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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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“...overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.” -  George Washington's Farewell Address.

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Peter Sagan tops UCI standings

Here are the UCI standings for the top 40 pros after Il Lombardia, calculated on October 2. The number in parenthesis is the rider's previous ranking

Rank Rider Team Points
1 (1) Peter SAGAN TNK 4759
2 (2) Christopher FROOME SKY 3771
3 (3) Nairo Alexander QUINTANA MOV 3568.25
4 (4) Greg VAN AVERMAET BMC 3548.25
5 (5) Alejandro VALVERDE MOV 2916
6 (8) Romain BARDET ALM 2552
7 (6) Alberto CONTADOR TNK 2334
8 (9) Diego ULISSI LAM 2290
9 (7) Alexander KRISTOFF KAT 2251
10 (14) Jhoan Esteban CHAVES OBE 2169
11 (10) Jon IZAGUIRRE MOV 1945
12 (11) Fabian CANCELLARA TFS 1899
13 (12) Richie PORTE BMC 1863
14 (17) Sonny COLBRELLI BAR 1827
15 (13) Julian ALAPHILIPPE EQS 1741
16 (15) Michael MATTHEWS OBE 1654
17 (25) Giacomo NIZZOLO TFS 1573
18 (16) Bryan COQUARD DEN 1564
19 (18) Tom DUMOULIN TGA 1522
20 (19) Vincenzo NIBALI AST 1521.75
21 (20) Thibaut PINOT FDJ 1506
22 (21) Baptiste PLANCKAERT WBC 1505
23 (23) Rui Alberto FARIA LAM 1459
24 (22) Nacer BOUHANNI COF 1435
25 (24) Daniel MARTIN EQS 1430
26 (33) Dylan GROENEWEGEN TLJ 1381
27 (26) Sep VANMARCKE TLJ 1323
28 (27) Marcel KITTEL EQS 1310
29 (28) Timothy DUPONT VWT 1300
30 (31) Bauke MOLLEMA TFS 1296
31 (29) Joaquim RODRIGUEZ KAT 1290
32 (30) Ilnur ZAKARIN KAT 1289
33 (32) André GREIPEL LTS 1259
34 (34) Rafal MAJKA TNK 1244
35 (35) Edvald BOASSON HAGEN DDD 1230
36 (36) Arnaud DEMARE FDJ 1229
37 (37) Sergio Luis HENAO SKY 1224
38 (38) Tony GALLOPIN LTS 1181
39 (40) Tom BOONEN EQS 1161
40 (45) Gianluca BRAMBILLA EQS 1124.25

And of course, Tinkoff was happy about this. Here's their news release about the rankings:

After an already outstanding season, including 13 wins, 10 of which came in WorldTour classed races, Peter Sagan has cemented his spot as the UCI WorldTour number one ranked rider. Having an almost unsurmountable lead going into the final WorldTour race of the season, the title was confirmed after Saturday’s Il Lombardia.

Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan winning the 2016 European road championships

The accolade is a just reward for the hard work and determination that Peter has put in from start to finish this season, one that started on 18th January at the Tour de San Luis and will end with the World Championships road race this month.

"Finishing a season at the top of the UCI WorldTour ranking is, obviously, a great honour and gratification for any rider,” explained Peter. “It's the first time in my professional career that I attain this summit and I'm thrilled. It's the culmination of a strong and consistent performance throughout the year, the combination of personal effort and support from the team and its partners.

“Sadly, I reach this pinnacle in my career on the day Tinkoff took part in its last WorldTour race ever. We are all sorry to see this great team disappear but we understand the decision taken by its owner Oleg Tinkov. I would like to thank everybody in the team, and especially Oleg, for these two great seasons that brought me success, including some of the world's most coveted trophies and jerseys. It wouldn't have been possible without them."

Tinkoff also finished the season in second place overall in the UCI WorldTour team rankings, a classification the team led for much of the season. What’s more, Alberto Contador also finished sixth in the individual rankings after a strong and consistent season that will come to a close at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

Giant-Alpecin's upcoming racing

The team sent me this update:

PARIS-TOURS ELITE (1.HC): This Sunday Team Giant-Alpecin will participate in the 110th edition of the French one-day race Paris-Tours. Labelled ‘the sprinters classic’, the 252.5km route has recently favoured the breakaways. The weather usually plays a crucial role as does the narrow routes and sharp climbs that encourage attacks in the finale.

"We have a balanced team with several options for this race," explained coach Arthur van Dongen (NED). "The aim is to ride an aggressive race and to be proactive at the front as echelons might be happening on the narrow roads. The organisation has chosen a flatter parcours this year, therefore the chances for a bunch sprint increase and it will be important to work well as a team. If this scenario unfolds we have an experienced team to set up a sprint for our fast guys."

RACE: Paris-Tours Elite (1.HC)

DATE: 09/10/2016

COACH: Arthur van Dongen (NED) 

LINE-UP: Warren Barguil (FRA), Roy Curvers (NED), Bert De Backer (BEL), Sam Oomen (NED), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Zico Waeytens (BEL), Max Walscheid (GER) 

Warren Barguil

Warren Barguil will be at Paris-Tours

UCI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM TIME TRIAL: This week sees Team Giant-Alpecin compete in the UCI World Championships team time trial taking place on Sunday October 9th in Doha, Qatar. The 40km route starts in the Lusail Sports Complex and finishes in the Pearl Qatar Island. The parcours is relatively flat with long straight roads and 14 corners to tackle.

Coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: "The team has had a good preparation period leading up to the team time trial at the worlds, with specific preparations in terms of equipment with the improved suits, and tactics with pacing analysis. On top of that a good final test at last week's Eneco Tour. Our main objective is to continue to make progress in this discipline. It will be important to focus and concentrate on our performance and if we manage to ride our best team time trial of the year both technically and process-wise, we could achieve a top 5, which would be a fantastic result."

RACE: UCI World Championships team time trial

DATE: 09/10/2016

COACH: Hans Timmermans (NED) 

Lampre-Merida signs new rider for 2017

The team sent me this:

The latest rider who has joined the first Chinese World Tour team [which Lampre-Merida will become in 2017] comes from Norway.

Vegard Stake Laenge, all around cyclist who was born in Fredrikstad on 7/2/1988, signed a deal for 2017 season with TJ Sport, becoming one of the top riders of the team for the time trials, having obtained the third place in the Chianti stage against the clock in the Giro d'Italia 2016.

The tall Norwegian cyclist (195 cm), who turned pro in 2009, has obtained up to now four victories, in addition to two silver medals in the road national championship 2011 and in the time trial national championship 2016.

"When I was a child, I used to watch on tv the cycling races and in the bunch there were also the riders of the team's of the manager Saronni - Vegard Stake Laengen (photo) said - So, now it's such a feeling to sign a contract for racing in TJ Project of Mr Saronni, it's an amazing opportunity for me, also because I'll continue to compete in the World Tour and in the races I like the most.

"I really like time trial and I like to join the breakaways: if I should choose the aims for the next years, I'll love to obtain a stage victory in a Grand Tour, perhaps in a time trial or thanks to an attack. I'm aware of the fact that these are ambitious goals, I'll try to do my best to achieve them.

"I thank the teams and who have supported me in my career and TJ Sport for having chosen me for their project".

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