Peter Sagan moves closer to overall lead at Eneco Tour
Rohan Dennis, the current overall leader at the Eneco Tour after the first three stages, pointed to Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) as the biggest threat to his white leader's jersey after Sagan won stage 3 and crept closer to the overall lead. Sagan is now in second place, only three seconds behind the Australian.
Sagan was third in the opening day's sprint, won by Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNl-Jumbo), and so started the stage race six seconds out of the overall lead. In stage 2, Dennis won the time trial but Sagan rode an impressive seventh place, only 17 seconds off of the stage winner's mark, putting himself third overall at 13 seconds back.
Sagan moved up to second overall after his stage 3 victory, during which he floated almost effortlessly through the chaotic bunch sprint. He is breathing down Dennis' neck at only three seconds back with another presumed sprint stage ahead.
“I think God opened the street for me in the finishing sprint like Moses parted the seas,” Sagan said after the finish. “It was fun and I’m very happy to win here. Thanks again to all my teammates as they did an unbelievable job on the last laps and helped me today.
"For now, we’re doing very well but we’ll take it day by day and see how we are tomorrow and then in the team time trial. Sunday is still some way away but for now we’re doing well and we’ll try to continue like this.”
Trek-Segafredo recruits Michael Gogl through 2018
Trek-Segafredo announced Wednesday the signing of Austrian Michael Gogl to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old joins the team from Tinkoff.
“I am super happy to sign with Trek-Segafredo because I think this is one of the best teams out there. For me, especially because I am a young rider, I know I will get a lot of support in this team to help me to continue to grow," Gogl said in a team press release.
Gogl signed with Tinkoff as a trainee during the 2015 season, where he then spent 2016 season. During that time he was fourth overall at the Tour of Demnark and fourth in a stage at the Vuelta a Espana, both this year.
“Next year I want to keep going like I have until now. I cannot say which results I would like to obtain. I’ve never done that in the past. I just take it as it comes, so we’ll see," he said.
General Manager Luca Guercilena added that he believes Gogl has a lot to offer Trek-Segafredo. "This year’s Vuelta was his first Grand Tour, and he was all but anonymous in it. In hilly races, Gogl is right at home, and he is not afraid of them and to dive right in. With this set of qualities, I am confident that in the long run, Michael will show us some great results.”
Ravasi to Project TJ Sport
Edward Ravasi has picked up his first professional contract in 2017, joining what could be the first Chinese WorldTour team Project TJ Sport on a two-year contract. The 22-year-old has spent two partial seasons as a trainee with Lampre-Merida in 2015 and 2016, but was not offered a full contract until now.
Ravasi was runner-up in the Tour de l'Avenir this year and won the opening stage at the Giro della Valle d'Aosta. His climbing skills are what made him attractive to Project TJ Sport.
"I did not hesitate to commit to this new project, since the idea of turning pro in a team with such interesting ambitions fascinated me a lot," he said.
"I already had experiences in the group, which is managed by [Giuseppe] Saronni and I learnt a lot, and I appreciated the professionalism and the competence of all the team's members.
"The races I took part in as trainee, in addition to this year, which I spent in the Under 23 category, contributed to my improvement as cyclist and now I'm ready to became a pro rider.
"I thank Team Colpack for the years we lived together, now it's time to focus my attention on the pro world, to learn as much as possible from my new teammates and the new staff members, with the goal of improving even more my skills and of achieving results which could pay back the trust that has been given to me."
Vermote scores win at Textielprijs Vichte
Julien Vermote secured a victory for himself and Etixx-QuickStep at the historical Textielprijs Vichte, a non-UCI race on Tuesday. His teammate, Yves Lampaert, finished in second place after the pair were in a late-race breakaway together, while Tosh van Der Sande (Lotto-Soudal) was third.
“It was a fast race, I think we had an average speed of around 47km/h, and that says a lot about today. Yves played an important role, helping me cover various moves and close the ground on the attackers, and I want to thank him for that," Vermote said after the 175km race, which he rode for the first time in his career.
“In the final seven kilometers, I sensed there was a chance, so I jumped from that group and went all the way to the line. I’m very happy for this victory, which underlines my condition and the fact that I’m ready for the next races.”
Vermote recently took a big stage win at the Tour of Britain.