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EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

With 18 teams chasing 17 WorldTour places, we take a look at the three teams fighting for a place on the top step of cycling in TOP STORY. ENECO Tour, Giro della Toscana and Textielprijs Vichte with race reports, results, quotes and video. In other cycling news: Contract news, Canada Worlds squad, plus race news from the Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships bid and Abu Dhabi. We finish with video of an old man showing the young guys how to ride.

TOP STORY: Who will be in the 2017 WorldTour?
It looks like the new Bahrain-Merida team are buying up as many WorldTour points as they can, as more rider contracts are announced by the Arab backed team. Also the new Chinese set-up that will replace Lampre (TJ Sport) are spending a bit of money on new riders who will bring much needed points to the team. This is all bad news for Dimension Data as the three teams have to apply for to the UCI for the remaining two WorldTour licenses for 2017.

Without knowing the financial details of all concerned, you would imagine that Bahrain and TJ would have no problem in that department. Then on the management side; Dimension Data know what they are doing and have a solid team structure. Bahrain is new, but has contracted experienced staff. TJ Sport will be relying on staff left from the old Lampre team which would include Giuseppe Saronni who has been less than popular with the UCI over the years and had to take a back seat in the Lampre team at one point.

With the season becoming longer with races all over the World, maybe it’s time to have eight or even seven man teams in the big races. If you want the riders to race more often, then we will be taking a step back to the days when riders were expected to race over 100 days a year and we know where that led.

Will Vincenzo Nibali be happy in a ProConti team?
Madinat Zayed - Abu Dhabi - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)  pictured during Abu Dhabi Tour 2015 - stage - 1 from Qasr al Sarab to  Madinat Zayed 174 km - 08/10/2015 - photo Cor Vos © 2015

ENECO Tour 2016
LottoNL-Jumbo’s Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to victory in the opening Stage 1 of the Eneco Tour on Monday in Bolsward, the Netherlands. The Dutchman topped Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and world champion, and new European champion, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). Groenewegen took leader’s jersey and the points jersey.

A break escaped early in the 184.6 kilometers stage and were not pulled back until the last 10 kilometers. None of the sprint teams had full control, but LottoNl-Jumbo were the best organized and Groenewegen kept calm and focused to pull off his big win.

Bolsward - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -Dylan Groenewegen (Netherlands / Team LottoNL - Jumbo)  pictured during  Eneco Tour stage -1 - UCI World Tour) from Bolsward to Bolsward - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2016 motard Jos Verschuur

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I stayed on the wheel of Robert Wagner, and he kept me out of the wind perfectly,” said Groenewegen. “We continued on the right with the Orica train coming up. I jumped on the wheel of Caleb Ewan, but he was trapped. Nizzolo jumped, and I knew I had to take his wheel and I’d have a clear sprint. We worked hard and came to the Eneco Tour to win a stage. It is nice that we immediately succeeded on the first day. We have worked on this sprint train only for seven months, but now we win at the highest level against the strongest sprinters. That makes this win special.”

3rd on the stage and 5th overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “I knew the stage would have a complicated bunch finish because everybody wanted to be at the front to sprint. I gave my best throughout the day and in the final sprint so I am happy with the result. Congratulations to the winner who got the best out of the tight finish.”

6th overall, Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida): “As by tactical program, I was one of the riders of the team who would have to try to join the attacks in the early part of the stage – Bono explained – I followed the first attempt in the first kilometer in the race and the bunch did not react, so we succeeded in going clear from the peloton. There was a good cooperation in the breakaway, even if we were aware that it would have been very difficult to lead the race until the finish line. I tried to the best, also remembering when, in 2011, I won a stage in the Eneco Tour thanks to a long breakaway. Unfortunately, the final kilometers of the course, with long straight, were favorable for the chase of the bunch and we had to surrender.”

LottoNl-Jumbo DS, Merijn Zeeman: “This is a milestone for Dylan and the team, this our first WorldTour win with this sprint train. The long straight road and tailwind made for an unpredictable finish. You don’t want to go too early, but you still have to go. Today, the sprint trains could not organize and tangled constantly. At one point, I thought Groenewegen sat in a hopeless position, but he battled his way through. He arrived to speed at the right time and then was hard to beat. Dylan Groenewegen made another step towards being a top level sprinter. He is become stronger this year and is now in top form.”

Tinkoff DS, Tristan Hoffman: “If you look to the line-up here I think every team brought a sprinter so it was always going to be tough. But Peter did a good sprint at the end for third place. From kilometer zero we had five guys in front and other teams worked to get them back. We came up later on and the guys kept Peter in a good position. At the end he stayed on the right wheel but couldn’t come around. There was no wind today, so it was not too crazy, and when it got nervous the guys moved up in the right movement and stayed out of trouble which was good. Now we can focus on tomorrow’s time trial, but first we have a long transfer this evening and then we will look at the route in the morning before racing in the afternoon.”

ENECO Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:14:00
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
8. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
9. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

ENECO Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 4:13:50
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis at 0:04
3. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana at 0:05
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:06
6. Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:07
7. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:08
8. Brian van Goethem (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 0:10
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha.

ENECO Stage 1:

Rohan Dennis (BMC) proved that he was the fastest man against the clock on Stage 2 of the Eneco Tour when he smashed the 9.6km individual time trial to win the stage and take the leader’s jersey. Dennis was one of the early starters and was the first rider to go under 11 minutes, clocking 10:48 on the line to set the time to beat for the next three hours of racing.

With the course being completely flat it was the perfect time trial for the current Australian national time trial champion, who beat Jos Van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) by five seconds and was 14 seconds in front of Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar).

Dennis leads the general classification by five seconds over Van Emden and 13 seconds over Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). BMC’s Taylor Phinney put in a fast ride to clock the seventh-fastest time. Dennis’ win is his third time trial win of the season and first UCI WorldTour stage win for 2016.

Breda - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Rohan Dennis (Australia / BMC Racing Team)  pictured during  Eneco Tour stage -2 - UCI World Tour) from Breda to Breda - ITT Time Trial Individual - photo Davy Rietbergen/Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Interview with stage winner and overall leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC):
It was an impressive win today, how would you describe your time trial?
“From what I saw from my side, it was as close to perfection in a time trial. I took all the risks and kind of crossed my fingers ever time I went through a corner. But it worked out. Today was as quick as I could go.”

You’ve now put yourself into the overall lead. Is the GC your main objective for the race?
“It’s great to win a stage and even better to take the lead. It’s going to put pressure on the team to perform every day but we’re here to win with either myself or Greg Van Avermaet. The team time trial will be another big day for the GC, so it’s just about making sure we all stay up front and don’t lose time each day. I think the Limburg stage and the final stage are also big concerns for the GC.”

Instead of chasing a minute man, Vasil Kiryienka (Sky) missed his start and was just 20 seconds in front of you. How was this for you?
“Kiryienka missing that start time helped me a little in a way. He’s a class time trailer, he’s World Champion, but he started about 20 seconds in front of me. It gave me a little carrot you could say to chase until about 1km to go. When he went 40 seconds late he still went hard so that was a good guide to how well I was going.”

This is your third time trial win this year. Does it give you confidence for the UCI World Championships?
“Today’s performance was good for confidence when it comes to Qatar. I was a little bit worried before coming here. I thought that maybe because I’ve lost weight since Rio, maybe I’ve lost that raw power that I had when I was a couple of kilograms heavier. It’s flat, there’s corners here in the time trial and it was all about who had the most power today so that’s a good indication for Qatar, considering that’s going to be 100% flat.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo): “Such a short time trial is always difficult, you’re never totally empty after the race. I rode as hard as possible and left nothing. I would prefer to win but in this field it is very difficult. For me, riding a good time trial depends on many factors, in such a course like this, I know can I win. The real time trial riders can win on multiple courses. I am certainly ambitious for that day (Friday’s team time trial). If we can ride top three, I’m content. We need to be sharp again, the team time trial will be very important for the general classification. We must ensure that we maintain a good team time trial.”

5th on the stage and 6th overall, Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling): “Taking a place in the top-5 is always good for the confidence. With the exception of the two stages at the Tour de Fjords and then the time trial at the European Championships last week, I hadn’t raced in an official event for two months. I am satisfied with my result. I am racing this tour mainly as preparation for the world championships in the time trial at Doha. There is still work to do, but I am motivated for that event, and indeed am also keen to help the IAM Cycling team during Friday’s team time trial where we can aim for the podium.”

8th on the stage and 3rd overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “I gave my best today and am happy with my time trial and third on GC. Everything is about seconds here and we’re still in a good position. It is important not to crash in the next days and we will see if there’s any wind, and take it day by day – I think the team time trial will be decisive. On Sunday the legs were super and now they’re a bit more tired, but I’m feeling good.”

ENECO Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 10:48
2. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:05
3. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:14
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:15
5. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling
6. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:16
7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:17
9. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
10. Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar at 0:18.

ENECO Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 4:24:48
2. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:05
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:13
4. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:14
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:15
6. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling
7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 0:16
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
9. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:17
10. Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar at 0:18.

ENECO Stage 2:

A win on Sunday, third on Monday and eighth in Tuesday’s time trial – Peter Sagan’s stellar week has continued with a superb win on Stage 3 of the ENECO Tour in Ardooie, Belgium. Managing to find the smallest of gaps through the middle of the peloton, Peter proved the fastest of the bunch on the second sprint showdown of the race.

The stage saw a nail-biting finish with the day’s break of five only being caught as the sprint opened up. Initially it looked like Peter would be too far back to be able to contest the top placings on the stage, but a show of technical skill and nerve saw the World and European champion find an unimaginable gap and pull clear for a convincing win in the final metres. With the win, Peter moves into second on GC, just three seconds down, and comforts his lead in the red jersey of points leader.

The race got underway with a break of five riders pulling clear in the opening kilometers, building an advantage that grew to over six minutes. Much like on the first stage, the sprinters’ teams were keen to pick up the chase, along with that of the race leader, and control the gap ahead of a likely bunch finish.

Their advantage fell as the stage progressed but in the final 20km the five picked up the pace and started to hold off the peloton. A concerted chase from behind eventually brought the gap down but it was touch and go until the final few hundred metres as to whether the break or the peloton would take it.

On the final finishing circuits, Tinkoff applied pressure on the front of the peloton to help close the gap and to also keep Peter in position, and the team once again showed a collective display of strength to help deliver Peter in the right position to be able to contest the stage win. Unfortunately, Michael Valgren was involved in a crash in the sprint and will undergo further tests to asses any damage done.

Ardooie - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Peter Sagan (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov) pictured during  Eneco Tour stage -3 - UCI World Tour) from Blankenberge to Ardooie - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “I think God opened the street for me in the finishing sprint like Moses parted the seas. It was fun and I’m very happy to win here. Thanks again to all my teammates as they did an unbelievable job on the last laps and helped me today. For now, we’re doing very well but we’ll take it day-by-day and see how we are tomorrow and then in the team time trial. Sunday is still some way away but for now we’re doing well and we’ll try to continue like this.”

4th on the stage, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “The sprint was very hectic because the leading group was caught in a full sprint, we had to sprint between them and it seemed that only Sagan had no problems with that. It sucks that I only managed fourth. We came here to win bunch sprints, and if you fail, you can’t be happy. I’m fine and my speed is also good. I think that I was the fastest today, but I had to hold off too much in the sprint.”

7th on the stage and 5th overall, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling): “I came very close to the perfect day, but hey… that’s cycling. I managed to get into the right breakaway, and so was able to grab some bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints. I had already reached my objective for the day, but then given the size of the gap that the break had, I really went for it. Unfortunately, in the end, everyone wanted to play his own card. That made it possible for the peloton to catch us before the line. With a clear head now I tell myself that I ought to have tried to go all out in the last two kilometers.”

Tinkoff DS, Tristan Hoffman: “Our focus for the stage was to concentrate on the final sprint, as the bunch looked happy to let the break take the bonus seconds. There were five guys in front and with 20km to go it was under control but the peloton took its foot off the gas and the gap went out so it was super close. When the gap went out we knew we had to help pull and the guys did a good job. I think in the last 15km it was always over 60kmh so it was a hard finish. Then at the end Peter came through like a rocket, it was amazing. There are a few hills and cobblestones (in stage 4), and the mix of these in the final could lead to some splits so we will be ready and up there.”

ENECO Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff in 4:10:36
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Mark McNally (GB) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
8. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha.

ENECO Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC in 8:35:24
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:03
3. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:05
4. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:14
5. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:15
7. Matthias Brändle (Aut) IAM Cycling
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:16
9. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC
10. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:17.

ENECO Stage 3:

Giro della Toscana 2016
It seemed like a dream when the season started, just like every year. And it looked impossible to reach in late March, the squad hit by hard blows such as Malori and Castroviejo’s injuries, as their account stood stuck on four wins. However, a memorable six months by the Movistar Team have seen them chaining success after success until reaching a remarkable milestone: equalling the 36 victories claimed into a single season that remained as all-time high for the Spanish outfit, previously held by Jiménez, Olano, Barbosa, Garmendia or Hunt with Banesto in 1998.

Giovanni Visconti was the author of such a feat on Tuesday, as a courageous, insistent race into stage one of the Giro della Toscana, 174km between Arezzo and Montecatini Terme, brought him to the top five months after his success in Amorebieta. The squad directed by José Luis Laguía kept the day’s early break on a leash and put big pressure on the field into the uphill sections, later countering Fabio Aru’s (Astana) moves with a great Richard Carapaz and ‘Visco’ himself through the Monte Rocchina, less than 30km from the end.

As Visconti made part of an elite, seven-man attempt featuring quick finishers like Sonny Colbrelli or Daniele Bennati, he knew it wasn’t enough for him to try and win the final sprint. And after two unfruitful attacks by Aru in the last climb of Vico, a duo of strong accelerations by Giovanni in the last 2km allowed him reaching the line with a short margin over the rest of the group. ‘Visco’ will try to defend his GC leader’s jersey on Wednesday at stage two, finishing in Pontedera. His final win would also end the record equalled today, in what’s undoubtedly the most solid season ever by the Eusebio Unzué-led group.
Thanks to Movistar.

Stage winner and overall leader, Giovanni Visconti (Movistar): “I’m so happy about this win. I really needed this win to unblock myself and I also owed my family and my son a victory – they whispered for one for so long and today, they were at the finish so I had to make it real. It was also for Eusebio. I talked to him this morning and I told him I wanted to bring him a victory, for all things he did for me during this five-year adventure with the Movistar Team family. I kept clear in mind that, into a sprint, I just couldn’t win with such fast people. I only had a chance: attacking with 1km to go. I tried it twice, I got 50 meters on my pursuit group… and in such situations, when a peloton is charging behind and the pursuit feels them behind, they surrender, so it’s only you or the peloton. I’m impressed by the fact that such attack prevailed – I never thought I could pull one like this off. Closing this Movistar Team with a victory, with such good feelings, was a desire I held dear – I’m happy to have brought the squad to the record. Now it’s all about the GC. Why not trying it? It will all depend on the final decision by the jury: if they give us the same time or 1” between myself and Colbrelli / Bennati. Should we remain tied, it will be very difficult for me – it’s a tough start yet there’s only one little climb in the finale and I think we’ll end up into a sprint, and I won’t be able to beat them in such a finish. Still, there’s high morale in the group – we’ll keep trying.”

Giro della Toscana Stage 1 Result:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar in 4:16:20
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Italy
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:03
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:06
6. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Italy at 0:07
7. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data
8. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
9. Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast.

Giro della Toscana Overall After Stage 1:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar in 4:16:20
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Italy
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:03
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:06
6. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Italy at 0:07
7. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data
8. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
9. Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast.

Stage winner Giovanni Visconti:
Giro della Toscana 2016 - Memorial Alfredo Martini - 1a tappa Arezzo - Montecatini Terme 174 km - 20/09/2016 - Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) - Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani - CSF) - foto Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2016

The Final Stage 2 of the Giro della Toscana ended in a mass sprint and the victory went the way of Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18). Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) finished a very close 2nd with Daniele Bennati (Italian National Team) taking 3rd place and also the general classification victory.

Eight riders escaped early, they were: Davide Ballerini (Italy), Zhandos Bizigitov (Astana), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF), Miguel Angel Benito (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Andrey Solomennikov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Manuel Belletti (Wilier-Triestina-Southeast) and Nico Brüngger (Team Roth), they had a lead of 3:30 after 35 kilometers.

Due to a mix up, the peloton ended up ahead of the break, but eventually it was sorted out and the leaders had 3:44 as they started the climb of the Monte Serra with Movistar in control. After 50 kilometers the lead had gone to nearly 6 minutes and by the summit of the climb it was 6:30.

Visconti’s Movistar team took control but they allowed the gap to grow as they went up the climb. Suddenly, they even stopped their work and so the gap had gone out to 5.50 at the 49km mark. Eventually Bardiani, Movistar and CCC Polsat started to chase and brought the lead down to under 4 minutes after 100 kilometers. With 50K to go the lead was 2 minutes and as they passed the finish line the lead was 1 minute.

Eventually the break fell apart leaving Kudus out on his own. Benito and Brüngger caught him back again for them to ride together until Kudus went solo again. 15 kilometers to go and Kudus was caught and after a few attacks the race was going to be decided by a bunch sprint. Bora-Argon 18 put their men on the front for Bennett, although Bardiani-CSF and the Italian National team were strong, the Irishman took the win ahead of Cavendish with Bennati taking 3rd and the overall win.

Race winner, Daniele Bennati (Trek-Segafredo): “After following Aru yesterday on the climbs, I win a stage race now. You could say that I am stage race rider. Jokes aside, this victory at the Tour of Tuscany just rewards consistency of performance. There remains a hint of regret for not being able to raise my arms but this is a great victory to have on my palmarès. Four months ago I was out with two broken vertebrae so it is fine. For me it is a significant victory because it was obtained in my Tuscany and in a race which honors two great figures like Alfredo Martini and Franco Ballerini.”

Stage winner, Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18): “When I made it well placed over the last climb, it really motivated me. I think Mark struggled more there. The guys did a brilliant job and I was perfectly placed in the last kilometer. Bardiani started the lead-out, I was on Mark’s wheel around the final corner and I think I carried more speed into the home straight. To be on the top of the podium again is great for me, but it is also great for the whole team.”

Giro della Toscana Stage 2 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 in 4:36:43
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data
3. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Italy
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
5. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Team Roth
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
8. Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini
9. Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept.

Giro della Toscana Final Overall Result:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Italy in 8:53:03
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
4. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 0:03
5. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 at 0:06
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data at 0:07
7. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
8. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Italy
9. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
10. Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo.

Toscana Overall Winner, Daniele Bennati (Italian National Team):

Textielprijs Vichte 2016
Julien Vermote (Etixx – Quick-Step) is in fine form and he takes advantage of every opportunity to show that. Following a successful Tour of Britain, where he won stage 2 and spent four days in the yellow jersey, the 27-year-old returned to Belgium, for a series of one-day races. Here, he rode the Grand Prix de Wallonie and was part of the team that guided Fernando Gaviria to victory in GP Impanis-Van Petegem, before tasting success again, at the 84th Textielprijs Vichte.

As expected, the 175km event didn’t give the riders a moment of respite, as fierce attacks came from the start, splitting the peloton and making things difficult to control. After a group containing Pieter Serry was reabsorbed by the pack, other riders – including Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage winner Stijn Vandenbergh – took off and led the race until the last four laps, when another strong group bridged across.

Both Yves Lampaert and Julien Vermote were there and broke away later together with two riders, opening a gap which the chasers couldn’t close. Then, with just five kilometers remaining, Vermote put in a big acceleration and claimed a solo victory, just as he did in the Tour of Britain. To make the day perfect for Etixx – Quick-Step, Lampaert finished in second place, ahead of Tosh van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal).

“It was a fast race, I think we had an average speed of around 47 km/h, and that says a lot about today. Yves played an important role, helping me cover various moves and close the ground on the attackers, and I want to thank him for that”, Julien said after Textielprijs Vichte, which he rode for the first time in his career. “In the final seven kilometers, I sensed there was a chance, so I jumped from that group and went all the way to the line. I’m very happy for this victory, which underlines my condition and the fact that I’m ready for the next races.”
Thanks to Etixx – Quick-Step.

Textielprijs Vichte Result:
1. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx – Quick Step in 3:38:33
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:17
3. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
4. Timothy Stevens (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:21
5. Michael Goolaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal U23 at 0:23
6. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
7. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Rad-Net Rose Team
8. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental CT
10. Davy Gunst (Ned) Rabobank Development.

Textielprijs Vichte podium:
Vichte Elite : Julien Vermote  foto VDB / BART VANDENBROUCKE

De Marchi Set to Continue with BMC Racing Team
BMC Racing Team today announced that two-time Vuelta a España individual stage winner Alessandro De Marchi has renewed his contract beyond the 2016 season.

De Marchi, who joined BMC Racing Team in 2015, is one of the team’s most versatile riders, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “Alessandro De Marchi is one of our most important riders when it comes to his role in our stage race and Grand Tour teams. He is a key support rider for our leaders, especially on the climbs, but is also highly capable of wining stages as we have seen with his two Vuelta a Espana stage wins and the many occasions where he has come close. Alessandro is an aggressive rider, often jumps in breakaways, and is exactly the type of rider that we want with us at BMC Racing Team,” Ochowicz explained.

It was a natural decision to stay with BMC Racing Team, De Marchi said. “It’s a pleasure for me to continue to work and grow in such an important team like BMC Racing Team. My desire is to grow and find my ideal profile as a cyclist. I am convinced of being in the right team to achieve this goal and I hope to give even more to the team as I continue on after this season.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy no other details of the contract were released.

Alessandro De Marchi with BMC at the Tour Down Under:
Santos Tour Down Under 2016 more

Alafaci, Coledan, and Van Poppel renew contracts
Trek-Segafredo is excited to announce that Eugenio Alafaci, Marco Coledan, and Boy Van Poppel have extended their contracts for two more years. With these contract extensions, Trek-Segafredo retains three strong riders who are continuously growing in their roles in the sprint train for Giacomo Nizzolo, and next year with John Degenkolb.

Alafaci: “I am really happy to stay with the team for another two years. Honestly, after all these years this team is like a family for me. I get along really well with all the riders and staff, and that is really important for me when I am away from home for such a long time.

“For sure, next year I want to keep improving the work I do for my teammates. And why not, if possible, make some good results myself as well? To get a victory would be of course my absolute dream.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Eugenio has improved a lot since he joined us. He has finished three times the Giro d’Italia and that made him grow stronger each year. He is an important teammate to have on and off the bike, and for the future, we can count on him for his selfless, hard work every race and have his share in our victories.”

Eugenio Alafaci:
Santos Tour Down-Under  2015  stage - 2

Marco Coledan is a resilient rider who had his first taste of the Flemish Classics this year and blossomed in the harsh spring events.

Coledan: “I am very, very happy. When you can extend your contract, it is always a positive thing, especially when you can do it with such a great team as Trek-Segafredo.”

“For the next years, I want to grow on a personal level and get some personal satisfaction by reconfirming my role in supporting the team in achieving great victories.”

Guercilena: “Marco developed into a very strong rider that is of great value in our sprint train, in the TTT, and in the spring Classics. He has a huge engine and sits very firmly in the saddle, two qualities that serve him and the team well on the cobblestones and in the last kilometers in a bunch sprint. We are convinced he can still grow, so in the future, we hope to see him evolve to an even bigger certitude in these type of races. ”

Marco Coledan:
Praia a Mare - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Marco Coledan (Trek - Segafredo)   pictured during  stage 5 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Praia a Mare to Benevento 233 km - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Boy Van Poppel, who has developed into an invaluable final lead-out for Giacomo Nizzolo, has also proven his aptitude in the Classics.

Guercilena: “Over the past few years, Boy has grown into this team. He has learned a lot, especially in the Classics, but he also improved in the lead-outs, where he became more confident. Next year, he will be an important part in helping Degenkolb and Nizzolo.”

Van Poppel: “I’m thrilled to sign for another two years with this great team. For the next years I want to be of great help for the team in the Classics and to offer overall support to our team leaders, and, of course, continue in the lead-outs for hopefully many victories.”

Boy Van Poppel:
Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne 2016

Trek-Segafredo recruits young Austrian talent Michael Gogl
Trek-Segafredo has signed Michael Gogl, 22, to a two-year contract, adding another young, promising talent to its 2017 roster and continuing to invest in its future with a youthful outlook.

The U23 Austrian 2015 road champion, currently racing for Tinkoff, is excited about his transfer: “I am super happy to sign with Trek-Segafredo because I think this is one of the best teams out there. For me, especially because I am a young rider, I know I will get a lot of support in this team to help me to continue to grow.”

“Next year I want to keep going like I have until now. I cannot say which results I would like to obtain. I’ve never done that in the past. I just take it as it comes, so we’ll see.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “I am convinced that Michael Gogl has a lot to offer to the team. This year’s Vuelta was his first Grand Tour, and he was all but anonymous in it. In hilly races, Gogl is right at home, and he is not afraid of them and to dive right in. With this set of qualities, I am confident that in the long run, Michael will show us some great results.”

Michael Gogl:
Les Gets - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Michael Gogl (Tinkoff)  pictured during the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016  - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Atapuma to Lampre-Merida
The quality of the roster of the first Chinese WorldTour team ever will be elevated by the signing of a pure talented climber: Darwin Atapuma. The Colombian athlete signed a two years deal to race in the TJ Sport project.

Jhon Darwin Atapuma Hurtado, born in Tuquerres (Colombia) on 15 January 1988, is a climber whose action is characterized by strength and by his fighting spirit. He became pro in 2009 and he obtained in his career five victories, the most important in the Carì stage at the Tour de Suisse 2016.

In the 2016 Vuelta a España, Atapuma wore the red jersey as leader of the general classification in four stages and he obtained the 2nd place in the summit arrival at Alto de Aitana. In addition to the victories, the Colombian athlete obtained many other precious results which made him one of the best climbers in the pro world.

Atapuma commented: “My contract will expir at the end of this season and I received many proposals from other team as well as a proposal for a renewal, however I found the project of TJ Sport very interesting and I decided to join it. I spent three interesting years in BMC Racing Team, which I thank for having shared happy moments and for having supported me in difficulties. The positive mood which characterizes the project TJ Sport will give me extra motivations for achieving big goals and the advices from a cycling hero as Saronni will be also important.”

Darwin Atapuma:

Frankiny Set to Join BMC Racing Team in 2017
BMC Racing Team today announced that Kilian Frankiny, 22, will graduate from BMC Development Team to BMC Racing Team for the 2017 season.

Frankiny, who was a stagiaire with BMC Racing Team in 2015, joins a long list of riders who have made the transition from BMC Development Team.

“We are delighted to have Kilian join BMC Racing Team. Kilian is a very talented rider as we saw when he won two stages, including the team time trial, and the overall victory at Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc this year. Kilian’s progression to the UCI WorldTour team is a testament to the success of our development team in nurturing the next generation of cycling talent,” BMC Racing Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz explained.

Frankiny is excited to be staying within the BMC family, particularly being a Swiss rider. “I had four great years at BMC Development Team, which felt more like a family than a team, during which time I learned a lot from the riders who have already transitioned to BMC Racing Team. I had the chance to be a stagiaire last year so I’ve already seen the high level at which the team operates. It’s an honor to be joining a team with such strong riders. I hope to do a good job of supporting the team’s goals and if the opportunity is there I hope to have some good results myself,” Frankiny said.

Frankiny is the seventh rider to make the transition from BMC Development Team to BMC Racing Team.

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy no other details of the contract were released.

Kilian Frankiny:
Steamboat Springs - Colorado  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Kilian Frankiny (BMC Racing Team) pictured during USA Pro Challenge 2013 (2.HC) stage - 1  - photo Brian Hodes/Cor Vos © 2015****USA OUT****

Robin Stenuit extends with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
We are pleased to announce that the Walloon rider Robin Stenuit extends his contract with Wanty-Groupe Gobert for another year. “I’m happy to stay with the team for another year. The team appreciated my work this season. I hope to make a step forward next season”, Robin Stenuit said.

Most of the time Robin Stenuit was used as helper for the sprinter Kenny Dehaes. “In 2016 my job in the team consisted of helping our other fast guys. I learned a lot.”

It was Robin Stenuit’s first year at the pro-continental level. “It was a difficult year. I needed time to adapt myself to this level. I managed to grab my chances as well.”

Robin Stenuit is in form the past weeks. He finished as third in the kermesse of Izegem and as 8th in the GP Impanis-Van Petegem. “I feel good at the moment. I hope I can get another good result before the end of the year.”

He is already thinking about next season. “In 2017 I’ll try to continue to be a good lead-out man for Kenny Dehaes but I would like to get my second professional victory.”

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

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
Young talented climber: He’s Edward Ravasi
Edward Ravasi will turn pro in 2017 joining the first Chinese World Tour team: the twenty-two years old Italian rider signed a two-years deal.

The runner-up in the Tour de l’Avenir 2016 and winner of one stage in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta 2016 lived also the feeling of racing in the pro as trainee in Team Lampre-Merida in 2015 and 2016 season. His climbing skills made him a precious element for the young line of talented riders which will enrich TJ Sport roster.

Ravasi commented: “I did not hesitate to commit to this new project, since the idea of turning pro in a team with such interesting ambitions fascinated me a lot. I already had experiences in the group which is managed by Saronni and I learnt a lot and I appreciated the professionalism and the competence of all the team’s members. The races I took part in as trainee, in addition to this year which I spent in the Under 23 category, contributed to my improvement as cyclist and now I’m ready to become a pro rider. I thank Team Colpack for the years we lived together, now its’ time to focus my attention on the pro world, to learn as much as possible from my new team mates and the new staff members, with the goal of improving even more my skills and of achieving results which could pay back the trust which had been given to me.”

Edward Ravasi:

Cycling Canada Announces Elite & U23 Team for Road World Championships
Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the team of 17 athletes that will represent Canada at the 2016 UCI Road Cycling World Championships in the Elite Women, Under 23 Men and Elite Men categories. The Championships will take place in Doha, Qatar, between October 9th and 16th. The Junior Women and Men selections were previously announced.

Those riders not participating in the Team Time Trial event that opens the world championships on October 9th will attend a training camp in Israel, beginning September 25th. The opportunity to hold the training camp and take advantage of all quota spots available to Canada was made possible by the financial contributions of the Bridge the Gap fund and Sylvan Adams, a former Montreal businessman now living in Tel Aviv, who also backs the Cycling Academy Team, an Israeli-based Professional Continental team.

“The training camp in Israel has been designed to simulate the terrain, wind conditions, and hot temperatures the riders will face at the World championships in Doha, Qatar,” said Sylvan Adams. “The Canadian men’s Elite, U23 and women’s national teams will train with their Israeli counterparts, building new bonds of friendship and collaboration between the athletes, their National cycling bodies, the coaches and support staff, and ultimately on a higher level, the countries of my two nationalities, Canada and Israel. I look forward to further collaborations between the two programs in the future, including more training camps in Israel, which has fantastic terrain, weather, and people.”

The women’s squad includes national champion Annie Foreman-Mackey (Kingston, Ontario), Rio Olympians Leah Kirchmann (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Karol-Ann Canuel (Amos, Quebec) and European-based professional Joelle Numainville (Laval, Quebec). Completing the team are Alison Jackson (Vermilion, Alberta) and Sara Bergen (Coquitlam, BC). All six riders will compete in the road race, with Canuel also racing in the time trial.

The Elite men’s team of six riders is one of the largest ever sent to the road world championships by Canada. Three WorldTour riders will participate in the project; Rio Olympians Antoine Duchesne (Chicoutimi, Quebec) and Hugo Houle (Ste-Perpetue, Quebec), plus Ryan Anderson (Spruce Grove, Alberta). They will be joined by Canadian time trial champion Ryan Roth (Guelph, Ontario), Guillaume Boivin (Montreal, Quebec) and Adam de Vos (Victoria, BC). All six riders will compete in the road race, with Roth and Houle also racing in the time trial.

The Under 23 men’s squad of five riders is the largest contingent that Canada has qualified for this category. Led by three time U23 national champion Benjamin Perry (St Catharines, Ontario), the team also includes Alec Cowan (Calgary, Alberta), David Drouin (St-Prosper, Quebec), Sean MacKinnon (Hamilton, Ontario) and Nicolas Masbourian (Montreal, Quebec). All five riders will compete in the road race, with Cowan and MacKinnon also racing in the time trial.

“First it’s so important to say thanks to Sylvan,” stated Kevin Field, Directeur Sportif for the men’s program. “Without his incredible support this year’s Worlds project would never be happening. For me, this year is another confirmation that our improved relationships with road athletes, teams and extended stakeholders is working. We’re taking very targeted approaches to road, with a focus on qualification and team-based race execution.”

“Last year we were able to carry that through successfully with great team performances in both men’s races. Adam’s [de Vos] ninth place [2015 Road World Championships] was a big success for our U23 men. My hope is that we keep that trend rolling in Doha. I think our camp in Israel is perfect prep to keep our riders race sharp, with the long gap between Montreal [WorldTour race] and Doha. We have really solid options with our U23 men – we’ve shown surprising consistency and results over the past 6 years. I’m optimistic for our elite men, however, that game is a going to be a bit tougher.”

U23 Men
Alec COWAN, Calgary AB (TT, RR)
David DROUIN, St-Prosper QC (RR)
Sean MACKINNON, Hamilton ON (TT, RR)
Nicolas MASBOURIAN, Montreal QC (RR)
Benjamin PERRY, St. Catharines ON (RR)

Elite Women
Sara BERGEN, Coquitlam BC (RR)
Karol-Ann CANUEL, Amos QC (TT, RR)
Annie FOREMAN-MACKEY, Kingston ON (RR)
Alison JACKSON, Vermilion AB (RR)
Leah KIRCHMANN, Winnipeg MB (RR)

Elite Men
Ryan ANDERSON, Spruce Grove AB (RR)
Guillaume BOIVIN, Montreal QC (RR)
Adam DE VOS, Victoria BC (RR)
Antoine DUCHESNE, Chicoutimi QC (RR)
Hugo HOULE, St-Perpetue QC (TT, RR)
Ryan ROTH, Guelph ON (TT, RR).

Antoine Duchesne:

British champion Blythe backs Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships bid
British road cycling champion Adam Blythe believes Yorkshire is the perfect place to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships and would love to see the event take place in his home county.

Blythe was born and raised in Sheffield and has raced for a number of the world’s best teams since turning professional in 2010. The biggest win of his career came in June when he out-sprinted Mark Cavendish to claim the coveted national title, and he is hoping to represent Great Britain for the first time at this year’s World Championships which are held in Doha, Qatar, between 9-16 October.

The 26 year old was delighted to learn Welcome to Yorkshire had submitted the bid last month in partnership with the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, UK Sport and British Cycling, and has leant his backing to it before the UCI make their decision at their annual congress in Doha during this year’s Championships.

Blythe, who rides for the Tinkoff team, said: “I still cycle in Yorkshire as much as I can and it’s a great place for training. It’s the perfect location to host the World Championships because the roads are really challenging. The routes will certainly be selective and make for exciting racing, and the crowds in Yorkshire are always massive.

“I didn’t ride the 2014 Tour de France but was actually part of that crowd. I went to watch stage two and the amount of people who turned out to cheer the riders on was crazy. The crowds at the Tours de Yorkshire have also been huge, and it’ll be the same if the Worlds come to the county.

“For someone who’s grown up riding here it’s been unbelievable to see and Welcome to Yorkshire has done a brilliant job. Years ago I never imagined the world’s best riders would come here and race on the same roads I used to train on, but now that’s the reality. As a Yorkshireman it definitely makes me proud.”

Blythe believes Britain’s reputation as a cycling powerhouse is also on the rise and that hosting the 2019 Championships will help solidify that status.

He added: “Whenever I speak with foreign riders they really enjoy riding here and are always pleasantly surprised how well organized and how well supported these races are.

“I haven’t ridden the Tour de Yorkshire yet but I definitely want to do so in the future, and of course, I’d love to ride the 2019 World Championships if we get them.”

British road champion Adam Blythe:
Hamburg - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Blythe Adam (GBR / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov)  pictured during  the Euro Eyes Cyclassics Hamburg 2016 - photo HR/Cor Vos © 2016

Abu Dhabi Tour Team Line Up Announced: 18 Teams of 6 Riders at the Start
Mark Cavendish, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and the Rio gold medalists Greg Van Avermaet, Elia Viviani and Bradley Wiggins among the starters.

Abu Dhabi tour cycling racePeter Sagan makes a pit-stop in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour

Alongside the official route and jerseys presentation of the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, scheduled from 20 to 23 October 2016 – the list of the 18 teams invited to the race has been officially announced.

Eleven UCI WorldTour teams (eight of those members of the Velon group), four UCI Professional Continental Teams and three UCI Continental Teams will be at the start of the four-stage professional cycling race organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council that, from 2017, will join the WorldTour Calendar.

Mark Cavendish, Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador, said: “I really look forward for the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour. As Official Ambassador, of course, but also as a rider: this year my shoulders are fine and I definitively want to race and try to get a stage win and possibly wear a jersey. See you in one month!”

Vincenzo Nibali, welcomed the announcement, saying: “I am very happy to come back to Abu Dhabi after last year’s experience. I well remember the spectacle of the desert and the emotion of the final stage, with the Yas Marina F1 circuit looking spectacular under the lights. The first Abu Dhabi Tour was a memorable race with a perfect route and a very challenging mountain stage.”

UCI WorldTeams


UCI Professional Continental Teams

UCI Continental Teams

Each team at the start of the Abu Dhabi Tour will consist of six riders.

Abu Dabi Tour promo:

82 Year Old Ex Pro Shows The Young Guns How To Train…
Not sure what to say about this video from the Tour Down Under, is it a young guy with a mask on or is the old guy on an electric bike?

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