Giant-Alpecin give sprinters a shot at Scheldeprijs
Giant-Alpecin plan on giving their sprinters a chance for glory at Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. The team will support Nikias Arndt for a possible sprint finish, while cyclo-cross specialist Lars van der Haar will kick off his road season.
"Scheldeprijs is an important race for the team and we will focus on a sprint finish as this is the most likely outcome," director Arthur van Dongen said in a team press release.
"We come here with a strong sprinter in Nikias and to aim for a top 10 finish. The change of route in this year's finale, making it less technical, could increase our chances to attain this result.”
The 207.8km race starts in Antwerp with a 157.4km loop, then the riders tackling three finishing circuits of 16.8km each to finish in Schoten.
"On the final circuit, we also have to remain in a good position during the tough cobblestone section of Broekstraat which is 1.7km long. After that, the sprint preparation starts and we need to be in position to battle for a good result."
Giant-Alpecin for Scheldeprijs - Nikias Arndt, Bert De Backer, Lars van der Haar, Chad Haga, Ramon Sinkeldam and Tom Stamsnijder
- See also: The full start list for Scheldeprijs.
Powless to lead Axeon Hagens Berman at Redlands Bicycle Classic
After finishing third at the San Dimas Stage Race, Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) will bring his top form to the Redlands Bicycle Classic held from April 6-10 in California. Retired professional Jeff Louder will direct the team in the second event on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.
The five-day race includes three road races, a time trial and a criterium. "You have to be well-rounded and on your game every day," Axeon Hagens Berman Assistant Director Jeff Louder said in a team press release.
"Redlands is a short race by time, but it is a pretty intense race," he said. "You have to be able to survive the Highland Circuit Race. Then you have to make it up Oak Glen, which is a pretty serious climb. You have to do a good time trial, then survive one of the tougher U.S. criteriums on the calendar, then turn around and race the Sunset Loop. To me, that is one of the harder circuits out there and it could really be a world championship course."
Axeon Hagens BermanRedlands Bicycle Classic: Jonny Brown, Geoffrey Curran, Phil O'Donnell, Justin Oien, Neilson Powless, Chad Young.
Costa makes the effort on summit finish at Pais Vasco; Meintjes abandons
Lampre-Merida’s Rui Costa gave it a good effort on the summit finish to Garrastatxu at Pais Vasco as he attempted to bridge to the winning breakaway of Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Wilco Kelderman (LottoNl-Jumbo). He ultimately could not bridge across to the pair and ended up finishing seventh on the day.
“Usually, these are not the kind of climbs he prefers, however, he succeeded in realizing an excellent performance,” said director Marco Marzano.
The team started the stage with two riders in the breakaway with Louis Meintjes and Simone Petilli, however, both were not far down in the overall and proved to be too much of a threat. Petilli returned to the field while Meintjes abandoned the race due to the cold.
"Today too our first goal was to be present in the breakaways and we achieved this goal thanks to Petilli and Meintjes, however, the bunch controlled the attackers, so after 15km we decided that it was better that Petilli joined the peloton in order to support Rui Costa, considering that today’s stage was very important to approach the climbs in a good position in the group,” said Marzano in a team press release.
Assos partners with USA Cycling
USA Cycling announced Tuesday that it has partnered with clothing brand Assos though the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Swiss-based company will support road, mountain bike, cyclo-cross and track disciplines with apparel.
USA Cycling and Assos partnership begins this spring, and will see Assos outfitting athletes at both the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as at all World Championships and World Cup events during the coming five-years.
“Assos is one of the most iconic apparel brands in cycling and we are honored they have chosen to partner with us,” said USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall. “The quality of their products is unmatched, and to have the USA Cycling Team competing in their clothing is a powerful advantage we are thrilled to have for not just Rio, but all the way through Tokyo as well.
“The timing could not be more perfect. As we seek to transform USA Cycling to become more member focused, Assos, too, is transforming itself under new leadership to better serve women's cyclists and the U.S. market more broadly. We share a commitment to supporting American cycling through innovation and progressive ideals. We are changing together in very positive ways that I think the American cycling community is going to embrace.”
According to the press release, the new kit will have a retro look. “The Assos Team USA kit will remind many of the national kits of the 1980’s,” CEO Phil Duff said. “The design of a dark blue jersey with red and white stripes and white stars is a conscious decision to salute the past while looking toward what we think will be a very bright future with USA Cycling.”