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EUROTRASH San Luis Thursday!

The Tour de San Luis and the Tour Down Under have three stages under their belts and we have all the video action and rider quotes from Argentina and Australia. The Olympic Games rider quotas are questioned in Top Story and we have news from Paris-Nice, Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Britain. Team updates from Wanty-Group Gobert, Gazprom-RusVelo, Lotto Soudal and Canada’s Olympic selection. We finish a packed EuroTrash with behind the scenes video at the Tour Down Under with Tinkoff.

TOP STORY: 2016 Olympic Men’s Road Quotas
The quotas for the men’s Olympic road race in Rio have been released and there are a few surprises. Belgium, Colombia, Great Britain, Italy and Spain have been given five places in the road race, which seems reasonable except when you think how many riders from Colombia and Britain there are in the WorldTour compared to Germany and Holland who only have four riders and Russia who only has three, the same as Iran. And then there is USA who has two, the same as big cycling nations like; Brazil, Korea and Turkey. For the time trial there are only 40 riders, which is something else I find odd. Why can they not have 100? Are the Olympics not meant to be the biggest sporting event in the World? Well, maybe not for cycling.

Vinokourov’s win in London was popular:
Roadrace men Olympic Games 2012 in London

Santos Tour Down Under 2016
Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) took Stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under and the first race leaders jersey. Dimension Data’s Mark Renshaw was second and Wouter Wippert (Cannondale) completed the podium in 3rd.

The 130.8 kilometer stage from Prospect to Lyndoch stage was hot with the temperatures in the upper 30’s degrees centigrade. Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Sean Lake (UniSA) made up the escapee on the day. Orica-GreenEDGE were in control and kept the trio’s lead under 2 minutes for the stage, making a sprint finish inevitable. Lake went solo with 20km to go, but was caught with 6km to go. Tyler Farrar kept the pace high for Renshaw, who was in 4th place, in the final 2km. The Dimension Data man managed to come round the others, but Caleb Ewan had the better jump to take the stage win and his first WorldTour stage race lead.

Santos Tour Down Under 2016 stage 1

Stage winner and overall leader, Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE): “I felt really good all day and the team obviously backed me all day because they rode from the start and I’m just super happy that I could finish it off for them. In the road race you have to be super conservative during the day because the sprinters are so fast these days it’s usually down to the freshest legs and the strongest team in the end. I need to thank Gerro for sharing the team with me. If he says to the team that he wants them to do the drive for him, they would have to do that. So for a guy like that who can really win the overall, to say ‘yeah you can have your go on the day there’s so many sprints’ it means a lot. It’s a really proud moment for me, I’ve never led a WorldTour race before and to lead my first one in my home country is a real honor for me.”

2nd, Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data): “I am very happy to be on the podium here in the first stage of the Tour Down Under. This is the 14th time I start the Tour Down Under and it’s a pleasure to be here with my new team, Dimension Data for Qhubeka. The finish was very hard to judge with a head wind finish and slight uphill. I maybe went a little too early once I’d seen the finish banner and that cost me the chance to win. Ewan did a really nice sprint, timing it perfectly behind me, he is in top shape where I have bigger objectives coming soon in the season. The team rode well today and Tyler did a perfect job of putting me behind the Sky riders to start my sprint in the front of the bunch.”

5th, Adam Blythe (Tinkoff): “In the last kilometers of the stage it was hard to stay in front of the group, and I fought to keep a favorable position ahead of the final sprint. Towards the finish line my sprint took me in front of everyone, but I’m afraid I was unable to keep the same speed until the end. Tomorrow’s stage could be suitable to the characteristics of our Oscar Gatto. In my opinion, today I saw him in very good shape.”

14th, Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling): “The problem for Matteo changed out plans, we did not manage to reorganize ourselves quickly enough, and once the sprint was launched, we were lost. The final was tough. For my part, I was not trying to take part in the sprint, but just to keep my momentum. For me to finish 14th was not the team’s plan, nor was it my goal. Only the victory interested us today.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE in 3:24:13
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
3. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale
4. Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre–Merida
5. Adam Blythe (GB) Tinkoff
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek–Segafredo
7. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
8. Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia
9. José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Team Movistar
10. Greg Henderson (NZ) Lotto Soudal.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 1:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE in 3:24:13
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data at 0:04
3. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at
4. Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale at 0:06
5. Sean Lake (Aus) UniSA-Australia at 0:07
6. Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre–Merida at 0:10
7. Adam Blythe (GB) Tinkoff
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek–Segafredo
9. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
10. Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia.

TDU Stage 1:

A slightly uphill sprint gave Australian Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) the Stage 2 victory and the overall lead. Tinkoff’s Manuele Boaro is also in the polka dot jersey. The hilly course of 132km south of Adelaide, started from Unley and finishing in Stirling, after five laps in the final circuit. A crash with 500 meters to go caused a few riders to hit the road and held up some others. McCarthy, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) avoided the fall to fight out the sprint.

Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) went solo after the 28km and had a maximum lead of 2:30 minutes, but with 25 to go he had less that 1 minute. With one lap to go he had 40 seconds with Orica-GreenEDGE chasing and within a kilometer he was caught. Orica-GreenEDGE, Katusha, Tinkoff, Astana, Sky and Lampre-Merida were all massing at the front. The crash came at 500 meters, Simon Gerrans being one of the fallers, splitting the front group allowing McCarthy and the others a slight gap.

Santos Tour Down Under 2016 stage 2

Stage winner and overall leader, Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff): “Today I felt in good shape and even before the start I was hoping to be able to play my chances, and so was it. Definitely a great victory! It’s nice to have two team managers with great experience as Lars Michaelsen and Sean Yates you can rely on, and confront with before the start, and listen to their advice. Now I just need to recover at my best and get ready for tomorrow’s stage as it will be longer and my work is not finished yet. I hope that in the coming days we can still do well as we did today.”

2nd, Diego Ulissi (Lampre–Merida): “The success would have been something amazing for me, it’s always so good to start the season with a victory, nevertheless I’m satisfy for the second place, especially because it gives me good feedbacks about my fitness. McCarthy performed an impressive sprint, starting in advance his action and keeping the speed high thanks to great legs, my compliments. I tried to recover, but he succeeded in resisting. The team supported me perfectly, many thanks especially to Pibernik who was my pilot in the final part of the stage.”

3rd, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “The plan was just to stay out of trouble. I think if the crash didn’t happen I wouldn’t have been third. I was a little too far back and I was just lucky enough to miss that. That’s the best I’ve gone in Stirling before. Every other year I’ve struggled, especially in the last 300 meters. So it’s just amazing what happens when you’re in the right place at the right time. Your confidence and everything goes up and you just feel better about the race. Today was another opener and another ticked box before tomorrow’s first real GC hit out. That’s going to be the real test of how my form is. I’ve got a little bit more confidence going into tomorrow. Being able to sprint at the end of the stage still fairly strong in the last 300 meters does give me confidence for Corkscrew and then downhill into the Campbelltown finish.”

14th, David Tanner (IAM Cycling): “It was a stage for me; the profile suited my qualities, and even without a victory bouquet at the end of the day, I still felt good sensations throughout the final, which bodes well for the rest of the race. With Aleksejs Saramotins, we worked at the head of the pack with two kilometers remaining, but I was still just missing a little something. I will remain confident, though, about the fact that I will be making further progress before the end.”

Cameron Meyer (Dimension Data): “It was a hot a day and I think a lot of guys suffered out there today. It was a big group at the finish, we didn’t race too hard on the circuit, the start was hard but the circuit wasn’t too hard which allowed 60 odd guys to come to the finish. There was a crash that disturbed Nathan and Reinie, I was caught up a little bit but I got through. Everyone should get the same time though. It was not the result we wanted but no time was lost and there are no injuries so that is good.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 Result:
1. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff in 3:26:40
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre–Merida
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
4. Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC
5. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Cannondale
7. Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar
8. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky
9. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
10. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL–Jumbo.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff in 6:50:43
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre–Merida at 0:04
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE at 0:05
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 0:06
5. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Rsa) Dimension Data at 0:09
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Cannondale at 0:10
7. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL–Jumbo
8. Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar
9. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
10. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant–Alpecin.

TDU Stage 2:

Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEDGE) took a close sprint at the end of Stage 3 from 2015 overall winer, Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Michael Woods (Cannondale). Overall leader, Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff), was fourth and Gerrans moved into the lead by 3 seconds form McCarthy and 5 on Dennis.

After a solo break, Laurens De Vreese (Astana) was caught with 21 kilometers to go and the pace lifted in the peloton to split before the climb of Corkscrew. Overall leader, Jay McCarthy’s Tinkoff team piled the pressure on causing Gerrans to miss the front split. Richie Porte (BMC) attacked on the climb chased by Woods and Sergio Henao (Sky) for the Colombian to take the KOM points and jersey. Gerrans managed to rejoin, but Porte and Dennis attacked on the descent to form a lead group with Gerrans, McCarthy, Woods, Henao, Steve Morabito (FDJ), Rafa Valls (Lotto Soudal), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Movistar). The group shot down into Campbelltown where it took the photo finish camera to decide on Gerrans win and overall lead.

Santos Tour Down Under 2016 stage 3

Stage winner and overall leader, Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEDGE): “To come away with a stage win and the leader’s jersey, we couldn’t have hoped for a lot more than that from today.”

2nd, Rohan Dennis (BMC): “It is a little bit disappointing. I thought I did a great sprint but Gerrans, you can’t take anything away from him. He’s a class act, he hasn’t won Liege, won Tour de France stages, beaten guys like Sagan, for nothing. I really have to take my hat of to him. Last year I won at Paracombe and Richie didn’t and he pumped me on Willunga. Different day, different story. I think it’s going to be really close after Willunga. It’s going to go down to the wire and I think if we don’t get ten seconds up on Gerrans on Willunga before the last criterium, they’re going to go for the primes in the middle. Corkscrew is purely who is the better climber I think and with Willunga, tactics come into play. It’s a lower gradient so you can actually push a bigger gear and it helps bigger guys like myself.”

4th, Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff): “Today the team supported me a lot during the whole stage, helping me to win bonuses in the intermediate sprints and then going to chase the escapees. Also Michael Gogl and Michael Valgren kept me in the first positions before Corkscrew, allowing me to stay with the best in the climb. After riding on top of the hill with the others we went to catch the two escapees and when we got to the final sprint I had to close a small gap that was created with Dennis and I lost a bit of energy for the final sprint. I probably should have started a little earlier, but I’m satisfied with fourth place because I’m second in the GC and I’m still the green jersey leader for the young riders, so my Tour Down Under is not finished yet. A good result, especially on Saturday in the Willunga Hill stage could take me back to the top.”

6th, Rafael Valls (Lotto Soudal): “I could show myself in the finale today, so I am satisfied. The peloton kept Laurens De Vreese under control, he was caught just before entering the finale and then I had to make sure to start the last climb in a good position. Richie Porte attacked quite soon and immediately the peloton fell apart. Then Henao and Woods had a gap, but I kept going to be able to return during the descent. Nobody was capable of avoiding the sprint. I knew there were faster guys in the group, I did what I could and I finished sixth, that’s my place on GC as well now. The goal is to finish in top ten and conquer the first important WorldTour points of the season. I’m in a good position now, but tomorrow’s stage is dangerous, the wind could really influence the race.”

9th, Richie Porte (BMC): “Rohan was fantastic today and was so close to Gerro, so it’s a good sign for our team. I felt comfortable. I didn’t come into the climb in the best position but Alessandro De Marchi moved me up into a good position. The signs are quite good, i’m happy with that. Obviously Sergio Hinaut is absolutely flying. I think he’s quite a danger man as well. But we cracked quite a few other guys that we thought would possibly be up there on GC. On Willunga I think we are just going to have to throttle them, really give it to them.”

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3 Result:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE in 3:37:34
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
3. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale
4. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff
5. Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJ
6. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lotto Soudal
7. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
10. Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 3:
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE in 10:28:12
2. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff at 0:03
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC at 0:05
4. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale at 0:11
5. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 0:15
6. Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lotto Soudal
7. Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Spa) Movistar
8. Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJ
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC.

Tour Down Under Stage 3:

Tour de San Luis 2016
Etixx – Quick-Step’s first UCI event of the season – the Tour de San Luis – brought the squad its first victory of the year, thanks to a solid performance in the Stage 1 team time trial which took place outside the Argentinian town of El Durazno, on a 21-km long course. Rodrigo Contreras, Fernando Gaviria, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Stijn Vandenbergh and Lukasz Wisniowski set the best time at the intermediate point (10.4 km) and continued in the same manner until the finish, where they recorded a time of 23:53.

The only team to go below 24 minutes, Etixx – Quick-Step was 8 seconds faster than Movistar, who was runner-up, while Astana finished third, 17 seconds adrift. With the victory came also the first leader’s jersey of the event for Maximiliano Richeze, the Argentinian rider nicknamed “El Atomico”, who has joined Etixx – Quick-Step in the off season. Also Colombia’s Rodrigo Contreras – who raced his first event as pro – took the U23 classification.

Cycling: 10th Tour de San Luis 2016 / Stage 1

Overall leader, Maximiliano Richeze (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I am very happy and I would like to thank my teammates for making me such a beautiful gift. This jersey comes as a reward for the work I have done. My last victory came more than three years ago, so that’s what makes this moment even more important. On top of that, my brother Mauro is here, riding with the San Luis team, so it’s a double joy. I want to enjoy every second of this race, to take it day by day, but I also remain realistic and will continue working for the team from tomorrow on in order to land other strong results.”

Etixx – Quick-Step DS, Davide Bramati: “We are really content. Yesterday we did a recon of the course and we saw it could suit us. The second part was more difficult, but the guys did a great job. They were all very motivated to show themselves and to get a good result in the first race of the year. We decided together that we’ll let Max cross the line first, because he’s Argentinian, and this gave them an extra motivation. We came here to win a stage and we did it. Now let’s see what tomorrow’s stage, which is suited to the sprinters, will bring and if we can score another good result with Fernando.”

(4th) Tinkoff DS, Patxi Vila: “This was the first race of the year, and it’s always hard to decipher. Nevertheless, given the team’s mixed composition, with some riders who are better suited to this kind of trial than others, we didn’t do too bad. We finished within a short distance both from Astana and Movistar, two of our main rivals, while the Etixx-Quick-Step team did a great trial and they won with merit. We raced at our own level and the guys were good. Considering this was the first test of the year it was fine.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 1 Result:
1. Etixx – Quick-Step in 23:53
2. Movistar at 0:08
3. Astana at 0:18
4. Tinkoff at 0:24
5. UnitedHealthcare at 0:54
6. AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:56
7. Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 0:58
8. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:59
9. Cannondale
10. Drapac at 1:00.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 1:
1. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step in 23:53
2. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
6. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:08
7. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar
8. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar
9. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar
10. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar.

San Luis Stage 1:

One day after helping the squad finish first in the team time trial, the 21-year-old Colombian Fernando Gaviria (Etixx – Quick-Step) sprinted to victory in Stage 2 of the Tour de San Luis and took over the overall lead from his teammate, Max Richeze. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) was second and Elia Viviani (Italy) was third.

Another day of hot temperatures on the second day in the Tour de San Luis for the 181.9 kilometers between San Luis and Villa Mercedes. Six riders made up the break of the day, it included: Juan I.Curuchet (Argentina), Ariel Sivori (Los Matanceros), Emiliano Ibarra (S.E.P. San Juan), Israel Nuño (Inteja-MMR), Genki Yamamoto (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Caio Godoy (Brazil), they put 5 minutes between them and the peloton. Sivori took the maximum points on the day’s sole categorized climb and Curuchet both of the intermediate sprints.

In the last 20 kilometers, Yamamoto, Sivori and Godoy broke clear of their breakaway companions, but the Etixx – Quick-Step team pulled hard and caught the remnants of the escape inside the last kilometer. Led-out by overall leader; Max Richeze, Fernando Gaviria timed his sprint to perfection and scored his first victory of the season, ahead of World champion Peter Sagan and Elia Viviani.

Thanks to this win and the bonus seconds he got on the line, the young Colombian now leads the general classification (the podium being rounded out by teammates Richeze and Contreras) and the U23 rankings. This was the 21-year-old Colombian’s third victory in the race, following the two from last year’s edition.

Cycling: 10th Tour de San Luis 2016 / Stage 2

Stage winner and overall leader, Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m very happy! The team worked in the beginning of the stage hoping other teams will come along, but as it didn’t happen we didn’t do it anymore, especially as it was very hot out there. After we stopped pulling, other teams came to the forefront, and in the last 20 kilometers, even though the gap was still big, Davide Bramati asked us to work hard, which we did. To me is something magical to win again in Villa Mercedes, one year after that victory which helped me get a World Tour contract. This victory is for my family and for the team, which has been by my side since joining it. It’s a huge joy knowing I can ride and win against riders like Sagan and Viviani. This is why I train every day and give 100% all the time.”

2nd, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “Cool! It was very hot today, in the end I never lost Gaviria’s wheel. But today he had three more gears and eventually he won by three bike lengths.”

Tour de San Luis Stage 2 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:23:54
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy
4. Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini
5. Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Jamis
6. Mauro Abel Richeze (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
7. Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Jason Lowndes (Aus) Drapac
9. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Italy
10. Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 2:
1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-step in 4:47:37
2. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-step at 0:10
3. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Etixx – Quick-step
4. Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx – Quick-step
5. Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:18
6. Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar
9. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:27

San Luis Stage 2:

Peter Koning gave his Drapac team a big win in Stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis on Wednesdays in La Punta. The new pro broke away with Elìas Tello (Chile), Gonzalo Najar (SEP San Juan) and Emmanuel Guevara (San Luis Team) and then left them to take a solo win by 1:37 from race leader Fernando Gaviria (Etixx – Quick-Step). This gave the Dutchman the leaders jersey by 6 seconds, including the stage win bonus.

The four riders had a maximum 6 minute lead and with 11km to go, Koning attacked as the other could only watch him go. Etixx – Quick-Step, Tinkoff, Astana, Movistar chased hard, but this only split the peloton on the climb of the Mirador del Potrero. The lead group could not pull in enough time on Koning to protect Gaviria’s lead, although the Colombian did win the sprint for second.

Tour San Luis 2016 2016 stage 3

Tour de San Luis Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Koning (Ned) Drapac in 3:08:41
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 1:37
3. Travis McCabe (USA) Holowesko/Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
5. Mauro Abel Richeze (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos
6. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Julien Loubet (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar.
9. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar.
10. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana.

Tour de San Luis Overall After Stage 3:
1. Peter Koning (Ned) Drapac in 7:57:43
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:06
3. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:22
4. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 0:30
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
7. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:39
9. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Astana
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana.

San Luis Stage 3:

Teams Selection for Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné 2016
Amaury Sport Organization have chosen the teams that will take part in the 74th edition of Paris–Nice (March 6–13) and the 68th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné (June 5–12).

In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, the following eighteen teams UCI WorldTeam are automatically invited to those two races:

AG2R-La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Dimension Data (AfS)
Etixx – Quick-Step (Bel)
FDJ (Fra)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Orica-GreenEDGE (Aus)
Team Giant-Alpecin (Ger)
Team Katusha (Rus)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (Ned)
Team Sky (Gbr)
Tinkoff (Rus)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)

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

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

Critérium du Dauphiné
Bora-Argon 18 (Ger)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert (Bel).

Paris-Nice 2015 Stage 7:

Wanty-Groupe Gobert receives wildcard Criterium du Dauphiné
Wanty-Groupe Gobert will take part in the Criterium du Dauphiné, ASO announced this morning. It’s the first time the Belgian procontinental team, starting its seventh season in the pro ranks this year, starts in this WorldTour stage race.

General manager Jean-François Bourlart naturally was very happy with the news he received from France this morning.

“It’s a huge honor for the team and its sponsors. To receive an invitation to such a prestigious race as the Dauphiné is a recognition from ASO for the work we do and the evolution Wanty-Groupe Gobert experienced. It’s a strong signal and motivates the riders, staff and sponsors to go even further.

As a team Wanty-Groupe Gobert has been a welcome guest in ASO races like Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège for years. This year the team leaves for Qatar and Oman for the first time in its history.

“It is a big step forward for the team that we receive a wildcard for the Criterium du Dauphiné. This race is traditionally the waiting room for participation in the Tour de France. It is therefore very important that we show ourselves in this year’s Dauphiné with regard to next year’s Tour de France,” Hilaire Van Der Schueren reacted.

Enrico Gasparotto is one of the more experienced riders of Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The Italian knows the level of the Dauphiné, especially because this is the last testing race before ‘big brother’ Tour de France kicks off a few weeks later.

“This is all about experience. We have a lot of young guys on the team and this is a fantastic chance for them to compete against the biggest riders in the world. It is not easy to get results in the Dauphiné because the Tour de France riders are testing themselves and the race is really hard but Wanty-Groupe Gobert will ride aggressively as always,” the former Amstel Gold Race winner reacted.

“This is the chance we were waiting for since we joined Wanty-Groupe Gobert last year,” CUBE marketing manager Chris Archer responds. “We want to measure ourselves against the best teams in the world. As a technical supplier to the team it’s important to gain experience in these races at the highest level of global cycling.”

Wanty-Groupe Gobert training in Spain:

Gasprom-RusVelo invited at Giro d’Italia 2016
Great satisfaction for the team Gazprom-RusVelo, inserted between the teams taking part in the upcoming Giro d’Italia, May 6th to 29th, as officially announced by RCS Sport, organizer of the event. Giro d’Italia 2016 will be the first race of the World Tour in Gazprom-RusVelo history.

“It is a great honor for the whole team”, general director of Gazprom-RusVelo, Renat Khamidulin, said. “But this is also a great responsibility. We represent a single nationality team and this participation is an opportunity at the highest level. It will be very nice debut on Italian roads, in the Country considered the heart of cycling. We’d like to thank RCS Sport for their trust in our team and we thank our sponsors for their support too. This is a great incentive to do well in the coming months”.

The director of the Giro d’Italia, Mauro Vegni, explained the choice of the organizers: “In recent years we have followed the philosophy of supporting the Italian cycling movement and – at the same time – enhance the requests from teams around the world. So we wanted to protect the Italian cycling movement but also look to international development, which is one of our goals. A concept that we apply to all our races and one of the pillars of our strategy for the final choice of the wild cards”.

Spanish training for Gazprom-RusVelo:

Canada Qualifies Three Spots in the 2016 Men’s Olympic Road Race
After only qualifying one spot at the London 2012 games, Canada is once again well represented in the men’s road field

Cycling Canada just recently received confirmation from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) that Canada has qualified three spots in the men’s road race for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Of the three spots awarded to Canada, one rider would be permitted to enter the individual time trial.

The three men selected would be part of a 145-rider field entered in the road race. The 256 km Rio Olympic road event, scheduled to be raced on August 6th, will be one of the harder Olympic races among recent Olympic Games due to the numerous climbs and cobble sections.

The race will start in Copacabana, and will send riders down the coast to ride four laps of the tough Grumari National Park circuit before heading back up the coast, towards Copacabana, to eventually hit the very hard Vista Chinesa circuit that runs through the Tijuca forest. Over the course of the three laps of the Vista Chinesa circuit, the men’s peloton will have to brave an 8.9km climb with gradients that vary from 4 to 10%. Once the Chinesa circuits are completed, the race will head along Ipanema beach to eventually come onto Avenida Atlantica on Copacabana beach for the finish.

On August 10th, Canada’s lone time trialist will start his event in Pontal and head out to Grumari national park where he will ride two loops of the 24km circuit, before heading back to Pontal for the finish. The proposed Olympic circuit is not a typical time trial circuit as it is characterized by one 1.2km steep climb and another 2.1km, more gradual climb.

Canada was able to qualify three spots for the Olympic Road race as a result of its 2nd place ranking in the UCI America Tour as of December 31st. This strong result is due in part to the many Canadian Pro cyclists that performed this past season in North American UCI sanctioned events on their respective trade teams. Another reason for the high UCI ranking is due to Canada’s push, funded by the Bridge the Gap Fund, to compete and perform at the last road continental championships.

“It is great to claim back those three spots in the men’s road race that we had up until the Beijing 2008 Games. Due to our funding restrictions, we are not in a position to devote significant funding to our men’s road programs, but it is because of the North American trade teams taking on our best road riders and the support of some great organizations like Bridge the Gap and Global Relay that we have been able to secure these three spots”, said Jacques Landry, Cycling Canada’s High Performance Director. “Our job now will be to select the riders best suited to be competitive in both the men’s road race and the time trial, all the while being able to contribute to great team cohesiveness”, continued Landry.

“Establishing our quotas early gives us time to work more collaboratively with our top athletes and their professional trade teams to ensure we get the right guys to Rio, with the right build up race programs”, mentioned Kevin Field, Cycling Canada’s Men’s Elite Road Manager. “We anticipated this announcement – our riders are excited the courses will be challenging, we have guys who can be very competitive and the internal work is well under-way to narrow our selections to our best three riders,” added the Elite Men’s Road Manager.

The women’s road race, and time trial, quota will be announced on June 1st by the UCI, after the May 31st qualification deadline.

Cycling Canada “Hop On”:

Rosters for Challenge Mallorca, GP La Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges
A new cycling season has started! At the moment a Lotto Soudal team is racing in Australia, at the Tour Down Under. Next week, a group of riders will head to Mallorca. From 28 January till 31 January the Challenge Mallorca is scheduled. This Europe Tour race consists of four individual races, a team can select different riders each day. After the Challenge Mallorca Lotto Soudal stays on the Spanish island for a few more days to train.

The first race in France is as usual the GP La Marseillaise, on 31 January. Three days later Etoile de Bessèges begins, a five-day stage race on French soil. Both races are part of the Europe Tour.

These are the Lotto Soudal rosters for the upcoming races.

Lotto Soudal team Challenge Mallorca (28/01 – 31/01): Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, André Greipel, Tomasz Marczynski, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Bart Leysen.

Lotto Soudal team GP La Marseillaise (31/01) and Etoile de Bessèges (03/02 – 07/02): Sander Armée, Stig Broeckx, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, Maxime Monfort, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert and Jelle Wallays.
Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Marc Wauters (only Bessèges).

Trofeo Andratx 2015, Challenge Mallorca:

Women’s Tour Seeks New Title Sponsor After 2016
Aviva will step down as title sponsors of the Aviva Women’s Tour following this year’s edition, which will take place from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 June 2016.

The Tour of Britain organizer SweetSpot has confirmed that Aviva, title sponsorship of both events, will not continue beyond the Aviva Women’s Tour in June 2016. Hugh Roberts, chief executive of SweetSpot Group said: “The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour are iconic British sporting events with global reach offering and an unparalleled platform for our sponsors.” The sponsorship of Britain’s leading professional cycling events also includes the Tour Ride and the London Cycle that took place on a circuit through the heart of London prior to the final stage of the Tour of Britain in September.

Roberts added: “We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Aviva, and before them Friends Life, that has seen both events go from strength-to-strength and reach more people at the roadside and around the world on television than ever before. An exciting opportunity now exists for a new title sponsor to partner with us and take Britain’s premier men’s road cycling event to a new level. The future of cycling is bright and this year promises to be tremendous with the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics and the launch of the UCI’s Women’s World Tour. The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour are iconic British sporting events with global reach offering and an unparalleled platform for our sponsors. We are confident that the proposition is extremely attractive for potential partners committed to growing these world-class events going forwards.”

The 2015 Tour of Britain attracted more than 1.2 million spectators at the roadside over eight stages, with many millions watching on live television around the world in over 130 countries. The 2016 Tour of Britain will take place from 4 to 11 September, the route will be unveiled in February.

Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain Highlights:

Behind The Scenes With Tinkoff At The Tour Down Under
The 2016 WorldTour season has started with the Tour Down Under and here is how the Tinkoff team handled the opening team time trial:

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