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Mas de La Costa 180 km - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS (Columbia / Team Movistar) pictured during 68th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4 - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017 ***Spain out***

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

A full weekend of cycle sport: Dubai, Valencia, Bessèges and cyclocross from Lille and Hoogstraten all with results, reports, quotes and video. Podium boys? – Top Story. In other cycling news: Voeckler Back to the Tour de Yorkshire, Cofidis to the Ruta del Sol, race program for André Greipel and surgery for Frederik Veuchelen. Plus we end with video of the Astana team training in Dubai.

TOP STORY: Podium Girls/Boys
As you should know by now, we like podium girls here at PEZ and it came as quite a shock/disappointment when the organizers of the Santos Tour Down Under decided to not have podium girls at their 2017 edition. Being a podium girl is their job, they get paid for their work and, no differently from the riders, they are paid due to a natural talent. If they were not on the podium they would be working at an other promotional event: car show, make-up display, product launch, etc. So why not a bike race?

The Volta a la Valenciana did have podium girls – and podium boys. That should be the way forward, giving models of both sexes employment and bringing some relief from the sweaty riders and the (usually) old, craggy ex-cyclist or local dignitary on the podium. Well done Valenciana.

Podium girl and boy, the way forward:
Mas de La Costa 180 km - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS (Columbia / Team Movistar)   pictured during 68th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4 - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017 ***Spain out***

Dubai Tour 2017
Third time’s the charm, and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) timed his jump perfectly and sprinted to the win on Stage 3 of the Dubai Tour on Thursday. After two stages to get it right, finishing fourth both times, Degenkolb – positioned perfectly again by the Trek-Segafredo lead-out – nailed the finalé: this time waiting before jumping around Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) in the final meters to grab a huge victory.

The wind finally reared its head in the 200-kilometer stage three, first as a blistering tailwind, then in a crazy sand-blown crosswind that caused echelons and splits in the peloton. In one moment, John Degenkolb was caught in the second group with overall leader Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step), but eventually, the two groups rejoined.

With his win, Degenkolb grabbed a 10-second bonus and moved into third place in the overall. Kittel maintained the leader’s jersey with 8 seconds over Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) in second.

Al Aqah - Dubai - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - John DEGENKOLB (Germany / Team Trek Segafredo) pictured during  Dubai Silicon Oasis stage 3 -  Dubai - Al Aqah 190 km - 02/02/2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 3rd overall, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s crazy! I was at the limit all day. In the crosswinds I wasn’t immediately in the first group but I fought hard to rejoin them. It was an amazing job by the team. Also mentally, they made me strong. We went full gas for the victory and it was a perfect lead out. Amazing! It’s super nice to start the season like this. I don’t want to consider this a come back. I’ve had a hard time but it’s behind me. I’m just planning my season for the classics, it’s been going great so far. The team is super strong and super motivated. It’s a great feeling to deliver this victory for my new team.”

Overall leader, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): “I got punched by Andriy Grivko from Astana. That’s why I had blood on my face but I didn’t crash. There was some confusion in the race. My team worked well for the sprint but I was not in a perfect position and maybe my head was elsewhere too.”

3rd on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “I am very, very happy. The team was very strong today and this is a very important race. I am ready for tomorrow’s new Stage.”

The Commisaires Panel decided to disqualify the rider Andrey Grivko (Astana Pro Team) due to “Acts of violence among riders”, according to Article 12.1.040 30.1, and a 200 CHF fine.

Dubai Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo in 4:03:08
2. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
4. Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana
6. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
9. Adam Blythe (GB) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar.

Dubai Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 12:34:54
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:08
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:10
4. Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0:13
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC at 0:14
6. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar
8. Thomas Stewart (GB) ONE Pro Cycling
9. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina at 0:16
10. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data.

Dubai stage 3:

Hatta, 3 February 2017 – Based on the poor current weather conditions in Hatta, and the forecast for further deterioration later, the Race Management, in agreement with the Commissaires Panel, have applied the UCI’s Extreme Weather Protocol and have cancelled Stage 4 of the Dubai Tour.

On behalf of the whole peloton, race leader Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step) explained: “It is a pity, but it is absolutely impossible to race in these weather conditions.”

Hatta - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  illustration - sfeer - illustratie sandstorm Dubai Tour 2017 - 4th stage The Westin stage 109 km - 03/02/2017 CANCELLED  - photo Cor Vos © 2017

Fourth edition of the Dubai Tour was a memorable one for Quick-Step Floors and Marcel Kittel, who won three of the four stages capitalizing on the great work of his teammates, who took the front of the peloton every day and controlled the breakaway before delivering the German in the final 200 meters, where his huge power, incredible burst of speed and tactical nous did the rest, catapulting him to victory and a perfect start to his second season with Quick-Step Floors.

The Final Stage 5 of the race was also the shortest at 124 kilometers and got off to a flying start, with speeds of over 50 km/h, as several riders tried to jump clear and make it into the break. It turned out to be mission impossible in the first 40 kilometers of the day, as the escapees weren’t to the peloton’s liking. Eventually, Matteo Bono (UAE Abu Dhabi), Ivan Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), Floris Gerts (BMC) and Dmitry Gruzdev (Astana) got a green light and went into the break, but Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels led a steady chase behind them, carrying the field on the flat roads to Dubai City Walk, and kept the gap under two minutes all the time.

With 10 kilometers left, it was all back together as the sprinters’ teams began jostling for position on the wide roads of Dubai. Quick-Step Floors took over the front and upped the pace as more and more lead-out trains began to form. Once again, Fabio Sabatini slotted into his role as Marcel Kittel’s final man, but a chain problem for the Italian meant that the German was on his own going into a tight right-hand bend with 400 meters left.

This didn’t stop Marcel, who kept a close eye on his opponents and started his sprint on the outside, getting the better of Elia Viviani (Sky) and Riccardo Minali (Astana) for his third stage win this week. It was his eighth career victory at the Dubai Tour, one which sealed the general classification, where Kittel finished ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo).

Cycling : 4th Tour Dubai 2017 / Stage 5 Arrival / Marcel KITTEL (GER) Blue Leader Jersey/ Celebration / Elia VIVIANI (ITA)/ Jean-Pierre DRUCKER (LUX)/  Dubai-DIMC - Dubai-City Walk (124km) / Meraas Stage / Dubai Tour / © Tim De Waele

Stage 5 winner and overall winner, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step): “Today was a short and fast stage. We tried to control it from the very beginning and we did as planned thanks to a superb team effort, so hats off to the guys for their work. In the final kilometer, Fabio’s chain fell off, but fortunately I was well-positioned in the pack and notched up the victory to cap off a fantastic week for us, in a race which we enjoyed a lot”

“I’m extremely proud of what I achieved today: my second Dubai Tour overall in a row, my 75th career victory… When I came back to Dubai, I thought this is a nice race, it’s a goal for me, but I didn’t think it would go so well. The team did a really god job. It’s a very nice way to start the season. It was a short stage after the cancellation of stage 4 and we tried to control the race from the very beginning. The breakaway wasn’t too big so it went very well for us. At the end, it didn’t go exactly according to the plan because Fabio Sabatini’s chain fell off. He was supposed to be my last lead out man, so I had to go by myself but at the end I was well positioned, so I could do my sprint as I wanted to.”

10th on the stage and 2nd overall, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo): “The lead out I got today wasn’t very good so I finished tenth, which is below expectations but second on GC is above expectations. Marcel Kittel was too strong so I cannot complain about my final result. It’s the best I could get although I wanted to win a stage. It’s been a great experience to race in Dubai. The roads are great for riding a bike and practicing the preparation of a sprint. It’s been a really good race for me. It’s part of my improvement. Maybe next year I’ll be able to beat the world’s best sprinters.”

5th on the stage and 3rd overall, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s a good start of the season for me. I tried my best again today, it did not work out 100% as we had wished, but it is a learning process with my new team, we are getting there, getting better and better at every sprint, it is all about experience. It is a pity that Stage 4 couldn’t have been held, which could have been a good one for me as I had won at Hatta Dam before, but there is nothing we could do, it was simply impossible to race. We have to take it as it is, the Dubai Tour makes it a good start to the season for me anyway, it has been a good week of racing.”

6th on the stage, Sacha Modolo (UAE Abu Dhabi): “I approached the final bend in 6th place, my team mates had led me in a very good position, it was perfect for starting the sprint. Immediately after the bend, Viviani and Minali anticipated their action on the right side of the road: I did not wanted to anticipate too, however maybe it would have been the best option, since I did not succeed in overtaking other riders and I crossed the finish line in 6th place.”

Dubai Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 2:34:12
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
3. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
6. Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Abu Dhabi
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
8. Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo.

Dubai Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors in 15:08:56
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:18
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:20
4. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC at 0:24
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Sky
6. Thomas Stewart (GB) ONE Pro Cycling
7. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Astana at 0:26
8. Mark Cavendish (GB) Dimension Data
9. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:27
10. Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar.

Dubai stage 5:

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2017
A chaotic finish of Stage 2 in Denia saw Greg Van Avermaet secure BMC Racing Team’s second day in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana leader’s jersey after he finished in eighth place behind stage winner Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin).

A fast start saw early breakaway attempts quickly reeled back in as the peloton raced towards the first of today’s five category three climbs. It was only after an hour of racing that a three-rider breakaway was able to go clear off the front of the peloton and extend a solid advantage.

BMC kept tight control of the main bunch behind whilst the breakaway extended a lead which reached a maximum of 6 minutes 15 seconds. As the race headed into the final 80km, the breakaway’s advantage started to fall but heavy rain created slippery conditions. With the race back together heading into the final 15km, attacks soon followed including the final and ultimately winning move of seven riders with Martin, who eventually rode to solo victory.

Greg Van Avermaet won the reduced bunch sprint for the line and, although finishing 19 seconds back, he stepped onto the podium as the second race leader from BMC Racing Team in as many days.

Stage winner, Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin): “We received information that Kristoff also won today so we knew we needed to do the same. I’m very happy that in my first road race for Katusha-Alpecin that I could get a victory and keep our morale high in the team for the next races. It feels great. I knew the final here from our training camps and I knew I had good condition so I had a plan in my mind and the plan worked out. It’s nice to start the season for Katusha-Alpecin like this, especially after a bad day yesterday. This makes everything good. The team supported me 100% on a stage that was kind of crazy with a lot of crashes and a lot of rain. I crashed two times myself. But I had a plan in my mind and in wet conditions not so many riders can go with me. I took some risks but everything worked out to the plan. I usually win only in the time trial so it’s special to win in this road race. I was really welcomed into this team and the atmosphere is so great. It was a good decision for me to go to this team and I hope this victory gives something back to their work for me.”

Interview with Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana race leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC):
Another day in yellow for BMC Racing Team, Greg! How are you feeling about taking the leader’s jersey?

“I came into this stage thinking that there was the chance for me to go for the stage win and in the end it was not possible. I can’t complain though as this is only my second race day of the season and already I think my condition is good, especially as I lost some training this winter. I am always proud to wear the leader’s jersey at any race and I hope to be able to keep the jersey after tomorrow’s stage.”

Talk us through the final stages of the race when the seven riders attacked.
“We were working right from the beginning so we didn’t have enough guys to close down the final gap and at the end it was too risky to push the limits with the bad weather and the slippery roads. At the end of the stage when I was racing for the remaining top ten places, I wanted to give it my all to finish in the best position I could as the guys had done such a good job earlier on to put me in the best position possible. So once again this yellow jersey is really a team effort.”

What part did the rain play in today’s race?
“It was definitely not an easy day today with a lot of wind and rain which made the roads dangerous. There were a lot of crashes especially on the last descent so I wanted to keep safe and not take too many risks. It’s always good to win but my biggest goals are still to come and I didn’t want to end my season here.”

And looking ahead to the rest of the race?
“Our main objective was to win the opening team time trial and we have done that so everything else is really a bonus for us. Tomorrow could be another chance for me to go for the stage win so I will try and take any opportunities that I can but this race is preparation for me as I look towards my main goals in April. The team as a whole is really strong here and with the steeper stages, especially on Saturday, I think guys like Ben Hermans and Nicolas Roche could be in good form to do something.”

3rd on the stage, Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo): “It was hard and cold today, I was much better than yesterday, that’s why I tried it. Steven and I went full-gas on the climb and tried to escape. When I was in the front and Tony Martin went, I couldn’t follow. He went too fast. I feel well again. And despite my bad day yesterday, I never stopped believing.”

BMC Sports Director, Valerio Piva: “It was a little bit hectic of course with the rain, especially in the final 45km where there was a lot of crashes. We had Stefan Küng go down but thankfully he was okay and finished without any problems. The main objective today was to try and control the race and to bring Greg into the final climb to try and go for the stage. We had a plan and I think all the riders executed that plan so I am happy with how everyone was riding. In the end we had to work so hard at the front of the peloton all day that when Martin attacked no one could go with him. Of course it would have been good to win the stage but it is always a positive to have the leader’s jersey. There is a prestige that comes with that and it motivates the team to stay together but we will still continue to look for opportunities to take stage victories as the race continues.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 2 Result:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin in 4:44:35
2. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij at 0:11
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana
6. Amaro Antunes (Por) W52/FC Porto
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:19
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 2:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 5:28:11
2. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
4. David Lopez (Spa) Sky at 0:21
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 0:37
6. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:41
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:49
8. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:54.

Valencia stage 2:

Magnus Cort (Orica-Scott) won the bunch sprint into Riba-Roja de Turia on Stage 3, beating Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie). The overall lead stayed with BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet who is on the same time as his teammate, Ben Hermans and 7 seconds ahead of stage 1 leader Manuel Senni. David Lopez (Sky) was in 4th place at 28 seconds.

The wind affected the race as it headed into strong gusts, causing problems for the Break to hold any advantage. Six riders did manage to gain a maximum of 4 minutes after 40 kilometers, they were: Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Aitor Gonzalez (Euskadi), Daniel Lopez (Burgos-BH), Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy), Benjamin Perry (Israel Cycling Academy) and Julio Alberto Amores (Inteja Dominican Cycling Team). At the 80 kilometer mark the lead was only 2 minutes.

The force of the chase split the peloton into two, and as the front group came within a minute of the escapees, Jos van Emden (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) jumped across. Van Emden attacked from the group with 30 kilometers to go but he was caught coming to the final 10K and the race was set for a sprint finish. A few hard-men tried to go before the sprint, including stage 2 winner Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), but none were allowed to get very far.

Direct Energie controlled the bunch for Coquard, Cort was further back with Bouhanni on his wheel. The Dane made his move with less that 100 meters to go and no one could get round him. Bouhanni second and Coquard third.

Roja de Túria - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Magnus Cort NIELSEN (Danmark / Team Orica Scott) - Nacer BOUHANNI (France / Team Cofidis)   pictured during 68th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 3 - from Riba to Roja de Túria(161 km) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017 ***Spain out*** aten: LowRes only

Stage winner, Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott): “The team rode perfectly today and it is really nice to start the season with a win,” said Cort. “It was pretty technical in the last kilometer and it was very important to be in a good position for the last left hander and it took good work from everyone to get me into position. I am really happy I could finish it off for the team and a big thank-you to the guys for helping me achieve the win.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 3 Result:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott in 3:49:02
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Spain
6. Samuel Caldeira (Por) W52/FC Porto
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
10. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 3:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 9:17:13
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC
3. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC at 0:07
4. David Lopez (Spa) Sky at 0:28
5. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 0:44
6. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:48
7. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors at 0:49
8. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:54
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 0:56.

Valencia stage 3:

One-man-show by Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the climb of the Mas de la Costa to claims the first ‘Blue’ win in 2017 and also dons the Comunitat Valenciana leader’s jersey with one day to go. Quintana came into the decisive Stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with a 54 second deficit on the GC leader, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), a gap seemingly unsurmountable in only four kilometers of definitive climbing, yet Saturday brought a pure exhibition by Quintana on the Mas de la Costa ascent, one of the most amazing display in his already-prolific career, to take over the leader’s jersey, claim Movistar Team’s first success of the 2017 season and celebrate his 27th birthday in style.

The break of the day went early, but was pulled back at the base of the final climb. The escape was: Lauren de Plus & Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac), Igor Anton (Team Dimension Data) and Cyril Gautier (AG2R-La Mondiale).

Helped out by his seven team-mates, who held the pace of a Sky-driven peloton before the last Cat-1 climb. Nairo attacked right from the bottom of the ascent, initially followed by Amaro Antunes (W52/FC Porto) and Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data). The Portuguese rider was soon dropped, with the Eritrean still keeping Quintana’s wheel for just over one kilometer before losing sight of the Colombian. A very steady pace ended up bringing him the 32nd victory of his career, 40 seconds ahead of Kudus and 1:07 over Ben Hermans (BMC), tied with team-mate and yellow jersey holder Greg Van Avermaet and now second overall at 23 seconds with one day to go.

Mas de La Costa 180 km - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nairo Alexander QUINTANA ROJAS (Columbia / Team Movistar)   pictured during 68th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4 - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017 ***Spain out***

Stage winner and overall leader, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “Today’s plan went nearly perfect. We’re still watching how my body reacts to these early-season efforts and today, happily, it responded well. As in every stage of this race, the team covered me perfectly and I could save all of my energy before the climb. I jumped from the very foot, saw myself doing well, and carried on. I really found great legs over the steepest parts of the climb, so today’s effort seems like a good sign. We will keep on refining our training plan to keep this form growing up.”

“It’s a very special victory in my birthday. A success that makes me calm and confident, as it proves we did some good work over the winter. We have very clear goals in mind and we’re approaching them correctly. I don’t feel like this is a warning for my rivals, though. We’re still so early in this season, and things just went well into one race. We took advantage from the moment, but it doesn’t mean anything regarding the big goals. Even so, this victory makes us tremendously happy – it’s quite an important success for our team, the first one – and a good one.”

“I want to dedicate this win to my family, my wife, my little daughter, my dad and my brothers, always helping me out wherever I needed to; and especially to my friend Adriano Malori. We think about him a lot and we’re raring to have him with us into races. Also, to all the team, staff and sports directors included, as they make our work go so smoothly.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 4 Result:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 5:02:19
2. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data at 0:40
3. Amaro Antunes (Por) W52/FC Porto at 0:45
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:48
5. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:57
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:07
7. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 1:08
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:10
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:13
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 1:17.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 4:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 14:20:16
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:23
3. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC at 0:42
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 1:02
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:19
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:52
7. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 2:03
8. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data at 2:17
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 2:22
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 2:35.

Valencia stage 4:

Strong winds at the start line saw Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 5 shortened to a 35km circuit race around the center of Valencia. The sprint finish was won by Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) from Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis). Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished safely in the bunch to secure his overall win ahead of Ben Hermans and Manuel Senni (both BMC) on the podium.

The shortened race was big on speed with all the riders keen to get the race on infront of a large crowd. A two-man break of Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors) and eventually Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) fought their way through the hard wind. When the bell rang for the fifth and final lap, the two leaders still had a 30 second advantage, but were caught within the final 500 meters. Then with a surprise jump by Coen Vermeltfoort (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) nearly caught the sprinters out. Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) just managed to get past the Dutchman on the line.

Valencia - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Nacer BOUHANNI (France / Team Cofidis) - Coen VERMELTFOORT (Netherlands / Team Roompot Nederlandse Loterij)  pictured during 68th Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage 4 - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2017 ***Spain out***

Stage winner,Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie): “It was difficult out there. The escape of two guys did a terrific job. The Roompot rider attacked with 400 meters to go and messed it up for us a bit. That left us all out of power and I was out on my own but in the end it was great. I’m happy that the riders and teams and riders found a solution to race today.”

Overall winner, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I’m very happy about this victory. We knew it wouldn’t be easy today, and indeed it turned out to be very nervous due to the strong winds we had to face. Fortunately, both the team and I kept attention at all times and in the end it was no problem for us to conserve this jersey. I don’t consider it was an easier victory than previous ones. After so many months without racing, the TTT was really hard for us. Considering the gaps created by the team trial, we were thinking it’d be sort of an impossible feat to reach the leader’s jersey. The other days weren’t easy, either, as we suffered with strong winds, lots of stress… Saturday might have been a bit less difficult, because the team’s work helped me to get to the foot of the ascent much fresh, and I could finish it off well. It’s all about my team-mates’ work: they covered me perfectly all week.”

“My fitness level at this point of the season is similar to what I found last year. We’ve got two big goals ahead, the Giro and the Tour, and we know that finding the correct approach will be key to our success. For the time being, we’re on the right path to get there at 100%, but should any other opportunities come along the way, we’ll chase them. I’m one of those who likes winning in January or February, and I also try to be in good condition up until the end of the season. Now it’s time to have some rest and prepare for the Abu Dhabi Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, my next two races.”

2nd overall, Ben Hermans (BMC): “I feel really happy with this result. I was a bit disappointed yesterday as I was going for the win but when you lose against a rider like Quintana, I have to be proud of my performance. It was great to have Manuel Senni on the podium with me and I really appreciate the work that everyone has done this week. Without the effort of the team on the opening team time trial, I don’t think I would be in this position so I am really thankful to them all. I think seventh on yesterday’s stage was good, especially this early in the season and I am confident my condition will only get better from here.”

3rd overall, Manuel Senni (BMC): “I am really pleased with this result. We wanted to win the team time trial and we did that. The second objective was try to get the best result possible on the GC. I think we achieved this also with myself and Ben Hermans both on the podium. For me this will be always be a special race as it started with the yellow jersey and I think it is a perfect start to the season.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 5 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie in 1:01:23
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis
3. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5. Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
6. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Spain
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Final Overall:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 15:21:49
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:13
3. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC at 0:32
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:52
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors at 1:09
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:42
7. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:53
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 2:12
9. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data at 2:13
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 2:25.

Final stage 5:

Etoile de Bessèges 2017
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) took his first win of the 2017 season on Stage 2 of Etoile de Bessèges on Thursday, a 152.7k road stage that began in Nîmes and ended in Rodilhan. Kristoff is now leading on the general classification by 4-seconds ahead of Démare.

Rodihan - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Etoile de Besseges 2017 - stage 2 - Nimes - Rodihan 152 km - 03/02/2017 - Alexander Kristoff (NOR - Katusha - Alpecin) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin): “Yesterday I was second and I had a really good sprint so I was motivated to try to beat Arnaud Démare today. It was a harder race today with a smaller group and our team did such a good job with many riders in the front. At the end I wanted to win to make this team effort count and I’m very happy to get the win in the second race of the year. We have a strong team here and we had almost the whole team in the front. We can be proud of the guys. We have many young guys who are riding the first time with us as a pro so to be in the front group is impressive. I know when I was first year pro I could not manage to do this. I’m so proud of them and all of the team.”

Etoile de Bessèges Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin in 3:26:59
2. Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
4. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
5. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
6. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale.

Etoile de Bessèges Overall After stage 2:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin in 7:01:00
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ at 0:04
3. Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:12
4. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:15
5. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:18
6. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
7. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
8. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
10. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Stage 2:

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) won Stage 3 and took the overall lead on Thursday and gave the team its first victory of the season. The Frenchman has 17 seconds on Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), 18 on Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and 22 on his teammate Sylvain Chavanel.

The stage saw a large group go up the road gaining over 10 minutes. The breakaway was: Lilian Calmejane & Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie); Samuel Dumoulin, Pierre Latour & Hubert Dupont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damien Gaudin (Armee de Terre), Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jimmy Janssens (Cibel-Cebon), Christophe Laporte & Jerome Cousin (Cofidis), Mauro Finetto, Julien El Fares, Romain Combaud & Quentin Pacher (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Romain Hardy & Arnold Jeannesson (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Mads Würtz Schmidt, Nils Politt, Reto Hollenstein & Rein Taaramäe (Katusha-Alpecin), Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), Roland Thalmann (Roth-Akros), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Maxime Vantomme (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect).

There were attacks on the final climb, but they were all pulled back. Calmejane and Pacher jumped away on the final 7 kilometer lap and had 30 seconds with 5 kilometers to go, but the group chased hard to pull the paid back to less than 10 seconds. Calmejane eventually went solo and held off Mads Würtz Schmidt for 7 seconds and took the overall lead by 17 seconds from the Katusha-Alpecin rider.

Etoile de Bessèges Stage 3 Result:
1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie in 3:48:07
2. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:07
3. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM at 0:09
4. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
7. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
8. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
9. Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin.

Etoile de Bessèges Overall After stage 3:
1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie in 10:49:09
2. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:17
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:22
5. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:25
6. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
10. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:33.

Stage 3:

Milan-Sanremo winner, Arnaud Démare (FDJ) won the Stage 4 on Saturday, he got the better of stage 2 winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and Christophe Laporte (Cofidis). Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) held onto his overall lead of 17 seconds from Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin).

It was the second stage win in the race for reigning Milan-Sanremo champion Démare, who won the first stage and was also third on stage 2. The Frenchman sprinted to victory in stage 4 after the day’s breakaway was caught just a kilometer from the finish line.

The break of the day didn’t escape until after 30 kilometers. Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Nico Denz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ángel Madrazo Ruiz (Delko Marseille Provence-KTM), Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Wesley Kreder (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Kevyn Ista (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect) managed a maximum lead of just under 3 minutes. With 70 kilometers to go they only had just over a minute. Onto the five finishing circuits with the climb of the Mur de Laudan the lead was down to 30 seconds and with 2K to go they only had 10 seconds and were caught in the last kilometer. Demare was the best man there just ahead of Kristoff.

8th on the stage, Eduard Prades (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “Today’s finish suited me very well. The team helped positioning me at the end but in a crossing with one kilometer to go, there was a lot of craziness going on and I didn’t managed to start the final ascent as well as I wanted to. I was in 25th position and not able to fight for the victory. However, I did everything I could to finish as strongly as possible, knowing that my condition still isn’t at its best.”

Etoile de Bessèges Stage 4 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ in 3:36:24
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
3. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
4. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
5. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
8. Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect.

Etoile de Bessèges Overall After stage 4:
1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie in 14:25:33
2. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:17
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
4. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:21
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:22
6. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:25
7. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
10. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:33.

Stage 4:

Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) won the final time trial Stage 5 of the Etoile de Besseges on Sunday with a time of 17:05. Overall leader, Direct Energie’s Lilian Calmejane was only 13 seconds behind him and so took the final overall victory. Pierre Roger Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) was 3rd at 0:17 and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) was 4th at 0:20 on the stage, but Schmidt was 3rd overall and Latour 4th.

Palma de Mallorca - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tony Gallopin (France / Team Lotto Soudal)   pictured  during the photoshoot of the Lotto - Soudal cycling team 2017 on December 13, 2016 in Palma De Mallorca, Spain  - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage 5 winner and 2nd overall, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal): “Of course I am really satisfied with this victory, but I am also disappointed that I finished second again on GC. I know the course of the time trial really well. I already finished fourth and second on this course. Today, I aimed for the stage win and I wanted to take the overall victory as well. Calmejane was really strong though, he already proved that when he won the stage on Friday. I went full gas today and don’t need to have any regrets. I am happy that I already got my first victory of the season. My performance is very reassuring. Next weekend I’ll race in Murcia and Almería and then I go to the Volta ao Algarve, where I got sixth overall last year. This is a nice way to start the season and I’d like to thank the teammates for their support.”

Etoile de Bessèges Stage 5 Result:
1. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal in 17:05
2. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:13
3. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:17
4. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:20
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:22
6. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:38
7. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:41
8. Kevyn Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:51
9. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
10. Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis at 0:52.

Etoile de Bessèges Final Overall:
1. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie in 14:42:51
2. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal at 0:05
3. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:24
4. Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:29
5. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:31
6. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:53
7. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:59
8. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 1:18
9. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:33
10. Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 2:11.

Final stage 5:

Hansgrohe Superprestige Cyclocross – Hoogstraten 2017
On Sunday Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) the penultimate round of the Superprestige series in Hoogstraten, again just ahead of World champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles). Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games) was again in third place.

The Dutch champion was strong from the start on the very muddy course. Van der Poel had Van Aert chasing him from the gun, the World champion was also not helped by Van der Poels speed over the barriers and his running superiority. Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Lions) managed to stay with the leaders for a while, but in the end it was only Pauwels who had any chance of competing.

Van Aert caught Van der Poel at the end of the first lap with Meeusen and Pauwels hanging on. Pauwels was always in trouble on the running section, but always managed to stay with the others, it was Van Aert who was in trouble and was dropped to fight back. Meeusen was dropped for good on lap six. Eventually Van Aert cracked with two laps to go and Van der Poel was gone. With one lap to go Van der Poel ad just over 10 seconds on Van Aert not far behind.

Van der Poel had 6 seconds on Van Aert with Pauwels a further 10 seconds back. Laurens Sweeck (ERA Real Estate-Circus) was fourth at 1:17.

Hoogstraten - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon)  pictured during Aardbeiencross - Hansgrohe Superprestige of Hoogstraten, Belgium  - photo PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon): “Again, it was an exciting race where a lot was going on. It was a very tough course to race on. I wasn’t aware that I had a bonus during the penultimate lap. Someone was shouting and when I looked back I saw the gap. I no longer had to wait. The final lap was a matter of avoiding mistakes. Last year, Wout had a problem with his derailleur. That can happen to me as well. The classification is only decided when you cross the line in Middelkerke.”

2nd, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles): “As long as those fucking-loops feature in this course I’ll never win here, I think. At halfway there’s also the barriers in that section. I lacked the morale to try it. It’s my own fault that I’m running the barriers but every lap you lose time there. Mathieu has his qualities and exploits them. I don’t want to complain too much. It’s up to me to become better at it. I know what to work on.”

Hansgrohe Superprestige – Hoogstraten Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon in 1:02:34
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 0:06
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games at 0:16
4. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era Real Estate-Circus at 1:18
5. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:33
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 1:46
7. Vincent Bastaens (Bel) Vzw Koninklijke Stoempersclub at 2:04
8. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 2:05
9. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet–Fidea Lions at 2:14
10. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 2:24.


DVV verzekeringen Trofee Krawatencross – Lille 2017
As the cyclocross season starts to wind down Mathieu Van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon) won the eighth round of the DVV verzekeringen Trofee in Lille. There was only 4 seconds between him and World champion, Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles) and over 40 seconds to the others. Tom Meussen was the best of the rest in third and Kevin Pauwels (Bel) took fourth and Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) fifth.

Lille - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Mathieu van der poel Pictured as he wins the cyclocross race in Lille ( 8th and last leg for the DVV verzekering Trophee in Lille, Belgium, on saturday 04/02/2017  - photo PN/Cor Vos © 2017

DVV verzekeringen Trofee Krawatencross – Lille Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon in 1:02:40
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 0:04
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games
5. Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Telenet–Fidea Lions
6. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet–Fidea Lions at 0:42
7. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Napoleon Games at 1:01
8. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-Verona at 1:04
9. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Vzw Koninklijke Stoempersclub at 1:10
10. David Van Der Poel (Ned) Beobank-Corendon.

The action from Lille:

Voeckler Back to Defend his Title at the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire!
Thomas Voeckler will be back to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title after being unveiled as the first star rider of 2017.

Welcome to Yorkshire announced Voeckler today, who emerged triumphant last year when he broke away with Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) on the final climb of the third stage. He then outsmarted his rival in a two-way sprint for the overall victory along Scarborough’s North Bay. That win proved the highest-profile success of the season for the Frenchman, who is one of the most celebrated cyclists of his generation. He has earned a cult following due to his attacking style and never-say-die attitude.

The 37 year old has also won four Tour de France stages, held the iconic yellow jersey for no less than 20 stages, and even topped the mountains classification in a glittering career. Last September he announced plans to retire following this summer’s Tour de France, meaning the Tour de Yorkshire on 28-30 April will be his last-ever appearance on British soil. As such, the Direct Energie rider will be firing on all cylinders and cannot wait to return to the county which he holds in such fond regard.

Voeckler said: “I fell in love with the Tour de Yorkshire two years ago and it was a huge honor to win it after finishing third in 2015. This race feels like home for me because the crowd are always shouting my name, holding up banners or writing it on the road. I have never seen anything like it. I am looking forward to competing in Yorkshire one last time and I hope to have a major impact on the race, however I can.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity is delighted to see Voeckler return for a third successive season and insists he is just the first in a long list of world-class riders to be unveiled over the coming months.

He said: “Thomas has been a tremendous ambassador for the Tour de Yorkshire so I am thrilled he will be on the start line again. His swashbuckling style is a joy to behold and that tenacity has endeared him to supporters young and old. Riders of his ilk are what makes the Tour de Yorkshire so special and we will have a stellar field lined up once again in April. The word is now truly out on what a special and well supported race the Tour de Yorkshire is, and with the 2019 World Championships now firmly on the horizon, the interest in the race has never been higher.”

The official Tour de Yorkshire website can be found at www.letouryorkshire.com
More information on Bike Libraries can be found at https://bikelibraries.yorkshire.com
To apply to be considered as a Tour Maker visit https://letour.yorkshire.com/tour-makers

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com - 01/05/2016 - Cycling - Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 3: Middlesbrough to Scarborough - Yorkshire, England  Thomas Voeckler winner of Tour de Yorkshire Nicolas Roche Anthony Turgis

Cofidis to the Ruta del Sol – Vuelta a Andalucia
The French Cofidis team will return to participate in the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía after having an excellent performance last year. It will be the teams fifth consecutive year in Andalucia. They are the only team that, despite ProContinental, has received invitations to participate in the Tour de France and the Vuelta España. The team has a total of 497 victories since 1997.

The riders selected to participate in Andalucia are:
Dani Navarro, Yohann Bagot, Jerome Cousin, Hugo Hofstetter, Cyril Lemoine, Stephane Rossetto and Florian Senechal.

Cofidis in Andalucia:

Race Program for André Greipel
The race program of André Greipel is slightly different this spring than previous seasons. The German champion will take a different route towards the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Team manager Marc Sergeant explains.

Marc Sergeant, manager Lotto Soudal: “It’s important for every rider to focus on other goals now and then. That helps to stay motivated and is challenging. André starts the season with the Challenge Mallorca and Volta ao Algarve, just like last year. Of course we are very pleased with the victory of André in Mallorca. After racing in Portugal he will ride the Abu Dhabi Tour, where he will be our man for the flat stages. It’s a WorldTour race since this season and so a more important race. Just like last year, he will participate in Paris-Nice. It’s not certain yet if he will take the start in Milan-Sanremo. Afterwards, André will race the Volta a Catalunya for the first time in his career. He’s 34 years old and wants to try to start the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs and Paris-Roubaix in the best possible shape. That’s why he chooses to race in Catalunya to prepare for these goals. After a rest period he will start in Frankfurt on the 1st of May and just like previous years he will ride the Giro.”

André Greipel:

Frederik Veuchelen Undergoes Collarbone Surgery
Our most experienced rider Frederik Veuchelen broke his collarbone in stage one of Étoile de Bessèges. Even before the start our 38 year old rider took an unfortunate tumble against the asphalt. He still rode to the finish but was later sent to Belgium. Thursday doctors revealed that Veuchelen had broken his collarbone. Today he underwent successful surgery of Dr. Steven Claes.

Frederik Veuchelen: “The surgery was successful. I have to rest some days. Then, I can ride on the rollers. According to Dr. Claes, I will be able to train on the road within 2 weeks. I want to keep calm. Some days off the bike should not be that annoying for my condition. Saturday, I have to undergo a new scanner then I will be authorized to leave hospital. I want to look it positive, it could have been much worse.”

Frederik Veuchelen:

Training in Dubai
The Astana team arrived early in Dubai for some days training, this is what that looks like!

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