PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
Tom Dumoulin is showing some end of season form in the BinckBank Tour. All the results, reports, quotes and video from Holland/Belgium and from Norway's Arctic Race. Lars Boom makes gesture - Top Story. In other cycling news: Canada Games, more Vuelta riders announced, contract news from Bora-Hansgrohe, Astana and Quick-Step Floors and a new professional track team. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time!

TOP STORY: Who's a Naughty Boy Then?
That would be LottoNl-Jumbo's Lars Boom at the finish of BinckBank Tour stage 5 in Sittard-Geleen, which he won and gave a rather rude winners celebratory salute (see below). It was suggested that the gesture was aimed at his team bosses as he had been told that he would not be riding the Vuelta a España for his Dutch Lottery/Supermarket sponsored team. Boom had soloed to the stage victory in a show of strength, and he also took the overall lead by 2 seconds from World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and 8 seconds over eventual overall winner, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb). Boom lost the lead the next day to Dumoulin.

The upshot of the gesticulation was a 1,000 Swiss Franc fine from the UCI, that's €880, $1,040 or £800. On the other hand he was lucky not to be disqualified.

Boom did remark that the win "it indeed brings a lot of joy" and he wasn't talking about the fine.

Lars Boom: "I always want to win"
Sittard-Geleen - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Lars BOOM (Netherlands / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)  pictured during the BinckBank Tour Stage 5 from Sittard-Geleen to Sittard-Geleen (167,3 km) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

BinckBank Tour 2017
One year ago, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) was flat on his back, constrained mostly to his bed. It was beginnings of what would be a long road to recovery from a fractured vertebra he sustained in a crash at the 2016 Tour de France. Although Theuns returned to racing this season, he was still not completely pain-free and underwent surgery after the spring classics in late April to remove the hardware still in his spine. It was another few weeks to recover, and once again, more hard work to return to his top race form.

On Stage 4 the Binckbank Tour on Thursday, Theuns put closure on his near-career ending injury for good, winning his first race since his horrible crash, and the first WorldTour victory of his career.

Victory is always sweet, but for Theuns it was that much sweeter. Theuns sprinted to second place in Wednesday's stage three, giving him and the team confidence and high morale to play for the win again. A late attack by Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) almost spoiled the impeccable team work, but Boy van Poppel and Jasper Stuyven uncannily timed the catch at 200 meters to go, and Theuns finished off the perfect lead out.

Lanaken - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Edward THEUNS (Belgium / Team Trek Segafredo) d  pictured during the BinckBank Tour stage 4 from Lanaken to Lanaken (154,2 km) - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): "It's a big relief, I am really happy, I had a real rough time since I crashed in the Tour last year and I worked really hard to come back. After the spring classics, I again had surgery to take out the pins in my back, and since that surgery, I feel that I am getting stronger every week. I had a great training camp at altitude during the Tour, and now it pays off. Dirk told us in the radio that Lampaert had a pretty good gap, but in the last kilometers to just focus on good positioning and sprinting so I wasn't really looking at the situation. In the end, the gap opened on the right moment and Boy could go to the front with me and Jasper. When I started the sprint, I was able to go a little bit to his wheel, and it gave me a better slipstream, which was perfect for me. The lead out was really good, and I am super happy to give a reward to the whole team, for the hard work they do. After yesterday, I really believed in it, and the team believed in it. Already yesterday we were really riding together as a group, and it was close, and today we tried again. Yesterday after the stage Dirk said tomorrow we go again for it, and in the end, it all turned out perfect."

2nd on the stage, Marko Kump (UAE Team Emirates): "It was a frenetic day, with a route featuring continuous curves, some of them really tight, and the added difficulty of wet roads due to rain. As a team we managed to always race in a good position. This was important on such a complicated route and it allowed me to save some strength in preparation for the sprint. At the beginning of the sprint I wound up a bit closed in, but then I caught up to Teuns’ tyre, perhaps a little late to be able to pass him."

Overall leader, Stefan Küng (BMC): "Wearing the green jersey is starting to become a habit which is a good thing, but from tomorrow the racing will be difficult. However, I think it will also suit me more than the sprinters' stages. Today we said we weren't going to work because we pulled yesterday and, in the end, we were doing the work for Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and if he had won today, I wouldn't be in this position. We gave the responsibility to the others, and they took it up, and in the end, it was really hectic. I tried to be up there and in a good position, and it worked out quite well. I haven't had a proper look at tomorrow's stage, but I know the area. I have raced a lot there, and I have even won the Volta Limburg Classic there so, I have a lot of good memories, and I will take them with me into the race."

4th overall and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "We had another fast, wet and hard stage at the BinckBank Tour. The team did an excellent job, pulling hard to bring back the breakaway, practically by themselves. As expected, it all came down to a fast bunch sprint, where I was fourth. The GC hasn't changed, we have Bodi in second place, myself tied with Dumoulin for third - all of us within 5 seconds - and three more stages where anything can happen. We'll keep fighting every day."

BinckBank Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 3:24:23
2. Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
6. Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Sky
7. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
8. Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Sunweb
10. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac.

BinckBank Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC in 11:39:31
2. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:05
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:08
6. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:10
7. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:12
8. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
9. Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC at 0:15
10. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:17.

BinckBank stage 4:

After three flat road stages, the BinckBank Tour got a lot harder on Stage 5, with the terrain featuring eighteen challenging climbs and roads that would push the riders’ bike handling skills to the limit. In the lead up to the finalé, attack after attack came, with the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), pushing ahead in a small group. While the Slovak rider was clearly aiming for the win, he was unable to chase down a late attack by LottoNl-Jumbo's Lars Boom. Boom took the stage and the overall lead as Sagan won the sprint for second. Increasing his points lead and moving to second in the GC.

Like a miniature Spring Classics race, stage 5 gave the riders a taste of some of the harder terrain the Netherlands has to offer, with some climbs familiar to those who had ridden the early season one-day races. The stage profile listed no fewer than eighteen hard ascents, and while these weren’t mountains, they were the infamous short, sharp and steep climbs the Classics are known for. Spaced out over the 167.3km route, they would tire out the riders and make contesting what had the potential to be a fast difficult finalé. While the race organizers had changed the layout of the flat finish in case of rain, staying in touch to contest it was going to be more of a challenge.

Starting the day in good weather, the pace was fast – until the peloton hit the first climbs of the day. As the road turned skywards the peloton’s pace dropped, and this allowed a group of seven to make the break. Their advantage quickly ramped up to more than four minutes, but with the terrain so changeable, the peloton didn’t want to have to work to reel in too great a lead and worked to cut this back to a more manageable three minutes. With 50km remaining, there were still some hard climbs to come, making the catch all the more difficult. A few riders in the main bunch started to chase and the gap came down to 1:20 and was dropping fast.

At the 20km to go mark, it was less than twenty seconds to the now splintering break, where only two riders remained. Attacks and counter-attacks came in the closing kilometers, with Sagan jumping ahead himself with less than 10km to go, forming a very strong group at the front. This group posed a huge threat, and the peloton worked hard to try to close the gap, but on a downhill section with 6km to go, Sagan went again, spurring the group on and showing how eager he was to take the stage. The riders in this small group were nervously eyeing each other to see who would go on the attack, but when LottoNl-Jumbo’s Boom went, Sagan was the only one who tried to chase him down, but was held back when none of the other riders in the group helped him. While Boom took the win, Sagan fought it out to take second place, his efforts gaining him more points in the blue jersey contest, and the bonus seconds on the line moving him up to second in the GC, 2 seconds behind Boom.

Sittard-Geleen - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Lars BOOM (Netherlands / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)  pictured during the BinckBank Tour Stage 5 from Sittard-Geleen to Sittard-Geleen (167,3 km) - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Lars Boom (LottoNl-Jumbo): "I was behind a crash when the peloton fell apart. However, I was able to return and I stayed in front. Two kilometers before the end I saw a possibility to attack. It was a good moment and I could hold it until the finish. I’m glad that I took the victory as well as the lead in the general classification. It indeed brings a lot of joy, the spring classics didn’t go as well as expected. I worked hard to reach this level during a team's altitude camp in Kühtai and it’s great that I could achieve this. I always want to win. Therefore, it’s beautiful I can end a difficult period with many doubts in this way. Finally I have been able to deliver my team a win and that’s great. The shape is good, but we still have two difficult stages ahead. We have to wait and see how the race will evolve. In addition, we miss two important riders with Robert Wagner and Tom Leezer after today’s stage. We have to take that into account."

2nd on the stage and 2nd overall, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was yet another hard and fast stage at the BinckBank Tour. The squad performed very well and, once again, put in a strong effort in the peloton. I was in the front group when the split took place, together with all the top riders. However, there wasn't a lot of collaboration in that group and Boom was able to attack, build a gap and win the stage. I took the sprint for second place and the six bonus seconds. I'm satisfied with today's result and I'm second overall, just two seconds behind the leader, with two more stages to go."

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): "It was hectic the whole day. I was always pretty well positioned. When Team Sunweb went faster, we had some bad luck with Stefan Küng and we lost a lot of guys there to bring him back. From there on, it was not such a good race for us anymore. I wasn't in a good position when the group went and then I bridged with Jens Keukeleire (ORICA-SCOTT) and Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep-Floors) luckily because that was the moment when we really had to go and the GC could be decided there. So I was happy that I could make it. I had super good legs but I was too far so it was not the perfect moment. I didn't win, but in the end, I was in the first group so I took some seconds back."

Previous overall leader, Stefan Küng (BMC): "It was a really crazy parcours, and so it was a fight to stay in position all day. The guys did a great job controlling the race, and we were up there when the bunch split. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire as we crossed the finish line for the last time and some other teams took advantage of that and started riding really hard. Thankfully, I still had some really strong guys, and they brought me back. They did an amazing job. They gave everything and gave me a lot of motivation. We got back around 3km before the race became really nervous, and I tried to move up but I wasn't in a good position, and I could feel the effort in my legs. We kept fighting though and luckily Greg Van Avermaet was strong and could move to the first group because otherwise it would have all been for nothing. I am disappointed to let the guys down when I couldn't follow, but once the first ten guys went, there was nowhere to go with riders dropping back."

BinckBank Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo in 3:43:46
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:03
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
8. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Sky
10. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar.

BinckBank Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo in 15:23:17
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:02
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:08
4. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:19
5. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:27
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:29
8. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors at 0:32
9. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott at 0:35
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:36.

BinckBank stage 5:

Stage 6 of the BinckBank Tour between Riemst and Houffalize was the longest of this year’s edition and probably one of the most important for the general classification. The hilly 203,7 kilometer course took the riders through the High Fens before arriving on the local circuit in the Ardennes region. Windy and rainy conditions as well as the high tempo of the peloton made it very difficult to go clear in the first part of the race.

A group of six riders finally managed to form the breakaway after fifty-three kilometers of racing. Geoghegan Hart, Gougeard, Martin, Sutherland, van Baarle and Weening rode well together and they had a maximum advantage of five minutes and ten seconds.Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot accelerated on the Côte de Saint Roch with thirty kilometers to go, consequently catching the breakaway and creating an elite group at the front. Sagan attacked a few kilometers later with Tim Wellens but the world champion suffered a mechanical issue and had to stop his effort. Tim Wellens went solo, but he was later joined by Tom Dumoulin.

The duo quickly opened a twenty-five second lead on Van Avermaet, Stuyven, Naesen, Valgren and Tiesj Benoot but the chasing group was never able to close the gap. Wellens and Dumoulin went head-to-head in the last uphill sprint and the Belgian took a well-deserved win in Houffalize. Tiesj Benoot crossed the line a few seconds later in a fine fifth place. Tim Wellens also took the second place overall, four seconds behind new race leader Tom Dumoulin.

Houffalize - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tim WELLENS (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during the BinckBank Tour Stage 6 from Riemst - Houffalize (203,7 km) - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): "I felt really good yesterday and this was the case today as well. Today was rainy and windy and I love racing in these conditions. As a team we had the plan to open the debates from the last thirty-kilometer lap. The team rode very strongly to position our leaders as good as possible and to thin the peloton a little. I went with Peter Sagan with twenty-five kilometers to go and I heard that he had just punctured. When I saw Tom Dumoulin coming, I decided to work with him because I knew it would be easier to hold the chasing group back. At one point they came very close, but Tom and I worked really well together to stay away and we are now first and second overall. The GC battle will therefore be settled tomorrow in the Flemish Ardennes."

"My father did a recon of the course last week, so I was very well informed of what the final looked like. I intended to come out of the last corner in first place and then sprint as fast as possible to the line. I knew Tom did not feel too good in the last kilometers so I hoped that I could beat him in the sprint. I am very happy with this victory, especially after a difficult period and after the disappointment of the Tour. In my residence in Monaco it was also very warm and I had to train at six o’clock sometimes, but if it leads to a good result in this BinckBank Tour, then it was worth it. I have to thank my teammates today, and especially Tiesj Benoot, who rode brilliantly after two crashes this week. I'm now four seconds behind Tom Dumoulin, that's a lot and not so much at the same time. It is not easy to get a rider like him out of the wheel and there are also the golden kilometer and the bonus seconds on the line that can influence the outcome of the race. Tom and I are no cobbles specialists. If the final opens up early, other riders may also be a threat for the final classification, but I'm sure our team will ride as hard as today to get at least the second place in this BinckBank Tour, but the victory would really be a great reward for this good week."

New overall race leader, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): "I had the choice out there – not riding, or giving it everything and hoping Tim didn't drop me, and luckily I could just hang on at the end. We have a strong team here and I’m really happy with that, for two days we’ve made the race. We have to play it well tactically and defend tomorrow, and hope that 4 seconds is enough. It will be a battle."

Unlucky puncture victim, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "We had another tough stage at the BinckBank Tour under harsh weather conditions. Once again, the team worked very well and I was positioned at the right place at the right time. With 25km to go, I was in the front group, together with all the main GC contenders and I launched my attack. Unfortunately, I suffered a puncture in the worst time possible, in a part of the course where my team car was in the back. In addition, there wasn't any neutral assistance vehicle, either car or motorbike, so I lost precious time until I had my wheel changed. By then, it was too late to reach the front group. It's a pity, my form was very good today and our plan was working perfectly."

10th on the stage and overall, Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "I am pretty happy with cracking top 10, being 11th would have been a real niggle. It is really nice for me personally as well as for the team. It was a tough day with all the rain, not too good for the mind but I just kept pushing. I took a nature break at the wrong time, with 50 kilometers to go. It was pretty much chasing from there. Then it split and Xandro (Meurisse) and myself were in the second group. Not everyone was cooperating, so there was another split and I tried to jump across. I was in no man's land for it seemed like an eternity. I finally joined Sagan's group with around 8 kilometers to go. I saved up a bit of energy and tried to do my best in the sprint. The rain got progressively worse throughout the day. We had to be careful in the descents. I knew I was capable of achieving a top 10. Today was the hardest stage so it is good for the confidence to achieve this result. The legs are good, it seems like I have recovered from the Tour which gives a little extra."

"Tomorrow is another day. The last day always gives some extra motivation. I did Muur van Geraardsbergen for the first time in Tour of Flanders this year, so we'll see how it goes."

BinckBank Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 5:04:36
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:17
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana at 0:20
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:42
9. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
10. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

BinckBank Tour Overall After Stage 6:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 20:27:49
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:04
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:46
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
5. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana at 1:02
6. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:09
7. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac at 2:22
8. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:28
9. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 2:40
10. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 3:15.

Stage 6:

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) made a gutsy attack with three kilometers remaining in the Final Stage 7 of the BinckBank Tour Sunday and successfully held off the chase to grab a magnificent stage win and move into 3rd place in the overall classification. It was a cunning move and came at a perfect moment at the top of the penultimate climb, and after numerous attacks in the last lap had been chased back. One moment of hesitation amongst the competition was all Stuyven needed; he quickly opened a gap as everyone looked to the others to chase.

The Riders woke to pleasant weather and the forecast for the day suggested sunshine. This would bring some positivity to the peloton after a race that had seen torrential downpours dampen the spirits on many of the stages. It was no surprise then to see a break going out early, a group of nine attacking and gaining more than two minutes on the bunch. While most of the peloton seemed happy to let this band of escapees go ahead, Bora-Hansgrohe took over on the front of the chasing pack and quickly brought the lead down to a more manageable 1:40, with just over 60km still to race. The German National Champion, Marcus Burghardt (Bora-Hansgrohe) dragging the bunch. The German team’s pace didn’t suit everyone in the bunch, and the peloton began to splinter as the gap reduced, while the break was shedding riders, leaving only two up ahead. The terrain on the narrow, cobblestone climbs was hard enough, but with the high pace the hills were all the more difficult.

At the 25km to go mark, the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) went on the attack. Sagan’s teammate, Lukas Pöstlberger, was riding hard ahead of him to take seconds in the Golden Kilometer, which would otherwise have gone to the GC riders close behind. While the peloton came back together shortly after, one climb remained and it was here Kilometer on the Denderoorberg – that the World champ attacked again. The bunch pull him back in and as soon he was caught, Trek-Segafredo’s Stuyven attacked gaining 10 seconds on a chasing group of around 30, but the uphill to the finish still loomed. It was going to take a grisly effort to hold off the likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Sagan, and Philippe Gilbert amongst others.

Stuyven still had a handful of seconds' lead with 200 meters to go, and he threw everything he had into the pedals as the cobbled road pitched ruthlessly steeper. One final glance behind with 25 meters to go and Stuyven knew the victory was his.

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) brought in the main group 1 second later with overall leader, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) on his wheel for the final overall win. Peter Sagan was 4th and took the Points Competition by finishing with almost twice as many points as the second-placed rider.

Geraardsbergen - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Jasper STUYVEN (Belgium / Team Trek Segafredo) pictured during the BinckBank Tour Stage 7 from Essen - Geraardsbergen (191,3 km) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo): "I didn't plan the attack, I went with the moment. I was near the front on the last climb and saw some gaps were opening and so I decided to just go for it. I actually didn't feel that good today, but I knew that everyone was probably feeling the same after such a hard week of racing, so I just decided to try. I didn't know how much time I had, I just told myself to just go all-in and not think of anything else. I still felt I had something left for the uphill, and I looked back with 150meters to go - I probably looked back a little too much - but then I knew that I was going to hold it. The final 200meters were really hard; I was completely empty after the finish. The whole team worked well again, all week, and today Mads (Pedersen) was a machine. We came here with ambitions for the GC for me and Edward (Theuns) with the sprint. In the first stages I helped Edward out, which resulted in a victory for him, and then the team protected me very well in the last three days. I was always there, and I could move up in the GC, but I also could take a stage win. It was a great week with great teamwork."

3rd on the stage and overall winner, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): "It's great to finally win here after a few years of being close. This was our goal and we all had to come together to make it happen, which we did. The team was super strong every day and today it was up to us but we had it all under control, and I had good legs today."

4th on the stage, 7th overall and Points Competition winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "Unlike yesterday, we had better weather today, so that was nice. The finale of the stage was again hard and the rest of the riders weren't collaborating, just looking at me. There is nothing I can do about it – this is the way it is. However, I finished the BinckBank Tour without any crashes and looking back to this week, I'm satisfied with I achieved. Two intense weeks of racing came to an end, first in Poland and then here, and I look forward to Québec and Montreal."

9th on the stage, Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "It went reasonably well today. The team rode well together. The first 120 kilometers were pretty calm. We just cruised through the flat countryside. 20 kilometers before the Muur we were together and I was in top 20 of the first ascent of de Muur. I tried to ride in front the rest of the day and that went pretty successful. After the first split I was in front together with 12 other riders. But everything came back together which was a bit of a shame. I still managed to do a good sprint and take a new top 10. I didn't really know what to expect after the Tour, my first grand tour. My legs are definitely quite tired. But my fitness is so much higher right now and that is what got me through. There was no real pressure this week, maybe Hilaire put some on us but we saw what we could do against these big teams and we took some good results. I am very positive about this week. It will be around 2a.m. when I return home in Girona (Spain) tonight. This week I will take some good rest again, which is quite essential. Afterwards I will head to Druivenkoers in Overijse and GP Plouay."

BinckBank Tour Stage 7 Result:
1. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 4:06:48
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:01
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
8. Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
9. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac.

BinckBank Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb in 24:34:33
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:46
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:51
5. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:14
6. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana at 1:15
7. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:53
8. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 1:59
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 2:12
10. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors at 2:23.

Final stage 7:

Arctic Race of Norway
A favorite for the overall classification of the fifth Arctic Race of Norway, Belgium's Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) created a surprise by taking the lead as soon as in Stage 1 after he anticipated a bunch sprint finish in a short yet steep climb on the finishing circuit of Narvik. The day's favorite Alexander Kristoff crossed the line in seventh place with a deficit of only two seconds. The newly crowned European champion is expected to take his revenge on the tarmac of the Bardufoss airport in stage 2.

Bernhard Eisel on the move
Following many unsuccessful skirmishes, Austrian veteran Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data) rode away solo with 120km to go as a way to restore some calm after the storm. Jon Soeveras Breivold (Team, Daniel Diaz (Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM) and Øivind Lukkedahl (Team Coop) eventually joined him but the former sprinter took the climbers' prices to become the first King of the Mountains of the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway. Katusha-Alpecin did most of the pace at the head of the peloton with a maximum deficit of 4:35.

Grosu-Grivko-Grellier: the 3G network
A counter attack put an end to the breakaway with 25km to go. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini) found himself alone in the lead after that move. It was all together again 13km before the end. Christophe Masson (WB-Veranclassic) and Andreï Grivko (Astana) were next to attack. They passed the finishing with a very small advantage over the peloton before the final loop of 10.5km. Grivko forged on but Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) took over from as a lone attacker in the Skistua hill. He was reined in with 4km to go as Rein Taaramäe (Katusha-Alpecin) had a flat tyre which prevented him from getting back on time to try and win the Arctic Race of Norway for the second time after 2015. Trond Trondsen (Sparebanken Sør) and Anders Skaarseth (Joker-Icopal) were among the very motivated continental riders from in the run in to the finish.

Sixth wins in three weeks for Dylan Teuns
Race favorite Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) took the opportunity of the short climb within 2km to go to ride away from the sprinters as the size of the main peloton was seriously reduced by toughness of the finale and the wet conditions of racing. He maintained a little lead to claim stage 1 over August Jensen (Team Coop) who is the only pro cyclist from northern Norway. The Bodø-born rider took his best result up to date at the Arctic Race of Norway after having been crowned the King of the Mountains twice previously (in 2014 and 2015). Having bagged five victories in the past three weeks with stages and GC at the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour de Pologne before he made his way to Norway, Teuns will start stage 2 with an advantage of six seconds over Jensen and twelve seconds over Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) who finished seventh in his first race with the blue and white jersey of the European cycling union.

Arctic Race of Norway 2017 - 10/08/2017 - Etape 1 - Engenes (Andørja) / Narvik (156,5 km) - Dylan TEUNS (BMC RACING TEAM) - Vainqueur de la premiere étape.

The Winner's Interview with Dylan Teuns.

Congratulations, Dylan! Did you expect to win today's stage?

"It was a bit of a surprise, but I knew that it wasn't going to come down to a big bunch sprint. I was here in 2015 when it was the final stage and Silvan Dillier won. This year it was only one lap and two years ago it three or four laps, so it was much harder, but from that, I knew that I had a chance and that it wouldn't come down to the sprint."

Talk us through the final moments of the stage.
"In the last 5km, I followed the good riders in front, but I didn't do any of the work, and I waited for the right moment on the final climb. I wasn't in the front at the beginning of the climb, I was maybe in a top ten position, but I moved to the front and then, I started my attack in the last few meters before the climb. I took the right corner and I saw I had a gap, so I just kept going until the finish line."

And looking ahead to the rest of the race.
"It's too early to think about the win as there are still three more days of racing to come, but I will work hard to defend the leader's jersey, and we will see what happens."

3rd on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "I am very happy because this is my first race after Tour de France. I thought Alexander Kristoff was the big favorite today, and that's why I followed his wheel on the climb. But he didn't have the best legs. Dylan Teuns was at another level today, he accelerated and nobody could follow. It was a special stage, going up and down the whole day. It was a very fast final with a lot of rain. I am very satisfied of the team's performance. Our trainee Brecht Dhaene was strong on the last climb and also the others were in front with me before. They did a great job! Now I will see what I can do over the next days. Tomorrow's stage is more flat, that should suit me. On Saturday the climbers have a big chance on an uphill finish. I want to achieve the best results as possible."

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 1 Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 3:36:14
2. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop at 0:02
3. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
5. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal
6. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Joker Icopal
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 1:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 3:36:04
2. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop at 0:06
3. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:08
4. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Joker Icopal at 0:11
5. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:12
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie.

Arctic stage 1:

Home favorite Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) defended his camp perfectly to land his third win in two weeks after the RideLondon Classic and the European championship in the unconventional finishing venue of the military airport of Bardufoss on Stage 2 surrounded by tanks and planes who gave an air show to the crowd. He out-sprinted French up and coming rider Hugo Hofstetter of Cofidis and Italy's Andrea Pasqualon who moved up to second place overall. He's only two seconds down on race leader Dylan Teuns who took one second of time bonus in the last intermediate sprint ahead of the queen stage of the fifth Arctic Race of Norway.

Six riders in the lead
After 20km of racing, Zhandos Bizhigitov (Astana), Erwan Corbel (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Javier Megias Leal (Novo Nordisk), Elias Spikseth (, Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis) and Nikolay Mihaylov (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) formed the main breakaway of the day. The Dutch duo of BMC Racing Team Floris Gerts and Bram Welten set the pace of the peloton without leaving much room for hope to the escapees. The maximum time gap was 3:20. Corbel claimed the two King of the Mountains sprints of the day, with no chance to take the salmon jersey over from Bernhard Eisel though. Approaching the last hour of racing, the sprinters' teams hadn't taken over from BMC Racing Team at the head of the peloton yet and the time gap went back up to 2:30, which inclined Katusha-Alpecin to ask Reto Hollenstein to up the tempo with 43km to go.

Dylan Teuns takes one second bonus
The fight for time bonuses started on the military camp of Bardufoss that hosted the last 33km of racing. The breakaway was still ahead with one minute lead when Claeys took the first intermediate sprint with 22.5km to go. Claeys, Corbel and Bizhigitov forged on and Claeys rode solo to win the second intermediate sprint with 14.5km to go as well. Right after the regrouping, Astana set a one-man show for their Norwegian rider Truls Korseath who rode at the front on his own from 13 to 7km to go. Dylan Teuns tried to increase his overall lead in the last intermediate sprint located only 5.5km before the end. He gained one second behind Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Michel Kreder (Aqua Blue Sport). It was all on the runway for a bunch sprint finish. Perfectly led out by his Danish team-mate Michael Morkov, Alexander Kristoff took the stage victory he was aiming for to become the first ever winner with the European champion jersey of professional road cyclist. Teuns retained the overall lead with two seconds over Pasqualon and three over Kristoff.

Arctic Race of Norway 2017 - 11/08/2017 - Etape 2 - Sjøvegan / Bardufoss Airport (184.5km) - Alexander KRISTOFF (TEAM KATUSHA) - Vainqueur de l'étape 2

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin): "For sure it is always nice to win at home. Yesterday I was close but did not have the legs at the end. Today we knew would be our best shot to win. BMC had to take control because they hold the leader’s jersey, so with some other teams we managed to bring the break back. We lost Sven Erik Bystrøm due to some technical issues so we only had Michael Mørkøv and Reto Hollenstein to do the lead outs but they did a really strong pull in the last k and then Michael led me out the last 500 meters, nice and smooth, to put me in the best position. At the end I felt there was no one close to me. It’s nice to win like this. I think the whole team contributed really well to this victory. In my career I have won many times at home; I usually do have a victory here every year, but for sure it’s always nice. This is my first win in Norway this year and hopefully will not be my last."

Overall leader, Dylan Teuns (BMC): "The guys did a good job to control the race. It was a hard day for them I think and we didn't get help for a long time. For me, it was a good day to spin the legs and it wasn't easy, but it also wasn't that hard so it was good for me to have a day like this before the queen stage tomorrow. We will see how it goes tomorrow. It will be hard in the beginning for sure and hopefully there will be some easier points in the build up to the last climb which is the most important part of the stage."

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "With six kilometers to go I could take some bonification seconds with an eye on the general classification. Unfortunately Teuns finished 3rd, and because of that I could only gain 2 seconds. On the climb I felt good and because of that I headed to the final sprint with confidence. I started the final kilometer five positions behind Kristoff. But he clearly was the fastest. Beating Kristoff isn't easy since his train is super strong. I am satisfied with this third spot, although it is sad I needed two more seconds to take over the lead. I take over the green jersey and hope to bring it home on Sunday. Kristoff will be my main competitor. But I will also try to win the final general classification! I feel very good so I want to hang on as long as possible on Saturday and lose as few time as I can. On Sunday the course suits me perfectly with a little difficulty in the final, ideal for a type as me."

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin in 4:14:20
2. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis
3. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
6. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Joker Icopal
7. Eduard Grosu (Rom) Nippo-Vini Fantini
8. Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
9. Roy Jans (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
10. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 2:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 7:50:23
2. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:03
4. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop at 0:07
5. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:11
6. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Joker Icopal at 0:12
7. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:13
8. Ivan Savitskiy (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
9. Börn Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal
10. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM.

Arctic stage 2:

August Jensen (Team Coop), the only rider from northern Norway, claimed the Queen Stage 3 of the fifth Arctic Race of Norway at the unprecedented uphill finish of Finnvikdalen, a marvelous setting in the middle of lakes and mountains just a throw stone away from the city of Tromsø where the race will come to an end this Sunday. After beating race leader Dylan Teuns of BMC by a very small margin, Jensen is only three seconds adrift in the overall ranking with one stage to go!

Eight in the lead under Eisel's guidance
Kenny De Ketele (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Håkon Aalrust (Coop) and Herman Dahl (Sparebanken Sør) formed the first breakaway of the five, only 5km after the flag off in the spectacular Lyngen Alps. They lasted at the front for 20km but there were too many ambitious riders in the peloton for the trio to stay away. Moreover, Austrian veteran Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data) was determined to defend his “lakstrøyen” – the salmon jersey worn by the King of the Mountains. After regrouping, Eisel firstly took Truls Korsaeth (Astana), Ole Andre Austevoll (Coop) and Sébastien Delfosse (WB-Veranclassic) with him. They were rejoined by Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis), Adrien Petit (Direct Energie), Boris Vallée (Fortuneo-Oscaro) and Daniel Diaz (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM). The peloton kept them under pressure with a two-minute gap after 50km of racing. The fight was on between Eisel and Diaz for the climbing competition. Both riders were part of the breakaway on day 1 as well. Diaz was first at the Vassåsen summit (km 81) and Eisel took his revenge at Sæterlihaugen summit (km 105).

All together at the foot of the last climb
The leading group got a maximum time gap of four minutes with 80km to go. 50km before the end, as the peloton mostly led by Floris Gerts for BMC was cruising with a deficit of two minutes, Eisel gave up and waited for the pack. A dispute between Hofstetter and Korsaeth on the occasion of the second intermediate sprint with 29km to go led to splits in the seven-man front group and disorganized attacks while the peloton was just one minute behind. Austevoll, Vallée, Hofstetter and Delfosse forged on. A runner up on stage 2, Hofstetter was determined to stay away from the peloton. But the leading quartet eventually surrendered with 5km to go, right at the bottom of the final climb to Finnvikdalen. Andreï Grivko (Astana) put the hammer down with 3km to go and made a gap for himself.

Photo-finish to declare Jensen the winner over Teuns
Grivko got reeled in with 1.2km to go. Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data) tried his luck but Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) didn't let anyone go. While Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) was courageously holding on at the back of the first group, the race leader wanted to increase his lead throughout the time bonuses as well as getting a seventh victory in three weeks time. But August Jensen (Coop) sprinted on his side and it was a very tight finish. The photo-finish was needed to determine the winner between Jensen and Teuns. Second to the Belgian on stage 1 in Narvik, the Bodø native claimed the first Hors-Category victory of his career and moved up to second overall with a deficit of only three seconds. Whether he manages to win the Arctic Race of Norway or not, he's already the first ever cycling hero of northern Norway.

Arctic Race of Norway 2017 - 12/08/2017 - Etape 3 - Lyngseidet (Lyngen Alps) / Finnvikdalen (Tromsø) (185.5km) - Dylan TEUNS (BMC RACING TEAM) et August JENSEN (TEAM COOP) - A la photo finish

Wanty-Groupe Gobert affected by virus
A virus hit Wanty-Groupe Gobert before the start of the third stage in the Arctic Race (2.HC, 10-13/08). Tom Devriendt and Brecht Dhaene did not take the start because of stomach problems and during the stage also Robin Stenuit had to give up. Also Andrea Pasqualon (before the stage 2nd in the GC) was not spared. Pasqualon tried to hang on the final climb to Finnvikdalen but eventually lost more than 3 minutes. Yoann Offredo finished 35th. Tomorrow Pasqualon, Antonini and Offredo start in the final stage with start and finish in Tromsø.

Jean-Marc Rossignon (sports director): "A virus hit our team on Friday night. Tom Devriendt and Brecht Dhaene did not take the start this morning due to stomach complaints and after 100 kilometers into the stage Robin Stenuit also had to abandon. Andrea Pasqualon was still hoping to defend his overall ranking. However, 3 kilometers before the finish he had to let go because of a lack of energy, his virus is very unfortunate as our team is now halved and we cannot fully defend the ranking of Pasqualon. If he is recovered on Sunday, we can target a stage victory in the final stage, which should suit him."

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 3 Result:
1. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop in 4:19:05
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
3. Dorian Godon (Fra) Cofidis
4. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
5. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
7. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:04
8. Börn Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal
10. Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

Arctic Race of Norway Overall After Stage 3:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 12:09:22
2. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop at 0:03
3. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:17
4. Lietaer Eliot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:19
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
7. Börn Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal 0:00:23
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal
9. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Werkilul (Eri) Dimension Data at 0:29
10. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:33.

Arctic stage 3:

Prime Minister Erna Solberg attended the Final Stage 4 of the fifth Arctic Race of Norway as well as thousands of fans who welcomed a worthy winner as Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) defended his lead by attacking in the finale to claim the last stage and GC, making it eighth victories in three weeks! In a brilliant manner, the young Belgian put his name after Thor Hushovd, Steven Kruijswijk, Rein Taaramäe and Gianni Moscon on the record books of the northernmost international bike race that continues to amaze the world with the magical landscapes and atmosphere of northern Norway.

Bernhard Eisel again in the leading group
Following the show of the “Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow” and the victory of u19 Norwegian national champion Idar Andersen from Trondheim ahead of Martin Urienstad and Henrik Schwalb, both from Stavanger like Alexander Kristoff and Sven-Erik Bystrøm, despite a strong chase by Tromsø-native Andreas Leknessund who is the u19 European champion for individual time trial, seven riders formed a breakaway at the exit of Tromsø: Tony Hurel (Direct Energie), Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data), Kenny Molly (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Dimitri Claeys (Cofidis), Ludvik Aspelund Holstad (Sparebanken Sør), Pavel Brutt (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jon Soeveras Breivold (Team Therefore the first intermediate sprint at Larseng, km 21, wasn't part of the fight for the overall win but a walk in the park for Hurel ahead of Brutt and Eisel. It was the third time in three days for “lakstrøyen” – salmon jersey – Eisel to be part of the breakaway as he eyed the defense of his lead in the King of the Mountains competition in the second half of the stage.

Dimitri Claeys solos on the final circuit
The maximum advantage of the seven escapees was 5.45 after 35km of racing before some crosswinds created some excitement at the head of the peloton for a little while. Eisel and Claeys contested the first KOM price at Kattfjordeidet (km 94.5) and rode away from the front group. Sometimes helped by Astana but mostly by Coop, Katusha-Alpecin stabilized the time gap at 3.20 at half way. Eisel secured the salmon jersey in the hills of the finishing circuit and let Claeys go solo in the last 30 kilometres of racing. The Belgian from Cofidis surrendered 22km before the end, firstly rejoined by Sébastien Delfosse (WB-Veranclassic), Leszek Plucinsky (CCC Sprandi), Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Andreï Grivko (Astana), Bystrøm (Katusha-Alpecin) and Norwegian champion Rasmus Tiller (Joker-Icopal).

Dylan Teuns alone in the last three kilometres
Bystrøm, Grivko and Chetout forged on with 10km to go. Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) rejoined them but instead of the highly awaited sprint, a solo attack took place in the last hill with 3km to go. It was race leader Dylan Teuns himself who powered to victory. Runner up August Jensen (Coop) who was just three seconds adrift on GC was forced to react but the Belgian was gone and he rode as brilliantly downhill as uphill. In a thrilling finale, he got enough of a gap to enjoy another victory after stages and GC at the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour de Pologne to make it eight triumphs in three weeks, which is a rare achievement in professional cycling.

Arctic Race of Norway 2017 - 13/08/2017 - Tromsø / Tromsø (160,5 km) - Dylan TEUNS (BMC RACING TEAM) - Vainqueur de la 4eme étape

The Winner's Interview with Dylan Teuns

Congratulations, Dylan! This is your third stage race win of the season and all in the space of a few weeks. Can you describe how you are feeling right now?

"It's a bit like a fairytale. It's an unbelievable feeling. I knew my shape wasn't gone coming into this race but to back up my previous performances here is incredible. We had a good tactic coming into today's stage and the team was ready to fight for me. In the end, I won the jersey but the guys worked really hard for me and I really appreciate all the work they have done. It is a huge honor to have the team riding for me and believing in me. It is a great feeling and it is important for my confidence. If your teammates believe in you, it gives you a little bit of an edge over other riders."

Talk us through the moment you launched your final attack.
"As they say in soccer, sometimes attack is the best form of defense. I could have waited until the final sprint, then there was the chance that August Jensen (Team Coop) could take bonus seconds as I heard he was pretty fast. I was playing a little bit of game on the last climb like I was doing all day, and I was waiting as I didn't want to go too early. When I saw that the guys were just in front of me and the final climb was almost over, I thought now is the time to go. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't take Jensen with me. I went at the right moment, and I knew when I looked behind that I had a small gap and that I just had to keep going because there was a short descent and they weren't going to catch me on that. It was pretty technical so they wouldn't be riding any faster than me. With 1km to go I looked behind again I didn't see anyone, so I was pretty sure, not totally, but confident enough and then I just went full gas until the last few meters to keep the jersey safe."

And looking ahead to the rest of the season.
"I think after this race I have a some time to rest and recover after a tough few weeks before I head into my next races and I hope this form continues."

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 4 Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 3:47:03
2. Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis at 0:11
3. Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
4. Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
5. Olivier Pardini (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect at 0:16
6. Born Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal
7. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
9. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
10. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Wekilul (Eri) Dimension Data.

Arctic Race of Norway Final Overall Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 15:56:15
2. August Jensen (Nor) Team Coop at 0:29
3. Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport at 0:43
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:45
5. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
7. Born Tore Hoem (Nor) Joker Icopal at 0:49
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Joker Icopal
9. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Wekilul (Eri) Dimension Data at 0:55
10. Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 0:57.

Arctic stage 4:

Boilard Takes Women's Road Race Title at Canada Games
Quebec women continue to dominate the cycling events at the Canada Summer Games, taking their fourth gold medal on Wednesday in the women's road race. Simone Boilard won the field sprint in the 80 kilometer race ahead of Katherine Maine of Ontario and Anna Talman of Alberta.

The six lap race around Birds Hill Provincial Park saw numerous breakaway efforts, but none succeeded, with the Quebec, Ontario and Alberta teams vigilant in chasing down any dangerous moves. Wind and rain also discouraged any breaks.

"I didn't expect at all to win," admitted Boilard, who had won the silver medal in the time trial 24 hours earlier. "We knew that we had the strongest team, so for us there was a lot of pressure. With two laps to go my team mates told me 'you are going to sprint', so I had no choice but to win for them. It wasn't a difficult course because it was flat, but the rain made it hard. It was more a tactical race; we had wanted a breakaway, but it didn't work, so we had to reshuffle the cards."

Katherine Maine, the silver medalist, said "the race was super aggressive, and our team did a good job of getting in every move. It didn't quite come together at the end, but we were pretty close, so I'm happy."

Sunweb Unveil Vuelta a España Line-Up
The 2017 edition of the Vuelta a España is fast approaching and German Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their final selection for the race.

A strong nine-rider line-up has been selected with an eye on the future, as well as to support Team Sunweb's exploration of GC possibilities. The Vuelta a España will have five Grand Tour debutants in Team Sunweb's line-up; including Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Lennard Kämna (GER) and Sam Oomen (NED). Next to their contributions to the team's goal, the focus will be on the long-term development of these talented riders. The extremely young team will be complemented by experienced road captain Johannes Fröhlinger (GER) as well as climber Warren Barguil (FRA), who won two stages in the 2013 Vuelta and more recently the KOM jersey at this year’s Tour de France. A key member of the team's successful Giro d'Italia squad, Chad Haga (USA) completes the team alongside Wilco Kelderman (NED).

Speaking about Team Sunweb’s line-up for the Vuelta, coach Marc Reef (NED) explained: "We have a good combination of experienced riders and young talents with huge strength and potential on our line-up. We want our younger riders to see what it takes to complete a three week race and give them the opportunity to learn from our more experienced Grand Tour riders, without any form of pressure."

"The team have just come out of a solid period of preparation including a combination of racing and training at altitude and are all really motivated for a great race. We have completed some recons and analysis to become familiar with the important sections of the course and to help us formulate the best plan suited to our strengths in order to achieve our goal of looking for GC possibilities in Spain."

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Warren Barguil (FRA), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Lennard Kämna (GER), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Sam Oomen (NED).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED) and Marc Reef (NED).

Team balances youth and experience for Vuelta España challenge
The biggest objective of the Caja-Rural Seguros RGA racing calendar will begin in the coming weeks when the Pamplona based outfit takes on the 72nd Vuelta España. The race will run from the 19th August until the 10th September.

The 3,324 kilometer route will begin in the French city of Nîmes before crossing through Andorra and making its way down the eastern coast of Spain. The final stage will take place in the traditional city-centre finish in Madrid.

The teams greatest chance of success this year will be from 24 year-old Jaime Roson who has set the objective of a stage win. Roson comes to this race after coming 5th in the Vuelta a Burgos, a strong indicator of his form.

The evergreen Lluis Mas will make his return to the race after his horrific crash at last years event where he suffered a dislocated hip on stage 4. The Mallorcan will be hoping for a repeat performance of 2014 where he held the mountains jersey for 10 stages. The team will also count on the tactical skills of Uruguayan Fabricio Ferrari to animate breakaways throughout the race.

The team will be captained by veterans Sergio Pardilla and David Arroyo who also both rode the Vuelta Burgos as preparation for La Vuelta.

As well as bringing experienced riders the team will also feature a number of debutants with neo-pro Nick Schultz, Rafael Reis, Hector Saez and Diego Rubio all making their first appearances at the race.

Also running from 15 - 18 August will be the Tour du Limousin (2.1) in France.
Line-up: Eduard Prades, Danilo Celano, Alex Aranburu, Jon Irisarri, Iosu Zabala, Oscar Peligri, Jonathan Lastra and Dylan Page.

Sergio Pardilla: “The work is all done now, the training has gone well and I have no excuses ahead of the Vuelta.All we need now is a bit of luck and for the race to go our way a bit . At the moment I feel physically ready and eager to start. My own personal objective will be to fight for a stage win.”

Eugenio Goikoetxea (Director Sportif): “The most important race of the year has arrived for us. We tried to get a good balance for this race of riders who were good depending on the terrain. We will be there as always to fight and be present in the breakaways. Hopefully we will get our opportunities to shine although it is always difficult against World Tour opposition. This season has been more marked by bad luck than anything else with injuries and crashes but we hope to turn that around and give our sponsors and fans something to cheer about.”

SKY Announce Line-Up for 2017 Vuelta a España
‘Vuelta can be a defining moment for Team Sky and Chris Froome’ says Sir Dave Brailsford

Chris Froome will be supported by a strong team and says he has ‘unfinished business’ with the race

Chris Froome says that he has ‘unfinished business’ at the Vuelta a España, where he returns aiming to become just the third rider to win both the Vuelta and Tour de France in the same season.

Only Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault have previously achieved the Tour/Vuelta ‘double’, a feat no rider has accomplished since the Vuelta a Espana was moved to become the last of each year’s three Grand Tours back in 1995.

There will be a strong Team Sky lineup when the race kicks off with a team time trial in Nimes on Saturday August 19 - Chris Froome; Wout Poels; Mikel Nieve; Diego Rosa; David Lopez; Gianni Moscon; Salvatore Puccio; Ian Stannard and Christian Knees.

Froome, the four-time Tour de France champion, says that the team’s approach to this year’s Vuelta has given him reason to be optimistic about his chances of back-to-back Grand Tour victories.

“It certainly feels as if I’ve got unfinished business with this race. I’ve finished second three times now, but I’ve got a good feeling about this year’s Vuelta. It feels like we’re on much more of a mission this year, and aiming for the Tour/Vuelta double this season has been a huge motivation.

“I don’t think we’ve been to the Vuelta a Espana with a team as strong as we’ve got this year.”

Froome, though, is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge – and the harsh conditions the Vuelta offers up to riders.

“It’s a race I love doing, but it’s relentless. The course is always a lot more mountainous than the Tour de France and the conditions are tougher. Being mid-August in Spain, it’s quite common to have temperatures up in the mid 40s. It’s absolutely brutal.

“One thing that really sets the Vuelta apart from other races is where it is in the season. You have this mixture of riders who have targeted the Vuelta specifically, and others who are coming off a big season already.

“Typically, it’s a very aggressive race and a very punchy style of racing, which always makes for great viewing for the fans.”

Sir Dave Brailsford underlined the importance that the team attached to this year’s race. He said: “Every Vuelta is important as it is a Grand Tour but this year we are more motivated than ever to try to win it. I believe this Vuelta can be a defining moment for Team Sky and for Chris Froome.

“Only two riders have done the Tour/Vuelta double in the same season - Jacques Anquetil in 1963 and Bernard Hinault in 1978. This year Chris has the chance to write history alongside them and cement his place as one of the all-time greats of the sport.

“But we know from experience just how tough and competitive the Vuelta is as a race. This year is no different with one of the very hardest mountain top finishes on the Angliru on the penultimate stage.

“We go into the race with Chris supported by another group of very talented riders. It is great to have Wout Poels back after injury and it is an opportunity for him to put his mark on the season after a challenging year. Gianni Moscon will also be riding his first Grand Tour. He is an exciting talent with a lot to offer the team.

“I was very proud of how we rode the Tour this year - the teamwork and the way our riders supported each other was exceptional. This group go into the race with the same mindset and we will give them every support we can to help them succeed together.”

The full Team Sky lineup for this year’s Vuelta a Espana is:

Chris Froome – British – age 32

Chris Froome returns to the Vuelta a Espana, where he has been runner up three times in 2011, 2014 and 2016. Froome has spoken about his desire to win his first Vuelta title and has purposefully designed his 2017 season around peaking later in the campaign. Having earned a historic fourth Tour victory in July the 32-year-old has never been better placed to go for the Grand Tour double.

Christian Knees – German – age 36
Fresh off signing a new contract with the team, Christian Knees lines up at his second Grand Tour of the year, hoping to replicate the success he and Chris Froome enjoyed in July. The German is a powerful presence on the flat, but also a very able climber and experienced road captain. Having ridden the last four editions of the Vuelta for Team Sky, the former German national champion knows what the race is all about.

David Lopez – Spanish – age 36
Lining up for his 16th Grand Tour (and seventh Vuelta a Espana), David Lopez brings experience to the team. Lopez is no stranger to success at the Vuelta, winning a stage solo in 2010 as part of a breakaway that stayed clear. He was also in the team last year to help Froome to a runner-up spot in Madrid, and was in the Tour de France team in 2013 as the Brit claimed his first Grand Tour victory. The unflappable Spaniard will be a key asset in the mountains.

Gianni Moscon – Italian – age 23
Whether impressing in the sport’s toughest Classics or winning stage races in his own right, Gianni Moscon has staked his claim as one of cycling’s top young prospects. The talented Italian will make his Grand Tour debut in Spain, and arrives at the race off the back of a strong climbing showing at the recent Vuelta a Burgos, where he helped Mikel Landa to overall victory.

Wout Poels – Dutch – age 29
Troubled by a knee injury early in the 2017 season, Wout Poels just missed out on selection for the Tour de France, but he’s back firing and determined to perform well at the Vuelta a Espana. The Dutchman enjoys a close relationship with Chris Froome and he played a big part in Froome’s 2015 and 2016 Tour de France victories. The pair will hope to combine to successful effect yet again in Spain.

Salvatore Puccio – Italian – age 27
The versatile Italian has been improving year on year since joining the team back in 2012. Now on the verge of his eighth Grand Tour appearance, Puccio has proven he can play a role on flat, rolling or mountain roads. He will turn 28 during the race, and came within a whisker of a stage victory in the 2015 edition of the Vuelta. His Classics know-how should also prove key in the hustle and bustle of a peloton fighting for position.

Mikel Nieve – Spanish – age 33
Consistently one of the best pure climbers in the peloton, Mikel Nieve provides a key presence in the high mountains of any Grand Tour. Kicking off his 14th Grand Tour, the Basque rider arrives at the Vuelta alongside Chris Froome fresh off a winning three weeks in July, and will be hoping for more of the same in a race he knows well. A stage winner in both the Vuelta and Giro d’Italia, Nieve also claimed the mountains jersey in the Giro last year.

Diego Rosa – Italian – age 28
Diego Rosa has enjoyed an encouraging first campaign with Team Sky and is set for his second Grand Tour of the season after riding the Giro d’Italia. The tenacious Italian - who finished 20th at the Vuelta a Espana in 2015 - heads into the race off a strong performance at the Tour of Poland and will form a key part of Chris Froome’s support group in the high mountains.

Ian Stannard – British – age 30
One of the best all-rounders in the sport, Ian Stannard is just as comfortable tearing up the Cobbled Classics as he is setting tempo in the heat of a Grand Tour. The Brit’s pedigree in three-week races is clear, having been a key part for Chris Froome’s first three Tour de France victories. The two-time Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner will be pressed into action to make sure the team are positioned on the flat and heading onto the early climbs.

Davide Formolo joins BORA - hansgrohe
The Italian climber signed a two-year agreement with the German WorldTeam and joins a squad of young talents. Formolo (24) is considered as potential Grand-Tour contender. BORA – hansgrohe also extends the contracts with S. Bennett, C. Pfingsten, M. Schwarzmann and R. Selig.

“We are proud to welcome Davide in our BORA – hansgrohe team. He is a talented rider, in Italy people talk of him being the next Ivan Basso. For us he will be an important rider for the Grand-Tours, but we also think he can play a big role in the Ardennes-Classics. Already when he was very young he did some impressive results, now it’s our turn to help him to take the next step in his career.

It was also very important to me to extend our relationship with Sam Bennett. With his win in Paris-Nice he proved again to be one of the fastest riders in the peloton, and we think there is still room for improvements. With Rudi Selig we have an important helper in the lead-outs.”
Ralph Denk, Team Manager

“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my old team, I had a great time there and we achieved a lot together. But it is impressive how fast BORA – hansgrohe develops as a WorldTeam and that appealed to me. Now I am delighted to take on a new challenge with them.”Davide Formolo

Davide Formolo in Liege:
Liege - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Davide FORMOLO (Italy / Cannondale Drapac Professsional Cycling Team) pictured during Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2017 - UCI Worldtour - foto VK/PN/Cor Vos ¨®¨© 2017

Davide Villella comes to Astana Proteam
Italian rider Davide Villella his next two seasons (2018 and 2019) will spend in the UCI WorldTour Astana Proteam.

"After four seasons in one team, I feel like I came to a moment when I have to change something to keep on moving ahead. In Astana Proteam I see an opportunity to continue my progress as a rider. Astana is a team, which is always in front, fighting for the victory, and I am happy to become a part of this project in the next season. I want to thank Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team for a unique opportunity I was provided and for all these four and a half fantastic years on the high level of cycling," - said Davide Villella.

Davide Villella (26) is a specialist in one-day and classic races, where he’s got his biggest results so far. Among his best results could be named a victory in the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race (2016), 3rd place at the Giro dell’Emilia and Coppa Sabatini (both in 2013) as well as a solid 5th place at the monumental classic race Il Lombardia (2016).

Besides, Villella has a number of strong performances in stage races too: the King of Mountain jersey of the Vuelta al País Vasco (2014), 4th place in the general classification of the Arctic Race of Norway (2014) and 10th place in the overall of the Tour de Pologne (2016).

In the U23 category Davide Villella won the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc and Piccolo Giro di Lombardia.

"Davide is a young rider with a big potential in the classic races, and he proved it last year at the Il Lombardia. I am sure, in Astana Team Villella will get a chance to reach some big results both, in one-day and stage races. Besides, he is a strong team rider and this is very important for Astana Proteam, which is always focused and will focus on the Grand tours," - explained general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Davide Villella:
Szczyrk - Poland - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Davide Villella (ITALY / Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) pictured during  the Tour de Pologne 2017 (2.UWT) stage 3 from Jaworzno - Szczyrk (161 km) - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Two more years for Pieter Serry with Quick-Step Floors
The 28-year-old, a pro since 2011, will continue with the team managed by Patrick Lefevere until 2019.

Pieter Serry has become the sixth rider to sign a new contract with Quick-Step Floors, after Julian Alaphilippe, Fernando Gaviria, Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels and Maximiliano Richeze. Top 10 at the Vuelta a San Juan in January, the Belgian didn’t have the smoothest first part of season, as a collarbone injury forced him to skip the Ardennes Classics, but his sheer determination brought him soon back on the bike and in May he rode the Giro d’Italia, helping the team secure five stage victories, two jerseys and an eighth place overall.

“I am very happy here, so it was a no-brainer to renew. After five years, this team is like a family to me, the professionalism of the guys here is incredible, and in the end it really wasn’t a question of staying or not. It’s an honor to ride for the best team in the world”, a beaming Pieter said.

Serry talked also of his role within the team: “I am here to help Quick-Step Floors, to control the peloton and to give my everything, it’s what I am really good at. Ok, due to bad luck, this season hasn’t been the best for me, but next year I want to be there for our leaders in the big races, help them nab important victories and get my chance in the smaller ones.”

“Pieter Serry is with us for five years now and we are glad he’ll continue for two more. He is a rider you can always rely on, as he supports the team in every race, be it on the flat or on the climbs; his experience, determination and fighting spirit are qualities we prize and which make him an important member of our outfit”, Patrick Lefevere said after securing the Belgian’s services through 2019.

Pieter Serry:
2017 QSF: Pieter Serry (BEL) Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media |

Bos, Van Den Berg and Büchli form New Professional Track Team
BEAT Cycling Club presents the first professional cycling team within the club structure.

Five-time world champion Theo Bos (33), European championships silver medalist Roy van den Berg (28) and Olympic medalist Matthijs Büchli (24) are forming a new professional track cycling team together. Former pro cyclist Tim Veldt (33) is the team’s coach.

The first commercial UCI sprint Track Team in the history of Dutch cycling aims to boost track cycling. Establishing a commercial structure creates new opportunities to give the sport a new impetus.

The team will focus on the World Cup races in Poland (November 3 to 5) and Great Britain (November 10 to 12), the national championships, and the track cycling world championships in Apeldoorn, which will take place from February 28 to March 4, 2018. During the World Cup races, the team will participate in the team sprint, the individual sprint, the keirin and the kilometer time trial.

“In addition to the individual goals of the riders in different disciplines, the team is focusing on building a strong team for the team sprint. We have brought together complementary riders. Combining the individual strengths of each rider we will form a world-class team that is capable of competing on the highest level in track cycling,” says team coordinator Theo Maucher. “The structure of a pro team offers new sporting opportunities by bringing together the best possible program, equipment and guidance.”

“I am very proud of the team’s establishment,” says Bos. “It’s a trajectory we started on earlier this year and have been dreaming about for more than 10 years. I look forward to taking this new step together with Matthijs and Roy and representing the BEAT club colors. We are going to work hard to compete with the best riders in the world and to raise track cycling to a higher level.”

“I chose BEAT because I find it a very cool club that approaches things differently,” says Büchli. “BEAT also sees the opportunities that track cycling represents, and I look forward to developing this project together. I want to prove myself at the highest level next season and work toward the world championships in Apeldoorn, where I aim to compete for the medals. In addition, I want to increase our visibility and enable more people to enjoy our sport and our achievements.”

“I am very impressed with BEAT’s approach,” says van den Berg. “They have created a professional setting, put together a great program and cultivated team spirit inside the entire club. I am therefore very proud to be part of this. I hope to further improve the quality of my training, which should enable me to perform well at the big championships.”

“I would like to contribute to the further development of track cycling,” says Veldt. “BEAT has a new approach that will allow me to further develop as a coach over the long term and that will provide me with a new challenge.”

First Professional Cycling Team Within the Club Structure
The team is built on the BEAT Cycling Club structure. BEAT is the first professional cycling club in the history of cycling that brings together professional sports, amateur cyclists and cycling fans in a club structure.

Geert Broekhuizen, founder of BEAT Cycling Club, said: “The track team is a great step for our club, allowing us to make our entry into professional cycling with a sustainable structure. We have been able to build the track team based on a financial foundation provided by multiple partners along with revenue from the club. We see track cycling as a great base from which to further develop professional cycling within BEAT Cycling Club. At BEAT we want to be active in elite sports. That we can already do this on the highest level is a great satisfaction. We will engage our members in a unique way in the coming season as we prepare our team for the world championships in Apeldoorn.”

The team is supported by a network of companies, including Libéma Profcycling. Technical partners will be announced in the coming period.

Look for updates about the club on BEAT Cycling Club’s new website,

About BEAT Cycling Club
In late 2016, BEAT Cycling Club introduced a new business model in professional cycling: cycling teams based on a club structure. BEAT brings together the elite sport, amateur cyclists and cycling fans in a professional cycling club. Currently BEAT is the fastest-growing cycling club in the Benelux, with thousands of involved supporters and members. More information about BEAT Cycling Club can be found on our new website,

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