Lotto Soudal extends with Marczynski - News shorts

Bora-Hansgrohe signs Felix Grossschartner, Lopez takes aim at Milano-Torino, BMC for Tour de l'Eurometropole

Lotto Soudal has signed Tomasz Marczynski to a three-year contract extension that will take him through the 2020 season, the team announced today.

The 33-year-old former Polish champion joined Lotto Soudal in 2016 from Turkish Continental team Torku Şekerspor but suffered from illness throughout that first year. He bounced back this season with two stage wins at the Vuelta a España.

"The team has always kept its confidence in me, even with my health issues last year. Now they prove their belief in me again with this contract extension," he said in the team's release announcing his three-year deal.

"I really wanted to stay in this team, because it feels like one big family. I also like to create a good atmosphere myself. During the race I always motivate everyone and when we're in the hotel I make sure we all have a laugh. Everyone in the team appreciates that."

Bora-Hansgrohe signs Felix Großschartner

Bora-Hansgrohe closed out the team's 2018 roster with the signing of Felix Großschartner from CCC Sprandi Polkowice. The 23-year-old Austrian climber signed a two-year deal with the German-registered WorldTour team that will take him through the 2019 season.

"We always have an eye on the German-speaking countries," said team manager Ralf Denk. "I am happy that we managed to sign Felix now for 2018. With the stage win of Lukas Pöstlberger in the Giro and the wins of Gregor Mühlberger at the Austrian Nationals and Rund um Köln, our Austrians took important victories for the team this season. I hope Felix can also get to that level in the next years."

Grossschartner said he was proud to join one of the world's top teams.

"It will be a step-up for me I'll have to adapt to," he said. "Also the big names in the team, like Peter Sagan, are for sure something new to me. But with Gregor [Mühlberger], Lukas [Pöstlberger] and Patrick [Konrad] I already rode in Austria together, they are friends and will help me to feel familiar with the team soon. I also want to thank my old team CCC, they gave me the opportunity to compete in big races and this was a key step for my career.”

Bora-Hansgrohe is expecting the young Austrian to be a strong helper in the mountains.

"I think with our highly professional structures, the coaches, but also with the advice from big guys like Peter Sagan or Rafal Majka, Bora-Hansgrohe will enable Felix to take a next step in his development,” said team director Christian Pömer. “If he can adapt to these new challenges, he will also get his chance in some of the races."

Lopez, Uran take aim at Milano-Torino

The same dual ascents that tested riders in the finale of Milano-Torino last year will return, and 2016 winner Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) will be one of the main favourites for the victory in the Italian semi-Classic on October 5.

The Colombian last year defeated Canadian Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac) in a scintillating two-man battle, with Woods' teammate Rigoberto Urán rounding out the podium.

Urán will also return this year as leader of the Cannondale-Drapac squad for a race that is attracting a quality field ahead of Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the year.

Other big names include Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin, Tour de France mountains classification winner Warren Barguil and 2014 Il Lombardia winner Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) together with on-form teammate Julian Alaphilippe. Giro runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Esteban Chavez and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Mikel Landa and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Steven Kruijswijk and Primoz Roglic (LottoNl-Jumbo) round out the list of Grand Tour stars who will switch their focus to the remaining one-day races, starting in Milano-Torino.

Fourteen WorldTour squads and five Pro Continental teams will take part in the event with teams of eight riders each. The only missing WorldTour teams are Dimension Data, BMC Racing, Lotto Soudal and Bora-Hansgrohe.

Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani-CSF, Cofidis, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Wilier Triestina complete the list of teams.

The 186km race begins in San Giuliano Milanese and traverses serene, flat roads through to Casale Monferrato, where the terrain begins to gently undulate along the Po River. Two sharp climbs punctuate the final 20km in Torino, the first to the Basilica of Superga crests with 19.5km to go. The route then drops down a technical descent leading back to San Mauro for another final trip to Superga with gradients over 10 per cent.

BMC Racing for Tour de l'Eurométropole

The BMC Racing Team will take part in this weekend's one-day Tour de l'Eurometropole in addition to the one-day races in Italy, taking its specialists Silvan Dillier, Daniel Oss and Jempy Trucker to lead the team in Belgium.

"With the riders we have lining up at Tour de l'Eurométropole, we can be confident that we will be able to go with the right moves and be up there in the final," said Sports Director Valerio Piva.

"I think this will be a good race for Jempy Drucker, especially with the finishing circuit and as we have seen, he is in good shape right now. We also have riders like Silvan Dillier and Daniel Oss, who we know like to take chances in the final. We will see how the race evolves, but everyone will be free to move and to take opportunities to go for a good result."

Drucker had a tough race at last weekend's World Championships in Bergen, Norway, working for his compatriot Bob Jungels and then finishing as the last classified rider in a field with a high attrition rate.

"I will have to see how I recover, but at the moment I am feeling good. We are getting very close to the end of the season, so I am motivated to be up there in the final and race for a good result with the team," Drucker said.

BMC Racing for Tour de l'Eurometropole: Silvan Dillier, Jempy Drucker, Martin Elmiger, Floris Gerts, Daniel Oss, Michael Schär, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Bram Welten

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