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Pre-Vuelta EuroTrash!
stage-18 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013 The USA Pro Challenge is in full swing; race reports and video from Colorado. Spain’s Grand Tour starts on Saturday and we have lot’s of team news from la Vuelta. In other cycling news: new sponsors, transfers, Vattenfall Cyclassics, PEZ Vuelta fantasy league, George Hincapie on TV and rider controversy in Colorado. A super full EuroTrash.



TOP STORY: la Vuelta a España
There is only one big story today and that’s the Vuelta a España and the big question about who will win? Valverde, Contador, Rodriguez, Froome, Quintana, Aru, Evans, Sagan etc. it’s a top line up. Read Ed Hood’s preview to get the lowdown.

Racing under a big sun in Spain:
stage-18 of the Vuelta a EspaÒa 2013


header-usaprocUSA Pro Challenge 2014
Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) took the sprint from a split group of 26 riders who chased down an early break of 7 that had escaped on the first lap of the 98 kilometers race round Aspen in Stage 1.

Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare), Josh Berry (Team SmartStop), Ben Jacques-Maynes & Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Jonathan Freter & Luis Lemus (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), Bissell Development Team’s Greg Daniel (Bissell Development team) and Lachlan Norris (Drapac) made the break, but Josh Berry was dropped due to a medical problem. The seven built up a lead of 1:40, with Cannondale and eventually UnitedHealthcare chasing; the lead dropped under 1 minute at the start of the final lap.

Ben Jacques-Maynes jumped away from the break as it was about to be pulled in; this lasted for a while until Jens Voigt (Trek) went after him causing a split of 26 riders at the front. Nordisk’s Javier Megias (Novo Nordisk) attacked with 3km to go, but Reijnen, Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) and BMC’s Ben Hermans passed him in the last kilometer as they sprinted for the stage win and the first leader’s jersey. Hermans took third as Megias held on for sixth.

Howes made the first move, but Kiel Reijnen was immediately on his training partners wheel: “At that point I was just trying my best not to look back. The good thing about being friends is you both know you’re committed, your goals align. You’ve got a good alliance there, but that only lasted about 3km.”

Second on the stage Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp): “I figured if I jumped him on the little hill there, with a downhill sprint it would get him. But I don’t know, I have no leg speed these days. I was just grinding gears out there.”

Fourth-place overall last week at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, BMC’s Ben Hermans said he was given the green light to chase the leading pair in the final kilometer: “Some guys who were with me to chase back the front guys lost my wheel in the corner, so I was alone – about 20 or 30 meters from the first two guys,” he said. “I came very close in the last corner to start the sprint, but I was completely blocked. At altitude, it is difficult to recover in one or two corners. So I could not sprint anymore.”

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was 11th and said he made a smooth return to racing, the USA Pro Challenge’s defending champion had not raced since Aug. 2 at Clasica San Sebastian following a fifth-place finish at the Tour de France: “I felt good,” van Garderen said. “A couple weeks without racing, sometimes you have to blow out the lungs and dust off the cobwebs. But I feel like I responded really well.” Van Garderen said the team’s strategy to use specific riders to mark other teams’ leaders went accordingly to plan. “We are trying to spread out our options a little bit and I think it worked out perfectly in the end,” he said. “Everyone who gained a little time on me, I am pretty confident Ben Hermans can beat. And everyone who is on my time, I am pretty confident that I can beat. So that really spreads out our chances to win this race.”

USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 Result:
1. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare in 2:26:35
2. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:03
4. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek
6. Javier Megias Leal (Esp) Novo Nordisk
7. Michael Schär (Sui) BMC at 0:12
8. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
10. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 1:
1. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare in 2:26:35
2. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:03
4. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek
6. Javier Megias Leal (Esp) Novo Nordisk
7. Michael Schär (Sui) BMC at 0:12
8. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development
9. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
10. Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare.

Stage 1:


Young Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) solo’d to the finish of Stage 2 in Crested Butte and won the stage by 7 seconds, but it wasn’t that simple. Carpenter had a gap of 45 seconds when the race was stopped with 9 kilometers to go. It seemed a strange decision as the peloton had already ridden over the dirt road section. The race was restarted with Carpenter having his 45 seconds. There was talk in the bunch of neutralizing the race, but in the end the race was on. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) attacked with 1K to go and was followed by Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) with Ben Hermans covering for BMC. Howes took second and moved into the overall lead.

Stage winner Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team): “It’s huge for me, it’s massive, the best win I’ve ever had in my short career. I’m really excited, and I can’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it until about 200m to go. Coming into the race, this is the best we could have hoped for as a team. A stage win is spectacular, especially because it’s our first time in the race. We’re a young program.”

BMC Racing Team’s Ben Hermans moved into second overall and teammate Tejay van Garderen stands third.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) finished third on the 169-kilometer: “We had a plan to make it hard up Kebler Pass and the boys did an amazing job,” van Garderen said. “I think everyone was on the limit, lots of guys were dropped. There was big confusion with us stopping on the wet, freezing-cold, rainy downhill after we had done all the dirt. But once we re-started, we still got into our mindset that we were out to make something happen on this stage and I think it was mission accomplished.” Van Garderen, who won a stage in 2012 that featured the same finish, said there was briefly talk among riders of keeping the race neutral the rest of the way. “But for me, it did not make sense because there was a guy in the breakaway and if we stop, he is going to take 10 minutes and run away with the race,” the defending champion said. “Secondly, we were riding all day and that would not have been fair to the guys who had spent so much energy to just say this energy was spent for nothing.”

Ben Hermans (BMC): “We wanted to win the stage with Tejay,” Hermans said. “The plan was that Tejay could go for the stage and I would watch the moves of Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and the other dangerous guys. At the end, I dropped Danielson and Busche and the other guys were behind.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2 Result:
1. Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development in 4:17:18
2. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:07
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
4. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:15
5. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:17
6. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek
7. Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop at 0:20
8. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development at 0:23
9. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:24
10. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp in 6:44:00
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:11
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:12
4. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek at 0:13
5. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:22
6. Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop at 0:25
7. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development at 0:28
8. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:29
9. Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team
10. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop.

Stage 2:


Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team powered ahead of Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the closing meters of Wednesday’s summit finish at Monarch Mountain to win Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge and take the race lead.

When van Garderen attacked out of a small group with a kilometer left in the 154.9-km race, only Majka – a Tour de France stage winner this year – could follow. The pair finished 20 seconds ahead of third-placed Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) as van Garderen became the first rider in the four-year history of the race to win a stage three straight years. Van Garderen said he decided to make his move when he saw Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) in difficulty. Danielson was third to van Garderen at this race a year ago and last week won the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. “I could sense Danielson’s attacks were getting a little weaker and he was tired from doing so much work,” van Garderen said. “I was a little worried that Majka was going to come around me at the finish, but I was just able to hold him off.”

Majka’s second-place finish moved him into second overall, 20 seconds back, and three seconds ahead of third-placed Ben Hermans, van Garderen’s teammate who was third on Stage 1. Hermans finished fourth on the stage, 24 seconds back. “I was feeling good and responding to the attacks of Danielson until two kilometers to go, then the attitude was hard for me,” Hermans said. “I suffered hard. And when Tejay attacked, I could not follow. He went away like a motorbike.” In winning his second race of the season, van Garderen also took the lead in the king of the mountains classification and earned the “best Colorado rider” jersey. His other victory this year also came on a mountain-top finish, at the Volta a Catalunya, in late March. “I feel good and I have the advantage of living at altitude and being acclimated,” van Garderen said. “Plus, there is the fact that I have the home crowd on my side as well as the strongest team in the race.”

Like it did on Tuesday’s stage, the BMC Racing Team took control of the race at its mid-point to reduce the peloton. Yannick Eijssen, Martin Kohler, Peter Stetina and Rick Zabel helped with the chase of two attacks before Brent Bookwalter and Michael Schär took over to set up van Garderen and Hermans for the finish. “We could tell Tejay was really strong right from the start, on the first climb,” Bookwalter said. “That really inspired me to work hard, dig deep and go all the way to the end.” Sport Director Jackson Stewart said when Garmin-Sharp was the early aggressor, the BMC Racing Team responded. “Garmin really wanted to make it a hard race – and they did – with the help of a lot of other teams,” Stewart said. “We managed to take the punches and were still standing. All the guys really worked hard. Oddly enough, some of our guys actually had bad days and were still able to manage and cope with it.”

Van Garderen said he is confident the team has enough horsepower to hold the lead through to Saturday’s individual time trial in Vail. Last year, he won the time trial in record time en route to the overall win. “We had to control yesterday and we had to control today because both days, the yellow jersey team had no interest in defending the lead,” he said. So this makes it more straightforward and we have an incredibly strong team here. So I am not worried at all.” Hermans said the next two days will be important ones for him to hang onto his third place overall and help the BMC Racing Team keep its lead in the team classification. “If I have the legs I have had the first three days, then normally I am going to be good,” he said. Then, for the GC (general classification), it is only the time trial that is important.”
Thanks to Sean at BMC.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 Result:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in3:50:41
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:20
4. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:24
5. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
6. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:30
7. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development at 0:39
8. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek at 0:45
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Netapp-Endura at 0:51
10. Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team at 1:06.

USA Pro Challenge Overall After Stage 3:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 10:34:53
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:20
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC at 0:23
4. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:34
5. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:37
6. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek at 0:46
7. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 0:49
8. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development at 0:55
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Netapp-Endura at 1:09
10. Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop at 1:22.

Stage 3:



header-vueltaVuelta a España 2014
The big day in Spain is on Saturday and in Jerez de la Frontera where many of the World’s cycling stars will be ready for the fight. Check out Ed Hoods Vuelta ’14 preview here in PEZ.

Stages:
Stage 1 Jerez de la Frontera – Jerez de la Frontera 12.6 km (TTT)
Stage 2 Algeciras – San Fernando 174.4 km
Stage 3 Cadiz – Arcos de la Frontera 188.0 km
Stage 4 Mairena del Alcor – Cordoba 172.6 km
Stage 5 Priego de Cordoba – Ronda 182.3 km
Stage 6 Benalmadena – La Zubia 157.7 km
Stage 7 Alhendin – Alcaudete 165.4 km
Stage 8 Baeza – Albacete 207.4 km
Stage 9 Carboneras de Guadazaon – Aramon Valdelinares 181.0 km
Rest Day
Real Monasterio de Santa Maria de Veruela – Borja 34.5 km (ITT)
Stage 11 Pamplona – Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar 151.0 km
Stage 12 Logroño – Logroño 168.0 km
Stage 13 Belorado – Obregon Parque de Cabarceno 182.0 km
Stage 14 Santander – La Camperona Valle de Sabero 199.0 km
Stage 15 Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga 149.0 km
Stage 16 San Martin del Rey Aurelio – La Farrapona. Lago de Somiedo 158.8 km
Rest Day
Stage 17 Ortigueira – A Coruña 174.0 km
Stage 18 A Estrada – Mont Castrove. Meis 173.5 km
Stage 19 Salvaterra do Miño – Cangas do Morrazo 176.5 km
Stage 20 Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil – Puerto de Ancares 163.8 km
Stage 21 Santiago de Compostela – Santiago del Compostela 10.0 km (ITT)

Cartel recorrido'14

Tinkoff-Saxo Team for the Vuelta a España
This year’s Vuelta a Espana holds a very demanding course for the peloton and with the powerful riders on the start list, the entire field will be put under severe pressure. Team leader Alberto Contador has worked meticulously to get ready for the Vuelta following his crash and injury at Tour de France. Even though the injury set Alberto back in his preparations he’s expected to get better as the race progresses.

“With Alberto we have the chance to compete on a high level in the high mountain stage finishes and on the medium mountain stages. Alberto crashed and broke his leg during the Tour and I’m not sure of it’s plausible to aim for the overall win after only a few weeks of hard training in the mountains but we’ll flash the jersey in the race and you will notice us”, says Philippe Mauduit, leading sport director at the Vuelta.

With a total of 40 summits to crest spread over 13 mountain stages spiced up with two individual and one team time trial, this year’s overall winner will require a strong team around him to succeed. 5 stages are obvious sprinter stages so they will be nervous and very fast, as the sprinters don’t want to miss out on the opportunities in the race to prevail.

“It’s going to be a special race for us. Just like the last part of the Tour de France, we’ll take one stage at a time. Our line-up offers a number of opportunities. In the more flat terrain, we have a series of riders who will be able to nail the stage win that we are targeting in this year’s edition of the Vuelta”, concludes Philippe Mauduit.

Riders:
Alberto Contador, Chris Anker Sørensen, Daniele Bennati, Matteo Tosatto, Sergio Paulinho, Oliver Zaugg, Ivan Rovny, Jesus Hernandez and Michael Valgren.

Astana Vuelta Team
Astana DS, Dmitriy Sedoun explains the team’s selection: “Aru and Kangert are two proven GC riders – Fabio this year was third at the Giro with a Queen Stage victory in the mountains and Tanel has done outstanding work for Nibali over the past two seasons.”

“Guardini, Guarnieri and Lutsenko have the beginnings of a very fast and very strong sprint team – in Denmark Alexey and Andrea were victorious partners, and with Jacopo we have the legs to be at the front in a Grand Tour finish. Landa is super motivated for a good result – after a great climb on ST3 at the Vuelta a Burgos, despite a heavy crash at the beginning of the day, he showed what a promising young Spanish rider is capable of at home.”

“Fominykh has shown in the past season that he can race on different courses in different conditions – this Vuelta will be his first test at three weeks of competition, and he has all of the requisites and characteristics to succeed. Tiralongo and Zeits are the veteran legs and brains on the road – their experience is invaluable and their leadership is 100 percent guaranteed.”

Riders:
Fabio Aru (Ita), Mikel Landa (Esp), Tanel Kangert (Est), Paolo Tiralongo (Ita), Daniil Fominykh (Kaz), Andrea Guardini (Ita), Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita), Andrey Zeits (Kaz), Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz).

OPQS to La Vuelta a España
OPQS has officially announced the squad that will take part in La Vuelta a España. There are 21 stages covering 3239.9km from August 23rd until September 14th. The race is divided into five flat stages, 13 medium and high mountain stages, and two individual time trials. There is also a 12.6km team time trial to open the race. The individual time trials are during stages 10 and 21, at 36.7km and 9.7km in respective distances.

“The team is built up around Rigoberto Uran, who will get full support from his teammates,” Sport & Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. “During the Giro d’Italia Rigoberto proved he has the skills for the major tours, so he deserves the support of the team. His approach to the race was similar to the one set in motion for the Giro d’Italia. Some of the guys from the team like Wout Poels, Gianluca Brambilla, and Pieter Serry already have experience in major tours next to Uran. Backing them up, the squad will be able to count on Carlos Verona, akin his debut in his first big tour, and also Martin Velits and Nikolas Maes. These three riders are all guarantees in terms of team support and rapport. The squad will be completed by Tom Boonen and Tony Martin. Tom’s leadership will be an important figure in the flat stages and in bunch sprint arrivals in which we want to stand out with his dashes. La Vuelta will also be important for him as he prepares for the Worlds. Tony will make La Vuelta an important part of his World Championship build up. He will target the opening team time trial and the long individual time trial to test his shape. In the other stages he will serve as support in the overall team strategy. In general the team is well balanced, with riders who will be able to support Uran in every racing situation. ”

Riders:
Tom Boonen (BEL), Gianluca Brambilla (ITA), Nikolas Maes (BEL), Tony Martin (GER), Wout Poels (NED), Pieter Serry (BEL), Rigoberto Uran Uran (COL), Martin Velits (SVK), Carlos Verona (ESP).
Sports Directors: Jan Schaffrath (GER), Rik van Slycke (BEL).

BMC Racing Team Reveals Vuelta a España Roster
Past Vuelta a España podium placers Cadel Evans and Samuel Sánchez headline the BMC Racing Team’s roster for the final grand tour of the season.

Two Protected Riders
Evans finished third in his last appearance in the Spanish race in 2009, following up on a fourth-place finish in 2007. The past world road champion (2009) and Tour de France winner (2011) is coming off back-to-back stage wins and a sixth place finish overall at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Sánchez was runner-up in 2009 and third in 2007, while winning three stages. The 2008 Olympic road race champion also counts a third-place finish at the 2010 Tour de France among his 14 grand tour appearances. BMC Racing Team Sport Director Valerio Piva said Sánchez will be the team’s leader. “Cadel will also be a protected rider, like we did for Samuel at the Giro d’Italia,” Piva said. “Samuel is an experienced rider, he knows the parcours and he is super motivated. Cadel comes out of Utah very strong, which will be very important. And we cannot forget Philippe Gilbert, who specializes in the uphill finishes. So we will try to win a stage with him.” Gilbert, the 2012 world road champion, is owner of five stage wins at the Vuelta. The 3,239-kilometer race begins Saturday with a team time trial and concludes Sept. 14 with a 9.7-kilometer individual time trial.

Download the BMC Racing Team’s exclusive roster card (PDF with bios, statistics, etc.): http://bit.ly/1v0W9E2

BMC Racing Team Vuelta a España Roster (Aug. 23-Sept. 14):
Rohan Dennis (AUS), Cadel Evans (AUS), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Steve Morabito (SUI), Dominik Nerz (GER), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Larry Warbasse (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
President/General Manager: Jim Ochowicz (USA)
Sponsor: Andy Rihs (SUI).
Sporting Manager: Allan Peiper (AUS).
Sport Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA) & Valerio Piva (ITA).

Lotto Belisol: Preview Vuelta with sports director Mario Aerts
Sports director Mario Aerts outlines his expectations for the Vuelta a España. Both Jens Debusschere and Vegard Breen will ride their first grand tour. Adam Hansen on the other hand has a lot of experience, he will ride his tenth grand tour in a row. Also Jurgen Van den Broeck will be participating in Spain. Just like Maxime Monfort and Bart De Clercq. Mario Aerts explains each rider’s role and looks at the route.

Mario Aerts: “Obviously Jurgen Van den Broeck felt the consequences of his crashes during the Tour and his illness. Between the end of the Tour and the beginning of the Vuelta there are only four weeks, not that much time. First Jurgen took some rest and then resumed his training. He travels to Spain without GC ambitions. In the mountain stages he could aim for a stage win.”

“Maxime Monfort had two main goals at the beginning of the season: the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España. He will aim for a top 15 sport in the overall standings. Maxime reached the sixth sport in the GC in 2011, so the Vuelta suits him. Bart De Clercq abandoned the Tour. So there were questions marks about his selection for the Vuelta, but he is fit. In the Tour of Poland he kept progressing. If it’s possible we would like to strive for a good GC with him as well. After the first mountain stages we will see what’s possible.”

“Sander Armée didn’t race for a long time. After the Belgian Championship he had a long period without races and in the Tour of Poland he had to quit because of illness. The matter of pith is in the last week. He will be a certain help for our team captains in the final. He disposes of a great engine and won’t break that easy.”

“Our main sprinter is going to be Jens Debusschere. The competition is strong. Among others Bouhanni, Degenkolb and Sagan will be participating. But with Greg Henderson we have a great lead-out. We go for a stage win. There are four flat stages which are suiting for bunch sprints. Besides those four, there are six stages with little climbs or slight uphill finishes. We will see where Jens can survive and strive for that stage win.”

“Vegard Breen’s first grand tour will be a discovery for him where he can grow. He did very well in the Tour of Poland. Vegard can also play a role in sprint lead-out. And who knows he could get away in a breakaway.”

“Adam Hansen and Pim Ligthart are natural born attackers. They will get several chances to participate in a breakaway and create opportunities for a stage win. Besides that they are very good at piloting the sprinters to the front of the peloton in the final. They also can stand by the climbers’ sides. True all-rounders”

The stages
“I believe we have a very good team for the team time trial. We have several fast riders. In that team time trial we aim for a good result. In the following twelve days there are three finishes uphill. The toughest part of this Vuelta are the last eight stages. Just before the second rest day there are three mountain stages, which will be deciding for the overall standings. Certainly the stage on the last Monday, the queen of all stages. En than there is another mountain stage on the penultimate day.”

“Most of the time the time differences in the Vuelta are not that big, so the time trials will be crucial. The first individual time trial is slightly uphill but the finish is located lower than the start. It will be a fairly quick time trial. The last time trial is rather short but can be important as well. Both Maxime and Bart have time trial qualities. The first individual time trial with the little climb is suited for both.”

The Giant-Shimano Vuelta Team
The final selection for the 69th Vuelta a España has been made and a strong, young team will head to this year’s race headlined by Warren Barguil (FRA) and John Degenkolb (GER).

Degenkolb heads to the final Grand Tour of the season after a successful Tour de France campaign where he was instrumental in the team’s victories as well as taking two second places of his own.

Barguil showed that his form is building well ahead of the race with an impressive performance at the recent Tour of Poland where he once again demonstrated his climbing capabilities.

La Vuelta gets underway with a team time trial on 23 August, this year in Jerez de la Frontera with a flat 12.6km effort.

Returning to the Vuelta after taking third on the final stage last year is Nikias Arndt (GER), and he will be joined by Lawson Craddock (USA) and Chad Haga (USA), both of whom are making their Grand Tour debut. These three were part of the group that spent over three weeks at a high-altitude training camp this July, together with Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) and Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) who also head to the Vuelta.

The line-up is completed by road captain, Johannes Fröhlinger (GER) who will be starting his 11th Grand Tour, Koen De Kort (NED) who lines up for this third Grand Tour of the season.

Team Giant-Shimano coach Christian Guiberteau (FRA) said of the selection: “We head into the Vuelta with two real objectives, firstly to help support Warren towards a good overall result in the race.

“In this we will also help both Warren develop as a leader and also some of the other younger riders in the team to progress in working every day for an overall goal.

“As well as this we want to target a sprint win but the opportunities for this outcome are few and far between. With John, together with others, we have good options for these stages. The team will be built around aiming for these objectives while at the same time focusing on the development that you get from riding a Grand Tour.”

Barguil said ahead of the race: “I head to the Vuelta really motivated to try for a good result overall and together with the team have worked towards being in the best shape possible. We have a strong team here and I hope that I can progress and prove myself.”

Riders:
Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Lawson Craddock (USA), John Degenkolb (GER), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Chad Haga (USA), Koen De Kort (NED), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED).
Coaches: Christian Guiberteau (FRA) & Lionel Marie (FRA).

2013 edition winner will be in Spain in Team LAMPRE-MERIDA
LAMPRE-MERIDA will be at the start line of Vuelta a Espana 2014 with one rider with number 1 on his back: Chris Horner will be in Jerez de la Frontera with the target of defending the title he won in Spain in the past season.

Horner is well focused on trying to compete with a bunch of top riders, who are all willing to be on the throne of the Spanish race.

Despite he’s undergoing therapy in order to recover from the bronchitis he’s suffering for since the start of Tour de France, the American rider aims to exploit the course of the race that is suitable for his characteristics.

From August the 23rd to September the 14th, nine blue-fuchsia-green cyclists will ride on Spanish roads facing 21 stages that will have these characteristics: 1 team time trial (12,6 km), 2 individual time trials (total 44,5 km), 5 flat stages and 13 hill and mountain stages.

LAMPRE-MERIDA technical staff and the technical advisor selected the following riders:

- Christopher Horner: 42 years old, American, climber, pro since 1995, winner of Vuelta a Espana 2013 and of two stages (Mirador de Lobeira, Alto de Hazallanas).

- Winner Andrew Anacona Gomez: 26 years old, Colombian, climber, pro since 2012.

- Damiano Cunego: 32 years old, Italian, climber, pro since 2002, winner of two stages in Vuelta a Espana 2009 (La Pandera, Alto de Aitana).

- Elia Favilli: 25 years old, Italian, rouleur-climber, pro since 2010.

- Roberto Ferrari: 31 years old, Italian, sprinter, pro since 2007, 12 victories in his career.

- Przemyslaw Niemiec: 34 years old, Polish, pro since 2002, 13 victories in his career.

- Filippo Pozzato: 33 years old, Italian, rouleur-sprinter, pro since 2000, 46 victories in his career.

- Maximiliano Richeze: 31 years old, Argentinian, sprinter, pro since 2006, 23 victories in his career.

- Josè Rodolfo Serpa Perez: 35 years old, Colombian, climber, pro since 2006, 35 victories in his career.

Blue-fuchsia-green selection will represent five Countries: Italy (5 cyclists), Argentina (1), Colombia (1), Poland (1) and United States (1). Three Continents: Europe, North America and South America.

One of the main characteristics of the team will be the experience, considering the average age of 32 years old and the average years as pro of the selected riders (10 years).

LAMPRE-MERIDA will be directed by technics Matxin and Vicino, who’ll be supported by doctors De Grandi and Beltemacchi, by mechanics Baron, Coelho, Pengo and Tiede, by masseurs Capelli, Del Gallo, Leboso and Napolitano, by the driver Bozzolo and by the presso officers Appiani and Carlo Saronni.

Team Belkin targets overall in the Vuelta
The Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM will start the Vuelta a España on Saturday with a squad to support three general classification men.

“We’ll take Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Laurens ten Dam to Spain, it’s clear our target is the overall,” said Sports Director Nico Verhoeven. “Wilco has trained at altitude in Utah. In the Tour of Utah, he showed well. Robert has also trained in the United States and we saw him do well in the Tour of Poland. They are our first two leaders.”

Laurens ten Dam will take on the role of joker. “Laurens had a good Tour. As with Steven Kruijswijk in the Tour, we won’t let him do the dirty work in the Vuelta and burn him up unnecessarily. “I don’t like to talk results when it comes to our ambitions. We’ll strive for the best possible place in the strong field that will be lining up for the Vuelta.”

Robert Gesink
Robert Gesink will head to the Vuelta after an altitude training camp in the United States and the Tour of Poland. “Because of the long stages and the long travels, Poland turned out to be a heavy week. I was able to work on my intensity there and that’s important. To extend the benefits of my training camp, I’ll sleep in my altitude tent a few times this week.

“Moreover, I have done some time trial training sessions as the race begins with an important team time trial. For me, of course the GC is what matters, but I also hope to gain some confidence so that I’m ready to have a normal season again next year. In the past, I did well in the Vuelta, both in stages and in the overall. I hope to get to that level again. So many things are possible then.”

Wilco Kelderman
Wilco Kelderman went to Utah, specifically for the Vuelta, where he trained at altitude and finished fifth in the Tour of Utah. “That was the perfect preparation. I’m confident. I wasn’t expecting to win in Utah, I was hoping to improve, especially in the final stages, and that’s what happened. I was able to fight with the best riders in the race. It was unfortunate that I didn’t manage to win a stage.

“This year’s Giro was my first grand tour as a leader, and that’s going to help me in Spain. For example, I now know better how to save energy and how to be a leader. We’ll start the Vuelta with a good team. A lot of good riders will be at the start, but I won’t be putting too much pressure on myself. I’ll only think about my own performance, aim for a good overall and see how far I get. That always works well for me.”

Laurens ten Dam
Laurens ten Dam placed ninth overall in July in the Tour de France. Via crits, the Clasica San Sebastian and the Prudential RideLondon Classic, he prepared himself for his second grand tour of the year.

“I have done more in between races this time than two years ago,” said Ten Dam, who back then placed eighth in the Vuelta after finishing the Tour in 28th. “San Sebastian and London went well. I hope I can improve during the Vuelta. On the sixth day, we will face the first uphill finish. Just as in the Tour, I want to take stock on the first rest day. I’m really looking forward to the Vuelta, I’ve already spotted a few nice mountain top finishes.”

Moreno Hofland
For Moreno Hofland, the Vuelta a España will be his first grand tour. Verhoeven thinks the time is ripe for the young Dutchman. “Moreno is a rider who’s developing. He has won a few big races, a stage in Paris-Nice for example, but a grand tour is different. It will undoubtedly make him stronger and he’ll be benefiting from it next year. There are a few interesting stages for him where he can fight for the win, for example with John Degenkolb.”

TEAM line-up:
Stef Clement, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink, Moreno Hofland, Martijn Keizer, Wilco Kelderman, Paul Martens, Maarten Tjallingii and Robert Wagner.
Sports Directors: Erik Dekker, Nico Verhoeven, Louis Delahaije and Merijn Zeeman.

Warren Barguil: “I’ve focused on the Vuelta for two months already”
After winning two stages with uphill finishes at the 2013 Vuelta a España, Warren Barguil, 22, is back with high ambitions for the overall classification. He’ll share the captaincy at Giant-Shimano with top sprinter John Degenkolb who is also back in Spain after winning five stages two years ago.

“I was disappointed to not make the cut for the Tour de France”, Barguil explained. “But I understood the message from my team manager Iwan Spekenbrink. I’m still young and he believes I’d better go for the Vuelta again before riding the Tour. He also wanted to focus on sprints exclusively at the Tour with Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb. Therefore I’ve had the Vuelta in mind for two months already. My best memories in cycling stand with this race. This time I aim at making the top 15 overall. The level is exceptional this year.”

The Frenchman who is from the same generation as Thibaut Pinot – also back in action at the Vuelta – and Romain Bardet is not exactly considered a hot favorite of the 69th Vuelta a España but he earned the respect of the older riders when he won at Casteldefells and Formigal by beating experienced pros like Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R-La Mondiale), Bauke Mollema (Belkin) and Rigoberto Uran (OPQS).

He geared up for the Vuelta at the Tour de Pologne when he finished 14th overall at 2.13 after losing 1.30 in the time trial from eventual winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). The Breton rider was reported to being very strong in the mountains.

“I had good legs in Poland even though I wasn’t in my top form yet”, Barguil said. “Since then, I’ve been to the Pyrenees, firstly to rest, secondly to work on my pedaling style in the mountains. I rode up the Tourmalet twice the same day and I climbed to Hautacam.

Compared to one year ago, I’ve become stronger in the hills. My SRM data show it. I also realized it when I accompanied the best climbers at the Volta Catalunya in March. A Grand Tour is another story because it’s about recovering and handling the efforts but I’m confident ahead of the Vuelta. I’ll ride for GC but after the first rest day, if for some reasons, I’m not up there, I’ll change my goal and go for a stage win.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has been training hard for la Vuelta:



header-vattenfallVattenfall Cyclassics 2014
The German Classic on Sunday the 24th of August starts and finishes in Hamburg over 247.2 kilometers. Quite often a sprinters race, but it does have some short climb that can split the Peloton. The Giant-Shimano team will probably want to keep the race together for Marcel Kittel.

Website: http://www.vattenfall-cyclassics.de/index.php/en

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BMC Racing Team Roster: Vattenfall Cyclassics
The BMC Racing Team has announced its roster for Sunday’s edition of Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg.

Burghardt Racing In Homeland
Recent Eneco Tour of Benelux stage winner Greg Van Avermaet will be joined in the 247.2-kilometer race by past world road champion Thor Hushovd, who was twice a runner-up at the Arctic Race of Norway last week. Among those joining them are Tour Méditerranéen winner Stephen Cummings, reigning Slovakian national time trial champion Peter Velits and Marcus Burghardt, who receives a rare opportunity to race in his home country.

Riders:
Marcus Burghardt (GER), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Silvan Dillier (SUI), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Sebastian Lander (DEN), Daniel Oss (ITA), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Peter Velits (SVK).
Sport Director: Max Sciandri (ITA).

Europcar Vattenfall Team
Riders:
Bryan Coquard, Antoine Duchesne, Yohann Gene, Tony Hurel, Davide Malacarne, Alexandre Pichot, Bjorn Thurau, Angélo Tulik.
Directeur Sportif: Dominique Arnold.

Giant-Shimano for the Vattenfall Cyclassics
Team Giant-Shimano returns to Germany for the one-day Vattenfall Cyclassics as previous winners but without last year’s victor, John Degenkolb (GER) in the line-up.
In spite of this, the team come with another large sprint focus with Marcel Kittel (GER) headlining the line-up for the one-day WorldTour race on home soil, with a strong support team clearly focused on this outcome.

Kittel is joined by three riders from the sprint formation at the Tour de France, Roy Curvers (NED), Albert Timmer (NED) and Tom Veelers (NED).

Alongside them is Simon Geschke (GER), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Luka Mezgec (SLO) and Tom Stamsnijder (NED) – joining the sprint-focused group looking for success at this race and who all come here from a tough Eneco Tour.

“We have a strong line-up in Hamburg for this race that is focused on riding for a sprint finish with Marcel,” said coach Marc Reef (NED).

“Together with Albert, Marcel prepared well for this race in Norway and after a successful Tour de France it is nice for him to show himself on home soil at what is the only one-day WorldTour race in Germany.

“The majority of the team here raced hard at the Eneco Tour and will come into this race with good shape ready to challenge for a top result.”

Line-up:
Roy Curvers (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Marcel Kittel (GER), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Tom Veelers (NED).
Coach: Marc Reef (NED).

Team Belkin backs Boom and Vanmarcke in Hamburg
The Vattenfall Cyclassics usually ends in a group sprint suited to riders with a big gear, which is why the Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM will support strongmen Lars Boom and Sep Vanmarcke on Sunday in Hamburg.

“Lars and Sep will have our focus,” said Sports Director Jan Boven. “They are men who can handle a 250-kilometre race and sprint at the end of it. “Nevertheless, our tactics will be adjusted during the race. There will be some very good sprinters at the start, men like André Greipel, Marcel Kittel and Alexander Kristoff, and so we will need to anticipate with Lars and Sep.”

Vanmarcke
Sep Vanmarcke is currently training in Luxembourg’s hills for the Canadian classics and the World Championship. The time spent could come in handy in Hamburg, as well. “I’ve attacked more than once in the past in the hills around Hamburg, but it has really become a sprinters’ race and in recent years, we’ve always seen a bunch kick. That makes it difficult for me.

“This year, there is an extra lap in the hills, which makes the race a little harder. We will see if it is enough for us. If it comes down to a sprint, I’ll definitely want to get in the mix, placing in the top ten, or maybe even in the top five to score some World Tour points.”

TEAM line-up:
Jetse Bol, Lars Boom, Jos van Emden, Nick van der Lijke, Tom Leezer, Maarten Wynants, David Tanner and Sep Vanmarcke.
Sports Director: Jan Boven.

Team Katusha to Vattenfall Cyclassics
This Sunday (August 24th) the Russian WorldTour Team Katusha starts in the Vattenfall Cyclassics (UCI WorldTour) starting and finishing in Hamburg.

The roster of the Russian team in Germany: Pavel Brutt, Vladimir Gusev, Marco Haller, Vladimir Isaychev, Alexander Kristoff, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Gatis Smukulis and Alexey Tsatevich.
The team will be directed by Torsten Schmidt.

OPQS to Vattenfall Cyclassics
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Vattenfall Cyclassics, a 252.8km one-day race on August 24th. It’s the only race in Germany designated on the UCI WorldTour calendar.

Among a strong list of riders, Mark Cavendish will participate for the first time in his career.

“Mark is keen to ride his bike,” Sport Director Brian Holm said. “After Tour de l’Ain he had a good block of training. That’s why we decided at the last moment to add this race to his calendar. The presence of Mark will be important also for the team strategy during the race. But on this team we have weapons for any kind of solution, including those who can be present in the attacks in final kilometers if the race fires up on the climbs. We will do our best to continue the winning mood that was present last week with several wins of the team, going for good results regardless of the scenarios of the race.”

Riders:
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Thomas De Gendt (BEL), Gianni Meersman (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Matteo Trentin (ITA), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL).
Sports Director Brian Holm (DEN).

Vattenfall Cyclassics promo:



header-garmin-sharpCannondale Pro Cycling and Slipstream Sports Join Forces
Cannondale and Slipstream Sports today announced that Cannondale Pro Cycling SpA and Slipstream Sports will join forces in 2015. Cannondale, a premium brand of Dorel Industries, Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), will become a title sponsor and technical bicycle sponsor for the team and will take an ownership stake in the management organization of Slipsteam Sports LLC. Slipstream Sports, the top American professional cycling organization dedicated to ethical sport and developing the next generation of champions, will manage the overall operations of the team. Garmin, a key partner of Slipstream Sports since 2008, will remain a significant sponsor of the team in 2015. More information, including the official team roster will become available later this year.


header-tinkoffsaxoTinkoff-Saxo confirms: Ivan Basso to join the team
Tinkoff-Saxo is proud to officially announce that Ivan Basso will join the team in 2015. The Italian star and Tinkoff-Saxo have signed a two-year contract sharing the ambition of further bolstering the team for the next seasons. Ivan Basso will add both strength and experience to the team as one of the greatest Grand Tour riders of a generation.

“With Alberto, Peter, Rafal and now Ivan we will become the number 1 team. I have always liked Ivan; he was at lunch with me in 2007 as I would have liked him to be with my team already then. Now I’m happy to have him in our team because I know how serious and dedicated he is. I believe that he can be an important asset for conquering the Pink Jersey at Giro”, says team owner Oleg Tinkov.

Ivan Basso will become an important part of Tinkoff-Saxo’s 2015-squad bringing with him his great understanding of the sport. The 36-year old Italian is excited about making the move.

“I’ve signed a two-year contract with Tinkoff-Saxo. I’m really impressed by Oleg Tinkov’s project. It’s the best team in the world, and I’m proud to be a part of that”, confirms Ivan Basso and continues:

“I will start from scratch with the determination and desire of a new professional, but with the head and experience of a veteran”, adds Ivan Basso.

giro10_basso

Tinkoff-Saxo extends with Michael Rogers
Tinkoff-Saxo happily announces that Michael Rogers will stay with the team. The team has signed a two-year deal with the Australian rider securing his great talent and decisive experience for the coming seasons. Michael Rogers is pleased to continue and looks forward to being a part of the team for yet another two seasons.

“I’m very excited about extending. For the last two seasons and especially in 2014, I’ve felt that we’ve been on the verge of something very special as a team – I most definitely saw that during the Tour. I’ve always been a strong advocate of teamwork, and I think that’s why I fit well into this team. We’re able to perform with a big mix of riders and I enjoy being able to assist some of the younger guys with their development”, says Michael Rogers and continues:

“It has been a memorable year so far. Together with my teammates and the sporting staff I’ve been able to maintain a high level throughout the season, which has resulted in three stage wins in the Giro and the Tour. I would love to take some more in the next seasons. I especially look forward to returning to the Tour with Alberto to finish what we’ve started”, adds Michael Rogers, who’s currently with the Tinkoff-Saxo squad in Colorado for the USA Pro Challenge.

Team manager Bjarne Riis sees the extension as an obvious choice considering the 34-year old capitaine de route’s importance to the team and personal success during 2014

“We’re all very pleased that Michael will stay with the team and it’s quite obvious why. It has been an amazing comeback and he has played an important role in raising the overall level of the team. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever seen him stronger than he is now. He’ll definitely be important for us in the seasons to come”, says Bjarne Riis.

Michael Rogers turned pro in 2001 and quickly won three World TT Championships in a row as well as several one-week stage races thanks to his strong overall capabilities. In 2013 he made the move to Tinkoff-Saxo and soon found himself in a key position as one of the team’s most experienced and tactically gifted riders.

“He has been an essential part of our team this season and he first and foremost fits very well into the entire setup. He has the experience and strength to guide the team on the road as the extended arm of the sport director and he wins races like we’ve seen during the Grand Tours of this season. So it’s very logical that we wish to continue”, adds Bjarne Riis.

tdf14st16-rogerswins


KAT14_Logo_624_317Team Katusha extends with Viacheslav Kuznetsov
The Russian WorldTour Team Katusha announces the extension of the contract with Russian rider Viacheslav Kuznetsov for the next two years (2015 and 2016).

“Last week Viacheslav did a strong race at the WorldTour Eneco Tour. He showed his potential and I can say in these two years the he has spent in Team Katusha, he has seriously grown as a rider. I hope that in the next two seasons Viacheslav will continue his development and will reach a really high professional levee,” said general manager of Team Katusha Viacheslav Ekimov.

Viacheslav Kuznetsov signed his first professional contract with Team Katusha in 2013, coming from ITERA-Katusha, a continental team of the Russian Global Cycling Project. In the season of 2014 Viacheslav took a podium place at a stage of Tour de Wallonie, where he finished 7th overall, while in Eneco Tour last week he took 11th place in final general classification.


header-astanaAstana Sign Rein Taaramae
Astana general manager; Alexandr Vinokurov said: “We are happy to sign Rein Taaramae to a one-year contract for 2015. The Estonian climber is a strong addition to our squad and we hope that with Astana Pro Team he finds a place to show his maximum potential, where he can assist both Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru in the mountains, just like his friend and countryman Tanel Kangert.” Taaramae becomes the fifth new rider to sign for the 2015 season.


header_movistarCastroviejo, Visconti stay with Movistar
Two important members of the telephone squad renew contracts with Unzué, hoping to bring teamwork and individual success.

Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo and Italian Giovanni Visconti have extended their contracts with the Movistar Team for two more years, both having joined in 2012. They have become crucial pieces in Eusebio Unzué’s structure, combining individual success with massive teamwork for their leaders in the biggest races of the calendar.

Castroviejo, 27, has become one of the highest regarded domestiques for three-week stage races, thanks to excellent performance in his last appearances in the Giro (’14), Tour (’13) and Vuelta (’12). His increasing efficiency in the mountains is complemented by his natural talent for time trials.

In turn, Visconti, 31, recovered almost miraculously from a tibia fracture sustained in his first competition of the year in Australia, getting into top form just in time for the Tour de France, where he came close to a stage victory and played a crucial role in the mountains. He’s a versatile rider, who won two stages of the Giro last season and has shone over his 10 years as pro.

movistar-castroviejovisconti

Rubén Fernández adds youth to Movistar Team
Latest Spanish winner of the Tour de l’Avenir, 23, becomes Blues’ second recruit for next season after neo-pro Marc Soler

Spaniard Rubén Fernández, 23, will join the Movistar Team next season on a two-year contract. The Murcia-born youngster, coming from the Caja Rural squad, is the second signing of the telephone squad this summer, after Catalan neo-pro Marc Soler (20), from team Lizarte, was announced two weeks ago.
Fernández is one of the biggest prospects in Spanish cyclist and the latest rider from the country to have claimed overall success in the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir. His outstanding performance in 2013 saw him beating another bright hopeful in Britain’s Adam Yates. Fernández’s 2014 palmarès includes sixth-place finishes in both the Vuelta a Murcia and the Volta ao Algarve; he was also 12th in the Tour of Norway.

movistar-fernandez


header_OPQS_PROPQS Extends Contract with Pieter Serry
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step announces it has extended its contract with Pieter Serry. The 25-year-old Belgian climber has been on the team OPQS roster since last season, and now he will continue riding with the team for the next two seasons (2015 & 2016).

“Pieter is an athlete I already followed with interest since before he arrived in our team’s orbit” OPQS Ceo Patrick Lefevere said. “Last year he stood out for some good performances and especially for the brilliant 7th and 8th places earned respectively at the Giro di Lombardia and in the Clasica San Sebastian, which are two of the hardest classics on the cycling scene. Pieter is an excellent climber and considering his young age he has all the cards he needs to further improve and become an important player in the group that we’re building for the stage races and which actually revolves around Uran and Kwiatkowski.”

“I feel comfortable on the team, here everything is really well organized and professional but at the same time there is a genuine feeling to the human relationships that make me happy to be a part of this group” Serry said. “We are all friends and we have a lot of respect for each other. I really appreciate the fact that the management believes in me and I can’t wait to repay them with great performances. In the near future I aim to further improve, especially on climbs, and become a man to count on for our GC guys, dreaming of one day being able to also go for an important result.”


header_belkinTeam Belkin signs Bert-Jan Lindeman
Bert-Jan Lindeman will be racing for Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM starting next season. The 25-year-old Dutchman, under contract with the Rabobank Development Team this year, signed a two-year contract.

“This is a wonderful step forward,” said Lindeman. “This move is like a dream come true. Team Belkin has a good structure and its riders really get a chance to develop themselves here. The Dutch WorldTour team always provides its riders a good programme, which is very important to me. I’ll really get the chance to show what I’m worth.

“I feel that the team has confidence in this cooperation. I come from the Rabobank Development Team and had a good time there. In the past, the team served as the development team for Team Belkin and so I think I can continue on the same track. “I’m very happy with my two-year contract because I can really build on that. I want to thank Rabobank for the opportunity that it has given me. I really appreciate that. At team Belkin I hope to focus on the spring classics, although I did well in the mountains this season.”

‘An Asset to our team’
“Bert-Jan rode at a high level in the Rabobank Development Team, both uphill and in the classics,” said Sports Director Nico Verhoeven. “He won the Ster van Zwolle, Tour de Bretagne and the Tour de l’Ain, where he beat riders like Romain Bardet who placed sixth in the Tour de France this year.

“Bert-Jan is truly an asset to our team. He is versatile, has developed himself well and is very motivated to work with us.”

Ber-Jan was interviewed by PEZ when he was a young Pro with Vacansoleil.

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header-universalIn-Depth Interview with Former Pro Cyclist George Hincapie
Universal Sports Network will present George Hincapie: The Loyal Lieutenant, an exclusive, in-depth personal interview with former professional cyclist George Hincapie, this Friday, August 22, at 8 p.m. ET and PT. In the one-hour special, the 17-time Tour de France veteran, three-time national road champion and five-time Olympian offers an insightful account of his esteemed career through an era plagued by performance-enhancing drug use.

Sitting down with veteran sportscaster and co-author of Hincapie’s memoir The Loyal Lieutenant, Craig Hummer, “Big George” covers everything from his humble beginnings in Queens, New York to his role in one of the world’s biggest doping scandals that brought down his former teammate, Lance Armstrong.




USA Pro Challenge Controversy
The riders in Colorado were less than pleased when stage 2 was neutralized due to the weather. A strange decision as the race was nearly over.




mini_PEZ_jerseyLa Vuelta a España PEZ Fantasy League
After the success of the Giro and Tour Fanatsy Leagues, you can enter your top team in the Vuelta a España. Go to Velogames.com, pick your team and then join league No. 19180025 and that’s it. No prizes, just the pleasure of beating me.







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

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

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Any comments drop me a line, email address: alastair@pezcyclingnews.com or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.

 

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