24-hours after sealing his third Tour de France title, Chris Froome was back in his bike at the Aalst criterium in Belgium where the Team Sky rider took the win ahead of BMC's Greg Van Avermaet and Tinkoff's Rafal Majka, the winner of the king of the mountains classification. Peter Sagan was the winner last year while Froome took the victory in 2013.
Froome flew back to Belgium after visiting the Sky UK offices in London on Monday morning and rode a lap of honour on the Aalst course before the criterium got underway. Froome's next post-Tour criterium will be the Profronde Surhuisterveen on Tuesday.
The 'Daags na de Tour' Boxmeer criterium is also traditionally held on the Monday after the Tour with Froome's teammate Wout Poels also making the journey over from London for the Dutch criterium but was only good enough for the podium with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) taking home the spoils with IAM Cycling's Stef Clement in third.
The post-Tour criteriums will continue in Belgium and the Netherlands all this week.
Chris Froome took a solo win at the Aalst criterium (Getty Images Sports)
Valgren and Tinkoff for Tour of Denmark
Having finished the 2016 Tour de France on Sunday, Michael Valgren is back in action this week with the Tinkoff rider leading the team at the Tour of Denmark (July 27-31). The 24-year-old won the UCI 2.1 stage race in 2014, moving up from fifth on the final stage.
"This year the race comes straight after the Tour which makes it a bit different to other years, but hopefully it will have a positive influence on Valgren's performance," sport director Lars Michaelsen. "We've been in touch during the Tour and while he's focused now on that race, he's really motivated for Denmark as well which is important after three weeks of racing."
Valgren, who also won the Danish road race title in 2014, will be joined by sprinter Erik Baška, road captain Daniele Bennati, Manuele Boaro, Michael Gogl, Michael Kolar, and Russian duo Pavel Brutt and Nikolay Trusov.
"Manuele also has history at this race having led in 2014 before Valgren won the overall, so his experience will be an asset. Benna comes to the race from Poland and he continues to get stronger after his return. Then with Baška, the first two stages and the fifth could suit him so we’ll look to support him there," added Michaelsen.
Jacopo Mosca, Piet Allegaert, and Jose Luis Rodríguez to stagiaire with Trek-Segafredo
American WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo has announced three stagiaires will join the team for the remainder of the 2016 season. The team is yet to announce which races the stagiaires will start.
Piet Allegaert is the youngest of the trio at 21-year-old and has ridden with Trek-Segafredo's development EFC Etixx team. A one-day specialists, Belgian Allegaert was seventh at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in the Spring and has also shown promise against the clock in prologues.
Italian Jacopo Mosca, 22, has ridden with the Viris Vigevano this season and shown promise as a climber.
Chilean Jose Luis Rodríguez is the third rider to join the team. The 22-year-old is the 2015 U23 National Champion and 2016 Pan-American Champion on the road and against the clock. A time trialler and climber, Rodríguez has spent the season with the UCI's World Cycling Centre team and was recently ninth overall at the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc.
Trek-Segafredo also took on three stagiaires last year, Szymon Rekita, Leonardo Basso and Julien Bernard with the latter earning a contract after top-ten results at the USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Hainan.
Double knee surgery for Mathieu van der Poel
Former 'cross world champion Mathieu van der Poel has undergone knee surgery that will require him to take thee weeks off from riding. The current Dutch 'cross champion has been racing rounds of the cross-country world cup in a bid to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games but with both knees causing his problems, he opted for surgery to ensure he is right for the 2016-17 'cross season.
Van der Poel's Beobank-Corendon team released a statement, explaining "A consultation with Dr Toon Claes in Herentals resulted immediately in surgery. The right knee was repaired a tear in the skin. On the left, friction between a tendon and cartilage was causing mild inflammation. Also that knee was treated surgically.
"The result is inactivity for three weeks. In mid-August, Mathieu will resume training in his bike to prepare for the first races of the season. He will not be in action this summer."
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