Peter Sagan was forced to pull out of the men’s road race at the European Championships held on Sunday, August 12 in Glasgow. The world champion was hunting his second title, after winning the race two years ago, but told the press ahead of the race that he was feeling ill and then later said that he was still suffering from his injuries sustained in a crash at the Tour de France.
“I was not in good shape and I still have a lot of pain from the crash at the Tour de France,” said Sagan, who crashed on a descent during stage 17 of the French Grand Tour.
With one stage left to race at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Keegan Swirbul (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) is one of just two Continental-level riders holding a top 10 spot in the general classification. Swirbul climbed to ninth overall in Saturday’s stage 5 at Snowbird Resort.
His strong week in the Utah mountains comes at a fine time for both rider and team.
The 22-year-old Colorado native looks to be rounding into long-awaited climbing form just in time for the biggest stretch of racing on his calendar. And thanks to that climbing form, his team has a GC rider in the mix in a nationally televised race while waiting for word from Jelly Belly regarding continued sponsorship next year.
The prevailing theme of the spring Classics earlier in the season was that of Quick-Step Floors dominance. The team enjoyed a possibly unprecedented run of success, winning a total of 11 Classics in less than eight weeks, including the big ones of the Tour of Flanders (Niki Terpstra) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Bob Jungels).
The BinckBank Tour – formerly known as the Eneco Tour prior to its rebranding last year – is a chance to revisit the spring as riders return to the same roads in Belgium and the Netherlands that hosted the Classics. Which prompts the question – will Quick-Step Floors again be as dominant?
Two-time winner of the BinckBank Tour, Tim Wellens, is returning to the race leading Lotto-Soudal. The team will have several cards to play in each of the terrains of the race.
The previously known as Eneco Tour will take place in The Netherlands and Belgium with a course that is suitable for Wellens. “I’m feeling good,” said the rider. “I gained confidence by securing the overall victory in the Tour de Wallonie, and it’s always nice to know you’re in good shape. I’ve just completed some intensive training days, so I hope to be totally ready by Monday to start the BinckBank Tour in the best way possible. I’m certainly looking forward to this Tour!
Greg Van Avermaet will lead BMC Racing Team at the BinckBank Tour. The rider will be supported by a roster that will aid him in his GC ambitions but can also fight for their own glory.
The race suits very well the Belgian rider. “This year I think we have the same objective as we have had at previous editions of the race,” said Sports Director Valerio Piva. “We will start with Greg Van Avermaet as our leader. He has been strong at this race in the past and I expect the same from him this year. It will be a little different with the European Championships the day before the start of the race but, we will see how he recovers and the first stage is flat so we won’t put the responsibility on him immediately.
Matteo Trentin claimed the European Road Championship title for Italy on a rainy course in Glasgow. He won the sprint of a six-man group, topping Wout Van Aert (Belgium) and Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands).
“It’s incredible to have won after everything I’ve been through recently,” said Trentin after the race. “We rode perfectly as a team and I have to thank everyone who has supported me during my problems and injuries. Nothing went right for eight months and so I want to thank everyone who was there for me. This is a great day!”
LAUREN Kitchen has agreed to an extension with the FDJ- Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope Cycling team.
2018 has been the Port Macquarie product’s first season with the French registered squad after moving from WM3 Procycling last season.
She has enjoyed her time with her new team.
“I feel supported and valued here and I feel it is an environment in which I have the opportunity to help the younger riders in the team, along with the team leaders and to have individual opportunities when they present themselves,” she said.
Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) came to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah with the goal of preparing for the Vuelta a Espana after finishing 21st in the Spanish Grand Tour last year.
The 24-year-old Australian slowly climbed up the Utah general classification until he was sitting fifth going into the final stage – the Park City loop that ended with the 12.4km climb up Empire Pass and a technical 8.8km descent in the rain to the finish.
Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) took no mercy on his rivals at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Sunday, claiming his third stage win of the race and cementing his overall victory in Park City.
Kuss dropped the race’s best climbers on the ascent of Empire Pass, and then railed the descent into Park City to finish alone ahead of all chasers, appearing to chuckle as he rode up Main Street Park City to the line.