WorldTour lead up for grabs at Ronde van Drenthe - Women's news shorts

International women's day, Semana Ciclista Valenciana TTT start times, Klemencic’s appeal fails, Alè-Cipollini squad for Valencia

WorldTour jersey up for the taking at Ronde van Drenthe

With the top three from last weekend’s opening round at Strade Bianche racing elsewhere or off training, the lead of the Women’s WorldTour is up for grabs at the Ronde van Drenthe.

Elisa Longo Borghini is in Valencia, while Kasia Niewiadoma and Lizzie Deignan are not racing this weekend, leaving fourth place Lucinda Brand the best of the finishers from Strade Bianche. Brand is just 50 points off Longo Borghini in the overall standings and a podium finish in Drenthe would be more than enough to take the lead.

Three-time Drenthe winner, Marianne Vos is also within striking distance of the top spot, although her team manager Eric van den Boom says she’s not firing on all cylinders just yet as she gets her road season underway. Her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten, who finished fifth last Saturday, could also take control of the competition with a top-three finish.

Click here for the Ronde van Drenthe start list.

Women's WorldTour standings

#Rider Name (Country) TeamPoints
1Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5120 pts
2Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling100 
3Elizabeth Deignan (GBr) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam85 
4Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women70 
5Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women60 
6Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope50 
7Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica Scott Women40 
8Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica Scott Women35 
9Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team30 
10Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon SRAM Racing25 
11Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High520 
12Sofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team18 
13Janneke Ensing (Ned) AlŽ Cipollini16 
14Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana14 
15Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam12 
16Dani King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling10 
17Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling8 
18Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team6 
19Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank4 
20Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Sunweb Women2 

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) and Elizabeth Deignan (Boels Dolmans)

Can you name these female cyclists?

It is international women’s day and in honour of the inauguration of the Women’s WorldTour in 2016 we compiled some of the biggest names from the women’s peloton throughout the years.

Can you guess who each of them are by their picture? Click here to take our superstars quiz.

Beryl Burton winning bronze in the 1970 World Championships

Inaugural Semana Ciclista Valenciana gets underway with team time trial

After plenty of one-day races, the Semana Ciclista Valenciana is the first stage race for much of the women’s peloton this season. Strade Bianche winner Elisa Longo Borghini wears the number one on her back at the four-day race and has a strong team with her including double former world champion Giorgia Bronzini.

The inaugural edition gets underway on Wednesday with a 6.6km team time trial. The short route will take the riders out and back to Vila Real, on a pan-flat course on the Spanish coastline. Two lumpy stages follow from Gania and Alicante, before the race finishes om March 11, in Valencia.

The Russian squad will begin proceedings at 3pm local time in Vila Real, with three minutes separating each team before Wiggle-High5 roll off last at 16:15. Look below for the full start times for the Semana Ciclista Valenciana team time trial.

Start times

#TeamTimes
1Russian Team15:00:00 
2Swiss Team15:03:00 
3German Team15:06:00 
4Norwegian Team15:09:00 
5Belgian Team15:12:00 
6Spanish Team15:15:00 
7BZK-Smurfit Kappa15:18:00 
8Hyundai Koryo Car15:21:00 
9Maaslandster Veris CCN15:24:00 
10Valcar PBM15:27:00 
11Lointek Team15:30:00 
12Giusfredi Bianchi15:33:00 
13Sport Vlaanderen15:36:00 
14Team WNT Pro Cycling15:39:00 
15Top Girls Fassa Bortolo15:42:00 
16SAS MACOGEP15:45:00 
17Aromitalia Vaiano15:48:00 
18Bizkaia-Durango15:51:00 
19Drops15:54:00 
20Servetto Giusta15:57:00 
21Astana Women's Team16:00:00 
22Lares Waowdeals16:03:00 
23BePink Cogeas16:06:00 
24Ale Cipollini16:09:00 
25Cervelo Bigla16:12:00 
26Wiggle-High516:15:00 

Klemencic’s appeal against ban fails

Blaza Klemencic’s appeal against a two-year ban for the use of EPO has been overturned, the UCI has confirmed. Klemencic’s case has been long and drawn out after she was subjected to retrospective testing. Her sample was retested along with Damiano Caruso and Alexey Shmidt, who both also tested positive for EPO.

Her sample dates back to March 27, 2012, but it was not confirmed as positive until three years later in September 2015. In May of last year, the UCI confirmed that Klemencic had been handed a two-year suspension by the UCI Anti-Doping tribunal.

Klemecic competed at both the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London in the mountain biking event. The Slovenian was also a medallist at the 2004 and 2005 MTB World Championships.

Blaza Klemencic

Alè-Cipollini name squad for Semana Ciclista Valenciana 

Italian team Alè-Cipollini has announced its six-rider team for the inaugural Semana Ciclista Valenciana to take place this week.

Australian Chloe Hosking opened the team's 2017 account in Australia, and came close to claiming Alè-Cipollini's first European win at Omloop van het Hageland. However, with the team also set to start the Women's WorldTour Ronde Van Drenthe, Hosking will be racing in the Netherlands this week.

The newly created Spanish race features four stages, including a team time trial to kick things off. With a balanced squad for both sprint and climbing, sports director Fabiana Luperini is expecting a strong showing.

"A stage victory is our main goal, but we can work as well for the General Classification with Taylor and Santesteban, our talented climbers," Luperini said.

The predominately Italian team will also feature Spaniard Ane Santesteban Gonzalez, Australian Carlee Taylor and Belgian Anisha Vekemans.

Alè-Cipollini for Semana Ciclista Valenciana: Marta Bastianelli, Martina Alzini, Martina Stefani, Anisha Vekemans, Ane Santesteban Gonzalez and Carlee Taylor.

Alé Cipollini lead the peloton

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