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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

It's funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life. - Jimi Hendrix

Current racing:

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


After attack, Yoann Offredo will resume racing at Dunkirk

Here's the news from Offredo's Want-Groupe Gobert team:

Yoann Offredo was victim of senseless violence during a training ride on Monday afternoon. The French rider, who lives in the Paris region, was doing a ride with two companions when a motorist and his passenger aggressed him. A complaint was filed. Offredo is at the moment unfit to ride, but he will normally resume competition in Four Days of Dunkirk (9-14/05).

Yoann Offredo: "I was training with two colleagues in the Chevreuse valley when a car raged very close past us. Suddenly the driver braked with the intention of letting us crash. I wanted to talk to the driver, but she was ready to get out of the car with a cutter blade. In a reflex I blocked the door of the car. Then the passenger got out of the car and picked up a wooden tool handle from the suitcase. With that he hit me and afterwards he headbutted me.

"The police then intervened. A dossier was opened and a complaint filed. I suffer from pain on the nose, on a rib and suffer from several bruises. I still have to go to the hospital to let determine the suffered damage.

"I am particularly shocked. I have been in cycling for 15 years and I have never experienced such a thing. Verbal aggression often occurs, but most of them stop there."

Lotto-Soudal headed to Tour of Romandie

The team sent me this update:

From 25 until 30 April 2017 the game is on for the riders in the Tour de Romandie. The six-day stage race takes place in the Swiss landscapes and offers two mountain stages, two individual time trials and two chances for the sprinters or the punchers. The Tour de Romandie begins with a short prologue of 4.8 kilometres. The mountain goats are up in the first stage. That stage starts in Aigle and finishes after 173.3 kilometres and five climbs in Champéry.

The second stage covers 160.7 kilometres from Champéry to Bulle. There is a great chance that the race will end up in a sprint even though the last two kilometres are going slightly upwards. Also the course for the third stage is a prey for the sprinters. On the fifth day it's up to the climbers for a second time. After the start in Domdidier the riders will face three tough climbs of first and second category and will finish on the final climb of four kilometres with an average gradient of 7.2%. The Tour de Romandie ends with an individual time trial of 18.3 kilometres in Lausanne.

Last year, Sander Armée won the KOM jersey. Also this year, Armée will start and defend his jersey. Sports director Mario Aerts looks ahead to the Tour de Romandie.

Sports director Mario Aerts: "We start the Tour de Romandie with an attacking mindset and we aim for a stage win. That's the purpose for this tour. The guys are getting a lot of freedom because there is no real leader appointed. For the GC, Sander Armée and Maxime Monfort can do what they want. Monfort just came back from training camp and the Tour de Romandie is his final preparation for the Giro. Armée usually helps the other guys on the team, but from me he gets the freedom to attack. Last year, he won the KOM jersey so I believe in him. The competition for the GC is very big with Chris Froome, Richie Porte and Tejay Vangarderen, so we are focussing on a stage win."

"Tosh Van der Sande is in good shape and he always finishes well when the finish goes slightly upwards. For the second stage, I definitely believe in his chances. Also the third stage will probably end up in a sprint. The last five kilometres are as straight as an arrow but underway the sprinters have to survive a couple of climbs. A lot is possible in this stage so you never know for sure, but I'm expecting a sprint for Van der Sande. Moreno Hofland also returns from training camp and will prepare himself for the Giro. Thomas De Gendt is Thomas De Gendt. He knows his own qualities as no other and will be there when it's expected from him. It's been a while since Kris Boeckmans rode a race so we will evaluate his situation as we go along. For our youngsters Rémy Mertz and James Shaw the six-day stage race will be a learning process."

"The first mountain stage will decide how there will be raced. You don't know in advance how controlled the race will be. I expect we are going to be close in the flat stages because there's less competition, but nobody can predict a race. It remains WorldTour level so it's important for everybody."

Sander Armee

Sander Armée racing at the 2016 Tour de Romandie

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Sander Armée, Kris Boeckmans, Thomas De Gendt, Moreno Hofland, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, James Shaw and Tosh Van der Sande.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Kurt Van de Wouwer.

Stages
Prologue Tuesday 25 April: Aigle - Aigle (4.8 km)
Stage 1 Wednesday 26 April: Aigle - Champéry (173.3 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 27 April: Champéry - Bulle (160.7 km)
Stage 3 Friday 28 April: Payerne - Payerne (187 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 29 April: Domdidier - Leysin (163.5 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 30 April: Lausanne - Lausanne (18.3 km)

Bardiani-CSF announces Giro d'Italia team

Here's the release the team sent me:

The nine riders of the #GreenTeam for 100th edition of Giro d’Italia have been chosen. After last and decisive tests at Tour of the Alps and Tour of Croatia, Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, together with Stefano Zanatta, dispelled all the doubts.

At the Big Start in Alghero, Sardinia, on May 5th, Bardiani-CSF will be represented by Vincenzo Albanese, Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Nicola Boem, Giulio Ciccone, Mirco Maestri, Stefano Pirazzi, Lorenzo Rota and Nicola Ruffoni. Four the substitutes, in case of necessity before the start of the race: Paolo Simion, Simone Velasco, Simone Sterbini and Edoardo Zardini.

Nicola Ruffoni

Nicola Ruffoni winning stage one of the 2016 Tour of Austria

“We have clear ideas about Giro d’Italia, the way to ride it, and we strong believe the riders will be able to turn the aims into actions, attacks and, why not, successes” said team manager Roberto Reverberi. “Riders’ selection is the result of a long thought and accurate observation. Our priorities have been the form, first of all all, and the improving signals that riders showed during last weeks”

“It’s never easy to make choices, all the riders of the team had a chance, but we’ve trust in every single riders we selected. It’s almost redundant saying how much the Giro is important for us, but this awareness it’s not enough to leave a mark on the race. Dedication, passion, determination and even suffering: these is what we need make a bold performance. It will be a hard challenge but we can’t wait to start” added Reverberi.

With an average age of 24.5 years old, the #GreenTeam is in the running to be the youngest team of 100th Giro d’Italia. Two are the debutants, Rota and Albanese, the one who can aspire to be the youngest rider in the peloton (20 years old, born in November 1996). Three riders have one year experience at Corsa Rosa - Andreetta, Ciccone and Maestri in 2016 - while Barbin raced two editions, Ruffoni three, Boem four (all finished) and Pirazzi seven (from 2010 to 2016, all brought to a close).

Bardiani-CSF will line up three Giro stage winners - Ciccone in Sestola in 2016, Boem in Forlì in 2015 and Pirazzi in Vittorio Veneto in 2014. Stefano also claimed the blue jersey as King of the Mountain in 2013. Since its creation, in 2013, the #GreenTeam always took part at Giro d’Italia, winning six stages: Battaglin in 2013; Canola, Battaglin and Pirazzi in 2014; Boem in 2015 and Ciccone in 2016.

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

Here's the team's news release:

RACE PREVIEW: APRIL 24 - MAY 2

TOUR DE ROMANDIE (WT)

Starting on April 25, Tour de Romandie takes in six days of racing. The race starts with a 4.8 kilometre prologue followed by a road stage with various climbs and an uphill finish sure to create some sizeable time gaps, giving the general classification riders a good start. Stage two could be a day for the opportunist with an abundance of climbs mid way through the race and an uphill finish. Day three on the road is more suited to the sprinters, providing they come out of the day's climbs feeling fresh. Another stage for the climbers and GC hopefuls, the mountainous stage four takes in climbs that reach peak gradients of 10 percent. The race closes with a 17.8 kilometre individual time trial with 300 metres uphill before a descent through to the finish.

"Romandie is always a challenging race with tough stages and challenging Swiss weather conditions," explained Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) ahead of the race. "Together with the team's experts we have prepared for that. We have a strong team which is focused around supporting Wilco for an overall result, so the plan will be to keep him fresh each day, especially on the mountain stages when time gaps are most likely. Next to our GC ambitions, for some riders we also have our last kick in our preparations towards the Giro."

RACE: Tour de Romandie (WT)

DATE: 25-30/04/2017

COACH: Marc Reef (NED)

LINE-UP:
Warren Barguil (FRA)
Laurens Ten Dam (NED)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Chad Haga (USA)
Lennard Kämna (GER)
Wilco Kelderman (NED)
Georg Preidler (AUT)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)

Warren Barguil

Warren Barguil will start the Tour de Romandie

TOUR DE YORKSHIRE (WT)

The WorldTour peloton heads to the UK for the Tour de Yorkshire this Thursday, April 28. The three-day race opens with a 173 kilometre stage from Bridlington to Scarborough, followed by a 122.5 kilometre route ending in Harrogate. The final day takes in a challenging 194.5 kilometres with eight categorised climbs before a finish in Sheffield.

Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers (NED): "With two shorter, flatter stages to open the race we are expecting that they will more favour the sprinters. For these days we have two strong guys with Max and Phil so we will see what they can do here. Søren is also coming out of a good rest period before Liège, so we will also aim for a good result with him on stage 3. It will be important to minimise any time losses in the first two stages, and make sure that going into the final, toughest stage he is feeling good."

RACE: Tour de Yorkshire (WT)

DATE: 28-30/04/2017

COACH: Tom Veelers (NED)

LINE-UP:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Phil Bauhaus (GER)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Lennard Hofstede (NED)
Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (NOR)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Max Walscheid (GER)

TOUR DE YORKSHIRE (WWT)

The Women's Tour de Yorkshire takes riders along a 122.5 kilometre route from Tadcaster to Harrogate, exactly the same course as the men will take later that day. After rolling out from the start line the first intermediate sprint points will be up for grabs in Karesborough. This is followed by an ascent of the Côte de Lofthouse and a final sprint in Ripon before the finale in Harrogate.

"Every year the parcours of this race are different so it isn't as easy as copy and pasting last years scenario," explained Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED). "As always, we start the race with the ambition take a good result. We can expect a typical British hilly race with several smaller ascents, which will make for a tough day of racing. The 2.5 kilometre climb in the middle of the race could also be an early opener of the final. We are hoping for some typical British weather, wind and rain. The past few weeks have shown that we ride well on the tougher parcours, so this race should suit us. We line up at the race with Coryn and we hope that her great results will continue through to the Yorkshire finish line."

RACE: Tour de Yorkshire (WWT)

DATE: 29/04/2017

COACH: Hans Timmermans (NED)

LINE-UP:
Ellen van Dijk (NED)
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Rozanne Slik (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)

RUND UM DEN FINANZPLATZ ESCHBORN-FRANKFURT (WT)

Team Sunweb line up at the 56th edition of Eschborn-Frankfurt next Monday, May 1. Set to be a day for the sprinters, riders are tasked with 215.7 kilometres with various climbs before a flat run in to the finish. Team Sunweb line-up with two German talents for their first race of 2017 on home soil.

"Frankfurt is usually a race that ends in a reduced bunch sprint of around 30-40 riders," explained Team Sunweb coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED). "We line-up with a strong team and with ambitions to take a good result with Michael. Over the past few weeks he has shown his strength, and taking 4th at Liège yesterday gives us some extra confidence going into the race. We have good team to support him going into the final, with fast riders like Nikias, Ramon and Zico being particularly important in the lead-out. This is Michael's last race of this part of the season, so he will be extra motivated to go out in style."

RACE: Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt (WT)

DATE: 01/05/2017

COACH: Adriaan Helmantel (NED)

LINE-UP:
Nikias Arndt (GER)               
Roy Curvers (NED)    
Bert De Backer (BEL)     
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)           
Michael Matthews (AUS)  
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)      
Mike Teunissen (NED)
Zico Waeytens (BEL)

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