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Bergen - Norway - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) pictured during the roadrace 2017 World Road Championship mens elite cyclingrace on September 23, 2017 in Bergen, Norway - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The dust has settled on 2017 World championships, but we have video of the final 4 kilometers if you missed it – Top Story. Race reports from the two stages of the Giro della Toscana and the Gooikse Pijl with results, rider quotes and video. In other cycling news: The Tour of Utah moves dates, contract news from Lotto Soudal, FDJ, Katusha-Alpecin, Trek-Segafredo, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Sunweb and Bora-Hansgrohe. Two more years for Team Novo Nordisk, Sabatini ends season, Joris Nieuwenhuis cross program and Peter Sagan rides downhill. A fun packed EUROTRASH.

TOP STORY: The Worlds Finalé
The general feeling is that the 2017 World championships in Bergen were an overall success. The riders and fans were happy with the course and the amenities. The weather had its moments, but for Norway in September, it was quite benevolent with only a little rain and mild temperatures. There was the lack of interest in the team time trial by many teams who felt they would be wasting time and money competing and there were some riders who were less than pleased with the narrow twisting finish to the men’s individual time trial.

On the whole Bergen can give themselves a pat on the back, except for the complete mess the TV company made of the most exciting part of the biggest event of the series – The last 4 kilometers of the men’s road race was a complete mystery to all the live viewers. As PEZ reporter, Sam Larner put it, in his race report on Sunday: “The chasing group weren’t taking advantage of their size and Vasili Kiryenka (Belarus) and Lukas Postlberger (Austria) went clear to chase Moscon and Alaphilippe. Alaphilippe had looked strong and all of a sudden he was ahead by himself with just 3km left to ride, Postlberger had gone pop and he left just Kiryenka and Alaphilippe on fire in the front. And then the TV pictures broke…” From then we had some great views of lead motos and the dropped riders well behind the action, until the last 1,000 meters and the fight of the rainbow jersey between Peter Sagan and the unlucky home rider, Alexander Kristoff. What happened to Alaphilippe and Kiryenka we didn’t see.

Whether it was the Chinese, Leonardo da Vinci or somebody else who invented the helicopter, cycling will always be grateful. See the video below to catch up with the final of men’s world championship race.

PEZ race report HERE.

The men’s road race finalé from the helicopter:

Giro della Toscana – Memorial Alfredo Martini 2017
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka got off to a fantastic start in Giro della Toscana as Steve Cummings sprinted to victory after a late attack on Stage 1.

With a strong and versatile team, it was no surprise to see Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka taking control of the stage early on. A group of four riders managed to get away after 15 km, but the quartet was never allowed a gap of more than just a couple of minutes.

Having both Mark Cavendish and Ryan Gibbons as key players for a possible sprint finish, the team made sure to always keep the breakaway within reach and with about 40 km left to go, it all came back together again. From here on, it didn’t take long before the inevitable counterattacks began. Cummings joined one of the strongest moves together with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Egan Bernal (Androni-Sidermec) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).

The small but powerful group quickly got a gap of nearly one minute on the peloton before the pack could organize a chase. Taking on the last lap of 7.7 km, the gap came down to just over half a minute but despite a furious chase behind, the break managed to keep the pack at bay and fight for victory.

In the final, Cummings timed his sprint to perfection as he passed his rivals on the final meters to take both the stage win and the overall lead of Giro della Toscana.

Stage winner, Steve Cummings (Dimension Data): “I wasn’t really feeling super today, having missed so much racing. I couldn’t follow on the explosive climb so I just stayed calm, waited and then went full gas after the climb. It turned out to be a good tactic. Towards the end, we were going so fast at the front that there wasn’t an opportunity to split the group so I just waited for the sprint. I let it all out there and I’m just really happy now.”

3rd, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “At the foot of the climb the breakaway was caught. Vincenzo Nibali attacked on the climb and I followed him. At the summit, Bernal joined and in the descent Cummings also closed the gap. At first Cummings did not cooperate because they were playing the Cavendish card. But it did not take long until the Brit took over. We worked well together and rushed to the finish. I did not even consider an attack as they never would have let me go. In the last two kilometers I did not overtake anymore, but Cummings was way too fast in the sprint. For the second place it was quite close between Bernal and me. Andrea Pasqualon finished 2nd in the bunch sprint behind Colbrelli after very smooth preparatory work of the team, so it was an excellent team performance today. Tomorrow it is Guillaume Martin’s turn to shine on a summit finish and also for the following Italian days we have some cards to play. I’m back in a good shape. I want to ride as many races as possible. In the ProCyclingStats classification of racedays I was in the lead, but the riders in the Vuelta have been able to catch up and gain an advantage. Unfortunately they do not count kermesses, if so I am sure I would be in the lead!”

4th, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “I was feeling good and in line with my teammates, I decided to attack on the last climb. I knew Stephen Cummings was very strong at sprint, but I wanted to try the same. I’m happy with my performance that makes me look confident to the Giro di Lombardia the next October 7th.”

5th, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “I felt a bit tired, but kilometer after kilometer I was getting better. A good result in view of the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday.”

Giro della Toscana Stage 1 Result:
1. Stephen Cummings (GB) Dimension Data in 4:21:39
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Androni-Giocattoli
3. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:12
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
8. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro
9. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
10. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini.

Giro della Toscana Overall After Stage 1:
1. Stephen Cummings (GB) Dimension Data in 4:21:39
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Androni-Giocattoli
3. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:12
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
8. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro
9. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
10. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini.

Toscana stage 1:

Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Guillaume Martin is definitely on fire! The 24-year-old Frenchman won the Stage 2 and final GC of Giro della Toscana on Wednesday. Danilo Napolitano wanted to show good form in his own country and joined a breakaway of seven riders. The seven in front rode to a maximum advantage of 4:30. In the final the riders had to climb twice to Volterra (8km with an average of 5%). On the first ascent Napolitano was caught by the peloton after around 130km in front.

On the second and final climb Guillaume Martin decided his moment had come. Firstly Martin rode to the front with some other riders and in the final kilometers he jumped to the escaped Visconti. Martin left the Italian behind and rode to a solo victory on Volterra. Because of the win Martin also brings home the final GC. Some other riders in the GC top 5: Visconti, Nibali and Bernal. For the Frenchman it is the 4th and 5th victory of the season, the 6th victory of Wanty-Groupe Gobert in eight days.

Stage and overall winner, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “We rode the perfect race, just like yesterday when we had Backaert in front and then we did a lot of work for Pasqualon. Yesterday I was disappointed with not being with the first four and I thought the overall ranking was lost. Ultimately that turned out to be profitable because I could benefit from more freedom. The team brought me well in the run-up to the final climb, where Gasparotto accelerated at the foot. I followed him with four riders, but the climb was ridden tactically because it was not a very steep climb. When a group returned with Minnaard I immediately accelerated, so Visconti and I were in front. At one point, he did not want to take over and then I decided to attack again. The last two kilometers I went solo. I had a nice gap and managed to keep it. After the differences of yesterday I did not expect to win the overall ranking. But even with such big names at the start I knew that I could compete with them!”

“After my first victory in the Limousin, I made a click. When you start winning, you strive for victory again. It’s a combination of the mental and physical aspect, because I’ve made enormous progress since the Tour de France. It is often said that you can push a gear extra, which is true, especially at my age. Then the team takes me as a leader, what gives more confidence. The whole team supports me and brings me in front at the foot of the climbs. I cannot say which victory is the most beautiful. The first, after a duo ride with Baugnies in Limousin, was special. The one in Gévaudan, my first general ranking, was the most substantiated. But here the quality of victory comes forward since big names started in Giro della Toscana. Every victory is different, but I can taste all!”

“I’m already thinking of the Giro d’Emilia, which fits me with his hard course. But I’m not planning to go easy this Thursday in Coppa Sabatini because at the end of this three-day Italian races there is a points classification in which I am currently in the lead. We will ride for Pasqualon tomorrow, and I want to get some points. Then I will finish the Italian week and finish my season in the Famenne Classic.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida): “At the beginning of the last climb I called Gasparotto, he has saw me and helped me reach the first attackers. Soon I left them and I found myself alone. A few kilometers from the finish, Martin arrived from behind and we have been together for a while. He attacked two times and after the second I lost ground for him. Unfortunately, I paid for previous efforts and so the French rider beat me. I was hoping to win, but still I got the confirmation that I’m fine and that I’m ready for the upcoming races. I would like, finally, to win but I’m also ready to help Vincenzo to find the victory.”

4th on the stage, Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “It’s always improbable that a break will stick till the line but there is always that hope that it will work. Luckily I had the strength to hold out to battle for the podium spot which just escaped me with 100 meters to go. I was really suffering to hold on to the guys who passed me and was up there with the third guy till 250 meters to go but I just ran out of gas and had to settle for 4th. A bittersweet result but overall I have to be pleased.”

6th on the stage and 8th overall, Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini): “When you feel so good and to be able also to win I feel always a little bit disappointed, and also a very good sixth place seems not enough. But we worked well as a team, especially with Ivan Santaromita and Damiano Cunego, two experienced riders very important for me on the last climb. Unfortunately when it start the most important action in front of the group someone made the “hole” and we then have not been able to close also if we went really close. Anyway congratulations to the winner, he deserved this result, after the good action of today, to win the general ranking.”

Giro della Toscana Stage 2 Result:
1. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 4:03:10
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:13
4. Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:15
5. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro at 0:18
6. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 0:26
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Egan Bernal (Col) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:28
9. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro
10. Nicola Gaffurini (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis.

Giro della Toscana Final Overall:
1. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 8:25:01
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:13
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:14
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:16
6. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro at 0:18
7. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:21
8. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 0:26
9. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-Oscaro at 0:28
10. Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Toscana stage 2:

Gooikse Pijl 2017
In Gooikse Pijl (UCI 1.2) Kenny Dehaes was able to win his first 2017 UCI race after a hard fought race. Wesley Kreder did not start because of illness. After some accelerations by Tom Devriendt a group of 12 riders went clear with Robin Stenuit and Kenny Dehaes, still with 120 kilometers to go. 45 kilometers later a chasing group of seven riders, with Mark McNally, joined the front group. At a certain moment the chasing peloton came within 25 seconds of the leading group. But the front group kept riding and could battle for victory. After excellent teamwork of Stenuit and McNally Kenny Dehaes was able to bring home the sprint before Gerben Thijssen and Emiel Vermeulen.

Race winner, Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I know the Schets family who organizes the race here well. They said for years that I had to come and race Gooikse Pijl. Last year, I made my debut here but then I hit the ground. This year it went better.”

“I forced an early breakaway, which resulted in a front group of 15 riders which later grew to 22 men. Teammate McNally did not feel well with some stomach problems and he set a pace so that few could get away. But in the final one attack followed after another. Especially a breakaway of Aime De Gendt caused panic. Thanks to excellent work by Robin Stenuit we could still come back and he launched me ideally for the sprint. Without Robin, De Gendt would have won and not me.”

“It’s a pleasure to win here and take my son on the podium. There was a lot of people along the side I know. That feels great. I was here already on the presentation a few weeks ago. Then they announced me as the future winner, that prediction has now come true.”

Gooikse Pijl Result:
1. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 4:20:54
2. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Emiel Vereulen (Bel) Roubaix-Lille Metrople
4. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Cibel-Cebonel
5. Jan Willem Van Schip (Ned) Delta Cycling-Rotterdam
6. Kevyn Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect
7. Robert William Kessler (Ger) LKT Team Brandenburg
8. Hartthijs De Vries (Ned) SEG Racing Academy
9. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect
10. Jan Mass (Ned) SEG Racing Academy.

Gooikse Pijl podium:

Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Moves Race Dates to Aug. 6-12 on 2018 International Cycling Calendar
“America’s Toughest Stage Race” Continues Growth with Increased International Broadcast and Digital Media Reach.

The 2018 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will continue for a 14th season in 2018, holding the professional men’s cycling stage race Monday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 12. This marks the first time in four years the Tour of Utah has moved race dates to later in August, approved this week by the Union Cycliste International (UCI), global governing body of cycling.

The UCI has released its 2018 events calendar for all sanctioned road races on its five global circuits. Recognized as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the Tour of Utah will remain a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for North America. The new dates will provide a full week for WorldTeams to travel to the U.S. following the Tour de France, which takes place July 7-29, 2018.

“The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has earned prominence as a well-organized and challenging week of racing on the international cycling calendar. We seek to deliver another high-quality experience in 2018, as we work to confirm host cities and new routes for next summer to showcase our beautiful state and the best pro cycling teams in the world,” said John Kimball, who was recently named Managing Director of the Tour of Utah.

In addition to a new leadership role with the Tour of Utah, Kimball continues as the vice president of corporate sponsorships with Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. Jenn Andrs remains as the executive director of the Tour of Utah and oversees day-to-day operations of the event.

Tour organizers have been pleased with solid growth for the event since 2011, when the race was first elevated as a UCI-sanctioned event. Television viewership continues to expand with international broadcast partners providing coverage in 193 markets, and FOX Sports Network providing coverage nationally. A full week of webcasting with Tour Tracker presented by Adobe engaged 136,000 fans across 109 countries through consumption on mobile devices and the Tour’s website. The Tour of Utah is the only North American stage race that offers start-to-finish online coverage. In addition, the earned media coverage for the Tour of Utah generated $18 million in publicity value for the cycling event, as well as host communities and corporate partners.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. The Tour of Utah is a sanctioned by the UCI and is part of the USA Cycling Professional Road Tour. More information about the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (Tour of Utah).

Tour of Utah 2017 Helicopter Footage Highlights:

Lawrence Naesen Rides for Lotto Soudal in 2018 and 2019
In 2018 and 2019 Lawrence Naesen will ride in the shirt of Lotto Soudal. The 25-year-old Belgian was part of WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect this year and in June he conquered a nice third place in Ride Bruges, behind Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. Naesen won three national races this year. Lawrence is the younger brother of Belgian champion Oliver Naesen.

Lawrence Naesen: “It’s a dream for each sportsman to perform on the highest level. That dream is coming true for me and that’s wonderful. It’s going fast, because I only started cycling when I was twenty. It was my brother who instigated me to get on the bike and I immediately enjoyed it. Oliver also helped me to find my first team. My brother played an important role in the fact that I have become a cyclist. I have deliberately chosen not to ride with him in the same team though. I want to have my own pro career.”

“There are several reasons why I wanted to sign a contract with Lotto Soudal. Riding in a Belgian team is special for a Belgian rider. I also know several riders in the team and that will help me to set this new step.”

“Next season, I will be able to learn a lot in the races at the highest level. The past years I set some big steps and I want to keep on working to make progress. I can survive tough races and I’m fast at the finish. I have proven that I can play along for victory in 1.1 races and I want to show that next year too. It’s a motivation to do as good as Oliver and to even do better. For the spectators it is nice to see us battle against each other.”

Marc Sergeant, sports manager Lotto Soudal: “Lawrence hasn’t been racing that long, but he has already shown he has guts. And let that be something we missed in the first part of this season. We hope that someone like Lawrence can give a boost to the team. Of course we will give him sufficient time to grow. He has the capabilities to become a valuable WorldTour rider. He nor we know his limits, but we didn’t want to let him slip through our fingers. Of all riders that weren’t part of the World Tour the past season, he is one of the riders who has shown the most potential. I am very glad to have him in our team next year. First of all to reinforce our team in the spring, but Lawrence is capable of riding a very broad program and we’ll see where that takes us together.”

Lawrence Naesen:

Antoine Duchesne, Maple Leaf with Clover
Marc Madiot and the entire FDJ team are pleased to welcome Canadian rider Antoine Duchesne for the next two seasons. “I’m glad we can host a rider like Antoine,” confirms the manager of the FDJ team. “He’s a courageous guy who should perform well in the classics in Arnaud Démare’s group. His arrival should be the last one for this year.”

Former double Canada Road Champion (Junior and Under 23), Antoine Duchesne is a complete rider who sees himself as “pretty good everywhere but not at the top anywhere.” He is actually an excellent rider and an outstanding rider; the thousands of kilometers re has ridden in recent seasons are there to testify.

His profile also makes him a good rider in the classics, especially in Flanders. “I should join the group of classics to support Arnaud Démare” admits the Quebecer. “I can drive all day or be in a tough final, I’m here to do the big job.”

And Antoine is already looking forward to donning the tunic of the FDJ team “I was looking forward to joining the team, it was my first choice! It’s a pro-team and I’ve only heard good comments about the equipment and coaching. It is a team that has bite.”

Antoine Duchesne:

Willie Smit, first African rider to join Team KATUSHA ALPECIN
Team Katusha-Alpecin is happy to announce that it has reached an agreement for the 2018 season with South African rider Willem Jakobus Smit. In last Sunday’s elite World Championships road race in Bergen, Norway, the 24-year-old rider was the last rider to be caught after a break of more than 180 kilometers. Willie Smit is the current leader in the UCI Africa Tour. Earlier this year he won the gold medal in the African Continental Championships.

“In my life I was focused on one dream: to become a WorldTour rider. I started the season with two medals in the South African Championships (road and time trial) and a gold medal in the African Championship Road Race, too. I was very happy and I thought that it would open up an opportunity in professional cycling. But that didn’t happen. So I decided that if professional cycling doesn’t ring at my doorbell, I had to ring it myself by traveling to Europe and showing my potential. It was not easy because I have a long season and I run in two continents. But finally the dream has become real. KATUSHA ALPECIN phoned me and offered an opportunity. I don’t have any doubt. It is my dream. Now I cannot wait to start working for the team at the maximum level of cycling. And it is time to say thank you to KATUSHA ALPECIN because they bet on African riders too,” – said Willie Smit.

2017 was indeed a more than successful season; in fact it has been the best ever for Willie Smit. So far Smit has obtained 16 victories in the current season. While riding for RoadCover Cycling Team he took overall wins in the Mpumalanga Tour, the Clover Lowveld Tour and the Tour Meles Zenawi (UCI 2.2) or “Tour of Ethiopia”. For three months he raced in Spain and rode for Club Ciclista Rías Baixas. In that period he won 6 races, including overall wins in the Vuelta a Segovia and Vuelta Ciclista a León and earned 5 second places and 4 third places.

“What impressed me most, even more than his results, is his desire to reach the top. He invested a lot in his sport and paid all his travel expenses himself. I like his professional attitude. WorldTour level will be a big step, but I am confident and we will look out for and care for him. Willie can handle climbs, he is fast and he has a good time trial in his legs. I look forward to working with him,” concluded general manager José Azevedo.

Willie Smit at the Worlds’17:

Michael Gogl extends his contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2019
Trek-Segafredo is excited to announce that young Austrian rider Michael Gogl has prolonged his contract through 2019. Gogl was under contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2018, but after a successful season was eager to extend it for an extra year.

Michael Gogl: “I am really happy about my first year with the team. I found everything I could have hoped for. Trek-Segafredo is for me the right place to develop myself as a rider. The team offers me the perfect surrounding and excels by its professional way of working.”

“This year I did my first Classics campaign in the Ardennes and I was really satisfied. After my 8th place in the Amstel Gold Race I started to believe the Ardennes Classics might be my thing. So, in the years to come I will look to obtain even better results in these races and I want to work hard to be able to improve further in that direction.”

Trek-Segafredo General Manager, Luca Guercilena: “When we signed Michael last year we obviously knew that he had a lot of potential, which he has proven during the season. He not only did well in the Ardennes, but he also showed to be a loyal and hardworking teammate during the whole year. Within the team, we cherish both aspects and we are certain that in the next seasons he can develop these characteristics even more. By extending his contract now, we want to place a long-term investment in his development and want to give him the opportunity to continue to grow as a rider.”

Added Gogl: “Everybody is always speaking about the so called ‘Trek-family’. Well, I can confirm, for me it indeed feels that way. We have a really nice, familiar atmosphere inside the team. Everybody fits incredibly well together. We are all on the same line, looking in the same direction. There are no lone wolves in this team and I genuinely like that a lot. So, I didn’t have to think long before extending it with another year – on the contrary!”

Michael Gogl:

Serrano and Cuadros Move Up Through the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA Ranks
The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team has confirmed two new signings for the 2018 season with Gonzalo Serrano and Alvaro Cuadros both making the step-up from the affiliated development team.

Serrano, 23, has had a breakthrough year in the amateur ranks by winning the prestigious Spanish Cup competition, formerly won by Alejandro Valverde. He debuted as a stagiaire in the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic where he demonstrated his value to the team.

Gonzalo Serrano: “I would say 2017 was a good year for me. I put a lot of work in the last few years to get to this level. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to turn pro but it’s a goal I set myself two years ago and now Caja Rural – Seguros RGA have helped me fulfill that goal. The goal now is to try to adapt to the new category and continue learning, working for the team and developing as a rider.”

Meanwhile Alvaro Cuadros, 22, moves into the pro team after taking several victories throughout the year including the most prestigious one-day amateur race the Memorial Valenciaga whose former winners include Joaquim Rodriguez and Oscar Fraile.

Both riders will come into the team on two year contracts from the thriving development team which has amassed more than thirty victories in 2017 on the amateur circuit under the direction of DS Ruben Martinez.

Álvaro Cuadros: “Turning pro was always the goal for this year. Getting the results and also working for the team were crucial to getting where I am. I am much more mature now as a rider than a few years ago when I moved to the pro ranks. The goal now is to keep progressing and a developing as a pro rider and find out just how far I can go.”

Tomasz Marczynski Extends Contract by Three More Years
Tomasz Marczynski will stay three more years at Lotto Soudal, until the end of 2020. The now 33-year-old former Polish champion joined the team last year. In 2016 he suffered from health issues, but his contract was still extended by one year. This season Marczynski could do an excellent job for his teammates and he won two stages at La Vuelta.

Tomasz Marczynski: “The team has always kept its confidence in me, even with my health issues last year. Now they prove their belief in me again with this contract extension. I really wanted to stay in this team, because it feels like one big family. I also like to create a good atmosphere myself. During the race I always motivate everyone and when we’re in the hotel I make sure we all have a laugh. Everyone in the team appreciates that.”

“I am lucky to ride in a team where I feel so good and where I can be myself, that’s why I’m so happy to extend my contract by three years. That security takes away the stress, the next years I only have to focus on my job.”

“I am happy that I could give two Vuelta stage wins to the team this season. That way I could thank the team for the support they offered me last year. I had to rebuild my condition again from zero and I got the necessary time for it, without any pressure.”

“I love my job as a gregario, but I also like the fact that I can have a go of my own on certain occasions. I will fully commit to my tasks the next years and I will try to grab my own chances when it’s possible.”

Tomasz Marczynski:

Sunweb add Ruth Winder and Pernille Mathiesen to Women’s WorldTour Roster
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce that Ruth Winder (USA) and Pernille Mathiesen (DEN) will join their Women’s Program for the upcoming 2018 season, both having signed a one-year contract with the team.

Both talents complete Team Sunweb’s impressive women’s roster for the coming season, which over the years continues to go from strength to strength. The UK-born Winder has collected a bundle of strong results and is known for her aggressive racing style, a common trait of Team Sunweb’s women’s program. Amongst these strong results this season she finished 2nd at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, 3rd at the American national championships, won two stages at Tour de Feminine alongside both the general classification and points jersey. Most recently she finished in an impressive 2nd place in the GC at the Lotto Belgium Tour. Mathiesen is an up-and-coming talent and at just 19 years old she has already demonstrated her huge potential. This year she placed 4th in the Danish national road race championships and 2nd in the time trial. After these strong results she went on to win the double at the U23 European championships, taking the victory on both the road and in the time trial.

Winder said: “I’m really excited to join the team and race full time in Europe. This is a team full of strong riders and I’m looking forward to learning from all of my team mates. I feel like I am developing more and more as a climber and hope that this brings added value to the team. I have always admired Team Sunweb for their professional structure and the way they race. They go into a race with a clear plan and always have a good time on the bike, and at the same time achieve their goals, which is the perfect combination.”

Mathiesen said: “I joined the team’s German Talent Days twice, once as a junior and then again after I stepped up to elite level, so feel like I already have a good idea of how they work and about the atmosphere in the team. I have always considered Team Sunweb as the dream team, the team that I would absolutely love to ride for so that it’s actually happening is amazing for me. There are so many strong riders that I can learn a lot from and the professional environment is perfect for me to develop into a better rider.”

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said of Winder joining: “Since the beginning of the season we have followed races from across the ocean and Ruth’s name was one that was always present. We saw her race for the first time at the Tour of California and immediately knew that she would be a rider that would fit into our team. She rides aggressively, likes to attack, has a big engine and is a complete all-round talent. Her focus and ambition are very clear and we’re confident that she is a rider that will easily adapt to racing in the European peloton. We will work together to develop her capabilities as a world class rider, with a focus on the classics season where she will be one of our final riders with the designated team leader.”

Speaking of Mathiesen joining, Timmermans added: “We have known Pernille for a few years now after she has attended our German Talent Days on two occasions. After her dominant performance at the Euros we knew that she was ready to make the step into our team. Together we have already identified her strengths and weaknesses, and we have already seen some improvements with these points over the past few months which demonstrates her ability to work to our approach. At just 19 years old we see that she shares similar qualities to Ellen [van Dijk] and in this environment we envisage her continuing in the same successful path as Ellen has done throughout her career. Her strength in time trials is evident and she will play a key role in our spring classics campaign, as well as being a real asset to our lead-out throughout the year.”

BORA – hansgrohe Closes 2018 Roster with the Signing of Felix Großschartner
The Austrian climber will be the last signing of the German WorldTeam and joins BORA – hansgrohe for two years. Therefore, the team’s 2018 roster includes 27 riders from 10 different countries.

“We always have an eye on the German speaking countries. I am happy that we managed to sign Felix now for 2018. With the stage win of Lukas Pöstlberger in the Giro and the wins of Gregor Mühlberger at the Austrian Nationals and Rund um Köln, our Austrians took important victories for the team this season. I hope Felix can also get to that level in the next years.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager

“I am really proud to become part of one of the best WorldTeams. It will be a step-up for me I’ll have to adapt to. Also the big names in the team, like Peter Sagan, are for sure something new to me. But with Gregor, Lukas and Patrick I already rode in Austria together, they are friends and will help me to feel familiar with the team soon. I also want to thank my old team CCC, they gave me the opportunity to compete in big races and this was a key step for my career.”Felix Großschartner.

“With his potential, Felix will be a strong helper in the mountains. I think with our highly professional structures, the coaches, but also with the advice from big guys like Peter Sagan or Rafal Majka, BORA – hansgrohe will enable Felix to take a next step in his development. If he can adapt to these new challenges, he will also get his chance in some of the races.”Christian Pömer, Sports Director.

BORA – hansgrohe 2018:
Pascal Ackermann (Ger), Erik Baska (Svk), Cesare Benedetti (Ita), Sam Bennett (Irl), Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Emanuel Buchmann (Ger), Marcus Burghardt (Ger), Davide Formolo (Ita), Felix Großschartner (Aut), Peter Kennaugh (Gbr), Michael Kolar (Svk), Patrick Konrad (Aut), Leopold König (Cze), Rafal Majka (Pol), Jay McCarthy (Aus), Gregor Mühlberger (Aut), Daniel Oss (Ita), Matteo Pelucchi (Ita), Christoph Pfingsten (Ger), Pawel Poljanksi (Pol), Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut), Juraj Sagan (Svk), Peter Sagan (Svk), Alex Saramotins (Lat), Andreas Schillinger (Ger), Michael Schwarzmann (Ger), Rüdiger Selig (Ger).

Left to right: Christian Pömer (DS), Patrick Konrad, Felix Großschartner, Gregor Mühlberger, Lukas Pöstlberger:

Novo Nordisk Extends Commitment to World’s First All-Diabetes Professional Cycling Team Through 2019
Global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, renewed its partnership with Team Novo Nordisk for an additional two years, extending the company’s commitment to the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team to a total of seven years.

In December 2012, Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk partnered with the professional cycling team Team Type 1 to create Team Novo Nordisk based on the shared goals to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes.

“We are thankful to Novo Nordisk for this ongoing opportunity and look forward to the future. Since our initial meetings with Novo Nordisk, we’ve approached this project with a long-term mindset because we must identify and develop athletes with type 1 diabetes to their fullest,” said Phil Southerland, co-founder & CEO of Team Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Mike Rulis said that Team Novo Nordisk is part of the Changing Diabetes initiative, Novo Nordisk’s global commitment to improve conditions for the 415 million people living with diabetes today and those at risk of developing diabetes.

With a title sponsorship secured through 2019, Southerland emphasized that growing and developing the team beyond the 2017 season has always been a clear objective.

“Securing sponsors in professional cycling is a challenge for every team. We feel fortunate and honored to have Novo Nordisk as a partner and appreciate its continued commitment to this world-class team of athletes,” said Southerland. “Every day, we provide the diabetes community with heroes to look up to and show the 1.2 billion people around the world directly affected by diabetes what may be possible.”

Racing on the International Cycling Union (UCI) Professional Continental Tour, the team aims to increase awareness of diabetes with the world’s dedicated cycling fans while also bringing a new audience to cycling through the extensive diabetes community.

“Team Novo Nordisk will continue utilizing professional cycling as a platform to share its experiences and life stories to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes,” said Southerland. “Personally, my dream and goal is for this project to make it to the Tour de France where we will be able to reach an enormous audience and inspire them to live the healthiest life possible.”

Sabatini Calls it a Season
A hand injury will keep the Italian out from the last events of the year.

Fabio Sabatini will not race anymore this season, after picking up an injury while out training. The 32-year-old hit the mirror of a stationary bike, an incident which unfortunately resulted in a fracture on the metacarpal head 5 of his right hand. Fabio, who this year was again instrumental in many of the victories collected by Quick-Step Floors, will have to observe a resting period of up to four weeks before returning to training.

“I’m sad, because this is not the way I wanted to end my season and I was still motivated to help the team in the few races left this year, but I have to take things as they are. On the plus side, there’s no need of surgery, which means I’ll be fully recovered by December, when we will kick off our training camp”, said Sabatini, whose last outing in the Quick-Step Floors jersey was at the Primus Classic.

Fabio Sabatini:
Cycling: 99th Tour of Italy 2016 / Stage 14 Fabio SABATINI (ITA)/ Alpago (Farra) - Corvara (Alta Badia) 1528m (210km)/ Giro / © Tim De Waele

Sunweb Announce Cyclo-Cross Race Program
With the cyclo-cross season looming and the U23 World Champion in their ranks, Team Sunweb previews Joris Nieuwenhuis’ (NED) race program for the 2017-2018 season.

The 21-year-old Dutchman, a rider of the team’s Development Program, recently extended his contract with Team Sunweb for three more years, making the step up to the WorldTour in 2019. Team Sunweb takes up the challenge of developing Nieuwenhuis in both cyclo-cross and road racing disciplines, and will therefore have a balanced race program to suit both. In 2018, the U23 World Champion will race at both U23 and elite levels.

Speaking about the upcoming cyclo-cross season, Nieuwenhuis said: “For this year I have two goals, the first is racing in the elite category, which will be a new experience for me. I hope to learn a lot from the more experienced guys, the style of racing and by the end of the season to have made significant progress. The second of which is pretty clear; the U23 world championships where I will try to defend my jersey. With the other U23 races I hope I can take some more nice results and continue the momentum from last year.”

Team Sunweb coach Herman Snoeijink (NED) said: “This season our main focus is to connect to the elite level of racing. We have chosen a combination of elite and U23 races so that we can combine development with results. Joris will challenge the championships and World Cup races at U23 level and we will aim for podium results. In the Superprestige series Joris will race in the elite category to focus on closing the gap and developing his skills whilst racing at a higher level. Our goals for the season are the Superprestige series, as well as the national and world championships, and we have planned an intricate plan containing both training and racing periods to ensure that he is in top shape to chase our goals.”

1st: Superprestige Gieten
15th: Superprestige Zonhoven
21st: Superprestige Boom
22nd: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Koksijde
29th: Superprestige Ruddervoorde

12th: Superprestige Gavere
19th: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Bogense
25th: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Zeven

17th: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Namur
26th: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Zolder
30th: Superprestige Diegem

13th-14th: Dutch National Cyclo-cross championships
21st: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Nommay
29th: UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Hoogerheide

3rd: World Cyclo-cross championships Valkenburg
11th: Superprestige Hoogstraten
17th: Superprestige Middelkerke.

First official appearance of the triple UCI World Champion Peter Sagan in Lienz
Two days after his historic third consecutive UCI World Championships title, Peter Sagan met the press for the first time in Lienz/Osttirol. Also the new “Alban Lakata Mountainbike-Trail” was presented.

“It wasn’t easy! The last 5km, I said to myself it was already done – it’s gone. Then it changed in the front, then I tried to go in the breakaway, and then Gaviria tried to close the gap after which we managed to get it all back together for a sprint. It’s unbelievable. I’m sorry for Kristoff – he’s racing at home after all – but I’m very happy to win again. Three UCI World Championships – it’s special for sure. It doesn’t change anything, but it’s really special. It’s hard to say before a race what will happen. You saw in the climb we were already splitting into two or three pieces. We were being caught from behind and then there was a break in the front, but I was lucky to come into the finish where I did – you can’t predict it – if somebody is stronger in the front, they can easily take the win.”

Congratulation to this new mountain bike-trail. I still ride a lot mountain bike in training. And I have to say that this new Alban Lakata Trail is very spectacular and very fun to ride. Its accessible to any kind of mountain bike enthusiast because there are different levels in difficulty to ride. The first ride with Alban was really fun. Every single cycling project is important to get kids into cycling and I think it doesn’t matter if they start on road, track or mountain bike, we just need to get them into our sport. With my Peter Sagan Academy, I also support young talents in Slovakia.”

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