Froome, Naesen top post-Tour de France criteriums - News Shorts
Nibali returns in Pologne, US junior wins Tour de l'Abitibi
The days after the Tour de France are filled with local celebrations, where the riders who have returned from Paris take part in criteriums surrounded by their fans.
In Aalst, Belgium on Monday, Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) starred in the show, driving the course first in a car with soap opera star Ronn Moss before taking part in the 'race', where he was beaten Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale). Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was third. Riders were crowned with special hats courtesy of sponsor Napoleon Games.
Today in Roeselare, Froome got the better of Naesen, while Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) rounded out the podium.
In the Netherlands, it was the 'Daags Na de Tour' in Boxmeer on Monday, where Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo) beat Koen De Kort (Trek-Segafredo) in a spirited sprint. Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin was a special guest in third. Earlier in the evening, Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) won the women's race ahead of teammate Amy Pieters, with Marianne Vos (WM3) in third.
Dumoulin also took part in another post-Tour criterium race, beating Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Primoz Roglic (LottNL-Jumbo) in Surhuisterveen on Tuesday.
Nibali returns at Tour de Pologne
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will return to racing at the Tour de Pologne this week. The Italian took an extended break after finishing third in the Giro d'Italia, only popping back in briefly to race the Italian championships at the end of June before returning to his mountain training camp.
"I return to races after the mountain training at Passo San Pellegrino," Nibali said. "We have worked well and I'm going to Poland with improving condition and then with the opportunity to get a good result in GC. This race will be my last test before the start of Vuelta a España."
The Tour de Pologne starts on July 29, and organisers have opted to participate in an experiment to have teams of seven riders instead of eight in order to improve safety in the peloton while making for a more open race.
Over the course of the seven stages in the race, there are three summit finishes, with the third stage being the best for the climbers with four category 1 climbs before an uphill finish in Szczyrk. The final stage in Bukowina Tatrzanska features seven climbs including the finish, and at just 132km it will be an aggressive final day.
"There are no long climbs but it's an interesting route where we can do well," team directeur sportif Paolo Slongo said. "Beginning with Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti, but also in the sprint with Nicolò Bonifazio. The race will also be a valuable experience for the two young riders of the Team: Antonio Nibali and Domen Novak".
Bahrain Merida for the Tour de Pologne: Vincenzo Nibali, Antonio Nibali, Manuele Boaro, Nicolò Bonifazio, Domen Novak, Franco Pellizotti and Giovanni Visconti
US junior Riley Sheehan wins Tour de l'Abitibi overall
USA Cycling rider Riley Sheehan took the overall win last week at the Tour de l'Abitbi, one of the UCI's top Nations Cup races.
Sheehan, a 17-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, finished in the top four during six of the seven stages on his way to the overall win, beating Mexico's Fernando Islas Lopez by 29 seconds and Czech Republic's Richard Holec by 32.
Sheehan took the overall lead from Canadian Kurt Penno during the 10km stage 3 individual time trial in Amos, where he finished second on the stage to Islas Lopez.
Sheehan was part of a six-rider USA Cycling team that also included Matteo Jorgenson, Sean Quinn, Kendrick Boot, Sean McElroy and Cole Davis. Jorgenson was fifth in the general classification, while Quinn finished eighth and Boots was ninth.
American Denzel Stephenson of Boulder Junior Cycling won the final stage and finished 13th overall.
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