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Oudenaarde - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter Sagan (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov) - Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) pictured during 100th Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour de Flanders - from Brugge to Oudenaarde - photo JB/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Kampioen Monday!

As the Flemish would say; Peter Sagan is ‘De Kampioen’ as he won the Tour of Flanders with a fair amount of flair and élan. Lots of racing in today’s EuroTrash: Flanders, Indurain, Limburg, De Panne, Rioja, Camembert and Piva with results, video, reports and ride quotes. Disk brakes make the Top Story, plus we preview the Vuelta al País Vasco and news from the Critérium du Dauphiné and Trek-Segafredo and video of cobble riding from IAM Cycling.

TOP STORY: So where are the disk brakes?
Over the last year or so there has been a lot of talk about disk brakes on road bikes and eventually the UCI allowed their use, to a mixed reception. At the start of the 2016 season the Dutch Roompot team said they would be using them in every race and last week the Lampre-Merida team said they would be the first WorldTour team to use disk brakes and no other. OK, so where are they?

Roompot has been seen in some races on disks, but on many more not. They have also been seen changing back to normal bikes. If you look at the photo from the start of Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, you can see four of the eight riders have disks. As to Lampre on their Meridas with disks; the riders were quite invisible in Flanders and no photographic evidence could be found. Only Federico Zurlo finished.

So, maybe discs are not such a big deal.

4 out of 8 are disks:
100ste Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

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Tour of Flanders 2016
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) has fulfilled his dream by winning the Tour of Flanders, his first Classic monument. Sagan, who won his first Classic of the year last week, after taking five second-placings so far this year. With this win it looks like he has broken the curse of the rainbow jersey. Sagan has shown that winning is difficult, but to win you must trust in your own strength.

Sagan was present near the front of the race at all times and hit the key moment of the day a few seconds ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), who was riding his last Tour of Flanders. On the Paterberg Sagan left his companion, Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo) at the same time as Cancellara tried to cross to the rainbow jersey. The final 14 kilometers were a pursuit race between Sagan and Cancellara (with some help from Vanmarcke) and at the line the World champion had 25 seconds on the three time Flanders winner.

Earlier in the day the race was punctuated by crashes which took out favorites Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sanremo winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal).

The first of many breaks included: Hugo Houle (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukas Postelberger (Bora-Argon 18), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Gijs van Hoecke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Wesley Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) and Federico Zurlo (Lampre-Merida).

With less than 100 kilometers to go; Erviti and Van Hoecke were being chased by Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Nils Politt (Katusha) with Houle who had been dropped. Once they got together they were joined by Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana) and Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). With 56km to go the speed lifted on the Oude Kwaremont and the lead group was down to four, but were joined by Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale). With 40 kilometers to go the race was in pieces as Kwiatkowski (Sky) put the pressure on and only Sagan and Vanmarcke could follow him.

On the Kwaremont; Sagan hammered away with Vanmarcke and Claeys on his wheel, while behind Cancellara tried to cross to them. On the last difficulty of the day, the Paterberg, Sagan rode Vanmarcke off his wheel, Claeys had already dropped back. Cancellara caught Vanmarcke and the pair had to make up 13 seconds in the final 12 kilometers. At first it looked like the Swiss time trial specialist could do it, but it was too much and Sagan crossed the line with 25 seconds on Cancellara and 28 on Vanmarcke. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) brought in the chasers 49 seconds later for 4th.

Hero of the day had to be Dimitri Claeys who performed well above expectations in memory of his Wanty-Groupe Gobert teammate, Antoine Demoitie and friend Daan Myngheer.

100ste Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

Race winner, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “The race was very hard today and it’s hard to work with the other guys because nobody wants to work with me. It’s always better to drop everybody. It was a super hard race from the start until the finish, we were always going full gas and I had a bit of a problem after 100km, having to change both wheels. There were a lot of crashes – thank you to all the team they did a great job.”

2nd, Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo): “When I think about it, second is not first. First is history. I didn’t win but…yeah. Today I tried to deliver a great race, but we did not have the best luck on our side. In the beginning, we had a lot of mechanical problems, we were involved in crashes, and I think Jasper changed like three times the bike. But in the end, everyone did their maximum; I did the maximum. Second is still a big thing. I was quite emotional this morning, and still now, after so may tries to still finish second I think is not bad. Let me sleep over it and I will be happy. But still I was aiming for history. But I think Peter showed today that he managed everything well and is the deserved winner. Thank you Flanders.”

3rd, Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo): “My bike broke and it took a while before I was back in the race. I had changed the position of my saddle on purpose, just before the race, and I didn’t have the chance to do that with my second bike as well. After 170 kilometers, I suffered. My team-mates gave it all to bring me back in the race. Maarten Wynants did a lot of work in the beginning of the final. I was still feeling good on the climbs. When Sagan and Kwiatkowski attacked, I felt that it was going to be the decisive moment in the race. I had to close the gap to them immediately. Behind me, there was a moment of doubt and that was a perfect situation for me.”

7th, Imanol Erviti (Movistar): “How do I feel? Tired! [laughs] Today has been like a testimonial for me, riding at the front on the Muurs, with so many people at the roadside enjoying the atmosphere… it was incredible. A great feeling, wonderful. I enjoyed myself. But it was a maximum effort. When Sagan, Kwiatkowski and Vanmarcke bridged across to us from the rear, they were going very fast and I could only try to stay with them and ride my own race intelligently. Until the last moment, I didn’t think it feasible to be fighting for a top-ten place or achieving a good result in general. It was an ambition, but until the top of the Paterberg I wasn’t confident, not because I wasn’t capable of it, but because I had used up so much energy, and behind they were coming up very fast and it is always difficult. In Flanders, the race always comes from behind, and I thought it would be unlikely. After that last climb, where I was with Terpstra and the group including Kristoff caught us, I began to hope. In the sprint, I gave it everything. I thought I could get past Van Baarle for 6th place, but I had pretty bad cramp and I could barely turn the pedals. I have a long journey home now and I want to get back to my family, hug my wife and son, and thank all the people who help and support me, who have made it possible for me to achieve this result: team-mates, the race director, everyone. It is wonderful to have experienced this. Now it is time to rest, savor the result, and turn my thoughts to the Ardennes with Alejandro [Valverde]. They are important races for us and I want to do my job well.”

9th, Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I was very motivated to do something for Antoine and for Daan (Myngheer). We missed the early break but made up for that in the final of the race. Peter Sagan and Sep Vanmarcke were just too strong so I couldn’t follow them but then I wanted to sprint as well as I could to get a good result.”

22nd, Oliver Naesen (IAM Cycling): “I’m happy with this 22nd place, I am still missing a percentage or two in order to compete with Sagan, Cancellara, and company on those intense final accelerations. But I’m not really hanging on the ropes. Considering the crashes and the accelerations required afterward, I paid the price for all those efforts.”

23rd, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “It went okay today but we had a lot of misfortune in a short space of time with a number of crashes and punctures. I had to change bikes and we lost a number of teammates in that moment. I was in a good position for most of the day but I just didn’t have the legs for the Kwaremont and Paterberg the final time and that is where I lost the group. More is coming from me so I look forward to the next races.”

Crash victim, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It’s been a bad day for us. I’m really disappointed. What can I say, it was really hard for me to be on the ground. I tried to stand up but when you have something broken it is not possible. I think I need some days to think about it and hopefully I’ll come back stronger but for me it’s a big disappointment because for me Flanders, Roubaix, Amstel are the most important races of the season and I can’t be there. It’s not a good situation but I have to handle it and hopefully I’ll come back stronger.”

Tour of Flanders Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff in 6:10:37
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:25
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:28
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:49
5. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky
6. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale
7. Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar
8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Flanders’16:

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GP Miguel Indurain 2016
Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) was the winner of the GP Miguel Indurain after getting the better of Sergio Henao (Sky) on the last climb of the day.

The race started with a break with Xabi Zandio (Sky) and Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), who were joined by Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Ben King (Cannondale), Matthew Hayman (Orica-GreenEDGE), Miguel Angel Benito (Caja Rural-Segruso-RGA), Karol Domagalski & Peter Williams (ONE Pro Cycling), Eneko Lizarralde (Euskadi-Murias), Samuel Caldeira (W52-FC Porto), Victor Etxebarria (Radio Popular-Boavista) and Fernando Grijalba (Inteja-MMR), forming a group of 13.

After a strong effort they were caught about 50 kilometers from the finish line because of the strong pace from teams like Sky and Orica in the peloton. World time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) tried his luck which caused a split including Sebastian & Sergio Henao (Sky), Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Ion Izaguirre & Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Sergei Chernetskii & Egor Silin (Katusha) and Karol Domagalski (Team Raleigh). Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Daniel Moreno (Movistar) made a late counter attack to make the front group which had more than a 1 minute ahead.

Before the top of the Eraul, 10 kilometers from the finish, Visconti went solo and crossed the summit with Ion Izaguirre and Sergio Henao who went on to fight for the win on the final climb. Behind the race was split to pieces.

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Race winner, Ion Izagirre (Movistar): “It was sensational, incredible. Winning is hard, and even more so here at home. It became even trickier early on when the group of 14 got away and we didn’t have a rider in it. The team reacted superbly. I’d put the win down to teamwork: everyone played their part. Soler and Betancur pushed from the very start; Nairo worked on the Gurguillano climb, and ‘Txutxi’ (Jesús Herrada) did his bit. The whole group rode brilliantly. In the end, there was a split with three Sky riders and three of us. Gorka left it all out on the road to protect the gap and Visco tried to surprise everyone with a move at the foot of Eraul. When Henao jumped across, I knew I had to stick on his wheel. That final spate of attacks left me with Henao, and I knew his explosive acceleration is perfect for that sort of finish, so I was a wary of his attacks. I saved energy for the end, and jumped after the final right turn, trying to give everything that my legs had left… and it was good enough to take the win. This win is the proof that we have worked well, done our homework, and in good form going into the Itzulia. Nairo is also in great shape. He has just won the Volta. I’m feeling good too, and, apart from the two of us, we have a great team, so let’s hope it goes well for us.”

GP Miguel Indurain Result:
1. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar in 4:37:18
2. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
3. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale at 0:14
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 0:17
5. Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha at 0:18
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:20
7. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 0:35
8. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:42
9. Fabricio Ferrari (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:58
10. Frederico Figueiredo (Por) Rádio Popular ONDA Boavista at 3:35.

GP Indurain:

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Volta Limburg Classic 2016
The BMC team dominated the Volta Limburg filling five places in the top ten. Their rider; Floris Gerts defended the win of last year by his teammate Stefan Küng, who did not ride.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) began the hostilities and formed the winning group with young Belgian BMC teammates, Gerts, Loïc Vliegen and Dylan Teuns, along with Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), the veteran Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi), Maurits Lammertink (Roompot) and Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie). They were joined by Rick Zabel (BMC) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF). Gerts attacked with 1 kilometer to go and his move was covered by his teammates, although Colbrelli nearly caught the Dutchman on the line.

Volta Limburg Classic 2016

Race winner Floris Gerts spoke after the race:
You’ve taken your first victory as a professional cyclist on home soil. It probably doesn’t get any better than that?

“No it is exactly how you put it. For me it feels like my home ride and I train a lot in this area. Although I haven’t trained here in the last six months, I know all of the road and exactly where and what was coming. I was actually looking forward to this race all year and this week I said to myself that I have to give it everything. I didn’t want any regrets after the race. It was really a team effort.”

Talk us through the day for you.
“There wasn’t really much wind. We just made sure that we were riding up the front and didn’t have to chase two big groups. There was a breakaway and Tom Bohli and Manuel Senni did a great job controlling the group and this was really important. After they did this, we could race with the really strong efforts of Dylan Teuns and Loic Vliegen in the front group. They made the race really hard and after this, I decided to attack because I felt really strong. I went with Rick Zabel and from that moment I gave it everything. I was feeling so sick on the bike and then Philippe Gilbert, Loic and Dylan came to the front and then it was an unbelievably good situation. In the last kilometer Philippe pushed me a little so I attacked again. The other guys behind me weren’t really chasing but I don’t really know what happened behind me. I kept going and I got to the finish line. It felt like all of the other riders deserved the win just as much, so it really was a team effort. I cannot describe it better than that.”

You were racing in Holland for the first time this year. How much more special did that make it?
“My grandfather was there to see me race which was really special because he is getting old. I don’t know if he saw everything but it was really special that my two brothers and my parents came with my grandfather to watch the race. For them it is also home as my grandfather comes from here and my mother also.”

You’ve had a few races back since your crash at Le Samyn and today really shows that you’ve recovered. How confident are you going into your next races?
“I just wanted to give the race today everything I had. Winning is unbelievable but I also got a lot of confidence out of some other races like E3 Harelbeke, so I’m looking forward to the next races.”

Volta Limburg Classic Result:
1. Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC in 4:56:27
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:03
4. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
5. Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
6. Huub Duyn (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
7. Krister Hagen (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus at 0:05
8. Olivier Pardini (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
9. Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC at 0:07
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:12.

Limburg:

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Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde 2016
The morning split Stage 3a over 111 kilometers was won by Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step) ahead of Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Argon 18) and overall leader Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). His team worked perfectly and positioned him perfectly to pass Kristoff in the last meters.

There was an early break of seven which managed to stay out front until 6 kilometers to go, the sprinters teams had held them close all day to pull them back before the gallop for the line. Cofidis sent first Hugo Hofstetter and then Kenny Vanbilsen up the road, but the Etixx – Quick-Step team were not going to allow anyone to ruin their plan of a Kittel win. The finalé in De Panne was on the dangerous side and there were a few fallers on the run-in, but Kittel at the front was safe.

Driedaagse De Panne - Koksijde - stage 3a

Stage winner, Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Yesterday it was very close and missing out on the victory left me with a sorrow taste, so this morning I was very motivated to make up for it. I am very happy to reach my goal and get that stage for which I came here. My legs were good and strong, and the team worked really well. We were up there at the front, controlling the six-man breakaway with Iljo and Davide. But it wasn’t about only one rider today, the entire team was impressive and I must thank the guys for that. I can be satisfied with what I have achieved so far since joining Etixx – Quick-Step. I got six victories, and what’s more important, we can all be happy for the way we work together. Now I’m looking with confidence towards my next objectives of the season, Scheldeprijs and the Giro d’Italia.”

2nd, Phil Bauhaus (Bora-Agron18): Today the whole team supported me perfectly! I could save energy the whole day and Shane (Archbold) brought me up to Kristoff’s wheel just before the final corner. I opened the sprint together with Kittel but could not overtake him. Still I am very satisfied. The last races have all been a little too hard for me with all the steep climbs. Today I could finally show my full sprint speed.”

3rd and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): “I was hoping to win this stage, I won it already three times, but not today. At the end I was just not strong enough. I had the best lead-out and the best position after the last corner, in Guarnieri’s wheel. I could start my sprint whenever I wanted. But then Marcel Kittel, with that Bora rider in his wheel, came by my side with a lot of power and I was not able to beat him. I had a very good lead-out and was perfectly placed on the final straight in the sprint. But Marcel flew over me and I did not have the legs to respond. Also a Bora-Argon rider came around me. So I had to be content with third place in this short road stage I had already won. I felt slightly stronger last year in this race.”

Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3a Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step in 2:27:03
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
4. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEDGE
6. Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ.fr
7. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Cofidis
8. Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff Team
9. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
10. Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre-Merida.

Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Overall After Stage 3a:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 11:50:25
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:07
3. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana at 0:12
4. Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group at 0:45
5. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:47
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:48
7. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC at 0:50
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Michael Morkov (Den) Katusha at 0:51
10. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:52.

Stage 3a:

The Final Stage 3b 14.2 kilometer time trial was a close fought battle with Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff), Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Tom Bohli (BMC) all finishing with a time of 17:39, only the split seconds divided them. Astana’s Lieuwe Westra finished 4th at 0:03 and took the final overall victory from Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) by 13 seconds.

Driedaagse De Panne - Koksijde - stage 3b

Stage winner, Maciej Bodnar (Tinkoff): “Of course I’m extremely happy to win today, it’s a really nice victory. It’s nice to take my second win in this race. In addition, the fact that I finished ahead of some strong specialists like Tony Martin is very encouraging for me, and I’m really satisfied with that. It’s a pity that the first day didn’t go as planned, and afterwards my chances for the GC were very limited. It was visible that the work to help and support Peter Sagan at E3 and Gent – Wevelgem took its toll on my form. So I’m happy that I’ve recovered and could take the win today. Also, the fact that I started the TT early meant that I had less time to recover than the guys starting later, yet I still felt very strong which is a good sign. Now I’m looking forward to the next races starting with Flanders on Sunday.”

Overall race winner and 4th on the stage, Lieuwe Westra (Astana): “I was nervous, after two second places I wanted to win. Finally it came. I did a good race, losing only three seconds to the winner Maciej Bodnar but especially earning 25 seconds on Kristoff and, at the end, that was what mattered. It feels great to win. I’ve been second a few times and I didn’t want to be second again today. Fortunately I had good legs and also during the three days of racing I had a very strong team behind me. They did a lot of work for me and so I have to thank them if I’ve been able to take the victory this time. I knew that the time trial would decide everything. I didn’t feel great but the time was fast and that’s what counts. It’s great to win De Panne. It’s a great race, an important race. I’m happy to win it. When I passed the finish line, I had pain all over: the feeling was not good, but the time was not bad. I lost three seconds on the stage but I gained on Kristoff. In the end, the race was good.”

7th on the stage and 3rd overall, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana): “We have been a very strong team and the victory in the team classification it is the clearest proof. We were united, we helped each other and the results proved us right. The time trial was very hard with the first 5-6 km with the wind in my face, but I’m happy because I arrived in the top ten and it was not easy.”

Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Stage 3b Result:
1. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff in 17:39
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana at 0:03
5. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0:19
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:22
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:24
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:28
9. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC at 0:29
10. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:31.

Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde Final Overall Result:
1. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana in 12:08:19
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:13
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:16
4. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:35
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:59
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 1:04
7. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC at 1:06
8. Mads Pedersen (Den) Stölting Service Group at 1:19
9. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha
10. Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ.fr.

The Final Stage 3b:

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Vuelta a la Rioja 2016
Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEDGE took the teams third consecutive Vuelta a la Rioja, succeeding his teammate Caleb Ewan who won in 2015. The early leader of Paris-Nice beat Russian Sergei Shilov and Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) who finished as the best Spanish rider in 3rd.

Antonio Molina (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Fernando Grijalba (Inteja), Dion Smith (One Pro Cycling), Pablo Torres (Burgos) and Martijn Verschoor (Novo Nordisk) made up the break of the day. Molina, Grijalba and Smith were only caught 9 kilometers from the finish, where Matthews came out on top.

Race winner, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE): “The team were amazing throughout the race today. They did a perfect job controlling things and I’m happy I was able to finish it off. I started my sprint from around 200metres. It was difficult because I got pushed into the barriers and had to go around, luckily I had enough speed to hold on. We were the only team on the front from start to finish. The boys were really strong and in the end the sprint was very close, I didn’t know if I had won when we crossed the line. After the crash in San-Remo its really good to come here and win, to move on.”

Vuelta a la Rioja Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-Greenedge in 3:47:20
2. Sergei Shilov (Rus) Russia
3. Carlos Barber (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
4. Samuel Caleira (Por) W52-Fc Porto
5. Daniel Freitas (Por) W52-Fc Porto
6. Maris Bogdanovics (Lat) Rietumu-Dolphin
7. Yanto Barker (GB) One Pro Cycling
8. Vicente Mateos (Spa) Louletano
9. Vadim Zhuravlev (Rus) Lokosphinx
10. Juan Perez (Spa) W52-Fc Porto.

Michael Matthews:
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Paris-Camembert 2016
Cyril Gautier took his first win for AG2R-La Mondiale, which he joined in the offseason after leaving Europcar (now Direct Energy). The Breton puncheur won Paris-Camembert, beating Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo Vital Concept), with whom he had escaped about fifteen kilometers from the finish. Romain Feillu (HP-BTP Auber 93) took third place by winning the bunch sprint 5 seconds after the two escapees. Gautier, who had not raised his arms since a stage of the Tour du Limousin in August 2014, succeeded Julien Loubet last year.

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Race winner, Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale): “A win is always nice. We rider to win. This one is more beautiful as I had not raised my arms since 2014 and this is the first with Ag2r. I had a difficult start to the season. I was ill in February and I was very tired after Paris-Nice. I doubted a little. Today we were only six riders. We tried to save our energy early in the race. In the end, I attacked with Fedrigo, Delaplace and Coquard and then I found myself in front with Anthony Delaplace. He is a good rider, ready to work, and we really collaborated to keep the peloton at bay. Now I will focus on the Circuit de la Sarthe where there are great things to do.”

Paris-Camembert Result:
1. Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale in 5:16:33
2. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
3. Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93 at 0:05
4. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
6. Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
7. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
8. Loïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis
9. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
10. César Bihel (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93.

Gautier takes the Camembert:

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Axeon’s Tao Geoghegan Hart Wins Trofeo Piva
Tao Geoghegan Hart won a three-up sprint Sunday to capture Trofeo Piva and deliver the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team its second victory in less than a week.

The British rider who turned 21 years old on Wednesday out-sprinted Swiss Under 23 road champion Patrick Müller (BMC Development Team) and Marco Tecchio (Unieuro-Willier Trevigiani) 13 seconds ahead of a two-man chase.

Geoghegan Hart said it played to his advantage when Tecchio started leading out the sprint at the end of the 179.8-kilometer race.

“It was a bit of a longer sprint, which was good for me,” he said. “I was very patient and when I was coming past Müller, he realized it was not going to happen.

“It has been awhile since I have won a bike race and it is definitely a good feeling. It may not be the biggest bike race in the world. But it is nice to dedicate this win to Axel Merckx’s granddad, Lucien Acou, who passed away last month. He was a big influence on Eddy and Axel’s career. Like Axel said to us at the training camp at the start of the year, we are all a little bit of “Baby Merckxs” ourselves, if that is possible.”

Axeon Hagens Berman has enjoyed a run of success of late in its European campaign. On Monday, Geoghegan Hart was eighth as BMC’s Müller won Giro del Belvedere. The following day, Axeon’s Ruben Guerriro won G.P. Palio del Recioto as Geoghegan Hart finished seventh. Those results in Italy followed a team title won at the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal last month as Geoghegan Hart finished a team-best sixth overall.

“In Portugal, we started off in a really rough way, Axeon General Manager Axel Merckx said. “We had a few crashes and illnesses. But that’s when the spirit and mentality of the team came through. The guys rallied around each other and managed to compete well and we got the team title at Alentejo.

“Overall, I always say success leads to success – and good results creates good results. The strength of this team is that everyone pulls their share of the work and it is a really great team we have this year.”

In addition to Geoghegan Hart’s result Sunday, Axeon’s Will Barta finished 49 seconds back of the leading trio and notched a season-best result by finishing seventh.

“This is definitely a good confidence booster,” the American said. “I knew that I was capable of such a result. But being able to translate that into an actual result is good. It makes you realize you belong in the front.”

Barta and Geoghegan Hart were part of a move that went about 60 kilometers into the race that included seven laps of 18.65 circuit, plus a start and finish loop. With most of the major teams present in the breakaway, it looked like the group would stay clear. But Logan Owen managed to bridge across, giving Axeon three riders in the escape.

“It was great to add to the numbers game,” Barta said. “But at about the same time, the group stopped working together. With two laps to go, the gap was starting to come down, so we hit the front up the main climb and when we got to the top, Tao semi-attacked. One of the guys lost the wheel and the three were away.”

Geoghegan Hart said his first victory since coming out of the junior ranks was especially fulfilling considering he was sick two days into Volta ao Alentejo. He said he struggled just to finish the five-day race.

“I felt OK last week, but really I was just following and not feeling myself,” he said. “But now I am feeling normal again after two weeks of pretty lackluster energy levels.”

Tao Geoghegan Hart celebrates after winning the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team’s second race in Italy in less than a week:
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Vuelta al País Vasco 2016
Six tough stages in the Basque Country, good preparation for the Ardennes Classics, but also a great race to win, especially if you want some WorldTour points. The course for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is always hard although it does have a couple of stages that suit a fast finisher that can get over the lower climbs, but there are no flat stages. The final 16.5 kilometer time trial will be decisive with its 20% climb. Stage 2 will see the climber move to the fore with the summit finish of Amurrio-Baranbio, stage 4 has the brutal climb of the Alto de Aia near the end and stage 5 has the summit finish on the Arrate. The only ‘easy’ stages are 1 and 3, but between them they have 13 categorized climbs. The race should be a battle between Nairo Quintana and Alberto Contador.

Stages:
Stage 1: Etxebarria – Markina-Xemein 144.0 km
Stage 2: Markina-Xemein – Amurrio-Baranbio 174.2 km
Stage 3: Vitoria-Gasteiz – Lesaka 193.5 km
Stage 4: Lesaka – Orio 165.0 km
Stage 5: Orio – Eibar Arrate 159.0 km
Stage 6: Eibar – Eibar 16.5 km (ITT).

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Alberto Contador returns to Pais Vasco in search of fourth GC victory
The three-time winner of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco – or ‘Tour of the Basque Country’ – returns to the race for its 56th edition. Alberto Contador, who won the race in 2014, 2009 and 2008 will lead a Tinkoff roster fresh from strong performances at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Paris-Nice, where Alberto finished second in the GC in both.

This UCI World Tour race takes place over six days, with the opening 144km stage starting in Etxebarria in the centre of the Basque Country, ending with a time trial in Eibar, close to the race’s start town. The line-up pits Alberto against adversaries both from previous editions of the race, as well as earlier stage races from this season, on a parcours that could conservatively be called ‘undulating’. While the official route guide lists two mountain stages, the Basque Country is a mountainous area, and as such, only one stage does not include any categorized climbs – the final day’s time trial, and even this stage includes a 5km ascent. All of the other stages have at least one second category climb.

Having won the GC in the race on three occasions, Alberto is no stranger to the race and to the region, and has taken stage wins in each of the editions of the race in which he won the GC. In similar fashion to the recent Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco is a race for the climbers, and will be a strong indicator of form for the season’s Grand Tours.

Tinkoff’s leader heads to the race “eager and excited. The Vuelta al Pais Vasco is a race that I like a lot and in which I usually perform quite well,” he explains. “We have to see how the legs respond, because after Catalunya I focused myself on resting, as the effort is already becoming noticeable. This is the last race I do before the break that will precede my preparation for the Tour de France.

In what regards the race, Contador expects it to be “very tough, because all days are very, very demanding and we must be attentive.” He adds the factor of the weather, as the forecast calls for a rainy week. “In the Basque Country it always is an important factor,” he says, although he believes that in what concerns the way the race plays out, the rivals will be a key. “Above all we must take into account the rivals. It is a very close race and the level is very high, although the weather will play an important role, because they are stages that go up and down, and if the weather is bad, it will be even tougher.”

Joining Alberto in the Basque country is Sergio Paulinho, returning from an injury that developed at Paris-Nice, together with Danes Jesper Hansen and Michael Valgren. Playing a key role in the mountains will be Robert Kiserlovski and Roman Kreuziger, and the team is completed by the experienced Evgeny Petrov and Matteo Tosatto.

Sport Director Steven De Jongh explained the complications in finalizing the team. “We had to make some last minute changes to the line-up as some of the guys were still suffering from sickness, but we’ve built a solid team around Alberto, who’s really motivated to go for the win here.

“We’ve got Roman Kreuziger and Robert Kiserlovski here, they will be our riders to be there with Alberto late on the key climbs, and Michael Valgren who comes to the race after a period of training so we hope he will be in good shape. It’s last minute for some of the line-up so we will have to wait and see how some of them are in the early stages. Sergio also returns from injury so we hope he’s now fully recovered.”

Looking at the stages that lie ahead next week, Steven commented: “Alberto is really focused for the race and our priority is fixed on supporting him as well as possible and having him in the best position overall ahead of the final stage time trial which starts with a climb before descending back down to Eibar.

“I think that stages 2 and 5 will be key in the fight for GC with the finish either at the top of a mountain of just after a final climb. However, the race is known for its tough stages and every day you need to be ready. We don’t have the favorite team for controlling the race so we will have to see how our position is after these key stages. Overall I’m curious to see how things will pan out.”

Finally, when talking about the Tinkoff line-up at the race, Contador said: “I have a great team with a lot of experience, but it’s true that due to injury and illness we had to change three riders that were initially scheduled. At this time of year this happens many times, but I will still have a great team alongside me and we are all very motivated.”

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Etixx – Quick-Step to Vuelta al Pais Vasco
Our team is ready for the ninth World Tour event of the season.

Around one century ago, some of the characters from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” ditched Paris in the summer for a holiday to Pamplona during the town’s famous bull fighting fiesta, but not before going fishing in the idyllic Basque Country for what would turn out to be one final serene week before their world was forever changed. Unlike the unforgettable characters of the 1926 novel, the peloton who’ll line up for the 56th edition of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco will not enjoy a moveable feast whatsoever, as it will have no time of respite, giving that the six-day event will be a continuous up and down affair on short and punchy hills that will ruthlessly hit double-digit gradients.

The race will start on Monday, April 4th, with a stage that includes eight categorized climbs, and one day later will see the first fight between the GC contenders on the uphill finish of Garrastatxu (2.7 km, 11.6% average gradient). Two punchy stages will follow next, before the peloton will scale the traditional Santuario de Arrate (5.4 km, 8.2%), where new differences will be made. As was the case in its recent history, Pais Vasco will conclude with a hilly and arduous individual time trial, one final test for the ones who want to get their hands on the yellow jersey and the txapela that reward the overall winner.

For Daniel Martin, this will be the third Spanish appointment of the season, following Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Volta a Catalunya, in which he won a stage apiece. The 29-year-old returns to Vuelta al Pais Vasco for the first time in four years and he’s determined to continue on the same road since he’s joined the team and notch another strong result before kicking his Ardennes campaign, especially as he will be supported by a well-rounded and motivated team.

“Pais Vasco sticks to its roots, which means many tough climbs and many along the way, but it will all come down to the individual time trial on Saturday. We won’t see too many bunch sprints, which will be to Dan Martin’s liking, as he can sprint from a reduced group. He will lead the team and go for a good GC result, which he can get, considering his form and the fact he will rely on a strong team, which includes Gianluca Brambilla and Carlos Verona, two riders who showed good form thus far this season”, said sport director Brian Holm of Etixx – Quick-Step’s ambitions for the Basque race.

04.04–09.04 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (ESP) 2.UWT

Riders:
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (COL), Laurens De Plus (BEL), Daniel Martin (IRL), Pieter Serry (BEL), Martin Velits (SVK), Julien Vermote (BEL), Carlos Verona (ESP).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN) & Jan Schaffrath (GER).

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Vuelta al País Vasco: Robert Gesink’s Next Key Moment
Robert Gesink will lead Team LottoNL-Jumbo during the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco next week. In the Basque Country, Gesink will be able to show that he progressed during the Volta Catalunya. The Spanish stage race is an important moment for Wilco Kelderman, as well.

“The development of our riders is always important,” Sports Director Addy Engels said. “For Robert Gesink, this race is shortly after the Volta a Catalunya. He seemed the reach a high level in that race, but the decisive GC days were too short. It’s possible that he needed that race to reach his top form.”

Difficult
That final step should make sure that he can play a role in the general classification fight in the Basque Country. “Normally, Wilco Kelderman can do that, as well,” Engels continued. “He missed the Volta a Catalunya, though. País Vasco is one of the most difficult races of the year and you have to be in absolute top condition to deliver there. We’re not sure if Wilco has that condition.”

Breakaway
Besides the two overall riders, Team LottoNL-Jumbo takes two guns for the stages. “Paul Martens and Enrico Battaglin are able to compete for stage victories if a bunch is going to the line. Besides that, Bert-Jan Lindeman might have a chance in the breakaways. This race is a new experience for Koen Bouwman. He can ride without any pressure to perform.”

Line-up:
Enrico Battaglin, George Bennett, Koen Bouwman, Victor Campenaerts, Robert Gesink, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Paul Martens and Wilco Kelderman.
Sports Directors: Addy Engels & Merijn Zeeman.

Robert Gesink:
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Vuelta al País Vasco – Larry Warbasse: “One of the toughest races in the world”
THE QUOTE: “The Tour of the Basque Country, or Vuelta al País Vasco, is one of the most difficult races in the world,” says Larry Warbasse. “There are two main reasons for this. First, the Basque region has a lot of climbs with really impressive gradients. That is maybe what surprises us most. They are never very long, but when you have the sort of walls in front of you that you’ll find there, it may at times seem insurmountable. And then the race is, for the most part, subject to suffering from some awful weather conditions. It rains frequently, and racing in those sorts of conditions certainly is tough on the body.”

THE PREPARATION: “I started my serious training by spending 17 days in the Sierra Nevada,” Warbasse, who comes from America, explained. “It was just before the Tour of Catalonia. Initially, I was preparing mainly for the Giro, but I had been feeling pretty great this past week at the race, so I decided to set myself some goals at the Tour of the Basque Country. It is an opportunity for me to show what I can do in the mountains.”

THE OBJECTIVE: “Our ambition it to win a stage,” directeur sportif Kjell Carlström succinctly summarized. “The race is extremely hard. And this year we are not coming to this event with a team tailored for the general classification. In order to come away with a victory, it will be necessary to anticipate the moves. Being active and never surrendering are two key mottos we intend to apply to our racing. Getting into the breakaways will also be a way for us to have a chance at success.”

THE ANALYSIS: “The roads of the Basque Country are often narrow and winding,” continued Carlström, the DS from Finland. “In order not to get caught out, you have to race always at the front. There is no room to wait. The steep gradients and the rain are also particular difficulties of this event. We must therefore always be vigilant. Larry Warbasse proved in Catalonia that he is in shape. We can count on him. The other riders from the team like David Tanner, Stefan Denifl, and Jonathan Fumeaux are also getting back to a good level.”

THE DETAIL: The race organizers have tweaked the route this year to add a little more spice. They decided to move the queen stage, which usually takes place on Thursday, to Friday. “Logically, the favorites will have to fight for victory at Eibar,” Carlström confirmed. “But with the time trial following the next day, it will mean that everyone will have to give a primary consideration to their recovery. Otherwise, we should watch out for some surprises on the last stage.”

THE NUMBER: 32. That is the number of climbs scheduled for this 56th edition of the Tour of the Basque Country. Among them is the Alto de Garrastatxu. This second category ascent will be where the second stage will be decided. Relatively short at just 2.7 kilometers long, this final climb of the day will offer a formidable challenge with an average gradient of 11.67%.

Coureurs:
Marcel Aregger (S), Clément Chevrier (Fr), Marcel Wyss (S), Stefan Denifl (Aut), Jonathan Fumeaux (S), Pirmin Lang (S), David Tanner (Aus), Larry Warbasse (USA).
Directeurs sportifs: Mario Chiesa, Kjell Carlström.

Larry Warbasse:
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Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco
The WorldTour stage racing continues next week with the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, starting on Monday 4th March. Following a consistent performance in Catalunya, the team returns to the Spanish Mountains to once again test themselves against some of the world’s best climbers. The six stages that make up the 2016 edition will maintain a similar format from past seasons.

“Pais Vasco is traditionally a race for the climbers and we have the necessary climbing capacities in our line-up,” explained coach Aike Visbeek (NED). “Our aim is to perform well with Warren and we will see how he can place himself in the overall classification by the end of the race. We need to take a day by day approach and see how he will respond to his second race of the season.

“As we have seen in the past races, every stage is important when aiming for a GC result and we will need to stay focused every day and the experience of our road captain Johannes will be vital. The last two days will again be responsible for deciding the overall standings with an uphill finish in Arrate, and an individual time trial of 16.5 kilometers on the final day.”

Line-up:
Warren Barguil (FRA), Caleb Fairly (USA), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Carter Jones (USA), Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Sam Oomen (NED).
Coach: Aike Visbeek (NED).

Warren Barguil:
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Former Winner Sánchez to Captain Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco Team
Samuel Sanchez will captain BMC Racing Team at Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco on the back of a solid week of racing at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Sánchez’ previous success at the race speaks for itself; winner of the General Classification in 2012, third overall in 2007 and 2009 and a seven-time stage winner.

It will be Sánchez’ 14th time lining up at Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco. “It’s a really special race for me. I am looking forward to being at my maximum performance level during the week of extremely hard racing, and fight for a position as high as possible on the General Classification.”

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the team is going in with two main objectives. “The first objective is to go for stage wins as we have a diverse team that is well-suited to the course. And of course we are also targeting the General Classification with Samuel Sánchez, who is coming in with good form as he showed at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya,” Ledanois said.

Rider roster:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Peter Velits (SVK), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Jackson Stewart (USA).

Samuel Sánchez:
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Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Two captains and young energies in Lampre-Merida’s line-up
Two top riders from Lampre-Merida will led the blue-fuchsia-green team in an important appointment as the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, WorldTour race which is scheduled from the 4th to the 9th of April.

Sports directors Marzano and Maini will rely also on a group of young talented riders as Conti, Meintjes, Petilli and Polanc and on two experienced athletes as Mori and Mario Costa. These are the members of the team’s staff: physician Dr Guardascione, masseurs Della Torre, Lima and Napolitano, mechanics Coelho, Pengo and Romanò, driver Luigi Saronni.

After having taken part in the Milano-Sanremo, Ulissi spent a period of training at altitude on Etna volcano, together with two team mates which will be with him in the Pais Vasco who are Mori and Conti: the main goals for the Tuscan riders will be the stage victories. The other one top cyclist of the blue-fuchsia-green team will be Rui Costa, whose ambitions will cover both the stage hunting and the top part of the overall classification. The young talents Conti, Petilli and Polanc will have the task to join the breakaways. Meintjes will evaluate day by day his conditions: he crashed during Volta a Catalunya and he quitted the race, so he’ll need to size his ambitions depending on his fitness.

Diego Ulissi:
Santos Tour Down Under 2016 stage 2

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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka target stage wins and classification jersey
The Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco is the next World Tour stage race on the cycling calendar, starting on Monday 4th April in Etxebarria and ending after 6 stages on Saturday 9 April in Eibar.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka head into the Tour of the Basque country, as it is known, with a strong climbing contingent as every stage will once again suit either the punchers or climbers. Even the final stage, which is a 16.5km time trial sends riders straight uphill. Stage 2 and 5 are your summit finish stages where if you are hoping to do a good GC result, you will have to perform. Stage 1, 3 and 4 are where the punchers should come into their own while the sprinters might get lucky on one or two of these stages but that may be a long shot.

Either way, the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco has traditionally been an action packed event with the leader’s jersey changing shoulders on a number of occasions. Our African Team will hope to challenge for individual stage victories while keeping close tabs on a good classification result as a possibility as well.

Our two Basque riders, Igor Anton and Omar Fraile will be motivated to perform well at their home race while Steve Cummings will also start the Basque race for our African Team. Our Eritrean trio of Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane and Mekseb Debesay look forward to showing their strengths on a course which suits their abilities. The consistently strong Serge Pauwles and Johann van Zyl complete our line-up for the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.

Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It will be a very tough race and also, the weather does not look too good for the next week. Just like at Volta Catalunya, there will be a high quality field at Pais Vasco with some of the big names like Nairo Quintana, Fabio Aru and Dan Martin racing. Our first and main objective will be to go for a stage win, just as we tried to at Volta Catalunya. The guys are ready for this and thankfully the guys are also looking better than at Catalunya, where we had a number of guys suffering with illness issues. Here the guys look healthier so on a daily basis we will try to be positive in our approach and go on the offensive as much as possible, trying to get into the good moves. To win a stage from the break will be a highlight for us and on top of that, if the opportunity to take a jersey like the KOM or sprint jersey comes, we will take that opportunity and we will commit to being the final winner of that jersey.

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2016: Going the Distance
The route of the 68th Critérium du Dauphiné, revealed at the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council in Lyon this morning, sets the scene for a long, hard slog stretching for 1,147.4 km between the uphill prologue in Les Gets on June 5 and the finale at Superdévoluy on June 12. Froome, Contador, Aru, Rodríguez, Pinot, Bardet, Porte and Van Garderen will get many opportunities to shine… not all of them decisive!

The course of the 2016 edition, starting with sections approaching a 10% gradient in the very first kilometer and ending with a summit finish in a resort at 1,500 m which will wrap up eight days of clashes among pretenders to the crown, stage hunters and sprinters, is both grueling and wide open. This year’s prologue will be much more than a warm-up. As well as a nod to the past of the race, which has already featured uphill prologues in La Bastille, towering above Grenoble (1979 and 2000), the mountain time trial in Les Gets will also offer a glimpse of a future, with participants in Tour de France scheduled to go head-to-head in another climbing contest in Megève a few weeks later. The focus will then shift to sprinters, punchers and climbers of different sorts and sizes: while the winner in Chalmazel-Jeansagnière (stage 2) will probably be in the mix for the final podium, he will not necessarily be able to challenge any fast men who manage to overcome the climb before the finish in Tournon-sur-Rhône (stage 3).

The strong Alpine flavor of the last few stages will set the scene for a three-part battle for the crown packed with thrills and surprises. Whatever differences separate the riders in Vaujany (stage 5) will pale in comparison with the gaps opened in the next day’s 141 km stage to Méribel, which boasts a total elevation gain of 4,000 m. The finale looks a bit less impressive on paper, but if someone lights up the fireworks, contenders for the podium places could end up strewn across the road on Col de Noyer, followed by a descent where chunks of time can be gained and lost and the final effort on the slopes of Superdévoluy. Time to think of the rematch in July…

Stages:
Sunday, June 5 – Prologue: Les Gets, 3.9km (ITT)
Monday, June 6 – Stage 1: Cluses > Saint-Vulbas, 186km
Tuesday, June 7 – Stage 2: Crêches-sur-Saône > Chalmazel-Jeansagnière, 167.5km
Wednesday, June 8 – Stage 3: Boën-sur-Lignon > Tournon-sur-Rhône, 182km
Thursday, June 9 – Stage 4: Tain-l’Hermitage > Belley, 176km
Friday, June 10 – Stage 5: La Ravoire > Vaujany, 140km
Saturday, June 11 – Stage 6: La Rochette > Méribel, 141km
Sunday, June 12 – Stage 7: Le-Pont-de-Claix > Superdévoluy, 151km.

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CA Technologies Joins Trek-Segafredo as a Major Sponsor
Trek-Segafredo is proud to announce that it has reached a multi-year agreement with CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA), one of the largest software corporations in the world. CA joins as the Official Enterprise Software Sponsor for the team through the end of 2017, and will take a prominent place on the sleeves and shorts of the Trek-Segafredo racing kit.

CA Technologies creates software that helps companies thrive in the application economy. As a key aspect of the partnership, Trek-Segafredo will be using CA Agile Management technology to help the team collaborate, deliver performance feedback in real-time, and accelerate development processes.

“We’re very happy with this news and it is an honor for me to welcome CA aboard our project. A major company like CA Technologies stepping onto the scene of professional cycling is huge for the sport,” Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur said at a press conference in Bruges, Belgium.

A cycling team relies on many different technologies to complete its jobs, often resulting in massive amounts of information in different formats, templates, and channels. This information challenge is compounded by dynamic racing environments, including the large amounts of time team members are traveling on the road.

Vadeboncoeur: “The world of cycling is driven by data. The challenge is channeling the enormous volumes of available data to improve how our team performs, both operationally and on the race course. With its track record of helping organizations succeed in today’s application economy, CA Technologies is the ideal technology partner for the team. CA Technologies solutions and services can help us coordinate multiple groups of people, across time zones and continents, ultimately enabling us to work as an even more productive and unified team.”

The team will use CA Agile Management technology, including CA Flowdock, a team collaboration application for desktop, mobile and web. CA Flowdock will connect riders with Trek product engineers in real-time, helping to shorten product development lifecycles. The technology will enable the Trek-Segafredo team to have a single place to collaborate and communicate, and accelerate the exchange of product feedback.

“Agile is a mindset that helps business move faster from ideas to outcomes. That’s exactly what the Trek-Segafredo team is focused on – its mission is racing to win, and it is finding ways to use technology to advance that mission,” said Marco Comastri, president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, CA Technologies. “Through our partnership, CA will help Trek-Segafredo become not just a high-performing racing team, but a high-performing enterprise.”

About CA Technologies
CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) creates software that fuels transformation for companies and enables them to seize the opportunities of the application economy. Software is at the heart of every business in every industry. From planning, to development, to management and security, CA is working with companies worldwide to change the way we live, transact, and communicate – across mobile, private and public cloud, distributed and mainframe environments.
Learn more at www.ca.com.

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Taming Europe’s Toughest Cobbles with IAM Cycling
Maybe we should have looked at this video last week before the Tour of Flanders, but it is such a good bit of film and Paris-Roubaix is on Sunday.


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