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We might be in that lull between the Classics and the Giro d'Italia, but we still have the excitement of the Tour de Romandie as Oscar Fraile won stage 2 - Reports, results and video. Route de France cancelled - Top Story. Other cycling news: Rally Cycling had a successful Tour of the Gila, Giro d’Italia riders list, Bernhard Eisel update, OVO Energy Tour Series, LottoNL-Jumbo to use INSCYD, Yousif Mirza honored and Every Can Counts. Thursday coffee time.

TOP STORY: La Route de France Cancelled
It's not only in the men's pro calendar that is in trouble, now women's racing has been struck by the cancelation of the Route de France Féminine. According to race organizer, Hervé Gerardin, the cancelation is due to the French Department of Nièvre has pulled out of hosting two stages of the six stage UCI 2.1 race.

Gerardin made the announcement via social network:

    1. "Having no alternative, I am forced within 7 weeks of the Grand Départ to make an urgent decision. It is with great bitterness that I made the decision this Sunday to cancel the 2018 edition of the Route de France Internationale Féminine. I can only regret this surprising attitude, which disrespects the other communities that have engaged in hosting this event, but also for the partners, the media, the teams, the providers and all the staff of the organization. This cancellation will surely have in the days to come very important repercussions on the survival of the company but I can officially announce my final withdrawal in the world of international women's cycling."

Life has not been easy for the Route de France since it started in 2006 to replace the Tour de France Féminin. The 2017 event was cancelled because it clashed with the European Championships and the Swedish WorldTour race. The race was due to run from the 5th to the 10th of June this year, the cancelation leaves only one women's stage in France, the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche. Gerardin has also pointed out that at the moment he has no plans for the race.

The last Route de France Féminine in 2016:

Tour de Romandie 2018
The victory in the Tour de Romandie Prologue was taken by Sunweb's Michael Matthews, who finished the 4km-long prologue in Fribourg 1 second ahead of Tom Bohli (BMC), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo and Rohan Dennis (BMC).

The Tour de Romandie opened with a 4 kilometer prologue, which took the riders on a short course through Fribourg. The route contained a couple of tricky 90-degree turns and cobbled sectors as well as a final kilometer that featured gradients of over 12 per cent. The route therefore demanded not only solid time trialling skills, but also good climbing abilities.

132 riders took to the start line for the race against the clock, at the end of which Michael Matthews emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, after having clocked a time of 5:33. BMC's Tom Bohli had been the long tome leader until Matthews knocked him off the 'Hot Seat'. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Rohan Dennis (BMC) took 3rd and 4th place on the same time as Bohli. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) and Geraint Thomas (Sky) took 5th and 6th place, both on 5 seconds with William Clarke (EF-Drapac), Diego Rosa (Sky) and Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) took 7th, 8th and 9th places at 6 seconds.

Fribourg - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Michael James MATTHEWS (Australia / Team Sunweb) pictured during the 72nd Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) Prologue in Fribourg (4.02KM) - photo René Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2018

Prologue winner and overall leader, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): "I had a rocky start to the season and things were difficult with my broken shoulder but I finally feel like things are on the up again. I didn't know how well I would feel after the weekend but I gave my best and I'm really pleased that I could finish it off with the win. It was a beautiful course and I had a lot of fun out there today; I really enjoy TT's, especially ones like these where I can use my power. Tonight we'll just enjoy this win and tomorrow we'll focus on what we're going to do next."

2nd, Tom Bohli (BMC): "I did my personal best today. I did everything I could out there. This is my first time trial of the year so I was pretty nervous coming into it. I felt like I had a really good ride. I had to brake a little bit behind a moto which was maybe the low point of the race for me. However, I don't think I have ever been as calm as I was five minutes before the start of the race and also at the bottom of the climb. I'm not sure why but I paced my race perfectly. At the top of the climb, I was tired but not at my limit so I could go a little bit harder towards the line. I thought to myself that if I was still sitting here after Rohan Dennis passed, the chance of taking victory was super high but in the end, it wasn't meant to me. Finishing second is maybe the biggest feeling of disappointment. When you are third, you are just happy to be on the podium and then if you're fourth it's the same feeling as when you're second. I'm feeling a bit sad that I didn't bring it home as it was so close in the end but of course, I am really happy that I did a good prologue. I think I have now taken a big step forward in terms of my self-confidence because I was always fighting with that last year. It's great to be in the white jersey and I want to show it off at the front of the bunch. You will see me there riding for my teammates this week."

4th, Rohan Dennis (BMC): "The last kilometer was pretty brutal. I knew that the race would be won there, particularly on the last 500m but, trying to get some speed there to finish the race off was quite hard when it was so explosive. While you can say that a short course like this is not my specialty, the last time I lost a time trial, apart from Worlds last year, was at the Tour of Britain in 2016. I always go out there to win no matter how short or long the course is. It's a shame that this winning streak has come to an end. My shape is good. We will see how I go on the uphill time trial on Friday and then the Sion stage will be a good test for me ahead of the Giro d'Italia."

Tour de Romandie Prologue Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 5:33
2. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC at 0:01
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:05
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
7. William Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:06
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:09.

Tour de Romandie Overall After The Prologue:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 5:33
2. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC at 0:01
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:05
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
7. William Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:06
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:09.

Romandie prologue:

Omar Fraile took the victory on Stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie with the finish in Delémont. The Astana Team rider won the final sprint from a group of race favorites, out-sprinting the Italian Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and the Portuguese rider Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates).

After Tuesday’s 4 kilometer prologue, Wednesday saw the peloton start the first normal stage from Fribourg to Delémont over 166,6 km. The race took in a hilly route with four categorized climbs, the last one with just 18 km to go.

Frenchman, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) was the last rider from the early break to be caught in the final few kilometers. There were a number of attacks from the leading group of 55 riders inside the last 3-4 km, but finally, all the favorites came together on the finish line in Delémont. Omar Fraile did a smart move in front of the group to attack with just 300 meters to go and to take his second win this season after his success on the 5th stage of the Itzulia Basque Country.

After the prologue and today’s stage 1 the Slovenian Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) took the lead in the general classification. Stage winner, Omar Fraile is sitting in 22nd place on the overall, 19 seconds behind the leader and holds the points lead.

Delémont - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ (Spain / Team Astana) - Sonny COLBRELLI (Italy / Team Bahrain - Merida) pictured during the 72nd Tour de Romandie (2.UWT) stage 1 from Fribourg to Delémont (166.6 KM) - photo René Vigneron/Cor Vos © 2018

Stage winner and points leader, Omar fraile (Astana): "I am so happy with this win. After the classics I did not feel great, but today everything went well and I managed to do a good stage. In general, our team was super today, we did a strong race. After all these climbs we still had many riders in the leading group and my teammates did a big job for me. In the final part of the stage I’ve realized our group can come to the finish for a sprint, so Dario Cataldo and Jakob Fuglsang worked hard to chase all attacks and to bring me in front. I knew, Sonny Colbrelli was my biggest rival today since he is a very fast guy. So, I followed his wheel and started my sprint with around 300 meters to go. It was a good decision, since at the last 100 meters there was a small uphill. Anyway, this victory brings me and, I think, the whole team a good motivation before the next stages. As I saw, Jakob is in a good form and we will try to help him to reach a high result here."

2nd on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): "A second place in a World Tour race is always welcome but this time there is a bit of disappointment. I had a good leg and I missed very little to win, as the race developed. It could have ended better. At the sprint, I started from afar but the stage winner the Spaniard Omar Fraile anticipated me. We ran well and deserved more. Already tomorrow I will have another opportunity and I hope to do better."

3rd on the stage, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): "We raced with the right mentality, according to the indications that the sports directors gave this morning in the pre-race meeting. In the final, we controlled the race with Bono and then on the last climb I tried first and then Dan Martin tried, and he created a good gap. We had to stay alert watching the small groups that were forming, also on the descent and the flat finish. In the end, the other teams kept it together and we arrived in a sprint. I gave it my all and took a good third place."

KOM, Marco Minnaard (Wanty-Group Goubert): "What a beautiful day! Everything fell into place today. I surprised myself with this performance. I had made a goal of this mountain jersey, but I did not dare to dream about this. The first mountain sprint was fiercely disputed, but I was able to take the points. On the following summits the battle was slightly less fierce and I was able to take all points relatively easy. In the end, the stage victory even came in sight. I knew I had to keep an eye on Gougeard, the specialist in this kind of breakaways. I had the legs to keep up with him on the last climb and I could even contribute. At the top I thought for a moment that we would make it, but in the end the peloton was still able to catch us. This is the first time I have been on a podium in a WorldTour race, which was a great experience. But it is a bit of a shock when you see yourself surrounded by these top riders in the podium tent! The next few days I want to use my mind. Saturday's stage will be crucial for the mountain classification. Once I have this jersey, I do not intend to give it up easily!"

Tour de Romandie Stage 1 Result:
1. Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana in 4:03:42
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
4. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
10. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors.

Tour de Romandie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 4:09:16
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:04
4. Diego Rosa (Ita) Sky at 0:05
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:08
7. Egan Bernal (Col) Sky at 0:10
8. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Sky
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC at 0:13.

Romandie stage 1:

Rob Britton wins overall at Tour of the Gila
Sara Poidevin tenacious in bid for lead, finishes second overall.

Rally Cycling’s Rob Britton continued his dominance of North America’s biggest stages races this weekend, winning New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila. Britton finished second on the final stage, the notorious Gila Monster, and Kyle Murphy crossed the line in third to solidify third overall. Sara Poidevin finished second overall and won best young rider, and Emma White added a points classification win to her win in stage 4.

The final stage to Pinos Altos, also known as the Gila Monster, took the riders north of Silver City to Gila National Forest where the mountain roads rise over 7,000 ft in elevation. It’s a stage where only the strong survive.

In the men’s race, team captain Danny Pate covered the early breakaway while Eric Young and Brad Huff controlled the peloton heading into the day’s first major climb. Pate dropped back from the breakaway to ride on the front of the peloton going into the infamous Cliff Dwellings National Monument climb. Then, Evan Huffman took over the pacemaking to deliver Britton and Murphy into the base of the final climb to Pinos Altos.

Further up the road, the women’s team was engaged in a battle for the overall title. Poidevin was only eight seconds down the race leader, Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare). Rally Cycling put Abby Mickey and Gillian Ellsay into the day’s breakaway and forced Hall’s teammates to chase. Going into the final climb, Poidevin’s teammates launched a series of attacks but were unable to unseat the race leader. White crossed the line in fifth while Poidevin, feeling the effects of her bid for the overall, finished tenth on the stage.

Rob Britton on winning Tour of the Gila: “It’s fantastic to win again. Not many people have won this race twice. The team was solid today and every day. That’s one thing I knew I can always count on. The boys always show up for work! The day more or less went to plan. I knew I only had to cover Gavin and when he went I followed and with 20 km to go, it was just the 2 of us. We agreed to roll together to the last 500 meters and then see what was left. I was happy with how it all turned out. This was definitely a good marker to see where the form is but it was also always part of the plan. I’ll recover from this and then we’ll have 10 days to make a few little tweaks and hopefully get the last couple percent out of me for the start of Tour of California.”

Sara Poidevin on finishing second overall: “I think everyone on the team can be really satisfied with how they rode today. We put up a good fight all day and put pressure exactly how we needed to. I'm so grateful for all my teammates. Everyone buried themselves today and we put in everything we had. I think we learned a lot as a team this week and personally, I gained a bit of confidence. I think we can take a lot away as a team because we got stronger through the week and showed that we can put up a really solid fight against the other top teams in the country. There's still lots of racing left this season and this week left us pretty hungry.”

Men’s Final General Classification
1. Robert Britton (Can) in 13:50:42
2. Gavin Mannion (USA) at 0:52
3. Kyle Murphy (USA) at 2:14.

Women’s Final General Classification
1. Katharine Hall (USA) in 12:07:42
2. Sara Poidevin (Can) at 0:44
3. Leah Thomas (USA) at 2:11.

Women's Best Young Rider Competition
1. Sara Poidevin (Can) in 12:08:26
2. Emma White (USA) at 3:50
3. Chloe Dygert (USA) at 6:21.

Women's Points Classification
1. Emma White (USA) 57 pts
2. Chloe Dygert (USA) 30
3. Diana Peñuela (Col) 23.

Giro d’Italia 101: Riders List Announced
There are only 10 days before the Giro d'Italia Big Start takes place in Israel – just the 13th time in the Corsa Rosa's history that the race has begun outside the Italian border. The race, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, will begin with an Individual Time Trial on Friday 4 May in Jerusalem, Israel, and finish in Rome, Italy, on Sunday 27 May.

The 12 Giro d'Italia Starts Abroad
1965 San Marino (final winner: Vittorio Adorni); 1966 Monaco (Gianni Motta); 1973 Verviers – Belgium (Eddy Merckx); 1974 Vatican City (Eddy Merckx); 1996 Athens – Greece (Pavel Tonkov); 1998 Nice – France (Marco Pantani); 2002 Groeningen – Netherlands (Paolo Savoldelli); 2006 Seraing, Liege – Belgium (Ivan Basso); 2010 Amsterdam – Netherlands (Ivan Basso); 2012 Herning – Denmark (Ryder Hesjedal); 2014 Belfast – Northern Ireland (Nairo Quintana); 2016 Apeldoorn – Netherlands (Vincenzo Nibali).

Provisional Entry List
GC contenders to watch out for at the 101st edition of the Corsa Rosa are:

Tom Dumoulin (NED – Team Sunweb): thanks to the Big Start in his homeland (Apeldoorn, The Netherlands) in 2016, Tom Dumoulin discovered the Giro d’Italia and fell in love with the Maglia Rosa he wore for six days, so he returned with the aim of winning the race overall last year and became the first-ever Dutchman to do so despite being hampered by gastric troubles before tackling the Stelvio. He’s back with the pressure of defending his title.

Adnoc School - Abu Dhabi - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) pictured during the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour stage 1 from Madinat Zaya to Adnoc School (189KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

Chris Froome (GBR – Team Sky): during its first eight years of existence that's included five overall victories in the Tour de France, Team Sky has made the final podium only once at the Giro d’Italia (with Rigoberto Urán second in 2013). The ambitions of the British team are higher this time with Chris Froome hunting for the triple crown. Nobody has won the Tour, La Vuelta and the Giro in a row within one year since Bernard Hinault thirty-five years ago.

Innsbruck - Austria - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Christopher Froome (GBR - Team Sky) 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

Fabio Aru (ITA – UAE Team Emirates): having missed the past two editions of the Giro d’Italia, including last year’s Big Start in Sardinia where he hails from due to injury, Fabio Aru resumes his unfinished business as he made the final podium on two occasions (third in 2014, second in 2015) but is yet to bring the Maglia Rosa home. His move to UAE Team Emirates is part of his plan to win the Giro d’Italia after he won the Vuelta a España – his sole GrandTour win – in 2015.

Alpe di Pampeago - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Fabio Aru (ITA - UAE Team Emirates) pictured during Tour of the Alps 2018, stage-2 from Lavarone - Alpe di Pampeago (145,5 km) - 17/04/2018 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

Thibaut Pinot (FRA – Groupama - FDJ): fourth overall and stage 20 winner last year, Thibaut Pinot will present himself on the start line of his second Giro d’Italia having won the Tour of the Alps, which is considered the meaningful warm-up for the Corsa Rosa. The Frenchman has trained in cross-country skiing and lightened his race program in the early part of the season in order to hit top form for the Grand Tours. He’s fascinated by the Zoncolan and the seven other summit finishes.

Innsbruck - Austria - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Thibaut Pinot (FRA - Groupama - FDJ 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

Esteban Chaves (COL – Mitchelton - Scott): following a disappointing 2017 season plagued by tendonitis and mourning, the runner-up of the 2016 Giro d’Italia makes a highly anticipated return to the race he loves since he wore the Maglia Rosa with two days to go two years ago. Since winning the Herald Sun Tour in February in Australia, the country of his Mitchelton - Scott team, Chaves has seriously prepared in Colombia for a very mountainous Giro that suits him on paper.

Miguel Ángel López (COL – Astana Pro Team): "Superman" López is the new blood injected among the Grand Tours GC contenders. At the age of 24, the third Colombian to have won the Tour de l’Avenir in recent years (in 2014, after Nairo Quintana and Esteban Chaves) has only completed one three-week race: the 2017 Vuelta a España, in eighth place overall with two stage wins. He’s not only the super favorite for the Maglia Bianca but also the climber with the greatest capacity to threaten the established champions.

Jebel Hafeet - Abu Dhabi - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Miguel Angel Lopez (COL - Astana Pro Team) - Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE (Spain / Team Movistar) pictured during the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour stage 5 from Qasr Al Muwaiji to Jebel Hafeet (199KM) - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

The Teams
These are the 22 teams at the start, each made of eight riders, with their main entries:

UCI WorldTour Teams – 18 (eligible):
AG2R LA MONDIALE – Geniez, Montaguti
ASTANA PRO TEAM – Lopez, Sanchez
BAHRAIN - MERIDA – Pozzovivo, Visconti
BMC RACING TEAM – Dennis, Roche
BORA - HANSGROHE – Formolo, Sam Bennett
GROUPAMA - FDJ – Pinot, Morabito
LOTTO SOUDAL – Wellens, Hansen
MITCHELTON - SCOTT – Chaves, Simon Yates
MOVISTAR TEAM – Betancur, Roson
QUICK - STEP FLOORS – Stybar, Viviani
TEAM DIMENSION DATA – Meintjes, O'Connor
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN – Tony Martin, Dowsett
TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO – George Bennett, Battaglin
TEAM SKY – Froome, Poels
TEAM SUNWEB – Dumoulin, Oomen
TREK - SEGAFREDO – Brambilla, Nizzolo

UCI Professional Continental Teams – 4 wild cards:
BARDIANI CSF – Ciccone, Guardini

Bernhard Eisel: Health Update
Austrian undergoes successful surgical decompression.

Bernhard Eisel has undergone successful surgical decompression of a chronic subdural haematoma on the brain. The lesion was a late complication of his crash on stage 5 of the Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

A chronic subdural haematoma is an accumulation of blood beneath the protective layer around the brain, the dura mater. The bleeding occurs slowly over a number of weeks and eventually the collection of clotted blood puts pressure on the brain, thereby causing symptoms. Bernie had a CAT scan of the brain immediately after his crash but no intracranial bleed was present at that time.

Bernie thought he was suffering from severe allergies late last week and was struggling to train. Upon a follow up consult by our medical team, Bernie revealed that his symptoms included a severe headache. An urgent MRI scan of the brain was ordered in light of his recent trauma, revealing the haematoma.

Surgery was required to evacuate the collection, releasing the pressure. We can confirm that the surgery was successfully carried out on Monday at the Maria Hilf Private Clinic in Klagenfurt, Austria with no complications.

We are pleased and relieved with the successful outcome of the surgery and thankful to the neurosurgical team involved. Bernie will be able to begin with light training on the turbo trainer in 2 weeks and hopefully a return to full outdoor training in 4 weeks after a follow-up MRI.

Bernhard Eisel - Rider:
"I can't really say when I will be back on my bike. Firstly, I want to get healthy, take my time and if the doctors give me the go ahead I will consider when is best to return on my bike. I still enjoy riding my bike but this was a massive thing that happened to my body. If you have an operation on your brain it certainly makes you think twice about things but at the moment I will just follow the recommendations of our team doctors. At the moment I am feeling good and looking forward to leaving the hospital and spending some time with family."

Bernhard Eisel:

Teams line-up for the OVO Energy Tour Series 2018
Defending champions JLT Condor and Trek-Drops head the line-up for the men and women’s OVO Energy Tour Series, which gets underway in Worcestershire in less than three weeks’ time.

JLT Condor, overall winners of the past two editions, head the list of eight men’s teams that will contest every round of the OVO Energy Tour Series.

Seven UCI Continental teams will race in the Series including 2015 Champions Madison Genesis, as well as the ONE Pro Cycling and Canyon Eisberg squads.

The Vitus Pro Cycling and Holdsworth Pro Racing teams make their Tour Series debuts, while Team WIGGINS will return to the Series after a year’s absence.

Completing the line-up will be top amateur team Morvélo Basso, who raced in the 2017 Series and are targeting building on their last year’s experience.

2018 will see the women’s Series taking place at every location for the first time with two UCI teams topping the entry list: Trek-Drops and Storey Racing. Ten teams in total will contest the full Series, including three squads who make their debut – Admiral LIV Awol, Boompods EDCO NRG and YRDP.

Team Breeze, Team OnForm, NJC-Biemme-Echelon, Torelli-Brother and Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo join Trek-Drops and Storey Racing in returning to the OVO Energy Tour Series.

Both the men and women’s Series will both feature invited guest teams in selected rounds. Eleven men’s teams will race in one of three mini-competitions comprising the Midlands, North or South events, while four additional women’s teams will also participate in selected events to aid their development.

Eight towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales will welcome Britain’s leading cycle race Series, highlights of which will again be shown on ITV4 in the UK and to over 100 countries worldwide, beginning in Redditch on Thursday 10 May and culminating three weeks later with a Grand Final on Thursday 31 May.

OVO Energy Tour Series 2018
Thursday 10 May - Redditch, Worcestershire
Tuesday 15 May - Motherwell, North Lanarkshire
Thursday 17 May - Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Tuesday 22 May - Durham, County Durham
Saturday 26 May - Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Monday 28 May - Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Tuesday 29 May - Wembley Park, London
Thursday 31 May - To be announced

List of teams
Men’s Teams

Canyon Eisberg
Holdsworth Pro Racing
JLT Condor
Madison Genesis
Morvélo Basso
ONE Pro Cycling
Vitus Pro Cycling

Women’s Teams
Admiral Liv AWOL
Boompods EDCO NRG
Jadan-Weldtite Vive Le Velo
Storey Racing
Team Breeze
Team OnForm
YRDP Cycling Team

About The OVO Energy Tour Series
The OVO Energy Tour Series celebrates its 10th season of televised town and city centre racing in May 2018. Organized by SweetSpot Group, the company behind the organization and promotion of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, the OVO Energy Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and male and female riders, competing in a unique team based format on town and city-centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

Follow The OVO Energy Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #OVOTourSeries or Facebook or via the official website at

Team LottoNL-Jumbo to use INSCYD
INSCYD are delighted to announce that they have been selected by Team LottoNL-Jumbo as their tool to analyze, monitor and finally improve the performance of their athletes.

LottoNL-Jumbo started using INSCYD during the final preparation of their 2018 campaign.

Head of Performance Mathieu Heijboer: "The results will show a clear picture of the shape of the rider at that moment." In the end, it will improve the quality of training. "Based on the analyses of INSCYD, the coaches can correct the training they prescribed. We can control whether the training resulted in the particular improvements the coach pursued, and correct where needed."

This means that fewer test moments need to be installed. "It’s an added value", Heijboer said. "The test will become part of the training more and more. Our riders live all over the world. They don’t have to come to a fixed location, every rider can do it at home."

UAE Team Emirates’ Yousif Mirza Honored with Prestigious UAE Sports Award
UAE Team Emirates’ Yousif Mirza has been awarded the Outstanding UAE Athlete of 2017 prize, on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates. Mirza overcame stiff competition from 541 other nominated athletes, across 28 sports associations, to scoop the prestigious prize - adding to an already extraordinary year for the Emirati cyclist.

The award was presented by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, at a ceremony on Monday which recognized the UAE’s sporting achievements over the past year.

Dubai Tour 2018 - 5th Edition - 3rd stage Skydive Dubai - Fujairah 180.0 km - 08/02/2018 - Yousif Mirza (EAU - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2018

Commenting on the award, Yousif Mirza said: "I'm very honored to pick up this award. Unfortunately I could not attend the ceremony because I'm training in Europe and preparing for my next World Tour race in California, but it adds extra value to my recent achievements in Asia and the UAE. It's great to know that UAE Team Emirates is increasing the awareness of cycling here in the emirates and I hope this award will inspire even more young people to cycle."

It has been a momentous year for Mirza, having joined UAE Team Emirates as the first ever professional Emirati cyclist. He secured his eighth UAE National Road Race title one month ago, adding to a historic hat-trick of medal wins at the Asian Track Cycling Championships in Malaysia, the Asian Road Cycling Championship and the Omnium Track Cycling silver medal.

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

Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 36th Edition - 3rd stage San Juan - San Juan (ITT) 14,4 km - 23/01/2017 - Yousif Mirza (EAU - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Ilario Biondi/BettiniPhoto©2017

Every Can Counts Receives OVO Energy Women's Tour and OVO Energy Tour Series Recycling Partnership Title
Drink can recycling campaign Every Can Counts has today been unveiled as the 2018 Recycling Partner for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and the OVO Energy Tour Series.

The campaign, run by Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organization (Alupro), is committed to encouraging those who participate in competitive and recreational cycling in the UK and Europe, to recycle their drinks cans when they are out and about. It is working with SweetSpot Group, the organization behind both the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and OVO Energy Tour Series, to help provide its audience with an environmentally friendly outlook.

With 47% of cans being drunk ‘on the go’ and outside of the home; both the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and OVO Energy Tour Series provide an opportunity for the recycling campaign to encourage and educate the general public, cyclists and cycling fans, on recycling their aluminium goods.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Alupro, said: "We are increasingly aware that recycling packaging is something simple we can all do to help protect the environment. Collectively the women’s stage race and the event series attracted over half a million visitors in 2017 and with higher audience figures expected this year; it gives us a great platform to shout about the benefits of recycling aluminium packaging and the Every Can Counts program.

"If every person who attended these events last year recycled just one aluminium can, then that would see a reduction of 72 tonnes in CO2 which is the equivalent to a car driving 347,618 kilometers. To put that into perspective – that’s like driving the total distance of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour (678km over five stages) 513 times over.

"As cycling fans, we are delighted to be involved with such globally recognized sporting events and look forward to working alongside the SweetSpot Group while watching the racing unfold throughout the summer months."

Heath Harvey, CEO of SweetSpot, added: "The environmental benefits of both cycling and recycling need little explanation, so it makes perfect sense for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and OVO Energy Tour Series to partner with Every Can Counts.

"We’re looking forward to working with Every Can Counts to promote the invaluable messages of their campaign; we hope that our enthusiastic racegoers will embrace their collective aims and do their bit to help the environment."

In addition to branding and drinks cans recycling point set-ups at each stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and the OVO Energy Tour Series – the Every Can Counts team will be attending the following events with their Recycle Race Game.

Thursday 10 May – OVO Energy Tour Series Round One (Redditch)
Saturday 26 May – OVO Energy Tour Series Round Five (Aberystwyth)
Monday 28 May – OVO Energy Tour Series Round Six (Stevenage)
Tuesday 29 May – OVO Energy Tour Series Round Seven (Wembley Park)
Friday 15 June – OVO Energy Women’s Tour Finish Stage Three (Royal Leamington Spa)
Saturday 16 June – OVO Energy Women’s Tour Finish Stage Four (Worcester).

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