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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)

Alberto Contador confirmed to join Trek-Segafredo for 2017

The Spaniard will link up with the team for next year after his Tinkoff team folds

Alberto Contador Confirmed To Join Trek-Segafredo For 2017

Alberto Contador. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Spanish Grand Tour champion Alberto Contador1 will ride in the black and white colours of Trek-Segafredo2 for 2017 with the aim of winning the Tour de France3. The deal happened this summer and made the surface during the Tour de France4. Today, however, the American WorldTour team confirmed the one-year contract with two-time Tour champion. Contador also counts two Giro d Italia titles and three titles from the Vuelta a Espa a.

>>> Cycling transfers 2017: All the ins and outs from the WorldTour5

I am thrilled about the opportunity that is in front of me, said Contador. I had some excellent conversations with the team management, and we have a lot of goals and priorities in common. The big objective is to try and win the most important races on the calendar first and foremost the Tour de France.

The sporting side was the key point in my decision.

This team is focused on performance, and there s a really strong group of riders with experience in all kinds of terrain, not only the mountains.

I am convinced that this team can provide me with the best structure and bring me in the best conditions to the races. I race to win, and I am determined to get intensely invested in this team. Contador just fought his way to fourth overall in the Vuelta a Espa a6 behind winner Nairo Quintana7 (Movistar) despite crashing early on. His aggressiveness helped form one of the race s key moves in stage 15 to Formigal8. Quintana rode clear with Contador and put 2-43 minutes into Team Sky s Chris Froome9.

In the peloton, Contador is known as a fighter. Even Froome admitted that the Tour de France this year lost some of its excitement when Contador had to abandon early due to crashes.



Trek-Segafredo now has a bonafide Tour de France contender for the first time since Fr nk and Andy Schleck were at their best.

Alberto is a formidable rider and a real fighter, General Manager Luca Guercilena said. He s a champion. There is really no one like Alberto in the current peloton, and we are very happy to welcome him to the team. With Alberto, I believe we are taking the next step in developing our team. Next year, we ll be stronger and all-around better and broader. Contador raced the last six years with Saxo Bank/Tinkoff.

He is leaving team Tinkoff this season partly because its owner Oleg Tinkov decided to turn his back on cycling. Sports director Steven De Jongh and team-mate Jes s Hern ndez will also switch from Tinkoff to Trek-Segafredo with Contador.

I am really happy to come back to Trek because I also rode a Trek bike in 2009, Hern ndez added. Alberto is like my brother and coming back with him to the Trek family is really something special. It means a lot to me. Contador rode Trek bicycles to his two Tour wins with Discovery Channel and Astana.

His contract value is closely guarded, but it should be in the ballpark of ‘ 2 to ‘ 3 million. Mechanic Faustino Mu oz Cambron and Tinkoff sports director Ivan Basso reportedly will also join Trek-Segafredo from team Tinkoff. Trek-Segafredo will have a different feel next season.

Bauke Mollema will stay after riding to seventh in this year s Tour de France, but classics star Fabian Cancellara10 is retiring after winning the gold medal11 in the Olympic time trial this summer.

Milan-San Remo12 and Paris-Roubaix13 winner John Degenkolb14 will lead the team in the classics after joining from Giant-Alpecin15 and, with the team s confirmation today, Contador will do the same in the tours.

References

  1. ^ Alberto Contador (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Trek-Segafredo (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ made the surface during the Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ >>> Cycling transfers 2017: All the ins and outs from the WorldTour (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Vuelta a Espa a (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Nairo Quintana (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ stage 15 to Formigal (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Chris Froome (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ Fabian Cancellara (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ winning the gold medal (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  12. ^ Milan-San Remo (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  13. ^ Paris-Roubaix (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  14. ^ John Degenkolb (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  15. ^ after joining from Giant-Alpecin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

Bradley Wiggins’s and Chris Froome’s medical data released by Russian hackers

Some medical records of both British Tour de France winners have been leaked by hackers

Bradley Wiggins’s And Chris Froome’s Medical Data Released By Russian Hackers

Photo: Graham Watson

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says that Russian cyber hackers have released another batch of athletes medical records, which includes cycling stars Sir Bradley Wiggins1 and Chris Froome2. WADA reported twice this week that hackers known as Fancy Bear illegally gained access to its Anti-Doping Administrative Management System (ADAMS). It said on Tuesday that the hackers found their way in through an International Olympic Committee (IOC) created account for the 2016 Olympic Games3.

WADA is very mindful that this criminal attack, which to date has recklessly exposed personal data of 29 athletes, will be very distressing for the athletes that have been targeted; and, cause apprehension for all athletes that were involved in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games4, said Olivier Niggli, Director General, WADA.

To those athletes that have been impacted, we regret that criminals have attempted to smear your reputations in this way; and, assure you that we are receiving intelligence and advice from the highest level law enforcement and IT security agencies that we are putting into action. Wiggins and Froome, both at the 2016 Games, were part of the latest document dump involving 25 athletes.

The one earlier this week by Fancy Bear (Tsar Team APT28) exposed confidential records on tennis players Serena and Venus Williams and gymnast Simone Biles. The latest records do not indicate wrong doing5. They show Great Britain s star cyclists received a series of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) over the last eight years. The hacker posted the UCI6 Certificate of Approvals for Wiggins and Froome, as well as various PDF documents for other athletes.

Wiggins s certificate for triamcinolone cited he suffered from a life long allergy to pollen nasal congestion/rhinorrhoea sneezing throat irritation, wheezing leading to dyspnoea eye watering runny nose known allergy to grass pollen.

Wiggins s TUEs since 2008

13-Jun-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, as needed for one year
12-Dec-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, up to 2 puffs a day for one year
16-Dec-2008, salbutamol, Inhalation, once or twice daily
26-Jun-2012, triamcinolone acetonide (triamcinolone), Intramuscular, once
29-Jun-2011, triamcinolone acetonide (kenalog), Intramuscular, once
22-Apr-2013, triamcinolone acetonide (triamcinolone), Intramuscular, once

Wiggins in this period rode for teams Highroad, Garmin and Sky.

Froome avoided TUE because of criticism

Froome applied for TUEs only at the time of the Crit rium du Dauphin 7 in 2013 and the Tour de Romandie in 2014, according to the leaked documents. He received approval for corticosteroid prednisolone 40mg per day for one week in 2013 and again in 2014. Following the 2015 Tour de France8, Froome said he refused to apply for a TUE for an infection.

After everything we had been through in this year s Tour, especially the hostility from different people along the way, it just felt that if we go down this route, we are opening the door for a whole new wave of criticism and aggression, Froome told the Sunday Times.

It would have been within the rules, but I didn t want it to be the Tour de France9 that was won because he took this medication in the last week. Following the leak, Froome issued a statement on the leaked TUEs.

He did not deny that they were his.

I ve openly discussed my TUEs with the media and have no issues with the leak, which only confirms my statements, Froome said.

In nine years as a professional, I ve twice required a TUE for exacerbated asthma, the last time was in 2014.

In response to the leak, Team Sky told Cycling Weekly10: The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process, as set out by UKAD, is a means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition .

Applications made by Team Sky for TUEs have all been managed and recorded in line with the processes put in place by the governing bodies.

Team Sky11 s approach to anti-doping and our commitment to clean competition are well known.

Other athletes records leaked

The leaked records also include three other British athletes: golfer Charley Hull, rugby player Heather Fisher and rower Sam Townsend.

Given this intelligence and advice, WADA has no doubt that these ongoing attacks are being carried out in retaliation and the global anti-doping system because of our independent Pound and McLaren investigations12 that exposed state-sponsored doping13 in Russia, WADA s Niggli added.

We condemn this criminal activity and have asked the Russian Government to do everything in their power to make it stop.

References

  1. ^ Sir Bradley Wiggins (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Chris Froome (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Olympic Games (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Rio 2016 Olympic Games (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ do not indicate wrong doing (fancybear.net)
  6. ^ UCI (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Crit rium du Dauphin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ Cycling Weekly (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  12. ^ McLaren investigations (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  13. ^ doping (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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