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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, October 3, 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

One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love. - Sophocles

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Dan McLay strengthens Slipstream Sports' sprint squad

The team sent me this news:

Slipstream Sports announced the signing of Dan McLay on Monday, one day after his win at Tour de l’Eurométropole. The 25-year-old joins the WorldTour from Fortuneo – Oscaro.

“I’m really happy to step up to the WorldTour, and I think this is the perfect team for me as I make that move to the top level,” said McLay. “This is a crucial moment in my career. I’m getting to the age where I’m no longer considered a young and developing rider. It’s time for me to perform before the grey hairs start to appear.”

“Dan is a rider that we have followed for a long time,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “His talent is clear for all to see. It’s a big satisfaction to finally get him on board, and we are looking forward to helping him take the next steps in his development.”

Kiwi-born and British-bred, McLay began his U23 career in 2011 as a 19-year-old Dave Rayner-funded rider based out of Belgium. He took his first victory at the GP Stad Waregem, the U23 Dwars dor Vlaanderen race, and snagged another five wins in the weeks that followed. His results netted him a contract with Lotto’s development program that would eventually span four years.

Dan McLay

Dan McLay wins Tour de l’Eurométropole

McLay’s talent in the U23 ranks have slowly but steadily transferred into elite races. In his Tour de France debut in 2016, McLay sprinted into the top ten four times, including third place on stage six behind Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel. He earned another four top ten finishes at the 2017 Tour de France.

“My third place and multiple top ten finishes in the Tour were important, but there’s something different about winning,” said McLay. “I would say my sprint in Mallorca at Trofeo Palma might be my best to date. I went long and some very good sprinters couldn’t come past me. That was a good win.”

McLay, like his soon-to-be teammate, Sacha Modolo, could easily be categorized as a sprinter; yet, he’s also shown promise in the spring. In 2016, without any team support, McLay sprinted to tenth at Scheldeprijs.

“I think I can become good in the classics,” said McLay. “I’m excited to learn from my new teammates, such as Sep Vanmarcke.”

His ambitions span the entire season.

“I hope to find a winning formula and get into a habit of winning,” McLay said. “That’s the main goal for next year.”

Lotto-Soudal announces 2018 women's team

Lotto-Soudal sent me this release:

The Lotto Soudal Ladies team for 2018 will consist of thirteen riders, including six newcomers: Alana Castrique, Demi de Jong, Valerie Demey, Annabelle Dréville, Kelly Van den Steen and Marjolein van ’t Geloof. Lotte Kopecky, fifth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen this season, remains part of the team.

Dany Schoonbaert, manager Lotto Soudal Ladies: “We have a team full of young, ambitious riders for next year. Individually they are all great, but up till now they rode in different teams. When we bring them together, we will have more riders for our team in the finales and that’s what it’s all about. Our main goal was to reinforce the team in general, and I think we succeeded in achieving that. As a team, we are looking forward to guiding these riders at the start of their career and to offering them the opportunity to develop themselves. Of course we are also very pleased that Lotte Kopecky has extended her contract, no doubt we have again beautiful moments ahead of us.”

“Three Belgian riders are joining our team, which is important as a Belgian team. Valerie Demey and Kelly Van den Steen both make the transfer from Sport Vlaanderen – Guill D’or. It may not be the most known Belgian riders, but I’m sure that will change. They already animate finales, but don’t always set top results. Together we will work to change that. Alana Castrique will ride her first year in the U23 category next season. She represented our country as junior at the Worlds in Bergen.”

“The other riders come from our neighbouring countries. The Dutch rider Demi de Jong is the younger sister of Thalita de Jong. She was high on our list because we know what she can mean for a team. She is talented and is good at getting in the decisive breakaway. She rode for Boels - Dolmans and Parkhotel Valkenburg, where she got a lot of experience. Also her fellow countrywoman Marjolein van ‘t Geloof will join our team next year. Marjolein is Dutch champion in the elite without contract category and rode for Jan van Arckel this year. She loves echelons and that’s an advantage as we ride several races in the Netherlands. Annabelle Dréville, from France, comes over from FDJ. The past years she focussed on her studies. She will complete those in 2018. She can definitely be ambitious in tough races. She will ride among other the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

“With Julie Van De Velde, who joined our team half-way this season, we also have a Belgian climber. Julie quit athletics at the end of last year to start cycling. We are looking forward to find out together what’s she’s capable of.”

Lotto Soudal Ladies 2018: Isabelle Beckers, Alana Castrique, Demi de Jong, Valerie Demey, Annelies Dom, Annabelle Dréville, Chantal Hoffmann, Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen, Julie Van De Velde, Kelly Van den Steen, Marjolein van’t Geloof and Fenna Vanhoutte.

Sarah Roy set to continue with Orica-Scott until 2019

Orica-Scott sent me this update:

2017 Tour of Britain stage four winner Sarah Roy will continue to race in ORICA-SCOTT colours for another two years with the Australian outfit happy to announce the confirmed contract renewal for the former national criterium champion.

A fantastic season for the team has seen Roy step up on numerous occasions with multiple podium spots and two stand out victories at the one day SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn and stage four at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

“I am really proud to be staying with ORICA-SCOTT for what will be my fourth season,” said Roy. “It is one of those teams that gets a lot of riders showing interest every year and the exposure is growing all the time. It definitely feels like more than a team, we’ve created a real family culture that is special to be a part of.”

“All of the staff, including our mechanics, directors, swannies, managers and everyone involved in administration are as passionate and dedicated as the riders and we experience all of the highs and lows together as a team.

“ORICA-SCOTT not only supports my goals on the bike, but also my aspirations off the bike and it is values like these that are important to me. I am very thankful to Gerry Ryan who goes beyond merely being a team owner and sponsor with the huge part he plays in the creation of culture and commitment within the team.”

Roy continued by explaining how the development of the team over recent years coincides to go hand in hand with her individual progression. “The whole team has come a long way over the years,” said Roy. “And together everyone continually strives to keep improving and reach new heights, that’s a really motivational environment to be a part of.”

“My coach Nat Bates is key to my success, but I owe a lot this team and to have finished the season so strongly makes me very excited about 2018. We have a fierce line up for next season with a great mix of talent, strength, experience and personalities.

“I am learning that cycling is a sport not to be rushed and that good performances come from hard work, experience and not worrying when things don’t always go in your favour. I’m still relatively young in cycling years so an incredibly strong team, ready to achieve big things whilst enjoying the journey is a perfect fit for me.”

Sport director Gene Bates complimented Roy’s exceptional season and the versatility and commitment she brings to the team. “We really welcome Sarah back to the team for 2018,” said Bates. “She has been our revelation of the season with several fantastic results along the way including victories at the Tour of Britain and in Switzerland at Hagendorn alongside numerous podium places.”

“In varying races and on all kind of terrain, Sarah continues to show her talent, versatility and commitment to the team and her teammates. We are very excited that she will continue this path with us in the future.”

Sarah Roy

Date of Birth: 27th February 1986 (31)
Nationality: Australian
Place of birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Turned Pro: 2013
Joined ORICA-SCOTT: 2015

Top Results at ORICA-SCOTT:

- 1st OVO Energy Women's Tour - Stage 4
- 1st SwissEver GP Cham - Hagendorn
- 3rd GP de Pluoay
- 3rd Giro d'Italia Internazionale Feminile - Stage 1 (TTT)
- 3rd Tour of Chongming Island - Stage 1
- 3rd Spar-Omloop van het Hageland

- 1st Boels Rental Ladies Tour - Stage 4
- 2nd Keukens van Lommel Ladies Classic
- 2nd Route de France – Prologue


- Australian Criterium champion

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing: October 2 - 10

The team sent me this schedule:


Team Sunweb continues with the action at the Italian classics this Thursday with Milano-Torino. The oldest classic on the cycling calendar, the 98th edition of Milano-Torino starts in San Giuliano with rolling roads across Po Valley before reaching Casale Monferrato. Here, the road begins to rise with the final circuit featuring a demanding uphill finish in Milano after 186 kilometres.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED) said: "Milano-Torino is a race where a break often goes before the final climb and makes it to the finish. We have several cards to play in this race with a really strong line-up. Our main goal is to have a rider in the decisive break and make sure that we ride offensively to avoid a situation where we have to chase. We have strong climbers in Tom, Warren and Wilco who are suited to these parcours and a strong support team to help support our goal. With various options available it will come down to a strong tactical plan on the day."

RACE: Milano-Torino (1.HC)

DATE: 05/10/2017

COACH: Aike Visbeek (NED)

Warren Barguil (FRA)
Laurens ten Dam (NED)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Lennard Hofstede (NED)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Sam Oomen (NED) 

Warren BArguil

Warren Barguil will be at Milano-Torino


This Saturday, October 7th, sees Team Sunweb line-up at Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season. With 4,000 elevation metres the race contains climbs of Ghisallo, Muro and Colma di Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia inside its 247 kilometres of racing.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek (NED) said: "We expect Il Lombardia to be a really tough and demanding race on such challenging parcours. We have Warren as our designated team leader along with Tom and our aim is to bring these two in as fresh as possible condition into the final. We will ride offensively to avoid having to work earlier on in the race, covering attacks and taking control. We have Michael and Lennard who will have the responsibility of positioning our climbers before the Madonna de Ghisallo and we have the others who will control the final making sure that both Warren and Tom save energy for the final kilometres."

RACE: Il Lombardia (WT)

DATE: 07/10/2017

COACH: Aike Visbeek (NED)

Warren Barguil (FRA)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Lennard Hofstede (NED)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Sam Oomen (NED) 


The 111th edition of Paris-Tours provides an opportunity for the fast man of the peloton who will be looking to add a success on the Avenue de Grammont to their palmares, providing they can survive the day's challenging climbs in the finale. The route takes riders along 234.5 kilometres before a flat run into the finish in Tours.

Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen (NED) said: "This year Paris-Tours reverts back to its hillier parcours after an amendment before the world championships in Qatar last year. We expect that before the last climb a break will go clear and we aim to be present in this group to contest the victory. We don't have a designated team leader for the race but start with different options depending on how the race plays out. Our aim is to position Søren, Mike and Nikias to be in the decisive break and to deliver them with fresh legs for this moment. With these four riders we aim to take a solid result if the group makes it to the line."

RACE: Paris-Tours (1.HC)

DATE: 08/10/2017

COACH: Arthur van Dongen (NED)

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Phil Bauhaus (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Mike Teunissen (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Max Walscheid (GER) 


Team Sunweb's Development Program line-up on a largely similar parcours to the elite program at Paris-Tours this Sunday, October 8. Starting in Bonneval the race totals 187.5 kilometres before the sprinters are given a platform to shine at the finish line in Tours.

Team Sunweb coach Sebastian Deckert (GER) said: "This is our last race of the season and we start really motivated to close our year on a high. We are well prepared for different situations in the race and the different possible outcomes. We expect the first part of the race in the hills to be really fast and we have our guys to cover attacks and protect our German U23 road race champion Max, who is our designated sprinter for the day."

RACE: Paris-Tours Espoirs (1.2U)

DATE: 08/10/2017

COACH: Sebastian Deckert (GER)

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