The 2019 road season is grinding to an end with Il Lombardia, Paris-Tours, Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen, Tacx Pro Classic and the Gran Piemonte, we have all the news and views. Not to worry, the Tour Down Under is up soon. Laurens ten Dam retires – Top Story. News from the Santos Tour Down Under, Tour of the Alps and the Tour of Utah 2020, plus Silvelle ’19 CX European Championships line up. More rider contracts and Santos Tour Down Under introduces Paracycling Wheel-Race. Monday EUROTRASH news time!
TOP STORY: Ten Dam says goodbye – “Then organise road trips and gravel races”
After Saturday, Laurens ten Dam will not be a professional cyclist. In the Tour of Lombardy he rode with the peloton for the last time in his seventeenth season. What his plans look like after this has not yet been set in stone, but it is certain that he wants to do things that he likes.
Laurens ten Dam signs on for the last time as a pro in Saturday’s Tour of Lombardy
“Like a month of road tripping in the United States or organising gravel races with good music, good beer and nice barbecues,” Ten Dam told NOS in their TV preview to the last of the five Monuments of the cycling calendar. He wants to enjoy it first. “From the Sormano and the Ghisallo. And I want to finish because I haven’t been able to finish that often here.” In his six previous rides in the ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’, he only finished the race in 2012.
After Lombardy, the Dutchman will stay in Italy for a short while, together with Sam Oomen, and others, to cycle on the old pilgrim route from Milan to Rome. At the end of November he will cycle in the desert in Morocco and next year he plans to ride the American gravel race Dirty Kanza. “And in February a cool project is coming, but I can’t say anything about that.”
Probably not Ten Dam’s best memory as a pro cyclist – 2011 Tour de France stage 14:
Giro di Lombardia 2019
The Dutch rider Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) won the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday ahead Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Egan Bernal (Ineos). Mollema attacked on the climb to Civiglio, 18 kilometres from the finish line in Como, and won alone after an intense battle, in which the Slovenian Primo Roglic (Jumbo Visma), the race favourite, finished 7th.
Eight riders made the early break: Fausto Masnada (Androni), Davide Ballerini (Astana), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Petr Rikunov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Tom Skuijns (Trek-Segafredo) and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates). They took a maximum advantage of 5:45 seconds over the peloton. Masnada was the strongest and was the first to the Madonna del Ghisallo, chased by Skujns and Bob Jungels. They had an advantage of about two minutes at the beginning of the climb to the Colma de Sormano. The riders faced 2 kilometres with a 15% slope, before the Sormano Wall where a 27% ramp was waiting for them. The climb ended the escape of Masnada, Skujns and Jungels.
Iván Ramiro Sosa (Ineos), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Richard Carapaz (Movistar) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) led a peloton ahead of Valverde, Roglic, Bernal and Nibali. With more than four hours of racing in their legs, they had still had 45 kilometres and two intense climbs, the Civiglio (10% slopes) and the San Fermo della Battaglia (7%) to go
Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott), winner of Il Lombardía in 2016, and Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) were dropped by the leader’s group. On the Civiglio; Emanuel Buchamann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) put in an attack, followed by a brief attempt by Valverde and then the decisive move from Mollema, who took a lead that touched the 50 second mark with 10 kilometres to go.
The Dutchman took advantage of a moment where the “favourites” were looking at each other. The group underestimated Mollema’s attack, but Roglic decided to increase the pace alone before the last climb to San Fermo della Battaglia. Valverde, Bernal and Fuglsang eventually pulled the Vuelta winner back. Roglic paid for his effort and was passed by Valverde and Bernal, who cut Mollema’s lead to about 20 seconds, but it was too late to catch the Dutch rider.
The Trek-Segafredo rider did not ease off the pressure and came into Como alone, with time to raise his arms and enjoy the victory. Alejandro Valverde, Egan Bernal and Jakob Fuglsang crossed the line 16 seconds later for second, third and fourth.
Mollema received a special jersey dedicated to Felice Gimondi, who twice won Il Lombardía, in 1966 and 1976. In that last year, the Italian cycling legend was also crowned champion of the World.
See the ‘PEZ Il Lombardia Race Report’ HERE.
Lombardia’19 winner, Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo): “Once I had 20 seconds lead, I was surprised that the gap went up pretty fast. They were watching each other at the back. I was pretty sure that I’d still be first atop Civiglio. I didn’t know what was happening behind, but as I heard that I still had a 20-second lead, I had a good chance to win. I knew the downhill well, so I just time trialled until the finish. The last climb wasn’t super hard. I knew it. At one point I looked down and I saw Roglic was still pretty far away, so I was confident. With 1 or 2km to go, I was sure that I was gonna win. I had a good rhythm and they weren’t closing on me. Winning a Monument is a great way to finish the season, it’s nice that I had time to celebrate, my parents were here, it’s been a special moment.”
2nd, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m satisfied with this second place, but knowing that I had the legs to win, I’m left with a bittersweet taste. This is an important race, a Monument, one that I really love, and hence the feeling I’ve got at the end. There was a lot of everyone looking at each other near the end, and that makes it easier for a solo rider, with less vigilance, to go away and stick at the front until the end. Bauke took advantage to attack, make a big move and use his energy well to succeed. Hats off to him – he’s a deserved winner. I tried to attack again at San Fermo – I had jumped before at Civiglio, but once caught, I didn’t want to keep the pace because there was still one tough climb left – and even gave it a try at the summit, but seeing that they were just behind, I waited for them to push together and see if we could gain some time on Bauke. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, that’s cycling. I’ll be 40 next year and it’ll be hard to aim for a victory again here, but you can see that I’m still here after so, so long, doing even better than in previous seasons, so there might be some room for surprise left!”
3rd, Egan Bernal (Bernal): “This morning I was hoping to do my best, but to be on the podium in Lombardia is something really big for me – my first time in a Monument. I’m really happy for this and my performance. [Mollema] was really strong. When he went on the climb he did a big gap, and then behind we were also going really hard. Yates was pulling, then Roglic attacked and he still had this [time] difference. In the final he was the strongest. I think that the most important thing is that I’m on the podium and to finish the season with a strong result. I would like [to win a Monument] but it’s difficult for me to stay at the front in these kind of races. I really like them and I will try to improve a bit more. I’m still 22 years old.”
7th, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “This was my most successful season to date. Last week, I also showed that I am able to compete for the win in one-day races. But above all I am most happy with the fact that I am finishing the season as number one in the world.”
8th, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt quite good right from the start, and Gregor brought me into a suitable position ahead of the Ghisallo and the Sormano. Then I decided to attack after Wellens, but in retrospect that was probably not the best move, as we were only able to ride out an advantage of around 30 seconds, and when the chasers caught up with us, I was already on the limit. However, I think that I can be satisfied with my eighth place.”
Giro di Lombardia Result:
1. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo in 5:52:59
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
5. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 0:34
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
8. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:52
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.
Winner of Paris-Tours back in 2014, Jelle Wallays managed to conquer yet another victory on the French classic but on a course far different to the one of his first triumph. The Belgian took off with over fifty kilometres to go on the first of nine “vine tracks” on the menu. He then managed to stay clear of the group of favourites before winning with a comfortable lead over Niki Terpstra and Oliver Naesen.
For the final road race on French territory of the cycling season, 151 riders gathered in the pretty city of Chartres, under a bright sunshine for the 113th edition of Paris-Tours. Taking off just before noon, six riders gave it a go in the early moments of the race but the strong headwind condemned their attempt rapidly. Ten kilometres later, three riders, Dowsett, Nielsen and De Vos tried their luck enjoying a decent advantage.
Three and then Seven in the Lead
While going through Bonneval (km 30) the situation changed considerably. Dowsett stopped his efforts and five other riders managed to power away from the pack and bridged the gap on the escapees. Seven riders led the way: Molly, Paaschens, Nielsen, De Vos, Hurel, Dernies and Leroux.
The situation remained the same and the front riders enjoyed a maximum 4:15 lead at km 45. As the riders entered Vendôme, the peloton broke into several groups under the influence of teams Groupama-FDJ, Total Direct Energie and Vital Concept BnB Hotels. The gap dropped down dramatically and the breakaway was finally caught by a group of around forty riders at km 106. A first selection of title contenders had been done. While riders such as Cavendish or Van Asbroeck were dropped, all the main favourites including title holder Soren Kragh Andersen (SUN) but also Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) remained in the leading group.
Off Goes the Tittle Holder
At km 146, the winner of the 2018 edition decided to take off on his own. Kragh Andersen was soon to be caught by Boy Van Poppel (Roompot-Charles) just ten kilometres before the first gravel track as both men enjoyed a 40 second advantage. On the climb up the Côte de Goguenne, Van Poppel failed to keep up with his breakaway companion and Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) winner of the race in 2014 counter-attacked. At the exit of ‘vine path’ n°8, the leading rider had a 35 second gap over Wallays and 50 seconds over a slim peloton.
Wallays alone in the Lead
On the following track, bad luck hit Kragh Andersen who suffered a puncture. The Sunweb leader was caught and rapidly dropped by the main group of favourites at km 179 while Wallays saw his lead grow to 1:25 after sector n°6. Despite the many attacks in the chasing group, the Belgian maintained a consistent gap. With 15kms to go it reached 1:30.
On the final climb of the day, the Côte de Rochecorbon (10kms from the finish), Wallays hadn’t lost any time on the chasing 11 men. Two men then decided to take off on a final counter-attack: Naesen and Terpstra. But with 5kms to go Wallays could still count on a promising 55 second lead. The Belgian stayed clear of the chasing duo and victoriously crossed the finish line with close to 40 seconds on Terpstra and Naesen, second and third. Five years after what was then his greatest victory, Wallays triumphs again.
See the ‘PEZ Paris-Tours race Report’ HERE.
Race Winner, Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal): “There is no better way to finish the season. I felt really good the past couple of weeks and I was especially focusing on Paris-Tours, because this race suits me perfectly. Winning in such a way is the icing on the cake. The tough first part of the race certainly played into my hands, and I could take advantage of that later in the race. I could ride along in the first echelon quite comfortably and then, I already felt that my legs were good. To be honest, I attacked in order to make a first selection but suddenly, I was riding alone at the front. I thought that a small group would still join me but that didn’t happen. When Andersen punctured, I was completely on my own. On such a course, it is hard to control the race and I realised it would be a battle, man to man. On several parts, there was a lot of headwind, but I did a very thorough recon of the course and I counted on my own strength, which eventually proved to be successful. At around four kilometres from the line, when I still had 40 seconds advantage, I was sure of winning. Today was my third victory at Paris-Tours, two at the pros and one as an U23 rider. To be called ‘Mister Paris-Tours’ makes me really proud. I even heard words like ‘King Paris-Tours’, that is of course a really special feeling.”
3rd, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s always good to finish the season on the podium. I gave a lot in the pursuit and I was ‘burnt’ by the finish. In the end, I felt that Niki Terpstra, even if he had to fight back after suffering punctures, was fresher than me, and I could not contest the sprint. I am satisfied with my season. I feel that I have made further progress. I would just like to win more races. One per year is not enough, although I know that many riders would like this level of success in such full seasons. My best memory is my second place in Milan-San Remo. Being on the podium of a race so ‘select’ was a beautiful moment.”
6th, Aime De Gendt (Wanty-Gobert): “I’m satisfied with my last race of the season, although I would have loved to finish on the podium. It was a pity to loose Xandro’s support in the final because of a puncture. There were many breakaway attempts in the final, I had to make choices. These kind of races with unpaved roads suit me, because of their hard finals with little time for recuperation in between the difficulties. My first season in the Wanty-Gobert colours was successful, I took another step forward and performed with regularity. The extensive programme appealed to me when I signed with Wanty-Gobert last year, so I’m happy that I competed in races like the Tour de France or the Tour de Romandie. These events made me stronger, resulting in my first professional win, the Antwerp Port Epic, this summer!”
1. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 5:34:20
2. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Total Direct Energie at 0:29
3. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:30
4. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:36
5. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:49
6. Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
7. Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Dimension Data at 0:51
8. Bert de Backer (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels at 0:53
9. Kevyn Ista (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
10. Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data.
Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen – Kempen Classic 2019
The victory in the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen went to Dries De Bondt. After two hundred kilometres the Belgian was the best of a leading group of four, who had been away for most of the day. The Corendon-Circus team dominated the race and also took second place with Jimmy Janssens. Dutchman Piotr Havik (BEAT Cycling Club) finished third.
Everything on the attack for Corendon-Circus
Corendon-Circus was at the start with Belgian champion Tim Merlier – who postponed his start of the season in the cross – but the Belgian formation did not choose to put everything on the sprinter. With three riders (Jimmy Janssens, Dries De Bondt, Philipp Walsleben), Corendon-Circus attacked, along with Piotr Havik, Coen Vermeltfoort, Oscar Riesebeek and David Boucher.
They took a 3 minute lead on a peloton where Wallonie-Bruxelles, Wanty-Gobert and Metec-TKH set the pace. It was all hands on deck for those teams, but they didn’t take much time off the lead. On various cobblestone sections a group of 16 riders managed to form behind the six remaining leaders, Walsleben had been dropped. 40 kilometres from the finish line, the pursuers were 2 minutes down.
Corendon-Circus started to play the team game at the front. That only led to the loss of Boucher and Vermeltfoort. This left De Bondt, Janssens, Havik and Riesebeek in the lead. Havik worked his way up to nine points in the ‘Golden Kilometre’ in the Bingoal Cycling Cup: with 30 points, while leader Baptiste Planckaert had 38. There were also 16 down to 1 point on the line.
Behind the four front runners there was a merger between two pursuing groups, including Planckaert. That was 17 kilometres from the finish at 1:17 behind. At the start of the final lap of Arendonk the chase split, which did not help the chase.
De Bondt completes teamwork
De Bondt tried to sneak away, but Havik realised. A second jump from De Bondt was lucky and he rode away for the solo win. Janssens could sit on and take second place, narrowly ahead of Havik. Baptiste Planckaert took 8th place and so finished top of the final rankings of the Bingoal Cycling Cup.
It was a big party for Corendon-Circus. In addition to first and second place, Tim Merlier also sprinted to fifth place. That gives the Belgian ProContinental team a lot of UCI points in the Europe Tour. Those points are important for WorldTour wildcards next year.
Race winner, Dries De Bondt Corendon-Circus): “We were four left from that escape and knew that we all had to drive hard to keep it. Due to the wind we were completely at out limit. We could exploit the fact that we were still with two team mates to our advantage. It was a strange final because every one of the four of us was so tired. And we were so scared that they would come back after that. My second attack was my good one. First Piotr came back, but I knew that I didn’t have to keep on pushing because Jimmy (Janssens) was still riding hard. Then I went again, and that was the good attack. We had a different classification in our head today, that of the UCI WorldTour. That was a very big motivator today. We wanted to collect as many points as possible, compared to Wanty. That’s why our bold attack at the start of the race. With that we have pushed Wanty onto the defence and that tactic worked.”
Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen – Kempen Classic Result:
1. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus in 4:24:08
2. Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:04
3. Piotr Havik (Ned) BEAT Cycling Club
4. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Roompot-Charles
5. Tim Merlier (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 0:39
6. Stijn Steels (Ned) Roompot-Charles
7. Rick Ottema (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel
8. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
9. Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Corendon-Circus
10. Paul Taebling (Ger) LKT Team Brandenburg.
Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen’19 podium:
Tacx Pro Classic 2019
Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) has ended his cycling season in style with the victory in the Tacx Pro Classic. The sprinter of Team Jumbo-Visma was the first to cross the line after a perfect lead out. It meant his fifteenth win this year and his fiftieth victory as a professional cyclist.
The rider from Amsterdam completed the teamwork in the best possible way and thereby gave his team the 51st victory of the season. With his fifteen victories, Groenewegen currently is the rider with the most wins this season, which is about to end in Asia soon.
Race winner, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “We were very motivated to win here and we showed that. When I’m in shape and up to speed, it’s hard to beat me. I can look back on a good season and I am happy that I was able to finish this season with a victory. The fact that I am the rider with the most UCI victories this season is nice, even if they are just statistics.”
2nd, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It feels a bit strange knowing this was my last race with the team. The last two years have been really unbelievable, and I made some big steps forward and entered into another dimension as a rider. I want to thank the squad – everyone from the riders to the mechanics and from the soigneurs to Patrick – for putting their confidence in me. I am happy that I leave so many beautiful things behind me while I take a lot of memories with me after these two extraordinary years. It’s impossible to name just one special moment, because there was a myriad of unforgettable moments that I got to live with the Wolfpack. It’s been an honour to ride for this team and with such an amazing group of guys!”
Tacx Pro Classic Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:29:18
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick Step
3. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert
8. Jason Van Dalen Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel
9. Filippo Fortin (Ita) Cofidis
10. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Cofidis.
Gran Piemonte 2019
Egan Bernal led home an Ineos 1-2 following an emphatic performance at Gran Piemonte. Joined on the podium by fellow Colombian Ivan Sosa, Bernal launched his attack in the final kilometre and a half of the climb to Santuario di Oropa.
A stinging turn on the steep slopes from Sosa saw an elite lead group fracture, with the INEOS pair driving clear briefly before Bernal rode away to victory. Sosa was able to regroup and win the sprint for second, six seconds back on his teammate, to cap a superb day-long performance.
The entire team worked tirelessly across the 183 kilometres, with Filippo Ganna working hard on the flat to keep the day’s six-man break in check. The team then took it up on the penultimate Nelva climb, with Jonathan Castroviejo and Salvatore Puccio combining. Diego Rosa then kicked on with 5km to go, ensuring the pace remained high, discouraging a number of attacks.
Race winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “This victory brings me a lot of emotions, especially here, 10km away from where I used to live when I came to Europe for racing. With all the friends I have in Piedmont, I feel at home. This is my first win in Italy and it comes at the top of a climb where Marco Pantani won before. I’m happy with my condition ahead of Il Lombardia. I’ll look for the best possible result on Saturday but with this win in the bag, I can finish the season with serenity. I want to ride the Giro d’Italia, hopefully next year but we’ll have to see the route and discuss with the team.”
2nd, Ivan Sosa (Ineos): “It’s special to win atop this climb and it’s a great way to finish the 2019 season. It was great to be able to stay at the front with Egan [Bernal]. My motivation was more in my head than in my legs. Our combined efforts were the fruits of a strong motivation to win. Oropa is a special climb for us. Egan and I have lived near here and we knew the roads. As a team, we controlled the race well. Egan rode away at the right time. Things have gone very well for us today.”
3rd, Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s a real pleasure to finish the season in good condition, so with a podium here after my stage win at the Giro d’Italia, it means I’ve stepped up this year. Today, I had to remain patient and stay in the wheels as long as possible. I held on as much as I could. Ivan Sosa opened the gas with about 2km to go and Egan Bernal attacked in the steepest part and made us all explode. I rode my own pace to cross the line third, which is the best result I could hope for.”
Gran Piemonte Result:
1. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos in 4:24:16
2. Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Ineos at 0:06
3. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:08
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:10
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:11
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:40
7. Davide Villella (Ita) Astana at 0:46
8. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM at 0:47
9. Clement Champoussin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar at 0:49.
Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Secures UCI Elevation for 2020
The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under is pleased to announce that the 2020 race has been elevated to the newly formed UCI ProSeries.
Giving further international status to the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, the race has taken another leap in its progress. It is one of only five UCI ProSeries stage races in the world and the only race at that level held outside of Europe.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway said that the popularity of the Women’s race has grown exponentially since being introduced in 2016, and that the Santos Tour Down Under had a clear strategy to manage and elevate its status in the international cycling community.
“It is a clear indication of the excellent management and development of the women’s race and the standards to which the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under is delivered, to now be rewarded and recognised as part of the UCI ProSeries.”
Kimberley Conte, Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Director, is pleased that the investment in the delivery of the race has been recognised by the UCI with a status elevation, particularly in an Olympic year.
“The elevation to the new UCI ProSeries confirms our commitment to professional women’s cycling. We expect the race will continue to draw teams from around the world as the first race on the UCI calendar.”
South Australia has taken a leadership position in women’s sport and in particular in cycling. In 2018 the Santos Tour Down Under increased the prize money for the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under which saw equal prize money offered for both the male and female competitors.
The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will be held from 16-19 January 2020.
For further event information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au.
Tour of the Alps rises to the UCI Pro Series: the 2020 edition from April 20th to 24th
The Euroregional stage races moves up a level and will present its new edition on October 29th in Milan. Resounding figures show the project’s success.
Less than six months have passed since the finale of the 43rd Tour of the Alps, with Pavel Sivakov’s talent breaking out on the World’s scale, but the race towards the 2020 edition of the Euroregional race organised by the GS Alto Garda is already on, and achieved a crucial goal today – October 9th – when the 2020 UCI calendar was released.
The Tour of the Alps is part of the UCI Pro Series, the new tier category of cycling races categorised just behind the World Tour, featuring the most prestigious events outside of the greatest classics in cycling – both one-day and stage races.
That’s an important reward for the commitment and history of GS Alto Garda, and the organising committee has been already working for months in view of the 44th edition, to be held from April 20th to 24th, 2020, with April 19th dedicated to the preliminary operations and the team’s presentation. The course and novelties of the 2020 edition will be presented on Tuesday, October 29th at 11.30 in Milan, at the Sala Buzzati.
“We are grateful to the International Cycling Union and the Italian Cycling Federation for having backed our bid for the UCI Pro Series,” GS Alto Garda President Giacomo Santini commented. “This achievement is a reward for the Tour of the Alps’ success, but also for the 40-year history of the Giro del Trentino, that laid the basis for our new project.”
“Just a few years ago, the future of our race was under threat. The new territorial partnership among Tirol, Südtirol and Trentino, under the aegis of Euregio, gave us a new boost, and the opportunity to think bigger. Our gratitude goes to them, to all our partners and to our big organisational team, for making this step possible and launching towards the future with even greater ambition.”
Again in 2020, the Tour of the Alps will aim to consolidate the growing trend of the last few years, testified by the flattering figures of the 43rd edition, that featured Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome among its greatest names at the start.
The media value evaluation of the event that took place from April 22nd to 26th neared 15 million Euros, with almost 50 million TV spectators, beyond 60 million estimated media visualisation and a 50% growth over 2018 in visits to the official website www.tourofthealps.eu.
Such significant results reward the Tour of the Alps’ commitment to marketing, communication and promotion, and an upward trend that the organisation looks to boost with new projects and initiatives, some of them to be unveiled at the official presentation in Milan on October 29th.
Tao Geoghegan Hart, Vincenzo Nibali and the 2019 Tour of the Alps winner Pavel Sivakov in action in 2019 TotA’s stage 3:
Tour of Utah Elevated to UCI ProSeries Event for 2020
“America’s Toughest Stage Race” to be held on Aug. 3-9
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced today that the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has been selected to join the new men’s professional road cycling UCI ProSeries. The international cycling federation also revealed that the race in Utah will take place from Aug. 3-9, 2020.
“The Tour of Utah has been recognised for its international racing stature with its inclusion in the UCI ProSeries,” said John Kimball, managing director. “We are thrilled for this designation by cycling’s governing body among its prestigious one-day races and stage races. Our placement on the calendar of events will better allow us to attract top-tier riders and WorldTour teams. We look forward to organising a race of the highest standard.”
The UCI has reorganised its men’s professional road racing structure into three separate divisions: UCI WorldTour, UCI ProSeries and UCI Continental Circuits. The new UCI ProSeries, which includes the best HC and Class 1 races such as the Tour of Utah, will strengthen the second division by ensuring an optimal fit with the UCI WorldTour schedule.
“The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has proven over the years that it has earned the opportunity to be included in the new UCI ProSeries, which will feature many of the best races and historic events from around the world,” said Sean Petty, UCI Road Commission member. “The consistent quality of the race, the start-to-finish streaming of each stage and the incredibly challenging and picturesque courses that showcase Utah are second to none.”
The Tour of Utah is the only UCI ProSeries stage race and one of only two events based in North America on the 54-race UCI road calendar. Baltimore is hosting a one-day Maryland Cycling Classic in September. Other multi-day UCI ProSeries events include the OVO Energy Tour of Britain (GBR), Tour of the Alps (ITA), Le Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia) and Skoda Tour of Luxembourg (LUX).
“We’re excited that the Tour of Utah has been designated as a UCI ProSeries event,” said Chuck Hodge, USA Cycling Chief of Racing and Events. “As a crowd favourite and one of the most successful races on U.S. soil, elevating the event to this level will provide great opportunities for U.S. riders and reward a very supportive cycling community.”
Now in its 16th year, the week-long Tour of Utah has earned the reputation as “America’s Toughest Stage Race.” The 2019 event crowned Ben Hermans of the Israel Cycling Academy as its champion, and EF Education First captured the team title after covering 477 miles of racing and 37,882 feet of elevation gain.
Past General Classification champions have included Sepp Kuss (2018), Rob Britton (2017), Lachlan Morton (2016) and Joe Dombrowski (2015) along with stage winners such as Tejay Van Garderen, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Travis McCabe, Brent Bookwalter, Marco Canola, Giulio Ciccone, Rob Carpenter and Levi Leipheimer through the years.
The Tour of Utah has been sanctioned as a 2.HC-rated stage race by the UCI for the past five years, making it one of the premier events in North America. In 2019, the field featured 115 riders from 17 teams, attracting 400,000 spectators during race week, 21 hours of national television coverage and reaching more than 400 million homes via broadcast around the world.
The host venues for 2020 will be announced at a later date. Last year, the race route traversed the scenic roadways around the host venues of Snowbird Resort, North Logan City, Brigham City, Powder Mountain Resort, Antelope Island State Park, North Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, and Park City.
More information about the Tour of Utah can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (tourofutah).
Morton Lachlan (EF Education First) and Hayden McCormick (Bridgelane) – The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah stage 5 from Canyons Village to Canyons Village:
World Cup leader Iserbyt looks to shine for Belgium in Silvelle
With one month to go to Silvelle ’19 CX European Championships (November 9-10), the current leader of the Cyclocross World Cup looks poised to be among the leaders of the Belgian juggernaut. “Netherlands will pose a big challenge, particularly with Van der Poel…”
Eli Iserbyt in action with the Belgian National Team
Three years without winning for the biggest nation in cyclocross are definitely too much. Belgium is preparing for Silvelle ’19 CX European Championships (November 9-10) with the ambition of reclaiming the continental throne, three years later.
In Pontchâteau 2016 (France) Toon Aerts, who will also be part of the Belgian team in Silvelle, beat talented Dutchman Mathieu Van der Poel and his compatriot Wout Van Aert, claiming one of the biggest wins in his career. Three years later, in Veneto, the very strong Belgian team will also rely on young Eli Iserbyt to try to interrupt the Dutch supremacy.
With two victories in the first two World Cup rounds in United States, the 21-year-old Flemish rider is ready to fight for his third gold medal at continental championships, after the ones won in Lorsch 2014 (Germany) as a junior and Tabor 2017 (Czech Republic) as U23.
“It would be nice to win the elite title and close the circle” – Iserbyt admits – “but there are many other good riders, I think Mathieu will be riding there too. An International championship is always a bit different race than usual, and the outcome can be unexpected. The biggest rivals will be mainly the Dutch team, but also the French and British team. I think also Gioele Bertolini will be good in his home country.”
In spite of his young age – he will turn 22 in a few weeks – Iserbyt is fully aware of his role inside the team: “Our goal is to bring the Belgian jersey to the top of the podium, whoever wears it” – the Marlux rider explained. – “I think Toon Aerts will be the leader, since Wout Van Aert will not be riding due to his injury. I will obviously try to give my best shot. This last summer I worked really well and there is no extra pressure for me. I am used to this situation from previous years. I have become acquainted to that, and don’t feel so much stress as I did at the beginning, a few years ago.”
In a land that has hosted many generations of champions in the past, Iserbyt, as well as many of his rivals, has never faced the Silvelle route yet: “It will be the first time for me in Silvelle. I have to study the course and maybe watch some videos from past races. Our coach Sven Vanthourenhout will brief us, and I will also be there the day before for the recon. It will probably also depend on the weather conditions.”
Silvelle ’19 European Championships’ official presentation will take place on October 22nd, in the Regione Veneto headquarter, Palazzo Balbi in Venice.
The duel between the 2018 European Champion Mathieu Van der Poel (l) and Eli Iserbyt at Koppenbergcross 2018:
Héctor Sáez returns to Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
Héctor Sáez (Caudete, 1993) returns to the team where he took his first steps as a professional cyclist two seasons after his first stage in this category. The Spanish was part of the Professional-Continental roster of the green formation for two and a half years, beginning in the middle of the 2015 season. He arrived from the elite and under 23 feeder team.
Sáez returns to Caja Rural-Seguros RGA after completing two seasons in Euskadi-Murias. He has shown his combativeness in races such as the recent Vuelta a España, where he tried to win with a brave break in Los Machucos stage. Shortly before he had achieved an important victory in the sixth stage of Volta a Portugal.
Héctor Sáez: I am very happy to return to the team that gave me the opportunity to be a professional cyclist. I am still the same who debuted in 2015 with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, but I arrive with more maturity. Three Vueltas a España let you know yourself better and face the competitions with more ambition. In addition, the victory in Portugal has helped me to confirm that I am able to fight for this kind of goals and also face the final part of the races more quiet. The target in 2020 will be to add wins to the team and help other teammates to get them too. Hopefully it will be a beautiful year for the whole team.
The Spanish becomes the third confirmed signing of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA for the 2020 season after the announcements of the Venezuelan sprinter Orluis Aular and the Colombian climber Alejandro Osorio.
Belgian champion Jesse Vandenbulcke joins Lotto Soudal
We are excited that Belgian road champion Jesse Vandenbulcke (23) will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team next year. She isn’t a stranger, because she already rode four years for the team: as second-year novice, two years as a junior and one season as an elite rider. Jesse has fond memories of that time and that played part in her decision to ride for Lotto Soudal in 2020.
Jesse Vandenbulcke: “There was a great atmosphere in the team back then, it even felt like a family. Riders and staff had a great bond. When we see each other we often talk about that time. I always maintained a good contact with the team and I am very happy to return to Lotto Soudal. I’m convinced that I will feel good at Lotto Soudal and will be surrounded with the best care.”
Last year, Jesse Vandenbulcke made a comeback in the peloton after she quit cycling in 2016 because of a back injury. In 2017 she gave birth to her son Fabian. Afterwards, she felt like starting up her cycling career again. Last season she made her comeback in the bunch as a member of the Keukens Redant team. This year she rode for Doltcini – Van Eyck Sport. At the end of June, Jesse conquered the Belgian road title in Ghent. The highlight of her comeback up till now. This season she also claimed a nice eleventh place at Ghent-Wevelgem, finished sixth on stage 3b of the Tour de Feminin and tenth on the final stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour with finish in Geraardsbergen.
Jesse Vandenbulcke: “I quit cycling in 2016, in my second season as an elite rider. My back hurt too much. I couldn’t train without pain and also in my everyday life I had problems. But as time passed, it felt like I wasn’t ready with cycling quite yet. I hadn’t achieved my goals yet. People also often asked me if I would still race again. And so I decided to make a comeback. I am still very happy with that decision.”
“I had never thought my comeback would go so smoothly though and that I would become Belgian champion this year. Up till now I didn’t have any back problems, but I am alert. I have a good team around me that monitors me closely. They see to it that I sufficiently train my back muscles and that I have the right bike position and saddle.”
“When I made my comeback I had a plan. First, I wanted to ride for a club team and see if it was really feasible to get my place in the bunch back. In the beginning I worked full-time, but still I managed to have a good start. Then I got the offer to join a UCI team. It’s now or never I thought and I decided to start working halftime. From then on I could train more specifically and take more rest. And then I became Belgian champion. You need some luck, but you must also work a lot.”
By claiming the Belgian road title the comeback of Jesse Vandenbulcke is already a success, but of course she is hungry for more. What are her ambitions for 2020 and in the long run?
Jesse Vandenbulcke: “I set a huge step forward this year, but in finales of races there was often something missing. It’s my goal to change that next year so that I can help Lotte Kopecky in the run-up to a sprint for example or support the team in another way. And I want to show off my national jersey. People recognise me faster and I get more appreciation, because the Belgian title is fought hard for. Wearing this shirt does make it more difficult to join an early breakaway though.”
“I like the Flemish spring races best. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Ronde van Vlaanderen are important races for me in which I want to set good results in the future. This year I got a taste of the Ardennes Classics as well and it was a great experience. Those races really are for climbers, so I will always ride them in support of the team. By conquering the Belgian title I realised one of my goals much sooner than ever expected. Now I would love to wear that jersey a second time in my career. That is a new goal for the future. And when the course suits me I once would love to get a good result at the World Championships. But that will only be possible in several years time.”
Santos Tour Down Under Introduces Paracycling Wheel-Race to the Schwalbe Classic Circuit
A host of Australia’s world champion paracyclists will become part of the Santos Festival of Cycling when they take to the city streets and race on Sunday 19 January ahead of the Schwalbe Classic.
The new demonstration race, known as the Santos Tour Down Under Wheel-Race follows hot on the wheels of the Australian paracycling teams success at this year’s World Tour, where the team claimed 18 world titles across the UCI Road and Track World Championships.
Dual reigning road world champions Carol Cooke (T2) and Emilie Miller (H1) plus 2019 road and track world champions Darren Hicks (C2), Emily Petricola (C4), Paige Greco (C3), Alistair Donohoe (C5) and David Nicholas (C3) are expected to take part.
The racing circuit for the paracyclists will be open to female and male athletes for a 30 minute sprint circuit starting at 3.20pm.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the team will bring their athleticism and skill to the streets of Adelaide ahead of their lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“What a showstopper for fans to watch these world class athletes in action. They will be racing on our streets just ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics, showcasing their strength, skill and endurance – providing a great opportunity to see what we can expect from the Paralympians next year”.
The Santos Tour Down Under seeks to broaden its cycling story to engage world-class athletes, professional cyclists and cycling enthusiasts and fans.
Minister Ridgway added “The Santos Tour Down Under is about elite sports for men and women – and bringing in new cycling disciplines will have great appeal to cycling fans as well as the fans of sport. This is elite athleticism, the best of the worlds very best, and exclusive to the Santos Tour Down Under”.
Nine-time world champion Carol Cooke said “It was an incredible experience participating at the recent UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, so it is extremely exciting to be included in the Santos Tour Down Under, an event that draws thousands of people from around the world to watch. It is wonderful to see paracycling viewed as another discipline of cycling and I know that we will give the crowds a good race!”
Dual 2019 world champion Darren Hicks said “The Yorkshire race was a real eye opener for me. Getting to experience riding in front of big crowds was unreal!! The crazy part is that we wouldn’t have even had probably a quarter or what the elite Worlds races had so to imagine that noise times four is just nuts!”
“I really hope that the Aussie crowd brings an even bigger and better turn out at the Santos Tour Down Under so we can really start putting paracycling on the map and have more inclusion at bigger events.”
Hannah Macdougall, 2019 Team Australia member for road and track worlds, added “The 2019 Yorkshire International paracycling event was an excellent step forward for inclusion. Having para cyclists included in the 2019 UCI World Championships schedule highlighted why and how it is possible for us to progress our sport forward.”
“The Santos Tour Down Under will provide an excellent opportunity for us to continue the momentum from this year. The race will provide athletes with an opportunity to continue to hone their skills and fitness as they lead in for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.”
For further event information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au.
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