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  1. Woods and Uran combine forces to target Il Lombardia

    Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) will bring the curtain down on an emotional but hugely successful 2018 season at Il Lombardia on Saturday, hoping his end-of-season form and proven affinity with teammate Rigoberto Urán can result in victory in the final monument of the year.

    Woods emotionally revealed that he and his wife lost their son in a stillbirth after winning a stage at the Vuelta a España and has endured a rollercoaster year of success in the saddle but also deep personal grief.

    He has used his cycling cathartically, to help overcome his loss, and showed his determination and true ability at the World Championships in Innsbruck where he finished third behind Alejandro Valverde and Romain Bardet.

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    Cramps stopped Woods going shoulder-to-shoulder against Valverde in the Innsbruck sprint but he is ready for one final shot at victory before ending his season.

    "It’s my last race of the season but I'm really excited and really keen. I’m happy to be ending this season like that and not blown out," Woods told Cyclingnews on Friday morning before the EF Education First-Drapac riders headed out for a short training ride around Bergamo and a coffee stop just 24 hours before Il Lombardia.

    "Racing is so hard to predict because there are so many tangibles but I feel if I continue to race as I have this past month, then I can be in contention to win. With Rigo there as well, let's hope that we can help set each other up for victory."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Moser leaves Astana for Nippo-Vini Fantini - Transfer Shorts

    Moreno Moser will ride for Italian Pro Continental team Nippo-Vini Fantini in 2019, after two years with Astana. The Italian is "looking for the definitive relaunch in the middle of his racing career", his new team said.

    The 27-year-old won the Trofeo Laigueglia this year, repeating his 2012 victory there. That same year he also won two stages at the Tour of Poland on his way to the overall victory, along with the one-day Eschborn Frankfurt, in what was his first pro season, riding for Cannondale. He also won Strade Bianche in 2013 but has since struggled to live up to the promise shown in the early years. 

    Nippo-Vini Fantini's general manager Francesco Pelosi called Moser "a new symbol and a new challenge - a challenge both of the rider and for the team that is strongly motivated."

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    Moser turned pro in 2012 and rode with the variations of the Cannondale team until joining Astana in 2017. He comes from a cycling family, with his father and brothers having ridden professionally. His uncle Francesco Moser won the Giro d’Italia in 1984 and his uncle Enzo Moser wore the leader’s jersey in the Giro in 1964.

    Plaza to decide future live on social media

    Ruben Plaza (Israel Cycling Academy) is facing the decision over whether to retire or whether to continue racing for another season, and he will make that decision live on Facebook on Friday evening.

    Bora-Hansgrohe wrap up for 2019 with Pfingsten extension

    Bahrain-Merida extend with Arashiro

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Spanish court authorises release of Operacion Puerto blood bags to Italian Olympic Committee

    Athletes involved Operación Puerto may finally be publicly named, as the Spanish Court overseeing the case has authorised the release of the remaining blood bags to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), according to Spanish newspaper As.

    The Spanish Criminal Court 21 issued an order this week allowing the blood bags to be released to CONI and analysed in order to determine who was involved in the doping ring run by disgraced doctor Eufamiano Fuentes. Fuentes has reportedly filed an appeal.

    CONI is the body responsible for tying new world champion Alejandro Valverde to the scandal, as their matching of his DNA with one of the blood bags led to the Spaniard's two-year ban from the sport between 2010 and 2012. Valverde said this week that he shouldn't be asked about Operación Puerto and anyone who does so is 'clueless'. 

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    Asreports that the Spanish court is now winding up Operación Puerto, a police investigation that began in 2006 and saw 211 blood bags seized from Fuentes' premises, with medication and IT equipment ordered to be destroyed. Blood bags, which had initially been ordered to be destroyed, were released in 2016 to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who are said to have been able to identify numerous Fuentes clients, but are unable to name them since the 12-year statute of limitations means they cannot open disciplinary proceedings against any athletes involved. 

    According to As, CONI has not submitted a formal application to the Barcelona laboratory where the blood bags are stored in a freezer unit, but the path is now clear to do so in what represents cause for optimism for those who have pushed to shed light on who was involved. 

    Operación Puerto exploded on the scene in May 2006, with the arrests of, amongst others, Liberty Seguros team manager Manolo Saiz and the brain behind the scheme, Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Clients are said to have come from a number of sports, but many of the big names in cycling were rumoured to have been involved, with Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi, and Valverde amongst those positively identified.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Heinrich Haussler and the long road - Exclusive Podcast

    In this week's edition of the Cyclingnews podcast, brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville, we have an exclusive interview with Bahrain-Merida's Australian rider Heinrich Haussler.

    The 34-year-old turned professional back in 2005 with Gerolsteiner but his road into cycling started much earlier, when, as a teenager, he came to Germany on his own and without knowing the language. Away from his family and isolated at first, Haussler had to find his way in society as much as cycling, but his talent and dedication saw him through.

    In this interview, conducted at the Canadian WorldTour races in September, Haussler talks about his path into cycling, the hurdles he had to overcome and his time as a pro rider.

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    He opens up about his success and the culture at Gerolsteiner, the highs and lows at Cervelo test team, injuries and setbacks, and how in the autumn of his career he has reinvented himself as a road captain for the likes Vincenzo Nibali and Sonny Colbrelli.

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    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. ENVE (finally) launches disc TT rear wheel

    This article first appeared onBikeRadar.

    Carbon component specialist ENVE has released its Smart ENVE System (SES) Rear Disc Wheel — the Utah-based company’s first full disc rear wheel for time trialling and triathlon.

    ENVE says the wheel was developed with "no expense spared" using "state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics" and prototypes were tested at the Mercedes GP-Petronas Formula 1 team’s wind tunnel in the United Kingdom.

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    The wheel uses a one-piece moulded construction, with only the hub shell featuring any bonding. This results in a strong and relatively light wheel, although the claimed weights are around 200g heavier than a PRO Textreme Disc rear wheel.

    Priced at $2,700 / €2,875, the wheel is optimised for speeds above 27mph / 43kph and targeted at professionals and elite amateur cyclists.

    ENVE SES Rear Disc Wheel key features

    • One-piece moulded carbon construction
    • Internal rim width 19mm
    • External rim width 27mm
    • Tubeless compatible
    • Optimised for 25mm tyres
    • Rim/disc brake version available
    • Carbon and alloy ENVE hub
    • 5-year ENVE warranty
    • 1,225g (claimed)
    • $2,700 / €2,875

    Aero advantages but only if you’re fast enough…

    Tubeless-SES

    Disc/Disc or Rim/Disc

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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