news Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal: Michal 12th in Rain Soaked Race 13/09/15 - 23:16

Michal Kwiatkowski finished 12th out of a small peloton, in the 205.6km Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sunday, as the race was conditioned by pouring rain along the parcours.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Adam Yates (Orica - GreenEDGE) attacked late, and held off a small chase group by mere seceonds. What remained of the peloton also crossed with splits between them. Wellens took the victory over Yates, with Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) 3rd. 

Kwiatkowski and Rigoberto Uran finished in the field. 

Yves Lampaert, Julien Vermote, Julian Alaphilippe, and Kwiatkowski were active in the earlier moments of the race. Kwiatkowski was solo at one point, but was caught at the 116km mark. Only 64 riders completed the race.

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news La Vuelta a España Stage 21: Maes Finishes 7th in Conclusive Group Sprint, Brambilla 13th Overall 13/09/15 - 20:28

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Nikolas Maes wrapped up the 2015 edition of La Vuelta a España with a 7th place finish in the 98.8km 21st Stage on Sunday.

John Degenkolb (Giant - Alpecin), won the stage over Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing Team). 

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Gianluca Brambilla also finalized a 13th place overall finish, after three weeks of tremendous hard work to stay among the top GC riders of the peloton in the mountains. Fabio Aru (Astana) won La Vuelta by 57" over Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and 1'09" over Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Carlos Verona and Iljo Keisse were also active in the stage. Verona was part of a six rider breakaway, while Keisse tried a late race solo attack that was brought back inside 5km to go. 

A highlight of La Vuelta for Etixx - Quick-Step was three Combativity/Most Aggressive Rider awards (Verona Stage 10, Keisse Stage 5, Maxime Bouet Stage 12). The three times Etixx - Quick-Step riders earned red bib numbers represented a consistent presence in the breakaways throughout the grand tour, attacking whenever there was an opportunity, while also maintaining the GC position of Italian rider Brambilla.

"I'm very happy about this result at La Vuelta," Brambilla said. "At the end I am 13th, which matched my best placement at a grand tour, at the 2012 Giro d'Italia. Though, there are differences among the two races. This race was incredibly difficult. Every day was a challenge. There were a lot of meters of altitude to pass. So, it was a really hard parcours. Also, the quality of the competitors was super high. So, I am happy and proud to be in the top 15 of this race. For a few moments I also dreamt about a top 10 finish, but I think ultimately I finished where I was supposed to given my performance. I am satisfied with where I finished. I have great memories of this race, like the moment when I attacked and gained a few minutes, or all the time with my teammates. My most difficult moment was not on one of the most demanding parcours on paper. It was the stage of Avila. I was really empty in the legs and I lost contact on one of the climbs. At that point I thought that I would probably lose everything that day. But I kept on fighting. I tried to stayed focused and in the end I minimized the damage as best as possible. To me, this race will remain in my mind as one of the best of my career. As a team we were also really aggressive, whether entering breakaways or always trying our best in any situation, even if the parcours didn't fit our skills. After today a big part of my season is over, but I want to stay focused. With the condition I have I think I can do well in the next races. I will do my best to be ready for them. As an Italian, let me also congratulate Fabio Aru for his victory. As a small anecdote: At the beginning of La Vuelta I had a pair of red socks. After two or three days of being at the race, I gave those socks as a gift to Aru and told him to keep it, because he'll need them sooner or later at La Vuelta. I was right. I am happy that I gave him that gift."

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news Aviva Tour of Britain Stage 8: Trentin Secures 6th Team Podium Step in 8 Stages 13/09/15 - 18:58

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin secured a 3rd place finish in the predicted sprint finale of the 14-lap, 86.8km 8th Stage of Aviva Tour of Britain on Sunday in London. 

The Italian rider, as well as his teammate Mark Renshaw, moved up heading into a final right turn in the few hundred meters in hopes of contesting the stage. The result of the stage was initially Trentin placing 4th behind Andre Greipel (Lotto Soundal), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), and Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar). However, the final decision of the race was to relegate Greipel in the sprint, giving Viviani the stage win, and moving Lobato and Trentin up to 2nd and 3rd. Renshaw also finished 7th.

Trentin had a successful Tour of Britain, earning two 3rd places, while also winning the 6th stage out of a two rider breakaway.

Zdenek Stybar finished 5th in the GC, while Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN - Qhubeka) won the overall.

Etixx - Quick-Step still won three stages, and secured six podium placements in eight stages, despite losing Petr Vakoc, Fernando Gaviria, and Mark Cavendish. Vakoc and Cavendish withdrew due to crashes, while Gaviria left the race with pre-patellar friction syndrome.

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news La Vuelta a España Stage 20: Carlos Commits to Breakaway, Finishes 6th in Cercedilla! 12/09/15 - 17:54

La Vuelta a España Stage 20, 175.8km in distance from San Lorenzo de El Escorial to Cercedilla, was another long day in the mountains for Carlos Verona. The Spanish rider again committed to the breakaway, which eventually became a group of 36 riders, with the solo stage winner coming out of that group.

Verona finished 6th, after continuing to fight for a minor place in a stage featuring four category 1 climbs. 

Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) won the stage after a 112km solo attack. Jose Goncalves (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) was 2nd, and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team) was 3rd. They crossed a little more than a minute down on Plaza.

Meanwhile, the penultimate stage became the decisive one for the overall classification. Fabio Aru (Astana) snatched the red jersey from Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) on the second-to-last climb, with the help of his Astana teammates. Dumoulin tried to chase, but was isolated against Astana and Katusha riders pushing the tempo in the next kilometers. Aru goes into the final stage with a 1'17" gap over Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and 1'29" over Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo). Dumoulin fell to 6th in the overall.

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Gianluca Brambilla, meanwhile, confirmed a 13th place in the overall classification by finishing 32nd in the stage, two seconds ahead of the Dumoulin group. 

La Vuelta concludes with a 98.8km Stage 21, from Alcalá Alcalá de Henares to Madrid, on Sunday.

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news Aviva Tour of Britain Stage 7: Renshaw Sprints to 4th in Ipswich 12/09/15 - 17:44

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Mark Renshaw finished 4th in the bunch arrival of 227.1km Aviva Tour of Britain Stage 7, from Fakenham to Ipswich on Saturday. The Australian rider finished behind stage winner Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), and Sondre Holst Enger (IAM Cycling). The decision of the stage winner came down to a photo finish.

Zdenek Stybar, one of three riders left racing for Etixx - Quick-Step at Tour of Britain due to crashes, also attacked with 16km to go, shortly after the race came back together. However, the peloton kept the race controlled and caught him with about 12km remaining. Team Sky and Lotto Soudal had the ideal position heading into the sprint, and it showed in the stage result.

Stybar is now 5th in the overall classification, 51" down on Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN - Qhubeka). The conclusive day of Tour of Britain on Sunday is a short, 86.8km 8th Stage in London.

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