EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The Tour de France Finalé

All the results, reports and video from the Tour de France and the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. The TOP STORY is Tadej Pogačar’s Tour domination, but we look at how much money the INEOS Grenadiers team costs. Lots of other news: Intermarché pay tribute to flood victims, everyone wants to ride for Patrick Lefevere, teams for the Tour de Wallonie and Women’s Tour, another year for B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Philippe Gilbert’s last Tour, André Greipel to retire, Fausto Masnada update, Thibaut Pinot returns, John Degenkolb to DSM, new riders for Jumbo-Visma, Antonio Gómez del Moral passes away and Manuela Fundación to have it’s own team. EUROTRASH Tour coffee time.


TOP STORY: INEOS Grenadiers has a Budget of €50 Million
INEOS Grenadiers has filed their financial statements for 2020. The documents, which the blog The INRNG had requested, show that the budget of the British WorldTour team is 50 million euros.

In contrast to other countries, the annual figures of companies can be requested publicly in Great Britain. In 2020, INEOS Grenadiers’ budget €50.1 million, of which €46.374 million is sponsorship money. The other more than €3.7 million consist of sponsor contributions in other forms than money.

What is striking is that despite the corona crisis, the budget of the British team has remained virtually the same compared to 2019 (€50.785 million). Unlike INEOS Grenadiers, a large number of teams saw their annual budget fall as sponsors were hit hard by the corona lockdowns and teams like CCC folded completely.

The team’s annual figures confirm the prevailing view that INEOS Grenadiers is by far the richest team. The total budget of Jumbo-Visma’s skating and cycling team is around 30 million euros. Most WorldTour teams have a budget of no more than 20 million.

Big money at INEOS Grenadiers:

 


Tour de France 2021
Tadej Pogacar took his third stage victory at Luz Ardiden the day after he won at col du Portet, giving more evidence that he’s by far the strongest GC contender of the 108th Tour de France. Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz rounded out the podium at the top of the last uphill finish of this Tour. Pogacar added to the yellow and the white jerseys the polka dot jersey, which he won last year as well.

5 riders in the lead
144 riders took the start of stage 18 in Pau. Chris Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and Sean Bennett (Qhubeka-NextHash) rode away at km 1. Many counter-attacks took place. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) caught them at km 32. At km 55, Juul Jensen waited for the peloton to help his team-mates who were trying to split the peloton ahead of the intermediate sprint. The advantage of the four remaining leaders reached 1:20 on the line in Pouzac where Alaphilippe passed in first position and Mark Cavendish won the bunch sprint ahead of Michael Matthews.

Latour first at col du Tourmalet
Alaphilippe and Mohoric started climbing to the Tourmalet with an advantage of 1:30 over the peloton led by Vegard Stake Laengen for UAE Team Emirates while four Frenchmen were inbetween: Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ). 6km before the summit, 9 riders were united at the front: Alaphilippe, Mohoric, Latour, Elissonde, Madouas and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Omar Fraile (Astana), Ruben Guerreiro (EF) and Ion Izagirre (Astana). Latour and Gaudu crested the Tourmalet (souvenir Jacques-Goddet) together in that order with an advantage of 50 seconds over the peloton led by INEOS Grenadiers. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-Nippo) was dropped and Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) extended his lead in the KOM competition over Michael Woods (Israel-Start Up-Nation).

Gaudu the last to surrender
Gaudu rode Latour off on the downhill. He had 45 seconds lead over the yellow jersey peloton led by INEOS Grenadiers with 20km to go and started climbing to Luz Ardiden alone at the front. The Breton climber was swallowed 9.5km before the finish. With 5.5km to go, Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) took over from the British team and made the group explode. Pogačar sped up to make a front group of 5 riders with 3.5km to go, along with Carapaz, Vingegaard, Kuss and Mas. The latter attacked on two occasions but Pogačar didn’t let a third victory go. It’s already as many as last year before the individual time trial on the eve of the grand finalé.

# You can read the full stage 18 report and photo gallery HERE. #

Stage winner, overall leader, best young rider and KOM, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage was very tough, already on the Tourmalet the pace was high. I concentrated and was waiting for the last climb, where I gave my all. I’m speechless. After what happened yesterday I’m so happy to have done it again. As for Saturday’s time trial, I can say that time trials are a discipline in which I have always done quite well in, but it is also true that I can have a bad day, but I still have a good advantage in the standings, I am confident.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “I didn’t have my best day today. It was very hard and a mental battle. So you can imagine that I am very happy with my performance. The fact that I am second in the Tour de France after the last mountain stage is great. I started the Tour in service of Primoz, but I had not dared to dream this. I also have to thank the team. Sepp, Wout and Mike were amazing. It is looking good now for the podium in Paris, but we have seen before in this Tour that it can also go differently. So tomorrow we have to survive another stage and then go full steam ahead in the time trial.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’m very happy after the incredible effort from the team. Our goal was to try to win the stage and we tried until the end. We knew that our rivals were stronger and we are pretty happy with the result we achieved. There was nothing to lose for us. There are two days left and anything can happen but I think the podium is almost decided. It has been a hard stage. We rode really fast, and the result was good because we were in the fight for the stage win.”

8th on the stage and 4th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I didn’t feel as good as the day before, but I managed to get through it. It’s a good day for me and for the AG2R Citroën team. The third week of the Grand Tours suit me well. Wilco Kelderman and I did the same race today. I’m fourth in the overall standings but the gap with him is slim (32 seconds). We will see on Saturday after the time trial.”

9th on the stage and 5th overall, Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It wasn’t a great day for me, I was still feeling a bit sore after yesterday’s crash. There was a big battle until the finish, it was the last mountain stage, so it was an all-out fight. Emu and Patrick were also pretty good today, they helped me and it was good to have Emu in the finale. He brought me to the final 2km, which was perfect. I’ll give my absolute best in the fight for GC positioning. I think I have the possibility of edging up one spot but even if I don’t make it, fifth overall is also a good result. We’ll see, the final big clash will come on Saturday.”

19th on the stage and 11th overall, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): “Tourmalet is one of my favourite climbs and the Pyrénées are my favourite mountains. I said I’d go on the attack and give it all no matter what. I had to go ahead in order to not find myself with Pogacar and Vingegaard who would have been stronger than me in the finale. When I finished the downhill by myself, there was some head wind. It was hard. Pierre Latour couldn’t hold my wheel in the downhill, it’s a pity. It hasn’t worked out for the stage win but I have enjoyed my ride. We’re only four left in the team but we want to make the most of it. We have one chance left for a stage win in the time trial with Stefan Küng.”

15th on the stage and 14th overall, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The pace of the peloton was intense from start to finish, I don’t think we ever slowed down today. I relied on my feelings and the power I was developing, and all the signs were reassuring, including in the last climb. I lost a bit of distance after the acceleration at the bottom the climb to Luz-Ardiden, but I paced my effort quite well all the way to the top. My performance takes me up one spot in GC, which of course I am delighted about, however I want to stress that nothing is settled yet. I like to think that tomorrow’s stage won’t be decisive for the overall standings and I only have the time trial to worry about, but you have to be careful. As long as the line is not crossed, anything can happen in the Tour de France.”

Break rider, World Champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I knew it was one final chance for a proper breakaway, so I attacked and gave everything. I did my best while up the road, but the peloton had different plans today and rode full gas behind us. I missed a bit on the Tourmalet, but despite this and being reeled in with three kilometres left until the top, I have no regrets. I enjoyed being again in the break and showing this beautiful jersey.”

Points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I could feel the hard stage in the legs before the Tourmalet. We had some short but stinging classified climbs where the attacks made it quite difficult, then the intermediate sprint where I spent some energy. Tourmalet is the climb that I despise the most at the Tour, it’s just terrible. I’ve done it ten times at the Tour de France and every time it was the same. I am so grateful to the guys for being at my side on this tough day. At the finish I got a bit emotional because my teammates helped me through so much at this Tour de France. I can’t tell you how proud and happy I am to be on this team.”

Tour de France Stage 18 Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 3:33:45
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 0:13
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:24
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 0:30
7. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 0:33
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:34
9. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:40.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 18:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 75:00:02
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:45
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:51
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 8:18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe at 8:50
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 10:11
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 11:22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 12:46
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 13:48
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 16:25.

Tour’21 stage 18:

 

Matej Mohoric claimed his second stage win with a solo breakaway on Stage 19. Following two consecutive victories in the Pyrénées by Tadej Pogačar who rode through the Landes with authority in an eventful transition stage, the Slovenian champion made it five for his country on the eve of the closing time trial that will precede the grand finale in Paris on Sunday.

Six riders in the lead
142 riders took the start of stage 19 in Mourenx. 2 non-starters: Michael Woods (Israel-Start Up-Nation) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar). Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) rode away from the peloton and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) caught up with them with 200km remaining. A maximum time gap was recorded at km 17: 4:20. Two crashes occurred in the peloton, involving some GC contenders like Enric Mas and Guillaume Martin but also Mark Cavendish who managed to come back and score 6 points in the defence of his green jersey at the intermediate sprint won by Zimmermann at Saint-Sever (km 54). Alpecin-Fenix seized the reins of the peloton to try make it a bunch sprint finish in Libourne.

A strong chase initiated by Nils Politt
After some skirmishes at the head of the peloton, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) gave birth to a group of counter-attackers at km 71 as Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Jorge Arcas, Ivan Garcia Cortina, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren (EF Education-Nippo), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën), Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Omar Fraile, Dimitri Gruzdev, Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) went with him. The three Movistar riders, plus Fraile, Gruzdev and Van Avermaet dropped back to the peloton at the head of which INEOS Grenadiers, Israel-Start Up-Nation and Bahrain Victorious set a strong pace. 20 riders got together at the front with 100km to go.

One more solo victory
Israel-Start Up-Nation, INEOS Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious chased them down for almost 50km before giving up with 80km remaining. UAE Team Emirates set the pace again once the time difference became 10 minutes with 55km to go. Lots of attacks took shape in the leading group of 20 riders in the last 35km. Mohoric rode away solo 26km before the finish. Laporte positioned himself in between for a while before a group of 10 was formed behind the Slovenian: Teunissen, Stuyven, Theuns, Politt, Valgren, Pedersen, Turgis, Zimmermann, Bonnamour. Mohoric remained composed and highly motivated till the end to deliver the ninth stage victory from a winning breakaway in the 108th Tour de France.

# You can read the full stage 19 report and photo gallery HERE. #

Stage winner, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “On paper, it was a day for the sprint, but I wanted to make sure I was ready to go in any move. When I heard another group was coming over, I knew that they would also be making a big effort to close us, so I remained calm. In the end, it was about following the right move, and when Pollit attacked, I countered and was able to make a gap. I was suffering in the last ten kilometres, but I just kept fighting till the finish. I am so happy, not just for me but the team. We had a hard couple of days, but it just brought us closer together and to keep fighting. I’m super proud of this win, this team and what we’ve achieved at this race.”

Overall leader, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “It is huge to stand with Eddy Merckx on the podium. He is a hero in cycling. I don’t consider myself as a hero yet, but I hope I am inspiring lots of kids to ride their bikes. There were a few crashes and splits at the start of the stage today. It is really not nice to begin a race like this. We then kept the bunch quiet for a bit, but after the sprint we went on full attack mode. It was a pretty strange race. But then a group went away, and the bunch turned quiet again. For me it is really nice to have a cycling boom in Slovenia. We have always wanted cycling to succeed in Slovenia. Whenever I come home, it is fantastic to see how many people ride their bikes now in my country. I did a recon of tomorrow’s ITT and it is a very fast course, not really complicated. I kind of like it. Today the legs feel really tired from yesterday’s stage. We will see how I sleep today and how I wake up tomorrow… But, of course, I will give it (victory) a go.”

5th on the stage, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a really hard day, with almost 49kph average speed with headwinds. We had quite a hectic start as well with the two crashes in the beginning and then 50km into the race, the attacks started again. Unlike the previous stage where I was also active in the breakaway, this time I was alone and it was a big group, so I had to try something towards the end instead of earlier. It was also quite hilly and I tried nearly in every hill. It was a hard fight, everybody was dead and I think that fifth on the line is quite a good result. In one of the attacks, I was trying to select a group but everybody was looking at me. Then Mohorič went but it wasn’t up to me again to close the gap because there were some teams with two riders there. For sure, when you already have a stage win in your pocket it isn’t easy because everybody is looking at you.”

8th on the stage, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “You could say that I took one of the last opportunities to make my first Tour de France a success. I was keen to show what I was capable of, and I’m happy with my performance two days before we arrive in Paris. I was one of the victims in the first stage crashes, and that day I suffered a slight fracture to my left wrist. Thanks to the treatments given by our doctor Joost De Maeseneer and our osteopath Nick Vandingenen, I managed to overcome two difficult weeks. By now the pain was gone and I was able to fully express myself at the front of the race.”

12th on the stage, Maximilian Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash): “I managed to get across in the group after the sprint, and was really happy with that, but with the short climb at 37km to go it was really a shame that I got dropped there and that in the end was my story of the day. The break went today pretty fast, it wasn’t as hard a start as the other days but it was definitely a tricky final and it was a very high class front group in front. We knew that we had to go full flat out because the bunch was chasing and it’s always a crucial moment when the gap stays around 1 minute but finally they gave up and we could ride for the victory. As for Mohoric I’m quite impressed because he was already in the early break and he already used some energy there so chapeau to him to win in that way.”

Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious in 4:19:17
2. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis at 0:58
3. Casper Pedersen (Den) DSM
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:08
6. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
8. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 79:40:09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:45
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 5:51
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 8:18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 8:50
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 10:11
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 11:22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 12:46
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 13:48
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 16:25.

Tour’21 stage 19:

 

Wout van Aert who came to the Tour de France with the ambition of winning sprints and wearing the yellow jersey claimed an impressive time trial victory in the vineyard of Saint-Émilion on Stage 20, after he won the Mont Ventoux stage. Kasper Asgreen and Jonas Vingegaard rounded out the podium of the stage. Tadej Pogačar finished with 8th best time and retained the yellow jersey with an advantage of 5:20 over Vingegaard.

Stefan Bissegger for one and half hours on the hot seat
Tim Declercq, Mark Cavendish, Michael Mørkøv, Dries Devenyns, all from Deceuninck – Quick-Step, set the early times. Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash) bettered the Belgian but the first big specialist to ride over 50kph was Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) in 36:45 (50.3kph). Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) rode 8 seconds faster in 36:37 (50.4kph). Bissegger and Bjerg topped the board until Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) outclassed them. In both time checks, the Danish champion was 6 seconds ahead of the Swiss winner of the time trial in Paris-Nice who remained on the hot seat for one hour and ten minutes. Asgreen was the eighth leader of the stage with an average speed of 51kph (36:14).

Big disillusion for Stefan Küng
European champion Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) was the hot favourite to dethrone the Dane. He started on a high pace, with 6 seconds lead over Asgreen at Pomerol (km 7.6) but lost his advantage at Montagne (km 20). Towards the end, he paid for his efforts and missed out on the stage win he wanted badly. Asgreen was eventually ousted by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who rode in 35:53 at 51.5kph, which was 21 seconds faster than Asgreen.

First ITT win at the Tour de France for van Aert
In the battle for GC positions, all riders who were threatened by their closest follower retained their places: Vingegaard (2nd) over Richard Carapaz, Ben O’Connor (4th) over Wilco Kelderman, Enric Mas (6th) over Alexey Lutsenko and Guillaume Martin (8th) over Pello Bilbao. Van Aert had won bunch sprints and a mountain stage previously but this is his first time trial victory. For the second time, Pogačar, 23, will ride to Paris in the yellow jersey.

# You can read the full stage 20 report and photo gallery HERE. #

Stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was one of my big goals in my career to win a time trial in the Tour de France. It’s the biggest race of the year. I have been looking forward to this time trial for a long time and I really worked towards it in recent days. I am very happy that it worked out. Compared to the previous race against the clock, this was a faster time trial. That was to my advantage. When I saw the classification riders’ times from the hot seat, my hopes of winning began to rise. It was a perfect day. It was not an easy Tour for us. We kept fighting and that resulted in three stage wins and a second place for Jonas in the general classification with one stage to go. We can all be very proud of that.”

Overall leader, 8th on the stage, KOM and Best Young Rider, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “When I crossed the finish line, I felt a happiness that’s quite hard to describe. The time trial seemed to pass faster than a normal time trial, thanks in part to the support of the public along the way. Even though I was struggling and the day was very hot, I enjoyed every kilometre. It is not possible to compare the success in the last edition to what I am experiencing now: they are both different. It was very nice to share this experience with the team, friends and family, the fans and having the chance to see our sporting director Allan Peiper before the start: we haven’t met since January, and he has been important in preparing for this Tour de France, so it was exciting to see him in good spirits and in good shape.”

7th on the stage, Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates): “Today I had the opportunity to try to achieve a good personal result. I am very satisfied with my performance, especially considering that I did this time trial after three weeks of hard work defending the yellow jersey. I am proud for the whole team for how we are going to finish this Tour de France. It was a great feeling to see Tadej cross the finish line knowing that the yellow jersey is safe for Paris.”

4th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “On Friday, I felt a lot of emotion thinking about the Tour de France, and what I was doing. Today, I am super happy. I have taken a new step forward with a team that trusted an Australian rider. When I think back to what we went through the first day, where I thought I had a fractured shoulder, had stitches and was sore all over the place, and that most of the team had also crashed, I can only savour what we are going through right now.”

5th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a tough course, bumpy, up and down, and a pretty normal day for me. Today, it wasn’t about setting a particular pace but rather about what you had left in your legs after three weeks of hard racing. Obviously, I aimed at edging up to 4th overall, so I’m a bit disappointed in that aspect, but also happy with 5th. I’m 11 seconds behind O’Connor in the GC, which depending on one’s point of view, could be considered a small gap but I’m still behind him. I knew it was going to be close because Ben wasn’t far behind in the first TT either. I gave it my absolute all and it’s the best I could have done today. It’s nice to have a nice GC position in the Giro and the Vuelta, but the Tour de France is the biggest race in the world and you want to have the best performance possible. I achieved that and I feel happy and proud. I think we had a successful Tour de France and it’s a nice feeling for the riders and the team.”

17th on a stage, Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash): “It was nice to finally be in the “hot seat” at the Tour. That was my goal going into the ride, to have the best time when I rolled over the finish line and I achieved that so I am happy. Now for Paris, which I’m really looking forward to. To ride on the Champs-Élysées on Mandela Day is going to be very special.”

14th overall, 


Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This time trial was the last opportunity to change the overall standings, as far as I’m concerned I was determined to defend my place. I had good legs today and I even went fast on the first part of the course. I had to slow down and pace my effort afterwards, in order to tackle the last five kilometres slightly uphill. At the end of the day, I’m happy with my performance. This 14th place overall is not the top 10 we were hoping for at the start of the Tour, but given the way this year’s edition has gone, the ups and downs that each rider has experienced, I consider it a good result, one I certainly do not have to be disappointed about.”

21st overall, Sergio Henao (Qhubeka-NextHash): “The last three days have not been the best for me, crashing twice. Yesterday was difficult for me with the arm being very, very painful today and will also likely be tomorrow (on the cobbles in Paris). Let’s hope I have a good night and finish well tomorrow as the Tour comes to an end. It’s been frustrating as I had been feeling really good, the legs were good and I felt like I could have an impact in the final parts of the stages but the crash meant it was very tough to handle the bike and so I’m just focused on trying to finish the Tour on Sunday, on Mandela Day.”

Points leader, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The ITT has been okay for me. It was very flat, so I just tried to stay aerodynamic in order to save energy. I actually enjoyed the course through the vineyards. The crowds were also incredible: it is so nice to see so much people on the roadside. I’m already thinking of tomorrow. I hope for a stage win. As with every stage, there are many teams who haven’t won yet and will battle for victory. Anyway, it will normally come down to a sprint on the Champs Elysées. I will just try to win this bike race. It is great to arrive to Paris with the full team, and three guys placing top10 on the ITT. I’m still very grateful they supported me so much in the mountains. I’m impressed with Tadej Pogacar both as a rider and as a person. He is a nice little kid, always smiling and in a good mood. All these young guys like Vingegaard, Van der Poel and Pogacar himself are great. I am happy I got to share peloton with them.”

Tour de France Stage 20 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 35:53
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:32
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:38
5. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo at 0:45
6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:50
7. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:53
8. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:57
9. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo at 1:00
10. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:21.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 20:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 80:17:00
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:20
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:02
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 10:01
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 10:13
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 11:43
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 12:22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 15:33
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 16:04
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 18:33.

Tour’21 stage 20:

 

Belgian champion Wout van Aert managed to win the bunch gallop on the Champs-Élysées after he took the Mont Ventoux stage and the time trial in the vineyard of Saint-Émilion, bagging the last two stages of the 108th Tour de France ahead of Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish. The Briton however won the points classification ten years after his first time. Tadej Pogačar won the Tour de France overall for the second time with Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz rounding out the podium.

Attacks by trios
141 riders took the start of stage 21 in Chatou. One non-starter: Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech). Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) took the only KOM point available at côte des Grès (km 7) to enter the 63-man strong climbers’ classification. The riders covered 30.8km in the first hour of racing. The race truly started after Pogačar passed the line on the Champs-Élysées along with his whole team with 52km remaining. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo), Casper Pedersen (DSM) and Harry Sweeny (Lotto Soudal) created the first breakaway of the day. Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe) caught up with them to make it a leading quartet. Pedersen was first to drop down.

One last Champs-Elysées feeling for Philippe Gilbert
It was bunched up again 32km before the finish. Another leading trio was formed at the initiative of Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe) with superstars Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) joining him at the front. Gilbert enjoyed his last ride on the Champs-Elysées as he announced this is his last Tour. With 27km to go, it was the turn of Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal) and Michael Valgren (EF Education-Nippo) to pedal at the front with Schelling. They got no more than 25 seconds lead over the bunch led by Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Third stage win for van Aert
With the help of Cyril Gautier, Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM) tried to bridge the gap by himself but it didn’t work out. It was bunched up with 6km to go in the last lap as INEOS Grenadiers made the last effort to bring Van Moer, Valgren and Schelling back. Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept the peloton under control but van Aert, propelled by Mike Teunissen, launched his sprint earlier and fended off Philipsen and Cavendish to take his third stage win in the 108th Tour de France. He’s the tenth Belgian to win on the Champs-Elysées (since 1975). By beating Cavendish, he maintained his compatriot Eddy Merckx on top of the tally of all-time stage winners, along with the Manxman, on 34. Pogačar is the first double Tour de France overall winner at the age of only 23.

# You can read the full stage 21 report and photo gallery HERE. #

Stage winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It has been a real rollercoaster. To finish the Tour in this way is beyond my expectations. This victory is priceless. My team, and Mike in particular, did a perfect job. I had confidence in Mike and just had to keep his wheel. Hats off to his lead out.”

Overall winner, KOM and Best Young Rider, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m without words. To be here again in Paris less than a year from my first victory is something really special and I am so happy to win this race again. It’s been an emotional few weeks. All the team and staff were amazing and I am so thankful for all the hard work they have done to support me. I leave to the Olympics in Tokyo tomorrow with amazing memories. I can’t wait to come back to the Tour de France again soon.”

Second overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “If someone had said to me a month ago that I would come second in the Tour, I wouldn’t have believed them. I never expected a podium place in my first Tour and I still don’t quite believe it. I came to the Tour as a replacement for Tom and as Primoz’ servant. I had to stay in the classification as long as possible to be able to play multiple cards if necessary. Unfortunately we lost Primoz in the first week. That gave me a chance and it’s great how it worked out. We kept fighting as a team. In the second week we won two stages and I moved up to the top of the rankings. We started to believe in it more and more. In the third week things went well for us again and a podium place came into sight. To finish on the podium in the Tour de France is a dream come true. I am very happy with that.”

7th overall, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech): “I am really happy and proud to finish in the top ten at the Tour de France. I came into the race after a good Critérium du Dauphiné and wanted to take things day by day to see what I could do. To finish in seventh place is a big achievement for me, especially as a Kazakh rider. I want to thank all of my teammates as they supported me a lot throughout the race and helped me to fight to be in the top ten. It was a really hard Tour de France which makes it even more special to finish in the top ten. Of course, it would have been nice to win a stage again, but I can come away from the race happy with my performance and my form and motivated for Tokyo.”

6th on the stage, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Sprinting on the Champs-Elysées was a dream. I am happy to have been able to make it happen for the first time with intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. My legs were overwhelmed with lactic acid on the home stretch, but I was determined to defend my chances. Unfortunately, I had to move to the right, into Philipsen’s wheel, which forced me to stop pedalling for a moment. That split second caused me to lose speed, which is irreparable in a finish like this. But so much can happen in a sprint. I must be delighted with this result. The level was extremely high, we are on the Tour. I completed my first Tour de France, in three participations. I’m proud of it.”

Points winner and 3rd on the stage, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Ten years later, again with the green jersey, it’s fantastic, it feels like getting younger. I’m back. It’s a dream. The support of the public has been incredible during all the Tour de France. Coming back to Paris is an honour.”

Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 2:39:37
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange
5. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
8. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash.

Tour de France Final Overall Result:
1. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 82:56:36
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 5:20
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:03
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 10:02
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 10:13
6. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 11:43
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 12:23
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 15:33
9. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 16:04
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 18:34.

Tour’21 stage 21:

 


Settimana Ciclistica Italiana 2021
The Stage 2 took the riders over 185.5 km from Sassari to Oristano. The route featured constant ups and downs and several small hills, but ultimately this did not prevent the sprinters from fighting it out for the victory in a fast finalé.

An early small group was able to break away from the field, yet their efforts were unsuccessful and with 70km to go, it was all over for the quintet. A little later, the race exploded, yet thanks to strong teamwork, BORA-hansgrohe managed to make sure that Pascal Ackermann made it into the first group, and he was ultimately able to prove himself the fastest to take the win.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a strong performance by the team today. We did everything we could to control the race and have the stage be decided in a sprint at the end. My timing was good and I sprinted at the right moment to ultimately take the win. This result shows that my form is good and I’m fully motivated for the rest of the race here.”

2nd on the stage, Barnabás Peák (BikeExchange): “I’m very happy with today’s result, I’m glad that the team had the confidence in me to give me the chance to sprint. Andrey [Zeits] and Tanel [Kanget] positioned me perfectly in the final to allow me to start my sprint in a good position. My legs were good enough for second place, which is a great result for me and the team, I’m really happy and being so close to a victory. I’m also a little bit disappointed, I also wanted to win, but we still have three days to go here and we’ll do our best to bring home a good result.”

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Stage 2 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:26:40
2. Barnabás Peák (Hun) BikeExchange
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
5. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Italy
6. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
9. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Giacomo Garavaglia (Ita) Work Service Marchiol Vega.

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Overall After Stage 2:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates in 8:07:01
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Italy at 0:04
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:06
4. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:10
6. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar
7. Julen Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Sergio Samitier (Spa) Movistar
9. Paul Double (GB) Mg.k Vis VPM
10. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Italy.

 

The Tour of Sardinia traversed 180.9 km from Oristano to Cagliari. Except for two hills halfway through the race, the course was not particularly demanding and with a long descent to the finish of Stage 3, it was again a day for the fast men.

A five-man escape group got away quite early, yet BORA-hansgrohe pushed the pace hard, with the leaders being caught again shortly before the last climb. In the end, the team from Raubling positioned Pascal Ackermann, the winner of the previous stage, perfectly for the finale and he crossed the line victoriously.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “We wanted to go for the win again and the guys controlled the race well throughout the day and didn’t give the breakaway group a chance. On the last part of the course we had a strong tailwind and the pace was high. In the sprint finale, I was in a good starting position and ultimately able to cross the finish line first. I am very happy with my second win here in Sardinia and would like to thank everyone in the team for their support.”

2nd on the stage, Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m really happy on this second place. Of course, I was looking for a win, but with a rival like Ackermann it’s never easy to beat him. Anyway, I tried and got second place only for few centimetres. Today the team was really strong and helped me come to the final km; then I just did my best.”

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Stage 3 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:08:34
2. Jonathan Milan (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
3. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy
5. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X
6. Luca Pacioni (Ita) eolo-Kometa
7. Mikel Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù.

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Overall After Stage 3:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates at 12:15:35
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:06
3. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar at 0:10
5. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Julen Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7. Sergio Samitier (Spa) Movistar
8. Paul Double (GB) Mg.k Vis VPM
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo.

 

UAE Team Emirates put in a dominant performance on Stage 4 of the Settimana Ciclista Italiana, a stage of 168 km with start and finish in Cagliari.

The main group reduced to 22 riders on the hilly parcours and these riders fought for the victory in the sprint, with Diego Ulissi crossing the finish line first in front of team mate Aleksandr Riabushenko and Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up). Ulissi, in his third success of the season and second in this race, confirms himself as the leader of the general classification and of the points classification, with only one stage still to run (Cagliari-Cagliari of 170.2 km with a double pass of the 2nd category climb of the Coremò peak (5.6km at 6.4% average gradient).

Stage winner and overall leader, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “The stage was tough, also due to the considerable heat. Riabushenko was very good at staying with me on the climb; together we worked well to control the attacks of the opponents and to make a great sprint, and it turned out perfectly. We are happy, but we are already focused on tomorrow: we will have to control as best we can to bring the race home.”

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Stage 4 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 4:03:58
2. Alexandr Riabushenko UAE Team Emirates
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Evaldas Šiškevičius (Lit) DELKO
5. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
6. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor) Uno-X
8. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
9. Aaron Verwilst (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar.

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Overall After Stage 4:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 16:19:23
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:12
3. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
4. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar at 0:20
5. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Sergio Samitier (Spa) Movistar
7. Paul Double (GB) Mg.k Vis VPM
8. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) BikeExchange at 0:27.

 

Sunday’s Stage 5 traversed 170.2km and two ascents around Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. The terrain wasn’t expected to put the fast men in any difficulty and in the end the race ended in a sprint.

A quartet broke free following 20 kilometres of racing and opened up a lead of around 3 minutes throughout the day before the race came back together. On the final climb, however, the peloton fell apart, yet BORA-hansgrohe managed to ride out front and place Pascal Ackermann well ahead for the finalé. He ultimately was able to show his sprinting prowess yet again and took the victory in the fast finish. The squad from Raubling finished the race with three stage wins and the points jersey, with Pascal Ackermann, as well as a third place in the GC and victory in the young rider’s classification with Giovanni Aleotti, and fourth overall with Felix Großschartner.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today we had another chance to win a stage and we wanted to do our all to take advantage of this opportunity. On the last climb the peloton fell apart but we tried to stay in front and we succeeded. I was then able to launch my sprint at the right time and take my third stage win here. Thanks very much to the whole team for their support here in Italy.”

Final overall winner, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a very nice week: the team worked flawlessly and supported me all the way. Today we controlled the race well, even with strong wind, so I was able to race calmly, even managing my puncture at best 15 km from the finish. I thank the team and all the staff, now we look to the next races.”

3rd overall and Best Young Rider, Giovanni Aleotti (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a successful race for us here in Sardinia and I’m happy with my third place overall and winning the young rider’s classification. The whole team worked hard to achieve our results here. My performance this week motivates me a lot for the next races and I’m hoping to build upon this success next time.”

KOM, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m delighted with this result as that is the first jersey I won amongst the pro riders. I’m also satisfied with my shape ahead of the second part of the season. Today I had to confirm the leadership of the KOM ranking and all my teammates helped me in succeeding. We finished off the great job done by the team and I think we showed a strong teamwork throughout the week.”

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Stage 5 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:11:01
2. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
3. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
5. Federico Burchio (Ita) Work Service Marchiol Vega
6. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
7. Iuri Filosi (Ita) Giotti Victoria-Savini Due
8. Julen Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Giacomo Garavaglia (Ita) Work Service Marchiol Vega
10. Gabriel Cullaigh (GB) Movistar.

Settimana Ciclistica Italiana Final Overall Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 20:30:24
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:08
3. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
4. Felix Großschartner (Aust) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:20
5. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar
6. Sergio Samitier (Spa) Movistar
7. Paul Double (GB) Mg.k Vis VPM
8. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) BikeExchange at 0:27.

 


Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Pay Tribute to the Victims of the Floods
This Friday, during stage 19 of the Tour de France, our riders will wear a black armband in tribute to the victims of the floods which hit northern Europe, including Belgium and Germany. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert stand by the many people affected by this disaster, in particular in Wallonia and in the province of Liège, the home of many partners of our team and major cycling events.

Jean-François Bourlart (CEO Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): “From here, on the roads of the Tour de France, we feel very concerned by the tragic events that have unfolded in Belgium over the past few days. We obviously think of all the victims and offer our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. We also want to show our support to all those who, in the coming days, will have to recover from this terrible disaster, particularly in Wallonia and in the province of Liège, the land of our team, our partners and the sport of cycling.”

 


Patrick Lefevere: “Mark Cavendish’s story makes many people dream”
Patrick Lefevere has received many applications from ‘elderly’ riders in recent weeks. The reason: Mark Cavendish’s success story. “That makes many people dream,” he said in his weekly column in Het Nieuwsblad. “Daniel Martin and Elia Viviani would like to return. Jakob Fuglsang also pulls on my arm.”

Not only riders, but also sponsors are attracted by the success of the Belgian team. “Our reputation as a winning team is also starting to pay off. Quick-Step, Napoleon Games and Specialized extended their sponsorship. Safety Jogger, Renson and BKool come on board. Very nice, but also necessary after Deceuninck dropped out.”

After four stage wins this year, Cavendish didn’t manage to take his 35th stage on Friday, the stage was won by Matej Mohoric. “Maybe it surprised some people, but we didn’t do a sprint on Friday. Mark had a difficult day on the way to Luz Ardiden on Thursday and we knew the peloton would be almost uncontrollable,” explains Lefevere.

“Our tactical plan A was simple: we let a large group ride away that would collect all the points for the green jersey at the finish. We had Ballerini away, but he was a little too generous with his efforts. A stage win was out of the question, but Mark had a day of rest and keeps his lead in the points classification.”

And what about the Champs-Elysées? “But that won’t be easy,” the team manager also realises. “With all those desperate teams, I expect all protocols to go overboard along the way. There is some sort of non-aggression pact leading up to the finishing circuit, but I’m curious to see what’s left of that on Sunday. Hopefully Alpecin and Israel-Start Up will help us a little bit to check. If the latter on Friday were willing to chase the pack for so long, then they will also cooperate on Sunday if there is really something to pick up.”

The man in demand – Patrick Lefevere:

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Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de Wallonie
The Wolfpack will be in action on home soil next week.

We still have a couple of days left until we reach Paris, but we’re already thinking of our next race – the Tour de Wallonie. Scheduled between 20-24 July, it will consist of five stages, a mix of flat and hilly terrain, the latter favouring the puncheurs who are expected to fight for the overall classification at this 48th edition.

Winner of the Drôme Classic earlier this season, second-year pro Andrea Bagioli will make in Wallonie his first outing since the month of March, when a knee injury he picked up at Trofeo Laigueglia derailed his campaign. Czech ITT Champion Josef Cerny, Fabio Jakobsen, Belgian ITT Champion Yves Lampaert, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry and Bert Van Lerberghe will also be on the squad for the Belgian race which our team has won twice.

“The riders lining up for Wallonie have all had a rest period followed by an altitude training camp in Livigno, so it’s always a bit unpredictable how their bodies will react after that, but we are confident they can do a good race. There will probably be one or two chances for a bunch sprint, where we will support Fabio, but the parcours is quite hard, with climbs that will make for an open and difficult to control race. We will try to race offensively and show our Wolfpack spirit in our quest to rack up some good results”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Geert Van Bondt.

20.07–24.07 Ethias Tour de Wallonie (BEL) 2.Pro
Riders:

Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Josef Cerny (CZE)
Fabio Jakobsen (NED)
Yves Lampaert (BEL)
Florian Sénéchal (FRA)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Bert Van Lerberghe (BEL)
Sports Director: Klaas Lodewyck (BEL) and Geert Van Bondt (BEL).

Fabio Jakobsen:

 


Tour de Wallonie (July 20th to 24th)
Alexandre Abel: “Some of the squad present at the Tour de Wallonie (Lilian Calmejane, Alexis Gougeard, Lawrence Naesen, Marc Sarreau and Gijs Van Hoecke) have just completed a mountain training camp at Vaujany, in Oisans. Despite the weather, we did a good job. The Tour de Wallonie is a good event to return to racing, but also a great preparation race for the future. The course is often designed to be conducive to successful breaks more than sprints. We have a homogeneous team with riders like Andrea Vendrame, Lilian Calmejane and Stan De Wulf, who are capable of playing in the breaks with the best. In the event of a sprint finish, Marc Sarreau will be in a position to perform well, which would give him confidence for the second part of the season.”

 


Alessandro De Marchi Makes Comeback in the Tour de Wallonie
Alessandro De Marchi will be seen in the peloton again from Tuesday. After his crash in the Giro d’Italia, the experienced Italian is fit enough to put on a number. De Marchi is part of Israel Start-Up Nation’s roster for the Tour de Wallonie.

The 35-year-old De Marchi has not raced for his Israeli team since the Tour of Italy. De Marchi fell heavily in the twelfth stage of the Giro and had to be taken to the hospital on a stretcher. De Marchi was found to have a broken right collarbone, six broken ribs and two broken thoracic vertebrae.

After a two-month rehabilitation, the Italian is now ready to race again. The list of participants of the Tour de Wallonie also includes teammates Jenthe Biermans, Davide Cimolai, Hugo Hofstetter, Taj Jones, Alexis Renard and Tom Van Asbroeck.

Alessandro De Marchi in the pink:

 


World’s Best Teams Confirmed for 2021 Women’s Tour
Twelve of the world’s top 15 teams will be among those in action at this year’s Women’s Tour (Monday 4 – Saturday 9 October), the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race.

Rescheduled from its traditional June calendar position to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race will nonetheless attract an all-star field once again for its seventh edition, with all nine of the top division UCI Women’s WorldTour teams confirmed to race.

Among those are SD Worx, the world’s number one team, and the squads of four of the race’s previous overall winners: Trek-Segafredo (Lizzie Deignan, 2019 champion), Team DSM (Coryn Rivera, 2018 champion), Canyon SRAM Racing (Kasia Niewiadoma, 2017 champion) and Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Lisa Brennauer, 2015 winner).

British interest comes in the form of AWOL O’Shea, CAMS-Basso Bikes – both Women’s Tour debutants – and Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. 2021 will mark Drops’ fifth appearance in the event, while the Essex-based CAMS team will be on home soil for the race’s fourth and fifth stages (Shoeburyness to Southend on Thursday 7 October, Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea on Friday 8 October).

Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, the second American team competing in the event, return for a second appearance having also dominated the ŠKODA V-Women’s Tour virtual race held during the COVID-19 pandemic last June.

The full list of teams competing in the 2021 Women’s Tour is:

  • Alé BTC Ljubljana (Italy)
  • AWOL O’Shea (Great Britain)
  • CAMS-Basso Bikes (Great Britain)
  • Canyon SRAM Racing (Germany)
  • Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling (Germany)
  • Drops-Le Col s/b TEMPUR. (Great Britain)
  • FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (France)
  • Liv Racing (Netherlands)
  • Movistar Team (Spain)
  • Parkhotel Valkenburg (Netherlands)
  • SD Worx (Netherlands)
  • Team BikeExchange (Australia)
  • Team DSM (Germany)
  • Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
  • Trek-Segafredo (USA)
  • Valcar-Travel & Service (Italy)
  • Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “After the challenges that the Women’s Tour has faced since the start of 2020, it is extremely uplifting to know that when we finally return in October our passionate fans will again be able to enjoy watching the world’s best teams and riders along the roadside – all for free, too! We’ve designed a route that will make sure the battle for overall glory goes down to the final day. Roll on October!”

    Danelle Every, British Cycling’s cycling delivery director, said: “Year after year, the Women’s Tour attracts the best teams in the world and 2021 is proving to be no different. Despite the disappointment of last year’s postponement, we know that the riders on show – who will be cheered on by brilliant crowds over six days of racing – will make this latest edition one of the most spectacular yet.”

    “After the explosion in cycling participation that we have seen during the pandemic, we hope that this event will be a fantastic showcase to help us nurture the next generation of female talent and to inspire more women and girls across the nation to have a go at a local cycling event whatever their age or ability.”

    “We’re incredibly proud of how the Women’s Tour has established itself as a mainstay of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar and real celebration of incredible female talent, so we are all eagerly anticipating its return in October.”

    Full details of the 2021 Women’s Tour – including stage routes and timetables; SKODA Queen of the Mountains and sprint locations; and competing riders – will be announced shortly.

    The Women’s Tour continues to look for a headline sponsor for 2021 and beyond. With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, partnership opportunities for brands looking to target a healthy national audience and to be associated with the world’s leading women’s professional cycling race are available at all levels. For more information visit sweetspotgroup.co.uk/sponsorship-opportunities/.

    The Women’s Tour:

     


    B&B Hotels p/b KTM Contract Extended by One Year
    Good news for B&B Hotels p/b KTM, a few days before the end of the Tour de France. Main sponsor B&B Hotels has decided to extend the sponsorship agreement for another year until the end of 2023.

    B&B Hotels has been the main sponsor of manager Jérôme Pineau’s team since 2019, the previous sponsorship agreement ran until 2022. “We have gained even more respect for our riders. Also in the Tour, our drivers keep fighting and attacking until the end, even though the race is very tough,” said Vincent Quandalle, CEO of B&B Hotels.

    “The agreement initially ran until 2022 and it is great news that B&B Hotels has decided to sponsor for another year. That gives the team stability and room to grow further,” team boss Pineau cannot believe his luck. “Just like B&B Hotels, we have an offensive strategy. The riders show that every day in the Tour de France.”

    B&B Hotels p/b KTM, which has a ProTeam license, currently has four wins in 2021, all achieved on African soil. In the Tour du Rwanda, Alain Boileau won three stages and Pierre Rolland was also successful in the African stage race.

    B&B team safe for an extra year:

     


    Philippe Gilbert On His Last Tour de France
    Philippe Gilbert is riding his last Tour de France, as he announced in front of the camera of France Télévision after his time trial. “I don’t see myself returning to the race as a rider anymore,” he said.

    “So tomorrow I will ride to Paris for the last time,” said the rider who will retire from cycling at the end of 2022. “Completing a Tour means a lot at any age. Especially because in my previous four Tours I had to give up due to illness and falls. That’s why I wanted to finish this time. I’ve suffered a lot and rode an anonymous race, but at any age it’s an achievement.”

    Gilbert took a stage win in the eleven Tours in which he started. The Belgian won the opening stage on the Mont Des Alouettes in 2011 and then wore the yellow jersey.

    Gilbert in the Tour TT:

     


    André Greipel will Stop at the End of the Season
    André Greipel has announced his retirement as a professional cyclist. After sixteen professional seasons, the German sprinter of Israel Start-Up Nation will end his career at the end of this year, he announced on Saturday.

    “Tomorrow’s stage to the Champs-Élysées will be my last in the Tour de France, because at the end of this season I will end my career,” Greipel said in a video published by Israel Start-Up Nation. “I am very happy with everything I have achieved together with my teammates and staff members. I am grateful for all the support I have always received. Without my teammates, the staff and of course my family, I would never have been able to accomplish all of this,” said De Gorilla.

    He his started professional career in 2006 with T-Mobile. For the German team, which later became HTC-Columbia, Greipel rode for five seasons and developed into one of the best sprinters. Then he went to Omega Pharma-Lotto, later Lotto Soudal, and he was also very successful there. After eight seasons he left for Arkéa Samsic. The German, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Friday, has been racing for Israel Start-Up Nation since last year. He took many wins in Grand Tours: the Giro (seven times), the Tour (eleven times) and the Vuelta (four times).

    “I don’t look back on my career with regret. I am excited about the future when I can do what I want and I can suffer when I want. And of course I also want to spend a lot of time with my family. I wish everyone a good time in the pro peloton. Of course I’m not going to leave cycling completely and I hope I can stay involved in some way. I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me during my career, my family of course and my trainers. We will definitely meet again,” said Greipel.

    André Greipel – Tour’12 stage 13 win:

     


    Fausto Masnada Update
    Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 27-year-old was forced to abandon his first race since the Nationals due to a crash.

    Fausto Masnada crashed Friday during stage 3 of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana (Oristano – Cagliari), where he was racing with the Italian National team. After his crash, Masnada went to the hospital for a check-up and was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the vertebra S3 sacrum.

    Fausto – runner-up this season at the National Championships and third overall at the Tour de Romandie – will now take a recovery period and will be followed up by the team’s doctors.

    Fausto Masnada:

     


    Thibaut Pinot Returns to the Peloton in September
    Thibaut Pinot will again pin on a number at the beginning of September, the French sports newspaper L’Équipe reported. The French climber has been unable to race for a long time due to persistent back problems, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

    The Groupama-FDJ rider will participate in the Classique du Grand Besançon-Doubs on September 3. The 31-year-old Pinot did not race for Groupama-FDJ after the Tour of the Alps (19-23 April). Pinot was the designated leader for the Giro d’Italia, but eventually decided to put an end to his planned Giro participation.

    Pinot took three weeks of complete rest after the Tour of the Alps and has worked hard on his recovery in recent times. “A lot has already improved, but I’m still experiencing lower back discomfort. In order to keep cycling for the past few months I had to compensate. I started using different muscles to relieve my back, which led to pain in the hip, lower back and glutes,” he said at the end of June.

    In order to remedy those injuries, he underwent examinations by specialist clinics. According to L’Équipe, after the Classique du Grand Besançon-Doubs, he will also participate in the Tour du Jura (4 September) and the Tour du Doubs on Sunday 5 September.

    Thibaut Pinot:

     


    John Degenkolb Returns to Team DSM
    John Degenkolb has reached an agreement with Team DSM for a return to Iwan Spekenbrink’s team, which he had been involved in for five years in the past. Several sources have confirmed this to WielerFlits.

    The 32-year-old German rode for the Dutch team from 2012 to 2016 and in those years managed to win Paris-Roubaix, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem and Vattenfall Cyclassics. In those years he also won ten stages in the Vuelta a España. Degenkolb left the team a year after the accident at the training camp in Calpe in which a number of riders were hit by a car. He suffered a serious hand injury and almost lost his left index finger.

    Since then he has raced for Trek-Segafredo for three years and for Lotto Soudal for two years. For the American team, he managed to win the Roubaix stage in the 2018 Tour de France. This spring he was not in the battle in ‘his’ classics. As an experienced rider at Team DSM, he is of great value to help the young talent find their way in the professional peloton. Earlier this week, AD reported that both parties were in talks.

    John Degenkolb:

     


    Van Dijke and Hessmann step up to main squad Team Jumbo-Visma
    Mick van Dijke and Michel Hessmann will join the pro team of Team Jumbo-Visma in 2022. The two U23 riders make the move from Jumbo-Visma Development Team, but will still be accompanied by the development team next year. They will do most of their races in a team consisting of riders from the development team and professionals. Both riders sign for three seasons.

    Dutch rider Van Dijke and German rider Michel Hessmann have already been introduced to the World Tour team in races this season. The two were part of the winning team in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and they rode the Tour of Hungary. Van Dijke and Hessmann are currently on altitude training in Tignes, together with a part of the World Tour branch of the Dutch team.

    Sportive director Merijn Zeeman: “Mick and Michel have signed a three year pro contract, whereby they will spend a lot of time with the development team next year. In terms of coaching, but also in terms of races in a combined team. In 2022 they are already on the list of the World Tour team, but from 2023 they will definitely move to the main team. We choose this construction because like this we offer talents an environment in which they are challenged in a certain way to become better. Thanks to the coaches of the development team, there is a high through-flow from our development team. This step again increases the inspiration and the quality of the U23 team. Mick and Michel have shown that they have the potential to grow. This is the next step for them.”

    Van Dijke captured the Dutch time trial title in the U23 category last month. He has a background as a mountain biker and he never thought he would turn pro as a road cyclist. “I had not dared to dream of becoming a professional cyclist. Fortunately, I managed to convince the team of my capabilities. They saw something in me and that’s what the team focused on. Together with the team I worked very hard and this resulted in a pro contract. I am very happy and proud of that. I have only been serious about road cycling for a year and a half. That is why I think it is very good for me to be guided by the development team next year. I don’t want to skip a step in my development. This seems to be the best way for me to grow.”

    Hessmann, the German U23 time trial champion, cannot yet comprehend that his professional dream has come true. “I am really very happy. It is like a dream to become a professional cyclist. I know that I am developing well. My contract extension with the development team for next year was also a confirmation of that. Now I am signing my first pro contract, and in the coming year I will spend a lot of time with the U23 team. After that I will make the step to the bigger races to see what I am good at. I want to keep developing myself and find out how far I can get as a professional cyclist. For that, I am in the right place at Team Jumbo-Visma.”

    Head of Development Robbert de Groot is happy that the development team is once again delivering riders to the main squad, after previously Gijs Leemreize and Olav Kooij turned pro from the Jumbo-Visma Development Team. “Mick and Michel are both great talents. Mick is versatile and a real team player. In the coming years we will see where his specialties lie. Michel is also an all-round rider, but we do not know yet where his limits lie. He continues to surprise us. It is great that two riders are moving on again. It is very special that it succeeds. We will continue with that in the coming years.”

    Jumbo-Visma Development Team will soon part ways with one of its riders. Finn Fisher-Black will leave the development team of Team Jumbo-Visma on 1 August 2021 and will transfer to another team.

     


    Former Cyclist Antonio Gómez del Moral Passed Away at 81
    Former cyclist Antonio Gómez del Moral died on Wednesday at the age of 81. The Spaniard was a successful professional cyclist in the 1960s and after his professional career became race director of the Ruta del Sol.

    Gómez del Moral made his professional debut for Flandria-Faema in 1963 and then raced for a few years for the famous Kas-Kaskol team. After nine seasons in the pro peloton, he decided to stop in 1972.

    The Spaniard achieved many professional victories in his career. He won three stages in the Vuelta a España, a stage in the Giro d’Italia and was crowned Spanish road champion in 1965. He was also the best in the Tour of Catalonia, the Ruta del Sol and the Tour of Valencia. He is also on the honours list of the Tour de l’Avenir.

    Gómez del Moral, after retiring as a professional cyclist, remained active in cycling. After his professional career, the Spaniard became, among other things, race director of the Ruta del Sol.

    Antonio Gómez del Moral:

     


    Manuela Fundación with it’s own Team after a Failed Mitchelton-Scott Takeover
    Manuela Fundación will be seen in the peloton in 2022. The Spanish amateur team is in the process of setting up a team with a Continental license. Last year Manuela Fundación tried to takeover the Mitchelton-Scott team, but that deal fell through.

    Manuela Fundación announces on Facebook that it is setting up its own Continental cycling team. “This is the first step towards the WorldTour,” the statement read. “Last year, the purchase of Mitchelton-Scott only caused frustration, and after several discussions with other teams, Francisco Huerta decided to start his own project. He wants to go up step by step.”

    The continental team is headed by Emilio Rodríguez, Fran Puñal, José Manuel Moreno and José Vicente Bonillo. A few riders are also already known: Fran Casaus, Franklin Chacón and Yurgen Ramírez make the switch from Manuela Fundación’s own amateur team. Manuela Fundación is a Spanish non-profit organisation led by businessman Francisco Huertas and his wife Maria Angustias González.

     


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