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by Mark Zalewski
April 7, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Roglic solos to Pais Vasco stage win; Boels-Dolmans wins Healthy Ageing Tour TTT; Calmejane wins fourth stage at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe; In memoriam: Friends, colleagues pay tribute to Steve Tilford; Phinney out of Paris-Roubaix with concussion; Mark Renshaw fractures ankle in Scheldeprijs; Groenewegen laments Scheldeprijs outcome; More bad luck for Lotto Soudal with Roubaix recon crash; Lefevere still searching for sponsors beyond 2017; Axeon Hagens Berman riding strong performance in European racing; Crowd-funded prosecution of driver involved in cyclist death ends in acquittal; Cyclist uses M65 highway as shortcut; Watch ‘A Sunday In Hell’; Trek Crockett: SSCXWC and Sven Nys.
The Axeon Hagens Berman team is having a strong European campaign with Eddie Dunbar and Neilson Powless finishing second and third at Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux in Belgium. Axel Merckx’s team is aiming to continue that in the Circuit des Ardennes begining Friday in France.
Photo byJoyce Jason Ghijs (courtesy Axeon Hagens Berman)
“This race will be good for the guys to see where they stand at the moment,” Sport Director Koos Moerenhout said. “For Michael, it will be his first race in Europe. Of course, Jhonatan [Narvaez] and Rui [Oliveira] did Volta ao Alentejo, where we won the team title. Everyone’s condition seems to be fine, so I expect all of them to ride together very well.”
“Last weekend highlighted the strength of the team and how we were able to use that strength to our advantage,” said American Will Barta. “Even the guys who were not up there in the final general classification were all so strong and really had an impact on the race. For this coming weekend, I would like to have a big impact on the race and go for the win. I think we have another strong, excited team and we all want to keep the momentum from the past races going.”
The race through northern France and southern Belgium comprises road races of 184.5 km and 181.1 km on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and two on Sunday – 76.1 km and 103 km.
“I assume there will be a bit more climbing from the Flemish Ardennes to the French Ardennes,” Moerenhout said. “When I look at the profiles, the second and third days have many climbs. It is hard to say how hard they are. But it will be a challenging three days of racing.”