Loads of race news: Tour of Britain, European road race and time trial championships, Grand Prix de Fourmies/La Voix du Nord, Antwerp Port Epic and the Canadian road race and time trial championships with results and video. López and Movistar split – TOP STORY. Other news: Pascal Eenkhorn meets Xander Graham and more trouble between Lefevere and Bennett. Race news: Tour of Luxembourg, Grand Prix de Wallonie and Eschborn-Frankfurt. Contract news: Jakob Fuglsang, David De la Cruz, Tobias Bayer and Florian Sénéchal. Julia Soek to retire. Giro d’Italia Virtual and Chasing the Tour presented by Wahoo Fitness. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Movistar and López Agree on Contract Termination
Movistar and Miguel Ángel López have agreed to dissolve the Colombian climber’s contract, reports the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Lawyers for both parties are working on the final details.
After his abandonment of the Vuelta a España, the relationship between López and Movistar had cooled completely. Team boss Eusebio Unzué was very critical of the Colombian climber, but Unzué did not want to say much about possible consequences for the collaboration between López and Movistar. He wanted to wait for the situation to calm down before that. According to El Pais, both parties are now working behind the scenes to dissolve the contract.
López, who still had a contract until the end of 2023, now seems to be returning to his old team. Astana-Premier Tech has interests in a few riders including bringing the climber back into the selection again. The Colombian made his professional debut with the Kazakh team in 2015, winning a Tour stage, the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour of Catalonia, and he rode to the podium in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta.
According to El Pais, Movistar is also busy strengthening the roster with a view to 2021. The Spanish team as looking at Alex Aranburu, Óscar Rodríguez and Gorka Izagirre. Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros-RGA) will soon sign a contract with the Spanish WorldTour team, as will INEOS Grenadiers’ rider Iván Sosa and 18-year-old Iván Romeo.
López on his way back to Astana:
Tour of Britain 2021
INEOS Grenadiers’ British rider Ethan Hayter sprinted to win Stage 5 of the 2021 AJ Bell Tour of Britain outside Warrington’s historic Golden Gates to retake the overall race lead on Thursday.
Hayter sprinted home ahead of European Champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka NextHash) and Dan McLay (Arkéa Samsic) despite losing lead out man Owain Doull to a final corner crash on greasy roads following an earlier heavy rain shower. Victory in Warrington gives Hayter an 8 second advantage over Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) with three stages remaining, and almost 20 seconds back to World champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
Stage Five rolled out from the world-leading biotechnology campus of Alderley Park in Cheshire with a five-rider break soon forming containing Jacob Scott (Canyon DHB SunGod) as he once again dominated the points scoring in the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints competitions which he continues to lead. The final three members of the break – Dan Bigham (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Christopher Blevins (TRINITY Racing), and Nickolas Zukowsky (Rally Cycling) – lasted well into Warrington and were only with only 1.8 kilometres of racing remaining.
INEOS Grenadiers then took control and despite Doull sliding out on the final turn they managed to keep control through Kwiatowski to set up Hayter for his first AJ Bell Tour of Britain stage win and to extend his impressive run that has seen him finish in the top 10 on eight of his previous road stages in the Tour. The sixth stage of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain crosses the Pennines from Carlisle to Gateshead over 198 kilometres (123.1 miles), with the finish alongside Sir Antony Gormley’s world-famous Angel of the North. With three first category ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs – at Hartside, Killhope Cross and Burtree Fell – during the route through Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland it could be another day where the overall lead changes hands.
Stage winner and overall leader, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “The hard work was done before the last kilometre to be honest. The team were amazing and from about 20 kilometres to go we were there or thereabouts and out of trouble. The last 10 kilometres got twisty with a tailwind. We were in the perfect place really. In the last corner, with 700 metres to go, a couple guys came up on the inside and I knew I just had to get round it safely really. I didn’t want to be right at the front, either, because it was still quite a long way to go. I saw [Owain] Doull slowly drifting and I was like ‘this isn’t good’ and then he crashed. His bike started drifting as well and you are meant to look where you are going – when you look at something you end up riding into it. I just squeezed between the bike and the barrier and you get a rush of adrenaline. Then I just screamed on the radio for [Michal] Kwiato to go flat out. I didn’t actually get a great run at the finish, I couldn’t quite believe the situation but when I did, I put it in my biggest gear, went as hard as I could and it was enough. I woke up this morning and it was actually the best I had felt all race so it clearly worked out in the end. I had a cold last week so I came into it not feeling amazing and obviously everyone knows Wout van Aert won on the Champs-Elysees so he is one of the fastest guys. Then there’s Cav, Nizzolo and all these people. I took six bonus seconds the other day by winning the sprint there and obviously it was a completely different stage, so I knew there was a chance. I think the time bonuses can still come into play and there’s a lot of hard racing still to go. It might not come down to time bonuses in the end; there could be big gaps tomorrow and a couple of the days after that, so it’s going to be interesting. We will just do what we can.”
2nd overall, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am especially happy that I myself did not suffer any physical damage. I felt well placed in the last kilometre. I chose Mark Cavendish’s wheel. It was a bit of a squeeze. The road surface was wet and that partly caused some riders to crash. I was able to squeeze the brakes just in time and make sure I didn’t fall myself. Unfortunately, the sprint opportunities disappeared immediately after this incident. The objective for today was to defend the jersey. But the most important thing is to avoid unnecessary risks. With a view to what is to come, I am happy that I made it to the finish in one piece.”
2nd on the stage, Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka NextHash): “Unfortunately, the crash in the last corner was not necessary. We had to come from far with Carlos, he did a great job to close the gap, but it did not come for free. When I arrived, it was the moment to start the sprint and my legs were already full of lactic acid. I can say I am happy I didn’t crash but at the same time not super happy because I think I had a better chance to play my card. Overall, I am happy, the team did a super job to control the race with Deceuninck and now I look forward to the next goals.”
Tour of Britain Stage 5 Result:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 3:33:01
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash
3. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkea-Samsic
4. Luke Lamperti (USA) Trinity Racing
5. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
7. Michal Paluta (Pol) Global 6 Cycling
8. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 5:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 18:17:42
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:08
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:19
4. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:29
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:48
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:52
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:04
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:21
9. Mark Donovan (GB) DSM at 1:42
10. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:46.
A day after losing the AJ Bell Tour of Britain race lead, Belgian star Wout van Aert struck back by winning Stage 6 in the shadow of the Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead.
The Belgian national champion sprinted home ahead of Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) as a 10-rider group contested the finish after a thrilling finalé on the roads into Gateshead that saw multiple riders trying to go clear for the stage victory. Hayter retained his race lead, although now trimmed to just 4 seconds over van Aert (Jumbo Visma) thanks to the time bonus at the finish line, with Alaphilippe slipping back slightly to plus 21 seconds.
The group of ten had formed as an earlier breakaway, containing Mark Cavendish and Deceuninck – Quick-Step team-mate Tim Declercq, was caught and James Shaw (Ribble Weldtite) attacked, with first Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar) and then eight others following, including all of the overall contenders. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) put in a concerted effort on one of the many small climbs littering the final ten kilometres, building a 15 second advantage which was steadily eroded before Shaw and Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) each made their own efforts to go clear.
With a second group of just over 20 riders closing on them rapidly, Jorgensen kept the pace high, aided by INEOS’ Carlos Rodriguez before Honoré opened up the sprint to lead out Alaphilippe. On the gradual drag up to the line however the fast finishers of van Aert and Hayter could come around the World champion under the watchful guise of the Angel of the North. Hayter retained the Sportsbreaks.com Points jersey thanks to his string of top five results this week while Jacob Scott (Canyon DHB SunGod) keeps both of the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints jerseys for a sixth consecutive day, and now only needs to finish the AJ Bell Tour of Britain to retain his ŠKODA jersey. The event moves to Scotland for the final two stages of the 2021 race. Saturday (11 September) sees a 194.8-kilometre (121.1-mile) stage seven from Hawick to Edinburgh with a picturesque route through the Scottish Borders before the AJ Bell Tour of Britain concludes with stage eight from Stonehaven to Aberdeen over 173 kilometres (107.6 miles) including the famous climb of Cairn o’Mount.
Stage winner and 2nd overall, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I tried to surprise the competition with that attack, that way I tried to make up some extra seconds in the classification. In the end all the competitors turned out to be on my wheel. Then I waited until the final kilometre. I was well positioned and had enough power in my legs to finish it off. It gives me great pleasure to take my third stage victory. This gives a lot of extra confidence and morale in the run-up to the coming races. In many ways the course of the World championships is similar to this one. For now, though, I’m focusing on this race. I’m now within four seconds of Hayter. A lot will depend on the bonification seconds. Perhaps we can try something at other times as well. With a little more luck we might have gotten extra seconds earlier this week. Hayter is a strong opponent who is in good shape. I know that I didn’t miss an opportunity this week. I’m ready for what’s to come.”
Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s great to keep the jersey. The gap is now four seconds so if he [van Aert] wins the race on time bonuses there’s not much we can do about it. I’m happy to be leading the Tour of Britain still, it’s amazing. It all kicked off with about 15 kilometres to go on that climb and actually I wasn’t playing it cool. I was on the limit, but Carlos [Rodriguez] kind of saved me because otherwise I would’ve been open to a lot more attacks. He was closing stuff and setting a good tempo, and, in the end, it put everyone off attacking, especially in the last couple of kilometres. To keep the jersey and be second on the stage is a very good result for me and I’m looking forward to the next two days.”
Tour of Britain Stage 6 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:35:56
2. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar
5. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite
6. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 0:04
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 6:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 22:53:32
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:35
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:54
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:08
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:10
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:37
9. Mark Donovan (GB) DSM at 1:58
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers at 2:01.
Belgian rider Yves Lampaert took Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s first victory of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain in Edinburgh on Saturday at the end of Stage 7 which was dominated by a six-man breakaway group. Lampaert out-sprinted Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) and Ribble Weldtite’s Matt Gibson in the World-famous Holyrood Park after the trio broke away on the outskirts of the Scottish capital.
INEOS Grenadiers’ rider Ethan Hayter finished safely in the peloton to retain his overall lead and move to within a day of becoming the first British winner of the national tour in five years. Hayter has also sealed the Sportsbreaks.com Points jersey with an insurmountable lead going into the final stage, providing he finishes the race.
Lampaert, Jorgenson and Gibson had been part of a six-rider group that broke away early on the stage from Hawick, along with Lampaert’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammate Davide Ballerini, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma), and TRINITY Racing’s Christopher Blevins. The sextet built a lead of nearly 10 minutes and were allowed their head coming into Edinburgh as INEOS Grenadiers controlled the gap to ensure the race didn’t come back together and that Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) couldn’t collect any time bonuses to threaten Hayter’s lead. Blevins was the first to be distanced with 20 kilometres to go on an unclassified climb out of Ford before Lampaert attacked with 8.5 kilometres to go splitting the group. Jorgenson reacted first to get onto the former Belgian champion’s wheel with Gibson putting in a concerted effort to then get across to the pair reaching them with 5 kilometres remaining.
The trio then worked well to distance Eenkhoorn and Ballerini but coming into Holyrood Park it was the Ribble Weldtite rider on the front with his two WorldTour rivals using their experience to force Gibson to lead out the sprint to the line. Jacob Scott (Canyon DHB SunGod) retains both the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints jerseys and will win both providing he finishes Sunday’s stage. The AJ Bell Tour of Britain concludes with Stage Eight from Stonehaven to Aberdeen over 173 kilometres (107.6 miles) including the famous ŠKODA King of the Mountains climb of Cairn o’Mount early in the stage plus intermediate Eisberg Sprints, with their time bonuses, at Finzean, Aboyne, and Ballater.
In addition to hosting the final stage of the 2021 AJ Bell Tour of Britain, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will host the opening stage of the 2022 Tour with Scotland’s continuing support of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain Tour of Britain signalling the country’s commitment to hosting world-class racing ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds in the country.
Stage winner, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a hard and long stage, with a lot of wind, small roads, many climbs and no flat, but we worked well in the break and this allowed us to build that substantial gap over the bunch. Having Davide there was very important, a big advantage, and it’s also thanks to him that I could pull off this win after we’ve been close several times this week. We started attacking each other in the final 15 kilometres. When I went, only Jorgenson could respond and together we rode full gas, putting some seconds into the others. Then Gibson came and complicated things a bit, as it’s never easy to manage a situation where you have more than one opponent to watch, but I stayed calm and kicked out from his wheel quite early, with 200 meters to go, as I felt there was still enough power in the legs. This success is special for me, because I knew it was coming for some time now and I’m happy I could finish it off for the Wolfpack. I worked a lot for the team in many races this year and I’m delighted I could take the victory today, as it gives me a lot of confidence for the last races of the season.”
Overall leader and 6th on the stage, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a good day all round because we kept the jersey and have one day left to go. Having a strong team is probably more important than being a strong rider at the end of the day like today – Richie [Porte] and Owain [Doull] have ridden on the front for the past two days, which is pretty impressive. It’s probably going to kick off tomorrow, it always does on the last day of a stage race. I’ll do my best to beat Wout if it does come to a sprint.”
5th on the stage, Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma): “The final was a tactical joust. I planned to keep everything together for as long as possible. That was better for me. I was still in doubt on the last climb and in hindsight I should have just kept pace there. Lampaert started and I couldn’t close the gap anymore. Of course it sucks when you get such a chance, but I have a good feeling all round. We’re going to do it again tomorrow.”
Tour of Britain Stage 7 Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:39:09
2. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
3. Matthew Gibson (GB) Ribble Weldtite
4. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:35
5. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:41
6. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:51
7. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
8. Max Kanter (Ger) DSM
9. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix.
Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 7:
1. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 27:34:32
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:35
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:54
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:08
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:10
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:37
9. Mark Donovan (GB) DSM at 1:58
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:01.
Wout van Aert was crowned the 2021 AJ Bell Tour of Britain champion at the death on Sunday after he sprinted to win the Final Stage 8 in Aberdeen. The Jumbo-Visma rider’s victory meant that he claimed the 10 bonus seconds available on the line and, with INEOS Greandiers’ overnight race leader Ethan Hayter placing outside the top 10, Van Aert was able to turn a 4 second deficit on the young Briton into a 6 second advantage. Reigning World champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) completed the final podium.
Van Aert’s debut appearance in the AJ Bell Tour of Britain was history-making: his tally of four stage victories is the joint-most in the modern incarnation of the race. He also became only the sixth rider to have won stages in England, Scotland and Wales, but the first to do so in a single edition. Six riders were part of the day’s breakaway heading up the road soon after the start from Stonehaven as the race headed through packed crowds on the Category One ŠKODA King of the Mountains climb of Cairn o’Mount head by stage two winner Robin Carpenter (Rally Cycling). With several teams eyeing either the stage win or the bonus seconds on Aberdeen’s beach front Esplanade however, the break was never going to be allowed the freedom to succeed. Ultimately it was Carpenter and Irish champion Ben Healy (TRINITY Racing) that survived the longest, before being caught in the outskirts of Aberdeen setting up the expected sprint finish.
A last ditch effort by Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) came to nothing as a strong tailwind swept the peloton along the Esplanade. Alaphilippe led out the sprint for Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) before André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) hit the front, with Van Aert sweeping past them both to take the stage and overall victory. Hayter came in eleventh to lose his AJ Bell leader’s jersey, his worst finish of the week, but kept the Sportsbreaks.com Points jersey. Second overall meant he was the highest place British rider ahead of Mark Donovan (DSM), who finished 9th overall, and James Shaw (Ribble Weldtite), in 14th. Fellow Brit Jacob Scott (Canyon DHB SunGod) completed a remarkable week having held both the ŠKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints jerseys since stage one in Bodmin, and was rewarded by his efforts by being presented with the Overall Combativity Award for the race in Aberdeen. The AJ Bell Tour of Britain will return to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in September 2022 for the opening stage of next year’s race as a part of Scotland’s continuing commitment to hosting World-class racing ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds in the country.
Final overall winner and stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I’m proud I was able to finish it off. The team fought hard all week. We made sure today’s stage would end in a sprint. After the boys’ hard work I owed it to them to get the victory. It was a very fast final with the wind at my back. I deliberately chose Mark Cavendish’s wheel in the final kilometre. Then I was a little surprised by Greipel’s early attack. Luckily I was able to anticipate and outsmart him in the final metres. It’s fantastic to win the general classification as well. On the line I saw that Ethan was not on the front row. It’s nice that it went exactly in the right direction today. I started it with the World championships and Paris-Roubaix in mind. In the past eight stages we were able to work under perfect conditions towards the races in the coming weeks. The Tour of Britain has been a good race for us in all respects. A beautiful course that has many similarities with the course of the World Cup in Flanders. The preparation for my next big goals is going smoothly.”
2nd overall, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “The race has exceeded expectations for me, and I think a lot of people as well, so I couldn’t have asked for any better really. Well I could have, if Van Aert didn’t win, but other than that! We were concerned that it would all kick off on Cairn o’Mount, but in the end we just rode up it because there was a big headwind. It was funny – we rode up the climb all next to each other and I thought it was quite cool and fun at the same time. We were kind of keeping an eye on each other! It was quite controlled, so it was quite an easy day as things go.”
Tour of Britain Stage 8 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:07:56
2. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally
5. Max Kanter (Ger) DSM
6. Rory Townsend (Irl) Canyon DHB Sungod
7. Matthew Gibson (GB) Ribble Weldtite
8. Ollie Peckover (GB) Swiftcarbon Pro Cycling
9. Matthew Bostock (GB) Canyon DHB Sungod
10. Gabriel Cullaigh (GB) Movistar.
Tour of Britain Final Overall Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 31:42:22
2. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:06
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:27
4. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:41
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:00
6. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:14
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:16
8. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:43
9. Mark Donovan (GB) DSM at 2:04
10. Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:07.
European Road Race Championships 2021
Once again Italy has won the Men’s Elite European road race title, this time with Sonny Colbrelli in Trento, in front of the Italian public. Colbrelli, fully supported by his national team, raced to victory after a two-man sprint beating the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, with Benoit Cosnefroy (France) finishing third.
After a particularly fast race, with pressure right from the start from Spain and France, the decisive action happened approximately forty kilometres from the finish, instigated by Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia) a leading group came together including Marc Hirschi (Switzerland), Remco Evenepoel and Ben Hermans (Belgium), Benoit Cosnefroy (France), Matteo Trentin and Sonny Colbrelli (Italy), Pavel Sivakov (Russia) and Markus Hoelgaard (Norway). Later in the race Remco Evenepoel then stepped up the pace in the final stages of the race pulling further away from the leading group until only Sonny Colbrelli was on his wheel. The two-man sprint was inevitable and Colbrelli crossed the line well ahead of the Belgian cheered on by the huge crowds. This is the sixth win of the season for Colbrelli. The Italian national team won its fourth continental title in a row following the wins by Matteo Trentin (2018), Elia Viviani (2019) and Giacomo Nizzolo (2020). The next edition of the Elite European road championships will be held in Munich (Germany) from 14 to 21 August 2022 and the Juniors and Under 23 Championships will take place in Anadia (Portugal) from 7 to 10 July 2022.
European road race champion, Sonny Colbrelli (Italy): “It’s amazing. A fantastic victory. I didn’t have a good feeling at the beginning of the race. I had also got a lot of pressure as this race was a huge opportunity for me. But the Italian team worked perfectly, and Trentin, in the final, supported me excellently. Then I managed to follow Evenepoel on the last climb, although I was suffering. I’m so happy also because I took this win in Italy and as an Italian is something special.”
2nd, Remco Evenepoel (Belgium): “It was a hard race and the Italians rode on adrenaline supported by the huge crowds and piling on the pressure from the beginning. We too did a good job, as the team set a strong pace and protected me before it came down to crunch time. Then I put the hammer down on the penultimate climb and made a selection, before trying again the last time up there and dropping Cosnefroy. I noticed that Colbrelli was in difficulty and increased the pace, but he managed to hang on. Having the better sprint, he went for that card and that was it. I want to thank the entire team, they were all great and this medal wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts. I would have loved to take the jersey, but these two medals I got this week show that I am back with the best, which is excellent news ahead of the World championships, where I’m looking forward to the time trial and then to helping the team go for gold.”
3rd, Benoît Cosnefroy (France): “We came to win the title with someone from the French team. We did everything we could to succeed, but I couldn’t do any more against Colbrelli and Evenepoel. I am happy with this medal; I do not regret a thing. On the last lap, I was giving everything I could. Maybe things would have been different on one steeper climb, but there with two climbs I couldn’t keep up. I thought I was going well physically, we did the race we had to do, and I thank my teammates. I was at my limit today, I couldn’t give more.”
Men’s European Road Race Championships Result:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Italy) in 4:19:45
2. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium)
3. Benoit Cosnefroy (France) at 1:30
4. Matteo Trentin (Italy) at 1:44
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia)
6. Marc Hirschi (Switzerland)
7. Markus Hoelgaard (Norway)
8. Ben Hermans (Belgium) at 1:46
9. Pavel Sivakov (Russian Federation) at 1:49
10. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) at 5:41.
After gaining second place in the Time-Trial on Wednesday, Ellen van Dijk won the European title in the Women’s Elite Road race. The powerful Dutch rider dominated with great strength and pedalled alone in the lead for the last 25 kilometres of the race. After getting away from the peloton, she managed to leave behind the German Kasper, the French rider Biannic and the Italian Paladin who she had broken away with at approximately 50 kilometres from the finish. In the final stages, Van Dijk gained even more ground and crossed the finish line on the Piazza Duomo, in-front of a huge crowd, with a lead of 1:18 over the small group of riders in pursuit who battled it out in the sprint with the German Liane Lippert beating the Lithuanian Rasa Lelevyte.
European RR champion, Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands): “I didn’t expect it, my role was to support my teammates, but I felt good and I wanted to go on the breakaway. Little by little I managed to outpace all the others, also because it was my only way to try and win, not being the best sprinter. In the finale, I didn’t know the chasers had come that close, and maybe it was better this way .. “
Women’s European Road Race Championships Result:
1. Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) in 2:50:35
2. Liane Lippert (Germany) at 1:18
3. Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania)
4. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
5. Demi Vollering (Netherlands)
6. Marta Cavalli (Italy)
7. Marlen Reusser (Switzerland)
8. Alena Amialiusik (Belarus)
9. Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) at 1:21
10. Elisa Balsamo (Italy) at 2:29.
Saturday started with the Men’s Under 23 Road race won by the Belgian talent Thibau Nys, former Cyclo-Cross European Champion. The race set off very quickly with a fast average speed right from the start and a long series of attacks with the best riders breaking away from the peloton. On the last lap, the Belgian Van Eetvelt took an impressive lead, right up to 25 seconds. Instigated by Italy and Filippo Zana, the best group of riders managed to catch the breakaway rider. In the final stages, Zana made an unsuccessful solo attack 2 kilometres from the finish. A seven-man sprint was inevitable and Thibau Nys crossed the line first, with his arms in the air, beating Filippo Baroncini (Italy) and Juan Ayuso (Spain).
European U23 RR champion, Thibau Nys (Belgium): “It feels strange to win this road title on the day the cyclo-cross season opens in Belgium,” Nys said. “I had raced very little on the road this season, but this European Championships was a big goal for me, and to have achieved it is incredible. By a whisker, I managed to stay in the decisive action, and from there I was convinced I could be the fastest on the final straight.”
Men’s U23 European Road Race Championships Result:
1. Thibau Nys (Belgium) in 3:06:57
2. Filippo Baroncini (Italy)
3. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spain)
4. Erik Fetter (Hungary)
5. Lennert van Eetvelt (Belgium)
6. Filippo Zana (Italy)
7. Louis Barre (France) at 0:04
8. Marijn van den Berg (Netherlands) at 0:19
9. Jakub Oupalík (Czech Republic)
10. Tobias Bayer (Austria).
European Time Trial Championships 2021
Marlene Reusser and Stefan Kung will wear the European time trial champion’s jersey next year. The Swiss riders won the titles on the second day of the 2021 European Championships in Trento (Italy).
A year after the success in Plouay (France), Stefan Küng became the best time-trial specialist in Europe with a very powerful performance on the 22.4 kilometre circuit. The Swiss, fourth at the Tokyo Olympic Games, dominated the second part of the race and crossed the finish line with a time of 24:29 beating the current World champion in the speciality Felipo Ganna (Italy), second in 24:37, meanwhile the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, winner of the European title in 2019, finished third in 24:44.
European TT champion, Stefan Küng (Switzerland): “I am very happy. It’s great to keep this jersey. It was a very fast time trial and it was important to keep power for the last kilometres, to get through the corners so well and fast. On the way back we had tailwind, so it was important to keep up the momentum. I knew after the first intermediate point that I still had a good chance of winning the title. I know from myself that I can fight back in such a time trial. During the race I was thinking about the Tokyo Olympics. Then I lost a medal by a split second. Keep going, keep going, I thought all the time. It’s great to extend my title, but I hope to wear another jersey soon. That has been my big goal since the Games.”
2nd, Filippo Ganna (Italy): “We knew who were the opponents to beat. There were many champions and Küng was among those to keep an eye on. I cannot consider second place a disappointment. What should those behind do in that case? Hang themselves? I don’t regret anything (riding the Team Relay time trial on Wednesday). I don’t think that cost me that much energy. We are used to racing six hours a day in stage races. Yesterday (Wednesday) I became a European champion. I don’t mind having a gold and a silver on my shoulders. The sensations weren’t great in the morning, but I’d make the same choices anyway. It’s all so close together. Just look at the Olympics, where we finished with four within five seconds. Details make the difference, it’s about seconds. Every second gained makes a difference. I’ve had a good workload behind me ahead of the World Championships, even if first we need to focus on Sunday’s road race. I’m honestly happy. I won a silver medal, another one to add to my collection. I also remain confident for next week.”
3rd, Remco Evenepoel (Belgium): “It wasn’t a parcours that suit me, as I prefer longer time trials, but it’s no shame to lose against those two guys, I knew they were the men to beat today and were really strong. The route favoured the heavier guys, especially with that headwind in the second part, but I did my best and gave everything for a good result. It’s my second medal of the season after the one at the Nationals and another step in the right direction. I’m very happy to be again among the best in the world in this discipline after a ride that will give me more confidence for my next goals.”
Men’s European Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Switzerland) in 24:29
2. Filippo Ganna (Italy) at 0:08
3. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) at 0:15
4. Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland) at 0:23
5. Maximilian Walscheid (Germany) at 0:38
6. Edoardo Affini (Italy) at 0:39
7. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) at 0:52
8. Maciej Bodnar (Poland) at 1:04
9. Rémi Cavagna (France) at 1:06
10. João Almeida (Portugal) at 1:17.
In the Women’s events, Marlene Reusser showed her ability in the Time-Trial races with a clear win over her main rivals. The Swiss finished the race (22.4 km) in 27:12 (average 49.380 km/h) in front of the specialists Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands), second in 27:32, and the German Lisa Brennauer, bronze medal with a time of 28:15.
European TT champion, Marlen Reusser (Switzerland): “My next big goal is now the World Championship time trial. I really liked it and I had really good legs, I knew I had to give everything and go as fast as possible. It was a very nice time trial. It went fast from start to finish and I am very happy about that. In two days we will ride the road race with strong riders, but my next big goal is the World Time Trial Championship. It’s on my thirtieth birthday, so I’d like to give myself a really big present then.”
Women’s European Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) in 27:13
2. Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) at 0:19
3. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) at 1:02
4. Lisa Klein (Germany) at 1:22
5. Riejanne Markus (Netherlands) at 1:43
6. Valeriya Kononenko (Ukraine) at 1:52
7. Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria) at 2:00
8. Vittoria Bussi (Italy) at 2:09
9. Sara Van De Vel (Belgium) at 2:13
10. Emma Norsgaard (Denmark) at 2:18.
Grand Prix de Fourmies/La Voix du Nord 2021
Elia Viviani won the Grand Prix de Fourmies. After almost 200 kilometres starting and finishing in Fourmies, the Italian Cofidis rider was the best sprinter in this UCI ProSeries race. He defeated Pascal Ackermann, who was out for his third win in a row, and Fernando Gaviria.
It was a long wait for an escape group in this Coupe de France race, which in the last editions invariably ended in a bunch sprint. Ayco Bastiaens (Alpecin-Fenix) eventually managed to pull away with Marlon Gaillard (TotalEnergies), Samuel Leroux (Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën). Behind them, UAE Emirates, BORA-hansgrohe, Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck – Quick-Step controlled the pack. The sprinter’s teams had the timing in order and packed the front of the peloton 10 kilometres from the finish. It eventually turned out to be the expected bunch sprint, in which Elia Viviani ruined Pascal Ackermann’s hat-trick in Fourmies at the end. Gaviria had to settle for third place.
Fourmies winner, Elia Viviani (Cofidis): “I am really happy with this victory. I have just finished a very dense week. Certainly, I did not have a result in the Tour du Bénélux but it allowed me to do a very valuable job to have a good state of form. You had to go through that to envisage the end of the season with a winning mentality. Today, I felt really good, the team did a really great job whether it was Piet, Manu , Tom, Szymon, Attilio and ‘Saba’. In the final Szymon and Attilio put me in a perfect position to tackle the sprint. Then I was in Ackermann’s wheel and I was able to do a good sprint. My feelings are good, I am winning in front of leading sprinters, it’s nice! It’s very good for confidence. I still want to win and give my best in the races to come.”
2nd, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m in rather good form at the moment and was very motivated and wanted to give my best today. I already won twice here in the past, so of course I was looking to add a third victory to this. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out and I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t bring home the win. But thanks to the whole team for their support, because the guys gave me great help today.”
3rd, Fernando Gaviria Rendon (UAE Team Emirates): “I came from far back in the last kilometre and managed to get in a good position for the sprint but Viviani had the extra kick today. I’m happy how it went overall.he team did good work today and controlled the race really well.My form is good building up to the World Championships.”
Grand Prix de Fourmies/La Voix du Nord 2021
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis in 4:23:12
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
5. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
7. Alvaro Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Jason Tesson (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93
9. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.
Antwerp Port Epic 2021
Mathieu van der Poel was the winner of the Antwerp Port Epic. After 183 kilometres, of which 28 kilometres of cobblestones and 36 kilometres of unpaved roads, the Dutchman was the better of his compatriot Taco van der Hoorn. They had escaped from an elite group 25 kilometres from the finish.
An early break of four, was short-lived. On the unpaved strips, it was Alpecin-Fenix who lit the fuse. Dries De Bondt was very active, while Mathieu van der Poel showed himself well from the front. The Dutch rider joined the attack and ended up in a serious elite group at the head of the race. More than 60 kilometres before the finish, Van der Poel rode there together with three teammates: Jonas Rickaert, Tim Merlier and Dries De Bondt. They had Taco van der Hoorn, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Tobias Andersen, Casper van Uden (DSM), Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X), Thomas Joseph (Tarteletto -Isorex), Piotr Havik (BEAT) and Campbell Stewart (Black Spoke). A chase group with Tiesj Benoot, Kenneth Van Rooy and Bert De Backer didn’t come closer than 30 seconds, because Alpecin-Fenix riders in the leading group to keep the pace high. Van Uden had to let this group go because of a flat tire; he dropped back into the Benoot group 50 seconds behind. Van der Poel attacked with 25 kilometres to go. He took a gap on the unpaved strip of Opstalpolder, and only Van der Hoorn could hold on. Havik tried to make the crossing on the cobblestones of Torenseweg, but it was too late. Van der Poel and Van der Hoorn quickly took 20 seconds.
The last 10 kilometres, an unpaved zone, awaited in the Ekerse Putten, with 1,100 metres of unpaved and 465 metres of cobblestones. The two front runners started with a 1 minute lead, but neither of them made an attack. Van der Poel and Van der Hoorn then headed for Antwerp. On the bridge 1.6 kilometres from the finish, Van der Hoorn tried to attack, but Van der Poel reacted. Van der Poel was forced into the lead in the final kilometre by the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider, but in the sprint he was no measure against the leader of Alpecin-Fenix. De Bondt and Merlier countered all attacks from the chase group, resulting in a sprint for third place. Van Poppel started early, but was eventually passed by Merlier, who finished third and further expanded his leading position in the Bingoal Cycling Cup.
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It actually went well. At the end, full in the race, I got some trouble again, but that didn’t bother me. I’m relieved by that. It’s really nice to win, but the sluggishness hasn’t completely gone away. The past few months have been important goals for me and I missed them, but I’m very happy to be able to do this now. It’s a bit of a wait and see how I will react in the coming days. This victory is already very nice, but the World championships and Roubaix are different races. I think that will be next week. We will see. First I’m going to enjoy this win. I wanted to ride this race for a long time, because it’s close to home and on sections that suit me. I’m happy with that. That was the hardest part of the race. I was lucky that Taco rode along until the last kilometre. Respect for how he has raced.”
2nd, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Danny and I reacted well to Mathieu van der Poel’s attack and I was happy to be able to join him. But once we were just the two of us, we had to start thinking about the tactics for the final. I still felt very good, but it was clear that Mathieu was also strong so I wasn’t confident that I was able to beat him. Also opting for a sprint with Danny was not a guarantee on success, because of the presence of Merlier. So I worked with van der Poel and tried to surprise him on the bridge with 2 kilometre to go, but he was attentive. I’m a happy second, because I was defeated by a faster rider.”
Antwerp Port Epic Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:12:03
2. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:01
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:14
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
6. Piotr Havik (Ned) Beat Cycling
7. Ludovic Robeet (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
8. Thomas Joseph (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex
9. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:19
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM at 1:30.
Canadian Road Championships 2021
After awarding Canadian time trial titles on Friday, the 2021 Canadian Road Championships relocated to Saint-Georges on Saturday for the Junior women’s and Elite men’s road races. Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-Up Nation), who competed at his first Tour de France and first Olympic Games earlier this summer, won his third national title and second Elite title after previously winning in 2015.
Athletes faced a tough course that took them from Saint-Georges to a 28-kilometre circuit, where they completed five laps before heading back to Saint-Georges. Despite the sunny weather, the race was windy and the course rough and hilly, with over two-thirds of the field dropping out of the race.
Boivin was part of an early breakaway that included Olympians Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech) and Derek Gee (Xspeed United Continental), among other strong riders. With 50 kilometres to go, Boivin made the decisive move and attacked, completing the 198.9-kilometer race with a solo finish, over two minutes in front of second place finisher Antoine Duchesne. Track cyclist Derek Gee finished third and claimed his second bronze medal of the weekend.
Canadian RR champion, Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-Up Nation): “It wasn’t an easy day out there at all, it was full gas from start to finish and everybody was on their knees. I paced myself and I knew if the guys were going to come back they were going to have to work for it and I just kept the pressure on until the finish. For me this is just the continuation of an amazing season with the Classics, the Tour and the Olympics and now, national champion and I will appreciate the races coming up with this jersey.”
Canadian RR Championships 2021 Result:
1. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation in 4:53:03
2. Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ at 2:24
3. Derek Gee (Can) Xspeed United Continental at 4:09
4. Alexis Cartier (Can) Vélo 2000/Rhino Rack
5. Paul Blanc Paque (Can) Cycle Régis/360 Agency
6. Carson Miles (Can) Tag Cycling Race Team at 9:57
7. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech at 10:06
8. Thomas Schellenberg (Can) Tag Cycling Race Team at 16:15
9. Jordan Cheyne (Can) Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling at 16:31
10. Edward Walsh (Can) Team Nova Scotia at 16:57.
Canadian TT Championships 2021
Hugo Houle claimed the second Canadian individual time trial championship of his career today with an impressive race against the clock in Beauce, Quebec.
30-year-old Houle, who previously won the national title in 2015, completed the 34-kilometre course in 41:18 to set the fastest time by 1:39 over Alexander Cowan (LE9ion of Los Angeles).
Canadian TT champion, Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech): “I’m really happy to win the Canadian time trial championships again and have the chance to wear the jersey. A lot of people expected me to win the race so it put quite a bit of pressure on me to deliver. You never know what kind of legs you will have on the day but after I started the effort, around five to six minutes in, I could feel my legs were good and I was on a good day. The first part of the course was a bit up hill, a lot of up and down, so I knew I had to be really strong on the way out. At the halfway point after 17 kilometres, I caught the rider in front and I could see the other riders were quite close. So, on the way back, I gave everything. Because you don’t have much information in the race and you never know if someone will have a good second half, you have to go all in.”
“I came here with the idea of winning and I’m really proud to win today, especially as it’s important for Premier Tech and they have supported me for so long. I haven’t been able to race the Championships for a few years because I have always been preparing for the Tour de France when they are normally held in June so this year, with the race postponed to September, it worked out perfectly. Tomorrow, I have the road race and I will try my best to win. Of course, it is much harder to control the race when you are only one rider but I will do my best.”
Canadian TT Championships 2021 Result:
1. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech in 41:48
2. Alec Cowan (Can) L39Ion Of Los Angeles at 1:39
3. Derek Gee (Can) Xspeed United Continental at 1:45
4. Adam Roberge (Can) Elevate-Webiplex Pro at 1:47
5. Edward Ouellet (Can) Yoeleo Test Team at 1:56
6. Tristan Jussaume (Can) Équipe Du Québec at 2:10
7. Jordan Cheyne (Can) Elevate-Webiplex Pro at 2:34
8. Ethan Sittlington (Can) Toronto Hustle at 2:40
9. Carson Miles (Can) Tag Cycling Race Team at 2:43
10. Jean-Denis Thibault (Can) Team U Cube 17 at 2:46.
Hugo Houle – Worlds’19 TT:
Pascal Eenkhorn Meets Xander Graham at Final Stage of AJ Bell Tour of Britain
Twelve-year-old Scottish cyclist Xander Graham has become the sensation of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain after his starring role during Stage Seven of the race on Saturday (11 September) when he rode alongside the breakaway and took a bidon from Jumbo Visma’s Pascal Eenkhoorn mid-race.
The moment was caught live on television and shown around the world, with the video receiving more than a million views by Sunday lunchtime on the AJ Bell Tour of Britain Twitter account.
Eenkhorn was part of a five-rider breakaway near the end of the stage, alongside eventual winner Yves Lampaert, handing his bidon to Xander while he rode alongside them on the pavement as they raced towards the finish in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
Xander and his parents were guests of race sponsors Eisberg, the UK’s leading alcohol free wine brand, at the Stonehaven start of the final stage of the race, meeting Pascal Eenkhoorn and the rest of the Jumbo Visma team, and joining them on the pre-race podium to be presented to the crowd.
“It was amazing to be up close so I really enjoyed it” said Xander Graham. “I’ve got a lot of messages on social media and a lot of reposts on people’s stories as well.”
Commenting on the experience, Xander’s Dad, Martin, said; “It’s been an incredible response from Pascal and with Xander riding alongside them yesterday. It’s Xander’s dream to be a professional cyclist but to be actually riding in the Tour in his hometown was just a really spectacular moment for us all.”
Speaking at the Stonehaven start, Jumbo Visma rider Pascal Eenkhoorn said; “We were in the final and he was kind of attacking us on the pavement. Then I was the one doing my pull and I was drinking from my bottle and we passed him. I looked at him and I was nodding my head like you want the bottle? He was like ‘Yes’ so I gave him it and he immediately took it. We were riding fast but he was completely sprinting and he looks like a talented kid.”
Xander Graham with his Jumbo-Visma chums:
More Trouble Between Lefevere and Bennett
Sam Bennett and Patrick Lefevere’s relationship has hit a new low. The Irish sprinter of Deceuninck – Quick-Step has not been in action for the Belgian team for months, but he will start on Sunday at the European Championships in Trentino. “A race with 4,000 meters climbing,” reacted Lefevere. “What he’s doing now is playing with my balls in public.”
Bennett has not raced a kilometre in competition since the Volta ao Algarve in May. Due to a knee injury, which Lefevere openly questioned, he missed the Tour de France and words have already been exchanged about his transfer to BORA-hansgrohe. Meanwhile, Deceuninck – Quick-Step announced that Bennett’s salary would be halved. According to the UCI rules, this is allowed if a rider has not been able to race for more than three months. “Anyone who knows me knows that I never do that, but here the rider is acting in bad faith. He no longer uploads training files and he does not want to be operated on,” Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad.
The team boss calls the fact that Bennett will start at the European Championship in Italy a trick. Bennett wants to show that he is fit and that the team does not want to use him. Lefevere expects it to turn into a legal game with Bennett’s manager, Andrew McQuaid. He also points out that Bennett does not adhere to the Deceuninck – Quick-Step dress code. “What he’s doing now is playing with my balls in public. He has also already sent a letter to the UCI to complain that I have tackled him in the media. It will not work. I’m going to take him back until the steam comes out of his ears,” the CEO of the Belgian team is clear.
Patrick Lefevere: “Wat hij nu doet, is en plein public met mijn kloten spelen”
UAE Team Emirates Set Out to Defend Tour of Luxembourg title Squad Announced for Luxembrourg
With many UAE Team Emirates riders already in action this week at the European Championships in Italy, the Emirati squad prepares to send a team to compete in the Tour of Luxembourg running from 14-18 September. The team will be led by Sports Directors Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) will take charge for the Tour of Luxembourg where they will aim to defend the title won by Diego Ulissi in 2020, where the Italian also took two stage victories in the process.
Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg [2.Pro] – 14-Sep-2021 / 18-Sep-2021:
Juan Ayuso (Spa)
Valerio Conti (Ita)
David De La Cruz (Spa)
Davide Formolo (Ita)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Cristian Muñoz (Col).
SKODA Tour de Luxembourg (September 14-18)
On June 23 and 25, Bob Jungels underwent surgery on his lower limbs to treat the external iliac endofibrosis which had been crippling him. Now he will return to competition at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg. “I can’t wait even though I know I might have some tough times. I went eight weeks without doing any sport and I started from zero. It’s a nice gesture to start again in my home country even though there aren’t many easy stages. In any case, my sensations during training are positive. Above all, I want to get back into competition without asking any questions,” Bob Jungels said.
Ben Gastauer: “My pelvic floor problem is still hampering me a bit, but I have given everything I can to be at the start of this Skoda Tour de Luxembourg. I am very happy to be able to pin on a bib number again, especially at home. It feels weird to know this is the last race, but I can’t wait to ride my roads, in front of the fans, my family, and my friends. The chapter will end but that’s how it is, another will open afterwards. I intend to make the most of these last few days wearing the AG2R CITROËN TEAM jersey and especially at the finish line with my family.”
After 12 professional seasons with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, from 2010 to 2021, Ben Gastauer will end his career at the finish of the Skoda Tour of Luxembourg. He also spent 2009 at Chambéry Cyclisme Formation, the training centre of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM. He has won three professional races (Luxembourg time trial champion in 2012 and winner of a stage and the general classification of the Tour du Haut Var in 2015).
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de Luxembourg
Our team returns at the start of the five-day race for the first time in 17 years.
The Tour of Luxembourg will be one of the last stage races of the season, and sticking to tradition, it will once again put on the table a hilly course, ideal for puncheurs and attackers, who’ll get plenty of opportunities to show themselves. Not just the countless hard climbs are expected to create gaps between the overall contenders, but also the 25.4km individual time trial in Dudelange that will take place on stage 4, over an up-and-down course.
First Portuguese winner of the Tour de Pologne, where he racked up two stage victories en route to his dominant GC triumph, João Almeida will be present in Luxembourg as he returns to action for the Wolfpack for the first time since the Deutschland Tour, having raced the European Championships in Trento in the meantime.
Third overall at the Tour de Romandie and runner-up at the National Championships this season, 27-year-old Fausto Masnada will make next week his first outing since crashing out of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana more than two months ago and the Italian is looking forward to racing with the Wolfpack again.
“I’m feeling good and my condition is becoming better by the day, but with just one month of training in the legs I don’t know how my body will react on the first race back. What I do know is that racing again will help me reach a better level and I can’t wait for it. Two months ago, after my crash, I couldn’t ride my bike for one month. I recovered well since then, trained at altitude and now I am happy to be at the start of the Tour de Luxembourg”, said Fausto.
Our team for the 81st edition of the race will be completed by Mattia Cattaneo – the best placed Italian rider at the Tour de France – Dries Devenyns, Pieter Serry and Mauri Vansevenant, who recently concluded his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck talked about the Wolfpack’s ambitions for next week: “We have a strong squad, with João and Mattia as our leaders, especially as the penultimate day will schedule that demanding individual time trial. Of course, we have to see first how well recovered they will be after the European Championships, but they come to the start motivated and we are confident they can do a good race and play a role in the general classification.”
14.09–18.09 Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg (LUX) 2.Pro
João Almeida (POR)
Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Fausto Masnada (ITA)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director: Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
Grand Prix de Wallonie (September 15)
With Greg Van Avermaet (2014) and Tony Gallopin (2016), the team has two former winners of the Grand Prix de Wallonie.
Dorian Godon: “I have taken part in the Grand Prix de Wallonie twice. In 2016 when I was a stagiaire and the following season. It’s a great event with an interesting field every year. The circuit has evolved and I think you have to expect a very animated race. As far as I am concerned, I see that my form is good after my victory at the Tour du Doubs. I am currently leading the Coupe de France and if I win that trophy, it will represent the common thread at the end of the season that links all my races. But before that, there are great things to do on the Belgian roads. We have a good team there, so we can definitely be ambitious.”
Eschborn-Frankfurt 2021: Top Guests for the Birthday: Big Names Announced
In addition, the fans can look forward to Deutschland Tour winner Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe). Besides Politt, two other stage winners of this year’s Tour de France will be taking part: Politt’s teammate Patrick Konrad as well as Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) want to shine at the WorldTour event.
The German classic unites Tour de France and classic stars
The list of illustrious names becomes even more extensive with the addition of many classic stars. With former Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën Team) and former world champion Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal), two more Paris-Roubaix winners will meet local hero John Degenkolb at his home race. With Vincenzo Nibali and Mads Pedersen, Trek-Segafredo will bring a Tour de France winner and the 2019 world champion to the Taunus hills. Among others, they will compete with Italian national champion Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious), Grand Tours stage winner Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) and two-time stage winner of this year’s Vuelta a Espana Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix).
For the German fans, many home stars will be lining-up: besides Ackermann and Politt, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) and the winner of the white jersey of the Deutschland Tour Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) have announced their participation.
Dress rehearsal for the World Championships
The impressive start list underlines the special date of this years’ race, as it has been postponed from its traditional date on May 1 to September 19. Eschborn-Frankfurt will be a dress rehearsal for the World Championships, as the race takes place exactly one week before the UCI Road World Championships. Many riders use the Taunus for a last test before they head to Flanders or their preparation for the upcoming monuments, like Paris-Roubaix. On 187.4 kilometres they ride from the start in Eschborn first to the city centre of Frankfurt and on to the ascent of the Feldberg. Afterwards they the iconic Taunus circuit is on the program: four times over the Mammolshainer Stich, twice over the Ruppertshainer Anstieg and once over the Billtalhöhe. The pros already have more than 3,200 metres of altitude in their legs when they enter the finish lap and head for the win in front of the Alte Oper in the heart of Frankfurt.
Kristoff won Frankfurt’18:
Jakob Fuglsang on His Way to BikeExchange
Jakob Fuglsang will leave Astana-Premier Tech after nine seasons. The Danish rider will race for BikeExchange next year, with whom he has agreed a multi-year contract. Hugo Houle and sponsor Premier Tech also jump from the Kazakh team for the Australian WorldTeam.
Fuglsang is in his ninth season with Astana-Premier Tech and during his stint with the team he took silver in the Olympic road race in Rio and won the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Ruta del Sol twice. He has also won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy Classics. This season, the Dane was ninth in the Strade Bianche and third in the Tour of Switzerland. His cycling year is now over because he broke his shoulder blade and collarbone in a crash in the Benelux Tour.
BikeExchange will be Fuglsang’s next team. He has agreed a multi-year contract with the Australian team, which has been confirmed from several sources. The Dane is not the only one, because his Canadian teammate Hugo Houle is also on his way to the team. The team management is also in talks with Premier Tech, which is in its final stint as title sponsor alongside Astana, to join the team for the longer term.
Fuglsang has won Il Lombardia:
David De la Cruz to Leave UAE Team Emirates
David De la Cruz will not ride for UAE Team Emirates in 2022. The Spanish climber announced in conversation with the Spanish radio station RNE. The 32-year-old De la Cruz has been racing for the WorldTour team from the Middle East since 2020. De la Cruz already knows who he will race for, but he doesn’t want to say much about his new employer, but according to Spanish cycling journalist Iñigo Zubeldia, De la Cruz has reached an agreement with Movistar.
According to the latest rumours, the team of manager Eusebio Unzué is strengthening for 2022, because Alex Aranburu, Óscar Rodríguez, Gorka Izagirre, Oier Lazkano, Iván Sosa and Iván Romeo also seem to be on their way to Movistar. De la Cruz, who also rode for Caja Rural, Team NetApp, Quick-Step and Sky in the past, finished seventh in the Vuelta a España earlier this month. He also finished fifth this season in the Tour of Burgos and won a silver medal at the Spanish Time Trial Championship.
David De la Cruz off to Movistar:
Tobias Bayer with Alpecin-Fenix Until the End of 2023
Tobias Bayer has extended his contract with Alpecin-Fenix until the end of 2023. The 21-year-old Austrian is currently in his first season as a professional and has already shown great things this year.
As a rider of the continental Tyrol KTM Cycling Team, Bayer aroused the interest of the brothers Philip and Christoph Roodhooft, the owners of the Alpecin-Fenix team. The Austrian excelled on the hard climbs. In his last year with Tirol KTM he finished seventh in the Giro della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia.
“I am really happy with my contract extension, it makes me proud. The team has confidence in me and that is very motivating. This really feels like my home. There is a great team spirit and winning mentality in every match. Alpecin-Fenix gives me the opportunity to develop further. I hope to play a key role within the team in the coming years and to go for results myself,” said Bayer.
Bayer has had 40 race days this season, in his first year for Alpecin-Fenix. He rode the Étoile de Bessèges, the Ruta del Sol, Boucles de la Mayenne (9th in the final GC) and the Tour of Burgos. In that last race he finished 14th in the final overall, after a 5th place in the mountain stage over the Picón Blanco.
Bayer was then called up to the Vuelta a España, but was unable to complete his first Grand Tour due to a serious crash in the 12th stage to Córdoba.
Florian Sénéchal and Deceuninck – Quick-Step Continue Together
The Frenchman has agreed to a new contract with the Wolfpack.
A member of the team since 2018, when he made the step to the World Tour, Florian Sénéchal has inked a new deal with the most successful squad in the world, whose colours he will sport until the end of 2023. In the four seasons spent with the Wolfpack, Florian has continually developed, turning into one of the best lead-out men in the peloton, but his talents have been visible also in the one-day races – his runner-up spots in E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem or top 10 at Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix speaking volumes about his potential on the cobbles.
Most recently, the 28-year-old Sénéchal claimed the biggest victory of his career, at stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, a race where he played a big role in Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s success, which left Spain with a total of four victories and the prestigious green jersey. That spectacular Vuelta win was Florian’s third in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey, after the 2019 Le Samyn and last year’s Druivenkoers Overijse.
“This team is the best for me. It’s a team that always performs in the Classics, but is up there also in Grand Tours, and the nine stages and two jerseys we won this year serve as testimony. I was very young, just a kid, when I began dreaming about riding for this squad one day, and the fact I am here now and will continue with this amazing teammates and staff, is just amazing. I have big ambitions for the next two years: I want to become better, to help the Wolfpack get many more victories, but also to win an important one-day race,” an excited Florian said after adding two more years to his contract.
His delight was echoed by Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere: “Florian is a great member of the Wolfpack, whose development is clear to see in the years since he’s been with us. He is a quality rider whose attributes have been on display on numerous occasions. His Vuelta stage win shows that he can win big races and he knows that he can develop even further with us. We are very happy that our journey will continue for the next two years.”
Julia Soek announces retirement from professional cycling
After spending a brilliant 13 years in the women’s peloton, eight of which were with Team DSM and its previous incarnations, Julia Soek is set to hang up her wheels at the end of the 2021 season.
Upon joining the team in 2014, Soek’s bubbly and friendly personality allowed her to slot into the Women’s program with ease, where she was part of immediate successes with the team. Over the years Soek progressed into an important cog in the team’s sprint train and a vital domestique, often selflessly taking up the hard work to control breakaways and increase the tempo in the finale; managing to do all of that with her infectious smile blazoned across her face.
Gaining more confidence and experience with each season, Soek has also been an important role model for new and young riders within the team, helping to guide them as they make the step up to professional cycling. It’s that experience which Soek transferred to her role as road captain brilliantly; always remaining calm in hectic moments and making level-headed but quick-thinking decisions which often led to great results. In her time with Team DSM, Soek has been a part of 45 victories so far, lending her versatile skillset and hard-working attitude to whatever job she needed to do. Tasting success herself, Soek was able to raise her arms in the air victorious at the 2017 Erondegemse Pijl after winning a two-up sprint to the line after a hard day out in the saddle. Looking ahead, Soek wants to end her career on a high with Team DSM and add some more wins to that burgeoning tally before taking up her pursuits off the bike.
Soek said: “2021 will be my last season as a professional cyclist and what a journey it has been! I want to thank everyone who was involved in the process throughout my career – this is a great team that I have been proud to have been a part of. We achieved some really cool things as Team DSM and I’ve made memories that will stay with me forever. I got the opportunity to develop myself as a rider and as a person here and I am really pleased about that. I’m able to look back on my career with a big smile but now it’s time for a new challenge and I’m excited for what’s next. Saying goodbye is of course sad, but I’ll definitely always be a friend of the team and be interested in how they are doing at the races, but I am looking forward to saying hello to a new adventure away from the bike!”
Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Julia has been with us since 2014 and has made great steps in her career here, transforming into a brilliant road captain and a role model in the team. An important culture carrier, Julia brought a lot of value to the team both on and off the bike, helping to support our new and younger riders to make the step up to the professional level, integrating them into the team seamlessly. We couldn’t be more happy with the time she’s spent with us and everyone at Team DSM wishes her the best of luck and success for what lies next in the future.”
The 2021 Giro d’Italia Virtual Hosted by BKOOL is Announced
The latest edition of the virtual race begins 15 October.
Registrations open today, visit www.girovirtual.com to register and take part.
In just over a month’s time, the Giro d’Italia Virtual begins. An indoor cycling project developed by RCS Sport in collaboration with BKOOL, the event offers cycling fans the opportunity to experience multiple stages of the Corsa Rosa from home, riding their own bike.
Any cycling fan, at any time, will be able to enter some of the most spectacular routes of the 2021 Giro d’Italia, including the very first stage in Turin and the very last, arriving in Milan’s Piazza Duomo. The first to be tackled will be the opening stage of the 2021 Grande Partenza, with four routes in total that partially follow the official stages of last May: Stage 1. Torino TISSOT ITT: 8.3 km / 14 m+ // Stage 2. Verbania – Alpe Motta: 8.7 km / 630 m+ // Stage 3. Perugia – Montalcino: 25 km / 540 m+ // Stage 4. Milan TISSOT ITT: 25 km / 13 m+.
The Giro d’Italia Virtual is an exclusive project that will start on 15 October, with several different phases of the event set to continue until May 2022. The event is suitable for owners of a smart trainer or smart bike and participation is subject to registration at www.girovirtual.com. Registrations open today.
In addition to enjoying the opportunity to ride on the same routes as professional cyclists, participants will benefit from the chance to earn points on each stage they ride, which, when accumulated, will enable them to participate in the final phases of the event in the coming months. Those who complete the stages will be awarded special prizes from the Corsa Rosa, such as the chance to win exclusive invitations to the Giro d’Italia and official jerseys.
BKOOL will host a digital platform for the race in which 3D simulations and real route videos will combine to create a realistic riding experience for each stage. An innovative industry leader in sports simulation, BKOOL is adding one of the most important and celebrated races in history to its extensive catalogue of virtual routes and races – the Giro d’Italia. The Corsa Rosa will be available to ride on the platform for cycling fans across the world for the next three years.
Indoor cycling is a training method that offers an alternative to traditional cycling. It’s a sporting activity ideal for everyone: be it for those who ride at a professional level, or those who enjoy riding for fun. Indoor cycling isn’t just for cycling fans however, but is also a great way to stay in shape for anyone seeking to improve their fitness, especially through interval training in which speed and intensity can be varied for a great workout.
Chasing the Tour Presented by Wahoo Fitness
Jack Thompson, ultra-endurance cyclist, completed his 2.200 mile journey across the 2021 Tour de France Route. After giving the Pro Peloton a 10 day head start, he still managed to cross the Champs Élysées ahead of the pack.
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