EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

All the latest cycling news

Hot action in Spain. Results, reports and video from the Vuelta a Burgos. All change at Lotto Soudal – TOP STORY. Teams for the Arctic Race of Norway, no sacking for German coach. Contract news: Caleb Ewan, Neilson Powless and Lorenzo Fortunato extend, Sam Bennett, Jai Hindley, Sergio Higuita and Marco Haller to BORA-hansgrohe, Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Bystrøm to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and Stagiaire for Deceuninck and Intermarché. Rider news: Koen de Kort to retire and Fabio Jakobsen knee injury. Race news: 2023 Giro d’Italia start towns, Eschborn-Frankfurt teams, Chinese WorldTour races canceled and La Vuelta’21 Fantasy Game. Big EUROTRASH coffee time.


TOP STORY: Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant Leave Lotto Soudal
The management of Lotto Soudal will undergo a major transformation this winter. Well-known faces such as Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant will leave the team. The team general manager John Lelangue announced the news.

While the news about the contract extensions of Caleb Ewan and Rüdiger Selig got all the attention, Lelangue also discussed the changes in the management of the Belgian lottery team. “I myself will remain at the head of the team and with Maxime Monfort as performance manager we will continue on the chosen path,” said Lelangue.

“Nikolas Maes will be a full-time sports director from 2022 and Mario Aerts, Kurt Van de Wouwer and Marc Wauters have already proven their stripes several times. In that respect we are in good shape for the coming years,” he said about the permanent core of the team management. Missing the names of Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant.

“In line with our team evolution, we will say goodbye to Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant at the end of 2021,” explained Lelangue. “Both are at the end of contracts, but above all two real Lotto monuments. Their importance to the team cannot be emphasised enough. Both are and have been the face of the team for many years. First as riders, later as sports director and team manager. We have experienced countless sporting successes and unforgettable moments together. Big thanks for all this, Herman and Marc.” Last year, Lotto Soudal also cut the workforce, when performance manager Kevin De Weert and sports director Frederik Willems left the team.

Marc Sergeant and Herman Frison:

 


Vuelta a Burgos 2021
Edward Planckaert won Stage 1 of the Vuelta a Burgos. The Belgian Alpecin-Fenix ​rider ​was faster than Movistar’s Gonzalo Serrano on the difficult finish in Burgos. Planckaert, who is also the overall leader, and Serrano fought out a duel on the Alto del Castillo.

The leading group of the day consisted of Mario Aparicio (Burgos-BH), Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sergio Martín (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Florian Maitre (TotalEnergies), Sergio García and Márton Dina (eolo-Kometa). Their maximum lead was just under 7 minutes. It was anything but calm in the peloton, because the group split into two after 70 kilometres. The wind caused the split. The front group of almost forty men, raced at full throttle and caught the early break. Favourites like Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa, David De la Cruz and Romain Bardet didn’t miss the split. The second group followed at about a minute and a half and was led by Qhubeka NextHash.

Ten riders managed to escape from the front group, including Jhonatan Narváez, Pavel Sivakov, Johan Jacobs, Daniel Oss, Alexys Brunel, Mads Würtz Schmidt, Sep Vanmarcke, Matteo Trentin, Tobias Bayer and Sergio García. They had just under 1 minute with 50 kilometres to go. The second group followed almost 2 minutes later. On the rolling roads towards the Alto del Castillo in Burgos, everything then came back together. The peloton came together again 35 kilometres from the finish, but that was still more than 1 minute behind the leading group. Twenty kilometres before the finish there was a crash at the front of the peloton. The big victims were Egan Bernal and Adam Yates, the leaders of INEOS Grenadiers, and Astana-Premier Tech climber Aleksandr Vlasov.

Bahrain Victorious took the lead and were getting closer to the leading group when turning up Alto del Castillo for the first time (1.1km at 6.1%). Jacobs, Sivakov, Würtz Schmidt, Bayer, Narváez and Trentin were the best of the leading group on that climb and they rounded the top 30 seconds ahead of the peloton. Only a local circuit of 14 kilometres remained, with the finish on the Alto del Castillo. DSM and Bahrain Victorious made every effort to close narrow the gap with the escapees. Later Caja Rural-Seguros RGA also lent a hand in the pursuit, and the last escapees were caught at 4 kilometres out. Alexys Brunel struggled a bit, but despite his attack, the peloton charged for the final climb in the streets of Burgos. On the Alto del Castillo it was Romain Bardet who picked up the pace, but he eased off in the finalé. Gonzalo Serrano looked like he would give Movistar the victory on the uphill finish, but the Spaniard was passed by Edward Planckaert of Alpecin-Fenix just before the line. The Belgian slipped through a small gap along the barriers in the last 50 meters, where he and Serrano briefly collided. Both stayed upright, after which Planckaert took the win and the overall lead. Third place went to Vincenzo Albanese at 1 second, followed by Santiago Buitrago and the Bardet.

Stage winner and overall leader, Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Fenix): “I felt strong and had confidence in the last kilometre. Today it was very warm, but the feeling was good. I was already in the first echelon and felt strong. There was a big gap between the two groups, but everything still came back. Leading up to the first climb of the Alto del Castillo, I saved energy for the final lap, and in the end I won. The first day of going uphill will be my last day in the leader’s jersey.”

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 1 Result:
1. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:34:42
2. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:01
4. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:03
6. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:09
7. Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Arkea-Samsic
8. Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH
9. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
10. Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Arkea-Samsic.

Vuelta a Burgos Overall After Stage 1:
1. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:34:42
2. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:01
4. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:03
6. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:09
7. Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Arkea-Samsic
8. Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH
9. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
10. Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Arkea-Samsic.

 

Juan Sebastián Molano won Stage 2 of the Vuelta a Burgos on Wednesday. In Briviesca, the UAE Team Emirates Colombian pushed his front wheel over the finish line just before Alberto Dainese. Gonzalo Serrano took over the leader’s jersey from Edward Planckaert.

The second stage covered 175 kilometres from Tardajos to Birviesca. The stage was flat and made for the fast men. The stage started with Edward Planckaert, the winner of the opening stage, in the purple leader’s jersey. Early in the race, a five-man break was formed with Carlos Canal, Oier Lazkano, Raúl García, Unai Cuadrado and Sergio García. They managed to take a 6 minute lead. The sprinter’s teams decided to chase and the difference to the leading group was slowly reduced. With 18 kilometres to go, all the early escapees were caught.

In the last 10 kilometres several riders tried to avoid a sprint. Kevin Geniets tried it with Marcus Burghardt and Mads Würtz Schmidt, they managed to hold a small lead well into the last kilometre. Burghardt wanted to surprise the sprinters with an ultimate effort, but that failed to materialise and the peloton thundered past the German BORA-hansgrohe rider. It was a close call with Alberto Dainese in the sprint, but in the end Juan Sebastián Molano was the first to cross the line. Matteo Trentin was third, Jordi Meeus fourth. Gonzalo Serrano crossed the finish line before Planckaert and took over the purple jersey from the Belgian.

Stage winner, Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (UAE Team Emirates): “Firstly I’d like to say thanks to my teammates for their spectacular work today. They showed a lot of faith in me and this win is a thank you to them. It’s been a long time since my last victory and it feels really good. It was a close sprint, and I left it quite late to come off Matteo’s wheel. But when I kicked I gave it everything and managed to take the win.”

Overall leader, Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Movistar): “It’s always nice to be the leader in a stage race like the Vuelta a Burgos, where every year a strong field of participants appears at the start. Yesterday we were very close to victory and today our efforts were rewarded with this jersey, to make up for it a bit. Tomorrow will be a very tough stage on the Picón Blanco, we’ll see where we can get to. With our strong team we will try to stay close to the top climbers.”

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 2 Result:
1. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 3:55:40
2. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Qhubeka NextHash
7. Itamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
8. Christopher Lawless (GB) TotalEnergies
9. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar.

Vuelta a Burgos Overall After Stage 2:
1. Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar in 7:30:22
2. Edward Planckaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:01
4. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 0:03
6. Robert Stannard (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:09
7. Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH
8. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
9. Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Arkea-Samsic
10. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

 


Kristoff and Leknessund in Norwegian Team for Arctic Race of Norway
Alexander Kristoff and Andreas Leknessund will be in the colours of the Norwegian national team at the start of the Arctic Race of Norway, they will try to become the first Norwegian winner since Thor Hushovd in 2013. Kristoff has been close several times in the past. The Norwegian from UAE Team Emirates was second to Steven Kruijswijk in 2014 and he finished fourth in 2017. He has had five stage wins in the 2.Pro race, making him the record holder.

The 22-year-old Leknessund will start for the first time in the biggest race in his country. The news recently came out that the Norwegian wants to break his contract with Team DSM after several incidents within the team. The DSM rider responded via social media that he would remain with the team in the coming years. Sven Erik Bystrøm, Ludvik Aspelund Holstad, Andre Dege and Adne Holter will assist Leknessund and Kristoff in the Arctic Race of Norway from August 5-8.

Norwegian squad for Arctic Race of Norway:
Sven Erik Bystrøm
Andre Dege
Andre Holter
Ludvik Aspelund Holstad
Alexander Kristoff
Andreas Leknessund.

Kristoff and Bystrøm on home roads:

 


Qhubeka Conti riders get opportunity at Arctic Race of Norway
Team Qhubeka NextHash will head to the UCI 2.Pro Arctic Race of Norway with a team that presents two of our continental team riders with an important opportunity to develop their skills.

The Arctic Race of Norway will get underway on Thursday in Tromso, Norway and will conclude on Sunday, in Harstad, Norway, after 4 undulating road stages have been completed.

With a stacked August race calendar, that will see Team Qhubeka NextHash race in no less than 7 different countries this month, it will just be a 5-man squad on duty for our South African UCI World Tour team at the Arctic Race. Importantly though, Henok Mulubrhan and Luca Coati from our u23 Team Qhubeka Continental team will get their opportunity to race among the pro peloton.

The punchy characteristics of Mulubrhan should serve the Eritrean well, as all four Arctic Race stages are littered with short sharp climbs. Coati, more of a sprinter, will certainly look to play his cards on the opening two stages where the probability of a bunch kick is high.

The u23 duo will be leaning heavily upon Dimitri Claeys, as the experienced Belgian leads our young team at the Scandinavian race, which is completed by Karel Vacek and Harry Tanfield.

Henok Mulubrhan: “I am really excited to race with my World Tour team. They have already given me a contract (for next year) so now I am excited to gain more experience with them, which will help me for next year. I am ready to help the team and I will give my best in Arctic Race. Next week I will then be racing the Tour de l’Avenir which is one of my big goals as an u23 rider.”

Henok Mulubrhan:

 


Arctic Race of Norway (August 5-8)
This is the first time that our AG2R CITROËN Team has participated in the Arctic Race of Norway, the first edition of which took place in 2013.

Clément Venturini: “After my crash on June 3 during the 5th stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, I returned to competition at the Tour de l’Ain. It’s always fun to race close to home and I was happy to get back to the atmosphere of competition again. The first stage ended in the sprint (9th), but I didn’t want to take any risks in the final. Now we head in the direction of Norway where I am happy to discover a new event. Every year the footage from this race is amazing and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in person. The Arctic Race of Norway will be my last race before the Vuelta a España (August 14 to September 05), which will be my fourth grand tour.”

 


Preview Arctic Race – Odd Eiking: “My ambition is reinforced by my good feeling in San Sebastian”
This Thursday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux returns to Norway for the Arctic Race of Norway (2.Pro, 5-8/8). The riders will battle for four stage wins and the general classification in amazing landscapes. The parcours is again designed to create an exciting battle of seconds until the final. During the previous edition, Odd Christian Eiking was the best at the queen stage with finish on Storheia Summit. The steep climb is not part of the race this year, but there are enough other difficulties on the many islands to please the punchers.

The first 142.5 kilometre stage with start in Tromsø follows the coastline of island Kvaløya. The Holtevegen climb (1.2km at 8,1%) has to be covered three times during the final. With the top only 2 kilometre before the finish, it is unsure whether the sprinters or punchers will be victorious. A bunch sprint is expected at the end of the second stage in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. The queen stage of this four day race is also the longest. The climax of this third stage of 184.5 kilometre is at the finish in ski station Målselv (3.7km at 7,8%). But it will be exciting until the final of the last stage of 163 kilometre with finish in Harstad, because the course and the final contain many hills en the final kilometre has an upwards slope.

Next to his stage victory in 2019, Odd Christian Eiking finished twice in the top six of the general classification (2015 and 2016). The Norwegian rider took 7th place in the Clasica San Sebastian last Saturday and announced his ambitions for the stage race on his home soil. The Norwegian rider is surrounded with Belgian and Dutch teammates. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux can count on Danny van Poppel for bunch sprints. The Dutch sprinter finished already on each step of the podium during his two previous participations in 2016 en 2019. The Arctic Race of Norway is his first race since his 6th place on the Champs-Elysées at the Tour de France. The four other riders, Aimé De Gendt, Tom Devriendt, Baptiste Planckaert and Boy van Poppel participated at the Heistse Pijl before travelling to Norway. From this Thursday, Frederik Veuchelen will guide the six riders.

Odd Christian Eiking: “This winter, I announced my ambition to win the general classification of the Arctic Race of Norway and I didn’t deviate from that goal. We’re here with a team in good condition and with a common goal. The way in which we raced at San Sebastian gave me a lot of confidence. It was definitely one of our best races of the season. Despite Lorenzo’s unfortunate crash, our presence in the front was rewarded with a double top 10. I brought this feeling to the Arctic Race. I’ll take it day by day and I’ll fight for the general classification. All four stages will be important, but day three might be the decisive one. This stage suits me well so I’m looking forward to it. We won’t be climbing Storheia Summit this year, but the climb towards the finish of the queen stage is pretty similar!”

Arctic Race of Norway Selection:
Aimé De Gendt
Tom Devriendt
Odd Christian Eiking
Baptiste Planckaert
Boy van Poppel
Danny van Poppel
Sportive Direction: Frederik Veuchelen.

Odd Christian Eiking:

 


German Cycling Federation Gives National Coach Only a Warning
The German cycling federation BDR has criticised national coach Patrick Moster for his racist comments during the Olympics. Moster called riders from Algeria and Eritrea ‘camel drivers’ and was subsequently sent home and provisionally suspended by the UCI. The union will retain the national coach.

The BDR indicates that they have had a strong conversation with Moster. The union finds his statements ‘culturally discriminatory and completely unacceptable’. The coach has been released from his international duties until further notice, has received a written warning and could be taken to court. In addition, Moster’s salary has been reduced.

So no dismissal for the national coach. “His statements are a massive violation of the values ​​that stand for BDR and sport: honesty, respect, tolerance and standing up to all forms of discrimination, xenophobia and racism. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that Patrick Moster has been employed for 21 years and there has been no violation in this direction during that time,” the BDR said in a statement.

“Patrick Moster has also been involved in the integration of asylum seekers into cycling through projects for the international development of aspiring cycling countries. This was done through joint training camps, for example with the Indian national track team in Brandenburg,” it sounds. The fact that Moster immediately publicly apologised after the incident is also taken into account.

Finally, the German Cycling Federation plans to invite Algerian Azzedine Lagab and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier from Eritrea, along with their representatives, to Germany.

Patrick Moster:

 


Caleb Ewan Extends Till the End of 2024
Sprinter Caleb Ewan has extended his contract at the team with an additional two years. That way, the 27-year-old Australian, who still has a contract until the end of 2022, will stay at the team till at least the end of 2024. The past seasons saw Ewan deliver Lotto Soudal 22 victories with five Tour de France stage wins including a memorable Champs Elysees triumph, four at the Giro d’Italia, the Scheldeprijs, Brussels Cycling Classic and stage victories in Australia’s Tour Down Under.

“I feel very much at home at Lotto Soudal, it is a team I am proud to represent and together we have achieved some wonderful results but I am committed to ensuring this is only the beginning, we have some exciting times ahead,” Caleb Ewan said. “I believe we have much improvement within us and I am really looking forward to working with our sprint train of Jasper De Buyst, Roger Kluge, Harry Sweeny and Frederik Frison, as well as those that are soon to join our squad. I think we can achieve great things.”

Frederik Frison has indeed extended his contract with two seasons until the end of 2023 and with the transfer of Rüdiger Selig, who signed a two-year agreement, a lot of experience will be added to the team. The 32-year-old fast German acted as the lead-out man of top riders like Alexander Kristoff, Peter Sagan, Sam Bennett and Pascal Ackermann.

“In my opinion, Caleb Ewan is the fastest sprinter in the world,” says Rüdiger Selig. “So, I am really happy that both the team and Caleb believe in me. It is with great pleasure that I will give it my all for Caleb the coming seasons. I already can’t wait!”

“Top-level sport is about winning and losing, with peaks and throughs, but in my opinion, our future really does look bright,” Lotto Soudal’s General Manager John Lelangue explains. “We continue to build the future. Brent Van Moer’s contract has already been extended and our latest 19-year-old reinforcement Arnaud De Lie has already shown his talent with two UCI victories – even as U23 rider – the past month. We will continue on this path and we keep investing in youth. More will become clear in the coming weeks.”

“With Philippe Gilbert, our young guns have a real mentor in the team. Thanks to his broad experience and antennae in the peloton, he is even indirectly my best advisor,” Lelangue continues. “Besides, I will remain at the head of the team and with Maxime Monfort as performance manager, we continue along our chosen path. As of 2022, Nikolas Maes will become a full time sports director and Mario Aerts, Kurt Van de Wouwer and Marc Wauters have already proven their worth countless times. In this respect, we’re good for the coming years. In line with our team evolution, we will say goodbye, at the end of 2021, to Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant, both end of contract, but two real Lotto monuments. Their importance for the team cannot be stressed enough. Both were and still are the faces of the team, first as riders, later as sports director and team manager. We have experienced countless successes and unforgettable moments together. A big thank you for all of this, Herman and Marc.”

More news on new riders and contract extensions will be communicated in the coming weeks.

More wins for Caleb Ewan:

 


BORA-hansgrohe Confirms the Arrival of Sam Bennett and Danny van Poppel
After two years apart, Bennett, who had previously spent six years in Ralph Denk’s team, will be returning to his roots. With Danny van Poppel, Shane Archbold and Ryan Mullen, the Irishman will be joined by a powerful sprint squad. All four riders have received two-year contracts.

“I’m very pleased that Sam is returning to us. We’ve been together for several years, he turned pro with us and we developed him into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. It’s no secret that his departure hurt us a lot at the time. However, I can understand that he felt that step was important for his career. I’d say that only worked out partially. We are a team that places a lot of value on cohesion, respect and sustainable cooperation, as we believe that these are the foundations for long-term success. You can have disagreements sometimes. However, as long as you treat each other with respect, you will always find each other again. That was also the case here. We have clear goals with Sam and I am confident that with our support he will be able to achieve several victories over the coming years. He is undisputedly one of the very best sprinters in the world and has proven this by winning the green jersey at the 2020 Tour. We have also put together a strong sprint train for him. Danny in particular will play a pivotal role. As a sprinter, he has both the experience and the speed to place and impose himself accordingly in fast finishes. Even though the role is new to him, I have every confidence in him. Shane has also been with us for many years, so we know his strengths. And Ryan has the fast pace necessary to keep the other guys in position ahead of the final kilometre. I think we are very well positioned with these new signings.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

“I am very excited about returning to BORA – hansgrohe. I had six incredible years with this team and I really feel like I grew up as a pro rider during this period. It was a really difficult decision to leave, but I decided I needed to continue my professional and personal development in a new environment. While some may have questioned my decision at the time, I believe it is the right move for me to return to BORA – hansgrohe. I have enjoyed two great years at Deceuninck – Quick-Step, my boyhood dream team, and have continued my development both on and off the bike whilst making lifelong friendships. However, I feel ready to go back home to be the team leader that I want to be, and know BORA – hansgrohe also wants me to be. I know the team will have a slightly different roster than when I left, but the core group of people who are responsible for the team’s successful environment remains. I am ready to embrace the role of a team leader, to help drive the team forward so we can win together. With the invaluable insight of BORA – hansgrohe’s high performance department, we’ve selected three incredibly talented riders to work by my side. Ryan Mullen, my compatriot, is a superb time triallist and has always impressed me with his strength when we raced together for Ireland. Shane Archbold is one of the world’s best and most experienced lead out men and a rider whose knowledge of bunch sprinting is only surpassed by his own sprint speed. He is the rider I have raced alongside the most even before my pro-career. It goes without saying that Danny van Poppel is an immensely successful sprinter himself and it is rare in cycling for a rider to be so capable of reading a race that he never finds himself out of position even in the most competitive bunch sprints. The four of us have different strengths and we believe the amalgamation of our skills will make for a very competitive sprint train. These riders are not only cyclists of impressive calibre in their own right, but will also add to the camaraderie within the team. I look forward to reconnecting with teammates that I shared victories with before, Lukas, Max, Patrick, Emu, CeCe and Felix, it’s great to step back into a team with such familiarity. Friendship aids morale and we will have morale in spades at BORA – hansgrohe. Currently I am still dealing with the knee injury which forced me to miss the Tour de France, but I am confident I will overcome this small setback and get back to where I want to be soon – winning races. Injuries are part of life, I’ve had them before and have overcome them, this is just another hurdle to conquer on life’s journey. I want to thank the staff of Deceuninck – Quick-Step for a great couple of years. There are a lot of people that I will miss and I wish them all the very best for the future. Finally, I’d like to say a particular thank you to Ralph Denk for giving me the opportunity to re-join such a supportive team environment. I look forward to racing alongside old friends again and hopefully contributing to many victories back in the BORA – hansgrohe jersey over the coming seasons.”Sam Bennett.

“I am really looking forward to the new challenge, because BORA – hansgrohe is a very professional team. For me, a new chapter of my career will be starting, because until now I have always been a sprinter, and now I will fully concentrate on the lead-out. So I will support Sam to the best of my ability. It’s going to be exciting. Sam is not only one of the fastest men in the field, he’s also a really nice guy. In my new role I will probably have to learn a lot. On the other hand, I am very experienced in sprinting, so that makes me confident that we will be very successful for BORA – hansgrohe.”Danny van Poppel.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to return to BORA – hansgrohe and I am really motivated to build on the success we enjoyed together for their team in the past. I have a great relationship with the staff and I’m excited to be re-joining them in 2022. I’d like to thank everyone at Deceuninck – Quick-Step for an enjoyable couple of seasons riding in the Wolfpack and wish the team the best for the future.”Shane Archbold.

“I’ve had a great four seasons with Trek – Segafredo but I’m really looking forward to a new challenge with BORA – hansgrohe, a new chapter of my pro-cycling career. I’m pulling on the BORA – hansgrohe jersey with even more motivation and hunger for racing success in the upcoming years. There’s some amazing talent within the team already and I’m really looking forward to joining them and getting stuck in.”Ryan Mullen.

Bennett back with BORA:

 


BORA – hansgrohe Further Strengthens its Roster: Presenting Hindley, Higuita and Haller as New Signings
With Jai Hindley, Sergio Higuita and Marco Haller, Ralph Denk’s team is strengthening itself on different fronts, thereby also initiating strategic changes. All riders will be under contract with BORA – hansgrohe for at least the next three years.

“The signing of Jai, Sergio and Marco is an important step towards adding further depth to our squad. We realise that it’s important to continuously broaden ourselves as a team, with races being quite different than they used to be. One has to be able to react flexibly in races. Flexibility is key if one wants to race offensively, and that’s what we want to do. Jai will clearly be orienting himself towards the GC with us. He has definitely had a difficult season so far, yet his potential is undisputed. We think that second place in the 2020 Giro is not the end of the journey and we will continue to work together to bring more consistency to his performances. Sergio is a very versatile rider. First and foremost, he’ll strengthen the team in difficult one-day races, such as the Ardennes classics. He is a very good climber who is also fast in the sprints. With these skills, he can also go for stage wins in stage races. Marco, on the other hand, brings a lot of experience for his age, having had many different roles, including being a rider in the sprint train, co-leader in the Flemish classics and also being able to lead a team as road captain. It is exactly this versatility that we’re aiming to take advantage of. He will play a central role, particularly in the spring, and through his experience, will help lead young riders in the races.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

“I am very excited to be riding for BORA – hansgrohe from next season onwards. I’ve been watching the team for a long time and have admired their impressive progression over the past few years. For my next steps as a professional, BORA – hansgrohe is the right team for me, I’m sure of this. My focus will be on stage races, on one-week races and Grand Tours. I can still develop there and that’s what I want to work on with my new team.”Jai Hindley.

“BORA – hansgrohe has a great image in the peloton. If you look at the squad, it’s a good mix of top performers and young riders, and the team has proven that it’s able to develop young talent. That’s precisely why I really wanted to join this team. From my point of view, BORA – hansgrohe has everything that I need to fully utilise my potential in the upcoming years. Of course, it will also be a challenge as the first Colombian in a German team, but I quickly came to the realisation that we essentially have the same spirit. Everything is very familiar, and I quite like that.”Sergio Higuita.

“I’m of course very happy to be joining a team that is closest to my home country of Austria. I have several friends in the squad and that certainly makes the change easier. Personally, I plan to play a role particularly in the Classics. This year, that has already worked out well and I’m aiming to build upon that. But that won’t be my only role at BORA – hansgrohe. I’m quite versatile, also in the lead-out and as a helper in Grand Tours, and I’d like to use my experience to help the team on all terrains. These will be exciting years to come, I’m sure.” Marco Haller.

Jai Hindley to BORA-hansgrohe:

 


Powless Extends with EF Education–NIPPO
Neilson Powless won the hearts of cycling fans around the world with his attacking style at last year’s Tour de France. When he rode onto the Champs Élysées at the finish of his debut Tour, he had shown everyone that he is one of the most exciting riders in the sport. Now, off the back of his spectacular first pro win at the Clásica de San Sebastián, we are proud to announce that Neilson will keep racing for EF Education-NIPPO and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

“I really feel like I am a part of EF,” Neilson says. “I’m part of the company and part of the team. The way that we operate is just unparalleled in cycling. It really feels like a family, with the way that the staff and everyone takes into account the riders’ lives and the riders’ well-being. It is always a really nice experience to go to a race or travel, because they always take good care of us. Neilson is a big part of this team’s heart, and a big part of its future,” says team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “Most importantly, he’s a truly upstanding person. We absolutely love having him on the team. I look forward to what we’ll accomplish together over the coming seasons.”

Travel is one of Neilson’s favourite parts about his job. He hopes that he and his teammates can inspire people to see places in a new way.

“I feel like almost every other week I am in a different country,” he says. “We are racing on their backroads and climbing their mountains and eating their local foods. I think that the experience that we have is definitely a different one than most people would think about when they think about traveling the world, but I think that is what makes this job, this career so special. We are really connecting with countries on a deeper level. We are out in the forests and in the fields and on the roads, on farm roads and main roads, visiting little nooks and crannies of every corner of every country that we visit.”

Someday, Neilson does hope to return to Paris to visit the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre without being exhausted at the end of a three-week bike race, or spend a day in Rome, just looking at the Colosseum, but for now he is happy to always be moving onto the next race, pursuing his cycling ambitions.

That positive attitude is a great boon to the team. When the going gets tough, the guys can always count on Neilson to show up with a smile and seize the day.

“I feel that having that motivation, no matter what situation you are in, can sort of bleed over into the other riders and influence the rest of the team as well and can really just bring the team up to another level,” Neilson says. “Just staying positive and staying motivated at all times is something that I am pretty good at, maybe sometimes to a fault, but I am always eager and motivated to do something every day, no matter what is happening in the race.”

Last year Neilson made history as the first tribally recognised Native North American to race the Tour de France. He made the most of his first Grand Boucle – racing in breakaways more than nearly any other rider at that year’s Tour and even contended in a few finals. This year, the Tour was once again Neilson’s big goal for the season. He tried for breakaways, and played a valuable role in supporting team leader – Rigoberto Urán – in the high mountains too.

“It was just a nice experience. Rigo’s such a relaxed leader and we had a pretty young team here so everybody was really excited to race and to always be doing something everyday. It was nice just to be a part of the race from start to finish.” Neilson said at the finish in Paris.

Rigo is one of Neilson’s role models on the team. Neilson is aiming to develop into a general-classification racer himself, one who will stand on podiums at the end of World Tour stage races. Watching Rigo work, day in and day out, has provided him with a lot of inspiration.

“I have learned quite a bit from Rigo and seeing the way he lives and the way he goes about his days,” Neilson says. “He is very professional all year, but he really enjoys his life at the same time.”

Whether he is fighting for wins in cycling’s hardest races or sharing relaxed meals after and talking about the world with his friends and teammates, Neilson does, too.

Neilson Powless extends:

 


Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Bystrøm reinforce Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2022
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is pleased to welcome Norwegian riders Alexander Kristoff, winner of 79 professional races, and Sven Erik Bystrøm, former U23 World Champion, in the team in January. The experienced duo from Stravanger is currently racing for UAE Team Emirates before reinforcing the Belgian team in 2022 for the classics and the sprints.

Among the 79 professional victories of Alexander Kristoff there are a European title, two monuments, Milano-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, and four Tour de France stage wins. This latest stage win in Nice also offered him the yellow jersey. The long career of the 34 year old not only brought him victories in classics like Ghent-Wevelgem or Frankfurt, but also in stage races like the Tour of Norway or the 3 Days of De Panne. The former sprinter from Team BMC and Team Katusha will ride for a Belgian team for the first time in his career and he’s as motivated as ever to shine in the classics. There are two races on his bucket list which still make his eyes sparkle: Paris-Roubaix and the World Championships.

Like his neighbour Kristoff, Sven Erik Bystrøm will focus on the classics. This spring, the former U23 World Champion from Ponferrada finished 13th in Ghent-Wevelgem. A couple of months earlier, the 29 year old took 11th in the crosswind edition of Bruges-De Panne. The tall Norwegian also has an offensive spirit. He showed this by battling for a stage victory in the Vuelta a Espana in 2018 or by joining several breakaways earlier this season. Last year’s Norwegian champion fractured a vertebrae when defending his title in June. This Thursday, he is returning to competition at the Arctic Race of Norway with the national team, together with Alexander Kristoff. Bystrøm signed a two year deal with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Alexander Kristoff: “This winter will feel like my first day at school. Meeting new teammates, new staff, trying new equipment, … is very exciting and renews my enthusiasm. I’ve always been loyal to my teams, but I felt that I was ready for a new challenge. The Belgian team really seduced me! I’ll be part of a team in which the classics are a priority for the first time. It gives me a lot of confidence to know that, just like me, my future teammates have the classics close to their heart. Also, I was pretty surprised by the forward-oriented approach, especially in terms of equipment. I’m looking forward to contribute to the development of the material from our technical partners. Testing and optimising equipment is an aspect of cycling I love! I also can’t wait to ride my first kilometres on my CUBE Litening C:68X bike! This winter, my new machine will add a new dimension to my motivation. This new energy is welcome, because this season didn’t really go as expected. For example, the Covid restrictions reduced my possibilities to go on training camps, or on top of a mediocre form at the start of the season I also got sick during the classics. I feel that things are turning around for me now and I hope to show it at the end of this season. I want to win back my position among the best riders in the world and to perform at the classics like before. I’ve always felt good in my teams, so I’m looking forward to a nice future with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!”

Sven Erik Bystrøm: “I’m very motivated to make the jersey of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux shine! The most important factor for my transfer is the opportunity to realise my own ambitions. I appreciate the cobble classics and I’m dreaming of winning a Grand Tour stage. This is exactly what the Belgian team desires to achieve with me, so all pieces fit. I’ve been following the team’s progression from the sideline, especially with Odd Eiking, and during the meetings with the team it became pretty clear that we were on the same page. Their big confidence in my abilities convinced me entirely! I hope to realise this step forward. It’s an honour to race for a Belgian team, where cycling is so popular, and where riders, staff, management and sponsors radiate with passion!”

Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager): “It’s not easy to find a great leader for the classics and sprints, because they are really coveted. So it’s a pleasure to welcome Alexander Kristoff in our structure! I appreciate his image, his combative spirit to reach the top. Alexander is one of the greatest riders in the world and will be an important asset for the classics. They are of great importance for a Belgian team and it’s exactly this environment what he was looking for. I am very pleased to see how extremely motivated he is to join us and to win races with our support. We’ve been talking a lot, particularly about his programme and the equipment. I’m convinced that his experience and his notoriety will raise the level of our young riders as well. Sven Erik Bystrøm, his friend, also has a nice palmarès. His allround capability seduced us. He has a good level in the mountains, he’s pretty fast and he can perform at the classics. Among our 270 race days per year, there are at least 200 days which suit him, as a leader or as a helper. We will offer him a responsibility in the races he likes. In our structure, the former U23 World Champion will receive opportunities he didn’t always get in the big teams. I’m convinced that this 29 year old rider will achieve success in our colours!”

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “Welcoming Sven Erik Bystrøm and Alexander Kristoff is synonym with a new phase in the development of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. That riders of this level with an extended palmarès are showing interest in our structure means that we continue our progression. When speaking to Alexander, it was clear that he was pretty well informed about our equipment and the progression we’re making in terms of performance. The Norwegian rider was also impressed about our collective performances at the classics. Alexander was searching for a structure which can support him with a good team, programme and equipment, especially for the classics. It became clear soon that we were able to fulfil each other’s wishes, because the ambition he was radiating immediately gave us the feeling that we found the leader we were looking for. The former winner of the Tour of Flanders and Milano-San Remo is a great leader with a lot of personality and a big hunger to win races. Our respective ambitions match and we’re very happy to start working with this champion next winter. We had a strong interest in his compatriot Sven Erik, regardless of Alexander Kristoff. The former U23 World Champion has a nice list of places of honour, but apart from his national title he’s still missing a big victory. He shows himself often, he’s capable of playing a role in all World Tour races and he has a big ambition to obtain results. In our team he’ll get the opportunity to realise his goals. His capabilities and his age constitute the type of rider we need. He’s a World Tour rider with a big engine and many possibilities. He wants to prove himself and we want to support him to achieve big results. We’re expecting a lot from this duo and we’ve got many plans with them!”

Sven Erik Bystrøm and Alexander Kristoff:

 


Lorenzo Fortunato Renews with EOLO-KOMETA for the Next Two Years
Lorenzo Fortunato and EOLO-KOMETA: the story continues! We are proud to announce that the winner of the Zoncolan stage of the last Giro d’Italia will wear the jersey of our team for the next two years.

Lorenzo Fortunato: “I’m very happy: this renewal was what I wanted, what I dreamed, what I was looking for. For me there were never any doubts, because here I found the perfect environment to grow and mature: and it is here that I want to continue racing. I thank all the people who have put their trust in me, I thank those who wanted me here a year ago and those who put me in the best conditions to achieve such important results, from the sports directors to the mechanics and masseurs and all the staff. I thank all my teammates, one by one, and I thank those who strongly wanted this confirmation. Now a second part of the season is waiting for me in which I want to confirm and on which I am already focused, but I want to share my joy for this renewal: I am convinced that EOLO-KOMETA will continue to grow, and I want to grow together with EOLO-KOMETA”.

Ivan Basso, Sport Manager EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: “This renewal is a very important goal, which makes me proud: Lorenzo came to us a year ago after a complex and particular negotiation, strongly wanted by me who had read all his great potential. Fortunato has surprised me positively, day after day, with his human and sporting qualities that have led him to fit perfectly into our project and to achieve wonderful results. Lorenzo is not only the victory on Zoncolan, but much more: Lorenzo is everything he did to get to the Giro d’Italia in those conditions, Lorenzo is what he did and is doing after the Giro d’Italia, Lorenzo is the future projection of our team. This is the first of a series of important announcements, and Fortunato’s confirmation is a demonstration of the strength of our project: finding riders to focus on, working with them to launch them, and then keeping them in the team. All this is possible thanks to the support of our sponsors, and thanks to the constant and daily work of all the staff and our athletes”.

Fran Contador, General Manager EOLO-KOMETA CyclingTeam: “In our growth project, the renewal of Lorenzo Fortunato is a key point for us. Under no circumstances do we want riders who have grown with us to leave us at the end of the season for other teams. This is an idea of work that we want to carry on with all the riders who come through our structure: we want them to stay here and grow together year after year. Personally, this is news that makes me very happy because Fortu is the prototype of the ideal rider: he’s a very grateful guy, he’s a very polite person and, moreover, on a sporting level, he’s a rider who was able to win on such a sacred monster as Mount Zoncolan. I hope we can work together for many years to come”.

Luca Spada, Founder and CEO EOLO S.p.A. “After the strong emotion he gave me that day on the top of Mount Zoncolan, I consider Lorenzo almost like a son: Fortunato perfectly embodies those values that every rider must have and that I have repeated many times in these months. I will never cease to thank Lorenzo for what he has given us in these months spent together: his victories, of course, but also his seriousness and his. I am delighted to have met him, I am delighted to continue this journey of growth with him. His renewal is a further confirmation of the validity of our project, I am convinced that together with him we will go a long way and continue to give and give us emotions and goals”.

Giacomo Pedranzini, Managing Director Kometa: “The renewal of Lorenzo Fortunato confirms the seriousness and ambition of our project, but also the seriousness of our athletes. Lorenzo has blossomed at EOLO-KOMETA and has understood that ours is the ideal environment to grow. Now we have a final season ahead of us that will have to live up to the start. Then a new year with even bigger goals, but always faithful to our values for the good of our guys”.

Originally from Castel de Britti, the village of Alberto Tomba (Fortunato and Tomba’s father were schoolmates), Lorenzo Fortunato loves to take long walks in the mountains. He loves Lake Como and has now practically moved to Erba where he lives with his girlfriend Veronica, and despite his Emilian origins his favourite dish is Pizzoccheri Valtellinesi. The best memory that ties him to the world of cycling is his first rides on a racing bike in the company of his father and his group of amateurs. He started out playing football – he was a striker – but when he met cycling he never abandoned it. He is in his first season with EOLO-KOMETA, a season made memorable by the triumph of the Cittadella-Monte Zoncolan stage in the last Giro d’Italia and by the victory in the general classification of the Adriatica Ionica Race with success in the stage to the top of Monte Grappa.

Lorenzo Fortunato winning on the Zoncolan:

 


Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux Welcomes Three Trainees
Belgian rider Dries De Pooter, Dutch rider Stijn Daemen and French rider Maxime Jarnet join Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux as trainees until the end of the year.

Dries De Pooter won the Belgian junior national title in Koksijde last year, but he didn’t have many opportunities to show his jersey before passing to the U23 category with SEG Racing Academy. The habitant of Geel, member of Acrog-Tormans during all youth categories, is known as a big talent for the classics and one week stage races. The 18 year old, 24th at the Heistse Pijl last Saturday, acquired good results during his first year as an U23 with for example top 10 places on top of La Planche des Belles Filles at Tour Alsace or 4th and 6th at the Course de la Paix.

Stijn Daemen was also on form during this Course de la Paix. But his 2nd place at the first stage of the Oberösterreichrundfahrt is his best international result so far this season. The habitant of Landgraaf rode for Belgian teams from 2015 to 2019 before stepping up to Continental team Abloc CT. The 22 year old achieved his best results in the colours of this team. The student physiotherapy was crowned Dutch U23 champion on the VAM-berg before winning a team time trial with the national team at the Orlen Nations Grand Prix. The rider from Limburg already wore the tricolor as a junior in time trials. The allround rider likes hilly courses, is good in time trials and can be successful in a group sprint.

Maxime Jarnet is a pure sprinter. The last year U23 already took four victories and fifteen podium spots this season. But the 22 year old also collected several places of honour on an international level. He missed the victory at both stages of the Alpes Isère Tour and the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir. The member of Vélo Club Villefranche Beaujolais also took 3rd place of the final classification of the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir. Another remarkable performance is his 7th place at Paris-Tours for U23, after a period as a trainee with Pro Continental Team Arkea Samsic. At this end of the season, he will again race on a professional level, just like Dries De Pooter and Stijn Daemen.

Dries De Pooter: “It’s very special to receive the opportunity to become a trainee in a World Team as a first year U23. I’m very ambitious, but this exceeds my expectations. I’ll get to know the team, I want to learn a lot and I hope that this period will make me stronger. I know the programme of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and I’m confident that both teams and my coach will select a good programme for me. Hopefully, this plan will bring me to my first world championships! I realise that choosing the U23 world championships as main goal is setting the bar high for an 18 year old and I’m honoured to receive the help of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux to achieve this. I hope this is a step towards my ultimate dream… becoming a world champion in the pro ranks!”

Stijn Daemen: “I’m very happy to receive the opportunity to show myself in a World Tour jersey. I always felt good in Belgian teams, so I want to grab this chance with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux with both hands! The wider public got to know me better thanks to my national title, won after the lockdown. I took advantage of this difficult period without races to elevate my training volume and reach the next step in my development. It’s a pity that my jersey couldn’t shine more often because of the pandemic, but I’m very happy that a World Team offered me to become a trainee. I already participated in some professional races like the Tour of Turkey, but I guess I’ll learn a lot with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and I’ll have a specific role at the start of each race. For me, this period as a trainee is another step towards my dream of becoming a professional rider. I’m really motivated to offer my services to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux starting from the GP Jef Scherens!”

Maxime Jarnet: “This opportunity as a trainee makes me happy, especially because it is in a foreign team. This means that people follow my performances! My 3rd place at the Tour d’Eure-et-Loir was probably important in the process as it was a professional race. This is the performance which I’m most proud of, even though I’ve won several U23 and amateur races. I already studied the races on my programme with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and they suit me really well, so I think I can play a role for the team. That’s why I want to be at 100% and help the team to the best possible result. I hope to integrate myself well in the team and to learn from the different cultures. I want to thank Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux for the opportunity and I hope to meet the expectations!”

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “We were looking for three trainees who already performed on an international level. Dries De Pooter is a young talent, contrary to Stijn Daemen and Maxime Jarnet who already reached a more mature age. The Belgian national junior champion has already a nice palmarès at the age of eighteen. We’ve been following him for some time now and the performance impressing me most, is his 10th place on top of La Planche des Belles Filles at the Tour Alsace. That’s an incredible performance knowing that he’s only eighteen and more of a classic type of rider. We’re convinced that a nice future is awaiting him, so it was important for us to offer him this trainee spot. The U23 World Championships are his main goal of the season and we want to help him prepare for the event by offering him an adapted race schedule. De Pooter and Daemen already met several times, as the Dutch rider likes to race in Belgium. Daemen made a good impression, especially by winning the national U23 title. We established a nice race schedule for him and I’m convinced that his allround capacities will be an added value for our team. Just like the two previous riders, we want to follow Maxime Jarnet from nearby. He races on a high level for several years now and is also France’s number one in the amateur ranks. At the beginning of the season, he’s shown nice performances and we’re convinced that he will continue doing this in our colours. We offered him a programme with many French races. We’re impatient to discover the evolution of this trio!”

 


Stan Van Tricht to Ride as Stagiaire for Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The Belgian youngster will pull on the team’s jersey in a couple of weeks’ time
02-Aug-2021: Stan Van Tricht will join the most successful team in the world as a trainee this summer and participate together with the Wolfpack in several stage races until the end of the season. The Belgian, who will turn 22 in September, has had a very impressive season so far, racking up eleven top 10 placing in a host of races, from the Circuit de Wallonie and Ronde van Limburg – where he competed against the pros – to the Girobio and the U23 National ITT Championships.

Hailing from a small town near Leuven, where this year’s World Championships will conclude, Stan – who is also a student of bio-engineering – started cycling at the age of nine, but was an avid fan since the age of six, one of his earliest memories of the sport being Tom Boonen’s triumph at the World Championships in Madrid, back in 2005.

“I am very excited to race with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, a team I have admired for a long time now and which is always getting big results in the races I like the most, the Classics. I am a puncheur, I like the hilly races and can handle a demanding parcours, as shown by my results so far. That makes races like Amstel Gold Race or Brabantse Pijl very appealing to me. But I like cycling not only for the feeling it gives you when you’re on the bike, but also because you get to discover so many races, countries and cultures, which is really beautiful. That’s another reason that makes me so happy that I will race with this team”, a delighted Stan said.

Stan Van Tricht:

 


Koen de Kort Ends Career and Remains with Trek-Segafredo
Koen de Kort will stop racing at the end of this season. The 38-year-old Dutchman, who suffered a serious injury to his hand earlier this season, is ending a professional career of seventeen years. He will remain active at Trek-Segafredo, where he will work in management.

De Kort will fill the role of team support manager together with mechanic Glen Leven. In addition, they will be in charge of the procurement, testing, distribution and maintenance of competition equipment for the Trek-Segafredo men’s and women’s teams. De Kort and Leven will take over that work from 2022 from Matt Shriver, who will move back to America and focus more on selling Trek bicycles. In the coming months, Shriver will teach his successors the tricks of the trade.

De Kort’s career came to an end in June, after he lost three fingers on his right hand in a vehicle accident. According to the Dutchman, the plans were already there to continue in the management of the WorldTour team. After three seasons with the Rabobank training team, De Kort turned pro at Liberty Seguros-Würth in 2005. He also rode for Astana (2007-2008), Skil-Shimano, Argos-Shimano and Giant-Alpecin (2009-2016). He then moved to Trek-Segafredo, where he raced as a sprint lead-out rider and later road captain. De Kort recorded two victories in the GP Eddy Merckx and the Tour de l’Avenir and he started in eighteen Grand Tours in those years.

Koen de Kort:

 


Fabio Jakobsen Suffered Knee Injury in Heistse
Fabio Jakobsen has suffered a knee injury in a crash in the Heistse Pijl. His participation in the Vuelta a España should not be in danger, but his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team is keeping a close eye on his injury.

Jakobsen did not finish the Heistse Pijl on Saturday. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter stopped 50 kilometres from the finish. At that point, he was no longer competing for the win. The field had split up after 150 kilometres and the predicted bunch sprint seemed no longer possible.

In the crash in the Belgian race, Jakobsen appears to have suffered a knee injury, Het Nieuwsblad reported. With a view to his participation in the Vuelta, the team is keeping a close eye on the injury. “Fabio hit the patellar tendon and our team doctor Yvan Vanmol is always worried,” said team manager Patrick Lefevere.

“Fabio is now doing aqua training and treating his knee with ice. He has to get ready,” said Lefevere. For Jakobsen, the Vuelta will normally be his first Grand Tour since his bad fall in the Tour of Poland a year ago. The Spanish tour starts a week on Saturday in the city of Burgos.

Fabio Jakobsen nearly back to full health:

 


Slovakia is Aiming for the 2023 Giro Start with Belgium, Turkey and Morocco
Slovakia is in pole position to host the start of the 2023 Giro d’Italia, according to Tuttobiciweb. It would be three stages with the Grande Partenza in Bratislava. However, it is not a finished race, because Belgium, Turkey and Morocco are also said to be interested in organising.

Plans for the Giro start in Slovakia are reportedly well advanced. Politicians would also be involved in the plans. A budget of twelve million euros is needed to bring the Grande Partenza to Bratislava in two years’ time. This confirms cycling manager Rastislav Zoller, who says he has already been in contact with Giro organiser RCS and representatives of the Slovak government. Negotiations are ongoing, Zoller said. There is a plan on the table to complete the first stage in Bratislava. The second stage would pass through central Slovakia and the third stage in the region of Žilina and Poprad.

But the Giro start in Slovakia is not yet certain, because there are still three countries eager to organise the Grande Partenza. According to Tuttobiciweb, these are Belgium, Turkey and Morocco. The latter country, which also wants to organise the 2025 World championships, would like to be the first African country to start the Giro. It is not known which cities are involved in the countries mentioned.

Giro for Slovakia?

 


A Record for the Anniversary: 13 WorldTeams Compete at Eschborn-Frankfurt
Eschborn-Frankfurt as dress rehearsal for the World Championships.

In the coming weeks, the 20 teams will nominate their seven riders who will compete in the German Classic. Eschborn-Frankfurt will be a dress rehearsal for many top stars because this year the race will take place exactly one week before the UCI Road World Championships. Apart from the timing, the route of the race itself also lends to this. With 190 kilometres and 3,222 meters of altitude, the UCI WorldTour race is a final test for the classics specialists who will fight for the rainbow jersey in Belgium a few days later.

On 19 September, a double anniversary will be celebrated, as the ŠKODA Velotour also has an anniversary. For the 20th time, amateur cyclists will experience a true sportive classic. On two closed-off routes (ŠKODA Velotour Classic over 100 kilometres, ŠKODA Velotour Skyline over 40 kilometres), the German Classic feeling quickly arises. As with the professionals, the birthday race is also proving to be very popular among amateur riders. Anyone who wants to join in the celebrations on the bike can still register at www.skoda-velotour.de.

Teams Eschborn-Frankfurt 2021
UCI WorldTeams:

AG2R Citroën Team
Bahrain Victorious
Bora – Hansgrohe
Cofidis
Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux
Israel Start-Up Nation
Jumbo-Visma
Lotto Soudal
Movistar Team
Team BikeExchange
Team DSM
Trek – Segafredo
UAE Team Emirates

UCI ProTeams:
Alpecin – Fenix
B&B Hotels p/b KTM
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Gazprom – RusVelo
Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Team Arkéa Samsic
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team.

Key points:
Ø
On 19 September, Eschborn-Frankfurt celebrates its 60th anniversary edition and is looking forward to top-class “guests”. Because there is a record for the birthday: for the first time 13 teams from the WorldTour will start at the German Classic.
Ø Together with the teams of the first category, 7 ProTeams will be at the start in Eschborn to crown this year’s winner of Eschborn-Frankfurt in front of the Old Opera House in Frankfurt.
Ø The two German teams Bora-Hansgrohe and Team DSM want to make the most of the home race, as does UAE-Team Emirates around Frankfurt’s serial winner Alexander Kristoff. Team Lotto Soudal of local hero John Degenkolb has also announced its participation in the Taunus classic. As many as 16 of the 20 cycling classic teams have contested the Tour de France this year.
Ø The best team of Le Tour, Bahrain Victorious, is there as well as Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch team last competed in Eschborn-Frankfurt in 2014.

 


Chinese WorldTour Races Canceled Due to Corona
In addition to the BEMER Cyclassics in Hamburg, the Tour of Chongming Island for women and the Tour of Guangxi for men and women will be canceled this year. The reason for the cancellations is the current corona pandemic, the UCI has reported.

The Tour of Guangxi (2.UWT) for men was scheduled for October 14-19. Simultaneously, the Tour of Chongming Island (2.WWT) would be held from October 14-16. The women’s one-day Tour of Guangxi (1.WWT) was scheduled for October 19. All three events have been canceled at the request of the organisers.

The four races are already assured of a place on the new calendar for next year, the UCI said. The Tour of Chongming Island is scheduled for May 5-7, the BEMER Cyclassics of Hamburg for August 21, the Tour of Guangxi for men for October 13-18 and the Tour of Guangxi for women for October 18.

 


The Fantasy Game of La Vuelta 21 by Tissot Launches with the Collaboration of Biwenger and Diario AS
Biwenger and Diario AS organise, for the second consecutive year, the La Vuelta Fantasy Game by Tissot. This virtual competition allows users from all over the world to compete against each other, forming their own teams with the riders participating in the 76th edition of the Spanish tour.

This will be the second edition of La Vuelta that features an official virtual league. In 2020, the Fantasy Game’s debut brought together over 34,000 unique users who participated in the competition, with over 50,000 teams created among all the private leagues.

In order to participate, users must use the app to create a team of eight riders, who will earn points based on their results for each stage. These points will determine the positions of the teams in the Fantasy Game’s different classifications, whether it be in private leagues or with friends, or in the general league where all registered users will be competing.

As an additional experience, a special game mode known as ‘Fantasy Challenges’ will be included. Two stages of La Vuelta will feature classifications that are exclusive only to that day. Users will be able to create a unique team that will only compete during the ‘Fantasy Challenge’ day. For example, for a mountain stage, the user may configure an exclusive team of climbers and compete against the other participants in order to win fantastic prizes. The ‘Fantasy Challenges’ of this edition of La Vuelta will take place during stage 9 (Puerto Lumbreras > Alto de Velefique); and during stage 18 (Salas > Altu d’El Gamoniteiru).

6 Years of Experience, Over One Million Unique Users
With six years’ experience in the sector, Biwenger has been organising the official Fantasy Football Game for Diario As for four years. In it, fans can create their own teams with La Liga and Champions League stars, as well as participate in other international competitions. It features the participation of over one million unique players and is the game of these characteristics with the most traffic and users in Spain.

Pablo Osorio, Digital Manager of La Vuelta, highlighted that the second edition of the Official Fantasy Game “consolidates the race’s digital growth”. He added that “the first edition was very well received by the fans and this year, in collaboration with Tissot, we continue to offer new experiences to all cycling fans”.

Manuel Lanchazo, General Manager of Biwenger, commented that, the second year of the Official Fantasy Game “is an exciting challenge whose only objective is to satisfy the cycling and fantasy game fans even more”. “The first edition was great in every aspect, so much so that many people wish to repeat the experience. That is very encouraging for us, and this year we wanted to take a firm step towards securing the product, hand in hand with La Vuelta”.

The app is already available so that all users can start creating their teams and try to win La Roja. La Vuelta 21 will take off on the 14th of August from Burgos and will conclude on the 5th of September in Santiago de Compostela.

Key points:

  • Biwenger, the app that offers the official Fantasy football league of Diario AS, organises La Vuelta’s virtual competition for the second consecutive year.
  • With this game, cycling fans from all over the world will be able to create their own teams with the riders who will participate in the Spanish tour and compete against other users.
  • Over 34,000 users participated in the Fantasy Game’s inaugural edition during La Vuelta 20.
  • More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com
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