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Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Men’s Sprint - 14/08/2016 - Jason Kenny (GBR) - Callum Skinner (GBR) pictured during track day-4 - Olympic Games 2016 in Rio - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Sprinters Monday!

The Great Britain track team have been winning in Rio, the French don’t understand – Top Story. Full coverage of the Tour de l’Ain in France and the Arctic Race of Norway with reports, results, quotes and video (when we can). Other cycling news: Team line-ups for la Vuelta a España, Transfer and stagiaire news, plus Worlds team time trial controversy and the new venue for the European road championships. A big EuroTrash Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY: Lots of Olympic Medals for the British Track Team
The Great Britain track team seems unstoppable at the Rio Olympic Games as they win the men’s and women’s team pursuit, the men’s team sprint and men’s sprint, plus silver in the men’s sprint and women’s keirin and they might not be finished yet. In the London Olympics the track riders won seven golds, two silver and two bronze, so it’s not a big surprise… unless you are French.

The French team are not very happy that they are not winning in Brazil and have cast doubt over the British wins. French sprinter, Michael D’Almeida, said in an interview: “I have an inkling about certain things but I’m going to shut up because it’s not good to speak in the heat of the moment.”

French sprint coach Michael Gané added: “They don’t exist for four years, then at the Olympics they outclass the whole world.” Commenting on the British team sprint gold medal ride: “You have to ask how they do it. Their man-three had never finished off a race before these Games, and now he’s doing pretty much the best times of the competition. I don’t know what they’ve done. I’d really like to know, to understand.”

I bet they would!

Medal winning GB sprinters, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner:
Rio de Janeiro - Brasil - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Men’s Sprint - 14/08/2016 - Jason Kenny (GBR) - Callum Skinner (GBR)  pictured during track day-4 - Olympic Games 2016 in Rio - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

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Tour de l’Ain 2016
Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) won Stage 2 of the Tour de l’Ain. Van der Sande finished off a very strong team performance in the bunch sprint and obtained his first victory as a professional.

Four riders were part of the breakaway, after that several teams set the pace at the front of the peloton. The finale was promised to be really hard as three climbs needed to be climbed in the last 50 kilometers. Mainly due to the efforts of Lotto Soudal, the pace was high in the peloton so nobody was able to go clear. The front group was eventually caught on the last climb of the day. After that, among others, Jelle Wallays, pulled at the front of the peloton. A few attempts were made in the final kilometers but the bunch sprint took place. Tosh Van der Sande strongly accelerated and won the stage with a bike length’s advantage. The 25-year old sprinter managed to obtain his first victory. Van der Sande is now second on GC in the same time as leader, Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step).

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Stage winner and 2nd overall, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal): “I’m very happy with my first win as a professional cyclist of course. As a cyclist, you have to do a lot of training every day to try to obtain a nice result. I was very close the past five years several times, but today I was able to take the win. I already won a race in Vichte, although that one doesn’t really count for me. I worked very hard during the past years, my family and friends kept their faith in me. Also my girlfriend surrounded me well and she cooked really healthy. Thanks to all these things, I felt even better this season. That great feeling led to a fantastic victory today. I said to my teammates that I felt really good on the final climb of the day (Côte de Cessiat). They went full gas so no one was able to obtain a big gap in a hard finale. Everyone gave their all, especially Jelle Wallays. He rode at the front of the peloton during the final five kilometers. After that, FDJ set up a sprint train and I was able to position myself in that train. At 200 meters from the finish, I decided to begin my sprint and I had a lot of confidence that I would be able to win. That turned out well, although Schwarzmann came close. I’m now second on GC but I won’t aim for a good position on GC in this stage race. We have a few excellent climbers in our team and there are two tough stages yet to come. I’ll try to do as much work as possible for the team during the final two stages. It’s true that this victory gives me some confidence for the Vuelta a España. I already looked at the course and there are some possibilities. Every rider of our team at Tour de l’Ain will also be part of the line-up for the last Grand Tour of the year. We are really looking forward to showing ourselves!”

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Anthony Turgis (Cofidis): “Julien Simon positioned me at the bottom of the second passage of Cote de Cessiat, it remained to do a good climb and a good descent. Then I wanted to stay in front not to get boxed in. In the end, I took the wheels of the riders of FDJ. I launched the sprint 200 meters from the line. 50 meters from the line I was passed by Tosh Van der Sande. I would have preferred to win but it’s hard to win when you have fast riders in front of you. I felt really good in the Tour de Wallonie but I had some problems there. It was so frustrating. After the Clasica San Sebastian, I eased off a bit. I took a breather, I went to the mountains and then I trained in Brittany. I have average sensations but I think it will come back quickly. After the Tour de l’Ain, I will go to Hamburg and Plouay.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 2 Result:
1. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:16:01
2. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
3. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis
4. Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ
5. Cees Bol (Ned) Rabobank Development
6. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar
9. Anthony Maldonado (Fra) HP BTP-Auber93
10. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Tour de l’Ain Overall After Stage 2:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step in 7:37:14
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:04
4. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 0:06
5. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:10
6. Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ
7. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
8. Cees Bol (Ned) Rabobank Development
9. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar
10. Lorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.

Stage 2 Podium:
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Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin) raced to his first Professional victory in Stage 3 of the Tour de l’Ain, with the 20 year-old also taking the overall race lead with his stage win. Having made the select front group of 15 over the late Col de Menthières, Sam then pushed ahead in the winning move of five riders before jumping clear just before the finish to take the win.

The 141.4km stage got off to a fast start under sunny skies, with many in the peloton keen to get into the day’s breakaway, on a stage that could favor an escape staying clear with five classified climbs to tackle before an uphill finish. As a result, it took nearly 40km for the break to get away, with three riders eventually pressing ahead. Their lead never went out by a large gap, as the peloton kept a close eye before bringing their lead down and making the catch on the penultimate climb of the day. The decisive move of 15 formed over the top before Sam’s break of five pulled clear on the approach to the uphill finish.

With a late jump, catching the others unaware, Sam broke clear to finish just ahead of his breakaway companions, putting a second between himself and second placed Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale). With the win, Sam moves into the leader’s jersey ahead of the final stage.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin): “I’m very happy with my first professional victory and winning is always something magical. It went very well today and the legs were good. The team worked strongly and I am very happy to pay them back in this way. I knew the stage from the last two years and I was anticipating this scenario. I knew the last climb was going to be decisive and we were left with a small group, and in the last kilometers I still had something in the tank. Tomorrow will be a tough day, but it comforts me to know that I am in good form and I am climbing well. Also, the strong team gives me trust and confidence. We have some experienced guys who know how to deal with those situations and the young guys, like Martijn [Tusveld], with whom I was in the same situation before.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We wanted to have someone in front but the other teams did not necessarily agree, suddenly we had no one in the first real breakaway. Etixx-Quick Step was not chasing which I can understand so we really took the race in hand from the Cote de Plagne. Then I really started from Menthières, following the attack of Guillaume Martin. I understood that it can go all the way. It is the same scenario as last year when 10 seconds was enough because behind they looked a little too much at each other. We really worked well together. One kilometer from the finish, I slowed down to let the De Clercq tale a turn and this is where Sam Oomen attacked. We hesitated a little bit and it was already too late. Then I did the sprint but only for second place. The final victory? We’ll see how the legs are tomorrow. After the summit of the Grand Colombier, there are forty kilometers which is very long.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal): “Maybe I could have won today’s stage, but I’m happy with the third place after all. I tried to ride aggressively. I attacked on the final real climb of the day and only a few riders were able to follow me. Several other riders managed to bridge the gap just after the descent. I decided to attack again on the final uphill parts and this time four riders joined me. At the end, Sam Oomen accelerated and no one reacted. Therefore he was able to take the win. I’m a bit disappointed but I’m also third on GC and that’s a good position to start the final stage. We have a very strong team and we are able to control the race. Although tomorrow will be another hard day. When I have the same feeling as today, I’ll try to obtain the overall victory. The final climb is still far from the finish though, it will depend on how the race will evolve. Also Maxime Monfort has still a chance to aim for a good result as he’s eleventh on GC. The condition is really good, the team is in great shape so I’m confident about tomorrow’s outcome.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 3 Result:
1. Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin in 3:43:49
2. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:01
3. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Equipe de France Espoirs
6. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ at 0:33
7. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
8. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis at 0:35
10. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Tour de l’Ain Overall After Stage 3:
1. Sam Oomen (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 11:21:03
2. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:05
3. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:07
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:11
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Equipe de France Espoirs
6. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:43
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
8. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis at 0:45
10. Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) HP BTP-Auber93.

Stage 3 Podium:
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Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin) won the Tour de L’Ain after a difficult and aggressive Final Stage 4, defending his leadership throughout continual attacks on the Col du Grand Colombier and preceding climbs to finish with the leaders and retain the yellow jersey.

The 132km stage got underway in Lagnieu, and with three climbs – the Cote du Corlier, Col de la Rochette and Col du Grand Colombier – on the parcours before the finish in Belley, it was sure to be an aggressive race. Sure enough the attacks came, with a number of riders looking to turn around the advantage that Oomen had pulled out with his stage win on stage 3. The peloton, always containing Oomen, was much reduced by the Col du Grand Colombier and preceding climbs as they fought to contain the attackers up the road, but on the final run-in it all came back together, allowing Oomen to finish in the front group and retain the overall race lead.

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Stage 4 winner 6th overall: Alexandre Geniez (FDJ): “It was a comeback race for me, I was into the unknown. My training had been very mixed. I did not set myself a pre-race goal. That’s why I slipped in the break on the first day even though I knew it was impossible. I tried to make efforts the next day because I felt that I had recovered well. Then the goal was to take a step on the last two days. Today, when we caught the three attackers, everyone slowed down a little bit. Cofidis had two riders. They controlled the group. The course was not difficult enough to make differences. I’m very happy to win because I had a difficult start to the season. I have had bad luck since the beginning of May. It is a reward for the work of three months. Now I will continue with the Vuelta. I will go there to win a stage. That’s why it’s important to have won a race before going to Spain.”

6th on the stage and overall winner, Sam Oomen (Giant-Alpecin): “It was very tough today as they attacked me for the entire stage. At one point on the ascent of the Grand Colombier I was isolated due to the attacks. I went over the summit with a small gap and was able to come back [to the leaders]. The last 20km were very difficult to defend that leader’s jersey, but with the luck of the bonus seconds on my side I won with the smallest margin. I am very relieved and delighted to take home the jersey.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal): “As soon as we got 30-35 seconds on the descent of the Grand Colombier, I thought it was really possible to win the stage and therefore the overall standings, with Latour and Gaudu, we really rode well and managed to create the gap. Unfortunately, we were caught but I knew there was a chance to win with the bonus seconds even though I was far from being the best sprinter in the group. I did fairly well in the end, but unfortunately this is not enough.”

4th on the stage and 8th overall, Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling): “I was not able to imitate Pantano’s success, but this 4th place gives me the confidence and the high morale that I need to head into the next goals for the season. I managed to rejoin the favorites on the descent of the Grand Colombier. Then we attacked with Maxime Monfort. A guy from the Movistar team managed to bridge up, and finally the small group with the yellow jersey. Unfortunately, I am still not a sprint specialist.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 4 Result:
1. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ in 3:28:46
2. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling
5. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
7. Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Equipe de Suisse Espoirs
8. David Gaudu (Fra) Equipe de France Espoirs
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis
10. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 0:04.

Tour de l’Ain Final Overall Result:
1. Sam Oomen (Ned) Giant-Alpecin in 14:49:49
2. Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:01
3. Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R.La Mondiale
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:11
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Equipe de France Espoirs
6. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ at 0:33
7. Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Equipe de Suisse Espoirs at 0:45
8. Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:50
9. Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:52
10. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar.

Final Podium:
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Arctic Race of Norway 2016
One year after he claimed his first ever stage victory at the Arctic Race of Norway in Harstad, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took his ninth win of the 2016 season to make up for the narrow misses in the last week of the Tour de France (2nd in stages 14 and 16, 3rd on the Champs-Elysées). Without a train, he managed to out-sprint John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and the rest of the survivors of the first category climb located with 18.5km to go. The Norwegian from Katusha will start stage 2 with the blue and orange jersey like in 2015, with an advantage of three seconds ahead of Gregory Rast who collected time bonus throughout the long breakaway of the day.

130 riders started Stage 1 of the fourth Arctic Race of Norway after Italy’s Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) went home due to sickness. Krister Hagen (Coop-Østerhus), Maxime Cam (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNl-Jumbo), Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo), Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Argon 18), Kenny de Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Max Emil Kørner (Team Ringeriks Kraft) rode away from the gun. After 50km of racing, their advantage was 6:25 over the peloton mostly led by Katusha with the help of one FDJ rider. Rast won the first intermediate sprint in Bodø ahead of Hagen and Cam.

Rast also won the second intermediate sprint with 44km to go while the time difference was reduced by the peloton to 4:15. It went down to 2:10 with 25km to go when the rain became a decisive factor and Rast and Schillinger dropped their breakaway companions in the first category climb of Ljøsenhammeren. Alone at the top, Schillinger won one year’s worth of salmon products (smoked salmon, pepper-salmon) – given by Flakstadvåg Laks. BMC was very active in bringing the peloton across before Trek-Segafredo took over with Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo putting himself at the service of Niccolo Bonfazio.

Among the top sprinters who survived the climb, Arnaud Démare was the one who suffered the difficult racing condition. The Frenchman was caught in a split 7km before the finish while Kristoff was deprived of a few of his team-mates. Attacker Amund Groendahl Jansen of Joker-Byggtorget was first to rejoin Schillinger with 4.5km to go but only a few seconds before the bunch was packed again. Giant-Alpecin set up the sprint for Degenkolb but Kristoff passed him at the very end despite being isolated. Degenkolb’s high cadence in the last 100 meters evidenced a mechanical problem. Danny van Poppel of Team Sky took third place in Rognan.

Arctic Race of Norway 2016 - 11/08/2016 - Etape 1 : Fauske/Rognan (180,5 km) - Victoire de KRISTOFF Alexander, Team katusha, devant DEGENKOLB John, Team Giant-Alpecin

Stage winner and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha): I was hoping to win and I managed to get it but I think I was a bit lucky because at the end I lost my teammates. I came on the wheel of Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and he timed the sprint perfectly but lucky for me he had some technical issues with his gears jumping and I managed to pass him. I think actually I would have had trouble passing him if he had a smooth sprint. I felt quite good today. After the Tour I was sick for one week so I’ve only done one week of training so I wasn’t sure how I would feel, but my body felt quite light. I lacked a little bit of speed in the sprint but I hope it will come and I will be ready for tomorrow. We didn’t want to use the team to pull for the entire day, so we used a few guys to help control. When I saw other teams come forward the gap came down fast and with 30km to go I felt confident we had it under control and would bring them back. Normally this race is a little bit too hard for me on stage 3 and we have Rein Taaramäe here who won last year so I think he will be better come stage 3, but I will try to win the stage again tomorrow and then on the last day. For stage 3 I will try to minimize my losses. If it’s a head wind on the climb it’s possible.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin): “I felt really good and strong throughout the whole stage. The team did a great job in supporting me all day. In the finale, I was set up perfectly for the sprint and I think I could have won without the mechanical problems. My bike mine did not work. I sprinted in the eleventh and the gear jumped all the way. There were 100 meters to go, I had the victory. I would have won easily. I think that the team did a fantastic job today. But of course, I’m very disappointed with what happened with the bike. I do not know what happened. It was a really a perfect sprint. I opened the sprint at the right time, the timing was perfect. Hence, it is a pity when the bike doesn’t work. But there are more stages. I felt good the whole stage, I felt better and better in the Tour de France. It was a positive experience to be there and test myself against the best. I’ll win soon.”

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 1 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 4:10:02
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
4. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana
8. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Team Ringeriks-Kraft
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
10. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha in 4:09:52
2. Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo at 0:03
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 0:04
4. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:05
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky at 0:06
6. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:10
7. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana
10. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Team Ringeriks-Kraft.

Stage 1:

Summary – Stage 1 – Arctic Race of Norway 2016 por arcticraceofnorway

On July 4, 1994, Danny van Poppel was eleven months old when his father Jean-Paul threw his bike over the finishing line of stage 2 at the Tour de France in Boulogne-sur-Mer to out-sprint a German superstar from Gera who was on his right hand side: Olaf Ludwig. In an absolute replica, the rider from Team Sky timed his final rush at perfection, also in the centre of the road in Sandnessjøen, to beat another German superstar from Gera who was on his right hand side: John Degenkolb. The winner of Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015 missed out on his first victory of the year while Van Poppel capitalized on his confidence, having already bagged stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire in April, stage 1 and stage 3 of the Tour of Burgos last week. The 23 year old Dutchman leads the Arctic Race of Norway at half way.

129 riders started Stage 2 at Mo i Rana, the industrial capital of northern Norway. Adriaan Aas Stien (Joker-Byggtorget) initiated the long breakaway of the day right after flag off. It became a 6-man group with the addition of Jay Thomson (Dimension Data), Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Alex Kirsch (Stölting), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Sparebanken Sør) and Audun Brekke Fløtten (Ringeriks-Kraft). After they reached a maximum advantage of 5:28 at the bottom of the main climb, Belgium’s Van Melsen crested the first category climb of Korgfjellet (km 44.5) in first position ahead of Thomson and Kirsch. Sven Erik Bystrøm and Viatcheslav Kuznetsov brought the gap down for Katusha before FDJ and Giant-Alpecin came in help. With 80km to go, the front group was reduced to five riders as Kirsch was reeled in by the peloton.

Stien won the intermediate sprints at Mosjøen (km 96), Leland (km 148) and on the first crossing of the finishing line in Sandnessjøen (km 170.5). Van Melsen continued his quest for the King of the Mountains competition to take the salmon jersey over from his compatriot Tom van Asbroeck and therefore win the special price of the day: an Adventure holiday trip in Helgeland, the most southerly district of Northern Norway – given by Nova Sea.

At bell lap, the five-man breakaway group was about to get caught. It happened with 12km to go. Vicente Reynes (IAM Cycling) sprinted to the Kleivskaret summit 10.5km before the end and stayed ahead of the chasing peloton for six kilometers. Björn Thurau (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Loïc Vliegen (BMC) tried their luck but Trek-Segafredo was very active in setting up a bunch sprint finish for Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo. Race leader Alexander Kristoff remained boxed in while runner up John Degenkolb seemed to have it until Van Poppel passed him at the very end.

ARN2016 - 12/08/2016 - Etape 2 - Mo I Rana / Sandnessjøen (198.5km) - Norvege - le sprint final; victoire de VAN POPPEL Danny; TEAM SKY devant DEGENKOLB John; TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN

Stage winner and overall leader, Danny van Poppel (Trek-Segafredo): “It was really tight. I wasn’t sure if I had won but I’m really happy. My team did a great job. I knew it was a hard sprint. It was also a long day on the bike. Normally I’m behind riders like Degenkolb, Kristoff and Démare, but I was first today and it makes me very happy to beat someone like John Degenkolb. I was on his wheel. I came over him. I felt that I was a little bit faster. My feeling was that I won but I didn’t want to celebrate without being sure that I was the winner. It’s a big honor to lead the Arctic Race of Norway but tomorrow, we have other riders to go for the overall ranking. It’s an uphill finish, it’s not my specialty. I’ll try to help the team because they helped me today and I hope for another sprint on Sunday.”

2nd on the stage and overall, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin): “The feelings were really good today – the shape is there and we were very close today.”

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo): “This is a good result, the final part of the race was chaotic and it was impossible to build a real lead-out. We anticipated well on that with the team and managed to stay together. Sep Vanmarcke passed me in the final 500 meters, but I chose to take Danny van Poppel’s wheel. We did a good job with the team and I’m satisfied about this result.”

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 2 Result:
1. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky in 4:46:16
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
7. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
8. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
10. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 2:
1. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky in 8:56:04
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha at 0:04
4. Adrian Aas Stien (Nor) Team Joker at 0:05
5. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:09
6. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:10
7. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC at 0:14
8. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff
9. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Steele von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro Cycling.

Stage 2:

Summary – Stage 2 – Arctic Race of Norway 2016 por arcticraceofnorway

Italian prodigy Gianni Moscon of Team Sky made history on Stage 3 at Korgfjellet as he rode away from the leading group before the 1km to go mark to claim his first pro win at the age of 22. With one stage to go in the Arctic Race of Norway, he took over from his team-mate Danny van Poppel to lead the overall ranking with fifteen seconds over Stef Clement from IAM Cycling.

126 riders started stage 3 in Nesna. Alex Kirsch (Stölting) was the only non-starter but salmon jersey holder Kevin van Melsen who led the King of the Mountains competition after yesterday’s breakaway abandoned at km 8 due to sickness (38.5° fever). 20 riders composed an early breakaway, including Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Daniel Oss (BMC), Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Marco Marcato (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) and Sebastian Henao (Sky) but the race situation didn’t please Katusha. The Russian team brought them back just before the first intermediate sprint at Utskarpen (km 27.5) where Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) out-sprinted race leader Danny van Poppel (Sky) and Youcef Reguigui (Dimension Data).

Four riders went away at km 30: Leigh Howard (IAM Cycling), Matt Brammeier (Dimension Data), Steele von Hoff (One Pro Cycling) and once again Oss who initiated that move. They got a maximum advantage of 2.30 ten kilometers further. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Joker Byggtorget) and Fridtjof Røinås (Sparebanken Sør) tried to bridge the gap but were reeled in with 26km to go while the deficit of the peloton was down to 1.30 with Team Sky and Katusha very active at the front of the bunch.

Right at the beginning of the 8.9km long final climb, Brammeier and Von Hoff got dropped. Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) and Bjorn Tore Hoem (Joker-Byggtorget) were first to rejoin Howard and Oss with 6km to go. Henao was on the move again 4km before the top. It wasn’t steep enough for him to climb like Colombians often do so another Team Sky rider, Norway’s Lars-Petter Nordhaug, tried his luck with 3km to go but the decisive move happened while there were 2km remaining as Stef Clement (IAM Cycling), Hoem and Henao got a gap for themselves. Gianni Moscon (Sky) went across and rode away solo with a little more than 1km to go. Like at the very beginning of the race, Gatto and Henao fought for podium places whereas Norwegian up and coming rider Odd Christian Eiking of FDJ, also 22 year old, crossed the line in fifth position. As well as the queen stage, Moscon won the special price of the day: 500 kg of whole salmon – given by Polar Quality. A versatile rider, the u23 Italian champion for road racing last year is tipped as one of the most interesting prospect worldwide. His first pro victory will be remembered.

Arctic Race of Norway 2016 – 13/08/2016 – Troisieme etape : Nesna/Korgfjellet (160 km) – Norvege - Victoire de Gianni MOSCON de l'equipe SKY

Stage winner and overall leader, Gianni Moscon (Sky): “When you pass the line to win your first pro race, it’s an incredible feeling. I’m very happy for this win. I wanted to win today. I knew I have a good shape at the moment. This victory is good for the morale and for the last part of the season. It’s the fruit of a great team work today. We chased the breakaway with Katusha. We went full gas on the first climbs. At the end I felt very good. To lead the Arctic Race of Norway is very nice. We’ve been through beautiful landscapes. It’s my first time in Norway but I’ll come again. It’s a really nice country. It’s an important race, very well organized with a lot of big teams taking part. I didn’t think about the 500kg of salmon when I was racing but it’s a very nice gift. I’m still searching this season what type of rider I am. I think I’m a good rouleur and climber but I don’t know exactly which are my favorite courses. Every race I go to, I give my best. I’ve had this mentality since I started cycling and I want to continue this way.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Stef Clement (IAM Cycling): “Of course I would have liked to have won today. Nevertheless, I am quite satisfied with this second place. At the beginning of the stage, I did not feel very comfortable and had very heavy legs. We had to dress more warmly on account of the cool rainy weather. When you have too many clothes on, you can overheat quickly, but when you dress too lightly, then you risk getting very chilled. It was a balancing act. Nevertheless in the final, I was able to find the strength and balance, and simply gave everything I had. The whole team worked well and was strong today. We were represented in the breakaway, and then were still strong in the finale.”

5th on the stage and overall, Odd Christian Eiking (FDJ): “It was fun, I got the help I needed. This was kind of my day in a way, you must be a bit tactical on such a climb. I was near the front all the time but riders came from behind in at fairly high speed when it leveled off. I hoped that someone would come by and bring me along. The climb was quite gentle in some places. A lot of riders could follow. There was a lot of looking around and you cannot follow all attacks. I hoped it would be together until the final 500 meters and decided in a sprint. I felt fine. This weather is not quite my favorite conditions. I get quite stiff when it rains all day. It was quite cold. It is difficult. For each attack, it has an effect on your thighs. You cannot go with everything when it is so easy to be on the wheel on such a climb. Top 5 was my pre-race goal. And it turned out to be a realistic result. I was hoping for the top three as well. It might have been possible if I had done everything perfectly today.”

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 3 Result:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky in 4:00:09
2. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling at 0:11
3. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff at 0:24
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
5. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ
6. Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Sky at 0:28
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:31
8. Bjørn Tore Nilsen Hoem (Nor) Team Joker
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Team Sparebanken Sor
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 3:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky at 12:56:17
2. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling at 0:15
3. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff at 0:30
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:34
5. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ
6. Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Sky at 0:36
7. Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:41
8. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
9. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
10. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC.

Stage 3:

Summary – Stage 3 – Arctic Race of Norway 2016 por arcticraceofnorway

A sprint Royale concluded the Final Stage 4 of the 4th Arctic Race of Norway with John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) beating Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) on the finishing line in Bodø while Team Sky’s Gianni Moscon defended his blue and orange jersey with the serenity of an accomplished champion although he claimed his first two pro victories in Northern Norway: the queen stage and the overall classification. The Italian joins Thor Hushovd, Steven Kruijswijk and Rein Taaramäe on the record book of the recently created but already highly respected race.

During the stage; Joe Nally from Scotland (Hardie Bike) won the U19 Heroes of Tomorrow race in Bodø as he crossed the line seven seconds ahead of Andreas Leknessund (Ringerike SK/Tromsø) and Frenchman Théo Magniez.

125 riders started stage 4 at the Arctic Circle center in Rana, Nordland, as Tour de France lanterne rouge Sam Bennett didn’t start.

In the pro race 13 riders went away on the initial downhill phase of the race: Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana), Johan Van Zyl (Dimension Data), Haavard Blikra (Coop-ØsterHus), Andrew Fenn (Sky), Max Kanter (Giant-Alpecin), Tom Van Asbroeck (LottoNl-Jumbo), Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Simone Antonini (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Bert Van Lerberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling), Trond Hakon Trondsen (Sparebanken Sør) and Torstein Træen (Ringeriks-Kraft). Four riders forged on after 35km of racing: Chavanel, Van Asbroeck, Williams and Antonini. A bigger group gathered at the front in the main climb of the day. Salmon jersey holder Van Asbroeck sprinted to first place at Ljøsenhammeren (km 72) ahead of Carl Fredrik Hagen (Sparebanken Sør) and Amaël Moinard (BMC) and secured the victory in the King of the Mountains competition.

Several skirmishes took place after the bunch regrouped again and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was on the attack on the climb. His team-mate Daniel Oss was once again very aggressive. But it was another experienced BMC rider, Marcus Burghardt, who made a five-man front group along with Anders Skaarseth (Joker-Byggtorget), Øyvind Lukkedahl (Coop-Østerhus), Floris De Tier (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), and Karol Domagalski (One Pro Cycling) with 85km to go. Fabian Wegmann (Stölting) joined them before the last climb of the 2016 Arctic Race of Norway. Lukkedahl was first at Kvikstadheia summit with 77km to go. He was also the highest ranked rider on GC, only 1:49 down on race leader Gianni Moscon, so Team Sky didn’t allow the breakaway to enjoy more than 2:10 of an advantage.

On the final circuit in Bodø, Wegmann and Lukkedahl were dropped. Bjørn Tore Hoem (Joker-Byggtorget) and Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) tried to bridge the gap to the four leaders but it was all together 2.5km before the finish. Giant-Alpecin seemed to have the sprint under control but FDJ seized the reins of the peloton for Arnaud Démare, but Kristoff and Degenkolb were still very well positioned and the German had some more energy to jump and claim his first victory of the year. Team Sky brought Moscon home with no problem. The 22 year old Italian who is a new star in the making became the fourth winner of the Arctic Race of Norway.

Arctic Race of Norway 2016 – 14/08/2016 – Quatrieme etape : Cercle Polaire/Bodo (193km) – Norvege – Arrivee du vainqueur de l'etape John DEGENKOLB de l'equipe TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN

Stage 4 winner, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin): “It’s really incredible to be a winner again. It’s a big victory. In my mind, it counts like a victory in a monument of cycling. It’s been a hard week and a hard day today. Everything went fine today. It feels awesome. We were a strong peloton here. I was expecting less action in the bunch. It was hard in the climbs and we struggled to bring the breakaway back. The whole week has gone well, except for the mechanical problems that cost me the victory in the first two days. After the accident we had in January with three other riders who were here to support me this week, this is not just a victory in a HC race, it’s very special. I’m relieved. If you experience such an accident, you know how soon everything can be over. It wasn’t clear if I could ride my again but I fought to come back. I started from zero again. It’s been a lot of big efforts to reach the first place again.”

Overall winner Gianni Moscon (Sky): “It’s amazing. It’s was something different for me today, leading a stage race and I’m very happy to reach the finish as the winner. I’m not sure how much this will change my career but it’s an important step. It’s a nice race with great landscapes. The most important memory will be the feeling I got when I crossed the line yesterday. I’ll remember it for a long time and I’d love to come back to Northern Norway.”

2nd overall, Steff Clement (IAM Cycling): “Defending this second place was about as good as I could hope for today. The race was super-fast, and I was there in the final sprint, but I couldn’t really expect to do anything special. So I am happy with my final position.”

4th overall, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “Even if I just barely missed the podium, I am particularly happy with my current form, which makes me very confident for my upcoming races. I hope to chalk up some good results that can prove me interesting for a new team next year since I am very motivated to continue racing in 2017”

King of the Mountains winner, Tom van Asbroeck (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It’s a nice trophy. I fought for it every day. It’s been a battle against Andreas Schillinger from Bora. I was a bit luckier than him to get into the breakaway today and it was fun to do this. I hope to do it again. I already have a lot of great memories but this will remain as a tasty one with all the salmon I won. But I’m a sprinter, not a climber. It made it easier to sprint at the top of the climbs but the climbs weren’t easy for me.”

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 4 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin in 4:17:40
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
4. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
6. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
7. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop-Oster Hus
8. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Nikolai Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff
10. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Arctic Race of Norway Final Overall Result:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky in 17:13:57
2. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling at 0:15
3. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff at 0:30
4. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:34
5. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ
6. Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Sky at 0:38
7. Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:41
8. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
9. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
10. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC.

Final Stage 4:

Summary – Stage 4 – Arctic Race of Norway 2016 por arcticraceofnorway

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Discover the line-up for La Vuelta
It’s nearly time for the third and last Grand Tour of the season. On Saturday 20 August the 71st edition of the Vuelta a España begins with a team time trial. Sports directors Mario Aerts and Marc Wauters will lead Lotto Soudal to Madrid, where the race ends on Sunday 11 September.

This is the line-up of Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Bart De Clercq, Thomas De Gendt, Gert Dockx, Adam Hansen, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Louis Vervaeke and Jelle Wallays.

For 27-year-old Jelle Wallays this will be his Grand Tour début. For Louis Vervaeke (22) last year’s Giro was his first Grand Tour ever, this season he can race the Vuelta for the first time. For Gert Dockx (28) this will be his second Vuelta. It’s the fifth Grand Tour of his career. Tosh Van der Sande (25) rode his second Vuelta in 2015. He claimed five individual top ten places. Sander Armée (30) is about to start his fourth Grand Tour, he already rode the Vuelta in 2014.

The four other riders have more experience with this Spanish race. After an excellent Tour Thomas De Gendt (29) will now take part in his fourth ever Vuelta. Bart De Clercq, who turns 30 in the first week, will race the Vuelta for the fifth time. He got seventeenth overall in 2012 and fourteenth last year. Adam Hansen (35) will start his sixteenth consecutive Grand Tour since the Vuelta 2011. Maxime Monfort (33) has also ridden a lot of Grand Tours in his career. During his five previous Vuelta participations he finished four times on top twenty of GC.

Adam Hansen:
Madrid - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Adam Hansen (Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 21 from Alcala de Henares to Madrid - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

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BMC Racing Team Confirms Vuelta a España Roster
BMC Racing Team today confirmed the nine riders who will line up at the Vuelta a España next week.

Sports Director Valerio Piva said the team was selected to not only support Samuel Sánchez for the General Classification, but target stage wins throughout the race.

“We have chosen a strong, balanced team built around Samuel Sánchez and Tejay van Garderen. Sánchez is our leader for the General Classification and van Garderen is another protected rider. The rest of the riders have been selected for their ability to win stages. Riders like Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Silvan Dillier, and Danilo Wyss are all capable of going in a breakaway and trying to win a stage. Of course all nine are really good riders and we have a strong team who will help protect Sánchez and position him well,” Piva said.

The Team Time Trial on stage 1 of the Vuelta a España is a priority for BMC Racing Team.

“The first objective for us is the Team Time Trial. It’s a tradition in our team and as the UCI World Champions in the discipline we want to do well, which means we will try to win this and take the first leader’s jersey,” Piva explained.

Sánchez and van Garderen have already shared their thoughts on the final Grand Tour of the season.

“I believe we will bring a very competent and focused team for what will be a very hard Vuelta a España,” Sánchez said.

“I’m excited for the Team Time Trial as it gives us a good chance to take the jersey,” van Garderen confirmed.

Vuelta a España (20 August – 11 September):

Rider roster:
Darwin Atapuma (COL), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI)
Sports Directors:
Valerio Piva (ITA), Max Sciandri (ITA), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL).

Samuel Sánchez:
bmc15-samu-sanchez-920

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Vuelta a España Line-up Confirmed
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce its final nine-rider line-up for the third Grand Tour of the 2016 season, the Vuelta a España, which starts on August 20.

Following successful campaigns at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, winning two stages at each, the team heads to this year’s Vuelta with confidence. Team Giant-Alpecin returns to Spain after being close to the overall podium with Tom Dumoulin (NED) last year and after having won three stages. For this year the team will once again focus on stage success in the sprints and in the breakaways when the opportunities arise.

Like last year, the race gets underway with a team time trial of 29.4km, in the province of Ourense. The first mountain stage comes on stage three with a summit finish in Mirador de Ézaro. The rest of the race presents a plethora of different opportunities and should give the team with chances for more than one rider to compete for a stage result.

Team Giant-Alpecin will be targeting the sprints with Nikias Arndt (GER), and he will be looking to win his second Grand Tour stage victory after his success at the Giro d’Italia. The team has strong lead-out capabilities to support Arndt with experienced Koen de Kort (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) and fast Zico Waeytens (BEL). The 23-year-old Norwegian Sindre Skjøstad Lunke is set to make his Grand Tour debut in Spain, while Warren Barguil (FRA) will focus on stage results in his third Vuelta appearance. The opportunists in the line-up include Chad Haga (USA) and Ludvigsson who are capable of proving their strength against the clock, and German road captain Johannes Fröhlinger will be using his experience to lead the team through the 21 stages, as he starts his 13th Grand Tour.

Speaking about the line-up for the Vuelta, coach Luke Roberts (AUS) said: “Our objective will be on stage results. Firstly in the sprints where there should be plenty of opportunities for a fast finish during the three weeks. In parallel, we will apply an offensive strategy when the stages become more difficult to target results from the breakaways. Finally with Warren, we will see how the race evolves to give him the best chances for stage success.”

Line-up:
Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Koen de Kort (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED), Luke Roberts (AUS).

Chad Haga:
Santos Tour Down-Under  2015 - 1

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Direct Energie team for la Vuelta
Riders:
Ryan Anderson, Lilian Calmejane, Romain Cardis, Tony Hurel, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Julien Morice, Brian Nauleau, Perrig Quemeneur, Romain Sicard.
Directeurs Sportifs: Dominique Arnould, Benoit Genauzeau and Lylian Lebreton.

direct-energie-vuelta16-920

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Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team for la Vuelta 2016
The main goal is to win a stage and to help the team achieve that, the following nine riders have been selected for the Spanish Grand Tour:

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Valverde, Quintana Back for Vuelta
Spaniard from Movistar Team looks to complete fifth consecutive Grand Tour, become third man in history with top-ten finishes in all three GTs of a single season; Colombian resumes racing after 3rd in Tour, will try to keep alive his streak of success throughout the season.

Eusebio Unzué offered on Monday the nine-man lineup the Movistar Team will present at the 71st Vuelta a España, which starts on Saturday 20 August and ends on Sunday 11 September. The respective third-place finishers in this year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, lead the telephone squad, joined by Rory Sutherland, José Joaquín Rojas, José Herrada, Imanol Erviti, Rubén Fernández, Jonathan Castroviejo and Dani Moreno.

Valverde, winner of the race in 2009, will take the start in his 21st three-week stagerace as professional rider, the fifth consecutive for the 36-year-old Spaniard (3rd, Tour ’15; 7th, Vuelta ’15; 3rd, Giro ’16; 6th, Tour ’16). Alejandro has a landmark success within reach: become the only rider, since the Vuelta was moved back to September in 1995, to complete all three Grand Tours of a single season within the top ten riders overall. Should he achieve such a fear, he’d become the third in history, after Raphaël Geminiani (1955) and Gastone Nencini (1957) completed that challenge when all Vuelta, Giro and Tour were covered in a space of three months.

In turn, Quintana will try to complete the treble of podiums in Grand Tours, having come up just 33″ short in 2015 as he finished fourth in Madrid. The man from Boyacá, podium finisher in all six stageraces where he’s taken part this season -and winner of three of them (Catalunya, Romandie, Route du Sud)-, will have a strong group by his side, with powerful, experienced rouleurs such as Erviti and Sutherland; talented allrounders, like Castroviejo or Rojas; and agile climbers in Moreno, Herrada or Fernández, the latter being the only debutant in the Vuelta from the Blues this year.

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Team Sky has announced a strong line-up for the Upcoming Vuelta a España
The 71st edition of the Spanish Grand Tour starts with a team time trial in Ourense on Saturday 20th August, before culminating with a sprinter-friendly stage in Madrid on Sunday 11th September.

Chris Froome leads the team and will be looking to continue the momentum that has seen him claim a third Tour de France title, in addition to an Olympic bronze medal in the time trial this season.

Froome will be joined in Spain by the well-rounded unit of Ian Boswell, Michal Golas, Pete Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Salvatore Puccio and Leo Konig.

Looking ahead to the Vuelta, Chris Froome said: “It’s already been a great summer for both myself and the team, but the Vuelta is another big challenge for us. The tough course and stiff competition is bound to make for some aggressive racing. We’re going there with a strong group of guys who have a lot of experience with this race. The Vuelta is a race I really enjoy and where I guess you could say I have unfinished business, so I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The 2016 Team Sky Vuelta a Espana line-up:
Chris Froome – age 31 – United Kingdom
Ian Boswell – age 25 – United States
Michal Golas – age 32 – Poland
Pete Kennaugh – age 27 – United Kingdom
Christian Knees – age 35 – Germany
Leopold König – age 28 – Czech Republic
Michal Kwiatkowski – age 26 – Poland
Mikel Landa – age 26 – Spain
Salvatore Puccio – age 26 – Italy.

Froome and Contador fighting it out in la Vuelta 2014 stage 16:

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Tony Martin to join Team KATUSHA
Team KATUSHA is happy to announce the signing of an agreement with three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin. German Tony Martin (31) is the perfect prototype of a rider performing on all terrains. The German TT champion excels in a wide variety of classics and in Grand Tours, as well as in other smaller stage races. Martin has an impressive palmares including three world titles, five stage wins in the Tour de France and overall wins in Paris-Nice, Eneco Tour, Tour of Belgium (three times), Tour of Algarve (twice), and the Tour of Beijing (twice).

“I am excited to come to this strong team. Team KATUSHA showed last year that it was a winning team and, honestly, I really like the KATUSHA jersey. I will be proud to wear it in 2017 and 2018. Moreover, I also really like their Canyon bikes, and this is important for me as a TT rider. What convinced me the most to make the move was the fact that the team directors and the team manager really believe in me. I will be able to obtain more results than I have had so far. They have convinced me that I can still improve. On the other hand, and like in previous years, if I can help a teammate win, I will be just as happy,” said Tony Martin.

“Tony Martin is the type of rider we were looking for. His palmares say it all. I am sure with his experience he can also make our team better. Last year we strengthened our team for the classics. Now, we will do this for all kinds of races. Tony’s power and endurance, but most of all his character, match perfectly with our group. I look forward to working with him in the near future,” said general manager of Team KATUSHA, Viacheslav Ekimov.

Tony Martin:
WK in Richmond, USA - men elite TT 2015

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John Degenkolb and Koen De Kort to join Trek-Segafredo in 2017
Trek-Segafredo is excited to confirm that Paris-Roubaix and Milan-Sanremo winner John Degenkolb and his right-hand man Koen De Kort have signed multi-year contracts with the team. Degenkolb signed through 2019, while De Kort inked a two-year deal.

German John Degenkolb is indisputably one of the stars of cycling. At 27 years of age, he has gathered a palmarès that includes Paris-Roubaix, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Bourges, Paris-Tours, the Vattenfall Cyclassics and numerous stages at the Vuelta a España, the Giro d’Italia, Critérium du Dauphiné and Paris-Nice.

John Degenkolb: “I’m incredibly excited about this transfer. It’s a big step for me to get such a great opportunity in a team like Trek-Segafredo, with such a strong Classics inspiration. It’s a dream come true. My previous team (Giant-Alpecin) was very committed to my ambitions in the Classics as well, but coming to Trek-Segafredo feels like the next big step for me. This team is one of the few really big teams in races like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and this was a big motivation for me to join.

“The experience in this team when it comes to those couple of weeks in March and April is really top-shelf. Also, the bike technology and other equipment, and the focus on details were decisive factors for me. The staff and the core of riders for the Classics are really good, particularly Jasper Stuyven. Jasper is a really great rider, and I believe he can be the key to the team’s success. His value for the team is huge, but he is a guy that will also have chances for himself.”

“I see this as a natural progression in my career. I hope to repeat my performance of 2015, and why not be even better in my new kit in 2017? I believe what I showed in 2015 was not my maximum potential and that I can develop even more, and I am convinced that the performance staff of Trek-Segafredo can help with that. I am also excited to come aboard Trek-Segafredo with Koen; I started racing with him in 2012, and we understand each other very well.”

33-year-old Koen De Kort won the U23 Paris-Roubaix (2004) and a stage at the Tour de l’Avenir (2005) before becoming one of the most valuable lead-out men in the pro peloton. He has been a teammate of Degenkolb since the 2012 season. He had a part in the majority of Degenkolb’s victories, proving his value as an indispensable helper, both in the Classics and in leading out the sprint.

Koen De Kort: “I am hugely excited! Trek-Segafredo is a big, strong team with a beautiful image and a number of really strong riders. I like the way this team races, in particular at the Classics when Fabian Cancellara was the team leader. With John and Jasper (Stuyven) as our target men, I hope that we can continue to race with inspiration. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and working for the team goals, not only in the Spring races but throughout the season.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “John is a champion, and we are honored to welcome him to our team. I have no doubt this is a perfect match between a hardworking, talented young man and our structure. The same goes for Koen: his commitment to working for John is exemplary, and I have no doubt he will fit in perfectly with our roster of riders. Both John and Koen represent this team and its core values around teamwork, multi-national camaraderie and a warm connection with our fans and sponsors, very well.”

John Degenkolb:
Port-en-Bessin - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - John Degenkolb (Germany / Team Giant - Alpecin) pictured during presentation Team Giant - Alpecin in new Tour de France outfit - photo Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

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Ivan Rovny signs a two-year deal with Gazprom-RusVelo
Russian cyclist Ivan Rovny signed a contract with Gazprom-RusVelo team. He will be a part of the squad for two upcoming seasons 2017-2018.

Gazprom-Rusvelo general manager Renat Khamidulin: “We’ve known each other for a long time and the whole team is very happy that Ivan join us. He’s just 28 years old and has already spent six full seasons in the World Tour. Ivan is very technical rider, thanks to his track experience. He’s a quite versatile cyclist, but the most important thing about Ivan is his climbing skills, he will strengthen our team in hard races. We know about his strengths and will do everything to help him win.”

“I’m very glad to find a good team, the team which support me” – said Ivan. “I hope that I will have the opportunity to prove myself. I will be a leader in races that suit me, but I am also ready to help others to reach their goals. I watched Gazprom-RusVelo this season, saw that the team is growing and getting better, I hope that we’ll grow and develop together. I’m really happy to be a part of the squad again!”

Ivan began his professional career in 2007, moreover he had already competed for the ‘RusVelo’ squad in 2012. Rovny spent six fruitful years in the World Tour teams, he showed great perfоrmance within one-day races and grand tour stages.

Ivan Rovny:
Gran Canaria - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff - Saxo) pictured during  training stage Tinkoff - Saxo Cycling Team on Gran Canaria - Spain - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2014

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Tom Devriendt extends with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Tom Devriendt will be part of Wanty-Groupe Gobert in the next two years. It will be his third and fourth season in Jean-François Bourlart’s team where he started his pro career in 2015.

“I’m happy with this new contract. The team believes in me. This year I became stronger. Now I can focus on my career for the next two years”, Tom Devriendt said.

We often saw Tom Devriendt in breakaways especially in the classics. “I want to grow up in this kind of race. It is my favorite part of the year. I think it is too early to get a big result in the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix but I want to contribute to the team’s success.”

This year Tom Devriendt took the third place in the kermess of Wanzele but his most impressive result was a sixth place in the Eschborn-Frankfurt ‘Rund um den Finanzplatz’ which climbs to the World Tour next year. “I’m not the fastest guy in a bunch sprint but I can survive climbs and I always have fast legs to get a result in a smaller group.”

Sports director Hiliare Van der Schueren considers that Tom Devriendt made progress in 2016. “He made a huge step forward in comparison with last year. He always did his best for the team. It was logical to reward him with a new contract and let’s hope he can still progress and become one of the key riders for the classics.”

Tom Devriendt:
Tom Devriendt (BEL/Wanty-Groupe Gobert)Pro Cycling Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert2016 pre-season training camp in Alicante, Spain

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Developing Dutchman Tolhoek Inks LottoNl-Jumbo deal
Dutchman Antwan Tolhoek will ride for his home WorldTour team, LottoNL-Jumbo for the next two years. The Tolhoek will make the switch from Team Roompot Oranje Peloton this winter to continue his development.

“Antwan Tolhoek is a young and developing,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven said. “He comes out of the speed skating and roller skating world, and has only been cycling for couple of years. That makes him fit perfectly with our philosophy of taking young talents to the highest level. Recently in Austria and the Tour de Suisse, where he won the mountains classification, he showed what he’s capable of.”

Encouraging
“I’m extremely glad to take the next step in my career with team LottoNL-Jumbo,” Tolhoek added. “The team has a strong support group and presented to me a solid plan, which is encouraging. I came out of an environment where development was important as well. This team’s vision and support make me feel confident. Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk found their way to the top by starting off as youngsters in this team. It’s my dream to participate in the grand tours, and I want to go for it with Team LottoNL-Jumbo. I want to keep on growing as a rider.”

Antwan Tolhoek:
Champagne - Switserland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Antwan Tolhoek (Netherlands / Roompot - Oranje Peloton)  pictured during stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse 2016 from Rheinfelden to  Champagne (193 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

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Van Emden extends Team LottoNL-Jumbo deal for 2 years
Jos van Emden extended his contract with Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo for two more years, through 2018. The experienced and still ambitious Dutchman has the support he needs and gives it back to his team-mates. The team say that “he’s key.”

Ambitions
“I feel great in this team,” Van Emden said. “It’s a comfortable atmosphere and everyone works together very well. It’s a plus I’m familiar with everyone. The riders and the staff know that they can approach me with questions. And already for a long time, I’m working together with a lot of boys in the team. It ensures that we’re able to reach our highest levels in the races. We’re willing to sacrifice for each other. Besides that, I still have a many ambitions in the time trials, and the team supports me perfectly with those via staff and materials.”

Key rider
“Jos is a key rider in our team,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven added. “He is important in the classic races and in the grand tours, as well. He is able to win himself, too. He proved that in the Eneco Tour and the Ster ZLM Toer already. We’re happy with him signing a new two-years-contract.”

Jos van Emden:
Eijsden - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Van Emden Jos (Netherlands / Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo)  pictured during the Volta Limburg Classic 2016 - photo Davy Rietbergen//Cor Vos © 2016

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Miles Scotson joins Wanty-Groupe Gobert as stagiaire
After Jenthe Biermans and Xandro Meurisse the Belgian team Wanty-Groupe Gobert will employ a third stagiaire for the upcoming months. He is the Australian Miles Scotson.

He is 22 and comes from the continental team Team Illuminate. In 2015 he became Australian champion time trial and in the road race. He finished as 7th in the World Championships time trial in Richmond. This year he took the second place in the National Championship time trial and the third place in the road race.

He is a track specialist as well. He became this year World Champion in Team Pursuit.

Miles Scotson:
miles-scotson-wanty-920

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WorldTeams to skip the 2016 Team-Time-Trial World Championships
AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels) informs that an overwhelming majority of its WorldTour members voted to skip the 2016 Team-Time-Trial World Championships in light of UCI’s unwillingness to offer fair and consistent terms of participation. This position was adopted at the July 1st AIGCP General Assembly and was ratified earlier this week after UCI failed again to address the demands of WorldTeams which are compelled under UCI regulations to participate in UCI’s TTT World Championships at their expense.

This situation is highly irregular in the context of professional road cycling,

· insofar as the WorldTour licence should only compel the teams that are granted one to take part in the events which are granted a WorldTour licence by an independent Licence Commission;
· and even when required to take part in a WorldTour event, WorldTeams are always granted a participation allowance to cover some of their costs;
· insofar as it evidences the fact that the governing body has passed exceptional legislation which solely favors the one road competition it owns and commercially exploits.

The above mentioned terms of participation which exist nowhere else in the sport are undeniably abusive and reveal the abuse of power which UCI incurs in when it enforces them solely for the one road competition it operates. All WorldTeams are expected to skip the TTT World Championships until these abusive practices are abolished.

2015 World TTT championships:
WK in Richmond - men TTT 2015

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EU Championships Now in Brittany
The European Cycling Union has announced that the road race championships will be held in Plumelec-Morbihan, Brittany, France. The championships were due to be held in Nice, but due to the terrorist attack on July the 14 it was decided by the Cycling Union together with Nice Town Hall to cancel the events. There had been bids from Yorkshire and Trentino in Italy. It was decided to keep the races in France.

2016 European Championships
Wednesday, September 14: ITT Junior women / ITT Junior Men + ITT U23 men
Thursday, September 15: ITT Elite and Espoir women / ITT Elite Men
Friday, September 16: Road race Junior women / Road race Espoir men
Saturday, September 17: Road race elite and Espoir women / road race Junior men
Sunday, September 18: Road race elite men.

ECU 2015 Championships:


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