Liège-Bastogne-Liège finish to return to Liège?
The finish of Liège-Bastogne-Liège could return to the centre of Liège if local politicians have their way. City councillor Quentin Le Bussy wrote on his party’s website requesting that the Liège mayor begins work to bring back the finish to its original home.
Despite the name, Liège-Bastogne-Liège – known as La Doyenne due to it being inaugurated in 1892 – has not finished in the centre of the city for almost 30 years. Since the Pesant Club Liegois partnered up with the Société Tour de France, which has since become ASO, back in 1990, the race has finished in the town of Ans on the outskirts of the city. The move was necessitated by road works in the centre of Liège.
The mayor, Willy Demeyer, is reportedly open to the idea, according to the Walloon website DH.be. However, they would still have to convince organiser ASO to make the change.
The current contract with Ans is set to run out after next year’s race, opening the door for the switch to be made. When asked about it back in April, race director Christian Prudhomme merely said: “It’s too early to think about it.”
2017 Canadian nationals announced for Ottawa
The Gatineau-Ottawa region has been announced as the host for the 2017 Canadian national championships from June 24-28.
The championships will start with the elite women's road race and the junior men and women's events. The U23 and men's race will be held the following day. All road races will take place on a 10-kilometre circuit in Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa.
There is a break from racing on the Monday, with all time trials to be held across the Ottawa River Tuesday, June 27 in Gatineau Park. The out-and-back course varies for the different categories, with 36km the longest of the lot to decide the elite men's title.
The criterium titles on June 28 in the Vieux-Aylmer sector of Gatineau, Quebec close out the championships.
"We are very happy to have the 2017 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus in the national capital region in this historic year – Canada's 150th anniversary," said Pierre Lafontaine, Cycling Canada. "Once again, riders will experience challenging courses along with all the hospitality the nation's capital region has to offer. The Canadian Championships are the premier event to showcase the top cycling talent our country has to offer."
At the 2016 Canadian nationals, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Bruno Langlois won the road races, while Ryan Roth and Tara Whitten took the time trial titles.
Busy weekend of racing for Caja Rural in Portugal, Holland and France
The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team has a full schedule of 2.1 racing to start the month of June, with 19 riders spread over three squads headed to the Hammer Series in Holland, GP Beiras e Serra de Estrela in Portugal, and Boucles de la Mayenne in France.
"We have a very busy weekend ahead where we will be competing in three countries: Holland, France and Portugal," said director sportif Eugenio Goikoetxea. "We have tried to put together the right mix of riders for each race. Each race is totally different and we will go into them with different objectives but with the overall goal of being competitive."
The all-new Hammer Series shapes as the most challenging race for the Spanish Pro-Continental team, with all the Velon WorldTour teams in attendance. They are sending a young team headlined by Nick Schultz and Jonathan Lastra. In France, Swiss sprinter Dylan Page will lead the team as he looks for his first win in the green colours. In Portugal, the team will take the trio of Jaime Roson, David Arroyo and Sergio Pardilla for the hillier stage race. Roson finished second overall at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and Tour of Croatia and will be aiming for another podium result.
"In Portugal, where the terrain is more hilly, we will take some of our best climbers, along with Prades, who won a stage here last year. For Boucles de Mayenne we will bring a different type of team, which focuses more on the rouleurs in the squad," Goikoetxea said. "We have participated in this race many times and have yet to triumph so hopefully this will be the year. The third race will be a new format in Holland. The race will be won by a team and not an individual. We are bringing a very young team to this event and we home they can compete well against the big names."
Gran Premio Beiras e Serra da Estrela (June 2-4): Sergio Pardilla, Jaime Rosón, David Arroyo, Eduard Prades, Diego Rubio and Antonio Molina.
Hammer Series (June 2-4): Nick Schultz, Jonathan Lastra, Josu Zabala, Álex Aranburu, Jon Irisarri and Miguel Ángel Benito
Boucles de la Mayenne (June 1-4): Lluis Mas, Fabricio Ferrari, Dylan Page, Justin Oien, Rafael Reis and Héctor Sáez.
Julien Mortier to stagiaire with WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect
Mortier will have to race with his AGO-Aqua Service team if they start the same event as WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect. The team will also announce two more stagiaires for the 2017 season. Mortier most recently raced the Baloise Belgium Tour with the national team, helping teammate Jens Keukeleire to the overall victory. He also finished ninth at the U23 edition of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Known as Wallonie-Bruxelles in 2016, WB-Veranclassic-Aqua Protect raced under a Continental license and did not offer any stagiaire positions.