EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

La Vuelta a España and the Tour of Britain come to an exciting close, plus the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal, Ceratizit Madrid Challenge, Coppa Agostoni and the Coppa Bernocchi, all with reports, results and video. Miguel Ángel López gets grumpy with Movistar – Top Story. A load of other cycling news: Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Okolo Slovenska, rider contracts and stagieires and cyclo-cross news from Wanty-Gobert, Sunweb and the Euro champs in Silvelle. Jumbo-Visma Vuelta video to finish. A bumper full EUROTRASH Monday.

TOP STORY: “Movistar is a team of idiots!”
Astana’s Miguel Ángel López was upset after the crash and chase on stage 19, “what a silly team the World champion has, what a world champion we have,” said López considering it “disrespectful” that Movistar rode hard at the front after the crash.

“We had around 20 crashed riders or more and it is always the same stupid people who always take advantage of these things. It is not the first time, they have already done it more times, and it is their way of acting always,” he added. What happened “is a lack of respect for the red jersey (of Primoz Roglic),” said the Colombian, who lamented the “stubborn persecution he had to do” to his team. “At that time we must have solidarity with the red jersey and the white jersey (which López wears)” said a Lopez who believes that, “if it was so, it was good”, referring to the decision of the UCI to allow the team cars to help the crashed riders to rejoin the peloton after the fall. The Movistar team said that they had planed the day before that they would attack on that section of the course and that when they heard what had happened the stopped. Although it was quite a time after the crash and at the point when Roglic and López were about to rejoin their group.

López on Spanish TV

The big stage 19 crash

At the sign-on of la Vuelta stage 20 of La Vuelta in Arenas de San Pedro, Alejandro Valverde told Miguel Ángel López and the president of the UCI, that whatever they have to say they should say it face-to-face and behind his back and that the unsportsmanlike behaviour was to allow the group to reach them with the help of the team cars, and that Movistar performs a lot of work to study the routes and that they entered the curve of the fall on the good side of the road and none of the Movistar team was involved, because they were warned as a result of that recognisance work, and that is part of cycling and competition… ‘Ole your Balaverde balls!’. World champion and a living cycling legend! The UCI and Lopez seem to be the ones with the look of idiots now.

López Tweeted: “More than one will not understand what happened today in the @lavuelta and I’m sorry, apart from the point of view of everyone. A heat of the race moment with the pain of the fall and all my sincerest apologies to @alejanvalverde and @Movistar_Team.”

Vuelta a España 2019
It was another gruelling day on Stage 18 with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) trying to make the most of climbing-packed route with multiple attacks. The Colombian ‘Superman’ launched his first move with 60km to go, but Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) matched every one of his attacks to retain La Roja. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) faded and dropped a minute. Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) attacked on the first climb of the day and was the only attacker able to resist the GC contenders to claim his maiden Grand Tour stage win at 22 years old, after some impressive racing at the front.

On the day after a crazy stage through the wind, the riders were ready for more battle in the mountains. Jumbo-Visma tried to control the early part of the race, but attacks started to fly after 3km and it took dozens of kilometres for the situation to settle. Wout Poels (Ineos) attacked just ahead of the Puerto de Navacerrada (11.8km, 6.3%). He rode the full climb on his own at the front while attacks kept flying from a reduced bunch.

Astana take over
Twelve riders successively joined Wout Poels at the front: Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Astana), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida), Jonas Koch (CCC), Sergio Higuita (EF Education First), Tobias Ludvigson (Groupama-FDJ), Nick Shultz (Mitchelton-Scott), Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos), Neilson Powless (Jumbo-Visma) and Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias). They open a 5 minute lead on the bunch on the second climb of the day, the Puerto de la Morcuera, summited first by Geoffrey Bouchard to secure the Polka-dot jersey for one more day.

Astana accelerate on the second ascent of the Puerto de la Morcuera and Miguel Angel Lopez attacked with 60km to go. Bouchard claimed 10 more KOM points at the summit. Lopez only trailed by 1:03 and the Roglic group, reduced to a handful of riders, is 19 seconds further behind. Lopez joined Omar Fraile on the downhill and they increased their lead to 30 seconds. Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss and Neilson Powless drove the Roglic group and Lopez was caught with 38km to go. Sergio Higuita is the only rider still out front, with a lead of 1:06.

Higuita soloed to victory
Lopez attacked again and again in the final climb. Primoz Roglic, Alejandro Valverde and Rafal Majka were the only ones able to follow him. At the summit (26.3km to go), Higuita held on to a 47 second lead. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) trailed by 17 seconds. And Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was 26 seconds further behind with Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal) and Louis Meintjes. They got back to Pogacar with 20km to go.

Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) held a 15 second lead to claim his maiden Grand Tour victory at 22 years old. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) led the GC group through the line. Nairo Quintana and Tadej Pogacar finished 59 seconds down. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) moves back to 2nd on GC, ahead of Quintana and 2:50 behind Roglic, and Lopez took the white jersey from Pogacar.

See the ‘PEZ Stage 18 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Sergio Higuita (EF Education First): “It’s a dream to be at the Vuelta, riding a Grand Tour, and now, winning a stage, it’s very important. It’s the biggest win of my sporting career. I had to maintain a high rhythm because the big favourites were fighting behind me. My director told me I could keep an advantage over them. I had to ride with my heart until the last five kilometres, to handle the pain because this team needed this victory in this moment. During this Vuelta, I learned to never give up. After the bad moments that you have during a Grand Tour, each day is a new day and any day you can finish with a victory. I showed resiliency because yesterday I had a very, very difficult day and today I won the stage. I took it as it came and turned a bad situation into a good one.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a hard stage again, with a difficult final. The team was really good. Moreover, I felt good as well. We have to be focussed until Madrid, because the real finish line is there. Probably, I am my own biggest competitor. Again, It was all about the team today.”

2nd overall and 3rd on the stage, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “Everyone know López would go on the attack, and so our task near the end was defending ourselves from it if we weren’t able to drop Roglic. His moves were sharp ones, López is always a combative one, a big talent you can’t lose sight of, yet when he tried it in Morcuera we saw he didn’t open that big of a gap, and chose not to go after him, just trying to let him waste energy as we kept riders at the front, with Nelson, and into the GC group, with Marc. As he went away again in Cotos, I had Nairo behind me into a separate group, and thus couldn’t take a turn to go after Higuita. My legs? Well (laughs), just like everyone’s: better at one stage, worse at the next one. Roglic remains so strong, yet we’re still there. We’ve got two tough days ahead yet, and we can keep gaining or losing time. We just can’t do anything other than keeping pushing.”

4th overall and 5th on the stage, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “I didn’t enjoy any collaboration [of my rivals] during my attacks. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to get closer to the podium today. I’ve also regained the white jersey as best young rider, and it’s the last year I can win this. There is a lot of terrain left, with two interesting stages on which, being strong, we can pull off something interesting.”

4th on the stage and 6th overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was my mistake yesterday not being in the breakaway therefore I wanted to make it up today. My teammates work so hard for me and I want to give it back to them with a good result. It was another hard stage but I went with the other GC contenders on the attack and I was able to move up one position.”

9th on the stage and 5th overall, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “I did everything I could to stay with the front group today. Of course I’m a little bit disappointed but I gave it my best, maybe it was just a bad day. Saturday will be another decisive stage for the GC so I expect we’ll be going full gas from the start.”

Vuelta a España Stage 18 Result:
1. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First in 4:33:09
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:15
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 0:17
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 1:16
7. Louis Meintjes (SA) Dimension Data
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
9. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
10. Óscar Rodríguez (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 3:47.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 18:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 71:16:54
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:50
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:31
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 4:17
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 4:49
6. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:46
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 9:46
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 11:50
9. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 12:44
10. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 21:09.

A flat Stage 19 on the way to Toledo offered more craziness at La Vuelta’19. Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) stormed to an impressive solo win after dropping all his breakaway companions with 25km to go. This is the first Grand Tour stage victory for “the TGV from Clermont-Ferrand”. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retained La Roja after several scares. The race leader was involved with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) in a crash with 67km to go and had to chase his way back to the peloton a second time after Bora-Hansgrohe split the bunch in the wind. He eventually lost 3 seconds to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the uphill sprint finish.

The uphill start on the Alto de la Paramera offered a perfect ground for an early battle. Ten riders got ahead of the bunch after 4km: Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale), Domen Novak (Bahrain-Merida), Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Lawson Craddock (EF Education First), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott), Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data), David de la Cruz (Ineos), Nikias Arndt (Sunweb), Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo). They enjoyed a 3:35 lead after 35km, when four teams start pulling the bunch: CCC, Katusha-Alpecin, Bora-Hansgrohe and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

The gap was quickly brought down under 2 minutes and it stabilised at around 1:30. A massive crash saw the race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and the white jersey Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) go down. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) had to abandon. Movistar drove the first bunch and it took 16 kilometres before Primoz Roglic and Miguel Angel Lopez made their way back to the main bunch.

Bora split the bunch
Bora-Hansgrohe split the bunch through crosswinds with 35km to go. Primoz Roglic was off the back again but he got back 6km later. The leaders were still 1 minute ahead. Rémi Cavagna went solo at the front with 25km to go. The Frenchman took a 26 second lead on his former breakaway companions as he entered the last 10 kilometres. The peloton trailed by 1:05.

The chasers were caught inside the last 2km but Rémi Cavagna held on to a 5 second margin on the line. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took 2nd ahead of two other Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders, Zdenek Stybar and Philippe Gilbert. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) finished 5th and gained 3 seconds on Primoz Roglic, who retained the overall lead on the eve of the last mountain stage.

Read the ‘PEZ Stage 19 Race Report’ HERE, with lots of photos.

Stage winner, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I always try and give everything, and today wasn’t any different. I am so, so happy, because this is my first stage victory in a Grand Tour and it feels great! We’ve had a lot of beautiful moments here in the past weeks and today’s result comes as a really nice reward, another one, for the Wolfpack, who has worked a lot and showed their dedication every single time. We’ve had so much success with Specialized at this Vuelta. I’m so happy to be a part of it! My Venge felt amazing today, it was so fast, even on the steep cobblestone climb in Toledo! It wasn’t easy in the final, I suffered with the headwind and the road that continued to rise, but I believed in myself and kept going on my bike which allowed me to go full gas until the line.”

Overall leader and 10th on the stage, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “I was a little unlucky with the crash but I’m still here. I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t see it, I was behind. I just tried to come back to the front, full gas. I think first of all I need to see replays and then maybe I can comment. With the team, we went as fast as possible to get a new bike and return to the bunch. It could be better but it could also be a lot worse and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We’re one day closer [to winning La Vuelta].”

2nd on the stage, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “First and most important I hope everyone, who was involved in the crash is quite okay. Unfortunately, my teammate Jempy was involved too and suffered an injury on his elbow. Well, the stage was once again just fast and everyone fought for position. Remi launched his attack in the right moment, I gave it my all today but it was not enough at the end of the win.”

8th on the stage and 5th overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “At the start we thought it was going to be a quiet stage but everyone was fighting for position from the start. The crash happened just before a really hard part of the course where it was really windy so many guys were caught out. It was a very hard stage in the end.”

9th on the stage and 4th overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “Without the crash, it would have been a perfect day. I have a team that rode superbly and the crash was bad luck. We had to ride full gas after the crash because Movistar Team always act stupid. They’re not able to win races from the front, attacking, and they need to profit this kind of stupid opportunities. We’re getting to the end of La Vuelta 19 and tomorrow we’ll have to give it all.”

Break rider, Nikias Arndt (Sunweb): “We had the goal to go in the breakaway with me today which succeeded. The group was working really well together, apart from Cavagna who sat on near the finale and attacked at the perfect moment; he did well to finish it off alone. Unfortunately, we got caught by the bunch in the final few kilometres. Wilco stayed where he is on GC and now we will go all in for that tomorrow.”

Vuelta a España Stage 19 Result:
1. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:43:34
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:05
3. Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick Step
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:08
7. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
8. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE-Team Emirates
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana
10. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 19:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 75:00:36
2. Alejandro Valverde (Col) Movistar at 2:47
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:31
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 4:17
5. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 4:49
6. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:46
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 9:46
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 11:50
9. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 13:20
10. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 21:09.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) offered a stellar demonstration of his raw talent with a 39km solo attack in the mountains to take victory at Plataforma de Gredos on Stage 20. The young Slovenian won his third mountain stage at La Vuelta’19 to emulate his team manager Giuseppe Saronni – the Italian legend who was until now the only rider to have won three stages in a Grand Tour before celebrating his 21st birthday. Pogacar also moved to 3rd on GC and takes the white jersey as the best young rider of the race ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) despite many attacks from the Colombian climber. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) controlled his other rivals to retain La Roja and is set to be the first Slovenian Grand Tour.

The final mountain stage of La Vuelta’19 was ridden aggressively from the start. The pack quickly hit the first slopes up the Puerto de Pedro Bernardo (18.4km, 4.4%). Nine riders got away on the ascent: Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Mitch Docker (EF Education First), Steve Morabito (Groupama-FDJ), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Mikel Iturria, Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias). Astana put the bunch under pressure with many attacks but Jumbo-Visma managed to control the moves. Sergio Samitier was first over the top, ahead of his breakaway companions. There was only 20 riders left in the Roglic group, trailing by 1:25.

The battle kept going in the cat.2 Puerto de Serranillos. Samitier was first at the summit again (km 45.5) but the pack was less than 1 minute behind. The four strongest attackers drop their breakaway companions on the cat.2 Alto Navatalgordo: Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias). Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) attacks from the bunch with 115km to go and bridges a 1:30 gap to join the leaders 7km further on. The gap was up to 4:30 as the front group hit the fourth climb of the day, the cat.3 Puerto del Chia, with 71.4km to go.

Pogacar, too smart, too strong
Astana put the peloton under pressure again. The bunch split in the wind with 55km to go. Only 20 riders remain in the GC group and the gap to the leaders was down under 3 minutes. Tao Geoghegan Hart attacked 11km from the summit of the Puerto de Peña Negra (14.2km, 5.9%). Ruben Guerreiro followed him. The gap to the bunch was down to 1:40. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) attacked twice on the climb, but his GC rivals control his moves. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) goes 4.5km from the summit and nobody follows. The Slovenian quickly joins and drops the early attackers. He’s already opened a 1:30 gap when he goes over the top with 34.2km to go.

Movistar and Astana don’t collaborate and the gap goes up to 1:40 when Tadej Pogacar hits the bottom of the final climb to Plataforma de Gredos (9.4km, 3.9%). The GC group splits on the climb and Miguel Angel Lopez fades. Tadej Pogacar doesn’t – he holds on to a 1:32 lead at the line. Alejandro Valverde was 2nd and Primoz Roglic drops 9 seconds, but holds on to La Roja on the eve of the final stage to Madrid.

See the ‘PEZ Stage 20 Race Report’ and photo selection HERE.

Stage winner, 3rd overall and ‘Best Young Rider’, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “I started the race with good legs, but didn’t feel as good mentally. But then I began to notice that everyone else was struggling in the cold and rain and I started to feel better. When we had about 5kms left of the penultimate climb, I knew there was a head wind, so I wasn’t initially sure if I should go. But after watching lots of other failed attacks I could tell my rivals weren’t feeling that good. I put in a strong acceleration and no one could follow, then I was able to go full gas and maintain my lead until the finish line. I never imagined I would be in this position three weeks ago. It feels incredible.”

Overall leader and 5th on the stage, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a tough day in the mountains,” the relieved classification leader said. “Today, like the last few days, we have shown that we are a strong team. From the start we were well positioned and sharp. Everyone did an excellent job. In the end I felt good enough to stay with the best. There is one more day to go, but fortunately there are no mountains in tomorrow’s stage! After the Giro, it was not difficult to motivate myself for this race. I want to compete for the win in every race I start. I have prepared as well as possible for this Vuelta. It has been three tough weeks and I am glad it’s coming to an end. There was not one key moment this Vuelta, but there were several. Something happened in every stage, even in the relatively flat stages. Tomorrow I have to cross the line in Madrid and then it’ll be time to enjoy it.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m really satisfied with this Vuelta. I didn’t even dare to dream about a second place overall before the start of the race; maybe just about winning a stage, but never to get onto the podium. It was a difficult finale for me, because of the hard slopes, the weather and also because I didn’t have any time references in the end. The rainy conditions sort of broke my radio, I couldn’t hear it loud, and when I tried to fix it I might have changed the channel I was using and couldn’t hear anything, so I didn’t have any time gaps. Thanks to our team, which did a phenomenal effort, I only had to go ‘full gas’ on the slopes near the finish to keep that second place. The fans on the road were yelling to me Pogacar was about two minutes ahead, they told me I had to push hard, and so after I heard that and after those bonus seconds in the sprint my goal was limiting those losses. I wasn’t really feeling calm into that final pursuit. However, Pedrero and Soler gave everything to keep Pogacar as close as possible and my job only started at the final climb. Astana launched some attacks, but they never kept a steady pace nor helped us, despite the fact that they were losing all prizes they had. But it’s normal – everyone does its own race. I think I’ll be in good condition at the World Championships. We’ll have a very strong team, we’re getting together in Alicante next week and so I hope to enjoy some good days with my team-mates before travelling to Yorkshire. We’ve got to be realistic: it will be more of an open race, and our chances will be smaller than in Austria.”

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Rafał Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I wanted to win today’s stage to pay back the team’s absolutely great work over the whole three weeks. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. However, the team was once again amazing. Pawel and Felix stayed with me until the finale and did a stellar job. Tomorrow we will help Sam to achieve another good result and afterwards we will enjoy some time off the bike.”

4th on the stage and 15th overall, Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida): “I tried to go in the breakaway and I stayed in front of the peloton. It was a very high tempo and I was dropped, but I could get back and remained with Dylan. Then on the last climb, I had very good legs and I even don’t know why I was there fighting with the best. It was such a hard day, incredible. I suffered, but I managed to take such a good result. It was a great Vuelta for me. I’m so happy. I’ve only a regret, to drop out from the top ten overall on that windy stage, but that’s cycling. Now I’m thinking about the future because I’m aware that I can reach the top ten.”

7th on the stage and 12th overall, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m satisfied and in general, I’m happy with my Vuelta. I had two goals: a stage win and the red jersey. I could achieve one and of course, I need to be happy. In the end, I made a good result in the GC.”

KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I had a complicated day, the most difficult since the start of the Vuelta, but the essential is secured! Three weeks ago, I could not have imagined finishing the Vuelta with the King of the Mountains jersey on my back. I just wanted to finish my first Grand Tour with AG2R-La Mondiale. I don’t know what to think, especially when I see the palmarès of guys who have taken this before me! Yesterday, Thomas De Gendt came to congratulate me, it’s a little crazy. I started thinking about this jersey on the evening of the 9th stage in Andorra where I went over two climbs and thirty kilometres in the lead. I thank my teammates who helped me every day in the quest for this jersey. Now we head toward Madrid. I will definitely enjoy this last stage and the podium with the leaders of this Vuelta, it’s crazy!”

Vuelta a España Stage 20 Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 5:16:40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:32
3. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain Merida
5. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:41
6. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First at 1:49
7. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:56
9. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:59
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 20:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 80:18:54
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:33
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:55
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:46
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 4:48
6. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:33
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 10:04
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 12:54
9. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 22:27
10. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 22:34.

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) made the most of his pure speed to snatch a prestigious Stage 21 win in Madrid. The young Dutch national champion out-sprinted the Irish national champion Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) to claim his second Grand Tour victory. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) made it safely to the line to become the first Slovenian rider to win a Grand Tour, ahead of the World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and another Slovenian, the 20 year-old wunderkid Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) was the most aggressive rider of the race.

Sun greeted the riders as the 153-man peloton rolled out from Fuenlabrada in the late afternoon. The 50 kilometres leading to Madrid were an opportunity for the riders to celebrate their achievements after three weeks of hard racing. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), winner of the 2019 Vuelta, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 2nd on GC, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), 3rd overall and best young rider, and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale), King of the Mountains, shared a beer. Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) successfully proposed his girlfriend.

The intensity picked up as the race entered Madrid, with nine 5.8km laps to pass some of the most prestigious buildings of the Spanish capital. Riders tried their luck as soon as the pack crossed the finish line for the first time, but with a very high pace, it was hard to build any gap.

Daniel Martinez (EF Education First) and Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) got off the front with 43km to go. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates work together to control the gap to around 20 seconds. The two attackers are caught with 7km to go. Deceuninck – Quick-Step set the sprint and Fabio Jakobsen delivered the stage victory ahead of Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The ‘PEZ Stage 21 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This is the biggest moment of my career so far. To win here, in the Dutch Champion jersey, is very special, but it wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates, to whom I am extremely grateful not just for today, but also for helping me make it through these tough three weeks. This win gives me a lot of happiness, I really can’t put it into words. I’m over the moon knowing that I will leave this brutal race with two victories in the bag! To be honest, I didn’t expect to arrive to Madrid. I suffered a lot in these three weeks, it was very hard, but I kept going and I’m glad to be here now. The first victory brought a huge relief, because it took off the pressure just four days into the race, while today’s success was completely unexpected. The guys were again fantastic, controlling the break and bringing me to the front when it mattered. All I had to do was follow Max and launch my sprint at the right moment, and on the line, I even threw my bike just for good measure.”

Vuelta’19 overall and points competition winner, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy. I have no words for this, it gives an indescribable feeling. This victory is not only my most beautiful win, but it is also the biggest win for cycling in Slovenia. It has been three difficult and tough weeks with many ups and downs. The many crashes and setbacks especially made it mentally difficult. There were several important moments as there was a lot happening every day. We had to be riding attentively and focused every day. As a team, we have shown resilience. I am proud of the team, the way we have fought the past three weeks. Everyone has given 110 percent, and that also gave me extra motivation to fully go for it. I am relieved that we have been able to bring this to an close successfully. Now we are going to enjoy it, and then we will focus on our next goals.”

2nd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m super happy, it’s something incredible after 16 years, so many years fighting at the highest level, and finishing second this time. So I’m super happy. It’s been a very beautiful La Vuelta and… Maybe the worst moment was the crash and the misunderstandings that followed. [About the World Championships] We’ll have to see, it’s very complicated. You go there with the best intentions but we have to be realistic and we know the route suits other riders better than me but the main thing is to give it all.”

3rd overall and best young rider, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “These last three weeks have been incredible. The whole of UAE Team Emirates has supported me really well to get to this point and I owe a lot of thanks to them. To finish on the podium in the Vuelta is unbelievable and to be able to do it next to the World Champion and Primoz Roglic is even more amazing. A lot of friends and family have come from home to see me in Madrid so for me this day was the perfect end to an amazing three weeks for me and for the team.”

5th overall and most aggressive rider, Miguel Ángel López (Astana): “I am happy with the way I did this Vuelta a España. I was able to come here in a good shape and during all three weeks I was keeping on attacking. I did my best in all mountain stages as well as in time trials, so I have no regrets. Indeed, once again I had a bad luck in a few decisive moments as at that stage in Andorra or two days ago in Toledo. But I just left it behind me, thinking only about good moments in this race. I had a great team around me, and I want to thank all Astana Pro Team for the trust and fantastic support during the race. As a team, I think, we made a great cycling show at La Vuelta and we can be proud with it. Of course, I would be much happier if I reach the final podium, because I was ready for that result. Well, I am 5th in the general classification and I am looking at this like at a reason to come here again for a better result!”

8th overall, Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal): “It has been very tough but beautiful weeks, an unforgettable experience. Of course, I surprised myself. Before La Vuelta, my first goal was to – as a Grand Tour rookie – make it to the finish in Madrid; and if everything would fall into place, I maybe dreamed of a top twenty. I absolutely didn’t think finishing inside the top ten was possible. This was only made possible thanks to very good legs, good tactics and excellent teammates and staff. For me, it was one big journey of discovery, because I hadn’t raced for longer than eight consecutive days in the Dauphiné. I have to say that my legs at day seven or eight of the Dauphiné felt the same like during stage seventeen or eighteen in La Vuelta. I didn’t have bad days. The two times I was part of a big breakaway made me realise that a good overall result was possible. The day prior to the stage to Andorra, I was in the break with Tosh; and one day later, during the first mountain stage in Andorra, I managed to stay upright pretty well. And after stage eighteen, when I finished sixth, I really believed in the top ten. Due to my lack of experience, we approached this Vuelta day by day and we didn’t think about the general classification or about defending a particular spot. But to eventually finish eighth after seven big names, who have a lot of experience and rode countless Grand Tours, is phenomenal, a little unreal even. For me, reaching this level, is a reward for many years of hard work. It was an invaluable experience to get to know my body, physically, but also to deal with the mental aspect. To be focused one hundred percent every time, 24/7. There have been full gas racing, attacks, crashes, echelons,… Just a moment of not paying attention could cost you twenty minutes. That I delivered the best Norwegian performance in a Grand Tour is of course nice. I noticed that many people have followed this Vuelta, which brings me great joy, of course!”

KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I came to the race a bit like a spectator. And in the end, to climb on the podium in Madrid with this crowd, it’s awesome. The jersey wasn’t a goal at the beginning, it came as the race went on. It’s great to have come through. I arrived quite late, I needed to prove I deserve to be a professional. It’s a first success and it motivates me to keep working and improving to get victories and other interesting results.”

3rd on the stage, Szymon Sajnok (CCC): “It’s a pity that I just missed out on a win since I felt very good today. Maybe I could have done something different in the sprint but to finish the Grand Tour with a third place is something I can be happy about. I didn’t know what to expect before the race because I knew there were some hard mountain stages ahead but I knew I was well prepared and I have been slowly getting closer to the top guys. I’ve drawn many conclusions from the previous sprints and this time I didn’t wait until the final 500 meters but I decided to move up to the front with 1km to go and that paid off. I’m happy that I could learn from my previous mistakes. I am really happy that the team gave me the chance to start here. I think it is, for me, a big learning curve and I gained a lot of experience. I leave with a couple of top ten finishes and that motivates me to continue working hard in order to come back to the start line of a Grand Tour ready to keep challenging for results. It feels super nice to reach Madrid.”

Vuelta a España Stage 21 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 2:48:20
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
4. Jon Aberasturi (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott.

Vuelta a España Final Overall Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 83:07:31
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:16
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:38
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:29
5. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 4:31
6. Rafał Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 7:16
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 9:47
8. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal at 12:54
9. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 22:10
10. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott at 22:17
11. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 22:52.

Points Competition: Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
Best Young Rider: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates),
King of the Mountains: Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale)
Best Team: Movistar
Most Aggressive Rider: Miguel Ángel López (Astana).

OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2019
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) retook the lead in the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain after placing sixth in Thursday’s Stage 6 Pershore individual time trial, a stage that saw Italian rider Edoardo Affini claim the biggest victory of his fledgling professional career to date.

Corendon-Circus rider van der Poel – who won in Kendal on Tuesday – placed sixth on the stage in Worcestershire to retake the OVO Energy green jersey from Affini’s Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Matteo Trentin. Affini posted a time of 16:39 for the 14.4-kilometre course, beating nearest challenger Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First) by seven seconds, with former race winner Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) on the same time.

Van der Poel now leads by six seconds from Trentin, who retains the Cetaphil Points jersey, with Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) at 24 seconds, and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) a further two and three seconds in arrears respectively. Ben Swift (Ineos) is the top British rider overall, in 13th position, 49 seconds in arrears.

The three classification jerseys remained unchanged, with Trentin in the Cetaphil Points jersey and Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) retaining the Eisberg Sprints jersey by four points from Dries de Bondt (Corendon-Circus) with two days remaining.

Jake Scott (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) enjoys a 21 point lead in the SKODA King of the Mountains classification from de Bondt, and could wrap up the climbers’ jersey during the Warwickshire stage.

Stage winner, Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-Scott): “It’s amazing, it’s my second victory this year and first year as a professional. For sure I’m really happy because the field here was really good field of riders for the TT and it gave me some confidence. Every rider was looking way faster than me at the time split so every time I was like ‘Maybe it’s not going to happen’ but in the end it looked like I was really able to make the difference on the way back home and I think it worked well with pacing myself so really, really happy.”

Overall leader and 5th on the stage, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “I kind of surprised myself. The last real time trial I did was when I was a junior, that’s a long time ago. I’m really satisfied with the performance and I liked it out there today. It’s going to be a hard race for sure the next few days. Matteo [Trentin] is my closest opponent and he already showed that he’s fast in the end as well. With the bonus seconds, it’s going to be really tight battle until the last day. The riders from INEOS are also not that far behind and they have a really strong team here. They’ve already showed that. I think there is a lot of riders who can still win the race.”

Coventry rider, Jake Stewart (Great Britain): “I’ll know where I am most of the day, It is nice to be able to race on home roads, so I’ll be looking to go and hit that hard tomorrow. The support’s been great, it’s always nice being in national colours in a national race.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 6 Result:
1. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott in 16:40
2. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First at 0:07
3. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos
4. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:08
5. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 0:10
6. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 0:12
7. Alex Dowsett (GB) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:13
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:16
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:17
10. Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:20.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 6:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 21:50:49
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
3. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:24
4. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:26
5. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:27
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos at 0:33
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:35
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Education First at 0:36
9. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:39
10. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:40.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) moved closer to being crowned the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain champion on Friday’s Stage 7 as he beat nearest challenger Matteo Trentin to win stage seven atop Burton Dassett, Warwickshire.

The Dutch rider got the better of Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) in a thrilling sprint up the short but steep climb to extend his overall advantage to 12 seconds with just Saturday’s Greater Manchester finale to come.

Victory atop Burton Dassett – tackled three times in the closing 28 kilometres of Friday’s stage – was van der Poel’s second of the week on British roads following Tuesday’s win in Kendal. Beyond nearest rival Trentin, Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) sits 40 seconds in arrears, having slipped ahead of Team Ineos rider Pavel Sivakov thanks to time bonuses collected at an intermediate Eisberg Sprint during the Warwickshire.

Trentin retains the Cetaphil Points jersey with an 11 point advantage before Manchester, but recognises the challenge he faces in displacing van der Poel from the race lead.

Trentin’s Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Cameron Meyer had been in the thick of the action in a stage which started off by covering almost 50 kilometres in the first hour of racing, but it was his breakaway companion Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) who had collected the majority of the SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprint points in Warwickshire.

Jacob Scott (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) keeps the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey and just needs to finish the final stage to claim the jersey, which he previously went close to winning in the 2017 Tour.

Van Baarle’s breakaway did move him into second place in the Eisberg Sprints classification, just three points behind Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) with nine points available on the roads of Greater Manchester.

Stage winner and overall leader, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “I’m feeling pretty good. I’m feeling better day by day. Yesterday I was saying I surprised myself in the TT because that’s something I didn’t do for a long time and I think it’s an indication of the shape, if you can ride that fast for 14km on your own. I knew that finishes like this, they suit me very well. The first 70-80km’s was pretty hard actually, there were a lot of attacks and my team handled it perfectly and they did an amazing job. The second to last time we went up the climb I knew it was up to me to be at the front and follow the groups of favourites and then I was alone in the big group, so I had to gamble a little bit again. Coming into the last ascent to the finish line I knew I had a pretty good chance to take the win again today. It was really cool to get up the climb and put in a final effort before all the crowds. I like to race here. Again the sun was out so I’m happy. I have to believe, I think I did a really good job today, also with the first bonus sprint I didn’t lose any seconds. It’s going to be a hard day again tomorrow and it’s won’t be over until I cross the finish line but I’m confident we’re going to make it.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott): “If you race with the best and you want to compete with them you need to raise your level, especially on this kind of finish line. At the moment he is the best in the world, I don’t see anyone who can get close to him at the moment. It was a good day out. Really fast race. I was with Mathieu until the last corner and then he just kicked off again and I had no response. But I have to say, compared to the last finish line he won, I stepped up a little bit. I was at least on his wheel!”

Jake Stewart (Great Britain): “It was really nice, I knew where I was for most of the day, but it was just full gas for the first hour and a half until a break went, and it wasn’t pleasant. There’s been plenty of support along the route, a lot of friends and family out so it gives you a bit of extra motivation but if the legs aren’t there it’s useless isn’t it!”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 7 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 4:07:49
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:01
3. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First at 0:03
4. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos at 0:05
8. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
9. Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 7:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 25:58:25
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:12
3. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:40
4. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:42
5. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:51
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:53
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 0:57
9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:58.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) reiterated his billing as the hottest talent in professional cycling on Saturday as he was crowned the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain champion in Manchester. The 24-year-old Dutchman sealed his victory in style, sprinting to win the Final Stage 8 of this year’s race after a frantic day of racing around all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.

Van der Poel out-sprinted compatriot Cees Bol (Sunweb) by a tyre width on Deansgate in Manchester city centre, with overall runner-up and Cetaphil Points classification winner Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) placing third across the line.

While Corendon Circus and the Jumbo Visma team of triple stage winner Dylan Groenewegen initially did well to control the breakaway of Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis), Gabriel Cullaigh (Team Wiggins-Le Col) and Emil Vinjebo (Riwal Readynez), but the race erupted into life on the infamous climb of the Rake above Ramsbottom.

Pavel Sivakov sparked proceedings into life on the slopes of the Rake, with his Team INEOS teammates taking up the mantle with a flurry of attacks across the moors north of Manchester. Movistar’s Andrey Amador was the main beneficiary, building a 49 second lead at one point before being reeled back in by the pace of the reduced front group.

With 25 kilometres remaining Ineos’ Michal Golas was joined off the front by Larry Warbasse (AG2R La Mondiale) and Mark Christian (Team Wiggins-Le Col) but their lead only lasted until the 10 kilometre mark as the Tour raced through Salford, setting up a thrilling finish on Deansgate.

It was Team Sunweb’s Cees Bol that picked up the sprint coming out of the final left hand turn onto the long finishing straight, with van der Poel coming around him to just hold off the fast finishing Trentin.

Trentin’s finishing record of top ten finishes on every stage barring the individual time trial gave him a comfortable victory in the Cetaphil Points jersey from van der Poel, while former race winner Dylan van Baarle (Ineos) was voted the overall Wahooligan Combativity award winner in a public poll on the event’s social media channels.

British domestic teams took home both the SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints jerseys, as Jacob Scott (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) confirmed his victory in the former, two years on from having agonisingly lost the same jersey on the final day of racing.

Winning the Eisberg Sprints jersey was Rory Townsend, ensuring that his Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes team took the red jersey for a second year. Townsend’s win the jersey also rounded out a successful week, having been called up to the Irish squad for the road World Championships in Yorkshire at the end of the month. Come the World’s Townsend will be racing in green, but in Manchester on Saturday there was only one green jersey that people were speaking about, that of stage winner and 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain champion Mathieu van der Poel.

Final overall and stage winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “It wasn’t an easy day today, a lot of teams tried to attack us. Coming into Tour of Britain I didn’t really think it was possible because of the time trial which I hadn’t done in a really long time. But after the time trial I started to believe I could win the GC, but today was harder than I thought it would be and I’m really happy with the feeling also today and it’s been a good week for us. They’ve really over done it I think, really, I’m proud of them (his Corendon-Circus team). We are not the biggest team here, but they gave everything they had, also after the steep climb we were still three riders in the first group, and they did an amazing job after yesterday.”

KOM, Jacob Scott (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling): “It’s just something I didn’t do two years ago I guess,” said Scott. “I lost by one point then and won by probably I don’t know how many now. It’s a change. I wouldn’t say it was a specific target coming in, I wanted to try to something in a stage which I wanted to do today but I’m quite happy to win it obviously.”

Sprints jersey winner, Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes): “Just pure relief. It was really nice. I was very happy with how the stage started today, three guys up the road who weren’t in contention. Then of course that last sprint was a little bit up in the air. We had Alex [Paton] who won it last year and it’s just kind of picking up from where he left off, was part of the plan, it’s something we wanted to do in the race.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 8 Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 3:49:26
2. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First
7. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Sunweb
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
10. Danilo Wyss (Swi) Dimension Data.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Final Overall Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus in 29:47:41
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:17
3. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:50
4. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos at 0:52
5. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:01
6. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos
7. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:03
8. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar at 1:04
9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:07
10. Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 1:08.

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec 2019
The team were in action today at GP Québec for the first of two races in Canada. Faced with the traditional rolling circuit, accumulating over 2400 metres of elevation gain throughout the 200 kilometre route, it would be a testing day in the saddle.

A break of six managed to escape early into the day and quickly built up a lead of over seven minutes. The team came to the front of the bunch and started to set tempo, along with a few other squads, looking after the interests of defending champion Michael Matthews.

After some good teamwork and pace setting throughout the afternoon, the race was all back together with 25 kilometres and two laps to go. The speed in the bunch only increased as the peloton charged towards the line, with Marc Hirschi and Jai Hindley riding strongly at the front to close down numerous attacks.

On the last lap the pace remained high, with the peloton strung out as they approached the closing kilometres. A dangerous group broke clear of the bunch over the top of the penultimate climb but the race would come back together inside the last kilometre. Matthews bided his time well, waiting for the perfect moment to launch what was a devastating kick to the line on his Cervélo S5, winning his second GP Québec title in a dominant manner.

Race winner, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “I’m still speechless, to do the double here in Québec after an amazing race from the whole team; it’s just incredible. The guys worked hard for me all day so I just dug deep at the end for them and I’m happy I could finish it off. I have no words but to thank my team, my wife and my coaches for all the support.”

2nd, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The team worked very well today, they kept the race under control, kept me safe and in a good position in the last kilometres. Alaphilippe attacked with about 2km to go, I reacted and we were four or five riders to build a gap in the front. I was there with Alaphilippe, Van Avermaet and Ulissi but the bunch caught us in the final straight. I kicked in when the sprint started but I didn’t have enough space to take the win. I felt well today and we’ll see what will happen on Sunday, although the race in Montreal is harder.”

3rd, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): “I feel satisfaction after today’s race. This has always been a hard race and I was quite happy with how it went. We had to go deep with the attacks from Alaphilippe and after that, I was a bit worried for my sprint because if you go deep a few times that far from the finish, you lose a little bit of strength for the sprint. I had to go when Alaphilippe went so I think I made good decisions today and although it’s not a win, it’s always good to finish on the podium. I think my condition is there and to follow those guys on a parcours like this is almost the most important. I think in the finish, the last four kilometres, of this race there is no time for recovery anymore and from the little left up, it’s really hard all the way to the finish and this is something that I can do really well. It’s a super nice finish for me and I think that’s why it is always the same guys up there and it is almost always the same podium because the top riders can do well in a finish like this. I think it is a really honest finish. I like Montreal maybe a little bit more than here. I think it is super hard and I am happy they added some laps. Thinking about the Worlds and now with more altitude meters, it is a really good test. I am happy with the result from today but I think Sunday can be a really nice training to prepare for the Worlds. The team was committed to helping bring the breakaway back and as I had finished on the podium here five times before the start, I wanted to take my responsibility at a race like this. We always take some guys to do the work at the beginning of the race and it is also our job to represent CCC on the front of the peloton. We can do a good job at that and make a good result like we did today.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 5:13:01
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:01
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data
7. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
9. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal 2019
After a string of podium performances throughout the season, Greg Van Avermaet returned to the top step of a WorldTour podium with victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal for the second time in his career.

Having sprinted to third place in Quebec on Friday, Van Avermaet’s victory was yet another confirmation of his form ahead of the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, and the result of strong teamwork to position the Belgian in the finale. With 220 kilometres and more than 4000 meters of climbing on the cards, with two additional laps of the 12-kilometre course added to the race, the peloton was content to let five riders go clear as soon as the flag dropped.

Despite gaining an advantage of more than ten minutes, the group posed no threat and the peloton began to pick the pace up in the second half of the race to come within two minutes of the group with 60 kilometres to go. With five laps to go, riders started to attack from the bunch but Van Avermaet’s CCC Team teammates remained attentive until the final breakaway rider was caught with 30 kilometres to go.

A string of attacks split the bunch with Van Avermaet and Joey Rosskopf well-positioned at the front and one lap later, Michael Schär covered attacks from a group of around 20 riders while behind, Van Avermaet had Rosskopf and Simon Geschke to guide him into the penultimate lap. The ever-changing race situation saw Schär and Rosskopf lead the bunch, with Van Avermaet in their wheels, in pursuit of Nathan Earle (Israel Cycling Academy), who had a slight advantage as the bell rang to indicate the final lap.

With Earle caught, the final climbs saw Van Avermaet make a front selection of 20 riders, from which a string of attacks from the likes of Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) were launched. Ultimately, the group came back together on the final hairpin turn into the finish and with the combination of perfect positioning and strong legs, Van Avermaet was able to launch his sprint at the right moment to come around Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) to raise his arms in triumph. Van Avermaet’s victory confirms his dominance at the Canadian races with nine combined podium results to his name at both races over the past eight years.

The Winner’s Interview with Greg Van Avermaet
Congratulations, Greg! How happy are you to win here in Montreal?

“I’m very happy to win here for sure. It’s been a year of a lot of top ten places and podiums but never really a big win in a WorldTour race so I’m super happy to finally get it. I’m happy for the team, happy for the sponsor, CCC, and especially for myself. I knew it would be a close call to stay away or to bring Alaphilippe back. Everything went well in the end. I tried to bridge to Wellens on the last climb, but it was all stretched out with small gaps and luckily everything came back. I knew the finish was good for me and I know that after a hard race like this I still have a good sprint in the end. I could follow the wheel of Ulissi in the last 200 meters and I could come out. It was a super nice victory. We were often on the podium but never winning so it’s a big satisfaction to finally have this big win.”

How important is this win for you?
“If you’re close to the win you don’t miss that much. I was not panicking but you know as a leader of the team, especially this team, it is always nice to have some nice victories. I was close in the spring, close in the Tour de France, and I was second in San Sebastian. You start to doubt, but I’ve been in great shape all year and winning is the most important. I finally got this one and this is important for myself and the team. I was feeling it was coming but you always have to finish it off. I was in good shape in Quebec and the win finally came here. These races are fitting me well and they are similar races to the World Championships.”

How much confidence does this give you ahead of the UCI Road World Championships?
“First of all, I want to enjoy the victory here because I worked very hard to be in good shape at the end of the year. Winning doesn’t happen too often for me so first I want to enjoy this victory. I’m just happy that I’m in shape and we will see how it will be in two weeks at the Worlds. I think it’s a good course for me and I’m happy with my shape, that’s the most important. We will see how the race goes and what plan we have with the Belgian team.”

2nd, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “I had good feelings during the race and together with Rui Costa we managed to be present in the final with the leading group. I started the sprint 200 meters from the finish and had good legs. I did a good sprint, but Van Avermaet was a little stronger. When you race well and come close to success, there is always a feeling of ‘what if’, but I can also be happy knowing I did a good race. It’s a good showing before the world championships.”

3rd, Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida): “It’s my second important result of the season after the victory in the Tour of California last May and, of course, I’m really happy. During the last lap, I lost a few meters from the front and made a great effort to get back in, but then in the sprint I still had a good leg. After the race in Plouay two weeks ago, I trained well at my home in Andorra and already I had a good feeling during the race last Friday and today I felt really good.”

18th, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “As expected, the Grand Prix de Montreal was a tough race but, once again, the team did an excellent job and I was well-positioned at the start of the last lap. I was feeling well, I was able to respond to the many attacks in the final kilometres and in the last climb, I closed the gap on my own. That effort cost me and left me without a lot of energy in my legs to contest the sprint. Obviously, I would have liked to finish in a better place but I feel confident about my form ahead of my next races.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal Result:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC in 6:09:38
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
4. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Dimension Data
6. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
8. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
9. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo.

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta 2019
The 2014 UCI world champion for individual time trial Lisa Brennauer claimed Stage 1 of the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta at Boadilla del Monte five years after rising the German flag, already on Spanish soil, in Ponferrada. The WNT Rotor Pro Cycling specialist clocked 12:52 to better the time of triple runner up at the Danish national championships Pernille Mathiesen by 13 seconds before Lucinda Brand from The Netherlands took the second place, only 4 seconds down on the winner. It leaves the game wide open before stage 2 on the prestigious circuit in Madrid where time bonus is expected to make it a thrilling race on stage 2 before the arrival of Primoz Roglic and all the champions of La Vuelta 19.

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 1 Result:
1. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling in 12:52
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 0:04
3. Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Sunweb at 0:13
4. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans at 0:19
5. Anna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo at 0:20
6. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans at 0:22
7. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) Cogeas Mettler Look at 0:25
8. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:26
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Sunweb at 0:27
10. Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport.

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Overall After Stage 1:
1. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling in 12:52
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 0:04
3. Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Sunweb at 0:13
4. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans at 0:19
5. Anna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo at 0:20
6. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans at 0:22
7. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) Cogeas Mettler Look at 0:25
8. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:26
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Sunweb at 0:27
10. Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport.

Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) out-sprinted her rivals in front of the famous Cibeles Square after 98.6km of intense racing to win Stage 2 of the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. The race was hard fought from the start and the battle kept going all the way to the finish with seven intermediate sprints and as many opportunities for the GC contenders to overthrow Lisa Brennauer (WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team) after her victory in stage 1. But the powerful German answered all her rivals attempts to win the penultimate event in the 2019 UCI Women’s World Tour ahead of Lucinda Brand (Sunweb).

The peloton rolls out on the Paseo del Prado in the early afternoon and immediately tackles the famous 5.8km circuit around some of Madrid’s most prestigious venues. It’s non stop attacks from the start, with the Spanish champion Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar) eager to display aggressive riding in-front of her public, but some of the strongest teams were determined to keep the bunch together in order to make the most of the seven intermediate sprints with time bonuses of 5, 2 and 1 seconds for the top three riders on the line.

On the day after her win in the individual time trial set in Boadilla del Monte, the race leader Lisa Brennauer (WNT Rotor) quickly puts her raw power to use and wins the first intermediate sprint after two laps ahead of Lucinda Brand (Sunweb), who wears the green jersey as the GC runner up. Brand wins the fourth intermediate sprint halfway through the race (km 46.4) and only trails by 3 seconds on the virtual standings.

Attacks kept flying as it started to pouring with rain for the final part of the race, but nobody managed to stay at the front for very long. It came down to a bunch sprint dominated by Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cippollini) ahead of Letizia Paternoster (Trek-Segafredo) and Roxane Fournier (Movistar). Lisa Brennauer safely finished in the bunch to claim the overall victory.

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Stage 2 Result:
1. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale-Cipollini in 2:20:31
2. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
3. Roxane Fournier (Fra) Movistar
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb
5. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans
6. Maria Martins (Por) Sopela Women’s Team
7. Jolien D’Hoore (Bel) Boels Dolmans
8. Kirsten Wild (Ned) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Sunweb
10. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.

Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta Final Overall Result:
1. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling in 2:33:06
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 0:10
3. Pernille Mathiesen (Den) Sunweb at 0:28
4. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans at 0:35
5. Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana at 0:36
6. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans
7. Anna Plichta (Pol) Trek-Segafredo at 0:37
8. Letizia Paternoster (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:38
9. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Sunweb at 0:39
10. Franziska Koch (Ger) Sunweb at 0:41.

Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze 2019
Aleksandr Riabushenko was crowned king of the Coppa Agostoni 2019 as he claimed his first professional success on Saturday afternoon. On the finish line in Lissone, Italy, the twenty-three-year-old Belarusian out powered Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in a two-up sprint to take yet another win for the in-form Emirati team.

Race winner, Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates): “The race became challenging from a long way out which reduced the group. We stayed together on the last pass on the Colle Brianza, then on the way down, Lutsenko jumped and I managed to tag along. I felt good, but I didn’t know if I was faster than Lutsenko. I was in a good position in the last kilometre and I started the sprint at 150 meters and I won. I am very happy – finally my first success came after so many second places. This year was tough at the start because of physical problems but then things took a good turn and today’s victory is a nice prize.”

Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze Result
1. Alexandr Riabushenko (Belr) UAE Team Emirares in 4:46:18
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana
3. Nikolay Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:31
4. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 1:20
5. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM
6. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic
7. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Italy
8. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10 Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida.

Coppa Bernocchi 2019
For the third year in a row the ‘Coppa Bernocchi’ goes to Team Bahrain Merida. After Sonny Colbrelli won it in 2017 and 2018, this time it was Phil Bauhaus to cross the finish line in Legnano (North Milan) with his arms raised.

Traditionally the ‘Bernocchi’ suits pure sprinters, but with the circuit of the Valle Olona including the ‘Piccolo Stelvio’ ascent and the KOM of ‘Morazzone’ to repeat 6 times, it was a challenging one. Phil Bauhaus claimed the win ahead of Simone Consonni (UAE) 2nd and Damiano Cima (Nippo) 3rd.

Race winner, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m super happy. Marcel Sieberg and Jan Tratnik did a very good job in the final and my legs were super good to finish it off. I had the pleasure to celebrate another success, at Adriatica Ionica Race, but it was on a not official criterium. Therefore, after several top five places that I took in this season, I was missing the victory until today and now I’m really proud to have taken it. I’m also proud to win this race, that my team won with Colbrelli in the past two editions. So, I can only wish to the team to win it for the fourth time next year.”

2nd, Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates): “In the final kilometres I spoke with Ferrari and we agreed to set up the sprint coming from behind. Unfortunately in the last corner we lost some positions, then Ferrari helped me back and left me with 300 meters to go when the crash happened. I found myself in front too soon, and in that moment of hesitation, Bauhaus came around me. I’m a little frustrated as the win has escaped me still this year.”

Coppa Bernocchi Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida in 4:34:25
2. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates
3. Imerio Cima (Ita) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè at 0:01
4. Alexander Konychev (Ita) Dimension Data
5. Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè
6. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Italy
7. Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana
8. Edwin Ávila (Col) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Riccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Giotti Victoria-Palomar
10. Umberto Marengo (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Okolo Slovenska
European Champion Elia Viviani will lead the charge for the team at the four-day event.

Okolo Slovenska (18-21 September) will be our penultimate outing in a stage race this season, and the Wolfpack is determined to be again one of the top protagonists, just like last year, when we captured three stage wins and the general classification. Victorious in over 60 races this season, our team for next week’s event will be headlined by European Champion Elia Viviani, who will have three opportunities to add to the already 27 victories nabbed in the past two years in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey.

Kicking off on Wednesday morning with a flat half-stage around Bardejov, Okolo Slovenska will continue in the afternoon with a 6.8km-long individual time trial held in the same town. Dotted by five classified climbs, stage 2 is expected to shake up the general classification, although the last of these ascents is crested more than 60 kilometres from the finish. The final two days should belong to the sprinters, who will battle out in Hlovovec and Senica.

Joining Elia on the well-drilled seven-man squad that will look to continue Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s exceptional season will be Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, who won the prologue at last year’s edition, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, ace lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, Florian Sénéchal and former Czech Champion Petr Vakoc.

“It’s a very good race as preparation towards the World Championships and we are going there with the goal of nabbing some solid results with Elia, who will soon call it a season. He is motivated, just as are all the other guys, most of whom will travel from here straight to Yorkshire, and will thus get in Slovakia a nice opportunity to test the legs and hone their form”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.

18.09–21.09 Okolo Slovenska / Tour de Slovaquie (SVK) 2.1

Bob Jungels (LUX), Iljo Keisse (BEL), Yves Lampaert (BEL), Michael Mørkøv (DEN), Florian Sénéchal (FRA), Petr Vakoc (CZE), Elia Viviani (ITA).
Sports Director Tom Steels (BEL) and Geert Van Bondt (BEL).

Elia Viviani:

Alex Aranburu joins Astana Pro Team
Talented rider Alex Aranburu will join Astana Pro Team for the next two seasons (2020 and 2021). The Spanish allrounder will move from the pro-continental level to the WorldTour, to further develop as a complete professional cyclist.

“I think Astana Pro Team has proven to be one of the best teams in professional cycling and I’m very happy to join this amazing squad for the next two seasons. This team showed that they can challenge and develop riders to make the next step in their careers, so I’m glad I can now experience this myself. I am happy to do my own big step in the WorldTour with Astana! I’m looking forward to starting the new season with Astana Pro Team and I hope to show my potential as a rider in this team,” said Alex Aranburu.

In the current season, Alex Aranburu (23), is competing for the Spanish pro-continental team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. At the Vuelta a España, finishing this weekend in Madrid, Aranburu was one of the most active riders, scoring two second places on demanding stages. In general, Aranburu is very strong in both one-day races and stage races. Despite his young age, Alex already showed he’s able to race for a result. He won a stage at the Vuelta a Burgos and the Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid this year. He also won the Circuito de Getxo in 2018 and he was fifth in the general classification of the Tour of Norway (2018).

“Alex Aranburu is an interesting rider who can perform well on almost every terrain. He has a good sprint and he is able to perform on hilly and mountain courses. He already showed some strong results at the pro-conti level, so, it will be interesting to see his progress in the WorldTour, being part of our team. I think that Aranburu will strengthen our squad in stage races and Grand Tours. He’s impressing us at La Vuelta this year, so I expect we’ll see more from him in the upcoming seasons,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, general manager of Astana Pro Team.

Alex Aranburu:

American Neilson Powless to join EF Education First Pro Cycling
EF Education First Pro Cycling is proud to announce the signing of young American talent Neilson Powless. The 23-year-old joins the team following two seasons with Jumbo-Visma.

Powless burst onto the United States road racing scene as a 19-year-old and found instant success, finishing ninth overall at the 2016 Amgen Tour of California and winning a stage at the Tour de l’Avenir. Those results shot him to the WorldTour.

“Neilson is one of those guys who comes from a diverse athletic background. Triathlon, mountain bike, and he’s a great athlete. Oftentimes we see those guys with broad backgrounds truly excel when they start to focus on one element, as Neilson has done with road recently,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “I see him as a guy with a massive upside, from time trials to short stage races, and eventually the longer stage races, too. His climbing is improving every year. He can already be a leader in week-long stage races that are more time-trial focused. I think Neilson, along with Dani Martínez and Sergio Higuita, represent the next phase of our stage-race teams, and I’m very excited about it.”

Powless is currently racing the Vuelta a España, his first Grand Tour, where he is impressing in defence of teammate Primož Roglič’s red leader’s jersey. We talked to Powless after Wednesday’s wind-blown Vuelta stage about his move to EF Education First Pro Cycling, life in the WorldTour, his upbringing, and how he explores the world.

On Coming to EF Education First Pro Cycling
I had to make so many changes in my life all at once when I joined the WorldTour, and I’ve realised that being on an American team, it can help me feel closer to home when I spend so much time away from home. I also see everyone on the team having a really great time. They really enjoy what they’re doing. You can see that in how the team races. You can see that around the dinner table. And you can see that in the way the riders on the team go about living their lives.

I’m also super impressed with EF. From everything I know, it seems like an awesome company. The company’s values, world travel, exploration, education, they align with my own, and I’m happy to associate myself with something I truly believe in, that I live.

I also have quite a few friends on the team, including one I’m living with, Sean Bennett. We’ve been having a great time together in Europe, and we grew up together. I’m excited to be teammates with him again.

Rookie Lessons
I came into the WorldTour confident in the results I had, the abilities I was bringing with me from the development scene. My aim was to improve on all that, and, things didn’t really go the way I expected or hoped.

I know now that part of the reason things didn’t continue on this clear upward trajectory is because I had to make so many changes to my life to adapt to racing in the WorldTour, like moving to Girona and switching coaches, racing for a foreign team. It definitely challenged me in ways I hadn’t previously been challenged. It also forced me to grow. The amount of personal growth I’ve had these last two years will benefit me for the rest of my life.

WorldTour Accomplishments
All my standout moments came from when I supported my teammates. Riding for Primož [Roglič], like I’m doing here at the Vuelta, or Steven (Kruijswijk) at the Dauphiné. Being able to learn from guys who have such a wealth of experience and knowledge at the WorldTour level has been huge for my development. They have taught me so much about how to go for big results when you have the engine for that. I’m still working to develop my engine, and until that happens, there are so many little things I can focus on – when to spend energy, when to save energy, where to be and when in a race.

Cycling Strengths
I’m a very adaptable cyclist. I’m climbing in the top 20 here in the Vuelta, leading into the last kilometres of a climb, and then I’m also able to make the front echelon when the entire race blows apart and then drop back to the peloton and pull in the crosswinds for 200 kilometres. I have a talent for time trialing, and I want to focus on that in the future. There are so many things that go into winning a time trial, not only the power you can produce in a specific position. I want to better understand how to race against the clock, race the terrain.

Future Objectives
I want to win a bike race. I haven’t really thought about which one, mostly because we haven’t talked much about my race schedule yet, but any bike race. I want to win one. And when it’s not my turn to go for a result, I definitely want to be a part of many, many team wins. Eventually when I start a race, I want to go in as a favourite. I don’t know when I’ll get there, but that’s the aim. I hope to be one of the top general classification riders in the world in the future. I believe that if I focus on improving all the small details every day, that I will get there.

Family Life
I come from a sporting family. My mom was an Olympian. She ran in the 1992 Olympics, the marathon, in Barcelona, Spain. My dad was in the Air Force and was a triathlete for his entire life. He raced Ironmans, and one year, he won an award for being the top Ironman finisher who was also in the military. My mom transitioned to triathlon a bit later in life, and that’s when she and my dad met. Then they both became coaches after that.

My family, my parents, me, my sister, we spent every minute of free time outside, swimming in the lake, running and riding bikes on the trails in Northern California. We were also together, always being active. Family time was training time, but it didn’t feel like training. It’s just what we did as a family.

My sister is a professional cyclist now, too. She races on the road for Team Twenty20, and she’s started to get into the track scene with USA Cycling. If things continue to go well there, she’ll be racing on the track in the 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo. I’d be over the moon if I could race the Olympics next year, too. If we could both be there. I’m definitely going into next season with Tokyo in mind. It’s been a dream of mine pretty much forever.

Explore the World
For me, I explore the world when I take notice of differences between cultures and allow them to expand my perspective on life. For example, here in Spain, the internal clock, it’s so different than what I’m used to. Everything is pushed back by five or six hours. Getting to experience so many different parts of the world when you’re 22, 21, which is how old I was when I moved to Girona, having experiences like this at this age, it shapes who you are, adds so much value to your life. I know how lucky I am to get to travel all over Europe, to China, to South America. The opportunities I am given to explore the world because I’m a professional cyclist — they’re not lost on me.

Neilson Powless has been working hard for Primoz Roglič in la Vuelta:

Charles Planet Extends Contract with Team Novo Nordisk for 2020
Frenchman Charles Planet will remain in the Team Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes jersey through the 2020 season with the team adding an additional year to his existing contract. The 2019 season has seen Planet earn the Most Active Rider jersey at the Tour of Pologne, the team’s first overall World Tour jersey in its seven-year history.

“We are pleased to announce that we have extended Charles contract through the 2020 season. Charles’s growth and development since he raced with Team Novo Nordisk’s development team have been tremendous. This season, he made a major mental step forward that led to a jump in his physical prowess,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “He puts his heart and soul into being the best athlete and holds himself accountable every single day. Charles serves as an example to every young rider in our program to what’s possible with hard work and self-confidence.”

Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko explained that 25-year-old Planet received attention from other pro teams and the decision to extend his contract is a sign of the team’s confidence in his ongoing development.

“Determination, believing in success, and consistent hard work have placed Charles where he’s now. He’s a fighter and understands the basic rule of success in pro cycling: if you don’t try – nothing will happen, if you race in the back – nothing will happen,” Davidenko said. “It doesn’t surprise me that other teams were talking to Charles; every team wants a rider on board with Charles’s qualities. At this stage, Charles is still developing, and we will provide complete support to take him to the next level. One day he will be ready to race with a World Tour team and participate in a Grand Tour.”

Back in 2013, Planet was the Lorraine mountain bike and cyclocross champion and was part of the winning squad at the 2013 French National Mountain Bike Team Relay Championship. He reached out to Team Novo Nordisk and said he’d be interested in switching to road racing from mountain biking. The team invited him to race as a stagiaire and progressed through the team’s development pipeline.

“After so many years together, Team Novo Nordisk is my second family and I’m happy to continue with this project. The atmosphere within the team is super and everyone is fully committed to our mission and helping us achieve success,” Planet said. “Above everything else, I’m proud to continue helping people with diabetes chase their dreams. I will always fight for those people. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t believe I could be a professional athlete, so my goal is to help everyone affected by this condition to be as happy as I am now living with diabetes.”

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 10 years old, Planet has had a standout 2019 season as a formidable breakaway rider. He has spent more than a dozen race days off the front at the UAE Tour, Milan-San Remo, Tour of California, Tour of Slovenia, and Tour of Pologne. The aggressive tactic earned him the Most Courageous Rider jersey on the opening stage of the Tour of California and put him in the Intermediate Sprint jersey for four days at the UAE Tour and the King of the Mountains jersey for three days at the Tour of Pologne.

“From the first day of this season, I’ve only had amazing memories, but the standout achievement is the Most Active Rider jersey at the Tour of Pologne,” Planet described. “I knew I was able to get a jersey on Stage 1, but to hold it until the end of a seven-day World Tour stage race complete with some incredibly hard racing against some of the best riders in the world was unreal.”

Additional season highlights include seventh overall at the Tour of Estonia after he finished fourth on the opening prologue and 10th on Stage 1. At the Post Danmark Rundt, he earned a top 10 finish on the race’s Queen stage.

“Start with the UAE Tour, to San Remo, California, Poland, and so on, Charles has had a goal this season and continuously has fought for it. He is becoming the modern-day Jacky Durand,” Southerland said. “I want to see him continue on the breakaway journey, but also look to races where he can get results at the finish. Taking 10th place in Denmark on the most difficult stage is a sign of his progress. I want Charles to believe he can win, and together we will see what happens.”

Charles Planet on the Tour of Poland podium:

Dylan Bouwmans Becomes Trainee at Katusha-Alpecin
After winning the Overall Classification of the Nederlandse Loterij Topcompetie, a cycling series with nine Dutch races for men at semi-professional level, Bouwmans was rewarded with a genuine internship at Team Katusha-Alpecin. He will be a trainee/stagiaire in the Swiss WorldTour team until December 31st 2019. Dylan Bouwmans (22) is the son of former pro-rider Eddy Bouwmans, winner of the Best Young Rider classification in the 1992 Tour de France.

“This is really fantastic, a more than nice present after a good year with my team. I hope to show what I am capable of at the highest level in the coming weeks. Already next week I will start with Katusha-Alpecin in Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Primus Classic and Grand Prix d’Isbergues. After the Tour of Croatia, where I will start with my current continental team Metec-TKH, I will also start in Paris-Tours. In that race I finished 7th last season in the U23 category. I look forward to the coming weeks,” said Dylan Bouwmans.

Dylan Bouwmans is a rider who likes the hilly races. Earlier this season he finished 3rd in a stage of the Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour and was winner of the Ton Dolmans Trofee, one of the nine Topcompetitie races. Last Sunday, the Eurode Omloop concluded the Dutch Topcompetitie.

Dylan Bouwmans:

Hermans and Van Kessel Start in the Mud with Tormans CX by Wanty-Gobert
A new project will appear in cyclocross, this winter. As of January 1st 2020, Tormans CX Team by Wanty-Gobert will line up in cyclocross with Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel. After participations of Xandro Meurisse and Fabien Doubey in several races last winter, the cyclocross section of Wanty-Gobert changes to a big gear.

Af of January 1st, a new team, sponsored by Tormans Group, but managed by the Want You Cycling structure which already administers the road team Wanty-Gobert, welcomes two out of the ten best cyclocross riders in the world. Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel will ride in the Tormans CX Team colours in winter and in the Wanty-Gobert colours on the road in summer for the three next years, as they signed a contract until the end of 2022.

This project became possible thanks to Hans Van Kasteren. The Dutch man, ex-manager of Telenet-Fidea, succeeded the alchemy between cyclocross, the discipline he kept following from nearby as agent of Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel, and road with Wanty-Gobert.

The 24-year-old, double U23 European champion, Quinten Hermans, is in the United States for the opening of the UCI World Cup. Hermans, 7th in the last World Championships, is 7th in the current individual UCI world ranking. Last summer, he won the fourth stage of the Tour of Wallonia, before finishing 2nd in the general classification. In 2019, he won three stages and the general classification of the Flèche du Sud and finished 3rd in Dwars door het Hageland.

Corné Van Kessel, 28, is currently 8th in the individual UCI world ranking. The Dutch rider finished five times within the top 5 in the World Cup races last winter and took the bronze medal at the Dutch championships. On the road, he finished 3rd at the IWT Oetingen and 4th at the Heistse Pijl in 2017. This year, he took the 11th place at Dwars door het Hageland.

Tormans was founded in 1999 by Jan Tormans and became one of the main players in projectsourcing and selection and recruitment. The company, which celebrates its twentieth birthday this year, is specialised in technical and engineering profiles. The company had its roots in the Campine region, in Geel, where the main office is located. Since the addition of offices in Evergem and Mechelen, Tormans, aiming for further expansion in Belgium and abroad, has now three locations.

Although it is still a family company, more than 400 highly qualified employees and consultants work in for more than 150 companies. Tormans won several prizes, among which the Trends Gazelle and Springbok Awards. By sponsoring the Tormans CX team, Tormans wants to increase brand recognition in Belgium and abroad.

Want You Cycling is the structure administrated by Jean-François Bourlart, which supervises the Professional Continental cycling team Wanty-Gobert. Wanty-Gobert participated three times in the Tour de France, with a final 12th place on the Champs-Elysées for Guillaume Martin last July. This season, the team won eight road races.

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager Want You Cycling): “We’re very proud to start this new challenge in cyclocross. The idea was running through our minds for a couple of years, but we wanted to realise a project of a certain level. It all becomes possible thanks to the arrival of a new partner and two of the best riders in the world, which is fantastic. We want Tormans CX Team to become a reference in cyclocross the next couple of years and to develop an interesting project around Wanty-Gobert which combines road and cyclocross.”

Hilaire Van Der Schueren (sportive manager Wanty-Gobert): “Since the end of the Palmans team more than a decade ago, cyclocross made me nostalgic. I’m happy to get the opportunity to return to this other branch of cycling thanks to the new project of Want You Cycling. Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel are very good cyclocross riders, with a great potential on the road. This project will allow them to further develop thanks to a good road programme. I’m looking forward to appear in cyclocross again and to mentor these talents behind the scenes!”

Jan Tormans (CEO Tormans Group): “I’m thinking about this project for seven years already, because I have a true passion for cyclocross! The visibility during the races is grandiose, and the atmosphere is optimal. We wanted to start a cyclocross team with Hans Van Kasteren. It’s become a reality! There’s no doubt about succeeding with Quinten and Corné. Thanks to joining Wanty-Gobert, there’s a supplementary element to succeed!”

Hans Van Kastern: “I promised Quinten and Corné a project which allowed them to progress both on the road and in cyclocross. I had the idea to start a new team, but finally we found much better with the integration within Wanty-Gobert. They will defend the Tormans Group colours in winter, in cyclocross, and participate in the biggest road races with Wanty-Gobert.”

Quinten Hermans: “The new Tormans CX by Wanty-Gobert project is a godsend for me. At this young age, I need a long term vision and I’m very happy with the confidence Tormans CX gives me to build my career together for the next three years. I’m very ambitious to do more work on the road, but not at the expense of the cyclocross season, which is the intent of my future team! Corné and me will get a full support both on the road and in the field. We’ve been teammates for years and we are looking forward to be a part of this very cohesive group of riders and staff at Wanty-Gobert. I’m waiting impatiently to start my first road season on a higher level, but first of all I want to complete a good cyclocross season!”

Corné Van Kessel: “I’m very happy with this new step in my career, to be able to optimally combine cyclocross and road racing. I want to achieve regular performances this winter, and show my best form in January for the championships and my first races in the new Tormans CX colours. In cyclocross I will benefit from a good road programme with Wanty-Gobert. I’ll have a role to play in helping my new teammates to success. I’m motivated to bring colour to this new project!”

Joris Nieuwenhuis’ September and October Cyclocross Program Announced
After a good year on the road at WorldTour level with Team Sunweb, Joris Nieuwenhuis returns to cyclocross racing this winter. The 2018-19 ‘cross season saw Nieuwenhuis take the step up to elite level racing from the U23 ranks and the Dutch rider quickly settled in and found his rhythm, finishing in the top ten twice in his opening three races. His standout performance of the year came on the 26th of December where he took a very impressive third place at the World Cup in Zolder. Looking towards this season of cyclocross, Nieuwenhuis wants to build on last year’s performances, becoming more consistent and aiming to peak for the final part of the season.

“My ambition for this season is to be a steady rider in the top of the field and show myself in the front with the best guys,” explained Nieuwenhuis. “I made some good steps last season so I want to take that experience forward with me this year, along with all that I’ve learned from my first year riding on the WorldTour. The end of the season is the most important part and that is where I really want to be at my peak level, so we’ve built my season towards getting there. I will also do two rankings this year, the World Cup and Superprestige, so if I can show my consistency then I will also like to see myself finish in a high spot overall in both of those competitions.”

Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna added: “Joris has shown during his road season that he has improved his all-round level both in the hilly stages and hectic sprint finals. He starts his cyclocross season this weekend with the two World Cup races in the US and is really motivated for a good opening. The plan for this winter season is to find a good balance between training blocks and cyclocross races. Joris will focus on being consistent throughout the season at the World Cup and Superprestige, before aiming to peak for near the end of the season at both the national and world championships. After a good road season and build up, Joris is really looking forward to kicking off his season in America.”

Race program
Iowa World Cup – 14/09/2019
Waterloo World Cup – 22/09/2019
Gieten Superprestige – 13/10/2019
Boom Superprestige – 19/10/2019
Bern World Cup – 20/10/2019
Woerden – 22/10/2019
Gavere Superprestige – 27/10/2019.

Joris Nieuwenhuis:

Silvelle ‘19 Focus on Green with Valle Agredo and Strada del Radicchio
2019 Cyclo-cross European Championships give the opportunity to promote the sustainable tourism with the enhancement of Veneto’s cultural heritage

The 2019 edition of the Cyclo-cross European Championships scheduled in Silvelle di Trebaseleghe (Northern Italy, November 9-10) represents an opportunity to promote the sustainable tourism, with the enhancement of Veneto’s cultural heritage.

In view of the upcoming European Champs, the ASD Silvellese organisers have renewed the collaboration with Valle Agredo and Strada del Radicchio, two very active consortiums of the region aiming to fascinate the visitors with wonderful views and cycle and pedestrian routes like Muson dei Sassi, Cammino di Sant’Antonio, Ostiglia and Tergola.

The dismissed railroad Treviso-Ostiglia is a pearl of the territory to move through the Valle Agredo, representing a strategic point for the public in occasion of the European Championships, to join the area on foot or by bike.

Treviso’s red radicchio is also linked to the event’s location, characterised by an extensive gastronomic offer. The production area of red radicchio is among the lushest landscape in the Po Valley, where history and culture meet each other. The project “Strada del Radicchio” (Radicchio Road) association develops through three different theme-based itineraries. In addition, the red radicchio will be the protagonist of themed menu during the European Championships.

Silvelle di Trebaseleghe lies in a strategic position to visit fascinating artistic cities such as Venice, Padua, Treviso and Asolo. 2019 Cyclo-cross European Championships represent a unique opportunity to connect sports’ emotions with the beauties of Veneto.

The Regional institutional headquarter in Venice will host the event’s vernissage next October 22nd, attended by Veneto’s Governor Luca Zaia.

The Valle Agredo landscapes:

Dreams become reality! #LaVuelta19 Team Jumbo-Visma
If one dream crushes, another dream may cross your path. Dare to develop your talents and become better every day, together. Because if you chase a dream together, one day it will become reality. We are proud of you Primoz! 💛🖤

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