News shorts: Live coverage of USA Pro Challenge, Europcar and Colombia Vuelta squads

September date for 2016 Eneco Tour, Wellens eyes Lombardia

Cyclingnews live coverage of the USA Pro Challenge

The USA Pro Challenge kicks off on Monday with a hilly stage around Steamboat Springs and Cyclingnews will have live coverage of all the action from Colorado.

Overall contenders such as Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin) will have to fight the altitude as well as their US and international rivals. The 2015 race route reaches above 3,000 metres multiple times, with stages three, four and five rarely dipping below 2,450. The racing starts with a 156km circuit race in Steamboat Springs, and the riders will be feeling the elevation from the start. From there the race heads 186km to Arapahoe Basin at nearly 3,300 metres.
Join us for live coverage of all the action with blow-by-blow coverage of the stage. We will also have full post-stage reports, photo galleries and exclusive news and interviews from our reports at the race.

For a full race preview and information on each stage of this year’s race, click here. For the complete start list go here.

Europcar announce Vuelta a España roster

French Professional Continental outfit Team Europcar has announced it nine-rider roster for the Vuelta a España, for which the team has been granted a wild card invitation. Having finished 11th overall at the Tour de France, Pierre Rolland will lead the team's general classification aspirations on his first return to the race since 2010 when he abandoned after stage 9.

Yukiya Arashiro has been selected for his first Grand Tour since the 2014 Tour de France and his first Vuelta appearance. Cyril Gautier and Romain Sicard will make their return to racing having enjoyed a break since the Tour. Canadian Antoine Duchesne will make his Grand Tour debut.

Team Europcar for the Vuelta a España: Yukiya Arashiro, Jérôme Cousin, Antoine Duchesne, Jimmy Engoulvent, Cyril Gautier, Tony Hurel, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Pierre Rolland and Romain Sicard.

2016 Eneco Tour moves to September

The 2016 Olympic Games are expected to cause a series of changes in the summer racing calendar with reports emerging that the Eneco Tour will move to late September and become a final preparation race for the world road race championships in Qatar in mid-October.

According to a report in Sportwereld, the Eneco Tour will be held between September 19-25, five weeks later than its usual mid-August date. In 2016 the Elite men’s Olympic time trial and road race will take place on August 6 and 10 respectively.

The full calendar of races for 2016 is expected to be published during the world road race championships in Richmond at the end of September.

Colombia-Coldeportes targeting stage victories at Vuelta a Espana

The Colombia-Coldeportes team has named its squad for the Vuelta a Espana and confirmed it will target stage victories in the many mountainous and hilly stages in the 70th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour.

The Colombia-Coldeportes has twice ridden the Giro d’Italia in 2013 and 2014 but makes its debut in the Vuelta a Espana this year. It is the first time since 1993 that a Colombian team rides the Vuelta.

Team manager Claudio Corti has named a team of experienced and young riders, with three of the nine so-called Escarabajos riding their first Grand Tour of their professional careers. The nine riders are Alex Cano, Fabio Duarte, Leonardo Duque, Walter Pedraza, Carlos Julian Quintero, Brayan Ramirez, Miguel Angel Rubiano, Rodolfo Torres and Juan Pablo Valencia.

Duarte is expected to lead the team, while Duque brings years of experience after riding 12 Grand Tours. Alex Cano, Brayan Ramirez and Juan Pablo Valencia are making their Grand Tour debut.

“The Vuelta a España is a very important event for us, and for this reason we have built a team able to deliver experience and maximum focus through three weeks of racing,” team manager Claudio Corti said in the statement announcing the team.

“The story of this Vuelta will be written on the mountains and that’s were we want to put ourselves into the spotlight. We are confident that we have a solid squad, capable of leaving its mark on the race and meeting the expectations of the fans from Colombia and all over the world. Our first goal will be to win a stage, but we’ll have a better picture of what we can do – not only in stages, but also in the general classification – once the race will develop.”

The squad will fly to Spain from its Italian base near Milan on Wednesday, with the Vuelta a Espana beginning on Saturday in Puerto Banus on the southern Mediterranean coast.

Wellens hoping for more success in 2015 after Eneco Tour victory

Eneco Tour winner Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) has set his end of season goals and long-term ambitions, admitting he may not be suited to Grand Tour racing.

The 24 year-old Belgian won the Eneco Tour for a second consecutive year but was disappointed with his summer after struggling during his Tour de France debut.

“I hope to hold my good form as long as possible. I’ll ride the GP Plouay, then go to Canada for the races in Quebec and Montreal to prepare for the World Championships. I’ll do the team time trial and would like to ride the road race to help the team if I’m selected. My last race of the season will be Lombardy,” he said.

Wellens finished fourth in 2014 and will stay with Lotto Soudal until 2017.

"It's great to win the Eneco Tour and not because my Tour de France was not as good as expected. It's just great to win a weeklong stage race. I started the Eneco Tour with some doubts because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after the Tour. After the trial I felt good and so I knew for sure that my form was good. This year’s win is even more beautiful than the last. My first victory was a bit unexpected but this year was much harder and with rivals like Van Avermaet or Gilbert.”

Lotto Soudal's Tim Wellens wins the Eneco Tour for a second year in a row

 

 

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