EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The coronavirus has hit Italian cycling hard, but we still have reports and video from Paris-Nice and the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré. What do Belgian stars Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet have to say about the coronavirus situation – Top Story. If that is not enough we have all the other cycling news: Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and Il Giro di Sicilia postponed, “canceling the Giro d’Italia would be a disaster for all of Italy”, Remco Evenepoel goes to Tour of Catalonia, Gazprom-RusVelo is ready to adjust to changes in race calendar, Hammer Series 2020 suspended, MPCC Board meeting and Cofidis donates €25,000 to the Alberto Contador Foundation. Big EUROTRASH Monday read.

TOP STORY: Philippe Gilbert on Milan-San Remo
Philippe Gilbert had an appointment with history on March the 21st. The 37-year-old Lotto Soudal team leader had been looking forward to Milan-San Remo, the only Monument that is still missing from his palmarès. But La Primavera has been postponed until further notice. “The health of the population comes first. Let there be no doubt about it,” he said.

“Like everyone else, I have been following the developments of the cancellations of the various competitions in Italy,” said the Belgian living in Monaco. “It is what it is. And I fully understand the decision to cancel the competitions: the health of the population comes first.”

Gilbert does not want to comment on the possible move of Milan-San Remo – his biggest goal this spring – to a later date. “It’s hard to say anything about that now. Yes, there is talk about a possible different date later in the season. But that is talking in the conditional sense. And talking about something that is conditional is usually a waste of time,” said Lotto Soudal’s leader. “I just can’t control that.”

“The first thing I hope now is that both the cycling season and daily life will get back on track as quickly as possible,” concludes Gilbert. “In that respect I am no different from others.”

Greg Van Avermaet on race cancelations: “The right decision”
Greg Van Avermaet left for Spain with a some teammates for a training camp on Sunday, as his CCC team has decided not to participate in Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. “It is a great pity that I cannot race now, but I believe it is the right decision,” said Van Avermaet.

It was announced that CCC would not star Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico for fear of infection, with all the consequences that that entails. This means that Van Avermaet must prepare itself in an alternative way for the cobblestone classics such as the E3 BinckBank Classic, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

“It was not an easy decision, but we want to take as little risk as possible with regard to contamination. The situation is now changing rapidly and we will keep a close eye on everything,” said team manager Jim Ochowicz. Greg Van Avermaet agrees with the rigorous decision to scrap some races. “I respect the team’s decision and understand that our health is paramount. This is the right decision if you look at the bigger picture. I hope that this will allow us to contest the remaining races.”

After more than a week of Spanish training, Van Avermaet will returning to Belgium for Nokere Koerse (March 18) and the Bredene Koksijde Classic (March 20). Between these two Belgian one-day races follows a trip to France for the Grand Prix de Denain. The experienced rider hopes to gain course fitness in view of his bigger goals. “I was in very good shape after a first training block, which gives me confidence in my new approach to the classics. I can now work towards my next goals in a fit and healthy way.”

Coronavirus Safety Measures at Paris-Nice
The organisers of Paris-Nice are strictly following the regulations imposed by the French health authorities regarding the Covid-19 virus. But in agreement with the teams who accepted to race in Paris-Nice, making it possible for the race to go ahead and in addition to the usual hygiene measures put in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the 78th edition of Paris-Nice will be introducing its own measures during the event. The gate system will be reinforced. Speakers will not be interviewing the riders on the podium at the start and riders will be asked to say in their buses as long as possible. At the end of each stage, no press conference will be held. There will be no contact between the riders and public figures on the podium at the finish line. The organisers also changed the team accommodation to make sure no more than two teams are staying in the same hotel simultaneously. During the race, riders are asked not to throw their bottles away and are advised to avoid handshakes. A special ambulance, dedicated to potential coronavirus cases, will also follow the race each day.

Gilbert and Van Avermaet

Paris-Nice 2020
Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won Stage 1 of Paris-Nice. The German champion beat Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in the sprint after 154 kilometres around Plaisir. Schachmann also took the overall lead in the French WorldTour race. The weather was not kind to the peloton, especially in the final, the race was hit by the rain, the wind and the cold. The stage had three Cat 3 climbs on the program, with the Côte de Neauphle-le-Chateau just 5 kilometres from the finish. Julian Alaphilippe and Tiesj Benoot started with a small lead on the final cobblestoned slope. A group of pursuers were not far away and Dylan Teuns and Maximilian Schachmann managed joined them. Benoot tried with a late attack in the final kilometre, but this was unsuccessful. Teuns started the sprint, but Schachmann managed to pass him.

The early break was made up by Jonathan Hivert (Total Direct Energie) and Romain Combaud (Nippo-Delko-One Provence). The French duo attacked after a few kilometres and after 9 kilometres, where Hivert picked up the full points on the Cote des Mesnuls, the two were 2 minutes ahead. The maximum lead was almost 6 minutes, but thanks to the work of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the lead at 100 kilometres from the finish was less than a minute. The Belgian team saw an opportunity to break up the peloton. Richie Porte and Pierre Latour, among others, missed the move, although they did manage rejoin. After 75 kilometres, Combaud and Hivert were in trouble, although the Hivert went for it on the second climb of the day. Both were caught and the stage then really started.

There was a crash including Romain Bardet and Warren Barguil about 60 kilometres from the finish. The two French riders managed to get back on their bikes, but both were not 100%. They would miss the battle, because in the front sixteen men escaped: Nairo Quintana, Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic), Olivier Le Gac, Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Felix Großschartner, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), Nikias Arndt, Tiesj Benoot, Cees Bol, Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb), Krists Neilands (ISU Nation) and Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept).

There was a bonus print in Montainville, 30 kilometres out. Benoot and Alaphilippe took this moment to ride away. They quickly took 30 seconds and for a moment it looked like they would compete for the victory. Behind; only Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-McLaren) was able to keep close for a while. When the narrow cobblestone climb started, the pursuers had Benoot and Alaphilippe in sight. Schachmann and Teuns attacked to cross the two at the front. With 2 kilometres to go they joined up, making it a fight by four for the victory. Benoot put in a surprise attack, but he was caught by Alaphilippe, who threw his own chance in the sprint. It was Teuns who started the sprint from third position, but this effort came too early. Schachmann went past him in the last few metres. Teuns and Benoot completed the top three, and Alaphilippe had to settle for fourth place four. Cees Bol won the sprint from the thirty or so strong group of chasers for 4th place.

Paris-Nice was finished after a day for Warren Barguil. The French champion was taken out of the competition by the jury for pacing. Barguil crashed about 60 kilometres from the finish along with Romain Bardet and some others. In an attempt to get back to the peloton, he was assisted for a long time by the Arkéa-Samsic team car. Too long according to the race jury, who disqualified him. He was also fined 200 Swiss francs. Team DS Yvon Caer was also punished by the jury. He was fined 500 francs and was put in last place in the race caravan for the second stage.

Stage winner and overall leader, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m so happy with this victory. Actually, things worked out a bit better for me because in the tailwind, there was a traffic island in the middle and I found myself on the left, so I entered the crosswind nearly last. I managed to make it back step by step and I’d like to thank the team for their work. In one moment, Peter helped me and really saved me and in the finale, Felix did a fantastic job. It was the first really hard race for me and coming here I didn’t know what my form was. My legs felt a bit painful in the finale but I could see the other struggling even more, so that gave me confidence. I’m very happy to bring home this victory for Bora-Hansgrohe. I had a good start to the season, I missed a stage in Algarve by a few centimetres, so it’s nice to win here. Being the overall leader is a great feeling and a responsibility but we’ll certainly do our best, we have a very good team here.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Dylan Teuns Bahrain-McLaren): “When the dangerous part started with the echelons, me and the other guys took the wrong side of the road, and we were a little bit blocked. We had to jump on the good road again, and that’s why I was in the third group at the crucial moment. With the help of my teammates, we quickly made it to the second group. They put in hard work to get me and Pello into a good position again. They worked really hard to bring us to the first group. When we made it there just before Benoot and Alaphilippe attacked, Ivan Cortina took the responsibility to chase back the two strong guys. On the final climb, I saw the moment to attack. I waited a little bit because I saw a guy was a little bit behind, so we were two against two and we could get back to the two riders in front. I started the sprint a little bit early because I forgot it was a headwind and Schachmann came really strong. I’m happy with second place.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb): “I was thinking of taking seconds in the intermediate sprint, but after the descent we had twenty seconds on the group behind. We wanted to keep putting pressure as a team and we decided to keep on driving. In the final I decided to go for it. Unfortunately I lost the momentum because I did not fully estimate the last corner, which made me third. We had five men in the first group, which promises something for the rest of the week. We view the rankings day by day. The first day was good anyway, we will continue to go for it.”

Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida): “After the sickness, I was one and a half weeks without training, so it’s nice to feel good and to be able to stay in front. I surprised myself, and I’m happy that I could give good support to the team, and Dylan was second, so it’s perfect.”

Paris-Nice Stage 1 Result:
1. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:32:19
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren
3. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Sunweb
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick.Step at 0:03
5. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:15
6. Nils Politt (Ger) ISU Nation
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT
8. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling
9. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 1:
1. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:32:09
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Sunweb at 0:02
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:04
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:07
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:24
6. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb at 0:25
8. Nils Politt (Ger) ISU Nation
9. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT
10. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling.

GP Jean-Pierre Monseré 2020
Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré on Sunday. The Dutch Champion blasted to his third victory of the season at the Belgian one-day race

Jakobsen captured Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 15th success of the season in Roeselare, at the eighth edition of Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré, which consisted of a ten-lap circuit featuring a small hill and a cobblestone stretch, serving as an ideal launchpad for those keen on attacking and disrupting the lead-out trains, also with the help of the driving rain.

Three riders kicked away in the opening kilo-meters and eked out a six-minute maximum advantage, which was controlled mainly by our team, who with the likes of Ian Garrison kept the escapees within reach and gradually hauled them back on the roads of Roeselare. Later into the race, it became even more difficult for the leaders to stay at the front when one of them was dropped, and eventually, their time in the spotlight came to an end on the penultimate lap.

On the final climb of the 198.8km race, a handful of riders bolted away, but the Wolfpack didn’t panic and reeled them in, making sure things were back together for the hectic final five kilometres. The well-oiled Deceuninck – Quick-Step lead-out train remained at the front and expertly piloted Fabio Jakobsen, who once he came off Florian Sénéchal’s wheel, delivered a fine burst of speed to see off the challenge of Timothy Dupont and Alfdan De Decker, and took his third win of the year.

GP Jean-Pierre Monseré winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We were the race favourites, but I didn’t feel any pressure, rather a healthy tension, but that’s what you do it for as a pro. I had six guys who worked for me, sacrificed themselves for me and provided an amazing lead-out today. Hats off to Ian, who controlled the race practically by himself. Winning always feels great, but above all, I am happy that I managed to finish it off for them. This is what the Wolfpack is all about. Of course, we wanted to win today also because Deceuninck is one of the race’s main sponsors and this is also where team CEO Patrick Lefevere lives. It was a cold and tough race and I was confident in my sprint, especially as my Specialized Venge is perfect also for this kind of race and weather conditions. I knew I had to follow my lead-out man and start sprinting from the 200m mark. Last year I made the mistake in the Elfstedenronde by waiting too long. At the time, Klaas Lodewyck was also a team leader. Today he said: ‘don’t wait too long, but not too early either, because it is a headwind.’ Then I thought: I just try. I am never 100% sure, but I knew I had to follow the team and start sprinting two hundred meters from the finish. Then I would see. Eventually I looked underneath once and then I didn’t see a wheel, so I thought: now I just have to continue to the finish. It’s my third victory of the year and I can be happy with my season, which now, after the cancellation of Tirreno-Adriatico, will continue at Nokere Koerse and the Grand Prix de Denain. Those will be the last races of my preseason. After that I go on an altitude training and ride the Tour of Turkey and Eschborn-Frankfurt and then I leave for Budapest.”

2nd, Timothy Dupont (Circus-Wanty Gobert): “We can be proud today. We took two podium spots with a small team. Alfdan De Decker was good. And I confirmed again my good feeling from the past weeks. It was difficult to do better than 2nd today, but seeing the gap behind Jakobsen and me in the sprint, I can be satisfied. The sprint went very smooth. I was in the slipstream of Jakobsen, but many others wanted the same. Until Wesley Kreder came to the front with Alfdan De Decker, taking the place of our competitors.

3rd, Alfdan De Decker (Circus-Wanty Gobert): “The team was good today, resulting in two podium spots. Jasper De Plus rode in front of the bunch to catch the breakaway. I was a little too far back at the approach of the final kilometre, but Wesley Kreder brought me to the slipstream of Jakobsen. Timothy Dupont was already in a good position and that’s how we could sprint like a tandem to the podium, behind a very strong Jakobsen.”

GP Jean-Pierre Monseré Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-Quickstep in 4:41:46
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
3. Alfdan De Decker (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
4. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
5. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
6. Boris Vallee (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
7. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
9. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Enzo Wouters (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex.

Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and Il Giro di Sicilia Postponed From Their Original Dates
Work is underway with FCI and UCI to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for all the races.

Following the confirmation by the relevant authorities that they are unable to grant appropriate authorisations, RCS Sport announces that the cycling race Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled for 11-17 March, is cancelled from its original dates.

Furthermore, as the appropriate authorities have verified that suitable conditions do not exist for them to be unable to guarantee the provisions of the DPCM (Decreto del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana – Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic) on 4 March 2020, and to guarantee the safeguarding of public health and the safety of all the people involved, RCS Sport has made the decision to cancel Milan-Sanremo, scheduled for 21 March, and Il Giro di Sicilia, scheduled for 1-4 April.

RCS Sport will request the UCI, via the Italian Cycling Federation, to allocate new dates on the international cycling calendar for the three races, as has already been requested for Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite.

Mauro Vegni: “Canceling the Giro d’Italia would be a disaster for all of Italy”
Mauro Vegni does not want to think about a cancellation of the Giro d’Italia. “Canceling the stage race would create a complex situation, not just for cycling and sport, but for the entire country,” said the race director, who saw the Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo postponed earlier this week.

With RCS, Vegni not only controls the organisation of the Giro d’Italia, but also that of the canceled races. “The current situation in Italy made it impossible for the Italian spring races to continue,” he explained to Sporza. “We are now looking at whether we can move the postponed races to another date.”

All Italian competitions have been canceled until April 4, when the Giro di Sicilia would have had its final day. The 103rd edition of the Giro d’Italia starts a little more than a month after April 4 in Budapest, Hungary.

Remco Evenepoel Goes to Tour of Catalonia after Canceling Tirreno
Now that RCS Sport has decided to postpone Tirreno-Adriatico, the question is what Remco Evenepoel will do in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia. The Belgian had his sights on the Italian stage race, but La Dernière Heure reports that Evenepoel will now participate in the Tour of Catalonia.

The rider of Deceuninck – Quick-Step started the season well, illustrated by his final overall victories in the Vuelta a San Juan and the Volta ao Algarve. After the Portuguese stage race, Evenepoel announced that his next goal would be Tirreno-Adriatico. “That too is a goal in itself,” he did not hide his ambitions.

However, the Belgian rider now has to switch as RCS Sport has decided to postpone the upcoming Italian races, including Tirreno-Adriatico, due to the corona virus. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Evenepoel’s team, now wants to select the top young talent for the Tour of Catalonia.

The Volta Ciclista a Catalunya starts on Monday 23 March and ends on Sunday. “It’s a great alternative to Tirreno-Adriatico,” team DS Wilfried Peeters confirmed to Het Laatste Nieuws. The Spanish tour has two uphill finishes and an individual time trial.

Evenepoel is currently on the Costa Blanca for a short training camp. This Sunday, he and his trainer would explore the long time trial in the Giro d’Italia, but it is unclear whether the cancellation of Tirreno-Adriatico will throw a spanner in the works.

Evenepoel taking the stage 2 win in the Algarve:

Gazprom-RusVelo is Ready to Adjust to Changes in the Race Calendar
The Russian cycling team Gazprom-RusVelo understands and follows the official statements of Russia and Italy regarding the current situation with COVID-19 and the consequential cancellation of the cycling races in March.

Following the press release from RCS Sport, General Manager of Gazprom-RusVelo Renat Khamidulin made a statement:

“We all understand the situation with the cancellation of races in March and in this situation we support the decisions of race organisers. With no doubt, that is a difficult situation for the riders who were following their sport goals and preparing for the specific races, which were canceled. Having considered the current situation the management of Gazprom-RusVelo decided to give our riders a short time period to morally recover from the current situation. We will organise a training camp in the mid of March in order to build up for the upcoming races in April. We are also considering the possibility of adding other races in October and November to compensate racing days for those riders who did not receive them in March.

We are calm and understand that this is an inevitable loss for everyone: riders, cycling fans, teams and race organisers. However, all we can and should do is to give athletes the opportunity to recover mentally and without stress adjust to the changes.

We express our support to RCS Sport regarding the date changes of the most important races in the season: Milan-SanRemo and Tirreno Adriatico and state that Gazprom-RusVelo will be ready to compete in them on new scheduled dates.”

Hammer Series 2020 Suspended
The governing body of cycling, the UCI, has persistently attacked the Hammer Series – using regulations to remove its title as a Series and preventing new race formats being developed. This discrimination and anti-competitive behaviour caused Velon to file its Complaint to the EU Commission in 2019 but the UCI’s attacks on the races and the Series have not stopped.

Recently the UCI prevented Hammer Stavanger from adding a women’s race with full parity of prize money, broadcast and race format to the men’s race (while approving and moving other women’s races to overlap on the same weekend). These actions have made it impossible for Velon and its race organiser partners to successfully develop the Hammer Series and its races. As a result of this continued attack, the Velon Board convened and took the decision not to hold the Hammer Series in 2020.

Velon, the owner of the Hammer Series, is working closely with the race organisers of the existing Hammer races regarding the operation of their events planned for 2020 in light of the actions of the UCI. The race organiser of Hammer Stavanger, Tour des Fjords AS, and Velon have together decided to suspend Hammer Stavanger for 2020. The race had planned to expand to a women’s event, with full parity of prize money, broadcast and race format for the women’s teams, but the UCI blocked the race and in doing so cost the race organiser key funding and sponsorship.

Velon and its teams will continue with the anti-competition complaint against the UCI that it submitted to the European Commission last September. This Complaint was expanded on the grounds of gender discrimination in November 2019. The Complaint requested the European Commission to investigate the anti-competitive actions of the UCI relating to the Hammer Series, its digital platform VelonLive as well as other areas of the teams’ business and Velon continues to work with the European Commission with the aim of stopping the UCI from using its regulatory power in an anti-competitive way.

The Hammer Series and its races have gathered widespread support from participating teams, riders and millions of fans who watched the fast-paced “Climb, Sprint and Chase” format of racing in Norway, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. The purpose of the Hammer Series is for it to grow into a 10 race series across key European and international markets that would offer fans the season-long narrative the sport so badly needs, linking together exciting short-form, high impact races, and helping to bring new (younger) fans into the sport. Women cyclists feel particularly let down by the UCI’s decision, as they were looking forward to their first opportunity to compete in a women’s Hammer Series this summer in Norway.

Hammer Youth Limburg, which today is the biggest youth road cycling event in the Netherlands, will take place as planned on 6-7 June 2020. The Hammer Series is delighted to continue this legacy event, which was founded in 2017 as part of Hammer Limburg, in partnership with the Limburg cycling club, the Bergklimmers, with the ongoing support of the Limburg Province and host partner Sittard-Geleen. The 2020 edition is being organised in close cooperation with local event organisers and will feature an exciting combination event with the Omloop van de Maasvallei.

Velon is owned by 11 WorldTour teams, all of whom have expressed their deep disappointment at the suspension of the Hammer Series and Hammer Stavanger and the UCI’s use of its regulatory power to block the partnership between teams and race organisers on which the Hammer Series is built.

Following the meeting of the Velon board on Thursday, Luca Guercilena, General Manager, Trek-Segafredo, said: “Innovation. This was the concept that we would expand in the old cycling world when Hammer Series was created. The powerful engine of new ideas gave us the motivation to look into our sport with a new perspective knowing that this challenge would drive us to bright future for men and women’s cycling. Having this dream killed by the institutional body with constant limitations to the teams is not understandable.”

“We are certain that Hammer Series was the right concept to make cycling more interesting for the general public and we are sure the Hammer Series format will come back stronger than before.”

Shayne Bannon, General Manager, Mitchelton-SCOTT, said: “We fought hard to win the Hammer Series in 2018, and everyone in our team, riders and staff, wants it to continue.

“But the UCI has stifled every attempt to take Hammer to new locations around the world and we now want to place matters in the hands of the European Commission, where we believe our case will win and we’ll be able to bring Hammer back for fans in the future.”

Iwan Spekenbrink, CEO, Team Sunweb, said: “The Hammer Series was created to make cycling more exciting and to bring the sport closer to the fans. In the inaugural race our team finished in second place by less than a second on the final day in a truly thrilling finale.”

“We would very much have liked to build on that as a truly international competition and most certainly to expand it to women’s cycling. The current regime unfortunately does not allow for that to happen, so we had to pause this project and – once the climate is favourable again for global innovations with the teams and their riders at the heart of our sport – to re-launch it on a major global scale, for both men and women.”

Velon launched the Hammer Series in Limburg, Netherlands, in June, 2017, and made the races available free-to-watch online for fans around the world. In 2018, the Series was expanded to three races, including Hammer Stavanger, Hammer Limburg and Hammer Hong Kong.

Riders described the Hammer Series as being the hardest races of the year because of the non-stop efforts needed on the circuit-based courses which also allowed fans at the roadside to see them many times instead of just once as they pass by in traditional point-to-point races.

Live rider data, live on-bike cameras and cameras in team cars (all technology pioneered and delivered by Velon in some of the world’s biggest professional cycling races, as well as the Hammer Series) have helped to drive online viewing figures to nearly 30 million over three years. In 2019 the Hammer Series was broadcast in more than 140 countries. At the same time the Hammer Series reached a much younger audience than traditional cycling with 79% of the viewers being under the age of 45.

Velon’s shareholding teams are: BORA-hansgrohe, CCC Team, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, EF Education First, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton-SCOTT, Team INEOS, Team Jumbo-Visma, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.

The MPCC Board Meeting in Roissy CDG on February 27th
The Board members have reviewed the application of the movement regulations and are glad to see that they are properly enforced. They remain cautious when it comes to the UCI procedure regarding Caja-Rural team: the disciplinary committee is expected to make the decision on the possible suspension of the team because of the two cases that have occurred in the last twelve months.

Following the repeated requests from the physios of the MPCC teams, the movement confirms its commitment to keep on carrying cortisol tests in 2020 under the authority of Dr. Pierre Lebreton, hematologist.

Among the reasons why MPCC will continue this process of protecting the health of the riders:
• The misuse of corticosteroids to enhance performance
• The health threat caused by an abnormally low cortisol level in case of stress
• The wait for new WADA regulations, promised for 2021.
• The implementation of cortisol tests by the UCI to monitor health, expected to be set up during this year.

The physios of the teams belonging to MPCC are also concerned by several topics, including ketones and thyroid hormones. Following this concern, they all committed not to prescribe thyroid hormones. A formal request has been made to WADA to add this product on the list of prohibited substances. MPCC recommends not to use ketones given the side effects and the uncertainty of the long term effects. Some physios have already made this decision while they wait for more information. A task force including the physios of the MPCC teams will be set up in order to make proposals on this topic.

The Board also reviewed the members of the movement after the membership of the following teams and organisers: Alpecin-Fenix, Fundacion Orbéa, Kern Pharma, Arkéa Féminine and the organisers of ‘Les Boucles de la Mayenne’

There are now 844 members of the MPCC as of March 6th:
• 9 WorldTeams
• 17 ProTeams
• 10 Continental Teams
• 6 women teams
• 5 agents
• 6 federations
• 10 cycling race organisers
• 8 sponsors
• 18 sympathisers
• 372 active professional riders
• 77 former riders
• 291 staff members
• 15 former technical staff members

Cofidis Donates 25,000 euros to the Alberto Contador Foundation
The financial entity converts the kilometres covered on the Pedalón Solidario exercise bikes during the 2019 Vuelta Ciclista a España into euros. The company thus reaffirms its commitment to the solidarity initiative that last year saw the participation of cycling enthusiasts from more than 20 Spanish cities. The donation will go towards the purchase of material adapted for the practice of cycling by people with functional diversity.

The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed and giveaways straight from your phone:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Page.

cofidiscontador foundationcorona virusEuroTrashgazprom-rusvelogiro20gp monsere20Greg Van Avermaethammer series20latest newsNow on pezparis-nice20Philippe GilbertRCSsanremo20sicilia20tirreno20