What's Cool In Road Cycling
Lake Tahoe - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Bradley Wiggins pictured during stage - 5 of the Amgen Tour of California 2016 from Lodi to Lake Tahoe - photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2016***USA Out***

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Since the hacking of the WADA computer system, questions have been asked of Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins, more so Wiggins. That’s our TOP STORY. Lots of racing at the weekend: European road championships, Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem, Coppa Agostoni, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Memorial Marco Pantani and the Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais with reports and video. Plus Tom Zirbel Breaks American Hour Record, ENECO Tour and GranPiemonte race preview and contract news including Contador to Trek-Segafredo. A big EuroTrash Monday.

TOP STORY: The Wiggins and Froome TUE controversy
When I read the Fancy Bear hack of the WADA computer and the news of the TUE use of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, it sounded like the Russian hackers had done the two British Tour winners a favor as the medication they were given was just for a hay fever allergy. The two TUEs that Chris Froome received were for corticosteroid prednisolone, the first in May 2013, the second in April 2014, both of these cases are well known and are no surprise.

Looking more closely at Bradley Wiggins TUE use, there are some questions to be answered. Some of Wiggins’ TUEs were for Triamcinolone Acetonide to treat a his pollen allergy and nasal congestion. No problem there. But when you look at the dates of his TUEs, they were all in the lead up days to the Tour de France in 2011 and 12 and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. According to the hackers he was injected with 40mgs of the corticosteroid Triamcinolone Acetonide. OK, so he needed it for his allergy, but due to the side effects of corticosteroids it is not advised to be used for the treatment of hay fever. It is also well known that corticoid use is a good way to lose weight as it helps with fat burning, which will give a rider a higher weight to power ratio (lean muscle).

Froome and Wiggins have not broken any rules as the TUE system allows for them to have the injections, but how much of an advantage did they receive and who else has used the TUE system in this manner? Remember the Fancy Bear hackers only managed to accessed the Olympic riders.

Bradley Wiggins, not so slim these days:
Lake Tahoe - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Bradley Wiggins   pictured during  stage - 5 of the Amgen Tour of California 2016 from Lodi to Lake Tahoe - photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2016***USA Out***

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European Championships 2016
The European Championships took place in Plumelec, France from the 14th to the 18th of September. The championships started with the time trials for juniors, under 23s, men and women and for the first time the elite men have a championships race.

Website: https://uec.ch

Men’s European Road Race
Already the UCI world road race champion, Peter Sagan added another title to his palmarès by winning the inaugural elite European road race championships in Plumelec, France. Racing in the national colors of Slovakia, Peter finished the race with a perfectly timed sprint after a tough day in the saddle culminating with the climb of Cadoudal to the line.

After the race, a clearly delighted Peter was keen to thank his countrymen for their hard work during the race. “I’m extremely happy to be the first ever European Road Champion and it’s an honor for me to take the Slovak colors to the highest spot of the podium. As expected, it was a long and tough race, but in the final lap my legs were strong and I thought I had what it took to jump at the opportunity when it arose.

“I waited until I felt the timing was right to attack and take my chance, although it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated work of all my Slovak team-mates. I dedicate this victory to them as well as the entire country of Slovakia and I congratulate all riders of Tinkoff for their effort in this European Championship.”

Peter lined up at the race alongside Tinkoff teammates Michael Kolar, brother Juraj Sagan, Sergio Paulinho and Michael Gogl, each racing for the respective nations. After an early break of four riders pulled clear the race settled into its rhythm on the circuit around Plumelec, in Brittany, which took in the short but testing climb of the Cadoudal each lap.

With 50km to race the repetitive climbs and fast pace saw a depleted peloton come to within a minute of the last remaining attacker, and this proximity sparked the first of many moves with a strong counterattack going across including Sergio.

This didn’t survive and more and more moves went up the road before eventually being swallowed up, leaving a large number of riders still in contention with one lap to go. A strong solo move in the final lap forced yet another hard chase in the peloton but into the final kilometer everything was back together again.

As the race rounded the last corner, with the finish line in sight, Peter made his move – coming from a strong position at the front to power clear of his rivals and take the title – the first ever elite European road race title with clear space between him and the riders behind.

Peter will now head directly to join his teammates at the Eneco Tour which starts tomorrow in the Netherlands. With several stages that suit the World and European champion’s strengths, it could be a prosperous week for the team as the season starts to draw to a close.
Thanks to the Tinkoff team.

Plumelec - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Sagan Peter (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov)       pictured during  Europeen Championships Cycling - Roadrace Men Elite in Plumelec, France - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Men’s European Road Race Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia) in 5:34:23
2. Julian Alaphilippe (France)
3. Daniel Moreno (Spain)
4. Samuel Dumoulin (France)
5. Peter Vacok (Czech Republic)
6. Rui Costa (Portugal)
7. Tony Gallopin (France)
8. Phlippe Gilbert (Belgium)
9. Diego Ulissi (Italy)
10. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spain).

Sagan wins the Eropean title:

Women’s European Road Race
The Women’s events, the first European champion in history from the Elite category is the Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen who beat in the sprint the Pole Katarzyna Niewiadoma and the Italian Elisa Longo Borghini. Less then fifty kilometers from the finish, eight athletes went into attack: Eraud (France), Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan), Vekemans (Belgium), Brand (Netherlands), Plichta (Poland), Fahlin (Sweden), Stricker (Italy) and Hanselmann (Switzerland). The peloton grouped together again 15 kilometers from the finish. Various riders then tried to attack, but were unsuccessful, right until the final sprint, won by the Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen. The Under 23 title was won by the Pole Niewiadoma, ahead of Cecile Uttrup (Denmark) and the French rider Severine Eraud.

Plumelec - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Van der Breggen Anna (Netherlands / Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team) - Niewiadoma Katarzyna Kasia (Poland / Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team) - Longo Borghini Elisa (Italy / Wiggle High5)   pictured during  European Championships Cycling - Roadrace women in Plumelec, France - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Women’s European Road Race Result:
1. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) in 2:55:55
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
4. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
5. Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania) at 0:01
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) at 0:12
7. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
8. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
9. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)
10. Séverine Eraud (France).

Women’s European championship road race:

European Men’s Time Trial
The first European champion in the history of the Elite category is Jonathan Castroviejo. The Spaniard, a big favorite, didn’t disappoint riding to victory in 58:13 (average of 46.894 km/h) ahead of the Belgian Victor Campenaerts (58:43) and the Italian Moreno Moser who finished in 58:52. The challenging circuits that covered a large part of Morbihan, Brittany, from Josselin to Plumelec (45.5 kilometers for the Men) highlighted the high calibre of riders.

Winner, Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar & Spain): “Taking on such a TT just four days after a Vuelta a España is really difficult. It all depends on how you have finished things off there, if your team did well and you’ve got morale – I really tried to recover as much as possible, eat much and healthy, have as much rest as possible, and keeping my mind focused on this tough course, almost an hour-long one, with rough roads, small climbs, plenty of elevation gain. Fortunately, things turned out well. Having such experience from so many close calls really helped me today. You know that in such demanding courses, an effort of 55-60 minutes, everything can be lost on the last few kilometers, and as we saw that the start also suggested to take on a big gear and push hard, I rather decided to save some energy and stay calm for the end. We knew the Côte de Cadoudal and it was more than necessary to save some legs for the end. That was the plan, we developed it, and we delivered – I’m so happy! The Qatar Worlds? Well, we’ve got time before that. For me, the most important thing now is having some more rest, recovering also my head and not only my legs – and enjoying my family, whom I dedicate this victory. My wife and my child really suffered after my hard injury in February, and I can’t thank them enough for remaining close and caring. After that, we will race a couple of race with the team in Italy and we will start thinking about the Worlds after that. When it comes to physical work, we’ve done more than enough before Doha already!”

Second, Victor Campenaerts (LottoNl-Jumbo & Belgium): “I am happy with the silver medal, for me that was the highest achievable today. Castroviejo was a top favorite and he showed us his favorite-status. Castroviejo rode a minute faster than me in the time trial in the Vuelta and was now 30 seconds faster. I’m glad I was able to put in such a good time trial. We reconned the course and I knew on the last hills that I had an advantage. When I heard that I was third at the last intermediate point, I knew I would end up on the podium. The past few days were tough. Monday, I came back from Spain and I felt really like a wreck, I even considered not starting. But the medical staff said that it was nothing serious. From then I focused on today. Yesterday my legs felt good again and I noticed that I had power enough to ride a good time trial. Now, I can finally rest after these tough weeks. It was too short between the Vuelta and the European Championships to take rest so I’m going to rest the next weeks.” The Qatar Worlds is the next goal. “With our strong team we can go for a good result at the World Championship TTT. After that, the individual time trial, and I want to participate for a strong performance.”

Men’s European Championship ITT Result:
1. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) at 58:13
2. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) at 0:30
3. Moreno Moser (Italy) at 0:39
4. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) at 0:56
5. Anthony Roux (France) at 0:59
6. Yves Lampaert (Belgium) at 1:01
7. Primoz Roglic (Slovenia) at 1:07
8. Nicolas Roche (Ireland) at 1:14
9. Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) at 1:16
10. Anton Vorobyev (Russia).

Euro TT Champ, Jonathan Castroviejo:
Championnats d'Europe de Cyclisme 2016 - Campionati Europei - Plumelec - 45,5 km Uomini Elite - 14/09/2016 - Jonathan Castroviejo (Spagna) - foto Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

Women’s European Time Trial
Ellen van Dijk the Dutch rider won in 36:41 ahead of her compatriot, gold medallist in the Road race in Rio de Janeiro, Anna van der Breggen (36:59) and the Russian Olga Zabelinskaya (37:04). After having already won the Time-Trial European title in the Under 23s in 2008 and 2009, Ellen Van Dijk is the first rider to win the Elite category.

Women’s European Championship TT Result:
1. Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands) in 36:41
2. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) at 0:18
3. Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia) at 0:23
4. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus) at 1:32
5. Audrey Cordon Ragot (France) at 1:49
6. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Belgium) at 1:50
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) at 1:55
8. Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland) at 2:25
9. Olena Pavlukhina (Azerbaijan) at 2:31
10. Edwige Pitel (France) at 2:33.

Euro TT Champ, Ellen Van Dijk:
Plumelec - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Van Dijk Ellen (Netherlands / Boels Dolmans Cycling Team)  pictured during  European Championships Cycling -  Women  - ITT Time Trial individual - in Plumelec, France - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

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Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem 2016
At just 22 years of age, Fernando Gaviria (Etixx – Quick-Step) has all that it takes to become a huge rider: talent, panache, striking versatility, huge ambition and a strong and dominant team by his side, capable of protecting him and making the difference when it matters. All these were there for everyone to see in such events such as the Tour de San Luis, Tirreno-Adriatico or the Tour de Pologne, and most recently in the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem (Brakel – Boortmeerbeek, 200 kilometers), one of the last Belgian races of the year.

Benjamin Giraud (Delko Marseille), Tom Dernies (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Julien Mortier (Color Code), Timothy Stevens (Crelan-Vastgoedservice), Preben Van Hecke (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) were the six man to book a place on Saturday in the break which needed more than 40 kilometers to establish. As their lead didn’t go north of four minutes, the escapees were brought back with 50 kilometers left, under the impetus of Etixx – Quick-Step and BMC.

It was no surprise that the race continued at an aggressive pace, and soon, another group formed, Fernando Gaviria, Magnus Cort (Orica-BikeExchange), Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) being some of the big names who pulled to build a maximum gap of 30 seconds. That group, although a strong one, was reabsorbed by the peloton 9 kilometers away from the line and despite several riders attempting to get clear and outfox the bunch, everything sticked together until the finish.

Etixx – Quick-Step moved to the front with two kilometers to go and delivered a solid and impressive lead-out to Fernando Gaviria, who finished off the work of his teammates in spectacular fashion, getting the better of his opponents to become the first Colombian winner of the Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem. Timothy Dupont (Verandas Willems) was second, while Max Richeze, the last man in Fernando’s train, rounded out the podium of the 19th edition.

“It was a complicated and nervous race today. When Van Avermaet attacked, I jumped immediately, because I sensed that the move could have a chance to go all the way. Then, when they caught us, we switched our focus to the bunch sprint. Julien, Guillaume, Fabio and Max all brought me in an excellent position from which I couldn’t miss. After coming second yesterday in Koolskamp, where my legs weren’t so good, I wanted to repay them for their hard work and I’m happy to have managed that”, said the 22-year-old, who netted Etixx – Quick-Step’s 51st victory of the season.

Fernando Gaviria is the most successful neo-pro of 2016 in terms of victories, with six wins in the bag, and the one he got on Saturday afternoon has a special meaning for him: “I can’t describe how delighted I am for taking my first ever victory in Belgium, a country I love and which breathes cycling, a country with incredible fans and spectacular races. I like this kind of parcours, with short climbs and cobbles, as it really suits me. I am extremely happy for winning today. Now I will continue to work hard for the final races of the season and give it my all for Etixx – Quick-Step.”
Thanks to the Etixx – Quick-Step team for the race info.

Grand Prix Impanis-Van Petegem Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:37:20
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
3. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange
6. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
7. Kevin Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
8. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Den) Stôlting Service Group
10. Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha.

Grand Prix Impanis:

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Coppa Agostoni 2016
On the final straight in Lissone, Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF) beat Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) into 2nd place in the Coppa Agostoni (199 km), at the end of a performance which could be considered as a good test for their participation in the European Championships.

The epilogue of the Italian race was a sprint from a group which had been selected by the four laps of the circuit using the climb of Lissolo, the last time with still 34 km left to go.

The breakaway of 13 riders led the race for most part of the course, it split to leave 6 riders out front. The bunch allowed the attackers a maximum advantage of 5:40 and did not catch them until 10km to finish. In the final sprint, Ulissi tried to battle against Colbrelli, however he had to surrender to the speed of his opponent.

2nd, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “I obtained the third place in the GP Montreal, it would have been great to win here, however I’m satisfied for the feedbacks I had during the race about my condition. My legs were very good on the climbs, unfortunately no actions could give troubles to the sprinters such as Colbrelli. In the approach of the sprint, I succeeded in being in the head positions, but Colbrelli is faster, that’s why I consider the second place as a good result.”

Coppa Agostoni Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF in 5:05:57
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Italian National Team
5. Grega Bole (Slo) Nippo-Vini Fantini
6. Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
7. Andrea Fedi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
8. Marco Tizza (Ita) d’Amico-Bottecchia
9. Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
10. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Coppa Agostoni:

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Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen 2016
Timothy Dupont (Verandas Willems) won the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen in Koolskamp on Friday. The 28-year-old Belgian out-sprinted Etixx – Quickstep’s Colombian fast-man Fernando Gaviria. Etixx still had seven men left at the end for the sprint lead-out work, but the young Colombian went too early into a headwind and slowed before the line. Raymond Kreder (Roompot-Oranje Peloton) was third.

Truls Engen Korsaeth (Joker-Byggtorget) had been in many of the late escapes, and then went solo with 6 kilometers left. Etixx – Quick-Step tried their hardest to pull back Korsaeth, but it took till 100 meters to the line before he was caught.

Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen Result:
1. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems in 4:14:03
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
4. Kenny De Haes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Cibel-Cebon
10. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Team 3M.

Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen:

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Memorial Marco Pantani 2016
Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) won the Memorial Pantani on Saturday, the Italian was the fastest of the 20 runner break who managed to maintain their advantage over the peloton to prevent a mass sprint. Matteo Busato (Wilier-Southeast) and Paolo Totò (Norda-Mg. K Vis) completed the podium. Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) crashed in the sprint and crossed the finish line on foot, but was classed as abandoned.

Memorial Marco Pantani Result:
1. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec in 4:28:50
2. Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier-Southeast
3. Paolo Totò (Ita) Norda-Mg. K Vis
4. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Marco Tizza (Ita) d’Amico-Bottecchia
6. Gian Marco Di Francesco (Ita) Norda-Mg. K Vis
7. Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
8. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi-Polkowice
9. Davide Mucelli (Ita) Meridiana Kamen
10. Marco Tecchio (Ita) Unieuro Wilier.

Memorial Marco Pantani:

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Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais 2016
Kristoffer Halvorsen (Joker-Byggtorget) took an impressive win at the GP d’Isbergues on Sunday. Vegard Breen (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) was caught in the final kilometer and the young Norwegian beat Romain Feillu (HP-BTP Auber 93) and Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect) in the sprint. Britain’s Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Viatl Concept) took fourth.

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Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais Result:
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Joker-Byggtorget in 4:52:15
2. Romain Feillu (Fra) HP-BTP Auber 93
3. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
4. Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
5. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Roubaix Metropole Europeenne De Lille
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
7. Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team Joker-Byggtorget
8. Clément Venturini (Fra) Cofidis
9. Julien Duval (Fra) Armee de Terre
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier-Southeast.

Isbergues 2016:

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Tom Zirbel Breaks American Hour Record
Rally Cycling Rider Ends Career with New Standard of 53.037 Kilometers.

Tom Zirbel smashed the American hour record today in Aguascalientes, Mexico. In his final event as a professional cyclist, Zirbel powered around the velodrome to set a new standard of 53.037 kilometers (32.95 miles). Zirbel topped the almost two-decade old record of 51.505 kilometer set by Norm Alvis in 1997. In setting the American Hour record, Zirbel also set the second fastest hour record time in the world.

“This is the perfect way to end my career,” said Zirbel. “I am so thankful to Rally Cycling for giving me the opportunity to break the record. From the first time we got on the track we knew it was wicked fast. It was really a matter of managing my effort so I didn’t explode. I didn’t want to miss the American record so we went out conservatively. It’s a crazy event, a rollercoaster. An hour is a long time to be stuck in your own thoughts. I had some doubts out there – not sure if I could do it. Once I hit 15 minutes to go, I knew it was time to pick it up and give it everything I had. I am really pleased to break 53 kilometers – that was my secondary goal.”

Tom Zirbel with the Rally Cycling support staff:
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The hour record formerly consisted of two different classifications – the UCI Hour Record and the Best Human Effort. The categorization was seen as necessary due to the explosion in technological improvements and non-standard designs of bicycles in the late 1990s. In 2014, the UCI unified the hour record to allow bicycles that are legal for track distance cycling. This set off renewed interest in the event and eight riders have since attempted to set new marks. Until today, two British riders held the two top spots in the record books. In May of 2015 Alex Dowsett set a mark of 52.937 kilometers, which at the time was the world’s fastest. Then, in June of that year, former Tour de France champion and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins set the new mark at 54.526 – largely believed to be the defining ride in this discipline.

Tom Zirbel was calm and concentrated before starting his record-breaking ride at the Velódromo Bicentenario de Aguascalientes. His demeanor stood in sharp contrast to the fiestas and revelers throughout the town celebrating Mexican Independence Day on September 15. Once the buzzer sounded, Zirbel quickly got up to speed and settled in for one of the longest hours of his life. Throughout his effort, his lap times remained consistent, until the final 15 minutes when Zirbel increased his speed – an extremely rare feat for an hour record attempt. His efforts were rewarded as he became only the second rider in the world to break the 53 kilometer barrier.

Tom Zirbel’s American Hour record Diamondback Serios:
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Before his record-breaking ride, Zirbel trained at altitude at the Boulder Valley Velodrome. The velodrome is the same dimensions and was designed by the same person, Peter Junek, as the track in Aguascalientes. Rally Cycling chose Aguascalientes due to its high elevation (6,194 ft) and reputation as one of the fastest tracks in the world. In Mexico since Monday, Rally Cycling used the work week to dial in his modified Diamondback Serios. Looking to maximize every watt, Zirbel’s record breaking machine was equipped with HED disc wheels, HED Corsair E Flat aero bars, Speedplay Zero Aero pedals and a ISM Adamo Podium saddle. Rally Cycling technical clothing sponsor Borah Teamwear provided Zirbel with his skinsuit and Lazer his WASP aero helmet.

“It is beautiful to see someone end their career with such a big accomplishment,” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “Tom has been great to work with, just fantastic. He has been a great team player and to see him set the American Record right before he retires is really satisfying. Today, everything went really smoothly. It is relaxed here in Aguascalientes and everyone here at the velodrome is super helpful. We started conservatively and slowly ramped it up. The middle part of his effort was really steady. In the last 15-minutes he just started to ramp it up and pushed it past the 53-kilometer mark. He rode almost a perfect event, I don’t think he could have paced it better. We picked the right gear, the equipment and the right schedule for it all to come together.”

American Hour Record
Tom Zirbel: 53.037.

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ENECO Tour 2016
The ENECO Tour starts today (Monday) and finishes on Sunday the 25th of September. The course takes in Holland and Belgium with five road stage, one individual time trial and a team time trial. The race is a mix of the Low Country Classics with cobbles in Flanders and climbs in the Ardennes.

Stage 1: Bolsward – Bolsward, 184.7km
The opening stage of the Eneco Tour gets underway with a mainly flat opening parcours that skirts the northern coast of the Netherlands. After the possibility of winds to deal with, there’s also a technical finishing circuit to take on too.

Stage 2: Breda – Breda, 9.6km TT
The second day sees the race’s first time trial, covering just under 10km. The course is fairly straight forward, with few corners and a mainly flat route that suits the powerful time triallists, so we can expect some fast times by the end of the day.

Stage 3: Blankenberge – Ardooie, 182.3km
The outcome of stage 3 will probably be quite similar to that of the first day, with a course that also follows the coast before a finishing circuit suiting the fast men.

Stage 4: Aalter – St-Pieters-Leeuw, 201.4km
Although there’s climbs on stage 4, several cobblestone sections could prove more decisive than the hills. There’s a real feel about the spring classics on such a stage, but the riders will be hoping for the summer weather to make life a bit easier on the testing sections.

Stage 5: Sittard-Geelen – Sittard-Geelen, 20.9km TTT
After stage 2’s individual effort, stage 5 will see the aero bikes back out of the trucks for a team time trial covering just shy of 21km. The route takes in two climbs as well as some technical sections, so strong teamwork will be key for a result here.

Stage 6: Riemst – Lanaken, 185.2km
Heading into the region of the Ardennes classics, stage 6 will tackle some climbing but nothing that should see and huge splits. Most probably one for the puncheurs, the penultimate stage here should set the riders up for the final test tomorrow.

Stage 7: Bornem – Geraardsbergen, 197.8km
The second longest stage of the race comes on the final day, with a tough circuit that tackles several climbs on its way to the finish in Geraardsbergen, including three ascents of the infamous Muur. With the sprinters having had their stage opportunities earlier in the week, this will be an opportunity for the puncheurs to again come to the fore and possibly battle out the final general classification.

Website: https://www.enecotour.com

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BMC Racing Team Targets Eneco Tour Success
BMC Racing Team will bring a strong and versatile team to the last UCI WorldTour stage race of the season when Eneco Tour gets underway on Monday 19, September.

The seven stages provide multiple opportunities for BMC Racing Team, Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.

“Eneco Tour is the last UCI WorldTour stage race of the season so it’s an important race for the team. We have multiple objectives going into the race including the General Classification with Greg Van Avermaet, who was on the podium last year, and the team time trial. In addition, Rohan Dennis is lining up with fantastic form as he showed at Tour of Britain and he’ll be targeting the individual time trial, as well as being our other protected rider alongside Van Avermaet,” Baldato explained.

“We are always motivated to do well when there is a team time trial on the program, especially as this will serve as a warm up for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships.”

Dennis says the time trials will play an important role in the General Classification.

“Since the Tour of Britain I have been feeling pretty good. I would love to carry this form into Eneco Tour and hopefully get an opportunity for a stage or maybe even the General Classification. The TT and TTT will help make those objectives possible but everyone knows that Eneco Tour can throw a few curve balls at you so the road stages are just as important with making time up on others for GC.”

Eneco Tour (19-25 September)
Rider Roster:

Tom Bohli (SUI), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA).

Joey Rosskopf:
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Preview Eneco Tour with two-time winner Tim Wellens
This year the Eneco Tour is scheduled later than usual. On Monday, September 19th the start of the twelfth edition will be given in Friesland (The Netherlands). The first stage will take place in the Dutch city Bolsward. Seven days later the race will arrive in Geraardsbergen and then we know who will be the successor of Tim Wellens.

The first two stages of this year’s Eneco Tour are ridden in the Netherlands. The first stage covers a flat circuit in Friesland. The second day an individual time trial of 9.6 kilometers is scheduled in Breda. The next two days will be spent in Belgium. The stage from Blankenberge to Ardooie is once again flat. Only in the finale of the fourth stage, the riders have to face some hills. On Friday there is a team time trial of 20.9 kilometers in Sittard-Geleen. During the team time trial, there are two difficulties: the Hillensberg and the Windraak. The last stages in the weekend are a little bit harder and hillier. On Saturday there is the so-called ‘Ardennes stage’. In the last fifty kilometers six hills lie on the course, quite close to each other. On the way to the finish in Lanaken, it’s still possible that dropped riders can come back to the peloton because of flat kilometers in the end. On the last day the Walloon Ardennes are swapped for the Flemish Ardennes as the stage goes from Bornem to Geraardsbergen. After a long flat start, the riders have to overcome 21 hills and in the last three local rounds the Muur of Geraardsbergen has to be climbed every time. The finish is located halfway this mythical climb.

Sports director Herman Frison finds the course of this edition of the Eneco Tour not too difficult. He sees it as a preparation for the World Championships in Qatar.

Herman Frison, sports director: “It looks like the Eneco Tour is based on the World Championships in Qatar. First of all it’s scheduled much later than usual in the cycling calendar and there are a lot of flat stages. Not even the stage in the Ardennes is hard. All courses are rather flat and the first day could be a simulation of what can happen in Qatar: if there is a bit of wind, the riders can form echelons. The hardest day on the bike will be the stage to Geraardsbergen, but that’s the last one and usually the team of the GC leader controls the race and then there are no big differences anymore. The individual time trial and the team time trial will be very important to take time because all the other stages will end in a sprint. If you look at the team selections, you notice riders like Kittel and Groenewegen. Lotto Soudal can rely on a strong sprint train with Greipel, Debusschere, Roelandts, Sieberg and Bak. All our riders have the skills to do well in the sprint and team time trial.”

“Our first goal is to bring home a victory as fast as possible. We want to show that we can win a stage. After that we want a good GC of course. It’s not sure yet if Tim Wellens will be the GC rider of the team. We’ll make the ultimate decision after the team time trial. It depends on who’s in the best spot then to go for the classification. The stage in the Ardennes is not hard enough for Wellens to make big time differences. That’s why also the bonus seconds at the finish will be important. However, I always say that the course doesn’t have to be tough to make it a tough race. So that’s what Lotto Soudal is going to try: make the race hard.”

Tim Wellens won the general classification of the Eneco Tour two times in a row now, but he says that this year it will be harder to achieve a good result.

Tim Wellens: “I cherish the Eneco Tour very much. In 2014 this race was my first victory so that’s why I’m very attached to it. This year it will be harder to win the GC again. First of all because I’m not as good as I hoped. After the races in Canada I participated in the GP de Wallonie and I wasn’t good. Maybe I had bad legs or maybe I still suffered of the long flight back home. I don’t know. Adding to that, the course of this year’s Eneco Tour doesn’t suit me very well. The organization decided to cut my favorite stage, the one to La Redoute. Fortunately the time trial and the team time trial are no disadvantage. The circuit of the individual time trial is the same as the one in 2014. Usually I’m not at my best in a flat time trial, but if the legs are good that shouldn’t make any difference.”

“The stage in the Ardennes is usually the stage where I take over the leader’s jersey. This year the finish is in Lanaken and the flat finale will make big time differences almost impossible. The last stage to Geraardsbergen will be the most important one in this edition but also the bonus seconds and the time trial will be decisive. After the time trial on the second day we’ll know immediately if I can set a good overall result or not.”

Line-up:
Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jens Debusschere, Jasper De Buyst, Frederik Frison, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

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Eneco Tour – Oliver Naesen: “IAM Cycling has what it takes to play for the win”
THE EXCLAMATION: From Oliver Naesen: “IAM Cycling has what it takes to play for the win at the Eneco Tour.”

THE EXPLANATION: Again offered by Oliver Naesen: “Without wanting to sound pretentious, and firmly keeping our feet on the ground, we have some serious arguments for success. In all likelihood, the Eneco Tour will be decided by small differences. And those differences will mostly be made in the individual time trial and the team time trial. And with engines like Matthias Brändle, Reto Hollenstein, Roger Kluge, Martin Elmiger, and Dries Devenyns, we have some very strong rouleurs. ”

THE FACT OF THE DAY: The IAM Cycling riders will already be gathered together on Saturday evening so that they can work together on Sunday practicing their technique for the team time trial. They will all work on getting their rotation down so that they can be as effective as possible.

THE ANALYSIS: As provided by Rik Verbrugghe, sports manager for IAM Cycling. Directeurs sportifs Thierry Marichal and Lionel Marie will accompany him throughout the stage race that will start in the Netherlands and finish on the famous Mur de Grammont in Belgium. “We will really have to be careful every second of the first stage not to be caught out by echelons. In Zeeland, and in many of the other stages as well, the wind direction can cause breaks in the pack and echelons that could decide the fate of the race. Of course, there will be other tricky moments with a difficult stage that is worthy of an Amstel Gold Race, and the final finish line on Sunday at the top of a seriously difficult bump.”

THE MEMORY: For the 2015 edition that was won by Tim Wellens (Soudal Lotto), and took place in its usual August time slot, Reto Hollenstein ended the race as the best-placed IAM Cycling rider in 15th position. Meanwhile, Matthias Brändle and Jonas Van Genechten each took a fifth place on a stage to notch up the team’s best individual results for the week of racing.

THE NUMBER: 336. That is the number of World Tour points that IAM Cycling has earned since the beginning of the 2016 season, tallying 147 more points than in the whole of 2015. This has not prevented the Swiss team from occupying the second to last place in the standings for World Tour teams that are led by Movistar with 1411 points.

Coureurs:
Matthias Brändle (Aut), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Martin Elmiger (S), Heinrich Haussler (Aus), Reto Hollenstein (S), Roger Kluge (All), Oliver Naesen (Bel), Jonas Van Genechten (Bel).
Manager sportif: Rik Verbrugghe.
Directeurs sportifs: Thierry Marichal, Lionel Marie.

Dries Devenyns:
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Peter Sagan leads Tinkoff at penultimate WorldTour race of the season, Eneco Tour
Following a successful racing trip to Canada, with a win at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and a second place in Montréal, Peter Sagan will continue his pursuit of WorldTour points at the Eneco Tour as he looks to regain his top-spot in the UCI individual rider rankings. He will head to the race straight from participating at the European road race championships in Plumelec, Brittany, this Sunday.

Peter will be joined in the seven-day race, starting in the Netherlands and finishing in Belgium, by a strong line-up able to challenge across all of the various stages and terrains the race offers. Maciej Bodnar will lead the team’s time trialling hopes, with the Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov adding firepower to the roster. Erik Baška and Oscar Gatto add to the team’s sprint support around Peter, while the versatile Michael Valgren could also shine in the overall classification.

“It was great to get back on track in Québec and Montréal last weekend, and I really wasn’t expecting to win so that was good to confirm the legs were still there,” Peter Sagan told us ahead of the race. “I’ve never raced the Eneco Tour before but it’s a race that suits my strengths and together with a strong team I think that we can go for some good results.

“There’s a strong field but with the guys we’ve got here I think we can make the racing and go for it every stage. It has already been a long season and I will go straight into the race from the European Championships on Sunday so I will see how my legs recover. But we’re motivated to get into the action and to see what we can do.”

The race gets underway with an opening road stage that should suit a bunch sprint. However, with a parcours that skirts the coast line, the race runs the risk of being exposed to winds which could have an impact on the stage. A short, 9.6km individual time trial follows, which shouldn’t see huge time gaps, and with a course that suits the powerful riders, Bodnar will be looking to target a result here.

The following days represent a mix of sprint stages combined with tougher days that take in elements of the spring classics, including cobblestones, short climbs and the potential to encounter crosswinds.

A team time trial on stage 5 will see all the guys band together for a collective effort, before the final two stages that start to take in some more climbing before the finish. Stage 7 in particular will be key for the fight for the overall, with the race finishing in Geraardsbergen, where the 2016 winner will be confirmed.

Sport Director, Tristan Hoffman, heads to the race in charge of a strong Tinkoff team that’s capable of shining here over the course of the week. “Of course with Peter here, he will be our absolute leader. And we have some strong guys around him including Bodnar who should be up there in the time trial. Then we have Valgren who could be a possibility for the overall fight depending on how the race develops, but our principle focus is Peter.

“Eneco is known as the sprinters race and there are lots of time bonifications to watch out for, with two sprints every day with 3, 2 and 1 seconds on offer. Then you have the ‘Golden Sprints’ where there’s more time available, and these come later in the stages so they will be interesting. There are several days that suit Peter’s strengths and I think the team time trial could also be a good one for the guys when you look at who we have here. There’s a very strong start list here, probably one of the strongest I’ve seen, and it also depends on how the first four stages go.”

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Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Sprints and Attacks for Lampre-Merida in Benelux
Eneco Tour, which is scheduled from 19 to 25 September, is the second to last event of the World Tour circuit: seven stages, included an individual time trial (2nd stage) and a team time trial (5th stage).

Lampre-Merida will be directed by the sports directors Scirea-Maini and in the lineup there will be eight riders: Yukiya Arashiro, Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Mario Costa, Roberto Ferrari, Marko Kump, Sacha Modolo and Luka Pibernik.

The members of the operative staff will be the mechanics Bacchion, Coelho and Chiodini, the masseurs Gallivanone, Lima and Santerini, the team physician Doctor Ronchi and the driver Bozzolo.

The group of the fast riders of the team will have as members Cimolai, Ferrari, Kump and Modolo and the other four blue-fuchsia-green athletes, who are Arashiro, Bono, Mario Costa and Pibernik, will have the task to try to join the breakaways.

Yukiya Arashiro:
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Etixx – Quick-Step to Eneco Tour
A versatile squad is ready for the final World Tour stage race of the season, which will take place between 19-25 September.

Raced in the Netherlands and Belgium over seven days and nearly 1,000 kilometers, the Eneco Tour is well-known for giving opportunities to all type of riders, from sprinters to time trialists and from cobbles specialists to the Ardennes men. A short ITT, a 20.9-km long team time trial and a couple of stages which include some tough climbs, such as Côte du Bois de la Dame, Rue Trois Fontaines, D’Houppe, Bosberg or the legendary Muur van Geraardsbergen, will be decisive for the final general classification.

After making its debut last year, the golden kilometer returns at the 12th edition of the race and could play an important part in the outcome, in addition to the regular bonus seconds awarded to the first three riders at the end of each road stage. Last but not least, also the weather can make the race harder, creating significant damages in the standings at the end of the day.

Over the years, Etixx – Quick-Step took 16 stage victories at the Eneco Tour and will look to add to this impressive tally next week, when it will field Tom Boonen, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Marcel Kittel, Tony Martin, 2013 race winner Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra and Matteo Trentin at the start in Bolsward, which gets to host the depart for the second consecutive year.

Sport director Tom Steels, who’ll join the riders from the team car, previewed the week-long race: “Eneco Tour won’t be easy, with all the cobbles, hills and the two stages against the clock, but we are motivated to leave our mark on it. We can be protagonists on the flat and in the time trials, so we hope to get some good results there, while in the overall we’ll have several cards to play – with the likes of Bob, Tony and Niki – but we will take things day by day and see how it goes. There’s also the golden kilometer and we must pay attention to it, because those seconds can prove important at the end of the week. I’m sure the race is going to be an exciting one and it will come down to the last stage, as the gaps won’t be too big up until that point.”

19.09–25.09 Eneco Tour (GER) 2.UWT
Riders:

Tom Boonen (BEL), Bob Jungels (LUX), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Marcel Kittel (GER), Tony Martin (GER), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Niki Terpstra (NED), Matteo Trentin (ITA).
Sports Director Wilfried Peeters (BEL) & Tom Steels (BEL).

Stampa

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Preview: Eneco Tour
Boasson Hagen looks to win 3rd Eneco Tour title of career.

The penultimate World Tour race of the year gets underway, Eneco Tour. The 7 stage Dutch race will include 5 road stages, an individual time trial on stage 2 and a team time trial on stage 5. The final stage will see the riders finish in Geraardsbergen after the start takes place Bolsward tomorrow.

It will be the first time Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka start the Eneco Tour and our African Team look forward to a good, hard week of racing. As a two-time victor of the Eneco Tour, Edvald Boasson Hagen will be our leader for the race as he tries to add a 3rd Eneco Tour title to his palmarès.

The road stages will typically suit our Norwegian champion with all the climbs being of a short sharp nature, it will be the small roads and wind that could see time being won or lost on these days. The two time trial stages is where a definite shake up on the GC will take place. The 9.6km individual time trial should suit Boasson Hagen perfectly while he will need to rely on his teammates for the stage 5, 21km team time trial.

Bernie Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar, Nathan Haas, Youcef Reguigui, Jay Thomson and Johann van Zyl will be the 7 riders riding in service of Boasson Hagen over the coming week. As a number of riders use the Eneco Tour as preparation for the World Championships, a high quality race is expected once again.

Jay Thomson – Rider
It’ll be my first time at Eneco Tour and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully we can carry some of our success from the Tour of Britain, Vuelta and Canadian races to Eneco. We going to the race with an experienced team, especially with Edvald having won the overall twice before. We will be looking to him to repeat that feat. With one individual team time trial and a team trial, it’s going to be all about the team being super strong to help set up Edvald for the overall.

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GranPiemonte 2016: A Great Race in a Great Land
The route of the 100th edition, 207km from Diano d’Alba to Agliè, will suit the group’s fastest wheels. 19 teams start, including the Italian National Team.

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The 100th edition of the GranPiemonte NamedSport was presented today in the prestigious venue of the Piedmont Region in Piazza Castello in Turin. The race, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport in collaboration with the Piedmont Region, is scheduled for Thursday 29 September. The route, 207km from Diano d’Alba to Agliè is best suited to sprinters and finisseurs.

Belgian Jan Bakelants of AG2R La Mondiale Team celebrates on the podium of​ the ​Gran Piemonte ​cycling ​race, over 1​85 km from ​San Francesco al Campo, Turin to ​Ciriè, Turin, Italy, ​2 ​October​2015.​ ANSA/​CLAUDIO PERI
Last year’s winner, Jan Bakelants, with the distinctive winner’s trophy

The Course
The route is mostly flat. Starting in Diano d’Alba and running slightly uphill, the course drops into Alba and runs across part of the Po Plain and Montferrat. The first 160km run on flat, relatively wide roads, crossing a few city centers in-between – such as Asti, Casale Monferrato, Santhià and Ivrea. Past Ivrea, the route takes in the Alice Superiore climb (7km with an average 5% gradient) and heads for the final sector across Castellamonte and San Giorgio Canavese, leading to the finish slightly uphill until Piazza del Castello.

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Points of Interest
The first part of the race passes through the Langhe, famous for its traditional wines (most notably Dolcetto d’Alba and Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba); the hazelnuts of the Langhe and the white truffles of Alba.

Alba
The Province of Cuneo is called the “Granda”, due to its remarkable territorial extension. The course runs into Alba, the historical and economical capital of the Langhe, on the right hand side of the Tanaro river, which offers a beautiful landscape of hills rich of vineyards. The historical centre has characteristic medieval structure with plenty of towers and Romanic-Gothic monuments (the City Hall, the Duomo, St. John’s Church). The blessed (Beato) Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971), native of Fossano, founded in Alba the Pauline Editions (Edizioni Paoline). Beppe Fenoglio (1922-1963) was a writer and partisan, from very close to Alba. The Bagna Cauda is a typical dish of Astigiano and Langhe made with garlic, olive oil and anchovies.

Asti
This world-renowned wine producing area, especially known for Asti Spumante, is also famous for the historical Palio event – among the oldest in Italy – held in September and ending with a bareback horse race. The second part is in the Monferrato, a land famous for wines such as the Spumante of Asti and the Barbera of Monferatto.

Casale Monferrato
Roman Municipium, the town was the most important centre in the area. After a period of decadence, due to the fall of the Western Roman Empire and to the barbarian invasions, it became a free town. Later, it was part of the Gonzaga domain, who built one of the biggest and most prestigious European citadels. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was disputed between the French and the Spanish; during the Italian Risorgimento was a defensive bulwark against the Austrian empire. After Casale and Trino (famous for the former electronuclear power plant Enrico Fermi, one of the biggest in the world during the 1960s) the route runs across the lowland in the area of the paddies; Arborio rice is named after a village not far from Vercelli.

Cavaglià
In Covaglià there is an recently restored “cromlechs” megalithic circle. The course touches Viverone Lake in the foothills of the Serra Morenica, an important resource for birdlife and fish.

Ivrea
The course passes by Ivrea, the “capital” of Canavese, an important city for history, culture and activities such as the famous Carnival. The Castle of the Three Towers – built in 1357, entirely in brick – is the emblem of the city and was also mentioned by Carducci. Ivrea is linked to the name Olivetti. The Giro d’Italia had its finish line here in 2013, witnessing the Spaniard Benat Intxausti’s victory.

Castellamonte
Castellamonte’s name reflects its shape at the foot of the hill, in a horseshoe shape, with the medieval Castle dominating the scene from above.

Ozegna
The present structure of the charming Ozegna medieval castle dates back to the fifteenth century. Ozegna was the finish of the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia 1976 (Varazze-Ozegna), when the Belgian Rik Van Linden beat his compatriot Patrick Sercu and Marino Basso.

Agliè
Agliè is a small town of the Canavese, with an agricultural economy. In the past it was the seat of a famous silk factory, of a weaving factory and also home of a Olivetti factory, where the famous “Letter 22” typewriter was produced. The imposing Ducal Castle (12th century), site of this race’s finish line, was the summer residence of the Savoy family. Agliè is the origin of the Savoy family and the place where the poet Guido Gozzano (1883-1916, a member of the “crepuscular current”) spent his holidays, at the Apple Orchard villa.

Belgian Jan Bakelants of AG2R La Mondiale Team on the finish line of​ the ​Gran Piemonte ​cycling ​race, over 1​85 km from ​San Francesco al Campo, Turin to ​Ciriè, Turin, Italy, ​2 ​October​2015.​​ ANSA/​CLAUDIO PERI
Last year’s finish line

Teams:
100th GranPiemonte – 29 September (19 Teams: 10 UCI WorldTeams, 8 UCI Professional Continental Teams and the Italian National Team)

AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM (USA)
ETIXX – QUICK STEP (BEL)
LAMPRE – MERIDA (ITA)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
TEAM KATUSHA (RUS)
TEAM SKY (GBR)
TINKOFF (RUS)

ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF (ITA)
CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA (ESP)
CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE (POL)
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS (FRA)
GAZPROM-RUSVELO (RUS)
NIPPO – VINI FANTINI (ITA)
WILIER TRIESTINA – SOUTHEAST (ITA)

NAZIONALE ITALIANA (ITA)

Il Gran Piemonte 2015:

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Alberto Contador to join Trek-Segafredo
Trek-Segafredo is proud to confirm that 33-year-old Alberto Contador will be joining the pinstriped team in 2017. Contador, who needs little introduction, has won all three Grand Tours in addition to numerous other victories and is arguably one of the best stage racers of the modern era.

Trek-Segafredo is also pleased to welcome climber Jesús Hernández and staff member Steven de Jongh.

Contador: “I am thrilled about the opportunity that is in front of me. Trek-Segafredo is a very attractive and ambitious project that really inspires me. I had some excellent conversations with the team management, and we have a lot of goals and priorities in common. The big objective is to try and win the most important races on the calendar – first and foremost the Tour de France.”

“The sporting side was the key point in my decision. This team is focused on performance, and there’s a really strong group of riders with experience in all kinds of terrain, not only the mountains. I like that it’s such an open, international group of riders. I am convinced that this team can provide me with the best structure and bring me in the best conditions to the races. I race to win, and I am determined to get intensely invested in this team.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Alberto is a formidable rider and a real fighter. He’s a champion. There is really no one like Alberto in the current peloton, and we are very happy to welcome him to the team. With Alberto, I believe we are taking the next step in developing our team. Next year we’ll be stronger and all-around better and broader.”

Jesús Hernández, Contador’s trusted teammate from 2000 to 2005 and from 2009 to present, is also joining Trek-Segafredo: “I am really happy to come back to Trek because I also rode a Trek bike in 2009. Alberto is like my brother and coming back with him to the Trek family is really something special. It means a lot to me.

“2017 will bring once again a new experience and so I am really looking forward to starting the next season with renewed ambition. Obviously, my main ambition is to support Alberto and the other leaders of the team. When they are happy with my work, I will be happy as well.”

Finally, the team is welcoming Steven de Jongh to the staff of the team. He joins the existing group of experienced sports directors at Trek-Segafredo. He has been supporting Alberto Contador from the team car since 2013 and is a trusted colleague of the Spaniard.

Guercilena: “It goes without saying that I am very happy to welcome Steven de Jongh to our team. We were looking to enlarge our group of directors for quite some time now. Next year the race calendar will be more extended, and we will have more riders on the team. With an excellent director such as Steven, our group of very experienced and equally outstanding directors will be more versatile.”

Alberto Contador:
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Fabien Doubey signs with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
The Frenchman Fabien Doubey will ride in 2017 for the team Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The 23-year-old rider signed a two-year contract for Jean-François Bourlart’s team.

“When the team contacted me, I didn’t hesitate. I was impressed by their race program. I’m already looking forward to starting the next season”, Fabien Doubey said.

He feels at ease on hilly and mountainous terrain. The young Frenchman already experienced the procyclist’s life in his trainee period with FDJ in 2015 and 2016. He showed this season with a 16th place in de Tour du Limousin he holds his own well in the current pro peloton.

He comes across his former teammate Guillaume Martin. “I know Guillaume very well. I was his teammate in the French team CC Etupes. It will be a pleasure to help him in the mountains.”

Sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren believes in the potential of the talented Frenchman. “On hilly terrain you sometimes need a rider able to bridge a gap. I think he is the right choice.”

Fabien Doubey:
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Arvid de Kleijn and Robbert de Greef join #BDCT!
Arvid de Kleijn (Wageningen, 21-03-1994) and Robbert de Greef (Geldrop, 27-08-1991) will ride for Baby-Dump Cyclingteam next season. Both riders are specific additions to the teamcomposition: Arvid (photo: centre) is an explosive sprinter, Robbert (photo: left) more of a climber.

With Robbert we have yet again an old face returning to the green squad: his first steps in cycling were at Baby-Dump between 2010 and 2012. The following years Robbert turned into a solid asset in Dutch uphill riding, as a team we hope to fine-tune this ability. This year Robbert was King of the mountains in Topcompetitie and won crits in Bladel, Riethoven and Nuenen.

`Regarding Arvid de Kleijn I’m still surprised about his display of power at ’14s’ Meeus race. By that win he showed to possess something special. Meanwhile he developed into a complete rider, now it’s time to focus on sprinting again. The team is ready support him in that!` stated team manager Piet Rooijakkers. This year Arvid finished the Dutch nationals as a 5th, 2nd at UCI1.2 GP Hörsens and won Lieshout-crit.

Left Robbert de Greef, centre Arvid de Kleijn:
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Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Swift, Two Year Deal for the first TJ Sport New Rider
The first new rider to sign a deal with the project TJ Sport is a top rider: Ben Swift.

Benjamin “Ben” Swift was born in Rotherham on 5/11/1987.

Pro since 2009, Ben has 14 victories to date. In addition, he finished runner-up in the 2016 Milano-Sanremo and third in the same race in 2014.
The British rider has also enjoyed success on the track, winning gold in the scratch race at the 2012 World Championships, adding to his tally of three World Championship silver medals.

Ben’s profile as rider suits perfectly the goals of the sports group, especially given his future ambitions for the Italian classic Milano-Sanremo.

Swift, who signed a two years deal, commented: “I am really excited for this new professional opportunity and I look forward to starting a new chapter of my career. I believe it will allow me to develop further as a rider and hopefully enjoy more success in the seasons ahead. I would like to thank Sir Dave Brailsford and everybody at Team Sky who have helped me over the last 7 years.”

“TJ Sports management demonstrated a great confidence in my qualities and I was immediately fascinated by their project. It is founded on a sports group that has been at the top level of the world cycling for 25 years, so I will find in my new team a lot of experience and a very high level of professionalism”.

Ben Swift, second to Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) in stage 4 of the 2016 Tour Down Under:
Santos Tour Down Under 2016 stage 4

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Ivan Basso to Support Young Riders’ Program at Trek-Segafredo
Trek-Segafredo is happy to welcome Ivan Basso to the team. Basso will take on a consultant position to support the team’s coaching and development staff in collaboration with Mapei Sport, the famed sports science and research center in Milan that also played a big role in Basso’s professional career.

General Manager Guercilena: “It goes without saying that I am very happy that Ivan Basso will join us. He will reinforce our support staff with his extensive expertise. Ivan has won the Giro twice and will use that valuable experience to help the young riders we are supporting in collaboration with Mapei Sport.”

“Over summer we have extended our network of U23 teams that can develop good riders respecting the natural skills and qualities of the youngsters. Besides our Belgian farm team, EFC-Etixx U23 Cycling Team, the Italian teams GFDD Altopack-Eppela and Viris Vigevano U23 have joined this network as well. I am convinced that Basso will have a major role to play in the support of these young riders.”

“Last but not least, since Alberto Contador will join the team, it is evident that we will also investigate any possible collaboration with the Fundación Contador and Ivan is just the perfect person to do so.”

Ivan Basso at the Vuelta:
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