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

EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!
World champion, Peter Sagan is back to his winning ways in the Tour de Suisse and has a new victory celebration. Reports, results and video from Switzerland and the Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk. Double drugs bust for Bardiani-CSF means team ban - Top Story. In other cycling news: Injury for Thomas De Gendt, Luis Leon Sanchez renews with Astana, Italian road race championships preview, Movistar, Sunweb and Wanty-Groupe Gobert Tour teams and Alejandro Valverde is the King of Andalucia. A full EUROTRASH Thursday!

TOP STORY: Bardiani Banned!
After the positive out of competition test results for the two Bardiani-CSF riders, Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi, the UCI have banned the Italian Pro-Continental team until July the 14th, 2017. The pair had been tested at the end of April and the 'B' sample confirmed that both riders were positive for GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs).

Ruffoni and Pirazzi took part in the Giro d'Italia presentation before the team sacked them and started the Italian Grand Tour with seven riders. There was talk of the whole team being rejected from the race, but in the end RCS, the Giro organizers, allowed them to ride and the UCI's Disciplinary Commission could not make a decision on the teams' future until now. UCI rules allow for a full team ban of 15 to 45 days for multiple positives from that team in a 12 month period.

The day of the 2017 Giro start, when the test results were released, team manager Bruno Reverberi, spoke about how he felt to the Gazzetta dello Sport: "I know the organizers are under pressure to send us home but it's not the team's fault. If someone can prove that I've advised my riders to dope, then can rip up my license. What has the team got to do with these cases? We've got internal rules signed by the riders. They know they'll be sacked if the positive is confirmed. In theory, there also could be legal action and damages. But how do you quantify damage like this? I'm in bits, I feel like crying. I can only think of the sponsors who have never pressured us to get results, of the team staff and the other riders. I want to quit. Cycling is my passion, I'm 75-years-old and this is my 36th Giro d'Italia. What difference does an extra win or not make to me?"

The team is less than pleased about the ban and think that 30 days is a bit excessive, and penalizes the riders who had nothing do with the actions of the two miscreants, describing the situation as the "deplorable actions of foolish people." In a statement the team state that: "In light of the damages already suffered during 100th Giro d’Italia to its image and to its sport performance... the team considers a lower duration more appropriate." The team also points out that they have never been "involved in cases of violations of UCI anti-doping rules and official investigations so far."

30 days sound about right as a warning to others, maybe a little harsh on the innocent team members, but the Bardiani-CSF team was allowed to ride the Giro which is Italy's biggest race and one of the big three Grand Tours, they could have been expelled before the race even started. The team has not made an official appeal against the ban.

Nicola Ruffoni (center, with his head down) at the Giro d'Italia team presentation:

Tour de Suisse 2017
After being catapulted to the finish by Team Sunweb's German lead-out, Michael Matthews launched an explosive sprint to take the Stage 3 victory at Tour de Suisse. His victory means that he is now leader on the general classification by 10 seconds.

In a day where everything went perfectly, Team Sunweb were able to secure the victory on stage three of the Tour de Suisse. With the team at the head of the peloton controlling proceedings, the breakaway was brought back in time for the team to get organized for the bunch sprint. On the approach to the finalé the team stayed calm and were there with three riders around Matthews, delivering him to the final kilometers in prime position.

A final acceleration from the team's German sprinter and lead-out specialist Nikias Arndt positioned Matthews at the head of the peloton and with 150 meters to go he was able to launch a strong sprint with enough power to propel himself to victory. His victory also means that he takes over the lead in the general classification and is now 10 seconds ahead of Team Sunweb's Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin. World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was 2nd and moved into 3rd overall. A less the pleased John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was 3rd on the stage, but thought the tussle for the stage had been less than fair.

Bern - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Rider of Team Sunweb - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) - John DEGENKOLB (Germany / Team Trek Segafredo)  pictured during stage - 3 of the Tour de Suisse 2017 stage -1 - from Menziken - Bern, 159.30 km - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): "I wasn't climbing so well today but it was enough to stay with the best. In the final I knew that I had Nikias and the other guys with me which gave me some extra motivation. I knew that he could do a huge pull in the final meters to make the situation perfect for me to take the win. It's nice to get the win that I really wanted to get last year and it will be really good to have the leader's jersey tomorrow."

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was another tough stage at the Tour de Suisse, with a hectic finale on a hot day. The squad perfectly executed the plan we had in the morning. My sensations were good and I gave it my best, but unfortunately in the final sprint, I got closed and took second. We will try again in the coming days."

3rd on the stage and 8th overall, John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo): "We did a really good job, maybe we were a little too enthusiastic, too motivated, but we were up there. In the end, the speed was a little bit too high to make it completely up to the last final meters, so I had to drop back a few positions, but the team did really well."

4th on the stage, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): "We knew that the final kilometers were tough and it was up to Jürgen Roelandts or me for today. With this kind of finale, it was crucial to have a good position. It’s clear that I am not a sprinter, but I think I did very well. There were some splits in the peloton when it started to go uphill in the penultimate kilometer. In the end, I finish in fourth place, in good company. Yesterday, I had a difficult day because of the heat. Today, there were more clouds, which made it a few degrees cooler. And now up to the next stages!"

Sunweb DS Marc Reef: "The plan for today was to go for Michael, we knew that the final suited him perfectly and everybody was feeling strong to put their all in to support this goal. We joined in the chase to control the breakaway and the rest of the team were able to put Nikias and Michael together in a perfect position going into the final 1.5 kilometers. The team stayed calm and Michael was able to follow Nikias's perfect lead-out to sprint to the win in a very difficult finale."

Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 3:49:48
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
4. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Cannondale-Drapac
7. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
8. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
9. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 3:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 8:18:47
2. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:11
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:19
5. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott at 0:20
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:22
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors at 0:23
8. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:24
9. Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:25
10. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de Suisse stage 3:

Tour de Suisse Stage 4 featured the first of three summit finishes in this year's race and saw a showdown of the General Classification contenders with Damiano Caruso becoming the third BMC rider to take the yellow jersey in Switzerland.

After the race had rolled through the heart of Bern, the flag was dropped and immediately riders began to set a fast pace at the front with a number of breakaway attempts quickly pulled back. Eventually, after 14km, of the 150.2km course, four riders were able to break free from the peloton and began to build up an advantage which had reached almost eight minutes just 20km later.

With the road beginning to rise towards the Col des Mosses, the gap started to fall but, as the race headed over the summit of the category one climb with 30km to go, the three remaining leaders were still five minutes ahead of the peloton.

However, as the main bunch reached the final hors categorie climb to Villars-sur-Ollon, they were dramatically cutting into the advantage of the breakaway which quickly split up on the steeper slopes with Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) left riding solo at the front.

The first attack from the peloton came with less than 7km to go, but BMC reacted quickly with Tejay van Garderen closing the gap before moving to the front with Caruso tucked into his wheel. A burst of acceleration from Caruso saw a group of six riders go clear before they began to attack one another inside 3km to go.

Up ahead, Warbasse was going under the flamme rouge with an advantage of just under one minute which would ultimately prove to be enough to take the stage win. As the Aqua Blue Sport rider crossed the line, the racing continued behind with Caruso looking powerful as he sprinted towards the finish line to take second on the stage, ahead of Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo), and move into the overall race lead with 15 seconds on the Dutchman, with Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) at 24 seconds in 3rd.

Villars-sur-Ollon - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  »Larry»  Lawrence WARBASSE (USA / Team Aqua Blue Sport)  pictured during stage - 4 of the Tour de Suisse 2017 stage -1 - from Bern - Villars-sur-Ollon, 150.20 km - photo Rene Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport): "It’s my first victory in my career, it’s amazing. I love this race, I love Switzerland. I was on IAM Cycling the last two years, and it’s one of the most beautiful countries and I have so many great memories here. Today I felt like it was my home race. I’ve never had so many people cheering for me, everyone was yelling my name. I’m really happy. As soon as I got in the breakaway I knew I could win, I told everyone yesterday, I worked really hard the whole last season. I always give 110%, I’m just so happy it finally paid off."

Overall leader, Damiano Caruso (BMC): "It feels really nice to have the yellow jersey. It was so hot today and after a really hard day of racing like that, it feels incredible to wear this jersey. My BMC Racing Team teammates were really amazing. They were around me all day and protected me. Tejay van Garderen was especially strong on the last climb and other guys were able to put me in the right position at the key moments. On the last climb, I tried to follow the best riders and in the end, I surprised myself because I was able to take second place and the bonus seconds. I am really happy about this and I will enjoy this jersey and see what happens over the next few days. Tomorrow is a long stage and the goal will be to keep safe and keep the jersey. After that we will see what happens."

Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): "It was a very hard stage with a tough final climb. I gave my best but my legs weren’t at 100% today. At the start of the climb, with 10km to go, I wanted to ride at my own rhythm and kept a steady pace when all the attacks started. I held on really well for most of the climb, but the last two kilometers were very tough. The race isn’t over yet – we still have a few hard days ahead of us and I think my legs will get better."

Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result:
1. Larry Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport in 3:48:55
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:40
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:44
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:47
7. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:59
8. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:07
9. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 1:20
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:34.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 4:
1. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC in 12:08:35
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:15
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:24
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:31
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:33
7. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 1:09
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:10
9. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:20
10. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:25.

Tour de Suisse stage 4:

Going into the race with the record number of stage wins, the UCI World Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), has taken a victory at each of the past seven editions of the Tour de Suisse. Having been narrowly beaten in the earlier stages, the Slovak rider made it count on Wednesday, leaving his rivals in his wake in a win that made it look easy, earning him the Stage 5 victory and the race’s black points jersey. Peter adds to his tally of wins, extending his own record, with his total now standing at fourteen.

After the first mountain stage of the Tour de Suisse, it was back to a hilly stage for the 222km route. However, only a race like the Tour de Suisse could include an Hors Catégorie climb on a stage classed as ‘hilly’. The Simplonpass dominated the stage profile, with 100km of the stage clocked up before the race even started to climb, and while teams would have a fast and furious descent to make up time before a relatively flat run to the finish, there would be no guarantee that the sprinters would be in a position – or a condition – to contest the flat finale.

As the Tour de Suisse’s longest stage, for a breakaway to last the entire distance, the group would have to be made up of the right sorts of riders. While attack after attack came, the breaks were reeled back as quickly as they were able to form. With 70km raced, a group finally made their escape, with six riders making their way up the road and rapidly building up a two minute advantage, before topping out at six minutes. This was before the major climb of the day, however, and while the break managed to hold the peloton at bay, it was less than four minutes slower to the summit of the Simplonpass, having reduced the gap by more than two minutes. Hitting the final 50km, the break shed one of its number – the relentless pace tiring them out. If the distance wasn’t draining enough, after four days of blazing sunshine the skies opened and drenched the riders to the bone in a demoralizing torrent of rain. Three more of the break dropped away, leaving just two to push on ahead, but with the peloton upping the pace with the scent of the finish line in the air, a sprint looked increasingly likely.

With 6km remaining, it was all back together, with the Bora-Hansgrohe riders having put in a huge effort to pull in the break’s thirty-second advantage in just a few minutes. The teams battling amongst themselves for position, the peloton was stretched out as riders struggled to hold on, with none of the sprinters able to keep their trains with them, such was the pace. 250m to go and the UCI World Champion went away in an incredible effort that left the bunch in his wake – a huge gap forming behind him, giving him enough time to check over his shoulder, before taking his first win of the 2017 Tour de Suisse and his 14th in the race, extending his record of stage wins.

Damiano Caruso successfully defended his overall race lead on Tour de Suisse stage 5 after a strong display of teamwork from BMC saw him finish safely in the chaotic bunch sprint. Daniel Oss negotiated a chaotic finale with Caruso tucked safely on his wheel before the race leader crossed the line in 14th place to keep the yellow jersey going into stage 6. After taking a bonus second at the last intermediate sprint, Caruso now leads the General Classification by 16 seconds from Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo) and 25 seconds on Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) in 3rd place.

Cevio - Suisse - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) pictured during stage - 5 of the Tour de Suisse 2017 stage -1 - from Bex - Cevio, 222.00 km - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): "I’m very happy for this victory because the BORA-hansgrohe riders really sacrificed themselves today. We went all in at the end of the stage and my teammates got me to the finish. I’m so happy with this win – it was very good for the team and I couldn’t have done it without them. It took a little while to get this win - the first road stage was a little mad, with attacks and a really hectic finish, then two days ago it was a good finish but I’d put in a big effort before to get up the final climb. Today was really good for me though. There was a bit of rain but I felt much better in the end and managed to keep my head in the finale."

Overall leader, Damiano Caruso (BMC): "The start was really fast, and many riders tried to make it into the breakaway so, it took over 70km for the final breakaway to form. The pace was really high. I think we were going at around 50km/h for the first two hours. We were then setting a good tempo on the long climb before the second part of the race which was pretty technical especially the descent. The guys did a really amazing job to keep me in a good position and in the end, I finished safe. For me, that was the most important thing. I think I was able to manage how I used my energy today. It was important for me to stay focussed and stay safe but, even though it was a long stage, I don't think I expended too much unnecessary energy. Tomorrow is the second test for us and for me in particular. It is another hard stage, another summit finish. We will see what happens, but I feel good."

5th on the stage, Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida): "Sagan is really impressive. In the sprint I was on his wheel, but he started early, accelerating at around 350m to go. I waited a little bit because it seemed to me too early, instead it was the right wheel to take. I’m happy anyway because it was a hard stage with the Simplon pass in the middle of the race.The peloton went very fast and no one of the sprinters dropped down. Let’s see if I can have another chance later this week."

Tour de Suisse Stage 5 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 5:15:50
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
4. Patrick Bevin (NZ) Cannondale-Drapac
5. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana
9. Aaron Gate (NZ) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Owain Doull (GB) Sky.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 5:
1. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC in 12:08:35
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:16
3. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:25
4. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:32
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:34
7. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Sky at 1:10
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:11
9. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:21
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 1:38.

Tour de Suisse stage 5:

Ster ZLM Toer - GP Jan van Heeswijk 2017
Primoz Roglic won the Stage 1 time trial of the Ster ZLM Toer in Westkapelle, Netherlands, on Wednesday. The Slovenian started as last rider and was the fastest, clocking eight minutes and four seconds. For Team LottoNl-Jumbo it was the 14th win of the season and the fifth win in a time trial.

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) rode the 7.5km course in a fraction of a second slower than winner Roglic. Kittel's Quick-Step Floors teammate, Maximillian Schachmann, finished 3 seconds down on the pair for 3rd place.

Westkapelle - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Primoz ROGLIC (Slowenia / Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)  pictured during prologue of the Ster ZLM Tour 2017 - Westkapelle - Westkapelle 7.5 Km - ITT - photo Dion Kerckhoffs/Cor Vos © 2017

Stage winner and overall leader, Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo): "This is not my type of time trial. I like time trials where there are hills in the route. But if I am on the starting line, I give it my all. Today that was enough for the win. I just came back from altitude training in the Sierra Nevada. This race is the last step in my preparation for the Tour de France. It is going to be my first Tour de France and I will do the best I can. I will take my opportunities in the stages that suit me. In the Tour, there are two time trials, one in the end in Marseille and of course, the prologue in Düsseldorf. Dreaming of the yellow jersey is allowed and we are on the right way. We have had a good preparation. It will be a nice Tour de France for our team."

LottoNl-Jumbo Sports Director Mathieu Heijboer: "Most riders will stand when riding the dyke. Primoz remained seated and kept riding full-gas. His earlier victories were all in time trials with a serious climb in it. Today it was flat and technical. He has passed the test for the Tour de France. There are some other riders who can ride a good prologue, but Primos is obviously one of the favorites. This is the fifth time trial win for us this year. That is the result of much work in the winter. We were with Primoz on the track and in the wind tunnel, among other things. And we were quite busy with the Shimano clothing, Lazer helmet and the overshoes. Besides that the Bianchi Aquila CV bike is currently the best time trial bike. Primos had an excellent altitude training, because the biggest difference is the difference you make with your legs. He has the right legs. We have taken care of the rest in the background."

Ster ZLM Toer Stage 1 Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo in 8:04
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 0:03
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:07
5. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:08
6. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 0:11
7. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:13
8. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
10. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal.

Ster ZLM Toer Overall After Stage 1:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNl-Jumbo in 8:04
2. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 0:03
4. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:07
5. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNl-Jumbo at 0:08
6. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 0:11
7. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:13
8. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
9. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:18
10. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal.

Ster ZLM Toer 2017 stage 1:

Oarsman's wrist for Thomas De Gendt
After Thomas De Gendt had won the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné and wore the yellow jersey for five days, he decided not to ride the last stage due to a wrist injury. On Monday Thomas went to the hospital for an examination. As it turns out he has an intersection syndrome or oarsman’s wrist. Thomas has to wear a brace for three weeks, but is able to train. His preparation for the Tour de France is not endangered.

Thomas De Gendt leading the Dauphiné:
Bourgoin-Jallieu - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Thomas DE GENDT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during stage - 4 of the 69th Criterium du Dauphine - from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu ITT, 23.50 km - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2017

Luis Leon Sanchez renews with Astana
Two year deal for the expert Spanish rider, with the Kazakh Team since 2015.

After three very positive years wearing the colors of the Astana Proteam, Luis Leon Sanchez has signed a new two year contract with the team directed by Alexandr Vinokurov.

"I’m satisfied about this renewal because Luis Leon is a very strong rider, one of the best athletes, a trustable team mate, he is able to win important races and do an excellent job for the Team," commented the General Manager Vinokurov.

"Even during last Giro d’Italia, that has been really difficult for us for many different reasons, Luis Leon demonstrated to be generous and trustworthy as one of the best in the peloton, he really deserved a good renewal with the Astana Proteam" Concluded Alexandr Vinokurov, the 2012 Olympic Champion.

The 33 years old (born November 24th 1983), Spaniard, in his career Luis Leon Sanchez has won four stages at the Tour de France, two Classica Ciclista San Sebastian, one Paris-Nice, one Tour Down Under, the European Championships and many other races.

Recently he took part at the Critérium du Dauphiné where he helped the Team to win with Jakob Fuglsang (even if he was obliged to give up after the sixth stage because of a toothache). After a period of rest, he should return to race at the Tour of Poland, looking to the Vuelta a España that will be his main goal for the second half of the season.

Sanchez and Vinokurov:
Giro d'Italia 2017 - 100th Edition - 21th stage Monza - Milano 29.3 km - 27/05/2017 - Mikel Landa (ESP - Team Sky) - Alexandr Vinokourov (KAZ - Astana Pro Team) - photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2017

700 Riders To Compete In The Italian National Road Race Championships
Elite men’s, women’s, paracycling, 17-18 years old, 15-16 years old road race and individual time trial Italian national titles to be decided over 23, 24 and 25 June.

Italy's rider Giacomo Nizzolo of Italian national team celebrates on podium after winning  the Gran Piemonte Named Sport  cycling race over 207 km from Diano d'Alba to Agliè, north Italy, 29 September 2016. ANSA / MATTEO BAZZI

The Italian National Road Race Championships “Piemonte Tricolore NamedSport - Campionati Italiani Ciclismo su Strada 2017”, organized by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport in collaboration with Piedmont Region, Federazione Ciclistica Italiana (Italian Cycling Federation) and the Camera di Commercio di Torino (Turin Chamber of Commerce), will be held in Italy’s Piedmont Region between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 June 2017.

Last year Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo) won the elite men’s road race title in a two-up sprint on the line, and Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team) secured the elite men’s individual time trial (ITT) national title, while Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM Racing) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) won the respective elite women’s titles.

Friday 23 June:

ITT – Paracycling (Cuorgnè)
ITT – 17-18 years old Women (Volpiano-Caluso)
ITT – Elite Women (Volpiano-Caluso)
ITT – Elite Men (Ciriè-Caluso)

Saturday 24 June:
Road race – Paracycling (Cuorgnè)
ITT – 17-18 years old Men (Volpiano-Caluso)
ITT – 15-16 years old Women (Foglizzo-Caluso)
ITT – 15-16 years old Men (Foglizzo-Caluso)

Sunday 25 June:
Road race – 17-18 years Women (Leinì-Ivrea)
Road race – Elite Women (Leinì-Ivrea)
Road race – Elite Men - GranPiemonte (Asti-Ivrea)

The route is divided into 3 parts: an undulating start, from Asti to Castellamonte, crossing the Astigian Hills entering into the Canavese. The route, on medium-wide streets, then crosses several towns with the common urban street furniture, such as roundabouts, traffic islands, and speed bumps. After Castellamonte, the climb of Castelnuovo Nigra (Moris) starts takes riders upwards on an average gradient of 5% steepening to a maximum gradient of 11% in places. After the fast descent to Baldissero Canavese, riders take on some short hills before starting the first of 4 laps of the finishing circuit. Each lap is 21.3km with the first portion being uphill, on a medium-width road, well paved and with a series of bends. The last 2km of the climb La Serra has slopes of over 10% with 15% gradient peaks. After the summit, the road follows a non-technical descent through 2 galleries until the SS 26 road for a fast-paced flat final few kilometers.

Last km
The last 7km are on straight, wide and well paved roads. In the last 2km there are some bends in the town of Ivrea that lead to the finish straight line of 130m in asphalt, 7m in width.

2016 Italian National Championships - Final Kilometers:

Movistar Team Announces Tour de France Shortlist
Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde confirmed into nine-man squad for 'Grande Boucle'; definitive announcement to follow after National Championships next week.

The Movistar Team announces that fourteen of its riders are into the shortlist for their nine-man roster in the 104th Tour de France, which starts on July 1st in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Nairo Quintana, who will put a back number on after five weeks off following his second place overall in the Giro d'Italia, and Alejandro Valverde, in the most successful season ever by the man from Murcia, are already confirmed to be part of the Spanish outfit at the French Grand Tour.

Joining the Blues' two most remarkable names, Eusebio Unzué has selected twelve candidates to fulfill the seven remaining spots: Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Carlos Betancur, Jonathan Castroviejo, Alex Dowsett, Imanol Erviti, Rubén Fernández, Jesús Herrada, Dani Moreno, Nelson Oliveira, José Joaquín Rojas and Jasha Sütterlin.

The Movistar Team's official, nine-man squad for the 2017 Tour will be unveiled after the national road race and time trial championships are ridden in Europe next week.

Sunweb Announce Tour de France Long-List
With the second Grand Tour of the season fast approaching, Team Sunweb are pleased to announce their long-list for the 2017 edition of Le Tour de France.

This year's Tour de France is a special edition for Team Sunweb as it starts on home soil in Düsseldorf, Germany. The 104th edition of the race is made up of nine flat stages, five hilly stages, five mountain stages and two individual time trials, the first of which comes on the opening day.

Team Sunweb heads to the Tour de France with the main focus on stage success and its nine-rider line-up will be forged to chase this goal. Two of the team's riders that are confirmed in this early stage are Michael Matthews (AUS) and his main lead-out man German Nikias Arndt. The duo were recently successful at the Tour de Suisse, catapulting Team Sunweb to victory on a difficult stage three. Next to their chances in both the flat stages and the sprint stages with a difficult finale, the team will add riders to the line-up to also fight for results on the hilly and mountainous terrain.

In advance of the Tour de France, Team Sunweb's coaches and experts have created the most optimum performance plan in preparation for July, consisting of a mix between races, altitude training and balanced rest periods.

Team Sunweb's trainer Hendrik Werner (GER) said: "This year our goal is to go for stage results and this long-list will offer plenty of talent and opportunities to select a powerful line-up. A line-up not only to support Michael optimally on the sprint stages with a strong lead-out, but also one to create opportunities from breakaways that potentially make it to the finish, as well as the intermediate stages. We have spent time training at altitude together, along with the rest of the team, building further on a strong foundation from the first racing block of the season to prepare for a tough three-week-journey in France. The last couple of races ahead of the Tour have been and will be used to focus on coaching, cooperation and on the dynamics within the team and to fine-tune the sprint preparation process."

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Warren Barguil (FRA), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Roy Curvers (NED), Johannes Fröhlinger (GER), Simon Geschke (GER), Michael Matthews (AUS), Ramon Sinkeldam (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Mike Teunissen (NED), Albert Timmer (NED).
Coaches: Arthur van Dongen (NED), Luke Roberts (AUS), Aike Visbeek (NED).

Warren Barguil:
Morzine - France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Warren Barguil (FRA-Giant-Alpecin) pictured during stage 20 of the 2016 Tour de France from Megeve to Morzine, 146.00 km - photo Miwa iijima/Cor Vos © 2016

Wanty-Groupe Gobert Reveals Seven Tour Riders
Less than three weeks before the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Düsseldorf, Wanty-Groupe Gobert reveals a first part of his selection. Seven riders are sure of their participation in the 104th Tour de France, the first for our team. These seven riders are Frederik Backaert, Thomas Degand, Guillaume Martin, Marco Minnaard, Yoann Offredo, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. For all of these riders it will be their first participation in the Tour. The other two names will be announced later this month.

Hilaire Van der Schueren: "We made our selection based on riders who are capable of keeping up three weeks. We have riders for all kinds of stages. Guillaume Martin and Thomas Degand aim for the mountains, as in the Dauphiné where the team delivered a magnificent performance. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck will hopefully be our man for the time trials. Pieter Vanspeybrouck sprinted top 20 in the Dauphiné, and we will try to do even better in the Tour. Frederik Backaert showed that he could be our man in the breakaways. Marco Minnaard deserves his selection because he always served the collective. In addition, he has a good Dauphiné in the legs. And Yoann Offredo rode a great classics spring. Afterwards he shifted his focus to Le Tour."

Alejandro Valverde "El Bala" King of Andalucia
An emotional video of the historic 63rd edition of the Ruta del Sol. After an unbeatable start to the season, the Ruta del Sol honors Alejandro "El Bala", King of Andalucia.

A sporting lesson among the best cyclists in the world. For the fifth time, Alejandro Valverde was proclaimed winner of the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía, thus fulfilling his 100th victory as a professional. A sincere tribute to the podium of a historic 63rd edition of the Route to the Sun: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).

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