The first weekend of September sees an action-packed couple of days of racing with some teams racing triple programmes between races in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, the USA and Canada. Cyclingnews will have coverage from the Vuelta a Espana, the Tour of Alberta, the Tour of Britain, the Boels Rentals Ladies Tour and more.
With so much happening in the next two days, Cyclingnews has put together a list of the racing action.
Vuelta a Espana
The Vuelta a Espana’s second week comes to a close with two big summit finishes in the Pyrenees. Nairo Quintana heads into the weekend with the leader’s red jersey on his back and Chris Froome hot on his heels. The race increasingly looks like it will be decided between the pair but the likes of Esteban Chaves and Alberto Contador are waiting in the wings to upset the formbook.
First up for the riders is a brutal 194km stage 14 from Urdax-Dantxarinea, where the peloton must tackle three first category ascents before culminating with the special category Col d’Aubisque. Following the short trip into France, the riders return to Spain for Sunday’s stage from Sabiñánigo to Sallent de Gállego Aramón Formigal. It’s a short day at just 118km, but it packs a punch with three climbs including the summit finish in Aramón Formigal.
Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of both stages from start to finish, plus video highlights, a race report, gallery and results. We will also have all the latest reaction and news from each stage. Click here for our Vuelta a Espana hub page with all the latest news from the race, and click here for the start list.
Tour of Britain
The Tour of Britain kicks off this Sunday with a 168km stage from Glasgow to Castle Douglas, which should be a prime chance for the sprinters to score an early victory. Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan and British national champion Adam Blythe in with a shot at victory.
Defending champion Edvald Boasson Hagen will not be at the race, but there are a number of other big names, many of which are using the race to build up to the World Championships. Among those taking to the start line in Glasgow are Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Rohan Dennis (BMC), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Bradley Wiggins (WIGGINS), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Wout Poels (Team Sky) and former winner Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac).
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of all the Tour of Britain stages plus full results, gallery and stage reports. There will also be reaction and interviews from all the stages. Click here for the Tour of Britain hub page, here for our race preview and here for the full start list.
Tour of Alberta
The five-day Tour of Alberta got underway on Thursday, with Colin Joyce (Axeon Hagens Berman) taking first blood with victory on the opening stage around Lethbridge. Joyce won ahead of Cannondale’s Alex Howes in a two-man sprint. Defending champion Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo) was one of the 11 riders who surged clear on the penultimate lap, taking more than two minutes on the chasing bunch.
After Friday’s largely downhill stage from Kananaskis to Olds, Mollema should be in the driving seat in the overall classification as the race heads into its crucial final three days. Stage 3’s ride from Rocky Mountain House to Drayton Valley is not the most challenging stage of this year’s race but its lumpy terrain could cause some splits in the bunch. It is the following day’s time trial that will give the first really big shake-up of the overall classification. The race will finish as it started with a up and down criterium, this time around in Edmonton. Stage one showed that anything could happen on a stage such as this one, and nothing can be taken for granted.
Boels Rentals Ladies Tour
Chantal Blaak will lead the Boels Rentals Tour into its final two stages this weekend. Blaak has led the race since stage three, helped by a strong performance from her Boels Dolmans team in the stage 2 time trial, which saw them beat Canyon SRAM by 33 seconds. The Dutch squad also claimed victory at the hand of Amelie Dideriksen on stage one, with Rabo Liv’s Kasia Niewiadoma the victory on stage 3 and Sara Roy (Orica-AIS) winning Friday’s stage 4.
Blaak sits 11 seconds ahead of her teammate Ellen Van Dijk with Karol-Ann Canuel sitting in third place overall. The race is due to finish on Sunday, September 4.
Cyclingnews will have photos and full results from each stage and click here for our Boels Rentals Ladies Tour hub page.
Brussels Cycling Classic
The Brussels Cycling Classic, formerly known as Paris-Brussels, is the first of a sprinting one-day doubleheader this weekend. The 199km race is far from straightforward with 13 bergs to contend with before the finish in Heizel.
The race, which held its first edition in 1893, has an illustrious list of winners including former Tour de France winner Octave Lapiz and, more recently, Tom Boonen and Andre Greipel, while Dylan Groenewegen took last year's title. The 2012 champion, Boonen will be wearing the number one on his back as he leads a strong Etixx-QuickStep team that contains Marcel Kittel.
Going up against the formidable Belgian team will be Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R La Mondiale), Sean de Bie (Lotto-Soudal), Andrea Guardini (Astana), Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida), Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), among others.
Cyclingnews will have results, photos and a report from the Brussels Cycling Classic, and click here for the race’s hub page.
GP de Fourmies
After the Brussels Cycling Classics, the sprinters and their teams will hotfoot it to France for the next leg of this sprinting weekend with the GP de Fourmies. Not quite as old as the Brussels-based event, Fourmies is still a race that holds some prestige on the calendar and, with the field expected, a win here will be well earned.
The GP de Fourmies is not a predictable race, and it could be won by a breakaway just as easily as it could come down to a bunch sprint. The favourites are similar to that of the previous day’s action, including Tom Boonen, Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare. Frenchman Bryan Coquard will also be in attendance at Sunday’s race.
Cyclingnews will have full results from GP de Fourmies and click here for the race hub page.
Tour des Fjords
Next up is the Norwegian Tour des Fjords, which is set to reach its conclusion this weekend. The race didn’t get off to the best of starts with confusion ending up in riders being taken off course and out onto open roads.
Leigh Howard won and went into the race lead, although the time gaps were removed following a decision by the commissaires. Alexander Kristoff struck back with victory on stage 2, and the two will duke it out for overall victory in the final two stages with Roompot’s Jesper Asselman ready to pounce should either make a mistake.
Cyclingnews will have full results, gallery and report from the Tour de Fjords and you can find the race hub here.
Last but not least is the Gateway cup in St Louis, which will continue at the weekend with the men’s and women’s Tour de Francis Park and Giro della Montagne. The four-day event will come to a close on Monday with the Benton Park Classic.
The Gateway cup is a series of criteriums that form part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. Axeon Hagens Berman rider Neilson Poweless, who recently performed well at the Tour de l’Avenir, leads the men’s competition while Samantha Schneider (ISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI) tops the standings for the women.
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