News Shorts: D’hoore on track for Richmond result

TIBCO ends European trip at International de L'Ardeche, Brambilla extends with Etixx-Quick Step, Pozzovivo on Vuelta stage 11

Jolien D'hoore scored her second win in nine days and her fifth of the season on Tuesday at the Boels Rentals Ladies Tour, where the 25-year-old Belgian is racing in preparation for the UCI Road World Championships later this month.

D'hoore now leads the six-day race heading into Wednesday's 103.9km second stage in Tiel.

The race is D'hoore's first since her win in the Crescent Vårgårda World Cup last month in Sweden, where she took the World Cup lead but then decided to sit out the final round on Saturday in Plouay, France, choosing instead to focus on her World Championship preparation at home in Belgium.

"In the end I think it was a good decision," she said. "I did some good training last week, and it was the last week I could do it, so I took advantage of it. Then I'm going to use this week again as some good training in the races, and that should be perfect preparation for Richmond I hope.

"Dutch racing is never easy," D'hoore said of Tuesday's stage. "You always have to be focused and concentrated the whole race because of crashes and everything. But it was okay, it was a good day to start with."

TIBCO ends European trip at Tour Cycliste Feminin International de L'Ardeche

Team TIBCO-SVB will cap its month-long European campaign this week at the Tour Cycliste Feminin International de L'Ardeche in the Rhône Alps region of southern France.

The UCI 2.2 race, which runs September 2-7, covers approximately 635km with a 10.7km individual time trial on the second day.

"l'Ardeche should be a good challenge and opportunity for the team," said team director Ed Beamon. "The race starts with a potential sprint stage and is followed by a time trial, which could favour Lauren [Stephens]. The race then gets very hilly, and I think we have a good team for this terrain."

Following the French race, the team will return to the US for the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, later this month. Beamon will be selecting six of his riders for that event.

Team Tibco-SVB for Tour Cycliste Feminin International de L'Ardeche: Emily Collins, Kathrin Hammes, Joanne Hogan, Kendall Ryan, Lauren Stephens, Krista Doebel-Hickok.

Team Tibco on the front.

Brambilla extends with Etixx-Quick Step

Gianluca Brambilla has extended his contract with Etixx-QuickStep for a further two seasons. The Italian joined the team in 2013 from Colnago - CSF Inox and has proven to be an important climbing domestique across the past three seasons.

"I'm very happy for the trust that the team, and Patrick Lefevere, have placed in me,” Brambilla said. "These three years with the team have been splendid and full of satisfaction on both a professional and human level. Here I've found a great group and a highly professional atmosphere with a work ethic that I really like. I've found my place on this team and I know what they expect from me.

"The fact that we've renewed for another two years signifies that the feeling is mutual. My objective is to continue my process of maturing on a professional level, putting myself at the service of the team and – why not? – if I get the chance, to even try to achieve individual success."

Brambilla broke his collarbone at Liège-Bastogne-Liège but has since recovered to ride the Tour de Suisse, Tour de Pologne and is currently racing the Vuelta a Espana.

Etixx-QuickStep team manger Patrick Lefevere explained it was an easy decision to extend he 28-year-old's contract because he has proven his value to his teammates on endless occasions in his time with the Belgian outfit.

"Gianluca is a guy who has proven to have great professional and human skills," Lefevere said. "Throughout these years he has managed to forge an important role for himself on the team, and he has become a fundamental element to the team in stage races. Gianluca is a consistent athlete who knows how to ride in support of his teammates, but he can also ride his own race and is ready to take on more responsibility when called on to do so. This makes him an important team player whom we hope will also soon be able to achieve the satisfaction of an individual victory with our team jersey."

 Gianluca Brambilla on the Mur de Huy.

Vuelta a España stage 11 the hardest Pozzovivo has seen in a Grand Tour

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2R) will be facing his hardest-ever GrandTour stage on Wednesday at the Vuelta a España, along with the rest of the riders in the peloton.

"I am satisfied with my 10 first stages," Pozzovivo said. "Feelings are good. The team worked hard for me and I am very grateful."

The Ag2R rider currently sits in 10th on GC, 1:52 down from race leader Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

Pozzovivo returned to racing this season after a serious crash at the Giro d'Italia in May. The Italian crashed on a descent during stage 3 at the Giro, laying motionless on the pavement for several minutes before being taken by an ambulance to a hospital. He suffered cranial-facial trauma and later examinations revealed a concussion. He has no memory of the crash. Pozzovivo, who is aiming for a top five finish overall, spoke on the rest day on Tuesday ahead of the tough stage in Andorra.

"Now, another race starts," Pozzovivo said of the stage, which features six categorised climbs in just 138km. "The long climbs suit me well. Wednesday’s stage is the most difficult I ever ride on a Grand Tour."

Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) at the end of stage 7.

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