Uran to lead EF Education First-Drapac with a dream of winning the Tour de France

Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac)

Rigoberto Uran will lead the EF Education First-Drapac team at the upcoming Tour de France set to begin in the Vendée region on July 7. The Colombian finished a remarkable second place behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) last year, and the team will return with a dream of winning the overall title. "The objective is quite simple," said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters in a team press release. "We start the race trying to win the Tour de France. "Is that optimistic and is that pushing the limits of our team? Absolutely. But we were second place last year. We have a little bit stronger team this year, and we have a parcours more suited to Rigo than last year. We have Rigo, who is stronger than he was last year. So we're going in with the idea of trying to win the race." In last year's Tour, Uran won the ...

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Movistar sending veterans to support three Tour de France leaders

Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa - Movistar training on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles

The Movistar team has chosen its most dedicated and experienced veteran domestiques to support its trio of general classification contenders Nairo Quintana , Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde at the Tour de France. 24-year-old Marc Soler, the winner of Paris-Nice, is the least experienced, with only one Grand Tour under his belt - last year's Vuelta a Espana. The other four riders selected - Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Imanol Erviti have a combined total of 66 Grand Tours between them. The 2018 Tour de France begins in the Vendee region of western France on Saturday July 7 and ends in Paris on Sunday July 29. The three-week Grand Tour includes a 35.5km team time trial and a stage on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. The Alps come before Pyrenees with the 31km stage 20 time trial expected to decide the final overall winner. Landa told Marca last ...

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Landa: Movistar might have the strongest team at the Tour de France

Mikel Landa Meana (Movistar) and Hugh Carthy (EF Education First - Drapac) on the move suring stage

Mikel Landa believes the Movistar could have a team that is as good as, if not stronger, than Team Sky at next month's Tour de France . Landa was Chris Froome's most important rider at last year's race but moved to Movistar over the winter and forms part of a three-pronged GC attack with Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. "It could be that Movistar will be the strongest at the Tour this year. I am happy with the team, it is really strong and we will resolve things out on the road. At least we will be at the level of Sky in the past years," Landa told Marca . Landa and his two co-leaders were paraded in front of the press at Movistar event in Madrid earlier this week. Team manager Eusebio Unzue was quizzed as to how he would balance three riders of equal billing, a question that ...

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LottoNL-Jumbo announce Tour de France squad

Race leader Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo)

Dutch WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo have revealed the eight riders who will represent them at the 2018 Tour de France , starting in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile on July 7. The team will be led by 31-year-old Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk and the recent winner of the Tour of Slovenia, Primoz Roglic . For the sprints, Dylan Groenewegen – winner of the final stage of last year's Tour on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – will give the likes of Marcel Kittel, Fernando Gaviria and Mark Cavendish a run for their money for stage wins, and has to be considered one of the favourites to take the green jersey. Kruijswijk's best Grand Tour finish came at the 2016 Giro d'Italia, when he infamously crashed on the descent of the Colle dell'Agnello on stage 19 while in the pink jersey as leader of the race. Going into the stage, Kruijswijk had an overall lead of three minutes ...

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Gaviria brings winning sprint to Tour de Suisse

Quick-Step Floors' Fernando Gaviria wins stage 5 of the 2018 Tour of California in Elk Grove

Quick-Step Floors announced their seven-man roster that will line up at the Tour de Suisse held from June 9-17. The Belgian team has won 10 stages, and aim to increase that tally with Philippe Gilbert targeting the punchy stages and Fernando Gaviria eyeing the sprints. The team also includes sprinter Maximiliano Richeze, Tim Declercq and Iljo Keisse, along with Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Yves Lampaert and Enric Mas, who won a stage of Pais Vasco. The team returns to racing after spending time training at altitude ahead of the Swiss event. "Most of our riders are just back from an altitude camp, so we have to see how they are easing back into racing," said team director Tom Steels in a team press release. This year's nine-day race starts with an 18.3km team time trial in Frauenfeld and finishes with a 34km time trial in Bellinzona. There are two summit ...

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Valverde to miss Tour de Suisse after illness

Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa.

Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa will lead the Movistar team at the Tour de Suisse but Alejandro Valverde will not line-up alongside his fellow team leaders after a cold hampered a key moment of his training at altitude. Valverde has revealed he will miss the Tour de Suisse and instead ride the much easier and much shorter La Route d'Occitanie – formerly known as the Route du Sud - between June 14-17. He neither confirms or denies that he will ride the Tour de France . "After several days of struggling with a bit of a cold, we've decided with the team to return to racing at the Route d'Occitanie. We will continue to work and face an exciting second part of the season," Valverde wrote on social media. Quintana, Landa and Valverde had been expected to ride together as Movistar's Grand Tour dream team but they will now ride ...

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Haig to lead the line for Mitchelton-Scott at Tour de Suisse

Mitchelton-Scott's Jack Haig makes it to Rome. The Australian was instrumental during teammate Simon

Jack Haig 's impressive super-domestique duties at the Giro d'Italia for Mitchelton-Scott have solidified his role as a team leader for the upcoming Tour de Suisse (June 9-17). The 24-year-old Australian was a key part of Mitchelton's Giro ride, helping both Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves as the team enjoyed five stage wins and a long spell in the maglia rosa through Yates. Haig, now in his fourth full year with the Australian team, had been penciled in for a leadership bid at the Tour de Suisse during the winter, but his consistent climbing at the Giro has enhanced his reputation. "I'm not really surprised by Jack's level," senior sporting director Matt White told Cyclingnews as he headed back from the Giro. "If you look at his age, and that was his third Grand Tour, at every one he's getting better and better. He's certainly stepped it up another level ...

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Week 10’s Team of the Week + More

Races of the week: Just one race this week, the Tour of Romandie Team of the week: And because there was just one race, there’s just three riders on this week’s team. First named rider is the rider of the week and if a rider has a number in parentheses after their name it means the number of times they have made the select Team of the Week here. 1. Primoz Roglic. Wins Romandie almost wire to wire. Second on points. Masterful defense since stage 2 and especially on stage 3 : wouldn't let Bernal go and then pipped him at the finish line for second on the stage. serious competitor. Now we get to watch him sandbag prior to the Tour-which he could win. Next race for him is the Tour of Slovenia. 2. Egan Bernal. 2nd at Romandie, winner of the youth jersey, 2nd on KOM, 3rd on ...

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Roglic looking to target three-week races after Tour de Romandie win

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) in yellow after stage 1 at Romandie

Primoz Roglic ( LottoNL-Jumbo ) has said that he would like to target three-week races after he claimed his second consecutive general classification win this season at the Tour de Romandie . A late-comer to cycling after starting his sporting career in ski jumping, Roglic says that it will take time to turn him into a Grand Tour rider. The Swiss race victory comes just a couple of weeks after he beat Mikel Landa (Movistar) to win the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. At Romandie, he held his own against a very strong Egan Bernal (Team Sky) to best him by just eight seconds in the overall standings. “For sure I would like to give myself a try for the biggest races in cycling but as we all know it doesn’t come overnight or in one season, you have to give it time,” Roglic said after the Tour de Romandie’s final ...

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Bernal: I'll try to attack Roglic in Romandie but he's a complete rider

Egan Arley Bernal (Team Sky) wins the stage 3 time trial at Tour de Romandie

Egan Bernal ( Team Sky ) claimed his maiden WorldTour win with an impressive ride in the mountain time trial on stage 3 of the Tour de Romandie . The Colombian set a time of 25:10 over the 9.9km course, and pushed race leader Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) into second place, four seconds down. The win moved Bernal into second overall, and the 21-year-old sits just six seconds off Roglic's lead with two stages remaining. Saturday's stage will decide the overall standings, and while the 149km effort that starts and finishes in Sion lacks a summit finish, it represents the last opportunity to rattle Roglic. Stage 4 includes five major climbs, although the final summit comes almost 30 kilometres from the finish. The chance of creating significant gaps before the finish is slim, with Roglic stating that he expects riders to come back after the final climb. Bernal has already exceeded ...

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Porte searching for confidence boost in Romandie time trial

Richie Porte (BMC)

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) will be looking to set the tone for the rest of his season with a strong performance in the 9.9km uphill time trial at the Tour de Romandie on Friday. With just two more stage races - including Romandie - before his Tour de France challenge in July, Porte is aware that an impressive ride in the Romandie TT will provide a much-needed boost in confidence after a difficult few months. Porte came into the Tour de Romandie without a win since a stage at the Tour Down Under, and he has seen his form affected by illness throughout the spring. He was forced to miss Tirreno-Adriatico in March before pulling out of the Vuelta al País Vasco on the final day of racing. "The Tour Down Under was the last time I was in really good shape. I went to Pais Vasco and got an ...

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Nieve returns at Romandie as Giro d’Italia responsibilities loom

Mikel Nieve Ituralde of Spain and Team Mitchelton-Scott

Mikel Nieve made his long-awaited stage racing debut for Mitchelton-Scott at the Tour de Romandie on Tuesday, as he looks to rediscover his climbing legs before the Giro d’Italia. The former Team Sky rider moved to Mitchelton-Scott for 2018 and was due to race in March. However, a training crash left him with two hairline fractures in his hip. He missed both the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco as a result, before finally making his season debut at Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday. The Tour de Romandie, with its varied terrain, will be Nieve’s first stage race since last year’s Vuelta a Espana, and his continued recovery is centred around finding form for the Giro d’Italia, where he will line up as Esteban Chaves’ key mountain domestique. “I had a bad crash. I was in Sierra Nevada, preparing for Catalunya and Pais Basque, but I had two fissures ...

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Porte recharged and relaxed ahead of Romandie defence

Richie Porte was smiling pre-race

Riche Porte ( BMC Racing ) will look to kick-start his season at the Tour de Romandie this week. The Australian has only picked up one win this season - a stage of the Tour Down Under - and has been short of his usual week-long racing prowess, especially in comparison to last year. Illness has certainly hampered his spring, and he was forced to sit out Tirreno-Adriatico with flu . He returned in time for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco but, by his own admission, took 'an absolute kicking' on his way to abandoning on stage 6. Romandie provides the Australian with a clean slate, and the chance to defend his crown against a strong field that includes Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo). "I really don't know where I'm at form-wise. I got sick, and then I missed Tirreno. Then I went to Pais Vasco and ...

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Adam Yates to return to racing at Tour of California after Catalunya crash

Adam Yates celebrates his stage 5 win at Tirreno-Adriatico

Two months after he crashed out of the Volta a Catalunya, fracturing his pelvis, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) will make his return to racing at the Tour of California. “He’s missed Catalunya, of course, and Pais Vasco, but California was where he was supposed to get back to racing anyway for the Tour, so it’s good news,” Mitchelton-Scot t directeur sportif Matt White told Cyclingnews. Yates crashed heavily at the end of stage 3 of the Volta a Catalunya, leaving the race in an ambulance and heading to a nearby hospital for a check-up. He was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis, although the fracture was later reported to be stable. His team said after the accident he would spend 10 days off the bike before getting back to training. Meanwhile, Yates’ brother and teammate Simon won the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya and took fourth overall. As April comes ...

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Morton: I've got unfinished business with the Tour of California

Best young rider Lachlan Morton (Dimension Data) was seventh

Lachlan Morton ( Dimension Data ) says he's got some unfinished business with the Tour of California . The Australian has centred the first part of his 2018 season around the week-long race as he looks to improve on his seventh-place finish from last year. It will be his fifth appearance at the American stage race, with his result last year far and away his best performance. The previous year saw him crash heavily and abandon after a strong showing on the third stage to Lake Tahoe, which was won by Julian Alaphilippe. "My big goal for the first part of the year is the Tour of California," Morton told Cyclingnews at the Tour of the Alps. "I had pretty good results there last year but I think that I could have been better so the start of the year has been about getting myself ready for that. I’ve had ...

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Gilbert, Alaphilippe and Terpstra join forces for the Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) is all smiles ahead of Tour of Flanders

The Quick-Step Floors team will continue to field multiple team leaders in their line up for the Spring Classics, with Philippe Gilbert , Julian Alaphilippe and Niki Terpstra named as team leaders for Sunday's Amstel Gold Race . The Belgian team dominated many of the cobbled Classics thanks to their strength in depth, with Terpstra winning E3 Harelbeke and the Tour of Flanders, while Remi Cavagna, Eli Viviani, Yves Lampaert, Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen won other cobbled races, lifting Quick-Step Floors' win total to 24. Terpstra will continue his spring campaign to include the only one-day Dutch Classic of the season, with Alaphilippe and Gilbert joining him as co-team leaders. Gilbert won the Amstel Gold Race last year, taking his fourth victory and confirming his title as King of the Cauberg. Also in the Quick-Step Floors seven-rider team are Bob Jungels, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas and Pieter Serry. Gilbert ...

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Peter Sagan confirmed for Amstel Gold Race

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

One week after his solo triumph in Paris-Roubaix , world champion Peter Sagan will lead the Bora-Hansgrohe team in the next WorldTour event, the Amstel Gold Race . Sagan's best finish in the race came in 2012 when he out-paced Oscar Freire for the final podium spot behind winner Enrico Gasparotto and runner-up Jelle Vanendert, but he hasn't started the Dutch event since 2013. Sagan will be joined by fellow Paris-Roubaix competitor Marcus Burghardt, with Pascal Ackermann, Cesare Benedetti, Patrick Konrad, Jay McCarthy and Gregor Mühlberger. Ackermann, the runner-up in the Scheldeprijs and Driedaagse De Panne, will be making his debut in the race. McCarthy is the top climber in the team's ranks, and showed strong form last week with a stage win in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Bora-Hansgrohe for Amstel Gold Race : Pascal Ackermann, Cesare Benedetti, Marcus Burghardt, Patrick Konrad, Jay McCarthy, Gregor Mühlberger, Peter Sagan You ...

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Porte, van Garderen preview Tour de France stage at Tour du Finistere

Richie Porte (BMC)

Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen are travelling with their BMC Racing team to compete in the Tour du Finistère on Saturday, April 14. The final kilometres of the course will also be used during stage 5 of the Tour de France and previewing it at race pace offers the riders valuable information ahead of July. "The final 35km of the Tour du Finistère are the same as stage 5 of the Tour and this is an important reason why we are heading there," said the team's director Fabio Baldato. "It won't be the priority to have Richie Porte going in as the leader, instead with Tejay van Garderen also racing it will be a good chance for both riders to race the final of stage 5." Porte started his season at the Australian National Championships and the Santos Tour Down Under, where he won the stage up Willunga Hill. ...

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Poels, Kwiatkowski and Henao lead Team Sky at Amstel Gold Race

Michal Kwiatkowski wins the final stage and the overall at Volta ao Algarve

Team Sky have named Wout Poels , Michal Kwiatkowski and Sergio Henao in its squad for Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race , confirming a three-pronged attack for the first of the Ardennes Classics. Completing the seven-rider line up are Michal Golas, an on-form Tao Geoghegan Hart, Lukasz Wisniowski and key domestique Vasil Kiryienka. Chris Froome will not ride the Ardennes Classics but despite his on-going salbutamol case, is expected to be in action at the Tour of Alps stage race in Italy and Austria as he prepares for the Giro d’Italia . Gianni Moscon will not ride the Ardennes Classics, instead, he will take time off after a full cobbled Classics programme. Kwiatkowski won the Amstel Gold race in 2015 and finished second last year, beaten by Philippe Gilbert in a two-rider sprint after they got away in the aggressive finale of the race. The Polish rider won Tirreno-Adriatico in March ...

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Mitchelton-Scott backing Impey at Brabantse Pijl

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)

South African Daryl Impey will lead a versatile Mitchelton-Scott squad into De Brabantse Pijl-La Fleche Brabanconne aiming for a top result and performance ahead of Sunday's Amstel Gold Race . Impey first rode the 1.HC one-day race in 2008 with 47th in 2014 his best result to date. However, the national champion is confident of continuing his good start to the 2018 season with a team capable of delivering him into position to contest for victory. "I would like to have a good race and finish the race feeling good for the weekend and Amstel Gold. Obviously, if I feel good and I have good legs it would be foolish not to try for a result," said Impey who won the Tour Down Under in January. "We have a good team and have various options which is great, I hope to feel strong and get confirmation that I am ready ...

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