EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news

The Vuelta a España finishes week two and we have all the news from Spain including reports, results and video. Plus the Deutschland Tour, Simac Ladies Tour, Bretagne Classic – Ouest France, Brussels Cycling Classic and the Druivenkoers – Overijse. Peter Sagan and Niki Terpstra together – TOP STORY. Teams and riders for the Benelux Tour and the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta. New contract for Pieter Serry with Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma make €20,000 for Charity. EUROTRASH Monday coffee time.


TOP STORY: Peter Sagan: “If Terpstra wants to continue his career, I definitely want to talk to him”
Peter Sagan will be the new leader of the French ProTeam TotalEnergies for the next two years. The French team of manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau had Niki Terpstra as one of the leaders in the team since 2019. Partly due to a bad crash last June, the North Hollander has not been able to bring what was hoped for. It is not yet clear whether Terpstra’s contract with the team will be extended.

“I haven’t spoken to Niki yet,” said Peter Sagan in an interview with RIDE Magazine during his altitude training camp in Andorra. “I heard rumours that Niki wanted to end his career after this season. But if he wants to continue his career, I definitely want to talk to him.”

Sagan knows Terpstra’s qualities well and has encountered him frequently in recent years in the finals of the spring classics. “Certainly with a view to the Flemish classics, he can be of great value,” Sagan continued. “Niki has a big engine and is an experienced man in the spring races. He could play an important role in the team. But of course it’s not my decision whether he can stay. The team has to make that decision.”

Terpstra to ride with Sagan?

 


Vuelta a España 2021
That man Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education Nippo) again! On the day after Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) narrowly took victory away from him on the slopes of Valdepeñas de Jaen and a week after his spectacular win at Cullera, the Dane dominated the sprint from a reduced bunch in the streets of Cordoba to cap off a demanding Stage 12 of La Vuelta’21. That’s his fifth victory in the Spanish Grand Tour, five years after the first one. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) saved La Roja for another day.

The start of stage 12 saw a 168-man peloton roll-out from Jaen and head for Cordoba. With many attacks and counter-attacks, the peloton cover 50.2km in the first hour, and the battle for the break was ongoing. After 76km, Mikel Iturria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sebastian Berwick (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Sander Armée (Qhubeka NextHash) manage to jump away from the bunch as they enter the last 100km. Many riders wanted to join them, five succeed with 84km to go: Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Maxim van Gils (Lotto Soudal) and Chad Haga (DSM), who celebrated his 33rd birthday with a breakaway attempt. UAE Team Emirates controled the gap. The attackers only had 1 minute at the bottom of the first climb, the Alto de San Jeronimo (13km, 3.4%). Chad Haga sat up from the breakaway and Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) was dropped by the bunch. Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) are involved in a crash with 53km to go but they quickly get back on their bikes.

The break explodes ahead of the final climb of the day, the Alto del 14%, to be summited with 18.8km to go. Maxim Van Gils goes solo on the first slopes, but the peloton is only at 35 seconds. Van Gils was caught 3km from the summit and four riders attack: Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Romain Bardet (DSM), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Sergio Henao (Qhubeka NextHash). They open a 30 second gap as they descend to Cordoba. BikeExchange work for Michael Matthews in the peloton. The attackers were pulled back inside the last kilometre. EF Education-Nippo power to the front and Magnus Cort Nielsen surges to victory just ahead of Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). Matthews had to settle for third, ahead of Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates). Odd Christian Eiking finished with the 39 man front group to retain the lead.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo): “I was just behind [when Primoz Roglic crashed] but I could avoid it. I hope everybody is ok. I get some respect [moving into the bunch with La Roja on the shoulders] but it’s not a big difference. It’s just nice to ride with this jersey. I expected some guys to attack, which they did. Ciccone tried, but it was a really good day for sprinters like Magnus Cort Nielsen and a few others, so I expected a sprint in a reduced group. It’s nice to hear Thor Hushovd also had the jersey here. It’s cool. Tomorrow is flat, but you never know, so I’ll try to do my best to keep the jersey in the team.”

Overall leader, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “We expected a group sprint today and the scenario, which was in our favour, came true. With several riders who were further down in GC attacking on the final climb, the GC favourites didn’t move. Louis and I stayed in the first group thanks to the support of our teammates. On paper, it looks like it might be a similar situation in the flat stage this Friday, but all stay very attentive, because you never know what can happen. I’m already looking forward to the next stage, because it is such a nice feeling to wear the leader’s jersey!”

2nd on the stage, Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “To be on the podium of a Grand Tour is always a good result, but today I wanted the victory. I did a good race, made sure of keeping enough energy in the legs on the last ascent and then placing myself onto Cort’s wheel, as I knew he was the guy to follow. In the closing 200 meters I gave everything, but he was just stronger. Hopefully there will be some more chances for me before the Vuelta finishes.”

3rd on the stage, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange): “After yesterday, today was always going to be difficult. We all came together in the final there and even after I was struggling on the last two climbs to get to the finish, the boys still put it all on the line for me to go for the sprint. I already told the team on the first climb I wasn’t going to contest the stage today. I thought it was going to be too much for me, but I gritted my teeth and got myself over the climb and the boys said we will go for me in the sprint. We just got jumped a little bit in the final from Magnus Cort, they just timed it better than I did in the sprint there, but I think all-in-all we did a really good team performance today. When you have a team like this that supports you through the highs and the lows of a Grand Tour, then you always give it your all to try and finish it off.”

4th on the stage, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates): “The guys did the perfect job today. They kept the pace high but just enough for me to finish at the front. The heat was savage and it was survival out there. I took Matthews wheel for the finish but Magnus Cort was too strong for everybody again today. His team timed their move perfectly in the end, but we are strong and for sure we won’t stop trying for the victory in this Vuelta.”

6th on the stage and 10th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “That was a really fast stage. In the end I was a bit tired, but I didn’t feel too bad. Ultimately, I tried to follow the others and then went in for the sprint, where I tried to get the best result possible. I am happy that I got through today without a crash. Tomorrow is a normal sprint stage, or at least it’s expected to be one, where we can take a bit of a breather for a little while.”

Points leader, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “There is no easy day for a sprinter in La Vuelta. I think the easiest days are the sprint stages, but then the final is nervous. That’s part of the race but I’m happy I made it to the finish. We’ll see tomorrow but I think the biggest fight here is against the heat. Sometimes, it was 40ºC today. You have to drink a lot, and we’ll see what’s left in the legs tomorrow.”

Sergio Henao (Qhubeka NextHash): “Today was always very hard but the team was very strong. Sander was in the main breakaway and all the other guys were jumping in the beginning to be in the breakaway. I had good legs today and after speaking to Alex (Sans Vega – Sport Director) this morning, the plan was to try something on the last climb and that’s what happened. I could go in the front and gave it a try with 3 other guys. We were pulling hard in the front but unfortunately behind BikeExchange chased to make it a sprint.”

Vuelta a España Stage 12 Result:
1. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo in 3:44:21
2. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
6. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Martijn Tusveld (Ned) DSM.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 12:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 45:33:18
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:58
3. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:56
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:31
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:28
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 3:55
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:46
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:57
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 5:03
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:38.

Vuelta’21 stage 12:

 

After Deceuninck – Quick-Step pulled for 200km to lead Fabio Jakobsen to another La Vuelta stage win, exactly two years after he took the first one. The Dutch sprinter lost his lead-out train in the streets of Villanueva de la Serena. But that didn’t prevent the Wolfpack from claiming success on Stage 13 as lead-out man Florian Sénéchal turned into a leader to take the victory ahead of Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates). Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) survived the day to retain La Roja ahead of a brutal summit finish on the climb to Pico Villuercas.

After three hilly stages, La Vuelta 21 was back on flat terrain with 203.7km from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena. 165 rider peloton started without the Spanish national champion Omar Fraile, suffering from a back injury, according to his team and the German national champion, Maximilian Schachmann, who struggled with the heat. Three attackers jumped away from the bunch at the start: Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Alvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Luis Angel Mate (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

They quickly open a 2:15 gap, but Fabio Jakobsen’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step team control the peloton after 11km into the stage. Arnaud Démare’s Groupama-FDJ and Alberto Dainese’s DSM join them at the helm of the bunch and the gap never gets higher than 2:50 at km 50. The peloton briefly splits with an acceleration in the last 60km. There are about 30 riders at the front, including the overall leader Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Fabio Jakobsen in his green jersey. But everyone got back together 5km later. Riders were now wary of potential echelons but the situation settled. The attackers were reeled in 28.5km from the line. Deceuninck – Quick-Step up the pace in the twisty final 5km and splits the bunch again. Jakobsen loses the wheels. Alberto Dainese started the sprint, but Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) takes over and holds off Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) to win the stage.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We had other plans today, but when Fabio shouted on the radio that I should go instead for the sprint, I immediately focused on that, on remaining calm and giving it my best in that chaotic finale. The guys did an incredible job and I’m grateful to them for their immense efforts and for giving me this opportunity. I feel honoured by their confidence and I’m delighted I could repay it today. At the same time, I also want to thank my wife, family and friends, people who, together with my team, always supported me and believed in me. I still don’t realise what this win means, it’s just crazy.”

Overall leader, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The many roundabouts in the final kilometres were no surprise, but I didn’t imagine that they would be decisive for the stage win. There were some time gaps, but thanks to the great work of my teammates I managed to finish in the front and avoid changes in the general classification. The team was fantastic today, I only had to follow. Tomorrow will be a hard day in the mountains. I will give everything I have to defend the red jersey, but a lot will depend on what the other teams desire, in particular the winner of the two last editions, Primoz Roglic.”

2nd on the stage, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates): “The ending, as expected, was not easy. It was essential to remain in the leading positions when approaching the roundabout located 3.5 km from the finish, but I was unable to hit the corner the way I wanted and had to use a lot of energy to make up ground. From that moment on, I struggled at every corner, finding myself having to recover ground each time and then paying for my efforts in the sprint. It’s a shame, but I finally got close and I’ll try again at the next opportunity.”

5th on the stage, Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën): “The goal was to prepare the sprint for Damien (Touzé) and Clément (Venturini). We were in about 10th place when there was a right turn and I saw they weren’t there anymore. Then I tried to get the best possible position, but I had already taken a bit of wind to get to where I was. My sprint was not great, but I gave it my all and this 5th place is the most we could do today.”

7th overall and best young rider, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I didn’t think there would be so much madness at the end, I just wanted to be well placed. With only 3 km I felt it could split, I was in good position and that’s when they said that the bunch was parting. I tried to look back but there was a rider behind me and I didn’t know how many of us were in front. It was three kilometres and you had to go full throttle. Being more than two minutes behind in GC, gaining five seconds on a flat stage isn’t a big thing. The good thing is that I got ahead, I did not fall and let’s see how I am tomorrow. Five seconds does not mean a lot, you have to be honest. And there can’t be much change from one day to the next. I’m not going to fly tomorrow all of a sudden, I’ll just try to do my best so that when I get home I will have the satisfaction that I gave it my all.”

Points leader, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This is cycling, you can be the main favourite but things don’t always turn out the way you wanted. The team did a perfect lead-out, but the legs were full of lactic acid and I could see that before the last two kilometres, so I just told Florian that he should sprint and I’m happy that he finished it off. I’m sure other opportunities will come and we will go for them.”

17th on the stage, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “We concentrated on the sprint today. We aimed to save energy for the finale but in hindsight, perhaps we gambled a bit too long there. When we reached the city centre there were splits in the field, and with the series of roundabouts it suddenly became very hectic. At that point we were a bit too far behind, which was a pity because that meant we weren’t able to have a real chance in the final sprint. We will analyse what happened today to see what we should do better next time.”

Vuelta a España Stage 13 Result:
1. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:58:23
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM at 0:02
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange at 0:03
5. Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën
6. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
7. Itamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
10. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:06.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 13:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 50:31:52
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:58
3. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:56
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:31
5. Miguel Angel López Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:28
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:03:55
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:41
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:57
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 5:03
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:38.

Vuelta’21 stage 13:

 

Romain Bardet (DSM) achieved on Stage 14 what he came to do in La Vuelta’21: a spectacular stage win after an all-day battle in the mountains. The Frenchman was the strongest climber in the break to take victory at the top of the summit finish of Pico Villuercas, ahead of Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix). Bardet also took the polka-dot jersey. Miguel Angel López (Movistar) attacked his GC rivals and Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) lost a few seconds, but held on to La Roja ahead of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

La Vuelta headed back into the mountains with almost 3,500m of climbing en route to a tough summit finish at Pico Villuercas. After 9km; 18 attackers made the break of the day: Clément Champoussin, Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën), Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious), Dani Navarro (Burgos-BH), Aritz Bagües (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Jens Keukeleire (EF Education-Nippo), Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Arnaud Démare, Kevin Geniets (Groupama-FDJ), Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation), Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Andrey Zeits (BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (DSM), Dylan Sunderland (Qhubeka NextHash) and Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates).

The break covered 51.3km in the first hour of racing as they tried to build a significant lead ahead of the climbing challenges of the day. The gap went up to 10:10 at the bottom of the first ascent (km 86.7), the cat-3 Puerto Berzocana (7.7km, 5.2%), followed by the extremely steep cat-1 Alto Collado de Ballesteros (2.8km, 14%), which is the same mountain as Pico Villuercas, but from a different side, and not all the way to the top. Bardet led the break over the top of the two climbs to take the lead in the KOM. Prodhomme and Navarro attack their breakaway companions with 49km to go and open a gap of 1 minute. Holmes and Vanmarcke get back to them with 30km to go, and then Keukeleire, Champoussin, Herrada, Geniets, Tratnik, Zeits and Bardet also bridge the gap.

Prodhomme went again with 26km to go to the finish. Vanmarcke and Navarro follow him but they crash 3km further on. The chasers get back together ahead of the final ascent: 14.5km, 6.2%. The Frenchman has a lead 1 minute at the bottom. Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the bunch with a gap up to over 14 minutes. Prodhomme pushed hard at the front, but Zeits and Bardet get back to him with 6km to go. Bardet immediately counter-attacked to take a spectacular solo win, 44 seconds ahead of Herrada and Vine. The Frenchman claimed his fourth Grand Tour stage win. The first three were in the Tour de France. Meanwhile, Movistar and Trek-Segafredo lifted the speed on the final ascent. Miguel Angel López (Movistar) attacked inside the last 3km. Steven Kruijswijk and Sepp Kuss control for Primoz Roglič, who crosses the line 4 seconds behind the Colombian climber, alongside Enric Mas (Movistar), Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious). Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) finished 16 seconds later, 4 seconds ahead of Odd Christian Eiking, who retains the lead ahead of another mountain stage.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Romain Bardet (DSM): “Honestly, I really took it climb by climb because we had the feeling no one really wanted to commit in the breakaway so I had a really hard time to catch the guys in front of us on the last climb. I think in the end we played it really smart with Matt, our coach, he told me exactly when to attack on the steepest and make it as if the finish was just there and it was a 200 metre race. I gave it a good go, I opened a gap and just committed to the finish. Everyone in the peloton is a bit tired but at the moment the spirit is also super high in the team. We already had two stage wins, multiple podiums with Alberto and everyone is really focused. I’m so happy to be part of such a good team. We’re really enjoying ourselves and try to do our best every day and I’m so happy to take a stage win for the team. It’s been a really good Vuelta for us so far and we’ll keep trying for more.”

Overall leader, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The race was controlled during a major part of the day and I hoped that it would continue on the final climb. In the end, I suffered a lot. The slopes weren’t very steep and there was a strong headwind, so I took a risk by hiding in the slipstream as good as possible. Guillaume Martin attacked but I knew that he had to battle against the wind. When we arrived inside the final 3 kilometre, I knew that I would stay the race leader for another day. Tomorrow? Keeping the jersey one more day is possible but it will depend on how my competitors make use of the parcours.”

5th on the stage, Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citroën): “I got into the right breakaway. Nicolas Prodhomme did a great job. The group behind him wasn’t riding well together, so it was really good that he was out front. I lacked a bit of energy on the last climb and when Romain Bardet attacked, I couldn’t go with him. Maybe I made a little tactical mistake to get on the podium. I had the strength, but I lacked a little bit of juice to accelerate in the decisive moments. I hope to get even better in the next few days.”

9th on the stage, Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën): “Since the start of La Vuelta a España, I’ve really wanted to get into a breakaway. It’s my first Grand Tour and the team’s goal is to seize every opportunity to secure a stage victory. The breakaway started pretty early. On paper Romain Bardet was the strongest so getting ahead was our only chance to win. When I found myself on my own, I told myself that you have to go out there to have zero regrets.”

7th overall and best young rider, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “I felt a little better. It was a strange climb, it was hard but at the same time it helped a lot to follow wheels. I’m happy because I was able to get there with them, so far it’s my best day. I think it has been quite tough and everyone is a little afraid to attack and then burst, or at least I am. You have to be calm and calculate the effort, because there was also a lot of wind and where does one go when there are five Jumbo pulling. You just have to be realistic, when you are not there, you are not there. But today I felt relatively good. Tomorrow will be another type of stage and the last stages are also tough, so we will have to wait.”

10th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “When I woke up today, I wasn’t sure how it would go, as I had some pain in my legs yesterday. We controlled the race well all day. The feeling on the last climb was quite good and I have to say thanks to the team, particularly Ben, who supported me really well until the finish. Now I’m focusing on slowly regenerating for tomorrow.”

Vuelta a España Stage 14 Result:
1. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM in 4:20:36
2. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:44
3. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:12
5. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:14
6. Matthew Holmes (GB) Lotto Soudal at 1:16
7. Andrey Zeits (Kaz) BikeExchange at 1:19
8. Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ at 1:46
9. Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 2:04
10. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 2:15.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 14:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 55:03:17
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:54
3. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:11
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:04
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 3:35
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:21
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:49
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 4:59
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:31.

Vuelta’21 stage 14:

 

Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates) produced a massive solo effort to win Stage 15 of La Vuelta after an all-day battle in the mountains. It took more than 70km for the break to establish, and the Pole went on his own with 87km to go and held off all his chasers, led by Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) at the finish in El Barraco, home of the Spanish climbing icon ‘El Chava’ Jimenez. This is Rafal Majka’s first victory since he raised his arms at Sierra de la Pandera, four years ago in La Vuelta’17. Among the GC contenders, Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) gained 15 seconds and Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) retained La Roja on the eve of the second rest day, with one week to go to Santiago de Compostela.

On Sunday, the peloton of La Vuelta 21 faced another big mountain stage with more than 3,600m of climbing from Navalmoral de la Mata to El Barraco (197.5km). After Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) left the race on stage 14, his Ecuadorian compatriot Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-Nippo) is also out of La Vuelta’21. There are now only 163 riders in the Spanish Tour.

A group of 25 riders quickly go up the road, with GC threats such as Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and David De la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), and the likes of Michael Storer, Romain Bardet (DSM) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Nippo) to hunt for another stage win. The rest of the peloton aren’t happy with this group and a huge battle was on until everyone was back together at the bottom of the first ascent of the day (km 70), the cat-1 Alto de la Centenera (15.1km, 5.5%). Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates), Fabio Aru (Qhubeka NextHash) and Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Soudal) attack on the first slopes. Van Gils suffered a mechanical and he finds himself in a 21-man chase group that got together on the ascent with Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-Citroën), Gorka Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Diego Andres Camargo (EF Education-Nippo), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Simone Petilli (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation), Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Lucas Hamilton, Mikel Nieve (BikeExchange), Thymen Arensman, Chris Hamilton, Michael Storer, Martijn Tusveld (DSM), Guanluca Brambilla, Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates).

Majka and Aru summit the Alto de la Centenera with an average speed of 43km/h in the first two hours. They opened a 1:30 gap on their chasers. The peloton trail by 3 minutes. Majka goes solo on the second ascent of the day, the cat-2 Puerto de Pedro Bernardo (9km, 4.2%), with 87km to go. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux set the pace for the overall leader Odd Christian Eiking in the bunch and the gap increased to 6 minutes. Majka pushed on alone at the front and the chase group exploded on the following climb, the Puerto de Mijares (20.4km, 5.4%). Kruijswijk is the strongest among them. He trailed by 1:40 over the top. Chris Hamilton followd with a gap of 3 minutes. The gap to the bunch is stable around 6 minutes. The leader maintained his advantage towards the final climb of the day, the cat-3 Puerto San Juan de Nava (8.6km, 3.8%), where Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) manageD to distance his GC rivals. In El Barraco, Rafal Majka claimed his first victory since La Vuelta’17, when he took the solo win at Sierra de la Pandera. Steven Kruijswijk finishes 2nd at 1:27 and Chris Hamilton rounded up the podium at 2:19. Adam Yates followed at 2:42, with a 15 second gap to the rest of the GC contenders.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Rafal Majka (UAE Team Emirates): “To go in the break, the important thing is to have good legs but, sometimes, these are not always enough to stay away. Today I tried from the start to attack, with the fixed idea of ​​winning the stage in mind, in order to dedicate the success to my father, my two children and UAE Team Emirates, a really great team. I am very happy, it is nice to be able to celebrate after a bad start to the season, and to be able to dedicate it to my dad who passed away just 3 months ago.”

Overall leader and 6th on the stage, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I want to thank the whole team, because their fantastic racing enabled me to keep the red jersey until the end of the second week of the Vuelta. Without the team, I would not have been able to stay in this position at the end of such a demanding stage. We knew the intrinsic value of our collective, and for the first time we had the possibility to show it on this level by controlling a delicate day from the first to the last kilometre. At the end, I only had to watch my main competitors and reach the finish at the end of the downhill. I’m very proud to lead the Tour of Spain after two weeks and I want to thank all people who support us!”

7th on the stage and 10th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “From the beginning, the race was full gas. During the day, Intermarché then controlled the pace well and my teammates did a good job to support me. On the last climb, there were some attacks and in the end I finished as part of a small group. I felt pretty good today, although I was a bit tired like the others, so I’m looking forward to the rest day. Thanks again to the team for the great support today.”

Vuelta a España Stage 15 Result:
1. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates in 4:51:36
2. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
3. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) DSM at 2:19
4. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:42
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:57
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
9. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
10. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 15:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 59:57:50
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:54
3. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:11
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:04
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 3:35
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:21
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:34
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 4:59
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:31.

Vuelta’21 stage 15:

 


Deutschland Tour 2021
As in the Deutschland Tour 2019, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) also won the opening Stage 1 of this year’s race: After 191 kilometres from Stralsund to Schwerin, the 27-year-old relegated Phil Bauhaus and Marco Haller (both Bahrain Victourios) to second and third. With his victory, Ackermann also took the first leaders jersey of the Deutschland Tour 2021.

Soon after the start in Stralsund, a group went clear. Justin Wolf (Bike Aid), Robert Jägeler (P&S Metalltechnik), Henri Uhlig (German national team), Jon Knolle (SKS Sauerland), Joschua Huppertz (Lotto-Kern Haus) and Axel Colmann (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) completed the sextet. The leading group was able to extend their lead up to 3:50. However, the peloton always remained in control. BORA-hansgrohe, Bahrain Victorious and Israel Start-Up Nation were very active at the front of the peloton. Emanuel Buchmann did a lot of work in the rainy conditions. Mark Cavendish crashed about 50 kilometres from the finish but was able to continue. As the finale approached, crosswinds came up again and smaller echelons formed. The sprint and classic specialists came to the front and ensured that the gap came down. In sight of the one-kilometer mark, Joshua Huppertz was caught as the last attacker and the sprinter’s teams opened up a true sprint, which Ackermann won by half a bike length.

Stage winner and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I already said I am in good shape. After my illness two weeks ago, I had a good training block and the break actually helped me to get really fresh which helped today. We tried already in some crosswind parts to split the bunch, but all came back together. A smaller group would have been in our favour as we also got plans with Nils in the GC. Anyway, it came down to a sprint and the boys did a stellar job. Rudi carried all the speed through the last corner, I had to go early then but it was tailwind and I had mounted a big chain ring today so I knew it could work out. I felt the other guys coming close, but nobody took real advantage from my slipstream and then I knew I got it. I had the legs several times this year, but it never worked out. To get this win today means a lot, especially as this race on home soil is very important for our team.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “Now when my head is still hot, I’m pretty disappointed, no matter that it may look like a good result, two podium places, second and third. I am a bit sorry that after great teamwork from all our guys, in the end, we should’ve had better communication, maybe with Marco, we could’ve done better. I think that I had a great chance of winning the stage today. Let’s look forward, and tomorrow is another chance. We need to win.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:07:01
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
3. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
4. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
8. Jens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Kim Alexander Heiduk (Ger) Lotto-Kern Haus.

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:06:51
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious at 0:04
3. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:06
4. Joshua Huppertz (Ger) Lotto-Kern Haus at 0:07
5. Justin Wolf (Ger) Bike Aid at 0:08
6. Jon Knolle (Ger) SKS Sauerland NRW at 0:09
7. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:10
8. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. David van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

 

German races are a specialty of Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates). As in 2019, the Norwegian won Stage 2 of the Deutschland Tour again and his first win of the season. There are 180 kilometres between Sangerhausen and Ilmenau and in the end, a very small margin decided the victory. Kristoff beat Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victourios) in the photo finish. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) fought his way to third place and kept the leader jersey.

Marc Soler (Movistar), Jannis Peter (National Team), Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix), Francisco Galvan (Equipo Kern Pharma) and Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling) made up the break of the day. After 20 kilometres; Murphy, Peter and Vervaeke went clear on the 36 switchbacks of the Kyffhäuser. Soler and Galvan caught him shortly after the mountain classification, which Murphy won. He was rewarded with the mountain jersey at the finish.

When the profile of the stage became typically Thuringian, the German Continental team P&S Metalltechnik increased the pressure and appeared on their home roads at the front of the peloton. The lead of the lead quintet shrank to less than 1 minute, an opportunity that Louis Vervaeke used for an attack 45 kilometres from the finish. At the first crossing of the finish line in Ilmenau, the solo Belgian was able to enjoy the cheers of the spectators. But the peloton, with around 50 riders, increased the pressure, and caught Vervaeke just in time before the second crossing of the finish line. The bonus sprint, which is supposed to animate the race every day shortly before the finish, paid off today. Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) attacked to secure valuable seconds. Zimmermann won 3 seconds and takes over the white jersey of the best young rider. Politt and Zimmermann hold a small gap, but the bunch caught them 1,500 meters from the finish. Phil Bauhaus stormed forward, with Alexander

Stage winner and 3rd overall, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It is a beautiful victory that makes me happy. I have a good relationship with Germany, I have won here more than once, also winning in my last participation in the Deutschland Tour. On that occasion the climatic conditions were similar to those of today: although I am not fond of cold and rain , I can achieve excellent performance with such conditions. I have long waited for the return to success. Up to now my season had not been good, even though I had already come close to winning at the Tour of Norway. Now I have finally managed to get a win. The end of the stage was very technical, it was essential to be at the final corner in the top 5. I managed to be in the right place and I also had Bystrøm with me to launch into the sprint. I started the sprint first, then Bauhaus overtook me and I got on his wheel and then passed him near the finish line again. The gap between the two of us wasn’t much, I wasn’t sure if I had won, then I saw the images of the sprint and I was able to celebrate properly.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I was too far back in the last lap when we hit the climb. I had to invest already a lot there to jump into the first group. After that is was stop and go all the time and all the accelerations where quite hard. To be honest, I also didn’t have the best legs today. I was on Kristoff’s wheel but didn’t have the punch to pass. I think third place was the optimum today. I am happy to still lead the race overall, I don’t know how far I can get, but I will fight for it.”

Best young rider, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m happy with how this Tour of Germany is evolving so far. I conquered the young riders jersey and 5th place in the provisional classification. Winning bonus seconds in the final was today’s goal, because it is unclear whether the conclusion of this tour will be marked by small time gaps or wether the final stage will enable the riders to create big differences. After winning the intermediate sprint, I was there was a gap so I continued. But eventually the race ended in a sprint in which Jonas finished pretty well. We communicated and worked well together all day and this won’t be different the next two stages. I’m expecting a similar race scenario this Saturday, so our tactics and ambition remain the same. I want to show myself again with the white jersey on my shoulders!”

Deutschland Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 4:24:12
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
3. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
5. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
6. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
7. Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
9. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 8:30:59
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious at 0:02
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:04
4. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:11
5. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:13
6. Joshua Huppertz (Ger) Lotto-Kern Haus
7. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:14
8. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:16
9. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&amp,B Hotels p/b KTM.

 

The longest Stage 3 of this year’s Deutschland Tour went from Ilmenau to Erlangen. Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) enjoyed the cheers of the Erlangen spectators on the finishing straight with a final solo. But for the 27-year-old it was more than just a stage win in front of home fans – for the first time in his career he took the leader’s jersey in a stage race. Before Sunday’s final stage, Politt takes over the leaders jersey from his teammate Pascal Ackermann.

Six kilometres after the start in Ilmenau, a quartet broken away on the climb to the first mountain classification on the Rennsteig, the highest climb of this year’s Deutschland Tour: Henri Uhlig (German National Team), Bert de Backer (B&amp,B Hotels p/b KTM) and Abram Stockman (Team SKS Sauerland NRW) as well as Julian Lino (Bike Aid). In the peloton, BORA-hansgrohe and Bahrain Victorious controlled the front group. At the second climb of the day, 18 kilometres before the finish, they lead shrank to less than a minute. Due to attacks in the peloton the escapees were caught just before the bonus sprint. Last year’s German champion Marcel Meisen (Alpecin-Fenix) secured the 3 seconds ahead of yesterday’s winner Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Marco Canola (Gazprom-RusVelo). Nils Politt, who came away empty-handed, pulled through, and created a gap. Only Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) could follow. Three kilometres before the finish he went clear and crossed the finish line on the Luitpoldstraße in Erlangen solo with a lead of 11 seconds, Teuns was second ahead of André Greipel. The tension could hardly be greater before Sunday’s final stage.

Stage winner and overall leader, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “We knew that we had to be attentive in the end. My goal was to get some bonus seconds, but I was boxed in. After that, a small group had a gap and I tried it once. I was at the front with Teuns then and got a “go” from our DS. Then I knew I had to attack to be able to grab the win. With 3km to go I dropped Teuns and of course it was amazing to get on to the home straight solo like at the Tour. Now we have different options for tomorrow, and we want to secure that overall victory at our home race.”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious): “For sure I am a bit disappointed now. I think that together with Politt, I was the strongest in front, but I stayed a little bit behind him at 2 kilometres to go. He surprised me, and then on the flat, I couldn’t close the gap, and he always had a small advantage in front of me, but then in the final kilometre, he took double what he had before, and I was not able to close that gap. Tomorrow’s final stage will be a bit more hilly, so it’s more interesting, and hopefully, we can be even better.”

4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It’s cool that Nils won, it was a nice race, I’m second in the GC – with a double lead we have all the cards tomorrow. The more people from our team win, the better.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:25:15
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 0:11
3. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:12
4. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) German National Team
6. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) DSM
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
9. Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Movistar
10. Johannes Hodapp (Ger) Team SKS Sauerland NRW.

Deutschland Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 12:56:18
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:08
3. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious at 0:10
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:12
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 0:17
6. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:19
7. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:21
9. Joshua Huppertz (Ger) Lotto-Kern Haus
10. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:23.

 

Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) takes home the first GC jersey in his career at the end of the Final Stage 4. And it’s his home race, the Deutschland Tour. Politt won the race 4 seconds ahead of his teammate Pascal Ackermann and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates).

The Norwegian beat Ackermann in the final sprint, securing his second stage win in this year’s Deutschland Tour. The final stage between Erlangen and Nuremberg stood up to its promise: only 156 kilometres short but peppered with numerous climbs. The race was on, right from the start. Politt and his teammates had to fight until the final lap to neutralise all attacks on the Red Jersey. After Matej Mohorič in 2018 and Jasper Stuyven in 2019, Politt writes history as the first German rider to win the reborn Deutschland Tour.

Stage winner, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a very successful week for the team and for me, with two stage wins and the podium in the overall standings: perfect balance, I didn’t expect to be able to achieve so much. Today the team worked perfectly for me in the final part, the race was tough, but I had good legs to stay ahead. In the sprint I followed Ackermann when he overtook me and then I jumped off his wheel at the right moment.”

Overall winner, Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe): “As expected, the other teams went all in today. Somehow, we managed to still get the better in the end, but it was really hard work. I have to thank the whole team for their effort. With two stage wins and one and two in GC there was nothing more we could have hoped for. When Almeida attacked it was a critical situation and I had to ride myself for a while. But in the end, all went well and that’s all that counts.”

Second on the stage and overall, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I knew I would have won the race with a stage win today. But to be honest Nils really deserves that victory. He rode a lot at the front today and I was just hanging in there, fighting to don’t get dropped. If needed I would have worked in the end but due to Schwarzi I could concentrate on the sprint. We all did a great job this week and I am super happy with my stage win and the Green Jersey.”

5th overall, Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m proud about the way I showed my combativity to my home crowd during those four days! This final stage filled with small and steep climbs was ridden at a very high pace. Even for the deserved winner Nils Politt and his strong team it was difficult to control the stage. I admit that my legs weren’t as good as the previous days, but I managed to stay in the first group and win another bonus second. In this way, I secured the young rider’s jersey and a 5th place in the final classification. I’m very satisfied with this result in my first national tour! I’m already looking forward to my next race on home soil, Eschborn-Frankfurt!”

8th on the stage, Valentin Retailleau (AG2R Citroën): “It was not an easy day, the pace was going very hard. I had a good feeling so I played around with my placement a bit to get involved in the final racing. I am very satisfied with this place.”

Deutschland Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 3:33:25
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
4. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
5. Francisco Galvan Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
6. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
7. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Valentin Retailleau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. John Degenkolb (Ger) German National Team
10. Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Deutschland Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Nils Politt (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 16:29:41
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 0:19
5. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:19
6. Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious at 0:21
7. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:22
8. Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:22
9. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:24
10. Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:26.

 


Simac Ladies Tour 2021
Marlen Reusser won the longer time trial Stage 2 in the Simac Ladies Tour, with start and finish in Gennep. The Swiss time trial specialist of Alé BTC Ljubljana was almost 20 seconds faster than Ellen van Dijk and takes over the leader’s jersey from Alison Jackson.

It was a second time trial on the third day of the Simac Ladies Tour, a long stage against the clock of 17 kilometres with start and finish in Gennep. The course took the riders on the A77 highway towards the village of Siebengewald. There, the riders turned to then ride back on the same roads to the finish. Russian rider, Anastasiia Chursina (Alé BTC Ljubljana), who was stage winner in the Tour of Burgos earlier this year, was the first to start. Chursina finished in 23:02, but Britt Knaven – daughter of former pro Servais Knaven – was 4 seconds under the Russian’s time with 22:58. Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope), was half a minute faster than the first finishers with 22:27.

Julie Leth (Ceratizit-WNT) raced at an average speed of 46.047 kph and a finishing time of 22:09, another 18 seconds faster than Chapman. Sarah Roy and Demi Vollering were even faster. The Australian Roy recorded a finishing time of 22:09, Vollering was the first under 22 minutes by 1 second. Emma Norsgaard and Reusser got off to a strong start and came through with fast split times. Norsgaard was able to continue her effort to the finish and dived under Vollering’s time by 19 seconds, but turned out to be 1 minute slower than Reusser in the final result. Rausser started one minute after Norsgaard, but managed to pass the Danish rider en route and completely blown away the opposition with 20:41 at the finish at an average of just under 50 kilometres per hour. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (21:22) and Lisa Klein (21:31) and Van Dijk (20:59) also failed to reach the top time. Lorena Wiebes and prologue winner Marianne Vos also lost a lot of time on Reusser. Alison Jackson of Liv Racing was hoping to keep the leader’s jersey, but at the finish the difference turned out to be more than 2 minutes. Reusser took the lead in the general classification.

Stage winner and overall leader, Marlen Reusser (Alè BTC Ljubljana): “I am really very happy. Am I in shape? I only hope to reach my top form by the World championships. Of course you never know before the start how strong you are and what the competition is doing, but I knew it was possible to win here. It is really an honour to win here. I knew it was possible to beat Van Dijk, but it was a course for her and she also races for her own people, but I had faith in my own abilities. Can I win the tour? It is the first time in my career that I can defend a leader’s jersey in a stage race. I will do my best, although this is a very tactical race.”

Simac Ladies Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alè BTC Ljubljana in 20:42
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:18
3. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx at 0:41
4. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 0:49
5. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar at 1:01
6. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:17
7. Sarah Roy (Aus) BikeExchange at 1:28
8. Julie Leth (Den) Ceratizit-WNT at 1:28
9. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon-SRAM at 1:30
10. Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:31.

Simac Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana in 3:42:17
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:12
3. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx at 0:39
4. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 0:47
5. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar at 1:01
6. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:19
7. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon-SRAM at 1:29
8. Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Sarah Roy (Aus) BikeExchange 0:01:31
10. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:34.

 

Stage 3 of the Simac Ladies Tour ended in the sprint from a small group. In the streets of Weert, Lonneke Uneken (SD Worx) was the first to finish after more than 125 kilometres, ahead of Susanne Andersen and Pfeiffer Georgi of DSM. A massive crash in the final resulted in six riders sprinting for the win.

After more than an hour of racing, a leading group of fourteen riders broke away, but they didn’t get more than 20 seconds. As a result, the peloton remained compact for a long time. Daniek Hengeveld made another attack in the last 30 kilometres. The GT Krush Tunap’s rider broke away from the peloton for 18 seconds. Fifteen kilometres before the finish Hengeveld was caught again. Jumbo-Visma, SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo took the lead in the final. On the narrow roads around Weert, there was a massive crash in the peloton more than 5 kilometres from the finish. Sprinter Lorena Wiebes crashed at the side of the road and took a large part of the pack with her.

Only six riders remained in the lead: Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Amy Pieters, Demi Vollering, Lonneke Uneken (all SD Worx), Pfeiffer Georgi and Susanne Andersen (DSM). The SD Worx foursome played with perfect tactics. Uneken was the first out of the last corner and then held her own in the sprint, winning the stage. Fourteen seconds behind, Marta Bastianelli and Marianne Vos crossed the finish line together. Behind that, the difference to the next group was 29 seconds, which also included leader Marlen Reusser. Van den Broek-Blaak was the best placed at the front and comes closer to the Swiss rider, who retained the lead.

Stage winner, Lonneke Uneken (SD Worx): “Obviously you don’t hope that such a crash will happen. It was hectic all day, There was wind and it could happen anywhere, but it actually happened nowhere. We wanted to start again with the team at five kilometres from the finish. That’s why we were in the front with a lot of girls and then we heard a crash. That happened in a split second. I could still pass, we continued and then I was able to finish it. I’m very happy with that. I hope everyone is okay, but at that time we were riding as a team. Then you only see how things are going after the finish. We were lucky that we had a lot of riders. We’ve got two tough days to go and we’ll see what that brings us. Lorena went off the road and fell completely. That looked like a lot and it was pretty scary Fortunately I was just in front of it, so I managed to get away with it myself, but I knew right away that everyone was going over it. We had to sit there from the front, because the roads were winding. It was to be expected that something was going to happen. It was narrow and the road was not straight everywhere. If you sit on the side, you fall. And then also that strange finish, with rain… That made for a chaotic race. It went on all day but just right. Then you have to wait until things go wrong.”

Simac Ladies Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Lonneke Uneken (Ned) SD Worx in 2:52:41
2. Susanne Andersen (Nor) DSM
3. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM
4. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx
6. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
7. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 0:14
8. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 0:29
10. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Trek-Segafredo.

Simac Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana in 6:35:27
2. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx at 0:10
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:12
4. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM at 0:47
5. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 0:50
6. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM at 1:07
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:19
8. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 1:28
9. Anouska Koster (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:29
10. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service at 1:37

 

Marianne Vos won Stage 4 of the Simac Ladies Tour. In the sprint from a small leading group of three riders, the Dutch rider won by a large margin. Vos’s victory is the tenth victory for the Team Jumbo-Visma Women this season.

The 148.9 kilometre long stage from Geleen to Sweikhuizen had a quiet start, but the rain and wind made for difficult conditions. After about 30 kilometres Anouska Koster went on the attack. The rider of Jumbo-Visma Women rode alone in front for a long time and managed to extend her lead to more than 3 minutes. At about 40 kilometres before the finish, a group of 12 riders took over. Vos managed to bridge the gap to Koster, together with Kasia Niewiadoma and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. Despite her hard work the Frisian ultimately had to let the three go. The three maintained their lead on the peloton and fought for the win in a final sprint.

Stage winner, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma): “Today was really incredibly tough. We applied tactics with the team to control the race well. That worked out extremely well. When Anouska chose to attack solo, the teams had to work from behind. In the end, three of us closed in on Anouska. I knew then that this was the moment to keep up the pace. The peloton came close, but we had calculated it well. It was a very nice race. Tomorrow will be very difficult. But it is nice to win this stage. First we are going to enjoy this as a team.”

Jumbo-Visma DS, Marco Postma: “Today was a perfect race for us. We rode strong as a team. First Anouska brought the team to the final with a very strong performance. Marianne finished it off fantastically of course. That was the icing on the cake after a wonderful race and a very good team performance.”

Simac Ladies Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 4:15:08
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 0:02
3. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx
4. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 0:17
5. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
6. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana
7. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing
8. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM at 0:19
9. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Ella Harris (NZ) Canyon-SRAM at 0:21.

Simac Ladies Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx in 10:50:38
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 0:20
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:30
4. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:03
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:04
6. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM at 1:23
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 1:42
8. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing at 2:08
9. Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing at 2:30
10. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 2:39.

 

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is the final overall winner of the Simac Ladies Tour. In the Final Stage 5 through and around Arnhem, the overall victory of the SD Worx rider was not in danger. Marianne Vos took her third stage victory of the tour.

The last stage was ridden on a circuit of 8 kilometres through Arnhem, which had to be covered 19 times. With Chantal van den Broek-Blaak in the yellow jersey, the 2017 World champion defended a lead of 20 seconds on Marlen Reusser and 30 seconds on Ellen van Dijk. Demi Vollering followed in 4th place, at 1:03 from her teammate. early in the race, several riders tried to get away alone or in a group. Katarzyna Niewiadoma, second on the 4th stage, was one of the riders who tried to go solo. It was only after 90 kilometres that the first serious break was made. Ella Harris (Canyon-SRAM), Teniel Campbell (BikeExchange), Trixi Worrack (Trek-Segafredo), Nina Buysman (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Teuntje Beekhuis (Jumbo-Visma) joined forces and were joined by Jeanne Korevaar (Liv Racing). Under appalling conditions, the lead group took a maximum of 2 minutes. With six laps to go, the peloton, led by SD Worx, the team of Van den Broek-Blaak and Vollering, accelerated and the breakaway’s lead started to shrink. When the difference had narrowed to 1 minute, the Dutch team eased off again. The peloton started the chase again and with three laps to go the difference was only half a minute.

This caused action among the escapees, forcing Campbell to drop back into the peloton. Her teammate Janneke Ensing then counter-attacked. The BikeExchange rider first pasted Buysman, who was taken out of the race due to a wrong bike change. With 15 kilometres to go she joined the escape. Almost immediately Ensing rode away from the remaining attackers, but a little later Korevaar was able to join the BikeExchange rider. Behind; the race exploded and Korevaar and Ensing saw five riders join: the early escapees Harris and Beekhuis, and also Eugénie Duval (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine), Silke Smulders (Lotto Soudal) and Mischa Bredewold (Parkhotel Valkenburg). After a long day on the attack, Harris dropped out of the front. When the peloton had the break in sight, Duval, Smulders and Bredewold rode away from Korevaar, Ensing and Beekhuis. Three kilometres from the finish, the last three escapees were caught. In the end, the stage turned into a sprint. Marianne Vos was the strongest of the bunch. For the three-time World road champion, it was her third victory in this tour. Earlier she won the prologue and the 4th stage to Sweikhuizen.

Stage winner, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma): “It is unbelievable. It was a fantastic week. Today we wanted to keep control of the race. We had Teuntje in the breakaway, which was perfect. In the final it looked like the gap was going to be closed. Then we wanted to try to take the win in the bunch sprint. We tried to secure the mountain jersey for Anouska already in the first sprints. That was a great goal. After that we wanted to go for the stage win. It is very cool that we succeeded. In addition to the many altitude metres, the bad weather played a big role. It was also nice to be able to race in front of an audience in the Netherlands again. It’s great that so many people were standing alongside the road, even in the rain. It was a very nice race.”

Simac Ladies Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 3:55:58
2. Alice Barnes (GB) Canyon SRAM
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx
4. Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
5. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing
6. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM
7. Alicia González (SPA) Movistar
8. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana
9. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:03

Simac Ladies Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx in 14:46:39
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 0:17
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:30
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:51
5. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 1:03
6. Pfeiffer Georgi (GB) DSM at 1:20
7. Amy Pieters (Ned) SD Worx at 1:35
8. Alison Jackson (Can) Liv Racing at 2:05
9. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé BTC Ljubljana at 2:39
10. Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing at 2:49.

 


Bretagne Classic – Ouest France 2021
Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) won the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France on Sunday and Deceuninck – Quick-Step became the first team in 34 years to have two riders on the podium, after Alaphilippe Julian was second and Mikkel Honoré took third in Plouay.

In just his third race since the Tour de France, Julian Alaphilippe was again the main animator of the day, launching a powerful attack with more than 60 kilometres to go on an uphill gravel sector, that sparked an important selection. Only three riders were capable to match the World Champion’s kick, one of them being teammate Mikkel Honoré, who put in an incredible load of work to help the newly-formed group carve out a 1:30 advantage inside the final 50 kilometres. While behind Davide Ballerini and Mattia Cattaneo were keeping things together, bringing to heel every attempt to attack and reduce the advantage of Alaphilippe and his companions, those up the road were catching the last members of the breakaway. Shortly after, two strong attacks whittled down the front group to just three men: the rainbow jersey, his teammate and his countryman Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroen).

Runner-up three days ago at Druivenkoers Overijse, Mikkel put himself deep in the pain cave, at first by making sure the gap wouldn’t dip below 20 seconds on the finishing circuit in Plouay, and then by making a monster effort to return to the front with 2 kilometres to go, after being initially distanced by an attack of Cosnefroy on the last hill. The Dane led out under the flamme rouge, peeling off the front with 200 meters to go. Alaphilippe was well placed and gave everything in the sprint, going elbow to elbow with Cosnefroy on the slightly uphill drag to the line, but despite his best efforts he couldn’t come around and finished in second place, notching up his 11th podium in the rainbow jersey.

Race winner, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): “I’m super happy, it’s my first UCI WorldTour victory, I have been waiting for it. It feels really good, especially after an aggressive race, like I like. The sprint is really special here and I knew it was possible to beat Julian Alaphilippe. I was confident; it was a race of attrition.”

2nd, Alaphilippe Julian (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We attacked from afar and split the race, as we wanted to race offensively and enjoy this beautiful race. We managed to hold off the chasers, but unfortunately, I began cramping in the closing kilometres and that cost me in the finale. Even without this, Benoit was the strongest today, so congratulations to him. I am satisfied with the result and especially with the shape I had in this race, it bodes well for the next appointments, especially as I want to have a beautiful end to the season. I also want to thank the whole team for their great work and Mikkel for his huge effort, he was amazing today and it was a pleasure to be on the podium with him.”

3rd, Honoré Mikkel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We wanted to open up the race, and with 65 kilometres to go we took on that gravel climb and Julian and me went full gas and got away together with Consefroy with Pogačar, who later dropped out from the group. After catching the break, I committed myself to puling for Julian in the last lap for the sprint. We gave everything out there, but this is cycling, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We had an amazingly strong team today and we can be proud of the way we rode.”

Bretagne Classic – Ouest France Result:
1. Cosnefroy Benoit (Fra) AG2R Citroën in 5:59:56
2. Alaphilippe Julian (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Honoré Mikkel (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:03
4. Hayter Ethan (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
5. Swift Connor (GB) Arkea-Samsic
6. Bonnamour Franck (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Stuyven Jasper (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Madouas Valentin (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Pacher Quentin (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:16
10. Nizzolo Giacomo (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash at 0:17.

 


Brussels Cycling Classic 2021
Remco Evenepoel’s purple patch continued Saturday afternoon, at the Brussels Cycling Classic, which took place over a 205.3km revamped course that included a double ascent of the mythical Muur-Kapelmuur and Bosberg climbs, a regular feature up until a few years ago on the Ronde van Vlaanderen route.

Victorious just two days ago at the Druivenkoers Overijse, Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 21-year-old was part of a small group that attacked from the peloton with more than 60 kilometres to go, bridged across the remnants of the original breakaway and quickly put one minute between them and the field. The newly formed leading group worked well together, and despite the slippery roads and being whittled down to just seven men after the second time up the Muur and Bosberg, they continued to add to their buffer, which showed two minutes with 20 kilometres to go. A moment of confusion, with five riders taking the wrong way at a road junction left only Evenepoel and fellow countryman Aimé De Gendt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) in the lead as they passed through Schepdaal, Remco’s hometown, where he got a raucous cheer from his fans. Shortly afterwards, on the outskirts of Brussels, he demonstrated again his clinical mindset, lifting himself from the saddle and putting in a ferocious attack that dispatched his companion. Alone at the front for the final ten kilometres, Evenepoel threw a quick glance over his shoulder before going into time trial mode and powering to his 20th victory for the Wolfpack, which brought a joyful celebration and a big smile on his face as he crossed the line.

Race winner, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a hard race, and the weather conditions didn’t help. I didn’t feel 100% recovered from my effort in Overijse, which is quite normal, but I had good legs and joined that move that proved to be decisive. Then came that strange moment, when most of the guys took a wrong turn, and we were only in two at the front as we passed my hometown, which was really special and gave me a lot of motivation. As we got closer to the finish, I felt that we both were a bit on the limit, so I attacked just before turning into the headwind and eked out a small gap which made me believe I could pull it off. To take my second victory of the week on these roads I know so well is amazing. I want to thank the team for their support and for believing in me again. We had a great week here and we hope to carry the momentum into the Benelux Tour.”

2nd, Aimé De Gendt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This Brussels Cycling Classic received a serious facelift. On this new parcours, the strongest riders are automatically in the front. I’m happy about it, because in this kind of races it is easier for me to achieve a good result. Just like last Thursday, I felt good so I was happy that we managed to escape with a strong group. Everything went well until my breakaway companions followed the wrong way with 20 kilometre to go. I just looked to my Bryton Rider 750 gps and saw that we had to turn left. When I saw that only Remco Evenepoel followed me, I prepared for a big final effort. He was stronger than me, but I resisted well to the chasers. So I’m very happy with this 2nd place!”

Brussels Cycling Classic Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:28:30
2. Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:50
3. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:13
4. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
6. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 2:16
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

 


Druivenkoers – Overijse 2021
Remco Evenepoel was again in a league of his own, obliterating the field at the Druivenkoers Overijse, the 192km race which included several climbs that will feature four weeks from now at the World Championships held in Flanders. The 21-year-old married imagination with adventure when he made his move soon after the peloton overhauled the escapees and our team made a significant selection, quickly building a one-minute advantage which he carried onto the local lap.

There, with around 30 kilometres to go, the race was neutralised by the organisers due to a car that caught fire on the course following an accident. After 15 minutes of delay, Druivenkoers Overijse resumed, and Remco took off again with the 30-second advantage he had over the field at the moment he was stopped quickly being nudged out again to almost one minute. Without ever looking back, the Belgium Tour and Danmark Rundt winner pushed the pedal to the metal and kept the speed high, while behind his Deceuninck – Quick-Step patrolled the front of the peloton.

Evenepoel eventually relented only with 100 meters to go, sitting up to celebrate his sixth victory since June, and the team’s 51st of the season, 40 seconds clear of teammate Mikkel Honoré, who made it a memorable 1-2 for the Wolfpack. To add to the team’s perfect day in Flanders, Kasper Asgreen – who raced for the first time since the Olympics – won the sprint of the first chasing group, taking fourth place.

Race winner, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a very special race, because it was the first time I got to ride so close to my home in a pro race. I was motivated and wanted to put in a good display, but then it turned into something really beautiful. At the same time, it was hard; attacking 60 kilometres from the finish and holding off the chasers it’s not easy by any means, but I’m happy I could do it. Then there was that incident and we all had to stop, and once the race got underway again, I was hoping to come off the Moskesstraat with a 30-second advantage, but things went better than that and I had 45 seconds in hand. The headwind made it very difficult until the end, but I gave everything and I’m proud not only of the outcome, but also to be on the podium with a teammate, that felt great. The entire team did a perfect race and I want to thank my teammates for their help. I got a lot of support from them during my comeback, they kept believing in me and to repay them with this victory is quite emotional.”

2nd, Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Today we delivered a great team performance. Remco took a beautiful win after an amazing ride, and we had first, second and fourth at the finish, which shows the Wolfpack’s incredible depth. I had good legs and came here with a lot of confidence after San Sebastian and Poland, so to be in the top 3 brings me a lot of satisfaction. Now I look forward to my next race, the Bretagne Classic, on Sunday.”

3rd, Aimé de Gendt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m a happy man on the podium, because this 3rd place was probably the best possible result in such a strong field. Before the neutralisation, we were well organised and focused on the final like the other teams. Unfortunately, the neutralisation disorganised the chase, causing a series of attacks. On the one hand, it was a pity because the chances to catch Evenepoel decreased. On the other hand, I was happy with the situation because I needed to escape from the peloton to achieve a good result. I felt good, so I’m happy to be rewarded by a podium!”

Druivenkoers – Overijse Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:15:44
2. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:40
3. Aimé De Gendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:53
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:55
5. Bram Welten (Ned) Team Arkea-Samsic
6. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates.

 


Benelux Tour – AUG 30 – SEP 5
Marc Reef – Team DSM coach: “We have a strong line up for the race and we are all motivated to continue on the trend of success we have seen in the team over the last few weeks. Out of the first four stages, three can finish in a sprint, but we also need to be alert for possible wind on those days as that can look to disrupt our chances of a fast finish. We also have an 11 kilometre time trial that looks set to already make the first shifts in the general classification. Then, the week finishes on Saturday with a hard day in the Wallonnes Ardennes, and on Sunday with the typical race finish around the Muur van Geraardsbergen. With Søren we will look to our chances in the GC, and with Cees we will look for opportunities in the bunch sprints. With Casper, Nikias, Tiesj, Joris and Jasha we have good support for all the hectic stages on different terrain.”

Line-up:
Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Nikias Arndt (GER)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Cees Bol (NED)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED)
Casper Pedersen (DEN)
Jasha Sütterlin (GER).

Tiesj Benoot:

 


Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Benelux Tour
Kasper Asgreen, Remco Evenepoel and Alvaro Hodeg will all be in action for the Wolfpack next week.

The 17th edition of the Benelux Tour will follow what has become a familiar pattern: a first part featuring several flat days and a short individual time trial, which will establish an initial pecking order, before the hard final three stages. There, more than 30 short but sharp climbs – including the Côte de Saint-Roch and Muur van Geraardsbergen – will add plenty of spice to the fight between the GC contenders, who’ll have to pay extra attention also to the bonifications put in play each day in the Golden Kilometre.

Remco Evenepoel will make his debut at the Benelux Tour, just four days after his most impressive display of the season, at Druivenkoers Overijse, where he rode away from the bunch with 60 kilometres to go and claimed his 20th victory since turning pro. Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke winner Kasper Asgreen, who was fourth in Thursday’s race, is another Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider who is set to make his first outing at the week-long stage race which our team has won on two occasions.

Our squad for the World Tour event scheduled between 30 August and 5 September will also include Dries Devenyns, Alvaro Hodeg – a stage winner in Venray, at the 2019 edition – Iljo Keisse, Madison Olympic Champion Michael Mørkøv and Stijn Steels.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels previewed next week’s race: “The Benelux Tour won’t be the easiest stage race of the year, as each stage will have something special. We’ll have some winds which could play a big role, we’ll have a short time trial, some opportunities for the sprinters, tricky cobbles and the final two stages where the riders will face many tough climbs. Kasper and Remco are our men for the general classification, while in the sprints Michael will guide Alvaro. Of course, in Dries, Iljo and Stijn we’ll have a lot of horsepower on board to control things, but as I said, we are not expecting an easy race at all.”

30.08–05.09 Benelux Tour (NED) 2.UWT
Riders:

Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Remco Evenepoel (BEL)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
Iljo Keisse (BEL)
Michael Mørkøv (DEN)
Stijn Steels (BEL).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL), Rik van Slycke (BEL).

 


Team BikeExchange Ready to be Aggressive at the Benelux Tour
Team BikeExchange will look to take their chances and be aggressive as they take on seven days of classics-style racing at the Benelux Tour.

With no general classification contender or sprinter in their ranks, the squad will look to take opportunities with a powerful team as Australian Luke Durbridge returns to racing after the Olympics, with the 30-year-old eager to get in the mix once again.

Alexander Konychev and Barnabás Peák come into the race off the back of the Tour de Pologne, while Jack Bauer and Callum Scotson line-up after racing the Sazka Tour earlier in the month. Sam Bewley rounds out the squad and comes in fresh after a brief break from action.

The Benelux Tour traditionally sees classics-style racing across the seven days, with the stages taking in a number of climbs featured in the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Flanders.

Team BikeExchange at 2021 Benelux Tour:
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Barnabás Peák (HUN)
Callum Scotson (AUS)

Luke Durbridge: “Benelux Tour will be my first race back after the Tour de France and the Olympics, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of racing. The race itself it’s quite hard with usually a lot of crosswinds and it’s like doing seven classics-style stages! We have a very strong team, and this is very good in a race where the breakaways often reach the finish line. For me, personally, I have the World Championships and Paris-Roubaix coming up, so I think that the Benelux Tour is a very good race for me to be aggressive and I’m ready to fight every day and give it a crack.”

Mathew Hayman – Sport Director: “Looking at the Benelux Tour this year, we don’t have ‘top sprinter’ or a real GC contender, but this race is always very open, and we will definitely be looking for stages and racing aggressively. Also, the history of this race says that the breakaways often reach the finish line. The 2021 edition starts in the North of Holland with a flat and windy stage before an 11km time trial that will start to form the GC. With the third stage, the race moves to the south of Holland with another flat stage with a tricky lap at the end. Stage four is potentially a sprint finish and after that the last three stages in Belgium start to get hillier, with stage six, the Queen stage, finishing in Houffalize. The last stage has become a tradition in the last few years finishing in Garaardsbergen on the Muur.”

Luke Durbridge:

 


Astana – Premier Tech to play several cards at the Benelux Tour
While the last Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España will see its final showdown, the stage race campaign continues in Belgium with the seven-stage race, the Benelux Tour, where Astana – Premier Tech arrives with several cards to play.

After a less than ideal Tour de France racked by stomach issues, Jakob Fuglsang returns to the start line to get back into the race rhythm.

“The final part of the Tour de France wasn’t what I was aiming and hoping for. I felt better at the Olympics but of course I had different results in mind. But that’s in the past, I had some great days with my family, could charge the batteries and trained for the final part of the season. The Benelux Tour will be my first race after the Olympics, therefore I need to see day by day, getting back into the race rhythm first, but if there are chances and my condition is good, then of course I will try something,” – says Jakob Fuglsang.

The seven stages offer something for different rider profiles with Astana – Premier Tech bringing a squad built for almost every day.

Italian ITT Champion, Matteo Sobrero, who finished inside the top 15 in the Tour de Pologne time trial, will be the man for the second day in Belgium, where a 11-kilometre, short but intense, time trial stage will be on the menu.

Samuele Battistella, who will also race at the Bretagne Classic before heading to Belgium, will be a card to play during the seven days of racing, while Hugo Houle can take his chances in different breakaways, and Fabio Felline and Yevgeniy Gidich will try to sprint in the fast stages.

“We will try on the stages which suit our riders to perform well, for example the time trial with Matteo. Jakob returns to racing after the Tour de France and Olympics, which took their toll after stomach problems, so we need to see how he feels being back in race mode. Samuele showed his condition at the Arctic Race of Norway by finishing fourth in the overall. He will for sure be a rider we can count on. We have a well-structured team but we are lining up among strong teams, which are preparing for the European and World Championships, so it won’t be an easy week of racing,” – says Sports Director Giuseppe Martinelli.

Benelux Tour (30 August – 5 September).
Rider roster:

Samuele Battistella (ITA), Fabio Felline (ITA), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ), Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ), Hugo Houle (CAN), Matteo Sobrero (ITA).
Sports Directors: Giuseppe Martinelli, Stefano Zanini (both ITA).

 


Benelux Tour (August 30 – September 5)
Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen have been on the final podium of the Benelux Tour three times. Greg Van Avermaet, who will be appearing for the eleventh time in this event, finished second in 2015. He won a stage in 2014 and the team time trial in 2016. Oliver Naesen finished second in 2016 and 2019. He also won a stage in 2019.

Greg Van Avermaet: “The Benelux Tour is a race that I know very well, where I have already won stages, and finished second overall. It’s ideal for getting to the heart of the matter for the second half of the season. It’s a stage race for classics racers and it suits me well. We must not lose time on the first day, do a good time trial and then everything will be decided over the last two days, in the Ardennes on Saturday and then arriving at the Mur de Grammont on Sunday. This is the first of several big goals like the World Championships in Belgium (September 26), Paris-Roubaix (October 3) or Paris-Tours (October 10). I hope to be able to play the leading role, to enter the top 5 or a top 10, even if my condition has not always lived up to my ambitions in recent weeks. We have a very good team, with Oliver Naesen who also knows the race and the final route well.”

With 65 days, Oliver Naesen is the rider who has chalked up the most racing days among the riders of the AG2R Citroën team. He has covered 10,752 km while racing compared to the 10,546 km for Greg Van Avermaet.

 


The World’s Best Come to the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21
The 7th edition of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21 promises to be spectacular, from September 2 to 5, from the Cabeza de la Manzaneda mountain resort to Santiago de Compostela. The most famous stage race on the Spanish calendar, which this year offers a complete program in Galicia, with two medium mountain stages, an uphill time trial and a flat stage, has won over the world stars of the peloton. female, according to the list of entries. 24 teams sent their list of participants, for a total of 143 competitors expected at the start.

Three very big names stand out, those of the top three riders in the UCI world ranking: Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women), Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo). The first one is the European road champion and current leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour and she has just won, in the wake of her Olympic time trial title, the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa Women and the Ladies Tour of Norway. Van der Breggen is the reigning World champion, approaching the end of her career scheduled at the end of the current season, and Longo Borghini is the Italian national champion, bronze medalist in the road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The two-time defending champion Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team) will try to make it three in a row even if the route, this year, presents characteristics different from the editions concluded in the streets of Madrid. Three other members of the world top 10 (7/10 in total) are announced: Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope), Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing), Katarzyna Niewadoma (Canyon // SRAM). The future will also be written on the roads of Galicia since the best two youngsters of the UCI Women’s WorldTour are lined up: the New Zealander Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), who dominated the best young rider standings of three stage races this year (Vuelta a Burgos Féminas, Giro d’Italia and Ladies Tour of Norway), and the French Elite champion Evita Muzic (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope).

Competitors from very diverse backgrounds will attend the race with Japan’s Eri Yonamine (Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank), Australia’s Amanda Spratt at the head of a strong Team BikeExchange, Hungary’s Kata Blanka Vas (SD Worx), the USA’s Coryn Rivera (DSM), Mexico’s Katia Martínez (Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa), Colombia’s Paula Patiño (Movistar Team Women), Cyprus’ Antri Christoforou (Women Cycling Sport)…

The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 21 is also a source of great motivation for Spanish cyclists, led by the national champion (road and time trial) Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana). Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange), Sheyla Gutiérrez and Lourdes Oyarbide (Movistar Team Women) may have to work in the service of their leaders. The event represents a great opportunity to shine for other teams in the country that are invited to participate: Massi-Tactic Women Team, Eneicat-RBH Global-Martin Villa, Women Cycling Sport, Rio Miera-Cantabria Deporte, Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi and Team Farto-BTC.

  • The expanded format, over four days (from September 2 to 5), seduced the world stars of the women’s peloton.
  • Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna van der Breggen and Elisa Longo Borghini are among the big names at the start of the Cabeza de la Manzaneda mountain resort.
  • Mavi Garcia and the best Spaniards are also expected in Galicia.
  • More information about the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta: www.challengebylavuelta.com
  • CERATIZIT challenge:

     


    Pieter Serry Inks New Deal with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
    The Belgian will continue with The Wolfpack for another two years.

    Pieter Serry became a member of the team in 2013, and has since contributed to many of the team’s victories, riding selflessly in the service of his teammates in one-day races and stage races alike. Unfortunately, his current season was hampered by two crashes at the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Wallonie, but Pieter made a strong comeback, most recently helping the team capture the victory at the GP Marcel Kint.

    His invaluable amount of work and incredible commitment in all this time haven’t gone unnoticed, a new two-year contract being handed out to Pieter, who in January 2022 will start his tenth season with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

    “It’s super special, it means that I have been working already for almost a decade with more or less the same people, which is really nice. At some point everything feels so natural that it becomes a family. If you are travelling and doing the races together for so long, you create a special bond with all the people around. The first year I came into the team, I was nervous, because everything was new. Now I feel great here, everything is being taken care of in the best way possible and things couldn’t be better. It also means a lot to be part of a winning team and to contribute to those victories. I’m not a winner myself, but I help others to take the victory and I feel a lot of appreciation for that. I hope to continue helping the team in the next seasons as much as possible,” said the 32-year-old Belgian.

    Patrick Lefevere, CEO of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, was equally happy to continue together: “Pieter always works hard and gives it his all for the team’s objectives. We know what he’s capable of and he’s really appreciated within the Wolfpack. During his first years Pieter gained a lot of experience and has now become one of the guys in the team who guides the younger riders. Always smiling, he creates a nice atmosphere, which is also important for a winning squad. It’s a pleasure to retain his services and know we can count on him for two more years.”

     


    Auction of Unique Tour de France Items Yields €20,000 for Charity
    Team Jumbo-Visma has raised an amount of €20,003.29 for Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur. The proceeds come from the auction of twenty-five unique Tour de France items that were offered by the team via auction platform Catawiki. Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur has been the charity of Team Jumbo-Visma for several years now. The auction proceeds can be used based on the joint ambition to give as many children and youth from low-income families the opportunity to structurally participate in sports.

    Among the auctioned Tour de France items were the frame numbers of various stage victories, worn race outfits and the blue tyre with which Wout van Aert won the final stage on the Champs-Elysées. Van Aert’s worn road suit was the most sought-after item with the highest proceeds of €3,807.31.

    “Thanks to all the people who bid on the items, almost a hundred children from low-income families can participate in sports for another year. Without a contribution from Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur this would not be possible for these children”, general manager Richard Plugge says. “Of course, as an organisation, we are happy to support this. It is important that every child has the opportunity to exercise but also to develop socially and mentally. We are proud that we can contribute to this in this way in cooperation with Catawiki.”

    “Sport and culture are important for the physical, mental and social development of children”, says Monique Maks, director of Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur. “On the sports fields or in the dance school children discover what they like, make new friends, grow their self-confidence and gain valuable skills. But even now that they are allowed to do more after corona, sport is still not something every child takes for granted. We believe that this should not and does not have to be the case. It is fantastic that Team Jumbo-Visma endorses our mission and organised this auction. And with a great result. With this we can help a lot of children.”

    The cheque worth €20,003.29 was handed over to the Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur by Plugge and cyclist Mike Teunissen on Friday at the head office of Team Jumbo-Visma.


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