EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The Tour de France has been one of the best so far and all the excitement is here in EUROTRASH Monday – Full catch up with results and video. Plus the Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria final. Johan Bruyneel’s Book on Doping – Top Story. In other news we have race news from Utah, Colorado, Adriatica Ionica and the Tour Down Under. Bigla extends sponsorship agreement, Patrick Müller to retire and behind the scenes at the Tour with Team CCC video. Coffee time!

TOP STORY: Johan Bruyneel’s Book on Doping History
In October 2018, Johan Bruyneel was suspended for life by the International Sports Tribunal (CAS) because of his involvement in the organization of doping use at US Postal and Discovery Channel teams. Since then things have been silent around the Belgian former rider, but Bruyneel is now working on a book about his doping history. In conversation with De Telegraaf, he is already taking the lid off the ‘can of worms’.

At the beginning of this century, Bruyneel was seen as the architect of the seven Tour wins by Lance Armstrong. The American, however, was exposed as a user performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career and was named as the ringleader of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” and was suspended in 2012 by the US anti-doping agency USADA. Armstrong took Bruyneel with him in his fall and the Belgian was suspended in 2014 for ten years.

Four years later the suspension was changed to a lifelong ban, so that Bruyneel may never again hold a position in cycling. “It is certainly true that we have caused damage to cycling, but that was because we were part of a generation,” Bruyneel looks back at the so-called EPO era in 2019.

No choice
“We did not choose to cycle in the EPO era, but everyone was confronted with this unsolvable problem for many years.” According to the Belgian there was no choice at the beginning of this century. “If you wanted to keep cycling at the highest level, you couldn’t help but participate.” And so Bruyneel participated. “There was no taboo on EPA in the nineties. It was an untraceable product and easily available in enough places. Then it’s pretty easy to use it. It was also nothing new in cycling. Every era has its own systems. All Tour winners took the ‘resources’ that were available in their era.”

Medical supervision
And so the US Postal team and later Discovery Channel team facilitated the use of doping. “But I do not agree with the conclusion that there was a doping program within our team. At that time you could obtain EPO in so many countries, it was not complicated at all. If there were no medical support from the team, riders went looking for themselves.”

And Bruyneel wanted to watch out for the latter. “Because then riders would look for quacks like Eufemiano Fuentes [the notorious Spanish doping doctor]. Or inject EPO on their own initiative. And then the real problems begin. The future of the team was in danger with a positive doping test.”

Other culture
The American formation therefore tried to regulate doping use. “But there were two basic principles. Firstly, the health of the riders should never be endangered, but nobody was allowed to test positive. I am proud that no one in our team has run any health risk.”

In short, Bruyneel was active during the corrupt years of cycling, but the former rider is optimistic about the future. “For the first time in recent years, I have the feeling that there is actually a different culture. There will always be athletes who go for an untraceable substance, but the size is no longer that large.”

Sounds like the book could be a good, but controversial read:

Tour de France 2019
After winning stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné at Craponne-sur-Arzon, Dylan Teuns took his maiden Tour de France victory on his debut in the race while his last breakaway companion, Italy’s Giulio Ciccone, who carries the same family name as singer Madonna but is not related to her although they both originate from Abbruzzo, took the yellow jersey. Two Tour de France debutants found glory on Stage 6 at La Planche des Belles Filles.

14 riders in the lead
175 riders took the start of stage 6 in Mulhouse. One non-starter: Patrick Bevin (CCC), due to fractured ribs on stage 4. After 4km, 14 riders formed a breakaway group: Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Serge Pauwels (CCC), Julien Bernard and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Nikias Arndt (Sunweb), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Fabien Grellier (Total Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Xandro Meurisse and Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert) and André Greipel (Arkéa-Samsic). Their advantage was already 6:40 at the intermediate sprint of Linthal (km 29) won by Pasqualon while Michael Matthews (Sunweb) out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) for the remaining point on offer. At the top of the first category 1 climb of the 2019 Tour de France, the Markstein, Wellens found a new rival for the King of the Mountains competition as Ciccone hinted that he’s interesting in doubling up.

Tim Wellens retains the polka dot jersey
A maximum time gap was reached at the bottom of the Ballon d’Alsace, km 94: 8:30. It was down to 7:20 at the top, after which GC teams showed up at the head of the peloton to relay Deceuninck-Quick Step in the chase: Ineos and Bahrain-Merida in second lane before Movistar decided to up the tempo of the bunch within 50km to go. At col des Croix 37km before the end, De Gendt went for two KOM points and forged on so he became the lone leader. He got caught 1km before the col des Chevrères by Teuns, Ciccone, Pauwels and Wellens while world champion Alejandro Valverde made the race hard at the front of the peloton. With 10km to go, the leading quartet still had 4 minutes over the peloton.

Stage win for Teuns, Ciccone in the yellow jersey
Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) was the first man to attack from the peloton before Mikel Landa (Movistar) who was eventually reeled in because of a late acceleration by Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who tried to retain the yellow jersey but missed out by 6 seconds. Ciccone took over as the leader of the Tour de France but lost the stage victory to Teuns at Super Planche, the steep part above the usual finish. It’s the first stage win for Bahrain-Merida at the Tour de France [in their third participation]. The last Italian in the yellow jersey was Fabio Aru two years ago. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) were the first of the favorites while Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) lost contact with the main group.

Read the ‘PEZ Stage 6 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): “I know that Ciccone is a very strong rider, he won a stage at the last Giro and it seemed to me the same situation as last year at the Vuelta, when I lost the victory with Woods and I knew I couldn’t make the same mistake today. So I had to stay calm and just waiting for the right moment. I tried a couple of times in the last five hundred meters and finally the third time I succeeded. I saw that had a little gap and I just kept pushing to the finish line. It’s unbelievable and winning here at the Tour de France is a dream come true.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “The yellow jersey was my childhood dream. Today I made it come true. It’s a beautiful achievement. It’s hard to believe. My goal and our team’s goal was to win the stage. I was pissed off that I lost the stage win but when I realized that I had the yellow jersey, the feeling of anger passed straight away. It’s wonderful. The Giro was my first goal of the year but as I came out of it with a great condition, we decided with the team that I’d do the Tour as well, for experience at the age of 24. I started even better than we imagined. We have a strong team to defend the jersey even though flat stages at the Tour de France are hard as well.”

3rd on the stage, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “I’m focused on the polkadot jersey for a couple of days and I planned to try one or two times to be in the breakaway in order to reach this goal. My first attempt today was a good one, but not an easy one, with Wellens and De Gendt sharing the same goal in the breakaway. Our value ratios in the mountain prize battle became clear after three climbs and we decided to bury the hatchet and to focus on the stage win, with the time gap of the breakaway being 8 minutes. Our advantage shrank to 2’30 on the final climb and I was afraid I would be caught. But I managed the climb well and tried to not be distracted by the accelerations of my companions. I wouldn’t have believed to finish third today, in one of the hardest stages in this edition. My goal before the start was the polkadot jersey, but this 3rd place is worth more! My 8th place last week was promising, this podium is fantastic for myself and for the team! We grow each year in the Tour de France with Wanty-Gobert. We announced before that we were able to battle for the stage win with this collective. I’m convinced that my teammates are able to match my performance or do better!”

4th on the stage and 5th overall, Geraint Thomas (Ineos): “I felt pretty good. I thought it would be a more solid day – it’s never easy, but it was steady for the first three climbs. When Movistar went and Valverde was riding it was solid, I was feeling pretty good – I was just unsure as on those steep climbs I was expecting Richie Porte, Nairo Quintana and obviously Egan to jump up there, so I was hoping for it to be hard all day before that. But it was a good day in the end. It’s one of those climbs where you really have to be patient and when Alaphilippe went pretty early, at like 800m to go, I just had to have the confidence to let him go and ride my own tempo and try and ride it all the way to the line. I was starting to blow though as it was solid, overall it was a decent day.”

8th on the stage, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt really good throughout the stage and my legs were reacting the way I was expecting. In the final climb to the finish, I was also confident and could stay in the select front group. I encountered a bit of trouble in the first, steep part, up to the finish line of the previous years. Then, I decided to put in a measured effort in the gravel road, so I didn’t go to my limit in its beginning and managed to finish really strong. I am now in the group of the main race favorites, I feel confident about my chances and I look forward to the next mountain stages.”

KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “Yesterday I really thought I needed to take a day off before I’d go in the breakaway again but this morning my legs felt much better. It didn’t take many efforts to get into the breakaway today. Sometimes it takes an hour. Everybody at the front understood that we had a chance to contest the stage victory. I was lucky that Thomas [De Gendt] was with me at the front, so he helped me making the [KOM] points. He deserved the combativity prize so I think I’ll give him my trophy. His attack helped me a lot. I was in the wheels defending his attack so the other riders had to ride flat out. I hope to retain the polka dot jersey for a few more days. I’ll fight for it as long as possible.”

Roman Kreuziger (Dimension Data): “It was a nasty final climb, pretty steep so not a climb that suits me really well. We knew this before so getting distanced was expected and this happened when Bernal started to pull. I just had to ride my own pace, we lost some time at the end but the race is still long. There will be better climbs suited to me still coming so we are still confident of doing something on the GC. Normally I am the guy who is never happy with his performance, even if I win, but now we just need to keep our feet on the ground and concentrate on the next stages. Tomorrow can be a stage for Giacomo, he is fast and in good shape. This weekend can maybe be for the breakaway guys so Steve & Ben can have some options.”

Tour de France Stage 6 Result:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida in 4:29:03
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:11
3. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 1:05
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:44
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:46
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:51
8. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:53
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 6:
1. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 23:14:55
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 0:32
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:47
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:49
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:53
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:58
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:04
9. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 1:13
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 1:15.

Dylan Groenewegen avenged his recent woes in the Tour de France when he out-sprinted the bunch in Stage 7 to snatch the longest stage in this Tour de France over 230 km between Belfort and Chalon-sur-Saone. The Dutchman, hampered by a crash in stage 1, when his lead-out man Mike Teunissen won the stage and took the yellow jersey, made amends with a commanding sprint, which he won ahead of Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and points leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). Breakaway addicts Stephane Rossetto and Yoann Offredo stayed in the front for 218 km before leaving the stage for the sprinters to take the limelight. Italy’s Giulio Ciccone finished in the pack and retained his yellow jersey.

Usual suspects
The start was given at 11:35 to all 174 riders who finished yesterday. On the gun, Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert) embarked on a long duo in the longest stage of this edition. At kilometer 8, several riders, including Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) and former yellow jersey holder Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) crashed but managed to make it back on their bikes. Van Garderen had to be treated by the medical with bruises on his face and knees. The lead of the two escapees increased regularly and topped at 5:40 at kilometer 40 when the peloton decided to keep the gap within five minutes.

Cat and mouse
Offredo and Rossetto shared the KOM points on the three climbs of the day (two points for Rossettto, two for Offredo) ridden at a reasonable pace (35 kph) because of headwind. Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) crashed with 130 km to go but was quickly back in the pack. The peloton, constantly led by Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma), Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal) brought the gap down under two minutes with 60 km left in the stage while quelling counterattack attempts.

Sprint and split
The only intermediate sprint of the day, 33 km from the finish, led the peloton to move up a gear. While Offredo crossed the line in front of Rossetto, the battle was fierce behind them for green jersey points — Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) crossed the line ahead of green jersey holder Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Michael Matthews (Sunweb). While the pack was nearly catching the two front riders, a number of riders were caught in a split at the back, among them Nairo Quintana, Dan Martin, Wout Van Aert or Simon Yates. They made it back as the pack kept controlling the two escapees.

Dylan sings again
The 218-km break was brought to an end with 12km to go as the sprinters trains started taking shape while the GC teams also tried to avoid trouble at the front of the bunch. Jumbo-Visma quickly took the reins under the red flame and Caleb Ewan seemed to have the upper hand when he launched the sprint from afar. But Dylan Groenewegen surged back to overtake him by the slimmest margin on the line and conquer his 4th stage win on the Tour de France ahead of the Australian while Sagan added precious points to his green jersey.

Stage 7 ‘PEZ Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “This Tour did not start as I wanted. It took me a few days to recover from my crash in the opening stage. Today I felt good again. We took the lead in the final quite early. Because of this, we got a bit locked in. Fortunately, Mike made some space, so I could get out. My Tour has succeeded with this victory. I really wanted that victory. It didn’t work out during the first and the second chance, but third time’s the charm.”

3rd on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m happy with my performance and my result today. It was a very long stage, with wind and quite slow speed that finished, as expected in a bunch sprint. It was the fastest rider that won today but once again, everybody worked hard in the team, I took more points in the intermediate sprint while my third place at the finish further increased my advantage. I’m happy with my form, we have a tough stage tomorrow where we will give our best.”

4th on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “First of all I have to thank my teammates who have done a great job and it is never easy when there are such strong and determined opponents. As usual, Matej Mohoric piloted Ivan Garcia Cortina and me after the “flamme rouge”, but then I touched another rider and lost positions. I tried to reassemble because I felt very good and I arrived a few meters from the stage winner. Too bad, but I keep repeating that I am fit and will continue to seek victory. It was a hard fought sprint with several riders who touched each other but luckily nobody crashed.”

5th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “The plan was for me to pull for Alex. Initially he was on my wheel and then because of the situation he lost it. I tried to drop back to make contact but we were on different sides of the road by then. With 300m to go I noticed I had a gap so I opened up my sprint and went full gas. Maybe if I hadn’t been looking back I could have taken fourth place, but it was strange to be sprinting for myself.”

6th on the stage, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “After the last corner I noticed that my wheel wasn’t steady and I realized at once that it was a puncture and I wouldn’t be able to sprint properly. It was bad luck, and it makes me sad, because the guys worked hard today to bring back the escapees and put me at the front with the finish line in sight. But that’s sport, and there’s nothing you can do in this kind of situations.”

10th on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “Out of the last corner I was quite far behind, but Sven did a tremendous job to bring me up. However, it cost me a lot of energy to come back from that position and by then the race was over for me. I had a great position but no legs. From 2km to the line is critical and today I lost it in that section.”

Combativity award, Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert): “My feelings after days like these are always double. On the one hand I’m satisfied to ride in the front of the Tour de France, the biggest race in the world. On the other hand, there’s frustration, because the peloton never gives the breakaway 20 or 30 minutes like they used to do a long time ago. It was doomed to fail with this strong headwind all day, but who doesn’t try, has nothing! I’m very tired after more than 500 kilometers and 14 hours in the breakaway. People always say the Tour de France is three weeks long and that you have to manage your efforts. But it would be a pity to finish the Tour the France in anonymity. I really enjoyed those moments at the front, especially after my difficult season start filled with bad luck! Combativity is a state of mind, to attack even when it is doomed to fail. But even if I didn’t win the combativity award, the encouragements of the public along the road were sufficient as a reward!”

Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) forced to abandon the Tour with a broken hand: “The crash was a result of a personal error,” said van Garderen. “I was looking down at my bike because I saw something caught up in it, like a piece of paper, so I was looking down and I hit a median. I have no one to blame but myself, and I really hope that no one else got hurt because of me. All I’m thinking about now is the disappointment, less for myself and more for the team. Rigo and Woods, they both have a big chance to podium, to win stages, even to win the whole damn Tour. I would have loved to have been a part of that, to contribute to that, but unfortunately, as all cyclists have become accustomed to saying, these things happen.”

Tour de France Stage 7 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 6:02:44
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
10. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 7:
1. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 29:17:39
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida at 0:32
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:47
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:49
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:53
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:58
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:04
9. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 1:13
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 1:15.

Thomas De Gendt claimed an epic victory on Stage 8 in Saint-Etienne, his second one at the Tour de France after the Mont Ventoux in 2016, at the end of a breakaway he initiated at km 0. He resisted to the French duo who rode away from the yellow jersey group in the côte de La Jaillère with 12.5km to go. Thibaut Pinot moved to third overall while Julian Alaphilippe got the lead back after two days of glory for Giulio Ciccone who remains the best young rider.

De Gendt, Terpstra, King and De Marchi in the lead
173 riders took the start of stage 8 in Mâcon after Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) withdrew after he broke a thumb at km 7 of the previous stage. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) and Ben King (Dimension Data) rode away from the gun at the initiative of the Belgian. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) was close to bridge the gap but didn’t make it and went back to the pack. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) made a smart move by himself and came across to the leading trio at km 22. Terpstra passed first at the intermediate sprint at Cercié-en-Beaujolais (km 33) where the peloton was timed with its maximum deficit of five minutes, after which Bora-Hansgrohe and Sunweb took control of the peloton.

De Gendt first at all climbs
De Gendt who is the alternative to Tim Wellens in the fight for the polka dot jersey inside the Lotto-Soudal team passed first ahead of King atop the hills: col de la Croix Montmain (km 51), col de la Croix de Thel (km 71), col de la Croix Paquet (km 84.5), côte d’Affoux (km 97), côte de la Croix de Part (km 133) where the leading quartet split in two with De Gendt and De Marchi at the front and Terpstra and King unable to hold their pace. De Gendt was first atop the côte d’Aveize (km 148.5) while Terpstra and King were reeled in by the peloton led by Astana with a deficit of 3:30. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) abandoned due to sickness.

Alaphilippe and Pinot make a difference
EF Education First relayed Astana on the hunt of the two leaders with 42km to go. The gap was down to one minute when Team Ineos collectively crashed in a downhill, including defending champion Geraint Thomas, with 17km to go. De Gendt attacked solo 14km before the end in the côte de La Jaillère. He crested solo while De Marchi was reeled in before the top. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) attacked to grab 5 seconds at the bonus sprint, followed by Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) who grabbed 2 seconds. The two Frenchmen combined efforts to chase De Gendt down but didn’t catch him even in the last non-categorized climb 4km before the end. De Gendt won by 6 seconds while Pinot and Alaphilippe crossed the line 20 seconds before the yellow jersey group. It brought two Frenchmen in the top 3 of the Tour de France for the first time since Thomas Voeckler and Sandy Casar from stage 5 to 12 in 2004 as Alaphilippe got the yellow jersey back and Pinot moved into third place with best young rider Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) still in between. Hampered by a crash, defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) made it back to the group of the favorites only deprived of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) who couldn’t hold the pace in the last climb.

Full ‘PEZ Stage 8 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal): “We really wanted to have someone in the breakaway today. The first attack in the peloton was the right one to form the break of the day and it was pretty easy to be part of it. Strange, because I was expecting a lot more fighting. Together with three other riders, I escaped, but the peloton never gave us much space. As for me, you don’t need a lot of advantage on this parcours; you just need to ride smart. After a while, I only had De Marchi by my side, so we had to give it our all to compete for the victory and we did. At 70 kilometers of the finish line, I decided to go solo, but as we got closer to the end, I was told that Alaphilippe and Pinot were in the chase. I know that especially Alaphilippe is a great descender, so I had to give everything I got. Because I was using almost the last energy I had left, I almost had to throw up, but luckily I didn’t break! Of course, I was hoping they wouldn’t come back, but even if that would have happened, I think I still would have had a chance. Possibly Pinot and Alaphilippe would just look at each other for the general classification and if so, I could take advantage of it. I think this is my best performance ever. I prefer this victory even more than the one on the Mont Ventoux. I had a real great day and almost miraculous legs. If I need a massage later on? No, that’s not really my cup of tea.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): “It’s a very good day, it’s nothing but a positive. We’ve got two weeks left, we’re going to try again. It wasn’t a stage where I had planned to attack so I’m happy with my day. I’m at the same level as the end of last season, that’s why I’m confident for the future. There are still two stages left before the rest day, nothing is finished. I’m the first of the favorites in general classification but it doesn’t mean much, I don’t dwell too much on it. With the Pyrenees everything will change quickly. But hey! I’m third.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I had nothing to lose, I felt good and I attacked. The goal was to take back the yellow jersey and having achieved that gives me a huge satisfaction. Wearing the maillot jaune for three days was incredible, but having it on my shoulders on our National Day will be really special and pretty amazing. It was a truly magnificent finale! I was focused all day and stayed near the front of the bunch, and when I felt it was the moment to go, I attacked. Thibaut bridged across and it was good to have him there, as we both had something to gain from this. We didn’t ask any questions, just kept on pushing and riding full gas. I’m sure the French public appreciated this action. Now I look forward to sporting the jersey on Sunday and honoring it again!”

5th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a really hard stage, I suffered a lot to stay with the first group in the final climbs but I gritted my teeth, I gave it my all and managed to finish fifth, in the reduced group behind the leaders. This means I keep my lead in the green jersey but Paris is still far away. We have to take it day by day.”

7th on the stage and 13th overall, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “I didn’t have a good feeling during the beginning of the stage, I even thought about finishing in the grupetto. But as the day went on, I felt better. I was in difficulty on the last categorized climb of the day, but I was able to come back in the slipstream of Sagan in the descent. I was on the limit during the last five kilometers, because of the high pace. There was a moment of doubt after crossing the red flag for the last kilometer. Afterwards Ineos and Thomas started the sprint, which permitted me to follow Van Avermaet. I couldn’t hope for more than this 7th place up against pure sprinters like Sagan and Matthews.”

2nd overall, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a very hard stage. We did the maximum. I want to thank my team-mates. It was a stage for Alaphilippe. It’s fair enough that he got the yellow jersey back. He did it with great determination. I was at the limit when he attacked. I hanged on all day. I’m happy with my condition. To ride a stage like this at the front means I’m going well. I’m satisfied with the way I handled the situation. It’s been something exceptional to have the opportunity to wear the yellow jersey for two days. We’ll see in the coming days, who knows, if there’s a way to create another surprise.”

Break rider, Ben King (Dimension Data): “I was expecting a bigger break today but in the end it was four us. Four really strong guys with big engines, Terpstra, De Marchi and De Gendt. They all guys who have won a lot of races from breakaways. Today was not the first time I have been dropped by De Gendt in a break, he did an incredible ride.”

Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert): “I really suffered all day. I got sick during the night, so I was isolated from the neutral start. I was distanced with Christophe Laporte, who I tried to motivate, until he gave up. It was really difficult mentally. But the encouragements of the public pushed towards the finish. Finally, I bumped into Lars Bak, my compatriot in the final. I put this into perspective, because I promised myself to not complain on the bike anymore after my crash in the Denain GP. I was definitely worried about the time limit, but there was no question about it, I wasn’t going to give up. My previous experiences of my last two Tours de France helped me to get through.”

Tour de France Stage 8 Result:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 5:00:17
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:06
3. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:26
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
9. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 8:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 34:17:59
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:53
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:10
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:12
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:16
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 1:38
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:42
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45.

First African leader of the Tour de France, for two days in 2013, Daryl Impey became the second South African stage winner after Robert Hunter in Montpellier in 2007 as he out-sprinted his last breakaway companion, Belgium’s Tiesj Benoot, in Brioude at the end of Stage 9, the home of Romain Bardet who attacked from the peloton in the last climb but was brought back by Team Ineos. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey after shining on the roads of his Auvergne region on Bastille Day.

14 riders plus Marc Soler in the lead
172 riders took the start of stage 9 in Saint-Etienne. Polka dot jersey holder Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) was first to attack after flag off but Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) was first to make a gap for himself. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) was forced to abandon after a heavy crash at km 10. Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale), Ivan Garcia Cortina and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida), Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma), Simon Clarke (EF Education First), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic) rode away at km 14. Marc Soler (Movistar) counter-attacked by himself and made the junction 1.2km before the summit of the very steep Mur d’Aurec (km 36.5) where Benoot gave Lotto Soudal their 18th KOM victory since the start of the Tour de France (9 for Thomas De Gendt, 8 for Tim Wellens). Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) also attacked solo from the peloton and came 25 seconds behind the leading group but couldn’t bridge the gap and waited for the pack.

Pöstlberger at the front with 42km to go
The deficit of the peloton was 8:50 at Mur d’Aurec. A time gap of 10:49 was recorded at km 47, after which Deceuninck-Quick Step maintained it just above ten minutes. Boasson Hagen won the intermediate sprint at Arlanc (km 92). Clarke was first to attack from the front group with 62km to go. Garcia Cortina did so as well with 45km to go but following his move in a non-categorized climb, Pöstleberger found himself alone in the lead 42km before the end while the peloton let the gap increasing (13 minutes with 30km to go, 14 minutes with 20km to go). The Austrian was caught in the last categorized climb of the day with 15km to go. Roche and Benoot attacked from the leading group reduced to seven riders. Impey came across and passed first at côte de St-Just with 13km remaining.

First South African national champion to win at the Tour
Benoot and Impey rode to victory 7km before the end while Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) attacked in the côte de St-Just but Team Ineos was prompt to bring them back. Benoot and Impey shared the turns to avoid the return of their former breakaway companions. Benoot took the initiative of launching the sprint but Impey proved to be the fastest. He’s the first rider to win a Tour de France stage with the South Africa national champion jersey. The last victory of his Mitchelton-Scott team was with Michael Matthews in 2016.

Read the ‘PEZ Stage 9 Race Report’ HERE:

Stage winner, Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott): “That is pretty much for me, from the Tour de France perspective, something that was really missing and this is my seventh time riding the Tour de France. I’ve been in quite a few breakaways and to finally nail it today, it’s just a dream come true, I really don’t have any words. It was a stage I kind of marked for a breakaway, yesterday was a bit unfortunate as the break went straight away and today we were pretty active, Luke and Matteo were active at the start. I just kind of found the lucky move, I didn’t have to do too much to get in there, then we all just worked really well together and I kind of just believed in myself and played it quite smart there at the end I think. I haven’t actually been that emotional at the finish for a long time, so it’s fantastic to win at this level, the Tour de France. I think the last stage victory for South Africa was Robbie Hunter in 2007, so it’s been a long time between drinks and to win on Bastille Day that’s fantastic, that’s a magic memory. This is a dream come true, this is something I really wanted to do and you know it’s so difficult at this level, so when all the stars line up like they did today, I can’t be any prouder, it’s fantastic and I know South Africa will be cheering on and thanks to my family as well, they’ve supported me the whole way through this.”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s difficult to describe what it means to wear the maillot jaune on July 14, but what I can tell you is that it was more beautiful than the first time I wore it, at the beginning of the week. I spent the entire stage together with my teammates, who controlled it and protected me, for which I am very grateful”

2nd on the stage, Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal): “I targeted the victory today and did not ride this stage to win the most aggressive rider award, obviously. To finish second of such a strong breakaway is already huge but when you’re in such a position, you want to win of course. With Daryl Impey, I probably had the quickest rider of the break alongside me. The South African is able to win reduced bunch sprints, then you just know it will be difficult. I tried to surprise Impey in the sprint and corner him but that wasn’t enough to turn it to my advantage. During the stage, I felt really strong, I tried to take the initiative myself in order to thin out the group of fifteen, which also succeeded. It seemed that I would have been able to beat Roche but Impey is of course a different story, the section downhill to the finish also did not play into my hands. I wasn’t feeling great the past two days, so this performance brings good news. I clearly found my good legs back. With still eleven stages to go, there will come some more opportunities. The team is in a good flow and I am sure there will be some more chances for Thomas, Tim and myself to get in the breakaway during the second and third week.”

3rd on the stage, Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m super happy today and this is probably my biggest result of my career and I have to admit that I was also excited going to the finish line. I’m on my first Tour and I knew very well that I wouldn’t have many chances but I wanted to try and it went well. When I saw the gap was around 10 minutes from the peloton it was clear that the break was coming to the finish and I realized the last climb would be decisive. I made my pace but unfortunately I dropped from the three leaders with only 500m from the top. Then I wait for the group behind hoping to catch Impey and Benoot but they resisted to the finish line.”

4th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s been a very tough day. I knew I was in a group of strong, beefy guys. But we needed a little success. This is not a victory, not even a podium, but it was important to go out and give the team some good momentum. I believed in my chances it until we hit the flamme rouge. With that group of pursuers, you never could relax. You just never know. The two guys in the lead could have started looking at each other, and then that could have worked in our favor.”

13th on the stage, Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I had a gap in the front after the downhill and after a bit of hesitation because I knew there was still a long way to go, I decided to take my chances and attack. I gave all I had in the first kilometers, then as we were approaching the climb, they were coming closer. I tried to save some energy for the climb but after they caught me, it was impossible for me to follow the attacks. Nevertheless, this is part of the race. If you don’t try, you can’t win.”

Local rider and late attacker, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I have been cycling for nineteen years. It’s always good to go back to your roots. Today, I received a lot of support, and this will help me for the rest of the Tour. I tried to seize an opportunity on roads that I know well. Unfortunately, I had the wind in my face. I am satisfied with my efforts. This is how I want to approach the race. The start of the Tour has not been good, but we will fight until the end. We always hope to play a role among the leaders.”

CCC’s Alessandro De Marchi’s Tour de France came to a devastating end with a nasty crash on stage nine which left the Italian with multiple fractures, a lung contusion, and abrasions. De Marchi was immediately transported to hospital where X-rays confirmed the extent of his injuries. CCC Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said De Marchi sustained a fractured clavicle, ribs, and a lung contusion in the crash which happened in the first 10 kilometers of the stage. “Alessandro De Marchi was taken to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire – Hôpital Nord in Saint-Étienne where X-rays confirmed a fractured clavicle, fractured fourth rib, lung contusion with a small pneumothorax, all of which is on the left side, and multiple superficial contusions, including a laceration above the left eyebrow. Alessandro will be kept under observation for the next 24 to 48 hours, during which time it will be decided if surgery is necessary to fixate the clavicle fracture,” Dr. Testa explained. “Alessandro’s recovery timeline will depend on whether he has surgery but it will be at least three to four weeks before he can start riding on the rollers, following which he will ease back into training on the road. He will hopefully be in a position to race again in early September but we will continue to monitor his recovery and adjust this plan accordingly.”

After a strong display in the stage eight breakaway, De Marchi is disappointed to leave the race in these circumstances. “I’m really sorry to leave the Tour de France without having won a stage, which was my big goal. I’m disappointed to interrupt my tradition of finishing Grand Tours, as this will be the first time I abandon one. I’m fortunate that my injuries are not worse than they are, I’ve had a chance to speak to my family, and I’m in good hands here at the hospital. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike as soon as possible,” De Marchi said.

Tour de France Stage 9 Result:
1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:03:12
2. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
3. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida at 0:10
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb at 0:14
7. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
8. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:50
9. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First
10. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 2:42.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 9:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 38:37:36
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23
3. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:53
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:10
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:12
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:16
7. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 1:38
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:42
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria 2019
The 161.9km stage, which started in Bruck, was won by Jannik Steimle (Team Vorarlberg Santic). Jonas Koch (CCC) placed second, with Patrick Gamper (Tirol KTM) third. Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) held is lead of 8seconds over Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) and 13 seconds over Winner Anacona (Movistar).

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Stage 5 Result:
1. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic in 4:04:09
2. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
3. Patrick Gamper (Aust) Tirol KTM Cycling Team
4. August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
5. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM
6. Laurent Pichon (Fra) Arkea Samsic
7. Matthias Krizek (Aust) Team Felbermayr-Simplon Wels
8. Johannes Schinnagel (Ger) Maloja Pushbikers
9. Colin Stussi (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic
10. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 5:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 19:36:32
2. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 0:08
3. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar at 0:13
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar at 0:34
5. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:47
6. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) CCC at 1:10
7. Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC at 1:33
8. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Erit) Dimension Data at 1:35
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 1:40
10. Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 1:56.

Jannik Steimle winning stage 5:

The rider of the Russian cycling team Gazprom-RusVelo, Alexander Vlasov won the Final Stage 6 of the Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria on Friday. The Austrian race featured an opening prologue and six stages. South African Stefan de Bod placed third overall when the Tour of Austria concluded in Kitzbüheler Horn on Friday.

The final overall title went to Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), with Eduardo Sepulveda (Movistar) second. The final 116.7km stage was won by Vlasov. Patrick Schelling (Vorarlberg Santic) and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Dimension Data) finished second and third overall.

Stage winner, Alexander Vlasov (Rusvelo-Gazprom): “Today everything turned out just perfect! My teammates did a superb work and put me in the front position at the foot of the final mountain. I felt really fine, cause my team saved me a lot of energy and I was ready to do everything for the victory. With one kilometer to go, I felt really confident and decided to attack. I am really happy to claim a victory at the final stage of Tour of Austria.”

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Stage 6 Result:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo in 2:54:12
2. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:02
3. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Erit) Dimension Data at 0:20
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar at 0:24
5. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:29
6. Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 0:38
7. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) CCC
9. Victor de la Parte (Spa) CCC at 0:53
10. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:59.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Final Overall Result:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 22:31:22
2. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar at 0:20
3. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:38
4. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar at 0:41
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:52
6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 1:08
7. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) CCC at 1:10
8. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Erit) Dimension Data at 1:13
9. Patrick Schelling (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 1:29
10. Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC at 1:48.

Hermans wins the Tour of Austria overall:

Final Field of 17 Teams Confirmed for 2019 Tour of Utah in August
Four International Teams Added to Lineup at “America’s Toughest Stage Race”.

Four international teams accepted the final slots for this year’s Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Aug. 12-18, rounding out the men’s field for a total of 17 professional squads. Three teams will make their first appearances at the Tour of Utah with Canel’s-Specialized Cycling (Mexico), Dauner l AKKON Pro Cycling (Germany), and DC Bank Pro Cycling Team (Canada). Worthy Pro Cycling (Canada) raced three times in Utah under the Silber Pro Cycling banner. All four squads have UCI Continental status.

Both Canadian teams have new title sponsors and have Tour of Utah alumni on their rosters. Through an agreement between team sponsors, Floyd’s Pro Cycling will race under the name Worthy Pro Cycling at the Tour of Utah. The team features sprinter Travis McCabe (USA), who has amassed four stage wins in Utah in the past three years. He is the reigning USA Cycling Pro Criterium National Champion, having won this title for a second time on June 28. Among his teammates who scored top honors at the 2017 Tour of Utah are Serghei Tvetcov (Romania), who finished third on the General Classification (G.C.) riding for Jelly Belly Pro Cycling, and Jonny Clarke (Australia), who was seventh on G.C. riding for UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling.

Participating on DC Bank Pro Cycling, which had been H&R Block Pro Cycling, is former U.S. Pro Road Race national champion Greg Daniel, who won the King of the Mountains classification at the 2015 Tour of Utah while riding for Axeon-Hagens Berman. Dauner l AKKON Pro Cycling has riders from four countries, with the lone American being Oliver Flautt, who has had success in the U.S. riding last year for the Domestic Elite team Cyclus Sports. Canel’s-Specialized Cycling is the only Mexican club with a Continental license. Last year the team finished sixth overall in the UCI America Tour rankings, and this year features 10 riders representing Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

“We have attracted a talented international field for this year’s Tour of Utah with teams representing seven countries,” said John Kimball, managing director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. “We anticipate a great week of racing among these 17 teams and about 120 riders. It’s a special opportunity for us to bring world-class cycling to Utah and share this unique sports event with different host communities.”

2019 Tour of Utah Teams:
303 Project (USA)
Arapahoe l Hincapie presented by BMC (USA)
Aevolo Pro Cycling (USA)
Canel’s-Specialized Cycling (Mexico)
Dauner l AKKON Pro Cycling (Germany)
DC Bank Pro Cycling Team (Canada)
EF Education Pro Cycling (USA)
Elevate – KHS Pro Cycling (USA)
Hagens Berman Axeon (USA)
Israel Cycling Academy (Israel)
Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM (Italy)
NIPPO-Vini Fantini-Faizanè (Italy)
Rally UHC Cycling (USA)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
Team BridgeLane (Australia)
Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling presented by Maxxis (USA)
Worthy Pro Cycling (Canada)

Among the riders on the rosters of these 17 teams, they have a combined total of 42 stage victories and classification titles at the Tour of Utah since 2011, the year the Tour was elevated internationally by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Teams can carry up to seven riders on each roster, with the projected lineup of athletes to be announced in early August.

The UCI Pro Continental team Manzana Postobon (Colombia) was announced in April as participating at the Tour of Utah. The team has discontinued operations for the 2019 season and will not take part in any UCI races.

The Tour of Utah will begin on Aug. 12 at Snowbird Resort for a prologue (short time trial), one of four ski resorts that is part of the event. The Tour will conclude on Aug. 18 in Park City. Additional host venues are North Logan City, Brigham City, Powder Mountain Resort, Antelope Island State Park, North Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, and Canyons Village at Park City Mountain.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. It remains a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, making it one of the premier events for professional cycling teams in North America. The Tour is also part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. More information about the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah can be found by visiting, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (Tour of Utah).

Colorado Classic® Presented by VF Corporation Announces Challenging 2019 Race Routes
Routes for Women’s-Only Road Race Will Showcase Scenic Colorado in Action-Packed and Fan-Friendly Formats.

The 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation (August 22-25) has released its most challenging course yet with a mix of tough mountain and swift urban circuit routes through Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden, and Denver, organizers of the race announced today.

The circuit routes for the women’s-only pro road race will have something for every racer and fan, with high-altitude QOMs, breakneck sprints, six-miles of gravel, tight technical street racing and one of the most treacherous climbs in Colorado. The course will cover a total of 220 miles (354kms) with 13,667 feet (4,166m) of climbing while showcasing Colorado’s iconic terrain.

There will be a free Colorado Classic Expo near each host’s Start/Finish celebrating cycling, health, fitness, and women’s empowerment with a curated array of exhibitors, events, and food and beverage experiences.

“This will be, by far, the most challenging course we’ve had for the women’s Colorado Classic and this year’s route provides something for everyone,” said Sean Petty, Colorado Classic Race Director. “The courses offer two incredible days in the mountains, starting with over 4,000 feet of climbing in Steamboat Springs and a brutal climb will be featured before the finale on Stage 2 in Avon. And, we’ll have opportunities for the sprinters in Stages 3 and 4 in Golden and Denver.”

2019 Colorado Classic Routes
Stage 1 presented by Smartwool begins in northwest Colorado at Steamboat Springs on August 22 with riders tackling high-altitude climbing, six miles of exciting gravel and technical descents. Stage 2 presented by FirstBank moves to Avon with seven exciting laps around town and then an extra lap with a brutal ascent up the infamous Daybreak Ridge in Beaver Creek. This high-altitude climb will be the decisive moment of the Queen Stage, as the field fights to the top before bombing back to town on a technical descent through Bachelor Gulch. Stage 3 through Golden will feature three sprints and seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit including a mini-QOM up Washington St. and a start/finish under the iconic Golden arch. The Colorado Classic concludes on August 25 with Stage 4 presented by Gates Corporation, which features eight laps of a technical and dynamic circuit, starting and finishing in front of Coors Field in Downtown Denver and going through the perennially fan-friendly 17th Avenue and City Park.

Now in its third year, the Colorado Classic has attracted 16 world-class teams with 96 riders, representing its most international and competitive field yet with five international and four top-20 UCI women’s elite teams. The top-four domestic teams in USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour rankings also will be coming to the race. Racers include WorldTour race winners, Olympians, previous Colorado Classic podium winners, collegiate champions and up-and-coming stars.

The standalone women’s stage race is on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar as a 2.1 race and is a USA Cycling Pro Road Tour race.

Stage 1 – Steamboat Springs presented by Smartwool – August 22
There will be no gentle opening for the 2019 Colorado Classic. With 2 QOMs, countless smaller hills, 6mi/10km of treacherous gravel, a sprint down Oak Creek and a few technical descents, this will be a rude awakening for many racers. The Steamboat Springs course shapes up as a grab bag that anyone can win. Can a climber get away on the short punch hills and hold an advantage? Can a sprinter hang on over the hills for a crack at the line? Or will a dirt specialist surprise everyone? Stage 1 of the race will have a start/finish at the Meadows Lot and will start at 11:30am MT.

Stage 2 – Avon presented by FirstBank – August 23
Stage 2, the Queen Stage, is really two stages in one. The opening 35 miles on a flat 5 mile circuit for 7 laps will run off fast and technical like a criterium. Then an extra lap of 15 miles will tackle one of Colorado’s most notorious climbs, the ridiculously steep Daybreak Ridge (fan accessible by bike or foot only). This climb up Daybreak Ridge through Beaver Creek to a QOM hits grades of 14%, and then features a fast, technical descent through Bachelor Gulch. Watch the best female climbers in the world, many in their native Colorado terrain. Stage 2 will have a start/finish on Lake Street near Nottingham Park and starts at 1:00pm MT.

Stage 3 – Golden – August 24
On paper, Stage 3 in Golden looks like a sprinter’s delight with three sprints and seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden arch downtown. But don’t be fooled as the short steep climb up the historic Washington Street is enough for a mini-QOM on the last lap, combined with additional rollers, adding up to over 4,000’ of vertical climbing. Look for breakaway attempts and sprint trains after the non-climbers have waited for two days to get on terrain that suits them. Stage 3 will have a start/finish on Washington St. and 12th and start at 11:30am MT.

Stage 4 – Denver presented by Gates Corporation – August 25
Pro racing returns to Denver for a third year on a course with some new and some traditional features. This sprint-friendly course sees the Colorado Classic move its Start/Finish line to Coors Field, but keeps the familiar highlights of crowd-friendly 17th Street and City Park. Look for fast racing with three sprints and large crowds as sprinters battle for wins and contenders for bonus seconds in the conclusion of the first women’s-only Colorado Classic. Stage 4 will have a start/finish at Coors Field on 21st and Blake St. and start at 1:30pm MT.

More than a race, the Colorado Classic is becoming a movement, helping to create equity in female professional cycling while inspiring and empowering women of all ages to transform the world through sports.

To learn more about the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation and this year’s race routes, visit or follow @coloradoclassicpro on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.

AIRace on the Launching Pad with 8 World Teams
19 Teams (including 8 World Tour) announced at the start of Adriatica Ionica Race’s second edition, to be held on July 24-28 in Northern Italy.

2019 Adriatica Ionica Race rides at full speed toward Wednesday, July 24th, when the second edition of the stage race organized by the former World Champion Moreno Argentin will start from Mestre, in Venice mainland, moving throughout five stages in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, Northern Italy, to end in Trieste, on Sunday July 28th.

Adriatica Ionica Race’s teams list includes 19 squads (8 belonging to the UCI World Tour: Education First, UAE Team Emirates, Bahrain-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Trek-Segafredo, Deceuninck-Quick Step, Team Dimension Data, Team Movistar).

The strong line-up confirms the event’s international vocation, a perfect springboard for the World cycling prospects. Indeed, the Colombian youngster Ivan Ramiro Sosa won the race last year ahead of Italian Giulio Ciccone, unleashing a great attack on the difficult Passo Giau.

Alongside the World Teams, 9 Professional Teams join the event to keep on fighting from the start to the finish, with Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela aiming to confirm its leadership in the Ciclismo Cup. Moreover, the Adriatica Ionica Race also enrolled Continental squad Team Friuli and the Italian National Team under the guidance of Davide Cassani.

Teams from no less than ten Nations will show up at the start in Mestre (Italy, USA, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Netherlands and Israel), each one fielding seven riders.

Adriatica Ionica Race Teams List:
UCI World Tour:
Education First, UAE Team Emirates, Bahrain-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Trek-Segafredo, Deceuninck-Quick Step, Team Dimension Data, Movistar Team.

UCI Professional: Androni Giocattoli Sidermec, Bardiani CSF, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizané, Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM, Rompoot-Charles, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Caja Rural Seguros RGA, Israel Cycling Academy, Team Novo Nordisk.

UCI Continental: Cycling Team Friuli.
National teams: Italy.

2019 Adriatica Ionica Race – Stages:
Wesnesday July 24th – Stage 1: Mestre – Mestre, 81 Km.
Thursday July 25th – Stage 2: Venezia (Favaro Veneto) – Grado, 189 Km.
Friday July 26th – Stage 3: Palmanova – Lago di Misurina/Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 204,6 Km.
Saturday July 27th – Stage 4: Padola – Cormòns/Monte Quarin, 204,5 Km.
Sunday July 28th – Stage 5: Cormòns – Trieste, 133,5 Km.

Race website:

Photo: 19 Teams (including 8 World Tour) announced at the start of Adriatica Ionica Race:

2020 Santos Tour Down Under Classic/Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Stage 4 Route Announced
The City of Adelaide Tour Village – the heart and soul of Australia’s premier cycling race – will for the first time in race history, signal the start and finish of the men’s Down Under Classic. The 1.7km Classic circuit will begin on Flinders Street, before traveling down the eastern side of King William Street and passing the Tour Village on Sunday, January 19.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, the Hon Corey Wingard, said it’s important for the TDU to look at ways to keep the race fresh for both riders and fans, as well as share the economic love throughout different areas of the CBD. “Sunday’s racing will bring an action-packed day to the CBD, ending the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under and kicking off the men’s Santos Tour Down Under. Huge crowds are anticipated, with the City of Adelaide Tour Village the central hub for cycling enthusiasts, fans and families over the course of the TDU,” said Minister Wingard. “Restaurants and cafes surrounding the CBD area, particularly on Gouger Street will be showcased to thousands of eager fans, helping businesses share in the well over $60 million of economic benefit the TDU brings each year.”

Tasked with designing a challenging circuit TDU Race Director, Mike Turtur, said that next year’s Classic and WTDU Stage 4 route would bring excitement to the heart of Adelaide. “We’ve designed stages that are not only challenging but offer great vantage points and entertainment for spectators,” said Turtur. “This route change will enable spectators to easily access the City of Adelaide Tour Village, further building on the great atmosphere that is the TDU.”

Keeping with tradition, the WTDU Stage 4 race will precede the Classic. The women’s race will feature 25 laps with 3 sprint opportunities, while the men will complete a total of 30 laps of the city circuit, covering 51km.

WTDU Race Director, Kimberley Conte, said there will be more points on offer for sprinters than any other stage, a thrilling finale that could see the sprint and points jersey change hands for the final placings. “The overall General Classification rider will have to remain attentive with her team, staying out of harm’s way throughout the stage.”

For the men, the Down Under Classic is a prelude to the six stages of the Santos Tour Down Under, which will be held from January 21 – 26, 2020.

30 laps for the men, 25 for the women:

Bigla Extends Sponsorship Agreement for 2020
We are pleased to announce that Bigla has extended its partnership with our team. Bigla has been a valued partner of our team since 2005, during which time it has been a steadfast supporter of our goal of developing riders to reach their potential within the sport of professional cycling.

Team Manager Thomas Campana said about the partnership extension: “This is great news. Bigla is one of the most loyal supporters of women’s cycling, and their decision to support us for another year is a confirmation of the success of our hard work in developing athletes to the next level in the sport. We have created many exceptional athletes over the past few years, and we are looking forward to building an even stronger professional platform of development for women’s cycling in the future. We are working hard with our partners to continuously build our project to be ready to apply for a WorldTeam license from 2021 onwards.”

Patrick Müller Forced to Put an End to His Career
Victim of a recurring problem with his the leg, Patrick Müller will end his career at the end of the season.

It is with great sadness that Vital Concept-B&B Hotels has learned from the young Swiss rider (23 years old) that he would no longer be a cyclist in 2020. Operated on the iliac artery last year, Patrick Müller still suffers with his left leg and made the decision not to pursue a professional career began a year and a half ago with the team.

Winner in the spring of the Limburg Tour, his first pro success, Muller was among the best riders of his generation and was one of the great hopes of international cycling. “It was a decision that was very difficult to make,” said Patrick. “The intervention that I underwent a little over a year ago was, in my view, the operation of a last chance. Unfortunately, the pain that has bothered me since my junior years is still present and I cannot conceive of living a career of suffering, so recurrent and disabling.”

Patrick will finish the season with the Club, but will resume, as of September, a curriculum of Law and Economics at the University of Winterthur. “It scares me to stop this life”, recognizes this lover of sport and life in the countryside. “I have been riding for sixteen years and I have always lived 100% for my sport. I only know that. At school, I got up early to train before classes. Same in the afternoon, I ended my day on the bike. By turning my back on this routine, I will lose a big part of my life and jump into the unknown. I can not wait to make a new circle of friends, practice other sports where my leg will not hurt me anymore, but I will always be connected to the bike, one way or another.”
While Jerome Pineau, the general manager of the Vital Concept-B&B Hotels, hoped to keep him in his team in the next seasons, the young man declined the proposal. “I did not see myself signing this contract, get a better salary, more responsibilities or even a leader status, and not give my full performance. It would not have been honest. I will finish the season with pleasure because I can always train and run but it will be my last races. I want to enjoy it and live this end of career without too much pressure. This is probably how I will be the best performer.”

Disconcerted by this decision, Jérôme Pineau understands and respects perfectly the choice of his rider. “Patrick is an ambitious young man who cannot bear not being 100%,” says the club’s general manager. “His concern for health is nagging, he is fed up with it and I admire his honesty. His departure is a big loss because we had a lot of hopes in him but Patrick is still with us and we can trust him to remain the hyper involved rider he has always been.”

Patrick Muller:

Before the Flag Drops
What goes on before the flag drops at the start of a Tour de France stage? Team CCC take you behind the scenes with their staff and riders to have a look at Team CCC’s pre-stage routine:

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