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Anna van der Breggen and Boels Dolmans have held firm at the top of the Women’s WorldTour rankings after the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour. However, there have been plenty of changes below them with Coryn Rivera and Team Sunweb, and Marianne Vos and her WaowDeals team taking big leaps up the standings. Van der Breggen was not racing this week and will not be riding the next round of the Giro Rosa, but her dominant performance over the spring was enough to ensure her security in the leader’s jersey. She was helped too by her closest rival Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) also choosing to sit out the week-long race. Meanwhile, it was the sprinters that came to the fore over the last week with Rivera coming out on top. The American rider had endured some bad luck on her previous appearance in 2015, but she more than made up for it with a stage win and overall success three years on. Her general classification win was helped by a relentless drive to hoover up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints and she moved up 23 places to enter the top 10, thanks to her victory.ADVERTISEMENT Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) and Amy Pieters (Boels Dolmans) both moved up four spots into third and fourth, respectively. D’hoore won the opening stage, despite breaking her collarbone just three weeks before the race. Pieters helped her teammate Amalie Dideriksen to victory on the penultimate day of racing but was also consistent enough to net herself fifth overall in the rankings with Christine Majerus helping them in their haul with fourth overall. With their results, Boels Dolmans were able to extend their lead in the team competition, despite a strong run from Mitchelton-Scott with two stage wins. WaowDeals had possibly their best week to date with Dani Rowe and Marianne Vos making the final podium. Vos has moved into eighth place with Rowe climbing to 25th while Woawdeals is now fourth in the team classification. Team Sunweb is hot on their heels in fifth while Cylance has moved into the top 10 following a consistent performance from Giorgia Bronzini. Following a break for the national championships, the Women’s WorldTour will resume on July 6 with the Giro Rosa.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has extended his lead in the WorldTour rankings after taking a victory at the recent Tour de Suisse, his 16th at the nine-day race. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) jumped up a massive 19 places to enter the top five after winning the overall classification in Switzerland on his race debut. Sagan started the race with a sizeable 232-point lead over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). The Spaniard had to skip the Swiss race due to illness, and while he enjoyed a strong showing at the Route d’Occitaine, his absence allowed Sagan to add to his buffer at the top of the rankings. The Tour de Suisse has been a happy hunting ground for Sagan over the years and he added to his record tally on day two after his team finished fourth in the team time trial. The world champion also took a third place on stage 3 to add a few more WorldTour points to his haul.ADVERTISEMENT Porte enjoyed a dominant week at the Tour de Suisse, thanks to a strong start to the race with victory in the team time trial. The BMC Racing rider earned a tidy 500 points for his overall win, which was enough to bump him into fifth place ahead of the Tour de France. Second-placed overall Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) also leapt up the standings to 14th while Nairo Quintana (Movistar) moved into 23rd after starting the race down in 53rd. The performances of Porte and his teammates, with Kung winning the final time trial, gave BMC Racing a big boost in the team rankings. They remain fifth in the overall standings but have cut their deficit to the top by almost 400 points. The team classification remains much the same as it was before the Tour de Suisse with just Sunweb and UAE Team Emirates moving one place up. Quick-Step Floors still hold a very strong grip on the classification with Mitchelton-Scott in second place, more than 2,000 points behind the Belgian outfit.  
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

The final countdown to the 2018 Tour de France has begun, and with it comes Cyclingnews’ comprehensive look at the 21 stages that the 176 riders starting this year’s race will have to negotiate en route to the big finish in Paris. Starting in Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile in the Vendée on July 7, this year’s stages include a 35.5km team time trial around Cholet on stage 3 – a discipline that is often a very strong indicator of a team’s collective strength for the entire Tour – and a tough conclusion to the end of stage 6 with the climb of the Mûr-de-Bretagne, which last featured at the Tour in 2015, when AG2R's Alexis Vuillermoz took the stage win ahead of Dan Martin. Stage 9 – on the day of the FIFA World Cup final – mimics the one-day Classic Paris-Roubaix, with its treacherous cobbled sectors, and the stage 17 mountain stage that, at just 65km long, should also provide fireworks – especially as the Tour will experiment with a unique start grid whereby the riders will set off together, but in order of the overall standings at that point in the race.ADVERTISEMENT There are three summit finishes – one of those being the legendary Alpe d’Huez, which returns to the race on stage 12 after a three-year absence – and two downhill finishes, at Le Grand Bornand on stage 10 and Bagnères-de-Luchon on stage 16, which can often be as much of an undoing for some riders as the challenge of the climbs. Alpe d'Huez makes a return to the race for the first time since 2015, when Thibaut Pinot, who will miss this year's Tour, won the stage.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Rigoberto Urán came to the Tour of Slovenia with the Tour de France in mind, his EF Education First-Drapac team having added the five-day 2.1 race to the calendar as a late addition to bridge the gap to the Tour de France, which starts a week later this year. The plan worked out to perfection, with Urán taking a stage 3 win in Celje and backing it up with 15th in the final time trial to seal second overall. Stage 4 winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the final time trial and the overall. “I’m happy,” Uran said in a statement released by his team. “The most important for me is the Tour, but before the Tour, I have good legs to finish second, win a stage in Slovenia and also do a good time trial today. I’m so happy to know everything is where it needs to be.”ADVERTISEMENT Urán's win on stage 3 from Slovenske Konjice to Celje came with an attack on the final climb that swept up late leaders Roglic and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), with the Colombian able to out-kick Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) at the line for the stage win. Urán finished fifth on the Queen stage won by Roglic on Saturday, and he held his ground well against the other GC contenders during Sunday's time trial, clocking a faster time than all but two of the riders in the general classification top 10. “Everything went well in the time trial,” said EF Education First-Drapac director Ken Vanmarcke. “Rigo was never in trouble and could pace the way he wanted. His main goal is in three weeks, not today, and this week was a perfect preparation.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Ilness forced Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to change his calendar in the run-up to the Tour de France, skipping the nine-day Tour de Suisse for the more low-key Route d'Occitanie, where the Spaniard made the most of his re-tooled schedule by taking a stage win and the overall at the four-day French race. "We must still remain happy, because after all, we won the overall classification," Valverde said in a statement released by his team. "That's a confirmation I did things right for the past month, even if I missed the Tour de Suisse due to illness. I feel like the whole team, as well as myself, did a brilliant job. The goals were more than accomplished - we came here just with a will to get ready for July and, after that, seeking for some wins, and we achieved both."ADVERTISEMENT Valverde, who raced last at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April, finished seventh on the first day of Route d'Occitanie, a 168km relatively flat stage won by Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in a bunch sprint. He finished in the bunch the following day, which also concluded with a bunch sprint, allowing him to reserve some energy for his winning stage 3 effort.  On Saturday, Valverde beat Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) and Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) to the top of the fog-shrouded summit finish at Les Monts d'Olmes, taking the overall lead by 14 seconds over Navarro and 20 seconds over Elissonde. Not content to rest on his lead during Sunday's final stage - 192.7km from Mirepoix to Cazouls-lès-Béziers - Valverde hit out again with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) with 68km remaining after the peloton swept up day’s early break.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com