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Torino - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vincenzo Nibali (Italie / Team Astana) - Alexandr Vinokurov - (Kasachstan / Teammanager Team Astana) pictured during stage 21 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Cuneo to Torino 163 km - fotoIB/LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Nibali Monday!

Vincenzo Nibali has won his second Giro d’Italia, but either in a very cleaver or stealthy manner – Top Story. We have a catch-up of the final stages from Italy, plus results and video from the Baloise Belgium Tour. In other cycling news we have the US championships, race news from the Critérium du Dauphiné and Paris-Tours, Enrico Battaglin re-signs with LottoNl-Jumbo and we finish with video of Nibali and the Chaves family. A full EuroTrash Monday.

TOP STORY: Nibali – True or Bluff?
Vincenzo Nibali won the 2016 Giro d’Italia, which is three weeks long, in two days. If you believe what the Astana team were telling everyone, that Nibali was sick, then he made a recovery that Lazarus would be proud of. Or was it all a bluff. Maybe Vincenzo and Vino sat down together and saw that if the Italian champion could be within 5 minutes of the lead with the last two mountain stages to go, he could walk away with the overall win by putting everything into those two stages.

Whatever the plan was, it worked.

Well done all at Astana:
Torino - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Vincenzo Nibali (Italie / Team Astana) - Alexandr Vinokurov - (Kasachstan / Teammanager Team Astana)   pictured during  stage 21 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Cuneo to Torino 163 km - fotoIB/LB/RB//Cor Vos © 2016

Giro d’Italia 2016
At the end of the longest stage of the 99th Giro d’Italia, Matteo Trentin secured the win in Stage 18 for Etixx – Quick Step – opening his Giro d’Italia account at the same time – after making substantial contributions to the earlier achievements of his teammates Marcel Kittel, Gianluca Brambilla and Bob Jungels. He surprised Gianluca Brambilla and Moreno Moser (Cannondale) by darting past them in the last 300 meters while, far behind, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) led the group of the favorites in the climbs that preceded the finale in Pinerolo. The race leader avoided anything untoward in view of the two coming Alpine stages.

Stage 18 was the longest of this Giro at 244 kilometers, but was not decisive for the GC men. A group of 24 riders formed off the front in the first hour, they were: Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Stefan Kung & Daniel Oss (BMC), Moreno Moser, Ramunas Navadauskas (Cannondale), Gianluca Brambilla & Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step), Olivier le Gac (FDJ), Andrey Solomennikov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), Sacha Modolo & Matej Mohoric (Lampre-Merida), Pim Ligthart (Lotto Soudal), Genki Yammamoto & Gianfranco Zilioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Nikias Arndt & Alberto Timmer (Giant-Alpecin), Christian Knees (Sky), Pavel Brutt, Jay McCarthy & Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff) and Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Wilier Triestina-Southeast). They built up a lead of 14 minutes

On the short but steep climb of the Pramartino; Brambilla and Moser escaped together and had 30 seconds at the summit on Arndt, Rovy, Modolo and Trentin. The pair worked well together and looked like they would be fighting it out for the win. Brambilla’s teammate, Trentin, had been taking it easy on the wheels of the chasers and when they hit the cobbled climb through Pinerolo he launched himself after Moser and Brambilla. Trentin shot past them both for the stage win much to the joy of Brambilla and the shock of Moser.

The main bunch split with the riders who had nothing gain sitting up and letting the top riders fight it out. Valverde put in an attack but only just finished ahead of the pink jersey of Kruijswijk and the other GC men for no change in the overall.

Full race report and result here.

Pinerolo - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Matteo Trentin (Etixx - Quick Step) - Moreno Moser (Cannondale) - Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx - Quick Step) pictured during stage 18 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Muggio to Pinerolo 244 km - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner, Mateo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “After helping Brambi on Pramartino, I just rode my own tempo, so I could survive and recover until the top. Then, on the downhill, I rode full gas and caught Rovny, Arndt and Modolo. Having Gianluca at the front, the pressure was on them, so I stayed at the back of the group and recovered. On the San Maurizio ascent, I launched my attack, made the catch with around 350 meters to go and continued with my acceleration, which brought me this beautiful triumph.”

3rd on the stage, Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This victory comes after a fantastic teamwork and a flawless tactic. We proved once again how great we get along together and how strong we are. For me, to get my first Italian win at the Giro, it’s something really unbelievable, I couldn’t have asked for more. This victory is for my family, who supports me all the time, and for the whole team. Now we have four stage victories, and what’s great is that the race is still not over, so who knows what else can happen.”

Overall leader, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo): “Steven Kruijswijk said in the press conference: “It was a really long stage. My team did a perfect job today, with two guys pulling on the flat, others who brought me to the climbs, and Enrico [Battaglin], who did the whole climb by himself. We knew a breakaway would go to the finish, and also which riders and which teams would make it. It’s always more predictable at the end of the Giro. We controlled the race and stayed safe. I have been the team leader since the beginning, and I still have the same role in the team, although the Maglia Rosa gives me more confidence. I’m enjoying every moment in it. I hope I have made the race very attractive in the last week. I have received lots of support from the Italian fans, so I don’t think I’ve spoiled their party. As for tomorrow and Saturday, I’m looking forward to them. I’ve trained a lot in long climbs like this and I showed last week that I cope well with the altitude”.

Best Young Rider and 7th overall, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m really happy that the team won again. This Giro was really great for us. Concerning me, I felt good and I am satisfied with my performance, as I was there with the best guys. Tomorrow it will be a different stage, shorter, colder, at altitude and hard right from the beginning. We’ll see how it unfolds, but I hope to be strong again.”

10th overall, Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data): “I have never experienced anything like this stage of the Giro d’Italia in a grand tour before. You think on a stage like today you start easy, there goes a big breakaway and that’s it. But, everyday has been full gas and today from 150km it was one line in the peloton. Our boys did a fantastic job, like Jay, Jaco and everybody else to keep me protected in the line. I never suffered or had to wait for a bidon or anything. Before the climb they kept me in position and after the climb Igor did a job for me to protect my general classification position. I am a little bit tired but we will just see how the next two days go, after that we can relax.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 18 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step in 5:25:34
2. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale
3. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:20
5. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 0:30
6. Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff at 0:34
7. Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier-Southeast at 1:10
8. Christian Knees (Ger) Sky at 1:16
9. Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:24
10. Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana at 4:28.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 18:
1. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 73:50:37
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 3:00
3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 4:43
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha at 4:50
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 5:34
7. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:57
8. Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar at 8:53
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 10:05
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 11:16.

Giro Stage 18:

Pre-race favorite Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) made up for his disappointment in the Dolomites by riding solo to victory in Stage 19 in Risoul on French territory. Just behind him, Esteban Chaves (orica-GreenEDGE) dethroned Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) who crashed in the descent from the Colle dell’Agnello and was taken to hospital at Briançon after the stage for X-rays.

The racing was full on from the start of Stage 19, but the break of 28 didn’t escape until half-way up the Colle dell’Agnello. The leading on the overall all had men in the front group, but KOM leader Damiano Chaves (Nippo-Vini Fantini) was missing. The big group soon started to split and Michele Scarponi (Astana), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Egor Sillin (Katusha) were on their own into the snow covered mountains. Scarponi dropped the other two to go ahead and take the Cima Coppi on the highest climb of this years Giro.

In the group of overall contenders; Esteban Chaves (Movistar) was the most active with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) staying with him. The pink jersey of Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) brought the Colombian back, but Valverde was in trouble and had lost 40 seconds at the summit.

At the start of the descent, Kruijswijk took a bend too wide and hit the snow bank, flipping his bike over many times and doing a summersault onto the snow. With help from the neutral service car he remounted, but there must have been a problem with the bike as he changed it as soon as his team car could get to him. Chaves and Nibali were pushing hard in their group and Scarponi stopped to wait for his leader. When Kruiswijk stopped to change bike, Valverde passed him. Further down the road, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) shot off the road into a river gully, it looked bad as the medical team attended him, in the end he had a broken collar bone and shoulder blade, but his Giro was over.

On the final climb to Risoul (France), Scarponi pulled over and Nibali attacked. The Italian champion put in more jumps and eventually was solo to take the stage victory and place himself 40 seconds behind the new overall leader Chaves.

Kruijswijk was in trouble further down the road as he couldn’t hold the wheel of Best Young Rider, Bob Jungels of Etixx – Quick-Step and dropped to 3rd overall at 1:05 on Chaves and 21 seconds down on Nibali with Valverde 43 seconds behind him.

Full race report HERE.

Risoul - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) pictured during stage 19 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Pinerolo to Risoul (162km) - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana): “I’ve always known that something is likely to happen in the final days of a Grand Tour. I had good sensations in the high mountains today. Climbing the Colle dell’Agnello, I saw several riders suffering so I accelerated. Steven Kruijswijk wasn’t doing great. We had Michele Scarponi in an important breakaway. I mostly thought of winning the stage. I rode away and went straight to Risoul. It wasn’t simple to bounce back but inside myself, I kept believing that I could do something before the end of the Giro. This is for sure a beautiful victory but my favorite one remains Il Lombardia.”

3rd on the stage and overall leader, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE): “It’s a special day for me, my team and my country. Ruben [Plaza] went into the break, I was up there when the attacks started 5km from the top of the Agnello. It was an early move but it was the right time to attack to make a difference. It’s not easy to follow Nibali downhill. He’s crazy to do that, but I must be crazy too to follow him. I’m sorry for Steven Kruijswijk. Crashes are part of cycling. He behaved like a warrior. It’s a dream to be in the Maglia Rosa. If I bring the jersey home, it’ll be great, if not, I’ll have done everything I could.”

3rd overall, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo): “On the top of the Colle dell’Agnello, I was on my limit, I wanted to eat and drink something, and followed the others. I made a stupid mistake. I made a wrong move and crashed in that wall of snow. My bike was battered, and I wasn’t able to continue immediately. After I started riding, everything hurt. I felt pain in my back and my ribs, and my morale was broken. I knew that I had lost time and tried to move on, but it was over. I lost my Giro today.”

6th overall, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “It was hard to breathe at high altitude on Agnello, especially when the attacks came, so that’s why I wanted to find my own rhythm. Over the top I couldn’t follow the leaders, but did a good downhill, went really fast there, and this was important. We had backwind on that section, so I hit a maximum speed of 105 km/h. Then, luckily, Carlos Verona came from the break and helped me until Risoul, and I want to thank him for that. On the last ascent, I rode again without panicking, had a good pace and overall I’m satisfied with how things went. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be as strong and enjoy another solid ride.”

4th on the stage, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “I’m very happy with my today performance. I’m fine, I feel comfortable on the climbs and I succeed in pedaling on a good pace which allows me to be competitive. I anticipated the rest of the group escaping on the Colle dell’Agnello, the situation of the race became favorable for my characteristics, however the stage was very demanding, also because the crash of Kruijswijk intensify the battle for the pink jersey. I focused my attention on the goal of exploiting as much as possible my good fit, I obtained the 4th place and this result satisfy me a lot, because I’m aware that I fave my best.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 4:19:54
2. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 0:51
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:53
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1:02
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 2:14
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale
8. Georg Preidler (Aut) Giant-Alpecin at 2:43
9. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sky at 2:51
10. Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE in 78:14:20
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 0:40
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:05
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:48
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 3:59
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 7:53
7. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 9:34
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale at 12:18
9. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 13:19
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 14:11.

Giro Stage 19:

Avenging his Katusha team-mate Ilnur Zakarin who crashed spectacularly in Friday’s stage, Rein Taaramäe took Estonia’s first ever stage victory at the Giro d’Italia. Behind him, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) turned the general classification upside down and dethroned Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE), while Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) slipped into third place ahead of former Maglia Rosa Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo).

Stage 20 from Guillestre to Sant’Anna di Vinadio started climbing from the start and Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) was the first to try, followed by Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini). Eventually a group of eight escaped with Nieve, but no Cunego.

The escape was: Nieve, Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale), Stefan Denifl & Tanel Kangert (Astana), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step), Rein Taaramäe (Katusha), Aleksey Rybalkin & Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo), they had 7:30 at the start of the Col de la Bonette.

Nieve headed off on his own for the KOM points and built up 1:20 lead with Atapuma chasing with Foliforov with him, although they were pulled back. Nieve took the points and the KOM lead. Tinkoff were putting the pressure on the peloton behind for Rafal Majka, but the escape had 10 minutes, so were safe.

By the time the leaders hit the penultimate climb, the Colle della Lombarda with 45 kilometers to go they had 8:40 on the peloton and Astana were in charge. Up front; Dombrowski and Atapuma escaped and were joined by Visconti and eventually Taaramae and Kangert as Nieve was in trouble. Scarponi started to attack the peloton to distance Chaves.

Taaramäe attacked the leaders as Kangert sat up and waited for Nibali to come across as he had left the others behind. Seeing his chance to move up on GC, Valverde dropped Chaves, although the Colombian did pull the Spanish champion back eventually.

Taaramäe was on his own and heading for the stage win as Nibali got together with Kangert to put time into all his advisaries.

Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) was helping Chaves, but the young Colombian couldn’t hold onto his countryman’s wheel and was caught by Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step).

Taaramäe took the solo stage win as Atapuma dropped Dombrowski for 2nd.

Nibali fought his way through the many fans on the final climb as Valverde and Uran got within 13 seconds of him, but there was no sign of Chaves and the Italian champion took the pink jersey by 52 seconds from Chaves and 1:17 from Valverde and Kruijswijk dropped to 1:50 in 4th.

Full stage race report HERE.

Full race report HERE.


Stage winner, Rein Taaramäe (Katusha): “Yesterday was really a hard and sad day for us. The team worked for three weeks for the GC and I know how motivated Ilnur was. Everything ended in one sudden second. That’s why I was so motivated today to go in the break. The second reason was that I wanted to prove myself I can do a good race. I worked so hard in the beginning of the season and I hoped this work would pay off one day. It was not easy at all to go in the break. Honestly, I suffered a lot in the beginning. I even dropped a few times from the break but every time I was able to come back. I did everything to go on a regular pace and that worked. I know these climbs very well since I did a lot altitude training camps here. From those camps I also learned that I become better the higher we go in the mountains. I found my moment to attack and I went away. I took my rhythm and was able to create a gap. The last two kilometers were really hard, I had strong cramps, but I went until the finish and won. This victory is very important for me but also for the team. I am super happy and I still can’t believe it. What a day!”

2nd on the stage and 9th overall, Darwin Atapuma (BMC): “I have nothing left. It was another incredibly tough stage. I gave it everything and felt really strong. In the end I think I underestimated Taaramäe. He was the smartest rider out there today. I wasn’t feeling good at the beginning of the last climb, but Dombrowski was and wanted me to pull. Then I felt better, but at that point we weren’t pulling Taaramäe back fast enough. I attacked again to try and bring him back but I ran out of kilometers and then the stage was over. In the end I think I have shown what I can do here at this year’s Giro d’Italia but I’m disappointed to not have a stage win to show for it.”

Overall leader, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana): “I knew today’s stage. I had climbed La Bonnette at the Tour de France [in 2008]. It’s very long and hard but the key point was La Lombarda. With Jakob Fuglsang and Michele Scarponi, we kept the race under control, while Tanel Kangert had gone ahead. After I accelerated, I was kept informed of the gaps. It was my first time racing against Esteban Chaves but I knew from last year’s Vuelta that he’d be hard to beat. I’ve kept pushing till the end. After I crossed the line, I listened to the speaker who was counting down the seconds, and only then did I realize that the Maglia Rosa was mine.”

7th on the stage and 3rd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m extremely happy about today’s. I think everyone could see it when I punched the air so hard after the finish, standing there, waiting for the overall podium to be confirmed. It seemed as if I had won the race myself. It wasn’t easy at all, but we got that third place and we came so close to the second spot. It’s nothing short of incredible for me. Being on the podium of all three Grand Tours is a phenomenal achievement for my career. And at the end, after struggling so much in altitude, it seemed like I got used to it, because my legs during the final climbs were fantastic. The job we did all day, from the first attacks in Vars, the whole team helping me out in the Col de la Bonette, plus that final hand from Visco in Sant’Anna… it was marvelous. So many ‘tifosi’ at the final slopes meant I didn’t have any real time gaps coming from my earpiece, I couldn’t hear them, but I knew I was putting time on those behind, that we were climbing strong and, with visuals against Nibali, even taking time back on him. The last two ascents – it all really went well. I can only be happy. It was another surprising day to close a Giro with lots of changes, quite different from what fans and people around the race could expect for. Nibali? We knew he was going to be really strong again today, and into the stage, before his attack, we could feel he was going to drop Chaves behind. He truly deserves this final victory. I was stronger than him at some stages, while he beat me at others. Both of us, Chaves too, deserve to be on the podium. I consider myself a good rider, who gives everything for myself, my team, my fans. Stepping onto the Turin podium with my kids tomorrow will be a massive satisfaction.”

4th overall, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo): “I didn’t suffer for three weeks to give it all up now. This last hard day was possible only because I suffered through the rest, but I am totally exhausted now. The only thing that was possible was to hold my top three spot because I lost the Giro yesterday. It’s a shame that I’m standing here without the pink jersey now. I did the best I could,” Kruijswijk continued. “I barely slept last night after my crash and I felt a lot of pain. I tried to ignore that pain. I wanted to forget everything and go to the finish line. I did. This was it.”

10th on the stage and 5th overall, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “I saw I lacked the explosiveness that my opponents had – I think that was my weakest point this Giro. However, I feel that my form is good and I will look to perform much better at the Tour with Alberto. Maybe in the future I need to do a Giro or Tour more relaxed in order to build my form to them and then attack another Grand Tour or an important stage race as captain. I’m very happy with 5th overall and the team did its best. Now we will focus on the Tour with a strong team around Alberto in the quest for the yellow jersey.”

Best Young Rider and 6th overall, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “In the past two days I got better and better and it was a great feeling to see that I could stay with the main contenders. I recovered very well during this race and this played out in my advantage. As I previously said, this was my first Grand Tour in which I started with the clear goal of going for the GC. It wasn’t easy against this field, but to finish 6th, wear the maglia rosa for three days and claim the U25 classification it’s something that makes me very proud. The team did an incredible job, you could see that in every stage I had somebody around me. This team spirit brought me so far in the Giro and I have to thank the guys for their help and for how they protected me in the stressful and difficult situations. These three weeks were very important also because I got a confirmation of my riding style: I can gain time in the ITT and ride a steady pace in the mountains, and this is something that I can develop in the future.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 20 Result:
1. Rein Taaramae (Est) Katusha in 4:22:43
2. Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC at 0:52
3. Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale at 1:17
4. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 4:12
5. Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 4:36
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 6:44
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:57
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale
9. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar at 7:47
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 8:06.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 20:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 82:44:31
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:52
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:17
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:50
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 4:37
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 8:31
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale at 11:47
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 13:21
9. Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC at 14:09
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 16:20.

Giro Stage 20:

The day after he conquered the Maglia Rosa in Sant’Anna di Vinadio, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) became the overall winner of the 99th Giro d’Italia in Turin. It is his second Giro d’Italia win, the first coming in 2013. Points classification winner Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) crossed the finishing line in first position but he was relegated to last in his group because of irregular sprinting. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) subsequently added his name to the list of Giro d’Italia stage winners.

Stage 21 was hit by heavy rain which caused the race to be neutralized and the overall time would not be changed. Due to the conditions three riders could not finish the race; first Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) had to go to hospital with a suspected fractured shoulder blade, then Movistar’s Jasha Sutterlin and Dimension Data’s Johann van Zyl both ended their race in an ambulance.

LottoNl-Jumbo’s Maarten Tjallingii and Jos Van Emden went on the attack and were out front until 6 kilometers to go, that attack was followed by Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani-CSF), but he crashed out and hit a spectator. Sean de Bie (Lotto Soudal) escaped in the final kilometer, but the sprinters came past him with 300 meters to go. Nizzolo was the fastest man to the line, but after complaints the jury gave the win to Arndt and moved Nizzolo down to 12th, which was the last man in his group. The Trek rider still won the points prize, but it missing a stage win.

Vincenzo Nibali could celebrate his win with Astana teammates as he didn’t have to finish in the same time as the others due to the neutralization of the stage.

Torino - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) - Sacha Modolo (Lampre - Merida) - Nikias Arndt (Giant - Alpecin) pictured during stage 21 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Cuneo to Torino 163 km - foto DB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

2016 Giro d’Italia winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana): “I had a stomach bug during the Giro but it’s better not to tell everything sometimes. The last rest day allowed me to get better. I never said that I wanted to go home. I always remained in the high part of the classification. Steven Kruijswijk had a good advantage after the Dolomites but I knew the highest mountains were yet to come. Riding above 2000 meters isn’t easy for anyone but I found myself in good shape. Kruijswijk crashed but towards the summit of the Colle d’Agnello, I noticed he was breathing heavily so I put pressure on him climbing and then descending. Had I not done so, probably nothing would have happened and [Esteban] Chaves would have had an easy ride as well. Everyone was watching me and I wasn’t used to race guys like [Tom] Dumoulin, Chaves and Kruijswijk. I don’t often look at my palmarès but when I do, I realize it’s rich of great successes.”

Stage winner,Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin): “This is not the way I would have wanted to win a stage at the Giro. I wish I had won one before today: I’ve been hunting a win for three weeks. But the jury has made its decision and there’s nothing we, as riders, can do about it. I’m happy that I have a Giro stage win under my belt. I did a good sprint today anyway.”

3rd on the stage, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida): “I apologize for the bad word I said when I noticed that I Nizzolo was swerving and closing my trajectory, however I was very disappointed because I was aware that I was missing the opportunity to obtain the victory. I regret that I could not finalize the great work which was made by my team mates, there have been perfect during the whole Giro and it would have been great to thank them obtaining the victory. I had good legs, my condition is very good, however I could not win.”

3rd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It’s been a great Giro d’Italia for our team. We’ve worn pink with Andrey, won a stage, fought for some more with second and fourth places… and at the end, after so many sacrifices, we took that third spot overall. Personally, I’m really happy with how the season is going for me so far, and also to have claimed that podium finish in my first-ever Giro d’Italia. We had many days of pure struggling, but we knew how to stand up, bounce back and get to the place where we wanted to me. I knew that after Corvara – a bad day for me, due to the altitude and difficult sensations-, there was still much to be ridden in this Giro. What normally happens in this race is that the final week turns so hard that changes can happen everywhere. Plus, all big favorites had at least one really bad day. That made things so exciting for the fans. My victory in Andalo was a huge relief for the team, and showed that we had recovered well from such misfortune. All my team-mates, from the first to the last one, gave everything they had in store. Bad luck stroke us twice, early in the race with Javi Moreno’s abandon on stage five and later on with Carlos Betancur, who struggled for a whole week with his stomach really wasted, and had to leave the Giro two days before Turin. Those who remained here gave all they had, and the reward for such efforts was pretty beautiful. I really liked it. I enjoyed so much to race here. It’s a race completely different to the Tour, more similar to the Vuelta a España, way more calm and with different stress to what you suffer from in France. Why not coming back next year? This is for everyone who always relied on me and believed I could do well. For my family, my wife, my kids. Those who haven’ been able to join us here due to crashes, like Malori and Castroviejo. Plus, Xavi Tondo, who always remains in my mind. Thanks so much for keeping your strength coming and supporting me, as well as the whole team. I hope you’ve seen during this Giro that we never keep trying, we’re always fighting for success. The Movistar Team is falling and getting back on the bike, struggling and yet keeping giving everything, in good and bad times. When you do that, victory is always assured. My next big objective from now is mainly the Rio Olympics. We will go to the Tour in order to support Nairo Quintana. I want to make it clear, from this very moment, that I will be losing time on the first week and take things easier so I can help Nairo out and give my best in the mountains. Also, if it’s possible and it doesn’t compromise the team’s goals, I’d like to chase some stage wins or make it into the break and help the team from there. Our motto for the Tour remains the #SueñoAmarillo, winning the Tour with Nairo at last, and then, the Rio Games.”

4th overall, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo): “The day I grabbed the pink jersey and gave a knock to my competitors, was my highlight this Giro d’Italia. I felt great the whole day. I actually planned to save as much energy as possible to be as fresh as possible during the uphill time trial the day after, but because everything went so well, I decided to attack. I’m proud of the way I was able to race in this Giro. The leader’s jersey brings another sort of joy. Everyone’s watching you and wanting to take that jersey from you. There is nothing more beautiful than beating the favorites and riding in that position. I knew that Nibali was going to go strongly on the descent, I wanted to follow him, but wasn’t able to look through the turn very well because of the snow. I made a mistake, slipped away and rode into that wall of snow. Before this Giro, I might have been happy with this fourth place, but you have to take the chances you get. I failed at doing that in this race and that’s a shame.”

Best Young Rider and 6th overall, Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “At this moment it’s hard to say what this jersey means for my career. What I do know is that I’ve been working really hard for this and that it will take a week or so until I’ll asses my performance. Right now, I’m speechless. For me, the most important thing in this Giro was the team, without the guys I wouldn’t stand here today. I am proud of my result, of the entire team and I will continue to work hard.”

10th overall, Kanstantsin Siutsou (Dimension Data): “I’m happy with my 10th place overall. Maybe I could’ve done a bit better, but I have to say a big thanks to the team who supported me really well over the last three weeks. We rode together like a family, which was really nice. Hopefully I can keep my form for the next couple of weeks to play a good role in the next races.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 21 Result:
1. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin in 3:48:18
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha
5. Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC
8. Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini
9. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff
10. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale.

Giro d’Italia Final Overall Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 86:32:49
2. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:52
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:17
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:50
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 4:37
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step at 8:31
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale at 11:47
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 13:21
9. Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC at 14:09
10. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data at 16:20.

Points Competition: Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)
KOM Competition: Mikel Nieve (Sky)
Best Young Rider: Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)
Intermediate sprint classification: Daniel Oss (BMC)
Combativity: Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step)
Team: Astana.

Giro Stage 21:

Baloise Belgium Tour 2016
Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) capitalized on a great lead-out and sprinted to his first victory of the season in Stage 1 at the Baloise Belgium Tour, Thursday.

The 174.5-kilometer stage played out towards a bunch finish with an easily controlled two men forming the day’s breakaway and everything was together again with 17 kilometers remaining.

A few antagonists tried their luck at spoiling a sprint ending, but the high-pace in the chaotic final kilometers kept everything tight. With perfectly timed precision, Trek-Segafredo came to the front in leading out Theuns, and he delivered on the uphill finish with a powerful sprint to win by half a bike length.

Knokke-Heist - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Edward Theuns (Belgium / Trek Factory Racing) celebrates his win pictured during stage 2 of the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race with start in Buggenhout and finish in Knokke-Heist, Belgium  - photo JdM/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and 6th overall, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “The team launched me perfectly in the last two kilometers, they did amazing work, Boy (Van Poppel) in particular did such a long pull in the end. I kept pushing him and he rode until he almost fell off his bike. When I was alone I had to wait a little bit before launching my sprint, but I picked the right moment and then when the bump came I knew I had it. For me, it is a very important victory. I was waiting for my first victory this season and I had very high ambitions coming to the Tour of Belgium. I was happy with the prologue yesterday, I did a good time and good values on my SRM, and I was confident that the form is good. In the spring I gained a lot of confidence in my sprinting, I felt like I made progress and felt good power, I rested for a week after the Classics and started building again with the Tour of Belgium being a big goal. I came here with ambitions to win a stage. My sprint felt good in training, and today all the hard training paid off.”

2nd on the stage and 10th overall, Dan McLay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept): “Super job by the team today to put me in the front. Had to wait just a little too long to start and finished 2nd on the day!”

3rd on the stage, Kenny Dehaes (Wanty-Groupe-Gobert): “On the one hand it is a good result for the team, on the other hand I’m disappointed because I think I could have won this stage”, Kenny Dehaes thinks. I almost crashed but fortunately I stayed on the bike. I lost a few positions because of the crash.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 4:14:03
2. Daniel McLay (GB) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
3. Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
5. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
6. Jonas Vangenechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
7. Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe) Cofidis
8. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
9. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice in 4:20:55
2. Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:04
4. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:05
7. Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:06
8. Lars Boom (Ned) Astana at 0:07
9. David Boucher (Fra) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:10
10. Daniel McLay (GB) Fortuneo-Vital Concept.

Stage 1:

Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) won Stage 2 which was a mini Tour of Flanders and took the overall lead. Devenyns was part of the nine-man escape that was chasing down Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx – Quick-Step), Devenyns jumped from the group to pass Vandenbergh in the last kilometer for the win as Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect) won the sprint for second. Devenyns has a 4-second overall lead over his teammate Reto Hollenstein.

Herzele - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Dries Devenyns (Belgium / IAM Cycling)  pictured during stage 3 of the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race with start in Knokke-Heist and finish in Herzele, Belgium  - photo JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and overall leader, Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling): “I knew I had to ride intelligently throughout the stage, I did try several times to extricate myself from the group, but I was far from having won the race. Fortunately, the cobbled areas did not mess up my day. I managed to follow the best over those sections, and then the victory was decided in a sprint. For this type of finish, you always have to rely on the luck factor. Somehow, Thursday, luck was on my side. Now we will focus on the general classification. Our goal will be to keep the jersey until the finish. We have brought a strong IAM Cycling team to this Tour of Belgium; we are much stronger than you might think.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling in 4:32:26
2. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:01
3. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha
7. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling
9. Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:40.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling in 8:53:22
2. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:04
3. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:07
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:16
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:18
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:20
7. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:23
8. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:39
10. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:43.

Stage 2:

Stage 3 was abandoned due to two race motorbikes crashing into the peloton injuring many riders, the worst affected was Lotto Soudal’s Stig Broeckx.

The team made this announcement:
This afternoon Stig Broeckx got seriously hurt in an accident during the third stage of the Belgium Tour. In a descent the young Belgian was involved in a crash of about twenty riders, caused by a crash of two motorbikes. Broeckx was seriously injured and he immediately received medical attention at the side of the road, afterwards a helicopter transported him to the hospital of Aachen.

Team doctor Servaas Bingé: “It was immediately clear that Stig had incurred a head injury and that he needed to be transported to a neurosurgical centre. Together with the race doctor and the medical emergency team we decided to transport him to the hospital of Aachen, which has the necessary infrastructure. A scan was taken at the hospital and it showed that Stig has two bleedings in his brain. Stig is in a non-induced coma, but for the moment he doesn’t need to undergo surgery. He doesn’t have a skull fracture, but he does have a fractured eye socket, which will be further evaluated later. At this point, it is very difficult to give a prognosis about a full recovery. The next 24 hours he will be very closely monitored.”

Manager Marc Sergeant: “Of course we are very shaken by all that has happened today. Last year our team had very difficult moments after the accident of Kris Boeckmans, exactly three months ago Stig was already hit by a motorbike in Kuurne and a few weeks later the peloton had to cope with the death of Antoine Demoitié. This is very hard for all staff members and riders, but even more for the family and friends of Stig. We can only hope that there is a positive evolution in the condition of Stig and we will support him and his family the best we can, both medically and emotionally.”

“After the neutralization, the riders gathered in the team bus and drove to the team hotel were they stayed together to support each other and to talk about what happened. After deliberation we informed the organization that we won’t ride the last stage of the Belgium Tour. At the moment it is pointless to make any accusations, but it should have been obvious much longer that structural measures concerning the safety of the riders are necessary.”

Stig Broeckx
Kuurne - Brussel - Kuurne 2016

Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin) won the Final Stage 3 of the Baloise Belgium Tour getting the better of Dan Mclay (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Tim Dupont (Veranda’s Willems). Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) held onto the overall ahead of his teammate Reto Hollenstein and Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx – Quick-Step). The Lotto Soudal team decided not to start the stage after Stig Broeckx crashed the previous day.

Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) was in the break of the day, but Giant-Alpecin had missed the split and pulled back the dangerous break for Waeytens to take the sprint and Devenyns for the overall.

Tongeren -  Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Zico Waeytens (Belgium / Team Giant - Alpecin)   pictured during stage 5 of the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour cycling race with start in Tremelo and finish in Tongeren -  Belgium  - photo JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Overall winner, Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling): “It’s all very confusing. I am happy to have my victory, but I’m not completely happy. I don’t feel like I am coming away as a carefree winner. All my thoughts are with Stig Broeckx. What happened yesterday is very serious. I cannot rejoice in my victory under these circumstances.”

2nd overall, Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling): “This performance underscores all the hard work I have done in recent years. Cycling requires so many sacrifices. I am happy to be rewarded. This result gives me more confidence in myself. I came to the Tour of Belgium without any real personal ambitions. I just wanted to apply myself, do my best. And often it is when you have less pressure that you perform better. This will allow me to face my upcoming goals like the Tour of Switzerland with more serenity. IAM Cycling is entering the most important section of the season with the Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France on the horizon. It is essential that all the riders arrive at the start in the best condition in order to address these objectives.”

Stage winner, Zico Waeytens (Giant-Alpecin): “I am delighted with my first victory. The plan for today was to set up the sprint for me. It was raining all day and the guys did an awesome job to protect me. In the sprint finish, I was feeling confident and really strong. It was a tricky finale, therefore we had to be in the front and we managed this in a good way. The guys brought me in a good position and the lead-out was perfect. Then, I gave it all to finish and it is nice to win the stage after a difficult couple of days. We raced perfectly together. I think this is a victory for the whole team and I’m really happy about it.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin in 3:34:08
2. Daniel Mclay (GB) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
3. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
4. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect
5. Shane Archbold (NZ) Bora-Argon 18
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step
8. Michel Kreder (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
9. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Baloise Belgium Final Overall Result:
1. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling in 12:27:30
2. Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling at 0:04
3. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha at 0:16
5. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:18
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:20
7. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:23
8. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:39
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:43
10. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx – Quick-Step.

Stage 3:

US National Road Championships 2016
Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team’s Greg Daniel couldn’t believe his late attack Saturday at the USA Cycling Volkswagen Professional Road National Championships was the one that would win him his first professional national road title.

With no radio to tell him if anyone else was ahead, Daniel said he kept hammering his Specialized S-Works Tarmac up the final rise to the finish.

“I didn’t want to make a fool of myself because I didn’t know if there was a group up the road,” the 21-year-old native of Sylva, North Carolina, said. “So I looked at the clock and saw zero. And I saw zero laps to go and the time was zero. I couldn’t believe it. It is still sinking in.”

Thrusting both arms in the air, Daniel earned the right to wear the stars-and-stripes jersey for a year with a five-second win over Alex Howes (Cannondale Pro Cycling). Travis McCabe (Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team) was third.

Daniel’s teammate, Logan Owen – the only other Axeon Hagens Berman rider in the race – finished eighth after also figuring prominently in the final lap of 12 of the 187-kilometer race through Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“I was talking to Greg going into the final lap and he said he was feeling good and wanted to go for it,” Owen said. “I trusted him and he trusted me to follow through on what we were going to do and it worked out perfectly. Either Greg or I could have won today. We had perfect teamwork. It could not have gone any better just working with two of us.”

Owen actually made the first move on the final lap, attacking through the start-finish line. Only Taylor Shelden (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) could follow and the pair built a 15-second advantage before being reeled in with fewer than 10 km to go.

From there, Daniel and four others – Oscar Clark (Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team), Daniel Eaton (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team), Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling) and Shelden – slipped away not long after a group of fewer than two dozen riders re-grouped.

“When we hit that final climb up Manly Road, I just sat on, expecting a move,” Daniel said. “There wasn’t a move that went, so I thought maybe everyone else was tired. So I just decided to test my legs and no one followed. I tried not to look back, but when I looked back and saw a gap I just thought I needed to go full gas. I knew at that point I couldn’t sprint. So I just kept going to the line.”

Daniel’s victory was his first of the season and the 10th of the year by an Axeon Hagens Berman rider. One year ago, Daniel competed in the Under 23 division at the national championships, finishing runner-up in the road race and third in the time trial. Now in his fourth year in the Under 23 developmental program headed up by Axel Merckx, Daniel’s previous biggest result was a runner-up finish on Stage 4 of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California.

“It was aggressive all day, which played to my strength,” Daniel said. “When the pace slows down, I just like to keep going hard. I just felt good all day and made sure to keep hydrated. I was worried about cramping and knew it was going to be humid and hot. So the best thing for me was to get in the break because I am not a sprinter. Then, the plan was for Logan to stay back and sprint for the finish.”

Daniel’s win adds to two others at professional nationals in Axeon team history, both in 2010. Taylor Phinney captured the individual time trial and Ben King soloed to win the road race.
Thanks to the Axeon Hagens Berman Team.

Greg Daniel (center) earned the right to wear the stars-and-stripes jersey for a year. Alex Howes (left) was runner-up and Travis McCabe finished third. (Photo ©Casey B. Gibson.):

US National Road Race Championship Result:
1. Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman in 4:21:34
2. Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale at 0:05
3. Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team
4. Chad Beyer (USA) Lupus Racing Team
5. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling at 0:06
6. Daniel Eaton (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:07
7. Oscar Clark (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team at 0:11
8. Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 0:12
9. Robin Carpenter (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team at 0:13
10. Taylor Shelden (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:16.

US National Men’s Time Trial Championships 2016
Taylor Phinney has become the United States National Time Trial champion for the third time after putting in an incredible ride which saw him smash the 51 kilometer course.

Phinney came home in 1:02:45, 1:10 ahead of Tom Zirbel (Rally Cycling) and 1:12 ahead of Alexey Vermeulen (Team LottoNL Jumbo). Brent Bookwalter finished in fourth place, 1:36 behind Phinney.

Phinney is looking forward to pulling on the starts and stripes time trial suit for the next year.

Quotes of the Day:

Taylor Phinney: “It was super difficult and I didn’t really have a lot of fun. But that’s how it is with a time trial and I signed myself up for this event, so I knew what I was getting my self into. Honestly I didn’t really feel very good. It was a tough mental battle the whole way. I started out super confident and then lost almost all of my confidence, and then gained it back and then lost it again, and then by the time I was on the way to the finish I had my confidence back. It’s easy to say that now but that’s what happened. I thought I was going super slow and started to get a bit down. The course was also three kilometers longer than what it was supposed to me.”

“I’m looking forward to putting the kit on for the first time, hopefully soon. I was just here to show myself ahead of the Olympics and try to have a good ride. It’s always good to get an hour long time trial in, which is something you’d never do normally.”

“I couldn’t walk for almost two hours afterwards. I still can’t ride my bike and get my left leg over the left crank because I was cramping really intensely after the time trial. It’s a weird thing to do to yourself that’s for sure, but I’m happy that I won, and happy that I’m not in so much pain anymore.”

Brent Bookwalter: “It was painful! I wasn’t feeling very good but I knew going in that it was far from the perfect time trial course for me. In the past couple of years of my career, I’ve really excelled at time trials that have some rhythm variation, climbs, position changes, and more technical parts. But I’ve been working really hard on making my sustained power and sustained TT position better. I think that paid off last week at the Amgen Tour of California with the 20 kilometer distance, but upping that sustained flat TT to a 50 kilometer course, I was really suffering out there. I think I was paying mentally a bit for my efforts in California last week. There were lots of head games out there today but I still left it all out there and did my best ride. But Taylor showed that he was in a class above the rest of us.”

Jackson Stewart: “We did a recon of the course yesterday and got the feel for the time trial. It was the perfect course for Taylor as it really suited his strengths and also good for him to show where he’s at before the Olympic Games and UCI World Championships. He just went out there without a radio and did his thing. And he smashed it!”
Thanks to the BMC Team.

Taylor Phinney:
Championat du Monde Cyclisme Route - TT elite men

US National Men’s Time trail Championship Result:
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC in 1:02:46
2. Thomas Zirbel (USA) Rally Cycling at 1:09
3. Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team Lotto Nl-Jumbo at 1:12
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team at 1:35
5. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling at 1:51
6. Mac Brennan (USA) Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Racing at 2:13
7. Benjamin Wolfe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 2:33
8. David Williams (USA) Astellas Cycling Team at 2:48
9. Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 2:58
10. Eamon Franck (USA) Astellas Cycling Team at 3:40.

US National Women’s Time Trial Championships 2016
Carmen Small powered her way to another national title after winning the U.S. time trial championships on Friday. The race took place over 33 kilometers over an undulating course in Winston Salem.
Small who has previously held the title and has medals in the time trial discipline from the world championships, was the second last rider to start. She crossed the line with a time of 42:31.91 proving to be the fastest on the day by 23 seconds to the second rider.

“I’m so stoked right now,” a delighted Small said. “It’s unbelievable. All that hard work over the winter and the spring, has paid off. I was more stressed out than I ever was in my life coming into this race. I was more nervous than I was at World Championships. I had the best preparation coming here. I had time at home to spend with family and my cats and was relaxed for a while. I had good training at home in Durango.”

Small goes on to explain how she planned the race in detail. “I had a very specific strategy. It was a hard course so I didn’t want to go in the red and had to be patient and carry that speed into the next climb. It was pretty good. I talked a lot with my coach about how to ride the course. I had the plan in my head the whole time. It couldn’t have gone more perfect.”

She now turns her attention to the road race on Saturday where she will line up without any teammates. The race is over 140 kilometers on a nine-lap circuit.

Carmen Small:

US National Women’s Road Race Championship Result:
1. Carmen Small (USA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team in 42:32
2. Amber Neben (USA) BEPINK at 0:23
3. Kristin Armstrong Savola (USA) Twenty16-RideBiker at 1:08
4. Brianna Walle (USA) Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank at 1:31
5. Lauren Stephens (USA) Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank at 1:52
6. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans Cycling Team at 1:53
7. Tayler Wiles (USA) Orica-AIS at 1:54
8. Chloe Dygert (USA) Twenty16-RideBiker at 1:56
9. Julie Emmerman (USA) Rally Sport Cycling Team at 2:55
10. Leah Thomas (USA) Twenty16-RideBiker at 3:03.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2016
This coming June 5-12, the Critérium du Dauphiné will host the world’s best cyclists for a battle of titans in the Alps and a new time trial from the Les Gets ski resort to the finish at Superdévoluy. Defending race winner, Chris Froome, who has been less dominating this season, will have to fend off attacks from Contador, Porte, Aru, Pinot and Bardet… all of whom want to win ahead of the Tour de France.

The time for them to meet up again nears. But while, for the most part, the contenders are the same, the conditions of their arrival on the scene have largely changed: with the transfers since the summer of 2015, by the rise of candidates for the podium who have become credible contenders for the overall win, with a course that is relatively the same, or by their physical condition that is difficult to pinpoint before the serious business gets underway. On the Dauphiné like the Tour, Chris Froome came into last year’s races as the overwhelming favorite for the win and most definitely assumed his stature. However, his 2016 calendar has been less engaging with a much lighter schedule of races, where he has more often than not been dominated by his direct rivals. Yet, no one has surmised that this has left the leader of Team Sky out of contention; far from it. Nevertheless, the uncertainty about his superiority is likely to erase his rival inhibitions. The usual suspects like Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez and former team mate Richie Porte, are his most pronounced adversaries. And newcomers such as Fabio Aru, winner of the 2015 Vuelta, and Thibaut Pinot, who rode particularly strong on the recent Tour of Romandie (2nd), are now serious outsiders. The French contingent has plenty of possible threats in addition to Romain Bardet, who has always shown well on the Dauphiné (5th in 2014, 6th and a stage win in 2015). Julian Alaphilippe could build on his momentum after winning the Tour of California to aim for a more prestigious overall win or podium result.

22 teams, the main contenders (as of 26/05)

South Africa
Dimension Data: Anton (SPA), Boasson Hagen (NOR), Cummings (GBR)

Team Giant-Alpecin: De Kort, Sinkeldam (NL)
Bora-Argon 18: Buchmann (All), Huzarski (POL), Nerz (GER)

Orica-GreenEdge: Gerrans (AUS), S.Yates, A.Yates (GBR)

Etixx-Quick Step: Alaphilippe (FRA), D. Martin (IRL), T. Martin (GER)
Lotto-Soudal: Gallopin (FRA), De Gendt (BEL)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert: Gasparotto (ITA), Veuchelen (BEL)

Movistar Team: Moreno, Herrada (SPA)

BMC Racing Team: Porte, Dennis (AUS), Van Avermaet (BEL)
Cannondale: Rolland (FRA), Slagter (NL)
Trek-Segafredo: Hesjedal (Can), Mollema (NL), Zubeldia (SPA)

AG2R La Mondiale: Bardet, Vuillermoz, Gougeard (FRA)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Bouhanni, Jeannesson (FRA), Navarro (SPA)
FDJ: Pinot, Vichot (FRA), Reichenbach (SWI)
Direct Energie: Calmejane, Sicard, Voeckler (FRA)

Great Britain
Team Sky: Froome (GBR), Poels (NL), Kwiatkowski (POL)

Lampre-Merida: Meintjes (ZAF)

Astana Pro Team: Aru (ITA), Lutsenko (KAZ), Rosa (Ita)

Team Lotto NL-Jumbo: Kruijswijk (NL)

Team Katusha: Rodriguez (SPA), Van den Broeck (BEL), Kristoff (NOR)
Tinkoff: Contador (SPA), Trofimov (RUS), Valgren (DEN)

IAM Cycling: Coppel (FRA)


LottoNL-Jumbo extends with Battaglin
Team LottoNL-Jumbo extended its contract with Italian Enrico Battaglin, who is working to help Steven Kruijswijk win the Giro d’Italia. The team management, satisfied with his efforts so far, re-signed him through 2018.

The 26-year-old has yet to win, but played an important role in the Dutch WorldTour team. With his substantial efforts in key moments, he earned respect within the team.

“I am proud that I can continue to ride for this team,” said Battaglin. “It took some time getting settled in and adapting to the Dutch culture, but this team is great for me. In recent months, I worked hard and in crucial moments, I was there for the team’s leaders. I feel great doing it and I’m proud to be working for Steven in the pink jersey in my home race, the Giro d’Italia. It says it all to be rewarded with a two-year agreement. I hope to ride the Vuelta a España later this year and to have a chance to go for a stage win in the Vuelta.”

Explosive rider
Technical Director Nico Verhoeven praised the performance of Battaglin, who was contracted to strengthen the team. Battaglin showed his skills in the 18th stage of the Giro yesterday, when he pulled over the Pramartino climb for Kruijswijk.

“We are pleased with this two-year extension of Enrico,” said Verhoeven. “We contracted him for the Giro and as a specialist for the short, hard uphill finishes. He is a puncher, an explosive rider. Soon after he joined the team, he dedicated himself to learning Dutch and adapted. He performed very well in the first part of the season. Also in this Giro, he protected Steven Kruijswijk in the hard Italian finals.”

Enrico Battaglin:
Tour de San Luis 2015 - stage- 5 ITT

2016 Paris-Tours to start in Dreux!
The Eure-et-Loir Department has hosted the start of Paris-Tours since 2009. After Chartres last year, Albéric de Montgolfier, President of the Eure-et-Loir Departmental Council and Christian Prudhomme, Director of cycling at A.S.O., made the official announcement that the start of the 110th edition will take place in Dreux on October, 9th.

One week before the World Championships in Qatar, the end of season classic will offer a terrain ideally suited to those riders who will aim for the rainbow jersey, with the flat roads of the Beauce region, often wind swept in the Fall and a royal finish on the avenue de Grammont.

As the curtain raiser to their elders, the under 23 riders will set off from Bonneval for the 74th edition of Paris-Tours Espoirs.

Paris-Tours 2015:
Paris-Tours 2015 - 11/10/2015 - Chartres-Tours - 231 KM - Peloton

No Hard feeling
At the end of stage 20 Vincenzo Nibali gets a hug from the parents of Esteban Chaves, the rider he just took the pink jersey from.

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