Roompot-Charles have added three more riders to their 2019 roster. The team announced today the additions of Boy van Poppel from Trek-Segafredo, Maurits Lammertink from Katusha-Alpecin and 22-year-old Dutchman Justin Timmermans from the Delta Cycling Rotterdam Continental team.
The Dutch/Belgian Pro Continental team, which is a merger of Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij and Veranda's Willems Crelan, previously announced adding Lars Boom from LottoNL-Jumbo and Michael Van Staeyen from Cofidis.
Van Poppel has just one career UCI win on his palmares, a stage victory at the Tour of Missouri in 2008, but the 30-year-old Dutchman brings six years of WorldTour experience to the team. He said he'll be looking for more opportunities with his new outfit.
"That is indeed the intention," Van Poppel said. "In the last six years, I have been fully employed by leaders. Occasionally I got the chance to sprint myself, but it always takes some getting used to. You do not always get that chance to really get used to that. I'm looking forward to throwing myself in again."
Lammertink, 28, won a stage of the Blaoise Belgium Tour last year and the overall at the Tour of Luxembourg in 2016. He's ridden the Giro d'Italia twice and the Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France once each. Lammertink rode for the team in 2015 and 2016 before moving to Katusha.
"I joined them when they had just been established," Lammertink said. "The first year was immediately super. I have been able to run a nice program. And in the second year it only got better for me. We had a very nice month of August with a win in the Tour of Norway and the final victory of myself in the Tour of Luxembourg. That was very nice."
Timmermans rode for the Delta team this year after two seasons with the Baby-Dump Cyclingteam, most recently finishing 11th overall at the Olympia's Tour.
Bjerg sets Danish Hour Record
Mikkel Bjerg, this year's world champion in the U23 individual time trial, set a Danish hour record in Odense on Thursday.
The ride was not an official UCI-sanctioned attempt to break Bradley Wiggins' record of 54.526km, but the young Dane came closer than any other rider since the UCI altered the rules, covering 53.73km in one hour. Wiggins' UC Hour Record mark, set in Great Britain at the Lee Valley Velodrome in 2015, is 54.526km.
The 19-year-old took the Danish record off Martin Toft Madsen, who covered 53.63km in July.
Hagens Berman Axeon add first new rider for 2019
U23 development team Hagens Berman Axeon have added their first new rider to the 2019 roster, announcing on Thursday that the US Pro Continental team have signed 18-year-old Karel Vacek from the Czech Republic. Vacek recently placed 12th in the UCI Road World Championships junior men's road race to end a successful final year in the junior ranks.
"The 2018 season was a very successful season where I achieved nine wins, seven of them international, including winning Trofeo Citta di Loano 1.1," said Vacek. "While I am proud of my previous results, they aren't something I think about too much because more important to me is the future."
In 2018 Vacek won his time trial national championship and two stages at the Giro della Lunigiana, including the time trial. Vacek has also won the "Queen Stage" of Course de la Paix Juniors two years in a row. He's looking forward to seeing what he can do on one of the sport's most successful development programs.
"For me, joining Hagens Berman Axeon is something very special and also important for my future," Vacek said. "Someday I want to win Grand Tours like the Giro and the Tour [de France] … and I think HB Axeon is the right way to improve and become the cyclist I want to be. But I also know that HB Axeon is a family, and that is also super important for me."
Samuel Dumoulin looking for 4th Coupe de France win
AG2R la Mondiale's Samuel Dumoulin is heading into Saturday's Tour de Vendée with hopes of capturing his fourth overall title in the Coupe de France, the series of French one-day races for which Vendée serves as the final event. Dumoulin took the crown in 2012, 2013 and 2016 and is currently second in the 2018 standings to Hugo Hofstetter (Cofidis).
"I'm second overall, and mathematically, I can still win, but I my destiny is not in my two hands," Dumoulin said. "I am very much attached to this trophy that I have already won three times, and I certainly want to finish off the season with no regrets. But we all know that the Vendée roads can be tricky and encourage a very active race. It will be up to us to be aggressive and go for the win of this last round."
The 1.1 race travels 206.5km through the Vendée region of France and concludes with a finishing circuit in La Roche-sur-Yon. Cofidis' Christophe Laporte won the 2017 Tour de Vendée. Laurent Pichon (Fortuneo–Oscaro) won the Coupe de France last year.