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Davos - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Lopez Moreno Miguel Angel (Spain / Team Astana) pictured during stage 9 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from Davos to Davos (117,7 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Lopez Monday!

Young Colombian, Miguel Angel Lopez won the Tour de Suisse at the weekend and did it with élan and panache with an attack on the final day while wearing the yellow jersey. We also have reports, results, quotes and video from Switzerland, the Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain and the Ster ZLM Toer. Top Story: Simon Yates gets four month ban. In other cycling news: Lotto Soudal medical up-date, no Dutch championships for Niki Terpstra and video chaos in the Northstar Grand Prix.

TOP STORY: Yates Banned for Four Months
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Simon Yates has been given a four month ban by the UCI due to an adverse analytical finding for the substance Terbutaline, back in March. The UCI accept that Yates’ actions were not deliberate and that he can return to racing after July the 11th. This rules out a Tour de France start, but he could be well placed for a ride in the Vuelta a España and an outside chance of an Olympic place in the Great Britain team.

Yates was found positive for the asthma medication during Paris-Nice and it was claimed that the team doctor noted that Yates was using the inhaler at the time, but it appeared that the doctor had made a mistake with the paperwork and there was not a TUE for the treatment. The team took full responsibility for the mistake and were fully in support of Yates through-out the process. The team say he will make his comeback in the Tour de Pologne.

For his part, Yates has accepted the sanction and apologized, saying: “I would like to apologize to my colleagues for once again casting our sport in a negative light. I am very embarrassed and ashamed of this whole situation but I am determined to move forward.” But he does make the very important point: “Ultimately the responsibility is on the athlete to know exactly what they are taking and what they are putting into their bodies.”

In this case everyone knew what he was taking and why, it all came down to an administrative error on the part of the doctor. So mistakes can be made, I wonder what the ‘life time ban for any form of doping’ brigade think of this case?

An embarrassed Simon Yates:
Huy - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -    Nibali Vincenzo (Team Astana) -Yates Simon (Team Orica Greenedge)- Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Team Movistar) - Valverde Alejandro (Team Movistar)  pictured during  le Tour de France 2015 - stage 3 - from Antwerpen to  Huy -159.5 KM - on monday 06-07-2015 - photo Dion Kerckhoffs//Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2015

Tour de Suisse 2016
Stage 6 saw Pieter Weening (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) win a very wet 162.8 kilometer race from Weesen to Amden. The Dutchman solo’d from the break of the day on the final climb to Amden. Maximiliano Richeze (Etixx – Quick-Step) was second at 2:37 as Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice) and Kristijan Koren (Cannondale) were 3rd and 4th as the overall battle was won by Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo) who finished in 5th place and took the leaders jersey.

The big break attacked on the first climb and soon had a couple of minutes on the peloton. The move included: Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo), Philipe Gilbert (BMC), Kristijan Koren (Cannondale), Pim Ligthart & Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Iljo Keisse & Maximiliano Richeze (Etixx – Quick-Step), Kévin Reza (FDJ), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar), Maciej Patkersi (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice), Nico Brüngger (Team Roth), Pietr Weening & Antwan Tolhoek (Roompot), and Jordi Simon (Verva Active-Pro Jet). The maximum lead got to nearly 6 minutes as they started the climb of the Klausenpass, from then on the gap dropped and when they hit the final climb to the finish the escape exploded.

Weening went solo with 7.5 kilometers to go, Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) had attacked from the chase group and with the help of teammate Sütterlin from the break was gaining on Weening. His move was a good idea, but in the end failed.

Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) were dropped from the chase group with 4km when last years winner, Simon Spilak (Katusha) attacked. Sky were in control and pulled Spilak back and then Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) tried his hand and then it was Geraint Thomas (Sky) to be dropped, as Weening crossed the line in first place.

From the chasers; Kelderman was 5th and took the overall lead by 16 seconds from Barguil, with Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) 3rd at 19 seconds. Latour lost 53 seconds and dropped to 6th, Geraint Thomas and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) both lost time.

Amden - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Pieter Weening (Netherlands / Roompot - Oranje Peloton) pictured during stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from   Weesen to Amden (162,8 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

5th on the stage and overall leader, Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It’s nice that I have the jersey. I felt good today, the team put me in the perfect spot at the beginning of the final climb and I was then able to follow. I was able to accelerate in the last hundred meters. It was mainly another cold day, especially, on the Klaussenpass, it was really cold, foggy and wet. I did not even realize Izaguirre was away. Only in the valley, where it was clear, was I warm again. The higher the better, I am back from altitude training so I’m used to the altitude. And then, of course, I look forward to the time trial. A good classification should definitely be possible by the end of the race.”

2nd on the stage, Max Richeze (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This morning we decided to go in the break, because there were no more opportunities left for the sprinters. Thanks to Iljo, the break formed and we worked really well together. At the top of the first climb, Davide Bramati informed me that we were 6 minutes ahead, so we began to believe there’s a strong chance to go all the way. We rode full gas, and despite the weather conditions, I felt good. Bramati told me to pay attention to Weening, but when he went, I couldn’t follow. Still, I am happy with this result and I must thank Iljo for the role he played and for pulling hard for me, it’s a real pleasure to ride with him. It was strange to come second on a summit finish. It was a day of firsts for me: first time I joined a break on a mountain stage and first time the break in which I was made it. It’s been a great Tour de Suisse for me so far, I now have the points jersey and although it will difficult, I’ll try to take it home. It caps off an excellent week for me, in which I also got the news that I’ve been selected for Rio de Janeiro. The course is very hard, but to be there, at the Olympic Games, it will be a big honor and I’ll give it my all to support my teammates.”

10th overall, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I hope we can have a rain-free day at some point during this Tour de Suisse, because today it only rained once.”

Break rider and best Swiss rider, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “I did not feel good all day. We were a good group and harmony reigned, up until that last climb. My back was sore already on the Klausen climb, and I suffered from cramps in the final.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton in 4:33:47
2. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step at 2:37
3. Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 3:57
4. Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale at 4:13
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 4:31
6. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
8. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 4:35
9. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 4:36
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 4:39.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 22:43:12
2. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 0:16
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:19
4. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:34
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:39
6. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:51
7. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:52
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:56
9. Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:59
10. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 1:03.

Stage 6:

BMC’s Tejay van Garderen had enough time to enjoy his Stage 7 victory, but not enough time to recover his loss the day before. Miguel Lopez (Astana) was 2nd, Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) 3rd and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) finished 4th. Barguil took the overall lead by 21 seconds from Lopez by 21 seconds.

Mathias Brandle (IAM Cycling) and Iljo Keisse (Etixx – QuickStep) attacked early and were joined by KOM leader Antwan Tolhoek (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) and after 40 kilometers they had 8 minutes of a lead and by the Hochtannberg Pass they had 12. After taking all the previous mountains points, Tolhoek sat up before the final climb. LottoNl-Jumbo started to chase down the break for race leader Wilco Kelderman.

Coming to the final 10 kilometers; Keisse and Brandle still had 7 minutes over the field, as they started the climb to the finish, Brandle attacked, but he was caught by the GC riders who were fighting it out for the overall.

Van Garderen attacked with 4.5 kilometers to go from the lead group which didn’t include race leader Kelderman. Barguil and Pantano both tried to pull the American back, but unlike the previous day, he was not troubled by the cold conditions and he built up a lead of over 30 seconds. Barguil didn’t want to work with Pantano and put in a strong attack, it was Lopez who steadily caught the two and left them to take second place behind van Garderen at 16 seconds. Barguil moved into the overall lead 21 seconds ahead of Lopez and 24 seconds in-front of Andrew Talansky (Cannondale).

Solden - Austria - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Tejay Van Garderen (USA / BMC Racing Team)  pictured during stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from    Arbon to Solden (224.3 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Interview with stage winner and 7th overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC):
How were you feeling out there today?
“The feelings today were good. The feelings have been good all race except for yesterday when I had a bad moment and got really cold when I came off the Klausenpass. It’s still very regrettable that it happened because I fee like I have the form to win this race overall. At least to come away with the stage victory is a nice consolation prize.”

Was it always the plan to attack when you did?
“It was a hard moment and I saw that some of the other riders didn’t look so strong and I was feeling good so I thought it was a good opportunity to attack and go for the stage victory. And that’s how it happened. They gave me a little bit of freedom because I lost a bit of time yesterday so I was able to get a gap and hold on to it.”

When you started getting closer to the finish line did you think that the win was yours?
“You’re never sure of a stage victory until you cross the line so I just put my head down and went as hard as I did. It’s tempting to look back and I think I did look back a few times but I just tried keeping my head forward.”

Just how hard was the Rettenbachferner?
“It’s definitely up there with the hardest climbs I have ever done. I can’t really think of a harder one right now.”

How are you approaching the last two stages?
“Looking at the GC as it stands after today I definitely think I can move up a couple of places and maybe get into the top five or the podium. If I have a really good day and some of my rivals suffer a bit then the podium could be possible. But it is still very regrettable having lost that time yesterday, because then I think I would be in with a good chance.

3rd on the stage and Overall leader, Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin): “I am happy with today’s result, it went very well. The team did a great job in controlling the race and in protecting me today. At the start of the final climb, I still had strong support from the team and we managed to set a good tempo in order to decimate the bunch as much as possible. In the finale, I just followed the main group and when Van Garderen attacked I was expecting Team Sky to accelerate, but they didn’t. Therefore, I decided to go by myself to try and close the gap. Unfortunately, I couldn’t and then I just gave everything I had to reach the finish line. I am really proud that the team believed in me in achieving a good result. I will try to keep the jersey as long as possible and will not give it up without a fight. There are still two more hard stages to come with the time trial tomorrow, so we will see.”

4th on the stage and 5th overall, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I attacked to win the stage, but I had no idea just how hard those last kilometers were. We lost our leader, Mathias Frank, to illness, but for the team it is important to show ourselves well at every possible opportunity. Being able to attack on a day like this is good for my confidence, but it was insufficient to win the stage. I hope to have another chance on Sunday.”

Mathias Brändle (IAM Cycling): “I was riding over home roads, and I had the motivation and heart to do well. We rode well together in order to create the maximum time gap before the final climb. But it was not enough to reach the finish in the lead. I am not disappointed because I really gave everything up to five kilometers to go.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC in 6:26:13
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:16
3. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
4. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:31
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:33
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 0:43
7. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 0:49
8. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar
9. Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice at 0:59
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin in 29:09:53
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:21
3. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:24
4. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:55
5. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 1:06
6. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 1:07
7. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:31
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:36
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:39
10. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1:55.

Stage 7:

It might have seemed like the 49-second loss that Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) suffered in the altitude of the Rettenbach glacier on Friday made the chase of GC glory in the Tour de Suisse unsurmountable. It even looked grimmer as Izaguirre clocked only the 62nd quickest time through the first intermediate check of the individual time trial of Stage 8 in Davos of 16.8km, with two demanding slopes and headwind for the late starters into the early part of the route, looking like a fall in his form would derail him from overall contention.

However, the brave allrounder from the Basque Country was just keeping his key for success hidden to everyone. After Nairo Quintana’s win on Thursday at the Route du Sud, Izaguirre’s splendid legs on the hillier parts of the route, he beat TT legend Fabian Cancellara (Trek-segafredo) on the last climb (-11 seconds) and reach the finish with an even bigger gap (-19 seconds), claiming his third success of the 2016 season and the 25th for the Movistar squad.

Beating Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), who rolled off the start ramp today as GC leader, by almost one minute, Ion Izaguirre jumped into third in a very tight overall classification: Miguel Angel López (Astana) is the new leader, with Talansky (Cannondale) 2nd at 8 seconds, Ion in 3rd, 16 seconds down and Barguil himself, now fourth, just 18 seconds behind. Izaguirre – 3rd in Romandie, runner-up in Algarve, 4th in Valencia, 5th in Paris-Nice – will try to keep dream big on Sunday in a tremendous final Alpine circuit around Davos, 118km which include the HC climbs of Albula and Flüela.

Davos - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Izaguirre Insausti Jon (Spain / Team Movistar)  pictured during stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from Davos to Davos (16,8 km) ITT - Individual Time Trial - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Ion Izaguirre (Movistar): “It was a really difficult day, with a demanding route where you had to keep full focus on so as to know where you had to give your full energy. We had some problems with our chain, since it was a route that demanded many pace changes and exigence for our gearing was maybe too much, but fortunately, it wasn’t too serious and didn’t compromise the final result. Already since we inspected the TT route in the morning we knew that those little climbs and difficult sections made it one where we could excel. The difference was to be made into the uphill sections – that’s where I tried to make up my deficit from the first part. I gave everything I had and that win makes me tremendously happy, even more so considering how well things are going for me so far this season. For the time being, we’re on the GC podium, yet the gap against Barguil in fourth place is really short, plus López and Talansky are still within reach. Sunday’s closer will be short, yet surely super intense and tough. It will be huge war, and we hope to come out of it victorious.”

7th on the stage and 5th overall, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I have worked hard at home in Columbia for this major objective. I did not go very fast because I still had sore legs after such a demanding stage yesterday. Then I found my rhythm and I even managed to get into the 58 chain ring. We all have a week of racing in our legs. And tomorrow there is still a very hard stage to face, and the expected weather conditions will make it even more difficult. But I am ready to give everything to keep my fifth place overall.”

Best Swiss rider, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “It felt like I was scotch-taped to the climb and had trouble generating more than 320 watts.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar in 21:31
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:18
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:19
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:21
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:23
6. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 0:24
7. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:25
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
9. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:33
10. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:34.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 8:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana in 29:32:03
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:08
3. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
4. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 0:18
5. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:52
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:21
7. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:26
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:30
9. Simon Spilak (Rus) Katusha at 1:31
10. Rui Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 2:09.

Stage 8:

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) showed his Tour de Suisse overall win was no fluke as he made the others suffer with a solo attack on the snow covered Flüela Pass. In the end he was pulled back by the GC top riders to finish 4th in the same time as the Final Stage 9 winner Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling). The stage had been cut from 117 kilometers to just 57 to the cold temperatures on the Albula Pass.

Michele Scarponi set the pace for his Astana leader on the Flüela Pass before Pantano, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Simon Spilak (Katusha) attacked 6 kilometers from the top of the pass. Lopez jumped after them with Tejay van Garderen (BMC) for company, not so much to cover their jump, but to put time into the other overall hopefuls; Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) and Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin). With 2 to go to the top, Lopez dropped them all to cross the summit on his own with 30 seconds in hand and 17 kilometers to the finish in Davos.

Lopez took it easy on the descent and eventually a group including Pantano, Sergei Chernetski (Katusha), Izaguirre, van Garderen, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) and Barguil, with Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) and Víctor De La Parte (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice) chasing behind.

In the sprint for the stage win, Pantano jumped first with Chernetcki on his wheel, but the Colombian was too fast for the Russian. Izaguirre came in ahead of Lopez to move up to 2nd overall. Barguil made a big effort to hold onto his 3rd place overall.

Davos - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Pantano Gomez Jarlinson (Columbia / Iam Cycling) - Sergei Chernetckii (Team Katusha)  pictured during stage 9 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from  Davos to Davos (117,7 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 4th overall, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I dedicate this victory to my family and to everyone at IAM Cycling. I must be dreaming because on the descent I had no feeling in my hands. They were frozen. Then I gave everything because I remembered my last victory happened on the same day. That was five years ago, already, where I won a stage of the Tour of Colombia on June 19, 2011. This morning, we went again to recon the descent of the Fluela and final in Davos with Marcello Albasini and Rik Verbrugghe. I had no specific plan, but when we arrived in the resort town, I knew I had to try something. The guys responded to a little acceleration I gave, so I focused in on the sprint. I decided to go with 250 meters remaining, and simply gave it everything I had. I am the happiest man right now to be able to give the team such a success in these difficult times. In spite of losing Mathias Frank to illness, we have fulfilled our objectives, which were to win a stage and take a place in the top-5.”

Overall winner and 4th on the stage, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “Last year was my first year as a pro with Astana. It’s a team that has confidence in me when I go back to train in Colombia. It’s a team where I can progress bit by bit, and become a champion.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Ion Izagirre (Movistar): “Following my win in yesterday’s TT, there was so much pressure to finish things off well today and take this podium finish. We knew that it would be difficult, as the shortened route would make the pace even more intense. We had to keep focus on many rivals, all of them good climbers, but fortunately, it went well for me – that second place overall is a good prize to come home with. The organizers decided to scrap that first climb (Albulapass), and the stage became like another time trial. The only tactics here was holding on and riding as close to the fore as possible. Miguel Ángel López, Van Garderen and Pantano were climbing strong, but soon I got my legs rolling better and better. I could take the gap back into the downhill and confirm my second place. Things are going tremendously well in this first part of the season. I know that these one-week stageraces, with some timetrialling and not-to-steep climbs, suit me perfectly well, I prepare for them the best I can, and my morale is high after seeing the results I’ve got since February. Now we’ll be racing the Spanish Championships; it will depend on how it’s all going next week to see if I make the Tour roster or not. If I do, I just hope I can help Nairo all the way to the final podium. We’re now three Movistar riders into the top-ten of the WorldTour – Nairo, Alejandro and myself- and that’s a very good thing for us as a whole. Yesterday’s Marc win is another good sign that things are going well overall for the team – let’s hope it continues so.”

6th on the stage and 7th overall, Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida): “The original course of the stage was demanding and it became even more intense when it was shortened. It was important to be immediately ready to act and my legs supported me in doing so. I attacked, I push hard and I fought, my legs used all the energies and they brought me to the front group at 100 meters to the arrival. I could not sprint for the stage victory, however I’m satisfied for the 7th position in the final general classification: I’m on the right track, I can work with morale for the next appointment.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 9 Result:
1. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling in 1:23:55
2. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha
3. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
6. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
7. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
8. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 0:56
9. Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice
10. Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall Result:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana in 30:55:58
2. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:12
3. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin at 0:18
4. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:42
5. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 1:04
6. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 1:26
7. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 2:09
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 2:38
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha at 2:48
10. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 5:08.

Stage 9:

Aviva Women’s Tour 2016
Marianne Vos returned to the Aviva Yellow Jersey, 26-months after she won the race, pulling on the leader’s jersey in Stratford-upon-Avon after her third placed finish behind Amy Pieters moved her into the overall lead in Stage 2. The Wiggle HIGH5 rider sprinted to victory in the centre of Stratford at the end of a 140-kilometer stage through Warwickshire, heading home a 27-rider group soaked by heavy rain showers throughout the stage.

Pieters headed reigning Aviva Women’s Tour champion Lisa Brennauer and Vos in a photo finish, with Orica AIS rider Gracie Elvin fourth and overnight leader Christine Majerus fifth. Marianne Vos now holds a three-second lead over Majerus, with Pieters a further four seconds back after commissaires overnight annulled the time gaps from the Stage One finish on review of the final three kilometers, resetting the race going into the Warwickshire stage. The reigning Olympic Road Race Champion won the inaugural Women’s Tour in 2014, but missed last year’s edition through injury.

Despite often inclement weather conditions the stage was another fast paced affair, with lots of attacking riding, no rider more so than Ale Cipollini’s Emilia Fahlin, who was twice away in moves off the front of the race, the second time alone. The Swede was caught on the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb at Burton Dassett, with Amalie Dideriksen and Malgorzata Jasinska the next duo to stay away, building a gap of 50-seconds, which was steadily whittled down by the speeding bunch. The pair were caught by the small lead group with less than 20-kilometers of racing remaining and despite a flurry of attacks on the run in, the leaders hit the final kilometer together, with Pieters pipping Brennauer by the narrowest of margins.

Marianne Vos also moves into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points classification, with a three-point lead over Majerus, who is then ten-points clear of Pieters. Lizzie Armitstead finished safely in the front group in 18th to remain the highest placed British rider overall in the Adnams Best British Rider jersey. The Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey also changed hands, moving to UnitedHealthcare’s Katie Hall, two points ahead of Ilona Hoeksma. Floortje Mackaij retains the Best Young Rider jersey presented by Stoke-on-Trent, European City of Sport 2016, but is equal on time with Danish champion Dideriksen and Brit Molly Weaver, the trio 1-minute 03-seconds up on the fourth placed young rider.
Thanks to womenstour.co.uk for the race info.

Stratford-upon-Avon  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Pieters Amy (Netherlands / Wiggle High5) - Brennauer Lisa (Germany / Canyon Sram Racing) - Vos Marianne (Netherlands / Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team)  pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 2 from Atherstone to Stratford-upon-Avon -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5): “It was a hard day, a lot of rain and some quite steep hills. We did a really good job with the team, we have such a strong team here this week so we can play a lot of cards and I’m really glad that I could finish it today. We want to win always it’s the most important thing, and we are so strong with our team …we stayed calm and raced well and we got it so I hope we can have more wins this week.”

Overall leader, Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv): “Today was not as tough as the upcoming days but already we felt it in the legs a little bit, it was a long stage. I think tomorrow it’s going to be even more aggressive. From tomorrow onwards the longer climbs come in, so I definitely think it can split up the field. Of course it’s nice to be in the yellow jersey, it gives some confidence and motivation for the next days, so I’ll definitely try but there are some good competitors in contention. To be here in such a top class field and in the jersey is of course a good feeling, but we’re only on the second day so I will take it day by day.”

Aviva Women’s Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5 in 3:36:55
2. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing
3. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv
4. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans
6. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5
7. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
8. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Liv-Plantur
9. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur
10. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv.

Aviva Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv in 7:01:26
2. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 0:03
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5 at 0:07
4. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing at 0:11
5. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 0:00:13
6. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur
7. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:14
8. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans at 0:16
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Liv-Plantur at 0:07
10. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5.

Stage 2:

Lizzie Armitstead powered to an emotional victory in Chesterfield at the end of Stage 3 of the Aviva Women’s Tour, out-sprinting a trio of breakaway companions to move into the Aviva Yellow Jersey of race leader with two stages remaining. The reigning World Road Race Champion crossed the line pointing to the sky, dedicating her win in Derbyshire to the memory of Jo Cox, the Birstall MP who was murdered yesterday.

Armitstead crossed the line clear of second placed Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to now enjoy a five second lead over the Cervelo-Bigla rider on the Aviva General Classification, with overnight leader Marianne Vos leading the bunch in for fifth, 36-seconds down. The Boels-Dolmans rider had led Moolman-Pasio and Wiggle HIGH5’s Elisa Longo Borghini across to the day’s breakaway group, catching the group of 11-riders shortly after the Strava Queen of the Mountains climb of Bank Road in Matlock. Those eleven, who went clear after the feed zone and around 47-kilometers of racing, included the likes of Hannah Barnes, Chantal Blaak and Australian national champion Amanda Spratt, who went on to finish fourth.

While the break were working well together, they were powerless to stop the pursuit of Armitstead, Moolman-Pasio and Longo Borghini, with the trio making the junction after the summit of Bank Road having gone clear on the flatter valley roads following the Chain Reaction Cycles Sprint at Darley Dale.

Having missed the move, Vos and her Rabo Liv team chased hard, but with around 15-kilometers to go Armitstead attacked again, at first joined by just Moolman-Pasio before Longo Borghini and Spratt also made the junction.The quartet worked well to hold off the chasing Rabo Liv, whose pursuit saw the remnants of the breakaway caught, allowing them to contest the finish in Chesterfield’s Market Place, with Armitstead leading out the sprint to take victory, her second ever stage win in the Aviva Women’ Tour. Behind Vos out-sprinted Armitstead’s Boels Dolmans teammate Amalie Dideriksen for fifth, ahead of Leah Kirchmann and Giorgia Bronzini. In addition to the Aviva Yellow Jersey and a five-second lead overall, Armitstead also retained the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey, with Dani King her nearest challenger in that competition, 47-seconds back in 15th overall.

Despite losing yellow Marianne Vos retains the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, 11-points clear of Stage One winner Christine Majerus, with Vos’ compatriot Floortje Maackaij holding a 34-second lead in the Best Young Rider classification presented by Stoke-on-Trent, European City of Sport. Having been in the day’s 11-rider move, Katie Hall led the race across both Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs at Winster and Matlock to take a 14-point lead over Ilona Hoeksma.
Thanks to womenstour.co.uk for the race info.

Chesterfield  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Armitstead Elizabeth Lizzie (Great Britain / Boels Dolmans Cycling Team)  pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 3 from Ashbourne to Chesterfield  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

2nd on the stage and overall, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla): “It was another super team effort again, we had a difficult plan to execute but the girls were amazing. Rider of the day again was Clara. She got in the break and when we got there was able to just put the pressure on. Before that Lotta [Lepistö] set me up perfectly and I went from the bottom of the climb. The climb just kept going up and up. In the sprint at the end I just didn’t manage the win but held on for second. It was quite difficult to sprint on the cobbles but it was a good day for us today.”

Aviva Women’s Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans in 2:54:27
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
4. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:03
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv at 0:36
6. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans
7. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur
8. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
9. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
10. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5.

Aviva Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans in 9:55:59
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla at 0:05
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:07
4. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:14
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv at 0:27
6. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans at 0:32
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5 at 0:37
8. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur at 0:41
9. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
10. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:43.

Stage 3:

Lizzie Armitstead retained her Aviva Yellow Jersey heading into the final stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour as reigning Olympic Road Race Champion Marianne Vos took the Stage 4 victory from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent, the European City of Sport for 2016.

Vos headed home Team Liv-Plantur’s Leah Kirchmann and Wiggle HIGH5’s Emma Johansson, as a front group of 21-riders contested the finish on an uphill drag into Stoke-on-Trent city centre. In the process the Rabo Liv rider narrowed her gap to Armitstead on the overall classification to 15-seconds, although Armitstead’s nearest challenger, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, slipped back to eight-seconds down in second overall, with Elisa Longo Borghini a further two seconds in arrears.

On the tough run through the Staffordshire Moorlands in the final third of the stage, Armitstead had again proved herself to be one of the toughest riders in the race, escaping in a four rider group that went clear on two back-to-back Strava Queen of the Mountains climbs at Ramshorn and Oakamoor.

In addition to the World Champion, her breakaway companions from Stage Three who lie second and third overall, Moolman Pasio and Longo Borghini, joined her along with Swedish national champion Emma Johansson.

The four struck out until just after the final kilometer marker, with Vos leading the chase to catch them on the final climb of Botteslow Street into Stoke-on-Trent city centre. The winner of the 2014 Women’s Tour made the catch and then straight away led out the sprint through the final corner and into the short, uphill finish straight.

The stage win for Vos helped her to an unassailable 27-point lead in the Chain Reaction Cycles Points jersey, meaning she just has to finish the race to claim the jersey. In the Best Young Rider jersey, presented by the city of Stoke-on-Trent in its year as European City of Sport, Floortje Mackaij extended her lead to 51-seconds over teammate Molly Weaver. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Katie Hall retained the Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey, but Moolman Pasio ate into her lead, meaning the destination of the jersey will be decided between the two riders on the first Strava Queen of the Mountains climb at Newnham Hill outside Daventry.

Stoke-on-Trent  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vos Marianne (Netherlands / Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team) pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 4 from Nottingham to Stoke-on-Trent  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 4th overall, Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv): “We were riding full gas and we could see them but they were attacking each other so sometimes they were making really high speeds and sometimes it came closer and then the final kilometer was more up than I expected. On Google Maps it looked a wide road and nicely through some roundabouts but it went ‘boom’ uphill but they were still within 10-seconds, so I decided to just go because otherwise you don’t have a chance. I knew I had a chance in the sprint but if there are still four in the lead then you are sprinting for fifth and that wasn’t really in my plan today.”

Overall leader, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans): “We race as a team and we race aggressively, that’s always our tactic. From a team perspective we had a good race I had good legs again on the climb. The race stayed together until the climb and then me, Ashley and Elisa went on the second Queen of the Mountains, Emma was in no-man’s land so she came back up to us and there was a bit of cooperation for maybe 5k and then Emma and Elisa started attacking. In the final kilometers I could tell they [peloton] were coming back…coming into the final kilometer there were a couple of turns with up-hill flickers and again Emma and Elisa were attacking so it was just about covering them and as the group from behind pulled I tried to put myself in a good position but got caught out a little bit on the last corner.”

Aviva Women’s Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv in 3:07:00
2. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5
4. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans
5. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM
6. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5
8. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla
9. Nikki Harris (GB) Boels-Dolmans
10. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans.

Aviva Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans in 13:02:56
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla at 0:08
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:10
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv at 0:15
5. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:17
6. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur at 0:37
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle High5 0:00:40
8. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 0:44
9. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5 at 0:46
10. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:47.

Stage 4:

Lizzie Armitstead clinched overall victory in the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour, finishing safely in the bunch in 14th position at the end of the 113-kilometer Final Stage 5 in Northamptonshire as Finland’s Lotta Lepistö took the stage win in Kettering from a group of seven riders.

In the end Armitstead’s winning margin was 11-seconds over Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, courtesy of three bonus seconds picked up at the day’s opening Chain Reaction Cycle sprint, with Wiggle HIGH5 rider Elisa Longo Borghini a further two seconds in arrears. Armitstead also clinched the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey as the highest placed Brit, with a 53-second advantage over 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Dani King. The victory will also move Armitstead up to second in the standings of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, behind her teammate Megan Guarnier.

A day long breakaway of seven riders contested the finish, as the Boels Dolmans led bunch just misjudged their catch, coming into Kettering 15-seconds behind the group, which Lepistö led home. The high-class group of seven, including Italian national champion Elena Cecchini and 2007 World Road Race Champion Marta Bastianelli, built a lead in excess of 4-minutes, but it was driven down by a combination of Boels-Dolmans at the front of the peloton and an eventual lack of cooperation in the front group.

Having won Stage Four on Saturday, Marianne Vos couldn’t reduce Armitstead’s lead any further and had to settle for the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey after a remarkable run of consistent finishes, ending each stage in the top five, barring the final day’s tenth place. Vos’ compatriot Floortje Mackaij saw her lead in the Best Young Rider Jersey presented by Stoke-on-Trent, European City of Sport reduced thanks to teammate Molly Weaver’s presence in the break, but not by enough for the white jersey to change shoulders. The win in that classification also helps Mackaij in the season-long UCI Women’s WorldTour young rider classification, with her edging closer to current leader Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

Having twice won a stage combativity award, Alé-Cipollini’s Emilia Fahlin won the overall combativity award, while Wiggle HIGH5 beat Boels Dolmans to the team classification title by the narrowest of margins.

Kettering  - England - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Lepisto Lotta  (Finland / Cervelo Bigla)  pictured during  Women’s Tour of Great Britain stage- 5 from Northampton to Kettering  -  photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Lotta Lepistö (Cervelo-Bigla): “It was a hard start to the stage, we were defending Ashleigh’s second place on the overall. A group was going away so I was covering the attack. Eventually we got a good gap and we were happy with the names in the group so I got the team orders to work. When the gap got too big and was threatening GC, the team orders were for me to stop working. I thought we would be caught in the last kilometer because the gap was coming down all the time. The team told me to look for a spot to attack in order to increase the gap for the break because we didn’t want the peloton to catch us as there were bonus seconds on the line. I tried a few times and couldn’t get away so I decided to save my legs for the sprint. Molly Weaver attacked with 600m to go, I got on her wheel and opened up my sprint with 200m to go.”

Overall winner, Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans): “It means what a fantastic team performance it’s been. We had quite a lot of pressure on us today with the team performing so well all week I couldn’t let them down really so I’m relieved and happy that I did it for them. With the break of seven at one stage having in excess of four minutes, Armitstead admitted some nerves, but once again took the opportunity to praise her team. The girls around me kept a cool head and Chantal [Blaak] said ‘We can close that if we want to’. It was still hard, although probably one of the easier days of the tour so far which meant we could control it and bring it to a sprint which is what we wanted. Being a British athlete I feel so lucky to be a part of a country that loves cycling at the moment and I hope that that bubble continues. My teammates say ‘Lizzie, why is it so popular here?’ and I don’t really know the answer, but events like this certainly help keep the ball rolling.”

2nd overall, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla): “Things couldn’t have gone better for us today, it was incredible for Lotta to make it into that breakaway. We knew she was the fastest there and she could just sit on and save her legs when we started chasing from behind to reduce their gap. Everyone rode like superstars today. The team performance was just incredible and I say this over and over but we really are a small team with big hearts. This has been an incredible week of racing.”

Strava Queen of the Mountains, Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare): “I love this race, I think it is my favorite race of the year now. I’ve done all three editions of this race now so the first one was my first ever race in Europe and I just so was so overwhelmed I couldn’t manage to do anything in the bunch, and now I can get a jersey and so I’ve been reflecting on the growth I’ve had as a rider through these three editions. The first year I got nothing, last year I got it [Strava Queen of the Mountains jersey] for one day and this year I’ve kept it until the end so it’s good.”

Aviva Women’s Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo-Bigla at 2:57:31
2. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alè-Cipollini
3. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM
4. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products
5. Eugenia Bujak (Pol) BTC City Ljubljana
6. Molly Weaver (GB) Liv-Plantur
7. Janneke Ensing (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg at 0:11
8. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur at 0:15
9. Jolien D’hoore (Bel) Wiggle-High5
10. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv.

Aviva Women’s Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Elizabeth Armitstead (GB) Boels-Dolmans in 16:00:39
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla at 0:11
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 0:13
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv at 0:18
5. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:20
6. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Liv-Plantur at 0:40
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) Wiggle-High5 at 0:43
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Wiggle-High5 at 0:49
9. Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica-AIS at 0:50
10. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Liv-Plantur at 0:53.

Stage 5:

Ster ZLM Toer GP – Jan van Heeswijk 2016
Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) retained his yellow jersey lead in the Ster ZLM Toer. Wesley Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) won Stage 2 in Oss, the Netherlands. The team Roompot rider won the sprint from the successful break. Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step) won the bunch sprint for 4th ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo).

Early in the stage, a group rode free with Jasper Hamilink (Metec-TKH), Merry Korevaar (Rabobank Dev), Twan van den Brand (Jo Piels) and Wesley Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton). Kreder beat his rivals and 10 seconds later, Kittel led the group sprint.

Oss - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Wesley Kreder (Netherlands / Roompot - Oranje Peloton) pictured during stage 1of the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2016 in Oss, Netherlands - photo Carla Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Overall leader, Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo): “Escapees have an advantage in the rain, the final was harder than you might think. I had to go deep. I was hoping that Dylan was going to win, and not Kittel.”

5th, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “With only 200 meters out, I started my sprint and only Kittel passed me,” Groenewegen said. “Unfortunately, it was for the fourth place. I am satisfied, I sprinted well. Today, we spent the whole day riding in the lead, but we have strong men here to do so. I think we will have two more chances, one tomorrow and one Sunday.”

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Stage 2 Result:
1. Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton in 4:15:02
2. Twan van den Brand (Ned) Cycling Team Jo Piels
3. Merijn Korevaar (Ned) Rabobank Development at 0:01
4. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:10
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda Willems
7. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
8. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
10. Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling.

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:22:35
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:03
3. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC at 0:04
4. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling at 0:05
5. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
6. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:07
7. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:08
8. Wout van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
9. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:09
10. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Stage 2:

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to win Stage 3 of the Ster ZLM Toer in Buchten. Belgians Timothy Dupont (Verandas Willems) and Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) placed second and third after 210 kilometers. De Bie took the leader’s jersey from Jos van Eden (LottoNl-Jumbo) through time bonus seconds.

Buchten - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Dylan Groenewegen (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) - Sean De Bie (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal)    pictured during stage 3of the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2016 in Buchten, Netherlands - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I was again dropped off perfectly today. It was a relatively easy day, actually. We had the hills in Limburg, but I had always team-mates with me. I only have to keep their wheels in front of me and then start the sprint at the right time. I saved a lot of energy thanks to the team so I still had a good sprint. That the team with experienced men are working for me is very nice, it puts pressure on me, but that’s good for me. And the trust in each other grows after such successful sprints. I only have to focus on our own train and I know that I will be dropped off at the right place. I am pleased that our sprint train gets better each sprint. For the Ardennes, we have guys who are better than me. I want to give something back to them for helping me.”

2nd overall, Jos Van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo): “Looking at the bright side, it gives us some rest. In the past two days, we rode the whole stage in the front and that was tough. We won twice now, but with four men in the top 10, everything is possible.”

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Stage 3 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 5:01:15
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda Willems
3. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling
6. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
7. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Veranda Willems
8. Jetse Bol (Ned) Cyclingteam Join’s De Rijke
9. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Cofidis.

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Overall After Stage 3:
1. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 9:23:49
2. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:01
3. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:02
4. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC at 0:04
5. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling at 0:06
6. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:08
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:10
8. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
10. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin at 0:11.

Stage 3:

Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo) won the Queen Stage 4 of the Ster ZLM Toer ahead of Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice) in a sprint-à-deux in La Gileppe. The Belgian took the overall lead with the victory, sitting 5 seconds ahead of Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) with one day to race.

A big breakaway escaped in the beginning of the penultimate stage. Ten riders gained a maximum advantage of three minutes, but with only 35 kilometers to go, the difference was still two minutes. Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling) broke away on the finish circuit to go it alone, but Lotto Soudal and LottoNl-Jumbo shared the pace-setting with 4km to go but their progress stalled. With 2km to go, the gap was still 25 seconds. However, the final climb was too hard for the Norwegian and he was caught and it came down to an uphill sprint. Vanmarcke was the strongest and he beat Wout van Aert in a two-man duel. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) was third 3 seconds later, with race leader Sean De Bie crossing the line in fourth and Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) taking fifth.

La Gileppe (Jalhay) - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Sep Vanmarcke (Belgium / Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo) - Wout van Aert pictured during stage 4 of the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2016 in La Gileppe, Belgium - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and new overall leader, Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I haven’t won a race since September 2014, so I felt that I really had the need to grab another victory. The whole team pushed to their limits to give me the chance to win this one. Timo Roosen sacrificed himself on the final climb and I broke away just before the steepest part. It’s a perfect scenario to grab the leader’s jersey, as well. I don’t have much of advantage, but it’s going to be very hard for De Bie to close that five-second gap. We’re doing a great job with the whole team this week and we’re ready to defend this jersey.”

Break rider, Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling): “I escaped from the start with nine other riders, after we had covered a good chunk of kilometers, collaboration became difficult within the group. So I attacked several times, and I ended up being alone. I gave everything I had. And I sincerely believed I could get the victory. The last two kilometers were atrocious. I pushed as hard as possible on the pedals, but I lacked the strength to stay away after such a long solo raid. At the foot of the Gileppe, my advantage was not enough to stay away until the finish line. That’s too bad. But honestly, I preferred to race this way than try to spend the day in the bunch.”

LottoNl-Jumbo DS, Nico Verhoeven: “This is a very beautiful victory, we already won with three different riders in this race. It’s almost impossible to do better than this. Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM Cycling) broke away on his own at that point and we decided to help in the chase to close the gap. It was our goal to go for the stage win and the general classification with Sep Vanmarcke and we succeeded. Sep already showed his strength during yesterday’s sprint preparation for Dylan Groenewegen so he should have been able to make difference in today’s stage. He finished it off beautifully. There are still 16 bonus seconds available, the overall victory isn’t safe yet. We have to fight with the whole team and be focussed.”

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Stage 4 Result:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:32:18
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:03
4. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis
6. Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin
9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC at 0:07
10. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale at 0:09.

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Overall After Stage 4:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo in 13:56:05
2. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:05
3. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:12
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin at 0:16
5. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:23
6. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale at 0:27
7. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling at 0:30
8. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC
9. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC at 0:31
10. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Stage 4:

LottoNl-Jumbo’s Sep Vanmarcke won the Ster ZLM Toer today in Boxtel, the Netherlands. He placed third in the Final Stage 5 to clinch the overall title. His biggest competitor Sean De Bie (Lotto-Soudal) won an intermediate sprint and moved within two seconds of Vanmarcke. He failed to gain more time in the day, closed with a stage victory for Wim Stroetinga (Parkhotel Valkenburg).

Boxtel - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Dylan Groenewegen (Netherlands / Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo) - Wim Stoeringa (Parkhotel Valkenburg) pictured during stage 5 of the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2016 in Boxtel, Netherlands - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

Overall winer Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo): “This victory is very important, this is the first ever stage race victory for me. It was a very exciting race, we did not know exactly where the intermediate sprint was and then De Bie won. He grabbed three seconds back and I became a bit scared. For the final intermediate sprint, I was sitting on the wheel of De Bie ready, but the breakaway took the seconds. It is unfortunate that Dylan was second, but we agreed that overall victory was the most important, and we succeeded.”

2nd overall, Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal): “Together with the entire team I did all I could to get the leader’s jersey back today. I won the first intermediate sprint and therefore I was only two seconds down on Vanmarcke. The teammates led me to the second intermediate sprint, but then I made the wrong tactical decision and I got boxed in. In the sprint at the finish I was involved in a crash, but then I wasn’t in the running for top three anymore. It seems that I only have some abrasions. I can look back on the Ster ZLM Toer with satisfaction. I notice that completing the Giro, my first Grand Tour, has made me stronger. Of course I was tired at the end of the Giro, then I took some rest the next two weeks and I stood fresh at the start in Goes. I knew the prologue suited me, as I was fourth last year, but now there were some bigger names at the start like Küng and Phinney. I set the fifth time, which is a nice result. During stage three we handled it the right way and thanks to the bonus seconds I could take the leader’s jersey that day. I won an intermediate sprint and was third at the finish. André Greipel had ridden aggressively during the stage and told me I could do the sprint. I had the help of one of the best lead-outs in the world with André, Henderson, Sieberg and a strong Jasper De Buyst. It gave me confidence that I could count on them. Yesterday, we controlled the race all day long. With the six of us we entered the local circuit, I didn’t have to do anything till that point. Sep Vanmarcke was too strong at La Gileppe though, but I was happy with the fourth place. Next week I’ll ride the Belgian Championships time trial and road race. My condition is good so if I recover enough I can be confident for those races. Although I have to wait and see if I really don’t have anything other than abrasions after today’s crash. In the time trial on Thursday I can achieve a top five result. The stage to La Gileppe proved that I’m ready for the road race on Sunday at Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure.”

Maarten Tjallinigii (LottoNl-Jumbo) celebrated his final day as a professional with today’s stage: “I’m happy for the wins, but at the same time, I know that my career is over. I do not know how to handle this. In the coming hours and days, I’ll realize it, I guess. I will miss my team-mates a lot. This team is more than just a team, we have grown closer together and give everything for each other.”

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Stage 5 Result:
1. Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg in 3:55:36
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
5. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
8. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Cyclingteam Join-S-De Rijke
9. Max Walscheid (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
10. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale.

Ster ZLM Toer – GP Jan van Heeswijk Final Overall Result:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo in 17:51:37
2. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
3. Jos Van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:16
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Giant-Alpecin at 0:20
5. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:27
6. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling at 0:30
7. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale at 0:31
8. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:32
9. Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC at 0:34
10. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC at 0:35.

Stage 5:

Lotto Soudal: Medical Update
Stig Broeckx successfully underwent surgery of his fractured eye socket, an injury he incurred at the Belgium Tour. Yesterday Stig, who is still in an induced coma, was transferred to the ZOL hospital in Genk, where he is staying at the intensive care unit and where the neurosurgical team will follow up his condition. Stig will be kept in an induced coma for an indefinite period. Further evaluation and prognosis isn’t possible until a later phase.

Lars Bak is recovering from the injuries he incurred in the last Giro stage. It was a broken shoulder blade, a small pneumothorax, six broken ribs and two broken transverse processes in the back. After the Giro Lars was taken to Belgium for further examinations, he didn’t need to undergo surgery. At the moment Lars has carefully started training again. It’s difficult to tell when he can make his comeback in the peloton.

Tomasz Marczynski had to abandon the Dauphiné with a perineal injury and some back problems. He’ll possibly participate in the Polish national championships. Rafael Valls had to pass for the Tour de Suisse because of a shoulder injury. Also he will possibly resume competition at the Nationals.

Tomasz Marczynski:
Huy - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Marczynski Tomasz (Poland / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during Fleche Wallonne 2016 - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016

Niki Terpstra Ruled Out of Dutch National Championships
A patellar injury at his left knee will keep our rider out of action until the end of the month.

Ster ZLM Toer should have been Niki Terpstra’s last race before heading to the National Championships, which are scheduled next week, in Middelharnis (individual time trial) and Brouwersdam (road race). Unfortunately, 32-year-old Terpstra, who is the road race defending champion, will be forced to skip these events due to an injury incurred earlier this week, after hitting his knee on the bus handrail on his way to the warm-up area ahead of the Goes prologue.

Two days later, on Friday afternoon, Niki abandoned early on stage 2, which concluded with a bunch sprint, won by Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo). Examinations showed he suffered a patellar injury on his left knee, because of which he now must stay off the bike for two weeks.

“I can’t find the words to express how disappointed I am. It’s a stupid accident, but this kind of things happen, so that’s life. I’m sad and frustrated, because the legs were there and I was prepared to defend my jersey. Truth being told, this year’s course at the Nationals is suited to the sprinters, but in a one-day race you can never know what will happen, so I was ready to play my card. Instead of being part of the race, I’ll now watch it on the TV, but once I will return to racing, I’ll try to make up for this and be again at my best”, said Niki Terpstra.

Niki Terpstra:
Cycling: 48th Grand Prix Le Samyn 2016

Northstar Grand Prix Chaos
Onboard footage from Cannon Falls stage 3 of the 2016 Northstar Grand Prix on the bike of Mike Friedman (North Memorial/GS CIAO). Thanks to bouldersportsmanagement.com.

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