Road – Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Mon, 25 Sep 2017 01:35:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Road – 32 32 Gallery: Peter Sagan makes history Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:56:41 +0000 Peter Sagan (Slovakia) made history on Sunday, winning his third successive world road championship on a beautiful day in Bergen, Norway.

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Matthews rues ‘wasted energy’ as Sagan wins Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:14:16 +0000 Australia's Michael Matthews was left ruing a tactical blunder as he had to settle for bronze at the world road race championships.

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BERGEN, Norway(AFP) — Australia’s Michael Matthews was left ruing a tactical blunder as he had to settle for bronze at the world road race championships won for the third year in a row by Peter Sagan.

Matthews was unable to challenge Sagan and silver-medallist Alexander Kristoff in the sprint finish to the 267.5km race in Bergen on Sunday and afterward admitted he’d made a mistake on the final of 12 laps around the street circuit.

There was a climb around 15km from the finish where Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe and Gianni Moscon of Italy escaped, but both were caught before the finish.

Matthews had also tried to attack that climb and he said he later paid for those efforts.

“What I would change (is) I wouldn’t attack so many times on the final climb,” said the 26-year-old, known as ‘Bling’ for his flashy lifestyle. “I didn’t know it would come down to such a huge bunch sprint. I think I wasted a lot of energy.

“I was trying to go with moves and attacking myself; if I could take something back I think I would sit back with these guys (Sagan and Kristoff) and cruise up the climb.”

When it came to the sprint finale, Kristoff launched his first, but Sagan was ideally placed on his wheel and just had enough strength and speed to inch past the Norwegian and snatch victory in a photo finish.

“Unfortunately I was just not fast enough to keep him behind me,” said Kristoff. “It was close, I did my maximum, I must be happy with the result, but for sure I’m disappointed. “When you see who won it’s not easy to beat him, he won a lot of big races and races typically like this.

“I don’t really know how I could have done anything more — I did a good sprint, I was not going slower at the end. Maybe he was just a little fresher and faster at the end.”

Sagan’s victory in some way helped make up for the disappointment of being kicked off July’s Tour de France after elbowing sprint rival Mark Cavendish during a hectic finish to stage four.

It meant he missed out on winning a sixth straight green jersey — which Matthews took — but Sagan said he’d long made his peace with that issue.

“The Tour de France was never in my mind, it was not happy for me, but I was racing the world championships today — it’s different,” said the Slovak. “I won twice (before), I’m here for the world championships.

“Maybe every time that happens something bad in your life it’s for something good — you have to see that always in an optimistic way.”

Sagan admitted that when Alaphilippe attacked, he thought his chances were over. “I was watching the race from the back and I said ‘ok we go for third, fourth or fifth place,” said Sagan. “For sure I didn’t think anymore for the title. “We (only) realized in the group in the last kilometer (that) we (would) catch Alaphilippe.”

The Frenchman had found himself alone in the lead 4.5km from the finish, but he couldn’t hold on.

“I believed, I gave everything I had,” said Alaphilippe, who finished 10th. “I really wanted it, I had the legs, but that’s the way it goes.”

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2017 Worlds: Moscon disqualified for ‘sticky bottle’ Sun, 24 Sep 2017 18:23:08 +0000 Gianni Moscon (Italy) was disqualified from the 2017 world road championship for taking an extended tow from his team car.

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Italian Gianni Moscon has been disqualified from his original 29th place finish in the elite men’s race at the 2017 UCI World Road Championships on Sunday in Bergen, Norway after taking an extended pull from the team car.

The 25-year-old was involved in a crash at the end of the penultimate lap along with Sebastien Henao (Colombia). The two are teammates on Team Sky. The Colombian was forced to abandon the race due to his injuries, but Moscon managed to rejoin the peloton. He would end up bridging to a late-race attack by Julian Alaphilippe (France) on the final ascent of Salmon Hill and the duo would only be caught in the final couple kilometers.

Video emerged after the race that Moscon’s comeback to the peloton was due to an extended “sticky bottle” from the Italian team’s support car.

In 2015, Italian Vincenzo Nibali was disqualified from the Vuelta a Espana on stage two for also taking an extended two from his team car while attempting to rejoin the peloton.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Three-Peter: Sagan wins world title for third year running Sun, 24 Sep 2017 16:18:08 +0000 Peter Sagan (Slovakia) won the 2017 world road championship over Alexander Kristoff (Norway) and Michael Matthews (Australia).

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Peter Sagan (Slovakia) once again showed he is in a league of his own by winning the UCI World Road Championship on Sunday in Bergen, Norway in a reduced bunch sprint over Norwegian Alexander Kristoff.

Sagan is the first rider in history to win three elite men’s world road championships in consecutive years. He is also the first to win three world titles on three different continents.

“It is not easy,” Sagan said. “In the last kilometers, I said, guys, it’s already gone, it’s done. Guys were chasing in the front. In the end, it came together for the sprint, it’s unbelievable. Kristoff is racing at home, I am sorry, but I am very happy to beat him again. It’s unbelievable for me.

“[3x worlds?]. It’s something special for sure. It doesn’t change anything, but for me, it is something very nice. It’s very hard to say before. You saw in the climb, we were already in two-three pieces. The guys from the back catch us, and after, we came into the finish. It just all happened in seconds. You cannot predict this. Maybe if someone stronger in the front and they could have [won]. I have to say thank you to my teammates and some friends in the group.

“I want to dedicate this victory or this 3rd world champion title to Michele Scarponi, who should have had a birthday tomorrow,” Sagan said. “And to my wife, and we are expecting a baby. It’s a nice finish to the season, and I am very happy.”

A reduced bunch came to the line and Kristoff was the first to launch his sprint. He nearly held off Sagan. Both riders lunged their bikes to the line and neither raised their hands in celebration, as the finish was extremely close. After a tense few moments, Sagan was announced the winner.

Michael Matthews (Australia) powered to the bronze medal, albeit a few bike lengths behind.

Top 10

  • 1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia), in 6:28:11
  • 2. Alexander Kristoff (Norway), at 0:00
  • 3. Michael Matthews (Australia), at 0:00
  • 4. Matteo Trentin (Italy), at 0:00
  • 5. Ben Swift (Great Britain), at 0:00
  • 6. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium), at 00:00
  • 7. Michael Albasini (Switzerland), at 0:00
  • 8. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (colombia), at 00:00
  • 9. Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan), at 00:00
  • 10. Julian Alaphilippe (France), at 0:00

The elite men’s world road race championship did not start in the host town of Bergen, but started 39.5 kilometers away in Øygarden under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. When the riders did reach the circuit, they had 17.9 kilometers until the finish line and then would complete 11 full laps of the 19.1-kilometer circuit for a total race distance of 267.5kms. The circuit included the 1.5-kilometer long Salmon Hill, which peaked 10.7 kilometers from the finish.

A lead group of 10 riders formed after the opening kilometers and the peloton seemed not too worried about who was in the lead, as their gap quickly grew to just over 10 minutes. The Belgian team was the first to come to the front to bring a bit of order to the peloton and make sure the gap didn’t get too out of hand.

The leaders were Alexey Vermeulen (United States), Conor Dunne and Sean McKenna (Ireland), Wilmen Smit (South Africa), Eddine Mraouni (Morocco), Andrey Amador (Costa Rica), Kim Magnusson (Sweden), Elchin Asadov (Azerbaijan), Matti Manninen (Finland), and Eugert Zhupa (Albania).

Upon entering the circuit in Bergen, the riders were greeted with huge crowds and finally, the sun came out. The breakaway crossed the finish line for the first time with an 8:25 gap over the peloton, but they had a monstrous 11 laps left to complete.

The riders of the team from the Czech Republic took up the pace making at the front of the peloton on the circuit. They were riding in support of team leader and pre-race favorite Zdenek Stybar.

As the laps ticked by, the breakaway began to lose riders. On the seventh of the 12 laps, the breakaway was down to seven riders and Vermeulen was the one dishing out the pain. The young American was leading the charge and doing the most work in the breakaway.

Norway had sent a few riders to the front of the peloton to assist in bringing back the breakaway. Belgium also had a rider helping and at the end of the seventh lap, the gap was hovering around three minutes.

The powerhouse Dutch team came to the fore on the next lap and proceeded to ratchet up the pace, albeit eliminating the breakaway.

On Salmon Hill, the Belgian team drove the pace with the Poles lurking behind. The course in Bergen was well suited to the abilities of former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski.

Smit attacked out of the breakaway, but the writing was on the wall. By the end of the lap with less than 80km to go, the race was all back together.

Julien Vermote, who had been doing a hefty amount of pacemaking for the Belgian led the peloton out of the tunnel at the beginning of the next lap, but slide out on the 180-degree just after the exit of the tunnel. He had been leading the peloton.

Another go up Salmon Hill and attacks flew out of the peloton. Over the top of the climb, a select group of eight had formed. It included Alessandro de Marchi (Italy), David de la Cruz (Spain), Marco Haller (Denmark), Lars Boom (Netherlands), Tim Wellens (Belgium), Jarlison Pantano (Colombia), Jack Haig (Australia), and Christian Elking (Norway).

With three laps to go the lead eight riders held a 45-second lead over the peloton. Poland had taken charge in bringing back the group.

A crash took out the Sebastien Henao (Colombia) and Gianni Moscon (Italy). Henao would abandon the race, but Moscon would rejoin the peloton. The silver medal winner in the individual time trial on Wednesday, Primoz Roglic (Slovenia), also went down.

American Tejay van Garderen crashed hard at the beginning of the penultimate lap.

Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) attacked just before Salmon Hill and that immediately sent alarm bells ringing throughout the peloton. His move was quickly shut down.

On the penultimate time up Salmon Hill, de Marchi attacked the breakaway as the peloton came charging up from behind. The peloton had been greatly reduced to the strongmen of the race. Fernando Gaviria (Colombia) tried a move, but many riders immediately marked that.

With 25km to go the race was all together, but riders continued to attack.

The Dutch, Belgians, and Australians fought for supremacy at the front of the peloton as the final lap began.

Tony Gallopin (France) took a flyer leading into Salmon Hill for the final time, as a crash in the peloton disrupted things a little.

Fireworks exploded the final time up Salmon Hill as Julian Alaphilippe (France) attacked hard. He went over the top alone and was soon joined by Gianni Moscon (Italy). Sagan was seen in a large group behind the leaders.

Alaphilippe dropped Moscon on the short cobbled section with 4km to go and set-off alone in pursuit of the rainbow bands.

It was not to be for the Frenchman, as the group was all together under the flamme rouge. The sprinters were queuing up behind Alberto Bettiol (Italy), who led the peloton into the finishing straight. Kristoff sat second wheel behind Bettiol with Sagan right behind.

Kristoff kicked-off the sprint on the right side of the road and Sagan immediately followed. The Slovakian came around the Norwegian in the final 100 meters, but Kristoff didn’t back down and the two lunged their bikes across the line. Neither raised their hands in celebration.

After a few tense moments, Sagan was named champion of the world for the third time. It was disappointment for Kristoff, who came so close to winning on home roads. Matthews was the best of the rest, albeit a few bike lengths behind. Matteo Trentin (Italy), who won multiple stages at the Vuelta a Espana prior to the world championships, finished fourth.

The top American on the day was Alex Howes in 53rd place, 2:32 behind the winner.


  • 1. Peter Sagan, (SVK) , in 6:28:11
  • 2. Alexander Kristoff, (NOR) , at :00
  • 3. Michael Matthews, (AUS) , at :00
  • 4. Matteo Trentin, (ITA) , at :00
  • 5. Ben Swift, (GBR) , at :00
  • 6. Greg Van Avermaet, (BEL) , at :00
  • 7. Michael Albasini, (SUI) , at :00
  • 8. Fernando Gaviria Rendon, (COL) , at :00
  • 9. Alexey Lutsenko, (KAZ) , at :00
  • 10. Julian Alaphilippe, (FRA) , at :00
  • 11. Michal Kwiatkowski, (POL) , at :00
  • 12. Søren Kragh Andersen, (DEN) , at :00
  • 13. Tony Gallopin, (FRA) , at :00
  • 14. Zdenek Štybar, (CZE) , at :00
  • 15. Vasil Kiryienka, (BLR) , at :00
  • 16. Viacheslav Kuznetsov, (RUS) , at :00
  • 17. Philippe Gilbert, (BEL) , at :00
  • 18. Sergei Chernetski, (RUS) , at :00
  • 19. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, (POR) , at :00
  • 20. Simon Geschke, (GER) , at :00
  • 21. Michael Valgren Andersen, (DEN) , at :00
  • 22. Lukas PÖstlberger, (AUT) , at :00
  • 23. Ilnur Zakarin, (RUS) , at :00
  • 24. Niki Terpstra, (NED) , at :00
  • 25. Tom Dumoulin, (NED) , at :00
  • 26. Daniel Martin, (IRL) , at :00
  • 27. Rigoberto Uran, (COL) , at :05
  • 28. Alberto Bettiol, (ITA) , at :05
  • 29. Magnus Cort Nielsen, (DEN) , at :27
  • 30. Edvald Boasson Hagen, (NOR) , at 1:04
  • 31. Jonathan Castroviejo, (ESP) , at 1:04
  • 32. Julien Simon, (FRA) , at 1:04
  • 33. Nicolas Roche, (IRL) , at 1:04
  • 34. Bauke Mollema, (NED) , at 1:20
  • 35. Guillaume Boivin, (CAN) , at 1:20
  • 36. Peter Kennaugh, (GBR) , at 1:22
  • 37. Warren Barguil, (FRA) , at 1:23
  • 38. Diego Ulissi, (ITA) , at 1:23
  • 39. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg, (RSA) , at 2:32
  • 40. Nikias Arndt, (GER) , at 2:32
  • 41. Michael SchÄr, (SUI) , at 2:32
  • 42. Luka Pibernik, (SLO) , at 2:32
  • 43. Aleksejs Saramotins, (LAT) , at 2:32
  • 44. Stefan KÜng, (SUI) , at 2:32
  • 45. Juraj Sagan, (SVK) , at 2:32
  • 46. Yukiya Arashiro, (JPN) , at 2:32
  • 47. Marcus Burghardt, (GER) , at 2:32
  • 48. Roman Kreuziger, (CZE) , at 2:32
  • 49. Daryl Impey, (RSA) , at 2:32
  • 50. Silvan Dillier, (SUI) , at 2:32
  • 51. Tobias Ludvigsson, (SWE) , at 2:32
  • 52. Michal Golas, (POL) , at 2:32
  • 53. Alex Howes, (USA) , at 2:32
  • 54. Imanol Erviti, (ESP) , at 2:32
  • 55. Nelson Oliveira, (POR) , at 2:32
  • 56. Odd Christian Eiking, (NOR) , at 2:32
  • 57. Elia Viviani, (ITA) , at 2:32
  • 58. Jose Rojas, (ESP) , at 2:32
  • 59. Sonny Colbrelli, (ITA) , at 2:32
  • 60. Simon Clarke, (AUS) , at 2:32
  • 61. Jan Polanc, (SLO) , at 2:32
  • 62. Mitchell Docker, (AUS) , at 2:32
  • 63. Eduardo Sepulveda, (ARG) , at 2:32
  • 64. Tiago Machado, (POR) , at 2:32
  • 65. Ricardo Vilela, (POR) , at 2:32
  • 66. Luis León Sanchez, (ESP) , at 2:32
  • 67. Jarlinson Pantano Gomez, (COL) , at 2:32
  • 68. Stefan Denifl, (AUT) , at 2:32
  • 69. Tony Martin, (GER) , at 2:32
  • 70. David De La Cruz Melgarejo, (ESP) , at 2:32
  • 71. Bob Jungels, (LUX) , at 2:32
  • 72. Dylan Teuns, (BEL) , at 2:32
  • 73. Oliver Naesen, (BEL) , at 2:32
  • 74. Sebastian Langeveld, (NED) , at 2:32
  • 75. Michael Morkov, (DEN) , at 2:32
  • 76. Christopher Juul Jensen, (DEN) , at 2:32
  • 77. Vegard Stake Laengen, (NOR) , at 2:32
  • 78. Andrey Grivko, (UKR) , at 3:13
  • 79. Jan BÁrta, (CZE) , at 3:13
  • 80. Zhandos Bizhigitov, (KAZ) , at 3:13
  • 81. Hugo Houle, (CAN) , at 3:13
  • 82. Pawel Poljanski, (POL) , at 3:13
  • 83. Natnael Berhane, (ERI) , at 3:13
  • 84. Anthony Roux, (FRA) , at 3:13
  • 85. Lilian Calmejane, (FRA) , at 3:13
  • 86. Cyril Gautier, (FRA) , at 3:13
  • 87. Jens Keukeleire, (BEL) , at 3:13
  • 88. Salvatore Puccio, (ITA) , at 3:13
  • 89. Jasper Stuyven, (BEL) , at 5:49
  • 90. Paul Martens, (GER) , at 5:49
  • 91. Matej Mohoric, (SLO) , at 5:49
  • 92. Luka Mezgec, (SLO) , at 5:49
  • 93. Heinrich Haussler, (AUS) , at 5:49
  • 94. Jack Haig, (AUS) , at 5:49
  • 95. Tiesj Benoot, (BEL) , at 6:33
  • 96. Lukasz Wisniowski, (POL) , at 6:37
  • 97. Scott Thwaites, (GBR) , at 7:33
  • 98. Mark Christian, (GBR) , at 7:33
  • 99. Rick Zabel, (GER) , at 7:33
  • 100. Fabian Lienhard, (SUI) , at 7:33
  • 101. Amund Grøndahl Jansen, (NOR) , at 7:33
  • 102. Ignatas Konovalovas, (LTU) , at 7:33
  • 103. Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet, (ESP) , at 7:33
  • 104. Lars Boom, (NED) , at 7:35
  • 105. Daniele Bennati, (ITA) , at 7:35
  • 106. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) , at 7:35
  • 107. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, (ESP) , at 7:35
  • 108. Marc Soler, (ESP) , at 7:35
  • 109. Kiel Reijnen, (USA) , at 9:21
  • 110. Tim Wellens, (BEL) , at 9:21
  • 111. Gregory Rast, (SUI) , at 9:24
  • 112. Marco Haller, (AUT) , at 9:24
  • 113. Alessandro De Marchi, (ITA) , at 9:26
  • 114. Nils Politt, (GER) , at 10:21
  • 115. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya, (COL) , at 10:21
  • 116. Jasha SÜtterlin, (GER) , at 10:21
  • 117. Tao Geoghegan Hart, (GBR) , at 10:21
  • 118. Johannes FrÖhlinger, (GER) , at 10:21
  • 119. Koen De Kort, (NED) , at 10:21
  • 120. Antoine Duchesne, (CAN) , at 10:21
  • 121. Primož RogliČ, (SLO) , at 10:21
  • 122. Olivier Le Gac, (FRA) , at 10:21
  • 123. Mihkel RÄim, (EST) , at 11:53
  • 124. Joseph Rosskopf, (USA) , at 11:53
  • 125. Daniel Hoelgaard, (NOR) , at 11:53
  • 126. Ryan Mullen, (IRL) , at 11:53
  • 127. Jirí PolnickÝ, (CZE) , at 11:53
  • 128. Dmitriy Gruzdev, (KAZ) , at 11:53
  • 129. Dion Smith, (NZL) , at 11:53
  • 130. José GonÇalves, (POR) , at 11:53
  • 131. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze, (ARG) , at 11:53
  • 132. Jean-Pierre Drucker, (LUX) , at 11:53

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Blaak turns Olympic disappointment into world triumph Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:16:43 +0000 A year ago, Chantal Blaak was left off of the Dutch Olympic squad, but now she is world champion.

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — A year ago Chantal Blaak was digesting the biggest disappointment of her career as she was left out of the Dutch Olympic squad.

But 12 months on and the 27-year-old is both national and world champion having put more illustrious team-mates, Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen and Annamiek van Vleuten in the Norwegian shade.

But rather than linger on that Rio snub, Blaak pointed out that being a member of the strongest national team in women’s cycling has both advantages and disadvantages, as she now knows after winning the women’s world road race title in Bergen on Saturday.

Asked if her career would have been different had she not been born Dutch, Blaak said: “Probably a little bit but also then this opportunity (would) never (have) come today.

“I should (have been) at the Olympics, maybe, that’s one thing. (But) I’m proud to be a Dutch rider so I don’t want to jinx (it).”

Vos was the Olympic champion in 2012 in London and is a three-time world champion and Van der Breggen won Olympic gold in Rio and claimed victory in all three Ardennes classics in the spring.

Van Vleuten, who looked set to win Olympic gold last year until a spectacular crash on a breakneck descent left her concussed and with fractured vertebrae, is the world time-trial champion. Added to that, there are Kirsten Wild, the road race silver medallist last year, and Ellen van Dijk, the time-trial champion in 2013.

But now Blaak has added her name to the list of Dutch global champions, even though her success took her by surprise.

After the medal presentation, she gave her victory flowers to her mother.

“I was really happy she was here; she was here with my sister, my brother and my nephew — the four of them,” said Blaak. “It was the first time that they’re watching me at a world championships and, honestly, I said before: ‘make a really nice trip out of it because Norway is beautiful and don’t expect that I win the race because it’s really hard’!”

But win she did, despite crashing on a descent 65km from the finish of the 152.8km street circuit course.

“I don’t actually know what happened, I think someone looked back and she hit her back wheel or something,” Blaak said. “There was nothing I could do and I was on the ground. When I crash it’s always a bit of drama. I was thinking, ‘yeah, my race is over now’. It took me way too long, I could have fixed my bike by myself but I was waiting for the mechanic. I was just thinking too much, I was also in a bit of pain. But then I thought: ‘come on Chantal, it’s the last race of the season, you’ve trained so hard for this, the team needs you’.

“I gave everything to come back and I talked to the girls. They knew I crashed, I just said: ‘we continue the plan, if I’m not there anymore you know why’.

“But I was there!”

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Gallery: Blaak wins 2017 Worlds women’s RR on beautiful day in Bergen Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:01:53 +0000 The elite women were treated perfect weather on Saturday, as Dutchwoman Chantal Blaak captured the road race world championship.

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Sun expected in Bergen, but riders say weather to make a difference Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:22:21 +0000 The 2017 world championship on Sunday once again suits classics riders with a sprint, but the weather may play a factor.

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Given the course in Norway’s west and the weather conditions, this 2017 world championship in Bergen on Sunday once again suits classics riders with a sprint.

Slovakian Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has the best chance of winning if we are to go by the bookmakers. The parcours is exposed to the coastal winds, dotted with cobbles and features a small climb in and around the former Viking port city. The forecast now shows sun and 65°F, but Norwegians know that could easily change to side winds.

“It’s a nice circuit, the weather can make a difference, but wet or dry, the many kilometers will make it tough,” said Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).

“It is a course that offers possibilities: it’s technical, with little cobbles, there is a bit of everything in it and the final as well. There is a small slope about 500 meters from the finish where you can position yourself, so I’m happy about it.”

Sagan won his first world title with an attack on the final cobbled climb in Richmond, Virginia, in 2015. He returned in 2016 on the flat roads of Doha, Qatar, to repeat the feat. He does not seem to care what shape the 19.1-kilometre circuit takes and says he does not want to preview it.

“We have to do the lap 11 times or 12,” Sagan said. “That’s a lot of time to see it. It’s a possibility [that I’ll ride it beforehand], but I don’t want [to].”

Once the riders complete the southbound leg along the west and head east to Bergen, they ride a twisty circuit around the city and its suburbs, which includes the 1.5-kilometer Salmon Hill.

“The circuit is important, I thought that it was going to be harder, actually,” Sagan’s coach at team Bora-Hansgrohe, Patxi Vila explained. “We all know Slovakia is small, so that’s always a main thing. It’s not like Belgium, etc. You have to find teams with the same goal and try to work together.”

“It wouldn’t be ideal for me to escape in a small group because I will almost always be the slowest if it ends in a small sprint,” freshly crowned time trial champion, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) told De Telegraaf. “Salmon Hill could be the chance, and I think there are plenty of other points on the circuit to take action.”

Polish cyclist and 2014 world champion, Michal Kwiatkowski has had one of his best years yet riding for Team Sky. He won Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo and the Clásica San Sebastián, and turning around to be Chris Froome’s and Team Sky’s MVP at the Tour de France.

“Taking into account the races I have won this season, of course, I would prefer a harder course, but you have to adapt to what is,” he told Interia Sport. “The last climb is almost eight kilometers to the finish line, which makes it more likely the peloton will arrive mostly together than an escape rider. If rain comes, then it will shred the peloton even more, and I’d like that, but you have to be ready for every scenario. Also to finish with a large group.”

“Even before coming to Bergen, I hoped it’d be a hard course,” Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “You don’t need to ask for it because it’s already hard enough and technical. Also, the weather is going to have a big say in the race.”

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2017 Worlds: Blaak solos to world title, as Dutch team shows dominance Sat, 23 Sep 2017 16:34:06 +0000 Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) soloed to the elite women's UCI world road championship. Katrin Garfoot (Australia) earned silver and Amalie

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The powerhouse Dutch elite women’s squad met expectations on Saturday, as Chantal Blaak soloed away from a select group in the final kilometers to capture the 2017 UCI Elite Women’s World Road Championship on Saturday in Bergen, Norway

“No, I can’t believe it, everything happened in the race: I crashed, I was in a lot of pain, in that moment I thought my race was over,” said Blaak about her crash with around 65km to ride. “(Then) I thought I can come back and see what I can do. The plan was not that I should win race but do my best possible for the team.

“After that (attack) I just followed my heart and stayed away.”

Many chase groups came together in the final kilometer behind Blaak and Katrin Garfoot (Australia) was quickest in the reduced bunch sprint, capturing the silver medal. Last year’s world champion Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) finished third, earning the bronze medal.

Top 10

  • 1. Chantal Blaak (Netherlands), in 4:06:30
  • 2. Katrin Garfoot (Australia), at +00:28
  • 3. Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark), at +00:28
  • 4. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Netherlands), at +00:28
  • 5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland), at +00:28
  • 6. Christine Majerus (Luxembourg), at +00:28
  • 7. Susanne Andersen (Norway), at +00:28
  • 8. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands), at +00:28
  • 9. Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), at +00:28
  • 10. Elena Cecchini (Italy), at +00:28

The elite women’s peloton tackled eight laps of the 19.1-kilometer circuit in Bergen, Norway at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships. The 152.8km race began under bright sunny skies, which has been a rarity at this year’s world championships.

The race got off to a rocky start with a crash occurring in the tunnel on the circuit a mere 90 seconds into the race. All riders would get up and eventually rejoin the peloton. Some riders had damaged their bikes and were forced to wait a considerable time to get new ones.

Sara Penton (Sweden) attacked three-quarters of the way into the opening lap, but no one else joined her. A lap later Melissa Lowther of Great Britain joined the Swede. The peloton was calmly rolling along a minute behind the leaders.

At the end of the third lap, the peloton was all together, but the tension was rising. The Dutch team had sent Lucinda Brand on the attack toward the end of the lap and although the move didn’t go anywhere, everyone was now on high alert. The Dutch had been doing most of the pace making at the front of the peloton, but now they had shown they weren’t afraid to be aggressive.

On the fifth lap with 69km remaining, a trio of rider’s escaped the peloton’s grasp and the group had firepower. The three riders were Hannah Barnes (Great Britain), Amy Pieters (Netherlands), and Rachel Neylan (Australia).

A few kilometers later with 66km remaining, American Megan Guarnier crashed hard. She was tended to on the ground for many minutes and was forced to abandon the race. Blaak also went down, along with a few other riders.

Team USA sent Tayler Wiles and Ruth Winder to the front of the peloton to bring back the dangerous breakaway. On Salmon Hill on the sixth lap with about 50km remaining, the Dutchwoman Lucinda Brand bridged to the breakaway to make four in the lead. But more importantly, the Dutch had two riders.

Luckily, the Americans received help from the Czech team and by the end of the sixth lap, the peloton was all together.

The penultimate lap of the women’s championship road race was full of attacking. Dani King (Great Britain) went up the road and immediately the Dutch reacted to cover the move, sending Janneke Ensing up the road. Amanda Spratt (Australia) and Elise Delzenne (France) joined Ensing in bridging to the leader. A crash in the peloton brought down pre-race favorite Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa).

On Salmon Hill for the second to last time, Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) attacked hard and brought a select group of riders with her, including two former world champions, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France) and Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain).

However, despite many strong riders in the lead group of 13, the move would not last. It was all back together as the riders came back into the center of Bergen. Right as the junction was made Chantal Blaak (Netherlands), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), and Barnes counter-attacked, 23kms remained in the race.

The leading trio entered the final lap with a 30-second advantage over the peloton, which was led by American Lauren Stephens. Sarah Roy (Australia) was in-between the break and peloton, trying to get to the leaders.

On Salmon Hill for the final time, the trio had pushed their advantage to over 40 seconds, but attacks were flying out of the bunch.

Katarzyna Niewiadome (Poland) launched an incredibly hard attack, which sent everyone scrambling. Over the top of the climb a four-rider chase group of Annemiek van Vleuten, van der Breggen, and Garfoot had caught the leading trio, creating seven leaders. American Coryn Rivera and Ferrand-Prevot where part of the second group on the road, but they were more than 30 seconds behind the leaders.

With three riders in the front group, the Dutch took turns attacking. Blaak escaped the group with under 8kms to go and went into time trial mode. The group behind was disorganized in chasing her.

While Blaak powered along up front, the chase group continued to attack each other instead of working together to bring back the leader. Van der Breggen and van Vleuten covered all of the moves, protecting the lead of their teammate.

Into the final finishing straight, Blaak could not believe she was about to become world champion. The Dutchwoman was able to soak in the atmosphere, as she held a 20-second lead to the chasers.

“We didn’t really talk to each other, but we knew what to do,” Blaak said. “We were seven (in the break) and three of us (were Dutch). “Annemiek attacked first and everyone was reacting. Then I thought this was
the right moment.

“We had really good teamwork, everything went as planned, everyone was strong and we raced aggressively also. There was a lot of pressure because we have to win, but it worked. I was already super happy that I had the national jersey this year but, yeah, it’s a dream.”

Many groups came together in the final few hundred meters, making for a hectic sprint. Garfoot was able to sprint to the silver medal and Dideriksen came out of nowhere to seal bronze. The group came in 28 seconds behind Blaak.

Rivera was part of the final group sprinting for silver and bronze but was only able to muster 18th place.

Full results

  • 1. Chantal Blaak, (NED) , in 4:06:30
  • 2. Katrin Garfoot, (AUS) , at :28
  • 3. Amalie Dideriksen, (DEN) , at :28
  • 4. Annemiek Van Vleuten, (NED) , at :28
  • 5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma, (POL) , at :28
  • 6. Christine Majerus, (LUX) , at :28
  • 7. Susanne Andersen, (NOR) , at :28
  • 8. Anna Van Der Breggen, (NED) , at :28
  • 9. Emilia Fahlin, (SWE) , at :28
  • 10. Elena Cecchini, (ITA) , at :28
  • 11. Pauline Ferrand Prevot, (FRA) , at :28
  • 12. Leah Kirchmann, (CAN) , at :28
  • 13. Lucinda Brand, (NED) , at :28
  • 14. Hannah Barnes, (GBR) , at :28
  • 15. Ellen Van Dijk, (NED) , at :28
  • 16. Rasa Leleivyte, (LTU) , at :28
  • 17. Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz, (ESP) , at :28
  • 18. Coryn Rivera, (USA) , at :28
  • 19. Sarah Roy, (AUS) , at :28
  • 20. Danielle King, (GBR) , at :28
  • 21. Linda Villumsen, (NZL) , at :28
  • 22. Urša Pintar, (SLO) , at :28
  • 23. Shara Gillow, (AUS) , at :28
  • 24. Martina Ritter, (AUT) , at :28
  • 25. Janneke Ensing, (NED) , at :28
  • 26. Polona Batagelj, (SLO) , at :28
  • 27. Olga Zabelinskaya, (RUS) , at :28
  • 28. Vita Heine, (NOR) , at :28
  • 29. Ann-Sophie Duyck, (BEL) , at :28
  • 30. Paula Andrea PatiÑo Bedoya, (COL) , at :28
  • 31. Margarita Victoria Garcia Canellas, (ESP) , at :28
  • 32. Karol-Ann Canuel, (CAN) , at :28
  • 33. Ingrid Drexel Clouthier, (MEX) , at :28
  • 34. Eugenia Bujak, (POL) , at :28
  • 35. Hanna Nilsson, (SWE) , at :28
  • 36. Elise Delzenne, (FRA) , at :28
  • 37. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, (DEN) , at :36
  • 38. Tatiana Guderzo, (ITA) , at :36
  • 39. Audrey Cordon Ragot, (FRA) , at :37
  • 40. Amanda Spratt, (AUS) , at :38
  • 41. Elizabeth Deignan, (GBR) , at :38
  • 42. Lisa Brennauer, (GER) , at 1:19
  • 43. Ramona Forchini, (SUI) , at 1:19
  • 44. Amy Pieters, (NED) , at 1:19
  • 45. Giorgia Bronzini, (ITA) , at 1:19
  • 46. Rossella Ratto, (ITA) , at 1:34
  • 47. Marianne Vos, (NED) , at 1:50
  • 48. Hayley Simmonds, (GBR) , at 2:31
  • 49. Lisa Klein, (GER) , at 2:31
  • 50. Eri Yonamine, (JPN) , at 2:31
  • 51. Trixi Worrack, (GER) , at 2:31
  • 52. Diana Carolina PeÑuela Martinez, (COL) , at 3:53
  • 53. Rachel Neylan, (AUS) , at 4:01
  • 54. Romy Kasper, (GER) , at 4:01
  • 55. Eider Merino Cortazar, (ESP) , at 4:18
  • 56. Anastasiia Iakovenko, (RUS) , at 4:43
  • 57. Alison Jackson, (CAN) , at 4:43
  • 58. Chloe Hosking, (AUS) , at 4:43
  • 59. Georgia Williams, (NZL) , at 4:43
  • 60. Lauren Stephens, (USA) , at 4:43
  • 61. Nikola NoskovÁ, (CZE) , at 4:43
  • 62. Stine Borgli, (NOR) , at 5:51
  • 63. Camilla MØllebro Pedersen, (DEN) , at 5:51
  • 64. Olga Shekel, (UKR) , at 5:51
  • 65. Pernille Mathiesen, (DEN) , at 5:57
  • 66. Elinor Barker, (GBR) , at 6:36
  • 67. Lex Albrecht, (CAN) , at 8:38
  • 68. Sara Bergen, (CAN) , at 9:37
  • 69. Omer Shapira, (ISR) , at 9:37
  • 70. Ruth Winder, (USA) , at 9:37
  • 71. Sofia Bertizzolo, (ITA) , at 9:37
  • 72. Amber Leone Neben, (USA) , at 13:06
  • 73. Kirsti Lay, (CAN) , at 14:02
  • 74. Kseniia Dobrynina, (RUS) , at 14:02
  • 75. Eugénie Duval, (FRA) , at 14:52
  • 76. Aude Biannic, (FRA) , at 14:52

AFP contributing reporting to this story

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2017 Worlds: Johansen solos to junior men’s road race title Sat, 23 Sep 2017 12:00:50 +0000 Julius Johansen (Denmark) soloed to victory in the junior men's road race at the 2017 UCI World Road Championships on Saturday in Bergen,

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Julius Johansen of Denmark soloed to victory in the junior men’s road race at the 2017 UCI World Road Championships on Saturday in Bergen, Norway. Italy captured the silver and bronze medals with Luca Rastelli and Michele Gazzoli.

The Dane attacked and bridged to a small breakaway with a lap and a half remaining in the race. Johansen would set-off alone on the final time up Salmon Hill and time trial all the way to the line to capture the rainbow bands. His 51-second victory over second showed the strength and grit of the 18-year-old.

Rastelli was in the final breakaway with Johansen, but was unable to follow the Dane on the final climb. He was able to hold off a hard-charging peloton in the finishing straight to earn the runner-up spot.

Gazzoli won the reduced bunch for the bronze medal, as the peloton came up behind his teammate Rastelli right on the line.

Top 10

  • 1. Julius Johansen (Denmark), in 3:10:48
  • 2. Luca Rastelli (Italy), at +00:51
  • 3. Michele Gazzoli (Italy), at +00:51
  • 4. Niklas Markl (Germany), at +00:51
  • 5. Jake Stewart (Great Britain), at +00:51
  • 6. Florian Kierner (Austria), at +00:51
  • 7. Filippo Zana (Italy), at +00:51
  • 8. Olav Hjemsaeter (Norway), at +00:51
  • 9. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kazakhstan), at +00:51
  • 10. Jacob Hindsgaul Madsen (Denmark), at +00:51

The junior men’s road race did not start in the host town of Bergen, but 39.5 kilometers away in Øygarden, where the elite men’s road race will also start on Sunday. Upon entry to the circuit, the riders had 17.9 kilometers until the finish line and then completed four laps of the 19.1-kilometer circuit for a total race distance of 135.5kms. The circuit included the 1.5-kilometer long Salmon Hill, which peaked 10.7 kilometers from the finish.

Getting to the circuit was no easy feat for the junior men’s peloton. The twisting roads and damp pavement caused multiple crashes. Upon entering the circuit a lead group of eight riders had formed. Gleb Brussenskiy (Kazakhstan), Graydon Staples (Canada), Jonas Hvideberg (Norway) Giulio Masotto (Italy) Danny van der Tuuk (Netherlands) Mark Donovan (Great Britain), Mohammed Medrazi (Morocco), and Kiryl Pashkevich (Belarus) formed the lead group.

Heading into Salmon Hill for the first time a large crash occurred right in the middle of the peloton. The fallen riders spread all across the road, holding up the rest of the peloton.

Pashkevich was dropped from the breakaway early on the climb, as the peloton charged up the hill a minute behind. There was no waving the white flag after the crash — the race was now on.

Over the next two laps, multiple riders bridged to the leaders, as also a few got dropped. The reshuffling ended with a lead group of 10 riders crossing the finish line with two laps to go. Crashes continued to be the highlight of the day with riders seemingly constantly hitting the deck.

Over Salmon Hill on the penultimate lap, just three riders remained in the lead with the peloton powering along a mere 20 seconds behind. The leaders were Brussenskiy, Donovan and Italian Luca Rastelli, who was one of the riders that had bridged.

As the bell rang signaling the final lap, Julius Johansen (Denmark) had joined the leaders, having attacked at the bottom of the descent. However, the peloton was right behind and many other riders were attacking, including heavy pre-race favorite Tom Pidcock (Great Britain).

Just after the line, four riders bridged to the leaders to create eight at the front. American Matteo Jorgenson was among those that had bridged. France drove the pace at the front of the peloton to shut the move down.

Johansen attacked the breakaway and set-off alone before the start of the final climb. The peloton, which had appeared to be shutting down the move entering the final lap, now found themselves 50-seconds behind.

The race was full on up Salmon Hill for the final time. The Italians lit the race on fire, with multiple riders going up the road out of the peloton. Meanwhile, the chase group had splintered.

Johansen crested the climb alone and seemed destined for a world title, as he held a 30-second advantage over the chasing riders. At the top of the climb, there was no concerted chase group, as riders went over the top in ones and twos.

On the descent, a five-rider chase group formed including the Italian trio of Luca Colhaghi, Filippo Zana and Rastelli. Arensman Thymen (Netherlands) and Donovan were also there. However, they continued to trail the lone leader by 30 seconds.

With 4 kilometers remaining, Rastelli had left the rest of the chase group behind in pursuit of Johansen.

In the finishing straight, the Dane had plenty of time to sit-up and soak-in the crowd, as he became world champion.

Behind, Rastelli was desperately trying to hold off a hard-charging peloton that had swept up the rest of the chase group. He would be caught right on the line, but still managed to capture the silver medal. His teammate, Gazzoli, was right behind winning the reduced bunch sprint for the bronze medal.

The top American on the day was Jorgenson, who finished 53rd, 3:53 behind the winner.

Full results

  • 1. Julius Johansen, (DEN) , in 3:10:48
  • 2. Luca Rastelli, (ITA) , at :51
  • 3. Michele Gazzoli, (ITA) , at :51
  • 4. Niklas MÄrkl, (GER) , at :51
  • 5. Jake Stewart, (GBR) , at :51
  • 6. Florian Kierner, (AUT) , at :51
  • 7. Filippo Zana, (ITA) , at :51
  • 8. Olav HjemsÆter, (NOR) , at :51
  • 9. Yevgeniy Fedorov, (KAZ) , at :51
  • 10. Jacob Hindsgaul Madsen, (DEN) , at :51
  • 11. Olzhas Bayembayev, (KAZ) , at :51
  • 12. Mario Gamper, (AUT) , at :51
  • 13. Misch Leyder, (LUX) , at :51
  • 14. Matis Louvel, (FRA) , at :51
  • 15. Fabio Mazzucco, (ITA) , at :51
  • 16. Antoine Raugel, (FRA) , at :51
  • 17. Juri Hollmann, (GER) , at :51
  • 18. Ken Conter, (LUX) , at :51
  • 19. Daan Hoole, (NED) , at :51
  • 20. Sebastian Berwick, (AUS) , at :51
  • 21. Matúš ŠtoČek, (SVK) , at :51
  • 22. Jacob Eriksson, (SWE) , at :51
  • 23. Victor Alejandro Ocampo Giraldo, (COL) , at :51
  • 24. Pedro Lopes, (POR) , at :55
  • 25. Thomas Pidcock, (GBR) , at :55
  • 26. Leonardo Henrique Finkler, (BRA) , at :55
  • 27. Loran Cassaert, (BEL) , at :55
  • 28. Shoi Matsuda, (JPN) , at :55
  • 29. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen, (DEN) , at :55
  • 30. Mauro Schmid, (SUI) , at :55
  • 31. Luca Colnaghi, (ITA) , at :55
  • 32. Jakob Geßner, (GER) , at :55
  • 33. Andrea Innocenti, (ITA) , at :55
  • 34. Gleb Brussenskiy, (KAZ) , at :55
  • 35. Théo Nonnez, (FRA) , at :55
  • 36. Vojtech SedlÁČek, (CZE) , at :55
  • 37. Jacob Vaughan, (GBR) , at :55
  • 38. Aljaž Jarc, (SLO) , at :55
  • 39. Paul Lefaure, (FRA) , at :55
  • 40. Nurbergen Nurlykhassym, (KAZ) , at :55
  • 41. Carlos Garcia Pierna, (ESP) , at :55
  • 42. Ludvig Fischer Aasheim, (NOR) , at :55
  • 43. Alexandre Balmer, (SUI) , at :55
  • 44. Afonso Silva, (POR) , at :55
  • 45. Igor Chzhan, (KAZ) , at :55
  • 46. Charles-Étienne ChrÉtien, (CAN) , at 1:08
  • 47. Mark Donovan, (GBR) , at 1:18
  • 48. Thymen Arensman, (NED) , at 1:18
  • 49. Fernando Islas Lopez, (MEX) , at 1:25
  • 50. Andreas Leknessund, (NOR) , at 1:46
  • 51. Alexis Renard, (FRA) , at 2:30
  • 52. Mitchell Wright, (AUS) , at 2:42
  • 53. Matej BlaŠko, (SVK) , at 2:45
  • 54. Xandres Vervloesem, (BEL) , at 2:45
  • 55. Nik ČemaŽar, (SLO) , at 2:45
  • 56. Marius Mayrhofer, (GER) , at 3:32
  • 57. Valère ThiÉbaud, (SUI) , at 3:32
  • 58. Idar Andersen, (NOR) , at 3:53
  • 59. Matteo Jorgenson, (USA) , at 3:53
  • 60. Matouš MĚŠŤan, (CZE) , at 5:25
  • 61. Daniil Marukhin, (KAZ) , at 5:46
  • 62. Dawid Burczak, (POL) , at 6:47
  • 63. Gergő Orosz, (HUN) , at 6:47
  • 64. Ben Hamilton, (NZL) , at 6:47
  • 65. Marijn Van Den Berg, (NED) , at 6:47
  • 66. Veljko StojniĆ, (SRB) , at 6:47
  • 67. Vladislav Stepanov, (RUS) , at 6:47
  • 68. Nikita Martynov, (RUS) , at 6:47
  • 69. Oscar Elworthy, (NZL) , at 6:47
  • 70. Karel Vacek, (CZE) , at 6:52
  • 71. Mikolaj Konieczny, (POL) , at 6:53
  • 72. Jonas Iversby Hvideberg, (NOR) , at 6:53
  • 73. Maxim Van Gils, (BEL) , at 6:58
  • 74. Leon Heinschke, (GER) , at 6:58
  • 75. Ramon Diaz Gazquez, (ESP) , at 7:02
  • 76. Søren WÆrenskjold, (NOR) , at 8:00
  • 77. Ignacio Alejandro Espinoza Ibarra, (CHI) , at 8:00
  • 78. Tobias Bayer, (AUT) , at 8:00
  • 79. Tomas Barta, (CZE) , at 8:00
  • 80. Luke Smith, (IRL) , at 8:00
  • 81. Aljaž Omrzel, (SLO) , at 8:00
  • 82. Patrick J. Doogan, (IRL) , at 8:00
  • 83. Viktor PotoČki, (CRO) , at 8:00
  • 84. Jose Eduardo Autran Carrillo, (CHI) , at 8:00
  • 85. Romas Zubrickas, (LTU) , at 8:00
  • 86. Kei Onodera, (JPN) , at 8:00
  • 87. Felix Engelhardt, (GER) , at 8:00
  • 88. Matthew Oliveira, (BER) , at 8:00
  • 89. Abner GonzÁlez Rivera, (PUR) , at 8:00
  • 90. Ben Walsh, (IRL) , at 8:00
  • 91. Denis Marian Vulcan, (ROU) , at 8:00
  • 92. Alexandros Matsangos, (CYP) , at 8:00
  • 93. Florian Gamper, (AUT) , at 8:00
  • 94. Joosep Sankmann, (EST) , at 8:00
  • 95. Thanakhan Chaiyasombat, (THA) , at 8:00
  • 96. Juan Fernando Calle Hurtado, (COL) , at 8:00
  • 97. Linus Kvist, (SWE) , at 8:00
  • 98. Arthur Kluckers, (LUX) , at 8:05
  • 99. Christoffer Wall, (SWE) , at 8:05
  • 100. Cole Davis, (USA) , at 8:05
  • 101. Ilan Van Wilder, (BEL) , at 8:24
  • 102. Guillermo Garcia Janeiro, (ESP) , at 10:03
  • 103. Pedro Lopes, (POR) , at 11:07
  • 104. Emmanouil Orfanoudakis, (GRE) , at 11:07
  • 105. Karim Shiraliyev, (AZE) , at 11:07
  • 106. Ivan Gabriel Ruiz, (ARG) , at 12:18
  • 107. Antti-Jussi Juntunen, (FIN) , at 12:18
  • 108. Graydon Staples, (CAN) , at 12:35
  • 109. Sean Quinn, (USA) , at 12:35
  • 110. Kestutis Vaitaitis, (LTU) , at 13:38
  • 111. Devin Shortt, (RSA) , at 14:10
  • 112. Hamza Mansouri, (ALG) , at 14:13
  • 113. Kristofers Bindemanis, (LAT) , at 14:41
  • 114. Markus Pajur, (EST) , at 14:42
  • 115. Daniil Nikulin, (UKR) , at 15:34
  • 116. Luka Sagadin, (SLO) , at 15:47
  • 117. Kurt Penno, (CAN) , at 15:47
  • 118. Eugenio Mirafuentes Resendez, (MEX) , at 15:47
  • 119. Jason Oosthuizen, (RSA) , at 17:47
  • 120. Daniil Turuk, (BLR) , at 18:16
  • 121. Kiflom Gebresilassie, (ETH) , at 18:18
  • 122. Johan Price-Pejtersen, (DEN) , at 18:18
  • 123. Giulio Masotto, (ITA) , at 18:53
  • 124. Riley Sheehan, (USA) , at 19:15
  • 125. Richard Holec, (CZE) , at 19:15
  • 126. Minne Verboom, (NED) , at 19:15
  • 127. Johan Tiedemann Langballe, (DEN) , at 19:15
  • 128. Eugene Kakizaki, (JPN) , at 19:15
  • 129. Conor Schunk, (USA) , at 19:15
  • 130. Maikel Zijlaard, (NED) , at 19:23

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Sagan uninterested in worlds recon Sat, 23 Sep 2017 10:54:48 +0000 Reigning world champion Peter Sagan has admitted he has no intention of reconning the circuit in Bergen, Norway before Sunday's road race.

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — Reigning world champion Peter Sagan (Slovakia) admitted on Saturday he hasn’t yet ridden the world championship circuit in Bergen, Norway and has no intention of doing so before Sunday’s race.

World champion in Richmond two years ago and Doha last year, the 27-year-old Slovak can equal the record number of rainbow jerseys won by the likes of Belgian great Eddy Merckx if he triumphs on Sunday’s 276.5km race.

And if he does, he’ll be the first person to win three world titles in a row.

But Sagan was typically laid back when meeting the press on Saturday, insisting he has no intention of checking out the 19km circuit that will be ridden 12 times following an initial 40km ride from Rong to Bergen.

“We have to do the lap 11 times or 12,” quipped Sagan. “That’s a lot of time to see it.”

Asked if he still had a chance to ride the circuit before Sunday’s race, Sagan added: “It’s a possibility, yes, but I don’t want (to).”

As for the tactics he would employ, whether to try to get away in a break or wait for a bunch sprint finish, Sagan simply shrugged.

“I don’t think about this scenario, you can see just in the last lap or the last two laps what’s going to happen, not before. I don’t expect anything, I don’t prepare anything, I just see in the moment.”

Following several drizzly days in Bergen, though, Sagan did express one sentiment. “For sure it’s better if it’s sun, who wants to ride in the rain for 270km?”

In his typically deadpan manner, Sagan also dismissed any talk about potential history-making.

“I don’t like to speak about the future or history. What’s going to happen will happen. I’m like last year — I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m here to enjoy, I’m very happy already with what I did the last few years and I want to enjoy tomorrow.”

However, Sagan admitted he might not be at his best having recently fallen ill.

“I had a little sickness last week. I didn’t go well in the last five or six days, but now I think everything’s ok,” said the five-time winner of the Tour de France green jersey competition. “I did a little bit train but we’ll see how I’m going to be tomorrow. For sure after sickness you cannot say you’re in the best shape, but I’ll try like always to do my best and we’ll see what I can do.”

Sagan’s season has been mostly a miss.

He was second in Milan-San Remo but then struggled during the cobbled classics season.

At July’s Tour he won stage three but was then kicked out a day later after elbowing British sprinter Mark Cavendish in a frantic finale. Yet Sagan said he has no particular desire to make up for his Tour disappointment.

“What has the Tour de France got to do with this race? It’s a different race, what happened in the Tour de France has already gone,” he said.

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Matthews hoping to snatch second jersey from Sagan Sat, 23 Sep 2017 00:39:17 +0000 Michael Matthews already stripped Peter Sagan of the Tour de France green jersey earlier this year and now he has his eye on the rainbow

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — Michael Matthews has already stripped Peter Sagan of one jersey this year and now the Australian is aiming for a double at the world championship road race on Sunday.

Sagan had owned the Tour de France green jersey for five straight years until July, but after the Slovak double world champion was kicked off the race for elbowing Briton Mark Cavendish in a frantic sprint finish, Matthews succeeded him in winning the sprinters’ points jersey.

Now the 26-year-old, known as ‘Bling’ for his flashy style, is aiming to relieve Sagan of the rainbow jersey he’s held for the last 24 months. “I have one jersey now so we have to go for the second one,” said Matthews.”Everything’s been going really well up to this point. One goal was to win the green jersey; now another is this jersey.”

Matthews is enjoying the best season of his career having claimed two stages during July’s Tour as well as the green jersey.

Last year he finished fourth at the worlds, but in 2015 he came away with the silver medal as Sagan won both years.

But now Matthews will have the entire nine-man Aussie squad working for him.

“To have the full support of the Aussie team is something I’ve been dreaming of for the last couple of years,” he said. “To have the full nine guys here on the startline on Sunday gives me really a lot of motivation and a lot of confidence for myself to deliver for the guys who are going to be putting their heart and soul on the line for me to do my best in the finish there.”

Sagan and Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet of Belgium will start as the two outstanding favorites, but Matthews believes many riders will be lining up with the conviction they can come away with the rainbow jersey at the end of the punishing 276.5km race.

“There’s a lot of guys in the bunch that are favorites for this race, it’s not just a small bunch.”

Matthews has had some impressive results during his career, but he is yet to win one of the sport’s major one-day classics.

The Team Sunweb rider was fourth in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the spring, while two years ago he was third at both Milan-San Remo and Amstel Gold Race. He believes the time has come for him to step-up and claim some major honors.

“When you’ve seen the course, I’ve been riding around it this week almost every day, I know what I’m in for,” said Matthews. “I think it’s going to be quite an open race.”

He has the advantage that he has already won a gold medal at these championships, a week ago in the team time-trial with Team Sunweb.

And his compatriot Mathew Hayman, who two years ago won one of cycling’s biggest one-day classics, Paris-Roubaix, believes Matthews can continue riding the crest of a wave.

“A big factor in this sport is what’s going on between the ears and if you’re having fun and enjoying it, which you obviously are if you’re winning stages in the Tour and the green jersey, then that’s obviously a big factor,” Hayman added.

Aside from Sagan and Van Avermaet, former world champions Philippe Gilbert of Belgium and Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski will expect to have their say while home hopes will rest on Alexander Kristoff and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Kristoff won the European championships earlier this year and has won two of cycling’s prestigious ‘Monument’ one-day classics. He has three times finished in the top-10 at the worlds.

Boasson Hagen was world silver medalist back in 2012 and in July claimed his first Tour stage win after six year of trying.

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Deignan unsure of form ahead of Worlds road race Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:22:12 +0000 Former world champion Lizzie Deignan is unsure of her form ahead of the Worlds road race after having had emergency appendix surgery less

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — Former world champion Lizzie Deignan admitted she has no idea what form she will be in when the women’s world championship road race begins on Saturday, having had emergency appendix surgery less than a month ago.

The 28-year-old was rushed to hospital following the opening stage of the Tour of Holland on August 30 after falling ill. “Someone from the team came looking for me (in their hotel) and took me straight to the hospital and they took me in for an emergency operation,” said Deignan, the 2015 world champion.

She had her appendix removed and since then she’s simply been trying desperately to recover in time for a tilt at a second rainbow jersey.

“It’s quite bizarre to be in such fine form — I was really going quite well — to wake up the next day in a hospital bed to think ‘right that’s it, it’s over’,” she told the BBC on Friday.

Despite not riding for two weeks and losing two kilograms of muscle, Deignan was determined to make the start line in Bergen, Norway. “I just had this small bit of hope that I could make it here and it wasn’t something I was ready to give up on,” she said.

“That’s frustrating for me because I’d spent an awfully long time in training sacrificing other races knowing that I was building up this strength that takes a long time.

“As I know now, you can lose it very quickly.”

What’s also galling for the Briton, a silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympics, was that she felt the 152.8km course was ideally suited to her. “I did a recon (reconnaissance) in May and saw the circuit and thought: ‘it’s perfect for me’.

“My career’s coming slowly to an end — I’ve got a few more years in me yet– but I know if I looked back in a few years I’d definitely regret not giving it a go.”

Last year, Deignan came close to missing out on the Rio Olympics, where she finished fifth, after missing three doping tests.

She only avoided a ban after successfully applying to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that her first missed test was the fault of testing authorities rather than her.

Her major rivals on Saturday will likely be Dutch in the form of Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen, new world time-trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten and three-time world champion and London 2012 gold medallist Marianne Vos.

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2017 Worlds: Cosnefroy of France wins U23 road race title Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:58:49 +0000 Benoit Cosnefroy of France captured the UCI Under-23 World Road Race Championship in damp conditions on Friday in Bergen, Norway.

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Benoit Cosnefroy of France captured the UCI Under-23 World Road Race Championship in damp conditions on Friday in Bergen, Norway. The Frenchman bridged to solo leader Lennard Kämna in the final 10 kilometers and outsprinted the German to take the rainbow bands. Michael Svengaard (Denmark) led home a reduced bunch three seconds later to take the bronze medal.

Chaos ensued as the riders climbed Salmon Hill for the final time. The peloton was bringing back a threatening lead group when Kämna attacked. The Team Sunweb rider bridged and passed the leaders and was alone over the top of the climb. He was joined by Cosnefroy on the descent and the duo worked well together to hold off the chasing peloton.

Consnefroy was forced to lead the final couple of kilometers with Kämna clearly on the limit unable to pull through. As the duo entered the finishing straight, the peloton was hot on their heels and Consnefroy led out the sprint.

Kämna didn’t put up a fight and Consnefroy became world champion. It’s great redemption for newly signed Ag2r-La Mondiale rider, as he finished runner-up at both the U23 French national road race championships and U23 European road race championships.

Top 10

  • 1. Benoit Cosnefroy (France), in 04:48:23
  • 2. Lennard Kämna (Germany), at 00:00
  • 3. Michael Carbel Svendgaard (Denmark), at 00:03
  • 4. Oliver Wood (Great Britain), at 00:03
  • 5. Vincenzo Albanese (Italy), at 00:03
  • 6. Damien Touze (France), at 00:03
  • 7. Max Kanter (Germany), at 00:03
  • 8. Michal Paluta (Poland), at 00:03
  • 9. Mark Downey (Ireland), at 00:03
  • 10. Anders Skaarseth (Norway), at 00:03

The under-23 men’s world road race championship is watched closely, as it is used as an indicator of what may happen in the elite men’s race. The Espoir men completed 10 laps of the 19.1-kilometer circuit for a total of 191 kilometers. The circuit included the 1.5-kilometer long Salmon Hill, which peaked 10.7 kilometers from the finish.

Atsushi Oka (Japan), Jose Fernandes (Portugal), Vasili Strokau (Belarus), Gustav Hoog (Sweden), Awet Habtom Tekle (Eritrea) attacked on the opening lap and built an advantage of over a minute to the peloton. Seven more riders had bridged to the leaders by lap three, creating a lead group of 12. The team of the host nation, Norway, took up the responsibility of setting tempo at the front of the peloton.

As the laps worn on, the riders in the breakaway began to feel the fatigue of being in the lead. At the end of the sixth lap, nine riders remained in the lead and American Brandon McNulty had attacked out of the peloton. The gap between the leaders and the peloton was just over a minute.

McNulty bridged to the leaders right as Salmon Hill began, but the peloton was right behind. However, the silver medalist in the time trial on Tuesday did not give up and attacked over the top of the leaders. This move sparked interest in the peloton and soon a lead group of eight riders had formed. Patrick Muller (Switzerland), Jai Hindley (Australia), Pavel Sivakov (Russia), Rasmus Tiller (Norway), Gustav Hoog (Sweden), Scott Davies (Great Britain), and Yevgeniy Gidich (Kazakhstan) joined McNulty.

With two laps remaining, six riders were left in the lead with Hoog and McNulty dropped. Spain had taken charge in the peloton and as they crossed the line to begin the penultimate lap, the gap the leaders was a mere 23 seconds.

The race was all back together with 31 kilometers to go.

Many riders tried their hand at attacking up the road, but nothing stuck and it was altogether entering the final lap.

Early in the final lap, five riders broke away. They were Valentin Madouas and Benjamin Thomas (France), Wilmar Zapata (Colombia), Mauricio Moreira (Uraguay), and Michael Storer (Australia).

Kämna bridged to the leaders at the bottom of Salmon Hill and went straight through the leaders. At the top of the climb he held a small advantage, as riders attacked out of the peloton.

With 7km to go Cosnefroy, who had attacked just as the peloton crested the climb, made the junction with Kämna. Zapata was alone in third, but the peloton was breathing down his neck.

Kämna forced Cosnefroy to lead the last couple of kilometers, as the peloton bore down on the leading duo having swept-up Zapata. Into the final finishing straight, the peloton was right behind the leaders, but they would simply run out of road to catch.

Cosenefroy sprinted from the lead and Kämna didn’t have the legs to contest the Frenchman, not even attempting to pass him.

Svengaard won the reduced bunch sprint a few seconds later to claim the bronze medal ahead of Oliver Wood of Great Britain.

The top American on the day was Will Barta who finished in 54th in a group 1:50 behind the winner.

Full results to come

  • 1. Benoit Cosnefroy, (FRA) , in 4:48:23
  • 2. Lennard KÄmna, (GER) , at :00
  • 3. Michael Carbel Svendgaard, (DEN) , at :03
  • 4. Oliver Wood, (GBR) , at :03
  • 5. Vincenzo Albanese, (ITA) , at :03
  • 6. Damien Touze, (FRA) , at :03
  • 7. Max Kanter, (GER) , at :03
  • 8. Michal Paluta, (POL) , at :03
  • 9. Mark Downey, (IRL) , at :03
  • 10. Anders Skaarseth, (NOR) , at :03
  • 11. German Nicolas Tivani Perez, (ARG) , at :03
  • 12. Patrick MÜller, (SUI) , at :03
  • 13. Stylianos Farantakis, (GRE) , at :03
  • 14. Marc Hirschi, (SUI) , at :03
  • 15. Bjorg Lambrecht, (BEL) , at :03
  • 16. Aleksandr Riabushenko, (BLR) , at :03
  • 17. Wilmar Andres Paredes Zapata, (COL) , at :03
  • 18. Giovanni Carboni, (ITA) , at :03
  • 19. Emiel Planckaert, (BEL) , at :03
  • 20. Tadej PogaČar, (SLO) , at :03
  • 21. Ivan Garcia Cortina, (ESP) , at :03
  • 22. Callum Scotson, (AUS) , at :03
  • 23. Pavel Sivakov, (RUS) , at :03
  • 24. Lucas Eriksson, (SWE) , at :03
  • 25. Jon Irisarri Rincon, (ESP) , at :03
  • 26. Jaakko HÄnninen, (FIN) , at :03
  • 27. Rasmus Fossum Tiller, (NOR) , at :03
  • 28. Pascal Eenkhoorn, (NED) , at :03
  • 29. Valentin Madouas, (FRA) , at :03
  • 30. Michael Storer, (AUS) , at :03
  • 31. Kevin Geniets, (LUX) , at :03
  • 32. Stan Dewulf, (BEL) , at :03
  • 33. Mauricio Moreira, (URU) , at :03
  • 34. Michal Schlegel, (CZE) , at :03
  • 35. Casper Pedersen, (DEN) , at :03
  • 36. Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda, (COL) , at :03
  • 37. Artem Nych, (RUS) , at :03
  • 38. James Shaw, (GBR) , at :03
  • 39. Jonas Gregaard Wilsly, (DEN) , at :03
  • 40. Mark Stewart, (GBR) , at :20
  • 41. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui, (COL) , at 1:01
  • 42. Mikkel Bjerg, (DEN) , at 1:01
  • 43. Žiga Jerman, (SLO) , at 1:04
  • 44. Robert Stannard, (AUS) , at 1:04
  • 45. Piotr Brozyna, (POL) , at 1:04
  • 46. Hayato Okamoto, (JPN) , at 1:50
  • 46. Dusan Rajovic, (SRB) , at 1:50
  • 48. Gašper KatraŠnik, (SLO) , at 1:50
  • 49. Izidor Penko, (SLO) , at 1:50
  • 50. Kamil Malecki, (POL) , at 1:50
  • 51. Yuriy Natarov, (KAZ) , at 1:50
  • 52. Lukas RÜegg, (SUI) , at 1:50
  • 53. Joris Nieuwenhuis, (NED) , at 1:50
  • 54. William Barta, (USA) , at 1:50
  • 55. Anatoliy Budyak, (UKR) , at 1:50
  • 56. Kasper Asgreen, (DEN) , at 1:50
  • 57. Johannes Schinnagel, (GER) , at 1:50
  • 58. Edoardo Affini, (ITA) , at 1:50
  • 59. Takeaki Amezawa, (JPN) , at 1:50
  • 60. Nicola Conci, (ITA) , at 1:55
  • 61. Tom Wirtgen, (LUX) , at 2:16
  • 62. Gino MÄder, (SUI) , at 2:50
  • 63. Nikolai Cherkasov, (RUS) , at 3:00
  • 64. Jai Hindley, (AUS) , at 3:00
  • 65. Petr Rikunov, (RUS) , at 4:44
  • 66. Yevgeniy Gidich, (KAZ) , at 4:44
  • 67. Francisco Campos, (POR) , at 4:44
  • 68. Benjamin Thomas, (FRA) , at 6:11
  • 69. Daire Feeley, (IRL) , at 6:23
  • 70. Franck Bonnamour, (FRA) , at 6:23
  • 71. Jérémy Lecroq, (FRA) , at 6:23
  • 72. Mikkel Frølich HonorÉ, (DEN) , at 6:23
  • 73. Grigoriy Shtein, (KAZ) , at 6:23
  • 74. Roman LehkÝ, (CZE) , at 6:23
  • 75. Patrick Gamper, (AUT) , at 6:23
  • 76. Vadim Pronskiy, (KAZ) , at 6:23
  • 77. Karl Patrick Lauk, (EST) , at 6:23
  • 78. Luke Mudgway, (NZL) , at 6:23
  • 79. Matic GroŠelj, (SLO) , at 6:23
  • 80. Hector Carretero, (ESP) , at 6:23
  • 81. Ole Forfang, (NOR) , at 6:23
  • 82. Dmitrii Strakhov, (RUS) , at 6:23
  • 83. Erik Sandersson, (SWE) , at 6:23
  • 84. Sam Dobbs, (NZL) , at 6:23
  • 85. Kristoffer Halvorsen, (NOR) , at 6:23
  • 86. Piet Allegaert, (BEL) , at 6:23
  • 87. Florian Nowak, (GER) , at 6:23
  • 88. Tobias S. Foss, (NOR) , at 6:23
  • 89. James Knox, (GBR) , at 6:28
  • 90. Alan Banaszek, (POL) , at 7:34
  • 91. Soufiane Sahbaoui, (MAR) , at 7:34
  • 92. Neilson Powless, (USA) , at 7:34
  • 93. Nickolas Zukowsky, (CAN) , at 7:34
  • 94. Sergio Samitier Samitier, (ESP) , at 7:34
  • 95. Scott Davies, (GBR) , at 9:16
  • 96. André Carvalho, (POR) , at 9:16
  • 97. Ethan Hayter, (GBR) , at 9:16
  • 98. Jakub Otruba, (CZE) , at 9:16
  • 99. Jasper Philipsen, (BEL) , at 9:16
  • 100. Barnabás PeÁk, (HUN) , at 9:16
  • 101. Ivo Oliveira, (POR) , at 9:16
  • 102. Justin Oien, (USA) , at 9:16
  • 103. Zahiri Abderrahim, (MAR) , at 9:16
  • 104. Mohcine El Kouraji, (MAR) , at 11:07
  • 105. Andrej Petrovski, (MKD) , at 11:07
  • 106. Pit Leyder, (LUX) , at 11:07
  • 107. Szymon Sajnok, (POL) , at 11:07
  • 108. Julius Van Den Berg, (NED) , at 11:07
  • 109. Bram Welten, (NED) , at 11:07
  • 110. Senne Leysen, (BEL) , at 11:07
  • 111. Atsushi Oka, (JPN) , at 13:24
  • 112. Dinmukhammed Ulysbayev, (KAZ) , at 16:13
  • 113. Gustav HÖÖg, (SWE) , at 16:13
  • 114. Matteo Moschetti, (ITA) , at 16:13
  • 115. Jan Andrej Cully, (SVK) , at 17:04
  • 116. Awet Habtom Tekle, (ERI) , at 17:04
  • 117. Darragh O’mahony, (IRL) , at 17:04
  • 118. Abderrahmane Mansouri, (ALG) , at 17:04
  • 119. Orluis Aular, (VEN) , at 17:04
  • 120. Syver Westgaard Waersted, (NOR) , at 17:04
  • 121. Regan Gough, (NZL) , at 17:04

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Degenkolb hospitalized due to ‘breathing problems’ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:39:27 +0000 German one-day classics specialist John Degenkolb has been hospitalized with a breathing problem, Trek-Segafredo revealed on Friday.

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — German one-day classics specialist John Degenkolb has been hospitalized with a breathing problem, Trek-Segafredo revealed on Friday. The 2015 Paris-Roubaix winner was forced out of last week’s Tour of Denmark and following tests was admitted to hospital.

In a statement, Trek team doctor Jens Hinder said: “In the last races he did, John suffered from breathing problems and a serious lack of power that prevented him to perform at his level.

“His condition was not improving enough over the last week, so we decided he had to undergo more profound examinations of his heart and lungs. John is feeling relatively well but has been hospitalized pending the results of these examinations. We will publish an update on his condition as soon as we have more information.”

Degenkolb’s career has stalled somewhat since a stunning 2015 when he won two of the five prestigious ‘Monument’ one-day races, adding Milan-San Remo to his Paris-Roubaix success. This stall is partially due to the horrific training crash he was involved in prior to the 2016 season when he was on Team Giant-Alpecin.

The 28-year-old was due to be Germany’s team leader at the world championship road race in Bergen, Norway on Sunday but pulled out last week due to his breathing problems. This problem had already him forced out of the recent Vuelta a Espana after just four stages.

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New UCI boss Lappartient calls on organizers, TV to boost women’s cycling Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:29:31 +0000 The day after he was elected UCI president, David Lappartient said he would like to see women's cycling grow.

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BERGEN, Norway (AFP) — Newly elected UCI president David Lappartient called on race organizers and television companies to give more attention to women’s cycling after he was voted in on Thursday.

Lappartient beat incumbent Brian Cookson by a landslide vote of 37-8 at the global cycling governing body’s congress in Bergen.

Cookson, who hails from Great Britain, had made developing women’s cycling one of his election pledges and Lappartient said he would also make it a priority, but insisted that without support from organizers and television companies it would be an uphill battle.

“First of all, we are on the good way. The UCI has done a good job on this,” said the 44-year-old Frenchman.

“We have some wonderful classics, some are on live TV; we’re going the right way but we don’t have a strong stage race like the Tour de France.

“Without this kind of race it will be difficult to promote women. Organizers must take care of this, that’s also part of our global responsibility. We need to have races on TV.”

Without television coverage, Lappartient said it would be difficult to attract sponsorship.

Women’s cycling is struggling to grow because so few riders are professionals — even many of those on professional teams cannot earn enough money to give up their day jobs.

“The WorldTour is getting bigger and bigger with all these teams but I’m not really sure all the teams are able to do this program,” added Lappartient.

“Maybe we can have a strong 10-12 teams with strong structures … but with riders to be paid, which is not the case.

“They must earn their life with cycling and not just riding for nothing.”

One idea he has is to create a significant stage race, even though he doubts a three-week race like the men’s grand tours would be a viable option.

But he called on Tour de France organizers ASO to take the lead in such an endeavor.

“To have 10 days would be really helpful.

“They [ASO] are the strongest [organizers] so it would be nice to have them with us.”

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Giro hopes politics stay on sidelines with Israeli start Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:41:07 +0000 Giro d’Italia officials are hopeful the focus will remain on bike racing when the Italian grand tour starts in Israel for its 2018

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JERUSALEM (VN) — Giro d’Italia officials are hopeful the focus will remain on bike racing when the Italian grand tour starts in Israel for its 2018 edition.

Officials downplayed the possibility of politics becoming an issue as the Giro takes its “Big Start” beyond the European realm for the first time with three stages in Israel in May.

Speaking to VeloNews on Monday following the official announcement of three days of racing in Israel, Giro director Mauro Vegni said politics was not a major part of the conversation with Israeli officials.

“There are some difficulties about coming to Israel, but they are logistical, not political,” Vegni said. “The country is trying to change how it is perceived in the world, so maybe it is time to stop talking about these political questions. In the end, the decision to come to Israel was easy.”

Israeli officials are also keen to put the emphasis on sport. They hope that the divisive and emotional political questions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won’t overshadow what many wish will be a chance for the nation to show off a different side of Israel that often does not make international headlines.

“Our message to the world is clear: Jerusalem is open to all,” said Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat. “Viewers around the globe will watch some of the world’s best cyclists ride alongside the walls of Jerusalem’s ancient Old City and our historic sites.”

The decision to bring the Giro to Israel won’t come without its detractors. The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has prompted calls for an international boycott and divestment effort by some quarters critical of Israel’s policies.

This week, a pro-Palestinian group started a social media campaign (#RelocateTheRace) to try to pressure race officials to change the location of the start of the 2018 edition.

Israeli officials and backers, however, are hoping to use the Giro to show off another side of Israel in what will be the 70th anniversary of the founding of the nation. The stage routes will take in the beaches, deserts, ancient sites and modern cities, and wooded hillsides that dot the Israeli landscape.

Sylvan Adams, a Canadian billionaire who recently moved to Israel, is one of the main benefactors in the nation’s booming interest in cycling. As honorary president of the Giro effort, he is also one of the co-owners of the Israel Cycling Academy, the Professional-Continental team angling to receive a Giro wild-card bid, as well as helping to fund Israel’s first indoor velodrome.

“This historic ‘Big Start’ is about showcasing our country. This country today is not your grandfather’s Israel,” Adams said unabashedly. “Cycling is outdoors, so how better can we about having so many people see our normal Israel, the Israel they don’t normally read about every day in the newspaper.”

There is also some concern whether or not the two WorldTour teams backed by Muslim sponsors — Bahrain-Merida and UAE-Emirates — might not want to participate. Israeli citizens are not allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates, and neither UAE nor Bahrain officially recognizes the state of Israel.

On Wednesday, Bahrain-Merida released a statement on their team website indicating they are planning on racing the 2018 Giro. Without saying so directly, the team confirmed it would race the Giro despite its start in Israel.

UAE-Emirates officials could not be contacted, but Vegni said he does not expect any problems.

“We already talked to all the teams before signing off on this,” Vegni said. “We expect all the WorldTour teams to race the Giro.”

In general, cycling has turned a blind eye to potentially divisive political issues. Qatar, China, UAE and Bahrain, all nations with human rights concerns, have been involved in elite cycling events or teams without resistance from major sporting governing bodies and institutions.

Ministers of tourism from both Italy and Israel joined officials from RCS Sport in Monday’s announcement. Negotiations with Israeli contacts began about 18 months ago, and the project reached the highest levels of the Israeli government, including approval from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, before receiving the green light.

Local media reported that RCS Sport will receive 12 million euros for the project, a fee that also includes transportation and logistical costs. The project is a major coup for RCS Sport, both financially and in terms of ambition.

Another concern is security, but the Giro route is steering clear of any potential hotspots. Officials outlined three stages across areas of Israel that deliberately avoid trouble zones. The routes include a time trial around western Jerusalem. That’s followed by road stages along the northern Mediterranean coast of Israel, between Haifa and Tel Aviv, and another across the southern desert to Eilat, all far away from possible conflicts along Israel’s borders.

The peloton and entourage will return to Italy in a flight of about two-and-a-half hours. The remainder of the Giro route will be revealed over the winter.

Two-time Giro champion Alberto Contador, a guest of organizers at Monday’s announcement, said he doesn’t expect security to be a major concern.

“The situation in the world is a little crazy right now, and it isn’t just in one country, but all the world,” Contador said. “I’m sure the riders will be happy with the security situation. I visited Israel for two weeks in 2012, and we never had any problems.”

Ran Margaliot, a former pro and manager of the Israel Cycling Academy team, said Israel will embrace the Giro’s arrival as a chance to show a different side of their nation and people.

“When you practice sport, you reach people through their heart. We hope we can change a little bit about what they think about our country,” Margaliot said. “This is the reason we are here. We are trying to change what people think about our country. We think it’s important to let the world know what we know is normal Israel.”

Israel is an evocative, if divisive place. Everyone involved in the Giro project are hoping that the bicycle will help build bridges between the walls that divide many.

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2017 Worlds: Pirrone wins junior women’s road race Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:09:51 +0000 Elena Pirrone (Italy) soloed to victory in the junior women's road race at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway.

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Elena Pirrone of Italy powered to the UCI women’s junior world road race title on Friday in Bergen, Norway, completing the world title double, as she won the individual time trial earlier in the week. The European time trial champion attacked on the third of four laps and was able to put her time trial skills to great use, soloing to victory.

Emma Jorgensen of Denmark led home an elite chase group 12 seconds behind Pirrone. Letizia Paternoster made it two Italians on the podium as she captured the bronze medal.

Top 10

  • 1. Elena Pirrone, (ITA), in 2:06:17
  • 2. Emma Cecilie Norsgaard JØrgensen, (DEN), at +00:12
  • 3. Letizia Paternoster, (ITA), at +00:12
  • 4. Maria Novolodskaya, (RUS), at +00:12
  • 5. Jade Wiel, (FRA), at +00:12
  • 6. Pfeiffer Georgi, (GBR), at +00:12
  • 7. Clara Copponi, (FRA), at +00:12
  • 8. Simone Boilard, (CAN), at +00:12
  • 9. Anne-Sophie Harsch, (LUX), at +00:12
  • 10. Evita Muzic, (FRA), at +00:12

The junior women took the honor of being the first road race championship of the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway. The riders completed four laps of the 19.1-kilometer circuit for a total of 76.4 kilometers. The circuit included the 1.5-kilometer long Salmon Hill, which peaked 10.7 kilometers from the finish.

Jorgensen, second in the road race at the European Championships a month ago, attacked off of Salmon Hill on the first lap and flew down the descent. The incredibly strong Italian team took up the responsibility of leading the chase.

Jorgensen was able to build an advantage of around 30 seconds, but the French, Netherlands, and German teams assisted the Italians in chasing and she was brought back into the fold before the riders began Salmon Hill for the second time.

Onto Salmon Hill for the second time, the pace at the front was intense and immediately whittled down the peloton to the elite contenders for the world championship title. When the riders finished the second lap, the peloton was about 40 riders. The Italian team had four riders in the lead group and the Netherlands had all five of their riders present.

Sophie Wright of Great Britain attacked hard at the bottom of Salmon Hill on the penultimate lap and was joined by European Road Race Championship bronze medalist Paternoster. The move was brought back and Madeleine Fasnacht countered. The Australian was racing without teammates, despite her country earning four spots.

Over the top of the climb, the peloton had been whittled down to about 20 riders. As riders began looking around, taking inventory of who was left in the group, Pirrone attacked hard. The Italian immediately went into time trial mode and set about opening up a gap.

Entering the final lap, Pironne held a 14-second advantage over a 16-rider chase group. The French had three riders in the chase group. Jorgensen was there as well, showing no signs of fatigue from her early attack. Her teammate Caroline Bohé (Denmark), sixth at the mountain-bike world championships, was also there. Notably, all of the Dutch riders had missed the missed the move.

On the run-in to Salmon Hill for the final time, Russian Alena Petchenko crashed in a corner. It had begun raining. Her fall briefly split the chase group, but it came back together.

Pirrone began Salmon Hill for the final time with a nearly 30-second lead. Her teammate Paternoster tried a move to drop the other chasers and secure silver, but it was not to be. Evita Muzic of France led the chase.

On the descent, Jorgensen attacked of the chase as Pirrone’s lead was still 20 seconds. However, Paternoster quickly shut her down.

In the final kilometers, Bohé drove the chase group, but Pirrone’s lead was locked at 20 seconds. The Italian successfully completed the world championship sweep, winning the road race to go along with her time trial title she captured on Tuesday.

Jorgensen won the sprint for silver with Italy also capturing the bronze medal with Paternoster.

Fasnacht crashed with along with Olha Kulynych (Ukraine) inside the final 500 meters. Both would remount and finish.

The top American on the day was Abigail Youngwerth in 51st place at 8:52 behind the winner. Megan Heath finished alongside her in 52nd. Summer Moak was 68th and Alijah Beatty finished in 79th.

Full results

  • 1. Elena Pirrone, (ITA), in 2:06:17
  • 2. Emma Cecilie Norsgaard JØrgensen, (DEN), at +00:12
  • 3. Letizia Paternoster, (ITA), at +00:12
  • 4. Maria Novolodskaya, (RUS), at +00:12
  • 5. Jade Wiel, (FRA), at +00:12
  • 6. Pfeiffer Georgi, (GBR), at +00:12
  • 7. Clara Copponi, (FRA), at +00:12
  • 8. Simone Boilard, (CAN), at +00:12
  • 9. Anne-Sophie Harsch, (LUX), at +00:12
  • 10. Evita Muzic, (FRA), at +00:12
  • 11. Caroline BohÉ, (DEN), at +00:16
  • 12. Sophie Wright, (GBR), at +00:16
  • 13. Olha Kulynych, (UKR), at +00:40
  • 14. Madeleine Fasnacht, (AUS), at +00:42
  • 15. Hannah Ludwig, (GER), at +01:40
  • 16. Nicole D’agostin, (ITA), at +01:40
  • 17. Alena Petchenko, (RUS), at +02:02
  • 18. Marta Jaskulska, (POL), at +04:12
  • 19. Marie Le Net, (FRA), at +04:12
  • 20. Gyunel Mekhtieva, (RUS), at +04:12
  • 21. Anastasiya Kolesava, (BLR), at +04:12
  • 22. Lorena Wiebes, (NED), at +04:12
  • 23. Sofia Rodriguez Revert, (ESP), at +04:12
  • 24. Marit Raaijmakers, (NED), at +04:12
  • 25. Franziska Koch, (GER), at +04:12
  • 26. Misuzu Shimoyama, (JPN), at +04:12
  • 27. Noa Jansen, (NED), at +04:12
  • 28. Viivi Puskala, (FIN), at +04:12
  • 29. Lotte Rotman, (BEL), at +04:12
  • 30. Karin Penko, (SLO), at +04:12
  • 31. Thale Sofie Kielland Bjerk, (NOR), at +04:12
  • 32. Sara Martin Martin, (ESP), at +04:12
  • 33. Hannah Gruber-Stadler, (AUT), at +04:12
  • 34. Alana Castrique, (BEL), at +04:12
  • 35. Lara KrÄhemann, (SUI), at +04:12
  • 36. Aleksandra Stepanova, (RUS), at 4:14
  • 37. Erin J Attwell, (CAN), at +04:14
  • 38. Eva Jonkers, (NED), at +04:14
  • 39. Vittoria Guazzini, (ITA), at +04:14
  • 40. Shari Bossuyt, (BEL), at +04:30
  • 41. Rozemarijn Ammerlaan, (NED), at +06:17
  • 42. Jessica Roberts, (GBR), at +06:56
  • 43. Katharina Hechler, (GER), at +08:52
  • 44. Maria Martins, (POR), at +08:52
  • 45. Maja PerinoviĆ, (CRO), at +08:52
  • 46. Anhelina Krasko, (BLR), at +08:52
  • 47. Ricarda Bauernfeind, (GER), at +08:52
  • 48. Juste JuŠkeviČiŪtĖ, (LTU), at +08:52
  • 49. Daniela Atehortua Hoyos, (COL), at +08:52
  • 50. Emeline Eustache, (FRA), at +08:52
  • 51. Abigail Youngwerth, (USA), at +08:52
  • 52. Megan Heath, (USA), at +08:52
  • 53. Petra MachÁlkovÁ, (SVK), at +08:52
  • 54. Amalie Lutro, (NOR), at +09:59
  • 55. Clara Lundmark, (SWE), at +09:59
  • 56. Karolina Kumiega, (POL), at +09:59
  • 57. Greta KarasiovaitÉ, (LTU), at +09:59
  • 58. Alyssa Rowse, (BER), at +09:59
  • 59. Anne De Ruiter, (NED), at +09:59
  • 60. Joanna Golec, (POL), at +09:59
  • 61. Svetlana Pachshenko, (KAZ), at +09:59
  • 62. Martine GjØs, (NOR), at +09:59
  • 63. Laurie Jussaume, (CAN), at +09:59
  • 64. Lauren Murphy, (GBR), at +10:01
  • 65. Ariana Gilabert Vilaplana, (ESP), at +10:01
  • 66. Isabel Martin Martin, (ESP), at +10:01
  • 67. Cinthya Teresita Covarrubias Rocha, (MEX), at +10:01
  • 68. Summer Moak, (USA), at +11:04
  • 69. Elné Owen, (RSA), at +13:56
  • 70. Maggie Coles-Lyster, (CAN), at +16:09
  • 71. Veronika Myrxina, (KAZ), at +17:34
  • 72. Emelie Røe Utvik, (NOR), at +18:23
  • 73. Chaniporn Batriya, (THA), at +18:25
  • 74. Aksana Salauyeva, (BLR), at +18:37
  • 75. Regina StegvilaitÉ, (LTU), at +19:42
  • 76. Marib Aguirre Mangue, (ARG), at +19:42
  • 77. Marina Kurnossova, (KAZ), at +19:42
  • 78. Oliwia Majewska, (POL), at +20:43
  • 79. Alijah Beatty, (USA), at +22:18
  • 80. Johanna Johansson, (SWE), at +22:23
  • 81. Zayd Hailu, (ETH), at +28:16

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Riding bliss in Las Vegas Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:07:03 +0000 Lennard Zinn documents his ride from Boulder City, Nevada to Las Vegas during Interbike.

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Ever had a roadrunner run alongside you on your bike? How about seeing jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, scorpions, redtail hawks, and ospreys while riding? Or a desert tortoise? I saw all of those except the tortoise this week on the Wetlands Park Trail, the River Mountain Loop Trail, and the Union Pacific Railroad Trail on the east side of Las Vegas (and I got to watch all of the traffic I was avoiding while on the I-215 trail).

The rattler and the scorpion were both dead, and I only saw a sign for the desert tortoise, but the long-legged, long-tailed, long-eared desert jackrabbit (as well as lots of brown cottontails), the roadrunner, and the raptors were moving fast. To see that much wildlife in the desert, one would normally have to suffer a lot more than simply surprising the animals by zooming around a corner on a paved bike path on a road bike; one would instead have to hike, mountain bike, or ride a horse in the blazing sun for hours to do so.

Admittedly, there was plenty of blazing sun on my ride, as temperatures were in the 90s with no perceptible humidity, but on a road bike on a paved trail, I was cooled by moving fast and was never far from places to obtain food and water. The suffering was a lot less — perhaps imperceptible.

This is possibly my last time ever riding in Las Vegas, now that Interbike is moving away, and I’m going to miss it, especially after finding these trails. Other than the first few times that Interbike had an Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon above Boulder City, I have gotten to Boulder City by bike. To have Boulder be my riding destination, rather than my starting point at home, is a treat; even with temperatures approaching 100, I prefer it to the shuttle bus.

Most people’s experience of Las Vegas is innumerable massive, multi-lane roads full of cars, with frequent, slow traffic lights constantly impeding one’s progress. This was also my experience on the bike many times riding to and from Boulder City, with the added hazard at the end of the day of riding uphill on some giant, busy road as I headed due west into the setting sun with drivers coming up behind possibly unable to see me until it was too late.

So I started looking for alternatives, and I’ve found some great bike trails, some of which I wrote about a year ago. Many new ones have appeared during the time Interbike has been in Vegas. Since I might not ever get another chance, I wanted to do a huge loop entirely on bike paths to the Outdoor Demo this year, especially because the Demo itself has become so small. There is no way to escape traffic on bike paths near The Strip, but the rest of the ride was sheer bliss.

It could be worth your while to come to Las Vegas just to ride its trails, and it certainly is worth bringing a road bike if you are in Vegas for some other reason. (Maybe bring a mountain bike, too, for the trails at Bootleg Canyon, Calico Basin, and Blue Diamond.) You just might find bliss and see a lot of wildlife you might otherwise never see.

Check out my trip in these photos:

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VN podcast, ep. 51: Interbike special with Eisenhart, Clif team, Tetrick Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:30:16 +0000 We're live from Interbike! So, of course, it's time to play some games. We quiz TJ Eisenhart, Alison Tetrick, and the Clif Bar team.

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Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

We’re live from Interbike! So, of course, it’s time to play some games.

Fred Dreier, Caley Fretz, and Spencer Powlison quiz TJ Eisenhart on classic quotes, Alison Tetrick on her Alison expertise, and the Clif Bar team on its Luna Chix heritage. Plus, your host’s favorite tech from cycling’s annual tradeshow.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and Fretz.

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Gerrans joins BMC for final chapter of career Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:57:42 +0000 The 37-year-old Australian will serve in a helper role to the team's GC riders and its young up-and-comers.

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Simon Gerrans will ride for BMC Racing in 2018 in a support role as the team’s Australian accent continues to grow.

The 37-year-old leaves Orica-Scott after seven years with the Australian team, and will slot into a helper’s role behind GC captain Richie Porte and classics star Greg Van Avermaet.

“I always saw myself spending the last period of my career in more of a road captain role and passing on my experiences,” Gerrans said. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the team as both a support rider and leader when called upon.”

Gerrans won such races as Milano-Sanremo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Santos Tour Down Under a record four times, as well as stages in all three grand tours, but he went winless this year and did not race in a grand tour.

There were some reports that Gerrans would retire at this year’s Tour Down Under, but the chance to help Porte in the Tour de France offered a new challenge for the veteran all-rounder.

“Simon will … be a high-level support rider for Richie Porte and Greg Van Avermaet, as well as a rider who can make the most of any opportunity that comes his way,” said BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz. “We are looking forward to seeing what Simon can do when he puts on the BMC Racing Team jersey next year.”

Gerrans becomes the team’s fourth Australian rider, joining Porte, Rohan Dennis, and neo-pro Miles Scotson on the U.S.-registered team.

BMC Racing does not reveal the length of contracts of its riders. Gerrans is the third new face on the team for the 2018 season. The squad has also penned deals with Belgian classics rider Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) and emerging classics star Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac).

Five riders have moved to new teams for 2018, including Silvan Dillier (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Amael Moinard (Fortuneo-Oscaro), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Manuel Senni (Bardiani-CSF). Manuel Quinziato retires while Samuel Sánchez tested positive for a peptide ahead of the start of the Vuelta a España last month.

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