EUROTRASH Monday: Remco and all the Other Cycling News with Video

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Remco Evenepoel wraps up his first Grand Tour win in the Vuelta a España, plus the shortened Tour of Britain, Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec & Montréal and GP de Fourmies, all with video. Patrick Lefevere has his say on Remco Evenepoel’s Vuelta win – TOP STORY. Other news: New sponsor for Bardiani, contracts for Jarne Van de Paar and Bastien Tronchon. Tiago Machado retires. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.


TOP STORY: Lefevere After First Grand Tour Victory: “Hopefully the Start of Something Formidable”
Patrick Lefevere has already won many Classics and other major races with his different team over the year, but now he also has an overall victory in a Grand Tour. Remco Evenepoel was crowned the overall winner of the 2022 Vuelta a España on Sunday in Madrid. “Doing this with a Belgian rider is really a great honour,” said Lefevere.

In conversation with Het Nieuwsblad, the team boss was of course full of praise for his young rider, who convincingly secured the overall victory in the last mountain stage to the Puerto de Navacerrada on Saturday. “Even me he has surprised with the speed at which he is growing. But that’s a sign of the great champions. After Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he clicked.”

“I am very pleased because there are many people, especially in Flanders, who are always complaining and being negative about him. That he can’t do this and that. And now… Niki Terpstra always says ‘when you win, you have friends’. That I have many friends today? I choose my friends myself,” laughs Lefevere.

It is also a milestone for the now 67-year-old Lefevere, that first overall victory in a Grand Tour. And yet: “It was always said that Quick-Step was the greatest Classic team, but we have already finished second here with Enric Mas and in 2014 we also finished second in the Giro with Rigoberto Urán.”

“Hopefully this is the start of something formidable. Many people have not experienced that last Belgian overall victory of 44 years ago (Johan De Muynck in the 1978 Giro d’Italia). I was already there then, because I rode with Van Impe, Merckx, Maertens and De Muynck. And we’ve only just began.”

It was all a bit much for young Remco:

 


Vuelta a España 2022
Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) surged to victory at the top of the Alto de Piornal after an all out battle on the mountains of Extremadura on Stage 18 of la Vuelta on Thursday. UAE Team Emirates upped the ante with 100km to go, Enric Mas (Movistar) and his GC rivals attacked several times on the final ascent of the day… But the young Belgian responded. He eventually caught the early attacker Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) inside the final kilometre and won a 3-man sprint against the Dutch veteran and Mas. Evenepoel takes his second stage win and his 13th red jersey, achieving the longest run at the top of an overall standings of a Grand Tour for a Belgian rider since Johan De Muynck won the Giro 1978 – the last victory to date for Belgian in a three-week event. Evenepoel has three more days to go to Madrid.

On Thursday, the Vuelta had a mountain stage featuring three categorised climbs and a new summit finish on the Alto de Piornal. The peloton faced 192km of racing with 3,550m of climbing. 136 riders started from Trujillo without Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan) and Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), both ill.

It was an all out battle from the start, with the race covering 49.9km in the first hour before a 42-man break got away. There was no direct GC threat at the front, as Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) was the best rider on the overall standings in 16th place at 26:20. The Ecuadorian climber moved into the lead of the KOM standings after Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck) was forced to abandon after a crash that also involved Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers), 4th overall at 5:20. Enric Mas (Movistar) has two teammates in the break: Nelson Oliveira and Carlos Verona. On the day after Rigoberto Urán’s victory at Monasterio de Tentudia, EF Education-EasyPost had five riders at the front: Hugh Carthy, Merhawi Kudus, Mark Padun, James Shaw and Julius van den Berg. The likes of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) are also up there.

Remco Evenepoel’s Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl let the break go. The gap went up to 9 minutes when UAE Team Emirates turned the race upside down just ahead of the first climb of the day, the Cat.2 Alto de la Despera, summit at km 109.7. Pascal Ackermann, Juan Sebastian Molano and Brandon McNulty launch João Almeida (6th overall at 6:51). At the summit, the Portuguese rider got to his teammate Ivo Oliveira, who was also in the break. They brought the gap down to 4:45. Astana Qazaqstan drove the bunch for Miguel Angel López, 1:30 down. At the bottom of the first climb of the Cat.1 Alto de Piornal (151.2km), Almeida trailed by 3:15 and the peloton follow at 4 minutes. Carthy attacked at the front of the race. Pinot and Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe) are the first to react. Carapaz set off in pursuit and bridged the gap towards the summit with Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) and Elie Gesbert (Arkea Samsic).

Joao Almeida trailed by 2:30. He now had the support of Marc Soler. In the peloton, Miguel Angel López accelerated. Rodriguez struggled to react but the GC group got back together, 45 seconds behind Almeida. At the bottom of the final climb (13.4km at 5.6%), the Almeida group were at 1:14 and the GC group at 1:49. Gesbert attacked early on the ascent. Gesink joined him at the front with 8.5km to go and dropped him a couple of kilometres later. In the GC group, Mas attacked for the first time with 10km to go. Evenepoel counters with 8.5km to go. They get back to the Almeida group. Mas tries again several times, but Evenepoel is always able to respond. The duo eventually catch up to Gesink with 400m to go. Evenepoel unleashes his raw power to take his second stage win in La Vuelta and tighten his grip on the red jersey with three days to go to Madrid.

# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 18 Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner, overall leader and Best young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I am very happy with this victory, it’s another great achievement in my life to win a mountain stage in a Grand Tour. It’s an important success for my confidence and for the morale of the team, but also because it showed that I have good legs going into the last days of the race. It was a hard stage, with lots of attacks that came early, but we remained calm. If there’s one thing I have learned these past couple of weeks it’s to remain calm. The Vuelta finishes only in Madrid, so I’m not thinking of the overall win at the moment. What I can say is that we will keep fighting and we’ll try to keep the jersey. We’ve had a successful race so far and we’ll do our best to carry red to Madrid.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Enric Mas (Movistar): “It wasn’t really a climb for me, but the feeling was very good today. A few months ago I had a lot of trouble descending during the Tour, but it went pretty well today, so that’s very positive for me. The team worked hard, so I had to try it. I have to congratulate Remco on his stage win, he is very strong. I do think it’s a shame for Gesink that he couldn’t finish it. Anything can happen in the Sierra de Guadarrama on Saturday. The confidence that today’s stage gives me encourages me to keep going. I hope to win another stage, and maybe the classification. I will fight to the end.”

4th on the stage and 10th overall, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “Sergio, Matteo and Danny did a good job to all get into the large break. Meanwhile, back in the peloton, the rest of the guys looked after me very well. On the penultimate climb, there was a really solid tempo and we went full gas over the top with a reduced GC group. The final climb was incredibly hectic but our riders who were in the break did a good job to support me when they fell back. From that point, I just tried to follow the GC guys and in the end I was fourth. It’s not too bad, but hopefully I can try again, as I’m feeling better and better day by day.”

7th on the stage and 8th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I’m not really happy with my result today. I managed the final badly and I may have missed out on the victory. I really wanted to win. I was hoping for the last climb to be fast but it was purely tactical and I wasted too many bullets unnecessarily. I should have waited because I felt very strong and it could have worked. Joao Almeida’s attack didn’t bother us but it made the race fun. I prefer when it’s chaotic like today. The other stages of this Vuelta have not been hard enough for me. There are two days left to do better.”

11th overall and 14th on the stage, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The GC contenders made use of the interesting course to start the battle exceptionally early. I felt good, I did what I could to follow the best climbers in the peloton as long as possible. Despite the long battle, not much has changed in the general classification. I’m looking forward to the next stages. Today was the first of three hard days in a row, with Talavera de la Reina on Friday and Puerto de Navacerrada on Saturday. I’m ready!”

KOM, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “In the Tour, it was different, I really wanted to wear [the mountain jersey]. Here it was a bit of a bad race situation, because the leader of the mountain crashed and so did my teammate Carlos [Rodriguez]. The truth is that at first I wasn’t going to fight for the KOM, we were a lot of points behind and it didn’t make sense to fight for that. Also, it has been difficult. Maybe you don’t want to take it like that, like it was today. I just hope Vine recovers soon. In the end, we saw that we couldn’t make it and the team told me to stop and to help Carlos, because he was losing 20 seconds. I have tried to help him as much as I could, I think Carlos had a very bad time today. Now we have a jersey and I think it will be nice to wear it to Madrid. If I can take it home, much better!”

Break rider, Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën): “The goal was for Nans (Peters) or me to get into the breakaway today and it worked out for both of us. The organization among the riders was difficult with so many. The overall favorites in the end caught the break, but we were able to work as a relay for Ben (O’Connor) who was very strong today. We will have to try again the next two days in order to play for the stage victory or to help Ben.”

Vuelta a España Stage 18 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:45:17
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:02
3. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:13
5. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën
8. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan
10. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 18:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 69:59:12
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:07
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 5:14
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:56
5. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 6:49
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 7:14
7. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 8:09
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 9:34
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 9:56
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 12:03.

Vuelta’22 stage 18:

 

Attackers eyed Stage 19 of La Vuelta 22 as one of their last opportunities to shine… But Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) had different plans and he successfully executed them with a powerful sprint in Talavera de la Reina, after 138.3km of racing covered at a high speed over the two climbs of the day. On the day after he secured the green jersey, the Danish star put more emphasis on his dominance in the sprints, claiming his third victory ahead of Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) and Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin Deceuninck). Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) safely went through the stage to retain La Roja ahead of the final big showdown in the mountains.

In between the last two high finishes of la Vuelta (on Thursday at Alto de Piornal and on Saturday at Puerto de Navacerrada), the peloton face a tricky route around Talavera de la Reina, with two ascents of the Puerto del Pielago (Cat.2) before a finish on the flat.

As the riders face one of the last opportunities to battle for a stage win, the attackers launched another all out battle from the start. Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-EasyPost), Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) and Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH) had a gap of 12 seconds after 10km. Many more riders wanted to make the break and the battle kept going onto the first climb of the day (summit at 30.3km). Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange) set off in pursuit while the gap went up to 2:40. Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma) and Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Mikel Bizkarra and Ibai Azurmendi also attacked.

Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo reacted and set a strong pace. On the climb, the gap droped from a maximum of 4:25 to 3:45. The chasers were caught in the valley. And the gap was down to under 1 minute when the race began the second climb of the Puerto del Pielago (summit at 96.1km). Fred Wright’s Bahrain Victorious set the pace with Mikel Landa and Gino Mäder on the climb. Caicedo, McNulty and Okamika were reeled in with 49km to go. Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) controlled the race all the way to Talavera de la Reina. Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ) tried to emulate Anthony Roux’s success from 2009 in the same place, attacking with 1km to go. But there was no preventing Pedersen from another triumph.

# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 19 Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “After a team effort like today it’s really, really nice to give the boys a victory. I think this was, by far, the hardest victory for the whole team, so it’s a good feeling. I am really thankful for the boys today because without them there was no chance I could sprint at the end. Our plan was to let a small break go and control it from the beginning. But it was a pretty strong break and it was not easy to control so the whole team had to be used in the right moments. It was definitely hard to control but man the team was so, so impressive. Everyone was so dedicated and working really hard. When the three guys went and one was McNulty it’s not an easy break, so we worked to close them as fast as possible. The strategy was to close the gap on the last climb and then hopefully it would be a small peloton. Luckily the boys were able to do that, and then Bahrain did a really good pace on the climb for Fred Wright, and from there on, it was about staying focused all the way to the finish. I had Kenny pulling alone for really long, and Julien and Antonio did a such a good lead-out when you take into account they never do lead-outs. Really, really impressive; they did super in the last kilometre. It’s never easy in a finale like this because there are a lot of strong guys in the bunch, and if one of them attacks in the roundabout I would be the one to close it, and then it would be hard to sprint so I was really happy for the speed the boys could keep in the end. When Miles Scotson attacked I still had Antonio Tiberi in front of me. Antonio looks skinny but he’s a powerful little guy so I was pretty sure that he could keep him within a distance that I could still pass Miles in the sprint. Three wins is more than we came here for so that of course is super super nice. Tomorrow we just have to finish the day and then see in Madrid how it goes, but no matter what I think we can be happy with these three weeks in Spain.”

Overall leader and Best Young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “The start was fast, but things calmed down once a breakaway formed and then the second lap was quite relaxed. I expect things to be quite different on Saturday, we have a hard stage scheduled and there’s a possibility to see many attacks launched by my opponents from the start. We remain confident and hope to do a good stage.”

2nd on the stage, Fred Wright (Bahrain-Victorious): “I was so close again to that stage win but Mads was just too quick. The team were amazing in supporting me today. I owe this result to all of them.” On Primoz Roglič accusing him of causing his crash in the Vuelta: “I don’t think the statement is fair to be honest, as the footage shows it was a simple racing incident, but I also appreciate that Primoz was challenging for the red jersey here at La Vuelta. And of course I did send him a private message after the stage to see if he was ok.”

6th on the stage, Jonas Koch (BORA-hansgrohe): “The main goal was, of course, for Jai to maintain his top-10 overall, and we supported him accordingly. After surviving the two climbs, I then received the green light for the sprint. I have to say the guys supported me really well in preparation for that, and in the end I finished sixth. I would have liked to take a bit more there, but in the end I’ll also gladly take sixth place as well.”

KOM, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was quite a fast day. When we caught the break, I knew there were 5 KOM points up for grabs so I took them because tomorrow is gonna be an important day. I think tomorrow will be a very crazy day. There are many things at play and in our case there is the KOM. Now that we have the jersey and I can defend it, so I will try to do it, to take most of the points and to keep it until Madrid. Today hasn’t been such a good day for [Carlos Rodriguez]. He suffered a lot at the beginning and the heat also made it a tough day. I think he went through the day and we’ll see how he gets up tomorrow.”

Vuelta a España Stage 19 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:19:11
2. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious
3. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
4. Ben Turner (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Jonas Koch (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech
8. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan
10. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 19:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 73:18:23
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:07
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 5:14
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:56
5. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 6:49
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 7:14
7. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 8:09
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 9:34
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 9:56
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 12:03.

Vuelta’22 stage 19:

 

Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) and Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) are the two main winners after a gruelling showdown on Stage 20 of la Vuelta. The Ecuadorian climber attacked early in the stage to chase his third stage victory a few seconds ahead of the GC contenders, after an all out battle over the summits of the Sierra de Guadarrama. The young Belgian star responded to every attack to retain the overall lead on the eve of the final stage. His tears after he crossed the line showed the magnitude of this moment for him and for Belgians, 44 years after their last victory in a Grand Tour (Johan De Muynck in the Giro 1978).

The final showdown of the 2022 Vuelta took the riders into the Sierra de Guadarrama with five major climbs adding up to 3,840m of climbing on the way to Puerto de Navacerrada. The 134 finishers of stage 19 start from Moralzarzal to face iconic climbs that saw Fabio Aru beat Tom Dumoulin in 2015.

The last uphill challenges inspire attackers on the eve of the final stage in Madrid. Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citroën), Ruben Fernandez (Cofidis), Xandro Meurisse, Robert Stannard (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Dani Navarro (Burgos-BH), Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Simon Guglielmi (Arkea Samsic) are the first riders to really make the break, after 11km of battles. Remco Evenepoel’s Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl are willing to let them go but an all out battle is launched on the cat-1 Puerto de Navacerrada, 25km into the stage. At the summit, Fernandez, Meurisse, Stannard, Navarro and Guglielmi were 40 seconds ahead of a chase group led by Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers). Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) were also on the move. A couple of days after his crash, Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers) was dropped. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) bridged the gap to the front of the race on the following descent. Into the valley, the Spaniard kept pushing with Stannard while the rest of the leaders dropped back to a chase group with 24 riders. The peloton let the gap increase to 6 minutes.

BORA-hansgrohe reacted as Louis Meintjes threatened Jai Hindley’s position in the top 10. On the next climb, the cat-2 Puerto de Navafria (summit at 92.8km), Thibaut Pinot sets off in pursuit. Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) and Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar) joined him. They reached the front of the race with 68km to go. The chase group trailed by 1:10 and the peloton by 5 minutes. The attackers got together on the Cat.2 Puerto de Canencia (126.8km). On the penultimate ascent of the 2022 Vuelta, the Cat.1 Puerto de la Morcuera (143.7km), three riders got away at the front: Carapaz, Meintjes and Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe). Movistar up the ante and Enric Mas attacked inside the last 4km of the climb, but his GC rivals responded. The leading trio faced the final climb, the Cat.1 Puerto de Cotos (174.3km), with a gap of 45 seconds to a 7-man chase group with Valverde. Soler pulled the GC group with a gap of 1:25. Carapaz and Higuita set off 9km from the summit. Miguel Angel López (Astana Qazaqstan) is the most aggressive rider from the GC group, but Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) defended his podium place. Carapaz attacked just ahead of the summit. He drops Higuita and eventually holds off Thymen Arensman (DSM) by 8 seconds. The GC contenders finish together, except for Rodriguez, and Evenepoel all but seals the overall victory.

# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 20 Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner and KOM, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “Yes [it’s the best of the three victories]. I was targeting this day, I knew it was very important. We knew it was a super hard stage because there were so many things at play, especially in the GC. I rode my way, being smart, making my moves when I had to. Then I enjoyed a lot of support from the breakaway riders, it was very important for me, and in the end I knew I could attack in the finale and win here. The truth is I’m very moved, it’s a very nice victory for me. Above all, I think it shows the type of rider I am. To fight for the KOM was one of the goals. At the start, without going crazy, I went in the splits, I tried to be up there. Then we knew it was a very hard stage and riders were losing ground. For me, it’s spectacular to be able to win a stage with this jersey which means a lot to me. I’m very moved. Today I saw a lot of Ecuadorians cheering for me on the roads. I hope they enjoyed the race.”

Overall leader, Best Young Rider and 6th on the stage, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I don’t know what’s going through my head and body at the moment. The only thing I know is that I am happy. Happy that a dream came true and that I proved what I am capable of. Happy that I am the first to win a Grand Tour for Patrick and happy I did it in this fantastic team. I didn’t sleep too much last night, and this morning, before the start, I was quite stressed, but during the race I felt better and was relaxed, having confidence in myself and the Wolfpack. I knew that all I had to do was control and follow my opponents, and everything ran smoothly, just as we wanted. This is the biggest victory, the biggest moment of my career, and it feels incredible. It’s for my parents, my fiancée, my teammates. It’s the result of many weeks and months of hard work and sacrifices and always believing in yourself. I love racing in Spain, I have had success here since my first pro season and to win La Vuelta is a dream. It wasn’t easy, I had some stiff opposition, but I did it and I can’t tell you how much this means for me.”

2nd overall and 5th on the stage, Enric Mas (Movistar): “We made it a beautiful Vuelta. It was very tough, it was a long day. We should be happy. We tried, but we didn’t gain much time in the mountain stages. We still have to train for the time trial. I didn’t lose much time in the mountain stages. I’m very happy with the team. We turned it into a beautiful Vuelta. It is now the third time that I am second in the Vuelta, but this is a special one for me because I have had a difficult period. I want to thank everyone who believed in me, especially the team.”

2nd on the stage and 6th overall, Thymen Arensman (DSM): “We knew it would be a really hard day but the whole team was prepared for it. We made sure in the beginning that a dangerous break didn’t get away. On the first climb it was a really hard pace but Marco and Joris did a really good job. I felt pretty good already on that first climb, I was always in control and not suffering – and I knew I had good legs. During the stage we sat together well and the guys made sure that I had everything I needed. When the second last climb came we knew that the race would explode. It felt really good when Mas made his attack and only Evenepoel followed and then I was the only other one who could quickly get in the wheel – that gave me more confidence. Over the top we were in a small group and of course I went hard but I felt like I still had something left, and then it came back together. UAE then set a nice pace on the last climb and Rodriguez dropped. I asked Matt in the car what the gap was when we were on the plateau, and I just went for it on a little kicker. I went full gas in the last four kilometres and in the end it was enough to take second on the stage and overtake Rodriguez on the GC. To take sixth on GC is a really nice achievement and we’ll make sure to try and hold onto that tomorrow.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s incredible, I cannot believe it. I took this Vuelta on day by day without any huge expectation and just focusing on getting through it and doing my best. To finish on the podium is something incredible and now it’s time to enjoy it with my team, family and friends. We tried to go for the stage again today but just fell short, though Joao managed to gain time to move up also so all things considered we are very pleased as a squad.”

7th on the stage, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I have no regrets, I’m proud on the way I raced today. I gave the best of myself one last time. Because of the time gaps and the lack of collaboration from several riders in my group, the return of the favorites was unavoidable. But I’m very happy about my Vuelta and my stage victory on Les Praeres. Once we arrive in Madrid, I will be able to enjoy some rest.”

10th on the stage, Sergio Higuita (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a really hard day today, but we knew it wouldn’t be easy. There were some pretty strong riders in the break, so it was a good group, and I was pleased to have made it into that group. When Meintjes attacked, I tried to follow him along with Carapaz. I stayed with him on the final climb, and we worked together to build up our advantage. When he attacked, I again tried to follow, but he was just too strong. When the GC group caught up, I tried to support Jai to get a good result in the sprint and also to maintain his top 10 in the GC. Honestly, I felt good today, compared to previous days at this Vuelta, so that is a good sign, and I’m pleased with my ride.”

Vuelta a España Stage 20 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:41:34
2. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:08
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:13
4. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar
6. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:15
7. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan
9. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:17
10. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:32.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 20:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 78:00:12
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:05
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 5:08
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:56
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 7:16
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 7:56
7. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:57
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 10:30
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 11:04
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 12:01.

Vuelta’22 stage 20:

 

Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) claimed a surprise victory in Madrid on the Final Stage 21, edging Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and his sprinter teammate Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates). Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) went safely through the stage to win the 2022 Vuelta, his first Grand Tour victory, at 22 years old, a few months after winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège, his first Monument. The last Belgian success in a Grand Tour dates back to 1978. Enric Mas (Movistar) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) joined him on the podium. The peloton also honoured Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) in their last Grand Tour stage.

The final stage of la Vuelta’22 takes the riders from Las Rozas to Madrid, where the winners will be crowned on the iconic circuit around the Spanish capital, the 2022 World Capital of Sport. The 134 finishers from stage 20 started on Sunday afternoon.

Following tradition, the first part of the stage was dedicated to celebrating the heroes of the race. Remco Evenepoel, set to become the youngest winner of La Vuelta since Angelino Soler in 1961, takes a picture with his Wolfpack, wearing a special jersey for the occasion with a red band featuring the names of his companions for this successful ride from the Netherlands: Julian, Rémi, Dries, Fausto, Pieter, Ilan and Louis. The peloton also pays tribute to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan), two icons of cycling in the 21st century, who are riding their last Grand Tour. The Spaniard is the first rider to cross the line after the peloton let him share his moment with the crowds. The riders then faced nine laps of 5.8km.

Luke Plapp (INEOS Grenadiers) and Julius Johansen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) opened a gap of 10 seconds with 43km to go. Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi) tried to join them at the front but he is quickly caught by the peloton, led by Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo, Tim Merlier’s Alpecin-Deceuninck, Kaden Groves’ BikeExchange-Jayco and Danny van Poppel’s BORA-hansgrohe. With 5 laps to go, the two leaders had 20 seconds. The gap remains stable into the last 10km. And Plapp and Johansen resist until UAE Team Emirates launch an impressive lead-out train inside the last kilometre. In the end, Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) took victory ahead of Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and his leader Pascal Ackermann.

# You can see more race photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 21 Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m still processing this victory, I’m so happy. The goal was to go for the sprint with Ackermann. I had really goos legs today. I jumped with 300m and I saw that Pedersen was coming so I knew I had to keep the speed up to stay in front or so that Pascal could come around the other side. I had to keep pushing. It’s the end of a beautiful Vuelta for all of us in the team. I’d like to dedicate this victory to my mother and my family.”

Final overall winner and Best Young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “The emotions are still high. I can’t describe what it means to take my first Grand Tour and to be on the podium together with my outstanding teammates, it’s something really special that I will never forget. I worked hard for this, I made a lot of sacrifices and I’m happy it all paid off here in Spain. I’m proud to see the support of those at home, I’m thankful for that, as I am for the fantastic support I have continuously received the entire time from my team and my family. I’m happy to be part of this superb team and overwhelmed with what I achieved.”

2nd overall, Enric Mas (Movistar): “First of all, I’d like to thank all people who have been by my side in challenging times like the ones I went through over the last few months. The people who have worked with me to fix them, my wife, my family, the whole team and all fans who were there at all times. As I said yesterday, coming from the place we came 45 days ago, making the La Vuelta podium is something so beautiful for me and the whole Movistar Team. We always went day-by-day, with serenity, tackling one stage at a time. Actually, the only day I had fully tackled and put my eyes on beforehand was the final mountain stage in the Sierra de Guadarrama, where we didn’t, sadly, have the legs to try it. But this is cycling for you – sometimes you do well, sometimes you don’t. Happily, in this Vuelta things turned out pretty well, and I can only be thankful for that. Tirreno, Itzulia, Dauphiné, TDF – every single one of them had brought crashes or setbacks, and finishing my stage race season like this is so exciting, and gives me hope for the future.”

3rd overall, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s a dream to be on the podium in this my first Vuelta a España. I came in at the start taking it day by day and gaining experience, not really knowing what my limits were and I’m thrilled I could do this result with this great group of guys. We raced really well for the whole three weeks and finished it off well today with Molano was the icing on the cake. It was perfect.”

8th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “Finishing 8th in the Vuelta a Espana makes me proud. This is my second top-10 at a grand tour in two years and it shows the consistency in my results. I think I will finish where I deserve to be. I had a difficult first week and then started to feel better. The twentieth stage yesterday was not easy for me either; I completely exploded but I managed to keep my place and I am happy about that. These are good efforts and a new experience that I can learn from for the rest of my career.”

10th overall, Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe): “I think we can be pleased with our performance at this Vuelta. We had two stage wins with Sam, and almost every day we raced competitively for good results. We also took a few podium places and consistently tried to mix things up on the stages. In terms of the general classification, I think it wasn’t my very best race. However, I’m still happy to take a top 10 finish overall. It’s honestly been pretty tough to ride for GC at two Grand Tours in one season. However, in the team there was always a good atmosphere, and the guys worked well together in pursuit of our goals, and I actually enjoyed the past three weeks of racing.”

5th on the stage, Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe): “We had big ambitions on the sprint stages and with two wins from Sam we also fulfilled these goals. But unfortunately he had to leave the race, and so when that happened, I received the chance on the remaining sprint stages. I was close a couple of times, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough for a win. Nevertheless, I think I can be satisfied with my performance.”

Points winner, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “Again today my team did a really really good work. We had a really good position in the last corner. We hoped that the bunch would do kind of a stop and go, so we could come a bit from behind. UAE did it really perfect and managed to have almost the whole team in the last corner. They did like a Pro Cycling Manager sprint, so big congrats to them. Then, I just didn’t have the legs to past. I’m just super super happy for this Vuelta, it was above all the expectations we came here with. To have the green jersey here and three wins is really special. I’m really thankful for the whole team to keep fighting. I think we showed that a team with different types of riders can fight for sprints. Everyone was digging so deep every day.”

KOM, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “Until the last day it has been a hard fought Vuelta, we were still flying on the circuit. The truth is we leave very happy: a jersey, three stages, nothing bad for me! I’m very happy after such a special and different Vuelta. It makes you want to return and to repeat it. Here in La Vuelta, the best win was yesterday’s [stage 20]. It has been incredible, for real. I was able to manage my effort and to finish alone with the king of the mountains jersey, it was spectacular.”

Most Combative Rider, Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates): “I never thought about being the most combative rider, I just did my race. I’ve tried to give the most in every stage, both to help the team and for myself. In the end, it’s a prize I’m very happy to get and I can only celebrate it. I think the team has been racing at a very high level: the podium with Juan [Ayuso], the team standings, two stage wins… I think we can be very happy. To be on the podium at 19 years old in a Grand Tour is very important. Let’s keep working and the best shall come.”

Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m proud that I tried everything until the last moment to finish in the top ten of the general classification of this Vuelta. Just like in the Tour de France, I participated to the GC battle in an offensive way, by going into breakaways. This resulted in a second place on Alpe d’Huez in July and a victory on Les Praeres two weeks ago, among others. Until now I’ve been in race mode, even today I made serious efforts to stay concentrated. I’m looking forward to a well deserved rest period now. In the next days I’ll probably fully realise what I achieved. Not only in this Vuelta, because there have been so many nice moments this season!”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It’s been a Vuelta full of emotions for me. It’s not a day’s emotion like the one you feel with a victory, which is more an instantaneous thing, an explosion, but a long-standing emotion which I’ve been enjoying every day, so, so much. I want to thank everybody for their support over the last three weeks, and La Vuelta, for everything that it’s given to me. I will surely come back, even if not as a rider. I’m going to enjoy so much with everything I’ve received and achieved, and I’ll support the team to the fullest. However, there’s still some races left in the season and my career. I’ll be competing in Italy during the month of October, planning to end at Il Lombardia.”

Vuelta a España Stage 21 Result:
1. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 2:26:36
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
7. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain-Victorious
8. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck
9. Ben Turner (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Cedric Beullens (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Vuelta a España Final Overall Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 80:26:59
2. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:02
3. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 4:57
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 5:56
5. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 7:24
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 7:45
7. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:57
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 10:30
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 11:04
10. Jai Hindley (Aus) BORA-hansgrohe at 12:01.

Vuelta’22 stage 21:

 


Tour of Britain 2022
Belgian rider Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) sprinted to the biggest victory of his career on Stage 5 of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on Thursday. Meeus edged out Stanisław Aniolkowski (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) as home favourite Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) placed third to gain 4 seconds on race leader Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar). Pidcock, second overall, now sits 3 seconds back on Serrano and is also wearer of the Dodl by AJ Bell points jersey, with teammate Omar Fraile in third at 7 seconds in arrears.

24-year-old Meeus from Lommel in Belgium followed up on his fifth place in Sunderland on stage three on Tuesday by taking the win as the bunch picked up the last rider of the day’s breakaway – Ribble Weldtite’s Zeb Kyffin – on the outskirts of Mansfield. As both the last standing member of the breakaway, and the man who had initiated it four hours previously, Kyffin was rewarded with the day’s Adyen Combativity Award while both Matt Teggart (Wiv SunGod) and Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) kept their Sportsbreaks.com Sprints and ŠKODA King of the Mountains jerseys following stage five. Movistar’s Serrano keeps the red AJ Bell leader’s jersey for a second stage coming home safely within the bunch in 21st position.

Stage winner, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “First of all I have to thank all my teammates. They were committed 100% today and it’s special to feel this kind of spirit. We hit the front at the right moment and also knew we had to take the last corner outside because of the barriers. I still had good legs in the end and could move in the bunch without taking too much risk. The sprint was perfect, also the timing was right. It is a wonderful feeling to be back on top of the podium after all the setbacks I had so far this season.”

Final overall winner, Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar): “I am very happy. The Tour of Britain is a very good race. There’s a lot of people in the streets, and today it was incredible. I am very happy with these three days. I don’t know if it is possible to win overall, but it’s okay. Today was a busy day, a breakaway in the first kilometres of the stage and I think today is very good for us.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Thomas Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a successful day – that that was what we planned at the start of the day. We controlled the break, wanted to make sure there was nothing dangerous happening there, do a good lead out and try to get some bonus seconds and that is what we did. I don’t think I’m quick enough to win a bunch sprint but getting some bonus seconds is exactly what we wanted to do. We did a good lead out. We were quite far forward in the end but it was a hectic finish. Small teams, no one really taking it up, no one having a full team here just for the lead out, so it was hectic, not much control. I followed quite well, and just beat Sam [Watson] on the line. Three seconds is a lot of time bonuses on the road. Of course, that’s what the goal is. I think I really messed up on the first day, that is probably what stage I could have done better on.”

Following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, the organisers of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain
confirmed that stages six, seven and eight will not take place. This decision has been taken in consultation with stakeholders and partners in light of operational circumstances, including the understandable reassignment of police resource at this time. Therefore, the final standings will be taken following the conclusion of stage five on Thursday 8 September. The winner of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain 2022 will be Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar). Additionally, the respective classification leaders – Tom Pidcock (Dodl by AJ Bell points), Mathijs Paasschens (ŠKODA King of the Mountains) and Matthew Teggart (Sportsbreaks.com Sprints) – will also be declared the winners of those competitions. The Tour of Britain organisation, alongside the teams, riders and officials involved in the event, send their deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this sad time.

Tour of Britain Stage 5 Result:
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:21:46
2. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
3. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Samuel Watson (GB) Great Britain
5. Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Nicolò Parisini (Ita) Team Qhubeka
7. Martin Marcellusi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
8. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech
10. Jim Brown (GB) WiV SunGod.

Tour of Britain Final Overall Result:
1. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar in 20:53:01
2. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:03
3. Omar Fraile (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:07
4. Benjamin Perry (Can) WiV SunGod
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:10
6. Corbin Strong (NZ) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:14
7. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 0:17
8. Jake Stewart (GB) Great Britain at 0:22
9. Alessandro Iacchi (Ita) Team Qhubeka at 0:24
10. Magnus Sheffield (USA) INEOS Grenadiers.

 


Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta 2022
Annemiek van Vleuten took a double in the Ceratizit Challenge, the Vuelta a España for women. The Movistar leader was by far the best on the second stage, the Queen stage of 105.9 kilometres around Colindres. Van Vleuten attacked solo for 28 kilometres and took over the leader’s jersey from Elisa Longo Borghini.

In the opening kilometres there were attacks from Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer and Maaike Coljé, but they didn’t get away. Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) and Sarah Roy (Canyon//SRAM) managed to do that. They stayed away to cross the Alto Fuente Las Varas, the Alto Cruz de Usaño and the Campo Loyal.

Overall leader Elisa Longo Borghini crashed, but she was able to return in time for the last two climbs of the day; the Fuente las Varas (6km at 6.2%) and Campo la Cruz (3.2km at 8%). On that first final climb, Annemiek van Vleuten made an attack. Demi Vollering and Elisa Longo Borghini were able to hold her wheel, but 3 kilometres from the top they were unable to follow another attack from Van Vleuten. The Movistar leader had to take back 25 seconds on Longo Borghini after the team time trial, she soon had it back.

At the top of Fuente las Varas, Van Vleuten was 45 seconds ahead of Vollering and 1:05 ahead of Longo Borghini and Liane Lippert. On the descent, the pursuers came together, only to lose time again on Van Vleuten on the Campo la Cruz. The top favourite extended her lead to 2 minutes and went on to the finish in Colindres. Van Vleuten rode to the stage win and the lead on the general classification. Behind her, the co-operation was not good, because Longo Borghini rode away from Vollering and Lippert. They came together again in the difficult final towards Colindres and had to limit the damage. In the end Longo Borghini crossed the finish line at 2:16 minutes behind Van Vleuten, ahead of Lippert and Vollering. The first group behind followed at 2:50.

Stage winner and overall leader, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “But it was really good teamwork and that makes it extra special. We made it difficult on the third climb and set up the attack together. It was a short stage, so I know it has to be tough. I really needed the team for that. We decided together to do that from the third climb. So everyone was already suffering before I attacked. I had no idea after the Tour. I took some time off and then started training again. I have also just returned from an altitude training period. It is also only the second day of the Vuelta. That’s different from the Tour, when I made my attack on the seventh day. Now everyone is still fresh. This was the toughest stage, but it’s not over to Madrid yet. In the fourth stage, the wind can still play a role, for example.”

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 2 Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten Movistar in 2:56:30
2. Elisa Longo Borghini Trek-Segafredo at 2:16
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
4. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 2:50
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
7. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
8. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM
9. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM
10. Anna Shackley (GB) SD Worx.

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 2:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 3:20:16
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:55
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 2:24
4. Ane Santesteban (Spa) BikeExchange-Jayco at 2:41
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 2:46
7. Anna Shackley (GB) SD Worx at 2:58
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 3:19
9. Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 3:32
10. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM at 3:34.

 

Grace Brown won Stage 3 of the Ceratizit Challenge. The Australian rider of FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope beat Elise Chabbey in a sprint. Elisa Balsamo was third. Annemiek van Vleuten finished in the group of favourites and remains the leader on the general classification.

On Friday’s short stage, 96.4 kilometres, there were two climbs on the menu. The Alto de Hijas (3.7km at 7.5%), a third category climb, and the Alto Hoces de Bárcena (18.7km at 3.2%), a second category climb. We had to wait for the Alto de Hijas for the first attack.

Aude Biannic (Movistar), Sandra Alonso, Laure Asencio (both Ceratizit-WNT), Caroline Andersson (Coop-Hitec Products) and Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health) tried, but didn’t get away. On the long Alto Hoces de Bárcena, there were attacks by Lucinda Brand, Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Mavi García, but they also got nowhere. Demi Vollering then led the pack, following sprinter Lotte Kopecky. After Vollering’s long turn, leader Annemiek van Vleuten wanted to surprise her compatriot. Vollering, however, still had some left in the tank and was able to follow Van Vleuten. After the top of the Alto Hoces de Bárcena it was still a good 30 kilometres to the finish in Aguilar de Campoo. There was no more climbs in those last kilometres, but it was also not flat either. World champion Elisa Balsamo, one of the fastest riders in the peloton, was just able to hold on, on the climb, making the Italian one of the favourites for the victory on day three. In the kilometres after the Alto Hoces de Bárcena there was no organisation in the peloton. Grace Brown took advantage of that and attacked. The Australian immediately took a gap. Amber Kraak went on the counter-attack. The Dutch rider of Jumbo-Visma had to pull out all the stops to get to the wheel of Brown.

The moment Brown and Kraak had a lead of 30 seconds, SD Worx took the lead for the first time. With three riders in support of Kopecky, they tried to catch the duo again. At 19 kilometres from the finish, Brown and Kraak were caught again by Vollering’s fast pace. A number of fast riders, such as Kopecky and Balsamo, had to let go, which was the signal for Van Vleuten to go. The red jersey wearer was dominant and tried to keep the chasing group at a distance, but there were new attacks. Brown and Elise Chabbey chose the right moment and rode off together. Behind; the collaboration was bad, the group with Kopecky and Balsamo could take advantage of this and rejoined. SD Worx then started the pursuit. However, Brown and Chabbey had a nice lead, with 5 kilometres to go 30 seconds ahead of the thinned peloton. The duo continued to work well together and were able to sprint for victory. It was Brown who started the sprint first. Chabbey came up to her, but it was too late. Balsamo won the sprint for third place, ahead of Kopecky. Van Vleuten finished 10th and remains the leader in the general classification.

Stage winner, Grace Brown (FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope): “This stage suited me. Racing aggressively is what I like to do and I’m good at it. I tried a lot to get away, the last time was the right one. Tomorrow is also a beautiful day. It will go up and down all day, making it a long and hard day.”

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 3 Result:
1. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope in 2:28:37
2. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM
3. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:08
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx
5. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Movistar
6. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
7. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
8. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar.

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 3:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 5:49:01
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:55
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 2:24
4. Ane Santesteban (Spa) BikeExchange-Jayco at 2:41
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 2:46
7. Anna Shackley (GB) SD Worx at 2:58
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 3:19
9. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM at 3:20
10. Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 3:32.

 

Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) won the Fourth Stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. The Italian narrowly beat Demi Vollering (SD Worx). But the stage was mainly coloured by Anna Kiesenhofer’s long solo.

Anna Kiesenhofer (Soltec) felt like having a solo ride again. The Austrian braced himself at kilometre 1 of 160 and went out on her own. In the women’s peloton they should know since the Olympic road race that Kiesenhofer is ‘no ordinary’ rider and you better not give her too much space.

But Kiesenhofer was given space. In no time she had 5 minutes and with 60 kilometres to go, Kiesenhofer had a 10 minute lead. Movistar kept control in the peloton, but chasing really hard didn’t work. In the second half of the stage Kiesenhofer started to tire. The final was also a lot more hilly and that hurt the Austrian. Uphill, her speed sometimes didn’t even exceed 10kph. Her lead of 5 minutes at 20 kilometres from the finish quickly dwindled.

In the peloton, Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) attacked. And on the gravel sections in the last 10 kilometres, Brodie Chapman (FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope) also tried to get away. But under the impulse of SD Worx and Movistar, everything came together again. Kiesenhofer was caught just before the last kilometre. Overall leader, Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar), started a long sprint, but Silvia Persico had better timing. She narrowly held off the fast Demi Vollering. For Persico it is her third win of the season.

Stage winner, Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service): “This is the pinnacle of an incredible year. I didn’t really feel good at the beginning, but my teammates kept motivating me to go for it. It’s my last race with them, so I’m really happy I could finish it for them. Luckily it didn’t go so fast in the beginning. But that allowed Anna Kiesenhofer to take a big lead. Chapeau to her. Chiara Consonni and Karolina Kumiega are the sprinters of the team. I hope we can end this season with an extra win for the team.”

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 4 Result:
1. Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service in 4:11:01
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
6. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
7. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 0:04
8. Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
9. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 0:11
10. Mavi García (Spa) UAE Team ADQ at 0:13.

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 4:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 10:00:02
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:51
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 2:18
4. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 2:41
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 2:50
6. Ane Santesteban (Spa) BikeExchange-Jayco at 3:03
7. Anna Shackley (GB) SD Worx at 3:14
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 3:35
9. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM at 3:36
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 3:45.

 

The Final Stage 5 of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta was won by Elisa Balsamo. The Trek-Segafredo World champion turned out to be by far the fastest in the final sprint in the centre of Madrid, ahead of Lotte Kopecky. Annemiek van Vleuten had no problems, and took the overall win following her Giro and Tour wins.

In Madrid the riders had to complete almost 100 kilometres of circuits of Madrid to conclude this Ceratizit Challenge. A sprint was always expected. The main obstacles in the final stage was the possibility of crashes on the tight bends.

With Annemiek van Vleuten in the leader’s jersey, the peloton started around noon for the final stage. After the first skirmishes, four riders managed to build a promising lead. Karlijn Achtereekte (Jumbo-Visma), Sara Poidevin (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Sandra Alonso (Ceratizit-WNT) and Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health) joined forces. The peloton let them go, but didn’t let the lead get too high.

With 22 kilometers to go, four laps from the end, the four leaders still defended a lead of 30 seconds. Not much later, there was a crash in the bunch including Maria Giulia Confalonieri, but the fallen riders were able to continue. It was a matter of waiting for the regrouping in the last 10 kilometers. In preparation for the sprint, several teams tried to put their trains on the front. Marlen Reusser took the lead with 4 kilometres to go and the Swiss time trialist from SD Worx rode at a high pace for her sprinter Lotte Kopecky. Movistar had other plans and took command when entering the last 3 kilometres. The Spanish team hoped to get a result with their sprinter Emma Norsgaard.

SD Worx had better timing and took over in the last kilometre, Demi Vollering took the lead just a little too early in the sprint train. Trek-Segafredo took advantage, Elisa Longo Borghini jumped and took a few meters. For a moment, the Italian seemed on her way to a surprising victory, but the finish was a bit too far and her teammate Balsamo had yet to start her sprint. The World champion took off at the right time to take her tenth win of the season. Kopecky was second at several bike lengths, Marta Bastianelli was third. Van Vleuten crossed the finish line safely in the peloton to add the Spanish race to her Giro d’Italia Donne and the Tour de France Femmes.

Final overall winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “It’s been such a beautiful race, especially because we completed a great team effort all week. The first two days were really nice. To start off with a team time trial, a real time effort; also, the second day was a real team effort, the girls set it off perfectly and it’s nice to win that way, to do it together. Yesterday, on the fourth stage, to defend the jersey with my team-mates, who did so well to close such a big gap against Anna Kiesenhofer — it’s something you cannot do alone. Personally, I’m super happy with the second day around Colindres. You come to a race like this insecure, after five weeks with no competition, no racing against my main competitors. The legs I had there are a good confirmation heading into the World Championships, and further proof that I’m being able to carry on with my Tour de France shape.”

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 5 Result:
1. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 2:21:37
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx
3. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
4. Megan Jastrab (USA) DSM
5. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
6. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
7. Tereza Neumanova CZ) Liv Racing Xstra
8. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Julie Leth (Den) Uno-X
10. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope.

Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta Final Overall Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 12:21:46
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:44
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 2:11
4. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 2:34
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-SUEZ-Futuroscope at 2:43
6. Ane Santesteban (Spa) BikeExchange-Jayco at 3:03
7. Anna Shackley (GB) SD Worx at 3:07
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 3:29
9. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon//SRAM at 3:35
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 3:38.

 


Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2022
The eleventh edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec was won by Benoît Cosnefroy. At the end of 201.6 kilometres of laps through Québec, the Frenchman of AG2R Citroën was the first to cross the finish line, after a successful attack in the final. Michael Matthews and Biniam Girmay joined him on the podium. Wout van Aert finished fourth.

When Michael Matthews raised his hands for the second year in a row in 2019, he didn’t know that it would be Québec’s last Grand Prix until 2022. The race was canceled for two years due to the covid pandemic. The race was on an unchanged city course over 12.6 kilometres with four short, vicious climbs.

After some early skirmishes, a group of five riders managed to get away: Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal), Stan Van Tricht (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Canadian Carson Miles, Hugo Toumire (Cofidis) and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious). The quintet had 4 minutes on the peloton through the Parc de Champs-de-Bataille, along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, past the citadel and the iconic Château Frontenac. Miles picked up the mountain points. Back in the bunch, Jumbo-Visma, BikeExchange-Jayco and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert put men on the front. As expected, Wout van Aert, Michael Matthews, Biniam Girmay and the other favourites kept their powder dry for a long time. It was also no big surprise that Miles was the first to let the leading group go. Just under 60 kilometres from the finish, he was the first to be caught by the peloton. His colleagues would last a little longer, but they also had no chance for the victory. With 41 kilometres to go, Quinn Simmons opened things for Trek-Segafredo. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Andrea Piccolo (EF Education First-EasyPost) went with him. As they crossed towards the leading group, two-time winner Peter Sagan stopped, along with home favourite Hugo Houle.

When the counter-attackers got to the front just under 30 kilometres before the finish, the peloton was not far away. At the start of the penultimate lap, the lead was only 8 seconds. They struggled for a while, but a regrouping was inevitable. David Gaudu was the next to try. His escape didn’t last long, but his attack shattered the front group. Wout van Aert had to make a serious effort to get to the front, as attacks continued. Mikkel Honoré (Quick-Step-Alpa Vinyl), Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), Neilson Powless (EF Education First-EasyPost) got away in the final lap. Storer didn’t want to wait for a sprint and went solo. But alone he proved incapable of surprising the large group. It had to be a sprint on the uphill finish. But Benoît Cosnefroy jumped on one of the climbs 2 kilometres from the finish and his attack was the right one. Christophe Laporte tried to close the gap on him, but failed. Under the 1K banner, things still looked good for Cosnefroy. Despite his fatigue, the Frenchman kept up his effort to the line. Matthews beat Girmay in the battle for second place, while Van Aert just missed the podium.

Race winner, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “It’s incredible! It hasn’t sunk in yet. I had planned to attack exactly there. If that didn’t work out, we had Greg Van Avermaet to do the sprint. I am very happy because I did not necessarily expect to stay away for the last two kilometers. I gave it my all and was able to enjoy the last fifty meters. From an average season, I am moving on to an exceptional season. With six second places including the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Brabançonne, I was just waiting for this victory and it comes in one of the most beautiful races on the calendar, it’s huge. Many thanks to the public and the organization here. The whole international peloton was eager to come back and we are not disappointed. We will enjoy this and then focus on the Grand Prix de Montréal which suits me even better on paper. We will try to do well there, too.”

2nd, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I’m probably disappointed at the moment, being so close to winning here three years in a row. It was my goal, and I came up second best, but it’s still a great result and I’m looking forward to Sunday. I guess everyone was probably looking at Wout [van Aert] to chase, as he was probably the favourite here today, and I think he had a rider in the group with Cosnefroy so it was a little bit a case of everyone playing a bit of poker. Unfortunately in the end we were sprinting for second, because Cosnefroy was just too strong. It is what it is, and I think we have to be happy with second, and we have another opportunity on Sunday. I think my shape is really coming along well towards the World Championships now, so I think another good hit-out on Sunday, and hopefully go for the victory again, before heading off to Australia.”

3rd, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m very happy with this third place at my first participation in the GP de Québec! It feels unreal to achieve a podium from such a strong field of riders with many of world’s best classic riders. The level was very high and the pace was hard from the start. Of course we expected a challenging race on this course with several tricky corners and the long and steep climb towards the finish. But actually my teammates did all the work for 90 percent of the race, I only had to focus on the final 500 meter. I want to thank them for their work, this achievement is also for them!”

4th, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “There were only strong riders here. For me it was better to race defensively. In a race like this you always have to see when you start. A strong rider like Cosnefroy only has one chance. There was a bit of hesitation after he attacked, after that it was very difficult to catch him. Still I’m not really surprised by Cosnefroy. We were hoping that Christophe could get into his wheel, but he was stranded at 10 metres. That’s where it went wrong. In our group there were many teams that gambled. When we rode into the last kilometre I already knew it was lost. I really enjoyed racing here (in Québec). It will probably be even tougher on Sunday. Riders like Tadej Pogačar, Romain Bardet and David Guadu will be closer to winning.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec Result:
1. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën in 4:46:56
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:04
3. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
5. Iván García Cortina (Spa) Movistar
6. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic

 


Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal 2022
Tadej Pogačar won a tough edition of the GP de Montréal on Sunday. After 221 kilometres of racing in the Canadian city, he was the first to finish on Avenue du Parc. The Slovenian from UAE Team Emirates beat Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) after a hard sprint from a leading group of five. Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) finished third.

The leading group of the day consisted of six riders: Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Théo Delacroix (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Eddy Finé (Cofidis), Andreas Leknessund (DSM) and Antonio Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan). They managed a lead of more than 6 minutes. A total of eighteen laps of 12.3 kilometres were on the program, with the Côte Camillien-Houde (1.8km at 8%), the Côte de Polytechnique (780 metres at 6%), the Pagnuelo (535 metres at 7.5%) on each circuit. The finishing straight on the Avenue du Parc climbed 560 metres at 4%.

UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the peloton and reduced the lead, where Nibali and Finé had dropped out early, to 3 minutes. Especially the team of Tadej Pogačar wanted to make the race hard. A bad day for Biniam Girmay, who felt sick and had to give up five laps before the finish. Peter Sagan also didn’t make it to the finish. Vermeersch, Delacroix and Leknessund survived the longest. They started the last 50 kilometres with a 2:30 lead. Not much later, Leknessund left his two fellow escapees behind. The Norwegian of DSM opted for a solo and had the Jumbo-Visma troops behind him. Wout van Aert’s teammates increased the pace at 35 kilometres from the finish.

The difference to Leknessund was reduced to 1 minute and decreased further and further. At the start of the penultimate lap he was only 15 seconds ahead of the thinned peloton. It was Tobias Foss who narrowed the favourites group even further. The first attack came from Simone Velasco (Astana Qazaqstan) and Frederik Wandahl (BORA-hansgrohe). They were able to gain a 40 second lead and started the final lap with that gap. Daniel Felipe Martínez then opened the final on the Côte Camillien-Houde. His acceleration was followed by Tadej Pogačar, who went straight to the front with Van Aert and Andrea Bagioli in his wheel. Adam Yates was the next to accelerate from behind and he pushed Van Aert to the limit. The Belgian cracked, but was still able to join a group at the top with Yates, Pogačar, Bagioli and David Gaudu. Those five managed to make a gap of more than 30 seconds, because the slowing work in the chasing group.

Romain Bardet, Giovanni Aleotti and Mauro Schmid counter-attacked, but that was well behind the leaders. Yates and Gaudu tried to pull away in the last 3 kilometres, but their efforts were countered. Van Aert was then forced into the lead in the last kilometre. Everything would would come down to the last 560 metres at 4%. The five leaders came to a complete standstill, after which Gaudu was the first to start the sprint. However, the Frenchman didn’t have the legs and was overpowered by Pogačar. The Slovenian had Van Aert on his wheel, but the Jumbo-Visma rider was unable to pass and he had to jump to stay ahead of Bagioli. Van Aert was second and Bagioli third.

Race winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “This was no ordinary sprint. The race was very tough. The team worked so well, that was perfect for me. Wout is one of the best sprinters in the world, but this is a tough finish. I gave everything in the sprint and it worked. It’s unbelievable. This course suited me very well. I really enjoyed it and I had a good day. It was one of the toughest races of the year. After the Tour de France I was not in good shape, because I had taken a lot of rest and was mainly preparing for this period of the season. Today I had a good day and that gives me a lot of confidence towards the World championships. It’s always different racing with national teams, but I’m confident and in good shape. It’s going to be a tough race and I can’t wait to start there.”

2nd, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I was pretty dead in the sprint. I felt really good. The team rode very well to support me, but I was beaten by one of the superstars of cycling. It’s no shame to come second here. It would have been nice to win, but I came up a bit short. I don’t regret anything. It was a beautiful weekend and super nice to experience Canada. I’m going to Australia with good memories. I need the next few weeks to recover and settle in Australia. I hope to do some good training and hopefully that will pay off in the road race. We have a super strong team at the World champs. Our selection is well balanced. Together with Remco Evenepoel I am the leader. We are different types and that fits well together. We can make it a great race.”

3rd, Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “Everything happened on the last lap, and when the attacks of the favourites came I sensed it could be the right moment to go, so I went and did my best to stay there. I felt good despite this demanding course, one of the hardest of the season, and in the sprint I gave everything. I am content with my podium, it’s a good result going into the last weeks of the season, and I hope to come back here one day and win it.”

7th, Giovanni Aleotti (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a super tough race here in Montréal! As a team we had a good plan and the guys did a really good job keeping Frederik, Patrick and me out of trouble all day. In the finale, I didn’t have the acceleration to follow Pogačar and the other four riders but I was able to chase and take a top-10 result here. I’m happy with my performance today and I really want to thank the team for their effort and great work. After a not quite satisfactory result in Québec it’s nice to leave Canada with a good feeling.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 5:59:38
2. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:01
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:02
6. Mauro Schmid Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:22
7. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:23
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:28
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:31.

 


GP de Fourmies 2022
Caleb Ewan won the GP de Fourmies on Sunday. The Australian Lotto Soudal sprinter was the fastest after 197 kilometres, ahead of Dylan Groenewegen. A late crash marred the final and eliminated other favorites such as Fabio Jakobsen and Arnaud De Lie.

The leading group of the day consisted of five riders: Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Milan Fretin (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Maxime Jarnet (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Nicolas Debeaumarché (St Michel-Auber 93). In the peloton, control was maintained by Lotto Soudal, BikeExchange-Jayco and AG2R Citroën. The difference was a maximum of 4 minutes, but was reduced to about 2 minutes as the final approached. The first escapee to drop out was Jarnet.

After Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl also got involved in the chase, the difference came down faster and faster. At the start of the last lap, Van der Hoorn and co’s lead was still 15 seconds. Sandy Dujardin (TotalEnergies) tried to cross to the leading group in the final lap, but he couldn’t do it. Van der Hoorn, Blouwe and Debeaumarché held out the longest, but were caught more than 3 kilometres from the finish. After that it was up to the sprinters. Due to a touch of wheels in the peloton, there was a big crash including top sprinters Fabio Jakobsen and Arnaud De Lie.

Lotto Soudal still had Caleb Ewan after the crash, also Dylan Groenewegen was still there. After a messy lead-out from Lotto Soudal, Groenewegen started the sprint early, Ewan jumped on his wheel and then jumped for the line. Third place went to Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-Samsic). With his victory, Ewan Lotto also gives Soudal important points in the fight against relegation from the WorldTour. Ewan took 200 points for his team and Groenewegen’s second place earned BikeExchange-Jayco 150 points.

The GP de Fourmies (UCI 1.2) was also held today among the women. There the victory went to the French Clara Copponi of FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope, ahead of Valentina Basilico (Bepink) and Maria Martins (Le Col-Wahoo).

Race winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “Hopefully that will allow us to stay in the WorldTour. It’s no secret that we’re chasing those points at the moment. I don’t know how many there are here, but for one-day races there are a lot of them. I’m happy to score some points, but I’m happy with the win today. The team did a great job and had everything under control for me. Jasper De Buyst had to take the lead very early and he did that very well. He dropped me off well after a long turn at 200 metres. It wouldn’t have been possible without him, so a big thank you to him and to the team. My next race is Koolskamp Koerse and after that I will ride some more one-day races in Belgium.”

2nd, Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco): “We did a good job as a team today, but unfortunately we lost some riders in the crash with 3km to go. Luckily, I was in the front when the peloton split. In the end I started the sprint too early, but I think it was the best option, so we are happy with the result.”

GP de Fourmies Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:27:07
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
3. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkéa Samsic
4. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Deceuninck
5. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber93
6. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
8. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. Emīls Liepiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
10. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM.

 


Bardiani-CSF-Faizane New Main Sponsor – Green Project
Green Project is the new main sponsor of the Bardiani-CSF-Faizane cycling team. The Italian team announced that news this weekend. All sponsors have committed themselves for five years to the ProTeam, which will be called Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizane next year.

Bardiani-CSF-Faizane has already been #GreenTeam in recent years and a new sponsor has now been found with Green Project Agency. “Our principles remain the same, but the five-year agreements allow us to plan longer ahead. Our mission remains to give young Italian talent space and opportunities for growth. As we have done in the past with Sonny Colbrelli and recently with Filippo Zana,” explained team manager Bruno Reverberi.

“Now we will also have the strength to keep those talents with us and build on them. We want to be the reference in Italian cycling,” Reverberi told SpazioCiclismo.

Green Project Agency is a company committed to energy efficiency and savings. “It is a project that stems from the need to make a concrete contribution to make the world less polluted for the next generations,” said CEO Tommaso Giuliano. “We have decided as the main sponsor to contribute to the growth of new cycling champions. We strongly believe in this partnership, because we invest in young people and the best cyclists in the world.”

Filippo Zana won the Italian championships:

 


Belgian U23 Champion Jarne Van de Paar Turns Pro at Lotto Dstny
With Jarne Van de Paar (21) yet another talented rider steps up from the Lotto Soudal Development Team to the own WorldTour Team. The current Belgian U23 champion has signed a three-year contract and will remain in the Development Team in 2023. In 2024 and 2025 he will be a part of the WorldTour Team.

Recently Jarne Van de Paar seized the Belgian tricolor jersey in Sint-Lievens-Houtem. It was the highlight of his four years as an U23 rider, a period he has spent entirely in the Lotto Soudal Development Team and during which he also got the support of the Lotto Cycling Talent Project, supported by Lotto. “I am very happy to be able to stay with this team even longer”, says Jarne Van de Paar. “I am at home here, and I know everyone very well. If you spend four years at the Development Team, you get to know a lot of riders you will later meet again at the pros: Florian Vermeersch, Arnaud De Lie, Maxim Van Gils, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer, Sébastien Grignard and of course Lennert Van Eetvelt and Liam Slock. I am looking forward to working with them again.”

Kurt Van de Wouwer, team manager of the Lotto Soudal Development Team, describes Jarne Van de Paar as a sprinter who should be able to do well in the Flemish semi-Classics in the future. “Not all past four years have been easy for him. There were the covid years, of course, and he has had his personal setbacks as well. This year he was out with a knee injury for a long time. But every year he secured a couple of wins. He has shown that he has potential as a sprinter. The Belgian championship was a great victory for him and the team, but we had already told him before that we were confident about him taking the next step to the pros.”

In 2023 the Development Team of Lotto Dstny will step up to UCI continental level. This means riders of the Development Team are able to ride with the WorldTour Team in ProSeries or .1 races. “We have made the decision to keep Jarne Van de Paar in the Development Team for an extra year, so the transition is more gradual”, explains CEO John Lelangue. “We will have him ride in the WorldTour Team on a regular basis in 2023 already, but it is important for him to compete for victory at a lower level as well. Next to that, he can be a mentor within the Development Team for the younger U23 riders. Both for Jarne Van de Paar as for the other U23’s the transition to the pros will be more gradual this way.”

From 2024 on, Jarne Van de Paar will be a part of the WorldTour Team full-time. “I am very thankful for the possibility to plan such a specific trajectory for my future”, he says. “It shows the confidence the team has in me. I am going to do everything I can to repay the trust. Both my team and I know that there is margin for improvement. Together we will do everything to fulfil this potential.”

 


Bastien Tronchon Signs With AG2R CITROËN From January 1, 2023, Through 2025
Bastien Tronchon: “I am very happy to sign a three-year contract with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. That was my goal this season. Since my first years of cycling at La Motte Servolex Cyclisme, Vincent (Lavenu) has followed me. After having completed the entire training course, I wanted to start my professional career “at home”. My broken collarbone in mid-May may have been a blessing in disguise. I was very well supported during my convalescence, then I quickly managed to obtain some good results like my stage victory at the Vuelta a Burgos. Turning professional is just one step. I have three years to prove myself and I want to confirm quickly what I have shown since the start of my time as a stagiaire with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. At the beginning of 2023, my schedule will be adapted to allow me to complete my STAPS degree. It is important to earn this diploma before devoting myself 100% to cycling. I can’t wait to start this new adventure and join a group of guys I know well. I also want to learn how to race well at the World Tour level and to take a new step this winter to be able to perform there.”

Vincent Lavenu: “It’s a fair reward for Bastien (Tronchon) but also for the entire training organization. I have been following him since he was young when he was in a cycling school at La Motte Servolex Cyclisme. He went through all the stages with us starting with the AG2R CITROËN U19 TEAM, the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM, and then as a stagiaire with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM; he is a pure product of our system. We will initially give him time to complete his university course that he started when with the training centre. We have discussed it with the sports directors and we will adapt his program according to his exams schedule. Bastien showed that he had the ability to move on to the next level with very good results at the most important amateur events in addition to his magnificent stage victory at the Vuelta a Burgos, which made a big impression. We look forward to seeing him join the ranks of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM for the next three seasons.”

In brief:
Born 29 March 2002 (20 years old) in Chambéry (Savoie)
Lives in Chambéry
Puncheur
In the 3rd year of a STAPS degree at the Université Savoie Mont-Blanc au Bourget-du-Lac.
Winner of the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos (2.Pro) in 2022
Winner of the Grand Prix de la Ville de Fougères (CDF N1) in 2021
Silver medalist at the Junior French National Championships in 2020

The number: 2
After Alex Baudin, Bastien Tronchon is the second recruit for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM for the 2023 season. A professional stagiaire for the AG2R CITROËN TEAM since August 1, Bastien Tronchon won the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos (2.Pro).

The news:
Bastien Tronchon comes from our training system. Bastien Tronchon has been part of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM’s training system since 2019. He was a member of the AG2R CITROËN U19 TEAM from 2019 to 2020 and has been a member of the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM since 2021. He is the twenty-seventh rider from the AG2R CITROËN U23 TEAM to join the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. The first was Blaise Sonnery in 2007.

Bastien Tronchon:

 


Tiago Machado (ex-RadioShack and Katusha) Retires
Tiago Machado will end his career after this season. The 36-year-old Portuguese rider has competed at continental level in recent years, but before that he rode for a long time with big teams such as RadioShack and Katusha.

Machado started his career in his own country with the modest Carvalhelhos-Boavista team. While with this continental team, the climber managed to achieve some great results in multi-stage races, arousing the interest of RadioShack. Machado signed a contract with the American team at the end of 2009 and raced for RadioShack for four years.

Machado then rode for Team NetApp-Endura for a year and for Katusha four seasons. After eight seasons at WorldTour level, he returned to his home country of Portugal. In the last years of his career he raced for Sporting Clube de Portugal/Tavira, Efapel and Radio Popular Boavista.

Machado was known as a good climber with a reasonable time trial. In 2014 he was the best in the Tour of Slovenia and took podium places in the Tour Down Under, Giro del Trentino and Bayern Rundfahrt. Machado rode ten Grand Tours in his career and managed to complete them all. In the 2011 Giro d’Italia he finished in the top twenty (19th) on the general classification.

Tiago Machado:

 


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