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Riders praise Colorado Classic's increased prize list

One of the most welcomed features of the revamped Colorado Classic, which this year is a women’s-only 2.1 event, is the increased prize list that is $5,000 greater than the men raced for last year.

The total prize purse in 2019 is $75,000, a record for US women and a significant increase from 2018. The women on Thursday’s post-stage press conference dais definitely took notice.

"It’s an honour to be recognised as the professional athletes that we are,” said Hagens Berman-Supermint rider and team owner Lindsay Goldman.

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"For this race to set the bar for other events around the world and throughout the calendar, showing a belief in female athletes and the work that we put into our training and our entire career as athletes, it means a lot.”

The Colorado Classic came onto the US scene in 2017 as a men’s UCI 2.HC race, offering a token two days of criteriums for the women. The races were not UCI sanctioned, and they appeared to be an afterthought.

The Colorado Classic continued with the men last year but added two more stages for the women, including a circuit race and time trial in Vail, a road stage to Denver and a final criterium.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 23rd, 2019, 3:20 am

Vuelta a Espana teams roll out in Moraira - Gallery

The 74th edition of the Vuelta a España will roll out of Salinas de Torrevieja on Saturday for a 13.5km team time trial, and the teams that will be competing over the following three weeks in Spain were presented to fans in a stunning seaside ceremony Thursday evening.

All of the stars from the race were on display as they prepare top tackle the final Grand Tour of the 2019 season, and you can get a glimpse of the evening here, just click or swipe through the photo gallery.

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You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 23rd, 2019, 2:30 am

Chaves on the comeback trail at Vuelta a Espana

Rumour mills about riders being in top condition traditionally go into overdrive before the start of a Grand Tour, but when Esteban Chaves was asked on Thursday if it was true, as some were saying, that he is in form for this Vuelta a Espana as strong as when he finished third in the 2016, he fired back straight, with his typically friendly smile: "I hope so".

It looks increasingly evident that the Mitchelton-Scott leader's tough second half of 2018 after falling ill in the Giro d'Italia, which saw his career put on hold for over six months, is now definitively behind him. Certainly, a stage win in the Italian Grand Tour's third week this May strongly suggested the Colombian racer is moving back on track.

So at the Vuelta, four months further on where - in the absence of defending champion Simon Yates and his brother Adam - he is sole leader for Mitchelton-Scott, is Chaves looking to step up his game even further, as the pre-race rumour mill insists he is capable of doing?

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"I hope so," Chaves said in Thursday's press conference with the other top Vuelta leaders. "Things were interrupted last year for reasons I couldn't control. The most important thing is to go on living the dream."

"Just being here in the Vuelta a España press conference with all the big names is something very special. You have to enjoy that."

Rather than picking out one key rival in the upcoming Vuelta, Chaves reasoned "there are quite a few. Obviously, [Primoz] Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is in good shape, the time trial suits him well and his team is, I think, the strongest of all of them. But the Vuelta always produces surprises, it's what I like about this race."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 23rd, 2019, 1:07 am

Rivera crashes out of contention in Ladies Tour of Norway opener

The riders of Team Sunweb were the main protagonists on Thursday's stage 1 of the Ladies Tour of Norway. The team made the move of the day but then three riders crashed just before the sprint - losing their main sprint contender Coryn Rivera in the accident.

Team Sunweb had split the peloton in the crosswinds 32km from the finish. Having raced into a headwind for a long time, a left turn meant that the headwind became a crosswind, and the whole team lined up at the front to put the pressure on their rival teams. All six riders made the first peloton, and they attacked in turns on the three laps of the finishing circuit in Horten to make the race hard.

"It was a very good stage," said sports director Hans Timmermans. "We took control of the race and put it in the gutter, getting rid of around 60 riders from the peloton. The whole team was very strong with all six of our riders in the front group and keeping the pace high."

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But on the final lap, as the team was getting ready to lead-out sprinter Rivera, disaster struck. Juliette Labous, riding in second position, slipped on a wet patch going through a sharp turn, bringing down teammate Franziska Koch. Split-seconds later, Anna Henderson (Tibco-SVB) slipped on the same wet patch as Labous, and Rivera was unable to evade the British rider, going down herself.

As the crash happened only 2.4km from the finish, the team had to change plans quickly. With designated sprinter Rivera out of contention, Leah Kirchmann was supposed to step in, getting a lead-out from Susanne Andersen.

"But we couldn't find each other, and I wasn't able to do the lead-out," said the Norwegian. "I thought it was better that someone would sprint rather than no one, so I went for it. I was already out in the wind with 600 metres to go so that I could get to the front. As a result, I didn't have the legs to finish it off."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 23rd, 2019, 12:52 am

Dumoulin's departure, Van der Poel on Worlds, Vuelta a Espana preview - Podcast

In the latest edition of the Cyclingnews Podcast, we discuss Tom Dumoulin's move from Team Sunweb to Jumbo-Visma and look ahead to the Vuelta a España, along with hearing from Mathieu van der Poel, Steve Cummings, and Warren Barguil at the Arctic Race of Norway.

First up, we have some exciting news for our readers. Our lovely friends at Sportful have come up with a 20% discount on all products at sportful.com. All you have to do is head to their website and use the code: cyclingnews20. This deal is in place throughout all of August.

Dumoulin's move to break his contract at Sunweb and head to Jumbo-Visma has been on the cards for a while but has still sent shockwaves through the sport. We discuss what went on and what led to the breakdown in the relationship between Dumoulin and Sunweb. We also ask what this move means for him personally, and for Jumbo-Visma, who are amassing a very strong Grand Tour arsenal.

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Next up, we bring you a trio of interesting stories from the Arctic Race of Norway. First up, we hear from Dutch sensation Mathieu van der Poel on his build-up to the World Championships next month, and ask: Can he really win it? We also hear from Steve Cummings, who was back on the front foot after a poor Tour de France and poor couple of seasons, and Warren Barguil, who raged at another rider after losing the race by a single second on the final day.

Finally, with the Vuelta a España starting on Saturday, we look ahead to the final Grand Tour of the season. We're joined by our resident Spaniard Alasdair Fotheringham to get the low-down on what to expect in Spain over the next three weeks.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 23rd, 2019, 12:22 am

Roglic: I'm here to win the Vuelta a Espana

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) has stated categorically that he will be going for the overall victory in the Vuelta a España.

Third overall in the Giro d'Italia in June and the winner of two stages, as well as fourth overall in the Tour de France the year before, Roglic has stated that his mission in Spain is to go for his first outright victory in a Grand Tour.

Roglic looked to be on track for the top spot in the Giro d'Italia this June, but then his hopes faded in the third week after he fell ill and was injured in crashes.

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"I want to win and I'm going to try to win," Roglic told a small group of reporters at a press conference on Thursday evening, two days before the Vuelta start. "The podium is a nice place, but I've already done that at the Giro. I want to fight as hard as possible to win."

Having not raced since the Slovenian Nationals in late June in order to concentrate on getting back to his full health post-Giro, Roglic then opted to miss out on the Tour de France and go for the Vuelta. He says he is feeling good, saying, "I am ready to start the race," but was wary about the title of number one favourite that many observers have awarded him.

"Everyone starts from zero on Saturday and every day is a challenge and a fight," he pointed out cautiously. "I'm doing the Vuelta for the first time, but we have a really strong team and I'm looking forward to it."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 22nd, 2019, 10:28 pm

Carapaz ruled out of Vuelta a Espana

Movistar have confirmed that Richard Carapaz will not take the start of the Vuelta a España, which begins on Saturday.

The Ecuadorian rider was due to be co-leader of the Spanish squad alongside Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, but crashed at the Etten-Leur criterium in the Netherlands on Sunday.

Carapaz, who won the Giro d'Italia earlier in the season, suffered a contusion on his right shoulder, other bruises, and "multiple injuries" as a result of his crash, though avoided fractures. The decision was made to pull him from the start list after further assessments were taken on Thursday afternoon.

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Movistar's first reserve rider, José Joaquín Rojas, has been called up to take Carapaz's place.

More to follow ...

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 22nd, 2019, 6:59 pm

Alaphilippe sacrificing races for freshness ahead of Yorkshire Worlds

Nearing the end of a dream 2019 season, few would blame Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) for being satisfied with his lot.

With 12 new additions to his palmarès including wins at Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and two stages of the Tour de France – not to mention fifth overall there after spending two weeks in the yellow jersey – the Frenchman has packed more success into a single year than most riders see in their entire careers.

But despite his astounding successes from January to July, there could yet be more to come as Alaphilippe and his inner circle plan a third act to his phenomenal 2019. The World Championships road race in Yorkshire is the final goal of his season, after the spring Classics and Tour de France.

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Getting there in top form, for a third peak in five months, will take some managing though. It was a balance he couldn't strike in 2018, finding success in April and July before his bid for Worlds glory stalled on the brutal, near-30 per cent slopes of Höttinger Höll in the race finale in Innsbruck.

This year, things could be different, with Alaphilippe's cousin and coach Franck Alaphilippe outlining a revised run-up to a Worlds featuring a less brutal course in an interview with l'Equipe.

"After the Tour, he was at the end of the line," said Franck. "At the end he put pressure on himself; he knew he wouldn't win it, but he played the game. If he hadn't cut down [his time on the bike], it would have been difficult to make the end of the season.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 22nd, 2019, 6:00 pm

Van der Poel to use hypoxic chamber as substitute for altitude camp ahead of World Championships

Mathieu van der Poel has scrapped plans for an altitude training camp ahead of the Road Race World Championships in Yorkshire, choosing to remain in Belgium ahead of the Tour of Britain. He will, however, replicate the effects of altitude by sleeping in a hypoxic tent, a practice which is banned in some countries but not in Belgium.

Van der Poel returned to road racing after a four-month absence at the Arctic Race of Norway last week, winning the opening stage. During his time away he switched to mountain bike racing, winning three World Cup events. However he has opted to miss the Mountain Bike World Championships and focus on road racing and the World Championships in Yorkshire. 

In his build-up to the road race in Yorkshire on September 29, van der Poel was due to head to Sierra Nevada in Spain this week for a 10-day altitude camp, before riding the Tour of Britain (September 7-14) and a couple of Belgian one-day races ahead of Worlds. However, the Dutchman and his Corendon-Circus team have decided to scrap that idea and remain closer to home in Belgium. The head cold that hampered him in the final two stages at Norway may have had an impact on the decision.

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"We had two options: either an altitude internship abroad or an internship in Belgium, where Mathieu sleeps in an altitude tent at night," said Corendon-Circus coach Kristof De Kegel, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

"Mathieu has already travelled a lot, so we wanted to avoid extra effort. Moreover, you can better monitor the training sessions with an altitude tent. Because the World Cup is at sea level, we think it is better to also conduct intensive and focused training sessions at sea level in Belgium instead of looking for the high mountains."

Altitude tents – also known as hypoxic or hyperbaric chambers – are allowed to be used under World Anti-Doping Agency rules. However, the practice is banned in some countries, including Italy and Norway.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 22nd, 2019, 3:17 pm

Chris Froome officially accepts 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner's jersey

Chris Froome has shown off the 2011 Vuelta España champion's red jersey he was awarded after being retrospectively declared the winner of the Spanish Grand Tour. Juan José Cobo – crowned the winner of the race in September 2011 – chose not to appeal against the UCI ruling last month that he was "guilty of an anti-doping rule violation" related to Biological Passport data.

Cobo, riding then for Geox-TMC, beat Froome by just 13 seconds, with his Team Sky teammate Bradley Wiggins taking third place, 1:39 down on Cobo. In June, the UCI announced that Cobo was guilty of an anti-doping rule violation based on abnormalities from 2009 and 2011 detected in his Biological Passport. He was banned for three years and lost his Vuelta victory.

Froome is currently recovering from his serious Critérium du Dauphiné crash after spending a total of 22 days in hospital. He suffered a fractured hip, femur, elbow, and neck, as well as internal injuries but has set the 2020 Tour de France as an objective.

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He talked about his recovery in a video message released by Team Ineos and, in another message, he held the 2011 Vuelta a España red jersey in his hands.

"This title, this red jersey, really does mean a lot to me," Froome said.

"That race, back in 2011 was incredibly special for me. The race was where I first started to believe in myself as a Grand Tour contender; it was the race where I had my first professional victory. I’ve got some really special memories from that race."

From a mountain domestique to Grand Tour contender

— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) August 22, 2019

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Posted on August 22nd, 2019, 2:10 pm

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