist market. Tour des Fjords has earned its role as a respected organizer which now provides the entire tourism sector with an opportunity to develop Stavanger further into a leading cycling destination.”

Oslo-born pro cyclist Vegard Stake Laengen, who rode with his UAE Team Emirates in the first Hammer Sportzone Limburg event in Holland, said: “It’s always nice to have races in my country, we have few professional ones at the moment. It’s even more exciting that this will be a completely new event and Hammer Stavanger will catch the passion of Norwegian fans thanks to its new formula and the new idea of cycling. I rarely race in Norway, so I’d really like to be at the start of this Hammer Series event next year and taking part in a great cycling party.”

Tour des Fjords 2017:

Santander – Tour des Fjords 2017 from Tour des Fjords on Vimeo.

Maldita Nerea’s ‘Bailarina’: Official Song of La Vuelta 2017
Once again, La Vuelta is getting ready to present the official song that will accompany the race’s 72nd edition. The chosen song is “Bailarina”, by the Murcian band Maldita Nerea, which is a preview of their seventh album. The band is very much consolidated and adored within the Spanish music scene, ever present among our country’s greatest hits, with thousands of followers on social media (and off), who fill such emblematic venues as the Palacio de los Deportes de Madrid with their concerts.

Jorge Ruiz and his band will accompany the La Vuelta peloton from its departure in Nimes on the 19th of August until its arrival in Madrid on the 10th of September. The song is catchy, fresh and very danceable and has, this year, become the 40th song to join the long list of official songs for the Spanish tour. This musical and sporting tradition began in 1977 with “Singing in the Rain”, by Sheila and B. Devotion.

The song will feature a very special video, filmed in the French city of Nimes, a candidate to join UNESCO’s World Heritage listing, where the notes and the overall sound mix in with some of the locality’s historical and architectural treasures.

Having ‘Bailarina’ become the official song of La Vuelta is a dream come true for the lead of Maldita Nerea. Jorge Ruiz, a cycling fan, is thrilled to attach his music to a sporting event that he has followed very closely since childhood.

The essentials:
· The song ‘Bailarina’ by Maldita Nerea will accompany the La Vuelta 2017 peloton from its departure in Nimes until the finale in Madrid.
· The band, led by singer Jorge Ruiz, chose the song for La Vuelta 2017 to present their seventh album.
· La Vuelta has been combining sports and music for 40 years, with an official song to represent each of its editions.

Listen to ‘Bailarina’ by Maldita Nerea, official song of La Vuelta 2017: https://malditanerea.lnk.to/BailarinaNe

Bahrain-Merida Review of the 2017 Giro d’Italia
We would like to share with you the unforgettable first ever Grand Tour of our Team, where our dream of reaching the podium, became reality!

To show you some of the unforgettable moments, we prepared a special movie. We would like to thank to Vincenzo Nibali, to all the riders who did 100th Giro and to all the staff who were a part of that historic Grand Tour for us.

Enjoy the movie! Thank you for all the support and good wishes!

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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.

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