Tinkoff names Vuelta a Espana team
Tinkoff has named the riders that will accompany Alberto Contador as he bids to win the fourth Vuelta a España of his career in what will be the team’s final Grand Tour before its disbands at the end of the season.
Jesus Hernandez, Robert Kiserlovski, Sergio Paulinho and Ivan Rovny will serve as Contador’s support in the high mountains, while the Spaniard will be able to rely on Daniele Bennati, Manuele Boaro, Michael Gogl and Yuri Trofimov on the flat.
Contador’s bid to win the Tour de France was undone by two crashes in the opening week and he abandoned in the Pyrenees, but he returned to action at the Clasica San Sebastian and proceeded to win the general classification at the Vuelta a Burgos.
“It’s obvious that we have only one leader at the race, that’s Alberto,” said Tinkoff directeur sportif Steven De Jongh. “After his crash in the Tour he came back quite well in Burgos – he took the win but still had to work a bit on his condition which is what he’s been doing since, followed by some rest days. I think he can do a great race here – it will be a strong field with the likes of Froome, Quintana, Kruiswijk and Chaves but we’re ready.”
Contador is set to join Trek-Segafredo for the 2017 season but the transfer is unlikely to be officially confirmed until after the Vuelta, which gets underway in Galicia on Saturday. After winning the race in 2008, 2012 and 2014, Contador is looking to make extend his sequence to four wins from four participations.
“Certainly, my goal at the Vuelta is to fight for victory. That's the idea with which I am going to Galicia, we will then see if we can achieve it, because I will have to face very strong opponents with powerful squad,” he said.
Tinkoff team for the Vuelta a España: Alberto Contador, Jesus Hernandez, Robert Kiserlovski, Sergio Paulinho, Ivan Rovny, Daniele Bennati, Manuele Boaro, Michael Gogl and Yuri Trofimov.
Meintjes leads Lampre-Merida in Spain
Lampre-Merida head to the Vuelta a Espana with an international nine-rider line up representing seven different nations. South African Louis Meintjes was tenth place at the 2015 Vuelta and recently finished eighth overall at the Tour de France in July. Despite his high overall placings in his last two grand tours, the 24-year-old is looking for stage wins with ten summit finishes providing ample opportunities.
With no out-and-out sprinter selected for the race, Lampre-Merida's team contains several riders who will look to pursue their opportunities for stage wins via breakaways. Tsgabu Grmay, Valerio Conti, Mattia Cattaneo, Valerio Conti, Kristijan Durasek and Ilia Koshevoy will all be given chances for wins.
Having taken a confidence boosting stage win at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Federico Zurlo will look to make a mark on the flat stages with Yukiya Arashiro and Mario Costa rounding out the squad. Lampre-Merida has won two stages at the race for the last two editions.
The 2016 Vuelta a Espana will start on Saturday, August 20 with a 29.4km team time trial from Balneario Laias to Castrelo de Mino. Stage 3 is the first summit finish of the race at Mirador Ézaro after 170km of racing.
For the 2016 Vuelta a Espana race preview, click here.
Lampre-Merida for the 2016 Vuelta a Espana: Yukiya Arashiro, Mattia Cattaneo, Valerio Conti, Mario Costa, Kristijan Durasek, Tsgabu Grmay, Ilia Koshevoy, Louis Meintjes and Federico Zurlo.
Hindley wins GP Capodarco
Jai Hindley capitalised on good work from his Australian U23 teammates to take the victory at GP Capodarco-Comunità di Capodarco ahead of Italian Edward Ravasi. The win was the second in three days for the team after Michael Storer won the GP Poggiana.
"Yeah it's incredible. I'm absolutely over the moon with the win today," said Hindley who became the second Australian after Rob Power in 2014 to win the one-day race.
"The whole team was awesome, we brought four guys who were all in great condition. Everyone rode to their strengths and coming up the final climb we had the most horsepower.
Hindley finished second overall at the An Post Ras in May and is looking forward to showing his current form and condition at the premier U23 stage race, the Tour de l'Avenir starting Saturday.
"Everyone has been training the house down recently, so it's great to get some good results," Hindley said. "The staff has been perfect too, everything running like clockwork as usual."
"I'm super happy with how everything is shaping up. I think we'll definitely give it a good crack by the time l'Avenir comes round."
Lucien Blyau –the rider’s friend for 40 Tour de France, passes away
Lucien Blyau, the Belgian cycling fan known for handing out drinks to riders at the Tour de France has died at the age of 91 on the day of his birthday, Belgian media report.
Blyau had attended the Tour de France for over 40 years, often taking up position near mountain finishes and handing out cans of coke to riders riders who were desperate for a drink and some caffeine to help them reach the finish of the stage.
Blyau was unable to attend this year’s Tour de France due to poor health and reportedly died of cancer. His last race was lle-Ingooigem in Belgium, with many riders recalling his generosity when his absence from the Tour was made public. More riders and numerous fans, shared their condolences on news of his death via social media.
Rust zacht LuciÃ«n. Wij gaan u heel erg missen. pic.twitter.com/HqocBDbDSFâ Johnny Hoogerland (@zeeuwseleeuw) August 16, 2016