EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Another busy week of EUROTRASH: The Tour de Pologne and the Tour of Utah are in full swing, plus we have the European time trial championships from Glasgow – Reports, results and videos. Maybe Egan Bernal shouldn’t have been on the San Sebastián start line – Top Story. In other cycling news: Pierre Latour and Mikel Landa updates, Gianni Moscon suspended, lots of contract news, Grégory Rast and Simon Gerrans retire, the Cyclists’ Alliance opens membership and Quick-Step Floors get a new truck. Big coffee time!

TOP STORY: Rider Burn Out!
Twenty kilometers from the finish of the Clásica San Sebastián there was a big crash in the case peloton, the three worst affected riders were Movistar’s Mikel Landa, Sky’s Egan Bernal and Pierre Latour of AG2R-La Mondiale. Crashes happen in pro cycling, but it does highlight the fact that two of the brightest stars for the future of cycling maybe shouldn’t have been on the start-line of the Basque one-day race.

Mikel Landa is nearly 29 and is quite used to a full season, plus he probably wanted to ride his home race, he is from Murgia (Álava), which is about 100 kilometers from San Sebastián. Pierre Latour and Egan Bernal are both coming out of the Tour de France, Latour won the ‘Best Young Rider’ competition and finished 13th overall, the second best French rider after his teammate, Romain Bardet. Although he is 24 and has ridden three Tours, he still has his best years ahead of him.

Egan Bernal is 21 years old and riding his first Tour finishing 15th after working for two leaders. The young Colombian has had a full season, the Colombian time trial champion won the Tour of California with two stages and the young rider competition, overall in the Colombia Oro y Paz with the KOM and young rider comp, 2nd overall in the Tour de Romandie, one stage win and best young rider, plus 6th Overall in the Tour Down Under and another best young rider jersey. There is a thing called ‘Burn Out’ in cycling and it happens when a young rider is run into the ground by racing him too often and has finished many a burgeoning career. Nurturing a young rider prolongs his career and hopefully he would be more successful for a longer time. Racing too much probably didn’t contribute to the actual crash, but Egan Bernal should have been on a break, not on hospital.

Not a good way to get a rest from racing:

Tour de Pologne 2018
After coming second twice in a row; Alvaro Hodeg could raise his arms in triumph on the finish line of Stage 3. The young Quick-Step Floors Colombian beat Dan McLay (Education First-Drapac) and Andrè Greipel (Lotto Soudal). The victory earned Hodeg the Carrefour yellow jersey as leader on GC, with a 2-second lead on stage 1 and 2 winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe), who was only 12th on the stage.

Stage 3 featured a break by three riders: Michal Paluta (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Mathias Le Tournier (Cofidis) and Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo). They were joined by the Belgian, Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin). Paluta and Biermans were the most active of the four fugitives; with today’s moves they worked especially hard to reinforce their positions in the rankings as the best classified climber and the most active rider in the group, respectively.

The escape gained a maximum lead of about 4 minutes. However, once again the pack, spurred on by team Bora-hansgrohe and the team’s of the sprinters, didn’t give the breakaway much leeway as they vied to carry their leaders into the sprint for victory. The group caught the four brave-hearts with about 10km remaining, during the second-to-last of the four 6.2 km laps around the final circuit in Zabrze. In the final sprint, Alvaro Hodeg finally came out ahead after having to settle for second place in the first two stages. Michal Paluta is the leader of the Lotos classification for the best Polish rider and Trek-Segafredo leads the team classification.

Stage winner and overall leader, Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors): “I’m really happy to have delivered the victory for the whole team – they put a big responsibility on my shoulders and a lot of trust in such a big job for me, especially after I finished 2nd on the first two stages. Michael Mørkøv also gave a perfect lead-out. The pace was full gas in the last 2 kilometers and the whole Quick-Step team work was perfect. It’s my first year in Pro Peloton and it’s my biggest win so far. I know that tomorrow will be a hard stage but for the moment I enjoy this victory and the yellow jersey.”

2nd overall, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The team did a great job but as we came into the finale, I chose the wrong side and was boxed in. Well, that’s cycling, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But in a bunch sprint you have to decide in seconds and sometimes you chose the right side and sometimes you don’t. However, I was super happy to wear the leader’s jersey and now I am looking forward to supporting my teammates in the same way they supported me the last few days.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 3 Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 3:09:59
2. Daniel McLay (GB) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4. Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
5. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors
8. Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC
10. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Sunweb.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 3:
1. Alvaro Hodeg (Col) Quick-Step Floors in 9:25:27
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:02
3. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:05
4. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:15
5. Michal Paluta (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 0:16
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:18
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
9. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC at 0:19
10. Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis at 0:20.

The wall of Szczyrk is a climb of about one kilometer long, with tortuous inclines on stretches up to 15% and 17%. It was a finish that literally lit up the Tour de Pologne. All credit goes to Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky); on the roads of his native Poland, in front of his hometown crowds, he pulled off an extraordinary feat, winning the Stage 4 and clinching the yellow jersey as the new leader of the general classification.

Tuesday’s stage was the longest in the 2018 Tour de Pologne, 179km from Jaworzno to Szczyrk. The first part of the race featured a break by three riders: Poland’s Marek Rutkiewicz (Reprezentacja Polski), Slovenian Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Belgian Bert Van Lerberghe (Cofidis). The three took off right after the start, eventually reaching a maximum advantage of more than 5 minutes.

In Wilamowice, about 50 km into the race, when the group let Przemyslaw Niemiec (UAE Team Emirates) gain an advantage of a few seconds to make a quick stop in his home town and say hi to his wife, kids and fans.

After the initial flat part of the route, on the day’s first GPM Van Lerberghe fell back while Rutkiewicz and Tratnik headed towards the summit. The pack was being spurred on mostly by Kwiatkowski and Henao for Sky, Mitchelton-Scott with Simon Yates and Thibaut Pinot for Groupama-FDJ. With about 38 km to go, Tratnik, clearly the most active rider today, took off all alone, leaving Rutkiewicz.

On the descent from the third GPM of the day, a quartet of counter attackers broke away from the group and was hot on Tratnik’s tail. Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe), Georg Preidler (Groupama-FDJ), Ivan Rovny (Gazprom-RusVelo) and Jorge Arcas (Movistar). The four caught Tratnik about 20km out from the finish. At the beginning of the fourth climb of the day, Tratnik ran out of energy and fell back from the lead group. Tratnik had done enough to be on podium in the Tauron magenta jersey as the best climber.

With 13km to go to the finish, the group of GC riders was down to about 50 riders and being pulled by Sky and eventually overtook the escape. It would be the wall of Szczyrk that would decided the stage. The first rider to attack was Richard Carapaz (Movistar), who got caught just a few hundred meters from the finish line on the hardest stretch, where Kwiatkowski delivered the final blow and managed to get the best of Dylan Teuns (BMC) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Michal Kwiatkowski is also the leader of the Lotos special classification for the best Polish rider. Colombian Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) hangs on to the Hyundai white jersey for best sprinter. Belgian Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin) keeps the Lotto blue jersey as the most active rider. BMC Racing leads the team classification.

Stage winner and overall leader, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky): “It’s great that my team mates worked so hard and they deserve the credit for today’s stage success; I wasn’t sure if I would have the legs today, especially after finishing the Tour de France and the three stages in this race. You never know about these things and it’s hard to tell in advance – the climbs were very steep and my team mates were amazing – they did a lot of work without waiting for other teams to take turns and gave it their all. It’s great for me to be able to deliver and to get the win for the team, especially in front of Polish supporters and in Szczyrk, a really great place. It’s one of the best stages of Tour de Pologne. Now let’s hope I can recover for the next stages and continue winning in Poland. I’m trying to just stay relaxed for my team and my supporters, and I’m just looking forward and focusing on my job and what needs to be done.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Dylan Teuns (BMC): “I tried to do more or less the same today as I did last year and it didn’t work out. I think second is still a good place but in this moment, I am disappointed. All credit to Kwiatkowski. He beat me in a two man fight so I can’t say anything else. I had to wait a little bit longer than last year and while my legs felt good, I had some strong contenders around me and then timing was really important. Kwiatkowski was still strong at the end and maybe my timing was just a little bit too late or just a little bit too early, I don’t know. It’s sad that I couldn’t win for a second time. Before the race started we knew Kwiatkowski would be the main guy for the GC so, I think he is still the big favorite. He has a strong team but there are still three hard days to go and anything is possible. It will be a fight until Friday. We know that Team Sky are always strong in stage races and have a strong team who can control the race well. I am not the only one who wants to win so there are other guys who will try to attack or do something so it will be a fight.”

3rd on the stage and overall, George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo): “I’m happy, I’m relieved, I wasn’t feeling good at all, but obviously I wasn’t feeling that bad, because I ended up third. I knew how hard the climb was because I’d watched a video of it. And then we went and I thought we had 300 meters to go and I was thinking ‘I’m in trouble’ and then I saw the 100 meters (sign before the finish) and I actually thought the Movistar guy (Richard Carapaz, early attacker) was in front. But finally I got third.”

KOM, Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice): “I knew that the breakaway would be difficult today and it might come to an end at some point, but I gave it my best shot and got the primes. Tomorrow is another important stage – a lot of climbing ahead and a big effort. Today was really hard but I am ok now so I should recover well.”

10th on the stage, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt good today, so I thought I will give it a try. When we came into the final ascent I stayed with the other GC contenders and rode my pace. For the first mountain stage here and after a time without racing I am satisfied with my result.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 4 Result:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 4:25:44
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:03
3. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana
5. Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:06
8. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 4:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 13:51:22
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:08
3. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:10
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana at 0:14
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 0:17
8. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

After Tuesday’s victory on the Szczyrk wall, on Stage 5, the Polish champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) dominated again in Pologne. Kwiatkowski defended his overall lead in the best possible way by winning in Bielsko-Biala.

Wednesday’s route was suited to breaks, spanning 152km from the famous Salt Mines in “Wieliczka”, located just outside of Krakow, to Bielsko-Biala. Right after the start a small group of 7 riders went on the attack: Zhandos Bizhigitov (Astana), Mickael Delage (Groupama-FDJ), Matias Le Turnier (Cofidis), Alexander Porsev (Gazprom-RusVelo), Kamil Zielinski (Reprezentacja Polski), the Tauron magenta jersey Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and the Lotto blue jersey Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin). They gained a maximum advantage of about 2:30.

35 kilometers from the finish, after the day’s final GPM, the leaders were down to 4 riders: Zielinski, Tratnik, Bizhigitov and Le Turnier. At the beginning of the three, 7.2 km laps around the final Bielsko-Biala circuit, there were only 3 out front: Zielinski, Tratnik and Le Turnier and they were all caught at the end of the first lap, with just 14 km to go to the finish. Team Sky with Kwiatkowski in the yellow jersey, and Mitchelton-Scott were driving the peloton. On the last two laps there were repeated attacks, with the group leaving no room for escape. It was an electrifying finish along the last, slightly uphill, one km straight that led to the finish line. The last dash to the line came down to a head-to-head between the first and second place riders on GC. Kwiatkowski against Teuns, the national idol in the yellow jersey against the Belgian rider who won the 2017 edition. The strongest rider was the Polish National Champion, Michal Kwiatkowski who was fast enough and strong enough to beat everyone. At the finish line Dylan Teuns (BMC) had to settle for second and Italian Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) was third. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) the strong German sprinter who won the first two stages, was fourth and Italian Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida) fifth.

Michal Kwiatkowski strengthened his lead in the general classification, he now has 12 seconds on Dylan Teuns (BMC) and 20 seconds on George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo).

The Carrefour yellow jersey is being worn by Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), who also leads the Lotos classification for best Polish rider. Slovenia’s Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) hangs on to the Tauron magenta jersey as best climber and Belgian Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin) still holds the Lotto blue jersey as the most active rider in the group. Germany’s Pascal Ackermann (Bora-hansgrohe) is back in the Hyundai white jersey for best sprinter. BMC Racing leads the team classification.

Stage winner and overall leader, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky): “Today’s win was really unexpected and a great success. I knew that there were many sprinters who would be fighting for the stage win in the bunch, but I really didn’t expect to win it. During the last part of the stage I said to my team that I would try to go for the sprint and try to be at the front of the pack in the last 2km – it was one of my longest sprints ever and the long drag really wore out all the sprinters and GC contenders. I might have started too early, but if you are sprinting against people like Pascal Ackermann, you might have to start early to weaken the dynamic sprinters. In the end I had a lot of great sprinters around me and I kept looking around to evaluate the positioning, but eventually I managed to win it and the feeling is amazing. It’s great to win such a stage the way I did, so now on to the next stages. For sure Teuns and I will not give up sparring against each other to win this race, and I saw how angry he was after today’s stage, so for sure he will not give up tomorrow. That’s the Tour de Pologne, though, and you have to fight until the end. There are 2 more stages left though and anything can happen, but I’m happy that I could finish today within my comfort zone and still have the energy left for the rest of the Tour.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Dylan Teuns (BMC): “It was not the hardest stage of the four climbing stages but it was still tough in the final. It was Mitchelton-Scott who increased the pace in the last 50km so it started to get a little nervous. We knew that the sprint could be dangerous for splits and the potential to lose time. I was in a perfect position. I was very well-placed in the last 3 to 4km and I could stay there. I came into the sprint and did my own race but with 300m to go, I was almost touching the wheel in front of me. I didn’t expect that and I lost some speed as I had to change position but in the end, I think I did a really good sprint. I didn’t lose time and that was the main thing for today. I only lost by one wheel so it feels like a missed chance because I was still really fast and I had a chance to beat him [Kwiatkowski] but it didn’t work out so congrats to Kwiato. The main objective is still the General Classification. Both of the next two stages are important and tough but I am in a good place. I am a former winner so I want to give everything to be on the podium on Friday.”

4th on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We took a look on the stage profile and thought it could be a stage for me, so we gave it a try. I felt good but on the last meters I hadn’t the legs to go for the win. But I am wearing again the sprint jersey, which makes me really happy.”

5th on the stage, Enrico Gasparotto (Bahrain-Merida): “When we saw that Cofidis rider is in the breakaway and his teammate is only 15 seconds behind the overall leader we realized it could be a small group sprinting. When we entered into the circuit to do laps (23km to go) we realized it will not be a normal sprinter’s stage. It was even more difficult as it was always slight uphill with head winds. Sky was positioned really well, but we were as well, with the help of my teammates, Cortina, Padun, Bole and Novak. They did great job in last 5km. In last 2km I stayed on the wheel of Kwiatowski who’s coming from Tour de France and is really strong. At one point, just like yesterday I thought I could be on the podium, but from behind Battaglin and Ackermann, pure sprinters and those guys had one pedal more then me. Anyway, before the stage my idea was to gain some seconds on the GC and with this stage the only was the bonus points, and I was close. I’ll stay focus for tomorrow and day after, there will be big battles. I’m really confident, my legs are good, I fell god and I’m happy. My father in law is happy because of yesterday’s result so I think he’ll be happy today as well. As long as family is happy it’s all good.”

Lotto blue jersey, Jenthe Biermans (Katusha-Alpecin): “I came here to support the main sprinter, Nathan Haas, and Poland was not originally in my plans. Unfortunately, Nathan was unwell from the first day and I got a free hand to go in breakaways on the first stages. After so many days in the breakaway I would say that the blue jersey is almost safe, but I like riding hard races and I will still do my best in all the other stages of Tour de Pologne too. It’s good to be in the break and to feel afterwards tired from the job well done.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 5 Result:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 3:39:14
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
3. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
6. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
10. Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 5:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 17:30:26
2. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:12
3. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:20
4. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana at 0:24
5. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:27
6. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 0:30
8. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:33
9. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:35
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:38

European Time Trial Championships – Glasgow 2018
Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) retained the European Time Trial champion for the second time in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday. The Belgian time trial champion completed the 45.7 kilometer course in 53:38.78, just beating Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo by only 0.63. Castroviejo was the 2015 European time trial champion, with Campenaerts taking the title in 2017 and 2018. Quick-Step Floors’ Maximilian Schachmann took the bronze medal for Germany as Yves Lampaert and Alex Dowsett were fourth and fifth on the technical course that was caught in heavy rain at the finish.

Victor Campenaerts (Belgium): “I’m really happy that I managed to prolong this title! We could tell from the times at the intermediate checkpoints, that it would be a close call. I’ve never won a time trial with big time differences, but 63 hundredths of a second is the smallest difference I’ve ever had. I went full gas whenever possible, but our team coach always reminded me to be careful in taking corners. I couldn’t afford to fall, since the chance of winning was real. In the final kilometers, rain began pouring down and I had to find the right balance in taking risks and staying upright. The heavy rainfall wasn’t in my favor, but my biggest rival, Castroviejo, also had to ride a part of the race in the rain. This way, we were competing on equal terms. I also did at least six times a recon of the course and knew it by heart. I was a few seconds behind at the intermediate time splits, but I always start a time trial relatively slow. My strategy is to be the fastest at the finish line, not at the checkpoints. I tried to maintain speed and produce power consistently. Many riders start their race at a much higher pace and then slow down towards the end. Eventually, my strategy turned out to be the right one. Next week, I’ll ride the Binck Bank Tour, in which I aim for a good general classification. I’m hoping to ride a good time trial there as well, but for now, I’m going to enjoy this European victory!”

Dutch girl, Ellen van Dijk won the woman’s European time trial championship run in the morning on a shorter 32.2 kilometer course in 41:39, beating her countrywoman, Anna van der Breggen by 2 seconds. Germany’s Trixi Worrack was third at 1:09.

Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands): “I’m really happy to prolong my title for another year. It was a nice rolling course, always going up or down a bit and I felt good, but I wasn’t very confident on the wet corners which cost me some time in the final part of the race. At the end it was a very close finish with Anna van der Breggen. I’m happy with my performance and proud to be able to wear the Euro colors for another year.”

European Men’s Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) in 53:38
2. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) at 0:01
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Germany) at 0:27
4. Yves Lampaert (Belgium) at 0:31
5. Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) at 0:35
6. Ryan Mullen (Ireland) at 0:40
7. Stefan Küng (Switzerland) at 0:44
8. Jos Van Emden (Netherlands) at 0:55
9. Rasmus Christian Quaade (Denmark) at 0:56
10. Dylan Van Baarle (Netherlands) at 1:03.

European Women’s Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) in 41:39
2. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) at 0:02
3. Trixi Worrack (Germany) at 1:09
4. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France) at 1:56
5. Pernille Mathiesen (Denmark) at 2:09
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) at 2:12
7. Eugenia Bujak (Slovenia) at 2:21
8. Hayley Simmonds (Great Britain) at 2:28
9. Ann-Sophy Duyck (Belgium) at 2:29
10. Lotta Lepisto (Finland) at 2:39.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah 2018
The Tour of Utah got off to a perfect start for BMC Racing Team with Tejay van Garderen securing victory in the 5.3km Prologue after a strong day of racing from the team saw him joined on the podium by Joey Rosskopf and Tom Bohli.

Van Garderen was the final rider to start his effort and looked strong as he quickly settled into his rhythm over the opening part of the out-and-back course which saw the road rising steadily for the first 2km before a short descent down to the turnaround.

The American rider, who is racing in Utah for the first time since 2011, continued to lay it all out on the road as he climbed back up to the peak of the course before stopping the clock after a fast and straight downhill run into the finish line at 6:27, four seconds quicker than the previous benchmark set by his BMC Racing Team teammate and US national time trial champion, Rosskopf.

Van Garderen was also joined on the podium by Tom Bohli, who was one of the first riders to roll off the ramp in St. George and spent a significant amount of time in the hot seat after demonstrating his time trialling prowess earlier in the day by posting a time of 6:33 to finish third.

The Winner’s Interview with BMC’s Tejay van Garderen.
Congratulations, Tejay. Talk us through today’s prologue.

“Pacing was certainly important today. You started out uphill and the roads were wide so, it was a little deceiving. I think the gradient was higher than people expected which meant that you had to over-pace and then try to recover a little bit on the downhill then over-pace again on the way out before you were basically screaming at 75km/h all the way to the finish. On a course like this, you don’t want to blow up but at the same time, you want to gauge your effort well.”

You’re coming into the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah after the Tour de France. What made you decide to race here this week?
“I have the Tour de France in my legs and I was thinking that after a week of recovery I could either start training again and start hitting set on the power meter and cranking out efforts on the climb or, I could come to race in Utah. I love Utah and I have a long history here. My first professional victory was at this race in 2011 in the time trial and even before that the Junior National Championships were in Park City in 2005 or 2006 and I have good memories from there too. I came here to have some fun ultimately and to keep the body rolling. I told myself that if there was a chance for a result that I would take it and today was a great opportunity to do that.”

How did you feel coming into the race after such a short break?
“I felt good today. After the Tour, I did a couple of three hour days coming into this race and the rest of them were just easy and purely recovery so, I really had no idea how I was going to respond especially coming into this heat, at altitude, and with such a violent, short effort to tackle. I was stepping into the unknown a little but I was motivated and I went through my normal warm-up routine as if I was starting any other time trial. The legs responded well and as soon as I started pushing on the climb, I felt like it could be a good effort.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Joey Rosskopf (BMC): “A prologue, or any stage 1 time trial, is a nice way to get the nerves out of the way so when you start the first official road stage you already have a ranking and that gives the race a little more structure and maybe some more predictability. Today’s race was a pretty violent effort as you were going as hard as you could on the climbs but then barely pedaling on the descents. It wasn’t your normal pacing strategy so there was plenty to think about out there today even though it was such a short course. Today’s result definitely gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the Tour. You can never plan to go 1-2-3 and it wasn’t like we talked about doing that and named who would place where coming into the day so, today’s result is a really nice surprise.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Tom Bohli (BMC): “This is my third Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah so, I know what lays ahead of me as a non-climber and I know what my role is for the team. I was really looking forward to the prologue today. I knew it wasn’t a typical prologue and I like technical prologues on the TT bike. I also knew that my teammates were going to do well so I am really happy with today’s result.”

Tour of Utah Prologue Result:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 6:27
2. Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:04
3. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC at 0:06
4. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:07
5. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
6. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) UnitedHealthcare
7. Nathan Brown (USA) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
8. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:12
9. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling
10. William Clarke (Aus) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.

Tour of Utah Overall After The Prologue:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 6:27
2. Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:04
3. Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC at 0:06
4. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:07
5. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
6. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) UnitedHealthcare at 0:11
7. Nathan Brown (USA) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:11
8. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:12
9. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling at 0:12
10. William Clarke (Aus) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:12.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who took victory on Monday’s prologue, successfully defended the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah leader’s jersey on Stage 1 came down to a bunch sprint that saw Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare) take the sprint ahead of Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), Edwin Avila (Israel Cycling Academy) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC) in fourth.

Strong teamwork from van Garderen’s BMC team saw the race leader well-positioned when the sprint was launched before he eventually crossed the line in the main bunch to secure a second day in the yellow jersey. Earlier in the stage, the peloton, led by BMC Racing Team, chased down several opening moves before a four-rider breakaway was finally allowed to go clear after 17km, of the 162.5km out-and-back course. The leaders quickly built up an advantage that was sitting at around five minutes on the early slopes of the first of two categorized climbs, the category one ascent to Cedar Breaks, which at around 25km long had pitches of up to 15% in places.

As the breakaway swept up the KOM points, the peloton had pulled the gap back to 4:30 and it continued to hover around four minutes on the descent towards the base of the second climb, the category four ascent up to the Bristlecone KOM. After an increase in pace at the front of the bunch, the leaders’ advantage had been pulled back to inside three minutes on the lower slopes of the climb with Kilian Frankiny and stagiaire, Alexander Evans taking over the responsibility of setting the tempo in support of van Garderen, who was sat in the wheels of Joey Rosskopf and Bookwalter slightly further back.

It wasn’t long before the breakaway split and at the 55km to go mark, it was Daan Olivier (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) who was leading the race solo while behind his fellow leaders were beginning to be swept up by the rest of the field. Olivier’s advantage had shrunk to 2:30 as he began the downhill run into the first of three laps of the 4.3km circuit around Cedar City and he was eventually caught and passed by Luis Lemus (Israel Cycling Academy) with 16km to go while the peloton sat just 15 seconds back.

With the race coming back together at the start of the first lap, the bunch sprint looked inevitable as the speed being set neutralized all late attacks and after a chaotic battle for position in the closing kilometers of the day, Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare) took the win with Bookwalter showing his form to power to fourth on the line. With van Garderen guided safely through the fast, furious and hectic finale, he continues to lead the General Classification two seconds ahead of McCabe and four seconds in front of teammate, Rosskopf.

More from the Tour of Utah Stage 1 HERE.

Overall leader, Tejay van Garderen (BMC): “Our plan coming into today’s stage was to let a breakaway get up the road and to stop the attacks. We found a breakaway that we were comfortable with and then we let them get some time before establishing a chase. We were banking on a couple of sprinters’ teams coming in to help close the gap in the final so, that we didn’t have to do all the work today. We were able to keep things relatively under control on what was a hot and hard day. It was a hard tempo today and I felt comfortable but I don’t think I will really know where my form is until some of the other GC guys start making moves and I will see how I respond to those. We saw our two stagiaires working well on the front today and I like having them on the team. They are always really motivated and eager and willing to do whatever the task is. It is a great opportunity for them but it is also a great opportunity for us to not only teach them but to also get an extra helping hand in races like these.”

4th on the stage, Brent Bookwalter (BMC): “Coming into Utah I have felt good. I was able to enjoy some time at home which definitely helped me feel rejuvenated and helped me find the enjoyment of the sport as I started more specific preparation for this race. I was a little disappointed with yesterday’s prologue but historically I have always performed better during time trials on the TT bike rather than on the road bike. Looking at today’s stage, the last three laps were definitely USA criterium style and maybe even more hectic as there was less control. On paper, there are some strong sprinters here but they didn’t show themselves today and no team thought it was worthwhile to take control. So, that made it a free for all and by that point, it was just me and Joey who were left to take the opportunity as everyone else had put in a full effort earlier on in the day. It was really a balance of looking after Tejay and trying to go for it. I had it in the back of my mind that if I could be in a good position on the final corners that I could go for the sprint. I just missed a podium position and the time bonus that comes with that, but even without that, I am still satisfied. To be committed to the race and in the thick of the action is encouraging and inspiring. I always say that I want to do a good performance every day whether that’s working for Tejay or trying to do something for myself.”

Tour of Utah Stage 1 Result:
1. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare in 4:17:05
2. Ulises Alfredo Castillo Soto (Mex) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
3. Edwin Avila (Col) Israel Cycling Academy
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
5. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
6. Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
7. Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling
8. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
9. Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Michael Rice (Aus) Hagens Berman Axeon.

Tour of Utah Overall After Stage 1:
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC in 4:23:32
2. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 0:02
3. Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC at 0:04
4. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:07
5. Evan Huffman (USA) Rally Cycling at 0:10
6. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
7. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) UnitedHealthcare
8. Nathan Brown (USA) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
9. Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:13
10. Joe Dombrowski (USA) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale.

Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) won Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah in a solo break and moved into the overall lead. Kuss attacked with 50km to go and had over a minute on the chase group by the final climb. At the finish he still had 29 seconds by the finish.

Kuss’ teammate, Neilson Powless jumped away from the chasers to take 2nd ahead of Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling), overall leader, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) finished in the group, but is now 3rd overall at 25 seconds to Kuss. Powless is 2nd overall at 21 seconds.

Full Stage 2 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner and overall leader, Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo): “At the beginning of the climb, I felt really strong. Pete Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) made a little surge, maybe three or four kilometers into the climb. I followed that, and still felt pretty good and the gap kept going. I just kept going at a reasonable speed. It was not the most pleasant experience out there in the headwind, but happy to make it to the finish line.”

3rd on the stage, Kyle Murphy (Rally Cycling): “I’m pretty surprised with third today. I felt pretty terrible yesterday but the legs came around today. I’m happy with the result and happy to do something for the team. We’ve all been supporting each other for the last month and I’m just glad all of the hard work is paying off. I dropped my chain and almost went down to avoid the crash. I felt pretty confident in a bunch kick so I composed myself at the back of the group and hit out inside the last kilometer for third place.”

4th on th stage and 12th overall, Luis Ricardo Villalobos (Aevolo): “I’m so happy. So excited, for everyone. It was a great day for the team. It’s four more days so I just say, let’s go champ.”

Tour of Utah Stage 2 Result:
1. Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo in 3:25:58
2. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:29
3. Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling
4. Luis Ricardo Villalobos Hernandez (Mex) Aevolo at 0:32
5. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Michael Woods (Can) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare
10. Keegan Swirbul (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis.

Tour of Utah Overall After Stage 2:
1. Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo in 7:49:37
2. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:21
3. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0:25
4. Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling at 0:37
5. Joe Dombrowski (USA) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:38
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) UnitedHealthcare
7. Hugh Carthy (GB) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
8. Michael Woods (Can) Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:39
9. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:40
10. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC.

Pierre Latour Unavailable for 4 to 6 Weeks
Pierre Latour, best young rider at the Tour de France in 2018, was another victim of the late crash on Saturday at the Clasica San Sebastian.

“In addition to multiple abrasions, a dorsal and thoracic CT scan revealed an undisplaced fracture of the eighth dorsal vertebra,” says Dr. Eric Bouvat, medical director of the AG2R-La Mondiale team. He will be forced to be partially immobilized for three weeks at which point a new scan will be conducted to determine the extent of healing and recovery. This means Latour will be unavailable to race between 4 to 6 weeks.

Pierre Latour:

Mikel Landa Continues with Rehabilitation Schedule
Movistar Team rider puts on recovery exercises and therapies to heal two vertebrae injured: his lumbar fracture and a rib one, discovered on Wednesday.

Following his crash at last Saturday’s Clásica San Sebastián, Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) has been following a rehabilitation program to recover from his injuries in Vitoria since Monday.

Added to the already-confirmed fracture on the spinous process of his lumbar vertebra L1, another one was revealed at an ultrasound examination on Wednesday: a non-displaced rib fracture on his right-hand side, whose recovery time and methods do not differ from the first one and won’t disrupt the rider’s plans.

Under careful monitoring from the Telefónica-backed squad’s medical staff and attentions from Javier Barrio, head doctor of the Deportivo Alavés football club, and traumatologist Mikel Sánchez, Landa is following various exercises of breathing mechanics and strengthening of the injured areas, in order to reduce inflammation, ease pain and ultimately fuse the fractures.

Mikel remains in good spirits and optimistic towards his goal of recovering completely and as quickly as possible.

Mikel Landa:

Moscon to Serve Five-Week Suspension
Gianni Moscon has today (August 8th 2018) accepted a five-week suspension from the UCI following an incident that occurred on July 22nd 2018 during stage 15 of the Tour de France.

Gianni Moscon said: “I accept the suspension given to me by the UCI. I reacted in the heat of the moment and it was never my intention to hit the rider. As the footage shows I didn’t make contact, but I regret my actions and I have already apologized to both Elie Gesbert and Team Fortuneo-Samsic for the incident.”

Team Sky Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “We accept the UCI’s decision to suspend Gianni for a five-week period.

“This incident obviously happened during one of the most challenging races the team has ever faced. We are confident that Gianni truly regrets his actions and has learnt from this episode.

“We have a duty of care to all our riders which we take extremely seriously. Gianni is still a relatively young rider at the start of his career and we will continue to give him the help and support he needs to learn, develop and move forward from this.”

Gianni Moscon:

Welcome Caleb Ewan!
Lotto Soudal is thrilled to announce the signing of Caleb Ewan. The 24-year-young Australian makes the move from Mitchelton-Scott and signed a two-year contract.

Caleb Ewan: “The opportunity to join Lotto Soudal was for me an important and incredibly exciting one. They are a team that has a great history concerning sprinters and classics, I spent many hours as a youngster marveling at Robbie McEwen’s victories. More recently I can only say I have nothing but enormous respect for Andre Greipel, what he achieved as a rider and what he stood for as a person. But now together with Lotto Soudal I hope to write an exciting, new chapter.”

“I think for me the decision to take this path with Lotto Soudal has been a logical one if you take the emotion out of it, but we have much hard work ahead to make sure it becomes the perfect match. I do feel the path Mitchelton-Scott are now on is one not suited to me but I have nothing but appreciation and respect for the riders and entire organization. I have learnt and experienced so much during the past four years, I have many life-long friends there and I am sincerely grateful to them.”

“How do I describe myself? As a pure but versatile sprinter who is well suited to slightly uphill finishes. The past few years I have worked a lot on becoming stronger which allows me to remain a contender during a tough finale. I will continue to work hard on my preparation together with Lotto Soudal and we will aim to be up there in Classics such as Milan-Sanremo, amongst others.”

“Although we have many legends still racing very well, we’re in a transition to a next generation of sprinters at the moment. There are a lot of good young sprinters that I obviously want to be a key part of and to do that I will need to continue to make further progress – with my new teammates. There’s not one team that currently dominates the sprints, but Lotto Soudal possesses both the experience and the desire to again build a very strong team for sprints.”

“This is a multi-year plan of natural progress: building a sprint train with guys who have the capabilities to ride the finale of the most important bike races, forming a team with the riders on and off the bike and creating important routines by racing together consistently. However this doesn’t mean that we aren’t eager to get some nice results in the first year.”

Sports manager Marc Sergeant is of course delighted that Lotto Soudal managed to sign Caleb Ewan.

Marc Sergeant: “Internally, we have spoken extensively about the era after André Greipel. That moment is now. Once again, we opted for a sprinter with potential, just like we did with André in 2011. The choice for a sprinter over a GC rider, for example, is twofold. With a sprinter, you have chances for success all year long and the budget to attract and surround a GC rider is significantly higher.”

“During the conversations Caleb and I had, I noticed how smart and likeable he is; but he is also someone who clearly knows what he wants. At a very young age, he showed to be capable of winning stages in Grand Tours, with his unique style. Within both the peloton and the team, we can speak of a generation shift in the sprint.”

“With Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot and Caleb Ewan, we have now three clear leaders for three different types of races. Now it’s a matter of building a team around these riders in order to assist them as best as possible. That’s something we are currently working on. Guys like Jasper De Buyst and Jens Keukeleire could become very important to Caleb. He rode together with Jens for three years, and Jasper has the skills and the guts to deliver a top sprinter into a perfect position in the finishing straight.”

“I think that the ambitions of Caleb are similar to those of the team. In fact, we are starting from scratch whereby the mix of our experience and his potential should allow us to achieve those goals. He is an extremely talented sprinter, so that will become the main focus. Over the years, we will see what he can achieve in certain Classics, but if you finish second in Milan – Sanremo 2018, you definitely have the capacity and technical skills.”

Caleb Ewan:

Tejay van Garderen to Join #PinkArgyle Next Season
American Tejay van Garderen will join the EF Pro Cycling organization in 2019, adding an accomplished climber and time trialist to the squad.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of ‘America’s’ team,” van Garderen said. “I’m certainly not a young rider anymore, but I’m still way too young to be put out to pasture. I’ve had some good results, some ups and downs, and I’m still interested in exploring the capacity of what I have to give, however that translates. Whether it’s helping a teammate or grabbing results for myself. Whether it’s grand tours or one-week stage races. I still think there’s a lot more I can offer.”

Van Garderen, 29, has been professional since 2008, riding for the Rabobank development team, the HTC franchise, and most recently with BMC Racing, where he spent the 2012 – 2018 seasons.

“I think it was a necessary thing to do,” van Garderen said of his change in teams. “I’m definitely going to look back on my years on BMC positively. I’ve accomplished a lot with that team. But at a certain point sometimes you just need a fresh environment, fresh faces, some new ideas.”

Some of those new ideas will take shape over the offseason, when management and van Garderen begin to talk race calendar, goals, and general approach.

“This is a new chapter. Maybe even a new book,” said EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “Tejay exhibited incredible potential in his younger years. He’s been riding under very high pressure for years as he was pegged as America’s next great cyclist. That’s been tough billing to live up to, and it would have been for anyone.

“I worked with Tejay when he was a junior. I met him when he was 14 and had won the Cat. 3 race up [Colorado’s] Mt. Evans. I feel like he makes a lot of sense for this team. I think we can get the best out of him using an approach that gets him back to thinking about bike racing as fun as opposed to shouldering the weight of being the next great hope in American cycling.”

The American has 15 professional wins to his name and a string of very strong GC results to boot. He’s twice finished fifth overall at the Tour de France (2012, 2014), and won the Tour of California (2013) and USA Pro Cycling Challenge twice (2013, 2014). He has won stages at the Giro, Tour de Suisse, and Volta Catalunya. Despite these successes, there was a feeling that something needed to change as the American moved into the second phase of his career.

Vaughters and van Garderen both pointed toward Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde, in addition to current team rider Rigoberto Uran, as riders who’ve flourished with the argyle organization later in their careers.

“We’ve shown a long and successful history of taking underrated riders later in their careers and pulling out the best of them in the second half of their careers,” Vaughters said. “Hopefully we’re able to do that with Tejay, too, using a fun, grounded approach toward racing.”

For van Garderen, a fresh perspective was necessary.
“Especially now going into the post-30, or the second part of my career. You see that a lot — sometimes people come out hot early in their career, then have a bit of a lull, then they revive,” said van Garderen. “You see that a lot with Slipstream riders. I think a fresh environment can spark a motivation that you might not have known was there.”

There has been a degree of expectation all along for van Garderen, that certainly comes with the territory of a white jersey at the Tour. But there’s a seasoning that comes with those campaigns of ups and downs as well.

“It’s all part of the journey and the process. It’s super rewarding to see improvements in yourself. To be able to win a race and get up on the podium, there’s really no feeling like that,” van Garderen said. “And besides accolades — I was riding with Alex Howes the other day on the Peak to Peak and we saw a moose. That’s a small thing, but you’ve got to take time appreciate that, too. We’re out riding our bikes in these beautiful places.”

And what does he think of joining the EF Pro Cycling cast of characters?
“There’s a lot of big personalities on the team. It’s fun to watch, it’s fun to spectate the team for that reason,” he said. “I think it’ll be good for me to put myself out there and have a little bit more fun with it.”

Tejay van Garderen:

Astana Pro Team Signs Yuriy Natarov
Astana Pro Team is happy to announce the signing of a two-year contract with a young Kazakh rider Yuriy Natarov, who will debut as a professional rider in 2019.

“I am very pleased that such a great team as Astana showed its interest in me and showed confidence by offering me the first professional contract. I am happy to start next year as part of one of the best teams in the world. After several years in the continental teams, Astana gives me a chance to try myself on a professional level. This is my sweet dream to perform in the jersey of Astana Pro Team and now this dream come true,” said Yuri Natarov.

In the last three years, Yuriy Natarov (21 years old) rode for the continental team Astana City, where he achieved a number of high results. Last year, Natarov won a bronze medal in the individual time trial of the U23 Asian Cycling Championship, became second in the Italian one-day race GP Capodarco and took 10th place in the overall classification of the Tour of Almaty.

This season, Yuriy Natarov showed himself very well in the youth version of the Giro d’Italia, where he became the 3rd in one of the stages and finished 10th in the final general classification. Besides, he was twice 8th in the individual time trial and road race of the Kazakhstan National Championships.

“Yuriy has been in the field of vision of our team for a long time, we are watching with interest the progress of this young rider. It is difficult to say what will be his specialty, but now it is clear that Natarov is talented and ambitious. Every year Astana Team invites young Kazakh riders, we are always in search of domestic talents. Yuriy Natarov has great potential, and we will try to provide the rider with all the conditions for growth and development in the WorldTour,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Yuriy Natarov:

Joining Vital Concept Cycling Club, Cyril Gautier Returns to the Fold
A Breton in Brittany! Cyril Gautier, almost 31 and already twelve years as a professional rider, signed 2-year deal with the Vital Concept Cycling Club. Experienced rider, as generous in the effort as once down the bike, the man from Plouagat aims to put his natural offensive and collective to the benefit of the team, bringing his «enormous motivation» and his experience of major races.

Member of a World Team in the last three years, the former winner of Paris-Camembert, Tour du Finistere or Route Adélie has a lot to contribute and inculcate. “For its first year of existence, the team has been very present, often assuming an ambitious and convincing strategy, underlines the former U23 European Champion. It has made its debut in the professional peloton and, thanks to the upcoming recruits, the level will rise again and the results will follow quickly. I cannot wait to meet my former teammates Kevin (Reza), Bryan (Coquard) or Momo (Julien Morice), and bring to the Club my solidity on major races. I was seduced by the identity that Jérôme (Pineau, the general manager of the Vital Concept Cycling Club) was able to give to the team, by instilling important values, such as never to giver up. I think that my character and my profile suit well with that.”

“My first memories of Cyril go back to the World Championships in Verona, in 2004, remembers Jerome Pineau. He was still a Junior but I had seen him as a talented rider and a great man. Cyril is a warrior, a puncher who keeps on going. Launching the Vital Concept Cycling Club last winter, we knew that we would probably miss a rider like him, hard to hurt and always ready to go to battle or to speak. Cyril is able to animate a mountain stage on a Grand Tour, to win great races and to lead by example. His generosity will bring us a lot.”

Cyril, who already completed eight Tour de France, agrees: “In the last three years, I have often worked for Romain Bardet and this has taught me to race constantly in the front, to be proactive in the bunch. In my new team, I will be able to inculcate this to my teammates, warning them of the dangers or risks of echelons if necessary, without leaving my good mood. I think I’m nice to live and I think I will melt well in this group where the atmosphere seems excellent…”

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck Set to Bolster Continuum Sports’ Classics Team
Belgian rider Guillaume Van Keirsbulck will join Greg Van Avermaet at Continuum Sports in 2019 to strengthen the team’s classics roster, General Manager Jim Ochowicz announced today.

Van Keirsbulck is the second rider alongside Van Avermaet to be confirmed with Continuum Sports, currently operating as BMC Racing Team, for the 2019 season when Polish shoe and bag manufacturer CCC becomes title sponsor.

“We are excited to welcome Guillaume Van Keirsbulck to Continuum Sports as we believe he will be a valuable addition to our classics team. With CCC joining Continuum Sports as title sponsor in 2019 we will have a new look, a new roster, and new objectives, so this is the first of many rider announcements we will make over the coming weeks,” Ochowicz explained.

“Guillaume has a lot of experience at the WorldTour level and has demonstrated his abilities in different racing formats, from one-day classics to Grand Tours with two Tour de France participations to his name. With victories at Binck Bank Tour and Le Samyn over the years, Guillaume has shown that he can win races so he will have his own opportunities with us, as well as playing a crucial support role for Greg Van Avermaet during the classics season. As a Belgian, Guillaume is at home on the cobbles and this knowledge will be invaluable for the cobbled classics next year.”

Van Keirsbulck, 27, turned professional in 2011 and will make his return to the WorldTour after two years with Professional Continental Team Wanty Groupe-Gobert.

The opportunity to ride alongside Van Avermaet was too good to pass up, Van Keirsbulck said.

“I come from a cycling family and as a Belgian, I love the classics so I am very excited to join Continuum Sports. I am motivated to help Greg Van Avermaet in the classics and to help strengthen the team, and take any opportunities that come my way,” Van Keirsbulck said.

“I have had the chance to ride for myself in the past two years but in the classics it is a constant fight for position and there is a certain level of respect that comes from riding with a WorldTour team. I’m really looking forward to returning to the WorldTour level to ride for a strong team like Continuum Sports, with Greg as leader.”

In keeping with team policy, no other details of the contract were released.

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck:

Danilo Wyss agrees deal with Team Dimension Data
Team Dimension Data is delighted to confirm that Danilo Wyss has agreed terms and will join the team on a two-year contract, from 1 January 2019. The 32-year-old Swiss rider has been with the BMC Racing Team for his entire career and now, after 11 years, will join our African Team.

2018 has seen Wyss involved in a busy schedule having raced the Tour Down Under, Tour of California, Critérium du Dauphiné, Romandie, Catalunya, Basque Country as well as Tour de Yorkshire, highlighting his versatility. As such, the 2015 Swiss road race champion brings a wealth of experience to bolster our squad as we continue to build towards the future, and in keeping with our Vision 2020 goals.

In addition, following the announcement during the Tour de France of our exciting new partner, BMC Switzerland, Danilo’s knowledge of the brand will undoubtedly bring key insights which he’ll be able to share not only with our riders but with our staff too.

Danilo Wyss – Rider: “I’m really happy to take on this new challenge. I have been riding on BMC bikes for 11 years now and it’s really nice to keep that particular story going, as BMC will also be the new bike supplier for Team Dimension Data (from 2019). We will, of course, look to be successful on the road but I also really like the way in which the team supports the Qhubeka charity. I realize that I’m very lucky to be able to live my passion by being on the bike and this new opportunity means that I will be able to help others through the team, as well as through Qhubeka.”

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal: “Danilo brings a huge amount of added experience to our squad that will be crucially important for our 2019 campaign and beyond, and we’re very excited to have him join us. In addition, his long-standing relationship with our new partner BMC is a huge bonus, not only from a technical perspective, but also in relation to the deep understanding of what BMC Switzerland founder Andy Rihs meant to the sport. All of us, across the peloton, would have benefitted in some way through his passion and to have someone like Danilo being able to share that with our team will provide additional motivation and inspiration. We look forward to having Danilo link up with us and being part of our team’s future success.”

Danilo Wyss:

Phil Bauhaus and Marcel Sieberg Signed with Team Bahrain-Merida
Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team has signed two new German riders for the following two seasons, Phil Bauhaus and Marcel Sieberg.

Having Phil on the team is exactly what Team Bahrain Merida was looking for, a young and enthusiastic talented sprinter. He started his professional career in 2013 and now he will put on red and blue jerseys of Team Bahrain Merida starting 2019.

Experienced rider Marcel Sieberg started his professional cycling career in 2005 and is one of the worlds best lead out riders for the sprints. In the team, expectations of him are big regarding sharing his knowledge with the young riders and contributing some great performances to the team.

Brent Copeland, General Manager of the Team Bahrain Merida, expressed his thoughts regarding two new riders in the team. “Phil is a rider whom we at team Bahrain Merida consider one of the most promising sprinters in the professional peloton. He is a rider that we have been considering closely for the past year and, therefore, we have put a lot of time investment to make this decision as we truly feel his future as a sprinter is something that will surprise the professional cycling world in the near future. We welcome him to the team and looking forward to a strong and good future together.”

Brent continues: “Having Marcel as part of team Bahrain Merida means bringing the wealth of experience, both on and off the bike, he is a rider who can bring an incredible amount of knowledge to the younger riders on the team. His presence is something we are counting on immensely, especially for the lead out train for Phil Bauhaus, as we believe in his experience, has been a crucial part of this area on the team. Marcel has worked with the best riders in the world and we rate him as one of, if not the best, lead out rider for a sprint train, we are definitely excited about getting this work relationship going.”

Both well-known riders commented their decision for the next season.

Phil Bauhaus said: “I’m really looking forward to join Team Bahrain Merida and I already feel that they believe in me with the project we are planning together. Together we can have successful years.”

Marcel Sieberg commented: “I‘m really looking forward to the next two years. It’s like a new beginning for me. Team Bahrain Merida is a great team with a lot of potential and I hope that I can help to make the team successful with my abilities.”

Phil Bauhaus and Marcel Sieberg:

Loïc Vliegen joins Wanty-Groupe Gobert
Wanty-Groupe Gobert has started his reinforcement for the next season. The Belgian team, which recently extended the contract of three of its riders (Meurisse, Martin, Devriendt), can count on a first reinforcement for 2019. Loïc Vliegen signs a two-year contract with Wanty-Groupe Gobert. The Belgian, who has been with BMC for three and a half years, will strengthen our Walloon formation this winter. The rider from Liège finished 9th in the Amstel Gold Race in 2016, twice in the top 10 of Tour de Wallonie and 5th in Dubai Tour this year.

Loïc Vliegen: “I could have stayed with BMC and also received offers from World Tour teams. But I see that Wanty-Groupe Gobert is growing and the positive feedback has convinced me. It is a good thing to become a member of a Walloon team with Walloon partners. This project is growing every year and presented a great opportunity. I have a role to play at Wanty-Groupe Gobert, which is very important to me. I gained a lot of experience at BMC and was able to participate in numerous important races at a high level. I have learned a lot, it is time to score now. I will do my best to achieve good results for the team over the next two years. This is really something I was looking for: to get freedom in the spring classics, especially for the Flemish classics. I also want to be present in Tour de France, because I have already ridden Vuelta and the Giro. I will do everything to be in the selection and show myself. I already know a lot of people at Wanty-Groupe Gobert, so I will quickly feel at home. I often train with Boris Vallée, with whom I rode in a youth team for six seasons. I also know Kevin Van Melsen well. I am looking forward to be their team mate, so I am not afraid of the switch and integration into the group.”

Jean-François Bourlart: “It is important for our team, with two Walloon partners, to be able to attract one of the best riders in the peloton. We are convinced that Loïc has the qualities to shine in the spring classics. Thus I am happy to have convinced him to ride for Wanty-Groupe Gobert for the next two years.”

Loïc Vliegen:

Astana Pro Team Extends with Laurens De Vreese
The Belgian rider Laurens De Vreese will continue his adventure with Astana Pro Team in the next season of 2019. The corresponding agreement between the rider and the team was signed recently.

“I am very happy about my new contract with Astana Pro Team, where I feel like at home, in the family. The atmosphere in the team is great and I am happy that the work I do for my teammates is highly appreciated. Looking back to the Classics season it is impossible not to notice the growth of the team. I am proud of what our team has achieved this spring. We are moving in right direction step by step. I am excited that I will continue to participate in this development,” said Laurens De Vreese.

Laurens De Vreese (29 years old) spends his fourth season in Astana Pro Team. He is a well-known specialist in the Classic races and an indispensable assistant for the team leaders in the most prestigious Classics of the WorldTour, including such a great Monuments as the Tour of Flanders and the Paris – Roubaix. The next goal of Laurens De Vreese is the prestigious stage race Binck Bank Tour (formerly known as Eneco Tour) on the roads of Netherlands and Belgium.

“No doubt, Laurens De Vreese is a very important part of the team’s strategy on the Classic races. In the last few years, we have been working on this direction, the team is progressing every year on the Classics, there are already great victories and podiums. We will continue to move ahead. De Vreese has proved himself as a rider who can provide the leader of the team with invaluable help during a big Classic race, so I am happy that he remains in Astana,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Laurens De Vreese:

Swiss ‘ancien’ Grégory Rast Announces Retirement
At the age of 38 and after 11 years racing on Trek bikes, Swiss rider Grégory Rast has decided that the 2018 season will be his final season as a professional bike rider.

Rast started his professional career at Post-Swiss team in 2001, after being a stagiaire at the end of the 2000 season. In his 17-year-long career, Rast competed in 10 Grand Tours and 51 Classics. Amongst his victories, his two Swiss national titles (’04, ’06), a stage in the Tour de Suisse (’13) and winning the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg (’07) stand out most. Grégory Rast is a strong classics rider who turned into one of the most experienced road captains in the peloton.

Rast: “I am happy the word is out and that everybody now knows that I will retire at the end of the season, but the season is not over yet, so I want to focus and enjoy racing for a couple of months more before I start to think about my last race. I want to give it my all for the team, and for myself, to finish my career at the highest level possible.”

Rast, who is currently racing with Trek-Segafredo at the Tour of Utah, will continue to stay in the team in an unspecified role.

General Manager Luca Guercilena: “I am happy that we came to terms with Grégy really fast. He’s one of the backbones of the team, and over the past few years, we saw him develop into an excellent guide for the young riders. He shared his broad experience and knowledge with them without any reserves. That’s why we are happy to keep him on board. We are looking at different options now, but we have not yet defined in which function that will be.”

Rast: “It’s never easy to call it a day, but I feel relieved now that I have decided upon my future. After 17 years in the pro peloton, it will not be easy for sure to leave this all behind, that’s why I am so happy that I get the chance to stay with the team. I have been with this team since the very beginning, and I have been riding a Trek bike since 2008. We go way back, so when Luca offered me the opportunity to stay with the team, I didn’t have to think twice.”

Grégory Rast:

An open letter from Simon Gerrans regarding his future.

Cycling has been a huge part of my life for a long period of time and through which, I have met a lot of fantastic people, many of whom will remain life-long friends. I am very proud of what I have achieved during my career and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey.

Although I feel that I am still performing at a good level physically, my passion for the sport is not what it used to be. Professional cycling is too hard unless you are able to commit wholeheartedly. I am really happy to be able to walk away on my own terms and feel that the end of this season is the right time to transition to a new phase in my life.

I would especially like to mention each of the professional teams that I have ridden for throughout my career. AG2R Prevoyance, Credit Agricole, Cervelo TestTeam, Team Sky, GreenEDGE and BMC Racing Team. Thank you for the opportunities I received and what I learnt while racing in your colors. One of my goals was to make a positive impact in each team by contributing both on and off the bike, and I feel as though I achieved this.

When I look back over my racing career, my fondest memories don’t come from winning classics or grand tour stages, but the happiness and joy my victories created for the team and the people close to me. I also cherish the times when I was able to contribute to the personal success of my teammates.

The process of meticulously preparing for my objectives and working hard in training is what I loved about being a professional cyclist. What made the biggest victories of my career the most rewarding was knowing that I perfected the preparation. During the best years of my racing career, those times when I got my preparation just right, I was competitive in the biggest races, against the best cyclists in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the tactics of cycling; the times I was able to outsmart an opponent in a high pressure situation and beat someone stronger was satisfying. I also loved working within a team environment; the camaraderie amongst my teammates and team personnel was something I’ll never forget.

With regard to my future, I want to emphasize that I am not retiring, I’m changing careers.

In the short term, I plan on spending some time with my family. Family has always been the most important thing to me, but for the past 20 years, they have made great sacrifices and have been incredibly supportive of my career. I am now looking forward to giving my wife, Rahna, and our children, Oscar and Isla, my attention.

Over the past couple of years I have received some really interesting career opportunities from within and outside the world of cycling. I hope to maintain an involvement with the sport in some capacity, however initially I am motivated to gain some experience and develop my skills in a new area. I hope that the skills and attributes I have developed and the networks I have built throughout my cycling career will provide a solid foundation to support this goal. The idea of getting out of my comfort zone and embracing a completely new career is daunting, yet excites me, and for these reasons I know it is the right thing to do.

Finally, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the supporters of cycling, sponsors, teams, teammates, friends and family that have made my time as a professional cyclist such an unforgettable chapter of my life.

– Simon Gerrans

Career Highlights – 33 individual wins including:
2016: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3, Stage 4, and General Classification.
2014: Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec
2014: Gran Prix Cycliste de Montreal
2014: Liège-Bastogne-Liège
2014: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1 and General Classification.
2014: Australian road race champion
2013: Tour de France Stage 3
2012: Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec
2012: Milan-San Remo
2012: Santos Tour Down Under General Classification
2012: Australian road race champion
2011 Tour of Denmark General Classification
2009 GP Ouest France-Plouay
2009: Vuelta a España Stage 10
2009: Giro d’Italia Stage 14
2008: Tour de France Stage 15
2006: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 and General Classification.

Simon Gerrans:

The Cyclists’ Alliance Opens Membership To All Women In Elite Cycling
The Cyclists’ Alliance, the first global riders’ association founded by women for women, is pleased to announce that it will be accepting membership from and representing the interests of women in all disciplines of elite cycling.

The Alliance officially began its mission to improve the rights, opportunities, and economic potential for women in professional level road cycling in December, 2017. Since then, the Alliance has successfully represented its members by creating a mentoring program, proposing a wide variety of reforms to the UCI, and has helped many riders to resolve legal issues through negotiation and arbitration. Most importantly, the Alliance has listened to the needs of women in cycling through detailed surveys, race visitation, and one-on-one conversations to make sure we understand what women truly need to have successful professional careers.

Now, as women’s professional-level cycling continues to develop and improve, the Alliance has recognized that the issues in road cycling are prevalent in every discipline of our great sport. We understand through our direct conversations with the riders that there are many universally shared issues affecting women riders. Starting today, the Alliance will work with some of the brightest stars in mountain bike racing and cyclocross – with track and BMX to soon follow – to expand its mission to support all women in elite cycling.

Putting this new effort into high gear, Helen Wyman and Katerina “Kate” Nash (cyclocross), Ariane Lüthi, Catharine Pendrel, and Maja Wloszczowska (mountain bike racing) will be working within their cycling disciplines to help bring their fellow competitors’ interests into a new light. We will help these stars of cycling to bring their peers together and measure what is needed to continue elevating the visibility, outreach, and opportunity for women racing all over the world.

We encourage all women racing at the professional level today to visit the Alliance’s website to learn more about our mission and our programs for helping women to advance their careers in our sport. By aligning the riders’ needs in all of the sport’s disciplines, the Alliance can unify key initiatives for safe and equitable treatment, fair contract negotiations, and expansion of our professional development and mentoring programs to build a stronger and more inclusive sport.

Our newest representatives will soon be reaching out to riders across the globe. Riders can sign up to join The Cyclists’ Alliance through the website, and can also contact the Board members for further information.

Iris Slappendel, Founder and Director at
Carmen Small, Vice Director at
Gracie Elvin, Communications at
Ariane Lüthi at
Kate Nash at
Helen Wyman at
Catharine Pendrel at

Quick-Step Floors Presents its New Truck
Our new vehicle is versatile, packed with great features and has a stunning design
07-Aug-2018: The last month of the summer sees Quick-Step Floors enhance its already impressive fleet with the addition of an ultra-modern 12m-long MAN truck, which has been built and customized to meet the needs of the World Tour team classification leader, following the specific requirements of the mechanics and soigneurs of the squad, who are so important in our success.

Beautifully crafted on the inside, this new 460-horsepower robust truck with automatic gear box and Quick-Step floor has three slides, which when completely open provide a proper and clean environment for the mechanics to work and prepare the bikes regardless of the weather outside, thanks to the split air-conditioned system which can warm up and cool down the space.

The wonderful kitchen, equipped with a big extended working surface, microwave cooking plate, two big fridges, integrated LED light and plenty of storage compartments is much to the liking of the team’s soigneurs, who have to take care of the riders’ food and drinks during the races. The washing machine and dryer – a must when traveling for over 200 days a year across Europe to attend the numerous races on the calendar – can also be found in the front area of the truck, which incorporates the panel for controlling the truck’s electrics, generator and alarm system.

“This year we took our fleet to another level. In March we added a new motorhome, followed now by this beautiful truck. This is because we always want to give our staff and riders a cutting-edge technology, which automatically brings safety and comfort, laying down the foundations for performing”, said Quick-Step Floors’ CEO, Patrick Lefevere.

“As constructor we are very proud that Quick-Step Floors trusted us again to be their partner and build this spectacular service truck. The idea was to maximize spaces and incorporate a wide range of amenities, knowing how important these factors are for the team, and we can be satisfied looking at the outcome”, added Dirk De Bock, director of Krismar Horse Trucks.

Quick-Step Floors’ fleet now numbers nearly 30 vehicles – 18 Peugeot cars, three trucks, two vans, two buses and one camper – a testimony to the team’s continuous desire of improving, being the best and achieving the most out of every opportunity, which are some of our outfit’s defining traits since the start of our adventure in 2003.

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