Hammer Series returns with second weekend for 2018

Joe Robinson 26 Feb 2018 Stavanger, Norway to kickstart series with Limburg, Netherlands the weekend after Launched in an attempt to rethink the way we view professional cycling racing, the Hammer Series will return in 2018 adding a second event in Stavanger, Norway. Kickstarting two back-to-back weekends of the Hammer Series this latest three days of racing will take place from 25th to 27th May with the original Limburg event taking place on the following weekend, 1st to 3rd June. Like last year's inaugural event, the Stavanger Hammer Series will be broken down into three days - the Hammer Climb, Hammer Sprint and Hammer Chase - in the search to find the best team over the entire event. Uniquely, this race does not crown an individual winner at its conclusion rather a winning team. The eventual winners will be those who cross the line first in day three's Hammer Chase, ...

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New disc brake-equipped aero Cannondale spotted

New disc brake-equipped aero Cannondale spotted

This article was first published on Cyclingnews A new aero, disc brake frameset from Cannondale was seen last week at the Abu Dhabi Tour. EF Education First-Drapac riders Dan McLay and Kim Magnusson were seen racing on the bike throughout the week. Gallery: Alex Howes' Cannondale SuperSix EVO Three stunning road bikes from NAHBS 2018 The UCI’s list of approved frames and forks lists the latest approved model for Cannondale as the SystemSix, a previously unknown model and a name that aligns with the top of the line SuperSix all-round race bike used by the team over the past few seasons. The black frameset spotted at last week’s race ran hydraulic Shimano Dura-Ace disc brakes front and rear, and with just one version of the model listed on the UCI’s approval document, suggests that Cannondale has followed the likes of Specialized and Giant by only offering its latest model equipped ...

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Watch: Kwiatkowski cycles through the snow on Milan-San Remo ride

Joe Robinson 26 Feb 2018 Preparing to defend his 2017 title, the Team Sky man shows off the heavy snowfall Milan-San Remo defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) has been out riding the roads of the first Monument of the year and it appears the weather in this coastal Italian town is no different to what we are experiencing here in the UK. Riding along, the Pole filmed himself alone in a heavy downfall of snow having to clear his glasses of the unrelenting flurry. San Remo recon, if anyone asked %uD83D%uDE02%uD83C%uDF28 #Kwiato #allezKwiato @TeamSky pic.twitter.com/g459rdLyCE — Micha%u0142 Kwiatkowski (@kwiato) February 26, 2018 With only two weekends remaining before the 2018 edition of the race, the 2014 road race World Champion is preparing to defend his title from last season in which he outsprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Julian Alaphillippe ( Quick-Step Floors ) in photo finish. See ...

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Kelderman rides onto final Abu Dhabi Tour podium

Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) on the podium

With a strong time trial in the penultimate stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour , Wilco Kelderman placed himself in contention for overall victory. Fifth place on the summit finish at Jebel Hafeet was an even better ride from the Dutchman though as he lifted himself into second place overall. The overall title went to stage 5 winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 17 seconds ahead of Kelderman. The result though for the 26-year-old Sunweb rider is his best since also finishing second overall at the Tour du Poitou Charentes in 2016. Fourth overall at the Vuelta a Espana last year, Kelderman is building his season around the Tour de France in 2018. The Abu Dhabi Tour is his first race of the season and the podium result a reassuring sign of a winter well spent working on his time trialling and climbing. "I was in a really good position at the ...

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Miguel Angel Lopez soars again at Abu Dhabi Tour

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) second on the final stage and third overall

Another week, another mountaintop, another Miguel Angel Lopez show. After triumphing on Green Mountain at the Tour of Oman, the Colombian produced another stinging series of accelerations at Jebel Hafeet on the final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, but he had to settle for second place at the summit behind a seemingly unbeatable Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The wide, freshly tarmacked roads can give a deceptive impression of the 10km haul up Jebel Hafeet, but gravity trumps the smoothest of surfaces. As the gradient stiffened, Lopez was among the climbers to come to the fore, and the Astana rider proceeded to launch a searing solo attack with 4km remaining. When Valverde bridged across shortly afterwards, it was immediately apparent that this would be the winning move. The pair were on a different plane to the rest, and their pursuers could never draw to within 15 seconds from there on in. ...

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Why the 2018 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was so underwhelming

Joe Robinson 26 Feb 2018 There were a few clear reasons as to why the first cobbled Classic of the year was not that exciting This weekend, for many, sparked the true start of the cycling season with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday. This cobbled one-day Classic usually produces electric racing and builds the anticipation for the upcoming Tour of Flanders to palpable levels. However while Michael Valgren's (Astana) canny attack led to an impressive solo victory , I couldn't help but to feel a little unsatisfied with this year's race. Bucking the trend of recent years, the 2018 Omloop did not produce the fireworks on the much loved cobbled climbs between the usual culprits that we are used to seeing. Below is a little looks at why we may have all been left underwhelmed by this usually tantalising race. If it isn't broke, don't fix it On paper, Omloop ...

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Mark Cavendish home after concussion in Abu Dhabi

Mark Cavendish back at his team car

Mark Cavendish is home again after receiving medical permission to fly. The Dimension Data rider suffered a concussion and whiplash after crashing in the neutralized zone of the first stage of the Tour of Abu Dhabi. He is expected to resume his full training schedule in the coming days. After being treated at hospital, he returned to the team hotel. He continued to suffer from headaches and neck problems, and remained in the hotel. "On Saturday he got the green light from the doctor," sports director Rolf Aldag told the Belga news agency on Sunday morning. "He no longer had a headache and was allowed to board the plane. With a concussion you have to be careful, you can not resume your normal life too quickly. Now he has left for home. There he can rest and fully recover. "I expect he can train again on Monday, slightly on the ...

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Cobbles and bergs: Why every cyclist should ride the roads of the Classics

Cobbles and bergs: Why every cyclist should ride the roads of the Classics

Jack Elton-Walters 26 Feb 2018 Ride in the tyre tracks of the pros: plan your own trip or take your chance to ride with Johan Museeuw 'There's a hype around the Classics,' says Johan Museeuw. He should know: he won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders three times each along with a raft of other early season victories. 'It's the same hype as riding on Mallorca, it's where everybody wants to ride and we have the same in Flanders.' The often-repeated line about why cycling is superior to other sports is its accessibility. How many among us will ever play football at Wembley, tennis at Wimbledon or rugby at Murrayfield? But fancy conquering the climbs and cobbles of the Classics? Well, go on then. The roads are open all year round, except when the pros are using them, and are no less difficult out of season. 'Everybody wants to go ...

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Van Aert puts Veranda's Willems-Crelan back on track

Cyclo-cross world champion Wout Van Aert races Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2018

In stark contrast to last year's anonymous spring season, the Continental Veranda's Willems - Crelan team seems to be thriving. The team, managed by Nick Nuyens, received a massive boost in the past few weeks, mostly due to its prolific rider Wout Van Aert . After recently winning his third world title in cyclo-cross, he extended his season into the start of the Classics where he displayed great capabilities at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad . Last week, race organizer RCS announced that it turned its Strade Bianche snub into an additional wild card for the Belgian team. Van Aert, 23, had a difficult cyclo-cross season in which he was beaten much more than he wanted by his rival Mathieu van der Poel (Beobank-Corendon). Van Aert said that he wanted to have a go in the spring Classics in 2018 and that Strade Bianche was one of the races he dreamed ...

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Trentin: The most nervous opening weekend of my life

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

After seven seasons with Quick-Step Floors, Matteo Trentin signed a two-year deal with the Australian registered Mitchelton-Scott for the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. Wins were coming thick and fast in his final two seasons for the Belgian outfit and moving away from such a successful team may have been questionable to some. However, the lure of a bigger role in the Classics combined with a new challenge was too exciting a prospect to turn down, and one that already shows promise. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne , 55th and 16th place respectively, don't pay Trentin justice for the two big performances during each race. Mitchelton-Scott's new signing was visible in both races, making it into the final selection at Omloop, as well as being part of one of the most promising breakaways during Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Speaking to Cyclingnews after Sunday's race, Trentin analysed the weekend's action, "No results, so we can't ...

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Rowe ready to go and ready to race

Rowe ready to go and ready to race

Luke Rowe has declared himself ready to race after a successful, fast-tracked return from injury at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

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Dennis with weighty work to do after Abu Dhabi

Dennis with weighty work to do after Abu Dhabi

Rohan Dennis had two words atop Jebel Hafeet at the end of the Abu Dhabi Tour yesterday. “That hurt,” he said as he recovered past the finish line erected on the 10.8km ascent, which decided the race Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) claimed from the Australian on the last day.

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Impey still top of WorldTour rankings

2018 Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)

Despite not racing either the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad or the Abu Dhabi Tour , Daryl Impey remains top of the individual WorldTour rankings. The South African amassed 800 points over the Australian summer via his overall Tour Down Under win and second place finish at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. After the four opening WorldTour races of 2018, Impey's Mitchelton-Scott outfit has been replaced at the top of the team rankings by QuickStep-Floors . The Belgium squad has 1169 points compared to the 1056 points of the Australian team. Of the first four WorldTour races of 2018, the Tour Down Under awarded 500 points to the winner while at the following three races, 300 points was on offer. Michael Valgren (Astana) rises to ninth after his weekend victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad . Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was making his 2018 WorldTour debut at the Abu Dhabi Tour and ...

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Abu Dhabi Tour: Stage 5 highlights - Video

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) wins stage 2 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) continued his early-season winning comeback from the crash that ended his 2017 Tour de France with final day stage and overall Abu Dhabi Tour honours. The Spaniard was unstoppable in the summit finale at Jebel Hafeet, taking all before him and relegating Astana's Miguel Angel Lope z to second on the stage and third on GC. "As long as I continue winning, I will continue riding," Valverde said. "I don't know if I'm the best rider in the world, but I'm a rider who wins big races and is always up there." Race leader at the start of the stage, Rohan Dennis (BMC), had already been distanced on the climb and soon after the majority of the peloton as Valverde and Lopez skipped away. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) lead home the first chase group at 15 seconds but had to settle for fourth place overall. Wilco Kelderman ...

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Haussler: I just wanted to smash it

Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida) on his 2018 season debut

Few 77th place finishes will mean as much to a rider as Heinrich Haussler at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne . After a horrible 2017, where he was plagued by problems both mental and physical, the 34-year-old made his 2018 season debut in Belgium on Sunday and not only got through the race, but animated it, too. When things kicked off on the Oude Kwaremont with 85 kilometres remaining, Haussler was alive to it and wound up in a strong group of 20 riders. It looked for a while like it the decisive move of the day, though the race would eventually come back together for a sprint in Kuurne. Even so, after the recurring knee injury that limited him to just 12 race days last year and contributed to bouts of depression , it was the perfect start to a new chapter. "I've been through a lot of bad stuff last year, more ...

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Team Rwanda to make Tour de l'Avenir debut in 2018

Race winner Joseph Areruya is draped in the Rwanda national flag

A Rwandan national team will take the start line of the Tour de l'Avenir for the first time in 2018. The national selection won the team classification of the Tour de l'Espoir nations cup in Cameron to earn a place at the 'mini Tour de France' 17-26 August. The national Rwanda team also won the Tour de l'Espoir overall with Joseph Areruya and a stage via Samuel Mugisha . Tour de l'Avenir race director Philippe Colliou has confirmed the selection of Rwanda with Cyclingnews. The invitation comes off the back of a successful six-months for the landlocked nation which hosted the African national championships for just the second time in its history last week. From 2019, the national Tour of Rwanda will also be elevated to 2.1 status and the national federation is seriously pursuing a bid for the World Championships in the mid-2020s. "There's a big difference between the ...

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Spotted: New disc brake equipped, aero Cannondale

A look at the new black frameset from Cannondale

A new aero, disc brake frameset from Cannondale was seen last week at the Abu Dhabi Tour . EF Education First-Drapac riders Dan McLay and Kim Magnusson were seen racing on the bike throughout the week. The UCI's list of approved frames and forks lists the latest approved model for Cannondale as the SystemSix, a previously unknown model and a name that aligns with the top of the line SuperSix all-round race bike used by the team over the past few seasons. The black frameset spotted at last week's race ran hydraulic Shimano Dura-Ace disc brakes front and rear and with just one version of the model listed on the UCI's approval document, suggests that Cannondale have followed the likes of Specialized and Giant by only offering their latest model equipped with hydraulic disc brake mechanisms and no rim brake option. Modern aero features such as truncated tubing, lower flared ...

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Dennis loses jersey but keeps morale at Abu Dhabi Tour

Rohan Dennis is well protected by his teammates

Damiano Caruso was still draped across his handlebars atop Jebel Hafeet when Rohan Dennis reached over and offered a gesture that seemed to combine a thank you with an apology. Caruso straightened up and clapped his BMC teammate on the shoulder in consolation. "No, you've done the same for me before," he said. Brent Bookwalter eased to a halt alongside them, and the greetings were repeated. Caruso and Bookwalter served as Dennis' pacemakers as he battled to limit his losses on Jebel Hafeet on the final stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour . The brutal pace laid down by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) proved too much for the Australian – and ultimately, for everybody else. Dennis conceded his red jersey of race leader to Valverde and slipped to 9th place overall after losing 1:43 on the final ascent, though he remained upbeat about his showing on ...

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Colbrelli continues cobbled Classics rise at opening weekend

Arnaud Demare was second, behind winner Dylan Groenewegen, at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Reading the runes of the 'opening weekend' in Belgium, it was tricky to draw too many clear conclusions, but one of them would surely be the confirmation of Sonny Colbrelli 's rising stature as a cobbled Classics rider. Best known as a sprinter who thrives on punchy terrain, the Italian has been introduced to the pavé since joining Bahrain-Merida from Bardiani CSF last year. In his first full spring of Flemish one-day races, he was a notable presence, even if it was behind the big favourites and the race-defining moves. He finished 7th at E3-Harelbeke, 13th at Gent-Wevelgem, and 10th at the Tour of Flanders on his debut. This weekend, in the first outings of 2018, he picked up where he left off, with 8th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 3rd at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne . On Saturday, he made it into the decisive selection over the Muur van Geraardsbergen but had ...

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Calmejane wins Royal Bernard Drome Classic

Lilian Calmejane wins Royal Bernard Drome Classic

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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