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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, February 9, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk. - Stephen King

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Astana pro team for Trofeo Laigueglia

Astana posted this update:

08/02/2017: The Astana pro team will take part in the Italian one-day race of 1.HC category Trofeo Laigueglia, which will be held on February 12.

Team line-up: Zhandos Bizhigitov, Matti Breschel, Andriy Grivko, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Riccardo Minali, Moreno Moser and Ruslan Tleubayev.

Sports director: Stefano Zanini.

Matti Breschel

Matti Breschel (shown racing in 2015) will be at the Trofeo Laigueglia

Orica-Scott team in Spain for weekend's races

Here's the team's report:

This weekend sees Orica-Scott continue with Spanish racing at the one-day classics Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia and the Clasica de Almeria. Murcia takes place on Saturday the 11th of February with Almeria following on Sunday the 12th both events are classified 1.1 and are part of the UCI Europe Tour.

Sport director Laurenzo Lapage spoke of the team’s objective to carry on their successful start to 2017 and continue the preparation for the European season that began at last weeks Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. “We have a strong and versatile six man squad for the weekend,” said Lapage. “They will both be challenging races with tough parcours, especially Murcia. We will be doing an extensive recon of the final 50kilometres before the race to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance of achieving a good result.”

“Jens Keuekeleire had a good workout at the Valenciana last week, helping Magnus Cort on his way to winning stage three and with those two guys both on form it gives us options for both Saturday and Sunday. Mathew Hayman also came through last week without any issues and it will be good to have his strength and experience here alongside Sam Bewley who will be taking part in his first European race of the year.”

Magnus Cort Nielsen

Magnus Cort (shown at the 2016 Vuelta) will be racing again in Spain this week.

New Zealander Bewley comes straight into the team after a successful week of racing at the Herald Sun Tour for ORICA-SCOTT and is joined by 27-year-old Chris Juul Jensen and lead out specialist Luka Mezgec.

“There is a big possibility of Sundays race finishing in a bunch sprint,” continued Lapage. “Whereas Saturday will not be so straightforward, however with Jens, Magnus and Luka we have three fast finishers and I am confident we can do well.”

The Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia covers 182.7kilometres and three categorised climbs including the category one Alto Collado Bermejo. The Clasica de Almeria is slightly longer at 190kilometres and includes four category three climbs before a flat run into the finish.

Oroca-Scott at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia and the Clasica de Almeria (11 – 12 Feb): Sam Bewley (NZ, 29), Magnus Cort (DEN, 24), Mathew Hayman (AUS, ACT, 38), Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 27), Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 28), Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)

Team UAE-Abu Dhabi headed to Trofeo Laigueglia

Here's the team's racing news:

One week after the victory in the GP Costa degli Etruschi, Team UAE will race again in Italy, taking part in the Trofeo Laigueglia.

On Sunday 12 February, 8 riders from the Emirati team will be in Liguaria at the start of the race: Diego Ulissi will be the captain of the line-up which will include also Valerio Conti, Kristijan Durasek, Matej Mohoric, Manuele Mori, Simone Petilli, Jan Polanc and Edward Ravasi.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi winning the GP Costa degli Etruschi

The team will be directed by Daniele Righi, with the support of the physician Dr Ronchi, of the masseurs Della Torre, Gallivanone and Napolitano, of the mechanics Bortoluzzo and Cornacchione and of the driver Luigi Saronni.

In the Emirati line-up there will be 5 riders who had participated in the Gp Costa degli Etruschi, while the other 3 cyclists had taken part in the Dubai Tour (the climber Durasek, the versatile Mohoric and Polanc).

After his first victory in the Gp Costa degli Etruschi, Ulissi will try to achieve another goal by adding to his record the Trofeo Laigueglia too: he participated in 4 editions, obtaining one 4th place, one 5th, one 6th and one 22nd, however he never hit the target.

“I’d really love to fight for the victory in the Trofeo Laigueglia, it’s a charming race," Ulissi explained. "I was close to the podium in the past editions, it would be great to finally hit the target.

"I’m aware that it won’t be easy: the quality of the startlist will be high, also because there will be four WT teams and because many riders will search for a payback after the Gp Costa degli Etruschi; moreover, the course will offer different solution for winning the race. The final part of the course could give me the opportunity to repeat the attack which on Sunday gave me the victory, however it will all depend on the opponents.

"Team UAE will also rely on different solution for aiming for the victory: as an example, Simone Petilli, who realized an impressive performance in the Gp Costa degli Etruschi“.

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