Peter Sagan confirmed for Vuelta a Espana

The Bora-Hansgrohe team have confirmed that Peter Sagan will ride the Vuelta a España as part of a strong team that also includes Rafal Majka, Davide Formolo, Emanuel Buchmann, and Jay McCarthy.

Sagan had been dropping hints that he would ride the final Grand Tour of the season but pulled out of the European Championships road race in Glasgow on Sunday, explaining he was still suffering with pain in his hip and back after his crash on a descent of stage 17 at the Tour de France.

He is expected to ride Sunday’s EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg and then head to Málaga, where the Vuelta starts on Saturday August 25. Sagan has confirmed he will ride the World Championships road race in Innsbruck, Austria at the end of September despite having little chance of taking a fourth consecutive victory on the hilly circuit.

“I will try to fight for my best at the end of the season,” Sagan said in Glasgow.

ADVERTISEMENT
advertisement

Sagan has not ridden the Vuelta a España since 2015. He made his Grand Tour debut – and his name as a sprinter – at the 2011 edition, where he won three stages and the points classification while riding in support of then Liquigas team leader Vincenzo Nibali. He returned in 2014 and 2015 but his race ended abruptly when he was clipped by a race motorbike during stage 8 and crashed at speed.

Sagan will have support for the sprint finishes at the Vuelta from German veteran Markus Burghardt, Jay McCarthy, Michael Schwarzmann and Austria’s Lukas Pöstlberger.

Bora-Hansgrohe will target the overall classification and the many mountain finishes with Majka, Formolo and talented young German rider Emanuel Buchmann. He finished 15th in last year’s Tour de France, was seventh at the recent Tour de Pologne and sixth at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. Formolo, also 25, was 10th overall at the Giro d’Italia and ninth at the 2016 Vuelta a España. Majka was 19th at the Tour de France and third in the mountains classification after riding strongly in the Pyrenees in the final week.

While Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome have opted to ride the Tour of Britain, the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Thibaut Pinot, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen and Rohan Dennis, Adam and Simon Yates, Ilnur Zakarin and Rigoberto Uran will all be in action in Spain.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Viviani leads Quick-Step Floors at Vuelta a Espana

Quick-Step Floors have announced their eight-man squad for the 2018 Vuelta a España, which starts in Malaga on August 25.

The Belgian team’s star turn will be Italian sprinter Elia Viviani, who heads to Spain having missed the Tour de France, and should be firing on all cylinders if his Giro d’Italia performance in May is anything to go by.

The 29-year-old won four stages and came away with the purple sprinter’s jersey at the Giro, and went on to win three stages at the Adriatica Ionica and then the Italian national championships road race.

ADVERTISEMENT
advertisement

Denmark’s Michael Mørkøv and Italian Fabio Sabatini have been tasked as being Viviani’s principal lead-out men, but the entire team will be expected to lend a hand to ensure that the team continues its run of having won stages in the last eight Grand Tours.

“Elia has had a tremendous season, and will be our card on the stages that could come down to a bunch sprint, where Michael and Fabio will make for a strong lead-out train, as they have done with success so many other times this year,” Quick-Step directeur sportif Rik van Slycke said.

The team will count on the experience of 35-year-old Belgian Dries Devenyns and compatriot Pieter Serry, 29, while Spanish youngster Enric Mas returns to his second Grand Tour, and second Vuelta, after scoring his first pro win on the final stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in April.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Ten Dam reported to be leaving Sunweb for new CCC set-up

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that Team Sunweb‘s Laurens ten Dam is to move to the new CCC set-up for next season.

Ten Dam – who has been with Sunweb and its previous guise as Giant-Alpecin since 2016, having joined from LottoNL-Jumbo – is currently recovering from the broken collarbone he sustained in a crash at the Profronde van Surhuisterveen post-Tour criterium at the end of July, having finished this year’s Tour de France in 51st position.

It was the Dutch veteran’s 10th Tour de France, and he played a key role in delivering Sunweb team leader Tom Dumoulin to second place overall in Paris, having previously shepherded his compatriot to his 2017 Giro d’Italia victory, and again to second place overall at this year’s Giro.

ADVERTISEMENT
advertisement

Ten Dam’s departure would be a big loss to Sunweb, who for next season have already lost Simon Geschke, as well as Phil Bauhaus – who’s headed for Bahrain-Merida – and Roy Curvers, who’s retiring. Ten Dam and Geschke’s departures, in particular, will considerably deplete Dumoulin’s Grand Tour armoury, with only three neo-pros having so far been announced as joining Sunweb for next year.

Ten Dam, 37, is said to have turned down a new contract with Sunweb to join Geschke at the ‘new’ CCC team, which is essentially a merger of the current BMC Racing and Pro Continental-level CCC Sprandi Polkowice outfits, and which will race under the BMC team’s WorldTour licence, owned by Jim Ochowicz’s company Continuum Sports.

The new team, which is headlined by current Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet, has yet to name any Grand-Tour-contender signings for next season, and may initially remain built around Van Avermaet’s one-day Classics ambitions.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com