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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

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Adam Blythe returns to Lotto-Soudal

Lotto-Soudal sent me this news:

The 28-year-old Brit Adam Blythe will join Lotto Soudal again in 2019, eight years after he started international cycling career at the Belgian team. For the past two seasons, the Brit rode for the procontinental team Aqua Blue SPORT and in 2015 also for Mitchelton – SCOTT, where he already worked closely with Lotto Soudal’s new sprinter Caleb Ewan. Adam Blythe is very excited to be part of the WorldTour team again and wants to help his former teammate in winning as many races as possible. He has signed a one-year contract.

Adam Blythe: “At the age of twenty, I did an internship at Lotto Soudal – Omega Pharma - Lotto back then, and was able to join the WorldTour team afterwards. I’m really excited to return to the Belgian team and it’s definitely a real privilege to be racing for this renowned cycling team once again!”  

“I’m looking forward to helping Caleb Ewan in winning as many races as possible. Bringing Caleb in the best position to sprint, will be my main role coming season. We already rode together at Mitchelton-SCOTT, so I know him quite well. I hope to achieve new successes with him and believe we have a solid team to do so in 2019. Besides my role in Ewan’s lead-out, Lotto Soudal can also count on my support in the Classics. Even though I didn’t ride a complete Classics season for the last two years, I did ride those races many times before during my time at the other WorldTour teams. Next season will be my ninth year as a professional cyclist and through the years, I was able to gain a lot of experience - also in the Classics.” 

Adam Blythe

Adam Blythe winning the 2014 RideLondon

“Winning the Prudential RideLondon Classic is one of my biggest achievements so far. Not only because of its importance on the cycling calendar, but also because of the way I won that day. If you told anyone ahead of the race that I would be the first to cross the line at the end, I think no one would’ve believed it. We were with five of us in the final breakaway, including big names like Philippe Gilbert, Ben Swift and Julian Alaphilippe. My strong final sprint enabled me to cross the line just ahead of Swift. So I won closely, but I won. And of course, beating Mark Cavendish in the sprint and taking the national title in 2016 is also one of the victories I’m most proud of. Wearing the jersey of your nation for an entire year is always very special and worth cherishing.” 

“It’s hard to describe myself as a specific type of rider as I’m quite a good all-rounder. I see myself as a clever cyclist. I save my energy wisely, so I still can push myself to the next level on the moments that really matter. Whether that is for the team or for myself. If I’ll get the opportunity to take my chance and add another victory to my list of achievements, I’ll of course take that opportunity with both hands. Yet, the main focus will be on Ewan and on helping him and the other leaders in the team win as many races as possible.” 

“I love the fact that Belgians are really passionate about cycling. You could compare Belgian cycling to what soccer means in the UK, it’s really big. Though, the last years cycling did win in popularity in Great Britain thanks to the successes on the track as well as the performances on the road by riders like Geraint Thomas. Each year, new events are added to the cycling calendar. There’s the Tour of Britain, the Tour of Yorkshire, the Prudential RideLondon Classic,… Next year will be another huge step for Britain as a cycling nation as the country hosts the World Championships. So, I hope cycling will one day be just as big in Britain as it is today in Belgium.” 

“Through the years, I was able to win a few races in Belgium, like the Circuit Franco-Belge and, more recently, the Elfstedenronde. My victory of the Franco-Belge dates back to my time at Omega Pharma - Lotto so it’s a good memory. I really enjoy racing in Belgium as the atmosphere and the cheering crowds alongside the road are just incredible. So, I’m very excited to return to Lotto Soudal and it’s definitely the next step forward for me. I rode for several other teams in the past, but I think Lotto Soudal has been the best team for me as a rider. The team suited me back in 2010 and 2011 like I know it will suit me in 2019. I’m sure we can work well together again and achieve some nice results!”

Víctor de la Parte to ride for Continuum Sports in 2019

Team BMC sent me this release:

17 September, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA): Víctor de la Parte is the latest addition to the evolving Continuum Sports roster in 2019, joining Spanish countryman Francisco Ventoso in the team's line up.

The 32-year-old gained recognition by winning two stages and the overall victory at the 2015 Tour of Austria while racing at the Continental level, before moving up to the Professional Continental ranks with CCC Sprandi Polkowice in 2016, and making his WorldTour debut with Movistar Team in 2017.

Victor de la parte

Victor de la Parte winning a stage in the 2015 Tour of Austria

"We are pleased to welcome Víctor de la Parte to the team in 2019. Although he is 32-years-old, Víctor has had a relatively short professional career and we believe we can help him to reach his potential at Continuum Sports, while playing a key support role for his teammates and taking his own opportunities," General Manager Jim Ochowicz said.

"Víctor has impressed in the last few years with some solid performances in stage races and time trials. This year, he was third at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali time trial which shows his potential in the discipline. With our focus on time trials and the expertise of Marco Pinotti and our performance team, we can help Victor to improve further in 2019."

De la Parte is relishing the opportunity to join Continuum Sports in 2019, which coincides with Polish shoe and bag manufacturer CCC becoming title sponsor.

"For me, Continuum Sports is one of the biggest projects in cycling with big riders and many victories throughout the years, so it is a great pleasure to be part of the family. The 2016 season was a big step in my career and I will always be very thankful to CCC Sprandi Polkowice so it is also exciting to see the CCC brand step up to the WorldTour. CCC has been in cycling for many years and I think it is fantastic to see them become title sponsor of Continuum Sports," de la Parte explained.

"I hope to play an important role in the team and continue to enjoy my career as a cyclist, while learning more and always improving. I'm looking forward to getting started with the team in 2019."

UAE-Team Emirates to ride Giro della Toscana and Coppa Sabatini

The squad sent me this release:

UAE Team Emirates’ racing calendar will feature another two Italian events, the Giro della Toscana-Memorial Alfredo Martini (September 19) and the Coppa Sabatini-Gran Premio Città di Peccioli (September 20).

The two Tuscan races will be the last two competitions for the Emirati team before the World Championships.

For both races, Sports Director Daniele Righi (Italy) will be counting on these seven cyclists:
– Kristijan Durasek (Croatia)
– Manuele Mori (Italy)
– Przemyslaw Niemiec (Poland)
– Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belorussia)
– Rory Sutherland (Australia)
– Diego Ulissi (Italy)

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland winning the 2017 Vuelta a Rioja.

Sports director Daniele Righi had this to say about the team’s prospects: “In these Tuscan events all our riders will get the chance to show off their skills and achieve some personal goals. It will be important to race with a strong team spirit and a positive attitude. Should the race turn out to feature an uncertain finish, Ulissi will be our main man.”

Team Sunweb previews the UCI World Time Trial Champs

The squad sent me this:

Speaking of the women's race, Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan (NED) said: "The course is longer than last year at 53.8 kilometres and mainly flat through the valley. It will be a long, hard race but we're looking forward to it. We've done lots of good TTT training sessions throughout the year and made some really good steps. After last year's victory we've decided to invest even more to develop this discipline - organising several good TTT sessions throughout the year to work on the dynamics and we've made some really good steps. It's always hard to defend a title but whatever happens, the team have done the rainbow stripes proud this year with strong TTT wins at the Giro Rosa, Norway and Madrid."

Team Sunweb's coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED) said: "Last year our Men's program surprised with the title and this year we are very eager to once again chase a medal. The course is totally different compared to last year, but we believe that we have selected a super strong team that are able to complete with the best teams. The competition is strong, but if we have all a top day then hopefully we can take a medal." 

RACE: UCI Team Time Trial World Championships

DATE: 23/09/2018

Koen de Haan (NED)
Adriaan Helmantel (NED) 

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