What's Cool In Road Cycling
Boussu-Lez-Walcourt - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tim Wellens (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Philippe Gilbert (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) pictured during the 2016 Belgian national championship cycling race elite men with start and finish in Boussu-Lez-Walcourt (231 km) - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH National Champs Monday!

The European National championships were held at the weekend and we have all the results, rider quotes and video. More teams have released their Tour de France line-ups – less than a week to go. Top Story: Floyd Landis is setting up a cannabis business in Colorado. In other cycling news: Contract extensions at BMC and Trek-Segafredo, two more years for the Baby-Dump team, Stumps and Cranks book release, Carter Jones retires and very sad news of Stig Broeckx. A packed Nationals EuroTrash.

TOP STORY: Landis to Sell the Leaf!
You couldn’t make it up! It seems that Tour de France winner (not) and Lance Armstrong whistleblower, Floyd Landis, is going to start a cannabis products business in Colorado at the end of the month. His company is said to be selling edible products and vape using top quality cannabis. The use of cannabis was made legal in Colorado in 2014 and its use for ‘health benefits’ are the main push of the company. Landis suffered for many years with hip osteonecrosis and wants to give people an alternative to the usual prescription pain killers.

Maybe a cannabis sponsored pro team?
Clovis - California - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Amgen Tour of California  2009 - stage 4 - 4e etappe -  Merced to Clovis -  Floyd Landis - foto Wessel van Keuk/Cor Vos ©2009

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Italian National Championships 2016
Giacomo Nizzolo capped off the work of a motivated and spirited Trek-Segafredo team (Marco Coledan, Eugenio Alafaci, Niccolo Bonifazio and Fabio Felline) in the Italian Road Race Championships Sunday to win the prestigious tricolor jersey.

“Today the race was crazy, I had a lot of friends here cheering for me,” exclaimed a jubilant Nizzolo. “I have to give a big thanks to the guys, they did a super job for me today. At the beginning I didn’t feel good, but at the end I was really motivated on the final climb.”

The 228-kilometer race ended with four laps of a 20-kilometer circuit that included a short, steep climb (300 meter and 17%) three kilometers from the finish.

The last time up the sharp climb proved instrumental. Trek-Segafredo used the last of its horsepower and led Nizzolo to the foot of the uphill where Nizzolo took the race into his hands. Nizzolo was the first to attack, soon followed by the acceleration of Oscar Gato, which made a selection of five riders by the top.

Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step) attacked on the descent, and only Nizzolo was able to make the bridge; the two riders arrived to the finish to play a tactical two-up sprint that was easily won by Nizzolo, clearly the faster of the two Italians.

Nizzolo: “Marco (Coledan) made a very strong pull into the last climb and stretched out the peloton and I attacked the climb. We were five at the top of the hill and then Brambilla attacked on the downhill and had a gap.

“I went across to him and we were two, and I pulled until the final kilometer. It was then that I realized this could be the right day. Then in the sprint, I won. It is really, really, really an important race for me and I will enjoy the next days and the next year.”

Italian National Championships Result:
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)
2. Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)
3. Filippo Pozzato (Wilier Triestina-Southeast).

Giacomo Nizzolo wins the 2016 Dutch National Road Championship

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Belgian National Championship 2016
Philippe Gilbert has become the Belgian Road Race Champion for the second time in his career, defeating Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) in a one on one battle to the line.

Greg Van Avermaet rounded out the podium in third place for the second consecutive year.

A 25-rider move, including Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen, went away early in the 231 kilometer race. Gilbert launched an attack with just under 50 kilometers to go and was followed by Wellens and Laurens De Plus (Etixx – Quick-Step), who was later dropped, leaving Gilbert and Wellens to go head to head for the win.

Gilbert launched his last attack within the final 300 meters to secure the Championship.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC): “The bunch almost came back to the breakaway on the climb when we were inside the last four laps and I saw them so I attacked on the top. My goal was not really to go away but to speed the pace up and get the group working again. Greg went after and then I went again with Tim Wellens. I knew that if I went alone I would have teams chasing behind me so I needed a Lotto Soudal rider with me. It worked well to have Wellens with me, and also Laurens De Plus, so the three biggest teams were represented up the front and no one was really chasing. It was the perfect trio.”

“When De Plus was dropped I was thinking that this might not be good as Etixx Quick-Step would be riding behind us, but in the end we held the gap. The final was a hard one because Wellens went full gas. I was able to respond to his attacks and I was always there, really focusing on the sprint. I didn’t want to start playing too far from the line in case the others came back, so we really waited until the last kilometer. I was nervous because I wanted to win so much. When you are in this situation it is there that you make mistakes. So I was trying to think positive thoughts and think of my family and my future, and not going crazy. That’s what I did and that relaxed me a bit.”

“It’s completely different to my first championship. When I won in 2011 I was in the best period of my career. I wasn’t expecting to win then because the course didn’t suit me too much. But here I was working really hard after my accident in April to get back to this level. I was already happy after the Tour or Luxembourg as I felt some good sensations. Then at the Tour de Suisse I wasn’t sure how my level was, but then I was back feeling good in the last days. This win gives me a lot of confidence and I’m looking forward to wearing the jersey at the Tour of Poland.”

BMC DS, Valerio Piva: “It was a good early move that went away in the second lap, like in the last couple of years. Last year we missed the move and chased all day and in the end we had third place with Greg Van Avermaet. This year it was clear that we needed to pay attention so everyone was ready for the move. 25 riders went with Philippe Gilbert, Van Avermaet, Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen. Dylan and Loïc did a fantastic job to set the pace and protect Philippe and Greg, our leaders.”

“With 3.5 laps to go, Philippe went with Wellens and De Plus. De Plus was dropped but Philippe and Wellens established a gap of over one minute and Greg was behind in the chase group protecting Philippe, jumping in every counter attack. Everyone was riding for the team today. I am proud for Philippe, especially after the bad luck he has had this year. It was a nice victory and he deserved it. All of the team deserved the win today, they all played a big part in it.”

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “Silver is nice, but only one place counts in this race. It would have been very nice to take the title on this beautiful and selective course. It was hard right from the start and soon the peloton split. As a team we were well represented in the front group, but unfortunately someone was stronger. I was realistic, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to drop Gilbert and he is strong at the finish. I tried to ride away from him, but he remained on my wheel. I began the sprint in second position, but couldn’t get passed Gilbert as he was too strong.”

“It was a really difficult weekend for the team. Yesterday evening we got more info about the condition of Stig and that was really emotional. It is difficult to cope with it, but today we fought for him.”

Boussu-Lez-Walcourt - Belgium  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Philippe Gilbert (Belgium / BMC Racing Team)  - Tim Wellens (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during the 2016 Belgian national championship cycling race elite men with start and finish in Boussu-Lez-Walcourt (231 km)  - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Belgian National Championship Result:
1. Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
2. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)
3. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal)
5. Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale)
6. Pieter Serry (Etixx – Quick Step)
7. Sébastien Delfosse (Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect)
8. Julien Vermote (Etixx – Quick-Step)
9. Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Vastgoedservice)
10. Laurens De Vreese (Astana).

Philippe Gilbert wins his second National Champs:

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Spanish National Road Race Championships 2016
Former sprinter, now-domestique from Cieza claims second Spanish title, five years after Castellón; prolongs seven-year winning streak for Movistar Team at National Road Championships. Unzué’s squad reaches Tour de France with 30+ victories for their very first time ever.

Make that seven. The Movistar Team’s love story with the Spanish Championships remains alive after the Eusebio Unzué-led squad sticked to their exemplary performance from previous editions in Blue. José Joaquín Rojas completed a sensational ride to gold in Cocentaina, after 194km of rough roads and continuous ups and downs in the hot Alicante sierras. The man from Cieza took to fruition an attacking race by the telephone squad from its very start, as Rubén Fernández and José Herrada got into the early break at lap one of six scheduled in the event.

The two Blues were never allowed more than four minutes of advantage, as several counterattacks forced them to start picking up their pace early. Rubén was reached down, together with local hero David Belda (ROT), by a quartet including Rojas, who never stopped making efforts to maintain a steady rhythm at the front and keep the other teams’ leaders out of balance. Erviti and Ventoso, part of a seven-man attempt behind the two Movistar Team riders in the lead, made Alejandro Valverde and his team-mates even more calm, which Rojas profited from to take the reins of the situation into the 32k final lap.

A series of attacks by José Joaquín allowed him leaving Vicioso (KAT; silver) and Simón (VAT; bronze) behind to claim his second rojigualda jersey, five years after Castellón. Behind at the regrouped bunch, Valverde (4th) and Jesús Herrada (5th) celebrated a win which becomes the fourth national title of the weekend for Unzué’s lads and marks a big milestone: for the first time in their four-decade history, the Movistar Team will reach the Tour de France with 30+ victories, a number reinforced by the 13 different riders with one or more wins in 2016.

José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar): “People say that I wasn’t in the stakes for victory, but I’d tell them to look at my work in the Giro or the Route du Sud, since those were races where I proved that my role in the team is quite different from the past. I don’t race looking for individual goals anymore: I do things that can be valuable for the whole team and that’s how I earned my team-mates’ confidence, especially for this Championships. It’s been a beautiful season for all of us: we claimed the Giro podium with Alejandro, we took so many wins that contribute to keep the squad’s streak alive… It’s not so important to win by myself – I’ve found this role pretty comfortable for me.

“Should today’s race situation have happened years before today, I’d have probably saved all my energies for the sprint, because I often came out as the fastest at them. However, things have changed for me: I just couldn’t wait, because I had the legs to win solo, and I couldn’t reach the finish with Vicioso, either. Despite Ángel getting a bit old, he’s always a very dangerous rider, who can play his cards well. I tried to make things hard into my group, create splits and attack as much as I could. I also tried to make my team-mates ride calm behind and avoid any potentially dangerous contenders bridge across. I attacked lots of times into the final lap: I couldn’t make a gap on the first one, then Vicioso was the only one to keep my wheel on the second, and with 5-6 kilometers to go, I could leave him behind and go for the win.

It was a marvelous day for me: riding almost on home roads, with lots of people already at the depart (9am), on beautiful terrain… It makes the win more worth. It was also a season fighting against many things, sort of my style of racing applied to life: I had to undergo heart surgery in the winter, I broke my wrist in Paris-Nice and it hurt me a lot, even today. Despite all of that, we took energy out of nowhere to claim a win at last, such an important win as you can wear the jersey for a whole season. Now I’d like to ride the Vuelta – the Qatar Worlds don’t worry me so much, as the national team coach didn’t have me in last season when I was in such strong form.”

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Spanish National Road Race Championships Result:
1. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) in 4:45:22
2. Angel Vicioso (Katusha) at 0:07
3. Jordi Simon (Verva ActiveJet)
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at 0:13
5. Jesus Herrada (Movistar)
6. Vicente García de Mateos (Louletano-Hospital de Loule)
7. Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
8. Francisco Ventoso (Movistar)
9. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)
10. Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

Second National Champs for JJ:

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German National Championship 2016
Lotto Soudal gained a national title today, the German one, thanks to André Greipel. In Belgium and France a rider of the team claimed the silver medal, Tim Wellens at Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure and Tony Gallopin in Vesoul. Lotte Kopecky became second in the Belgian road race for women elite.

Emotionally, it was a difficult weekend for the team with the news about the condition of Stig Broeckx, but with the slogan ‘Fight for Stig’ the riders showed their courage in the race.

Erfurt hosted the German Championships this year. Unlike the Belgian road race it was a completely flat course without any obstacles. André Greipel beat Max Walscheid and Marcel Kittel in the sprint.

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “Despite the nature of the course you can never be sure it will end with a sprint, because the big teams could have other tactics. Sibi and I had decided to race attentively and join every big breakaway. And we succeeded in doing that. With 45 kilometers to go for example, we were part of a break, but Giant-Alpecin didn’t have a rider in that group and that’s why we didn’t stand a chance. Sibi made sure I was positioned perfectly for the sprint. John Degenkolb launched the sprint for his teammate Walscheid, I remained on his wheel. I started sprinting with two hundred meters to go and nobody could pass me. I’ve seen the images and the gap was rather big.”

“Of course I am happy that I’ve become national champion for the third time ever. When it’s this type of course, it’s always a goal for me. I am proud to wear the jersey for a year and I am looking forward to show it in the Tour. This victory, my eighth of the season, is good for the confidence.”

Erfurt - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Andre Greipel (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal)   pictured during German Championships road elite men in Erfurt, Germany  - photo Cor Vos © 2016

German National Championship Result:
1. André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) in 4:32:49
2. Max Walscheid (Giant-Alpecin)
3. Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step)
4. Pascal Ackermann (Rad-Net Rose Team)
5. Gerald Ciolek (Stölting Service Group)
6. Konrad Geßner
7. Willi Willwohl (LKT Team Brandenburg)
8. Alexander Krieger (Leopard Pro Cycling)
9. Florian Tenbruck
10. Marco Mathis (Rad-Net Rose Team).

André Greipel… again:

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French National Road Race Championships 2016
Arthur Vichot (FDJ) won the French National championships in an uphill sprint from his break away companions, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale). The race split and a large group that was dominated by the FDJ team, let the three escape and Vichot finished the job off for his second National championships.

French Champion, Arthur Vichot (FDJ): “In the finale I played with the fact that I already won that race before at the difference of my two rivals. I didn’t look at them. I looked at the finishing line. It’s indescribable emotion after all the hiccups I faced since I last won the French championship. It might be egocentric to say that but after all the troubles I’ve experienced, I’m the rider who deserves this title the most. When I made the final top three at Paris-Nice with a stage win on the last day with my French champion jersey in 2014, I had reached a good level in the WorldTour but everything has gone wrong since. When I started this season, I said the most beautiful moment would be a win here at the French championship, it’s magic!”

2nd, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “I am very disappointed. Last year I was second as well, but the circumstances were different. It was a very hectic sprint and another type of course, now it was perfect for me with two hills on the course. It’s not easy without a teammate. In the last lap I took off from a front group of fifteen together with two others. It really was a goal of mine to win here and it’s painful when you don’t achieve such a goal. On the other hand, because all what has happened to Stig, I can put it in the right context. It is a very difficult time: aiming for results on the one hand and coping with all the emotions on the other hand.”

“The good news after today is that my condition is fine. I rode a good time trial on Thursday, I got third. That was already a good sign and my performance today has confirmed that. Although losing the race hurts. But there will be new goals quite soon, we’re leaving for the Tour on Tuesday.”

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) started but had to abandon due to having stitches in a hand wound he received during a fight in his hotel at 4am. It appears that drunk people in the next room to his were making noise and after being asked to be quiet a fight broke out and Bouhanni received his injury from punching one of the drunks.

French National Championship Result:
1. Arthur Vichot (FDJ) in 6:13:38
2. Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal)
3. Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale)
4. Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 0:12
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step)
6. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept)
7. Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 0:38
8. Julien Antomarchi (Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille)
9. Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)
10. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale).

Arthur Vichot back in 2014:
Nice - France wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Arthur Vichot (France / Team FdJ - Uvex)    pictured during  stage 8 of Paris - Nice from  Nice to Nice  - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2014

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Swiss National Road Race Championship 2016
THE EXPLOIT: Jonathan Fumeaux, 28 years old, managed to win the 2016 Swiss professional national road race championships solo after having been in front of a hard-chasing pursuit for over 30 kilometers. It is the third professional win for Fumeaux, who comes from the Swiss town of Conthey, which is made all the sweeter by the fact that IAM Cycling will leave the peloton at the end of the season.

THE EXCLIMATION: “I have trouble believing that I am even wearing the jersey,” Fumeaux said as he descended the podium after taking possession of his prize, surrounded by all his friends and fans.

THE EXPLANATION: Jonathan Fumeaux had a head nearly clear enough to speak about a day that one does not expect to have twice in a career: “I must say a big thank you to the team because we really all did a perfect job of work. We were always present in all the breakaways. And then when Reto Hollenstein was pulled back with all the other favorites, I was able to counter-attack. Essentially, I did a second individual time trial after the one I did already on Wednesday, since I was out in front for 30 kilometers alone. I didn’t ask any questions; I just gave everything I had. Winning in front of this home crowd, really just about 25 kilometers from my home, is a dream come true that many great champions never even manage to achieve. This means that I am truly the happiest of men.”

THE ANIMATORS: Mathias Frank and Martin Elmiger set fire to the race. Having taken turn to hit out on the front to attack, the two IAM Cycling riders were pulled back by the peloton quickly enough. Pirmin Lang also spent time at the front of the pack along with Patrick Müller (BMC Development), before being brought back as well. Such a scenario was repeated by Reto Hollenstein.

THE FACT OF THE DAY: The race jury took out a portion of the 19.5 circuit. This did not prevent the IAM Cycling team from celebrating a superb double with Jonathan Fumeaux and Pirmin Lang taking first and second in what essentially is Michel Thétaz’s, the IAM Cycling founder, back garden.

THE ANECDOTE: Jonathan Fumeaux, who already submitted to a doping control on Wednesday after the individual time trial, was woken early Sunday morning to undergo a second doping control commissioned by the UCI at the team hotel. Slightly disgruntled by the sleep interruption, he couldn’t possibly suspect that he would have to submit to yet a third control in less than ten hours after his victory.

THE ORGANIZER: The VC Excelsior Martigny managed to pull off a very successful series of races for the 2016 Swiss national championships. Having the main square, the Place Centrale de Martigny, closed off to traffic, allowed the fans and families of the races to experience the Swiss championships in the best light.

THE INFO: Matthias Brändle managed to add to the tally of IAM Cycling victories. In Austria, he already won the individual time trial championships on Saturday, but he was able to double his success by taking the road race title on Sunday by winning the sprint out of a breakaway.

THE NUMBER: 12. That is the number of victories that IAM Cycling has tallied since the beginning of the season, including the three for this last weekend in June.

Swiss National Road Race Championship 2016
1. Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling) in 4:54:43
2. Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling) at 0:44
3. Steve Morabito (FDJ).

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

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Dutch National Road Race Championships 2016
Dylan Groenewegen won the Dutch championship in Ouddorp today. Team LottoNl-Jumbo’s sprinter finished off the strong lead-out Timo Roosen gave him on the Brouwersdam to beat Wouter Wippert (Cannondale) and Wim Stroetinga (Parkhotel Valkenburg).

Team LottoNL-Jumbo went completely for the chances of its sprinter Groenewegen during the Dutch championship. Groenewegen already won six races before the championship and was protected by his team-mates in every breakaway and in the peloton. “It was quite chaotic for a long time,” Groenewegen said. “Everyone wanted to be part of the breakaway and there was always one of us among the leaders. The whole team did its best to bring a sprint. We succeeded and Timo Roosen delivered a perfect lead-out. Stroetinga went for his chances early, but I immediately felt that I had more power.”

Groenewegen passed Stroetinga and didn’t let Wippert come closer, so he was able to put on the red, white and blue jersey afterwards. “That’s amazing,” the new Dutch champion said. “This is the first time that I am the Dutch champion. The last time that the team grabbed the title was quite long ago and I was the main favorite as well, so I felt some pressure. I was very confident, on the other hand. We finished it off as a team.”

Jan Boven added that the most important thing succeeded. “We wanted to have the new Dutch champion,” the sports director said. “When you create a profile like today’s in Goeree-Overflakkee, you get an exciting championship. The big part of today’s race wasn’t too nervous, but the local laps were. We had to be very focussed in those kilometers. Mike Teunissen, Moreno Hofland and Bert-Jan Lindeman paid attention to that job.”

“It was a big fight from start to finish. The average speed of the race was 48 kilometers an hour and that says a lot about the way they were riding.” A leading group with Bram Tankink, Boy van Poppel (Trek), Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) and Huub Duijn (Roompot) grabbed a 20-second lead. “That wasn’t a good situation. We had to work hard in the chase, but if those riders wouldn’t have escaped, others would have. It was at least a good thing that Tankink was among them. We made sure that the four riders who had their jobs during the preparation of the sprint started that part of the race fresh. With 1.5 kilometer to go, we took control of the race and held it until the end.”

Brouwersdam - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Dylan Groenewegen (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo) - Wouter Wippert (Netherlands / Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) - Wim Stroetinga   pictured during NK Tijdrijden - Dutch National Championships road elite men - photo Anton Vos/Davy Rietbergen/ Cor Vos © 2016

Dutch National Road Race Championships Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) in 4:31:20
2. Wouter Wippert (Cannondale)
3. Wim Stroetinga (Parkhotel Valkenburg)
4. Danny van Poppel (Sky)
5. Barry Markus (Roompot-Oranje Peloton)
6. Raymond Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton)
7. Jeroen Meijers (Rabobank Development Team)
8. Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin)
9. Jetse Bol (Cyclingteam Join’s-De Rijke)
10. Johim Ariesen (Metec-TKH).

The Dutch Finalé:

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Slovak and Czech National Championships 2016
It was glory for the Tinkoff riders in the Czech and Slovak national championships on a race that saw members of the team take the top spot in both, while the team took the entire podium in the Slovakian race. Successes in today’s races, which were run side-by-side, build on the team’s strong performances in the Time Trial national championships, held in the past week.

Tinkoff riders continued their successes in their respective national championships today with two of the team’s riders crowned in the Czech and Slovak National Championship road races, with Tinkoff dominating the podium at the Slovak race, where Juraj Sagan took the national champion’s jersey from his younger brother, Peter, crossing the finishing line forty-one seconds ahead. Teammate Michael Kolar came third, making it a Tinkoff 1-2-3 on a hard-fought race. Juraj’s win comfortably defeated his brother’s hold on the race, having held the Slovakian national champion’s jersey since 2011.

czech-champs16-kreuziger-920Roman Kreuziger will now add the Czech national champion’s bands to his Tinkoff jersey. Photo courtesy of Czech Cycling Federation

After the race, Juraj was justifiably thrilled with the outcome. “I’m proud to be the new Slovak Champion. It’s such a great feeling, especially because this is my first victory as a professional rider, so it adds a special value to it. It was also a nice feeling to have Peter on the podium with me. We were the two brothers together, him wearing the World Champion jersey and myself with the Slovak Champion jersey. Thanks to all our team-mates for the hard work in today’s tough race.”

In the Czech National Championships, Roman Kreuziger took the top spot, improving on his 8th position in last year’s race. Roman, who has ridden a stellar season in support of Alberto Contador, most recently at the Critérium du Dauphiné, took centre stage on a day where his competition included big names from the professional peloton, challenging him until the finish. Roman finished the race six seconds faster than his closest competitor, taking the jersey for the first time.

After the race, the new Czech champion was taking stock of what had been an incredibly busy race. “The Czech and Slovak Championships are always a hard race to predict. Since the year 2000, the two federations have been holding them together, so we have four titles at stake simultaneously: Czech and Slovak Elite and Czech and Slovak U23. That makes for a bigger peloton and it isn’t always easy to understand who races where. However, we had Erik Baska and Michael Kolar in the early breakaway and they did an excellent job, taking the pressure off us. It was up to the other teams to do the hard work and everything went according to the plan we made this morning with our Sport Director, Ján Valach. I’m really happy to wear the Czech national champion’s jersey.”

Having worked hard to take the title in last year’s race, coming eighth, Roman was thrilled to finally have the jersey on his shoulders. “It’s the first time in my professional career I wear the national champion’s jersey. In the early years of my career I wasn’t so much focused on it but since three years now, I was keen on having it. It’s, obviously, a great result and I hope to honor my national jersey in the big races ahead! The two previous holders had a number of wins in the Classics and other special races, so I will try to continue flying the Czech colors with success in the future.”

Sport Director, Ján Valach, gave some insight into how the race unfolded. “It was a tough race course, 185km long, consisting of a circuit that was raced nine times. It had two climbs of 2km each and our strategy going into the race was to put riders in the breakaway as soon as possible. A nine-man break was formed right from the start, with seven Czechs, and two Slovaks, Erik Baška and Michael Kolar. The stayed in the front until the last lap and with 10km to go they were joined by Peter Sagan, Juraj Sagan, Roman Kreuziger, Zdenek Stybar and a couple of other riders. With 1km to go, Kreuziger attacked and took the solo win, ahead of Stybar and Juraj Sagan. It was a good result for Tinkoff, with the Czech and Slovak champions now flying our colors.”

Czech National Championship Result:
1. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff) in 4:45:17
2. Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quick Step) at 0:05
3. Martin Hunal (Whirlpool Author) at 0:53.

Slovakian National Championship Result:
1. Juraj Sagan (Tinkoff) in 4:45:21
2. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) at 0:41
3. Michael Kolar (Tinkoff) at 2:46.

Slovakian Podium:
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Polish National Championship 2016
At the Polish national championship race, Rafal Majka joined the ranks of Tinkoff riders to wear their national champions’ jersey in the races ahead, after a team effort helped him take the win. After a successful season that has seen him take 5th at the Giro d’Italia, Rafal fought against an ever decreasing breakaway before pushing away on the final climb for the win.

Rafal Majka took the win in a hard race where all the odds were stacked against him. The parcours consisted of six laps of a 37km circuit with hilly terrain and a total altitude of nearly 3,200m climbed, making the 222km route a long day in the saddle for all of the riders, and strong winds only added to the difficulty. With Polish teams dominating the start-line, it was going to be a hard push for Tinkoff, who only had three riders in the race – Rafal, Maciej Bodnar and Pawel Poljanski – while one of the other teams alone had fifteen riders contesting the race.

After a breakaway of twelve riders formed from the start with no Tinkoff rider present, it seemed unlikely that the team would be able to add to its impressive tally of national medals, but after the second lap, Maciej and Rafal attacked, riding strong to pull in the break.

In the front group in the last three laps, Rafal was among twenty riders in the third lap to go, a group that dropped down to ten riders in penultimate lap due to the crushingly-fast pace, and by the final it was only Rafal and one other left to contest the win.

With one lap left, Rafal took his chance to take the lead and build up a small advantage, using the climbing legs he put to good use in the Giro d’Italia, he built up an advantage that in spite of the best efforts of his rival, he was able to hold until the finish. Rafal will now pull on the Polish champion’s jersey for the coming year.

The new Polish champion was delighted with the outcome – which for him he wasn’t expecting so soon after a training camp. “I’m very excited and thrilled to be crowned road champion of Poland for the first time in my career. I came yesterday, directly from the high-altitude training camp in Livigno and jumped right into the race, so I consider this to be a very good result.”

Joining the ranks of Tinkoff riders with national champions’ jerseys, Rafal was excited to be joining the team at the Tour de France after such a strong performance at this race. “It was a hard race, with nearly 3,200 meters of altitude gain and climbs of 3-4 kilometers but that’s exactly the kind of profile that suits me and that I like to race on. I felt in very good form, my legs were really strong and that is a very positive sign for the Tour de France. Starting next Saturday, I will be ready to give my best to support Alberto in his fight for the yellow jersey.”

As has been characteristic of all of Tinkoff’s victories this season, it was teamwork that won the race against great odds, and Rafal was quick to thank his fellow riders today. “Unlike the other Polish teams with lots of riders, we were only three here. However, I told Maciej Bodnar and Pawel Poljanski that I felt very strong and I was aiming for the gold, and they put on a strong performance to help me. I’d like to thank them for their effort.”

Polish National Championship Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) in 5:24:50
2. Marek Rutkiewicz (Wibatech Fuji)
3. Sylwester Janiszewski (Wibatech Fuji) at 1:39.

The Pologne Podium:
poland podium 2016

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British National Championship 2016
In the north of England, Adam Blythe became the fourth Tinkoff team member to pull on the road champion’s jersey of their respective nation. In Stockton-on-Tees, Adam beat one of the fastest sprinters in the world, Mark Cavendish, to the line after a tough day ended in a bunch sprint. In spite of spending almost the whole day either chasing or subsequently riding in a break, Adam still had the strength to contest the win, and rode away as British champion.

On the day, some of the strongest names in British cycling were lined up at the start – many of whom Adam had raced against throughout the season. It was going to be a hard task to take the win, especially as from the start of the race, the breakaways went out and having then been reeled in, another escaped up the road, meaning more energy was expended pulling them back in.

Having formed part of a four-man breakaway – the third escape of the race – Adam and his breakaway compatriots had managed to stay out for much of the closing stages of the race. In spite of chasing, catching, and then becoming part of a breakaway himself, Adam saved the energy he had left to contest the sprint, as he explained from the finish. “I’m so chuffed – it feels great to have won the jersey. It was a long day really, from 70km out there were four of us tapping through and when we entered the circuit the gap wasn’t that big. After it came back together behind I just sat in and saved what I could for the sprint. I never knew I was going to get it but I never thought I wouldn’t as well, I just gave it my all and crossed the line first.”

Adam is excited to receive his British National Champion’s outfit from kit supplier, Sportful. Photo courtesy of British Cycling

Having started the day as the only Tinkoff rider in the race, it was going to be a hard task to fight for the win when some of the other teams had several riders who could work together to bring their fast man to the finishing stretch. Adam made the most of the opportunities that presented themselves to him, reading the race expertly and making the key decisions at just the right time. “Not having any teammates in the race meant it was all about selecting the right move. The circuit wasn’t too difficult so it was all about timing, only attacking when it was worth attacking.”

As he heads to a team training camp in Livigno next week, Adam will be one of three other Tinkoff team members – Roman Kreuziger, Juraj Sagan and Rafal Majka – who are each wearing their national champion’s jersey for the first time. Each will be receiving new outfits from Tinkoff’s kit supplier, Sportful. Adam was excited to be wearing the colors of the British national champion. “I’m looking forward to the getting the new white kit now! It’s the highlight of my career so far. I just want to get the jersey and all the kit to go with it – white shorts, white bike…”

Adam Blythe beats Mark Cavendish:
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British National Championship Result:
1. Adam Blythe (Tinkoff)
2. Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)
3. Andrew Fenn (Sky)
4. Mark Mcnally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)
5. Scott Thwaites (Bora-Argon 18)
6. Teo Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Hagens Berman)
7. Thomas Stewart (Madison Genesis)
8. Dale Appleby (NFTO)
9. Chris Lawless (JTL Condor)
10. James Shaw (Lotto-Soudal U23).

The British Championships Finish:

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Luxembourg National Championship
Bob Jungels has successfully defended his road race national title, two days after doing the same thing in the individual time trial race. Held in-and-out the same town of Berbourg which hosted the ITT, on a 136km course, the race witnessed a crazy pace immediately after the start, as many riders were eager to book a place in the breakaway. Once a group got clear, the peloton started working together – unfazed by the difficult weather conditions – and reeled in the escapees just in time for the decisive phase of the race.

Inside the final 10 kilometers, Bob accelerated from the pack, in a move reminiscent of the one he pulled in stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia (on which he attacked and fought hard to keep the pink jersey), and forged a gap which proved to be insurmountable for the chasers. After defeating Alex Kirsch (Stölting Service Group) and Frank Schleck (Trek-Segafredo), thus achieving the double at the National Championships for the second season running, the 23-year-old sat down and talked about this performance, which he is sure will bode well ahead of his next appointment, scheduled in a few weeks’ time.

“I am very happy with the win and with keeping this beautiful jersey. I love it and I love to wear the colors of my country. Today’s race was really fast right from the gun and the wind and rain made it even more difficult. On the last lap, I attacked with 7 kilometers to go, because I felt that it was the best moment to do it and I was right, as I arrived solo at the finish line. Not only that this victory makes me happy, but it also gives me a timely boost of morale for my next race, the Tour de Pologne”, said Bob Jungels, who so far this season has amassed three wins, three podiums and six top 10 placings.

Double National Champion, Bob Jungels:
26062016 championnat cyclisme PRO Bob Jungels photo rom helbach

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Nine Titles Awarded on Opening Day of Canadian National Road Championships
The 2016 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus opened on Saturday in Ottawa, with nine titles awarded in road races across multiple categories.

The day was highlighted by an impressive solo win in the Elite Women’s road race by Annie Foreman-Mackey of Kingston, Ontario. Joelle Numainville of Montreal, Quebec, finished second, and Leah Kirchmann of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was third.

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Foreman-Mackey, a member of Canada’s world-class team pursuit squad, and a bronze medalist at the world championships in the Individual Pursuit, joined a breakaway on the fourth lap of 11, on a mostly flat 10-kilometer circuit. Eventually, she dropped the rest of the leading group to ride the final 15 kilometers on her own, to win with a time of two hours, 52 minutes and 44 seconds, collapsing on the side of the course after the finishing, having ridden nearly 70 kilometers at the front of the race in 30 degree heat. Numainville, the defending champion, out-sprinted Kirchmann for second, one minute and 18 seconds behind Foreman-Mackey.

Foreman-Mackey, who races for the local Ottawa-based The Cyclery-Opus team, attributed her win to strong team support. “I didn’t think the break was going to stick,” admitted Foreman-Mackey, “I thought it was a bit too early. But I knew I had a lot of team mates back in the pack, so I was able to lay it out on the line, knowing that if it got caught, I had a whole bunch of team mates ready to go. So I was able to commit fully to the break. I couldn’t be happier that it stayed away.”

The Junior titles were both decided in sprints, with Thierry Kirouac Marcassa (Equipe du Quebec) winning the men’s race and Erin Attwell (Cycling BC) the women’s.

In the Para-cycling events, Robbi Weldon (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio p/p Mazda) repeated as tandem champion with her new pilot, Audrey Lemieux, while Daniel Chalifour ( Équipe du Québec) and his pilot, Jean-Michel Lachance, took the men’s title.

Louis Albert Corriveau Jolin (Équipe du Québec) won the combined men’s and women’s Trike category, with Charles Moreau (Équipe du Québec) taking the combined men’s H3/4 title by only three seconds over Alex Hyndman (Team Ontario). Myriam Adam (Équipe du Québec) won the combined men’s and women’s H2 title by ten seconds, ahead of Matt Kinnie (VeloNB). Tristen Chernove (Cycling BC) won the combined men’s and women’s C1-C5 national championship.

The Championships continue on Sunday with the Elite/Under-23 men’s 180-kilometer road race, followed by the Individual Time Trial competition on Tuesday.

Complete Results HERE.

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Giant-Alpecin Tour de France Team
Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce its final nine-rider lineup for the second Grand Tour of the 2016 season, the Tour de France. The 103rd edition of the Tour returns home for the start in the city of Mont Saint-Michel, the first-ever Grand Départ in the region of Normandy.

With an impressive history of nine stage wins in the previous three editions of the Tour de France, Team Giant-Alpecin heads to this year’s race once again with the goal of stage success in the sprint stages with a difficult finale, the intermediate stages and the mountain stages. In addition, the team aims to further develop its riders and enhance the quality of the entire team, with an increasing focus on the overall classification.

Simon Geschke (GER), who took a fantastic victory in last year’s stage 17, will be lining up for his fourth Grande Boucle. French climber Warren Barguil, who finished 14th in his Tour debut last year, will be looking to take another step forward in his long-term GC development and will aim to improve on this result.

Also in the lineup is John Degenkolb (GER), who will focus on the sprint stages with a tough finale. Degenkolb has had a difficult comeback from the training accident in January. He has shown a great deal of dedication and hard work in making his return to competition, and he made good progress over the last few months of racing at the Amgen Tour of California and the Critérium du Dauphiné. Following the Giro d’Italia, the team identified participation in the Tour as the ideal next step toward Tom Dumoulin’s (NED) second goal of the season, in Rio. Dumoulin will be primarily focusing on stage results.

Laurens ten Dam (NED) is set to make his eighth appearance in the Tour de France and his first with the team. He will bring crucial experience and will provide valuable support in the mountains. Georg Preidler (AUT) showed his potential during this year’s Giro d’Italia with a third place in the queen stage, one of three top-10 results for him in the Giro. Team Giant-Alpecin’s lineup for its sixth start at the Tour is completed by road captain Roy Curvers (NED) and trusty lead-out men Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) and Albert Timmer (NED).

Coach Aike Visbeek (NED) said ahead of the Tour: “Our goals will be to go for a stage victory, as we see several opportunities to achieve that, and also to explore our possibilities in the GC with Warren. We have made a long-term plan with him, aiming to develop his general classification performance over the next few years. This will be his second appearance in his home Grand Tour, and we believe a top-15 is again a realistic target for him.

“We have a great blend of experience and youth in our lineup. This year’s Tour de France offers more opportunities in the mountains, with some tough stages, and we took that into consideration when we made our final selection.”

Line-up:
Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Georg Preidler (AUT), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).
Coach: Adriaan Helmantel (NED), Marc Reef (NED), Aike Visbeek (NED).

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Lotto Soudal for the Tour de France
Lotto Soudal will head to the Tour de France with these nine riders: Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

Manager Marc Sergeant: “I think we’ve made a logical choice. Eight of the nine riders were part of the team last year as well and Jürgen Roelandts is back after one season without riding the Tour. At the Giro he noticed how valuable it is to contribute to the team’s success and with his qualities he’s cut out for that work.”

“Our goals are clear. We aim for a stage win with André Greipel. There is a lot of competition between the sprinters, but the past twelve months André has proven to still be able to perform on the important moments. During the Tour he can rely on his sprint train. There are a few stages where Tony Gallopin can have a go, but of course riders like Adam Hansen and Thomas De Gendt can take their chance as well. They have a free role.”

“Lars Bak is part of the selection after a successful test at Halle-Ingooigem yesterday and the medical staff off our team, who also consulted doctor Toon Claes, gave him the green light. After his crash on the last Giro stage there was only a slim chance he would be able to ride the Tour, but right from day one he did all he could to grab that chance. In a team like ours a rider like Lars is very important to work during the flat stages.”

“Bart De Clercq isn’t selected for the Tour. I understand he will be disappointed, but I think that just like last year, he can aim for a good overall result at the Tour de Pologne and a good Vuelta later this season. That way Bart can pursue a good personal result instead of working for the team at the Tour.”

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

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Oleg Tinkov to announce Tinkoff Tour de France lineup on June 28th
Broadcasting live from the Moscow headquarters of Tinkoff Bank, team owner, Oleg Tinkov, will personally unveil the squad that will race in France next month. Tune in to the Tinkoff Facebook page on Tuesday, June 28th at 17:00 CET to watch Oleg Tinkov reveal the names of the riders that will flank Alberto Contador in his quest to win the Maillot Jaune in Paris.

The most famous cycling event in the world, the Tour de France, has finally arrived. The 103rd edition of La Grande Boucle takes place from the 2nd to the 24th of July, and promises 3,519km of dramatic racing. Starting with the Grand Départ in Mont-Saint-Michel on the 2nd of July, this is the race that many in the professional peloton – from the GC riders, to the sprinters and climbers – have spent their entire season preparing for.

In a first in the sport of cycling, Oleg Tinkov will personally reveal the names of the riders that will fly the Tinkoff colors at the pinnacle event of the year, right from Tinkoff Bank’s modern headquarters in Moscow. The event will start at 17:00 CET on Tuesday, June 28th and will be streamed live on the team’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tinkoffsport).

Tinkoff will head to the Tour de France leading the UCI WorldTour team rankings and with Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador sitting on the two top spots of the individual rankings.

Tour win for Alberto?
Belley - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Alberto Contador - Oleg Tinkov (Tinkoff)   pictured during stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine 2016  from Tain-l’Hermitage to Belley  (176 KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

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Cofidis Tour de France Line-Up
Following the national championships, five days before the big start of the Tour de France on the English Channel, the Cofidis team are pleased to reveal the composition of the team for its 20th participation in the event.

Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) 25 years / 3rd participation
Borut Bozic (SLO) 35 years / 3rd participation
Jérôme Cousin (FRA) 27 years / 2nd participation
Arnold Jeannesson (FRA) 30 years / 4th participation
Christophe Laporte (FRA) 23 years / 2nd participation
Cyril Lemoine (FRA) 33 years / 5th participation
Luis Angel Mate (ESP) 32 years / 5th participation
Daniel Navarro (ESP) 32 years / 7th participation
Geoffrey Soupe (FRA) 28 years / 2nd participation.

Tour stage wins for Bouhanni?
Paris - Nice stage 4

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ORICA-GreenEDGE announce a nine-rider team hunting for stage wins at the Tour de France
ORICA-GreenEDGE has confirmed the nine-man team for this year’s Tour de France and head into the race with an experienced squad, targeting stage victories.

In 2015, the team suffered awful misfortune on day two of the race, losing three riders to injury before battling on to seven top ten results with a depleted six-man team.

Sport director Matt White is happy with the combination of experience and talent in this year’s team and is looking forward to better fortune in the weeks to come.

“We have a great degree of flexibility, experience and talent in the team for the Tour,” said White. “I am happy with the combination of riders and it gives us an exciting mix of options for the three weeks ahead.”

“Our objective is to target stage wins and we will be approaching every day like it’s a classic. We have a robust, versatile roster that can cope with the big effort required to compete and win in the Tour de France.”

The nine-rider lineup includes 2016 Paris Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman, making his second appearance at the Tour. The ORICA-GreenEDGE road captain’s wealth of experience will be vital at this year’s race with the team singling out specific stages to achieve results.

“Mathew (Hayman) is our road captain and his leadership and experience will be important to us throughout the race,” explained White. “Simon (Gerrans) has the most experience at the Tour de France for ORICA-GreenEDGE with stage wins in 2013 and 2008 and we will be looking to him to increase that tally.”

Gerrans started the season brilliantly by winning his fourth Santos Tour Down Under title and returns to the Tour looking to repeat his 2013 success. A win in Corsica by Gerrans followed by an ORICA-GreenEDGE team time trial victory in Nice gave the Australian team its first Tour de France yellow jersey.

“Simon has had great preparation throughout June with stints at altitude and racing at the Dauphine,” White said. “He performs very well under pressure and has the ability to come up with the goods when the big goals are set.”

Michael Matthews and Adam Yates complete the trio of protected riders alongside Gerrans. Matthews will be aiming to reproduce his Paris-Nice form, winning two stages and the point’s jersey. The 25-year-old comes into the team directly from an intense period of training and fine tuning at the Tour de Suisse.

“For Michael (Matthews) last year’s Tour was somewhat of a disaster, fracturing his ribs on day two,” said White. “Even with these unfortunate problems Michael soldiered on bravely which ultimately gave him valuable experience to show how far he could push certain barriers.”

“He is super motivated to perform well here for the first time on the biggest stage in the world.”

Yates will be appearing in his second Tour de France and rode impressively at this year’s Criterium du Dauphine. Finishing third in the mountains against a world-class field on stage five and taking seventh on the overall general classification.

“Adam (Yates) will be our guy for the mountains. There is no pressure to compete for the overall, that’s not our objective,” stated White. “One door closes and another opens, there are lots of stages that will suit Adam in this years race.”

“He is only 23 and this is a vital part of Adam’s progression. He is versatile and can go head to head with the best of the climbers and this experience will be important for him.”

Spanish all-rounder Ruben Plaza has competed in ten grand tours including finishing in fifth place overall at the 2005 Vuelta a España, winning the stage to Gap in last year’s Tour de France and a top ten overall finish in 2010. Plaza will work in tandem with Yates in the mountains and will provide the team with an interesting option for the breakaway days after his strong rides in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Swiss stalwart Michael Albasini and 2013 yellow jersey wearer Daryl Impey give ORICA-GreenEDGE additional versatility in support of Gerrans and Matthews and more strong options for stages that are suited to the opportunist.

Already this year Albasini has produced an impressive second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and win on stage five of the Tour of Romandie after a dynamic move from a breakaway.

Impey has also been showing good form ahead of the Tour, racking up two top-ten finishes at the recent Criterium du Dauphine and three top-five results at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

Former Australian champion Luke Durbridge and 2015 Tour of Denmark winner Chris Juul-Jensen complete the lineup for ORICA-GreenEDGE, with Durbridge returning for his third appearance in ‘La Grand Boucle’.

Juul Jensen is making his debut in the race and, together with Durbridge, forms the beating heart of the team’s engine room. The two strong men will shoulder the huge workload required to give the team opportunities for victory throughout the race and also give the team options to roll the dice in the breaks.

The Tour de France takes place from the 2nd to the 24th of July and covers 3,535 kilometers. It is the 103rd edition of the truly historic race and for the first time in history, it begins in the department of Manche in the region of Normandy.

ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Tour de France (2nd – 24th July):
Michael Albasini (SUI, 35), Luke Durbridge (AUS, WA, 25), Simon Gerrans (AUS, VIC, 36), Mathew Hayman (AUS, ACT, 38), Daryl Impey (RSA, 30), Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 26), Michael Matthews (AUS, ACT, 25), Ruben Plaza (ESP, 36), Adam Yates (GBR, 23).

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Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka presents Tour de France team
5000 bicycles the driving force behind Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Tour de France ambitions
After naming a 13 rider long list for the Tour de France less than a week ago, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is extremely happy to announce its final selection of 9 riders that will take on the 103rd edition of the Le Grand Boucle – the first ever for an African World Tour team.

3 African riders form part of the team. Newly crowned Eritrean Road and TT champion Daniel Teklehaimanot will once again be on the start of the race. After a strong month of racing, that also saw him winning the KOM classification for a second time at the Criterium du Dauphiné, he will again try to make the fans of our African team proud. He will be joined by his fellow countryman Natnael Berhane, who will race his first Tour de France, and South African Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.

Steve Cummings, who won our African team’s first ever stage at the Tour de France on Mandela Day 2015, will spearhead the rest of the line-up together with Mark Cavendish, who will seek to add a 27th stage win to his illustrious palmares. The Manx Missile will be able to count on his lieutenants Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel, with the latter one also being our team’s road captain. Serge Pauwels and Norwegian Road and TT champion Edvald Boasson Hagen will round out our 9 rider line-up for the Le Grand Boucle.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka – Tour de France team
Natnael Berhane, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Bernhard Eisel, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Serge Pauwels, Mark Renshaw, Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will race to raise funds towards the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign and is proud to invite fans and partners alike to join through the Qhubeka 5000 challenge during the Tour de France. The Qhubeka 5000 is an international 48-hour interactive fundraising initiative by our African team with the aim to get supporters around the world to take part and make an impact that matters in Africa. Find out how you can join this challenge at qhubeka5000.org.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
This was a really tough decision to make as all of the riders on the squad have stepped up and shown their potential to be in the Tour de France. We are one team with a single purpose to mobilise people on bikes in Africa so that they can realise their full potential. Through the bicycle distribution ceremonies we hope to uncover more cycling talent on the continent. This is a fantastic team of experienced riders we are hoping can deliver on our performance goals of winning stages, being competitive and visible every day, to raise our profile to even greater heights in the incredibly demanding stages of the 2016 Tour de France.

Rolf Aldag – Head of Performance
We have picked a very balanced team to be competitive and to represent the Qhubeka charity on every single stage the Tour de France offers this year. The first few days will be dominated by the sprinters and we are confident to be right up there with Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen and the committed lead out around Mark Renshaw and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg. Serge Pauwels,Daniel Teklehaimanot and Steve Cummings proved in the past that they can be very successful from breakaways and that is what we try to repeat. Bernhard Eisel will serve as a road captain, while Natnael Berhane will learn a lot in his first Tour as well as he will get his own chance on selective stages.

Adam Foster – Group Executive, Sports Practice, Dimension Data
Last year, the team was the first African team to participate in the Tour de France. This year Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is the first African World Tour team to participate in the Tour de France. Dimension Data is extremely proud to be Title Partner of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, and excited by the rider line-up selected by the team management. We’re looking forward to working with Team Dimension Data and Qhubeka during Le Tour to help raise funds for its #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, and put 5.000 African learners on bikes.

Antoine Ballon, Global Marketing Director Cervélo
As thrilled as we were to be part of last year’s historical first participation of an African team at the Tour de France, seeing this Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka squad ready to push our Cervélo bikes to new heights is very exciting for us. The team stormed the 2015 Tour de France and we can’t wait to see what they achieve on the world’s fastest bikes this year. We look forward to support them in their efforts.

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Movistar Team chases the #SueñoAmarillo
Nairo Quintana headlines the telephone squad’s nine-man roster for the 103rd edition of the Tour de France, which kicks off on Saturday, 2 July at Mont-Saint-Michel and finishes in Paris’ Champs-Élysées on Sunday 24.

The Movistar Team confirms Monday the nine-man selection made by Eusebio Unzué for the Blues’ 34th consecutive appearance in the Tour de France. The lineup, led by Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, twice runner-up in the French stage race (2013, 2015), also includes Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, third-placed finisher in the last edition of the ‘Grande Boucle’. The roster is completed by Portugal’s Nelson Oliveira, Colombian Winner Anacona and Spaniards Imanol Erviti, Gorka Izagirre, Dani Moreno, Jesús Herrada and Ion Izagirre.

The Tour de France, which the Movistar Team’s expedition led by José Luis Arrieta and Chente García Acosta will head towards on Wednesday, will be the search for the #SueñoAmarillo (‘Yellow Dream’) for a group which comes into the biggest stagerace in the world with arguably the best numbers in its history: 30 victories -a milestone never achieved before the Tour in almost four decades of existence-, 71 podium finishes and overall success in races like Romandie, Catalunya, Route du Sud or Valverde’s GC podium in the Giro d’Italia, combined with four national titles last weekend which underline the Movistar Team’s excellent form leading up into the French event.

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Quinziato Extends Contract with BMC Racing Team
Newly crowned Italian National Time Trial Champion Manuel Quinziato has renewed his contract with BMC Racing Team. 2017 will be Quinziato’s seventh year with BMC Racing Team, during which time he has proven to be a very valuable team member, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “Manuel Quinziato is one of our key support riders and a rider that any of our leaders would be happy to have at their side. He is, as he showed yesterday, an exceptional time trialist and has been instrumental in our team trial wins over the past few years. It’s a pleasure to have him remain with BMC Racing Team,” Ochowicz explained.

For Quinziato, it was an easy decision to stay with BMC Racing Team. “I’m not so young but I think I have shown a good level in this last year, both when I was working for the team and also when riding for myself. I’m really enjoying being here in BMC Racing Team. I’ve been a professional cyclist for 15 years but these past few years were the best of my career from the sporting point of view, but also for my happiness and how I enjoy riding a bike as my job,” Quinziato said. “It’s a really good atmosphere in the team, but also the highest level of professionalism possible, with the staff and riders. Since I’ve been with BMC Racing Team I haven’t even thought of moving elsewhere.”

Manuel Quinziato:
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Oss Adds to BMC Racing Team’s Contract Renewals
Italian powerhouse Daniel Oss has joined the growing list of riders to re-sign with BMC Racing Team beyond the 2016 season. Oss’ strength and capabilities as a rider are on par with any of the top riders in the peloton, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “Daniel Oss is a rider who is extremely versatile, which is something we have already seen this year. He had a great Classics season, not only helping our leaders, but also taking his own opportunities. 2017 will be Daniel’s fifth year with BMC Racing Team and I’m looking forward to seeing Daniel continue to grow as a rider and play an important role in our victories,” Ochowicz explained.

BMC Racing Team is the ideal team, Oss admitted. “I really love BMC Racing Team. The atmosphere, the people, and the BMC Switzerland bikes, these are the reasons why I want to stay. I feel that I have more to give the team, which the team also deserves, so I’m looking forward to making that happen this season and beyond,” Oss said.

Daniel Oss:
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Nizzolo extends contract with Trek-Segafredo
Giacomo Nizzolo and Trek-Segafredo agreed on a two-year contract extension through the end of 2018. The 27-year-old Italian joined the professional ranks with Leopard-Trek in 2011 and has developed into a world-class sprinter, taking home the Red Points jersey in the Giro d’Italia in the past two editions.

Giacomo Nizzolo: “Trek-Segafredo is like a family to me, it wasn’t a hard decision to re-sign with the team. Luca (Guercilena) has been a mentor for me during all those years, and I couldn’t imagine a better team for me to continue my development and progression.”

Nizzolo’s latest exploit was a victory in the GP Kanton Aargau in Switzerland, where he capitalized on strong Trek-Segafredo teamwork and sealed the win.

“I feel really good in this team. I keep developing and growing as a sprinter. There is obviously still room for improvement, given my three victories versus twelve second and third places this season, but I’m determined to keep working hard,” said Nizzolo.

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “We are very pleased to have reached a new agreement with Giacomo. Over the last six seasons, he has been our go-to sprinter, and he has really become a flagship rider for us. The difference between winning and second is sometimes really small, which is why we will continue to develop his talent even more and help reach his full potential.”

Giacomo Nizzolo:
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Two More Years for the Baby-Dump Team
Last week team management and main sponsor Baby-Dump agreed on continuing the sponsor ship agreement, together with several others partners. Great news of course, but it gets even better!

The continental-adventure started with a big step towards semi-professional cycling in 2015, where our focus was on “being” and “maintaining”. As we earned our spot in the peloton a bit the past two seasons, it is now time to make the team more solid and sustainable for the future. With some changes and additions team management the past year the teams seems to be ready for it and convinced their main sponsor to extend for two years!

Being able to support riders in “making the leap” towards pro-continental remains the teams’ main target. Last year this succeeded in delivering Twan Castelijns to LottoNl-Jumbo and hopefully also this year again a rider can move up.

With the 2-year extension financial security is assured until end of 2018 and attention will shift to riders and suppliers. Next months staff will be busy filling in these aspects.

Twan Castelijns:
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Stumps and Cranks: An Introduction to Amputee Cycling by Sonia Sanghani
Many amputees want to know how it feels to be able to cycle, and some even want to be professional amputee cyclists. The disability market offers many options for amputee cycling. This book shows you how to get started and take those exciting first steps on your way to a higher level of mobility and independence. The contributions in this collection are written by some of the best-known amputee cyclists in the world, including Margaret Biggs, Rajesh Durbal, Mark Inglis, and Keira Roche. Their achievements are nothing short of remarkable whether cycling around a velodrome at the Paralympics or around the world raising funds for charity. This guide offers great advice from experts and ordinary cyclists alike for arm, leg, combination, and all matters of amputee cycling. The book includes tips not only on the vast arrangement of two wheelers, but also tricycles, recumbents, handbikes, tandems, unicycles, electric bikes, and more specialized cycling forms designed for the disability market. The book offers practical tips and stories, imagery, photographs, and much more to help you or a loved one firmly connect with cycling as an activity that can be done despite a disability.

PEZ writer, Ed Hood has contributed to the book with his story of New Zealander Paul Jesson who crashed into a parked car at the Dauphine Libere, and what ought to have been a routine investigation and then surgery on his injured knee resulted instead in the horror of having his left leg amputated above the knee. For many it would have been the end, but not for Jesson who fought back to win medals in the world Paralympic road and track championships – and ultimately, a medal in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.

The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon: HERE.

More information at: www.stumpsandcranks.co.uk

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Carter Jones Opts to Leave Professional Cycling
Carter Jones (USA) has chosen to leave professional cycling in order to focus on a different career path. Jones had been considering his future for some time, and the recent crashes influenced his decision to quit professional cycling sooner rather than later. Team Giant-Alpecin respects this decision and offers its full support and cooperation. Jones and the team have agreed to terminate his contract as of July.

Jones explained: “It is a personal decision related to two accidents, one last year and one recently, and I am now ready to move on to the next step in my life. I have spent two great seasons at Team Giant-Alpecin, and they have provided me the opportunity to compete in many races at the WorldTour level.

“I have to thank my family for expecting me to complete my college education before fully pursuing a cycling career. Now I will use my degrees in integrative physiology and sociology from the University of Colorado, as well as the experience I have gained as a cyclist, to transition to a career off the bike. Through my experience as a cyclist I have developed an interest in sports marketing and event production, which I hope to pursue further.”

“Carter has been a valuable member of the team, and we respect his decision,” said coach Rudi Kemna (NED). “Carter’s dedication and professionalism cannot be faulted, and it has been a pleasure to have worked with him. We want to thank Carter for his commitment to the team, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Carter Jones:
Les Gets - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Carter Jones (USA / Team Giant - Alpecin)  pictured during the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

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Update Stig Broeckx
The past days the neurosurgical team of the hospital in Genk has reduced the medication of Stig in an attempt to get him out of coma. Unfortunately Stig doesn’t respond to stimuli like sound or movement. The doctors confirm that Stig has incurred severe brain damage, in the brain stem and different brain regions. He is now in a vegetative state. At the moment it is difficult to predict if the consciousness can partially come back.

Out of respect for the family there won’t be any further comments.

Stig Broeckx:
Kuurne - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Stig Broeckx (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne 2016 - photo PdV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

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Tour de France Teaser
Less than a week to go to the start of the French Grand Tour and so here is the video teaser:


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