eneco tour

Nine riders to watch at the Eneco Tour

Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet, Geraint Thomas… the 2016 Eneco Tour boasts an impressive start list, but who will win?

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Eneco Tour

The penultimate race in the 2016 UCI WorldTour1 calendar kicks off on Monday: the Eneco Tour2 (September 18-25). The eight-stage race is hosted by the Netherlands and Belgium and features flat stages, hilly stages, a team time trial and an individual time trial. A host of top names will be taking part this year, as the race has shifted from its usual August date into September due to the Olympic Games3. It is ideally placed to offer top-level racing for those wishing to sharpen their form before the 2016 UCI Road World Championships4 in Doha, Qatar, in October, as well as gain some valuable WorldTour points.

Here we take a look at some of the leading contenders

Peter Sagan, Tinkoff

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Peter Sagan. Photo: Graham Watson

Peter Sagan5 has to be considered a contender for almost every race he enters, even week-long stage races like the Eneco Tour. The world champion who remains within striking distance of Nairo Quintana s lead in the World Tour has never competed in the race before, but the combination of sprint stages, short time-time trial and finale based around the cobbled Muur van Geraardsbergen plays very well to his strengths.

Greg Van Avermaet, BMC

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Greg Van Avermaet. Photo: Graham Watson

The best season in Greg Van Avermaet6 s career got even better last week, when he followed up gold in the Olympics road race with a win at the GP de Montreal. The Belgian is one a very select few in the peloton whose all-round capabilities can be compared to Peter Sagan s, with whom he ll renew his rivalry

Geraint Thomas, Sky

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Geraint Thomas. Photo: Graham Watson

There aren t many riders better suited to the Eneco Tour s near unique blend of classic parcours and stage racing than Geraint Thomas7, and the Welshman ought to be able to mount a serious GC challenge. Sky also line up with Ian Stannard, who, fresh off his stage win in Cheshire at the Tour of Britain and sprinter Elia Viviani, who is one of several riders fine-tuning preparations for next month s World Championships.

>>> Geraint Thomas to lead Team Sky at Eneco Tour8

Tim Wellens, Lotto-Soudal

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Tim Wellens. Photo: Graham Watson

As overall winner in both 2015 and 2014, Tim Wellens will surely be more stringently marked than in those previous two editions, where he was able to slip away on a long-range attack on the penultimate stage. This year s equivalent stage has been toned down with less hills included, which may also hinder his chances to attack.

Niki Terpstra, Etixx-QuickStep

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Niki Terpstra. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

From sprinters Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria, classics specialists Zdenek Stybar and Tom Boonen and strong time-trialists Tony and Bob Jungels, Etixx-QuickStep have options for all the varying terrain the Eneco Tour has to offer. Perhaps their best for GC is former Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, who finished third overall in 2012, and, despite a quiet Vuelta, could be on decent form having won the Dwars door het Hageland-Aarschot last month.

Tom Dumoulin, Giant Alpecin

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Tom Dumoulin. Photo: Graham Watson

Back in 2013, a 22-year old Tom Dumoulin9 hinted at what he was capable of in stage racing by finishing second overall at the Eneco Tour. Three years later, he s now most people s pick for best time-trialist in the world, a good enough climber to contest Grand Tours, and fully capable of going one better and winning the Eneco Tour this time around.

Fabio Felline, Trek-Segafredo

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Fabio Felline. Photo: Graham Watson

Unlike most other overall contenders, Fabio Felline enters the Eneco Tour with three weeks of hard racing in his legs from the Vuelta. Having ended that race strongly, the Italian who used his all-round talents to win the points classification might possess the extra stamina needed to better his fifth place overall finish last year.

Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dimension Data

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Edvald Boasson-Hagen. Photo: Graham Watson

A rejuvenated Edvald Boasson Hagen10 has been enjoying his best season since his peak years between 2009-2012, during which time he won a record-equalling two overall classification of the Eneco Tour. He s not going quite as well as earlier in the season, but still looks capable of competing for the overall.

Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data

Nine Riders To Watch At The Eneco Tour

Mark Cavendish. Photo: Andy Jones

Boasson Hagen will have to share leadership with Mark Cavendish11, who like many sprinters at this race, is using the flatter stages to help train for the upcoming Worlds in Doha. He ll face stiff competition, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), as well as the Etixx-QuickStep duo of Kittel and Gaviria, are among those eying up the bunch sprints.

References

  1. ^ WorldTour (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Eneco Tour (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Olympic Games (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ UCI Road World Championships (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Peter Sagan (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Greg Van Avermaet (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Geraint Thomas (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ >>> Geraint Thomas to lead Team Sky at Eneco Tour (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Tom Dumoulin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ Edvald Boasson Hagen (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ Mark Cavendish (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

Peter Sagan loses WorldTour lead to Nairo Quintana

Despite a win and second place in Canada over the weekend, Peter Sagan just loses his top spot in the UCI WorldTour ranking to Vuelta a Espa a winner Nairo Quintana

Peter Sagan Loses WorldTour Lead To Nairo Quintana

Peter Sagan and Nairo Quintana Credit: Graham Watson

Peter Sagan1 (Tinkoff) has narrowly lost his UCI WorldTour2 ranking lead to Vuelta a Espa a3 overall winner Nairo Quintana4 (Movistar). Quintana won the Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday, earning him enough points to move past Sagan despite Sagan winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Qu bec5 on Friday and placing second in the GP de Montr al6 on Sunday. It is close, however. Quintana heads up the ranking with 609 points to Sagan s 585 points. If Sagan gains 25 points in either of the two remaining WorldTour races in the 2016 season the Eneco Tour (September 19-25) or Il Lombardia (October 1) he would be crowned WorldTour champion for the first time in his career.

Sagan and Quintana have amassed WorldTour points in quite different ways. Quintana s success has come via stage race overall placings, whilst Sagan s has come mainly from one-day race wins and stage victories.

>>> Peter Sagan takes surprise Grand Prix Cycliste de Qu bec win7

Aside from his Vuelta victory, Quintana placed third in the Tour de France, and won the Tour de Romandie and Volta a Catalunya overall.

Peter Sagan Loses WorldTour Lead To Nairo Quintana

Chris Froome (second), Nairo Quintana (winner), Esteban Chaves (third) on the final Vuelta a Espana podium

As well as his success in Canada, Sagan won the Tour of Flanders8, Ghent-Wevelgem, was second in E3 Harelbeke, second overall in Tirreno-Adriatico and won four stages of the Tour de France. Tour de France winner Chris Froome9 (Sky) is third behind Quintana and Sagan, and highest-placed British rider, after placing second overall in the Vuelta a Espa a. Froome also won the Crit rium du Dauphin in June.

Other significant changes in the lastest WorldTour ranking include Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) moving up to 10th after placing third in the Vuelta; GP de Montreal winner Greg Van Avermaet10 (BMC) moving to seventh; and rising British rider Simon Yates jumping from 116th to 48th after his stage win and sixth spot overall in the Vuelta.

Peter Sagan Loses WorldTour Lead To Nairo Quintana

Simon Yates wins stage six of the Vuelta a Espa a (Photo: Yuzuru Sunada)

Quintana s Movistar squad are the highest-ranked team, with Tinkoff in second and Team Sky third. Spain is the top-ranked nation, with Colombia in second and Great Britain third. WorldTour points are awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for counting events. The amount of points awarded depends on the ranking of the event.

For example, winning the Tour de France overall gives a rider twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.

Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) sealed the overall win11 in the inaugural Women s WorldTour, which was confirmed after t he final race in the calendar on Sunday, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.

UCI WorldTour Ranking 2016 (as at Sunday, September 11)

1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 609 points
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff 585 points
3. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 564 points
4. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff 428 points
5. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar 396 points
6. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing 394 points
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing 359 points
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale 314 points
9.

Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep 280 points
10. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 251 points
Other
28. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 144 points
35. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 121 points
36. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 120 points
48. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 101 points
51. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 92 points
64. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data 80 points
81. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 50 points
94.

Steve Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 38 points
170. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar 7 points
211. Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff 2 points

Team ranking

1. Movistar 1411 points
2. Tinkoff 1277 points
3. Team Sky 1187 points
4. BMC Racing 1067 points
5. Orica-BikeExchange 809 points

Nation ranking

1. Spain 1415 points
2.

Colombia 1318 points
3. Great Britain 1050 points
4. France 943 points
5.

Australia 908 points

References

  1. ^ Peter Sagan (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ WorldTour (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Nairo Quintana (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Sagan winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Qu bec (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ second in the GP de Montr al (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ >>> Peter Sagan takes surprise Grand Prix Cycliste de Qu bec win (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ won the Tour of Flanders (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Chris Froome (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ GP de Montreal winner Greg Van Avermaet (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) sealed the overall win (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

Greg Van Avermaet beats Peter Sagan to victory in GP de Montréal

The Olympic champion won a reduced bunch sprint to beat Sagan and Diego Ulissi to victory in the Canadian one-day race

Greg Van Avermaet Beats Peter Sagan To Victory In GP De Montréal

Yuzuru SUNADA

Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet1 (BMC) continued his fine form in Canada on Sunday night, winning the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Montr al one-day race ahead of Peter Sagan2 (Tinkoff). The WorldTour race, characterised by the short, sharp and brutal climbs along it s 12km route saw a flurry of attacks in the last two laps of the 17 the peloton had to take on, but it came down to an almost bunch sprint in the end.

>>> I m a simple guy who just wants to ride his bike 3

Fabian Grellie (Direct Energie), Sean De Bie (Lotto-Soudal), Jasha S tterlin (Movistar), Lukas P stlberger (Bora-Argon 18), Matteo Dal-Cin and Benjamin Perry of Canada got 5-25 as the day s main breakaway, but never looked likely to succeed and were eventually caught within 30km to go.

Geraint Thomas4 (Team Sky) made the move at 45km to go on a climb to split the peloton, forming a second group of 25 riders that tried to get away. Their work effectively killed off the breakaway out front, but the peloton behind refused to let them go and it was all back together, before more attacks ensued.

None of those attacks, including from Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), were able to stick for very long until the peloton reached the third to final climb. There an elite group quickly formed, with the likes of world champion Sagan involved as well as Van Avermaet.



But it was Lampre-Merida5 who made a daring move, with Diego Ulissi leading out Rui Costa who attacked on the climb in search of victory. A big push immediately followed to try and catch him, with the Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Gianni Moscon (Team Sky), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac), as well as Sagan and Van Avermaet among those following.

Costa held a gap of 10 seconds or so as the group struggled to work together behind, and they were briefly brought back to the main peloton with 6km to go.

>>> Nairo Quintana wins 2016 Vuelta a Espa a; Nielsen takes final stage sprint6

Former world champion Costa continued his move up front, and a similar group led by Sagan formed again behind and quickly brought him close. This time, Petr Vakoc made most of the effort for his Etixx teammate Alaphilippe, and it quickly became clear Costa s efforts had been in vain. The Portuguese held out until the final kilometre though, where his teammate, Sagan and Van Avermaet began their sprints for the line. Sagan appeared to get boxed in briefly but was able to find Van Avermaet s wheel. The Belgian was too strong though, and was able to hold his sprint long enough that there was no chance for Sagan to make the effort to come round him.

The victory caps of a tremendous season for Van Avermaet, and sees the reverse first and second of Friday s GP de Quebec, in which he lost out to Sagan. Both riders are likely to face each other again this month, as they could line-up for their respective teams at the Eneco Tour on September 19.

Result

Grand Prix Cyclistes de Montr al (205.7km)

1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC, in 5-27-04
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4.

Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
7.

Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
8. Ion Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar
9. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
10.

Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-Quick Step, all same time

References

  1. ^ Greg Van Avermaet (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Peter Sagan (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ >>> I m a simple guy who just wants to ride his bike (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Geraint Thomas (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Lampre-Merida (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ >>> Nairo Quintana wins 2016 Vuelta a Espa a; Nielsen takes final stage sprint (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)