After storming to the top of the standings the day before, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) held onto her race lead on the final day of racing at the Tour de l'Ardeche to take the overall title. Along with the race victory, Niewiadoma won the combined and mountains classifications in the six-day race.
Niewiadoma moved into the leader's jersey on the penultimate day of racing after making it into a two-rider break with Sunweb's Ruth Winder. The American would take the stage win, but Niewiadoma would build a significant advantage in the standings. She went into the final stage with a 41-second lead over Spain's Marga Garcia Canellas and more than doubled it on the lumpy parcours. After a difficult season, it is a morale boost for Niewiadoma ahead of the UCI Road World Championships, which start later this week.
"I'm very happy because this is a result of hard work from our entire team," said Niewiadoma. "We were committed and motivated from the start until the end. It's nice to celebrate it together and to have this feeling of satisfaction. We suffered a lot, learnt a lot and we gained a lot. Now, I'm going to Girona to recover for a few days and then I will fly to Innsbruck for the most important race of the season, the road world championships."
Van der Breggen, Blaak headline Boels-Dolmans team time trial line-up
Boels Dolmans have named a strong line-up that includes Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak as they look to regain their team time trial world title in Innsbruck this weekend.
The six-rider team has just one change to the one that finished second in Bergen last year with Amalie Dideriksen replacing Megan Guarnier in the squad. Completing the team will be Christine Majerus, Amy Pieters and Karol-Ann Canuel.
Having finished second in Richmond 2015, Boels Dolmans took their first team time trial world title in Doha in 2016. There were some big changes to the line-up for last year's competition but they were still the overwhelming favourites for the title. They struggled to match the benchmark set by the Sunweb team and eventually ceded 12 seconds to them and had to settle for the silver medal. This year will be the final opportunity for the team to take the top honours.
"It's the last team time trial at Worlds and it's for this reason I really want to win it so badly. I really think we have the strongest team here and I think it would be so cool to finish the season off with the win," said Canuel. "I haven't seen the course yet, but I heard it isn't technical and pretty flat. It's really different than last year's course in Norway. I think it will be to set up a fast speed and keep six riders as long as possible."
Koppenberg signs for WNT-Rotor
WNT Rotor continue to add some serious strength to their line-up for 2019, after announcing the signing of up and coming German rider Clara Koppenburg from Cervelo-Bigla. Koppenburg joins compatriot Lisa Brennauer, sprinter Kirsten Wild and Ane Santesteban on the team's roster for next season.
Koppenburg turned professional with Bigla Pro Cycling in 2015 and has progressed over the years. She finished in the top 10 of the Emakumeen Bira in May and finished fourth in the German national time trial championships in June. She has also been a part of Cervelo-Bigla's team time trial line-up and took a bronze medal with them at the World Championships last season.
"I am super excited to be joining the team. I know a lot of the girls, some are really good friends, and I worked with Dirk [Boldinger – team DS] two years ago when he was the director sportif at Cervelo-Bigla, so I am familiar with how he operates."
"I am an all-rounder, but my favourite and strongest assets are my time trailing and climbing abilities. I have been more of a domestique rider during my career because I started cycling when I was 17, but I love to help my team mates however in the last couple of years I have learnt how to create the race and been able to find my limits. I am excited for something new, after 4-years, because I only know the structure of that team and I'm looking forward to experiencing something new with a great group of girls."
Fournier signs for Movistar
Roxane Fournier will ride for the Movistar women's team in 2019, the team has announced. The 26-year-old Frenchwoman is the first new signing for the Spanish squad, which began racing in the women's peloton this season.
Fournier has raced professionally since 2010 and spent much of her early career on the Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86 team before stepping over to the newly created FDJ squad last season. The switch to Movistar will see her race on a non-French squad for the first time in her career. She will join her former teammate Aude Biannic, who joined Movistar for this season.
Fournier has notched up 20 victories in her career, including stages at the Route de France, the Tour de l'Ardeche and the Tour of Chongming Island.
Canyon-SRAM name Worlds TTT line-up
Canyon-SRAM have named their six-rider squad for the forthcoming team time trial World Championships.
The Barnes sisters Alice and Hannah have been named alongside Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein and Trixi Worrack. Alena Amialiusik will return from a lengthy injury break to complete the team. The Belarusian has been out of competition since July when she broke her shoulder at the Giro Rosa. She is one of two riders, along with Worrack, to have been part of a winning team time trial squad in the past.
"It's an honour for me to have my first race back at the world championships. The team have a lot of faith in me and I'll be doing my best to repay that on Sunday. I always think how deep I have gone in the team time trial at past world championships. There's so much pain. Sunday, I'm probably going to reach again a new level, but I'm somehow excited for it," said Amialiusik.
Canyon-SRAM line-up for TTT World Championships: Alena Amialiusik, Alice Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein and Trixi Worrack