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  1. Danny Pate announces retirement from cycling

    After 19 years of plying the pro cycling trade in the US and Europe, 39-year-old Danny Pate has decided to bring down the curtains on his racing career. Pate signed his first pro contract in 2000 with the Italian Saeco team and is currently riding with Rally Cycling at the Colorado Classic.

    Today's last stage of the Colorado race marks Pate's final day of competition, but the veteran rider from Colorado was typically understated when contemplating the end of his career.

    "I feel like right now it's not really a big deal to me, but maybe it will be at some point," Pate told Cyclingnews Saturday evening at the team's hotel. "It will probably feel more strange come November and December when I don't have to train again, when I don't have to prepare for the next thing or the next season.

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    "But right now, it doesn't feel much different. It's not something I've been planning for a long time or something I've been thinking about, so I'm not dreading it or rejoicing."

    Pate was one of the most promising talents emerging from the US when he signed with Saeco in 2000, but his tenure with the team was not productive, and he returned to the US to embark on a career that would eventually see him back in Europe on some of the world's top teams.

    After winning the US junior cyclo-cross title in 1997 and the U23 road race championship in 1998, Pate signed Saeco as a spry 20-year-old, returning to the US the following year with Prime Alliance and then going on to win the U23 World Championship time trial in 2001.

    Competing clean in a dirty peloton

    Mentoring the next generation

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Matthews: I showed that I am still capable of winning

    Even amid the ecstasy of cheering and applause at the end of the final stage of the BinckBank Tour in Geraardsbergen, Michael Matthews made himself heard. The Australian’s repeated, guttural cries of ‘Yeah’ started as he crossed the finish line and continued as he slowed to a stop and unclipped from his bike.

    Lest any of his Sunweb teammates were still unsure of the result, Matthews held the microphone of his radio close to mouth to make one final exclamation, before he sat, exhausted, on the cobbles of Vesten, the thoroughfare through Geraardsbergen that serves as the anteroom to the Muur itself.

    Matthews’ 2018 season has been more endured than enjoyed to this point. A crash in his opening race, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, rather tempered his Classics campaign. A puncture cost him dearly at Amstel Gold Race. A suspected bout of food poisoning forced him out of the Tour de France in the opening week.

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    Come the BinckBank Tour, Matthews was a man in search of himself: earlier in the week, he confessed, “I don’t really know where I’m at anymore.” Sunday’s finale in the Flemish Ardennes provided a reassuring answer. After three fraught laps of circuit that included the Muur and the Bosberg, Matthews produced a rasping uphill sprint to overhaul Greg Van Avermaet and claim his second victory of the season, and his first in a road race.

    "I finally showed that I still am capable of winning with all the setbacks I've had with my shoulder and being sick and having crashes all through the season," Matthews said afterwards. "I had no results, but it wasn't because I had really bad legs, I was just unlucky. This week I've tried to switch my head around, stay focused and finish it off with a good result, whether it was me or Søren Kragh Andersen. To come out and win the sprint today after Søren sacrificed himself for me to bring that breakaway back is the icing of the cake. For the team to believe in me, to believe that I can still win, it’s really special."

    Matthews delivered a typically solid performance in Tuesday's 12km time trial – his other win this year was the prologue of the Tour de Romandie – and he entered the weekend within 30 seconds of Matej Mohoric's overall lead. He moved onto the podium following Saturday's hilly leg in Limburg.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Kittel: I'm not sure why I'm struggling at the moment

    Marcel Kittel abandoned the BinckBank Tour Saturday, adding another disappointment to his unsatisfactory 2018 season. In his first season with Team Katusha-Alpecin, the German has only two wins, taking stages in Tirreno-Adriatico.

    "I'm hugely disappointed that I had to abandon @binckbanktour," he wrote on Twitter and Instagram Saturday.

    "While I will be criticized once more, I'm looking for reasons behind all of this. It's been an incredibly difficult season so far and I was hoping to turn things around here with the team. It started promising with a close 2nd place on stage 1 but after that it didn't get any better.

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    "I'm not sure with what I'm struggling at the moment. I'm trying hard to make it work but this seems to always end in a setback since April. For me the magic formula always has been to align my body and mind to be successful. I guess this is what I'm missing at the moment."

    Earlier in the week, he told Cyclingnews, "I don't really care what other people think about me. I'm just trying to concentrate on myself." He added, "Not everything has been perfect, that's for sure. I wanted to win more and that didn't happen. I was struggling also a little bit myself with health issues sometimes, so things haven't been perfect. I'm trying to finish my season well now."

    Kittel, 30, finished a close second on the opening stage of the BinckBank Tour, but was rarely seen in the other stages. He has come close a number of times, with numerous top-10 finishes, but has been unable otherwise to take victories.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Caja Rural, Burgos BH name Vuelta squads - News shorts

    Spanish Professional Continental outfits Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Burgos BH have announced their line-ups for the Vuelta a Espana. The two teams, who received wild card invitations to the Vuelta, are both sending young squads to their home Grand Tour, which starts on Saturday, August 25.

    Caja Rural is riding its seventh consecutive Vuelta, and is sending a “balanced team”, which can go for sprint finishes as well as fighting on the mountain stages. Sergio Pardilla, Alex Aranburu, Lluis Mas, Nick Schultz, Nelson Soto, Cristian Rodriguez, Jonathan Lastra and Antonio Molina will represent the team.

    It is the Grand Tour debut for Aranburu, Soto, Lastra, and Molina, and it will be Rodriguez's first appearance at the Vuelta, having appeared twice in the Giro d’Italia. Pardilla, at 34 years old, is the only veteran on the team, with all the others are 25 or less.

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    Burgos BH is also sending five debutantes to the race. Jordi Simon, Jorge Cubero, Jesus Ezquerra, Pablo Torres, and neo-pro Oscar Cabedo will ride their first Grand Tour, while Jose Mendes, Diego Rubio and Jetse Bol round out the team. The team, with an average age of 27.5 years, “will try to take the Burgos-BH brand as far as possible, in addition to responding to the confidence placed by the organization with the invitation.”

    Campenaerts in for Marczynski for Lotto Soudal

    Victor Campenaerts will replace Tomasz Marczynski for Lotto Soudal in the Vuelta a Espana. The Polish rider, who won two stages of last year's Vuelta a Espana, has been ruled out of the race due to illness.

    The Belgian team will now appear at the race with an all-Belgian squad. It will be Campenaerts’ second appearance in the Vuelta, having finished 143rd in his Grand Tour debut in 2016 for LottoNL-Jumbo. He recently defended his European time trial title by less than a second over Spain's Jonathan Castroviejo and is currently riding the BinckBank Tour. He had been keen to ride the Spanish Grand Tour but was missed off the initial eight-man team. 

    Planckaert out of BinckBank with concussion

    Vermote abandons BinckBank with wrist injury

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Lampaert battered, bruised but hopeful after BinckBank Tour crash

    Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) had to be nursed across the finish line by the race doctor in Saturday’s penultimate stage of the BinckBank Tour. However, with the race on his favoured terrain, the Belgian champion remains hopeful that he can get into the mix on the final day of action.

    Starting the day just 43 seconds down on the overall leader Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Lampaert rode aggressively and was one of the main protagonists. He had been in the move that formed the race-winning attack, though he and others had been unable to break Mohoric’s grasp on the race lead.

    Unseen by cameras, as Lampaert made his way through the final kilometre he was thrown over his handlebars and off his bike. The incident happened in front of Mohoric, but the Bahrain-Merida rider was able to negotiate the stricken Lampaert. Perhaps using his judo skills, Lampaert managed to roll through the fall but he was unable to eliminate the impact altogether. Helped by the medical car, Lampaert slowly made his way to the finish line and he remained hopeful that he could ride through the injuries on the final day of racing.

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    "I fell flat on my back. I had no breath right after the fall. It was a pretty hard impact. I did not see how the crash was caused. I thought my chain skipped or my derailleur took a knock. The only thing I remember is that I went head-first, and luckily, I was able to make a good rolling movement,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.

    "I hope to be able to start in the final stage. I have some minor abrasions on my arms and legs, but my back and chest have big bruises and are a bit sore. It is going to be a painful night. There are nicer things in life. It is a bit of a shame because I felt very good today and I really wanted to make something out of it in the final stage. I hope that the damage evolves favourably and I can still do my thing in the final stage.”

    Though he passed the finish line quite some time after the rest of the contenders, Lampaert did not lose any time due to the three-kilometre rule and goes into the last day with a 43-second deficit to Mohoric. The final stage of the BinckBank Tour is a tough 225.6km Tour of Flanders-esque stage from Lacs de l’Eau d’Heure to Geraardsbergen.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  6. Pinot feeling fresh for Vuelta a Espana challenge

    Groupama-FDJ leader Thibaut Pinot will head to the Vuelta a España having fully recovered from the pneumonia he suffered at May's Giro d'Italia, which forced him to abandon the race after stage 20, and then miss the Tour de France.

    The Frenchman recently returned to racing at the Tour de Pologne – where he finished third overall, and second to Simon Yates on the final stage – and will ride the Vuelta having rediscovered his climbing legs in Poland.

    "The Vuelta's quite different to the Giro or the Tour, but it's still a Grand Tour. There's just less stress," Pinot said on the Groupama-FDJ website.

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    "Starting in southern Spain, I'm ready for it to be very hot, but that's something I've been working on."

    Since the Tour de Pologne, Pinot has been training at altitude, basing himself at the ski resort of Tignes, and using late summer in the French Alps to prepare for the Vuelta.

    "I was happy to do the Tour de Pologne, which is the ideal preparation race for the Vuelta," Pinot said. "I've got an opportunity to do the Vuelta with the kind of shape I wouldn't normally have at this time of year, and I'm going to use the race to get back into form for the rest of the season. I don't want to finish burned out in Madrid."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  7. Doull cleared of concussion after BinckBank crash – News Shorts

    Owain Doull (Team Sky) has abandoned the BinckBank Tour after suffering a heavy crash in the final 40 kilometres of stage 5 and being diagnosed with a suspected concussion. Teammates Lukasz Wisniowski and Dylan van Baarle were also both caught up in the incident, but Doull was by far the worst affected.

    Doull remounted his bike after the crash but complained of feeling "strange", and was immediately pulled from the race by the team's doctor. Further tests cleared him of any concussion, however. Doull was left disappointed, but believed that it was better to be safe than sorry.

    "Always gutting not to finish a race but when it comes to concussion it's not worth it," Doull said later on Twitter.

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    Team doctor Richard Usher explained the incident further. "Owain crashed at around 50kph. He was initially assessed after the crash by the race doctor but within minutes of getting back on his bike he came to the team car feeling "very strange" and in shock. We immediately took him out of the race with a clear and suspected concussion," he said on the team website.

    "He has been subsequently seen and assessed in hospital, and thankfully all his scans are clear and he is improving. He will undergo a graduated return to riding under the team's medical policy. He will be out of hospital tonight and we will keep a close eye on him overnight. If everything is OK he will go home tomorrow."

    Doull's departure compounded a difficult day for Team Sky, with Diego Rosa also stepping off during the stage due to fatigue, while Chris Lawless didn't start the next stage after falling ill overnight.

    Pantano out of Vuelta a España with toxoplasmosis

    Van Hooydonck extends contract with Continuum Sports

    Trentin wears European champ's jersey ahead of debut

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  8. Hofland signs two-year contract with EF Education First-Drapac

    EF Education First-Drapac announced the signing of Moreno Hofland on Saturday on a two-year contract that will take him through to the end of 2020. The Dutch sprinter joins the team after spending two seasons with Lotto Soudal as one of André Greipel's lead-out men.

    "I'm really looking forward to riding for an international team," said Hofland in a team press release. “I like to explore myself through learning, and there's no better way to learn than through differences. I'm the only Dutch guy on my current team, which is mainly Belgian, and that can be isolating sometimes.

    "I think it's really cool to have Danes, Italians, Spaniards, Colombians, Australians, Dutchmen and, of course, Americans working together. This will be new for me, and I always like to try new things.”

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    The 26-year-old has spent the duration of his career racing for Dutch and Belgian teams, joining the WorldTour ranks in 2013 with Belkin Pro Cycling, where he stayed for three seasons. He transitioned with the programme as it gained new title sponsors to become LottoNL-Jumbo for 2015 and 2016. He then joined Lotto Soudal in 2017.

    During his career, Hofland has won stages at the Ster ZLM Toer, Vuelta a Andalucia, Tour of Utah, Paris-Nice, and Tour of Hainan, where he also won the overall title. His last victory came at the UCI 1.1 Famenne Ardenne Classic last year.

    Holfand has participated in the Giro d'Italia three times and once at the Vuelta a España. His best result in a Grand Tour was second in a stage at the Giro in 2015 and third in a stage of the Vuelta in 2014.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  9. Vos waits for uphill sprint to take second stage win at Ladies Tour of Norway

    It seems that whenever Marianne Vos puts a race number on these days, she triumphs. Stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Norway was her third consecutive win in a mass-start race after stage 1 and the PostNord Vårgårda WestSweden Road Race.

    Vos looked exhausted after a difficult uphill sprint in the rain where she had to close a gap to Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). And before that, Vos had to be attentive for four laps of the finishing circuit in Sarpsborg as Team Sunweb tried to break race apart.

    "The finishing laps were pretty hard with all the action. A lot of attacks, up and down. You had to be careful because of the rain, but you also had to sprint out of every corner. Sunweb did a really good job. They were strong yesterday already, and again today, so it was not easy to stay in control."

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    Contrary to her wins on stage 1 and in Vårgårda where she opened up very early, Vos waited for a long time before she started her sprint today. This was a wise decision on the uphill finish. "Already at the bonus sprint, I noticed that if you go early, it is a long way up. So I knew I had to wait a little longer. Kasia Niewiadoma went quite early, I tried to get her wheel again and wait as long as possible. Then it was still 150 metres to go, but I could hold it to the line."

    For the second day in a row, it was Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5) who finished as runner-up to Vos. The Swedish champion admitted that she was not feeling great in the final, but a strong pull by her teammate Kirsten Wild put her in a position to contest the sprint.

    "I was hanging on for dear life on the circuit. Elisa Longo Borghini covered the groups that went, then Kirsten Wild brought me to the front for the sprint. In the rain, it was hard to see everything, and you did not want to be in the wind too early. I saw Marianne jumping to the wheel of Niewiadoma. They had a bit of a gap, and Kasia ended up giving Marianne a nice lead-out. I tried to close it, but it was not possible."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  10. Late crash ruins Kung's overall aspirations at BinckBank Tour

    All week long, avoiding crashes was the order of the day. The BinckBank Tour was always likely to be decided on its final weekend, and for riders like Stefan Küng, the flat, fraught kilometres that led to this point were all about staying upright and remaining in contention.

    After winning the stage 2 time trial, Küng rode impeccably for the remainder of the week to reach the pivotal stages in third place overall. And then, just as a bike race was breaking out, the BMC rider’s hopes of overall victory were dashed on the punchy finishing circuit in Sittard-Geleen on Saturday afternoon, when he went down in a crash with a little over 15km remaining.

    By the time Küng mounted a replacement bike, there was little to be done, and he came home more than three minutes down on stage winner Gregor Muhlberger, dropping from third to 36th in general classification.

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    "I'm not entirely sure what happened in the crash. We were on a downhill right-hand corner and I think my wheel slipped, it’s hard to explain, but suddenly I was on the ground and unfortunately my bike was broken so the race for me was over," Küng said afterwards. "Thankfully I am OK, but it was a pity to lose a chance like I had at this race especially when you are feeling good."

    Groupama-FDJ

    Already winner of two stages at the Tour de Suisse in June, Küng was looking to sign off on his tenure at BMC with a maiden stage race victory as a professional. He confirmed at the beginning of August that he will ride for Groupama-FDJ in 2018, bringing an end to a six-year spell with BMC, beginning with their now-defunct development squad in 2013 and continuing with the WorldTour set-up since 2015.

    "I needed a new challenge, I felt that since the beginning of the year," Küng told Cyclingnews earlier this week of his decision to move to Groupama-FDJ. "I think with Groupama, it’s a really nice fit. I speak the language really well, so that wasn't an issue. It's a great team, one that is growing with the arrival of the new sponsor, Groupama. They have good plans and I’m excited to be a part of their future. It’s a good move for me. It’s going to be a new challenge, a new team, a new philosophy and I’m looking forward to that next year."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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