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  1. Quick-Step Floors name team time trial line-up for Worlds

    Quick-Step Floors have named a mixture of youth and experience in their six-man line-up for this weekend’s team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships. The Belgian team has won the event three times, but finished off the podium in Bergen last year in fourth place.

    Just three riders remain from the 2017 line-up, with Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaert and Niki Terpstra all named. All three were part of the squad that took the title in Doha in 2016, while Terpstra has three gold medals from the competition as the only member of the team to have ridden all editions of the event.

    New into the line-up are neo-pros Kasper Asgreen and Max Schachmann as well as Laurens De Plus. Schachmann and De Plus are due to leave the team at the end of the season, but both have impressed this season and will be a strong part of the six-man team.

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    The men’s teams will take on a very long team time trial route with over 60 kilometres of undulating road, punctuated by a climb close to the end. Quick-Step Floors directeur sportif Tom Steels is keen to get his team back on the top step in this the final edition of the team time trials for trade teams.

    “The Worlds TTT is a discipline that means a lot for Quick-Step Floors. We have won it three times and have always been up there in the top, so of course we hope we can finish with a strong result in what will be the last edition for trade teams, although we know it’s not going to be easy,” said Steels.

    “We have a solid roster comprising riders who rate this appointment as one of the most important races of the season and are ready to give everything out there. It’s a pity that the time trial for trade teams is coming to an end, but we are motivated for this final edition and we will go for the best.”

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Veranda's Willems-Crelan file lawsuit against Wout van Aert

    The fallout between Wout van Aert and the Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team could end up in court after team manager Nick Nuyens filed a lawsuit for breach of contract, according to Sporza. The news comes days after Van Aert announced that he would race as an independent rider as he begins his cyclo-cross season.

    Spokesperson Ward Callens confirmed to Sporza that the team "did not accept that reason” and that the matter had been referred to their lawyers.

    It is the latest in a long-running saga that began with the proposed merger between Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and the Irish Pro Continental outfit, Aqua Blue Sport. Hours after it was announced that the two had merged, it was denied by the Belgian team and Aqua Blue eventually folded in dramatic circumstances.

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    A merger was then completed between Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and Dutch team Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij. The move was supposed to be the best of both worlds for the teams, with each set to lose a sponsor at the end of this season.

    However, Van Aert had voiced his displeasure at the constant announcements, complaining that he and the other riders were not being kept afloat of the developments. He even sarcastically suggested that he would take a gap year before he is set to join the LottoNL-Jumbo team in 2020, though he had said that he would honour his contract.

    At the end of August, Van Aert’s coach and mentor Niels Albert announced that he would leave the team due to personal reasons. In the weeks since, Van Aert’s relationship with the team, particularly Nuyens, has deteriorated.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Landa ruled out of World Championships

    Mikel Landa will not wear the rainbow jersey next year, definitively ruling himself out of the upcoming World Championships after failing to recover from injury in time.

    The Spaniard suffered a broken vertebra and rib when he crashed during the Clásica San Sebastián at the end of July, and his participation at Worlds has been in doubt ever since.

    He was ruled out of the Vuelta a España, but was tentatively included in Spain's provisional plans for Worlds, first in a long-list and later in the final seven. 

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    On Wednesday he raced the Giro della Toscana, where he told Cyclingnews he'd wait to see how he felt in the race, and again at the Coppa Sabatini before making a final decision. However, dropped early in the race, the answer came sooner than thought.

    "He contacted the national coach, Javier Minguez, to tell him that he still didn't have good feelings on the bike," read a statement from the Spanish Cycling Federation confirming Landa's absence.

    Omar Fraile will take Landa's place in the Spain team. While seven of the eight members of were set in stone earlier this week, the Astana rider was down as a reserve, his position dependent on Landa.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Bardet: Anything can happen at the World Championships

    Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) had to settle for second place behind Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) at the end of the Giro della Toscana, but at just over a week from the World Championships road race, one senses that he will have drawn more pluses than minuses from his display on Wednesday afternoon.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews at the start in Pontedera, Bardet agreed that the race's course, with its three ascents of Monte Serra, suited his talents, but he noted that he was in Tuscany in the middle of a heavy block of pre-Worlds training.

    "If it was an uphill finish, I would go for the win," Bardet said. "But for me it's also the middle of a big training block. I did a big training session yesterday and I'll do a big training session tomorrow. I'm here to find my best shape possible for the Worlds."

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    Bardet has had a limited programme of racing since placing sixth at the Tour de France, with the Deutschland Tour his only stage race in the intervening period. His final build-up to the Worlds is this block of racing in Italy, which began with the Coppa Agostoni and the Coppa Bernocchi last weekend.

    With the notable exception of Moscon, who was serving a five-week suspension, the other main Worlds contenders have topped up their form at either the Vuelta a España or Tour of Britain. After a heavy early-season programme, however, Bardet preferred to replicate the workload at home in the Auvergne before travelling to Italy this week.

    "The form is coming," Bardet said. "You have to work a lot at home, and you have to do a lot of training if you don't do the Vuelta. It's hard, but you have to do that if you want to be at your best for the Worlds."

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Roglic and Mohoric lead Slovenian team for World Championships

    LottoNL-Jumbo's Primož Roglič will lead his Slovenian national team in the road race at the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, at the end of this month.

    Roglič will not contest the time trial as he's still recovering from an elbow injury sustained in a crash at the Tour de France, where he finished fourth overall, but will lead the road squad on September 30.

    "I haven't ridden my TT bike, so I can't really train to get a good result," Roglič said of his decision. "I'll only start when I can fight for a win, so I won't do it."

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    The 28-year-old finished second to the Netherlands' Tom Dumoulin at the Worlds time trial in Bergen, Norway, last year, and went on to have what has been his best year yet in 2018, winning the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour of Slovenia in the first half of the season.

    At the Tour de France, much was expected of Roglič, but he surpassed even those expectations by winning the Pyrenean stage from Lourdes to Laruns and only just missing out on the podium in Paris.

    Bahrain-Merida's Matej Mohorič will also start the road race as one of the Slovenian team's protected riders, having won both the BinckBank Tour and the Deutschland Tour last month, and he and Roglič will be joined on the eight-man road-race squad by Mohorič's Bahrain-Merida teammates Grega Bole, Luka Pibernik and Domen Novak, Katusha-Alpecin's Simon Špilak, Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) and CCC Sprandi Polkowice's Jan Tratnik, with Tratnik also riding the time trial.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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