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

Lots of trash to sift through this Monday. Adam Hansen's run of Grand Tours goes on! - Top Story. Race news: The European road championships, Tour de Pologne and Utah, Vuelta a España and the Arctic Race of Norway. Medical up-date from Lotto Soudal, plus all the latest contract and stagiaire news from BMC, Bahrain-Merida, UAE Team Emirates, Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Quick-Step Floors, Wanty-Group Gobert and we finish with Nicholas Dlamini 'From the Township to the Tour' - An African dream video.

TOP STORY: No 19th Consecutive Grand Tour for Adam Hansen
Lotto Soudal has announced its pre-registered riders for the Vuelta a España with a big surprise: Australian Adam Hansen will not be present.

Hansen had been in the pro peloton and ridden seven Grand Tours until 2011. After a quiet year, the team decided to include him in the list that would dispute the Spanish Tour that year. That was the start of his adventure. Since the 2011 Vuelta España, Adam Hansen has started - and finished - all the Grand Tours to date. A total of 18 3-week races in the last 6 years. Something unthinkable in modern cycling.

His functions within the team have been very varied. When André Greipel was in the team, he was one more rider of the lead-out train. At other times he also enjoyed freedom for his own exploits. He took advantage of that liberty to take a stage in the Giro d'Italia in 2013 and another in the Vuelta of 2014. However this year he had already begun to notice a decline. At 36 years of age, the body no longer recovers the same and the crashes in the last Tour left him physically weakened. In the 'end' a saddle sore has finished the dream.

Marc Sergeant, sports manager Lotto Soudal: “Adam was suffering from saddle sore at the Tour. There are less than four weeks between the end of the Tour and the start of the Vuelta. After less than two weeks the injury is healing, but has not disappeared, so the staff fears the injury might play up again during the Vuelta. At the moment Adam hasn’t resumed training yet, so that means the preparation would be really short too. With the sporting goals in mind too, the staff decided not to select him. It’s true that Adam has set a fantastic record, but we knew that would come to an end sooner or later.”

***STOP PRESS - The Dream Goes on!***
Since writing all about Adam Hansen and the end of his GT continuous run, the Lotto Soudal team made this announcement:

"Rafael Valls broke his hip whilst on training, which brings his 2017 season to an end. Valls will soon undergo hip surgery. The Spanish rider will be replaced by Adam Hansen in Lotto Soudal’s line-up for the Vuelta. The Australian had initially not been selected, but this late change will allow him to go on with his record-breaking run of Grand Tour participations. The sports directors and medical staff hope that his saddle sore will be sufficiently healed, but there is no doubt that Hansen will start his nineteenth Grand Tour in a row with determination."

Rafael Valls, as well as Jürgen Roelandts and Frederik Frison, will no longer race this season and Louis Vervaeke is still recovering from overfatigue. The number of riders available for the last part of the season has therefore decreased significantly.

Eighteen Grand Tour in a row, that is very special and so is 11 water bottles in 30 seconds:

And Hansen also has time for Borat at his 12 GT on l'Alpe d'huez in the 2015 Tour de France:

Men's European Championship Road Race 2017:
The road race championships in Herning, Denmark provided an exciting victory for Team Katusha-Alpecin's Alexander Kristoff on Sunday. The Norwegian rider sprinted in for gold, just edging out Italy’s Elia Viviani in a photo finish for the 241.2k race. Kristoff will wear the blue and white jersey signifying his championship status for the next year.

“I am happy to wear this jersey for a year as no one has seen it these last 12-months because Peter Sagan held it but also the rainbow jersey,” Alexander Kristoff explained.

“We had a strong Norwegian team here and Edvald (Boasson Hagen) did a really good attack in the end where he almost won, so we had a good tactic there. We saw in the other races that late attacks made it to the final so we thought to try with Edvald. He’s a strong guy and it almost worked. He was only caught with 300 meters to go and then I managed to take the sprint,” said Kristoff.

“Typically there is a strong lead-out for Viviani so I started a little bit earlier than he did. I went to the right side and he tried to come to the inside. It was a small hole and I didn’t let him take the hole. We were sprinting next to each other but he didn’t really have the space to pass me. At the end we were really close. I think he was very disappointed but I don’t feel I did anything wrong as my sprint was more or less straight. I am happy to be the winner and to win with such a small margin is always thrilling,” said Alexander Kristoff. A quick review of the finish by race judges gave Kristoff the win by a tire-width.

Behind Viviani’s silver medal was Moreno Hofland (Netherlands) for the bronze. All 3 received the same time of 5:41:10 (42.419 km/h).

The racing season is far from over and Alexander has more goals ahead: “My next goal is the world championships. My next races are the Arctic Race of Norway, Hamburg, Plouay and Britain. It is enough races to try to win at the championships in Bergen.” The world championships will take place from September 17-24 in Kristoff’s native Norway.

Men's European Road Race Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Norway) in 5:41:10
2. Elia Viviani (Italy)
3. Moreno Hofland (Netherlands)
4. Pascal Ackermann (Germany)
5. Luka Mezgec (Slovenia)
6. Edward Theuns (Belgium) at 0:01
7. Aksel Nömmela (Estonia)
8. Ivan Garcia (Spain)
9. Pawel Franczak (Poland)
10. Michal Kolár (Slovakia).

European Men's Road champs:

Women's European Championship Road Race 2017:
Marianne Vos (Netherlands) won the Women's European Road Championships in Herning, Denmark on Saturday. Vos, Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia), Elisa Longo Borghini and Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) and Polands Katarzyna Pawlowska.

Zabelinskaya attacked before the final kilometer and only Vos and Bronzini could go with her as Longo Borghini couldn't respond and Katarzyna crashed. Vos started the sprint herself into a headwind and held Bronzini off to the finish line. Zabelinskaya had nothing due to her earlier attack to finished 3rd.

2017 European champion, Marianne Vos (Netherlands): "I'm very happy. We had a really strong team here. We knew we had the pressure, but we were ready to make it a tough race. We tried several times to get a breakaway, I was finally the lucky one to end up in a group with some strong rider. It's a flat race, but the circumstances made it harder and there was a top class field so it was always going to be difficult to get into a good breakaway. I'm very happy to be European champion."

Women's European Road Race Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) in 2:51:13
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
3. Olga Zabelinskaya (Russian Federation) at 0:02
4. Roxane Fournier (France) at 0:15
5. Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
6. Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)
7. Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
8. Lotta Lepistö (Finland)
9. Maria Confalonieri (Italy)
10. Emilia Fahlin (Sweden).

European Championships Highlights of day 4 - Men U23 and Women's race:

Tour de Pologne 2017
There were lots of surprises and plenty of thrills in Zakopane for the first of the two mountain stages that will close out this edition of the Tour de Pologne. The stage victory went to Australian Jack Haig (Orica-Scott), who executed a stupendous forcing in the final which allowed him to gain a good margin on the best group and arrive all alone with his arms up in the air at the finish line. In the lead group’s bunch sprint, second place went to Holland’s Wout Poels (Sky) and third to Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors). Peter Sagan lagged behind today and showed serious signs of difficulty as he fell out of contention for the final victory, while the other top riders were left to scuffle to capture the lead in the general. The yellow Carrefour jersey has been passed to the shoulders of Dylan Teuns (BMC), winner of the third stage, who now is in the lead with 6 seconds on Polish hometown idol Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe). There are 10 riders crowded into a 30 second span, so tomorrow’s final fraction will also be the reigning stage, on the grueling and spectacular circuit in Bukowina Tatrzanska, which promises to continue delivering thrills all the way to the end.

Stage 6 of the Tour de Pologne - UCI World Tour, from Kopalnia Soli “Wieliczka” to Zakopane for 189 km, featuring five 1st category GPM primes, the last one at 9 km from the arrival.

The first part of the race got fired up with a break by three riders: Poland’s own Adam Stachowiak (Polish Team) along with Holland’s Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNl-Jumbo) and Italian Moreno Moser (Astana), who were both also major players in yesterday’s break. They reached a maximum advantage of about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, behind the group surrounding the yellow jersey, the men from Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain Merida were pushing hard, especially on the climbs, forcing a selection and shaking a lot of riders off of the tail of the group.

At the first pass through Zakopane, when there were 64 km to go to the arrival, the three fugitives were ahead by 1:30. Moser and Stachowiak got caught when there were only about 45 km left to go until the finish line, and Dutchman Tolhoek resisted on his own; on the third GPM of the day he was reached by Australian Robert Power (Orica-Scott), who broke away from the group and thus became part of a couple in the head of the race. Slovenian Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) was chasing close on their heels. Shortly there was a trio in command with a slight advantage on the pack, but in an uphill stretch Power immediately launched into action, trying to make a break on his own. It was no use, as he, too, got caught at 30 km from the arrival, at the beginning of the second-to-last trial of the day, by the best group which at that point had been withered down to about 50 riders. The big news is that at this point even the yellow jersey Peter Sagan started to lose ground, lagging behind the group of the best.

Considering the situation, with Sagan struggling, there was a fantastic forcing at the head of the big group by the men on BMC Racing, Quick-Step and Bahrain. Australian Jack Haig (Orica-Scott) accelerated; the group was down to these 14 riders, with all the big names in the classification: Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Samuel Sanchez, Tejay Van Garderen, Dylan Teuns (BMC), Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Adam Yates, Jack Haig (Orica-Scott),Wout Poels (Sky), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Wilco Kelderman, Sam Oomen (Sunweb), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale). On the last climb Jack Haig continued his solitary forcing, but with 9.5km left to go the big guns, who were still behind, started making moves and counter moves. First Nibali, then Poels, Pozzovivo and Majka. This was a very exciting part of the race. But Haig, with his 40 seconds advantage, shot off towards the finish line and went on to score a well-deserved victory. Wout Poels was second and Bon Jungels third. Dylan Teuns captured the yellow Carrefour jersey as leader and is now in command, just 6 seconds ahead of Majka and 10 seconds over Kelderman.

Peter Sagan hung on to the white Hyundai jersey for the points classification. Holland’s Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNl-Jumbo) is the new cyclamen Tauron jersey for the GPM and his team mate Bert-Jean Lindeman still has the blue Lotto jersey as the most active rider in the group. Rafal Majka leads the Lotos best Polish rider classification. Team Lotto Soudal leads the team classification.

Stage winner, Jack Haig (Orica-Scott): "I tried at the start of stage 3 and almost made it; unfortunately I came up 900 meters short. I've had really good legs here in this race, I've been training super hard at home in Andorra and I really wanted to try again today, so I'm super happy today paid off, and we will try again tomorrow, see what happens. This is my first win this season and my first pro win, so I'm super, super happy, and hopefully this won’t be the last win. Tomorrow we will try again and hopefully it will be me and Adam Yates there again and we can see if we can move each other up in the GC; whether that's Adam taking the jersey, of if I can move up, we will play it by ear."

Overall leader, Dylan Teuns (BMC): "It was really hard today. There was a lot of climbing, and it was a long stage, so I am feeling pretty tired right now as I am sure everyone is. The team did an amazing job just like we planned. When the guys hit the front and started riding for me, they were pushing really hard, and you could feel that the pace in the group was pretty high. A lot of guys were immediately dropped, and that was our goal. We wanted to start the final with as small a group as possible and also to make it hard for Peter Sagan and Bora-Hansgrohe. It's always a good feeling to be in the leader's jersey, but I can say after today that it was really hard to get the jersey. The level is so high here, and I had to give everything to take it. The team showed a lot of confidence in me today, and that was amazing. Going into tomorrow's final stage the top 10 is very close so, it will be another hard day. Both the team and I need to be ready to finish it off but after today, and how strong everyone was, I think we will be."

2nd overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was yet another hard day and BMC pushed hard to make the split in the last 30km. I felt good again and tried to attack on the last climb, as I needed to close the gaps, which wasn't easy. However, when Teuns was dropped, not everybody wanted to collaborate in the group, so he was able to close on us again. I am now sitting second overall, trailing Teuns by just six seconds. Tomorrow, we have the final stage of the race and it will be wide open because of the bonus seconds. It will be very hard, with everybody trying to win. Today it was more a question of tactics, tomorrow will be fast, with many attacks. We will work hard and do our best to regain the yellow jersey."

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost the yellow jersey: "It was a tough stage, not really one that suits riders like myself. Rafał tried hard and gave his best. He is second in the GC with only six seconds distance from the first place. Tomorrow, we need to ride the best way we can to help Rafalł win the Tour de Pologne"

Tour de Pologne Stage 6 Result:
1. Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott in 4:58:55
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:51
3. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
4. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 6:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 23:41:27
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:06
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
4. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:13
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:18
6. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:19
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:24
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:25
9. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:28
10. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:29.

Stage 6:

This Tour de Pologne was hard fought up to the last meter. The Final Stage 7 on the hard circuit in Bukowina Tatrzanska covered 132.5 km with 6 gpm primes, delivering plenty of thrills. Stage victory went to Holland’s Wout Poels (Team Sky) who got the best of the group of 5 riders in this Tour de Pologne. At the end of the battle Belgian Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) managed however to defend his place, calling on all his energy to hang on to the yellow Carrefour jersey he captured yesterday in Zakopane, deservedly winning the 74th edition of the Tour de Pologne - UCI World Tour. Applause also goes to the rest of the competition, especially the Pole Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Wout Peols who were second at 2" and third at 3" respectively in the final classification; today they figured as the most active participants in the group of top riders, but this was not enough to steal the jersey from a fantastic Dylan Teuns. The Belgian from team BMC Racing seemed to be having some trouble on the second-to-last climb of the day, but then he managed to catch up to the best of them and on the climb towards the finish line in Bukowina, helped along by his team mate Tejay Van Garderen, he bit the bullet and resisted wonderfully, catching up to the fastest without ceding a meter to Majka or Poels all the way to the finish line.

It was a victory of legs, heart and higher intelligence that proves the maturity this rider has reached. It’s a golden moment for Dylan Teuns, 25 years old, who, in the last 12 days between Belgium and Poland has obtained 5 successes, with Tour de Pologne becoming the most prestigious victory in his career. Tour de Pologne which once again has confirmed its tradition of shining the cycling scene’s spotlight on young promising talent. Once again, it is Belgium in the golden annals of the Tour de Pologne: Teuns follows on the heels of his fellow countryman Tim Wellens, last year’s winner.

Peter Sagan had a good Tour de Pologne, winning one stage and wearing the yellow leader’s jersey and ended up coming away with the white Hyundai jersey for the points classification. In other classifications: Italian Diego Rosa (Sky), in a break for many kilometers today, captured the cyclamen Tauron jersey for the gpm. Holland’s Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the blue Lotto jersey for the most active rider in the group. Rafal Majka clinched the Lotos classification for the best Pole rider. Team Lotto Soudal won the team classification.

The Winner's Interview with Dylan Teuns (BMC):
Congratulations, Dylan! Can you believe it?
"No, I can't believe it. It still hasn't sunk in. It's unbelievable!"

Talk us through the stage. How did you manage to stay calm?
"This was the thing, to stay calm. We needed to control the top ten and take care at the start because it could be a little bit hectic. It went pretty well and a big breakaway went but there was nothing dangerous for us. UAE Team Emirates took control so we were able to sit behind them and leave the group four minutes ahead and bring them back to two minutes in the final and let them go for the stage win. But, it didn't go like this"

"We knew the last lap would be harder than the first one and it was climb after climb. I was still feeling good before the really steep climb but I knew when I was climbing that I was quite at the limit and then I found it difficult to recover for the second to last climb. It was a really hard moment for me. I was so lucky to have Tejay van Garderen with me. He was pacing but it was too hard so I called him back in the radio and he did directly and did a perfect pace on the climb. I was still at my limit but not over my limit so I could come back in the descent and recover in Tejay's wheel a bit. Then we had a flat part and I could take a few breaths. In the last climb I said to myself "Now it's all in. I have Tejay with me" and it was perfect. I could see that he still had something left in the legs to do this last climb. Majka tried to attack me three times I think and I knew I had to follow. I was hurting so much in the final sprint but I knew what it was for. I gave it everything I had in my legs."

What can you say about your teammates?
"My teammates were all amazing. Like I said a couple of days ago when I won the stage, the confidence and trust they gave me was unbelievable. I'm still young but when these guys with so much experience and these palmarés believe in you, that's an honor. They knew I was in second place yesterday and they did everything to put me in the lead and today they did everything to defend this jersey. It's amazing."

You recorded your first professional victory less than two weeks ago and now you have five to your name. What can you attribute this to?
"It's difficult to say. I showed already some good results in the last two years at hard races but I never had these results. This year in Wallonie I was really confident in myself and then two days before Poland, you hear you can be leader together with Samuel Sanchez, then you know the team believes in you also. I started to believe more and more in myself. I had a hard Giro d'Italia because I was a little bit sick before but after I recovered a lot, and I did a good altitude training camp. And now one success follows another success. I have made the step to become the winner I was in the U23."

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Wout Poels (Sky): "Yeah, it was really nice, I moved up onto the podium, and I won the stage, and it was really nice. Unfortunately not the GC, but my form is coming back so that's good for the upcoming races. I felt really good at this race, I trained very well, I was struggling with a bit of a knee injury earlier this season so it's really nice to be back on a good level and here in Poland it's really nice to race, a lot of great roads and a good atmosphere, it's really nice. My next race is the Vuelta so 2 weeks rest and then off we go again. I'm leaving Poland with a really good feeling, and it was a good race."

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I did my best today. I really tried to drop the closest GC contenders in the last climb. It was maybe a bit late because it wasn't so steep, but with so many riders behind me, it was difficult. I had Kelderman, I had Poels and others that were trailing me by just a few seconds in the GC. It was like a lottery and it wasn't as easy as it seems. I tried three or four times and in the end, I lost the overall victory by just two seconds. However, I'm happy with the way the team worked. I had the World Champion waiting for me, and all my teammates put in a very strong performance. BORA-hansgrohe is a strong team and we'll be back next year. It feels fantastic to race with so many fans. I won once, now I'm second - it makes me happy to be on the podium every time I come here."

Points winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was a hard stage and a tough Tour de Pologne” said Peter from the race’s finish “but we were encouraged by the big crowds of spectators here, with so many fans from Poland and Slovakia. It's a pity Rafał missed the overall victory by only two seconds but it certainly wasn't our last race – we have a lot of races ahead of us. The strategy today was for me to go on the breakaway and stay in the front in order to help Rafał if he needed me. After a week of tough racing, it wasn't easy but now it's over. Time to focus on the next race."

Tour de Pologne Stage 7 Result:
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky in 3:28:20
2. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:05
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:12
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:14
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:18
10. Rui Costa (Por) Team UAE Emirates at 0:54.

Tour de Pologne Final Overall Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC in 27:07:47
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:02
3. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:03
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
5. Adam Yates (GB) Orica-Scott at 0:13
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:23
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:36
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:57
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:19
10. Rui Costa (Por) Team UAE Emirates at 1:22.

The final stage 7:

Tour of Utah 2017
Stage results and the best photos from Utah by Darrell Parks here:
Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, stage 5, stage 6, and stage 7 (soon).

Tour of Utah 2017 Final Overall Result:
1. Robert Britton (Can) Rally Cycling in 22:48:03
2. Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:22
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:32
4. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 0:35
5. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:00
6. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 2:16
7. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare at 2:41
8. Christopher Butler (USA) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:47
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Rally Cycling at 2:55
10. James Piccoli (Can) Elevate-KHS at 3:00.

Stage 6 Deer Creek Reservoir:

Men's European Time Trial Championship 2017
Victor Campenaerts (LottoNl-Jumbo) is the new European champion time trial. It took the 25-year-old rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo 53 minutes and 12 seconds to finish during the 46 kilometers individual time trial. Jos van Emden was Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s second rider in the top ten at the fifth place. It’s already Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s sixth victory on the Bianchi Aquila CV time trial bike.

Victor Campenaerts had a good start. “I felt well from the beginning and my Pioneer confirmed that soon”, stated the new European champion afterwards. “I could maintain a high pace until the finish. I always try to get the best out of my time trials. The fact that this results in a European title is amazing.”

It’s already the second European time trial title for the Belgian rider. In 2013 he was the best of his continent in the U23-category. “Afterwards, I turned professional. The difference between the U23-category and the professionals is huge. Despite that, I stayed focussed. I made a lot of progress over the past years and I’m very happy with my new jersey after I lost my Belgian stripes because of a crash.”

He beat renowned riders in Danish Herning and took his second victory of the season. “I had much competition today. Maciej Bodnar recently won the time trial in the Tour de France, for example. That says enough. Fortunately, I could beat him today. I’m looking forward to show my European jersey in the Tour of Britain.”

2nd, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Well, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Still I am happy with my silver medal and congrats to Victor who was the strongest today. It was a tough race, because it was flat and almost without corners, so you couldn’t rest anywhere, just push all the time. In the end, I felt tired and I think after an exhausting Tour de France, this time trial was maybe a little too long for me. But in general, my performance was good, I judged my speed well and was fighting for Gold until the very last moment. After my win in Marseille, this is another special moment for me, to take a medal for my country – Poland.”

Men's European Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) in 53:13
2. Maciej Bodnar (Poland) at 0:03
3. Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at 0:04.

Men's TT Champion - Victor Campenaerts:

Women's European Time Trial Championship 2017
For the second year in a row, Team Sunweb's Ellen van Dijk (NED) has been crowned the European time trial champion after taking the victory in Denmark today.

With the parcours perfectly suited to her strengths van Dijk dominated the 31.5 kilometer course, setting the fastest time at each intermediate check-point. After powerfully navigating her way around the route in challenging weather conditions, van Dijk stormed past her rivals taking the victory by just under one minute, stopping the clock with a time of 40 minutes and 33 seconds.

After the win Ellen van Dijk said: "I'm really happy to prolong my title. It's always special to win something like this and I feel proud to wear the jersey. The course suited me well and I felt I had good legs. There were long straights with some small hills and the rain made some of the corners more challenging. Luckily I was going really well so didn't have to take any risks and managed to get around safe to take the title again."

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: "We knew that these parcours really suited Ellen's strengths and have put a lot of preparation into the day. Whilst under the pressure of being defending champion, Ellen put in a solid performance and took an incredible time. To win with such a huge time gap is really outstanding and shows she is a worthy winner."

Women's European Individual Time Trial Result:
1. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) in 40:33.58
2. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) at 0:58
3. Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) at 1:04.

Women's 2017 European Time Trial Championship Podium:

La Vuelta 2017: Provisional Start List
The 72nd edition of La Vuelta will, once again, feature today’s biggest cycling stars in its peloton. 198 riders, divided into 22 teams, that will take off from the starting line on the 19th of August in Nîmes and fight for La Roja, the leader’s red jersey that will crown the winner of the race’s general classification.

Now that the pre-registration process is over, the organization is pleased to announce that, although we are still waiting for confirmation on the final line-ups, these are the riders who have pre-registered to participate in La Vuelta 2017.

The recent Tour de France winner, and four-time champion of the French race, Chris Froome; the runner-up of the Grande Boucle, Romain Bardet; the pistolero from Pinto, Alberto Contador; the Orica-Scott trident made up of the Yates brothers and the Columbian scarab, Esteban Chaves; the Italians Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali, who already know what it is to win La Vuelta, the recent King of the Mountain in the Tour, Warren Barguil and a list of outsiders such as Rafal Majka, Ilnur Zakarin, Andrew Talansky, George Bennett, Louis Meintjes and Julian Alaphilippe.

2017 Vuelta song:

Confirmation Vuelta line-Up
On Saturday 19 August the Vuelta starts with a team time trial in Nîmes, France. These nine Lotto Soudal riders will take part in the last Grand Tour of the season: Sander Armée, Bart De Clercq, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Debusschere, Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Rafael Valls and Jelle Wallays.

It will be the third participation for Rafael Valls (30) in the biggest race of his country. Also for Jens Debusschere, who celebrates his 28th birthday during the Vuelta, it’s the third Vuelta of his career. His fellow countryman Maxime Monfort (34) is more experienced, he takes part for the seventh time. Rémy Mertz (22) is making his Grand Tour début. Jelle Wallays (28) did the same in last year’s Vuelta and he is part of the line-up again. Bart De Clercq, who turns 31 on 26 August, crashed in last year’s sixth stage and had to let go of his ambitions. He gets new opportunities in his sixth Vuelta. Sander Armée (31) returns to the Vuelta too. Just like for Tomasz Marczynski (33) this will be his third Vuelta. Thomas De Gendt (30) can get ready to join breakaways, he is riding the Vuelta for the fifth time.

Adam Hansen - Will ride la Vuelta, see TOP STORY:

Sunweb Announce Vuelta a España Long List
The final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España, is nearly upon us and Team Sunweb are pleased to reveal their long-list of 13 riders for the race. The 2017 edition is composed of five flat stages, one flat finish at high-altitude, eight uphill stages, five mountain stages, an individual time trial and a team time trial to open the race.

With five potential Grand Tour debutants on the long-list, the Vuelta will become an important stepping stone for Team Sunweb's talent development for the future. Wilco Kelderman (NED) is a rider whom the team had already confirmed participation of during Team Sunweb's Launch at Münster-Osnabrück, Germany, last January. After crashing out of the Giro on stage nine with a fractured finger, the 26-year-old Dutchman prepares for his second Grand Tour start this year and will go to Spain to explore his opportunities for the overall, without pressure on results.

Ahead of the race Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: "We have a good mix of riders on our long-list with a variety of skills that will be valuable in different types of stages and race situations. With our ambition in mind to explore our overall possibilities, we will need a team with time trial, climbing and Grand Tour experience to be competitive throughout the three weeks of racing. As always in Spain, the parcours are really challenging and we have been preparing over the past months extensively so we know exactly what to expect."

"Coming off the back of a really successful Grand Tour season for Team Sunweb, we hope to continue the momentum in Spain and can use the extra knowledge and experience gathered during these successes to help us on our journey to Madrid."

Long List:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Warren Barguil (FRA), Bert De Backer (BEL), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Lennard Hofstede (NED), Lennard Kämna (GER), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Sam Oomen (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED) and Marc Reef (NED).

Warren Barguil:
Le Puy-en-Velay, - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Warren BARGUIL (France / Team Sunweb) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 15 from Laissac-Sévérac l’…glise to Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.50 km - foto VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Arctic Race of Norway: The Punchers in the Spotlight!
Each year the Norwegian public shows its enthusiasm and unique creativity along the roads of the Arctic Race of Norway. For this fifth edition, the large crowd will take in a fantastic race on a race-route that will cross extraordinary scenery in Norway’s northern region.

This event, which is the northernmost bicycle race in the world, traditionally brings together the best sprinters. Once again this year, the peloton will be very interesting with the presence of the leader of the Norwegian contingent Alexander Kristoff, Great Britain’s Dan McLay, Frenchman Adrien Petit or the up and coming German, Maximilian Walscheid. But hold on, this year only stage 2, which will finish on Bardufoss airport runway, is predestined for the sprinters. For the rest of the race, there will be at least one climb to get over in the last kilometers of each stage.

Stage 1 of the Arctic Race of Norway could be ideal for the attackers with a category 1 climb (2.3 km at 6.6%) 5 kms from the finish. The first gaps in the general classification should come about on stage 3 during the final and all-new Finnvikdalen climb (5.2 km at 4.9%) near Tromsø. However, a sprinter like A. Kristoff has the capacity to stay with the leaders and be a threat for the win. On the other hand, the 4th and final stage of the Arctic Race of Norway is ideally suited for the punchers. The peloton will race on a circuit with five recognized ramps (1.2km at 7.5%) near Tromsø. The differences will be made and the overall podium determined on the final day of the race. The favorite is none other than the winner of this year’s Tour de Wallonie and Tour de Pologne, Belgium’s Dylan Teuns. The BMC leader will have to battle with the winner of the 2015 edition, Rein Taaramäe from Estonia or another Norwegian star and 2016 World u23 Champion, who also won the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race at Harstad in 2013, Kristoffer Halvorsen. The rider from the Joker Ipocal team is a product of the Arctic Race of Norway and symbolizes the ambitions of the young and talented Norwegian generation.

Mark Cavendish, the Briton, former World Champion and 30-time stage winner at the Tour de France, was expected to take part in the Arctic Race of Norway next week. However, it has been confirmed that he will not be able to participate in the 5th edition of the race. After his crash on stage 4 of the 2017 Tour de France, the Manxman wanted to make his return to racing at the Arctic Race of Norway, but the Dimension Data team doctors decided to postpone his comeback to racing to give him the extra rest he needed.

Key points:
· Edition 5 of the world's northernmost bicycle race
· An unprecedented uphill finish at Finnvikdalen at the city gates of Tromsø
· 12 teams entered in the Arctic Race of Norway have participated in at least three major Tours


Best images - Arctic Race of Norway 2016:

Medical update on Roelandts, Frison and Hansen
Here you find a medical update on three Lotto Soudal riders: Jürgen Roelandts had to undergo hip surgery, Frederik Frison has glandular fever and Adam Hansen is recovering from saddle sore.

Tuesday, Jürgen Roelandts underwent hip surgery at AZ Herentals. The former Belgian champion suffered from impingement. A problem that was bothering him for a while now. An operation was necessary to remove cartilage. Roelandts needs a long rehabilitation and probably won’t be racing anymore this season.

Frederik Frison has glandular fever. The 25-year-old rider was working on his comeback after a crash in the first stage of Quatre Jours de Dunkerque in May in which he incurred a pelvis fracture. At the moment he needs to rest and shouldn’t train. He is closely monitored by the medical staff of Lotto Soudal. When they give the green light Frison can resume his training, but it is impossible to tell when that will be.

Adam Hansen suffered from saddle sore in the last Tour week. The Aussie is taking some rest while the injury is healing, but will now ride la Vuelta.

In the end Adam Hansen will ride la Vuelta, saddle sore or not:
Madrid - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Adam Hansen (Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during La Vuelta 2015 Stage 21 from Alcala de Henares to Madrid - photo Sabine Jacob/Cor Vos © 2015

Jürgen Roelandts to Strengthen BMC Racing Team's 2018 Roster
Jürgen Roelandts, 32, is the latest addition to BMC Racing Team's 2018 roster, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

The former Belgian National Road Race champion brings a wealth of experience, particularly in the Spring Classics.

"Jürgen Roelandts has years of experience racing the Classics and he has excelled at that over the last ten years. Jurgen has a great skill set and has had podium finishes in many of the biggest one-day races in the calendar," Ochowicz explained.

"Jürgen is coming to us to be one of our primary Classics riders to work alongside Greg Van Avermaet and help Greg and the team continue our success at these races. Wherever Greg is, you can expect to see Jurgen at his side, especially in the Belgian races where he knows the roads so well. We are very excited to have a rider with Jurgen's experience join us next year."

2018 will be Roelandts' eleventh year at the WorldTour level, during which time he won the Belgian Road Race Championships and stood on the podium at multiple Classics, including Milan-San Remo, Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke.

Roelandts is relishing the chance for a change. "First of alI, I want to thank my former team for the nice 10 years I had with them and for the chances I got. But, I had the feeling I was looking for something new. I was already interested in BMC Racing Team because I want to keep improving my time trial skills and the focus BMC Racing Team has on the spring Classics was really appealing. The team operates on the highest level in both disciplines so I was really pleased when they showed interest," Roelantds said.

"In the past I've shown that I'm a rider who can adapt quickly and handle different types of parcours. It will be the first time in my career that I will ride for a different team, so I hope I can integrate well and contribute to the successes of the team. A big objective for me every year is the Spring Classics so I want to help the team achieve their goals there and support Greg Van Avermaet, who has shown he can win these races. If I have the chance to go for a win myself, it would be a dream and career goal. I also like to do team time trials so I hope I can perform well in this discipline too."

Roelantds is the second rider to join BMC Racing Team in 2018, following the signing of Alberto Bettiol.

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

Jürgen Roelandts:

Izagirre to Bahrain-Merida
Bahrain-Merida Team is happy to announce that Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre’s older brother, will join our team in the next season.

Gorka Izagirre is a 29 years old professional rider from Basque country, Spain. He started his career with team Contentpolis-Ampo in 2009 and transferred the next year to Euskaltel-Euskadi, where his brother Ion soon joined him. In 2014 they both signed with Movistar Team.

Gorka has a remarkable list of professional cycling achievements. He won 1st Stage of Vuelta a España in 2014, he was 2nd in Time Trial on National Road Championships in 2015. That same year he was 8th overall on Tour Down Under and 9th overall in Paris-Nice. In 2016 he was 5th overall in Dubai Tour and in 2017 he won the 8th Stage of Giro d’Italia, he won Klasika Primavera and was 4th overall in Paris-Nice.

Gorka is already looking forward to joining our riders on the roads: “I'm very happy with the new team for my next season. I think I will be an important part of it. I'm excited to join my new teammates and start to get to know them.”

Brant Copeland, General Manager of the team, commented: “We at BAHRAIN MERIDA are very excited about this new signing. Gorka is not only one of the worlds best domestiques but also a very solid stage race rider with his two top ten finishes in the Paris Nice and Santos Tour of Down under as well as his great win in a stage during the Giro d’Italia. I see Gorka doing great things at BAHRAIN MERIDA, he is a rider that belongs in this team together with his brother Ion. He represents everything that we look for in a Bahrain-Merida rider, consistency, hard worker with clear ideas of where he wants to go and last but not least a great team rider. We are sure our fans and team mates are very much looking forward to him starting. We would like to thank him for joining our team and give him a big welcome.”

Gorka Izagirre:
Gorka Izagirre

Gaviria and Richeze continue with Quick-Step Floors
The Giro d’Italia maglia ciclamino and his trusted lead-out man have extended their contracts beyond 2017.

What a year it’s been so far for Fernando Gaviria! The prodigious Colombian has racked up eight wins since kickstarting his season in January, including four spectacular stage victories at the Giro d’Italia, where he enjoyed a spell in the pink jersey before going all the way to Milan, capping off a remarkable race and adorning his trophy case with the famed maglia ciclamino.

One of the peloton’s standout riders since making his debut on the big scene, Gaviria has picked up 17 wins so far in the iconic Quick-Step Floors jersey, and will have the opportunity to go for more in the future and enhance his palmarés, as he has signed a two-year contract extension with the World Tour team classification leader.

“I am very happy to stay with the team who gave me the chance to turn pro and brought me into European cycling. When I look back on the last two years and see how I’ve developed and grown as a rider, I am more than confident staying with this team is the right decision. I feel at home and appreciated here, and Patrick Lefevere puts a lot of confidence in me, so it just feels like a natural step to continue my progression with this outstanding team”, said Fernando Gaviria, the first Colombian to win the points classification at a Grand Tour.

What does the future hold for the 22-year-old after his most successful season to date? “After what I’ve achieved in the Giro, I think I am heading towards the next big step of my career. I am especially keen on testing my potential and doing well in the classics, races I have always had a special love for. Quick-Step Floors is one of the greatest ever teams in these races, so I think I can learn a lot from the guys here. I look forward to continuing my presence in the fast finishes and grabbing my chances when and wherever they show in next season.”

Maximiliano Richeze has played a quintessential role in Fernando Gaviria’s success since joining the team, ahead of the 2016 season; the Argentinean proved that at 34 years of age he still is a world-class lead-out man, one of a kind, whose calm and experience make the difference in the crucial moments of a race, so it was only logical that he was rewarded with a new contract stretching until 2019.

“Quick-Step Floors is one big family and I’m delighted to be part of it for two more years. I’m a pro since 2006 and to continue at such a high level makes me very proud, especially as I’m doing it with the most successful World Tour outfit. I’m also happy that my partnership with Fernando will continue, and we hope to get many other victories together”, said Max, a double stage winner this season at Vuelta a San Juan.

“We are very pleased to make this announcement. Fernando’s potential is huge, he’s one of the most talented riders out there and I dare to say his results so far have been only an appetizer for what we are going to see in the years to come. His potential, determination and mentality recommend him for many great feats, I’m sure of that”, said Quick-Step Floors CEO Patrick Lefevere. “Concerning Max Richeze, he brings invaluable experience to our squad and renewing his contract was the natural thing to do. Having them in the team for two more years makes us very happy!”

Fernando Gaviria:
Giro d'Italia 2017 - 100th Edition - Rest Day - Cefalu' - 08/05/2017Ê- Fernando Gaviria (COL - QuickStep - Floors) - photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2017

Bahrain-Merida Team is happy to announce that Slovenian rider Matej Mohorič will join the team in 2018
Matej Mohorič is a 22 years old cyclist from Slovenia who turned professional in 2014. That year he signed with Cannondale and was 5th in Road race in National Road Championships. He achieved the same result also in 2015 and that year he also came 6th in Japan Cup. In 2016 he signed with Lampre-Merida and he was 2nd in Time Trial in National Road Championships, he won 6th Stage of Tour of Hainan and was 3rd overall on the same race. In 2017 he joined UAE Team Emirates. He was 3rd in Road race on National Road Championships this year and 8th on Trofeo Laigueglia.

Brent Copeland: "It is always a pleasure for us to announce the arrival of a young talent such as Matej to our team BAHRAIN MERIDA, although he has already been a pro for 4 seasons, he is still young at the age of 22 with a creative and exciting mind on the bike, putting this together with his enthusiasm it makes a perfect match for our team, I have personally worked together with Matej in the past and know that he is one of the most intelligent riders in the group, we believe Matej has a vast amount of margin for improvement and has yet to show us what his true potential is, he is a rider whom we believe has been investing the first few years as a pro in learning and is now ready to show the world of cycling what his true capabilities are, we are sure Matej will find a solid and professional group of team mates and staff members at BAHRAIN MERIDA which will help him develop into the true talent that we all know he has, we welcome him and all look forward to supporting him with all his needs to help him achieve his goals."

Matej Mohorič is also looking forward to joining his new teammates: “I have a feeling that BAHRAIN MERIDA believes in me as a rider and that they could help me make a step up, to grow and develop even further. I am still only 22 years old and have winning ambitions in the future. It is a great motivation for me to go to one of the best teams in the world. I look forward to a good preparation for 2018 and a year where I will give my best in cycling.”

Matej Mohorič:

Alberto Bettiol to Join BMC Racing Team in 2018
Alberto Bettiol, 23, will join BMC Racing Team's ranks from 2018, General Manager Jim Ochowicz today announced.

Bettiol has recorded a string of top ten results at UCI WorldTour one-day and stage races since turning professional in 2014.

"Alberto Bettiol may only be 23 years old but he has been in the WorldTour for a few years now and has some very good results to his name, even recently at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian where he finished in sixth place against some of the best climbers in the world," Ochowicz explained.

"Alberto has a diverse set of racing skills and we are looking forward to helping him grow with BMC Racing Team when it comes to the Classics and time trials, which I think will be a natural progression for him. It's important to bring on riders who show this kind of potential so we are pleased to welcome Alberto to BMC Racing Team."

For Bettiol, BMC Racing Team represents a chance to race with one of the biggest WorldTour teams.

"I've always seen BMC Racing Team as an incredibly professional team, one of the biggest teams in the WorldTour, if not the biggest team. Whatever my role will be, I'll do my best. I am looking forward to the opportunity to race with a champion like Greg Van Avermaet and learn from him and the rest of the team for the cobbled Classics," Bettiol said.

"My goal is to keep growing as a rider, as I have in the last years, and to improve my time trial skills, which is another reason why I wanted to come to BMC Racing Team, one of the best time trial teams in the world."

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

Alberto Bettiol:
Foix - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport -  Alberto BETTIOL (Italy / Cannondale Drapac Professsional Cycling Team) pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 13  from Saint-Girons to Foix, 101.00 km - foto  Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2017

Spanish youngster Rosón signs with Movistar Team
24-year-old climber from Zamora, one of the biggest hopefuls in the country, to wear the green 'M' through the end of the 2019 season.

Spanish rider Jaime Rosón (24) will become a Movistar Team member on January 1st, 2018. Rosón, who has signed a two-year term with the Blues, comes from ProContinental squad Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, which saw him covering his two first full seasons as pro.

A brilliant climber, the youngster from Zamora in the region of Castilla y León has done a superb 2017 season, with top performances in one-week races like the Settimana Coppi e Bartali (3rd), his home Vuelta CyL (2nd) or the Tour of Croatia, where he won the Queen stage and came second overall to Vincenzo Nibali only on the final day of racing.

Rosón had already won the Queen stage of the Tour of Turkey in 2016 -2nd in the GC- confirming a great progression from an outstanding under-23 stage. In 2015, Rosón won Spain's three most prestigious contests for amateur: the National road race Championships, the Memorial Valenciaga and the multi-classic Spanish Cup.

Jaime Rosón:

Wanty-Groupe Gobert Presents Third Trainee: Thomas Gibbons
Wanty-Groupe Gobert has chosen its third trainee for the remaining races of the 2017 season. Thomas Gibbons will strengthen our team. The 27-year-old American already explored the continental calendar as a member of Team Cibel in 2014 and 2015. As a rider at Baguet-MIBA Gates-Indulek he won the Menen Classic (IC 1.12) in April this year. Recently, he showed his good shape by winning a stage in the Tour of Flemish Brabant (IC 2.12), where he also finished second in the final general classification.

Thomas Gibbons:

Hodeg and Kasperkiewicz join Quick-Step Floors as Stagiaires
The two have earned a trainee position with our team, for which they will ride for the remainder of the season.

Last year, Alvaro Hodeg caught many people’s attention at the U23 World Championships in Doha, where he was part of the select group that fought for medals, finishing just outside the top 10, in 12th place. From there, the Coldeportes rider went on to win three stages at the Vuelta a Chiriqui, in Panama, before taking the intermediate sprints classification earlier this season at the prestigious Girobio, which returned on the calendar after a five-year hiatus.

Soon, a one-month spell with Home Solution-Anmapa-Soenens followed, and during his time with the Belgian team, Hodeg got to showcase his fast turn of speed on European turf and taste the treacherous northern cobbles in several one-day races, one of which was Grand Prix de Saint-Nicolas, where he took an impressive second place.

“Last winter I spent more a week with Quick-Step Floors at the team’s training camp in Denia, and those were some of the most beautiful days of my life. I got to train with Boonen, Gaviria and Kittel, and it was really awesome. I remember that one day Tom Boonen gave me a hug and told me: ‘Hey, all the best for next year, I hope you’ll ride some nice races’. I didn’t believe him at that time, but here I am now. I’m so excited, I can’t put it into words”, said an over the moon Alvaro.

The 20-year-old will make his debut in the Quick-Step Floors jersey at Desselgem, before lining out at the start of the Grand Prix de Wallonie and Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen: “When I was young, it was a dream to race with a big team. I worked hard for this ever since I was a kid and eventually moved from the coast to Medellin to pursue this dream, because that was the best place to train and continue my development. I don’t know if this will lead to a contract, but I’ll give everything in the short period I will ride for the team.”

Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz is an old acquaintance of Quick-Step Floors, as the 23-year-old Pole raced for two seasons with former feeder team Klein Constantia, from where he moved to An Post-Chain Reaction. A strong rouleur with tactical nous, who excels in long and hard races, Kasperkiewicz proved his talent on several occasions, from the runner-up spots he got in the U23 National ITT Championships to his spectacular Tour de Bretagne and An Post Ras stage victories, which he landed this season.

“Last year I rode with Klein Constantia, Quick-Step Floors’ development team, so I already know the squad a bit. It’s an incredible team, with many great and talented riders, so when they asked me to join them as stagiaire I didn’t think twice before grabbing this opportunity. It gives me a lot of confidence and motivation to get such a chance. I’ve trained and worked relentlessly to stand here today and now I want to show my level and prove that I’m a strong and reliable teammate”, explained Przemyslaw, whose first races with Quick-Step Floors will be Grote Prijs Jef Scherens and Omloop Mandel.

Quick-Step Floors CEO Patrick Lefevere shared his opinion on the team’s two stagiaires: “We want to give the younger riders a chance and see how they fare against the pros, although one must keep in mind the period they get to ride for us is rather short and they aren’t allowed to race World Tour events, which would have helped them gain invaluable experience. I’ve heard only nice things about Alvaro and Przemyslaw and I’m now curious to see them in action with our squad.”

Przemyslaw Kasperkiewicz:

Lizde, Riabushenko and Romano trainees in UAE Team Emirates
UAE Team Emirates announce the names of the three cyclists who, since August 1st, will join the Emirati team as trainees.

They are the Italian cyclists Seid Lizde, who was born in ’95, and Francesco Romano, born in 1997, and the twenty-one years old Byelorussian rider Aleksandr Riabushenko.

Lizde, who’s a current rider of the Team Colpack, impressed in 2017 winning two prestigious races such as GP Liberazione and the Coppa Fiera di Mercatale. Romano, wearing the jersey of the Palazzago Soligo Amarù Sirio, realized solid performances in the Giro d’Italia Under 23 2017, winning the stage Francavilla al Mare-Casalincontrada, in addition to the successes obtained in the Memorial Daniele Tortoli and the Coppa Penna. Six seasonal victories for Riabushenko, current Under23 European champion: the 2nd stage of the Giro d’Italia Under 23, the Trofeo Learco Guerra, the first stage of the Toscana Terra di Ciclismo Eroica, the Giro del Belvedere di Villa Cordignano, the Trofeo Tempestini and the Bassano-Montegrappa. He’s member of the Palazzago Soligo Amarù Sirio’s roster.

General manager Giuseppe Saronni welcomes the trainees: "The top level activity of the UAE Team Emirates requires a deep dedication towards the grass roots cycling. The team’s technical staff individuate Lizde, Riabushenko and Romano as interesting riders, so we decided to give to this talented cyclists an opportunity to seize themselves in the pro world. The trainers and the sports director will schedule with the trainees a races calendar which will be useful to verify his skills."

Riabushenko with Romano and Lizde:

Team Dimension Data sign Nicholas Dlamini for 2018
From the Township to the Tour. An African dream.

Nicholas Dlamini took another huge pedal stroke on his journey from a shack in the township of Cape Town to becoming the first black South African to ride in the Tour de France this week when he joined Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s World Tour team.

The dream that first took shape when he began riding just nine years ago has driven the 21-year-old raised in the Capricorn settlement in Muizenburg. He is regarded as the next “big thing” to come out of Africa, having earned high praise from cycling legend Steven Roche, amongst many others.

"It’s really an amazing feeling to finally be part of our World Tour team," said Dlamini, who will be a stagiaire with the World Tour team until the end of the season and will be a part of the squad for 2018. "I’ve always dreamed of being part of this team. Everything just feels unreal at the moment with all the good opportunities I’m getting. I’d like to thank the Continental team for having my best interests at heart. It’s been really an incredible three years with them. I’m ready to take on the world now!"

Dlamini has made the most of his opportunities in his career thus far. As a 17-year old, he was challenging experienced professionals in the Cape Rouleur in the Western Cape. In June, he won the King of the Mountains category at the under-23 Giro d’Italia, a first for an African. Dreams are built on reality, and Dlamini has shown he is the real thing.

"This team was built on a dream and to see a young rider like Nicholas, who came from limited means and opportunities to succeed and make it as a neo pro rider in Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is truly special to witness," said Doug Ryder, team principal of Team Dimension Data. "Nic has big dreams and has worked so hard to realize his dreams, focusing first on getting through school and then on his passion of riding his bike."

Team Dimension Data’s Bernie Eisel, one of the most experienced riders on the World Tour, believes Dlamini has all the attributes to be a complete rider. "I spent the last two winters with him in training and he is an absolute professional and has a stunning character," said Eisel. "He can climb well but he is super-fast in a sprint too. With a bit of leadership from everyone else in the team, learning from our experience, Nic will shine in the coming years, I have no doubt. I can’t wait to race with him."

"When you see where he comes from and understand his background, you begin to realize how much hard work it took for this young man to make it to the pros, and he did it all with a smile on his face."

Dlamini has been supported by a series of mentors from Sipho Mona of Velokhaya, the Khayelitsha cycling organization, the JAG Foundation, Vanessa Sandes, the actress and model, and her husband, Ryan, the ultra-distance trail runner, Sven Thiele of Hot Chillee Events, JP van Zyl of the UCI’s Africa development hub, Ben Swift, the British Olympian and world champion, Laureus Sport for Good organization, and, through his foundation, by Elton John, the legendary pop singer.

"I am so proud of Nic," said JP van Zyl. "When I think of him and our time together. He was running a tight schedule between studying, training, learning to drive, and racing like a star and, most of all, I could always count on him as the best role model and ambassador for our team."

"Nic is incredibly fortunate to have the most amazing influencers and mentors in his life but that talks to his character, his values, his bright, open and welcoming face that is always engaging," said Ryder. "It is so rewarding to see Nic graduate from our UCI Continental development team into the 1st division of cycling. It shows how important the development program of Team Dimension Data is and why we race to mobilize more people on bicycles through the Qhubeka charity. The charity that is a hand-up program where bicycles are earned and not just handed out. We wish Nic all the best as he embarks on the biggest challenge of his young sporting life."

Meet Nicholas video:

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