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Horner returns to racing at US Pro Championships

After nearly two years out of competition, 46-year-old Chris Horner will return to racing Sunday at the US Pro Championships Road Race in Knoxville, Tennessee.

On the mend from a bronchial infection that plagued his last years of racing in Europe and the American domestic circuit, the 2013 Vuelta a España champion says his ability to train longer and harder, and the increased power levels that resulted, convinced him to throw his hat in the ring once more.

Horner will race under the Team Illuminate banner, the same program he raced with in 2015 when the team raced as Airgas-Safeway.


The breakthrough came for Horner when after more than a year of trying to diagnose the problem, doctor’s finally identified his ongoing lung issues as a byproduct of acid reflux that allowed fluids to flow into his lungs and cause infection.

“The doctor originally thought it was a PFO in the heart, which is where a lot of blood jumps from the right side to the left side and bypasses the lungs, so it’s not getting oxygenated,” Horne told Cyclingnews Saturday at the race hotel in Knoxville.

“So literally I’m on the trainer with the doctors there, and as soon as I hit 300 watts, the [blood oxygenation levels] would drop into the 80s, and as soon as I went over 300 it would drop down to the low 80s. The doctor said, ‘Oh yeah, you have a problem.’

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Keisse sidelined from Belgian Championships with pleuritis

Quick-Step Floors announced on Friday that Iljo Keisse will not be participating in the upcoming Belgian Road Championships, as he has been sidelined for several weeks to recover from pleurisy. The 35-year-old will also miss out on the selection for the upcoming Tour de France set to begin on July 7 in the Vendée region.

“I am really sad to miss the Nationals because of this pleura inflammation,” Keisse said in a team press release. “This also means I won’t be in the selection for the Tour de France anymore, which is really frustrating because I’ve worked hard to be in good shape for this part of the season and I was really motivated to be on the roster for July.

“Unfortunately, this is also part of a rider’s life. I want to wish my teammates the best of luck in the upcoming weeks and I look forward to rejoining them.”


Pleurisy is a condition that causes inflammation to the inner side of the chest cavity and a layer of tissue that surrounds the lungs. It causes sharp chest pain (pleuritic pain) that worsens during breathing.The team noted that rest is the only therapy for recovering from pleurisy and that Keisse will take three weeks completely off before resuming training.

The men’s 223km road race at the Belgian Championships will take place in Binche on Sunday. Quick-Step Floors will field a six-man team that includes Laurens De Plus, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Philippe Gilbert, Yves Lampaert and Pieter Serry.

“The road race will be a hard one with a demanding, typically Belgian course, with some hard parts and cobblestone sectors,” said director Tom Steels. “The finish is quite challenging too, as we know it from Binche. Our riders’ form is on point, but it won’t be easy to take home the tricolour. We have to be ready from kilometer zero, keep a sharp eye on things and be present where the action happens.”

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Dutch Association for Professional Cyclists leaves CPA citing lack of reform

The Dutch Association for Professional Cyclists (VVBW) has announced its decision to leave the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA), citing the latter’s inability ‘to meet the expectations of progress from the riders’. In addition to leaving the CPA, the VVBW has confirmed its endorsement of the recently launched Cyclists’ Alliance, a women’s organisation set up by former professional Iris Slappendel.

“The elected board of the VVBW, after consulting with and taking a poll of the Dutch pro riders, has taken the decision to withdraw its membership from the international cyclists’ union, the CPA,” a statement read.

The VVBW, which was a founding member of the CPA, said in its statement that a lack of reforms and progress was behind its decision. Chief among its concerns was a lack of diversity in member nations, with only nine countries able to vote on reforms. The VVBW criticised the CPA for failing to represent riders from countries that don’t yet have their own national professional riders association, saying that it had been “a shortcoming for almost 30 years since the CPA came into existence.”


“To the present day, three primary European cycling countries control the politics of the CPA, and the VVWB feels this isn’t a true reflection of the men’s professional ‘peloton’ in the year 2018,” it said.

Alongside diversity, the VVBW also pointed to financial and legal concerns in its reasoning. It said that there was an ‘alarming’ financial shortage in the rider’s retirement Solidarity Fund ‘which can no longer be ignored’. Similar to a pension, the Solidarity Fund is financed by a percentage of prize money and riders who have completed five or more years are able to apply for it at the end of their career.

The VVBW expressed concerns that it had regarding the CPA would affect its women’s chapter, which was launched towards the end of last year. With that in mind, it confirmed that it would work with the Cyclists’ Alliance, which was also unveiled towards the end of the year. At present, the Cyclists’ Alliance represents the women’s peloton solely, but they have not shut the door to including the men’s peloton in the future.

CPA accuses VVBW of focusing on money over riders

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Rivera: I would feel stoked and relieved to win the US road title

The third time was not the charm for Coryn Rivera, who took a third consecutive silver medal at last year’s USA Cycling Pro Road Championships.This time around, the Sunweb rider aims to bring home to coveted stars-and-stripes jersey from Knoxville, Tennessee.

“It’s been three years in a row getting second place at the road race national championships.” Rivera told Cyclingnews. “Each time, getting second doesn’t feel any better by the year either. It has made me hungrier over the years and I’ve learned from each situation.

“I would feel absolutely stoked but also relieved to win the road title.”


Rivera was second to Megan Guarnier in 2015 in Chattanooga and 2016 in Winston-Salem, and again last year to Amber Neben on the Knoxville course. As in previous years, she comes into this championships as one of the favourites to win the race.

“For sure, it has been a big target, it has been every year for me,” said Rivera, who won the criterium title in 2014. ” But I still approach it like every other race, I go in 100% and looking to do my best. I am lucky to have a teammate with me this year as well in Ruth Winder. We placed second and third respectively last year, and with our combined efforts, hopefully, we can improve on our results.”

The women’s road race will take place on Sunday, June 24, and the course will start and finish in the same location as Friday night’s criterium, which is a slightly new final compared to the road race finish last year.

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Ganzar turns college running career into US Pro title

Leigh Ann Ganzar (Wolfpack-Hyperthreads) might have been more surprised than anyone at the US Pro Criterium Championship Friday night when she infiltrated a late-race move and then beat three-time track world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist Kelly Catlin across the line to take the stars-and-stripes jersey.

Ganzar admitted in a post-race interview that she “couldn’t believe” it when she rounded the final corner and there was no one between herself, Catlin and the finish line. But it was very real, and Ganzar made the most of her opportunity to take the biggest win of her career “by far.”

Ganzar is not unfamiliar with winning big races, however, as she came to cycling after a college running career at Baylor University that included three All-Big 12 Indoor honours, and being on the 2008 distance medley relay team that took first at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, according to


Ganzar ran track and cross country for Baylor from 2007 through 2011, when she graduated with a degree in biology. Before starting her racing career, she was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to teach English to University student in Brazil in 2013 and 2014.

Ganzar’s racing career got off to a bit of a rocky start, according to her results posted on the USA Cycling website, which lists her as being disqualified from the Chappell Hill Bank Classic in 2013. She came back with a vengeance when she started racing again in 2015, however, winning her first three consecutive road races in Texas. She eventually found the Athlete Architecture team and continued to progress through the sport, quickly moving up through the ranks until she was racing with the very best.

The team grew along with Ganzar, adding presenting sponsor Hyperthreads in 2016 and sending riders to bigger and better races. Ganzar continued winning local and regional races, adding more race days to her calendar every year.

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Kittel: You can never set the goal of five wins at the Tour de France

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) says that he is not aiming to repeat his run of five stage victories at this year’s Tour de France. Kittel was the dominant sprinter at last year’s race, notching up five wins before he was eventually forced to abandon following a crash in the final week.

“You can never set the goal to go for five stage wins in the Tour. That is why we first go for one stage victory, as I used to do in the past. That’s better,” told German newspaper Sudkurier.

If Kittel were to repeat his feat, it would more than triple his current win tally in 2018. This time last season, Kittel had already racked up nine victories ahead of his five-win haul at the 2017 Tour. Twelve months on, he heads into July with just two victories at Tirreno-Adriatico on his palmares. His final preparation race at the Tour de Slovenie with 27th on stage 2 his best result. Kittel said that settling into a new sprint train has been a challenge for him this season, but the German believes that he is heading in the right direction.


“The beginning of the year was tough and I was not as successful as I had hoped,” Kittel said. “Yet, I feel that I’m on the right track. Of course, I would have liked to win a few more races. But on the other hand, I do not think I have given it away in many places. It is also not easy to put a perfect sprint train on track in a relatively short time.

“We are working hard on it. Rick Zabel, Nils Politt and Tony Martin are super committed, but the loss of Marco Haller is a disadvantage.”

Kittel moved to Katusha-Alpecin over the winter after two seasons with the Quick-Step Floors squad. The switch is in contrast with that of two years ago when he slotted into a pre-made sprint train that had recently been vacated by Mark Cavendish. Italian Elia Viviani has enjoyed the same pleasure that Kittel did in 2016, while Fernando Gaviria looks on song ahead of the Grand Boucle. Kittel says that there is still plenty to do to create a similarly strong set-up with his new team.

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Chris Froome’s coach blames media for salbutamol case backlash

Chris Froome‘s coach, Tim Kerrison, has blamed the media for the growing backlash over the Briton’s Adverse Analytical Finding (AFF) for salbutamol, saying that his case has been sensationalised, mainly by the French press, ahead of the Tour de France that is set to begin on July 7 in the Vendée region.

“If things are presented in a way that incites or sensationalises, or fuels anger or resentment towards Chris, then I don’t think that’s very responsible,” Kerrison said in an interview with The Guardian. “I think fair treatment in the media is a responsible requirement to ensure the riders’ safety.”

Froome returned a positive test for salbutamol following an anti-doping control test that took place September 7 following stage 18 of the Vuelta a España last year, a race he went on to win. His urine sample contained 2,000ng/ml of salbutamol, twice the permissible limit. As salbutamol is classed as a specified substance, Froome is free to compete until the case is resolved, and he has denied any wrongdoing.


Froome hired London-based lawyer Mike Morgan as part of his defence team, but continues to race, sub judice. In May, Froome went on to win the Giro d’Italia, which sparked further controversy, and he intends to start the Tour de France with a goal of winning a fifth overall title. However, Kerrison suggested that the doubt over Froome’s pending case has been unfounded.

“I’m very confident that he is innocent,” he said. “There have never been any question marks for me.”

But on Wednesday, Bernard Hinault called for the peloton to go on strike if Froome takes part in the Tour de France, telling Ouest France, “The peloton should put its foot down and go on strike saying: ‘If he’s at the start, we’re not starting!'”

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McCabe ready for US criterium defence in Knoxville

Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare) is ready to defend his 2017 criterium title at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships Friday night in Knoxville on a brand-new course, and in the first year that the federation has combined the discipline with the road race and time trial championships.

McCabe won his title last year in Louisville, Kentucky, when the criterium was a separate event with the now-defunct team time trial championship.

“I think it’s cool that all three races are together,” McCabe told Cyclingnews Friday in Knoxville. “It probably gives a little more validity to the crit than it has in the past. So that’s really nice, and it increases the size of the field.”


The 29-year-old from Arizona sprinted to last year’s title ahead of former champion Eric Young (Rally Cycling), Ty Magner – who rides for Rally now but was with Holowesko-Citadel last year – and Rally’s Brad Huff, also a former criterium champion.

Now all three riders who finished directly behind McCabe are on the same team, which is bringing a total of six riders to the race, according to the start list on the USA Cyclng website.

“I think this year Rally is going to come in with a vengeance,” McCabe said. “I think they have 50 guys racing today, so the responsibility is on them. They have multiple guys who can win: Colin Joyce, Eric Young and Ty Magner. So those guys are where the pressure is.

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Boasson Hagen wins Norwegian TT championship – News Shorts

Dimension Data‘s Edvald Boasson Hagen won the Norwegian time trial championships on Thursday.

It was Boasson Hagen’s fourth national TT title in a row, beating Uno-X’s Andreas Leknessund by just seven seconds, and Team Joker Icopal’s Kristoffer Skjerping by 1:09.

The 31-year-old Norwegian will now wear the iconic national jersey at the Tour de France, starting on July 7, and will be hoping to put it to good use as soon as stage 3, when the race features a 35.5km team time trial around Cholet.


Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)

Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Grosu wins Romanian time trial title

Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini) won the Romanian time trial title for the second year in a row and for the third time in his career on Friday. 

Grosu covered the course in a winning time of 39:09, with 17 second faster than runner-up.

“A daily race marked by rain, with 30 seconds delayed start, with 15km of false flat, hill and downhill, I had to risk a little in downhill but I had a good margin in the first part that I could handle in the second. I’m really happy for the victory, wearing the flag of my country when I race is always beautiful. In time trial I have the opportunity to continue to wear it, waiting to see how the next road championship will end,” Grosu said.

Aevolo’s Gage Hecht holds his own at US national TT champs

Colorado Classic men’s teams announced

Tour de France route preview – Podcast

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UCI announce 2019 Women’s WorldTour calendar

The UCI’s Management Committee announced the 23 events that make up the 2019 Women’s WorldTour on Friday. The committee met in Arzon, France, from June 19 to 21, to deliberate on the Agenda 2022 and its role in bringing gender equality to women’s professional cycling, where they also validated the events for world-class series next season.

“The 2019 calendar for the UCI Women’s WorldTour confirms the excellent health of women’s cycling,” said President of the UCI, David Lappartient. “This series holds a central position in the development strategy of the UCI and of our sport in general, notably concerning men-women equality. It’s a global competition, consolidated in terms of the number of events and days of competition which will facilitate, without race overlaps, the participation of teams in all events on the calendar. The increase in the media coverage confirms the commitment of organisers, the confidence of broadcasters, the enthusiasm of the public and the growing reputation of our series as a reference for all involved in women’s professional road cycling.”

There will be the same 23 events, held in 10 countries and on three continents next year, with minor changes to the dates of each race to avoid the problematic overlaps that happened this year, namely between the Amgen Women’s Race and the Emakumeen Bira. In May, Boels Dolmans announced that they could not return to the Californian race to defend Anna van der Breggen’s title because they did not have the resources or the riders to compete in two international races, and the UCI told Cyclingnews that it regretted such conflicts on the calendar.


Next year, the Amgen Women’s Race will be held from May 16 to 18 and Emakumeen Bira will follow from May 22 to 25 in Spain.

“The UCI is very pleased with the calendar which has no overlapping of events, therefore ensuring all races will have the best possible team participation,” the press statement read.

The battle for the leader’s jersey of the individual ranking and that of the best young rider of the UCI Women’s WorldTour will begin on March 9 at the Strade Bianche, in Italy, and conclude on October 20 with the Tour of Guangxi Women’s WorldTour, in China. The 2019 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar will comprise 52 days of racing next year. However, La Course by Le Tour de France is listed as “to be confirmed”, as event organisers ASO have floated between a one-day and two-day format over the years.

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