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Observatorio Astronomico de Calar Alto - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Christopher - Chris FROOME (GBR / Team Sky) - Vincenzo NIBALI (Italy / Team Bahrain - Merida) - Wilco KELDERMAN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during La Vuelta ciclista a Espana 2017 (2.UWT) stage 11 from Lorca - Observatorio Astronomico de Calar Alto (187,5 km) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Stage 11 saw the Vuelta a España explode and the cream came to the top of the milk. All the news from Spain with videos, reports and results. Crowdfund for Slipstream Sports – Top Story. In other cycling news: More 2018 contracts with UAE Team Emirates, Quick-Step Floors, BMC, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Sunweb, LottoNL-Jumbo, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Cofidis. Sky go with young talent, Vincenzo Nibali for Taiwan KOM Challenge, Thomas and Doull to Tour of Britain and Castelli in Giro d’Italia pink. A full EUROTRASH Thursday.

TOP STORY: #SaveArgyle with Fans Money
After the announcement that the Cannondale-Drapac team would not be competing in 2018 due to a shortfall of money in the Slipstream Sport’s coffers, team fans offered to send money to help the team. This inspired a ‘Crowdfund’ campaign which will be matched by the Fairly Group. It was originally said that the team was short of around $7 million and Fairly Group say they will match up to $2 million, that leaves ‘only’ $3 million to find. Sounds a tall order, but it’s doable.

Could this be the future of cycling? Fan owned teams are nothing new, look at one of the most successful football (soccer) teams in the World; Barcelona. The team is owned by the fans and only recently took a jersey sponsor. The annual General meetings are an enormous argument, but it does work. The difference is that the #SaveArgyle system seems to be a donation and in no way a share scheme, which is a shame as it would make the season more interesting if you actually had an investment in a team.

Here is the Slipstream Press Release:

#SaveArgyle crowdfund campaign: Fairly Group offers $2 million match challenge
Slipstream Sports announced an Indiegogo campaign on Wednesday with the goal of crowdfunding at least $2 million to #SaveArgyle. Fairly Group has made a seven-figure commitment to Slipstream Sports and, along with other key supporters, has issued a “match challenge” that starts out with up to $2 million.

“I’m overwhelmed by the response and level of support at the grassroots level,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports. “There are hundreds of thousands of fans across America and the world who want to see Slipstream continue to create a platform for America’s best riders to compete, and they have inspired us and Fairly Group. I’m grateful to Fairly Group for taking the lead, not only with a financial commitment but also by offering to deliver assistance with a strategic plan to ensure our future.”

The Fairly Group commitment is, at minimum, a seven-figure amount and scales upward, based on matching offers by other fans and businesses. The motivation? To allow Slipstream Sports to continue its unprecedented legacy of success in competing in cycling’s top professional races, including the Tour de France, where the team recently finished second overall with Rigoberto Uran and fielded the only three Americans in the race.

“American pro cycling has a rich history of competitive excellence and Slipstream has carried the torch for many years, having developed many of America’s best cycling talents and taken them to the Tour de France,” stated Alex Fairly, President of the Fairly Group. “Our ethos is built on our willingness to step into our client’s most difficult challenges, and our goal in making this commitment is to provide a spark that continues to ignite the flame of support for America’s best pro cyclists competing on cycling’s WorldTour stage.”

Vaughters recently announced an unexpected shortfall in the sponsorship funding necessary to field a WorldTour team in 2018. Fans responded to this news by asking the team to set up a crowdfunding page. Fairly Group was inspired by the movement and answered the call with a seven-figure commitment, issuing the ‘matching challenge’ to other businesses and individuals to join them by offering a significant level of financial support.

About the #SaveArgyle Indiegogo campaign

When news of our uncertain future broke within the cycling world, #GreenArgyle fans rallied around this team. We have been humbled and inspired by the show of support. The most common response we heard was “crowdfund” — and so here we are. We are proud to see our fans band together and become part of a movement to #SaveArgyle. Crowdfunding may be a different way of doing things, but it’s fair to say we’ve never been conventional.

When our friends at Fairly Group caught wind of the calls to crowdfund, they rose to the challenge. Fairly Group and other generous supporters have committed $2 million to the team for 2018 as part of a “match challenge” to our fans and other businesses in an effort to #SaveArgyle and preserve America’s pro cycling legacy and future. Every dollar donated to the #SaveArgyle Indiegogo campaign, up to $2 million, will be matched by Fairly Group and other key supporters.

A tiered reward structure offers perks from $25 – $50,000 that include insider content, #SaveArgyle swag, name on sponsor page of website, invites to ride with the team, POC team kit and helmet, team bikes and invites to training camps, races and into the team car. Donations will only be processed if the team continues in 2018.

Visit the #SaveArgyle campaign to learn more and donate.

Vuelta a España 2017
Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) snatched his second stage victory on Stage 10 on Tuesday. With the climb of the Collado Bermejo set to decide the winner, the Italian went in the breakaway, followed every move and eventually dominated Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) to bring his Belgian team a 20th stage victory on the Spanish event. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) attacked in the downhill but it was Nicolas Roche (BMC) who eventually managed to gain time and move closer to the overall leader Chris Froome (Sky).

With the climb up Collado Bermejo in sight, the battle for the breakaway reached unprecedented levels in the first part of stage 10. It took two hours at an average speed of 52.3km/h for a group of 18 riders to eventually manage to open a gap over a very nervous peloton.

Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Tim Declercq, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Marc Soler, Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Nico Denz, Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale), Michael Mørkøv (Katusha-Alpecin), Bert-Jan Lindeman, Juanjo Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Valerio Agnoli, Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Rafael Reis, Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) quickly built a 5 minute lead. Team Sky then controlled the gap.

In the final 40km, Trentin, Rojas, Roson and Janse Van Rensburg enjoyed the climbs of the day to get rid of their breakaway companions and battle it out on the downhill to Alhama de Murcia. Trentin and Rojas dominated the descent and the Italian sprinter eventually snatched the win.

In the peloton, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) accelerated in the descent but couldn’t get rid of his rivals. A later move from Nicolas Roche (BMC) saw the Irish man gain 29 seconds on the rest of the GC contenders. Still 3rd on GC, Roche is now 36 seconds behind Chris Froome (Sky), on the same time as Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott).

Stage winner, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors): “I was thinking of this stage for a while now and the plan was to get in the breakaway, knowing there was a solid chance it could stick. I knew the last climb was a hard one, but I rode my own tempo and then, in the downhill, I just followed Rojas, aware he is a good descender and also that he knows the roads, being from Murcia. I am really happy with my second win here, our team is having a fantastic Vuelta a España and we hope to add other good results to our impressive tally in the next stages.”

2nd on the stage, José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar): “It was clear that Trentin was the worst contender we could fight for a stage against; he’s the best sprinter in this Vuelta. Finding him through a Cat-1 climb, in the roads of Murcia, just next to your home… It’s sad we didn’t really have a chance today. As we’ve said many times during this race, we must not stop trying, and for the moment we’ve snatched two third places, this second… We must continue to think that tomorrow’s stage will be the good one. I had things planned on my mind, I knew what I had to do because I knew the terrain, but in the end, I could only try to sneak a way past Trentin into the descent, because he was so strong on the climbs, and coming into a sprint we knew we couldn’t beat him. However, we weren’t looking at him in the first place as a real contender. Before the Collado Bermejo, I was talking to Pablo Lastras, who was driving the DS car next to the break, and we agreed that ‘Luisle’ could be our biggest rival, since he knew the climb and was one of the best riders uphill into that group. Once we saw Trentin was staying there, our only opportunity was dropping him into the downhill, but we didn’t succeed.”

3rd on the stage and 20th overall, Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “I’m disappointed because opportunities like today are rare. The other guys in the break were a bit heavier and go down hill faster than me…. I I would have stayed with them I would still probably have finished third. I am happy with that result. I was climbing well, I broke from the bottom to break the group up a bit. Tomorrow is a day that finishes on a tough climb so the team and I will give it another go for sure.”

4th on the stage, Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data): “It’s been quite a battle for me after the Giro. I went to Slovenia after the Giro and crashed on the 2nd stage, breaking my collarbone and three ribs. It took a while to get back into training and find some good shape. I wasn’t feeling bad in the first 9 stages here but the legs were a little slow. After the rest day, the legs finally arrived and it was nice to get into the break after 100km of fighting for it today. On the first climb, I felt really good and decided to try something and went for it early. I got 30 seconds and then rode my own tempo because I knew the guys behind would look at each other, some trying to save their legs and riding a bit negative so I just did my own race. I think it worked out well with 3 guys coming across to me on the big climb. It was then down to who was tactically going to be the strongest on the descent and take the most risk because the road was still wet. That road is known for a number of crashes so I was a bit nervous, having broken bones for the last 3 years running already. I was able to come back on a little kicker in the middle of the descent but then on the bottom part of the descent Trentin and Rojas went away again. We didn’t lose much time but that’s how it would end. I felt like I was the strongest in the break though so that’s good motivation for the rest of the race.”

Overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “I wasn’t prepared to take any risks today, I’m in such a good position and I knew there was a lot of road from the bottom of the climb to the finish line so I just took it easy with my teammates and kept everything together. We’re in a fantastic position and I wasn’t going to risk it pushing on that descent. I think Nico (Roche) did a great ride, he seems to be in fantastic form int he Vuelta and congratulations to him. He’s sitting tied second now so he’s done a really good ride. It’s a very different stage tomorrow with an uphill finish, a couple of climbs so we’re going to really get into the guts of the Vuelta now.”

Vuelta a España Stage 10 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors in 3:34:56
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 0:01
3. Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:19
4. Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:21
5. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:56
6. Marc Soler Gimenez (Spa) Movistar at 0:59
7. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 2:22
8. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC
9. Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ at 2:40
10. Rafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 3:05.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 10:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 40:12:44
2. Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott at 0:36
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:17
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:27
6. David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:30
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 1:33
8. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac at 1:52
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 1:55
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:15.

Stage 10:

Summary – Stage 10 – La Vuelta 2017 por la_vuelta

Miguel Angel ‘Superman’ Lopez enjoyed the first high-altitude finish of La Vuelta 2017, on Wednesday’s Stage 11, to claim his first Grand Tour victory. The Colombian climber stuck with the favorites in the climb up to the astronomical observatory of Calar Alto and accelerated in the final kilometer to win ahead of Chris Froome (Sky), who keeps opening gaps on GC. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) is now 2nd, with a delay of 1:19. Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) lost two minutes.

The challenges of the day once again led to an intense battle between the 179 riders still in the race. A group of 14 riders covered 50,9km in the first hour of racing to get away from the bunch: Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates), Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal), Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Igor Anton (Dimension Data), David Arroyo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Aldemar Reyes (Manzana Postobon).

Chris Froome had announced he was aiming for the stage victory at Calar Alto and his Sky teammates drove the peloton to control the gap under 5 minutes. Orica-Scott upped the tempo for Esteban Chaves with 55km to go and quickly brought the gap down to 1:30 as the front group tackled the alto de Velefique, 43.5km away from the finish line. Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) accelerated in the climb. At the top, he was with Bardet, Atapuma, Armée and Visconti, enjoying a 1:30 lead over the bunch.

In the last climb, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) were the first to go on the move, 11km away from the summit. Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) quickly got dropped while the hard pace brought the strongest GC favorites back to Atapuma and Bardet with 7km to go.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) attacked in the last kilometer to solo away to victory. Chris Froome led the chase and only Vincenzo Nibali and Wilco Kelderman were able to follow him. Alberto Contador dropped 17 seconds. Esteban Chaves lost two minutes and dropped down to 3rd place on GC. The BMC duo Nicolas Roche-Tejay Van Garderen is out of the top 10 after dropping early in the last climb.

Observatorio Astronomico de Calar Alto - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Miguel Angel LOPEZ MORENO (Columbia / Team Astana) pictured during La Vuelta ciclista a Espana 2017 (2.UWT) stage 11 from Lorca - Observatorio Astronomico de Calar Alto (187,5 km) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 10th overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “I’m so happy about this victory because it come after a very difficult period, after my injuries – said a very happy Miguel Angel Lopez – the stage has been very difficult with the rain and the cold… at least on the final climb I still had some energies and I waited for the right moment to attack. It was a very good victory even because is the second for us in this Vuelta and today is also a very important day for Kazakhstan: have the Astana jersey as first on the finish line in the Kazakh Constitution Day add much value to this result.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “I’m very happy with the outcome today. It was a day when some of my rivals lost time on the General Classification, so to finish 2nd, I couldn’t ask for much more than that, other than stage victory, but when (Miguel Angel) Lopez went he was extremely strong. I figured for me the most important thing was to follow Vincenzo Nibali and stay with the favorites. I concentrated on staying with him seeing that (Esteban) Chaves was already dropped and Alberto (Contador) was on the limit.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “I wanted to win, but I console myself looking at the new ranking. It was a very difficult day with so much rain and two long and challenging climbs, but at the end I’m happy. I have to thank the whole team for the great work have done for all the stage: Visconti was on the day’s break and he helped me on the last climb off, my brother Antonio and Pellizotti marked a very good climbing pace. In the last 3 kilometers, I tried to surprise my rivals but I have found a lot of front wind and a Lopez that the in final has gone stronger. I have recovered several positions in the GC and this is an important result. Froome is proving to be really in a good shape and it will not be easy to beat him.”

18th overall, Igor Anton (Dimension Data): “Today I have to be happy because I tried my hand in the long breakaway. After 55km we made the break and my goals were take a few steps up the GC and possibly win the stage. I won this stage in the past so it brings back a lot of good memories for me. It was a very hard stage and a lot of riders lost time. On the last climb, I could start to feel the earlier effort I had made taking its toll, and finally I lost time too. It will take some time to recover from this because I gave 200% today but I am happy.”

Break rider, David Arroyo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “The first hour of racing was very hard and we were all trying to get into the break. It was finally me who made the lucky escape. I felt good coming out of the rest day but the peloton were not letting us get very far. The presence of Anton prevented us from gaining the time we needed to stay away. Our goal is a stage win, that is clear, we will keep fighting for that with every chance we get.”

Break rider, Sander Armée (Lotto Soudal): “Before the break of fourteen riders was established I had already attacked a few times, but we had never gotten a sufficient lead. The first kilometers of the stage were uphill, but afterwards it was mainly flat and slightly downhill which made the tempo didn’t drop. On one moment the road started going upwards again and I got away with thirteen others. Probably the peloton got tired. It is always difficult to predict when the decisive moment will be. Yesterday it took almost hundred kilometers before a break was established. I was satisfied with how the front group was composed. I thought Bardet would have a big chance of winning the stage if we should stay up front. We didn’t get a sufficient lead though. And when Orica started riding in the bunch we definitely knew we wouldn’t make it. We still maintained a high pace on the first climb and I could stay in the first group. Then we got to the descent. The road was still wet and in the first corner I slipped. From then on I started thinking too much and slowed down. I lost half a minute. That’s a pity, but it is what it is. You know it will be difficult for a breakaway rider to win on a day like this, but it is worth the attempt. I will definitely try again. I don’t know if that will be tomorrow, that will depend on the legs.”

Vuelta a España Stage 11 Result:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana in 5:05:09
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:14
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:31
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky
9. Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 1:02
10. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:14.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 11:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 45:18:01
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:19
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott at 2:33
4. David de la Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 2:36
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 2:37
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 2:38
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2:57
8. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac at 3:01
9. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 3:55
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 4:11.

Stage 11:

Summary – Stage 11 – La Vuelta 2017 por la_vuelta

UAE Team Emirates: the European champion Kristoff
Alexander Kristoff and UAE Team Emirates have signed a deal for the European Champion to join the Emirati team starting in 2018.

Both parties announced the agreement in the beginning of August. Since then they have finalized some details in the two-year contract, and the team’s medical staff have completed some routine exams.

Alexander Kristoff: “I’m very proud and really excited to join UAE Team Emirates. For me this is a big move since it’s only the second time in my career that I’ve changed teams. I’m looking forward for meeting my new team mates and staff members, and getting to know all the people who work on this project. I’m very confident about the future and I’m sure that with UAE Team Emirates we will archive great results staring next Spring.”

UAE Team Emirates has defined the terms of contract for another Norwegian rider who has already worn the rainbow colors during his young cycling career: Sven Eryk Bystrøm, born in 1992, was the Under 23 World Champion in 2014. He has signed a two year contract and will be racing with the Emirati formation starting next season.

“Kristoff is a world class rider with an impressive dossier, and he is determined to achieve and succeed even more. His European Championship title is just further proof of his winning drive,” emphasized Carlo Saronni, Team Manager for UAE Team Emirates. “These are the skills that piqued our interest in Alexander as someone who can make the squad even better. We were happy to see how Kristoff appreciated the significance of the project behind our team and we are sure that this road we are taking together will bring even more prestige to Alexander’s image and career. We also welcome Bystrøm, who’s a young talented rider.”

Alexander Kristoff with team manager Carlo Saronni:

Zdenek Stybar Re-Signs Through 2019 with Quick-Step Floors
The Czech further committed his future to the team he’s been riding for since turning pro.

Zdenek Stybar will continue with Quick-Step Floors for at least two more years, after the Czech Champion, who’s been part of the squad since 2011, has extended his agreement until the end of 2019. One of the best cyclo-cross riders of all time – the three gold medals he earned at the World Championships between 2010 and 2014 serving as testimony – the 31-year-old proved himself also on the road, where he bagged 14 triumphs.

Victorious in Tour de France and Vuelta a España stages, triumphant in a spectacular edition of Strade Bianche and the first Czech to come out on top in the BinckBank Tour general classification, Stybar’s extraordinary versatility was there on display for everyone to see it, especially on the cobbles, where he has built a solid palmarès over the years, twice coming very close to winning Paris-Roubaix – “The Queen of the Classics”, in 2015 and 2017.

“To be honest, I can’t believe I have been with the team since 2011, time surely flies when you are having a good time, but what an amazing journey it has been to race with this squad over the past years. Having extended my contract for two more seasons means we can continue the great work we started together in 2011, which I am very grateful and happy about”, a thrilled Zdenek said. “I have enjoyed many beautiful moments and victories with these guys, and I owe a lot of people here big thanks, especially to the staff, which is the most dedicated and hardworking you will ever find.”

In 2017, Zdenek’s been again a key element of the Quick-Step Floors setup, his experience and class proving out to be an important factor in the team’s success, be it in Spring Classics or Grand Tours. Next year, he’s determined to play again a pivotal role in the squad, while at the same time showing himself in the big races: “This season, we have been once again one of the very best teams in the bunch by winning over and over again in so many different types of races, however, it has not been a personal best season for me. Patrick puts a lot of confidence in me by extending my contract, and I am just really motivated to give it back by turning things around and making the next two years extra rememberable.”

Patrick Lefevere – Quick-Step Floors’ CEO – talked of the team’s decision to re-sign Stybar and the expectations he has from the Czech: “Everybody knows Zdenek’s quality, he is a rider who can shine in almost any type of race. He’s been part of this great family for seven years now and has achieved many very good results since shifting his attention from cyclo-cross to road cycling, but we still think he has a lot to show, especially in the Classics, and that’s why we offered him a new deal, which we are glad he accepted.”

Zdenek Stybar:

BMC Racing Team Strengthens 2018 Roster with Multiple Contract Extensions
BMC Racing Team’s 2018 roster will be strengthened by the re-signing of Damiano Caruso, Jempy Drucker, Joey Rosskopf and Francisco Ventoso, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Caruso, Drucker and Rosskopf all joined BMC Racing Team’s ranks in 2015, while Ventoso is in his first year with the team. Ochowicz said the four riders bring a depth of talent and experience to the team and have been instrumental in BMC Racing Team’s success in 2017.

Damiano Caruso
“Damiano Caruso is one of our strongest climbers and plays a key role in the team’s Grand Tour ambitions. As we saw this year, Damiano was a crucial support rider for Richie Porte throughout the year and then when the situation called for it at the Tour de France, he stepped up as our leader in difficult circumstances. Damiano is more than capable of getting his own results whether it is a Grand Tour stage win, or a strong General Classification result at a stage race, as we saw this year at the Tour de Suisse, and this kind of versatility is very important. With Damiano at their side, I think any of our riders have the utmost confidence in him,” Ochowicz explained.

Caruso, who has finished in the top ten overall the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, has enjoyed one of his most successful years including second overall at the Tour de Suisse and 11th at the Tour de France.

“It was an easy decision to re-sign with BMC Racing Team. Jim Ochowicz likes how I work and I like the team and how it works, so there was no reason to even think about changing teams. I’m happy to continue working with this team, with the riders, with the staff and the management. This year has been a good year for me and for the next year my goal will be to continue to grow as a rider. Our most important goal as a team is to win the Tour de France and I want to be a part of that. For me, it is important to support the team as much as possible and also go for my own results, like this year at the Tour de Suisse, so I’m happy I will be doing that with BMC Racing Team,” Caruso said.

Jempy Drucker
Vuelta a España stage winner Drucker has proved his speed by sprinting to stage wins at the SkodaTour de Luxembourg and VOO Tour de Wallonie this year.

“Jempy Drucker is a very versatile rider so when it comes to the Classics, time trials and sprints, we can count on Jempy. He’s also one of the best bike handlers thanks to his experience in cyclo-cross. Jempy has three wins so far to his name in 2017, including the Luxembourg national time trial championship, and as we saw at the 2016 Vuelta a España, he is capable of sprinting against some of the best riders in the world. We had our most successful classics campaign in 2017 and Jempy was instrumental as a support rider for Greg Van Avermaet so we are pleased to see Jempy extend his contract,” Ochowicz said.

“At BMC Racing Team we are provided with the best equipment in the world and with the way the team is structured, it is one of the best in the world. I am happy that we mutually agreed to extend my contract. I want to improve and get better every year. I have made a lot of progression in the past three years so I want to continue that way. I hope to play an important role again in the sprint classics and help the team try and repeat that same success that we had this year with Greg Van Avermaet as leader, and finally win the Tour of Flanders! This year I have had a few wins so I want to continue to take the opportunities I have from the team in 2018,” Drucker explained.

Joey Rosskopf
In his third year with BMC Racing Team, Joey Rosskopf, winner of the 2016 Tour du Limousin, became US national time trial champion.

“In the three years that Joey Rosskopf has spent in BMC Racing Team he has continued to grow as a rider and has the potential to develop even further. His strength as a time trialist was validated this year when he became the US national time trial champion which was fantastic to see, particularly for us as a United States-registered team. For a team that values time trialling as much as we do, Joey is an excellent rider to have in our ranks for this discipline, but also as a support rider and someone who can get his own results, which we saw in 2016 when he won the Tour du Limousin. Joey gets the job done and he does it well, so it is great to re-sign Joey beyond the 2017 season,” Ochowicz said.

“I have been with BMC Racing Team for three years now, and I think that returning for yet another season with the team is a huge advantage. Racing with the same organization for multiple years has allowed me to feel more and more at ease with my surroundings. In addition, each year I seem to grow more confident in and affectionate towards my teammates, riders and staff alike. My improvement in time trials this year is largely due to the amount of energy the team was willing to invest in me for this specific discipline of cycling. I may not have had a meteoric rise in the sport, but in 2018 I look forward to continuing to work hard and progress as a competitor little by little,” Rosskopf added.

Francisco Ventoso
Former Spanish road race champion, Ventoso has played an important support role at many of BMC Racing Team’s victories in 2017, including Greg Van Avermaet’s victory at Paris-Roubaix.

“We welcomed Francisco Ventoso in 2016 and immediately it was clear that he is a rider who fits in very well at BMC Racing Team. Francisco brings a wealth of experience and has already played an important role in many of our victories this year. With more than a decade as a professional cyclist, he is also a very good road captain and we can count on him in any race situation, so Francisco is a great asset for us. As a Grand Tour stage winner, Francisco is another rider who will take an opportunity when it comes his way and support the team whenever possible,” Ochowicz said.

“I really like riding for BMC Racing Team. In my first year with the team I have found a really nice spirit in the group and a good atmosphere for racing. So, I’m happy to continue next year. I want to keep learning and racing, which is my passion. 2017 has been once of the most beautiful years of my career because I started at the Santos Tour Down Under winning with Richie Porte, won a lot of classics with Greg Van Avermaet, I had a really nice Giro d’Italia with Tejay van Garderen and now here at the Vuelta a España, we won the team time trial. So it has been a really nice season for me. I hope to keep getting better and better and help the team to important victories, like I have done this year,” Ventoso explained.

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

Damiano Caruso:
Sanremo - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - CARUSO Damiano (ITA) Rider of BMC Racing Team in action pictured during Milano - Sanremo 2017 - photo NV/PN//Cor Vos © 2017

Amezqueta and Rodriguez confirm for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA have today confirmed Julen Amezqueta and Cristian Rodriguez as their first official signings for the 2018 season. Both riders are currently riding for the Italian pro-continental outfit Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia where they have both spent the last two years.

Amezqueta,22, is an all-round rider who comes into the team with the experience of having ridden two editions of the Giro D’Italia.

He hails from the Navarra province where the team is based. His best result to date was his victory in the under-23 Tour of Portugal in 2015 where he also claimed a stage win.

Julen Amezqueta: “The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA was a team I loved growing up and a place I always wanted to ride. It is a team based in Navarra, my home region so that also played a big part in my decision. It’s a team that works hard and also has a very attractive racing calendar for a rider like me. I already have two years in professional under my belt and am growing steadily as a rider – the goal will be to continue like that.”

It will also be somewhat of a homecoming for Cristian Rodriguez,22, who returns to the team having formerly raced with the amateur Caja Rural team in the past.

Rodriguez has been in the professional ranks for the past two season where his best results include a top 10 in the 2016 Tour de L’avenir and 4th place in this years Giro del’Appennino.

Cristian Rodríguez: “I already spent time as an under-23 at Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and they looked after me very well. I know all the staff and most of the riders so it will be a return home in many ways. I am looking forward to the opportunity to go there and continue my progression as a rider. Having ridden two Grand Tours in my first two years as a pro has been a great experience for me and has helped my progression immensely. The goal now is to build toward results next season”.

Sunweb Sign Promising Duo Jai Hindley and Michael Storer
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce that Aussie duo Jai Hindley and Michael Storer will join their WorldTour roster from the beginning of the 2018 racing season. Hindley signs a three year deal with the team until the end of 2020, whereas Storer signs for two years until the end of 2019.

Both riders have recently challenged at the Tour de l’Avenir, recognized as the most important U23 stage race where promising talents often find their way to the professional peloton. 21-year-old Hindley has taken some strong general classification results to date, such as 2nd overall at the 2016 AnPost Rás and 5th in the general classification at last year’s Tour de l’Avenir. His strength has continued into the 2017 season as he finished 3rd at the Oceania Championships road race, 2nd overall to secure the white jersey at the Herald Sun Tour alongside a stage win and 3rd in the GC at Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, amongst other impressive results. Storer, 20-years-old, was consistent throughout 2016 finishing 3rd at the Oceania Championships U23 time trial, as well as securing the victory at Gran Premio die Poggiana and 7th in the GC of Tour de l’Avenir. The young Australian continued to impress during 2017 as he finished 3rd in the Australian U23 time trial, 5th in the GC at the Herald Sun Tour, 3rd in the GC at the Giro Ciclisto della Mont Blanc, 2nd in the Oceania Championships road race, took a stage win at AnPost Rás and 15th overall at the WorldTour Tour Down Under.

Speaking of joining the team Storer said: “I’m really excited to join Team Sunweb. I’m looking forward to working with the team, the riders and staff and also the new challenge that will come with racing in the WorldTour. When considering teams, the development pathway was really important for me because I’m still only riding my second year as an U23. I wanted a team that provides the best support for me to become a better rider and somewhere I could become athlete on and off the bike.”

Hindley said: “I’m super excited to be joining team Sunweb for 2018. I think the team have shown they are quite big on innovation as well as developing young guys and this really stood out for me when looking for a new team. For 2018 my main goals would be to try grow as a cyclist whilst learning as much as I can, and to try to adapt to the professional style of racing.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: “Both guys are extremely gifted, talented riders and we’re very pleased to welcome them to the team to embark on a journey of development together.”

“We have been tracking Jai since the beginning of last year and have been in contact with him since the winter. We see a lot of potential for him as a climber and as a future GC hopeful. For now we will provide a race program with gradual build-up in level and difficulty, and he will have the time to develop across all different terrains. Michael is even younger at 20-years-old and is already a complete rider with a decent time trial, strong climbing abilities and potentially able to go for the GC in the future. Within the team he will have the time to be able to fulfill his potential and develop step by step, without any pressure.”

“Our approach is focused on the development not only as a professional rider, but also as a person. We’ll guide them intensively and give them time to get used to our way of working. We’re building a track record in developing promising, young riders and we consider both guys as part of the next generation, following the pathways of guys as Tom Dumoulin (NED), Sam Oomen (NED), Chris Hamilton (AUS) and Lennard Kämna (GER).”

Jai Hindley and Michael Storer:

Tankink Continues Another Year with Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Bram Tankink has signed another one-year-contract with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. Next year will be Tankink’s eighteenth season as a pro rider. “I’m excited to announce the news”, Tankink says. “The respect that I get from the riders, the staff and the management made me decide to go on another year with this team.” On Twitter Tankink published a movie in which he discusses his choice to continue or not with two of his daughters.

Managing director Richard Plugge of Team LottoNL-Jumbo is glad to have Tankink’s experience, knowledge and qualities in his squad for at least another year. “Bram has reached again a very high level this season and has proven to be very valuable. Also for the atmosphere within the team Bram is key. He’s a mentor too for the youngsters of our team. Hopefully Bram will conclude his career with us in a good manner, whenever that may be.”

Bram Tankink and daughter Julie:

NIPPO Vini Fantini 2018: Two Young Italian Talents for the New Season
The NIPPO Vini Fantini team is looking forward to the future, with the double announcement of Damiano and Imerio Cima, two of the best young Under23 Italian talents. 2 years of contract for Damiano Cima (23 years old), 3 years of contract for Imerio Cima (19 years old). For both of them the 2018 will be the first year among PROs. “This must be the role of the Professional teams”, explains Pelosi, “to support the growth of the best young talents.”

The NIPPO Vini Fantini is planning the future. While the season 2017 is on going, the team is planning the 2018 and the future. Already announced the 2 years renewal of Marco Canola, in the role of captain of the team, the NIPPO Vini Fantini team will launch also 2 of the best young Italian talents.

To welcome them the words of the General Manager Francesco Pelosi: “We are really happy to launch among PROs 2 of the most interesting Italian talents. This is the role of the Professional teams: to launch and support in their growth the best talents of cycling. Our team is based on a double soul, Italian & Japanese, for this reason our investment in the Italian cycling is important. Damiano Cima is a young rider with talent and team attitude that could help a lot the team and also his youngest brother. Imerio Cima will start his PRO career at the age of 20, for this reason we signed a 3 years contract to give him the chance to grow up step by step, also if he already demonstrated to have a great talent (2 podiums in Tour de L’ Avenir and 7th place in the European Championships). He will be another important talent for the sprints.”

The Profiles
Damiano Cima, born in 1993, is part of the Viris Maserati team and he already rode with the NIPPO Vini Fantini team during this month of August as trainee, participating to the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic. The Sports Directors Mario Manzoni had the chance to test him directly and to see how he can be helpful for the team.

Among the Under23 in the 2017 he won the Coppa San Bernardino, a race that among Under23 launched riders now famous as Nizzolo and Modolo. In 2017 for him also an important second place in Popolarissima and in 2016 the victory of the Gran Premio Industrie del Marmo.

In the 2018 he will be a PRO, with the #OrangeBlue jersey and a 2 years contract that will link him to the NIPPO Vini Fantini team at least until the 2019.

Imerio Cima, was born in 1997. He is a modern sprinter with great numbers. He will be a PRO already in the upcoming season, when he will have only 20 years old. For him a 3 years contract that will give him the chance to of a progressive growth. The step among PROs will not scare him, he already demonstrated to be able to compete at high level in the recent Tour de l’Avenir, where he went twice on the podium. For him a great month of August, started with the 7th place in the European Championships Under23 (best among Italians), continued with 2 podiums in Tour de L’Avenir (where in the sprint of the 4th stage was able to beat also the Under23 World Champions Kristoffer Halvorsen) and concluded with the signature of his first PRO contract with the NIPPO Vini Fantini team.

More news coming soon, in the meantime the NIPPO Vini Fantini team is looking forward to the future with 2 young Italian riders with a great talent.

Damiano and Imerio Cima sign contracts:

Jesús and José Herrada join the Cofidis team
The holder of the jersey of champion of Spain will be part of our strength in 2018! The Cofidis team is pleased to announce the recruitment of 27-year-old Jesús Herrada, who won her national championship last June for the second time in her career. His brother José Herrada (31) also comes to reinforce the group. They moved until the end of this season in the ranks of the Spanish formation Movistar.
Jesús Herrada: “I am 27 years old, timing is perfect for new responsibilities”
Double champion of Spain, Jesús Herrada is also famous for his victory of stage on the Critérium of the Dauphiné 2016 in the winter station of Chalmazel-Jensagnière. His record is also rich with many successes on the French roads: victory stage at the Tour du Limousin 2015, the Tour du Poitou-Charentes 2013 and 2014 and on the Route du Sud 2014.

A versatile rider, Jesús Herrada is capable of expressing himself on the classics (top 15 of the GP of Quebec and Montreal in 2014) and on stage races (9th of the Tour de Romandie in 2014 and 2017). He was also twice bronze medalist in his national time trial championship, in 2015 and 2017.

He explains his choice: “Movistar is like a family for me, so it is not easy to change teams in 2018, but I think I had to go ahead. I studied several options but I did not hesitate to go to Cofidis. I know that I will find a lot of support in this new challenge and it is the most important: confidence! I am 27 years old, the timing is perfect for new responsibilities and see the level I can achieve on the biggest events. I am very happy, I am sure that I will continue to make beautiful seasons and more particularly on the French calendar where I always had my best results. I also want to fight on the big classics and the week-long races. For that Cofidis was the perfect team with which to engage.”

José Herrada: “It’s a great opportunity for me!”
José Herrada is a 31-year-old brother with a wealth of experience: 12 pro seasons, more than 300 days of World Tour racing, 9 participations in all-round towers, including a Tour de France. Grimpeur, he finished 12th in the Tour of Spain in 2013. He has 5 UCI victories on his record including the Klasika Primavera 2015. He is also a remarkable teammate who shared more than 160 days of racing with Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.

“I’m very motivated,” he says. “I look forward to joining Cofidis. I think this is the perfect team for me. They have a great calendar with lots of hard races, and that’s what I like. For several years I have focused on my work for my leaders, now I will have more freedoms and I intend to try to get very good results. I just finished 3rd in the GP of Getxo and 4th in GP Villafranca, I know I am capable of great performances. I will give the best of myself when I have my chance on the biggest races, it is a very good opportunity for me!”

Jesús Herrada:

Brailsford: Young Talent will Play “Important Part” in Team Sky’s Future
Team Sky have announced the signing of three of the brightest young talents in the sport – Colombia’s Egan Bernal, Russian rider Pavel Sivakov and Norwegian sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen.

All three riders lit up last week’s Tour de L’Avenir, the most prestigious race in the under 23 calendar, with stage wins and classification victories.

Egan Bernal took a sensational overall win with back to back stage victories in the mountains, whilst Pavel Sivakov – who also won this year’s ‘Baby Giro’ d’Italia – took the final stage and the mountains classification.

World Under 23 Road Race Champion Halvorsen, who will join Bernal and Sivakov at Team Sky for 2018, claimed a stage victory and topped the final points classification.

David Brailsford said: “We are establishing a group of exceptional young riders at Team Sky. I have no doubt they are going to make a big impact and be an important part of our future. They have chosen to come to Team Sky because they know that our team is a place where they can best fulfill their potential, achieve their goals and be part of a winning culture. I believe the group of home grown and international young talent we are building represents the brightest future we have ever had at Team Sky.”

U23 World champion, Kristoffer Halvorsen:

Vincenzo Nibali to participate the 2017 Taiwan KOM Challenge
Merida Press Release: “To express the support for cycling sport and competition promotion in Taiwan, current Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team star rider, Vincenzo Nibali, is invited by Merida and will participate in the 2017 Taiwan KOM Challenge, which will be held on October 20th. His teammate, Taiwan local hero Feng Chun-Kai, together with Vincenzo’s brother, Antonio Nibali, will also come to this race drawing more and more international attention

Winning 2014 Tour of France, 2013 and 2016 Tour of Italy, and 2010 Tour of Spain have made Nibali one of the six cyclists ever in history owning champion titles of the three top-end races.

Nibali’s visit will be the first time ever for a reigning 3 top-end race champion to participate cycling race in Taiwan. It will bring a boom to the Taiwan KOM Challenge as well as further enhancing the visibility of Taiwan and this event internationally.”

The race organizers commented on the latest rider addition to the race: “The Taiwan KOM Challenge, presented by the Taiwan Cyclist Federation and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, is happy to announce that Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain-Merida will be participating in the 2017 event, to be held on October 20th.

To have such a high profile rider represents the growing reputation of the Taiwan KOM Challenge as the world’s premier hill climb race. To see Vincenzo Nibali lining up at the start line in Hualien alongside Cadel Evans will be something special.”

Vincenzo Nibali:
nibali end

Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull Return to OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Team Sky have confirmed that Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull are set to be part of their line-up for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which finishes in their home city of Cardiff on Sunday 10 September.

Thomas, who won the opening stage of the Tour de France in Dusseldorf this July, will make his return from injury at the race, which gets underway in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 September, making his first appearance in Britain’s national Tour since 2011, when he won the Points Classification.

Commenting on the news, Geraint Thomas said; “It’s always great to be able to race in front of home fans, so I’m really looking forward to the Tour of Britain. I haven’t had the chance to race at home much in recent years, but the atmosphere at London 2012, then at the home stages of the Tour de France and Commonwealth Games in 2014, has always stayed with me. The support from British fans is always fantastic when we race abroad – especially from the Welsh fans! There aren’t many races now where I don’t see the flag at the side of the road, and it just gives you such a boost. Obviously it was the first thing the Welsh guys spoke about when we saw that the finish was going to be in Cardiff. I’m sure the fans will do us proud – that’s going to be a great day.”

Owain Doull finished third overall and won the Points Classification in the 2015 Tour of Britain, and like Thomas is excited by the prospect of racing into his home city in Britain’s biggest professional race. “‘I can’t wait to be back racing in the UK, especially with the race finishing in my hometown of Cardiff. This will be my fifth time racing the Tour of Britain and my first time racing with Team Sky so it will be an even bigger event for me. The crowds just seem to get bigger every year, so it’s a race I really look forward to.”

Former World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski has already been confirmed by Team Sky for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, with their full six-rider Team Sky line-up for the race to be confirmed ahead of the race.

This year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain will finish in Cardiff, as the first Welsh venue to host the overall finish of the race. Stage Eight on Sunday 10 September will begin in the city of Worcester, and pass through Pershore in Worcestershire, Ledbury in Herefordshire and Newport in south Wales before riders tackle three laps of a city centre circuit in Cardiff, with the finish on King Edward VII Avenue by City Hall.

OVO Energy, the UK’s top rated independent energy supplier was announced as the title sponsor of the Tour of Britain at the end of April.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step, taking place between Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 September 2017.

OVO Tour of Britain Stages:
Stage One Sunday 3 September Edinburgh to Kelso 190km
Stage Two Monday 4 September Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth 211km
Stage Three Tuesday 5 September Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe 178km
Stage Four Wednesday 6 September Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent 165km
Stage Five Thursday 7 September The Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial 16km
Stage Six Friday 8 September Newmarket to Aldeburgh 187km
Stage Seven Saturday 9 September Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham 185km
Stage Eight Sunday 10 September Worcester to Cardiff 180km.

2017 Tour of Britain Promo:

Castelli to Make the Giro d’Italia Leaders’ Jerseys for the Next Four Years
The famous clothing brand will produce the jerseys worn by all four main classification leaders of the Corsa Rosa in a four-year deal from 2018 to 2021.

Castelli is back in pink! The famous brand with the scorpion, the symbol of research and innovation in cycling, will be part of the Maglia Rosa and the other Giro d’Italia classification jerseys for the next four years. From 2018 to 2021 the revolutionary Venetian company – although the brand was founded in Lombardy, in Rosate – signed a deal with RCS Sport to produce the Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader; Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader; Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader and Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader.

Castelli is not new to the Corsa Rosa: in the 1980s and 1990s, many champions wore Castelli made jerseys. The last rider to wear a Maglia Rosa made by Castelli was Miguel Indurain, winner in Milan in 1992.

“It’s a real pleasure to announce the return of the prestigious international brand Castelli to the Giro d’Italia family. This historic company will once again produce the Giro leader’s jerseys after our successful experience together in the 1980s and 90s. We are certain that this will be an important and worthwhile partnership for both companies, for marketing and in terms of return on investment,” said Matteo Mursia, RCS Sport Commercial Director.

Steve Smith, Castelli Brand Manager, said: “We are really proud of having back the Scorpion on the roads of the Giro d’Italia. For an Italian company being partner of RCS Sport in ‘the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place’ can only be a great joy. This is a great occasion to showcase an Italian company that’s synonymous with excellence in cycling clothing.”

Miguel Indurain in Castelli pink in 1992:

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