Guardini's decision not to contest the sprint on stage 6 after he found its climbs tough paid dividends with victory on stage 7 over compatriots Jakub Mareczko (Southeast) and Andrea Palini (Skydive Dubai).

The Italian sprinter's dominance in Malaysia continues with this win, his 21st at Le Tour de Langkawi and his third in this year's edition.

Guardiani could not fault his team's performance.

“Astana had such a good tactic today with Laurens De Vreese (Astana) in the breakaway. Nobody wanted to pull strongly in the finale but it turned out to being a bunch sprint and it was a very good one for me. With 200m to go, I passed in a very small gap between two other riders but a bit of luck is always needed for winning a bunch sprint. To reach 21 victories at Le Tour de Langkawi is really amazing. It’s never simple to win," he said.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) remains in the GC lead despite early attacks from UnitedHealthcare and Astana with their leaders only 11 and 12 seconds behind on GC respectively.

Proceedings ultimately smoothed after Dimension Data allowed de Vreese, Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare) and Hyo Suk Gong (KSPO) to break away. Once joined by two Hengxiang riders, this group gained a gap-high time of five minutes with 70km remaining. This ruffled Dimension Data as de Vreese sat only two minutes behind Janse van Rensburg on GC. Dimension Data drove the peloton to within a 44 second gap with 10km to go. Sniffing a bunch sprint finale, other teams offered assistance to Dimension Data.

"Johann and Songezo were superstars today, controlling the break with almost no help from the other teams during the stage." Janse van Rensburg said.

"The rest of the team did a perfect job to keep me safe and in position to be able to deliver a 5th place result at the finish. There is one more stage to go, so we will have to be on top of our game tomorrow."

Just one stage of the 2016 Le Tour de Langkawi remains. 

Wednesday 2 Mar 2016

Lotto-Soudal has announced it will change its name and jersey for Paris-Nice.

“This is a perfect occasion to put one of our top products in the limelight," said Soudal CEO, Dirk Coorevits

"Not only on the French market, which is very important to us, but because Paris-Nice is a WorldTour race with visibility in 170 countries all over the world. We hope that our team, regardless of the recent crashes, will start at full strength and a result as good as in Paris-Nice 2015 would of course be wonderful!”

It's a neat little vid, well worth the watch. The jersey is pretty sweet too, and continues with the retro feel of the team's usual kit. 

 

"Drapac Professional Cycling (DPC) is set to begin an extensive European race program starting in April.

""This year will see the team return to Europe with a comprehensive racing program from April through to September.

The decision to return to Europe is another important step in the team's growth towards becoming World Tour and the athletic development of our riders.

This program brings close to seventy days of racing across Europe, giving all of our riders the opportunity to showcase their talents and progress to the next level,"" Jonathan Breekveldt, General Manager, said.

Read more here

The eight-stage men's 2016 Amgen Tour of California will feature the following 18 teams (including 10 WorldTour teams):

  • BMC Racing Team (USA)
  • Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • Etixx - Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (BEL)
  • Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka (RSA)
  • Team Giant - Alpecin (GER)
  • Team KATUSHA (RUS)
  • Team Lotto NL - Jumbo (NED)
  • Team Sky (GBR)
  • Tinkoff (RUS)
  • Trek - Segafredo (USA)
  • Direct Énergie (FRA)
  • Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
  • UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • UCI Continental Teams (5):
  • Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team (USA)
  • Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team p/b Hincapie Sportswear (USA)
  • Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
  • Rally Cycling (USA)
  • Team WIGGINS (GBR)

Although the event takes place from 15 - 22 May, organisers have already announced some big names from the men's peloton including Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Rohan Dennis (BMC), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Bradley Wiggins (Wiggins).

The four day women's race running from 19 - 22 May alongside the men's race is part of the inaugural Women's WorldTour. Current UCI World Hour Record holder Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Domans) will be there along with the following teams:

  • BePink (ITA)
  • Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (NED)
  • Canyon/SRAM Racing (GER)
  • Colavita | Bianchi p/b Vittoria Women's UCI Pro Team (USA)
  • Cylance Pro Cycling (USA)
  • Drops Cycling Team (GBR)
  • Hagens Berman | Supermint Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • Hitec Products (NOR)
  • Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa (GBR)
  • Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team (NED)
  • Rally Cycling (USA)
  • Team TIBCO-SVB (USA)
  • Twenty16 - Ridebiker (USA)
  • UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
  • USA Cycling (USA)
  • Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling (USA)
  • Weber Shimano Ladies Power (ARG)
  • Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling (GBR)

Read more here