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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him. - Booker T. Washington

Latest completed racing:

2017 Strade Bianche route presented

The race organisers presented the 2017 route of the race that goes over Tuscany's white gravel roads. The 175 kilometer race starts and finishes in Siena.

Starde Bianche

2017 Strade Bianche map

A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 62km of gravel roads, appearing in 11 sectors (eight of those shared with the Women Elite course). Starting from Siena (Stadium/Medicean Fortress area), the first undulating kilometres are on tarmac before reaching the 2.1km gravel Sector 1 at km 11, which is perfectly straight and always slightly uphill.

You can read all about the 2017 edition here.

And we have results for every edition (complete results start with 2012) posted here.

More 2017 Tour of Flanders details

Race organizers have been very busy. We also got the details on the 2017 Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders). The 101st edition of this great race will be run Sunday, April 2, 2017. The start has been moved from Brugge to Antwerp.

The 259.5 kilometer race will have 18 climbs and five cobbled sectors.

2017 Tour of Flanders map

2017 Tour of Flanders map

Here's what the organizers had to say about the race:

For the first time in Tour history, the riders are departing from the bustling city of Antwerp. The starting shot for “Flanders’ Finest” will be fired at 10.30 a.m. at Het Steen. Prior to that, cycling fans are invited to gather on the Grote Markt, around the stage in front of the city hall, where the riders will sign in and be presented to the public. The riders then make their way to the start along Suikerrui, through what is certain to be a massive crowd. A fan village, with a big TV screen, will be set up on the Groenplaats for all fans from home and abroad. The riders’ coaches can be seen in the riders’ village on the Scheldekaaien.

The new approach route for the Tour of Flanders has already been announced. With Antwerp behind them, the riders wend their way to the Flemish Ardennes via seven “Villages of the Tour”. From Antwerp they head, via Linkeroever and Brecht, to Sint-Niklaas, the starting point for the Tour between 1977 and 1997.

After passing through the “capital of the Waasland”, the pack roars past the village of Hamme-Zogge, birthplace of Olympic Champion Greg van Avermaet, along the Donkmeer and through Berlare town centre. The festivities continue in Aalst, where residents plan to turn the Tour into a second “Aalst Carnival”. Erpe-Mere, where they celebrated Lucien van Impe last year, is the next town along the way.

Passing through Herzele and Zottegem, where they run into the first cobblestones of the day on Lippenhovestraat and Paddestraat, the riders begin pounding on the door to the Flemish Ardennes. The pack is expected to pass through Oudenaarde for the first time at around 1 p.m, when the hill climbs begin.

On Sunday 2 April the riders can expect a total of 259.5 km, 18 climbs and five cobble sections. Once through Oudenaarde, the convoy heads to Oude Kwaremont for the first time (1st climb, at 115 km). The route takes them up the Kortekeer, the Eikenberg, the Wolvenberg, the whole of Holle Weg (a cobble section, at 138km), the Haaghoek (cobble section, at 144km), the Leberg and the Berendries.

Three climbs have been dropped since the jubilee Tour of 2016: the Molenberg, the Valkenberg and the Kaperij. In their place the riders tackle Ten Bosse (the 7th climb of the day, at 154 km), the Muur van Geraardsbergen/Kapelpuur (the 8th of 18 climbs, at 164 km) and the Pottelberg (the 9th, at 181 km). No longer do the riders have last year’s cobblestones to fear at Huisepontweg, Ruiterstraat, Kergate and Jagerij.

You can read the entire description here.

And complete results for every edition of De Ronde can be found here.

Van Avermaet's Recovery On Track Ahead of 2017 Season

BMC sent me this update

30 November, 2016, Santa Rosa, California (USA)

Greg Van Avermaet is recovering well following surgery on his fractured left ankle, BMC Racing Team today confirmed.

Van Avermaet met with Dr. Tim Leenders, who performed the surgery on November 14, and was given the go-ahead to begin training on the rollers.

"Greg has been resting as much as possible and his recovery is going as planned. Now that he has been given the green light to start riding on the rollers, Greg will begin to increase his training load day by day," BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said.

"It will be another 7-10 days before Greg can ride on the road, coinciding perfectly with BMC Racing Team's annual pre-season training camp which commences on December 9, where we can monitor Greg's recovery well."

"I was back riding today on the rollers and everything is going fine. When I ride easy on the rollers I don't have any pain, so I just have to not overdo it. It was a good session and I also went swimming so it's good to now be able to do something," Van Avermaet explained. "I think my ankle will heal faster now and by next week hopefully I can do more. We will see how it goes."

With his recovery on track, Van Avermaet is already thinking about next year's races, including the Ronde van Vlaanderen race route which was released today.

Greg van avermaet

Van Avermaet getting fifth at San Sebastian this year.

"It's a big difference to the Ronde van Vlaanderen parcours, especially from the start and it's going to pass my hometown. It's never passed there and now when it does for the first time I'm going to be one of the contenders to win the race, so that's a nice feeling."

"I look forward to the start and then the Muur van Geraardsbergen, as it's a climb I like. It's a good thing that they didn't change the last 80km because it's pretty important that they keep it the same. I like the final and we will see how it plays out, but I think the 2017 race has a nice parcours."

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