The Tour de Suisse organisers have announced four wild card teams for the 2016 edition of the WorldTour race to take place June 11-19. The four Pro Continental teams will team up with all 18 WorldTour teams for the nine-stage race. Swiss team Roth will be joined by the Dutch team Roompot - Oranje Peloton and two Polish teams, CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Verva ActiveJet Pro Cycling Team.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice return to the race having ridden the 2015 edition although there is no return to Belgian team Wanty - Groupe Gobert. It is the first time in Roth's history that the team will start a WorldTour event much to the pleasure of CEO Stefan Blaser.
"We are proud to have earned a starting place in the Tour de Suisse with our good results in the first races of the season," said Blaser. "We intend to be an attractive addition to the race and make a positive impression on this great platform."
With IAM Cycling a confirmed starter due to its WorldTour status, race organiser Olivier Senn added he was excited to have two top Swiss times on the start list.
"With this wildcard we hope we can give Team Roth an extra perspective and a motivational boost, and we are happy to support Swiss cycling as a whole in this way," said Senn.
The race opens with a stage 1 6.4km time trial in Baar and concludes with a 117.7km stage around Davos. The 2015 Tour de Suisse was won by Katusha's Simon Spilak, five seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas (Team Sky).
Contrasting emotions on the 2015 Tour de Suisse podium (TDW Sports)
Cyclingnews poll: Rate the Milan-San Remo favourites results
Fabian Cancellara has won the latest Cyclingnews Poll by just a single point over Peter Sagan. Cancellara beat Sagan as the reader’s favourite for Saturday’s Milan-San Remo after the two repeatedly swapped places at the top of the standings.
The 2008 winner, Cancellara will be riding his final Milan-San Remo this weekend as he is set to retire this weekend. Sagan, on the other hand, is aiming to become only the fifth rider to win the monument in the rainbow stripes of the World Champion.
Michael Matthews came the closest to Cancellara and Sagan, with 543 votes compared to the 663 that Cancellara took. 2014 winner Alexander Kristoff was fourth favourite in the fan vote with a total of 426, while Greg Van Avermaet took fifth.
You can find the full results below.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo||663||pts|
|2||Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team||662|
|3||Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge||543|
|4||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha||426|
|5||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team||304|
|6||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data||291|
|7||Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step||230|
|8||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step||193|
|9||Michal Kiwatkowski (Pol) Team Sky||117|
|10||Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data||103|
|11||Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||102|
|12||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team||76|
|13||Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky||73|
Etxeondo release Tour of the Basque Country jerseys
Basque clothing company Etxeondo, who produce Giant-Alpecin's team kit, have released the 2016 jersey for the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco). The WorldTour race takes place April 4-9 with the final day Eibar time trial set to decide the general classification.
The race leader's jersey is again a bright yellow in 2016 with SabadellGuipuzcoano remaining the primary sponsor with the logo of local newspaper Dario Vasco also printed on the front chest. The climbers jersey remains red with white polka dots, the white points classification is also unchanged as is the blue prints classification jersey.
The 2015 edition of the race was won by Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha).
New Colnago 'cross bike for World Champion Wout van Aert
Wout Van Aert jetted off to Italy this week to visit the Colnago headquarters in Cambiago to collect a brand new 'cross bike featuring rainbow decals befitting the world champion. Van Aert, won his first senior 'cross title earlier this year onboard, was also presented with a gold watch by Ernesto Colnago, explaining to Tuttobici that he was still coming to terms with his new-found status.
"I thank Ernesto for the bike and for the watch, I do not think many people in the world can afford one on your wrist like this ... I'm lucky and happy, in the season just ended, I realized a lot of dreams," Van Aert said.
The 21-year-old has spoken of his dream to one day ride Paris-Roubaix but will remain with 'cross for a few seasons yet. Van Aert is on the books of Continental team Crelan-Vastgoedservice although he was accompanied by Etixx-Quick Step sports director Wilfried Peeters with whom he will watch Milan-San Remo this Saturday.
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