EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The action is ‘Full Gas’ in the Vuelta a España – All the results and video from Spain, plus the Deutschland Tour, Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France and the Omloop Mandel – Leie-Schelde. Giro d’Italia to start in Nibali’s home town – Top Story. Lots of other cycling news: B&B Hotels-Vital Concept name change, new riders for Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal, live TV for European cross champs in Silvelle and LOOK stay with Delko-Marseille Provence. Rest day for the Vuelta, not EUROTRASH!

TOP STORY: Local politician wants 2021 Giro d’Italia to start in the birthplace of Nibali
It has been known for a while that the 2021 Giro d’Italia will start on the Island of Sicily, but it is still a guessing game as to where the starts and finishes will be. If it is up to the local politician Andrea Argento, then the Tour of Italy will start in the birthplace of dual Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali – Messina.

Argento told Italian media to think of a prologue in the streets of Messina. “The city lends itself to a short time trial. The event will be broadcast in more than 150 countries. This is a unique opportunity to put Messina in the spotlight. We must seize this opportunity with both hands.”

“In this way, Messina is the centre of the world for one day,” said Argento. It is questionable whether organiser RCS Sport is also so keen to start the 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia in the port city.

The Giro d’Italia and Sicily:

Vuelta a España 2019
Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) made the most of the lumpy roads on Stage 6 leading to Ares del Maestrat claiming victory on the very next day after his brother José finished 3rd in Javalambre. The Spaniard, who wore La Roja for two days at La Vuelta 18, dominated Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and the rest of his breakaway companions in the final climb to take his first Grand Tour stage win. The Belgian rider takes the leader’s red jersey from Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), who finished in the bunch with his GC rivals. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) crashed out of the race.

Angel Madrazo’s victory in Javalambre had many riders inspired and the battle for the breakaway is an extremely intense one. Attacks fly from the gun, with many groups jumping ahead of the bunch and being caught. Wout Poels (Ineos) puts in a strong solo effort over the first two climbs, the Puerto de Nogueruelas (Cat 2) and the Puerto de Linares (Cat 3), but the peloton gets back to him after 41km.

Eleven riders immediately counter and eventually manage to break away: Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Dorian Godon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott), David de la Cruz (Ineos), Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

Uran and Roche crash out of the race
Astana still control the gap: 1:25 as the race travels through Villafranca del Cid (km 75). Tension remains high in the bunch and a massive crash happens at km 105. EF Education First’s Rigoberto Uran and Hugh Carthy aren’t able to resume racing and Victor de la Parte (CCC) also retires at the moment. The former wearer of La Roja Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) gets back on his bike but he also needs to step off and abandon a few kilometres later.

The gap eventually increases and the attackers enjoy a 4:20 lead at the bottom of the penultimate climb, the cat-3 Puerto de Culla, to be summited with 25.5km to go. Tsgabu Grmay attacks in the climb and opens a 30 second gap to his chasers at the summit. The peloton trails by 5:05 and David de la Cruz leads the virtual GC standings as he was trailing by 4:35 at the start of the stage.

Herrada powers to victory
Tejay Van Garderen misses a curve in the downhill. Nelson Oliveira joins Grmay at the front of the race with 20km to go. At the bottom of the final climb (7.9km at 5%), they enjoy a 33 seconds lead to their chasers and 6:26 to the bunch.

Dylan Teuns and Jesus Herrada get back to Oliveira and Grmay and immediately drop them with 2.5km to go. Herrada accelerates with 200m to go and soloes to victory. Among the GC contenders, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) is the first to cross the line with a delay of 5:41, 3 seconds ahead of the Lopez group. Teuns is the new leader of La Vuelta 19.

PEZ Stage 6 Report HERE.

Stage winner, José Herrada Lopez (Cofidis): “There is no vengeance, only new opportunities. I was targeting this stage because I know the start and the final climb pretty well. This victory is for my brother, who came close to taking the victory yesterday. It’s also for my family and my partner, who came to the stage; and for the team, obviously. It was hard to get the break going. Halfway through the stage, we didn’t know if we were gonna make it. When Teuns accelerated, I stuck to his wheel and I saved energy for the sprint. And I got the win. To win a stage and to wear the leader’s jersey are both beautiful. But this victory was my goal for the year, to get my first Grand Tour win. And I’ve done on the stage I was targeting! I can go home with peace in my mind but I’ll be looking for more opportunities and they’ll come.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a goal in this Vuelta. I started to realise that it was possible to get the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. Yesterday I was disappointed about not being in the breakaway, but I still kept going on the climb so as not to lose too much time and it was all in the plan actually. I knew a 3-4 minute climb is my speciality, like the Ardennes, and with about 4km to go I just went full gas, with the hope that nobody would stay in the wheel, but there was one guy who could follow. He didn’t want to pass me and to do a turn, and then I didn’t have the punch anymore. I gave everything for the jersey today. Also for the victory, but in the end, one guy was smarter or stronger.”

3rd on the stage, Dorian Godon (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We knew that the day was going to be rough and it would be difficult to get into the breakaway. And that’s exactly what happened. It was not necessarily part of our briefing at the start to get into the breakaway, and I was a little surprised to find myself there. I think I had to be the heaviest rider among the group! On the last climb, I tried to be smart pacing myself, but the two riders in the front were stronger. There is not too much room for regret. This is my first Grand Tour. Every day is a day of discovery, and today I surprised myself. I did not think I could do that. Since the beginning, Pierre (Latour) has shown that he is at an equal level with the best, and when we can see that, the motivation becomes even stronger.”

6th on the stage, Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was the second mountain stage and I felt really good. As the attacks started I thought if a bigger group will make it, I will try to go with them. It took quite a while but then we were 11 riders and it worked out. As the final attacks on the last ascent started, I wasn’t able to follow, however, I am satisfied with my result today and tomorrow will be another chance for us.”

11th on the stage and 10th overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “On the first two climbs it was really fast and a lot of guys were dropped so we became a small group. The break didn’t go until the second climb and Astana set a hard pace in the peloton. I felt quite good today so on the last part of the climb I tried to attack to gain a few extra seconds.”

4th overall and 14th on the stage, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “The bosses decided it was better to lose La Roja. We’ll go day by day. Tomorrow is a nice finish, and Sunday even nicer. There are still many things to happen at La Vuelta 19 and we’re in a good shape, that’s the most important. Tadej Pogacar attacked very hard. He’s a very young cyclist with lots of talent and he’s growing in this race. He looks very good, I think he’ll be doing a great Vuelta. He’s a rival we need to pay attention to because he’s very strong, as he’s already showed.”

Nicholas Roche (Sunweb) abandoned: “There’s not much to say. I think this is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had in my career. I’d worked so hard to get back to this level and it was a new opportunity to show that I was at this level again. There’s nothing broken which is the good point. I have some stitches in my forearm and pain in my quadriceps which is why I could not continue.”

Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) abandoned with a broken collarbone and also broke his shoulder blade in several places: “Today we’ve had a really tough day, there was a crash on a descent on a corner and there were a number of riders who went down, and there was no possibility to avoid the crash. Us riders we are used to having these crashes so we know what it takes to recuperate from them. There’s no other option, we just have to take some time out and recover to then come back. I’ve learned a lot about this, each time you learn a bit more, you go out there hoping not to crash or at least to not break anything.”

Hugh Carthy (EF Education First) abandoned with a broken collarbone: “If I look at the work we’ve done this week, we can be happy. The team now can look forward and continue racing. I wish them luck. I’m all OK – nothing too serious. Could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful for the help from the team and the hospital. I’m looking forward to recovery now.”

Vuelta a España Stage 6 Result:
1. José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Cofidis in 4:43:55
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 0:07
3. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:21
4. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:37
6. Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:39
7. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:45
8. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:47
9. David de la Cruz (Spa) Ineos at 0:50
10. Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:35.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 6:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida in 23:44:00
2. David de la Cruz (Spa) Ineos at 0:38
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 1:00
4. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:14
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:23
6. Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:28
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:17
9. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:18
10. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:47.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dominated the terrible Alto Mas de la Costa and its slopes above 20% to take a 12th La Vuelta stage win on Friday. The Spanish star held on in a very selected group after several attacks from his teammate Nairo Quintana and powered to victory in the last 150m of Stage 7. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) finished 2nd, 6 seconds ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana). The Colombian ‘Superman’ will wear La Roja again tomorrow on stage 8. Roglic brings the gap down to 6 seconds on GC while Valverde moves to 3rd, ahead of Quintana.

After two victories in a row for the early attackers, riders feel inspired to make it three at the end of stage 7. The battle for the breakaway is extremely intense: the pack covers 49.8km in the first hour and nobody manages to open a proper gap! That’s too much for Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First), who abandoned on the day after crashing en route to Ares del Maestrat. His teammates Rigoberto Uran and Hugh Carthy already abandoned on stage 6.

A strong group eventually manages to break away after 60km of hard racing: Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale), Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Sebastian Henao (Ineos), Michael Storer (Sunweb), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates) and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). They are joined 23km further by Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) and Cyril Barthe (Euskadi-Murias), The peloton trails by 3:44.

Sergio Henao leads the breakaway atop the first three climbs of the day to take 11 KOM points. The gap reaches a maximum of 4:56 with 65km to go. Movistar deside to up the tempo and the gap is down to 2 minutes at the bottom of the penultimate climb. Philippe Gilbert and Sergio Henao accelerate. Sebastian Henao and Gianluca Brambilla join them and Sergio Henao takes 5 more points at the summit. Dylan Teuns is dropped from the bunch with 27km to go.

Philippe Gilbert attacks again with 12.5km to go and only Sergio Henao follows him. Astana Pro Team up the tempo with a gap down to 55 seconds. They only trail by 14 seconds at the bottom of the infamous Alto Mas de la Costa and the attackers are quickly caught with Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss upping the tempo.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) accelerates with 3.2km to go. Only Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) followed him. Quintana accelerated again with 2.2km and 1.2km to go but the four riders remained together until Alejandro Valverde powered to victory in the final 150m.

The full ‘PEZ Stage 7 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m so, so happy. This season has already been good to me, always up there within the best, but taking a stage like this one in La Vuelta, with such a strong competition – it really makes me happy. I want to thank all of my team-mates for the huge gamble they made on us for the win, and Nairo in particular, because he rode brilliantly over the last climb. He tried to distance Roglic and López with his attacks, but seeing they were able to match him, he set a steady pace so I could go for the victory later on. I was confident, I knew I was doing well, and the worst result I could have got was fourth (laughs). I just tried to keep the moves under control, and I knew I was the fastest of the three, so I remained calm until the end. It’s still a long way to go in this Vuelta, but for the time being, it seems like we two, Nairo and myself, are within the top four contenders for the GC win at this specific point. Aiming to win this? Of course it would be incredible to take the victory, 10 years after my first one, but I must remain realistic. We’ve got two stage wins at the moment, one by Nairo and one by myself, we’re up there in the GC – we can’t really ask for more at this point. What there isn’t is a single problem between us. Nairo said he wants me to be the team leader, but I think he must not rule himself out of contention at all. He’s doing really well, and he’s talented enough to aim for this victory. At Javalambre on Wednesday, there was some controversy from Colombia about me pulling Roglic, but the thing is, if I didn’t have López riding away from us, I wouldn’t have ridden that way. I couldn’t lose time against him, since he’s so dangerous. Roglic has proven to be really strong, too, and he should be the best of us four at the ITT, but anything can happen.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “I can’t say that this climb suited me well as it was a steep and explosive powerful climb. However, I gave my best today and I think I can be happy with my performance. I knew this climb and I knew it would be a big test for everyone. We had a super fast start and in general it was a fast stage, so, everyone was already tired coming to the bottom of the final climb. Our team did a great job, I was always in a good and protected position. At the last climb my teammates did a good acceleration, placing me well in front. Finally, we remained four in the lead, everyone tried to do something, but it was impossible to gain terrain on these steep slopes. I expected that Alejandro Valverde would be a big favourite today as this climb suited him perfectly. Anyway, once again I am in the red jersey and I am happy with it. We did a good stage and it is nice to come back into the lead. On Sunday we will have another very hard day and, I think, the climb in Andorra will suit me much better. So sure, with the whole team we will keep on fighting in this Vuelta day by day.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a short, tough, but sweet climb,” Roglic said. “This is the kind of finish that is perfect for Valverde. I have shown that I can also do these climbs, but Alejandro was the best today. I am very happy with this second place and with how things go. Everyone knows that it is difficult to win races without a team. What the team showed today was impressive. My compliments to them for how they supported me today. They were really strong. We are doing well and are in a good position.”

4th on the stage and overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “I wanted to push hard into those slopes to pay the team back for their hard work all day, while Alejandro saved energy at the back of the group to try and sprint to the win, just like he did. It was our plan before the stage: I went on the attack to test our rivals’ legs and maybe even going solo, while Alejandro tried the move he delivered at the end. When he sees the finish, Alejandro transforms himself. The climb is quite peculiar, with those steep slopes, and considering we’re into day seven of the Vuelta, and after two previous, consecutive mountain stages, the wear and tear starts to show and it encourages you to keep trying, seeking for a mistake from your rivals. Alejandro is currently ahead of me in the GC, he’s doing better and I stand by what I said earlier this week, but we remain day-by-day, seeing what happens. It’s still a long way home, and together with the team we must continue to do our best.”

5th on the stage and overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I am really happy with my performance and result today. I felt good and I am normally better on longer climbs, therefore I am satisfied that I could follow the attacks taking 5th place at the end. And also on the general classification I moved up to 5th place. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help from my teammates, they did such a great job, therefore a big thanks to them. Of course, it is still a long way to Madrid but we take it day by day and see what we can achieve all together. However, tomorrow will be again a chance for the faster men in the peloton before we head into the mountains of Andorra.”

7th on the stage and 6th overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It wasn’t just the last climb that was tough, it was the whole day. It was really fast right from the start making this stage the hardest of the week. I am feeling in good shape at the moment, so we will have to wait and see about tomorrow – and then we have our rest day.”

8th on the stage and 10th overall, Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates): “I definitely felt better than the last few days but the left leg is not 100% yet. Today I had a lot of fatigue, but at the same time I did the last climb better than I expected. I hope to be back at 100% soon.”

Vuelta a España Stage 7 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 4:34:11
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:06
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:42
6. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana at 0:48
7. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:51
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:07
10. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 1:20.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 7:
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana in 28:19:13
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:27
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:58
6. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:36
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:52
8. George Bennett (NZ) Team Jumbo-Visma at 3:34
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 3:36
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) powered to an impressive stage win in Igualada. The German rider dominated his 20 breakaway companions in a tense finalé on wet roads while Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) claimed La Roja at the end of Stage 8. The Frenchman is the new overall leader of La Vuelta 19 41 years after Bernard Hinault took the leader’s jersey in Igualada, en route to his first overall success in the Spanish Grand Tour (1978). On the eve of a gruelling mountain stage in Andorra, the peloton trailed by 9 minutes on the finish line.

It’s an open day of racing and attackers are willing to make the most of it with a hard battle for the breakaway. After 19km of hard racing, 21 riders manage to jump ahead of the bunch: Jorge Arcas (Movistar), Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Jonas Koch (CCC), Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), Carl Fredrik Hagen and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data), David de la Cruz (Ineos), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin), Nikias Arndt and Martijn Tusveld (Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Alex Aranburu and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesus Herrada and Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi-Murias). The gap is up to 2:12 after 25km.

With Nicolas Edet being the main GC threat at the front (16th, +6:24), Astana Pro Team set the pace at the front of the bunch. The gap stabilises around 4:20. The attackers maintain an average speed of 44.7km/h in the first two hours to bring their gap up to 5 minutes. Nobody helps Astana set the pace in the bunch and the gap hits a new maximum of 6 minutes ahead of the climb of the day, the cat-2 Puerto de Montserrat (7.4km, 6.6%), to be summited with 27.5km to go.

Peter Stetina attacks at the bottom and opens a 26 second gap. He is joined by Fernando Barcelo and Jesus Herrada at the summit. And the rest of their breakaway companions also get back 26km away from the finish. Rain pours onto the riders and attacks keep flying in the wet downhill. The peloton takes it easier and the gap increases above 7 minutes with 15km to go. More than enough for the breakaway companions to battle it out, with a thrilling string of attacks in the last 10km… until Nikias Arndt made the most of his raw power to edge Alex Aranburu and Tosh Van der Sande on the line.

The ‘PEZ Stage 8 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Nikias Arndt (Sunweb): “It’s amazing, yesterday I said I wanted to go in the breakaway today but to be there and to take the win is unbelievable; I’m super happy. Martijn helped me really well and the team worked great together. I think we played it very smart, with Martijn in the break who could attack while I sat back and waited for the sprint. It was good that he was up front in the closing kilometres so I could save some energy. In the finale I was just following all of the attacks and stayed in the game. I felt really good and I knew I was fast enough to win the sprint from the break, so I had to keep it together. It’s definitely one of my best days in my career so far.”

Overall leader, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “They told me Bernard Hinault had taken the leader’s jersey in Igualada too. He has so many records, it’s nice to share one with him. It’s a nice story. To claim La Roja is something totally different than a stage victory or the Polka-dot jersey I won in 2013. To be on the podium in Madrid meant more than a stage victory. Here, it might very well have been the opportunity of a lifetime to take the leader’s jersey and I had to seize the opportunity. I had La Roja in the back of my mind since the start of La Vuelta. Today, I wasn’t supposed to go in the break. I hope my DS won’t be mad about it… To climb on the podium is a reward for my family. As a rider, you make sacrifices, you don’t see your parents, your wife, your children… My daughter often asks me for a lion from the Tour de France. She’ll have the Spanish toro, it’s nice too. You have to enjoy those moments to the fullest, give it all you have and I don’t want to have any regret tomorrow after the queen stage of La Vuelta 19.”

2nd overall and 6th on the stage, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): “To make it more successful for me I needed a different parcours. I had a little bit tired legs from the past two days and I gave everything anyway, but it was not possible to make the difference somewhere. That small hill at the last km was maybe a good opportunity, but with this weather it was not possible for me, because I couldn’t put the power on the bike due to the road was very slippery. I tried to make a difference to anticipate the sprint but with rain here in Spain the roads are so slippery and dangerous.”

8th overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “After the breakaway of the day was made we stayed together in the peloton and with the rain in the finale we rode safely to avoid any crashes. Tomorrow will be a very tough stage in the mountains of Andorra, therefore we will relax now.”

10th on the stage, Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a tough break to get into but I felt good after yesterday. I’ll try to fight for the Mountains Jersey but I know it will be difficult. Tomorrow is a short stage but it will also be really hard. The stages in Andorra are always important for the GC and it will likely get a shake up tomorrow.”

Vuelta a España Stage 8 Result:
1. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb in 3:50:48
2. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
5. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
7. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
9. Fernando Barceló (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
10. Sergio Henao (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 8:
1. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis in 32:16:24
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 2:21
3. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 3:01
4. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 3:07
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:17
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:28
7. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 3:45
8. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 4:59
9. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 5:37
10. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott at 5:53.

The 20-year old wonderkid Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) claimed a spectacular stage win in Cortals d’Encamp after an action-packed day of racing on Stage 9. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) lit up the race with 20km to go and a thunderstorm made the race even more brutal. The ace leader Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) had already been dropped with 45km to go. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) finished second to claim La Roja, 6 seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). The Colombian climber leads La Vuelta for the first time since his overall victory in 2016.

A short explosive stage with an uphill start leads to a very intense battle for the breakaway. The fight is full on up the Cat 1 Coll d’Ordino, summited first by Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murias) and Patrick Bevin (CCC). No less than 30 chasers bridge the gap to them in the downhill, featuring Lotto Soudal’s Carl Fredrik Hagen, 7th on GC with a delay of 3:45. Other GC threats include Team Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman (12th, +6:37), AG2R La Mondiale’s Pierre Latour (14th, +6:56) and Mitchelton-Scott’s Mikel Nieve (15th, +7:02).

The gap is up to 4:11 when Movistar start driving the bunch at the bottom of the Coll de la Gallina. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-La Mondiale) goes solo at the front of the race with 45km to go. Astana Pro Team up the tempo for Miguel Angel Lopez and the race leader Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) is dropped 3km away from the summit. Geoffrey Bouchard goes over the top (km 56.6) just ahead of Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida) and a reduced group of chasers. The Lopez group trails by 3:19 and Nicolas Edet is 1 minute further behind.

Fireworks through the storm
Bouchard is still alone at the front as the race enters the last 20km. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) already goes on the move, once, and then twice, and nobody follows him with 18km to go. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) and Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) get back to Bouchard 14km away from the finish. Miguel Angel Lopez is 1:45 behind them. And the rest of the favourites are 35 seconds further behind.

Marc Soler (Movistar Team) makes his way to the front of the race and goes solo inside the last 5km, while Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) bridge the gap to Miguel Angel Lopez. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is on his own, trailing by 15 seconds. Through the storm, the race is turned upside down again when Nairo Quintana and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) join Soler in the last 2km. The young Slovenian goes solo while Nairo Quintana takes the second place to snatch La Roja ahead of Primoz Roglic, who surged to 4th in Cortals d’Encamp, ahead of Valverde.

The ‘PEZ Stage 9 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and 5th overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s just incredible. I was looking my opportunity. Yesterday, when I looked at the weather, I was happy with the rain forecast. I tried to follow the attacks. Then I went full gas in the gravel section and in the end it just went perfect. Today was a tricky stage. It’s incredible to win ahead of such champions.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “A very tough stage, where we always tried to ride on the attack to gain an edge on Roglic. I’m really thankful about what Marc Soler did there in the finish, as well as with all other team-mates. We always said we would be going day-by-day, seeing what Alejandro and I could do, supporting whoever is doing best, and the team has been protecting us both so far and we’ve been working together to take this jersey. There’s still a long way to go in this Vuelta. Roglic still has an advantage, considering the TT on Tuesday. We would have to make a big, big effort in the time trial not to lose the jersey, which is what will probably happen, but once we’re over it and together with the team, we will keep making efforts to take the jersey back and hopefully keep it until the end.”

4th on the stage and overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “All in all, a very good day for us, despite everything we had to endure, especially with the cold. We tried to give our best and attack to gain those margins we sought for, especially against Roglic, and this is a good result. We’re still up there in the GC, the two of us, with Nairo in the lead and myself right behind the other contenders. Let’s keep pushing. It will be a different race after the time trial, with lots of climbs where we’ll need to give our best. Both Roglic and ‘Superman’ are really strong at the moment.”

9th on the stage and 3rd overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “It wasn’t anything special. We entered the gravel section with a lead of about 30 seconds and unfortunately the bike slipped and I crashed in a curve. The legs were good, we wanted to do great things. In the end, we’ve lost some seconds but not too much. We’re going to fight with what’s left of La Vuelta, and there’s quite a lot ahead. What’s important is that the team is going well, we’re motivated.”

8th overall and 13th on the stage, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was such a hard stage, the rain especially made the ascent even harder and the hail did hurt on the skin. But my teammates were once again great, protecting me the whole day. Tomorrow is a rest day, where it is important to rest and relax to be ready for the second part of La Vuelta.”

16th on the stage, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a tough stage and it had everything in it. Especially the bad weather at the end made it very challenging,” the American said. “We were doing really well with three guys in the leading group. It’s better to send people ahead than to chase from behind. After all, you never know what happens behind. In the end it was a matter of communicating well. It is a pity about the incident with the motorbike. Luckily we were able to limit the time loss.”

Vuelta a España Stage 9 Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates in 2:58:09
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:23
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
5. Marc Soler (Col) Movistar at 0:57
6. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aust) Bahrain Merida at 0:59
7. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First at 1:01
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 1:38.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 9:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 35:18:18
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
3. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 0:17
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates at 1:42
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 1:46
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 2:21
8. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:22
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 3:53
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 4:46.

Deutschland Tour 2019
A day to shine for the sprinters. After 167 kilometres and start in Hannover Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) decided Stage 1 of the Deutschland Tour in Halberstadt. The sprinter took also the first red jersey as races overall leader. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) took second place on the slightly uphill finish ahead of his teammate Simone Consonni.

After the start in Hannover the route reached its first highlight with the intermediate sprint after 78.5 kilometres in Seesen. At this time a breakaway with Nikodemus Holler (Bike Aid), Igor Boev (Gazprom-RusVelo), Joshua Huppertz (Team Lotto – Kern Haus) and Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) led the race and Huppertz won the five points for the intermediate sprints. The group formed immediately after the start of the stage.

Also, the only mountain classification up to the Sternplatz (498 meters high) was decided between the riders in the breakaway: The Frenchman Bernard secured the three points and the first blue jersey of the best climber of this Deutschland Tour. Afterwards the route led over the former inner-German border to Saxony-Anhalt and for the most part flat to Halberstadt. Accordingly, the sprinter teams took more and more control over the race: 50 kilometres before the finish, the gap went just under two minutes. The maximum lead had been more than four minutes.

Huppertz also won the second intermediate sprint in Osterwieck after 133 kilometres. A bit later Bernard was the last survivor of the breakaway and he reached the bonus classification in Huy to secure three bonus seconds for the overall classification. Shortly after his escape was also over. The sprinters decided the stage – with the best result for Ackermann. Which is a pay-back for last year, when the German sprinter started the Deutschland Tour with a second place.

Stage winner and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Everything went well today. There is really an incredible atmosphere here at the Deutschland Tour, which is very motivating. After the race in Hamburg, I was a bit at a loss, as I couldn’t quite explain the result, but today everything went much better. I have been training with the team here and it made a big difference. I had good legs today and am happy to have won here and also take the red leader’s jersey. We have reached our goal and we will see what is possible in the next few days.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “Simone did a perfect lead-out today. Maybe he was the strongest of us today because he started from 500mt and I lost him a bit after the corner and Ackermann was able to get his wheel. He helped me really well, so it’s a pity I couldn’t take the win, but Ackermann was the strongest today.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:49:30
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
8. Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
10. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:49:20
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:04
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:06
4. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data at 0:08
5. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:09
6. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
9. Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin.

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) won an eventful Stage 2 of the Deutschland Tour from Marburg to Göttingen. On the hilly stage over 202 kilometres the Norwegian won the final sprint of a decimated peloton ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). With his victory Kristoff took over the red jersey of the overall leader from Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

After the start in Marburg a fast start on slightly undulating terrain led to a 25-man group after about 25 kilometres. The group included Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Simon Geschke (CCC) as well as Emanuel Buchmann and the overall leader Ackermann of Bora-hansgrohe, but after 80 kilometres the group got caught. In between, the Italian Davide Villella (Astana) won the first mountain classification to Burg Waldeck and took the lead in this classification. The first two racing hours were completed with an average of 46 km/h.

Afterwards Evenepoel dominated the stage: He got away as a soloist after 94 kilometres and quickly gained a lead of more than three minutes. At first Bora-hansgrohe organised the chase, but at high speed the main peloton was later divided into two groups – Alaphilippe and Ackermann also lost contact.

Evenepoel won the second mountain classification on the Herzberger Landstraße as well as the two sprint classifications in Rosdorf and at the first crossing of the finish line in Göttingen. But on the second crossing of the final hill the field caught the Belgian. On the last eight kilometres the U23 World Champion Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) went on the attack – but without success. The decision was made in the sprint of the smaller field.

Stage winner and overall leader, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “I suffered all day. I fell back in the middle of the stage but then I managed to return to the group where, as the kilometres went by, I started to feel better. On the last ascent I lost contact again, but managed to get back on. In the sprint I felt really good. When Colbrelli jumped I was a bit boxed in, but then I managed to pass. He continued: “I haven’t won since Switzerland, before the Tour de France, where I wasn’t at my best. Now, however, I am returning to good form as I aim for the world championship.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “What a pity! I thought I had made it but Kristoff overtaken me in the last few meters. It was a very tough and fast race and after about ten kilometres I went on the break with Vincenzo Nibali and other riders. They took us back with 100km to go and then we collaborated to take back Remco Evenepoel. At the sprint I started a bit long when there were 300 meters left but then Kristoff passed me. Now I am 2nd in the General Classification just few seconds from the leader. It will not be easy, but I will try to win this Deutschland Tour to the end. There are still two stages to go and above all the last one has an arrival that fits my characteristics.”

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The day was not easy; the track was very demanding. I was also thinking about winning, but on the last climb they caught me too early, so I couldn’t ride with them anymore. But in the end, it was a good training day.”

Stage 1 winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We tried everything, but we didn’t have a chance against the climbers. The beginning was extremely fast, but we had to go with them, and in the end that was just a bit too much.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 4:21:04
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
7. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb
8. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
10. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in8:10:18
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
4. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb at 0:13
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:14
6. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:15
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:16
9. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
10. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos.

Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) won the hilly Stage 3 of the Deutschland Tour through the Thuringian Forest. The Dane won the final sprint against Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) after a late attack. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) led the chasing group that crossed the line 17 seconds later. Stuyven secured the red jersey of the overall leader of the Deutschland Tour.

After the start in Göttingen Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Miká Heming (Dauner Akkon) formed the breakaway of the day after a few kilometres. At times the trio got a lead of more than seven minutes from the field, Heming won the first mountain classification in Heilbad Heiligenstadt and the sprint classification in Treffurt. The last 40 kilometres with three ascents through the Thuringian Forest were decisive. At this time, only Alaphilippe and Pedersen were in the lead with about 1:30 minutes.

Alaphilippe secured the mountain classification at the Hohe Sonne climb, Pedersen the sprint classification in Eisenach 27 kilometres before the finish, but their escape was over immediately afterwards. A new leading group of about 20 riders formed on the climb over the Vachaer Stein, which did not include overall leader Alexander Kristoff (Team UAE Emirates). The Norwegian reached the finish line 1:20 minutes behind. The leading group stayed together for the most part in the second ascent to the Hohe Sonne. But on the last three kilometres Stuyven attacked and was accompanied shortly afterwards by stage winner Asgreen. Jasper Stuyven leads the classification before the final stage with 13 seconds ahead of Colbrelli and 18 seconds ahead of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). Best German rider is Simon Geschke (CCC), 23 seconds behind in twelfth place.

Stage winner, Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We made a plan today, followed it and did our job perfectly. We set out this morning with the goal of taking the victory, so we placed one rider in the front so we didn’t have to work in the pack, then we kept a hard pace in the last hour and especially on the climbs, before making the decisive move. Being able to deliver the win after such a fantastic team effort makes me very happy. Our team spirit is something really special. It comes down to everybody, not just the riders, but also the staff, everybody in the whole organisation. Every race we do is important to us, we take every single one seriously, and work all the time together for our goals. At the end of the day, this makes the difference and helps us win so many races. It doesn’t matter who takes the victory, as long as one of our guys crosses the line with his arms in the air.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo): “I attacked in the final and Kasper could catch up with me. I then cooperate with him to get the leading jersey. And I can be really satisfied with that. At the moment things look good in the overall standings, but the race isn’t over yet.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “Even today we took the race with a great job by Marcel Sieberg and Antonio Nibali. In the finale, we were only 14 riders and when Asgreen and Stuyven attacked I lost a few meters. Tomorrow we will try to overturn the race and I hope to have good legs!”

12th on the stage and overall, Simon Geschke (CCC): “The final was very difficult and tactical. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had three riders in the group. Then I rode away with Buchmann, that was our only chance. But we were caught again. And Stuyven and Asgreen were too strong in the end.”

14th on the stage and 13th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “In the last climb, the pace was extremely high. When I attacked in the final, Stuyven passed me. The atmosphere at the Deutschland Tour is great and it’s a really hard race, that makes it exciting. Tomorrow we hope for a sprint with Ackermann.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:27:53
2. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:17
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
6. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb
7. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
8. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Jhonatan Narváez (Ecu) Ineos.

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 12:38:21
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:13
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:18
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:19
5. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb at 0:20
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data at 0:21
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:22
9. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:23
10. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo.

After third and second place on the preliminary stages, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) finally won Stage 4 of the Deutschland Tour. After 159.5 kilometres the Italian beat in a tough sprint Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates). Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) finished fifth at the last stage, that led from Eisenach to Erfurt, and sealed his overall victory of the Deutschland Tour.

Directly after the start in Eisenach, yesterday’s stage winner Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) attacked and later Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin), Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale), Magnus Cort (Astana), Kamil Gradek (CCC) as well as Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) joined the duo. On the way, Biermans and Cort secured the mountain classifications up to the Neue Ausspanne and on the Ruppberg on the hilly terrain through the Thuringian Forest.

However, the group’s lead never exceeded two minutes and after 80 kilometres their escape was over – only Cort saved himself a few more kilometres and won the mountain prize at over 800 meters altitude in Oberhof. The Dane secured the mountain classification of this Deutschland Tour. Afterwards, the route ran without difficulties until the final lap in Erfurt. In the meantime, Ben Gastauer (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and later young German Joshua Huppertz (Lotto Kern Haus) attacked, but both did not get far.

The decision was made on two final laps with a rising finishing straight in Erfurt, on which Deceuninck – Quick-Step in particular forced a high pace. However, the Belgian team narrowly missed out on the day’s victory.

Stage winner, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “Finally, Sonny smiles. Once I arrived second, third yesterday and today I won my race. It was difficult to aim for the overall and so we worked to win at least the stage. Today I didn’t want to anticipate the sprint and I waited for everyone to move with 200m to go. It went well. I want to thank my teammates for the great help they have given me in all the stages. Now I go home and in a week I’ll leave for Canada for two races with a course that I like. My goal would be the World Championship in Yorkshire.”

Overall winner and 5th on the stage, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo): “My team did a great job controlling the stage and in the end it all depended on me. I’m very happy with this victory. It’s my first overall success in a stage race, which makes it very special for me. I already heard last year that the Deutschland Tour is great, with little controlled stages. And it was clear to me that I definitely wanted to participate here.”

3rd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a hard day for me with the climbs in the middle but we managed to get over it without a problem. Then the final circuit was tough too. I got great help from Ulissi and from Consonni in the last 2km, but unfortunately there were two other guys who were faster than me on this uphill finale.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am happy with this result, as it comes at the end of a tough week. Runner-up on the final stage and third overall are strong results, which give me a lot of satisfaction. This wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic team we had, who rode as one and did a tremendous job! The Deutschland Tour was a nice race and it was great to take to the podium today together with the boys.”

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I had a great time here and enjoyed the race and being back in action with the Wolfpack. The atmosphere was beautiful, and it was really nice to celebrate a stage victory, Yves’ deserved third place on the GC and the best team award, it’s always special to win it. I worked hard and built my condition, which I will continue to do over the next weeks, Canada included, where I look forward to racing again.”

Best German rider, Simon Geschke (CCC): “It was another difficult stage and I never thought that the group would end up so small. That’s why I was able to keep up with the sprint. In the overall standings I’m unfortunately not quite as good as I had hoped. Nevertheless, the Deutschland Tour was a lot of fun.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida in 3:44:48
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
8. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
9. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
10. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC.

Deutschland Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 16:23:09
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:03
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:12
4. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 0:15
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
6. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb
7. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:21
8. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
9. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:22
10. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23.

Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France 2019
The Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France in Plouay has been registered by Sep Vanmarcke. After almost 250 kilometres, the Belgian was the best attacker in the WorldTour race. He left Tiesj Benoot (second) and Jack Haig (third) in the final kilometre.

Four riders formed the leading group of the day: Johan Le Bon, Romain Sicard, Anthony Perez and Romain Combaud took 10 minutes from the peloton. That lead then gradually decreased. At a 100 kilometres from the finish, the leading quartet had only 3 minutes.

The four Frenchmen were caught at 75 kilometres from the finish, after which the first favourites showed themselves. Benoît Cosnefroy attacked, followed by Bob Jungels, Warren Barguil and Richard Carapaz. That became too much for Bryan Coquard, who had to give up on the hilly and partly unpaved track.

A large leading group of 35 men (or what was left of peloton) finally entered the finalé. Deceuninck – Quick-Step set the pace, because sprinter Elia Viviani was also part of the group. That was necessary, because a chasing group was at 30 seconds.

On the Côte de Marta (2.5 km at 4%), Tim Wellens attacked, but he was countered. However, the leading group thinned out, after which Tiesj Benoot, Sep Vanmarcke and Jack Haig benefited from a quiet moment. They took half a minute and received help from teammates who disrupted the chase.

As a result, the three entered the final lap round Plouay with a 40 second lead, and it only increased. Benoot, Vanmarcke and Haig worked well together and were able to gamble a little more in the last 5 kilometres. Benoot jumped at 1400 meters from the finish, but the attack was countered. Vanmarcke was the next one to attack, and that attack did get the space. The Belgian crossed the finish line solo.

Race winner, Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First): “I knew if I survived the last climb at 5km to go, I had a big chance to win. I’m super happy about this win. I had to work long and hard and be patient to get a big win like this! I’m proud I could finally do it!”

4th, Michael Valgren (Dimension Data): “It’s a super hard and nice race, it’s really nice to do six hours of racing. With that, you see more of the classics guys, and that is where I belong. Luckily I had good legs today. Before the start of the day, I was more here to look after Giacomo Nizzolo… but then when we came to the hard gravel sections, I actually felt fine and I was wondering why aren’t they going faster… But I was just a bit far back, caught up in the second group. ‘Luckily, we were very strong (Matteo Trentin, Oliver Naesen and myself) and we were able to bridge back to the first group of around 20 riders. In the end, I was able to get the maximum out of it. Three guys went away, just as I got back to the first group, so I was really on the limit at that point. I went on to the last climb with a few riders… I put in a small attack with 500 meters to go and luckily I managed to stay away and get 4th. It’s a good result for me and the team, and I am now looking forward to the next races.”

Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France Result:
1. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First in 6:12:23
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:03
3. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Michael Valgren (Den) Dimension Data at 0:20
5. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
7. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:22
9. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:28
10. Eduard Prades (Spa) Movistar.

Omloop Mandel – Leie-Schelde 2019
The 74th edition of the Mandel-Leie-Schelde Circuit (1.1) was suited for sprinters. A three man breakaway attempted to breach the organisation, but the peloton hasn’t been caught unprepared. The sprinter’s teams took control during the last kilometres around Meulebeke in order to bring their sprinter to the front. Wanty-Gobert counted on Timothy Dupont, who finally was defeated by Niccolo Bonifazio by some centimetres. A new opportunity follows for the Belgian rider in the Scherens GP in Leuven this Sunday, a race he won in 2017.

Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “Corendon-Circus controlled the race all day for Merlier, so it was rather a calm day, except for when the peloton broke in two pieces halfway through the race. But I never panicked. The final was nervous, but I stayed in a good position. I came through the last corner with 350 meter to go in second position, but Bonifazio took a two to three meter advantage and I wasn’t able to close it until the final 100 meters. If the finishline were some meters further down the road, I could have passed him. It is a pity to finish a close second, but it confirms my good form, which is very positive for this end of the season. I’ll take part in the Jef Scherens GP this Sunday, where I cherish good memories since my win in 2017 and third place last year. I can again be in the front and aim for the win, with my current feeling.”

Omloop Mandel Leie Schelde Result:
1. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie in 4:15:13
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
3. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Roompot-Charles
5. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Tim Merlier (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
8. August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Luuc Bugter (Ned) BEAT Cycling Club.

Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde’19 Podium:

Change of Name: B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
After two years of existence, the professional Continental team, based in Morbihan, is taking a significant turn. In line with its ambitions, the team managed by Jérôme Pineau will see its budget grow significantly and change its name. Already a title partner of the team, B&B HOTELS will double its investment next season. The team of thirteen successes in 2019 continues its development, coherent, ambitious and with an international assumed connotation. In 2020 and beyond, B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT will target the biggest races in the world.

“Our development project is based on the long term,” says Jérôme Pineau, General Manager of VITAL CONCEPT – B&B HOTELS. “We continue to grow year after year and our evolution naturally follows that of our partners. B&B HOTELS is located in thirteen countries, in Europe and elsewhere, and it is an honour to accompany them abroad. We are a Breton team, born in Morbihan, supported by local institutions and companies, but wish to make our region shine internationally in the most beautiful way.”

Renamed B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT from 1 January 2020, the team registered in the UCI Second Division will keep its identity, true to its values ​​and the image it conveys. “The Breton DNA of the team is the same as ours,” says Vincent Quandalle, General Manager of B&B HOTELS France. “Like us, the ‘Men in Glaz’ are in the ascending phase, able to challenge more experienced competitors and this first year with the team has allowed us to discover what benefits we could draw from our presence at his side. The visibility resulting from this partnership has convinced us to change gear from 2020. We will double our investment in order to benefit from the image of the team in Spain, Italy, Benelux or Germany. Also established in Northern Europe, the hotel group has committed for two more seasons but sees further. Cycling is one of the only sports that allows us to reach our audiences in a universal way, in France, Germany, Spain and Italy where we are leaders, and in all the markets where we are present. Our similarities with the team are numerous, including training and a long-term vision, which are also two of our strengths. Like the team, we want to be recognised internationally and, to this end, wish to participate in the greatest races of the World, the Great Tours as the Monuments.”
As a paradox, the ‘Men in Glaz’ know that their participation in the Tour de France, a national symbol, goes through a development beyond its borders. “Our recruitment will be more international than the last two years and our race calendar is more international,” says Jérôme Pineau. “Our partners rely on a project for the future and know that in Brittany or outside France, they will accompany the ‘Men in Glaz’ with their codes, their colours and their values. We have been able to impose an offensive style of play, a cycling instinct while achieving success. It’s our identity and it will remain so.”

Launched two years ago under the name of Vital Concept Cycling Club, Continental Professional retains the company based in Loudéac as its main partner. “This new name is the logical evolution of our project, says Patrice Etienne, CEO of Vital Concept whose investment will remain the same in 2020. We are proud to have launched the adventure and demonstrated our qualities and our values, including opening to other partners. It was necessary to find a trusted European-wide sponsor to enable Men in Glaz to achieve their goals. The Club deserves this growing support.”

To celebrate the announcement of the increased participation of B & B HOTELS a few days before the Brittany Classic (former GP of Plouay), ‘Men in Glaz’ will wear a shirt with retro design and offbeat this Sunday on the only WorldTour event disputed on Breton roads.

Kobe Goossens Turns Pro at Lotto Soudal
Following in the footsteps of amongst others Stan Dewulf, Gerben Thijssen, Harm Vanhoucke and Brent Van Moer, another young Belgian talent from Lotto Soudal’s development team will step up to the WorldTour outfit. The 23-year-old Kobe Goossens signed a two-year pro contract and will be part of the WorldTour team of Lotto Soudal as of next season.

The 23-year-old Belgian started his cycling career as a cyclo-crosser but decided to focus entirely on road racing from the beginning of last year. The past two seasons, Goossens especially showed himself in the races with a considerable amount of climbing. This year, he won the two-day Tour du Jura and finished third overall at the Circuit des Ardennes.

Kobe Goossens: “Signing a professional contract is for sure a dream come true, it is largely the reason why you start cycling in the first place. I felt really good within the U23 team of Lotto Soudal and it only seemed a natural choice to make the step towards the pro team. Despite the fact that I suffered a serious injury last year, Kurt Van de Wouwer still gave me the chance to stay within the team. If you then get an offer to join the WorldTour team, you don’t need to hesitate for too long.”

“Not so long ago, I exchanged cyclocross for road racing. Once you start, it is difficult to quit racing off-road but after a good conversation with my former team manager Sven Nys, I decided to entirely focus on road racing. Eventually, that choice turned out to be the right one. I lacked a little explosiveness in cyclocross and these days, courses are made more and more in favour of the explosive riders. In the junior ranks, you can still make up for that, it already became harder in the U23 category but it would have been impossible with the pros.”

“Races which include a lot of climbing really suit me and I also hope to further develop in those kind of races. I am not a pure climber, I’m rather leaning more toward a general classification rider. Just like Thomas De Gendt, I like to race offensively. I have a soft spot for the Grand Tours and stage races like Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. Those are the kind of races that appeal the most to me and where I want to try to obtain a good general classification in the future. Just like many riders, the Tour de France is my ultimate dream.”

“The coming two years will all be about gaining as much experience as possible. I also look forward to discovering the life as a pro cyclist, to helping the team as best I can and that way becoming the best version of myself. The past weeks, I have been dealing with some illness but I am gradually getting better. That is why I discussed with Kurt Van de Wouwer that we would determine my race schedule depending on my feeling and certainly not force anything. The plan is to race until the end of September, after which I will have a rest period to again build up towards the 2020 season.”

Kobe Goossens:

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Snap Up Mauri Vansevenant
The 20-year old Belgian will join us in July 2020, on a three and a half-year deal.

The much talked about Belgian climber Mauri Vansevenant – son of former professional rider Wim Vansevenant – has agreed on a contract with the UCI World Team Classification leader and will join the squad upon finishing his studies in July 2020, having inked a deal that will see him ride for the Wolfpack until the end of 2023.

“It is fantastic to know that I’ve signed for Deceuninck – Quick-Step. It’s a big team and I am hoping that I can progress with them and learn their methods and have a beautiful future. I spoke to Patrick and it was a good conversation. I had a few teams to speak to, but I know I made the right choice and I had made my mind up. Deceuninck – Quick-Step are well known for having a good service and staff, as well as the best equipment and I know it is a perfect squad for me, and all this played a big part in signing the contract”, said the first Belgian in 36 years to win the prestigious Giro della Valle d’Aosta.

“I come from a cycling family – my father was a professional rider for 14 years, so it is in my blood. He has been retired for ten years now, so I don’t remember too much about him racing, but cycling was always on the television in the house and I do remember it being really special when he came back from the Tour de France – there was always a party. For sure he has been a massive influence on me and gives me some good advice and the value of this experience. The family loves cycling and even my name is after the Spanish rider and La Vuelta winner Melcior Mauri. My grandfather wanted me to be named Morris, but my father didn’t like it, so he changed it to Mauri.”

“This love of cycling was passed to me and I started riding cyclo-cross at the age of 12, with the last four years being just on the road. I have some good people around me at the team now – EFC–L&R–Vulsteke – who have also helped me to develop and help me to progress this far. I have really enjoyed my season this year, especially winning the Giro della Valle d’Aosta on a very hard course and being up against the best of my generation. It was the same at the Tour de l’Avenir, where I spent one day in the yellow jersey, which was a fantastic feeling and I kept 6th place on the overall GC, after ten days of hard racing. It was fantastic to ride such beautiful events and race hard, which was a boost for my confidence.”

“For the rest of the year I will try to grow and get stronger, as well as finish my education. I know the first year with the team will be difficult, where I will have to learn, but I am looking forward to it. The team has always worked with young riders and improved them, which is important for me for the long term”, Mauri concluded.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was delighted to have captured the young Belgian talent, one of the most impressive riders on the U23 scene: “The signing of Mauri is excellent for us. We have a big focus on developing young talent and he is one of the best. Mauri’s results this season speak for themselves and we knew there would be competition for his signature, so we are delighted to get him. He has to work hard, which I am sure he will, and we will try to guide him through what looks to be a very promising career.”

Mauri Vansevenant:

12 Cameras to Broadcast Live the European Champs in Silvelle
The Eurovision team in charge of 2019 Cyclo-cross European Championships TV production (November 9-10), carried out an inspection on the racing field alongside the organisers, expressing a positive feedback.

With 10 weeks to go to the upcoming Cyclo-cross European Championships in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Padua, Northern Italy), the Eurovision team composed by the Live Director Olivier Moser and the Executive Producer Yuanyuan Gao, supported by the production team, carried out an inspection on the event’s racing field.

The organisers confirmed the race’s route (2900 meters) in the same location that hosted past top cyclo-cross national and international events. Eurovision team identified the position of the 12 TV cameras throughout the course.

On Sunday November 10th, the European Championships “Silvelle ‘19” will assign six titles, whilst Saturday November 9th will be the day dedicated to the Master competitions.

The event will be aired “live” all over Europe. During the meeting, the Eurovision team and the organising committee defined the timeline until the event’s date, expressing mutual satisfaction for the progress of work.

Masters Registrations: CLICK HERE
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The Eurovision team and the OC of the 2019 Cyclo-cross European Championships carried out an inspection on the racing field:

LOOK Renew Partnership with Team Delko Marseille Provence
Following a successful 2019, LOOK are set to continue their support of the French Pro-Continental team for the 2020 season.

LOOK are excited to announce a renewed partnership with French Pro-Continental cycling team, Team DELKO Marseille Provence, for the 2020 season.

With a competitive 2019 drawing to a close, in which the team has celebrated a total of eleven victories so far, including a national criterium championship with Australian Brenton Jones, a national road championship with Lithuanian Ramunas Navardauskas, a national time trial championship with Rwandan Joseph Areruya, the Ronde van Limburg one day race with Romanian Eduard Michael Grosu, and a ninth place finish in the World Tour race Paris-Roubaix with Evaldas Šiškevičius. The relationship saw LOOK become highly integrated within the team.

2020 will see LOOK continue to support the team with the 795 Blade RS road bike, 796 Monoblade RS time trial bike, Keo Blade Carbon Ceramic Ti pedals, and EXAKT power meter pedals, as well as the all-carbon Aergo time trial cockpit, ADH-2 road handlebar, ADS stem and Aero 2 seatpost.

Inventors of the first clipless pedal in 1984 and the first carbon road frame in 1986, LOOK have a long history as a worldwide leader in cycling innovation. Today, they are cutting-edge experts in carbon manufacture, which sees the brand design and manufacture industry-leading pedals, bikes and components across all disciplines of cycling.

Frédéric Rostaing, Team DELKO Marseille Provence Manager, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with LOOK for the 2020 season, especially at a time when Team DELKO Marseille Provence aims to build on a successful 2019 with our young roster.

The team ethos is centred around creating the conditions for young riders from France and further afield to flourish, develop and maximize their talent. In LOOK, we have a partner that is both historically renowned and a technical leader in cycling. Their expertise will be a vital component of the continued success that Team DELKO Marseille Provence achieves on the road.”

Federico Musi, CEO of LOOK Cycle Holding, said: “LOOK are pioneers in carbon design and manufacture, and we are very excited to bring our industry-leading expertise and products to Team DELKO Marseille Provence for another season in 2020.

“Partnerships like these are always two-way relationships; we work hard with the team to ensure the riders and mechanics have everything they need to achieve success in every race they compete in while lending our vast knowledge, earned from decades spent at the very pinnacle of road racing. As a business we learn from the team’s highly valuable feedback on our products, helping us to develop new and innovative solutions and set even higher standards in the road cycling industry.

“We are incredibly excited to reaffirm our commitment to Team DELKO Marseille Provence for 2020, and build on our successes together.”

For more information about LOOK’s products, visit

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