The 2019 World road championships in Yorkshire have kicked off with the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay – Report, result and video. Not all Worlds as there is a ton of other races: Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais, Memorial Marco Pantani, Primus Classic – Impanis-Van Petegem, Gran Premio Città di Peccioli – Coppa Sabatini, Gooikse Pijl, Trofeo Matteotti, Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen and the Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska. The future for Fabio Aru – Top Story. Other cycling news: Rider contracts, Sam Bennett to Deceuninck – Quick-Step, GranPiemonte 2019 and sponsor news. A very full EUROTRASH Monday.
TOP STORY: UAE Emirates keeps faith in Fabio Aru
Fabio Aru won the Vuelta a España four years ago, but recently the Italian has struggled to reach his former level. Nevertheless, he still enjoys the confidence of the UAE Team Emirates management. “I wanted Fabio to be with the team,” says team boss Giuseppe Saronni in conversation with Radio Corsa.
Aru was still one of the best riders in the World four years ago, but the Sardinian has fallen well below expectations. The 29-year-old rider has been very susceptible to injury in recent years and to make matters worse, he had to have an operation on a trapped artery earlier this year, which meant he lost a good part of the season.
Aru hopes to reach his old level through a medical intervention, but no results have been seen as yet. In the Vuelta a España, for example, he had to stop due to muscle problems and fatigue, allegedly caused by a fall during the stage 1 team time trial.
The question is whether Aru will ever be part of the World’s top riders again, but his countryman and team boss Saronni still has faith. “I wanted to have Fabio with the team and thanks to me he is UAE Team Emirates’ leader. I have a lot of respect for Fabio.”
“As a team, we also respect the current contracts of riders and staff. I am not thinking about another solution at the moment,” concludes Saronni, who further denies being at odds with Aru. The latter has a contract for the coming season.
Fabio Aru spotted at la Vuelta:
World Championships 2019
Team Time Trial Mixed Relay
The Netherlands won the first ever gold medal in the World Mixed Team Relay. Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, Jos van Emden, Lucinda Brand, Riejanne Markus and Amy Pieters were the fastest team in the new World Championship event. In a rainy Harrogate they held off Germany who took the silver medal and Great Britain the bronze.
In a rainy Harrogate on Sunday, it was the men of the UCI training Centre who kicked off the World Cycling Championships. The race was started in three blocks, so that several teams would not be on the course at the same time. The men of Great Britain immediately left their mark by putting Belgium, Spain and the UCI team at more than half a minute.
The British women then managed to further expand the lead. At the finish they put an overall time (men and women added together) on the boards of 39:18. Belgium followed at more than a minute and a half and looked will out of the medals.
Bad luck costs Switzerland good place in the second wave, none of the men’s teams were able to reach the time of Great Britain. Switzerland at 0:12 and France at 0:14 came closest after the first block. The Swiss women managed to close the gap with British team, with 12 seconds at the intermediate point, but had to deal with bad luck in the final phase. Due to a bike change and a near fall, Switzerland eventually lost 30 seconds. They looked to be heading for a new best time until that point.
The last block was Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. The Italian men (Elia Viviani, Davide Martinelli and Edoardo Affini) and the German men (Tony Martin, Jasha Sütterlin and Nils Politt) rode well together and were both faster than Britain, but the Netherlands (Jos van Emden, Koen Bouwman and Bauke Mollema) turned out to be another ten seconds faster at the only intermediate point en route.
At the switch point it turned out that the men from GB had ridden a very strong test, as Italy finished at 0:01, and Germany at 0:12. The Netherlands didn’t lose anything. Despite a near-fall of Mollema, the Orange team set the fastest time and with a lead of 20 seconds the women started their team time trial.
At the women’s midpoint, gold seemed certain for the Netherlands. Brand, Markus and Pieters extended the lead by a further 8 seconds. Italy, Germany and Great Britain would be fighting over silver and bronze. The only thing that could keep Holland away from the World title was bad luck or a fall.
Italy was unlucky. Elisa Longo Borghini had a flat tyre early on, which caused the Italian team to lose so much time that they couldn’t catch up with Great Britain. Germany stayed out of trouble and grabbed the silver, behind the Dutch formation that earlier this year also became European champions in this brand new event.
Bauke Mollema post-race interview
Team Time Trial Mixed Relay Result:
1. The Netherlands in 38:28
2. Germany at 0:23
3. Great Britain at 0:51
4. Italy at 0:56
5. France at 1:23
6. Switzerland at 1:27
7. Slovenia at 1:57
8. Denmark at 2:04
9. Belgium at 2:33
10. Spain at 2:43.
Team time trial relay’19 winners:
Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais 2019
Mads Pedersen won the GP d’Isbergues in France on Sunday. The Dane of the Trek-Segafredo team crossed the finish line after more than 197 kilometres. He managed to get away from an escape group in the final to finish solo. Pedersen’s teammate, John Degenkolb sprinted to second place behind, ahead of Christophe Laporte (Cofidis).
Elmar Reinders, Alexis Gougeard, Pierre Goualt, Samuel Leroux, Théo Delacroix and Michael Guichard escaped as Dimension Data, Total Direct Energy, Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ led the pursuit.
The break did not get much room from the peloton, which was split in two by a crash. In the final part of the race, Mads Pedersen managed to make the crossing to the front group in the wet conditions. His pace was so high that he struck solo in the final lap.
Successful Pedersen attack
It was an effort that gave Pedersen the victory, as the pack came too late to catch the Dane. Behind; it was his teammate John Degenkolb who sprinted to second place, ahead of Christophe Laporte. In the women’s GP d’Isbergues (UCI 1.2), Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus took the win, ahead of Clara Copponi and Pascale Jeuland.
Grand Prix d’Isbergues – Pas de Calais Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Dan) Trek-Segafredo in 4:41:58
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:38
3. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
4. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
6. Alexander Konychev (Ita) Dimension Data
7. Boris Vallée (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Alex Kirsch (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Evaldas Šiškevičius (Lit) Delko-Marseille Provence
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale.
Memorial Marco Pantani 2019
Just two days after his impressive solo victory at the Coppa Sabatini, the Kazakh champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) takes a surprising win in a dramatic final of the Memorial Marco Pantani.
The Astana rider attacked from the bunch inside the last 2km of racing, catching the 4-man breakaway with just 500 meters to go, he continue his powerful sprint until the finish line, taking his 10th victory in the current season. The podium was completed by two riders from an early breakaway: Diego Rosa (Ineos) in 2nd place and Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) in 3rd.
With Alexey Lutsenko’s victory in the Memorial Marco Pantani, the Astana Pro Team breaks its all-time record, with 36th wins during a season.
Race winner, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana): “The start of the race was quite intense as it took some time before the breakaway finally went away. They have got a good gap of 6-7 minutes, while some teams decided to chase them back. We stayed safety in the peloton, preferring to wait until the local laps. I want to thank all team for supporting me today, especially Zhandos Bizhigitov, who was always next to me, keeping me on a perfect position in front of the pack. With many good sprinters in the bunch, honestly, I did not plan to do something in the final as usually I am not a contender in sprint. But our sports director Giuseppe Martinelli advised me to try to attack with 2 km to go. He knows well the finish town and has a great experience, so I just decided to follow that advice. I attacked exactly where Martinelli told me and quickly took a nice gap over the main group. With 500 meters to go I caught the guys from the breakaway and with 200 meters to go I launched my sprint for a win. Everything worked out perfectly! This victory is a bit surprising to me, but I am very happy with it. It is a nice race in honour of a great champion Marco Pantani. I know how this race is important for Giuseppe Martinelli and I am super happy to bring this win to him!”
3rd, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “After a less good feeling during the past two races, I had one of the best days of the season. We showed something really nice, together with Diego Rosa. It was a very special race. We detached ourselves from the early breakaway. The peloton nearly caught us with 20 kilometre to go, before we opened the gap again. Finally, we were caught in the sprint by Lutsenko. With some more luck, I can win the race, but for the same price I finish 40th. I look at it from a positive perspective, happy to finish on the podium again. I will feel the consequences of this hard day in the saddle, but with the return of my good legs, I’ll try again tomorrow!”
4th, Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates): “This morning I felt good, so I decided to approach the race a bit differently and not just wait for the sprint, also taking into consideration that the last 60 km were not particularly challenging. I had an aggressive attitude and I joined in with the attacking, feeling good in the middle part of the race, while in the end we wavered all a little too much after being all day on the attack. I did not expect to have a lot of energy, but actually my legs were still responding well and I managed to do a good sprint. I’m sorry we did not win, as I wanted to finish with a victory on my final outing after three good years with UAE Team Emirates.”
5th, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “We arrived 8 seconds behind the attackers, but then in the group there was no more collaboration and in the end they preceded us for a few seconds. Without a doubt I could have made a better result but the good news that the condition is growing and I’m ready for the last races of the season.”
Astana DS, Giuseppe Martinelli: “Everyone knows what Marco Pantani means for me, so today I am so happy and proud with our team and with Alexey Lutsenko, who did a fantastic race and took so beautiful victory! We are spending an amazing week here in Italy, tomorrow we will close it with another nice race Trofeo Matteotti, while after it our riders will leave for the World Championships in Yorkshire.”
Memorial Marco Pantani Result:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana in 4:50:26
2. Diego Rosa (Ita) Ineos
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
4. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Alexis Guerin (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence
9. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Italian National team
10. Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM.
Primus Classic – Impanis-Van Petegem 2019
Edward Theuns won the Primus Classic on Saturday. The Trek-Segafredo Belgian saw his teammate Jasper Stuyven disrupt the sprint trains with an attack in the last 10 kilometres, after which Theuns attacked in the last 3 kilometres. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) were just ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).
In the Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem, some of the favourites for the World championships in Yorkshire got the chance to compete against each other. The most important of them was Mathieu van der Poel, who had previously indicated that he wanted to set the race with his team Corendon-Circus. Sprinters such as Dylan Groenewegen and Pascal Ackermann were therefore wary, because if they wanted to have a realistic chance of winning, they would have to survive both the fifteen climbs and the announced offensive by Van der Poel.
Leading group takes six minutes
It took a while before the announced offensive from the Dutchman actually came. First, five riders attacked early. Michael Schär, Dylan Bouwmans, Aaron Verwilst, Fritjof Røinås and Elias Van Breusegem escaped and took 6 minutes. They managed to maintain this lead for quite some time, but the speed picked up in the peloton in the last 100 kilometres. The lead fell sharply and the teams with ambition showed themselves at the front of the pack.
Corendon-Circus was, of course, among those teams, along with Trek-Segafredo. Before Van der Poel went into battle, Dries De Bondt made the first move. De Bondt attacked several times, and managed to escape with 60 kilometres to go, but after the Chemin du Relais he was pulled back.
Trek-Segafredo’s Pedersen attacks
From that point in the race, the climbs follow each other in rapid succession. On the Chaussée d’Ottenberg, it was Nathan Van Hooydonck, Cyril Lemoine and Mads Pedersen to try their luck with 45 kilometres to go, but they did not enjoy their lead for long. When he peloton hit the Moskesstraat, it was Van der Poel who put in a big attack. Only Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan were able to follow the Dutchman, albeit with difficulty. Only Van Hooydonck and Schär were ahead of the Van der Poel group at that time.
Van Hooydonck and Schär stay away
Van Hooydonck and Schär were not caught because more and more riders from the behind made the connection with the Van der Poel group, where the pace was increasing. The result was that the two CCC riders could take more time and the sprinter’s teams regained control of the race. Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quick-Step controlled the CCC duo’s lead in the last 25 kilometres. 40 seconds were not enough for Schär and Van Hooydonck and they were eventually caught.
The sprinter’s teams were unable to prepare for a bunch sprint because Jasper Stuyven immediately jumped away. Metre by metre the Trek-Segafredo rider moved away from the peloton, but with three kilometres to go Stuyven had to give up.
Theuns tries it
At that moment Edward Theuns went. The sprinter’s teams were completely disrupted by these attempts, and as a result Theuns started the final kilometre with a small lead. Ackermann started his sprint from behind, but it turned out that the German was just short of the victory. With a half bicycle lead, Theuns managed to win the Primus Classic.
Race winner, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “I actually wanted to go to the finish with two, but Jasper said he really couldn’t do it anymore. He then drove the lead, after which I attacked full on. I had chatted with Jasper about what we had to do in the final. After that Jasper decided to attack. Suddenly I heard Mads (Pedersen) screaming ‘go’ in my ear because I had a gap. I managed to hold on. I felt good the last period (of the season) in the BinckBank Tour and in the Vuelta, but there were so many climbs in the last race that I couldn’t really show myself. I didn’t feel great in Koolskamp yesterday, but today I felt pretty good. I want to thank the team for that because they wanted to give me a chance after such a difficult year.”
2nd, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was again a very close finish but Theuns managed to hold on. I might have started my sprint a bit late but I think it was clear I had very good legs and the team had done an excellent job throughout the race. We were in all the groups, we were present in all race situations and in my view, we did everything right today. It is, obviously, a bit disappointing to finish second so close behind the winner, but I think we can be happy with our result and our work today. It wasn’t an easy race with all the climbs and the tough start until the break formed but we had a strong team and we executed the plan we had. In my view, we are all strong ahead of the World Championship next week and I hope one of us takes the rainbow jersey.”
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We had a good race today and although we missed victory by a very small margin we can be satisfied with our performance. We executed the plan we had, I was in the front group in the final climbs and responded to all the attacks while in the final kilometres I pulled to bridge the gap to Theuns. Congratulations to Pascal for his result, he was the fastest sprinter today. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
Primus Classic – Impanis-Van Petegem Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 4:36:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Jasper de Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Jérôme Baugnies (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis.
Gran Premio Città di Peccioli – Coppa Sabatini 2019
The Kazakh champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) celebrated a beautiful victory at the Italian classic race Coppa Sabatini after an impressive solo breakaway during the last 86 kilometres.
From the beginning it was a very intense race. After the first 10-15 kilometres, a breakaway of 17 had been created with some strong riders in the group. Thanks to a strong effort of the Astana riders, in particular, Nikita Stalnov and Dmitriy Gruzdev, the gap began to come down and when it had been shortened to just 40 seconds, Alexey Lutsenko made a powerful solo attack to join the first breakaway group.
Lutsenko finished solo in front of an enthusiastic audience in the Italian city of Peccioli, 1:03 ahead of the first chasers. The podium was completed by two Italian riders, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Simone Velasco (Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM).
Race winner, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana): “At the beginning we worked quite good all together, but anyway there were still too many riders in the breakaway, and it is always someone who tries not to work too much, so as a result we didn’t find a nice pace together and the peloton started to reduce the gap. When it came down to just around 50 seconds between our group and the peloton, it was Egan Bernal who attacked on the climb and immediately after him, I made my decisive and final attack. I was hoping that some riders would join me, but when I turned around on the top of the climb, I realised that the gap is already around 15-20 seconds and there was nobody on my wheel. So, I’ve got a courage and began to work alone. When the gap increased to 40-50 seconds, I understood that I have to continue solo until the end. This became a surprise to everyone, but not to me, as I always prefer to attack in advance. Although, riding alone during 86 km is a bit too much, so the last 30-40 km were really tough. Of course, I would like to thank my team and all teammates who did a good job today, also I’ve got a great support from my sports director, who was leading me through the race by radio. I’d like to thank our general partner Samruk-Kazyna for supporting our team and I was happy today that all people at the finish listened the Anthem of Kazakhstan. So, I am really happy because I won, and a victory is a victory! What else can you say?”
2nd, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “I don’t have any regrets, he was simply too strong and our attempt of chasing couldn’t succeed. We know Lutsenko, he is a great champion and he already took victories like this. He deserved it. We did everything we could to catch him, but his advantage was enough to solo to the win. I’m happy with this result because after a successful Deutschland Tour, in Canada for some reasons as jetlag and a stomach virus I couldn’t take the results expected. I wanted to test my shape here in this race, ahead of the World Championships and I had good signals.”
Gran Premio Città di Peccioli – Coppa Sabatini Result:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana in 4:22:57
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 1:03
3. Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM at 1:04
4. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
5. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos at 1:59
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy at 2:16
7. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) IAM Excelsior
8. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
9. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott.
Gooikse Pijl 2019
Pascal Ackermann took win number eleven of 2019 after perfect execution of Bora-Hansgrohe’s plan in Gooikse Pijl sprint finish.
On the 16th edition of this one-day race, the riders would have to contend with 22km of Belgian terrain ridden nine times over Gooikse Pijl’s 198.1km total distance. While the roads were relatively flat, the circuit brought with it some challenges – most notably street furniture, narrow roads and some difficult road surfaces. Whoever was going to take the win today needed grit and determination. The day’s pleasant conditions promoted attacking riding, and today, Bora-Hansgrohe’s Michael Schwarzmann jumped in the break with a strong group, eager to create some distance on the peloton. While the pace of this breakaway group began shedding its members from early on, Michael was one of the four riders who clung on and formed the day’s first break, building a slim advantage over the chasing bunch, only for the peloton to drive the pace hard and make the catch.
With so much ambition in the peloton, it wasn’t long until more groups made an attempt, but their time at the head of the race was short-lived as well. It wasn’t until eight riders took their chance that something stuck for longer, building an advantage of almost two minutes, but with Bora-Hansgrohe forcing the pace, this lead dropped steadily until once again the catch was made. The peloton seemed confident that it could keep things under control, and so was untroubled when four riders went off with a little more than 45km remaining. The bell being rung for the final lap, the chasing bunch was a little less than thirty seconds behind these escapees – now numbering three – who could clearly see the jerseys of the Bora-Hansgrohe riders closing in on them, with Peter Sagan responding well to close down attempts from the peloton to bridge across. The disappointment on the break’s faces was clear – it was going to come down to a sprint finish. Not content with shutting down the late attacks, Peter took to the front again with Rüdiger Selig to protect Pascal Ackermann on his quest for the win. The final few hundred metres coming into view, the Slovak rider surged, taking Pascal with him. The young German had no doubt who was going to take the prize today, having been cruelly denied yesterday, he had the sprinters at bay the entire length of the finishing straight and had enough of a lead to raise his arms in the air in victory before crossing the line to take his eleventh win of the 2019 season.
Race winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a very fast and nervous Gooikse Pijl, with so many attacks and breakaways, right from the start. But, once again, every rider of the Bora-Hansgrohe squad did a brilliant job and we controlled the race from start to finish. We kept the breaks under check and responded to the attacks, especially in the final kilometres. This excellent work was topped off with a perfect lead-out by Rüdiger Selig and Peter Sagan. I’d like to thank everybody today for their performance, this victory is the result of our teamwork. We were so close yesterday and today we did it!”
3rd, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “The fast start was no present for my legs, which felt painful at first instance, after the Flemish Championships on Friday and the Primus Classic on Saturday. But my teammates were attentive and present in each large breakaway. This ideal situation allowed me to fully concentrate on the sprint, which unfortunately didn’t go as I wished. When Pascal Ackermann and I started our sprint, his lead-out man Peter Sagan forced me towards the barriers. I had to break and lost the 2nd place because of this. Yesterday and today I confirmed my good form again. Yesterday I sprinted to 5th place in the Primus Classic, after I was caught with 700 meters to go after a counterattack behind winner Theuns. On to the Omloop van het Houtland and Paris-Chauny.”
Gooikse Pijl Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
2. Alberto Dainese (Ita) SEG Racing Academy
3. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
5. Arvid De Kleijn (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam
6. Herman Dahl (Nor) Joker Fuel of Norway
7. Jori Stallaert (Bel) Corendon-Circus
8. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus.
Gooikse Pijl’19 podium:
Trofeo Matteotti 2019
The win in the Trofeo Matteotti went to Matteo Trentin. The Italian, normally Mitchelton-Scott, took action in this fall classic around Pescara on behalf of Italy’s national selection. He jumped in a flight that lasted until the finish. Andrey Amador came in second, before Daniel Savini.
Five of them coloured the first hours around Pescara: Matteo Trentin and Matteo Fabbro participated on behalf of the Italian selection. Fabien Doubey (Wanty-Gobert), Daniel Savini (Bardiani-CSF) and Andrey Amador (Movistar) completed the leading group. They took a five-minute lead on a peloton led by Dimension Data.
Led by Astana, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia, the lead was reduced. Two rounds (of 15 kilometres and three climbs) before the end, the refugees still had more than three minutes. Five opponents wanted to make the crossing themselves, including Rubén Fernandez (Movistar) and Simon Clarke (EF Education First).
The front runners showed in the final phase that they had an extra gear in their legs. Trentin, Fabbro, Doubey, Savini and Amador had 40 kilometres ahead of the finish 40 seconds ahead of three with Davide Formolo, Simon Clarke and Odd Christian Eiking. The three came too late, because Trentin could drive to victory from the leading group. He turned out to be the best fighter of the five.
Trofeo Matteotti Result:
1. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Italy National Team in 4:46:28
2. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar
3. Daniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Fabien Doubey (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Italy National Team at 0:01
6. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First at 0:25
7. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
8. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Italy National Team
9. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
10. Nelson Andrés Soto (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen 2019
What a way to kick off your pro career! Jannik Steimle, who is spending the last weeks of the season as a stagiaire before joining the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team on a two-year contract that he inked earlier this week, doesn’t miss any opportunity to showcase his talent, and as such, he is off to an amazing start as part of the most successful squad of the past decade.
His most recent feat came Friday afternoon, when Jannik darted clear in the closing kilometres of an attritional Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen (186km), carved out a small advantage over a fragmented bunch and carried it all the way to the line, battling the strong winds as the chasers were launching one desperate attack after another in order to bring him back.
Up until that point, the race was controlled by Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who kept the three-man breakaway on a tight leash before ruthlessly destroying the peloton in savage crosswinds which reduced the pack down to 40 riders. Our team’s strong grip discouraged attacks until inside 15 kilometres to go, when gusting winds split again the main group, leaving some 25 riders at the front. Pieter Serry was on duty for the Wolfpack, expertly shutting down attacks and keeping things together for Dutch Champion Fabio Jakobsen, one of the squad’s riders to have made the cut.
But it was another Deceuninck – Quick-Step member, Jannik Steimle, who ignited a move which turned out to be decisive on the long and exposed roads of Koolskamp, where the race traditionally starts and finishes. Even though his advantage was minimal, the 23-year-old managed to remain at the front, displaying remarkable physical and mental strength as he charged to his first UCI victory in the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey, which on the podium he exchanged for the famous Lion of Flanders yellow jersey that rewards the Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen winner.
Race winner, Jannik Steimle (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I can tell you it has been an incredible week for me, and it’s quite difficult to understand what’s been happening over the past few days. But what I can tell you is that winning for this amazing team, while my family and friends followed me on the TV today, gives me an incredible feeling. Maybe on paper we didn’t have the strongest team today, but mentally we are the strongest. The plan was to save energy, so we could go full gas in the final laps, so I worked together with the guys to protect Fabio and keep him out of the wind. Then we split the bunch in the crosswinds, and with seven kilometres to go I attacked and put some 20-30 meters between me and the group. Once I entered the final kilometre, I did a long sprint to the finish and it was really crazy to think what I would achieve. A big thanks to the team for this opportunity and for believing in me.”
Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen Result:
1. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:03:55
2. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
3. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
4. Adrien Petit (Fra) Total Direct Energie
5. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
6. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Natura4Ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
9. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles.
Another win for Jannik Steimle:
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska 2019
Thursday was the day of the Queen Stage 2 dominated by a fast Romanian. Eduard Grosu (Delko-Marseille Provence) survived every climb and seized the sprint in Ruzomberok. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), the new leader of the race, finished right behind him.
After two days the peloton has left Bardejov. For the last time fans and spectators could see riders dive into the hardest and longest stage in this edition. This test ended in Ruzomberok, but before that the riders had to battle over five climbs. Two of them were first-category hills. The bunch had passed Strbske Pleso, which was the decisive place for Julian Alaphilippe´s victory last year.
Major part of Slovakia was going through freezing-cold and hostile weather and a very strong wind was making it hard for the riders, causing numerous problems. They had to endure rain right from the start of the stage, so the opening kilometres were pretty wet. Despite that, many riders attempted to get into the breakaway, mostly continental teams such as Dukla BB and Elkov-Author. WorldTour teams didn’t let them and when they finally did, they kept everything under control.
The bunch stayed together until the first categorised climb. Six points on Obrucne (2,8 km – 5,4%) were taken by the leading man on the KOM classification, Kenny Molly (Wallonie-Bruxelles). Riders targeting this competition had to be super-attentive, since a total of 38 points was waiting on the road today. Shortly after the descent a trio made up of Rémy Rochas (Delko-Marseille Provence), Martin Salmon (Development Team Sunweb) and Idar Andersen (Uno-X Norwegian Development) managed to retain a decent gap.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step began to work hard in the second half of the stage. After the last and final climb, they tried to look for better positions. In a descent from Strbske pleso the whole peloton was facing a really strong headwind, during which the Belgian team and Bora-Hansgrohe caused some splits in the main field. They had got a 25 seconds gap, but collaboration stagnated. Rain contributed to the situation and also made the breakaway riders drop back into the bunch.
Everyone awaited the challenging finish. The road to Ruzomberok was relatively easy, again under supervision of WorldTour teams. They had led the bunch together into the final, where a technical finish with four sharp corners and an intense uphill cobbled passage was prepared. Eduard Grosu (Delko-Marseille Provence) took advantage of that, earned himself a short lead and won! Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) finished second, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) took third. Other elite sprinters, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) didn’t sprint.
Thanks to the bonus seconds, Yves Lampaert would wear the yellow jersey the next day. After this tough stage, other jerseys are worn by Alexander Kristoff (points classification), Torjus Sleen (Uno-X Norwegian Development), U23 classification and Martin Salmon the KOM classification. Idar Andersen of Uno-X Norwegian Development received the prize of the most aggressive rider. Erik Baška, who finished just off the podium, remained the best Slovakian rider and kept 9th position overall.
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Stage 2 Result:
1. Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM in 5:46:42
2. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Emils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles
6. Justin Jules (Fra) Wallonie Bruxelles
7. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
8. Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC
9. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Roompot-Charles
10. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Overall After Stage 2:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 9:17:31
2. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:03
3. Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC at 0:13
4. Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:20
5. Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:21
6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:22
7. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:24
8. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC at 0:26
9. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Jan Bárta (Cze) Elkov-Author at 0:27.
Stage 3 of the Tour of Slovakia saw a shakeup in the jersey classifications. Arnaud Démare won this stage with confidence, yellow Yves Lampaert finished fifth and continues to lead the GC.
The penultimate stage from Ruzomberok to Hlohovec had prepared the most challenging finalé of the 63rd year of the race. The stage measured 200 kilometres, parcours were mostly flat, but became a bit hilly to the end with a 700 metres long finishing climb. The finalé was supposed to remind us of the spring classics, which it did and would change in the general classification.
As the previous stage, the start was full of attacks, mostly by continental teams. But again, WorldTour teams didn’t allow that, until Gasper Katrašnik (Adria Mobil), Mateusz Grabis (Voster ATS Team), Martin Urianstad (Uno-X Norwegian Development) and later Kenny Molly (Wallonie-Bruxelles) managed to escape.
There was a quartet up there, which had to fight vigorously, because the strongest teams weren’t leaving them a big gap and at one point, their advantage was 1 minute. Peloton then slowed down and the gap was steady at 3 minutes. Amongst the escapees, who seemed most active, were Kenny Molly (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Gašper Katrašnik (Adria Mobil). Molly was collecting points, won two climbs and moved onto second place in KOM competition. Katrašnik was the fastest at two intermediate sprints. The last one was won by Mateusz Grabis (Voster ATS Team).
After that, Bora-Hansgrohe started to play their cards, tore the bunch apart and caught the breakaway. Only a group of sixty riders remained at the front and no candidate for win was absent. Cyclists of Bora-Hansgrohe were active until the very end. At 7 kilometres to go, riders encountered the last categorised climb, on which Martin Salmon (Development Team Sunweb) took all the points and secured his KOM jersey. Then it was all about the finalé.
The whole group came together into the finishing climb, but on a steep final kilometre Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) went full gas and no one seemed able to follow his move. The French rider achieved victory right in front of his father, who came to Hlohovec by bike from Paris, which took ten days. It’s Démare’s 61st professional triumph. Alexandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates) flew into the finish line two seconds behind the winner. Alexander Kristoff finished third.
Provisional leader Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) took fifth place, five seconds behind. Belgian rider was just behind Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), who was losing three seconds on him before this stage. That gap didn’t change. Arnaud Démare jumped to 3rd place, fourth place was occupied by Kamil Gradek (CCC) and Tom Bohli (UAE Team Emirates) was 5th. Torjus Sleen (Uno-X Norwegian Development) remained leader of the U23 classification and Gašper Katrašnik (Adria Mobil) was the most aggressive rider. Erik Baška (Bora-Hansgrohe) took 21st place, losing 19 seconds on the winner, but was still the best placed Slovakian rider and is on a good way to bring the white-blue-red jersey home.
2nd on the stage and 9th overall, Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates): “The last 25 km of the race were made very intense by the wind, with echelons that left no more than 40 riders at the head of the race. From the moment of the splits to the final sprint it was all out. We had four UAE Team Emirates guys in the leading group. The finish was suited to both Kristoff and me, so we had two cards to play, but unfortunately Demare was stronger.”
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Stage 3 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:39:09
2. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates at 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:05
5. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
8. Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
9. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC
10. Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC.
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Overall After Stage 3:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 13:56:45
2. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:03
3. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:07
4. Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC at 0:13
5. Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:21
6. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:24
7. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC at 0:26
8. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:34
9. Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates at 0:37
10. Torjus Sleen (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team at 0:40.
Viviani was victorious in the Final Stage 4 and Lampaert won the yellow jersey by 1 second. The finalé of the 63rd edition of Tour de Slovaquie was dominated by the top names in the race. Elia Viviani was the fastest in the bunch sprint in Senica, his teammate Yves Lampaert defended the precious jersey.
The final scene of the last stage was Senica and its surroundings, where cyclists rode laps in the final hour of the race. The parcours from Hlohovec were mostly flat. The stage measured 142 kilometres with five categorised climbs. The finish went as expected, the biggest stars in the bunch demonstrated their speed and the European champion proved his skills.
Breakaway of the day played a significant role in the story of today. As we’ve seen in previous stages, escaping was taking a long time to happen. Before that, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was showing off at the front and won the opening categorised climb. After that a group of six managed to escape. It were Franklin Six (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Péter Kusztor (Novo Nordisk), Martin Urianstad (Uno-X Norwegian Development), Aljaž Jarc (Adria Mobil), Szymon Krawczyk (Voster ATS Team) and a native cyclist Marek Čanecký (Dukla Banská Bystrica). Čanecký won the second categorised climb.
On the last climb, the break was caught and the WorldTour teams started to prepare positions for their leaders. However, some riders wanted to try and change the course of the stage. A leading trio was riding at the front for a while, made up of Lars Boom (Roompot-Charles), Kenny Molly (Wallonie-Bruxelles) and Rasmus Quaade (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team). When Groupama-FDJ eliminated the gap, Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacked, but didn’t ride into the finishing town alone.
The last five kilometres were led by Deceuninck – Quick-Step and they didn’t let anyone off the front. Even Yves Lampaert was the one pulling until the last K sign. His colleague Elia Viviani thanked him in the best possible way. He won and gained 10 bonus seconds, so 2nd placed Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) didn’t get the overall lead. Third place was won by Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), so all three positions were occupied by three big sprinter names.
Overall winner of 63rd edition of Tour de Slovaquie became Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), who in Senica took fifteenth place. For his victory was decisive to gain 6 seconds in Ružomberok, from then he didn´t let anyone wear the yellow jersey. Second was Arnaud Démare, losing only 1 second to the leader. It is the smallest gap ever in the history of the race. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) fought for third place.
Arnaud Démare is also the winner of the blue polka dot jersey for the points leader, Martin Salmon of Development Team Sunweb defended his King of the Mountains title. The German cyclist didn’t have to collect points in the breakaway, since he did so on stage 3. Torjus Sleen (Uno-X Norwegian Development) reigns in the U23 classification. Here too the gap was very small, Leon Heinschke (Development Team Sunweb) was 1 second behind him. The best Slovakian rider of the race was Erik Baška (Bora-Hansgrohe), who held his jersey from the very beginning and placed fourth in Bardejov, Ružomberok and Senica.
Stage winner, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am very happy that I have won again. I knew I had to beat Demare so we could take home also the general classification and I’m happy that I helped my team this way. The guys delivered yet another perfect lead-out in what was again a fast finale, where I had Michael and Yves for company, and all I had to do was kick out with around 180 meters remaining and put the finishing touch to their impeccable work. After so many podiums here, it was the time to take a victory and I’m happy I could bring it in this beautiful European Champion jersey. We felt great in Slovakia, the home of our sponsor janom, and it feels nice to end the week on a high note.”
Final overall winner, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This is the second GC victory of my career, after the 2015 Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, and it came following a beautiful but demanding week of racing, and that gives me even more pleasure. Today was a bit stressful, as my buffer wasn’t a big one, but thanks to the team’s excellent work, who protected me from start to finish and chased down the break, and Elia’s fine sprint, I can now savour this nice win. It’s a result which boosts my confidence ahead of next week’s World Championships in Yorkshire.”
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Stage 4 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:17:36
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
5. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy
7. Emils Liepinš (Lat) Wallonie-Bruxelles
8. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC
10. Nicolai Brøchner (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team.
Tour of Slovakia – Okolo Slovenska Final Overall Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 17:14:21
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:01
3. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:03
4. Kamil Gradek (Pol) CCC at 0:17
5. Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:21
6. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC at 0:26
7. Matthias Brändle (Ger) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:28
8. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:34
9. Erik Baška (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:40
10. Alexandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates at 0:41.
Cavagna Signs New Contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Fresh from an impressive victory on stage 19 of Vuelta a España, the 24-year-old Frenchman adds two more years to his deal
Rémi Cavagna, affectionately known as “The TGV of Clermont-Ferrand”, joined the team in 2017, when he immediately impressed, taking second place on the general classification of the Belgium Tour and a strong sixth at Binche–Chimay–Binche. His first win for the team came at the 2018 edition of Dwars door West–Vlaanderen, which added to a fourth place overall at Tour of Guangxi and ninth at Vuelta a San Juan.
This season he claimed a famous victory on stage 3 of the Tour of California, where Rémi put in a huge 75km solo attack on his way to a maiden World Tour win. More recently he continued to show his prowess, finishing twice on the podium at the Vuelta a España, before notching up a superb solo victory on stage 19, to Toledo, where he held off a marauding pack over a tough finish.
“First, I want to say thank you to the team for believing in me, because now it is three years that I have been with them and I am really happy. It is the best team in the world and for my improvement it is best that I can be part of. Every year I am with them I improve and I pass the standard that I set last time. It shows in my results, where last year I won one race and this year I have already won two up until now, both of which are World Tour and bigger races. I am sure 200% that with this squad I can improve again and I have a lot to give”, a delighted Rémi said before talking about his future objectives.
“One of my biggest goals with Deceuninck – Quick-Step is to win the French National Championships. It is not the biggest race, but it’s important to a French guy. I would like to do well in the road race, but the time trial is my speciality and I want to prove that I am able to win it. That is my first target, but for sure I also want to win more World Tour races like I did this season at the Vuelta and California.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere also expressed his pleasure at retaining Rémi Cavanga: “I am again extremely happy that we have managed to keep hold of one of our talented young riders and that he’ll stay with us until 2021. Rémi has always worked hard during his time with us so far and is always at the service of the team. As we saw in California and at the Vuelta, he has also started to get the winning feeling for himself and his confidence is growing. We know what he is capable of and now that we have secured his services, we can work with him to improve even more and maximise his potential.”
Rémi Cavagna winning Vuelta stage 19:
Another season for Dmitriy Gruzdev with Astana Pro Team
The experienced Kazakh rider Dmitriy Gruzdev will remain in Astana Pro Team for another season. The year of 2020 will become his 9th full season in the Astana colours.
“I am happy to continue representing Kazakhstan in Astana Pro Team for one more season. I think that I spent quite a good year and even though I did not ride any Grand tour, I helped our leaders to get the wins in another races. I am ready to continue working hard and to give my 100% for the team leaders. Would like to thank team management for trust in me and to thank our general partner Samruk-Kazyna for support of our team,” said Dmitriy Gruzdev.
Dmitriy Gruzdev (33 years old) is a very experienced rider, who turned pro in 2012. Since that time Dmitriy did 6 Grand tours (4 Tour de France, 1 Giro d’Italia and 1 Vuelta a España), two of them were successful for Astana Pro Team (Giro-2013 and Tour-2014). Gruzdev is a loyal team’s player, always ready to support team’s leader in the Grand tours as well as in the cobblestone classics and week-long stage races.
In 2019 together with the National Team of Kazakhstan he won the team time trial at the Asian Cycling Championships held in Uzbekistan, also taking a 5th place in the individual road race, won by his teammate Yevgeniy Gidich. At the Kazakhstan National Championships Gruzdev scored two silver medals, both in individual time trial and road race. Besides all, he was 10th in a stage of the Adriatica Ionica Race and 13th in the general classification of the Tour of Almaty.
Helping to the leaders, Dmitriy Gruzdev was next to Gorka Izagirre at the successful Tour de la Provence, supported Jakob Fuglsang on the way to his podium at the Tirreno-Adriatico and Merhawi Kudus on reaching the podium of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.
“Every team is based on a few experienced riders, who hold the team together. Dmitriy Gruzdev is one of this kind of riders. He still demonstrates a great motivation and dedication to cycling, always ready to help, but also ready to fight for a good result in the moments, when the team gives him such a possibility. I think it is crucial for team’s success to have a rider like Gruzdev next to the leader, and I am happy that Dmitriy remains in Astana for the next season. More young riders are coming to our team and I am sure that Dmitriy could become a good mentor for them in their first years in professional cycling,” said Alexandr Vinokurov, general manager of Astana Pro Team.
Lefevere wants Bennett, but….
Deceuninck – Quick-Step boss, Patrick Lefevere has spoken about the possible arrival of Sam Bennett: “I’m sitting there and I’m looking at it”.
Although Lefevere has set aside a budget for the possible arrival of Sam Bennett, the team cannot wait to see how the legal dispute between the sprinter and his current employer Bora-Hansgrohe unfolds.
“He is budgeted for, but there is a legal battle going on between him and his team,” Lefevere in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad. The question is whether Bennett still has a contract with Bora-Hansgrohe for 2020 or not. The case has already been examined by the UCI and Bennett has been unsuccessful.
“But I understand the approach of Bora manager Ralph Denk. Why keep a rider against his will if, after Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann, he is your third sprinter?” Lefevere can only watch and see how things unfold. “If I intervene, I can get a fine from the UCI.”
The team boss finds it unjust that he is seen as the bad guy in transfer rumours, which have persisted for months. “If Bennett’s manager, Andrew McQuaid – a lawyer – assures me that he is free, who am I to argue with that?”
Four months ago it was announced that Bennett had several options in the WorldTour, after which rumours about a possible move to Deceuninck – Quick-Step became louder and louder. Lefevere initially dealt with those rumours because Bennett had already signed a new contract with Bora-Hansgrohe, but the stories continued. Bennett himself said nothing. “Deceuninck – Quick-Step is a good team, but so is Bora-Hansgrohe. Nothing is concrete yet, but there will be news in the coming weeks,” he said during the BinckBank Tour. At the end of last month it was announced that the sprinter was trying to force a departure from his current team via a legal route.
Where next for the Irish champion?
Louis Vervaeke to Corendon-Circus
The team of Mathieu van der Poel, Corendon-Circus, will have Louis Vervaeke to strengthen their line-up. Vervaeke, who turns 26 early October, will leave Team Sunweb at the end of this year.
After a strong U23 career, Vervaeke turned pro for Lotto Soudal in the summer of 2014, but after three and a half years, he never really came up to his high expectations. At the end of 2017 Vervaeke signed a two-year contract with Team Sunweb, to ride in the service of Tom Dumoulin. But this summer Vervaeke said it was doubtful that he would ride for Sunweb in 2020. Dutch website WielerFlits has received information from a good source that Louis Vervaeke will becomes a teammate of Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Merlier at Corendon-Circus.
GranPiemonte 2019: Finish at the Sanctuary of Oropa; Bernal and Carapaz due to Start
Challenging course for the 103rd edition of the Piedmontese classic. Starting from Agliè and finish at the Sanctuary of Oropa (Biella) after 183km. 19 teams to start, including 2019 Tour de France winner Bernal’s Team Ineos and 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Carapaz’s Movistar Team.
The 103rd edition of GranPiemonte NamedSport was presented today at the Sala Stampa of the Piedmont Region in Piazza Castello in Turin. The race organised by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport in collaboration with the Piedmont Region is scheduled for Thursday 10 October. Unlike in the last few years, the 2019 route presents some major changes; it’s no longer a route for finisheurs and sprinters but suits climbers, with the finish at the Sanctuary of Oropa (Biella) after the final ascent of Oropa (1142m). The same finale has hosted already six stage finishes of the Giro d’Italia: the most recent, in 2017 saw victory for Tom Dumoulin, who went on to win the Corsa Rosa. There will be 19 teams at the start with one more WorldTeam joining those originally announced: Team Ineos, who asked to participate in the race and will be at the start with their Tour de France winner, the Colombian Egan Bernal. Richard Carapaz, winner of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, is also expected to be at the start.
The route winds between the Canavese and Biellese areas. In the first part it undulates on roads that are sometimes narrow (especially in the town crossings), and sometimes wide and straight. After the Feed Zone (km 102-105) the route is practically flat up to Valdengo where the gentle ascent of Nelva begins through Valle San Nicolao and Bianchette. The fast descent at Biella leads to where the final ascent of Oropa begins on the “classic” route that has already been faced on several occasions by the Giro d’Italia.
The last 11km are uphill from Biella to the Sanctuary of Oropa. The first part, up to the town of Favaro, is on gentle slopes. The maximum slopes of around 13% are reached in the town of Favaro, on porphyry pavement. The climb continues with numerous bends and slopes of around 9% up to the finish on a straight road that’s 130m long and 6.5m wide.
“It is an honour for our Region to host a sporting competition of this level, even more so in the centenary of the birth of Fausto Coppi,” said Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region and Fabrizio Ricca, Councillor for Sport of the Piedmont Region. “Events like this allow our territory to make itself known in all its beauty and show that Piedmont is a land of opportunities for anyone who wants to organise events at the highest levels. Cycling is closely linked to the Piedmont Region, which, with its landscapes rich in natural and historical beauties, will be an extremely beautiful background for the GranPiemonte.”
Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, Fabrizio Ricca, Councillor for Sport of the Piedmont Region, Claudio Corradino, Mayor of Biella and Marco Succio, Mayor of Agliè
Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, said: “Our relationship with the Piedmont Region has been solid for many years and we are confident that it will continue to develop in the best way. The GranPiemonte is the first international event where we are working with the new regional council but we are sure that we will be in harmony and find the key to organising other great events in this territory. The race will be broadcast live on the Rai networks and will also be available across five continents.”
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “This year, in agreement with the Piedmont Region, we decided to have the finish of the 103rd edition of the GranPiemonte at the Sanctuary of Oropa, which has already hosted six stage finishes of the Giro d’Italia. The last time, in 2017, the stage winner was Tom Dumoulin, who then went on to win that Giro. The decision for this edition of the race to include an uphill finish, unlike the last few years, has already proved to be a winning one. In fact – in addition to the 18 teams we announced two weeks ago – we received a request for participation from Team Ineos yesterday, and they will be at the start with the winner of this year’s Tour de France, Egan Bernal. We are sure that it will be a very beautiful race fought in a territory rich in culture, history and great sport.”
19 teams: 10 UCI WorldTeams and 9 UCI Professional Continental Teams:
AG2R LA MONDIALE
ASTANA PRO TEAM
BAHRAIN – MERIDA
BORA – HANSGROHE
EF EDUCATION FIRST
TEAM DIMENSION DATA
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC
NERI SOTTOLI SELLE ITALIA KTM
NIPPO – VINI FANTINI – FAIZANE’
ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY
GAZPROM – RUSVELO
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
VITAL CONCEPT – B&B HOTELS
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC
Sonny Colbrelli celebrating on the finish line of 2018 GranPiemonte NamedSport:
Deceuninck – Quick-Step Strike New Deal with janom
Long-term partners sign extension for another two years
Deceuninck – Quick-Step has agreed a further two-year partnership with janom, the Slovakian private equity company that has been a key supporter since 2012, coinciding with a period of unprecedented success for the team. Active in the field of cleantech, hi-tech, IT and electromobility in Europe and North America, janom targets unique technology solutions and fast-growing opportunities. They also support synergy effects and cooperation among its investee companies in order to actively contribute to their growth and expansion.
Janom’s projects vary between technological and innovative business projects with a focus on ecological benefits. It has grown to undertake projects with a global reach, matching the ambitions of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which has become the world’s most successful cycling team.
The announcement came on the day our team won the Tour of Slovakia for the second consecutive year, adding to the satisfaction of Jan Miskovsky, the CEO of janom: “Deceuninck – Quick-Step is the best cycling team in the world with the best riders according to the UCI rankings, and has the most victories over several consecutive seasons. We’ve now managed to have Deceuninck – Quick-Step in the Tour of Slovakia for a second time. This is the result and the sporting and marketing value that Patrick Lefevere and his team have managed to achieve in this recent period. I believe that janom has also been a contributor to these incredible results over the course of its eight-year cooperation with the team. Most of our company’s activities abroad are supported by Deceuninck – Quick-Step.”
“This is how we also raise awareness and create marketing value outside Slovakia. I am confident today that the decision I made eight years ago, to establish a cooperation with a World Tour team, was absolutely right. That is why I decided to continue the cooperation for another two years. We are planning to continue developing our business activities in other countries where cycling is popular, and I believe this next period of cooperation will be beneficial again for both sides.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere echoed these thoughts: “Janom have been a loyal supporter of ours for some time now and I am delighted to have them on board for another two years. They share our passion to be the best in the world and for being innovative. With them by our side, we can strive together to build a successful future.”
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