EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news

Three big stage races finished on Sunday – We have all the results and video from the Tour de Suisse, Tour de Slovenia and the Baloise Belgium Tour. The UCI do not like Jan-Willem van Schip’s handlebars. Tour news: AG2R Citroën pick Tour riders, Mark Cavendish and Emanuel Buchmann for the Tour. Race news: Québec and Montréal Classics canceled and Profronde Surhuisterveen moved. Rider news: Marie-Claude Molnar World champion in women’s C4 ITT, Julian Alaphilippe leaves Suisse, Herrada brothers and Ruben Guerreiro extend contracts. Team news: Lars Boom to Team SD Worx, Uno-X wants a WorldTour license and INEOS Grenadiers Dauphine video. EUROTRASH Monday coffee time.


TOP STORY: UCI expels Jan-Willem van Schip from Baloise Belgium Tour
Jan-Willem van Schip has been kicked out of the Baloise Belgium Tour by the UCI. The Dutchman received permission from the race jury to start with special handlebars. But that decision was then reversed.

“The disqualification is based on the ABB handlebars that Jan-Willem used during the stage and which, according to the UCI statement, would not be allowed,” the team wrote in a statement. “Since the launch of the ABB handlebar, we have been discussing this with the UCI. At no point did the UCI inform us that the bars would not be allowed. The UCI has also seen no need to accept the offer of the developer of the ABB handlebar to further investigate its admissibility.”

“On the morning before the start of the third stage, we discussed our intentions to ride with the handlebars with the UCI commissaire on site. Here we got the green light to start with the bars. The UCI has not made any reservations about this. BEAT believes that the disqualification is unjustified and that Jan-Willem van Schip is seriously affected.”

The 26-year-old Van Schip was again part of the early break. During the stage he picked up enough points to take the lead in the Flandrien Super 8 Strijdlust classification, but he can forget that competition now. It is not yet known whether his team will appeal against the jury decision.

Jan-Willem van Schip reacted in his own, typical way on Saturday morning to his disqualification in the Baloise Belgium Tour. On his Instagram page, he said: “By recognising that I wanted to be faster, I went for these gars. I was not aware of any harm, but unfortunately I came across a not so fallible UCI.”

His team BEAT reacted to the exclusion of Van Schip. “Since the launch of the ABB handlebars, we have been discussing this with the UCI. At no point did they inform us that the bars would not be allowed. On the morning before the start of the third stage, we discussed our intentions to ride with the bars with the UCI commissaire on site. Here we got the green light to start with the handlebars. The UCI has not made any reservations about this. BEAT believes that the disqualification is unjustified and that Jan-Willem van Schip is seriously affected.”

The UCI say NO!

 


Tour de Suisse 2021
Richard Carapaz seized power in the Tour de Suisse Stage 5. The Ecuadorian of INEOS Grenadiers beat Jakob Fuglsang in Leukerbad after a long sprint uphill and also took the yellow leader’s jersey from Mathieu van der Poel.

After a few fast kilometres, the riders started the climb of the Col du Pillon. A lot of riders tried to get over with a lead and Van der Poel was one of the instigators of an early break. The Dutch champion couldn’t contain himself and broke away with Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious) and Sergio Samitier (Movistar). The maximum lead at one point was more than 4 minutes, but Van der Poel and his companions had no hope of the stage victory. Even before the climb of the Erschmatt, the early break was over and Van der Poel decided to save his strength. The group of favourites, now without Van der Poel, was then severely thinned by the men of INEOS Grenadiers. Rohan Dennis was responsible for most of the damage, Eddie Dunbar also contributed. Still, it wasn’t fast enough for Antwan Tolhoek. The Jumbo-Visma climber rode away from the group GC riders for a lead of 20 seconds. This group consisted of only about fifteen riders. At the front; Tolhoek was joined by Chaves. The Colombian didn’t stay in the wheel of the Dutchman for long and left Tolhoek to continued alone towards the top of the penultimate climb. The gap to the group of favourites, led by Dunbar, was around 45 seconds.

In the chasing group there was Richard Carapaz, Jakob Fuglsang, World champion Julian Alaphilippe, Rigoberto Urán, Sam Oomen and Tiesj Benoot, but the chasers made no move to close the gap on Chaves. Before the top there was an acceleration from Fuglsang who went after the Colombian leader on his own. Chaves crossed the top of the Erschmatt with a 30 second lead, followed by Fuglsang and Carapaz. The difference between Chaves and Fuglsang fluctuated around 20 seconds on the descent, until the Colombian misjudged a fast corner. Fortunately for Chaves he only lost only a handful of seconds on Fuglsang, although the Colombian did lose some speed. Fuglsang took advantage and managed to catch Chaves before the final climb to Leukerbad with seven kilometres to go. The chasing group, including Carapaz, Tolhoek, Oomen, Schachmann and Alaphilippe, followed at a good 20 seconds. At the front, Fuglsang managed to drop Chaves. The Dane looked to be on his way to the stage win, but Carapaz jumped away 4 kilometres from the finish, crossed to Chaves’ rear wheel and then to Fuglsang soon after. The Dane managed to hold onto the Ecuadorian on the flatter final kilometres and into the last kilometre. Fuglsang had a lot of confidence in his sprint and started the sprint very early, but he couldn’t keep up his effort long enough. Carapaz was on Fuglsang’s wheel and came past at the right time. Fuglsang finished second after a hotly contested sprint, Michael Woods crossed the line 39 seconds behind Carapaz.

Stage winner and overall leader, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’m really happy. It’s something we’ve been working on all week. Today we knew it was a special day. We wanted to think about the GC but of course the possibility of winning a stage was there. I managed to do both so I’m very happy. We knew there were a lot of people interested in the general classification. Of course that was a launchpad for us. A lot of people made moves. I made my perfect attack and that was it. We’re here and we came thinking about preparing for the Tour de France. Of course we want to win this race. The main objective is the Tour but if we can be successful in this race that is perfect.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech): “I felt good and today’s stage was hard and long but the profile suited me. The team did a great job. They protected me the whole day, from the first climb onwards. As planned, on the bottom of the final ascent I stayed first with the others and tried then to distanced myself. But when I heard Carapaz was coming I tried to save a little bit of energy as I knew it was going to be a tough battle. I just started the sprint too early, but I moved up to second on the General Classification and there are still some stages to come.”

6th on the stage and 3rd overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was the first real mountain showdown. Already on the penultimate climb, the pace was quite high. Nevertheless, I felt good, but the attack from Carapaz was slightly too fast. After that, there was some headwind and there wasn’t much more I could do, but I’m still happy with how it turned out today.”

8th on the stage and 10th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka Assos): “Today was the first real mountain stage of the week. It was also the first day the weather changed, from all the rain we have had, today it was quite hot. The feeling for me was much better, I could stay with all the top GC riders and only two guys were in front of us at the end. I am happy with my shape and feel a lot of confidence that we can do something over the next three days.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 5 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:01:52
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
3. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:39
4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) BikeExchange
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
6. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos
9. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 0:49
10. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:22.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 5:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 16:42:50
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:26
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:38
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:53
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 1:11
6. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:31
7. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:32
8. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:19
9. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange 0:02:22
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 3:10

 

Andreas Kron won Stage 6 of the Tour of Switzerland ahead of Rui Costa and Hermann Pernsteiner. At the finish in Disentis Sedrun, Costa crossed the line first, but after the race jury looked at the images, the Portuguese rider was disqualified for deviating from his line.

The sixth stage in the Tour de Suisse started with a passage over the Gothardpass. Julian Alaphilippe, fourth on the general classification, had attacked early. The Frenchman had teammate Mattia Cattaneo with him, as well as Antonio Nibali and Marc Soler. The four escapees could never get away for more than a minute. After the descent they were passed by a large group of riders who had attacked from the peloton, and the World champion dropped back to the bunch. The main names in this new leading group included Pavel Sivakov, Mauri Vansevenant, Antwan Tolhoek, Marc Hirschi, Rui Costa, Gino Mäder, Benoit Cosnefroy, Marc Soler and Gijs Leemreize. The peloton gave the green light and the riders in front quickly broke away from the peloton for more than 3 minutes. At that moment the Lukmanierpass (19km at 5.6%) loomed and the leading group quickly exploded.

David de la Cruz impressed on this top class climb by pulling away quickly. The UAE Team Emirates Spaniard had a 1 minute lead over a chasing group of Tolhoek, Vansevenant, Costa, Matteo Fabbro, Hermann Pernsteiner, Sergio Samitier, Andreas Kron and Andreas Leknessund, who had counter-attacked unsuccessfully. The pursuers had 20 kilometres to catch the lone leader. However, partly due to the presence of Costa in the group, the cooperation was not good. In the last 10 kilometres De la Cruz’s lead disappeared after an attack by Tolhoek and then by Fabbro. With 6 kilometres to go he was caught and there were new attacks. Pernsteiner, Costa and Kron made a gap in the final kilometres. Behind; Tolhoek, Powless, Latour, Serrano and Fraile counter-attacked, but it was just too late. In the sprint, Costa managed to hold off Kron, but the Portuguese ex-World champion deviated from his line and a disqualification followed.

Stage winner, Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal): “I also saw the sprint footage in the truck at the finish line and the decision of the jury is right. We started the sprint on the right and ended up on the left. Both Rui and me think that we were the strongest. That’s fair. In a regular sprint we could have found out. I trust the jury and I’m the winner. I’m happy for that. It just feels amazing. What a start. If you would have told me this in the beginning of the season I would never have believed it. I was born in 1998. Apparently a good year, as also riders like Hirschi and Pogačar are from ‘98. I need to keep up with them… I’m happy for myself but even more for my teammates, they worked so hard for me the first days of this race, but yesterday I had a hard day and missed out my GC. It’s nice to give something back.”

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a pretty chilled day for us, there were people who have lost time, we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose any time, and the team did a fantastic job of making sure we didn’t, I’m really happy and appreciate all their work, we wanted to make sure we kept the jersey today and we succeeded. Tomorrow, it’s a difficult time trial, it’s up and then down, which is a bit of a strange one, but all we can do is our best, we’ve come here with the aim of a good result, and I think tomorrow’s parcours is one that will suit me, and we’re here to fight for the win. There were a lot of attacks at the start, but we were expecting that, some people had lost a bit of time on the general classification so it was obvious that they would then look to try and take a stage win. We were calm about it, we knew which riders we needed to beware of and we made sure we were on top of it. When Alaphilippe attacked we were calm, we knew there was still over 100km to the finish and so we had time to control. He was the only rider in there who was a danger to the GC, but also it was a breakaway with only a few riders in, so we had the situation under control, you could see that, as we brought it back.”

2nd on the stage, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m sorry for the decision of the jury but I need to accept it. Obviously I’m disappointed with the outcome. We did a great ride today as a team but the only thing we can do now is to focus and put our energy into the days to come.”

3rd on the stage, Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain Victorious): “I had amazing legs today. Early on the first climb, I was in the breakaway, but they caught us back. Then a big group went, and with a good effort, I closed the gap to the front. After that, there was a flurry of attacks. Everybody was keeping an eye a bit on me. In the end, I managed to be in front alongside Rui Costa and Kron. I knew that the sprint would have been hard for me. Therefore I tried to surprise them. But I had no chance against these guys. I’m also not so experienced in sprinting, and for sure, it’s still a skill that I can improve. Anyway, I had no regrets today. I tried everything. I’m looking forward to the next two days”

9th on the stage, Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was pretty hard today, but I had good legs. I wanted to try to get into the breakaway, but it wasn’t that easy because the peloton wouldn’t let us go. Eventually, a big group managed to go clear. I was able to counter all the attacks there and was also part of one of the first groups on the final climb. I tried to attack again at the end, but I was quickly caught again and wasn’t able to fight for the victory. But I’m still very happy with my performance today and we still have a mountain stage on Sunday, so let’s see what will be possible there.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 6 Result:
1. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal in 3:14:52
2. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
3. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:01
4. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar at 0:03
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie at 0:03
6. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:03
7. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:03
8. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:03
9. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:50
10. Andreas Leknessund (Nor) DSM at 1:00.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 6:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 20:00:31
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:26
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:38
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:53
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 1:11
6. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 1:32
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:19
8. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 2:22
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 3:10
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 3:37.

 

On Stage 7 of the Tour de Suisse, Rigoberto Urán took his first victory in three years. The Colombian of EF Education-Nippo won the tough time trial from Disentis Sedrun to Andermatt. Richard Carapaz defended his leader’s jersey, although Urán was well ahead of the INEOS Grenadiers leader.

The time trial over the Oberalppass was 23.2 kilometres long. After a flat start, the road climbed 9.5 kilometres at an average gradient of 6.5%. Then there was a fast and, certainly just before entering Andermatt, technical descent.

Jonas Rutsch was the fastest man of the first block, but we would not see him at the top of the final result. Soren Kragh Andersen set the first possible winning time, but he was quickly overtaken by a strong Tom Dumoulin. He clocked a quick split at the top of the Oberalppass and also took the hot seat at the finish. Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious) was nine seconds faster than the Dutchman on the climb, but only two seconds at the finish. But these times fell by the wayside due to the performance that Rigoberto Urán delivered. His time of 36:02 was more than sufficient for the stage win. He dipped 54 seconds below Mäder’s time. The only one who managed to settle between the Swiss and the Colombian was Julian Alaphilippe. He finished in second place 40 seconds from Urán.

Overall leader, Richard Carapaz, had more than a decent ride. He was 2 seconds faster than Dumoulin and finished in fourth place. The man from Ecuador retained his lead in the overall, but Urán has made the battle for the overall victory a lot more exciting. The difference between the two is only 17 seconds with one stage to go.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo): “This race is hard because my first win in this race was in 2007, many years ago. Today’s time trial was special because there was the climb and then the downhill. It was a special day for me and the team. This year is so special for me. I haven’t raced much, also because of a small problem, but I had good preparation for the Tour de France and done some hard racing here at the Tour de Suisse. With these great legs, I’ll try. But it’s a hard stage and the Tour de Suisse ends tomorrow.”

Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’m really happy to be able to keep the yellow jersey, we’ve put up a good defence, and the TT was pretty tough like we were expecting, but I’m really happy to continue wearing the yellow jersey, which is really important for the team. I think the lead to Rigo is still in my favour, we know it’s going to be another hard day tomorrow, but we have a strong team to be able to defend our position. It’s going to be a beautiful battle between us tomorrow, I’m sure, they’ll play their game, we’ll play ours, and that’s what it’ll all come down to. But I think we have a great team to defend.”

3rd on the stage, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious): “Finally, I was able to show what I wanted to show in my home race. It was nice to have legs again. I missed them after stage 3; luckily, they’re back for these final days. I think it’s so good to take a podium position. I really enjoyed the race. It was super hard with the climb at the beginning and then a fast and furious downhill. I’m glad we could deliver a solid performance again today, which makes us hungry for tomorrow. Maybe the legs won’t be so fresh, but obviously, the mind will be so and also motivated. We hope for an excellent finish in this race.”

13th on the stage and 4th overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was not an easy time trial because we faced headwind today. Nevertheless, I managed it well and tried not to lose too much time. There are several good time trialists in participation at the race, and I think I netted a solid result in the end, and I can be quite happy with it. Tomorrow we’re going to tackle a hard stage and I’m hoping to also do well there.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 7 Result:
1. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo in 36:02
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:40
3. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious at 0:54
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:56
6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:58
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 1:00
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 1:04
10. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 1:05.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 7:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 20:37:27
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 0:17
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:39
4. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:07
5. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:15
6. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 3:10
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 3:16
8. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 3:39
9. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 3:43
10. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 4:29.

 

Gino Mäder has won the Final Stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse. The Bahrain-Victorious rider beat his fellow escapee Michael Woods after a 159.5 kilometre long Alpine stage over three cols. Richard Carapaz held on for the overall victory.

The peloton had a tough mountain stage in Switzerland on the final day, with climbs of the Oberalppass, the Lukmanierpass and the Gotthardpass. On the first climb of the day, Wout Poels started the creation of a large leading group, which would eventually grow to fifteen men. In addition to Poels, there was Benoot, Devenyns, Vansevenant, De la Cruz, Doubey, Fraile, Kragh Andersen, Küng, Leknessund, Antonio Nibali, Pertsteiner, Peters, Samitier and Soler. Poels was the first to the top of the Oberalppass to collect full points for the KOM jersey and again at the top of the Lukmanierpass. The leading group fell apart in the final. A new leading group of five emerged, consisting of Pernsteiner, Leknessund, Peters and Benoot. Pernsteiner took off with Benoot, but failed to stay away.

Despite the fast pace of INEOS Grenadiers at the front of the favourites group, Uran made another attempt to attack Carapaz’s yellow jersey. The Ecuadorian was immediately on his wheel to neutralise the attack. After an acceleration from Woods there was a reaction from Cattaneo. Woods was the first up the Gotthardpass to take the mountains classification. Mäder joined Woods on the descent. The two fought it out in Andermatt for the stage victory. Woods went first, but Mäder managed to come alongside in the last straight. After his victory in the Giro, the young Swiss has again achieved an impressive victory. After Küng and Bissegger’s victories earlier this week, Mäder’s victory is the third Swiss stage win of this tour. Despite a few attacks from Uran, Richard Carapaz’s leader’s jersey was never in danger. On the general classification he finished 17 seconds ahead of Uran.

Stage winner, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious): “I was looking forward to this stage. I wanted to finish off my home race with a win, and I achieved it. The team worked well from the beginning, with Wout Poels in the breakaway, then Hermann Pernsteiner jumping across to him and having two riders in the front was perfect. All the other teammates were helping me behind, bringing food and water and mental support as well. They positioned me perfectly into the last climb. It was incredible teamwork from everybody.”

Final overall winner, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “In the end it’s a really beautiful victory, we’ve worked really hard for it, we’ve been in great form, we’ve been testing ourselves to see where we’re all at, and to win here in Switzerland it gives me a lot of confidence and the team as well. It’s a beautiful race, and to win it makes it all the better, and to have this title on my palmarès is something really special, I’m really happy. At the start of the day we didn’t have many seconds ahead of Rigo, but I knew that I was feeling good and that the team are going really well, I have a lot of trust in them and them in me, and we knew that they were going to attack, but in the end I had Eddie with me and he was responding to all the attacks, and I was feeling good so I knew I could be there with them. When Rigo attacked I was there, and during the final it was really important to have a teammate with me, it makes you feel stronger and it was great to arrive to the line together. It’s been great having the team around me, how strong they’ve all been, in the end we had the situation under control right from the start, and in the end we had a good day together. It’s good to come here, we’ve been working hard since last year and it’s great to get this result. It’s been one of my main objectives, so to come away with the win gives me confidence and the team as well ahead of the rest of the summer.”

4th on the stage and 12th overall, Eddie Dunbar (INEOS Grenadiers): “The team rode really super today. Even at the start we controlled it very well. Then we had Luke and Golas come back and really control things in the valley. Then a lot of other teams were actually a bit panicked about the breakaway today, so they helped us in the valley as they were worried about the GC position – so that saved a lot of energy for us. We got to the climb and we rode our tempo – in the end it was a very strong tempo. We expected the favourites to attack and they did. Thankfully we were able to respond and bring it home. I think Richie is a worthy winner of this race. He showed all week he’s the strongest rider here and he proved it again today. It’s a great day for the team again.”

8th on the stage and 6th overall, Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka Assos): “I am happy with the result of 6th place at the Tour de Suisse. It was disappointing to crash out of the Giro this year, with the good form I believe I had but was not able to show it. The Tour de Suisse has been a confirmation of my shape, which I am very happy about. Thank you to the team for the support this week.”

9th on the stage and 3rd overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech): “After yesterday’s not so good day, I was fully motivated to try something today to make it onto the podium or end this week with a stage win. On the last ascent, I heard that Schachmann had a gap and therefore I knew I need to go all in and just gave all I had in the final last kilometres. The week was a mixed one, the mountain stages went quite good with almost a stage win, but the time trial days were, let’s say, not my best ones. I am happy with my podium spot and it shows me that I am on the right path towards my next big objective, which is the Olympic Games. Now I am heading home for the Nationals Championship and then the Tour de France so there are some important races coming up and I think I am heading in a good direction.”

10th on the stage and 4th overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The stage was really tough, right from the start with that climb coming so soon. Of course, I rode hard and it was frustrating that I had to let go over the last metres. I fought hard, but I’m still a bit disappointed that I ultimately didn’t make it onto the podium.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 8 Result:
1. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious in 4:06:25
2. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:09
4. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:21.

Tour de Suisse Final Overall Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers in 24:44:01
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 0:17
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:15
4. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:19
5. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation at 2:55
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 3:16
7. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 3:43
8. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 4:16
9. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:39
10. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange at 5:33.

 


Tour of Slovenia 2021
Stage 2 of the Tour of Slovenia was won by Tadej Pogačar. The Slovenian rode away on the climb of Svetina for a solo of more than 20 kilometres. Pogačar is also the new overall leader.

The race started in dry conditions and the early break came after 15 kilometres with Alexander Konychev (BikeExchange), Sergio Arraiz (Equipo Kern Pharma), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Josu Etxeberria (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Robert Scott (Canyon dhb SunGod), Kasper Andersen (ColoQuick), Alan Banaszek (HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski) and Daniel Bigham of Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. In the peloton UAE Team Emirates were in control for top favourite Tadej Pogačar, so that the lead of the nine escapees never exceeded 2 minutes. With 25 kilometres to go, just before the climb of Svetina (5.2km at 7.7%), it looked like there was going to be a regrouping. The men of Bahrain Victorious and Uno-X took the lead, to bring the leaders as best as possible to the foot of the Svetina. On the climb, UAE Team Emirates took command again and Vegard Stake Laengen was in the lead so hard that only his teammates Pogačar and Jan Tratnik could follow, although Rafal Majka and Diego Ulissi were able to rejoin. That wasn’t for long, because with 22 kilometres to go, Pogačar pushed on and blew everyone off his wheel.

Italian Matteo Sobrero was the closest chaser to the Pogačar. The Astana-Premier Tech rider had a good rhythm, but was also unable hold the Slovenian and after a while was joined by Ulissi and Majka. The Italian and Pole remained on Sobrero’s wheel. This played into the hands of Pogačar, who took more and more time. Pogačar started the descent of Svetina with a lead of just under a minute. Meanwhile, the second group kept getting bigger, as more and more riders managed to return from behind. Matej Mohorič was able to take full advantage of his descending skills to get together with Sobrero, to try to catch leader Pogačar. It wasn’t to be as Pogačar had plenty of time to celebrate his first stage win in the Tour of Slovenia. At the finish, the difference to Mohoric was almost a minute and a half. Ulissi was third, ahead of Sobrero and Tanel Kangert. In the general classification, Pogačar now has a lead of 1:25 on Mohorič.

Stage winner and overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I am very happy. This is my first victory in the Tour of Slovenia and to win in front of the home crowd in a classic stage like this is beautiful. The team did a fantastic job. Trentin pushed all day, Oliveira took me to the foot of the final climb and the other guys helped me as best as possible until the end. I am proud of all the guys and we aim to do well in the next stages as well.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “Today’s end of the stage was very demanding, also due to the downpour, which made the penultimate and last ascent even more difficult. We dictated a strong pace before starting the penultimate ascent, which diluted the group and allowed me to ride the slope at my own pace and catch the connection to the chasers group at the top. Tadej Pogačar was too strong, and he was out of reach. I was already on the descent to make a difference, but the other three riders from the UAE team eliminated that difference, and then in the final sprint, I managed to reach 2nd place, which was the best I could reach on this stage. We will try to defend this position and get on the podium in Novo Mesto.”

Tour of Slovenia Stage 2 Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 3:32:02
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 1:22
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 1:25
6. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
9. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:30.

Tour of Slovenia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 7:05:37
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 1:25
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:28
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:33
5. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane at 1:36
6. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
9. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 1:41
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:08.

 

Jon Aberasturi won Stage 3 of the Tour of Slovenia. The Spaniard finished off the work done by UAE Team Emirates for Matteo Trentin. Matej Mohoric was second and Trentin finished third.

Another hilly stage in the Tour of Slovenia was on the schedule for Friday with the climb to Sremič in the last 20 kilometres. Seven riders attacked: Raul Garcia Pierna, Jonas Hvideberg, Jacob Scott, Andrea Garosio, Jaime Castrillo, Jon Irisarri and David Per. Their escape did not last very long. With 91 kilometres to go, the peloton closed them down. Kenny Molly, Alessandro Monaca and Jhonatan Restrepo and Sergio Araiz then tried. They lasted a lot longer. Only at the foot of the climb to Sremič (4.3 kilometres at 5.6%) Restrepo was caught as the last escapee. Once the climb started, it became clear that UAE Team Emirates’ goal was to eliminate the sprinter Phil Bauhaus. Thanks to an attack by Rafal Majka, they succeeded, although the Pole was unable to get away on his own.

Twelve riders, four of them from UAE Team Emirates, reached the summit together to start the last 20 kilometres together. Markus Hoelgaard and Jan Tratnik tried in vain to get away. Especially the attack of the Slovenian seemed to threaten UAE Team Emirates. Pogačar had to personally chase his compatriot in the last kilometre, to allow Trentin to go for the sprint. That worked, although the Italian was unable to finish it. In Krško Trentin was beaten by Aberasturi and Mohoric.

Stage winner, Jon Aberasturi (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): “We knew that the placement in the last port was going to be very important. He didn’t want to spend a lot because he knew he was going to go full throttle. Although a small group has left, after the descent I have been able to link with Bagües. His legs were a bit touched by the effort of the port, but he knew that in a small group he could win. He knew the wheel to follow was Trentin’s. I saw that he sprinted two hundred from the finish line and I jumped with him. He really wanted to win, after several second places. Today I had some doubts about the final pass, but I am in good shape and taking advantage of my speed point I was able to win. The team has been very good, with Aritz getting along very well and then it was a matter of my own strength.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “Today we focused on the goal of bringing the race down to a sprint. We worked well enough for Trentin, despite not having one last man to launch Matteo. Considering that Trentin had been involved in a bad crash in the first stage, the third place still leaves us satisfied, and shows he’s okay and feeling strong. I am happy to have defended the yellow jersey and pleased that my teammates kept their positions in the top 10 of the overall ranking. It was great to wear the leaders jersey on the stage today, the support from the roadside was amazing. Tomorrow will be another busy day and I can’t wait to race.”

Tour of Slovenia Stage 3 Result:
1. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 3:50:26
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal WB
5. Jeppe Pallesen (Den) Coloquick
6. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling
7. Daniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
9. Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech.

Tour of Slovenia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 10:56:03
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 1:15
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:26
4. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:33
5. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling at 1:36
6. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
7. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
9. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:41.

 

The tough Stage 4 of the Tour of Slovenia was won by Diego Ulissi. The Italian recorded his first victory of the year on Sveta Gora. On his way to victory, Ulissi received support from teammates Tadej Pogačar and Rafal Majka. Ulissi finished the job by dealing with Matteo Sobrero, the only non UAE Team Emirates rider in the front group.

The Queen stage in the Tour of Slovenia had some nasty climbs. On the menu: Temnica (4.4km at 8.1%), twice the Ravnica (2.7km at 10%), Vrhovlje (4.4km at 7.3%) and the final climb to the holy mountain Sveta Gora, just outside Nova Gorica (2.4km at 13.5%).

Early on, eight riders formed a breakaway. Josip Rumac, Urko Berrade, Jon Irisarri, Jesus Antonio Soto, Robert Scott, David Per, Adam Stachowiak and Kristijan Koren got a maximum lead of three minutes but knew they had no chance for victory. Stachowiak left his companions on the last stretch of Italian territory when he put in his attack just over 20 kilometres from the finish with only a minute advantage. The Pole also knew that he had no chance for the stage victory, but at least he gave his sponsor some more publicity.

Everything finally came down to the final climb. There, UAE Team Emirates conducted the action. Jan Polanc was first on the front, after which Rafal Majka took over. Tadej Pogačar followed their wheels, with Ulissi near by. A win for the UAE squad was almost certain. Only Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech) was able to follow the UAE train. Ulissi’s acceleration at about 150 metres from the finish was too powerful for the Italian. Pogačar skipped over the brave Sobrero in the final metres. With one stage to go, the yellow jersey wearer is almost certain of the overall victory in his home race.

Stage winner and second overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m really happy for this victory: after a difficult winter, it’s great to have found good legs, a good condition and to be back to winning. Already since the last week of the Giro d’Italia I had excellent sensations, today I made the most of my condition. I thank a great team for the support I received from all of them.”

Tour of Slovenia Stage 4 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 4:15:28
2. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:01
3. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 0:27
5. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling at 0:48
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 0:53
7. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:05
8. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 1:19
9. Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:28
10. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:35.

Tour of Slovenia Overall After Stage 4:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 15:11:26
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:21
3. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:35
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 2:08
5. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling at 2:29
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange at 2:34
7. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 2:39
8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 2:46
9. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:21
10. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 4:45.

 

The Final Stage 5 in the Tour of Slovenia was perfect for Phil Bauhaus. In Novo Mesto, Bahrain’s German was the best in the bunch sprint. For Tadej Pogačar there was no problems on the last stage and the UAE Team Emirates rider was the final winner of his home race for the first time.

There were a few obstacles on the fifth and final stage, from the capital Ljubljana to Novo mesto. A few hills and a gravel section were not bad enough to make Pogačar nervous. The leading group was Torstein Traeen (Uno-X), Julen Irizar Laskurian (Euskatel-Euskadi), Viktor Potočki (Ljubljana Gusto Santic), Patrik Tybor (Dukla Banska Bystrica), Jeppe Pallesen (Team Coldquick), Pawel Bernas (HRE Mazowsze Serce) and Martin Lavrič (Slovenian team), they escaped early.

Their break didn’t come to much and the escape was caught in plenty of time, thanks in part by the work of Bahrain Victorious. In the technical final into Novo mesto, Bahraini team was rewarded for their efforts. Heinrich Haussler delivered Phil Bauhaus perfectly, after which the German only had to finish it. Alex Edmondson (BikeExchange) was second ahead of Haussler.

Stage winner, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s incredible. The team did a fantastic job once again today. We did the last two km pulling on the front, and then it was a perfect one into the finish: Haussler, as the last lead-out man, brought me in the first position 200 metres to go, and from there, I could start my sprint in an ideal condition. Happily, it was a good one!”

Overall winner, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It is an incredible emotion, I have been near the podium in this race four times and I can finally celebrate taking the title. It was a beautiful week that makes me happy and proud to be able to be here at home in front of all these people. The team has always worked well and we deserved these results, congratulations to all the guys. My legs are getting better and better and I’m almost ready for the Tour de France. I still have two weeks to prepare myself for what will be my next big goal.”

2nd on the stage, Alex Edmondson (BikeExchange): “The boys rode awesome today to keep me in good position in the final. From previous years we knew you had to be second or third through the last corner to have any chance at the win. I gave it my all, but I’m stoked to get second and finish a successful week with the boys. All week we rode awesome as a team so it’s a great way to finish the race off.”

7th overall, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “We are delighted to conclude the Tour of Slovenia like that, with Phil’s win and my red jersey. I think we can look forward to the Tour de France, where I will target the stage wins.”

Tour of Slovenia Stage 5 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 4:12:05
2. Alex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange
3. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
7. Matthew Gibson (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling
8. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Alan Banaszek (Pol) Mazowsze Serce Polski
10. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech.

Tour of Slovenia Final Overall Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 19:23:31
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:21
3. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:35
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 2:08
5. James Shaw (GB) Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling at 2:29
6. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 2:34
7. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 2:39
8. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 2:46
9. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 3:21
10. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 4:45.

 


Baloise Belgium Tour 2021
Remco Evenepoel won the time trial Stage 2 of the Baloise Belgium Tour. The Belgian of Deceuninck – Quick-Step defeated Yves Lampaert and Finn Fisher-Black in the 11.2 kilometre time trial around Knokke-Heist and increases his lead in the general classification.

The course lent itself to fast times. The first serious target time was posted by Charlie Quarterman. The Trek-Segrafredo rider was the first to finish under 12:30, but he was pushed out of the hot seat by Thibault Guernalec. The Frenchman recorded a time 7 seconds faster. His time stood for a long time, until Frederik Frison was the first to go under 12:20. Rune Herregodts then surprised by improving that time by the slimmest amount. The Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise rider was only four hundredths of a second faster. He eventually finished fourth on the stage result. It looked like Koen Bouwman seemed to be getting close to Herregodts’ time, but at the finish in Knokke-Heist the Dutchman was five seconds short. The Jumbo-Visma rider finish as the best Dutchman in 8th place. The first rider to ride under Herregodt’s time was 19 year-old New Zealander Fisher-Black.

Only two riders managed to break that time. Yves Lampaert once again showed his class. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider was almost 16 seconds faster and took the hot seat, although Lampaert said that he didn’t think he would take the stage victory. His suspicion turned out to be correct. Overall leader Evenepoel managed to live up to his status as top favourite. The aero bullet – as Lampaert called his teammate – turned out to be the best, although the difference was not big. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates recorded almost the same split times. Only in the final part of the stage the 21-year-old top talent was just a little faster. He crossed the finish line after exactly two seconds faster than Lampaert. In the general classification, the rider from Schepdaal strengthened his lead to 45 seconds on Lampaert.

Stage winner and race leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I can’t put into words how happy I am! This winning feeling is something that was missing since last year’s Tour de Pologne and I am relieved that I took the stage today. I went through some difficult months with the rehabilitation, so it feels quite nice to win in this discipline that I love so much and contribute to the team’s superb tally. Everyone here supported and believed in me, and for that I am grateful.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 12:00
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:18
4. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:19
5. Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:21
7. Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Qhubeka Assos
8. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:24
9. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:25
10. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:26.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:17:00
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
3. Gianni Marchard (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:53
4. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:01
5. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:07
6. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa-Samsic at 1:09
7. Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:10
8. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions 00:01:15.

 

Stage 3 of the Baloise Belgium Tour resulted in a victory for Caleb Ewan. The 26-year-old Australian from Lotto Soudal was the fastest in the bunch sprint in the streets of Scherpenheuvel-Zichem. Ewan beat Pascal Ackermann and Michael Mørkøv. Remco Evenepoel remains in the overall lead.

The Tour of Belgium moved to Gingelom, for a stage of 174.4 kilometres to Scherpenheuvel-Zichem on Friday. In the final, the peloton had three local laps of 16 kilometres each. This included the Côte Dongelstraat (700 meters at an average gradient of 5.2%) three times, but a bunch sprint was on the cards. Five riders attacked from the start: Classic talent Cedric Beullens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), cross rider Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Andreas Goeman (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Jan-Willem van Schip from BEAT Cycling with his narrow handlebars. The Dutchman collected a number of points for the spirit competition. Sweeck was the best placed rider at the front, 1:46 seconds behind Evenepoel. He was in virtual lead during the stage, but the peloton didn’t let the five get too far away. The maximum lead was never greater than 3 minutes and could not dream of the stage victory. In the peloton the sprinter’s teams did most of the work.

In a nervous final it took a long time before the escapees were caught. In the peloton there were two crashes, one included Jasper Philipsen. The young Belgian from Alpecin-Fenix ​​was able to continue. At about 6 kilometres from the finish, the break of five was as good as caught on the Dongelstraat when Maestri attacked. Van Schip counter-attacked together with a Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider, but in the end it was to no avail. In the streets of Scherpenheuvel-Zichem there were several sprint trains. In the end Jasper De Buyst provided an excellent lead-out for Ewan, after which the Australian easily held off the opposition on the slightly up hill finish. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) was second, Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck – Quick-Step third and Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) fourth.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “I am really impressed by what my teammates did today. They brought me into a perfect position before that final climb and at the top, we were all together. Then they basically pulled into the headwind all the way to the finish and no one came around us. I think we were only with four guys left as we had to use a few more teammates than we wanted to chase the breakaway and that’s what makes it even more impressive. I am really lucky to have such strong and smart teammates. We’ve integrated Tosh Van der Sande and Harry Sweeny in the lead-out as well, a first time at the UAE Tour and now here again and I think that was maybe what we were missing a little, those two guys in front of Jasper and Roger. Although it had been months since we’ve all raced together and did a sprint, they just did the perfect job. Obviously, tomorrow’s Ardennes stage will be quite hard but I’ll use it as a training. Of course, I hope to be back up there on Sunday for another sprint. It would be nice to go into the Tour with at least one more win, but I am happy with how I am feeling now. As a sprinter, confidence is your biggest weapon. I feel like everything’s on track.”

Overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a fairly calm day, and I owe it to the team, because they all did an excellent job, keeping me out of the wind and working hard at the head of the bunch. On Saturday we’ll have the queen stage of this edition and it will be a nice feeling to have the blue jersey again on my shoulders, as it gives me a lot of motivation. It’s going to be a short and nervous stage with plenty of climbs, many attacks and some high temperatures that could play a part, but I look forward to it.”

2nd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The race today went well and the team always protected me in the most important situations and kept me well ahead. We also had a good lead-out and I sat on the fastest wheel, but behind Caleb you don’t have the best slipstream and so there was no chance. Still, I’m happy with today and hopefully there is another chance for a sprint coming up.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:56:43
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
7. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
9. Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions
10. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) DSM.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 8:13:43
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
3. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:53
4. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:01
5. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:07
6. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic at 1:09
7. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:10
8. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions at 1:15.

 

Caleb Ewan won the Ardennes Stage 4 of the Baloise Belgium Tour in a sprint from a decimated peloton, ahead of Bryan Coquard and Davide Ballerini. Remco Evenepoel’s leading position was never jeopardised.

The fourth stage in the Baloise Belgium Tour took the peloton through the Ardennes, with the climbs of the Côte d’Odeigne (4km at 3.8%) and the Côte Hermanne-Kimones (2.1km at 5.8%) on the two finishing laps.

After a little less than 20 kilometres, the early break formed. Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Luuc Bugter (BEAT Cycling) and Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani), Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) and Roberto Gonzalez (Vini Zabu) made up the leading six, which gained a maximum lead of just under 6 minutes. Deceuninck – Quick-Step held them in check for leader and top favourite Remco Evenepoel. At more than 40 kilometres from the finish, the peloton was decimated for the first time due Eli Iserbyt and Oscar Riesebeek. Riders were being dropped, but that didn’t lead to any differences among the top riders. Also because this Ardennes stage was not the most difficult in the history of the Baloise Belgium Tour.

25 kilometres from the finish, Jumbo-Visma and Lotto Soudal took control of the peloton and, the lead of the six early escapees fell. 1:30 turned into 15 seconds in no time, but Rickaert, Zoccarato and Van der Hoorn didn’t give up and pushed their lead to over half a minute. On the last climb of the day, 7 kilometres from the finish, the three brave riders were caught. A peloton with more than 40 riders survived the Côte d’Odeigne and raced towards Hamoir. All the favourites for the overall victory were still there, but also fast-finishers such as Caleb Ewan, Davide Ballerini, Giacomo Nizzolo and Bryan Coquard. Just like Friday, there was no match for Ewan in the sprint. The Australian beat Coquard, Ballerini, Nizzolo and Jasper De Buyst. Remco Evenepoel’s lead of 45 seconds over his teammate Yves Lampaert was never in danger. The Belgian continues to lead the standings with a lead of 45 seconds over his teammate Yves Lampaert. A bunch sprint is expected in Beringen on Sunday.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “To be honest, I didn’t really believe in a stage victory before the start. I expected that the GC guys would take their opportunity today and that there would be a lot of attacks. But the pace was kept really high all day long and I think a lot of the guys didn’t really have the legs to get away in the end. It was only with one lap to go that I really started to believe in it. I felt good and we decided that we would give it a go. That is why you started seeing us coming to the front to chase the breakaway. I am really happy to pull it off once again after a superb job by my team today. Of course it was a really tough stage and obviously I wasn’t really expecting to be there in the final. I got distanced on the final climb but the team did an amazing job waiting for me and moving me back to the bunch. In the end, we were still with five guys left and it worked out perfectly. I knew it would be hard to come back but I kept fighting with my teammates to bridge to the front group. And that lead-out was again really impressive… Tomorrow, there’s another chance for a stage win and obviously we are really motivated to go for it again. I don’t think I ever scored a hat-trick in my career so that would really be unique.”

Overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We started the day with the goal of doing something and trying to dispatch the sprinters, but it soon became clear it would be difficult, so we decided to control instead. We did a perfect job, our guys were always present at the front, and in the closing kilometres I tried to give a hand to Ballero. Sunday will be the last stage of the race and we will start it with the goal of defending the jersey and setting up Cav for the bunch sprint. I know the roads we’ll take on from the previous edition, so I will go into it relaxed and confident.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:37:49
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
3. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos
5. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
9. Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
10. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

Baloise Belgium Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 11:51:31
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:45
3. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:53
4. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:01
5. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:07
6. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic at 1:09
7. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:10
8. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions at 1:15
10. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

 

Mark Cavendish won the Final Stage 5 in the Baloise Belgium Tour on Sunday. He won his first Belgium Tour stage in the streets of Beringen in a bunch sprint from Tim Merlier and Pascal Ackermann. The overall victory of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) was never endangered on the flat circuit.

Forty-nine kilometres were covered in the first hour and it took a while before the break of the day was formed. Piotr Havik and Jordy Bouts (Beat Cycling), cyclo-cross rider Ryan Kamp (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), Cyril Lemoine (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) and Corné Van Kessel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) never really got a lot of freedom. The maximum lead was 2:30. In the peloton Lotto Soudal (for Ewan), Alpecin-Fenix ​​(for Merlier), BORA-hansgrohe (for Ackerman) and Deceuninck – Quick-Step (for Cavendish) all put a man on the front to limit the lead. Later, Jumbo-Visma also helped. In the last of the three local laps in and around Beringen the five were brought back, after which the peloton prepared for the third bunch sprint of the 2021 Baloise Belgium Tour.

All eyes were on Caleb Ewan, but he was badly placed in the chaotic final kilometre. This made it a duel between Mark Cavendish on the left and Tim Merlier on the other side of the road. Cav made it by more than half a bike. Pascal Ackermann was third. For Cav it was his fifth win of the season, and by far his best. The second overall victory in a row by Remco Evenepoel was in no danger. Evenepoel laid the foundation for his overall victory in the opening stage and then successfully defended his leader’s jersey. His teammate Yves Lampaert finishes second at 46 seconds. Gianni Marchand was third, which was a great success for the continental Tarteletto-Isorex team.

Stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “At the beginning of the week we talked about this round having so many sprinters, even more than most Grand Tours. After Friday we were all disappointed but Tom Steels kept us on our toes today, I was very motivated and the team was just fantastic. I don’t race often with Michael Mørkøv as he is Sam Bennett’s regular lead-out, but he had to drop out for this race. But everyone knows you win if you’re behind Morkov (laughs). Every six-year-old dreams of riding with a team like that.” “I can’t remember the last time the lead changed so much in the middle of a sprint.” “We really passed each other several times. Merlier went on early, but in the end I was lucky to get over it. It is always fantastic to win in Belgium as a Belgian team.” “The same goes for that record of Eddy Merckx, I never started that and it is now the case. Sam Bennett won the green jersey last year, so he has the right to go to the Tour. We need to see how he feels before we think about anything else.”

Overall winner, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m making very good progress. This is very satisfying after everything that happened and where I came from. It is a sign that we are on the way back to top level. So thank you to everyone who has supported me. First to get ready for the Giro d’Italia and now for the Baloise Belgium Tour where I could take two victories. I’m making very good progress, but I still need a little more time. That will be fine. The local circuit was very hectic. It was immediately nervous there. But I think we did a perfect last lap. We were always attentive at the crucial points. Here in the centre of Beringen was my finish line. I was able to drop the boys well in the front there. I drove on to the roundabout, after which I still had to hurry to join the group. Cavendish wins and I win the general classification: that’s a dream finish. I don’t know yet if I’ll go on an altitude training camp. At altitude you cannot train at the same intensity as at sea level, and in my case that intensity is more important and more beneficial for the future. Maybe I’ll go to Spain. What is certain is that I will leave for Tokyo at the beginning of July.”

3rd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe): “The team did a good job today and brought me into position for the final sprint. On the last kilometre I was in perfect position, but too close to the left barrier. As there was no space to get through, I had no chance to go for the victory.”

5th overall, Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe): “My plan today worked out quite perfect as I wanted to move up in the GC with the bonus seconds of the intermediate sprints. The team did a great job to pull back the riders up front and I could take in total 5 seconds to move up to a 5th place in the GC. I am more than happy with my performance and how it went today.”

Baloise Belgium Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:50:29
2. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
9. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
10. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Baloise Belgium Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 15:42:00
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:46
3. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:56
4. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:04
5. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:08
6. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic at 1:12
8. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:13
9. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise-Trek Lions
10. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:18.

 


The First Six Riders Chosen for the Tour de France 2021
This Thursday, June 10th, Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R CITROËN Team, revealed the names of the first six riders selected for the Tour de France 2021 (June 26-18 July). Also present for the unveiling were representatives from the title partners of the team AG2R LA MONDIALE and CITROËN.

The final two riders will be announced after the national championships on June 20th.

“This team will combine experience and youth. It has an abundance of talent, drive, and is capable of the greatest successes, whether we are hunting for stages or focusing on achieving the best possible position in the general classification with riders like Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Ben O’Connor. I can’t wait to be at the start in Brest with these riders,” Vincent Lavenu said.

“These first riders who have been selected by Vincent Lavenu make it clear that it will be a very good team that shares the same values, particularly a commitment to their performance and a team solidarity. Everyone at the AG2R LA MONDIALE company will be behind them to support and encourage them throughout the Tour de France. We hope to see at least one of our riders raise his arms in victory on one or more stages,” explained André Renaudin, CEO of AG2R LA MONDIALE.

“The riders selected by Vincent Lavenu bring together a wealth of talent, experience and fighting spirit, combined with the team spirit essential to succeed in a competition as demanding as the Tour de France. The men and women of Citroën and its network will be wholeheartedly with them to make our colours shine on the stages of the Tour”, says Vincent Cobée, CEO of CITROËN.

The six riders seen by Vincent Lavenu:

Benoît Cosnefroy
25 years old
France
3rd participation
Wore the King of the Mountains jersey for 15 days in 2020
“After a start to the season that was thwarted by knee pain, Benoît has regained his best level thanks to his fighting temperament. We know he can bring us great joys and be one of the top French riders for the Tour de France 2021.”

Bob Jungels
28 years old
Luxembourg
4th participation
11th in 2018
“Bob has great talent and has a solid track record. When he’s at his best, he has the ability to win the best races. We will count on his experience and his physical strength to shine at the Tour.”

Oliver Naesen
30 years old
Belgium
6th participation
“Oliver has been a part of the team since 2017 thanks to his talent and good humour. He has often finished highly placed in stages and has also been invaluable when we have needed to position and protect our leaders at key moments. This will again be an important attribute when we are crossing France from east to west in the first week.”

Ben O’Connor
25 years old
Australia
First participation
“Ben is a very talented rider who has shown great things in tough races like the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné. We already knew his qualities as a rider, especially since he won a stage last year at the Giro. Subsequently, though, we have found him to be a delightful man who should certainly shine in his Tour debut.”

Aurélien Paret-Peintre
25 years old
France
First participation
“Aurélien will ride his first Grande Boucle after having had a very encouraging first part of the season, which included a victory at the GP La Marseillaise. He will go with the general classification in mind, but without setting a specific goal. We will count on him being strong in the mountains, and who knows, maybe be able to go for a stage victory.”

Greg Van Avermaet
36 years
Belgium
9th participation
3 stage victories 2015 (TTT), 2016 and 2018.
Wore the yellow jersey 2016 (3 days) and 2018 (8 days)
“Greg came to the team preceded by his reputation and immediately fit in with ease. He has already won stages and worn the yellow jersey at the Tour. This will again be his goal with us, while also playing the mentoring role of “older brother”, which is a role he does wonderfully.”

 


Lefevere on Cavendish: “I am thinking about contract extension for the Tour”
Patrick Lefevere will soon sit down with Mark Cavendish to discuss a contract extension. As the manager thinks about it now, he wants to extend with the 35-year-old Briton: “Extend Cavendish for the Tour, on better conditions. With the level he has now, he wants to continue for at least another year.”

Lefevere brought up his rider’s contract situation in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad following a dinner he had with Cavendish last week. Lefevere had asked Cavendish if he wanted to do another Grand Tour. His answer: “Not on this salary, no.”

Lefevere can understands “That may sound cynical, but I understand his point of view. Mark joined our team at the last minute. At that time, the Tour was out of the question at all. He signed a minimum contract because we had minimal expectations. The cards are different now. His level is much better than expected,” he continued. “The Tour of Turkey is only the Tour of Turkey, but only win four stages. Mark was also freewheeling in the Scheldeprijs and in the Elfstedenronde he was at least as fast as Tim Merlier in the sprint on Sunday. Mark still has his speed. But I understand that he is not waiting for a Tour de France. For him, that means racing under pressure, under the magnifying glass of the media. If he even comes close to a win, everyone starts talking about Eddy Merckx’s record. He has won 34 stages in the Tour, Mark is now at thirty.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step does benefit from a possible contract extension of Cavendish. Especially because Sam Bennet is still uncertain for the Tour de France. “There is no real plan B as a sprinter. The problem is that he suffers from inflammation of the patellar tendon and those are persistent injuries. We’ve been through it before with Tom Boonen, Zdenek Stybar and Andrea Bagioli, all of whom even had surgery. Will Sam make the Tour? At the moment we don’t know. He has to rest until at least Monday.”

A smiling Cav:

 


Québec and Montréal Classics Canceled for the Second Year
The Grand Prix de Québec and Montréal have been canceled for this year, the UCI announced in a press release on Thursday. Last year the two Canadian classics were also canceled due to the corona crisis.

This year’s Grand Prix de Québec was to be held on Friday, September 10, followed two days later by the race in Montreal. However, the organisers have also failed to run the one-day races in 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic. They hope to return in 2022. Last year, the organisers were also forced to cancel the races, as the riders had to deal with travel restrictions and quarantine obligations. Furthermore, large-scale events were banned until at least August 31.

Michael Matthews won the last edition in Québec in 2019, Greg Van Avermaet was the best in Montréal.

Matthews in Québec’19:

 


Profronde Surhuisterveen Moved to Saturday 2 October
The Profronde of Surhuisterveen will take place this year on Saturday 2 October, the organisers announced to Cyclingonline. The criterium is now on the program a few days after the UCI Road World Championships.

In previous years, the Profronde Surhuisterveen ran immediately after the Tour de France. “Due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, that is not possible this year. We have looked for an alternative date with everyone involved. Saturday 2 October is perfect in our opinion,” says chairman Albert Helfrich on behalf of the organising committee.

“We hope for the start of the Olympic and world champion. And of course we don’t forget the toppers from the Tour de France,” Helfrich said. This year the race will also pay tribute to Pieter Weening, who retired from cycling last year. The former Rabobank, Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij and Trek-Segafredo rider, will receive a sporting farewell in Surhuisterveen.

A delayed goodbye in Surhuisterveen for Peter Weening:

 


Marie-Claude Molnar World Champion in Women’s C4 ITT at Para Road World Championships in Portugal
Two-time Paralympian Marie-Claude Molnar can now call herself a Road World Champion for the first time in her career. Despite heavy winds and a very technical course, she was able to clinch the rainbow jersey in the women’s C4 Individual Time Trial on the second day of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships with a time of 41:49.47.

“The race was great. It was tricky because of the wind but overall, I felt great the entire race,” said Molnar. “I really made sure to focus on the present and on my cadence. I really made sure to make every decision at the right moment. I’m really proud of the result for sure. I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time and the support from Cycling Canada has been making a big difference and I truly want to thank everybody.”

This marks the first international road race for Canadian Para athletes in nearly two years, with races taking place until Sunday, June 13 for all categories. For full race information and results, click here.

Marie-Claude Molnar World Champion in Women’s C4 ITT:

 


Alaphilippe Leaves Tour of Switzerland for Birth of his Child
Julian Alaphilippe will leave the Tour of Switzerland this afternoon after his time trial. Fourth on the general classification wants to be at the birth of his child, who is due on Monday.

“The plan is to get off the race today (after the time trial) because his baby should be born on Monday,” team boss Patrick Lefevere wrote in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday.

After that, there was still some uncertainty about whether or not the Frenchman would start in the time trial, but sports director Rik Van Slycke confirmed on French television that his rider would ride the time trial. The world champion has been active several times in the Tour de Suisse. He finished eighth in the second stage, third in the third stage and seventh in the fifth stage. On Friday he was part of the early break.

Julian Alaphilippe and girlfriend Marion Rousse:

 


Buchmann Makes Comeback at the Tour de France
During a training camp in Livigno, the decision was made to take on the Tour. However, Buchmann will not start the race as captain.

“My crash at the Giro was very bitter. I was in really good shape and am convinced that I could have ridden right up front there. First of all, I had to deal with this setback and also heal the injuries from the crash. The motivation came back quite quickly and that’s why I went to the training camp last week to see where I stood. My knee continued to be slightly sore for a while, however, everything is okay now. I feel fit, yet whether I can be in top shape for the Tour still remains to be seen. I haven’t been able to prepare for several months like I did for the Giro, which was to be my highlight. That’s why I’m not aiming for the overall classification. I want to take the Tour day by day without pressure, taking my chances and riding offensively when possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m writing off the overall classification from the outset, but with Wilco there, we’ll have a leader who has been able to prepare himself in the most optimal way. He will be the clear number one there and I will also give him my full support where necessary.”Emanuel Buchmann.

“First of all, I am very happy that we will see Emu at the Tour. I would have preferred to see him on the podium in Milan, but unfortunately that wasn’t able to happen. For the second year in a row, Emu has had to bid farewell to a high point that he had been working towards for months. This is quite tough and I very much respect the way he handled the situation, and that he is now trying to attack again at the Tour. However, it is also clear that Wilco is our leader. After a few setbacks during the spring, his preparation has proceeded very well over the past few weeks, and at the Dauphiné it was clear that he’s able to be right up there. He will have 100% support from the team. Emu will have freedom, but one must also be realistic: the Tour parcours is not ideal for him, and he dropped out of the Giro injured. The overall classification therefore plays a subordinate role, in my perspective, but of course he won’t allow himself to be left behind on purpose either. We’ll have to see how it goes and ideally, he’ll be able to show his strength in the mountains. If his form is right, I would like to see him attacking and taking risks. We’d like to show the fans in Germany an offensive and attractive style of riding.” Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

Emanuel Buchmann:

 


Herrada Brothers Extend Contract with Cofidis
Jesús and José Herrada will ride for the French Cofidis team next season. Jesús has signed for two more seasons, José has extended his contract with one season.

The 30-year-old Jesús Herrada has been racing for Cofidis since 2018 and has been successful several times for the team of manager Cédric Vasseur. In 2019 he won the Tour of Luxembourg, the first edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge and a stage in the Vuelta a España. This year he was the first to cross the line in the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.

Jesús Herrada, who finished fifth in the opening stage of La Route d’Occitanie, feels at home at Cofidis. “It’s a big family. I feel good and would like to repay the confidence of the team. I feel very good at the moment after an altitude training and I hope to win a stage in La Route d’Occitanie. The stages suit me very well and I hope to do it!”

The five-year-older José Herrada has been a valued force for years and sacrifices himself for his leaders. “It’s great that I can continue to race with my brother Jesús. I hope to share my experience with the young riders.” Vasseur adds: “We hope to win even more matches with Jesús, while José is a very experienced road captain within the team.”

Jesus Herrada:

 


Ruben Guerreiro Extends with EF Education–NIPPO
Ruben Guerreiro has the confidence and composure of a rider who is far more experienced. That’s why he believes this team is the perfect fit for him to keep evolving as a person and professional rider. We’re happy to announce that he’s extended his contract with EF Education-NIPPO.

Despite joining EF Education-NIPPO less than two years ago, Ruben Guerreiro has already accomplished a lot in his short time here. Last year, the 26-year-old rider cemented himself as one of the best climbers in the pro peloton after he won the King of the Mountains jersey at the Giro d’Italia.

While his climbing skills are certainly exceptional, Guerreiro has so much more to offer to the team.

“He’s one of the most instinctually accurate riders that I’ve seen out there,” said Jonathan Vaughters. The team’s CEO saw early on that the Portuguese pro is not only bold in his racing style and attitude, but he can back it up with results. Especially when he’s in a small group during a Grand Tour race — and the conditions are less than favourable.

“He can climb well and can handle really hard terrain and difficult conditions. When he gets into a small group, he knows how to win out of that group,” Vaughters adds. “Not only can Ruben win races for us because of his great instincts, but he can help other riders win races because of that. He knows how to read a race well,” said Vaughters.

And with plenty of races ahead this season, we’re so lucky to have him on board. Hear more from Ruben below:

What has been your highlight over the past two seasons with the team?
“My favourite moment is during the Grand Tour like the Giro where we have to race for three weeks. It’s a long battle and the spirits have to be good. The team has to live like a family. This team is like home to me. I’m really involved with the riders and staff and feel that I’m still improving. It’s been a perfect team for my growth and to showcase my capacity.

What are your goals for 2021 and beyond?
“I would like to do another Grand Tour this year after falling on some bad luck at the last Giro. I want to fight again for three weeks and have a good performance by the end.”

Why is EF Education-NIPPO a good fit for you?
“How the team operates has been good for me. In the past, I’ve had some injuries but here I feel really stable and like I’m progressing as a rider and person. I’m looking forward to some good moments in the future. I have been working with everyone well, but I’m excited to work with Sport Director Andreas Klier. I’m looking to get some good experience with him and fight for victories together.”

What advice would you go back and give to a younger Ruben now that you’ve had the success you’ve had?
“To enjoy this beautiful sport, to work hard and be grateful because one day everything will be worth it.”

Ruben Guerreiro:

 


Lars Boom to Team SD Worx
Team SD Worx has strengthened its sporting staff with the appointment of a new team manager, Lars Boom, who will join on 1 October 2021. Lars Boom has signed a two-year contract with the best women’s team on the UCI ranking.

During the winter months, Boom will focus on coaching cyclocross star Kata Blanka Vas, who has defended the Team SD Worx colours since 1 June this year. The 19 year-old Hungarian is riding for the team as a cyclo-cross, mountain bike and road racer. Boom will accompany her on the two off-road disciplines.

“It is an absolute advantage that Lars Boom has been active in his successful career on the road, cross and on the mountain bike,” sports director Danny Stam indicated. “With his experience he can help Kata Blanka Vas in all disciplines. In the road program we see Lars fitting into the picture of the technical staff where he will stand alongside Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak. Van der Breggen will take up this position from 1 January, Blaak will still ride the spring classics and will start in her new role on 1 May 2022.”

Stam has seen Boom at work regularly over the past six months: “Lars made a good, fresh impression on me. His enthusiasm and drive struck me. He is always very involved with his riders. We see a lot of opportunities in people who have gained a lot of knowledge in practice and who can be a reinforcement for our technical staff.”

Boom had to think for a while when he received an offer from Team SD Worx. “I had a good time at my previous team. But when the best women’s team in the peloton knocks on your door, it feels like a great and unique opportunity,” Boom said.

“In the last years of my career I combined the three disciplines of cross, road and mountain bike. With Kata Blanka Vas we have a young world champion in cyclocross and on the mountain bike. I hope that I can use my experience to help her make further progress. I see it as a rewarding challenge to work with her.”

So in the road program in 2022, Boom will form the technical staff with Danny Stam alongside newcomers to the team car Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak. “I have also only been a team leader for half a year in the women’s peloton,” Boom says. “I think I can still learn a lot from Danny. I also think it is fun to work with Anna and Chantal, who have experienced everything in women’s cycling, and who will also start a new challenge next year. With my years of experience in men’s cycling, I hope to be able to share a certain vision. We all have different insights into cycling, so we can form a nice team.”

Lars Boom back in 2014:

 


Uno-X Wants to Apply for a WorldTour License in 2023
Uno-X is currently active as a ProTeam, but the Norwegian team of manager Jens Haugland will apply for a WorldTour license in 2023 as Uno-X E-Mobility AS, the team announced in a press release. The women’s formation, new in 2022, hopes to start next year as a Women’s WorldTeam.

The Norwegian talent factory has been heading for a ProTeam license since 2020, but has big plans for the future. “But we will continue to race the same way. It’s about the team and we will continue to focus on the ‘Ajax model’. We will not pay the highest salaries, but we want to represent something unique as a team.”

“If riders want to go to another team, we will help them with that. If riders want to stay, we will continue to guide them. It’s in our DNA,” the team said in the press release. Uno-X can already look back on a successful season with five victories and many places of honour. Idar Andersen recently won the Tour de la Mirabelle, Niklas Larsen Fyen Rundt and Rasmus Tiller in the Dwars door het Hageland.

Earlier this month, the team extended the contracts of strong holders Idar Andersen and Rasmus Tiller. The Uno-X team currently consists of 25 riders and from 1 July the promising Danish climber Anthon Charmig will also be part of the team.

Tiller winning in Hageland:

 


INEOS Grenadiers Off-script | Dauphine 2021 Highlights
Go inside the team and see how a tough edition of the Dauphine played out as Richie Porte made it a magnificent seventh overall victory for the Grenadiers.

INEOS Grenadiers Off-Script brings you the behind the scenes highlights of the Dauphine.

 


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