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All the latest news from Cyclingnews.com

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    Peter Sagan and the UCI have agreed to end their legal battle concerning the world champion's disqualification from the Tour de France for dangerous riding just a few hours before the final hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

    Sagan was disqualified after clashing with Mark Cavendish in the final metres of the hectic sprint that decided stage 4 to Vittel. Sagan seemed to squeeze Cavendish into the barriers, with his elbow sticking out. He argued he was trying to avoid a crash but after two hours of studying video footage, the race judge disqualified him sparking one of the biggest controversies of this year's Tour de France.

    Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team tried to get the verdict immediately overturned by CAS. When this failed, they promised to continue their legal battle. The hearing was set for December 5 but the UCI announced that the two sides had agreed “not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead."

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    After the vision of ‘new materials' both parties reached a compromise and agreed “that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident and that the UCI Commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances.”

    "On this basis, the parties agreed not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead," reads a UCI statement.

    Sagan missed out on a chance out win a sixth green points jersey at the Tour de France because of his disqualification but in a carefully worded statement, he claimed he has put the moment behind him.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    AG2R La Mondiale have unveiled a new design for their 2018 kit. The French team has kept the same colours - those of their title sponsor - but drastically changed the layout for next year. The new design comes as they switch kit sponsor from GSG to Rosti Maglificio.

    The team’s general classification leader, and former Tour de France runner-up, Romain Bardet modelled the new kit in a photo and video on social media.

    This year’s jersey was predominantly white with one brown and one blue sleeve, and the AG2R La Mondiale logo slapped all over the front and the back of the jersey. With many other teams switching to white for 2018, AG2R La Mondiale has moved away from the colour with just a stripe of white across the chest and the corresponding section of the sleeves.

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    The shoulder section of the jersey is brown while the predominant colour is blue, which fills the bottom half of the jersey. Fans may be pleased or dismayed to know that the brown shorts are here to stay for another year.

    Sponsor logos are a bit more minimal with the title sponsor across the chest strap, the shorts and the shoulders, and the logo appearing on each sleeve. Bike sponsor Factor has a small spot at the top of the chest and along the jersey flanks.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Team Sky has been voted the Best Men's Team in the 2017 Cyclingnews Reader Poll. The British squad has claimed the prize for three years running, and also won the award in 2012 and 2013. Sky polled 32 per cent of the final vote with over 7,000 people picking them as their team of the year. 

    Despite the ongoing off-the-bike controversy surrounding Team Sky, the team's results on the road attracted almost one-third of the votes. In second place was Team Sunweb with 25 per cent of the votes. Quick-Step Floors was third with 22 per cent before a large drop to BMC Racing in fourth with just three percent of the vote.

    In 2017, Team Sky won the WorldTour team classification, breaking a four-year run by Movistar, with Chris Froome second in the individual rankings. In total, Sky claimed 34 victories across the 2017 season including two Grand Tours and a monument.

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    The highlight of the year for Sky was Froome winning a fourth Tour de France in July and then the Vuelta a Espana for a historic Grand Tour double. There was also success at Strade Bianche, Milano-San Remo and Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian for Michal Kwiatkowski, Cyclassics Hamburg and Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France for Elia Viviani, along with several stage wins and national titles. There was also a overall Vuelta a Burgos win for the departing Mikel Landa.

    Team Sunweb's successful season, in which it won its first Grand Tour at the Giro d'Italia with Tom Dumoulin, was also recognised by Cyclingnews readers. Sunweb's Grand Tour success continued at the Tour de France with Michael Matthews winning two stages and the green jersey, and Warren Barguil also picking up two stages and the mountains classification. A world time trial title for Dumoulin and the Worlds team time trial gold medal capped off the year for the German outfit.

    Quick-Step Floors also enjoyed a stellar season with over 50 victories across the year, including four Giro d'Italia stage wins for Fernando Gaviria, five Tour de France stages for Marcel Kittel, and four Vuelta a Espana stages for Matteo Trentin. Included in the long list of wins was a solo Tour of Flanders victory for Philippe Gilbert in the Belgian tricolour.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    The organisers of the Tour of Yorkshire have unveiled the routes for the 2018 men's and women's races.

    The four-day men's race will be held between May 3-6, the same weekend as the start of the Giro d'Italia in Israel. The women’s Asda Tour de Yorkshire will be for two days, May 3-4. The stages include a 132.5km from Beverley to Doncaster and 124km from Barnsley to Ilkley.

    The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women's Race once again offer one of the largest prize pots in the sport and is expected to attract the leading women in the peloton.

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    The fourth edition of the men’s Tour de Yorkshire race has expanded from three to four stages and again visits much of Yorkshire, with finishes in Doncaster, Ilkley, Scarborough and Leeds. Mark Cavendish attended the route presentation but it is unclear if he will ride the race.

    The Tour de Yorkshire begins in the market town of Beverley and winds through the Yorkshire Worlds before finishing in Doncaster. The 182km stage has a flat finale 90km and so sets up a first sprint finish.

    Stage 2 is over 149km from Barnsley to Ilkley and is the first summit finish of the race at the top of the steep Cow and Calf climb. It is 1.8km long at 8.2 per cent.

    Stage 3 is over 184km from Richmond to Scarborough on the Yorkshire.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Team Sky announced the completion of its 2018 roster with the signing of 23-year-old Italian neo-pro Leonard Basso.

    Basso, no relation to former Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso, brings the average age to 27.5, with other young newcomers Egan Bernal, Pavel Sivakov, Kristoffer Halvorsen, and Chris Lawless.

    "It's a dream come true to be joining Team Sky," Basso said. "My main objective is to help the team wherever I can. I want to learn about the job and what it means to be a pro bike rider. I want to learn as much as I can from my teammates and increase my level day by day."

    Basso previously rode as a trainee for the Trek-Segafredo squad in 2015, taking third at a stage in the USA Pro Challenge from a breakaway.

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    Directeur sportif Dario Cioni describes Basso as a sprinter "who can survive the punchy climbs and he has the speed to sprint from smaller groups," and said his signing was based on the results over the past few years.

    "We're happy to see Leonardo turn pro with us next year. He's got potential and we want to see where we can get to working together," Cioni said.

    With the exit of more experienced riders like Elia Viviani, Danny van Poppel, Peter Kennaugh, Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa, the team is putting more of a focus on young riders, despite also signing Jonathan Castroviejo, David de la Cruz and Dylan van Baarle.

    Team principal Dave Brailsford explained, "We are establishing a group of exceptional young riders at Team Sky. I have no doubt they are going to make a big impact and be an important part of our future.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    If the 2017 Giro d’Italia were to be pitched as a movie, the premise would hardly be a promising one: a lanky rouleur distances his rivals in the long time trial at the start of the second week, manages his advantage sagely thereafter, and then seals overall victory with a measured ride in the time trial on the final day.

    The synopsis, however, does little justice to the drama of the race. The Giro is never that simple, and the 2017 edition was gripping all the way through. The real beauty of this year’s race came in the dramatic ad libs that saw the script revised on a daily basis, even if – in hindsight – the overarching narrative should have been apparent from the moment he limited his losses so ably on the first true summit finish at the Blockhaus: this was a Tom Dumoulin joint, and everybody else was in a supporting role.

    Nairo Quintana lined up in Sardinia as favourite to complete the first leg of a Giro-Tour double, and seemed to copper-fasten that status by soloing to victory atop the Blockhaus on stage 9. The mass crash at the base of the climb that eliminated Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa from GC contention perhaps also distracted from the key takeaway – Dumoulin was a bona fide contender. Two days later, however, Dumoulin delivered a blockbuster time trial performance on the rough roads of the Sagrantino vineyards at Montefalco to take the maglia rosa and command top billing for the remainder of the race.

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    When the Dutchman showcased his range by dropping Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali et al on the haul to Oropa on stage 14, it seemed as though the Giro was already over as a contest, but – not for the first time in the corsa rosa¬ – an improbable plot twist kept things ticking along agreeably in the final week.

    If the Giro was the best stage race of 2017, then stage 16, the tappone to Bormio, was arguably the single most dramatic day of racing in the entire year. There were murmurs beforehand that Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida and Quintana’s Movistar teams would find common cause in a bid to discommode Dumoulin, and their task suddenly seemed a little more straightforward when the maglia rosa disappeared into the bushes on the roadside at the base of the Umbrailpass for a most urgent toilet break.

    Although the pace in the leading group briefly relented amid the confusion as to Dumoulin’s whereabouts and wellbeing, the Giro can ultimately wait for no man, not even the maglia rosa. As Dumoulin remounted and desperately sought to limit his losses, Nibali delivered a brace of rasping attacks that seemed to trouble even Quintana himself.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Team Dimension Data has announced it will seek further information from the UCI after the sport's governing body and Peter Sagan ended its legal battle regarding the exclusion of the world champion from the Tour de France for dangerous riding.

    Sagan and Dimension Data's Mark Cavendish were involved in an incident in the stage four sprint finish in which Cavendish fell, severely injuring his shoulder and forcing him out of the race. Following a two-hour video review, Sagan was then ejected from the race in what was one of the biggest controversies of the 2017 Tour. Dimension Data claim Cavendish was was not at fault for the crash.

    Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe announced they would try to get the verdict immediately overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but when this failed, a hearing was announced for December 5. Hours before the CAS hearing in Lausanne, the UCI released a statement, announcing that both parties decided "not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead."

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    In a statement from Dimension Data, team principal Douglas Ryder explained he will request more information.

    "As riders and teams, we want all parties to work together to make racing safe and enjoyable," Ryder said. "We understood this dispute was over the process that prevented Bora-Hansgrohe from stating their case to the race jury. However, following today's announcement it seems the investigation also included reviewing the actual race incident. Given that we are the team with the rider who ultimately suffered the most as a result of this incident, we were surprised to not be included to offer our insights to the investigation."

    Read more...

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Cycling Australia has announced a provisional list of starters for the national championships early next month in Ballarat with a plethora of former winners to line out across the criterium, time trial and road race events.

    BMC Racing headline the announcement with its quartet of Australian riders, all former winners, will race across the 3-7 January event. Defending road race champion Miles Scotson, two-time road race winner Simon Gerrans, 2015 time trial champion Richie Porte, and two-time time trial champion Rohan Dennis will all be present in Ballarat and Buninyong.

    Cadel Evans claimed BMC's first medal at the national championships in 2014 with the American team going into to claim three green and gold jerseys since. In 2017, Scotson was the sole BMC rider in the road race, springing a surprise in his first outing with the team to claim the road race. With four riders in 2018, Porte, himself a multiple medallist in the road race, is confident of success.

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    "It will be nice to go into the road race with numbers," said Porte. "With the numbers that we have, four strong guys, I believe we have the guys to do it (win). If its not me, to have someone of the calibre of Simon come and join the team in 2018, Rohan is always up for a good fight and Miles showed last year he could do it."

    BMC is likely to come up against a strong and hungry Orica-Scott team with Australia's WorldTour squad still searching for its first national title since 2014. With the likes of Caleb Ewan lining out for the race, Orica-Scott can't be discounted though in the battle of the green and gold.

    Cannondale-Drapac can also count on numbers for the road race with Brendan Canty, Mitch Docker, Simon Clarke and Will Clarke all potential starters.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    The FDJ team has secured a new co-naming rights sponsor in Groupama, and from March 2018 will be known as Groupama-FDJ. Despite the green logo of the new sponsor, the French WorldTour team will retain the blue, white and red colours of the French tricolore flag.

    Groupama is a French insurance group founded in 1986. It has previously invested in sailing and is the naming rights sponsor of football stadiums in Lyon and Budapest, but is looking to cycling for greater exposure.

    The company will provide equal financial support as FDJ, the French national lottery company that has backed the team since its inception in 1997 and now gives up its status as lead title sponsor for the first time. FDJ is reducing its input into the team, investing into other sporting ventures such as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but Groupama's investment will not only cover the losses but increase the team's budget by some 30 per cent.

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    French newspaper L'Equipe estimates that the team's budget will rise to somewhere in the region of 16 to 20 million Euros per year, which would surpass that of AG2R La Mondiale, the only other French WorldTour team. 

    "Groupama and FDJ join forces today with the objective of becoming the top French cycling team in terms of means, and with resources on par with those of international teams, allowing us to set our sights on establishing ourselves among the top 10 teams in the world," read a statement from the FDJ team today. 

    The partnership will come into effect in March 2018, so while the new kit will be unveiled on January 31, it will only be raced in for the first time at Paris-Nice on March 4.

    Development team

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

    Another day, another announcement about a stratospherically priced wheelset — such is a life lived subscribed to the Lightweight newsletter.

    This latest wheelset from Lightweight is the first disc option to bear the Meilenstein name, and as should be expected from the German carbon experts, it's impressively light for a mid-depth wheelset.

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    These wheels are the first disc-friendly option to bear the Meilenstein name

    The Meilenstein disc wheels are 48mm deep and have a profile that is said to "reduce air turbulence and improve aerodynamic factors.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Former UCI, and British Cycling President Brian Cookson has called for the 'reputation' of Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins to be 'reinstated' following the conclusion of UKAD's investigation into the WorldTour team and British Cycling

    In 2011, British Cycling employee Simon Cope travelled from the UK to France to transport a medical package to the Team Sky bus on the final day of the Critérium du Dauphiné, that was then administered to Wiggins by Dr Richard Freeman. The contents of the package, or 'jiffy bag' as it came to be known, became central to the investigation. Team Sky and British Cycling both claimed the 'jiffy bag' contained the legal decongestant Fluimucil but could not to provide a paper trail.

    Last month, UKAD closed the investigation, unable to confirm contents of the 'jiffy bag'. In the aftermath, Wiggins, who has denied any anti-doping violations, explained he believed the investigation was a "malicious witch hunt" and is considering legal action.

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    Speaking with the BBC, Cookson explained the invetigaton proved "no rules were broken" but as a consequence there was reputational damage to cycling, Sky and Wiggins.

    "I think the reputation of the sport, the reputation of the the team and the reputation of the rider Bradley Wiggins should be reinstated," Cookson added. "At the end of the day I have no idea what was in that package, and have no idea what the so-called whistle blower told Ukad or told the Daily Mail what was in the package. Ukad have not been able to put a case together so that's the end of the story."

    The UKAD investigation also included looking into Team Sky's use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs). During his presidency, Cookson defended the UCI's handling ofTUEs and explained that the system was 'tightened' up. Last month Shane Sutton, former technical director of the Great Britain team, said that TUEs were a legitimate way of finding "marginal gains" while staying within anti-doping rules.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    For the first time in the history of the Cyclingnews Reader Poll, a Dutch man has claimed the title of Cyclo-cross Rider of the Year - it's none other than Mathieu van der Poel, the Beobank-Corendon wunderkind who has claimed 14 of 19 races so far this season** (as of Nov 28). This year's results combined both men and women contenders. Marianne Vos was the last Dutch woman to win the award.

    Van der Poel topped world champion Wout van Aert (Crelan-Charles) by more than 3,000 votes, garnering 38 per cent of the ballots in a blow-out reminiscent of all but one World Cup round this season. British U23 phenom Tom Pidcock was third, taking 13 per cent of the votes.

    Van der Poel started the last two seasons bouncing back from knee surgeries, but this year, a healthy Dutch champion followed up a highly successful road season - replete with a stage win in the Tour of Belgium before jetting off to take second in the MTB World Cup in Albstadt, the overall victory in Boucles de la Mayenne and a win at Dwars door het Hageland and - by crushing his competition in the dirt.

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    The domination actually began last season, with Van der Poel racking up 16 victories and winning the overall Superprestige, but his delayed start meant he missed the first two World Cups in the USA and was out of the running. His build up to the World Championships was on target last December until a crash in Loenhout saw him leave the race in a stretcher. He bounced back, but an ill-timed puncture left him a devastated second place to Van Aert at Worlds in Luxembourg.

    Watch the Van der Poel's special thank you message in the video below.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    At 22, Alexey Vermeulen has some big decisions to make about his future in cycling. The young American was let go by LottoNL-Jumbo after his first two-year neo-pro contract, and he’s still without a team as January approaches.

    Vermeulen signed on with LottoNL-Jumbo in 2016 after riding for the BMC Development Team, but he told Cyclingnews communication with the team began to deteriorate in July.

    “I had to read between the lines a lot,” Vermeulen said by phone from Austria, where he is visiting his girlfriend and starting his training.

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    “It didn’t start deteriorating until the end of July, the middle of July, but until that point, it was all green-go,” he said. “Every time I asked, everything on that front was looking good. There weren’t any negative things, and then it just started going downhill. But you keep believing that they’re waiting. The worst thing for me was the reasoning changed three or four times before the final answer.”

    Vermeulen had plenty of opportunities to show himself with LottoNL-Jumbo, competing in a healthy 62 race days in 2016 and 64 this year. He had a steady diet of WorldTour races both years, including Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine, Il Lombardia, Tour Down Under, Abu Dhabi Tour and Strade Bianche, among others.

    During those two years, Vermeulen also proved to be one the of the top American riders, finishing third in the time trial at US pro championships in 2016, and finishing third in the road race and seventh in the time trial in 2017. His best result with LottoNL-Jumbo came in the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine, where he finished fifth from a breakaway on stage 5.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    The readers of Cyclingnews have voted Team Sky's Pinarello Dogma F10 as the Best Team Bike of the 2017 season. The Dogma F10 had more than double the votes of its nearest rival, the Specialized Tarmac, while German direct-to-consumer brand Canyon rounded out the podium with the Aeroad.

    The Pinarello Dogma F10 was launched early in 2017 and debuted at the Tour Down Under in Australia in January.

    Two victories soon followed for the bike with stages won at the Herald Sun Tour by Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe. Sergio Henao continued the winning streak at the Colombian national road race championships in February, before Michal Kwiatkowski won the team's first WorldTour race of the season on the bike at Strade Bianche in March.

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    The 2017 season saw over 20 victories for the British WorldTour team on the Dogma F10, as well as the overall classification at the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, Paris-Nice, and Tour of the Alps and the Giro d’Italia mountains classification, Tour of Poland mountains classification, and Vuelta a Burgos overall, points and mountains classifications.

    Team Sky has ridden Pinarello since the team's inception in 2010. Proving its worth in the high mountains as well as the cobbled bergs of Belgium, the Specialized Tarmac was voted second place in the reader poll.

    The 2018 version of the bike was first seen at the Criterium du Dauphine in June, and officially launched soon after ahead of the Tour de France. Philippe Gilbert took the bikes first victory during stage 2 of Tour de Suisse.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Bardiani and CSF have confirmed they will sponsor the Italian Professional team until 2020 despite multiple cases of doping during 2017 that hit the team hard during 2017 and could damage their chances of securing a wild card invitation to next year's Giro d'Italia.

    Bardiani-CSF have signed sprinter Andrea Guardini from UAE Team Emirates and Colorado Classic winner Manuel Senni from BMC Racing to boost their 17-rider 2018 roster. Bardiani-CSF will again have an all-Italian roster, with an average age of 23.5 years. The riders have gathered for their first training camp of the new season in Montecchio Emilia in central Italy and revealed a new-look green and orange kit. Luca Bardiani still hopes the team can one day step up to WorldTour level.

    "For our team the sponsorship extension is, first of all, a new boost of confidence," general manager Bruno Reverberi said confirming the news.

    "We are really happy and satisfied that the #GreenTeam story have a future. We would like to thank Luca and Emanuela Bardiani, Rolando Paterlini and CSF founders Aldo Pattacini and Ettore Catellani because all together we're build something important.

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    "With up and downs, wins and defeats, Bardiani-CSF found its place in professional cycling and is giving an important contribute to keep alive Italian movement."

    Bardiani-CSF won four races in 2017: a stage at the Tour de Langkawi, two stages at the Tour of Croatia, and a stage at the Tour of Utah. The team finished 66th in the Europe Tour rankings.

    The UCI confirmed that Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi had tested positive for growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs) on the day of the team presentation at the Giro d'Italia. The rider took to the stage but then sneaked away. They were eventually banned and sacked by Bardiani-CSF but the double-positive sparked a month ban for the whole team from June 14 to July 14.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    The 2018 Herald Sun Tour will be longer and harder than previous editions with a climbing heavy back end to the 2.1 race. Although Chris Froome and Team Sky won't be racing in 2018, WorldTour teams Orica-Scott and Trek-Segafredo will line out for the 30 January- 4 February race. Arthurs Seat is also missing from the race in 2018 with the Herald Sun Tour to conclude with a circuit around Kinglake.

    The Herald Sun Tour will be Esteban Chaves' only race on Australian soil in 2018 with Orica-Scott. The Colombian made his Tour Down Under debut in 2017, finishing second, before racing the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour where he was ninth. After his Australian start to the season, Chaves' season was blighted by a lingering knee injury and broken shoulder blade but is now recovered and looking ahead to the race.

    "It's important to feel excited to get back on the bike and enjoy again," Chaves told the Herald Sun. "I'm in full-training now and happy to see every week the fitness and body returning step by step to what it can do. I'm excited, as always, to go back to Australia."

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    Chaves' teammate and 2016 Herald Sun Tour winner Damien Howson is also expected to line out for the race. Froome however is racing a Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double in 2018 and despite using the Australian opener for the last two seasons, will start his year in Europe.

    A prologue along the banks of the Yarra with a Southbank finish will again open the race although the course has been shortened for 2018 to 1.6 kilometres. The race then heads west for a start in Colac, taking the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool over 161.6 kilometres for an expected sprint finish. Stage three takes the riders from Warrnambool, the only host of both a stage start and finish in 2018, north to Ballarat for another possible sprint finish after a long 198.6 kilometres. Nathan Haas was the stage winner when race last visited Ballarat, the home of the Australian nationals, in 2014.

    Stage three is the longest of the race at 218 kilometres and coming early in the season, will surely test the legs of the riders. The stage will leave from Mitchelton Winery, a regular feature of the Herald Sun Tour, and head south through the rolling Strathbogie Ranges to the summit finish at Lake Mountain. At 1,433 metres, the finish is lower in altitude than the Falls Creek finale from 2016 but will take the best climbers around 47 minutes to ascend. The Lake Mountain stage is likely to decide the general classification.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Former world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot will return to cyclo-cross racing this winter after a two-year absence. The 25-year-old confirmed on social media that she will ride the DVV Verzekeringen Trofee in Essen this weekend and hopes to compete until the national championships in January.

    Ferrand-Prevot wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening: "I will be back in the Cx races this WE in Belgium. Happy to be back in this discipline after 2 years without Cx. I don't have expectation but I just want to have fun. My plan for the moment is to go until the nationals. Thanks @WMNcycling @canyon_bikes @SRAMroad for make it happen."

    The Frenchwoman won the cyclo-cross world title in January 2015, beating Sanne Cant in a sprint, much to the dissatisfaction of the Belgian. She had already become road race world champion and mountain bike team relay world champion the season before. A solid road and mountain bike campaign followed – she would defend her team relay title and add the cross country title at the mountain bike World Championships later that year – but it would be the last time that she would race cyclo-cross.

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    Ferrand-Prevot has battled injuries over the past few seasons, and a training crash left her with a broken tibia in November 2015 and put paid to her whole cyclo-cross season. She raced just nine days the following season, with fourth at the Pajot Hills Classic and national championships, and eighth at the Tour of Flanders the highlight of her road season. Her big goal, the Olympic Games in Rio, was, in her own words, a nightmare.

    Problems with her sciatic nerve also troubled her and her time on the mountain bike was also minimal, with the national cross country title the only thing she could call a true success. She skipped the cyclo-cross season last winter to pool her focus on the road and mountain bike. Ferrand-Prevot raced a sparse road programme again this season but it brought much more promising results, with second at Plouay and eighth at Amstel Gold. Her mountain bike season also brought some success with a number of race wins.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Greg Van Avermaet has claimed a fourth career Kristallen Fiets award while Jolien d'Hoore also won a consecutive best women's prize. Bjorg Lambrecht also repeated his best young rider victory.

    The best manager prize went to Patrick Lefevere, his fifth and first since 2013, while the best domestique prize went to Julien Vermote for the first time.

    "I did not see Phil [Gilbert] sitting in the hall, so I was pretty sure I would win," Van Avermaet said according to Sporza. "The trophy cupboard I built made is starting to fill. My Flandriens are also there, the UCI WorldTour trophy, my cobblestone and the Rio gold medal."

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    Van Avermaet finished the season as the overall WorldTour winner having won Paris–Roubaix, Gent–Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The BMC rider was also second at the Tour of Flanders, Strade Bianche, and GP de Québec. There was also the overall Tour de Luxembourg victory for the 32-year-old.

    Matching Gilbert's record of four straight Kristallen Fiets wins, Van Avermaet draws to within one win of Johan Museeuw's record of five. Looking ahead to 2018, Van Avermeat explained he will focus on the classics with the Tour of Flanders his major objective.

    "I want to be there again from Omloop to Amstel Gold Race. Which races you win, does not really matter," he said. "The Tour of Flanders is a goal every year, but I've never won. The course is actually the best, but details determine the outcome."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Team Sunweb earned the top spot in the 2017 Cyclingnews reader poll in the Best Women's Road Team category. The Dutch team beat out Boels-Dolmans in second and Orica-Scott in third.

    Team Sunweb had a stellar season with a total of 14 victories largely due to multiple wins from Lucinda Brand, Coryn Rivera and Ellen van Dijk. Brand kicked off the season with a win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad ahead of the current road world champion Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) and current time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott).

    In her first full European racing season, Rivera showed she earned her spot Team Sunweb with victories at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio and Tour of Flandres, two Women's WorldTour victories that gave the American a stand-out early season. She went on to claim wins at the women's Tour of California and Prudential RideLondon Classique, also Women's WorldTour events. And ended up fourth overall in the series ranking.

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    Van Dijk continued the team's winning success at the Healthy Aging Tour with a time trial stage win and a overall victory. She also won the time trial at the European Continental Championships and the prologue at the Ladies Tour of Norway. Other wins that contributed to the team's success came from Leah Kirchmann, Juliette Labous and Julia Soek.

    The team capped the season in the best possible way after winning the world title in the team time trial at the UCI World Championships in Bergen.

    Boels-Dolmans had the most victories at 28 for the season, most coming from Van der Breggen, who won the inaugural Ardennes Classic - Amstel Gold, La Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege - the Women's Tour of California and the Giro Rosa. She also won the overall individual classification for the Women's WorldTour.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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    Forgoing the 2017/18 Track World Cup, Australian men's track coach Tim Decker has instead been putting his riders through their paces to finalise a squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    Gold medallists in the Team Pursuit at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Decker is aiming for a successful defence in April next year and to bury the memories of silver in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

    Assembling for the Melbourne Six-Day are Sam Welsford, Alex Porter, Kelland O'Brien, Rohan Wight and Nick Yallouris, Jordan Kerby, Leigh Howard and Cameron Scott. Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson are also part of the larger squad but have been racing madison events during the European winter and are absent from the meet.

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    "The main priority [this week] is setting ourselves up for the Commonwealth Games," Decker said of the Melbourne racing. "We are always looking to create opportunities for younger athletes coming through, but we are also looking create some in-house pressure for the Cycling Australia riders to make selection for the Commonwealth Games.

    "I wanted to give all riders some exposure, to see how everyone is progressing, and to give everyone a fair and even chance for team selection. And importantly, we are making sure they get in an element of Team Pursuit racing before we actually get to the Games."

    Decker added that he wanted to test his riders in unfamiliar conditions and has been pleased with the results so far.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com


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