The 2020 World championships in Switzerland will go ahead – Top Story. Race report from the Slovenian TT title. Other cycling news: The Manuela Fundación team situation, Lefevere talks COVID-19, UAE Team Emirates Tour team, Evenepoel and the Giro, Alaphilippe and Van Avermaet for Strade Bianche, Thévenet on Dumoulin, Circus not going to Canada, Landa and Mas working towards the Tour, Weening for the Giro, contract news, Sean Yates trainer for Nippo, Tour earlier in 2021, Tour de Yorkshire uncertain, Tour of Portugal postponed, Giro to climb Colle Fauniera, teams for the Tour de l’Ain and Circuito de Getxo, no Japan Cup, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles schedule, Giro new website, Tour de Pologne for Bjorg, Wynants to retire and Sørensen on his doping. We finish with film of Peter Sagan in Italy for the Giro. Monday EUROTRASH time!
TOP STORY: 2020 World championships will take place in Switzerland
The 2020 World Road Championships will be in Switzerland at the end of September. The organising committee has announced that it is clear that the event will be held in Aigle and Martigny, based on the health measures and restrictions of the Swiss federal government.
“After examining the health measures and national restrictions imposed by the Swiss government, the organising committee, in consultation with the UCI, the cantons of Vaud and Valais and the municipalities of Aigle and Martigny, has decided to continue organising the World championships,” was announced in a press release.
“We are continuing to prepare for our event,” said Grégory Devaud and Alexandre Debons on behalf of the organisation. “We are grateful to the UCI, local authorities, our sponsors and the many volunteers for their confidence. We must, of course, remain cautious given the global health situation. But the organisation of the Swiss championship on August 22 on our circuit is a strong sign. That will confirm our approach and help us further with the procedures.”
The cycling World championships are scheduled for September 20-27 this autumn, the opening day clashing with the closing day of the Tour de France in Paris. The Swiss Cycling Championships will be used as a test event in Aigle and Martigny on the weekend of 22-23 August.
This is possible because the government has relaxed several measures in recent weeks. Now, meetings of up to 1,000 people are allowed from September, if contact research can be guaranteed and if the coronavirus does not flare up again. There will be limited access for fans in the start and finish zone.
It was previously feared that the World championship in Switzerland would be canceled due to the corona virus. In that case, they could have moved to the Middle East.
World Championships 2020 Schedule – Aigly-Martigny:
Sun September 20: Time trial elite men
Mo 21: Time trial elite women
Mon 21: Time trial U23 men
Tue 22: Time trial juniors women
Tue 22: Time trial juniors men
Wed 23: Team Time Trial (Mixed Relay)
Fr 25: Road race U23 men
Fr 25: Road race juniors women
Sat 26: Road race elite women
Sun 27: Road race elite men.
Lets hope for good weather:
Slovenian National ITT Championships 2020
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) beat the top favourite for the Slovenian time trial title on Sunday. Pogačar was nine-seconds faster than Roglic after a 15.7 kilometre hilly time trial to Pokljuka. Pogačar was also Slovenian time trial champion last year.
Notable participant in the championship was Alessandro De Marchi. CCC’s Italian was allowed to participate and set a time of 34:21 minutes, but that was not enough to stay ahead of the home riders. Janez Brajkovic then went into the provisional lead with a time of 33:03.
The big guns; Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, were the last to start. The UAE youngster set a time of 31:10 in the rain, making it by far the fastest at the time, after which he only had to wait for Roglic. Pogačar held on for the win. The Jumbo-Visma leader lost 9 seconds (31:19) to miss the double. He received the silver medal, while the bronze went to Jan Polanc with a time of 32:57.
In the women’s race, the title went to Urska Zigart from Alé BTC Ljubljana. The women’s race was on the same course as the men, she was over three minutes faster than the rider in second place.
Slovenian TT champion, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “After my second place last week I have returned, that I can win here feels very good. I already knew the course very well and we trained on the route a lot last week.”
2020 Slovenian National ITT Championships Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in 31:10
2. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) at 0:09
3. Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) at 1:47
4. Janez Brajkovič (Adria Mobil) at 1:53
5. Marko Pavlič at 2:52
6. Domen Novak (Bahrain-McLaren) at 3:01
7. Grega Bole (Bahrain-McLaren) at 3:10
8. Kristjan Hočevar (Adria Mobil) at 3:55
9. Nik Čemažar at 3:57
10. Matej Mugerli (Continental Team Sport.Land. Niederösterreich) at 4:07.
Slovenian TT Champ – Tadej Pogačar:
Manuela Fundación Offers €10 Million For Mitchelton-Scott License
Manuela Fundación does not just accept the ‘NO’ from Mitchelton-Scott owner Gerry Ryan. The Spanish foundation of Francisco Huertas wants to take over the team immediately and is now offering 10 million euros for the WorldTour license, which is in the name of Ryan’s GreenEdge Cycling, according to Spanish sports-paper AS.
Huertas previously acquired the company New Global Cycling Services for 20 million euros from team manager Shayne Bannan. That company controls the entire structure of Mitchelton-Scott. For example, the rider contracts have been signed by Bannan. Only the WorldTour license is not (yet) owned by Manuela Fundación.
Gerry Ryan recently decided, as a licensee, to dismiss the deal with the Spanish foundation. To the annoyance of the people behind Manuela Fundación, including intended manager Stefano Garzelli. He promised that the foundation would not accept that decision.
Now Manuela Fundación appears to have addressed Gerry Ryan directly to also take over the WorldTour license. Owner Huertas has offered to pay €10 million for the license, to take over the team immediately and turn it into an Australian-Spanish team. In this way, the Spanish investor wants to prevent the case from going to court. Whether Gerry Ryan agrees to the bid for the WorldTour license is not yet known.
Will we ever see this jersey in the WorldTour?
Lefevere: “Let what happened in tennis be a wake-up call for us”
Patrick Lefevere is concerned with how the cycling world will deal with the control of the corona virus. He points to tennis, where top player Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19. “My worst nightmare is that the races in July – like in tennis – lead to infections,” he writes in his column in Het Nieuwsblad.
The team boss of Deceuninck – Quick Step hopes that the events in tennis will lead to a wake-up call for cycling. “I still want to believe that Novak Djokovic has organised his demonstration tournaments with good intentions, but without precaution it will end badly.”
“Let it be a lesson for all cycle races that will start again in July,” he continues. “They are now shooting up like mushrooms, but I hope that enough attention is paid to prevention,” says Lefevere. The training camp of his own team in Kaster made him hopeful. “Our riders are also young people who have not seen each other for a long time, but in the evening after dinner everyone immediately went to his room. I have said it before: in the race, attention to hygiene and the risk of contamination is a kind of second nature. In tennis – with the richest sponsors in the world – you may sooner think that you are untouchable.”
Deceuninck – Quick Step chooses to race a few races in July. The team starts in the kermis race in Rotselaar by sponsor Vermarc and will be at the start of the Tour of Burgos. “By going on a collective training camp, the entire team can remain in the same bubble. That seems to me to be the safest and certainly the most transparent approach. Other teams differentiate between different programs, we prefer to keep everyone together for the time being. We will also be testing regularly in the coming weeks.”
Lefevere is also bothered by the organisers: “They all want Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphilippe at the start. And yes, our riders also like to race. But the sun rises for nothing. Then we prefer a training camp in San Pellegrino, where the region does make a financial effort for the exposure that our stay offers them.”
UAE Team Emirates Tour Team
UAE Team Emirates has completed their selection for the 2020 Tour de France. It was already known that top talent Tadej Pogacar and sprinter Alexander Kristoff would be leaders. The last three names are Jan Polanc, Sven Erik Bystrøm and Marco Marcato.
Team manager Joxean “Matxin” Fernández confirmed to Tuttobiciweb that, in addition to Pogacar and Kristoff, the names of Fabio Aru, Davide Formolo and David De la Cruz. This means that leader Pogacar will have four climbers with him and Kristoff has two helpers with Bystrøm and Marcato.
Matxin indicated that UAE Team Emirates does not want to ‘just’ participate. He thinks Team Ineos can be defeated. “This year is probably the year they are less strong,” he says. “I am not a magician, but it is obvious that everyone claims their own role. Froome has won four times and asks for respect. Bernal is the last winner and demands respect. And Thomas has already won and finished second.”
Pogacar, who finished third on his debut in the Vuelta last year and won three stages, previously stated that he did not expect a good classification. “I expect to do well, and I will do everything I can, but I can’t start talking about results now,” said the Slovenian.
UAE Team Emirates squad for the Tour de France (August 29-September 20):
Fabio Aru (Ita)
Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor)
David De la Cruz (Spa)
Davide Formolo (Ita)
Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
Marco Marcato (Ita)
Tadej Pogacar (Slo)
Jan Polanc (Slo).
Pogačar for Tour overall:
Aru: “I wanted to return too soon”
Fabio Aru believes that he should have taken more time to return after an injury last year. The UAE Team Emirates rider had surgery for a pinched hip artery last March and continued his season back in June. “In retrospect, I would say that the return was premature,” said the Italian in an interview with Tuttobici.
The career of the 29-year-old Aru has been in a bit of a slump. While he won the Vuelta at a young age and was twice on the final podium in the Giro, he has been waiting for a victory for almost three years now. In the Tour of 2017 he took his last victory in the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles.
Last year he was to ride the Giro, but he had the pinched hip artery problem. “I have had some bad years,” said Aru. “It was not until after the operation that peace returned, even though a series of mistakes made the situation worse again. I learned that after such an injury you need patience and time.”
Aru finished fourteenth in the Tour last year, but had to leave the Vuelta early due to fatigue. “In hindsight, I wanted to return too soon,” he continued. “But I and many with me wanted me to compete for the prizes again. But I take full blame. It might have been easier if I had taken more time, but I didn’t.”
He now has the confidence that he can return to his old level. In February he was at the start of the Tour of Colombia. “When I returned to Colombia, I was in good shape and regained my peace. These two things are important for the balance between man and athlete. It was a demanding race. You often cycle more than 2500 meters above sea level, but I have been able to work well for the team.”
Aru is said to be one of the highest paid riders in the pack. His contract with UAE Team Emirates is about to expire this season, although he is not yet working on a new one. “It is premature to talk about a contract extension now. But the relationship with the team is good. For the time being I am not thinking about a contract extension, although under normal circumstances it would have been the time now. But times have changed and we will be sitting around the table in October.”
For the time being, he is focusing on the restart of the season. “We have agreed with the team that I will ride the Tour de France. That is now our first goal. To prepare for this, we plan an altitude training camp in July.”
Aru TT training:
Evenepoel Wants to Win the Giro d’Italia
Remco Evenepoel is keen to win the Giro d’Italia this year. The 20-year-old super talent of Deceuninck – Quick-Step said during a session on Instagram Live.
Evenepoel did not shy away from the question whether he will win the Giro this year. “I am keen on it. My preparation is all about the Giro. So hopefully I will be spared from bad luck and I can answer in the affirmative at the end of October,” he said.
The leadership for La Corsa Rosa does not put extra pressure on his shoulders. “It’s mainly healthy stress,” he explains. “Stress rather gives me motivation or adrenaline. This results in achievements. But stress has no negative effects on me. In a time trial you have to be able to deal with tension all day long. That is actually one of my strongest points,” he explained.
Evenepoel resumes his season on July 28 when he starts the Tour of Burgos with Deceuninck – Quick Step. Although the rest of his program has not yet been cast in stone, it is in line with expectations that he will also ride the Tour of Poland (August 5-9) and the Tour of Lombardy (August 15). His program will be refined during the team training camp in San Pellegrino (6-23 July).
At the end of August, he will ride the European championships, before the World championships in Switzerland, scheduled for the end of September. Evenepoel will ride the time trial and the road race. It will be decided at a later date about a participation in the Belgian championships on Tuesday 22 September. The Giro d’Italia 2020 will start on October 3.
Big year for Evenepoel:
Julian Alaphilippe Defends Strade Bianche Title
According to L’Equipe: Julian Alaphilippe will resume his season on August 1 in the Strade Bianche to defend his title. Last year finished ahead of Jakob Fuglsang and Wout van Aert on the dusty tuscan roads. The Frenchman will be at altitude in the weeks leading up to the Strade Bianche as he will be in the Dolomites with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Alaphilippe will be on the Passo San Pellegrino from 6 to 23 July.
In recent days, the 28-year-old rider trained in the Alps. Alaphilippe explored several stages of the Tour de France, which will start in Nice in two months time.
Strade Bianche for Alaphilippe:
Thévenet Sees Dumoulin as a Tour Favourite
Former Tour winner Bernard Thévenet puts Tom Dumoulin forward as a big contender for the overall victory in the 2020 Tour de France. The Frenchman said that to Sporza. “It’s always good when it’s not too hot.”
Thévenet, 72, expects few riders to have a real chance of winning the Tour. “There will soon be a strict selection due to the schedule and the Tour will now run in September. Normally it is always warm in July, but in September it is already a little less hot,” he says. “Riders normally bothered by the heat may wake up now.”
“Even if you keep looking at Egan Bernal among the favourites,” Thévenet predicts. “I also think of Tom Dumoulin, who is always good when it’s not too hot. I don’t really see anyone from the French able to challenge them. We have Julian Alaphilippe, but he will tackle it like last year and look for his opportunities.”
The atmosphere around the Tour will also be less festive, thinks the Tour winner from 1975 and 1977. “There will be less public anyway, because many people do not have a holiday in September. You will see many retirees by the side of the road, but for the riders, the stages and the victories count.”
Thévenet still questions the measures presented. “This sport is coloured by its freedom. The athletes are close to the spectators and fans. Keep a meter and a half away? I don’t know how to do that. A Tour without an audience is impossible. You cannot prevent people from coming out when the course passes their doorstep.”
Thevenet attacking Merckx in 1975:
Circus-Wanty Gobert Can Ride Canadian Classics
Circus-Wanty Gobert can participate in the WorldTour Classics in Québec and Montréal for the first time this year, but the Belgian team will not make the crossing to Canada, according to team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren.
“We were able to participate for the first time because we finished second behind Total Direct Energie in the ProTeam league,” Van der Schueren told Het Nieuwsblad. “But unlike the WorldTour teams, which do not have to pay for the flight and accommodation, I had to do it with a fee of €7,500.”
“We do have to pay for the airline tickets and the hotel ourselves. We quickly calculated that and we came to an amount of €35,000 out of pocket. Although these are two great races, we can do something more sensible with this sum. So be it,” stated Van der Schueren.
Due to the corona virus, the UCI has planned the Tour de France (August 29-September 20) and Tirreno-Adriatico (September 7-14) simultaneously with the Canadian races (September 11 and 13). The organisation still hopes to present a representative field of participants. Serge Arsenault, chairman of the organisation, is optimistic. “I believe that Classic’s cyclists come to us and want to win.” Arsenault thinks the hilly Classics in Canada have already proven their worth on the calendar. “That should guarantee that we have a strong field at the start.”
Hilaire Van der Schueren and Circus not going to Canada:
Greg Van Avermaet Prepares for Strade Bianche in Livigno
Greg Van Avermaet will go altitude training in Livigno in the second half of July. With this training camp, the CCC leader will prepare for the restart of the season in Strade Bianche on August 1.
Van Avermaet, with some teammates, will be in the Italian ski area Livigno at an altitude of about 1,800 meters from 14-30 July. “It is a deliberate choice to get up to speed so quickly during the season,” Van Avermaet told Het Nieuwsblad. “The intention is to drive by car from Livigno to Siena, so I save a plane trip and I will stay in Italy for a longer period for the corona measures.”
For Van Avermaet, the focus on the restart is a good distraction for CCC’s sponsorship problems. Team manager Jim Ochowicz is looking for a new sponsor for the WorldTour team. Ochowicz knows that Van Avermaet can count on a lot of interest.
Altitude training for Van Avermaet:
Mikel Landa Feel More Physically and Mentally Mature
Mikel Landa is confidently working towards the Tour de France. “I feel much more physically and mentally,” said the Spaniard, who is the designated leader of Bahrain-McLaren in the French Grand Tour.
“This year the Tour is very mountainous,” Landa said to TDP Casa. “Very nervous stages were recorded as early as the first week. So it is imperative to be in good shape immediately. We currently have time to prepare and we are not tired. We have to try to get to the start as best we can and to hold on to the end.”
Landa’s preparation begins with an exploration of several mountain stages of the Tour, followed by an altitude training camp in Andorra. After that he has included the Tour of Burgos and the Critérium du Dauphiné. “The Dauphiné consists of five demanding stages, which are important to ride,” he said. “I now also feel stronger to get in shape and to stay in shape. I benefit from that.”
Landa looking good:
Enric Mas Looks Ahead to the Tour de France
Enric Mas finished 22nd last year in his first Tour de France, but the Spanish climber hopes to be on the podium in Paris this year. “That is the goal, although I don’t have much experience yet,” said Mas on the Movistar team website.
The 25-year-old Mas – who transferred from Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Movistar last winter – broke through two years ago with a second place in the Vuelta a España. In the 2019 Tour, the climber didn’t come up to expectations, but Mas still hopes to shine in the Tour de France.
“I managed to finish with a podium place in the Vuelta, although I do realise that it cannot be compared to a Tour de France. I only participated in the Tour once, while my rivals have much more experience. And yet I believe in a podium place.” Mas is already looking at the competition.
The promising Tour rider expects a lot from Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma, the strongest teams for the Tour on paper. “We can take advantage of the fight between these teams. Don’t forget: Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma start with three leaders for the rankings.”
Mas starts his season in the Tour of Burgos. After the five-day stage race in the north of Spain, Mas goes to the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Spanish championships in the province of Jaén and the Tour de France. After the Tour he will ride the Vuelta a España. His Movistar team has chosen to compete with two leaders in the Tour and Vuelta. Mas shares the leadership with Alejandro Valverde.
Mas, Valverde and Soler:
Pieter Weening Selected by Trek-Segafredo for Giro d’Italia
Pieter Weening can prepare for a return to the Giro d’Italia. His sports director Steven de Jongh told Eurosport that their new rider will be starting La Corsa Rosa.
“Pieter is going to the Giro and will mainly ride an Italian program,” said de Jongh. “Now that all teams have such a full agenda, it is nice that we have him there,” he explained.
39-year-old Weening started the new season without a team, but recently managed to get a contract with the Trek-Segafredo team. The experienced Dutchman has ridden the Giro five times before, most recently in 2015. In 2011 he won a stage and wore the pink jersey for four days. He also won a stage in 2014. The Giro d’Italia 2020 will start on October 3. At Trek-Segafredo Vincenzo Nibali is to be the team the leader.
Trek-Segafredo is now preparing for the restart of the cycling season. “We will live at altitude in mid-July. The riders who do the Giro do that in Italy. We are going to France with the riders who qualify for the Tour,” explained De Jongh. He is satisfied with the shape of his leaders. “Richie Porte had a hard time at the beginning of the lockdown, but he has been doing very well in recent weeks. We know that Van Bauke is super professional. He is also in good shape.”
Peter Weening with Trek-Segafredo in 2020:
Yves Lampaert extends with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The 29-year-old Belgian will continue with the team until 2022.
Yves Lampaert has signed a new contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step Cycling Team, adding two more years to his previous deal. The former Belgian National Champion has been with the Wolfpack since 2015 and has become a mainstay in the team, showing his strength in the Spring Classics – where he won Dwars door Vlaanderen on two occasions, as well as finishing on the podium at Paris-Roubaix – in addition to this being an invaluable part of our Grand Tour teams.
Speaking of the agreement, Yves could not hide his delight: “I’m happy with my contract extension. It’s nice to feel Patrick and the team putting their trust in me! This definitely gives me an extra boost for the remainder of the season, once it will restart. I can now go to the upcoming races with a clear mind. I have a special bond with this team and I’m a proud Wolf. Next year will be my seventh with the squad and I hope there will be many more.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was equally pleased with retaining the services of Lampaert, who has enjoyed a strong start to the year in the Spring Classics, before the season got halted due to the pandemic: “Yves has been part of our circle of trust for some time now. We know what he is capable of and we believe he will only improve in the coming years. He is very much appreciated by his colleagues and never hesitates to give his all for them. He puts the group first and not himself, as it should be in the Wolfpack. Having him on board for two more years gives us a lot of satisfaction.”
Yves Lampaert in the 2020 Het Nieuwsblad:
Circus-Wanty Gobert Wants to Extend All Expiring Contracts
The riders who currently ride for Circus-Wanty Gobert need not fear for the near future. Team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren has informed Het Nieuwsblad that they will be kept on board until the end of 2021. “If the riders wish so.”
Cycling has many problems under the corona crisis. For example, more and more riders have had to take a drop in salary as teams are forced to cut salaries. The question is how many jobs will disappear with a view to 2021, but Circus-Wanty Gobert has announced that everyone can stay with the Belgian team.
“I think most teams will use this rule of thumb. We will see how many riders will still leave,” said Van der Schueren. “We will then make the bill again.” Circus-Wanty Gobert has 26 riders on the payroll, as many as twelve rider’s contracts expire.
This is the case for strongmen like Jan Bakelants, Timothy Dupont and Xandro Meurisse. The latter hopes, after some good seasons for the Belgian team, to make the step to the highest level at the age of 28. The Flemish rider started the year off very well with a stage and final win in the Tour of Murcia.
Van der Schueren: “I tell you: if Xandro makes the move to Deceuninck – Quick-Step or Lotto Soudal, it will be under lesser conditions than with us. Don’t forget that he now has a big contract.”
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise From 20 to 22 Riders in 2021
Even in corona times there is occasionally good news to report. Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise are looking for fresh talent this year. “At least two new boys will come on board in 2021”, sports director Hans De Clercq told WielerFlits.
The Belgian Pro Team continues to profile itself as a training team for young talent. “We started 2020 with a core of twenty riders, while budgetary was actually possible to contract two more,” says De Clercq. “That did not happen, on the one hand because there were a number of boys that we wanted, but who still wanted to stay with the U23s, on the other hand because a number of others were found to be just a little too ‘light’. The intention was to hire two more riders in July.”
However, because there has barely been a race for the time being, both spots will remain available for the time being. “We are still talking to those guys who still wanted to wait at the time, and we are also looking forward to other talent. There are still three months in which they can show themselves, right? And that also applies in the opposite direction. We are not just going to renew all expiring contracts because it has been a special year. They also have to prove themselves in the coming months.”
More riders for Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise:
One-year Contract Extensions for Devenyns and Keisse
Following the likes of teammate Yves Lampaert, now also his fellow countrymen have extended their expiring contract.
Dries Devenyns and Iljo Keisse, the Wolfpack’s two senior riders, not only bring their vast experience to the group, they also continue to perform on a high level, according to CEO Patrick Lefevere: “Dries has done amazing things before the lockdown,” he says. “Think of his fantastic win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. And Iljo continues to execute his role flawlessly. They have both proven their services to the team on countless occasions. Being well over thirty, they may not be racing for five more years. But we know very well what we can expect of them and what they add to the team. Take it as a clear vote of our confidence.”
With the contract renewals of Devenyns, Keisse and Lampaert, Lefevere has now secured an extended stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for three of the team’s most seasoned and valued riders: “It’s been hard for all of us these strange times,” he explained. “I really wanted to take care of our own riders’ expiring contracts first. It’s been a special year. I wouldn’t want them to wait until October or November with the added stress of not having a contract yet.”
Dries Devenyns, who turns 37 in a couple of weeks, already looks forward to what will be his tenth season with the team: “I had been hoping for this contract renewal. I’m glad we came to an agreement so quickly. It is a token of confidence from the team towards me and vice versa. I am very happy to be able to continue riding with the Wolfpack. Also, next year I will do my utmost to help the team win races. I might be a little bit older, but I still feel physically well. I really look forward to an extra year with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.”
Iljo Keisse, at 37 the oldest and most experienced member of the Wolfpack, awaits his twelfth consecutive season with the squad. “Not many can say that, only Tom Boonen I think,” he said, commenting on his contract renewal. “In any case, I’m very satisfied. It’s a nice gesture from Patrick Lefevere giving me the opportunity to sign a new deal after such a bizarre period, in which we hardly raced. It is a very nice token of his appreciation. My dream is to continue cycling until my 40th birthday, which is on 21 December 2022, so I still have two seasons to go. I’ve now come one year closer to realising that goal. I will continue to work hard to get there. After a year like this I certainly didn’t want to quit.”
“I’m very happy to continue to be part of this team, the best in the world in the races I like to do. I’ve been working with the same people for many years here. Together we have won many races, something that will never bore. On the contrary, the urge to win is inherent in this team. It’s addictive. Furthermore, the presence of all the young and talented riders I get to work with motivates me to be at my best. It’s an extra incentive because you have to work for it,” concluded the seven-time winner of the Gent Six-Day.
Dries Devenyns winning the 2020 Cadel Evans race:
Sean Yates New Trainer With Nippo-Delko One Provence
Sean Yates will return to the peloton as a trainer of the Nippo-Delko One Provence professional team. The former cyclist previously worked as a team manager at CSC, Discovery, Astana, Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo.
Nippo-Delko One Provence, French ProTeam, was recently taken over by Philippe Lannes and he and his team want to progress to the Tour de France. Partly for this reason, he recently also appointed José Azevedo, last year’s general manager of Katusha-Alpecin, as team manager.
Sean Yates is pleased with his new job in cycling. “It is the first time that I will train professionals from a French team,” he said in a press release. “It is a new chapter for me and I am very happy with it. After I got a message from Philippe Lannes, I immediately got into this project. We have a motivated team that works together in the right direction. This allows us to continue to improve and go a long way.”
Yates riding Roubaix in 1994:
ASO Wants to Start the Tour de France earlier in 2021
Tour de France organiser, ASO, has asked Copenhagen if the Grand Départ 2021 can be brought forward. So says Mayor Frank Jensen of the Danish capital to DR. The Tour start is scheduled from July 2-4, but then the stage race at the end of July would overlap with the Olympic Games.
ASO does not want to confirm that the Danish organisation has been asked to bring forward the Tour de France start. “But I can confirm that we have received a request from the Tour de France management to discuss this,” said Jensen, who is also chairman of the Danish Tour start.
Copenhagen is open to look at other dates. “We replied to ASO that we received the message. We have announced that there are some challenges by bringing forward the start. If you have a contract, and someone says they have problems with it, you should talk to each other. In the past we also approached ASO because we had challenges with the European Football Championship. Now they are approaching us,” the mayor explains.
Jensen does not want to say how many days the ASO want to bring forward the Tour de France. The plan is now to organise the Tour from July 2 to 25, 2021, but then the Tour will have two days overlap with the postponed Olympic Games. They start – if all goes well – on July 23 in Tokyo.
The mayor of Copenhagen is finding it organisationally difficult to move the Grand Départ, now that agreements had just been made to organise the Tour and the European Football Championship together. But could there be a choice between one of the events? “No, I don’t see that happening at all. We need a huge sports party in Denmark next year.”
Big start in Copenhagen 2021:
Future of the Tour de Yorkshire Uncertain
The future of the Tour of Yorkshire is uncertain. According to local media, the Yorkshire tourism agency – which organises the competition – needs £1.4 million (1.6 million euros) in the short term to survive. The organisation has less income because of the corona virus. It has therefore already turned to the various municipalities for an emergency fund.
The Tour de Yorkshire was first organised in 2015, after the Tour de France had a successful start in the region the previous year. The competition is a collaboration between the local tourism agency ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ and Tour organiser ASO. The contract with ASO expired this year. There is no agreement yet to continue, although the tourism agency previously expressed the ambition to organise the competition next year.
The stage race (2.PRO) is scheduled to run from April 30 to May 3 this year, but has been postponed due to the corona pandemic.
No start in Yorkshire:
Tour of Portugal Postponed
The Tour of Portugal has been postponed according to the Portuguese state TV channel RTP. The Portuguese stage race was on the calendar from July 29, but will be moved due to complications surrounding the safe organisation of the race.
The postponement comes after several municipalities have insisted on moving to a later date. However, this new date has not yet been set. “It is still possible to organise the event in 2020, but in the meantime all conditions have to be met and a new date has been agreed with all stakeholders,” the organisation said.
The Tour of Portugal should have been one of the first multi-day UCI races after the resumption of the cycling calendar. Last Sunday, the Portuguese cycling federation presented a corona protocol.
Problems in Portugal:
Giro d’Italia May Return to Colle Fauniera
Will the Giro d’Italia race again on the flanks of the Colle Fauniera next year? The municipality of Castelmagno is doing everything to lure the Italian tour back to the province of Cuneo, reports the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
Local politicians have now spent more than three million euros on the Colle Fauniera, almost a 25-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 7%. The roads have been asphalted for a second time and even reconstructed, given the poor condition of the road surface.
Sixteen critical points (bridges and stone walls) have been looked at on the course, to make the Colle Fauniera as safe as possible for professional cyclists and bicycle tourists. The various municipalities and other parties involved now want to meet as soon as possible to discuss the Giro using the climb.
The consultation should take place on Friday, July 10. The Colle Fauniera is also known by another name: the Colle dei Morti. The mountain pass owes its nickname to the bloody struggle that the French and Spaniards fought with the inhabitants of the Piedmont region in 1744.
The 2,481 meter-high Colle Fauniera was only completely paved over twenty years ago with a view to the Giro d’Italia. In 1999 the Giro visited the Fauniera for the first, and only time. It turned out to be the ideal climb for Marco Pantani to ride Laurent Jalabert out of the pink jersey, with a stage finish in Borgo San Dalmazzo.
Pantani was boss on the Colle Fauniera in 1999:
Teams for the Tour de l’Ain
The Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9) has announced which teams will participate in the next edition of the French stage race. The organisation previously announced that twelve WorldTour teams will be at the start.
The following WorldTour teams will be on the start line: Jumbo-Visma, Team Ineos, Team Sunweb, AG2R La Mondiale, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Israel Start-Up Nation, Groupama-FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Cofidis, UAE Emirates, Trek-Segafredo and Team CCC.
In addition, six ProTeams: Total Direct Energie, Nippo-Delko One Provence, B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Circus-Wanty Gobert and Arkéa-Samsic and four Continental teams and two National Teams at the start.
It promises to be an interesting edition of the Tour de l’Ain, as it is one of the few races in France that can be ridden in preparation for the Tour de France. Riders like Tom Dumoulin, Primož Roglič, Steven Kruijswijk, Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana and Bauke Mollema have already announced that they will participate.
The Tour de l’Ain was won last year by Thibaut Pinot. The Frenchman of Groupama-FDJ is again present this year. The race will probably be decided on the third and last stage to the top of the Grand Colombier.
Teams for the 2020 Tour de l’Ain:
WorldTour Teams: AG2R-La Mondiale, Cofidis, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Groupama-FDJ, Israel Start-Up Nation, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal, Team CCC, Team Ineos, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.
ProTeams: Arkéa-Samsic, flag-fr B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, flag-be Circus-Wanty Gobert, flag-fr Nippo-Delko One Provence, flag-be Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise and flag-fr Total Direct Energy.
Continental Teams: St Michel-Auber93, Hagens Berman Axeon, Kometa-Xstra and Natura4Ever-Roubaix Lille Métropole.
National Teams U23: Germany and Switzerland.
l’Ain 2019 winner Thibaut Pinot:
No Japan Cup in 2020 due to Corona Virus
The Japan Cup is no longer on the calendar in 2020. Due to the corona crisis, the organisation is forced to postpone the race by one year.
In Japan, the national lockdown was lifted at the end of May, but there is now fear of a revival of the corona virus. The virus appears to be reviving in several Asian countries. The organisation of the Japan Cup does not want to take any risks and has therefore decided not to organise a cycling race this year.
The one-day race was scheduled for Sunday, October 18. The competition has been on the UCI calendar annually since 1992. Hendrik Redant was the first name on the honours list of the Japan Cup, also big names such as Claudio Chiappucci (three consecutive victories), Gilberto Simoni, Daniel Martin and Ivan Basso have triumphed in the past. Last season, the victory went to Bauke Mollema.
Bauke Mollema won the last edition of the Japan Cup. The Trek-Segafredo rider defeated his break companion Michael Woods in the final. Mollema previously won the Japan Cup in 2015.
Mollema – Japan Cup winner 2019:
Circuito de Getxo has Five WorldTour Teams
The Basque professional race, the Circuito de Getxo, can count on the presence of at least five WorldTour teams, according to El Correo. Movistar, Bahrain-McLaren, NTT, UAE Team Emirates and Trek-Segafredo will be on the start line.
It means that the organisation can show off with a good list of participants. Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao and Mark Cavendish have already agreed to participate, while Alexander Kristoff, Mads Pedersen and Fernando Gaviria will also be there. Team INEOS may be added to the starting list. The organisation is still waiting for an answer from the team of Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.
The 1.1 race will be one of the first on the UCI calendar on August 2. With the addition of the steep climb of the Pike Bidea (2 kilometres at 14% average) in the final, it promises to be a tough race. Last year, the victory went to Jon Aberasturi.
Caja Rural’s Alex Aranburu in Getxo’18:
Vuelta a Burgos and Czech Tour First Stage Races for Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles
More and more Pro Teams have also completed their program for the first race weeks. For example, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles resumes competition in the Vuelta a Burgos.
The team of manager Christophe Brandt will therefore start again in Burgos, where no fewer than fifteen WorldTour teams will start. Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles is one of the seven other teams that managed to secure a spot there. The organisers received no less than 35 to 40 applications.
The team will stay an extra day in Spain, because Circuito de Getxo is on the agenda on August 2. The Walloon training team then travels to the Czech Republic before starting its Belgian program. Also in August with the Tour du Limousin and the Tour of Hungary two foreign stage races are on the calendar.
Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles for August:
July 28 – August 1: Vuelta a Burgos
August 2: Circuito de Getxo
August 6-9: Czech Tour
August 15: Right through Hageland
August 16-19: VOO Tour of Wallonia
August 18-21: Tour du Limousin
August 29: Grape race Overijse
August 29-2 September: Tour of Hungary
August 30: Brussels Cycling Classic.
Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles training:
The Giro d’Italia Launches its New Website
New internet portal for the Corsa Rosa with clear and intuitive graphics, even faster browsing, lots of dynamic content, photos and videos.
The world ‘s toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place now has a new website. The digital platform of the Corsa Rosa has a completely new look and is easy and fast to use.
The website was built on four main elements:
● Even faster browsing
● Dynamic content
● Videos and photos.
The intense work of the past few months has brought improvements and innovations in all the sections that have traditionally attracted most of the users: homepage, rankings, stages, route and the live feed of the race.
Through intuitive navigation, it is easy to find all the information about the route, the rankings and all the special initiatives of the Corsa Rosa partners. There’s a Media Center, History and Giro Extra areas, and the section hosting a podcast completes the main menu.
The new website also features a second menu dedicated to Hospitality, the Giro-E, Social Responsibility, and Official TV and Sponsors, which will guarantee visibility for both the sponsors of the Corsa Rosa and for the stage cities through dedicated tourist content.
Dynamic Content to Bring Fans to the Center of the Corsa Rosa
The new Giro d’Italia site wants to be even closer to its fans, especially in key moments of the race. From the early hours of the morning users will find all the latest info on the day’s stage and the countdown provided by Tissot.
By scrolling down the page, users can find all the info they’ll want, including the stage maps, rankings and Leader Jerseys, the stage videos, the media center and links to the app and the social profiles of the Corsa Rosa.
Once each stage has started, the live icon turns green and the countdown becomes a stopwatch indicating the time passed since the peloton passed KM0. It will always be possible to watch videos and find rankings info updated the previous day, while all fans who activate web notifications will receive updates in real time with the latest Giro news.
New Hall of Fame Section
The website celebrates the giants of the Corsa Rosa with a new section profiling all the great champions. A pool of international journalists have evaluated the riders who entered the Hall of Fame year after year: from Merckx and Gimondi to Indurain and Adorni, and including Roche, Moser, Baldini and Hinault.
Roberto Salamini, Head of Marketing & Communication at RCS Sport, said: “In making this new version of the website we put our followers at the center, trying to give them an even more complete and engaging service.”
“We thought both of our fans who will follow the Giro live, by studying new sections in which they will be able to find all the information related to race activities immediately, and of our fans who will follow the Giro from home and will be able to use the new website to access all the information about what happens during the day, in real time and in four different languages.”
“There will be greater emphasis on all the initiatives of our sponsors, of the stage cities that will welcome us, and of the tour operators. I believe that this new website with the new App that we will present in September and our social channels will give our audience a complete, innovative and engaging platform to better enjoy our Corsa Rosa.”
Tour for Bjorg
The number 143 is forever reserved, a minute of silence at the start of the first stage and a special Young Riders Classification. This is how Tour de Pologne 2020 will commemorate Bjorg Lambrecht.
The race will start on August 5 from the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów. Symbolically, on the anniversary of the tragic accident. “Bjorg will be with us forever. We will never forget him. The decision to reserve the number 143 was made a few months ago unanimously. But we want to cultivate this memory in a variety of ways,” says Tour de Pologne general director Czeslaw Lang.
The classification named after Bjorg Lambrecht will award the best young athlete (up to 23 years old) in the Tour de Pologne peloton, and the first stage will pay tribute to these unique circumstances. “There will be a honorary start at the Silesian Stadium. And at the start proper we will stop to celebrate Bjorg with a minute of silence,” adds Lang.
Team Lotto-Soudal, the debut team of Lambrecht as a pro, is planning to come to Poland with a very strong squad, including the 2016 Tour de Pologne winner Tim Wellens, John Degenkolb – an excellent sprinter, Thomas de Gendt who won stages in all the Grand Tours, and Tomasz Marczynski – the favourite rider of the Polish fans.
“We want to pay tribute to Bjorg’s memory as well as thank the organisers and the Polish fans for all their amazing support. They were with us and encouraged us in the most difficult moments. We will never forget that, just as we will never forget Bjorg. The number 143 is featured on our team cars and is in the official team communication. I am very glad that, at the end of the race, the best young cyclist will receive a special Bjorg prize. It will be extremely symbolic,” says the head of the Lotto-Soudal team, John Lelangue.
For Tomasz Marczynski it will be the ninth start at Tour de Pologne. “Sure, the memory of Bjorg is such an additional motivation for all of us. I believe it will give us strength in crucial moments. We want to fight for the highest goals, so that we can dedicate this success to him. I will certainly have something symbolic with me, in memory of Bjorg. Maybe it will be a symbol on my helmet, maybe on my shoes,” says Marczynski.
On July 1, we will know more details about the route of the 77th edition of Tour de Pologne. On this day, the stage race will be presented in a special edition of “Sports Evening” on TVP Sport and on tvpsport.pl.
Wynants to Retire
Maarten Wynants will retire as a professional cyclist in 2021. The oldest Belgian professional at 38 years-old, still races for the Jumbo-Visma team up to and including the spring classics, after which he exchanges the bicycle for the team car.
“Paris-Roubaix will be my last race. In principle, this was also possible in October this year, but I want to say goodbye after a normal, full spring,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. He is ambitious for his last start in the Hell of the North classic. “I want to lead Wout van Aert or a team mate to victory.”
Wynants initially planned to quit at the end of this season, but the corona pandemic forced him to change his plans. He now extends his contract with Jumbo-Visma by two years. In addition, he is still cycling for six months with the WorldTour team, before continuing his career as a DS with the training team. “I will first play my role as a road captain by bicycle,” said Wynants. “Afterwards, I intend to learn the profession as a team DS with the training team and so I can continue to grow.”
Wynants leaves with the team on July 7 for a two-week training camp to the Austrian Zillertal. He resumes his season in Strade Bianche, before starting the Czech Tour.
Maarten Wynants in the TDU:
Nicki Sørensen on His Doping Past
Nicki Sørensen says he is ashamed of his doping use in the early years of his career. The Danish former cyclist says that he took prohibited substances from 1998 to 2004. “I’m ashamed of what happened. I felt a bit victim at the time, but it was always my choice,” he said to TV2.
“Other pros told me it worked like this. It was the only way,” Sørensen describes how it all came to pass. “I then made the difficult decision to jump on that car too. When I started as a professional cyclist it was clear to me that there was a general culture for riders to use doping.”
The former rider of CSC and successor Saxo Bank, admitted in 2015 that he had used doping. At that time, Sørensen had already retired and was active as a team directeur at Tinkoff-Saxo. The team also supported him after his confession.
Sørensen now works for Israel Start-Up Nation as a DS and coach. “People can ask me what my place in cycling today is as a team directeur? But I have the feeling that I can show young riders what is not the right way,” referring to his doping history.
Peter Sagan at the Giro d’Italia: A Film Founded in Italian Excellencies
The Slovak star riding for BORA – hansgrohe has announced his participation in the 2020 Corsa Rosa. In the months before the lockdown he prepared, together with RCS Sport, a unique communication – a series of videos and photos – which will be revealed across four episodes (plus an “extra” instalment) starting today and continuing over the next four Thursdays. After years of studying universally recognised Italian excellencies, Peter Sagan is finally ready to demonstrate how he has become an expert on Italy and its most celebrated cultural specialities such as Art, Music, Cuisine, and Fashion: he is finally ready for the Corsa Rosa.
The first episode of this journey starts from the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.
Peter Sagan said: “In my programs agreed before the lockdown there was the Giro d’Italia and even after the release of the new calendar I wanted to keep my word and be present at the start of the Corsa Rosa. Together with the team, despite the overlap with the northern classics, we immediately decided that I would participate in the Giro. There was not even a moment of doubt or second thoughts. I am happy to come riding on the roads of the Corsa Rosa, for me it will be the first time, and I could not postpone it again.”
The Slovak star also commented on the Giro d’Italia communication project: “I immediately liked the communication project with RCS Sport for my first participation in the Giro. I admit I had a lot of fun preparing it and getting to know Italian excellence and talents in depth. By now I have become an expert in Art, Music, Cuisine and Fashion.”
From the Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery) To The Teatro Alla Scala, Passing By The Finest Fashion and Excellent Cuisine
Benefitting from years of education in many of the cultural excellencies for which Italy is world famous – including Art, Music, Food and Fashion – Peter Sagan is finally ready to demonstrate how expert he has become in Italy: Join him on a journey into the heart of the strengths of the Bel Paese – “the beautiful country” – giving visibility to Italian places and talents, from the Pinacoteca di Brera to the Teatro alla Scala, passing through the Ermenegildo Zegna atelier, and exploring Italy’s peerless culinary tradition.
First Episode: The Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan
The scene begins with a group of foreign tourists walking down a corridor full of artworks; the guide leading them is explaining the artworks. Eventually they arrive at the most important pieces when Peter Sagan comments about their beauty with passion and deep knowledge. Sagan has studied them and demonstrates that he knows as much as the museum guide.
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