Tour de Yorkshire 2018

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They will be looking to follow Belgium’s Serge Pauwels who won the third edition of the race last year. Here is all you need to know about the fourth Tour de Yorkshire.

 The Tour de Yorkshire 2018 route will see the riders tackle four stages through the best of the Yorkshire countryside, starting in Beverley on Thursday, May 3, and finishing in Leeds on Sunday, May 6.The fourth edition of the race sees it gain an extra day, rising from three to four stages. The Women’s TdY also gains a day, and will take place over two stages (May 3-4).

 As in previous years, the final stage features a significant amount of climbing to settle the overall classification.

In total, there are around 7,800 metres of total climbing over the race’s 711 kilometres.

The opening stage of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire kicks off in Beverley’s market place and goes through 43 towns and villages.

From Beverley, the riders will travel east towards the coast, looping around Hornsea before heading back west, north and then south-west towards Doncaster.

There’s one classified climb along the route, the Côte de Baggaby Hill, and the stage should conclude with a bunch finish.

Tour de Romandie 2018

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The 2018 WorldTour continues on Tuesday, April 24, with the start of the six-day Tour de Romandie in Switzerland.

Last year’s winner, Richie Porte (BMC Racing) returns for 2018 and faces a field of riders that is perhaps slightly lacking in the Grand Tour stars of the past couple of seasons.

However, that’s not to say that Porte will have an easy ride, with Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Izagirre brothers Ion and Gorka (Bahrain-Merida) among those looking to make an impression on the race.

With the Ardennes Classics now over, attention has shifted very quickly to stage racing and the upcoming Tour de Romandie. The race will begin on Tuesday with a four kilometre prologue in Fribourg and will run until Sunday. As usual, a very solid line-up is in place, with many riders either seeking to profit from their Ardennes form or to use the race as part of their build-up for the Giro d’Italia.

Enrico Gasparotto is in the first group: he was a fine third in the Amstel Gold Race, and was also sixth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “The [Tour de] Romandie is a race that I’ve always liked. Looking at the race route, I think I have a couple of opportunities. Yesterday’s sixth place at the Liège has confirmed to me that the condition is good and therefore I hope to get a good result here in Switzerland.”

Gasparotto, Izagirre seeking to keep momentum going in Tour de Romandie; Vos out of racing for a month after undergoing collarbone surgery; Bettiol to miss Giro d’Italia due to Liège crash; Landis on Armstrong case settlement: ‘I don’t care about the money’; Video: 2018 UCI Women’s WorldTour – highlights of Liège Bastogne Liège; Video: Mitchelton-Scott’s 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege; Video: Campagnolo BoraWTO – Wind Can’t Touch It.

Liege Bastogne Liege 2018

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We’ve made it: the final race of Ardennes week, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the oldest of the five monuments.

The women’s race should be called, Bastogne-Liège without the opening circuit the men experience. It’s a mostly flattish first half of the race before the first of four climbs, the Côte de la Vecquée, kicks in at kilometre 82.5 (6.7km at 4.9%). Then, like the men’s route, the Côte de La Redoute, Côte de la Roche-aux-faucons and Côte de Saint-Nicolas will sort out the peloton.

The latter was the launch pad for Anna van der Breggen’s victory in 2017, leaving Lizzie Deignan, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Ellen van Dijk, Annemiek van Vleuten and Ashleigh Moolman in her wake.

Also included in our line-up is Steve Cummings,Ben King, Scott Davies along with Natnael Berhane and Jacques Janse van Rensburg – who both join the team straight from the Tour of the Alps.

The race has a rich history, as our image dictates and for which you can find an explanation below, but Alejandro Valverde will once again start as favourite in 2018 having won the event four times, and taking second place at La Flèche Wallonne behind Julian Alaphilippe earlier in the week.

The parcours for Sunday’s race is largely similar to last year’s edition, albeit with a few minor changes. The riders will head south out of Liege for a relatively easy 90km jaunt down to Bastogne — there’s only one classified climb in this opening section.

In all, the 2018 Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be contested over 258.5km with roughly 4,500m of climbing. In short, the Spring Classics end with another long, hard day in the saddle.

Tour of the Alps 2018

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The 42nd edition of the Tour of the Alps sets off on Monday 16 April to finish on Friday 20 April, 2018. In 2017, the five-day stage race took over the baton and the forty years of tradition from the Giro del Trentino. The route of the 2018 edition is marked by steep climbs in the Alps, while the last stage is partly played out on the circuit of the road race of the Worlds 2018 in Austria. The second day of action brings the Queen Stage to Alpe di Pampeago.

Stage 1 of the Tour of the Alps runs from Arco to Folgaria. The riders tackle two intermediate climbs. The last one – with KOM sprint in Serrada – is crested with 6.2 kilometres remaining. The descent leaves way to a rolling section before the riders face a 10% stretch in the last 700 metres.

As soon as the second day of action the Queen Stage is served. Following a race on hilly to mountainous terrain the finale is the demanding drag up the Alpe di Pampeago. In the last 4 kilometres it’s a double digit climb, while the full climb is 7,9 kilometres at 9.6%. In the 2012 Giro d’Italia Roman Kreuziger took the stage honours ahead of Ryder Hesjedal and Joaquim Rodríguez.

Stage 3 seems to be tailor made for a group of attackers. The route includes intermediate climbs up the Passo della Mendola and the Passo Palade, after which a 20 kilometres drop leads to a flat finale of 6 kilometres.

The Tour of the Alps brings a hilly race to the table in stage 4. With almost 20 kilometres remaining the riders tackle Bannberg, a 7 kilometres climb at 6.5%, before a fast and technical descent plunges back down to the main road. The last 4.2 kilometres run on a downhill false flat to the finish line in Lienz.

In the 5th stage we will get a first taste of the route of the road race at the Worlds in Innsbruck. The last ride in the Tour of the Alps amounts to 164.2 kilometres and in the last 45 kilometres the riders enter on the final circuit of the 2018 World Championships. Three laps so three times up the 6.7 kilometres climb at 6% to Igls.

Amstel Gold Race 2018

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In 2018, the latest round of changes to the Amstel Gold finale – the third since 2012 – is deceptively minor, given that “all” that is altered is the way that the race comes off the two, relatively easy, final ascents, the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg, with 13.7 kilometres and 6.9 kilometres to go.

A new finishing circuit looks set to ramp up the glorious unpredictability of Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race – the first (and for many, the best) of the Ardennes Week trifecta. We take a closer look at the biggest Dutch race of the season – the only of the three Ardennes crowns to elude the balding pate of Alejandro Valverde.

In 2017, the widely praised removal of the fourth and final ascent of the emblematic Cauberg climb made for a far more open finale to Amstel Gold, even if the winner, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), was hardly a newcomer to the top-most podium step of the Netherlands’ biggest WorldTour race.

However, this change could matter much more than one might think. The roads that follow the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg are reportedly highly technical, many of them containing downhill segments, meaning chase groups will have their work cut out to try and bring back the breakaways that go clear on the climbs. If it rains, their task will be even harder.

Other crucial pinch points among the 35 ascents that pepper the 263-kilometre course are better-known terrain and more obvious: the Loorberg climb, with 54 kilometres to go, the Eyserbosweg, 37 kilometres from the finish, and above all the Keutenberg, 28 kilometres from the finish and rated the single steepest ascent of the Netherlands. Because the ascents are so spread out in Amstel Gold, even the more versatile cobbled Classics racers still have an excellent chance of success unlike in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which tends to be seen as a Classic for stage racers and climbers.

Paris Roubaix 2018

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NBC Sports Group continues its 2018 cycling schedule with exclusive live commercial-free coverage of the 2018 Paris-Roubaix on NBC Sports Gold this Sunday, April 8, at 3:30 a.m. ET. NBCSN will present encore coverage of the race on Monday, April 9, at 6 p.m. ET.

The field is headlined by defending champion Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing); Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), winner of the last three world championships; and Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors), who comes off a win in the 2018 Tour of Flanders and won the 2014 Paris-Roubaix.

Eurosport will be showing over six hours of live coverage of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, April 8, kicking off at 10am.

That means you’ll be able to watch the boring bit with no cobbles while you munch on your cornflakes and then by the time the real pavé sectors come about you’ll be nestled into your sofa ready for your Sunday roast.

If you can’t be at home for the actual race, there are plenty of highlights programmes around on Eurosport 1 and 2 over the following days, so there’s no excuse to miss any of the action.

The race is not dubbed the Hell of the North for nothing – with 29 cobbled sectors sure to throw up plenty of enthralling action, with Olympic champ Greg van Avermaet rolling out as defending champion.

The best for last as the cobbled classics come to an end this Sunday in the Roubaix velodrome. Former race director Jacques Goddet described this race as “the last act of madness” and his decision to use tiny farm tracks with rudimentary cobbles has created a legendary and exceptional event.

Once again it’s everyone against Quick Step with the star riders caught in a collective tactical trap, they must combine against the Belgian team to win but start working and their rivals will sit tight and beat them in the finish. It’s live on TV from start to finish.