EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Saturday’s Clásica San Sebastián was good for Julian Alaphilippe, but bad for Mikel Landa and Egan Bernal, both out for some weeks. Reports, results and video from the Basque one-day race, the Tour de Pologne and the women’s European championship road race. Ban for Gianni Moscon – Top Story. Tons of other cycling news: André Greipel/Lotto Soudal split, Tour of Utah news, Tour Down Under’19 route, rider contracts and stagieires for the end of the season.

TOP STORY: The Gianni Moscon Saga Continues!
After Team Sky’s Gianni Moscon took a swing at Fortuneo-Samsic’s Elie Gesbert during the Tour de France and was expelled from the French Grand Tour, team boss said they would look at the facts once the tour was over. This latest Moscon case will come before the UCI Disciplinary Commission at some point, but the team have decided that the Italian will not race until his case has been heard. Unlike the salbutamol case of Chris Froome, who rode and won the Giro d’Italia while waiting for a decision on his verdict.

The UCI may decide that Moscon’s Tour expulsion is enough of a penalty, but as we know il signor Moscon has history with his racial abuse of Kevin Reza and the accusations of deliberately causing Sebastien Reichenbach to crash during the Tre Valli Varesine, Reichenbach suffered a fractured hip and elbow, but the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence.

When it comes to punching incidents the UCI usually hand out bans of a month or more, as in the cases of Lars Boom and Andrey Grivko. Gianni Moscon is a talented rider, but obviously has some kind of psychological problem and needs help. Instead of a race ban, maybe a program of psychotherapy is the answer, or the next time it happens he is charged by the local police and possibly serve a custodial sentence.

Working hard for the team:

Clásica San Sebastián – Donostia Klasikoa 2018
Quick-Step Floors’ Julian Alaphilippe won the Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday to become the second rider in history to take the KOM polka dot jersey in the Tour de France and the Spanish one-day Classic in the same season.

Julian Alaphilippe’s hot summer continued at the 38th edition of Clásica San Sebastián, where the Quick-Step Floors Frenchman took his eighth win of the year. Fresh from his strong performance at the Tour de France, where he conquered two mountain stages and the KOM classification, Alaphilippe was one of the top favorites at Spain’s only World Tour one-day event and he played it perfectly at the sharp end of the 229km race, whose fight for victory was once again shaped by the brutal Murgil Tortorra climb.

The steep 1800m-long climb, which made its first appearance on the course two years ago, awaited the riders with its insane 11.3% average gradient, where the race exploded and the peloton was blown to pieces, as more and more riders began to struggle and lose contact. First moves came more than a kilometer from the top of the ascent, but didn’t prove to be decisive, only consequence being that they stirred things up and opened the road for other men to attack.

Alaphilippe unleashed a powerful acceleration with 500 meters to go, as the gradient stiffened even more, and escaped together with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), opening a 20-second gap over the top of the climb, which they extended on the technical descent despite the chasing group being a numerous one. In the two-up sprint on Sán Sebastián’s famous Boulevard, Julian remained cool as a cucumber despite leading out and used his strong kick to get the better of the Dutchman and take the victory after six hours in the saddle. Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) brought in the chasers at 16 seconds for third place, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was fourth.

Saturday’s victory cemented Julian Alaphilippe’s status as one of the season’s top riders, having built a stunning palmarès in the past four months, one that includes Flèche Wallonne, two stages apiece at Vuelta al Pais Vasco and the Tour de France, the KOM jersey, and now Clásica San Sebastián, which came just before a well-deserved rest for the 26-year-old.

Race winner, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “I knew that the race suited my characteristics, but I honestly didn’t expect to win today. I didn’t feel very good, as I was tired after a long and hard Tour de France, but stayed focused in the final and made my effort at the right time, using the last climb as launch pad. I want to say a big thank you to my teammates, who protected and helped me throughout the day, believing in my chances. I am very happy after this win, because San Sebastian is a special race which I like a lot and it means a lot to conclude this part of the season with another beautiful victory.”

Mikel Landa (Movistar) sustains lumbar fracture in San Sebastián crash
A mass crash in the main bunch hit the Movistar Team hard during the late phase of the Clásica San Sebastián. Just after the non-categorized Alto de Miracruz and prior to the first passage through the finish, 19km from the end, a touch of wheels caused a pile-up involving three of the Blues Team: Víctor de la Parte, Nelson Oliveira and, most seriously, Mikel Landa.

The Basque climber, always conscious and stable yet unable to move because of huge pain due to a lumbar traumatism, was immobilized with a neck brace by the race’s medical service, then moved by ambulance to the Donostia Hospital. Extensive examinations undergone by Landa point towards a fracture without displacement of the spinous process in his lumbar vertebra L1. Mikel will be examined again on Sunday to confirm the diagnosis and proceed with his release from hospital. When he returns home, Landa will require two to three weeks of absolute rest to heal the fracture.

Sky’s Egan Bernal was involved in the same crash
Egan Bernal crashed out of contention in the closing stages of Clásica San Sebastián and was taken to hospital for checks. The young Colombian was stretchered away from the scene of the multi-rider crash, which took place in Donostia with 20 kilometers to go.

Egan suffered a serious facial trauma. He is awake and talking. He has had a precautionary scan to assess for further injuries which revealed a nasal fracture and maxillary injury. He will be assessed by maxillofacial specialists and will be staying overnight for observation and further treatment.

Clásica San Sebastián – Donostia Klasikoa Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 6:03:45
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
3. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:16
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
5. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8. Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo.

Tour de Pologne 2018
The German national champion Pascal Ackermann was the winner of Stage 1 of the Tour de Pologne on the 134km Krakow-Krakow route. The sprinter from team Bora-Hansgrohe won the group sprint, beating the emerging talent from Colombian Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors), and Italian Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott). Another great victory for the German, coming one week after his success in the Prudential RideLondon – Surrey Classic.

After the Grand Depart from the Rynek Glowny (the main square) in Krakow, four valiant attackers braved the daunting heat, pushing out in the first major breakaway in the 2018 Tour de Pologne. Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), France’s Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and the Poles Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Michal Podlaski (Reprezentacja Polski) fired up the entire first part of the race with their efforts, reaching a maximum advantage of 3:30, with the pack close on their heels and leaving little room to maneuverer, with the teams of sprinters making the most of their chance to win on the finish line in Krakow. Out of the four attackers, the last one to cede was Rossetto, who was caught by the pack with about 10km to go. The most active attackers included Michal Paluta, who won both of the GPMs to capture the first magenta Tauron jersey as the best climber. Paluta also won the important special prime on the 42.2 k mark at Lanckorona. Alessandro De Marchi, who was also a part of the initial break, won the blue Lotto jersey as the most active rider in the group. Trek-Segafredo leads the teams classification.

Stage winner and race leader, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m very happy with this victory. After the National Championship and the Prudential Ride London I’ve managed to score another important win. I feel like I’m in really good shape, today everything went off without a hitch and I have to thank the entire team for the great job they did, setting me up to pull off a fantastic sprint. Now the goal is to try and do well in the next two stages, which are suited to my skills; I will try to defend this yellow jersey and then we’ll see.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors): “The Tour de Pologne is the second World Tour race where I got to sprint for the team and today I had a good opportunity to take another win, but Pascal was just stronger. I am content with my form and very happy to see the fantastic support of my teammates, to whom I want to say thank you for their amazing work. It’s never a pleasant feeling when you finish second, but there will be other chances and I remain confident.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott): “I’m quite happy, this is my best result of the season; but beyond that, what is really important is that things are going well. After my injury at the Roubaix I was away from the races for quite some time. Now I feel like my conditioning is getting better and days like today give me confidence and boost morale. I came here to Poland because this is an important race with the necessary prerequisites to do a good job and make it back to the top. The goal is to do well here and come away from this race in the best way possible, because the Tour de Pologne finishes on August 10, and on the 12th I will be right back at it, racing with the Italian National team in the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 1 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 2:59:11
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Poland
10. Pawel Franczak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 1:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 2:59:01
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors at 0:04
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
4. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC at 0:07
5. Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:08
6. Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis at 0:09
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:10
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

True to script, the finish of Stage 2 in Katowice provided high speed thrills with its final on a long, slightly downhill finalé. For the second day in a row, the German champion, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the winner on the roads of the Tour de Pologne. Colombian Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) was second again, and the day’s podium was rounded out by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).

Stage 2 featured a break by five riders: Belgians Jan Bakelants (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Jonthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin), Russian Evgeny Shalunov (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Poles Kamil Gradek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Adam Stachowiak (Reprezentacja Polski). They gained a maximum advantage of about 2:30, with the pack being spurred on by Ackermann in the yellow jersey and his team mates from Bora-Hansgrohe, as well as the other teams of sprinters that didn’t let the fugitives get too far.

At the beginning of the four 20-km laps on the final circuit in Katowice, the Belgians Bakelants and Biermans fell behind the band of attackers. In any case, Jan Biermans ended up donning the Lotto blue jersey at the end of the race as the most active rider in the group, thanks to the points he garnered in the intermediate primes. The three remaining riders continued in their endeavors, but they got caught by the pack during the last lap with about 12km to go to the finish line, where Ackermann dominated once again in the group sprint.

As for the other classifications, in addition to the Carrefour yellow leader’s jersey, Pascal Ackermann hangs on to the Hyundai white jersey as best sprinter. For the second day in a row, the Tauron magenta jersey for best climber remains on the shoulders of the Polish rider Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), who is also the leader of the Loots classification for the best Polish rider.

Stage 2 winner and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We already knew it would be a difficult and fast sprint, and since we’re known to sprint from the front of the bunch, we sprinted at high speed from the back. We had 55 chain rings and it worked. The Tour de Pologne was a big goal for me, so I’m really happy to hang on to the yellow jersey. I’d like to thank my team mates, who did a great job again today. Tomorrow is another day which suits my skills and we’ll work together again as a team.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors): “The final was really crazy! When the two Polish riders attacked and Michael went with them, I waited in the pack in case it came back together, which it did. The guys were great once again and I was hoping to reward them with a victory, but unfortunately I faced a stronger opponent. Of course I am disappointed, but I will look to draw motivation from this defeat.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 2 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:16:39
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb
9. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Kamil Zielinski (Pol) Polish National Team.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 2:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 6:15:30
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors at 0:08
3. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:11
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:16
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC at 0:17
8. Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:18
9. Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis at 0:19
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20.

UEC Women’s Road Race Championship 2018
Marta Bastianelli (Italy) won the Women’s European Championship ahead of defending champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and Lisa Brennauer (Germany). The Italian succeeded in the sprint from about thirty riders, ahead of the outgoing champion, Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and the German Lisa Brennauer, who had come from the Chris Hoy velodrome with the gold medal for the individual pursuit.

The sprint was due to the indecision of the breakaways, Anna Van der Breghen (Netherlands) and the Italian Elisa Longo-Borghini, who were leading on the penultimate of the nine laps, with an advantage of around half a minute. And although they were joined by three other riders – Britain’s Danielle Rowe, the French woman Aude Biannic and also Floortje Macjkaal (Netherlands). The group was more worried about winning the sprint and let the chasers catch them 1.5 kilometers from the finish.

Euro champion, Marta Bastianelli (Italy): “It’s a very hard race, and this win is for my team, because my teammates stayed with me from start to finish. The sprint was very hard but I think it was very technical. Yesterday we said we had to be top three in the last corner. It was crazy, because it was very hard and fast. I don’t know how many kilometers per hour it was but it was very hard.”

UEC Women’s Road Race Championship Result:
1. Marta Bastianelli (Italy) in 3:28:15
2. Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
3. Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
4. Elena Cecchini (Italy)
5. Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)
6. Christina Malling Siggaard (Denmark)
7. Kaat Hannes (Belgium)
8. Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands)
9. Lorena Wiebes (Netherlands)
10. Danielle Rowe (Great Britain).

Woman’s road race podium:

Marc Sergeant and André Greipel About an Eight year Collaboration
After eight incredible years, André Greipel is leaving Lotto Soudal. The magnificent victories, exceptional lead-outs and team performances to achieve the various goals were countless. Sports manager Marc Sergeant and André Greipel himself look back to this remarkable episode with great satisfaction.

Marc Sergeant: “I think we can describe our many years of collaboration in a simple way: Omega Pharma Lotto, Lotto Belisol and Lotto Soudal successively owe a great deal to André Greipel, just as André owes a lot to us. I’ve never had any similar bond with a rider like the one I had with André. A collaboration that was marked by dialogue, patience, trust, and, above all, respect. The many achievements are a logical result of this collaboration.”

“Everyone in this team – each rider and staff member – knew André as a gentleman. No emotional tweet directed to Sagan or Démare affects that perception. André was awed by each newcomer – young or famed. He gained respect for his personality, and of course for his achievements, not for empty words. He made a big evolution since 2011; at the beginning he was mainly a sprinter, but through the years he evolved into a real leader. He called us his family, and he meant it.”

“The choice to end this chapter is obviously a tough one. As a team you are constantly reflecting upon the choices you have to make to secure the best possible future. In the final stage of the negotiations, it became clear that there would be no further collaboration possible. Nonetheless, the mutual respect continues, undoubtedly.”

André Greipel: “At the end of 2011, I transferred from HTC, since there were many strong riders in the team and I was looking for a team in which I could go for stage victories myself. Besides the fact that I already knew guys like Philippe Gilbert and Jürgen Roelandts, a couple of other riders of HTC made the transition as well. In the first year at Omega Pharma-Lotto, Gilbert had his magical year, one of many consecutive successes, and our paths crossed regularly. Nevertheless, I was very happy to, among others, ride my first Tour and to take my first stage win: a true salvation.”

“Greg Henderson joined the team in 2012 and turned out to be the missing link to establish the world’s best lead-out, together with Marcel Sieberg and Jürgen Roelandts; the red train. The establishment of this project was a true challenge, but also a big success. I could sum up many highlights during my time at the team, but the trust from the riders in each other and of the team in the riders makes it one big highlight. You can put it all on paper, but you also have to execute it on the road, during the many races.”

“I definitely see the two victories on the Champs Elysées in 2015 and 2016 as the icing on the cake for all of the team’s efforts. Inevitably, during the past 8 years, I’ve had some difficult moments, but never encountered any pressure of the team nor felt the need to perform. Together, we have created an environment, which made it possible to perform – an entirely different approach. I’m looking forward to racing with everyone of the team until the end of this season.”

“To all the staff members and riders who were part of all the special moments together: thank you!”

André Greipel wins stage 1 of the Belgium Tour:

Watch Live Broadcast Coverage of the Tour of Utah on FOX Sports Network and Tour Tracker
Start-to-Finish Webcast Coverage Available all Seven Days on Mobile Devices.

FOX Sports Networks will provide a total of 21 hours of national programming as the broadcast partner for the 2018 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The Tour of Utah will offer live start-to-finish webcast coverage with Tour Tracker® powered by Adobe®, a free download available from the website. All coverage on FS2, FSN regional networks and Tour Tracker will be available in high definition for the professional cycling stage race on Aug. 6-12.

The FS2 broadcast schedule includes 10 hours of live race coverage for Stages 1-5, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 2-4 p.m. on Saturday. Additional live-to-tape coverage will be provided for the Prologue and Stage 6. The opening day of racing in St. George for the Prologue will air as tape-delayed programming in the two-hour time slot at 1:30 p.m. The final day of racing in Park City will air from 2:30-4:30 p.m. (all times Mountain Time).

A one-hour recap show of the seven stages will air nightly on KJZZ-TV in Utah at 8 p.m. MT, and will air regionally on FSN/ROOT SPORTS (check local listings). KJZZ-TV, which serves households across Utah and parts of five other states, will also broadcast a 30-minute Preview Show on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.

With the addition of international broadcast coverage on networks and fee-based services across five continents, the Tour of Utah will reach more than 400 million homes around the world. This programing features Eurosport in Europe and Asia, L’Equipe in France, and SuperSport in South America.

Tour Tracker® powered by Adobe® returns for an eighth year for live start-to-finish race coverage. This award-winning global web and mobile platform provides enhanced coverage with GPS race tracking, race analysis, photography, and results for every stage. The apps are available for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices. The Tour of Utah Tour Tracker® announcers will be Frankie Andreu, former professional cyclist and Tour de France veteran, and Brad Sohner, professional sports announcer. Links to the web and mobile apps are available at

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. The Tour of Utah remains a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. It is also one of the prominent road cycling events that is also part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour.

Ambitious BMC Racing Team Roster Set for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
BMC Racing Team will be racing on home soil next week with an ambitious line-up heading stateside to the week-long Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Sports Director Jackson Stewart said that BMC Racing Team is lining up in Utah with a strong and well-rounded team.

“I think we will see a very competitive Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah this year with more UCI WorldTour teams competing than in previous years and the Park City stage returning as the final test. Most of our roster has had success in Utah and have grown to know the roads such as Brent Bookwalter, Joey Rosskopf, Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny, and Tejay van Garderen and that is always a nice advantage. As usual, we will also bring some new young talent to this race with our two stagiaires, Alexander Evans and Freddy Ovett,” Jackson explained.

“Everyone has been preparing for this race and I think we can expect a lot from our roster. I think we can look to target several stages and also protect van Garderen for the General Classification as we see how he responds after a very demanding Tour de France.”

Tejay Van Garderen is motivated about returning to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. “I’m really looking forward to returning to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah for the first time since 2011. I have good memories of the race and I know how hard it is so it’s going to be a good challenge off the back of the Tour de France. As an American riding for an American team, it is always great to race on home soil. The crowds and atmosphere are incredible in Utah so I hope to have a good week of racing there. We have a diverse team so I think we can expect good results,” van Garderen said.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (6 – 12 August)
Rider Roster:

Tom Bohli (SUI), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Alexander Evans (AUS), Kilian Frankiny (SUI), Freddy Ovett (AUS), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Tejay van Garderen (USA).
Sports Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).

Tejay van Garderen:

Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini: American Appointment for the #OrangeBlue Team
American appointment for the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team, engaged from 6 to 12 August in the Tour of Utah, 2.HC category race that saw us protagonists with a victory and important placements last season. 6 the #OrangeBlue riders at the start, led by sports director Mario Manzoni. Reference point in mountain stages is Ivan Santaromita, accompanied by Imerio and Damiano Cima and the experience of Alan Marangoni. Simone Ponzi will be the director of the team, looking for results in mixed stages. Sho Hatsuyama the rider on the attack ready to insert in dangerous actions.

Just ended the training camp in Livigno, a fundamental appointment for the #OrangeBlue team ahead of the races scheduled for the second part of the season, which is already time for international competitions. From 6 to 12 August the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team returns to race on the American roads of the Tour of Utah, motivated to repeat the success obtained last season. 7 mixed stages, some of which with sections to be covered at 3.000 meters of altitude, which lead from St George to Park City. Ivan Santaromita leads the team ready to become a protagonist in each of the stages provided by the Tour.

The Line-Up
1 initial time trial prologue and 6 other mixed stages for a Tour of Utah varied and that presents many pitfalls. The NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team, led by sports director Mario Manzoni, ride the American tour with a balanced line-up, full of athletes able to be protagonists in one or more stages. For the great climbs, some of which at an altitude of 3.000 meters, the point of reference is the climber Ivan Santaromita, great protagonist in the Italian championships in June and motivated after the training camp of Livigno. Simone Ponzi, together with the brothers Damiano and Imerio Cima, will be the team’s top men in the fast stages, supported by the experience of Alan Marangoni. Sho Hatsuyama will instead be the attacker ready to become a protagonist in the day’s breakaway and in dangerous actions. After last year’s Salt Lake City victory, #OrangeBlue will try to be protagonists in this edition too.

The Declaration of the Sport Director
On the team car during the stages of the Tour of Utah will be the Sports Director Mario Manzoni, who comments with these words the American race: “It is a very important race for us, the first of the second part of the season. We have a balanced and mixed line up that allows us to be dangerous at any stage scheduled by the Tour. The reference point for the climbs will be Ivan Santaromita, together with Simone Ponzi, the team director and important rider in mixed arrivals. For the “moved” stages we will have the brothers Damiano and Imerio Cima, together with Alan Marangoni. The attacking rider will be Sho Hatsuyama, who has already shown himself in the races of the first part of the season. The only unknown factor will be the altitude, as there are planned stages with arrivals at 3000 meters but, after the intense training period in Livigno, we will manage them to the best.”

The Line-up of Tour of Utah:
Ivan Santaromita, Simone Ponzi, Damiano Cima, Alan Marangoni, Sho Hatsuyama and Imerio Cima.
DS: Mario Manzoni

You can follow live the #OrangeBlue engaged in Tour of Utah on Eurosport 2.

Willunga Hill Reigns Supreme: 2019 TDU Men’s Race Routes Revealed
For the first time in the 20-year history of the race, the 2019 Santos Tour Down Under (TDU) will see the Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 finale move out of the city for a regional hill top finish.

The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon David Ridgway, confirmed today that the TDU’s Queen Stage, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, will be held on Sunday 20 January 2019. The Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 will be the grand finale for the race.

“The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under race routes are expected to challenge the world’s best cycling teams and riders whilst adding more elements of interest and entertainment for the fans,” said Minister Ridgway.

“It will be great to see the race return to Angaston in the Barossa for the first time since 2014, the Corkscrew Road climb which is a fan favorite on Stage 4 and the Challenge Tour now being held on a Saturday for the first time from Glenelg to Strathalbyn on Stage 5.

“We expect even more fans to line the road throughout the regions to cheer on their cycling heroes or simply enjoy a day out in South Australia with towns and regions showcasing our best food, wine and destination experiences as the race travels through.”

The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 46,000 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact of $63.7M, creating the equivalent of 774 full time jobs.

Race Director, Santos Tour Down Under, Mike Turtur and the team face the unenviable challenge each year to design a course for the race that will test the riders and create a spectacle for the fans.

“We knew we had to create something special for the 2019 event and deliver something a little different in terms of the race routes after the amazing race we had this year. We have decided to mix it up and make Willunga Hill the grand finale and probably now the deciding factor of the race’s result,” said Mike Turtur.

“it is important as a race that we keep everyone guessing and the rides challenged. We can’t be complacent.”

“We are really excited about a first-time stage finish in Port Adelaide on Stage 1 with a 3.4 km finishing circuit especially after the huge crowds their start drew this year and will be interested to see how the punchy new 14 km Uraidla circuit on Stage 3 which will see the riders pass through seven times will be received,” said Mike Turtur.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said this will be the tenth year Santos has been the naming rights sponsor of the TDU and he is looking forward to the 2019 event which will see the TDU celebrate 21 editions of the race.

“As South Australia’s leading natural gas company, we at Santos are proud to help power this world class event that delivers great economic and social benefits by promoting tourism and healthy lifestyles in our home state,” Mr Gallagher said.

“Our commitment to the Santos Tour Down Under is another significant investment in the local communities where our people live and work.”

“Cycling has a big future in Australia and internationally, so there is great alignment with Santos as a leading supplier of natural gas, a fuel for the future providing clean energy to improve the lives of people in Australia and Asia.”

The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under will be held 10 – 20 January 2019 starting with Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on Thursday 10 January. Visit for all the latest news.

2019 TDU Men’s Race Routes Summary:
Sunday 13 January 2019: People’s Choice Classic: East End Circuit (51 km)
Tuesday 15 January 2019: Stage 1: North Adelaide to Port Adelaide (132.4 km)
Wednesday 16 January 2019: Stage 2: Norwood to Angaston (149 km)
Thursday 17 January 2019: Stage 3: Lobethal to Uraidla (146.2 km)
Friday 18 January 2019: Stage 4: Unley to Campbelltown (129.2 km)
Saturday 19 January 2019: Stage 5: Glenelg to Strathalbyn (149.5 km)
Sunday 20 January 2019: Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5 km).

2018 Santos Tour Down Under peloton on stage 5:

Alexey Lutsenko Stays with Astana until 2020
Astana Pro Team has prolonged contract with the Kazakh road race Champion Alexey Lutsenko for the next two seasons. Thus, Lutsenko will continue with the Kazakh WorldTour team at least until the end of 2020.

“I am happy that the team’s management offered me to extend for another two years. For me, the fact that the team sees me as a rider who not only achieves results, but also continues to develop professionally is important. I am very pleased that in the next two seasons I will continue to perform in Astana, it is important for me to be part of our national project. I have been in this team for 6 years and I feel very comfortable here. There is a wonderful atmosphere in Astana Pro Team, here I feel like I want to move forward, to conquer new heights. I have serious goals for the next few years, and I am happy that I am going to achieve it in Astana Team,” said Alexey Lutsenko.

Alexey Lutsenko (25 years old) spends his 6th season in Astana Pro Team, where he moved immediately after his victory at the U23 UCI Road Championships. The current season Lutsenko won the road race of the Kazakhstan National Championships, took the overall win at the Tour of Oman and recently won a stage at the Tour of Austria. Besides, he was one of key riders to help Miguel Angel Lopez to reach his first Giro d’Italia GC podium.

“Despite the fact that Alexey already has an impressive list of victories and important podiums, he is still very young and only is revealing his potential. Lutsenko is a vivid example of the implementation of our national cycling project, and I am happy that in the next two years he will continue to grow at a professional level in Astana Pro Team. This year Alexey showed the new features and rider’s qualities. I think that in the near future he will be able to surprise many with his results in different kind of races,” said the general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Alexey Lutsenko:

Markel Irizar and Koen de Kort Renew Contracts
Trek-Segafredo is excited to announce that Markel Irizar and Koen de Kort have extended their contracts. With these contract extensions, Trek-Segafredo continues to lay the basis for 2019 and 2020.

Irizar and de Kort are two of the most experienced riders in the team, and arguably the entire pro peloton. The 2019 season will be the 16th and 15th season respectively for Irizar (38) and de Kort (35). Both are experienced road captains and complete riders who can lead their teammates and leaders safely through all kind of terrains, from the classics to bunch sprints to stage races.

Koen de Kort: “Right from the start, when I joined Trek-Segafredo in 2017, I felt really comfortable and at home in this team. I feel extremely well supported here, everybody gives it their all to let the riders perform at their maximum. At Trek-Segafredo I have found a very motivating and stimulating environment where I can do what I can do best. I was very pleased that the team felt the same way about me, so we came to very easily and quickly to an agreement for two more years, that was really nice.”

Markel Irizar: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to stay with the team for one more year. The 2019 season will be the 10th season in this team and on Trek Bikes so I can say that this is “my team.” I would like to thank the sponsors and the management of the team for the confidence that they have had over these years. I feel the young guns are pushing really hard and I am super motivated to share my experience with them and to support them as much as I can our young guys and try to help them with our experience.”

Luca Guercilena, general manager Trek-Segafredo: “I am very happy that both Markel and Koen will stay with the team. After being in the pro peloton for such a long time, I think it’s fair to say they have seen it all. The knowledge and experience they can, therefore, share with the younger guys in the team are extremely valuable. Other than that, Koen and Markel are powerful riders that can bring our leaders in the perfect position to the final of almost every race. They are genuine team players, and I like how they are real warriors in the race and friendly and nice to everybody once the race has finished.”

Koen de Kort:

Alberto Bettiol is Back in Argyle
EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale is proud to welcome Alberto Bettiol back into the #PinkArgyle family. The Italian has demonstrated a diverse set of race skills that has put him on the podium at GP Plouay and Tour de Pologne. He’s finished in the top ten at GP Quebec, GP Montreal, San Sebastian and E3 Harelbeke.

As a 19-year-old, Bettiol turned professional with Cannondale in 2014. He rode in argyle for three season (2015-2017) before leaving for BMC. After a single season away, Bettiol returns to his roots.

“I’m ready to pull on argyle again because it’s important to me to finish what I started last year and never quite completed,” said Bettiol. “The argyle family believed in me since the very beginning, and I feel that it’s my best choice to return to where it all began. Alberto showed great promise when he was with us,” said #PinkArgyle CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He was climbing near the best at the 2017 Tour de France, and was a key part of our classics team. He got a bit derailed in 2018, we are going to get him back on track. Alberto and his family were really a part of our family,” Vaughters added. “I understood when he left in the precarious situation we were in last year, but now that we’re out of that, I’m really excited to have him back.”

Although the team Bettiol left has undergone some changes in his absence, Bettiol is convinced he’ll feel at home immediately. “I know nearly everyone on the team already, and I’m happy to get to know the new guys.” Bettiol said. “In many ways, I feel like I never really left, so it won’t feel strange at all to come back. You understand what is important when you lose it,” Bettiol added. “And I’ve learned a good group spirit is very often stronger than a single power.”

Bettiol’s race program has yet to be formally organized. He hopes to race the Giro. He dreams of the Tour.

“And I hope for a better result than the one we achieved in 2017,” Bettiol said.

Bettiol wants his new EF Education First co-workers to know that he’s a “down-to-earth and genuine” sort of guy.

“I love my job, and I’m loyal to good people,” he said. “I’m super happy when I get a result but at the same time, when a teammate achieves a goal thanks to my work, I’m equally happy. I love my country, Italy, and my family is an anchor for me,” he added. “I also love to travel. In the future, I dream about living somewhere in California. Being from Italy, the Giro is very important to me, so pink has always been my favorite color. I’m happy now to have a new reason to love pink.”

Alberto Bettiol:

Dylan Teuns to Ride for Team Bahrain-Merida Until 2020
Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team are delighted to announce that the Belgian rider Dylan Teuns has signed a two-year contract with our team.

“Having Dylan join our team is something which makes us at Bahrain Merida very pleased. Having such a talented rider as Dylan is a huge asset to our team” says Team Bahrain-Merida General Manager Brent Copeland.

Teuns has displayed his versatility with a number of exciting results and most recently – in 2017 – he took his best results of his career so far: he won the general classification at Tour de Pologne, Artic Race of Norway and Tour de Wallonie. Dylan showed to be skilled for one-day race too, as he grabs a third place at Flèche Wallone.

“We believe he has a very big potential in the future, not only with his climbing characteristics, but also to show his true talent as a GC rider, making the team even more international is also something we are excited about” adds Copeland “Dylan is very dedicated and true professional with a lot of ambitions to continually reach higher goals and this we could see with his increasing results in the past few years. We want to thank Dylan for joining our team and we looking forward to creating a good and solid future together.”

Dylan Teuns – who has spent 4 season at BMC, where he started as a trainee in 2014 – is very pleased to join our team: “I’m very happy to sign with Team BAHRAIN MERIDA as it is one of the leading squads in the world, for the race program we agreed on and the trust the management showed in me”.

Dylan Teuns:

Michael Valgren Signs on for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka
Danish Star Signs 2-year Deal with Africa’s Team

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is delighted to announce that Michael Valgren will be joining our team from 1 January 2019, having signed a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old Dane comes with a burgeoning reputation and has had an excellent 2018 for the Astana Pro Team. His addition to our squad will add significant quality over the coming years.

2018 highlights for Valgren include victory in the Amstel Gold Race, sealing the biggest win of his career. This followed his earlier win in February as he captured the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad title, making the decisive break with just over 2km to go and soloing to an impressive victory. He also finished fourth at the Tour of Flanders.

To go with a strong Classics campaign, Valgren featured prominently at the Tour de France with three top-10 finishes, including the Team Time Trial, and was placed just outside of the top-20 in the GC at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

He’s ridden the Tour de France on four occasions and the Vuelta a España once, his debut Grand Tour, and has six professional wins to his name.

Michael Valgren – Rider: “I’m extremely excited to be joining Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. It’s a big opportunity for me to go to a team that’s keen on really building its Classics squad. I really look forward to working with the guys on the team and I see a big future there for myself. I’m also really proud to join the team because of what it stands for: its mission to distribute bicycles through the Qhubeka charity. It’s a super-cool mission and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that. Right now I can’t wait for 2019 to get going on my new BMC bike, which is obviously also really important these days – the equipment. In that regard Team Dimension Data is right on top of things so I’m sure there will be some great, great years ahead.”

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “Michael joining us is a huge coup for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. He’s been one of the stand-out riders in 2018, with his victories early on in the year backed up by really strong performances at the Critérium du Dauphiné and at the Tour de France. Michael signing is another step in our journey to the top of the sport in particular gives a major boost to our Classics campaign, where he showed such good form earlier in the year. Equally important though is how impressed he’s been by the Qhubeka charity and the opportunity he now has, as one of our riders, to make a meaningful impact in changing lives through bicycles. We can’t wait to get started with him as we continue to build towards our ambitious Vision 2020 goal.”

Rolf Aldag – Head of Performance: “Even at his young age Michael is already a very respected leader in the peloton. He has outstanding tactical skills, is hugely focused on the detail in his technical equipment and, simply, is determined to win. His signing is hugely significant for us and I can’t wait to start working with him.”

Michael Valgren:

Jimmy Turgis Joins the Vital Concept Cycling Club
A story of brothers, the Vital Concept Cycling Club? In part, certainly! One year after launching Tanguy Turgis in the pro cycling world, the Breton Conti Pro team is delighted to welcome on board his older brother Jimmy, 27. Classics specialist and graduated in training and optimization of sports performance, he’s the perfect man to help the team to grow up and guide the young guns of the Club. “Jimmy has a very sharp analysis of the race, he’s able to share a lot of things with his teammates and his sports directors, during the race or after, observes Jérôme Pineau, the Vital Concept Cycling Club’s General Manager. He will be the ideal relay on and off the bike, able to make important decisions, guide the troops and perform well on races that suit him.”

Professional since 2014, Jimmy is preparing to embark on the Glaz and Black adventure with impatience and enthusiasm. “I spoke a lot with Jérôme and Didier Rous, who was my sports director last year. They count on me to be good advisor to the less experienced riders, in terms of racing tactics and even group psychology. This role of road captain is fine with me and I will try to keep an eye on as many riders as possible, not only on my brother. The Vital Concept Cycling Club is still very young, it lacks some automatisms that will come naturally over time, but what Tanguy described to me is entirely my vision of cycling. Camaraderie and professionalism, family spirit and quest for performance… I look forward to discovering my new teammates and all the staff to prepare the season 2019, which promises to be capital for the Club. Thanks to the riders already present in the squad and the new riders to come, the team will gain experience and continue to grow very quickly!”

Youngest of the Turgis siblings and arrived on the velodrome together with his older brother in the last Paris-Roubaix, Tanguy welcomes Jimmy with happiness, aware of the benefit that everyone will learn. “Jimmy will be the best teammate for me and for everyone else. We train together, he guides me since my beginnings and his coming will bring me serenity, in race and outside. I did not push for him to join us at any cost. He asked me questions and I just answered, for his sake. The goal was to find the best project for him, his characteristics and his ambitions. Now that he has made his choice, I’m happy and I can’t wait to race with him!”

Quick-Step Floors Adds Mikkel Frølich Honoré and Barnabás Peák as Stagiaires
The duo will get a trial period in the ranks of the World Tour team classification leader.

The final months of the season will bring a big opportunity to Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Team Waoo) and Barnabás Peák (World Cycling Center), who will join Quick-Step Floors – the most successful outfit of the year – for several races, as trainees.

Mikkel Frølich Honoré (21 years) comes from Denmark, but moved to Belgium when he turned 18 and lived in Geel – where also Brian Holm and Jesper Skibby once resided – and is backed by the numerous solid results he has scored in the past two years, which underline his remarkable versatility, from soloing to victory at the Circuit de Wallonie and cracking the top 10 at Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Piccolo Giro di Lombardia to finishing fourth at the Istrian Spring Trophy and 12th at the prestigious Girobio.

“I look forward to joining Quick-Step Floors. The news is coming after a tough period where I have been sidelined for six weeks due to a broken scaphoid. I hope I can find the race speed during August and arrive in top shape to help the team and prove myself. I can’t wait to get out there and learn a lot about race tactics and winning races. There is something special with this team, with the wolfpack mentality, that I can’t wait to become part of. Quick-Step Floors win many races with different types of riders, who all become good riders here, and that’s why I am happy and proud to get this opportunity and the trust of the team”, said Mikkel, who is now living in Italy after two years in Belgium.

Hailing from Hungary, Barnabás Peák is just 19 years of age and comes recommended by the National ITT Title he won five weeks ago against more seasoned riders after putting over two minutes into his opponents, his impressive display of power at Vuelta al Bidasoa – where he finished all four stages in the top 10 on his way to an impressive third overall – and the runner-up spot he got at last season’s Tour of Hungary, which he finished just two seconds off first place after outshining many experienced pro riders.

“It was my dream since I started cycling to see if I could join a World Tour team one day, but I never thought it would be the best team in the world. I can’t wait to race in the Quick-Step Floors jersey. When I attended the team’s training camp last December, I was a bit nervous, with all the big riders and very professional staff, but they immediately made me feel welcome, so I can’t wait to rejoin them”, an excited Barnabás said. “I certainly hope to learn a lot, especially about race tactics, where I think Quick-Step Floors is the best team to learn from. I will be there to do my best, to show what I am capable of, ride for the team or try myself if I will get the chance.”

Quick-Step Floors trainer Koen Pelgrim has kept a close eye on the two U23 riders as they emerged through the ranks, got to test and know them better since last year, when the team began monitoring the two, and is now eager to see how they will fare against the pros.

“Both Mikkel and Barnabás are talented and strong all-rounders, riders who can do a bit of everything: climb, put in a solid sprint or do a good time trial. We tested them in the past and could see they have a strong engine, possess a lot of power and are very versatile. The plan is to give them a the chance to learn from the pros and provide them with a few opportunities to show themselves, not just ride at the front from kilometer zero, and I am confident they’ll have no problems fitting into the team and feel at home here.”

Mikkel Frølich Honoré:

Team Dimension Data Welcome 3 Stagiaires for 2018 season
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is happy to welcome 3 stagiaires, joining our World Tour team for the remainder of the 2018 season. Matteo Sobrero, Kent Main and Connor Swift will all begin their apprenticeship with our African Team this month.

From August 1, the UCI allows for up to 3 stagiaires, u23 or elite riders never to have raced professionally before, to join a World Tour team. A stagiaire may not compete in any World Tour events but is able to participate in any continental level event our World Tour team competes in, between August 1st and December 31st.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is happy to welcome 21-year-old Italian, Matteo Sobrero and 22-year-old South African, Kent Main as 2018 stagiaires. Both riders join us from our continental feeder team and will hope to follow in the footsteps of their former continental team teammates, Ryan Gibbons, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Nicolas Dlamini, who are all currently World Tour pro’s that enjoyed stagiaire roles with us previously.

Sobrero has had a breakthrough season with our continental squad, consistently placing in the top 10 at numerous u23 UCI level races throughout the season. A highlight would certainly have been winning the Coppa della Pace in June before placing 3rd at the opening prologue of the u23 Giro d’Italia just four days later. Sobrero is currently one of the best young talents in Italy, which he also confirmed with national senior team selection for the Tour of Alps and by placing 2nd at the u23 National Time Trial Championships this year.

Main is a talented South African rider who has ridden brilliantly in service of his teammates for the past two seasons on our Continental team. After helping teammates to podium results at three separate u23 classics this year, Main was still able to finish in the front group after sacrificing his own chances. Much of the success our continental team has had over the past two seasons can also be attributed to Main’s leadership on the bike, and we are delighted to give him this opportunity with our World Tour team.

Connor Swift is our final stagiaire for the 2018 season and if that name sounds familiar to you, it is most likely because Swift is the current British National Road Race Champion. Swift, who rides for the continental Madison Genesis team, won the British Road Race in early July in fine style, and at just 22 years of age. Swift is powerful rider with a knack for picking out the decisive moves in tough classic style races.

With The Arctic Race of Norway, Deutschland Tour, Tour of Britain and various end of season Italian one-day classics populating our end of season race calendar, we look forward to giving these three young riders their opportunity in the pro peloton and wish them the best of luck.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “It’s great to see another 2 stagiaires step up from the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka UCI Continental Team. This team is improving year on year and with the incredibly close relationship to our World Tour team, where the Conti team riders get to train with our World Tour team riders. We hope to continue to fast track riders and give them opportunities to step up and succeed in the tough world of professional cycling.”

Jonas Gregaard Wilsly as Trainee to Astana Pro Team
Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (22) will join the Kazakh Astana Pro Team as a trainee from August 1st.

“As always, in early August we invite young and promising riders to Astana Team to view them in professional high-level races. Such an invitation to the team as a trainee is not a guarantee of a full fledged contract, but an opportunity for the riders to prove themselves, to demonstrate their best qualities and willingness to step up into the top cycling league. This year we will see a talented rider Jonas Wilsly. We have closely followed his successes in the last two years, he clearly showed himself as a rider who knows how to fight in stage races. Together with our team Wilsly will have the opportunity to do the Vuelta a Burgos and a set of one-day races in Belgium and Italy,” said the general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

In 2018 Jonas Gregaard Wilsly is representing the continental team Riwal CeramicSpeed Team. In 2017 and 2018 he has scored a number of strong results as, for example, recent 3rd place in the overall classification of the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc, 1st place in the GC of the Kreiz Breizh Elites (2017), 3rd place in the overall of the Tour of Malopolska (2017) and 10th place in the Tour of Denmark (2017).

Is planning that with Astana Pro Team Wilsly will ride the Vuelta a Burgos, Brussels Cycling Classic, GP de Fourmies, Tre Valli Varesine, Milano – Torino and Gran Piemonte.

Jonas Gregaard Wilsly:

Miguel Angel Reyes is the First Trainee of this Season – Ready to Race in Vuelta a Burgos
The Colombian climber born in 1992 have been doing some athletic test in Livigno with the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team and will be a trainee in the 2018 season. His debut with the #OrangeBlue jersey will take place in Spain in Vuelta Burgos.

It is official the first trainee of the Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team of the 2018 season, the Colombian climber Miguel Angel Reyes. The rider born in 1992 did a very good Vuelta a Colombia in 2017 winning a stage and the Best Climber ranking. In this summer 2018 after doing some athletic test with the team in Livigno, where #OrangeBlue are in training camp, he will debut with the team in Vuelta Burgos in Spain and then probably he will ride also the Tour du Limousin with the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team.

To select the first trainee of this season for the Nippo Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team has been DS Valerio Tebaldi, that knows very well Colombian cycling also thanks to his previous experiences. These the Sports Directors words about Miguel Angel Reyes: “He is a pure climber. Last season he won the most competitive stage the Vuelta a Colombia in Letras, a big climb for real climbers. It is not super young, but he deserves a chance and we are really interested in testing him in important European competitions such as the Vuelta a Burgos”.

The Colombian rider started is career at 18 years old in the Juniors category. After his exploit in the Vuelta a Colombia of 2017, in the summer of the 2018 he will now have his big opportunity as #OrangeBlue trainee.

Palmarès 2017:
1st – Vuelta a Colombia, Tappa 9 – La Dorada › Alto de Letras
1st – Classifica GPM Vuelta a Colombia
3rd – Tappa 4 – Barrancabermeja › Peaje El Picacho

Miguel Angel Reyes and DS Valerio Tebaldi:

Lotto Soudal: Welcome to Three Trainees!
From the beginning of this month until the end of the season, three U23 riders of Lotto Soudal will join the WorldTour team. During this period, Stan Dewulf, Gerben Thijssenand Brent Van Moer get to experience the life of professional cyclists.

In the previous seasons at the U23 team of Lotto Soudal, the 20-year-old Stan Dewulf already performed strongly. In 2017 he took podium places in the Tour de Bretagne, Olympia’s Tour and the Belgian Road Championships. This year, he added another impressive victory to his list of achievements by winning Paris-Roubaix U23 – the first Belgian U23 rider to do so in twenty years. Also sprinter Gerben Thijssen will get to know the characteristics of professional cycling. The twenty-year-old sprinted to victory at Brussels-Zepperen and the Zuidkempense Pijl. Besides his skills on the road, he also proved to be an excellent track cyclist by conquering the golden medal in the elimination race at the European Championships last year. Brent Van Moer was the first one ever to cheer at the GP Rik Van Looy. In his first year as a U23 rider he immediately took a silver medal at the Belgian National Time Trial Championships.

Sports director Kurt Van de Wouwer: “Stan Dewulf performed strongly this season: he won Paris-Roubaix U23 and two stages in the Tryptique des Monts et Châteaux as well as in the Tour de Bretagne. He’s ready to learn from the WorldTour team. Stan is a typical rider who’s made for the Flemish Classics, but he is also able to take on the Ardennes Classics, proving his recent sixth place at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

“Gerben Thijssen is a typical sprinter. He started as a track cyclist and joined our team two years ago. Last year, he already showed his many capacities, by – among others – winning a stage in the Olympia’s Tour. This year, he could already triumph several times. Since Gerben is certainly someone who will ride WorldTour races in the future, it’s key for him to experience cycling at an even higher level. He could learn a lot by riding with someone like André Greipel.”

“Brent Van Moer possesses a big engine: he’s a type of rider who performs well in the Flemish Classics, but he also showed his skills in the Giro d’Italia. He doesn’t win too often, but recently did win the Grote Prijs Rik Van Looy and finished second at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. It’s someone who performs consistently and could be of great value for a WorldTour team. All three of them are extremely motivated to race with the WorldTour team, to learn from the pros and to gain experience.”

Stan Dewulf:

De Laat, De Decker and Goebeert Trainees at Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Wanty-Groupe Gobert has chosen its three trainees for the summer. The Belgian pro continental formation will rely on Jasper de Laat, Alfdan De Decker and Pierre Goebeert. The trio made its debut in the Wanty-Groupe Gobert colors in Polynormande (1.1, 05/08) on Sunday, alongside Guillaume Martin, Yoann Offredo, Fabien Doubey and Kevin Van Melsen.

Alfdan De Decker, 21, rides at Lotto-Soudal U23. Alfdan is a sprinter. The Belgian espoir has won Brussels-Opwijk and two stages of the Solidarnosc Race.

Jasper de Laat signs his second internship at Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The 24-year-old Dutchman was recruited last summer, but a crash prevented him from defending Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s colors. Active at Metec, he finished 10th in Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour and 5th of Flèche du Sud.

Pierre Goebeert comes from the Ago-Aqua Service team. The 21-year-old Belgian has been crowned Champion FCWB this season. A specialist in the cobbled classics, the U23 rider from Gaurain-Ramecroix finished 5th in the GP Geluwe (Interclub) and 19th in the Tour of Flanders U23.

Jasper de Laat: “It is really nice to get another chance after last year’s setbacks. I had already been invited to the training camp in January to work on my condition, which allowed me to integrate well in the group. I am very happy about this opportunity offered by Wanty-Groupe Gobert. I want to show what I am capable of, accumulating experience and providing added value to the team. Every terrain suits me, although I especially appreciate the rough and selective races.”

Alfdan De Decker: “Actually, I did not expect to become a trainee. I was hoping a bit so I am really happy to receive this opportunity from Wanty-Groupe Gobert. I combine cycling with my studies in physical education. I especially hope to learn and take advantage of the advice of the most experienced guys on the team. And why not convince the sportive direction of my qualities? My speciality? The sprint, even if my favorite race is Paris-Roubaix.”

Pierre Goebeert: “I was a little surprised when I was asked to become a trainee. It is great for me to be part of a team like Wanty-Groupe Gobert. I received my equipment on Thursday and I am looking forward to wear the jersey for the first time this weekend. I hope to have the level to meet the expectations of the team and to be able to help the collective as much as possible. I know sports director Sébastien Demarbaix well, as a sports director from my time at the juniors in Bury. This experience, for me who loves the Flemish classics, will be useful for the upcoming years.”

Jasper de Laat:

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