TRANSAID LAUNCHES 2017 LONDON TO PARIS CYCLING CHALLENGE

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International development organisation Transaid is calling on transport and logistics industry professionals to get on their bikes to raise funds for its life-saving work in Sub-Saharan countries, with the launch of its fifth European cycle challenge – taking place from September 22-25, 2017.

The event will revisit the destination of Transaid’s first ever European cycling event from 2012, with up to 50 riders to complete the 240-mile adventure over three days in the saddle, cycling from London to the French capital.

Gary Forster, Chief Executive of Transaid, says: “Our first cycle challenge to Paris raised £120,000 and next year we are hoping to smash this target. As well as being a great fun event, the vital funds raised will be channelled directly into supporting our programmes to improve road safety, help local communities access vital healthcare, and transform people’s opportunity to make a living.”

The first company to officially pledge its support for the ride is XPO Logistics Supply Chain, which has entered a four-strong team following its participation in the three-day Celtic Cycle Challenge in 2015, London to Brussels in 2014, London to Amsterdam in 2013 and the first European ride in 2012. Chris Dolby, UK Learning and Development Manager at XPO, explains: “All Transaid cycle challenges were fantastic from a team building perspective, highly enjoyable and supported a cause which is close to our hearts. There was never any question that we’d want to be involved again.”

Riders will set off from London on September 22, cycling 87 miles to Portsmouth, before boarding an overnight ferry to Caen. On day two the group will cycle 84 miles through the rolling hills and quaint villages of northern France, before spending the night in Evreaux. Day three sees participants pedal the final 69 miles to Paris, before cycling triumphantly up the Champs-Élysées, around the Arc de Triomphe and towards the finish line at the Eiffel Tower – ahead of a well-deserved celebratory dinner in Paris.

On the final day the group will get to witness the climax of the 2017 Tour de France from a vantage point on the Champs-Élysées, before heading back to London in the early evening.

For more information and to find out how you can support the charity visit www.transaid.org .

Fabio Felline extends contract with Trek-Segafredo

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Fabio Felline and Trek-Segafredo agreed on a one-year contract extension through the end of 2017. The 26-year-old Italian has been with the team since 2014, and in that time he has developed into an adamant all-rounder, his green jersey at this year’s Vuelta being the most conspicuous example of his wide range of skills.

Fabio Felline: “I am really happy to continue my career with Trek-Segafredo, because in this team I have found a special group of colleagues and teammates, which is for me really important. If you get along well, and if you feel good with the teammates and the staff, you also feel the serenity to do your work without any problems. I had the strangest of seasons with my crash in Amstel Gold Race, but the team didn’t forget about me. This human aspect I’ve encountered in our team was a really important point for me. You know, the team treats me as a person, not just a rider, and that is for me of utmost importance to be able to give it my all.

“At the beginning of this season, my goal was to make a step forward as a rider. But of course my development and growth this year was abruptly stopped by my crash in April, after which I had to stay off the bike for two months. On the other hand, when I look back at it now, since my comeback in Poland I have been in the front in approximately 50% of my races at the WorldTour level. So I have to be happy about that. For sure, it has not been a complete season, but I definitely want to continue in this direction.”

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “Fabio has been very professional since the beginning, but I have to admit I am very, very proud of the way he behaved after his horrifying crash in this year’s Amstel Gold Race. He was really focused on his recovery and worked hard to be back on the bike as soon as he could. It was a long and hard road, but when he took 2nd place overall in the Tour of Poland, we knew right away he was back, and in a big way! How he took and defended his green jersey in the Vuelta was world class. With top-3 places on very diverse parcours, he proved to be able to surpass himself and to surprise everyone.

“It goes without saying we are very pleased to have re-signed Fabio. With the development he has undergone, I expect him to continue to show us some great things in the next season.”

Jennie Stenerhag and Lucas Eriksson won Cykelvasan 2016

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Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK  Foto: Vasaloppet/Nisse Schmidt

This Saturday morning Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, and Lucas Eriksson, Team Serneke Allebike CK, won the mountain bike race Cykelvasan.

Cykelvasan 90 was held today for the eighth year in a row, running between Sälen and Mora with 13,000 registered participants. In total, over the whole weekend, Cykelvasan’s various races attracted 22,000 registered participants. A record!

New for this year was the women’s elite starting at 07:30, 45 minutes before the men, allowing them to compete without butting heads with male cyclists.

This was appreciated by 41-year-old Jennie Stenerhag who repeated her win from last year and took her third Cykelvasan victory. She also won in 2012. This year, the battle for the win was with 18-year-old junior world champion, and Jennie’s club mate, Ida Jansson, Falu CK/Team Lapierre Sweden.
“When we crossed the Aukland bridge I turned and saw that I had a gap. I thought now I just have to give my all. It felt great to enter the home stretch alone. Fantastic!” said Stenerhag after her victory.

“A big thank you to the Vasaloppet organization who arranged this setup. It worked like clockwork. I hope it will continue the same way,” Jennie continued.

A group of six cyclists formed early in the women’s class, last year’s winner Stenerhag being kept company by Ida Jansson as well as Louise Rundqvist, Felicia Ferner, Nellie Larsson and Åsa Erlandsson by the Mångsbodarna checkpoint.

Stenerhag took the hill prize in Evertsberg, with a gap of seven seconds to Jansson and nine to Ferner after hard biking against the incline. Number four, Larsson, was then 21 seconds behind and the others had dropped away significantly.

Jansson then won the spurt prize in Oxberg just ahead of Stenerhag, with Ferner 14 seconds behind in third place. In Hökberg, Stenerhag had retaken the command and was six seconds ahead of Jansson. Ferner was a minute behind in third place.

At the last checkpoint in Eldris, Stenerhag took the spurt again, but now with Jansson right on her tail. When things were decided in Moraparken just before the finish, young Jansson’s power reserves did not get her quite all the way.
“Jennie was strongest today and she deserved to win. She showed that early in the race. I was really tired those last 10 kilometres. It felt great to keep up to that bridge, but that’s where my energy ran out. But I’m still incredibly happy,” summarized Ida Jansson.

Men
In the men’s class a large group, including all the favourites, passed Mångsbodarna at a record pace.

In Evertsberg Emil Lindgren, Team Serneke Allebike CK, took the hill prize six seconds ahead of Niklas Gustavsson. In total, twelve cyclists passed the checkpoint within a 13 seconds.

In the Lundbäck slopes and the climb towards Oxberg, the tempo was high and the final victor Lucas Eriksson, along with team mate Emil Lindgren, put pressure on the group and when they reached the checkpoint five cyclists had fallen behind. Alexander Wetterhall took the spurt prize ahead of Emil Lindgren, Matthias Wengelin, Lucas Eriksson and Edvin Wilson.

The rest of the race was all about these five cyclists and on the home stretch it was 20-year-old talent and road cyclist from Borås, Lucas Eriksson, who came out sharpest, winning just ahead of Matthias Wengelin, Almby IK/Team Bergslagen, and last year’s winner Alexander Wetterhall, Team Tre Berg – Bianchi. Edvin Wilson, Tranemo CS, and Emil Lindgren came in seconds later as fourth and fifth.
“I didn’t believe I would win. I didn’t believe it after the finish line either. But it was fun,” said the young victor.

Runner-up Wengelin held the lead until just before the finish when Eriksson snuck past.
“I’m too big. That gives them good wind protection behind me for the spurt,” said Matthias, who still didn’t sound too disappointed.

“On the slopes, where Lucas pushed forward, I could feel my legs burning but I managed to drag myself along,” continued Wengelin, who in this eighth Cykelvasan took his fourth podium position!

It was Emil Lindgren who paved the way for Lucas Eriksson’s victory, pulling the field along until 250 metres before the finish. It was also Lindgren and Eriksson who pushed hard early in the race, reducing the leading group to only five men.
“Of course I want to win, but we’re a team and you need more of a road cycling background to win a spurt like this. My strength is on the slopes,” concluded Lindgren, who arrived in fifth place, adding this to a number of great Cykelvasan placements over the years.

Registration for Cykelvasan 2017 opens on Sunday September 18, 2016, at 09:00 on vasaloppet.se

RESULTS
Cykelvasan, competition class 94 km Sälen-Mora, women, 2016-08-13

1 Jennie Stenerhag, (SWE) Falu CK, 03.07.49
2 Ida Jansson, (SWE) Falu CK/Team Lapierr…, 03.08.04
3 Felicia Ferner, (SWE) Borlänge CK, 03.08.48
4 Nellie Larsson, (SWE) CKX, 03.11.29
5 Angelica Edvardsson, (SWE) Cykloteket Racing Team, 03.17.10
6 Louise Rundqvist, (SWE) Värnamo CK/Boddan Cycl…, 03.17.11
7 Åsa Erlandsson, (SWE) Varbergs MTB/Haibike, 03.17.13
8 Erika Jepson, (SWE) Ckx, 03.17.18
9 Johanna Sömskar, (SWE) Norbergs CK, 03.18.25
10 Fanny Kjellqvist, (SWE) Godegårds SK cykel, 03.18.26

Cykelvasan, competition class 94 km Sälen-Mora, men, 2016-08-13

1 Lucas Eriksson, (SWE) Serneke Allebike CK, 02.40.04
2 Matthias Wengelin, (SWE) Almby IK/Team Bergsl…, 02.40.04
3 Alexander Wetterhall, (SWE) Team Tre Berg – BIANCH…, 02.40.04
4 Edwin Wilson, (SWE) Tranemo CS, 02.40.05
5 Emil Lindgren, (SWE) Serneke Allebike, 02.40.05
6 Calle Friberg, (SWE) Järfälla CK/Team Scott…, 02.41.46
7 Fredrik Haraldseth, (NOR) Hard Rock AB AX bu SWI…, 02.41.46
8 Alexander Vincent Blomqvist, (SWE) Serneke Allebike, 02.41.46
9 Vidar Mehl, (NOR) Sepura Toyota racing w…, 02.41.46
10 Jocke Bernström, (SWE) Motala Aif Cykel, 02.41.46

Footnote: The hill prizes in Evertsberg were won this year by Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, with a time of 1.43.08, and Emil Lindgren, Serneke Allebike, timed at 1:29:13.

Cykelvasan 2016, the biggest Nordic mountain bike race

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The first Cykelvasan ran in 2009 and attracted almost 2,000 registered participants. Now that it’s time for the eighth edition of Cykelvasan, on August 12–13, there are, so far, more than 22,000 registrants – a new record! Here we have collected facts, statistics and information about Cykelvasan, which is now the biggest Nordic mountain bike race.

Ungdomscykelvasan, Cykelvasan 30 and Cykelvasan 45 will run on Friday August 12 – all these shorter races start in Oxberg. The first start in Cykelvasan Öppet Spår will be on the same day at 11:30 in Sälen.

The exhibition race Cykelvasasprinten will be decided in the lower sections of the Lindvallen ski slopes next to Ski Lodge on Friday, August 12 at 15:00, and it is an integral part of the Vasaloppet bike races during the Summer Week. The sprint, which has a women’s and men’s class, draws an audience of 2,000–3,000 every year. An exciting new feature introduced in 2016 is the open qualifier for the public at 13:00–14:00. The qualifier consists of one lap around the track with manual timing. No pre-registration is required. Bring your bike and helmet and you’ll be able to compete! The two fastest ladies and the two fastest men go on to challenge the invited elite cyclists in Cykelvasasprinten. The men’s class consists of about 20 cyclists and will this year be run in two semifinal heats from which the top five from each heat move on to the finals. The ladies will, like last year, have a separate final. Each race will run two laps on a short, technical and audience-friendly track.

Saturday August 13 will present another first since the women’s competition class in the main race Cykelvasan 90 (currently 40 registered participants) starts at 07:30 in Sälen, 45 minutes before the men’s competition class at 08:15. Cykelvasan’s group starts makes this, unlike in ski races, a relatively simple alteration that will not affect the overall race to any great extent. 45 minutes is estimated to be enough to separate the female and male top elite competitors all the way to Mora. This will let the foremost ladies compete amongst themselves, neither prevented nor helped by the men. First start group in the leisure class starts at 08:30.

Apart from the above mentioned races there will also be “Barnens Vasalopp cykel”, a bike race for the very youngest, up to about 10 years of age. In Sälen it runs on August 12, and in Mora on August 13. All participants will bike a short stretch, wear a number bib, and receive a diploma and medal.

Registrants Wednesday 2016-08-10
Cykelvasan 90 is fully booked; in other words there are 13,000 registered participants for the race between Sälen and Mora. In total, the five Cykelvasan races 2016 now have 22,217 registered participants. New record! There are still places available in the Friday races. Direct registration to these races can be made on location during Thursday and Friday.
Registered for Ungdomscykelvasan (32 km): 232
Registered for Cykelvasan 30 (32 km): 2,758
Registered for Cykelvasan 45 (45 km): 2,252
Registered for Cykelvasan Öppet Spår (94 km): 3,975
Registered for Cykelvasan 90 (94 km): 13,000 (competition and leisure class)

In Cykelvasan 90 on Saturday, 11 percent of the registered participants are women. (In total, 20 percent of the Cykelvasan participants are women.)

Counties and nations 2016
3,311 Stockholmers are participating in Cykelvasan! The five biggest Swedish counties in Cykelvasan 2016 are: Stockholm (3,311), Västra Götaland (3,121), Dalarna (1,899), Uppsala (1,161) and Gävleborg (894).

Cykelvasan’s five races 2016 have participants from 25 different nations, including Sweden. The five largest nations (except Sweden) are Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Switzerland. Nearly 700 Norwegian participants are registered. Participants are aged between 8 and 79 and the average age is 43.

Previous winners in Cykelvasan, men
2009 Matthias Wengelin, Cykloteket RT, 2.43.27
2010 Magnus Darvell, Team Kalas/Pedalogerna, 2.39.00 (Record time!)
2011 Jesper Dahlström, Motala AIF Cykelklubb, 2.47.32
2012 Jesper Dahlström, Team Cykelcity, 2.47.20
2013 Fredrik Ericsson, CK Cykelcity.se, 2.43.01
2014 Johan Landström, Motala AIF/SCOTT 2.45.59
2015 Alexander Wetterhall, Team Tre Berg – BIANCHI, 2:44:35

Previous winners in Cykelvasan, women
2009 Hanna Bergman, Falu CK, 3.09.05
2010 Emmy Thelberg, Härnösands CK, 2.54.53
2011 Pia Sundstedt, Finland, 2.56.19
2012 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 3.02.06
2013 Alexandra Engen, GHOST Factory RT/Jönköpings CK, 2.55.37
2014 Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Norway, 2.53.44 (Record time!)
2015 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 2:57:22

Participant statistics through the years (all stretches):
Cykelvasan 2009: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 1,911/1,760/1,747
Cykelvasan 2010: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 4,479/4,077/4,045
Cykelvasan 2011: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 7,874/7,180/7,031
Cykelvasan 2012: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 12,840/10,629/10,475
Cykelvasan 2013: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 16,855/14,811/14,546
Cykelvasan 2014: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 16,927/15,291/15,122
Cykelvasan 2015: Registered/Starting/Finishing: 19,991/18,000/17,708
Cykelvasan 2016: Registered so far: 22,217

3 x 90 km
2014 was the first year one could complete “Vasaloppstrippeln” in its entirety, that is Vasaloppet/Öppet Spår (skiing), Cykelvasan 90/Cykelvasan Öppet Spår (cycling) and Ultravasan 90 (running). That year, 14 people managed the achievement. In 2015, that exclusive group counted 18 in number, one of whom was a woman. It remains to be seen how many there will be in 2016? One person has managed this triple feat both years.

Events
There is a lot happening in and around the Vasaloppet Arena during Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2016. Take part in the whole programme: http://www.vasaloppet.se/program/vasakalendern

Registration for Cykelvasan 2017
Opens Sunday September 18, 2016, at 09:00 on vasaloppet.se

Upcoming events in the Vasaloppet Arena

Vasaloppet Summer Week 2016
Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 12 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 12 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 13 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen. (13,000 entries. FULL 18/12/2015)
Sat 20 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 20 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 20 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4.5–15 km. Running relay race for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.

Vasaloppet Winter Week 2017
Fri 24 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 25 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 26 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 3, 5, 7 or 9 km. Start Mora Ski Stadium.
Sun 26 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 27 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 28 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 3 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 3 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen. (1,500 entries. FULL 20/03/2016)
Sat 4 Mar: Öppet Spår 9 km. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 5 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (15,800 entries. FULL 20/03/2016)

Alberto Contador: “The goal at the Dauphiné is to finish ready for the Tour de France”

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On the eve of the Criterium du Dauphiné, Alberto Contador held a press conference, after carrying out the recon of Sunday’s opening time trial and assessing the descent of Joux-Plane to the finish in Morzine, which will be the penultimate stage of the Tour de France next July.

How do you feel after these two months out of competition?

Well and eager, that is important. My last race was the Pais Vasco and that’s a long time ago, but that allowed me to rest and train for the coming Tour. Considering the time of the season we are in, I feel well and I hope that this race can give my body the touch of shape that it needs.

What is the goal at the Dauphiné?

The number one goal is to finish in a good physical condition, ready for the Tour. And then there are also tough stages, in which we can do some tests to assess my form compared to the rivals. Of course, I don’t contemplate the general classification, I’ll see how the race goes and if I’m in a good situation, I would obviously try, but I know that is a big effort so I’ll take it day by day.

Can you tell us what you did during the last two months?

Right after Pais Vasco I took a few days of holidays, not because I was tired, but because I knew they would be useful to face the stress and pressure of the Tour de France. Then I went to recon the Alps stages of the Tour and finally I did a three-week training camp on Teide, where I trained a lot and, above all, I did strength work. Right now, I might be missing some speed in the legs, but this is why we are here.

How was your experience in high altitude?

My recent experience was good. Honestly, the biggest benefit I find on Teide, even more than the altitude, is the three weeks of concentration, thinking only about the bike, doing good training sessions, knowing that the weather will always be good, eating well, enjoying a massage every day and having lots of calm. I think these training camps suit me well for these reasons. At home it’s more difficult to have the same rhythm.

Tomorrow’s race course could be the first comparison test against your rivals. Is a victory possible?

Tomorrow is a good day to do a test, but on the other hand is the first race day and you don’t know how your body will react, you don’t know how you will feel. The time trial is very hard and we will see who is in good form. I will give my best because it’s good to go full gas, but we’ll see what happens.

What are your plans after the Dauphiné is over and until the Tour?

Unlike previous seasons, this year I will race at the Spanish Road Championships, because it suits me to get to pace and also because it is another one-day race in view of the Olympic Games.

Who is your biggest rival in the next Tour?

There will be many rivals and one must have the utmost respect for all of them, but if I had to choose two, it would be Froome and Quintana, the latter because he is very strong in the final week and Froome, of course, because he already knows how to win the Tour.

Lotto Soudal: Greipel and Sieberg extend their contract until the end of 2018

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Lotto Soudal is proud to announce that the contract of André Greipel and Marcel Sieberg has been extended until the end of 2018. Together the two dear friends have 24 years of experience in the pro peloton and they have been part of this team since 2011. The past years they helped the team to achieve numerous beautiful victories, Greipel as a sprinter and Sieberg as a reliable lieutenant.

Marc Sergeant, manager Lotto Soudal: “When you look at what André has performed for our team over the past years, also the past twelve months and recently in the Giro, then you can only conclude that he is still an absolute top rider. After a difficult time he always fights his way back, he’s a classy person both after winning and losing and the respect he gets from teammates and staff is amazing. Everyone is always prepared to give his all to take André to the sprint in the best possible position. Greipel always shows his appreciation and is also prepared to help out other teammates when the course suits them better. I haven’t seen much top riders doing that.”

“I am convinced that the story of André at Lotto Soudal hasn’t come to an end yet. He has the potential to keep riding at this level and get even more victories. Obviously, with the support of Marcel Sieberg. Benoot, Wellens, Greipel or Gallopin, all top riders in the team beg to have him in the selection when they race. Sieberg is a perfect pilot, a pillar in the team and especially a very strong rider who performs well in every race he starts.”

André Greipel: “I am really happy the team puts its trust in me for the upcoming two years. The contract extension was something both parties really wanted. I feel good in this team and get the necessary support, also from the young riders. The team offers opportunities to young talent and those riders can perform even in the big races. Frederik Frison for example does such a great job in chasing down breakaways and Sean De Bie was a great support in the Giro. They help me and I can give them tips. At this moment I can’t imagine riding for another team. Sibi and I are inseparable, we want to keep riding together. He’s in general an important member for the entire team. The next years I want to stay one of the best sprinters in the world and keep conquering victories for Lotto Soudal.”

Marcel Sieberg: “As I said many times before, this team is a real family. As a rider you spend many days away from home, together with the team and then it’s really important to feel good within that team. It’s my job to support other riders in the team and when you get along really well that only makes you perform even better. These are all important reasons for staying with Lotto Soudal. On top of that, the main sponsors have an engagement until 2020 and that has its influence on the team. There is a solid base, the sports directors can plan for the long term. That the partners have engaged themselves to this team for such a long time also gives us confidence. This can also have a positive influence on Belgian young cyclists. When I was at the beginning of my career, the German teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner were riding in the peloton and it was an extra motivation to become pro and ride for one of those teams. That can now be the case for Belgian young cyclists and Lotto Soudal, the team really focuses on young Belgian talent. I love to share my experience with those riders.”