Katie Hall signs with Boels Dolmans
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 19:20:00 +0000

The Boels Dolmans team announced the signing of American Katharine 'Katie' Hall, winner of this year's Amgen Women's Race, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race. The 31-year-old climber is joined by former speedskater Eva Buurman on the new additions list for the team.

"I had a successful season in the US this year, and I am excited to make the jump to Europe with Boels-Dolmans," Hall said in the team's press release. "I know the transition to Europe can be challenging but this team's strength, support, and experience will set me up for success."

Hall turned professional with UnitedHealthcare in 2014, having raced in the collegiate ranks while pursuing an advanced degree in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley. She has steadily risen through the ranks, winning a stage of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2015. Hall won the queen stage of the Tour Femenino de San Luis in 2015 and repeated in 2016 en route to the overall victory.


She also won the mountains classification in the Aviva Women's Tour in 2016 and in the Tour de Feminin this season and looks to demonstrate her prowess on the climbs with the team and directeur sportif Danny Stam.

"My ambitions are to be the best team member I can be and to meaningfully attack other teams' best climbers in the hills and mountains and to put them under real pressure," Hall said. "I want to create opportunities for my teammates and to capitalize on opportunities that arise for me."

Buurman comes across from Trek-Drops. A former speed skater, Buurman won the best young rider classification of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and has earned six top-ten places throughout the season.

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Vichot to Vital Concept - Transfer Shorts
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 18:53:00 +0000

Vital Concept have continued to hoover up WorldTour talent with the signing of Arthur Vichot from Groupama-FDJ. The 29-year-old has penned a two-year deal with the Breton squad, who have already snapped up Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier from the top tier of cycling.

Vital Concept was set up by former rider Jerome Pineau and made its debut this season. They had hoped to gain entry into the Tour de France at the first time of asking but failed to earn the necessary wildcard. Their approach to the transfer window appears to have the Tour in mind. Former French national champion, Vichot has been a regular in FDJ's Tour line-up since turning professional with the team in 2010.

Vichot, 29, said that the team's youth attracted him, calling it a 'breath of fresh air'.


''The nature of the project and its youth appeal to me," he said. "As soon as it was born, the Vital Concept Cycling Club emitted a seductive image and the team was envied. In the peloton, their jersey stands out and everything that is built around brings a breath of fresh air.

''We've been in contact with Jérôme for a while, and his vision of cycling is what I want. He trusts me and I want to give him back by continuing to win races, being successful all season long and bringing my experience to the group.'

Tratnik to Bahrain-Merida

Bahrain-Merida have signed Jan Tratnik from the CCC-Sprandi Polkowice team to bolster their engine room in time trials and the spring classics.

Astana sign Ballerini

Tiller turns pro with Dimension Data

Anthony Turgis to ride for Direct Energie in 2019

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Mark Cavendish to miss Arctic Race of Norway
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 17:36:00 +0000

Dimension Data will head to the Arctic Race of Norway without sprinter Mark Cavendish, despite the Manxman being announced as a headliner by the race organisation last week.

Cavendish missed the European Championships after being advised by his medical team to not race because of unspecified "unfortunate injuries".

Dimension Data confirmed that Cavendish will skip Norway but gave no further details. "An update on Mark's return to racing will be given in due course," the team announced.


Cavendish finished 12th in the Prudential RideLondon after being eliminated from the Tour de France on stage 11, missing the time cut on a brutal mountain stage along with teammate Mark Renshaw and Katusha-Alpecin's Marcel Kittel.

Bernard Eisel will replace Cavendish, continuing his return from a subdural hematoma, having raced the Tour de Pologne last week. He is joined by Mekseb Debesay, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and two trainees Kent Main and Connor Swift.

Main, 22, comes from the Dimension Data continental squad, while Swift, the British national champion, joins the squad from Madison Genesis.

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Schar signs new contract to bring up a decade with BMC/CCC
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:00:00 +0000

Michael Schär will complete a decade riding with Jim Ochowicz's team after signing a contract extension for 2019, when Polish shoe brand CCC will take over title sponsorship of the team.

The Swiss rider started his career at Phonak and spent three seasons at Astana, but joined BMC Racing in 2010 and has never looked back. A key part of the Classics squad built around Greg Van Avermaet and a trusted domestique in the Grand Tours, the 31-year-old opted to stay with the team despite the uncertainty changes arising from the late sponsorship switch. 

"I am happy to reach the 10-year mark with Continuum Sports. I have a long-term relationship with this organization and feel very good on and off the bike. Over all these years, I met many good friends and made some unforgettable memories which have really shaped my career. We have been through highs and lows together so I am really happy to continue with the team, and make more memories in the coming years," Schär said.


"I'm motivated more than ever to perform well and take responsibility at the biggest races in the cycling calendar, especially the Classics with Greg Van Avermaet. With a very positive mindset, I see good things happening with the changes in the team for 2019 and it will be exciting to see everything come together."

Schär's 6'5" build makes him a powerful rider and he has established himself as one of the most valued domestiques at BMC. He only has a couple of wins on his palmares - a Swiss road race title and a stage of the Tour of Utah - but he has raced the past eight editions of the Tour de France for the team, starting with Cadel Evans' victory in 2011.

Schär is the third BMC Racing rider to extend his contract into the CCC era, following Van Avermaet, Alessandro De Marchi, and Nathan Van Hooydonck.

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Keirin world champion Fabian Puerta suspended after adverse analytical finding
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:47:00 +0000

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has provisionally suspended keirin world champion Fabian Puerta of Colombia after traces of the anabolic steroid boldenone were discovered in an out-of-competition anti-doping control carried on June 11.

Puerta has the right to request the analysis of his B sample and so his case officially remains an Adverse Analytical Finding until a final verdict is reached.

Boldenone is a naturally occurring analogue of testosterone and is classified as Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) under the WADA code. It is prohibited when administered exogenously as per WADA's Prohibited List. Although boldenone itself has not been marketed as a drug, esters of the compound are made for veterinary use.


The drug has been used illicitly for its performance enhancing properties for decades, most recently athletes in baseball, football and mixed martial arts have tested positive for boldenone.

Puerta faces a ban of up to four-years if found guilty of doping.

Puerta recently won the keirin event at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Cali, Colombia, where he was also the flag bearer for Colombia.

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Tom Pidcock headlines new British cyclo-cross team
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:16:00 +0000

British cyclo-cross and road racing talent, Tom Pidcock has broken his contract with Belgian cyclo-cross team Telenet Fidea Lions to head up a new British cyclo-cross squad, named TP Racing.

TP Racing is registered at the offices of Trinity Sports Management, run by agent Andrew McQuaid, who also represents Continental squad Team Wiggins - Pidcock's road team - and a number of headline road riders. A representative from Trinity Sports Management said the team would be built around Pidcock and was something the young rider has wanted to do for a while.

In a press release, Belgian team Telenet Fidea Lions confirmed the split and voiced their support for Pidcock in pursuing the opportunity of competing on a British-registered team. 


"In a mutual understanding, Telenet Fidea Lions and Tom Pidcock have agreed to end their collaboration," read the statement. "Last year, Pidcock chose to be part of Telenet Fidea Lions for his first CX winter as U23, combining it with a British road program. The cooperation went very well, but Tom was on the radar of many teams. Next winter, he will transfer to a newly British-registered CX team."

Pidcock added: "I want to thank everyone from the Telenet Fidea Lions for all they have done for me this past winter. During my months with the team I have gained valuable experiences and achieved great results. However, when an opportunity to ride for a British CX team came up, it was something I couldn't let go."

In a press release from Trinity Sports Management, Pidcock explained further: "When Trinity Sports Management discussed with me the opportunity of creating a British CX team, I just couldn't say no. Working alongside Trinity Sports Management on organising the set up of the team, from technical partners to staff, is something that I have loved having input in. I am delighted to join the team and look forward to the new season."

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Vincenzo Nibali: Cycling has become a circus
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 11:30:00 +0000

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) has spoken out about the behaviour of fans at last month’s Tour de France, where a spectator caused the crash on Alpe d’Huez that left him with a broken vertebra and forced him to abandon the race. 

Nibali appeared to be brought down when his bike was hooked by the strap of a spectator’s camera. The incident took place on a stretch of road where visibility had been reduced by the release of a flare. Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida team have said that they are considering legal action against Tour organisers ASO for failing to manage the crowds on Alpe d’Huez. On the climb, another spectator stepped into the road to hit Chris Froome (Team Sky) as he rode past.

“In some circumstances, cycling has become a circus,” Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport, as he steps up his training so he can ride the Vuelta a Espana. “There must be fans, but like that isn’t good. People drink too much, they're doing anything just to appear on TV. With people in the middle of the road, often with flags, we’re riding blind, without being able to see where we’re going and praying to heaven that the road opens up in front of us.


“The team and I paid heavily for this situation, because 70 per cent of a team’s visibility comes at the Tour. Beyond the damage to your health, economically, what is the value of the damage suffered?

“Also – and he never complains – but does it seem right to you that Froome came to be hit while he was doing his job? He took a blow just before my crash. All too often, we’re riding in crazy situations.”

Despite his injury, Nibali remounted and completed the stage to L'Alpe d'Huez, almost regaining contact with the yellow jersey group within sight of the line to maintain his fourth place on general classification. That night, however, an x-ray in Grenoble confirmed a fracture of the T10 vertebra and Nibali was forced to abandon the Tour de France.

The Vuelta and the World Championships

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BinckBank crash leaves Kuznetsov with fractured sternum and concussion
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 11:30:00 +0000

Katusha-Alpecin have confirmed that Viacheslav Kuznetsov suffered a fractured sternum, concussion and a bruised kidney in the high-speed crash that scattered riders across the road inside the final kilometre of stage 1 of the BinckBank Tour.

A touch of wheels on a long straight section of road sparked a domino effect that saw Kuznetsov land on his back. He was then hit by Katusha-Alpecin teammate Baptiste Planckaert. Half a dozen other riders also crashed, including Amund Grondahl Jansen (LottoNL-Jumbo), with others forced to take evasive action onto a nearby bike path and grass verge. 

The Bahrain-Merida team confirmed that Yukiya Arashiro was also involved in the crash. The Japanese rider got up to finish the stage but was later diagnosed with a fracture of his radial capitellum bone in his elbow and will be out of action for several weeks.


Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) managed to avoid the crash and find a way through the peloton in the final kilometre to win the stage. Despite losing Kuznetsov and Rik Zabel in the finale of the stage, Marcel Kittel found a way through to the front and used a late burst of speed to finish second. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was third.

Kuznetsov was clearly in pain after the crash and was unable to move due to his injuries. He was immobilised by race doctors and taken to hospital. He was officially classified as finishing last on the stage but Katusha-Alpecin confirmed that his injuries would prevent him from riding Tuesday’s time trial stage.

Cyclingnews will have daily live coverage of the BinckBank Tour.

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Vos attacks through final corner to win PostNord Vargarda road race
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:33:00 +0000

Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) won the PostNord Vårgårda West Sweden Road Race with a perfectly executed attack into the final corner that allowed her to open a gap on the rest of the peloton and savour her third victory in the prestigious women's WorldTour race.

The Dutchwoman recovered from a crash earlier in the race to take her impressive victory.

"People may think: 'it ended in a bunch sprint, so nothing happened', but it was a fast race with lots of attacks and of course there was some gravel, where you need to pedal to stay in the front," Vos explained.


"I had a little hiccup and landed in the ditch. My bike wanted to go to the right off the road, so I followed the bike. But I could get to the front again with the help of my teammates."

With one lap of 11 kilometres to go, UCI Women's WorldTour leader Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) made a strong solo attack but the combined efforts of the peloton, including a long pull by Vos' WaowDeals teammate Dani Rowe, brought the Olympic champion back.

"It is not easy to catch Anna, but when it got within five seconds in the last five kilometres, I went to the front," said Vos. "And with a perfect lead-out I managed to get first into the last corner."

Wild and Lepistö satisfied with podium places

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Tony Martin set to move to LottoNL-Jumbo
Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:17:00 +0000

Cyclingnews has learned that Tony Martin will sign for LottoNL-Jumbo. The German, currently at Katusha Alpecin, has agreed terms on a two-year deal with the Dutch team and will be unveiled as a new signing in September once official team protocol has been completed.

Martin, now 33 and in his 11th season as a professional, is a four-time world time trial champion and has won four stages of the Tour de France during his career.

LottoNL-Jumbo would not comment about the arrival of Martin when contacted by Cyclingnews but he is expected to form part of the team's time trial core and improve their team time trial chances at the Tour de France.


Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk finished fourth and fifth in this year's Tour de France with LottoNL-Jumbo but they lost over a minute to Team Sky and other major rivals in the Cholet team time trial on stage 3.

Martin was forced out of this year's Tour de France after fracturing vertebra in a crash on stage 8. He has only recently returned to training after four weeks of rest and so will miss Deutschland Tour in Germany.

Last week he announced: "My comeback will unfortunately be delayed. The doctors have advised me against a start at the Deutschland Tour. It really hurts me that I can't be there. But I didn't argue about and accepted their advice," he said.

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