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Finhaut-Emosson - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Ilnur Zakarin (RUS-Katusha) pictured during stage 17 of the 2016 Tour de France from Bern to Finhaut-Emosson, 184.00 km - photo Marketa Navratilova/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH Zakarin Thursday!

Another Tour-tastic EUROTRASH Thursday with all the news from France with reports, results, rider quotes and video. We also catch up with the final stage of the Tour de Pologne and the Grand Prix Cerami. In other cycling news: New Doha Cycling Team, Tour abandonments, Tour of Britain, Deutschland Tour, Veranda’s Willems, contract extensions and Etixx – Quick-Step sign three neo-pros. Big trash bag.

TOP STORY: Will Ilnur Zakarin ride the Olympic Road Race?
After his dominating ride in stage 17 of the Tour de France, Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin must have booked his place in the Russian team for the Olympic road race, but will he be going? For that matter will any Russian athletes be in Rio de Janeiro?

Asked about the recent scandal in Russian Sports, the story about possible disqualification of the Russian Olympic Team after a report few days ago, Zakarin sees himself removed from the current events while racing at the Tour de France. Ilnur Zakarin said “I don’t have any comments about it, since I am at the race, the biggest race in the world and all of my thoughts are only about this race. I just hope everything will be ok, and we will take part in the Olympic Games. All I can do – just to be prepared for the Games and to get a strong result there.”

Katusha team manager Viacheslav Ekimov gave his views on the subject: “Speaking of the Russian scandal and, in particularity, the samples from the sport of cycling – currently no one knows if those samples are from the track, mountain biking, from women’s cycling, from men’s cycling so we can’t really comment on that. Ilnur is Team Katusha’s most tested rider. Since last November he has had 12 out-of-competition tests and all of the results were tested by European labs, in particular Lausanne, Paris and Barcelona. We do our own internal testing too. Also he has been tested at least once in every race he has participated in this year – every single race.”

Time will tell if there will be a Russian team in Brazil.

The Tour has been much better than the Giro for Zakarin:
Risoul - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  crash val sturz fall Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)  pictured during  stage 19 of the 99th Giro d’Italia 2016 from Pinerolo  to  Risoul   (162km) - foto LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

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Tour de France 2016
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) went for his third stage win on the 2016 Tour de France, out-sprinting Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) by a few centimeters on Monday at Berne. The final cobbled hill perfectly served the ambitions of the World champion. Despite an impressive display of power, Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) couldn’t offer Julian Alaphilippe the win that eludes him since the start of this Tour.

On the eve of the second rest day, attackers felt there was an opportunity to take over a tricky long route from Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern (209km). Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) went first, breaking away at km 13. But many counter-attacks followed and it took more than 45 kilometers for the race to settle: Martin and Alaphilippe leading the way, a group of four chasers with Timo Roosen (Lotto NL – Jumbo), Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) trying to bridge the gap.

Far from letting the chasers join and offer some support, Tony “Panzerwagen’ Martin went for a display of raw power. For most of the stage, Alaphilippe sat in his wheel, while the German time trial specialist grew a 6 minutes lead over a peloton wary of his abilities. Clearly out-powered, the counter-attack was reeled in by the peloton at km 101, while Martin kept leading his young teammate.

Martin’s effort, eventually supported by Alaphilippe in the final 100 kilometers, couldn’t hold off a peloton with its mind set on a final showdown. The two attackers got caught with 20 kilometers to go. Dimension Data, Cofidis, Direct Energie, Katusha, BMC, Tinkoff… So many teams involved in the pursuit, but only one winner: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), despite a push from Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) in the final 20 kilometers.

Stage 16 race report.

Bern - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Sondre Holst (NOR-IAM Cycling) - Peter Sagan (SLK-Tinkoff) - John Degenkolb (GER-Giant-Alpecin) pictured during stage 16 of the 2016 Tour de France from Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern, Switserland - 206.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs//Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2016

Stage winner and points leader, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “I am so happy, so proud of my team as they did a very good job, I’m so happy to win for them, for Tinkov and for Oleg. A lot of times I lose the race by this much and today I won. I believe in destiny and today it’s turning back. There are fans here from Telekom Slovakia and it’s very nice they can be here to see me and cheer for me today. It was a very long stage, very hot and my teammates did a great job and pulled all day because we knew the final was good for me. We’re in the third week so you can’t say who’s the best for a finish like this but I did my best and I think Alexander made a mistake in the jump for the line – I didn’t know I’d won, it was a nice surprise today.”

3rd on the stage, Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling): “I am so happy with this podium place! The guys did an amazing job for me in the final. I found myself in an ideal position at the point where I had to launch my sprint. And not much was missing in order to score another success after Jarlinson Pantano won the stage in Culoz.”

7th on the stage, Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNl-Jumbo): “The team put me in the front perfectly and when I was in front, I looked around and I saw that there were a few riders on there limit. I went and Navardauskas joined me, and I thought we were free, they came back unfortunately and I had just enough left to stay in the front of the peloton. Valverde tried and I thought, this is my chance, but then Kristoff came flying by and it was over. This was the only stage where I could go for a win, I wanted to wait until the top, but those cobbles were so beautiful that I started early. I thought that it was a wonderful final, everyone was on his limits and only the best men were left on the front.”

10th on the stage, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It was hard to get in position but I was there where I wanted to be. On the bottom the peloton hesitated a little as it was a bit too early to go I think, still 2.5km to the finish. So I waited and then on the top when I wanted to go the tempo was high so there was no point to attack there. We were just waiting for the sprint and I think I just tried to get into a good place but I never could get to the first row to sprint for first place. It was really good teamwork. Rohan Dennis did a really good job today and for us it was an important stage with Bern and Andy Rihs, our sponsor, here from BMC Switzerland. So we tried to do it as good as possible. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don’t think I could have gone better on this stage.”

Overall leader, Chris Froome (Sky): “I wasn’t up at the front in the last few kilometers. It was pretty sketchy through all the towns with a lot of road furniture, lefts and rights and then obviously the cobbles at the end. I was just trying to stay out of trouble and get to the finish line as good as possible. I think everyone is quite glad there’s a rest day tomorrow – it was a tough day out there! I’m looking forward to the Alps. I’m motivated and I think the team’s been great. I’m really looking forward to these last few days now. The team’s in fantastic shape. I don’t think we’ve ever been at this point in the race and still had nine riders left. That’s a great advantage for us. The guys are doing well and the morale is good. We’ve got a lot to fight for still.”

KOM, Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “Yesterday I was second and today Peter wins, for us it’s great and we have three stage wins in the Tour de France and two jerseys right now so I’m happy. We don’t have our big leader in Alberto here but we still give everything and it’s another very good result. It might be our last season but we do our best still and when we have good condition we try to win everything. I think it was a nice finish for Peter today – he had strong legs and was very impressive in the sprint. For me, I went easy in the last 5km as I had a hard day yesterday and there are some big climbing days to come.”

7th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “It was a mess of a finish. It was quite dangerous in that last 10km but the whole day was just so fast. I think with Tony Martin in the breakaway they weren’t going to give him much. We just rode absolutely flat out all day. I think we averaged something like 46km an hour today so it wasn’t easy. It was just absolutely flat out all day. I’m in good condition and it is a hard four-day block coming up after the rest day. I think I’ve got everything to play for now, I’m not too far off podium. It’s a big goal so bring it on.”

Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “It didn’t work out for the victory, but it’s a big honor to be here with Julian and receive this award. Knowing that this wasn’t a stage for the sprinters, we tried to do something crazy today, as there was a chance to pull it off. Ok, it was also risky, but if you don’t risk, you don’t win. Sometimes it’s not just about winning, but also about getting a nice performance and leaving something behind. We gave everything and even though it didn’t pay off, we are content, because we enjoyed it. Being on the podium is always nice and we are happy with this small celebration we are having.”

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I wanted to leave yesterday behind, so together with Tony I went in the break. It wasn’t easy, as I suffered a lot. You can’t even imagine how hard it was, but I was motivated by his fantastic ride. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s really incredible. Tony showed his class and what a huge champion he is, and I have learned a lot from him in this stage. We didn’t get the win, but it was a great day for us. We are very proud and I’m sure we will remember this day for a long time.”

Tour de France Stage 16 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff in 4:26:02
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
3. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
4. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
6. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo
8. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx – Quick-Step
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 16:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 72:40:38
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 1:47
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 2:45
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:59
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:17
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:04
7. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 4:27
8. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 4:47
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 5:03
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 5:16.

Tour Stage 16:

Summary – Stage 16 (Moirans-en-Montagne / Berne… por tourdefrance_en

After Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) in Culoz (stage 15), Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin of Katusha became the second rider to win a Tour de France stage for the first time this year. To do so, he rode… Pantano off. It was a spectacular finalé of Stage 17 at Finhaut-Emosson where Chris Froome (Sky) outclassed his direct rivals once again.

181 riders started stage 17 in Bern, Switzerland, after Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) withdrew in order to prepare for the Olympic Games. 51.8km were covered in the first hour. The high tempo prevented any breakaway from taking shape. Tanel Kangert (Astana), Stef Clement (IAM Cycling), Kristjian Durasek (Lampre-Merida) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) rode away in the climb of Saanenmöser after 70km of racing. Seven riders join them: Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Rafal Majka and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale), Steve Morabito (FDJ), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). A counter attack of eight riders was formed with Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx – Quick-Step) and Ruben Plaza (Orica-BikeExchange).

Lutsenko, Van Avermaet and Voeckler managed to make it across with 63km to go while the peloton led by Team Sky was cruising more than eleven minutes behind. After Majka took four more KOM points on the category 3 climbs, Sagan won the intermediate sprint at Martigny and let the breakaway go. Gallopin was first to attack up to the col de la Forclaz. Lutsenko went across and continued solo with 24km to go. He was reeled in before the summit where Majka passed first again. Majka and Pantano formed a leading duo on the downhill like in stage 15 The Colombian who claimed his first Tour de France victory in Culoz was on fire again on his country’s national day. Zakarin made it across 8.5km from the finishing line. The Russian attacked twice and made a gap for himself with 6.8km to go as Pantano couldn’t follow him a second time. He forged on to become the second Russian rider to win a Tour de France stage for Katusha after Sergey Ivanov in 2009.

In the yellow jersey group, Astana made the tempo for a while. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also tried to up the rhythm but only Richie Porte (BMC) managed to go clear with 2km to go. Chris Froome rejoined him while runner up Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) was dropped. Nairo Quintana couldn’t hold the pace of Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (AG2R_La Mondiale), Fabio Aru (Astana)and Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida). Froome increased his lead in the overall ranking. Mollema is now at 2:27 and Yates at 2:53.

Full stage race report HERE.

Tour de France stage 17

Stage winner, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha): “It’s been 3 weeks that I’ve been focused and motivated to win here in the Tour de France. After the crash in the Giro I was so disappointed. First of all because I was aiming for the final podium and to lose all of that in the last few days was very hard. So I began to think of the Tour so perhaps I could win a stage here. This is a very important result both for me and for the team. I would like to thank my team and our main sponsor and team owner Igor Makarov, who has made a huge contribution to the team and our results. I am really happy with this victory. It means a lot for me, especially after my crash at the Giro d’Italia. I wanted to build up my form for the last week of the Tour and I did it. I feel good. But also, I wanted to prepare for the Olympics in Rio. Now I am really happy! I know this is the first Russian victory since 2009, so now it is time to renew old records and achievements. I am happy take my place. After my crash at the Giro, honestly, mentally, I was ready to come back on the bike after just two days. Such a big motivation I had. So when it was possible I started my training and did my best to build on my form again for the third week of the Tour. I believed I had a chance to win a stage here and the dream came true.”

2nd on the stage, Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling): “I lost to someone who was stronger than me, but I will try again because I am feeling better and better. It was a very hard stage because the break was allowed to go only after 70 kilometers of racing, and we never knew any respite. So I am very happy with this 2nd place, and the prize as the most aggressive.”

3rd on the stage and KOM Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “Today, Peter brought me into the breakaway. He’s a machine and was pulling on the climbs so that I could take the points too. He was so strong today, respect to him and also to my teammates who helped me a lot. I need to win this jersey for my teammates, my team and for Oleg – he has supported us for five years and we want to take these jerseys to Paris for him. I’m happy, not disappointed – I’ve been in the break six times now this Tour de France which isn’t easy already. Maybe I’ve often lost the victory but I have now a lot of points for the KOM jersey. Congratulations to Zakarin, he was stronger today, and I’m always suffering after the rest day. There are still two hard stages for me and I’ll try everything.”

10th on the stage and 5th overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “I really want to be on the podium so they’re the moves that you have to pull. I felt strong today and I’m happy with how it all went. I’m with BMC Racing Team now and I’m riding for myself so it’s a bit different to the role I’ve had before. But I’m enjoying it, taking it day by day. The team has put some confidence in me and I’m happy with how today went. I know there are three more hard stages to come until Paris. So we’ll just take it day by day. I spoke with the Sports Directors this morning and they said just use your head and if you feel like it, attack them. I have to anyhow. The tempo was not so fast there and it was a good time to get a gap there. They chased hard I suppose so it’s a good sign. I quite like uphill time trials so I think it’s a crucial one tomorrow. I know I need to have a good time trial and take some time. I think I’ve shown today that I’m climbing well so I take confidence out of today.”

9th overall, Dan Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “It was a very fast day and we finished way ahead of the schedule, despite the scorching heat. Movistar and then Astana pushed a hard tempo, whilst I didn’t feel as good as after the first rest day, but even so I tried to attack. I thought Sky will back off, especially as Chris Froome didn’t have any problems, but they kept on going and chased me. I am five minutes down on him in the GC, so I take this as a compliment, because it looks like I’m still a threat for them. I remain confident and hope for some nice results in the next three days in the mountains.”

17th overall, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “In other years I’ve crashed or been sick, but this year I don’t know, it’s not responding. There’s really no excuse, I wish I had one but I don’t know. I guess I’m going to have to sit down with our performance team and see what we did in the build up. I’ve raced against a lot of these guys before in other races and I’ve been able to be there with them, and for some reason this year it’s not happening. I think I’ll use the TT tomorrow as a recovery day, as much as I can anyway. And then I’ll do what I can to help Richie. Maybe if the legs rebound and I’m down enough on time they might let me sneak into a breakaway and go for a stage win. Richie, from what I heard on the radio, had an amazing ride so we’re really going to put everything behind him. It’s definitely tough. You work the whole year and you think you you’re doing all of the right things. Form’s a funny thing. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. I know I have it in me to do this, I just need to get all of the pieces together. With 5km to go I was on the limit. I’m not going to say that I gave up but when I realized that clearly I don’t have it, it’s not worth fighting and fighting and fighting for 15th place.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff): “We wanted to try today, I told him ‘we will see if I can do my best to get you in the break’. We were trying for the first 60km on the flat but then the breakaway went after the first climb, so it was hard for me to control the race on the flat and then also the climb. But I’m very happy he got some points for the mountains jersey, and I got some more points for my jersey too.”

Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo): “In the first 70 kilometers there was a big fight, and we did well as a team, but we had no one in the main escape, I tried four or five times. Three kilometers from the first summit, I was caught and Bennett was ready to go. But the peloton closed to him before he could bridge up. My legs felt good, so I could attack. I wanted to make the escape, but maybe I tried too much. It’s disappointing to attack, but still miss the good group. I must have more patience. Friday, I will go for it again. My legs are certainly a lot better.”

Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) withdraws from Tour de France to prepare Olympics: “This was not an easy decision to take, but I feel it is the right one. I don’t like withdrawing from a race, especially not when our GC leader is in second place at four days from Paris. With some really hard stages ahead of us my support would naturally be more limited so we took the decision together to withdraw. It was a hard Tour for me: a lot of stress and I feel tired. If I want to be good at the Olympics I need rest. The Tour has given me a lot in the last twelve years and I don’t say this lightly. I gave a lot of thought to this decision to withdraw from the race. Today was very emotional for me – more than I expected it to be, and more than when I finished the Classics in the Roubaix velodrome: the stage to Bern, the start there this morning and the gift they presented me; everything. Right now knowing that these were my last kilometers in the Tour de France is hard. I want to thank the organizers for all those years, and for the trophy of my final Tour stage. I will treasure that forever. I’m drawing a line under a big story of my life. I wish the team, and Bauke in particular, a fantastic last four stages. I will be following the action from home.”

Tour de France Stage 17 Result:
1. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha in 4:36:33
2. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling at 0:55
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff at 1:26
4. Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida at 1:32
5. Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 2:33
6. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie at 2:46
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:50
8. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling at 2:57
9. Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ at 4:38
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 7:59.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 17:
1. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky in 77:25:10
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:27
3. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange at 2:53
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:27
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:15
6. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 4:27
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:19
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 5:35
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step at 5:50
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre-Merida at 6:07.

Tour Stage 17:

Summary – Stage 17 (Berne / Finhaut-Emosson… por tourdefrance_en

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Grand Prix Cerami 2016
Jelle Wallays won the Belgian race Grand Prix Cerami, his first victory for Lotto Soudal.

It took a while before a breakaway was formed, consisting of eight riders. The peloton controlled the gap, the leaders didn’t get more than four and a half minutes advantage. The race ended with three local laps of 13.8 kilometers. When the peloton entered the circuit only two riders were left in front: Lake and Prémont. A dozen riders, including Kris Boeckmans, bridged to them. It all got back together with 25 kilometers to go. The peloton then split and at the beginning of the final lap Jelle Wallays set up a solo attack. He hung on till the end and so he won for the first time in Lotto Soudal outfit. Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was second, at seven seconds.

Race winner, Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal): “I attacked at the beginning of the last lap. There was no cooperation in the large group that was ahead. There were several attacks. After crossing the finish line Gert Dockx was pulling uphill. When the pace had dropped I attacked on the top. Jérôme Baugnies was my nearest chaser and also a rider from Team Wiggins had jumped away from the group. When I got into the last corner, with one and a half kilometers to go, I had ten seconds advantage. I knew I was capable of finishing it off, but I had spent lots of energy. The uphill finish didn’t make it easy either. Of course I knew the chasers would be getting tired as well. I relied on my experience with solo escapes. I was also thinking about Stig and last year’s edition when I did get caught in the final kilometer. This year I remained ahead! This is a very beautiful victory. I am not a sprinter, so I need to do it this way. These are rare opportunities. This win feels so good after the crashes and injuries in the first half of the season. I just got back from a training camp in the Vosges and this is a nice way to start the competition again. The Tour de Wallonie will be my next race. I’d like to show something there as well.”

2nd, Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I’m disappointed with my second place because I really could win this race. It was an ideal situation for us to have Tom Devriendt in the breakaway. I would like to thank Tom Devriendt. I got a puncture and fortunately I could rely on him and he gave me his wheel. Otherwise I would have lost the race. I really thought that a rider would have closed the gap. Nobody had the power left. I decided to catch Jelle Wallays. The last kilometers were downhill. It was hard to get closer. I feel better the last weeks. I was minimum second in my last three races. This is hopeful for the Tour de Wallonie.”

Grand Prix Cerami Result:
1. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:41:58
2. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:07
3. Christopher Latham (GB) Team WIGGINS at 0:13
4. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
5. Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton at 0:15
6. Antonio Parrinello (Ita) d’Amico Bottecchia
7. Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Marco Tizza (Ita) d’Amico Bottecchia
9. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Veranda’s Willems
10. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

GP Cerami podium:
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Tour de Pologne 2016
The 2016 Tour de Pologne belongs to Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). Against the splendid background of the Marketplace Square in Krakow, the Belgian defended his Skandia yellow jersey in the 25km individual time trial and took home the win in the 73rd edition of the Polish stage race. Wellens built this success on Saturday with his fantastic performance in the Zakopane stage, and now he can celebrate his victory in the Tour de Pologne.

It was a battle between the time trial specialists, who were all vying for victory in this stage. The best time belonged to Alex Dowsett (Movistar), the British champion in this specialty who closed out with a time of 28:59, ahead of Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) and Slovenian champion Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo). There was an upset in the general classification behind Tim Wellens, with two young Italian riders who took second and third place. Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) was the author of a great performance in the time trial (sixth at 49 seconds), recuperating valuable seconds on those ahead of him in the classification at the start and moving up to second place. Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale) also had an outstanding test, scoring third place to the disadvantage of his team mate Davide Formolo, who had been second before the time trial. For the two Italian riders this is the best result ever scored in a WorldTour race.

President of the UCI Brian Cookson joined Czeslaw Lang on stage to reward the winners of the Tour de Pologne. In addition to the yellow jersey, Tim Wellens also received the “Polish Evolutions” Trophy created by the artist from Trento, Mirko Demattè, along with the traditional trophy from the Wieliczka Salt Mines and a new Hyundai Tucson SUV.

Tim Wellens is confirmed as the master of the 2016 Tour de Pologne. In fact, in addition to the Skandia yellow jersey, he’s also taking home the Tauron cyclamen jersey as best climber and the Lotto blue jersey as the most active rider in the group. His team, Lotto Soudal, scored the Team classification. The Hyundai white jersey for best sprinter went to the third rider in the general classification, Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale).

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Overall winner, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “I didn’t take too many risks in the closing time trial. It was very important not to crash so I could secure my leading position on GC. I tried to maintain an equal pace and that worked out really well. I’m very happy with this victory of course. In theory, you can compare this victory with any other victory in a WorldTour stage race. But in my opinion, this race is less important than Paris-Nice for instance. I just wanted to check how good I felt on the bike after a very hard training period with the Olympic Games in mind. It pleases me that I was able to obtain this nice result, also the team did a great job. I like to compare this race with the Eneco Tour. The real climbers can’t perform as they would and the stages allow an aggressive way of racing. These kind of races suit me well.”

Stage winner, Alex Dowsett (Movistar): “I knew it was going to be difficult – the difficult thing for me was actually getting to the stage. Yesterday, unfortunately we didn’t race, but it would have been really tough for me, the day before being just as hard just to make it through. I got here and looking at who was in the field, there were a couple of guys that could be near me if I had just ‘good’ legs, but I knew I stood a good chance of winning. In the end, the time trial went well for me: legs felt well all the way through, the numbers were good – I’m just happy with how it all went. It’s a big one, especially considering the important community of hemophiliacs here in Poland. It’s a way to send a message, especially to the young kids, that you can keep on achieving great things even when suffering from it. I just want to thank the team and its sponsors for their support to this victory today.”

7th overall, Larry Warbasse (IAM Cycling): “When I had to abandon the Giro d’Italia, I then made getting a top-10 in the Tour de Pologne a goal. It was a challenging goal, but now I am 7th overall, and I did it. Last week I would have happily taken this result, but today I was initially a little disappointed. I would have loved to have moved up to the top-5. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way in the time trial today. So then, I have to be satisfied with my performance, especially when considering the circumstances. I am very happy with my 6th place on Saturday because I rode very well in that difficult stage. I trained very hard in the last two months, and came to this race with good legs. I knew that I would be able to have a good performance. Now I am looking with optimism to the future. I will look ahead to the Tour of Utah and the Vuelta, which is really my main goal for the rest of the season.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 7 Result:
1. Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar in 28:59
2. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 0:22
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:39
4. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:41
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:48
6. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:49
7. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-BikeExchange at 1:11
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 1:13
9. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff at 1:19
10. Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 1:21.

Tour de Pologne Final Overall Result:
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 23:47:23
2. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4:22
3. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 4:54
4. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 5:06
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 5:22
6. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 5:45
7. Larry Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling at 5:47
8. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana at 6:08
9. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana at 6:20
10. Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac at 8:01.

Pologne Final Stage:

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Doha Cycling Team
Doha Cycling Team and Doct. Nadia Taousi is pleased to announce the set up of the new professional cycling team, Doha Cycling Team, for the next five years 2017 / 2021.

It has been created with the idea of commitment and satisfaction of the requirements laid down by the International Cycling Union, in guarantees, bonds, dates, codes of ethics, sports and economic

The staff and structure Having chosen with experience and knowledge in the highest level of professional cycling, to set up the Doha Cycling Team as a solid team.

On August 1, once carried out the mandatory procedure and required enrollment, we will publish the details of the 2017 Doha Cycling Team.

www.dohacyclingteam.com

Will Vincenzo Nibali be the first signing?
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Mark Cavendish leaves Tour de France
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has enjoyed extraordinary success in the Tour de France in 2016. Among the many highlights so far for the Team, the stand out wins on Stage 1, 3, 6 and 14 by Mark Cavendish and the Stage 7 win by Steve Cummings were exceptional. Our African team was also proud to enjoy time in both the Yellow and Green Jerseys, worn by Cavendish, who extended his Tour de France stage win record to 30 wins taking him to 2nd on the all-time Tour Stage Wins record.

After analyzing his workload from the previous stages and his current levels of fatigue, the Team has supported Mark leaving the Tour to give him the best opportunity to recover and prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio. He will not take to the start of stage 17.

Mark Cavendish – Rider
After an extremely enjoyable and successful couple of weeks at The Tour de France with Team Dimension Data, it is with great sadness that I took the decision today to leave the race. After the heat and intensity of the previous stages, we analyzed my fatigue levels and decided I’m at a point that would have a detrimental effect on my other big goal for the year, the Olympic Games. To leave a race and organization that I hold so much respect for and a team that I have such a special bond with, has not been an easy decision at all. I want to say thank you to them, along with all the fans for their support and encouragement, today and over the past 16 stages. I wish Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and all the other competitors luck in the final few days into Paris, a special place that I will definitely miss the emotions of this year.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principle
Mark raced an incredible Tour de France, winning 4 stages and extending his palmarès to 30 stage wins at the Grand Boucle. He managed to put on his first ever Yellow jersey and to carry the Green jersey into the first rest day in Andorra was just exceptional. He has been a great team leader over the past two weeks and a great ambassador for everyone involved in this team and for the greater cause we ride for. Mark is really sad to leave the tour, we are committed to support him in his dream goal of receiving a medal for Britain at the Rio Olympic games.

Adam Foster – Group Executive – Sports Practice, Dimension Data
Mark has represented the Dimension Data brand and that of the other team partners with tremendous professionalism. The whole of Dimension Data wish Mark a speedy recovery, and every success to both him and his fellow team members for the remainder of the season.

A successful Tour for Cavendish:
Utah Beach - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Mark Cavendish (GBR / Team Dimension Data) - Marcel Kittel (Germany / Team Etixx - Quick Step) - Peter Sagan (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov) - Andre Greipel (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during stage 1 of the 2016 Tour de France form Mont-Saint-Michel - Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (Utah Beach) - photo Miwa IIjima/Cor Vos © 2016

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Dennis to Skip Final Tour de France Stages
Rohan Dennis will not line up at stage 17 of the Tour de France, BMC Racing Team announced today.

Dennis will miss the final five stages of racing and return home to Andorra, Sports Director Yvon Ledanois explained.

“It has been an incredibly tough two weeks of racing at the Tour de France and Rohan has been an asset to the team, both with his fifth place in the first time trial, and working in support of our leaders throughout the race,” Ledanois said.

“BMC Racing Team’s performance and management team agree that it is not in his best interest to continue racing beyond stage 16. The next two weeks are crucial for him as he prepares for the Rio Olympics and given the final time trial here at the Tour de France isn’t suited to him, his preparation is best done at home in order to avoid further fatigue.”

Rohan Dennis:
Tour de France 2015 - stage 1

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Ten WorldTour teams confirmed for the Tour of Britain
This year’s Tour of Britain will feature ten of the UCI’s top level WorldTour teams for the first time ever, with the teams from the top tier of the sport making up half the field for this September’s Tour, which takes place from Sunday 4 to Sunday 11 September.

Among those teams will be Team Dimension Data, who won the 2015 Tour of Britain with Edvald Boasson Hagen and now also boast Mark Cavendish.

They will be joined by the likes of regular Tour of Britain participants Team Sky, Movistar Team, BMC Racing Team and Cannondale Drapac, while Team Giant Alpecin, Orica BikeExchange and Trek Segafredo return having not competed in 2015.

Team WIGGINS will also race, with Sir Bradley Wiggins having already publicly stated that he intends to ride the Tour of Britain following his bid for Gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Two UCI ProContinental teams will be making their Tour of Britain debuts – the Spanish Caja Rural – Serguros RGA team, from whom Preston’s Hugh Carthy rides, and the Belgian Wanty – Groupe Gobert team, who include former SKODA King of the Mountains Mark McNally.

Having won both the Yodel Sprints and SKODA King of the Mountains jerseys with Peter Williams in 2015, ONE Pro Cycling return for their second Tour of Britain, their first as a UCI ProContinental team.

Commenting on the line-up, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said; “This is a world-class line-up of teams entirely befitting of the Tour of Britain’s continuing growth in stature and importance on the global cycling calendar.

“Half of the teams selected are currently racing in the Tour de France, giving British fans a taste of the high-level of competition which they can look forward to watching this September.”

Jonny Clay, British Cycling director of cycle sport and membership, said: “The fact that 10 World Tour teams have confirmed their place on the start line in Glasgow at this year’s Tour of Britain is a fantastic endorsement and underlines the strong reputation that the event now holds within an ever increasingly competitive international calendar. We are greatly looking forward to the spectacle of a world class peloton racing on British roads this September.”

It will be the largest number of UCI WorldTour teams to compete in Britain at any point since the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014.

The full list of teams for the Tour of Britain is as follows:
An Post Chain Reaction (IRL)
Bardiani CSF (Ita)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Caja Rural – Seguros RGA (SPA)
Great Britain national team (GBR)
Lotto Soudal (BEL)
ONE Pro Cycling (GBR)
Orica BikeExchange (AUS)
Movistar Team (SPA)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Giant Alpecin (GER)
Team LottoNL Jumbo (NED)
Team Sky (GBR)
Team WIGGINS (GBR)
Trek Segafredo (USA)
Wanty Groupe Gobert (BEL)

In total 20 teams will participate in the 2016 Tour of Britain. The final three British UCI Continental teams will be confirmed on Monday 1 August following the Prudential RideLondon event. Team WIGGINS were selected by virtue of their third overall with Owain Doull in the 2015 Tour of Britain.

JLT Condor presented by Mavic, Madison Genesis, NFTO, Pedal Heaven and Team Raleigh GAC are vying for the final three spots, with their selection based upon performances in major domestic events and UCI level races in the UK.

The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.

Tour of Britain’16 video:

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New Deutschland Tour Will Debut in August 2018 Under the Brand “Deutschland. Deine Tour.”
The planning for the return of the Deutschland Tour is in full swing. Its premier edition is scheduled for August 2018 and it will initially run for at least four days. Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) committed itself to organize initially ten editions of the new Deutschland Tour, striving for extending it to a week-long event within this time.

Christian Prudhomme, Directeur du Cyclisme of A.S.O.: “Germany is a nation of new champions and it became the country with the most wins at the Tour de France in recent years. We feel that these successes are of great value and that the German cycling interest is increasing steadily. Therefore, we are looking forward to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2017 in Dusseldorf and we see the Deutschland Tour as a great continuation. It’s just the right time to organize a modern national tour that involves all fans.”

Yann Le Moenner, Directeur Général of A.S.O.: “Germany is of great potential. Besides the momentum in the sport of cycling it’s also Europe’s biggest cycling nation, totaling in almost 25 billion kilometers ridden on bicycles per year. Several cities and prospective sponsors approached us already, to become part of the new Deutschland Tour. That proves that Germany is ready for a bike- festival.”

Under the brand name “Deutschland. Deine Tour.”, A.S.O. breaks new grounds in the development of an event. Fans can co-create their Deutschland Tour. For this purpose an Internet platform is now available at www.DeutschlandDeineTour.de where fans can apply to become a Tour Maker – a community that will collaborate on the further development of the Deutschland Tour. Above, and among other features, fans can upload their favorite spots that should become part of the actual race planning of the Deutschland Tour.

Claude Rach, Business Development Manager of A.S.O.: “Fans are experts. They know the insider tips that make their bike ride exciting. With the new Deutschland Tour we want to give the German fans the opportunity to get involved and become an active part of their home-tour. We received already great feedback from the pro riders and fans. But before we go into more detail with these concepts, we are excited to see the input of the Tour Makers. We are looking forward to the ideas.”

Themed “1 professional cycling race – 100 other activities”, a diversified program is planned for the Deutschland Tour. The pro race, which will be classified at least in the HC category, takes the event’s center stage. In addition to various races for the elite men and women as well as junior and hobby cyclists, the bike is featured in its complete variety, from the lifestyle to urban mobility solutions. To underline the character of a modern bike-festival, side-events beyond the pure sport will feature offers for families and kids as well as music and entertainment highlights.

After the Grand Depart of the Tour de France 2017 in Dusseldorf, the start of the new Deutschland Tour in 2018 will be the next step in the long-term commitment of A.S.O. on the German market. In a cooperation agreement with the German Cycling Federation (BDR), the organizer supports the sustainable promotion of cycling in Germany.

Deutschland. Deine Tour Promo:

TRAILER – DEUTSCHLAND DEINE TOUR – English por tourdefrance

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Veranda’s Willems CT presents new sponsor and aims for Worlds in Qatar
Veranda’s Willems Cycling Team presents BR Performance as a new sponsor. The logo of BR Perfomance, a Belgian company in motor optimalisation and chiptuning, will feature at the back of the team’s Doltcini bib shorts from today.

Veranda’s Willems CT manager Ivan De Schampelaere was happy with the addition of a new sponsor.

“This is a first step in the right direction to fulfill our ambitions to grow as a team towards procontinental level and shows that our recent successes which include Nokere Koerse (1.HC) and Halle-Ingooigem (1.1) have not gone unnoticed.”

Thanks to the support provided by BR Performance the Veranda’s Willems team is able to take part in the world championships team time trial in Qatar in October.

“That is fantastic news,” said the team’s trainer Kristof De Kegel.

“To be able to take part we must qualify by finishing in the UCI Europe Tour top 20 for teams. We are tenth now so qualification for the team time trial event is in our own hands. Being part of the World Championships would be a great reward for the riders and the staff after a year of hard work.”

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Contract extension for Lars Bak and Thomas De Gendt
Thomas de Gendt (29) has extended his contract with Lotto Soudal until the end of 2019, while Lars Bak (36) has signed for another two years, until the end of 2018. For the Belgian 2016 is his second season with the team, for the Dane it’s the fifth.

Manager Marc Sergeant: “The extension of the contracts of Thomas and Lars is a logical choice. Both have been living up to the expectations. We already talked with Thomas before the Tour de France. He got integrated really fast. Thomas is always keen to work for his teammates, but he can also have a go of his own on many occasions. He brings spectacle and publicity and he has already set nice results. His performances at this Tour only confirms what he’s capable of and I’m glad he’ll be staying with us for another three years.”

“Lars Bak is one of the most valued riders in the peloton. He showed his resilience in the run-up to this Tour by recovering so fast from the injuries he incurred at a crash in the Giro. He’s the perfect team player, loves to make time for the press and spectators, he contributes to a great atmosphere in the team and he’s ready for every race he starts.

Thomas De Gendt: “It was already obvious to me during the spring that I wanted to stay with Lotto Soudal. I can be myself in this team. The sports directors know that I love to ride for my teammates when they have a chance to win and in some stages or races I can join a breakaway. Last year I showed myself in Paris-Nice and also at the Tour, despite a severe crash. This year I could win for the first time in three years, at the Volta a Catalunya. My victory on Mont Ventoux and the six days in the polka dot jersey are a highlight in my career. I hope to continue in the same way this season and in the years to come.”

Lars Bak: “I am really happy that I can stay with Lotto Soudal for the next two years. The past five years I saw the team developing. I hope to continue playing my role in the team. We already set some excellent performances like this year’s Giro and last year’s Tour. It would be wonderful if I could further contribute to that success in the next two years. When the contract ends, I will be 38 years. That doesn’t mean it will be the end of my career. If I still feel good, I might keep cycling. I am really motivated to defend the Lotto Soudal colors for two more years.”

Thomas De Gendt:
Volta a Catalunya 2016 - stage 4

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Joe Dombrowski re-signs with Cannondale-Drapac
American Joe Dombrowski has re-signed with the Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team, marking a second term at the outfit for the 25-year-old climber.

“It was an easy decision to stay. I’ve made a lot of progress at this team and I fit in great here. It’s feels like family,” Dombrowski said.

He raced the Giro d’Italia this season and factored into the sharp end of several stages, finishing eighth in the uphill time trial and third over a mountainous stage into Sant’Anna di Vinadio. Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters doubles as Dombrowski’s trainer.

“Joe has one of the highest VO2 maxes and highest IQs in the peloton,” Vaughters said. “And I’m happy to have those things on my side. There are some things he’ll get better at as he matures, but you can see just by watching the Giro, he’s starting to get a handle on how to use his physical gifts.”

For Dombrowski, Vaughters’ coaching was part of the reason he elected to return for another term with Cannondale-Drapac.

“To be completely honest, part of the reason I wanted to stay was having JV as a coach,” Dombrowski said. “He’s awesome. It is slightly unorthodox having the team manager write training plans but we have a good working relationship and I really believe in what he gives me to do, which makes it easy for me. I think it’s really important to have faith in what you’re doing because it takes all the thinking away for me and I can just focus on the racing.”

Dombrowski won the “Baby Giro” in 2012 and the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, the latter of which he was with Slipstream for. He will look to defend his Utah title and then head to the Vuelta in August.

“I took a good break after my last block of racing and I’m looking forward to Tour of Utah after that. I won it last year and would like to defend this year, and then I will finish with the Vuelta,” Dombrowski said. “I don’t know what my objective is for the Vuelta yet, but I’ll be aiming to finish the season strong.”

Joe Dombrowski:
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Three neo-pros join Etixx – Quick-Step for 2017
Rémi Cavagna, Enric Mas and Maximilian Schachmann will make the step to the World Tour next season

We are happy to announce that three young riders will be part of the team starting from 2017: Rémi Cavagna (France), Enric Mas (Spain) and Maximilian Schachmann (Germany), who are coming from Etixx – Quick-Step’s feeder-team, Klein Constantia, for which they scored a total of 11 victories in 2016. Set up in 2013, Klein Constantia affirmed itself as one of the best U23 teams in the business, boosting more than 50 victories since its inception, while at the same time nurturing and developing the riders who joined its ranks. Although young on the international scene, Klen Constantia already has a rich history when it comes to the riders which it helped forge a career, the most prominent examples being Julian Alaphilippe and Petr Vakoc, who learned the trade there before coming to Etixx – Quick-Step and displaying their talent by taking several impressive victories.

For years now, our team has invested into a structure which has the goal of detecting young riders and giving them the opportunity to show their skills. Joxean “Matxin” Fernandez is the scouter of Etixx – Quick-Step, traveling around the world and attending all important races, monitoring the young riders and then forwarding a full report to the team’s management. From there, the riders who get the chance to be selected undergo evaluations the Bakala Academy – the high performance center which can be found at the University of Leuven – before joining the Klein Constantia squad, where they can develop in a professional and familiar environment, guided by the same principles as the World Tour team. These young guns can thus gain important experience and a profound education in sport culture, while being assisted by a staff always in contact with Etixx – Quick-Step.

So who are these three Klein Constantia alumni who will now head to new pastures? First of them is Rémi Cavagna, who has been one of the standout U23 riders of the year, which he started with a bang in Volta ao Alentejo, where he took a great solo win, on the final day. He repeated that feat on stage one of Circuit des Ardennes International, before leaving his mark on the Tour of Berlin, where he displayed the impressive time trialling skills he possesses on his way to conquering the general classification. French U23 ITT National Champion, he came close to another overall triumph in Paris-Arras, and even though he missed out on it for just a handful of seconds, the 20-year-old still hit the spotlight, on the last stage, which we won after keeping the peloton at bay with another fine solo effort.

A powerful climber with a strong individual time trial, Enric Mas needed less than one season with Klein Constantia to prove himself, taking center stage at Volta ao Alentejo (where he triumphed in the GC), as well as at the prestigious Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc, where he came in the top 4 in all bar one stage. His remarkable consistency catapulted 21-year-old Mas to first place, making him just the second Spanish rider to win the French event. Most recently, he was a top protagonist in Giro della Valle d’Aosta, finishing a close second, while at the same time taking the points classification.

In his second year with Klein Constantia, Maximilian Schachmann caught people’s attention since last season, when he came runner-up at the U23 ITT World Championships in Richmond. This season, the 22-year-old focused also on his climbing besides the time trialling, and improved both, amassing two victories and six podiums. German ITT National Champion, Maximilian also scored an emphatic solo win at Valle d’Aosta, on the arduous finish of Piani di Tavagnasco, en route to finishing seventh in the GC, a result which came as a well-deserved reward for the hard work he has put in since the start of the season.

“We believe in this approach with the young riders and we invest in it thanks to the support of Etixx – Quick-Step team owner Mister Bakala, who was enthusiastic about this project since the very beginning”, Etixx – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said. “We already had great results thus far: Alaphilippe and Vakoc, who are at the Tour de France, and Wisniowski, who rode the Giro d’Italia, were part of this great project. Our approach is not centered around the results the young riders achieve, but on their margin of progression, their capacity to become good World Tour riders and on their personality. We believe that Rémi, Enric and Maximilian can lead the “second wave” of talents of our green project. The young generations are the future of our sport and we are excited to have them in the team for 2017 and beyond.”

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