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

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
Daryl Impey took the Tour Down Under ahead of Richie Porte - Results and video from Australia and World Cup cyclocross. UCI president not happy with the Froome situation - Top Story. Other cycling news: Minsk track, race news from San Juan, Tour of Alps and Oman, RCS Wild Cards, Team Novo Nordisk happy, SEG Racing new partner, Lotto Soudal and Rudy Project, Dimension Data training and Vinokurov tricks his riders video. Coffee anyone?

TOP STORY: Lappartient - "This is bad for the image of cycling."
There is only one thing the UCI president can be talking about and that's the Chris Froome/Sky salbutamol case. David Lappartient has been airing his views on the case while he has been in Australia at the Tour Down Under and he, like so many others, is surprised that Team Sky have not provisionally suspended Chris Froome until the case has been fully investigated and a final decision made.

It wouldn't be the team admitting any wrong doing, and also if there was a ban for the multi Tour winner, it would start when his suspension started and not at a later date. The biggest embarrassment would be if Froome wins the Giro d'Italia and/or the Tour de France and then is given a doping ban and loses all the races he has won going back to the 2017 Vuelta a España.

Lappartient says there is nothing he can do, Sky are working within the rules. Maybe the Sky team are working 'within the rules' but is this not what got them into this predicament in the first place?

UCI president David Lappartient talks to the press at the Tour Down Under:
Willunga Hill - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - David Lappartient UCI President  pictured during  20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -5 from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5KM) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018

Santos Tour Down Under 2018
Stifling heat and a tough climb just a few kilometers from the end of the stage meant that most wouldn’t think a sprinter would be in with a chance of taking the win today at the Tour Down Under. The normal rules go out of the window though when the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan is in the race. After spending the day riding hard in forty-five degree heat, the Slovak rider crested the climb of the day only to go on the attack. In a reduced bunch sprint, there was no doubting who the strongest rider would be, taking his and the BORA-Hansgrohe team’s first UCI WorldTour win of 2018, as well as the race leader’s ochre jersey.

It was an altogether more hilly affair on Stage 4. After the previous three stages had given the advantage to the sprinters, the route was one that the fast men would struggle with, featuring an undulating profile and the climb of the day taking place shortly before the end of the 128.2km stage. Like yesterday, the race organizers had concerns about the impact of the heat on riders, and brought the start of the race forward by an hour – a wise decision on what would be the most challenging day of the Tour Down Under so far.

The start of the day saw two riders go off from the drop of the flag, making the most of the cooler weather at the earlier start to pull together a huge advantage. Putting more than nine minutes between themselves and the peloton, the escapees were looking confident, compelling the bunch to work harder to reduce the gap. As expected though, the terrain and heat were a massive drain on the escape, and one of the two dropped off just as BORA-Hansgrohe took control at the front of the peloton. With 17km to go, at the foot of the day’s categorized climb, it was all back together just as things became really heated.

Stringing out the peloton, the 5% climb would have felt many times more difficult in the oppressive forty-five degree heat, but Bora-Hansgrohe stayed in contact and joined the attacks from the summit, with UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan putting pressure on the bunch, making the most of the downhill run to the finish. A reduced bunch fought it out, but there was never any doubt who was going to take the win with the rainbow stripes of Peter Sagan in the mix.

More photos from stage 4 in PeloPics.

Uraidla - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - hansgrohe) - Daryl IMPEY (South Africa / Team Mitchelton - Scott) pictured during 20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -4 from Norwood to Uraidla (128.2KM) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner and overall leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It certainly was one of the hottest days I have ever raced. It was really tough but I felt in good shape. I managed to stay with the leading group on the climb, about 25 riders, and then made the right attack in the right moment. I'm, obviously, happy with my first stage victory at the Tour Down Under and the ochre jersey but I'm also very happy with the performance and result of Jay McCarthy. He's now third overall and tomorrow we will work for him and his GC chances. It is an important race for him, in his home country and our plan here is for him to get the best result in the GC."

2nd on the stage and overall, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): "It’s a pity not to get the win today but I lost to the world champion. It was actually a lot easier than I thought up the climb, I knew it would be a bit of cat and mouse in the final but I just needed to get there. I knew with Sagan there the only way to beat him was to surprise him. I thought I did that but he still came back around me. I am still happy with the result. We still have a chance with the GC, but Willunga is a whole different ball game. It’s a totally different climb, tomorrow is a lot steeper and after a super-hot day today everybody bounces back differently. If I have the same legs as I had today then anything is possible."

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Luis León Sánchez (Astana): "Yeah, it was a very hard day for me. The temperatures were absolutely crazy! I live in Andorra and you can imagine how big the difference is! Our teammates worked very well, they always stayed close to me and Michael Valgren. The last climb we did really fast and in these conditions it took a lot of energy. On the top there was a quite small group of riders with a few fast guys as Sagan and Impey, for example. At the finish, there was a downhill after the last corner, so, Sagan and Impey were in front of me and I managed to finish third. So, the decisive stage is waiting for us tomorrow. After this very hot and hard stage we have to recover well to be ready for Willunga Hill."

Scott Davies (Dimension Data): "Today was another hot day, making for a difficult stage. My responsibility was to look after Tom and provide support to him on the final climb. I was able to make the final group with Tom and Ben but to be honest, I was very much on my limit during the climb so I wasn't able to provide much support. The group finished together in the end which was relieving, but I expect tomorrow will be equally as difficult as today if not more, so I hope to recover well and contribute where possible tomorrow."

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 4 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:21:07
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo.

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 4 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 14:19:49
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:02
3. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:09
4. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana at 0:10
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:14
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
7. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
8. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Sky.

Stage 4:

Richie Porte (BMC) stamped his authority on Willunga Hill with an incredible fifth consecutive win on Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under which put him into second overall on the same time as new race leader Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott).

The pressure was on defending champion Porte and his BMC Racing Team teammates with Porte lining up as the favorite for the stage win after showing his dominance on the climb in previous years. The ochre jersey was up for grabs with 32 riders within 14 seconds of then-race leader Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) at the start of the 151km stage.

Seven riders went clear in the first 10km and with none posing a threat to the race lead, the breakaway gained an advantage of more than five minutes as the peloton sat back in anticipation of the iconic Willunga Hill battle. Patrick Bevin (BMC) went to the front to control the breakaway's advantage after 30km and continued to set the pace, with the help of Danilo Wyss, in an impressive display of strength until the race reached the first ascent of Willunga Hill.

Porte reached the Willunga Hill summit for the first time at the front of the bunch which was closing in on the remaining breakaway riders before eventually catching solo leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) with 9km remaining as they approached foot of Willunga Hill.

Cross winds and a fast injection of pace caused a split in the bunch with Porte joined by Rohan Dennis and Wyss in the front selection. Wyss led the reduced group to the base of the climb before Dennis took over to set the pace and prevent any attacks before powering on to set the stage for Porte to attack with 1.8km to go.

Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) was the only rider who could match Porte's speed but 500m later, Porte attacked again to go solo as he has every year. Porte pushed on through the pain in the final kilometer to reach the finish line and raise his arms in his signature victory salute while behind, the battle was on for minor places and to determine the General Classification.

Impey crossed the line in second place, eight seconds behind, which was enough to equal Porte's overall time but move into the race lead on a count back of previous stage results.

Stage 5 photos in PeloPics.

Willunga Hill - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Richie PORTE (Australia / BMC Racing Team) pictured during 20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -5 from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5KM) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018

Interview with stage winner and 2nd overall, Richie Porte (BMC).
Richie, congratulations! How does is feel to win Willunga Hill for the fifth year?

"I tell you what that was the hardest one to win so far. I think it was such a hard lead in there at the bottom when Education First put it into the gutter. I felt great and the guys looked after me all day but it hurt so much. We talked about it this morning with guys like Simon Gerrans. He has been a fantastic addition to our team. I couldn't look back, I just had to go. Of course, you look back a bit and I could see that Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) was strong to start with. I think this stage is much better for me than it is for him so I just stuck in. I must admit with 300 meters to go, I almost stopped. Maybe I went a bit too hard. Last year winning with the ochre jersey was special but this is up there as one of the most special too."

How did you feel on the climb?
"It's probably the hardest time that I have done this climb. It really hurt today. There were guys in the gravel and it was absolute carnage. You can't say it was unexpected, it's what happens every year. My team were fantastic today as per always. Rohan Dennis really laid it all on the line there."

You now sit second overall. What are your thoughts going into the last stage?
"Realistically, I don't really have a chance to move up. I'm happy with where I am all things considered. I had a tough second half of last year so to be up here and win Willunga for a fifth time in a row, I have to say I'm happy. But of course, I would have loved to have won the overall. If I was good enough to win, I would have done it here today on Willunga. Hats off to Daryl. He's a good mate and a fantastic bike rider. It was up to me today to put more time into him and I wasn't good enough to quite finish the day off. I'm happy with another stage win. I have to be happy with second."

This is your first win since your Tour de France crash. How important is that?
"It has been a tough time. It was a nasty crash and it knocked me around but I think I can have the best season and I'm motivated for that. I worked hard back in Tasmania and did some fantastic training so I am super motivated for this season. I just hope come July I can be on top form. I have a fantastic bunch of people around me from my team, my wife, and my family."

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): "I can’t believe it, to have the leader's jersey is just fantastic and to be in Australia and in an Australian team and deliver like this after all of their help is just really amazing. I’ve gone pretty well up Willunga before, maybe not this well, but also I have come here as a bit of a protected rider this year so I think it pays dividends at the end of a race like this. That being said it is always a question mark so when you surprise yourself like today it is special. When Richie attacked I just used everyone there and I knew the guys where still racing for the podium so I just rode my own race. I always knew in the back of my mind I had to do a big sprint to the top and I didn’t actually know where Richie was at the finish, so when I saw the time I knew maybe I could be in the jersey. This is a race I really enjoy so I’m super proud to have the jersey and now we just have to cross the line with it tomorrow."

3rd on the stage and overall, Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data): "I am very happy and we can be proud as a team after our performance today. It's almost the last day already, so we had to wait 5 days for a good result because every day was a group sprint or bunch sprint and our results weren't all that super. Today when the GC was made though, we were there and 3rd place on the stage and 3rd on GC too, for me personally that is a great start to my season and with Team Dimension Data."

Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I'm, obviously, disappointed with the result but I know I gave it my all. Our plan today was to go for the overall lead and we knew I had to be with Richie Porte in the finale. I followed him when he attacked but his pace was stronger and I was unable to hold on. It isn't the result we would have liked and hoped for but at the same time, I know we fought hard, we put a strong effort and gave the best we could. You can't always win, so we now have to focus on the following races."

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5 Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC in 3:42:22
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:08
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data at 0:10
4. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
5. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Sky
6. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:14
9. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
10. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo.

Santos Tour Down Under Overall After Stage 5:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 18:02:15
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data at 0:16
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
6. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Sky
7. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:24
9. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida.

Stage 5:

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) sprinted to victory in Adelaide on the Final Stage 6 of Tour Down Under, his second stage win of the week! The last stage of Tour Down Under was a criterium in the streets of Adelaide. The peloton had to cover twenty laps of 4.5 kilometers. There were several attempts, but only Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) and Logan Owen (EF Education First-Drapac) succeeded in building up a small lead of two minutes. With three laps to go both riders were caught and the sprint teams could take their leader in the best possible position to the finish. After an exciting sprint André Greipel beat Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) on the line. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) completed the top three.

There was no change to the overall podium after the traditional city circuit race, with BMC's Richie Porte missing out on becoming the first back to back champion on a count back of the previous stage results which saw Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) claim the ochre jersey of the final overall victor for 2018.

Stage 6 photos HERE.

Adelaide - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Andre GREIPEL (Germany / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during 20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -6 from Adelaide to Adelaide (90KM) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018

Overall winner, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): "It is a relief, you can never say it is done until it’s done. We had things under control especially with the experienced guys like Mat Hayman, Damien Howson did some awesome work on the front this week so I was in good hands. Wearing the yellow jersey at the Tour de France was a magical moment but this is very close to that. I worked really hard for this one and especially knowing how important it is to the team and the sponsors. It was a high-pressure race for us, everyone expects a lot so to top it off with a win is very special. It is a step up in my career, you get these little stepping stones and you reach bigger mile stones and I’ve proved to myself now, as I’ve always had a little bit of self-doubt. I’ve ridden for guys who have been in this situation and it is a lot easier riding for someone else, so to come in and take the pressure for a change and have a go I am very happy to have been able to do that. It’s one of the most special races of the season so I will like to come back next year and wear the number one, you don’t get too many opportunities to do that."

Stage winner, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal): "It’s fantastic to end Tour Down under with two stage wins. Ewan, Sagan and Viviani had won one stage, just like me, and I was really eager to beat them again. And so I did! This feels great. It was a hectic stage today, but as a team we stayed very calm and concentrated. The first half of the stage we didn’t come to the front. Afterwards Thomas De Gendt did most of the work and as a team we came to the front on the right moment. Caleb Ewan was fast as a cannon ball and it wasn’t easy to pass him by, but I managed to do so on the line. The past taught me that the Tour Down Under and stage wins here always are the start of a good season. I hope it will be the case too this time. I am going home with a very good feeling after two beautiful weeks in Australia. Now I will take rest for a few days, before building up to my next goals."

2nd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): "Obviously, I would have liked to be first but with hindsight, Daryl Impey did a fantastic race. He rode smart all week, he's obviously in great form. So, to win Willunga for a fifth time in a row feels pretty good. Coming back as the defending champion, it would have been nice to win again but I think my team did all that we could to try and win the race. We down swinging yesterday. All things considered, I'm pretty happy to be second here with a stage win as well. I'm looking forward to getting back to Europe and really getting my season started. I'm super motivated for this year. I was last year too but I think this year, everything is looking up."

3rd overall, Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data): "I am really satisfied and happy that we could secure 3rd place on the last day, I am really proud of the guys for what they did this week. We had two neo-pros, some other young guys and a really experienced rider in Mark Renshaw, which made a real difference this week. My motivation was really high to start well here with my new team and now I can only say, we can all be really proud and happy with the way we raced this week."

4th overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): "I’m satisfied with how I was able to perform during the entire week. The 4th place in the classification is a sign that I worked well over the winter and that my legs are already in good shape. In the Santos Tour Down Under, if you aren’t quick on your feet, it’s really hard to get good results. It was nice to work in perfect harmony with the entire team and we performed well in all the stages and hope that this will be the start of a season that will bring memorable cycling moments to our fans and our sponsors. Now I can get back to concentrating on training so I can be at my best for the next competitive event, the Abu Dhabi Tour."

3rd on the stage and points winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "Last stage at the Tour Down Under and another very hot day. As expected, everything was decided in the bunch sprint. We followed our plan, the guys protected me throughout the race and set me well for the finale. It was a good sprint but not enough to win the stage. It was a good Tour Down Under for me, I scored my first stage victory in this race and I took my first green jersey. I feel that the team as well had a very good week, thanks to the dedication, excellent teamwork and team spirit that exists. It's a good start to the year. Last but not least, thanks to all the people that helped organize this very good race."

KOM, Nicholas Dlamin (Dimension Data): "It has been a great week for the entire team, everyone did what they needed to. I am delighted to win my first leaders jersey in my first World Tour race. I think I learned a lot in just one week of racing so going forward I think I will still improve a lot. As a team, this was a great start to our season and I feel we will also just get better as the season progresses."

Most competitive rider, Logan Owen (EF Education First-Drapac): "I was meant to go for the sprint and help Mitch [Docker] and Scud [Tom Scully] in the finish,” said Owen. “Will [Clarke] was meant to be in the break. He went for it a few times in the beginning and made a really big effort, but the start was really hard and really fast today. When I saw him going backwards, I took the opportunity to follow wheels. When I ended up off the front, I was like: ‘I guess I’m going to roll with it.’ and after that, I rode as hard as I could, but only a few laps into the move, Astana stopped riding and then Trek stopped riding. That’s when I decided I was going to go at it alone. I had already dug a deep enough hole where I couldn’t have helped the team in the finish, so my only chance to do something at that point was to go for the win. He came flying up to me, I sat on him for awhile. It didn’t benefit me to help him get bonus time, and he was going crazy hard anyway. I thought I could catch a ride for a bit and hopefully make a bid for the finish. I started rolling again when Ben got his sprint points and bonus seconds. I threw an attack there at the end to really give it my all, I always knew it was going to be a long shot. This was a great week, it feels like a continuation of what I’ve already been doing with Axeon, my under-23 team. We were serious when we needed to be and had fun when we could. All in all, it was a solid start and a really awesome time. I think this is going to be a great year."

Rohan Dennis (BMC): "My form is good and I can take confidence out of what I did on Willunga Hill yesterday and in general climbing-wise. I was also surprised how calm I felt, not stressed about position, which is usually good sign. I could sit back and it wasn't an issue when something went wrong, and if it did, I could fix it quite quickly. So, that gives me quite a bit of confidence. I did some really good pre-season work with my trainer Neal focusing on longer kilometers and not as much intensity. I'm recovering better and when you feel fresher, you're calmer in the peloton and not so stressed. So that's a good sign."

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 Result:
1. Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal in 2:01:19
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Sunweb
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
6. Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
9. Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Movistar
10. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin.

Santos Tour Down Under Final Overall Result:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 20:03:34
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
3. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data at 0:16
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
6. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Sky
7. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana at 0:23
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:24.

Final stage 6:

Telenet UCI World Cup Nommay 2018
The two big stars of cyclocross again tore the race apart in the Telenet UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Nommay on Sunday. Mathieu Van der Poel (Correndon-Circus) missed his bike change in the pits early in the race, but it didn't hold the Dutch champion back. Van der Poel rode away from World champion Wout Van Aert (Crelan-Charles) on the short muddy hills.

Van Aert took an early lead with Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) and Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions). Van der Poel was also at the front, but lost 15 seconds when he had to go back to the pits for a clean bike after he rode past the pits.

Van der Poel made his way back to the front of the race to team up with Van Aert and then showed his superior strength by riding the tough climbs when the World champion eventually had to dismount and run. Van der Poel soon had a lead over Van Aert and minutes over the rest of the field. At the finish Van der Poel had over 30 seconds on Van Aert and 2 minutes on Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions) in third. Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) finished fourth at 2:31 with Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) at 2:47 in 5th.

Nommay - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme  - Mathieu van der Poel Ned) pictured during Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup for elite in Nommay, France - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2018

Nommay race winner, Mathieu Van Der Poel (Corendon-Circus): "I’m very pleased with the World Cup victory. It was a classification that I hadn’t won in the elite category. It’s the most international and prestigious classification, so it’s great to add my name to the list of winners. The most important race of the season still has to come and that’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s always fun when he’s around. In the past he came over to Belgium for Christmas but he’s getting older so this is the only race this season that he attends. That makes it special. I was focused on finding my crew at the back of the pit area. As World Cup leader you’re give first choice and I told them to get the penultimate box, which would be good to hit the following corner. For some reason they ended up halfway down the pit area. I entered the pit, was focused on a bike switch near the end until I heard them shouting."

2nd, Wout Van Der Poel (Corendon-Circus): "I was briefly able to come up with a fight but when he pulled hard I had to shift back. Again, second place was the best possible result. The course suited me and I felt good, but… when he accelerated I wasn’t able to keep up. It’s clear you can’t win a race in the opening lap."

Telenet UCI World Cup Nommay Result:
1. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 1:06:56
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 0:33
3. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 2:09
4. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 2:31
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 2:47
6. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Era-Circus at 3:06
7. Michael Boros (Cze) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 3:11
8. David Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 3:48
9. Steve Chainel (Fra) Team Chazal-Canyon at 3:50
10. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Bingoa at 3:54.

Nommay 2018:

BEAT Wins Gold at Team Sprint and Keirin in Minsk
BEAT Cycling Club wins gold at both the team sprint and the keirin at the track cycling World Cup in Minsk, Belarus.

During a very successful second day of the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, BEAT Cycling Club won gold in both the team sprint and the keirin. After a silver medal in Manchester, England in November, this was BEAT Cycling Club's first team sprint victory at a World Cup. Matthijs Büchli sealed gold at the Keirin later in the evening. In the final, he outraced Stefan Ritter (GER) and Lewis Oliva (GBR) to take his second gold medal of the day.

BEAT entered the team sprint tournament as Dutch champions. In the red, white and blue, the team was victorious in the final, beating the Polish national team by a difference of 0.719 seconds. Theo Bos was especially satisfied with the win, because it gives him confidence ahead of the world championships in Apeldoorn: "Everything felt very good. We started this morning with a time of 43.5 seconds, which was even faster than yesterday. The final went very well too. After a very quick start from Roy (van den Berg) and Matthijs (Büchli), I was still able to ride a strong last lap. I feel very good, and that applies to the entire team.

"For now it is important to take a step back before the world championships, since we've been training and racing hard since the Dutch national championships (at the end of December). We have six more weeks before the world championships start. We can use these results to train and prepare for the Worlds perfectly."

Third Keirin Gold
After keirin victories at the World Cups in England and Poland, and at the Dutch national championships, Büchli started today as a favorite. He made sure to confirm that status by winning both heats and the final. Büchli: "Winning gold twice in one day doesn't just happen. It was a first for me. It's very promising, both for tomorrow's sprint tournament and the upcoming world championships.

"In my current form I could get a good result in the sprint, but I've already raced two tournaments, so we'll have to wait and see. Over the coming weeks, I have to focus on getting out of the races a bit fresher and producing a higher maximum power. Then I can start looking at the world championships."

Tim Veldt can hardly believe it: "It was a very successful day. We ended up with a 100% score, winning both disciplines we participated in. The way Matthijs raced the keirin was extremely dominant. He is currently in unbeatable form.

"I am particularly pleased with our team victory. We started out with fifth in the team sprint at the World Cup in Poland, we were second in Manchester and now we got the win. This is a great development, especially looking ahead to the world championships.

"Tomorrow we will ride the individual sprint, where Matthijs and Theo will start. Especially for Matthijs, this will be a good test for the world championships, where the sprint will be held on the third day too. This will be a bit of a dress rehearsal for that tournament, and with his current form he could achieve a podium spot again."

Matthijs Büchli in the keirin:

UAE Team Emirates to the 2018 Vuelta a San Juan
UAE Team Emirates will participate in the Argentine stage race from 21 to 28 January, with a well-balanced team, featuring the experience of a proven climber like Colombian Darwin Atapuma and the promising young Filippo Ganna, the reigning European Champion in the Individual pursuit on track who has shown impressive talent in the race against the clock.

Colombia’s Atapuma sees things clearly: “For me Argentina will mark the beginning of a year I’m really looking forward to. In 2017, when I wasn’t dealing with physical problems from falls, I managed to make a good impression and in 2018 I would like continue performing at these levels. In the Vuelta a San Juan I will determine what kind of shape I’m in after the winter break; the stage arriving on the Alto de Colorado will be an interesting test.”

“The event I’m focusing on is the time trial in the third stage,” Ganna explained. “It’s a test I will take on with determination and ambition. Heat and jet lag will play their part, but almost all the contenders will have to race with the same conditions. I had a nice winter, spent doing useful training sessions and targeted workouts; I’ve got the drive and the right determination.”

El Abdia Annas Aït (Morocco), Atapuma Darwin (Colombia), Ganna Filippo (Italy), Mirza Youssif (UAE), Riabushenko Alexandr (Belorussia), Troia Oliviero (Italy).
Sports Director: Scirea Mario (Italy).

2018 UCI WorldTour Races Wild Cards: RCS Sport Choices
RCS Sport has today announced its selection of wild card teams that will participate at four out of its five UCI WorldTour races:

Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and the Giro d’Italia.

Il Lombardia wild cards will be announced later in the season, after evaluating all the results of the teams that have requested participation at the race.

UCI WORLDTEAMS – 18 (eligible):

STRADE BIANCHE (3 March) – 2 wild cards (20 teams of 7 riders each)

TIRRENO-ADRIATICO (7-13 March) – 4 wild cards (22 teams of 7 riders each):

MILANO-SANREMO (17 March) – 7 wild cards (25 teams of 7 riders each):

GIRO D’ITALIA (4-27 May) – 4 wild cards (22 teams of 8 riders each):

2017 Milano-Sanremo highlights:

Team Novo Nordisk Receives Fourth Wildcard Invitation to Milano-San Remo
On Saturday, Team Novo Nordisk warmly welcomed a RCS wildcard invitation to Milano-San Remo. This is Team Novo Nordisk’s fourth consecutive invitation to La Classicissima. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko below:

Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland: "It is a true honor to be invited back to Milano-San Remo. In 2015, RCS took a chance by offering us a wild card spot to Milano-San Remo. To be honest, we were a nervous bunch taking on racing 300 kilometers with diabetes for the first time. All the riders, particularly Andrea Peron, fought to put on a show and earned our spot back. Every year since we’ve continued to display our appreciation and respect for Milano-San Remo by getting one of our riders into the main breakaway and proving to the world what is possible with diabetes."

For the 2018 race, we are bringing a young, hungry team that’s motivated to build on these previous successes and show our new changing diabetes jersey to the global audience that watches this Monument.

Equally as important, we are racing to prove to the world that riders who race with TUEs for a medication that means the difference between life and death are capable and deserve to race against the best athletes in the world.

Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko: "Since the team launched, RCS has believed and supported our unique mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes. For our team and sponsors, we can’t express how much we appreciate this continued support. There is no bigger one-day event in professional cycling, and we know many strong teams were vying for these wildcard spots. RCS’s support allows us to provide hope and inspiration to millions around the world and we will show our gratitude by lining up with our best squad to date."

2018 Tour of Oman Route Revealed
The peloton will hit the roads of the Sultanate of Oman from 13 to 18 February. High-speed finishes for sprinters, hilly stages for punchers and Green Mountain for climbers —the Tour of Oman has something for everyone. Oman will again reveal who is on the right track and who has still got plenty of work to do.
Oman has managed to captivate and surprise the international peloton year after year. The Tour of Oman, held in February, has something for every rider. It has earned a special place on the pro calendar thanks to the sneak peeks it offers of a season packed with promise and uncertainty.

This year's route will favor the brave —sprinters, punchers and climbers alike. The fast men will fight for the leader's jersey in the opening stage from Nizwa to Sultan Qaboos University, but a look at the following two stages suggests their joy will be short-lived. Sultan Qaboos University will again host the peloton for the start of the second stage, a 167.5 km trek to Al-Bustan —familiar terrain for aggressive punchers. Those who come up short in Al-Bustan will have a chance to make amends the next day, with a stage starting from the German University of Technology. 179.5 km later, an 800 m climb with a gradient close to 10% will separate the wheat from the chaff on Wadi Dayqah Dam. A great chance for revenge after the previous stage. At 117 km, the fourth stage will be short but far from easy. The course between Yiti and the Ministry of Tourism will test the riders' speed and stamina on the triple climb up Al-Jabal Street (3.4 km at 8.8%) before the finish.

Saturday 17 February will feature the queen stage of the Tour of Oman for the eighth year running. The peloton will roll out of Sama'il with the fearsome Green Mountain looming on the horizon. The suffering will only end after a 5.7 km climb at a gradient of 10.5%. Finally, the riders will leave Al-Mouj Muscat for Matrah Corniche for a high-speed finale.

Key points:
· The peloton will tackle six stages totaling 914.5 kilometers through the heart of the landscapes of the Sultanate of Oman.
· The ninth Tour of Oman will be the eighth consecutive edition of the race to feature a summit finish on · Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain), a 5.7 km climb with an average gradient of 10.5%.
· Nine of the eighteen seven-man teams in this year's Tour of Oman are WorldTour outfits.

2018 Tour of Oman route:
Ø Tuesday, February 13th, 1st stage : Nizwa > Sultan Qaboos University, 162,5km.
Ø Wednesday, February 14th, 2nd stage : Sultan Qaboos University > Al Bustan, 167,5km.
Ø Thursday, February 15th, 3rd stage : German University of Technology > Wadi Dayqah Dam, 179,5km.
Ø Friday, February 16th, 4th stage : Yiti (Al Sifah) > Ministry of Tourism, 117,5km.
Ø Saturday, February 17th, 5th stage : Sama’il > Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), 152km.
Ø Sunday, February 18th, 6th stage : Al Mouj Muscat > Matrah Corniche, 135,5km.

Tour of the Alps to unveil 20-team list on January 25th
On the occasion of the Nordic Combined World Cup round in Seefeld in Tirol (Austria), the Euroregional stage race will present the official list of the teams that will light up the 2018 edition (April 16th-20th).

Thibaut Pinot's attempt on Monte Bondone at the 2017 Tour of the Alps (Credits: Josep Vaishar)

The rundown to the Tour of the Alps is now into the final three months: on Monday, April 16th, the 2018 edition of the Euroregional stage race will start from Arco (Trentino, Italy), before ending on April 20th in Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria), on the circuit of the upcoming 2018 Road World Championships.

After the official presentation in Milan, in November, when the five spectacular races were presented, the Tour of the Alps is now ready to unveil the names of the 20 teams in the race: possibly, the strongest and most qualified list in the prestigious history of the event that took over the baton from the Giro del Trentino.

On the occasion of the Nordic Combined World Cup round in Seefeld in Tirol (Austria), on Thursday January 25th, the Tour of the Alps will hold a dedicated public meeting, during which the official teams’ list will be announced. The event will be held at the Media Center of the Combined Nordic World Cup event (Seefeld, Mösererstraße 632), at 3.00 PM.

Again this year, the Tour of the Alps project will be based on the key elements that determined the success of the first edition of last April: cooperation between the territories (Trentino, Südtirol and Tyrol), promotion of the landscapes’ heritage, development of a tourism system strongly characterized by cycling and outdoor as a whole, and the technical difficulty of the routes, providing an ideal dress rehearsal in view of the Giro d’Italia. Additionally, the 2018 Tour of the Alps will celebrate the memory of the late Michele Scarponi: the unfortunate Italian rider won the last race of his career in the first stage of the 2017 Tour of the Alps in Innsbruck, a few days before tragically passing away while training on his home roads.

Five racing days, over 700 kilometers overall distance and 13000 mt overall altitude: there are the figures of the 2018 Tour of the Alps that confirms a spectacular formula made of short and difficult routes. After the start by Arco, seat of the organizing company G.S. Alto Garda, the opening stage will end on the Folgaria plateau. The peloton remains in Trentino for the stage 2, for a trip from Lavarone to the iconic Alpe di Pampeago after facing the Redebus Pass. Südtirol will welcome the race for its stage 3, running from Auer/Ora to Meran/Merano, characterized by two climbs, Mendel Pass/Passo della Mendola and Gampen Pass/Passo Palade. Klausen/Chiusa will be the start of the stage 4, characterized by an exciting finale with the Bannberg climb before the scenic finish in the Lienz’s Hauptplatz. Rattemberg, starting point of the 2018 World Championships time trials, will host the start of the Tour of the Alps last stage. The peloton will arrive in the “Capitals of the Alps”, Innsbruck, after two laps on the 2018 Road World Championships circuit.

Here is the route of the 2018 Tour of the Alps:
Stage 1 – Monday April 16th

Arco – Folgaria, km 134,6
Altitude: 2530m. Difficulty: ***

Stage 2 – Tuesday April 17th
Lavarone – Fiemme/Alpe di Pampeago km 145,5
Altitude: 2900m. Difficulty: ****

Stage 3 – Wednesday April 18th
Ora/Auer – Merano/Meran km 138,3
Altitude: 2600m. Difficulty: **

Stage 4 – Thursday April 19th
Chiusa/Klausen – Lienz km 134,3
Altitude: 2300m. Difficulty: ***

Stage 5 – Friday April 20th
Rattenberg – Innsbruck km 161,6
Altitude: 2770m. Difficulty: ***

FleetComplete joins SEG Racing Academy as partner in 2018
We are proud to announce our partnership with FleetComplete for 2018. Headquartered in Canada and with a European base in Utrecht, The Netherlands, FleetComplete is a global telecommunications carrier partner providing IoT solutions for fleet, asset and mobile workforce management to over 10,000 customers worldwide and 300,000 subscribers worldwide.

FleetComplete’s focus on innovation and growth is a perfect match with our vision for cycling – one that emphasizes talent development and product development in a healthy and clean environment. Their support means another powerful force pushing to move the sport forward and helping create cycling’s future stars.

Tony Lourakis, Fleet Complete CEO: "Fleet Complete is thrilled to be supporting future world class cyclists through our sponsorship of SEG Racing Academy. Innovation and the pursuit of excellence is in our DNA, which makes our partnerships with SEG Racing Academy a natural fit."

Both parties will work together to bring Fleet Complete’s products into the cycling world and, more specifically, in the bike industry. Of course, SEG Racing Academy will also implement Fleet Complete’s high-standard products in its daily business, which will in turn improve the team’s position greatly. This partnership represents a powerful force that promises to move the sport forward, by empowering tomorrow’s cycling stars with the tools and technology they need to succeed.

Bart van Haaren, SEG Racing Academy Manager: "It is great to partner up with Fleet Complete. This partnership will showcase our common core values, as we both embrace and work towards product and talent development. It is a big pleasure to see that FleetComplete embraces SEG Racing Academy & cycling as a sport in order to stimulate their growth strategy. As part of our agreement, we are also excited to collaborate with Fleet Complete in developing a plan to create and maintain healthy and active life habits for their employees and partners. The Academy’s highly qualified staff will be hands-on in this project to ensure the best results."

About Fleet Complete®
Headquartered in Canada and with a European base in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Fleet Complete is a global IoT provider of mission critical fleet, asset and mobile workforce management to over 10,000 customers and 300,000 subscribers worldwide. The company maintains key distribution partnerships with AT&T in the U.S., TELUS in Canada, Telstra in Australia, and T-Mobile in Europe. It remains one of the fastest-growing companies in the world and won numerous awards for innovation and growth. For more information, please visit

About SEG Racing Academy
You can call us a team. You might say we are an academy. The truth is: we are all this and a lot more.
SEG Racing Academy strives
– to move cycling forward
– to educate young riders who can become the stars of the future
– to clean this sport of its bad reputation, pushing for a 100% clean environment.

The goals are big, the mission is complicated, but we believe in every step we take. We don’t shy away from hard work nor from innovation. In fact, our riders, staff and partners take the opposite approach. We love challenges, we embrace technology. In short, we are committed to shaping the future of cycling.

Lotto Soudal Partnership with Rudy Project
This season Rudy Project will provide the Lotto Soudal WorldTour team, Ladies team and U23 team with its most advanced eyewear. Rudy Project was founded in 1985 by Rudy Barbazza in Treviso, Italy. Since then it has become a renowned name in the world of sports.

Paul De Geyter, general manager Lotto Soudal: “We always had a good cooperation with our previous partner. Now we are very pleased though to be working with Rudy Project. This brand has many years of experience at the highest level of cycling. That creates confidence. Glasses are a very important part of a rider’s outfit and they need to be of top quality. That’s definitely the case with Rudy Project.”

André Greipel: “Until 2012 I always wore glasses of Rudy Project. I know their products well and I am very happy with this new partnership. In the past I always had a smooth cooperation with Rudy Project, they always listen to the feedback of the riders. Rudy Project keeps a close contact and delivers an excellent service.”

During competitions and trainings the riders will wear Tralyx sunglasses. Tralyx has already proven to meet the pro-cyclists’ demands thanks to its outstanding lightweight styling and phenomenal comfort combined with unobstructed wide peripheral field of vision. Available in two sizes and two different lens shapes, Tralyx is designed to perfectly fit all the face configurations. Plus, the riders with visual correction needs will be equipped with the high-tech Rudy Project prescription solutions.

Cristiano Barbazza, president and CEO of Rudy Project: “I am really enthusiastic to join forces with all the Lotto Soudal teams. It’s a very special line-up with many young and talented riders and it looks very promising for the coming race season. I wish good luck to all riders!”

Thomas de Gendt at the Tour Down Under in his Rudy Project:
Willunga Hill - Australia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Thomas DE GENDT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during  20th Santos Tour Down Under (2.UWT) stage -5 from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5KM) - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2018

Successful Calpe Camp Concludes
Rolf Aldag, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s head of performance, has expressed his delight as overall preparations ahead of the new season concluded on Thursday following a week-long training camp in Calpe, Spain.

Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Julien Vermote, Scott Thwaites, Jay Thomson, Johann van Zyl, Nic Dougall, Serge Pauwels, Louis Meintjes and Igor Anton, along with a full compliment of staff, spent time on an intense block of training in the region as well as at the Valencia velodrome, where a number of riders underwent ‘aero-testing’.

Edvald Boasson Hagen missed the camp as he underwent a medical procedure in Norway but he is expected to quickly return to full fitness.

“We had beautiful weather, really good conditions and we’ve been hosted really well by the region and the hotel, so I think it was successful,” said Aldag.

“It’s the first long rides for the guys so obviously it’s a little bit uncomfortable if you ride for five hours on the first day, five on the second and six on the third but that’s pretty normal and our medical team and the carers handled that pretty well. Everyone goes home in better shape than they came with, and that was the goal. It’s been so nice to watch the team Down Under and see how they go in the first races, everybody’s always a little bit nervous watching the new season get underway but we’re all very confident as we head into it and we hope for our first victory early,” added Aldag.

While a number of the team’s partners also spent time with the squad on the Costa Blanca in anticipation of the new season.

Prank by Vinokurov
Astana Pro Team general manager Alexandr Vinokurov decided to prank the riders. In the guise of an old man he joined the riders at the training and showed his class, passing everyone on the climb.

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