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Tournon-sur-Rhône - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Fabio Aru (Italie / Team Astana) pictured during stage 3of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016 from Boën-sur-Lignon to Tournon-sur-Rhône (187,5 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Fabio Thursday!

In stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Fabio Aru made a late escape for the stage win after his lack luster start to the race. Race reports, results, quotes and video from France. Tom Danielson is our Top Story, at 38 why is he fighting for ‘justice’? Other cycling news: Medical up-date on Stig Broeckx, LottoNl-Jumbo Tour de France long list, Tour de Suisse, GP du canton d’Argovie, Anthony Turgis extends with Cofidis, Matteo Pelucchi health problem and Giant-Alpecin forms feeder team. We finish with the 2016 Vuelta a España song. A fun packed EuroTrash Thursday.

TOP STORY: Tom Danielson Claims Contamination
Ex-Cannondale rider, Tom Danielson has been allowed a postponement for the final conclusion to his positive doping case from 2015. His legal team have asked for the delay because they claim the positive result could be caused by ‘contamination of a supplement’. The rider will remain suspended, as he has been since July the 9th, 2015.

Nothing much is known about the case, except that his out of competition test was positive for an anabolic agent which was discovered through Carbon Isotope Ratio testing.

Danielson said in a statement: “Expert analysis of my Carbon Isotope Ratio test shows that my positive test is consistent with ingestion of DHEA, consistent with supplement contamination, and is classified as ‘unintentional ingestion’ (an amount so small it would be nearly impossible to intentionally ingest and clearly would have no benefit as well). The expert analysis of my test result also shows that small amount of this banned substance in my system was early in the metabolism process. The sample I gave on July 9th was at 7pm, shortly after I finished dinner and had taken my dietary supplement (as I took with meals for better absorption and digestion). This timing is consistent with the test result findings. After thoroughly investigating all possible avenues and countless tests, we have identified the likely cause of my positive test as a dietary supplement I have taken for many years without issue. I take full responsibility for ingesting this supplement as the WADA rules are very clear — every athlete is responsible for what goes in his or her body. I prefer to keep the supplement name and manufacturer private during this time.”

“Before I present the evidence and facts of my case to USADA, I am asking for additional time to conduct further investigation into this supplement, as there are still some questions that need to be answered. The biggest question: Did this company intentionally put the banned substance in the supplement to make it work better, or was it simply contamination? Right now there is evidence that points to both possibilities. While I am taking full responsibility for this supplement going into my body, finding the full answer is important to me. I want others to be able to learn from this mishap to avoid it happening to them in the future. WADA rules very are clear, I was responsible for what went into my body, no matter what. I wish now I had done this much research into my supplements before taking them, not just because of this test result, and the damage it’s done to my career and my reputation, but also because of the potential damage I may have done to my body by ingesting this substance. With the additional information I hope to obtain over the next months, I hope to be able to share with others, to accurately educate them on the dangers of supplement use.”

All this from a rider who admitted to taking EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone and using blood transfusions before 2006. On that occasion he received only a six month ban, this time, if things don’t go is way, it would probably end his career as he is 38 years-old. You have to wonder why Danielson is fighting the test results, if it is to protect his reputation, it’s probably a bit late.

Tom Danielson in the Discovery team:
Puertollano - Spanje - wielrennen-cycling-cyclisme - Ronde van Spanje - Vuelta - 3e etappe  Cordoba-Puertollano - Tom Danielson (Discovery) - foto Marketa Navratilova/Cor Vos ©2005

Critérium du Dauphiné 2016
Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis, Solutions Crédits added a fourth WorldTour victory to his account as he claimed Stage 1 in the Critérium du Dauphiné after he found success at Paris-Nice and the Volta Catalunya earlier this year. The Frenchman out-sprinted Belgium’s Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) in Saint-Vulbas while Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) retained the yellow jersey.

The riders were faced with four fourth category climbs, but with three of these out of the way in the first 75km, it was unlikely that these would trouble the peloton. After another fourth category climb 52km from the stage’s finish, it was to be a flat run to what was expected to be a bunch sprint.

Almost as soon as the flag dropped, the attempts to breakaway came. Quickly gaining an advantage on the peloton, the group of two, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Mitch Docker (Orica-GreenEDGE), built up a sizable gap, extending their lead to more than three minutes with less than 20km of the stage covered. The sprinters’ teams were confident that they would be able to bring the escapees in as they got closer to the finish, and this was reflected in the relatively slow speed in the peloton.

Building up their lead to a little over five minutes, Backaert and Docker climbed the third of the day’s four climbs. With a fairly flat approach to the day’s final climb, the pace in the peloton crept up in order to take back some of the break’s advantage, and as the final climb approached, with a little over 50km to go, the gap dropped to below three minutes, and by 25km the escape had only 1:20. Knowing it was only a matter of time until the peloton caught them, Docker dropped back at 20km to go leaving Backaert out in front with a gap of 1:15.

Backaert was caught with 13 kilometers remaining, it was all back together for the run in to the finish in Saint-Vulbas. The final kilometer was flat and absent of any twists or turns that might catch riders out and cause splits, and so as the sprinters’ teams massed at the front, a bunch sprint was certain.

With only a few roundabouts to negotiate before the finish the speed in the peloton was increased. Katusha and Cofidis teams both wanted to control the sprint and a tussle between different riders ensued which caused Alexander Kristoff to lose his position, but not so Nacer Bouhanni. Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) led the sprint out with 250 meters to go and looked to have the big win, but Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and then Bouhanni came past him. Bouhanni celebrated by punching the air like a boxer in dedication to Muhammad Ali who died at the weekend.

Saint-Vulbas- France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Bouhanni Nacer (France / Cofidis) - Jens Debusschere (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Moreno Hofland (Netherlands / Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo)  pictured during stage 1of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  from Cluses to  Saint-Vulbas (186 KM) - photo LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “It was a long standoff with the Katusha team, who tried to stop Christophe Laporte from protecting the wheel of Geoffrey Soupe when he was leading the pack. We had to impose, but we were not afraid to do so. Sam Bennett anticipated the sprint by jumping at 250 meters. There was a tailwind and immediately, I made my effort to kick and give everything to the line. This is a victory gained in battle. This is my 16th successful WorldTour race. These are the courses that motivate me. I’m riding in the second large block of form for my season. It was cut into three parts: Paris-Nice and Milan-Sanremo and Dauphiné and Tour de France before the World Championships at the year-end.”

Overall leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “It was a relatively calm day but with a fast pace from the start. We knew the sprinters team would be in charge, so it was important to stay in front, especially in the finale in order to stay safe and avoid any gaps. We achieved that, we didn’t lose any time or suffer from any crash, so I’m satisfied.”

Break rider, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “The team asked me to attack today. I directly managed to get a gap on my first attempt, we need to show us every day. Today, we were three riders appointed to be part of a breakaway: Frederik Veuchelen, Dimitri Claeys and me. It would have been better with more riders because it was tiring. It was difficult to resist to the peloton’s comeback. I’m glad I showed the jersey. I did a good job but I’m sad not to be on the podium.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Result:
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis in 4:27:53
2. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
6. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
7. Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie
8. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
9. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff in 4:39:29
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:06
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:13
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:24
6. Wouter Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:25
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:29
8. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:31
9. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 0:37
10. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 0:39.

Dauphiné Stage 1 by GoPro:

Jesús Herrada of Movistar impressed by out-sprinting his rivals on the uphill finish of Stage 2 at Chalmazel-Jeansagnière as the main peloton caught the breakaway riders in the finalé. Suspense was high but Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) kept the yellow-blue jersey despite Sky and BMC’s attempts to put him in difficulty.

Stage 2 was an undulating 168 kilometers with a 7 kilometer climb to finish in Chalmazel-Jeansagnière. Tinkoff were in control and held the race together until the Cat 1 Col de Durbrize where Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data) escaped to take the mountain points and was joined by Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18), Jack Bauer (Cannondale) and Lilian Calméjane (Direct Energie). The group gained a lead of nearly 6 minutes, but it was too much for Lutsenko who had to sit up. Teklehaimanot also took the KOM points on the next climb, the Col de la Croix Nicelle, but the lead started to drop.

Gougeard and Huzarski dropped the others, but with Tony Martin chasing for Etixx – Quick-Step their lead was doomed. Gougeard went solo as ex-World champion Michel Kwiatkowski (Sky) rode off the front to chase down the break. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Direct Energie), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) caught and dropped Kwiatkowski on the Côte de Saint-Georges-en-Couzan climb and headed off for what looked like a probable victory.

Team Sky started to attack the peloton, first with Mikel Landa and then Sergio Henao and then Daniel Navarro of Cofidis, but they could not cross to the three leaders. Movistar had more power with Dani Moreno getting up to the leaders and then Jesús Navarro shooting past them for the stage win.

Chalmazel - Jeansagniere - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Jesus Herrada (Movistar)   pictured during stage 2 of the Crit»rium du Dauphin» 2016  from Creches sur Saone - Chalmazel - Jeansagniere 168 km - photo LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Jesús Herrada (Movistar): “I’m so happy to have won in such an important race, against so many talented riders. The pace during the stage was steady, without any real drops, but despite Tinkoff leading for the whole race, there was some point when the breakaway got five or six minutes, and that forced Etixx to take the lead and push hard. That rhythm before the climbs left only one chance and one thing to do for us: follow the wheels and save energy until the ascents. The team managed the situation perfectly. Fran and Marc kept us well protected, Antonio helped out as much as he could and it was Rubén and Dayer’s task, mostly Dayer, to follow those moves. I knew the finish, I kept in mind that it was so good for me, but at the same time, I couldn’t spend a bit of energy more than I should, because I only had that one opportunity: the sprint. I tried to save that bit for the end and succeeded to keep myself calm until the final 500 meters, when Dani attacked, the break was finally caught and I saw my place to try the move into the final turn. I’m immensely happy with how things played out.”

Overall leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “It’s always nice having the yellow jersey but our main goal here is to build our form for the Tour de France. However, it would always be better to have it on the last day rather than now. Today was a very fast day, with other teams interested in working for the stage win, which allowed me to keep the leader’s jersey. It was another training day. The climbs weren’t difficult but there was a lot tension because everybody is fighting for a good position. I still haven’t reached the optimal race rhythm, speed or high cadence in the legs but this is precisely the reason we are here. We keep adding training days. It was a complicated stage finish where everybody wanted to stay ahead. The wind was blowing quite hard so if you tried to be in front you had it against you. At the end it was a day where we spent a lot of energy in an up and down terrain but it’s another day in the bag.”

3rd on the stage, Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data): “On the second last climb I felt very good. Edvald told me he was not feeling so good anymore and that I could do my own race. I took my chance once Daniel was caught. I felt very strong but it was difficult in the last kilometer as the peloton was getting very close. I tried everything I could. I am happy with my form and the result, although it is a missed chance.”

16th on the stage and 9th overall, Daniel Navarro (Cofidis): “It was a difficult stage with a final for climbers. The sensations were really good. After my attack, I managed to return to the heels of the top three when we were near the finish. I then thought that I was going to sprint for victory… but behind the pack was strong and we were over taken. I gained two places in the overall, so it’s a good day for me.”

9th on the stage, Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida): “I’m happy I can exploit the good fitness which I maintained from the Giro d’Italia. Today’s performance is another important step in my growth as rider. I really hope I will be able to be with Meintjes as long as possible on the mountains in the next demanding stages.”

11th, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “First I want to enjoy it. Afterwards, we’ll analyze the race. I didn’t understand what I did among the big stars but my legs were good. So I gave everything. I tried to get a good result. It is a good day for me. It was close today. I’ll try again in the next few days.”

Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “I was in the vanguard, I doubted my strength two different occasions, then I just decided to try it and go all out. I attacked alone. I had nothing to lose. And I certainly do not want to have any regrets once I cross the finish line. Having been able to sustain an attack, even if this particular attempt did not result in a victory, bodes well for the coming days. It helps me to regain some confidence in my abilities. Now I will no longer doubt myself.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Result:
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar in 4:13:43
2. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:02
3. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
4. Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie
5. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
9. Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff in 8:53:14
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:06
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:13
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:24
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:31
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 0:37
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 0:43
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:48.

Dauphiné Stage 2:

Ahead of his first participation to the Tour de France, Italian climber Fabio Aru (Astana) claimed his first ever stage victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné after going clear of the peloton on the Côte de Sécheras with 22km to go of Stage 3. It was a beautiful solo ride in the Rhône Valley by the Italian climber who has plenty more to offer.

The early break of the day was made up of Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step), Thomas De Gent (Lotto Soudal) and Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), later to be joined by Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Perrig Quémeneur (Direct Energie), but they were allowed only a maximum lead of 6 minutes. Bora-Argon 18, Cofidis and Katusha pulled them back with 25 kilometers to go and the final climb of the Côte de Sécheras.

On the climb; Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) attacked and was chased by Aru and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). At the summit Martin was first with the Aru group just behind. On the flat section before the descent to the finish; Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Mikel Landa (Sky) crossed to the three chasers and they all caught Martin as the peloton was on their heels. Aru was the faster on the drop, but only had a slim 5 seconds with 10 kilometers to go, but on the twisty road his advantage doubled and then with 2K to go he had 15 seconds.

On the flat run-in to the finish, the peloton were getting closer to Aru, but he kept the pressure on and had 2 seconds by the time he crossed the line. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took the bunch sprint from Niccolò Bonifazio (Trek-Segafredo) and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step). Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) kept his hold on the overall lead even though he punctured near the finish and had to take a teammates bike. The Spaniard still leads by 6 seconds from Richie Porte (BMC), 13 from Chris Froome (Sky) and 21 seconds on Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step).

Tournon-sur-Rhône - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Fabio Aru (Italie / Team Astana) pictured during stage 3of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  from Boën-sur-Lignon to Tournon-sur-Rhône  (187,5 KM) - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Fabio Aru (Astana): “I tried my luck on the climb, and then I decided to push on as hard as I could on the descent but I never imagined it would end up like this.

Overall leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff): “These things can happen. I had a mechanical in the final stretch and I tried to keep going but the tubular was rubbing against the frame. Luckily, Roman Kreuziger was just behind me, so I could borrow his bike, even if it’s a bigger size than mine. It was a bit difficult to pedal on the seat but it was only 4km to go and another teammate was waiting for me to bring me back in the peloton. I managed to finish the race without any problems. We had to take quick decisions in a split second but we did it very well. It was a delicate moment but as I said before, I am less stressed in this race, compared to, let’s say, Paris-Nice. I take it in a more relaxed way. Fabio Aru deserved his win – he’s a rider that brings excitement to the races he takes part in, so it’s a good outcome.”

8th on the stage, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis): “I hung on to negotiate the finish in the best condition, but the legs were not exceptional. I was a bit limited. I’m not disappointed because there was no sprint for victory. Thursday’s stage is for sprinters. I hope this will be a better day for me.”

9th, Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “It was a very fast day. I didn’t have a good feeling on the bike. I fight the whole day and finally I’m happy with my sprint. I fought to be in the first positions of the peloton before the last climb. It is a good result for me and for the team. I’m happy for Fabio Aru. The guys who beat me will be the riders who are going to fight for the flat stages in the next Tour de France.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Result:
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 4:19:54
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:02
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff in 13:13:10
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:06
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:13
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:24
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:31
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana at 0:37
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 0:43
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:48.

Dauphiné Stage 3:

Update Stig Broeckx
Since his crash in the Tour of Belgium Stig Broeckx has been kept in an induced coma in the hospital of Aachen for the past eleven days to let him recover from the crash and the surgery he had to undergo last week. That operation was intended to decrease the intracranial pressure. The intracranial pressure has been under control since the operation and the situation is no longer acutely life threatening.

At this moment it is not clear yet what the neurological consequences of the crash will be. These examinations can only take place when the condition of Stig has been stable for a long time.

Stig Broeckx:
Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne 2016

Tour de France long list
Team LottoNL-Jumbo created its long list of riders for the upcoming 103rd edition of the Tour de France. The team will whittle this list down to its nine participants ahead of the race start on Saturday, July 2, in Mont-Saint-Michel.

The 21 stages:
9 flat stages
1 hilly stage
9 mountain stages with 4 summit finishes
2 time trials
2 rest days

“The team starts in Mont-Saint-Michel with the aim of winning a stage and delivering a strong general classification,” said Technical Director Nico Verhoeven. “Several riders have trained at altitude in Tenerife. Their last preparations will be done in three stage races, the Tour de Suisse, the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Ster ZLM Toer. Several days before the national championships the final nine riders will be announced.”

Long list riders:
George Bennett, Jos van Emden, Robert Gesink, Dylan Groenewegen, Wilco Kelderman, Tom Leezer, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Bram Tankink, Mike Teunissen, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner, Maarten Wynants.
Sports Directors: Merijn Zeeman, Nico Verhoeven, Frans Maassen.

Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen:
Tour de Yorkshire 2016 - 29/04/2016 - Premiere etape : Beverley / Settle (187 km) - Royaume-Uni - Victoire de GROENEWEGEN Dylan; Team Lotto NL - Jumbo

Race Preview: June 6 – 14
Tour de Suisse (WT)

The 80th edition of the Tour of Suisse is a tough nine-day race which offers different opportunities for Team Giant-Alpecin. It features around 19,622 meters of climbing with a total distance of 1220.1km to cover, the Swiss route is made for the climbers. From the city of Baar to Davos, the course crosses all four language regions of Switzerland and will offer spectacular views of the Alps.

After a prologue in the city of Baar, the first stage will also take place in Baar and should benefit the puncheurs. The peloton will then head towards Rheinfelden on a long stage of 192.6km. The third stage will end in the French-speaking part of the country, in Champagne. Then they will be a tough day between Brig-Glis and Carì, with three categorize climbs including the steep uphill finish in Carì. The next two days should also be suitable for climbers with uphill finishes in Amden and in Sölden. The Tour de Suisse will end in Davos, after a time trial of 16.8km on Saturday, the final stage offers the last chance for the main contenders to fight out for the overall victory.

“The race profiles are varied and tough and it will be a great race for the team,” explained coach Morten Bennekou (DEN). “We have two main goals for the Tour de Suisse; to aim for a good result in the general classification with Warren and to focus on stage results.

“Warren is currently at the team’s altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada to prepare himself for the upcoming races. He has already shown this season that he can compete well on the toughest of climbs and we have a strong team to support him. For stage results, there are no real flat stages and there are opportunities for the breakaways to stay until the finish so we will look to take our chances where we can with Simon and Laurens.”

Race: Tour de Suisse (WT)
Date: 11-19/06/2016
Website: www.tourdesuisse.ch

Warren Barguil (FRA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Cheng Ji (CHN), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Sam Oomen (NED), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR).
Coach: Morten Bennekou (DEN).

Warren Barguil:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 16

Rind um Köln (1.1)
Team Giant-Alpecin heads to Germany this week to participate at Rund um Köln. It is one of the oldest one-day races in Germany and the race celebrates its 100th edition this Sunday. The course is held around the city of Cologne consisting of 196.7km of hilly terrain where the riders tackle a number of categorized climbs before they descend back to the finish with the outcome of the race not necessarily decided by a bunch sprint.

“The goal for Köln is to sprint with Nikias who picked up his first Grand Tour stage victory on the final stage of the Giro d’Italia,” explained coach Dirk Reuling (NED). “During the previous editions the races have usually been decided by a mass sprint. However the parcours is quite tricky, with a lot of short but steep climbs that come in quick succession.

“It will be vital to have riders in the front group if there is a big breakaway that escapes during the hilly section in the early stages of the race. But our main aim is to support Nikias and prepare the sprint for him and target a top 5 result.”

Race: Rund um Köln (1.1)
Date: 12/06/2016
Website: www.arturtabat.online.de

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Bert De Backer (BEL), Georg Preidler (AUT), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Max Walscheid (GER).
Coach: Dirk Reuling (NED).

Georg Preidler:
Sestola - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Georg Preidler (Austria / Team Giant - Alpecin) pictured during stage 10 of the 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 from Campi Bisenzio to Sestola 219 km - foto Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour
Team Liv-Plantur returns to Belgium this weekend with the one-day Belgium race SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour. The women’s peloton will line-up in Antwerp and head inland to Nijlen. As the course is mainly flat, it will be a day for the sprinters to shine. The parcours covers one large circuit of 30.3km and seven local laps of 14.4km totaling 131.1km. The laps have two small climbs but they should not be too steep for the top sprinters to overcome.

Coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: “The course is pan flat and that will make it a very fast race. The weather conditions can play a role and we will apply an offensive strategy to take the initiative during the race. Leah returns to the line-up and that makes our team even stronger. With Floortje we have options for a sprint finish and we will aim for a podium result.”

Race: SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour (1.1)
Date: 12/06/2016
Website: www.flandersdiamondtour.be

Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Sara Mustonen (SWE), Rozanne Slik (NED), Julia Soek (NED), Kyara Stijns (NED).
Coach: Hans Timmermans (NED).

Giant-Plantur team:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo is aiming for the general classification in Switzerland
Team LottoNL-Jumbo starts the Tour de Suisse with a clear goal this Saturday: put Wilco Kelderman or Robert Gesink at or near the top of the final classification. The team leaders returned last week from an altitude training camp and are ready.

The Swiss WorldTour stage race starts Saturday with a time trial in Baar and continues through next Sunday, June 19.

“We are going to the Tour of Switzerland with a clear goal,” said Sport Director Jan Boven. “We want to finish with a good general classification with our two leaders.”

LottoNL-Jumbo’s six other riders will work for Kelderman and Gesink, and will have little space for their own chances. “The course does not lend itself to that. The Tour of Switzerland is always tough, but this year, they made the stages even heavier. The only riders who will be going for stage victories are our leaders, and if we plan to do so, we’ll decide that morning on the bus. It’s clear that our main goal is the general classification.”

Kelderman is restarting in the Tour de Suisse after the Tour de Romandie in April. He returned from altitude training in Tenerife on Sunday, happy to pin on a race number. “I can’t wait to race again,” he said. “I’m in a good shape and I returned fit from our altitude training.”

It’s been three years since Kelderman raced the Tour de Suisse. “It’s always nice to ride in Switzerland, it is all well organised and the stages are challenging. My goal is to achieve a high level and it’s hard to say if means a good general classification, but a top 10 spot should be a logical outcome if I have a high level.“

The stage race is Gesink’s last major event before the Tour. “I’ve worked hard and it’s paying off,” Gesink said. “This is a beautiful race to test my form and level and to cross the Ts and dot the Is.”

Gesink last raced over a month ago. “In the first few days, I’ll find my race rhythm and hopefully start the last difficult days with good legs. The race is tremendously difficult this year. The Rettenbach stage in Austria [stage seven] will be the highlight, literally and figuratively.”

The Tour de Suisse starts with a short 6.4-kilometre time trial and ends on Sunday in Davos. Each stage requires climbing legs, especially the fifth, sixth and seventh stages. The organiser planned another time trial, one of 16.8 kilometres, for stage eight.

Tom Asbroeck, Koen Bouwman, Twan Castelijns, Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens and Bram Tankink.
Sport Directors: Jan Boven and Frans Maassen.

Robert Gesink:

Etixx – Quick-Step to Tour de Suisse
Eight riders will go to the final World Tour event of June, which this year celebrates its 80th edition

Created in 1933 and raced over nine days, the Tour de Suisse earned a place in the cycling calendar as one of the most important stage races out there – a mix of flat, hilly and mountain days – which provides plenty of opportunities to shine to all riders. It won’t be any different this season, when the Swiss event promises to be another spectacular affair, which should reach its climax on the summit finishes of Cari, Amden and Sölden, with the individual time trials of Baar (6.4 km) and Davos (16.8 km) very likely to spice things up in the general classification. Overall, the course will await the riders with nearly 20 000 meters of elevation and 16 categorized climbs.

After making his long-awaited return to the peloton last week, at Heistse Pijl, Fernando Gaviria will now head to the Tour de Suisse, his second World Tour stage race since turning pro, following March’s Tirreno-Adriatico. Maximiliano Richeze, who helped Fernando get his maiden pro win earlier this year at the Tour de San Luis, will also be there, where together with Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote will form the Colombian’s lead-out for the flat stages. Besides them, thanks to the presence of Rodrigo Contreras, Zdenek Stybar and Czech champion Petr Vakoc, the team will have some important cards to play when the terrain will become undulating.

“Bookended once again by time trials, the Tour de Suisse is going to be a challenging and exciting race, especially as many riders will try to lay the foundation for the Tour de France. Concerning us, we hope to rise again to the expectations and be among the protagonists, as was the case in almost all the races we did this year. We don’t have a designated leader, but what we do have is a strong and united team, in which every rider is ready to work hard and fight for his teammate’s success, so we hope to add to the eight victories we already have in Suisse since 2003”, said sport director Davide Bramati, who’ll lead Etixx – Quick-Step from the car, together with Rik Van Slycke and Wilfried Peeters.

11.06–19.06 Tour de Suisse (SUI) 2.UWT

Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (COL), Fernando Gaviria Rendon (COL), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Maximiliano Richeze (ARG), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Petr Vakoc (CZE), Julien Vermote (BEL).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA), Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Rik van Slycke (BEL).


Peter Sagan looking to fine tune form at Tour de Suisse
Having won at least a stage and the green jersey at the race for the past five seasons, Peter Sagan returns to the Tour de Suisse in search of continued success in the 2016 edition, and to continue building his form ahead of Le Tour. After a resounding return to racing at the Amgen Tour of California, where he scored two stage wins as well as winning the points classification jersey, Peter will come into the nine-day WorldTour race in search of stage results and further race speed in the legs.

Lining up alongside the UCI WorldTour rankings leader is team with a mixture of youth and experience. Manuele Boaro, Jay McCarthy, Evgeny Petrov and Ivan Rovny come to the race from the Giro d’Italia, joined by Maceij Bodnar and Oscar Gatto who recently raced the Tour de Luxembourg. The team is completed by Peter’s brother, Juraj Sagan.

Looking ahead to the race, Sport Director Patxi Vila said: “We go to Switzerland with a mixed line up, some guys coming from the Giro and others from California or back from injury. We’ll be aiming for stage results as we don’t have a main rider for the GC here.

“Jay and Rovny come here from the Giro and will see what they can do overall but it will be a really tough race, and a bit of a shot in the dark for the GC – we will see how they feel day by day. On the other side, we have a strong team to fight for stage wins with Peter. Already, stages 2, 3 and 4 look good for him. Then we have Boaro and Bodnar for the time trials. On the other days we will look to fight for the breakaways and go for results from here.”

The race gets underway with a 6.4km opening time trial in the municipality of Baar, over a largely flat parcours which will suit the time trial specialists. The action then kicks off in earnest on stage 2 with a 187.6km stage based on four laps of a large circuit, with a testing ascent each lap but not difficult enough for the pure climbers to break the race.

Stage 3 will be another opportunity for a fast finish, and if Peter and the team didn’t score their first result the previous day, this one will be marked in the road book as a big opportunity to score a result early in the race.

The first uphill finish falls on stage 5, a day that also takes in the difficult Furkapass and Gotthardpass, the first of which climbs to over 2400m. Two more tough days follow each with mountain top finishes, before the race’s second time trial – a longer 16.8km individual effort around Davos. The GC battle could go down to the final stage, a testing, short 117.7km race that features two more HC mountain ascents – the Albulapass and the Flüelapass.

“Past experience has shown that Peter goes better in Switzerland than in California, so we hope that this build of form will continue here,” explained Vila when looking at Peter’s form. “It will be his last race before the Tour de France so it will be a good one for him to test his legs again.”

“The Tour de Suisse is a traditional final test before the Tour de France for me,” explained Peter ahead of the race. “During its nine, tough, stages I’m going to check my current form, and of course, if it’s possible, I would like to add some stage victories to my collection. The second, third and fourth stage could be ideal, because there’s a good chance that they will end with a bunch sprint.”


Tour de Suisse – Rik Verbrugghe: “A stage win and a good place in the overall with Mathias Frank”
THE AMBITION: “A stage win and a good place in the overall classification with Mathias Frank,” Rik Verbrugghe, sports manager for the team, admits frankly that these will be the IAM Cycling main objectives at the Tour of Switzerland, which is a race that team founder Michel Thétaz highly values on the World Tour calendar.

THE EXPLANATION: Selecting eight riders for the Swiss tour has not been an easy task. Rik Verbrugghe had to take into account the various possible scenarios that could unfold before deciding on a phalanx guard in the mountains for Mathias Frank. “This edition of the Tour of Switzerland is very mountainous, and we will rely on the help of the climbers to protect our leader. Stefan Denifl, Jarlinson Pantano, Marcel Wyss and Oliver Zaugg have been called up to accompany him for as long as possible on the hard climbs.”

THE QUOTE: “We can and should aim for a stage victory,” commented Rik Verbrugghe. “There will be plenty of opportunities with Dries Devenyns, Martin Elmiger, Reto Hollenstein, Jarlinson Pantano and even Mathias Frank can look to play for a win, especially since they have all managed to do so on other occasions.”

THE FACT OF THE DAY: IAM Cycling will be fielding a team that will also form the core of the group of riders likely to show up at the start of the Tour de France, Saturday, July 2nd, in the prestigious setting of Mont Saint-Michel. Rik Verbrugghe confirmed this: “Indeed, many of the riders entered in the Tour of Switzerland will also be starting in La Grande Boucle. However, just being here does not automatically ensure a place for this summer’s biggest race. There are nine places available, and we will endeavor to build a team with the most successful riders at the moment of selecting our final Tour squad, which in principle will have to happen the day after the Swiss race ends in Davos.”

THE ANECDOTE: For once, IAM Cycling will start their home Swiss tour with a majority of Swiss riders. Martin Elmiger, Mathias Frank, Reto Hollenstein, Marcel Wyss and Oliver Zaugg will all be racing over home roads since the Tour of Switzerland will linger just one afternoon in the French Romandie region of the country.

THE INFO: IAM Cycling will spend Friday night on the ceremonial podium erected in Baar. As part of the official team presentation, the squad led by Rik Verbrugghe and Mario Chiesa will be expected to appear around 8pm.

THE WARNING: Oliver Zaugg has fully alerted his team about the first rendezvous in the mountains at the 4th stage from Brig-Glis to Cari. The final 12 kilometer climb from Faido is anything but a joke, especially after having already climbed the Gotthard and Furka passes. Not surprisingly, the 126 kilometer stage has a total elevation gain of 3386 meters.

THE NUMBER: 4294 meters. That is the total elevation gain that the riders have to look forward to during the Tour of Switzerland’s longest stage from Arbon up to the Rettenbach glacier. The finish line comes after more than 224 kilometers of racing when it reaches high above Sölden, where the Alpine Ski World Cup opens.

Stefan Denifl (Aut), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Martin Elmiger (S), Mathias Frank (S), Reto Hollenstein (S), Jarlinson Pantano (Col), Marcel Wyss (S), Oliver Zaugg (S).
Fondateur: Michel Thétaz. Manager sportif: Rik Verbrugghe. Directeur sportif: Mario Chiesa.

Stefan Denifl:
stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse 2015

Dillier Back in Action on Home Soil
Silvan Dillier will make his return to racing on home soil at the GP du canton d’Argovie on Thursday 9 June, having recovered from a fractured finger sustained during the Giro d’Italia.

Dillier will be joined largely by BMC Racing Team’s Tour de Suisse team, Sports Director Max Sciandri said.

“Five of the riders lining up this Thursday make up our Tour de Suisse team so it’s a good one-day hit out for them ahead of the UCI WorldTour race. Silvan is really motivated as it’s his home race and we have all five of our Swiss riders on the roster which is a nice chance for them.”

After a month off racing, Dillier is eager to re-join the peloton.

“The GP du canton d’Argovie is my home race and I know every meter of the parcours. I will know half of the fans on the side of the road and they would like to see me win as much as I would like to! My recovery from my fractured finger is going well and I’ve had some good training at home since the Giro d’Italia.”

Rider roster:
Tom Bohli (SUI), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Stefan Küng (SUI), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Michael Schär (SUI), Manuel Senni (ITA), Peter Velits (SVK), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Max Sciandri (ITA).

Silvan Dillier:
ENECO Tour 2014 stage - 3 ITT

GP du canton d’Argovie
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka target podium in Gippengen

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will race the GP du canton d’Argovie which takes place on Thursday, 9 June in Gippengen, Switzerland.

The Swiss UCI 1.HC race is an event familiar to our African Team as it will be the 3rd time we participate in this testing 188km race. Last year Kristian Sbaragli had a solid ride in Gippengen and sprinted to a fine 5th place finish. This year Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will once again look to play a significant role in the race.

Sbaragli will headline our team on Thursday together with Reinardt Janse van Rensburg with a podium result being the immediate goal for our African Team. Natnael Berhane, Merhawi Kudus, Jay Thomson, Adrien Niyonshuti, Matt Brammeier and Mekseb Debesay ensure we have a really strong and well-rounded team in Gippengen.

As in previous years the race will be run over 10 laps of a 18km course. The main obstacle of the lap presents itself in the first 5km as there is a 2.5km climb with an ever changing gradient. The road then rolls gently downhill toward the finish-line. While last year may have ended in a bunch sprint, the climb which needs to be completed 10 times ensures that it is only the fast men with good climbing ability who will be in contention for the victory.

Jens Zemke – Sport Director
We come year on year to Gippengen because it is a super nice race with a fantastic atmosphere and the level is very high. This race also suits our team well, last year Kristian Sbaragli was 5th and this has been our best result at the race so far. We are happy to be back at this wonderful race, it also comes just before the Tour de Suisse and so, it serves as a good final test to see where we are standing.


Anthony Turgis with the Cofidis team until 2018
Recent winner of a stage of the Tour de Luxembourg, Anthony Turgis (22) extended the contract that binds him to the Cofidis team for two more seasons (2017 and 2018). Northerner turned professional in training in 2015, he has won the Boucles de la Mayenne 2015 and finished third in the last U23 World Championship.

Anthony Turgis: “I felt comfortable in this team from the start. It helped me to grow, to get results. I had other offers, but I felt that the best sporting choice was to stay true to the Cofidis team, in which I can confidently continue my development and take even more confidence and responsibility.

Yvon Sanquer, General Manager: “We believe a lot in the potential for Anthony when we offered him his first professional contract two years ago. The results and also his attitude within the team proved that we were right and we were convinced that it was important that our common history continues. Saturday’s stage victory in the Tour of Luxembourg – if necessary – has confirmed that feeling. Anthony will play an important role in the team in the coming years.

Anthony Turgis:

IAM CYCLING – Enforced rest for Matteo Pelucchi
Matteo Pelucchi has been unable to train or to race for an extended period already. Having been forced out of the Giro d’Italia on May 12th when he finished the stage 39 seconds outside the time limit, the IAM Cycling sprinter returned home in order to begin preparing for his upcoming races. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plans for the rider and the sports management. “On my return home from the Tour of Italy, I felt very tired,” Pelucchi explained. “I went to visit a doctor and after a thorough examination, the medical staff discovered a subacute prostatitis. I have had to treat myself for that, and have not been able to go out on any training sessions.”

If all goes well, Matteo Pelucchi should be fit to return to racing in time for the Italian championships and the Tour of Poland. Before preparing for the second half of the season, the fourth that the Italian has raced with IAM Cycling, Pelucchi expressed relief in the diagnosis made by the Faculty. “I was just frustrated because I had followed their programs to the letter. Now I am ready to get back to work as soon as the medical faculty give me the green light. Although I have lost many days of training and racing, I am still very motivated. I will go to train at altitude to regain my health before I rejoin my teammates at a training camp that has been designed to help us prepare for our upcoming races.”

Matteo Pelucchi:

Team Giant-Alpecin to Offer Streamlined Road to the WorldTour
Team Giant-Alpecin is proud to announce the introduction of a pioneering development program, which will start in the 2017 season. This program will complement the existing Team Liv-Plantur women’s and Team Giant-Alpecin men’s elite WorldTour programs.

The focus of the German-based and internationally oriented development program will be to identify, target and develop riders. Led by the same team of coaches and experts as the elite program, it will provide a new generation of young and talented riders the guidance, coaching and sports science they need to advance their careers while offering them the chance to fulfill their dream of becoming a professional athlete. The team has a proven track record and experience in helping young talents develop into world-class riders.

Team Giant-Alpecin aims to provide the top talent development program in the sport. While maintaining its international orientation, this program will specifically encourage and work with a core of talented German riders and staff, in accordance with the team’s goal of advancing German cycling.

Team Giant-Alpecin will offer Germany’s sole complete development pyramid, featuring the German Talent Days in cooperation with the German Cycling Federation (BDR), the new German development program as the next step to that, and, at the very top of that pyramid, the German-licensed WorldTour team. The main objective is to develop WorldTour riders through Team Giant-Alpecin’s philosophy. With the “Keep Challenging” elite sports approach, the team specifically focuses on optimizing cooperation and innovation, within the framework of a non-negotiable set of core principles, as the key driver for long-term future growth. This program constitutes the next phase in the creation of a significant and enduring elite sports institute.

Team Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) explained: “We want to be an advanced development program where German and international riders will be supported by the latest technologies, expertise, coaching and knowledge. We will adopt a broad approach and focus equally on the riders’ education, since not every talent will ultimately make it into the WorldTour. It all centers around the objective of development, first as a person and ultimately as a professional athlete. But at the very minimum we want to offer something relevant to those young men and prepare them for the next chapter in their life, whether it’s on or off the bike. We will aim to be the world’s ideal gateway to a successful career in the UCI WorldTour. 

“Germany is a country with huge potential for cycling. A lot of people ride their bikes, and we want to recruit the best talents from those youngsters wishing to pursue a career in professional cycling. With the German Talent Days together with BDR, this new development program, plus the men’s and women’s elite programs, we believe we will have the perfect pyramid in place.”


2016 La Vuelta Song
Every year the Vuelta a España picks a tune that is played to death at stage starts and finishes and this year the race organizers have gone for “El Ganador” (The Winner) by Marta Sánchez. Not a bad song, better than last years Spanish EuroVison Song Contest failure. Look out for the Skoda product placement in the video.

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