News Roundup: Giro Rosa tackles Zoncolan, five WorldTour teams for Utah

The Giro Rosa will race up the Zoncolon. Tour of Utah names a strong initial line-up of teams. USPro Crit and Road are combined.

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Here’s your News Roundup for Tuesday, March 27. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling. Stay tuned for more as the season heats up!

Giro Rosa route includes Zoncolan, uphill ITT

The 2018 Giro Rosa route will include a punishing ascent of one of Europe’s toughest climbs, Italy’s Monte Zoncolan, as well as an individual time trial that climbs more than 3,000 feet.

On Tuesday organizers met at the Royal Palace in Monza to unveil details for all 10 stages of the 2018 race, which runs July 6-15. The race begins in Verbania with a short 15.5km team time trial. The opening four stages include hilly terrain and two flat stages for the sprinters, including the fourth stage, which starts and finishes in Piacenza, the home of two-tiem world champion Giorgia Bronzini.

The GC battle should begin on the fifth stage, which concludes with a summit finish on the eastern bank of Lake Como. On stage 6, riders complete an uphill individual time trial that climbs more than 3,000 vertical feet to the Campo Moro Dam near the Swiss border.

The race will likely be decided on the penultimate stage, which starts in Tricesimo and finishes atop Monte Zoncolan, which has ramps above 22 percent. The climb has been a semi-regular feature at the Giro d’Italia since its debut in 2003.

“The Giro will be on mythical and very tough climbs and its athletes will enter in the legend of cycling,” said organizer Davide Cassani in a statement.

Tour of Utah to have strongest WorldTour lineup in years

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is set to have its strongest lineup in years, with no fewer than five WorldTour teams participating in the week-long race August 6-12. On Tuesday, the race unveiled its preliminary list of eight teams: WorldTour squads BMC, EF Education First-Drapac, Mitchelton-Scott, Trek-Segafredo, and Team LottoNL-Jumbo, along with Pro Continental teams Bardiani CSF, Israel Cycling Academy, Nippo-Vini Fantini, as well as Continental squad Silber Pro Cycling.

The race invites a total of 16 teams.

The teams lineup marks a huge step forward for the Utah race, which saw its WorldTour participation dwindle in recent years. In 2014, the race attracted five WorldTour teams with Belkin, Lampre-Merida, Trek, Garmin-Sharp, and BMC all participating. In 2016, that number shrunk to just three. Last season BMC was the only WorldTour team in attendance.

The uptick in WorldTour teams corresponds with the race’s new spot on the calendar. It has bumped itself back by one week and will run August 6-12.

EF Education First-Drapac’s Martinez injured in motorist attack

Colombian rider Daniel Martinez was attacked Tuesday by a driver during his training ride near the Italian town of Pistoia. The story was first reported in the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. 

According to Martinez, he was training with EF teammates Miguel Eduardo Florez and Julian Cardona when they were involved in an altercation with a driver. The driver punched Martinez in the jaw and knocked him out. He was taken to a local hospital, El Pais reported.

Martinez, 21, most recently finished eighth place overall at the Volta a Catalunya.

USA Cycling adds criterium to Knoxville championships

USA Cycling has added a criterium to its lineup for the 2018 Pro Road National Championships, held June 21-24 in Knoxville, Tennessee. In previous years USA Cycling held its criterium national championships and team time trial national championships at a separate venue. In 2017 those races were held in Louisville, Kentucky.

For 2018 the criterium will be held alongside the road race and individual time trial. USA Cycling has decided to drop the team time trial from its national championships lineup. The race weekend will start with the individual time trial races on Thursday, June 21, followed by the criterium events on June 22. Athletes will have a rest day on Saturday, June 23, followed by the road race national championships on Sunday, June 24.

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