It has been seven years since the Giro d'Italia last awarded the Ciclamino jersey for the points classification, but RCS Sport announced that they will be reviving the classic cyclamen-coloured shirt for the 100th edition of the race thanks to sponsor Segafredo Zanetti.
The points classification was established in 1958, with the first distinctive jersey awarded in 1967. For the first three years the jersey was red, but in 1970 the Maglia Ciclamino was born.
Winners of the jersey included Francesco Moser and Giuseppe Saronni, who hold the record for overall points classification victories with four each. Mario Cipollini collected three during the course of his career.
In 2010, the jersey reverted to the Maglia Rossa (red jersey), and was won by Cadel Evans. Trek-Segafredo's Giacomo Nizzolo won the past two overall points classification competitions, though he has yet to win a stage in his home Grand Tour.
Sagan to return in Eschborn-Frankfurt
World champion Peter Sagan will return to competition after a three-week break following Paris-Roubaix at Eschborn-Frankfurt, his Bora-Hansgrohe team announced. The race marks a shift in Sagan's objectives from one-day races to stage races, with the Amgen Tour of California, Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France his next major goals.
The Frankfurt race is important for his German team, and manager Ralph Denk says they will be going in for the win with Sagan as team leader.
"As a German WorldTeam, the first race of the year in our home country is very important for our sponsors, for the fans, for ourselves," Denk said. "To have the UCI World Champion in a German team, means of course, that the fans in Germany want to see him race here in Germany. Obviously best would be to take the win. But we will prepare for all different kind of race tactics and bring a line-up for different race scenarios.
Sagan hopes the race will bring enthusiasm to the German fans, who will also see the Tour de France start on their soil in Düsseldorf, where Sagan will begin his campaign for a fifth straight points classification victory.
"For sure it will be special for the whole team, but also for myself, to race in front of our German fans," Sagan said of the Eschborn-Frankfurt. "I hope it will be a big cycling party, but this will only be the first cycling party this year, because we also have the Grand Depart in Düsseldorf ahead of us. For sure we will have a strong line-up and several cards to play. The only thing important is that one of our team can fight for the win in the end in front of our home crowd."
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the past two editions of Eschborn-Frankfurt.
Bernal courted by WorldTour teams
According to El Espectador, Colombian up-and-comer Egan Bernal of Androni Giocattoli has already signed with a WorldTour squad for next season, although the team in question remains a mystery.
Bernal, 20, has established himself as one cycling's most promising youngsters over the past season and a half. He won several young riders jerseys in elite races last year to go with his fourth overall finish at the Tour de l'Avenir, and has continued delivering results this year, with a seventh-place GC finish at the Tour de Langkawi and a runner-up ride at the Giro dell'Appennino among his many strong performances so far. He is currently racing the Tour of the Alps.
Bernal joined Gianni Savio's Androni squad at the start of 2016, putting him into his second season at the Pro Continental level this year, but El Espectador claims that he already has his ticket to the top-division in hand. Cycling's transfer window does not officially start until August.
Powless wins G.P. Palio del Recioto
American Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) continued his team's success overseas, taking the victory in the Italian U23 one-day G.P. Palio del Recioto over Oceania champion Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton Scott).
It was the team's sixth win of the season, the second for Powless, 20, who won the individual time trial at Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux last month, and their second straight win in the GP Palio del Recioto after Ruben Guerreiro's victory in 2016.
Powless and teammate Eddie Dunbar made the critical split in the 143km race. The front group of 20 was then whittled down to only 10, and kept a solid lead on the peloton. When Hamilton attacked with 30km to go, Powless followed and the duo were never caught again.
"He was putting in digs on pretty much every little climb," Powless said. "I went pretty deep in the red but just kept clawing back."
With 90 seconds on the nearest chasers, Powless had time to be a little cagey. "With 10 kilometers to go, I knew it would come down to a sprint. I was aware he did not have much of one because he worked so hard to drop me on the climbs. So I took the lead heading into a pair of 90-degree turns in the last 250 meters and gave it everything I had and it paid off."
Directeur sportif Koos Moerenhout has now seen five different riders on the team take wins this season, including Dunbar's win in the U23 Tour of Flanders.
"I think that one of the challenges of this team is to give everybody a chance," Moerenhout said. "Basically, the whole team is good. That sometimes makes the team tactics for their individual goals a bit difficult. Our guys cannot always do what they want because there is always somebody up there. So sometimes you can have good legs and not do anything. But everyone is always working well as a team, so working for someone today means an opportunity to race for yourself and prove it tomorrow.