EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The best Tour de France for years came to a strange end in the mountains, but Egan Bernal was a worthy winner, not to worry we have all the new from the Grande Boucle. Plus the Adriatica Ionica Race and the Tour de Wallonie. Long recovery for Wout Van Aert – Top Story. So much more other cycling news: Race news from Ordizia and Cerami, contract news, Victor Campenaerts schedule, Tour of Utah and Tour de Pologne. Video of the Kelderman brothers at the Tour. Get the coffee!

TOP STORY: Wout Van Aert might be out for some time!
The rehabilitation of Wout van Aert might take more time than initially thought. The Jumbo-Visma rider initially hoped to make his comeback in two months, but Van Aert was operated on for a second time last week. As a result, his recovery is likely to take longer.

Van Aert crashed heavily on Friday, July 19, during the individual time trial of the Tour de France, after hooking his leg in a fence. The Belgian suffered a deep flesh wound, which forced him to undergo surgery. After the procedure, a rehabilitation period of approximately two months was the aim.

The 24-year-old Van Aert had to go under the knife for a second operation, due to a tendon needing to be stitched. The stage winner in Albi can now start his rehabilitation for certain, he said on Instagram, but the big question is: “When can the multi-talented rider put a race number on his jersey?” If we can believe the Belgian media, we may not see Van Aert in cyclocross until December. The Jumbo-Visma rider has been in Belgium for a few days, where he started his rehabilitation.

Tour de France 2019
Colombia’s Nairo Quintana claimed his third stage win at the Tour de France after stage 20 to Annecy-Semnoz in 2013 and stage 17 to Col du Portet last year as he rode away solo from a long lasting breakaway 7.5km before the Col du Galibier. The other successful attack in the mythical climb enabled his compatriot Egan Bernal to move to second overall behind Julian Alaphilippe who defended the yellow jersey once again.

34 riders in the lead
156 riders started Stage 18 in Embrun. Two non-starters: Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb). Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was one of the most active riders until Kazakhstan national champion Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) rode away 1km before the top of the Côte des Demoiselles Coiffées (km 13) they passed in that order. Périchon surrendered before Lutsenko who was reeled in at km 30. At km 35, Lutsenko went again with Daryl Impey and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), and Lennard Kämna (Sunweb). At 44, 34 riders managed to get a bit of a gap: Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos), Max Richeze (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Romain Bardet, Mikaël Chérel and Matthias Frank (AG2R-La Mondiale), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida), Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ), Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador and Carlos Verona (Movistar), Gorka Izagirre and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Amund Groendahl Jansen and Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Alberto Bettiol and Michael Woods (EF Education First), Adam Yates, Daryl Impey and Chris Juul Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott), Greg Van Avermaet, Simon Geschke and Serge Pauwels (CCC), Sergio Henao (UAE Team Emirates), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Nikias Arndt and Lennard Kämna (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Amaël Moinard (Arkéa-Samsic).

Olympic champion in action between Vars and Izoard
De Buyst passed first at the intermediate sprint of Les Thuiles (km 45), but the Lotto-Soudal team was even more interested in Wellens getting KOM points at col de Vars. It turned out to being a duel between Wellens and Bardet, the Belgian going with more determination to the first place at the top of the of the three climbs of the day culminating over 2000 meters of altitude. Arndt rode away solo for a little while in the downhill. The time difference between the group of Quintana who was 9:30 down on GC and the yellow jersey peloton was 7:40 at half way into the race. With 95km to go, before tackling the ascent to col d’Izoard, Van Avermaet rode away solo. The Olympic champion was soon caught up by Bernard who continued in his own and reach the summit of the Izoard in first position but was pipped on the line of the King of the Mountains prize by Caruso and Bardet.

Alaphilippe in yellow, Bardet in the polka dot jersey
In the valley, on the way to Briançon, a new group of nine riders was formed at the front: Bardet, Caruso, Quintana, Lutsenko, Woods, A. Yates, Pauwels, Kämna and Bernard. Wellens and six other riders went across. Van Avermaet initiated a new leading group before the ascent to the Galibier: Woods, Pauwels, Lutsenko, Kämna, Chérel and Benoot. 11 riders eventually climbed together until Caruso and Lutsenko upped the tempo 9km before the summit. With 7.5km of climbing remaining, Quintana rode away solo. 1km further, Bardet sped up and Lutsenko followed him. Team Ineos set the pace of the yellow jersey for Egan Bernal to go solo before the summit. Alaphilippe struggled uphill but made it back and passed the Pinot-Thomas group in the downhill. Quintana kept 1:30 lead over Bardet to power to victory in Valloire where the Frenchman took a consolation prize with the polka dot jersey while his compatriot Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey with Bernal as new runner up 1:30 adrift. This is the 20th stage victory for Colombian riders at the Tour de France.

See the full ‘PEZ Stage 18 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and 7th overall, Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “This victory is a proof of the big efforts we’ve made for so many months leading up to this race. We worked so hard, we did things we thought were right, yet the race didn’t go as we had wanted. We kept our head down, kept digging and here’s the result. I knew it could be a good day for me, and we talked with the team about any possible strategy to go for a good result. In the end, we got this stage victory – we also gave it a try with Mikel, picking up the pace behind so he could attack and gain some places back. On an individual side, things went good for me, but above all, this is a victory which proves how good the team has done over the race. They worked really hard during the entire Tour, helped me a lot. It was sad when I lost time in the Tourmalet, but here we are. This goes to my team-mates, my family and my country, which has always been supporting me, at good times and not so good. It’s always a big emotion to be able to win such a great stage, on a route for the climbers. Here I was, doing well in my terrain, over beautiful climbs, those that I like.”

2nd on the stage and KOM, Romain Bardet (AG2r-La Mondiale): “I didn’t get what I wanted in the Pyrenees. There’s still some way away but today it was my goal to make the breakaway. Tim Wellens is someone I appreciate. I spoke with him before the climbs and we made clear that it would a loyal fight between us. To defend the polka dot jersey is the only goal I have for the remaining of this Tour.”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “First and foremost, I have to thank my team, because they were amazing and did a great job protecting me. I knew it was going to be hard today and that there was a chance of losing everything, but I stayed calm and then, on the descent, I just pushed myself and took some risks, knowing that it was my chance to get back. At the end of the day, I’m very happy that I kept the maillot jaune.”

8th on the stage and 2nd overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “It’s a very nice day for Colombia. I’m very happy for Nairo Quintana, he deserves it. He’s a rider who has given a lot to our country and today he showed that he’s one of best riders in the world. Geraint Thomas told me to attack to animate the race in the last climb. We have two very hard days ahead of us. We have to remain calm and not lose our focus because of today’s joy. Let’s keep our feet on the ground.”

5th on the stage, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida): “This morning at the team meeting we decided to try to attack and I was lucky to seize the right moment and to go into the break. Immediately, I had good sensations and this allowed me to reach the Galibier with the first little group. Climbing to the top, the stage winner Nairo Quintana showed to be the strongest today while I tried to reach the Top Five at the end of one of the hardest stages of this Tour. I succeeded and this is a good satisfaction for me. It is one of the mythical climbs of cycling and having my name in the gold register will remain forever. I find that it’s a good consolation for not being able to get ahead in the standings. My Tour didn’t start very well with the crash in Brussels, but now I’m fine and there are still two mountain stages. I still have to understand how much “gasoline” remained because today I spent a lot, but if a new opportunity arises, I will try again!”

6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Movistar ramped up the pace on the Izoard, making the race hard, so it was important to have Gregor by my side. I’d like to really thank him for his effort, he managed to crest and then was also helpful in the first part of the Galibier. The pace wasn’t too hard there and that could be the reason Alaphilippe could follow us all the way to the top. When Bernal attacked, our plan was to wait for the reaction from Jumbo-Visma. I followed Geraint’s attack and together with Pinot we were able to catch him. I would say that was the hardest part of the race. Alaphilippe was dropped for a short time but then came back in the downhill. So, overall it wasn’t a day where you could make substantial gains but on the contrary, you could lose time, which I avoided. My legs are in good shape and I am fairly positive about the next two hard mountain stages.”

20th on the stage and 13th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “I tried to be part of the early breakaway, but in the end I didn’t succeed. I spent a lot of energy, but thanks to good legs, I was able to follow the favorites for a long time. I’m satisfied with my first stage in the Alps, except for an error in the downhill. Everybody is getting tired, but two more hard days are awaiting us. The Tour is far from finished!”

17th overall, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “I had a hard day today, even if I didn’t feel bad, because I was alone after the descent of the Col de l’Izoard. I’ve ridden on my own from Briançon to the finish in Valloire. There was a head wind in the valley and the large roads of Col du Lautaret were not in my advantage. I had no other choice than continuing to go full, with the general classification in mind. It’s a pity that I wasn’t part of a group, I hope I limited the damage.”

Tour de France Stage 18 Result:
1. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar in 5:34:15
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:35
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana at 2:28
4. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Sunweb at 2:58
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 3:00
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 4:46
7. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
8. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
9. Serge Pauwels (Bel) CCC
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 5:18.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 18:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 75:18:49
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:30
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:35
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:47
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:50
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:14
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:54
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:54
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:33
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 5:58.

Egan Bernal passed first at Col d’Iseran where the times of Stage 19 were eventually taken as stormy conditions put the race to a halt because of huge amounts of hail on the road in the downhill. He was declared the winner and became the third Colombian to take the yellow jersey after Victor Hugo Peña in 2003 and Fernando Gaviria last year. Julian Alaphilippe is second. Thibaut Pinot has abandoned.

Nibali in a 29-man leading group
156 riders started stage 19 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. After 4km of racing and a demanding uphill start, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Pello Bilbao (Astana), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) on the day of his 29th birthday rode away. The front part of the peloton remained very active. The leading quartet was caught at km 35 by a group that escaped from the main bunch while Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was in distress. Hampered by a left knee injury, the Frenchman who was fifth on GC had no choice but pull out at km 36. 29 riders formed the front group after 50km of racing: Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hasngrohe), Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali and Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Alejandro Valverde, Marc Soler and Andrey Amador (Movistar), Pello Bilbao, Gorka Izagirre, Magnus Cort and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma), Rigoberto Uran, Alberto Bettiol and Michael Woods (EF Education First), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Dan Martin and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert), Roman Kreuziger (Dimension Data), Warren Barguil and Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic).

Egan Bernal first at col d’Iseran
Team Ineos led the peloton strongly until AG2R-La Mondiale took over at the bottom of the col d’Iseran while the time difference was 1:40 after a maximum gap of two minutes had been recorded at km 60. Geraint Thomas attacked with 6.5km to go. It was the beginning of the assault to the yellow jersey. Barguil soloed at the front for a little while until Egan Bernal rode across to him 4.5km before the summit, followed by Nibali, S. Yates and Uran. Bernal dropped his opponents one by one to reach the top alone in the lead.

Storm in the downhill, race over prematurely
Because of a sudden storm, the road was impassable at km 112 in the downhill leading to Tignes. Huge amounts of nail and mass of rubble made it impossible for the race to continue. The times were taken at col d’Iseran. Therefore, Bernal who crested it first 2:07 before Alaphilipe is the new leader of the Tour de France with two days to go with an advantage of 45 seconds over the Frenchman and 1:30 over Thomas. There is no stage winner for stage 19.

‘PEZ Stage 19 Race Report’ HERE.

Overall leader, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “To be honest, I didn’t know what was happening. I’ve been told in the radio that the race was finished and I said ‘no I want to keep going’. There were talking to me in English and I was not sure. Only after I stopped and my director told me that I was in yellow, I felt relieved. It’s incredible. I can’t believe it. I want to ride full gas tomorrow and then arrive to Paris and once I cross the line, I’ll start believing this is true. There’s one hard stage remaining. It’s a short one. I’ll give it all on the road. To become the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France would be amazing.”

5th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a strange situation and one I had never encountered before, to be told on race radio to stop. Initially, there was a bit of disbelief in my group but then we talked about it, realized we all had the same information, so we stopped. I think it was obvious to everybody that it wasn’t possible to ride through the hail and mud. I was feeling very well today and maybe in the final climb there could have a possibility for me but we can’t change the situation. Given this, the race will come down to what happens tomorrow. I’m still confident, I feel strong and I’d like to thank Gregor for his help today. He was strong and managed to hold on with me for a long time. It’s important to be fully focused tomorrow. I think that some of the contenders that are a bit further down the GC now will already give it a shot in the first climb. There will be nothing to lose for them so it will be all in. If I have the legs, I will also try to attack because there is nothing any longer that holds you back. It will be full-on tomorrow!”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It’s been a different race than what people expected and we have a new leader. There was no reason for us to risk our lives under the rain, the hail and with so much mud on the road. We already had a thunderstorm yesterday at the end of the race. Today it was going to be even worse conditions. Organizers have done their best. I’m not here to judge.”

KOM, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We didn’t know there were terrible weather conditions. I heard it through the radio but I was riding on a relax mode. My race was already done and I was saving energy for tomorrow. Considering the experience of the people who took the decision to stop the race, it’s for sure the right decision for the health of the riders. I’ve had a bad day today. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow and I’ll have to be better tactically.”

Tour de France Stage 19 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:13
3. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:40
4. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 1:03
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 19:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 78:00:42
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:48
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:28
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:55
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:35
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:14
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 5:17
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:25
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 6:28.

Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 overall winner, made up for a disappointing Tour de France as he claimed a prestigious solo victory at Val Thorens at the end of a 59-km Stage 20. This is his sixth stage win after the four he got five years and at La Toussuire in 2015. Egan Bernal rode home safely to retain the yellow jersey on the eve of the grand finale in Paris.

29 riders in the lead, including Nibali
155 riders took the start of stage 20 in Albertville. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Magnus Cort (Astana), Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates), Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First), Kevin Van Melsen (Wanty-Gobert) and Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) rode away at km 2. 23 riders chased them down: Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Omar Fraile and Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Nicolas Roche (Sunweb), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis), Jens Keukeleire (Lotto-Soudal), Niccolo Bonifazio and Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Ilnur Zakarin and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Gobert), Stephen Cummings and Ben King (Dimension Data) and Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic). It made it a front group of 29 riders at km 19 with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton led by Team Ineos.

Julian Alaphilippe dropped with 13km remaining
Périchon and Turgis attacked right at the bottom of the 33.4km long climb to Val Thorens. 30km before the end, Nibali and Zakarin formed a leading trio along with Périchon. It became a quartet including Nibali, Zakarin, Gallopin and Woods. Périchon courageously bridged the gap. Jumbo-Visma took over from Ineos to lead the peloton strongly up the hill. Fraile caught up with the five leaders 17km before the end. With 15km to go, the time difference between the six escapees and the yellow jersey group was 1:15. With 13km remaining, Julian Alaphilippe got dropped, soon followed by Romain Bardet while Nibali rode away solo at the front. The 2014 Tour de France winner had 1 minute lead over the main group with 10km to go and 35 seconds with 5km to go.

Nibali’s first win since the 2018 Milan-Sanremo
Nibali forged on and struggled towards the end of the climb but resisted to the return of Mikel Landa who had attacked from the yellow jersey group led in the final part of the climb by Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe). It’s Nibali’s first victory since Milan-Sanremo last year. It’s also Bahrain-Merida’s second stage win in this Tour de France after Dylan Teuns on stage 6 to La Planche des Belles Filles. Bardet retained the polka dot jersey as much as Bernal retained the yellow jersey. Alaphilippe dropped down to fifth overall while Kruijswijk moved onto the top 3 along with Team Ineos’ duo Bernal-Thomas.

‘PEZ Stage 20 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “The last 500 meters, they never ended! I wanted to honor the Tour and finally I did it today. Yesterday I tried and today it was the right one. The climb was endless and when I saw that the group accelerated I tried it myself. I’m very happy! In the last week, I found the right sensations. It wasn’t easy to manage the race but I felt I had a good leg. This morning at the team meeting we decided to get into the break and so I left together with Dylan Teuns. The break was close-knit even though the main peloton never gave us great advantage.”

Overall leader and 4th on the stage, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “We’re now close to making it official. There’s one stage left, but normally if everything goes well, I can say that I’ve won my first Tour. The last climb has been very hard. Jumbo-Visma rode hard to make the podium. We were in a comfortable situation and I felt really well. I’m happy. It’s incredible to think that I have won my first Tour. I just want to get to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and after I’ll be calmer. Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour – I feel this is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. We already had the Giro, La Vuelta, but the Tour was missing and it’s a great honor to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. As a kid, you think “how cool it would be to be there one day”, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”

2nd overall and 5th on the stage, Geraint Thomas (Ineos): “To get first and second doesn’t get any better. The fact that Egan is one step above me, he’s the best person to have in front of me. Obviously it’s been a crazy year for me and I can be happy and proud that I’ve given everything to be in my best shape here and I think we rode really well as a team from day one. It’s been amazing. I think that we’ve proved time and time again that we’re a strong unit and we know how to ride hard and perform in this race. It’s a pleasure to be a part of.”

3rd overall and 8th on the stage, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “This is what I came for and wanted to achieve. We have done everything and it worked out. I think I can be very proud of that. I had to put in an extreme effort. I was close to the podium a few times before. I have always kept working hard and always continued to fight. And the team has always believed in me. The fact that it has worked out now can’t be described with words. The team delivered a tremendous job today. We knew we had to go all in, so we took the initiative from the start of the climb. The pace of George and especially Laurens was so high that everyone was riding at their limits. That was good for me. I had expected that Alaphilippe would face difficulties, but I also had to keep an eye on Buchmann. I kept fighting all the way to the finish and I just had to finish it off for the boys. I am really happy that it worked out.”

7th on the stage and 4th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today’s stage might have been shortened but it was still very challenging. The last climb was really long and the pace was strong from the bottom. There were a few flatter sections in between where you could recover a bit but it was very demanding, mentally. After three weeks of racing, you needed to try and stay focused and keep on pushing. The cushion I had to the riders behind me in the GC was big enough to allow me to try. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best legs today, so my attempt didn’t really succeed. Obviously, I’m overly happy with this fourth place, a great achievement compared to my initial goal of the top ten. I wasn’t too far from the podium but Kruijswijk and Thomas were simply stronger and I think this is the best I could have achieved this year, but there are more years to come.”

KOM, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “The polka dot jersey made me dream when I was a kid. In 2015, I missed out on the last mountain stage. It’s a nice satisfaction for me this time. It’s going to be my fifth time on stage on the Champs-Elysées for different awards in seven participation. It’s good to reinvent oneself. Things haven’t gone according to my expectations at this Tour but I’ll enjoy this trophy before thinking about what has not worked. We’re allowed to fail but we’re not allowed to not try and give it all.”

Points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The last mountain stage of this Tour de France was very short but still not easy and the finish atop Val Thorens brought us to just one sleep before Paris. Congratulations to Emanuel, he did a great ride today and is now sitting fourth in the GC. It’s a sprint stage tomorrow, so I will give all I have to get the best result on the Champs-Elysées.”

12th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “I knew that this stage, although shortened, would not be easy. Short stages are not my speciality, and I was prepared to suffer. I started the Val Thorens climb well, but I suffered from an asthmatic crisis. I really suffered during the second part of the climb. Luckily Backaert, survivor of the breakaway, helped me to limit the damage for 10 kilometers. Afterwards, I found again some power to assure my general classification. My evaluation stays positive, with a 12th place in the general classification in the most beautiful race in the world. I had a better appearance than the previous years, my level is higher, however, sparkles are missing. I was not always lucky to join the long breakaways, but it wasn’t simple to play everything in one stage when trying to assure a good general classification at the same time. This is my only regret: not having had the opportunity to battle for the stage win.”

21st overall, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “I came here without ambition for the general classification, I got carried away. It was a bit frustrating to loose a lot of time these last days, because of some lower back problems. I fought for it until the end, and I finish just outside the top 20. It is a pity, it would have been nice for a team like ours, Wanty-Gobert, to position two riders in the top 20. But I stay satisfied about my Tour de France, I managed to show myself. This encourages me to come back and do better!”

Tour de France Stage 20 Result:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida in 1:51:53
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:10
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 0:14
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:17
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 0:23
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:25
9. Wout Poels (Ned) Ineos at 0:30
10. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 20:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 79:52:52
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:11
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:31
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:56
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:45
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:23
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:15
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 5:30
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:12
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 7:32.

It’s youth on power for the 100 years of the yellow jersey as Australian Tour de France debutant Caleb Ewan claimed his third stage win on the Champs-Elysées and 22 year old Egan Bernal became the first ever Colombian winner.

Omar Fraile, first on the attack
155 riders took the start of Stage 21 in Rambouillet. Yellow jersey holder Egan Bernal had his taste of Champagne at the back of the peloton in front of the cameras as per tradition. The peloton covered 34.4km in the first hour. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert) successively passed the Côte de St-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse and the Côte de Châteaufort in first position with the acceptance of the rest of the field. Team Ineos led the peloton as they entered Paris for the grand finale in front of the most prestigious monuments and the Champs-Elysées. Omar Fraile (Astana) and Tom Scully (EF Education First) were the first two riders to go clear off the peloton.

Fraile, Tratnik, Politt and Scully at the front
Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) caught up with the two attackers. With 40km to go, the advantage of the leading quartet didn’t exceed 20 seconds as sprinters’ teams Lotto-Soudal, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma got organized early. Defending champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos) had a flat tyre with 35 km remaining and made it back to the pack quickly. Fraile, Scully, Politt and Tratnik forged on and extended their lead to 25 seconds with 25 km to go. 15 km before the end, only Scully and Tratnik stayed away. Tratnik was last to surrender with the peloton to have 12 km to cover while his team-mate Sonny Colbrelli was chasing to come across to the pack with the help of Vincenzo Nibali after a puncture. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) also had a mechanical but got back on with 5 km to go.

Third stage win for Caleb Ewan
Earlier achievers Daryl Impey and Julian Alaphilippe, both stage winners, respectively led the pack with 3 km to go and under the flame rouge of the last kilometer at the service of Matteo Trentin and Elia Viviani but it was eventually Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) to launch the sprint from far out. Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie) found an open gap and sped up but it came down to a duel between Dylan Groenewegen and Caleb Ewan. The Dutchman on left hand side of road was pipped by the Australian on right hand side. The last Australian to win on the Champs-Elysées was Robbie McEwen in 2002. The last debutant to win on the Champs-Elysées was Tom Boonen on 2004. The last debutant to win three stages at the Tour was Peter Sagan in 2012. Egan Bernal is the youngest ever winner of the Tour de France since the inception of the yellow jersey 100 years ago.

You can see the ‘PEZ Stage 21 Race Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It was so hot today and I was suffering a lot. I thought about it to get Maxime Monfort off the front because I thought I wouldn’t be able to hang on until the end. On a few climbs, I was really struggling but eventually, I kept the good position. This morning, before the start in Nîmes, we did a recon of the final kilometer with the team, so we knew what to expect. A long home stretch is not always the most easy finish because timing as well as positioning are harder. Jasper De Buyst did a tremendous lead-out and afterwards, I was on the wheel of the other fast guys, so I decided to go early. In the end, it paid off. The fact that my wife and daughter are at the race for the first time, makes it really special. It is incredibly beautiful to celebrate this victory together with them. It was difficult to keep the confidence after some second and third places. I finally got it right in stage eleven. Now, the next sprint chance immediately delivers a second victory, that is just amazing! If I am the best sprinter in this Tour? I think there are some really good sprinters here. Maybe, I proved to be the most consistent one, but in any case, today I showed to be the best.”

Final overall winner and best young rider, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “I should say thank you to all my team. Thank you G for the opportunity and all the team for the support and believing in me. Today I am the most happy guy in the world. I just won the Tour de France. I can’t believe it. It’s incredible, I don’t know what to say. I’ve won the Tour but I don’t manage to believe it. I need a couple of days to assimilate all this. It’s for my family and I just want to hug them. It’s a feeling of happiness that I don’t know how to describe it. This is the first Tour for us, Colombians. Many Colombians have tried before, we’ve had great cyclists in the past. But I’m the first one to win the Tour! Colombia deserves it.”

2nd overall, Geraint Thomas (Ineos): “Two years ago I was here with my arm in a sling, with a broken collarbone and devastated I wasn’t able to ride my bike and two years on, I’m disappointed not to have won a second Tour! I’m proud of how I managed to get myself into good shape. It hasn’t been a smooth run into the Tour or during it really, but this team is incredible and it was a pleasure to be a part of Egan’s first of many [victories] and to be stood on the podium in second is still a big achievement. I’m glad to be going home and closing the front door and switching off. Emotionally, mentally and physically it’s been draining and it’s still enjoyable – it’s the pinnacle of the sport and what you dream of when you were a kid, but at the same time it’s been hard work and I’m looking forward to switching off.”

3rd overall, Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma): “This is very special. This was my goal and when you finally succeed, you are very happy. For me, this was the best I could do. In today’s stage, it was a matter of paying attention and making it safely across the finish. When I crossed the line, I finally had that feeling of finishing third. It is an amazing feeling. So far, this is my career’s crowning achievement, but I am hungry for more in the coming years. I am very grateful to the team for the past three weeks. Everyone played an important role. Moreover, with four stage wins, it was a more than great Tour.”

Points winner, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m very happy about this seventh green jersey. I’m also surprised. Every year I come back to try my best. The first green jersey was a big surprise because I came to win some stage but the green jersey came together with the wins. The second time it was the 100th Tour and I had the green jersey again. After that, it started to be easier or let say more under control. I’m glad I’m making history in the Tour de France with the green jersey. My best moment this year was when I won stage 5. The other best moments were when the mountain stages were shortened. That was very good news for me. When I crossed the finishing line here in Paris, it was another great feeling.”

KOM, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It’s a happy end and a good lesson to know that I can make it up for my failures. The polka dot jersey is the symbol of the kind of cycling I like and the Tour de France I’ve loved as a kid. I’m proud to have it on the Champs-Elysées. A bit of luck was needed and I got some in the last mountain stage. A couple of years ago, I lost the polka dot jersey towards the end, this time around it worked out well.”

Super Combative rider, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The race has been a marvelous experience, something truly unique. It was my dream to wear the maillot jaune, but to have it for 14 days was simply incredible. The team did a tremendous job riding for me and protecting me, while for my part I fought day after day to prolong this dream in yellow for as long as possible. The support of the public was superb, I don’t have enough words to tell you what it meant for me to have them chant my name, show their encouragement and support me and the team. I want to thank them for this! I have never imagined this, just as I have never imagined that I would one day finish fifth overall, a beautiful performance and a bonus which rounds out this unforgettable Tour de France.”

Winning team, Eusebio Unzué (Movistar manager): “Those ahead of us in the GC have really earned that, they were stronger than us, that’s the reality. We leave this Tour with a great stage victory, that close call with Alejandro yesterday – it would have been a sensational success, and an emotional moment for him at nearly 40 years old – and that team GC, which is a reward to all team members as we’re again able to enjoy the Paris podium with them.”

2nd on the stage, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “The last kilometer was quite hectic. We were not in a perfect position. I started the sprint on the left, but Ewan came around me on the right. That’s a pity, but he was simply the strongest today. For me, it was a strange Tour with the crash in Brussels. I am happy to have won a stage. Everything extra was a bonus. It was a great Tour for us with four stage wins and Steven on the podium.”

Tour de France Stage 21 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:04:08
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
4. Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6. André Greipel (Ger) Arkéa Samsic
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Sunweb
10. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Tour de France Final Overall Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos in 82:57:00
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:11
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:31
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:56
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quick-Step at 4:04
6. Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar at 4:23
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First at 5:15
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 5:30
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 6:12
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 7:32.

KOM: Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale)
Points: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
Young Rider: Egan Bernal (Ineos)
Super Combative: Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step)
Team: Movistar.

Søren Kragh Andersen abandons the Tour de France after stage 17
Suffering from saddle sore problems, Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN) abandons the Tour de France after stage 17.

“Over the past few days Søren has been suffering from saddle sore problems,” explained Team Sunweb physician Anko Boelens. “The problems worsened yesterday and during today’s stage Søren was suffering even more. It doesn’t make sense for him to continue at the Tour de France.”

Søren Kragh Andersen added: “It’s obviously sad to leave the Tour but I’ve struggled with a saddle sore over the last few days and it got worse in today’s stage. The sensible decision is to pull out and focus on recovery.”

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek added: “The saddle sores definitely impacted Søren’s performance in the past few stages, it left him struggling to survive. He can look back proudly on his Tour. He was really strong and riding at a high level, doing a great job. We’re sad to see him leave but it is the right choice.”

Søren Kragh Andersen:

Adriatica Ionica Race 2019
Deceuninck – Quick-Step scores an impressive hat-trick in AIRace. The Belgian team kept the Adriatica Ionica Race in control on the dirt roads: the stage winner and new GC leader Alvaro Jose Hodeg preceded his teammates Florian Senechal and Philippe Gilbert in Grado.

As the Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 2 featured a Flemish-style course with over 23 km of dirt roads, Team Deceuninck – Quick-Step appeared as the main favorite from the very beginning, although the final outcome exceeded any expectations with the Belgian squad’s hat-trick on Grado finish line, where the Colombian Alvaro Jose Hodeg out-sprinted his teammates Florian Senechal and Philippe Gilbert, also claiming the GC lead.

Right from the get-go, a group of 5 riders, including Mauricio Moreira (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Guy Niv (Israel Cycling Academy), Etienne Van Empel (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM), Thimo Willems (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Umberto Poli (Team Novo Nordisk) escaped and put over 5 minutes between them and the peloton. The breakaway was caught – Niv e Moreira the very last to give up – with 70km remaining until the finish and still five stretches of dirty roads to come.

The rough way inspired Van Empel to try another solo attack while 2018 Tour of Flanders’ runner-up Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) crashing and losing ground. There was a flurry of attacks until Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First) opened the Flemish party amid the two last dirt roads’ stretches, alongside Marco Canola (Nippo Fantini Faizanè) and Florian Senechal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).

With a reduced 22-rider field leading the race in the hectic finale, it was just a matter of awaiting some of the favorites to seize the moment, if any. Otherwise they went to sprint for a showdown rewarding Deceuninck – Quick-Step with a resounding podium.

Stage winner and overall leader, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Today’s stage wasn’t easy, the sterrate making things really nervous. In the beginning, I was one of the team’s riders to crash, but we got up and continued the race even more motivated. Then, on the penultimate sector, Philippe accelerated and narrowed the group, and this paved the way for my victory. Having three riders on the podium is a great result for our team and a picture that I will always keep with me, because it’s not every day that a team fills in the podium of a race, especially a hard one as that of today. This victory feeds my confidence, as it comes four weeks after my previous race, and winning immediately shows the condition is there. We’ll see what the next stages hold in store, but we are motivated to go after more solid results, that’s for sure.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I crashed and needed to change my bike, chasing the main group for many kilometers. However, we approached the penultimate section of dirt roads in a very high speed and then the peloton split up. In the final kilometer, the lead-out train for the sprint was perfect.”

Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 2 Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:09:58
2. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First
5. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
6. Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Charles
7. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
8. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana.

Adriatica Ionica Race Overall After Stage 2:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:09:48
2. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First at 0:10
5. Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
6. Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot-Charles
7. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
8. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana
10. Eduard Prades (Spa) Movistar.

First gravel road, then high mountains. 2019 Adriatica Ionica Race requires no-limit attitude to those aiming for the overall win, whose number clearly decreased after today’s “queen stage” from Palmanova to Misurina Lake, 204,6 km in the heart of the Alps.

Mark Padun (Bahrain Merida) won the Stage 3 at Misurina Lake atop, ahead of Dayer Quintana (Neri Sottoli Selle Italia KTM) and Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy). The Ukrainian rider took the overall lead, with 6 seconds of advantage on Hermans and 10 on Jonathan Caicedo (EF-Education First).

After the exciting Thursday’s stage with Deceuninck-Quick Step squad in the limelight after the amazing hat-trick in Grado, the race started with Colombian Alvaro Hodeg dressing the leader jersey but also conscious of the hard task awaiting him. The early move of three riders after 7 km only – Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) with Mattia Bais e Jonathan Milan (Cycling Team Friuli) – built up an over 7 minutes gap ahead of the first ascent, Passo Rest, when one of the three escapees (Milan) dropped out.

Mattia Bais used his climber’s skill and attacked alone on the Passo Pura slopes – 11,8 km at a 7,4 average gradient – while Theuns was eventually caught by the peloton. Eleven riders came up to ignite the race: Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Remco Evenepoel and James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Jonathan Caicedo (EF), Winner Anacona (Movistar), Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Polanc (UAE-Emirates), Daniel Muñoz (Androni-Sidermec), Matteo Badilatti and Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Dayer Quintana (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM).

Once an exhausted Bais was caught and outdistanced on the first-category Sella Ciampigotto uphill (11,7 km at a 7,1% average gradient), ten riders remained to play for the stage victory with 40 km to go. Nothing changed until the last 10 km when Remco Evenepoel made several attempts but surprisingly dropped out in the toughest part of the ascent eventually.

Padun, Hermans and Quintana opened a narrow margin and hold it up to the sprint won by Ukrainian rider giving Team Bahrain-Merida the second win in 2019 AIRace after Phil Bauhaus in Mestre.

Stage winner and overall leader, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): “So good! I took this important result thanks to my teammates. The team was extraordinary today. On the first descent I had a mechanical and I had to change my bike and to stop two times. They helped me to come back to the main group. I managed to stay with the best riders and then I attacked on the final climb, but I couldn’t go solo. Anyway, I was the fastest at the reduced sprint. I’m so happy. For sure it is possible to defend the leader jersey.”

Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 3 Result:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida in 5:54:16
2. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
3. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
4. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First
5. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:05
6. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:41
7. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:07
8. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 1:17
9. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:31
10. Daniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 2:28.

Adriatica Ionica Race Overall After Stage 3:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida in 10:04:04
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:06
3. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First at 0:10
4. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:15
5. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:17
6. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM at 1:32
7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:55
8. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:09
9. Daniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 4:06
10. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:20.

The Adriatica Ionica Race celebrated the most awaited rider of this second edition as Belgian Remco Evenepoel claimed the Stage 4 with an outstanding display on Cormòns-Monte Quarin finish line. The talented Deceuninck – Quick-Step youngster got an impressive solo win by preceding his teammate Philippe Gilbert who out-sprinted the first pursuivants joining the finish with a 2:13 delay. Maurits Lammertink (Roompot-Charles) took third, while the GC leader Mark Padun – sixth placed today – retained the leader jersey with a 6-second advantage on Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), 15 on Knox (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and 46 on Evenepoel.

The “Collio” hilly stage 4 have started from Padola along 204,5 km giving many opportunities to attack although the last 1,8 ascent toward Monte Quarin was likely the key-moment of the day. As usual, and early breakaway of five riders – Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec), Etienne Van Empel (Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM), Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Sjoerd Van Ginneken (Roompot-Charles) and Xavier Cañellas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) – built up a 6-minute gap with no concerns for the GC contenders.

Masnada was the only still keeping on fighting on San Floriano del Collio’s KOM while Evenepoel took the initiative opening a consistent gap. With around 25 km to go, Evenepoel joined and outdistanced Masnada on the way to his impressive solo win. Only 24 hours earlier the Belgian have had a disappointing outcome with over 3 minute delay from Mark Padun, but he’s now back for the overall win although the Ukrainian kept a 46 seconds of advantage on him.

Stage winner and 5th overall, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We controlled the stage, as the plan was to go for Philippe at the finish, but then several riders attacked, I countered and continued to press on, putting more and more daylight between us, as the advantage kept growing. I caught Masnada and put some pressure on him, before dropping him in the downhill. Then I just pushed myself and rode full gas until the finish. It’s really nice to take another win in my first race since returning to competition after the training camp in Livigno. It was another great day for the Wolfpack, we lead three classifications, got another victory and also three guys in the top 10, so we can be happy.”

Overall leader and 6th on the stage, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): “We are one day closer to the final victory. Today I too care to not lose time from my most dangerous rivals in the GC and I managed to do it. When I saw Evenepoel attacking in that way, I didn’t even think for a second to chase him. Today he was too strong.”

Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 4 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:50:19
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:13
3. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Roompot-Charles
4. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
5. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
7. Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Movistar
8. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
9. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM at 2:23.

Adriatica Ionica Race Overall After Stage 4:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida in 14:56:36
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:06
3. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:15
4. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First at 0:20
5. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:46
6. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:17
7. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM at 1:42
8. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:55
9. Daniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 4:25
10. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:50

2019 Adriatica Ionica Race finished in the rain in Trieste, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Alvaro Hodeg gave an encore of his previous win in the opening stage in Mestre emerging in the bunch sprint in style. There were no surprises in the fast Final Stage 5 from Cormons to Trieste (103,5 km) and Ukrainian Mark Padun bagged his deserved overall win shaped on the Dolomitic stage in Misurina Lake.

The daring move of the day saw four riders – Winner Anacona (Movistar), Matteo Badilatti (Israel Cycling Academy), Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Thimo Willems (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) – in the frontline but their advantage never exceeded the 2 minutes as the strongest teams striving to keep the gap under control with different goals: Astana looking for a success, Deceuninck-Quick Step to pave the Hodeg’ way ahead of the sprint, Bahrain-Merida to safeguard the GC leader Mark Padun.

The three escapees’ resistance was broken with 20 km to go. On the final approach to the line, Deceuninck – Quick-Step seized definitive control of affairs at the head of the peloton, seemingly with Hodeg in mind. In the end, the Colombian emerged victorious ahead of Sacha Modolo (EF Education First) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo).

The overall podium saw Mark Padun (Bahrain Merida) as 2019 Adriatica Ionica Race winner, preceding Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy, +0:15) and James Knox (Deceuninck – Quick-Step, +0:24) while the yesterday’s winner Remco Evenepoel, today delayed in the finale, sliding down to eighth.

Stage winner, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m very content with this win, which wouldn’t have been possible without the team. Mikkel and Remco worked hard to catch the break in the downhill, Philippe used his experience to bring us to the front on the circuit, while Florian was incredible with the way he accelerated into the last corner, paving the way for victory. I’m proud of these guys and my second win in four days.”

Overall winner and best young rider, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): “I’m so thankful to my teammates. Everyone was so helpful. There was a very dangerous final descent to Trieste and a final fast lap around the town that could have been tricky. But they worked from the start to the finish to help and protect me and happily I’m here to celebrate with them this big success. The first stage race victory of my career.”

Race organization chairman Moreno Argentin: “We’re really happy with the event’s final outcome – explained – we aimed to build up a tougher race than last year for true all-around riders and we succeeded. It’s just the start of a long path, the goal is to bring AIRace to a relevant role in the international calendar, by promoting the beautiful regions we pass through and improving our media exposure.”

Adriatica Ionica Race Stage 5 Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 2:10:02
2. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First
4. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana
7. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Italy
8. Simone Velasco (Ita) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM
9. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data.

Adriatica Ionica Race Final Overall Result:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida in 17:06:45
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:15
3. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:24
4. Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education First at 0:29
5. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:26
6. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM at 1:42
7. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 2:58
8. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 04:20
9. Daniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 4:34
10. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:59.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie 2019
The VOO-Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07) was opened in Le Roeulx on Saturday with Stage 1. The peloton covered 186 kilometers in the rain towards Dottignies. The climbs halfway through the race, Trieu and Enclus, didn’t permit the peloton, controlling the four man breakaway, to create time gaps. As expected, the stage victory was decided in a sprint in the streets of Dottignies. The photo-finish prooved that Timothy Dupont was the fastest. The Belgian sprinter takes the stage victory, and also conquers the first yellow jersey of this TRW. The second stage goes from Waremme to Beyne-Heusay this Sunday.

Stage winner and overall leader, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “CCC took the responsibility for the sprint early, by setting up a sprint train with 7 kilometer to go. Ludwig De Winter perfectly positioned me in their wheel, before Boris Vallée finished the job in the final 500 meter. Mareczko passed me with 300 meter to go, so I followed him and started my effort 200 meter before the finish-line. Finally, I resist to my upcoming competitors, to take an important victory for myself and for the team, on our sponsor’s home soil. I’m happy to celebrate my first victory of the season, and I want to continue this success, although it won’t be easy to defend the yellow jersey. We have a good team, and better assets for the harder stages.”

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Stage 1 Result:
1. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 4:22:44
2. Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus
3. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC
4. Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept-B&B Hotels
7. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
9. Andreas Nielsen (Den) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
10. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 1:
1. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 4:22:34
2. Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:04
3. Kevyn Ista (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles
4. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC at 0:06
5. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:07
7. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles at 0:08
8. Abram Stockman (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:09
9. Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:10
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy.

Stage 2 of the VOO-Tour de Wallonie (2.HC, 27-31/07) started on Sunday in the rain in Waremme. Team Wanty-Gobert, with race leader Timothy Dupont, controlled the peloton and the six early escapees. The last remaining rider of the breakaway being caught before the challenging final 35 kilometer circuit; the final with the Côte de Saive and the Côte de Forêt that thinned out the peloton. Loïc Vliegen counter-attacked behind Miles Scotson with 4 kilometer to go and left him behind in the Mur de Fayembois. The local rider took a solo victory in Beyne-Heusay and takes over the yellow leader’s jersey from teammate Timothy Dupont. A 194.2 kilometer stage between La Roche-en-Ardenne and Verviers is scheduled for Monday.

Stage winner and overall leader, Loïc Vliegen (Wanty-Gobert): “There is a good atmosphere in the team after yesterday’s success with Timothy Dupont. Ludwig and Jérôme rode a big part of the race in front of the peloton, with the rest of the team just behind. We were in a good position there, in these rainy circumstances. The team had ridden a good race, the yellow jersey in our midst, and I was confident for this uphill finish. It’s nice to succeed when the team did a great job. I was feeling good on my training roads. I noticed that my competitors from team Ineos breaked hard in the technical descent towards the Mur de Fayembois when we passed there for a first time. I know these streets for years and I understood I could take advantage of this. Thanks to the help of Fabien Doubey and my terrain knowledge, I started the final climb with an advantage of several seconds. I won the stage and thanks to these tactics, I have a nice bonus in the general classification. I’ve done the recon of the next two stages, I feel confident myself and I have confidence in the team for the upcoming days.”

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Stage 2 Result:
1. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 4:04:37
2. Chris Lawless (GB) Ineos at 0:08
3. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:12
4. Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis
5. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
8. Lucas Eriksson (Swe) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
9. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ
10. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) Ineos.

The VOO-Tour de Wallonie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 8:27:11
2. Chris Lawless (GB) at 0:12
3. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Telenet Fidea Lions at 0:18
4. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:19
5. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis at 0:22
6. Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Valls Ends Long Drought with Ordizia Win
Spaniard from Movistar Team takes solo victory after combative race from whole Movistar Team, opens victory account with Blues as Telefónica-backed squad reaches 18 wins in 2019.

Four and a half years after conquering the overall classification of the Tour of Oman, several crashes and injuries hampering his performance ever since, Rafa Valls (Movistar Team) deservedly got back to winning ways on Thursday at the longest-standing classic in the Spanish pro calendar, the 96th Prueba Villafranca – Ordiziako Klasika – 165.7km in Gipuzkoa, the Basque Country.

The Cocentaina native from Alicante crowned a solid race from the whole Telefónica-backed squad. Lluís Mas did an excellent job to control the early break of seven riders, leading the peloton through the initial two (of five) laps around the Alto de Abaltzisketa. Héctor Carretero took care of the other Blues early in the race before the break was caught and Rubén Fernández started launchins several attacks, which put the tempo-making task on the shoulders of other teams. Three moves from the Spaniard plus another attack from Jaime Castrillo served as launchpad for Valls’ decisive move, 12km before the end, which got him a 20 second gap at the top fo the final Abaltzisketa climb. Antonio Pedrero kept every other move behind in check and secured a comfortable victory for Rafa.

Valls’ solo win, half a minute ahead of Pedrero’s (6th) group, increases to 18 the Movistar Team’s victory account in 2019, helping Rafa regain morale before a crucial late season for him.

Valls on the podium with Jesús del Pino (2nd) and Juan Antonio López-Cózar (3rd):

Rafa Valls (Movistar): “Notching up this victory is so special for me – people can’t imagine how much it’s worth for me. It hasn’t been an easy career for me so far with all those injuries, especially the last four years after my win in Oman. It’s always difficult to bounce back after a crash, but even more so when you aren’t able to take your head off the water, getting drowned with another injury when you seem to recover. It’s difficult to train and remain motivated in such situations, but today I was able to get some prize and see those efforts paid back.

“All of that, after we were caught a bit off balance in the beginning. Our plan was featuring in all breaks and giving a chance to every single team member to shine. We didn’t feature in the early moves, but fortunately, the team controlled really well and kept the break close. Lluís was impressive leading us out, and all team-mates did their job perfectly. We were at all moves after the original break, and my task today was saving some energy for the end. I knew I could ride calmly since we always had someone at the front, and once Rubén was caught, I jumped and was able to make that crucial gap. Things turned out really well for us.”

Win for Valls:

GP Cerami: Dupont on the Podium
The heatwave didn’t prevent a good running of the GP Cerami (1.1, 25/07), which was reduced by 40 kilometers. The first summer race in Wallonia was finally a 150 kilometer race from Saint-Ghislain to Frameries. A trio collected a maximum advantage of 4 minutes and half, before the last escapee was caught with 10 kilometers to go. A bunch sprint was inevitable, and was won by Bryan Coquard. Timothy Dupont, 3rd, accompanied the French sprinter on the podium.

3rd, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “The approach to the sprint was quite hectic. Two riders had a gap already, when I started my sprint. It is a pity, but this is my first race since the Belgian Championship, so I can be happy with this podium. I almost didn’t eat, because of the heat, but I drank a lot. It was a good decision to shorten the race.”

GP Cerami:

Winner of Under23 Giro Signs for UAE Team Emirates
Colombian climber Camilo Ardila signs four year deal with the Emirati squad.

The talented Colombian climber and winner of the Under 23 ‘Baby’ Giro 2019, has signed a four year contract with the team from UAE.

Joxean Fernandez Matxin, general manager of UAE Team Emirates: “Camilo is one of the finest climbers in the Under 23 category. He is a rider with a clear head and willing to work hard and make sacrifices to reach his objectives: at just 19 years old he made the move from his home in Marquita Tolima to live in Medillín to be able to train in better conditions.
At UAE Team Emirates we believe he has a very bright future we want to work to help him to reach his full potential”

Camilo Ardila, why UAE Team Emirates?
“I had a lot of offers from the World Tour category teams, but the plan UAE Team Emirates presented to me impressed me a lot. I think it’s the right choice because I will have the chance to grow gradually and adapt to the highest category. I started talking with Matxin before my victory in the Under 23 Giro, and he immediately believed in me”.

What is your biggest dream in cycling?
“To be a good stage racer and to be strong in the mountains. The dream is the Tour de France. One day I would like to go to the Tour to try to win the most important race in the world”.

Do you have a rider who inspires you?
“I am inspired by Nairo Quintana : a strong climber who managed to win the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España and get on the podium of the Tour de France”.

A special thanks
“To my family that allowed me to follow my dream and to my EPM team, which helped me grow as young rider”.

Camilo Ardila and Joxean Matxin:

No European TT championships and BinckBank Tour for Campenaerts
Victor Campenaerts will not defend his double European title against the clock in Alkmaar on Thursday 8 August. The Lotto Soudal rider indicates not being sufficiently recovered from the past few intensive months, in which he set a new world Hour Record in Aguascalientes on 16 April as the ultimate highlight. Campenaerts will also not be at the start of the BinckBank Tour.

Victor Campenaerts: “As of December, when I was recovering from my knee injury, I built up a performance curve, which lasted all the way till the Belgian time trial championships. With the altitude training camp in Namibia, the stay and successful Hour Record attempt in Mexico, the Tour de Romandie, the two second places in the Giro time trials and a fruitful Tour of Belgium with a stage victory, I had a very intensive period. Eventually, it already became clear at the Belgian time trial championship that my performance curve had been seriously waned. The short rest period I planned did not prove to be enough in order to fully recover. That is exactly why I – at the moment – have not reached the desired shape to participate in the European time trial championships and the BinckBank Tour. The success of the months April and May – which resulted from the intensive preparation period that started in December – has caused the build-up to go slower and that is why I will be a non-starter at both events.”

The following riders will represent Lotto Soudal at the coming European championships in the Dutch city of Alkmaar.

Time trial:
Ladies U23: Alana Castrique.
Men U23: Brent Van Moer and Ilan Van Wilder.
Mixed Team Relay: Thomas De Gendt, Lotte Kopecky and Lawrence Naesen.
Ladies Elite: Julie Van de Velde.

Road race:
Ladies U23: Alana Castrique.
Men U23: Stan Dewulf, Sébastien Grignard, Gerben Thijssen and Brent Van Moer.
Ladies Elite: Lotte Kopecky and Kelly Van den Steen.
Men Elite: Jens Keukeleire and Lawrence Naesen.

No Euro champs for Campenaerts:

Tour of Utah Spectator Experience Features Autograph Alley, Healthy Living Expo and Kids’ Bike Races
Rolling Festival Anchors Start/Finish Lines of Each Daily Stage.

An extensive program of new and returning spectator-friendly events, centered around the start and finish lines for each stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, are planned during the weeklong professional cycling event on Aug. 12-18.

“An exciting atmosphere surrounds the Tour of Utah on a daily basis as world-class cycling moves from community to community,” said John Kimball, managing director of the Tour of Utah. “The start and finish lines are a hub of activity that includes giveaways, autographs from the riders, entertainment, kids’ bike races, live big screen broadcast coverage of the entire race, and an interactive festival area with sponsor booths. It’s all free and a great way to enjoy race day.”

Before competition begins in the 477-mile stage race known as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the Team Presentation will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 at Snowbird Resort. Beginning at 4 p.m. on the Plaza Deck next to the Aerial Tram at Snowbird Center, the afternoon includes displays and giveaways, with prizes including bicycles and overnight stays at Snowbird Resort. The riders for all 17 professional cycling teams will be introduced with a formal program, followed by Snowbird’s Cool Air Concert Series. Music begins with Dan Weldon, followed by the headliner, Low Down Brass Band, playing from 7-8:30 p.m. General admission is free for the Team Presentation, and limited hospitality tickets are available for $125 per person.

Community celebrations are part of the revelry that surround the sports competition each day. Each community includes local flavors and sounds to create a party atmosphere for the crowds. Many free concerts have been added this year, from a pre-race cookout and concert in Brigham City the night before the Stage 2 start to live bands at Powder Mountain Resort, North Salt Lake and Canyons Village at Park City Mountain.

Among returning favorites for free and family-friendly activities at the Tour of Utah are children’s bicycle races, the interactive expo and an area to capture athlete autographs. New fan engagements introduced for 2019 will provide fans with additional commemorative souvenirs and experiences.

What’s New?
· Ford Fan Zone — A reserved space will be available at finish lines on a first-come, first-serve basis for 200 spectators for all seven days of racing. Fans will receive complimentary merchandise from Ford and the Tour of Utah. It is fun and free.

· Ford Fan Parade — Official Ford Tour vehicles will drive along the course at designated finish line areas to give away complimentary merchandise to spectators each day.

· BISH RV’s Ride with a Team — Ever want to see and hear what goes on inside an official team vehicle before a day of racing? Join one of the Tour of Utah teams in their RV and ride from start to finish of Stage 3. Winners not only get to watch the race from the team RV, they will also get VIP Hospitality passes for both the start and the finish lines. The contest began in mid-July. One lucky winner will receive this exclusive access, along with VIP passes to the stage.

· Ford Eco-Sport Lease Contest — Race fans can enter a Ford contest at all Tour of Utah Street Team events and at the KUTV 2 Lifestyle Expo during the first five days of racing (Prologue and Stages 1 to 4). On Friday, Aug. 16, 10 lucky winners will be selected to attend Stage 6 in Park City. On Monday, Aug. 19, one overall winner will receive a two-year lease on a Ford Eco-Sport, along with Yakima bike racks and two bicycles.

· Ford Caravan Vehicle Sale — Don’t miss your exclusive chance to purchase one of the Tour of Utah official Ford vehicles. Ten of the official Eco-Sport vehicles will be available for purchase after the race with bike racks and a bicycle.

What’s Returning?
· Rider Sign-In and Wildlife Generation Autograph Alley — Spectators will be allowed to interact with the professional athletes as they walk along Autograph Alley to the Sign-In stage. Race announcers will interview athletes from the stage, providing insights before the high-speed action commences. All photos and signatures are free for spectators. No Rider Sign-In will be conducted on Aug. 12 for the Prologue, but fans can grab a spot near the Start House to watch each rider race against the clock. Sponsored by Wildlife Generation.

· KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo — Plan to arrive early to any of the seven finish line host venues and spend some time at the KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo. This free, interactive festival area and sponsor showcase serves as a gateway to the finish line every day. It provides an array of interactive exhibits, official Tour merchandise and live entertainment, including jumbo television screens to watch the race unfold as it heads to the finish. Check the web site for each day’s location and hours of operation.

· America First Credit Union Fan Favorite — Each day during the race fans can cast votes online for their favorite athletes in various categories, such as best climber or most promising rookie. The athlete who receives the most votes each day will be recognized as the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite and receives a special award jersey. One fan will be chosen in a random drawing from ballots cast to receive a Tour of Utah gift bag and $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of America First Credit Union.

· Podium Award T-shirt Giveaway — At the conclusion of each day’s race, top athletes will be recognized in an awards ceremony with special jerseys, such as the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Leader jersey and Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey. These winners will autograph limited-edition, replica T-shirts for each award jersey and toss them into the crowd. Fans are encouraged to catch one-of-a-kind Tour of Utah T-shirts.

· Sprint to the Finish Kids’ Bike Races presented by University of Utah Health — Children ages five to 12 have the opportunity to race their bicycles near the finish line used by the pros at six race locations. To participate, a parent or guardian must sign a waiver at the University of Utah Health exhibit in the KUTV 2 Healthy Living Expo. Make sure each child brings his or her helmet, closed-toe shoes and a bicycle. Races will be held in North Logan City, Brigham City, North Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, and Park City. Check the web site for start times.

Event VIP Hospitality tickets are available for individual days of racing at eight of the nine venues. Five Experience Packages provide guests with unique access to the race, including exclusive private viewing areas adjacent to start or finish areas, food/beverage service, and the seating close to the action. Prices begin at $150 per person for Hospitality and begin at $750 per person for Experience Packages. More information and purchases can be made online at

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique professional sports in the world today. In addition to being a UCI 2.HC stage race, the Tour is also part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.
More information about the Tour of Utah, host venues and professional teams can be found by visiting, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (tourofutah).

Rider Sign-In and Wildlife Generation Autograph Alley:

The 2019 Tour de Pologne Trophy Unveiled
Once again in this edition, the winner will take home a modern and eco-sustainable work by the artist from Trento, Mirko Demattè.

The collaboration continues between Mirko Demattè, the spatial artist from Trento, and the Tour de Pologne. Once again this year, a work of art by the renown artist from Trento will be awarded to the winner of the 76th edition of the Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour, a race scheduled from August 3rd to the 9th.

There are actually five pieces; in fact, in addition to the trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the Tour de Pologne, another four works have been produced in the same style, but smaller; these will go to the young men and women’s winners of the Kinder+Sport Mini Tour de Pologne CUP, the challenge open to kids from clubs, for the 11-12 year-old category and the 13-14 year-old class as well.

Great cycling races are reflected in the trophy that is assigned to the winners from one edition to the next. The trophy becomes a symbol that comprises the values of the event and conveys continuity, a sort of testimonial that passes from the hands of one champion to the next, year after year, raised towards the sky in the throes of victory, inciting thrills, a sense of achievement and unforgettable memories.

“It is always an exciting honor for me to make this trophy. For the winner’s trophy, the theme is tradition and continuity; I think it is important that the spirit of victory and of Poland be comprised in this symbol and prominently recognizable through time. On the other hand, although the trophies for the young winners maintain the same aspects of the major piece, the details are a bit different. I wanted to play with metaphors and similarities, making the most of materials and colors. For example, the pedestal under the ceramic base of the smaller trophies is not in steel, like in the larger trophy, but in iron, because it is a rougher element, a bit like the young riders are still rough around the edges; they need to take shape, develop and grow. In terms of colors, in addition to the white-red scheme symbolizing the Polish flag, there is black, which doesn’t represent darkness, but rather the road that these young riders will have to take on before writing their destiny. Through their lives, their stories and their adventures it will be up to them to fill this black with color. Of course, for all the trophies, the most important colors are still the white and red of Poland, particularly in this edition featuring strong national values, as the race will contribute to celebrations marking 100 years of the Polish Olympic Committee. I am proud of this collaboration with Czeslaw Lang. There has always been a strong bond of friendship and collaboration between my native land, Trentino, and the Tour de Pologne. I have strong ties to Poland; in the past several years I have travelled this country extensively for exhibits in many cities, including Warsaw and Krakow, and I’ve gotten to know and appreciate this great nation, its people and its traditions,” explains the artist Mirko Demattè.

According to critics, Mirko Demattè’s art represents a turning point on the international artistic scene. The techniques he uses and the choice of materials he puts into his works make this artist an indefatigable explorer of new artistic expressions. Materials are at the heart of Demattè’s artistic production, and it is in the materials that the artist impresses his feelings. The pieces that the artist from Trentino has made for the Tour de Pologne are all hand-made modern works of art with ceramic bases and the main structures in wood, a hi-tech material in pvc and bamboo that is eco-friendly and completely recyclable produced by Woodn Industries under Roberto Chemello, ex CEO for Luxottica.

Read the artist’s bio:

For more information on the artist and his work:

#InsideOut at the Tour de France | Martin and Wilco Kelderman
No, you’re not seeing double. #InsideOut with the Kelderman brothers at their first #TDF2019 together!

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