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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, June 23, 2016

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This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess. - Rainer Maria Rilke

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Most of the major cycling countries are having their national championships between yesterday and June 26. I've started posting the results. If you are interested in historical national champ info, here's a lot of data.

Giovanni Cuniolo

Here's the first Champion of Italy (1906, 1907 & 1908), Giovanni Cuniolo

2016 Tour de France announcements

Sky sent me this:

WEDNESDAY 22ND JUNE 2016: Team Sky has announced its line up for the 2016 Tour de France. The 103rd edition of the Tour starts at Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday 2nd July and concludes on Sunday 24th July in Paris.

Defending champion Chris Froome will be joined by: Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas.

Team Sky will be aiming to win a fourth Tour de France, with Froome chasing a hat trick of victories after previous wins in 2013 and 2015.

Chris Froome said: “The Tour de France will always be the pinnacle of our sport. I feel in good shape coming into the race this year and am fortunate to have a strong team around me – both on and off the bike.

"Every rider obviously starts every new Tour equal and what has gone before counts for nothing. This year I am hungrier than ever for success. We know how hard this race will be and how much we will have to give if we want to win it again.

"But we have trained hard. We’re ready for the challenge and can’t wait to get back racing in front of the millions of people in France who make the race so special."

Chris Froome

Chris Froome is going to give the Tour another shot

Speaking about the Tour de France line-up Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “Every Tour is different, so that means choosing the team we believe is best equipped to deal with the many different challenges of this race. We have selected a talented group of riders with Chris as the leader once again. I know they will do everything they can to help him try to win yellow.

"We can take a lot of confidence as a Team from what we have achieved already this year, but we know how much it takes to win the Tour. Of course there are a number of riders in other teams capable of putting in a challenge for overall victory. That’s great news for cycling fans, who can look forward to seeing some really competitive racing.

"We are as excited as the fans about what’s to come and we’re looking forward to getting started next Saturday”.

The Team Sky squad for the 2016 Tour de France is:

Chris Froome - age 31 - Great Britain: Heading into the 2016 event as a two-time winner and defending champion, Froome will be going all out to secure a third Tour de France victory this July. Fresh from recent overall success at the Criterium du Dauphine, he heads into his 12th career Grand Tour in promising form and backed up by a strong Team Sky lineup. One of the best climbers of his generation, Froome holds explosive power in the mountains which, coupled with his world-renowned time trial ability, makes him an accomplished all-round talent.

Sergio Henao - age 28 – Colombia: A supreme climbing force, Henao has supported winning efforts at Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine already this season, most recently linking up with Chris Froome to great effect. Along with Mikel Landa, Henao is one of two Team Sky riders to make his Tour de France debut this year. With five Grand Tour appearances to his name, the Colombian has shown he can play the super domestique role, as well as having the ability to win big races in his own right.

Vasil Kiryienka - age 34 – Belarus: One of the most loyal, powerful and respected riders in the peloton. The Belarusian is the reigning world time trial champion and will don the rainbow jersey during the Tour's two tests against the clock. Equally at home setting the tempo on the front of the bunch or up the road on a solo breakaway, 'Kiry' was part of the team for Chris Froome's first Tour success back in 2013. With 15 Grand Tours (and four stage wins) to his name he's no stranger to success.

Mikel Landa - age 26 – Spain: Adding huge strength to the team's climbing roster, Landa was forced to depart the Giro d'Italia in May due to illness, but bounced back with a superb attacking performance at the Dauphine. In his first race alongside Chris Froome the pair spearheaded a dynamic, attacking showing in the mountains. Mikel earned his reputation as one of the world's top Grand Tour riders in 2015 when he won two stages and finished third overall at the Giro. 2016 has already brought a stage win at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, overall victory at Giro del Trentino and now his Tour debut.

Mikel Nieve - age 32 - Spain: Now into his third season with the team, Mikel is no stranger to competing at the sharp end of three-week stage races. With top-10 overall finishes at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana already under his belt he is one of the best pure climbers around, winning the Mountains Classification at this year’s Giro. The Basque native is one of two riders in the Tour de France line up to have also competed at the Giro this season, pulling off a rousing solo stage victory during the second week. Tackling his second Tour de France in the colours of Team Sky, 'Frosty' will be hoping to play a pivotal role in the mountains.

Wout Poels - age 28 - Holland: The Dutchman wrote a new chapter in Team Sky history this year when he took the team's first Monument Classic victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. With five wins to his name already in 2016, Poels will be hoping to continue that momentum into his fifth Tour de France. He played a key role in Chris Froome's success 12 months ago, notably stepping up in the final pair of mountain stages to help protect the yellow jersey. Poels adds further strength to the team in the high mountains.

Luke Rowe - age 26 - Great Britain: One of the brightest young British talents in the sport, Rowe has gone from strength to strength since turning pro with Team Sky in 2012. An old head on young shoulders, the Welshman is establishing himself as one of the team's in-race road captains and, in his Tour debut last season, helped support Chris Froome all the way to victory in Paris. A powerful presence on the flat and in the cross-winds, Rowe's penchant for the Classics has already seen him place fifth at the Tour of Flanders and eighth at Paris-Roubaix.

Ian Stannard - age 29 - Great Britain: A key part of the team's success since its inception, Stannard is one of the team's most hard-working and respected riders. When he isn't winning tough Belgian one-day Classics in his own right the Brit can be found contributing to stage race success. Having ridden into Paris alongside Chris Froome for both of his Tour victories, Stannard provides an assured presence and selfless shelter in the peloton for his team leader. He is also an adept climber, setting a tough tempo for others to follow on the way into the high mountains.

Geraint Thomas - age 30 - Great Britain: One of the most versatile riders in the sport, Thomas has shown he can excel no matter the terrain. Whether battling over cobbles or climbs, the Welshman is consistently in the mix, often fighting for victory. After securing the biggest win of his career earlier this season at Paris-Nice, 'G' now heads into his seventh Tour de France off the back of a superb performance last year. Playing an invaluable supporting role and improving in the mountains with each season, he has already been part of two Tour victories and will be looking to make it three in 2016.

And here's BMC's Tour news:

22 June 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): BMC Racing Team today announced the seven riders who will support Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen at the upcoming Tour de France.

Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said it was a difficult decision to make considering the calibre of riders who were on the long list.

"If we could have selected 11 riders we would have done so, but in the end I think we have chosen a fantastic group of riders who will provide the best support possible for Richie and Tejay," Ledanois said.

"We have a diverse group of riders, from seven different nationalities, all of whom will play their role, whether it's our strong domestiques like Marcus Burghardt and Michael Schär, or riders like Greg Van Avermaet and Rohan Dennis who can go for stage wins. Then of course we have Brent Bookwalter, Damiano Caruso, and Amaël Moinard for support on the climbs and getting Richie and Tejay where they need to be."

BMC Racing Team is in a strong position going in with two General Classification riders, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "Richie and Tejay will both receive equal support from the staff and riders within the team structure during the race itself. Throughout the race Richie will act as BMC Racing Team's road captain, and as such will represent the riders' interests both on and off the bike," Ochowicz explained.

Richie porte and Chris Froome

Richie Porte leads Chris Froome at this year's Dauphiné

Porte and van Garderen are excited to work together with the support of the selected riders. "To know that Tejay and I will be supported by such a strong group of guys is really motivating. I've already raced with these seven riders a lot this season and I'm confident that we are going into the Tour de France in a really good position. My form is good, my legs are good and after another week of fine-tuning, I'm definitely ready to race. It's an exciting time," Porte admitted.

"I'm taking confidence out of the Tour de Suisse heading into the Tour de France, especially with the team that we are taking. I've already raced the Tour de France a couple of times with most of these guys, so I couldn't be happier to line up with them once again. I'm in great shape, I'm really motivated, and I'm looking forward to rolling out in a little over a week," van Garderen said. 

Tour de France (2-24 July)

Rider Roster: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Richie Porte (AUS), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Tejay van Garderen (USA)

Sports Directors: Yvon Ledanois (FRA), Valerio Piva (BEL), Fabio Baldato (ITA)

And LottoNL-Jumbo had this to report about the team's Tour plans:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo aims for stage victory in Tour de France

Team LottoNL-Jumbo goes to the Tour de France without Robert Gesink. The team’s leader still struggles too much with the damage he faced after his crash in the Tour de Suisse. With Wilco Kelderman and sprinter Dylan Groenewegen, the Dutch team still has enough guns to aim for stage victory in France.

“We want to win a stage,” Sports Director Nico Verhoeven says. “Wilco Kelderman is able to show off in the mountains and we have some men who have to be able to finish it off from the breakaway on the days that are too hard for the sprinters.”

Wilco Kelderman

Wilco Kelderman descending at the just-finished Tour of Switzerland

“Besides that, we’re going to sprint with Dylan Groenewegen,” Verhoeven continues. “He participates in the Tour de France earlier than expected, but that’s not a choice we made only based on his good results. We are expecting him to be ready for the Tour de France already since a while. That he won already quite a lot races, is something extra. That might be a reason for higher expectations, but we send him to the Tour from a process of learning. He gets the chance to experience the biggest cycling race of the year, already and from that point of view, we’re going to aim for the best results possible.”

Groenewegen approaches his selection for the Tour de France as a reward for his strong season, but keeps the long term in mind. “We’re in a process in which we aim for a stage win in the Tour de France of 2018,” the sprinter explains. “It went quite fast with the development of the sprint lead-out, this season. Of course we want to deliver something beautiful in the Tour and when it’s up to me, it’s going to be something very beautiful, but I shouldn’t expect myself to be able to win a stage, immediately. There are going to come a lot of chances for the sprinters in the first week, so I will focus on that part of the race. I have to see how it goes, afterwards. It would be nice if I’m able to finish the Tour so I can bring that experience to the upcoming seasons.”

Team LottoNL-Jumbo has to do it in the Tour de France without Robert Gesink, who should have been the team’s leader. Gesink crashed in the Tour de Suisse and the medical staff doesn’t think he’s recovered enough from it. “I’ve put a lot of energy in my preparations for the Tour de France and I felt strong on Tenerife. It’s a big disappointment that I have to miss the Tour because of this setback,” Robert Gesink tells from his address in Spain.

George Bennett, he proved that he improved a lot this season in the Tour of California and the Criterium du Dauphiné replaces Gesink.

“The absence of Gesink doesn’t change the role Wilco Kelderman’s going to play,” Verhoeven tells. “Wilco goes to the Tour de France in a free role. Now Gesink falls away, he holds the position we planned with him.”

“I’m going to the Tour de France with a lot of confidence,” Kelderman adds. “I’ve had a good period of training and most of the days in the Tour de Suisse went well. I’m looking forward to the Tour and we’re going to aim for good results. My free role gives me the chance to chose some stages to aim for. My chances are in the mountains. It’s a good thing that the sprint train goes to the Tour as well. They are in a flow and are very motivated. We’re going to the Tour with that flow, together!”

Line-up: George Bennett, Dylan Groenewegen, Wilco Kelderman, Bert-Jan Lindemen, Paul Martens, Timo Roosen, Sep Vanmarcke, Robert Wagner and Maarten Wynants.

Sports Directors: Frans Maassen, Nico Verhoeven and Merijn Zeeman.

National Championships news

This came from BMC:

22 June 2016, Romanengo (ITA): Manuel Quinziato has smashed the Individual Time Trial field at the Italian National Championships, crossing the line to win by 38 seconds.

Quinziato completed the two-lap 41.3 kilometer course in 49 minutes flat, 38 seconds faster than Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff) and one minute faster than Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

It is the first time in Quinziato's career that he has held the National Champion's jersey.

Manuel Quinziato

Manuel Quinziato at last year's Eneco Tour

Finish line Quotes from Manuel Quinziato: "I was on the podium three times before and I hadn't raced the championships the past six years. I'm really happy that I finally got the jersey because I had never won it."

"On the first lap I went through the check point down on Boaro but then on the last lap I kept it really steady and really came home hard. In the end I had a really good gap. The level was pretty high with riders like Boaro and Moser so to have won by a lot is really nice."

"I'll have my first chance to wear the national champion's jersey at the Tour of Poland in July as there is a time trial there so I can't wait! I feel confident ahead of the road race on Sunday. I haven't had a really good look at the parcours yet but I know that it is a good parcours for me because it should be pretty fast with a small climb every loop. It's not like a 4000m climb like there has been the last couple of years. My mood is good and my shape is good so I'm definitely going to try."

Fabio Baldato, Sports Director: "There were some really good riders here racing. Manuel was just amazing. He rode 50.5km an hour, just really, really strong. At the 20km check point he was seven seconds behind Boaro and then he stayed really consistent with his speed on the second lap and never lost a second, instead he gained them."

"It's really special for Manuel and for BMC Racing Team so it's a great day. I hope we can do something similar at the road race on Sunday."

Race Profile: Italian National Championships Time Trial, Romanengo - Romanengo, (41.3k)

Top 3: Manuel Quinziato (BMC Racing Team), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff), Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling).

This from Giant-Alpecin:

Tom Dumoulin (NED) has won the Dutch National Time Trial Championships, taking the second red, white and blue national stripes of his career.

Dumoulin started at the National Championships after spending nearly three weeks at the team's altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada. He raced around the 50km time trial in a time of 59'05" finishing 34" ahead of his nearest rival.

LottoNL-Jumbo had this to report:

Team LottoNL-Jumbo loses Dutch time trial title, but gives podium colour

Jos van Emden and Wilco Kelderman finished respectively second and third in the Dutch time trial Championship. Kelderman lost his title to Tom Dumoulin (Giant - Alpecin). Steven Lammertink finished fourth, Koen Bouwman seventh.

In the 50-kilometre championship around Middelharnis, Jos van Emden lost 34 seconds on winner Dumoulin. “I’m satisfied with that,” Van Emden said. “I’ve delivered a good time trial. I only struggled during the final five kilometres, but I’m not disappointed about it.”

Trainer Mathieu Heijber was satisfied as well with Van Emden’s performance. “Jos did a good job,” he added. “He prefers shorter time trials, but he was able to hold a steady pace until the final five kilometres. Wilco Kelderman performed well, too. He came out of the Tour de Suisse, but still reached the top three another time.”

Behind the top three, the young Team LottoNL-Jumbo riders showed off as well. “Steven Lammertink rode surprisingly well,” Heijboer continued. “It’s great that he finished fourth as a neo-professional on such a long time trial. Koen Bouwman did a great job as well considering the same thing. He came out the Tour de Suisse, as well.”

“I’ve been ill and wasn’t able to finish the Criterium du Dauphiné,” Lammertink said. “That’s why I started this time trial relatively easy. I was able to hold on to a steady pace and it felt good. I wasn’t able to deliver more than this. It was the first time that I did such a long time trial and I have to be satisfied with this fourth place.”

Even for Bouwman it was the first time that he rode such a long time trial. “During the race, I didn’t feel comfortable,” the youngster added. “I lost my focus for a while halfway into my performance. In the final part, I was able to set a steady pace. I’m barely able to stand on my feet because of the pain right now. This was a beautiful experience to learn from.”

Last year’s Dutch champion Wilco Kelderman was focussing on his wattage during the first part of his time trial and had to turn up his speed in the second part. “Then it started to hurt,” he said. “It went well, but not superb. Yesterday, I felt that I wasn’t completely recovered from the Tour de Suisse. I still delivered a good time trial and I’m happy to finish third.”

Here's Orica-AIS's report:

Elsy Jacobs prologue winner Annemeik Van Vleuten had an impressive time trial today in Middelharnis to secure her second national time trial title.

The 33-year-old displayed top form, storming around the 30.7kilometre circuit to finish in a time of 38minutes and 17seconds, a full one minute and 41seconds clear of her nearest rival.

After a consistent first half of the season, securing two UCI wins for ORICA-AIS and countless top ten placings, the Dutch rider was overjoyed to claim the national time trial title once again.

Annemeik van Vleuten

Van Vleuten having a good day at last year's Giro Rosa

"I'm really, really happy with my ride," explained Van Vleuten. "I had really awesome legs and a lot of power and I was able to hold a high speed. At the halfway point I heard that I was one minute ahead of Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans). She's had a very good spring season, so at that point I knew it was going really well.

"I felt super good and I could see that it was going very well with the power and speed that I was holding. I was able to average 48.2kilometres per hour, so it was by far my best time trial."

The victory today was Van Vleuten's second in this event having won her first time trial title back in 2014.

The significant time difference ahead of her closest rivals brings her extra confidence going into the road race championship which will take place in two days time, an event which she has also won once before in 2012.

"This is the second time now that I have won the this title," continued Van Vleuten. "It's always a very special race to win. First I will enjoy my victory this evening and then tomorrow I will re-focus again for the road race.

"It was really great to have support from ORICA-AIS, having a mechanic here and also my coach in the car behind. They really helped me and I could not do this alone, so I was well prepared yesterday and very focussed for today."

2016 Dutch time trial championship results:

1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (ORICA-AIS) 38:17
2. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) +1:41
3. Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) +2:23

This was in my inbox from Tinkoff:

Maciej Bodnar has raced to his fourth senior national time trial title today in Swidnica, Poland, completing a hard-fought return from injury. Over the long 52km course Maciej rode a perfect pacing strategy to finish 28" quicker than his closest rival, and 1'29" ahead of bronze. Meanwhile, over in Italy, Tinkoff recorded its second medal of the day as Manuele Boaro raced to a silver medal at his national time trial.

Having already won the senior national ITT championships in 2009, 2012 and 2013, Maciej knew what it would take to finish on the top spot of the podium, and he delivered in style. Back in early April, Maciej suffered a heavy crash in training, resulting in a long period of recovery and rehabilitation before starting to build for the rest of the season. He only returned to racing at the start of June, at the Tour of Luxembourg before heading to the Tour de Suisse where he was able to fine tune his time trial form ahead of the championships.

After the race, Maciej was really pleased with his performance and what the win means for himself. "I'm so happy - it was a difficult period for me after the crash, so today's win is very special. I was calm with the team before the race and had my family and girlfriend here too which was really nice. Everything went really well, we never lost concentration, even when I was 30 seconds down at the first check. Also as its Olympic year the win gives me a big chance to race there for Poland.

"I came here from the Tour de Suisse which was a really hard race with tough conditions, but I recovered well. Today was 53km and over 30 degrees so it was tough but the numbers were good. Last year I came back after a crash to win at the Tour of Poland and I've come back again to win here."

Looking at Sunday's road race, Maciej said: "We have a really strong team - the parcours is difficult, but I feel good and we have Rafal and Pawel who are going well. I think we are in a good position to make the race but it is always difficult against the Polish teams with up to 15 riders so we will have to be clever."

"It's a really nice win for Bodi, especially after all his injuries, coming back to win the national championships is a great achievement," said Patxi Vila, a very pleased Sport Director after the race. "We knew Bialoblocki would be a real close contender, he won last year and was close behind Bodi in the worlds too.

The race was based on a circuit which was covered four times, with 456m of climbing overall, rolling but nothing too testing. "We made a good pacing strategy and stuck to that all race," continued Vila. "After the first lap he was 30" down but didn't panic and brought it back to just 8" by the end of the second. Then after the third lap he was 11" in front and it was just a case of finishing strongly. I'm really happy for him - it was a long, hard effort and he was committed to what he needed to do. It's always nice to win a national championships for the team too so everyone's happy."

Over in Italy, Manuele Boaro had a slightly shorter route in front of him, at 41.3km. After starting strongly, leading at the end of the first of two laps, Manuele faded in the second half to finish behind Manuel Quinziato (BMC).

Pleased with his effort but disappointed to be in second, Manuele said afterwards: "It was a very flat circuit, raced twice, and in the first half I had the fastest intermediate with 11" advantage. In the end though I finished with around 40" deficit. There's not much more to say - I was really fast in the first part but in the second half I couldn't match his speed. In the final part of the second lap there was a strong headwind and I lacked power here over Manuel, and this is where it counted."

Tinkoff's time trial championships continue tomorrow in Denmark as Michael Valgren races for his shot at a medal. A bronze medal winner in 2014, Michael will start his 43km effort at 18:18 tomorrow evening.

Polish National ITT Championships

1. Maciej Bodnar (POL) Tinkoff 1:07:28
2. Marcin Bialoblocki (POL) One Pro Cycling +00:00:28
3. Mateusz Taciak (POL) CCC Sprandi Polkowice +00:01:29

Italian National ITT Championships

1. Manuel Quinziato (ITA) BMC Racing Team 00:49:00
2. Manuele Boaro (ITA) Tinkoff 00:00:38
3. Moreno Moser (ITA) Cannondale Pro Cycling +00:01:00

Rider news

Here's Cannondale's latest release:

Talansky re-signs with Cannondale Pro Cycling Team, will lead team’s GC efforts at Vuelta a España

American Andrew Talansky has re-signed with the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team and will lead the team’s general classification push at the Vuelta a España later this season.

Talansky is fresh off a fifth-place finish at the Tour de Suisse and showing a return to form after a tough spring, which included a long regiment of antibiotics to clear up a chronic sinus infection that hampered his performances.

Andrew Talansky

Andrew Talansky

He will skip the Tour de France. “It was not always the plan to skip the Tour,” Talansky said. “However, a bit of background is necessary to explain how we arrived to that decision. I had a very personal issue — you could call it a family crisis — in February, shortly after arriving to Europe. It was a very traumatic and difficult few weeks, and it basically meant that for three weeks the bike was the last thing I was thinking about. Family always comes first.”

He then raced Paris-Nice where he crashed near the end of a mountain stage and quickly fell ill afterward.

“While thankfully everything was improving family-wise by that point, it was still weighing heavily on me and being sick on top of it was difficult,” he said. “I have had quite a few episodes of getting sick over the past couple years, so the medical staff decided to help me dive into looking for a possible reason. We ended up doing sinus scans that showed significant blockage and chronic inflammation, which indicated that I was very susceptible to repeated upper respiratory tract infections that could then progress into a more severe illness. That is exactly what I had been experiencing.”

Talansky underwent antibiotic treatment for the month of April, and while he was able to train and race, he wasn’t at his best. It was then that he and team CEO Jonathan Vaughters began looking at the Vuelta as a Tour alternative.

“I finished the antibiotics the day after Romandie and day by day could feel my strength coming back towards Tour of California,” said Talansky. “For the first time in a long time, I felt like myself during that race. I had a great time supporting Lawson [Craddock], put in a strong TT, and came out of it better than I started. From there the momentum continued to build in training toward Tour de Suisse, and I was able to put in a good nine days there. However, we still decided to stick to the original plan of focusing on the Vuelta. While I was able to race well in Suisse, I was still not at my best - I was lacking the foundation that a solid spring of racing and training provide.”

“He had a tough spring, and that’s no secret,” Vaughters said. “The Vuelta was the plan for a while, and his result at Suisse, while promising, isn't indicative of the form he's capable of achieving. Rather than rush him into the Tour based on the Suisse result, it’s best to allow him to target the Vuelta and ride for the podium there now that his sinus issues have cleared up. It's a long way away, the Vuelta always gets a few extra contenders from the Tour de France fallout, but we know Andrew can do well in Spain. I’m looking forward to it.”

On re-signing with the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team, Talansky described his feeling as being “thankful".

“If there was one word to describe how I feel, it would have to be thankful,” Talansky expressed. “As I said before, I think a lot of people began to doubt what I can do in this sport. It surprised me a little bit. It’s during the tougher times that you really figure out who the people are that believe in you. It’s easy to back someone when they are winning, when they are good. It’s much tougher and takes commitment to support someone when they are down and seemingly out.”

“This is exactly what JV and Cannondale have done for me. They believed in me during the worst of times and they showed their commitment to helping me get back to my best by re-signing me. That is not the thinking of someone who just wants results in the immediate, but rather the thinking of a team, and management, that really want to help a rider get the most out of himself. I believe that there is a lot more I can accomplish in this sport.”

Talansky signed with the Slipstream Sports franchise in 2010 with Garmin-Transitions, and his first professional season was in 2011, where he finished in the top 10 at the Tour of Romandie. Talansky, 27, finished seventh in the 2012 Vuelta, 10th in the 2013 Tour de France (his first) and 11th in the 2015 edition of the Tour. He won the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné in daring fashion.

“I believe in his potential, long term,” Vaughters said. “He's hit a bump in his career, Swiss shows he's back on track, but we re-signed him before that result anyways. I believe in the kid. It’s that simple.”

For Talansky, the focus now moves to the roads of Spain. “I’m motivated and excited,” he said. “While the Tour de France is a very important race, the Vuelta is still a difficult and respected Grand Tour. I really like the Vuelta. It was my first Grand Tour. In 2012 I finished seventh there. That was kind of a breakout result for me, showing that I could potentially hold up to three weeks of racing. I feel like I have a lot more to give now. I will be honest when I say we really want to be in the fight for the top five and with a little luck the podium.”

“I am committed to that goal and I really want to put up a good fight in the Vuelta as a thank you for all of the support the team has given me through some very trying times. I enjoy the heat, I enjoy the fans and the atmosphere as a whole is always great. While I will obviously miss being a part of the Tour de France team, I have no doubt that all the guys will have a great race. I’ll be cheering for them every day!”

Here's BMC's unhappy news:

23 June 2016, Martigny (SUI): Stefan Küng suffered a fractured left iliac bone and left collarbone in a nasty crash sustained at the Swiss National Time Trial Championships on Tuesday evening.

Küng crashed in the first ten kilometers of the 41 kilometer race and was immediately transferred to hospital for observation and X-Rays.

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa provided the following update. "Stefan has fractured his left collarbone and left iliac bone. Tomorrow he will be transferred to the Swiss Olympic Team specialist in St. Gallen where a decision will be made as to whether surgery is necessary. For both fractures to properly heal, Stefan will likely need to take 4-6 weeks off the bike. We will know more about the necessary recovery period in the coming days," Dr. Testa said.

Küng's injuries will rule him out of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where he was set to compete on the track. "I know that I'm in the best possible hands here. I've come back from injury before and I'll come back again," Küng confirmed.

And BMC's good news:

22 June 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Current Swiss National Road Race champion Danilo Wyss has extended his contract with BMC Racing Team.

2017 will mark Wyss' tenth season with BMC Racing Team, which is a testament to both his career and capabilities as a rider, General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

"Danilo is one of the originals of BMC Racing Team. He came to us in 2008 when the team was at the Pro Continental level, and as BMC Racing Team has developed, so too has Danilo," Ochowicz said.

"He's a fantastic rider and a real asset to the team, so it was an easy mutual decision to continue the partnership beyond the current season. With our ties to Switzerland through our title sponsor BMC Switzerland, it's always nice to have Swiss riders in our roster."

Wyss echoed Ochowicz' sentiments. "I am really happy to be staying with BMC Racing Team, particularly as it's my tenth year and a really nice, long story and partnership. I was there at the beginning and I really like the way the team has grown. It's nice to see BMC Racing Team continuing on and I'm very happy to be part of it," Wyss explained.

In keeping with BMC Racing Team policy, no other details of the contract were released.

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