Michael Albasini will be aiming for his third GP du canton d'Argovie victory this coming week with his Orica-GreenEdge team. Albasini won the race in 2011 and 2013 and has also finished fourth, fifth and was second last year to Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
"Our main objective is to try and support Michael (Albasini) as best we can," said sports director for the 1.HC race David McPartland. "This is a race that he has won before, he is riding in front of a home crowd and as always he wants to perform well on home turf.
"We have a good squad with guys coming in from the Giro d'Italia with good form and the rest from the Tour of Luxembourg. The team is fully motivated to get the job done."
Almost half of Albasini's professional wins have been on home soil in Switzerland, including his most recent victory on the final stage of the Tour de Romandie. The 35-year-old hasn't raced since the Swiss WorldTour race in which he also won the points classification, a week after finishing second in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
"As you'd expect it is usually a fast and aggressive race on a difficult course," added McPartland. "Michael has the experience required to get a good result here and the team is nicely balanced to try and help him achieve that."
Orica-GreenEdge will also have sprinter Caleb Ewan as another option for a bunch finish at the end of the 188km race with Sam Bewley and Magnus Cort on lead out duties. Cheung King Lok and Amets Txurruka complete the six-rider team for the June 9 race.
Anthony Turgis extends with Cofidis to end of 2018
Neo-pro Anthony Turgis has extended his contract with French Pro-Continental team Cofidis to the end of the 2018 season fresh from winning a stage at the Tour de Luxembourg. It was the second win of the season for the 22-year-old after his Classic Loire Atlantique victory in March.
"I felt comfortable in this team from the start," Turgis said in a statement from the team. "It has helped me to grow, to get results. I had other offers but I felt that the best sporting choice was to stay true to the Cofidis team, in which I can confidently continue my development, gain greater confidence and responsibility."
Turgis first rode with Cofidis as a stagiaire in 2014, having started the season with Roubaix-Lille Métropôle, before joining the Pro-Continental team full time in 2015. Stage 2 victory at last year's Boucles de la Mayenne set up Turgis' first overall victory while bronze in the U23 Men's road race was another season highlight. In 2016 the Frenchman has continued to impress with third place overall at the Tour de Yorkshire and fourth at the Tour de Luxembourg further sign of his potential.
Cofidis team manager Yvon Sanquer explained that he has been thrilled with Turgis since he joined the team and is looking forward to extending his stay.
"We believed in the potential of much Anthony when we offered him his first professional contract two years ago," Sanquer said. "His results, as well as his attitude within the team proved that we were right and we were convinced that it was important our common history continues. His stage victory in the Tour of Luxembourg - if necessary - has confirmed that feeling. Anthony will play an important role in the team in the coming years."
First European win for Tom Scully
Tom Scully enjoyed his first win as a professional as the breakaway enjoyed a day out on the final stage of the Boucles de Mayenne and in doing so, claimed Drapac's first European victory of 2016. The Australian team has taken stage wins in Argentina, Australia, Taiwan and Iran and can now claim to have won in four different continents.
"It's my first win as a professional on the road, so I’m pretty happy with it," said Scully won the points race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. "I knew the form was good after getting 4th in the prologue on Thursday, but then I had a bit of a setback on stage one when I was caught in a crash with four kilometres to go. In the end though it worked out, and I’m really pleased for the team that I could finish the job off."
Scully had made his way into a six-rider break which formed with 30km to race in the 180km third stage from Juvigné to Laval. With the Direct Energie led peloton chasing hard on the final 4.3km circuits in Laval, Jonas Rickaert (Topsport Vlaanderen) was the first rider to hit out for the win with Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo - Vital Concept) bringing back the move. Scully then made his winning move to hold off Delaplace and Aitor Gonzalez (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) for the victory.
"I laid off the Topsport guy a bit coming in to the final bend at 500m so I could take a run at him. It worked out perfectly in the end and I had an ideal run at the sprint," added the third place finisher from the 2012 Paris–Roubaix espoirs.
Scully's previous best result in Europe was also a victory but came at the UCI 2.2 rated Tour de Normandie in 2013 when he was riding for Team Raleigh.
AG2R-La Mondiale's Hugo Houle to lead Canadian national team at Tour de Beauce
Hugo Houle (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Ryan Anderson (Direct Energie) will lead the Team Canada squad at the upcoming Tour de Beauce stage race from June 15-19. Houle, the Canadian time trial champion, comes into the race off the back of the Giro d'Italia while Anderson recently rode the Tour of California.
"I was fortunate to be the Director of the last team to win Beauce with a Canadian rider [2008, Svein Tuft]. That was one of the most satisfying and emotional moments in my career," team manager Kevin Field. "It would be an honour to win again with a Canadian -- in the special edition LG national team jersey. Beauce is such a historic and important race for Canadians riders and teams."
Racing in special edition Louis Garneau Global Relay Team Canada jerseys and with Lexus providing team vehicles for the race, Field is expecting his team to leave their mark on the race.
"We are bringing a very capable team, led by Hugo and Ryan," said Field. "It's a tremendous opportunity for our RaceClean riders and young riders to learn from our established pros, in tough racing situations. In the past the Beauce project has been a pivotal 'proving' ground for emerging talent like Tuft  and Mike Woods . Most important for us, is the ensuring we help Canada score more points for our World Championship qualification."
Anderson will provide the team with an option for the sprint stages and aim for his first win of the season.
The young team features several Tour de Beauce debutants in Alec Cowan, William Elliot, Kyle Buckosky, and local rider David Drouin. Para-cycling pilot Jean Michel Lachance completes the team roster.
Cyclingnews will have stage reports, results and photos from the 31st edition of the Canadian race.
Team Canada for 2016 Tour de Beauce: Hugo Houle, Ryan Anderson, Alec Cowan, William Elliot, David Drouin, Jean Michel Lachance and Kyle Buckosky.
Hugo Houle (AG2R-La Mondiale) earlier in the season (TDW Sports)
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