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9 February, 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA)

Greg Van Avermaet will return to the Tour of Oman next week where he is set to lead an ambitious BMC Racing Team line-up.

Van Avermaet will line up alongside a strong team that can look to take different opportunities as they arise, BMC Racing Team Sports Director Valerio Piva said.

"We are heading to Oman with some of our Classics team, and traditionally this race is the final preparation for Van Avermaet ahead of the first Classic. We saw that he was looking strong in Valencia and there are some finishes that should be good for him here, so he will be our leader. However, we will also have Jempy Drucker on the start line as our sprinter, and then, when we look to the General Classification and the stage finish on Green Mountain, I think we will look to protect Nicolas Roche. He will be coming out of the Dubai Tour and I think he can do something there. Overall, we will have to take the race day by day, but we are taking a strong group of riders, and collectively we can look for opportunities to go for stage wins," Piva explained.

Van Avermaet will continue to test his form in Oman ahead of the start of the Classics season.

"The season started with a solid week of racing in Spain, and now, I'm looking forward to heading back to the start line at the Tour of Oman. It's a good race with some nice stages that should suit me so, not only will I be looking to improve my shape before the start of my Classics campaign in Belgium but I also want to take the opportunity to go for stage wins where possible," Van Avermaet said.

Tour of Oman (13 - 18 February)

Rider Roster: Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Nicolas Roche (IRL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP)

Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL)

Gaviria to return to Colombia after San Juan abandon

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Quick-Step Floors’ rider will start his recovery at home, with the hope of returning to action at Colombia Oro y Paz

25-Jan-2018: Fernando Gaviria’s participation in the Vuelta a San Juan came to a halt on Wednesday, when the young Colombian hit the deck with 45 kilometers remaining of stage 4, in an incident that took down several riders. After assessing his condition, the Quick-Step Floors doctor decided a further medical examination was needed, and so Fernando was taken to the San Juan hospital by helicopter, where the doctors – after conducting several tests and scans – excluded any fractures.

In the aftermath of the crash occurred on the roads to Villa San Agustin, where Gaviria’s teammate Maximiliano Richeze sprinted to the win, the 23-year-old was left with several abrasions on his body, as well as a deep wound on his left knee, that didn’t require any stitches.

“I am feeling okay after yesterday’s crash. As you saw, we were riding in the side wind and the pace was high, stretching out the peloton. In a split second there was a move in the line of the guys in front of me and my wheel got caught on the wrong side of my teammate. None of us could have done anything to prevent it”, said Fernando after leaving the hospital for his home country, where he’ll aim to recover for the inaugural edition of Colombia Oro y Paz (6-11 February).

“It’s sad to leave the Vuelta a San Juan because it’s a fantastic event and I was looking forward to racing it all the way to the end. Tonight, I will travel to Colombia, where I’ll have further examinations, which I hope to confirm that there’s no serious damage, and try to prepare the best I can for Colombia Oro y Paz. It will be important to see how my body reacts to this crash, but I hope for a smooth recovery”, explained Gaviria, who was grateful for the help and support he got from the organizers and doctors.

“I would like to thank the organisation of Vuelta San Juan, the local and provincial sports government, and the medical staff of Hospital Dr. Albarracín and Clinical Castaño for the very professional, fast, and not least, kind service. Everything was handled perfectly and in a professional way”, concluded Fernando, who in Vuelta a San Juan scored his 24th victory in the Quick-Step Floors jersey.

The new partnership between Northwave and Team Wiggle-High5 continues with success: the Australian sprinter claims the second seasonal win at Melbourne Race, and goes for glory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race

If a good beginning bodes well, the partnership between Northwave and Team Wiggle High5 will ensure great satisfactions to both parties. In the early races of the 2018 season with the new Extreme RR shoes, Rochelle Gilmore’s athletes have grabbed two beautiful wins in Australia: after the Santos Women’s Tour opening stage, Annette Edmondson won the Melbourne Race on Thursday January 25th, the traditional Criterium preceding the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race.

Edmondson saw off to the finish line Giorgia Bronzini and Kendall Ryan, finalizing the perfect teamwork of Rachele Barbieri, Amy Cure, Eri Yonamine and Andrey Cordon. The same line-up will try to conquer the third seasonal win in the race dedicated to Cadel Evans, in Geelong, where Edmondson hopes to assert her sprinters’ skills supported by Extreme RR. In fact, the XFrame® patented technology offers the most comfortable fit, eliminating the points of pressure of the upper on the foot.

UAE-Emirates’ Filippo Ganna leads the Vuelta a San Juan overall standings, in Argentina, after the first four stages. The Italian rising star took over the leader jersey after stage 3 of Wednesday January 24th - a 14,4 Km time trial in San Juan in which he finished second behind Irish Ryan Mullen - maintaining the first position the next day. With his Northwave Extreme RR, Ganna leads the GC with 5 seconds of advantage on Rafal Majka and 11 seconds on Oscar Sevilla.

Onigo di Pederobba (Italy), January 25th, 2018

Colorado Springs, Colo. (January 25, 2018) – USADA announced today that a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) has rendered its decision in the case of U.S. Cycling athlete Jennifer Schumm, of Greenwood Village, Colo., and has determined that Schumm should receive a four-year sanction after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Schumm, 41, was subject to testing due to her membership in USA Cycling, which maintains the RaceClean Program that works to fight doping at the amateur level of cycling. The goal of the RaceClean Program is to increase testing and education at the amateur level to provide greater doping deterrence and is executed through member funding, donations, and local association partnerships.

Schumm tested positive for the presence of an anabolic agent and/or its metabolites as the result of a urine sample she provided on May 28, 2016, at the 2016 Koppenberg Boulder Spring Classic in Superior, Colo. Her urine sample was analyzed using a specialized test that differentiates between anabolic-androgenic steroids naturally produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. The use of anabolic agents, such as testosterone, is prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

While Schumm had been prescribed testosterone by her medical provider, the AAA Panel found that she knew before racing that the testosterone she received was prohibited and failed to declare testosterone on her doping control form. Although an athlete may be prescribed a prohibited substance by a physician, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required to authorize the use of a prohibited substance in sport, and athletes have access to resources from both USADA and WADA that explain the TUE requirements.

Under the USADA TUE Policy, an athlete has the responsibility to demonstrate in advance of using a prohibited substance that the medical need to treat an acute or chronic condition satisfies all four strict criteria within the WADA International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE). In this instance, Schumm’s TUE application was denied because USADA’s independent TUE Committee of endocrinologists unanimously determined it did not meet the ISTUE criteria. Anabolic agents like testosterone have powerful performance-enhancing capabilities and can give an athlete an unfair advantage over fellow competitors, which is why the ISTUE requires that rigorous criteria be fulfilled, beyond merely providing a prescription.

Schumm’s four-year period of ineligibility began on July 21, 2016, the date she accepted a provisional suspension. In addition, Schumm has been disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to May 28, 2016, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

Degenkolb wins first day of Challenge Mallorca

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John Degenkolb opened his season with a victory, sprinting to the win in the first day of the Challenge Cyclista Mallorca from Campos to Ses Salines.

Trek-Segafredo surrounded Degenkolb with a team of Classics and lead-out specialists for the 178-kilometer race, giving the German sprinter the support he needed for a much-needed win with his last almost a year ago in the Dubai Tour.

"It's a great feeling to get the first victory already, to achieve this together with the team," Degenkolb explained to journalists shortly after the finish. "We had a really nice week of training already this week in Mallorca, in the training camp, and to start the season like this with a win is always great.

"I felt really good; the team did a perfect job to make a good sprint for me. I have good memories of this race because for me this was my first professional race in 2011. Today was a great revival."

It is the second victory for Trek-Segafredo this season, coming two days after Ryan Mullen's win in stage three of Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, giving the team an early boost as they start their first year without a headlining star like Fabian Cancellara or Alberto Contador.

"We have already won two races as a team, and I think for the whole team it's a big relief to start the season like this," continued Degenkolb. "Everyone knows we have done our homework, what's needed to win races, and I think we can be very optimistic for the next races."

There is no secret that Degenkolb has had his share of misfortune in the last few years, from his horrific training accident in 2016 to respiratory issues at the end of 2017 severe enough to hospitalize him. His respiratory problems forced him out of the Vuelta a España, the Tour of Denmark, and caused him to forego the World Championships in Bergen, Norway, where he would have led the German team as one of the race favorites.

"It's a fantastic feeling! I have worked really hard this winter, and after all what has happened at the end of last year, this is such a big relief to get this winning feeling back and know that I am still able to win races because it's quite a long time since I crossed the finish line in first position," exclaimed a happy Degenkolb. "For me, it's just very amazing to feel that, and to also to feel the whole support from the riders: The whole team for the whole winter was behind me and pushed me to come to this level again."

The Challenge Mallorca is a series of one-day races that runs from Thursday to Sunday.

Trek-Segafredo will start the following seven riders for Friday and Saturday:

Bauke Mollema, Gianluca Brambilla, Tsgabu Grmay, Toms Skujins, Julien Bernard, Michael Gogl, and Nicola Conci.

Majka moves up to second in the GC in Argentina

Published in News Archives

When a six-men breakaway was caught after around 150 kilometers, a crash did split the bunch. With all six riders in front, BORA – hansgrohe took advantage of the situation and gained time on some of the GC contenders. While Rafal Majka moves up to second place overall, Matteo Pelucchi sprinted to another 3rd place in the stage.

The Stage
With two 1st cat. climbs half way through the stage, it was hard to predict if there was a chance for another bunch sprint, or if the climbers would test their legs again to force some gaps in the GC. Still, as the second half of the stage was mainly downhill, there was plenty of terrain to neutralize attacks. Therefore, on the 182.8 kilometers from San José Jachal to Villa San Agustín different tactics were expected.

The Team Tactics
After his strong time trial yesterday, BORA – hansgrohe leader Rafal Majka sits in a comfortable position in the race. His stage will come on Saturday, until then the goal is to always stay in touch with the race leaders. But with Pascal Ackermann already proving on the second day to have good legs in the climbs, there was a chance to have one of the fast men of the team also still in contention in today’s race final.

The Race
Most of the day a group of 6 escapees were at the front of the race. Their gap was well under control as BORA – hansgrohe and Quickstep were working in the bunch early enough to avoid any surprises. When the pace was raised in the peloton, the breakaway riders were not able to remain their advantage and shortly after they were reeled in, a crash forced a split in the bunch. With all 6 riders in the first group, BORA – hansgrohe tried to take advantage of the situation. In the end the effort payed of and Rafal Majka moved up to second overall. But in the sprint for the stage win, BORA – hansgrohe missed some energy as a result of the hard work before. Nevertheless, Matteo Pelucchi again was able to step on the podium, becoming 3rd for the second time this week.

01 M. Richeze 4:31:48
02 G. Nizzolo + 0:00
03 M. Pelucchi + 0:00
04 M. Raim + 0:00
05 N. Bonifazio + 0:00

From the Finish Line
“Today we controlled the stage the whole day, the team did an excellent job. After the split we had all six guys in front and decided to go for Rafal (Majka) and his GC ambitions. The effort payed off and some of his rivals lost crucial time. But of course, this effort also did cost us a lot of energy we would have needed in the sprint lead-out. Still Pascal (Ackermann) positioned Matteo (Pelucchi) well and with the 3rd place we can be satisfied. Overall it was a good day for us. But I hope that from the riders involved in the crash nobody is seriously injured.”– Enrico Poitschke, sports director

“In the end the race was really hard. We had all riders in front and in the beginning several teams pulled with us, but the longer we pulled the more they relied on us. I felt really good today and was still able to help Matteo in the sprint. It’s great to get another podium finish, but our goal is still to win a stage.” – Pascal Ackermann

Ryan Mullen Captures First International Victory

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Irish road and time trial champion Ryan Mullen blasted around the flat, non-technical stage three time trial at the Vuelta a San Juan Tuesday to take home his first international victory and with it the first team victory for the 2018 season.

"I am super happy, and everyone here is super happy; it's nice to get the ball rolling and get a first win of the year in my first race," said Mullen. "I have always been the guy who has been second, third fifth, so yeah, it's my first international win."

The flat and windy course suited a power rider like Mullen, but in the first individual test against the clock of a new season, even Mullen had trouble pacing himself for the 14.4-kilometer race of truth.

"The course was very well suited to me, maybe I would have preferred it a little bit longer, but it was pretty close to being perfect for me. But I misjudged the pacing a little bit; I went out a little bit too hard and then the last four kilometers it was a pretty hard headwind, and I kind of came off the pace a little bit there.

"I really suffered in the heat as well for the last four or five minutes, so it was more a case of just hanging on and keeping a little bit of rhythm and not lose too much time. Luckily I held on!"

Mullen may have felt like he was losing time, but he made up most of his advantage in the second half of the race. At the first intermediate split, midway through, he was down eight seconds but crossed the line in 17 minutes and 43 seconds to set the fastest time by nearly a half-minute.

"I didn't come here to come second, but it's January, and normally in the season I can gauge how I will do, but this was my first TT, so I wasn't sure how my body would handle in the heat and that sort of stuff," admitted Mullen. "I was watching my power meter and thinking this sucks, I feel like shit. But everyone's power was down in the heat."

With all riders using road bikes and no time trial machines, Mullen felt he was not at an advantage, even fastest tested aero bike in the Madone.

"Obviously, our bike is incredibly fast, probably faster than my previous TT bike on its own," Mullen smiled. "I know that we have some of the best equipment in the whole race and that was definitely a big motivation for me. We have the best bike; we have great wheels, the only thing missing was the extensions. Last year guys rode them, and we assumed it was the same, and we only found out two days ago we cannot even use it.

"The problem for me is I am actually a big guy, I have a big frame, and in the TT position, I am lucky that I am able to get very small for someone my size and hold a really good position. That's one of the factors that makes me good at time trials; I am able to bend my body into a shape it's not supposed to go. But on the road bike I have nothing to pull on like with the extensions; normally I would pull on the bars quite a lot."

"It's the first for me having to do a TT on my road bike, and I made a few modifications like a couple extra rolls of bar tape where I was resting my arms, and I folded my hoods in so I could hold onto something and have leverage. I struggled a little bit to hold the power I normally hold [on a TT bike] but it worked out really good - in the end, I think everyone was in the same boat."

As an early starter, Mullen spent most of the race in the hot seat and was later joined by teammate Greg Daniel, who had a fantastic race. Daniel finished in a time of 18 minutes and 13 seconds, 30 seconds slower than Mullen, and held onto second place until the final few riders finally bumped him to fourth. Daniel missed the podium by less than a second.

Rounding out the top three Filippo Ganna (UAE-Team Emirates) in second - who also claimed the race lead - and Rafał Majka in third (Bora-Hansgrohe).

San Juan Stage 3

Published in News Archives

The Stage
During the third stage, the riders had to complete an individual time trial of 14.4 km in length, with an intermediate checkpoint at 7.2 km. The relatively short and flat course did not necessarily present any particular difficulties or challenges, but it was expected to lead to changes in the general classification.

The Team Tactics
Today’s time trial was a significant day for the general classification. The results of the stage would no doubt shake things up in the GC, and so it was crucial for the team to put in a solid performance here, in order to be in a good position for the upcoming stages.

The Race
The first riders out on the course set times over the 20-minute mark. R. Mullen, who led the standings for most of the day, set a time of 17:43 after putting in a particularly strong performance in the second half of the time trial. For quite some time, he held over a minute’s lead over any of the riders behind him, yet this quite substantial advantage was predictably whittled down as the day progressed.

Rafał Majka was the last BORA-hansgrohe rider to take on the relatively short time trial, and the 12th last rider in the field to enter the course. By the intermediate checkpoint, Majka logged a time of 8:20, ahead of the leader, R. Mullen, who clocked in at 8:35, and the fastest rider at the intermediate check, R. Cavagna, at 8:33. By the end of the stage, he registered a time of 18:13, 30 seconds behind R. Mullen, to claim third place on the stage. 

From the Finish Line
„It is a pleasant surprise to do well in my first race in January, and to get a good result in the end. I have a good position in the general classification now, and have some time up my sleeve. But there are of course still many more stages to come, including some long and difficult climbs, so the GC can still change around a lot in the coming days. We will definitely try to do our best, control the race, and put up a strong fight.” – Rafał Majka

“Rafał put in a strong and solid ride in the time trial. Finishing third on the stage is a good result for him and the team. Everything worked well and went according to plan today. He had a good position throughout the ride, and had good cadence, so we are very happy with his performance. His result today means that we are in a good position in the general classification, and we can only hope to consolidate today’s result in the climbs that are yet to come this week. Hopefully he will continue to have good legs and we can put on a strong fight for the general classification.” – Enrico Poitschke

23 January, 2017, Geelong (AUS)

After a strong performance at the Santos Tour Down Under, the same seven-rider team is set to line up at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race this Sunday, 28 January.

"We have multiple cards to play at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Simon Gerrans will be our protected rider for a sprint finish as last year he was right up there and finished second in the group of 20 or so riders. I expect there to be a selection of 20 to 30 riders there at the finish again this year," Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.

"With Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte in great shape, we can also go on the offensive and try something different. We will see how the race unfolds and decide which card we want to play on the day. It is good to have so many options as it is a tough course and anything can happen in a one-day race. To win the road race would be a great way to wrap up our Australian season before we head back to Europe, especially with three of Australia's best riders in our team."

Simon Gerrans finished second last year and is looking to go one better in 2018.

"I really like the course. The first loop we do when we head down towards the Great Ocean Road is quite scenic and a good way to get a few kilometers out of the way. As we get to the finish circuits it becomes a really selective part where we often see a small group come to the finish. I really like the circuit and I think it suits me well," Gerrans said.

For Richie Porte, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is another opportunity to test his form before returning to Europe.

"I can take a lot of confidence out of my performance at the Santos Tour Down Under. I'm climbing just as well now as I was last year so I'm confident that I can race well on Sunday. I was able to try my luck last year in the finale and this year, we'll see how things play out on the day. We have a great team, including Simon Gerrans who came so close last year and who I think will have a good shot this year," Porte explained.

As he did at the Santos Tour Down Under, Rohan Dennis is ready to play his role in supporting the team.

"We'll be lining up on Sunday to support Simon Gerrans so we'll do everything we can to help him get the win. It's a hard race and like any one-day race, it can be unpredictable. It's great to have another race in Australia with WorldTour status and it's an important one for BMC Racing Team," Dennis added.

Miles Scotson will join his Australian counterparts, as well as Patrick Bevin, Tom Bohli, and Danilo Wyss, at the start line.

Before lining up at the road race on Sunday, the team, with the exclusion of Porte, will line up at the Race Melbourne criterium on Thursday evening.

Race Melbourne (25 January) / Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (28 January)

Rider roster:
Patrick Bevin (NZ), Tom Bohli (SUI), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Simon Gerrans (AUS), Richie Porte (AUS) - road race only, Miles Scotson (AUS), Danilo Wyss (SUI).

Sports Director:
Fabio Baldato (ITA)


EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale announced today that Maurten, the world’s first hydrogel sports drink, has signed on as the team’s official hydration sponsor for the 2018 season. Maurten is an established albeit new leader in the professional running hydration game, and this new partnership with the #ArgyleArmada marks the company’s entry into professional cycling.

“We’ve worked with the best runners in the world. Now, when entering cycling we wanted to work with the most innovative team – someone that shares our belief in hard work and a scientific approach. And we feel that this is a very, very good match,” said Olof Sköld, CEO and co-founder of Maurten.

Maurten is the first sports nutrition company to incorporate hydrogel into its drink mix formula. The carbohydrate-rich formula is extremely popular amongst runners and was used by the winners of the nine latest major marathons, including Eliud Kipchoge, who ran the fastest marathon in history (2:00:25) on the Monza race track in May.

Maurten’s Drink Mix contains only five ingredients. In addition to carbohydrates and electrolytes, there are two key ingredients: pectin and alginate. These two naturally-derived dietary fibers form a hydrogel when the drink hits the acid in the stomach. This gel encapsulates the carbohydrates and helps in the transport into the small intestine, where it is absorbed. In effect, this process helps improve efficiency and reduces stress on the stomach.

“I have been a fan of drinks that only contain ingredients aimed to support performance for a long time,” said EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale head of nutrition Nigel Mitchell. “Maurten provides both hydration and energy using a unique polymer technology that helps with the delivery of carbohydrates. The use of hydrogels is widely considered the next generation of sports nutrition and has already been used with great effect by our team.”

“I started using Maurten, and for me, it is perfect,” said Pierre Rolland, who took two wins for the #ArygleArmada last year, including the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia. “The technology behind Maurten’s products can help me on the mountain stages, the days that I’m on the escape, when temperatures are very hot and on the longest days when we burn a lot of calories. The problems with some drinks is the assimilation and the digestion. You must remember that we drink 10-15 bottles every day. What we put into our bodies is so important, and I’m happy we are using Maurten.”

Mitchell agrees: “One of the great things about Maurten is that they’ve minimized the risk of underfueling during races. The neutral flavor reduces the risk of flavor fatigue.”

Maurten has embraced the opportunity to bring its product to cycling and share the benefits of their science-backed technology with cyclists who compete at the highest level of the sport. EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale will use Maurten Drink Mix and help the company develop new products that rely on hydrogel technology.

“There are few sports that are as demanding as cycling and getting feedback from top riders is crucial for us in our product development," said Sköld. "We know that the team will provide us with invaluable input on how we can develop the next generation of cycling fuel."

Mitchell is currently working directly with Maurten and plays a crucial role, along with EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale riders, in the collaboration.

“There are very few people that have such thorough understanding of nutrition – not only in theory but also from practice,” noted Sköld. "We know that with Nigel’s background within the sport, we’ll be able to develop sport nutritional concepts that are entirely new.”

About EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale:

EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale is an American-registered WorldTour cycling team competing at the highest level of the sport. In the 2018 season, the team will race with the youngest roster and one of the most diverse squads in the WorldTour. The team is managed by Slipstream Sports, which was founded by Jonathan Vaughters and Doug Ellis in 2005 on the belief there was a better way to run a cycling team. Slipstream Sports has always been unwavering in its commitment to anti-doping and was the first professional cycling team to institute its own internal testing protocols.

About Maurten

Maurten is a Swedish tech start-up founded in 2015. The company has developed entirely new types of sports fuels based on natural hydrogel technology. Their hydrogels are built with food ingredients and contain very high levels of energy in the form of carbohydrates. Products based on their hydrogel technology have lately been adopted by some of the best runners in the world and have fuelled the latest nine major marathon winners and a number of national records. Maurten AB also:

Collaborates with several National Olympic Committees and academic organizations. The company is currently involved in ten scientific studies that are evaluating the technology and applications within different sports. The first results will be published in 2018.
Fueled Sir Mo Farah in his World Championship preparations for London 2017 and the world’s fastest marathon , when Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran 02:00:25 at the Monza race track, Italy 2017.

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©Beth Schneider Photography

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