We have as many national road and TT championships as we could fit in a very full EUROTRASH Monday. Plus, is Rohan Dennis going to Jumbo-Visma – TOP STORY. Results and video from the final stage of the Adriatica Ionica. Tour de France news from Bahrain Victorious, INEOS Grenadiers, Lotto Soudal, Qhubeka ASSOS, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Groupama-FDJ. No Tour for Tim Wellens and Bob Jungels. Rider news: Alexander Kristoff, Simon Pellaud and Juliette Labous. Race news: Deutschland Tour and the Arctic Race of Norway. Alberto Contador to Everest at the Tour des Stations and Anna Shackley to go to the Olympics.
TOP STORY: Rohan Dennis to Jumbo-Visma
According to WeilerFlits’ Raymond Kerckhoffs, Jumbo-Visma will strengthened their team for next year with two-time World time trial champion Rohan Dennis. The Australian could have extended his contract with INEOS Grenadiers and also had an offer from UAE Team Emirates, where his former BMC sports director Allan Peiper is at the helm. Various sources now confirm to that 31-year-old Dennis has chosen the Dutch team.
Dennis’ qualities as a time trialist are well known. In 2018 and 2019 he won the time trail World title. Last year the Australian made a huge impression in the decisive mountain stages in the Giro d’Italia, including the Passo delle Stelvio, by towing for kilometres uphill ahead of the eventual winner Tao Geoghegan Hart. Only Jai Hindley was able to stay with the two INEOS riders.
At Jumbo-Visma they see Dennis as a reinforcement in the GC train in the Grand Tours. Over the past two years the team have seen the great value Tony Martin has been for the team. The German also has a contract for next season, but is now 36 years old, which also has to be considered. Rohan Dennis rode for the Rabobank development team in 2011. Jumbo-Visma did not want to comment on the arrival of Rohan Dennis.
Dennis to Jumbo 2022:
Van Aert wins Belgian Road Championship
Wout van Aert is the new Belgian champion. In a thrilling sprint he beat Edward Theuns by a small margin. It’s the first time the 26-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma wins the tricolour in the national road championship.
The Belgian riders were presented with a course of 221.3 kilometres. Van Aert, Edward Theuns and Remco Evenepoel battled for the title after a late breakaway.
“It was a difficult final”, Wout van Aert said. “When Theuns came to join, I wanted to rely on my sprint. But I had already carried a large part of the escape. In the end it was very close. It seems like I’ve been winning with a small margin in the sprint for a while now, so I was happy when I saw the difference on the photo finish. The Belgian tricolour is one of the most beautiful jerseys in the peloton. I already won it in the time trial last year. Of course I wanted to win it on the road as well. This victory is extra special because I want to dedicate it to a good friend I lost this month. I thought about that a lot, and for three weeks I had been thinking about winning this race for him. A lot of other things have happened, but they don’t matter when you go through something like that. I had to fight hard to be back here at the start and I want to thank him for giving me the strength today. I’ve ridden several championships where it didn’t work out, but today I was in the right breakaway. Especially in the circumstances, it’s really good.”
The victory has also given Van Aert more confidence heading into the Tour. “I can still get better. I started here with doubts, but I’m happy I can go to the Tour like this and show that jersey. The Tour is a very different course, but I got a lot of confidence today.”
Teammate Nathan Van Hooydonck crossed the line in the chasing pack: “I’m super happy for Wout. He worked really hard for the last few weeks and made a lot of sacrifices. It’s a great reward for him to go to the Tour like this. The tricolour is the most beautiful thing. When Wout rode away with a group, I did not make myself very popular by controlling the peloton. I always find it very annoying when that happens, but it’s just part of it. This is a beautiful reward.” For Van Aert, the national title is his fifth win of the season. Team Jumbo-Visma has been successful twenty times so far this season.
3rd, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I knew that if I wanted to get a good result today, I had to attack, so I did that from the distance. Having class riders as Wout and Edward with me I was aware it wasn’t going to be easy, so I tried twice to alone, but I didn’t make it despite all my efforts. On the finishing straight, there wasn’t anything else I could have done, so third place on this parcours and in this company with two explosive riders is the best possible outcome. I am not disappointed, but coming second and third this week is a big pity. On the other hand, the team can be proud of how we rode today. Now I will take a few days to recover and then focus towards the Olympic Games. My feeling on the bike is improving, so that’s a good thing for my next goals.”
Belgian National Championships – Road Race:
1. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in 4:40:41
2. Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo)
3. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) at 0:01
Colbrelli Trumps Masnada on World Championship Course
Sonny Colbrelli took his first tricolore jersey on Sunday using the World championship course of 2020. The race culminated in a duel between Fausto Masnada and Sonny Colbrelli. On the Cima Gallisterna, the toughest climb on the course, the two managed to drop the brave Samuele Zoccarato. The early break, who had been out front for more than 225 kilometres were dropped on the last climb. Colbrelli was pressured by Masnada, but the Bahrain’s Victorious rider was able to hold out. In the final sprint Colbrelli had no problem with the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider.
Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s a magical moment. It repays me of all the times I was so close to winning the Italian Championships in the past. I missed this success too many times, but today I was even too perfect. I prepared at best for the Tour de France, and I didn’t know what to expect from this race. Sometimes I suffer the return to racing after training at high-altitude. It was also a hot day, and I must admit that I didn’t feel well for the first three hours. But then I started feeling better, and although it was a challenging course, I knew that it could suit me in a sprint finish. And above all, I wanted this victory very much. When I saw Masnada attacking, I tried to get back to him and the leading group, and I succeeded. Then it was all about resisting Masnada’s accelerations on the final climb. He was trying to go solo to avoid a two-man sprint finish with me, knowing I was the strongest. In the end, it was exactly like that. I could easily sprint to win. I’m so happy. Thank you to my family for the ongoing support. Thank you to the team that helped me to achieve this win that I’ve been chasing for years.”
2nd, Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was very hard today, as the temperatures – which reached 40 degrees – made it extremely tough during those five hours we spent in the saddle. I made my move from afar hoping to go solo, but Sonny was really strong and could follow. I tried to dispatch him several times on the last ascent, but it wasn’t possible, so we continued to work together until the finish. Second is the best I could do today, and in these conditions, I’m satisfied, especially as it’s my first podium at the Italian Championships.”
Italian National Championships – Road Race:
1. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious in 5:29:25
2. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè at 0:37.
Rémi Cavagna is the new French Champion
The 25-year-old netted the 64th national title in the history of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Rémi Cavagna shrugged off the disappointment experienced during Thursday’s individual time trial, when a series of mechanical hindered his hopes of retaining the title, and pulled off a great ride in the road race, which at the end of the day landed him the prestigious tricolour.
Part of a three-man team which featured also World Champion Julian Alaphilippe and Florian Sénéchal, Rémi was among the early attackers that went clear, just 30 kilometres into the race, and opened a five-minute gap over a peloton which looked to be in control of things at all times, especially as several squads had the numbers to pull the escapees back. On the hilly circuit around Epinal, it looked like the day would belong to one of the pre-race favourites, especially as they weren’t shy of attacking with three laps to go.
Alaphilippe was one of the riders to test the waters, drawing a small group with him, but with the others not willing to share the workload, the 29-year-old soon stopped and waited for the peloton to reel them in. This lull played into the hands of the escapees, who still held two minutes with 20 kilometres left. Eventually, three men managed to bridge across from the bunch, but as soon as they did, Cavagna attacked and was never seen again until the finish.
In the space of just a couple of kilometres, the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand” opened a gap of almost one minute, which allowed him to take it easy on the rain-soaked descent to the finish in Epinal, where he had plenty of time to celebrate, after a stunning 200 kilometres in the breakaway, what’s arguably the biggest success of his career.
“It’s crazy! I still can’t believe what happened today! My main goal this week was the time trial and I was very disappointed after that race. Now I am French Champion on the road, which is insane. My role at the start was to support Julian but I ended up by taking the win. I can’t believe it”, an emotional Rémi said as he pulled on the bleu-blanc-rouge jersey.
Cavagna, who became only the second rider in Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s history to win the French Championships, continued: “It was a strange race with the breakaway going all the way to the finish. Our plan was for me to be in the front group, as we knew it wasn’t easy to control on this route. Having what was a good margin on the peloton so close to the finish, I found the right moment to attack and pressed on as soon as I saw a gap had been opened. To take a solo victory today is incredible! I was very sad after losing the ITT title, but this completely makes up for that. It gives me goosebumps and huge joy to know I will wear this jersey – one of the most beautiful in the world – in all the races I do for a full year.”
3rd, Damien Touzé (AG2R Citroën): “As you might expect, we had a very tough and very physically demanding race. We managed to be there up front with Geoffrey and myself. When I saw the riders in the breakaway, I knew we could go really far. We managed our day well. There is nothing to regret today, we simply ran into a stronger rider than us. I was struggling on the penultimate climb, Geoffrey did a huge job. He waited for me so that we both could bridge up together for the finish. This is my second medal in a French Championship (3rd in 2019). I wanted to bring back the title for the team, but I have no regrets.”
French National Championships – Road Race:
1. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 6:06:10
2. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at0:58
3. Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën.
Roosen to Dutch Title with Powerful Solo Effort
Timo Roosen is the new Dutch cycling champion. After a successful attack some two kilometres from the end, the Team Jumbo-Visma rider arrived solo at the top of the Col du Vam.
From the start there were plenty of attacks. On the twisty course seventeen riders were in the breakaway of the day. Team Jumbo-Visma was represented by Dylan Groenewegen, Gijs Leemreize, Roosen and Olav Kooij. Halfway through the race, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Mike Teunissen and Sam Oomen also joined the breakaway.
The groups were never far apart, because the climb of the Col du VAM kept reappearing. At about forty kilometres from the end Groenewegen and Kooij rode in the lead, together with five other riders. Through the work of, among others, Oomen and Eenkhoorn, Teunissen and Roosen managed to get back in the front. Subsequently it was Roosen who made the decisive attack. The last time Team Jumbo-Visma had the Dutch road champion among its riders was in 2016 with Dylan Groenewegen.
“It was a tremendously difficult race. I felt good early in the breakaway, but in the final as well”, the winner of the Dutch national tricolour said. “We tried to play Mike’s card, but it was difficult to bring him back in front. When I attacked, Mike left a gap. That gave me the chance to go flat out for the win. The lead quickly grew, so I started to believe in it even more.”
It is the first win of the season for the Dutchman of the province of Brabant. “I still have a hard time understanding it. Last year I finished third, so I knew it would be a knockout race again. The course certainly suited me. The fact that I could go for the win is really unbelievable. This is beyond my wildest dreams. I am very grateful to the team. In the Dauphiné I had a good form, but I missed the punch. Now it’s really coming out.”
Dutch National Championships – Road Race:
1. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:10:41
2. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Metec-Solarwatt p/b Mantel at 0:30
3. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix.
Peter Sagan Slovak Road Champion for the Seventh Time
For the seventh time in his career, Peter Sagan has won the Slovak road championship. The 31-year-old BORA-hansgrohe rider was the first to cross the line in the combined championship of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is the eleventh time in a row that a Sagan takes the national title in Slovakia. Peter Sagan was the best from 2011 to 2015, 2018 and so this year. The other four years the champion jersey was a prey for Juraj Sagan, Peter’s brother one year older. Michael Kukrle crossed the line in second place, but because he has Czech nationality, he has the Czech title. He won the sprint from Elkov-Kasper teammate Dominik Neuman and Daniel Turek.
Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m very proud and happy to have won my seventh Slovak national championship. I’d like to thank everybody for their support during the race, it feels nice to be back in Slovakia.”
Schachmann Takes the German Title
The German road race was held on a 185.7km-long circuit south-east of Stuttgart, which featured almost 3000m of elevation. The team from Raubling, which took on the race with 10 riders, came to the event with favourites such as Maximilian Schachmann, and attempted to control the race so as to bring the jersey back to the team. Maximilian, as well as Emanuel Buchmann, took the lead in a small breakaway group, and when Max attacked on the penultimate lap, no one was able to follow, leading him to take his second German road title.
Max Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “We wanted to avoid a situation like last year, so we made the race very hard from the start and then tried to attack in the right moments. Everyone really deserved this victory and I want to thank my teammates for all their tremendous work. It’s really nice to be able to wear this jersey in the peloton yet again.”
2nd, Jonas Koch (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert): “First of all, I have to say that we did a fantastic race, Georg and I. We started with only two guys and we both end on the podium, against teams with such strong manpower like Bora. I did my best in the climbs against Maximilian Schachmann but there was not debate, he was the strongest. I was extremely motivated today because it was not far from my hometown and I knew the shape was good, thanks to the work with my trainer Maarten. We can be proud today.”
3rd, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert): “I was three against one shortly after halfway point, meaning 90 km to go. Nils Politt then dropped and I found myself in front alongside Schachmann and Buchmann, the two best German climbers in the peloton. Our cooperation was good until they started attacking me 4 laps from the end. It was therefore no longer essential that I take my turns because the trust between us was broken. This allowed Jonas Koch and two other Bora to catch us. When Schachmann and Jonas went, I was fine with it because Jonas is an excellent sprinter. In the end, we finish two and three. I don’t regret anything because it was arguably my best race this season, and the best result I could hope for. Neither Schachmann nor Buchmann managed to drop me in the climbs and that motivates me a lot for the next races.”
German National Championships – Road Race:
1. Max Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:21:48
2. Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert in 1:06
3. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert in 2:02.
Foss Also Conquers Norwegian Road Title
Tobias Foss is the new Norwegian road champion. The 24-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the finish line solo after a gruelling race. On Wednesday he already managed to conquer the time trial title.
In rainy Kristiansand, Foss broke away from a leading group of four with four kilometres to go. The pursuers couldn’t catch him anymore, after which Foss crossed the finish line with a lead of more than thirty-seconds. In the second group, Jumbo-Visma Development Team rider Johannes Staune-Mittet neutralised any attempt from riders to contra-attack.
“It was a beautiful, but cold and wet day on the bike. My thanks go to Lillehammer CK, my local club, for all the help”, the Norwegian said. “I played my cards well. I was in a good breakaway and at four kilometres from the end I saw a good moment to go for it. I enjoyed this day.” In addition to the Norwegian title, Team Jumbo-Visma also managed to conquer the Dutch and Belgian titles today. “After the finish it was nice to see that Timo and Wout had also clinched their respective titles.” It is Foss’s second win this season. This brought Team Jumbo-Visma’s victory tally to twenty.
Joonas Henttala Storms to Victory to Become Champion of Finland
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team’s Joonas Henttala won the road race at Finland’s National Road Championships.
Joonas Henttala finally realised a long-held dream on Sunday when he won the road race at Finland’s National Road Championships, powering away from Ukko Peltonen to claim his first national title and first professional victory.
A special victory for a special year as 2021 marks the 100th anniversary since the discovery of insulin. What a way for Henttala and Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team to proudly show what is possible with diabetes with their first ever national road champions jersey.
“It really is a dream come true,” began Joonas Henttala. “I have been trying for a long time to win this jersey and after coming very close in the past, it’s so good to finally stand on the top step of the podium and celebrate. I am extremely proud to be national champion, I consider it to be a great honour and as an athlete competing with diabetes it’s very special to achieve this win in 2021.”
“I would like to say a huge thank you to my wife Lotta and my family and all at Team Novo Nordisk for the infrastructure and support we athletes receive, it’s second to none and allows us to compete week in week out at this level. And also, to my local club here in Finland, IBD Cycling Club who supported me all day today and made the race really hard from the flag drop.”
Henttala escaped with Peltonen on the final laps of the 171 kilometre course and was clearly the stronger of the two. Each time Peltonen attacked, Henttala was able to shut him down before biding his time to unleash the race winning attack in the final few hundred meters.
“I had super legs for the first time this year,” continued Henttala. “It feels insanely good. It’s been a difficult year so far and I put all my energy into this day. The route suited me really well, hard circuits with punchy climbs and I knew that Ukko is very strong, so if I could get away with him, we had a good chance of staying away. He put in some strong attacks and despite starting to cramp a little in the final kilometres, I managed to save enough energy to go all out in the last 300 hundred meters. I knew I had to be in a good position for the final corner and I had his draft before coming around and I knew I had the edge at that point.”
Since the team’s inception as Team Novo Nordisk in 2013 they have stuck with a roster made up entirely of athletes with type 1 diabetes, making this first champions jersey an extra important achievement and milestone many thought they would never reach.
“This is a thoroughly well-deserved victory for Joonas,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “He has been working very hard towards this for many years and finally he’s on the top step of the podium wearing a very special jersey which he will proudly wear for what will be an unforgettable year for him. It’s a very special day, not only for Joonas, but for all of us at Team Novo Nordisk and our extended family around the world. We are very proud of Joonas’ achievement in an important year that the marks the 100th anniversary since the discovery of insulin and 100 years of life for everyone affected by diabetes around the world. Our message is very clear: diabetes will not stop you from achieving your dreams! Congratulations to all and thank you from the entire Team Novo Nordisk family!”
Artem Nych New Russian Road Race Champion
Today Gazprom-RusVelo rider Artem Nych claimed a road race victory at the Russian National Championship, which was held in Penza. Ilnur Zakarin finished second and Ivan Rovny took the bronze medal.
“It was quite a tough race today, hot weather all day long and the fight for the victory was until the final kilometre. I was in a good shape and was expecting to demonstrate the result and try to clinch a podium. I am happy to win this title, this victory means a lot to me. I would like to thank everyone from Gazprom-RusVelo and our team sponsor Gazprom for their support” — the current Russian National Champion Artem Nych.
Omar Fraile Wins Maiden Spanish Road Race Championship Title
Omar Fraile continued Astana – Premier Tech’s dominance at the Spanish national championships, claiming the road race title with an impressive performance and a great display of teamwork, with Alex Aranburu rounding out the podium in third place.
Fraile inherits the jersey from teammate Luis Leon Sanchez in what was an emotional moment for the Basque rider, who secured his first national championship and first win since his Tour de France stage win in 2018.
“I was anxious to raise my arms again. When I crossed the line I didn’t believe it. It had been a long time since I had that special feeling and I did not believe it. That is why I was excited. It was a very hard day, a very demanding circuit, so we tried to control the race with Cofidis so that the break did not go too far. The finale was very crazy with many attacks. We all played our cards, but in the end we decided to try to prepare the sprint for Alex, but when it was time to launch it, I was a little stronger and I was able to get the victory,” said Fraile. “It was 100 percent a team effort today because all six of us worked as one so a big thank you to the riders and staff of the team. Now I will start the Tour de France with special motivation and a lot of confidence.”
Astana – Premier Tech took control of the race and helped bring the breakaway back approaching the final 40 kilometres, at which point Ion Izagirre attacked from the reduced bunch and rode into the race lead with 35 kilometres to go.
Attack after attack played out in the last hour of racing with the race lead constantly changing. After Izagirre’s move was neutralised, Fraile attacked and was joined by two riders with 28 kilometres to go. The group grew in size with Sanchez joining Fraile at the front before the defending champion launched a move with one lap to go.
In the end, the groups came back together with 12 kilometres remaining, at which point Astana – Premier Tech had strong representation with Fraile, Sanchez, Izagirre, and Aranburu all there. The quartet, who had shown incredible teamwork all day, alongside teammates Javier Romo and Oscar Rodriguez, took responsibility in the finale with Sanchez and Izagirre setting the pace inside the final five kilometres.
Under the flamme rouge, Sanchez put the pressure on, with Fraile and Aranburu in his wheel, and as he peeled off with 500 metres to go, Fraile hit the front. Fraile started his sprint immediately and despite the distance to the finish line, he showed phenomenal strength to not only hold the lead but establish a gap with 150 metres to go. The Basque rider had enough time to look over his shoulder, sit up and raise his arms in triumph as he took the victory ahead of Jesus Herrada and Aranburu, who sprinted to third place.
Fraile’s win secures a Spanish championship double for Astana – Premier Tech after Izagirre took the honours in the time trial for the second time in his career.
Spanish National Championships – Road Race (183km):
1. Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech)
2. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis)
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech).
Yevgeniy Fedorov Takes Kazakhstan Road Race Title, Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov Complete the Podium
Astana – Premier Tech dominated the 2021 edition of the Kazakhstan National Championships, taking all three places on the podium in the road race. Yevgeniy Fedorov became the new Kazakh road race champion, while Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov completed the race podium with second and third positions, respectively.
“Well, in the time trial I was really close to a win and I missed just a few seconds. So, coming out to the start of this race I was motivated to fight for a win. I spent a good day on the road, and I liked the route with just one climb over the distance and big and flat roads all the way to the finish. I made my attack with some three laps to go but I never got a big gap so, in the final, the group caught me. However, I still had some energy and in the sprint I just gave what I had in the legs and it was enough for a victory. I am really happy with my win and wearing the Kazakhstan national jersey makes me so proud. Now I will have a short break and then I will go to a training camp together with my team to get ready for the second half of the season”, – said Yevgeniy Fedorov.
Once the early break had been caught back with six laps to go, a new leading group with five Astana – Premier Tech riders went away, opening a one-minute gap to the peloton. With three laps to go, it was Yevgeniy Fedorov who launched a solo attack, gaining a ten-second advantage.
Fedorov pushed hard in front of the race but could not get more than 15 seconds to the group of chasers. At the finish, he was finally caught back by the group but was able to do a great sprint, winning the race and becoming the new national champion ahead of Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov.
Kazakhstan National Championships, road race, 160 km. Petropavlovsk:
1. Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana – Premier Tech)
2. Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana – Premier Tech)
3. Artyom Zakharov (Astana – Premier Tech).
Fedorov and Gidich:
Adriatica Ionica 2021
Lorenzo Fortunato was proclaimed final winner of the third edition of the Adriatica Ionica Race this Thursday after managing, perfectly assisted by his teammates, a complicated last stage, the one with three sections of sterrato that had to be passed twice each, in which Elia Viviani won the sprint. A historic victory for Lorenzo, his first overall, his third great success of the season and of his career; the first overall for the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team.
The double passage through the three sterrato sectors of Anita and Longastrine did not pose any offensive for the overall, although it did generate some tension, caused many punctures and was the scene of some crashes. One of these incidents involved our Luca Wackermann, who had to retire with a heavy blow that forced him to be taken to hospital. A breakaway of four riders (Bobbo, Caretta, Garavaglia and Zurlo) reached the first of the sectors with a lead of about two and a half minutes, and Bobbo and Garavaglia came out of the last sector with a margin of about 45 minutes. It was a day for the sprint, where Viviani narrowly beat Marezcko. Luca Pacioni, eighth. Fortunato’s final victory has an even more pleasant reading within the Contador Foundation, as it is the first for the ProTeam project and in the gestation of this success three riders, Sergio García, Alejandro Ropero and Diego Pablo Sevilla, formed these years in their lower categories, from the youth category, have decisively participated. Sergio and Alejandro also joined the junior team after taking part in the Selection Campus organised specifically for this purpose.
Final overall winner and KOM, Lorenzo Fortunato (eolo-Kometa): “I’m happy, I’m very happy: the goal was to come and win a stage and the race, but now that I’ve succeeded, the joy is great. I dedicate this success to the team, to my teammates and to all the staff because we are a family more than a team. And in particular I dedicate it to Luca Wackermann who fell today. Today the team worked very well, and I immediately felt calm: it is important to have such teammates. In the flagship there was also Alberto Contador, who as soon as I arrived he congratulated me… And for me it’s an honour to hear these words from someone like him. Now, attention focused on the Italian Championships on Sunday: I tried the route a few weeks ago, and it’s really hard. So… wait for me!”
Adriatica Ionica Stage 3 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy in 3:19:23
2. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM
3. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Enrico Zanoncello (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
5. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
6. Giulio Masotto (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior
7. Matevz Govekar (Slo) Tirol KTM
8. Luca Pacioni (Ita) eolo-Kometa
9. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Cristian Rocchetta (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi.
Adriatica Ionica Final Overall Result:
1. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa in 11:19:56
2. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:02
3. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:06
4. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:17
5. Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:42
6. Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè 0:50
7. Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:17
8. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 1:29
9. Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:34
10. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Work Service-Marchiol-Dynatek at 1:42.
Bahrain Victorious Line Up for Tour de France
June 26th marks the start of the 108th edition of the Tour de France. Team Bahrain Victorious head to the race with a strong line-up and momentum off the back of a strong performance at the Giro d’Italia.
Jack Haig leads the line-up, with GC ambitions following his solid performance at the Dauphine. Along with GC ambitions, the team is positioned to race proactively with potential stage winners, such as 2019 stage winner Dylan Teuns, Sonny Colbrelli off the back of an impressive performance at the Dauphiné, and Matej Mohorič, who showed his versatility at the Tour of Slovenia. Wout Poels and Pello Bilbao line up to support in the high mountains. Two riders who have demonstrated they can place high in the GC, evident by their top 10 finishes in Grand Tours last year. For the flat stages, experienced road captain Marco Haller and young Fred Wright will provide their support.
The 21 stage race starts in Brest, covering 3,383 kilometres before the iconic finish on the Champs Elysee in Paris. In between, the race will feature two Time Trials, with the second on the penultimate stage, like last year’s edition.
Two fast finishes on the opening stages that suit puncheurs and versatile climbers – an early opportunity for Sonny or Dylan to move into Yellow. The first GC battle starts on Stage 5, with a 27.2 kilometre Time Trial from Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne.
Stage 9 will be the hardest of the stages ahead of the first rest day. The riders take on five categorised climbs, with a gruelling finish up the 21-kilometre climb of Montée de Tignes, averaging 5.6%. From there, Stage 11 will be another testing day, as riders climb the iconic Mont Ventoux twice, with the second route to the top being a 15.7-kilometre climb averaging 8.8%.
The GC battle will be in full force with two back to back summit finishes on Stages 17 and 18. Stage 17 from Muret goes over two cat 1 climbs before the Hors Categorie climb Col du Portet, 16 kilometres long averaging 8.7%. Things don’t get easier on stage 18 with a 130-kilometre stage, with two Hors Categorie climbs, finishing atop Luz Arididen.
The final fight for yellow, like last year, will come on the penultimate stage – a 30.8 kilometre Time Trial from Libourne to Saint Emilion. The flatter profile compared to last year may not see significant time gaps eaten up. However, it can still shake the final positions in the GC ahead of the final stage into Paris and ultimately decide this year’s winner.
Performance Director, Roger Hammond said: “The team comes to the Tour following great performances. Our selection of riders puts us in good stead to battle for GC and be proactive across other stages. Obviously, after the Dauphiné, there was the temptation to take Mark Padun to the Tour. The same goes for Gino Mäder after his Giro and Tour de Suisse wins. However, these are young talents in the team with other goals this season, and the team has a responsibility to look at the longer-term project for these riders.”
Sport Director, Rolf Aldag commented on the selection and race strategy: “The whole team is super motivated to entertain fans of cycling all around the world with an aggressive way of racing. The TDF is the biggest stage for us to show our passion, commitment and desire to race. We take a lot of confidence into the Tour from the results we achieved as a team in 2021 and will fight to keep the spirit high. Our team is prepared to take on every single stage, like one-day races. The eight riders who are representing the team all showed that they deserve a place in the race, but let’s not forget our strong riders who are serving as reserves, for now, ready to jump-in, in case we need them.”
INEOS Grenadiers Lineup for the 2021 Tour de France
INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We won’t win this tour by sitting in the wheels. We have the team to make it a racers’ race, take the initiative, seize every opportunity and make our opposition focus for every kilometre of every stage. We have changed our race philosophy this season to being more open and aggressive. Our performances have built all season and a joy of racing has infused the whole team. This more adventurous approach has led us to fearless racing and this is exactly how we will hit the Tour. We will seek out every moment in every stage where the race is on and try to exploit it. Key for us this Tour is our collective strength and camaraderie to the end.”
“Expect the unexpected.”
Richard Carapaz, Jonathan Castroviejo, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Michal Kwiatkowski, Richie Porte, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas, Dylan van Baarle.
Lotto Soudal with Strong Eight-Rider Team to Tour de France
Lotto Soudal will head to the 108th Tour de France with the following riders: Jasper De Buyst, Thomas De Gendt, Caleb Ewan, Philippe Gilbert, Roger Kluge, Harry Sweeny, Tosh Van der Sande and Brent Van Moer. The sports directors are Mario Aerts, Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant. The Tour kicks off in Brest on the 26th of June and finishes in Paris the 18th of July. It will be the 37th participation for the team at the Tour de France. Since its first time at the Tour, Lotto Soudal already took 39 stage victories.
“We have selected the strongest team possible”, says Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue. “Seven of our eight riders have finished the Dauphiné or Baloise Belgium Tour in top shape. It is clear that Caleb Ewan is our absolute and rightful leader. I think there are six to seven stages where the sprinters can battle for the stage win. Caleb’s trusted train, with Jasper De Buyst and Roger Kluge, was successfully extended with Tosh Van der Sande and Harry Sweeny at the Belgium Tour. This combination has already been successful at the UAE Tour. The other three places are taken by stage hunters. Philippe Gilbert, Thomas De Gendt and Brent Van Moer will be targeting stage wins in the non-sprinter stages. Like we know them: with panache and courage. We are heading the Brest full of motivation.”
Dlamini Makes History as Team Qhubeka ASSOS Name Tour de France Line-Up
- Dlamini becomes first black South African to compete at Tour de France
- Dlamini, Bennett and Campenaerts all make first Tour de France starts
- Aru, Henao, Clarke and Gogl add significant experience
- Walscheid looks to flat stages and time trials
- The spirit of Ubuntu – I am because we are – on show to the world
Team Qhubeka ASSOS continues to make history as we are thrilled to announce our eight-rider roster for the 2021 Tour de France which includes a debut for Nicholas Dlamini, who becomes the first black South African ever to compete at the showpiece event.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS, Africa’s UCI WorldTour team, will make its seventh appearance at the Tour de France having first competed in 2015 (MTN-Qhubeka). Over that period the team has won seven stages; and worn the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys respectively.
Dlamini’s selection is a landmark moment for the South African-registered team as he becomes the latest rider to progress from our development team and onto the UCI WorldTour, and subsequently earn his selection to compete at the world’s biggest cycling race.
The 25-year-old, who grew up in an informal settlement in Cape Town, first caught the eye as a runner before moving into cycling where his talents saw him move to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It is from here that he first earned a spot in our UCI Continental outfit – Team Qhubeka – based in Lucca, Italy.
In his second season with the continental team, Dlamini rode as a stagiaire on our WorldTour team and then turned professional in 2018. Since then he raced across the world, including twice competing at the Vuelta a Espana (2019 and 2020) and has worn the king of the mountains jersey at both the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain.
2020 saw his season heavily affected by an arm injury, as well as the broader impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cycling calendar, but 2021 has seen Dlamini selected to represent Team South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and now being called up to our Tour de France squad.
Dlamini’s style of racing will likely see his talents deployed in the offensive strategy the team will look to pursue during the race, while also playing a key supporting role in the flatter stages.
Bennett (25) makes his Tour debut following on two previous Grand Tour starts at the Giro d’Italia, and having made his first start for our team at Etoile de Besseges in February. The Californian comes into the race having impressed with his aggressive racing and versatility in serving the team’s ambitions during the course of the race; and offers a perfect foil for the team’s strategic objectives.
Giro d’Italia stage-winner Victor Campenaerts also makes his Tour de France debut in 2021 and comes into the event in confident mood. The Belgian world hour record holder, who made a name for himself as a time triallist, has changed his approach in 2021 and scored a momentous victory in Gorizia a month ago.
Italian Grand Tour-winner Fabio Aru has steadily seen his form build during the course of 2021 and will bring an incredible amount of experience to our roster. After starting the year racing cyclo-cross, the Sardinian has racked up 33 races days, most recently completing the Criterium du Dauphine.
In 2017 he finished 5th overall as he won stage five and also wore the maillot jaune for a period. 2021 will mark his fourth start at the event.
Michael Gogl was the team’s standout rider at the 2020 Tour de France and his performances during the course of this year, punctuated by his sixth-place finish at Strade Bianche, sees him perform an integral role in our team. His position as a road captain, alongside Simon Clarke, is invaluable. This will be the 27-year-old’s fourth participation at the Tour de France, having first ridden in 2017.
Fellow road captain Simon Clarke starts the Tour de France for a sixth time, with three previous top-10 stage finishes. The 34-year-old rides his first Tour for Team Qhubeka ASSOS and starts his 15th Grand Tour in total. Clarke, whose father hails from Cape Town, will celebrate his birthday on the final stage in Paris, on Mandela Day.
Max Walscheid will ride his second Grand Tour of the year after an excellent performance at the Giro d’Italia. Two top-10 finishes in the two individual time trials in Italy saw the 1.99m German thrilled with the improvements he’s made in this discipline and with a number of opportunities on offer in the flatter stages he will be hopeful of causing an upset.
Our eight-rider line-up is completed with the inclusion of Colombia’s Sergio Henao. The hugely experienced 33-year-old makes his fourth appearance at the Tour with a best performance of 12th overall in 2016, and his ability to play both a supporting role as well as take on the race for himself provides the team with some exciting options.
The 2021 Tour de France gets underway in Brest on 26 June and finishes on Paris on 18 July. Stay tuned to the final week of build-up to the event with further exciting news set to come from the team.
Throughout 2021 Team Qhubeka ASSOS has sought to do things in differently by asking our fans to announce our line-ups for the races. The response to this initiative has been incredible, and seen our supporters engage with the team in a completely unique way that’s further enriched their relationship with the team.
Our 2021 Tour de France team announcement is a special tribute to all of our fans and partners who together with us celebrate the true spirit of Ubuntu – I am because we are.
The announcement video, which can be viewed above, is a special collaboration celebrating the time, effort, love and care that they’ve shown the team in celebrating our purpose and making a meaningful impact in the world in spreading the message that bicycles change lives.
2021 Tour de France line-up [squad numbers]:
Simon Clarke – Australia 
Michael Gogl – Austria 
Victor Campenaerts – Belgium 
Max Walscheid – Germany 
Sean Bennett – USA 
Nic Dlamini – South Africa 
Sergio Henao – Colombia 
Fabio Aru – Italy .
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “This year is an incredibly special one for us – for so many reasons – and now at the Tour de France we again will have the opportunity to showcase our unique purpose-driven team to the world. Selection for a Tour de France team is always very difficult, and what we’ve seen again this year is riders across our squad put their hand up for selection. Our final roster is one that I know will do our team, partners and supporters proud in the true spirit of Ubuntu. Riding your first ever Tour is such a special moment and I couldn’t be more delighted for Nic, Sean and Victor. We have huge amounts of experience in Fabio, Michael, Simon and Sergio while Max – together with Victor – shone at the Giro and will be looking to carry that confidence into this race. For Nic, what a moment though; his story is simply an incredible one and for him to have earned this opportunity shows that dreams really do come true, and for the team to have provided that opportunity makes me incredibly proud. He’s always been an individual that has stepped up and taken the opportunities that he’s fought for; and he does so again as he lines up at the start line in Brest on the sport’s biggest stage in front of the world. This will culminate in an incredible moment for him, South Africa and especially for our team. His selection speaks to everything about what we’ve created and built with this team through providing hope, an opportunity and then ultimately the platform to be on the biggest stage of all, the Tour de France. I know that the spirit coursing through the squad in the way we’ve performed this year will again be on show for the world to see, and I can’t wait for racing to get underway. Bicycles Change Lives”
Nicholas Dlamini: “Being selected to ride in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me. It’s always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it makes it feel surreal. I think it speaks to what the team is about, the Ubuntu spirit, and how we change people’s lives because it is honestly a very special moment: to come from a small township and then to go to the Tour de France. Considering where I come from it would simply have been impossible for me to have the opportunity to ride at the Tour de France if it wasn’t for Team Qhubeka ASSOS. The platform that they’ve provided me, and other riders from Africa, to compete at the highest level in cycling has been critical. I really hope that this will serve as a reference of hope and inspiration to many young South Africans, and people around the world, who have been working really hard to reach their dreams, my hope is that they take from this that anything is possible. I want to race the tour to inspire more kids on Qhubeka bikes to follow in my footsteps and to experience the world like I have, for more kids in communities to put their hands up for bikes to work hard like I did, to dream big. I am living my dream.”
Fabio Aru: “I am incredibly excited to get my Tour de France campaign underway with Team Qhubeka ASSOS. Throughout the season, I’ve been working towards the race with my focus on being in the best possible condition for the start. It’s a race that I love, and in 2021 will be one that I will approach with my teammates in the true spirit of Ubuntu. We’ve seen the way that the team has raced this year, and particularly at the Giro d’Italia, and we look forward to continuing in the same way. We’ll look to race aggressively throughout and target stage victories, which I look forward to playing my part in by racing in a way that continues to shine a spotlight on our purpose as we changes lives with bicycles and the Qhubeka Charity.”
Simon Clarke: “It’s a great honour to be selected once again for the event which is the pinnacle of our sport, this time with a new team with amazing drive and pride. The team raced with a special dynamic at the Giro which really made everyone sit up and take notice, and we intend to continue this at the Tour de France. Can’t wait to get cracking.”
Michael Gogl: “Of course I am extremely happy and motivated to go to the Tour de France. It will be my fourth Tour and with a strong motivated squad, with riders for every terrain, we will continue what worked out really well in the last period; that is to race aggressively and try to hunt stages as one team. On top of that, riding for Team Qhubeka ASSOS in the biggest yearly sporting event fills me with pride and will most certainly push me even more to put the Qhubeka Charity firmly into the spotlight.”
Max Walscheid: “I am so incredibly proud to line up again for my second Tour de France with Team Qhubeka ASSOS. I think I’ve had a great year so far but chances to go for myself were rare but still I’m happy have attained some good results but more so to have been part of great team results and achievements. Now I am extremely thrilled to represent our team in the sprints and go for results on the biggest stage possible. We have a very versatile team and I’d like to be a key part in achieving results in the flat stages.”
Victor Campenaerts: “This year’s Tour de France will be my first and after the Giro I’m really eager to do my second Grand Tour of the year as we had a blast. We achieved some big successes but also just had a really good time because we really are one team and we race in the spirit of Ubuntu – I am because we are. This makes it really nice to race, and especially to race a Grand Tour with this family.”
Sean Bennett: “This is an absolute dream come true and I can’t wait to get the race started. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the way that the team has raced in 2021 as it suits my approach on the bike perfectly. I think that together with the spirit in the group, and racing in that way, that we can continue to be successful.”
Sergio Henao: “It’s always exciting to be selected for the Tour de France, the most important race in the world. This is very special for me as a return to the Tour in new colours, new jersey and with a new team. We go into the race with high expectations after the good experiences the team has had during the course of the season – and most recently the Giro. We have to fight for stages and of course maintain a good image of the team. Personally I’ve done some excellent, very hard, preparation at high altitude but have lacked a bit of racing rhythm situation but with confidence I’m sure that we’ll do everything for the team. I’m really looking forward to this month of summer coming up and I’m going to enjoy it a lot, working always as a collective, as a team.”
Lars Michaelsen – Head Sports Director: “With this team we go into the Tour de France without a specified GC contender and without any top-top-top sprinter but importantly with a group of riders who have a clear goal to take opportunities and play their part in the race. How will that exactly unfold? Well it’s hard to tell, but if we divide the stages we have six sprint stages, 5-10 possibilities of breakaways, two individual time trials and four hilltop finishes where we’ll probably see the big GC riders going for it. You can divide it in many ways but I choose to be optimistic in that we have these of somewhere between 5-10 stages where we will try to be represented in breakaways. In the sprints we will support Max Walscheid as well as we can, and look to take any and all opportunities on offer. Our Ubuntu spririt – I am because we are – will be what carries us into this race and we can’t wait to get going.”
Sam Bennett Fit for the Tour de France
Sam Bennett has recovered from his knee injury in time to compete in the Tour de France. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter had to miss the Baloise Belgium Tour, but is fit enough to to defend his green jersey in France.
The Irish sprinter had to miss the Baloise Belgium Tour earlier this month; after a minor incident at training, his knee started to hurt. In consultation with the medical team, it was decided to skip the five-day race and take a rest with a view to the Tour de France. Mark Cavendish was his replacement in the Belgium Tour and did not disappoint: he won the final stage in Beringen in a bunch sprint beating Tim Merlier and Pascal Ackermann. The fact that Bennett has recovered from his injury in time normally means that the British rider will be left out of the eight-man squad for the Tour.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Cavendish indicated that he would like to go to the Tour, if Bennett is not ready. The Briton denied that some contractual issues with his squad needed to be resolved first, revealing that he was on his way to Italy to train ‘as if he were going to the Tour’.
Bennett to the Tour:
David Gaudu and Arnaud Démare Lead Groupama-FDJ at the Tour
David Gaudu and Arnaud Démare are the designated leaders at Groupama-FDJ for the Tour de France, which starts next Saturday in Brest. Gaudu can go for a GC place, while Démare will battle in the sprint stages.
Thibaut Pinot has always been the top man at Groupama-FDJ in recent years, but at the beginning of the year it was announced that the French rider would skip the Tour. He is currently recovering from persistent back problems, which forced him to miss the Giro d’Italia.
David Gaudu was moved up in the ranking and can prove himself as a classification rider in the Tour this year. It will be the fourth participation in the Tour de France for the 24-year-old rider. Gaudu won the Ardèche Classic and a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country this year. He was also the best youngster in both the Tour du Var and the Dauphiné. Arnaud Démare is the sprint leader and will be accompanied by Jacopo Guarnieri, Ignatas Konovalovas and Miles Scotson in his sprint train. Démare has already taken eight victories this season, winning La Roue Tourangelle and stages in the Tour of Valencia, the Boucles de la Mayenne and La Route d’Occitanie.
For Gaudu and Valentin Madouas, the Grand Départ in Brittany will be special as they race just a few kilometres from their homes. “The passage through the Mayenne is also an important moment for Marc Madiot and myself. We are attached to this region and we hope that Stefan Küng can ride a good result in Laval. It is one of his chances to show his qualities as a European champion,” said sports director Yvon Madiot.
Groupama-FDJ for Tour de France 2021:
Bruno Armirail (Fra)
Arnaud Démare (Fra)
David Gaudu (Fra)
Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita)
Ignatas Konovalovas (Ita)
Stefan Küng (Swi)
Valentin Madouas (Fra)
Miles Scotson (Aus).
David Gaudu for the Tour:
Matteo Sobrero Time Trials to Stunning Win at Italian National Championships
Matteo Sobrero is the new Italian Individual Time Trial Champion after an incredible race against the clock to claim the first professional win of his career.
The 24-year-old produced a blistering time trial on the 45.7-kilometre course to win by an impressive margin of 25 seconds over Edoardo Affini and 41 seconds to Mattia Cattaneo.
“I have huge emotions right now as this is a very big victory for me. To win the maglia tricolore is a dream for all Italian riders and now I achieved this goal! That’s something special for me and I am super happy! Well, I came here really motivated after my performance on the last day of the Giro and after the recent Tour of Slovenia and I wanted to show my best in this race. Perhaps, hot weather played on my side today as I felt really good in these weather conditions and was able to push to the maximum. It’s an incredible day and an incredible win for me,” – said Matteo Sobrero.
At the second intermediate time check, Sobrero had a narrow margin of one second over World ITT Champion Filippo Gonna, five seconds to Affini, and 12 seconds to Cattaneo. The second half of the race was where Sobrero made the difference with the new Italian champion storming home to take the coveted Tricolore skinsuit against a field of some of the best time trialists in the peloton.
Sobrero had marked himself as one of the pre-race favourites after a strong time trial on the final day of the Giro d’Italia, where he was the fourth fastest behind Gonna. The win in Italy continues Astana – Premier Tech’s dominance in the ITT national championships with Sobrero joining teammates Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre following their victories in Russia and Spain respectively.
Italian National Championships, individual time trial, 45.7 km. Faenza:
1. Matteo Sobrero (Astana-Premier Tech)
2. Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma)
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).
Kasper Asgreen Retains Danish ITT Title
The Ronde van Vlaanderen champion took a comfortable victory in Give.
Kasper Asgreen rode a near perfect race at this year’s Danish ITT National Championships, which took place over a slightly undulating 47.8km course in Give, a small town not far from Kolding, the hometown of the 26-year-old Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider.
Fastest through all the checkpoints of the race – the longest in 24 years – Kasper averaged close to 50km/h and was in control at all times, despite the strong winds which made things tougher than expected. This solid and composed display saw him clock 57:34 at the finish, a time 20 seconds faster than that of the next rider which netted him his third title in as many years. It was the powerful Dane’s fourth victory of the season, after E3 Harelbeke, Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Volta ao Algarve individual time trial.
“I was expecting the course to be a lot faster, but it ended up being very tough because of the wind, which forced me to fight hard out there. Brian Holm was of great support from the car, giving me the split times and keeping me informed of how things developed. I kept fighting and believing and in the end it worked out well, which makes me happy. I have enjoyed having this jersey in the last two years and I’m happy I will be able to show it over the next twelve months in some big races”, Kasper said after his tenth pro victory.
Ion Izagirre Crowned Spanish ITT Champion
Ion Izagirre will wear the Spanish national champion skinsuit for the second time in his career after powering to an impressive victory in Alicante, going fastest against the clock to take the win by just 0.08 seconds.
Izagirre, who previously won in 2016, set a good tempo on the 32-kilometre rolling course to reach the intermediate checkpoint four seconds down on David de la Cruz, who was in the hot seat. Izagirre dug deep in the final kilometres to set a blistering pace and stop the clock in 40:19, eight hundredths of a second faster than de la Cruz.
“I’m really, really happy to be Spanish time trial champion again. The time trial went really well and I felt good throughout it, even though it was really hard. It was a complicated course with a lot of up and down so it was difficult to keep a constant pace. But I think I managed the effort well and we knew the victory would come down to just seconds. I had Ivan Velasco giving me David de la Cruz’s references and I had to go to the absolute limit at the finish line. The truth is that we are very happy,” said Izagirre.
Izagirre’s win comes on the back of his recent success at the Criterium du Dauphiné where he was second-fastest behind teammate Alexey Lutsenko in the time trial.
2nd, David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates): “After Tour de Suisse I came straight here to prepare and acclimatise to the heat and conditions in Alicante. I knew the course well and worked with my coach so that everything went right on the day. It’s always tough to lose by such a close margin but I have to accept it, Izagirre did a great ride. I take away that the condition is good for my next targets.”
Spanish National Championships – ITT, Busot, 32.1KM:
1. Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech)
2. David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates)
3. Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers).
Josef Cerny Reigns Supreme Again at the Czech ITT National Championships
The 28-year-old delivered Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 30th victory of the season.
Josef Cerny became the 12th different member of the Wolfpack to rack up a win this year after storming to his third National ITT Title. Having played an important role in many of Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s victories this season, Josef came to the start in Podluzany as the rider to beat and he confirmed his status by the time he reached the first split, where he set a new best time that put him in firm control of the race.
Using his power and knowledge to blast around the 40.4km course, Cerny concluded his effort in 48:07, more than a minute clear of the runner-up, and became just the third Czech rider to amass at least three wins in the discipline. It was an excellent day for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, with Zdenek Stybar taking fifth just two weeks after crashing out in Dwars door het Hageland.
“This victory makes me very happy. It’s my first win of the year and I’m happy I could contribute to the team’s incredible palmarès. At the same time, I am grateful to everybody here, because they supported me since joining the Wolfpack and made sure I had only the best conditions. I came out of the Dauphiné two weeks ago really well prepared and confident in my chances of successfully defending the title, and now that I’ve done so, I am very happy. I like this jersey a lot and it’s a real honour to wear it for one more year”, Josef said after Thursday’s victory.
Martin Clinches Tenth German Time Trial Title
Tony Martin has won the German time trial championship for the tenth time in his career. The 36-year-old rider of Team Jumbo-Visma defended his title in Öschelbronn with flying colours.
On the hilly route of more than thirty kilometres Martin was fast from the start. He subsequently recorded the fastest time at the intermediate point. At the finish Martin had an advantage of almost a minute over his nearest competitor Miguel Heidemann. The victory meant the fiftieth time trial victory in Martin’s career. For Der Panzerwagen it’s his first win this season and for Team Jumbo-Visma the seventeenth.
“I had to go deep”, Martin said. “The weather conditions were extreme. The heat made this time trial extra tough. Especially in the second part of the race it hurt. I was encouraged by the lap times. It was a great relief when I knew I was going to win. It is special to win this title for the tenth time. I am looking forward to riding in my country’s jersey in time trials for another year.”
Sports director and compatriot Grischa Niermann spoke highly of his rider. “Tony rode very strongly. Halfway through the race he already had a nice lead on the competition. The fact that he is winning the title for the tenth time is special. He did a great job today.”
In the Netherlands and Norway respectively, Tom Dumoulin and Tobias Foss also won the national time trial title in the yellow-and-black of Team Jumbo-Visma earlier this week. The Dutch formation, together with its partners, has been investing heavily in the riding against the clock for years.
João Almeida Time Trials to First Pro Victory
The 22-year-old is the new Portuguese ITT National Champion.
João Almeida captured Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s fourth national title in three days after a storming ride in Campos de Feiras, where the event was held this year, on a 30.5km course that featured some short hills averaging around 5%.
Almeida’s prowess against the clock had been on display on numerous occasions since joining the World Tour at the beginning of 2020 – helping him finish in the top 10 overall at a host of stage races – and on Friday afternoon it propelled him to his first ever victory in the pro ranks. The penultimate rider to roll down the ramp, João produced a blistering ride and recorded the best time at the midway point, which put him in the driving seat for the second part of the race.
The Portuguese continued to produce a strong tempo and keep the speed high, which helped him clock a winning time of 36:20, almost one minute faster than the runner-up: “To get my first victory as a pro is a crazy feeling, and the fact that it happened in my home country makes it even more special. I don’t know what to say, just that I am happy and want to thank the team for their support.”
“The weather wasn’t too warm and I immediately felt good on my Specialized Shiv, which allowed me to put in a solid effort that at the end of the day brought this title. I can’t wait to wear this beautiful jersey for the next twelve months, I will have goosebumps every time I pull it on. But the Nationals aren’t over, as there’s still the road race on Sunday. It will be harder, but I will give everything and see what I can get out of it”, added the youngest rider in ten years to become Portuguese ITT Champion.
Foss Norwegian Time Trial Champion
Tobias Foss has secured the national time trial title in his homeland. The 24-year-old Norwegian of Team Jumbo-Visma played was too strong for the competition and won after fifty kilometres against the clock. The new national champion will also represent Norway in the Olympic time trial.
The numbers two and three followed at a considerable distance. They conceded over one and two minutes respectively to the winner. It is the first national title among the pros for the 24-year-old Foss, who has previously been national champion in this discipline among both juniors and U23 riders.
“This was a very good time trial”, Foss explained afterwards. “It was going well from the start. I rode a good pace and was able to make my pedal strokes in a good rhythm from the start. Along the way, I got the feeling that I could decide this time trial in my favour. I even managed to enjoy my time trial. It’s been going really well since the Giro and I’m glad I was able to continue the good form.”
Coming weekend Foss will also be competing in the road race of the Norwegian Championships. “This course is not really in my favour. Nevertheless, I want to ride in the front there too and seize any opportunity with both hands. For now I’m just enjoying today’s victory. I’m looking forward to riding my time trials in the national jersey in the coming year.”
For Foss it was his first win of the season. This brought Team Jumbo-Visma’s victory tally to sixteen.
Erik Fetter, New Hungarian Time Trial Champion
Hungarian Time Trial Championship Bocskaikert – Bocskaikert (38 km ITT)
This Thursday has been celebrated the time trial of the Hungarian National Cycling Championships and the rider of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Erik Fetter has won in a race celebrated in Bocskaikert on 38 kilometres totally flat. The Budapest rider becomes the first rider to give the ProTeam structure of the Contador Foundation a national title.
Fetter clocked a final time of 46’22”, twenty-seconds under the time set by Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) and 41 seconds under the time of Janos Pelikan (Androni Giocattoli). Márton Dina finished 2’26” behind Fetter, eighth in the final classification.
Erik Fetter: “After the Tour of Hongrie I set myself a new goal: the time trial at these nationals. I received a lot of support from the team for this goal, especially from coach Carlos Barredo. Carlos planned the best possible preparation for this event. Sean Yates also trusted me and gave me the best ideas. I am very grateful to them. My family also helped me a lot in the last few weeks so that I could get to the time trial in the best possible shape. I am really very happy. After all these weeks of hard work, everything went very well and I was able to win the title”.
Aleksandr Vlasov New Russian ITT Champion
Astana – Premier Tech rider Aleksandr Vlasov became the new Russian National Champion, winning the individual time trial in Penza. Vlasov completed the 47-kilometre-long distance in 57 minutes and 48 seconds.
After his reign as Russian road race champion in 2019, this is the first ever national ITT title for Aleksandr.
“Actually, I liked the distance as it was quite long and a tough course. There were two laps with a few exhausting climbs. With several open parts on the course and a crosswind, the race was really demanding so you had to start with a good plan and to pace well to have enough energy for the second lap. Despite a big break after the Giro d’Italia, today I felt quite good and fresh. Well, right now I feel tired and my legs hurt a bit, but that’s normal. I am just coming back to training after the rest and I will need time to come in form, but in general I think I spent a good day on the road. I feel really happy and proud with my win and the title of the Russian Champion. That’s something special”, – said Aleksandr Vlasov.
Russian National Championships, individual time trial, 47 km. Penza:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech)
2. Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Cycling Team)
3. Vladislav Duyunov (Moscow Region).
Four Medals for UAE Team Emirates in National TT Championships
Bjerg, Polanc, Pogačar and Ardila all claim podiums
It was a day of strong results for the Emirati squad with a string of podium placings but the victory just out of reach.
In Slovenia, Jan Polanc completed the 31.5km course in a time of 37:16, earning him a silver medal behind the winner Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious).
Recent Tour of Slovenia winner, Pogačar, rounded out the podium for UAE Team Emirates by placing 3rd, 34″ off Tratnik.
The 2020 Tour de France champion will now stay in Slovenia to compete in the Road Race on Sunday before travelling to Brest to prepare for the Grand Depart.
Meanwhile, Mikkel Bjerg claimed the silver medal for the second consecutive year in the Danish National Championships in the city of Give.
The former under-23 TT Champion clocked an average speed of 49.5kmph on the 47.8km course, with only Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) going quicker.
Bjerg: “I’m happy with my ride. At the mid-way checkpoint I was just 10 seconds back, then I blew a bit in the last part and lost a few more seconds. I’m excited for the road race : it’s more a course for the sprinters but I’ll give it a go.”
Camilo Ardila showed his ability against the clock in the Colombian Championships with the climber taking a bronze medal in the course around the city of Pereira.
The title went to Walter Vargas (Medillin-EPM) with Ardila 2:14 behind.
Slovenian National Championships Result:
1.Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Victorious) in 37:07
2.Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) at 9
3.Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) at 34
Danish National TT Championships Result:
1.Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in 57:34
2.Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) at 0:21
3.Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm) at 0:30.
Colombian National TT Championships Result:
1. Walter Vargas (Medellín-EPM) in 43:29
2. Diego Camargo (EF Education Nippo) at 1:17
3. Camilo Ardila (UAE Team Emirates) at 2:14.
Jan Polanc – 2nd in Slovenian TT:
No Belgian Championships and Tour de France for Tim Wellens
Tim Wellens is forced to remove the Belgian championships – taking place in Waregem this Sunday – from his race calendar. The Lotto Soudal rider also won’t be at the start of the Tour de France. Wellens has been struggling with health issues for several weeks and doesn’t feel able to go deep enough during intensive efforts.
“At the moment, my body isn’t reacting to the training stimulus the way I want it to. I can’t push the amount of watts I need to do well at the Tour de France”, says an emotional Tim Wellens. “I don’t yet know what’s the reason behind this. Something isn’t right and needs to be solved. I am travelling to Belgium now to undergo additional examinations. Together with the team, I decided not to take any risks for the rest of the season. To start at the Tour could jeopardise a lot.”
“Blood analysis has shown that there are no anomalies. Tim has also tested negative for Covid”, adds team doctor Steven Bex. “Tim will be undergoing several additional examinations. We hope to have more clarity soon.”
Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue: “It is a wise decision not to start. At the Tour, there is no time to wait and see. Besides, the season is not over yet for Tim. Just look at what he achieved at the Vuelta last year. The most important thing for us is that Tim gets back to his old self.”
“Now, I am going to have a good period of rest so I can find the good feeling again”, concludes Tim Wellens. “Of course I am disappointed not to be at the start of the most important race of the year, but there are indeed still a lot of nice races to come after the Tour. And that is where my focus will be. I sincerely wish my teammates all the best. I will be cheering for Lotto Soudal, from home in Monaco.”
No Tour for Tim Wellens:
Bob Jungels Out of the Tour de France and Luxembourg Championships
Bob Jungels will not participate in the Tour de France (June 26 – July 18) nor in the Luxembourg Championships where he was to take part in the time trial (Friday) and the road race (Sunday).
In fact, he has been suffering for several weeks from muscular pains in his lower limbs which have prevented him from regaining his physical level of the past seasons.
“The first tests showed that it could be a vascular abnormality called arterial endofibrosis affecting the iliac artery. The decision to have surgery should be taken in the coming days,” explained Eric Bouvat, medical director of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM.
“I am sorry and sad for Bob who is a champion whose normal level we know well, in addition to his sporting and human qualities. We were looking forward to hitting the roads of the Tour de France with him. He has been experiencing physical difficulties since the start of the season and now we know how to fix it. I am convinced that once rid of these worries, he will perform well with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM,” Vincent Lavenu, General Manager, said.
Bob Jungels: “It is a huge disappointment to have to give up the Tour de France which would have been my first time there with the AG2R CITROËN TEAM, as well as my national championships and the Olympic Games. I had a difficult start to the season physically but also mentally because I was keen to shine, but I was never at the level I wanted to be. At the Tour de Suisse, I was very happy with my 18th place in the time trial on the first stage. Then the pain that I had felt for several years when I was pushing hard came back steadily. Medical examinations confirmed the diagnosis I was anticipating. On the one hand, I am relieved because I now know why my performances have been irregular for three seasons, on the other hand it is a huge disappointment. I thank the staff and the riders of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM for their support. I will be their number 1 fan on the roads of the Tour de France… while waiting to find my place in the peloton again as quickly as possible.”
No Tour for Bob Jungels:
Alexander Kristoff and Simon Pellaud Transfers
Alexander Kristoff is in his fourth season with UAE Team Emirates, but this partnership may end at the end of the year. Sports journalist Ciro Scognamiglio of La Gazzetta dello Sport. According to the Italian sports newspaper, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert is a realistic option for the 33-year-old Norwegian rider, who has already collected 79 professional victories.
Scognamiglio further reports that multiple sources have confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that Trek-Segafredo is likely to sign Simon Pellaud for next season. The Swiss rider, who saw his attacking spirit rewarded in the Giro d’Italia with a win in the Fuga Bianchi classification, is now still in the service of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec. The young Dane Asbjørn Hellemose would also be on the radar of the American team. Earlier this month in the U23 Giro d’Italia he rode to fifth place in the final standings.
Team DSM Extend Contract with Juliette Labous Until 2023
Team DSM are thrilled to announce that they have extended their contract with Juliette Labous, with the 2020 French TT national champion riding in the team’s colours until the end of 2023.
Labous turned professional with the team in 2017 and since then has grown as a rider, proving herself to be a valuable member of the team both on and off the bike. A culture carrier, Labous fits in well with the team’s ethos and vision; always wanting to push herself to take the next step. A strong all-round rider, Labous has tasted success against the clock where in 2020 she claimed the French tricolour as national time trial champion. Not only strong in the individual events, Labous has proven to be a great part of the support block but also someone who can take good results when in the role of finisher on behalf of the team, such as sixth place in this year’s La Flèche Wallonne or her white jersey win and 11th overall at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile in 2019. Still only 22 years old, Labous already has a wealth of experience with the team and some strong foundations that together, they will continue to build on in the future.
Labous said: “I’m very happy to stay with the team. Ever since my first year here they have made me feel at home, allowed me to develop myself and they have always respected our long-term processes and goals. I’ve been able to develop step-by-step at my own pace. I like the organisation of the team, and everything is well structured; the cooperation we have between staff and riders, and the atmosphere we have between the girls is great. I want to keep improving my leadership skills, climbing, time trialling and aim for good GC results with the team in the future. As a person I am looking forward to continuing growing in self-confidence, and to set an example to the younger girls on the team. I always want to find the best way to reach my goals, and that’s why the keep challenging philosophy of the team fits me perfectly.”
Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Ever since Juliette has joined the team; we’ve been really impressed with her commitment and way of working. She fits in well with the team’s vision and brings a lot of added value to us both on and off the bike. Our communication is always on a high level and we’re able to discuss things openly. On the bike, we’ve already made a lot of steps with her in terms of her development, such as her climbing and time trialing, and we want to continue to grow with her in the coming years. Juliette is still young so has a lot of room to develop and we want to continue her current trajectory, where we’re aiming to go to the top of the sport with her.”
Top Cast Promises a Great Deutschland Tour
In exactly ten weeks, on August 25, the team presentation of the Deutschland Tour will take place on the Stralsund harbor island. Among the squads fighting to win the Deutschland Tour are the two German WorldTeams Bora – Hansgrohe and Team DSM. Teams with German riders, such as Alpecin – Fenix, Bahrain – Victorious and Israel Start-Up Nation, as well as the top international teams are expected.
22 teams, each with six riders, will take part in the Deutschland Tour from August 26 to 29. The race runs over four stages from the Hanseatic city of Stralsund to Nuremberg. 727 kilometres are covered on the route from the Baltic Sea to Franconia. After a flat section in the north of Germany, the race’s central part in Thuringia becomes hillier. The final stage in Bavaria will be a true classic – only 160 kilometres long but peppered with 13 steep climbs.
The Deutschland Tour has established itself in the racing calendar of the world’s best teams. 13 teams from this year’s Tour de France will also compete in the Deutschland Tour. Most recently, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and stage winners such as Julian Alaphilippe left their mark in Germany. With its concept of a classic tour and the race scheduled at the end of August, it is very attractive for sprinters and aggressive stage hunters. Each of the four stages is designed like a classic, the fans will be able to cheer changing winners and the overall ranking remains open until the final day.
Who’ll be the successor to Jasper Stuyven? The winner of Milan-Sanremo secured the red jersey of the overall winner in 2019 with a lead of only 3 seconds. The stage winners of the last editions include German top riders such as Maximilian Schachmann, Nils Politt and Pascal Ackermann, as well as international stars such as the winner of the Tour of Flanders Kasper Asgreen and the multiple winner of Eschborn-Frankfurt Alexander Kristoff.
In addition to the UCI WorldTeams and the UCI ProTeams, the next generation of German cyclists will participate in the Deutschland Tour. Despite the high demand from international elite teams, a number of entries is guaranteed for German continental teams. The sustainable promotion of German cycling is a cornerstone of the Deutschland Tour. After the national championships, which will take place in Stuttgart on the upcoming weekend, the wildcards for the German continental teams will be announced.
Teams Deutschland Tour 2021 (provisional, further teams will be announced):
AG2R Citroën Team (FRA), Bahrain – Victorious (BRN), Bora – Hansgrohe (GER), Deceuninck – Quick-Step (BEL), Ineos Grenadiers (GBR), Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux (BEL), Israel Start-Up Nation (ISR), Movistar Team (ESP), Team DSM (GER), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Alpecin – Fenix (BEL), B&B Hotels p/b KTM (FRA), Gazprom-RusVelo (RUS), Rally Cycling (USA), Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise (BEL), Team Arkéa Samsic (FRA), Uno-X Pro Cycling Team (NOR)
Arctic Race of Norway 2021: Team Selections, Seven UCI WorldTeams to Start
The victory of the Arctic Race of Norway promises to be a hard-fought one, with 11 teams present at the Tour de France: AG2R Citroën Team, Astana-Premier Tech, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Israel Start-Up Nation, Team Qhubeka Assos, Alpecin-Fenix, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Team Arkea-Samsic and Total Energies.
But also outsiders ready to create a surprise: Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB, Burgos-BH, Delko, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Sport Vlaanderen Baloise.
Not forgetting the two Norwegian teams Uno-X Pro Cycling Team and Team Coop who will be keen to perform on their home territory.
Alberto Contador will Challenge the Everest of the Tour des Stations in August
Already present at the second edition in 2019, Alberto Contador will once again take up the challenge of the Tour des Stations, but this year by tackling the new Everest of cycling!
Retired from the professional world since 2017, he will be back on the roads of the Valais to tackle the 242 km and 8,848m of height difference on the “Ultrafondo – The Everest” course, starting from Le Châble on Saturday 7 August. A new challenge of choice for this great champion, which he will share with more than 700 people on this extreme course to reach Verbier, dear to his heart. Indeed, the former Spanish professional, winner of the three “Grand Tours”, won the stage of the Tour de France in 2009 and wore the yellow jersey in Verbier, before finally winning the overall classification in Paris. In addition, he will also be the ambassador and the opener of the kids race (from 5 to 15 years old) which will take place on Friday, August 6 from 5pm in Le Châble.
It is still possible to compete against Alberto by registering on www.tourdesstations.ch.
As a reminder, a Santini jersey worth CHF 100 is offered to the first 2,500 registrants of the Tour des Stations. There are less than 250 registrations left to take advantage of the offer including the official jersey branded with the colours of the Tour des Stations.
Anna Shackley to Ride the Olympics
No official announcement yet, but we have it on strong authority that Anna Shackley (SD Worx) will ride for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. Rumour has it that Anna has been fitted with her Team GB Olympic kit already.
The PEZ INSTAGRAM
See our Instagram page for a quick fix on your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the PEZ Shop section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.