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

The Spring Classics season ended on Sunday with Bob Jungels carrying on the Quick-Step Floors domination in Liège-Bastogne-Liège - Results and videos from 'La Doyenne' and the Tour of the Alps. MPCC unhappy with Chris Froome and Sky - Top Story. In other cycling news: Injuries for Alberto Bettiol and Marco Haller, teams for the Tour de Romandie, Greg Van Avermaet for Yorkshire, Vuelta a España jerseys, Worlds'18 course preview rides, Polartec-Kometa website and we look at the snowbound 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A full EUROTRASH Monday!


TOP STORY: The MPCC against the presence of Chris Froome!
The Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) has decided to publish a press release in which there is much concern over Chris Froome and his abnormal control. The association wanted to reiterate its appeal to the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) so that every rider involved in an anti-doping procedure is not allowed to start a competition.

No preferential treatment. The Movement For a Credible Cycling (MPCC) remains the same opinion regarding Chris Froome and any other rider who is involved in an anti-doping procedure. Before the case is definitely decided on one side or the other, the cyclist involved must not be able to participate in any competition. This is the opinion of the MPCC, who would have liked from the beginning to see Sky make this decision, but that was not the case. Chris Froome was able to start the Tour of Andalusia in mid-February, the Tirreno-Adriatico and the recently finished Tour of the Alps. It was December 18 that the association had launched a first call.

"We ask the Sky team, without prejudging the final decision, to voluntarily suspend his rider until the end of the procedure. This will allow the rider and his team to proceed with their defense with complete peace of mind and avoid the tensions of many leaders and riders."

For the MPCC, no rider should be treated differently, no matter how important he/she is in the world of cycling. This is why the Board of Directors asks the UCI and WADA "to standardize the procedures and systematize the stoppage of competition for a rider who is the subject of an anti-doping procedure without distinction." This proposal is made in order that the image of cycling is not tainted again, as it is currently with Chris Froome.

It remains to be seen whether their appeal will be heard.

Chris Froome finished 4th overall in the Tour of the Alps last week:
Lienz - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Christopher Froome (GBR - Team Sky) pictured during Tour of the Alps 2018 - stage 4 from Chiusa to Lienz 134,3 km - 19/04/2018 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018



Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2018
Bob Jungels caps off a brilliant Spring, making it two Monuments and 27 victories this season for Quick-Step Floors, with Bob Jungels snatching the solo win on the 104th edition of La Doyenne! The Luxemburghese champion emulated Andy Schleck, who also built his 2009 Liège-Bastogne-Liège victory on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Jungels held off everyone on his own in the final 20km to claim his biggest victory at 25 years of age. Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) finished second ahead of Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale). After Julian Alaphilippe’s victory at La Flèche Wallonne, Quick-Step once again made the most of their collective strength.

After 5 kilometers of battle, Loïc Vliegen (BMC), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Mark Christian and Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Florian Vachon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Paul Ourselin (Direct Énergie), Mathias Van Gompel (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Antoine Warnier (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic) managed to break away. They took a maximum lead of 6:10 after 32km.

Dan Martin’s UAE Team Emirates and Julian Alaphilippe’s Quick-Step Floors were the first teams to pull the peloton. The gap was down to 5:30 when the riders reached Bastogne and turned back to Liège, with 10 climbs still lying ahead of them. Atop the Côte de Saint-Roch (km 109), they maintained a 4:30 lead before a sequence of four climbs from Côte de Mont-le-Soie (km 152) until the Côte de la Ferme Libert (km 180) redefined the race situation.

With Lotto Soudal and UAE setting a hard pace, the pack cut the gap under 4 minutes 85km away from the finish. Casper Pedersen tried to go solo in the Côte de Bellevaux, opening a 20 second gap before his former breakaway companions got back to him in the Côte de la Ferme Libert. Loïc Vliegen, Anthony Perez, Mark Christian, Jérôme Baugnies and Paul Ourselin proved to be the strongest on that climb. Vliegen was then dropped in the Col du Rosier.

The peloton was only 1:45 behind the four remaining escapees when they tackled the iconic Côte de la Redoute, where Jérôme Baugnies went solo. The Belgian was eventually caught with 25km to go, just ahead of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) tore the race apart on the climb, before going solo after the summit, 19km away from the finish line. A group of 20 chasers, featuring four time winner of Liège Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and most of the favorites, but they were not able to collaborate properly behind him. 2013 winner Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) dropped out of contention due to a puncture with 8km to go.

The Luxemburghese champion made the best of his all-round abilities to tackle the Côte de Saint-Nicolas with a lead of 50 seconds. At the summit, despite attacks from Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens and Jelle Vanendert, he was still 20 seconds ahead of his first chaser, Vanendert. The Belgian wasn’t able to close that gap in the final 5.5km and he saw Michael Woods and Romain Bardet come back to him while Bob Jungels soloed to victory.

PEZ Race Report HERE.

Ans - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Bob JUNGELS (Luxembourg / Team Quick - Step Floors) pictured during the 104th Liège - Bastogne - Liège - world tour - a one day race between Liege and Ans in Belgium (258KM) - photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2018

Liège winner, Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors): "To be honest, this came as a surprise. I didn’t believe I could pull it off until I saw that nobody was behind me as I was approaching the finish line. Yesterday evening I watched together with Julian the 2011 edition, when the winning move was made on Roche-aux-Faucons, and I made my attack in the same place. I was waiting for this victory for a long time and to finally get it is pretty unreal. We made the race hard from La Redoute, where we put the hammer down, before attacking with Phillipe on Roche-aux-Faucons. Then I made a move and seeing there was a small gap, I decided to use my rouleur abilities all the way to the finish, while at the same time carefully dosing my effort. This is the most beautiful one-day race in the world, and to get the victory here, close to Luxembourg and in front of my family and fans, who all came to support me, it’s something I will always remember. To be sincere, it’s pretty unbelievable and I’ll need a few days to let everything sink in. We are more than a team. Quick-Step Floors is a family, we trust each other and everybody knows his own role and more importantly, gets a chance on the team, as we could see in many of this season’s races. We are always there for each other, fighting until the very end, and that is just one of the things that make this team great."

2nd, Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale): "I struggled a lot at the start of the season with illness, I didn’t have the season start I wanted to. Today is the first day I actually felt like a bike racer again. I felt awesome throughout the day and had really great support from the guys." Woods missed the move by Jungels, "I was a bit to blame for that. I was right on his wheel, and I grabbed a gel when he went. He rode a strong and courageous race. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him. He’s a classy guy. Bardet made an excellent move, I knew as soon as he went that it was the move to follow. I was able to get on his wheel, and we worked fairly well together up the climb. JV told me I could win an Ardennes classics, and I didn’t believe him when first told me. Now I’m starting to believe. My wife had some tough news a few days ago, and I really wanted to get a good result for her here. I finished the race and gave her a call. We shared a big smile. I’m really happy to pull something off for her and the team after a tough start to the season."

3rd, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): "This is my sixth participation and I am still improving my methods. I have more landmarks, more cold bloodedness. It's certainly a race that inspires me. When you are on the podium, you are compelled to look ahead to the sequel. I knew Woods was faster than me in a sprint, and unfortunately he stuck to my wheel to the end. He was waiting for the sprint and I had to take my responsibilities in order to stay away from the bunch. Julian tried to bridge but died on our heels. Third was the best place possible for today. When I saw that the victory was decided, I gave everything for the podium. Jungels succeeded in accomplishing a great cycling feat. He took advantage of the marking going on, and was very strong physically himself. My team gave everything to support me all day and I am very proud, once again, of my friends and teammates. Now I'm finishing the first part of my season. I will thoroughly enjoy a few days of vacation before preparing for the summer."

5th, Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida): "I arrived with a great condition and despite the fatigue of the five stages of the Tour of Alps. Indeed, in the end I was almost surprised by my brilliance. It was an elimination race with a pace soaring in the last part but I also managed to attack on Saint Nicholas."

6th, Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida): "It was so fast that nobody managed to attack, with the exception of the race winner the Luxembourgish Bob Jungels. I broke off on the penultimate climb but I managed to come back with 2km to go. It was my best Liège ever."

7th, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was a hard race but the team worked really good. We stayed nearly the whole race together and my teammates supported me perfectly. As the group split, I tried to go with them and saw myself in one of the chasing groups. My legs felt good and I tried a few times to jump away, in the end I didn’t succeed and finished 7th in the sprint. But I am satisfied with my performance and happy with my result. Now I am looking forward to my first Grand Tour with BORA – hansgrohe."

8th, Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott): "It was a huge day and super effort from the team, they were all day around me. Today I wasn’t feeling as super as the other days but at the end I was there in the final and Haig was super strong and trying to help me. The plan was I should look to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-step Floors) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) but maybe I stuck there a bit with the tactics and maybe I should have gone with some other teams. When you race well all week, you are trying to go for the win then you have to play the cards until the last moment and look to the big guys and that is what I was doing. At the end the result didn’t come how I wanted but I am happy. With three top eights all week, it is quite solid and for my head it is good that I reached some results. Tomorrow I will draw a big line and start to think about the stage races."

9th, Sergio Henao (Sky): "It was a really fast race and it was really important that the team were all at the front heading into the final 50 kilometers. We were able to achieve that which was good, and then moving towards the end it was important to follow moves. You can’t follow everything, but I was able to make the split. The aim was for a podium or a victory, but one good thing I can take away is that I am in good condition, which bodes well for the Giro. This next week will be all about recovery and mentally everything turns towards the Giro now."

10th, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): "We tried our best today, but the team with the most riders in the final are the one that are winning the races. Today Gilbert and Jungels did a good job. I tried to do my best, but it was not enough today. I knew it was hard to get Bob Jungels back, but nothing happened in our group to close the gap. For the final sprint I was in the right wheel and I gave it all, but at the end it was not enough for the podium today."

11th, Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Soudal): "After Tim Wellens had told me that he didn’t feel great today, we decided that I would play all or nothing with an ultimate attack. I did that on Saint-Nicolas. The lead of Jungels quickly decreased. But when you can’t bridge at once or don’t have support, then you know it’s difficult against a time trialist such as Jungels. I definitely was in a really good shape today, just like during the entire period of the Ardennes Classics. With a bit of luck I would have finished on the podium, but in the last straight line I had no power left. I can’t be disappointed with my performance, but I am disappointed with the final result. With this legs and my strong attack I had hoped for more. But so be it. I’m coming back next year!"

16th, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): "Halfway the Roche-aux-Faucons I felt that I didn’t have my best legs and that I wasn’t good enough today to aim for the victory or the podium. I then tried to make the race hard with a few attacks. I tried to chase down Jungels, but that wasn’t easy. He definitely was one of the best riders in the race and he is an excellent time trialist. At every attempt someone joined me, but we never could create a sufficient gap. I won the Brabantse Pijl, got sixth at Amstel Gold Race and seventh at Flèche Wallonne. Today I showed myself during the race, but I couldn’t set another top result and that’s of course a pity. In general I can be satisfied about these four races though. I have set a step forward compared with last year and that was my intention. I will now take a short break. On 1 May I’ll leave for the Giro, where I will try to win a stage."

Puncture victim and 18th, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): "I really had a good legs today and this was thanks to the work I’m doing and to the team. We made a plan for this race from the start to the finish and we believed in our chances. We showed that we are an important team and we can race like one of the best teams in the world. At the end of the race, I had good feelings and I was ready to try to profit from the work of my team earlier on in the race. I tried to anticipate the others moves with a series of attacks because I felt that it was the decisive moment in the race, which it ended up being. I’ve punctured in the worst of moments and when I saw my front wheel was completely flat, I could not believe it. Now I hope to profit from my hard work at the Tour of Romandie."

Break rider, Jérôme Baugnies (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): "When we took off after the start, I hoped it would be a long day. But with nine good riders we did not get too much free space from the pack, and then I felt that it would be difficult to get to La Redoute. I imposed the pace and thus took care of a reduction. It was fun to ride up La Redoute alone. That gave me a good feeling, with my Walloon name and a Wanty-Groupe Gobert jersey I was encouraged loudly. Even when I was dropped everyone kept on shouting my name. The road after Le Redoute was all headwind, which killed me. Last week I heard TV analyst José De Cauwer say on Sporza: "Ah, Baugnies is finally there again!" People quickly forget that last year I crashed hard in Grand Prix de Wallonie. I come back from far, this is my proper answer to José."

Liège-Bastogne-Liège Result:
1. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors in 6:24:44
2. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:37
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:39
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana.

Liège'18:




Tour of the Alps 2018
When you look at the Tour of the Alps’ GC at the end of Stage 4, the one that took the peloton from Sudtirol to Tirol, from Chiusa/Klausen to Lienz, you might think that little or nothing has happened over these 134,3 km. And that assumption would be certainly wrong.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) enjoyed the stage win, using one of those trademark moves that helped him win – among others – two San Sebastian Classics and four Tour de France stages. Sanchez showed up solo on the finish line in Lienz, replicating the feat of young Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) of 24 hours earlier in Meran.

Behind the Spaniard, New Zealand’s George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) came in 6 seconds later, followed by another teammate of his, Koen Bouwman, who edged the sprint of a 12-man group featuring all the top favorites. Fourth position for Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who managed a unique feat so far in this Tour of the Alps: keeping the leader’s jersey for more than a day. But he had to fight for such privilege.

Indeed, the battle started already on the Terenten climb, after merely 30 km, when seven riders moved on the attack, with several big names in it: Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Hubert Dupont (Ag2R-La Mondiale), David De La Cruz (Team Sky), Davide Villella (Astana), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murias), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-hansgrohe) and Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), joined shortly after by Kristijan Durasek (UAE Team Emirates) and Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida).

When crossing the Austrian border, the leaders had a maximum advantage of 2.16, that meant virtual leadership for Hermans. The peloton’s comeback came fast though on the Anras climb. UAE Team Emirates started pushing hard at the front, and that was certainly the sign of something happening, and indeed, after the acceleration of Dutchman Bouwman and Italian Nicola Conci, there came the attack by Fabio Aru, with Miguel Angel Lopez behind him. Chris Froome reacted and bridged back of the four, but Pinot and Pozzovivo were fart in reacting and closing the gap.

After the top of the climb, the fourteen leaders came back together, until the final move by Sanchez with 2 km to go: the last-gasp attempt by Bennett proved fruitless.

Pinot has kept the fuchsia jersey, with 15 seconds on Pozzovivo and Lopez, 16 on Froome and 50 on Aru. Meran’s winner Ben O’Connor kept his best youngster’s white jersey, whilst Pozzovivo took over the KOM green jersey, and Ben Hermans dressed the Intermediate Sprints’ red jersey.

Alps stage 4 photos in PeloPics.

Lienz - Italia - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP - Astana Pro Team) pictured during Tour of the Alps 2018 - stage 4 from Chiusa to Lienz 134,3 km - 19/04/2018 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana): "I had regrets after yesterday’s stage – the Spaniard confessed – as I was supposed to go for success on the day, but I hesitated a little too much, and the Aussie went away. Today I didn’t have a doubt: I wanted to go without waiting for the sprint. It turned out to be the right choice. Today everything went super. We had a very strong team and it was a key of our success. The guys did a fantastic job, controlling the race and following all the attacks. Firstly, it was Davide Villella in the break, and later we had Miguel Angel Lopez, Pello Bilbao and Nikita Stalnov, who were very attentive to all moves of the rivals. Yesterday we did a good race as well, but something went wrong in the end despite a huge help of my teammates, especially, Miguel Angel. Today, in the final I knew I have to attack to win the stage. I did it for a few times, on the downhill and later inside the last two kilometers. The second time it worked well, and I could get a small gap, enough to win. I am happy with this victory since it gives me motivation and confirms I am in the right place for the Giro. Also, the whole team is strong and ready for the Giro d’Italia."

Overall leader, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): "Today it wasn’t my best day, and I had a hard time responding to the many attacks that came from my rivals. Pozzovivo, Lopez, Froome, Aru, are all very strong riders, all capable of attacking and making gaps, and none of them held back today. But my advantage is still there, and only one stage is left: 15 seconds can be a lot, or very little, and tomorrow we will need a perfect race to bring this jersey home. It was my clear goal, now we have to achieve it for good."

Tour of the Alps Stage 4 Result:
1. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana in 3:19:59
2. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:06
3. Koen Bouwman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
8. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
10. Chris Froome (GB) Sky.

Tour of the Alps Overall After Stage 4:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 14:12:29
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:15
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
4. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 0:16
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:50
6. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 1:06
7. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:10
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 1:36
9. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:45
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 1:55.

Stage 4:



Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) managed to defend his lead in the Final Stage 5 ending in Innsbruck, taking home the overall success he had barely missed in 2017. Final podium for Pozzovivo and Lopez, final stage win for Padun.

Thibaut, in spite of no stage wins in this edition, won the overall prize by distancing by 15 seconds Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana). Overall fourth place for possibly the most expected rider in the race, Chris Froome, the leader of Sky, whose team failed in the bid of a fourth consecutive win. Generally speaking, the Tour of the Alps showed a competitive Froome, maybe not yet at his best, but certainly eager to show up and test himself and his rivals. Faring slightly below the expectations was Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), who finished in sixth place, also behind George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), like at the Alpe di Pampeago, also in Innsbruck the Italian couldn’t hold the pace of the strongest rivals.

The finishing line in Innsbruck brought luck to another emerging prospect: 21-year-old Ukrainian Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), who celebrated on the fifth stage, Rattenberg-Innsbruck (164,2 km), his first pro win, breaking away solo from the nine-man group that crossed the Olympia Climb three times, the main ascent of the upcoming UCI Road World Championships.

The day had started with a nine-man breakaway: Bidard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini), Rodriguez Garaico (Euskadi-Murias), Anton (Dimension Data), Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli), Andreetta and Senni (Bardiani-CSF), Guy (Israel Cycling Academy), Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia). They opened up a 10 minute gap on the chasing peloton before entering the final circuit. As soon as the leading teams started pulling, their advantage faded quickly. After the breakaway was reeled in at the top of the Olympia Climb for the second time, Miguel Angel Lopez tried to surprise his fellow leaders on descent, followed later by Pozzovivo and Pinot. The three leaders of the GC remained upfront until 5 km to go, when the peloton led by Chris Froome and his key domestique Kenny Elissonde finally managed to bring them back, before the decisive kick by Padun.

Spaniard Rodriguez could be happy with the KOM green jersey, whilst Pascal Eenkhoorn (LottoNL-Jumbo) secured the intermediate sprints’ red jersey. The white jersey remained on the shoulders of Ben O’ Connor (Dimension Data), overall seventh and real revelation of this Tour of the Alps.

Innsbruck - Austria - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Mark Padun (UKR - Bahrain - Merida) pictured during Tour of the Alps 2018 - stage 5 from Rattenberg to Innsbruck 164,2 km - 20/04/2018 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): "I had been thinking of that in the previous laps, I realized there could be some space to go, and I’d rather try and miss than regret not going. It’s just my third race this year, and I am starting to understand what kind of riders I am: short stage races could be my thing. Maybe even the Tour of the Alps, in the future…"

7th on the stage and overall winner, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): "When I managed to rejoin Lopez with Pozzovivo on the way down, I realized I had made it. The Tour of the Alps is one of the most beautiful and hardest races I have ever taken, and I am delighted to have it in my palmarès now. It has been a perfect week, in one of the most beautiful areas in Europe. Last year, I had promised I would be back for winning. Now, I promise I will be back to make a double."

5th on the stage, 8th overall and Best Young Rider, Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data): "Today was another day of tough racing, around the World Champs course. Sky took the race on initially but then it was Astana who really forced the pace on the 2nd time up the climb and blew the race to pieces. I was feeling really good and was ready try something similar to the other day, when I won, but I had a really untimely puncture on the last climb. I had a big chase and got back to Chris Froome and the onus was on him to ride. It was only down at the bottom of the descent were it all regrouped. The team was really helpful too, getting me into position before getting onto the circuit, which was crucial. I didn't have to spend any unnecessary energy and then it was down to my legs on the circuit. I got a few seconds back over some of our rivals which allowed me to move up a spot on GC. Finishing in 7th is absolutely amazing and winning the white jersey, it was something I looked at but I wasn't absolutely sure I could do it. So, this week has given me a massive confidence boost, knowing I can be up there on GC and ride with the best guys in the world. The way the team has helped me develop is something I think no other team would have allowed me to do, so a big thank you to the team. I think this week was just what our Giro team needed, we needed to take the race on, get a result and have our confidence boosted ahead of the Giro. The stage win this week was much needed, because that's the point of what we do, we race to win and be part of the final's. Every time we do so, Qhubeka gets represented as it should and people begin to realize what our teams purpose is."

8th on the stage and 4th overall, Chris Froome (Sky): "I think I’m a lot closer to being ready for the Giro than I was at Tirreno-Adriatico and we’ve still got two weeks now. It’s been a perfect build up to the Giro d’Italia. The team has been fantastic this week and if you look at how they have controlled the race today it’s really impressive. The break had over 10 minutes at one point and in 40km we brought it to under a minute. It’s really going to give us an indication of who’s in good shape ahead of the Giro and the team will be selected in the next week or so. I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training. It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it. This is the first time Froome has taken on the newly-formatted Tour of the Alps and he was effusive in his praise for the race as well as the quality of racing it produced. I’ve been having a lot of fun these past few days, it’s short, explosive stages and it’s not something you can replicate in training. It’s really good to have been here and be a part of it. The Giro is a whole new challenge for me and a new motivation for me too. It’s a huge challenge to target the Giro d’Italia after winning the Tour and Vuelta last year and it’s a huge motivation for me to got for my third consecutive Grand Tour win."

Tour of the Alps Stage 5 Result:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida in 4:16:10
2. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:05
3. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 0:06
4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
5. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:09
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
8. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 0:11.

Tour of the Alps Final Overall Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 14:12:29
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:15
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
4. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:16
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:00
6. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana at 1:19
7. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:33
8. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 1:35
9. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:42
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana at 1:48.

The final stage 5:




Bettiol Sustains Fractured Clavicle in Liège-Bastogne-Liège Crash
Alberto Bettiol has been ruled out of the Giro d'Italia after crashing at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and suffering multiple injuries, including a fractured left clavicle.

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Max Testa said Bettiol will likely be out of action for six weeks.

"Alberto Bettiol sustained a displaced fracture of the left clavicle, a left rib fracture, and a bruised lung. He will remain in hospital overnight and tomorrow we will reassess his condition," Dr. Testa explained. "Alberto will be discharged in 24-48 hours and then transfer home to Italy. He will have surgery in the next five to seven days to fixate the clavicle fracture. Unfortunately, he will miss the Giro d'Italia and will likely be back on the bike in two to three weeks with an expected return to racing in six weeks. We will continue to monitor his recovery and will have a better understanding of this post-surgery."

Bettiol is disappointed to miss the Giro d'Italia. "I'm not feeling so good because of the pain in my left side. I cannot breathe properly because of the fractured left rib and my fractured clavicle is also painful. The team, Valerio Piva and Max Testa, and the hospital have taken really good care of me. It could be better but it could also be worse so I'm focusing on the positives and thankful that all of my injuries will heal," Bettiol said.

"It was a stupid crash. I didn't take any risks in the downhill but there was something on the road, maybe some oil or gravel, and my front wheel slipped out. For sure, the Giro d'Italia is out of the question which is really disappointing because as an Italian cyclist, it is the dream. We will see tomorrow morning but I hope to be back as soon as possible."

Alberto Bettiol's crash in Liège:
Ans - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Crash - Alberto Bettiol (ITA - BMC) pictured during the 104th Liège - Bastogne - Liège - world tour - a one day race between Liege and Ans in Belgium (258KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018



Marco Haller Hit by Car and Out of Racing for Months
KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Marco Haller has suffered multiple fractures of the left knee after a car hit him on Austrian roads. The accident occurred on Wednesday 18 April while the Austrian rider was training with his colleague-rider Bernhard Eisel on Carinthian roads. Haller will not be able to race in the coming months. The 27-year-old rider should have been one of the key riders in the lead out train for sprinter Marcel Kittel in the upcoming Tour de France.

“It was my second day back on the bike, after I had to recover from a second viral infection in the 2018 season,” explained Marco Haller from the hospital, the Landeskrankenhaus in Villach. “I was riding with Bernie Eisel and was sitting in his wheel in a slight downhill, when suddenly a car, ignoring the stop sign, came at us from the right. Bernie just managed to escape him, but I could not do that and hit the driver’s door at full speed. My bike was completely destroyed and my knee as well.”

Marco Haller was transferred to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a double fracture of the knee cap. Further tests revealed a fracture of the lateral side of the left femur, as well. “I am very disappointed. Not only at missing the Tour de France but also because of - again - the attitude of some car drivers. Cars and cyclists share the road but this seems to be more and more difficult. Some mentality needs to change,” said Haller.

As soon as Marco Haller can leave the hospital, he will start his rehabilitation at the Therapiezentrum Hans Friedl in Munich. It is unclear when Marco Haller will be able to resume competition. Further updates will be reported through the team's website and social media.

Marco Haller on his hospital bed:




AG2R-La Mondiale for Romandie
Pierre Latour has won the best young rider’s jersey of the Tour de Romandie in both of the last two editions.

Mathias Frank: "I didn’t race between the Volta Catalunya and Flèche Wallonne. For three weeks I was able to train and prepare myself at home. I had the chance to review the climb for the time trial between Ollon and Villars (April 27). I know this climb; we even raced it last year during the Tour de Suisse. At the Flèche Wallonne, I worked for the team and I could tell that the legs are pretty good. I am always happy to race these great events in Switzerland, which only happens twice a year. They are always a top priority. I hope this year that the weather will be kind to us at the Tour de Romandie, in contrast to past years."





Tour de Romandie
The UCI World Tour makes its first stop of the year in Switzerland next week, with the 72nd edition of the Tour de Romandie getting underway on Tuesday in Fribourg. The 6-day event will be made up of a prologue, 4 road stages and a mountain time trial.

The Tour de Romandie gets underway with a technical 4km prologue on Tuesday, thereafter 4 road stages are split by a 9.9km individual mountain time trial up the category 1 climb to Villars. Stages 1 and 3 will suit the climbers, with tough categorized climbs placed in the final kilometers of the stage. While there is a fair amount of climbing on stages 2 and 5, it is still believed that breakaways or small group sprints could decide these stages.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will head to the Tour de Romandie with a team of opportunists, targeting stage success. Merhawi Kudus, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Nicholas Dlamini and Steve Cummings will fancy their chances on the more difficult climbing days while the versatility of Nic Dougall, Johann van Zyl and Jaco Venter allows our African Team to target breakaways on any given day.

Gino van Oudenhove – Sport Director: "Tour de Romandie is the next of a hard and high level WT race for us. Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for some of our riders to step up and take their chances. With a prologue, a climb time trial and a lot of climbing, it fits riders like Steve and Amanuel very well. Also Merhawi showed good riding in the Alps. The amazing riding of Ben in the Alps should give us some good vibes and to the riders to discover the opportunities to show some good results."

Line-up:
Merhawi Kudus, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Nicholas Dlamini, Steve Cummings, Nic Dougall, Johann van Zyl, Jaco Venter.

Cover Image Explained
Emmental is a medium-hard Swiss cheese. The Tour de Romandie is a medium-hard Swiss race. While the Tour de Romandie doesn’t pass through Emmental, the famous Swiss cheese seemed right to profile the, um well, profiles of the stages. Romandie is a pre-Giro d’Italia form-finder for many and there’s sure to be a few teams lining up their GC contenders for racing.





Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Tour de Romandie
The 19th World Tour event of the season will see Fernando Gaviria and Elia Viviani race together for the first time this season.

First World Tour stage race in nearly three weeks, the Tour de Romandie (24-29 April) won’t have a mountain top finish for the 72nd edition, but this doesn’t mean the riders lining out in Fribourg won’t be up for a tough week, as the Swiss event will include a hilly prologue, an uphill individual time trial and 15 categorized ascents, making it more a climbers’ heaven and less a sprinters’ delight, with the latter having to work hard in order to fight for a win.

The Swiss race will mark Fernando Gaviria’s return to action, after an injury he had picked up on the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico forced the 23-year-old Colombian to take a break, sidelining him for the Spring Classics.

“Missing all those beautiful races was a blow for me, especially as I was in a good condition. I was sad and frustrated, but this only fueled my motivation to work hard and come back to racing fully recovered. I’ve raced only once before in Switzerland, in my debut season with the pros, but this will be my first time in the Tour de Romandie and I’m excited and eager to join again my teammates and ease back into racing as I start my second half of the season, which I hope to be an injury-free and successful one.”

Winner of four races this year, Gaviria will team-up with another Quick-Step Floors rider who has tasted success on numerous occasions since the start of the season, Elia Viviani, for whom the Tour de Romandie will be the last race before flying to the start of the Giro d’Italia.

Eros Capecchi, neo-pro James Knox, Davide Martinelli, Michael Mørkøv and Fabio Sabatini will round out the team for the six-day race in which our outfit has won a total of seven stages at the previous participations.

Tour de Romandie (SUI) 2.UWT
Riders:

Eros Capecchi (ITA), Fernando Gaviria Rendon (COL), James Knox (GBR), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Michael Mørkøv (DEN), Fabio Sabatini (ITA), Elia Viviani (ITA).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).





Porte Set to Lead BMC Racing Team at Tour de Romandie
Richie Porte will team up with Tejay van Garderen once again when he returns to the start line at the Tour de Romandie next week, one year after taking overall victory at the UCI WorldTour stage race.

A strong and well-rounded line-up will join Porte, Sports Director Fabio Baldato said. "We will go into the race with Richie Porte as our leader. Looking at the parcours, I think the time trial on stage 4 will be important and we will see what the situation is when we reach that. We also have Tejay van Garderen lining up and he is in good shape so we will look to protect him and put him in a good position for the General Classification as well. After the TT, there is a really hard stage in the mountains. It's short but with four tough climbs so we will keep looking at the situation to see what the best plan will be when we get there."

"We have a strong team for this race. First of all, we have three Swiss riders and we know they are always extra motivated when racing at home. Rohan Dennis will make his final preparations for the Giro d'Italia at this race and I'm sure he will want to target the 4km prologue. It's maybe a little bit short but we know that on this kind of effort, he is always one of the strongest in the peloton. I think we have a good team with lots of different options so it will be up to us to make a result," Baldato explained.

Porte will line up at the six-day stage race as defending champion. "I'm not putting too much pressure on myself heading into the Tour de Romandie this year as I don't really know where my form is. However, while I have more modest ambitions this year, it is a race I enjoy so I will be going there ready to give 100%. Overall, I think we have a good group of riders lining up so, I am looking forward to getting started," Porte said.

For van Garderen, the Tour de Romandie is an important race for BMC Racing Team. "Being on a team so closely linked to Switzerland means that this race is a big goal for us. My form is good and we are very motivated especially having Richie Porte, the defending champion, on the team. It gives us an extra incentive. The course suits us, and we are ready to fight. We owe it to Andy," van Garderen added.

Tour de Romandie (24 - 29 April)
Rider Roster:

Tom Bohli (SUI), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Richie Porte (AUS), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Tejay van Garderen (USA), Danilo Wyss (SUI).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Allan Peiper (AUS).

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



Costa Sets His Sights on Another Podium Finish at the Tour de Romandie
UAE Team Emirates’ Rui Costa has his sights firmly set on a forth podium finish in the General Classification at this year’s Tour de Romandie (24 – 29th April). The Portuguese rider is full of confidence after a series of strong performances in the Ardennes Classics and is now hoping to add to his impressive palmarès, which already includes third place finishes at the Swiss race in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Team mate Dan Martin also returns to the Tour de Romandie after last riding the stage race in 2015.

The duo head to Switzerland from Belgium, fresh off the back of Liège-Bastogne-Liège; a race in which UAE Team Emirates performed extremely well, controlling the peloton for long sections of the 256km route. Unfortunately luck was not on the side of Irishman Martin, who suffered a puncture whilst chasing down the breakaway with a select group of riders. The misfortune happened with only 8kms to go, preventing the team’s leader from closing the gap and contending another podium finish at the biggest monument of the season. The race was eventually won by Luxemburger Bob Jungels (Quick Step), who shot free before the finish line and took the top spot ahead of Canadian Michael Woods (Team EF) and Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale).

Martin and Costa will be joined in Romandie by leading Columbian climber Darwin Atapuma, Kristijan Durasek, Roberto Ferrari, Anass Ait El Abdia and Matteo Bono - who was also part of their Ardennes Classics campaign. The team will be led by Sports Directors Simone Pedrazzini and Bruno Vicino.

Commenting ahead of the tour, Rui Costa said: "I'm going to Romandie after the Ardennes Classics, it's a pairing that I've done a lot in the past and it’s allowed me to get on the podium three times. Usually, after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, my condition is good, which gives me the confidence to battle for the overall victory as well as trying to win a stage. I hope that's the case again this year."

Dan Martin added: “I'm going back again after last participating in 2015, so I know I'll face a particularly demanding edition of the Swiss race. There's not going to be one simple stage and it'll be interesting to see how they've routed the two time trials.”

The Tour de Romandie, which dates back to 1947, is tailor made for both time trial specialists and climbers – with several double digit ascents across its parcours. The 72nd edition of the six-day race, held in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, kicks off on Tuesday 24 April with a 4km Individual Time Trial (ITT) prologue in the medieval town of Fribourg. The first stage of the road race also begins in Fribourg, before taking the riders along a 166.6km course with four intermediate climbs that culminate with a steep decent to the finish line in Delémont. The second stage of the tour travels from Delémont to Yverdon-les-Bains along a 173.9km route, which features 1,988 vertical metres of climbing over both the Col des Rangiers and the Col des Etroits. Stage three sees the riders back in time trial mode with a gruelling 9.9km ITT - from Ollon to the mountain village of Villars - up an average gradient of 8%. The penultimate fourth stage starts and finishes in Sion, with riders tackling five climbs and gaining 3,584 meters in altitude over the 149.2km course. The fifth and final stage of the tour goes from Mont-sur-Rolle to Geneva. The 181.8km route features three graded climbs, but boasts a flat finish along the shores of lake Geneva, perfectly lending itself to a group sprint finish that will wrap up yet another thrilling UCI World Tour race.

UAE Team Emirates’ participation on the UCI World Tour gives the local community the opportunity to come together and support world-class athletes as they aim to become one of the top cycling teams on the tour. To find out more about UAE Team Emirates, visit UAETeamEmirates.com.





Ready for the Tour de Romandie
The 72th Tour de Romandie will start tomorrow with the 4km prologue in Fribourg and will finish, after five stage, next Sunday in Geneve. The route of the Swiss race, which dates back to 1947, is very demanding with the second stage ending in Yverdon-les-Bains features 1,988 vertical metres and two climbs and the next one with an individual time trial of about 10km at almost 8%. Stage 4 is another challenge in the high mountains – 3,584 vertical metres and five mountains before the race closes with a long descent and flat run-in through the Rhône Valley.

The route, with a lot of ascent and two time trials, is suitable for riders like our Ion Izagirre: "I’m arriving from the Ardenne’s classics - says the Basque athlete - and I'm here to try to improve the fifth place of the last edition. There are many good uphill and time trial opponents, but I think I can do well."

Enrico Gasparotto also comes from Belgium: "The Romandie is a race that I've always liked. Looking at the race route I think i have a couple of opportunities. Yesterday's sixth place at the Liège has confirmed to me that the condition is good and therefore I hope to get a good result here in Switzerland ".

TBM’s line-up for Tour de Romandie:
Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagirre, Enrico Gasparotto, Sonny Colbrelli, Ramunas Navardauskas, Hermann Pernsteiner and Kristijan Koren.





Guillaume Martin and Timothy Dupont lead WGG in our first WorldTour stage race in 2018
Together with our proud Swiss sponsor Atar Wanty-Groupe Gobert presents its third participation in Tour de Romandie (2.WT, 24-29/04). As the only procontinental team our team will appear in Fribourg at the start in a strong field with Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas and Primož Roglič.

For the six-day Swiss race sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren counts on Guillaume Martin, Thomas Degand, Timothy Dupont, Xandro Meurisse, Odd Eiking, Fabien Doubey and Marco Minnaard. Leader Guillaume Martin is aiming for a good general classification in our first WorldTour stage race of 2018, while Timothy Dupont can test his sprint legs in stage 2 and in the final stage to Geneva.

Guillaume Martin: "My performance in Liège-Bastogne-Liège gives me courage. In Flèche Wallonne I struggled with stomach complaints, but I had no problems with that in Liège. Tour de Romandie is a multi-day stage race, which suits me a lot better than a one day race. "

"On Friday there is a special day with the mountain time trial in Villars, which is not my favorite type of stage. But we will see where I can end up. The Wednesday stage and the climbing stage with start and finish in Sion should definitely suit me."

"If I recuperate well from the long race on Sunday and the trip a strong performance should be possible. My focus is now shifting to Switzerland, where I will have to concentrate on every stage. I am looking forward to it! "






Preview Tour de Romandie with DS Frederik Willems
From Tuesday 24 till Sunday 29 April the Tour de Romandie will be taking place in Switzerland. This six-day WorldTour stage race suited the climbers very well in the past, but the course of the 2018 edition seems to be more balanced and should offer opportunities to different types of riders. In 2017 Sander Armée conquered the KOM jersey.

Sports director Frederik Willems: “We have a very diverse team and it will be our goal to race aggressively. Sander Armée and Victor Campenaerts will ride the Giro in May, Jens Keukeleire restarts competition after a difficult spring and with Thomas De Gendt we have someone in the team who is born to attack. Apart from them youngsters Rémy Mertz, James Shaw and Enzo Wouters get the chance to show themselves.”

“When we look at the course we see that there’s a time trial the first and fifth day. The prologue is only four kilometres long, but will be a good test for Victor Campenaerts ahead of the Giro. The time trial of 10 kilometres suits him a bit less, but he will go full nonetheless. He also wants to try something in the breakaway stages. On the second and third day escapees stand a chance on a very hilly course. Jens Keukeleire is fast after a tough race and he can finish close in a sprint with a reduced group. And Sander Armée and Thomas De Gendt are not quickly tired after a day in the breakaway. For Thomas the climb time trial is definitely an opportunity. Without a specific leader James Shaw and Rémy Mertz get a free role; hopefully they can show themselves. The last stage is the only chance of a sprint. Enzo Wouters can show his fast legs then.”

“The GC isn’t a goal for us in Romandie. I am curious to see if and which teams of GC riders will want to control the race. They will determine how much advantage the escapees get. On Saturday the queen stage is scheduled; together with the climb time trial that will be decisive for the podium of Tour de Romandie.”


Line-up Lotto Soudal:
Sander Armée, Victor Campenaerts, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Keukeleire, Rémy Mertz, James Shaw, Enzo Wouters.
Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

James Shaw:
Munster - Westfalen - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Shaw James Callum (Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during Sparkassen Munsterland Giro 2016 - photo Cor Vos © 2016



Olympic Champion Set to Ride Tour de Yorkshire!
Reigning Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet is the latest star cyclist confirmed to ride the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

Van Avermaet is one of the biggest names in the sport who has also won two Tour de France stages, the 2017 Paris-Roubaix title, and numerous other accolades alongside his Rio 2016 success.

It will be the first time the 32-year-old BMC Racing rider has competed in Yorkshire since 2015 when he finished seventh overall and secured second place behind his then team-mate Ben Hermans on the final stage into Leeds.

The news that Van Avermaet will be competing in Yorkshire follows hot on the heels of Mark Cavendish announcing that, he too, will be present for the fourth edition taking place between 3-6 May.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity is thrilled to have another world-class rider on the start list and believes this year’s Tour de Yorkshire is shaping up to be the biggest and best one yet.

He said: “It’s fantastic news that Greg will be competing and he is sure to receive a very warm welcome.

“He is one of the most exciting, classy and respected riders in the sport and will no-doubt animate the four days of racing. The final stage should certainly suit him and I look forward to seeing him in action.

“The word has definitely got around the peloton that the Tour de Yorkshire offers huge crowds and exciting racing, and having riders of Greg’s calibre in attendance will be a huge draw to the millions of spectators we’re expecting to line the race route.”


Van Avermaet’s Belgian compatriot – and defending Tour de Yorkshire champion – Serge Pauwels is another big-name rider to have confirmed his attendance, with more top professionals expected to be unveiled in the next two weeks.

Full details on the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race can be found at http://letouryorkshire.com.

Welcome to Yorkshire has also launched its Tour de Yorkshire Land Art and Best Dressed Competitions. Full details on how to enter those can be found at http://letouryorkshire.com/landart and https://letouryorkshire.com/bestdressed respectively.

Greg Van Avermaet:
Harelbeke - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - GILBERT Philippe (BEL) of Quick - Step Floors, VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL) of BMC Racing Team, BENOOT Tiesj (BEL) of Lotto Soudal pictured during Record Bank E3 Harelbeke 2018 (1UWT) a one day men’s elite race from Harelbeke to Harelbeke (206.5KM) 23-03-2018 - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018



Santini and Unipublic Present La Vuelta 18 Leader Jerseys
For the second consecutive year, the Italian brand Santini Cycling Wear will be dressing La Vuelta, which is both one of the great iconic road races and a pivotal stage on the UCI World Tour calendar. To celebrate the continuance of this partnership, Santini and Unipublic today unveiled the four official jerseys that will be donned by the leaders of the Iberian race. Also presented at the event, which took place in the La Bicicleta Café in Madrid, were the five kits Santini has dedicated to five stages of the 2018 La Vuelta.



“Representing a race as historic as La Vuelta for the second year running is a source of great pride to us,” declared Santini CEO Monica Santini. “So with that in mind, we designed jerseys that are tailored to perfectly meet the needs of the great champions that will wear them.”

The four official race jerseys for the 2018 edition were designed and made entirely in the Santini Cycling Wear’s historic Lallio facility. As per tradition, the Carrefour-sponsored Red Jersey will be worn by the overall race leader while the top points scorer will don the Skoda-sponsored Green Jersey. The Fertiberia-branded White Jersey, on the other hand, will go to the combined classification leader and the Loterias-sponsored Polka Dot Jersey will be worn by the King of the Mountains.

“With over 80 years of tradition behind it, La Vuelta is a real piece of history in the cycling world with which we share both emotions and great passion”, explains Javier Guillén, General Manager of Unipublic. “Values also reflected in the Santini brand and so we couldn’t be more delighted about continuing this successful partnership.”

To flank the official jerseys, Santini also designed five full kits that celebrate some of the iconic stages and venues of the 73rd edition of La Vuelta: Málaga, La Huesera (Lagos de Covadonga), Euskadi, Andorra, Km Cero (Madrid). The kits comprise a jersey, shorts, vest top, socks, cap and gloves. They also feature both the colors and historic symbols of the various areas of Spain that play host to this year’s competition.

The La Vuelta leader jerseys and five special kits can also be purchased online from the Santini Maglificio Sportivo site (www.santinisms.it/vuelta18), the official La Vuelta store, Deporvillage (www.deporvillage.com) and select specialist cycling shops worldwide.

Key points:
· The four official Santini leader jerseys for the La Vuelta 18 were unveiled today in Madrid.
· The event was organized by Unipublic and the Italian cycling wear company not only to present the jerseys that will be donned by the Spanish race leaders but also five great kits celebrating five of the stages and venues covered by the competition.





UAE Team Emirates Previews the 2018 Worlds Course
The UAE Team Emirates sports directors Mario Scirea, Marco Marzano and Paolo Tiralongo took advantage of the final stage of the Tour of the Alps to preview with the riders a large part of the 2018 Worlds circuit in Innsbruck, Austria. Fabio Aru, Simone Petilli and Valerio Conti extended the day by 30 minutes to ride the tough final climb of the Worlds called the ‘The Hell’.

“I have to say that that climb is truly demanding,” Aru said. “The gradients are high right from the start of the 2700 meters, but the last 500 meters are very hard. It will be important to evaluate carefully the gearing and with this in mind, it was very useful to come and see the climb.
It will be a hard worlds, one for climbers, and obviously, I’m happy with this since the Italy can count on a competitive team.”






Tour of the Alps winner Thibaut Pinot prepares for difficult climbs at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck - Tirol
With today's final stage of Tour of the Alps held on part of this year's World Championships course, Pinot predicts that the Worlds this September will be "a really tough one."



The 2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck-Tirol course today received the first official "race test" as part of the final stage of Tour of the Alps. Riders faced three laps of what will be the so-called "short lap" circuit, which the riders will face seven times this September at the Worlds. Fresh from his Tour of the Alps win, Pinot said: "The route for the Worlds is really difficult. After the first climb, the descent will be very fast, then you go straight into another climb again. With all the repetition of the climbs and fast descents, this is going to be a really tough one."

Thibaut Pinot in the Alps:
Tour of the Alps 2018 - 5th stage Rattenberg - Innsbruck 164,2 km - 20/04/2018 - Thibaut Pinot (FRA - Groupama - FDJ) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2018



New website for the Polartec-Kometa Team
The website of the Polartec-Kometa continental team is renewed. The new space on the Internet has been in operation for a few weeks now as a test run and is now a reality that can be visited. A revamped website, with a more current, clean, slightly overloaded design; a website offered in two languages (Spanish and English) where, in addition, it seeks to enhance the image. A website for a new era in which the contents and active social networks of a squad present on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will be revitalized.

The new website of the Continental Polatec-Kometa (http://polarteckometateam.com/) joins the existing spaces within the framework of the Alberto Contador Foundation, dedicated to Alberto himself, the foundation, the Cycling School and the Junior and U23 teams.

"It was one of our priorities," says Fran Contador, manager of the team, "a space where all cycling enthusiasts are not only welcome, but we want them to make it their own. It is a very important vehicle to give visibility to our sponsors and for everyone who is interested in the team to follow its daily life, its history, the most detailed information of our riders.... It is a very current page and I think it also shares the image, a different image I believe to the other squads."

"We have created a very modern website, focusing on multimedia (photographs and videos), with a design adaptable to all devices, and special care in mobile viewing. All this using modern technologies that allow a very good optimization, being very improved the loading speed and therefore the user experience," explains Daniel Aguilar, one of the project managers. "We have looked for a current proposal, increasing the visibility of the corridors, which are the strong point of the web, graphically speaking", says Rubén Illescas, other of the project workers.





Liège-Bastogne-Liège 1980
This years Liège was sunny and warm, but back in 1980 it was cold, wet and snowing. Bernard Hinault won that year and still suffers from it to this day.








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