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by Mark Zalewski
March 29, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Gilbert solos to win in De Panne opener; Summerhill takes over lead with stage win at Tour de Taiwan; Dr. Freeman breaks silence on medical package contents; UK Sport has ‘serious concerns’ about British Cycling’s handling of Shane Sutton case; Italian federation hands down bans for pay-to-race scandal; With strong Classics showing Naesen ready for De Ronde; Cipollini laments state of Italian cycling, ‘We only have Nibali’; Joe Martin Stage Race kicks-off UCI racing in US; Tour of the Gila announces teams; L’Etape South Africa postponed due to poor road surfaces; Video: Ben King shows off riding in Lucca; Video: Hunt VI.
The Tour of the Gila has announced the participating teams for the 31st edition of the five-day stage race in New Mexico that features the infamous Gila Monster road stage with more than 3,000m of climbing for the men, and 1,675m for the women.
Last year’s champion, Lachlan Morton, is back racing in the WorldTour, but said that he will always remember the race. “I first rode this race in 2010 when I was 18 years old and that was the first big race I had done,” Morton said. “This has always been my favorite race in the US Calendar. To win it means a lot to me… what’s going on right here is what the domestic scene is all about; this is where guys get their start.”
The development aspect of the race is reflected in the teams attending, including Axel Merckx’s Axeon Hagens Berman squad, the new Aevolo Cycling team, directed by former pro Mike Creed and Silber out of Canada. They will match up against top Continental teams like UnitedHealthcare, who now have Janier Acevedo on their roster, along with Jelly Belly p/b MAXXIS, Cylance and Rally Cycling.
On the women’s side UnitedHealthcare is the top team, along with Colavita/Bianchi, Rally Cycling and Team TIBCO. Looking to upset the top teams will be he Hagens Berman-Supermint squad, as well as the always-competitive Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling and Sho-Air Twenty20.