While the cats away, the mice will win cyclocross races. Laurens Sweeck and Toon Aerts were the victors this weekend, results and video from Overijse and Essen. Young Xuban Errazkin in trouble with his inhaler – Top Story. Other cycling news: Nibali Giro/Tour? New start for Amstel Gold, Katusha-Alpecin presentation, Delko-Marseille Provence for 2019, ambitious Vital Concept, Tim Wellens for Argentina, Yorkshire’19, CCC and Etxeondo, Bigla and Mediation Service, Quick-Step Floors at the Kristallen Fiets and training camp. Plus the best of the UAE Team Emirates 2018.
TOP STORY: Xuban Errazkin on a Short Suspension
Xuban Errazkin told Marca that he had been given a short suspension after it had previously been announced that the promising climber was suspended for the time being by the Spanish anti-doping agency AEPSAD, after he tested positive for Terbutaline in August.
The 22-year-old rider is now being investigated by the Portuguese anti-doping tribunal ADOP. Once the investigation has been completed, this tribunal will send its findings to the AEPSAD, which must then determine how long Errazkin will be suspended.
Errazkin expects a final decision from the AEPSAD within four months. The Spaniard already has a short suspension, since he had not applied for a TUE to use the remedy for asthma. “I did not know that this was necessary,” Errazkin said.
“My doctor advised me not to use Ventolin on tough days, but Terbutaline,” he says. No TUE is required for the use of Ventolin, provided that the rider remains below the permissible limit of 1000 nanograms per milliliter. During the GP Abimota – where Errazkin gave his positive test – it was at times 42ºC.
“I compare my case with that of Simon Yates, who made the same mistake. It is even an identical situation. He finally got a suspension of four months, of which he had to serve two,” said Errazkin, who has already suffered damage to his image. “My name is now smeared. Fortunately my team Vito Feirense-Blackjack continues to support me despite everything.”
Druivencross – Overijse 2018
Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) added the Druivencross to his palmarès on Sunday. The former European champion was the strongest in a muddy Overijse, finishing ahead of Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Bingoal) and Dutchman Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea).
The Druivencross is also sometimes called ‘the mother of all crosses’, and anyone who views the difficult course can only claim that this honorary title is entirely justified. Although the loss of World champion Wout van Aert and European champion Mathieu van der Poel did make a difference. Fortunately, World Cup leader Toon Aerts and Michael Vanthourenhout were on the start line, as was Kevin Pauwels (Marlux Bingoal) – winner in Hasselt – and Lars van der Haar (Telenet-Fidea), but they messed up their start completely and played no part in the race. It was Aerts who started splitting the race and immediately put up a high pace. David van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) had sore legs from Essen on Saturday – where he was third – and was in trouble after the second lap to finish 10th.
It was Michael Vanthourenhout who really put the foot-down and was joined by top favorite Aerts and his team mate Corné van Kessel, plus the German Marcel Meisen (Corendon-Circus) for a strong foursome off the front. Aerts made his move after half-way, just as Vanthourenhout made a mistake, and Van Kessel couldn’t hold the pace. Aerts took a 15 second lead in one lap.
In the second part of the race Aerts didn’t have any problems and by the finish he had more than half a minute lead on Vanthourenhout with Van Kessel in 3rd.
Race winner, Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea): “I am satisfied with how things went today, I do not think it was good enough to beat Mathieu, but he was not there and so I could take the victory. I think that was already clear yesterday. Today, it was again the case that the first two rounds were a little quieter. Riders who were a few meters behind yesterday could often return to the finish line. We also saw that every time. Then riders came back on the climb. But then Jim Aernouts from our team could make an ideal attack there. They closed the gap and immediately afterwards I went through. During those rounds I was able to develop a strong pace and put the rest under pressure. And on a technical passage that was a bit slanted, I could make the difference and drive away.” And muddy course today? “That’s really cross, is not it? That’s a feeling we have not had for a long time. It was mainly fast crosses, in which you had to take a lot of risks in the corners. But now it was a very different kind of technique and that is a bit better.”
5th, Kevin Pauwels (Marlux Bingoal): “I’m not completely out of it yet, but perhaps I will soon be at the table with Jurgen Mettepenningen to talk about a possible contract extension,” Pauwels told WielerFlits.nl after his fifth place in Overijse. “You know that after a fall in the opening lap I was stuck at the back again, I should be happy with this. In the final lap I was still racing and I was careful to stay upright. To win? No, that was not in it anyway. Toon Aerts was too strong. But without that fall the podium was feasible.”
Druivencross – Overijse Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea in 1:02:47
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:29
3. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 0:47
4. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon-Circus at 1:10
5. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux Bingoal at 1:19
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 1:39
7. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 2:11
8. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 2:23
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 2:34
10. David van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 2:44.
Brico Cross Cyclocross – Essen 2018
Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice) won the Brico Cross in Essen after attacking twenty minutes into the race and was never seen again. Just like last weekend; Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Toon Aerts were still in sunny Spain on training camps. Sweeck took advantage of the situation even though Tom Meeusen and Kevin Pauwels were on the start line.
Meeusen had a bad start, but soon rejoined the front of the race, although his effort must have used a lot of energy. Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles) started well and took the lead on the opening lap, with Kevin Pauwels on his wheel. Behind the pack held them in sight.
After twenty minutes, under the impulse of Jim Aernouts (Telenet-Fidea Lions) a group of four escaped; Gianni Vermeersch (Steylaerts-777) and the Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice teammates Daan Soete and Laurens Sweeck with Aernouts. Sweeck quickly dropped the others and had 20 seconds within a lap and then 35 a lap later.
Behind: Thijs Aerts let a gap go for his team mate Aernouts, who was joined by Vermeersch and David van der Poel and the trio fought it out for the podium places. Vermeersch took second place ahead of Van der Poel.
Race winner, Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice): “I did not feel that good this season so often. In the beginning I had a real surplus, but it still surprised me that I immediately got such a big lead. The wind played a major role afterwards, but in the end it turned out to be enough. I already had a good feeling during my internship. I am doing fine, and hope to continue this. It is now two weeks to the Christmas period. I will do everything to be top (Belgian champs). The championships are important for everyone.”
3rd, David van der Poel (Corendon-Circus): “The good feeling is back again. There was strength in my legs again. Today everything went better, but that was not difficult either, since it was really a drama last week. It was already bad on training, but in the games it went even worse. The past week, however, it was completely different. The good feeling was back again. That meant I had to close the gap with Jim Aernouts and Vermeersch again. Luckily I was in the wheel of Aernouts at the end.”
Brico Cross Cyclocross – Essen Result:
1. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice in 1:00:15
2. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Steylaerts-777 at 0:19
3. David van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus
4. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Lions at 0:27
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Corendon-Circus at 0:30
6. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Marlux-Bingoal at 0:33
7. Daan Soete (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 0:37
8. Jens Adams (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Vastgoedservice at 0:58
9. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Lions at 1:06
10. Tim Merlier (Bel) Crelan-Charles at 1:54.
Vincenzo Nibali: “Giro-Tour Not Excluded”
Vincenzo Nibali has not ruled out that he could be at the start of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2019. The Italian’s schedule has yet to be decided, but the courses of both Grand Tours look good, Nibali told sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I am satisfied with the routes”, said Nibali. “Planning for 2019 will not be easy. It is not excluded that I will eventually race both.” The Italian with BahrainMerida raced in both races in the same season twice before, the last time in 2016. On that occasion he won the Giro, but in the Tour he finished in 30th place.
Nibali is also looking ahead to his future. He has a contract with Bahrain-Merida until 2019 and would like to stay there longer. “I will sit down together with the team management. It would be nice if we come to a new agreement of two years.” Although his agent will also looks at other offers, but the Italian prefers to stay where he is now. “Maybe I will continue until I am 40 years old, maybe I will finish it before. Maybe I will focus on the classics within two years… I still feel like a Tour rider, but the classics give incredible emotions. After all, everything happens in a few hours, in just a few kilometers.”
Of the five monuments, Nibali has never raced in Paris-Roubaix. Last year he debuted in the Tour of Flanders with a creditable 24th place, after his victory in Milan-San Remo. Previously he has won the Tour of Lombardy twice — in 2015 and 2017.
Nibali wins in Sanremo:
New Start for the Amstel Gold Race
The Amstel Gold Race will have a new starting location from next season. The start of the Dutch one-day WorldTour race will remain in Maastricht, but will move from the Markt to the Vrijthof.
Both the men and the ladies will be presented on a podium at the Vrijthof. After the presentation, the race will start at the Vrijthof and then cross the Maas via Helmstraat, Grote Gracht, Markt and Hoenderstraat. The Market will be decorated as a real cycling village with the team buses of both the men and women.
“For several years we had the Vrijthof as our starting location and when the municipality of Maastricht came up with the proposal to move the starting location to this square, we immediately agreed. We are very pleased that we can involve the Vrijthof at the start of the Amstel Gold Race. After the addition of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies edition, the Market soon turned out to be too small. Because we can now make a combination between Markt and Vrijthof, we can offer more space for both the teams and the cycling fans. Between the Markt and the Vrijthof there will be a real parade where the spectators can watch their heroes go quietly on their way to the presentation stage at the beautiful Vrijthof,” according to the organization.
The team presentation will start on Friday, 21 April 2019 from 8.30 am on the Vrijthof. The organization is currently talking to the various stakeholders at the Vrijthof and will present the plans in early 2019.
Erik Zabel arrives, Marcel Kittel is hungry for results
Six new riders, Erik Zabel on board as performance manager and highly experienced Dirk Demol coming in as a new team director, combined with a deeply motivated Marcel Kittel, marked the team presentation of KATUSHA ALPECIN in Germany on Friday evening.
The 2019 team presentation for KATUSHA ALPECIN took place at the Canyon headquarters in Koblenz, marking the 11th season for the WorldTour squad. With sponsors, journalists, friends and family on hand to kick off the new cycling season, twenty-four riders from 14 countries, including six new riders, were introduced in a multi-media presentation that showed highlights of the past season and shared changes, goals and ambitions for the upcoming year.
Two notable changes include the establishment of the performance department and the hiring of a new head sports director. Team general manager José Azevedo sees both as positive steps in the overall structure of the team.
Azevedo: “Erik Zabel has joined us for 2019. We have created a new department within the team, the performance department and Erik will be the manager of this department. He will be responsible for all performance of riders, as well as materials and will work along with our sponsors to be sure we have the best. He was one of the best riders of his generation, so he also has experience and advice to share with our sprinters.” Working along with the coaches and sports directors, Zabel will analyze training and racing data to stay on top of performance goals.
An enthusiastic Erik Zabel added, “I still believe there is so much potential within this team. Really, there are so many talented riders and I’ve already seen in them the desire to do better and have a winning season. Our main goal in the performance department is to support the riders and help them do better. They understand that they must work harder to achieve the results they know are within reach. We have training camp in Mallorca starting Saturday and the riders will learn their race programs and what their training requirements will be to achieve their goals. I guess you could say I will be monitoring everything in a way it was not handled before, perhaps more strict than in the past, but I feel this is what we need to see results from KATUSHA ALPECIN. Each director will have four or five riders in his ‘group’ and will be in constant communication with the rider so we all stay on the same page. Of course, we also need some good luck next year, but I hope that will not be a main factor as we try for results.”
In the sports director department, GM Azevedo has hired long-time friend and former teammate Dirk Demol to head up the director’s group. Azevedo: “Next year Dirk will be our head sports director. He has so much experience in cycling. He has experience in winning every kind of race, plus he is a person who creates a good team spirit around him and knows how to motivate the riders to make them believe they can achieve results. He will pass on his knowledge to the riders, along with the rest of our very experienced group of directors.”
Dirk Demol, winner of Paris-Roubaix in 1988, looks forward to his work with a new team: “I start my 20th season in the car next year so I can safely say I have a lot of experience. I have a very good history with José Azevedo and I was happy to come to his team to see if I can help. When I look at this group here, there is talent for sure and I’m going to do my best to help them perform again. When I look around, I see so many quality riders, and cycling is my life, so I know what I am seeing. I’m motivated and quite confident that we can see strong results from this group.”
On hand at the team presentation was team founder Mr. Igor Makarov, noting that on December 23 it will be 10-years since the first Team Katusha was launched. Mr. Makarov continues his support of the cycling team, along with other Katusha projects such as Katusha Sports Katusha Travel and Café.
Mr. Makarov: “The political situation around the world is quite different from what it was ten years ago, when we were a Russian team, but now we have turned into a very international team. What is most important always are the people and the relationships you build with people. With that being said, we have a really good team. I am very grateful to Eduard and Roman for joining me in this team as sponsors. I am very proud of this international team.”
Also present was Mr. Eduard Dörrenberg, representing Alpecin in their third year of sponsorship and Roman Arnold of Canyon, who start their eighth season of bike sponsorship for the team and hosted Friday’s event.
Team riders Marcel Kittel and Ilnur Zakarin discussed their hopes for a strong season and will continue in their leadership roles for 2019. Zakarin’s season highlight was completing the Tour de France with a solid ninth place position on the general classification. The promising Russian cycling star hopes for even better results next year.
Zakarin: “This year I will prepare mainly for the Giro, along with some earlier races, such as Abu Dhabi and I will also do multiple stage races. I plan, also, to do two training camps at altitude.”
In addition, German sprinter Marcel Kittel has fought through a tough season to emerge on the other side with an even stronger sense of dedication and focus. I expect this to be a good season and I am looking forward to racing again.
Marcel Kittel: “When things go wrong, it forces you to look at how you do things and where you focus your energy. I am at a point where I am focusing 100% on my training and my races – I realize I need to focus on the basics. I started training early now for next season, I am feeling fresh and motivated to win again.”
With results in 2018 that were not up to the expectations and potential of the team, a re-grouping and re-dedication to the effort is producing much needed enthusiasm for the new season.
Azevedo: “Both Dirk and Erik are good with their communication skills and we know we can do better. Honestly, 2018 was not a good year for us, so we have analyzed our season and made changes that we think will make a difference. Our goal is always to improve the team and learn from past mistakes. I see a stronger team that we’ve been in prior years.” On Saturday the team fly to Mallorca, Spain to begin the first training camp of the season.
KATUSHA ALPECIN for 2019:
Enrico Battaglin (ITA), Jenthe Biermans (BEL), Ian Boswell (USA), Steff Cras (BEL), Jens Debusschere (BEL), Alex Dowsett (GB), Matteo Fabbro (ITA), José Gonçalves (POR), Ruben Guerreiro (POR), Nathan Haas (AUS), Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Marcel Kittel (GER), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS), Daniel Navarro (SPA), Nils Politt (GER), Simon Špilak, Dmitry Strakhov (RUS), Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN), Willie Smit (SA), Harry Tanfield (GB), Rick Zabel (GER), Ilnur Zakarin (RUS).
Delko-Marseille Provence Line-Up for 2019
Delko-Marseille Provence team will start with 19 riders in the 2019 season. The French ProContinental team has said goodbye to a number of riders, but will nevertheless look back with satisfaction on the transfer period.
The French formation has lost Ángel Madrazo, Yannick Martinez, Nikolay Mihaylov and Gatis Smukulis. Madrazo returns after two French years to his home country of Spain, to race for Burgos-BH. Mihaylov goes back to Portugal: The Bulgarian will ride for the Continental Efapel team next season. Martinez and Smukulis are looking for teams for the coming season. The team had already said farewell to the Colombian Jhon Anderson Rodriguez and the Frenchman Rémy Di Gregorio. In his own words, Rodriguez found it difficult to be based in France, and therefore terminated his contract. Di Grégorio had a positive drugs test in Paris-Nice and has been temporarily suspended by the UCI.
Delko-Marseille Provence will begin the new season with confidence as it has attracted two strong riders; Ramunas Navardauskas and Eduard Michael Grosu. Navardauskas comes from Bahrain-Merida, where his contract was not renewed. Grosu leaves Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini, where he was the team sprinter in the past seasons.
With Alessandro Fedeli, Rémy Rochas and Fabien Schmidt, the team managed has managed to bring in some reinforcements. Fedeli and Rochas are not completely new to the team as they were both stagieire’s. Schmidt makes his comeback as a professional cyclist after five years. The 29-year old rider raced as an amateur in recent seasons, after he had retired from the Sojasun team in 2013.
Delko-Marseille Provence is counting on experienced professionals such as Mauro Finetto, Javier Moreno and Julien El Fares. The French team managed to win eight times last year, several times in France and also in Asia and Africa.
Delko-Marseille Provence for 2019:
Joseph Areruya (Row), Romain Combaud (Fra), Lucas De Rossi (Fra), Julien El Fares (Fra), Alessandro Fedeli (Ita), Delio Fernandez (Spa), Iuri Filosi (Ita), Mauro Finetto (Ita), Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom), Alexis Guérin (Fra), Brenton Jones (Aus), Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Pol), Jéremy Leveau (Fra), Javier Moreno (Spa), Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit), Rémy Rochas (Fra), Fabien Schmidt (Fra), Evaldas Šiškevičius (Lit), Julien Trarieux (Fra).
Delio Fernandez of Delko-Marseille Provence:
Vital Concept Ambitious for 2019 and 2020
Jérôme Pineau, team manager of Vital Concept, has great ambition for the future of his team. If it is up to the Frenchman, his team will participate in all major WorldTour races in 2020. “We have to perform next season,” Pineau said in an interview with Le Populaire du Center.
“In 2019 we will be mainly active in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. In order to participate in the biggest cycling races in two years’ time, we will have to win on the second highest level,” Pineau continued.
To reinforce his words, the former rider from Bouygues Télécom and Quick Step, said this is why he has attracted Pierre Rolland, Arthur Vichot and Cyril Gautier. Rolland and Vichot have to help the team with victories. This year, Vital Concept won eight races.
Vital Concept want to participate in the Tour de France in 2020. The ProContinental team hopes to be there next year, after they grabbed a wildcard this season. Rolland has already said that he would like to start in the Tour.
However, this will not be easy, as Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Direct Energie and Arkéa-Samsic are also interested in an invitation. In addition, Euskadi-Murias also hopes for a wildcard for the 106th edition of the French Tour.
Bryan Coquard won stage 5 of the Baloise Belgium Tour:
Tim Wellens to Start his 2019 Season in Argentina
According to Spaziociclismo, Lotto Soudal riders Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot will start their season in Argentina. For Wellens it will be his first participation at the Vuelta a San Juan (27 January-3 February).
Wellens has opted to start his season on Mallorca in recent years. This year he won the Trofeo Serra and in 2017 he took both the Trofeo Serra and the Trofeo Andratx. 2013 was the last time he kicked off his season out of Europe in the Tour Down Under.
Benoot raced in the Vuelta a San Juan this year with top 5 finishes in the two tough stages, finished 6th in the final overall, almost two minutes down on the later banned Gonzalo Najar.
The Vuelta a San Juan has already announced a top class field with Nairo Quintana, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish, Fernando Gaviria and Julian Alaphilippe already on the start list. In addition, top talent Remco Evenepoel is expected along with the possibility of World champion Alejandro Valverde.
The stage schedule for the 37th edition of the Argentinean race has also been announced. Similar to this year, the Tour has seven stages. On stage 3 there is a 12 kilometer individual time trial scheduled, starting and finishing in Pocito. After the time trial there are two difficult stages. Stage 5 summits the Alto Colorado and should be crucial in the battle for the final victory. The Tour ends with a flat stage to San Juan. The organization has decided to have a rest day after stage 4.
Vuelta a San Juan 2019 (27 January-3 February):
Stage 1: San Juan-Pocito (159.1km)
Stage 2: Chimbas-Peri Lago Punta Negra (160.2km)
Stage 3: Pocito-Pocito (12km, ITT)
Stage 4: San José de Jáchal-Valle Fértil (185.8km)
Stage 5: San Martín-Alto Colorado (169.5km)
Stage 6: Autódromo El Villicúm-Autódromo El Villicúm (153.5km)
Stage 7: San Juan-San Juan (141.3km).
No Mallorca for Tim Wellens:
Full Route for 2019 Tour de Yorkshire Announced
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’re blessed with such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire to create such challenging and exciting routes and we wanted the parcours to reflect that, showcasing the county in all its glory. There’s something for everyone; the sprinters will get their chance to shine while the classics specialists and climbers will also have opportunities to make their mark.
“With the UCI Road World Championships also taking place in Yorkshire next year, we’re expecting our strongest-ever field. This will be the only chance the riders get to sample the Harrogate circuit under race conditions before it, and the only chance they get to ride up Parliament Street against the usual flow of traffic.
“I’m also proud that we’re continuing to lead the way when it comes to promoting women’s cycling. Changing the start of the women’s race from Thursday to Friday should guarantee greater exposure and the routes for the two stages are now exactly the same as the men’s. That means there’s over 1,000m more cumulative climbing than last year and we’ll be in for some enthralling racing.”
Christian Prudhomme, ASO’s Tour de France Director, said: “Once again, the team at Welcome to Yorkshire have done a tremendous job in designing such a beautiful, challenging and varied route and I am looking forward to seeing how both races play out. Including the Harrogate circuit gives the race an added dimension next year and we want The Yorkshire Classic stage of the men’s race to become one of the most anticipated dates on the professional cycling calendar.”
The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race meanwhile, will take place between 3-4 May meaning that for the first time ever, it will be held on a Friday and Saturday to allow more people to celebrate the race. Further new ground is also being broken by the fact both stages will be exactly the same as the men’s, meaning the 2019 edition will be the longest yet at 264km and also the hardest with over 3,200m of cumulative climbing.
STAGE ONE: 178.5km – The Heritage Stage – Doncaster to Selby Thursday 2 May
The men’s race will start in Doncaster before heading towards Beverley. On the way the riders will pass Cowick Hall and Howden Minster, and the first intermediate sprint will be contested in Elloughton before the peloton sweeps into Beverley. Not long after they will reach the Yorkshire Wolds and tackle the first classified climb at Baggaby Hill before a brisk descent into Pocklington for a second intermediate sprint. The pace will continue to rise on the brisk approach to Selby where the action will reach a pulsating conclusion right outside Selby Abbey which is celebrating its 950th anniversary.
STAGE TWO: 132km – The World Stage – Barnsley to Bedale Friday 3 May
The world’s top female riders join the action in Barnsley and start in the morning with the men following in the afternoon. Both exit Barnsley in a north-easterly direction and head towards Pontefract for the first intermediate sprint. The route then skirts Leeds and shortly after Leathley the peloton will commence the Côte de Lindley, the first of five new climbs on this year’s route. Then it’s on to Harrogate where the riders have the chance to tackle the exact same circuit being used at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. An intermediate sprint has been added along Parliament Street where the Championships finish line will be, meaning the riders can hone their tactics in preparation for September. Once that loop has been concluded the stage continues north through Ripon and it’s full steam into Bedale for an expected bunch sprint in the centre of this vibrant Yorkshire Dales town.
STAGE THREE: 132km – The Yorkshire Coast – Bridlington to Scarborough Saturday 4 May
The riders will roll out of Bridlington and head into the North York Moors National Park. The Côte de Silpho is looming large shortly after Hackness and the opening intermediate sprint comes just after Harwood Dale. The route then continues north and commences an undulating 52km loop just after Fylingdales. Once the peloton has passed through Robin Hood’s Bay they immediately hit the Côte de Hooks House Farm. Then it’s on to Whitby, and before the riders enter town they will contest a second intermediate sprint in front of Whitby Abbey. The views will be spectacular on the approach to Sandsend and it is there that the Côte de Lythe Bank is waiting. Once the riders have crested that summit the route heads inland and the Côtes de Grosmont and Ugglebarnby are positioned just 7km apart. The loop concludes, the pace is sure to be high as the riders drop into Scarborough. The frontrunners will sweep along South Bay, around the castle walls and onto the now-legendary finish along North Bay. It is here that the winner of the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race will be crowned before the male riders battle it out in front of another massive crowd.
STAGE FOUR: 175km – The Yorkshire Classic – Halifax to Leeds Sunday 5 May
The Piece Hall is a spectacular location for the start of this decisive stage before the riders head into Brontë Country. Haworth’s quaint cobbled Main Street features once again but the real climbing begins on the Côte de Goose Eye. Crossing into Craven, the next classified climb comes on the Côte de Barden Moor. Once that has been crested it’s into the Yorkshire Dales National Park where the riders will contest their first intermediate sprint in full view of Kilnsey Crag. The Côte de Park Rash is the next climb on the agenda and before a gradual descent into Middleham, and the peloton will continue on to Masham before entering Nidderdale. Pateley Bridge is sure to put on a colorful show ahead of the Côte de Greenhow Hill, and shortly after Otley the final categorized climb will be fought out on Otley Chevin. The race then sweeps into the outskirts of Leeds for one last intermediate sprint in Tinshill. The riders will get a great view of Kirkstall Abbey before the action reaches a rip-roaring conclusion along The Headrow in the heart of the city centre.
Tour de Yorkshire Ride
And last but by no means least, it was revealed that the Tour de Yorkshire Ride sportive will be back for a fifth successive year in 2019. Leeds was unveiled as the start and finish location for the event which will be held on Sunday 5 May. 6,000 amateur cyclists will have the chance to ride some of the county’s most iconic roads just hours before the Tour de Yorkshire reaches its conclusion.
Entries for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire Ride are now open at a special early bird rate and full details can be found at http://letour.yorkshire.com/sportive
Ø The fifth edition of the men’s race will take place between 2-5 May.
Ø The Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race meanwhile, will take place between 3-4 May.
Ø 2.6 million spectators lined the route for the 2018 edition, up from 2.2 million in 2017.
CCC Team Welcomes Etxeondo as Technical Apparel Partner
CCC Team is excited to welcome Etxeondo as the team’s technical apparel partner from 1 January 2019.
The partnership with Etxeondo marks the start of a new chapter for the team, with Polish shoe and bag manufacturer CCC becoming title sponsor, and Giant joining as the bike and primary technical partner.
CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz acknowledged the quality and craftsmanship of Etxeondo’s cutting-edge race and training apparel.
“We are excited to partner with a technical apparel brand of Etxeondo’s caliber in 2019 to coincide with the new chapter in the team’s history as CCC Team. There are very few apparel brands in the world that can follow the same quality and performance standards that Etxeondo has established and maintained for so many years,” Ochowicz said.
“We look forward to unveiling the CCC Team kit next week and launching the partnership ahead of the 2019 season.”
Etxeondo is one of the few brands that design and produce all of their garments in their own facilities, located in the Basque Country, and has a heritage firmly rooted in performance cycling.
Etxeondo’s founder Francisco Rodrigo commented “We are very pleased to have entered into this partnership with CCC Team. We are committed to creating the best possible products for them. This is a team with great riders and global appeal. Through our products and technologies, we want to help the team win races”.
The CCC Team kit will be unveiled on Friday, 14 December in Denia, Spain at the team’s pre-season training camp.
Team Bigla Takes a Leading Role in Women’s Cycling Through the Introduction of an Independent Mediation Service
In December, the UCI introduced reforms to the Women’s World Tour, which are to commence in the 2019 season. As an important aspect of these measures, a new Code of Ethics was specified. Team Bigla welcomes these reforms and further elaboration of these rules.
The team is also going beyond the requirements set out by the UCI, through the introduction of its own measures to ensure the optimal implementation of the Code of Ethics.
From 1 January 2019, the team will be offering a mediation and conflict management service provided by an independent Swiss Bar Association-accredited party. A trained female lawyer will be available to all riders and staff to provide advice and conflict resolution services if the need arises. Any enquiries or potential complaints will be handled anonymously, and the costs of this service will be borne by the team. In so doing, Team Bigla is currently the first and only UCI women’s squad in the world to implement such measures.
In collaboration with the CPA, the international riders association, the team will also offer an educational seminar for all riders and staff at the first team meeting to further underline the importance of the UCI’s new ethics code.
Through such measures, Team Bigla will assume a leading role in women’s cycling and also ensure the optimal implementation of the new Code of Ethics.
Quick-Step Floors Take the Spoils at Kristallen Fiets
Our team was rewarded with three trophies at the prestigious gala held Wednesday evening.
Patrick Lefevere, the mastermind that has made Quick-Step Floors one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport, was named Best Manager of 2018, after a season that can be easily labeled as the best in the history of our squad, who won a staggering 76 races (including the World TTT Championships, two Monuments and 13 Grand Tour stages) and the World Tour team classification, averaging a victory every four days with 15 different riders.
For Patrick Lefevere, it was the sixth Best Manager trophy he collected at Kristallen Fiets, following the distinctions of 2000, 2004, 2006, 2013 and 2017, an astonishing haul which puts him into first place all-time.
One of the unsung heroes of 2018, Tim Declercq was the recipient of the Best Helper award, which was won by a Quick-Step Floors rider without interruption since 2012; in his second season with the squad, 29-year-old Tim played an important role in 16 of our outfit’s wins, from February to October, taking over the front of the peloton and relentlessly setting the pace for countless hours, eating the escapees for breakfast and lunch, each time oblivious to pain, inclement weather or any other hurdles that stood between him and a job well done.
The prodigiously talented Remco Evenepoel – who will make his pro debut next year – went home with the Best Young Rider trophy, after getting the better of his rivals and being in a league of his own throughout the entire 2018 season, capturing both World Championships in spectacular fashion, in addition to a plethora of other races which landed in his palmarès, from Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Chrono des Nations to Course de la Paix and Giro della Lunigiana.
Quick-Step Floors’ three trophies at the Kristallen Fiets Gala came just a few weeks after Yves Lampaert was rewarded with the “Flandrien of the Year” prize, in recognition of his extremely impressive season that saw him win the Belgian Title, the gold medal at the World Team Time Trial Championships and a second Dwars door Vlaanderen.
Patrick Lefevere receives the Kristallen Fiets for top manager from Tom Boonen:
Quick-Step Floors Ready for First Training Camp
The entire team will reunite in sunny Calpe, between 10-20 December.
The riders and staff of Quick-Step Floors are heading to Costa Blanca next week for the first training camp ahead of the 2019 season, the 17th in the history of the team, which comes after a stellar year that the “Wolfpack” concluded with 73 UCI victories and the World Tour Team Classification trophy in their cabinet.
“The first camp is our biggest that we do, because it is the only time that we get all of the riders and all of the staff together, as in January some riders will be going to Australia. It is nice to have everyone training together and get to know everyone”, explained Koen Pelgrim, the team’s trainer. “We will test all the riders physically as well doing some other work, so we know who is on track for the coming season, who is ahead and who has some work to do. It is always good to know where we are at ahead of a new year.”
Koen Pelgrim continued: “Then we will do two blocks of three days of training, with an easy day in between. We will then divide the guys into three groups depending on their program and where their fitness is at. They’ll do specific sprint train work, some TT and TTT work, while other riders will do long endurance rides of low intensity. We will also hit the track in Valencia, where we have Specialized helping us to refine some of the riders’ positions on their TT bikes.”
Our team will start next season in Australia, at the Down Under Classic (January 13), the now traditional criterium scheduled just two days before the first World Tour appointment of 2019, Tour Down Under.
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