What's Cool In Road Cycling

EUROTRASH Wallonie Thursday!

Dries Devenyns gave the IAM Cycling team a nice parting gift with a whirlwind victory in the final stage of the Tour de Wallonie to take the overall win. Race reports, rider quotes and video from Wallonie and stage 1 of the Tour of Denmark and the Ordiziako Klasika. In other cycling news: Preview of the Clasicá San Sebastián, Tour of Denmark, RideLondon and the Tour of Utah. Tom Dumoulin goes to Rio and stagiaires for Trek-Segafredo and BMC. Plus the Tour in China and GoPro at the Tour in Paris.

TOP STORY: Bike Price Rise in UK Due to Brexit?
It is looking more likely that the price of cycling will rise in Britain due to the UK leaving the European Union. Raleigh have told retailers that there will be a price rise of 10% from the 1st of August due to “recent volatility in currency exchange rates against the British pound.” Raleigh don’t blame Brexit directly, but the vote on leaving the EU was the cause of the problems for the pound.

Many bike components come from Europe and Raleigh say that they have seen the cost of many products increase and as they bring these products in to the UK on a daily basis, this has impacted the cost of these products. The price rise in only on imported goods.

A certain Japanese components manufacturer and a Taiwanese bike producer both import through Holland and distribute through-out Europe from there with ease, at the moment, due to the ‘Open Europe’ arrangement. Prices will rise now due to the unstable pound, but what will happen when the UK reintroduces import duty and other countries have export duty and all the extra paperwork.

Let’s not go into the problems professional teams will have coming in and out of the UK, riders living in Europe and fans travelling to watch races etc? Who knows what will change after the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 has been activated.

uk-eu-920

header-wallonie16-920
Tour de Wallonie 2016
Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step) took the overall lead in the Tour de Wallonie as the bonus seconds he grabbed on Stage 3 helped the Belgian keep the yellow jersey within the team. Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Dimitri Claeys won the stage ahead of Meersman, Jonathan Hivert (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) in fourth.

Etixx – Quick-Step had a plan at the start of the day, and that was holding onto the overall lead of the Tour de Wallonie. Tom Boonen was first in the overall standings, following the victory he got on Saturday and the second place he nabbed one day later, but with the tough course which was awaiting the peloton on stage 3, he was aware there’s a strong chance he will have to concede the yellow jersey. For that reason, the team controlled all the attacks in first hour and a half of racing and made sure of setting up Gianni Meersman for the intermediate sprint, where the 30-year-old nabbed two seconds.

Things calmed down after that sprint and three riders got a green light from the bunch to go into the escape – Boris Dron (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Vladimir Isaytchev (Katusha) and Benoit Sinner (Armée de Terre) – and fight for the categorized climbs on the course between Braine-l’Alleud and Vielsalm (200.6 kilometers). With 30 kilometers to go, they were reabsorbed and Etixx – Quick-Step tried to force a selection, at one point splintering the peloton, but the chasers managed to bridge across before the final classified ascent of the day.

On the 4.5-km climb, Katusha went all in with a two-pronged attack, but Etixx – Quick-Step reacted immediately and brought the duo back. The skirmishes continued and two other men powered away, managing to stay clear until under the flamme rouge arch, when the peloton – of around 30-odd riders – came back. In the final 200 meters, Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) was the first to accelerate, sparking the sprint of Gianni Meersman, who dashed to the line and took second place, behind his countryman, but ahead of Jonathan Hivert (Fortuneo-Vital Concept). The bonus seconds he took on Monday pushed Gianni Meersman into the yellow jersey, relieving Tom Boonen who had held it since Saturday. For his part, Tom retained the green jersey of the points classification.

wallonie16st3-dimitri-claeys-920

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I knew I had to wait for the sprint because I quickly realized that it was not possible to attack on the climbs. This victory is very important for our partners. Yesterday everyone was disappointed after the withdrawal of Enrico Gasparotto. He was our team captain. He sent us last night a message to encourage us. We changed therefore our tactic. This is a collective victory. Personally it is a revenge on the first few months. I was expecting a bit more from the Flemish classics. I went on stage in early July to be in shape for the Tour de Wallonie. It is often a matter of time bonuses. There are still two hard stages to go. I will fight for the general classification. I feel good and I have a strong team around me.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step): “Today the start was quite hard, so it became difficult to control the attacks, but the team stayed at the front all day long and did a fantastic job. The last climb was tough and the guys worked hard to keep it together for me. I missed the victory for half of wheel, but I am happy for getting the yellow jersey. My condition is good and I will try to defend the lead over the next two stages, because I want to win the Tour de Wallonie.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 3 Result:
1. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 4:36:35
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
4. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
5. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
6. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
8. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
9. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
10. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 13:10:47
2. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
3. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha at 0:03
4. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:05
5. Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R- La Mondiale at 0:06
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
7. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
8. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 0:08
9. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:09
10. Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:10.

Wallonie Stage 3:

A smiling and confident Gianni Meersman came at the start line in Aubel for Stage 4 of the Tour de Wallonie, determined to do everything he could in order to retain his yellow jersey. Leader of the overall standings, in the same time with second placed Dimitri Claeys (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), the 30-year-old showed his intentions early on the stage, by going for the first intermediate sprint of the day, where he took two seconds, before a breakaway of nine snapped the elastic and surged ahead: Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Clément Chevrier (IAM Cycling), Thomas Deruette (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Yann Guyot (Armée de Terre), Quentin Jauregui (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dimitri Peyskens (Veranclassic-Ago), Laurent Pichon (FDJ) and Thomas Sprengers (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

As soon as they got clear, Etixx – Quick-Step took command of the peloton to protect Meersman and keep the escapees on a leash. All of the team’s riders, including green jersey Tom Boonen, took some long pulls at the front and made sure that the advantage of the men up the road wouldn’t go too far north of three minutes, as the team was eyeing the stage victory and the important bonus seconds which were waiting for the top three on the line. The course was the toughest the bunch had faced at this edition so far, with eight categorized climbs, but the squad stamped its authority on the race and reabsorbed the breakaway, while at the same time covering all the attacks launched inside the closing kilometers, when the bunch was already split to pieces due to the hilly terrain.

One of these moves came in the final two kilometers, as Antoine Warnier (Wallonie-Bruxelles) tried his luck and took a six-second advantage, before being reeled in by the strong Yves Lampaert. Then Matteo Trentin stepped in and launched a powerful lead-out for Gianni Meersman with 500 meters to go, but Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R-La Mondiale) squeezed between the two and threatened the stage victory, so the 26-year-old Italian kept on going and held off his opponent, taking his second win of the season, after the one he nabbed on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia.

By finishing the stage in third position for his second podium finish of the week, Gianni Meersman is now enjoying a more comfortable cushion in the Tour de Wallonie general classification over his closest challenger, Dimitri Claeys, six seconds separating them ahead of the final day of the event. If the 30-year-old retains the yellow jersey, which he seized on Monday, at the end of a complicated stage 5 (Engis – Dison, 188 kilometers) – which includes 11 classified climbs, some of which ramp up to 8% – the Belgian will become just the second rider to win twice the race which in the past years has been a source of many good moments for Etixx – Quick-Step.

Cycling: Tour Wallonie 2016 / Stage 4 Arrival /  Matteo TRENTIN (ITA) Celebration /  Aubel - Herstal (178,8km)/  Tour de Wallonie / (c) Tim De Waele

Stage winner, Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step): “We worked hard today from the beginning of the stage, as attacks were coming from all over the place. It wasn’t easy, but the team was up there every time and showed its intentions. In the sprint, I tried to set up Gianni, but as the AG2R rider was trying to come around, I kept going with my sprint and crossed the finish line first. I just came off a 15-day altitude camp in Livigno, my shape is really good and I’m very happy for this win. Tomorrow, we will be all in for Gianni and we will protect and help him come out on top.”

3rd on the stage and overall leader, Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I’m happy with my third place at Herstal. I took 6 bonus seconds during the day, including 4 in the final sprint, which is very interesting before the last stage of the Tour de Wallonie. I applaud the work of my teammates. We have seen Tom Boonen and David De La Cruz being very impressive in the final. The goal of the last stage will obviously be to fight to keep the yellow jersey. This will be tough but the finish is not on a climb which is good for me. Everything went as planned. I took bonus seconds early in the stage. Therefore it was a good start. My teammates were really perfect today – just look at the tempo set by Tom Boonen at the front of the race or the work of David De La Cruz in the last twenty kilometers. On the local circuits, we had everything under control. In the last kilometers, Yves Lampaert attacked and I went back to assess the situation in the bunch. It was a hasty attack. The fact that it is not an uphill finish is clearly to my advantage. Tomorrow that will be the case again. I am confident for the final victory because I now have an overall lead of six seconds. It’s not much, but it can make a difference.”

KOM, Baptiste Planckaert (Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect): “In the early part, I did not feel good, But no member of the team was present in the break. It was important for us to defend the mountains jersey of Thomas Deruette so I slipped into the escape. I took all the points. But I thought Thomas would keep the jersey. I’m not sure I can defend the jersey tomorrow. I really hurt myself today in the break. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. But we have the advantage of having several cards for this classification. At first, the breakaway got along well. But three riders were highly ranked overall. Therefore the peloton did not let us go. The leading teams were in control. Then three of us attacked but three other riders got back, two highly ranked. I told them that if they did not let us go, I would no longer work. I am only interested in the points for the KOM.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 4 Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step in 4:18:08
2. Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha
7. Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
9. Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice.

Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step in 17:28:49
2. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:06
3. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha at 0:09
4. Antoine Warnier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles-Group Protect at 0:11
5. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ
6. Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:12
7. Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
8. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
9. Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:13
10. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling.

Wallonie Stage 4:

Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step) started the Final Stage 5 of the Tour de Wallonie (Engis – Dison, 188 kilometers) in the yellow jersey and was protected by his teammates, as Etixx – Quick-Step controlled with a strong grip the nine-man break, which didn’t get too much room, as well as the attacks which came on the final lap, when several riders tried to put pressure on the leader. David De La Cruz and Matteo Trentin (who claimed the green jersey at the end of the day) kept everything together until the final climb – Côte de Val Fassotte (1400 meters, 5.8%) – where Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) put in a fierce acceleration and gapped his opponents.

Despite a powerful and organized chase, the Belgian went on to take the victory on the uphill drag to the finish, ahead of Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal) and Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-RusVelo), and thanks to the bonus seconds, also the general classification, with a 5-second margin over Meersman, the 2014 champion, who finished on the Tour de Wallonie podium for the second time in his career, following the 2012 edition.

wallonie16st5-devenyns-sprint-920

Stage and overall winner, Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling): “I am very happy about this success. The last few weeks have not been easy since I had to abandon the Tour de Suisse and then could not start the Tour de France due to illness. Something else that is satisfying is how this victory came about today. I knew I felt good, and was probably one of the strongest in the field. Add to that the fact that the team performed exactly as we said we would in the team meeting this morning. We were able to be competitive in the final attacks, and made the tempo seriously hard for everyone else. And then I managed to finish off such strong teamwork with a good win.”

2nd overall, Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick-Step): “The team was very strong today and worked really hard, keeping me sheltered and in a good position, but on the last ascent, Dries Devenyns was just stronger than me and although I did everything in my power, it wasn’t enough to keep the jersey. I am disappointed now, but I will try to take the positives out of this week and carry my good form into the next race, Vuelta a Burgos (August 2-6).”

Thierry Marichal, IAM Cycling directeur sportif: “Our tactic for today was planned exactly how it ended up being executed. We wanted to work for Dries Devenyns, so Dries was able to attack with two kilometers to the finish on the last climb. All said and done. The whole team worked hard, and did a great job. Even though Etixx – Quick-Step made a strong impression throughout the day, we were able to turn the race in our favor in the final.”

Tour de Wallonie Stage 5 Result:
1. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling in 4:33:56
2. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
4. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha
5. Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis at 0:02
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice
8. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 0:07
9. Huub Duijn (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton at 0:08
10. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.

Tour de Wallonie Final Overall Result:
1. Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling in 22:02:48
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx – Quick-Step at 0:05
3. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha at 0:06
4. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:07
5. Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:09
6. Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:13
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Crelan-Vastgoedservice at 0:15
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
9. Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ at 0:16
10. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept at 0:17.

Wallonie Final Stage 5:

header-denmark16-920
Tour of Denmark 2016
With high speeds, crashes and a fast finish, Stage 1 of the Tour of Denmark brought with it excitement from the drop of the flag. The Tinkoff riders picked up where they left off last year, where the team won the GC and points classifications, dominating much of the first stage and taking the win at the finish in Esbjerg. Showing that he’s recovered from his injuries at the start of the season, Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) took the win by three seconds with a bold breakaway at the end of the day. With three Tinkoff riders also in the top ten, the team had undoubtedly started as they meant to go on.

On the fairly flat opening stage, it was the 200km distance that would require the most effort from riders. Eager to get the race started, a four-man break went up the road 15km into the stage and quickly built up a lead of over four minutes, the terrain favoring such an attacking move. Helping the peloton hold the break in check, Tinkoff was keeping pace and it was likely the catch would be made before the finish. The route had other ideas, however.

With just 46km of the 200km stage remaining, the race hit the Kammerslusen bridge – a small, narrow, humpback bridge over a canal. Barely wide enough to allow three riders over it side by side, a crash caused havoc seconds after most of the Tinkoff riders made their way over and a bottleneck followed, massively slowing down the chase. At the 27km to go point, with the chaos of the crash behind them, the small group that had emerged from the bottleneck was 55 seconds ahead of the chasing group, with several Tinkoff jerseys in their midst.

The final kilometers of the stage were coastal, meaning in addition to the demanding pace, the riders were buffeted by harsh crosswinds from the North Sea. With 21km to go however, Michael Gogl went on the attack, claiming points and five bonus seconds at the day’s intermediate sprint, along with Michael Valgren who took a second.

As the finish neared, teams were expecting a bunch sprint to take the stage. This was until Daniele Bennati jumped ahead, building up a twenty-six second gap on the bunch with just 5km to go. The pace rocketed and on the smooth, flat roads on the approach to the finish, it seemed unlikely the Italian rider could hold onto his advantage. Crossing the line three seconds ahead of the second-placed rider, Daniele took the win, showing that he had fully recovered from his early-season crash and was back to his winning ways.

danmark16st1-bennati-920

Stage winner and overall leader, Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff): “If I have to be honest, it was a surprise. I did not know my form as it is only my second race after a long period without racing after a bad injury. However, I am very happy, because I really needed a win like this.”

3rd, Moreno Hofland (LottoNl-Jumbo): “That is annoying, when you’re with six riders in the first echelon, the chance that you win the stage improves greatly. This is a missed opportunity. We messed up in the final part of the stage and I’m fed up with that. I definitely would’ve been close for the stage win, even though you never know if you could win or not.”

Tour of Denmark Stage 1 Result:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff in 4:32:29
2. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Virtu Pro-Veloconcept at0:03
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:16
4. Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff
5. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
6. Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff
7. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
8. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Team Postnord Danmark.

Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 1:
1. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff in 4:32:17
2. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Virtu Pro-Veloconcept at 0:09
3. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:24
4. Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff at 0:25
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Michael Valgren (Den) Tinkoff at 0:27
7. Erik Baska (Svk) Tinkoff at 0:28
8. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
9. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
10. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Denmark Stage 1:

header-ordiziako16-920
Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika 2016
Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) has made a fine return from his recent suspension by winning his first race as a professional at the Prueba Villafrance – Ordiziako Klasika in northern Spain on Monday. Yates rode away from the peloton on the final climb and solo’d to victory in Ordizia with a 34 second lead over a group of four chasers. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) won the sprint for 2nd from Alexander Vdovin (Lokosphinx), Javi Moreno (Movistar) and David Belda (Team Roth).

The first escape included: Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Christian Meier (Orica-BikeExchange), Francesco Gavazzi (Androni-Sidermec), Jose Herrada (Movistar), Roland Thalmann (Team Roth), Mikel Iturria (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias), Ibai Sala (Burgos-BH), Yeison Chaparro (Boyacá Raza de Campeones) and Yecid Sierra (Manzana-Postobón), after 45 kilometers they had a lead of 4:30. Delko-Marseille and Orica-BikeExchange were doing most of the chase work which brought the lead back to 3 minutes at one point, but it hovered around 4 minutes until Barbero was dropped, with a rider in the break, Caja Rural started to chase and the lead was down to 1 minute on the penultimate climb.

Before the start of the final climb the race was all together. Orica-BikeExchange’s Damien Howson attacked to build up a lead of 20 seconds, he was joined by Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), but they were pulled back. Yates was next to go and soon had a lead of 10 seconds before Madrazo and Moreno jumped after him. At the summit of the final climb the young English rider had 40 seconds on what was left of the bunch, with Madrazo and Moreno chasing between. Belda and Vdovin managed to catch Madrazo and Moreno, but it was too late as Yates crossed the line 34 seconds ahead of the group of four. Carthy jumped away to take 6th as Karol Domagalski (ONE Pro Cycling) took the bunch sprint for 7th 46 seconds after Yates.

ordizia-profile16-920

Race winner, Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange): “I am really happy with this win, it’s actually my first victory as a full professional and of course it is very special, especially in such a tough race. The team were fantastic today, we had to be really switched on from the first kilometer and tactically we got it spot on. I hope that I can carry this form into the upcoming races, but for sure I am going to enjoy this moment.”

2nd, Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “The team worked very hard since the beginning of the race. We had Carlos Barbero in the early breakaway and when he dropped off, we started pulling in the peloton. Everybody did a great job today. It’s a shame we missed out on the win. However, this second place shows we did well on our recent altitude training camp and it demonstrates that the team is on the right path for the up-coming Vuelta a España.”

Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Orica-BikeExchange in 3:49:50
2. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:34
3. Alexander Vdovin (Rus) Lokosphinx
4. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar
5. David Belda Garcia (Spa) Team Roth
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:43
7. Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro Cycling at 0:46
8. Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Sergio Andres Higuita (Col) Manzana Postobon.

Ordiziako Klasika 2016:

header-san-seb-920
Donostia-Donostia Klasikoa — Clásica San Sebastián-San Sebastián 2016
Saturday sees the WorldTour return to the one day Classic – Clasicá San Sebastián. A climbers race with the famous climb of the Jaizkibel coming near the end and usually the most important point in the race. There is a change to this years course with the inclusion of the steep climb of the Murgil Bidea with 16 kilometers to go. Last year’s winner, Adam Yates will be back to defend his 2015 victory with strong Orica-BikeExchange team including his brother Simon who won in Ordiziako on Monday. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) will be looking for their third win in the basque race to equal Marino Lajarreta, the first winner of the race in 1981 and three time winner.

Website: www.klasikoa.net

sebastian16-profile-920

sebastian16-map-920

header-orica-bikeexchange-920
Orica-BikeExchange for Clásica San Sebastián
ORICA-BikeExchange return to the demanding Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian this Saturday with a strong line up including last years winner Adam Yates and twin brother Simon Yates. The Yates twins both head into the race on the back of good form, which they will no doubt be looking to continue at the weekend.

Adam finished fourth overall at the Tour de France last Sunday and also won the white jersey for the best young rider at the Tour becoming the first Briton to do so. 2015 saw Adam take his first WorldTour victory at San Sebastian after a blistering solo attack on the races final climb.

Whilst on Monday, Simon secured his first professional victory at the tough Spanish one-day event Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika after a tremendous solo attack on the final climb.

The Yates twins will be the teams protected riders alongside multiple Tour of Romandie stage winner Michael Albasini and South African Daryl Impey, who both played key supporting roles at the Tour de France.

Sport director Neil Stephens hopes the brothers can carry on this rich vein of form and channel it towards a second success for ORICA-BikeExchange at San Sebastian. “One of the hardest things in cycling is winning,” said Stephens. “But, one thing even harder is coming back to try and win a second time. We have a difficult task ahead of us but we will be looking for another good result on Saturday. Half of the squad are coming into the team after three hard weeks of racing at the Tour de France and obviously there will be some tired legs out there. Nevertheless we have a strong and versatile line up and we are highly motivated to try and place Adam and Simon (Yates) in the best possible positions throughout the race. They’re both on good form right now and we are aiming for that to continue at the weekend. The change to the final climb may affect our chances a little, but we are ready to give it everything we’ve got to be competitive in the finale.”

More riders coming in from the Tour de France are strong men Luke Durbridge and Chris Juul Jensen, whilst Canadian Christian Meier and Spanish climber Amets Txurruka complete the line up.

Orica-BikeExchange line-up:
Adam Yates, Simon Yates, Michael Albasini, Daryl Impey, Luke Durbridge, Chris Juul Jensen, Christian Meier and Amets Txurruka.

Adam Yates winning in San Sebatián 2015:
sanseb15-yateswin

header-bmc15-roster-920
BMC Racing Team Targets Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian Victory
BMC Racing Team will bring a strong eight-rider roster to the UCI WorldTour one-day race Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian this Saturday, 30 July.

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the team has multiple options given the difficulty of the course. “Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian is not an easy race, but when you look at the team we are bringing with a number of Classics specialists and good climbers, we’re confident. Greg Van Avermaet came so close to victory last year so he is especially motivated this year to take the win,” Ledanois explained.

On-form Van Avermaet is confident following his success at the Tour de France. “I have good legs and good form, and with the race days I accumulated at the Tour de France I know that this is a race I can win. The moto crash of last year makes me even more determined to come back and have a good race, and this is the perfect preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games. We’ve got a great team and I think we’re in for a good race,” Van Avermaet explained.

Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian (30 July)

Rider roster:
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Ben Hermans (BEL), Richie Porte (AUS), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Peter Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Yvon Ledanois (FRA).

Gerg Van Avermaet won’t want a repeat of last year:
Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian - 2015

header-giantalp15-920
Giant-Alpecin for San Sebastian
The first race for Team Giant-Alpecin after the whirlwind of the Tour de France is the one-day race Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian. This 220.2km race favors the puncheurs and in Warren Barguil (FRA) the team carries a rider well suited to this type of course as he finished in ninth place last year.

Coach Arthur van Dongen (NED) said: “As usual we expect a very difficult race at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian. In this year’s edition there is a new finale of 16km which includes a steep climb. On Friday we will do a recon so we will know what to expect.

“We will concentrate our efforts around Warren and aim to bring him as fresh as possible to the finale. In addition Laurens and Sam will have a vital role in supporting him throughout the race and with good teamwork we can achieve a top 10 result.”

Line-up:
Warren Barguil (FRA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Sam Oomen (NED), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Coach: Arthur van Dongen (NED).

Warren Barguil might have the form from the Tour:
Morzine - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Warren Barguil (FRA-Giant-Alpecin) Peter Vakoc (CXE-Etixx-QuickStep)  pictured during stage 20 of the 2016 Tour de France from Megeve to Morzine, 146.00 km - photo Dion Kerkhoffs/Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

Lampre Merida Team f_chiari
The Lampre-Merida team for San Sebastian
The Tour de France has just finished and Lampre-Merida is already preparing the next appointments, which will take place in the weekend in Spain.

The blue-fuchsia-green team will participate in the Clasica San Sebastian (30th July) and in the Circuito de Getxo (31st July) with a line-up in which there will be eight riders, directed by Marco Marzano: Matteo Bono, Mario Costa, Ilia Koshevoy, Manuele Mori, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Simone Petilli, Luka Pibernik and Diego Ulissi.

“Dedication and concentration are the primary conditions for being competitive in both the races – sports director Marzano explained – The Clasica San Sebastian is one of the most demanding one day races in the World Tour circuit, the course could be suitable for Ulissi, however we’re aware that the plot of this race is often varying, so we must be ready to support Diego in every situation.
In our line-up there will be versatile riders who can both joining the breakaways or working in help of the captain.”

Diego Ulissi:
Praia a Mare - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Valerio Conti (Lampre - Merida) - Diego Ulissi (Lampre - Merida) - Georg Preidler (Austria / Team Giant - Alpecin) pictured during stage 4 of the 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 from Catanzaro - Praia a Mare 200 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

header-iamcycling-920
Clasica San Sebastian – Jarlinson Pantano and IAM Use the Momentum from the Tour de France
THE FACT OF THE DAY: IAM Cycling will line up at the Clasica San Sebastian with two riders who will also be heading to Rio to fly the flags for their respective nations. On Saturday, August 6, one week after the Spanish race, Latvian Aleksejs Saramotins and Colombian Jarlinson Pantano will be on the start line for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Pantano was selected at the last minute due to the fact that Nairo Quintana has pulled out, and will be among those tackling the demanding Brazilian urban circuit.

THE ANALYSIS: According to Rik Verbrugghe, IAM Cycling sports manager. “IAM Cycling wants to continue to ride the wave of success that we found at the Tour de France. However, nothing is simple or a given because a one day race is completely different to racing a multi-stage tour. But we have a team that is certainly capable of influencing the race.”

THE EXPLANATION: As given by Jarlinson Pantano, who took three podiums in the recent Tour de France. “I am delighted to be participating for the second time in this race. I did it last year, but I was also sick. This time, I hope to come with all my strength. The course should suit me well. And who knows, maybe I can follow the best and be among them in the final showdown.”

THE QUOTE: From Jérôme Coppel: “I will be at Jarlinson Pantano’s service, as I imagine all his IAM Cycling teammates will be for this first classic race after the Tour de France.”

THE NUMBER: 6. That is the number of categorized climbs listed for this race, the last being Bordako Tontorra, which is a 2nd category climb seven kilometers from the finish line.

Coureurs:
Clément Chevrier (F), Jérôme Coppel (F), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Pirmin Lang (S), Oliver Naesen (Bel), Jarlinson Pantano (Col), Aleksejs Saramotins (Let), Oliver Zaugg (S).
Manager sportif: Rik Verbrugghe.

Jarlinson Pantano:
Culoz - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -   Jarlinson Pantano (COL-IAM Cycling)  pictured during stage 15 of the 2016 Tour de France from  Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz, 159.00 km - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2016

header-etixx16-plain-920
Etixx – Quick-Step to Clasica San Sebastian
First World Tour one-day race of the summer will see a strong team, with many cards to play, line up at the start.

This year, San Sebastian is the European Capital of Culture, and among the hundreds of events which it stages, there’s also the Clasica San Sebastian, one of the most beautiful one-day races of the season. Charming as the city itself, the event barely knows a meter of flat, as it’s a constant up-and-down affair over the picturesque and ever-so-fascinating climbs of the region, including Jaizkibel and Arkale, whose names hide an alluring musicality resembling the one of the fantastic creatures in Basque mythology.

Jaizkibel (7.8 km, 5.8%) and Arkale (2.7 km, 6.3%) will both feature twice on the course and will lead to several selections in the peloton, which should count just a dozen riders by the time it will hit the foot of Murgil Bidea, the final ascent, which replaces Bordako Tontorra, the climb that featured at the past two editions. Although shorter – 1,800 meters – Murgil Bidea is by no means a walk in the park, as it averages 10.5%, ramping up to 20% in some sections. Only 8 kilometers separate Murgil Bidea’s summit off San Sebastian’s Reina Regente Boulevard, where the race will end, thus making for a very open and thrilling finale.

Etixx – Quick-Step will not be short of options in the 220.2-km long Spanish race, which this year runs its 36th edition. Fresh off the Tour de France, where he claimed his maiden top 10, Dan Martin will be one of the riders to watch out for, in a race which last season he concluded in 7th place. Bob Jungels, the revelation of the Giro d’Italia, will also be making his return to Clasica San Sebastian, which he discovered for the first time three years ago.

Gianluca Brambilla – who in 2016 has enjoyed his best season to date, with two victories and a stint in the coveted maglia rosa – will be another important card of the team, which will be rounded out by David De La Cruz, Laurens De Plus, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar and Petr Vakoc, another rider who has recently completed the Tour de France, a notable result considering this was his debut in cycling’s biggest race.

Riders:
Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), David De La Cruz Melgarejo (ESP), Laurens De Plus (BEL), Bob Jungels (LUX), Daniel Martin (IRL), Pieter Serry (BEL), Zdenek Stybar (CZE), Petr Vakoc (CZE).
Sports Director Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

Has Dan Martin recovered from the Tour?
Mont Ventoux - Chalet Reynard - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Daniel Martin (IRE-Etixx-QuickStep) pictured during stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France from  Montpellier to Mont Ventoux Chalet Reynard , 179.00 km - Photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

header-tinkoff16-920
Alberto Contador and Roman Kreuziger lead Tinkoff at Clasica San Sebastian
This Saturday, the UCI WorldTour action continues with the 36th edition of Clasica San Sebastian, a 220.2km one-day semi-classic on the northern coast of Spain, suited to the punchy climbers. Having won the 2009 edition, Roman Kreuziger comes to Spain with good memories of the race, and he is joined by Alberto Contador, returning from his injuries that saw him withdraw from the Tour de France.

Having both Alberto and Roman in the team for the race gives Tinkoff two cards to play, with the tough, hilly parcours one that suits both of their characteristics as climbers. The course features six main climbs over its parcours, with the final 60km being the most decisive section of the race. The parcours potentially suits one of the two riders more than the other, but after the Tour de France form is sometimes a bit uncertain, as Sport Director Patxi Vila explains.

“San Sebastian is always a special race, with people either coming from the Tour de France or preparing for La Vuelta so you have two levels. If you leave the Tour in good condition, then usually you have something extra over those who are preparing for La Vuelta and may be in very good shape but lack some race speed. But then it’s also not easy to recover in just five days.”

Alberto and Roman will be joined by Oscar Gatto, also coming from the Tour de France, as well as Jésus Hernández, Sergio Paulinho, Evgeny Petrov, Ivan Rovny and Yuri Trofimov giving the team a mix of support for the two leaders.

“Alberto has been training well and recovering, however, his race form will remain a bit unknown until Saturday, but the idea is to go out and race hard. We have Roman too who finished the Tour well and if he’s recovered he’ll be another card to play. The final climb of the race suits Alberto’s capacities as a climber better but it’s not that easy to guess how they’re feeling. Then alongside these two we have a strong team to support them.”

In San Sebastián, Alberto hopes to start building up the competition pace, necessary to successfully tackle his next major goal, the Vuelta a España. “I watched many stages of the Tour on television, but it was not easy to follow the race because I knew almost every corner of the parcours and I found it difficult to accept that I wasn’t there. However, sports is like that, and I’m already feeling better and working towards my next goal, the Vuelta a España”.

Following a period of complete rest, Alberto Contador started “to slowly going on the bike for a spin and although the discomfort was always there and I had a slower rhythm longer than I expected, I haven’t been worried about it. I am aware I will lack a bit of pace in San Sebastián and Burgos, which will probably raise my pulse a lot, but I know the best is to think about the Vuelta a España. I will tackle these two races with a bit of calm and with a longer-term objective.”

Regarding his recent injuries he feels already “pretty good but not perfect yet. Of course, there is no comparison with how I was in the Tour, but I still don’t do any stretching in order not to risk a relapse. Otherwise I’m already almost back to normal.”

For Alberto, the key now is that he gets to feel at ease. “I’m in very good spirits and just think I have the Vuelta a España ahead. It is my country’s race, I’ll be at home and I really look forward to taking to the start “. While he waits for the start in Orense, he thinks San Sebastian “is a very demanding race where riders coming from the Tour always have an edge in their form, which makes a difference. It will be difficult to be at their level, but it will be good in order to pick up pace.”

The race sees a slight change to the latter stages of the route after last year’s race with the final climb now taking a different route to the top of the same hill, with a similarly steep profile to tackle before a fast descent down to the final flat run-in. The 220.2km route features around 3500m climbing in total making it a tough day in the saddle, with the two ascents of the Jaizkibel climb, cresting at 125km and 165km in, the toughest of the six categorised climbs. The final ascent of the Murgil Tontorra may only reach 250m altitude, however the steep gradients and proximity to the finish will be sure to spark decisive attacks, as all that remains is a fast descent followed by a few kilometres flat finish where the 2016 champion will be crowned.

tinkoff-san-sebastian16-920

header-dimension-data16-920
Preview: Clasica San Sebastian
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka motivated for single day World Tour Basque classic
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are back in action this weekend for the first time since our successful 2016 Tour de France campaign. The 36th Clasica San Sebastian is a single day World Tour event taking place on Saturday in the Basque Country. It will be our African Team’s debut appearance when they line up in Donostia for the 220km classic.

The Clasica San Sebastian is a prestigious race that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, being the first World Tour event to take place after the Tour. Some riders from the Tour de France look to carry their form from the Tour into San Sebastian and our African Team will have Serge Pauwels taking this approach.

Pauwels showed his climbing prowess in the tough mountain stages of the Tour de France, most notably with a 2nd place finish on Mont Ventoux. With the Clasica San Sebastian taking in 6 classified climbs, 5 of them in the last half of the race, a punchy climber can be expected to lead the way on Saturday.

Igor Anton is another rider from our African Team that will look to perform well. With the race taking place on many of his known training grounds, Anton will have extra motivation racing in front of his home crowd. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Nathan Haas, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Merhawi Kudus, Adrien Niyonshuti and Songezo Jim will complete our 8 rider line up.

Jens Zemke – Sport Director
Clasica San Sebastian is a famous and respected event which we are thrilled to be participating in for the first time. We will have an ambitious team taking to the start of the 36th Clasica San Sebastian, and we will aim for a top result. Serge Pauwels will bring the great vibe of a successful Tour de France with him to San Sebastian. Three of our riders will use the Clasica San Sebastian as their final race before going to the Olympics, Pauwels, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Adrien Niyonshuti. Some of our other riders will continue on to the Vuelta Burgos next week, so they are all motivated. Igor Anton, our Basque rider, will lead our African charge in his home event as we race to shed further light on our #BicycleChangeLives campaign this weekend in Donostia.

dimension-data-san-sebastian16-920

header-lottosoudal15
Lotto Soudal: Preview Clásica San Sebastián and RideLondon Classic
Almost a week after the Tour de France a one-day WorldTour race is scheduled: the Clásica San Sebastián. Saturday it will be the 36th edition of this Basque race. The Klasikoa is 220.2 kilometres long and contains six hills, twice the duo Jaizkibel and Arkale. The Murgil Tontorra, with top eight kilometres from the finish, is likely to be decisive.

Frederik Willems, sports director: “Tim Wellens and Tony Gallopin are our leaders. Jelle Vanendert and Tiesj Benoot are also able to set a good result on that course. Tiesj didn’t ride Tour de Wallonie because he was ill, but he could train sufficiently to get ready for Saturday. Sean De Bie, Pim Ligthart, Tosh Van der Sande and Louis Vervaeke need to support the others. We really have a strong team.”

“We don’t intend to join an early breakaway. No doubt Movistar will control the escape. Other teams to keep an eye on are BMC, with Gilbert and Van Avermaet, and Orica that has last year’s winner lined up: Adam Yates. Alejandro Valverde already rode Giro and Tour, but with all his experience I still expect him to be good at San Sebastián. For Adam Yates the Klasikoa was his first big victory ever. He’s still young so we have to wait and see if he is not too tired after the Tour, where he was a GC contender.”

“The last climb will be the crucial one. The other climbs will already split the bunch, but the final selection will occur on the last climb. It’s a climb of 2.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 9%. The first five hundred metres gradually go uphill and then there’s a peak of 20%. In total there is a 20% gradient for 500 to 600 metres. Apart from the fact that the climb is steep, it’s also a very narrow one. The most important part of the race will be turning up the climb. The others have to make sure Tim and Tony are well positioned. All eight should be able to remain in the first group until the bottom of the climb. I expect we can play along for the podium in San Sebastián.”

Line-up:
Tiesj Benoot, Sean De Bie, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart, Tosh Van der Sande, Jelle Vanendert, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens.

A day after the Clásica San Sebastián the RideLondon Classic is scheduled. It’s only the fifth edition of this race. This Europe Tour race of 202.3 kilometres starts and finishes in the centre of London. In the meantime the riders get to cover a few laps in Surrey, on a hilly course. Before the riders get back to the British capital Box Hill awaits. This climb is known from the Olympics 2012. The finish line lies on The Mall, right across Buckingham Palace.

Marc Wauters, sports director Lotto Soudal: “There are two riders in our selection who have completed the Tour: Lars Bak and Jürgen Roelandts. They should be in a good shape. Maybe they have to get back in the rhythm in the beginning of the race, but on the climbs their Tour shape should make the difference. Unfortunately Jens Debusschere had to pull out of the Tour after a crash. He has just restarted training and told us the condition is still fine.”

“We aren’t aiming for a bunch sprint, but we plan to race aggressively. The course is perfect for that. Jelle Wallays is doing really well. Last week he won GP Cerami. Kris Boeckmans is making progress every week, like we saw at Tour de Wallonie. He has a chance when it comes down to a sprint at the finish. Frederik Frison was also climbing well at Tour de Wallonie, so he can show something on Sunday as well. We will certainly choose to attack and if the race does end with a bunch sprint we will see which rider sprints: Kris, Jens or Jürgen.”

“The British riders will definitely be motivated to perform well in their own country. We can also expect guys who rode the Tour to be good. It will definitely be a nice race. It’s a very good organisation. There are always thousands of spectators and there is a great atmosphere. And winning in the centre of London is of course incredible.”

Line-up:
Lars Bak, Kris Boeckmans, Jens Debusschere, Frederik Frison, Jürgen Roelandts and Jelle Wallays.

Tony Gallopin:
Milano - Sanremo WT 2016

header-sky-left1-920
Chris Froome to ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Tour de France champion Chris Froome will make his Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic debut on Sunday on July 31st. Froome starts the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the world’s richest one-day race, as his final preparations for the Rio Olympic Games, where he will ride both the road race and the time trial. The Sky team will include: Froome, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Christian Knees and Danny van Poppel.

Mick Bennett, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic Race Director said: “We are thrilled to have Tour de France champion Chris Froome riding for Team Sky at this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. His performance over the last three weeks has enthralled the country and we are proud Chris has chosen the Classic as his last race before Rio. Now British fans have the chance to watch him in action and cheer on the man who has achieved the incredible feat of three Tour de France wins. We expect thousands to come out and line the streets of London and Surrey. It confirms the important place the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic now holds in the international calendar. The fact that the three-time winner of the Tour de France views this race as the perfect preparation for his bid for Olympic gold shows the calibre of the race we have developed in just three years. In addition to Chris, Team Sky is also bringing Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard, proven winners in their own right, and with Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) also in the field, it means that four of Team GB’s five road racers for Rio are racing on Sunday.”

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, a UCI 1.HC event, will be shown live on BBC TV for the fourth successive year.

Chris Froome winning Tour stage 4:
Villars-sur-Ollon - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Christopher - Chris Froome (Norway / Team Sky) celebrates his win during the Tour of Romandie - stage 4 from Conthey to Villars-sur-Ollon - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2016

header-bmc15-roster-920
BMC Racing Team to Defend Ride London Classic Title
BMC Racing Team will be looking for repeat success in London on Sunday when a strong six-rider squad, including 2015 winner Jempy Drucker, lines up at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

Sports Director Max Sciandri is confident in the ability of the whole BMC Racing Team squad racing in the British capital. “We are going into the Ride London Classic in a strong position as the defending team with Jempy [Drucker]. We are heading to this race with a great group of riders who are all capable of riding for good results. The whole team is feeling super motivated to try and do another good performance here.”

After his success last year, Jempy Drucker is looking forward to lining up once again at the RideLondon Classic. “It is going to be nice to go back to London and to a race I won last year. It was my first pro win so it is very special for me. It is a beautiful race, the crowds are amazing and London is simply a cool city so I am definitely excited to be going back and racing again in London.”

Rider roster:
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Floris Gerts (NED), Daniel Oss (ITA), Loïc Vleigen (BEL), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Director: Max Sciandri (ITA).

Daniel Oss:
giro 16 Oss

header-utah-920
Strong Field Packed with Grand Tour Experience to Compete in 705-Mile Tour of Utah
A Total of 26 Countries Represented by 122 Riders in “America’s Toughest Stage Race”

The preliminary rosters have been confirmed for the 16 men’s teams competing at the weeklong 2016 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Aug. 1-7. A total of 122 athletes from 26 countries are expected to line up and contest “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM”. Starting Monday, Aug.1, at Zion Canyon Village and finishing on Sunday, Aug. 7, in Park City, the UCI 2.HC-sanctioned stage race boasts an all-star field of national champions and Grand Tour stage winners.

Thirty-one of the athletes taking part in this year’s 705-mile, seven-day stage race have experience at Grand Tour races (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España). A total of 56 riders have raced previously at the Tour of Utah, some representing new teams. Seven riders are current national champions in various road disciplines – – Jonathan Fumeaux (IAM Cycling), Swiss National Road Race champion; Hayden McCormick (ONE Pro Cycling), New Zealand U-23 Time Trial National champion; Greg Daniel (Axeon Hagens Berman), U.S. National Pro Road Race champion; Ruben Guerreiro (Axeon Hagens Berman), Portugal U-23 Road Race National Champion; Joseph Chavarría (Lupus Racing Team), Costa Rica Elite Road Race champion; Benjamin Perry (Silber Pro Cycling), Canada U-23 Road Race National champion (three-time winner); and Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling), Canada Time Trial National champion.

Five teams in this year’s field completed the Tour de France (July 2-24) — BMC Racing Team, Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling, Fortuneo-Vital Concept, IAM Cycling, and Trek-Segafredo. The Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling team will bring defending Tour of Utah champion Joe Dombrowski (USA) back to battle across 52,000 feet of climbing next week for the UCI America Tour event, now in its 12th year.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to the Tour of Utah and hopefully successfully defending my title. It’s a beautiful state and a beautiful race, and I have fond memories there,” Dombrowski said about racing in Utah.

From the preliminary rosters provided by teams, there are 24 athletes who were born on or after Jan.1, 1994, qualifying them at Under-23 for Subaru Best Young Rider classification points. USPRO champion Daniel of Axeon Hagens Berman is one to watch. At just 21 years of age, Daniel is the reigning U.S. National Pro Road Race Champion. His teammate, American Adrien Costa, is the youngest rider in the peloton at 18 years of age. Costa won the KOM title at this year’s UCI 2.2 Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour. Silber Pro Cycling will bring 22-year-old Canadian Ben Perry, who finished second on G.C. at this year’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay. And BMC Racing Team will feature 22-year-old Taylor “T.J.” Eisenhart, a Utahn who resides in Lehi. He won the 2014 USA Cycling U23 Amateur Time Trial national championship.

“It is a huge honor to represent the U.S. national champion’s jersey in such a big American race. I hope to ride with integrity and try to represent my U.S. national title as well,” said Daniel, who won the Utah Office of Tourism KOM classification at last year’s Tour of Utah. “Winning a stage would be amazing. I won the king of the mountain jersey last year and I don’t know if I can do it again. But to come back and get a good result, either as a stage win or to hold the jersey for a day, would be very special. I am in no rush to change my national championship jersey, either.”

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free for all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. Fans can follow the race live each day with mobile applications from Tour Tracker powered by Adobe®, as well as live coverage each day on FOX Sports2 (ROOT Sports in Utah viewing areas). Prior to the race start, the teams will be introduced Saturday, July 30 at the Team Presentation presented by America First Credit Union. This event is free for spectators at the Aston Family Greenshow stage on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City from 5-6:30 p.m.

“We have an impressive field of international riders for this year’s Tour of Utah. The competition will be incredible, the scenery is always magnificent, and our host communities roll out the red carpet for everyone. From the athletes and teams to the spectators and volunteers, we are excited for a 12th season of racing and a great week,” said Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Tour of Utah.

Roster Highlights:
Dombrowski will be supported by four Americans on his Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling team, including Nathan Brown and Andrew Talansky, who have Grand Tour experience; 2010 U.S. National Road Race Champion Ben King; and Phil Gaimon, who finished 11th at this year’s 2.HC Criterium International.

Joining Eisenhart of the BMC Racing Team is Colombian climber Darwin Atapuma, who was ninth overall at this year’s Giro d’Italia and claimed a stage at the Tour de Suisse. Another American on the team is Joey Rosskopf, who was the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain winner in Utah in 2014.

Making its inaugural appearance at the Tour of Utah is the Swiss-based IAM Cycling team, featuring Australian Heinrich Haussler. He has competed at all three Grand Tours and won a stage at the 2009 Tour de France. Supporting him in Utah will be American Larry Warbasse, who raced the 2016 Giro d’Italia, and reigning Swiss National Time Trial Champion Jonathan Fumeaux.

Trek-Segafredo brings Julian David Arredondo, who won a stage and the KOM classification at the 2014 Giro d’Italia, as well as Americans Peter Stetina and Kiel Reijnen. Stetina completed the 2016 Tour de France in 46th overall, the second highest American at the event. Reijnen won Stage 1 at the 2015 Tour of Utah.

Closely tied to its roots in Brittany, the Fortuneo-Vital Concept team (named Bretagne-Seche previously) earned a wildcard invitation to the Tour de France for the third year in a row. The all-French roster will feature the reigning Under-23 World Champion Kevin Ledanois, who claimed his rainbow stripes in Richmond in 2015. His teammates will include the eight-time French national cyclocross champion Francis Mourey and Jean-Marc Bideau, who returned to racing this year after suffering a double fracture of the pelvis in October 2015.

Other Pro Continental teams racing in Utah are Nippo-Vini Fantini, ONE Pro Cycling, Team Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. The Nippo-Vini Fantini team will be led by Damiano Cunego of Italy. A veteran with more than 15 Grand Tours in his career, he won the 2004 Giro d’Italia. Cunego finished second in the KOM classification in this year’s Giro.

ONE Pro Cycling, based in Great Britain, will bring a pair of 23-year-old New Zealanders, Dion Smith and James Oram, both previously racing at the Tour of Utah with other teams. Smith finished third in the points classification and fourth in KOM points at last year’s Tour of Utah riding for Hincapie Racing Team.

Team Novo Nordisk continues as the first professional cycling team comprised of all riders living with diabetes. Irishman Stephen Clancy, named Cycling Ireland’s ‘Domestic Rider of the Year,’ earned his best career finish at a UCI 2.1 race when he sprinted to fourth place on Stage 3 of the Tour of China last year.

The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has participated in every edition of the Tour of Utah since 2006. American Matthew Busche won the 2015 U.S. Professional Road Race national championship. He is joined by Tanner Putt, a Utah native and a two-time (2013-14) U.S. National U23 Road Race champion, and Italian Marco Canola, who was third overall at the 2016 Philadelphia International Cycling Classic.

Team rosters from Continental teams include strong talent who have excelled at the Tour of Utah in past years and also left their mark on the season so far. The Axeon Hagens Berman squad is comprised of riders who are all 22 years of age or younger. Guerreiro of Portugal is the oldest at 22 years of age. Another American to watch in addition to Daniel and Costa is Logan Owen, who won Stage 3 at the 2015 Tour of Utah.

Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS returns to Utah for the seventh year with Australian Lachlan Morton, who finished 10th overall at 2015 Tour of Utah. He made a name for himself at the 2013 Tour of Utah by winning Stage 3 in Payson with a screaming descent of Mt. Nebo and capturing the overall Subaru Best Young Rider jersey at week’s end. The Aussie won the 2016 Silver City Tour of the Gila and finished second on G.C. at the 2016 Cascade Cycling Classic.

Rally Cycling will bring Americans Eric Young and Tom Zirbel to Utah. Young has sprinted to two stage wins at the Tour of Utah, in 2014 and 2015. Zirbel is the silver medalist from this year’s U.S. National Pro Time Trial championship.

Salt Lake City resident Robbie Squire (USA) of Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear finished ninth overall at the 2015 Tour of Utah. He will be joined by American Robin Carpenter, who had three Top 10s at last year’s Tour of Utah and won this year’s Cascade Cycling Classic. Travis McCabe finished third in this year’s U.S. National Pro Road Race Championship.

Team Jamis returns to Utah with Colombian climber Janier Acevedo, who finished third overall at the 2013 Tour of Utah. After racing for two years on a WorldTour team, Acevedo returns to Team Jamis this season. He will be joined by 2014 U.S. National Pro Road Race Champion Eric Marcotte and Grant Tour rider Lucas Sebastian Haedo of Argentina.

Lupus Racing Team and Silber Pro Cycling make their first appearances in Utah. Lupus Racing Team is led by Americans Chris Horner and Chad Beyer. A 22-year veteran of the professional peloton, Horner has competed in 10 Grand Tour events and was the 2013 champion of Vuelta a España. The oldest rider in the peloton at 44 years of age, Horner has finished second overall twice at Tour of Utah, in 2013 and 2014. Beyer is a former WorldTeam rider with BMC Racing Team. He finished fourth overall at this year’s USA Cycling Professional Road Race National Championship.

Canadian-based Silber Pro Cycling brings an all-Canadian team including National Time Trial Champion Ryan Roth, U23 National Time Trial Champion Benjamin Perry and G.C. contender Matteo Dal-Cin. Roth and Perry claimed first and second overall, respectively, at the 2016 Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay. Dal-Cin became the first Canadian to win the Redlands Bicycle Classic in the 34-year history of the race earlier this year.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah continues to be free to all spectators. It is the first internationally-sanctioned cycling competition in North America following the Tour de France. More information about the Tour of Utah, the host venues and the teams can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (@tourofutah, #TOU16), Instagram (thetourofutah), and YouTube (tourofutah).

2015 Tour of Utah Sizzle Reel:

header-tinkoff16-920
Michael Valgren leads Tinkoff on return to Tour of Denmark
Michael Valgren leads Tinkoff on return to Tour of Denmark in search of continued success

Having already won the race in 2014, Michael Valgren knows what it takes to finish on the top step of the podium at the Tour of Denmark, and with a 2015 edition win in the team as well, Tinkoff has a lot of history at this race. This year, the young Dane heads to his home roads off the back of the Tour de France, and leads a strong Tinkoff team that can both support and aim for stage results too.

The 26th edition of the race sees a slight change in format from previous years, dropping from six stages to five, and it’s also moved forward in the race calendar to fit between the Tour de France and the Olympics. The alteration will see just two days between the end of Le Tour and the start of the Danish race, but Michael will be looking to carry on from a solid showing in France where he has been a part of the successful team performance that has seen stage wins and leaders’ jerseys from the first days.

“This year the race comes straight after the Tour which makes it a bit different to other years, but hopefully it will have a positive influence on Valgren’s performance,” explained Tinkoff’s Danish Sport Director Lars Michaelsen. “We’ve been in touch during the Tour and while he’s focused now on that race, he’s really motivated for Denmark as well which is important after three weeks of racing.”

Lining up alongside Michael in Herning for stage 1 on Wednesday will be Erik Baška, who will be looking to be in the mix on the first few stages that suit a fast finish. He is joined by road captain Daniele Bennati and another Italian, Manuele Boaro, who will have one eye on the fourth day’s time trial, a 19.6km effort around Nyborg. Gogl and Kolar make it three Michael’s in the Tinkoff line-up, with the Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov completing the team.

“Manuele also has history at this race having led in 2014 before Valgren won the overall, so his experience will be an asset. Benna comes to the race from Poland and he continues to get stronger after his return. Then with Baška, the first two stages and the fifth could suit him so we’ll look to support him there.

“Stage 3 should be key for the GC with a tough final circuit in Vejle, and two climbs on the lap, one which gets over 21%, so its about who can make the cut here. The time trial is also longer than previous years so that will be important. I’ve been racing and directing at this race for a good few years now and I hope that we can continue our success this season.”

Tour de France 2016 - 103a Edizione - 18a tappa Sallanches - Megeve 17 km - 21/07/2016 - Michael Valgren (Tinkoff) - foto Graham Watson/BettiniPhoto©2016Michael Valgren comes straight to Denmark from the Tour de France. Photo by Bettini Photo

The Race:
Stage 1, Herning – Esbjerg, 200km

A mainly flat opening stage eases the riders into the five day’s of racing, but with all of the leaders’ jerseys up for grabs the action will be hot from the drop of the flag. We can expect a bunch sprint to decide the first race leader after 200km of racing into Esbjerg.

Stage 2, Rømø – Sønderborg, 180km
Starting on the small isle of Rømø, the race starts to get more technical on the second day over a rolling 180km parcours. Travelling from the west to east coast, the threat of wind breaking the race up will be ever present, and riders will have to be aware of changing conditions before a tricky finish in Sønderborg.

Stage 3, Aabenra – Vejle, 175km
Heading north, and skirting the east coast, the third stage is the queen stage of the week with the same finish as last season which saw Tinkoff place three riders in the top ten. With two difficult climbs on the finishing circuit, one with ramps of up to 21%, the fight for the stage should unfold in this exciting finale.

Stage 4, Nyborg – Nyborg, 19.6km
After a split stage in previous editions, this year’s race sees just the time trial on day four, covering just short of 20km around the eastern city of Nyborg. With a longer distance than previous seasons, this race against the clock could see some important splits develop between the GC riders ahead of the final stage.

Stage 5, Karrabæksminde – Frederiksberg, 175km
The final stage of the Tour of Denmark sees a route around the Danish Zealand Island, ending up on the outskirts of Copenhagen where the 2016 champion will be crowned. For the stage honors, ten finishing circuits are to be covered giving the riders the opportunity to take in the finish before the real thing. We can expect a final fight between the fast men to round out the race.

tinkoff-denmark16-920

ASO-header
ASO and Activation Group Announce the Launch of Le Tour de France Official Events in China Next November
The riders crossed the finish line of the final stage of the 2016 Tour de France on Sunday, but le Tour never ends! Today, Amaury Sport Organization and ACTIVATION GROUP announced an exclusive strategic partnership to bring Le Tour de France Official Events to China in November 2016 by hosting the first-ever Tour de France Critérium in the country.

The world-famous Tour de France is coming to China, where two official Tour de France branded events will take place: the Tour de France Critérium and L’Etape by Le Tour de France. Sports and cycling fans will be immersed in a great atmosphere of sports excellence and professionalism in the image of the Tour de France in the coming months.

The Tour de France Critérium will welcome top riders from the Tour as well as other stars from the international peloton. L’Etape by Le Tour de France is about to become the main large-scale cycling event at the regional level, promoting a national campaign to promote fitness for health.

“We are very excited about Le Tour de France Branded Events in China. The bicycle plays an important role in our lives. This simple two-wheeled vehicle has been a reliable means of transport for decades. Nowadays, the bicycle industry is enjoying an unprecedented boom in China, while cycling is particularly popular among the young generation, not only as a means of transport but rather as a lifestyle choice. We are confident that this year’s Tour de France Branded Events in China will provide exciting racing and offer a wide range of opportunities for the public to see both professional and amateur riders close to where they live”, says Kathy Zhou, General Manager of ACTIVATION SPORTS and Director of the Tour de France Branded Events in China.

Tour de France 2016 - 24/07/2016 - Etape 21 - Chantilly / Paris Champs-Elysees (113 km) -

header-giantalp15-920
Injury Update: Tom Dumoulin
Team Giant-Alpecin reports that Tom Dumoulin (NED) involved in a crash at the Tour de France is recovering well. Dumoulin arrived back home in the Netherlands on Saturday and went for further check-ups, which have shown a good healing and surgery will not be necessary.

With the recovery heading in the right direction, this Saturday Dumoulin will be able to join up with TeamNL to travel to Rio, Brazil. Once there, the progress will be closely monitored by the medical staff and the decision to compete in both the road race and time trial events will be made.

Team physician Anko Boelens (NED) explained: “The healing is progressing really well. As known, Tom has a distal radius fracture, which is a clean fracture, not in the joint and without any dislocation. He has a custom brace to mobilize the fracture for a proper recovery.

“We hope the progress continues in this way in the coming weeks to be ready in time for both races and to race pain-free, without his brace.”

Dumoulin said: “It’s was a huge disappointment to drop out of the Tour. After the crash I directly knew something was wrong, Rio was in danger. The first x-rays confirmed my feeling. I had additional examinations at the hospital which confirmed that the fracture was a clean one. The belief that Rio was still possible started to become stronger yesterday after I went to fit my brace and I carefully restarted my training with an easy test ride. It went well and I am just really happy to be able to ride the bike again so soon.”

“The preparation went a little bit different than planned. Instead of recovering from a complete Tour and having a relaxed time at home doing the last training before going to Brazil, I am now going for check-ups to the hospital and fitting braces. However I have a good medical support with now almost two weeks to go, the brace and special exercises we’ll go for it.”

Dumoulin’s Tour crash:
Saint-Gervais - France  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  val-chute-crash Tom Dumoulin (NED-Giant-Alpecin)   pictured during stage 19 of the 2016 Tour de France from Albertville to Saint-Gervais, 146.00 km - photo Cor Vos © 2016

header-bmc-news-920
Eisenhart and Lienhard Promoted to Stagiaires at BMC Racing Team
Two of BMC Development Team’s riders, Taylor Eisenhart (USA) and Fabian Lienhard (SUI), will continue the 2016 season as stagiaires with BMC Racing Team.

The promotion of Eisenhart and Lienhard to BMC Racing Team is a testament to the success of BMC Development Team in preparing young riders for the UCI WorldTour ranks, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

“Taylor and Fabian will join us for the remainder of the season, during which time they’ll gain valuable experience in the professional peloton, to build on the skills they have already developed with BMC Development Team. Our development program exists for this very reason so we are excited to see Taylor and Fabian amongst our ranks for the final races of the season,” Ochowicz explained.

For Eisenhart and Lienhard, the opportunity to join BMC Racing Team as a stagiaire is an exciting step in their career.

“It’s a huge honor to be riding as a stagiaire for the best team in the world. I have ridden a BMC bike since I was a 16-year-old junior rider so to be riding my first pro race for BMC Racing Team, a team that I have grown up with, is beyond a dream. BMC Development Team have really taken care of me and have developed me so that I am ready for this moment, so I have a huge amount of respect for them for this,” Eisenhart said.

“I feel really good and honored about being promoted to a stagiaire position with BMC Racing Team. It’s going to be great to ride for the pro team from 1 August and I think this will be a great opportunity to learn a lot from the experience and knowledge of the pro riders. I will work my hardest to do a good job to help the team and if I get the chance to ride for a result for myself I hope that I am able to prove what I am capable off,” Lienhard agreed.

Eisenhart and Lienhard will join BMC Racing Team as of 1 August, with the Tour of Utah their first race.

Taylor Eisenhart:
bmc-taylor-eisenhart-920

header-trek-segafredo-920
Trek-Segafredo Selects Three Stagiaires
After recently concluding its July training camp, Trek-Segafredo has selected three stagiaires to join the team for the remainder of the 2016 season. Jacopo Mosca, Piet Allegaert, and Jose Luis Rodríguez earned spots with the WorldTour squad in a few upcoming select races, still to be determined.

Italian Jacopo Mosca, 22, rides for the U23 team Viris Vigevano. Mosca started racing at age 10 and won 20 races in the youth category, showing early promise. Known as a climber, Mosca achieves best results in the hardest races. With his attacking style, Mosca has consistent finishes in the top 10 in the past two seasons.

Piet Allegaert, 21, comes from Trek-Segafredo’s development team EFC Etixx. The young Belgian is a specialist in one-day races and short time trials and prologues. As a junior, he finished 6th in the Tour of Flanders and in this year’s Paris-Roubaix U23 he finished in 7th place. Allegaert has been part of the Belgium National team since his junior years.

Jose Luis Rodríguez, 22, is a Chilean cyclist competing for the UCI’s World Cycling Center development team. He is the 2015 U23 National Champion and 2016 Pan-American Champion for road and time trial. Rodríguez is a specialist in the time trials and has shown a prowess for climbing. An aggressive rider, he made a name for himself in last year’s Tour de L’Avenir when he earned the leader’s jersey in stage four.

Trek-Segafredo’s Young Rider Development Program
Trek-Segafredo recently launched a young rider development program to have a better process in its selection of stagiaires each year, and to create a database of young riders for the future. During the July training camp in the Alps, 11 development riders joined 5 Trek-Segafredo riders in rigorous field testing under the supervision of the team’s performance task force headed by Josu Larrazabal. When the week-long camp concluded, Mosca, Allegaert, and Rodríguez were selected to join Trek-Segafredo, while the remaining riders will continue as part of the control group.

Jacopo Mosca:
jacopo-mosca-giro-appennino-920

header-tdf16-gopro-920
GoPro at the Tour in Paris
GoPro was on the Champs Elysées for the finalé of the 2016 Tour de France. There is an end of term feel at the start, but when the race gets going…


The PEZ INSTAGRAM
Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

*****
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

*****
Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.