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Doha - Qatar - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Cavendish Mark (GBR / Team Dimension Data) pictured during the Road Race men of the UCI Road World Championships 2016 in Qatar - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Peter Sagan held onto his rainbow jersey for another year. With a strong and crafty sprint, the Slovakian swooped past the remnants of the field in Doha for his second World title. We have all the reports, results and video from all the road World championships. In other cycling news: Wanty-Groupe Gobert and BMC rider contracts, Bradley Wiggins not going to Abu Dhabi and five years with Etixx – Quick-Step for Tony Martin. A full Sagan EUROTRASH Monday.

TOP STORY: Was it a Good Worlds?
Probably not. The heat wasn’t the problem they thought it was going to be, the wind did make a slight difference out on the desert loop in the men’s race, the hills… there weren’t any and the atmosphere was non-existent, but apart from that it was OK.

The men’s race was saved by the Belgian team splitting the peloton and Peter Sagan winning an excellent sprint ahead of two previous World champions, making the podium one that Doha can be proud of. Can you imagine if one of the lesser known riders in the front group had won everyone would now be saying that it was a worthless championships and there would be calls for UCI heads to roll. As it is, the money grabbing will be forgotten about and we will all look-forward to the 2017 season with the long haired Slovakian wearing the rainbow jersey to more successes.

A third title next year in Bergen?
Doha - Qatar - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Sagan Peter (Slowakia / Team Tinkoff - Tinkov)   pictured during the Road Race men of the UCI Road World Championships 2016 in Qatar - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

UCI World Championships 2016
The 2016 season has practically finished and the World road championships in Doha brought down the curtain on a very successful year for Peter Sagan. World Champion, European Champion and the top ranked rider in the UCI WorldTour. Here is the EUROTRASH catch-up on the 2016 World road World championships.
Thanks to the UCI for all the race info.

Men Elite Road Race
Peter Sagan will wear the rainbow jersey for at least one more year. The 2015 Champion defended his title in style when he beat Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen in a sprint of Champions at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016. Cavendish, the 2011 winner, grabbed silver and Boonen, the 2005 World Champion, took bronze.

Sagan took advantage of the Belgians, who tore the race into pieces at a long cross wind stretch in the desert on the way back to Doha. The Slovak was one of the last riders to make it in the first echelon in the decisive battle after about 75 kilometers into the race.

“I’m very happy,” Sagan said, “because at the decisive point I was the last one to make it into the first group. Then I thought for me, it was just going to be the sprint. I was really lucky because (Giacomo) Nizzolo did not close the gap at the fence. If he would have done that we surely would have crashed because I would not have braked.”

Sagan now is one of six riders to have won back-to-back world titles after Belgians Georges Ronsse (1928-1929), Rik Van Steenbergen (1956-1957), Rik Van Looy (1960-1961) and Italians Gianni Bugno (1991-1992) and Paolo Bettini (2006-2007).

Heading out of Doha to turning point Abu Yazoul, the peloton faced a head wind. That did not seem to bother Daniel Teklehaimanot very much, as he was the first to attack when the flag was dropped for the official start. The Eritrean was countered, but his compatriot Natnael Berhane immediately made another attempt. Six riders joined and the peloton gave them the green light.

Natnael Berhane, Rayan Stiven Ramirez (Colombia), Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukraine), Ryan Roth (Canada), Nick Dougal (South-Africa), Rene Corrella (Mexico) and Anas Ait Al Abdia (Morocco) took off for a joint adventure in the desert. Riding against the wind they cooperated well and reaching the turning point they were a good ten minutes ahead of the bunch, which was led by Great Britain, Australia and Norway. Mark Cavendish’s Belarussian Dimension Data team mate Kanstantin Siutsou took long turns in front of the cruising bunch. It was silence before the storm.

At the turning point Rene Corrella gave way in the breakaway. The Mexican was cooked and soon swallowed by the bunch. That was in a nervous position battle with the cross wind section back to Doha in sight. Great Britain, Italy and Belgium led the peloton when they rounded to corner and the battle was on. The Belgians strung the pack into a long line and tear the peloton into pieces with a ferocious pace on the not too wide road down south.

Dutchman Tom Dumoulin had a flat at the worst possible moment and saw the echelons in front of him disappear in the desert. While the Belgians tortured the field, victims dropped in crashes, with mechanicals and just because they could not keep up with the pace. Within half an hour the peloton was broken into three main groups, with six Belgians, three Italians and three Norwegians in the front group.

Germany and France were the main victims. Both André Greipel and Marcel Kittel had not been able to get a ticket for the first echelon. French sprinters Arnaud Démare and Nacer Bouhanni also missed out at the decisive moment. World Champion Peter Sagan and teammate Michal Kolar did make it in the first echelon, as had Dutch Niki Terpstra with fellow compatriot Tom Leezer. Mark Cavendish had company from Adam Blyth, but both the Dutch and the British teams were bruised and battered after the Belgian strike. Australia had Michael Mathews and Matthew Hayman in the first group, but their sprinting prospect Caleb Ewan missed out. Norway’s sprinter Alexandr Kristoff survived in the happy company of teammates Truls Korsaeth and Edvald Boasson Hagen and Italy still had Jacopo Guarnieri, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo in front.

Belgium had Tom Boonen, Greg Van Avermaet, Jens Keukeleire, Oliver Naessen, Jasper Stuyven and Jurgen Roelandts among the frontrunners. The early breakaway had been overrun by the Belgian steamroller, but Berhane, Roth, Dougall and Anas Ait Al Abdia managed to keep up with the first echelon and eventually finish with the leading group.

While the confident Belgians made pace in the first echelon, occasionally helped by the Italians, the second and third echelons sought ways to get back into contention. Entering The Pearl circuit, the second echelon was one minute behind, with the third group even further back. In the second group Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel tried to organize a chase, but nobody seemed willing to cooperate and the two Belgians in that group tried everything they could to disturb their organization. The gap only increased to two and eventually three minutes. Greipel tried to attack in frustration, but the second group knew that their race was lost. With three laps to go Kittel parked his bike at the side of the road. It was up to the Belgians to cash in.

In the penultimate lap Keukeleire gave way in the front group and in the final lap Bennati and Stuyven also had to let the first group go. With five kilometers to go Niki Terpstra was the first to attack, but when he looked back he saw the golden bike of Olympic Champion Van Avermaet. Everyone looked at each other and no one seemed to have enough energy left to attack, until Leezer seized the moment with two kilometers to go. The Dutchman got a gap and cleared the red flag of the last kilometer with a five second gap. He seemed to have a shot at the title, but when Jurgen Roelandts took the lead in service of Boonen’s sprint.

At about 300 meters from the line, they caught Leezer and Boonen was the first to go full pace on the final straight, but the former World Champion was not able to hold the first position, when the 2015 winner jumped from Nizzolo’s wheel to cross the line first. Cavendish eventually also managed to edge out Boonen on the other side of the road.

Peter Sagan said after the finish: “I can’t believe it – I’m still in shock. It’s unbelievable. I had the biggest fan group here from Slovakia and I felt it – thank you everybody for that, it gave me a lot of energy today. Thanks to my family who also travelled here, my father and my wife, and to my brother who was also in the front group but he wasn’t able to get back on after going back for bottles in the crosswinds. And thanks to Michael Kolar who did unbelievable work for me, he was always with me and supported me. I’m so happy.”

Second, Mark Cavendish: “I am little disappointed, tactically I made a mistake. I wanted to be on the wheel of Sagan and ultimately I was, but then all of a sudden the road was blocked. I was trying to find a way through and at around 100 meters I had to stop pedaling to go around Matthews. I got back onto Tom Boonen but it was too late, I couldn’t get back onto Sagan. I feel I lost gold rather than I won silver today. We did all we could, it was tough losing Luke Rowe to a puncture because then we would have had 3 in front which would have been valuable in the final, but that’s how it is. It’s difficult to take any positives out of today.”

Third, Tom Boonen: “I would have preferred to win the race, but things are as they are, so congrats to Peter. I think we tried everything that was possible, took control of the race after 75 kilometers, had an important role again at the Worlds, just like in the previous years, and I’m really proud of my teammates. We had two tactics today: to get Greg cover the big attacks and to play my card in the sprint. When Leezer went, it was only me and Jurgen left at the front and he had to go full gas to catch him. At that point, I already knew it was going to be difficult, and then, when an Italian guy passed me, I felt I had a chance and tried to surprise my opponents, starting my sprint with 200 meters to go, but with guys like Sagan and Cavendish in your wheel is difficult to make it. I came close of taking the win and can say that I’m happy with the performance of the team.”

Canadian Ryan Roth (15th): “My role for today was to try and get in the early breakaway, it’s a hard thing to do, but luckily the first move I covered was the break of the day. Once we got up the road, it was just about managing my effort as best as possible; keep the group rolling, stay hydrated and do everything necessary to survive a long day. We didn’t have a lot of information, but we heard that there was a selection coming up fast, so we backed off and waited for them to catch us. Once we got to the circuit it was… just get to the next lap, and then the next one. For the finale, I actually wasn’t feeling too bad, so I just wanted to do the best result I could. A gap opened up just in front of me in the last kilometre, so I wasn’t able to be with the front guys sprinting, which was a bit disappointing.”

World Men Elite Road Race Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia) in 5:40:43
2. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
3. Tom Boonen (Belgium)
4. Michael Matthews (Australia)
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy)
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
7. Alexander Kristoff (Norway)
8. William Bonnet (France)
9. Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium).

Men’s Road Race:

Women Elite Road Race
Amalie Dideriksen spoiled Kirsten Wild’s birthday party in the women’s Road Race at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016. The twenty-year-old Danish prodigy came from behind to edge out Wild on the line for the world title. Wild, who was perfectly piloted by the dominating Dutch train, seemed to be on her way to the title, but the line was just ten meters to far. Wild had to settle for silver and Finnish Lotta Lepisto took the bronze.

“It’s crazy,” Dideriksen said. “I had dreamed of a top-ten finish. My team mates fought so hard for me, I had a small crash and they brought me back.” Dideriksen already won the juniors world title twice and she is only the sixth woman to win the senior world Road Race title after also having won junior gold (France’s Catherien Marsal and Pauline Ferrand- Prévot, Lithuania’s Diana Žiliūtė, Briton Nicole Cooke and Dutchwoman Marianne Vos the other five).

Dideriksen took advantage of the Dutch train. With three-time world champion Marianne Vos as lead-out women for Wild, the Orange women were the major force in the final five kilometers. “I knew the Dutch girls were going to lead out Kirsten Wild, and I wanted to be in that wheel so badly. It was a hard fight for that wheel with the other girls,” the newly minted world champion said.

Wild, record winner in the Ladies Tour of Qatar, went full pace when Vos gave way, but the sprint was just a little too long. “It would’ve been good if there were more breakaways. But I’m not really disappointed,” she explained and added that despite losing the gold medal, her birthday party will definitely occur: “t’s my birthday today and I’m going to have a party tonight.”

The surprise bronze medal for Lepisto, was the first ever senior podium place at the World Cycling Championships for Finland. “I knew I had to always stay in the front. My teammates, although they’re not the strongest riders around, stuck together. The national spirit was there for all to see,” said the proud Finn.

Before the riders even left Qatar Foundation, the Italians have to cope with a serious setback, because two-time world champion and ace sprinter Giorgia Bronzini couldn’t start due to illness. Once the flag was dropped for the official start after a few kilometers of neutral zone, Japanese Eri Yonamine attacked. She quickly built a 25-second gap with the peloton watching her go. At the back of the bunch Noura Alameeri crashed at about the same time Yonamine attacked and the Kuwaiti seemed to have broken her collarbone. Her sister and only team mate Nada waited for her to get back on the bike, but both riders quit the race just after it had started.

Amber Neben suffered a mechanical on the way from Qatar Foundation to the Pearl, but she quickly returned to the peloton. Yonamine entered the 15.2 kilometer Pearl Circuit first and had a 35-second lead with seven laps to go at the first passage of the finish line. With the British and the Belgians up front, the peloton got nearer to Yonamine and when the gap was diminished to a mere twenty seconds, Swiss Nicole Hanselmann decided to jump after the Japanese national champion. She caught up and the two of them stayed ahead for more than a full lap.

Pre-race favorite Kirsten Wild suffered a crash at a roundabout in the first full lap, but she was brought back to the bunch by team mate Roxane Knetemann. With the Dutch ladies extremely active in the front of the bunch, the two leaders were caught with about five laps to go. Amy Pieters, Ellen van Dijk, Annemiek van Vleuten and three-time world champion Marianne Vos attacked one after each other with mainly the Americans neutralizing their attempts.

When the Dutch tornado faded, Amber Neben took advantage. The fresh Individual Time Trial World Champion escaped from the bunch and quickly built a 50-second gap. Great Britain, with defending champion Lizzie Deignan and Australia, in service of sprinting ace Chloe Hosking, led most of the chase with Dutch and German help. Neben got caught with only one lap to go. She eventually finished 98th.

The Dutch gathered to organize the sprint for Kirsten Wild. Great Britain and Canada tried to set up their own trains, but the Dutch would not have it any other way. With Annemiek van Vleuten, Olympic Champion Anna van der Breggen and three-fold world champion Marianne Vos, Kirsten Wild had the best lead-out one could ever dream of, but the Dutch train had a stowaway wagon with Dideriksen behind them, and she ran away with the title in the end.

Women Elite Road Race Result:
1. Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) in 3:10:27
2. Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
3. Lotta Lepistö (Finland)
4. Elizabeth Deignan (GB)
5. Marta Bastianelli (Italy)
6. Roxane Fournier (France)
7. Chloe Hosking (Australia)
8. Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)
9. Joelle Numainville (Canada)
10. Jolien D’hoore (Belgium).

Women’s Race:

Men U23 Road Race
Kristoffer Halvorsen sprinted to gold in the Men’s Under 23 Road Race at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 with a time of 3:40.53. The Norwegian finished off a great team-effort, when he beat Germany’s Pascal Ackermann and Jakub Mareczko from Italy on the line in a bunch sprint, after ten 15.2 kilometer laps for a total of 165.7 km in The Pearl.

“My teammates were so good, they’ve been working so hard, I’m incredibly happy,” joyful Halvorsen said just minutes after crossing the line. “The course was perfect for me and this was my biggest goal for this season.”

The 20-year-old Norwegian followed the footsteps of fellow countrymen Kurt Asle Arvesen and Sven Erik Bystrøm, who captured the Under 23 title in 1997 and 2014. Norway has now collected three Men’s Under 23 titles to equal France in second place of the all-time ranking. Italy still leads with four gold medals.
Ackermann was piloted very well by his German team-mates and looked on a world title course entering the final straight, only to be pipped on the line by Halvorsen. “The race was tough and fast. The final sprint was a little too long for me. But I’m happy with how I did,” said the German.

The Italian team were nowhere to be seen in most parts of the exciting race, but Mareczko managed to place himself well for the final sprint and rolled to bronze. Later on, in the mixed zone he explained the Italians’ strategy: “The team helped me throughout the race. In the final kilometer my teammate suffered a fall. I could sprint well only in the last 150 meters, bit it was too late. I’m still happy with the bronze.”

The race started nervous, with two crashes at roundabouts within the first five kilometers. Many riders tried to escape from the peloton and after about ten kilometers Dutchman Pascal Eenkhoorn, Amanuel Gebrezgabihier from Eritrea and Portugal’s Nuno Bico were the first to maintain a real gap. The three had 44 seconds at the first crossing of the finish line. With the escapees still in striking distance several riders tried to make a jump. Swiss Patrick Müller and Colombian Bryan Gomez were the first to join the escapees.

While the five leaders were fighting to sustain their lead, Bico slipped, crashed in a sharp turn and lost contact. He stood right up, remounted and managed to get back into the lead group. At the same time Iran’s Mahdi Rajabikaboodcheshmeh, Michael O’Loughlin from Ireland, Gregory Daniel from the USA and Rwandan Jean-Claude Uwizeye joined to a form breakaway, that would make last until the final lap.
Russian Pavel Silakov and Irish Daire Feeley made an effort to escape from the peloton, but they did not manage. The nine leaders worked together to increase their lead to about three minutes, with the chasing peloton not yet fully organized. Many riders still tried to escape, but non succeeded to bridge the gap.

Spain and Kazakhstan joined forces in front of the bunch halfway the race.The battlefield went into a status quo, with the breakaway holding on to their three-minute gap. Meanwhile the heat and the fast pace took their toll at the back of the bunch. Costa Rica’s Gabriel Marin was the first to step off his bike in after the first full lap and many were to follow. In total only 149 of the 188 starters completed the full 165.7 kilometers in The Pearl.

With about 50 kilometers to go, mutual trust seemed to fade in the breakaway group. In the peloton, Norway came to front row, working for pre-race favorite Kristoffer Halvorsen, who had dominated the sprints in this year’s Tour de l’Avenir. Together with British, Spanish and Kazakh help, the Norwegians slowly drew the peloton nearer and nearer to the leaders. At three laps from the finish, the gap was 2.20 minutes and with two laps to go it was 1.36 minutes.

Gebrezgabihier was the first of the leaders to give way. The Eritrean rider suffered from heavy cramps and had to let his eighth fellow escapees go in the eighth lap. He was quickly swallowed by the hunting peloton. Bryan Gomez was the second to drop from the breakaway and In the penultimate lap Nuno Bico attacked. He didn’t get space however and heading into the final lap the seven frontrunners still hold on to a 22 second lead. The Norwegian army in full blown fashion was chasing them on the finish line.

In the final lap Rajabikaboodcheshmeh and Eenkhoorn surrendered just seconds before their companions were caught with ten kilometers to go. Norway were still in the driver’s seat, with France, Denmark and Germany eyeing their chances in second row. France and Germany made pace in the final five kilometers, but the Norwegian train rushed to the front again after clearing the red flag for the final kilometer. The final sprint was a close call between Ackermann and Halvorsen, but the Norwegian lived up to the expectations.

Men U23 Road Race Result:
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) in 3:40:53
2. Pascal Ackermann (Germany)
3. Jakub Mareczko (Italy)
4. Phil Bauhaus (Germany)
5. Amund Grondahl Jansen (Norway)
6. Jason Lowndes (Australia)
7. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spain)
8. Aksel Nommela (Estonia)
9. Jonathan Dibben (Great Britain)
10. Alan Banaszek (Poland).

Men U23:

Women Juniors Road Race
Two road races led to two bunch sprints at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016. After Norway’s Kristoffer Halvorsen in the men’s Under 23 race, Elisa Balsamo sealed an Italian gold medal with a perfectly led-out sprint in the women’s junior road race on Friday. Skylar Schneider from the USA and Norway’s Susanne Andersen grabbed silver and bronze after 74.5 kilometers on the 15.2 kilometer Pearl circuit finishing in 1:53:04, the same as 51 more riders.

“Unbelievable,” said Balsamo after crossing the line. “A big thank you to my team mates. They were so beautiful and strong. It’s our title not only mine. This is great, not only for us, but for the whole of Italian female cycling.”

Schneider was not able to capitalise on her teammates’ hard work to keep the peloton together in the final lap. She was well placed in Balsamo’s wheel, but did not have the speed to surpass her opponent on the line. Andersen tried to jump from Schneider’s wheel but she too lacked the pure speed of Balsamo, who held the others of with grace.

Fate struck only three kilometers into the race, or was it inattention? At the only slightly bending wide road in the first loop of The Pearl circuit, more than half of the bunch came to a standstill in a major crash, with shattered bikes, flying water bottles and riders screaming all over the place.
Twenty-odd women managed to escape the chaos, but for all others pre-race plans were thrown into the bin. They had to remount and try to catch up with the front group as soon as possible. Mexican Ana Marina Herros did not make it to the first crossing of the finish line and was the first rider to quit the race.

Although there were no major injuries, the crash was a serious setback for some of the pre-race favorites. At the first passage of the finish line, with four 15.3 laps to go, the peloton was split in two main groups with a 22-second gap. Further adrift rode many small groups of riders in an effort to catch-up. The two main groups merged in the first full lap and the peloton consisted of about 55 riders at the second passage.

France’s Julliete Labous, who came third in the women’s junior ITT, and Oceanian champion Chloe Morgan, were still 22 seconds behind, but managed to join the pack in the second full lap. Dutch sprinting prodigy Arianna Pruisscher was more than a minute behind, and Japan’s national junior champion Misuzu Shimoyama rode a lost race, crossing the line more than two-and-a-half minutes down on the peloton.

With three laps to go several riders tried to make a jump, but no one managed to escape. Heading into the final lap, 56 riders crossed the finish line in the same time behind Dutch Maaike Boogaard, who led the pack. For most of the final lap the American girls made pace, keeping the speed high enough to discourage any attacking thoughts of other riders. When the Americans gave way with five kilometers to go, Spain’s Miriam Gardachal tried to jump, but she was countered quickly by the Germans and all teams started looking at each other while trying to organize a lead-out for their sprinters.

Italy took a commanding lead when the bunch cleared the red flag to enter the final kilometer and then Letizia Paternoster and Lisa Morzenti perfectly piloted Balsamo to the line. The Italian sprinter held off Schneider and Andersen, who tried to jump from behind, but were not able to overhaul.

“The attacks were tough throughout the race. The whole peloton was moving closely. I narrowly avoided a crash in the first few kilometers. Elisa had a perfect ride out in the final stretch and she deserved to win,” said Andersen who offered Norway its second medal at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016.

Women Juniors Road Race Result:
1. Elisa Balsamo (Italy) in 1:53:04
2. Skylar Schneider (USA)
3. Susanne Andersen (Norway)
4. Karolina Perekitko (Poland)
5. Letizia Paternoster (Italy)
6. Emma Norsgaard (Denmark)
7. Franziska Brauße (Germany)
8. Sandra Alonso (Spain)
9. Liane Lippert (Germany)
10. Simone Eg (Denmark).

Women Juniors:

Men Juniors Road Race
Jakob Egholm has won the men’s junior Road Race in spectacular fashion. In the third Road Race at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016, the Dane was the first to successfully carry home a solo attack and finished first in 2:58.19. Seven seconds behind the winner, German Niklas Markl and Swiss Reto Muller took silver and bronze in the sprint of an eighteen-men group of first chasers.

“I can’t believe it,” Egholm said. “I haven’t won a race since May. I went into the race with the expectation to help my team mates in the sprint. When we were in the breakaway I sat still in the back of the group to save energy. Then, when I took my turn, team mate Julius Johansen went and I got a gap too and went after him. He did not have the power in his legs, so I went for it. It was an individual time trial towards the end.”

Egholm is only the second Dane in history to win the juniors Road Race. Fifteen years before Egholm was born, his compatriot Sören Lilholt won the title in 1983. Niklas Markl took the second German Road Race silver after Pascal Ackermann grabbed a medal of the same color in the Men’s Under 23 race. Germany has now won seven medals in Doha –Team Time Trials results included– and are currently on top of the leaderboard. Reto Muller took the first Swiss individual medal at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016.

It was full pace from scratch in the Men’s junior race. The peloton was strung out straight from the start, with riders attacking right and left of the road. Dutchman Jan Mobach came first at the first crossing of the finish line, but his effort faded entering the feed zone.

One man stood out in the first three laps. Awet Habtom from cycling-loving Eritrea attacked time and again. The African rider was joined by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar at first instance. Dutchman Dennis van der Horst joined the pair but when the three looked over their shoulders in search for fellow adventurers, the peloton was back on their tale. Habtom did not give up however. He launched a new attack and another Dutchman joined him, this time it was Ide Schelling with Belgian Brent van Moer as companion.

Again the three were caught by the merciless peloton, but Habtom persevered, only to give up after the third passage on the finish line. With Habtom fading, other tried their luck, with the Dutch team always attempting to join the attack. From the third lap onwards the peloton was blown into several groups and lone riders in between.

The first group consisted of fourteen riders: Brandon McNulty (USA), Adrian Bustamante (Colombia), Brent van Moer (Belgium), Jacob Eriksson (Sweden), Harry Sweeny (Australia), Julius Johansen (Denmark), Iver Knotten (Norway), Inigo Elosegui (Spain), Saymon Musie (Eritrea), Nicolas Debeaumarche (France), Sedrik Ullebo (Norway), Ziga Horvat (Slovenia), Ide Schelling (Netherlands) and Alexys Brunel (France). Meanwhile, Belgian sprinter Gerben Thijsen suffered from a mechanical in the back rows.

McNulty, who already won the junior’s Individual Time Trial earlier this week, set up an attack together with Johansen and Brunel. With about 50 kilometers to go, the three took a 15-second lead, but were caught by the first chase group after a brave effort. Several riders managed to join the first group from behind and then a team of twenty-odd riders had a 45-second advantage over the second pack with two laps to go. Knotten had left the race by then. The Norwegian national junior champion parked his bike at the side of the road and fell down on the pavement in exhaustion, with four laps to go.

Heading into the final lap, Slovenia and Denmark had three riders each in the 20-men front group, France and Switzerland had two men, while all the others were on their own. Attack followed after attack and McNulty neutralized them all. Only when Julius Johansen attacked with Jakob Egholm leaving a small gap, no one was able to respond. Egholm himself also got a gap and he decided to join his compatriot. Johansen did not have the legs to follow him however, and Egholm decided to go solo. France’s Alexys Brunel caught up with Johansen in an effort to chase Egholm, but they eventually were arrested by the following group of twenty.

Men Juniors Road Race Result:
1. Jakob Egholm (Denmark) in 2:18:22
2. Niklas Markl (Germany)
3. Reto Muller (Switzerland)
4. Luca Mozzato (Italy)
5. Ziga Horvat (Slovenia)
6. Ziga Jerman (Slovenia)
7. Ide Schelling (Netherlands)
8. Jaka Primozic (Slovenia)
9. Sedrik Ullebo (Norway)
10. Harry Sweeny (Australia).

Men Juniors:

Danilo Napolitano extends with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Danilo Napolitano will also ride for Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2017. The Italian rider extended his contract for one year. It will be his fifth season in Jean-François Bourlart’s team.

“I’m happy to stay with Wanty-Groupe Gobert. I feel at home with this team,” Danilo Napolitano said.

This season Danilo Napolitano was often the lead-out man for Kenny Dehaes, a new role for him. “It was a nice experience for me. Most of the time in my career I was the sprinter. My role changed in the team. It was a pleasure to help Kenny Dehaes. I learned a lot this year. We make a good duo,” the 35-year-old rider.

The Italian rider finished nine times in the first ten of UCI-races. “I could play my own card in some races. I got nice results. I was very close to a victory, this is my only regret for this year. Next season I really hope to win again,” he concludes. Danilo Napolitano already won 29 races in his career.

Confirmed squad for next season: Simone Antonini, Frederik Backaert, Jérôme Baugnies, Thomas Degand, Kenny Dehaes, Tom Devriendt, Fabien Doubey, Wesley Kreder, Guillaume Levarlet, Guillaume Martin, Mark McNally, Xandro Meurisse, Danilo Napolitano, Robin Stenuit, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Kevin Van Melsen, Pieter Vansepybroeck.

Danilo Napolitano:

Martin Elmiger Signs with BMC Racing Team
Four-time Swiss National Road Race champion Martin Elmiger is the latest addition to BMC Racing Team’s 2017 roster, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Elmiger, who won the Santos Tour Down Under in 2007, will play an important role in achieving the team’s stage race and Classics ambitions, Ochowicz said.

“Martin Elmiger brings a wealth of experience to BMC Racing Team and is a very welcome addition to our 2017 roster. Martin will join us in his 16th year as a professional cyclist, during which time he has consistently proven himself as a versatile and strong road captain, and a rider more than capable of playing both a support role and winning in his own right. Martin was 5th at Paris-Roubaix in 2015, showing that he has what it takes to be up there on the cobbles, and is often seen trying his luck in a breakaway during stage races. We have a clear focus for the 2017 season and we’re excited to have Martin on board,” Ochowicz explained.

“We may be a US-registered UCI WorldTour team, but our ties to Switzerland are very strong with BMC Switzerland and the recent announcement of TAG Heuer as a new partner, so we are thrilled to welcome another Swiss rider to BMC Racing Team.”

Elmiger started his career on a BMC bike and is looking forward to making his return.

“I’m not the youngest rider anymore so it wasn’t that easy to find a new team but BMC Racing Team was always one of my favorite teams. I pretty much started my career on BMC bikes with Andy Rihs at Phonak and after speaking to Andy about joining the team it was a perfect opportunity to also end my career on a BMC bike. It is an honor to ride with BMC Racing Team with riders like Greg Van Avermaet and the young Swiss guys who I know well. It’s going to be a nice experience and I’m very motivated,” Elmiger said.

“I’d like to help Van Avermaet win one of the big Classics like Tour of Flanders, and maybe take an opportunity to win a stage at some of the smaller races like Tour de Suisse, or help whoever is there for the General Classification. I think I can help a lot in every kind of terrain, whether it’s the Classics or stage races as I have a lot of experience.”

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy no other details of the contract were released.

Martin Elmiger:
TDFR 2014 - stage -15

Pieter Vanspeybroeck signs with Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Pieter Vanspeybroeck will join Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2016. The Belgian rider signed a two-year contract with Jean-François Bourlart’s team.

“It was a good season for me but I think I can do more with a better race program. The faith the team puts in me to obtain good results also weighed in on my decision to choose this team,” the 29-year-old rider said.

Pieter Vanspeybroeck comes from the team Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise. He enjoyed a particularly successful season with his team this year, he finished 24 times in the first ten of UCI-races. He got the fourth place in de Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt (1.HC) and the 7th place in the GC of the Baloise Belgium Tour. He won the Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde Meulebeke (1.2). “This year I could play my own card. I managed to get good results. I’m not a pure sprinter. I’m pretty fast in a small peloton and I can survive the climbs. Races likes the Tour of Luxemburg and the Baloise Belgium Tour suit me to the core,” he explains.

The former winner of the Sparkassen Giro wants to test himself in the Spring Classics. “This season I finished as 13th in Gent-Wevelgem. I would like to discover my limits in this kind of race.”

The sixth of the Brussels Cycling Classic is really keen to help the sprinter Kenny Dehaes “If the team needs me it won’t be a problem to support Kenny Dehaes. I did it two years ago for Edward Theuns.”

Sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren is looking forward to working with Pieter Vanspeybroeck. “I think we haven’t seen his real potential. He can achieve great results next year. I hope he’ll make a step forward by coming to our team. He can take the place of Dimitri Claeys.”

Pieter Vanspeybroeck:

Bradley Wiggins at the Abu Dhabi Tour Clarification from the Abu Dhabi Tour Organizers
The Abu Dhabi Tour, organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council with the collaboration of RCS Sport, wish to share this clarification of the issues surrounding Sir Bradley Wiggins’ contracted appearance at the 2nd edition of the four-stage road race, 20-23 October.

Before the first announcement (20 September) we received the approval from Team Wiggins to communicate the presence of Bradley Wiggins at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour.

Last week the Official Enrollment Form was submitted by a Team Wiggins official to RCS Sport with the name of the rider Bradley Wiggins included in the provisional entry list.

In addition, as is usual practice for a major race, flights and accommodation have been booked in the name of Bradley Wiggins and those accompanying him.

The race organizers are surprised and disappointed to see different stories in the media regarding Bradley Wiggins and the Abu Dhabi Tour.

It is important to clarify that the long-standing expectation has been that Sir Bradley will be riding the 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour, and that all operations by the race owner, race organizer and its representatives and agents have been based on that expectation in good faith.

Paris - Nice 2015 prologue

Tony Martin – Time Trialling To Glory With Etixx – Quick-Step
After five years with the Etixx – Quick-Step team World time trial champion Tony Martin, one of the finest riders in team’s history, will be moving on. Here is a look back at his time with the super team:

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