News shorts: Kristoff defends title and Breschel heads Tinkoff-Saxo in Vattenfall Cyclassics

Breschel leads Tinkoff-Saxo in Hamburg

Tinkoff-Saxo is looking to buck the odds in a mass sprint finish in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg on Sunday, and is naming Matti Breschel as its man for the win.

“We don’t have a pure sprinter here to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Kristoff, Cavendish, Greipel and Kittel but we have to play our cards right and create our chances,” said sports director Nicki Sørensen. “We will support Matti Breschel fully, he’s a pretty obvious choice with the shape he has shown during the past weeks.”

The Dane was injured in a training accident in June. Most recently he won two stages at the Post Danmark Rundt.

The team is also sending Michael Mørkøv, Michael Rogers, Michael Valgren, Nikolay Trusov, Manuele Boaro, Michael Kolar and Evgeny Petrov.

Kristoff looks to podium in Vattenfall Cyclassics and Worlds

Alexander Kristoff dominated the sprints in the early part of the season and leads the peloton with 19 wins. The summer has been quieter for the Katusha rider, as his stage win in the Arctic Race of Norway was his first since the Tour de Suisse. He now has his eye on both the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday and the upcoming world championship road race in Richmond.  

He is the defending champion in Hamburg, and told, “I feel strong again, so my ambition is Sunday at least to stand on the podium. And hopefully on the top step. Hamburg is a tough race, which finishes with a treacherous sprint. The finish is quite narrow and very, very fast.”

The Norwegian said that for Richmond, he is “not the top favourite, but one of the favourites. I've seen the course on video and it should fit me, the climbs are short and technical, and there are cobblestones.”

His top favourites for the title are Germany’s John Degenkolb and Slovakia’s Peter Sagan. But Belgium also has a strong team, he noted, with Tom Boonen and Greg van Avermaet.

Roompot Oranje with two maiden wins in one day

Team Roompot Oranje hit the jackpot on Friday, taking its first two season wins. The Dutch Professional Continental team is in its first year of existence.

First, Maurits Lammertink won the sprint to take the fourth stage of the Tour du Limousin. It was not only the first win ever for the team, but also the first professional win for the 24-year-old. “After being so close in Dunkirk, it is now finally a success,” he said on his website. “That is great of course!”

He went “neck and neck” with GC winner Sonny Colbrelli but “fortunately I picked the longest straw.”

The team was still rejoicing over its first win when the second one came in. 22-year-old Dylan Groenewegen also took his maiden win in the mass sprint at the end of the Arnheim-Veenendaal Classic. “We have had a lot of places of honor for the team, but now uncorking the champagne makes it clear to everyone that we work hard, get better and win!”

Team manager Jean-Paul von Poppel was proud of his youngsters, saying the dual wins show how much the riders and team have developed this year. “That is exactly what makes this victory so beautiful. Dylan is a good example of a young rider who we really see making great strides. And he knows to finish off the team work so perfectly."

Listen to the Cyclingnews podcast

The latest Cyclingnews podcast is available to download and listen to. In this week’s episode, Sadhbh O’Shea, Partick Fletcher and Procycling editor Ed Pickering discuss Taylor Phinney’s comeback, Peter Sagan at the Vuelta and Dan Martin’s potential move to Etixx-QuickStep.

We also hear from Taylor Phinney on his emotions after winning the opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge.

You can listen to the podcast here and you can subscribe right here to make sure that you get it as soon as the newest episode is out.

Chainel leaves Cofidis to set up French ‘cross team

Steve Chainel is breaking his contract with Team Cofidis immediately, with the intention of starting up a new French cyclo-cross team. The Frenchman started his career in cyclo-cross in 2000, turning to the road full-time only in later years.

"With my new cyclocross team I have the ambition to go in the long run as far as, say, Sunweb, BKCP or Vastgoedservice”, Chainel told

The new team will be called Cross Team by G4 as, "G4 is our clothing supplier. In addition, I wanted to name something international sounding.”

His main purpose is to attract French ‘cross riders to a French team. “Why, for example does (‘cross world champion) Pauline Ferrand-Prevot ride for a Dutch team? There is simply no French top team for ‘crossers."

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