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

Israeli start to the 2018 Giro d'Italia, is it a good idea? - Top Story. A very full EUROTRASH Thursday: 2018 rosters announced by Quick-Step Floors, Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Rally, contract news from Nippo-Vini Fantini and BEAT. Plus new sponsor for Baby-Dump, Dubai Tour route, USA race schedule, new clothes for Team Sky and UAE Team Emirates sum up their 2017 season. Coffee time.


TOP STORY: Should the Giro start in Israel
On Wednesday, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) issued a press release outlining reasons why the Giro d'Italia should not start in Israel in 2018.

Professional cycle sport has been introduced to many new countries in recent years, who would have thought there would races in China and Arab countries, but taking a Grand Tour to politically delicate area like Israel is possibly not a great idea. Obviously there is a lot of money involved, and the sport of cycling is always keeping its eyes open for new sources, but there are more important things at stake here. Will we be hearing that the Giro will start in Syria or maybe North Korea?

The ECCP is a network of 42 European committees, organizations, NGOs, unions and international solidarity movements from 19 European countries, dedicated to the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, justice and equality. Here is their announcement in full:

Over 120 Human Rights Groups Urge Giro d'Italia to Move Race from Israel Due to Violations of Palestinians' Rights.
Today, more than one hundred twenty human rights organizations, trade unions, ethical tourism associations, sports and faith-based groups from over 20 countries issued an international call urging premier cycling event Giro d’Italia to move its 2018 “Big Start” from Israel due to its grave and escalating violations of international law and Palestinians’ human rights.

Renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, prominent jurists former United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Palestinian rights John Dugard and Richard Falk, Italian playwright Moni Ovadia, European Parliament members Eleonora Forenza and Sergio Cofferati, and former vice president of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini also signed the call.

The call was issued ahead of the official race presentation set for November 29 in Milan, which coincides with the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The signatories stress that holding the Giro d’Italia in Israel will both cover up Israel’s military occupation and discrimination against Palestinians and increase Israel’s sense of impunity, encouraging continued denial of Palestinians’ UN-stipulated rights.

Giro d’Italia is working with Israeli company Comtec Group, the organizer the “Big Start” event, which has activities in illegal Israeli settlements. In official race imagery, maps and videos, Giro d’Italia is deceptively portraying East Jerusalem, which has been under Israeli military occupation for fifty years, as if it were part of Israel and the unified capital of the State of Israel.

The final stage planned for southern Israel will pass by dozens of Palestinian Bedouin villages Israel refuses to recognize or provide with “the most basic of services, including electricity, water, clinics, schools and roads,” one of which Israel has demolished over 100 times.

The statement’s endorsers also condemn Giro d’Italia plans to “celebrate” 70 years since the establishment of the State of Israel as Palestinians commemorate 70 years of dispossession, forcible displacement and denial of the rights of Palestinian refugees as set forth in UN resolutions.

Just days before the Giro d’Italia is to take place, the Israeli national cycling team, which is vying for one of four wildcard slots to compete in the Giro d’Italia, will participate in a race through occupied East Jerusalem to the illegal settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev. The Israel Cycling Federation sponsors and holds national league competitive races in areas under Israeli military occupation.

The call urges race owner RCS MediaGroup “to move the start of the race to another country to ensure no involvement in Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.”

The signatories also reminds RCS, participating teams and sponsors of “the legal consequences and reputational damage stemming from collaborating with Israeli institutions and companies involved in violations of human rights and international law.”

While RCS claims the race has nothing to do with politics, the race start in Israel has been described by journalists and sportswriters as a “masterstroke of ‘soft diplomacy,’” a “public relations coup” and “valuable image-polishing” in exchange for millions of euros in Israeli official sponsorship.

Palestinian civil society groups also wrote to Pope Francis urging him to reject the invitation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to launch the race in Israel next year and not to “lend [his] name in any way to the 2018 Giro d’Italia cycling race because of its unfortunate insistence on whitewashing Israel’s military occupation and grave human rights violations.”

Thousands of human rights supporters and cycling enthusiasts have written to RCS urging it to move the start from Israel.

Cities across Italy will hold demonstrations on two wheels November 25-26, in protest of the use of a sport closely associated with freedom to mask Israel’s brutal military occupation and apartheid regime.

Background:
* Signatories include cycling groups Wilde Pedal in Belgium and The Big Ride UK, bike shop Biciclettaro in Italy, and the Fédération omnisport de Seine-Saint-Denis in France; trade unions Union Syndicale Solidaires in France, Christian Workers Movement in Belgium, FIOM-CGIL and USB in Italy, Craigavon Council of Trade Unions in Northern Ireland and the Confederación Intersindical Galega in Spain; Association pour le tourisme équitable et solidaire, representing 35 organizations in France promoting ethical tourism, including 25 tour operators; faith groups Pax Christi and the Rome Grassroots Christian Community in Italy, Kairos Britain and Friends of Sabeel UK, Friends of Sabeel Norway and Kairos – Sabeel Netherlands Foundation; Jewish groups Jewish Voice for Peace in the US, Union of Progressive Jews in Belgium, Italian Network Jews Against the Occupation, Jews for Justice for Palestinians UK.

* The UN Human Rights Council recently warned 150 Israeli and international companies over unlawful involvement in Israeli settlements, which constitute a war crime under international law.

* UN General Assembly resolution 181 (1947) established Jerusalem as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and has repeatedly maintained that "any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal.” In 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, unilaterally annexing it as part of its united capital. No country in the world recognizes any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

* May 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”), when approximately 800,000 indigenous Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homeland.

* The Israel Cycling Academy (ICA), Israel’s national team, was created just three years ago with the stated goal of promoting “normal Israel.” The team is backed by Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams.

* The Giro d’Italia is a World Tour event of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for the sport of cycling. Israel’s cycling federation and national team are both UCI members.





Quick-Step Floors Confirms 2018 Roster
Our squad for next season will comprise 27 riders – four of whom are neo-pros – representing 13 nationalities.

The 56 UCI wins scored by Quick-Step Floors in the past season – the sixth consecutive season in which our team broke the 50-victories barrier – saw the outfit managed by Patrick Lefevere take its all-time tally to 615 wins, an outstanding achievement for the team whose road began 15 years ago.

Victorious from the first to the closing month of the season, in 29 different races spread across four continents, Quick-Step Floors proved on countless occasions not only its trademark winning mentality, but also the extraordinary depth it possesses, with 14 riders inscribing their name on the winners sheet.

During the always hectic transfer season, Quick-Step Floors retained many of the riders who formed its core in 2017, while at the same time continuing to invest in youth development, as shown by the four neo-pros who joined the team for 2018. Next year, the roster will be made up of 27 riders from 13 different countries; averaging 26.85 years, it will be one of the youngest squads in the World Tour, with nearly half of the riders still in their early 20s.

A new chapter in the team’s history thus begins, and Patrick Lefevere is optimistic and ready for this new challenge which the 2018 season shapes up to be.

“We have many new riders, some of them very young, but we look with the same confidence and excitement to the new season which looms just around the corner. Last season was a spectacular one and next year we’ll try to be again in the mix, be it Classics or stage races, and replicate many of the great 2017 wins”, said Quick-Step Floors’ CEO.

“The riders and the staff are always working hard, they know that getting to the top and staying there it’s no easy task, but they are all professionals and very passionate about what they are doing, and seeing their relentless dedication makes me very optimistic and eager about taking on the new season”, concluded Patrick Lefevere.

Quick-Step Floors for 2018:
Julian Alaphilippe, Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Fernando Gaviria, Philippe Gilbert, Alvaro Hodeg, Fabio Jakobsen, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, James Knox, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas, Michael Mørkøv, Jhonatan Narvaez, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Maximilian Schachmann, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Petr Vakoc, Elia Viviani.

New riders for the 2018 season:
Alvaro Hodeg (stagiaire in 2017), Fabio Jakobsen, James Knox, Michael Mørkøv, Jhonatan Narvaez, Florian Sénéchal and Elia Viviani.

Brian Holm in the Quick-Step Floors 2017 Tour de France team car:




2018 Renewals: Hideto Nakane, Masakazu Ito and Kohei Uchima Signed the Contract Renewals with the Nippo Vini Fantini Team
The NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini 2018 contract renewals, about Japanese riders, is now complete, with the 3 signatures of Hideto Nakane, Masakazu Ito and Kohei Uchima. Two climbers and one all rounder. Together with the young talent Marino Kobayashi already strong of a 2 year contract signed in 2017, they are the confirmed riders of the 2018 season. 3 new names already announced, Sho Hatsuyama, Hayato Yoshida and Hiroki Nishimura.

7 Japanese riders in total for the 2018 Roster of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team. Already announced the 3 new signatures of Sho Hatsuyama, Hayato Yoshida and Hiroki Nishimura. Already signed for 2 years (in 2017) the young talent Marino Kobayashi, is now time for renewals of the 3 most important Japanese riders of the team in 2017.

They are Hideto Nakane, “Best of Asian” in Tour of Langkawi 2017 (2.HC), 8th in the General Ranking of the Tour d’Azerbaijan, Masakazu Ito, the Japanese climber not so lucky in 2017 with a bad injury stopping him, but now ready for a good 2018 season and Kohei Uchima, great team-worker and experienced rider always ready to help his team-mates.

The 3 Japanese riders deserved the renewal thanks to the good results and the right team-approach during the whole season, going on at least another season with the team.

The climber Hideto Nakane demonstrated very good attitude and personality during all the season. Winner of the special jersey “Best of Asian" in Tour of Langkawi, reaching the final 8th position in the General Ranking of the Tour d’Azerbaijan, he also demonstrated to be competitive in Europe as in the action he made in Tirreno-Adriatico together with Gianni Moscon (Team Sky). Very important supporting rider for Marco Canola in the last Japan Cup, he remained with the team leader until the final km in order to help him to reach the victory. The team has good expectations on him looking forward to the 2018 season, both in the Asian and European calendar.

Unlucky season in 2017 for Masakazu Ito, stopped by a long injury, but the climber has a good potential looking forward to the 2018 season he can be an important rider for the Asia Tour and in European races.
Kohei Uchima is the Japanese team rider. Expert team rider and leader for the Japanese young talents of the team as great professional. After riding in Milano-Sanremo and Tirreno-Adriatico in 2017 he his improving his international experience too.

Hideto Nakane, declares about the renewal: “I’m happy to have the opportunity to challenge for the world top races with NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini also in 2018 season. Thanks for the training program which was made by team trainers and D.S., I could make very good results, for example getting the Best of Asian jersey in the Tour de Langkawi and 8th place in G.C. at the tour of Azerbaijan. And also I had great experiences to support Marco Canola’s wins at Tour of Japan and Japancup Cycle Road race as a team mate. In this season, I realized that I can be strong more and more. So in 2018, I will do my best to get more wins for the team and also I’m looking forward to my best results too.“

Hideto Nakane:


Masakazu Ito declaration: “It was my first transfer to the European professional team from Japanese continental team. So the beginning of the season I was anxious and excited. It was great experience to get the chance of racing in the UCI World Tour in China and I learned a lot of thing from world top peloton. In middle of the season I had a femur fracture, I’m regretful about it but I had good recovery and now I’m focused on my off-training for upcoming season.”

Masakazu Ito:


Kohei Uchima: “I’m very happy of the contract for 2018 season with NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini. I had great season, for example it was my best moments that racing the traditional Italian races, Milan - Sanremo and Tirreno - Adriatico. So in 2017, I had improved myself well but I think that I have big possibility to grow up more. In 2018, I will train myself at the world level races and expect to be stronger!”

Kohei Uchima:




BEAT Road Team Attracts Upcoming Talent with Maas and Mengoulas
Upcoming talents Danny Maas (NED) and Alex Mengoulas (NED) have joined the BEAT Cycling Club road team for the 2018 season. Their addition expands the new UCI Continental road team – which is part of the club structure of BEAT Cycling Club – to five riders, after Piotr Havik, Arjen Livyns and Bas Tietema were already confirmed for the team last week.

Coach Egon van Kessel explained why these riders have been added to the team: “With Piotr Havik, Arjen Livyns and Bas Tietema, we signed riders with experience. With Danny Maas and Alex Mengoulas, we are bringing two young riders on board who were active for their clubs last season. Danny and Alex are up-and-coming youngsters. In addition to attracting established talent, we also aim to invest in emerging talent and to tell these talent development stories in the coming season.

“Danny is a young man with sprinting skills, and Alex has proven on various occasions that he is able to ride a strong time trial. We want to give them the chance to develop in the shadow of the other riders in the coming years by giving them the proper guidance. For both riders, this will be a year in which they can learn a lot from their teammates and may be able to make significant progress.”


Danny Maas
Danny Maas, 18, was very successful in U18 events, where he was often the fastest in the final sprint. In the past season, he has had difficulty proving himself, due to crashes and injuries. Maas, however, is motivated to turn the page and sees in the BEAT Cycling Club road team a unique opportunity to develop further as a rider and prove his talent.

Maas said: “For me, 2017 was a bad season because I had a lot of injuries. I’m happy to be able to work with BEAT Cycling Club. This will be my first year at this level, and I’m sure I have a lot to learn from the staff and other riders in the team, which is why I am also very motivated for 2018. I hope I will be able to achieve many beautiful things together with BEAT in the future.”

Alex Mengoulas
Alex Mengoulas, 20, raced for Monkey Town Cycling Team and Wilton/UWTC De Volharding in recent years. In 2013 he was Dutch time trial champion in the U18 class. By developing further as a member of the BEAT Cycling Club road team, Mengoulas hopes to be able to take the next steps in his career.

“I have learned a lot in the past two years and made great progress as a club rider,” said Mengoulas. “For this reason, I was looking to move up. BEAT really appealed to me because of the new club structure they have created. I am very happy that BEAT Cycling Club is giving me the opportunity to develop as a professional rider on a higher level. I am very much looking forward to being part of this new team, and I hope we will take great steps forward this season with the entire BEAT Cycling Club!”

In the next few weeks, additional members of the road team will be announced.

BEAT Cycling Club announces fourth and fifth rider: Danny Maas and Alex Mengoulas:




Team Complete for 2018 and Antonini and McNally Extend
In the margin of the team building last weekend at Hotel Aero44 in Charlerloi, Simone Antonini and Mark McNally extended their contract with Wanty-Groupe Gobert until the end of 2018. Both are loyal riders who can be counted upon. McNally will start his third year at the team, Antonini his fourth.

The 28-year-old Brit Mark McNally, who lives in Belgium (Heist-op-den-Berg) is an offensive rider who was frequently in breakaways the past year. He was in front in important classics as Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem and finished on the podium in Ronde van Drenthe and Eneco Tour the past two years. 26-year-old Italian Simone Antonini is a loyal teammate who is always ready to assist the team leaders and pull hard in front of the peloton.

With this two prolongations Wanty-Groupe Gobert is complete for 2018. The team will be able to count on the combined forces of 21 riders next season. Five riders leave the team. Kenny Dehaes, Robin Stenuit and Guillaume Levarlet will wear another jersey and Frederik Veuchelen and Danilo Napolitano put an end to their career. «Fré» integrates the staff as trainer. Odd Christian Eiking (FDJ), Boris Vallée (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Timothy Dupont (Crelan-Willems) and Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Soudal) are the newcomers.

Hilaire Van der Schueren: "Antonini and McNally are two riders who are always willing to do their job. Working in the chase or going in the breakaway cannot be underestimated. As a result, their results are sometimes less, but their teammates can thus benefit from their work. "

"On paper we are strengthened for 2018. Now it is up to the riders to deliver performances. With the signing of Bart De Clercq and Odd Christian Eiking we now form a solid team around our French climbing talent Guillaume Martin. With these riders I also hope to perform in the Ardennes classics, that was something we lacked in the past seasons."

"In 2017 Yoann Offredo has proven that he can perform in the big classics. Hopefully he can continue the good work in 2018. I also expect a lot from Frederik Backaert and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck in the cobbled classics."

"In the sprint we can count on the fast legs of Timothy Dupont and Andrea Pasqualon. Our new Walloon rider Boris Vallée will launch the sprint for them, but if one of them isn't feeling good, Vallée can also take his own chances."


Simone Antonini: "I am very happy with my contract extension at team Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Regarding the 2018 season I hope I have no more trouble that unfortunately occured in the last 2 years. I wasn't in top form in most of the classics because of that. My goals are to be able to make a bigger step in the cobbled classics. I want to thank everyone at the team for the trust they have. I have a great feeling with all my teammates. Belgium is a second home for me."

"I would like to be in front on the crucial moments in order to be in support of the team leaders and grasp some good results. I also hope to be in a Grand Tour like Tour de France, if we get a wild card. That would be beneficial for my growth and for expanding my limitations."


Mark McNally: "In 2018 I want to continue my development. The last two years at team Wanty-Groupe Gobert I have come a long way with a lot of podium places and top tens.
In 2018 I would like to make that next step and win a race or two. For the rest I want to keep working hard and take my chances when they arise."


Team 2018:
Simone Antonini, 26 (Italy), Frederik Backaert, 27, Jérôme Baugnies, 30, Thomas Degand, 31, Tom Devriendt, 26, Fabien Doubey, 24 (France), Wesley Kreder, 27 (Netherlands), Guillaume Martin, 24 (France), Mark McNally, 28 (Great Britain), Xandro Meurisse, 25, Marco Minnaard, 28 (Netherlands), Yoann Offredo, 31 (France), Andrea Pasqualon, 29 (Italy), Dion Smith, 24 (New-Zealand), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, 26, Pieter Vanspeybrouck, 30, Kevin Van Melsen, 30.

Newcomers:
Bart De Clercq, 31 (Lotto-Soudal), Timothy Dupont, 30 (Crelan-Willems), Odd Christian Eiking, 22 (Norway, FDJ), Boris Vallée, 24 (Fortuneo-Oscaro).

Left:
Kenny Dehaes (WB-Veranclassic), Guillaume Levarlet (Auber 93), Robin Sténuit (?), Danilo Napolitano (Stopped), Frederik Veuchelen (Stopped).





Team Finalizes 2018 Women’s Roster
Rally Cycling has completed its women’s roster for the 2018 season. The team’s core group of riders are back, women who helped account for 46 wins and 98 podiums in 2017. Team Director Zach Bell will continue to lead the squad.

“2017 was about developing the strong group we knew we had,” said Bell. “We found a good cultural balance within the team. Riders were having fun and pushing each other. It was important to keep the team together as much as possible, because we developed great chemistry, and I think we still have a lot of performance potential to see from them. The more they have been through, the more each rider can stretch outside her comfort zone and find a new level.”

The team re-signs Erica Allar, winner of the 2017 US Pro Criterium Championships and two collegiate national titles. Canadian Olympian Kirsti Lay, overall winner at this year’s Green Mountain Stage Race and Tucson Bicycle Classic will also return to anchor the 2018 lineup. Sara Bergen, stage and points winner at the Cascade Cycling Classic, Canadian Olympian and 2017 Canadian road race champion Allison Beveridge, and Kelly Catlin, a world champion in the team pursuit, also rejoin the team. The young quartet of Katherine Maine, podium finisher at the U23 Canadian road race and time trial championships, Megan Heath, former US junior road champion, Sara Poidevin, overall winner of the Colorado Classic, and Emma White, US U23 road and time trial champion, complete the group of returning riders.

New additions announced earlier this month include Gillian Ellsay, Heidi Franz, Abby Mickey and Summer Moak.

The team spoke to a few of the returning riders during their busy offseason, which were filled with full-time studies, cross-training and track racing.

Read features on Erica Allar, Emma White, and more at RallyCycling.com.

Rally Cycling Women’s 2018 Roster:
Erica Allar, Sara Bergen, Allison Beveridge, Kelly Catlin, Gillian Ellsay, Heidi Franz, Megan Heath, Kirsti Lay, Katherine Maine, Abigail Mickey, Summer Moak, Sara Poidevin, Emma White.





Alecto New Sponsor of Baby-Dump Team
Alecto is the new main sponsor of the current Baby-Dump cycling team. After nine years the green shirts are well-known but next year they will be replaced by Alecto-blue. Alecto has been a co-sponsor for 2 years and is excited to take over from Baby-Dump BV.

Alecto is a company specialized in consumer electronics as baby-monitors, fire-alarms and weather-stations. Alecto is a Dutch brand of Hesdo BV based in ’s-Hertogenbosch, together with Profoon and Fysic. Alecto has been developing products for the Dutch market for over 40 years now, with safety, reliability and reasonable pricing as its core value.

Innovation, development and speed are main characteristics for Alecto. These characteristics are also applicable on the ambitions of the team. Harry Kemps, director/owner of Alecto, is a true fan of cycling and is proud to go out and watch the team in its blue and white Alecto-colours next season. "This partnership allows Alecto to increase national and international brand awareness. We are looking forward to next season and enjoy ourselves at many races."

For additional info about the cyclingteam take a look at www.alectocycling.nl
For additional info about Alecto take a look at www.alecto.nl







Road to the Dubai Tour – 5th Anniversary
The professional race will take a new place in the international calendar - scheduled from 6 to 10 February - just a week later than the previous editions. The recipe is familiar: high quality riders are expected, the same start venue every day, several Emirates included in the route and the usual boost in terms of global exposure that comes naturally when an event is based in Dubai.



The last edition of the Dubai Tour achieved several records: it was the fastest and longest ever, with an average speed of 45.588km/h and a total length of 691km; the most successfully broadcasted (182 countries all over the world, +17% compared to 2016, +64% to 2015), the richest in terms of online articles published (over 4,000 during race days only) and, for the first time, visiting six different Emirates. The 2017 edition was the first Dubai Tour with a back-to-back victory in the overall classification (thanks to the German rider Marcel Kittel), it was the first time that the peloton sprinted in Ras Al Khaimah and the first time that a stage had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Yes, the last Dubai Tour was a great and varied show: with a touch of drama during the sandstorm on the way to Fujairah (stage 3), a bit of fight between Kittel and Grivko on the same day (a “conversation” that was kept alive on social media), a feverish anticipation for the decision on whether or not Hatta's stage would take place and, of course, the thrilling moments before each day’s finish lines thanks to an amazing bunch of sprinters contesting the race. Behind Marcel Kittel (three stage victories and the General Classification), the 2017 edition saw strong performances by some of the best sprinters in professional cycling: Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb, Elia Viviani, Sasha Modolo and the rising star Dylan Groenewegen, twice on the podium beside the German in February and, later in the season, winner of the final Tour de France stage on the Champs-Élysée.



The Dubai Tour is the ideal race to see the stars of the incoming cycling season, catching up with the new young thoroughbreds, the renewal of old rivalries and the birth of new ones. The pleasant weather and the facilities of the world’s fourth most visited city (Mastercard - Global Destinations City Index, 2016) are the ace card up Dubai’s sleeve.

Ahead of the next Dubai Tour, the 2018 schedule and a summary of the last edition are available here:

2018 Dubai Tour schedule:
December 2017 (date and details TBC) - New route and jersey official presentation
Monday, 5th February 2018 - Top riders press conference (afternoon) / Opening Ceremony (early evening)
Tuesday, 6th February 2018 - Opening stage
Wednesday, 7th February 2018 - Second stage
Thursday, 8th February - Third stage
Friday, 9th February - Fourth stage
Saturday, 10th February - Fifth and final stage.

The final victory of the 2017 General Classification went to Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) – the first rider ever to make a back-to-back victory in Dubai. The German faced fierce competition from his fellow countryman John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and the Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (Lotto NL-Jumbo) over the course of the race – but managed to secure the overall victory with three stage wins. Other previous winners of the Dubai Tour are Taylor Phinney (2014) and Mark Cavendish (2015).

For further information: www.dubaitour.com, Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter page, YouTube Channel.

Dubai Tour 2017 - Stage 5 highlights:




2018 National Calendars Unveiled for Pro Road and Pro Mountain Bike Disciplines
USA Cycling announced the national calendars for mountain bike and road disciplines on Thursday for 2018.

The Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour (Pro GRT) will feature six events in six states, spanning March to September. The Pro Mountain Bike Cross-Country Tour (Pro XCT) will showcase seven events in five states. The Pro Road Tour (PRT) will include 21 events across 16 states. Both the Pro XCT and PRT events range from April to September.

“This is the third year for the Pro Road Tour. We continue to align the mix of quality criteriums, omniums, road races, stage races, and this year a time trial event, to provide a better balance for travel across the country,” said Chuck Hodge, Vice President of Operations for USA Cycling. “The Pro Gravity and Cross-Country tours feature four new events, with four returning events receiving upgrades from the UCI for higher points,”

The Pro GRT, which features gated events, such as dual slalom and four-cross, will launch the professional mountain bike season for a second year at the Windrock Pro GRT in Oliver Springs, Tenn. on March 8-11. This is one of the three returning events for Pro GRT, and it has been upgraded to a UCI Category 1 classification. It will be followed by NW Cup - Port Angeles in Washington, which moved from mid May in 2017 to April 14-15, 2018.

The next three Pro GRT events are all new to the schedule - Mountain Creek Pro GRT in Vernon, N.J. on May 25-27, NW Cup - Tamarack in Idaho on June 23-24, and Purgatory’s Revenge in Durango, Colo. on Sept. 1-3. The season concludes again at the Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. on Sept. 15-16.

The Pro XCT will focus on events in the western half of the country, with only one of seven events being hosted east of the Rocky Mountains. Pro XCT events are all UCI sanctioned and include cross-country Olympic-style and short-track cross-country racing.

The first three events will return to California on the first three consecutive Saturdays in April. The Fontana XC, upgraded from Category 3 to UCI HC, gets the tour started in Fontana City on April 7, followed by Bonelli Park in Bonelli and the Subaru Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. A two-day event will return to Midway, Utah May 5-6 for the Soldier Hollow Pro XCT, followed by the Missoula XC competition June 9 in Missoula, Montana. The calendar series moves to Catamount, Vt. on July 28 for a repeat performance of the Julbo Eastern Grind. The tour concludes Sept. 2 in a joint weekend of racing with Pro GRT at Purgatory’s Revenge in Durango, Colo.

The Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Ala. returns to launch the PRT as the first event on April 7. It is the first of 11 criteriums and crit omniums on the calendar for 2018. The next four events take competitions on the first to two western swings in April and May - Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas, Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, Dana Point Grand Prix p/b Kingston and Redlands Bicycle Classic, both in California.

One of the first changes on the calendar comes May 19, when the Rochester Twilight Criterium will take place in Rochester, N.Y., moving from its traditional date in mid August. After two days of racing on Memorial Day weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C., two long-standing events will added to the PRT schedule - the Glencoe Grand Prix in Glencoe, Ill. on June 2 and the Independence Cycling Classic in Philadelphia, Penn. on June 3.

The following weekend, June 9-10, offers another new event, the Armed Forces Cycling Classic p/b The Boeing Company in Arlington, Va. It is only one of two weekends on the calendar with multiple events. The three-day Saint Francis Tulsa Tough returns to Tulsa, Okla. on June 8-10. The month concludes with the five-day North Star Grand Prix p/b North Memorial Hospital on June 13-17.

July offers two new events that bookend the ASWB Twilight Criterium in Boise, Idaho. On Friday, July 13, Boise will add a UCI 1.2 time trial event for men and women, the Chrono Kristin Armstrong. The ASWB Twilight Criterium will return on Saturday. That same day, the Detroit Cycling Championships will be held in the Motor City.

August features two UCI 2.HC stage races for men, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic. The Gateway Cup returns Labor Day weekend to St. Louis, Mo. with three days of racing. The Thompson Criterium of Doylestown also returns as the final event of the 2018 PRT schedule. It will be a two-event stop in Pennsylvania, with the Thompson Bucks County Classic for men on Sept. 8, followed by the criterium for men and women on Sept. 9.

USA Cycling works with race directors from across the country to create various calendars and series that feature bike racing across several disciplines and ability levels. Inclusion on these calendars often includes event support, rankings tabulation and additional promotion. For the full schedule of events, visit www.usacycling.org/usa-cycling-series-calendars-overview.htm, and click on individual disciplines:

PRT - www.usacycling.org/prt/
Pro GRT - www.usacycling.org/progrt
Pro XCT - www.usacycling.org/proxct/

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Team Sky welcome Henri Lloyd as Official Off Bike Clothing Partner
Team Sky are delighted to announce the launch of a new collaboration with Henri Lloyd. The British brand, global market leaders in technical sailing and lifestyle apparel, is joining up with Team Sky as the team’s new Off Bike Clothing Partner. Henri Lloyd has supplied leading teams and sports people for over half a century and boasts extensive knowledge and expertise in innovative fabric technology and design. Team Sky riders and support staff will be kitted out in the latest product technology from Henri Lloyd Sport, a new collection of transitional and multi-activity performance apparel.

Announcing the partnership, Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Henri Lloyd is an iconic British brand with its roots in Manchester. Like Team Sky, they are extremely proud of that heritage. Throughout their history Henri Lloyd have led the way in the science, design and production of best in class technical wear which is made to take on the toughest conditions - from extreme temperatures to rain, wind and snow. Henri Lloyd understand elite performance needs and they work with those who have to be at their best in extreme environments, from the America’s Cup through to Formula One. They are continually looking for advancements and new solutions to the same challenges that we face as we race and train in all conditions around the world. We are excited to begin collaborating with Henri Lloyd, sharing and benefitting from their knowledge and working together to ensure Team Sky stay ahead of the competition.”

Martin Strzelecki, CEO of Henri Lloyd said: “We are thrilled to announce our official partnership with Team Sky, a team that reflects our shared values of innovation and performance. We are very excited about our future together and wish the team every success for the forthcoming racing season.”





The Stats Behind UAE Team Emirates’ 2017 UCI WorldTour Season
With the 2017 UCI World Tour complete, UAE Team Emirates has released an infographic detailing some of the statistics behind their season.

The team, who made their UCI World Tour debut, competed in 85 races, picking up a total of 19 wins and made 54 appearances on the podium. Collectively, they covered over 285,000km and spent more than 1,800 days cycling through 28 different countries including; United Kingdom, Argentina, Belgium, France, Australia, Spain, Germany and the UAE. Slovenian, Matej Mohoric who was one of the team’s standout riders of the season, covered the most race kilometers – over 15,500, across 95 days of cycling.







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