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Nice - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - MONTOYA Sergio Luis (COL) Rider of Team SKY is leading the pursuit group in front of IZAGIRRE Jon Ander (ESP) Rider of UAE Abu Dhabi Team, ALAPHILIPPE Julian (FRA) Rider of Quick-Step Floors Cycling team and MARTIN Daniel (IRL) Rider of Quick-Step Floors pictured during stage 8 of Paris - Nice - UCI World Tour - Coupe du Monde - from Nice to Nice 115,5 km - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Sergio Henao won Paris-Nice by the slimmest 2 second gap from Alberto Contador. All the news from France and Tirreno-Adriatico, plus Drenthe and Valenciana with Results, reports, quotes and video. Top Story – No Axeon at ATOC. In other cycling news: Tour de Pologne, Amgen Tour of California teams, Lizzie Deignan for Yorkshire and Peter Sagan video interviews. An action packed EUROTRASH Monday.

TOP STORY: No Axeon Hagens Berman in ATOC!
The big surprise of the teams announcement was the omission of the highly successful Axeon Hagens Berman team. Over the years the development team has placed a rider in a higher position that the two other US Continental teams: 9th in 2016 with Neilson Powless (“best young rider” of the race) and Tao Geoghegan Hart was 13th in 2015.

Team Principal Axel Merckx comment: “We are very disappointed that they did not invite us and there was never a clear explanation of why we did not make the cut this year. As soon as we found out, we got to work trying to get into other races that can fill our schedule at that time. But it is very late in the process and so many races are already full. We have several sponsors who counted on us being in the race and the publicity that goes along with it. So hopefully, we can continue to get good results every time we race to help get our name out there that way.”

You have to wonder what criteria the race organization used to select the teams for participation. Bring a sponsor or buy advertising space?

Neilson Powless on the ATOC podium:

Paris-Nice 2017
André Greipel sprinted to victory on the Stage 5 of Paris-Nice! A big triumph for Lotto Fix ALL! The German champion beat Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) in the sprint.

With a distance of 199.5 kilometer, stage 5 from Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, was the longest one of this edition. It was the last chance for the sprinters this week and they didn’t want to let that slip. Not long after the start, six riders got away from the bunch. They had a maximum lead of more than five minutes. Thomas De Gendt was riding at the head of the bunch for many kilometers to control the gap. Twenty kilometers from the end, the peloton split in two because of a crash. André Greipel and Tony Gallopin were riding in the second and biggest part, together with GC leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step). Soon, the peloton got back together. With 12.5 kilometers to go, the last four escapees were reeled in. In the last kilometers the roundabouts on the course created chaos during the sprint preparation. André Greipel got through these passages without any problems and was riding in an excellent position to start the sprint. His victory was very impressive, beating Démare and Groenewegen with more than a bike length.

Bourg-de-Péage - France   - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Andre GREIPEL (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during stage 5 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Quincié-en-Beaujolais to Bourg-de-Péage, 199.50 km - foto: NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): “It was the big goal to win a stage here at Paris-Nice against some of the best sprinters in the world. Arnaud Démare is riding very impressive at the moment. I’m glad I could beat him. Of course I was very disappointed on Tuesday when I only got seventh. I made a mistake and I was really angry at myself. We wanted to do better today and so we did. The last seven kilometers we had to fight against a strong headwind, so it was not easy to stay in front. Luckily, with the support from the team, I managed to get in a really good position for the sprint. The finish was slightly uphill and suited me well. I am very happy with this victory. The next days I’ll do my best to support Tony Gallopin where I can. Saturday will be a fight man against man and he is really good, I think he can win this Paris-Nice.”

3rd on the stage, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It was pretty hectic. I had no choice and had to go early. When Greipel passed me, I noticed immediately that he was stronger today. If you lose because someone is stronger, you have to deal with it. We can be satisfied with a third place in this field. Tuesday, we messed it up, but we put that right again, after the climb, my team-mates brought me to the front. In the final, we have waited a long time and we stayed together. We always try to wait longer before we go with the sprint train. That went well today. Last year, during the Tour, we didn’t dare to wait too long. When you see how we do that now, we can be satisfied. In this field of competitors, it was good that I placed third and we kept the sprint train on the track. We have to improve a little bit and then we can start working towards the Tour.”

10th on the stage, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt good again today, but unfortunately this time my timing was not right. I couldn’t get properly on Patrick’s wheel and was already riding in the wind on the last downhill section. When the others accelerated then out of the slipstream I just couldn’t match their speed.”

Paris-Nice Stage 5 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 4:43:35
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
7. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 5:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 17:20:02
2. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:33
3. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:47
4. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 1:05
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:20
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 1:24
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:28
8. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 1:29
9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 1:31
10. Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ at 1:32.

Stage 5:

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) left the contenders for final victory to their waiting game to attack 20km from the line and win Stage 6 of Paris-Nice in Fayence on Friday. The Briton surged shortly before the top of the first category Col de Bourigaille, never to be seen again by the leading favorites, who waited for the final “wall” of Fayence to battle it out. The final climb revealed the current strengths and weaknesses and race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), so impressive two days ago at Mont Brouilly, could not react when Colombian Sergio Henao (Sky) surged to take second place ahead of 2013 and 2015 winner Richie Porte (BMC). Alaphilippe was 4th and maintained a 36-seconds lead over Tony Gallopin overall, with Henao third, a further 10 seconds adrift.

Fayence - France   - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -   Simon YATES (GBR / Team Orica Scott)  pictured during stage 6 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Aubagne to Fayence, 192.00 km - foto Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Simon Yates (Orica-Scott): “I was a little far away in the overall standing this morning, which left me a bit of freedom. I thought that other riders would follow me when I attacked but I found myself alone. At that moment I had only one solution: to give everything I had! Maybe I will try to attack again tomorrow!”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “I had to stay fully focused on what proved to be a very tough stage, with a really hard last ascent. A big thanks to all my teammates, who did a great job from the start until the finish, I’m very proud of them. I will now get to enjoy another day in this beautiful yellow jersey and this motivates me for tomorrow, when another excruciating stage awaits.”

3rd on the stage, Richie Porte (BMC): “I gave it my all today and came here in a good position. I thought when I was riding at the front that they [the bunch] might let me go because I’m not a threat. Sergio Henao (Team Sky) was super strong. It was such a hard day so I’m happy to rebound. I think it’s good signs for the weekend. Today was such a hard stage that I think tomorrow and Sunday are going to be as well. I think tomorrow suits me better with the longer climbs which will be better for me. We’ll see how it goes. There are still minor placings to go for on the GC.”

Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It’s a pity that I could not hang on to the favorites on the last k. I didn’t expect that the peace would be so high already on the penultimate climb. Therefore, the race was really hard. After the last KOM I closed the gap again and with 2k to go I thought I am good, but when R. Porte pushed on the flatter part I couldn’t stay with them anymore.”

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC): “It was the plan to make the breakaway today but it wasn’t the right day in the end. When we had 5 minutes and that was the maximum, I knew that it would be difficult to go to the final. When Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked, we tried to keep going and then eventually it was just Sepulveda (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and me. It was good to be able to test my legs and it was the first day this year that I went to the limit like that. I am far from top shape, which is normal at this time of the year. We’ll see tomorrow if a breakaway can stay away. But, with the GC all over the place, it’s completely up to the bunch. At the end of today I’m happy.”

Paris-Nice Stage 6 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott in 4:37:51
2. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 0:17
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:26
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:29
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
6. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:32
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
9. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 6:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 21:58:22
2. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:36
3. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 0:46
4. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:57
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:20
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:31
7. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 1:34
8. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 1:37
9. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 2:04
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Sunweb at 3:08.

Stage 6:

Richie Porte (BMC) avenged his woes in the beginning of Paris-Nice with a spectacular win in Stage 7 at Col de la Couillole, the highest ever finish of the Race to the Sun on Saturday. While the Australian, who lost more than 15 minutes in the echelons, rain and wind of the first two stages, was no threat overall, Colombian Sergio Henao (Sky) made the best of the day’s three first-category climbs to finish fourth in the stage and take the yellow jersey away from Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step), who lost touch early in the 15-km-long last ascent. On the line, 2013 and 2015 winner Richie Porte won ahead of another revengeful champion, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), and Ireland’s Dan Martin, who also complete the GC podium.

Col de la Couillole - France   - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -    PORTE Richie (AUS) Rider of BMC Racing Team pictured during stage  7 of Paris - Nice UCI World Tour from Nice - Col de la Couillole, 177.00 km - foto POOLPHOTO BP/Cor Vos © 2017

Interview with stage winner, Richie Porte (BMC):
Congratulations Richie! How does it feel to win the queen stage?
“It hurt so much but it was such a sweet victory after the disaster we had early in the week. But I must take my hat off to the team, they were absolutely incredible all week and they never lost faith in me. So I say a big thank you to them. I wasn’t always easy to deal with this week.”

You have had a lot of success at Paris-Nice. How important was it for you to win a stage?
“I love this race. It means so much to me. To win a stage here is incredible. It gives an incredible feeling of satisfaction. Words don’t sum it up.”

Tell us how it played out for you.
“I did know this climb. Two weeks ago we did reconnaissance of it. It was a beautiful climb. We were lucky with the weather that we could get this high. It’s the highest finish of Paris-Nice ever which is incredible. I’ll take great memories from this. It was hard to line up on Tuesday after stage 2, but it makes you a little bit hungrier. I had a couple of little goes at it on the way up. I didn’t so much as attack, but more rolled off the front a little bit there. The others didn’t have to chase me for GC but the last 3km were absolute hell. To finish it off is a great way to finish the week. The boys rode on the front basically from kilometer 0 to put me in the good position. I must tip by hat to those guys. It’s not over. We still have another hard stage tomorrow. It’s nice for me to take a bit of a backseat and sit back and watch the fireworks. I think it’s going to be a spectacle tomorrow. It will be a really exciting race.”

Does this give you confidence for the next part of the season?
“It’s good signs for me. I have a new coach David Bailey who has really been good this last year and I think we are on a good path for July. My climbing is up there with the best in the world. So we’ll take it race by race now, but I’m looking forward to July for sure.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors): “I am super happy with my performance, though it comes a bit as a surprise. I was a little sick after racing in Portugal and couldn’t do the work in training that I wanted to, but before that, the winter was perfect. It’s the first time that I try to ride for the GC at Paris-Nice and for now it’s going well, but I know a lot can change tomorrow. The fight isn’t over and now I need to recover for Sunday. We are still in the fight to win Paris-Nice and after so many hard days I’m not going to stop trying now, so I’m quite optimistic for tomorrow. It’s really a bittersweet moment for me today. I knew there was a possibility Julian would suffer on the long climb, but I really believed he could keep the jersey. In the end I followed the best guys and could just sit in the wheels. The team has been fantastic this week. It’s hard to protect one leader and they did an amazing job for both of us. This incredible team spirit makes Quick-Step Floors so special.”

5th on the stage and 7th overall, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a hard race but Paris-Nice is always hard,” commented exhausted Ion Izagirre right after the race. “I tried to make a breakaway 5 km before finish, but Porte and Contador reacted promptly, using their strength and experience.”

5th overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “Can’t say I am disappointed, because it was a very tough climb and I was aware of that before the start of the stage. I want to say a huge thanks to all my teammates, who once again did a great job throughout the day. They were unbelievable, I’m proud of them and can’t be sad after losing the yellow jersey. I did my best, it was a beautiful week so far and it isn’t over yet. It was great to see so many fans cheered for me, as their support and my stint in yellow made this experience a fantastic one.”

Paris-Nice Stage 7 Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 5:01:35
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:21
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:32
4. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
5. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:55
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:07
7. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:11
8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:21
9. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar
10. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 7:
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky in 27:01:15
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:30
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:31
4. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 1:00
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 1:22
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:34
7. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:41
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 3:22
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb at 4:07
10. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 4:39.

Stage 7:

History repeated itself on Sunday for Team Sky’s Sergio Henao and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), who battled it out in a nail-biting Final Stage 8 of Paris-Nice before the Spaniard was forced to concede defeat for two seconds. Already beaten a year ago by a slim four-second margin by another Team Sky rider, Geraint Thomas, the 2007 and 2010 winner of the ‘Race to the Sun’ again failed by the blink of an eye as the British outfit conquered their fifth final victory in six years with four different riders. Sergio Henao emulated Bradley Wiggins (2012), Richie Porte (2013 and 2015), and Geraint Thomas for the most prestigious win in his career. But the Colombian champion is far from a second choice winner: attacked all day by El Pistolero Contador, he resisted bravely and kept his cool until the finish line. France’s Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), with the green and white jerseys, and his compatriot Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie), crowned KOM champion, completed the podium.

Nice - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO (Spain / Team Quick Step - Floors)  pictured during stage 8 of Paris - Nice - UCI World Tour - Coupe du Monde - from Nice to Nice 115,5 km  - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors): “It’s a really nice victory. The plan was to go in the break, and once Alberto bridged over, I knew there was a strong chance this move will stick. It wasn’t until the final three kilometers, when I realized we still had a healthy gap on the chasers, that I began thinking of taking the victory. It was a tough day out there, I suffered a lot, but kept my composure on the descent and now I’m very happy. It’s one of the best days of my career.”

3rd overall, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors): “I couldn’t follow Alberto when he attacked, so from that moment on it was a case of dropping Sergio, which I did on Col d’Èze, but the others chased me back immediately. When I realized the GC victory was out of the question, I said in the radio that David should go and seeing him win this stage is really great. I am extremely happy for him, he gave everything this week for us and deserves to be there. Third in the general classification at such a big as Paris-Nice is an important result in my career, solid proof of how much I have developed since joining Quick-Step Floors, especially as I didn’t arrived here in the best condition. Finally, I am also satisfied and super glad to see the entire squad on the podium at the end of this race, as this fantastic team spirit is what brought us at the top.”

4th on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a great day today. I entered the right break and I was able to resist. In the last kilometer Ion supported me and we did a hard work to close the gap, but without success. Above all I’m happy for my shape before the Milan-San Remo race.”

5th on the stage and 5th overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “You can’t imagine how happy I am! It was another tough day from kilometer zero, but we had a good strategy, sending David in the front, while Dan and myself stayed with the GC contenders, keeping an eye on what was happening. David deserved to win, he did a great job for the team throughout the week, and I’m very happy for him. It’s been a fantastic race for Quick-Step Floors and I am very proud of what we have achieved.”

7th overall, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida): “Today we had Sonny in the breakaway and in the final kilometers we knew we have a shot at winning the stage. We are happy with the outcome, happy also for Sonny. I am satisfied with 7th place in GC also. The feelings are positive, the whole team was working really good for me and Sonny. I’m sure that the next races will be good also. It’s the first year for our team, we started from zero, but day by day, race by race, we are getting better and better. It feels like we are one big family and that is important to us.”

11th overall, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “It was a sacred climb up the Col d’Eze. It was climbing very fast. I stuck in a difficult portion, beaten by stronger. The champions have waged war all day, I am not disappointed because I gave my maximum. I will now head towards the Tour of the Basque Country. It is a good month of April that is looming with the Ardennes in the program.”

Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “The goal for this Paris-Nice was a stage win for the team and a top ten place for me. André Greipel won a nice stage and I finished in the top ten so the goal is achieved, but I am disappointed. This Paris-Nice started well for me. After two days on roads in my own region I was in a good position. After my good performance in the individual time trial, past Wednesday I dreamt of more. Especially because Friday night I was still second in the GC. I am disappointed I fell back to the tenth place this weekend, but I was wrecked. The goal is achieved but I had hoped for more. This Paris-Nice was murdering. If you look at the other riders in the top ten, they are all guys who play a role in the Grand Tours. So I stand proudly amongst them. I was completely empty today. If it wasn’t for the great support from my teammates, I wouldn’t even be in the top ten because my tank was completely empty.”

Paris-Nice Stage 8 Result:
1. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors in 2:48:53
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
3. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:05
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
8. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar
9. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
10. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie.

Paris-Nice Final Overall Result:
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky in 29:50:29
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:02
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:30
4. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:01
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 1:22
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:34
7. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:41
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Sunweb at 4:07
9. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 4:39
10. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 9:14.

Final stage 8:

Tirreno-Adriatico 2017
A strong attack by Geraint Thomas (Sky) launched just 4km out from the spectacular finale of Stage 2 at Pomarance prevented Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) from winning the stage he had targeted. But the defending Tirreno-Adriatico champion still moved into the overall lead, the Belgian taking over from his team-mate Damiano Caruso due to his better placing – fourth – at the finishing line.

Pomarance - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Geraint THOMAS (GBR / Team Sky)  pictured during the Tirreno - Adriatico - stage-2- from Camaiore to Pomarance, 229.00 km - foto: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “The team time trial was a massive disappointment for us as we came here for GC with myself and Mikel Landa. It shows that anything can happen in sport. We wanted to be aggressive today. I didn’t expect to win this way but I had my chance and I took it. I’ve been lucky enough to finish it off. I’m happy with the win. We’ve got Elia [Viviani] for a sprint finish tomorrow. We have a few guys for the mountain stage after tomorrow. We still have good chances for stages.”

Best young rider, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): “Our plan was to do something. I felt good and the guys did a great job on the last climb. Once Matteo stopped pulling, I tried something and was joined by three riders. When Geraint went, I chased him at first, but it wasn’t up to me to take Caruso and Castroviejo to the front. This is why I love this team so much, because we race aggressively all the time; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but we are always there. Today’s display was a good sign for the next stages and taking the white jersey again here in Italy makes me happy.”

3rd on the stage, peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a good day for me and I’m happy with the result. Congratulations to Geraint Thomas for his victory – he deserved it. I feel my form getting better and look forward to the next stages. I will give my best and try to take advantage of all the opportunities that will come.”

4th on the stage and overall leader: Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “I’m a little disappointed with today’s result. My main goal today was the stage win as I felt I had the legs to do that and the course suited me well. Of course, it’s always great to wear the leader’s jersey, especially at a UCI WorldTour race, and this is really a sign of the performance of the whole team today. Everyone put in a huge effort, and we had to do a lot of the work ourselves today. I am thankful to the team for that. We were a little surprised when Thomas attacked, but we had Damiano Caruso with him at the beginning. When Thomas attacked again and was able to go solo at the front of the race, we were in a tricky situation as after all the work we had put in earlier we weren’t able to chase hard. We have the leader’s jersey for another day. I don’t think it will be me that keeps hold of it past Saturday but as a team, we are here to do our best, and that means we want to try and win overall.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 5:51:44
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:09
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky
7. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
10. Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 2:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 6:15:14
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors at 0:16
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:21
8. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar.

Tirreno stage 2:

The blue jersey was passed onto the shoulders of BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis on Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 after a late crash saw Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) take the win in a reduced bunch sprint for the line.

In a similar manner to stage 2, the day’s breakaway was established early with seven riders going clear and extending an advantage of 2:30 after just 15km of racing. Despite another day over 200km, the pace was high with riders covering 44.9km in the first hour of racing as they headed towards the only categorized climb. BMC kept a watchful eye on the action at the front of the race, as the peloton limited the breakaway’s advantage to four minutes. But, with stage 3 billed as one for the sprinters, the gap started to fall steadily with 100km to go.

The final breakaway rider held on until inside the final 20km of the day before being swept up by the main bunch as they charged towards a fast and furious finale. With a short and punchy rise in the final kilometer, it wasn’t a straightforward run into the finish with sprinters’ teams battling for position. In the end, the speed of the peloton, and a late crash saw the peloton strung out along the road with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) finding himself in the best position to power across the line.

With Van Avermaet caught behind the crash, it was Dennis who crossed the line first for BMC, earning him the right to wear the blue leader’s jersey heading into stage 4, and the summit finish to Terminillo. Van Avermaet, Damiano Caruso, and Tejay van Garderen round out the top four places on the General Classification.

Montalto di Castro - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe)  pictured during the Tirreno - Adriatico - stage-3- from Monterotondo Marittimo to Montalto di Castro, 204.00 km - foto: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’d like to thank my teammates for their great job today! We are all very happy with this victory. BORA-hansgrohe is the best team! Today was a windy day and everybody was afraid of the wind in the last 50km, but in the end, nothing happened. I imagine the peloton reached the finish without legs, but the positive aspect was that in the last 2km there was a bit of crosswind, so a lot of riders lined up, and that made positioning much easier. However, as I said before, this season has just started and I hope this isn’t my last victory.”

Overall leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “You never think about there being a crash in the final kilometer so for me, the most important thing about today’s stage is that no-one was caught up in that. Of course, the silver lining for me is that I get the chance to wear the blue jersey. We are all on the same time, so it feels as though we are just passing the jersey around. I am happy to be in this position heading into tomorrow, but it will be a tough stage. We haven’t had a climb like the one at the end of tomorrow’s stage yet, so I am hoping I can do well. For me, that means both being able to test myself and work for Tejay Van Garderen unless I am told otherwise. I have to learn how to climb with the best if I want to do well in the Giro d’Italia later on in the year and this race is really a stepping stone to hopefully becoming a Grand Tour contender. There is no pressure on me; I am just looking to do the best that I can and see where my form is. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. I can learn from it and try to keep improving.”

4th on the stage, Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates): “In the final part of the stage, we were in a good position and avoided the crash. At 500 meters, while we were waiting for launching our sprint, we had to close a gap: Roberto was great in doing a double effort in order to close the gap and launching me at 300 meters, unfortunately it was too late to reach the podium. Today result is good, I feel I could have deserved a place in the top 3.”

Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors): “We were in the top 15 positions, with Fenando well placed on my wheel, biding our time to move to the front. Suddenly, two guys crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid them, so I hit the tarmac with my right knee, but it’s nothing serious. Fernando too went to the ground, and at that point our stage was over. It’s a real pity, because we were in a good position and Fernando could have done a good sprint.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:51:59
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-Scott
6. Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Andrea Palini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
8. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Georg Preidler (Aut) Sunweb
10. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Sunweb.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 11:07:13
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors at 0:16
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:21
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
9. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar
10. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar.

Tirreno stage 3:

Nairo Quintana won the Queen Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico atop the Monte Terminillo as he did two years ago. He soloed from 2km before the top and secured an advantage in the overall leadership of more than 30 seconds over Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and 56 over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). Wearing the Maglia Azzurra of race leader, the Colombian, along with the rest of the peloton will pay a tribute to the victims of the earthquake on stage 5 tomorrow in the centre of Italy.

Terminillo - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS (Columbia / Team Movistar) pictured during the Tirreno - Adriatico - stage-4- from Montalto di Castro - Terminillo 171 km - foto: LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “It went all as we planned it, I’m really happy. I wasn’t really confident about my condition since I had got a bit sick during the last few days, sort of a flu. It has taken some energy off me during the week, and I don’t feel superb yet. However, the team was really great all week supporting me. All my team-mates kept me calm until the foot of the climb, and later on, Andrey and Dani were really attentive to those attacks, just like Castroviejo.

Our strategy was having all three taking care of those attacks, before the moves from the big favorites, and Castro really delivered. As the big moves came, I stayed on their wheels until I found the moment to attack and overtake them. I feel like experience and maturity give you a real edge in such moments – the older the better, and it really paid off today for me.

There’s still a couple of dangerous stages left; actually, I think Sunday will be harder than today. It’s a nice gap in the overall standings for us, though, one that we can manage well through both tomorrow and the ITT, so we can bring this jersey home on Tuesday. We’ve got a strong team and I’m hopeful we can fulfill that goal.”

Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Our strategy today was for me to go for the stage win, and it was executed according to plan. Thanks to the great work of my teammates, I was well positioned at the bottom of the final and decisive climb, but with 4km to go to the finish, my legs simply couldn’t keep up with the pace. I didn’t have the power to respond to the various attacks, but I am not dissatisfied with my form. We are still in early March and my goals are usually further ahead in the season, so at this time of the year, I’m still building my form. We worked well as a team, and that’s positive for the coming races.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4 Result:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 5:27:22
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:18
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:24
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
5. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:29
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:41
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Sky
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:46
10. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:51.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 4:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 16:34:46
2. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:33
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:56
4. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 1:01
5. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 1:06
6. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:19
7. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:23
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar at 1:27
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:29.

Tirreno stage 4:

The UCI World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won Stage 5 of the Tirreno-Adriatico NamedSport, from Rieti to Fermo (210km). Sagan emerged victorious from the “muri” (steep climbs) challenge. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) are second and third on the finish line. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retains the Maglia Azzurra NamedSport.

A tough stage with an even tougher finish was on the cards for the riders today. After a relentlessly undulating profile that got harder as the stage went on, two tough ramps in the finale meant only the strongest would be able to contest the finish. Surrounded by all-rounders and GC riders alike, the UCI World Champion was the picture of controlled calm, as he picked off his rivals in a final push to the line to take the win in style, ably supported in the final kilometers by his BORA-hansgrohe teammates, and to regain the red points jersey.

209km and a rolling profile would separate riders from the start in Rieti and a chance for victory in Fermo. The first 100km were gentle enough – a steady climb before an equally steady descent, but from here the whole character of the day would change, with one gradual climb replaced with a sawtooth profile for the rest of the stage. If the parcours wasn’t hard enough, the final kilometer brought with it a 22% ramp before a 10% scramble to the finish. This was a finale that didn’t suit any one type of rider and anyone could take the win.

As expected, a break went off early on – trying to make the most of the more gradual start to the day before the really hard climbs began appearing on the horizon. A group of eleven bumped their advantage up to four minutes, but not long after were reeled back in to a more manageable two minutes. This was a stage where strategy and a lucky break could win, so none of the teams was taking any chances. With 90km remaining, it was all back together, only for another break to go at the 80km mark – this time a much bigger group of thirty, with another smaller group attacking off the front of this one.

The final 35km were cruel – with multiple steep ramps followed by equally steep descents – sapping the energy from the riders’ legs and bringing the escape back within touching distance. The whole peloton was doubtless thinking about the final 22% ramp that would prove decisive, and were saving their legs. In the peloton, UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan, was doing exactly that. On the big climbs, the Slovak rider was rooted to his saddle while others around him were grinding their way up. Also visible in the bunch was Rafał Majka, pushing hard at the front to support Peter, but there was no hiding from the fact it was getting harder, as the peloton started shedding riders as the GC contenders started pushing as well as the all-rounders. Picking off riders one by one, Peter took to the front on the 22% ramp as the cobblestone streets narrowed, finally kicking and leaving everyone behind to take the win in the most amazing style.

After such a tough final kilometer, Peter didn’t even have the chance to celebrate his win on the line, it was such a hard effort.

Fermo -Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) - Thibaut PINOT (France / Team FDJ) - Primoz ROGLIC (Slowenia / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)  pictured during stage 5 of the Tirreno - Adriatico 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt very bad today, but I am very happy for this win. It was looking like I wouldn’t be able to race tomorrow – all day it was full gas, with everyone attacking. I don’t know if the other riders saw the profile? Rafał Majka was the guy who put his trust in me today. I said to him not to be stupid – that we’ll go together, and if he had the legs he’d go. He worked for me and trusted my ability more than I did. I was actually dropped in the last climb, but just got back in the final kilometer. After that I did my best and am very happy with the victory.”

Overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “My team-mates controlled the race with no problem today. I wasn’t trying to win the stage but to maintain my advantage over my rivals, which is quite comfortable for now ahead of a hopefully quieter day tomorrow. When I accelerated, it was for making a selection and not arriving at the finish with a big group for a sprint. These ‘walls’ in the finale were too short for me to go away but they were nice and they made the race spectacular. It was like a classic today so I wasn’t exactly surprised to see Sagan at the front. It was clear that he’d try to win the same way he has won classics and the World Championships: I said it before, and he won.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 5:00:05
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
6. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
7. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
9. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:06.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 5:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 21:34:51
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 0:50
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 1:06
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:15
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:19
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:23
7. Rigoberto Urán (Col) Cannondale-Drapac at 1:30
8. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 1:32
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:37
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:59.

Tirreno stage 5:

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6 Route Change
The organizers of Tirreno-Adriatico have had change the route of today’s (Monday) stage 6, from Ascoli Piceno to Civitanova Marche, due to the condition of some roads. The new route will pass through Pollenza (new categorized climb), instead of Macerata. The stage will now be 168km long.

The stage is wavy but uncomplicated. The first part runs in the hinterland, across Comunanza, Amandola and Sarnano. The route then enters the province of Macerata to tackle the final categorized climb of the race in Pollenza. The course then follows constant undulations, running across a number of hilltop towns such as Montecassiano, Montefano, Recanati (intermediate sprint) and Loreto. The route eventually enters the final circuit (one lap), where the last intermediate sprint is to be contested when reaching the finish line on the first pass.

Final kilometers
The final circuit is 15.2km long. The first part runs flat from the seafront to the city centre, with traffic dividers and a wide underpass with a central pillar on the course. A mild climb, around 4km in length, leads to Civitanova Marche, followed by a technical descent leading back to the seafront. The last 4km are on straight roads, with just two gentle bends just before the final kilometer. The tarmac road is 7.5m wide.

Twan Castelijns sprints for Tour of Drenthe 2nd place
Twan Castelijns finished second in a two-up sprint with Jan-Willem van Schip in the Tour of Drenthe in Hoogeveen. LottoNl-Jumbo’s Amund Grøndahl Jansen and Steven Lammertink placed 13th and 14th.

Castelijns and Van Schip formed part of the early breakaway, which originally consisted three men. Julius van den Berg dropped out with ten kilometers to go. The race was hard due to several climbs of the VAM-berg and some cobbled sections. Eventually, the two escapees raced into town, where, Van Schip won the sprint.

Castelijns thought he would take home the victory, but just before the line, he was overtaken by Van Schip.

“It was a perfect move for Twan to go in because that way the pressure of the race was not on our shoulders,” said Sports Director Grischa Niermann.

“We were very attentive, but unfortunately, we were not in a group of six that rode off after the last VAM-berg. Lindeman had to change bikes just before the last climb. He was perhaps the strongest man in the race.”

At four kilometers from the end, Niermann saw that Castelijns could sprint for victory. “We were still represented by five men in the group and the other teams were slowly exhausting. So it is a pity that Twan was barely beaten, but Van Schip is also a strong rider. It’s nice for Twan to have ridden in that winning position and hopefully he turns this disappointment into something positive in the coming races.”

Cervélo-Bigla Secures Overall Victory in Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team continued its impressive progression after Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finished on the podium in third overall with Marie Vilmann fourth, ensuring victory in the team competition too.

Uttrup Ludwig also sealed the u23 classification, making it a great week of racing in its first stage race of the year. The team started the four-stage race by finishing second in the opening team time trial. Uttrup then went onto to finish second on stage 2, securing the race lead. The team set out to defend the lead for the remaining stages and did so successfully.

“It was a chaotic final stage,” Uttrup Ludwig said. “There were many attacks and it was a difficult stage to control but despite that we managed to stay in the front and always managed to have a rider in the breakaway. I am just so proud of how the team is working together. The fact that we had three girls in the top four overall and winning the team competition shows how strong the team is. I wear the Cervélo Bigla jersey with pride.”

Team Manager, Thomas Campana was naturally delighted with the result. “We’ve been working hard since May last year to add the next generation of riders to the project in order to extend the strategy to generate good athletes. This is the first year we’ve done it with our own developed riders plus new riders who fit into the project by character and quality. What this has resulted in is we can continue with our philosophy, mentality and racing quality and that is gaining momentum and we’re progressing. We’ve had five riders at this race but it’s like having one rider. It’s one unit. This is amazing to see.”

First, third and fourth on the general classification secures team competition too:

Poland Rides Towards Ever More Important Milestones!
Agata Lang, Vice General Director of the Tour de Pologne, has been elected to the board of the Union Européenne de Cyclism.

Poland’s is enjoying an increasingly strong, growing presence on the major world cycling. The electoral congress for the Union Européenne de Cyclisme was held on March 5th, in Brussels, Belgium, and David Lappartient was reconfirmed President. Agata Lang, who is already the Vice General Director of the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour next to her father Czeslaw Lang, was elected as a new member of the UEC board. The elected board members are: Sahib Alakbarov (Azerbaijan), Henrik Jess Jensen (Denmark), Martin Wolf (Germany), Agata Lang (Poland), Alexander Gusyatnikov (Russia) and Rocco Cattaneo (Switzerland). During the first board meeting that followed, Agata Lang (Poland), Rocco Cattaneo (Switzerland) and Alexander Gusyatnikov (Russia) were nominated vice presidents for the UEC.

“I’m proud of this new role I’ve been given. I will try to fulfill my duties with commitment, professionalism and passion, calling on the experience I’ve gained throughout these years with the Tour de Pologne under the leadership of my father, Czeslaw Lang. For my part, I am sure that this is an important opportunity, not only to provide a voice for Polish cycling, which season after season is turning out to be a dynamic movement with enormous potential. It will also lend further value to the international women’s movement and contribute to maintaining the development of actual projects that sustain European cycling in all its forms. The aim is to work in synergy with other countries and components of the cycling system within the UEC to present a stronger, more united front on the world cycling scene,” explains Agata Lang.

Poland’s success in the politics of cycling comes along with the brilliant results achieved by Poland on the roads of major cycling. In fact, behind all this we find the fantastic victory scored by Michal Kwiatkowski on Saturday, March 4th, on the thrilling and spectacular dirt roads of the Strade Bianche in Tuscany, where Poland also took home second place in the women’s field with Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

“Michal Kwiatkwoski, together with Rafal Majka, has become a symbol of Polish Cycling. With his second win in the Strade Bianche, which we can add to the World Championship in Ponferrada and the Amstel he scored in 2015, Kwiatkowski has claimed his place as a true talent in one-day races. On the other hand, Majka has a portfolio which includes three stages in the Tour de France and two polka dot jerseys for best climber, Olympic bronze from Rio 2016, third place in the Vuelta in 2015 and victory in the Tour de Pologne in 2014. Both riders have done, and continue to do, extraordinary things to contribute to the Polish cycling movement. Add to this the ever increasing numbers of Polish riders on World Tour teams. Furthermore, Poland has a good professional squad which will be participating in the Giro d’Italia again this year; we also have quality continental teams, not to mention national teams achieving on all levels, whether on road, off road and on the track, obtaining fantastic results at European and World events. And let’s not forget the women, namely Katarzyna Niewiadoma; as I already mentioned she was second in Siena and before that she was the under23 Women’s European Champion in 2015 and 2016; she won European silver as an Elite in 2016 as well. Then there is Maja Wloszczowska, silver in the mtb XC at the Olympics in both Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016, and World Champion in 2010” continues Agata Lang.

“And then there’s the Tour de Pologne, which has become the most important bicycle race in all of Eastern Europe and the only event in the East to be added to the UCI World Tour calendar. In 2016 we also had a significant experience with the TDP Women. Beyond the race itself, the Tour de Pologne deserves credit for developing important projects that promote cycling among children, like the Nutella Mini Tour de Pologne, and the expansion of cycling tourism initiatives and cycling for fun like the Tour de Pologne Amatorow along with all the other marathon events organized by the Lang Team. Furthermore, the Lang Team played an important role in the organization of the European Track Championships in 2010 and every year they organize the National Cycling Championships,” concludes Agata Lang.

Biography: Ever since she was a little girl, Agata Lang has breathed in the aromas of cycling and known what it means to love bikes. She lives in Warsaw but she was born and raised in Italy, on the shores of Garda Lake, where she followed her father Czeslaw Lang, who was the first Eastern athlete to race as a professional beyond the curtain. Lang was a silver medallist at the 1980 Moscow Olympics; between 1982 and 1989 he wore the jerseys of Gis Gelati, Carrera Jeans, Del Tongo and Malvor; he was an avid pupil of Ernesto Colnago and raced side by side with great champions like Francesco Moser and Giuseppe Saronni. Even Agata’s grandfather, Marian Wieckowski, who won the Tour de Pologne three times in a row (’54,’55,’56), was one of the pioneers in Polish cycling. Currently Agata Lang, next to her father Czeslaw, is Vice General Director of the Lang Team, the group that organizes the Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour. In addition to being a member of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) she is now also a board member of the UEC committee with the title of Vice President.

Amgen Tour of California 2017: Teams Selection
The following teams have been chosen to take part in the 12th edition of the Amgen Tour of California :

UCI WorldTour teams:
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
BORA-Hansgrohe (GER)
Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Quick-Step Floors (BEL)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Sunweb (GER)
Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED)
Team Sky (GBR)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)

UCI Professionnal Continental teams:
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA).

UCI Continental teams:
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Rally Cycling (USA)

The following teams have been chosen to take part in 3rd édition of Amgen Breakaway from Heart DiseaseTM Women’s Race empowered with SRAM:
Astana Women’s Team (KAZ)
BePink Cogeas (ITA)
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
Canyon/SRAM Racing (GER)
Cylance Pro Cycling (USA)
Drops (GBR)
Hagens Berman Supermint (USA)
Lares-Waowdeals Women Cycling Team (BEL)
Rally Cycling (USA)
Sho-Air TWENTY20 (USA)
Team Colavita | Bianchi (USA)
Team Sunweb (NED)
Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling (USA)
Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR).

Team Novo Nordisk Targets Tour of California As Race of the Year
The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) announced yesterday that Team Novo Nordisk is one of the 16 teams invited to the 12th edition of the Tour of California. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko.

Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland: “As a US-registered team, the Tour of California serves as one of the most prestigious and sought after races in professional cycling. The race broadcast reaches more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and historically our riders have garnered massive media attention from starring in breakaways and earning podium finishes. The Tour of California offers us an amazing opportunity to reach the 29 million Americans with diabetes, the 86 million Americans who have prediabetes and the 415 million cases of diabetes globally.1,2. This project serves as a global source of hope for anyone affected by diabetes and as a motivating factor for everyone to get out and exercise. With the upgrade to World Tour status, the Tour of California is one of the top races in the world in regards to caliber, beauty, reach and prestige. We are motivated to use this platform to inspire, educate and empower the global audience that follows the race and everyone affected by diabetes.”

Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko: “For the fourth-consecutive year, it is an enormous honor to receive an invitation to the Tour of California, and we are grateful to the ASO for extending this invite. Our riders are targeting this as the race of the year. Since the beginning of 2017, we’ve designed our calendar and coaching to peak at this race. The Tour of California has treated us well, and we plan to build upon those results. We are bringing a squad that has made measurable physical improvements over the last year, and we believe that arriving in peak form will translate into notable results.”

Rally Cycling Invited to Amgen Tour of California Teams Return to California for the Ninth Year
Rally Cycling is excited to announce the invitation of both the men and women’s teams to the 2017 Amgen Tour of California. It will be the program’s ninth time competing in the event, and the men and women of Rally Cycling look forward to continued success on the roads of California.

Evan Huffman in the 2016 Amgen Tour of California King of the Mountains Jersey

The 2016 edition was highlighted by Evan Huffman winning the King of the Mountains Jersey after taking it on stage two and successfully defending it throughout the remainder of the week. Rally Cycling also staked its claim for the most aggressive team in the event by placing a rider in every significant breakaway of the race. Along the way, the team landed on the podium twice with Evan Huffman finishing second in stage two and Adam de Vos equaling Huffman’s result in stage five. On the same day de Vos stepped onto the podium in Lake Tahoe, Sara Poidevin claimed the first Queen of the Mountains jersey of the 2016 women’s edition.

“Our team is ecstatic to receive an invitation to the 2017 Amgen Tour of California,” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “When they made the announcement that the race would upgrade to WorldTour status, everyone was unsure of what that would mean. Thankfully the Amgen Tour of California and UCI are allowing a couple of Continental teams to compete this year. We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Over the last five years, we have consistently had success at the Amgen Tour of California with a stage win, KOM jerseys, podiums, and top ten finishes overall. We hope to continue that trend, but this year will be even more challenging with WorldTour points on the line. It’s a tall task for a Continental team, but our riders are putting in all of the necessary work to prepare for a race of this caliber, and come May, we will be swinging for the fences.”

Adam de Vos drives the breakaway during stage five of the 2016 edition

The 2017 men’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California starts in Sacramento on May 14 and heads south through The Golden State, ending in Pasadena on May 20. The seven-day stage race will include a mountaintop finish, a high altitude time trial along with flat and rolling stages to assure a competitive and exciting event. The first stage, starting and ending in Sacramento, seems ideally suited for the sprinters. Stage two will see the peloton tackle Mount Hamilton and will serve as the first real test for the general classification riders. The third and fourth stages take the race south along the coast and feature a combination of flat and rolling terrain. These transition stages are well suited to breakaways and sprinters looking to grab stage glory. Stage five will see the general classification battle heat up on the climb to the top of Mount Baldy in the event’s queen stage. Although relatively short at only 125 kilometers, it features three categorized climbs and over 11,000 feet of elevation gain. The following day, the riders move over to Big Bear for the stage six time trial. The race finishes the next day in downtown Pasadena.

Sara Poidevin claimed the first Queen of the Mountains jersey in South Lake Tahoe

Four days before the start of the men’s race, the women of Rally Cycling tackle the roads of California in the Amgen Breakaway From Heart Disease Women’s Race empowered with SRAM. Starting on May 11, the four-day event starts with a 116-kilometer loop around Lake Tahoe. Stage two will also be centered around Lake Tahoe but will head west over Luther’s Pass before looping through the Washoe Reservation and heading north to tackle the 12.8-kilometer Kingsbury Grade. Stage three sees the riders race 118 kilometers from Elk Grove to Sacramento. The fourth a final stage is a 70-kilometer circuit race around the Capitol Building in the heart of downtown Sacramento.

“The team has a great history in this race,” said Team Director Zach Bell. “Kirsti Lay won the Queen of the Mountains jersey as a member of the Canadian National team in 2015, and Sara Poidevin pulled on the same jersey last year in the colors of Rally Cycling. This group knows it can be successful at the Tour of California. This year we will be looking to have an impact every day and contest for jerseys and stages. Last year we came with ambitious goals that did not play out because of a crash in the team time trial. As a result, we have riders with some unfinished business.”

Rosters for both men and women will be determined over the next several weeks.

Deignan Confirmed to Celebrate 50 Days to Go Until the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire
Lizzie Deignan is the latest star rider to confirm her attendance as the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire is now just 50 days away.

Deignan (née Armitstead) will return to her home county for the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday 29 April, which will see the world’s best riders tackling a tough 122.5km route from Tadcaster to Harrogate.

The 2015 world champion revealed she got goose-bumps when she lined up for last year’s race in her native Otley. The 28 year old finished on the same time as eventual winner Kirsten Wild after her brave late attack was cancelled out by the peloton.

Deignan – who will compete with her Dutch-registered Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team squad – is hoping to improve on her 26th-placed finish this time around, and the course could suit her with the testing Côte de Lofthouse climb coming at the halfway point in the race.

Lizzie Deignan said: “I’m really excited to be riding the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire again and I am looking forward to being back on home turf.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of racing between now and then, but I hope to be there in good form and able to make my mark on the race.

“It’s a more challenging route this year and that’s one of the great things about the Tour de Yorkshire, that we’re able to compete on the exact same roads as the men.”

As Deignan mentioned, the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will take place on the same course as the second stage of the men’s race, with the women starting at 09:10am and the men at 14:00pm. The races are likely to culminate in Harrogate at approximately 12:30pm and 17:00pm respectively.

The men’s race will start with a 173km stage from Bridlington to Scarborough 24 hours earlier and culminate with a 194.5km trek from Bradford to Fox Valley, Sheffield on Sunday.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity is delighted to have unveiled another world-class athlete following the news that Thomas Voeckler will be back to defend the men’s title, and is predicting the third edition of the Tour de Yorkshire to be the biggest and best one yet.

He said: “Lizzie is one of Yorkshire’s top cycling talents and we’re thrilled that she’ll be taking part in the race.

“I’m proud of the fact that we’re able to attract the world’s best cyclists due to the unique benefits our race can offer.

“It’s rare that female riders get to compete on the same course as their male equivalents, and almost unprecedented that their races are broadcast in their entirety like this one will be on ITV4.

“Thanks to our great sponsors we’re able to offer a prize pot of £50,000 as well, which makes the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire one of the most lucrative in the sport.”

Details of all the teams who are competing in the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire will be revealed at Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y17 conference at the York Theatre Royal on Tuesday 21 March. Full line-ups are set to be announced in mid-April.

Full information on the Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire can be found at https://letour.yorkshire.com

Details on the Y17 conference can be found at https://industry.yorkshire.com/industry-events/y17

More information on Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries can be found at https://bikelibraries.yorkshire.com

ASDA Women’s Tour de Yorkshire: Riders’ Take:

Peter Sagan at his Best
World champion Peter Sagan is a funny guy, maybe he doesn’t mean to be, but after Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne Brussel Kuurne his TV appearances were classic!

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