Two more great Vuelta a España stages with results, reports and video. Fabio Jakobsen to start training – TOP Story. Vuelta covid-19 clear. The CERATIZIT Challenge preview, Tadej Pogačar and Deceuninck – Quick-Step talk 2020 Tour de France. Mark Cavendish to Deceuninck? No team for Victor Campenaerts, contract news from Giovanni Visconti, Circus-Wanty Gobert, Bingoal-WB, Sunweb and Movistar. Dylan Groenewegen to start training, new job for Sean Yates, Circus-Wanty Gobert to stay with CUBE and watch cyclo-cross with GCN.
TOP STORY: Jakobsen: “In a few weeks I can slowly start training”
Fabio Jakobsen can see light on the horizon, because he will be able start training again on the bike in a few weeks. He wrote on social media: “In a few weeks my pelvic ridge should be repaired and just as strong as before. From then on I can slowly start training on the bike.”
Jakobsen has taken a new step in his recovery. “Four weeks after the reconstruction of my upper and lower jaw, it was time to remove the stitches,” said the Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter. “The recovery process is going well.”
In early October, the 2019 Dutch champion underwent a successful operation in which bone was removed from his pelvic crest and placed in his upper and lower jaw. “The transplanted bone still has to grow vigorously over the next four months,” explained Jakobsen. He is not yet finished. “My next surgery is scheduled for 2021.”
Jakobsen was the biggest victim of a horror crash in the Tour of Poland on August 5. The sprinter sustained serious injuries and was kept in an artificial coma for some time. He is now recovering and can think about going on training rides again.
Vuelta a España 2020
A fourth stage win and the red jersey for Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who made the most of the individual time trial Stage 13, a 33.7km challenge from Muros to the uphill finish at Mirador de Ézaro. The Slovenian champion edged Will Barta (CCC) out by 1 second and put some distance between him and his rivals for the overall victory of the Spanish Grand Tour. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers), who was the overall leader, is now second, with a gap of 39 seconds. Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) impressed again two days after his stage victory on L’Angliru: 4th on the stage at 25 seconds. Roglic won the individual time-trial last year and kept the red jersey to the finish in Madrid.
Mickaël Delage (Groupama-FDJ) was the first rider to start from Muros, but Harry Tanfield (AG2R-La Mondiale) was the first rider to reach the Mirador de Ézaro, atop the brutal final climb: 1.8km at 14.8% with a maximum gradient of almost 30%. The young British rider set a good time of 48:52, but he was quickly beaten by a strong performance from the Australian Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott): 48:24, with an average speed of 41.777kmh over 33.7km. Both of them were beaten by a flying Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). The “TGV from Clermont-Ferrand” made his way through the wind to take the provisional lead at the second intermediate split, at 24.5km with 30:42, 8 seconds ahead of Tanfield and 18 seconds better than Edmondson. He then powers to the hot seat on the final climb, with a time of 47:37 (42.464kmh).
Cavagna comfortably stayed in the hot seat for almost one hour, until Nelson Oliveira consistently betters his times in the intermediate splits. The Portuguese rider pushed his advantage on the final climb and clocked 46:49 (43.190kmh). Will Barta (CCC) quickly threatened his performance. The Portuguese and the American riders were tied at the intermediate splits. Barta eventually took the lead with a 9 second advantage on the line at an average speed of 43.329kmh. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) was the last rider down the ramp. Among the GC contenders, Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) had the best start, gaining 2 seconds on Primoz Roglic and 6 seconds on Richard Carapaz after 12km. Roglic took the helm at 24.5km. Barta still led by 17 seconds, but the Slovenian star was 1 second ahead of Carthy while Carapaz lost 19 seconds. Roglic eventually powered to victory on the slopes of the Mirador de Ézaro with a time of 46:39 (43.344kmh), only 1 second ahead of Barta. Carthy set the fourth best time, 25 seconds behind Roglic. Carapaz finished 7th, with a gap of 49 seconds.
You can see the full ‘PEZ Stage 13 Report’ and photo gallery HERE.
Stage winner and overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Finally I win another time trial. It was a while ago. I felt strong today. I found that surprising, because I thought I would suffer a lot more. Many people thought that I would take much time very easily, but in the end everyone starts such a time trial with equal opportunities. We all know that it is just full house and that is not always fun. Fortunately I had good legs today and I was able to do a nice time trial. We have to stay focused now and keep fighting to the end.”
2nd on the stage, Will Barta (CCC): “I think if you had asked me yesterday if I would be happy with second place, I would have said that I would have been ecstatic about it but when, in the end, it’s by just one second, it’s obviously a bit disappointing. However, overall, I am happy with my effort and I don’t think that there is anything else that I could really have done. I talked quite a bit with Marco [Pinotti] coming into the time trial about the power and pacing especially at the beginning as it was pretty flat but actually, with the headwind, it was challenging because there was never a point where you could really ease off the pedals. The final climb was just a wall really and so for the last kilometre or so going into that I tried to ease off slightly just to make sure I had something for that because it’s a really hard climb and, in fact, the final kilometre of it was pretty excruciating. This time trial was the biggest goal of my race. I was really looking forward to it. It would have been super to win but, like I said, I’m happy with my performance. The first couple of days after the first rest day I wasn’t feeling super good but thankfully the legs came around and I was able to show my strength today. It’s a nice last week and we are still motivated to race for some good results. I think there is a lot of room for the breakaways so hopefully we can find ourselves in there.”
2nd overall, Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a really hard time trial, but I’m very happy with the result, we have come to win the Vuelta and it is still the goal. I think that La Vuelta is still open, there are a lot of possibilities, there are going to be a lot of very hard days, where everything can change. This morning we prepared ourselves to fight for the Vuelta today, now we will continue fighting.”
4th on the stage and 3rd overall, Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling): “It went very well, I was able to recover well after every small climb on the flatter part and the bike change at the foot of the Ezaro went perfectly. Better even than when we practiced that part in the morning. The climb itself also went as planned. I am very satisfied with my performance, but there are still four important days to come. I will keep fighting until Madrid. The body feels good, the head even better.”
7th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “I expected a bit more in the time trial, because I’m usually quite good at it. The numbers were strong but the others were simply better today. In retrospect, I’m satisfied that I was able to extend my time over my immediate competitors. The race was quite good overall and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Over the coming days, I’ll have to concentrate fully and avoid making any mistakes.”
Vuelta a España Stage 13 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 46:39
2. Will Barta (USA) CCC at 0:01
3. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:10
4. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 0:25
5. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:41
6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:46
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:49
8. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:58
9. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:59
10. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Sunweb at 1:07.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 13:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma at 49:16:16
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
3. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 0:47
4. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 1:42
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 6:15
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 7:14
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 8:39
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 8:48
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 9:23.
Vuelta’20 stage 13:
Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) claimed a second stage win in the 2020 Vuelta on Wednesday’s Stage 14 after a demanding day in Galicia. The Belgian, already winner of stage 5 in Sabiñanigo, featured in a very strong breakaway group that emerged after 50 kilometres. The uphill finish in Ourense saw him out-ride the others; Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) and Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). The GC contenders finished together and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retained the red jersey.
Many riders hinted that this was a day for the breakaway and so there were attacks from the gun, with a massive battle in the first two hours of racing. GC contenders such as Wout Poels (Bahrain-McLaren) and Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) feature in early moves. A group of 26 riders briefly ride away from the bunch at 29km, but the battle to breakaway was ongoing after they covered 49.1km in the first hour of racing. At that moment, Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers), Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) and Marc Soler (Movistar) rode away from the bunch with a 30 second lead. Thymen Arensman (Sunweb) and Pierre Luc Périchon (Cofidis) joined them at 53km to form the breakaway of the day. Astana drove the bunch, BORA-hansgrohe helped them, but the gap increased to a maximum of 5:30 at km 98km. The attackers worked well together over the first categorised climbs of the day, the cat-3 Alto de Escairon (112.7km) and Alto de Guitara (142.8km), to maintain a gap of around 5 minutes. Astana and BORA gave up on the chase, but Total Direct Energie took over with 60km to go and quickly brought the gap down with a very hard pace in the bunch.
The attackers’ lead was down to 2:05 at the bottom of the last categorised climb of the day, the Alto de Abelaira (cat-3). Michael Woods accelerated inside the last 3km and only Pierre Luc Périchon was unable to bridge the gap to the Canadian climber. The peloton did’t manage to reduce the gap on the climb and quickly give up on the downhill. Zdenek Stybar pushed hard on a downhill section with 14km to go. Marc Soler followed him and Tim Wellens quickly bridged the gap. Michael Woods, Dylan van Baarle and Thymen Arensman got back just before the final uphill kilometre, with an average gradient of 6%. Soler tried to anticipate the sprint but Wellens contain his move and Woods couldn’t overcome the Belgian’s acceleration. The GC contenders finished together and Primoz Roglič held the overall lead.
You can see the full ‘PEZ Stage 14 Report’ and photo gallery HERE.
Stage winner, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “The goal of team Lotto Soudal was to win at least one stage in La Vuelta. After my first win in Sabiñánigo in stage 5 we hoped to win another one. I knew today was a stage that suits me very well. I was looking forward to this stage for a long time. One thing is to look forward to a stage, but another thing is to be in the right breakaway and have the legs to finish it off. Today everything went according to plan. This was not at all an easy victory. There was a big fight to get into the breakaway. When I succeeded to be in the right break, all of my companions were really strong guys. We rode a strong pace for the whole day. In the descent of the final climb we accelerated with three riders. I thought we were gonna stay in front till the finish, but the three others were able to return in our wheels. On the final climb I knew I had to take the final corner in first position. I felt Michael Woods coming in my wheel but suddenly the finish appeared and I crossed the line first. The whole day I had the impression that Dylan Van Baarle was the strongest in the break. He is such a good rouleur. But when we speeded up on the climbs I noticed that also Woods and Soler had strong legs. I was a little afraid of Woods in the uphill sprint. That is why I wanted to start the sprint first to be able to take the final corner on the inside.”
Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “It was really fast, very difficult for all of us, but our guys did again a great job. We are all here to race. It was quite a fast and hard stage all the way to the finish line. For us it was okay but the guys that could go out in the breakaway had to be really strong guys, so it was a really strong group and it was almost impossible to catch them. It was again a good day for us. If there had been opportunity [to take time], definitely. But the breakaway was there and it was also for us a big sprint to come here to the top.”
KOM, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis): “It started with many attacks like often in this Vuelta. I participated in these attacks. There was a lot of movement at the head of the peloton. Eventually, one of us [Pierre-Luc Périchon] made the winning breakaway. Unfortunately he dropped back a little bit at the end. It was a good day for a stage victory but we’ll try again for sure. We have three opportunities left.”
7th overall, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “I was actually still a bit stiff from yesterday’s time trial. The first hour was tough going, but I managed to get into one of the leading groups. However, there were just too many riders in there who were too far ahead in the overall classification, so the peloton brought us back. After that, the race wasn’t too hard, but it could be slightly stressful at times, so the team supported me well and we got through it safely.”
Vuelta a España Stage 14 Result:
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:37:05
2. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling
3. Zdeněk Štybar (CZ) Deceuninck – Quick Step
4. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:11
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:13
7. Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis at 3:11
8. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 3:44
9. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 14:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 53:57:05
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
3. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 0:47
4. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 1:42
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 6:15
7. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 7:14
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 8:39
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 8:48
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 9:23.
Vuelta’20 stage 14:
Joint Unipublic-UCI Statement Concerning the PCR Testing Campaign Carried Out on the Second Rest Day of La Vuelta 20
In accordance with La Vuelta 20’s health protocol, developed in the framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) rules for the return of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire “race bubble” was tested during the 2nd rest day.
After having been tested preceding the official start in Irun as well as upon their arrival on La Vuelta as a part of the “race bubble”, riders and staff involved in the race (level 1 and level 2) were tested a 4th time during the 2nd rest day. The objective of the screening campaigns is to guarantee the health of the race for the riders and accredited personnel in the face of the novel coronavirus.
Overall, each of the 681 tests carried out (528 to the teams and the others to the members of the organisation considered level 2 of the race bubble) returned negative results.
The organisers of La Vuelta and the UCI would like to thank all of the teams and riders for their collaboration and for the vigilance that they have shown and will continue to show up until the finish in Madrid.
All go to Madrid:
The CERATIZIT Challenge by la Vuelta’20 will Start From Toledo for 3 Stages
The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 20 will kick-off on November 6th with an unprecedented start from the province of Toledo. The race, one of the most important in the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, will consist of three stages for the first time since the event was born in 2015.
A hilly first stage will see the peloton race from Toledo to Escalona with 82.8 km of racing entirely set in the province of Toledo. The riders will then face two stages the fans are already familiar with. First, they’ll tackle a 9.3km individual time-trial in Boadilla del Monte. And on November 8th, the fastest wheels will chase success in the streets of Madrid with 17 laps to be covered through the main avenues of the Spanish capital city, adding up to 98.6km.
The general manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, expressed his satisfaction to see the famous women’s race grow with another stage: “It’s very important for us to keep developing a project that we believe to be full of opportunities.” He also said “it is absolutely essential to claim our vocation to support women’s cycling” and he underlined that “it’s precisely why we turned to this project, to try to push it forward despite the difficulties generated by the health crisis.”
“These three days of racing will place women’s cycling at the forefront, which will help an entire community feel that they are participating in an event in continuous growth, and which will contribute to the recovery of our normality and strengthen our morale as a country,” highlights the president of the High Council for Sports, Irene Lozano. In addition, she emphasised the “effort made by Unipublic, its undisputed endorsement for Spanish cycling, the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation, and the partners who have shown a great capacity for adaptation and resilience that will allow this competition to happen with all the safety guarantees that these times require.”
The three days will add up to a total of 190.7 km of racing, making the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 20 an unprecedented and special race.
6 UCI WorldTeams are automatically invited to the race:
Ale’ BTC Ljubljana (SLO)
Canyon //SRAM Racing (GER)
Mitchelton Scott (AUS)
Movistar Team Women (ESP)
Team Sunweb (NED)
Trek Segafredo (USA).
In addition to these 6 teams, the organisers have invited the following Continental Pro Teams:
Bizkaia – Durango (ESP)
CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team (GER)
Cronos-Casa Dorada Women Cycling (ESP)
Doltcini – Van Eyck Proximus Continental Team (BEL)
Eneicat – RBH Global (ESP)
Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport (NOR)
Massi Tactic Women Team (ESP)
Rio Miera – Cantabria Deporte (ESP)
Sopela Women’s Team (ESP)
Valcar – Travel & Service (ITA).
Pogačar Reflects on 2021 Tour de France Route Reigning Champion Upbeat About New Course
The route for the 2021 Tour de France was unveiled on Sunday night by Race Director, Christian Prudhomme, where he announced an overview of the route for the Grand Boucle which will run from 26 June – July 18. The race departs from Brittany before crossing over to the Alps and moving down to the Pyrenees and finally, climbing north to the finish in Paris.
Tadej Pogačar reflected on his first glance of the new route: “It’s an interesting route. It’s more of a classic Tour de France route than the last few years. The first week in Bretagne should be exciting with the chance of crosswinds and bad weather and then the time trial, which hopefully should suit me well. Then it heads to the Alps where they’ll be very tough stages – Mont Ventoux twice in one day will be a legendary stage. A couple of days have more than 4’500 metres of climbing so there will be some very hard days. The stages in the Pyrenees suit me well also, and I know those roads also from the Vuelta last year. There are just 3 mountain top finishes.Ideally I would have liked a few more, but regardless I expect exciting racing as always at the Tour.”
2020 Tour de France winner, Tadej Pogačar:
2021 Tour de France Unveiled
Three summit finishes and two individual time trials for the 108th edition, set to take place between 26 June-18 July.
For the fifth time in history, the Tour de France will start from Bretagne, where the puncheurs will have two opportunities to shine and fight for the yellow jersey in as many days, on Côte de la Fosse aux Loups and Mûr-de-Bretagne, short but explosive climbs that have the potential to create some interesting gaps. A 27km-long individual time trial in the Mayenne department, some flat stages where the crosswinds could play an important role and a mountain top finish to Tignes will round out what promises to be a spectacular opening week.
A double ascent of the fearsome Mont Ventoux on stage 11 and a trip to Andorra will be the highlights of the race’s second week, before two mountain top finishes – to Col de Portet and Luz Ardiden – and an undulating 31km stage against the clock, all crammed in the final days of the event. The curtain will be drawn again in Paris, on the famous Champs-Élysées, where this year Sam Bennett took the spoils, sealing his superb victory in the points classification and netting Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 42nd Tour de France stage victory.
“The start of the race will sure be an exciting one, with some stages suited to Julian and others where we could be in for strong echelons. Looking over the whole parcours, we can notice there will be plenty of opportunities to show ourselves, and this is without taking into account the numerous sprint stages”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels. “Even for the time trials we have guys capable of getting good results. The Mont Ventoux stage and the ones where we’ll go over 2000 meters promise to be very demanding and should play an important role in the final outcome. Overall, it’s a route we like very much.”
World champion Alaphilippe in yellow in Tour’21?
Lefevere Keeps the Door Open for Cavendish
Patrick Lefevere has not yet made a decision about a possible arrival of Mark Cavendish to Deceuninck – Quick-Step. The British sprinter has offered his services to his old team, but Lefevere says he already has enough riders. Still, Lefevere does not close the door to Cavendish.
“I’m still not sure,” Lefevere told Belga. “Mark has a backpack with a record, won thirty stages in the Tour de France. He can mean a lot for young riders, brings a lot of experience, but at the same time I also wonder what he can still achieve for our team in a sporty way. For example, you don’t ask such a person to lead the way from the start,” says the boss of Deceuninck – Quick-Step. “I don’t have to do it as a publicity stunt. His arrival would be a big stunt for another team, but this is different. Mark really wants to come to the team. He even wants to drive for free, he says, but what is free?”
Lefevere knows that the sun doesn’t rise for nothing. “You always have to pay the minimum wage in the WorldTour. In his case that is 70,000 euros. Well, I am a rational man and in principle I have enough riders, but I am not quite sure yet,” he said. Earlier, Lefevere spoke about Cav’s future: “Currently my heart says yes, but my mind says no.”
In addition to Cavendish, the necessary riders have already come to Deceuninck – Quick-Step. “But I’m no longer looking for riders for the 2021 season. I have 28 riders at the moment and although you can have 32 riders in your team next year, I don’t need any more. I no longer have a budget.”
Cav back to Lefevere?
Still No Team for Victor Campenaerts
World hour record holder Victor Campenaerts continues to look for a team for 2021. “I have nothing yet, really nothing,” he said. “I am prepared to make significant sacrifices in my wages. As long as I can remain a professional.”
“Douglas Ryder (team manager of NTT) was visiting the Giro,” Campenaerts told Het Nieuwsblad. “He told me he is still hoping for a new sponsor, but we are now in November.” The time trial specialist had a one-year plus two-year contract with NTT if the team continued, but since this summer he has been able to get out of that clause.
“I’m aiming for something else. And I have also had interesting conversations with different teams, but it never became concrete. It is not that I am too expensive, because these teams have not yet discussed the financial aspect. By the way, I am prepared to make a very significant compromise on my wages. It will be necessary, as long as I can remain a professional with a good team.”
Campenaerts didn’t win any races this year, but did take bronze at the European Championship and came second in the Giro twice. He also finished second in the time trial in the Tirreno. “It wasn’t my best season, but without Ganna I would have won a time trial in the Tirreno and in the Giro. Then we would speak of a super year.”
Victor Campenaerts in a Giro break:
Giovanni Visconti to Bardiani CSF Faizanè
Giovanni Visconti will ride in the colours Bardiani CSF Faizanè in 2021. The 37-year-old Italian makes the switch from Vini Zabù – KTM, his new team announced. Visconti will start his seventeenth season as a professional cyclist in 2021. During his career he scored 34 victories, including the Italian title three times and two Giro stages. This year he finished second in the Giro on the stage to Etna, but had to stop early in the final week due to a knee injury.
“I would like to achieve the same as what Ibrahimovic does in Milan,” said Visconti. “Still getting personal results but meanwhile helping young, promising athletes get the best out of themselves,” he said. “Physically I am fine, I feel at least five years younger. The motivation is great.”
The veteran is the tenth addition to the Italian ProTeam. Bardiani CSF Faizanè previously announced the arrival of Enrico Battaglin and Kevin Rivera, among others. The team now has 22 riders under contract for next season.
Preliminary Bardiani CSF Faizanè team for 2021:
Enrico Battaglin (new)
Johnatan Canaveral (new)
Nicolas Dalla Valle
Davide Gabburo (new)
Andrea Garosio (new)
Umberto Marengo (new)
Kevin Rivera (new)
Tomas Trainini (new)
Giovanni Visconti (new)
Enrico Zanoncello (new)
Samuele Zoccarato (new).
Another season for Giovanni Visconti:
Pasqualon, Van Melsen and Vanspeybrouck discover the World Tour with Circus-Wanty Gobert
Three experienced and loyal riders extended their contracts with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. Andrea Pasqualon, Kévin Van Melsen and Pieter Vanspeybrouck step up to the World Tour for the first time in their career.
Andrea Pasqualon engages for a fifth season with Circus – Wanty Gobert in 2021. The 32 year old Italian offered the Belgian team six victories during the past four years, with his GC win in the Tour de Luxembourg 2018 being the most noteworthy. The Italian sprinter concluded a solid season with podium finishes at the Coppa Sabatini (2nd), the Trofeo Playa de Palma (3rd) and the third stage of Paris-Nice (3rd). Also at the classics the resident of Vicenza showed his strength by finishing 14th at the Brabantse Pijl, 16th at the Samyn, 20th at Ghent-Wevelgem, 22nd at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and 24th at the Tour of Flanders.
At the age of 33, Kévin Van Melsen signed his thirteenth contract with the Belgian team. The helper from Lontzen is a part of the structure since the start in 2009 and receives now also the team’s confidence for season 2021. Van Melsen stepped up to the Pro Continental level in 2011, together with the team which was named Veranda’s Willems – Accent. He finished his first Tour de France in 2019 and will be part of the first World Tour line up next season.
Also Pieter Vanspeybrouck extended his contract with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. In this way, the 33 year old rider expands his career by a fourteenth year. The Belgian born in Tielt started his pro career in 2008 with Chocolade Jacques – Topsport Vlaanderen, where he stayed until his transfer to Wanty – Groupe Gobert in 2017. Vanspeybrouck was immediately part of the line up for the first Tour de France of the Pro Continental team. He concluded his first grand tour in Paris with five top 15 finishes in sprint stages. The Belgian rider won the Sparkassen Giro in 2011 and the Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde in 2016, but within Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans he is especially appreciated for his qualities as a team captain. Nevertheless, the helper takes his chance where possible, resulting in podium finishes each year (stage 3 Tour of Luxembourg in 2020). Vanspeybrouck will discover the World Tour with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans in 2021 and 2022.
Andrea Pasqualon: “As soon as I became a pro, I dreamed about stepping up to the World Tour. Finally, I had to work for ten years to achieve it. I feel twice fortunate, because on the one hand I can stay with the team in which I feel good for four years already, and on the other hand I can finally make this big step in my career. They’re only just behind our back, but I’m already dreaming about the classics and my first Giro d’Italia, or maybe even Tirreno-Adriatico. I hope to discover these fantastic Italian races. Anyway, I want to thank all sponsors of the team and general manager Jean-François Bourlart for giving me the opportunity. They believe in me since the beginning of our collaboration.”
Kévin Van Melsen: “I started with the team back in 2009, when Willems Verandas was still a continental team with limited resources. The evolution is incredible! My participation at the Tour de France last season was already a huge highlight in my career. Now I also follow the team to the World Tour, the highest level, which is very gratifying. I’m happy to be a part of the team again next year and the confidence of the team is very nice. We’ll have even more big races on the calendar, so the team needs riders like me who are there for the collective performance from the first kilometres. I’m very motivated to continue my work for our leaders, because it will only become more important the next years.”
Pieter Vanspeybrouck: “I’m committed to the team work for four years now and I realise that our leaders appreciate it. This summer I especially worked for Loïc en Aimé, so it was nice that they wanted to return the favour at the Tour of Luxembourg. With this contract extension of two years, also the sportive direction shows that they count on me. It was quite a surprise when I learned that this would be in de World Tour. It’s like a dream coming true…”
Hilaire Van der Schueren: “Andrea Pasqualon is an important element in our team. After a collaboration of four years, we know each other well, he feels home in the team. His contract extension is great news for Circus – Wanty Gobert, we can pursue our path together. Kévin Van Melsen and Pieter Vanspeybrouck are two important riders on whom our leaders can always count. The next years, they will have to put their own ambitions even more aside, in order to play their role for the team. I expect them to follow the team leaders longer in the races. They have the physical capabilities to bring the World Tour races to a successful conclusion.”
Stanislaw Aniolkowski Joins Bingoal-WB
Polish Stanislaw Aniolkowski (23) will be in the peloton in the jersey of Bingoal-WB in 2021. The rider from Warsaw played for the CCC Development team in 2019 and 2020. He became Polish champion in 2020 in the professional category. He won both the Bałtyk-Karkonosze Tour and the Solidarność Race and he won the 1st stage of the Tour of Malopolska and the GP Slovakia. In 2019 he became 4th at the European U23 Championship, winning the 3rd and 5th stage of the Carpathian Couriers Race, the 4th stage of the Solidarność Race and the Mazovia Tour, the 2nd and 5th stage of the Tour of Romania.
Comment from Christophe Brandt: “Stanislaw Aniolkowski moved in 2016 as a young guest to the professional continental structure Verva ActiveJet. He then joined the CCC-Devo team of CCC Développement. He is a very promising talent, one of the greatest talents in Poland today. He is able to win races, he is not afraid to qualify. For us it is a gamble for the future. He is the Polish professional champion. So he fits very well into our project, a bit like Emil Liepins two years ago. Stanislaw has an excellent mentality, he understands the world of cycling, he knows where he wants to go.”
Sunweb Sign Talented Duo Tobias Lund Andresen and Gianmarco Garofoli to Development Program
Team Sunweb are excited to announce the signings of talented duo Tobias Lund Andresen and Gianmarco Garofoli for the 2021 season, with both riders contracted with the team until the end of 2022.
Bursting onto the scene in 2019, Lund Andresen finished second at Ronde van Vlaanderen behind his teammate, his first ever international junior race. A few weeks later he would go on to take a resounding solo win at E3 Harelbeke, highlighting his strength and power as a future classics rider that has a fast finish. Having not raced in the opening months of 2020, Lund Andresen had an incredible return to racing after lockdown; not finishing lower than seventh place in any stage or race that he competed in during August. Taking a total of twelve wins in 2020, including the Danish junior road race title, all stages and the overall GC win at Visegrad 4 Juniors, plus the junior European madison title on the track, Lund Andresen is looking forward to continuing his development with Team Sunweb.
Andresen said: “I can’t wait to officially join Development Team Sunweb next year. I think that the idea of living near each other as a team at the Keep Challenging Center, is the future within the sport. That was one of the main reasons that made me want to join the team. I think being able to live together with my teammates and having all the support close by, can only strengthen us as a team. Looking at Team Sunweb, I would describe the team as “professional”. They’re a team that supports the riders 100 percent, and have amazing people and facilities which help to create the perfect environment for development. I have no doubts that I will fit in great with the team and I can’t wait to get to know the other riders and race with them next year.”
Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Tobias is an incredible talent, he’s the first rider ever to win every stage and the GC at a Nations Cup race at Visegrad 4 Juniors. In 2019 as a first year he also took great results at Ronde van Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke and this year he’s confirmed his abilities with more strong results. We see him as a classics rider but also a very versatile and all-round talent as he can compete for results in bunch sprints and has a good TT on him too.”
Tobias Lund Andresen:
Garofoli had immediate success on the Italian scene in his first year as a junior in 2019, picking up two podiums before taking a win in only his third race. His string of good results continued on home soil, culminating in a very strong solo win at the Italian national championships; an impressive feat for someone in their first year of junior racing. A good rider when the road goes uphill, Garofoli would further show his abilities on the shorter climbs with success at Trofeo Buffoni before finishing fifth in the road race on the incredibly difficult parcours at the World championships in Yorkshire. Like most, 2020 has seen Garofoli’s racing calendar shortened but since the season restart in August he’s tasted success in two Italian races, alongside several podium places including a silver medal in the Italian national time trial.
On joining Development Team Sunweb, Gianmarco Garofoli said: “I am very excited to join Development Team Sunweb next year. I am happy with the trust that the team have given me and I want to show all my worth in the races I do with them. After this difficult year and shorter season, I want to start next year in the best possible way immediately and get good results as a team. I want to grow steadily and improve my physical skills and I know that Development Team Sunweb can give me the right tools to do that and express myself on the bike.”
Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna said: “Gianmarco had an extremely good first year as a junior in 2019, where he took a lot of impressive victories including a fantastic win at the Italian national championships. He’s a good climber that has a big engine and can handle a tough parcours – as he showed with his result in Yorkshire. Gianmarco is also a really smart cyclist and knows how to ride in a finale which is a very good trait to have. We’re not sure yet where his limitations are on the longer climbs are as he’s not had a chance to prove himself yet on that type of course, but with our team of coaches and experts, we’ll develop him to the best of his ability.”
Circus-Wanty Gobert Receives Reinforcement from Team CCC
Circus-Wanty Gobert can count on the experience of several riders of Team CCC to step up to the World Tour in 2021. The Czech rider Jan Hirt and Germans Jonas Koch and Georg Zimmermann will continue their careers in the Belgian team, which associated with their current Team CCC. With Hirt and Zimmermann in the spotlights in the actual Tour of Spain, their teammate is already enjoying a break.
Jonas Koch feels good in one day races, but the 27 year old already achieved good results in the general classifications of the Tour des Fjords (4th, 2016) and the Tour of Norway (8th, 2018). He was close to a sprint victory in the Tour of Austria last year, when he finished four times in the top 4. The winner of the climber’s jersey at the Tour de la Provence finished the Tour of Spain in 2019 and reached the finish of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysées in September. The tall German rider joins Circus-Wanty Gobert for season 2021.
Climber Jan Hirt has won the Tour of Austria in 2016. The 29 year old Czech has six Grand Tours to his credit and becomes an important element for the stage races. He particularly shone in the Tour of Italy, by finishing 12th in the general classification in 2017 and by taking 2nd in the Mortirolo stage last year. But the resident of Andorra also excelled at the Tour of Switzerland (5th in 2019). Jan Hirt signed a contract for two years.
A crash affected the start of the Vuelta for Jan Hirt, but for Georg Zimmermann all goes well. The Grand Tour debutant showed himself twice in the breakaway and continues along the same lines in his first year as a professional. The offensive spirit of the polkadot jersey of the Tour of Austria in 2019 was almost rewarded with a stage victory at the Etoile de Bessèges (2nd) this year. The young German from Augsburg loves difficult races and dreams about the German national title and a Tour de France stage victory. In the U23 category, he stood out with two top 15 finishes at the European championships and a 5th place at the general classification of the Tour de l’Avenir in 2019. The 23 year old reinforces Circus-Wanty Gobert for a two year period.
Jan Hirt: “I’m very happy to receive the opportunity to join this growing project. This season was rather complicated, so I can’t wait to be a part of this Belgian team, which is an established name in the cycling world. I’m looking forward to get to know new people and I hope to be strong again next year, in order to achieve good results and help the team. The Grand Tours, no matter which ones, will be my big goal. I’m dreaming of a stage victory, I’m pretty confident that I will succeed one day. You definitely need good legs, but also some luck. The year 2020 is difficult for all teams, for all sports, for the whole population. So I’m crossing my fingers for a nice 2021!”
Jonas Koch: “After four years with Team CCC, I’m ready for a new chapter in my career. I can’t wait to get to know my new environment, but it’s comforting to join Circus-Wanty Gobert together with my friend Georg, good teammate Jan and also some staff members. This will make my integration a little easier. I already had some Belgian teammates, but I’m curious about the atmosphere of a Belgian team. The cycling culture there is so vibrant, I’m eager to start the new season!”
Georg Zimmermann: “My first year as a pro was a rollercoaster. I was very happy about my choice for Team CCC and I was immediately strong at the start of the season. It was the beginning of a nice story, until the future of the team became uncertain. I’m convinced that I found the perfect solution with Circus-Wanty Gobert. The team is very experienced at the Pro level, and it has all it needs to step up to the World Tour. My first goal is to integrate well in the team. I’m looking forward to get to know the structure and I hope to quickly find a good feeling in the races with my teammates. I want to show that I deserve the confidence of my new environment by performing well. And then we’re off for two years, hopefully longer, with Circus-Wanty Gobert!”
Hilaire Van der Schueren (Sports Director): “I saw Jan Hirt’s victory at the Tour of Austria in 2016, when he was only 25 years old. He didn’t stop there. He became a very good rider and after a couple of years patience, we finally managed to add him to our team. With Jonas Koch and Georg Zimmermann, we’ve got two strong riders with the capacities to attack in races on the highest level. During his first year with the pros, I’ve seen some good things from Zimmermann. Not only his breakaways at this Tour of Spain, but also when he showed fighting spirit after his crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. These are very good signals for a young rider.”
Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager): “From the first discussions with Jim Ochowicz, we’ve been looking for the best complementarity between our teams, by trying to integrate as many riders from Team CCC as possible. Jan Hirt and Georg Zimmermann have a profile which was lacking in our team. They have the capabilities to finish well in mountain and stage races. Hirt has already proven this, and Zimmermann is a promising young rider. Their transfer, together with Jonas Koch, is very important. Koch is an experienced allround rider, he will be an important element for the classics and in the sprint train. I’m very happy to add the German and Czech nationalities to the team for the first time. In their countries, Hirt, Koch and Zimmermann will be true ambassadors of CUBE. Our German bike supplier is based in Waldershof, close to the Czech border.”
Dylan Groenewegen Training Again
Dylan Groenewegen has resumed training. After the much-discussed crash in the Tour of Poland with Fabio Jakobsen, the Jumbo-Visma sprinter was sidelined for a long time, partly due to a broken collarbone and the mental consequences of the crash.
Sports director Merijn Zeeman of Jumbo-Visma says that Groenewegen is back on the bike. “He is doing okay under the circumstances. It has had a tremendous impact on him, but he is recovering. He trains well, especially to set his own mind,” he explained to NOS.
Groenewegen and the Dutch WorldTour team are slowly working towards 2021. “For him, too, he must first have a calm overview of the season and then set goals for the coming season,” said Zeeman.
After the presentation of the Tour de France course for 2021, Groenewegen’s name also comes to the fore. Eight stages are made for the sprinters, although Zeeman doesn’t want to anticipate the selection. “It is clear that Dylan is a very important rider for this team, but we have to wait and see what the UCI decides on his case.” The UCI disciplinary committee has yet to make a decision after the incident in Poland. Until then, Jumbo-Visma will keep the sprinter on the side-lines.
Groenewegen’s last race:
American, 31, to bolster Telefónica-backed squad with her all-rounding class; completes Spanish team’s strongest ever group since its inception, with 14 riders.
The Movistar Team announced Monday that Leah Thomas (Cupertino, CA; 1989) has signed a contract for the 2021 season with the squad managed by Sebastián Unzué, which makes her the fourteenth, final name of the Telefónica-backed outfit for the next season.
A cyclist only for the last seven years, having previously competed as a gymnast and at long-distance running, the American has steadily developed a big talent on the bike towards world-class performances in the most diverse terrains.
Leah Thomas TT Worlds
A great time trialist – she was 7th at the World Championships and Pan-American champ in 2019, also claiming the victory at the Chrono des Nations last year – Thomas has also completed great displays at mountainous courses. She was 8th at the demanding 2019 The Women’s Tour; won the hilly Tour of Scotland two months later; and surprised again in 2020, both before and after the pandemic stop: she won the Queen stage of the Setmana Setmana Valenciana against top climbers, and took 3rd at the Strade Bianche ahead of the likes of Van der Breggen, Longo Borghini or Uttrup Ludwig.
Leah Thomas: “My interactions with the Movistar Team have been nothing but positive. I believe that they care about their riders as more than just expendable athletes, and are honest and transparent about what they can provide. I am excited to be on a team that is developing and, like myself, striving to be better each and every day. An additional plus is they have fantastic equipment! Cycling is a special sport because there is always room for improvement. This next season I want to focus on consistency and being the best I can be at each race I enter. During the 2020 season, I was most proud of my podium in Strade Bianche – not because I placed third, but because I had bad luck in the race and never stopped fighting. I want to take those lessons of resiliency and grit and continue to develop them in this coming year. I have specific race goals in mind, but want to understand the needs of the team before pushing forward. One, of course, is making the US Olympic Team. I’ve learned from previous teams that true teamwork is integral to the success of the team. First and foremost, I hope to be a support for Annemiek in the coming season. Additionally, I hope to continue to develop as an opportunistic racer who excels at the really hard, relentless, classic-style races. I am very much looking forward to working with everyone this coming season.”
Sebastián Unzué: “Leah is the final piece we were missing to create a balanced, strong group for next season. She’s a rider who not only defends herself well in all terrains, but shines amongst the best in every single one. She’s a great time trialist, a solid climber who does well at mountain-top finishes, a valuable asset for the classics – het talents are crucial for our team’s success in the upcoming season. Having her aboard will allow us support Annemiek even better, while also aiming at great results over the course of the season.”
With Leah Thomas’ signing for 2021, the Movistar Team has finalised its strongest, most balanced squad in its four years in the peloton – including two at the new UCI Women’s WorldTour category – with six Spaniards and up to nine different nationalities in its 14-rider roster.
Movistar Team – 2021: Katrine Aalerud (NOR), Aude Biannic (FRA), Jelena Erić (SRB), Alicia González (ESP), Barbara Guarischi (ITA), Sheyla Gutiérrez (ESP), Sara Martín (ESP), Emma Norsgaard (DEN), Lourdes Oyarbide (ESP), Paula Patiño (COL), Gloria Rodríguez (ESP), Alba Teruel (ESP), Leah Thomas (USA), Annemiek van Vleuten (NED).
“I feel like we’ve been able to build a pretty balanced group,” explains Sebastián Unzué, “with talented youngsters together with expert, solid veterans. A deep roster, with 14 riders, which will be able to both support Annemiek at the most important events and also contest every challenge we tackle next season, with both the newcomers and the members already part of the 2020 team. Our goal had always been to grow one step at a time – we made a huge gamble on young talents, whom we nurtured here and made sure reach their full quality, and in 2021 we should be able to take that huge step forward and seek for the most ambitious goals. It should be a beautiful season.”
Sean Yates, New Head of Performance for the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Project
The Englishman Sean Yates joins the Pro Team project promoted by the Contador Foundation. Yates (Ewell, United Kingdom; 1960) will take on the role of Head Of Performance for the new EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. This year Yates was working for the French team Nippo Delko One Provence. Yates has extensive experience in the world of cycling. As a rider, he was a professional for fifteen seasons (1982-1996) in which he achieved notable stage wins in races such as the Tour de France, the Tour of Spain, Paris-Nice and the Dauphine. Yates wore the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France and was a British National Champion. As a Sports Director, he began his career in 1999 with the Linda McCartney Racing Team and since then has worked in teams such as Team CSC, Astana, Discovery Channel, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo, Tinkoff and Delko.
Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta – NOV 6-8
Nicolas Marche – Team Sunweb coach: “We head to the Madrid Challenge motivated after our recent win at De Panne and we want to end the season in a good way. We arrive with a strong team where our main focus will be on stage success and we want to achieve top results over the three days of racing. The opening stage could end in various ways and we have lots of cards to play there depending on how the race unfolds. Stage two is an individual time trial which should suit the rouleurs while the race ends with the traditional finish circuit in Madrid where we will aim to set up Lorena for the sprint.”
Juliette Labous (FRA)
Leah Kirchmann (CAN)
Liane Lippert (GER)
Julia Soek (NED)
Wilma Olausson (SWE)
Lorena Wiebes (NED).
Crowning glory for Circus-Wanty Gobert and CUBE’s 7-year partnership
The move up to the UCI World Tour marks 2021 as the year Belgian racing team Circus-Wanty Gobert and German bike manufacturer CUBE take their partnership, founded in 2015, to the next level.
Circus-Wanty Gobert and CUBE announce the extension of their partnership ahead of the 2021 season. Both sides are keen to stress their intention to follow the same collaborative path and elevate the cooperation to a new level entirely with the move up to the UCI World Tour. Bavarian bike manufacturer CUBE and Circus-Wanty Gobert attach great importance to establishing long-term relationships with its athletes and this latest extension of the partnership is testament to everyone in the CUBE family, says CUBE’s founder and owner, Marcus Pürner.
The seven-year partnership has also helped transform CUBE’s portfolio: Extensive R&D carried out by CUBE at its in-house carbon lab goes into every UCI-approved frame with wind tunnel testing at each stage of the design and production process. CUBE’s development process is built on long-term testing of an extensive array of carbon fibres and layups to create results that include its proprietary integrated handlebar and stem combination. The valuable and direct feedback from professional athletes sets standards in the development of all bikes for end customers. The Litening C:68X is CUBE’s lightweight carbon-framed road bike: constructed from high-end C:68X carbon, it’s designed to have 30% less drag for maximum aero gains. The Aerium TT is a fully UCI-compliant bike developed specifically for time trialists and incorporating sophisticated aerodynamic technology.
Marcus Pürner (CUBE Founder and Owner): “This is the first time in the company’s history that we are the sponsor of a UCI WorldTeam. It is a very proud moment for us. We have been working very closely with our riders over the last few years and incorporated their feedback directly into our development processes for our road and time trial bikes. It’s been key to refining our road models even further and ultimately means we can offer our customers top-quality bikes tested by the pros themselves. Starts in three editions of the Tour de France and victory at the Amstel Gold Race have been the crowning moments of the collaboration so far. We look forward to seeing what the next few years hold and to continuing this amazing success story.”
Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager Circus-Wanty Gobert): “We are very proud to step up to the World Tour, together with our historical bike partner. Together with Markus Pürner and Chris Archer, we built a strong relationship, which is based on technical development, respect and professionalism. With CUBE Bikes we are lucky to be able to support our riders in all disciplines. On the road, in cyclocross and for time trial we can benefit from material of a high standard. It is very important for us to be able to rely on a partner who believes in our project!”
Global Cycling Network’s Race Pass offers fans unrivalled Cyclo-cross content and race coverage
All the season’s major race series are included, along with expert insight and analysis via the GCN app
The Global Cycling Network (GCN) has created the ultimate destination for cyclo-cross fans, announcing that it will be producing more high quality cyclo-cross content and showing more CX races to a global audience than any other provider. The biggest men’s and women’s races will be available in both English and Dutch and viewers worldwide* will be able to watch all of the action with a Race Pass subscription, available via the GCN app.
The cyclo-cross season coverage on GCN will be headed up by 4x USA cyclo-cross National Champion Jeremy Powers and TV Presenter and Commentator Marty MacDonald. Fans will have access to full events from start to finish, live and on demand. As with the road season, GCN will create an interactive and engaging viewing experience with interactive polls during races, detailed previews and more, supporting the cyclo-cross community throughout the season.
While the precise 2020-21 CX race calendar is subject to potential change, GCN will cover the biggest and most important events for you, including:
● Telenet Superprestige
● Trofee Veldrijden
● Ethias Cross
Subscribers to Race Pass can watch in multiple ways:
● Via the GCN app on their mobile phone
● By casting to their TV using Chromecast on both iPhone and Android and AirPlay with Apple TV.
● On the web at: racepass.globalcyclingnetwork.com
Jeremy Powers said: “I am really excited to be working alongside Marty MacDonald again this season and have the opportunity to share my knowledge that I’ve gained from my career as a pro cyclo-cross rider. I’m also excited to experience the races alongside the GCN fans, with so much great racing happening every weekend and some incredible duels among the best in the world, at some of the most iconic venues, this season has already had some must-see battles, with many more to come!”
The GCN Race Pass sits exclusively within the GCN app as a premium subscription-based service offering uninterrupted live and on-demand coverage of men’s and women’s pro-cycling events. The GCN app is a free resource for cycling fans, also offering news and interactive features including: ‘hack/bodge’, quizzes, polls, cycling inspiration, GCN video content and a pro-rider section. It is available in 59 countries across 5 continents and localised in 6 languages – English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Japanese.
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