EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The Colombian riders fly back to Europe, but will they be allowed to land – Top Story. Can the US riders also return? Sad news as Julian Alaphilippe’s father passes away. Other cycling news: No retirment for Valverde, Tour/Vuelta for Izagirre and Pinot, Mollema for Lombardy, Van der Poel Classics recon, Paule Ka team, Campenaerts at 10,000 metres, Würtz Schmidt extends, Quintana against dodgy managers, Tour of Burgos and Strade Bianche routes, teams for the RCS Sport races, Giro TT in Palermo, Tour of Slovakia teams, GranPiemonte route, ORLEN Nations Grand Prix, Sea Otter cancelled, Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans to Italy, Brent Copeland goes to Mitchelton-Scott, Sunweb plans for the season, virtual Tour de France on Zwift, Deceuninck – Quick-Step training camp and Movistar aim to be 100% sustainable. Big read – Big coffee.


TOP STORY: Colombians are Coming!
On July 19, the Colombian riders will fly to Europe. That has been announced by the Colombian Minister of Sport Ernesto Lucena. Good news for Bernal, Quintana, Urán and co.

Lucena told Radio Caracol the news yesterday. “We are ready. On July 19, the “Colombian Sports Flight” leaves for Europe. There is room for 200 people and currently 170 athletes are registered from different disciplines: taekwando, tennis, cycling, football… Many athletes have to return to Spain,” he said.

In addition to its 22 WorldTour riders, Colombia also has a number of ProTour and continental riders who ride a European program.

Bernal and Quntana on the way:


European Union Extends Entry Ban for Americans
Will riders like Tejay van Garderen and Quinn Simmons be at the start of the first bike races since the corona break? The European Union has extended the travel ban for people from the United States. The European Union has agreed on a list of non-member states whose residents are allowed to return to the Union from 1 July. EU citizens can also go to those countries outside the European Union.

These are the following countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and South Korea. China is also on the list, but it is still unclear whether it will allow travellers from the EU.

EU countries were unable to agree on the list last week. Some countries (such as Greece, Spain and Italy) want to receive tourists as soon as possible in order to give the economy a necessary boost, other countries such as Poland and Germany want more guarantees. Citizens from the United States, Brazil and Russia are also not welcome in the European Union after 1 July, which may have consequences for riders such as Van Garderen, Simmons and Brandon McNulty. These riders are currently in the United States. A number of cyclists, including Sepp Kuss and Chad Haga, are already in Europe.

Colombia is also missing from the list of the European Union, but riders such as Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana and Miguel Ángel López hope to make the crossing to Europe in mid-July (see TOP STORY). The Colombian cycling federation has now arranged a charter flight, although it is unclear whether the riders can actually fly to Europe.

Can Brandon McNulty get back to Europe?


Julian Alaphilippe’s Father Passes Away
Jacques, Julian Alaphilippe’s father, passed away last weekend after a long illness. “Our thoughts are with the family,” said Deceuninck – Quick-Step team.

Jacques Alaphilippe, Jo for short, had been seriously ill for a while. The former musician and orchestra leader was at the Tour de France last year. Alaphilippe senior – who was already confined to a wheelchair – was at the Champs-Elysées and after the final stage with an intimate hug between father and son.

“We are very sad about the death of Jo Alaphilippe, Julian’s father and (coach) Franck’s uncle,” Deceuninck – Quick-Step wrote on Twitter. “The thoughts of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step family are with them. We thank you for the support and also ask to respect their desire for privacy in this difficult time.”

Julian Alaphilippe and his father:


Valverde May Postpone Retirement
Alejandro Valverde has said several times he would retire after 2021, but the Spaniard now doubts about his future. The Movistar rider may not have signed his last contract yet. “I seriously consider an extension of my career.”

Valverde, 40, was the big man at a press conference in Altea, Spain. Valverde is training in the coastal town with some colleagues from the Spanish national team. “I am definitely thinking about extending my career. In 2021, at the end of the season, I will evaluate whether I will race for another year.”

“I still have a lot to offer cycling. I feel good and I am still hungry. I may be forty years old, but I feel much younger,” said Valverde, who will focus on the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España after the corona break. The winner will also participate in the World championships and the Ardennes Classics.

The Spaniard mainly looks at the World title fight in Switzerland. Two years ago, Valverde captured his first world title in Austria, after a race for climbers. “I mainly focus on the World champs, the course is written on my body. The national coach will eventually have to make a selection.”

“I do believe in my chances,” says Valverde, who also looks ahead to the Tour of Spain. “I always participate in the overall victory, but this year we will be presented with a completely different Vuelta. It will be a cold edition and that is not in my favour.”

More years for Valverde?


Ion Izagirre Chooses Tour-Vuelta Combination
Ion Izagirre will start the Tour de France and Vuelta a España this year. The experienced Astana climber will start his season on August 1 in Italy with Strade Bianche, followed by the Tour of Poland.

Izagirre, 31, has fond memories of the Tour of Poland (August 5-9). The Basque rider managed to win the final classification five years ago. Izagirre will participate in the GranPiemonte (August 12) a few days after the Polish stage race, followed by the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday, August 15.

In the Tour de France (August 29-September 20) Izagirre will have to work for leader Miguel Ángel López. “And then I will participate in the Vuelta a España. We will see what is still possible,” said Izagirre, who managed to finish in the top 10 in two Spanish stage races before the corona break.

The tour rider won the Tour of Valencia and the Tour of the Basque Country in 2019. Izagirre previously raced for Euskaltel-Euskadi, Movistar and Bahrain-Merida, but switched to Astana in late 2018.

Ion Izagirre – Paris-Nice’19 stage 7:


Thibaut Pinot Opts for Double Tour-Vuelta
After the corona break, Thibaut Pinot will be at the start of the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, Groupama-FDJ announced. The heir apparent to Pinot – David Gaudu – will also combine the Tour and the Vuelta this year.

Pinot and Gaudu first race together in the Critérium du Dauphiné, before taking part in the Tour de France. Pinot won a Tour stage last year on the Tourmalet and was one of the top men in the mountains, but had to give up with a muscle injury.

Gaudu made an impression as master servant last year and may have to bond again for his older compatriot in the upcoming Tour. Both riders will also participate in the Vuelta a España later this year. For the 23-year-old Gaudu it will be his very first Vuelta participation, Pinot (30) won two mountain stages two years ago.

Yesterday Groupama-FDJ also announced the programs of sprint leader Arnaud Démare, Stefan Küng, Marc Sarreau, Valentin Madouas and Rudy Molard.

Pinot on the attack in the Tour:


Bauke Mollema Starts in Tour of Lombardy
2019 winner, Bauke Mollema will be at the start of the Tour of Lombardy on August 15. The Dutch leader of Trek-Segafredo was still unsure whether the Italian classic would fit his program, but sports director Steven de Jongh confirms that Mollema will start in Il Lombardia.

“The Tour of Lombardy is difficult on the calendar for Bauke, but he will participate,” said De Jongh in conversation with Bureau Sport. Mollema will resume his season in early August in the Tour de l’Ain (August 7-9). Riding Lombardy he will miss the Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12-16). “He’s passed the lockdown well, so he’ll be there.”

De Jongh will also accompany Mollema in the Tour de France, together with Richie Porte. “The Tour is going to be very unpredictable this year,” expects the sports director. “With such a short period before, we are going to see surprises. I find it difficult to say a name for the overall victory, but let me just mention Bauke. He is a great rider. And if he races offensive and it becomes unpredictable, why not?”

Like many cycling enthusiasts, De Jongh is looking forward to the resumption of the race calendar. “I think we will see a very nice cycling season, because many riders have no contract yet and they have to prove themselves. Everyone is very motivated to go racing again. I hold my heart a little bit for Strade Bianche, that is the first WorldTour race, then they immediately send those men into the clay.”

Looking forward to the season:


Mathieu van der Poel and Teammates Explore Classics
Alpecin-Fenix ​​are also preparing for the restart of the season. On Monday, Mathieu van der Poel and team mates rode over the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix. An exploration of the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem were on the menu for Tuesday and Wednesday.

In total, sixteen riders were expected this in Watou (a village in the Westhoek close to the French border), where the team has its base for this mini-training camp. “In a full corona proof environment,” spokesman Thomas Sneyers assures the press.

Besides Mathieu van der Poel there was also Roy Jans, Senne Leysen, Dries De Bondt, Tim Merlier, Alexander Richardson, Oscar Riesebeek, Scott Thwaites, Otto Vergaerde, Gianni Vermeersch, Alexander Krieger, Sacha Modolo, Jonas Rickaert, Peter Vakoc, Kristian Sbaragli and Sam Gaze.

On Monday part of the group explored the last hundred kilometres of Paris-Roubaix. Van der Poel will make his debut in the Northern French classic this autumn, just like Belgian champion Tim Merlier. For both their last race on the road before making the switch to cyclo-cross.

Alpecin-Fenix training on the cobbles:


Presenting Équipe Paule Ka
We are incredibly proud to announce that as of today, our team will race under the name Équipe Paule Ka.

Since the formation of our long-term partnership with the emblematic independent French fashion house, the team has been working towards an updated look, which we are pleased to present today, in our new kit design and team vehicle livery.

As we embark on our journey with Paule Ka, we also say farewell to Bigla, a valued partner of ours since 2005. The support of Fritz Bösch and the entire Bösch family has been deeply instrumental in the development of countless talents in the women’s peloton, and we thank them for their tireless dedication to the sport, which has spanned more than a decade. Without them, the many successes of the team would never have come to fruition over the years. As the racing season soon verges on recommencement, we are excited to take up this new chapter in the history of our team, alongside our valued partners and supporters, to achieve yet more ambitious goals in the current and forthcoming seasons.

New jersey and cars:


Campenaerts at an Altitude of 10,000 metres
The time trial specialist, Victor Campenaerts, has slept several times at an altitude of 4,600 metres in recent months. But now the NTT pro is going one step further. Or higher, 10,000 metres to be precise. “Every afternoon I put on a mask for an hour and the oxygen supply is reduced.”

“The concept is called ‘Intermittent hypoxic training’, scientific research has been done,” Campenaerts told Het Laatste Nieuws. “The extremely low oxygen concentration gives your body an extreme incentive to produce extra red blood cells. I don’t think many athletes do this, no. It is an experiment. I am trying to be a pioneer and now have the time to try it out.”

Campenaerts puts on a mask for an hour every afternoon. “The oxygen supply is reduced. All I do is lie on the bed, I can’t do more. Pretty boring and then I start fiddling with my mobile phone, but I can’t concentrate. Every word I type has an error. Very unpleasant. It’s always a countdown until it’s over.”

“This is an extra,” said the TT specialist. “Hopefully it will make me a little better again. The intention is to occasionally sleep in my altitude tent to stretch the effect. The preliminary results are very good: I broke all my records in terms of wattages. But I hear that from different riders. Not abnormal. We have never had such a long period in which we can train in such a structured way, that had to pay off.”

After consultation with team manager Bjarne Riis, Campenaerts will focus on the championships this year. “I can forget the rest for a while. So I race very little. I ride the Tour of the Czech Republic (6-9/8) in preparation for the BK (20/8) and European Championship (24/8) and the International Cycling Week Coppi e Bartali (1-5/9) in preparation for the World championships (20/9). Then I’ll do the Giro and that’s it.”

Victor Campenaerts – New methods


Mads Würtz Schmidt Extends Israel Start-Up Nation
Mads Würtz Schmidt has renewed his contract with the Israel Start-Up Nation. The 26-year-old Danish rider will stay with the WorldTour team for two more years, until the end of 2022.

After his professional debut in 2017 with Katusha-Alpecin, Würtz Schmidt switched last winter after the merger with Israel Cycling Academy. “During the first training camp in Mallorca, I realised that I had joined a super professional team. How everyone worked together convinced me that I was in the right team,” said the Dane.

He also likes working with fellow countryman and sports director Nicki Sørensen. “We didn’t know each other, but we immediately understood each other,” said Würtz Schmidt. “We share the same mindset and it’s great to talk to him, including about private matters. We changed some details last winter and I immediately noticed the improvements.”

“My goal is to win a classic with this team and to perform well in the one-day and short stage races. I want to ride to the final and race for the victory. This autumn I will probably ride the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and I will get married a week before the Tour. I enjoy that and then I forget everything for one evening. I see the Classics as my honeymoon.”

Mads Würtz Schmidt:


Nairo Quintana Against Managers Who Deceive Young Colombians
Nairo Quintana spoke in a podcast about managers who deceive young, talented Colombian cyclists with a trip to Europe. Arkéa-Samsic’s leader warns young countrymen. “Often the riders get bad food there, they live badly there and many end with psychological problems. Then they also give up cycling,” said Quintana to El Leñero.

The former Giro and Vuelta winner thinks that talented riders are abused in this way. He points to managers who are convinced that their riders will make it in Europe. “I don’t know what to call those people, but they contract children aged 15 to 17, and with the parents’ permission, they offer to bring those children to Europe,” according Quintana.

“Those people are told that they are the representatives of riders who made it in Europe, that they brought me, Iván Ramiro Sosa, Rigoberto Urán and Egan Bernal there,” he continues. “Those children are being cheated and managers hope to accidentally find a champion and fill their pockets.”

Quintana himself wants to give promising Colombians advice in the future. He thinks they should stay in Colombia until their second pledge year. “We want to grow cyclists, even though there are teams that are interested quickly. I tell them to stay calm because we know the right people and the right teams. We can advise them on this. Sometimes there are managers who say that they have to go to Europe when they are fifteen, but then those children have to leave school and they are placed in different countries.”

More successful Colombians on the way to Europe:


Tour of Burgos 2020 Presents Route
The riders will be presented with two mountain stages in the next edition of the Tour of Burgos. The organisation opts for a classic route with stages to Picón Blanco and Lagunas de Neila.

The first stage has a classic final with a finish at Alto del Castillo (900 meters at over 6%), just outside the centre of Burgos. Last year Giacomo Nizzolo sprinted to victory, Francesco Gavazzi and Mikel Landa have both won here in the past.

The second stage finishes in the streets of Villadiego, after a relatively flat stage of 168 kilometres. The climbers will have a chance to shine on day three, as the finish line is on the Picón Blanco. This is a climb of almost 8 kilometres at over 9%.

The penultimate stage from Gumiel de Izán to Roa de Duero will probably end in a bunch sprint. The Tour of Burgos has its big finalé on the flanks of Lagunas de Neila, the traditional decider of the multi-day race. The final kilometres of Lagunas de Neila is over 10%.

The organisers are looking for a successor for Iván Sosa, the Colombian climber of Team Ineos won the final classification in 2018 and 2019. There will be fifteen WorldTour teams this year, as the Tour of Burgos is one of the first stage races on the adjusted UCI calendar.

Tour of Burgos 2020 (July 28-August 1) Stages:
Stage 1: Burgos – Mirador del Castillo (157 km)
Stage 2: Castrojeriz – Villadiego (168 km)
Stage 3: Sargentes de la Lora – Picón Blanco (150 km)
Stage 4: Gumiel de Izán – Roa de Duero (164 km)
Stage 5: Covarrubias – Lagunas de Neila (158 km).

Through the fog for Sosa:


Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite Routes Confirmed
On Saturday 1 August the two pro races, men’s and women’s, will take place on the traditional route, starting and finishing in Siena.

The routes of Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite being raced on Saturday 1 August have been officially confirmed. The two races, as per recent tradition, will start from Siena and end in the unique setting of Piazza del Campo in Siena, after 184 and 136km respectively.

14th STRADE BIANCHE – 184km, 11 sectors and 63km on gravel roads (34.2% of the course)

The Strade Bianche, organised by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport, is scheduled in Siena on Saturday 1 August. “Europe’s most southern northern classic”, part of the elite of world cycling since 2017, is now a key race on the UCI WorldTour calendar. The last winner to triumph in Piazza del Campo was Julian Alaphilippe, who also won the 2019 edition of Milano-Sanremo.

6th STRADE BIANCHE WOMEN ELITE – 136km, 8 sectors and 31.4km on gravel roads (23.1% of the course)

Strade Bianche Women Elite will be held in Siena, a few hours before the start of the men’s race. Strade Bianche Women Elite is set to be one of the most spectacular races of the year, a unique event on the global cycling scene thanks both to its special course character including Tuscany’s famous gravel roads, and to the high level of participants.

All eight UCI Women’s WorldTeams, and the best seven UCI Women’s Continental Teams are expected to start, along with eight wild cards.

The 2019 edition was won by Annemiek van Vleuten (who went on to become UCI Road World Champion later in the year in Harrogate, UK) ahead of Annika Langvad and Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

The Mayor of Siena Luigi De Mossi, and the Councillor for Tourism and Commerce of the Municipality of Siena Alberto Tirelli, said: “We are excited about this new start with Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite on Saturday, August 1st: the city of Siena is ready to welcome these two events with the best riders on the international scene. It will be an important postcard to be shown to the world with the unique natural and artistic beauties of Siena and its surroundings.”

Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, said: “Strade Bianche and Strade Bianche Women Elite will mark the restart also for us at RCS Sport. Strade Bianche will in fact be the first race on our calendar, an interesting test for the rest of the season.”

“In addition to symbolising the restart of cycling in Italy, these races also want to be a restart, not only from a sporting point of view but also from a tourist point of view, since cycling is closely connected to the promotion of the territory.”

“We are confident that these events will take place in the best way and always in compliance with the rules. We confirm the consolidated route of Strade Bianche that, for some years, has contributed to making ‘Europe’s most southern northern classic’ a point of reference among the great Classics on the international calendar.”

The Route of Strade Bianche
It’s a twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 63km of gravel roads, across 11 sectors, eight of which are shared with the Women Elite course.

Starting from Siena, the initial undulating kilometres are on asphalt before reaching the 2.1km-long gravel Sector 1 at km 18, which is perfectly straight and slightly downhill.

After a few kilometres the riders then face Sector 2 (5.8km), the first real challenge with a short descent followed by a long climb with sections of over 10% gradient.

The course then goes through Radi, where gravel Sector 3 starts (4.4km long; the second part of what was gravel Sector 1 in the race’s first edition) shortly followed by Sector 4 – named “La Piana” – and one of the race’s classic gravel sectors (5.5km in length, and featured in the course ever since the first edition) with no significant gradient, leading to Buonconvento.

After a few kilometres the second climb of the day starts: the Montalcino (4km at 5%). Following Torrenieri the riders face Sectors 5 (11.9km) and 6 (8km) with only 1km of tarmac in between.

Both are hard, hilly, very punchy and with many challenging bends, climbs and descents.

After the second passage through Buonconvento the riders will reach the feed station, positioned in the area of Ponte d’Arbia. Soon the route reaches Monteroni d’Arbia, which marks the beginning of Sector 7 of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It’s a long sector with continuous ups and downs in the first part, ending up with a twisting climb before meeting the tarmac again.

In Ponte del Garbo (Asciano) gravel Sector 8 begins. At 11.5km it’s the hardest of the race, mostly uphill and characterised by tough hills, the most important being those close to Monte Sante Marie, with steep gradients on both climbs and descents over short distances. After Castelnuovo Berardenga there’s a very short, flat section of gravel (300m) before facing, after Monteaperti, Sector 9 – it’s only 800m long, but greets the riders with a double digit gradient ramp before they rejoin the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and then a paved road through Pieve a Bozzone.

Next comes the penultimate section of gravel (Sector 10, 2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto, with gradients up to 15%. After a few kilometres the riders then face the last gravel section (Sector 11, 1.1km) which features a sequence of demanding descents followed by a very punchy climb (with a maximum gradient of 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

Final Kilometres
The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descents and slight climbs. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda; here the gradient touches 9%.

900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient then exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its steepest gradient of 16% along Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself, which is flat.

The Route of Strade Bianche Women Elite
A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills – most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly more than 30km of gravel roads across eight sectors (all shared with the Men’s course). Starting from Siena, the initial undulating kilometres are on Tarmac before reaching the 2.1km-long gravel Sector 1 at km 18, which is perfectly straight and slightly downhill.

After few kilometres the riders then face Sector 2 (5.8km), the first real challenge with a short descent followed by a long climb with sections of over 10% gradient.

The course then goes through Radi, where gravel Sector 3 starts (4.4km) shortly followed by Sector 4 – named “La Piana” – and one of the race’s classic gravel sectors (5.5km in length, and featured in the course ever since the first edition) with no significant gradient, leading to Buonconvento.

After the passage through Buonconvento the riders will reach the feed station, positioned in the Ponte d’Arbia area. Soon the route reaches Monteroni d’Arbia, which marks the beginning of Sector 5 of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It’s a long sector with continuous ups and downs in the first part, ending up with a twisting climb before meeting the tarmac again.

After Castelnuovo Berardenga there’s a very short, flat section of gravel (300m) before riders face, after Monteaperti, Sector 6 – it’s only 800m long, but greets the riders with a double digit gradient ramp before they rejoin the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and then a paved road through Pieve a Bozzone. Next comes the penultimate gravel section (Sector 7, 2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto, with gradients up to 15%. After a further few kilometres the riders will face the last section of gravel (Sector 8, 1.1km) which features a sequence of demanding descents followed by a very punchy climb (with a maximum gradient of 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.

Final kilometres are the same as the men’s course.


2020 RCS Sport Races: List of Teams Announced
RCS Sport has today announced the list of teams that will participate in its 2020 cycling races.

GIRO D’ITALIA (3–25 October) – 19 UCI WorldTeams and 3 wild cards (22 teams of 8 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
COFIDIS (FRA)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

WILD CARDS – 3
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).

STRADE BIANCHE (1 August) – 18 UCI WorldTeams, 1 qualified by ranking position and 5 wild cards (24 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 18
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)
QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 1
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)

WILD CARDS – 5
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT P / B KTM (FRA)
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC (FRA).

STRADE BIANCHE WOMEN ELITE (1 August) – 8 UCI Women’s WorldTeams, 15 UCI Women’s Continental Teams including 8 wild cards (23 teams of 6 riders each)
UCI WOMEN’S WORLDTEAMS – 8
ALE BTC LJUBLJANA (ITA)
CANYON / /SRAM RACING (GER)
CCC-LIV (POL)
FDJ NOUVELLE – AQUITAINE FUTUROSCOPE (FRA)
MITCHELTON SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM WOMEN (ESP)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)

UCI WOMENS WOMEN’S CONTINENTAL TEAM – 15
AROMITALIA – BASSO BIKES – VAIANO (ITA)
ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM (KAZ)
BEPINK (ITA)
BIGLA – KATUSHA (SUI)
BOELS DOLMANS CYCLING TEAM (NED)
CERATIZIT – WNT PRO CYCLING TEAM (GER)
COGEAS METTLER LOOK PRO CYCLING TEAM (RUS)
EUROTARGET – BIANCHI – VITTORIA (ITA)
LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES (BEL)
PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG (NED)
RALLY CYCLING (USA)
SERVETTO – PIUMATE – BELTRAMI TSA (ITA)
TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK (USA)
TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO (ITA)
VALCAR – TRAVEL & SERVICE (ITA).

MILANO-TORINO (5 August) – 14 UCI WorldTeams and 8 wild cards (22 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 14
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

WILD CARDS – 8
ALPECIN FENIX (BEL)
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
B&B HOTELS – VITAL CONCEPT P / B KTM (FRA)
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC (FRA)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).

MILANO-SANREMO (8 August) – 19 UCI WorldTeams, 2 qualified by ranking position and 4 wild cards (25 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
COFIDIS (FRA)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 2
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA)
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)

WILD CARDS – 4
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC (FRA)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).

GRANPIEMONTE (12 August) – 11 UCI WorldTeams and 6 wild cards (17 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 11
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
CCC TEAM (POL)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

WILD CARDS – 6
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).

IL LOMBARDIA (15 August) – 19 UCI WorldTeams, 1 qualified by ranking position and 5 wild card (25 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
COFIDIS (FRA)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 1
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL)

WILD CARDS – 5
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).

TIRRENO-ADRIATICO (7–14 September) – 19 UCI WorldTeams, 1 qualified by ranking position and 4 wild cards (24 teams of 7 riders each)
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
COFIDIS (FRA)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE)

QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 1
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA)

WILD CARDS – 5
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ (ITA)
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA)

Pizza all round:


2020 Giro d’Italia Starts with a Time Trial in Palermo
Earlier it leaked that the Giro d’Italia would start this year with a time trial in and around Palermo, the capital of Sicily. According to Cicloweb, the organisation will go for a time trial of 12.9 kilometres.

Due to the corona virus, the Tour of Italy has been moved to October and the three opening stages in Hungary have been canceled. Organiser RCS and the Italian cycling federation had a meeting with the Minister of Sport in mid-June. The most important result was that the Giro d’Italia can continue with the public this autumn.

In addition, it has been confirmed that the Giro (October 3-25) can start on the island of Sicily. This means that an opening time trial can be organised in and around Palermo. The second stage would then go from Monreale to Agrigento, followed by a mountain stage with the finish on the Etna volcano.

RCS will present the final route at the end of June. Race director Mauro Vegni can count on the presence in October of Remco Evenepoel, defending champion Richard Carapaz, two-time Giro winner Vincenzo Nibali and sprinters such as Peter Sagan and Dylan Groenewegen.

Carapaz in pink:


Tour of Slovakia Has Six WorldTour Teams
Deceuninck-Quick-Step, BORA-hansgrohe, Team Sunweb, Cofidis, Israel Start-Up Nation and CCC Team: the Tour of Slovakia (16-19 September) can count on six teams with a WorldTour license this year.

The multi-day race also has six ProTeams and seven continental teams. The organisation is celebrating the 64th edition of the Tour of Slovakia this year. Last year, the overall victory went to Yves Lampaert of Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

The Belgian Classics rider finished ahead of Arnaud Démare and Stefan Küng on GC. Alexander Kristoff and Elia Viviani were both winners, the Norwegian won the opening stage to Bardejov, while Viviani was the fastest in the final stage finish in Senica.

Participating Teams:
WorldTour teams (6):
BORA-hansgrohe, CCC Team, Cofidis, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Israel Start-Up Nation and Team Sunweb.

ProTeams (6):
Alpecin-Fenix, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles, Gazprom-RusVelo, Team Novo Nordisk, Uno-X and Vini Zabù-KTM.

Continental teams (7):
Adria Mobil, Cycling Team Friuli ASD, Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW Bicicletas, Dukla Banska Bystrica, Elkov-Kasper, Mazowsze Serce Polski and Team Novak.

Kristoff won stage 1:


GranPiemonte Set to Race Along the Rolling Hills of the Langhe Before Arriving in Barolo
The 104th edition of the GranPiemonte race, organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with the Piedmont Region, will pit riders against a challenging route in the splendid Langhe hills. Scheduled for Wednesday, 12 August 2020, the race will start from Santo Stefano Belbo before arriving in Barolo after 187 kilometres of riding.

The Route
This year’s race follows a demanding route along the rolling Langhe hills, situated in the Piedmont provinces of Asti and Cuneo, that offers riders little chance for respite amidst a long series of climbs and descents. A 44km circuit through the vineyards of the Alba area is set to be completed twice in the race’s finale. Riders will tackle the climbs of Rocchetta Palafea, Mango, Barbaresco and Diano d’Alba before entering the circuit after leaving Grinzane Cavour. The circuit itself features the climbs of La Morra, Barolo and Monforte d’Alba. The race’s final climb is the same the peloton faced at the finish of the Barbaresco-Barolo ITT in 2014’s Giro d’Italia, now with an extra stretch of ascending required before reaching the line.

Final Kilometres
After descending from the town of Morra, the route takes a right turn that heads towards the race’s uphill finish. The road’s gradient remains at a constant 5 to 6% until another right turn 600m from the finish line that steepens the gradient to 8 or 9%. A left-hand corner 300m from the finish line leads onto the final 250m-long, 6m-wide asphalt finishing straight.

Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport said: “This edition of GranPiemonte will be truly unforgettable because it will go ahead after a very difficult period, but also because it will be a new start for the territory and will take place in one of the most beautiful areas of Italy. The Langhe hills, where some of the most famous wines in the world are produced, and the arrival in Barolo will provide an unforgettable day for enthusiasts among the vineyards and towns that are deeply connected to the sport of cycling.”

“Being able to announce the GranPiemonte is always a joy but this year my happiness is possibly even greater because the competition marks the possibility of returning to talking about great sport after months of waiting due to the Coronavirus emergency,” says the Regional Councillor for Sport Fabrizio Ricca. “Bikes coming back to the roads of Piedmont will mark a return to normality for riders and fans alike. It will also represent a fresh start for our region, a land of sport, which will see the race cross the beautiful Langhe hills.”

Matteo Ascari, President of the Barolo, Barbaresco, Alba, Langhe and Dogliani Consortium said: “Our territory is very suitable for cycling and is already a paradise destination for cycle amateurs. We are very happy that pro cycling returns to our roads and that GranPiemonte will arrive in Barolo after the beautiful ITT of the 2014 Giro d’Italia. It will be a phenomenal promotion for the area.”

The Mayor of Barolo, Renata Bianco said: “We are happy that GranPiemonte will pass through and arrive in Barolo. In this difficult year, we have witnessed unimaginable setbacks. Many events have had to be canceled, from the smallest festivals to international events like Barolo’s Collisioni festival. We want to return to normality and hosting the finish of a race as prestigious and of such international appeal as GranPiemonte is a good sign of things to come and certainly a great opportunity to highlight once again the quality, competence and professionalism that distinguish our UNESCO World Heritage territory.”

The Deputy Mayor of Santo Stefano Belbo, Laura Capra, said: “The municipal administration is really pleased that RCS Sport have chosen Santo Stefano Belbo for the start of the GranPiemonte, to eventually finish in Barolo. This creates a beautiful union between two wine-growing areas that combines two great wines (Moscato d’Asti and Barolo) that are famous all over the world. Santo Stefano Belbo and Barolo, with Alba – the city from which a stage of the Giro d’Italia will start on 24 October – will form a unique triangle in the international cycling scene. Santo Stefano Belbo is ready to welcome riders and confident that our territory will be able to win over fans with its beauty.”

The Director of the Langhe e Roero Office for Tourism, Mauro Carbone said: “The race crosses the core areas of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It starts from the typically beautiful area of Moscato di Santo Stefano Belbo, and then passes over the subterranean cathedrals of Canelli and near the Barbera area, where one finds the municipalities of Nizza Monferrato and Costigliole d’Asti. The route then reaches the Langhe, Neive and Barbaresco. The grand finale is the circuit in the Langa del Barolo area that finishes in the heart of the village under the Falletti Castle of Barolo. We are happy to host such great riders and to see them riding our local hills. Our tourist offer focuses heavily on outdoor sports with services dedicated to cycling enthusiasts, and we are very proud of that.”

The peloton on the roads of 2016 GranPiemonte:


2020 ORLEN Nations Grand Prix – Here are the New Dates
ORLEN Nations Grand Prix 2020 will be held in Rzeszów on September 12-13. The change of date is caused by the new calendar of the UCI. ORLEN Nations Grand Prix in Rzeszów will be the final stage of the UCI Nations Cup U23 series.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many changes in this year’s cycling season. Many competitions were canceled and the most important ones found new dates on the calendar. The Nations Cup will consist of three races – Tour de l’Avenir, Course de la Paix Grand Prix Jeseníky. and ORLEN Nations Grand Prix. The Polish competition will be determining as to the general classification of the UCI Nations Cup U23.

“Bearing in mind the great emotions that accompanied last year’s inaugural edition of the ORLEN Nations Grand Prix, I cannot wait for the September race. The best young riders from many countries will come to Poland again and will compete wearing the colours of their national teams. The race will be a chance for them to show their talent to the world. We can already be sure of the spontaneous, spectacular and passionate fight for victory” said Czeslaw Lang, Lang Team general director.

The ORLEN Nations Grand Prix will include two stages. On Saturday, September 12, the team time trial will take place and, on Sunday, September 13, the line race. Both stages will be raced on the 27-kilometre loop with start and finish at Cieplinski street in Rzeszów. We can expect about 20 national teams participating in the race.

The ORLEN Nations Grand Prix in Rzeszów will also be an important test for the teams before the world championships, which will be held on September 20-27 in Switzerland.


An Update From Our CEO
First of all, thank you for your overwhelming support of the Sea Otter Classic. As previously noted, our management team has been preparing to host the event in October. After frequent discussions with Monterey County health officials, it has become clear that we cannot host an event that will meet our health and safety standards. This has always been our top priority. Consequently, we have decided to cancel the Sea Otter Classic scheduled for October 1-4, 2020. The Bicycle Leadership Conference is also cancelled. More information regarding the cancellation of the Sea Otter Classic and the Bicycle Leadership Conference will be available on July 17th.

While a year without Sea Otter is hard to comprehend, we knew this was a possibility. So, we’ve been developing a new event to keep us all connected. We are pleased to bring you Sea Otter Play presented by Continental! This premier immersive virtual experience will feature over 350 innovative cycling companies in a digital format. The event will include several cycling challenges, fundraising for COVID-19 relief, and cycling’s largest digital festival. Our partners from Sea Otter Europe, Sea Otter Canada, and Sea Otter Australia will join us in this inaugural event.

“As a presenting sponsor of all Sea Otter global events, Sea Otter Play represents an innovative opportunity to connect with riders around the world,” Oliver Anhuth, Global Head of Marketing for Continental Bicycle Tires.

Sea Otter Play will be held during September 2020. The ride challenges will start on September 1st and the festival will be held September 17-20. The industry response to this event has been terrific. For many sponsors and exhibitors, this will be their first opportunity to showcase their latest innovations to a global audience. We’re excited about what our September event will bring to the cycling industry and are making every effort to ensure your faith in us is rewarded with fun for you and your family.

“With new challenges come new opportunities. SRAM is excited to take part in Sea Otter Play.” David Zimberoff, vice president of marketing at SRAM.

Thank you again for your support during these challenging times. We encourage you to stay connected to our events and social channels for news and updates in the coming weeks. From all of us at the Sea Otter Classic, be safe. We look forward to hosting you digitally in September and being back with you in Monterey in April 2021!

Sea Otter 2019:


Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans Will Discover the Italian Classics
For the first time in its history, Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans will be at the start of the Italian classics. The reshuffled calendar bundles the five races of RSC between August 1st and 15th, with Strade Bianche as the opening race, followed by Milan-Torino, Milan-San Remo, Gran Piemonte and the Tour of Lombardy. The Belgian team will discover these mythic transalpine races with a lot of motivation for the competition restart.

Thanks to its status of second Pro Team at the UCI ranking, Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans benefited from an automatic invite for the World Tour races. Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy were already on the initial programme, and the Italian race organiser also assigned invitations for both semi classics Milan-Torino and the Tour of Piemont. This last race figures on Jan Bakelant’s palmarès since 2015.

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director): “Thanks to our participation in these Italian races, we can offer our riders a very nice race programme in August. It will be a busy beginning after a long break, but the yellow-blue brigade is very motivated to race a lot. Our programme for the upcoming months is finished, so during the two training camps we can fine-tune our selections and work towards our first big appointment on the 1st of August!”

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): “I’m very happy with these invitations. I want to thank RCS for its confidence in our project and for the discovery of the Italian classics. These events are mythic, and will bring a special atmosphere as they open the international calendar post-Covid 19. I’m convinced that our riders will be able to surpass their capabilities in each of these races, from the Strade Bianche to the Tour of Lombardy, and show that we’re worth being at those classics.”

The Italian Programme:
1/08: Strade Bianche
5/08: Milan-Torino
8/08: Milan – San Remo
12/08: Gran Piemonte
15/08: Il Lombardia

Training for 2020:


Bahrain-McLaren Announces the Departure of Brent Copeland as Mutually Agreed
Team Bahrain McLaren’s operations director Brent Copeland will leave the team today to pursue a new opportunity.

Brent was general manager of the team from the start of the project in 2017 until September 2019 when the team was known as Bahrain Merida. Brent became operations director when the team transitioned to Team Bahrain McLaren for the 2020 season.

We are very grateful to Brent for all his dedication, passion and hard work that he has shown towards our team during the past years. Brent has been an important figure in our team from the start and has helped build it to where we find ourselves today.

Rod Ellingworth’s comments: “I would like to thank Brent for his support in establishing Team Bahrain McLaren. It’s been a challenging year for everyone, particularly for a new team like ours, but with the commitment from people like Brent, we can return to racing stronger and more complete. On behalf of the entire team, I wish Brent all the best for the future, and we look forward to seeing him at the start-line again soon.”

Brent Copeland comments: “It has been a memorable experience and I’m proud to have been part of this exciting project. I was drawn to the opportunity to make history by enabling Bahrain to be the first Middle Eastern country to join the WorldTour. I want to thank everyone with whom I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with during the past 4 years, both staff and riders have made it an exceptionally enjoyable journey. To his Highness Shaikh Nasser, I would like to express a special thank you for his continuous support to the sporting world and his passion for it. I have personally seen and admire the positive growth of the sporting culture in Bahrain. I sincerely wish all the best to the team for their future.”

Brent Copeland:


Shayne Bannan Makes Way for Brent Copeland
The failed sponsorship deal with Manuela Fundación leaves its mark at Mitchelton-Scott. General manager Shayne Bannan and Alvaro Crespi have to resign and are immediately replaced by Brent Copeland and Darach McQuaid. Copeland comes from Bahrain-McLaren.

It was Bannan who led the negotiations with Manuela Fundación. Crespi was the middleman in the deal, which turned out to be a fiasco. Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, GreenEDGE owner Gerry Ryan has replaced them with McQuaid and Copeland.

As of today, they join the renewed management of the Australian team. McQuaid has been working as a commercial advisor to the team for several years. Copeland comes from Bahrain-McLaren and becomes the new General Manager.

Not going too well at Mitchelton-Scott:


Team Sunweb Gearing up for Season Restart
With racing programs reconsidered and now finalised, Team Sunweb’s three programs – Men, Women and Development – head to Team Camp in Austria as they enter the final preparation period ahead of the season restart. Both the Men and Women’s programs season will get underway at Strade Bianche, whilst the Development program will first take to the start line again at Savoie Mont Blanc.

Ready to put the finishing touches to training
Throughout July and early August, the team will reside in the excellent Vaya hotel in the heart of Kühtai, a town in the Austrian Alps situated at 2000 metres, in the midst of beautiful surroundings with great training routes around. The hotel is open exclusively for Team Sunweb, with different rider groups from all three programs checking in and out at different periods throughout. In close cooperation with the facility, extensive precautions regarding health and safety are being taken, so that the team can put the finishing touches to their training, safely and in a top sports environment. To further manage risk, the team will operate in multiple bubbles for rider and staff groups, with no two bubbles allowed to mix during their travel, or time on the camp. In addition, all riders and staff must provide a negative COVID-19 test before travelling to the camp.

Focus remains, looking forward to getting back to action
After a strong start to the season, the team kept their focus during lockdown with effective specific training sessions and digital sessions with the different specialists and training groups. With these stronger foundations and the excellent facilities that the Austrian Alps provide for their final training block, the team hope to go even bigger and better during the season restart.

Team Sunweb head coach Rudi Kemna said: “We are pleased that the situation regarding COVID-19 is continuing to head in the right direction in Europe and we are really looking forward to the season restart getting underway next month. Throughout lockdown we have remained positive and used our time away from racing in the best possible way, always keeping spirits high within the team during these challenging times. As the season restart approaches it’s now time to put the finishing touches to the hard work that we have been doing across all three programs.”

Men’s program goals
Kemna said: “We will work towards specific goals at each of the Grand Tours and target results in the big classics, which we will approach with a strong block of riders. The Tour de France awaits as the first of the Grand Tours on the calendar, where we will aim for stage success through sprints and offensive racing. The goal at the Giro d’Italia will be the GC and difficult sprints. While the Vuelta a España will be about the development of our young and promising talents, with a few of them getting the opportunity to make their grand tour debut.”

Tour de France
Line-up: Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Nikias Arndt (GER), Tiesj Benoot (BEL), Cees Bol (NED), Marc Hirschi (SWI), Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED), Nicholas Roche (IRL), Jasha Sütterlin (GER)

After July’s Team Camp, a similar squad will tackle the classics at Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo then head to the Dauphine ahead of Tour de France, followed by the Flemish classics.

Giro d’Italia
Line-up: Nico Denz (GER), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Jai Hindley (AUS), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Michael Matthews (AUS), Sam Oomen (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Martijn Tusveld (NED)

After July’s Team Camp, a similar squad will head to the Tour of Poland, Il Lombardia, Altitude Camp, Tirreno Adriatico, before heading to the Giro d’Italia. Matthews will also line-up at Milano-Sanremo.

Vuelta a España:
Long-list: Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN), Thymen Arensman (NED), Alberto Dainese (ITA), Mark Donovan (GBR), Felix Gall (AUT), Chad Haga (USA), Robert Power (AUS), Nicholas Roche (IRL), Martin Salmon (GER), Michael Storer (AUS), Florian Stork (GER), Ilan van Wilder (BEL)

Women’s program goals
Kemna continued: “Our Women’s program was recently strengthened with the addition of world number one ranked rider, Lorena Wiebes – a great boost to the team. Our ambition to become the best women’s team in professional cycling remains unchanged and continuing in the way that they started our season, we will go for strong results in the classics and Giro Rosa.”

Development program goals
To conclude, Kemna said: “Stage racing remains the focus for our Development program as the team go for solid racing at Savoie Mont Blanc, the U23 Giro, L’Isard and the Tour of Croatia. This year we can benefit and hopefully enhance their learning, as new regulations mean that they can race alongside our WorldTour riders, with line-ups able to be a combination both the Men’s and Development program at races at Pro series and Europe Tour categories.”


Virtual Tour de France on Zwift: Riding for Solidarity
In the context of a completely unprecedented health crisis in which most cycling events have been cancelled or postponed, Zwift and Amaury Sport Organisation have decided to do something useful together and create the very first virtual Tour de France. It will be the starting point for a strong solidarity campaign around cycling.

During the first three weekends of July 2020, men’s and women’s professional races will be organised as part of virtual stages of the Tour de France. Continuing on from the major increase in cycling at home in recent months, cycling lovers from all over the world will also have a chance to ride the Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France on the same weekends.

All events are organised in aid of five global charity partners.

Key points:
● First Virtual Tour de France for Men and Women.
● 23 Men’s Teams and 16 Women’s Professional Teams Confirmed. Confirmed names include: Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Christopher Froome, Julian Alaphilippe, Richie Porte, Greg Van Avermaet, Mathieu Van der Poel, Nairo Quintana, Mads Pedersen, Warren Barguil, Romain Bardet for the men’s race. Chloé Dygert, Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Marianne Vos, Coryn Rivera, Marta Bastianelli, Lisa Brennauer, Kirsten Wild, Elisa Balsamo, Tiffany Cromwell, Lizzie Deignan, Audrey Cordon-Ragot for the women’s race.
● Racing to be broadcast to over 130 countries worldwide over the 3 weekends.
● Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France to offer mass participation opportunity for cyclists worldwide on the same roads as the professionals.

● Two new routes will be added to Zwift in the “France” section.
● Tour de France United (#TDFunited) to raise funds for five charity partners: Emmaüs, Secours populaire français, Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur, BiJeWa and Qhubeka.
● Racing to be broadcast to over 130 countries worldwide over the 3 weekends.
● Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France to offer mass participation opportunity for cyclists worldwide on the same roads as the professionals.

● Two new routes will be added to Zwift in the “France” section.
Tour de France United (#TDFunited) to raise funds for five charity partners: Emmaüs, Secours populaire français, Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur, BiJeWa and Qhubeka.

Racing is to return this July with the first Virtual Tour de France on the online training and racing platform, Zwift. Starting on Saturday, July 4th, the Virtual Tour de France is to form a part of the Tour de France United, a charity initiative in celebration of the Tour de France that will run until the conclusion of the rescheduled Tour de France the 29th of August.

Designed to deliver the best virtual racing experience for both competitors and viewers, the Virtual Tour de France will be held over six stages, each around an hour in duration. Racing will commence with the first women’s stage, followed immediately by the men. Stages for both races are held on identical courses and over the same distance. Both events will receive equal broadcast coverage in 130 countries around the world.

The stages of the Virtual Tour de France will provide opportunities for all types of rider. Stages 1 and 2 will be held on Zwift’s biggest map, the fantasy volcanic island of Watopia. For the Tour de France, Watopia will receive several visual additions inspired by Nice, the planned host town for this year’s ‘Grand Départ’. Stages 3, 4 and 5 will be held on an entirely new French map designed specifically for the Virtual Tour de France. Stage 5 is marked as the Queen Stage, and one for the climbers, with a summit finish at Chalet Reynard. Stage 6 will see the racers take to the iconic Champs-Élysées, finishing in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Yann Le Moënner, A.S.O. General Manager says: “Our joint project with cycling teams, Zwift, charities, official partners and broadcasters of the Tour de France is all about leveraging the newest esport technologies to put the spotlight on the champions who were supposed to ride the Tour de France in July, as well as setting up a major solidarity project combining its mission to promote mobility through cycling and fight against the social consequences of COVID 19 across the world”.

“I cannot imagine the month of July without cycling,” adds Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France. “Thanks to the virtual Tour de France, which will be widely broadcast on TV, the champions and their fans will fill in the void left by the Tour de France, which will reunite with the public in Nice on 29 August. The Virtual Tour de France puts technology to work for passion and the cause of cycling for everyone.”

The Virtual Tour de France wouldn’t be the same without the famous Yellow, Green, Polka-dot and White jerseys held by the leaders of the race. Standings for all jerseys will be calculated using a points-based system. The best overall team will be calculated by combining the total points earned across all competitions. In addition, each stage will also see a rider awarded the Most Aggressive rider.

“There’s nothing bigger than the Tour de France in cycling, so to say I’m excited would be an understatement”, says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Since I was a boy, I would always be glued in front of the TV for three weeks in July, so I feel incredibly privileged for Zwift to be able to play host to the first virtual edition this year. Of course, we all very much look forward to the race returning this August, but the good news is there will still be racing in July. The Virtual Tour de France will be a celebration of the event featuring the stars of the men’s and women’s pro pelotons, all in aid of five great causes. Let’s also not forget, there is a great chance to take part through the Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France rides as well!”

Taking place on the same three weekends that will see the professional riders in action, will be the Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France series. L’Étape du Tour de France provides cyclists with the opportunity to get a slice of the Tour de France experience through a mass participation cyclo-sportive held on one of the Tour de France mountain stages. The Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France will be no different, allowing participants to test themselves on the same roads as the professionals. There will be three different stages, held over each of the three weekends in July. More information on the stages, and how to sign up can be found here.

Both the France and Paris maps have been designed specifically for the Virtual Tour de France. The French map takes inspiration from the country and should evoke strong connections with the country as Zwifters pass through vineyards, over Roman aqueducts and through Sunflower fields. The new map also contains a virtual representation of famous mountain passes.

The Paris map is a smaller world, taking in the finishing circuit we’ve all come to associate with the final stage of the Tour de France. Zwifters will be able to ride around the famed Arc de Triomphe, navigate around the Place de la Concorde and sprint down the cobbled Champs-Élysées just like the best sprinters of the Tour de France. Zwifters will be able to join events on the new maps during the Virtual Tour de France.

The distinctive jerseys
Like the real-life Tour de France, the distinctive jerseys will be awarded to the leaders of the general classification (based on points rather than on time), best climber classification, best sprinter classification and best young rider classification (again, based on points rather than on time). Unique to the Virtual Tour de France, all classifications will be run as team-based classifications, therefore, allowing teams to rotate riders between stages. All riders in the race will be eligible to score points for their team in each of the respective categories. The teams leading the classifications will have the freedom to nominate one rider to wear the iconic jerseys for the following stage.

The 6 stages of the Virtual Tour de France:
● Saturday 4th July, stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1 km, hilly stage)
● Sunday 5th July, stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage)
● Saturday 11th July, stage 3: North-East France, 48 km (flat stage)
● Sunday 12th July, stage 4: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
● Saturday 18th July, stage 5: Mountain stage, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard)
● Sunday 19th July, stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6 laps of the circuit)

The 3 stages of the Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France (16 sessions spread over each weekend):
● 4th and 5th July, Stage 1: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage)
● 11th and 12th July, Stage 2: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
● 18th and 19th July, Stage 3: Mountain stage, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard)

More information about the Virtual Tour de France on www.letour.fr


Physical tests at Bakala Academy before the Val di Fassa training camp
Ahead of our stay in Passo San Pellegrino (Val di Fassa), the riders visited the Bakala Academy in Leuven.

Now that we can think about racing again after such a long period without any professional races, the question arises how riders should be physically prepared for the coming months. Deceuninck – Quick-Step trainer Koen Pelgrim explains: “The training load on our riders has increased since June. In April and May, our focus was mainly on maintaining a basic fitness level. We monitored the team to ensure they kept up well and at the same time didn’t waste too much energy. We want to prevent them from reaching their fitness peak too early. In Val di Fassa there will be some more fine-tuning towards August. The races are fast approaching! Everyone will immediately have to reach a good level. There are a few exceptions, but for most, those first races will already be a big deal.”

“It won’t be like a normal start of the season, like in Australia or Argentina, where you can still make adjustments towards March and April if things don’t go well,” says Pelgrim. “We won’t have time for that now, so we have to make sure that our riders don’t enter this period with a disadvantage. This is no problem for most, but perhaps for those who had to stay at home in their country because of the lockdown. They were set back and forced to maintain their fitness on the rollers. They will have some catching-up to do but in time should be fine.”

From July 6, the entire team will stay in Passo San Pellegrino, Val di Fassa, surrounded by the beautiful Dolomites. “An excellent base for a variety of training sessions,” according to the Dutchman. “The location offers a good combination of training routes. Of course, you can ride uphill in the mountains, but there is also a nice valley at the foot of the climb to our hotel, where we can work with the sprinters and lead-outs or organise a session on the time trial bike. We will enjoy the advantages of an altitude training camp and use the lower sections for certain specific and more intensive work that cannot be done at higher altitude. It’s all possible in Val di Fassa, a truly beautiful region to train and ride our bikes.”

At the first post-pandemic team meeting in the Flemish Ardennes a few weeks ago, the riders weren’t offered structured training sessions yet, which will be the case in Val di Fassa, says Koen Pelgrim: “They will mostly ride in three different groups so that each of them can follow a more individualised program, specific for the climbers, sprinters, lead-outs, and so on. Occasionally, we’ll also let the specialists train on their time trial bike. At this altitude it is key to keep a close eye on the training load. Kaster was a good incentive, with three tough recons of the classics, but in Val di Fassa we can’t just let them race each other uphill. This wouldn’t have the desired effect. We’ll closely monitor the training load and offer them structured sessions on the bike and exercises.”

In order to optimally write structured training programs per rider for the Val di Fassa altitude training camp, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step coaching staff organised a series of physical tests for the team at the Bakala Academy in Leuven: a Dexa scan to determine body composition – the amount of muscle mass, fat percentage – and an exercise stress test.

“We wanted to check how deep our riders can dig and infer whether they are well-rested. We also wanted to test how their physical condition compares to January and February, when we ran the same tests. You would expect them to be able to perform better now, which is also the case according to the tests. Everyone who was tested is well-rested and performed better compared to their January levels. It’s really important to the team that we can do these tests at the Bakala Academy, that we can count on their facilities and expertise to evaluate our riders, especially now, ahead of a short, but crowded, season,” concluded Pelgrim.


Deceuninck – Quick-Step to hold altitude training camp in Val di Fassa
The whole team will assemble on Passo San Pellegrino from the 6th to 23rd July, to train for the resumption of the racing season.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step have taken the next step on the process of returning to racing after the European coronavirus lockdown during the spring, by organising an altitude training camp between 6-23 July, in Val di Fassa.

The camp will be held in Val di Fassa at Passo San Pellegrino, in Italy, with the entire team staying at the Hotel Cristallo. Based in the centre of the Dolomites, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the area offers the perfect blend of terrain with climbs of over 2000 meters, as well as longer flatter areas around at 1000 meters, where some work can be done on TT bikes and with the team’s sprinters. As well a chance to partake in some quality training, the camp is a chance for the entire team to congregate and build on the famous Wolfpack spirit, ahead of what is sure to be an intense return to racing, with the likes of Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe and Sam Bennett looking ahead to competing. The training camp has been made possible thanks to the support of Val di Fassa Tourism Board, who have appointed The Wolfpack an ambassadorial role, in order to promote Val di Fassa as cycling destination.

A number of procedures will be in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, with all staff and riders attending required to be tested either ahead of travelling or immediately upon arrival. Protocols will also be in place throughout the team’s stay in Italy, with everyone attending required to adhere to the highest hygiene standards, as well as keeping contact to those outside of the camp to a minimum. The team’s medical team will work with everyone within the team to make sure that all of the precautions needed are understood and carried out, with protocols under constant review and assessment.

Team CEO Patrick Lefevere said: “Staying in Val di Fassa is an ideal mix for us. First of all, it’s an incredibly beautiful place and the ideal place for cycling – I know the region as I came here in the past for skiing and this time, I am keen to discover it during the summer time. We were looking for somewhere we could stay that was over 2000 meters and the associated advantages comes with being at altitude. As well as the training we can do with our climbers, we also have some long flat areas where can work with our sprinters. The location also allows us to stay compact and install all the safety procedures that we need in these unprecedented times. More than anything, we are looking forward to being together as a group and getting the riders in to a great shape ahead of racing resuming.”

The presence of the Deceuninck – Quick Step is very important for the Ladin valley, as underlined by Fausto Lorenz, Chairman of the Val di Fassa Tourism Board: “We are glad to host the champions of the Wolfpack, who attract the attention of the media as well as that of numerous enthusiasts. We believe that our land, where important pages of the history of cycling have been written, can offer an opportunity to train for professional athletes and a lot of fun to those who simply look for some leisure and sport experiences in the majestic environment of the Dolomites. Our wish to the whole team is to best prepare in Fassa, to be successful in the important races scheduled from August onwards.”


Movistar Team Aims to Become First 100% Sustainable Cycling Organisation
Abarca Sports presents long-term project to offset its carbon footprint, with actions already in place: 100% renewable energy + self-consumption; vehicles with cleaner propulsion systems; and initiatives to take care of its environment.

In a world suffering from a climate emergency, where the humanity makes big efforts to alleviate the consequences of their own damage to our planet, Abarca Sports and the Movistar Team are announcing a series of measures, to start in the summer of 2020, that hope to carry that momentum forward, as they become the first top-tier cycling team 100% sustainable in its activities. That aim is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations for 2030.

As a first move, the organisation managing the Telefónica-backed teams has measured its carbon footprint. The Greenhouse Gases generated by the team’s vehicles and the energy used at its headquarters add up to an equivalent 175,000kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. Abarca Sports aims to offset and reduce these emissions in the next few years, through a set of actions already in place.

The Movistar Team is fully committed to use 100% renewable energy sources in its main building en Pamplona, and will also cover some of its demand through self-consumption, with solar panels being installed over its HQ. Another big effort will see the team gradually replace its fleet of vehicles, Volvo cars, with new hybrid models, seeking to reduce its CO2 emissions.

Abarca Sports has also passed the importance of these values on to all of its members during the current non-racing period, and will put into significant efforts to support sustainable mobility and the environment in its local area. All of that, with a first milestone in mind: obtaining the Seal of Recognition from Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition (MITECO).

The Eusebio Unzué-led company thus aspires to put themselves at the front of cycling in this specific area, the sport always being considered ‘green’ yet with a serious impact on the planet with its competitive activities, which the Blues now aim to reduce. A determined effort during the COVID-19 pandemic, still going in most areas of the world and bolstered, to an extent, by the pollution which affects the respiratory system.

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