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Richmond - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter Sagan (Team Tinkoff Saxo) pictured during the Worldchampionships Cycling - Championat du Monde in Richmond - Roadrace men elite - photo's Wessel van Keuk/Davy Rietbergen/Anton Vos/Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2015

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Would Peter Sagan win a 100 kilometer Worlds road race? He might have to try if the UCI cut the race distance – EuroTrash Top Story. Reports, results, quotes and video from Binche-Chimay-Binche and the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. In other cycling news: Peter Sagan UCI WorldTour No.1, team rosters for the World’s team time trial and Paris-Tours, contract news from TJ Sport and Katusha, injury up-date on Laurens De Plus, Colnago bikes for Chinese TJ Sports team, Team Earth launched and the Giro d’Italia celebrates 100 edition with new logo. EuroTrash coffee time Thursday.

TOP STORY: A Shortened Worlds Road Race?
It has been reported that the UCI is ready to shorten the distances of the World road races in Doha next week if the temperature is too high. The Elite men’s road race is normally a six hour war of attrition, more than 250 kilometers of riding to sort out the men from the boys. The last hour or two is where the cream comes to the top and the riders who are left are the World’s best. To control a race of over six hours is hard for any team, the British team managed it in 2011 Copenhagen for Mark Cavendish and the Polish in 2014 in Ponferrada for Michał Kwiatkowski, but normally it can’t be done. Just look at the Italian team in most World championships, they are in control until the final important part of the race and then it all goes wrong for the Azzurri.

The point is that the Worlds road race is a long and hard race and cannot be contested over 100 kilometers, as has been suggested. They say that temperatures will be near 40ºC and apart from supplying water, ice, drinks motorbikes and 10,000 bidons, the UCI are saying that shortening the race is the answer. Thinking back to the Vuelta a España start in Sevilla a few years ago, 40ºC would have been comfortable compared to the heat the race encountered. The stages were not 6 hours, but it was hotter than 40º.

Possibly the UCI should have thought of this before giving the championships to Doha. When the 2020 FIFA World Cup (soccer) is in Qatar will the games be shortened to 10 minutes for each half? I don’t think so.

Another rainbow jersey in the heat of Doha for Peter Sagan?
WK in Richmond - Roadrace men elite 2015

Binche-Chimay-Binche 2016

Arnaud Demare (FDJ) showed that he has the form for the Doha World championships by winning the Binche-Chimay-Binche Classic in Belgium on Tuesday. The Frenchman out-sprinting Zdenek Stybar (Etixx – Quick-Step) after Demare made a strong attack after the summit of the cobbled climb in the last kilometer. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal) was 3rd with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) 4th after the Olympic champion had split the field on the climb.

The break of the day was Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) and Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling) who stayed out front until the start of the final 16 kilometer lap of Binche. An escape of seven replaced them: Jens Debuscherre (Lotto Soudal), Fernando Gaviria (Etixx – Quick-Step), Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Jempy Drucker (BMC), Oliver Naesen (IAM Cycling), Preben Van Hecke (Topsprot Vlaanderen-Baloise), and Huub Duijn (Roompot). They didn’t work together and the bunch pulled them back, next to go was Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), he was also caught and the peloton was together for the final cobbled climb to the line in Binche.

BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet gave it 100% up the climb with took himself, Roelandts, Demare and Stybar free of the others by the top of the climb. As the course started to drop, Demare attacked and only Stybar could follow the Frenchman and it stayed that way to the line.

Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke-2016

Race winner, Arnaud Demare (FDJ): “I watched the videos of this race from the last two years, and I saw that the sprint was done from the final turn which is what I did. I did not wait. This victory rewards the hard work of my teammates who controlled the race. The form has been there for a while but I could not win. I’m happy because I have good legs. It’ll do me good before the Worlds. It was a strange sprint – I knew we had a corner before the finish and decided to launch my sprint going into the corner. The team worked really well and I knew I was in good shape. I felt good and did a nice sprint. I had studied the final of the previous editions and therefore knew what was going to happen. I took the turn and no longer doubted four hundred meters from the finish line. It promises to be a very good World Championships. This race was a great workout. I feel that every rider of our team is reaching the best Worlds form. Bouhanni and I are both in good form, both have good legs at the moment. We’ll see what happens, but I think we’ll work well together.”

4th, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “I tried to attack in the last kilometer on cobbles to get away from the pure sprinters. Only four guys could follow me and I ended up with Jurgen Roelandts going for third place. I tried to win but it wasn’t happening today. I’m pretty happy with the race and how I went. If you don’t try, you don’t win so I gave it a go. I’m feeling good though ahead of Paris-Tours. It is different with no climbs. Demare deserves his victory. I gave everything to win but it was not to be. Now I focus on Paris-Tours on Sunday. Traditionally it is a nice course with an interesting final.”

Binche-Chimay-Binche Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 4:32:28
2. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:02
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:04
6. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
7. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling.


Sparkassen Münsterland Giro 2016
John Degenkolb sprinted to victory at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro on Monday, taking Giant-Alpecin’s first victory on home soil this year. Degenkolb was the quickest in the reduced bunch sprint after strong chase work and an excellent lead-out by the team. The 27-year-old German took his second victory of the season ahead of Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Pascal Ackermann (Rad-net Rose Team).

John Degenkolb (GER) has sprinted to victory at Sparkassen Münsterland Giro, taking Team Giant-Alpecin’s first victory on home soil this year. Degenkolb was the quickest in the reduced bunch sprint after strong chase work and an excellent lead-out by the team. The 27-year-old German took his second victory of the season.

Munster - Westfalen - Germany  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Degenkolb John (Germany / Team Giant - Alpecin) - Ackerman Pascal - Matteo Trentin (Italie / Team Etixx - Quick Step)  pictured during Sparkassen Munsterland Giro 2016 - photo Cor Vos © 2016

Race winner, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin): “There was perfect team spirit today and I am delighted with the victory. It is really great to win in my home country. The team worked very hard throughout the whole race and gave me a great lead-out. We reacted well on the late attacks in the finale. For the sprint I had the right position and could come through at the right moment, so that was fantastic.”

2nd, Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “After an unlucky season it is good to be in good shape again, on the one hand I’m happy with this result. On the other hand there is a little bit of frustration when you take the second place. It was a dangerous race with the rain and the cobbles. I managed to stay in the first positions of the peloton. Robin Stenuit kept me at the front until 1.5 km to go. Before launching my sprint I wasn’t on Degenkolb’s wheel. There was another rider between us. At the end I lost for a wheel. I feel good. I have three races left this season and in each of these races I have a good chance to win. Today I was very close to the victory. I hope that the first win of the season comes in Paris-Bourges, Paris-Tours or the Sluitingsprijs.”

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin in 4:50:52
2. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Rad-net Rose Team
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Dion Smith (NZ) One Pro Cycling
6. Alan Banszek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
7. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:02
8. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:03
10. Bert van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Sparkassen Münsterland Giro:

World and European Champion, Peter Sagan adds UCI WorldTour number 1 title to a successful final season with Tinkoff
After an already outstanding season, including 13 wins, 10 of which came in WorldTour classed races, Peter Sagan has cemented his spot as the UCI WorldTour number one ranked rider. Having an almost unsurmountable lead going into the final WorldTour race of the season, the title was confirmed after Saturday’s Il Lombardia.

The accolade is a just reward for the hard work and determination that Peter has put in from start to finish this season, one that started on 18th January at the Tour de San Luis and will end with the World Championships road race this month.

“Finishing a season at the top of the UCI WorldTour ranking is, obviously, a great honor and gratification for any rider,” explained Peter. “It’s the first time in my professional career that I attain this summit and I’m thrilled. It’s the culmination of a strong and consistent performance throughout the year, the combination of personal effort and support from the team and its partners.

“Sadly, I reach this pinnacle in my career on the day Tinkoff took part in its last WorldTour race ever. We are all sorry to see this great team disappear but we understand the decision taken by its owner Oleg Tinkov. I would like to thank everybody in the team, and especially Oleg, for these two great seasons that brought me success, including some of the world’s most coveted trophies and jerseys. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Tinkoff also finished the season in second place overall in the UCI WorldTour team rankings, a classification the team led for much of the season. What’s more, Alberto Contador also finished sixth in the individual rankings after a strong and consistent season that will come to a close at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Peter Sagan’s 2016 WorldTour Victories
27/03: Gent – Wevelgem
03/04: Ronde van Vlaanderen
15/05: Tour de Suisse Stage 2
18/05: Tour de Suisse Stage 3
03/07: Tour de France Stage 2
13/07: Tour de France Stage 11
18/07: Tour de France Stage 16
09/09: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
21/09: Eneco Tour Stage 3
22/09: Eneco Tour Stage 4.

One of Peter Sagan’s best sprints in the ENECO Tour:

Veranda’s Willems to World Championships in Qatar
There are only two races left on home soil but Veranda’s Willems extends the season and travels to the sun of Doha, Qatar to take part in the World Championships team time trial.

The six riders taking the start on Sunday, October 9 are Elias Van Breussegem, Sander Cordeel, Jan Ghyselinck, Stef Van Zummeren, Aidis Kruopis (LTU) and Christophe Prémont.

The preparations for the 40-kilometer event started on 19 September on an airfield in Ursel, East-Flanders, Belgium. Last week the team moved indoors to a specially designed climate chamber at the main sponsor Veranda’s Willems’ showroom in Sint Martens Latem.

“The team time trial is part of our DNA,” team trainer Kristof De Kegel explains. “This year we beat some well-respected WorldTour teams in the Tour of Croatia. Personally I think this event is one of the best in cycling. You can get everything out of your riders by training systematically. Of course, you need a homogenous group of riders which we have at Veranda’s Willems but also the weakest link needs to perform to his maximum ability. We trained those systems during four days at the airfield in Ursel.”

There are only 15 teams lining up in Doha because many of the WorldTour teams declined. With support of sponsor BR Performance Veranda’s Willems will be able to take part.

“We also see this as a reward for the guys who worked so hard for Timothy Dupont and others this year. Those wins were a real team effort. We would therefore like to give them this wonderful experience to take part in the world championships,” De Kegel continues.

Belgian champion Elias Van Breussegem is one of the guys leaving for Qatar on Tuesday. The heat (between 32 and 37 degrees) will be one of the biggest challenges.

“We trained in the climate chamber. In the beginning this was really hard for me. I couldn’t keep up my watts for more than half an hour. On day five this had improved a lot. This special preparation will play a crucial role,” Elias explains.

“We kept the room temperature between 32 and 34 degrees and also mimicked the humidity at Qatar level,” De Kegel says about the sponsor’s specially designed veranda. “Some guys had trouble with the heat from the beginning and others coped well from the start. At the end of the week everyone managed to maintain the required watts level for over an hour. In Qatar we have an additional four days to get used to the climate.”

Both Van Breussegem and trainer De Kegel hope for a top ten place. “We are ‘only’ a continental team,” Van Breussegem says. “But a top ten would be awesome. We have less pressure on our shoulders as a smaller team and want to enjoy this wonderful experience. But it would be great if we could surprise.”

Aidis Kruopis will be in the Veranda’s Willems team at the Worlds:
Rucphen - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Aidis Kuopis (Veranda’s Willems) - Coen Vermeltfoort (Join-s - De Rijke) pictured during the Rabobank Dorpenomloop Rucphen a UCI Europe Tour race in Rucphen, the Netherlands - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

UCI World Championships Team Time Trial
This week sees Team Giant-Alpecin compete in the UCI World Championships team time trial taking place on Sunday, October 9th in Doha, Qatar. The 40km route starts in the Lusail Sports Complex and finishes in the Pearl Qatar Island. The parcours is relatively flat with long straight roads and 14 corners to tackle.

Coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: “The team has had a good preparation period leading up to the team time trial at the worlds, with specific preparations in terms of equipment with the improved suits, and tactics with pacing analysis. On top of that a good final test at last week’s Eneco Tour. Our main objective is to continue to make progress in this discipline. It will be important to focus and concentrate on our performance and if we manage to ride our best team time trial of the year both technically and process-wise, we could achieve a top 5, which would be a fantastic result.”

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Chad Haga (USA), Georg Preidler (AUT), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED).
Coach: Hans Timmermans (NED).

Giant-Alpecin TTT:
Sittard-Geleen - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Team Giant - Alpecin) left   pictured during  Eneco Tour stage -5 - UCI World Tour) from  Sittard- Sittard-Geleen to  Sittard-Geleen - TTT Team Time Trial - photo Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2016

Paris-Tours 2016: The Eyes of the World on Tours…
The 110th edition of Paris-Tours will this year welcome an exceptionally dense field of sprinters: Cavendish, Greipel, Boonen, Démare, Bouhanni, Coquard, Ewan, Matthews and Viviani will in particular be present, as well as Olympic road race champion Greg van Avermaet. One week before the World Championships in Doha, the prestigious classic Paris-Tours will be the last major race of the 2016 season.

On 9th October, the Paris-Tours pack will set off from Dreux for a 252.5 kilometer journey on which the best sprinters’ teams are unlikely to let the scenario of a bunched finish slip through their grasp. Spectators can look forward to one hell of a battle along Avenue de Grammont.

Normally, the perspective of Paris-Tours gives rise to talk of which race scenarios will lead to the crowning of one of the last big winners of the season. On recent editions, a rider who managed to take advantage of side-winds breaking up the pack, Matteo Trentin, succeeded another morning breakaway rider, Jelle Wallays, whilst in 2013 a bunch sprint witnessed the victory of John Degenkolb for his first triumph on a major classic. Over the last fifteen years, the titles have been more or less equally split between the speedy specialists of the Avenue de Grammont finish and the breakaway fighters better over longer distances, such as the current Olympic Champion, Greg van Avermaet, who also enjoyed his first major success in Tours in 2011. This year, however, it is very unlikely that the winner’s bouquet will not end up in the hands of a sprinter. Indeed, many of the speedsters’ teams will be in attendance to test their explosiveness. The proximity of the World Championships in Doha will add extra spice to the race, bearing in mind that the psychological blow of a victory weighs heavily in the battle between the fast men.

A majority of the favorites for the race in Qatar will also be the leading pretenders to the crown on the 110th edition of Paris-Tours. Though he dominated the sprints on the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish did not win in Tours on his only participation so far, which, coincidentally enough, was his first race with the rainbow jersey in 2011. The British rider perhaps has the opportunity to strike a major blow, but he will be up against the cream of the cream… and not only Sam Bennett who he beat several days ago on the finish of stage 2 on the Tour of Tuscany. André Greipel, who won the final Tour de France stage on the Champs-Elysées, “Cav’s” favorite playground, also has his sights on triumph on Paris-Tours, just like Frenchmen Arnaud Démare, Nacer Bouhanni and Bryan Coquard, Australians Caleb Ewan and Michael Matthews, Belgian Tom Boonen or Italian Elia Viviani. Accompanied by their lead-out men, also in the midst of fine-tuning before Doha, the sprinters will most likely not give a chance to Marco Marcato, Sylvain Chavanel and Warren Barguil, for example. However, it would seem that Greg van Avermaet has been full of beans recently…

The main contenders:
South Africa

Team Dimension Data: Cavendish (Gbr), Sbaragli (Ita), R.Janse van Rensburg (Zaf)
Team Giant-Alpecin: Barguil (Fra), Oomen (Ned), De Kort (Ned) Bora-Argon 18: Bennett (Irl), Archbold (Nzl)
Orica- BikeExchange: Matthews, Ewan (Aus), Keukeleire (Bel)
Lotto-Soudal: Greipel (Ger), Debusschere, Roelandts (Bel)
Etixx – Quick Step: Boonen (Bel), Trentin (Ita), Gaviria (Col), Richeze (Arg) Wanty – Groupe Gobert: Marcato (Ita), Veuchelen (Bel)
TopSport Vlaanderen – Baloise: Van Hecke (Bel)
BMC Racing Team: Van Avermaet (Bel), Drucker (Lux)
AG2R La Mondiale: Turgot, Minard (Fra)
FDJ: Démare, Offredo (Fra)
Fortuneo – Vital Concept: Hivert (Fra), McLay (Gbr)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Bouhanni, Laporte, Soupe (Fra) Direct Energie: Chavanel, Coquard, Petit (Fra)
HP Btp – Auber 93: R.Feillu (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM: Duque (Col), Martinez (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole: Barbier (Fra), Vantomme (Bel) Armée de Terre: Poulhies, Rostollan (Fra)
Great Britain
Team Sky: Viviani (Ita), Roche (Irl)
Astana Pro Team: Guardini (Ita), Boom (Ned)
The Netherlands
Team Lotto-NL Jumbo: Hofland (Ned), Vanmarcke (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton: Kreder (Ned)
Team Katusha: Guarnieri (Ita), Haller (Aut)
IAM Cycling: Naesen (Bel), Van Genechten (Bel).

Paris-Tours 2015:

Van Avermaet to Lead BMC Racing Team at Paris-Tours
BMC Racing Team will line up at their final European race of the 2016 season this weekend when an eight-rider squad heads to Paris-Tours in support of Greg Van Avermaet.

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said that he is confident in the abilities of all the riders to help produce a strong result for the team. “We are going to Paris-Tours with a clear leader in Greg Van Avermaet who won the 2011 edition. It’s the last one-day classic and the final race for BMC Racing Team in Europe for the 2016 season so we are definitely motivated to take home the win. We know Greg is in great form and we have a strong team to support him on Sunday,” Ledanois commented.

Van Avermaet is hoping for repeat success after podium results at previous editions of the race. “Paris-Tours is always a race I look forward to as I’ve had success there in the past with my win in 2011 and I was on the podium last year. It’s my last chance to race before the UCI World Championship Road Race in Qatar so it will be a good chance to test my form and get some more kilometers in my legs before the road race, which is my last big goal for the season,” Van Avermaet added.

Paris-Tours (9 October)
Rider roster:

Silvan Dillier (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Fabian Lienhard (SUI), Michael Schar (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Loic Vliegen (BEL), Rick Zabel (GER)
Sports Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA).

Greg Van Avermaet:
Milano - Sanremo WT 2016

Paris-Tours – Final race for IAM Cycling
THE LAST SHOUT: Sunday, IAM Cycling will take part in the final race of its existence. The Swiss professional team will fold at the end of the season after four wonderful years in the professional peloton.

THE EMOTION: “All of us will have a heavy heart for sure,” direcetur sportif Eddy Seigneur admitted. “This will be the last team briefing, the last race where the beautiful IAM Cycling jersey will be present. But we will approach this race the same way we have approached every race this season. We’ll come with the ambition to win. To succeed in outmaneuvering the big sprinters teams will not be easy. We will have to opt for an aggressive tactic.”

THE QUOTE: “It always takes a bit of luck to win in a sprint. But with the high level of riders entered to contest Paris-Tours, it will take even more than that,” Jonas Van Genechten explained. Since this race will be the last appointment before the World Championships in Doha, this autumn classic will attract the top sprinters who will be hoping to take an important victory on the Avenue de Grammont.

THE SPRINT: “The final will be very fast: the last three kilometers are dead straight,” Van Genechten continued. “This is an opportunity for the sprint trains to work together on their form before Doha. Paris-Tours is a race I’ve always wanted to win. And with it coming so close to the World Championships, there might be an opportunity there since some sprinters will not be willing to take any risks just the week before their Worlds goals.”

THE DISRUPTIVE ELEMENT: The wind. Even if this year’s course is devoid of any climbs, it nevertheless will prove to be tricky. Open and exposed to the wind for most of the 252.5 kilometers between Dreux and Tours, this will be an ideal course to try and create breaks and dangerous echelons in the peloton. “That undoubtedly will be the biggest danger,” Van Genechten confirmed.

THE TEAMMATE: Pirmin Lang. “It could be very emotional,” the Swiss rider conceded. “From start to finish, these moments will remain engraved on my memory. For this last race, my mission will be to help our sprinter Jonas Van Genenchten. Since I still have no contract for next season, I will give my maximum to have no regrets.”

Stefan Denifl (Aus), Martin Elmiger (S), Roger Kluge (All), Pirmin Lang (S), Oliver Naesen (Bel), Simon Pellaud (S), Aleksejs Saramotins (Let), Jonas Van Genechten (Bel).
Directeur sportif: Eddy Seigneur.

Stefan Denifl:
Solden - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) pictured during stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse from Unterterzen - Solden (Rettenbachgletscher) on June 17, 2015 in Switserland - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2015

Giant-Alpecin team for Paris-Tours
This Sunday Team Giant-Alpecin will participate in the 110th edition of the French one-day race Paris-Tours. Labelled ‘the sprinters classic’, the 252.5km route has recently favored the breakaways. The weather usually plays a crucial role as does the narrow routes and sharp climbs that encourage attacks in the finale.

“We have a balanced team with several options for this race,” explained coach Arthur van Dongen (NED). “The aim is to ride an aggressive race and to be proactive at the front as echelons might be happening on the narrow roads. The organization has chosen a flatter parcours this year, therefore the chances for a bunch sprint increase and it will be important to work well as a team. If this scenario unfolds we have an experienced team to set up a sprint for our fast guys.”

Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Sam Oomen (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL), Max Walscheid (GER).
Coach: Arthur van Dongen (NED).

Warren Barguil:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 16

Direct Energie for Paris-Tours
Thomas Boudat, Byan Coquard, Antoine Duchesne, Romain Guillemois, Julien Morice, Adrien Petit, Alexabdre Pichot, Angélo Tulik.
Directeur Sportif: Benoit Genauzeau.

Byan Coquard:

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Vegard Stake Laengen, Norwegian viking for TJ Sport
The latest rider who has joined the first Chinese World Tour team comes from Norway.

Vegard Stake Laenge, all around cyclist who was born in Fredrikstad on 7/2/1988, signed a deal for 2017 season with TJ Sport, becoming one of the top riders of the team for the time trials, having obtained the third place in the Chianti stage against the clock in the Giro d’Italia 2016.

The tall Norwegian cyclist (195cm), who turned pro in 2009, has obtained up to now four victories, in addition to two silver medals in the road national championship 2011 and in the time trial national championship 2016.

“When I was a child, I used to watch on tv the cycling races and in the bunch there were also the riders of the team’s of the manager Saronni,” Vegard Stake Laengen (photo) said. “So, now it’s such a feeling to sign a contract for racing in TJ Project of Mr Saronni, it’s an amazing opportunity for me, also because I’ll continue to compete in the World Tour and in the races I like the most. I really like time trial and I like to join the breakaways: if I should choose the aims for the next years, I’ll love to obtain a stage victory in a Grand Tour, perhaps in a time trial or thanks to an attack. I’m aware of the fact that these are ambitious goals, I’ll try to do my best to achieve them. I thank the teams and who have supported me in my career and TJ Sport for having chosen me for their project.”


After Doha Reto Hollenstein comes to Team KATUSHA
Team KATUSHA is happy to announce that Reto Hollenstein joins the team for 2017. The Swiss rider, who is leaving now for the World Championships in Doha (Qatar), where he will represent his country in the road race as well as in the time trial event, was part of the IAM Cycling squad for the last four years. Reto Hollenstein (31) is an excellent all-rounder. In 2016 he finished second in the national time trial championships behind Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara. In the Baloise Tour of Belgium he was the runner-up in the overall classification. After the Tour de France he took a top ten place overall in the Arctic Race of Norway as well.

“I am very happy to join Team KATUSHA. This is another step upwards in my career. KATUSHA is a big team, becoming more and more international, and has a lot of good riders. I am delighted to be able to work for Alexander Kristoff, Ilnur Zakarin and many others and to ride their world class bikes. For me this is just a dream coming true. What maybe makes me most happy is that the team was keen to have me. They know they can count on me to work and I will not disappoint them. Of course everybody has personal ambitions but my first focus will be the team. I am happy when the team is happy. My own ambitions are secondary,” said Reto Hollenstein.

“The nice thing about Reto is that we can exploit his skills in all kinds of races. Reto has shown in the last years that he is fully dedicated to his employer. Classics, Grand Tours or smaller races, it doesn’t matter to him. The fact that for the last three years IAM Cycling brought Reto to the Tour de France tells enough. You can build on him. Thanks to his good time trial skills he is also able to finish high in smaller stage races. At Team KATUSHA all races are important, so Reto will get his personal chances too. We look forward to embracing him in our group,” said Team KATUSHA General Manager Viacheslav Ekimov.

Reto Hollenstein:

Belkov, Kochetkov, Losada, Machado and Vicioso re-sign with Team KATUSHA
Team KATUSHA is happy to announce that more riders have extended their contracts with the successful WorldTour team. Both riders and management were keen to continue the partnership of the previous years.
Russian rider Maxim Belkov (31) will start his sixth season with the team. The former European TT champion is one of the most professional riders in the peloton. His team devotion is legendary. Belkov has already five Tours of Italy under his belt, including one stage win.

In his three seasons with Team KATUSHA, Russian champion Pavel Kochetkov (30) proved to be the indispensable teammate for the mountains. In 2015, as well as 2016, Pavel finished the Giro successfully, as well as the Vuelta. In 2015 he wore the mountains jersey for a number of days in the Giro d’Italia. This season he excelled in the Russian championship in Sevastopol.

2017 will be Alberto Losada’s (34) seventh season with Team KATUSHA. After six years of flawless collaboration, continuation of the partnership between the Spanish rider and the team was obvious, despite the retirement of Joaquim Rodriguez. Losada has been the right hand of Purito Rodriguez for six seasons. After 15 Grand Tours, Alberto Losada is one of the most experienced riders in the peloton.

Former Portuguese time trial champion Tiago Machado (33) is the prototype of the all-rounder. He climbs well, he has a good TT in the legs and he has the utmost devotion to the team. Tiago doesn’t like cobblestones but Team KATUSHA has other champions for those races. Machado is the perfect stage race rider. Like the other riders, Machado inked a one-year deal with the team.

Last but certainly not least, Ángel Vicioso (39) starts his 19th season as a pro rider, his sixth for Team KATUSHA. Vicioso is a real miracle man, having survived severe and serious crashes. After each crash he came back stronger, even last year by winning the Gran Premio Indurain after a complicated pelvis fracture. Ángel Vicioso, a former Giro d’Italia stage winner, is fast in the sprint but most of all performs faithfully for the team. In 2016 he was one of the mainstays for Joaquim Rodriguez and Ilnur Zakarin in the Tour de France.

“It is amazing how some riders can be devoted and work just for one goal, the team. All our leaders will confirm it: without Maxim, Pavel, Alberto, Tiago or Ángel they would never have obtained their nice victories. These riders are as proud of the Grand Tour stage wins from the leaders as if they would have won themselves. It is for me an honor to have them with us. All five are part not just of our team, but of our family. They are not “winners” themselves in the results column, but they allow us to win,” said Team KATUSHA General manager Viacheslav Ekimov.


Laurens De Plus Update
An injury forced the 21-year-old Belgian to put an end to his first pro season.

Today, Laurens De Plus passed further examinations at the Herentals hospital following his crash in last Thursday’s Gran Piemonte, which he abandoned a few kilometers after the start. The tests revealed a small fracture of the pelvis, which now requires three weeks of rest.

One of the three Etixx – Quick-Step riders to turn pro in 2016, Laurens has enjoyed a solid season, racing 58 days, out of which 33 have been in the World Tour, in such events as Vuelta al Pais Vasco (which he finished 25th), Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Criterium du Dauphiné, where he posted a strong performance while riding in support of Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe. His best result of the year came at the National ITT Championships, which he concluded in 7th place.

Laurens De Plus:
Luik - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - De Plus Laurens (Belgium / Team Etixx - Quick Step)   pictured during Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2016 - photo PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Colnago to Enter the WorldTour for the First Time with a Chinese Backed Team
More than forty years have passed since Ernesto Colnago, the world-renowned builder of high-end road-racing bicycles, and cycling champion Giuseppe Saronni collaborated for the first time. From the beginning, Ernesto Colnago revolutionized the world of cycling with his strokes of genius, while Saronni won both his and Colnago’s most important races, riding the famous Ace of Club branded Cambiago bikes. Colnago has continued to amaze the world of two-wheel racers by first developing carbon parts for the construction of bicycle frames, straight bladed forks, disc brakes and more. Meanwhile, Saronni has also become a capable and successful manager. The prospect that one of the up-and-coming World tour teams will be supported by these two important figureheads is both exciting and exhilarating. Colnago and Saronni continue to represent Italy, a nation that still wants to be a competitor in the world of cycling thanks to its skills, expertise and experience – virtues that rise above any technological development. The four-year project, in collaboration with TJ Sport Consultation, will see the debut of the first Chinese backed cycling team in the World tour, where Colnago will, once again, mark the future of cycling.

Giuseppe Saronni and Ernesto Colnago (right):

Launch Team Earth – the most sustainable cycling team in the world
The project was developed by Daan Luijkx and GR8 Industries

Ex professional cyclist and founder/CEO of the Vacansoleil-DCM World Tour team, Daan Luijkx, launches Team Earth. In 2018 this international Pro Cycling squad will take to the road with a distinctive identity and a broad partner base instead of one or two main sponsors. Daan Luijkx: “With Team Earth Pro Cycling and its partners, I want to do my best to promote sustainability and well-being. A professional sports team – and a professional cycling team especially – is a fantastic platform to bring attention to our relationship with nature and our health. Attention to the possibility for people, planet and profit to coexist.”

After half a year of preparation, during which he developed the project with GR8 Industries, Luijkx handed the first Team Earth jersey to Al Gore during the Inspiration-360 congress in Amsterdam yesterday. “Gore has created an exceptional platform to promote sustainability. As a young father, his work really resonates with me. I have a great deal of respect for the impact he has. As Team Earth, we want to help make people conscious of the effects that their actions have on the environment and their bodies. This is our priority,” Luijkx says.

HyperFocal: 0

As an entrepreneur and an accountant, Luijkx truly knows the elements necessary to build a sustainable business. “Invest in people and the community, and you will be successful. Be proud of what you do and give back. This is how Team Earth will operate. In our first meetings, major multinationals have shown great interest and really support our approach.”

Team Earth is in talks with several multinationals that are well aligned with its vision and hopes to announce the first of six equal partners in the spring of 2017.

More info on the Team Earth website.


Giro100, Amore Infinito
In 2017, the Giro d’Italia celebrates 100 editions. A special logo has been created for this significant moment in the Corsa Rosa’s history.
The presentation of the new logo will be the first of a series of initiatives that will accompany the Giro d’Italia 2017, a special edition – the hundredth. The birth of a new logo designed for this occasion follows the Presentation of the Big Start from Sardinia.

The Trofeo Senza Fine merges with the rider, graphically creating its racing profile. The Infinite symbol creates the wheels of the bicycle.

In its 99 editions, the Giro d’Italia has come a long way. The Giro d’Italia 100 not only represents the finish line of a legendary story, made up of men and their exploits and effort, but also the marks the start of new emotions and passions. An never-ending adventure that, since 1909, has been warming the hearts of the fans with amore infinito.

The Trofeo Senza Fine (Never-ending Trophy), a symbol of victory, transforms itself to celebrate the 100 editions in a special edition with rose and gold colors, and finds its rightful place in the Giro d’Italia brand.

With the Giro 100 we enter in the legend and everyone wants to be there. The Maglia Rosa cycles along the never ending story of the Giro on a infinite bicycle. The victory of the 100th edition will be than a triumph, it will be history.
The logo is the result of the new marketing strategy of the Giro d’Italia and RCS Sport, in collaboration with the zampediverse agency.

Roberto Salamini, Head of Marketing and Communications – RCS Sport said: “For the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia we have begun a new marketing strategy; the new logo is an important first step that begins the celebrations of the Corsa Rosa 2017. To complement the logo, the new event slogan – ‘Amore Infinito’ – will guide our marketing initiatives and communications, and will remain untranslated in Italian to underline the ‘Made in Italy’ heart of the event”.

Giro d’Italia 100 – Ecco il nuovo logo!

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