EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Polish team helps evacuate Ukrainians – TOP STORY. All the race action form Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico with results and video. Death of Alexander Kulyk Ukrainian coach and Gazprom-RusVelo team to stop. Rider news: Jakobsen to Milan-San Remo? Pidcock to the Tour? Sagan Leaves Tirreno, Henao and Visconti end their careers, Stewart ill, Dewulf signs for two more seasons and Aru Specialized ambassador. Race news: Teams for the Dwars door Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs, equal prize money in the Classic Brugge-De Panne and 2023 Super World Championship’s TTs in Stirling. Team news: Bart Wellens is motivated and more teams in the Tour de France documentary. Plus Paul Sherwen Project letter from Phil Liggett. *** Stop the War in Ukraine ***


TOP STORY: Polish Continental Team Helps Evacuate Ukrainians
The Continental Polish team HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski decided not to ride the Visit Friesland Elfsteden Race last weekend. “A difficult decision, but there are more important things in life,” referring to the situation in Ukraine. The team wanted to do something to help with the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens.

The Polish team decided last week to use their four buses to take Ukrainian citizens to various places in Poland, where they would receive help. “We help as much as we can, this is the most important goal for us today. The funds that were supposed to be issued for the first starts are being allocated to the ‘Ukraine project’. We believe that we are doing the right thing, we have a lot of Ukrainian friends from the cycling environment and that’s what we’re focusing on today,” the team said on Facebook.

“We managed to evacuate about 60 people. We are shocked by the situation. We hope that we will soon be able to race without worries in Poland, Europe and the whole world with a clean heart and a calm mind. Slava Ukraini!”

Adrian Banaszek, Alan Banaszek (former rider of CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Piotr Brożyna (ex-CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Adam Stachowiak and Jakub Kaczmarek ride for HRE Mazowsze Serce Polski Cycling Team.

 


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Paris-Nice 2022
Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) took the victory in Orléans, after an eventful Stage 2 of Paris-Nice 2022. The first attacks of the day led to an intense battle through the wind as Jumbo-Visma tried to hurt their rivals again, on the day after their collective show of strength in Mantes-la-Ville. Monday’s battles finished with many victims: the two-time winner of Paris-Nice Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe), Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) all lost 1:29, David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) dropped 9 minutes. Jakobsen sprinted to the win ahead of two riders from Jumbo-Visma, Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte, who retained the yellow jersey.

The peloton left Auffargis with 151 riders and two non-starters: Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Rudy Barbier (Israel-Premier Tech), who both struggled on stage 1. With the polka dot jersey on his shoulders, Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) was eager for battle on the early climbs of the day. The British baroudeur was the first attacker of the day. He was quickly followed by Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM), a threatening rival for the KOM standings, and another rider from Lotto Soudal, Philippe Gilbert. Holmes led the way to the top of the cat-3 climb of the Côte des 17 Tournants (9.6km) and Côte de Choisel (18km) to tighten his grip on the polka dots. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is caught up in an early crash. The Belgian champion changed his bike and returned to the bunch after 10km of chase behind a peloton led by Trek-Segafredo trying to turn the race upside down on the exposed roads. Calm returned in the bunch and the attackers took their lead up to 6 minutes through the plains of Beauce. The maximum gap was reached at km 65km (6:10). Then, the race exploded as the riders faced new open roads exposed to crosswinds from the East.

Tension and pace increased. The peloton split in three parts with some 85km to go as there was another crash. Nils Eekhoff (DSM) was forced to abandon. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) are caught behind. Following their show of strength on day 1, Jumbo-Visma were among the most involved in splitting the bunch. INEOS Grenadiers and Trek-Segafredo were also willing to hurt their rivals. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) also took turns. The battle went on for more than 30km, with more riders dropped due to crashes (Girmay, McNulty, Almeida) or mechanicals (G. Martin, Schachmann). The early attackers were caught with 63km to go by a reduced bunch, and more splits occur. Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco), Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) were among the riders dropped. They returned to a 30-man front group 43km from the finish line.

The pace dropped a bit, allowing the chasers to get closer before the final 20km. The second bunch, mostly led by Movistar for Garcia Cortina and Jorgenson, trailed by 25 seconds, while the gap to Schachmann and Martin dropped down to 1:10 after it had gone over 2 minutes during the stage. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) launches a new attack with 14km to go, but the yellow jersey of Christophe Laporte reacted and everyone followed. Bissegger went again with 5km to go. He manages to open a gap of 5 seconds, but Fabio Jakobsen still had three teammates to pull in Bissegger with 1km to go. Laporte surged to the front with Van Aert on his wheel inside the final kilometre. Jakobsen’s speed gave him victory in front of the two Jumbo-Visma riders. Laporte retained the yellow jersey and Roglič took more time on rivals such as Martin, Schachmann, McNulty, Almeida and Gaudu.

Stage winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “We knew that today would be a day of echelons and we love them, so we were prepared for what was to come. It wasn’t easy and there was a lot of nervousness the entire stage, but we remained confident and very motivated. Being in four riders meant we could control things at the end, where Yves did a huge pull over the bridge until the last kilometre, then Styby took over and Florian sheltered me until I could launch my sprint. I like winning and I’m happy I could take my first victory here and continue this good start to the season.”

Overall leader, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma): “The nervousness was noticeable in the peloton throughout the stage. But we constantly rode at the front and did well today.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was an unnecessary crash, as is the case with every crash. Fortunately, I got away without too much damage. Together with Christophe we were positioned well in the sprint. He attacked at a good moment and helped me very well. I was riding on my limit. Fabio deserved to win. He is the strongest sprinter of the moment. As a team, we rode a strong race today and we did well in the general classification, with regard to Primoz’s ambitions.”

9th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën): “We knew it would be a difficult day. We are really working very well together as a team. You had to be careful not to miss any splits.”

Best young rider, Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën): “It’s a good day for the AG2R Citroën Team. The goal was to get Ben O’Connor safely through the stage, and he was in the first group. We had four riders in the first echelon (Stan Dewulf, Oliver Naesen, Ben O’Connor and Clément Champoussin) which is very good. I’m happy to have the white jersey. It’s always fun to wear a distinctive jersey.”

Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “Yesterday was tough, today was even tougher! The crosswind split the peloton several times and we had to fight hard to stay in the front group. I was able to close the gap two times and so made it to the line without losing time. I’m happy with my day and absolutely looking forward to a more hilly terrain in the next days.”

Paris-Nice Stage 2 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 3:22:54
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
8. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
9. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
10. Cees Bol (Ned) DSM.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 2:
1. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma in 7:11:15
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:05
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:11
4. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:36
5. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:38
6. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:39
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe.

Paris-Nice stage 2:

 

A demanding day of racing leading to an uphill sprint on Stage 3. This perfectly suited Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), who sprinted to his second victory of the season and his first in Paris-Nice. The former World champion beat Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in Dun-le-Palestel.

Three breakaway riders quickly got into the move: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost) and Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hotels-KTM) broke away from the bunch after 3 kilometres. Jasper Philipsen’s Alpecin-Fenix send Senne Leysen to the front of the bunch to control the gap on the flat first half of the stage. Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo collaborate as Julien Bernard started pulling when the gap hit its maximum of 5:10 at 64km. Biniam Girmay’s Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux also put a put rider at the front of the peloton as the attackers entered the last 80km with a lead of 4 minutes. De Gendt made sure he was first at the top of the first two categorised ascents of the day to defend the polka dot jersey taken on day 1 by his Lotto Soudal teammate Matthew Holmes. Tension increases in the peloton as many teams tried to position their leaders towards the front on a rolling course. The gap came down to 1:45 when the bunch crossed the line for the first time with 43.9km to go. Riders from INEOS Grenadiers, Bahrain Victorious and DSM – with a short-lived attack by Soren Kragh Andersen – maintain a hard pace on the way to the last categorised climb of the day, the Côte de Le Peyroux (2.8km at 5.2%), with its summit at 22.6km from the finish.

After a flurry of attacks, Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) is the only attacker off the front of the bunch at the top. Sprinters such as Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe), Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Niccolò Bonifazio (TotalEnergies) had been dropped. Burgaudeau was caught on the descent. The Yellow Jersey Christophe Laporte took the reins for Jumbo-Visma with 17km to go. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) returns to drive the bunch into the last 10km alongside riders from Oliver Naesen’s AG2R Citroën and Ivan Garcia Cortina’s Movistar. Kragh attacked again with 8km to go, but Garcia Cortina’s teammates reel him in 5.5km out. AG2R Citroën drove the bunch into the last kilometre but Jasper Stuyven launches his Trek-Segafredo companion Mads Pedersen to victory, ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). Christophe Laporte crashed with Kevin Geniets in the sprint, but they both get back on their bikes and the Frenchman retained the yellow jersey on the eve of the TT.

Stage winner and 4th overall, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “We missed out yesterday with Alex Kirsch puncture and me losing the chain [in the sprint], and we wanted to make it up today. The boys did a fantastic job all day to make it as easy as possible for me, and yeah, a terrific lead out from Alex (Kirsch) and Jasper (Stuyven), and then I just put my head down a sprinted. Yeah, a really good day. It’s not an easy final when you can see the finish line in the last kilometre and a half, so it’s a little waiting game. But like I said already yesterday, I normally don’t take into account too much in the final I just follow wheels. So today, I was following Jasper’s wheel, and then when I felt it was time to go, I opened the sprint. Roughly I opened between 250 and 200 meters to go – it was a long sprint, but I knew I could surprise the guys if I opened a little early. When you open that early it’s a risk and I was not so sure it would work, but luckily it was enough to keep the guys behind. I think a few years ago I said if you play poker, and you have two kings, it’s quite good, and today the poker game went really well for us. It’s just incredible to ride with those guys, how they protect me the whole day, and the way Jasper and I work in the finals; that is really, really nice. It’s nice to finally pay off the boys with a victory. A little uphill is always better for me than a flat sprint, so today was perfect. It was a hard sprint, and we knew we had to be in front on the local lap so 100% we were. Then the boys delivered me perfectly. It’s my first WordTour win in a long time, and it’s really nice to start out [the season] so well; it’s a good direction for the classics that are coming in a few weeks. I have been in better form, maybe not at this time of year, but when I was World Champion,” he answered. “I changed my coach last year and changed the approach to the start of the season. It was a long time since our last victory; we needed this. It’s nice to have confidence, and that is what’s coming out of this. The shape is good, but it can be better.”

Overall leader, Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma): “I don’t know what happened. I had done my job for Wout and rode a little slower than the others. I couldn’t avoid the crash. It’s not too bad, but of course it’s better not to crash. I’m not sure if I’ll still be wearing the yellow jersey after tomorrow. But if I lose it tomorrow, I’d rather lose it to Wout or Primoz.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Mike and Christophe helped me to the front in the final very well. Before that, we made the race hard and everything went the way I wanted. Unfortunately, the legs were not strong enough to hurt Pedersen today.”

4th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “They are riding strong, so it was a deserved win. It was not an easy stage, but I think we tried well with the team. We did better than the previous days, so that was good. He (Van Aert) and his team still looked good. I was hoping she’d start a little early so I could move right in and have a chance. I just didn’t have the best legs. The form is good, but the fall yesterday didn’t make it any better.”

8th on the stage, Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe): “A good but hard day! In the end it was really fast, Max and Aleks helped me a bit which was really good but in the end I was on my own then. I gave it a go and felt ok but not super good. I tried to keep calm and just stay in the front. That worked out and even surprised myself a bit. I think that was a good result for me and also for Aleks who made it to the line without losing any time in the GC. Leading up to the classics I’m happy with how my shape is improving.”

Paris-Nice Stage 3 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 4:23:29
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
3. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies
6. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 3:
1. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma in 11:34:44
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:09
4. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:29
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:33
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
7. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:38
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:39
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe
10. Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Paris-Nice stage 3:

 

Jumbo-Visma imposed their collective strength again on Stage 4 of Paris-Nice with another 1-2-3 for the Dutch squad. Already dominant on day 1, the riders in black and yellow smashed the 13.4km individual time-trial from Domérat to Montluçon. This time, Wout van Aert powered to the stage win and took the yellow and white jersey as the race leader. The ITT Olympic champion Primoz Roglič had the second best time, ahead of the two-time World TT champion Rohan Dennis. Christophe Laporte finished 11th to stay on the overall podium. Such dominance was witnessed in Paris-Nice 1983, when Sean Kelly led the team Sem-France Loire to two 1-2-3s, on stages 4 and 7 (an ITT).

It was Dmitriy Gruzdev who started the stage, his time was quickly beaten by the young UAE Team Emirates rider Finn Fisher-Black, then by Thomas De Gendt. But a very big blow was struck by Australian champion Rohann Dennis, who improved the time of the Belgian rider by more than a minute and completed the 13.4 kilometres with an average speed of 48.925 km/h. The newcomer to Jumbo-Visma was not worried by the young talent of INEOS Genadiers, Ethan Hayter, who loses 8 seconds with an average speed of 48.5km/h. The gap to the American Brandon McNulty, trailing by 30 seconds on the line, also shows how well Rohan Dennis had ridden, he was comfortably installed in the hot seat until Stefan Küng set off. The time of the European champion after 7 kilometres sent a clear signal. He looked able to dislodge Dennis who had deprived him of a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. At the finish Küng was 4 seconds behind.

Among the main contenders likely to worry Dennis, Stefan Bisseger lost ground, but the threat now looked to be coming from Simon Yates, who improves the Australian’s intermediate time by more than 3 seconds. However, the winner of the Paris-Nice 2019 time-trial faded at the finish to be 5 seconds down. The battle for the top of the GC would also be a fight for the stage, Rohan Dennis’ three teammates were the only ones who could defeat him. Primoz Roglič was slightly behind on the first part but he eventually powers to the best time, 4 seconds ahead of his Australian teammate. The Olympic time trial champion could only enjoy the hot seat for a few seconds, as Wout Van Aert finished with an average speed of 49.224 km/h to take both his first stage of Paris-Nice and leader’s jersey. Christophe Laporte set the 11th best time to sit in third place overall

Stage winner and overall leader, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Obviously it means a lot to take this iconic yellow jersey in one of the biggest races of the year. Hopefully, it’s not the last time I can wear it this year. It’s a perfect week so far with the team. We motivate each other and it got us another podium. It was a really good course for me. In the previous years, I always had a hard time when you had to change rhythm all the time, but today I managed to find my rhythm and it resulted in a beautiful victory. The final ascent was really hard. I managed to save a little bit in the downhills and give it all on the climbs. I hope to hand over this jersey to Primoz [Roglič] in the next few days. The harder stages are coming and there are good things to do.”

3rd on the stage, Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a tough time trial with a challenging course – something for guys like Primoz and Wout. After days of work, I am happy with my result. It’s great that we are doing so well as a team.”

5th on the stage and 4th overall, Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I am very happy with this. This is my best time trial in a long time. A lot of difference was made on the first climb, because you can’t really gain time anywhere in the descents. Although those big guys may have gotten away from me there, but after that descent it was full throttle to the finish. One of the reasons why I wanted to ride here instead of Tirreno-Adriatico, was because of the hilly time trial. The time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico was fairly flat, so it was very difficult for me to test myself there. You ride your wattages and that’s it. But here you really have to find a pace and estimate the corners correctly. Personally I feel good. I feel I’m in the right form, but that doesn’t always result in a good Grand Tour later in the year, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

8th overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m happy with my time trial today, I think I showed a solid performance and could move up in the GC a bit. I’m really looking forward to the next days when we’re heading further south and reach the mountains. For me the race really starts from now on!”

8th on the stage and 9th overall, Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost): “I got a bit sick overnight, but I tried it. Normally, I have more power, it should have gone better, but with how things are at the moment, it’s okay. The coming stages are gonna be hard. But first I need to look out for my health. We’ll see how it goes.”

Paris-Nice Stage 4 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 16:20
2. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:02
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Jumbo-Visma at 0:06
4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
5. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:11
6. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:14
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:19
8. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:21
9. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:25
10. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:28.

Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 4:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 11:51:05
2. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
3. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma at 0:28
4. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:49
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:51
6. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:53
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:06
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (-) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:09
9. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:13
10. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 1:19.

Paris-Nice stage 4:

 


Tirreno-Adriatico 2022
The Stage 1 time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico was won by Filippo Ganna. The two-time time trial World champion managed to live up to his favourite status in Lido di Camaiore, beating Remco Evenepoel by 11 seconds. Evenepoel did excellent work with a view to the overall victory with second place at 11 seconds.

On Monday the riders didn’t get a flat sprint stage, but an individual time trial of 13.9 kilometres along the Tyrrhenian coast from Lido di Camaiore. The course is comparable to the time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, because it was mainly straight and flat. A course for the pure time trial specialists, such as the reigning World champion Filippo Ganna.

Leonardo Basso of Astana Qazaqstan was the first rider to set a time, but the Italian didn’t set the world on fire. Alex Dowsett rode a very good time trial. The British time trial champion of Israel-Premier Tech finished with a time of 15:42 and that was the best time so far. Josef Černý, who is a specialist against the clock, had to concede 20 seconds on Dowsett. The 33-year-old Dowsett didn’t have too many illusions, however, as the big favourites had yet to roll off the starting ramp. There were many riders such as Nelson Oliveira, Jos van Emden, Tobias Ludvigsson and Edoardo Affini to ride, but they were blown away by Dowsett’s time. The next arrive was Kasper Asgreen. Third in the Strade Bianche had set his sights on this time trial and started like a rocket and managed to go 1 second under Dowsett’s time. 15:41 for Asgreen was the new target time for men like Filippo Ganna and Remco Evenepoel, who had yet to start their time trial.

Ganna did not disappoint. The Italian clocked the fastest time at the first intermediate point and didn’t slow in the second part. Ganna stopped the clock at 15:17, 23 seconds faster than Asgreen. Evenepoel also rode an excellent time trial, although he was unable to threaten Ganna on a typical Ganna course. Evenepoel rode well enough for a possible overall victory. At the finish the difference to Ganna was 11 seconds, in favour of the Italian, but with a time of 15:28 the Belgian Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider put his competitors for the overall victory behind him. Only Tadej Pogačar, last year’s winner of Tirreno-Adriatico could possibly beat Ganna and Evenepoel. That turned out to be possible, but Pogačar did ride an excellent time trial to finish within 20 seconds of the winner, Ganna. In the top 10 there was also Asgreen, Dowsett, a strong Thymen Arensman, Ludvigsson, Van Emden, Mikkel Bjerg and Matteo Sobrero. The biggest losers were Giulio Ciccone at 1:21, Mikel Landa at 1:22, Thibaut Pinot at 1m24s and Romain Bardet at 1m29.

Stage winner and overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “I wanted to do well today because this is a very important race for me and for the team. In the first section there was a lot of headwind but then after the U-turn the wind was favourable and I was able to push harder. Tomorrow there is a stage for sprinters and we will see if I will be able to defend this jersey. In the next few days I will support the team leaders, Richard Carapaz and Richie Porte and if my legs allow it I will try to show myself up front again.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I think I could maybe go a little faster but at the end of the day I think I took the maximum out of my legs, so second is maybe the best result. I wasn’t interested in how much time I could put into the other riders, my sole focus was to do a strong time trial. I would have liked to be in the blue jersey today, but white is also nice. Now I’ll recover after my effort and continue to take it day by day, while helping the team go for some nice results at this beautiful race.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a very intense time trial, on a very fast course. I am happy with my performance and the power I put out: these are sensations that make us look forward to the next few days with confidence. A very busy week awaits us, every day we will have to work hard.”

42nd, Wilco Keldeman (BORA-hansgrohe): “That was the first time trial of my season, and honestly, I’m glad I’m back racing again now. I had Covid and my preparation wasn’t optimal either, but I did my best and I’m pretty satisfied. I’m sure we can build on my performance today in the coming months. It was a solid start to the race and we can only improve from here onwards.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 15:17
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:11
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:24
5. Alex Dowsett (GB) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:25
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:28
7. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:33
9. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39
10. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 1:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 15:17
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:11
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:24
5. Alex Dowsett (GB) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:25
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:28
7. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:33
9. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39
10. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco.

 

Tim Merlier won the Second Stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday. In Sovicille he was the best in a bunch sprint. This was his first win of the year. Filippo Ganna kept the blue leader’s jersey.

The day after the opening time trial, the peloton faced the longest stage of the race: from Camaiore the riders were faced with 219 kilometres to Sovicille. The first 100 kilometres were almost flat, after that it went up and down a bit more. The final part was mainly on flat, straight roads. Despite the finish being slightly uphill, the pure sprinters were the favourites for the victory. After a minute of silence for the victims of the war in Ukraine, the start was given. Five riders made up the escape of the day. Johnatan Cañaveral and Davide Gabburo (both Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Umberto Marengo (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Davide Bais and Francesco Gavazzi (both EOLO-Kometa) got together and had more than a 7 minute lead. After the first hour the peloton accelerated and the lead slowly but surely started to shrink. INEOS Grenadiers for leader Filippo Ganna, and Lotto Soudal, who had set their sights on the stage win with Caleb Ewan, initially kept the break in check. On the climb of La Pineta, 58 kilometres from the finish, the leading group exploded. Bias attacked and had Cañaveral chasing him. Cañaveral couldn’t close the gap and had to drop back to the other escapees. Bias came over the top of the climb first and would secured the mountain jersey at the end of the day.

Bias was joined by his teammate Gavazzi and they pushed on together. As their original break companions were caught one by one by the bunch, the EOLO-Kometa duo tried to hold on to their lead for as long as possible. At the intermediate sprint in Chiusdino, 29 kilometres from the finish, the peloton almost had Bais and Gavazzi in their sights, but the Italians still managed to take 3 and 2 bonus seconds. The 1 remaining second went to Tadej Pogačar. With 20 kilometres to go, Marc Soler jumped out of the bunch to cross to Bais and Gavazzi. Instead of recuperating on the wheels, he went past them. The climber from UAE Team Emirates had a nice lead, but in the end was unable to cope with the sprinter’s trains on his own and was caught with 3 kilometres to go. Alpecin-Fenix ​​for Tim Merlier and Israel-Premier Tech for Giacomo Nizzolo kept the pace high. In the final kilometre, Cofidis picked up the pace for Simone Consonni, after which Israel-Premier Tech attempted to launch Nizzolo. At 500 meters from the finish, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl came forward for Davide Ballerini, but the Italian was passed. Merlier timed his sprint perfectly and was ahead of Olav Kooij and Kaden Groves at the finish. Peter Sagan and Consonni rounded out the top five. Filippo Ganna was in the pack and kept the blue leader’s jersey.

Stage winner, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “Robert Stannard was normally my lead-out man. The team put me in a very good position at the end. At the meeting before the race, we said the 4km to go point was very important. From there we stayed out of the wind. At the end it was a bit difficult to see everything but I’m glad I made it. 500 metres before the line, Peter Sagan was on my right side. We wanted to be on the same wheel. I let him pass because it was still a long way to go. I’m happy I could come out from behind him.”

Overall leader Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been a pretty cold day and It’s been some intense racing. I was expecting Pogacar to go for the time bonus. Nowadays, every second counts. In the finale, unfortunately, we kind of lost each other with Elia [Viviani], unlike we managed to do at the UAE Tour. Tomorrow will be another day and we’ll look to do our best.”

2nd on the stage, Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma): “Considering the good legs I had, second place is a bit of a bummer. The UAE Tour had given me a lot of confidence and I wanted to go for the victory here. It’s a shame I ended up second. The speed and condition are good. If we can start the sprint from a good position, we definitely have a chance to take a victory.”

3rd on the stage, Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco): “I’ve got to thank the guys and the team for giving me the opportunity to sprint today. I’ve been very consistent this year, it’s another podium place today and my first WorldTour podium, so I’m pretty happy with that. I think all the guys can be proud of their performances today and now we can look forward to the rest of the week ahead with some more opportunities to come.”

10th on the stage, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën): “I am satisfied with this top-10 because the field of sprinters here is very strong. Today everyone had good legs since it was the first road stage of the week. Everyone will be a little more tired tomorrow, so I hope to improve on this place. I recovered well after Strade Bianche. The Italian races are close to my heart, I want to get good results in the remaining stages.”

KOM, Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa): “To say that I’m happy is little, and above all I’m happy because we managed to do what we had prepared. Gavazzi was very good, before the GPM I tried to go away and it went well, very well indeed. Now the goal is to keep the jersey as much as possible: I’m not a pure climber, but I’ll do my best to defend it starting tomorrow. In the meantime, I thank the whole team: I believe that our sponsors are happy, for the many hours on TV that we have been able to do today!”

Best young rider, Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën): “The most important thing was to avoid the traps. I was delayed by a crash, though I didn’t fall, 30 km from the finish. After the time trial, I will slip into the shoes of a support teammate for Ben O’Connor and Clément Champoussin.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 Result:
1. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 5:25:23
2. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) TotalEnergies
5. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
7. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
8. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
10. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 2:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 5:40:40
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:11
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:17
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:24
5. Alex Dowsett (GB) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:25
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:28
7. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:33
9. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:39
10. Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco.

 

Caleb Ewan won Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico in Terni. After a stage of 170 kilometres, which saw an attack by Tadej Pogačar and Julian Alaphilippe, Lotto Soudal’s leader was the best in the bunch sprint. He held off Arnaud Démare and Olav Kooij. The leader’s jersey remains on the shoulders of Filippo Ganna.

Taco van der Hoorn was again on the early attack. The Dutch Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider went in a break with five Italians: Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Mattia Bais and Edoardo Zardini (both Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli), Mirco Maestri and Davide Bais (both EOLO-Kometa). They quickly had a 6 minute lead on the peloton. Davide Bais, who was in the break with his brother Mattia, was there to defend his mountain jersey. He won the first mountain sprint after 35 kilometres and then dropped back the peloton, where Alpecin-Fenix ​​and BikeExchange-Jayco set the pace. The sprinter’s teams soon brought the lead down to 2 minutes. Fifty kilometres from the finish, UAE Team Emirates put the pressure on, on an uncategorised climb. The gap to the leading group disappeared and there was a regrouping at 46 kilometres from the finish. Just under 20 kilometres later it became clear why. Leader Tadej Pogačar wanted to grab 3 bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. UAE set up a sprint train and put Pogačar on the front at the perfect time. Despite an attempt by Julian Alaphilippe to take seconds for his leader Remco Evenepoel, Pogačar was the fastest in the sprint. The Slovenian is now within 3 seconds of Evenepoel on the general GC. However, after the sprint; Pogacar, Alaphilippe and Marc Soler carried on with the move. Tao Geoghegan Hart and Mikel Landa counter-attacked, but only the Briton could catch them. It was too fast for Landa.

The attack attempt by the four climbers forced the various sprinter teams to chase in the last 25 kilometres. The difference was soon 30 seconds, but the race would favour the peloton. The peloton was faster than the front riders, and they were caught 17 kilometres from the finish. The race was now on flat roads to the finish in Terni. Jumbo-Visma took control with Edoardo Affini and Tosh Van der Sande for Olav Kooij. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl also had riders for Davide Ballerini, and eventually the other trains also came to the front. Arnaud Démare was the first to start his sprint on the cobblestones with 250 metres to go. The Frenchman had started too early and Caleb Ewan came off his wheel. Démare was second, while Kooij had to make do with third place. Nacer Bouhanni was fourth and Tim Merlier, who won stage two on Tuesday, finished fifth.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “Finally I managed to pull off a win at Tirreno-Adriatico. I’ve been at the start several times before but always something went wrong. Today it was far from easy but this time we got it right in the race where I’ve wanted to win a stage for a long time. Due to that late attack of the elite group including Alaphilippe and Pogačar, we had to use up our guys earlier than we had hoped. But we knew that we shouldn’t give them much of an advantage so we already lost several guys even before the proper sprint preparation began. As a consequence, I had to find my own way during the finalé. I just tried to follow the right wheels and do my own thing at the end. Arnaud Démare looked good and still had a teammate with him so I went for his wheel. I knew that I had to be among the first four riders going into the final corner. Such finishes, slightly uphill and with a drag to the line really suit me. So I am really happy to finish it off today. With three stages already in the pocket, I am really satisfied with how the start of the season is going. My first big goal is next week and this victory gives me a lot of confidence.” After the podium ceremony Ewan gave his flowers to the woman he collided with in the feed zone.

Overall leader, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’ve tried to stay upfront until 1.5km to go but it’s not always simple to manage to bring Elia [Viviani] in the best conditions. Ben [Swift] was with us but we didn’t want to risk our lives for a bunch sprint, however we’ll try again. Today we’ve seen that the strategy of UAE Team Emirates was to gain three more seconds [at the intermediate sprint] before the climbers’ stages. The finish tomorrow will make it a very hard stage. We’ll see if I lose the jersey or not.”

2nd on the stage, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “This is a big disappointment. It is my strength to be able to start a sprint early. That’s why I knew I had to start with the first three, but on the cobblestones I never found the right grip and I was overtaken with 25 meters to go. I’m very disappointed. There aren’t many opportunities to sprint like that, and today Jacopo Guarnieri and the guys have worked really hard. But I’m still looking for that win. I had it in my hands. Fortunately, there is another chance on Sunday.”

3rd on the stage, Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma): “It’s certainly not bad that I have once again achieved a podium place. The moment they entered, I already felt that I would come up short for the win. It’s great to see how we handled the final. It’s a good sign that the big men are considering you. That means you are very close to it. I have shown during the UAE Tour and the past two days that I am not far from it, so I don’t have to be afraid of those men.”

Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “Like yesterday, we had a relatively easy start to the stage, with the sprinter teams controlling everything pretty well. We wanted to try our luck in the sprint again but unfortunately I wasn’t well positioned again, and to be honest at that point I just didn’t have the legs to fight for a top result.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:07:24
2. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
5. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
6. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirates
7. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
8. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
9. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 3:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 9:48:04
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:11
3. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:14
4. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:24
5. Alex Dowsett (GB) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:25
6. Thymen Arensman (Ned) DSM at 0:28
7. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ at 0:32
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:33
9. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:39
10. Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco

 


Death of Alexander Kulyk, Ukrainian Coach and Father of Cyclist Andriy Kulyk
The Russian invasion of Ukraine ended the life of cycling coach, Alexander Kulyk, who is also the father of the rider Andriy Kulyk, national champion in 2019. Alexander Kulyk died last Tuesday in combat while helping to evacuate citizens of Kiev.

Former World Tour pro and now president of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation Andriy Grivko confirmed the news of Alexander Kulyk’s death. “Yesterday was a tragic day for us in Kiev. One of our coaches, Alexander Kulyk, was killed in an attack.” Grivko added that “Kulyk was involved in a military operation to help people get out of dangerous places” and recalled that Kulyk had been a long-time coach of the federation and was almost 65 years old. “Before, he had been a coach with the Soviet Union and had worked with the Russian system.” The president of the Ukrainian federation explained that the son of the deceased, Andriy Kulyk, “was in training when his father was killed. We in the federation knew of his death before his son. It’s hard.” Grivko is trying to collect information from all the coaches, although he clarifies that “it is difficult to do it.”

RIP Alexander Kulyk:

 


Manager Gazprom-RusVelo: “We will stop if there is no news on March 27”
Gazprom-RusVelo, which saw its license revoked by the UCI following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has set itself a deadline. If the team and the UCI do not come to a solution before March 27, the formation will cease to exist. Renat Khamidulin, the team’s manager, told SpazioCiclismo.

Khamidulin is looking for solutions to somehow make a new start. The UCI has since rejected some proposals, but the Russian manager is hopeful. “We have a healthy, competitive and winning team with an efficient staff. I think this could be an important starting point for interested sponsors.” Nevertheless, a way out must be found in the short term, Khamidulin says. “We are doing our best, but we had a meeting with the whole team and the conclusion was unfortunately clear: if there is no alternative by March 27, we must pull the plug.”

No more Gazprom-RusVelo team after March the 27th:

 


Will Quick-Step Take Jakobsen to Milan-San Remo?
Fabio Jakobsen started his season more than a month ago, but already has six victories to his name. The sprinter of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl is in excellent shape and so the question is whether Jakobsen should start Milan-San Remo in just under two weeks. Jakobsen himself thinks he’s okay, his team still has to make a decision.

Before the start of the third stage of Paris-Nice, sports director Tom Steels was questioned by Sporza. “We’re not finished yet,” responded the former sprinter when it comes to Jakobsen and a possible participation in Milan-San Remo. “It also keeps us busy, but first we have to wait a few more days in Tirreno-Adriatico. The selection is not yet complete.”

Plenty of choice at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl: the Belgian team can also take Julian Alaphilippe, a former winner of Milan-San Remo, Florian Sénéchal, Davide Ballerini, Yves Lampaert, Kasper Asgreen and Zdeněk Štybar to ‘La Primavera’. It is not a foregone conclusion that Sanremo will end in a sprint from a large group.

“The Cipressa and Poggio are not so easy after all. But there will come a day when Milan-San Remo turns out to be a sprint of forty to fifty riders, for example if the wind is right. Is it worth the gamble?” Steels wonders. “You have to count that you have to run Milan-Sanremo ten times to get one or two chances as a sprinter. Fabio is a down to earth guy. He has full confidence in the team’s decisions. But he is working on it.”

Jakobsen to Sanremo?

 


Tom Pidcock May Make his Tour de France Debut This Year?
Tom Pidcock will make his appearance in the Giro d’Italia after the classics according to the original plans. He would then be given a free role in the first Grand Tour of the year. However, these plans may be changed.

Sports journalist Ciro Scognamiglio reported on his social media that La Gazzetta dello Sport has received information in recent days that there could be a change in Pidcock’s program. Instead of the Giro, the cyclo-cross World champion and Olympic mountain bike champion would make his debut in the Tour de France this year. However, a decision on this has not yet been made.

Pidcock currently has seven race days in his legs. The 22 year-old started his season in the Volta ao Algarve, more than two weeks after he ended his cross season with the World title. After that he also appeared at the start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but he then had to miss Strade Bianche due stomach problems.

Giro or Tour for Pidcock?

 


Peter Sagan Leaves Tirreno-Adriatico with Fever
Peter Sagan didn’t start Wednesday’s third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. According to his team, the Slovakian TotalEnergies leader has a fever and stomach problems.

In the morning of the stage it was decided not to let him start. On Tuesday, the 32-year-old rider finished fourth in the sprint stage to Sovicille, his best result of the season. “It could have been better, but also worse. They came from the back very strong and with speed over me, that made all the difference,” said Sagan afterwards.

Sagan’s season at TotalEnergies is not going as hoped yet. Due to a corona infection, he fell behind in training, so that he was unable to perform well in the Flemish opening weekend, and in the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var.

2022 not going well for Peter Sagan so far:

 


Sergio Henao Ends his Cycling Career
Sergio Henao has decided to end his cycling career. The 34 year-old Colombian hoped to find a new squad after the Qhubeka NextHash team stopped, but he didn’t get the right offer.

Henao said in conversation with Antena 2 that there was some interest. “There were some offers, but none that really appealed to me. There was also no concrete offer from a WorldTeam, there was only some mutual contact. However, it did not come to anything concrete.” The experienced climber has decided to change course. “I am now building a new life with my family.”

“Now I want to enjoy something different. I am very grateful to cycling and I want to thank all the people for the support throughout my career.” Henao came to Europe in 2012 with Team Sky. In Colombia Henao was known as a great talent, in 2010 he won the Vuelta a Colombia, ahead of well-known names such as Óscar Sevilla, José Rujano, Darwin Atapuma and Alex Cano.

Henao soon managed to show his talent in Sky’s kit. In his first professional year he finished second in the Tour of Burgos, third in the Tour of Poland, fifth in the Tour of Lombardy and ninth in the Giro d’Italia. The Colombian then continued to improve, although he never quite lived up to expectations, but did have a good career.

He recorded his biggest win in 2017 in Paris-Nice after a fierce battle with Alberto Contador. The explosive Henao also won a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country, a stage in the Tour of Poland and took many top places in shorter stage races of a week and hilly Classics. After his stint with Sky, he rode for UAE Team Emirates (2019-2020) and Qhubeka NextHash.

Sergio Henao retires

 


Giovanni Visconti Leaves Tirreno-Adriatico and Announces the End of his Career
Giovanni Visconti has said goodbye to cycling in an extensive letter on social media. The 39 year-old Italian was racing for Bardiani-CSF-Faizané in Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday, but climbed off. On Wednesday he posted an emotional letter in which he talks about his doubts and his decision to stop.

“I don’t know if I should consider myself weak or if I should feel strong right now. I don’t know what you are all going to think and I don’t know what to expect. But I know one thing very well: for months I have suffered on the bike, and I have suffered from the bike. My career has not been easy, but now is not the time for ‘if’ and ‘but’. That is not the purpose of this letter.”

The former rider of Milram, Quick-Step, ISD-Neri, Movistar, Bahrain Merida, Vini Zabù and now Bardiani-CSF, has already thought about the end of his career. “I don’t want to be a rider who drags his bike after him when his career is already over. I’ve been saying that for years and yet I closed my eyes to it for a while. I didn’t listen to myself and kept going, even though I’m full of doubts and fears. But I am always convinced that tomorrow will be better. And then tomorrow the same thing happens as today: then I sink again and I seem to give up again. And then after a few hours the flame goes back on.”

Visconti wants to stop. “Maybe it’s just the fear of what will be and what I’ll leave behind. However, when I think about it, I can only be proud of myself and what I have achieved. Cycling has given me everything I have. My life. And my bike was always there, for good and bad moments.”

“Despite my many difficulties, I have to thank the Reverberi family and the team for the opportunity they gave me. And for the fact that they have waited for me several times and reassured me,” he explains. “I would have loved to return to thank everyone and to close off less anonymously, but I am now at a crossroads in my life. I’ve made too many choices that brought me back to that crossroads. But now I can’t go back. I have to rest.”

He does not yet know what he will do now. “It is said that if you leave the old way for the new, you know what you leave and do not know what you find. That’s where courage takes over. Despite the immense fear I feel, I go straight ahead at the crossroads. Who knows, I may find another crossroads and linger there for a while. Thanks, cycling. I’m going to miss you. I miss you already.”

Ciao Giovanni Visconti:

 


Jake Stewart Takes Time Out for Bowel Problems
Jake Stewart will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. The young sprinter of Groupama-FDJ is struggling with an intestinal infection that needs to be treated. It is not yet known when he will return to competition.

Stewart has been suffering from intestinal problems since mid-January, he said in a team press release. “That’s why I can’t participate in competitions. We are looking for the best solution to fix this. During this period I will not be able to ride at a high level, I can train but not participate in competitions.”

The British rider thanks the specialist who is treating him, team doctor Jacky Maillot and his team. “They listened to me and gave me time to understand what was going on,” said Stewart, who was second in Het Nieuwsblad last year. “Everything is about getting better and getting back to my best level.” Stewart has not raced yet this season.

Jake Stewart unwell:

 


Stan Dewulf Signs for Two More Seasons
Stan Dewulf, who joined the team in 2021, has signed for two additional years with the AG2R Citroën team. He will therefore be part of the squad until 2024.

“I am really happy to continue the adventure with AG2R Citroën team. The sporting challenges are interesting and there is an atmosphere that allows me to be comfortable to continue my progress,” Stan Dewulf said.

“Stan is a young rider who brings a lot to the group and has blended into the collective very quickly with an excellent state of mind. He knows how to win races and is an important element in the team, especially for the Flandrian classics,” said Vincent Lavenu.

Two more years for Stan Dewulf:

 


Fabio Aru Becomes Specialized Ambassador
Fabio Aru will be a Specialized ambassador. The Italian, who ended his career last season, will be at large number of events on behalf of the American bicycle brand and ride Gran Fondo tours linked to Specialized.

The 31-year-old Aru won the Vuelta a España once in his career, finished on the podium twice in the Giro d’Italia and once was fifth in the Tour de France. Before turning pro, he rode a Specialized mountain bike and then worked with the brand during his time at Astana.

Aru and Specialized:

 


2022 Dwars door Vlaanderen Wildcards
The organisers of the Dwars door Vlaanderen has announced which wildcard teams will appear at the start of the cobbled Classic at the end of this month. The Belgian ProTeams Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, plus B&B Hotels-KTM from France and Uno-X from Norway.

Dwars door Vlaanderen is part of the WorldTour, so Alpecin-Fenix, Arkéa-Samsic and TotalEnergies were already sure of an invitation as the best ProTeams of 2021. The race has announced that all three teams have accepted their invites. With these seven ProTeams and all eighteen WorldTeams, the one-day race has the same teams at the start as the Tour of Flanders, which will be held four days later.

Last year Dylan van Baarle took the victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen. The Dutchman, who was second in the World championships in Leuven behind Julian Alaphilippe, won after a solo of more than 50 kilometres. The winner in the women’s race, after a long sprint, was Annemiek van Vleuten ahead of Katarzyna Niewiadoma. Dwars door Vlaanderen is on the calendar for Wednesday 30 March.

 


Twelve WorldTeams for the Scheldeprijs
The Scheldeprijs has announced the participating teams for the 2022 men’s edition of the race. The unofficial World championship for sprinters, which will be held on April 6 this year, will welcome twelve WorldTeams. In addition, nine ProTeams and three Continental teams will start.

The Belgian WorldTeams Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be present, as will ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix. The latter team defends its title, as Jasper Philipsen was the first to cross the line in Schoten in 2021. The Belgian beat Sam Bennett and Mark Cavendish, both of Deceuninck-Quick Step at the time.

 


Equal Prize Money for Men and Women in the Classic Brugge-De Panne
The women will race in the Exterioo Women’s Classic Brugge–De Panne for the same prize money as the men in the Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne the day before. “That is fantastic news, the day after International Women’s Day,” said Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky in a video message.

“On behalf of all the women in the peloton, thank you to the municipality of De Panne, the city of Bruges and Exterioo Tuinmeubelen,” the winner of Strade Bianche refers to the sponsors who contributed extra to increase the prize money. Although both races, the Classic Brugge-De Panne for men and for women, are part of the UCI WorldTour, there was initially a large gap between the prize winners. €40,000 could be distributed among the men, and €7,700 among the women.

Last year Grace Brown triumphed after a long solo in the Classic Brugge-De Panne for women, which will be held on Thursday 24 March this year. The men will ride a day earlier, on Wednesday 23 March. With them, Sam Bennett is the last winner.

Last years De Panne winner, Grace Brown:

 


2023 Super World Championship’s Time Trials in Stirling
The road time trials in the first ‘Super Cycling World Championships’ of 2023 will be held in the Scottish city of Stirling. The International Cycling Union announced. Stirling, a historic city located 15 miles northeast of Glasgow, is the seventh venue announced to host the Super World Cup, which takes place in Glasgow and across Scotland from August 3-13. It is the second location outside of Glasgow, after Dumfries & Galloway, for the para-cycling road races.

Additional venues for the various UCI World Championships that make up the World Cup will be confirmed in the coming weeks and months.

Worlds’23 in Glasgow:

 


Bart Wellens is “Motivated to Contribute to the Development of the Structure”
On January 1st of 2020, the colours of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux appeared for the first time in the mud, in Baal, thanks to the brand new project “Tormans Cyclo Cross Team” from the Belgian structure of Jean-François Bourlart around Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel. With the reinforcement of young talents, the team grow and acquired a strong identity under the direction of the former double world champion Bart Wellens. Together with his team, he stays loyal to the CX project which is part of the structure of Jean-François Bourlart and will be extended with a women’s team and a Continental development team.

Last winter, the ten riders of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team won two world titles in Fayetteville thanks to Joran Wyseure (U23) and Zoe Bäckstedt (Juniors), a European title on the Col du VAM thanks to the last named and four national titles thanks to Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland), Thomas Mein (Great-Britain), Marie Schreiber (Luxembourg – U23) and Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium – U23).

17 year old Zoe Bäckstedt was undefeated in her category and achieved historical success in Essen by becoming the youngest athlete to won a Belgian cyclocross race in the Elite category. In the U23 category, Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure succeeded each other on the highest step of the podium thanks to exemplary teamwork. And Quinten Hermans collected ten podium finishes and offered the team its first Wold Cup victory in the Elite category and its first European medal in the Elite category.

Behind those 22 successes lies a solid team directed by Bart Wellens, which supports the riders day by day on and off the bike and facilitates their staff. The alchemy between the riders, the staff and the equipment and the scouting of Geert Wellens is possible thanks to among others the devotion of paramedical staff Alex Spruyt and the drive for optimisation of mechanic Kobe Siemons.

Jean-François Bourlart (CEO): “26 months ago, we proudly launched a new challenge in the cyclocross world, around Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel. From the start, our long term project shared the same ambition of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, becoming a team of reference in its discipline. The fact that we conclude our second complete winter on top of the standings is a fantastic reward for the devotion and enthusiasm of all people who are involved in this project since the start. This success is not the fruit of a coincidence, I’m convinced that with the experience of Bart Wellens and his team, many other riders will make our colours shine in the mud.”

Bart Wellens (Sports Director): “We have a fantastic season behind the back with many special moments, I especially think about the very successful national championships weekend. Seven out of nine riders at the start achieved a medal and this generated a lot of emotions. Each member of the team gives the best of himself to create the best environment for our riders. Their exemplary performances are the best possible reward for our work, I haven’t felt this satisfaction for years. I also noticed that other teams changed their perspective on our team. After the World Championships, we were on top of the rankings, it was almost too good to be true.”

“But progression comes with trial and error and I have to admit that in February, which was very eventful, it was difficult for me to accept the announcement of the departure of Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure. We can be proud what we achieved with all our young riders in the past two years. So I’m convinced that a good scouting and coaching need to stay the pillars of our project in the coming years. We give our riders the necessary confidence to achieve their full potential and offer them the possibility to go for their own chance, that is the factor we use to bring them to a higher level.”

“I’m enthusiastic about the idea that the cyclocross and World Team will soon be complemented by a women’s team and a Continental development team. I’m also very motivated to participate in this new stage in the development of our structure. Thanks to this expansion, our cyclocross riders will soon be able to choose from a large variety of road races to establish their road programme and their performances will benefit from that. The enthusiasm of the partners of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at the start of the cyclocross adventure has developed into a strong collaboration, so I’m happy that for all our ambitious new projects we can continue to rely on brands of reference such as Cube Bikes, Newmen or Nalini.”

“But before the start of the new cyclocross season, several other challenges lie ahead, to begin with my role as a sports director with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I’m also very passionate about road cycling, the parcours of Dwars door Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix or the Tour de Romandie are already imprinted on my brain. I hope to contribute to the success of our World Team in the next months, by giving a hand to my colleague sports directors and by advising our riders. I always treat riders as VIP’s, so it won’t be a surprise if you see me next week with Jan Bakelants behind the scooter, no matter the weather circumstances!”

 


More Teams Agree to Appear in the Tour de France Documentary
In addition to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and EF Education-EasyPost, Jumbo-Visma, Groupama-FDJ, INEOS Grenadiers, AG2R Citroën, Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Movistar have also committed to participate in the exclusive behind the scenes series on the upcoming Tour de France. UAE Team Emirates, the team of two-time final winner UAE Emirates, is still to decide.

The eight teams participating in the cycling documentary have been announced by VeloNews, which has seen a multi-page document detailing some of the key factors surrounding the project. It concerns seven of the eighteen WorldTeams and Alpecin-Fenix, the team of Mathieu van der Poel, Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen, which, as the best ProTeam of 2021, is assured of an invitation to the 2022 Tour de France.

UAE Team Emirates is not yet participating in the series. “It is true that UAE Team Emirates, like several other teams, have been approached to participate in the show. The conditions to play a leading role in the first season were not agreed,” the team said to the VeloNews. “We think it’s a good idea, but we’re not pressured to rush anything. The door is open for future participation.”

The main objectives of the Tour de France series are primarily to reach “new audiences that are not completely familiar with professional cycling and are used to consuming sport in a different way”. Other goals include “providing unprecedented and additional content to attract and retain fans” and “raise the public profile of the best riders and elevate them to superstar status.”

The production costs, provisionally estimated at eight million euros, are covered by Netflix. The streaming service has also promised to pay a license fee of one million euros to be divided among various shareholders, with the ASO and France Télévisions each collecting 250 thousand euros. The eight teams would then split the remaining €500,000, giving each team €62,000.

However, for many teams involved, the financial compensation is seen as a short-term advantage. VeloNews spoke to several teams who believe that the brand awareness that the project generates far outweighs the reward that cooperation yields. The series on the upcoming Tour is to be launched in May 2023.

More popular than the Movistar series?

 


Paul Sherwen Project Letter from Phil Liggett
Dear Friends, old and new!

It is incredibly over three years since Paul left us from his home in Uganda. I, like Paul’s wife Katherine, loved him for many reasons. Paul was a husband, father and my co-commentator for 33 years.

The Paul Sherwen Project has kept Paul’s name in lights and doing what he would have done had he not left us so suddenly in 2018. He would have progressed his love for the people of Uganda with the same enthusiasm shown when on TV with me, or at home with Katherine and the kids.

Paul made us all laugh, encouraged us to enjoy life while always being willing to help his beloved region of Karamoja in Uganda.

Thanks to you, last year the Paul Sherwen Project gave almost $60,000 so that the Matany Girls’ Vocational School could have new premises and so that young women would be given the unique opportunity to develop skills and step into a future that would otherwise have been denied to them. PSP has also continued to support Uganda’s homegrown cyclists, which Paul always attended to when he was back home from the international circuit.

All of this has been made possible by you, as you have been so, so generous in your support of the Paul Sherwen Project.

We are facing 2022 with enthusiasm because of the way you have embraced the PSP. If you check out the website www.paulsherwenproject.com you will see our progress and the way the people of Uganda have thanked us for bringing light to their hearts and hope for their future. Paul would have been immensely proud of us all, because you know, he really did not know how much people loved him.

Our Board, which meets every month, is planning a strategy to take us through the next 10 years. But right now, we need to raise a total of $130,000 in 2022 to finish the school building project we have started and get these girls on the stepladder of life.

Two months ago, we strengthened our Board with the appointment of Sean Petty of USA Cycling and UCI fame and Chris Aronhalt, who recently promoted the World Cyclo-Cross Championships in the USA where he received many accolades, particularly from the UCI and the Belgian Cycling Federation, as having organised the best championships ever. We are delighted they have joined us.

I can also tell you that companies in Uganda who worked with Paul have begun donating to his Project because, like you, they saw what a great character he was and the vision that he had for his adopted country.

The wonderful folks at Tullio Cycling Club based in the UK is our latest partner, preparing to host a Zwift ride on Sunday, 27th March for the benefit of the Paul Sherwen Project. Keep your eyes open for more information.

We will get this latest school building finished in 2022, and although you have been more than generous so far, please do consider joining us with your support this year as well. You would have made Paul so very, very proud.

Phil Liggett.

 


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