Chris Froome’s future is now set, Cyrille Guimard and George Hincapie have their say – Top Story. Two more stage race reports from the Virtual Tour de France. So much other cycling news: Quintana and Kruijswijk talk Tour, Superprestige cross calendar, will Colombian riders fly? Soler and the Giro, Evenepoel for Lombardia, Movistar in Burgos, Team Medellín comes to Europe, Philipsen on Pogačar, Vinokourov on Lutsenko’s Olympic dream, Roche worried for the youth, contracts for Stuyven and Cataford and offers for Jungels, Spanish racing restarts, Bryton with Circus, Contador Everesting, Rodríguez in hospital and Peter Sagan dresses the Mayor of Milan.
TOP STORY: Guimard: “Froome is like gunpowder, things can explode just like that”
Chris Froome is in his last months with Team Ineos, as the British GC rider moves to Israel Start-Up Nation after ten successful years. “Froome had to leave Team Ineos. It was inevitable,” said Cyrille Guimard in conversation with Cyclism’s Actu.
The now 73-year-old Guimard, as a former rider, team leader and coach of the French national team, has a wealth of experience in cycling. The Frenchman has a clear opinion when it comes to Chris Froome and Team Ineos. “Froome had to leave Team Ineos, there was simply no other solution.”
“Team Ineos has a rider on board who has won the Tour four times, but they are now also counting on a rider who is able to win the Tour four times,” said Guimard about Egan Bernal. “It is an impossible situation, unless Froome had indicated that he would work for his younger teammate. But that is not going to happen.”
“Froome is a champion and not willing to hand out presents just like that. You can do it once in a Paris-Nice, but not during the Tour de France. The result is that he has to leave Team Ineos, as the team will always choose Bernal. The latter has already indicated that he is only at the beginning of his career.”
Froome is therefore busy in his last months with Team Ineos, but will he be at the start of the Tour de France at the end of August. “I see no reason why his position should be different now,” said sports director Servais Knaven last Friday. Guimard has his doubts.
“I would never go to the Tour with Froome, Bernal and Thomas. I now compare Froome a bit with gunpowder. The situation could explode at any time. I can already see it, Bernal who will soon tell Froome that he has to lead at the front of an ascent… It can sometimes come to a clash. Froome will soon hang like a sword of Damocles over Team Ineos.”
Guimard therefore expects an exciting Tour. “It opens doors for the competing teams. There is a chance that Team Ineos will implode and that is an advantage for men like Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana, Thibaut Pinot and the riders of Jumbo-Visma. It will be an interesting Tour.”
Guimard has had to handle two leaders before (and Greg Lemond):
Chris Froome to Leave Team INEOS at End of Season
Team INEOS confirmed today that they will not be renewing Chris Froome’s contract at the end of this season.
Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Chris’s current contract comes to an end in December and we have taken the decision now not to renew it. We are making this announcement earlier than would usually be the case to put an end to recent speculation and allow the Team to focus on the season ahead.
“Chris has been with us from the start. He is a great champion and we have shared many memorable moments over the years but I do believe this is the right decision for the Team and for Chris. Given his achievements in the sport, Chris is understandably keen to have sole team leadership in the next chapter of his career – which is not something we are able to guarantee him at this point. A move away from Team INEOS can give him that certainty. At the same time, it will also give other members of our Team the leadership opportunities they too have earned and are rightly seeking. I am excited about the talent we have right across the Team at the current time and all our collective focus is on preparing for the season ahead. Like everyone across the sport we are all looking forward to the start of racing next month.”
Chris Froome said: “It has been a phenomenal decade with the Team, we have achieved so much together and I will always treasure the memories. I look forward to exciting new challenges as I move into the next phase of my career but in the meantime my focus is on winning a fifth Tour de France with Team INEOS.”
Froome off to Israel:
Israel Start-Up Nation On Chris Froome
Israel Start-Up Nation struck a striking blow on the transfer market this week with the announcement of Chris Froome as the new leader. For team owner Sylvan Adams, only one thing counts: winning the Tour de France.
According to Adams, winning the Tour is not just a dream for his team, he says in an interview with Sporza. “Because that sounds like it wouldn’t be feasible. It is a goal, a feasible goal. I really think it will happen. We want to write history with Froome. If he wins again, he will have the magical five victories in the Tour, with a sixth win he would break the record.”
Currently, the British Tour rider has seven Grand Tours to his name. In addition to his four Tour wins, he has won the Vuelta a España twice and the Giro d’Italia once. With that he is already among the five most successful riders. But according to Adams, his possibilities extend further. “He can even come close to the mythical eleven victories in a big round by Eddy Merckx. And then we have to reconsider who is the greatest rider of all time.”
Greg Van Avermaet’s name is also linked to Israel Start-Up Nation. But Adams cannot say anything about this. “Greg is one of the best classic riders ever, and certainly of his generation. He can compete with Peter Sagan. I have a lot of respect for Van Avermaet and he will continue to win wherever he signs. Of course there is interest. You cannot say anything else about such a rider. But I cannot confirm or deny the rumours.”
Swapping Ineos for Israel:
Hincapie Thinks Three Leaders at the Tour Will be Difficult
Jumbo-Visma is counting on Tom Dumoulin, Primož Roglič and Steven Kruijswijk in the Tour de France. Team Ineos will be led by Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. “With three leaders to the Tour, it’s a bold tactic,” said George Hincapie.
The former rider looks ahead to the 2020 Tour de France with NBC Sports. Hincapie was one of the main helpers of Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour seven times in a row, until the doping ban. In Armstrong’s time there was only one leader in the US Postal and later Discovery Channel, today teams start with three leaders for the rankings. “I don’t seem to manage that. I don’t see it yet, but they’ve done it before at Team Ineos. It just seems very difficult to me.”
“In the first week it is still important to focus on one rider. You have to keep a leader out of trouble. It is difficult if you have to do all that yourself as second or third leader. The teams now have to pay attention to three riders,” said Hincapie, who mainly looks at the GC riders of Team Ineos and Primož Roglič.
“The later is a candidate for final winner, but I also consider Nairo Quintana. He raced really well in some French preparation races and Paris-Nice and he seems to have found the motivation again.”
Hincapie and Armstrong:
Virtual Tour de France
Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling), a true Zwift enthusiast, has won Stage 3 of the Virtual Tour de France as he out-sprinted Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) on Saturday. NTT Pro Cycling Team maintain the overall lead thanks to Ryan Gibbons (5th) and Rasmus Tiller (6th). Earlier in the afternoon, another Zwift expert dominated the women’s race: Tanja Erath (Canyon//Sram Racing), winner of the 2017 Zwift Academy, out-sprinted the time-trial World champion Chloe Dygert (Twenty20). Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank maintains the overall lead ahead of Canyon//Sram Racing.
From Zipaquira, Colombian home of the 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (Ineos), to Italy, where NTT Pro Cycling riders set their home-trainers side by side, passing by the Netherlands of the leader of the UCI World ranking leader Lorena Wiebes (Sunweb), 156 riders (64 women and 92 men) participate in stage 3 of the Virtual Tour de France on Saturday. They face two laps of a 24km circuit and offer two thrilling races as part of the solidarity events aiming to raise funds for charity partners
The young British rider April Tacey (Drops Cycling Team) comes back at it a week after her victory in stage 1. She quickly displays her ambitions, pushing above 600 watts in the first intermediate sprint and the first QOM of the day. Her heart-rate gets as high as 212 beats per minute during these massive efforts! Poland’s Marta Lach (CCC-Liv) edges her on the second sprint of the day.
About 30 riders are still at the front for the last lap, with CCC-Liv and Drops Cycling Team maintaining a high pressure at the front. With a fast finish lining up after 1 hour of intense racing, Tanja Erath (Canyon//Sram Racing), winner of the 2017 Zwift Academy, musters her experience on the platform to dominate the time-trial World champion Chloe Dygert (Twenty20) and April Tacey in the final sprint.
Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank maintain the overall leadership with 197 points but Canyon//Sram Racing move closer : 174 points. And Drops Cycling is also in the mix with 150 points.
Dal-Cin’s skills and NTT’s collective efforts
With the support of a proper staff in their team’s headquarters in Lucca (Italy), riders from NTT Pro Cycling are very aggressive from the start of the stage. Alpecin Fenix riders still manage to dominate the climbs, as Alexander Krieger takes the first KOM and Jimmy Janssens the seconds.
A pack of 39 riders tackle the final 5km bunched despite a late attempt from Alex Kirsch (Trek-Segafredo). Thanks to his personal experience on Zwift, the Canadian rider Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) uses his aero power-up at the perfect moment, with 300m to go, and finds an opening to snatch the victory just ahead of Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ).
NTT Pro Cycling Team still lead the overall standings thanks to their collective performances (5th place for Ryan Gibbons and 6th for Rasmus Tiller). They have 193 points while Rally Cycling follow with 156. Trek-Segafredo are 3rd with 127 points.
The 4th stage, on Sunday, offers more climbing challenges to suit the most explosive riders.
Men’s Stage Result:
1. M. Dal-Cin (Trek-Segafredo) in 59:24
2. J. Stewart (Israel Start-Up Nation) at 0:01
3. C. Scotson (Cofidis) at 0:21.
Men’s General Classification by Team:
1. NTT Pro Cycling Team
2. Rally Cycling
Women’s Stage Result:
1. T. Erath (Canyon // SRAM Racing) in 1:06:24
2. C. Dygert (Twenty20) at 0:08
3. A. Tacey (Drops Cycling) at 0:23.
Women’s General Classification by Team:
1. Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
2. Canyon // SRAM Racing
3. Drops Cycling.
Stage 4 of the Virtual Tour de France has seen Zwift experts claim more glory as Freddy Ovett (Israel Start-Up Nation) went one better than his second place on Stage 2, while April Tacey (Drops Cycling) won again after her victory on the opening weekend. The Australian rider out-sprinted Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) and the wearer of the yellow jersey Michael Valgren, whose team NTT Pro Cycling still lead the overall standings. In the women’s race, Lauren Stephens (3rd) and Leah Dixon (4th) increased Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank’s lead ahead of the final weekend of competition.
Cycling stars join from all around the world for stage 4 of the Virtual Tour de France. Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans), South-Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman (CCC-Liv) and America’s hot prospect Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) are among the biggest names to watch in the virtual pelotons (64 women and 92 men) lining up for 2 laps of a 22.9km circuit, as part of the solidarity Tour de France events aiming to raise funds for charity partners.
The women tackle the stage first and Jossy Lowden (Drops Cycling) shines with her Polka-dot jersey, summiting ahead of everyone the first two climbs of the day. The pace remains high after the climb and a group of 18 riders manages to slip away. American favourites Alexis Ryan (Canyon//SRAM Racing) and Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) are among the main dropped riders, with a 20” delay as the race enters the last 15km.
Sarah Gigante (Tibco-Silicon Valley) accelerates at the bottom of the final climb but Jossy Lowden uses her feather lightweight power-up to move past everyone. Riders from Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank maintain the pressure after the summit but a small group comes back together in the final downhill towards the finish. Already winner of the 1st stage, April Tacey (Drops Cycling) repeats victory ahead of Anna Henderson (Sunweb).
Lauren Stephens (3rd) and Leah Dixon (4th) increase Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank’s overall lead with 277 points ahead of the final weekend of competition. Drops Cycling follow with 219, just ahead of Canyon//Sram Racing (206 points).
All eyes on Israel Start-Up Nation
Daniel Turek (Israel Start-Up Nation) is the most aggressive rider in the first part of the men’s stage. Two strong accelerations see him claim the most KOM points in the first two climbs of the day as he defends the polka-dot jersey worn by his teammate Freddy Ovett. Turek even hits 897 watts to fend off Nathan Haas (Cofidis).
Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) makes a brave solo move to make the most of the flatter sections of road to break away from the bunch in the last 20km. But NTT Pro Cycling Team, once again riding from the team headquarters in Lucca (Italy), brings things back under control for the wearer of the yellow jersey Michael Valgren.
Heading into the last 300m, William Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) tries to anticipate the final sprint but his move is covered inside the last 50 meters. Michael Valgren appears to be in a perfect position, but Freddy Ovett surges at the last moment to edge everyone. Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) takes 2nd place ahead of Valgren.
NTT Pro Cycling Team still lead the overall standings with 263 points ahead of the two final stages, next week-end. Rally Cycling are second (188 points), ahead of Trek-Segafredo (162).
Men’s Stage Result:
1. F. Ovett (Israel Start-Up Nation) : 58:06
2. N. Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott)
3. M. Valgren (NTT Pro Cycling Team).
Men’s General Classification by Team:
1. NTT Pro Cycling Team
2. Rally Cycling
Woman’s Stage Result:
1. A. Tacey (Drops Cycling) in 1:04:47
2. A. Henderson (Sunweb)
3. L. Stephens (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank).
Women’s General Classification by Team:
1. Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
2. Drops Cycling
3. Canyon // SRAM Racing.
Nairo Quintana On his Tour Chances
Nairo Quintana is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. “I don’t see myself as a Tour favourite,” he said in an interview with France24.
Quintana races for the French Arkéa-Samsic team this season and has already been very successful in some French races. After demonstrating his climbing on Mont Ventoux and Col d’Eze, he won the Tour de La Provence and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. He also won the final Queen Stage in Paris-Nice.
The former winner of the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España may be ready to take a shot at that missing Tour victory this year. “I don’t think I’m one of the top favourites, however. In addition, there are also stronger teams at the start. Of course I just go for a good classification.”
Quintana had to go to hospital over a week ago after a training accident. “I have minor abrasions and some pain on my right knee and left thigh,” he said. “But, I don’t have to change my preparation.” The question is whether Quintana can fly to Europe in time, now that hard-hit Colombia has taken new corona measures.
Quintana in Paris-Nice:
Superprestige Cyclo-Cross Calendar for 2020-21
After the World Cup and the DVV Trophy, the Telenet Superprestige calendar has been announced. Zonhoven and Diegem move to the World Cup. Zolder (formerly a World Cup) and Niel will replace them.
In early February, Golazo Sports announced that the Jaarmarktcross in Niel would be part of the DVV Insurance Trophy next season. However, this caused a split, because at the end of January Flanders Classics already presented the cyclo-cross in the Superprestige, and a race cannot be part of two series. Earlier this week the cyclo-cross in Niel missing on the new DVV Trophy calendar.
Just like the previous five seasons, the Superprestige starts with the Gieten cyclocross in the Netherlands. This coincides with Gent-Wevelgem on October 11 and the Giro d’Italia is also underway at the same time. The next round, Ruddervoorde on October 24, also overlaps with the Giro and with the Vuelta a España. Niel, Merksplas, Boom, Gavere and Zolder will follow until the end of the calendar year. The only cross in 2021 is Middelkerke on February 6.
Last winter Laurens Sweeck took the series overall victory. He had three points more than Eli Iserbyt at the finish line. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado was the best woman.
Superprestige Calendar 2020-21:
Gieten (October 11)
Ruddervoorde (October 24)
Niel (November 11)
Merksplas (November 21)
Boom (December 5)
Gavere (December 19)
Zolder (December 26)
Middelkerke (6 February 2021).
2019/2020 Laurens Sweeck:
Doubts Over ‘Colombian Sports Flight” After New Corona Measures
Colombian Sport Minister Ernesto Lucena announced in early July that Colombian riders can fly to Europe on July 19, but the situation in the South American country has changed drastically. Colombia has a record number of corona infections.
The Colombian government has therefore issued a decree. This means that mandatory preventive isolation for Colombians will be extended. The government hopes to contain the virus as much as possible, especially now that the country is facing a new peak.
Furthermore, the mayor of Bogotá has also decided to extend the lockdown (which has lasted almost four months) by two weeks. The question is whether this also has consequences for riders such as Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana and Fernando Gaviria, who want to fly to Madrid in exactly one week.
There is a chance that the Colombian riders will have to wait even longer before they can make the crossing to Europe. The Colombian Cycling Federation – responsible for arranging the charter flight ‘Colombian Sports Flight’ – has not yet responded.
Will the Colombian’s be in Europe in time?
Kruijswijk On the 2020 Tour de France
Primož Roglič, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk: all three can win the Tour de France according to Jumbo-Visma. The tactic of the Dutch WorldTour team to win the victory is simple. The best rider will be pushed. “But we shouldn’t put everything on the map too quickly,” Kruijswijk is clear.
“The Tour is usually decided in the third week,” Kruijswijk told Algemeen Dagblad. “We have to make sure that all three are in good shape. That is why we also have a team that is fully focused on the rankings, so that we do not have to do the work for which they are involved and which can save us for the final.”
The chance that Jumbo-Visma will put everything on the cards after the first week is very small, despite a few tough stages, Kruijswijk considers: “The first week is not going to say anything about the top 3 after three weeks. The level difference in the first week is too close to each other for that, you don’t just drive each other away. If you had these rides in the last week, the differences would be much bigger. You just have to be careful not to have a bad day.”
The 33-year-old driver is currently on a altitude training camp in Tignes, where he and everything with the Tour selection from Jumbo-Visma are doing everything possible to be at the start of the Tour de France as good as possible. “It will not be a five or six hour drive with the hands on the steering wheel, but really hard work,” he concludes. “We train on what to expect in the races. We have to be able to cope with the breaks and accelerations going uphill.”
Steven Kruijswijk in Tour’19:
Sciandri: “Soler can be the big surprise in the Giro”
“Marc Soler has the qualities to finish in the top five in the Giro d’Italia.” Max Sciandri, sports director at Movistar, said to La Gazetta dello Sport. “Marc can be the big surprise.”
Movistar won the Tour of Italy last year with Richard Carapaz. The Ecuadorian is now racing for Team Ineos, while Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas (two of the Movistar leaders) focus this season on the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. This means that Soler will have a chance in the 2020 Giro.
Sciandri expects a lot from the 26-year-old Spaniard, who won Paris-Nice in 2018 and finished ninth last year in the Vuelta. “Marc is not listed as one of the favourites for the overall victory, but I think he can surprise. He really wants to be a leader and will be given the opportunity this year in the Giro. He has to show it now.”
“He does have the qualities of a good tour rider. We are talking about an all-rounder who may not really excel at anything, but can climb and time trial well. In the past Marc rode together with riders like Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, so it is difficult to break through himself,” says Sciandri, who was himself known as a classic specialist and stage winner.
Soler said earlier that he was ready for leadership. “I have been enslaved for years, but now I want to achieve results myself. I believe he can ride top 5 in the Giro. A stage victory is also an option. I worked for leaders for years, but now I want to achieve results myself. I think I’m ready. I really want to prove it.”
A win for Soler in Mallorca this spring:
Evenepoel to Make Monument Debut at Il Lombardia
The 20-year-old Belgian talked about his calendar and goals for next month.
European Time Trial Champion Remco Evenepoel is currently preparing for the second part of the 2020 season in Val di Fassa, Italy, together with his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates. In less than three weeks’ time, the 20-year old will travel to Spain for the Vuelta a Burgos, the team’s first official UCI race since the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a few days later, another stage race awaits the winner of this year’s Vuelta a San Juan and Volta ao Algarve: the Tour de Pologne, the first World Tour-level race of Evenepoel’s 2020 campaign.
“It will be my first time in Poland and I look forward to it,” Remco said. “I will start the Tour de Pologne without any pressure. I have already proven that I can compete for the win in this kind of stage race. Also, my main goals are later in the season. But we’ll see how I’ll feel and if the opportunity presents itself, I won’t waste it. If I feel really well, I could still go for a stage win or the GC. I don’t have to prove myself but I always expect a lot from myself.”
On August 15, Il Lombardia will mark Evenepoel’s debut in a Monument. “I will try to be in peak condition by then,” commented the Belgian. “It’s a beautiful and prestigious race. We’ve already been talking about it with the team. We’ll have a strong line-up as it will be very tough. If I have to compare it to a race I’ve already done, I’d say the Clasica San Sebastian, but I expect it to be even tougher. The weather will be crucial this year with temperatures that could easily rise up to 30 degrees. It doesn’t really scare me, I think I can handle the heat, but the combination of high temperatures, fluid loss, technical descents and demanding parcours will make it a hard race. After all, that’s why it’s a Monument.”
After Il Lombardia, Evenepoel will battle for the gold medal in the Belgian National ITT Championships and defend his title in the European Time Trial Championships, which will be held in Plouay. “As a European Champion and silver medalist at the World Championships, I can’t aim for anything else but the win at the Nationals,” he said. “It would be a little bit silly if I said I’d just go for the top 5, even with the world class competitors I’ll have to face. There are at least five other world class time trialists in Belgium, so finishing fifth, a couple of seconds behind the race winner is a perfectly realistic scenario. That’s why it’s important to me to keep the faith in my own abilities, focus on myself, and ride as hard as possible on that day.”
“The Belgian ITT Championships will be my first race against the clock after the coronavirus outbreak. The only way to practice time trials is to simulate them on training. It’s not necessarily a disadvantage as this will be the case for most competitors. I spend a lot of hours on my Specialized Shiv TT Disc. It feels good and I’ll be used to it by August 20.”
The European Time Trial Championships are scheduled only four days after the Belgian Championships in Koksijde. “If everything goes well, my condition should be really good by then. I have faith in myself and in my Shiv. Anything is possible if I take good care of myself. It’s always tricky to make predictions, but I really want to win it again and successfully defend my title. I will give it my everything to do so, you can be sure of that.”
In the closing weekend of August, Evenepoel will debut in two one-day races close to home, namely the Druivenkoers Overijse on August 29 and the Brussels Cycling Classic, one day later: “I look forward to spending the weekend racing in my hometown region. One of the climbs in the Brussels Cycling Classic, the Keperenberg, is only three kilometres from where I live, so I know the parcours well. It will be nice to race so close to home with the Wolfpack.”
Evenepoel Euro TT champ:
Movistar with Valverde, Soler and Mas to Tour of Burgos
Movistar intends to start the Tour of Burgos with three leaders at the end of July. Team boss Eusebio Unzué has expressed that he wants to bring Alejandro Valverde, Marc Soler and Enric Mas to the Spanish stage race that should restart the season.
Unzué is looking forward to the Vuelta a Burgos. “If the race has been an important race so far, it has become vital right now,” he told COPE. The stage race is one of the first races of cycling’s ‘new normal’ since the corona crisis. “This season is so strange and complicated,” said Unzué.
If all measures allow, the five-day race in northern Spain from July 28 to August 1 will take place. The riders will be presented with two mountain stages, among other things. Of the 22 participating teams, 15 are said to be from the WorldTour.
Mas, Valverde and Soler to start in Burgos:
Team Medellín Flies to Europe for Four Races
Team Medellín’s Colombian UCI Continental team is coming to Europe for at least four UCI races this Autumn. The team of Óscar Sevilla makes the crossing later than planned, because the Tour of Portugal and the Tour of Qinghai Lake have been postponed and canceled.
Initially, Team Medellín was planing to fly to Madrid on July 19 with other Colombian top athletes, including many WorldTour riders, to prepare for the restart of the season in Europe. The team has postponed this due to the calendar change.
Twelve races have already promised to have a place available for Team Medellín, including four in Europe. For Óscar Sevilla, who celebrates its 44th birthday at the end of September, it starts with the Spanish championships on the weekend of August 23.
Óscar Sevilla back in Spain for the championships:
Philipsen On Teammate Pogačar
Tadej Pogačar announced that he would ride the Tour of Flanders for the first time this year. Jasper Philipsen is certainly not doubting his Slovenian teammate. “Tadej should definitely be able to do that,” he said to Sporza.
It will not be the first time for Pogačar to contest the Flemish hills and cobbles, because two years ago he started in the Tour of Flanders for U23. He finished six seconds behind winner James Whelan, in the first chase group.
Philipsen – who will not ride the Tour of Flanders – expects something from the promising tour rider. “Tadej can ride well in a peloton and can also handle cobblestones. He is a very strong rider. I don’t think he just wants to ride the Tour of Flanders. He certainly has what it takes to compete in the final.”
The Tour of Flanders will be held on October 18, but Philipsen focuses on a debut in the Vuelta a España (October 20-November 8). The strong sprinter now has his program in the run-up to the Spanish Grand Tour. Philipsen also hopes that national coach Rik Verbrugghe will select him for the European Cycling Championship in Plouay.
“I raced with the youth in that region. Plouay and its surroundings suit me very well. The team-spots will be difficult to get. The riders going to the Tour will already be in excellent condition. There is also a lot of interest from those riders to go to the European Championship.”
Vinokourov Believes in Lutsenko’s Olympic Dream
Alexey Lutsenko hopes to compete for the Olympic title in Tokyo next year. Alexander Vinokourov, winner of Olympic gold in London, believes in his compatriot. “Why not? Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Lutsenko announced before the Olympic Games, and before the outbreak of the corona crisis, that everything must give way to the road race in Tokyo. “I really want to be in top shape there to achieve the best possible result.” At first sight, the course seems to be for the climbers, but Vinokourov certainly doesn’t rule-out Lutsenko.
“I don’t really think it’s a route for climbers,” says Astana’s team boss. “And then, Alexey has been working really hard on his climbing ability in recent years and has already taken some serious steps. I was not a born climber myself, but I did win the Vuelta a España and reach the Tour podium during my career.”
Lutsenko made a climbing impression before the corona break. He finished third in the Tour de la Provence after a second place in the toughest stage to Mont Ventoux. In the subsequent UAE Tour, where he was 3rd overall, he looked to have the stage win in Jebel Hafeet, but Tadej Pogačar turned out to be just a bit faster.
Kazakhstan is only allowed to send three riders to the Olympic road race in Japan, but according to Vinokourov this is no problem. “In any case, they work with smaller selections during the Games, in order to prevent predictability. This means that we will have an open competition.” Lutsenko focuses this season on the Italian classics and the Tour.
Nicholas Roche Worried for the Youth Categories
Nicholas Roche worries that little is thought of the young riders. “People can forget that they are the basis of our sport.”
“There are guys who have had to make big efforts over the years to make the move to the pros, and now they have to fight just to ride a race,” the experienced Irishman explained to Tuttobiciweb. His younger brother Alexis Roche (22) is with UC Monaco and in the same boat. “I often train with him and understand his situation.”
“It is as if his wings have been cut, a dream that has escaped. I believe this applies to most young riders who want to grow,” said Roche. “I sincerely hope that solutions can also be found for their problems. They need to be helped at a very critical time for all cycling. Otherwise the damage can be very serious for everyone.”
Roche is traveling to Austria this week for a training camp with Team Sunweb. There was some delay due to the fact that the result of his corona test took a little longer than expected.
After the training camp he will ride Strade Bianche, Dauphiné, Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. In between, he will probably also be at the World championships in Switzerland. “I miss the adrenaline of the race and I miss the rhythm a bit, but I hope to get that back in the first races.”
Roche back to racing soon:
Two More Years at Trek-Segafredo for Jasper Stuyven
Jasper Stuyven had an offer from Israel Start-Up Nation, but he has decided to extend his contract with Trek-Segafredo by two years.
The winner of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad would be with Dirk Demol at Israel Start-Up Nation. From 2014 to 2018, Demol was the team manager of the American team with Stuyven, but in the end he has choosen to extend his contract with Trek-Segafredo until the end of 2022, according to Flemish newspapers.
Stuyven started his professional career with the team of manager Guercilena, where he has been the leader since the departure of Fabian Cancellara. He is currently on a training camp in Livigno with teammates; World champion Mads Pedersen and Edward Theuns, and others. They both still have a contract until the end of next year.
Jasper Stuyven won Het Nieuwsblad’20:
Two Teams in the Market for Bob Jungels
Bob Jungels has two offers in his pocket from other teams according to Deceuninck – Quick-Step team manager Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck – Quick-Step in Het Nieuwsblad. Jungels can also extend his contract with Lefevere.
The experienced team boss recently announced that he would like to keep his current team core together in 2021. In that case, only Jungels has to renew. At the current training camp in Italy, Lefevere spoke to his Luxembourg rider about it.
“We had a good conversation this week,” said Lefevere. “Not with his manager Gerry McQuaid, but man to man, which usually works much better. Bob has a proposal from two other teams, where he apparently can earn more than with us. Fortunately, he is not a West Fleming: he is patient, wants to wait with his decision until after the Tour and will not change teams because he can earn 500 euros more elsewhere.”
“I understand that it is good in the market,” he continues. “Last year he was the best rider in the Flemish spring, two years ago he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and he also finished sixth in the Giro and eleventh in the Tour. Then as a rider you can do just about anything. To the extent that he is sometimes a victim of his own versatility. To combine all those goals, you also have to play a lot with your weight and it went wrong last year.”
Lefevere praises the qualities of the Luxembourger, who can forget a good classification in the Tour this year. “A Tour with goat paths Bob Jungels can never win. Too bad, because the Tour should be about versatility. And there is little that can match Bob.”
Bob Jungels – E3 winner:
Alex Cataford Extends Contract with Israel Start-Up Nation
Alex Cataford will ride in the colours of Israel Start-Up Nation for the coming seasons. The Canadian rider signed a new contract, which will bind him to the WorldTour team for the next two years.
Twenty-six year-old Cataford, one of the three Canadian riders in the Israeli squad alongside James Piccoli and Guillaume Boivin, wants to develop further in the near future. “I want to be a good helping rider for the team leaders and continue my dream with Israel Start-Up Nation. And then take my chances when they arise. Especially in the Grand Prix of Montréal and Québec.”
Team leader Kjell Carlström has seen Cataford as a rider grow in every way since he joined the team in 2019. “We really believe in his ability to help the team and to become a better rider. He is 100% committed to the team every day and that is very important to us.”
Amateur Cycling in Spain Restarts with the Vuelta a Zamora and the Trofeo San José
Four months later, the competition in the Spanish amateur field returns, longed for, expected. The new normality in the amateur cycling comes in the form of six days of cycling in the province of Zamora sponsored by the Club Deportivo Ciclismo Zamora. Firstly between 14th and 17th July, the Vuelta Ciclista a Zamora, then on 18th, the Trofeo Excelentísimo Ayuntamiento; and finally, on the 19th July, the San José Trophy, once known as Iberdrola. Three trials to instil optimism and revitalise the competitive landscape after the health emergency and the lockdown.
The Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team U23 will ride in all of them, taking the invitation with desire and ambition.
Bryton is a new technical partner for Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans
The Belgian team Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans can rely on a new technical partner for its 2020 road campaign. Bryton will equip the riders with the new Rider 860 bike computer-GPS. From the start of the campaign, the riders of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans are riding with this new Bryton bike computer, with a 2.8 inch colour touch screen and GNSS (multi satellite) guiding. The bike computer is compatible with ANT+ power meters and heart rate sensors.
Bryton France imports the computers of the Taiwanese brand known for its price-quality ratio, and is present on the market of GPS computers for eight years. Bryton democratises the GPS computers with a range of entry level models monitoring the cyclist, but accelerates with the Rider 860 with a big 2.8 inch colour touch screen including cartography.
Frederik Veuchelen (trainer Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans): “The acquisition of training data is essential in modern cycling. Our riders are well equipped with the Bryton Rider 860. We’ve been working efficiently based on heart rate and power data since the start of the season at our training camp, during the races and during training. I’m happy with this new partnership, that will lift the performance of our team Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans!”
Laurent Guimard (communication responsible Bryton France): “The high level brings dreams to passionate people like us! But next to this, it’s also about developing and validating a modern GPS computer fulfilling the requirements for this high level. Therefore, we can count on Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans and is long experience. The classics, in particular, which are in the DNA of the team, are a rude test for the material. Beyond the pure sporting aspect, values like the combativeness and the ethics of the team are also essential for entrepreneurs like us!”
New computers for Circus-Wanty:
Alberto Contador Everesting Challenge on the Navapelegrín
Madrid-born ex-ciclist Alberto Contador registered his name in the Everesting challenge after completing the 8,848-meters of climbing, the same altitude as the roof of the planet, in an intense morning of work in the Segovian climb to Navapelegrín.
A few days ago, after several climbs to La Morcuera, Alberto Contador himself joked about the possibility of facing the challenge of Everesting on the ramps of the iconic mountain pass of Madrid’s Central System. Just a few days later, encouraged by the fans who invited him to do so, the ex-rider overcame the challenge as part of a demanding day of material testing for his brand of bicycles, provisionally known as Abikes.
The Navapelegrín climb is a neighbouring climb to the Navacerrada Pass that begins in the Navalhorno Meadow and reaches an altitude of 1,700 metres after 6.5 kilometres. It is a narrow ascent, barely three metres wide, with a surface of good asphalt. Alberto Contador’s Everesting Challenge focused on the hardest kilometre of this beautiful climb, a thousand metres with an average slope of nearly 12% and maximums of around 20%. To complete it, the Madrid native climbed this kilometre 78 times.
“These are days of hard work, preparing the launch of the bike, which is very close. We wanted to test some materials and also check their behaviour in very specific environments, hence the boundary. The other day we were joking about achieving the challenge and a lot of comments encouraged us to do it. When we downloaded and compared the data, from the Everesting challenge website we were confirmed that the challenge had been overcome,” explained Contador.
The Everesting challenge is as simple as it is demanding: it consists of repeating a climb as many times as necessary until completing a positive slope of 8,848 metres, the same altitude as Mount Everest.
Rodríguez In Hospital After MTB Accident
Joaquim Rodríguez may have stopped racing for several years, but the Catalan still trains like a madman off-road. However, 41-year-old Rodríguez crashed heavily this week and had to be taken to hospital.
Rodríguez was training in Andorra, where the former top climber has lived for over ten years. The Spaniard is now active as a mountain biker for Orbea Factory Team and has rode the Cape Epic several times with his good friend José Antonio Hermida. However, this week it went completely wrong during a training ride.
Rodríguez crashed at high speed and was taken to the nearest hospital, but the damage turned out to be not too bad. The former professional suffered a few fractures in his right and left hand, but has now been operated in Barcelona by traumatologist Xavier Mir.
The former rider of ONCE, Caisse d’Epargne and Katusha, among others, will now have to take a rest period at home to allow the fractures to heal. In his career, Rodríguez won Flèche Wallonne, twice the Tour of Lombardy, twice the Tour of Catalonia and stages in the three Grand Tours.
Photos via Twitter:
Giro d’Italia: The Tailor Peter Sagan Dresses the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala in the Famous Fashion House of Ermenegildo Zegna
After immersing himself in Italian culture at the Pinacoteca di Brera and preparing dishes of classic Italian cuisine as ‘Chef Sagan’, the Slovak star of BORA – hansgrohe becomes an elite tailor in the atelier of Ermenegildo Zegna for Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan – the city that symbolises fashion worldwide and where the Giro will finish on 25 October.
“Getting the measure of your opponents,” commented the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala, “is fundamental in cycling and Sagan knows it well. Calibrating distances, times, rhythms, studying the movements of those around you is part of a winning competitive strategy. Of course, I couldn’t have compared myself to Peter Sagan on two wheels, I couldn’t have kept up with him. Therefore I am very happy to have at least been dressed – physically in Ermenegildo Zegna’s atelier – in the role of one who is ‘studied’ by a champion, even a champion of irony, such as him.”
“I am sure that Sagan’s participation – his first – in the Giro d’Italia will make the Corsa Rosa even more exciting and will give cycling enthusiasts moments of well-deserved enjoyment, after the hard months of the lockdown. Milan is looking forward to welcoming the Giro d’Italia with the greatest warmth and enthusiasm.”
From the Pinacoteca di Brera (Breda Art Gallery) to the Teatro alla Scala, Passing by the finest fashion and excellent cuisine
Benefitting from years of education in many of the cultural excellencies for which Italy is world famous – including Art, Music, Food and Fashion – Peter Sagan is finally ready to demonstrate how expert he has become in Italy: join him on a journey into the heart of the strengths of the Bel Paese – “the beautiful country” – giving visibility to Italian places and talents, from the Pinacoteca di Brera to the Teatro alla Scala, passing through the Ermenegildo Zegna atelier, and exploring Italy’s peerless culinary tradition.
Peter is ready for the Giro d’Italia.
Third Episode: Sagan the tailor
Location: Atelier Ermenegildo Zegna, with the collaboration of Manifatture Valcismon (Sportful) and the cameo of Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan. Peter is designing a sports jacket, confidently drawing the shape of a sleeve. Then he cut the fabric perfectly, skilfully sewing and making tailoring adjustments for an exceptional customer.
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