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  1. GC trio will count on a balanced lineup for both flat and mountain stages Read the full article at Movistar unveils Tour squad to support Quintana, Landa, and Valverde on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  2. Coryn Rivera won her first U.S. Pro Road race over the weekend, but the victory was her 72nd national championship overall. Read the full article at Gallery: Rivera rides to 72nd national championship on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  3. Photos from Knoxville, where Jonathan Brown soled to victory in the men's race at the U.S. Pro Road National Championships. Read the full article at Gallery: Brown snags U.S. Pro men’s road win on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  4. Michael Kolár, who finished third at the Slovakian road race national championships on Sunday, has announced his retirement from the sport. The 25-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider – a compatriot and close friend of world champion and team leader Peter Sagan – will nevertheless remain with the German squad, taking on a new role in their PR and sponsorship department. "I've worked really hard these past years, and tried everything to prepare in the most professional way for this season. However, I expected a little more, and the results haven't come. I feel now that I'm pretty much at my best level, but that this might not be enough to fulfil my own ambitions," Kolár said in a team statement. ADVERTISEMENT "I had a chat with Ralph [Denk, team manager] about this, and after a few days he came back to me, offering a new opportunity," he continued. "I appreciate his attitude a lot, and I think this a great chance to start something new and finally enjoy life. When I look back, there's nothing to regret. I am proud of what I've achieved, especially Peter's second world title in Doha, which was an unforgettable memory, where I was able to play a key role in the success. Now it's time to say good-bye; the national championships was my last race as a pro." Kolár finished third to his teammates, brothers Peter and Juraj Sagan, at the national road race, and leaves the sport having played a key role in many of Peter's successes, having ridden with Sagan at Tinkoff before making the move to Bora-Hansgrohe together for the 2017 season. "I have great respect for Michael's decision," said Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk. "You have to have character to take such a step and to be truly honest with yourself. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  5. Peter Sagan soloed to his sixth national road race title at the Slovakian Road Championships on Sunday. The current world champion crossed the line over two minutes ahead of his brother Juraj Sagan and six minutes ahead of third-placed Michael Kolár to make it a Bora-Hansgrohe podium sweep. "I am happy to win my sixth Slovak championships. It’s always a proud moment for any athlete," said Peter Sagan, who won earlier titles from 2011-2015, and with his sixth title has now overtaken his Bora-Hansgrohe director Jan Valach, who won the Nationals five times. "Congratulations to Juraj for his second place overall in the combined Czech-Slovak classification and to Michael Kolár who closed the Slovak podium. Thanks to my team Bora-Hansgrohe for the support and to the thousands of fans from both countries that cheered us here in Pilsen," he said in a team press release. ADVERTISEMENT It was a combined Czech Republic and Slovakia Road Championships held in Pilsen – a city in the western Czech Republic. While Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan brothers and Kolár claimed the top three places in the Slovakian Championships road race, the Elkov Author Cycling team swept the Czech Republic Championships podium with Josef Cerný claiming the title ahead of Jan Bárta and Jakub Otruba. "The combined Czech-Slovak national championships is always a very nice competition with a high level of racing and great atmosphere," said Juraj Sagan, who went into the race as a two-time defending champion. "On the one hand, it's never easy to give away the Slovak jersey that I wore for two consecutive years but on the other, I’m happy to see Peter score such an emphatic victory and become the new Slovak champion." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  6. Tennessean Jonathan Brown rides to a national title in Knoxville Read the full article at Jonathan Brown solos to U.S. Pro national road title on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  7. Rivera wins national road title after three straight years as runner-up Read the full article at Rivera tops Guarnier to claim elusive U.S. Pro road title on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  8. The Mitchelton-Scott WorldTour team will ride Pirelli tyres from the Tour de France onwards after a multi-year deal was announced at the French Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday. The event was attended by Giro d’Italia star Simon Yates, who later presented Lewis Hamilton with an award for posting the fastest lap in qualifying. Mitchelton-Scott has been testing with Pirelli products since the turn of the year, totting up thousands of kilometres in racing and in training with the team set to use the PZero Velo range on a full-scale level at July’s Tour, where Adam Yates will lead their GC chances. Pirelli supplies all Formula One teams with tyres, but Saturday’s announcement marks their first venture into cycling’s WorldTour. They currently supply Aqua Blue Sports at Pro Continental level and launched their cycling road range in 2017. There are no current plans for Pirelli to work with other leading WorldTour teams, or to step up and become a title sponsor, but news of their arrival on the WorldTour stage is certainly a positive step with cycling with several teams, including BMC Racing, struggling to attract top-level investment. “With Mitchelton, there are a lot of opportunities and they share the same approach,” Antonella Lauriola, COO of Pirelli Business Unit Velo at Pirelli, told Cyclingnews at the event. “We started with our product but we wanted to test in a race environment and improve the product and move forward together. This is another stage in the development. We had an agreement with Aqua Blue, so it’s a matter of going step-by-step. That’s why we launched our road race range last year, and why we launched the Cintuarto, our first tubeless tyre. We use competition and racing to help innovate our products. We are quick to develop, as we are in F1, but Mitchelton can help us and we can help them.” ADVERTISEMENT We’re like a start-up Pirelli has a global workforce of around 26,000, and while the cycling branch of the company is able to tap into the resources surrounding research and development, they are still just a small piece of the company’s footprint. That said, the 20 or so full-timers on cycling, have already made a significant impression. “The tyre is arguably the most important piece of equipment available to a professional road cyclist. There’s an incredible amount of trust that goes into a very small contact patch to the road,” Mitchelton-SCOTT High-Performance Manager Kevin Tabotta explained. “We have been really happy with the development of the tyres. Pirelli has been excellent in the way they’ve communicated with our athletes and taken on board their feedback. We have ended up with a fantastic fast, grippy, comfortable tyre that handles incredibly well.” For Lauriola, who works out of the company’s Italian base in Milan, the chance to work with Mitchelton was a unique opportunity, but she also added that while the cycling division of Pirelli was still relatively young, it is making important strides. For example, the collaboration between the Italian tyre manufacturer took several months to pull together and involved Pirelli’s own testers spending significant time with the team and their riders in modifying and improving the product. “We started from scratch from within the company,” she told Cyclingnews. “We started in June last year and came from within the company. We approached it like a start-up as well. That meant that we did things step-by-step and grew from there. Sponsorship You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  9. Amber Neben (PX4 Sports) and Larry Warbasse (Aqua Blue Sport) will line up on Sunday in Knoxville with an opportunity to defend their respective US Pro Championship Road Race titles on a course with a slightly tweaked finish to last year’s, and with an added lap in each race. Warbasse won last year's race from a three-rider group that escaped on the penultimate climb up Sherrod Road, the one-kilometre ascent with pitches of 10 per cent. He joined Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Alexey Vermeulen (Interpro Stradalli) in the move that, over the following lap, and a half-built a lead that allowed them a three-up sprint for the title. Neben jumped away from the pack on the sixth of eight trips up Sherrod Road, bridged to the lone breakaway rider and then went solo to the line to win by 11 seconds over the field, which an obviously frustrated Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) led across the line, her third second-place finish in the race in as many years. ADVERTISEMENT This year’s course is mostly the same as last year’s, but the finish has been moved to the downtown urban core with a small kicker leading to the final 125-metre finishing straight. The road race finish line will be in the same place as Friday night’s criterium. However, neither Warbasse nor Neben thought changing the finish location would have much effect on the race. “I think the bigger change will be the extra lap,” Warbasse told Cyclingnews. “I think that will make it a little bit of a war of attrition. You saw last year with two laps to go there were only seven of us at the top of the climb, so if that happens a little earlier it’s just more time for the race to break up. “That will be the biggest change, Warbasse reiterated. “I don’t think the finish will change much other than some nice photos. And maybe if it comes in with a small group it will be slightly different just because then it will be whoever has the strongest legs on that last kicker, but before that, the kicker’s not going to do much.” You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  10. After nearly two years out of competition, 46-year-old Chris Horner will return to racing Sunday at the US Pro Championships Road Race in Knoxville, Tennessee. On the mend from a bronchial infection that plagued his last years of racing in Europe and the American domestic circuit, the 2013 Vuelta a España champion says his ability to train longer and harder, and the increased power levels that resulted, convinced him to throw his hat in the ring once more. Horner will race under the Team Illuminate banner, the same program he raced with in 2015 when the team raced as Airgas-Safeway. ADVERTISEMENT The breakthrough came for Horner when after more than a year of trying to diagnose the problem, doctor's finally identified his ongoing lung issues as a byproduct of acid reflux that allowed fluids to flow into his lungs and cause infection. "The doctor originally thought it was a PFO in the heart, which is where a lot of blood jumps from the right side to the left side and bypasses the lungs, so it's not getting oxygenated," Horne told Cyclingnews Saturday at the race hotel in Knoxville. "So literally I'm on the trainer with the doctors there, and as soon as I hit 300 watts, the [blood oxygenation levels] would drop into the 80s, and as soon as I went over 300 it would drop down to the low 80s. The doctor said, 'Oh yeah, you have a problem.' You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  11. Scenes from Friday's criterium nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee Read the full article at Gallery: Magner and Ganzar earn criterium crowns in Knoxville on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  12. Quick-Step Floors announced on Friday that Iljo Keisse will not be participating in the upcoming Belgian Road Championships, as he has been sidelined for several weeks to recover from pleurisy. The 35-year-old will also miss out on the selection for the upcoming Tour de France set to begin on July 7 in the Vendée region. "I am really sad to miss the Nationals because of this pleura inflammation," Keisse said in a team press release. "This also means I won’t be in the selection for the Tour de France anymore, which is really frustrating because I’ve worked hard to be in good shape for this part of the season and I was really motivated to be on the roster for July. "Unfortunately, this is also part of a rider’s life. I want to wish my teammates the best of luck in the upcoming weeks and I look forward to rejoining them." ADVERTISEMENT Pleurisy is a condition that causes inflammation to the inner side of the chest cavity and a layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs. It causes sharp chest pain (pleuritic pain) that worsens during breathing.The team noted that rest is the only therapy for recovering from pleurisy and that Keisse will take three weeks completely off before resuming training. The men's 223km road race at the Belgian Championships will take place in Binche on Sunday. Quick-Step Floors will field a six-man team that includes Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Philippe Gilbert, Yves Lampaert and Pieter Serry. "The road race will be a hard one with a demanding, typically Belgian course, with some hard parts and cobblestone sectors," said director Tom Steels. "The finish is quite challenging too, as we know it from Binche. Our riders' form is on point, but it won't be easy to take home the tricolour. We have to be ready from kilometer zero, keep a sharp eye on things and be present where the action happens." You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  13. The Dutch Association for Professional Cyclists (VVBW) has announced its decision to leave the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA), citing the latter's inability 'to meet the expectations of progress from the riders'. In addition to leaving the CPA, the VVBW has confirmed its endorsement of the recently launched Cyclists' Alliance, a women's organisation set up by former professional Iris Slappendel. "The elected board of the VVBW, after consulting with and taking a poll of the Dutch pro riders, has taken the decision to withdraw its membership from the international cyclists' union, the CPA," a statement read. The VVBW, which was a founding member of the CPA, said in its statement that a lack of reforms and progress was behind its decision. Chief among its concerns was a lack of diversity in member nations, with only nine countries able to vote on reforms. The VVBW criticised the CPA for failing to represent riders from countries that don’t yet have their own national professional riders association, saying that it had been "a shortcoming for almost 30 years since the CPA came into existence." ADVERTISEMENT "To the present day, three primary European cycling countries control the politics of the CPA, and the VVWB feels this isn't a true reflection of the men's professional 'peloton' in the year 2018," it said. Alongside diversity, the VVBW also pointed to financial and legal concerns in its reasoning. It said that there was an 'alarming' financial shortage in the rider's retirement Solidarity Fund 'which can no longer be ignored'. Similar to a pension, the Solidarity Fund is financed by a percentage of prize money and riders who have completed five or more years are able to apply for it at the end of their career. The VVBW expressed concerns that it had regarding the CPA would affect its women's chapter, which was launched towards the end of last year. With that in mind, it confirmed that it would work with the Cyclists’ Alliance, which was also unveiled towards the end of the year. At present, the Cyclists’ Alliance represents the women’s peloton solely, but they have not shut the door to including the men's peloton in the future. CPA accuses VVBW of focusing on money over riders You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article
  14. Ty Magner and Leigh Ann Ganzar won their respective USPRO Criterium championships titles on Friday night. Read the full article at Ganzar and Magner grab U.S. criterium national titles on VeloNews.com. View the full article
  15. The third time was not the charm for Coryn Rivera, who took a third consecutive silver medal at last year's USA Cycling Pro Road Championships.This time around, the Sunweb rider aims to bring home to coveted stars-and-stripes jersey from Knoxville, Tennessee. "It's been three years in a row getting second place at the road race national championships." Rivera told Cyclingnews. "Each time, getting second doesn't feel any better by the year either. It has made me hungrier over the years and I've learned from each situation. "I would feel absolutely stoked but also relieved to win the road title." ADVERTISEMENT Rivera was second to Megan Guarnier in 2015 in Chattanooga and 2016 in Winston-Salem, and again last year to Amber Neben on the Knoxville course. As in previous years, she comes into this championships as one of the favourites to win the race. "For sure, it has been a big target, it has been every year for me," said Rivera, who won the criterium title in 2014. " But I still approach it like every other race, I go in 100% and looking to do my best. I am lucky to have a teammate with me this year as well in Ruth Winder. We placed second and third respectively last year, and with our combined efforts, hopefully, we can improve on our results." The women's road race will take place on Sunday, June 24, and the course will start and finish in the same location as Friday night's criterium, which is a slightly new final compared to the road race finish last year. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com View the full article