Blaak claims first stage race victory in Holland
Boels Dolmans started out strong with Amalie Dideriksen winning the first stage and the team won the team time trial the next day. Blaak took over the race lead after stage 3 and held it though the stage 6 finale in Valkenburg.
"It's never easy to win a bike race,” Blaak said after the last stage. "Today we worked well together as a team, which was great. We were always good, but you only know at the finish line sure if it works. I am very happy with this team effort."
Blaak has had a strong season this year with two WorldTour wins at Ronde van Drenthe and Gent-Wevelgem. She also won Le Samyn des Dames and a stage at Energiewacht Tour.
Lepisto extends with Cervelo Bigla
Lotta Lepistö is the latest rider to commit to the Cervelo Bigla team for 2017, after management announced that Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio had re-signed on Monday. The Finnish national champion has enjoyed a great season, winning six races.
“This year has been good. I think I took a major step forward from last year to this year with several wins and good podiums and we hope to continue like this. The team has a great structure which has allowed me to focus and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons for our success,” Lepistö said in a team press release.
Lepisto had strong performances this season with a stage wins at Euskal Emakumeen Bira, Elsy Jacobs and Aviva Women's Tour, and third places at Omloop van het Hageland and Pajot Hills Classic, and a win at SwissEver Go Cham. She was also second at the Vargarda WorldTour road race.
“The plans going into 2017 is great and the team has given me the full support to lead the sprints and the support to take another step forward like this year. The team set up is the best for me from the equipment to the group of people involved, I believe it’s the best place to keep improving.”
Horne signs for Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling
Ciara Horne has secured her first professional road contract after signing with the Cervelo Bigla team. Horne will join the team with immediate effect and is set will ride for the squad in the team time trial at the Doha World Championships at the start of next month.
“I'm extremely excited to be part of such an incredible team and compete at my first world championships on the road. I hope that I can help the team achieve their goals and aim for a medal at the TTT world championships,” Horne said.
“I'm predominantly a track rider specialising in team pursuit and individual pursuit but I love time trial on the road.”
Horne rode for the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team last season but has dedicated the past year almost entirely to the track, specifically the team pursuit. She missed selection for the Olympic Games but was part of the squad that took bronze in the discipline at this year’s World Championships and gold at the European championships in Guadaloupe in 2014.
Maud Kaptheijns awarded under-23 European cyclo-cross title
Maud Kaptheijns has been officially handed the under-23 European cyclo-cross title following the suspension of Femke Van Den Driessche earlier this year. Everyone else behind Kaptheijns has also been moved up one spot after Van Den Driessche was removed from the results.
Van Den Driessche, who beat Keptheijns to the European title last year, was handed a six-year ban beginning October 2015 after a motor was found in her bike at the World Championships in January.
"Of course many people have congratulated me and said that I am the true champion,” said in a statement on the Dutch Federation website. “This has made it official. I am proud of the achievement of the European title. I consider this the highlight of my career so far is an achievement that will remain forever behind my name and where I later be proud to look back on it.”
Oliveira wins Tour de l'Ardeche
Brazil's Flavia Oliveira won the Tour de l'Ardeche stage race on Sunday in Cruas, France. She finished the seven-stage event 2:12 ahead of runner-up overall Anna Kiesenhofer and an additional three seconds ahead of third placed Edwige Pitel.
Oliveira took over the race lead when she won stage 4, and held onto it through the final stage.
She has been in top form having recently placed seventh at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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