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Andalo - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) - Valverde Belmonte Alejandro (Spain / Team Movistar) - Ilnur Zakarin (Russia / Team Katusha) pictured during stage 16 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Bressanone - Andalo 132 km - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Kruijswijk Thursday!

The Giro d’Italia is on the cusp of the most important stages as the final days hit the highest climbs before the crescendo in Turin. We look at the possible/probable winner – Steven Kruijswijk. Results, report, quotes and video from the recent Giro stages and the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour. Plus cycling news from the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, Giant-Alpecin and Lotto Soudal. We finish with video of angry pros.

TOP STORY: Will Steven Kruijswijk Win the Giro?
Looking at the way he has been riding there is a good chance, his only weakness seems to be his team. Movistar and Astana are much stronger and will be working hard for Valverde and Nibali. Esteban Chaves is in the same boat, the Orica-GreenEDGE team, much like LottoNl-Jumbo, don’t have anyone that can stay with the front men in the high mountains, Chaves also has the problem of inexperience.

The next three days are going to be very important, Thursday probably not as much as it ‘only’ climbs the Cat 2, Pramartino, but Friday and Saturday will be crucial. Stage 19 climbs the highest mountain in this year’s Giro, the Colle dell’Angello and finishes in France at the summit of Risoul. Then stage 20 crosses the Col de Vars, Col de la Bonette, Colle della Lombarda before finishing on the summit of Sant’Anna di Vinadio.

When we interviewed Kruijswijk earlier this year he said: “I definitely want to go back to the Giro because the race suits me very well and also I like to take my chances in two races, not just the Tour because you never know how it will end up in the Tour and there are too many risks to focus on only that. Also it is true that most guys will focus on the Tour and I think I can focus on being in the top five in the Giro and la Vuelta and that is a little bit, not easier, but more realistic to go there than go for a Tour top five.”

So the Dutchman wanted a top five place at a Grand Tour, looks like he will get his wish.

Good luck Steven:
Andalo - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL - Jumbo) - Valverde Belmonte Alejandro (Spain / Team Movistar) - Ilnur Zakarin (Russia / Team Katusha)  pictured during  stage 16 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Bressanone - Andalo 132 km  - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Giro d’Italia 2016
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) took his first ever stage win at the Giro d’Italia in style, out-sprinting Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) in a demanding stage finish at Andalo. In an extremely hard-fought stage averaging 44.270km/h, despite lumpy terrain, the Dutchman took his third straight second place but, more importantly, increased his overall lead over arch-rivals Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE), who fought hard to regain position, and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who lost contact with the front of the race after starting the hostilities early on.

The attacks started on the first climb of the day, the Passo della Mendola with Movistar and Astana pushing hard to soon have the pink jersey of Steven Kruijswijk without any LottoN-Jumbo teammates in the front group. On the climb attacks came from Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), but none could shake Kruijswijk. The same could not be said of Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE) who was in trouble when Nibali jumped before the summit. Kruijswijk and Valverde crossed to Nibali to form the front group, but Chaves, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) and Rigoberto Uran couldn’t.

On the Fai della Paganella; Valverde attacked 15 kilometers out and was joined by Kruijswijk and Zakarin while Nibali was dropped and eventually caught by Chaves and his group and was then dropped by the Colombian at the top of the climb. Zakarin was the keenest to put time into everyone else, but Valverde and Kruijswijk took their turns at the front. Into the last corner and Valverde jumped to take his first Giro stage win ahead of Krijswijk with Zakarin just losing contact in the sprint. Chaves did his best to hold his 2nd place overall, but now only had 23 seconds on Valverde in 3rd. Nibali lost 1:47 and is in 4th place and not looking like the pre-race favorite he once was. The good rides from Zakarin and Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step) jumped the Russian over Majka to 5th and Jungels into 7th.

giro16 stage 16 valverde

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It was an amazing victory. We came to the start fully focused, knowing that it was going to be a really demanding stage for us. We had already inspected it back in March, the three of us – Chente, Andrey and myself. The team worked their hearts out to go for victory today and tear the peloton apart. We really dug deep for the victory, we put all means we had to claim it. The split wasn’t forming up into the first ascent, and the race leader and other rivals were insisting a lot. Happily, we were able to open that gap just before the end of the ascent, with Kruijswijk and without Chaves. We went ahead, pulling all the way to the foot of Fai della Paganella – I think we did a great job, all of us up there. I don’t think it was a really bad day for Nibali. He was keeping up with us all the time during the break and had everything under control. It was just that I attacked into the final ascent, so I could keep the gap against Chaves and reduce the field ahead – those kilometers alone might have costed him a lot. Seeing Kruijswijk doing that well wasn’t a surprise to me, either when he took the leader’s jersey. He’s been already showing for years he can cope well with the Giro, he was arguably the strongest into the final week last season, and this year, he came here with all willingness to win the race. We three, Steven, Zakarin and Myself, insisted until the very end so we could keep that gap. That brought me the win. I already stated during the rest day that my bad day on Saturday was just a consequence of riding in altitude for so long, so many kilometers above 1,700, 1,800 meters. We got through the day as good as we could and later on, we saw at the mountain TT that my physical condition was still near optimal. We just had to go for it today, breaking the peloton into pieces – and we succeeded. The team was phenomenal. I want to thank all of them – mechanics, carers, riders, sports directors – for their dedication. This is a tribute to them, also for my family, my kids and all the fans. It’s true that Kruijswijk’s only weak point so far is his team. Even though we tried to isolate him today, he reacted fantastically well. However, the Giro is far from over. Many demanding stages are left, including Friday and Saturday. We must, however, enjoy today’s win, and also the podium, which makes the final result even better.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I felt good and attacked on the last mountain along with Valverde. Nibali could no longer follow and Chaves was already in pursuit. I wanted to give the team a victory but sprinting against Valverde is difficult. I had no chance. Obviously, I wanted to win time for the standings. I sat the whole day where I needed to, but I also had to work hard to get into the leading group. The situation in the race was prefect and the time gain is sweet. Over the next few days, the stages are flat but then you have to be very careful.”

Best Young Rider and 7th overall, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “On the first climb I tried to ride my own tempo and don’t get caught off guard. I felt good throughout the day, and to be honest, I’m happy with the way the race went and with the outcome. I now have an even bigger advantage over the next rider in the U25 standings, but the Giro d’Italia is still long. Today I stayed with the best and I hope to keep the momentum over the next couple of stages left until Turin.”

4th on the stage, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “I’m satisfied, I realized a good performance in a stage which was demanding and which was raced at a very high pace. The climbs were very demanding, they were suitable for pure climbers, however and I pedaled for the whole stage with the top riders, thanks to a good condition. The fourth place is a good result.”

Jay Thomson (Dimension Data): “That wasn’t so easy today. It was a deceptive start as we thought it was a lot flatter than it really was, we were doing 60km/h for the first 45 minutes and then we already hit the bottom of the first climb. Then it was just game on. I think it was Movistar who started the troubles. To be honest I don’t really know what went on after that, I was just looking for wheels trying to make sure I just got the finish. It was not an easy day and as you can see, only 43 guys made it to the finish under 17 minutes behind the front guys, the rest being in the grupetto’s. It’s really great to see Kanstantsin kept his top 10 on GC. I tried to help him as much as I could before the bottom of the first climb but after that he was all by himself and man alone, so it was also a hard day for him today. I’m really happy for him though, I hope he can keep on improving and you never know what lies ahead. On the weekend there are 2 super hard days coming so we look forward to then and see what he can do there.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 2:58:54
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 0:08
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:37
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky at 0:38
7. Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:42
9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 0:50
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:47.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 16:
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 63:40:10
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:00
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 4:43
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 4:50
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 5:34
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:57
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 6:53
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 10:05
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 11:03.

Giro Stage 16:

In the pure style of a pursuiter with a strong track background, Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), who is set to represent Germany at the Rio Olympics in the Omnium (against Italy’s Elia Viviani and Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria, among others), took a splendid Stage 17 victory, anticipating the bunch sprint to take his first stage win in a Grand Tour. Maglia Rossa Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), second, made the podium for the thirteenth time of his career at the Giro d’Italia but he’s yet to win a stage. Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) retained the Maglia Rosa.

The break of the day was made up of Daniel Oss (BMC), Eugert Zhupa (Wilier-Southeast) and Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff). With so few sprinters left in the race, it was up to Trek-Segafredo, Lampre-Merida and Dimension Data to keep the break at a catchable distance. The break was allowed a maximum of a 6 minute lead.

On the only climb of the day, the Cat 4 Sant’Eusabio, the lead was down to 3:30, Oss took the KOM climb and both intermediate sprints.

With 30 kilometers to go; Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal), Ignatas Konovalovas (FDJ) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) crossed the 1 minute gap to join the other three up front. It was a ll a waste of time as they were caught with 2 kilometers remaining. It looked like it would come down to a sprint, but first Philippo Pozzato (Wilier-Trestina) jumped a kilometer out, but Kluge shot passed him for his big win.

All the overall competitions stayed the same:
Maglia Rosa, Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto NL-Jumbo)
Maglia Rossa, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)
Maglia Azzurra, Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini)
Maglia Bianca, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)

Cassano d’Adda - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling) pictured during stage 17 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Molveno - Cassano d’Adda 196 km - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling): “It’s a dream. I am filled with so many emotions. To have won just a few days after barely avoiding a time elimination, and then just two days after hearing the team announcement that our adventure together will end at the end of the season is just amazing. Vegard Stake Laengen did a huge job because without his work, those six would have made it to the finish for the victory. Then we were really trying to place Heinrich Haussler well. But he and I just were not able to stay together. After we passed under the flamme rouge, I managed take the final bend in second position just behind Pozzato. I did not hesitate when following him even if we were still 500 meters away from the finish. I just gave everything and I have no regrets. I had a strange feeling when I passed Pozzato, as if the field was riding in slow motion. I even had the chance to turn around with 50 meters to go, and then savor my victory.”

2nd on the stage and Points leader, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo): “I have nothing to regret. I’m angry but it’s normal. It would have been so fantastic to win my first Giro d’Italia stage here, close to home. I had one team-mate too few to close the gap on Roger Kluge but that’s because my team had to work extremely hard earlier on to chase down the breakaway. I still have a chance to win a stage on Sunday in Turin.”

Overall leader, Steven Kruijswijk (LottNl-Jumbo): “It’s been a long stage but quite a nice day. I’ve enjoyed riding with the Maglia Rosa as much as I could because I knew this was my last easy day race before some hard stages coming up, starting tomorrow. It’s a stage with a hard and spectacular finale after a tricky downhill. I’m ready. A lot of riders, including the most famous ones, came to congratulate me this morning for what I did yesterday. I know they liked the way I raced. They were congratulating me on yesterday’s ride, not on keeping the Maglia Rosa until Turin. I myself don’t think that I’ve already won the Giro. The only thing I can do is to try my best, and do what I have been doing for the past two and a half weeks. I’ll do it with confidence because I don’t have a weak point.”

Break rider, Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff): “It was quite a straightforward day. I tried from the very start to anticipate the move and got away with two riders. However, our breakaway was always controlled by the sprinters’ teams. They kept us tightly under control. We built an advantage of a bit more than five minutes but from there, the peloton steadily closed the gap. At 20 km to go, we were joined by three more riders but we knew our chances were very slim. Our lead was too small to hold. However, I gave my best and I’m satisfied with my performance. I feel well, despite the natural tiredness that comes after 17 intense stages of the Giro d’Italia.”

Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data): “We tried to arrive for the sprint but the final was a bit chaotic. All I can I say as I don’t really have the condition after being a bit sick. I could not find my legs and wasn’t able to sprint today. Now it is just about making it to the end of the Giro.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling in 4:32:29
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
7. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
8. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannodale
9. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Willier-Southeast
10. Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani-CSF.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 68:11:39
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:00
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 4:43
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 4:50
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 5:34
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:57
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 8:53
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 10:05
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 11:03.

Giro Stage 17:

Baloise Belgium Tour 2016
World cyclo-cross champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) won the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour over a 6 kilometer course in Beveren. Surprisingly Van Aert beat time trial champion Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) by 2 seconds and Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling) by 4.

Hollenstein was an early leader and the first rider to break the seven minute mark with his time of 6:56 and then his teammate Martin Elmiger came in with a time 2 seconds slower to put the two IAM Cycling riders 1st and 2nd. Van Aert toped them both with his winning time of 6:52 and had to wait for Tony Martin to come in with his 6:54 before he could celebrate his win. The Etixx – Quick-Step also put Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert in the top ten. Astana’s Lars Boom also looks dangerous as he took 7th at 7 seconds.

Four more stages before the race finish on Sunday:
Stage 1: Thursday 26 May: Buggenhout – Knokke-Heist (177.3km)
Stage 2: Friday 27 May: Knokke-Heist – Herzele (200.4km)
Stage 3: Saturday 28 May: Verviers – Verviers (206.9km)
Stage 4: Sunday 29 May: Tremelo – Tongeren (174.2km).

Beveren - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Wout van Aert pictured during stage 1 of the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race in Beveren, Belgium  - photo JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Prologue winner and overall leader, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice): “I never expected this, of course I was hoping to do well. Together with my coach Marc Lamberts I really looked forward to this Tour of Belgium. But winning the prologue? No, that exceeds expectations. I was really suffering, because I did not have the impression that I was really doing well. I have to especially thank my coach because I have less experience with such time trials. I followed his advice. I did not expect that I could beat a legend like Tony Martin. I will sleep well and hopefully we can defend the jersey. I believe in it, because we have a strong team. I always try to be good at this time to push my limits. This Tour of Belgium sits perfectly in my schedule. I beat a legend. It was really tough. I did not really have such a good feeling and therefore it surprised me that I had done such a good time. I even wonder how I did this up, I amaze myself. The condition must be good. I got a victory in my first road race in Belsele. Now I’m the best in the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour. That was an unlikely scenario. I try to peak for the national championships. After all, I must only focus on the coming cyclocross season, but I cannot deny that I take pleasure from this. Beforehand I was cautious in my statements, but now I can say that we are going to try to defend that jersey. I realize that this is an extremely difficult task. It may even go wrong tomorrow. But we will do our best. Basically the final standings in this stage race will be decided on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully the legs are equally good.”

2nd, Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m happy about today, because I came here without putting any pressure on my shoulders, which was normal considering I took a long break after what was a busy spring. I felt good on the bike, the condition is there and I’m sure I will improve in the next stages. It’s a pity that I finished second, as I always want to win when there’s a time trial. We have a strong team here, many of our guys are in the top 10 and everything is possible, so I’m looking forward to this week.”

3rd, Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling): “If someone had told me this morning that I would finish third, I would have been very happy to do that. But that the victory escaped me by just four seconds, I want to say that I really could have won. If I had taken even just one turn faster, that could have made the difference. But I prefer not to have regrets. I know that I gave my maximum. I spent the past ten days at an altitude training camp, I have been working with Marcello Albasini. But honestly it is too early to feel the real benefits of the altitude. This is also why I am delighted with this third place. The Tour of Switzerland is one of my main goals. I think I will be able to reach my peak form in time for that.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Prologue Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice in 6:52
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:04
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:05
6. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:06
7. Lars Boom (Ned) Astana at 0:07
8. David Boucher (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:10
9. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:11
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After The Prologue:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice in 6:52
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:04
4. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:05
6. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:06
7. Lars Boom (Ned) Astana at 0:07
8. David Boucher (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:10
9. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:11
10. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie.

Baloise Belgium Tour Prologue:

Philadelphia International Cycling Classic Livestream
The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic will be available live here on PEZ on race day, Sunday, June the 5th. The livestream is currently showing a replay of last year’s races:

Tour de France Long-List Announced
The second Grand Tour of the season is fast approaching and Team Giant-Alpecin will head to this year’s Tour de France with the overall objective of winning a stage. The team will also focus on the development of the whole squad through the experience gained by the riders during this year’s Tour.

The 103rd edition of Le Grande Boucle returns home for the start in the city of Mont-Saint-Michel, the first-ever Grand Départ in the region of Normandy, and it is an opportunity for the sprinters to wear the coveted maillot jaune. The Tour de France will run from Saturday, July 2, to Sunday, July 24, and will cover 3,519km.

“We go to the Tour de France with the aim of winning a stage, and our long-list for this year’s Tour should provide opportunities to achieve this result,” said coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED). “In terms of preparation, we have done video recons of eight stages. This footage will be analyzed and used to prepare the guys and determine our tactics. In addition, some riders will train at an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain, to build up their fitness levels. Finally, the last key races for the team before the Tour de France will be the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Ster ZLM Toer.”

Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Koen de Kort (NED), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Georg Preidler (AUT), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Coach: Adriaan Helmantel (NED), Marc Reef (NED), Aike Visbeek (NED).

John Degenkolb might be back to full fitness for the Tour:
Creative-artistic 2016

André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg extend their contract until the end of 2018
Lotto Soudal is proud to announce that the contract of André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg has been extended until the end of 2018. Together the two dear friends have 24 years of experience in the pro peloton and they have been part of this team since 2011. The past years they helped the team to achieve numerous beautiful victories, Greipel as a sprinter and Sieberg as a reliable lieutenant.

Marc Sergeant, manager Lotto Soudal: “When you look at what André has performed for our team over the past years, also the past twelve months and recently in the Giro, then you can only conclude that he is still an absolute top rider. After a difficult time he always fights his way back, he’s a classy person both after winning and losing and the respect he gets from teammates and staff is amazing. Everyone is always prepared to give his all to take André to the sprint in the best possible position. Greipel always shows his appreciation and is also prepared to help out other teammates when the course suits them better. I haven’t seen much top riders doing that.”

“I am convinced that the story of André at Lotto Soudal hasn’t come to an end yet. He has the potential to keep riding at this level and get even more victories. Obviously, with the support of Marcel Sieberg. Benoot, Wellens, Greipel or Gallopin, all top riders in the team beg to have him in the selection when they race. Sieberg is a perfect pilot, a pillar in the team and especially a very strong rider who performs well in every race he starts.”

André Greipel: “I am really happy the team puts its trust in me for the upcoming two years. The contract extension was something both parties really wanted. I feel good in this team and get the necessary support, also from the young riders. The team offers opportunities to young talent and those riders can perform even in the big races. Frederik Frison for example does such a great job in chasing down breakaways and Sean De Bie was a great support in the Giro. They help me and I can give them tips. At this moment I can’t imagine riding for another team. Sibi and I are inseparable, we want to keep riding together. He’s in general an important member for the entire team. The next years I want to stay one of the best sprinters in the world and keep conquering victories for Lotto Soudal.”

Marcel Sieberg: “As I said many times before, this team is a real family. As a rider you spend many days away from home, together with the team and then it’s really important to feel good within that team. It’s my job to support other riders in the team and when you get along really well that only makes you perform even better. These are all important reasons for staying with Lotto Soudal. On top of that, the main sponsors have an engagement until 2020 and that has its influence on the team. There is a solid base, the sports directors can plan for the long term. That the partners have engaged themselves to this team for such a long time also gives us confidence. This can also have a positive influence on Belgian young cyclists. When I was at the beginning of my career, the German teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner were riding in the peloton and it was an extra motivation to become pro and ride for one of those teams. That can now be the case for Belgian young cyclists and Lotto Soudal, the team really focuses on young Belgian talent. I love to share my experience with those riders.”

André Greipel:
Praia a Mare - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) pictured during stage 5 of the 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 from Praia a Mare to Benevento 233 km -

Angry Pro Cyclists
When the adrenalin is pumping through a riders system, sometimes the red mist can descend and tempers are lost. Here are some cases when it has all got just too much:

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