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"It's a long way to come to just sit in the peloton the whole week," said Pete Kennaugh of the Tour of Guangxi, and the Manxman was as good as his word on the opening stage in Beihai, clipping off the front on the final climb in the company of his former Sky teammate Gianni Moscon. Their brief raid was, predictably enough, snuffed out by the sprinters' teams on the rapid run-in to the finish, but it was a statement of Kennaugh's intentions and outlook this week in China. After turning a trying debut season at Bora-Hansgrohe on its head with a series of fine displays in recent weeks, Kennaugh will look to continue his upward trajectory in the final days of the campaign in Guangxi, mindful that a dash of motivation can take a man a long, long way at this point in the year. "A lot of the guys who are at this race are either mentally done in at the end of the season or they're coming back from injury or something, so it's a good opportunity for me," Kennaugh told Cyclingnews in Nanning on Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT "It was good to get the win with Pascal Ackermann [on stage 2] and in those conditions as well. And tomorrow [the uphill finish at Nongla on Friday - ed.], we'll see what happens and take it from there." Given his form and his pedigree, Kennaugh ought to be among the contenders on the short climb to the finish at Nongla on stage 4, where Tim Wellens sealed final overall victory in the maiden Tour of Guangxi a year ago. "I don't know much about it really, only the results from last year," Kennaugh said. "It's the only sort of hilly stage in the race so I'll obviously try something but I'm not really sure what kind of riders it's suited to - maybe the Classics kind of guys, who have a bit of a punch and who aren't too heavy." A one-day future?
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Canyon-SRAM will take a five-rider team that includes British time trial champion Hannah Barnes and Belarusian road race champion Alena Amialiusik to the Tour of Guangxi women's race, which starts and finishes in Guilin, China, on Sunday. The 145.8-kilometre-long one-day race race is the final round of the UCI Women's WorldTour, and the climb on the otherwise flat circuit will challenge the field at the end of what's been a long season for many. Both Barnes and Amialiusik are coming back to their best form after injuries sustained at the Giro Rosa in July, but both were members of the Canyon-SRAM team that won gold in the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, last month.ADVERTISEMENT "I haven't done this race before, or been to China, so it's all very exciting," Barnes said in a team statement.   "After my time off mid-season with a broken collarbone, I decided to carry on until China. It's a new race for me, which is always good to do, and a nice way to finish the season." Barnes returned to competition at the GP de Plouay in late August, and then rode the Boels Ladies Tour prior to taking part in the Worlds team time trial and the Worlds road race, in which she finished 45th. "I haven't lacked any motivation to train the past weeks, and I'm feeling good leading into the race. I started the season well in Valencia," Barnes continued, referring to her overall victory at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in February, "and I would love to finish it with a good race in China."
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Sunny summer days must have felt a million miles away to the riders of the 2018 Tour of Guangxi peloton on stage 2 of the race on Wednesday. Torrential rain began to fall an hour into the three-hour, 145.2km stage from Beihai to Qinzhou, causing crashes and abandons. While Bora-Hansgrohe's Pascal Ackermann made short work of the conditions to win the stage in a bunch sprint, Richie Porte ended his career with BMC Racing by abandoning on the stage, and will next be seen in the colours of Trek-Segafredo in 2019. "I think the stage unfolded how we expected it would, even without the heavy rain before the bunch sprint, and in that sense it was a relatively straightforward day," BMC directeur sportif Jackson Stewart said on the team's website. "The weather definitely made it a difficult day for everyone in the peloton, though.ADVERTISEMENT "No, he didn’t say anything really," Stewart said with regards to Porte's abandon. "We didn't plan on Richie stopping and, of course, it's now not ideal to be down to five riders, but we'll continue to push on and see what we can get out of the next four stages." The stage was animated by a four-man breakaway made up of Andrey Grivko (Astana), UAE Team Emirates' Yousif Mirza, Chun-Kai Feng (Bahrain-Merida), Quick-Step's Rémi Cavagna and Great Britain's Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin). The quintet worked well together, but as the weather conditions continued to take their toll, Cavagna pushed on alone, and was only finally caught inside the last four kilometres, where Ackermann's Bora-Hansgrohe team took over.
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Quick-Step Floors' Philippe Gilbert has reacted angrily to a video posted on Twitter by BMC that shows a soigneur stepping across the central markings and into the left lane of the road to hand food bags to their riders, when normal practice should be to stand on the edge of the right lane. Ahead of the BMC soigneur, a Dimension Data member of staff can be seen in the video doing the same thing during the rainy stage 2 of the Tour of Guangxi in China on Wednesday. It's not uncommon for team 'carers' to encroach into the road to try to hand their riders musettes, but Gilbert clearly believes the soigneurs in the video are literally overstepping the mark.ADVERTISEMENT "This scene should be sanctioned by the UCI," Gilbert wrote on Twitter. "I will never understand these assistants standing on the left side of the road to give the feedbags. They make us risk a lot!" Gilbert is racing with Quick-Step at the Tour of Guangxi, and would therefore have first-hand experience of passing through the feed zone in the video. The 36-year-old Belgian returned to racing just last month after fracturing his kneecap in a crash at the Tour de France in July. The UCI rules on the matter – section 2.3.026 – state: The food and drink shall be distributed on foot by the staff accompanying the team and by no-one else. They shall be positioned on one side of the road only, which must be the side on which road traffic circulates in the country concerned. — PHILIPPE GILBERT (@PhilippeGilbert) October 17, 2018
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The 2019 Giro d'Italia is expected to include three time trials, but legendary climbs such as the Gavia, the Mortirolo, the Croce d'Aune and a new finish on the Col del Nivolet in the Alps will make for another mountainous and testing Italian Grand Tour.  The full route of the 2019 Giro d'Italia will be unveiled in Milan on October 31, but well-informed Italian newspaper La Stampa has published details of the route and even drawn a map of the expected parcours. Race organiser RCS Sport has already announced that the 2019 Giro d'Italia will start with an 8.2km individual time trial from the centre of Bologna to the summit of the San Luca climb used for the Giro dell’Emilia. As part of an agreement with the Emilia Romagna region, stage 9 will be a hilly 34.7km time trial from Riccione to San Marino, while stage 10 is a flat ride from Ravenna to Modena for the sprinters.ADVERTISEMENT La Stampa has filled in the details, confirming reports that the 2019 Giro d'Italia will end in Verona after a 15km time trial to the central Roman amphitheatre. The 1984 and 2010 editions of the race finished in similar style when Francesco Moser and Ivan Basso won the maglia rosa. The three time trials could tempt Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) to return to the Giro d'Italia, with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) already confirming he will return after losing the maglia rosa in the final stages this year. Egan Bernal is expected to lead Team Sky at the 2019 Giro, but could also be joined by Geraint Thomas, while Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) seems tempted to ride his home Grand Tour before perhaps targeting the Tour de France for a final time in 2020 and then riding the Tokyo Olympics. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has also hinted he may finally skip the Tour of California to ride the Giro for the first time in his career. Chris Froome (Team Sky), who won the 2018 Giro d'Italia after launching a solo attack on the dirt-road Colle delle Finestre climb, is expected to focus on winning a fifth Tour de France in 2019. South towards Tuscany, Rome and then L'Aquila
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Moniek Tenniglo will join the Mitchelton-Scott women's team in 2019. The 30-year-old Dutch rider spent this year with the French outfit FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, and going foward, will fill a domestique role on the Australian team next season. "I am really happy and excited to be joining Mitchelton-Scott," Tenniglo said. "It’s a team with a great team spirit and that’s why it makes it really exciting for me, because I think I am a rider who works well within a team and I enjoy playing a strong supporting role. That’s where I feel I am most valuable. "That's a big part of why I am looking forward to being part of this team with these riders and so much quality within the squad. It's a really professional set up throughout the organisation and that's great for me."ADVERTISEMENT Tenniglo also spent one season with WM3 Energie in 2017, where she rode a support role to assist the team to four Tour victories. She has also had strong results of her own: third at Gracia Orlova, fifth at BeNe Ladies Tour and second at Rabobank 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg. Before that, she spent three seasons with Rabobank-Liv Women, where she raced with compatriots Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek Van Vleuten, who currently leads the Mitchelton-Scott programme. Her commitment to team goals over the seasons, however, are what will make her an asset to Mitchelton-Scott, particularly with their focus on hilly stage races and classics events that are part of the Women's WorldTour. This year, Van Vleuten won the Giro Rosa and La Course, and Amanda Spratt has stepped up her role as a top performer in the classics and shorter stage races. "Moniek is a very strong team player, and she is a rider with good versatility and someone we can use in a lot of different races," said Mitchelton-Scott team director Martin Vestby. "She is going to be important for us as a support rider and brings a lot of experience with her from a lot of different races whilst also being able to handle a busy race schedule.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) has started training again after being diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) for the second time in August. Despite being able to get back out on the bike, the Manxman confirmed in a Twitter video that he would not be making a pre-planned appearance at the Six Day London next week. "Hi everyone, I’m really disappointed to say that I won't be riding at Six Day London this year. I've been on my bike for four days, I'm feeling a lot better but I won't be in any condition to ride. I'm disappointed, but I will be there supporting with my family," Cavendish said in the video posted on Twitter. Cavendish has not raced since the RideLondon-Surrey Classic in July, when he finished 12th in the final sprint. He rode the Tour de France earlier in the month but had to leave early when he missed the time cut on stage 11 along with Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin). He was down to race the European Championships and the subsequent Arctic Race of Norway but pulled out on medical advice.ADVERTISEMENT It was confirmed at the start of August that Cavendish had EBV for the second time in his career. He was first diagnosed with the virus in April of 2017 and spent months out of action before returning to racing at the Tour de France. This season has been one blighted by illness and injury for Cavendish and one he would likely want to put behind him quickly. Following a strong start at the Dubai Tour with victory on stage 3, and a solid ride at the Tour of Oman, Cavendish crashed out in the neutral zone of the opening stage at the Abu Dhabi Tour. He was diagnosed with concussion but came back just a few weeks later to ride Tirreno-Adriatico. The Italian race also ended prematurely for Cavendish with a heavy crash in the opening team time trial. The Tirreno-Adriatico crash left Cavendish with a broken rib, but he plugged on and made the start of Milan-San Remo at the end of March. He looked to be in contention until a huge collision with some road furniture in the final kilometres.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

When Eddie Dunbar accelerated sharply to snuff out Alexis Vuillermoz’s attack on the climb of Monte Serra in the finale of the Giro della Toscana last month, it was easy to imagine his earpiece crackling into life with a gentle reminder that things weren't quite done like that on his new team. The Irishman was only added to Team Sky’s roster in mid-September following the collapse of Aqua Blue Sport, and the Giro della Toscana was just his second race in their colours. The team orders were to control affairs on Monte Serra in support of Gianni Moscon, and Dunbar did so in his own uninhibited fashion. "That was my natural instinct," Dunbar told Cyclingnews at the Tour of Guangxi this week. "I was told after the race that the way they do things is to ride a little more steadily rather than accelerate, which is fair enough. As I said, it was just my natural instinct, but nothing bad came of it."ADVERTISEMENT That is something of an understatement. Having restored order by chasing down Vuillermoz, Dunbar proceeded to lay down a ferocious tempo on the upper slopes of Monte Serra, and by the time he swung off near the summit only three riders – the elite trio of Moscon, Romain Bardet and Domenico Pozzovivo – had managed to hold his wheel. Moscon proceeded to claim victory in Pontedera, but Dunbar was, by some distance, the day’s best supporting actor. "I wasn't actually supposed to be the last guy left, there were a couple of other guys who were supposed to be behind me, but they came up and said, 'Look, you're riding strong, you go last man for Moscon,' and I was like, 'Alright, no problem,'" explained Dunbar, who was surprised to find that the hierarchy of the team was so fluid: the best man for the job was asked to get on with the task in hand, regardless of prior experience. "That really struck me. They ride to win the race, and they ride to give the person they're working for the best possible chance to win that race." Winner of the amateur Tour of Flanders in 2017, Dunbar stepped up to Pro Continental level this season with Aqua Blue Sport and made an impressive cameo in a rare WorldTour appearance at Amstel Gold Race in April before finishing 4th at the Tour of Belgium. A dearth of wildcard invitations meant that Dunbar's rate of development was not matched by the quality of his racing programme, however, while owner Rick Delaney's abrupt decision to disband the team in late August risked leaving the Cork man in limbo for the rest of the season. Innsbruck
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Adam Hansen has extended his contract with Lotto Soudal, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The Belgian newspaper reports that the penning of the new deal was the final act of outgoing manager Paul De Geyter, who left the team earlier this month after less than a year in the role. With Hansen, who is currently racing at the Tour of Guangxi in China, Lotto Soudal have completed their roster for 2019 with 28 riders. The Australian also provides an element of stability in a team that has seen a lot of changes over the season. After three seasons with HTC-Colombia, Hansen joined the team – then known as Omega Pharma-Lotto – for the 2011 season. Since then, he has become a key part of the train in front of the team’s main sprinter Andre Greipel.ADVERTISEMENT Next season, Hansen will find himself in a very different sprint train, with Greipel, Marcel Sieberg and Lars Bak all leaving, along with Jens Debusschere, Moreno Hofland and 22-year-old Briton James Shaw. The Australian will now be working for his compatriot Caleb Ewan with the help of another new signing in Adam Blythe. As well as his role in the lead-out train, Hansen became known for his record-breaking run in the Grand Tours. Beginning with the Vuelta a España in 2011, Hansen rode and completed 20 consecutive Grand Tours. He has ridden 27 Grand Tours during his career and only abandoned three. Hansen’s run almost came to an end at last year’s Vuelta but a late call-up saw it continue. However, he chose to call it quits after this year’s Giro d’Italia and try his hand at a few other races.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com