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Cervinia - Italië - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Christopher Froome (GBR - Team Sky) pictured during the 101st Giro d’Italia 2018 - stage 20 from Susa to Cervinia (214 KM) - photo DB/LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

We might be in the between Giro/Tour lull, but cycling never sleeps and we have a full EUROTRASH Thursday. Hinault does not approve of Froome – Top Story. We look back at Hammer Stavanger and forward to Hammer Limburg, Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Beauce, Global Relay Canadian Masters Road Championships, ride the Krone Ride to Höll at the 2018 Worlds, Bigla extends sponsorship and we sum up the Giro d’Italia with the organizers, UAE Team Emirates and Elia Viviani. Get the coffee.

TOP STORY: No Tour de France for Chris Froome?
There is a strong possibility that Giro d’Italia winner, Chris Froome, will not be lining up in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île on the 7th of July for stage 1 of the 2018 Tour de France. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport ASO are seriously looking into stopping the Kenyan born multi champion from competing in the Grand Tour. The Italian sports paper has stated that ASO are worried that Froome’s salbutamol case will not be concluded before the Tour and that if the verdict goes against the Sky rider, then the Tour’s reputation will be damaged, yet again. All Tour riders/teams have to sign a contract that stated if they bring the Tour into any disrepute they must leave the race, although in this case Froome is not to start. Apart from ASO not inviting the Astana team in 2008, the Tour organizers have never managed to stop riders from starting, even going to the French courts and losing.

Tour race director Christian Prudhomme has been asking for the case to be wound up before his race starts, so there are no riders there that shouldn’t be. As we know, UCI President David Lappartient has said that he doesn’t think the case will be concluded before the Tour de France, so trouble is on the horizon.

Then Bernard Hinault spoke out to Het Laatste Nieuws that Chris Froome does not belong on the list of three consecutive Grand Tour winners, saying: “Froome does not belong on that list, he returned a positive test at the Vuelta, so he has used doping. He should never have been allowed to start in the Giro.” Johan Bruyneel countered on his Facebook page: “My old Bernard!! My greatest respect for what you did as a champion, you were and you remain the huge idol you were in my childhood. But wouldn’t it be wiser to shut your big mouth? Mr. Short memory….” Possibly Bruyneel is refering to Hinault’s refusal to submit to a doping control at the 1982 Critérium de Callac, the Frenchman was fined and given a one-month conditional suspension.

Maybe not the best of friends – Froome and Hinault:

Mitchelton-SCOTT seal first round of the Hammer Series with dramatic final day chase in Stavanger
The final day of Hammer Stavanger was full of excitement, as Mitchelton-SCOTT powered their way to victory in the thrilling Hammer Chase.

The Australian team won Friday’s Hammer Climb, Saturday’s Hammer Sprint and powered to victory in a time of 53’47” in Sunday’s Hammer Chase, the team punching the air in delight as they crossed the finish line, and they lead the Hammer Series ahead of Hammer Limburg next week.

BMC Racing Team chased Team Sunweb all the way to the line, but Team Sunweb just held them off, finishing 2’19” behind the winners. BMC Racing Team were 2’22” down.

Mitchelton-SCOTT’s team of Roger Kluge, Damian Howson, Daryl Impey, Lucas Hamilton and Cameron Meyer flew around the first lap; they stretched their initial lead from 30″ to 1’26”.

Team Sky suffered a crash on the first lap – Owain Doull, Gianni Moscon and Kristoffer Halvorsen all came down at high speed as they negotiated a left-hand bend and the Norwegian Halvorsen was unfortunately forced to retire.

After two laps, with one 16.2km lap remaining, Mitchelton-SCOTT’s advantage had swelled further to 1’59” as their sheer speed and teamwork again left their rivals with no answer. Meyer was averaging a huge 340W average power and an equally impressive 55.8km/h.

BMC Racing Team were constantly chasing Team Sunweb in second but Mitchelton-SCOTT’s dominance at the front was such that the overall result looked beyond doubt.

Right to the finish line, after 48.6km of racing, Mitchelton-SCOTT continued to extend their advantage and they sealed a magnificent overall win, taking the lead in the 2018 Hammer Series ahead of Hammer Limburg – 2’19” ahead of second-placed Team Sunweb.

Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Cameron Meyer said: “Yeah that was awesome, that was one of the best rides I’ve been involved with over 50km. We wanted to finish with a bang”.

Daryl Impey said: “I think you saw today everyone did their role, everyone gave it 100 per cent … no-one was hiding today, they were laying it down. We’re tired but the morale is really good”.

Roger Kluge added: “Everyone did a good time trial today, it was perfect, the changeovers … it was just a perfect day for everybody”.

Every second and every placing counts in Hammer Series, with points being carried over to Hammer Limburg, which begins next Friday. Those combined points will give a results table which teams will take to Hammer Hong Kong in October. The team with most points at the end of Hammer Hong Kong will be crowned the Hammer Series Winners 2018.

· Mitchelton-SCOTT produced yet another world-class performance to triumph in the Hammer Chase at Hammer Stavanger and achieve a clean sweep of victories.
· Team Sunweb and BMC Racing round off the podium, as Team Sky crash out
· The Hammer Series now moves onto Limburg, the Netherlands from 1st-3rd June

For full results, please head to https://www.hammerseries.com/en/news/hammer-series-2018-leader-board-and-results​

BMC Racing Team Announces Hammer Limburg Roster
The second Hammer Series race of the year is set to take place this weekend (1 – 3 June) with BMC Racing Team heading to the start line with a well-rounded six-rider roster including Greg Van Avermaet.

Sports Director Klaas Lodewyck will be behind the wheel of the team car for BMC Racing Team in Limburg, the Netherlands.

“I think we have a really strong team for Hammer Limburg especially with Greg Van Avermaet and Simon Gerrans for the Hammer Sprint. However, I think everyone should cope well both on this day and on the Hammer Climb. All our riders can handle this and can go full gas on a kermesse style race. Then, for the team time trial, we want to line up in the final group and try to take the opportunity to do as well as possible,” Lodewyck explained.

Greg Van Avermaet will make his Hammer Series debut at Hammer Limburg.

“I am looking forward to experiencing the Hammer Series race format for the first time. From what I’ve seen, it is going to be an intense three days of racing but hopefully a lot of fun as well. It’s a different dynamic going into a race where the aim is to score points as a team and overall, I think we have a good mix of riders lining up so we will be aiming to make the most out of it,” Van Avermaet said.

BMC Racing Team currently sits third on the Hammer Series leaderboard after solid performances across all three days in Norway at Hammer Stavanger.

Hammer Limburg (1 – 3 June)
Rider Roster:

Simon Gerrans (AUS), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), Miles Scotson (AUS), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Loïc Vliegen (BEL).
Sports Directors: Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Marco Pinotti (ITA).

Greg Van Avermaet:
Leeds - Great Brittain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) pictured during the Tour de Yorkshire (2.1) stage 4 from Halifax to Leeds (189.5 KM) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2018

Once again it’s time for Hammer Series
BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is looking forward to a slightly different challenge in the middle of the racing season – The Hammer Limburg. A three-day event will be held from 1st to 3rd June in Limburg, Netherlands and the team is excited to face the unique experience, held for the second time in the history of cycling races.

This year’s event is, like last year’s, made up of three races in three days: the Hammer Climb on 1st June, the Hammers Sprint on 2nd June and the Hammer Chase on 3rd June.

Beside the concept itself, also number of riders in the team is different from for all other races. Five riders for each team of six or seven are selected for every day’s challenge.

Sports director of Team Bahrain Merida, Rik Verbrugghe commented the coming race: “It’s a nice game for the riders and we will do our maximum to win one of the 3 stages and have fun with this kind of race. The race is important for some of our riders that come from the altitude training camp to get some rhythm before the Tour de Suisse.”

BAHRAIN MERIDA lineup for this year’s Hammer challenge is following:
Borut Božič, Sonny Colbrelli, Kristijan Koren, Mark Padun, David Per and Meiyin Wang. The riders are excited and ready to test their limits and the whole team of BAHRAIN MERIDA is looking forward to this one-of-a-kind summer challenge.

Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini: One Week Later the Hammer Stavanger, Time to Race The Hammer Limburg
Just finished the Hammer Series of Stavanger in Norway, where the Italian-Japanese team closed with a great 7th place. The NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini is preparing the race of Limburg, that will be the second race of the year with the new Velon & Infront format, to assign the title of “Best Team of the world”.

One year ago in Limburg the first edition of the Hammer Series, the brand new format launched by Velon & Infront Media to assign the title of “Best Team of the World” will be as usual composed of 3 days of racing, the first one for climbers, the second one for sprinters and the third one dedicated to a team time trial chase. In 2018 the first event of the Hammer Series already took place in Norway last week, and it is now time to ride the second one in Limburg, where NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team will try again to be the best Professional team in race as in 2017 and as in the first race of 2018. From the 1st to the third of June it is yet time to race. The final event of the 2018 Hammer Series will be in Hong Kong, next Autumn.

The Line-Up:
The #OrangeBlue line-up that made a great race in Stavanger, reaching a very good 7th place, has been almost totally confirmed, to try to confirm this very good result. To lead the team in the sprints will be again Eduard Grosu, well supported by the experience of Alan Marangoni. The leader for the Hammer Climb, after a wonderful race in Norway will be again Nicola Bagioli that in Stavanger reached lots of points for the team demonstrating his ability to be inside the right actions of the day. With him another young Italian talent as Filippo Zaccanti, that in Stavanger has been many times in the top of the race even if he didn’t reached the “point zone”. After his first hammer experience in Stavanger in Limburg he can give his important contribute to the team. New energies will come from the fifth rider of the team, the young Imerio Cima who will try to be a protagonist especially in the Hammer Sprint, the day dedicated to sprinters, and on the final day of the Hammer Chase.

The Declaration:
To coordinate the tactics from the team car, the Sports Director Mario Manzoni: “It is a very full period for us, with 3 different and important races at the same time. Tour de Korea in Asia, GP of Lugano this Sunday and the Hammer Series. Unluckly we had also some important injuries, as the one of Lobato that was supposed to be one of our leaders for the Hammer Series. The Hammer Series are a format very different from standard races, for this reason in Limburg we will ride with the same line-up of Stavanger that already understood very well the format. Leader for the sprints will be Grosu and Marangoni, for the climb day Bagioli an Zaccanti, with the new name of Imerio Cima good support especially in the Hammer Sprint.”

The Race:
From 1st to 3rd of June the central point of the event will be located in Hammer Sportzone, with collateral events, fan village, and kids games together with Pro riders. About the competitive part of the event, the first day is dedicated to climbers, the second one for sprinters and as usual the final one for time trial. 16 teams will be in race, 12 World Tour teams and 4 Professionals, with NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini as only team representing Italy in the new format.
As usual to follow the whole event will be super-easy with the Facebook Live streamed by the official Hammer Series page, together with the team pages.

Preview Hammer Limburg with DS Mario Aerts
Not even a week after Stavanger the second race of the Hammer Series 2018 is already scheduled. From Friday 1 June until Sunday 3 June sixteen teams will battle against each other in Dutch Limburg, where the inaugural Hammer Series took place exactly one year ago.

The Hammer Series are three days full of spectacle! On Friday the Hammer Climb is scheduled, one day later it’s time for the Hammer Sprint and it all ends with the Hammer Chase on Sunday.

Before he tells something more about the line-up and ambition for Hammer Limburg, sports director Mario Aerts looks back on Hammer Stavanger. Lotto Soudal finished the first race of the Hammer Series 2018 on the ninth place.

Mario Aerts: “The team eventually finished seventh at Hammer Climb after we didn’t take much points in the beginning. A strong Bjorg Lambrecht collected most of our points afterwards. During the Hammer Sprint on Saturday we unfortunately missed the decisive moves. We lost two places in the overall ranking, which made we couldn’t finish in the first half of the ranking anymore. Trek was stronger than us in the chase, but we did catch UAE, so we held on to the ninth place.

Six Lotto Soudal riders will head to Limburg tomorrow, each day five of them will race. Lawrence Naesen would have also been part of the line-up, but he is ill and therefore there will be no seventh rider in the line-up. Last year Lotto Soudal finished fourth in Hammer Limburg. Tim Wellens and Moreno Hofland will be taking part for the second time.”

Mario Aerts: “The first goal is to be able to start the Hammer Chase in group A. The main contenders for the overall victory are BMC, Mitchelton – Scott, Sky and Quick-Step. To get a place in group A for the chase, we’ll need to collect enough points in the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint. Bjorg Lambrecht and Tim Wellens are most likely to conquer points for us in the Hammer Climb. The next day Moreno Hofland and Enzo Wouters are our assets. Moreno already participated last year and he also rode in Stavanger, where Enzo Wouters made his Hammer Series début. Maxime Monfort played an important role in Norway, as he grabbed points in both the Hammer Climb and Hammer Sprint. And he was the engine in the team time trial. We’ll also be able to rely on him in Limburg. Rémy Mertz was surprised by the explosive way of racing in Stavanger, but he rode a strong time trial. He might be able to take some points on the second day and he can certainly close a gap when it’s necessary.”

“It will again be three hard days, because it’s always about two hours of full gas racing. The riders suffer during the Hammer Series, but I noticed last week that they all love it. It’s another way of racing and very attractive. Last year the chaos during the Hammer Chase was an issue, but in Stavanger the teams were warned with flags when they came to close. There’s a constant evaluation and evolution of the concept.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal:
Moreno Hofland, Bjorg Lambrecht, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Tim Wellens and Enzo Wouters.

Tim Wellens:

Hammer Limburg
Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts (AUS): “On Friday we return to Sportzone Limburg where the inaugural Hammer race was in 2017, this will be the second round of the 2018 Hammer Series after the team put in a great to effort to finish 2nd at the opening event in Norway. For the Hammer Climb we line up with Tom and Sam, who just finished 2nd and 9th respectively in the Giro. Louis also comes from the Giro and is joined by the two young Australians Michael and Jai. For the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase we will replace the climbers Tom and Sam with two fast men in Max and Edward. Max is showing great form of late with a victory in Yorkshire and getting very close again in California. Both Edward and Michael were part of the successful team in Hammer Stavanger and can bring that experience with them.”

Hammer Limburg (UCI 2.1)

Tom Dumoulin (NED) (01/06), Jai Hindley (AUS) Sam Oomen (NED) (01/06), Michael Storer (AUS), Edward Theuns (BEL), Louis Vervaeke (BEL), Max Walscheid (GER).
Coach: Luke Roberts (AUS).

Tom Dumoulin:

Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Hammer Limburg
Philippe Gilbert will make his first appearance in more than five weeks at the three-day event
31-May-2018: The dust has settled on the inaugural Hammer Stavanger, but the exciting series continues with the second edition of Hammer Limburg, which takes place in one of the most popular regions in the cycling world, host of several World Championships editions in the past decades, most recently in 2012, when Philippe Gilbert soloed to victory.

Last Belgian rider to don the iconic rainbow jersey, the 35-year-old will be part of a strong Quick-Step Floors roster that also includes neo-pros Kasper Asgreen, Alvaro Hodeg and Jhonatan Narvaez, as well as Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli and Enric Mas.

The Hammer Climb will kick off the party in the Netherlands with a race taking place over 11 laps of 7 kilometers, each lap containing two climbs – 900 meters, 4.2% and 2000 meters, 5.3%. Points will be up for grabs at the end of every lap, with double points awarded on laps 3, 7 and 11. Just 24 hours later, the Hammer Sprint will put on the table a flat 11.4km circuit which will be covered eight times, and it will be at the end of this race that we’ll know the starting order of the teams on the final day, the Hammer Chase, a 49.6km TTT.

Sports director Tom Steels, who will lead the squad from behind the wheel, made a preview of what’s in store this weekend: “Hammer Stavanger confirmed what we saw last year, that in these events you need to be awake and focused at all times as it is full gas from the beginning to the end and losing too many points will cost you seconds you can never earn back. The points system is more important than winning the two first days. The team with the most points starts first in the team chase on Sunday, which is quite a spectacular race. As we saw at the last event, if you lose too many points and hence start far back on Sunday’s race, you will never be able to compete for the overall win.”

“We will take the experiences we gained in Norway onto the Hammer Limburg with hopes of being there in the final. It won’t be an easy task with so many big names at the start, but we will give our best. Hopefully we will see even greater crowds than in Stavanger, who’ll come to celebrate a fantastic weekend of road racing”, Steels concluded.

01.06–03.06 Hammer Limburg (NED) 2.1

Kasper Asgreen (DEN), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Enric Mas (ESP), Jhonnatan Narvaez (ECU).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL).

UAE Team Emirates for the Hammer Limburg
The second event of the 2018 Hammer Series, this June 1 to 3. The Velon race, following the one last weekend in Norway, will take place in Limburg, The Netherlands.

The UAE Team Emirates will travel to Limburg for the three-day event, with points awarded to the teams based on the riders’ results. It begins with the Hammer Climb for climbers, 77km, continues with an event for the sprinters, the Hammer Sprint of 99.2 kilometres and the final Hammer Chase, a team pursuit over 49.6 kilometres.

“The particular race requires us to be active in every single moment and take as many points as possible every day so we can build points for the team,” explains Bruno Vicino, the team’s Sports Director for Limburg. “We are going to try to do well, focusing on Niemiec in the climb, Ferrari in the sprint and having Troia pushing the group in the team pursuit that ends the event.”

UAE Team Emirates roster:
Bono Matteo (Italy), Ferrari Roberto (Italy), Laengen Vegard Stake (Norway), Niemiec Przemyslaw (Poland), Troia Oliviero (Italy).
Sports Director: Bruno Vicino (Italy).

Tom Pidcock Wins at Wembley as Madison Genesis Take OVO Energy Tour Series Fight to Final Round
Tom Pidcock led the way at Wembley for Team WIGGINS in his British Circuit Race Champions jersey to take the race victory, but it was Madison Genesis behind who closed the gap at the top of the OVO Energy Tour Series standings to a single point behind Canyon Eisberg, as the unique team-based Series heads to Salisbury for the final round on Thursday (31 May).

The WIGGINS rider headed home Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) despite a final corner scare that saw the pair almost crash, with Pidcock commenting afterwards that “I unclipped coming around the final corner so I was on the back foot. Luckily Connor was going at the same speed, so I put my feet back in and just got him over the line.”

Behind, Emils Liepins led home the main group for third spot for ONE Pro Cycling, as his team finished runners-up on the night at Wembley Park. Third spot in the team competition on the night saw Canyon Eisberg remain in the OVO Energy green jerseys, but now with just a one-point advantage over Madison Genesis, while defending champions JLT Condor slipped back to third, six points behind and now unlikely to take a third successive title.

“We had a pretty robust conversation with the boys yesterday, laid it on the line and said look ‘it’s do or die’, we go into tonight to just dominate and just ride as hard as we can and as clever as we can,” said Madison Genesis manager Colin Sturgess afterwards. “And the guys did it. You can’t ask for more.”

“We had a plan and we knew what we wanted to do. You can’t ask for more when a plan comes to fruition. Canyon had a bit of misfortune with Hank [James Lowsley-Williams] having a couple of bike changes, but that’s bike racing. It happens, and it happened to us when we had a shocker of a round yesterday – things just didn’t go right for us. It’s going to be a very, very exciting final in Salisbury.”

In the women’s race, Team Breeze saw their advantage trimmed to just three points over NJC-Biemme–Echelon, with Storey Racing a further point behind. Team OnForm though were the top performers, winning the team prize on the night for the first time thanks to Anna Henderson and Charmaine Porter finishing second and third in the race.

Storey’s Ejay Harris took the race win on the night, repeating her 2017 victory in similarly wet conditions at Croydon on the roads of Wembley Park.

“It was certainly very technical today and it’s really tempting to push the pace on those corners but they’re so slippy that it’s not worth it,” said the Storey Racing rider afterwards.

“I paced myself well and it was quite fortunate the way the course is designed that you could have a look behind on your own gap – so I was happy with the way I rode.

“I wouldn’t say I like them [wet weather conditions] more than the sun, I just seem to like them a bit more than others so they work to my advantage.”

Despite being one of a number of riders to tumble in the slippy conditions, Nikki Juniper finished fourth and now holds an unassailable lead in the Eisberg Points jersey standings. JLT Condor’s Matt Gibson still leads the men’s Eisberg Points standings, despite missing the evening following a crash on Monday night in Stevenage, after his nearest rival Robert Scott (WIGGINS) failed to pick up any points at Wembley Park.

For full results from the men and women’s races, please click here.

Highlights of the Wembley Park event of the OVO Energy Tour Series are on ITV4 at 23:00 on Thursday 31 May with a repeat the following morning (Friday 1 June) at 07:30. All the 2018 highlights are also available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service.

Action resumes with the Grand Final of the OVO Energy Tour Series on Thursday 31 May at Salisbury in Wiltshire. For more details please visit www.tourseries.co.uk.

2018 Critérium du Dauphiné Vincenzo Nibali: “The Dauphiné Will be Hard to Win”

Key points:
Since his first Critérium du Dauphiné in 2006, Vincenzo Nibali has returned to the French race every year that he hasn’t competed in the Tour of Italy, and placed 7th in 2014, which was also the year he won the Tour de France. He briefly took the overall lead following a legendary stage that finished at Villard-de-Lans in 2015 before ceding the leader’s jersey to Tejay van Garderen the next day. The Italian superstar has never won a stage in five appearances.
Ø In early May, he and his Bahrain-Merida team mates began specific training for the team time trial between Pont-de-Vaux and Louhans on June 6. However, it will most likely be in the mountains that he could find himself in a first duel with Romain Bardet. Before leaving the Canary Islands at the end of a fortnight of high-altitude training on the Teide volcano, he briefly answered a few questions.

Vincenzo Nibali, what did you do during the month of May?
“I have spent the last two weeks at the Teide volcano to lay the groundwork of my mountain training for the Tour de France. I am heading to Italy before returning, with pleasure, to the Dauphiné.”

Why have you chosen to return to the Dauphiné after a two-year absence to go to the Giro (winner in 2016, 2nd in 2017)?
“I am convinced that the Dauphiné is the race best suited to gradually get ready for the Tour de France, which I have made my main objective this year. I especially remember that it is always a difficult race with a lot of mountains and very good riders.”

Are you coming to win it this time?
“I am coming to ride a good race, but to win it will be very hard. I would like to get a good result on a few of the stages, but my main objective is to prepare for the Tour.”

What importance do you attach to the reconnaissance of the Rosière stage, in anticipation of the Tour?
“It is very important. In today’s cycling, we don’t overlook anything when preparing for a race as prestigious as the Tour de France. In April, I rode the Roubaix stage. To see it and know it provides a certain advantage.”

Critérium du Dauphine
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED): “We line up at the Dauphiné on the hunt for stage results with our German sprinter Phil Bauhaus. It’s a tough course with the race getting harder as it goes on, for the sprints we bring a strong lead out team with the experience of Johannes and Roy to help the younger guys on the road. Both Lennard and Roy are fresh out of playing a successful role in the team’s Giro d’Italia success and the rest of the team are just back from California so all are motivated to continue the good form into the Dauphiné.”

Critérium du Dauphiné (WT)

Phil Bauhaus (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Mike Teunissen (NED), Martijn Tusveld (NED).
Coach: Aike Visbeek (NED).

Phil Bauhaus:
Macon - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Phil BAUHAUS (Germany / Team Sunweb) - Alexander KRISTOFF (Norway / Team Katusha - Alpecin) - Arnaud DEMARE (France / Team FDJ) pictured during stage - 5 of the 69th Criterium du Dauphine - from La Tour-de-Salvagny to Macon, 175.50 km - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

AG2R-La Mondiale for the Dauphiné
During the training camp in Sierra Nevada (Spain), which took place from May 9th to May 27th, Romain Bardet was joined by Axel Domont, Pierre Latour and Alexis Vuillermoz. Our riders rode a total of 1,450 km in 12 training sessions. This represents 47 hours in the saddle, and 32,000 meters of elevation gain.

Romain Bardet: “After taking a good break, I headed to Sierra Nevada to take part in my usual altitude training camp, which I finished on May 27th. And just like every year, it was a great time of hard work, and sharing some good moments with the riders and staff who were there. And we put in some quality riding. It’s an important moment in the year, and not only from a physical point of view, as I approach the Dauphiné with a lot of motivation. It’s a fantastic race, and acts as much more than just a launching pad for the Tour. Doing well there is definite validation of the level of a rider and
his team. The 2018 route is very selective, with important moments such as the team time trial stage, and the final days that will be nervous and very demanding. I am anxious to get back to racing.”

BMC Racing Team with Multiple Options at Critérium du Dauphiné
BMC Racing Team is heading to the start line in France this Sunday for the opening day of racing at Critérium du Dauphiné (3 – 10 June) and will be lining up with a competitive roster.

BMC Racing Team is going into the eight-day UCI WorldTour race with multiple cards to play, Sports Director Maximilian Sciandri said.

“I think we have three riders, Damiano Caruso, Brent Bookwalter and Dylan Teuns, who can potentially go for the General Classification. Damiano has proved already this year at Tirreno-Adriatico that he can ride for the General Classification, but we will see what happens when we get there as I don’t necessarily want to push him too much looking ahead to July.”

“Brent is coming out of a good ride in California, and I think he is a good option and also Dylan. We won overall at a few races last year together so we will definitely be looking at our plan as the race develops. There is also a team time trial to think about, and this is an important stage for us, as always. When we go into a TTT, we pretty much always deliver a good result so, we will try to do the same on stage 3,” Sciandri explained.

Damiano Caruso has two main objectives going into the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“First of all, the Critérium du Dauphiné is an important test before the Tour de France and I want to try to find the best shape possible here. You always want to be at the top of your condition in July and this race can tell you if you have more work to do or if you’re already in good shape.”

“I also want to try and get a good result for the team and my approach to the race will be the same as always. I will take it day by day and see where we are at when we reach the team time trial. From there, I can either try to fight for the General Classification or if I am out of that completely, I want to try to go for a stage win perhaps,” Caruso said.

Brent Bookwalter and Dylan Teuns are also looking to test themselves in France.

“This race is always demanding and I think this year it is split into two parts. The first four days with the prologue, a couple of medium mountain stages and the team time trial and then the last four days which look set to be pretty exciting. We have a mixed team and I think we can all show up and try to do the best prologue that we can before our next collective team goal which will be the TTT,” Bookwalter explained.

“After a hard first part of the year, I had a short break before starting again at Hammer Stavanger. It was a short and intense race and provided me with a good warm up to the Critérium du Dauphiné. We will see how it goes day by day, but if my form is good, I am going to give it everything to try to make a nice result,” Teuns added.

Critérium du Dauphiné (3 – 10 June)
Rider Roster:

Patrick Bevin (NZL), Tom Bohli (SUI), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Maximilian Sciandri (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA).

Brent Bookwalter:
Cocentaina - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Brent BOOKWALTER (USA / BMC Racing Team) pictured during stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana from Orihuela to Cocentaina (181KM) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2018

Dauphiné ‘Invaluable’ for Martin as Irishman Gears Up for Tour de France
UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin will be hoping to build upon his 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné success, as the Irishman gears up for the 2018 edition of the race (4-10 June). Martin, who secured a third place finish in last year’s race, will be joined by team mates: Sven Erik Bystrøm, Valerio Conti, Rory Sutherland, Simone Petilli, Manuele Mori and Edward Ravasi, and aims to use the Dauphiné to assess his form ahead of the 2018 Tour de France.

Commenting ahead of the race, Dan Martin said: “The Critérium du Dauphiné is always a nice test before the Tour de France, but with the gap a week longer this year I have lower expectations of my condition than other years. Training has gone perfectly since my break after Tour de Romandie though and I feel in good condition, but racing is always different to training. The most important aim for the next week is to get the racing legs back, to race aggressively and with freedom to finish the Critérium du Dauphiné knowing where I am at on the long road to Paris. The Dauphiné is just like a mini Tour de France, but the team time trial is a stage you cannot train at home for, but racing the same roads as Stage 11 of the Tour de France will be invaluable.”

The Critérium du Dauphiné is usually the indicator of form going into the Tour de France, with the race dubbed a ‘mini-tour’ given its variety of challenges across seven days of racing. After a 6.6km Individual Time Trial Prologue, riders will face a tough opening day in the saddle, with seven categorized climbs featured on the 179km route from Valence to Saint Just Saint Rambert. Having fully tested their legs on day one, the peloton will head into Stage two, a 180km route featuring five categorized climbs and a thrilling decent that leads into flat finishing straight. A long, 35km Team Time Trial will greet riders on Stage three and could open up significant time gaps amongst the General Classification contenders. Stage four will see the introduction of the first Hors Category (HC) climb of the tour and signify the start of the true mountain stages. Stage five continues in the mountains and, despite a relatively short 130km route, riders will face a gruelling HC category summit finish at the popular ski resort of Valmorel. Any riders suffering fatigue from the previous day’s climbing will likely dread Stage six; the 110km route through the Alps features two pain-staking HC category climbs in the opening half of the race, before tackling a category one summit finish. The finale will be played out on the mountains from Moûtiers to Saint Gervais Monte Blanc; the 136km route features four category one climbs, the most significant being the summit finish with altitude levels reaching 1372m.

Cofidis for the Dauphiné
A must-see rendez-vous at the beginning of June, but also a small foretaste of the Tour de France, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré begins Sunday afternoon in Valencia with a prologue with a peloton whose quality is by no means vain word. The general manager of Cofidis Solutions Crédits, Cédric Vasseur noted it while evoking the ambitions of his group directed, for the occasion, by Roberto Damiani and Jean-Luc Jonrond. “Cofidis Solutions Crédits will play a stage victory over the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. It is a goal and we will have opportunities even if the level is very high. Let’s not forget that this is a very good preparation and even a launching pad for the Tour de France. We are realistic and know that we do not have a rider in our ranks who could compete with the Nibali, Bernal and other Bardet, Soler for the overall standings.”

Satisfied with what he has seen recently on the different venues of his competition team, the northern leader is confident. “We have tried to bring together riders who can shine when the road rises, and it will often do so on this edition. It is a balanced team in which I hope to see, why not, Jesus Herrada stand out at the mountain stages in the same way as Julien Simon in a possible finish in the sprint at the beginning of the week. The guys had a good preparation program. They will also be able to judge their form and know very well that their performances will be able to open the door of the selection for the Tour de France.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
Cofidis Solutions Credits:

Jesus Herrada (Spain), José Herrada (Spain), Nicolas Edet (Fra), Daniel Navarro (Spain), Julien Simon (Fra), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Ery), Anthony Turgis (Fra).

José Herrada:

Tour de Beauce Stages Honor its Reputation as One of the Most Difficult Cycling Race in America
The 2018 Tour de Beauce will kick off on June 13th. Approximately 130 cyclists from 19 teams will compete over five days for the top honors of this prestigious 635-kilometer race covering the Chaudière-Appalaches, the Eastern Townships, and Quebec City regions.

“The majestic roads that Beauce and adjacent regions offer to racers are now recognized by the cycling community worldwide, thanks to the Tour de Beauce,” commented Francis Rancourt, general manager of the Tour de Beauce.

“We also take this opportunity to thank all our municipal government partners who facilitate the use of the roads throughout the Tour de Beauce, as well as the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports. The warm welcome we receive annually in the various municipalities is remarkable and allows an exceptional tourist showcase for the regions,” Rancourt continued.

The first stage will take place on Wednesday, June 13 in Saint-Georges and the Etchemin area (177 km) and will give fans a glimpse of team strategies as the general classification takes shape.

The next day, the peloton will face its first major challenge in the second stage, which will showcase the designated climbers with the finish atop the grueling climb of Mont-Mégantic after nearly 170 kilometers in the saddle. The start will be given in the town of Lac-Mégantic, at the Mégantic Sports Centre.

The traditional time trial, a solo 20-kilometer race, will take place during stage 3A, on Friday, June 15 in Saint-Prosper, a course that Tour de Beauce veterans have experienced in the past.

Later in the day, stage 3B will see the riders leave Le Georgesville in Saint-Georges for a 77-kilometer ride during which the peloton will notably race through the municipalities of Saint-Martin, Saint-Honoré, and Saint-Benoît-Lâbre. The stage finish will test climbers on the steep 20th Street in Notre-Dame-des-Pins. A finish that promises to be explosive!

Again this year, Québec City will play host to the fan-favorite criterium, a spectacular stage that promises thrills to the many spectators who will be gathering along the course. The start and finish area will be on the Grande Allée, near the Parc de la Francophonie. The 2-kilometer circuit will be traveled 35 times by the peloton.

Finally, the 2018 Tour de Beauce champion will be crowned on Sunday, June 17, following a 122-kilometer stage displayed on a difficult 10-kilometer urban circuit in the town of Saint-Georges. This stage is just as exciting as the riders will give everything left in the tank to either make final moves in the general classification or protect their leaders.

The public is invited to come and encourage the riders in large numbers during this final stage preceded by a “Tailgate Party” organized by IGA Families Rodrigue and Groleau near the start/finish line at the corner of 150th Street and the 10th Avenue. A festive rendezvous sportif not to be missed!

Tour de Beauce 2018 — Stages:
Stage 1 — June 13: Saint-Georges-Saint-Georges (177 km)
Stage 2 — June 14: Lac Mégantic/Parc National du Mont-Mégantic (169 km)
Stage 3a — June 15: Saint-Prosper (20 km) [Time Trial]
Stage 3b — June 15: Saint-Georges-Notre Dame Des Pins (77km)
Stage 4 — June 16: Ville de Québec (70 km) [Criterium: 35 laps of 2 km]
Stage 5 — June 17: Ville de Saint-Georges (122 km) [Urban Circuit: 12 laps of 10 km]
Total distance: 635 km

Tour de Beauce 2018 — Jerseys:
Yellow Jersey Ville de Saint-Georges: Leader of the General classifications
White Jersey Hydro-Québec: Leader of the Points classifications
Polka Dots Jersey Desjardins: Leader of the King of the Mountain classifications
Red Jersey Le Georgesville: Leader of the Best Young Riders classifications (U23)
Blue Jersey Ville de Québec: Winner of the Quebec Stage

2018 Global Relay Canadian Masters Road Championships Coming to Victoria
In collaboration with the Robert W. Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b Jim Pattison Lexus, the 2018 Global Relay Canadian Masters Road Championships will be coming to Victoria from June 1-3 and will feature some high calibre racing. The Championships courses will be adapted to provide an additional challenge for Masters athletes, as well as athletes competing in the Junior, Elite and Para categories.

“Outside of the time trial, which required a longer course, the Masters competitors will be on the same roads that have hosted our cycling series for many years,” said Race Director Jon Watkin. “There is so much here for visitors, including the Oak Bay Tea Party, the inner harbor landmarks and the incredible Metchosin rural beauty – all which are steps away from the weekend’s activities.”

The action starts Friday evening at Clover Point where the EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial returns to the waterfront for a two-lap 21-kilometer race against the clock. The time trial will feature Masters, Junior, Elite and Para athletes who will be racing at incredible speeds of up to 60 km/hr along Victoria’s scenic oceanfront.

Saturday’s action remains rooted in Metchosin where the Global Relay Canadian Masters Road Championships will put road cycling warriors to the test on Metchosin’s gruelling hills. The first person to cross the finish line will be awarded the coveted maple leaf jersey and will become the new Canadian Champion.

On the final day of competition, the Russ Hay’s Grand Prix and the Canadian Road Championships Criterium will be taking place. This family-friendly event will also feature the Tim Hortons Timbit Challenge, which is aimed for children aged between three and ten.

“Cycling has grown exponentially in North America and next weekend, we’ll see local masters cyclists compete against the best in the country,” said Robert Cameron. “The decision by Cycling Canada to crown our series as the national masters cycling championships for the next two years speaks to the success of this series and Victoria’s enthusiasm for the sport.”

The 2018 Robert W. Cameron Law Cycling Series include:
EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial – June 1
Motus Design Cycling Classic/Global Relay Canadian Masters Road Cycling Championship – June 2
Russ Hay’s Grand Prix/Global Relay Canadian Masters Criterium Cycling Championship – June 3
Tim Hortons Timbits Challenge – June 3
Broad Street Cycle Fixed Gear Criterium – June 3

Take on the ‘Krone Ride to Höll’ at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships
Innsbruck, Austria: Just one day before the elite men and women of the 2018 UCI World Championships are crowned in Innsbruck-Tirol (Austria), non-professional cyclists will have the chance to ride the same roads as the stars.

The Krone Ride to Höll on 29th September will see amateur riders take on a short but sharp course starting in the heart of Innsbruck and scaling the infamous Höttinger Höll climb to finish above the city.

With sections of up to 28%, the Höttinger Höll is the steepest climb at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships and is likely to be the place where the Men Elite Road Race is decided. Italian Vincenzo Nibali, one of the hot favorites for World victory in September, has already been to Tirol to carry out a recce of the final lap, including the ride up Höttinger Höll. His verdict? “This climb reminds me of a mountain bike climb!”

Those wishing to discover exactly what Nibali means and compare their time up Höttinger Höll with those of the pros, can enter the Ride to Höll. Registration is now open HERE and is limited to 2018 participants.

Krone Ride to Höll: The details

Featuring 291m of climbing and a maximum gradient of 28%, the 3.2km course for the Ride to Höll begins in front of the Hofburg Imperial Palace (the official finish area of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships). The course continues via Rennweg and Herzog-Otto-Straße to the Innbrücke bridge over the River Inn. Riders then proceed up the narrow Höttingergasse – along the same route as the pros – and down the winding Schneeburggasse all the way to the finish line at Gramartboden.

The fastest male and female rider will be crowned King and Queen of Höll and prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in the men’s and women’s categories. The timed section that will determine the final results starts at the Höttingergasse and ends at the finish at Gramartboden.

The registration fee includes a guaranteed place on the start line, food and drink during the race, a day ticket for the Women’s Elite Road Race (Saturday 29th September) as well as a goodie bag. All riders who make it to the finish will receive a finisher’s medal and a personalized certificate confirming their participation.

The registration fee is €59 until 30 June and €69 until 23 September (plus 5% handling fee). The number of starters is strictly limited to 2018.

Thu 27th September

09:00 – 18:30 start number collection and late entries

Fri 28th September
09:00 – 18:30 start number collection and late entries

Sat 29th September
06:00 – 09:00 start number collection and late entries
06:00 – 13:00 clothing drop-off & pick-up at Messe Innsbruck
10:00 – first group of riders starts Ride to Höll
12:00 – last group of riders starts Ride to Höll
14:30 – finish area closes
approx. 13:00 – victory ceremony, main stage of WC finish area
approx. 14:30 – arrival of first riders in Women’s Elite Road Race

The 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol (Austria) will open on 23rd September with the Women’s Team Time Trial and will draw to a close on 30th September with the Men’s Elite Road Race.

To sign up for the Ride to Höll visit www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/ride-to-hoell. For more information about the 2018 UCI Road World Championships: www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com.

Bigla Extends Sponsorship of the Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team is pleased to announce the contract extension of Bigla for a further two years through 2020. The leading Swiss supplier of integrated room concepts for modern working environments and comprehensive solutions for care and hospital facilities looks back on a long tradition as a supporter of women’s cycling.

The team welcomes the news as it shows the long-term vision and consistency of a partner such as Bigla. Feintool founder and Bigla owner, Fritz Boesch is an institution in cycling in Switzerland and is credited for his passion towards the sport, a passion that has seen him support several athletes and organizations over the years.

“For us, this is what a true partnership is,” Team manager, Thomas Campana said. “We are so inspired by Bigla’s vision and long-term support. This is exactly what women’s cycling needs, partners who are in it for the long-term as they look to create change. Sustainability is how we will achieve success as we are a team passionate about the development of athletes from a young age through to maturity. We understand this doesn’t happen overnight and we’re really pleased to work with partners like Bigla who’ve enabled this success over the years.”

Bigla’s delegate of the board, Monika Loeffel-Boesch said: “We’re very happy to have the team carry our name. The team has consistently shown innovation and excellence and been at the highest level of professional cycling in the world. It mimics what we as a company stands for which is continually looking at ways for improving. We’re looking forward to continuing this partnership over the next two years.”

With Bigla’s support the past years, the team has been on the podium of several World Tour races and claimed the bronze medal in the world team time trial championships for the last two years. The team’s ethos is to create an environment that sees talented athletes come in and reach their potential to world-class people.

For more information on Bigla, visit their new state of the art website www.bigla.ch

An Analysis of the Giro 101: The Toughest Race in the World’s Most Beautiful Place
Paolo Bellino, General Manager of RCS Sport and Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia, share their thoughts on a historic edition of the Corsa Rosa.

The Giro d’Italia ended just a few days ago with the triumph of Britain’s Chris Froome and his crowning in the fittingly historic setting of Rome’s Imperial Fora. The 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa was a fascinating one – right from the Big Start in Israel through to the tight epilogue.

Paolo Bellino, General Manager of RCS Sport: “This year’s Giro has been a truly great success from the media point of view as well as from the sporting one. For RCS Sport it was a victory on all fronts: more than 2,000 journalists were accredited for the Giro 101 representing 900 international media brands, including globally prestigious TV channels such as the BBC, CNN; news agencies, such as Reuters, Associated Press and France Presse, and newspapers including The Times of London; all of whom covered the event daily. Our broadcast partner Rai did an exceptional job in delivering excellent audience figures. During the stage on Friday 25 May almost 3 million viewers tuned in to Rai 2 to watch Froome’s decisive attack between Colle delle Finestre and the finish atop Jafferau, delivering an audience share of 23,60%. The Giro’s peak audience was recorded the day of the Monte Zoncolan where the final climb was followed by 3,255,634 viewers and a 25% audience share. The race was distributed in 198 countries around the world, reaching 800 million viewers with the stunning coverage of the race and the landscapes it crossed. The story of this edition was truly unique and captured the imaginations of fans around the world, as evidenced by the large digital audience we reached via our social channels, with over 2,800,000 followers. Of course, we cannot forget the passion and enthusiasm of the roadside spectators who lined the length of the course; they’re a true testament to the fact that cycling is a truly transformational sport that’s able to attract a highly engaged, passionate and respectful audience with ‘amore infinito’ (infinite love) for the sport and the riders. The 101 edition also highlighted that the Corsa Rosa really is the hardest race in the world. The last stage to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome, with the Colosseum and the Imperial Fora, delivered a uniquely breathtaking course between two wings of seemingly-endless crowds confirmed that we are ‘in the most beautiful country in the world.’ I would also like to thank all our sponsors and partners who have accompanied us on this exciting journey: we really could not have wished for more. The real challenge for us now will be to grow still further for the 102nd edition.”

Mauro Vegni, Director of the Giro d’Italia: “Both the start in Jerusalem and the finish in Rome gave this year’s Giro huge prestige. In both cities we found a unique welcome, as we did across all the stages and the many cities and towns we touched. But starting from the Holy Land to finish in the Eternal City, ending at the Imperial Fora under the Altare della Patria and the Campidoglio, genuinely is unprecedented. The final stage, between two wings of crowd, was truly spectacular: as expected, it ended with a dramatic sprint – with the riders who honored it racing at over 50 km/h average speed for the last eight laps of the circuit. The final victory of Froome and the genuine uncertainty of the race’s final result until the very last moment delivered suspense and kept the race alive to the very last. We had great stage winners – from Dumoulin to Viviani, Bennett, Wellens, Chaves and Yates to name just a few – together with moments of high drama, like Froome’s attack on the Colle delle Finestre and Jafferau stage, as well unexpected ‘sporting drama’ – such as the crisis of Yates while in the Maglia Rosa and the one of Pinot on the penultimate day – which have always been part of the DNA of this sport. I would say that we really could have not asked more of this year’s Giro. In every way, the 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa combined the pure essence of modern cycling together with elements of the bygone days of epic racing.”

A Star in the Making: Conti Takes Top Five in Youth Standings as UAE Team Emirates Finish Giro d’Italia
UAE Team Emirates’ Valerio Conti was one of the team’s success stories of this year’s Giro d’italia, as the Italian finished fourth in the final Youth Standings and also managed a top ten finish in the King of the Mountain (KoM) standings. His efforts contributed to the overall team’s position, coming ninth in the Team Classification after 21 days of racing.

Conti, now in his second season with UAE Team Emirates, got his tour off to a bright start, surprising many on Stage one’s Individual Time Trial, recording a time that saw the 25 year old finish in twelfth place. It was during Stage five where Conti shone again, crossing the line with General Classification (GC) contenders and battling it out with Maximillian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) for first place in the Youth Standings. The youngster waited patiently until the latter stages of the tour to make his move, securing vital seconds over his rivals to climb up the standings and finish impressively in fourth place.

Commenting on his Giro achievements, Conti said: “It was a good experience to compete in my third Giro d’Italia and I am satisfied with the overall result. The quality of riders at this year’s race was extremely high, with a number of young riders also competing for the General Classification – so it was always going to be a difficult jersey to win. I’m hoping to learn from this tour and deliver the results for the team and our sponsors.”

This year’s Giro d’Italia saw riders contest a total of 3,564.2km, across 21 days of racing. Between them, UAE Team Emirates’ riders cycled a combined total of 28,000km and ascended over 44,000m of elevation.

To find out more about UAE Team Emirates visit UAEteamemirates.com.

Elia Viviani: “To win the Giro d’Italia maglia ciclamino it’s a sprinter’s dream”
The Quick-Step Floors rider looks back on a fantastic edition of the Corsa Rosa, which saw him take home four stages and the points classification.

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