EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2019 Tour de France just keeps giving. More action to keep you on the edge of your seat, we have all the news from the last four stages with reports, results, rider quotes and video. Plus La Course by Le Tour. Mathieu van der Poel for the WorldTour – Top Story. It’s not all Tour: UAE Team Emirates and Bahrain-Merida for Adriatica Ionica Race, 2020 Tour Down Under men’s and women’s routes, Tour de Yorkshire breaks records, Carrefour a main sponsor of La Vuelta and Stig Broeckx visits his old mates at the Tour de France video. A full EUROTRASH Monday.

TOP STORY:Van der Poel Wants to take Corendon into the WorldTour
Mathieu van der Poel has no intention of leaving Corendon-Circus in the short term, according to his father, Adrie, in an interview on the Tour de L1mbourg TV program. The 24-year-old winner of the Amstel Gold Race still has an ongoing contract up to and including 2023 and plans to grow into the WorldTour together with his team.

Adrie confirms the prediction of Mathieu’s grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, that Mathieu will ride the Tour de France in 2021. “That is the intention. But for the Corendon team that he rides for, there is still a long way to go because we are Pro Continental. When you go to the Tour, you must have a team that is capable of going there.”

There is a lot of talk at the Tour of Alpecin being associated with the Corendon team as a new sponsor. “A lot is being said, but it is not nearly there yet,” said Van der Poel senior. “The goal is to obtain a WorldTour license. It is also Mathieu’s big dream to build the team from the beginning. That is why he has signed for a longer period of time and has signed with bicycle brand Canyon. He wants to do that in an economical way, without looking for sponsors and only to only have sporting pressures. We will try to fill in the rest.”

“No future Tour winner”
Despite his steep development, Adrie does not think that there is a future Tour winner in his son. “At the moment I say no. For the Games in Tokyo he had to do a lot of strength training to develop his upper body. Mountain biking is a very extreme sport where the upper body is almost as important as the legs. So he has a lot of muscle mass. After the Games it’s his biggest concern to get rid of 4-5 kilos of muscle mass there,” he explains. “It is very difficult to win a Grand Tour. You must have a good team and everything must last for three weeks. In the long history of Dutch cycling we have only had two Tour winners. It would be very exceptional if he were the third.”

What next for Van der Poel?

Tour de France 2019
After Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan, Simon Yates was the third rider to win a stage of the Tour de France after the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta. He out-sprinted his last two breakaway companions Pello Bilbao and Gregor Mühlberger at the end of Stage 12 to become the eleventh stage winner of the 106th Tour de France in just as many individual stages. After the first Pyrenean stage, Julian Alaphilippe retained the overall lead with the individual time in Pau as his next challenge on the day of the 100th birthday of the yellow jersey.

40 riders in the lead after 40km
168 riders took the start of stage 12 in Toulouse. One non-starter: Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates). The race begun on a very high speed as many riders were looking for the breakaway. Many skirmishes remained unsuccessful until Australia’s Simon Clarke made the right move to celebrate his 33rd birthday at the front. He created the first wave at km 40. Team Ineos filtered the other groups of pursuiters and it became a 40-man bunch in the lead at km 45 with Peter Sagan, Gregor Mühlberger, Daniel Oss and Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Oliver Naesen, Tony Gallopin and Matthias Fränk (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Sonny Colbrelli, Iván García Cortina and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Pello Bilbao (Astana), Dylan Groenewegen and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Alberto Bettiol, Clarke and Tom Scully (EF Education First), Matteo Trentin and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Greg Van Avermaet and Serge Pauwels (CCC), Rui Costa and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Fabio Felline and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Matthews, Nikias Arndt, Cees Bol and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon and Julien Simon (Cofidis), Tiesj Benoot, Roger Kluge and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Valgren (Dimension Data) and Kévin Ledanois (Arkéa-Samsic). Deceuninck – Quick-Step brought counter-attackers Mikaël Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Rein Taaramäe (Total Direct Energie) and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) back and set the pace of the peloton with a stabilized deficit of 4 minutes.

Solo moves by Lilian Calmejane and Simon Clarke
Sagan won his first intermediate sprint of the 106th Tour de France in Bagnères-de-Luchon, km 130.5 ahead of Colbrelli and Kristoff who forged on to begin climbing to col de Peyresourde with a small advantage. Calmejane was first to catch them and position himself alone in the lead 9km before the summit. He was caught right at the top by the front part of the group, including Wellens who scored ten more KOM points. 5th at the summit, Clarke forged on and rode away solo in the downhill with 63km to go. The Australian started the following cat. 1 climb of La Hourquette d’Ancizan with an advantage of 1:10 over lone chaser Trentin. The European champion passed the Australian 4.5km before the summit. Yates preceded Mühlberger at the top and Bilbao made it across for the second time in the downhill with 28km to go.

Simon Yates was a track rider before
Yates, Mühlberger and Bilbao swapped turns until they watched each other 500 meters before the finishing line in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. It looks like a sprint from track cycling. A former world champion for points race, Yates timed his effort at perfection to claim his first Tour de France stage victory, the 70th of a British rider [the 40th for all others than Mark Cavendish]. It’s the second time for Mitchelton-Scott to win a second stage (after Daryl Impey in Brioude) in the same Tour de France after stage 3 with Simon Gerrans in 2013 and the team time trial the day after. Simon Yates, the white jersey of the 2017 Tour de France, came to the race this year in support of his twin brother Adam who is seventh overall.

See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I’ve been saving energy all the way until we got here in the mountains and this is my first chance to try something. Normally I’ve been back in the peloton helping Adam, but today I had my own chance so I’ve grabbed it with both hands. I wasn’t very confident of beating either of them [in the sprint], I didn’t really know how fast they were, I just knew from the directors in the car, they told I needed to be in the front coming around the last corner, so I made sure to do that and luckily I held on to win. Really my main priority here is to help Adam and today was just one of the chances to get up the road, so we’ll see how we go in the next few days. We’re having a fantastic Tour and long may it continue.”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s historic to wear the yellow jersey on its 100th anniversary and on Friday it will be a very special moment for me. As a Frenchman, to sport the maillot jaune in an individual time trial will be one of the most beautiful moments of my entire career. Having the yellow jersey tomorrow motivates me to hurt myself even more than usual and you can be sure that I will push my limits while enjoying every single minute of it.”

2nd on the stage, Pello Bilbao (Astana): “I was happy with the opportunity to fight for a stage win today. I think I didn’t make any mistakes in the final, I was perfectly positioned for the final sprint, but I just came too short for the sprint of Simon Yates because I had not enough energy left. I had to do a big effort for trying to bridge the gap to Yates and Gregor Mühlberger on the final climb, there I felt already that they were stronger than me today. This was maybe the final opportunity for me in this Tour, as we will now focus on the GC of Jakob Fuglsang. I really believe that if we work hard with the whole team, we can get Jakob back in contention for the podium.”

3rd on the stage, Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was so close to being a perfect day. I’m proud I was able to stay on the wheel of Yates in the climb but I think this effort took its toll on me. It cost a lot of energy and maybe this is why I missed that small edge in the finishing meters of the sprint. I knew Yates was fast, given he’s coming from track racing, but I was hoping I would have a chance if I saved enough energy. Unfortunately, he was just better today and I don’t think I could have caught him in the sprint. Nevertheless, I’m happy with my performance and my result and I look forward to the next stages where I will again take a shot and, hopefully, succeed.”

7th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We suspected that the breakaway would go to the end, and three of us were able to slip into it. Unfortunately, three riders were stronger in the final, and I sprinted for fourth place. This is my third top 10 since the start of the Tour, and every place is important even if it is not the ultimate goal. Beginning Saturday, it will get too difficult for me and I will focus on working for the team. But there will still be some opportunities for me to play my card later.”

8th on the stage, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “The first part of the stage was very hard because everybody wanted to be in the breakaway. After almost an hour of flat out racing myself and Alexander managed to get into the main break of the day. I didn’t feel as good as I expected but I did my best and came away with 8th – the best I could have hoped for, for sure I’ll try again on a few more stages.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “For me, in this first stage on the Pyrenees, it was extremely important to get the maximum amount of points I could in the intermediate sprint. The pace in the first part was frantic, with so many attacks and counter-attacks. I spent a lot of energy but together with Maximilian, Gregor and Daniel we made it to the big group. Daniel did a great job helping me in the intermediate sprint and it’s very good I was first. After getting the maximum points and with difficult stages ahead, I tried to save as much energy as possible and finish the day in the gruppetto.”

Michael Valgren (Dimension Data): “It was a really fast start today, it seemed everybody wanted to be in the break on Mandela Day. We were there though, well represented in all the moves. There were some big climbs today so I was really just trying to hang in there as best I could. In the end I was just really, really tired and couldn’t even sprint from my group as I was cramping. It was good to be in the break though, this was a special day for our team. Celebrating Mandela Day with some sport legends from Laureus has been a great experience for everyone.”

Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Gobert): “I was happy to be part of the front group and accomplish my task. The start of the race was very fast, but I had good legs. I was the only one representing the team in the front, which made my day a bit harder. I was in difficulty on the Col de Peyresourde and was not able to come back in the front of the race in the fast, not technical downhill. I approached the final climb on my own and waited for the peloton in order to assist Xandro Meurisse and Guillaume Martin. Today was my second time in the breakaway in a mountain stage in the Tour de France, as a sprinter I can be satisfied with that.”

Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) abandoned on stage 12: “I am very disappointed to leave the race at this point. Obviously the individual time trial tomorrow had been a big goal for me and the team, but given my current feeling it was the right decision to withdraw earlier today. I wish my teammates the very best for the remainder of the race and would like to thank all the Tour de France fans who cheered for me, at home and on the roadside, since Brussels. I will hopefully be back competing in this great race again over the coming seasons.”

Tour de France Stage 12 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:57:53
2. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana
3. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:28
5. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First
10. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 12:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 52:26:09
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:12
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:46
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:47
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:04
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 2:09
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:33.

Julian Alaphilippe celebrated the 100 years of the yellow jersey the best possible way by retaining the lead at the end of the Stage 13 time trial, which he dominated in Pau. First at all intermediate check points, he increased his advantage over defending champion Geraint Thomas by fourteen seconds.

Kasper Asgreen sets a time of reference
166 riders started the individual time trial in Pau. Four time world champion Tony Martin showed straight away that he wasn’t on a winning mood this time as he’s got other priorities as a domestique for Jumbo-Visma on this Tour de France. He was quickly overtaken by Chad Haga (Sunweb) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) who had left the starting ramp one and two minutes after him. The American rider almost caught Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert), the first man on the road who started four minutes before him but it was Asgreen who set the first time of reference at the finish in 35:52 at the average speed of 46.2km/h. Hot favorite Stefan Küng crashed in a curve at the beginning of the race. The Swiss champion missed out on his chances to deliver a first stage victory to Groupama-FDJ.

Thomas De Gendt with the provisional best time
Although Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) scored faster times at the time check after 7.7km, it was Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) who dethroned Asgreen from the hot seat at 46.5km/h after he saw his compatriot and national champion Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the ground. 1.1km before the end, it was a serious crash for the winner of stage 10 in Albi who was taken to hospital by ambulance. Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) who was holding good intermediate time checks crashed on the same curve and reached the finishing line with great difficulty.

Alaphilippe wins his duel against Thomas
The race of the GC contenders was another story. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) came close to dethroning De Gendt. At the first time check after 7.7km, Alaphilippe had the best time with an advantage of 6 seconds over Thomas. It was the same difference between the first two riders on GC at the top of the côte d’Esquillot (km 15.5). The Frenchman continued to dominate the race even on the flatter section on the way back to Pau. He managed to beat Thomas by 14 seconds and extend his lead in the overall ranking on the symbolic day of the 100th birthday of the yellow jersey.

See the full ‘PEZ Stage 13 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s incredible, I can’t tell you how happy I am! I knew I could do a good ride on this course, but I didn’t think I could win. The first part suited me and so I rode full gas, but I surprised myself in the second part. I pushed my limits and with the help of the public I gave everything until the line. I can’t believe it. I am happy that I am still in yellow! Every day is a bonus and to wear this legendary jersey on its 100th birthday is fantastic! I knew the course and was focused on myself and on what I had to do today, while being supported by this superb crowds. I came very motivated to the start, but I never imagined that I could win here. Now the plan is to take it day after day and see how things go. On Saturday we have a very hard summit finish on the Tourmalet and I will give it my all to stay in the main group for as long as possible, but I want to stress out that our GC rider remains Enric, who did a great time trial today, for which I congratulate him.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Geraint Thomas (Ineos): “It wasn’t too bad it just felt like I was just overheating a bit so I was trying to deal with that. It’s not an excuse it’s the same for everyone. It was okay – just in that last bit I didn’t really feel it. It was controlled, but in the last 8km or so I felt like when I really wanted to step on it I didn’t quite have that last five percent. It’s still a decent ride but you always pick it apart a bit. [Alaphilippe] is obviously going really well. He’s certainly the favorite and the one to watch at the minute. There’s a long way to go and a lot of hard stages to come now.”

6th on the stage and 3rd overall, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “After Wout’s crash I had to quickly change my focus. It is unfortunate that it happened. You don’t want it to happen to anyone. I think I did a great time trial myself. The course was ideal for me and the feeling was pretty good. I knew that the first part suited me best with all those short, tough climbs. The last part was a lot less steep. It went very well until the second intermediate point. I expected to give in some time at the end. The time differences are still very small and I expect that the remainder of the Tour will be exciting. For now, I am third overall and doing well.”

9th on the stage, 4th overall and best young rider, Enric Mas (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This result makes me very happy! It’s special to have the white jersey, which I will try to defend for as long as possible, and be up there in the general classification, but my objective hasn’t changed: I want to be in the top 10 in Paris. It’s just beautiful to have both yellow and white on the team and we hope to continue enjoying many more spectacular moments.”

6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I gave it my all in the first part of the course, I had a good rhythm and strong legs but following Maximilian’s crash, I restrained from taking any risk in the downhill which resulted in some lost seconds. I think it’s better to lose ten seconds rather than risk a crash. In the final part, I wasn’t able to push a big gear and stay within the top ten but I’m happy with my overall performance and I look forward to the two hard mountain stages this weekend.”

Green jersey, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I was doing wheelies because some people from the public were asking me to put some. I guess everyone was happy about them. Of course, Julian Alaphilippe can try and win the Tour de France. The race it’s only starting, but I for one am crossing fingers for him. He is surprising everybody and can continue to do so.”

KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “It’s very impressive to see Julian Alaphilippe win the time trial. Geraint Thomas is more of a specialist than him. The mountains above 2000 meters will be something different but from now on, it’s going to be hard for anyone to take the yellow jersey from him. He looks very fresh, as if he hadn’t suffered much yet. He’s got a good chance to win the Tour. I gave myself an easy day. I didn’t have to go full gas. But tomorrow the real race starts for the polka dot jersey. There will be 50 points to gain and that’s more than what I have now. I hope to take 10 points from going into a breakaway and I believe somebody from the GC will take the other 40.”

Crash victim, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I feel really sorry I let my teammates and the rest of the team down. We all have put in such a strong effort in these 12 stages and I know I was to play an important role in the mountain stages, helping Patrick and Emu. I’m sorry they won’t be able to count on my support to reach their goals. I wanted to try to get the best result I could today. I felt good, I had a good pace and I was even able to push harder in the last part of the parcours. I pushed to my limit and I took a right corner too fast. It was a misjudgment on my part, I thought I could take it tightly because it was opening up. Unfortunately, it did open up but later than I thought. I was already sliding and there wasn’t much I could do. The road was slippery there, my front wheel was sliding and I hit the ground.”

Wout van Aert had surgery on a flesh wound on his right thigh, which he sustained during his severe fall in the stage 13 time trial. Muscles were also affected. Due to the fall, he had to abandon his first Le Tour de France. Mathieu Heijboer told VTM News that the operation on Van Aerts right leg lasted an hour. Everything is fixed and the rider is already awake. “It was a big wound, with his hip torn open. He may not have sustained any other injuries. Although it was a major intervention, the doctors are positive that they were able to do everything they wanted to do. Now we have to wait and see how long the recovery will take.”

Tour de France Stage 13 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 35:00
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:14
3. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:36
4. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:45
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:49
8. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:52
9. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:58
10. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) CCC at 1:01.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 13:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 53:01:09
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:26
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:12
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:44
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 2:52
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:04
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 3:22
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 3:54
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:55
10. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott.

Thibaut Pinot claimed his third stage win in the Tour de France after Porrentruy 2012 and L’Alpe d’Huez 2015 as he stormed to victory in Stage 14 at the top of Tourmalet while Julian Alaphilippe, second on the line with a deficit of six seconds, retained the yellow jersey and extended his lead over Steven Kruijswijk and Geraint Thomas.

17 riders in the lead, including Nibali and Sagan
164 riders took the start of stage 14 in Tarbes. One non-starter: Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was the first man to attack after the flag off postponed 6.5km further than planned. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) went across to him, forming a duo of former team-mates at Liquigas (from 2010 to 2012). With 96km to go, it became a group of 17 riders with the addition of Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Lennard Kämna (Sunweb), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Lilian Calmejane, Romain Sicard and Rein Taaramëe (Total Direct Energie), Ilnur Zakarin and Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) and Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic). Groupama-FDJ and Deceuninck-Quick Step set the pace at the head of the peloton after counter-attackers Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) and Simon Geschke (CCC) were reeled in. The time gap was stabilized under three minutes before climbing to the first category col du Soulor.

Tim Wellens first at col du Soulor
Nibali reacted to an attack by Wellens 2.5km before the col du Soulor. Gesbert made it across. Nibali showed some interest for the polka dot jersey as he tried to go solo before the summit but Wellens out-sprinted him way before the line while the category one climb had made some damage in the yellow jersey group with Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) among the riders unexpectedly dropped as Ineos and Movistar succeeded to Groupama-FDJ at the helm. Nibali, Wellens and Gesbert kept going in the valley leading to the Tourmalet. Wellens also passed first at the intermediate sprint with 37.5km to go while Movistar put the hammer down at the head of the peloton. The leading trio was caught by five chasers. One of them, Sicard, counter-attacked with 35km remaining.

Gesbert, Barguil and Gaudu in action at the Tourmalet
Sicard started climbing to the Tourmalet alone but Gesbert passed him 16km before the summit and continued solo. A Breton rider succeeded to another one as Gesbert got caught with 10.5km to go and Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) escaped 9.5km before the top. He stayed away for 4km. A third Breton rider attacked 4km before the end: David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ). Jumbo-Visma, the only team with three riders in the 12-man group, brought him back. 12 climbers remained at the front 3km before the end: Pinot, Landa, Fuglsang, Bernal, Thomas, De Plus, Bennett, Kruijswijk, Alaphilippe, Urán, Buchmann and Barguil. Being the defending champion, Thomas was the most notable rider to lose contact before the top. Pinot accelerated 250 meters before the finishing line. Buchmann and Bernal were last to resist but the Frenchman upped the speed again and powered to victory with a 6 second difference to Alaphilippe who took one more step in the lead of the overall ranking as he extended his advantage over all of his other rivals.

The ‘PEZ Stage 14 Race report’ HERE.

Stage winner and 6th overall, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): “Our tactic was planned before the race. That’s why we got our time trial specialists to pull the bunch and maintain the gap under three minutes. I clearly wanted the stage win and nothing else. It was out of question to make a show. What we didn’t plan was Movistar to make the race hard in the Soulor and that hurt. David Gaudu’s attack was planned as well. I had a strong desire to win. My goal now is to make the top 3 in Paris again.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It wasn’t easy today and you could see that everybody was suffering. I just tried to go with the best for as long as possible and seeing how I fared makes me very happy. It’s an incredible feeling to retain the maillot jaune at the end of such a tough stage, but the GC isn’t on my mind because I know there are many hurdles left along the way. Like I said also the other day, I just take it day by day and enjoy the moment.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “This was a great day for us, I think my shape is good. Laurens and George rode so fast that I had to slow them down a bit. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw that only ten riders were able to follow. Then I focused on the last five hundred meters. I finished in a good way and this certainly provides perspective. The team was really strong today. That is really good to see. During the first ten days, we were strong as a team in the sprints and now we were still represented by three riders among the best ten on the Tourmalet. After having lost Wout, we had to refocus. I think that worked out well today. I’m going to give my all every day. If I can hold on to this in the coming week, it will look good for the podium. But some others showed that it can be over from one day to the next. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves regarding the overall podium.”

4th on the stage and 5th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m very happy today. I had great legs from the start, I didn’t encounter any problems on the Solour and on the Tourmalet I was never on the limit until the final 2km. When I saw the others were suffering, I knew I could still ramp up my pace, so I launched an attack. I would, obviously, have liked to take the stage but I’m happy I was able to split the group of favorites and I feel satisfied with my fourth place. I think I’m on the right track, I moved one spot to fifth in the GC and if I can continue like this, I feel confident about the upcoming mountain stages.”

5th on the stage and 4th overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “What happened today is a big surprise for many. It was the first day of the pure battle for the overall with big climbs. Personally I felt well and that makes me happy. As a team, Geraint Thomas has lost some time and that’s not good. I was available to help him but through the radio, they told me to not wait for him. We all have a bad day at the Tour de France, yesterday was mine. I don’t know if we can win the Tour de France. I know that the defending champion is my team-mate. I won’t go against the instructions of my team. If I’m asked to help, I will do. If I’m given freedom, I’ll try to make the best of it.”

22nd on the stage and 27th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “It was an ideal situation for me to be part of the early breakaway and to anticipate, because as often in a short and explosive stage, I didn’t feel great. These tactics allowed me to follow the favorites without problems. After the fast start, I felt better on the Tourmalet, which I climbed on my own rhythm. Today was one of my less good days, so in these circumstances it is not bad to finish in 22nd place. It was a difficult day, I hope the next days I feel better.”

KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “I already said yesterday that I’d target the Soulor only and it worked out. I wanted to make the breakaway. The battle for the breakaway didn’t long. I realized that Vincenzo Nibali was interested in the polka dot jersey when he even went for the 4th category climb. My sport director told me to pay attention to his attack on the Soulor. Now it’s clear that he’s a candidate for the King of the Mountains.”

Elie Gesbert (Arkéa Samsic): “I had planned to break away and stay away as long as possible. To have climbed half of the Tourmalet alone in the lead is more than I hoped for. It’s been a pleasure and it motivates me even more for the remaining of the Tour de France. Today’s triumph of Pinot and Alaphilippe is very good for French cycling.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “My goal today was again to get as many points as I could. That’s why it was important to attack as early as possible and be in the breakaway. I was able to stay with the leading group halfway up the first climb but the tempo in the last part was too fast. I gave it all I had but it wasn’t possible to follow all the way to the top. However, this allowed me to be in the intermediate sprint with the yellow jersey group and take seven points. Tomorrow, we have another tough mountain stage.”

Tour de France Stage 14 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 3:10:20
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:08
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:14
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 0:30
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:36
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:38
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:53.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 56:11:29
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 2:02
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:14
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 3:00
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:12
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 4:24
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 5:22
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:27
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:38.

Simon Yates claimed a second stage win in four days as he rode solo on Stage 15 to Foix Prat d’Albis to remain the only breakaway member to fend off Thibaut Pinot and Mikel Landa who escaped from the group of the favorites. Julian Alaphilippe lost contact with defending champion Geraint Thomas but retained the yellow jersey that Pinot can also look for in the Alps after his second exploit in two days in the Pyrenees.

36 riders in the lead
164 took the start of stage 15 in Limoux. Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Lukas Wisnowski (CCC) and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) managed to clear at km 14 after several unsuccessful skirmishes. They got reeled in at km 23. At km 38, a nice breakaway of approximately twenty riders including Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali, Simon Yates and Peter Sagan was formed but the very speed of the peloton quickly put an end to their initiative. A front group of 28 riders took shape at km 55 up to the col de Montségur: Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Romain Bardet and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Caruso and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida), Rudy Molard and Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Marc Soler (Movistar), Pello Bilbao, Omar Fraile and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Simon Geschke (CCC), Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Lennard Kämna and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Romain Kreuziger (Dimension Data) and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) and Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic). Woods passed first at col de Montségur ahead of Nibali and Bardet. Counter-attackers Matthias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie), Pierre-Luc Périchon and Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic) and Amund Groendahl Jansen (Jumbo-Visma) bridged the gap at km 70.

Bardet first at Port de Lers, Geschke first at Mur de Péguère
Matthews won the intermediate sprint at Tarascon-sur-Ariège (km 93.5). The 36-man leading group split a few times before tackling the ascent to Port de Lers. Bardet crested it in first position 5:15 before the yellow jersey group that swallowed Nibali and Mollema who didn’t hold the pace of the front group. Geschke rode away from the leading group 5.5km before the summit of Mur de Péguère. He stayed at the front until the top and was rejoined at the beginning of the downhill by Yates while a quartet of chasers was formed of Bardet, Quintana, Lutsenko and Reichenbach.

Yates resists to Pinot in final climb
Yates and Geschke extended their advantage over the Bardet-Quintana group to 1:40 with 10km to go, just before Mikel Landa (Movistar) came across by himself after having been helped by Soler and Amador. 8.8km before the end, Yates rode away solo. Landa passed Geschke to become the first chaser. Pinot attacked from the yellow jersey group 7km from the Prat d’Albis. The winner of the Tourmalet caught Landa 2km before the end while Alaphilippe couldn’t keep up with the speed of Geraint Thomas (Ineos) who had himself surrendered to Pinot before his team-mate Egan Bernal. Yates maintained an advantage of 33 seconds over Pinot and Landa while Alaphilippe fought hard to limit the losses. Now fourth overall with a deficit of 1:50, Pinot is back in contention for the final victory.

The full ‘PEZ Stage 15 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I am very proud of myself. It was very tough today, from start to finish. I rode aggressively, I like that. The fact that I can win again makes me very happy. This was the second day that I was allowed to go for myself. So then it is very nice when you repay that trust. I was afraid they would catch me, so that’s why I wanted to leave quickly. Geschke did a very good job in the valley. But I didn’t want to take a risk. I am very tired after my efforts, but there are more opportunities in the Alps. Too bad that Adam had a bad day again. But do not worry. He is a top cyclist, he will be back.”

Overall leader and 11th on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I want to thank the team, because they did a great job to control the race and protect me. It was a very hard day, and I expected that, and my goal was to remain in the lead. I am happy I could do that and although I’m aware that the third week will be a very tough one, I just want to enjoy every moment of this great Tour. Until then, we have a rest day, and I look forward to it, to training with my teammates and seeing my family.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): “It was my weather, a beautiful stage as I like it. I had to enjoy it! I had good sensations. I knew that the final was flat so I could put myself in the red in the steep part. I wasn’t taking too many risks. I took time on everyone again, that’s the main thing. We must continue now – we’re moving up the ranking and the toughest stages are coming. When you have good legs, you have to enjoy them. This was the tactic put in place this morning and it worked well. We can be satisfied. I have David with me and he did a good job again. I picked up Rudy and Seb. We showed we are a solid and attacking team. It paid off and it’s great when it works!”

7th on the stage and 2nd overall, Geraint Thomas (Ineos): “It felt like I had more left in my tank. That is promising, but also frustrating. That I finished well today is mentally good, maybe I should have jumped away from Alaphilippe earlier, because I had good legs. Of course I would rather not lose time on Thibaut Pinot, but I am confident that I will become even stronger. He (Steven Kruijswijk) is a major threat, but I feel good and Egan Bernal (5th at 2:02) rides fast. I’m looking forward to the third week. We are in a good position.”

8th on the stage and 3rd overall, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “It went very fast again, I bit myself into Geraint Thomas’s wheel, which later accelerated. I could not go with Thibaut Pinot, that went a little too fast for me. Then I had to pick up again and we also picked up Julian Alaphilippe in the last kilometers. Then the head was down, drive to the line and limit the damage. I wasn’t bad. You have to go through every day and one day you are a little better than the other. It is what it is. I tried to limit the damage. We will see what it yields on the rest day. Pinot rode off alone. There was no stopping it. Bernal was fine too, Alaphilippe too and Emanuel Buchmann was also sitting in front of me. We did what we could behind that. On such a climb it is man against man. We were there with three (George Bennett, Laurens De Plus and Kruijswijk) and Mikel Landa attacked early. During the penultimate climb we drove pace and in the descent Laurens did his job. We did that because I thought it was better for me with a hard course. I wasn’t bad either. Now we are going to rest.”

3rd on the stage and 7th overall, Mikel Landa (Movistar): “Yesterday I remained without legs in the final part of the stage. Today I felt good so I tried something different, from further out. I knew it would be very to come across to Simon Yates for the stage win. He’s a very skillful cyclist. Nevertheless, I’m happy with my situation. I lost a lot of time the day I crashed so it’s a too big call to talk about winning the Tour de France but I believe it’s possible to make the podium and I’d like to win a stage as well.”

4th on the stage and 6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I had another strong day where I felt really good, with perfect legs. My teammates did an excellent job in protecting me in the tricky roads heading into the final climb. Once in the climb, I was in the yellow jersey group. When Pinot attacked, it was the first time I felt on the limit but I was able to follow him initially. However, he was constantly launching attacks and I realized he was too strong for me to go all the way to the top with him. So, I decided to ride at my own pace. Ahead of me, I think Bernal went too deep and was dropped, so I was able to catch him and feel I was stronger than him. I kept my pace to the finish line, which was perfect. I’m happy with my result in the stage and the GC. The final week will be decisive, but in my view, this Tour de France is more open than the previous years because there isn’t any big team strong enough to have total control of the race. Right now, Pinot seems to be the strongest and is flanked by a fairly strong team, so he could be the favorite but, again, we still have one important week ahead of us.”

5th on the stage and overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “It’s been a very hard stage. Yesterday I missed a bit of strength but today I think I can be happy. I suffered a lot but I enjoy being where I am. I’m only 22 and it’s a dream for me to race with the world’s best cyclists. From now on, I can dream, but with my feet on the ground. There are five or six riders who can win the Tour and it’s very unlikely that I’ll be the one. Everything indicates that I can win the white jersey if I don’t have any crisis. However, the most important is to win the yellow jersey. If at some stage I have to sacrifice myself for Geraint Thomas to win the Tour, even at the cost of the white jersey, I’ll do it.”

15th on the stage and 16th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “It was not an easy task to join the early breakaway. I tried several times, but the pace as high and there were many candidates. I was happy to finally be part of it. I managed the climbs as good as possible, knowing I usually feel better and better during this kind of stages. I was a little frustrated until our arrival in the Pyrenees, because I didn’t show my good feeling in a breakaway yet. I like an offensive spirit, so I was happy to show this the last two days. Simon Yates was unreachable, I didn’t have the legs to win today. I didn’t show extraordinary performances yet, but I’m satisfied with how my Tour de France is progressing. Now it is time for rest, although we have a long four hour transit ahead!”

21st on the stage and 15th overall, Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a brutal out there today. We expected a big group to go early, and after the disappointment of yesterday I wanted to be in the race again and enjoy racing. I didn’t think they would let me go, so I waited until it was really hard and then made the split on the climb. I’m looking forward to the rest day now. I’ve been riding GC for two weeks and with yesterday not going to plan, I’m just a bit disappointed to be caught when I did. It’s probably the hardest stage I have ever done at the Tour de France.”

17th overall, Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates): “Today it was a very demanding stage and raced at a very high tempo. I stayed in the main group as long as I could. I’m not 100% yet, but tomorrow we will rest and then we’ll see how to face the last week.”

Tour de France Stage 15 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:47:04
2. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:33
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:51
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
6. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 1:03
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:22
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 1:30.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 15:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 61:00:22
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:35
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:47
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:50
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 2:02
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:14
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:54
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:00
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 5:27
10. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:33.

La Course by Le Tour 2019
A year after Annemiek van Vleuten pipped Anna van der Breggen at the last in Le Grand-Bornand, La Course by Le Tour delivered another thrilling finish that saw the race get turned on its head meters before the line. Right when Australian Amanda Spratt thought she had it in the bag after a long solo breakaway, she was caught and overtaken by CCC-Liv’s Marianne Vos with 350 meters to go, at the top of the final wall. The 32-year-old Dutch rider’s attack made it look like the rest of the peloton was standing still. The three-time world champion, who had already emerged victorious in 2014, is the winner of the sixth edition of the event, held on the same circuit around Pau as the Tour de France time trial over a distance of 121 kilometers.

Eleven women in the early breakaway
121 competitors started the sixth edition of La Course by le Tour on Friday, 19 July, the 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey. An early breakaway formed on the first of five laps of the undulating circuit around Pau, including Alexandra Manly, Sarah Roy (Mitchelton–Scott), Karol-AnnCanuel (Boels–Dolmans), Jeanne Korevaar (CCC Liv), Elise Chabbey, Nikola Noskova (Bigla), Alexis Ryan (Canyon SRAM Racing), Liane Lippert (Sunweb), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek–Segafredo), Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Jasper de Vuyst (Parkhotel-Valkenburg). The eleven-woman group’s advantage peaked at 1:50 around the halfway point.

Van Vleuten lights the fireworks
47 kilometers before the line, two-time winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton–Scott) made the first serious move with a vicious attack on the third ascent of the Côte de Gelos (1.1 km at 7.8%), one of the two climbs on the circuit. The Dutch rider’s offensive spelt doom for the escapees, who were caught a kilometer down the road. Attacks came thick and fast at the front of the peloton until a five-woman group managed to open up a gap: Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton–Scott), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC Liv), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Sunweb), Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini) and Lucinda Brand (Sunweb). Spratt, who finished third in the last Giro, was alone at the front with a 15-second margin going into the final lap.

Spratt puts on a show
The gap increased after the last ascent of the Côte de Gelos, reaching 30″ with 15 kilometers to go, when Lucinda Brand and big favorite Marianne Vos jumped from the peloton. Van Vleuten soon latched onto the duo to cover for teammate Amanda Spratt. The Australian went over the final climb of the day, the Côte d’Esquillot, with 15″ to spare and 12 kilometers to go. Anarchy reigned in the peloton as the rider from Down Under entered the final kilometer with around 10 seconds on the chasers. Fans were on the edge of their seats.

Vos crushes the opposition
At a length of 70 meters and a gradient of 17%, the final wall was as steep as it was short, and Marianne Vos used it as a launch pad for a savage and decisive attack. The Olympic champion and three-time world champion caught Spratt with 350 meters to go and comfortably took the win ahead of Canada’s Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) and Denmark’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Bigla). It was Vos’s second triumph in La Course, coming five years after claiming the inaugural edition on the Champs-Élysées. She is now level with Van Vleuten, who finished seventh and was the only rider with two victories in the race until this morning. A new chapter in the legend of Marianne Vos.

Race winner, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv): “I cannot say exactly how important this victory is. But this gives a great feeling. I thought for a moment that it was too late to count Spratt, but on the other hand, she was driving all the time within lap distance. I was confident that it had to work. I had already seen during the reconnaissance that there was a piece that suited me. However, it was still a while until the finish, so I knew that the rest had to be demolished to have a chance. And apparently they were.”

3rd, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Bigla Pro Cycling): “I remember last year I cried because I was overcome by emotions. And today, it was also a good day and I felt good. It was a tough race, but we showed great teamwork. Elise won the mountain classification and we were in the breakaway with two riders. And then I was up there in the finale of the race. I can really say that the Bigla jersey was prominent at the head of the race so many times, and of course it’s nice to finish the race on the podium. Marianne was just too good today, but the team showed that we are getting stronger with every race.”

La Course by Le Tour Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 3:15:20
2. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb at 0:03
3. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Bigla Pro Cycling
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 0:04
5. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv at 0:06
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:07
8. Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini
9. Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling
10. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans.

UAE Team Emirates mix youth with experience for Adriatica Ionica Race
UAE Team Emirates are set to send a seven man squad to partake in the second edition of the Adriatica Ionica Race (2.1), which runs from July 24 to 28.

The team will be guided by Marco Marzano (Ita) and Paolo Tiralongo (Ita):
– Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
– Sebastian Molano (Col)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Rui Oliveira (Por)
– Jan Polanc (Slo)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)

The race will open with a city circuit in Mestre, before an opportunity for the sprinters on stage 2 with the overall battle likely to be decided with the uphill finish to Misurina Lake on stage 3. The final two days finish in Cormons and Trieste, which both run over rolling terrain.

Sports Director Marco Marzano laid out the team’s ambitions for the race: “We’ll start our Adriatica Ionica Race focusing on the quality of riders like Polanc and Riabushenko and then for the flatter sprint stages on Ferrari and Molano, with the support of Rui Oliveira. Our veterans Mori and Sutherland will add their valuable experience to a mostly youthful team.”

7-strong Bahrain Merida line-up to Adriatica Ionica Race
A competitive Bahrain Merida team will head to the ‘Adriatica Ionica Race’, a 5-day stage race, that will take place in Northern Italy, from Venice to Trieste (July 24-28).

“On paper it may seem like an easy race, but with nine WorldTour teams competing there, we must admit the level is quite high and we make no secret of our ambitions” Sports Director Franco Pellizotti comments “Our team is competitive and well balanced, aiming for stages and general classification”. In fact, the course – from the sea to the Dolomites, through hills and dirty roads – suits to all-around riders, with chances for sprinters, puncheurs and for climbers as well. “We are aiming to make the podium with Mark Padun in the GC and we can count on Domen Novak – who is in good shape too – to help him”.

Both riders are back after the Nationals, where they performed very well: Padun won the Individual Time Trial race in Ukraine, while Novak is the new Road Race Slovenian Champion and at ‘Adriatica Ionica Race’ he will show off his National Champion jersey for the first time.

Also all the other riders that round out the line-up are back from National Championships and after altitude training camp: “There will be several opportunities also for the fast men, as in the opening circuit and in the closing stage, but also stage 2 featuring gravel roads sector, may end with a sprint” SD Pellizotti explains “With Phil Bauhaus – who will be well supported by Heinrich Haussler and Marcel Sieberg – we aim to sprint to win. Chun-Kai Feng and Yukiya Arashiro will be our jolly”.

Team Bahrain Merida line-up for Adriatica Ionica Race:
Arashiro Yukiya, Phil Bauhaus, Chun-Kai Feng, Heinrich Haussler, Domen Novak, Mark Padun, Marcel Sieberg.

South Australian Regions are the Jewel in the Crown for the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under
Engagement with townships and their communities is a strategic feature of next year’s Santos Tour Down Under. The stages have been designed to bring the excitement and activity of the Santos Tour Down Under to regional spectators, with circuits playing a prominent part and race stages showcasing new towns and regions.

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under has been designed for fans to watch and experience the race over multiple laps and spend longer periods of time in each of the regions, allowing communities to showcase destination experiences as the peloton travels through their towns.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, said the TDU team are always looking to deliver a bigger and better event. “The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under race routes will challenge the world’s best cycling teams and riders whilst adding more elements of excitement and entertainment for fans,” said Minister Wingard.

“A regional focus will see more fans heading out to our small towns, providing an opportunity to showcase the best destination experiences that South Australia has to offer.

“Mark January 16 – 26 on your calendars and get ready to celebrate. We want South Australians and visitors from around the world, out on our streets to cheer on our cycling greats.” Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, said that his team face the unenviable challenge each year to design a course for the race that will test the riders and create a spectacle for the fans.

“The route is constantly evolving. Not only do we need to create a route that provides enough challenges to draw elite riders from around the world to enter the race, but we also need to ensure it is suitable for sprinters and all-rounders alike,” said Turtur.

“I am positive that next year’s race will be hotly contested. Personally, I am looking forward to Stage 2 which features a first-time start at Woodside before crossing over to Stirling which is a route sure to suit the all-rounders. Another stage set to be a highlight is Stage 4 with the cross-wind between Mannum and Murray Bridge a considerable element to be contended with – definitely conditions to suit sprinters,” said Turtur.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said, after signing a new three-year deal in January, this will be the eleventh year Santos has been the naming rights sponsor of the TDU. “Santos is South Australia’s biggest company, providing more than 3,500 jobs across the country. Just like our company, the Santos Tour Down Under delivers for the economy and this year generated $70.7 million in economic impact for South Australia.

“Santos is committed to benefitting the communities in which we operate. In 2019 the Santos Tour Down Under passed through almost one hundred towns, making this truly an event which showcases the natural beauty, clean environment and diverse nature of our great state to Australia and the world. The Santos Tour Down Under has great alignment with our community investment objectives – to support healthy living, regional communities and the environment.”

The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 48,300 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact equivalent to creating 837 full time jobs.

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from January 16 – 26, with the Down Under Classic on Sunday, January 19 being the prelude to the Men’s Santos Tour Down Under starting on Tuesday, January 21. The City of Adelaide Tour Village will continue to be the central hub of the Santos Tour Down Under, housing teams, sponsors, exhibitors, as well as activations, entertainment, and food and beverage.

2020 Santos Tour Down Under Race Routes Summary:
Sunday 19 January 2020: Classic: Flinders Street Circuit (51 km)
Tuesday 21 January 2020: Stage 1: Tanunda Circuit (150 km)
Wednesday 22 January 2020: Stage 2: Woodside to Stirling (135 km)
Thursday 23 January 2020: Stage 3: Unley to Paracombe (131 km)
Friday 24 January 2020: Stage 4: Norwood to Murray Bridge (152 km)
Saturday 25 January 2020: Stage 5: Glenelg to Victor Harbor (149.1 km)
Sunday 26 January 2020: Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5 km).

2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Routes Revealed
The 2020 TDU race routes for the Women’s Tour will showcase the world’s elite women’s cyclists and provide the athletes with a chance at making their own luck.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard, applauded the TDU team for pulling together another challenging race – set to deliver a world-class event this January. “With the State Government commitment of equal prize money for the women and men, we will proudly continue to attract some of the best female cyclists from around the world to SA,” said Minister Wingard. “The 2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under will take riders through some of the most picturesque locations in the Adelaide Hills, with huge crowds anticipated as the popularity of the race grows.”

Kimberley Conte, Women’s Tour Race Director, who was tasked with the challenge of designing the course, says the 2020 route can be expected to be both animated and demanding with ‘opportunistic’ being the key word for next year’s event. “As a general rule, I like to include roads that have historically been part of previous Tour Down Under stages as a ‘nod’ to the history of the event. Equally, I am always looking for new courses, different approaches to towns, sprints, climbs and other elements that can provide a new challenge to the race, and provide riders with the chance to match wits and strengths”.

Kimberley added that she is confident that the route will provide an impressive demonstration of the cyclists’ skills whilst showcasing South Australia. “All three road stages could potentially be won by an opportunistic rider – someone who is willing to attack at the right moment, to turn themselves inside out for the win,” says Kimberley.

“The routes have been designed to provide sprinters, climbers and all-rounders alike the chance to take stage honors. Whether they break away on technical descent into the finish of Stage 1, attack on Christmas Tree Ridge, 8kms from the finish on Stage 2, or take advantage of the twisting, shaded climb up Aldgate Valley Road to stay out of sight of the peloton – there is opportunity for a win”.

In keeping with the theme of focusing on regional community engagement, this year’s route will see several key South Australian regions with Stages featured in Mount Barker District Council, Murray Bridge, Adelaide Hills and surrounds, with first time starts occurring on the main streets of Hahndorf and Nairne (Stages 1 and 3 respectively) with Stage 2 commencing from Murray Bridge for the first time.

A total of 15 teams (including 11 international teams from around the world including Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States) saw a total of 96 riders from 23 different countries participate in the 2019 event.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said Santos shares the SATC’s vision to continue to grow the Women’s Tour Down Under, which is now the opening professional women’s race on the international cycling calendar. “It’s not just the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under that’s proving a huge success. From the Matildas to the AFLW, rugby sevens and WBBL, it’s brilliant to see women’s sport going from strength to strength in Australia,” Mr Gallagher said. “In 2019 we hosted the inaugural Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Breakfast for all the riders and coaches on the Monday after their race, to celebrate their achievements and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing women on the pro-cycling tour.”

The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will be held 16-26 January 2020 starting with Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on Thursday 16 January. The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under attracted a record 48,300 visitors from interstate and overseas who travelled specifically to South Australia for the event, generating an economic impact of $70.7M, creating the equivalent of 837 full time jobs.

2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Routes Summary*
Thursday 16 January 2020: Stage 1: Hahndorf to Macclesfield (116.3km)
Friday 17 January 2020: Stage 2: Murray Bridge to Birdwood (114.5 km)
Saturday 18 January 2020: Stage 3: Nairne to Stirling (109.1 km)
Sunday 19 January 2020: Stage 4: Adelaide Flinders Street Circuit (42.5 km).

*Dates subject to final confirmation by the UCI Management Committee.

Record Breaking 28 Million Tune in for Tour de Yorkshire!
The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race were viewed across the globe by a record-breaking audience of 28 million. This is an increase of 124 per cent on the fourth edition viewing figures of 12.5 million in 2018.

Both races were televised in their entirety and watched by TV viewers in 190 countries, with more media rights holders (47) and live broadcasters (13) than ever before (source: Nielson Sport 2019). The number of press articles mentioning the race also grew 12.9% year-on-year (source: Kantar).

Independent research released today shows the race boosted the county’s economy by £60 million. 1.96 million spectators lined the routes over the four days of action between 2-5 May and the economic impact study – conducted by independent research company GRASP and compiled by Leeds Beckett University – found the overall income generated was £59,852,029.

The economic impact study also showed that the majority of roadside spectators were from Yorkshire (80%) while 20% were from elsewhere in the UK and abroad. 88% of spectators questioned by researchers said they would return to the area where they watched the race as a direct result of visiting it for the Tour.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Commercial Director Peter Dodd said: “We’re really pleased with these numbers, especially the recording breaking TV viewing figures which are more than double last year. There is no other event which showcases all four corners of the county to a worldwide audience on a scale like this. £60 million, although a drop on last year with challenging weather conditions proving a factor, still represents a massive boost to the Yorkshire economy and it’s clear from the increased press figures that interest in our races, both at home and abroad, has never been higher.

“Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme noted our Tours ‘had come of age’ this year and the crowds on the roadside were absolutely incredible once again, especially given the seriously challenging weather we experienced during three of the four days of action.

“The Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race showcase Yorkshire as a world-class tourism destination, but on a local level as well, they are so much more than elite bike races. The way communities come together to celebrate them every year is a joy to behold; it’s a real carnival atmosphere and highlights the pride people have in their county. And of course, the races are inspiring people from all walks of life to get active in an environmentally friendly way as well.”

The 2019 edition saw Chris Lawless become the first British winner of the men’s race while legendary cyclist Marianne Vos emerged triumphant in the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race. And the eyes of the cycling world will be on Yorkshire once again between 21-29 September when the UCI Road World Championships take place in the county along with the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International.

The official Tour de Yorkshire website can be found at

The official UCI Road World Championships and Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International website can be found at

Carrefour Renews its Commitment as a Main Sponsor of La Vuelta
Carrefour will continue to be the sponsor for the general classification of La Vuelta for two more years. All the distribution company’s initiatives revolve around being close to its clients and listening to them, which is why it has applied this attitude to its La Vuelta sponsorship also. The company continues to develop a global sponsorship that acts across various areas and seeks to involve its clients and collaborators. In the last edition alone, the company achieved a following of over 2.5 million people, who were able to enjoy the sporting spectacle of La Vuelta as well as the entertainment provided by Carrefour in order to liven up the cycling race.

Within its “Actions to eat better”, the distribution company has designed a set of actions that shine a light on fresh products, so that its clients and locals of the towns La Vuelta passes through, enjoy the most representative local products at each of the stages. It also involves its collaborators, who participate in the different activities that the distribution company has created for the race. Over 25,000 Carrefour employees have participated in these activities in the last six editions.

Over 200,000 Free Tastings of Local Products
The chain’s openness policy also serves to promote the image of the suppliers and of local products. In this sense, the caravan that accompanies La Vuelta is also an excellent showcase for local products; in last year’s edition, the distribution company carried out over 200,000 free tastings of local and regional products. Carrefour is a single-channel, multi-format and multi-brand company that manages over 760 Carrefour Express and 23 Supeco in Spain, besides its online shopping service.

La Roja Turns 10
In 2019, the red jersey that indicates the leader of La Vuelta, is one decade old. Carrefour is one of the fundamental pillars that has supported La Roja in its 10-year history and will continue to do so for two more years. Big names in cycling’s recent history have worn the garment that reflects sports leadership and the physical and mental strength one expects of a rider who wishes to win La Vuelta: Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Alberto Contador and Simon Yates, just to name a few.

Key points:
The chain continues to show its support through client-focused global sponsorship.
· In the last edition, over 2.5 million people participated in Carrefour and La Vuelta activities.
· The sponsorship agreement is renewed for the next two years.

Heart-warming: Stig Broeckx Visits his Former Teammates at the Tour by Sporza
For the first time since his major fall in the 2016 Tour of Belgium, Stig Broeckx came to visit a race, the 2019 Tour of France. Sammy Neyrinck followed Broeckx all day to make this video that gives goosebumps. The meeting between Stig and André Greipel in particular is heartwarming.

The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed and giveaways straight from your phone:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

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