The cyclocross season is at ‘Full Gas’ but we have all the other cycling news form the peloton. Top Story has to be the 2020 Giro d’Italia. Race reports and video form the Tour de France Saitama Criterium and the cross races in Gavere and Beringen. Loads to catch up with: Marcel Kittel in Japan, Wanty Gobert-Tormans to one-day WorldTour, Jakob Fuglsang wants gold in Tokyo, Nairo Quintana starts season in Colombia, Hugh Carthy re-signs, Sacha Modolo for Corendon-Circus, Bahrain-Merida signs Mark Cavendish, Fundación Euskadi 2020 team, more rider contracts, eight Roompot-Charles riders without a team, UAE Team Emirates at home, Jarlinson Pantano goes into politics and “The Wolfpack: 365 Days At The Wheel”. Big Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.
TOP STORY: Giro d’Italia 2020
The Giro d’Italia race route of 2020 was officially unveiled on Thursday. The 103rd edition of the Italian Grand Tour starts in Hungary, and ends three weeks later in Milan. Three individual time trials, a short but hard time in Sicily, a long ride up the coast and a very tough final week.
The Giro starts with an individual time trial of 8.6 kilometres through the streets of Budapest with a rise to the finish line of around 4%. Stage 2 from Budapest to Györ seems like a stage for the sprinters, with only two climbs. Stage 3 is even flatter with no climbs.
Back to Italy
Monreale on the Isle of Sicily for the start of stage 4 and no rest day after the final Hungarian stage. Tuesday, May 12th, and stage 5 finishes on the Etna volcano. The sixth stage from Catania to Villafrenca Tirrena is a short 138 kilometres. On to the Italian mainland for a few stages along the Adriatic coast with chances for the sprinters and puncheurs. The first rest day is on May 18th, one day after the hilly stage to Vieste.
Stage 11 on Wednesday, May the 20th finishes in the seaside town of Rimini, where Marco Pantani died 15 years ago. After a few tough stages to Cesenatico (where Pantani grew up) and Monselice, the second individual time trial is on stage 14. Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, individual time trial of 33.7 kilometres, is not flat, but will suit the TT specialists. The next day is for the climbers with a summit finish in Piancavallo. The second rest day follows on May the 25th.
A tough final week
The third week has some tough mountains in store. Stage 17 finishes on Madonna di Campiglio, the eighteenth stage goes over the dreaded Stelvio to Laghi di Cancano. Then the riders have stage 20 from Alba and Sestriere. The penultimate stage is the Queen Stage, with climbs of the Col d’Agnello, Col d’Izoard, the Monginevro and finally the famous climb to the ski resort of Sestriere. If the 2020 Giro hasn’t been decided by the summit of Sestriere, then we can prepare for a battle on the roads of Milan. A 16.5 kilometre time trial on the final day.
Next year’s Giro d’Italia seems suitable for riders like Tom Dumoulin and Primož Roglič, with a total of 58.8 time trial kilometres, over three individual time trials. There are nine stages of more than two hundred kilometres and five summit finishes, three in the final week.
The winner of the last edition of the Giro d’Italia, Richard Carapaz, said: “The 2019 Giro d’Italia will always be a very important moment in my history as a pro rider, just thinking about it excites me! I owe so much to my parents and to all the people who helped me become the rider I am today. I will never stop telling the kids in Ecuador who start cycling how important it is to pursue their dreams. I really hope to be at the start of the Giro next year. It is a very interesting route with stages that present many surprises. In the last week, there are a lot of mountains, the Stelvio could be decisive, I really hope to be there.”
Triple road World Champion Peter Sagan, said: “It’s nice to be here today at the presentation of the Giro d’Italia 2020 route. I want to announce that I will be at the start in Budapest. It is still a few months away but I can announce that I will be there. I really like this route, right from the first stages in Hungary. I am sure there will be many of my supporters on the route for the first three stages because Slovakia is very close to Hungary. But we will also enjoy the stages on the Italian roads, as I lived and used to train in Italy. It’s a nice Giro route; the first part suits me best but I will try to stay until the end in Milan.”
Giro, Tour and Vuelta winner, Vincenzo Nibali: “Compared to this year’s edition, the 2020 Giro is more balanced. I like that there is an uphill finish in the first week. It was missing this year. I have already explored the finish on Etna in training, although I am not entirely sure because Etna can be climbed from so many sides. It certainly seems a very interesting stage. I think it’s less fun that the last stage is a time trial. Of course, if the first riders are close together, this could be decisive, but I don’t know if it is good after all the mountains and efforts. The time trial in Budapest is great, just like the Prosecco time trial (stage 14, a 33.7 kilometre test between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene). I think the twentieth stage with the Colle dell’Agnello, the Col d’Izoard, the Monginevro and Sestrière will be decisive. On paper, that is the terrain for an action such as that of Froome in 2018.”
More info HERE.
# See the ‘PEZ Giro First Look’ HERE. #
Tour de France Saitama Criterium 2019
Several days after the coronation of Emperor Naruhito, Yukiya Arashiro achieved a crowning moment in his career by winning in front of his home crowds on the Tour de France Saitama Criterium. The victory must have been even sweeter since in the run-up to the finish he resisted the duo made up of Yellow Jersey Egan Bernal and Vuelta Red Jersey winner Primoz Roglic.Beforehand in the main race, Matteo Trentin and Romain Bardet stood out, respectively claiming the green and polka dot jerseys, whilst the very lively Jakob Fuglsang was designated the most combative rider on this unofficial “22nd stage”.
Japan’s Kings of the Sprint
Sprint aficionados enjoyed a rare formula in Saitama, with four qualification races to reach the final, contested on a rolling start, 800 metres from the finishing line. In the first heat, Oliver Naesen proved to be a bit too cocky when attacking 500 metres from the line and was caught and passed by Japan’s Saya Kuroeda. However, this technique worked for Michal Kwiatkowski, in a tough heat where he had to count on his power to avoid a direct confrontation at the line with Matteo Trentin. The third heat was completely different, in which the duel between Anthony Turgis and Kakeru Omae went the Frenchman’s way right at the very end: “I think my experience helped me to beat him,” explained the relieved Total-Direct Energie rider. The fourth ticket for the final was a two-way battle between a Japanese pair, since Jakob Fuglsang was evidently not confident in his finishing skills against the duo of Watanabe and Sawada, who crossed the line in that order. In the final, “Kwiato” again tried to shake off his competitors with an acceleration 500 metres from the line, but this time was lacking the strength to hold out against his two Japanese rivals. The duel was won by Saya Kuroeda, the only rider of the day to put in a faultless performance.
Gentle Return for Froome
The team time-trial in Saitama stood out this year because it witnessed the return to competition for Chris Froome following his serious accident on the last Critérium du Dauphiné. It was not a sensational comeback, as the four-time winner of the Tour de France had already pointed out when speaking of his current strength and form, with Team Ineos finishing in 12th position, the last of Tour de France teams in the classification. At the top of the table, four Japanese teams with explosive qualities overcame the strengths of the elite squads. In the contest between the Tour de France teams, the AG2R trio finished 5th with an average speed of 46.9kph, placing them 3 seconds ahead of Astana and 7 seconds ahead of Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma team-mates.
Tour de France Saitama Criterium Result:
1. Yukiya Arashiro (Jap) Bahrain Merida
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Kohei Uchima (Jap) UKYO
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
9. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Ineos.
Superprestige Cross – Gavere 2019
Eli Iserbyt dominated the Superprestige cross in Gavere. The 22-year-old rider of the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal team won the third round from the Dutchman Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Baloise Lions) and Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal).
The Gavere course today had no mud, easy to ride paths and high speed uphill sections. This made the course a lot more explosive, and that suited Lars van der Haar. The Dutchman kicked hard on the slopes and he looked like the Van der Haar from the past. Telenet-Baloise led the opening lap with Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel. Only leader Toon Aerts was left behind.
Fortunately for Aerts, the man of the moment, Eli Iserbyt, also had a bad start. Together they worked their way forward, because at the front the Telenet-Baloise riders didn’t keep up their effort for long. In lap two it was Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal that set the pace. Iserbyt pushed forward in his explosive style and brought teammates Michael Vanthourenhout and Daan Soete on his wheel. Belgian champion Toon Aerts was also strong in fourth place.
After a first attack by Aerts, the differences increased slightly. Soete had to let go and the rest took 20 seconds. Just before half an hour, Aerts crashed on a slippery corner, giving Iserbyt a free hand. Aerts lost around 12 seconds and never really got into his rhythm again.
Iserbyt was on a good day and lap after lap he stood on the pedals from bottom to top on the long climb to the Grenier Castle and he continued to set fast lap times. Iserbyt didn’t give the rest a chance and extended his lead to near a minute at the end.
Behind; Vanthourenhout and Aerts, the next challengers to Iserbyt, got tired and slowed. The fast starters, Lars van der Haar and Laurens Sweeck, found their second breath and Tom Pidcock also made up ground from behind. Van der Haar managed to take second place, three quarters of a minute from Iserbyt. Sweeck was 3rd, Pidcock 4th. With 8th place, Quinten Hermans lost his lead in the Superprestige to Van der Haar.
Race winner, Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “I knew I would have to ride off in the first lap, so that is a bit of an exaggeration. My start was a little less and Toon Aerts put a lot of pressure. I then tried to lure him out of his position with Michael and I succeeded. First I look forward to the cyclocross on the Koppenberg (Friday) and then to the duel with Mathieu (Van der Poel) in Ruddervoorde.”
Second place and Superprestige leader, Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Baloise Lions): “I think Eli is now riding at the level of Mathieu van der Poel last season. We will see what Van der Poel can do next week, it will be very difficult for him in his first cross. I am particularly happy with that second place. We will see the leader’s place at the end of the season. Not that I could have beat Eli today. He sometimes rode ten seconds per lap faster than me, so he was the best today.”
Superprestige Cross – Gavere Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in 1:00:27
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 0:43
3. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:54
4. Thomas Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing at 1:00
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:03
6. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 1:05
7. Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 1:24
8. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions at 1:28
9. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:46
10. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 2:10.
Ethias Cross Beringen 2019
Quinten Hermans (Telenet-Baloise Lions) won the Ethias cross in Beringen on Saturday. The man from Limburg was the best in its own province in the new Ethias Cross event in Beringen. Teammate Toon Aerts was second over the finish line, ahead of Britain’s Tom Pidcock.
The Ethias Cross in Beringen was scheduled for the first time on Saturday. Erwin Vervecken and had designed the course on the Limburg mine site. Every lap started with a long climb of 600 metres. The field was not super, with the Super Prestige cross on Sunday. The trio of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal riders – Eli Iserbyt, Laurens Sweeck and Michael Vanthourenhout – were missing.
Tom Pidcock selects his races this season and wanted to go for the win today. The Brit made a lightning-fast opening lap, only Quinten Hermans could follow the high pace of the former junior World champion. Belgian champion Toon Aerts was missing from the front: he was delayed by a piece of barbed wire in his wheel, so he lost time and had to change bikes. After a lap, Aerts was at 22 seconds from the leading duo.
The Pidcock party was ruined after 17 minutes. The Brit fell down on a descent and damaged his gears and was caught by Toon Aerts, who also had Thomas Mein with him. The trio never got close to the lonely leader Hermans. The 20 seconds became 30 by the halfway point, and it looked like Hermans would have the win. After two laps on the front, Pidcock brought the difference back to 25 seconds with a last effort, but after a flat tyre it was all over.
Race winner, Quinten Hermans (Telenet-Baloise Lions): “I am really very emotional. This victory feels very special. Winning for your own audience is something weird. I have had to compete with toppers like Mathieu van der Poel throughout my career. I knew that I would have to be very strong if I wanted to win here. And today that was really the case. I really had to work hard for this, but the satisfaction is so great now. Moreover, I heard that Toon Aerts had bad luck. Then my moment came. I was only in the lead. I am still working on my last lap, in which I keep loosing. But luckily that was not the case today. This cyclo-cross is a big hit. We have to wait and see what the legs will feel like tomorrow.”
Ethias Cross Beringen Result:
1. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
2. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
3. Tom Pidcock (GB) Trinity Racing
4. Thomas Mein (GB) Tarteletto-Isorex
5. Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
6. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus
7. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus
8. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Baloise Lions
9. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
10. Pieter-Jan Vliegen (Bel).
Kittel: Call Him Mister Ambassador
A career as an elite sprinter can open doors to all sorts of opportunities. Marcel Kittel, who this summer decided to leave the saddle at the age of 31 years old, has not had to wait for long to slip into a new role. The German colossus, a regular at the Saitama Criterium since his initial participation in 2013 after winning his first four stages on the Tour de France, has been invited this year as an ambassador.
This is a natural role for him in light of the affection he has for the end of season race that he won in 2014: “I’ve always had a wonderful welcome here and everybody has been able to see just how touched I have been each time by the acclaim of the crowds”. Kittel can also look back with particular fondness on the 14 stages he won on the Tour de France as he draws the final curtain on his time as a pro rider: “I have had a fine career. The highlights are obviously those victories on the Tour de France, as well as having had the opportunity to wear the Yellow Jersey. As a sprinter, I always dreamed about tasting victory on the Champs-Elysées”. Such memories are not holding Kittel back from looking forward, starting with his life as a young father which will commence in the forthcoming weeks: “It’s a new chapter that’s going to begin for me. I will be spending more time with my family and I will soon be starting studies in economics”.
Kittel, now ambassador:
Wanty Gobert-Tormans Confirmed for the One-Day WorldTour Races in 2020
The 2019 cycling campaign was closed last Tuesday in China, at the Tour of Guangxi (2.WT). The curtain fell on the occasion of the UCI cycling gala in Guilin, corresponding to the end of the World Ranking counters. The new global classification of UCI affiliated teams delivered its verdict: Wanty-Gobert, with 5086 points, is the seventeenth best team in the world, ahead of three World Tour teams. Only one Pro Continental team, Total Direct Energie, precedes the Belgian team by a small margin of 64.67 points.
This status of second best ProContinental team, after three consecutive victories in the EuropeTour, assures our team, in the context of the reform of professional cycling, to acquire invitations to all one-day WorldTour races in 2020. In case of eighteen licensed World Tour teams, automatic invites to all WorldTour stage races will be added.
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): “I’m very proud of the work accomplished by our riders and staff. We are and stay one of the best team in the second division for several years. Riders go and riders come, but we keep progressing year by year and achieving our targets. Our sponsors and technical partners who believe in us for several years are rewarded for their confidence.”
“The WANT YOU Club, precious to its president Arnaud Delmarche, doesn’t cease to welcome new members, growing our family. This fantastic project takes steps forward on a daily basis. We still have a lot of things to accomplish in cycling the coming years and it is a big motivation for everybody to participate in this new programme. It is a new big step for the project.”
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sportive direction): “The pressure for the riders and the sportive direction to gain UCI points finally dropped! With a lacking series of results in the spring I doubted whether we had the capabilities to stay on top of the Pro Continental team classification in 2019. After a successful Tour de France, we threw all irons in the fire to achieve this goal, even if our strategy sometimes privileged the gain of collective points over individual victories.”
“We’re very happy to conclude the year as second best Pro Continental team, and to have the opportunity to contest all World Tour one day races. Receiving invitations for classics like Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche constitutes a new step in the growing process of Wanty Gobert – Tormans. This race schedule will help us to perform better in the spring. We’re determined to be successful in the spring and, thanks to a good start, avoiding a last minute battle for UCI points!”
Wanty-Gobert training for Het Nieuwsblad:
Jakob Fuglsang Main Goal for 2020: “I want gold at all costs in Tokyo”
Jakob Fuglsang explored the course of the 2020 Olympic road race with Chris Froome, Michał Kwiatkowski and Romain Bardet. And next season he will go for nothing less than gold in the road race: “That will be my big goal next year.”
In 2016, the Danish Astana rider was already close to Olympic gold. It was Greg Van Avermaet who managed to beat him in the sprint, he had to settle for silver. But next year he wants to make another attempt to climb the top of Olympus. “I want gold in Tokyo at all costs, even more than any other cycling race,” he said after the test ride. “I think it’s a good course for me,” Fuglsang said. “I am optimistic about my chances. Moreover, when it rains it will be even harder than in Yorkshire. And only a climber can win on this course…”
The 34-year-old Fulsang can look back on a great season, despite the fact that his Tour de France was a disappointment. For the first time he won a stage in a Grand Tour, he won the Tour of Murcia, the Ruta del Sol and the Critérium du Dauphiné. At the end of April he won his first Classic, in Liège-Bastogne-Liège he soloed to victory.
Nairo Quintana Starts New Season in Colombia
Nairo Quintana will make his debut for Arkéa-Samsic in his homeland of Colombia. The 29-year-old rider would have participated in the Vuelta a San Juan (January 26-February 2), but Quintana and his French team now opt for the Colombian road championships and the Tour Colombia.
Quintana now does not have to make a long trip to Argentina for the Vuelta a San Juan. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, the climber opted to start his season in Argentina. In 2014 he won the Tour de San Luis, followed by two third places.
Quintana will now start his season on February the 2nd, at the Colombian national championships. Just over a week later, the Tour Colombia 2.1 (11-16 February) starts. This year, the former winner of the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España finished fifth in his home Tour, but did win the Queen Stage to the Alto de Palmas. The Tour Colombia 2020 starts with a 16.7 kilometre team time trial in Tunja, the birthplace of Quintana. “It is always an honour to start the season in Colombia,” said the new Arkéa-Samsic rider. The French team can’t count on a WorldTour license for next year.
Carthy Re-Signs with EF Education First Pro Cycling
The Lancashire man of few words has had his breakthrough year during the 2019 season. Hugh Carthy started the year strong taking third on the general classification (GC) at the Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var. He continued to impress with a standout performance at the Giro d’Italia, where he was regularly seen setting a rapid tempo at the front of the race making the GC favourites sit up and take notice.
Over the course of the three week Italian Grand Tour, Carthy’s success included three top ten stage finishes and third in the young rider’s competition. He then went on to win his first ever WorldTour race on stage nine at the Tour de Suisse; this was the year where all Carthy’s hard work started to come to fruition. EF Education First Pro Cycling is excited to continue to nurture Carthy’s talent and are happy to announce his re-signing through 2021.
“Mentally I didn’t think I’ve changed too much [after such a breakthrough year], but then I had a break and went back home and saw family and friends and it sank in a bit more,” noted Carthy. “But then when you return to Europe you forget about it a bit, it’s like you’re back to square one, you just want to get out and race again.”
Carthy’s standout moment is, unsurprisingly, his time on top of the podium. “Winning my first WorldTour race with the team, that’s probably one of my stand out moments,” said Carthy. “There have been a lot of nice moments that have led up to that moment, where the team have shown support and faith in me and that’s really nice.”
EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters was impressed with Carthy’s win in Switzerland: “Hugh’s spectacular win in Tour de Suisse convinced me that he’s a very special type of talent. He’s an emotional and passionate racer. His 100 kilometres solo in Suisse was evocative of the big mountain raids we used to see in the 70s and 80s. He’s exactly the type of rider we want on this team.”
The Vuelta a España was anticipated to be another race for further standout performances, but unfortunately saw him crash out on stage six with a broken collarbone after a mass pile-up in the peloton. Not one to languish in self-pity, the day after his surgery, his arm in a sling, Carthy was at the start of stage nine in Andorra to see his teammates off and support the team in their revised Vuelta ambitions. The smile across his face was a sign that it would take more than injury and forced abandons to keep him down.
Carthy notes that when it comes to tough moments he’s witnessed quite a few over the last few years, especially the ones the team has had to overcome, “The team has gone through some ups and downs over the time that I’ve been here, and I’ve been here with the team when in some ways it was at its lowest point; a couple years ago when it nearly went under. Since then I feel like I’ve grown with the team in a way, and even more so with all the support we receive from everyone around the globe at EF.”
His personal growth, both physically and mentally, has been recognised by the team and is why this year especially he’s been given more responsibility and lead roles in races.
“Hugh has made some crucial steps in his progression this year,” head sport director Charly Wegelius says. “He’s proving to himself and the world that he cannot only be present at the highest level, but also win. This has given him the reassurance that he needed, that he is on the right track. There is still a long way to go until we find out where the ceiling is for Hugh, and I am delighted that we can continue this journey together.”
Hugh Carthy winning Suisse’19 stage 9:
Modolo for Corendon-Circus?
Corendon-Circus want to sign the Italian sprinter Sacha Modolo, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. Modolo didn’t have his contract renewed after a disappointing season with EF Education First, so the Italian is looking for a new team. The Israel Cycling Academy was previously interested in the Italian, but it is unknown if that is still on-going.
The 32-year-old rider can look back on a moderate season. Modolo didn’t have any wins in 2019 partly due to a recently discovered food intolerance. During his career he was taken 46 victories, including in two stages of the Giro d’Italia. At Corendon-Circus, Modolo would be a reinforcement for the Classics around Van der Poel. In 2017, the Italian finished sixth in the Tour of Flanders. In addition, Modolo can share his experience with Tim Merlier, the team’s sprinter.
Sacha Modolo wins stage 3 of the Vuelta a Andalucia – Ruta Ciclista Del Sol
Team Bahrain Merida Signs Iconic British Rider Mark Cavendish MBE
Sprint star, Mark Cavendish, will join the exciting pro cycling joint venture between the Kingdom of Bahrain and racing, technology and automotive brand, McLaren, for the 2020 season. Cavendish is widely regarded as the greatest sprinter in the history of the sport, having won a phenomenal 48 Grand Tour stage wins during his career, including 30 at the Tour de France.
The signing cements a long-standing relationship between Cavendish and McLaren, dating back to the star sprinter’s world championship success on a bike co-developed with McLaren. The 2011 World Road Race Champion is the latest high-profile signing to an increasingly impressive line-up, led by team principal Rod Ellingworth, which now includes Mikel Landa, Wout Poels, and 2019 Tour de France stage winner, Dylan Teuns.
Mark Cavendish commented: “Joining this team is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition for me… and is super exciting and motivating. You could even say a dream come true. Having worked closely with McLaren in the past, and seen the benefits of their technology and processes, this was an opportunity I jumped at. My relationship with Rod goes way back, and he’s been instrumental in helping me develop as a rider and a person. I can’t wait to join my new teammates and do everything I can to help us achieve the successes I know will come.”
Rod Ellingworth, Team Principal of Bahrain Merida, commented: “Mark’s signing completes our rider roster for 2020 and gives us the balance the team needs to win. Mark is a proven champion and has a lot to contribute – both on and off the bike. Having last worked with him at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Qatar World Championships, I’ve been delighted to see that his energy and determination to succeed are greater now than ever. We’re going to do everything in our power to enable him to perform at his best.”
John Allert, Managing Director, McLaren Pro Cycling, commented: “Mark has been a friend of McLaren for many years – indeed it was partly our previous work with him that kindled our interest in the sport. It actually feels like Mark is coming home. Together we share a passion for the romance and heritage of racing in all its forms, as well as a desire to keep innovating and improving in order to win. I’m delighted he’s joining the team.”
Fundación Euskadi Team Complete for 2020
The Fundación Euskadi team has finalised its team for the 2020 season. The Basque team – which will have a ProTeam license next year – has been strengthened by signing Rubén Fernandez, Juan José Lobato, Mikel Iturria and Mikel Aristi. Five of the new riders are from the Euskadi Murias team which will not race in 2020.
Fernández and Lobato will ride for the Basque team next year. 28-year-old Fernández leaves Movistar after five seasons to try his luck at Fundación Euskadi as a leader. Lobato, who is two years older, rode this season for Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè. It is a return to the old nest for the fast sprinter, as he also rode one season for Euskaltel-Euskadi. In addition, five riders from Euskadi-Murias, which has since disappeared, have made the move: Iturria, Aristi, Garikoitz Bravo, Mikel Bizkarra and Julen Irizar.
Iturria managed to surprise this year in the Vuelta a España, with a win on stage 11 in Urdax. Aristi is again a strong sprinter who cheered last season in the Volta a Portugal and the Tour du Limousin. Bravo and Bizkarra excel especially in the mountains. The other riders are Joan Bou, Antonio Angulo and Iker Ballarin who comes from the Kutxa team.
Fundación Euskadi Team for 2020:
Mikel Alonso (Spa), Antonio Angulo (Spa), Jokin Aranburu (Spa), Mikel Aristi (Spa), Ibai Azurmendi (Spa), Iker Ballarin (Spa), Mikel Bizkarra (Spa), Joan Bou (Spa), Garikoitz Bravo (Spa), Unai Cuadrado (Spa), Rubén Fernández (Spa), Peio Goikoetxea (Spa), Julen Irizar (Spa), Mikel Iturria (Spa), Txomin Juaristi (Spa), Juan José Lobato (Spa), Diego Lopez (Spa), Gotzon Martin (Spa), Jesus Antonio Soto (Spa), Dzmitry Zhyhunou (Belarus).
Mikel Iturria Vuelta’19 stage win:
Teuntje Beekhuis Becomes One of the Lotto Soudal Ladies in 2020
The next new asset of the Lotto Soudal Ladies team that we introduce to you is Teuntje Beekhuis. This 24-year-old Dutch rider only joined the elite peloton last season. She participated in a talent day organised by Parkhotel Valkenburg and was offered a traineeship afterwards. In the shirt of the Biehler Pro Cycling Team she claimed amongst other the twelfth place at the Erondegemse Pijl, the twelfth place on the sixth stage of the Tour Cycliste Feminin de l’Ardèche and the seventh place on stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos this year. In 2020 she will further pursue her dreams, as a Lotto Soudal rider.
Teuntje Beekhuis: “In 2018 I took part in the talent day of Parkhotel Valkenburg. I had already been cycling as a hobby for several years. Before that, I had ridden horseback for many years and I was eager to compete again. People told me to grab my chance and start racing. And so I decided to apply for a license. In the summer of 2018 I participated in the talent day of Parkhotel Valkenburg. The day was filled with performance tests, measurements and interviews. The team offered me a traineeship afterwards.”
“When I applied for a license I never thought that things would change so fast and that I would be racing for Lotto Soudal in 2020. This transfer is another step forward. I hope to further develop myself within the team. I want to focus on climbing. The past year I noticed that’s my strong point. Also when cycling was just a hobby, I felt that tougher courses suited me and above all I also enjoyed it. The Giro Rosa and Amstel Gold Race are my dream races.”
“I also want to learn more about the tactical side of things and that’s definitely possible in such an experienced team as Lotto Soudal. Most women in the peloton have already been racing for many years, since they were young, and I notice that I have a lack of tactical insight. Because I still need to learn a lot, it’s difficult to say something about personal results. I will mainly support Julie Van De Velde and the team in tougher races. I hope to get the best out of myself. I have a lot of perseverance and I don’t give up easily. That will no doubt come in handy.”
Eight Roompot-Charles Riders Still Without a Team
Eight Roompot-Charles riders are yet to find a new team for next year. Due to the Dutch-Belgian team ending at the end of the season, all the riders had to look for new contracts. A number of new transfers were announced in recent weeks: Michael Van Staeyen is taking a step down, he will compete at Continental level with the Belgian Tarteletto-Isorex team, he has signed a contract for one season. Arjen Livyns has also managed to find a new team for next year on a one year contract with Wallonie-Bruxelles. Two Belgians; Elmar Reinders and Nick van der Lijke will ride for the Danish ProContinental team Riwal-Readynez, according to Dutch website WielerFlits.
In total, ten riders have found a new employer for next season, leaving eight riders without a team. Lars Boom is still in the dark for next season. On Tuesday, in the run-up to the Night of Woerden, Boom told WielerFlits that he was talking to some parties. The idea of stopping has also been in the thoughts of the ex cyclocross world champion. For now, Boom is taking a break, and then will ride a number of crosses again in December.
Pieter Weening is also without a team and has indicated that he wants to race for another year, but to date he has found nothing for next season. In addition to Weening, Jan-Willem van Schip also hopes for a contract. The points race World champion has not yet found a new employer, but is in conversation with BEAT Cycling Club.
Roompot-Charles riders still without a team for 2020
Sean De Bie
Matthias De Witte
Sjoerd van Ginneken
Jan-Willem van Schip
Roompot-Charles riders with a new team for 2020
Maurits Lammertink to Wanty-Gobert
Senne Leysen to Corendon-Circus
Nick van der Lijke to Riwal-Readynez
Arjen Livyns to Wallonie-Bruxelles
Boy van Poppel to Wanty-Gobert
Elmar Reinders to Riwal-Readynez
Oscar Riesebeek to Corendon-Circus
Stijn Steels to Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Justin Timmermans to VolkerWessels-Merckx
Michael Van Staeyen to Tarteletto-Isorex.
Jesper Asselman, still nothing for 2020:
UAE Team Emirates Return to the UAE After Record Season
This weekend UAE Team Emirates returned home to celebrate their best season to date with a series of events and appearances that included a ride along with nearly 200 members of the UAE cycling community.
Fans of the team from local amateur clubs were given an opportunity to meet and cycle with the full 2020 season squad at Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi.
The Emirati formation ended its third season as a top tier professional team last week with two stage wins at the Tour of Guangi, earning valuable points which pushed them further up the UCI World Tour rankings Since the beginning of January the team has won 29 races and had a further 65 podium finishes firmly establishing them as the fourth best team in the world.
Jarlinson Pantano Wants to go into Colombian Politics
Jarlinson Pantano wants to take a different direction after the end of his cycling career. The Colombian wants to be part of local politics of his birthplace Cali and is a candidate for the city administration.
Pantano is on the election list for ‘El Partido de la Unidad’, the unity party. On social media, he indicated that he was committed to more recreational and sporting opportunities and cycle paths in the city. Cali is the third largest city in Colombia after Bogota and Medellin. His former fellow cyclists Egan Bernal and Rigoberto Urán have already announced that they support Pantano in his political career.
The 30-year-old Pantano was a professional cyclist earlier this year, but after a positive EPO test in February, he decided to stop cycling. “I have decided not to fight,” he said of a possible appeal against the doping penalty. “I just feel cheated.”
“The Wolfpack: 365 Days At The Wheel” has been launched
The follow-up of “The Wolfpack: 365 Days On The Road” book celebrates another extraordinary year of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Following on from the hugely popular first edition launched in 2018, photographer Sigfrid Eggers has again encaptured perfectly the sweat, toil and tears that have led to dozens of victories and the joy of winning the UCI World Team Classification for the second consecutive year, and will be on sale, in stores and online, from next week.
The 2019 season was one that the Wolfpack will never forget, and has been perfectly recorded by Eggers. Through his lens, he witnessed the team’s journey from the very beginning, starting in the January training camp in Calpe, through the early season campaigns in South America and into Europe. As a result, an emotionally charged successful classics campaign, crowned with victories at Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix, features heavily in this beautiful book.
The ecstasy and the agony of the squad’s triumphs at the Tour de France, where the riders swept to three stage victories and seven further top 3 places are depicted perfectly, including Elia Viviani’s win on stage 4. Of course, the major player in the story is the enigmatic Julian Alaphilippe, whose 14 days in the famous yellow jersey make the year’s central story. As the saying goes, a picture paints 1000 words, but perhaps even that is not enough to depict the rollercoaster of emotions that saw Julian battle against the odds to keep the lead of the world’s biggest race, roared on by the French public.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “Sigfrid has again shown that he is a supreme photographer and a master of his art. He is very much a part of the Wolfpack and he always manages to go about capturing even the most intermittent moments of the team perfectly. The book brings back a lot of memories of a truly dazzling 2019 season, a season that we have again concluded at the top and of which we are all very proud, and I hope the book will bring back a lot of happy memories to everyone that reads it.”
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