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  1. Kristoff: Boasson Hagen and I will work as one unit at Worlds

    One of the most talked about incidents after last year's elite men's road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Doha was the lack of tactical collaboration between Norwegians Edvald Boasson Hagen and Alexander Kristoff.

    As Peter Sagan raised his hands in victory in the Qatari desert, the Norwegian contenders cut forlorn figures in sixth and seventh place, after failing to work together.

    This time around, with the Worlds taking place on home soil, Norway expects a better performance, if not a result. The Bergen course arguably suits Boasson Hagen more than Kristoff, with the punchy climbs set to wear down the peloton as they race close to 280 kilometres.

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    Kristoff, a winner in both Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, is no stranger in triumphing in long-distance events but he comes into this year's race as many experts' second pick for leadership within the Norwegian camp.

    "For sure I know the plan, and for sure I think that it's a good plan. It's going to work fine," he told Cyclingnews earlier this week.

    "I don't think it's a good idea to share the tactic with the media, so no hints," the European road champion added with a hint of a smile.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Aqua Blue Sport to compete on 3T Strada disc bike with 1x drivetrain in 2018

    Single-ring road bikes will be raced in the pro peloton for the first time in 2018. The Irish pro road team Aqua Blue Sport will compete on the 3T Strada, an aero disc-brake road bike notable for its absence of a front derailleur, 3T announced the news at Interbike.

    Aqua Blue Sport is UCI Professional Continental Team, not a top-level WorldTour team. Still, the team's planned use of a 1x road bike for competition will be a landmark in pro cycling.

    Some racers, such as former world time trial champion Tony Martin, have used 1x drivetrains in races against the clock, but 1x bikes for mass-start racing has thus far been limited to the frays of cyclo-cross and gravel.

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    The 3T is a unique road bike that combines a few trends: wider tires (it can handle up to 28mm), aero shaping, hydraulic disc brakes and a single chainring paired to a wide-range cassette.

    As for brakes, there is no rim-caliper Strada. It's a disc-only machine.

    "We at Aqua Blue Sport are very much attracted to innovation and people who are moving cycling forward. What Gerard Vroomen and 3T have designed is truly a step forward bicycle design. We are delighted to bring this bike to the professional ranks and ride it in the world's biggest events," said Aqua Blue Sport owner Rick Delaney.

    Disc brakes and single rings in the pro peloton

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. UCI to scrap trade team time trial at World Championships

    The newest event at the UCI Road World Championships, the trade team time trial for men and women, could be on the chopping block as soon as 2020, with new president David Lappartient reportedly saying he plans to eliminate the race because teams are not interested in continuing.

    "These events will take place in Innsbruck in 2018 and Yorkshire in 2019," Lappartient said, according to Direct Velo. "But by 2020, and at the request of the teams, the team time trial will be eliminated."

    The UCI added the event to the Worlds in 2012 in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, with 12 women's teams and 32 men's squads competing for the title. Specialized-Lululemon and Omega Pharma-QuickStep won the first titles.

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    The next year in Florence, there were 16 and 35 teams, respectively, with both teams repeating as world champions. But as the Worlds moved to venues distant from most teams' service courses, the expense of moving all the teams' gear to Qatar led to a revolt of the men's teams against UCI rules requiring their participation in 2016.

    The UCI fended off a complete boycott of the event by making participation voluntary.

    In Doha, just eight women's teams and 17 men's squads took part – with only eight WorldTour teams racing. There were similar numbers this year in Bergen when Team Sunweb won the both races, with 11 WorldTour teams amongst the 17 participating squads.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Cookson: I expected to win but that's life, that's politics

    Brian Cookson was left shocked and disappointed when he heard he had lost the UCI presidential election to rival David Lappartient. He perhaps knew he faced an uphill battle after many delegates turned against him but he seemed stunned by the final vote of 37-8.

    It was a landslide victory for the Frenchman and suddenly brought the curtain down on Cookson's time as president.

    After an emotional but brief farewell speech, Cookson was given a standing ovation by the many federation representatives in the congress room. However, many were also quick to pose for photos with Lappartient, while far fewer made the effort to personally commiserate with Cookson.

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    "I'm a little emotional, of course, it means a lot to me," Cookson told Cyclingnews as he left the stage of the congress.

    "I've spent the last four years working really hard, I've travelled a lot, not just to put my face around and take selfies with some silly people who've criticised me on Twitter, but to actually try and learn and understand and help our national federations in what they're doing.

    "I expected to win. But that's life, that's politics. Life goes on. I'm proud of what I achieved over the last four years and I'm leaving with my head held high."

    ASO and the French connection

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Lappartient: I expected over 30 votes

    David Lappartient has told Cyclingnews that he was confident of an overwhelming majority in the UCI presidential election. The Frenchman comprehensively beat Brian Cookson 37 votes to 8 to become the new president, but many had expected a much closer race.

    “Yesterday when we spoke I knew where I was and I wasn’t far away in the end. I wasn’t entirely sure on final numbers, but I expected more than 30. I’m very happy,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Cookson expected to win the election although he thought that it would come down to just a few votes. However, Lappartient made huge inroads in Europe, where he is understood to have taken almost all of the 15 delegate votes. The election was run via a secret ballot with 45 delegates nominated to vote.

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    Cookson and Lappartient ran campaigns with several similarities, but the Frenchman executed his path to office with far greater precision.

    One UCI Management Committee member told Cyclingnews that, “Lappartient was everywhere and communicated very well. Brian didn’t have a strong campaign.”

    When asked where he won the election, Lappartient told Cyclingnews that he offered something different to Cookson’s introverted and steady style of governance.

    No role for McQuaid

    ASO rejoices

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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