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Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 35th Edition - 3rd stage San Juan - San Juan 11,9 km - 25/01/2017 - †- photo Ilario Biondi/BettiniPhoto©2017

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Bahrain-Merida and Bora-hansgrohe both took their first wins. All the results and video from Argentina and Australia. 2017 Tour Wild Card teams. Where is Carlos Betancur – Top Story. In other cycling news: Races coming up in Mallorca, Australia and Abu Dhabi. Route for the Giro del Belvedere, Giro100 turns pink, new name for new pro bike race in Colorado and Movistar present the 2017 line up. A full to bursting EuroTrash.

The organisers of the Tour de France have chosen the teams that will take part in the 75th edition of Paris-Nice (March 5-12), the 69th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné (June 4-11) and the 104th edition of the Tour de France (July 1-23).

In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
Bahrain – Merida (Brn)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Bora – Hansgrohe (Ger)
Cannondale Drapac Professional Cycling Team (USA)
FDJ (Fra)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Orica – Scott (Aus)
Quick-Step Floors (Bel)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Katusha – Alpecin (Sui)
Team Lotto NL – Jumbo (Nld)
Team Sky (GBR)
Team Sunweb (Ger)
Trek – Segafredo (USA)
UAE Abu Dhabi (UAE).

In addition to these eighteen teams, the organisers have awarded the following wildcards :

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Fortuneo – Vital Concept (Fra)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert (Bel).

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Fortuneo – Vital Concept (Fra).

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert (Bel).

TOP STORY: Where is Carlos? Again
Movistar, the Spanish WorldTour team, had their presentation on Wednesday in Madrid’s Telefónica headquarters, as you can read bellow. All the top men were there; team leaders Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde were there to answer question and meet the press along with the full twenty-eight man team including their four National champions and European champion. Did I say ‘twenty-eight’ man team? But I can only count twenty-seven in the team photo.

The European season is about to start and 27 year-old Colombian, Carlos Betancur, is no where to be seen, not in Madrid anyway. Movistar team manager, Eusebio Unzué, said that Betancur could not be there and that the Colombian had visa problems and will arrive in Europe in February. Unzué, one of the most experienced team managers in the pro peloton, added that the Colombian rider is already in good shape.

Does this all sound familiar? It should, as it is the same story as the 2016 team presentation. Is this the start of the repeat and the repeat again of Betancur’s previous seasons with Acqua & Sapone and AG2R-La Mondiale. The talented Colombian would go back to Colombia and… disappear. He would eventually reappear in Europe, usually later than the date expected and more than 5 kilos heavier than he should be. Betancur would put up some fair results to placate his employers and then disappear back to Colombia and work on his waistline for another return at the end of the season. This worked for a while with AG2R until he didn’t turn up for the Tour of Poland and his contract for 2016 was canceled by the French team. Luckily, Movistar took him on and the circle started again; disappear, get fat, reappear and get thin and then disappear again. In 2016 he didn’t race until Milan-Sanremo in March, abandoned the Giro d’Italia and then disappeared for four months.

History is known to repeat its self.

It is untrue that the team clothing manufacturer, Endura, is making a special adjustable race kit:

Vuelta a San Juan 2017
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step) returned to his winning ways three months after taking a memorable victory in Paris-Tours. The Colombian prodigy, for many the best neo-pro of 2016, was protected by his teammates throughout the 142.5km-long Stage 1 which concluded in San Juan, and as soon as Tom Boonen stepped aside following his monster lead-out, Gaviria sprinted to the line, not allowing Elia Viviani (Italian National Team) and Nicolas Marini (Nippo-Vini Fantini) to come around, despite having the two in his slipstream for more than 50 meters.

San Juan - Argentina - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Fernando Gaviria (COL - QuickStep - Floors)  pictured during  Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 35th Edition - 1st stage San Juan - San Juan 142,5 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step): “It was a good day for us. The pace during the stage was ok and we were prepared for the final sprint. The guys were amazing in the finale, one which became a little bit chaotic, and I really want to thank everybody. Max and then Tom led me perfectly into the final straight. Once Tom swung to the left, I opened my sprint and gave everything. It’s a luxury to have such riders in the team. It was great to win here and take the leader’s jersey in my first race of the season. It’s no secret that I like racing in Argentina and it’s always a pleasure to win here and get a boost of confidence for the upcoming races. I worked really hard in the past weeks and it’s nice to see it pay off. We will see what we can do tomorrow. Many strong riders and teams that want to win are here, but if the opportunity arises, then we will try to grab a second victory.”

Vuelta a San Juan Stage 1 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 3:07:44
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy
3. Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
4. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
8. Alan Ramirez (Arg) Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Medellin-Inder.

Vuelta a San Juan Overall After Stage 1:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 3:07:34
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy at 0:04
3. Franco German Lopez (Arg) Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima
4. Nicolas Marini (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 0:06
5. Iginio Daniel Lucero (Arg) Municipalidad de Rawson Somos Todos at 0:08
6. Leonardo Rodriguez (Arg) Asociacion Civil Mardan
7. Rubén Ramos (Arg) Argentina at 0:09
8. Pedro Cristian Gonzalez (Arg) Equipo Continental Municipalidad de Pocito
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
10. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors.

Stage 1:

Vuelta a San Juan Stage 2: Fernando Gaviria picks up lead-out duties, and Tom Boonen snatches the win, his second on Argentinean turf for the Quick-Step team. So far, that’s been the story of the 35th Vuelta a San Juan, a race in which both Gaviria and Boonen got their season underway in style.

A 128.5km stage starting and finishing in San Juan on Tuesday, when four riders escaped the clutches of the peloton and built a maximum lead of three minutes. As was the case one day earlier, Quick-Step controlled the gap, avoided the two crashes that took down several riders in the closing kilometers and made sure stage 2 would end up in a bunch sprint.

Nothing was left to chance in the final meters, when Max Richeze (the only Argentinean to ride at World Tour level) and race leader Fernando Gaviria dug deep to take Tom Boonen at the front and launch him to victory, the team’s third in 2017. The win – first ever of a rider on a bike equipped with disc brakes – means that Quick-Step Floors continues to lead the teams standings going into the third stage of Vuelta a San Juan.

Cycling: 35th Tour of San Juan 2017 / Stage 2 Arrival / Tom BOONEN (BEL) Celebration /  San Juan - San Juan (128,8km)/ Etapa del Oeste/  Vuelta A San Juan / ©Tim De Waele

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Tom Boonen (Quick-Step): “Right from the start of the day, the plan was to do the sprint for me, after going with Fernando on stage 1. In the final kilometer, both Max and Fernando did an awesome job and I got the better of Elia. I want to thank them for their help, because in the end, this is a team win. I’ve always had a good experience in Argentina and this victory shows that I’m on the right track for the upcoming races. It’s just the start of the season, but the level in San Juan is a good one. I’m happy to win in Argentina, in front of these unbelievable fans. It’s incredible how many people came at the start and at the finish, you can really feel how much they love cycling and how passionate they are about it.”

Vuelta a San Juan Stage 2 Result:
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step in 3:00:40
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy
3. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Daniel Ricardo Escuela (Arg) Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima
5. Andrea Guardini (Ita) UAE Abu Dhabi
6. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Bahrain-Merida
7. Luke Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare
8. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier Triestina
9. Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Mattia Viel (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani-Hemus 1896.

Vuelta a San Juan Overall After Stage 2:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy in 6:08:12
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Quick-Step at 0:01
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step at 0:02
4. Franco German Lopez (Arg) Agrupacion Virgen De Fatima at 0:06
5. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:08
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain Merida at 0:12
7. Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare
8. Duilio Ramos (Arg) Asociacion Civil Mardan
9. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Medellin-Inder
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo.

San Juan stage 2:

Ramunas Navardauskas gave the new Bahrain-Merida team its first win in the 11.9 kilometer Stage 3 time trial of the Vuelta a San Juan and took the overall lead from Italian Elia Viviani. Navardauskas’s time of 14:03 was too good by 3 seconds for Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema, with his Trek-Segafredo teammate Matthias Brandle third at 7 seconds. Frenchman Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step) was fourth in the same time as Brandle.

Navardauskas now leads overall from Mollema and Brandle. Bahrain-Merida team leader, Vincenzo Nibali finished 35 seconds down on the Lithuanian with four stages remaining, including the summit finish on stage 5.

Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 35th Edition -  3rd stage San Juan - San Juan 11,9 km - 25/01/2017 - †- photo Ilario Biondi/BettiniPhoto©2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Ramunas Navardauskas (Bahrain-Merida): “My legs are light and I’m really relaxed. Probably are the victory effects! Looking back, I was not thinking to win, I just wanted to give my best and try to make a good race. We had tried several times the route and was a kind of time trial where you had to push very very strong.”

Bahrain-Merida DS, Paolo Slongo: “We are very proud for this first victory in the history of Team Bahrain-Merida. No doubt it’s a success that has a particular value, but to tell you the truth I’m not so surprised. In fact, I thought that a specialist like Ramunas could make a good result, but I would also like to highlight the good performance of the team that put our four athletes in the top 13. It means that we are going in the right direction and we worked well in this last period.”

Vuelta a San Juan Stage 3 Result:
1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Bahrain-Merida in 14:03
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:03
3. Matthias Brandle (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:07
4. Remi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step
5. Walter Vargas (Col) Medellin-Inder at 0:17
6. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa) Medellin-Inder at 0:19
7. Sebastian Trillini (Arg) Italomat-Dogo
8. Laureano ROSAS (Arg) Argentina at 0:21
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou Barhrain-Merida at 0:32
10. Ricardo Escuela (Arg) Virgen de Fatima.

Vuelta a San Juan Overall After Stage 3:
1. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Bahrain-Merida
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:03
3. Matthias Brandle (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:07
4. Remi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step
5. Sebastian Trillini (Arg) Italomat-Dogo at 0:19.

San Juan stage 3:

Towards Zero Race – Melbourne 2017
Having had a few days to recover from their efforts in the Tour Down Under, the team turned their attentions towards the two events of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Starting with the Race Melbourne, the Australia Day event brought back riders from the Tour Down Under stage race, as well as some other high profile teams in the kermesse-style event. While attacks dominated the race, it was BORA – hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett who dominated the sprint, the Irish rider taking the win that had eluded him last week.

Following the same course as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Albert Park, the race covered 22 laps of the 5.3km Melbourne circuit. The flat profile of this 116.6km race wouldn’t trouble riders, but with some tight turns, particularly as the route neared the finish line, the higher speeds this race encourages would make racing tough – this would especially be the case as it reached its finale.

While a bunch sprint was expected at the end of the day, this didn’t stop the escapes going throughout the race. An early escape group managed to stay ahead for 6 laps, while at the 8 lap mark, another group went ahead, stretching their advantage to almost a minute before the bunch started to work to keep them in check. Maintaining their advantage, it wasn’t until just a few laps of the race remained that the peloton really started to increase the pace and reel the escape back in, with the gap falling dramatically to time the catch in time for the predicted bunch sprint.

The catch made with two laps to go, it was the sprinters’ teams who took control at the front – driving a hard pace both to prevent another attack from the bunch, as well as to get their riders in a good position to contest the finale – but in spite of the fast pace, two riders took their chance to make the jump ahead. While the attack was short-lived, it caused some nervousness in the bunch as they pulled things back together ahead of the sprint. Showing the strong sprinting form seen throughout the Tour Down Under, Sam Bennett surged ahead, timing his sprint to perfection and creating clean air between himself and second place. The BORA – hansgrohe rider crossed the line in front after strong support from his teammates in the lead-in to the finale.

Sam was justifiably pleased with his performance today, and was quick to share his appreciation of his teammates, who worked hard to get him in position. “It’s great to get a win under my belt early in the season. I want to thank BORA – hansgrohe for the nice race programme, and having us here and their great support, and also to the teammates. The guys did a great job today supporting me – I’d like to thank them. They kept me well protected all day and set me up perfectly for the finish.”

Sports Director, Steffen Radochla, was thrilled that the BORA – hansgrohe team had taken their first win early in the season, and outlined the team’s tactics. “This was the first victory for the BORA – hansgrohe team. It was a very fast sprint and Sam was unbelievably fast. We’re really happy with the race and this first win of the team. The strategy was to bring Sam to the finale and not to go in the breakaways, so we only concentrated on the last 2km to bring Sam into a really good position. It worked really well – we had a top lead-out and Sam was really fast, so we are really happy.”

Attention now turns to the Great Ocean Road Race. The third edition of the event, taking place on Sunday, will cover a similar route to the 2010 UCI Road World Championships. The 174km parkour takes in some stunning scenery both inland and along the coast, as well as some challenging climbs, before finishing with three-laps of a 20.2km street circuit in Geelong.

Towards Zero Race – Melbourne Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-hansgrohe in 2:21:39
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
3. Scott Sunderland (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness
4. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott
6. Tyler Farrar (Usa) Dimension Data
7. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
8. Tom van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
9. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Travis McCabe (Usa) UnitedHealthcare.

Sam Bennett interviewed after his win:

Moreno Hofland starts the season at Challenge Mallorca
As the Tour Down Under has finished, the first WorldTour race of the season has already come to an end. This week the European cycling season begins with the Challenge Mallorca (26 – 29 January), the first Europe Tour race of the year. The Challenge Mallorca is a four-day stage race in which the riders can choose in how many of the races they participate.

It is quite certain that there will be two sprints: on Thursday in Campos and on Sunday in Palma. The second day will be the hardest. Immediately after the start the road goes uphill towards the top of the Soller, afterwards it goes up and down all the time. In the finale the riders have to climb up to an altitude of 920 meters. The top of that climb lies at about 25 kilometers from the finish. After a long descent there is one last uphill section. On Saturday, the peloton heads into the mountains again, but not as high as the day before. The finale is mainly flat, until the three-kilometer long hill that leads to the finish line.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “The first and last race will almost certainly end with a sprint. André Greipel is our man for that. He will have a team around him that can perfectly assist him. The other two races are suitable for riders like Tiesj Benoot, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens. On Friday, the race starts at the bottom of the Soller and from then on it goes up and down all the time. The hardest part will be the last fifty kilometers of the race. I expect rather big time gaps between the first ten riders at the finish. On Saturday there is a long descent after the last climb. Then it’s flat until the final hill. If Jürgen Roelandts gets at the front of the race after the last climb, I think he can play an important role for the team. Our riders definitely have the right condition to be part of the final battle. We can return home satisfied when we win one of the four stages.”

One of the twelve riders who is selected for the Challenge Mallorca is More Hofland, new in the team. The past few days he stayed in Calpe, where he trained together with Tiesj Benoot. Yesterday evening he flew to Mallorca.

Moreno Hofland: “I arrived in Calpe on Saturday. I actually wanted to leave for Calpe a few days earlier, but the weather made me change my plans. It was cold in the Netherlands, but at least it was dry. This weekend the weather still wasn’t good here in Calpe, so we took the car to Alicante to start our ride there.”

“After all those months of training I am happy that I can race with my new teammates. I can’t wait. I have never taken part in the Challenge Mallorca before, but I know the island from the training camps. During those training camps we already practiced the lead-outs. I rode in different positions during those simulations. Now we can finally do a lead-out in a race. I’m looking forward to being part of the lead-out of André Greipel.”

“The Challenge Mallorca seems like a great race to start the season, especially when combined with trainings. It’s perfect to get race rhythm and to get used to each other before we get to the big goals of the season. Of course it would be fantastic if we could already claim a victory here. After the Challenge Mallorca I will ride the Ruta del Sol, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Paris-Nice. The rest of the program has yet to be determined.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal:
Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Frederik Frison, André Greipel, Moreno Hofland, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

Moreno Hofland:
Palma de Mallorca - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Moreno Hofland and Sean de Bie -   pictured during Lotto - Soudal team photoshoot 2017- photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Caja Rural – Seguros RGA starts European season in Mallorca
After the team’s training camp in Benidorm, Caja Rural – Seguros RGA is ready to take on the first races on European soil in 2017 as Challenge de Mallorca awaits this week. The four individual races on the Balearic Island take place from the 26th to the 29th of January and provide opportunities for both sprinters and climbers.

The first and the fourth of the Trofeos usually come down to a sprint finish, while the second and the third give the climbers and those strong in undulating terrain a chance to fight for victory. These two hilly races suit the opportunistic and aggressive way of racing, which characterizes Caja Rural – Seguros RGA. However, the Spanish team will also have a strong card to play in the expected bunch sprints with its new signing Dylan Page. Last year, the Swiss sprinter stormed to third place in the final one of the four races and he now hopes to repeat, if not improve, that podium performance wearing his new green team colors.

Sports director, Josemi Fernández: “We are excited to start our European season in Mallorca. Each race serves as a great way to get race speed into the legs. Jaime Rosón is very strong already so we will give him freedom to try something in the two hilly races, while the other two days will suit Dylan Page very well.”

Jaime Rosón: “The first races of the season are always complicated. I think my condition is good right now but I don’t know how my body will respond. Due to bad weather, we couldn’t train as well as we wanted to at our recent training camp. Regardless, the team is still very motivated and I’m sure we will show it in Mallorca. The season is long but we have to show ourselves from the very first race.”

Dylan Page: “Since I turned professional in 2015, I have always started the new season in Mallorca. I did well the first time [ninth place] and last year, I did even better [third place]. This time, I come with a new team and I’m very motivated. The first and last race are both great for me. I know every part of the course and exactly how to approach the finish. I believe I can do something good here.”

Lineup for Challenge de Mallorca:
Álex Aranburu, David Arroyo, Fabricio Ferrari, Jon Irisarri, Dylan Page, Eduard Prades, Jaime Rosón and Josu Zabala.

Gazprom – RusVelo targeting solid results in season openers on Mallorca
Gazprom – RusVelo riders have traveled to Mallorca to continue the preparation for the new season and are competing in one-day race series united under Mallorca Challenge title.

Four races with different parcours will be held from 26th to 29th of January. Trofeo Santanyi – Sesalines – Campos 26.01 and Trofeo Palma 29.01 consist of mostly flat terrain that gives good chances for sprinters. Meanwhile Trofeo Pollenca – Port de Andratx 27.01 and Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana 28.01 suits for climbers and puncheurs.

The team is counting on new obtained strongman Alexander Porsev for the sprinter oriented stages, who already had a podium in Trofeo Palma.

Gazprom – RusVelo sports director Alexander Serov: “We worked out the training camp at our best, even though it was raining heavily. The launch of the season is always important. We have four upcoming races and Mallorca Challenge will give a chance to our riders both newcomers and those who already raced for the team to fight for the good results.”

“I did start the season on Mallorca before, all these races. I feel good and it gives me confidence to aim high, knowing that I can rely on my teammates. There is a very strong and encouraging spirit inside the team, it is a pleasure to train, race and set up for new victories with these guys,”Alexander Porsev said about his first season in Gazprom – RusVelo.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
The UCI World Tour continues this weekend in Australia as the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is set to take place on the 29th January. Before the main road race though, the crowds around Albert Park in Melbourne will be treated to the Grand Prix style criterium which takes place tomorrow, Thursday the 26th.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will start the Albert Park Grand Prix with 6 riders, Nathan Haas leading the way with Tyler Farrar, Jaco Venter, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Lachlan Morton and Ben O’Connor completing the team. The criterium will consist of 22 laps around the 5.3km Grand Prix circuit and while our team will not be the favorites, the guys are motivated to put on a good show for the crowd.

For Sunday’s road race, Mark Renshaw will be added to our African Team roster as we focus our efforts on a podium placing. Last year Nathan Haas finished 6th from a small group sprint and based on the form shown at last week’s Santos Tour Down Under, Haas will be gunning for a step on the podium this year-round. The route remains unchanged, with a big loop out of Geelong and onto the Great Ocean Road, before returning to Geelong where 3 laps of the tough 2010 World Champs circuit will be completed to give the race a total distance of 174km.

Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director: “Our Australian campaign will conclude with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday. Given that the race has World Tour status this year for the first time, the race will be a hard-fought one. Coming off strong performances at the Australian Nationals and the Tour Down Under we will race for Nathan, as this race suits him very well. Every time he started here in Geelong he has finished inside the top 10 and he will for sure be one of the main contenders in the final. We will start the warm-up for Sunday with the criterium in Melbourne’s Albert Park on Australia Day, but will likely go into this race with the same ambitions that we showed for the People’s Choice Classic earlier this month.”

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
The Australian action continues this week at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, the first Australian one-day race to be added to the WorldTour calendar. The elite men will complete a 174km course alongside some of Victoria’s most spectacular scenery. Starting in Geelong, the peloton heads towards Barwon Heads where some challenging conditions are expected, with winds from coast having some impact on racing. These conditions continue as the route hugs the coast, before the race joins the Great Ocean Road. As the peloton begin their climb across to Bells Beach, the climbers have their chance to get the first KOM points. The route then approaches Geelong where they will complete a three lap circuit, similar to the course of the 2010 UCI Road World Championships, before a flat finish alongside the waterfront.

Team coach Luke Roberts (AUS) said: “It is hard to predict the outcome of the CEGORR. This is due to the combination of parcours that the course has. It has a mix of everything with many open roads which are affected by wind, some climbing and then a finish on a local circuit. We are prepared for all outcomes with Wilco in good shape if there is a selection on the climbs and with Nikias as our sprinter, who is suited to a hard race. We can be confident going into Sunday’s race.”

Nikias Arndt (GER), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Wilco Kelderman (NED).
Coach: Luke Roberts.

Wilco Kelderman:
Willunga Hill - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Wilco KELDERMAN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during  the Santos Tour Down Under 2017 - BikeExchange Stage 5 - in Willunga Hill, Australia on jan 21 - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2017

Porte Back at the Start Line for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Santos Tour Down Under champion Richie Porte will return to the start line of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, backed by the team that led him to victory in Adelaide.

Sports Director Fabio Baldato spoke of the team’s confidence ahead of the one-day race.

“We are going to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with a lot of motivation. We know that Richie is in good shape and the rest of the team is too. I think all of the other teams will be watching us given our results at the Santos Tour Down Under. We’ll rest up this week and we plan to give it everything on Sunday,” Baldato explained.

Porte is looking forward to a final hit out on home soil before returning to Europe.

“I raced the first edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and I’m looking forward to getting back there. My form is good and we will see what happens on the day. One-day races can be so unpredictable and it’s by no means an easy race. I’m looking forward to racing in Australia one last time this season,” Porte said.

Porte will be joined on the start line by Damiano Caruso, Rohan Dennis, Amaël Moinard, Miles Scotson, Danilo Wyss and Francisco Ventoso.

The Towards Zero RACE MELBOURNE criterium on Thursday, 26 January will feature the same team, excluding Porte.

Rider roster: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Miles Scotson (AUS), Danilo Wyss (SUI) and Francisco Ventoso (ESP).
Sports Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Richie Porte:
Adelaide - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Richie PORTE (Australia / BMC Racing Team) pictured during the Santos Tour Down Under 2017 - Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 - in Adelaide, Australia on jan 21 - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2017

Gazprom – RusVelo starts Australian Campaign with a new World Tour Race
At the beginning of the new season Gazprom – RusVelo took a trip to Australia for the first time in team history. Seven riders will participate in fast growing one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race. This cycling event has been named after the first Australian winner of Tour de France, Cadel Evans. For the first time Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race was carried out in 2015. This year the race was upgraded to the World Tour status by UCI, which means that strongest cyclists in the world will take part in it.

Event begins in Australian State of Victoria in the end of January and consists of Albert Park Grand Prix and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race itself. On the 26th of January riders start the Albert Park Grand Prix which will take place in the autodrome that also hosts Australian Formula One race.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race itself will take place on Sunday, 29th of January, it starts and finishes in the city of Geelong. Total distance of the main race is 174 kilometers. The first half of the course goes through the Australian coast and might be dangerous because of the crosswinds. After 113 kilometers riders will return to Geelong where they tackle three final circuits of 20,2 kilometers each. Short but steep Challambra Cres will be the main challenge of this circuit.

The team relies on Alexey Tsatevich, who raced first two editions of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race and made it to Top-10 last year.

Gazprom – RusVelo sports director Sergey Klimov comments on the Australian campaign and the upcoming race: “It’s always great to kick-start the season in a warmer climate. Regardless jet lag guys are feeling great. Tomorrow we will do a test ride of the main course, just to look closer to the key parts. First races are always a bit nervous, but we are in the good shape to start the season.”

Alexey Tsatevich shared his thoughts about the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race: “I like this race. Last year I rode it after Tour Down Under and I had racing days in my legs. It’s my first race of the season and the debut as a part of Gazprom – RusVelo. I like the course and I did it before, I can say that final laps will be decisive. I’ll do my best to start the season in a good mood.”

Gazprom – RusVelo line-up: Pavel Brutt, Ivan Savitskiy, Sergey Nikolaev, Artur Ershov, Nikolay Trusov, Kirill Sveshnikov, Alexey Tsatevich.

Quick-Step Floors Team to Cadel Evans Race
First World Tour one-day race of the season is scheduled this Sunday.

The third edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, won at its debut by Quick-Step Floors, returns this year as part of the World Tour calendar. The route is unchanged, which means the peloton will cover 174 kilometers on a hilly course, which will also include three laps of the Geelong circuit, used more than six years ago at the World Championships. As a result, the riders who’ll look to make the race hard and foil the sprinters’ plans will have plenty of opportunities.

“We did a reconnaissance ride this week, and it will be interesting to see in particular what happens in terms of the wind and weather conditions out on the course on Sunday. Two days ago, for instance, during training, the conditions would not have been amenable to splitting up the peloton or doing much damage in the field, but it goes without saying that this can of course change during the race at the end of the week. We will have to reserve any tactical decisions in this respect until we hit the circuit on race day”, said sport director Rik van Slycke.

Same team that raced last week’s World Tour season opener will line up for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: New Zealand ITT Champion Jack Bauer, three times named the most aggressive rider of the Tour Down Under, Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, Dries Devenyns, neo-pro Enric Mas, Petr Vakoc, who recently won the sprint competition at the Albert Park Criterium in Melbourne, and Martin Velits.

Rik van Slycke also talked of the team’s options for Sunday’s event: “In terms of who will be key players in the team, we have riders like Dries Devenyns, who fares very well in one-day races, and Petr Vakoc, who is also a specialist in those types of races. As he demonstrated at the Tour Down Under, particularly during the last three stages, Jack Bauer is extremely strong at the moment. With his current condition, I think he will be able to pass over the climbs and attempt something special in the subsequent kilometres. So we have a few cards to play.”

Jack Bauer (NZL), Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Enric Mas (ESP), Petr Vakoc (CZE), Martin Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Upgraded Abu Dhabi Tour Team Line Up: 20 Teams of 8 Riders at the Start
The world’s top riders will be at the start: among them Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Steven Kruiswijk, Tejay Van Garderen, Romain Bardet as General Classification contenders and the sprinters Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Elia Viviani, André Greipel and Caleb Ewan.

Mark Cavendish at the Abu Dhabi Tour presentation:

Abu Dhabi, 24 January 2017 – 16 UCI WorldTeams and four UCI Professional Continental Teams will start the Abu Dhabi Tour, scheduled from 23 to 26 February 2017 and organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport. The Abu Dhabi Tour is the only Middle Eastern race on the 2017 UCI WorldTour calendar. Each team will consist of eight riders.

Many of the best riders on the planet have confirmed their participation in the race, with names such as previous Giro d’Italia and last Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana, Tour de France runner up Romain Bardet, previous Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España winner Vincenzo Nibali, former Vuelta winner Fabio Aru and a number of other top-class contenders for the final General Classification victory. Among the sprinters we’ll see the very finest from the WorldTour peloton going shoulder to shoulder, wheel to wheel, including the Manxman Mark Cavendish, German duo Marcel Kittel and André Greipel and the new Australian sensation Caleb Ewan. The main potential protagonists are highlighted below in their team’s resumes.

AG2R Prévoyance joined the Chazal-Vanille et Mûre team (formed in 1992 by Vincent Lavenu) as co-partner in 1997 and became principal partner three years later: in 2008 the team was renamed AG2R La Mondiale. It has 417 wins to date, 22 of them earned at Grand Tours: 17 at the Tour de France, three at the Vuelta a España, and two at the Giro d’Italia. AG2R also boasts four Tour Down Under victories (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007), and one Paris-Nice win (2014, Carlos Betancur), along with one Tour de Suisse (1997, Christophe Agnolutto), one Tirreno-Adriatico (1998, Rolf Jaermann), two Tour du Haut Var (2014, 2015), two Critérium du Dauphiné (1999, 2007), and two Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana triumphs (1998, 1999). The 2017 roster for the Abu Dhabi Tour will include the French Romain Bardet.

Astana is more than just a cycling team: it’s part of the Astana President’s Professional Sports Club that was created by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev in 2012, focused on several different sports including football, hockey, basketball, motorsports, rally-raid and boxing. Astana have shown great form racing in the Emirates, winning the 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour with the Estonian Tanel Kangert. Astana’s palmarès includes an Olympic gold medal (Alexander Vinokurov, Men’s Road Race, London 2012), eight Grand Tour victories, 37 Grand Tour stage wins, and 164 others victories. Under the Abu Dhabi spotlights will be the Italian Fabio Aru.

Founded in 2016, Bahrain-Merida is the first Middle Eastern team to achieve the WorldTour license – the highest level of professional cycling. The team is supported by a consortium of businesses and partners from the small island country of Bahrain and His Highness Sheikh Nasser. Under the General Manager Brent Copeland, the 2017 roster is composed of 28 riders from 12 different countries. For Abu Dhabi the roster includes the last year’s Giro d’Italia winner, Vincenzo Nibali.

This UCI WorldTour team headquartered in Santa Rosa, California was formed in 2006. A founding member of Velon, BMC Racing Team has recorded more than 30 wins per season since 2013 thanks to one day classic specialists and Grand Tour contenders. Two times TTT World Champions (2014 and 2015), winner of the 2011 Tour de France with Cadel Evans and most recently winner of the 2016 Rio Olympic Road Race with Greg Van Avermaet. For Abu Dhabi look at Tejay van Garderen.

The UCI Continental Team founded in 2010 as NetApp, was upgraded the following season to Pro Continental status and enjoyed its Paris-Roubaix and Tour de Suisse debuts. Last season Bora-Hansgrohe achieved ten victories and signed the World Champion Peter Sagan, as it reached WorldTour status.

The oldest sponsor in the peloton, Lotto became co-sponsor of Tönissteiner in 1984, and assumed the team’s main sponsorship a year later, while Soudal joined as the second name sponsor on 1st January 2015. To 2016 the team has more than 900 wins in its palmares, including 35 Tour de France stage victories. For Abu Dhabi Tour look at André Greipel.

The world’s best team for four consecutive years, according to the UCI WorldTour ranking, Movistar is one of the most established squads. It was founded in 1980 as Reynolds (till 1989), then became very famous as Banesto thanks to the multiple victories of Miguel Indurain (1990-2004), then Caisse d’Epargne (2005, with Illes Baleares to 2010), becoming Movistar from 2011. In total, 852 various victories, 14 of them Grand Tours, with seven in the Tour de France, three in the Giro d’Italia, and four in the Vuelta a España. Nairo Quintana is certainly the Movistar Team rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour.

This Australian professional road race cycling team launched in 2011 joined the WorldTour from 2012, and also has a women’s squad. The men’s team’s palmares includes 21 Grand Tour wins: three at the Tour de France, seven at the Giro d’Italia, and 11 at the Vuelta a España. Other main victories include Milan-Sanremo (2012), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2014), three Tour Down Under titles (2012, 2014, 2016) – all courtesy of Simon Gerrans – along with the 2013 Tour de Pologne win by Pieter Weening, the very first Abu Dhabi Tour (2015, Esteban Chaves) and last year’s Paris-Roubaix with Mathew Hayman. The roster for the race includes Caleb Ewan, who recently won four stages and even the points classification at the Tour Down Under.

This WorldTour team, established in 2003, is based in Wevelgem, Belgium, a city that’s symbolic to Flemish cycling. Patrick Lefevere, one of the most victorious managers in the history of cycling, is in charge of Sports Management. Since its inception the team has recorded more than 500 victories, including 15 Monument Classics, four Road World Championships, five ITT World Championships, two TTT World Championships, two World Cups and an Olympic title. Current top riders for the team are sprinter Marcel Kittel (winner of eight stages at the Tour de France), Tom Boonen (four-time Paris-Roubaix winner), three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra (winner of Paris-Roubaix 2014), Dan Martin (winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013 and Giro di Lombardia 2014) and the Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels. Marcel Kittel is the Quick – Step Floors rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour.

Founded in 2007, Dimension Data became the first ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. In the team’s palmares you can find a Milan-Sanremo victory (Gerald Ciolek in 2013), six Tour de France stages, one Vuelta stage victory, two Tour of Britain overall classification wins (Edvald Boasson Hagen, 2015; Steve Cummings, 2016), and 36 National Championships. The team was originally known as MTN–Qhubeka: Qhubeka is an Nguni word meaning to carry on, progress, or move forward. Qhubeka is part of World Bicycle Relief, a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation through bicycles – since 2005, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 275,000 bicycles to developing countries. The 2017 roster has as its main character the Manxman Mark “Cav” Cavendish. Last year the sprinter won two stages and the Green Jersey (General Classification by points) here in Abu Dhabi and undoubtedly his goal will be to earn as many WorldTour points as possible.

Katusha, originally the first Russian cycling team licensed to compete at WorldTour level, was formed in late 2008 by Igor Makarov, president of the Russian Cycling Federation and a member of the UCI Management Committee. The team now is based in Switzerland. From 2009 to 2016 the team has 217 race victories along with 384 podiums, establishing itself as one of the world’s best professional cycling teams, finishing second in 2012 and 2015, and third in 2013 in the UCI WorldTour team’s ranking. The Team Katusha-Alpecin palmares boasts 22 Grand Tour stage wins. In 2009 it won the Amstel Gold Race (Sergei Ivanov), and in 2012 and 2013 both the La Flèche Wallonne (Joaquim Rodríguez and Daniel Moreno) and the Giro di Lombardia (both Rodríguez). 2014 saw victories for Alexander Kristoff at Milan-San Remo and Giampaolo Caruso at Milano-Torino; while 2015 featured wins for Luca Paolini at Gent-Wevelgem and Kristoff at the Tour of Flanders. Look out for Team Katusha-Alpecin’s Ilnur Zakarin in Abu Dhabi.

This cycling team was founded for the 1984 season under the name Kwantum, anchored by Jan Raas, and from 2015 the head sponsor has been Lotto-Jumbo. For the Abu Dhabi Tour the probable roster will include Steven Kruijswijk.

The team was founded in 2009 with the aim to win the Tour de France within five years… and the first Grand Tour victory came in 2012 at the Grand Boucle with Bradley Wiggins, soon followed by three more from Chris Froome (2013, 2015, 2016), along with more than 130 stage race wins and 15 one day competitions. The Olympic Omnium champion Elia Viviani won stage 2 at both the 2015 and 2016 Abu Dhabi Tours and will probably start in the upcoming 2017 edition.

Founded in 2005, this German WorldTour team is sponsored by the international tour operator Sunweb. The team’s major achievements include 32 Grand Tour stage wins (11 at the Tour de France, six at the Giro d’Italia, and 15 at the Vuelta a España), the 2013 Paris-Tours victory, and in 2015 both the Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix classics. While between sponsors at the end of 2011, the team adopted the name “Project 1T4i”, standing for “team spirit, inspiration, integrity, improvement and innovation”. For Abu Dhabi Tour look at Tom Dumoulin.

Founded in 2011 as Leopard Trek, this United States licensed team’s big achievements are the Vuelta a España victory by Chris Horner in 2013, 25 national titles in five years, two Tours of Flanders and a Paris-Roubaix win, thanks to Fabian Cancellara. Bauke Mollema could be the Trek-Segafredo rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour.

Known for 20 years as Lampre, the team will be called UAE Abu Dhabi for the 2017 season. Managed by the former Italian champion Giuseppe Saronni, has recorded 25 Grand Tour stage wins, one Giro d’Italia GC victory (2011), one Tour of Flanders (Alessandro Ballan, 2007) and two Tours of Lombardy (Damiano Cunego, 2007-2008). At Abu Dhabi look out for Italians Diego Ulissi and Andrea Guardini, who won the first ever stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, and the former World Champion Rui Alberto Faria da Costa.

Founded in 1982 by Bruno Reverberi, Bardiani-CSF has raced the Giro d’Italia 34 times and includes 25 stage wins in its palmares.

This global sports team made up entirely from athletes with diabetes comprises more than 100 cyclists, triathletes and runners, from 20 countries, and is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, based in the USA. Founded in 2005 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, Team Novo Nordisk’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. The cycling team has amassed more than 30 victories since 2008.

Founded in 2012, Pro Continental team Gazprom-RusVelo has a roster comprising 100% of Russian riders. The team has registered more than 60 race wins to 2016, including one Grand Tour stage at the 2016 Giro d’Italia with Alexander Foliforov’s ITT.

Team founded in 2013, this UCI Pro Continental team based in Italy is managed in collaboration with the Japan Cycling Federation to promote young Italian and Japanese talent. Nippo Vini Fantini’s captain, Damiano Cunego, wore the Maglia Azzurra of best climber for 13 days at the 2016 Giro d’Italia.

Abu Dhabi Tour gears up for 2017 WorldTour debut:

Team Novo Nordisk Receives Wildcard Invitation to the Abu Dhabi Tour
Team Novo Nordisk announced today that it received a wildcard invitation to next month’s Abu Dhabi Tour. The team is delighted to receive its third RCS wildcard invitation for the 2017 season and plans to bring a motivated squad for its Abu Dhabi Tour debut. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko below:

Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-founder Phil Southerland: “It is almost impossible to accurately express our gratitude and excitement in receiving our third World Tour wildcard invitation from RCS in the past seven days. Racing at the Abu Dhabi Tour allows us to continue spreading our mission of inspiring, educating and empowering everyone affected by diabetes on a global level.”

An estimated one-in-five people in the United Arab Emirates have diabetes. According to the World Health Organization, globally five million people die each year from diabetes and its complications. The WHO stresses a healthy diet combined with regular physical activity to reduce these risks. A World Tour race with the stature of the Abu Dhabi Tour serves as a platform to spread this message of a healthy, active lifestyle to all the people who need motivation to get out and exercise.

Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko: “This invitation is a true honor. The Abu Dhabi Tour will serve as Team Novo Nordisk’s second World Tour stage race, which shows our continued progress and steady growth as an all-diabetes squad. In its third edition, the Abu Dhabi Tour is quickly becoming one of the stand out early season races. Like all RCS events, it is well organized and this particularly race features a dynamic race profile with several sprint stages and some middle mountains to test early season form. We plan to bring an experienced, aggressive squad who will be seeking results.”

Route Unchanged for 2017 Giro del Belvedere U23 Classic
Montaner and Via delle Longhe climbs remain the key-points of the international one-day race 79th edition in Villa di Cordignano, next April 17th. BMC, Axeon, Dimension Data and Lotto Soudal at the start Giro del Belvedere.

79th Giro del Belvedere, the U23 international race scheduled on Monday April 17th in Villa di Cordignano (Northern Italy), will take place on the same route as last year. The first part of the event unfolds along a 12-Km circuit to be repeated 11 times, including the Conche hill (1 km at 5% average gradient with a peak at 9%), whilst the finale is characterized by two laps of another circuit of 17,3 Km.

The classic Montaner climb, in Borgo Canalet (1,7 Km at 12% average gradient with peak at 20%), and last year’s new-entry Via delle Longhe hill (0,5 km at 12% average gradient with peak at 17%) with 9 Km to go will likely decide the race.

“We expect a shifty race open to several solutions,” Pro Belvedere’s Gianfranco Carlet explained. “The last year event was amazing with many riders struggling for win until a few kilometers to the finish line, there’s no better outcome for us.”

Giro del Belvedere teams’ list is shaping up meantime with a huge international field expected: with 3 months to go, in addition to the large Italian presence, prestigious outfits like BMC Development Team (defending champion with Swiss Patrick Muller), Axeon Hagens Berman, Lotto Soudal and Dimension Data Continental already confirmed their participation to the Venetian race.

The Montaner climb will likely decide 79th Giro del Belvedere:

Italy Turns Pink to Celebrate Giro100
100 days before the historic 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia starts on 5 May in Sardinia, stage cities have turned their major landmarks pink #Giro100.

The Fountain of Neptune in Florence:
Foto Marco Bucco  Firenze 24 01 2916 Piazza della Signoria Il Biancone illuminato di rosa per il giro d'Italia

With exactly 100 days left to the start of the 100th edition of Giro d’Italia the host cities celebrate their link with the Corsa Rosa, illuminating their landmarks in pink, including important squares, monuments, roads and special locations.

The Stelvio Pass:

Here’s the full list of important features now lit up in pink: the Sulis Tower (Tower dell’Esperò Reial) in Alghero, the National Archaeological Museum of Olbia, the Beach of Rocce Rosse in Arbatax (Tortolì), the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II in Reggio Calabria, the Scoglio della Regina in Acquappesa (Terme Luigiane), the Palazzo di Città in Castrovillari, the Trullo Sovrano in Alberobello, the Dome of Molfetta, the Mura del Belvedere in Montenero di Bisaccia, the Town Hall in Montefalco, the Fountain of Neptune in Florence, the Town Hall in San Pietro in Bagno, the Teatro Municipale Fountain in Reggio Emilia, the Tortona Malaspina square, the Battistero in Biella (Oropa), the Town Hall in Valdengo, Porta San Giacomo in Bergamo upper city, Rovetta’s main square, Coppi’s monument on Stelvio Pass (Cima Coppi, the highest point in the 2017 Giro) in Valtellina, the Ice Sculptures of the Dolomites in Ortisei and San Candido, Palazzo Menegozzi in Aviano (Piancavallo), the Town Hall in Pordenone, the Grand Stand of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and the Branca Tower in Milan.

The Sulis Tower (Tower dell’Esperò Reial) in Alghero:

The Trullo Sovrano in Alberobello:
Foto LaPresse - Donato Fasano 24/01/2017 Alberobello( ita ) cro in occassione della tappa del giro d'italia , il trullo sovrano viene illuminato di rosa  Nella foto: Trullo sovrano rosa     Photo LaPresse -  Donato Fasano  24 01 2017 ,Alberobello (ita)  In the pic: Alberobello Trullo Sovrano in Pink for Giro d'Italia

The Ice Sculptures of the Dolomites in Ortisei:

RPM Events Group Announces Name for New Pro Bike race in Colorado, 2017 Host Cities
Inaugural “Colorado Classic” will roll through Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver Aug. 10-13, 2017.

RPM Events Group announced today that professional bicycle racing will return to the Centennial State as the inaugural Colorado Classic rolls through Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver for four exciting and entertaining days this summer.

From Aug. 10-13, a world-class and international field of professional, men cyclists will race more than 300 miles in multiple, fan-friendly circuits, combining the exciting elements of each day’s start and finish into the same location. The Colorado Classic will also feature two days of professional women’s cycling, beginning in Colorado Springs on Aug. 10 and concluding the following night with a women’s-only event under the lights in Denver.

“From the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, to the Coors Classic and on to the USA Pro Challenge, professional bike racing has become a part of our identity in Colorado. I can’t wait to once again show off this wonderful state to the world during the Colorado Classic,” said Ken Gart, Chairman of RPM Events Group, the organization formed to put on the race. “The Colorado Classic is being developed to appeal not just to cycling fans, but a wide array of Coloradans and visitors to the state.”

The schedule for the four-day stage race:
Aug. 10 — Stage One: Colorado Springs (men and women)
Aug. 11 — Stage Two: Breckenridge (men)
Aug. 11 — Denver circuit race (women)
Aug. 12 — Stage Three: Denver, start and finish RiNo Art District (men)
Aug. 13 — Stage Four: Denver, start and finish RiNo Art District (men) and closing festivities

“I raced in Colorado in 1977 for the first time in the race known as the Red Zinger which grew into one of the biggest bike races in the world. Now 40 years later, I’m excited to see Colorado once again leading the way forward for men’s and women’s pro racing,” said Connie Carpenter Phinney of Boulder, who won the first-ever gold medal in a women’s Olympic road race.

Each day of the Colorado Classic will showcase an interactive start/finish area; and the daily routes will combine downtown circuits of each city with the beauty of Colorado’s legendary terrain and landmarks.

The inaugural Colorado Classic, designated a 2.HC race by Union Cycliste Internationale (Aigle, Switzerland), will host 18 world-class, domestic and international teams, comprised of 6-riders each. The women’s field expects some of the top professional cyclists in the U.S.

“Coloradans love pro bike racing,” said Derek Bouchard-Hall, President & CEO of USA Cycling, “and we’re extremely pleased that the Colorado Classic will continue the state’s proud tradition with both men’s and women’s events.”

The Denver portions of the race will feature a companion festival of national music acts, a marketplace and much more. Details on those plans will be released in the coming weeks.

“We’re very excited to see professional cycling return to Denver and Colorado, and proud that our great city will play host to a lively and fun-filled event,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Previous major races have been great showcases for the city and state, and we have no doubt the Colorado Classic will build upon that history, delivering an epic event for everyone.”

Said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group: “This really is a broad-based community event. The Colorado Classic wouldn’t be happening this year without the phenomenal work and support of Gov. John Hickenlooper, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and our community partners in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver.”

To sign up for additional information, visit: www.ColoradoClassic.com

The 2016 USA Pro Challenge cancelation, reported by Denver7 – The Denver Channel:

Movistar Team launches 2017 Season in Madrid
Eusebio Unzué’s squad – winners of the UCI WorldTour team ranking for the last four seasons in a row – will seek again for a top spot in the Tour de France; hopes to repeat remarkable achievements from 2016, one of their best years to date.

Telefónica presented on Wednesday what will be the Movistar Team’s seventh season with the Blue jersey. The event, held at Madrid’s Telefónica headquarters, allowed distinguished guests, media and Telefónica employees meeting the four-time UCI WorldTour winning team, the trophy being presented by the Blues to the company’s CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete during the official photo-call prior to the main act.

General Manager of the Spanish outfit Eusebio Unzué and Telefónica’s General Director of Public Issues and Regulation, Carlos López-Blanco, spoke, together with team stars – such as Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde or Andrey Amador – on the present and future of a 28-rider roster of absolute top class. Its six new faces will strengthen a group with nine different nationalities and ten members above 26 years old, a proof of the strong gamble for the sport’s up-and-coming-talents by the team.

Unzué underlined once again their gratitude towards Telefónica and all of the team’s partners, and talked about the goals for the team this year: “Obviously, Grand Tours will remain our objective for the new season, coming from podium finishes in all of them through the last few years. We’re trying to fight again for Tour de France overall success, the only GT we haven’t won with Telefónica as main sponsors. Plus, even though it’s becoming increasingly harder to finish as the WorldTour’s best team, we will try to remain consistent all over the season to fight again for that coveted place we earned during the last four seasons.”

In turn, López-Blanco celebrated “the winning partnership between Telefónica and the Movistar Team, which will continue through 2019, as we announced last year. That fact about the ten riders under 26 years old also means a lot to us: having young riders chasing for glory, behind such consistent riders like Quintana and Valverde, is a guarantee of success.”

The event also showed the attendees the strength of the combined efforts between Telefónica and Abarca Sports to improve cycle racing through technology. Telefonica’s Chief Data Officer Chema Alonso explained how Big Data, through Telefónica’s LUCA unit, is taking advantage from all sets obtained from Movistar Team riders during the 2016 season to improve their training plans and offer new variables of consideration for critical decisions during the new season. The works are set to reinforce the prevalence of the Movistar Team in the digital world, the Blues already recognized as one of the most popular teams in the world with 1.2 million fans on their different social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and SoundCloud, as well as their official movistarteam.com site.

In 2017, the Movistar Team, which will start their Spanish and European campaign on Thursday with the first trophy of the Mallorca Challenge, will fight again for overall success in the Tour de France, following the four podium finishes in as many years by their leaders Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. It will be the main landmark of a season where the Giro and the Vuelta, together with the best one-week races and classics of the world calendar, will be the biggest goals of a season where they hope to obtain a fifth consecutive UCI WorldTour title.

Movistar Team – 2017 Roster

Andrey Amador (Costa Rica, 30 years old), Winner Anacona (Colombia, 28), Jorge Arcas (Spain, 24), Carlos Barbero (Spain, 25), Daniele Bennati (Italy, 36), Carlos Betancur (Colombia, 27), Nuno Bico (Portugal, 22), Richard Carapaz (Ecuador, 23), Héctor Carretero (Spain, 21), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain, 29), Víctor de la Parte (Spain, 30), Alex Dowsett (GB, 28), Imanol Erviti (Spain, 33), Rubén Fernández (Spain, 25), Jesús Herrada (Spain, 26), José Herrada (Spain, 31), Gorka Izagirre (Spain, 29), Adriano Malori (Italy, 28), Dani Moreno (Spain, 35), Nelson Oliveira (Portugal, 27), Antonio Pedrero (Spain, 25), Dayer Quintana (Colombia, 24), Nairo Quintana (Colombia, 26), José Joaquín Rojas (Spain, 31), Marc Soler (Spain, 23), Rory Sutherland (Australia, 34), Jasha Sütterlin (Germany, 24), Alejandro Valverde (Spain, 36). – 2017 signings are in italic.

General Manager: Eusebio Unzué. Technical Director: Alfonso Galilea. Sports: José Luis Arrieta, José Luis Jaimerena, Chente García Acosta, José Luis Laguía, Pablo Lastras. Mechanics: Tomás Amezaga, Aritz Berruezo, Fermín Gómez, Alexander Gubanov, Senen Pintado, Fernando Sánchez. Carers: Iñaki Aranguren, Iñaki Arraiza, José Ángel Arenas ‘Guaje’, Garikoitz Baños, Ignacio Bernardino ‘Tato’, Juan Carlos Escámez, Fernando Gómez, Javier Iriarte, Borja Jaimerena, Mikel Otero. Doctors: Jesús Hoyos, Alfredo Zúñiga, Eduardo González Salvador. Coaches: Mikel Zabala, Manuel Mateo, Jorge Sanz. Osteopathist: Íñigo Michelena. Chef / Nutritionist: Lorenzo Pajares. Marketing: Juan Pablo Molinero. Communications: David García, Sebastián Unzué, Daniel Sánchez. Admin: Javier Valera, Francisco Fdez. Maestre, Verónica Lorca, Elena Sánchez.

Best-Of Nairo Quintana by La Flamme Rouge:

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