EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news

The Vuelta a España, Benelux Tour and the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta all finished on Sunday, plus we have the Tour of Britain, Classic Grand Besançon Doubs and the Tour du Doubs with results and video. No World time trial champs for Primoz Roglič – TOP STORY. Rider news from Alejandro Valverde and Bob Jungels. Contracts for Mathieu van der Poel, Ben Tulett, Dries Devenyns, Mick van Dijke and DSM. Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Gullegem Koerse. Big EUROTRASH coffee.

TOP STORY: No World Time Trial Championships for Roglič
Primož Roglič will miss the World time trial championship in Flanders in two weeks. The new Olympic champion announced during the Vuelta a España, where he is currently leading overall.

“I won’t be there,” the Jumbo-Visma leader told the media. The Slovenian won Olympic Gold five weeks ago in the battle against the clock at the Tokyo Olympics by beating Tom Dumoulin and Rohan Dennis. Four years ago he rode to silver at the World Championships. But he will miss the up-coming World time trial championship, on September 19 on a flat course from Knokke-Heist to Bruges. “I want to finish this race (la Vuelta) first and then we look further to the future. But normally I won’t participate,” Roglič confirmed.

No Worlds TT for Roglič:


Vuelta a España 2021
Miguel Ángel López took victory on the gruelling slopes of the Altu d’El Gamoniteiru (14.6km with an average gradient of 9.8%) on Thursday in Stage 18. The Colombian attacked inside the last 4km of the Queen Stage of la Vuelta’21, featuring 4,500m of climbing, to claim the solo win ahead of Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and his Movistar teammate Enric Mas. López took his third stage win in the Spanish Grand Tour, four years after the previous two. In 2020, he dominated a similar ascent of the Col de la Loze, in the Tour de France.

After a crazy day towards the iconic Lagos de Covadonga, the peloton discover a new monster. The stage features 4,500m of elevation, with classics such as the Puertu de San Llaurienzu, La Cobertoria and El Cordal before the summit finish on the Altu d’El Gamoniteiru, a 14.6km climb with an average gradient of 9.8%. After 10km a group of 32 made the break of the day, with riders such as Michael Storer (DSM), Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) and Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) looking for another stage. The gap was up to 3 minutes after 20km, and 5 minutes on the first ascent of the day, the Cat-1 Puerto de San Llaurienzu (9.9km, 8.6%). Bahrain Victorious drove the bunch. Storer was first over the top to defend Romain Bardet’s polka dot jersey and maybe eventually take the lead of the KOM standings. Thymen Arensman (DSM) set the pace at the front on the second ascent of the day, the Cat-1 Altu de la Cobertoria (7.9km, 8.6%). Storer went solo inside the last 2km of the climb, with 70km to go. Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH) set off in pursuit but Storer pushed his advantage. On the downhill, he enjoye a lead of 2 minutes to his first chasers, and 5:30 to the peloton.

Movistar started working at the front of the bunch alongside Bahrain Victorious and the gap came down to 2:30 at the bottom of the penultimate climb of the day, the Cat-2 Alto del Cordal (8.2km, 5.8%). UAE Team Emirates and INEOS Grenadiers up the ante on the climb. Romain Bardet and Mikel Bizkarra (DSM) briefly go on the move, but Storer was alone at the front with a gap of 2:10, at the bottom of the mighty Gamoniteiru. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-Citroën) attacked 12km from the summit. Then David De la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) went on the move with a bit more than 10km to go while Bahrain Victorious still set the pace in the GC bunch. De la Cruz caught Storer with 7km to go. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux up the pace to bring the gap down to 35 seconds when De la Cruz goes solo with 5.5km to go. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) attacked with 5km to go. Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) counter-attacked inside the last 4km. The Colombian quickly caught and dropped De la Cruz. He solo’d to the finish to complete his set of summit victories in La Vuelta, after Calar Alto and Sierra Nevada in 2017.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Miguel Ángel López (Movistar): “It was a long time for me already since I wanted to win again in La Vuelta. It’s been four years since my last success here, and achieving it on the Queen stage makes me so happy. I do this with so much commitment, ambition, and love for my wife and my son. I’m so thankful to my team-mates for their work. We’re only five now in the race, and we’re missing Carlos, Alejandro and Jacobs so much. However, everyone still here puts a lot of work to make up for the losses. It’s been so beautiful to pay the team-mates back for this. The efforts from Imanol, Nelson, Rojillas, Enric… they were magnificent. This means a lot to us. Only those who are here, inside the team, know how hard it is, how much you suffer every day. Without the sponsors, the staff, the soigneurs, sports directors, our manager Eusebio – it wouldn’t be possible. This can’t be about talking and criticising so much all the time. We offered some good spectacle today, and we go back home with this beautiful victory, so happy about the brilliant work done by all of my team-mates. We also knew this day was important with regards to the GC, we had to take full advantage from it and this will keep us more calm before the next few days heading into Santiago.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Today really felt like a queen stage. It was very tough. Especially after yesterday’s efforts. It wasn’t easy for me, but I’m glad I had something left on the final climb. We also didn’t have to control the stage with Bahrain and Movistar setting the pace. Their pace was fast, so the attacks we expected didn’t happen. I’m glad we’re done with the real high mountains. We’re all feeling the efforts of the past two days and the weeks before that. There are still a few difficult stages to come. Especially the one of Saturday. We have to stay focused.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Enric Mas (Movistar): “I’m so happy, for Miguel Ángel and the whole team, who completed a fantastic job. Imanol was already in the early break, then pushed so hard at the peloton with Nelson, Rojillas took care of us until the last climb – and that attack from Miguel Ángel was great. We knew that, if it was me who attacked, the most likely thing would be Primoz going after me, while Miguel Ángel would be given that sort of margin to go for the stage. Once he jumped, even if I wanted to also try, I had to respect my team-mate and the whole team for their incredible job. We’ve won this stage and we’re leaving so happy with that. Saturday’s stage – tomorrow’s will also be one to keep an eye at – will be again hard, and anything can happen. We must try and get as much rest as possible tonight, see what happens tomorrow and then think about the weekend.”

8th on the stage and 10th overall, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This stage was probably the hardest one of the Tour of Spain. Luckily, the weather was good today in contrary to yesterday. The team realised another nice performance today, with Rein Taaramäe in the breakaway and the rest of the team around me and Odd in the peloton. Thanks to an impressive job of Jan Hirt on the final climb, de la Cruz didn’t manage to distance me. I’m satisfied about my 8th place and especially happy about integrating the top 10 of the general classification. But the Vuelta isn’t finished yet and the time gaps are rather small. So I’ll continue fighting for each second!”

KOM, Michael Storer (DSM): “We rode in an aggressive style as usual and I’m happy I got in the move in the first place with a lot of guys. Unfortunately the peloton didn’t give us a lot of time. We only had four minutes on the third last climb. Then we knew we really needed to push the pace. I wished some more people to come with me so I would have some company through that valley road but no one reacted when I pushed the pace. Unfortunately I was by myself. Then I was also happy I could get over the second last climb as well. I was still in front but I knew for that last climb I probably needed more time than two minutes. There’s limits to what’s possible to hold out in front, especially when a lot of teams seem interested in chasing you down. I was a bit unlucky that they didn’t give me a bigger advantage. However, I’m happy to keep the KOM jersey in DSM. Since I was there I had to pick up the points because we want to win the jersey. It doesn’t matter who it is. It’s just as a team we want this jersey at the end of La Vuelta.”

13th overall, Felix Grossschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “I didn’t feel so good right from the beginning and I hoped that I would feel better on last climb but that ultimately wasn’t the case. I tried my best and eventually it wasn’t enough. I just have to accept what’s happened now and we’ll see in the next few days what we can do.”

Vuelta a España Stage 18 Result:
1. Miguel Ángel López Moreno (Col) Movistar in 4:41:21
2. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
3. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
4. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:22
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:58
6. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
7. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
8. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 1:06
10. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:07.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 18:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 73:24:25
2. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:30
3. Miguel Ángel López Moreno (Col) Movistar at 2:53
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 4:36
5. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:43
6. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:44
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 6:02
8. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 7:48
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 8:31
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 9:02.

Vuelta’21 stage 18:


Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo) took his third stage win of la Vuelta 21 on Friday, after a 191.5km battle from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos on Stage 19. The Dane made the early break over the first climbs of the day. The gap never went higher than 2:45 but Cort Nielsen was still in a position to out-sprint his last companions at the end of stage 19, only 18 seconds ahead of the bunch. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) took his 50th Grand Tour leader’s jersey only two days ahead of the finish in Santiago de Compostela.

The peloton of la Vuelta’21 have crested the biggest mountains of this Vuelta and are now facing another type of challenge with 191.2 hilly kilometres from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos. The stage features more than 3,200m of climbing with early climbs leading to a big battle for the break. Mikael Cherel (AG2R-Citroën), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Aritz Bagües (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Nico Denz (DSM) were the first attackers of the day. Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel Euskadi), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) and Damien Touzé (AG2R-Citroën) join them at km 5. And 17 more riders, including Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo), bridge the gap just ahead of the first climb after 12km. The pace was relentless with many more attacks on the first two climbs of the day, the Cat-3 Alto de Sela and the Cat-2 Alto da Garganta. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), wearing the green jersey, is among the riders dropped with the hard pace set on these climbs.

The situation eventually settles on the third climb of the day, with 18 riders at the front: Mikaël Cherel, Damien Touzé (AG2R-Citroën), Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH), Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Lawson Craddock, Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo), Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ), Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal), Robert Stannard (BikeExchange), Nico Denz (DSM), Fabio Aru (Qhubeka NextHash), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) and Jan Polanc, Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates).

Alberto Dainese’s DSM riders pull the bunch and the gap never got higher than 2:45 as the race entered the last 100km. With the bunch closing in on them, the early attackers accelerate again inside the last 65km and the break was torn in pieces. A crash in the bunch with 43km to go causes Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert-Matériaux) to abandon. BikeExchange took the helm of the peloton for Michael Matthews. At the front, Simmons and Oliveira drop their companions with 34km to go. But they’re joined by Bagioli, Craddock, Cort Nielsen, Roux and Kron 8km later. The peloton trailed by 28 seconds. The gap was up to 30 seconds with 7.5km to go, and 20 seconds into the last kilometre. Simmons opened the sprint, but Cort Nielsen edged the young American and Bagioli on the line. Only 18 seconds behind, Dainese won the bunch sprint.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo): “It’s really great. It’s a dream and I hope I don’t wake up from this dream. It wasn’t until five or six kilometres from the finish that I started to believe in it. They always kept us close. It was a really tough day. We didn’t always work well together at the front and there were attacks that reduced the size of the leading group. In the end everyone had tired legs and it was really difficult in such hilly terrain. I have to thank my teammate Lawson Craddock. He did a great job and I really couldn’t have done this without him. I think my first stage win in Cullera was the most spectacular. It was great to win at the top of a mountain, because I’m from Denmark! It was a very special win. To have three wins in the same race is unbelievable.”

Overall leader, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I was not aware of the fact that today I was wearing a leader’s jersey for the 50th time in a Grand Tour. I am never so concerned with statistics. I like to hear it and it surprises me in a positive way. Hopefully there will be a few more days. The pace was good from the start to the finish. The course was sorted out right away. For us as a team it was great that a large group rode away. The Vuelta is slowly coming to an end. The chances are getting smaller. A lot of teams are still looking for success, today that many teams did not let it go smoothly. In the end we didn’t run into any problems. Tomorrow’s stage is anything but easy. We will also have to remain alert in the individual time trial on Sunday. We know better than anyone that the devil of a Grand Tour is often in the tail. We will have to stay focused and do our very best to take home the red jersey. Hopefully we have enough energy left in the tank to seal the last three weeks with the desired result.”

2nd on the stage, Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates): “I almost got dropped on the first climb with the high pace but I hung on, and in the last 50km I started to feel stronger again. We didn’t think we could make it to the line because we were hanging on by 30 seconds for a long time but our group was collaborating really well and we stayed away. Second place is disappointing now but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll wake up and feel better about it.”

5th overall, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a very tough stage. I felt like it was going up all day. The last part was faster, but there was a lot of wear. Everyone in the peloton was in a hurry, we were going very fast. Tomorrow is about surviving. Yesterday we paid a bit for the day we attacked 60 km from the finish line with Roglic, I think it showed, and even more today. It was not an easy day even though it was a stage for the sprint. It was almost 100 km going up. If I had legs I would attack, but I think I’m in a survival mode. I haven’t even thought about my podium options, it’s very complicated, I don’t think I can make it.”

Vuelta a España Stage 19 Result:
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Education-Nippo in 4:24:54
2. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
3. Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
4. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:05
8. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM at 0:18
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 19:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 77:49:37
2. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:30
3. Miguel Ángel López Moreno (Col) Movistar at 2:53
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 4:36
5. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:43
6. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:44
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 6:02
8. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 7:48
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 8:31
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 9:24.

Vuelta’21 stage 19:


Clément Champoussin (AG2R-Citroën Team) took his first pro win on Saturday, at the top of the climb of Castro de Herville, after an incredible Stage 20 in the Galician hills. After an all day battle, the Frenchman was caught by the GC contenders on the final ascent of the day but he kicked again with 1.6km to go and snatched the victory ahead of Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), who climbs up the overall podium after Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) and Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) didn’t follow a key attack with 60km to go.

The peloton of la Vuelta faced a final mountain stage with almost 3,500m of climbing and four categorised climb ahead of the final ascent to the summit finish on the Alto Castro de Herville. 143 riders rolled out from Sanxenxo without Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), who suffered crashes in the previous days.

After an intense battle, a 16-man break got together after 42 kilometres: Lilian Calmejane, Clément Champoussin, Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Floris de Tier (Alpecin-Fenix), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Dani Navarro (Burgos-BH), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Nick Schultz (BikeExchange), Romain Bardet, Chris Hamilton, Michael Storer (DSM), Ryan Gibbons and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates). With no GC threat at the front, Jumbo-Visma take it easy in the peloton. The gap increased to almost 12 minutes before INEOS Grenadiers up the pace on the first climb of the day, the Cat-3 Alto de Vilachan, inside the last 100km. They brought the gap down to 5 minutes over the next climb, the Cat-2 Alto de Mabia.

The race situation was turned upside down on the main climb of the day, the Cat-1 Alto de Mougas (9.9km, 6.3%). After a series of attacks and counter-attacks, five riders emerge from the GC group with 60km to go: Primoz Roglič, Enric Mas (Movistar), Jack Haig, with Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious), and Simon Yates. Miguel Ángel López, 3rd overall, and Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), the best young rider, were not in that group. At the front, Gibbons went solo on the downhill, with more than 50km to go. He went over the Cat-2 Alto de Prado with a gap of 55 seconds to the first chase group, led by Bardet and Storer. Padun drops to the GC group, to help Haig climb onto the overall podium and Mäder take the white jersey. The López-Bernal group were 4 minutes behind. They catch the chasers at the bottom of the final climb (9.9km, 4.8%), Gibbons is still 1:45 ahead. Gibbons was caught inside the last 5km and after a series of attacks, Champoussin goes all in with 1.6km to go and holds off Primoz Roglič at the line. Meanwhile, Lopez abandons.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citroën): “When we got caught by the favourite’s group, it was complicated. I didn’t manage to go with them on the steep part. Gino Mäder then bridged us back up and although I couldn’t follow them when they attacked, I held on. A little over a kilometre from the finish I saw they were looking at each other and playing games. I came in with speed and got enough of a gap to make it to the line. I was lucky. It’s a little bit unexpected. In the past three weeks I have had some ups and downs, and yesterday I was not well at all. I didn’t expect to play a role at the front of the race today but ended up in the break with Lilian Calmejane and Stan Dewulf, two teammates that I really like. They helped me a lot so I shouldn’t miss out. It’s really cool, I’m surprised. And to win in front of top riders makes it even more fun.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m super happy with the place I finished in today with the way it went. I couldn’t wish for more. I was mainly looking at [Adam] Yates and Enric [Mas] but at the end there were a lot more guys. We need to be super strong to attack and to go away. I kept everything more or less under control. The first half of the stage was nice. We did the tempo then I expected that the guys went for it in the last mountain stage. Ineos rode hard and the race exploded. I’m looking forward to the time trial tomorrow. We’ve been waiting for this so finally here we are.”

3rd overall and 5th on the stage, Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious): “It doesn’t get any better than this. It is unbelievable that we are in this position after twenty stages. I’ve been saying all week that we’re looking for opportunities to move up one more spot. We had to approach that carefully. When the opportunity came this afternoon, I immediately grabbed it. With Gino and Mark it really worked out perfectly. I don’t want to talk about the podium yet, because tomorrow there is another time trial.”

9th on the stage and best young rider, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a plan perfectly executed all the way to the line, getting Jack [Haig] on the podium and I get a nice surprise as well [with the white jersey]. It was really hard. We had Mark Padun in the break, he was really strong, maybe he could have won the stage if we didn’t ask him to wait. He did an incredible job to really help me and Jack. I think we came to this Vuelta with a podium spot in our mind and we get it in the end. A month ago, in Burgos, I wasn’t even sure I was gonna ride this Vuelta. Coming from the Olympic Games, having the vaccination, I wasn’t feeling super good, but my feelings got better everyday. I didn’t expect that yesterday, I didn’t expect it at all.”

10th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a super tough day but I felt much better today following my crash on stage 17. It was a very chaotic day in terms of the GC and I’m happy to be back in the top 10. Tomorrow is the individual time trial and so I hope to have good legs there to be able to defend my top 10 overall.”

KOM, Michael Storer (DSM): “We got three of us in the breakaway, picked up the points along the stage, and then we were hoping to fight for the stage but we couldn’t have it. The team has been riding really well. We can be happy with how we rode. There were stronger riders today. La Vuelta has been a very hard race.”

Vuelta a España Stage 20 Result:
1. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën in 5:21:50
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
3. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:08
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:12
6. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) DSM 0:00:16
7. Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:23
8. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:26
9. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
10. Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:50

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 20:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 83:11:27
2. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:38
3. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 4:48
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:48
5. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 8:14
6. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 11:38
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 13:42
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 16:11
9. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 16:19
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 20:30.

Vuelta’21 stage 20:


Three weeks after he won the opening time trial of la Vuelta’21, in front of the Cathedral of Burgos, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) dominated the Final time trial Stage 21 with the finish next to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Slovenian took four stage wins in this edition of the Spanish Grand Tour to claim his third overall victory in a row. His margin of 4:42 on Enric Mas (Movistar) is the biggest between the winner of the Vuelta and the second rider overall since 1997. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) joined Roglič and Mas on the final overall podium after 3.417 kilometres of battle through Spain.

Josef Cerny (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was the first rider on the road. He was also the first at the finish in front of the Cathedral, with a time of 45:18, and he sat on the hot seat for more than an hour before Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo), freshly crowned as the most combative rider of La Vuelta 21, shows he still has something in his tank after his three spectacular stage wins: 44:16 (45.813km/h). Thymen Arensman (DSM) took a spot between Cort Nielsen and Černy, with a time of 44:54. The top of the standings don’t change until the leaders started their effort. Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was on his way to Santiago de Compostela, a few minutes after Fabio Aru (Qhubeka NextHash) bid farewell to pro cycling. “I want to thank everyone in La Vuelta and the fans around the world,” the Italian winner of the 2015 edition said. Primoz Roglič flew to the first intermediate point at 13 kilometres, already putting 19 seconds between him and Cort Nielsen and 1:08 on Enric Mas (Movistar). Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) gained 26 seconds on Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) in the battle for second place on the podium. The Brit needed to gain 1 minute to edge the Aussie. After such a strong start, Roglic powered to victory 14 seconds ahead of Cort Nielsen. He even caught Mas in the final metres to seal his overall triumph with a historical margin of 4:42. Haig eventually finished 26 seconds faster than Yates to be the second Australian rider on the podium of la Vuelta, 12 years after Cadel Evans.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage and final overall winner, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “It was another beautiful day and it were three beautiful weeks. I am very happy for myself and the guys around me. This is truly a team effort. It was a tough last stage. Still, I enjoyed the crowd and the support along the way. I just tried to focus on the stage today and to do my very best. It’s unbelievable, it’s crazy. Sometimes you win by a big difference, sometimes by a little. But any way of winning is fantastic. We took it day by day. I did my best and enjoyed it. I am honoured to win for the third time.”

2nd overall, Enric Mas (Movistar): “We’ve got to be really happy. In the end, only four of us were able to reach the finish, and three team-mates ended up in hospital after risking everything to help us – that’s really hard. We leave with this podium, which is a great source of pride for the whole team. I just want to say thank you, thanks so much to all riders and staff of the team. Everyone is important for this result. Yesterday was the very first time I felt really how I wanted after Tuesday’s crash, and it was a tough TT today, especially because, again, that pain relapsed near the end. I don’t know if you could see it on TV, but I wasn’t able to keep myself holding the TT bars and I had to take the drops, as if it were a normal road bike on a normal climb. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to contest the Vuelta win on this TT against Primoz, because he would have taken it away from me (laughs). It is true that, other than those time trials, I was thinking yesterday coming into the hotel, and talking to my coach, that I needed to improve in those mountain stage finishes, because Roglic and the like end up taking some time on me, and that’s time I must not lose. It’s an aspect I must improve. And now? For the time being, having a nice dinner with the team, enjoying it, celebrating this result and, starting tomorrow, thinking about the late season. I’m feeling quite well and I’d like to take part in the Italian late-season classics, attractive races, beautiful events of cycling where I think I can do well.”

3rd overall, Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious): “Its incredible, I was just speaking to my wife saying how you always dream of getting on a podium at a Grand Tour, but I really never knew it was possible or not. It’s amazing to move to Bahrain Victorious and then having the crash at Tour, and come here with no expectations, and be third on the podium. I have no words for it, and I want to thank everyone who got me here as it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not just a years work and there are so many people I’d like to thank along the way that helped me. I will keep approaching racing the way I do, as long as I’m happy with the right people around me and enjoy it. If you’ve got that, then the results come, and I couldn’t be happier.”

7th on the stage and 10th overall, Felix Großschartner (Bora-hansgrohe): “These have been three very instructive weeks. It was the second time I went for the overall classification in a Grand Tour. My last races were the Giro and then the Tour of Sardinia, and although I trained well, I wasn’t really able to assess my performance. There were good days and not so good days here, but I am satisfied that I was always kept focus and didn’t give up. When I had a bad day, I always fought back and made the best of it. In the end, this was rewarded and I can be really satisfied with the result. It’s important to analyse the mistakes that happened and to take them with us as experience so that we can benefit from them in the next races. So now I’m looking forward to the upcoming racing in Italy and hope for a good finish there. Three weeks are a really long time and even if things didn’t go so well always, like on stage 17 when I crashed before the last climb, I still fought my way back. So when you have a tough time and slip out of the top 10, it’s not easy, but you always have to give your best. Unexpected things can always happen, and even in the last few days of racing, things can change and you have to be prepared for that. My thanks to the whole team because everyone gave their best. It was hard for everyone not only because of the course profile but also because of the heat and the stress. We also had some crashes in the team, but everyone tried to keep fighting. So thank you to all of them, everyone believed in me and supported me and despite the more challenging times, we had a good time together.”

11th overall, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “On the individual and collective level, it was an extraordinary Tour of Spain. We delivered performances like never before during those three weeks. Speaking about myself, at the start in Burgos I was determined to show something nice, but never I would have imagined wearing the red jersey for seven days and finish 11th in the general classification. I was living a dream. The last days, I battled to finish in the top 10. That would probably have been possible without the crash when I lost the jersey. But I don’t have regrets, because the last couple of days fatigue was getting the best of me. So the Vuelta ends at the right moment. Now, I’m going to turn my focus to the end of the season classics in which I want to take advantage of my good form!”

Final KOM winner, Michael Storer (DSM): “I’m really happy, it’s more than I ever expected to do at this Vuelta. I’m really proud of myself and really proud of the team’s efforts as well; we’ve worked incredibly well together to bring this home. We literally have made each other better here, the way we have worked together is incredible; it’s been a really good Vuelta for us. This jersey is really one for the team. We are super happy.”

Final points competition winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “To finish here in Santiago de Compostela is my biggest victory. Who would have thought about this one year ago? As I came closer to the finish, I was waving to the fans who were shouting my name, seeing them do this was really beautiful. A hat-trick of stages and the green jersey is something I would have never dreamed of three weeks ago. This achievement was possible with the help of my teammates. They were with me everywhere – on the climbs, on the descents, in the valley – they rode themselves inside out for me and I’m incredibly grateful to them. This jersey represents the Wolfpack, everything what this stands for and our strong connection. I want to say a big thank you to everybody involved: the guys, the staff, the sponsors. It’s a fairy tale!”

Best young rider, (Bahrain Victorious): “Wow, it’s unbelievable for me, and the whole thing just fell into my hands yesterday. I was already happy before with my provisional 8th in GC and being amongst the best climbers in this race.
Now I’m sitting here in the white jersey having helped Jack on the podium and I’m a little bit lost for words. In the end it’s a fifth place, and there are a lot of really strong riders. It’s unexpected and maybe a bit too good, and I take it and I hope it’s not my last time in the top 5 in the GC.”

Vuelta a España Stage 21 Result:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 44:02
2. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo at 0:14
3. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:52
4. Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 0:01:16
5. Chad Haga (USA) DSM at 1:43
6. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:49
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-hansgrohe at 1:52
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:04
10. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 2:06.

Vuelta a España Final Overall Result:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 83:55:29
2. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 4:42
3. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 7:40
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 9:06
5. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 11:33
6. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 13:27
7. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 18:33
8. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 18:55
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 20:27
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 22:22.

Vuelta’21 stage 21:


Benelux Tour 2021
Tim Merlier won his second stage in the Benelux Tour. In Ardooie on Stage 4, the Belgian rider of Alpecin-Fenix ​​was the fastest in a bunch sprint. Mads Pedersen was second, Danny van Poppel third. On Monday, Merlier won in Dokkum.

The fourth stage went from Aalter to Ardooie. After a local circuit, the course went west and then south to Ardooie, where the riders had a circuit that had to be completed four times. Last season Jasper Philipsen managed to beat Mads Pedersen and Pascal Ackermann. In previous years, the victory went to Sam Bennett, Peter Sagan and Tom Boonen. This made this stage a real sprint classic.

With Stefan Bissegger, Tuesday’s winner of the individual time trial in Lelystad, back in the blue jersey, the peloton started in Aalter. But the riders had only just clicked into their pedals when the race was rocked by a massive crash. The organisers decided to neutralise the race, so that the medical staff and the mechanics could attend to the damage. After a short delay, the starting signal was given again. Sam Bewley (BikeExchange), Arjen Livyns (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces) and Thomas Sprengers (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took care of the first serious escape and managed to get away for 3 minutes. Livyns lost the lead in the Super 8 combat spirit yesterday and regained the beige jersey in the two intermediate sprints. In the second intermediate sprint, the lead of the three had already dropped. The sprinter’s teams didn’t want to be surprised again and kept the leading group within striking distance. In the run-up to the local lap, the difference started to shrink further and the escapees were caught on the first of four laps. That encouraged new attack attempts. Barnabás Peák (BikeExchange) and Laurenz Rex (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces) broke away and several riders tried to jump across to the new leading group.

That was not to the liking of the sprinter’s teams and at the start of the second-to-last lap everything was back together. Next it was Fernando Gaviria, Victor Campenaerts and Mike Teunissen to try. The next attack came from Rune Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). The pursuit specialist saw Julien Duval (AG2R Citroën) join and together they grabbed a small gap. Herregodts was not satisfied with the co-operation and with the peloton on their heels, their attack attempt was short-lived. A compact peloton started the final lap of 15.6 kilometres. The three sprints in the Golden Kilometre were fiercely contested. Kasper Asgreen, second in the standings, was the fastest twice and took six bonuses. The middle sprint went to Christophe Laporte. Peace returned to the GC riders and the trains of the sprinters started to go their work. Trek-Segafredo led the way for Mads Pedersen, but the Dane’s train was overtaken on the right by Danny van Poppel and Fernando Gaviria. However, it was Tim Merlier who found a gap on the left-hand side of the last straight and pushed his wheel across the line with a strong sprint just ahead of Pedersen.

Stage winner, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was really a team victory. My teammates kept me out of the wind for 70 kilometres and on every narrow track and in every difficult passage they got me where I needed to sit. I was actually obliged to win here. When they came to the right, I was stuck for a while. I thought Mads Pedersen would hold the line and then I tried on the right, but then I saw an opening as I was also stuck on the right. On the left I was able to make everything right, fortunately.”

3rd on the stage, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I know this finish in Ardooie well and I knew that I had to launch early to avoid to be blocked. I used the right tactics and I’m satisfied about my sprint, but two guys were faster. The final was pretty hectic, so I asked my teammates to bring me to the front early. I wanted to be in the first positions in the last corner to the right, in order to be able to take a moment of rest before the sprint. My teammates executed the plan well and I’m happy to see how motivated they are each race to support me. Of course, Taco’s win was an extra boost for everyone!”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “Another fast stage where we worked well to keep the breakaway under control and finish with a bunch sprint. In the final kilometres, I was positioned at the front of the peloton in order to avoid any problems and be ready for the finale. Unfortunately, just before the final sprint started, I didn’t have a clear lane that would have allowed me to accelerate as much as I could, so I wasn’t able to go for the win.”

Benelux Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:36:29
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
7. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka NextHash
9. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Groupama-FDJ.

Benelux Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo in 11:01:24
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:13
3. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:20
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
5. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka NextHash at 0:22
6. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:26
7. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka NextHash
8. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:36
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:40
10. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious.


Caleb Ewan won Stage 5 of the Benelux Tour on Friday. In Bilzen the Australian rider was the strongest in a bunch sprint. Sonny Colbrelli was second, Danny van Poppel third. Stefan Bissegger had to let go in the finalé and lost his leader’s jersey to Stefan Küng.

For the fifth stage, the peloton went to Belgian Limburg, with a tough ride from Riemst to Bilzen. From Riemst, the peloton first made a long loop over the climbs of the Côte de Richelle, Côte de Chenestre, Côte de Platanes, Côte de Plank and Côte de Hallembaye. Then the peloton rode a larger circuit with a double passage of the Slingerberg, the Keiberg and the Letenberg. The stage ended with two smaller laps with the climbs of the Keiberg and the Letenberg.

Stefan Bissegger, winner of the time trial in Lelystad, was again in the blue jersey. Remco Evenepoel didn’t start; the Belgian rider suffered from stomach problems. Early in the race the long break started with Hugo Houle (Astana), Jack Bauer (BikeExchange) and Casper Pedersen (DSM). Of them, Pedersen was the best placed rider in 33rd place, 1:43 behind leader Bissegger. They rode away from the peloton for 2 minutes on the first slopes. With 79 kilometres to go, the finish was passed for the first time and from that moment on the peloton started to accelerate. Taco van der Hoorn, the winner of the third stage, withdrew due to illness. After the second pass of the Keiberg, Edward Theuns and Victor Campenaerts accelerated, but did not get away. Some time later, Jasper Stuyven also tried. On the first smaller lap, Houle had to let his fellow escapees go on the Keiberg. Bauer and Pedersen rode together to the Golden Kilometre, where the New Zealand rider of BikeExchange took 8 seconds, Pedersen seven and Houle, who was still in between the leading group and the peloton at the time, three. Bauer and Pedersen started the final lap with a one minute lead. Lotto Soudal and Alpecin-Fenix ​​were working hard on front for their sprinters Caleb Ewan and Tim Merlier.

With 11 kilometres to go, Bauer and Pedersen’s attack was also over. Kasper Asgreen accelerated on the Keiberg and Stuyven and Matej Mohorič jumped with him. The Danish pacemaker, second overall, suffered a mechanical shortly afterwards and had to let everyone else go. Not only Asgreen ran into problems in the final, so did the blue jersey Bissegger. The Swiss rider had to let the peloton go. At the front, Mohorič did everything he could to avoid a bunch sprint. The Slovenian, 8th on GC, was accompanied by Peter Sagan and Jasper Stuyven, but they were not given any space. Bahrain Victorious worked hard for Sonny Colbrelli, but it was Caleb Ewan who timed his sprint perfectly. Colbrelli was second, Danny van Poppel third. Peter Sagan and Jasper Stuyven completed the top-5 of the day’s results.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “Once we did the first lap of the circuit, it looked like it would be very tough and then they started attacking quite early from the bunch which made the race actually very hard. I knew this was my last chance to win this week. I really wanted to do well, coming back from my crash. So, I’m really happy. Tomorrow is something for Tim and Phil. In the first three sprint stages there was always something that went wrong like a mechanical when the bunch split in the first stage or when my spokes were taken out with fifteen kilometres to go in another stage. I knew my form was there but I didn’t have the luck. On a finish like today it is more about strength than luck. The season wasn’t what I wanted. I’m so motivated to make something out of it. A world title would really make my season. I trained really hard to come back. I was disappointed that I couldn’t be back in time for the Vuelta, but I stayed focused and knew the end goal would be the Worlds. The Benelux Tour and the Tour of Luxemburg are important steps in my process to get the top form. Winning a hard stage like today gives me a lot of confidence. It shows that I’m really on the right track and that my legs are coming. I still got time to improve. By the time the Worlds are there, I really should be in top shape.”·

Overall leader, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “Actually, I thought that the general classification would be decided in the stages tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. However, at the briefing this morning we saw that it was quite a tough course today and that I should always stay at the front. Bissegger had a bad day, Asgreen had a mechanical problem. If something like that happens, that’s bad luck. I tried to stay ahead and avoid trouble. Now I’m the leader, but it’s unexpected. How much confidence do I have for tomorrow’s stage? I know all the climbs around Houffalize well. It’s already my seventh participation here and I’ve already raced the final stage several times, so I know what to expect. It’s going to be very hard. I was there two years ago. I have a lot of confidence, I feel good and before coming here I did an altitude training camp. So these Belgian climbs should be successful. Last year I was third in the standings and you always try to do better. It’s quite unexpected that I have the leader’s jersey. From now on I have to follow the others. Tomorrow will be very tough with guys like Wellens and Hirschi, who have the qualities for the Ardennes. If I get through well tomorrow, I’ll be back on my terrain on Sunday in the stage to Geraardsbergen.”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s a pity not to have finalised with a victory the excellent job done by my teammates. We raced well, and I’m confident ahead of the last two stages. I will try again, that’s for sure.”

2nd overall, Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange): “I’m now second on the general classification which is good. Unfortunately, Kasper Asgreen had a mechanical issue but that can happen and he is still not so far away. The boys rode fantastically; from the start they tried to get into the breakaway and Jack did an amazing job to get in the break and rode super strong. We were riding really hard from behind in the peloton and couldn’t catch Jack until the end so it was a very big ride for him today. Everyone else did a really fantastic job, putting me in the right position during the stage which was like a semi-classic with a lot of positioning and a lot of big efforts from the boys to get me up there. I feel good and managed to stay up there in the front group and move up on GC. One-day at a time and we are going at it again tomorrow so we will see how it goes.”

3rd on the stage, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I drew on all my resources to take this 3rd place. The outcome of this stage was unpredictable, nobody could affirm with certainty that the race would be concluded by a bunch sprint. In the end, it was a demanding race because of the numerous turns, hills and small roads. Thanks to the help of my teammates, I was well positioned for the final climb from where it was full gas until the finish line. It was a battle between the strongest survivors and I’m happy to be one of them. It is a nice feeling to sprint for the victory, especially at the end of a hard race like this. I’m only two points away from the points jersey, this will be my goal for the stage in Geraardsbergen.”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a long stage that played out as expected. Once more, we worked well as a team and I was at the front of the peloton in the final circuit in order to control and close the attacks. It served as a good indicator of my form after my knee injury and my altitude training. In the sprint finish, I gave my best.”

Benelux Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:26:24
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
3. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
9. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
10. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën.

Benelux Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 15:28:08
2. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:02
3. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:06
4. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka NextHash
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:14
6. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:16
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:20
8. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:25
9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM at 0:26
10. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:28.


Impressive day for Bahrain Victorious at the Benelux Tour. Stage 6 was the longest and toughest stage on the menu (Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve > Houffalize207.6km) became the most spectacular and sweetest one so far for the team.

The riders faced a series of côtes in the Ardennes, especially in the final laps, including some steep climbs. The race was nervous immediately after the start with some attacks as the flat initial part was ideal to set a breakaway. At 10 km Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin) and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) went into the move gaining a maximum of 7 minutes. But as expected, when the first of the 10 Côte on the menu came after about 100km, the race exploded. With 49km to go as Thomas was brought back, on the Côte Bois des Mointes Mohorič attacked, with Hirschi and Colbrelli joining him. The leading trio continued their action while behind the peloton split. At 25km to go, a solo attack of Sonny Colbrelli turned out to be the winning move. With Mohorič stopping the chase, the Italian Champion maintained a substantial advantage (42 seconds) to storm to a tremendous solo victory. Behind him, a reduced chasing group sprinted for runner-up place, and to complete the team’s excellent work, Matej Mohorič took second place. With the victory, Sonny Colbrelli also moved into the overall leader’s jersey, with an advantage of 51 seconds on the Slovenian Champion, who sits in second place, a perfect scenario for Bahrain Victorious with only one stage to go.

Stage winner and overall leader, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “It has probably been one of the hardest races of my life. With Matej, we attack in the first of the final laps, and Hirshi followed us. Then we agreed to try one time each. When it was up to me, I went that it was a bit early actually and I didn’t think to arrive alone. But I always kept a good tempo and never looked back. I’m so happy as I can say to have done something extraordinary. It never happened to me to win a race like this way. Tomorrow, let’s see how I will recover as today I spent a lot. But as a team, we also have Matej ready to fight for the GC.”

Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was really hard. I think I overdid it in the first lap of the final circuit. I tried to follow the trio at the front, Colbrelli, Mohorič, and Hirschi, and I blew up in the second climb. Basically, I couldn’t recover from that effort and in the second lap, it was about fighting to stay in the group, holding the wheels, and trying to lose the least time possible. It was a truly hard day.”

Benelux Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 4:55:27
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:42
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka Assos
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM at 1:02
10. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.

Benelux Tour Overall After Stage 6:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 20:23:30
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:51
3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka Assos 0:00:53
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:07
5. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:09
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 1:16
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM at 1:33
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:40
10. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:42.


Matej Mohorič won the Final Stage 7 of the Benelux Tour. After a long solo, the Slovenian crossed the finish line alone on the Muur van Geraardsbergen. His Bahrain Victorious teammate, Sonny Colbrelli kept his leader’s jersey by reacting to an attack by Tom Dumoulin on the Dondermondestraat. They finished second and third.

The last stage in the Benelux Tour brought the remaining riders over the Muur van Geraardsbergen four times. The finish was after the last passage, on the Vesten. A tough task for leader Colbrelli to defend his lead, after his hard effort on Saturday in Houffalize. It took a while on Sunday before a leading group got away from the peloton. After almost sixty kilometres a number of dangerous riders managed to take a gap. These were Philippe Gilbert, Tosh Van der Sande, Daniel Oss, Jenthe Biermans, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Toms Skujins, Dries Devenyns and Oscar Riesebeek. They managed to gain 1 minute, but no more. The peloton soon realised that a group with these riders should not get too much of a lead. After the second passage of the Muur van Geraardsbergen their escape came to an end. An attack by Kasper Asgreen turned out to be the main reason. The Dane, who was not good enough to follow in the Ardennes on Saturday, attacked and had Matej Mohorič, Brandon McNulty and Victor Campenaerts with him. The four riders managed to get a decent lead, but were brought back by the fairly large peloton on the penultimate passage of the Muur. Mohorič decided to attack the Wall one more time. Colbrelli and Asgreen again, counter-attacked. An elite group formed behind the Italian and the Dane, including Tiesj Benoot, Gianni Vermeersch, Danny van Poppel, Tim Wellens and Peter Sagan. Tom Dumoulin and Mike Teunissen jumped after them.

On the last lap, Mohoric kept his lead of 30 seconds over the chasers, who had brought Asgreen and Colbrelli in again, 10 kilometres from the finish. Meanwhile, the group with Dumoulin and Teunissen returned. Mohorič’s lead quickly rose to more than 45 seconds. Colbrelli looked like he might lose the overall victory to his teammate. Dumoulin attacked on the Dendermondestraat, with Colbrelli stuck on his wheel. The two immediately created a gap and quickly halved the time to the lone leader from 40 seconds at 6 kilometres from the finish, to 20 seconds at 3 kilometres. The final victory of the Italian was therefore saved. In the remainder of the stage, Mohorič consolidated his lead to win the final stage of the Benelux Tour. Overall winner Colbrelli and Dumoulin finished just over 10 seconds later and managed to stay just ahead of the chase group.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “His (Colbrelli) lead was too big, especially for a race that is normally decided by bonus seconds. I had three tasks myself today. First I wanted to steal the seconds from the others in the Golden Kilometre, second I wanted a good classification and third, I wanted to win the stage. It all worked out. For tactical reasons, because if I didn’t react, we had to take responsibility in the pursuit. This way you have multiple options in the final. I think we spread the cards very well as a team.”

Overall winner and 2nd on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “1-2 in the stage as yesterday and 1-2 in the general classification. Something we can be more than proud of! Today, I had to defend the leader jersey, but we were also trying to go for the stage as a team. When Matej was leading, I controlled from behind, always trying to follow the various attacks. In the final, Dumoulin accelerated, and I must admit I struggled a bit to follow him. In the end, we managed to realise our plans, and that’s amazing.”

3rd overall, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash): “Today was a very hard race, and Casper Asgreen opened the race very early, but we did super well as a team. We were always in control. We had Reinie in the breakaway, and then we joined the breakaway (Asgreen, Mohorič, and me) and Reinie was there to pull, it was awesome. In the end, everything came together. While I had no result today, I ended up with third place in the GC, which I am very excited about. This was all about being committed as a team. It was a clear goal to focus on this GC and every single rider (and staff member) believed in this GC. We may not have won, but we are very happy with our podium place. Now, I will look ahead to the European Championships which are coming up. It was a nice week of racing in Belgium/Netherlands and also quite special, there was no rain! Ubuntu.”

6th on the stage and points winner, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This 6th place and points jersey are a nice way to conclude a good week with the team. Aimé and I were the team leaders today. As the GC favourites were battling together, we dared to take a risk and wait until the final passage in Geraardsbergen to do our first big effort. In this way, Aimé and I were in the front of the race, but unfortunately the collaboration wasn’t good enough and we were joined by another group in the final kilometres. So Aimé De Gendt sacrificed for me, so I could win the points jersey. I’m grateful for this. This week, we’ve shown again that we’re in a good condition, but we’re not done yet! Personally, I’m happy about my performance because I’m dreaming of representing my country in the World Championships!”

10th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was full-on today, from start to finish. I gave everything I had, but today wasn’t one of my best days. It was an exciting week of racing in the Netherlands and Belgium and it was nice seeing so many fans on the roads. I now look forward to my upcoming races.”

Benelux Tour Stage 7 Result:
1. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious in 3:50:56
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:11
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:15
4. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:22
5. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:24
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe

Benelux Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 24:14:29
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:29
3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka NextHash at 1:14
4. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:26
5. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:28
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:30
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 1:37
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM at 1:54
9. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:55
10. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:01.


CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 2021
Silver medallist in the time-trial of the Olympic Games, the Swiss star Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana) carried the form that also saw her shine in the Ladies Tour of Norway (4th) and the Simac Ladies Tour (2nd) to win Thursday’s Stage 1 of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21 as she powered to victory on her own in A Rúa, ahead of her breakaway companions.

The peloton rolled from the mountain resort of Manzaneda in the morning and faced 117.8km of racing. The pace was high from the start. After a fast first hour (42.9km/h), a group of attackers broke away from the bunch with Pauliena Rooijakkers (Liv Racing) Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Elise Chabbey (CANYON//SRAM), Lucy Kennedy (BikeExchange) and Eric Magnaldi (CERATIZIT WNT). Coryn Rivera (DSM) joined them at km 65 to make the break of the day. The battle went on up the Alto da Portela (cat. 1), the main uphill challenge of the day with 15.2 kilometres at 5.3%. Kennedy and Magnaldi were dropped from the lead group and caught by the peloton, led by Movistar and SD Worx, with a maximum gap of 2:15 with 29km to go.

The terrain was much easier in the second part of the stage. The four attackers still at the front worked well together to maintain a gap of 2 minutes on the bunch. In the final kilometres towards A Rúa, Marlen Reusser opened a small gap on her breakaway companions and claimed victory. The rider from Alé BTC Ljubljana said she didn’t want a sprint against the American Coryn Rivera. The bunch finished with a gap of 1:48. Regarding a potential overall victory, Reusser said she will probably lose time to the likes of Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini on Friday’s uphill time trial, but she was satisfied with this opening result.

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 1 Result:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana in 3:07:46
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM at 0:22
3. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM
4. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing
5. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 1:48
6. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma
7. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing
8. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing
9. Marie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM.

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 2:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana in 3:07:36
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM at 0:26
3. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 0:28
4. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing at 0:32
5. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 1:58
6. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma
7. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing
8. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing
9. Marie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM.


The Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) dominated Stage 2 of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21. After a first hilly stage, day 2 saw the field take on a 7.3km uphill time-trial leading to the mountain resort of Manzaneda with slopes at an average gradient of 5.8%. Following her Olympic title in Tokyo’s ITT, Van Vleuten set a winning time of 19:08. The overall leader Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana), also a silver medallist in the Olympic ITT, finished 2nd on the day at 0:19 and Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) rounded out the podium with a gap of 27 seconds.

With another strong performance, Marlen Reusser has an advantage of 1:36 overall on Pauliena Rooijakkers (LIV Racing) and Annemiek van Vleuten is now third at 1:39. The Swiss champ also leads the points standings. On Saturday, the penultimate stage will see the peloton take on another hilly course from the mountain resort of Manzaneda to Pereiro de Aguiar.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “I chose the time-trial bike because it was faster for me and I was just happy to ride it. Tomorrow, I have nothing to lose and everything to win. I hope other teams feel like that and we can put on a big show.”

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 2 Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 19:08
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 0:20
3. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:28
4. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank at 0:48
5. Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar at 0:59
6. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 1:00
7. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 1:15
8. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 1:20
9. Urska Zigart (Slo) BikeExchange at 1:23
10. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing at 1:24.

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 2:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana in 3:27:03
2. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing at 1:36
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar at 1:39
4. Coryn Rivera (USA) DSM at 1:45
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 1:48
6. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 2:06
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank at 2:26
8. Leah Thomas (USA) Movistar at 2:37
9. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 2:38
10. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 2:54.


Annemiek van Vleuten delivered an attacking masterclass from the mountain resort of Manzaneda to Pereiro de Aguiar on Saturday’s Stage 3. The Dutch star made the most of her unique abilities on a hilly terrain to claim victory after a 50km solo ride that also saw her take the overall lead from Marlen Reusser, who still leads the points competition.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) went on the move with Kasia Niewadoma (Canyon//SRAM), Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) after the first hour of racing. The four attackers had a lead of 20 seconds at km 45. Only Longo Borghini was able to keep going with Van Vleuten ahead of a group of seven chasers with the race leader Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana), Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM), Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij (DSM) joining Niewadoma and Vas. After 60km, Van Vleuten dropped Longo Borghini and pushed on her own to try and bridge as big a gap as possible to Marlen Reusser, who enjoyed a significant gap with her victory in stage 1. The Dutch attacker crossed the line in Pereiro de Aguiar with an advantage of 2:48 on Lippert and Niewadoma, and 3:03 to Reusser, now trailing by 1:34 in the overall standings ahead of the final stage from As Pontes to Santiago de Compostela, with a grand finale in the Galician city ahead of the closing ITT of La Vuelta’21.

Annemiek van Vleuten: “It was a surprise to myself how I did today. I had a good block of altitude training before this race and I knew I wasn’t super well rested. The first two days of racing helped me a bit and I felt great today. We had a really good plan with the team, trying to push hard into a tricky downhill after which it was the moment to go on the attack, because into such descents, everyone would be riding in one line. Kasia (Niewiadoma) and Elisa (Longo Borghini) went with me, but at some point they couldn’t follow and I realised: ‘Maybe I’m in a really good shape; maybe it’s possible to go for it!’ After the first day I thought we might have lost the GC, but I still wanted to try, because – you never know. To win a general classification in a stage-race, you need to have a really, really strong team, and if I was able to isolate Reusser, I could have a chance, which happened today. It will be another hard day tomorrow. This is not the Tour de France and we don’t go to the Champs-Élysées tomorrow. I will need to be really focused to defend, but my team have the confidence to fight for this.”

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 3 Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 2:41:53
2. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 2:48
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
4. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:51
5. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM at 2:55
6. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 3:01
7. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM
8. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
9. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 3:03
10. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 7:13.

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 3:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 6:10:25
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 1:34
3. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 3:20
4. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 3:38
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 4:07
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 4:14
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4:35
8. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM at 4:46
9. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 5:07
10. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing at 7:30.


The Belgian national champion Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing) won the Final Stage 4 of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta’21 after a tight battle in the streets of Santiago de Compostela. She followed a late attack from her Italian counterpart, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), to catch Leah Thomas (Movistar) inside the final uphill metres, and powered to her seventh victory of the season. Annemiek van Vleuten survived an intense day of racing to bring Movistar their first victory in the history of the Spanish stage race and climb onto the final podium in front of the iconic cathedral, alongside the winner of La Vuelta.

After three days of hilly racing around the mountain resort of Manzaneda, the peloton of the CERATIZIT Challenge faced a much flatter terrain towards Santiago de Compostela, but riders were still willing to bring battle on the way to Santiago. Van Vleuten’s teammates participated in the early moves, on the day after the Dutch rider produced an attacking masterclass to turn the race upside down. After one hour of fast racing, a Movistar rider was at the front, alongside another Dutch star. The World Champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx), set to retire at the end of the season, participated in a 13-woman move, quickly down to four riders, with AvdB, Leah Thomas (Movistar), Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) and Alena Amialusik (Canyon//Sram). With a gap of 1:10 with 20km to go, a tight finalé was awaiting the riders. Leah Thomas went on her own with 10km to go, and she was still 15 seconds away when she entered the last kilometre. With the road rising to the finish, that gap proved not to be enough to resist the fastest riders in the World.

Stage winner, Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing): “This finish suits me well, I knew that. We also had a rider at the front with Sofia (Bertizzolo). At first we completely pulled it off. At a certain point, however, there was a split in the peloton and eventually there was another regrouping. Although I did not expect that we would still catch the frontrunner. Longo Borghini really went from far and I knew it was a good finish for me.”

Final overall winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “It was a nice stage; I don’t feel it was a crazy one, it was just that lots of teams were going for the stage win, including my own team, who also went on the attack. Normally, on a day like this, you would go and just defend the jersey, but considering the differences in the GC were so big, I encouraged the girls to go for the stage, and Leah really did well to join that break and fight until the end. It was an exciting stage, it’s nice to have had this shown on TV, that this kind of racing is seen. Yesterday I had a really good day, and today my main goal personally was to just get to the finish and have my team-mates go on the break. It’s nice and important that they had this chance. This is a really nice win for both myself and the team. I love to race in Spain: I love the terrain, the spectators are always so nice. This was a last-minute addition to my calendar, since it was the last hard stage-race I could race in the calendar this year. I like racing in Spain and it was also important for Movistar to do well with us in the team’s home country.”

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 4 Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Liv Racing in 2:29:37
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
4. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 0:06
5. Silvia Zanardi (Ita) BePink
6. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
8. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 0:08
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM
10. Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.

CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta Final Overall Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 8:40:18
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Ale BTC Ljubljana at 1:34
3. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-SRAM at 3:12
4. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 3:30
5. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM at 3:59
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 4:04
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4:13
8. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) DSM at 4:38
9. Kata Blanka Vas (Hun) SD Worx at 4:57
10. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing at 7:58.

CERATIZIT’21 stage 4:


Tour of Britain 2021
Wout van Aert won the Opening Stage 1 in the Tour of Britain. The Jumbo-Visma rider was the fastest in the bunch sprint after 180-kilometres between Penzance and Bodmin. Nils Eekhoff (DSM) was second.

On day one, the Tour of Britain was presented with a stage through the Cornwall region, in the south west of England. It went up and down all day, but that didn’t stop five riders from attacking. Jacob Scott (Canyon DBH SunGod), Nic Dlamini (Qhubeka NextHash), Oliver Stockwell (GB National Team), Max Walker (Trinity Racing) and Joey Rosskopf (Rally Cycling) made up the break of the day, taking a maximum lead of 3 minutes. The escape wouldn’t make it all the way to the finish. The lead gradually diminished and the group of five was thinned down to three. At 20 kilometres the escape was over and the stage would be decided in a sprint. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) started his sprint early at 300 metres from the line, but saw Van Aert come alongside. On the slightly up-hill finish, there was nothing stopping the Belgian champion, who recorded his first victory since the Champs-Élysées.

Stage winner and overall leader, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m happy. It gives morale to be able to start like this. It was a difficult day with up and down roads. The final was narrow and difficult. Pascal Eenkhoorn dropped me off well in the last kilometre after a difficult battle for the front seat. It’s nice to finish the good work of the team with the win. I expected Alaphilippe to ride the final like he did. It was important to stay close to him. I didn’t hesitate to jump to his wheel. Once I was there, it was all about the right timing. Tomorrow will be a more difficult stage, but with a flat finish. That should suit me a little less, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Nils Eekhoff (DSM): “The finish was a lot steeper than I expected, but that suits me very well. I am happy with my second place and I look forward to the coming days when we aim for more with the team.” “It was a tough race today” “It went up and down continuously. That made it very insidious. There were also a lot of curves. In the first kilometres we were involved in a crash, but luckily we were able to return quickly. The race was then checked and we remained well grouped as a team. We executed the plan we had afterwards well.” “We wanted to wait a long time before bringing our train forward and we did. The guys delivered me great and I was able to do my sprint after that.” “I am very satisfied with how we rode as a team.”

Tour of Britain Stage 1 Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:33:36
2. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM
3. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Rory Townsend (GB) Canyon-DHB at 0:02
6. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka-NextHash
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix.

Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 1:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:33:26
2. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM at 0:04
3. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar at 0:06
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:10
5. Rory Townsend (GB) Canyon-DHB at 0:12
6. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka-NextHash
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix.


Classic Grand Besançon Doubs 2021
After winning the Tour du Doubs last year thanks to Loïc Vliegen, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux made a triumphant return in the Doubs department on Friday. The Classic Grand Besançon (1.1, 03/09), the first of three one-day races organised in the region, was also in its first edition as a professional event.

The riders led by Frédéric Amorison took responsibility of the pursuit behind the seven breakaways, who escaped shortly after the start in Besançon. Thanks to the intense work provided by Alexander Evans and Jasper De Plus, the gap was kept under control and the fugitives were kept at reasonable distance all day. Jérémy Bellicaud, Maxime Jarnet and Théo Delacroix followed suit as the riders approached the main climb in the final part of the race, the Côte de la Grande Côte (2.7 km at 5.3%).

After catching the break 30 kilometres from the finish, Quintana (Arkéa) launched hostilities in the peloton, followed by Biniam Girmay Hailu. The 21-year-old then found himself in a six-rider group in pursuit of Quintana. Girmay Hailu and three other riders managed to catch the multiple Grand Tours winner and fought for victory at Marchaux, after 172 kilometres. Thanks to an impressive finish, Biniam Girmay Hailu won the first edition of the Classic Grand Besançon, the first in its new colours. Baptiste Planckaert took 15th place.

Race winner, Biniam Girmay Hailu (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m over the moon with my first victory in a one-day race, my first also on European soil! I saw this first win for the team coming as well, because I felt better and better as the races progressed. Baptiste Planckaert and I could rely on a solid team to support us. We took responsibility of the pursuit and kept the situation under control all day. I was able to tackle the last climb in ideal position. Despite my crash last week in Plouay, I was able to compete with the best riders. Once the junction was made on Quintana, I let my fast legs do the talking until the finish! Tomorrow and Sunday, we will have to compete again with top quality riders such as Quintana, Vendrame or Pinot, but with the confidence and our collective strength, we can be ambitions again!”

2nd, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “When Nairo Quintana attacked, I followed him with the Intermarché Wanty Gobert Matériaux rider, Biniam Grmaye. The three of us collaborated well. I’m happy with this second place, the team worked really well together. Now we will look to see what we can do tomorrow.”

Classic Grand Besançon Doubs Result:
1. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:10:20
2. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
3. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Luca Chirico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:35
7. Denis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:37
8. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:45
9. Anthony Maldonado (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
10. Tom Paquot (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB.


Tour du Doubs 2021
Dorian Godon won the Tour du Doubs. The Frenchman sprinted to victory after more than 200 kilometres in front of Biniam Ghirmay and Tom Paquot. The big guns showed up on the final climb, but didn’t stay away.

Against the Swiss border, the next French 1.1 game was on the menu in the Doubs department on Sunday. Benoît Cosnefroy, winner of the Tour du Jura on Saturday, was again at the start. Furthermore, the organisation was also able to show off with Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot on the start list. On the last climb of the day, Le Larmont, Cosnefroy as well as Quintana and Pinot tried to get away from the peloton, which just before had a break with, among others, the Dutchman Jesse Raas (X-Speed ​​United Continental), king of escape from the Giro Mattia. Bais and Anthony Delaplace. For a moment they, and also the strong riding Elie Gesbert, seemed to make it, but a regrouping followed at a kilometre and a half from the finish. Godon then managed to finish it in the sprint. The Frenchman previously won a stage in the Tour du Limousin and Paris-Camembert.

Race winner, Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën): “It’s the kind of day where you feel like it’s easy since the team is doing such a tremendous job. I was taken care of and protected all day. Everything happened naturally; we didn’t have to say anything to each other. Nans Peters rode in front for 90 km, I was taken to the sprint, and I just had to finish the job. We deserved to share the wheel of Comté that I won. Three victories this season, and my first Tour de France. It’s been a great year and I want to build on the same momentum. I am going to take a few days off because I feel that some days are more difficult than others and I will prepare for the Grand Prix de Wallonie (September 15) where we will definitely have a good team together.”

2nd, Biniam Girmay Hailu (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m very happy about last weekend, because I was on the podium in each of the races. Next to my victory on Friday and today’s 2nd place, I was the best young rider in the Tour du Jura yesterday. The team again took its responsibility in the chase behind the breakaway today. Especially Alexander and Jérémy did a good job bringing the gap down to 3 minutes. On the final climb, and the descent, I kept an eye on the favourites. I followed the attacks, because I was confident for the sprint. Unfortunately I rode through a whole in the final meters, but luckily I stayed upright. This 2nd place is satisfying. I’m confident for the GP de Wallonie, which will be my last race before the World Championships.”

Tour du Doubs Result:
1. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën in 4:55:07
2. Biniam Ghirmay Hailu (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
3. Tom Paquot (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
4. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic
7. Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies
8. Rémy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
9. Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis
10. Roland Thalmann (Swi) Team Vorarlberg.


Alejandro Valverde Aims to Return to Giro di Sicilia
Alejandro Valverde will return to race in three and a half weeks after his crash in the Vuelta a España, in which the Spanish rider suffered a collarbone fracture. His first race is normally the Giro di Sicilia, which starts on Tuesday, September 28.

Valverde had a hard crash in the seventh stage of the Vuelta when he slid into a right corner and slid into a ravine. The 41-year-old Spaniard from Movistar tried to continue driving, but soon noticed that it was no longer possible. An investigation revealed that he had broken his collarbone, which required surgery. He is still recovering from that operation, but a week after his fall he was already on his bicycle trainer.

In the La Montonera program of the Spanish division of Eurosport, Valverde announced that he would normally resume competition on September 28 with the four-day Giro di Sicilia. He then completes a program of Italian one-day races, with Tre Valli Varesine (5 October), Milan-Turin (6 October), the Gran Piemonte (7 October) and the Tour of Lombardy (8 October). The World Cup in Flanders comes too early for the routine.

Valverde further confirmed that he will continue to race in 2022. His employer Movistar has yet to officially announce his extended contract, but has already shared his quotes via the official accounts on social media.

Valverde just before his Vuelta crash:


Bob Jungels Returns to Competition at the Skoda – Tour de Luxembourg
Having undergone an operation on June 23 and 25 on his lower limbs to treat the external iliac endofibrosis that had been hampering his cycling performance, Bob Jungels will return to competition at the Skoda – Tour de Luxembourg from September 14 to 18.

Bob Jungels: “It was a difficult time, although I am relieved to have had an explanation for the problems I have encountered in recent seasons. I still had two major operations, plus a period of rehabilitation with reduced mobility. It took a while for me to take a step back, but now I have regained the fun and motivation. I got back on the bike slowly in early August, six weeks after my second operation, and then, two weeks later, I started training again. Pinning on a bib number again this year is already a success for me. The goal will be to regain confidence and the pleasure of racing, before getting ready to show what I can really do next season.”

Bob Jungels will return to competition at the Skoda – Tour de Luxembourg, 93 days after his last race, the Tour de Suisse. He has completed 1,500 kilometres since resuming training in early August.

Bob Jungels back in the peloton:


Mathieu van der Poel Extends Contract with Alpecin-Fenix ​​Until the End of 2025
Mathieu van der Poel will ride for Alpecin-Fenix ​​in the coming years. The Dutch all-rounder has decided to extend his contract for another four seasons until the end of 2025.

The 26-year-old Van der Poel has been racing for the team of the brothers Philip and Christoph Roodhooft for ten years and has since developed into one of the most versatile riders of his generation. Van der Poel has been excelling in cyclocross and on the road for years and for several seasons on the mountain bike. Van der Poel also plans to combine these disciplines in the coming years.

Van der Poel is delighted, now that the signatures have been placed on a new contract. “I am very happy to have signed this long-term contract. The team feels like my second family. I’m really enjoying Alpecin-Fenix. The team has developed fantastically over the last few years – in parallel with the progress I have made – and we are still getting better and stronger every year.”

“It is quite unique that I have been racing for the same team for so long and that I will continue to do so for another four years,” said Van der Poel. “Who knows, later in my career I’ve only ridden for one team? I try not to think too far ahead, but becoming world champions in three different disciplines in the coming years would be a dream come true. I will most likely continue to combine road cycling, cyclo-cross and mountain biking until the Paris Games in 2024.”

Christoph Roodhooft is happy that Alpecin-Fenix ​​can also count on Van der Poel in the coming years. “We want to be a stable team and keep growing. Mathieu is one of the pillars of our squad, so it’s important to have that assurance that he will stay with us for another four years to further expand the team. Sponsors, teammates and other partners are getting a strong signal from him now that he has extended his contract.”

Van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix ​​do not say a word about the rider’s back injury. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the team will examine on Monday whether the World championships in Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are feasible for the Dutchman, who has not been in action since the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to back problems. Reportedly, there is no noticeable improvement. “He rides his bike, but he doesn’t train. But you can’t keep doing that. That makes no sense,” the team commented

Van der Poel to stay with Alpecin-Fenix:


Young British Talent Ben Tulett Signs with INEOS Grenadiers
The INEOS Grenadiers can confirm the signing of the latest young British star to make their mark in the peloton, Ben Tulett.

Tulett, who turned 20 last week, has spent two impressive seasons racing on the road for Alpecin-Fenix, having graduated straight from the juniors into the professional road ranks.

He will join a growing crop of young stars at the Grenadiers, including fellow Brits Tom Pidcock and Ethan Hayter. A two-time junior cyclocross world champion, Tulett finished ninth overall at the recent Tour de Pologne and 12th at Flèche Wallonne in April, and will join the team he has long dreamt of racing for from the start of 2022 – having ‘earned his seat on the bus’.

“It’s been the team I’ve always looked up to,” said Tulett. “I still remember reading Cycling Weekly when I was younger, looking at the photos of the team being launched. It was the first time there was this big British team going into the WorldTour and I remember being so excited about it. Then Brad won the Tour in 2012 and that was just incredible. I remember thinking, ‘I’d love to be on that team one day’. Fast forward nine years and I’ve just signed my first contract here. I couldn’t be happier.”

“I remember visiting the Vuelta in 2017 as a fan and seeing Chris Froome and the whole team, thinking, one day… I want my seat on that bus. It’s honestly been in my head during some training efforts – I want to earn my seat on that bus.”

INEOS Grenadiers Director of Racing Rod Ellingworth said: “Ben is a young British rider who we’ve been watching for a while. He has made impressive progress over the last year and his approach and attitude is exactly what we look for in an INEOS Grenadier. We think his passion for racing combined with our team environment will help push him on to the next stage of his career.”

Tulett instantly impressed on the road with Alpecin-Fenix, finishing fifth in his first race, the Tour of Antalya. This season his rides in Flèche Wallonne and Tour de Pologne have been further proof of his progression.

“Racing with the pros from a young age is like climbing a ladder – you don’t start at the top! The competition is so high. Each year, each race, I’ve been consistently improving. At the Tour de Pologne and I earned my first top 10 on GC there. I was really happy with that, and seventh on the queen stage. I’m trying to consistently improve.”

“Flèche was awesome. I knew I was there in good condition and I really wanted to prove what I was able to do, and to finish it off with such big names all around me was quite special – really surreal.”

Tulett comes from a cycling family, and some of his earliest memories are of watching his Dad, Allister, race cyclocross. He took part in his first race ‘aged three or four’, wearing a baggy jersey from his Dad’s team, Arctic, and now he’s looking forward to racing on the road with Hayter and Pidcock, 15 years later.

“Tom is two years older than me, so when we were in the development categories he was always a category or two above me. But we’ve spent a lot of time together and know each other pretty well. Ethan grew up not so far away from me so I know him well and I’ve known Tao [Geoghegan Hart] for a number of years as well. I’ve had a couple of chats with Luke Rowe briefly in the races and he seems like a really cool guy. I can’t wait to meet the whole team and get to know everybody properly.”

“It’s my dream to be a GC rider, of course. Obviously INEOS can give me the tools to do that, in the very best environment. It will be really important to settle into the team, invest in what INEOS is all about and continue developing on the bike and progress the results I’ve already had.”

Ben Tulett:


Dries Devenyns Extends his Stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The 38-year-old Belgian rider sees his strong efforts rewarded with a one-year contract.

The image of Dries Devenyns coming to the front of the peloton and launching Julian Alaphilippe to victory on the first stage of this year’s Tour de France is an indelible one. On that day, in Bretagne, Devenyns showed again his strength and tactical acumen as he gave his teammate Julian the sign to go and capture the yellow jersey, in addition to the win – Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 100th in a Grand Tour.

An invaluable team player, the Belgian rider has played an important role in many of the team’s successes, be it in Classics or Grand Tours. In addition to this, last season he took his first ever World Tour victory at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, a beautiful and well-deserved reward for everything Devenyns did for the team.

“I’m just happy here within Deceuninck – Quick-Step, to be able to do what I love, and doing it with great teammates and staff gives you the best feeling. I had so many great memories here in all these years, the most recent Tour de France being just one in a long list of amazing races and something I’m proud to have been part of. In every race we do, we go all-out, and I just try to do my part, knowing my capabilities. We will see what the future brings, but for now I just want to enjoy next year with this amazing squad”, said Dries, who in 2022 will start his 11th season with the Wolfpack.

Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, shared his thoughts on Devenyns’ contract extension: “Dries is a great guy, always with his feet on the ground and very experienced. He knows perfectly what this team stands for. He can climb and can pull on front of the bunch, making sure the leaders are there, he is always where we need him to be. Having him for one more year with the Wolfpack is great, as Dries will for sure continue to be an important asset for our next goals.”


Flanders Tomorrow Tour Winner Mick van Dijke Turns Pro with Immediate Effect
Mick van Dijke will transfer immediately from the Team Jumbo-Visma development team to the WorldTour formation. It was previously announced that the Dutch U23 time trial champion would make the switch to the professionals in 2022. This will now happen a few months earlier.

Van Dijke concluded his period in the development team in style today with the overall victory in the Flanders Tomorrow Tour. The 21-year-old Dutchman won the stage race in the Belgian West Flanders region by winning both the time trial and the stage in line on the final day. In the time trial he was faster than his twin brother Tim van Dijke. In the stage in line, he was the fastest in the bunch sprint.

“We knew that the time trial would bring the decision in this stage race”, Van Dijke said. “To finish first and second with Tim in the time trial the day before I turn pro is really awesome. The team was really good today. They controlled the stage perfectly and the lead-out was also perfect. This is really a great feeling. I am really proud. I also know that this is just the beginning and that everything starts here. But I’m ready for the challenge. It’s nice to end my period with the U23 riders with two stage wins and the overall victory. It is a surreal feeling that from tomorrow I will be a professional with my favourite team.”

Van Dijke will regularly spend time with the development team next year. In terms of coaching, but also in terms of racing in a combined team. “I think it is very good for me to still be guided by the development team next year. I don’t want to skip a step in my development. This seems to be the best way for me to grow.”

Sportive director Merijn Zeeman: “Mick’s progress is going faster than expected. He is turning pro a few months earlier than we had scheduled. But his development is going so well that we are already transferring him. We choose this construction because this way we offer talents an environment in which they are challenged in a certain way to become better. Thanks to the coaches of the development team, there is a high through-flow from our development team. This step again increases the inspiration and the quality of the U23 team”, Zeeman concluded.

Mick van Dijke:


Team DSM bolster Women’s program with Charlotte Kool, Léa Curinier and Francesca Barale
Team DSM bolster their Women’s program in 2022 with the signing of three exciting talents: Charlotte Kool, Léa Curinier and Francesca Barale. Kool joins the team until at least the end of 2022, while Curinier and Barale will race in the team’s distinctive two striped jersey through 2023.

Charlotte Kool (NED)
At 22 years old, Charlotte Kool has steadily progressed through the cycling ranks, improving as a rider year-on-year. As a junior, Kool finished second in the 2016 Dutch national road race behind future teammate Lorena Wiebes, going on to find her feet in the elite peloton in the following years. With a good turn of speed, Kool has taken strong second place finishes at MerXem Classic in 2019 and Grote Prijs Euromat in 2020, before taking her first race victory at the Baloise Ladies Tour this season. With her punchy qualities, Kool will fit into the Women’s program sprint group well, where she will look to gain experience and play a role in the lead out as the team continues to hunt wins.

Léa Curinier (FRA)
After strong performances in the junior ranks, including victory in the 2019 French time trial alongside a hatful of other good results, Curinier made the step up to the professional peloton in 2020. Finding her feet in her first season, 2021 has seen Curinier continue her development as a rider, growing in her abilities as a climber and puncheur. That skillset was put on display at the Thüringen Ladies Tour where Curinier was up there and fighting for good results each stage and claiming a strong second place in the best young rider’s competition. Looking ahead, Curinier will continue her general development with the team over the next two years.

Francesca Barale (ITA)
18-year-old Barale will make the step up to the WorldTour with the team next season after two very successful seasons as a junior. 2020 saw her take third place in the Italian national championships time trial before going on to dominate the road race, taking home the famous tricolour. Going on to win several regional races in Italy, Barale has continued her progression and development this season with fourth place at Trofeo Binda, second overall at the tough Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie, and claiming the national time trial crown. A talented climber who’s skilled on the bike, the ambitious Barale will look to develop overall in her first year’s with the team and get used to the racing rhythm in the professional ranks.


Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Gullegem Koerse
The 77th edition of the Belgian kermesse will take place on September 7.

Gullegem Koerse has been, over the years, one of the Wolfpack’s favourite playing grounds. Our team has racked up a total of six wins there, most recently at the 2019 edition, when Yves Lampaert – Belgian Champion at that time – soloed to victory a couple of seconds ahead of his teammate Michael Mørkøv.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step will line out again at the start of the 171km one-day race next week, with a strong squad consisting of Shane Archbold, Alvaro Hodeg, Iljo Keisse, Pieter Serry, Stijn Steels, as well as stagiaires Stan Van Tricht and Jason Osborne. The latter is the winner of the inaugural UCI Esports World Championships and will don our team’s jersey for the first time as he makes the transition from rowing to cycling.

“Gullegem is one of the most known kermesses, a fast and spectacular race, especially if we’ll have some wind. We had many good results in the past and we hope to be in the mix again next week. We’ll rely on the huge experience of Shane, Iljo, Pieter and Stijn, while Alvaro will be our designated sprinter. We also can’t wait to see in action Stan, who already raced with us at the Brussels Cycling Classic, and Jason, who will make his debut as a stagiaire for the Wolfpack”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Rik Van Slycke.

07.09 Gullegem Koerse (BEL)

Shane Archbold (NZL)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Jason Osborne (GER)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Stijn Steels (BEL)
Stan Van Tricht (BEL)
Sports Director: Rik van Slycke (BEL).

Gullegem Koerse’19 winner, Yves Lampaert:


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