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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, June 26, 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

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. - Noam Chomsky

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Vegard Stake Laengen new Norwegian champion

UAE-Team Emirates sent me this:

TDF volume 1

The first weekend dedicated to the national titles brought UAE Team Emirates a jersey, that of the Norwegian national champion thanks to the win of Vegard Stake Laengen. The big Scandinavian reached the finish line solo in Sandefjord, 13" over Rasmus Tiller and 29" over Kristian Aasvold.

Of the 65 cyclists in attendance, Laengen was able to pull it off thanks to the UAE Team Emirates group with Alexander Kristoff and Sven Bystrøm. He got clear and jumped his nine escape mates, which included three from both Team Joker Icopal and three from Team Coop.

“It was a very demanding race,” Laengen said. “Above all because it was marked by attack after attack. For this reason, the support of Bystrøm and Kristoff was fundamental to allow me to be there in the final phases and focus on the race. In the final, I was able to get into the decisive attack with the nine other attackers. And knowing that I had little chance in the sprint, I jumped early at four kilometres to race and I was able to get to the line alone, giving my team a big joy. It’s a beautiful win, I’ll carry this jersey in every race now for the next year.”

It was Laengen’s sixth career win after the overall classification in the Giro della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2010, a stage in the Tour de Beauce in 2012, a stage in the Point Sante Maxence della Ronde de l’Oise in 2016 and one in Markestein, and the overall in the Tour de l’Alsace in 2016

1 Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates) 5h02’55”
2 Rasmus Tiller (Team Joker Icopal) 13"
3 Kristian Aasvold (Team Coop) 29"

Team Sunweb national championships preview

Team Sunweb sent me this listing of its riders participating in upcoming national championships:


Nikias Arndt

Nikias Arndt will ride the German time trial championships

Wilco Kelderman
Martijn Tusveld

GERMANY - 29/06
Nikias Arndt

Nils Eekhoff
Jarno Mobach

Marc Hirschi

AUSTRIA - 29/06
Felix Gall

GERMANY - 29/06
Leon Heinschke
Max Kanter
Niklas Märkl
Martin Salmon
Florian Stork 

Lucinda Brand
Ellen van Dijk
Floortje Mackaij

DENMARK - 28/06
Pernille Mathiesen

FRANCE - 28/06
Juliette Labous

GERMANY - 29/06
Liane Lippert 


Tom Dumoulin

Tom Dumoulin (shown in the 2017 Giro d'Italia) will race in the Dutch national road championships

Roy Curvers
Laurens ten Dam
Tom Dumoulin
Lennard Hofstede
Wilco Kelderman
Sam Oomen
Tom Stamsnijder
Mike Teunissen
Martijn Tusveld

GERMANY - 01/07
Nikias Arndt
Phil Bauhaus
Johannes Fröhlinger
Simon Geschke
Max Walscheid
Leon Heinschke
Max Kanter
Niklas Märkl
Martin Salmon
Florian Stork

Michael Kolar to change role at Bora–hansgrohe

Bora-hansgrohe sent me this:

At the Slovak National Championships, the Bora–hansgrohe pro announced his retirement from professional cycling. But Kolar stays with the team, he will take on a new role as part of their sponsorship department.

“Over the past years I worked really hard and then coming into this season and I tried everything to prepare in the most professional way for the season. However, at some point I expected a little more, but the results didn’t come. I feel now that I am pretty much at my best level, but this might not be enough to fulfill my own ambitions. I had a chat with Ralph about this, and after a few days he came back to me, offering a new opportunity. I appreciate his attitude a lot, and I think this a great chance to start something new and finally enjoy life. When I look back, there is nothing to regret. I am proud of what I achieved, especially the second World Title of Peter in Doha is an unforgettable memory, where I was able to play a key role to success. Now it’s time to say good bye, the National Championships was my last race as a pro.” – Michael Kolar

“I have great respect for Michaels decision. You have to have character to take such a step and be truly honest with yourself. Michael talked to me a few weeks ago, that he thinks about retiring. After our chat, we thought about where he might find a role to stay with the team. The conclusion was for him to take on VIP and guest management at some races as part of our sponsorship department. I think with his insight to the sport, his personal experience as a pro, he can give our guests and sponsors a great time at races and add value to our team. I hope that this role will be a good start for him into this new period of life.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager

Team Movistar unveils Tour de France lineup

Here's the team's release:

The Movistar Team confirmed Monday their eight riders taking part in the 105th Tour de France, which starts in twelve days’ time (Saturday 7th – Sunday 29th July) in the coastal Vendée department. The squad directed by Eusebio Unzué will take its three main leaders to the start –Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde-, with five talented names in their support: Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Imanol Erviti, José Joaquín Rojas and Marc Soler.

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana (shown winning 2018 Tour of Switzerland stage seven) is headed to the Tour.

The Telefónica-backed squad will have to tackle a very stressful, starting nine days in the ‘Grande Boucle’, including a team time trial in Cholet and a treacherous stage nine to Roubaix -over 21km of cobblestones-, before going into brutal mountains on weeks two and three before a decisive ITT in the French Basque Country, on the last Saturday of the race.

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