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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Bores can be divided into two classes; those who have their own particular subject, and those who do not need a subject. - A. A. Milne

Current racing:

Latest completed racing:


Lotto-Soudal previews Tour de Romandie

The team sent me this:

From Tuesday 24 till Sunday 29 April the Tour de Romandie will be taking place in Switzerland. This six-day WorldTour stage race suited the climbers very well in the past, but the course of the 2018 edition seems to be more balanced and should offer opportunities to different types of riders. In 2017 Sander Armée conquered the KOM jersey.

Sports director Frederik Willems: “We have a very diverse team and it will be our goal to race aggressively. Sander Armée and Victor Campenaerts will ride the Giro in May, Jens Keukeleire restarts competition after a difficult spring and with Thomas De Gendt we have someone in the team who is born to attack. Apart from them youngsters Rémy Mertz, James Shaw and Enzo Wouters get the chance to show themselves.”

“When we look at the course we see that there’s a time trial the first and fifth day. The prologue is only four kilometres long, but will be a good test for Victor Campenaerts ahead of the Giro. The time trial of 10 kilometres suits him a bit less, but he will go full nonetheless. He also wants to try something in the breakaway stages. On the second and third day escapees stand a chance on a very hilly course. Jens Keukeleire is fast after a tough race and he can finish close in a sprint with a reduced group.  And Sander Armée and Thomas De Gendt are not quickly tired after a day in the breakaway. For Thomas the climb time trial is definitely an opportunity. Without a specific leader James Shaw and Rémy Mertz get a free role; hopefully they can show themselves. The last stage is the only chance of a sprint. Enzo Wouters can show his fast legs then.”

“The GC isn’t a goal for us in Romandie. I am curious to see if and which teams of GC riders will want to control the race. They will determine how much advantage the escapees get. On Saturday the queen stage is scheduled; together with the climb time trial that will be decisive for the podium of Tour de Romandie.”

Sander Aremee

Sander Armee (shown at the 2017 Vuelta) will ride the Tour de Romandie.

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Victor Campenaerts, Thomas De Gendt, Jens Keukeleire, Rémy Mertz, James Shaw, Enzo Wouters.

Sports directors: Frederik Willems and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

Team Sunweb's upcoming races

Sunweb sent me this update:

RACE PREVIEW: APRIL 23 - MAY 1

LE TOUR DE BRETAGNE CYCLISTE (UCI 2.2)

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert (GER): "This race is the longest and one of the toughest stage races on our Development Program's schedule. It is a really nice course with a variety of terrain, giving our team the perfect opportunity to make good steps in their development. Last year we took some really good experience from this race and we will implement these points to improve our performance here this year.

For the sprint stages, we will search for success with our U23 German national road race champion Max Kanter, with a good team around him to focus on the lead-out. This race can be quite unpredictable so we also will take a day-by-day approach on the tougher stages, making sure that we are there in the important and decisive groups." 

RACE: Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste (UCI 2.2)

DATE: 24/04-01/05/2018

COACH: Sebastian Deckert (GER) 

LINE-UP
Nils Eekhoff (NED)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Max Kanter (GER)
Niklas Märkl (GER)
Jarno Mobach (NED)
Florian Stork (GER)

RUND UM DEN FINANZPLATZ ESCHBORN-FRANKFURT (WT)

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts (AUS): “Despite a slight change to the parcours which will make the race more difficult, we still expect the race to end in a reduced bunch sprint with only those who are able to survive the numerous climbs along the route remaining to battle it out for the win. After a solid performance during the Ardennes we line-up with Michael who we will aim for a result with. Our first race of the season on home soil, we bring four of our talented German riders to the race; Johannes, Simon, Phil and Max. We also have Edward and Jai on our line-up who will have key roles supporting Michael through the race and into the final.” 

RACE: Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt (WT)

DATE: 01/05/2018

COACH: Luke Roberts (AUS) 

Quality field coming to Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race

The organizer sent me this update:

Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak and Kirsten Wild have been named among a stellar list of riders set to compete at the 2018 Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race.

Van der Breggen (who competes for Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team) is the world’s No 1 rider and has been in sensational form this season, winning the prestigious Tour of Flanders, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne and Strade Bianche titles to add to her 2016 Olympic road race success.

Anna Van der Breggen

Anna Van der Breggen will ride the Tour of Yorkshire.

Blaak (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team) is the reigning world champion who triumphed at the Amstel Gold Race earlier this month, while Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling) is a former Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race winner who took that title in Doncaster in 2016.

Two British Olympic gold medallists will also be present on the start line between 3-4 May. Katie Archibald (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling) was part of Team GB’s triumphant team pursuit squad at Rio 2016 while Dani Rowe (Great Britain National Team) sealed her gold in the same event at London 2012.

Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling), former world time trial champion Ellen Van Dijk (Team Sunweb) and 2016 La Course by Le Tour de France winner Chloe Hosking (Alé–Cipollini) are also scheduled to ride the newly expanded two-day event.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity is proud to be bringing the world’s best talent to Yorkshire and believes their presence reflects how highly the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race is regarded in professional cycling.

He said: “The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race has cemented its place as one of the highest-profile races in the sport. The top riders in the world are not just attracted to the fact we’re able to offer one of the largest prize funds in the sport and full live TV coverage, it’s because they get to ride in front of massive crowds, receive a warm Yorkshire welcome, and the terrain provides a tough and varied test.

“With the race doubling in size from one day to two in 2018 we’re able to offer something for everyone, and our first-ever summit finish on the Cow and Calf is sure to guarantee a gripping conclusion.”

The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race starts and finishes in the same towns as the opening two stages of the men’s race, with the women setting off in the morning and the men following in the afternoon. The routes also feature the same intermediate sprints and classified climbs and offer the same prize money.

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