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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. - Alice Walker

Today's racing:

Latest completed racing:


Rafael Valls breaks hip, Adam Hansen will ride Vuelta after all, his 19th consecutive Grand Tour start

Lotto-Soudal sent me this news update:

Rafael Valls broke his hip whilst on training, which brings his 2017 season to an end. Valls will soon undergo hip surgery. The Spanish rider will be replaced by Adam Hansen in Lotto Soudal’s line-up for the Vuelta. The Australian had initially not been selected, but this late change will allow him to go on with his record-breaking run of Grand Tour participations. The sports directors and medical staff hope that his saddle sore will be sufficiently healed, but there is no doubt that Hansen will start his nineteenth Grand Tour in a row with determination.

Rafael Valls, as well as Jürgen Roelandts and Frederik Frison, will no longer race this season and Louis Vervaeke is still recovering from overfatigue. The number of riders available for the last part of the season has therefore decreased significantly.

The first stage of the BinckBank Tour took place today between Breda and Venray, on a flat 169,8 kilometer course which suited the sprinters. De Vreese, Reinders, Allegaert and McNally took off in the first kilometer and they managed to open a two minutes and forty second gap to the peloton. The breakaway stayed at the front for most of the day but in the end the breakaway was caught back three kilometers before the finish line. Peter Sagan took the win in the sprint, ahead of Phil Bauhaus and Magnus Cort Nielsen. André Greipel crossed the line in ninth place. Sagan becomes the first leader of this year’s edition, one second ahead of Laurens De Vreese, who took nine bonus seconds in the Golden Kilometer.

Adam Hansen

Adam Hansen will get a chance to finish his 19th Grand Tour

Alberto Contador will retire after the Vuelta

Here's the report the UK's Telegraph posted:

Alberto Contador has announced he will retire from professional cycling following the Vuelta a España next month.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, one of only six riders to have won the Tour de France, Vuelta and Giro d'Italia in their careers, confirmed the news in a video message on Instagram.

He said: "Hi all. I'm doing this video to inform you about two things. One is that I will be participating in the next Vuelta a Espana, from August 19, and the second is that will be my last race as a professional cyclist.

"I'm saying this happy, I'm not saying it with sadness. It's a decision I've thought about very well and I don't think there is a better farewell than in my home race, in my country.

"I'm sure they will be three fantastic weeks, enjoying all of your affection, and I can't wait. Greetings and see you on the road from August 19th."

Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador is about to hang up the chamois.

You can read the entire story here.

Matteo Trentin to join Orica-Scott

The team sent me this report:

Two-time Italian Tour de France stage winner Matteo Trentin will join ORICA-SCOTT from 2018, bolstering the Australian outfit’s Classics promise. The 28-year-old joins ORICA-SCOTT from Quickstep Floors for the next two seasons, eager to take a step up in the Spring.

“When I got in contact with the team I was straight away fascinated by the project and the role they saw for me in the Spring Classics,” Trentin said. “It’s been a great six years with Quickstep Floors but for sure in the next two years I aim to make a further step in the Classics and in other races too.

“I know a few of the ORICA-SCOTT riders from racing in the under 23s in Italy but I really look forward to getting to know everyone better and working well as a team.”

Trentin joins ORICA-SCOTT’s current Classics group that includes Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman, rising start Alex Edmondson and Luke Durbridge who started his career with GreenEDGE and has made huge inroads this spring.

Matteo Trentin

Matteo Trentin wins stage 18 in the 2016 Giro d'Italia

As an outfit, the Tour of Flanders is the final monument for ORICA-SCOTT to conquer after success at Paris-Roubaix and Il Lombardia in 2016, Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2014 and Milan-San Remo in 2012.

Sport director Matt White said the Italian adds another element to ORICA-SCOTT’s developing team. “Matteo has done six years at Quickstep so he has learnt in the best team possible the ‘ins and outs’ of the Flemish scene,” White said. “He has been teammates with the best Classics riders in the world and now it´s his time to shine.”

“We have a developing Classics team that has been together for a while now, plus some great older heads.  We are led by Mathew Hayman, who has been passing his knowledge onto our next generation of Aussie stars like Luke Durbridge and Alex Edmondson but Matteo will give us that X factor that will only bolster the groups  aim for more success in that very special time of the season.”

In addition to his value in the Spring, Trentin has also been recruited as another member of the sprint train for key young sprinter Caleb Ewan. “On the Classics front, Matteo is a guy hungry for success and then coming off the back of working with Marcel Kittel he adds another element for a train we are building around our key sprinter Caleb Ewan,” White explained.

“To have a guy who has been working directly with the fastest guy in the world is of immense value to Caleb.  Matteo’s versatility was also a big attraction to us, this adaptability will become even more important in a world of cycling that is constantly evolving.”

Matteo Trentin
Date of Birth: 2 August 1989 (28)
From: Borgo Valsugana, Italy
Turned Professional: 2011

Major results:
- Two-time Tour de France stage winner (2013 & 2014)
- Giro d’Italia stage winner (2016)

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

Here's the note the team sent me:

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY (2.HC)

The 2017 edition of the Arctic Race of Norway is contested over four stages and covers a total of 680 kilometres. The race gives two opportunities for the climbers on day one and three, and two opportunities for the climbers on the second and fourth day. Team Sunweb's newly announced stagiaires Max Kanter (GER) and Leon Rohde (GER) make their debut with the men's program at the race.

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts (AUS) said: "After a good campaign at the Tour de Pologne we have Max [Walscheid] for the sprints who will have a strong lead-out with Bert and Zico into the finals of the sprint stages. On the harder stages, Sindre will be motivated to go for a stage result whilst he races in his own country. We also have Max [Kanter] and Leon stepping up from the Development Program, eager to gain experience and leave an impression during the race."

RACE: Arctic Race of Norway (2.HC)

DATE: 10-13/08/2017

COACH: Luke Roberts (AUS)

LINE-UP: Bert De Backer (BEL), Max Kanter (GER), Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR), Leon Rohde (GER), Zico Waeytens (BEL), Max Walscheid (GER) 

CRESCENT VÅRGÅRDA (WWT)

Crescent Vårgårda features both a team time trial on July 11th, followed by a road race on July 13th. The team time trial is a 42.5 kilometre route combining flat and bumpy sections. The road race is 152 kilometres long with the addition of a short closing turn. Riders will first be tasked with four laps of 11 kilometres followed by a longer 55 kilometre lap with five times around an 11 kilometre lap to close the race.

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: ""After our 2nd place in the team time trial at the Giro we are feeling confident to take on the challenge at Vårgårda. We've spent some time working on our technique and dynamics over the past few weeks so are feeling motivated to implement this into the race on Friday. For the road race we have a really strong team that are able to be dominant on these parcours. Smart, aggressive riding will be the key for the final and it will be important to keep our initiative on the course. With this team we have various cards to play and several riders that could play a part in the final."

RACE: Crescent Vårgarda (WWT)

DATE: 11+13/08/17

COACH: Hans Timmermans (NED)

UAE Team Emirates announces riders' contract renewals and extensions

This was in my inbox today:

Until now, seven riders have been chosen by UAE Team Emirates to prolong their professional commitment.

The management for the Emirate formation has announced the following contract renewals, which will last two years:
– Matteo Bono (Italy, born 1983)
– Kristijan Durasek (Croatia, born 1987)
– Roberto Ferrari (Italy, born 1983)
– Simone Petilli (Italy, born 1993)

Contracts have also been extended for one year, with a new expiration at the end of 2019, for the following riders:
– Simone Consonni (Italy, born 1994)
– Valerio Conti (Italy, born 1993)
– Marco Marcato (Italy, born 1984)

“We are continuing to move forward with the goal of building a formation that can be increasingly competitive and in order to achieve certain objectives we want to build the team roster around a solid base,” explained team manager Carlo Saronni “The seven riders whose contracts have been renewed or extended have proven to have the right skills suited to our project and to the values that comprise it. We are happy to be able to include them in our group once more.”


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