News shorts: Kwiatkowski to lead Etixx-QuickStep at Amstel Gold Race

Consonni wins Côte Picarde, BePink service course theft, Hinault and Zoetemelk team up for Tour de France time trial

Kwiatkowski to lead Etixx-QuickStep at Amstel Gold

World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski will lead his Etixx-QuickStep team at the upcoming Amstel Gold Race on Sunday where he is aiming to improve on his fifth-place performance from last year. Kwiatkowski recently showed top form at the Vuelta Ciclista a Pais Vasco where he placed second in the opening stage, fourth in stages 3 and 4, and eighth overall.

Etixx-QuickStep will also be fielding Michal Golas, Tony Martin, Gianni Meersman, Julian Alaphilippe, Petr Vakoc, Stijn Vandenbergh and Julien Vermote.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quickstep)

Consonni snags U23 win for Italy at Côte Picarde

While racing with the Italian national team, Simone Consonni, 20, won the under-23 Côte Picarde, the third round of the Nations Cup held in France on Wednesday. The young Italian beat Great Britain’s Owain Doull and Norway’s Daniel Hoelgaard in a sprint in Mers-les-Bains.

"It's the most important, the first in the national team jersey. It was a great feeling," Consonni said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. Director Marino Amadori added it was “a good team effort."

The Nations Cup heads to Holland for ZLM-Roompot Tour on Friday and Saturday.

There will be a mixed Italian team in Giro del Trentino next week, with young riders alongside veteran Luca Paolini. The team will also include Guilio Ciccone, Gianni Moscon, Stefano Nardelli, Simone Ravanelli, Simone Petilli, Davide Gabburo and Antonio Santoro.

BePink service course theft

Italian women's team BePink-La Classica had its service course broken into Wednesday with thieves taking all the team's bikes, wheels and parts, according to a Facebook post. The team are the latest victims of sophisticated bike thieves who have in recent years made off with bikes and equipment from the Australian service course in Varese, from Team Sky at the 2014 Tour du Haut-Var and over 30 bikes at the Florence World Championships.

Hinault and Zoetemelk to race Tour de France time trial on a tandem

Former cycling rivals Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk will ride a tandem together for the first leg of the upcoming Tour de France. They will race the 13.7km time trial through Utrecht and set the time that the pros need to beat.

The event will kick off the De Andere Tour, a Tour de France for people over 60. Tandom teams ride all 21 stages of the Tour de France together. They will cycle the same route a day ahead of the professional field. The De Andere Tour will begin in Utrecht, climb the Alpe d'Huez and sprint towards the finish on the Champs-Élysées. Every day the formatting of the cycling team changes, and two new riders will head the team.

Frenchman Bernard Hinault leads Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk (green jersey) during the 16th stage of the Tour de France in 1979. Hinault went on to win his second consecutive Tour de France as Zoetemelk finished second again.

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