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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
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  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/obc/public_html/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.

Cycling Canada is Hiring an Administrative Assistant – High Performance

Pedal Magazine - 3 hours 39 min ago

March 25, 2017 – Cycling Canada (CC), the recognized authority by the UCI (Union Cycliste International) on all aspects of cycling in Canada, including BMX, Cyclocross, Mountain Bike, Para-Cycling, Road and Track, is hiring an administrative assistant for the National Team Programs.

The Administrative Assistant – High Performance will be responsible for assisting the financial management and delivery of Cycling National Team Programs. Under the supervision of the of the High Performance management team (the High Performance Director, the Para-cycling Manager, the Off-road Manager and the Track and Road Manager) the Administrative Assistant – High Performance will help ensure the efficient delivery of the approved High Performance Program, as well as timely and accurate bookkeeping and financial reporting of those programs.

With the vision to be a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the National teams, hosts national and international events, and administers community programs to promote Cycling in Canada.

This full-time position is an excellent first step for candidates interested in working in High Performance Sport in Canada. The position is based at the Cycling Canada offices in Ottawa, Ontario.

For a full job description, click here.

Persons interested should send an expression of interest cover letter and resume for this position to general@cyclingcanada.ca by April 15, 2017

Volta a Catalunya Stage 6 Results – Impey Wins

Pedal Magazine - 3 hours 44 min ago

March 25, 2017 (Reus, Spain) – Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott emerged as the victor of Stage 6 from Tortosa to Reus, 189.7km, edging out Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team at the line with Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ in third.

Chris Froome (Gbr) Team Sky was the big loser on the stage missing the break and fell out of contention leaving Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo with Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo in third to battle Valverde for the GC win. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac finished 96th while Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott was 106th on the stage.

Results

1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott 4:34:14
2. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team
3. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
4. Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
5. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team
6. Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij
7. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb
9. Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors

96. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 26:38
106. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott

GC after Stage 6

1. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar Team 22:18:35
2. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo 0:53
3. Marc Soler (Esp) Movistar Team 1:06
4. Adam Yates (Gbr) Orica-Scott 1:21
5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 1:24
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors 2:19
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 2:46
8. Carlos Verona (Esp) Orica-Scott 2:50
9. George Bennett (Nzl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 2:51
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 2:55

41. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac 0:33:26
113. Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott 1:19:22

Dan Martin looks forward to rest, then Ardennes after strong start to season

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 21:26

Come Monday, after he has finished the Volta a Catalunya, Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) has his next objective in his sights already: "Put my feet up and sit on the sofa for a couple of weeks."

The reason for this short spell of rest and recuperation is two-fold: first, Martin hit the ground running this season and up to the Volta a Catalunya, the Irishman has been racing consistently hard. He has earned top 10 placings in nearly half of his 24 race days so far this year. And that's without counting Martin's third place overall in Paris-Nice, sixth on GC in the Volta ao Algarve and fifth in the Vuelta a Valencia.

The second reason is that Martin's next big objective, a strong ride in the Ardennes Classics, is fast looming on the horizon. So his short-term aim, as he tells Cyclingnews during the Volta a Catalunya, where he's currently sitting sixth overall, is to be as fresh for that as possible

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"It was a hard few weeks with Paris-Nice and I'm feeling it a bit, I've raced a lot this year. But that was always the plan for the Classics, to do the 'double' [Paris-Nice and Catalunya] because I did Tirreno then Catalunya when I won Liège-Bastogne-Liège [in 2013]."

"The plan is to freshen up, put my feet up and sit on the sofa ... We'll let these last couple of weeks soak in and then it'll be good."

Of the three Ardennes Classics, he will race Amstel, won three times by team-mate Philippe Gilbert, "to get my legs going again and obviously we've got a super strong team for it. Amstel doesn't really suit me as a race, but I can do a good job for the boys there, then see what I can do in Fleche and Liège, where I've done well."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Has the peloton discovered Sky’s soft underbelly?

VeloNews - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:36

For the second time in six months, Team Sky and Chris Froome have been caught out in an early stage ambush, costing Froome a chance to win the race.

More on Chris FroomeMore on Chris Froome

The first time was late last summer in the 2016 Vuelta a España, when Alberto Contador and Movistar ganged up on Froome on the road to Formigal in what was one of the wildest stages of the entire season. The time losses proved decisive, and after Froome was unable to make up the differences in a subsequent time trial against Nairo Quintana, the mishap cost him an all but assured victory in the Vuelta.

Evidently, Sky didn’t learn its lesson.

Something similar happened in Saturday’s lumpy transition stage at the Volta a Catalunya. Just a day after Froome pedaled into second place at 21 seconds behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the race-making summit finale, Froome was ambushed early on a first-category climb in the opening 25km of the 189.7km stage from Tortosa to Reus, and sunk out of contention.

“We made a big mistake,” admitted Team Sky sport director Nico Portal. “I’m not going to try to make an excuse; there is no excuse.”

And who was shooting for Sky? Just like last summer’s raid at Formigal, Movistar and Contador’s Trek-Segafredo were on the front line. They also got help from Orica-Scott and Quick-Step Floors.

“We went down very fast, and when we got down, the peloton was broken into a thousand pieces,” Contador said. “There were many teams interested in driving the split, and that benefitted us.”

Riders attacked early, stringing out the weary pack on the climb to open the stage. Froome and his Team Sky cohorts were caught out on the wrong side of the split, and never managed to come back following a harrowing, high-speed charge down the descent of the Alt de Bot. The cut was made, and the chasing group never made it back.

Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) caught two breakaway riders at the line to win the stage, while Froome eventually finished 74th at 26:38 back, sinking from second to 31st. Another 40+ riders were eliminated after finishing beyond the time limit. Sky’s Mikel Landa abandoned, and Peter Kennaugh was among those riders outside the time limit.

“These guys have been brilliant until today,” Portal said. “It looks like it was a positioning issue. The guys weren’t in the top positions in the first descent, and this is what can happen.”

Although it is unlikely that race leader Valverde would be dislodged in Sunday’s circuit race around the Montjuic hill in downtown Barcelona, Froome lost the podium. It’s another reminder of what happened last year at the Vuelta, which cost Froome a chance to win the Spanish ground tour.

“The day started off very hard, and everything split up, not only on the first climb, but also on the descent,” said Valverde, who dashed to second in the stage. “We caught out Froome in the back, and there were other teams interested in maintaining the gap, and those left behind didn’t have the form to regain contact.”

Is Sky worried that it could be left open to other similar ambushes, especially with such an atypical Tour de France on tap this July?

Catalunya is one of the few European stage races that Froome’s started and not won, and this marked his European debut for 2017. After riding strong up Friday’s summit finale, finishing second to Valverde, Team Sky cannot be too worried about his form so early in the season. Up next is a possible start at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and returns to the Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné, two races he’s won emphatically.

Still, Saturday’s misfire reminds Team Sky just how important it is to remain on guard in every moment of each race, and proved more costly than Movistar’s one-minute penalty in the controversial team time trial in stage 2.

“It’s a good reminder for us that it can happen to anyone,” Portal said. “It’s always bad when it happens, but maybe it’s better to happen here, and we can learn from it, than in some of the bigger races later this season.”

While March is still a long way from July, Froome and Team Sky know they cannot afford a similar moment’s lapse of concentration. With Froome being all but untouchable in the climbs and the time trials, teams will be ready to Sky’s weak spots. Perhaps they’ve finally found one.

The post Has the peloton discovered Sky’s soft underbelly? appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Has the peloton discovered Sky’s soft underbelly?

VeloNews - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:36

For the second time in six months, Team Sky and Chris Froome have been caught out in an early stage ambush, costing Froome a chance to win the race.

More on Chris FroomeMore on Chris Froome

The first time was late last summer in the 2016 Vuelta a España, when Alberto Contador and Movistar ganged up on Froome on the road to Formigal in what was one of the wildest stages of the entire season. The time losses proved decisive, and after Froome was unable to make up the differences in a subsequent time trial against Nairo Quintana, the mishap cost him an all but assured victory in the Vuelta.

Evidently, Sky didn’t learn its lesson.

Something similar happened in Saturday’s lumpy transition stage at the Volta a Catalunya. Just a day after Froome pedaled into second place at 21 seconds behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the race-making summit finale, Froome was ambushed early on a first-category climb in the opening 25km of the 189.7km stage from Tortosa to Reus, and sunk out of contention.

“We made a big mistake,” admitted Team Sky sport director Nico Portal. “I’m not going to try to make an excuse; there is no excuse.”

And who was shooting for Sky? Just like last summer’s raid at Formigal, Movistar and Contador’s Trek-Segafredo were on the front line. They also got help from Orica-Scott and Quick-Step Floors.

“We went down very fast, and when we got down, the peloton was broken into a thousand pieces,” Contador said. “There were many teams interested in driving the split, and that benefitted us.”

Riders attacked early, stringing out the weary pack on the climb to open the stage. Froome and his Team Sky cohorts were caught out on the wrong side of the split, and never managed to come back following a harrowing, high-speed charge down the descent of the Alt de Bot. The cut was made, and the chasing group never made it back.

Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) caught two breakaway riders at the line to win the stage, while Froome eventually finished 74th at 26:38 back, sinking from second to 31st. Another 40+ riders were eliminated after finishing beyond the time limit. Sky’s Mikel Landa abandoned, and Peter Kennaugh was among those riders outside the time limit.

“These guys have been brilliant until today,” Portal said. “It looks like it was a positioning issue. The guys weren’t in the top positions in the first descent, and this is what can happen.”

Although it is unlikely that race leader Valverde would be dislodged in Sunday’s circuit race around the Montjuic hill in downtown Barcelona, Froome lost the podium. It’s another reminder of what happened last year at the Vuelta, which cost Froome a chance to win the Spanish ground tour.

“The day started off very hard, and everything split up, not only on the first climb, but also on the descent,” said Valverde, who dashed to second in the stage. “We caught out Froome in the back, and there were other teams interested in maintaining the gap, and those left behind didn’t have the form to regain contact.”

Is Sky worried that it could be left open to other similar ambushes, especially with such an atypical Tour de France on tap this July?

Catalunya is one of the few European stage races that Froome’s started and not won, and this marked his European debut for 2017. After riding strong up Friday’s summit finale, finishing second to Valverde, Team Sky cannot be too worried about his form so early in the season. Up next is a possible start at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and returns to the Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné, two races he’s won emphatically.

Still, Saturday’s misfire reminds Team Sky just how important it is to remain on guard in every moment of each race, and proved more costly than Movistar’s one-minute penalty in the controversial team time trial in stage 2.

“It’s a good reminder for us that it can happen to anyone,” Portal said. “It’s always bad when it happens, but maybe it’s better to happen here, and we can learn from it, than in some of the bigger races later this season.”

While March is still a long way from July, Froome and Team Sky know they cannot afford a similar moment’s lapse of concentration. With Froome being all but untouchable in the climbs and the time trials, teams will be ready to Sky’s weak spots. Perhaps they’ve finally found one.

The post Has the peloton discovered Sky’s soft underbelly? appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Spotted at E3: Degenkolb’s new Trek Domane

VeloNews - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 18:15

We got word that John Degenkolb was set to ride a new custom Trek Domane H1 version this Sunday at Gent-Wevelgem. On Friday, Degenkolb took the new whip for a test ride during E3 Harelbeke. We caught up with Trek-Segafredo team liaison Matt Shriver to check out the new bike, which features rim brakes (the bike is also available in a disc version), as well as a new metallic paint job inspired by Degenkolb’s love of motorcycles.

Degenkolb finished in 13th place behind Greg Van Avermaet during E3 Harelbeke. He plans to ride the new bike on Sunday.

 

The post Spotted at E3: Degenkolb’s new Trek Domane appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Valverde comes within a whisker of a third Volta a Catalunya stage win

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 17:53

Volta a Catalunya race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) came within a whisker of taking his third stage victory in four days, as the Spaniard rolled back the years and sprinted for the line in Reus on Saturday, narrowly losing out on stage 6 to Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott).

After Movistar teammate José Joaquín Rojas led him out, Valverde charged round one side of breakaway Italian duo of Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) and Dario Cataldo (Astana) as they faded within sight of the line. But Impey, having darted around the other side, proved to be just a little faster.

Even so, for Valverde, having won on the mountain top finish of Lo Port the day before, taking a second place in a reduced bunch sprint – a specialty in which he used to shine when he turned pro more than a decade ago – was a fine effort. Furthermore, on a stage where Chris Froome (Team Sky), previously second overall, lost more than 25 minutes in the mountains that preceded the long drop down to the finish in Reus, Valverde's overall lead is now even stronger than it was 24 hours before.

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"It was a very hard day, a very fast start, and the race broke apart on the first climb, but not so much on the ascent as on the downhill," Valverde said afterwards. "It [dropping Froome and co.] wasn't planned, but we'd been warned that it was very narrow on both sides of the climb and the whole of our team went to the front, just in case something happened."

"Sky were caught out behind, and we got the gap. We only put one rider on the front, Imanol Erviti, but there was a lot of collaboration between all the teams, there was no way they could catch us again."

In the concluding segment of the stage, Valverde said that Movistar had not deliberately worked behind the two late breakaways, "but the group we were in was catching up with them anyway and I went for the sprint."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Valverde nears Catalonia win on disastrous day for Froome

VeloNews - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 17:50

REUS, Spain (AFP) — South African Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) claimed stage 6 of the Volta a Catalonia on Saturday as Alejandro Valverde extended his overall lead to 53 seconds over Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).

However, three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky) plunged from second place to well outside the top 10 after losing over 20 minutes on the 189.7km stage from Tortosa to Reus.

Impey edged out Movistar’s Valverde in a sprint finish to the line to deny the Spaniard his third stage win of the tour with Frenchman Arthur Vichot (FDJ) in third.

“I was just happy to have the legs for the sprint because I rode quite hard early on,” said Impey. “We moved [Adam] Yates up overall so to get the win on top of that is fantastic.”

Yates moved up to fourth in the general classification behind Valverde’s Movistar teammate Marc Soler, thanks to Froome’s implosion. The damage for Froome in the general classification was done early in the day as he missed out as a lead group of around 50 riders including Valverde and Contador formed on the first descent on an undulating stage after just 25 kilometers.

Froome, accompanied by his entire team, was unable to bridge a gap which grew throughout the stage leaving him out of contention.

“We managed to catch out the Sky riders at the back,” Valverde told Spanish TV station Teledeporte. “There was a lot of collaboration between the teams.”

“We made a big mistake. I’m not going to try and make an excuse, there is no excuse,” said Team Sky sport director Nico Portal. “It’s a good reminder for us that it can happen to anyone. It’s always bad when it happens, but maybe it’s better to happen here, and we learn from it, than in some of the bigger races we will have this season.”

In the lead group, Valverde was well-protected by his Movistar teammates from any attacks by Contador as he edged toward a second overall win in Catalonia.

And he gained an extra six second on Contador thanks to the bonus time on offer from finishing second in the stage.

All Movistar riders were handed a minute’s penalty for infringements by JJ Rojas in Tuesday’s team time trial.

However, despite that setback Valverde’s victories on stage three and five mean he just has to negotiate the 138.7km stage around Barcelona on Sunday to add to his 2009 win in Catalonia.

“In theory there shouldn’t be any problems, but there will be attacks for sure” added Valverde.

The post Valverde nears Catalonia win on disastrous day for Froome appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Catalunya: Contador moves into second as Froome falls apart

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 17:22

After another dramatic day in the Volta a Catalunya, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) rose to second overall after Chris Froome (Team Sky) lost significant time on the last mountain stage of the race.

The Spaniard was part of a 50-strong group that escaped during the opening hour of racing on stage 6. All of the GC contenders were present, bar Froome, who lost ground with his entire Sky outfit.

Contador’s Trek-Segafredo squad continued to put time into Froome, who dropped from second overall in GC to outside the top 20. On the final climb of the race, Contador launched a brief attack. However, the shallow gradient, coupled with the long distance between the summit and the finish in Reus, hampered his chances. In the end he sat up and waited for the Movistar-led field. Daryl Impey (Orica-Scott) won the stage ahead of race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who extended his lead to 53 seconds over Contador.

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“It was a tough stage. We did not know how the race was going to pan out but with intermittent rain expected we knew that we had to be attentive. There was a climb that wasn’t very hard, but with a complicated descent and we knew that we had to try to be well-placed,” Contador said of the early split that ended Froome’s hopes.

“I started the climb in the middle of the pack and until I got to the head I had to go quite strong, but I knew it was super important to start the descent in front. We went down very fast and when we got down the peloton had broken into a thousand pieces, as I knew was going to happen.”

The result means that Contador will likely finish second overall for the third time this season, having been the runner up in both the Ruta del Sol and Paris-Nice.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Roelandts and Debusschere give Lotto Soudal options for Gent-Wevelgem

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 16:10

Lotto Soudal named its starting eight for Gent-Wevelgem on Saturday, unveiling a line-up with cards to play in either an attacker's race or a sprinter's showdown.

Jürgen Roelandts has finished in the top 10 in the last three editions of the event. His 2015 outing was the most memorable of the three, as the Belgian delivered a thrilling – though ultimately unsuccessful – solo attack from nearly 80 kilometres out. Roelandts will take the start Sunday in Ghent as one of the team's featured riders, alongside the fast-finishing Jens Debusschere, fifth in 2015.

Having skipped E3 Harelbeke, Roelandts is feeling fresh for another tilt at Gent-Wevelgem.

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"I rode Dwars door Vlaanderen this week, but I was too far behind to join the decisive breakaway," he said. "I didn't feel one hundred per cent that day and then such things happen. I was probably still tired from Milan-Sanremo. The condition is fine. I am ready to kick it tomorrow. I didn't ride E3 Harelbeke. Riding all four races – Milan-Sanremo, Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem – is too much. By choosing Dwars door Vlaandere and skipping E3 Harelbeke, I have three days rest every time. That is the best schedule one week before the Ronde."

Although the team does have a strong lineup in the event of a sprint finale with Debusschere and Moreno Hofland as well, Gent-Wevelgem has defied convention and proven an attacker's race two years running now. Roelandts is expecting more aggressive racing this year.

"No doubt, it will be a tough race tomorrow. Gent-Wevelgem is not a sprint Classic anymore," he said. "Also this edition, the wind will be a determining factor early in the race. We can expect echelons in the Moeren. That is what makes Gent-Wevelgem so attractive. Also the plugstreets could cause some spectacle. If echelons are created on those narrow roads, only a few riders can be in it. Otherwise the plugstreets won't influence the race."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

San Dimas Stage Race – Canada’s Cheyne 3rd on Stage 1 ITT

Pedal Magazine - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 14:57

March 25, 2017 (San Dimas, CA) – Canada’s Jordan Cheyne who races with Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis landed on the podium taking third in the 6.84km Stage 1 Main Street Garage Mountain Time Trial at the San Dimas Stage Race on Friday. No Canadian women are competing.


Stage 1 Main Street Garage Mountain Time Trial Preview
The San Gabriel Mountains feature many picturesque and challenging climbs. Glendora Mountain Road (GMR to locals) in the Angeles National Forest ranks among the most popular climbs in Southern California. GMR poses a varying pitch between 4.5 – 6.5 percent with a dizzying array of corners, as it twists and turns up the mountainside. The course is 4.25 Miles long wiht a total elevation gain of 1257 ft.

Results (brief)

Pro 1 Men

1. Kyle Murphy (Cylance Pro Cycling)    14:45.7
2. Conner Brown (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling)    0:03
3. Jordan Cheyne (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    0:20
4. Callum Gordon (SoCalCycling.com Team)    0:40
5. Robin Carpenter (Holowesko Citadel p/b Hincap)    0:42
6. Christopher Blevins (Axeon Hagens Berman)    0:47
7. Orlando Garibay (Cylance Pro Cycling)    0:50
8. Michael Rice (Axeon Hagens Berman)    0:51
9. Ben Foster (Support Clean Sport/Sea Suck)    1:00
10. Taylor Sheldan (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)    1:02

13. Robert Gutgesell (Trek Red Truck Racing)    1:09
31. Ryan Aitcheson (First Internet Bank Cycling)    1:51
45. Matt Staples (H&R Block Pro Cycling)    2:22
47. Zachary Kovalcik (Toronto Hustle)    2:31
DNS James Piccoli (Pacific Premier Bank Cycling)

Pro 1-2 Women
1. Krista Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling)    18:02.2
2. Marcela Prieto (CONADE-Visit Mxico-Specialized)    1:11
3. Veronica Leal (CONADE-Visit Mxico-Specialized)    1:11
4. Diane Moug (Folsom Bike / Trek)    1:29
5. Esther Walker (SDBC/EMERALD TEXTILES p/b UC)    1:34
6. Lindsay Myers (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley)    1:39
7. Ginger Snell (Unattached)    1:48
8. Holly Breck (Sho-Air TWENTY20)    2:01
9. Shayna Powless (Sho-Air TWENTY20)    2:15
10. Kate Wilson (IronFly)    2:19

Gilbert: I've rediscovered the feel for the cobbles

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 13:37

If there were any doubts about Philippe Gilbert's ability to return to the cobbled classics, they have been firmly rebutted this week with a pair of runner-up spots at Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke that might leave the BMC management slightly sheepish at having held the Belgian back for the Ardennes during his five-year spell there.

Gilbert, who joined the American team on the back of winning the 'Ardennes triple' of Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2011, repeatedly stated his desire to ride the cobbled one-day races from 2014 onwards, but there were rumours of animosity between him and head honcho Greg Van Avermaet, and the two were largely kept on different race programmes.

There was added pique, then, to the finale of E3 Harelbeke, as Gilbert, now riding for Quick-Step Floors, wound up in a successful three-man group with Van Avermaet—though it was his old foe who reasserted his dominance.

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"I have no problem losing to Greg. For a while the media have played on a bad atmosphere between us. We're two very similar riders, we want to attack at the same time, and that was the problem at BMC," said Gilbert, with held out his hand to Van Avermaet after crossing the line.

Gilbert may have lost the race but he has grabbed his second chance at the cobbles with both hands so far. Even for a former world champion who has twice finished on the podium of the Tour of Flanders and twice won Het Volk, the task of returning to prominence at a team where there are already a number of riders who could be outright leaders elsewhere can't be underestimated.

After getting back into the swing of things at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last month, he was the architect of a successful Dwars door Vlaanderen campaign on Wednesday, forming the first decisive selection before cutting the front group to four on the Paterberg, and his second place felt like a victory as teammate Yves Lampaert went solo in a fine tactical execution. He was in a similar mood at E3, again driving the decisive selection just after the Taiienberg before forging clear with Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen on the Oude Kwaremont, only to be caught out by Naesen's early jump in the headwind sprint.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Bradley Wiggins: What I have to say will shock a few people

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 12:46

Bradley Wiggins has given his first, albeit short, interview since appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, stating that what he has to say in relation to UK Anti-Doping's high-profile investigation 'will shock a few people.'

Wiggins, Team Sky and British Cycling are at the centre of an investigation into a potential doping violation that occurred during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine. A medical package was transported from British Cycling's headquarters in Manchester to the race, with the contents of the package administered to Wiggins by British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman. Despite the lengthy investigation, Wiggins and the other relevant parties have been unable to provide proof of what was in the package. According to UKAD, there has been an allegation that it contained the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone.

Wiggins and Team Sky have claimed it contained an over-the-counter decongestant, Fluimucil. However, according to Freeman, all his medical records were kept on a laptop that was stolen in 2014.

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Last September, it came to light that Wiggins had received three doses of triamcinolone on the eve of three Grand Tours between 2011 and 2013. Wiggins received therapeutic use exemptions for each of the three injections, arguing that the substance was needed to put him "back on a level playing-field in order to compete at the highest level.”

Wiggins has given evidence as part of UKAD's investigation but his credibility and that of Team Sky and British Cycling has come under heavy pressure since the Fancy Bears leak.

Appearing on Saturday's Soccer AM television programme, Wiggins said: "It's the worst thing to be accused of as a man of my integrity given what I believe and what I've done to get to where I am today.

'Marginal gains was a load of rubbish' says former Team Sky leader

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Team Sky miss the decisive moves at E3 Harelbeke

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 11:24

Some teams came away from E3 Harelbeke reassured about their prospects for the Tour of Flanders next weekend, and many more emerged from the dress rehearsal aware that they need to work on their lines ahead of the big day. Team Sky fell into the second category, with highest finisher Luke Rowe’s 15th place a fair reflection of the collective’s muffled impact on the race.

Once Tom Boonen forced the first selection on the Taaienberg with almost seventy kilometres to go, and his Quick-Step teammate Philippe Gilbert sparked the winning move shortly afterwards, Sky were always on the back foot. Rowe was the only Sky rider to finish in the main chasing group, which came home 52 seconds down on winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).

"Some guys felt good, other guys didn't feel great, but sometimes it's about split seconds," Sky directeur sportif Servais Knaven told Cyclingnews afterwards. "Sometimes you take decisions without thinking. And if you start thinking sometimes, then you're already too late. But we all learn from it. And the next time we'll try again."

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Off the bike, it has been a turbulent spring for Team Sky. The squad is at the centre of a UK Anti-Doping inquiry into British Cycling, and some riders have questioned the tenability of Dave Brailsford's position as manager.

On the bike, however, the squad has enjoyed a hugely successful start to the campaign, winning Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and Paris-Nice in recent weeks. In that context, directeur sportif Servais Knaven was loath to label their E3 Harelbeke showing as a disappointment.

"Disappointed is a big word," Knaven said. "You always hope to have riders in the front. On the Taaienberg, we were still good. We had four guys up there. Then on the Boigneberg they went on shifts and we had [Gianni] Moscon in between the groups, but he was not good enough to get across and he blew. From that moment, we were always chasing behind and not really in the race. We knew from the Taaienberg, the big guns could try already from there. It's mostly about having the legs and some guys are that little bit better, what can you say."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Boonen: I've the weapons to win Paris-Roubaix but Flanders will be difficult

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 09:35

After an impressive ride from the Quick-Step Floors team in E3 Harelbeke on Friday, Tom Boonen looked ahead to his final three races – Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

The 36-year-old wants to sprint for the victory in Gent-Wevelgem. Meanwhile, he played down his chances for a record-breaking fourth win in the Tour of Flanders next week. Boonen feels that his physical characteristics provide him with better weapons to get that record-breaking fifth win at Paris-Roubaix in two weeks time.

At the E3 Harelbeke, teammate Philippe Gilbert sprinted for the victory but was beaten by Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). Boonen sprinted to an eighth place.

"We rode according to our plan. I wasn't testing myself on the Taaienberg. [...] We were in the ideal position to do something but I figured that it was useless to go flat out to the top. I rode a good pace without acting crazy," Boonen said after freshening up in the Quick-Step Floors team bus.

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He sat down at the entrance, well-wrapped up to protect himself against the cold. "We said before the race that we would try straight after the Taaienberg to get some men up the road, those would be the leaders, being Phil or myself. My first attack was marked by Daniel Oss but he worked along. Then someone came back. Then Phil attacked and they were gone. It proved to be the right tactic to get someone in front as soon as possible and make the others chase us down. It was very hectic, nervous and chaos for everybody. It was hard to organise something out there. I'm pleased with the result we got here. I think Phil will be satisfied too. He rode a good sprint but just got beaten."

When asked about his plans for Gent-Wevelgem, Boonen wasn't planning to just clock in some miles in order to get ready for the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. "I'd love to sprint along for the victory in Gent-Wevelgem," Boonen said, smilingly.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Trek-Segafredo disappointed with E3 Harelbeke showing

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 04:40

Trek-Segafredo finished E3 Harelbeke with John Degenkolb 13th and Fabio Felline just ahead in 11th however both riders described it was a day to forget. With the team lacking a presence in the front group that formed on the Taaienberg with 70km to race, Degenkolb explained from thereon in Trek-Segafredo were on the back foot and fighting for the minor places.

The duo finished in the first major chase group, led home by Michael Valgren Andersen (Astana) 52 seconds down on winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC).

"The race was super hard as expected; it was the hardest race of the season for me personally. We did a good job approaching Taaienberg, the fist key point of the race, but we lost a lot of guys there already. From this moment on, the race was full-on," Degenkolb explained. "Unfortunately, we were unable to manage to have someone in the front group. I don't know – it was just super hard from this moment on, and I had some difficulties, I was actually really fighting. The legs were getting a little bit better towards the end, on the Kwaremont it was already much better, but then the gap was over a minute."

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Degenkolb, seventh last weekend at Milano-San Remo, added that he is already looking ahead to Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem and adding to his 2014 victory.

"Fabio was super, super strong and it was a shame that he was not in the group in the front, if he's there, then everything is possible. Yes, I should have been there too. Judging the situation [at that moment] a lot of big names were also in the back, and it was hard to decide to go or not.

"It's a day to forget. We should concentrate on the next races. Sunday we have a big chance, and I am looking forward to that."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Volta a Catalunya: Van Garderen drops to sixth after Tortosa summit finish

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 01:30

Stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya didn't go to plan for Tejay van Garderen and BMC with the American losing his overall lead and dropping to sixth place on the general classification. Alejandro Valverde and Movistar, thorns in BMC's side this week, took the win and now leads the American by 1:18 minute.

On the road to the Tortosa summit, Trek-Segafredo and Movistar cranked up the pace to cause a selection and crack van Garderen. Samuel Sánchez stuck with van Garderen, taking his teammate to the line 1:53 minutes down on Valverde.

While van Garderen was hoping for more on the queen stage, he explained there were several important takeaways ahead of his Giro d'Italia objective.

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"I felt really good and confident going into the final climb but the pace and the gradient weren't treating me very well, and I couldn't hold their wheel in the end. I'm obviously a little disappointed but there is still a long way to until my main goal of the year, and I feel like I am constantly making forward progress," van Garderen said. "To win here would have been a good confidence boost but I don't think it's time to panic. I definitely know what I need to work on during this next phase of training and I am ready to put in what's needed to hopefully reach the end goal."

"The race is certainly not over. Tomorrow is going to be a brutally hard stage, so it is not a time to sit up. We can now regroup as a team and see what we can do and look for other opportunities over the next two days."

Having already lost Rohan Dennis to a chest infection, BMC lost Ben Hermans to illness on the morning of stage 5 to ensure it would be a tough day in the saddle. However, sports director Jackson Stewart was confident the team could hold onto the leader's jersey but will now re-set with two days to come.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Mavic announces two-piece Comete Ultimate shoes

Cycling News - Sat, 03/25/2017 - 00:40

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Spotted at last year's Critérium du Dauphiné on the feet of Dan Martin, Mavic has just announced the details of its latest high performance road shoes.

The new Comete Ultimate shoe uses a design that's not too dissimilar to a ski boot with an outer shell and removable liner. The exoskeleton is called the Energy Carbon Shell and is claimed to weigh 144.5g in a size 45.5, while the bootie weighs 125.5g for a grand total of 270g — that's 30g heavier than Mavic says its Cosmic Ultimate weighs (240g), albeit in a smaller size (42).

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With the booties being completely separate to the shoe, and interchangeable, Mavic says it will be offering them in different weights: one for winter, one for summer and a low weight ‘racing version' so the shoes can be tailored to the weather.

The ability to swap out the shoe liners based on the weather, there's even the mention of a wet weather ‘Rain Ride' liner, are an interesting concept, but we can't help but wonder about heel lift, given that it doesn't appear that the back of the booty is attached to anything.

The French brand says it's spent the last three years working on the Comete and looking for the "Holy Grail" — a shoe that can consistently transmit power for all 360-degrees of a pedal stroke — and in its own testing claims some pretty spectacular results. According to Mavic, 70 percent of the riders that participated in testing were able to produce an extra 20 watts for two minutes in a RAMP test.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Skujins scores Cannondale-Drapac's first win of 2017 at Coppi e Bartali

Cycling News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 22:35

Toms Skujins scored Cannondale-Drapac's first win of 2017 Friday at Coppi e Bartali after bridging to a late move and then dropping his companions on the final cobbled climb to the finish in Sogliano sul Rubicone. Skujins' win propelled the 25-year-old Latvian into the overall race lead with two stages remaining.

The result also marks the first pro win in Europe for Skujins, who took up the team banner after designated leader Tom-Jelte Slagter crashed early in the 130km second stage.

"I hope I’m opening the flood gates here," Skujins said of his ice-breaking win. "This was a really cool way to get the first part of the year going. I'm super stoked that I could share it with these guys that are here. TJ crashed right in front of me … luckily for both of us I managed to avoid running over his arm. The team put their confidence in me and let me have this one after that."

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The day started with a seven-rider move that slipped away in the opening kilometres but was never allowed more than 3:30 advantage. The peloton pulled the gap down to just two minutes heading into the final hour of racing on the deceptively difficult course.

"Today was a hard day," Skujiņs said. "There were not a lot of flat bits. I think it was something like 2,800 meters in 130 kilometers. In the profile, it looks like the last little bit is all downhill. It is definitely not. The climbs were mostly punchy. Some were super steep."

After the peloton caught the original break, another group of five escaped on the final climb, and Skujins joined a group of four that lingered about 15 seconds behind in hot pursuit until they made contact with just one kilometre remaining.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Naesen exceeds expectations with E3 Harelbeke podium finish

Cycling News - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 21:40

At the end of last year, Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) joked that if he wound up in a three-man move with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and someone else, then that someone else would not be winning the race.

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It was more a light-hearted illustration of his friendship with the Olympic champion, with whom he regularly trains, than arrogant bravado. Naesen was nevertheless proved right at E3-Harelbeke, where that very situation came to pass and Philippe Gilbert was left sandwiched in between the two.

Despite a promising long-range sprint, Naesen, the firm underdog, had to settle for third as Van Avermaet spared no room for sentiment and passed him just before the line.

"It's just like in training – I've never managed to beat Greg in a sprint," joked Naesen behind the podium. "That losing streak just continues."

That losing streak continues but so does an impressive run of results in this season's classics – 7th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, 8th at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and 6th at Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Naesen, who turned pro with Topsport-Vlaanderen in 2015, showed great promise at the end of last year in his debut WorldTour campaign with IAM, winning the Bretagne Classic. His display at E3 is another confirmation of his progression, even if it lacked the breakthrough bang of victory.

"When you're in the front with those two guys, you know it's really big," Naesen told Cyclingnews after returning to the team bus, saying he felt "mostly happiness" rather than disappointment.

"I knew I was the weakest of the three, so I tried to surprise them in the sprint. They only came over me 20 metres from the line so I think I did a good sprint. In the end, the result, if it's not the win, second or third for me is the same, so I'm not disappointed at all."

Naesen was well positioned when the race came to life on the Taaienberg, and followed the acceleration from Philippe Gilbert soon after, making it into what proved to be the decisive selection of the race. Teammate Alexis Gougeard, who had been in the break, helped drive the advantage before the Oude Kwaremont, with just under 40km remaining, provided a true test of strength. Naesen rose to the top with Van Avermaet and Gilbert.

"On the Kwaremont we split the group again, and with Gilbert and Van Avermaet out in front then you know it’s money time," said Naesen, who conceded he went from being one of the strongest in a group of 10 to the weakest in a group of three, losing contact briefly when Gilbert accelerated on the tarmacked slopes of the Tiegemberg.

"I felt a little bit vulnerable," he said. "The other two were better than me – that was clear on the Tiegemberg. On the cobbled climbs I can be up there with the best, but on a climb like that, when they really explode, Gilbert and Greg, then I have to pass for a moment."

He also had to pass on attacking in the closing kilometres, explaining that he wouldn’t have been able to consolidate any gap he managed to open up. "The sprint was the only option I had," he said, and he very nearly pulled off the coup, opening a gap that Van Avermaet had to really fight to close.

In any case, the performance will have done no harm whatsoever to Naesen's confidence ahead of the Tour of Flanders next Sunday, where he has every reason to be hopeful of a big result, even if he feels Paris-Roubaix suits him better.

"Bring it on," he smiled when asked how he now felt about De Ronde.

"I just want to be back in the top five, top 10. I feel like that is my spot. Finishing third was above the expectations but if you're among the ten best riders at the start, then a lot is possible. That's what I'm always saying. That's what's fun about this kind of racing."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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