In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dan Martin wins Volta ao Algarve stage, takes over lead; Pinot wins Ruta del Sol queen stage, Contador assumes lead; Anderson wins Tour of Oman, stage 3; Not above bottle duty: Amalie Dideriksen’s year ahead in the rainbow stripes; Dunbar poised to seize chances heading into year two with Axeon Hagens Berman team; Jens Keukeleire hit by car while training in Spain; Mitchelton-Scott signs young Australian talents; Two climbs planned for Tokyo 2020 road race circuit; Reports: Meeusen to join van der Poel on Beobank-Corendon; Klaas Vantornout remains with Marlux-Napoleon Games; Too early for Pidcock at WorldTour level; Paolini signs with pro mountain bike team; Erkki Punttila – Not Far From Home.
Your Friday Daily News Digest
He’s seen as a promising young talent for the future, an aggressive rider who has fired off a salvo of long-range attacks in recent seasons and who is moving closer to a big win. As the days tick down to the start of his season in next week’s Volta ao Alentejo, Eddie Dunbar says that he is looking to step up a level in 2017, with greater consistency a big target in achieving that goal. Here is an excerpt from the feature:
Dunbar showed his talent in 2014 when he won the Trofeo Karlsberg Nations Cup race. That helped secure a contract with the NFTO team in Britain for the following season. He then put in some very aggressive performances in 2015, including a solo 110 kilometre break in another Nations Cup event, La Côte Picarde. Although he was caught by a chase group, he had the strength to go with counterattacks and remain out front for another 12 kilometres before being hauled back.
Eddy Merckx was in a car behind Dunbar and, suitably impressed, congratulated the rider after the race. He recommended him to his son Axel for the Axeon Hagens Berman squad, but the latter had already set his sights on him and brought him on board for 2016.
In terms of the 2017 season, Dunbar’s programme sees him begin in the aforementioned Volta ao Alentejo, then ride a single-day event in Portugal. After that he will do the under 23 Gent-Wevelgem with the Irish squad, the Tryptique, the Circuit des Ardennes and then four one-day races in Italy. His schedule after that will become clearer closer to the time. Right now he’s keen to get racing again and to see how things have progressed since last season.
“Compared to last year I definitely feel a lot more relaxed,” he said. “Obviously you know all the staff this year coming back in. You still have eight guys who are there. It just feels nice to come back into a team where you are familiar with the setup and you know a lot of the people. There are a couple of new guys on the team…actually, half the team is new. They are all really good guys. I have known Chris [Lawless], who I am rooming with as well, since 2011, because we actually did the European youth Olympics together.”
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