All the news from the men’s and women’s Amstel Gold Race, plus the last stages of the Itzulia Basque Country, all with video. Eddy Planckaert on Remco Evenepoel – TOP STORY. Rider news: Wout van Aert sad Sunday, new Canadian records, Patrick Lefevere on Remco Evenepoel, no Roubaix for Peter Sagan and Taylor Phinney talks doping. Doping news: David Lappartient sees fewer cases. Team news: AG2R Citroën to Paris-Camembert, teams for Eschborn-Frankfurt, free live-streaming of American Criterium Cup Races and 3rd season of the Movistar series on Netflix. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***
TOP STORY: Eddy Planckaert on Remco Evenepoel
Eddy Planckaert may not be so involved in cycling these days, but he still has his opinions. The former winner of the Tour of Flanders sees Remco Evenepoel as a great rider, but not someone who will win the Giro or Tour. “Evenepoel will always be second, fourth or fifth.”
The Belgian thinks there will always be someone better than Remco. “That is Evenepoel’s misery,” explains Planckaert. “Hopefully he wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège, because that is a race that suits him. But yes, Pogačar is also participating…”
“Cycling is about winning. For Evenepoel it will always be something: he is still young or is having a bad day. He still rode everyone off the day before. Pogačar, who is now in power, is not having bad days. A rider who has to win the Giro, Tour or Vuelta should not have a bad day.”
The Belgian does not see a great future in the Grand Tours for Evenepoel. What he does see a future in: time trials and smaller stage races. “Hopefully he will become world champion and Olympic time trial champion again. But he will never win the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Say I said it,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws.
But Planckaert wouldn’t be Planckaert if he didn’t have a but: “In the Basque Country, he came second after Primož Roglič (in the time trial), while Roglič is worn out, so to speak.”
Amstel Gold Race – Men 2022
The 2022 Amstel Gold Race was won by Michal Kwiatkowski. After a race of over 254 kilometres, the INEOS Grenadiers rider was first over the finish-line, although a photo finish had to be used split the pole and second placed Benoît Cosnefroy. Tiesj Benoot finished in 3rd place. Mathieu van der Poel took fourth.
A six-man break formed early: Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe), Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo), Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Aaron Van Poucke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane). Rastelli’s teammate, Davide Gabburo, was also there, but dropped back to the peloton. The six got about a 5 minute lead on the peloton, where Alpecin-Fenix, INEOS Grenadiers and UAE team Emirates took the lead. Those teams were working for Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock and Marc Hirschi. The gap to the leading group closed down as the final approached. Victor Campenaerts and Nathan Van Hooydonck managed to cross to the leaders just before the Cauberg at 90 kilometres from the finish, to put seven men in the lead as Rastelli had been dropped. Florian Sénéchal also tried to cross to the leading group, but the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Frenchman was pulled in by Alpecin-Fenix. By this point the break had less than 1 minute on the leading group. In the peloton, the nervousness was high and that led to crashes of Andrea Bagioli, Anthony Turgis and Jack Haig and others.
After the Loorberg, Van Hooydonck, Jacobs, Van Poucke, Doull and Liepins remained in the lead. As the first attacks came in the peloton, but the race really opened up the next time on the Gulperbergweg. Tim Wellens and Christophe Laporte didn’t get away, but the thinned out peloton got even closer to the leading group on the Kruisberg. Van Hooydonck held out the longest, but he was caught with 45 kilometres from the finish. On the Eyserbosweg and the Fromberg, the INEOS train was impressively strong, especially Ben Turner who put in a lot of work. The peloton by now was only 40 men going into the final hour. On the Keutenberg a selection followed after the acceleration of first Pidcock and later Tiesj Benoot. Van der Poel looked to have a moment of weakness, but was still in the front group. Pidcock, Benoot, Van der Poel, Michal Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews, Dylan Teuns, Kasper Asgreen, Benoît Cosnefroy, Marc Hirschi, Stefan Küng and Alexander Kamp formed the group of favourites in the run-up to the last climb of the Cauberg. The first chase group included Wellens, Valentin Madouas and Warren Barguil, but also riders of Bahrain Victorious and UAE Team Emirates who would slow the chase. The gap was about 20 seconds. On the Cauberg the leading group was calm, but just after the top it was all action. Kwiatkowski hoped to take advantage of also having Pidcock for INEOS Grenadiers in the group with 21 kilometres to go to the finish. The Pole rode away solo, as the others hesitated behind.
On the Geulhemmerberg, Cosnefroy crossed to Kwiatkowski in one move, but the pursuers were very close. Teuns tried to cross in the narrow Limburg roads on his own, but he could not get to the Kwiatkowski-Cosnefroy tandem. With a lead of 25 seconds, the front riders started the last climb of the day, the Bemelerberg. At the start of the final 5 kilometres the leaders only had 20 seconds, but the chase just didn’t couldn’t get organised. Pidcock was jumping on all the attacks to protect his teammate. A last effort by Van der Poel to close the gap was of little use. Cosnefroy and Kwiatkowski would sprint for the win. The Frenchman started early, but the Pole came alongside in the end. The difference was narrow and the race jury had to look at the finish photo. First Cosnefroy was declared the winner, but the after closer inspection, the win went to Kwiatkowski. He had placed his jump at the right time to win his second Amstel Gold Race. Tiesj Benoot gave Jumbo-Visma third place due to a late attack from the chase group. Mathieu van der Poel sprinted to fourth place.
*** See the full ‘PEZ Amstel Race Report’ with more photos HERE. ***
2022 Amstel Gold winner, Michał Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a very tough finish and sprint, I was super confident I could win, but the last 50 metres were super tough as I think Cosnefroy was still accelerating when I was by the side of him. For me it was all about the win because Tom was in the front group – it was all about winning this race as I was in the front move. In the attack, Cosnefroy did most of the work as I was sure with Tom in the group we could win the race in different ways and it wasn’t up to me to maintain the gap. I was only there to win the race. It was very confusing after the race, I was super sad in the first place, as today was all about the win. I learned from last year that you have to wait for the euphoria! I love this race. I’ve had a lot of bad luck getting COVID and flu, being sick and unable to follow my race programme, so to be here and win Amstel Gold Race is an incredible feeling. I’ve proved to myself that I have to be patient and sooner or later the victory will come and I will be able to perform. It was difficult to get back on track but here I am.”
2nd, Benoît Cosnefroy AG2R Citroën): “It’s a nice podium even if I would have preferred to win. Kwiatkowski was faster than me in the sprint. It happened little by little. We can be collectively proud of this podium. I felt good and the goal was to be in the front. I felt during the race that I was one of the strongest. In the final, I did a lot of the work. There are three Ardennes races left and the momentum is good.”
3rd, Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma): “The final was difficult, with those two men from INEOS Grenadiers. I forced the breakout a bit myself on the Keutenberg. I felt good until there, but then it was difficult with those two men from INEOS Grenadiers. Mathieu (Van der Poel) was also a bit less than last week, less than expected. I missed a corner, a bit down at the Geulhemmerberg. I’m also bringing Cosnefroy back, right when I was on the limit. Third place was the highest achievable in this final. I certainly wanted to go for the highest attainable, then third is nice. Christophe fell today, otherwise he might not have been too bad. But now I was alone. That’s part of the race. I was second in Dwars door Vlaanderen and third here. After this I do the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which suit me better than Paris-Roubaix. I am now going to train for a week in the south of France. I ride the Walloon Arrow and Liège together with Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, so another part of the team.”
4th, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “I felt okay, but I wasn’t good enough to react to everything. It was a very difficult day, the Amstel is one of the most difficult races out there. Racing started early again. But even when INEOS checked, the climbs hurt anyway. The new loop was okay. The jostling and danger in the run-up to the Kruisberg has now been removed. The final now started a little bit earlier, on the Gulperberg. Still, we worked together quite well behind. Because of the number of INEOS Grenadiers, I knew it was going to be difficult and it showed. This place on the calendar was not bad. After Paris-Roubaix you were really broken, that will not be the case now. I also noticed some decompression after my victory in De Ronde, I was really looking forward to that. I tried to recharge for today and that was it. Hopefully next week I’ll be back 100%.”
10th, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious): “It was good to be up there in the final, but in the last passage of the finish line and the two riders escaped, I tried to go across. I came really close but couldn’t bridge the gap. So with that, I’m really disappointed. I tried to make the maximum out of it, and 10th was the result for the day, but again it’s disappointing as my feeling in the race was very good, and the boys did a really good job all day long.”
Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe): “A tough but unforgettable day in the breakaway! Leading the race for such a long time in front of my home crowds was just an incredible feeling. After my break due to illness I felt better than expected. In the finale I would have liked to stay a bit longer in the front but at some point I had to deal with stomach problems and felt really empty.”
Amstel Gold Race – Men Result:
1. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers in 6:01:19
2. Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën
3. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:20
5. Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek – Segafredo
6. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
9. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
10. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Victorious.
Amstel Gold Race – Women 2022
Marta Cavalli was the surprising winner of the women’s Amstel Gold Race. The 24-year-old Italian of FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope rode away from an elite group on the last time up the Cauberg and soloed to the biggest victory of her career. Demi Vollering came second, ahead of Liane Lippert and Annemiek van Vleuten.
The Amstel Gold Race for women was a race of 128.5 kilometres, with nineteen climbs on the route. After the first attacks, two riders managed to get away from the peloton: Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon//SRAM) and Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma), but they didn’t get very far and were caught by the peloton before the foot of the Eyserbosweg, traditionally one of the toughest points on the race. On the steepest parts of the Eyserbosweg, Katarzyna Niewiadoma decided to go full gas. The Polish rider, who won the Amstel Gold Race three years ago, was the initiator of the first group of about 20 riders. Most of the top women were represented with Niewiadoma, Van Vleuten, Vollering, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak and Lucinda Brand. This group completely disintegrated between the Fromberg and Keutenberg. Van Vleuten, Vollering and Niewiadoma managed to separate themselves from the rest on the climb. Van Vleuten in particular again showed her attacking side. Movistar’s leader on the Keutenberg attacked and only Vollering and Niewiadoma were able to follow Van Vleuten. These three crossed the Keutenberg, but the pursuers were not far behind. Van Vleuten wanted to go for the finish, but Vollering and Niewiadoma didn’t want to help. The co-operation was not good, so four riders managed to return from behind.
Van Vleuten, Niewiadoma and Vollering were again joined by Van den Broek-Blaak, Henderson, Ellen van Dijk and Liane Lippert. These seven front riders started the first passage of the Cauberg, but mainly looked at each other and the peloton came dangerously close. The difference between the two groups increased again on the flatter kilometres after the Cauberg. The Spanish rider Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange) managed to cross to the break. Niewiadoma, Van Vleuten, Vollering, Moolman-Pasio, Van den Broek-Blaak, Henderson, Brand and the newly joined Santesteban worked well together and managed to make a gap peloton again. At the foot of the Bemelerberg, the lead grew towards 1 minute, but the race was by no means over. Due to the work of the UAE team, the leading group was caught on the Cauberg, with just under 40 kilometres to go. On the Geulhemmerberg, Pauliena Rooijakkers attacked again and the Dutch rider immediately had a gap. Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange) and Arlenis Sierra (Movistar) sensed the danger and counter-attacked. Spratt and Sierra managed to make the jump to Rooijakkers and these three started the penultimate climb of the Cauberg with a nice lead. On the Cauberg, Mavi García chased the three leaders, but the Spanish rider was stuck at about 10 seconds and eventually had to give up.
Rooijakkers, Sierra and Spratt tried in the last 15 kilometres to stay out of the grip of a thinned peloton. SD Worx were pulling the bunch and 10 kilometres from the finish, the three were caught just before the Bemelerberg. On this not-too-steep climb, Marlen Reusser tried to surprise, but Van Vleuten was alert and immediately sat on the wheel of the Swiss rider. Van Dijk was the next to try, but the European champion didn’t get away either. The Norwegian Stine Borgli did get some space from the top riders and the rider of FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope looked like she would be the first to start on the decisive climb of the Cauberg, but was swallowed before the climb. Van Vleuten’s attack came early, but the Movistar rider did not have enough punch to actually get away. Van Vleuten crossed the top of the Cauberg with Vollering, Moolman-Pasio, Lippert, Niewiadoma, García and Marta Cavalli on her wheel. Cavalli accelerated on the summit of the Cauberg and took a nice gap. Moolman-Pasio looked at Van Vleuten, who had no intention of working. The Italian had flown and whatever Moolman-Pasio did turned out not to be enough to catch Cavalli. The Italian crossed the line solo and recorded the biggest win of her career. The sprint for second place was narrowly won by Vollering, ahead of Lippert and Van Vleuten. Niewiadoma completed the top 5.
2022 Amstel Gold Winner, Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “This is really an incredible feeling. I also have to thank my team director because I felt tired and not well in the final. At the top of the last Cauberg we were eight or nine riders ahead and he said it was my moment. I had nothing to lose. We started the season with the motto ‘all or nothing’ and I tried that. After 500 meters I looked back and saw that I had a big gap. Then it was going to the finish. We already talked about this moment during the reconnaissance. If you’re at the back of the group and it comes to a standstill, that’s a key moment. It’s unbelievable that it worked out. The hardest part was taking that last corner, It was a big fight leading up to that, like a washing machine. It was dangerous there, and because of many falls on descents I am sometimes still afraid. But in the end I was good and safe at the front.”
2nd Demi Vollering (SD Worx): “Of course I wasn’t very happy. It was a great chance to win, again… I just missed the moment that Cavalli left. She hesitated for a while, but she gave everything. It’s super nice for Cavalli, but I also really wanted it. I wanted to counter-attack myself, but that’s also gambling. Last year we came back again. It was too good a group. Everyone did half turns and then you don’t stay away. It wasn’t up to us to ride there, then we raced behind. A second place is better than not being on the podium, so hopefully next year.”
4th, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “I knew that group was too big at the foot for me to make a difference. The race was not tough enough. There was little co-operation. They weren’t driving at full speed. Only SD Worx had two. But I am not disappointed here. For me it’s just hard to make the difference on the Cauberg, or it has to be a gruelling race. For me it’s too explosive a climb. Cavalli shows you how to do it. I have no other tactics for the Amstel Gold Race, then I have to be lucky.”
Amstel Gold Race – Women Result:
1. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 3:17:41
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 0:04
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) DSM
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
6. Mavi García (Spa) UAE Team ADQ
7. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx at 0:07
8. Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:09
9. Coryn Labecki (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ.
Itzulia Basque Country 2022
Stage 4 of the Itzulia Basque Country, finishing in Zamudio, was won by Daniel Felipe Martínez. The Colombian INEOS Grenadiers rider was the fastest in the sprint from a thinned out group, just ahead of Julian Alaphilippe. Primož Roglič held the lead in the general classification.
Thursday’s stage started from Vitoria-Gasteiz and went over four climbs to the finish in Zamudio. With the Urruztimendi (1.9km at 11%, max. 16-18%) and the Vivero (6km at 6.3%, max. 18-19%) twice.
Fourteen riders managed to escape the peloton: Mauri Vansevenant, Geraint Thomas, Cristián Rodríguez, Victor Lafay, Rubén Fernández, Bruno Armirail, Ruben Guerreiro, Mark Donovan, Jefferson Cepeda, Davide Formolo, Óscar Rodriguez, Tsgabu Grmay, Mikel Iturria and Felix Großschartner. Pascal Eenkhoorn was initially with the break, but his Jumbo-Visma team asked him to drop back to the peloton. In the peloton; Equipo Kern Pharma tried to pull the break back as they had missed the early move. The Kern Pharma team managed to keep the difference within limits, but couldn’t get closer to the fourteen leaders. Eventually the lead went up to more than 3 minutes. Cristián Rodríguez, who had been on the attack all day on Wednesday, was the virtual leader. The TotalEnergies rider was the best placed rider in the leading group in 16th place at 2:12 from Roglič and could possibly take the stage and/or overall. Jumbo-Visma didn’t let the lead get too high. Rodríguez was also looking for the KOM. He was first on the second climb of the day, the Java for points for the mountain jersey.
With more than 50 kilometres to go Grmay saw his moment had come and accelerated. The Ethiopian climber jumped away from the leading group and managed to take 1 minute on the break. A good effort by the BikeExchange-Jayco rider, but it turned out to be a wasted effort, as he was caught on the steep sections of the Urruztimendi by the leading group. Thomas, Guerreiro, Lafay and Armirail caught and passed Grmay and started the descent of the Urruztimendi. The peloton was still together. Vansevenant, Iturria and Formolo were able to rejoin Thomas, Guerreiro, Lafay and Armirail on the flatter intermediate section between the Urruztimendi and the Vivero, and seven riders started the Vivero. In the first two kilometres the riders were faced with steep gradients and Lafay went ‘full gas’. Armirail tried to follow, but had to watch him ride away. The pace in the peloton had picked up, partly due to an acceleration by Pierre Latour. Lafay was riding well on the steepest sections of the Vivero, extending his lead over the first pursuers – Armirail, Thomas, Formolo and Guerreiro. In the GC group, the pace was up and down, allowing Lafay to extend his lead to 1:30 and looked to be going for the stage victory. The Cofidis rider was the first on the climb of the Vivero, but the finish in Zamudio was reached after a fast final of just under 20 kilometres.
The danger no longer came from the escape, but from the thinned peloton, led by the men of Quick-Step Alpa Vinyl and later also Bahrain Victorious and UAE Team Emirates. The difference between Lafay and the group (which included the important GC riders) was only 1 minute. Thomas, Guerreiro, Formolo and Armirail were swallowed by the big pack, but Lafay’s lead looked good. Not good enough as the Frenchman was caught 2 kilometres from the finish and there would be a sprint from the thinned out group. Remco Evenepoel took the lead again in the last kilometre ahead of Julian Alaphilippe and, again, put a huge turn on the front, but Alaphilippe was unable to finish it. The Frenchman came up in the last meters, but it was Daniel Felipe Martínez who won. Alaphilippe finished second by a few millimetres, Diego Ulissi finished third. Primož Roglič came in fourth and remained the leader.
Stage winner and 3rd overall, Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers): “There was a lot of strong riders in the group today. I had great legs. I knew the finish had a little bit of a drag and with 200m to go I felt a stall and I thought: ‘Just go.’ We had G in the front all day which helped us and obviously I tried to attack on the last climb. But because the group was still there and so big behind, I saved a little bit for the sprint. We have been showing that whole team is a strong group. There are still very difficult days to come and with Adam and myself, we are in a great position.”
Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Of course I would have liked to win, but I lacked a bit of luck today. It was a tough day with many attacks and action on the final climb. Jonas and I rode full speed to the finish. Tomorrow we have to cross a lot of mountains and the finish is at the top of a steep climb. Hopefully I have good legs so I can go up with the best. We’re going to do everything we can to keep the yellow jersey.”
2nd overall, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “We were close again today. It’s a shame that we lose it again by a small difference. Most importantly, everything else went well with Julian. I don’t think we did anything wrong. We can’t complain. It was a really tough day, but we had someone (Mauri Vansevenant) in the leading group. It was a really fast stage, with a very tough final. Today we drove at an average of 44 kilometres per hour. I feel quite empty now. Will I attack tomorrow? It is difficult to see into the future. In addition, Roglič is very strong. Saturday’s stage is crucial. I hope to do well tomorrow and survive. I also hope that it stays that way and that we get a safe final.”
3rd on the stage, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “The guys worked so well in the final to bring the breakaway back. It was set up well for me but unfortunately there were two guys just a bit stronger than me in the end, but that’s how it goes sometimes. We’re stage hunting for these final days and we want to go away from this race with a victory. For sure we will try again tomorrow.”
9th on the stage and 4th overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a fast stage today as we had a strong breakaway group. We were expecting a much easier day to be honest! However, in the final I was able to keep up well with the other GC favourites and I also had Emu with me who supported me very well. In the end I was perhaps not in the best position for the sprint but that’s how it is sometimes. I finished at the same time as the other GC riders and now we’ll focus on the next two stages, which will undoubtedly be decisive in this year’s race.”
Itzulia Basque Country Stage 4 Result:
1. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:15:23
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
6. Orluis Aular (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.
Itzulia Basque Country Overall After Stage 4:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma ay 14:05:10
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:05
3. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:14
5. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:18
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:19
7. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
8. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Cofidis at 0:20
9. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:22
10. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32.
Carlos Rodríguez won the Fifth Stage of the Itzulia Basque Country. In Mallabia, the young INEOS Grenadiers climber crossed the finish line solo after being part of a seven-man breakaway. Remco Evenepoel took over the leader’s jersey from Primož Roglič.
The route had no 1st. category climbs, but was constantly going up and down and the weather conditions could make the stage very difficult. The finish was also for the explosive type of rider, with a 16% gradient in the last kilometre. Several riders tried to get away from the start, but after an hour of racing everything was still together.
After the second climb of the day, after 65 kilometres, a leading group had formed. Roglič and Jumbo-Visma had sent Sepp Kuss with the break, which consisted of Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Sergio Samitier (Movistar), Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers), Lucas Hamilton (BikeExchange-Jayco ) and Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo). With Bilbao in 6th at 0:19 and Marc Soler in 14th place at 1:08, this was a dangerous break. Bilbao realised that his presence would never give the leading group much of a chance and dropped back. The remaining six pushed on and started the third climb of the day, with Jumbo-Visma and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl controlling behind. On the descent of the Gontzagaraigana, Hamilton crashed over a guardrail, which immediately ended his race. The leading group thinned out further during the fourth climb as Kuss and Samitier let the rest go. Elissonde also couldn’t hang on, leaving Soler and Rodríguez together. Soler had been in the virtual lead for a while and at 40 kilometres from the finish, the leading duo still had a 4 minute lead. Then several teams started to chase, causing the lead to slowly shrink.
Soler and Rodríguez started the climb to Karabieta with a 2 minute lead, 20 kilometres from the finish, the last hurdle before the final climb to Mallabia. On the climb, Remco Evenepoel split the race and had Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious), Enric Mas (Movistar), Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers), Ion Izagirre (Cofidis) and Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe) with him. At the front, Rodríguez rode away from Soler, after always being on his wheel. Rodríguez had a hard time on the difficult final climb, but stayed out of the grasp of the first group to record his first professional victory. Teammate Martínez completed the celebration for INEOS Grenadiers by crossing the line in second place. Evenepoel finished third and took over the leader’s jersey from Primož Roglič. The Belgian now has a 2 second lead over Martínez going into the final stage with an uphill finish in Arrate.
Stage winner, Carlos Rodríguez (INEOS Grenadiers): “At the beginning, when we were with five or six men, I couldn’t take over because I had Dani (team mate Daniel Felipe Martínez) behind me and I had no intention of helping riders who were against his interests. Then Marc was the strongest and he showed that clearly with his attack. I would have loved to help him and I’m sorry, but I had to protect Dani and Adam (Yates) and he was a threat to us. We have to congratulate him on the great stage he rode, but that’s cycling. The feeling is good and to get a win in such an important race, with riders of such a high level, is very good. I can’t believe it. I’m taking small steps forward and keep growing, that’s what I have to do.”
Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “When I attacked, I just felt it was the right moment, and seeing that many of the GC riders didn’t react gave me an extra boost to keep pushing. The finale was a bit hectic, with the rain making the climb even more complicated. Just 75 meters from the finish, I slipped a bit, then the guys in front of me crashed, so it was quite eventful. At the finish, the guys in the staff told me I’m the new leader of the race, which was quite emotional. I am speechless to wear the yellow jersey in the hardest week-long stage race of the season and I will give my best together with the team on the last stage. It will be difficult and I expect many attacks, but we will try and I hope to have good legs.”
7th on the stage and 4th overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “The pace was high right from the start of the day, and there were several attacks that we had to watch out for. The guys did an excellent job to set the pace in the field, the teamwork today was really great. In the finale, I was right up there with the other GC favourites, but then I crashed a few meters ahead of the finish line. It’s hard to explain exactly what happened, it all was so fast. But these things happen in cycling, and we have to accept it and move on.”
Ex-overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “We raced well with the whole team. Jonas was in the front, so it actually went the way we wanted. Can I go for the win tomorrow? Today was a super tough day. We’ve only just made it to the finish line! We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Itzulia Basque Country Stage 5 Result:
1. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:07:09
2. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:07
3. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:09
4. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Cofidis at 0:11
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:13
7. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:18
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:20
9. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:38
10. Fernando Barceló (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 1:07.
Itzulia Basque Country Overall After Stage 5:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 18:12:29
2. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:02
3. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Cofidis at 0:21
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:22
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:29
7. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:37
8. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:05
9.Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:15
10. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:30.
Daniel Felipe Martínez is the overall winner of the Itzulia Basque Country. In the tough Final Stage 6 to Arrate, the Colombian climber took the overall lead from Remco Evenepoel as Ion Izagirre won the stage. In the sprint from a small group, Izagirre got the better of Aleksandr Vlasov and Marc Soler.
On the final day, the peloton raced just 135.7 kilometres from Eibar to Arrate, with an uphill finish. With seven tough climbs, three Cat 1, and more than 3,600 metres climbing, the tour ended with the Queen Stage.
The fight for the day’s break started from the gun, but the peloton didn’t just let the attackers get away. After 10 kilometres Davide Formolo, KOM Cristián Rodríguez, Tony Gallopin and Xabier Azparren attacked. They were joined by Nelson Oliveira. Behind them, Lennard Kämna, Tsgabu Grmay, Romain Combaud, Hugo Houle, Ángel Madrazo, Kenny Elissonde and Igor Arrieta counter-attacked. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl initially controlled the peloton, but on the Endoia, the second climb, INEOS Grenadiers also took the lead. On the tough Endoia and Azurki climbs, the break changed. Formolo, Oliveira and Gallopin were the strongest and rode away, while Rodríguez, who had done enough for the KOM jersey on the first two climbs of the day, and Azparren were dropped. The chasers, who rode for a long time between the leading group and the peloton, never got to the front. On the fourth climb of the day, the Gorla, only Formolo, Oliveira and Gallopin were left ahead. Their lead over the big group, where INEOS still set the pace, was still 3 minutes, but there were still several tough climbs on the route. Gallopin was dropped from the front, which meant that Formolo and Oliveira climbed the fifth climb of the day, the steep Krabelin, with a maximum gradient of 17%.
On the climb, 41 kilometres from the finish, Formolo broke away from Oliveira. There was also activity in the peloton. Primož Roglič attacked, taking Enric Mas, Daniel Felipe Martínez and Aleksandr Vlasov. Evenepoel had lost his teammates and had to do the work himself. However, he was able to return at his own pace. Then Mas attacked and this put Evenepoel in trouble again, forcing the Belgian to chase. A lot happened on the descent of the Krabelin. Mas, Martínez and early breakaway Oliveira were involved in a crash and that caused Jonas Vingegaard, Pello Bilbao, Ion Izagirre and Vlasov to separate from the rest. Not much later they caught Formolo, who’s lead disappeared because of all the action behind. At this point Bilbao took the virtual overall lead. Evenepoel and Martínez didn’t give up easily and passed the five leaders on the descent of the Urkaregi. The moment Evenepoel and co joined, Formolo, Martínez and Izagirre rode away. The Belgian fought to defended his yellow jersey. With 10 kilometres from the finish, Evenepoel, Martínez, Bilbao, Izagirre, Vlasov, Vingegaard (the top six on GC), Formolo and Soler were together at the front, with an intermediate sprint and then the last climb of the Usartza with gradients up to 13% still to come.
In Eibar, Evenepoel did well in the intermediate sprint, ahead of Martínez and Bilbao and was 1 second ahead of Martínez. Formolo had been attacking all day, but was able to pull away one more time. With 6.8 kilometres to go, the Italian started the final climb with a small lead. Behind, the favourites looked at each other. Formolo found some energy and was able to take 30 seconds. Evenepoel was in trouble again, and this time the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider finally cracked. Formolo was caught with 3 kilometres from the finish by Vlasov, Martínez, Vingegaard and Soler. Izagirre had fallen behind due to a crash, but did everything in his power to get back and succeeded. The five made it to the top of the Usartza climb with 2.6 kilometres to go to the finish. In the finalé, Soler tried to get away, but the climber was not given any space. In the end Izagirre had the best final jump. At the finish he was ahead of Vlasov, Soler and Martínez, who secured the overall victory.
Stage winner and 2nd overall, Ion Izagirre (Cofidis): “I’m overjoyed. The fall made me think all was lost. Winning here, in Arrate, is a great way to end the Tour of the Basque Country. It happened in the presence of my family and friends and as always I had a lot of support from the fans. I am very happy that I finished the race.”
Final overall winner and 4th on the stage, Daniel Felipe Martínez (INEOS Grenadiers): “I saw myself at times as one of the losers. I even thought I would fall outside the top 10. I only knew after the finish that it was in. After my crash I ended up in the group with Evenepoel. Remco did a lot of work to return. He then had to release on the final climb, so I saw opportunities to win the race again. I was already the leader in stage races of a week, but for the big races there are teammates who enjoy the confidence of the team. The Tour is and remains a special race. I’m ready for the team.”
2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today I tried to do my best to take the stage win and hoped that I would move up in the GC as a result. I know the finishing straight pretty well, so I tried to get myself into the best position, and we almost managed to pull off the win. In the end, however, I still made it onto the podium with third place overall, so I think this was a good race overall for us. I started the year really well with a win in Valencia, second at GP Indurain, and now a podium here, so this provides a lot of motivation for my next races. I’d also like to thank my teammates for the amazing job they did here.”
3rd on the stage and 7th overall, Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates): “Overall we’re really happy with today. Formolo got in the move and later attacked and came close to winning the stage which was pretty impressive. Personally I found myself getting stronger as the race went on. There was a really high level here this week so to be up with the main guys was a big boost. Now I’ll head to Flèche and Liege to support Pogačar before taking a break and building up to the Tour de France, all things going well.”
7th on the stage, 4th overall and best young rider, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “It was a very hard stage. I didn’t have a bad day, I gave my best the entire stage, but I just missed a bit to be up there with the best guys and fight for the GC victory. It was difficult, especially on the steep parts of the climbs, but I kept fighting and kept believing in myself. I came here wanting to test myself against the Grand Tour contenders and this result is something I can build on in the future. There is some disappointment, as I was so close to the podium, but also some satisfaction, because I’m getting closer to the level I want to be. Maybe in a couple of days I will see things differently, given how tough this race was and the quality of the field here.”
5th on the stage and 6th overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “I felt very strong today. I did not hide and tried several times to attack on the climbs. The cooperation with the riders with whom I was finally ahead went well. We were overtaken by a number of other riders. At the end the legs were a bit sour. However, I refused to stop the battle early. The goal was to finish at least on the podium. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, but I tried it. My riding style makes me happy. The form is there. That gives hope for the upcoming races. The intention was to open with Primož. He did that very strongly. The best remained after that. Jonas was also among them. The situation seemed perfect, as some riders were behind in the general classification position reason. Unfortunately, they eventually returned. We raced to win. We were hoping for more, of course, but we showed ourselves this week.”
6th on the stage and 5th overall, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious): “The most important thing was the team spirit from the beginning until today. Today Gino did a fantastic job. On the first climb in Arrate, I didn’t have the best legs to follow the rhythm of the front group, but I knew that with the help of Gino and knowing a technical descent in the middle, I could join the front of the group again. I did like that, and when I arrived back to the group, I attacked in the front to make another selection. We collaborated quite well, but Remco (Quick-Step) and Daniel (Ineos) did a good job. They came back. In the last climb, with Gino’s help, I gave everything, but Ion (Cofidis) was stronger than me. Congrats to the guys on the podium. I am satisfied with the all week of racing and my performance.”
8th overall, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Of course it was tough and I had my own problems. At the end I certainly wasn’t good enough to be one of the best. I had some problems in the muscle behind my knee before coming here and it clearly didn’t get better during the week. It was not really a rest week. Anyway, it’s painful. First I have to get myself right, feel good on the bike, and then we’ll see in the coming races. We have to research it well. We really need to look closely at what it is, to treat it in the best way so I don’t get in any more trouble. I really gave it my all this week. I really enjoyed the people, I gave everything to race with the team we had here in the best possible way. On to the next.”
Itzulia Basque Country Stage 6 Result:
1. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Cofidis in 3:47:07
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
4. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:03
6. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:13
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:24
8. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 0:52
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:29
10. Felix Gall (Aust) AG2R Citroën at 1:41.
Itzulia Basque Country Final Overall Result:
1. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 21:59:36
2. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Cofidis at 0:11
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe 0:16
4. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:21
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:32
6. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
7. Marc Soler (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:26
8. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 3:18
9. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 3:55
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 5:03.
Wout van Aert: “Another sad Sunday, but I’ll be back”
Wout van Aert was the best in the Amstel Gold Race last year after a much-discussed sprint, but the Jumbo-Visma rider had to miss the Limburg classic this year due to a covid infection. Van Aert spoke on Instagram on Sunday.
“It’s another sad Sunday for me,” wrote the Belgian champion on his Instagram. “Not being able to defend my title in the Amstel Gold Race hurts. But one day I will come back. Good luck to my teammates at Jumbo-Visma.”
Van Aert contracted the covid virus just before the Tour of Flanders and had to miss the ‘Vlaanderens Mooiste’. The Amstel Gold Race also comes too early for the Classic specialist, who is still thinking about Paris-Roubaix. Van Aert has now received the green light to train and may be fit in time for the ‘Hell of the North’.
Wout van Aert to ride Roubaix?
Three New Canadian Records Set on Day 1 of the U17/Junior Canadian Track Championships
Athletes from around the country returned to Milton’s Mattamy National Cycling Centre on Friday to compete at the 2022 U17/Junior Canadian Track Championships in the hopes of taking home one of the coveted national champions’ jerseys. Riders were more competitive than ever, with eight riders claiming multiple medals and three athletes setting new Canadian records in the Individual Pursuit.
Nora Linton (Attack Racing) kicked off the championships by establishing a new U17 women’s Canadian Record with a time of 2:31.640, which was immediately followed by another record set by Ashlin Barry (Mariposa Racing Team) in the men’s category, with both athletes smashing the previous records by over one second.
As anticipated, Junior Scratch Race world champion Carson Mattern proved to be unbeatable in the Junior men’s races, the 18-year-old setting a new Canadian Record of 3:10.159 in the Individual Pursuit and almost breaking the world record in the process. The second-year Junior went on the win the Scratch Race by lapping the field in the latter half of the race to claim his second gold of the day.
Carson Mattern during the Scratch Race final
“I’m especially excited about winning the Scratch Race; it’s been a huge goal to win a national title in the rainbow jersey,” said Mattern. “I was pretty disappointed it didn’t happen at last nationals so I’m really glad I was able to bring it home here at my last Junior nationals. There’s a lot of riders here that we haven’t seen and a lot of people that have done a lot of work over the winter, so my plan was just to be smart about it and look for an opportunity to really make my mark on the race and that’s what I did.”
Racing resumes tomorrow morning with athletes tackling the Points Race, the Elimination Race and the Individual Sprint competitions. Full results can be found here throughout the weekend.
U17 Women: 1- Nora Linton 2- Alexandra Volstad 3- Alexandra Fangeat
U17 Men: 1- Ashlin Barry 2- Jonathan Hinse 3- Albert Taylor
Junior Women: 1- Vanessa Montrichard 2- Peneloppe Primeau 3- Taylor Tompkins
Junior Men: 1- Carson Mattern 2- Gavin Hadfield 3- Campbell Parrish
U17 Women: 1- Alexandra Volstad 2- Geza Rodgers 3- Anika Brants
U17 Men: 1- Cole Dempster 2- Ashlin Barry 3- Jonathan Hinse
Junior Women: 1- Peneloppe Primeau 2- Vanessa Montrichard 3- Eloise Camire
Junior Men: 1- Noah Rubuliak 2- Cam McCallum 3- Hudson Lubbers
U17 Women: 1- Anika Brants 2- Alexandra Volstad 3- Geza Rodgers
U17 Men: 1- Ashlin Barry 2- Albert Taylor 3- Lucas Goertz
Junior Women: 1- Vanessa Montrichard 2- Kiara Lylyk 3- Eva Gabelier
Junior Men: 1- Carson Mattern 2- Gavin Hadfield 3- David Olejniczak
Vanessa Montrichard, Peneloppe Primeau and Eloise Camiré, medals for the women’s junior keirin:
Patrick Lefevere: “Two Remco Stories Can Go in the Trash”
Remco Evenepoel took over the yellow jersey from Primoz Roglič in the Tour of the Basque Country. For Patrick Lefevere proof that the earlier criticism of his young rider was unjustified. “Two stories for the trash can: Remco Evenepoel cannot descend and Remco Evenepoel cannot ride if the gradient exceeds twenty percent,” he wrote in his column in Het Nieuwsblad.
“We’re not going to be too euphoric, but in the Tour of the Basque Country I see a complete rider,” continued the boss of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team. “He goes downhill à bloc and flies through the corners in the sprint preparation, nobody touches him.”
Lefevere himself also voices some criticism. To the organisers of Basque Tour because of the extremely steep final of stage 5, but also to the journalists. “Remco will wear the yellow jersey in what everyone calls the toughest stage race in the WorldTour. And what is the big theme in Belgium after the broadcast of Extra Time Koers? Should Evenepoel race Flemish classics? Apparently I missed something.”
“The bidding of opinions is starting to get funny. Last year we send Remco to the Giro and that is too early, too much, too heavy and what do I know. Now we decide to send him to the Vuelta and what do you literally get as the first question: ‘Wouldn’t the Tour de France suit him better?’ So now we also have to make him a Flemish spring rider.”
However, the team manager does not rule out the possibility that Evenepoel will one-day ride the cobbled classics in his own country. “I’m not saying he’s never going to race those races and I’m certainly not saying he can’t, but everything in due course. Maybe we will find a company that can clone Remco, in the meantime we have a plan and we stick to it.”
Along with Evenepoel’s GC success, Julian Alaphilippe managed to achieve stage wins. According to Lefevere, this makes the disappointing performance in the Flemish spring races somewhat forgotten. In the Ardennes Classics, the duo will compete again. “The question was asked within the team whether we would also set them up in Amstel, but in the end everyone thought the Tour of the Basque Country was the best option.”
“I now see teams eating both ways: giving up in the Basque Country to start in the Amstel, but I think that’s lousy. If you give up on Wednesday you should ask yourself why you started. And if you give up on Thursday, it will be a short day to recover before Sunday.”
Remco Evenepoel isn’t doing to badly:
Sagan Not in Paris-Roubaix
La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Peter Sagan will not start in the Hell of the North in 2022. The Slovak won the race in 2018.
Sagan has been struggling with his health all spring. Due to first a covid infection and later the flu, he was unable to reach his previous level. The TotalEnergies rider want’s to be fit for the Tour.
No Sagan on the 2022 Roubaix cobbles:
Taylor Phinney Talks about the ‘pill culture’ in the Peloton
Taylor Phinney has spoken out in the Thereabouts podcast about the use of painkillers in the bunch. The former professional, who retired in 2019, claims that many narcotics were used in his time. Cortisone injections were also regularly administered, according to the American.
“There was a time when I was quite outspoken about final bottles in competitions,” begins Phinney, who already spoke out against the ‘pill culture’ ten years ago. “When I started racing, the days of EPO and blood doping were behind us, but a lot of painkillers were still used in the sport. I don’t know if that’s completely gone now. But in my early years, it was pretty commonplace to take a few pills of Tramadol at the end of the race.”
“That’s basically the same as two Vicodin (the brand name of a drug that contains hydrocodone and paracetamol) together with a lot of caffeine and maybe sometimes Sudafed (pseudoephedrine). It’s a bomb. If I took one of those now, it would send me straight to the moon. I was never open to that, I was offered it, but I was like, I don’t think I need any painkiller today to get through this race.”
After he broke his leg in 2014, Phinney also received a cortisone injection himself. “I flew, while my leg only did half of it. Then I thought: I think I know how this works,” he looks back. “It was one thing, especially in the classics a lot of guys did it. I didn’t think that was normal. So I said something about it in an interview, and I also talked about the frequency with which cortisone injections were given just when people were entering a certain race.”
That was not appreciated by everyone. Phinney said he had to deal with the omertà, which, according to the American, still exists. “You are in a position where people can tell you what to do and punish you for not following the most arbitrary rules, which can be set at any time. You realise that you are not like Harry Potter, you are not the hero of this story, because you have to keep quiet.”
“In my first year I definitely had a hard time because I felt I couldn’t express myself. Or that I didn’t get the credit I thought I deserved for my honesty about things I believed were wrong within the group, the peloton, or the management itself. Outside, people allowed me to speak out, but within the group, the thought was ‘this is our secret, our world’.”
Taylor Phinney speaks out:
David Lappartient Sees Fewer doping Cases
David Lappartient sees the number of doping cases in cycling fall. The ITA even reported zero at the highest level in 2021. Something to celebrate, the UCI boss thinks. “But we remain on our guard.”
“Today it is still necessary to do a lot of testing,” said the Frenchman in an interview with VeloNews. “It’s good that there were no positive doping tests last year, but I’m not naive. It is important that we invest more money in the fight against doping and that is what we are doing. That is why we work closely with ITA. Our fight against doping has no end.”
“There have been some positive tests in recent years, but not at the highest level. That’s because there’s plenty of testing. But more can and should be done, even at the lower levels. From my own experience (Lappartient is also on the board of WADA) I can say that the budget is not high enough for that.”
Lappartient’s comments are at odds with stories from Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet last year. While Bardet pointed out that little testing was done during the covid pandemic, Pinot said in L’Equipe that the peloton is at two different speeds: ketones would be a significant part in this.
The UCI boss is happy to respond: “I can tell you that I watch a lot of competitions. Sometimes I also see suspicious things. And from radio peloton I hear the stories too. I’ll have that examined. It is important to know what the peloton thinks about doping.”
“I’ve talked to enough riders and managers to know what the peloton thinks about doping. Of course they sometimes have question marks. I just don’t think they will ever go away, if you look at the sport’s doping history,” he concludes.
Paris-Camembert (April 12)
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM has won Paris-Camembert four times in the last six editions with Cyril Gautier in 2016, Benoît Cosnefroy in 2019 and Dorian Godon in 2020 and 2021. In addition, Lilian Calmejane won the race in 2018 wearing the colours of Direct Énergie.
Geoffrey Bouchard: “I fell ill before the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. So, I am returning to competition after a long period where I was able to recover and prepare for my next objectives. I don’t race a lot of the Coupe de France rounds, but Paris-Camembert is one of the most difficult with an interesting amount of elevation gain. Last year, we had a good race as a team that ended with Dorian Godon’s victory and my third place. This year, we will work in a similar way in order to look for the victory. It’s also an opportunity to see where my form is ahead of the Tour des Alpes (April 18-22) and the Tour de Romandie (April 26-May 1), which are the next two goals on my calendar.”
Marc Sarreau and the AG2R CITROËN TEAM Lead the Coupe de France Standings
After the first six rounds, Marc Sarreau is at the top of the individual classification of the Coupe de France. The AG2R CITROËN TEAM dominates the team classification.
20 Top Teams Compete in the German Classic Eschborn-Frankfurt
Four weeks before Germany’s most prestigious classic, the 20 participating teams are selected. In addition to eleven WorldTeams and eight ProTeams a German national team will compete in Eschborn-Frankfurt. The selection promises a top-class start list, including all favourites of the last editions.
Last year, youngster Jasper Philipsen prevailed in Frankfurt’s city center ahead of the big names. On May 1st, his Alpecin – Fenix team is ready to defend its title. The two new teams from last year’s podium riders, John Degenkolb (Team DSM) and Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux), are ready to accept the challenge. For the Belgian team, Biniam Girmay has already announced his return to racing in Eschborn. His victory at Gent-Wevelgem was a milestone in cycling: the 21-year-old is the first African rider to win a WorldTour classic.
Above, the teams of the German riders will compete in this key classic. Besides the only German team BORA–hansgrohe also Bahrain Victorious, Cofidis, EF Education – Easypost, Israel – Premier Tech, Lotto Soudal and UAE Team Emirates might select their German riders for the home audience. AG2R Citroën Team and Trek – Segafredo complete the international squads. From the ProTeams, the Top 5 of the UCI Europe Tour have confirmed their participation, including French outfits Team Arkéa – Samsic and TotalEnergies. The last spot on the starting list is assigned to a German national team. This give talents from the German Continental teams a chance to compete with the world’s best in a WorldTour race.
Teams Eschborn-Frankfurt 2022:
AG2R Citroën Team
EF Education – EasyPost
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
Israel – Premier Tech
Trek – Segafredo
UAE Team Emirates
Alpecin – Fenix
B&B Hotels – KTM
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Team Arkéa – Samsic
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
German National Team
USA Cycling to Offer Free Live-Streaming of American Criterium Cup Races via Outside Interactive
All ten races will be live-streamed across Outside Interactive cycling sites including VeloNews, Peloton Magazine and CyclingTips starting on April 9.
USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling and part of Outside Interactive, Inc., today announced that they will offer free live-streaming of all ten of The American Criterium Cup races across Outside Interactive’s cycling websites, including VeloNews, Peloton Magazine and Cycling Tips. The American Criterium Cup series was formed through a collaboration between USA Cycling, race promoters, and the National Association of Cycling Teams (NACT).
The first race is the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Alabama on April 9, and the series continues through to the Bommarito Audi Gateway Cup in St. Louis in September.
“The future of the newly named American Criterium race series looks promising,” said Jennifer Cvar, Founder and Executive Director, IU Health Momentum Indy, which is the ninth race of the series. “Our partnership with Outside Interactive and USA Cycling will allow each of our events to bring this unique form of bike racing not only to our local communities, but to a wider audience across the country.”
For 2022, The American Criterium Cup series will focus on the theme of unity across events, teams, and USA Cycling. Through highlighting this theme, the organizations hope to bring more awareness to the stature of criterium racing in the U.S.
Teams that have committed to participating in the race series include ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK, Best Buddies Racing, Project Echelon Racing, Wolfpack Racing, DNA Pro Cycling, Team Clif Bar Cycling, CS Velo Racing and Colavita-HelloFresh Cycling.
“We understand that fan and sponsor engagement is critical to ensuring that this year’s series is a success,” said Dino Piskopanis, Strategic Director of ButcherBox Cycling p/b LOOK Team, NACT founding member and current board member. “Partnering with Outside Interactive allows us to offer our fans and sponsors a consistent viewing experience throughout the entire series to take them along a season-long story of racing across America’s most prestigious cycling venues.”
To view the full race schedule, please visit: americancritcup.com/series-calendar. To access the livestream feed, please visit VeloNews.com. Series organizers are also releasing competition rules and details, which can be found at americancritcup.com.
For more information on the athletes, events and membership programs, visit USACycling.org and follow @USACycling across all channels.
Third Season of the Movistar Series to be on Netflix This Spring
The third season of the popular series about the Movistar squad, El Día Menos Pensado, will be available on Netflix this spring. It was already clear that the documentary series would be shown in Spain, through Movistar’s channels, but now fans elsewhere in the world will also have access to the images. The cycling team announced this via its social media.
After the years 2019 and 2020 were discussed in the first two seasons, the third season of El Día Menos Pensado will provide an overview of 2021. There is a good chance that we will soon learn more about what happened with Miguel Angel López in the last Vuelta a España. Annemiek van Vleuten will undoubtedly also play an important role. The Dutch rider joined the Movistar women’s team in 2021.
The PEZ INSTAGRAM
See our Instagram page for a quick fix on your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the PEZ Shop section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.