PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Eurotrash
EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
The 2017 season is about on us with the racing in Australia starting in ten days. Vuelta '20 to start in Holland - Top Story. Mid-week cyclocross from the Centrumcross Surhuisterveen with report and video. In other cycling news: Challenge Mallorca teams, Tour of America’s Dairyland race cities, Paris-Nice and Arctic Race of Norway 2017 routes, Andrew Talansky breaks thumb, Cofidis roster, Alexandr Kolobnev retires, Dimension Data ride Le Tour de Langkawi, Heinrich Haussler injured, UAE Abu Dhabi presentation, Team Sunweb new kit and Team Novo Nordisk need results. A full EUROTRASH Thursday!


TOP STORY: Vuelta a España to Start in Holland in 2020
It is looking very likely that the 2020 Vuelta a España will start in the Dutch City of Utrecht. PelotonUtrecht will be organizing the Spanish Grand Tour's start, they are the same group who brought the Tour de France to Utrecht in 2015.

In an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad:, PelotonUtrecht Chairman Cor Jansen said: "The (Vuelta) management has told us that it is basically up to us to design the Dutch part of the race." The plan is that three stages would take place in Holland, starting on Friday with a team time trial on the course used for the Tour. Saturday would be a road stage starting and finishing in Utrecht and Sunday's would start in Utrecht and finish in Breda. The race would then take its first rest day to transfer to Spain.

PelotonUtrecht will be at the 2017 Vuelta a España route presentation next week to discuss the possibility. Jansen commented: "The series of grand tours in Utrecht will be complete: the Giro d'Italia in 2010, the Tour de France in 2015 and the Vuelta in 2020."

Let's hope they don't lose the press truck like in 2009 when the Vuelta started in Assen.

Assen - Circuit TTT - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Ronde van Soanje - Vuelta 2009 - Fabian Cancellara (Schweiz / Team Saxo Bank) - foto Cor Vos ©2009


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Centrumcross Surhuisterveen 2017
Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) won the Centrumcross Surhuisterveen on Wednesday. After a hard fought fight, Van Kessel beat Lars Boom (LottoNl-Jumbo) to the line. Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Fidea) was third.

Boom had the best start and split the bunch through the mud with Van Kessel and Van der Haar chasing hard, but Boom had a mechanical problem and they passed him to take the lead. Boom had a tough chase behind the Telenet-Fidea pair, he first passed Van der Haar to catch Van Kessel. Three laps to go and Boom attacked, but Van Kassel managed to hold him.

With over a lap to go, Van Kassel attacked through a technical section, but crashed to allow Boom a lead at the start of the final lap. Boom made two mistakes in the slippy mud and Van Kessel passed him to win ahead of a very happy Boom in second place.

Surhuisterveen - Netherlands  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Van Kessel Corne (Telenet Fidea Lions) pictured during  the Centrumcross of Surhuisterveen 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017

Centrumcross Surhuisterveen Result:
1. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
2. Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
4. Joeri Adams (Bel)
5. Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)
6. Emil Hekele (Cze)
7. Stan Godrie (Ned) Crelan-Verandas Willem's
8. Niels Wubben (Ned)
9. Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel)
10. Gosse van der Meer (Ned) Tarteletto-Isorex.

Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) takes the win from Lars Boom:



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Santos Tour Down Under 2017

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The criterium People’s Choice Classic will be held on Sunday the 15th of January in Adelaide on a 2.3 km course which will be covered 22 times (total distance of 50,6 km).

Santos Tour Down Under Stage Details:
17 January, 1st stage, Unley-Lyndoch, 145 km, sprinters’ stage.
18 January, 2nd stage, Stirling-Paracombe, 148,5 km, stage for sprinters with endurance.
19 January, 3rd stage, Glenelg-Victor Harbor, 144 km, hilly final part of the course.
20 January, 4th stage, Norwood-Campbelltown, 149,5 km, sprinters’ stage.
21 January, 5th stage, McLaren Vale-Willunga Hill, 151,5 km, queen stage.
22 January, 6th stage, Adelaide-Adelaide, 90 km, sprinters’ stage.

Website: www.tourdownunder.com.au

Santos Tour Down Under 2017:



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Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Tour Down Under
The World Tour season opener will take place between 17 and 22 January, and will be preceded by the Adelaide criterium.

The 19th edition of the Tour Down Under will see 19 teams line up at the start for what promises to be a hotly contested race. The sprinters will have several opportunities to test their legs and get a maiden victory in the new season, but it will be once again the climbers and the puncheurs who are set to bring the race to life and fight for the overall win, with the stages to Paracombe (where the Tour Down Under will travel only for the second time in history) and Willunga Hill marked on the agenda by the riders who’ll vie for the ochre jersey.

For the second year in a row, Petr Vakoc will be at the start of the World Tour opener as the leader of the Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team, and the young Czech, who in 2016 has enjoyed his finest season to date, is keen on making the most out of this opportunity.

“It’s a nice race and I’m really looking forward to it. The organizers are doing a great job every year, the parcours is a very good one and the fans are always creating a fantastic atmosphere. Last year, it was the right decision to start my season here, and I hope things will go the same also this time. I would like to fight for a stage victory, and even though the finish to Sterling is missing, I am confident there will be some chances for me, so I’ll just take it day by day and see what happens”, said Petr, who last year came close of notching up a victory on stage 2, which he finished in fifth place.

For teammate Gianluca Brambilla, a two-time Grand Tour stage winner in 2016, the Tour Down Under will mark a first in his career: “I’m entering in my eighth pro year, and I’ve never before began the season so early. It will be a new experience and I’m curious to find out how I’ll cope with it. Now I feel good, but racing in a top event is totally different than training. It won’t be easy to make the transition from the European winter to the Australian summer, but we are traveling there early and I hope to adapt to the conditions”.

Leading the Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team from the car will be sport director Rik van Slycke: “The course is more or less similar to the one of the past years. On the penultimate day the riders will go twice up the Willunga Hill, and that stage should decide the overall. We must pay attention also to the stages that will run close to the coast, because the wind could have an impact on the outcome. Our team, a strong and balanced one, will have a few cards to play, and Petr is one of these; he came close of taking a stage win last year and will now try again his hand. It’s not going to be easy, we know that, as the heat and the fact the Australians are in good shape in this time of the year could play against us, but nevertheless we are confident that we can do something nice here.”

Joining Gianluca Brambilla and Petr Vakoc for the 19th Tour Down Under will be 2015 Tour of Britain stage winner Jack Bauer, 2011 Giro d’Italia stage victor Eros Capecchi, Tour of Belgium and Tour de Wallonie champion Dries Devenyns, neo-pro Enric Mas and Martin Velits, one of the few Slovak riders to win both the road race and the individual time trial National Championships.

17.01–22.01 Santos Tour Down Under (AUS) 2.UWT
Riders:

Jack Bauer (NZL), Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Enric Mas (ESP), Petr Vakoc (CZE), Martin Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Rik van Slycke (BEL).

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Porte to Headline Santos Tour Down Under Team
Two-time runner up, Richie Porte is set to headline BMC Racing Team's seven rider roster at the first UCI WorldTour race of the year, the Santos Tour Down Under.

Porte, who finished second overall in 2015 and 2016 and has claimed victory on Willunga Hill on the past three occasions, has his sights set on opening the 2017 season well.

"I love racing in Adelaide and having already been on the podium twice, I'd like to start the year with a good result at the Santos Tour Down Under and hopefully go one better. I've had a particularly long off season since Rio so I'm ready to get back to racing. I have a strong team by my side and as an Australian it's great to have all of the support from fans," Porte explained.

Having conquered Willunga Hill on stage 5 since 2014, Porte is aiming for a fourth consecutive win.

"I've won on Willunga Hill on three occasions, so why not go for the fourth? The atmosphere on Willunga Hill is as good as any race in Europe, so I'm excited to get back there and test my legs."

BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said an experienced team will be riding in support of Porte, including local riders Rohan Dennis and Miles Scotson.

"Richie is in good shape for this time of the year and is motivated, so it is important that we bring a solid team to help him go for a good result. We have former winner Rohan Dennis and new recruit Miles Scotson who, coming from Adelaide, know the roads well," Baldato said.

"Damiano Caruso, Amaël Moinard, Danilo Wyss and Francisco Ventoso complete the very experienced team and will provide key support for Richie in the crucial stages on the race. I think we have a great team and I'm confident that we can start the 2017 season well at the Santos Tour Down Under."

People's Choice Classic (15 January) and Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 January).

Rider Roster:
Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS) Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Miles Scotson (AUS), Danilo Wyss (SUI), Francisco Ventoso (ESP).
Sports Director: Fabio Baldato (ITA).

Richie Porte:
Cycling: Team BMC Racing Team 2017 Richie PORTE (AUS)/ Team BMC (Usa)/ ©Tim De Waele


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UAE Abu Dhabi: First Appointment in Australia
Australia will host the debut of the team UAE Abu Dhabi, a memorable event for the world cycling.

Colnago bikes of the team managed by Carlo Saronni will race for the first time on 15th January on the roads of Adelaide in the criterium People’s Choice Classic and two days later they’ll debut in a World Tour race in Santos Tour Down Under (17-22 January).

Team UAE Abu Dhabi set ambitious goals for the Australian race, since the lineup will be competitive in all the six stages.

Kump and Swift will battle against the fastest wheels, Ulissi will be a stage fighter and will try to be in the top part of the general classification relying on the support of Mori and of the duo Laengen-Marcato (they’ll race for the first time in the team).

As for the past year, Meintjes’s season will start in Australia.

"I’m happy to go again to Australia, where I’ll find the necessary conditions for the seasonal debut, as for the past years - Ulissi explained – The courses are suitable for my characteristics, I’ll try to achieve important results and I’ll work also in order to improve my shape.

In the 2017 edition, there won’t be any more the stage with arrival in Stirling, where I obtained one success and one second place: it’s a pity, because it would have been for sure a good opportunity, however in Australia I’ll have other chances to try to hit the target and to give immediately satisfaction to the UAE Abu Dhabi team."


Ben Swift said: "I’m really excited to be heading back to Santos Tour Down Under. I have tasted success there before and it is always a nice place to start the season. It’s even more special for me in 2017 as it marks the start of my new adventure with UAE Abu Dhabi.
I’m looking forward to pulling on my new jersey and getting started."


Some facts and figures about the riders who’ll be directed by sports director Marco Marzano: Swift won two stages in the Tour Down Under (both in the 2011 edition, in Adelaide and Mannum) and he was 3rd in the final general classification in 2011; one stage victory for Ulissi in Stirling in the 2014 edition, the same year he finished 3rd in the general classification.

Good Australian feeling for Kump too, who was 4th in the opening stage of the 2016 edition. Meintjes will participate in the Tour Down Under for the 2nd time in his career, Mori have been raced 5 editions so far, while Laengen and Marcato will debut in the race.

UAE Abu Dhabi’s line up:
- LAENGEN Vegard Stake
- KUMP Marko
- MARCATO Marco
- MEINTJES Louis
- MORI Manuele
- SWIFT Ben
- ULISSI Diego

Staff: physician Dr De Grandi, masseurs Mugnaini and Redaelli, mechanics Bacchion and Walden.

The new website of the team will be soon available, meanwhile follow the team on the social network: - Twitter: @UAEAbuDhabiTeam - Facebook: UAE Abu Dhabi - Instagram: team_uae_abudhabi.

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Movistar Team confirms Tour Down Under lineup
UCI WorldTour's opening event (January 15-22) set to kick off Eusebio Unzué-led squad's 38th season in professional cycling.

As with every season for the last decade, the Movistar Team will start their 2017 with the Tour Down Under (17-22 January), the opening race of the UCI WorldTour, which includes six stages - two of them short mountain-top finishes, in Paracombe (Wednesday 18) and Old Willunga Hill (Saturday 21) - suited for sprinters and explosive climbers. The action will begin two days earlier at the traditional People's Choice Classic (Sunday 15).

The Blues will be traveling to Adelaide this weekend, their seven-man lineup including two of the Spanish outfit's signings for the new season: Carlos Barbero - expected to be their sprinting weapon - and Víctor de la Parte. The full list also features Jasha Sütterlin, Gorka Izagirre, Marc Soler and brothers José and Jesús Herrada.




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2017 Challenge Mallorca Teams
The Challenge Mallorca will be the first European event of 2017, run from the 26th to the 29th of January. Made up of four one-day races which has a final overall prize, but the riders can miss a race or not finish and start the next day, although they would not be eligible for the overall. Riders are as yet unknown, but the race will be made up of these teams.

WorldTour teams:
Movistar Team (ESP), Team Sky (GBR), Lotto Soudal (BEL), Bora - Hansgrohe (GER).

Professional Continental Teams:
Caja Rural - Seguros RGA (ESP), Cofidis (FRA), Gazprom - Rusvelo (RUS), Team Novo Nordisk (USA), Fortuneo Vital Concept (FRA), Roompot (HOL).

Continental Teams:
Burgos BH (ESP), Euskadi Basque Country Murias (ESP), Team Inteja (REP DOM), Nice Pro Cycling Team (KUW), Amore e Vita (UKR), Christina Jewelry Pro Cycling (GER), Bolivia Te Espera (BLV).

National Teams:
National Track Team Spain (ESP), Great Britain National Team (GBR), German National Team (GER).

Trofeo Pollenca Andratx Challenge Mallorca 2016:



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9th Annual Tour of America’s Dairyland Race Cities Released
Schedule Includes Return to Iconic Wisconsin Race Venue; Announcement of New Scoring System.

In 2016, the Tour of America’s Dairyland (“ToAD”) presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) hosted nearly 1,000 unique racers of multiple categories from Junior to Pro level, from 42 United States and 16 countries. More than $175,000 in cash and primes was awarded before an estimated crowd of 175,000 dasherboard-banging and cowbell-clanging fans. On average, 515 athletes competed daily across the 10 consecutive days of ToAD, the largest competitive road cycling event in the U.S.

Continuing New Year’s celebrations, race promoter Midwest Cycling Series, LLC, has released its Official 2017 ToAD Schedule for the 11-day omnium competition, which will travel, for the first time, to all 10 Wisconsin communities visited in 2016, as well as one famed southern Wisconsin race venue to kick off its ninth year.

2017 ToAD Race Schedule:

Thursday, June 15
Kenosha Food, Folks and Spokes
(Criterium)

Friday, June 16
East Troy Cycling Classic presented by Dennis & Janice Klumb Family Foundation
(Criterium)

Saturday, June 17
Giro d' Grafton presented by Celebrate Grafton
(Criterium)

Sunday, June 18 - Father's Day
Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic presented by Couri Insurance
(Criterium)

Monday, June 19
Downtown West Bend Concourse presented by Delta Defense
(Criterium)

Tuesday, June 20
Schlitz Park Criterium
(Downtown Milwaukee)

Wednesday, June 21
Port Washington Race the Harbor Criterium

Thursday, June 22
Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic presented Tim Hart DDS, Rainbow Jersey Bicycles & the Village of Shorewood

Friday, June 23
Café Centraal Bay View Classic presented by the KK BID
(Criterium on Milwaukee's South Side)

Saturday, June 24
ISCorp Downer Classic presented by Smart Choice MRI
(Criterium on Milwaukee's Eastside)

Sunday, June 25
East Tosa Gran Prix presented by East Tosa Alliance
(Criterium in Wauwatosa)

"We are proud to welcome all of last year’s ToAD venues back to the 2017 line-up. It’s a testament to the professionalism and talents of the riders that the leaders of all 10 2016 communities requested ToAD’s return in 2017 to entertain their constituents," said Executive Director Bill Koch. “And we, along with our long-time title sponsor Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and the dairy farm families of Wisconsin, are proud to welcome Kenosha’s 'Food, Folks and Spokes' criterium to the ToAD line-up as our series opener. Athletes with a history of racing in Wisconsin will undoubtedly recall the fun course and the remarkable fan support along with complementary non-racing activity in Kenosha. Kenosha will be a strong kick-off to our stellar 2017 ToAD line-up."

The promoter also announced a new omnium points calculation structure for 2017. Historically, jersey leaders were determined by the total number of points accrued across the total number of rider race days. That number of total race days varied by rider. To level the field, points earned from up to the best eight race days for each respective rider will be totaled for final omnium standings.

"A large percentage of our riders have been racing with us from our first or second year, and in a recent survey, they expressed concern over work or family commitments precluding them from not being about to compete at ToAD for two weekends plus a full week of racing," said Koch. "So to afford more athletes the opportunity to participate in the omnium competitions, we will be counting points earned in each of their best eight races. This removes some of the stress from those who feel they would be eliminated from the omnium competitions for not being able to make every day of ToAD or for taking an off day or for even having a rough race day due to a mechanical."

Online registration will open prior to March 1, 2017.

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About Tour of America's Dairyland
More than $175,000 in cash and primes was awarded to racers of multiple categories during the 2016 Tour of America's Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board before 175,000 spectators. More than 10,000 cartons of low-fat chocolate milk chilling on ice aided nearly 1,000 unique racers in their recovery at the finish. Taking home the coveted Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Overall yellow cowprint jersey was Brandon Feehery (Astellas) with Owen Gillott (Echelon-Storck)) taking second. On the Pro Women podium, Peta Mullens stood tall in the Boston Store pink Overall jersey, besting Tina Pic (Happy Tooth Dental) by just two points. Feehery and his Astellas mates took the overall Smart Choice MRI Pro Men's Championship Team title with respected industry veteran Laura Van Gilder and her Mellow Mushroom/Pepper Palace teammates leading the charge in claiming the Pro Women’s Overall Team title.

ToAD updates will be shared via: Official Website: www.TourofAmericasDairyland.com
Facebook: /TourofAmericasDairyland
Twitter: @ToADCyclingRace

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Paris-Nice: 2017 Route to Hit New Heights!
The diagonal course awaiting the Paris–Nice peloton from 5 to 12 March will provide several opportunities for sprinters, but the leading role will be reserved to climbers, who would do well to hit the road in good shape. The time trial to Mont Brouilly and, in particular, the weekend trilogy in Provence will provide a clear picture of who will shine in the 2017 season.

The elite of world cycling is always enthusiastic, hungry for success and a bit solemn when it heads to the Paris area (Yvelines, specifically, since 2010) for the start of Paris–Nice. This year's return to competition will feature a loop stage around Bois-d'Arcy which should lead to the first of several victories for the top sprinters of the peloton. Even though echelons or a successful breakaway are plausible outcomes on the road which will take the peloton first to Amilly and then to Chalon-sur-Saône, the next two stages offer the fast men a couple of opportunities to strike back. Whether it is a German, French or Australian sprinter who is wearing it, the yellow jersey is likely to change hands after stage 4. After a thick blanket of snow frustrated its debut in 2016, the riders will tackle Mont Brouilly one by one at the end of a 14.5 km individual time trial. The final 3 kilometers, with an average gradient of 7.7%, will separate the wheat from the chaff.

Following this sensational battle, the stage to Bourg-de-Péage will offer climbers a short respite before the high-stakes trilogy. The final confrontation starts with a stage to Fayence, which has already left a mark on the race —this is where Alberto Contador said goodbye to victory in 2009. The next day, the Race to the Sun will celebrate its 75th edition with a new record. At 1,678 m, the Col de la Couillole will take the peloton higher than any other climb in the history of the race. The final climb, just shy of 16 kilometers long, comes at the end of a 60 km sequence including the Col de Saint-Martin, a mountain which also featured in the famous Nice–Pra-Loup stage of the 1975 Tour de France where Bernard Thévenet ended Eddy Merckx's hegemony. Although the traditional finish on Promenade des Anglais has been moved in respect of the memorial period declared by local authorities, the finish line will still be on the coast (quai des États-Unis). It will come at the end of a thrilling up-and-down stage around the Nice hinterland. The Col d'Èze, the final climb of the race, could well decide the winner.

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Paris-Nice 2017 Stages:
Sunday 5th March, 1st stage : Bois-d’Arcy > Bois-d’Arcy, 148,5 km
Monday 6th March, 2nd stage : Rochefort-en-Yvelines > Amilly, 192,5 km
Tuesday 7th March, 3rd stage : Chablis > Chalon-sur-Saône, 190 km
Wednesday 8th March, 4th stage : Beaujeu >Mont-Brouilly, 14,5 km (ITT)
Thursday 9th March, 5th stage : Quincié-en-Beaujolais > Bourg-de-Péage, 199,5 km
Friday 10th March, 6th stage : Aubagne > Fayence, 192 km
Saturday 11th March, 7th stage : Nice > Col de la Couillole, 177 km
Sunday 12th March, 8th stage : Nice > Nice, 115,5 km.

Key points:
Ø The 75th edition of Paris–Nice will set a new altitude record with a summit finish on Col de la Couillole (1,678 m) in the penultimate stage.

Ø Mont Brouilly, which had to be taken out of the course in 2016 due to bad weather, is back on the menu as the centrepiece of a 14.5 km individual time trial.

Best of Paris-Nice 2016:



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2017 Arctic Race of Norway: Back to the Origins
The route of the fifth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, scheduled for 10–13 August, was unveiled this morning in Oslo in the presence of last year's champion, Italian prodigy Gianni Moscon, and race ambassador, Thor Hushovd. After riding around the Arctic Circle for the 2016 edition, the northernmost cycling race in the world will once again explore the undiscovered wonders of northern Norway. The four-stage route should give rise to different scenarios in which sprinters, punchers and even climbers can shine in front of the roaring Norwegian fans, as numerous and warm as ever. With the 2017 World Championships set to take place in Norway a month later, the stakes will be higher than ever!

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Stage 1: Back to the roots
The Grand Start of the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway will be given in Engenes, a village on the island of Andørja, in a heartfelt nod to the origins of the race. It was their experience with the Tour de Andørja which gave the two founding fathers of the ARN the inspiration to launch a pro cycling race in one of the northernmost parts of the world. After a few kilometers around the island, whose rocks are incessantly battered by the waves of the Norwegian Sea, the peloton will tackle the first two climbs, Lavangseidet (6.2 km at 3%) and Gratangsfjellet (5.6 km at 3.8%). The leg-breaking profile of the second part of the stage will encourage attackers, with the presence of the Skistua climb (2.3 km at 6.6%) a mere 5 km from Narvik, on the same final circuit that, in 2015, saw the Swiss Silvan Dillier took the stage win while Estonian Rein Taaramäe claimed the general classification.

Stage 2: Sprinters cleared for take-off
Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to fly! The 2017 Arctic Race of Norway will live up to its reputation as a race with a crazy touch. Just like Norwegian fans, who always come up with creative ways of saluting the peloton, the route can be quite unconventional. This year's big new feature comes in stage 2, when the finish line will be drawn on the runway of the Bardufoss airport. Nothing can top this for the fast men of the peloton! Sprinters will certainly try to seize this opportunity, it being the flattest stage of this year's race. The 177.5 km long route will start in Sjøvegan, a village nestled at the end of a fjord, but then leaving its nest for take-off! Thanks to the strong links between the race and the Norwegian Armed Forces, the stage will also feature a wide range of activities, including flight animations at Bardufoss airport. The big air show awaits!

Stage 3: Welcome to the Alps of the North
On Saturday, 12 August, physical effort will not be the only thing taking the riders' breath away. The peloton will discover the beauty of the Lyngen Alps - the Alps of the North - with their unique snowy summits diving into the surrounding fjords. With a start at Lyngseidet, at the foot of the mountains, the peloton will wander through exceptional scenery during the 185.5 km that will make up this stage. Victory will be decided in Finnvikdalen (within Tromsø Municipality) after a climb of 4 km at 5.5% average. A finish less difficult than the formidable Korgjfellet, where the Italian Gianni Moscon won last year, but this stage should smile anyway to someone who feels at ease on the hills.

Stage 4: Light the fireworks
The grand finale of the fifth Arctic Race of Norway will feature a climactic showdown with a stage designed to light the fireworks on and off the road. The city of Tromsø, which will be host to both the start and finish, will certainly offer plenty of entertainment during a stage packed with symbolism, as it is not unlike the closing act of the second edition of the race. It was here that Thor Hushovd raced in his country for the last time, when only fellow Norwegian Alexander Kristoff managed to pass him on the very last meters before the finish line. However, the sprinters will have their work cut out for them this time round. A relatively flat 118 km loop will be followed by a circuit inside Tromsø with the Prestvannet (1.2 km at 7.5%) and Rostbanken (1.1 km at 7.5%) climbs, which will be tackled four and three times, respectively. Before applauding the all-rounder who wins this year's edition of the Arctic Race of Norway, the crowds will get to follow a performance worthy of their unique enthusiasm for the race!

Before the professional race in Tromsø, the Statoil Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race will again put the spotlight on the future stars of men and women's cycling. Having become an integral part of the ARN since its inception in 2013, it saw for example the first edition winner, Norwegian Kristoffer Halvorsen, go on to become the under-23 world champion last October. An exploit some would like to repeat with the 2017 World Championships set to take place in Norway!

Best moments - Arctic Race of Norway 2016:



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Talansky Breaks Thumb
Cannondale-Drapac rider, Andrew Talansky, crashed while training during the holiday season. He hit a patch of black ice, crashed; broken thumb and needed stitches which will be removed in around ten days time.

Talansky stated that the injury will not affect his main aims for the 2017 season, which are the Tour de France and the Tour of California.

Andrew Talansky:
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Cofidis 2017 Line-Up
The Cofidis team has announced its 26 rider roster for 2017 via Twitter:

Cofidis 2017 Roster:
Yoann Bagot, Guillaume Bonnafond, Nacer Bouhanni, Rayane Bouhanni, Loic Chetout, Dimitri Claeys, Jérôme Cousin, Nicolas Edet, Dorian Godon, Hugo Hofstetter, Christophe Laporte, Mathias The Turnier, Cyril Lemoine, Luis Angel Mate, Daniel Navarro, Anthony Perez, Stéphane Rossetto, Florian Senechal, Julien Simon, Geoffrey Soupe, Anthony Turgis, Jimmy Turgis, Jonas Vangenechten, Michael Van Staeyen, Kenneth Van Bilsen, Clément Venturini.

Bouhanni le combattant:



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Alexandr Kolobnev Retires
After 15 years as a professional cyclist, Alexandr Kolobnev has decided to hang up his wheels. The Russian explained his decision on his website, saying that he feels he could ride at a high level, but that he no longer had the same desire and energy and this has prompted him to retire. He also said that the decision was not an easy one to make.

Kolobnev was always a battler with many top ten results. Twice 2nd in the World championships and 3rd in the Olympic road race, plus twice Russian road champion, a stage of Paris-Nice and 2nd in Liege-Bastogne-Liege are probably his best results. He lives in Denia, Spain with his wife and two sons.

Kolobnev KOM in Algarve 2016:
Volta Algarve 2016


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Dimension Data on the Hunt for an Unprecedented Hat-Trick at Le Tour de Langkawi
South Africa’s Dimension Data is the first World Tour team to have signed up for the 22nd Le Tour de Langkawi set to take place in Malaysia from February 22nd to March 1st.

They’ll make their way to South East Asia as defending champions after having won the overall classification twice in a row with Youcef Reguigui and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.

“In our history that goes over three decades, no team has managed to make a hat trick, so here’s a challenge for them”, Le Tour de Langkawi 2017 CEO Emir Abdul Jalal noted. With two consecutive wins, firstly as MTN-Qhubeka, secondly as Dimension Data, the only African World Tour team mimicked Mapei (with Gabriele Missaglia and Paolo Lanfranchi in 1998-99), Barloworld (Ryan Cox and David George in 2005-06), Diquigiovanni (Ruslan Ivanov and José Serpa in 2008-09) and the same Italian squad renamed Androni (Jonathan Monsalve and José Serpa again in 2011-12).

“Everyone talks about Africa in cycling now but this is nothing new to us in Malaysia”, Emir added. “For the very first Le Tour de Langkawi in 1996, the South African national team was invited. Douglas Ryder, the big boss of Dimension Data now, was part of it. He was one of the star riders of the first few years of the race [5th overall in 1996 and the King of the Mountains in 1998]. We’re grateful to him that he doesn’t turn his back to Malaysia even though the new World Tour doesn’t leave much room for events like ours to attract the biggest teams.”

Shall Dimension Data make this highly expected hat trick in its seventh straight participation, it will be with a third different cyclist as Reguigui and Janse van Rensburg have not been entered this time around. But the name of the defending champion remains on the start list with Jacques Janse van Rensburg. They aren’t related but the latter is actually the most regular African performer at LTdL in recent years. At the age of 21, racing for Trek-Marco Polo, he finished sixth overall. He also came 20th in 2012, 14th in 2013, 6th again in 2014 and 9th in 2015.

“I’ve always loved Le Tour de Langkawi and I keep the dream of winning it alive”, said Jacques Janse van Rensburg who’s chances are increased with Cameron Highlands being the queen stage rather than the grueling climb to Genting Highlands. “The race is now open to more riders to win”, informed Emir.

Dimension Data is likely to amaze with promising neo pros Ryan Gibbons and Ben O’Connor, from South Africa and Australia respectively. Interestingly, last year’s winner was originally on the reserve list, so is Daniel Teklehaimanot this time around. The first Eritrean to have worn a distinctive jersey at the Tour de France with the polka dot in 2015 might be another surprise coming from Africa. The black continent is a serious candidate for a fifth overall victory after Cox, George, Reguigui and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.

Dimension Data for the 2017 Le Tour de Langkawi:
Nic Dougall, Ryan Gibbons (Rsa), Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa), Ben O’Connor (Aus), Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Venter (Rsa). Reserve: Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri).

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Heinrich Haussler will not Attend the Bahrain-Merida Presentation
Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida) will not join the team this weekend for their first official presentation in Bahrain due to his knee injury.

Dr Carlo Guardascione, Medical staff of the Bahrain-Merida team explains Haussler’s condition: "After a bike crash in November, the rider had suffered a cartilago injury and a ligaments torsion of the left knee. After many conservative therapies, the last MRI of control shows an ipertrofic 'plica synovial' inside the knee. So today afternoon, in the Sanatorium Clinic of Schruns in Austria, the professor Schenk will do in arthroscopy a surgery treatment of the problem. The recovery physiotherapy will start tomorrow and the rider will not be able to travel in Bahrain in next days."

The team is expecting him back on bike in the next 10 days and he will join them on the next training camp in Spain later this month.

Heinrich Haussler:
Ster ZLM Toer 2015 stage-4


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UAE Abu Dhabi Start the Season
The program of the new year of the team UAE Abu Dhabi is full of activities and the core of them in the early days will be the Italy, where the team will train in Terracina from January the 3rd.

Until January the 14th, the team will be hosted in Hotel Fiordaliso (address: S.P. Per S.F. Circeo -Km 10,800 - Terracina): the presence of each rider in the meeting will vary depending on the many appointments which are scheduled for the team in January (press conference in Abu Dhabi, departure to Australia for participating in the Tour Down Under, departure to Argentina for the Vuelta de San Juan).

Under the supervision of the six sports directors (Maini, Marzano, Pedrazzini, Righi, Scirea and Vicino), the cyclists will pedal on Colnago bikes on the Italian roads complying with their training programs drafted by the team's training and performance managers (trainers Marangoni and Notari, assisted by Marco Marzano and supervised by Dr Corsetti).

The team medical staff will complete the riders necessary checks and will assist them in reading and understanding the team's health rules and regulations.

For the riders and the staff will be also important to strengthen the team spirit which will be the basis of the achievement of all the team's goals.

The new website of the team will be soon available, meanwhile follow the team on the social network: - Twitter: @UAEAbuDhabiTeam - Facebook: UAE Abu Dhabi - Instagram: team_uae_abudhabi.

UAE Abu Dhabi team presentation:
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Team Sunweb Unveil New Kit and Equipment for 2017
Team Sunweb is pleased to unveil its 2017 equipment and the new race kit that will be worn by its riders through the 2017 season. For the first time in the team’s history all three of its programs – men’s, women's and development - will race under the same name, wearing the same kit. The new distinguished black and white Giant race clothing, manufactured by Etxeondo, contains subtle red elements and retains its distinctive "Keep Challenging" two stripe design, continuing its reference to the team’s distinguished DNA.

CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) said: "We are proud to present our new kit for 2017 along with our new title sponsor, Sunweb. We're pleased to have retained our two stripe design as it represents our deeply embedded 'Keep Challenging' approach. For the team and its members, the meaning of these two iconic stripes goes far beyond an appealing design on a race kit, as one rising stripe represents the continuous development of the athletes and the other represents the continuous development of the team’s science and technology driven sport environment – together they form the 'Keep Challenging' strategy to which the team has been committed to as their key growth-driver from day one."

Team Sunweb’s science and technology driven approach is integrated through its high-end race machines and race clothing. The team’s experts and scientists are continuously working with the Research & Development departments of its suppliers Giant, Etxeondo and DSM’s Dyneema on product and fabrics innovations and use the research facilities and science of high-end windtunnels at the Technical University TU Delft. These innovations are integrated through the teams latest products to continuously advance the teams performance in terms of technology and equipment.

The team’s distinctive black and white identity centered around its two stripes is consistently present across all of the teams equipment - Giant bikes (men’s and development program), Liv bikes (women’s program) as well as the team’s MINI vehicles and all other communications platforms are branded with the teams DNA.

photo: Wouter Roosenboom


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Team Novo Nordisk to Continue?
The five-year contract the diabetic team has with Novo Nordisk will finish at the end of 2017 and the team needs to either convince the present sponsor or encourage a new sponsor to continue the work of the team.

Team manager, Phil Southerland spoke to VeloNews: "The cycling media has heard our story a thousand times over the last four years, which is great as we’ve done an amazing job of getting the word out, but we need results and we are going to go in with very clear directives and operate more like a WorldTour team. The priority is not on putting riders in the break and being in the top 10, we need visible results this year." He added: "The next six months are critical for our future, but together I am confident of our success and hope to have good news by June in terms of a new deal."

Team Novo Nordisk - 2016 Season Recap:







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