An enormous EUROTRASH Monday as we try to cover as many of the National championships as we can – Road and time trial team by team from Europe, US and Canada. Top Story – Is Tom Dumoulin leaving Sunweb? More 2019 Tour de France news and teams, plus Tadej Pogačar and Alejandro Valverde sign new contracts and the 2020 Giro d’Italia Hungarian start stages unveiled. A big Monday coffee time!
TOP STORY: Tom Dumoulin to Leave Sunweb?
Tom Dumoulin has allegedly hinted at getting away from Team Sunweb, according to Italian website TuttoBiciWeb. Dumoulin was not able to fulfill his two main goals for the season: The Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
The discontent was part due to the problems that came after his crash in the Giro, where Dumoulin fell hard on his knee and had to abandon. After a long recovery, doubts persisted for a long time. After riding the Dauphiné, it was decided to operate on the knee, removing a piece of gravel. Not long afterwards the decision was made not to go to the Tour de France. “Actually, I didn’t take the time to process everything. Without thinking, I did everything to go to the Tour,” said Dumoulin.
According to rumors, the situation has caused between Dumoulin and the team. The winner of the Giro 2017 has a contract with Sunweb until the end of 2021. Dumoulin has been with the team since 2012.
All not well at Team Sunweb:
Max Schachmann, Patrick Konrad, Davide Formolo, Sam Bennett and Juraj Sagan claim National Road Titles for BORA-hansgrohe
Already on Friday Maciej Bodnar was able to defend his national time trial title. Today the road races were decided at the national championships. BORA-hansgrohe riders took the titles in Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Slovakia. With a total of 10 medals the German team can look forward confidently to the upcoming Tour de France.
German champion, Maximmilan Schachmann: “What to say, I am more than happy to have become the new German Champion and to keep the jersey in our team. We rode an amazing race today, my teammates supported me on the final laps and it is such an incredible feeling not only to take the win, but also to complete the podium. I am really looking forward to wearing this beautiful jersey next week at my first participation at the Tour de France.”
Austrian champion, Patrick Konrad: “It was a tough race. There was already a selection on the first climb if the day. In the downhill, Michi Gogl attacked and Gregor and me were able to follow. It was still pretty far to the finish, but we worked well together to extend our lead constantly. With 20 km to go the attacks started. It was Michi who made a first move, Gregor closed, and I was able to counter attack. Without Gregor it would have been a different story, he was really strong and was a big help in the final. He also would have deserved to win, but in the end I was lucky to take my first road title. To wear my countries National Champions jersey at the upcoming Tour de France make me really proud and gives also an extra motivation for the race in France.”
Slovakian champion, Juraj Sagan: “I’m very happy to be crowned Slovak champion for the third time in front of such big crowds. It was a nice race and we look forward to some big celebrations tonight.”
Italian champion, Davide Formolo: “When I attacked with 40km to go, I thought, I can try the same I did at Volta a Catalunya on the final stage and just pulled. With a gap of 30 seconds and less than 20km to go, I knew I have to give it my all and just put the head down and rode. I am so happy. To wear the Maglia Tricolore is something really special, I am so proud and overwhelmed to be able to represent, at the next races and upcoming season, my country on the roads all over the world.”
Irish champion, Sam Bennett: “I couldn’t be happier to have become Irish National Champion today. It has been a career goal for the longest time. I can’t wait to wear the Irish National Jersey on the WorldTour in a bunch sprint finish. Eddie Dunbarr was so strong today, I had to fight really hard to stay with him on the last lap. I am really pleased with the result.”
Tim Merlier Sprints to Belgian Title
Tim Merlier is the new Belgian road champion. The Corendon-Circus sprinter proved unbeatable in the mass sprint in Gent. Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert) finished second, ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
After an entertaining and fast first hour at fifty kilometers per hour, a leading group of four managed to break free. During the opening part of the race through the Flemish Ardennes, many riders showed themselves on the various cobblestone strips, but they could not get away.
A group of four with Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Jelle Wallays, Stan Dewulf (both Lotto Soudal) and Dries De Bondt (Corendon-Circus) eventually made an escape. The brothers Abram and Michiel Stockman of Tarteletto-Isorex counter-attacked, but they did not much distance from the Wanty-Gobert and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise led peloton. The four had 3 minutes as CCC and Jumbo-Visma also chased.
With 30 kilometers to go the leaders had 40 seconds, Dewulf was dropped after an acceleration from Evenepoel. At 25 kilometers out the favorites showed themselves at the front. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) tried to cross to the leaders. At the start of the final lap, all the groups could see each other racing up the finish straight within half a minute of each other.
11 kilometers before the end a general regrouping followed, although Tim Wellens (fall) and Tiesj Benoot (bad luck) were no longer among them. Stijn Steels of Roompot-Charles tried, but did not get away. It ended in a final sprint from the remaining group. Tim Merlier was the best. Timothy Dupont was second as Wout van Aert was blocked in, but was still third. After the finish, Van Aert immediately flew into the arms of his friend Merlier.
Belgian champion, Tim Merlier: “I saw the sign of the last 250 meters appear. I wanted to attack, but actually thought it was a little too early. A slight panic arose in my head. But in the end I saw that the gap was big enough and I continued to do it. I could keep it to the line. Well… er… Normally I would go on vacation tomorrow. I don’t know if that will work now. But at least I’ll take a week off, like the rest of the team. It has been a tough spring for my teammates. Designing a program for me alone is not an option, of course. And there aren’t that many races in the coming weeks either. I normally resume in the GP Pino Cerami, followed by the Tour of Alsace and – hopefully – the European Championship in Alkmaar. That will be my next goal anyway.”
Tim Merlier winner of the Belgian road champs:
Warren Barguil Grabs French Title
Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) become somewhat a surprising French champion. The climber took the win in La Haie-Fouassière in a sprint from leading group of seven. He beat two riders from Cofidis, Julien Simon and Damien Touzé, to the other podium places.
After the initial attacks, seven riders escaped for good; Barguil, Simon, Touzé, Angelo Tulik, Valentin Madouas, Quentin Pacher and Guillaume Martin to fight for the French tricolor jersey in the Loire-Atlantique. Barguil attacked two kilometers from the finish and Guillaume Martin also attacked, but it ended in a sprint and Barguil was just a bit faster than the Cofidis duo.
French champion, Warren Barguil: “I think of the people who reached out to me during this difficult period and who are positive with me, the negative people, I leave them aside. Yes, people who reach out to you when you are at the bottom of the bucket and who help you to find solutions, it is important and I thank them very much. I do not feel a sense of revenge, I think there are cycles in the bike. I am not superhuman. I come out of a period not easy but it is not a revenge. I always had those legs, I had to find them and the mind too because he was fishing. I’m happy with myself. I doubted. It was not easy, I wanted to stop the bike at some point but my wife supports me a lot and finally I did not let go. I think life is this way, there are hard times and great times and I understand that we must not let go of life. I thank my wife, my family, my team and everyone who extended my hand during this crossing of the desert. I also thought that if I stopped the bike, this decision I could very well regret in a week and all my life.”
French champ Barguil:
Michael Mørkøv Claims Another Title in Denmark
Deceuninck – Quick-Step controlled the race from the very outset and made it an impressive 1-2 in Esbjerg.
Kasper Asgreen, Mikkel Honoré and Michael Mørkøv rode brilliantly on Sunday afternoon, leaving their mark on a fast and intense race which got split to pieces with three laps to go. Making just his second appearance since concluding his maiden Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, neo-pro Mikkel was responsible for keeping the four escapees in check and laying the groundwork in the early part of the race that took the riders from Ribe to Esbjerg, where they entered on a ten-lap circuit.
There was plenty of action there, and the Deceuninck – Quick-Step guys made sure of covering the moves and shutting down attacks before they became dangerous. The race properly blazed into life with more than 30 kilometers to go, when both Kasper and Michael made the selection as part of a strong eight-man group who instantly opened a 20-second buffer over the chasers.
On the closing lap, the front group thinned out under the impetus of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, who then ignited another move which concluded with Mørkøv roaring over the line arms aloft for his second consecutive national title and Asgreen coming home right behind him in second position, a result which the young Dane added to the time trial title win that landed in his palmarès just three days prior.
Danish champion, Michael Mørkøv: “There are no words to describe how happy I am that I became Danish Champion for the second consecutive year and for the third time in my career. We faced some really stiff competition, but we took our chances and did a tremendous job the entire day. Mikkel rode himself inside out to keep everything together, then Kasper stepped in and closed the late attacks before providing a perfect lead-out. Keeping the jersey in the team makes us very proud, and for me personally, it’s a dream come true and something very emotional that I get to show it in the Tour de France. It will be great for Denmark to have both its national champion there this summer!”
Valverde Claims Third Spanish Road Race Title
Movistar Team leader brings back glory to Abarca Sports organization at their national event after beating long-time friend Luis León Sánchez (Astana) on Murcia’s La Fuensanta circuit.
After previous wins in Talavera (2008) and Cáceres (2015), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) conquered the Spanish Road Race Championships again with an additional touch of emotion and significance. He claimed the honors in Murcia, in front of his home crowd and with a strong contender, and a long-time friend, as his biggest rival: Luis León Sánchez (Astana).
The Telefónica-backed squad took command of the race pace after Gorka Izagirre (Astana) left Carlos Barbero behind from the first main breakaway of the event, formed after 100km full of attacks through the Cresta del Gallo climb. On the descent; Lluís Mas, Carlos Verona and José Joaquín Rojas sustained minor blows and bruises in a crash which did not cause them serious injuries.
The Blues brought back Izagirre on the final climb of la Fuensanta, where Valverde followed the moves from Herrada (Cofidis) and Sánchez, who later on dropped former Blue Jesús and went on into a tight sprint finish against ‘Bala’ – 126th pro win; fourth of the year. A title to add to the two notched up in the women’s races with Sheyla Gutiérrez (ITT) and Lourdes Oyarbide (road race).
Spanish champion, Alejandro Valverde: “It was such a tough race, with plenty of attacks from the start and a breakaway which wasn’t allowed to stick until well over 90km from the start, at the Cresta del Gallo. With Gorka riding so strong, we were forced to take the lead of the bunch and push really hard with many team-mates to stand a chance of winning the race. The whole team did a massive job, and when they do, you’ve got to do your best to pay them back – this victory goes to all of my team-mates for their huge effort. I was coming into the end with Luisle, who is a great friend of mine – I’m sorry he wasn’t able to take the title home this time. It’s also sad for me I won’t be able to wear the jersey, yet we couldn’t miss a chance like this to take a prestigious win. I’m happy to win in front of my home crowds and the legs felt really good leading up to the TDF.”
Swift Wins British Road Title
Ben Swift claimed a richly deserved British national road race title after a strong showing from Team INEOS produced a 1-2 finish in Norwich.
The team were on the attack for almost the entirety of the race, sending riders up the road on a day where the race situation was constantly changing.
Swift forced his way into early moves before finding himself in a quartet heading into the final 10 kilometers in Norfolk. With team-mate Ian Stannard for company, Swift was able to sit in as Stannard repeatedly attacked. With Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) dislodged, Swift sat on the wheel of John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling) before jumping clear and pushing on to victory.
Chris Lawless was the first INEOS rider to head up the road on a pan-flat course. Stannard and Swift came to the fore at various points as the race evolved, with Owain Doull covering moves back in the peloton.
British champion, Ben Swift: “I’ve been waiting for a win for four years! I had a couple of terrible years and I’ve come back to Team INEOS now. I’ve just loved it this year – you can see the way I’ve been riding. I had that big crash obviously but I re-focused and worked really hard. Today it was a strange race. It was always going to be hard but when I was out there I just tried to always be in the right place and in those little moves. Stannard was a machine today! He absolutely gave me the easiest ride possible. I was away early on but after that I could just sit on for 20km, then he went again and I could just sit on. I’m just so happy! It was John Archibald that was with us and chapeau he did a really strong ride. I could use him as I knew he was a really strong time triallist. Then when that moment came it was every man for himself. I started cramping up a little bit, but when you’ve got that line in sight. I’ve been trying for this nationals for years so it’s nice to be up there.”
Jakobsen Powers to Maiden Win at the Nationals
The 22-year-old Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider landed the biggest victory of his career so far.
Two years after making the double at the U23 National Championships just before inking a deal with our team, Fabio Jakobsen took the laurels in the elite event, courtesy of a pitch-perfect sprint he delivered at the end of the hectic 226.8km-long race held around the town of Ede.
Nine riders attacked early and established a huge lead of nearly ten minutes over the bunch, who had to work hard in order to nullify the move, catching the last survivor of the day-long breakaway only inside the last three kilometers. Fabio Jakobsen remained hidden the entire race, navigating through the field and making his way towards the front with only 1500 meters to go, when he surfed wheels and positioned himself for the bunch sprint.
Victorious in four races so far this season, the 22-year-old prodigious Dutchman kicked out more than 200 meters from the line and put several bike lengths into Moreno Hofland (EF Education First) and Bas van der Kooij (Monkey Town), comfortably winning the prized jersey which he’ll now wear for the next twelve months. Fabio is the youngest rider in 11 years to become Dutch Champion.
Dutch champion, Fabio Jakobsen: “I can’t tell you how happy I am. It wasn’t easy being on my own today, but I remained calm and waited to see how things would unfold. I must admit, I had luck by my side, as the race concluded in a bunch sprint, but also my legs were very strong, allowing me to start the sprint with 250 meters left and notch up this beautiful victory. I am proud that I’ll now get to sport this prestigious jersey in some of the world’s biggest jersey and I plan on honoring it.”
Domen Novak Wins Slovenian Road Race Title
Amazing success of Domen Novak at the National Championships Slovenia – Road Race.
The 23-year-old Bahrain Merida rider claims his first National title, after a strong ride on a tough course made of 7 laps of 23 km each, with a difference in altitude of a total 3,000 meters in the Region Gorenjska.
Domen was part of a 7-man group early breakaway, dictating the rhythm from the beginning: “Immediately after the start, I escaped with a small group. Then on every lap there were less of us. In the end, only three remained.” In fact, he was able to stay away with two riders from Adria Mobil, with a good pace and collaboration. In the last lap Novak attacked and was able to stay alone in front on the last 15km, taking a nice solo win in Radovljica.
“In the last lap I did my best. I’ve already seen on the race that they are very strong and they kept the pace all the time. I was before them on the last climb and then first to the finish.”
So the Slovenian Champion jersey remains in Bahrain Merida team: “Last year I came together with Matej Mohorič and lost my victory for one place, but this year the luck was on my side” adds Domen that took silver medal in Slovenian National Championships in 2018. “There were very strong riders competing today, but the national championships is a race for itself, where everyone can win. I was injured for 3 months and even if I felt better every day, I didn’t think I was so good.”
Bob Jungels Makes the Double in Luxembourg
Two days after defending his ITT title, our rider conquered also the road race, taking his sixth win at the event.
Bob Jungels became only the fourth rider in history to come out on top at the Luxembourg Road Race at least six times, after Nicolas Frantz, Charly Gaul and Edy Schütz, thus completing the double at the National Championships for the fifth time in his career.
A sweltering day prompted the organizers to shorten the 175.1km-long event, which abounded in attacks right from the gun, despite the difficult conditions. Just forty-eight hours after time trialling to his third victory of the year, Jungels rode again a flawless solo race, staying at all times attentive at the front and dispatching his main group companions on the penultimate lap.
Eventually, the 26-year-old arrived at the finish in Soulevre one minute ahead of Kevin Geniets (Groupama-FDJ) and sealed his fourth success of a solid season which also witnessed victories at the Tour Colombia and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Luxembourg champion, Bob Jungels: “The high temperatures and the guys who came here straight from the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse made for a very tough race. It wasn’t easy today and being able to drop everybody in the final kilometers gives me a lot of satisfaction. I’m happy that after a hard Giro d’Italia I could put my arms again in the air and ensure another twelve months in this beautiful jersey.” Bob will make his next outing at the second edition of the Adriatica Ionica Race (24-28 June).
Jansen Wins Norwegian Title
Amund Grøndahl Jansen has won the Norwegian championship. The 25-year-old Norwegian from Team Jumbo-Visma was the fastest of a group of three riders.
For the brand new Norwegian champion, Jansen, it is his second victory of the season, after he had previously won a stage in the ZLM Tour. Jansen’s win in the Norwegian championship means Team Jumbo-Visma’s thirty-fifth win of the season. Jansen will wear his new champion jersey for the first time during the first stage of the Tour de France on July 6.
Norwegian champion, Amund Grøndahl Jansen: “It was an ideal course for me, it included some hills and the wind created echelons. It will be fantastic to ride the Tour wearing the Norwegian jersey. I’m going to enjoy it very much.”
Alexander Vlasov wins Russian road title
Gazprom — RusVelo rider Alexander Vlasov claimed the road race victory at the Russian National Championship, which was held in Belgorod.
Alexander Vlasov was active from the start of the 187,2km race and performed a successful attack on the final lap, which resulted in his victory. In one week, 6-12 of July, Alexander will compete in Tour of Austria.
Russian champion, Alexander Vlasov: “I am very happy to win the national champion’s jersey! The route of the race was quite challenging and in order not to fade away on the final laps, I was active from the very beginning. I spent almost the entire race in the breakaway, which was not chased and made it to the finish. I am glad that I contributed to the work in the breakaway group and had enough energy to execute the attack on the final kilometers”
Lourdes Oyarbide is Spanish Road Champion!
Alava native from Movistar Team crowns a dream 2019 season, adding to her ITT silver a gold in the road race in Lorca, with a long-range attack started over 60km before the finish
An example of sacrifice for her team-mates, all-around talent and fine strategical brain, Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar Team) took on Saturday the most remarkable victory of her professional career at the 2019 Spanish Road Race Championship, over 108km under extenuating warm conditions from Archena to Lorca.
The rider from Egino, Álava, jumped away from the bunch with over 60km to go, seeking for an early break of five riders which included Alba Teruel, which she brought back into the plans heading to Totana (-50km). As the group’s advantage rose to more than five minutes at the foot of the La Santa climb, Oyarbide left behind Lucía González (BDU), Iurani Blanco (SWT) and, most important, the strong duo with Irene Méndez (MER, silver) and Mireia Benito (MTC, bronze), who started the decisive Castillo ascent 35” behind Oyarbide.
Despite the enormous effort, cramps and dehydration, Lourdes was still able to celebrate at the finish and claim the second victory of her 2019 season – following another long gallop to success at the Vuelta a Burgos – and the seventh for the Movistar Team this year. Behind, Eider Merino (4th) and Sheyla Gutiérrez (6th) battled strong into the pursuit group to come close to a podium they finished just one step behind.
Spanish National road champion, Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar): “It was a surprise because I didn’t really feel that well, yet at the National Championships you often find strange race scenarios. Our plan was sending the most girls to the front early in the race. We were able to get Alba into the first escape, then I jumped from the bunch to bridge across, and our plan afterwards was having Gloria, Eider, Alicia or Lorena, as well as Sheyla, trying to make that effort to approach to the front, attack and get back to us. In the end, the gap between the lead group and the top guns was so big and the fight was within ourselves. Thinking that the finish was so far away, I waited for the last 2km of the La Santa climb to make my move. I wasn’t able to open that big gap, I just struggled so much, was unable to eat well, my muscles hurt so much – yet I was able, after such an immense effort, to get over the Castillo and celebrate the victory. It’s a massive day of happiness for me. I’m not one who gets into such situations, and I’ve been able to get into numerous winning breaks this year, which makes it so special. I’m so happy for my team-mates, too – they did such a phenomenal work. Last but not least, I want to thank those who made possible for the race to be shown live on TV. It’s the way to show our efforts, the way to go. All in all, a day of joy.”
2019 Spanish road race podium:
Adam de Vos Sprints to Victory at Canadian Road Championships
Junior and Elite athletes were treated to perfect weather conditions on the final day of the road race competitions at the 2019 Canadian Road Championships, which saw titles awarded in the Junior women, U23 men and Elite men categories.
Athletes competed on the same course as Saturday, which took riders from Saint-Georges to Saint-Odilon, where they completed 1 to 8 loops of a steep 15 kilometer circuit, before coming back to the finish line. Junior women completed a distance of 78.1 kilometers while the Elite men raced for over four and a half hours and completed 186.2 kilometers.
Although the defending champion Antoine Duchesne (Groupama FDJ) was unable to compete due to an injury, the depth of field was impressive, with several riders from Israel Cycling Academy, Rally UHC Cycling and Floyd’s Pro Cycling taking the start line. James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling) was the first to attack after the first 50 kilometers, with a group of 27 riders breaking away from the pack to chase after him. Many riders were dropped as the race unfolded and Piccoli was caught with 10 kilometers to go by the five remaining athletes in the chase group – Adam de Vos (Rally UHC Cycling), Nigel Ellsay (Rally UHC Cycling), Alexis Cartier (Velo 2000/Rhino Rack), Jay Lamoureux (Toronto Velodrome Club) and Nickolas Zukowsky (Floyd’s Pro Cycling). In the final few kilometers, Ellsay attacked but de Vos managed to catch up to him and sprint to victory, winning his first Canadian title. Zukowsky came in third and won the U23 men’s title by a nine minute margin.
In the Junior women’s race, Magdeleine Vallières-Mill (Équipe du Québec) dominated from the very start, breaking away from the pack in the first kilometers along with four other riders. She eventually distanced herself from the lead group and finished more than 3 minutes ahead of silver and bronze medallists Laury Milette (Ottawa Bicycle Club) and Camille Primeau (Équipe du Québec).
Junior Women, Magdeleine Vallières-Mill: “We started accelerating after the first 10 kilometers and we worked really well together which allowed us to get ahead of the pack and we managed to keep that gap until the end. I’m really happy to have won both races and I feel honored to be able to wear the Canadian champion jersey for the rest of the season!”
U23 Men, Nickolas Zukowsky: “It’s a super hard course even though it wasn’t necessarily as selective as last year. We started riding harder once we got off the circuit and I felt pretty good but I started to cramp up when Nigel attacked, so I couldn’t follow him and then he was gone. It definitely helps when you’ve got family and friends cheering you on, it gives you a little bit of extra motivation.”
Adam de Vos, Elite Men: “Nigel [Ellsay] got away with about 10 kilometers to go so I stayed with Zukowsky and Alexis [Cartier] for a while. At 3 kilometers to go, I attacked in the same spot that I attacked at Tour de Beauce and I made it up to Nigel in the last turn and just rode as hard as I could. I’ve always wanted to represent Canada in the custom kit that national champions get to wear and I’m so excited to race all over the world and represent Canada and Rally UHC.”
Adam de Vos:
Winder and Howes Rock Knoxville with Titles in Pro Road Race Championship
The signature event of the four-day U.S. Pro Road, Individual Time Trial and Criterium National Championships concluded Sunday in downtown Knoxville. Two Colorado riders came away with crowning wins that had evaded them on previous tries. Ruth Winder (Boulder, Colo.; Trek-Segafredo) scored the national title for Pro Women and Alex Howes (Boulder, Colo.; EF Education First) snatched a thrilling victory for Pro Men.
The women covered nine laps of the 7.9-mile course for a total of 70.4 miles, punctuated by a steep climb on Sherrod Road with a maximum gradient of 14 percent. Sweltering summer temperatures and high humidity added an extra challenge for all riders.
Winder put in a gutsy attack on the penultimate lap to drop all competitors and continued solo to the finish line. Giving it all she had, Winder was able to hold off a charging small group of riders to claim her first pro road race title. Last year riding for Team Sunweb, she helped teammate Coryn Rivera (Newport Beach, Calif.; Team Sunweb) win the title, and finished 10th overall.
“It’s not over ‘til it’s over, just keep on going, that’s all I was thinking. Just trying to motivate myself to go as hard as I could,” Winder said of her mindframe while trying to hold off the chasing riders in the final lap. “I thought everyone was going to pass me in the last 100 meters; I had nothing. I sat down, and I was like ‘get up, sprint, sprint, sprint’. Nobody passed me and I can’t believe that I won.”
Winder finished in a time of 3 hours, 17 minutes, 41 seconds, which was only one second ahead of defending champion and now former teammate Rivera.
“My first [National Championship win] as an elite. I actually won my first ever national championships in Bend when I was 15 years old. It feels awesome,” said Winder, whose best finish previously in the Pro Road Race was third in 2017.
Finishing in third, two seconds behind Winder, was Emma White (Delanson, N.Y.; Rally UHC Cycling) to capture the her second consecutive Under-23 Road Race national title for women.
“Knoxville, I think has been one of my favorite places in the United States to race. It’s amazing,” said White, who also won this year’s Elite and U23 Criterium titles on Friday. “All the people that come out, they are all over it, in the roads. I am a personal huge fan of country music, so I feel right at home. Everybody is so nice and kind here. The racing is awesome, the courses are super fantastic, I think it gets better every single year.”
Beth Ann Orton (Bend, Ore.; Instafund LaPrima Racing) & Starla Teddergreen (Vancouver, Wash.; Hagens Berman | Supermint) escaped from the 74-rider field after one lap of racing to catch and later drop Julie Kuliecza (Richmond, Va./Hagens Berman | Supermint), who had attacked from the gun. The pair pushed the gap to over four minutes before being reeled in six laps later. Winder’s Trek-Segafredo teammate Tayler Wiles (Fairfax, Calif.) put in a massive attack on the climb to thin out the field before Winder made her move after the feedzone. Lily Williams (Asheville, N.C.; Hagens Berman – Supermint) was the only rider to stay with Winder, but was dropped the next time up the climb.
The men’s Road Race Sunday afternoon covered 15 laps of the circuit for 119 total miles. It took EF Education’s Howes 4 hours, 37 minutes, 5 seconds to secure the victory, three seconds ahead of the hometown-favorite Stephen Bassett (Knoxville, Tenn./First Internet Bank Cycling). Neilson Powless (Roseville, Calif./Team Jumbo-Visma) crossed the line one second later for third place. A charging Tyler Magner (Rally UHC Cycling) crossed the line only five seconds behind Howes for fourth place.
“I was in tears,” said an emotional Howes, who finished second in 2016 and seventh in 2017. “I’ve been running after this one for a while, eight years or so. So, I’ve been on the podium a few times and always an animator, just never there. Today we went early and just kept going. I can’t believe it paid off.”
Following a flurry of attacks, the men’s Road Race had the first real break of the day five laps into the event. Howes broke off the front along with defending champion Jonny Brown (Covington, Tenn.; Hagens Berman Axeon), 2018 runner up Robin Carpenter (San Diego, Calif.; Rally UHC Cycling), Gage Hecht (Parker, Colo.; Aevolo Cycling), and Oliver Flautt (Decatur, Ga.; Team Dauner AKKON). The group gained a maximum of two minutes on the 60-rider field before getting reeled back 10 laps later.
After multiple counter attacks and surges from the peloton, the winning break was initiated by Bassett, who emerged on the decisive climb up Sherrod Road with three laps of racing to go. From there, the battle was on between the break and the chase group.
“The first couple of years it was actually stressful. You get used to it, but you use it to focus on the task at hand. It’s definitely a good motivator,” Bassett said about racing U.S. Pro Road Championships in his hometown for a third year.
It came down to the final three riders who escaped in the latter part of the race, and gained a maximum of 50 seconds over a select chasing group. The threesome took turns attacking each other, until Howes was able to come around Bassett after the left turn onto Clinch Avenue and score the win on South Gay Street.
“Neilson Powless is probably one of the best guys in the States right now. This isn’t necessarily his course. Stephen Bassett, hometown hero out there, was unbelievably strong and riding with a full heart. He was hard to get around,” Howes said about his adversaries. “I just timed it right as it flattened out (at the finish) and hit him (Bassett) with some speed.”
The championship by Howes was the first time a WorldTour rider had won the Stars-and-Stripes jersey since Timmy Duggan took the win in 2012 for Liquigas-Cannondale.
Alex Howes (EF Education First):
Van Aert Wins Belgian Time Trial Championship Amid Strong Turnout
Wout van Aert has been crowned the new Belgian time trial champion. In Middelkerke, the 24-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma left Yves Lampaert, Remco Evenepoel and the dethroned Victor Campenaerts well behind. It is Van Aert’s third win of the season. He previously won a mass sprint and the time trial in the Dauphiné. Van Aert’s victory is win number thirty-three for Team Jumbo-Visma. This equals the number of wins in 2018 for the team of Richard Plugge.
Along the way, Van Aert was not sure of the victory. “Mathieu Heijboer coached me very well. He said I was in the lead, but it was a game of seconds and I had to keep going. He did not reassure me and I had to fight until the finish. I started to become enthusiastic about the championship in the last few weeks. This jersey has a lot of value now, because there was a strong field of participants. I am very happy that I was able to win today. I now have everything I need to perform at top level: good legs, top material and top guidance.”
“After the classics, we started to train the time trial with Wout”, said Heijboer, head of performance of the Dutch formation. “We knew that he has a lot of potential as a time trial rider. He has been tested extensively to fine-tune his position on the bike, which resulted in a faster time trial. In addition, Wout has trained a lot on the time trial bike. When he won the time trial in the Dauphiné, we knew that he had a good chance to win today. This was his main goal for the month of June and it is great that he succeeded.”
“Over the years, we have created a culture within the team in which time trial is very important”, Heijboer continued. “Every rider who wants to invest in this discipline can expect the best guidance from us, for example in the field of aerodynamics and nutrition. This victory, just like Jos’s victory of yesterday, is the result of years of investing in the time trial within our team.”
Wout van Aert – Belgian TT champ:
Kasper Asgreen Time Trials to Home Glory
The talented Dane delivered the 50th national title in the history of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Kasper Asgreen continued his strong season, claiming a maiden gold medal at the Danish National Time Trial Championships, one week before making his Tour de France debut as part of the strong eight-man Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad that will line out in Brussels.
Fourth last year, Kasper put in a perfect ride in Esbjerg and came close to breaking the sub 46-minute barrier, eventually clocking a winning effort of 46:03, which was more than 20 seconds clear of defending champion Martin Toft Madsen (BHS – Almeborg-Bornholm).
“It was quite a long time trial, but I had a good shape after Suisse and the legs felt good. The first half we had a tailwind and I had to pace myself and not go too hard, before racing full gas in the second part, knowing I could make the difference there. The course was very nice – some big roads where I could lay down the power and some corners that weren’t very technical – and if you knew them, you could take them at full speed”, Kasper explained after notching up Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 42nd success of 2019.
Asgreen’s first full pro season hasn’t been anything short of exceptional, with the young Dane taking an unexpected runner-up spot at Ronde van Vlaanderen, before climbing to his first victory and a third place overall at the tough Tour of California – results which handed him a Tour de France debut next month.
“It’s a really awesome feeling and I’m extremely proud. In the last three years I was 3rd, 2nd and 4th at the time trial Nationals, so I have been missing that top step and I’m proud that I’m there now. It is really special to take that jersey to France for my first Tour. It’s been a great period, with a strong nine days in Suisse, getting selected for Le Tour and now becoming national champion. I am taking advantage of a great shape at the moment and I hope it continues through the Tour”, concluded Kasper, the first Danish ITT Champion in six years to be present at the Grande Boucle.
Kasper Asgreen’s win in California:
Alex Dowsett Earns Gold Medal for Sixth Time in British ITT
Taking the gold medal for a record-tying sixth time on Thursday in Norfolk, Team Katusha-Alpecin’s Alex Dowsett acknowledged that winning it this time is something special.
“There were a few years where getting this jersey came quite easy and I guess I took it for granted. I think I will enjoy wearing it this time more than the other times I’ve had them. Today was a fight.”
Dowsett, age 30, put up a top time of 49:25 (48.57 km/h) on the 27.4k flat course in Norfolk. Starting second from last just in front of teammate Harry Tanfield among a field of 35 riders, Dowsett wasn’t seeing early results in his time checks that gave him an over-abundance of confidence.
Dowsett: “I think I was down after one-third of the distance and this was a bit of a worry because I’d given a lot in this part of the course. Then at two-thirds it was touch and go, but then I brought it home well. We have some real fast guys in the U.K. and the caliber of riders coming through is huge, so I don’t know when the last time in the national stripes will be so I’m going to enjoy every moment of this.”
Joining Dowsett on the podium were John Archibald for the silver medal (+.06) and Steve Cummings with the bronze at +.27.
Dowsett had nothing but praise for his team equipment: “We’ve got fantastic equipment: the Oakley helmet, the Canyon bike, the Katusha Sports skinsuits – it’s all fully optimized to make us as quick as possible. It worked!”
Dowsett concluded: “Each year is a pleasure and I think even more so this time. It’s my sixth title but it feels like my first. It’s going to be very special riding in the stripes this year. I’m very happy.”
Dowsett GB TT champ:
Ninth German Time Trial Title for Tony Martin
Tony Martin has become German champion time trial for the ninth time in his carreer. The cyclist of Team Jumbo-Visma covered the 35 kilometers long time trial in 39’11. Despite a short delay, he was eighteen seconds faster than number two Nils Politt.
For Martin, it’s his first (individual) win of the season. For Team Jumbo-Visma, it’s the 34th victory. Earlier this week, Jos van Emden became Dutch champion time trial and Wout van Aert was the fastest in Belgium.
“It’s a very nice victory”, Martin said. “Beforehand, I knew Politt would be a strong contender, so I had to fight hard. I’m very proud I can wear this jersey for another year. It was my last race before the Tour de France, so this was a good test. I’m going to the Tour with a lot of morale.”
After a few kilometers, Martin had to change bikes because of a mechanical problem. According to sports director Grischa Niermann, his pedal hit the ground in a corner. “That’s why his tube got off and his rear wheel blocked. Thanks to his riding skills he managed to stay on his bike. He changed bikes and our mechanic Dirk pushed him really hard. In the end, he lost fifteen to twenty seconds.”
The bike change didn’t only cost Martin time, but, initially, also some morale. “After two or three kilometers, I found my rhythm again and I became mentally stronger. I fought until the end and I’m very happy with this performance.”
Tony Martin – German TT champ again:
Jungels Retains Title in Luxembourg
A fine display on Friday evening helped Bob become the second ever Luxemburger five-time winner of the ITT race.
Bob Jungels successfully defended his National Time Trial Champion title, racking up his third victory of the season after overpowering all his opponents in Soleuvre, where the course comprised of three identical laps, whose main difficulty was Col de l’Europe (1520m, 7.5%).
A flying start saw the 26-year-old record the fastest time at the intermediate checkpoint and set the early mark for success on home turf, his fifth since 2013, the year of Bob’s maiden win against the clock. At the end of the day, the reigning champion was clocked in 21:34, more than a minute clear of Tom Wirtgen (Wallonie Bruxelles) and Ivan Centone (Team Differdange-GeBa), who rounded out the podium.
“Winning a national title is always special, even more this time, as I equalled Christian Poos’ record of five ITT victories. I am proud that I get to wear this beautiful jersey for one more year and show it in some of the world’s biggest races. Hopefully, on Sunday, I’ll have another reason to be happy about”, said Bob, who will try to defend the national road race title conquered in each of the past four years on the 175.1km-long course around Soleuvre.
Luxembourg TT champ, Bob Jungels:
Gonçalves Beats Twin Brother to Become National Time Trial Champion
José Gonçalves was highly motivated to go faster than the 2017 and 2018 Portuguese TT champion Domingos Gonçalves (Cara Rural-Seguros RGA). The Katusha-Alpecin rider kept his promise and was 21 seconds faster than his twin brother. António Carvalho (W52 / FC Porto) finished 3rd, 1’03” behind. For José Gonçalves it was his second national time trial title. He was also the best in 2012.
The 32,3 km course in Melgaço was challenging. “The course suited me very well, but I started a bit too fast and paid for it on the first climb. Fortunately, I managed to recover and go again at full speed. After my second-place last year behind my brother Domingos, I was really keen to beat him in Melgaço. This title is good motivation for me. I will be able to show my new jersey in the Tour de France next week. And why not trying to win the road championships as well? I’ve never won that race”, said José Gonçalves.
Portuguese TT podium:
Gediminas Bagdonas time trial champion of Lithuania
Gediminas Bagdonas’ victory in the Lithuanian Time Trial Championships is the tenth win of the year for the AG2R-La Mondiale team.
Gediminas Bagdonas: “After taking fifth place at the European Games in Minsk, I knew I was in good shape. Today it was not overly hot, but the wind was very important. I am super happy and proud to keep my jersey for another year. For the Sunday road race, I hope to keep this momentum. As the only Lithuanian on the team, I’m all alone. But in any case, it’s still a little lottery. I’ll do everything I can to win again. The race could well end in a sprint, but nothing is written in advance, so we’ll see.”
Leah Kirchmann Wins Back-to-Back Canadian TT Titles
After successfully winning her second Canadian time trial crown last year, Leah Kirchmann was in action today looking to make it back-to-back wins and take her third national title. Awaiting the riders was an out and back course, starting and finishing in the town of Saint-Prosper. Although the roads were straight and not very technical; the parcours offered a challenge due to it’s rolling nature with a long drag up to the turning point and a tricky climb situated not far from the line. Kirchmann started well and was in the lead going through the intermediate checkpoint, before continuing her strong ride and claiming the title once she crossed the finish line.
“I am really happy to take my third time trial national championship title,” beamed Kirchmann at the finish. “I paced it very hard in the first five kilometers, maybe a bit too fast, but then I found a good rhythm and could hold a fast pace for the rest of the course. I could see Karol Ann ahead of me on the last climb and really gave everything from there until the line. I was thinking of my mom during the race, because I wanted to give her a nice birthday present!”
Canadian Leah Kirchmann:
Lotte Kopecky is the new Belgian TT champion
Lotte Kopecky set the best time at the Belgian Time Trial Championship in Middelkerke this afternoon! She covered the course of 25.3 kilometers, consisting of two local laps, in 34’45”. She was 44 seconds faster than Jolien D’hoore. Teammate Annelies Dom claimed the third place, 48 seconds down on Kopecky. Two other Lotto Soudal Ladies finished on top ten too: Julie Van De Velde who got 5th at 58” and Alana Castrique who was 10th at 1’58”.
Lotte Kopecky: “Deep down I had hoped to win, but I hadn’t expected it. I only decided to come to this Championship two weeks ago. I didn’t do more than two trainings on my time trial bike. Last week I had a training camp in the Vosges and several long training blocks were scheduled, so that was a good preparation. I would never have started if I hadn’t known a good result would be possible. Several circumstances made me decide to do take the start. The course suited me and my condition is becoming better and better. There were also doubts about the shape of Ann-Sophie Duyck (five-time Belgian TT champion, LTS), but of course you never know how someone will perform on the day of the race. Nonetheless, I really wanted to take my chance.”
“Yesterday, I did a recon of the course. It wasn’t technical, but just a matter of riding hard. There was a lot of wind at the coast this afternoon and you needed to divide your strength very well over the whole race. Kevin De Weert had given me a schedule. I had good legs and I always had a higher power output than foreseen, but I managed to keep that up. I rode two pretty equal laps, I didn’t get tired. That’s a positive sign. I knew I had the best intermediate time after one lap, but I didn’t know how big my lead was. Five seconds? Twenty seconds? Mentally, there’s a huge difference between that. Because I didn’t know how big the margin was, I just gave my all till the finish. I hadn’t expected a gap of 44 seconds.”
“Four riders still had to finish after me, so it were some tense minutes. I am very happy that I conquered this victory. My first Belgian elite title! This is a special moment. Sunday is another important day with the road race in Ghent, but I am more relaxed than previous years. After becoming four times second, I can better deal with it. No pressure. It would be wonderful to win, but I know there are many years ahead and that title will come one day. Today’s victory was unexpected too. Hopefully all goes well on Sunday for the team, that’s most important. Some riders and teams will want to avoid a bunch sprint, so I expect several attacks. I hope it will be an attractive race. And we have a strong team for Sunday.”
Gutiérrez Becomes Spanish ITT Champion
Three years after her latest success in the race as an under-23 rider, the Rioja native claims the elite title in Murcia, ahead of Oyarbide (silver), Rodríguez (bronze) and Merino (4th)
Just like in 2018, the Movistar Team swept the podium of the Spanish Time Trial Championships, held on Friday over 21.6km of an up-and down course, made of long straights, in Yecla, Murcia.
Sheyla Gutiérrez owned the race with an exceptional performance, at nearly 45kph average. The allrounder from Varea, La Rioja, put 33″ on hee nearest rival, Lourdes Oyarbide, at the intermediate check 10.8km into the race, a gap she increased to 53″ at the finish over the Basque (silver). Gloria Rodríguez took bronze, at 55″, with Eider Merino in fourth, 1’41” back.
The squad managed by Jorge Sanz and Sebastián Unzué will seek to retain the second title at stake on Saturday, the road race, over a course barely exceeding 100km from Archena to Lorca -the Castillo climb as biggest obstacle, crested just 3km before the finish – under extremely warm conditions.
Spanish TT champion, Sheyla Gutiérrez: “I’m so proud about this victory. Time trials, and more precisely the Spanish Championships, did not go well for me in the past despite having the right conditions to do well – the strength, the aero efficiency. This course was a real fight against yourself: just staying focused into those long straights, fighting and suffering to keep a high pace – and I finally found the right one to succeed. I was able to celebrate with my team-mates, who were phenomenal today, and this result really gives us hope and confidence for Saturday. We’ve got a strong squad all-around, with lots of chances, and we’ll do our best to retain the jersey.”
Jasinska takes silver at Polish CRI
In turn, Malgorzata Jasinska put on a strong effort to try and defend her Polish ITT title from 2018 at the 22km course in Stebark. The Movistar Team veteran finished 1’01” behind new champion Anna Plichta (TFS), securing silver by just two seconds against Aurela Nerlo (NES).
Team INEOS Announce 2019 Tour de France Line-Up
Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal will be joint leaders of Team INEOS in the 2019 Tour de France, in what will be the Team’s first race at Le Tour under new ownership.
Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle complete the Team’s lineup for the 21-stage race, which starts in Brussels on Saturday 6th July.
Reigning Tour de France champion Thomas, who became the first-ever Welshman to win the race in 2018, will co-lead with Bernal, who heads into the race in winning form after triumphing at the Tour de Suisse last weekend.
Thomas is excited about returning to the Tour, commenting: “Winning the Tour de France last year was the highlight of my professional cycling career and racing with the number one on my back is going to be special this year. The memories of 2018 will remain with me forever, but now I’m ready to create more with the Team this year.
“It’s no secret my build-up has been affected by the crash at Tour de Suisse, but I’ve had a good block of training since and I feel ready. Discussing with the Team, we believe it makes sense to go into the race with joint leaders as it gives us more options. Egan and I will work hard for each other and the Team over the three weeks of the race.
“We’ve got a really exciting blend of youth and experience in the Team – and it’s a group of riders who I know will be with me every step of the way and know what it takes to win Grand Tours. I can’t wait to pull on the Team INEOS jersey for the first time at the Tour de France in what is the biggest race of the year.”
Bernal, meanwhile, is excited about competing in only his second Tour de France, having played a leading role in Thomas’ 2018 success. “I have really good memories from the Tour last year,” he said. “It was my first Tour de France and also my first Grand Tour, so it was special. We enjoyed a great victory with G and it was something really special to be a part of. Of course, our ambition is to win the race again this year.
“Last year’s experience taught me a lot. As a bike rider, whatever you might think about the Tour from the outside you don’t really know it until you have raced it. Now I know what to expect, I can be more relaxed about what lies ahead and even more focused on the racing. The most important thing for my development is to enjoy racing over the next three weeks, give my best, and be happy with my performance. I am looking forward to sharing leadership responsibilities with G and doing everything we can together to help Team INEOS win its first Tour.”
This year’s Tour will feature 30 categorized climbs, five mountain-top finishes and only 54 kilometers of time trialling, split between one team time trial and one individual time trial.
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “There is always a strong sense of anticipation before any Tour, but this one is that bit more special for us as it’s our first racing as Team INEOS. And whilst our preparation hasn’t been straightforward following Chris Froome’s recent crash, we will be at the start line with a really strong team that is hungry to win again.
“After the success of last year, we have decided to come into the race with joint leaders. Geraint and Egan are both in great form. They trust each other and we believe that this approach will best suit us as a Team by giving us the greatest flexibility on the road and the best possible chance of success.
“Alongside them, we have five of the riders who supported Geraint in his victory last year. They are all supremely talented in their own right as bike riders and also in great form, but their combined strengths will ensure we are strong on both the flat and in the mountains. We have also brought Dylan van Baarle into the Team. He was in top condition at the Dauphine and is relishing the opportunity ahead.”
Brailsford added: “Once again, it is a fantastic Tour de France route. The first week should see some great racing with the Team Time Trial on stage two and then the summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles a few days later. There are then some punishing climbs through the Massif Central and into the Pyrenees before one of the longest summit finishes in Tour history at Val Thorens on the final Saturday before Paris.
“It should be fantastic for the fans. These are three very special weeks every year. We always love riding in this race and we can’t wait for the start in Brussels.”
The full Team INEOS lineup for this year’s Tour de France is:
Egan Bernal, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas, Dylan van Baarle.
UAE Team Emirates for the Tour de France
Eight quality riders keen to shine at the Grande Boucle.
The general manager Joxean Matxin (Spa) and the sports directors Neil Stephens (Aus) and Simone Pedrazzini (Sui) will manage eight riders from six different countries:
– Fabio Aru (Ita)
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
– Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por)
– Sergio Henao (Col)
– Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
– Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
– Daniel Martin (Irl)
– Jasper Philipsen (Bel)
Fabio Aru: “After months of absence from racing, I was able to rediscover the spark of racing, feel fatigue in the legs and to really test my condition. The feedback on my recovery is encouraging, I feel good which has led to my selection for the Tour de France. Through the last few months and during my injury I’ve always stayed calm andI’m taking that into this Tour de France: I will not be in France to worry about the general classification, the Grande Boucle will be an exciting new chapter as I reboot my season. I expect that my performance will improve step by step, I will fight to be competitive and to help the overall objectives of the team and will aim for a stage win if the conditions are right.”
Alexander Kristoff: “I’ll be going to this Tour with the objective to try to win a stage, as well as relive the great emotions of last year. This season my form was better than it has been the past few years, but the level of all the top riders is so high that a good condition is not enough, you also need enormous determination and a little luck.”
Daniel Martin: “I’m really excited to get racing again at the Tour. I feel good in training and the Dauphiné went really well, even if we didn’t see the same aggressive racing in the mountains that we normally do. I’ve come out of the Dauphiné well and I like the look of the course this year, plus we have a super strong team with a lot of different options and cards to play. I’m just looking forward to get started now.”
Joxean Matxin: “The team is well balanced, with four riders geared towards the climbs and four rouleurs for the flatlands – said the general manager – We can cope well with all situations that the race will throw up, including the team time trial. We’ve got some big names in our squad, and they re sure to be up in the action. The inclusion of Aru will be interesting for sure, and we’re excited about his quick progress. It’s also a big moment for young Philipsen who will make his debut at the Grande Boucle.”
The video reveals the eight riders who will don the UAE Team Emirates colors at the Tour de France 2019, taking place from Saturday, July 6 to Sunday, July 28.
Team Sunweb present Tour de France 2019 line-up
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce the riders that will be competing at the 2019 edition of Le Tour de France, bringing a well-balanced squad, aiming for stage success at La Grand Boucle. The race offers various opportunities for the team throughout the three weeks of racing; both in the sprints and from the breakaway.
Team Sunweb’s Tour de France coach Aike Visbeek discussed the line-up: “This year our focus at the Tour de France will be to go for stage success throughout the race. We have been in this situation before when we have had to change from a GC goal to focusing on stage results and I am confident we can do well again.”
“We’ll have opportunities for good results with Michael in the sprint stages and reduced bunch sprints. Nikias will be our captain and with Giro stage winner Chad, we bring extra power for the both the TTT and TT. With Wilco, Nicholas and Søren we aim for opportunities in the more difficult hilly and mountain stages.”
“We are also happy and proud that we bring two talented debutants to this year’s Tour with Lennard and Cees. Lennard has showed both in lead out work and in the mountains that he is very strong and with him we are aiming to make the next step in his development. Cees has made big steps this spring with several victories, but maybe even more impressive has been his dedication to working in a support role on different occasions. Cees will get the opportunity to gain more experience and develop at what is the highest level.”
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Cees Bol (NED), Chad Haga (USA), Lennard Kämna (GER), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Nicholas Roche (IRL).
Coaches: Luke Roberts (AUS), Arthur van Dongen (NED), Aike Visbeek (NED) and Matt Winston (GBR).
Katusha-Alpecin Roster for the Tour de France
Team Katusha-Alpecin is happy to announce its line-up for the 106th Tour de France.
Jens Debusschere (BEL), Alex Dowsett (GBR), José Gonçalves (POR), Marco Haller (AUT), Nils Politt (GER), Rick Zabel (GER), Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN) and Ilnur Zakarin (RUS).
Team Directors: José Azevedo (POR), Dirk Demol (BEL) and Xavier Florencio (ESP).
Can Ilnur Zakarin do something at the Tour?
Gougeard Selected for the Tour team Vuillermoz to Replace Latour
After the finish of the French Championships, Alexis Gougeard was chosen to compete in the Tour de France.
“Alexis has returned to his best level, which he confirmed after spending the day at the front of the race of the French Championships. This earned him the chance to return to the Tour de France. He has found an exceptional level of form. He is a great rider, able to be strong in the middle mountain stages, and he has an exceptional team spirit,” said Vincent Lavenu.
However, it has also been decided to replace Pierre Latour with Alexis Vuillermoz in the squad for the upcoming Tour de France: “After talking with Pierre Latour, we decided that it was more reasonable to replace him for the next Tour de France. He has been struggling since returning to the competition, and it would have been very risky to send him to a race like the Tour de France,” Vincent Lavenu explained.
Alexis Gougeard: “Since the beginning of the season, I have proved that my condition is good. I am very happy to return to the Tour. I wanted to prove that I had my place.
I have great memories of my participation in the 2016 Tour where I worked very well with Romain. I have been frustrated not to participate in the last two editions, but I simply did not have a high enough level. I want to prove that the team has been right to choose me. That means I want to be an important asset for the stages in general, but also for the time trial.”
Alexis Vuillermoz: “After the Giro d’Italia, I started training quickly again. I did have being selected for the Tour team in mind, and I am very honored that the team trusts me. During the month of June, I re-found great sensations that I have not had for a long time in training. I am going to the start in order to work for the team to the maximum, and hopefully to take my chances when the opportunity arises.”
Pierre Latour: “I’m not disappointed, it’s better like this. I was not in a good enough condition during the Tour de Suisse, and that was confirmed today at the French Championships. At the Tour, I would not be worth anything to the team. This absence will allow me to continue training well with the goal to be better at the end of the season and the Vuelta.”
Medical report after the crash involving Gallopin, Cosnefroy and Paret-Peintre. “Tony Gallopin suffered ‘left elbow wounds that required stitches, but also multiple superficial wounds on the left side and a trauma to the left calf’. Benoît Cosnefroy was taken care of by the medical service of the French Championship organizers, and suffers from ‘road rash of the right shoulder, elbow and hip.’ As for Aurélien Paret Paintre, he suffers from multiple areas of superficial road rash,” explained Dr. Eric Bouvat, medical director of the AG2R-La Mondiale team.
Regarding the participation of Tony Gallopin and Benoît Cosnefroy in the Tour de France, a decision will be made in the coming hours.
A Complete Team for the Grande Boucle
Et voilà, the Edition 106 of the Tour de France will start in Brussels on Saturday July 6th to finish in Paris after more than three weeks. The 2019 Grande Boucle will cover 3460km with 12 flat and hilly stages, one ITT and one TTT and finally 7 mountain stages with five summit finishes between Alps and Pyrenees.
“We have worked really hard,” explains General Manager Brent Copeland. “On getting the best possible team to this years Tour de France, the sport directors and trainers as well as all the teams staff have done a fantastic job both at the races and behind the scenes to make sure the team is at its best for this important appointment of the season especially considering the difficult start to the season we had with many injuries, so thanks to this hard work we are convinced on having a great Tour de France, when you go to any race with a rider as talented as Vincenzo Nibali you know its going to be an exciting one and this is what we looking forward to, the past months optimistic results with Dylan Teuns and Rohan Dennis have shown that we moving in the right direction to make for some great racing.”
“It’s a complete team,” explains SD Gorazd Stangelj. “Which will be competitive in any kind of stage. Vincenzo will be able to aim for the GC, while Dylan and Matej Mohoric will be the day strikers. To them, add two sprinters like Sonny Colbrelli and the young Ivan Garcia Cortina and Dennis for the time trials, Two solid riders like Damiano Caruso and Jan Tratnik complete a well balanced team.”
“I will listen to my feelings,” says Vincenzo Nibali. “In the first week of the race and after the first uphill finish at La panche des belles filles I will see where I am. After Giro d’Italia I recovered the fatigue and the last two weeks I did a training camp in the Alps with my teammate Damiano. As usual, the TDF’s route is very demanding and there are several ascents beyond the 2000 meters of altitude that will make more selection. Difficult to say who is the favorite, certainly the riders who can win are different and I am sure it will be a tough battle.”
After his second place overall at the Tour de Suisse, the ITT world champion Rohan Dennis will start from Brussels with some ambitions: “I have been working well in the last weeks and the podium in Switzerland confirmed this. My goal for the Tour is to do well in some stages, like for example the Pau’s ITT, and help my teammates win as much as possible.”
The 27-year-old Belgian Dylan Teuns will be at the start for the first time in his career: “I’m really happy to start my first Tour de France after having a really good and successful Dauphiné. I’m really confident on my shape and I will look for some nice opportunity’s.”
TBM’s line-up for Tour de France:
Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Caruso, Matej Mohoric, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Sonny Colbrelli, Dylan Teuns, Rohan Dennis and Jan Tratnik.
CCC Team to Fight for Stage Wins at the Tour de France
CCC Team is set to line up at the Tour de France with eight riders motivated to go for a stage win when racing gets underway this Saturday in Brussels.
Two-time individual stage winner Greg Van Avermaet, the last Belgian to wear the Maillot Jaune, will lead the team on home soil at the Grand Depart and will be joined by fellow countryman Serge Pauwels. Simon Geschke, who won a stage in 2015, Team Time Trial winners Patrick Bevin (2018) and Michael Schär (2015 and 2018), and three-time Vuelta a España stage winner Alessandro De Marchi will bring a wealth of experience to the team, whilst former United States time trial champion Joey Rosskopf and Polish rider Łukasz Wiśniowski are set to make their race debut.
CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said the 2019 Tour de France will mark an important milestone in the team’s history.
“The Tour de France is always an exciting time in the cycling season and this year’s edition will be special for the team, for our title sponsor CCC, and for Polish cycling. For the first time, the CCC brand will race on the world’s biggest stage and we will make our debut at the Tour de France with the CCC Team name, the first Polish WorldTour team in the history of the race. Dariusz Miłek, President of the CCC Group, has dreamed of this for a long time and we are proud to make it a reality on Saturday,” Ochowicz said.
“We are lining up at the Tour de France with a fresh approach and new objectives. This may be the team’s tenth Tour de France but it will be the first year in that time that we line up without a General Classification contender so, this is new terrain for us. Instead, we are bringing eight motivated riders who will look to race aggressively and work towards achieving our primary objective which is to win a stage. We have to and we will line up at every start line with the belief that we can win that stage. It’s not easy to win a stage at the Tour de France but we have riders who have won before, and the opportunity given to all eight riders to go for their own results gives them a level of freedom most have never had. We are excited to see what they can do.”
Sports Director Fabio Baldato believes the unpredictability of this year’s Tour de France can work in the team’s favor.
“Our Tour de France this year will be all about attacking, looking for good breakaways, and working as a team to win a stage. We don’t have a pure sprinter and we don’t have a pure climber, we have a team of opportunists which means we have to look at every stage and see how we can win it. I think the fact that the General Classification is so open this year will work in our favor as there is not one team with the responsibility of controlling the race, which should help us to achieve our goal and race as aggressively as possible,” Baldato explained.
“Of course, Greg Van Avermaet is the leader of our team, a title he deserves when you look at his palmarès and history at the race. There are quite a few stages that are suited to Greg and he will have the team’s full support on those days. Riders like Alessandro De Marchi, Simon Geschke, and Serge Pauwels are exactly the kind of riders who will be jumping in breakaways and have already proven they can win in these situations. Patrick Bevin has his sights set on the ITT but he showed fantastic form at Tour de Suisse so I think he is going to have a great Tour de France. We saw last year in the stage 13 breakaway that Michael Schär can make the most of an opportunity when given the chance so we can expect to see more of that. Joey Rosskopf and Łukasz Wiśniowski will make their debut so they are in for a special Tour de France and with the freedom to go for their own results.”
CCC team at the Tour de France (July 6-28):
Patrick Bevin (NZ), Alessandro de Marchi (ITA), Simon Geschke (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Joey Rosskop (USA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), ŁukaszUKASZ Wisniowski (POL).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Piotr Wadecki (POL), Valerio Piva (ITA).
Stage wins for CCC?
Pogačar and UAE Team Emirates Sign Contract for Another Four Years
UAE Team Emirates are pleased to announce a lengthy contract extension with Pogačar.
Tadej Pogačar, one of the most prominent riders so far in 2019 thanks to his five big results (a stage and the overall classification of the Volta to the Algarve, a stage and the overall classification of the Tour of California; Slovenian time-trial champion), has penned a deal to keep him with UAE Team Emirates for the next four seasons.
The twenty year old Slovenian will wear the UAE jersey through to at least the 2023 season.
Tadej Pogačar expressed his delight on signing the new deal: “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to sign an agreement that will keep me with UAE Team Emirates for the foreseeable future. I hope we can develop and progress together in the years ahead. I thank the team for the trust they have placed in me going forward as a cyclist“.
This satisfaction was echoed by CEO of the team, Mauro Gianetti: “It has been great to see Pogačar develop his enormous talent here with us, which he showed glimpses of in 2018 at the Tour de l’Avenir. The victories at the Tour of California and the Volta ao Algarve, and his latest strong performances in other big races, means that Tadej is not only a rider for the future but has proven himself in the big races already. We wanted to build around a strong team of youngsters with potential to grow and form a strong base for the coming years of Team UAE Emirates. Pogačar is without a doubt one of these.”
Bright future for Tadej Pogačar:
Valverde Re-Signs with Blues Through End of 2021
World Champion from Movistar Team extends contract with Telefónica squad for next two years, prolongs near-everlasting relationship with Abarca Sports – 15 seasons at the end of his new contract – as he enjoys bike racing with the Blues until 41 years old. ‘Bala’ to remain with Abarca organization through 2024.
The main Movistar Store in downtown Murcia was the venue chosen by Telefónica and the Movistar Team to announce the renewal of the contract between the squad and Alejandro Valverde, a relationship now officially extended through the end of the 2021 season.
At the event, Valverde and the Blues general manager Eusebio Unzué shared with the media their satisfaction with the Spaniard’s continuation of his sporting career. It was also announced Valverde will remain a part of the Abarca Sports organization at least through the end of 2024.
Valverde’s extension prolongs the legend of one of the most talented riders in recent decades. Winner of 125 races in the pro scene since his debut in 2002, the current UCI World Road Race Champion has a palmarès only matched by his exceptional human quality, which has granted him respect and admiration from team-mates, rivals and fans alike.
One Vuelta a España overall win (2009), seven medals in the World Championships – including gold in 2018 – four UCI WorldTour individual titles (2006, 2008, 2014 & 2015; leader of the UCI World Ranking at the end of 2018), four Liège-Bastogne-Liège, five Flèches Wallonnes, three Voltas a Catalunya, two Critériums du Dauphiné, four stages in the Tour de France – plus one GC podium finish, 3rd, in 2015 – eleven in the Vuelta and one in the Giro (GC podium, 3rd, in his only appearance, 2016) – these are all figures which still don’t make justice with the talent of the most consistent Spanish cyclist ever.
Alejandro Valverde: “I’m so happy with this extension. Everyone knows the Movistar Team is home to me. I’ve always felt really loved and respected here, and I’m so happy to be able to stay with the team for the next two years. It gives me the calmness and confidence I need to keep working hard and enjoying bike racing. I will fight for new victories, as many as we can, and also help our team-mates to achieve big success wherever possible in the future.”
Eusebio Unzué: “We feel privileged to have enjoyed for so long the sporting and human quality of such a great man as Alejandro. He’s brought us big success, of course, yet he’s offered us many lessons even when he’s not crossed the line first. His recovery in 2017 after such a serious injury in the Tour de France; his resilience to keep seeking for success after nearly two decades in the sport; and his affable character with everyone he’s worked with or come across, make them an essential person for us, a leader in and out of the races. Hopefully he can continue enjoy bike racing in these two years as he’s done during his whole career.”
Valverde – The old man of the peloton:
Giro d’Italia 2020: Three Hungarian Stages Unveiled
After the announcement of the Grande Partenza of the Cosa Rosa from Hungary, the first three stages were unveiled today in the Hungarian capital. The Giro will start on Saturday 9 May with a 9.5km individual time trial on the streets of Budapest. The second stage, suited to sprinters, will start from the capital – on Sunday 10 – to reach Györ after 193km. On Monday 11 May the third stage will start in Székesfehérvár and finish in Nagykanizsa (197km). This will be the 14th Grande Partenza outside of Italy for the Corsa Rosa.
An individual time trial on the streets of the capital with a slightly uphill finish that’s followed by two stages ready-made for sprinters: this will be the opening of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, which will start on Saturday 9 May in Hungary. The first two stages will start from Heroes’ Square (UNESCO World Heritage), in the heart of Budapest. The finish of the ITT will be in the Castle district, with the last 1,500 meters of the route slightly uphill (average gradient of 4%). The finale of the first in-line stage, on Sunday 10 May, will be in Györ, the main city in North West Hungary. The third stage will take the peloton from Székesfehérvár to Nagykanizsa, along the Lake Balaton, where a bunch sprint will be expected.
Stage 1 – Budapest ITT – 9.5km
Stage 1’s ITT within the city of Budapest is flat in the first part and slightly uphill in the finale. The route starts from Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) and continues along the Danube and the Parliament. After leaving the Danube the route enters into the old city. Starting in Clark Ádám Tér, the final ascent of about 1.5km (at around 4%) will see the GPM award ahead of the finish in the Castle district.
Stage 2 – Budapest – Györ – 193km
From the start at Heroes’ Square in Budapest, the route reaches the Danube via the short and easy ascent of Svábvár. The course continues along the Magyar plain with a succession of easy undulations up to the short climb – with slopes in double figures – of Pannonhalma (site of a famous abbey), 22km from the finish. The route then arrives in Györ with a finish on the city boulevards for a probable sprint.
Stage 3 – Székesfehérvár – Nagykanizsa – 197km
A practically flat stage with slight, but mild, undulations along the entire route. Much of the stage runs alongside Lake Balaton with some deviations inland in Veszprém and Héviz. The route then continues on flat terrain to approach the city of Nagykanizsa until the very likely bunch gallop.
The Giro d’Italia’s 13 previous starts outside Italy:
1965 San Marino (Republic of San Marino)
1966 Monte Carlo (Principality of Monaco)
1973 Verviers (Belgium)
1974 Vatican City
1996 Athens (Greece)
1998 Nice (France)
2002 Groningen (The Netherlands)
2006 Seraing (Belgium)
2010 Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
2012 Herning (Denmark)
2014 Belfast (Northern Ireland)
2016 Apeldoorn (The Netherlands)
2018 Jerusalem (Israel).
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