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by Shane Stokes
March 18, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Halvorsen wins Handzame Classic in bunch sprint; Candid Kittel: German sprinter opens up about Milan-San Remo non-selection, Cavendish; Injured Gaviria still in line for San Remo ride, Boonen hopes Colombian will shine; Cycling Anti Doping Foundation looking into Edmondston/Team Sky matter; Greipel bypasses Milan-San Remo to be ready for Northern Classics; Bennett pledges backing for Sagan: ‘A win for Bora-hasgrohe on the Via Roma would be amazing’; Girdlestone’s recovery continues to exceed expectations; BMC Racing Team names Van Garderen as Catalunya captain; Cycling statistics – discover the tallest, shortest, lightest and heaviest riders in the WorldTour peloton; Crowdfunding campaign for cycling craft beer exceeds expectations; Greg van Avermaet – Winner
The road may yet decide who ultimately gets the team support but heading into next week’s Volt a Catalunya, the BMC Racing Team has named Tejay Van Garderen as leader for the race.
“With Tejay van Garderen set to captain at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, we’re going in very motivated,” said directeur sportif Jackson Stewart. “He’s won stages here before and has been in contention for the general classification multiple times.”
However Rohan Dennis will also be protected in the event, according to Stewart.
“I am also interested to see what Rohan Dennis can do here, and after his performance at Tirreno-Adriatico, he will also be a protected rider.”
“Our first priority will be the team time trial, and then we will approach each stage as it comes but, I think we will have a strong team in the mountains. Van Garderen has won on top of Molina before and with Dennis’ success in Italy, Ben Hermans’ early season performances in Valencia and Oman, and the experience of Samuel Sánchez, I am confident we can be very competitive.”
Van Garderen described the race as an opportunity to build his form and also to get more racing kilometres in his legs prior to the Giro d’Italia. “It’s always a tough week of racing in Catalunya but I’m looking forward to it, especially with the team time trial on stage two.”
Dennis was close to the win in Tirreno and wants to see how he fares. “Tirreno-Adriatico went well for me, and I was happy to finish second overall but, now my attention has turned to next week. It will be important for me to recover well and this should hopefully improve my form once again before going to Catalunya.
“This will definitely be a tough race but the team time trial will be a big goal for us. It’s 42 kilometres around the Banyoles area, and it could set us up for a good GC for Tejay van Garderen and myself.”