2017 Paris-Roubaix start list

Provisional list of riders starting the 2017 Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, April 9

The provisional list of riders taking part in the 2017 Paris-Roubaix has been published.

Paris-Roubaix is arguably the biggest one day race in the entire cycling calendar and attracts all of the major classics specialists.

Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) races for the final ever time and a win in the Roubaix velodrome would make the greatest ever rider in the race.

But he faces competition from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet former winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) and Team Sky pair, Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe.

Mat Hayman, last year’s surprise winner, rides for Orica-Scott alongside Luke Durbridge who has emerged as a top-class Classics rider this spring.

The start list may be subject to change. The full list, with race numbers, will be produced by the organiser immediately prior to the race.

>>> Paris-Roubaix 2017: Preview, latest news and info

Team Sky

DIBBEN Jonathan
DOULL Owain
KNEES Christian
MOSCON Gianni
ROWE Luke
STANNARD Ian
VAN POPPEL Danny
WIŚNIOWSKI Łukasz

Lotto-Soudal

BAK Lars Ytting
DEBUSSCHERE Jens
GALLOPIN Tony
GREIPEL André
MAES Nikolas
ROELANDTS Jurgen
SIEBERG Marcel
WALLAYS Jelle

AG2R La Mondiale

BAGDONAS Gediminas
BARBIER Rudy
DENZ Nico
DUVAL Julien
GOUGEARD Alexis
HOULE Hugo
NAESEN Oliver
VANDENBERGH Stijn

Quick-Step Floors

BOONEN Tom
KEISSE Iljo
LAMPAERT Yves
MARTINELLI Davide
STYBAR Zdenek
TERPSTRA Niki
TRENTIN Matteo

Trek-Segafredo

BRÄNDLE Matthias
COLEDAN Marco
DE KORT Koen
DEGENKOLB John
PEDERSEN Mads
RAST Gregory
STUYVEN Jasper
THEUNS Edward

Bahrain-Merida

BONIFAZIO Niccolo
BOZIC Borut
FENG Chun Kai
GARCIA CORTINA Ivan
INSAUSTI Jon Ander
PER David
PIBERNIK Luka
WANG Meiyin

Bora-Hansgrohe

BODNAR Maciej
BURGHARDT Marcus
KOLAR Michael
SAGAN Juraj
SAGAN Peter
SARAMOTINS Aleksejs
SCHILLINGER Andreas
SELIG Rüdiger

BMC Racing

DRUCKER Jean-Pierre
ELMIGER Martin
KÜNG Stefan
OSS Daniel
QUINZIATO Manuel
SCOTSON Miles
VAN AVERMAET Greg
VENTOSO Francisco

Orica-Scott

BEWLEY Sam
DURBRIDGE Luke
HAYMAN Mathew
HEPBURN Michael
KEUKELEIRE Jens
KLUGE Roger
MEZGEC Luka
CORT NIELSEN Magnus

LottoNL-Jumbo

BOOM Lars
JANSEN Amund Grondahl
ROOSEN Timo
VAN EMDEN Jos
VAN HOECKE Gijs
WAGNER Robert
WYNANTS Maarten

Movistar

ARCAS Jorge
BENNATI Daniele
BICO Nuno
CARRETERO Héctor
DOWSETT Alex
ERVITI Imanol
OLIVEIRA Nelson
SÜTTERLIN Jasha

Katusha-Alpecin

BIERMANS Jenthe
HALLER Marco
HOLLENSTEIN Reto
KRISTOFF Alexander
MARTIN Tony
MØRKØV Michael
POLITT Nils
WÜRTZ SCHMIDT Mads

Astana

BRESCHEL Matti
DE VREESE Laurens
GATTO Oscar
GRUZDEV Dmitriy
KAMYSHEV Arman
KORSAETH Truls
MINALI Riccardo
TLEUBAYEV Ruslan

FDJ

DELAGE Mickaël
DÉMARE Arnaud
GUARNIERI Jacopo
HOELGAARD Daniel
KONOVALOVAS Ignatas
LADAGNOUS Matthieu
LE GAC Olivier
SARREAU Marc

Cannondale-Drapac

BEVIN Patrick
LANGEVELD Sebastian
MULLEN Ryan
PHINNEY Taylor
SCULLY Thomas
VAN ASBROECK Tom
VAN BAARLE Dylan
VANMARCKE Sep

Team Sunweb

ARNDT Nikias
DE BACKER Bert
SINKELDAM Ramon
STAMSNIJDER Tom
TEUNISSEN Mike
WAEYTENS Zico
WALSCHEID Max

UAE Team Emirates

BONO Matteo
FERRARI Roberto
GUARDINI Andrea
KUMP Marko
LAENGEN Vegard Stake
MARCATO Marco
TROIA Oliviero
ZURLO Federico

Dimension Data

BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
CAVENDISH Mark
DOUGALL Nick
EISEL Bernhard
FARRAR Tyler
JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt
THOMSON Jay Robert
THWAITES Scott

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits

CHETOUT Loïc
CLAEYS Dimitri
HOFSTETTER Hugo
LAPORTE Christophe
LEMOINE Cyril
SÉNÉCHAL Florian
VANBILSEN Kenneth
VAN GENECHTEN Jonas

Direct Energie

ANDERSON Ryan
CARDIS Romain
DUCHESNE Antoine
GENE Yohann
HUREL Tony
MORICE Julien
PETIT Adrien
PICHOT Alexandre

Fortuneo-Vital Concept

BONNAMOUR Franck
DANIEL Maxime
JARRIER Benoit
MCLAY Daniel
MOUREY Francis
PERICHON Pierre-Luc
VACHON Florian
VALLÉE Boris

Delko Marseille Provence KTM

ANDERSEN Asbjørn Kragh
ARISTI Mikel
GIRAUD Benjamin
LAAS Martin
LEMARCHAND Romain
MARTINEZ Yannick
SISKEVICIUS Evaldas
SMUKULIS Gatis

Wanty-Groupe Gobert

ANTONINI Simone
BACKAERT Frederik
KREDER Wesley
MCNALLY Mark
OFFREDO Yoann
VAN KEIRSBULCK Guillaume
VAN MELSEN Kevin
VANSPEYBROUCK Pieter

Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise

CAPIOT Amaury
FARAZIJN Maxime
PLANCKAERT Edward
RICKAERT Jonas
SALOMEIN Jarl
STEELS Stijn
VAN HECKE Preben
VAN LERBERGHE Bert

Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij

ASSELMAN Jesper
LIGTHART Pim
MOURIS Jens
REINDERS Elmar
VAN DER HOORN Taco
VAN GOETHEM Brian
VERMELTFOORT Coen


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USA Swimming Launches New Website; Brings Improved Features into User’s Experience

USA Swimming today unveiled an overhauled version of USASwimming.org, with a new website that serves visitors personalized content based on their role in USA Swimming and incorporates the organization’s Deck Pass benefits throughout the site.

Content is segmented into ‘personas’ based on whether the user is primarily a swimmer, coach, parent, official or team leader. The information is then presented based on the user’s primary role, such as top workouts for athletes, coaching tips for coaches, nutrition recommendations for parents, training resources and rules interpretations for officials and club and governance documents for team leaders.

Also integrated throughout the site are the important membership features of a Deck Pass account – such as times, performance achievements and certifications. Deck Pass can be personalized and customized to the user’s profile, with new data visualizations that quickly and easily track individual progress and that of the team.

“As USA Swimming’s digital communication hub, this new site will be the primary source for information, times, events, education and resources about the sport and the organization. The new version of Deck Pass will stand out as an incredible member benefit,” said USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer Matt Farrell. “The three main goals of the site, and our measures of success, will be programs, participation and purchase. We will use the site to drive usage of our many programs offered, encourage participation in the sport and also drive revenue.”

With nearly 60 percent of USASwimming.org traffic coming from mobile devices, the new site is mobile-friendly to get those users the most frequently-accessed content fast. A responsive design highlights large, vibrant images and content blocks that stack and re-order for thousands of variations of laptops, tablets or phones.

“After getting feedback from users and a thorough analysis of user experience, we’re bringing forward some great features that USA Swimming members will love, including personalized content, bookmarks, streamlined navigation and new-and-improved Deck Pass integrated throughout the site,” USA Swimming Director of IT John Burbidge. “With the trend of more users accessing the site on handheld devices, they will find this site to be more usable than ever.”

For a quick tutorial on the new site, please click here. Key features include:

  • Focus on Video: USA Swimming Productions will produce more video content than ever with features and instructional content. During live events, we’ll add a video player to the home page so you can instantly tune in
  • Personalization: Based on the user’s account profile, content is served (and color-coded) to match the role of the user – swimmers, coaches, parents, officials and team leaders.  Everything is available to all users, we just optimize the site to make it effortless to find the most useful information
  • Deck Pass: Deck Pass used to primarily be an app on your phone. Now, the Deck Pass experience is integrated throughout the site for times, certifications, goals, patches and rankings. New data visualizations make it even easier to track progress
  • Navigation: Fewer number of main sections give better focus to the most visited content. It’s easy to access personalized content, times, finding a swim team and event calendars
  • Resources: Off the main navigation, users can find information by filtering or browsing the topics such as Safe Sport requirements, background checks, programs & services, National Team services and education materials
  • Times Section: The most-used function of the site has a new search option to find individual times, rankings, events and power point calculators without leaving the page. Plus, there is still quick access to time standards and more
  • Bookmarks: Users can enjoy a bookmark feature to save their favorite pages and then easily be directed to them through the top navigation. Frequently-needed pages are now just one quick click away
  • Mobile First: Design and navigation is built for mobile users first to get them the most frequently-accessed content fast. The site is also optimized to appear higher in search rankings
  • Responsive Design: The site will detect the device accessing the site and display the page to fit the screen. With today’s ‘scrolling’ navigation, images and content blocks stack and re-order for easier viewing
  • Design Features: Naturally, we built in some fun, and functional, design features of the site. There is a color coding system for each audience and personalized content on the site and in Deck Pass. You’ll see that images of tiles in the pool make icons for bookmarks and the navigation in the mobile site

This project was led internally by USA Swimming’s IT and Business Development (strategy and content) departments. Technology experts involved in the project were Statera (technology and software development), Code + Theory (architecture and navigation), Colle+McVoy (design) and Sitefinity (CMS).

About USA Swimming

As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

Press release courtesy of USA Swimming.

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Seven things to look out for at the Tour of Flanders

We pick seven aspects of Sunday’s Tour of Flanders that should help make it one of the best races of the year

The return of the Muur van Geraardsbergen

The Muur van Geraardsbergen. Photo: Graham Watson

Following a five-year absence, one of cycling’s most recognisable landmarks, the Muur van Geraardsbergen, returns to the race it is most closely associated with.

The Tour of Flanders (Sunday, April 2) hasn’t quite felt the same since it was dropped ahead of the 2012 edition in favour of a brand-new finale, but thankfully the organisers have found room for it in this year’s adjusted course, which will start in Antwerp instead of Bruges.

The Muur will not, however, play the pivotal role it did during its heyday throughout the 90s and 00s, when it was the race’s penultimate climb and springboard for decisive attacks – now it is positioned 95km from the finish, and will therefore play more of a whittling-down role.

>>> The Koppenberg and the defining cobbles, bergs and climbs of the Belgian Classics

Nevertheless, it still promises to be some spectacle. The twisty cobbled road that lead to the chapel at the top oozes beauty and character, and you can be sure that every inch of available space of the mounds that surround the road will still be covered in passionate Flemish fans.

The Oude Kwaremont / Paterberg circuit

Tom Boonen and Andre Greipel on the Oude Kwaremont in the 2016 Tour of Flanders. Photo: Graham Watson

In the absence of the Muur, the climactic obstacles in recent Tour of Flanders have been the twin bergs of the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.

The Oude Kwaremont is the first of the eighteen climbs tackled in the race (at 145km from the finish), and later both are tackled in succession twice during the race’s finale, the first time with 55km and 51km to go respectively to thin out the bunch so that only the strongest remain in contention, and then as the launch-pad for any final attacks at 17km and 13km from the finish.

Both complement each other well, with the steady but long Kwaremont stretching the bunch out in a long line, before the shorter but much steeper Paterberg where the most explosive moves are made.

Make sure to catch the Koppenberg too (at 45km from the finish), a hellish climb of monstrous cobblestone and gradients over 20 per cent, where it is still a familiar sight to see pros dismount their bikes and walk up.

>>> Tour of Flanders 2017: Latest news and race info

The lulls between the bergs

Sep Vanmarcke, Peter Sagan and Michal Kwiatkowski in 2016 Tour of Flanders. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

The Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg might be the headline moments, but in recent years the smartest attacks have been launched on innocuous-looking flat roads in between the penultimate and last ascents of those climbs.

In 2013 Jurgen Roelandts slipped off the front just after the penultimate climb of the Paterberg, giving himself a head-start ahead of the favourites that would help in seal third place; Greg Van Avermaet and Stijn Vandenbergh pulled off a similar the coup the year after attacking out of the bunch just before the Kruisberg, going on to finish second and fourth respectively.

Then in 2015, the duo of Alexander Kristoff and Niki Terpstra capitalised on a lull just after the Kruisberg to make their race-winning moves, and last year Peter Sagan caught everyone besides Sep Vanmarcke and Michal Kwiatkowski off-guard on a flat stretch of road shortly after the climb of the Taaienberg and later dropped that pair and rode to victory.

Each one of these attacks was made somewhere between 33km and 28km from the finish, and during the messy moments in between climbs. Riders who have done their homework will therefore have their eyes peeled for opportunities in between the Taaienberg (37km from the finish) and Kruisberg (27km from the finish).

>>> Check out six of the key Tour of Flanders climbs on Strava

Can Greg van Avermaet fulfill his destiny?

Greg Van Avermaet wins E3 Harelbeke. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Greg van Avermaet has come of age this spring, firmly establishing himself as one of the best classics riders of his generation, and written his name in the record books by becoming the first rider other than Jan Raas to win the cobbled classic hat-trick of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Ghent-Wevelgem in the same season.

Yet there’s a sense that should he fail to convert his irrepressible form into victory at the Tour of Flanders, his spring would still not feel like a success.

The Tour of Flanders is everything to Flemish cycling, boasting a prestige that far outweighs any other event in the region – it’s this race and this race alone that the fates of Flemish riders like Van Avermaet are forged.

He has long threatened to triumph at the ‘Ronde’, impressing with eighth on his debut as a 22-year old, and going on to finish second in a sprint to Fabian Cancellara in 2014, and third the following year behind the two-man break of Kristoff and Terpstra. His form this year suggests he’s never had, and may never again have, as good a chance of winning.



Can Peter Sagan cope with everyone riding against him?

Peter Sagan escapes to win the 2016 Tour of Flanders. Photo: Graham Watson

Along with Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan is one of the two major favourites for victory in Flanders, but whereas the Belgian has found riders willing to co-operate with him, Sagan has been left frustrated by others’ fear of him.

He did virtually all the work in the final few kilometres of Milan-San Remo only to be pipped by Michal Kwiatkowski for the win, then, at Ghent-Wevelgem, got so fed up at Niki Terpstra’s refusal to work with him that he allowed an ultimately decisive gap to grow between them and the leaders.

>>> Peter Sagan berates Niki Terpstra for not working in Ghent-Wevelgem

With only a mediocre Bora-Hansgrohe team to deploy, this could be a major problem for the World Champion, who may find all his own moves marked while others are let go.

However, the increased difficulty of the Ronde compared to all the of the Flemish classics make the race where the wheat is more guaranteed of rising from the chaff, so there’s every chance that Sagan will – as he did last year – simply ride everyone else off his wheel.

The best of the rest

Philippe Gilbert. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Although the 2012 route change has made the Tour of Flanders a more predictable race, with less outside favourites triumphing as Nick Nuyens did in 2011 and Stijn Devolder in 2008 and 2009, there remains a whole host of riders fancying their chances of victory.

Quick-Step Floors boast a whole host of cards to play with, from the rouleur engines of Niki Terpstra and Yves Lampaert, to the punchy attacks of Philippe Gilbert and Zdenek Stybar to the finishing kicks of Matteo Trentin and, for one last time, Tom Boonen.

Everyone will be wary of taking Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) to the finish given their quick sprints, while Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac) – if he can recover his best form – is one of the few riders capable of going toe-to-toe with Sagan and Van Avermaet.

>>> Tour of Flanders 2017 start list

The women’s Tour of Flanders

Lizzie Deignan in the 2016 Tour of Flanders. Photo: Daniel Gould

Taking place a few hours ahead of the men’s race is the Women’s Tour of Flanders.

It’s a reliably thrilling race that all the world’s best dream of winning, and also one of the toughest on the calendar – there are 12 climbs in total packed into the final 100km of its 153km duration, including the Muur van Geraardsbergen (59km to go), the Oude Kwaremont (17km to go) and the Paterberg (13km to go).

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), Ellen Van Dijk (Sunweb) and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) have won this race before with attacks (in 2015, 2014 and 2011 respectively), and each has been in an attacking mood throughout this spring.

Their form and the parcours means it is unlikely to come down to a sprint (on only one occasion in the last seven editions has the winning group consisted of more than two riders) but in the unlikely event that it does, the on-form Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo Bilga) and 2015 runner-up Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle High5) will be poised.

It’s been a quieter spring for Boels-Dolmans, compared to last year where they swept the board, which culminated in Lizzie Deignan and Chantal Blaak sealing first and third respectively. But any of their star-studded roster (which also features World champion Amalie Dideriksen, Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and World Tour champion Megan Guarnier) are capable of winning if they can recapture their best form.


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Madelyn Donohoe Holds Top Seed in Five Events at Buffalo Speedo Sectionals

Photo Courtesy: Nicole Harmon Twitter

Long-course competition begins in Buffalo this weekend, as a continuation of the 2017 Speedo Sectionals series.

15-year-old Madelyn Donohoe of Potomac Valley’s The FISH swim team holds the top seed in five events, including all three distance freestyle events, the 200 backstroke, and the 200 freestyle. She also sits in the second spot in two other events, the 100 freestyle and the 400 IM.

Cape Cod Swim Club’s Michelle Guo is the one to beat in the women’s 100 freestyle, while teammate Palma Foschi Walko sits in first in the women’s 400 IM.

Donohoe’s teammates Reese Fye and Mason Greenblatt will be battling in the men’s distance events, as each hold a top seed apiece and are among the top three seeds in a multitude of other events. They are within a second of each other in the men’s 800 freestyle on Thursday night.

University of Puerto Rico Mayaquez’s Andres Solivan Rivera is the favorite for the men’s middle distance events, as he has the top time in the 100 and 200 freestyles and the 200 butterfly, by a wide margin. Other UPRM top seeds include Juan Arellano Uribe in the men’s 100 breaststroke, Morgan Toro Marrero in the men’s 200 breaststroke, and Alex Hernandez Medina in the men’s 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle, and 100 backstroke.

New Jersey’s Cougar Aquatic Team and Peddie Aquatics will also be in attendance.

The meet begins Thursday night at 6pm for the women’s 1500 and the men’s 800 freestyles.

View the entire psych sheet here.

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Which pedal system is best for you?

We take a quick look at some of the more popular pedal-cleat systems on the market, which include; Look Keo, Shimano SPD and SL, Speedplay and Time Xpresso

Pedal systems: Look Keo

Look Keo 2 Max Blade pedals

Read more: Look Keo 2 Max pedals review

French manufacturer Look was 
at the vanguard of clipless pedal development back in the Eighties, and is still ever present in the modern market.

Using a simple three-bolt cleat design, the Keo pedal system has been around a few years now and is loved and used by cyclists at all levels, from leisure to elite racing.

The large cleat doesn’t exactly encourage walking, but rubberised details help with this a fair bit. It provides a great base for pushing on, but tends to wear fairly fast.

Good for – General road riding and racing

Buy now: Look Keo 2 Max from Wiggle for £45.48

>>> Cleats explained: How to set them up correctly

Pedal Systems: Shimano SPD double-sided

Shimano-SPD-double-sided

The SPD has been around for 20 years or more and has changed little in that time; it’s a great system that works well.

Popular with mountain bikers, the twin sided pedal makes for super-easy access, while the recessed cleat means walking is no problem. The cleats are also made of metal and can last many months, even years.

Commuters love these simple 
pedals for their ease of access, but sportive riders may find the small platform becomes apparent and uncomfortable over long distances.

Good for – Mountain biking, cyclo cross, touring, commuting

Buy now: Shimano M520 SPD pedals from Evans Cycles for £19.99

Pedal systems: Shimano SPD one-sided

Shimano-SPD-one-sided-pedal

The perfect solution if you’re a little tentative about switching to clipless, or if you like the idea of easy-walking, recessed cleats but want a bit more support for long-distance riding.

The provision of a standard ‘cage’ pedal on one side means you can ride in trainers, or simply unclipped, if the fancy takes you, while you can also clip in to the SPD cleat and enjoy the greater lateral support offered by the cage.

The only downside is that this type of pedal can be a little weighty, though lighter variations are available.

Good for – Leisure riding, off-road, commuting

Buy now: Shimano M324 SPD pedals from Evans Cycles for £49.99

Pedal systems: Speedplay

Read more: Speedplay Zero Cromoly review

The Speedplay ‘lollipop’ is a unique and established player which, as well as looking good, is one of the lightest, offering a range of adjustment.

The set-up is the reverse of most others, with the pedal ‘clipping into’ the cleat rather than vice versa. Cleat position is adjustable in three separate planes, and all can be fine-tuned independent of each other — if you have ergonomic issues with the usual systems, this could be the one for you.

The simplicity and double-sided nature also mean they’re easy to get into.

Good for – Road racing (especially criteriums)

Buy now: Speedplay pedals from Wiggle for £94.02

Pedal systems: Shimano SPD SL

Shimano’s popular take on the three-bolt configuration is the SPD SL, which looks fairly similar to the Look Keo but with a noticeably broader cleat/pedal platform. Shimano says this enables maximum efficiency for power transfer.

Just like the Looks, the cleats come in three different colours, each denoting a different level of float. Again, like the Looks, it’s a system that is well used within the professional peloton, and they aren’t the easiest to walk around in, especially on shiny floors.

Good for – Road riding, racing, general riding, commuting

Buy now: Shimano Ultegra 6800 pedal from Evans Cycles for £84.99

Pedal systems: Time Xpresso

Read more: Time Xpresso 6 pedals review

Buy now: Time Xpresso 6 pedals from Merlin Cycles for £74.95

With a range of models to suit every budget and, like the Speedplays, loads of fine-tuning options, the Xpresso is a popular three-bolt system.

The cleat is one of the biggest on the market, so offers a very supportive platform to push on. They’re also quite cheap to replace, which is always a bonus.

The Xpresso system boasts lateral (side to side) adjustment, and very small distance between the sole and the pedal axle, purportedly increasing efficiency.

Good for – Racing, road riding


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Italy and the Netherlands Lead Pools in Women’s WPWL Round 5

Photo Courtesy: FINA

The European teams disputed the fifth round of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League 2017 last night in Ruza (RUS) and Montreuil (FRA) respectively.

Italy clearly defeated France 16-5 in Montreuil (5-1, 4-2, 3-1, 4-1), while the Netherlands and Russia both scored 10 goals in the regular time but the Dutch eventually won 15-13 after a series of penalty shootout (2-1, 1-4, 4-3, 3-2).

Group A’s Netherlands have now 7 points, while Greece and Russia who haven’t played their fourth game yet both count 4 points.

Hungary stays atop Group B with 8 points, followed by Italy with 7 and France only with losses.

Current ranking after round 5

GROUP A: NED 7pts (1W, 2Wp, 1L); GRE 4pts (1W, 1Lp, 1L); RUS 4pts (1W, 1Lp, 1L)
GROUP B: HUN 8pts (2W, 1Wp); ITA 7pts (2W, 1Lp); FRA 0pt (4L)

The sixth and final European round of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League 2017 will be played on April 18.

Press release courtesy of FINA.

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To The Training Group I Never Thought I’d Have

Photo Courtesy: Hannah Dahlin

By Maddie Strasen, Swimming World College Intern

Your training group is seemingly who you spend almost all your time with. There’s something comforting in knowing you aren’t struggling through a swim practice or a lift session by yourself.

Training groups are the people you can be open with about your training, regardless of the circumstances, because you know they’ll understand and see your perspective. However, not everyone stays in the same training group—prime strokes and “best” events can vary throughout your swimming career.

I came into my first season of college swimming as a breaststroker. Less than halfway into the season, it was very clear I was forcing it way too hard. My stroke didn’t feel long or smooth as it used to, and my times weren’t anywhere near where I expected them to be or where they were in high school.

Moving back and forth between sprint group and stroke group, as would be expected for a breaststroker, I very clearly did not fit into either one. After months of tears and frustration, my coaches decided to try putting me into a distance practice, which appeared to be quite a stretch.

strasen-100-breast-UVM

Photo Courtesy: UVM Athletics

Two broken miles later, it was very clear that freestyle and I were about to go on quite the ride.

Over training trip, I stretched out a bit more time in sprint and stroke groups, but after returning to campus, just a short month before championships, I entirely transitioned to distance group.

The decision to move groups might not seem like a colossal issue, however, the increase in yardage shortly before conference could be considered very risky, not to mention my overall frustration with being tossed back and forth among three different training groups. As a freshman with no set training group, no set training plan, no set events, and no set plan for championships, I felt incredibly lost.

Luckily for me, an extremely strong group of women stepped up to make me feel like I belonged. The ladies training in distance group are extremely empowering, pushing themselves to their fullest potential every single practice and every single yard. Despite the jokes about the pain distance swimmers go through and the “do-you-know-what-you’re-in-for”s, they not only gave me a space in the lane but they gave me a place on the team.

university-of-vermont-distance-group.2

Photo Courtesy: Katie Arend

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to train with you. Thank you for pushing me harder than I ever thought I could. Thank you for holding me accountable to what you know I’m capable of. Thank you for understanding me when I have bad swims, and thank you for being happy for me when I have good swims. Thank you for the late night locker room talks, when everyone else has gotten out of practice way earlier than we have. Thank you for the advice, the understanding, and even the shoulders to cry on.

Although we might find ourselves where we never expected to end up, swimming careers take many different turns for many different reasons. What seems like a slump might be an opportunity for something better to arise. Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone is going to find themselves doing completely different events as I did, but it might lead you on a course of trying out new training habits. If you do, I hope you find amazing teammates to uplift you in everything you strive to accomplish.

Here’s to the next three years many more yards, many more 500s, 1000s, and miles with the best company possible.

university-of-vermont-distance-group

Photo Courtesy: Abby Holmquist

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Alexander Kristoff wins hectic Three days of De Panne stage two

Philippe Gilbert extends overall Three Days of De Panne race lead as he is in the thick of the action when the peloton splits

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) won an eventful second stage of the Three Days of De Panne in Belgium on Wednesday.

The Norwegian won the sprint from a lead group after the peloton was split apart by crosswinds and aggressive riding. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) placed second with Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) in third.

The victory is a welcome morale-boosting result for 2015 Tour of Flanders winner Kristoff, who had up until that point missed out on success this season in Belgium.

>>> Philippe Gilbert and 14 other riders fined for riding on pavement at De Panne

Stage one winner, overall race leader and Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) was one of those who helped to drive the split in the bunch. Gilbert and the Quick-Step team joined with members of Trek-Segafredo, Katusha-Alpecin, and others to force open a break in the bunch.

Australian Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) saw his hopes of taking the overall lead all but evaporate after he was caught in the second group. Starting the day in second place overall and 17 seconds behind Gilbert, Durbridge rolled in over two and a half minutes down.

>>> ‘Other teams talk only of the Tour, but here it’s all about the Classics. It’s in the team’s DNA’

As well as assisting in forming the split in the bunch, Gilbert also chased down intermediate sprint bonus seconds in an entertaining duel with Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie).

Gilbert extended his overall race lead to a significant 50 seconds over second-placed Matthias Brändle (Trek-Segafredo), with Kristoff in third at 1-07.

The 2017 Three Days of De Panne concludes with a double-header of stages on Thursday, starting with an undulating 118.5km road stage and a decisive 14.2km individual time trial.

Barring disaster and given the way he has been riding, Gilbert looks to have the race sewn up.

Results

Three Days of De Panne, stage two: Zottegem to Koksijde, 192.9km
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin, in 4-37-29
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors
4. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Andrea Guardini (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect
7. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
8. Coen Vermeltfoort (Ned) Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij
9. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept
10. Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport, all same time

General classification after stage two
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, in 9-13-28
2. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo, at 50 secs
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin, at 1-07
4. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-11
5. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Roompot–Nederlandse Loterij, at 1-15
6. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie, at 1-15
7. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect, at 1-17
8. Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Vital Concept, at 1-17
9. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-22
10. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto-Soudal, at 2-25


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Finnish Freestyler Julia Bruneau Adds to Virginia Tech’s Class of 2022

Photo Courtesy: Julia Bruneau

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Virginia Tech has added Finnish swimmer Julia Bruneau to the class of 2022.

She joins fellow international swimmer Loulou Vos who has also committed to head to Blacksburg in over a year.

Bruneau will matriculate in January 2019. She currently attends Lahden Lyseo, an athletic high school program, where she will take an extra six months of honors courses before graduating in December 2018.

Bruneau shared,

“I am very excited to announce my commitment to Virginia Tech, they offer a great education and excellent swimming program. I look forward to being a Hokie for the upcoming years and can’t wait to join the VT swimming family.”

Bruneau swims for Lahden Uimaseura (LaUS) where she has an impressive swimming resume at Nordic and National Championships. Competing with the Finnish National Senior Team in December, Bruneau finished third in the 50 and 100 freestyles at the short course meters Nordic Country Championships in Denmark.

Some of her best times are (SCM/converted to SCY):

  • 50 Free 25.23/ 22.98
  • 100 Free 55.62/ 50.01
  • 200 Free 2:05.65/ 1:53.39

Coming in this fall the Hokies have an already impressive and deep group that includes: Joelle VerebTatum HacklerMolly SheffieldHeather Sigmon, Nicole Papeand Emily Meilus.

To report a verbal commitment email HS@swimmingworld.com.

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New Ironbridge Bikes are designed and built in the UK of British steel

Three steel framesets available at launch reflect classic British bike building heritage and style

To be launched at Bespoked in Bristol on April 7 by Bicycles By Design, the new Ironbridge range is being made in collaboration with Swallow Cycles. The framesets will be made in the UK of British steel.

>>> Inside a custom frame builder’s workshop

Ironbridge Bikes takes its inspiration from Ironbridge in Shropshire. The first ever iron bridge was built there in 1779, so Ironbridge Bicycles has a 1779 frame in its line-up. It’s a fillet brazed model designed for gravel, touring or bikepacking use.

Show bike for Bespoked includes this Ironbridge detailing

There’s also the 1851. That’s the date of the Great Exhibition and the bike is designed for gravel, cyclocross and road use.

Finally, the 1952’s name marks the 1950s heyday of British bespoke steel frame building. It’s also the telephone area code for Ironbridge. It’s a fully lugged frameset which can be built for caliper or disc brakes.


Watch: Sturdy Cycles at Bespoked show 2015


Pete Bird and Robert Wade from Bicycles By Design commented: “It’s so amazing to be launching a new brand, Ironbridge, drawing on our heritage & skills and aimed at the customer wanting a traditional but contemporary high quality hand-made British frame without the expense, involvement and waiting time of a bespoke frame.

“It is an exciting collaboration between ourselves and other small frame builders and industry partners to evolve a model of working to sustain our businesses post bike boom and post Brexit to access customers in the UK and export markets.”

>>> Bike test: aluminium, steel, carbon or titanium?

Ironbridge’s framesets will cost between £1690 and £2250, with complete builds offered between £2900 and £5000. The range will be available in 15 size and colour options, with a lead time between 12 to 14 weeks from order.


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