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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, March 17, 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

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan

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The 2017 Giro d'Italia starts May 5. Let's take a look back at the 2016 edition


Milano-San Remo team updates

The year's longest day of racing is Milano-San Remo on Saturday, March 18. I have complete results for every edition posted here.

Here are the Milano-San Remo team updates I found in my inbox:

Team Sunweb's bad news:

Unfortunately, Warren Barguil (FRA) will not line up for the start of Milano-Sanremo this Saturday due to an ankle injury sustained at Paris-Nice. The team will line up with a strong 8-man team as Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN) replaces Barguil.

Team Physician Anko Boelens (NED) explained: "Warren has developed an ankle injury, possibly tendinitis of the peroneus muscle, during Paris-Nice. We are taking him out of Milano-Sanremo to undertake further testing and to make sure that the injury does not get worse. A couple of days off the bike will give the injury the necessary time to recover and Warren should be able to resume training after that."

Barguil said: "It's a huge disappointment for me to have to pull out of Milano-Sanremo and that I won't be able to contribute to the team goal and help Michael in the finale. It's the most wise thing to do to ensure that my injury doesn't get worse and I wish the guys the best of luck on Saturday."

Warren Barguil

Warren Barguil racing the 2016 Tour de France

"Unfortunately we will miss Warren on Saturday," said Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED). "With Søren we have a good replacement considering his ability to survive hills and the way he can position his team mates. He gave us a good demonstration of his capability in Tirreno and he adds extra max-speed to the team meaning that our plans don't change much."

LottoNL-Jumbo was short and to the point:

Line-ups Team LottoNL-Jumbo for upcoming WorldTour races

18/03 Milano - San Remo

Riders: Enrico Battaglin, Twan Castelijns, Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Juan José Lobato, Paul Martens, Primoz Roglic, Bram Tankink

Tom leezer

Tom Leezer (Shown racing the 2014 Tour of Flanders) will be on the Milano-San Remo start line.

Bikes: Bianchi Oltre XR4

General manager: Richard Plugge
Coaches: Addy Engels and Frans Maassen
Doctor: Peter Verstappen
Soigneurs: Anthony Devliegere, Maarten Mimpen and Luca Schiemsky
Mechanics: Dirk Janssen and Jan Willem van der Heijden
Bus driver: Kees Hamelink
Communications: Ard Bierens
Video: Job de Feijter

20-26/03 Volta Catalunya

Riders: George Bennett, Victor Campenaerts, Stef Clement, Robert Gesink, Martijn Keizer, Steven Kruijswijk, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Alexey Vermeulen

Bikes: Bianchi Oltre XR4

Coaches: Grischa Niermann and Sierk-Jan de Haan
Doctor: Robert Kempers
Osteopath: Bjorn Vanmelkebeke
Soigneurs: Michal Szyszkowsk, Gerard Spieringsi and Stefaan Lauwaert
Mechanics: Tim v/d Zanden, Hans van Vianen and Niels van der Kuur
Bus driver: Piet de Vos
Cook: Jesper Boom

Here's Cannondale-Drapac's M-SR news:

Milano-Sanremo. La Primavera. The first of the Monuments. The longest day. The Italian one-day classic is eagerly anticipated and carefully analyzed.

Cannondale-Drapac brings a spirited young squad to Milan for the 108th running of the Italian one-day classic. The team of eight hopes to be in the mix when the race hits the Poggio.

“Milano-Sanremo is a race of many outcomes,” said sport director Fabrizio Guidi. “The last few years, it was a sprint but it’s never certain. We can’t predict it. There arrives 40 riders or three. It is always some surprise. For me, that is a key point of the race. I think we have riders to put up their hands for all the outcomes,” Guidi added. “We can be a surprise factor on Saturday.”

The course for the 2017 La Primavera is unchanged from the previous year. The first half of the 291-kilometer race is flat and fast. The Passo del Turchino comes around the mid-point of the race – at 142 kilometers – and marks the highest point of the race. It’s too early to factor into the action that will follow.

It’s in the final 60 kilometers that the race truly captivates. There are five short climbs that span this period: Capo Mele, Capo Cervo, Capo Berta, the Cipressa and the Poggio. The first three may thin down the field. The final two serve as inspiration for race-winning moves and selections.

“I’m really looking forward to doing the 300 kilometers,” said Milan-Sanremo first-timer Toms Skujins. “It might sound silly, but I’ve never raced that long of a distance. However, I’m most looking forward to opening the spring classics with the first Monument of the year. It’s a huge race around the world and always a pleasure to spectate. I’m stoked be a part of the actors this time around.”

Skujins is joined by Alberto Bettiol, Nate Brown, Simon Clarke, Will Clarke, Kristijan Koren, Tom Scully and Tom Van Asbroeck. Clarke recently finished in sixth place in Larciano and in tenth place on the first road stage at Tirreno-Adriatico while supporting Rigoberto Uran to eighth overall. Bettiol’s work at Tirreno was integral in Uran’s general classification and stage results.

Kristijan Koren

Kristijan Koren will race M-SR for Cannondale-Drapac on Saturday

“It’s a good team, with some more experienced than the others,” said Guidi. “It’s a challenging race for everyone. We want an aggressive interpretation of the race. For sure, we’re not the team to control. Our interest is to be active and have riders like Alberto and Simon who are ready at the end.”

Skujins will carry a Velon tracking device from northern Italy down to and along the Mediterranean coastline. His data – speed, acceleration, heart rate and power – will be shown in real-time on the Velon website and the Velon app for iOS and Android as well as during the television broadcast. The Milano-Sanremo data capture is part of the newly inked deal with RCS. 

“Having Velon onboard at any race is awesome for the spectators,” said Skujins. “Just having that extra amount of info on what’s going on in the bunch makes watching on the telly a bit more exciting. The tracker is such a small thing to carry, but it provides a lot more excitement for my supporters, who can see in real time how hard I’m working and what it takes to be in the race.”

Cannondale-Drapac for 2017 Milan-Sanremo: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Nate Brown (USA), Simon Clarke (AUS), Will Clarke (AUS), Kristijan Koren (SVN), Tom Scully (NZL), Toms Skujins (LVA), Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL)

Quick Step Floors will race Handzame Classic

Here's the team's race update:

The 200km race set in West Flanders promises to deliver again in terms of spectacle and excitement.

Since Handzame Classic was created back in 2002, the Belgian race has always served as the perfect dress rehearsal for the big northern classics of the spring, as it blends treacherous cobbles, short hills (Stadenberg, Hoogledeberg, Gitsberg and Ruidenberg) and harsh weather conditions, all key ingredients for an aggressive and spectacular race, often won from a reduced bunch, just as it was the case in 2015, when our team took home the spoils.

Dries Devenyns

Dries Devenyns (shown winning stage 3 of the 2016 Tour of Belgium) will race the Handzame Classic for Quick Step Floors

Also this year, Quick-Step Floors – already the World Tour outfit with the most victories (16) since the start of the season – will send a strong squad at the start of the 198km-long race between Bredene and Handzame, consisting of Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Tour of Belgium and Tour de Wallonie winner Dries Devenyns, Giro d'Italia stage victor Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Davide Martinelli (one of the best neo-pros of 2016), Maximilian Schachmann and Martin Velits.

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