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  • We're less than two weeks away from the 2019 Tour de France now, and the 106th edition of the Grand Boucle has become, to borrow a phrase from a former Prime Minister, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The injuries and subsequent withdrawals of four-time winner Chris Froome (Team Ineos) and 2018 runner-up Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) – not to mention the recent Tour de Suisse crash and abandonment by defending Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) – have left the race wide open. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who was fourth at the Tour de France last year behind Froome, raced the Giro this year and so will sit this Tour out, with his Jumbo-Visma team choosing to support Steven Kruijswijk instead. The Dutchman is the only rider from the 2018 top five, aside from Thomas, returning to the race this year. ADVERTISEMENT This all means the 2019 Tour de France could be a wild affair, with an up-and-coming rider like Team Ineos' Colombian Egan Bernal possibly having a chance to ride for his own ambitions alongside established veterans like Jakob Fuglsang, the Astana leader who won an impressive victory at Dauphine. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), the 2014 winner,...

  • Defending champion Katie Hall could return to the Colorado Classic in August despite her Boels Dolmans team not being on the start list for the the August 22-25 UCI 2.1 race. Hall, who won the race last year with UnitedHealthcare and then signed with Boels Dolmans in the off season, was one of eight riders USA Cycling named to the long list for the 'Collegiate All-Star Team' that will compete alongside 15 other squads at this year's race. Hall is joined on the list by Charlotte Backus, Madeline Bemis, Anna Christian, Clio Dinan, Emma Edwards, Cara O’Neil and Samantha Runnels.  "We are happy to have another opportunity to showcase the talent of our up-and-coming American riders like we did earlier this year at the Amgen Tour of California," said Jeff Pierce, USA Cycling director of Elite Athletics. "USA Cycling’s Collegiate program is a great avenue for young riders to develop and has produced great champions in the sport. We are pleased to give these athletes the opportunity to race against a talented international field in a top UCI race."ADVERTISEMENT Hall raced at UC Berkley and is a USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star Alumnus, while O’Neill (University of Arizona) is the...

  • Australian Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) is in the lead of a 2,000km enduro event, the 'GBDURO', a multi-day, self-supported UK bikepacking event from Land's End to John O'Groats. The event kicked off on Saturday, June 22, with Morton taking the early lead in the first leg, one of four timed 'stages', covering the 630km and 10,900m of climbing to Wales in 32 hours, 10 minutes, more than seven hours faster than his nearest competitor. The format of the GBDURO differs from many long-distance events such as Race Across America in that the clock is stopped when riders reach the checkpoints, allowing them to sleep before beginning the next leg. Riders must average 200km per day to be declared finishers. Morton reached the first checkpoint on Sunday evening, then covered the next leg of 470km with 8,500m of climbing to pass the halfway point in a total of 63 hours 32 minutes of riding time and four elapsed days on Tuesday afternoon. There are two more legs, 480km and 7,100m of climbing into Scotland and the final 380km leg with 4,200m climbed to John O'Groats.ADVERTISEMENT Morton is no stranger to long-distance bicycle travel, having taken a 2,500km...

  • World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) is aiming to add a fourth national time trial title in the Dutch Road Championships this weekend and has extra motivation because the event is being held close to her home in Wageningen. Van Vleuten will debut her rainbow jersey in the 31.8km women's race on Wednesday in Ede. The 36-year-old wrote on her personal website, "I think it's super nice to be able to ride this Dutch time trial in my own 'backyard' and also in my rainbow jersey. That will also be the first time this season because the Dutch Championship will be my first time trial of the year." "I have ridden the road that we are travelling on at least a hundred times. The course is not technical. We are actually racing back and forth on the same road," she added.ADVERTISEMENT Van Vleuten will head down the start ramp at 1:05 in hopes of adding a fourth title to her palmares. She has won the title in 2014, 2015 and 2017, but faces a tough field of competitors including defending champion Ellen van Dijk, road world champion Anna van der Breggen, and last year's bronze...

  • AG2R La Mondiale has extended its sponsorship of Vincent Lavenu’s WorldTour team to the end of 2023. The social and asset protection specialist's existing sponsorship deal ran until the end of next season. "We are proud and very touched by the confidence shown by AG2R La Mondiale in extending our contract from 2021 to 2023," Lavenu said in a statement released by the team. "This endeavour that has united us since 1997 around our favourite sport is both beautiful and intense. It has brought us a lot of joy, success, and has also strengthened us in the most difficult times." AG2R La Mondiale’s association with cycling began in 1997 when it came on board as a sub-sponsor to Lavenu’s Casino team. AG2R assumed title sponsorship of the team in 2000 and is among the longest-standing sponsors in the professional peloton. Lavenu’s team was established under the Chazal banner in 1992 before Casino took over sponsorship in 1996.ADVERTISEMENT "A few days before the start of the Tour de France 2019, we once again testify to our unwavering support for Vincent Lavenu and his cycling team," said AG2R La Mondiale CEO André Renaudin. "Our riders and their sports directors...

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