Two more stages of the Tour de France and all the riders are Covid-19 clear, but not the Tour boss, Christian Prudhomme – TOP STORY. Results and video from the Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico. Rider news: Philippe Gilbert training again, Fabio Jakobsen to race in March, Worlds for Mathieu van der Poel and Tom Pidcock, but not Chris Froome. Contract news from Matteo Trentin, BORA-hansgrohe, Rein Taaramae, Lotto Soudal and Sunweb. Plus Movistar to the Giro Rosa and Tour of Britain news. Café au lait?
TOP STORY: Good News from the Tour
Joint ASO-UCI announcement regarding the 7th and 8th September testing campaign
In accordance with the Tour de France health protocol, developed in the framework of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) rules for the return of the road cycling season in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire “race bubble” was tested on the 7th and 8th September. With all those with accreditations being tested within the 5 days preceding the Grand Départ in Nice and the “race bubble” once again being tested upon arriving on the Tour, this is the 3rd testing campaign since the beginning of the Tour. A 4th test campaign is scheduled, with the same conditions, for the next rest day, in Isère on the 14th September. Its objective is to guarantee the health of the race for the riders and accredited personnel. A total of 841 tests were performed.
● No rider has tested positive for COVID-19 or is considered a contact case requiring quarantine.
● 1 staff member each from Team Cofidis, AG2R La Mondiale, Ineos Grenadiers and Mitchelton-Scott have tested positive and left the race bubble.
● A technical service provider has also tested positive and has left the race.
Although, Tour boss Christian Prudhomme has been found positive in a corona test and has to be quarantined for at least a week. This has now been confirmed by UCI and ASO.
All riders tested negative and are allowed to continue their Tour de France. But that does not mean that the entire Tour caravan is corona-free. Christian Prudhomme has become infected with Covid-19. The Director of the Tour de France, taking his 4th test in 1 month, will now quarantine for 7 days. Although he was not part of the “race bubble” and had not been in direct contact with any of the riders and their entourage, Christian Prudhomme still decided to get tested. The anti-COVID-19 protocol, which provides reinforced protection for the “race bubble”, distinct from others in the organisation, allows for the following plan to be put in place following such a situation: In the absence of Christian Prudhomme from the 10th stage from Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré up until the 16th stage from La Tour du Pin to Villard de Lans, François Lemarchand, who was in the lead car on Paris-Nice, will occupy take Christian Prudhomme’s place in the lead car. Jean-Michel Monin meanwhile, will replace François Lemarchand in the n°3 car.
A total of 841 tests have been carried out.
Christian Prudhomme is positive:
Tour de France 2020
Sam Bennett of Deceuninck – Quick-Step won Stage 10 in a bunch gallop on the scenic Île de Ré, which hosted the Tour de France for the first time. Also coming from an island, the Irishman found himself at ease to use the elements including the three-quarter head wind to fend off Caleb Ewan, the fast man from the island-continent Australia. Bagging his first Tour de France win after his Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta stage success, he also took over the green jersey from Peter Sagan who crossed the line in third place while Primoz Roglič retained the yellow jersey.
165 riders took the start of stage 10 at Île d’Oléron, Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT) didn’t make the start as he was in pain since his crash on stage 1. Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Michael Schär (CCC) attacked from the gun, before the bridge to reach the continent. The reached a maximum advantage of 2 minutes along the Palmyre beach at 33km. The peloton led by Lotto-Soudal and Deceuninck – Quick-Step sped up as top teams feared echelons. The Swiss duo were reeled in at 69km while a crash occurred in the middle of the pack. Everyone managed to return to the peloton, except for Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) who was forced to abandon.
Another crash affected some top contenders in Rochefort, km 103, as Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), third and seventh overall, went down. They got back to the pack after a hard chase while Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Ineos-Grenadier and EF kept the race under control. Matteo Trentin (CCC) out-sprinted Peter Sagan and Sam Bennett on the line of the intermediate sprint at Châtelaillon-Plage with 39km to go.
Jumbo-Visma and Ineos-Grenadier put the hammer down with 18km to go. The bunch got split into three pieces and a crash affected Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Küng attacked again over the bridge to the Île de Ré. It was all together with 10km to go with Jumbo-Visma keeping the situation under control. Team Sunweb gave Cees Bol an excellent lead-out but the pure sprinters made the best of it. Preceding Ewan on the line, Bennett became the sixth Irishman to win a stage at the Tour de France after Seamus Elliott (1963), Sean Kelly (1978, 1980, 1981 and 1982), Stephen Roche (1985, 1987 and 1992), Martin Earley (1989) and Dan Martin (2013 and 2018).
See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 10 Race Report’ HERE.
Stage winner, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I don’t think it has hit me yet, I still can’t believe I’m a Tour de France stage winner. I want to thank to the whole team for their confidence and support, to Patrick for giving me this opportunity, to my wife, my family and everyone around me. You dream of it and you never think it will happen, but then it does and you just need a while to sink in. I waited so many years for this to happen and I am so relieved and happy now. Being part of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team is a huge opportunity for me and I wanted to deliver at the Tour de France, where so many great sprinters won for the Wolfpack. I can’t thank all the guys – my teammates, the mechanics, the soigneurs, the sports directors – enough, their help in achieving this was huge. The team was incredible today, Michael was so calm and smooth going into the last kilometre, and I left it as late as possible knowing it was a headwind there. Everything was perfect today and this victory gives me a lot of confidence. It’s special to wear it. Sean Kelly won it and it would make me super proud to be on the podium in Paris, but we’ll take it day by day and see where that takes us. What I can tell you for certain is that being here in the Irish Champion jersey and winning today is something I will always remember.”
Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “The team has once again done a perfect job. We can be proud of our performance so far and of the way we raced. I cannot thank my teammates enough for getting me through this stage in one piece. I am wearing the yellow jersey, but it really belongs to the whole team. It was a tough stage: very nervous, fast and at times dangerous too. We had hoped for an easier day, but the race was full on from the start and it never stopped. We are already looking forward to the upcoming days. I will wear the yellow jersey with pride.”
2nd overall, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been a very stressful day. All the teams had been warned that it could be windy. On this terrain, only a little bit more wind could have make the race explode. Eventually we have saved the day. I’m happy the team kept me at the front all the time.”
3rd on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a stressful day, right from the start everybody was nervous about the wind. We had headwind nearly all of the stage, with crosswind a few times. The speed of the group was high and we had crashes. In the end, we had a pretty messy sprint where Sam Bennett showed he could win the stage and take the green jersey. But we are still halfway through the Tour de France, and there are still opportunities to take the jersey back. Thanks to all my teammates today for staying with me.”
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “It was certainly a stressful day. It took a lot of energy. The most important thing was to get Primoz to the finish unscathed and we managed to do so. It is a pity that the wind was not perfect for crosswinds. We raced in the front all day and we were where we needed to be. It was a matter of continuously paying attention. The team managed that pretty well again. Everyone gave themselves one hundred percent. It is nice to see that we all go through the fire for each other.”
KOM, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We still had to reach the finish and protect Romain Bardet. It was my role today and it went well even though it was very nervous. I’m just happy to not have crashed. Some riders will not sleep well tonight. I didn’t feel concerned by today’s battle but it felt good to ride on the flat again.”
Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:35:22
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
6. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM
8. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
9. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 10
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 42:15:23
2. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:21
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 0:30
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic 0:32
6. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling
7. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE-Team Emirates at 0:44
8. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:02
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:15
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:42.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) took his second Tour de France victory this year, the fifth in his career, after he managed to fend off his rival Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in a tight sprint finish in Poitiers at the end of Stage 11. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) continues to wear yellow jersey.
163 riders took the start of stage 11 at Châtelaillon-Plage. One non-starter: Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates). Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ) attacked as soon as the go was given and made more than 5 minute lead for himself after 18km as the peloton didn’t react. Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe), Tom Van Aesbroeck (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Michael Gogl (NTT) counter attacked at 20km. Deceuninck – Quick-Step wasn’t pleased with the composition of this group made of strong rouleurs who could threaten the much anticipated bunch gallop. They were brought back 10 kilometres later. Ladagnous’ advantage was down to 1 minute at 31km, but it went back up as soon as the peloton was all together again.
Ladagnous took the only KOM point up for grabs at côte des Cherveux, after 91 kilometres. He also took the intermediate sprint alone with a lead of 1:45 before Bennett who extended his lead over Sagan in the points classification. Ladagnous set the record of the longest solo breakaway so far in the 107th Tour de France with more than 120km in the lead before he was got caught 43km from the finish. After Gregor Mühlberger (BORA-hansgrohe) quit the Tour due to sickness, Ion Izagirre (Astana) abandoned after crashing at Lavausseau with 29km to go.
Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe) attacked with 7km to, he was joined by Kasper Asgreen and Bob Jungels (both Deceuninck – Quick-Step). It was all together again with 2km to go. There was another tight finish between Ewan and Bennett while Sagan fought elbow to elbow with Wout van Aert on the right hand side. Photo finish was needed, but Ewan took his second stage win while Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey for the third day.
See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 11 Race Report’ HERE.
Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It was such a crazy finish. I was in the front with 1.5km to go and dropped back because of the head wind. After my first stage win I knew I had to keep calm and wait for the right time and the gap to open. That happened quite late to the finish. I did a big throw on the line and didn’t know if I won. I had a real desire to win today. After yesterday I was disappointed and I am so happy to repay my teammates with the win. I am super happy with my two stage wins. One just takes the pressure off. Then after the first one you always want a second. And now I for sure want a third victory, especially in Paris with the Champs-Élysées. So I hope to get through the mountains and get another chance in Paris. With Lotto Soudal we are down to five guys. That means we only have four guys to do the work for me in the sprint stages. After the hard work during the stage I had to manage with two guys in the final 10 kilometres. The other teams put us under a lot of pressure with the attacks. But my two guys rode like ten guys. They did such a terrific job. My closest opponent Sam Bennett is one of my best friends. It is always business when it comes down to sprinting. But we are happy for each other when we win. I was very happy for him yesterday getting his first win. You saw how much it meant for him and I know how hard he worked for it.”
Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “The team once again did a good job by bringing me to the finish line in one piece. Especially in the technical final with a few narrow passages. In the next few days we will see what happens. I certainly expect the necessary attacks, but tactically little changes for us. We have to focus on ourselves and do what we have been doing throughout the Tour. We cannot do more than our best. If the competition has plans, we will find out about them soon.”
2nd on the stage and points leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The guys did a fantastic job looking after me and I got to enjoy another beautiful day in this nice jersey and get a lot of support and applause from the roadside fans. The sprint was really nervous and I found myself in the front too early, so I drifted back a bit, but it was too late. Despite that, I tried to limit my losses and get the most out of it. Would have been nice to add another win, but second is still a strong result in these conditions, especially as it helps me increase my lead in the points standings”
3rd on the stage, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I was a little too far, but there was enough space on the right. My only chance was to start the sprint early, otherwise I would definitely get boxed in. I started the sprint from too far to speak of a perfect sprint. However, I was still very close. When Sagan basically pushed me aside, I was so shocked that I lost my momentum. I think I could have won, but now I went from too far and that push made me lose some speed as well. I had a good sprint in my legs, but my positioning was not perfect. A sprint of more than three hundred metres, slightly uphill with headwinds was a bit too much if you have to cover so much distance.”
5th on the stage, Clément Venturini (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I’m both happy and a little disappointed. In the very last few meters, I lost Van Aert’s slipstream and I saw the podium slip away. On the other hand, I had marked this stage for sprinters with a harder finish than the other stages, and I finished at the pointy end, with the best. That’s what I’ll remember. I hope that on a more difficult stage, I’ll have my way. I’m thinking in particular of Saturday’s stage with the succession of two climbs in the end. In addition, I will be arriving at home, in Lyon: that’s inevitably something special… Every day on this Tour there is a lesson to be learned. Finding your place is not easy.”
9th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “A beautiful sprint. It was headwind for a good part of the day. With some friends, I took part in a nice attack to shake up the peloton. At 50 km from the finish, everything accelerated. Benoît and Pierre did a great job protecting Romain. It was a great sprint. I’m happy with my ninth place.”
10th on the stage, Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling): “Our plan today was to work for Edvald but I dropped my chain with about 6km to go and with the speed that they were going it took me about that long to get back. (In the final) I saw an opening with about 500m on the left hand side and I saw that Edvald was in the wind, so I went past as fast as I could thinking that he was there. I felt people coming past me so I sat back down but then I realised that it wasn’t him so I just kept on going until the line. Unfortunately I left Edvald alone and obviously I wasn’t really sprinting I just happened to be up there in the mix but we have a lot more to give and it was an unfortunate day. There are some more opportunities to come. You don’t need to breathe to pedal and it has been hard with fractured ribs but it’s getting better and better each day and today was quite positive.”
KOM, Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I sat up towards the end after I protected Romain Bardet from the wind for several kilometres. I didn’t have much left in my legs. Tomorrow it’s an important day for the polka dot jersey but also for the stage win that can be decided between those who will go on the offensive.”
Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today, I had the speed and, in the sprint, I tried to go on the right side. I passed one rider easily, but then it got really narrow. I had to move to avoid the barriers and as a result, I got relegated. This cost me a lot of points but I still have not abandoned the fight for the green jersey.”
Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:00:01
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM
5. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
6. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
7. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
10. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 11
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 22:15:24
2. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:21
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:30
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic at 0:32
6. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling
7. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:44
8. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:02
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:15
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:42.
Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO 2020
Pascal Ackermann has won his first stage at the ‘Race of the Two Seas’ in his first participation at the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO. In the final sprint in Lido di Camaiore, the German rider of Bora – Hansgrohe beat Fernando Gaviria Rendon (UAE Team Emirates) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Pro Cycling). As a result, Pascal Ackermann leads the General Classification and wears the Maglia Azzurra.
Stage winner and overall leader, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was an incredible race today, as we didn’t know what it would really be like. In the lead-up to this, I only had one day on the bike, because I was ill before, and so didn’t know what my form would be like. But the team did a great job and they trusted me. It was a hard and long sprint, because I came from further back. But I had good speed in the end and I was able to find a gap at the right time and make it across the line first. I am very happy and really want to thank my teammates. I think my form is good and we executed our plan perfectly today. Now the pressure is gone and we can see what’s possible on the next few stages, and hopefully we can take yet another win on a sprint stage. But we also have strong GC riders here, with Konrad and Majka, and so we’re also hoping to perform well there too.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “Today was a short but fast stage. The team controlled the race well and kept the gap to the breakaway at a good distance. In the end we knew it was going to be a very open and very fast finale with the sprint trains of the other teams. Ackermann came up on my inside with a lot of speed and there was nothing I could do. Well done to Pascal, I will try again for a win in the coming days.”
Maglia Verde, Nathan Haas (Cofidis): “I only decided this morning to go in the breakaway and to sprint for the KOM, it’s always nice to wear a jersey and if I have the opportunity to get some more points in tomorrow’s stage I will try.”
Maglia Bianca, Szymon Sajnok (CCC): “I am satisfied, it was a good performance and result, so I’m happy. I feel very motivated now, really confident, and I’ll try to achieve something more in the next few days.”
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 2:57:55
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling
4. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
5. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.
Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 1:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 2:57:45
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 0:04
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling at 0:06
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:09
5. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC at 0:10
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
8. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
9. Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis.
Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe), having already taken the inaugural stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO, won Stage 2 of the ‘Corsa dei Due Mari’ (Camaiore-Follonica of 201km) with a superb sprint in Follonica. Like yesterday, Fernando Gaviria Rendon (UAE Team Emirates) finished runner-up while Rick Zabel (Israel Start-Up Nation) completed today’s stage podium in third.
With his second victory, Pascal Ackermann consolidates his lead in the General Classification and again wears the Maglia Azzurra.
Stage winner and Maglia Azzurra, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m really, really happy with my performance over the last two days. There were so many guys at the sprint, a close finish. Today I went a bit too early then checked myself and decided to stay tucked in. I went later than the others and just about got it, it was a long sprint. I’m not too sure about keeping the Maglia Azzurra tomorrow, I’ll have to see how things go, but I’ll be ready for Stage 6 on Saturday and I’ll see if I can take another win.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “We always aim for the win but we can’t be too disappointed with another 2nd place. The positives are that my legs are good and, as a team, we have more days ahead to try again for the victory. The next few days will be a bit harder with the hills but I hope to get through the week well and be sprinting for the win.”
La Maglia Verde, Nathan Haas (Cofidis): “I’m surprised that I still have the jersey in all honesty. I was not sure whether or not I could have kept it for another day so this is a great bonus for me and the team. I think tomorrow will be a stretch too far: once the big names hit the proper climbs it’ll be tough to keep hold of the jersey. Still, I’m very happy to wear it for another day.”
Maglia Bianca, Nicola Bagioli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec): “The team wanted to be in the breakaway, so I tried with some the other riders to get into it. I went for the intermediate sprint and took both the points and the time bonuses that came with it. It’s led to me wearing this Maglia Bianca: a good day.”
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 5:01:53
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
8. Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.
Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 2:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 7:59:28
2. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling at 0:16
4. Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:17
6. Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
7. Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:18
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:19
9. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:20
10. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie.
Canadian Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) won Stage 3 of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO, 217 km starting from Follonica and finishing in Saturnia. The Canadian attacked on the second ascent of the ‘Muro del Pirata’ and crested the climb solo. Joined by Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) in the finale, he eventually beat the Pole to win the stage, taking the lead in the General Classification, and the Maglia Azzurra in the process.
Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), third, led a small group that finished 20 seconds after the winner with Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos), Jakob Fuglsang, Aleksandr Vlasov (both of Astana Pro Team), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Tanel Kangert (EF Pro Cycling) and Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe).
Stage winner and Maglia Azzurra, Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling): “Today was a very good day for us, the team did a great job working for me. This victory is definitively a big step in my career, it’s the first time I’ve worn the leader’s jersey in a WorldTour race. I don’t think I am the favourite for the overall victory because there is the final ITT and there are other riders stronger than me in time trials, but I will definitely defend the jersey and go on the attack again.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe): “I wanted to win for the team today, but there was quite a tough climb that we had to take on twice, so it wasn’t going to be easy. In the critical moment, I was able to ride a good tempo and then make the first group on the road, and then when Woods attacked, I was able to follow. He was simply that extra bit quicker in the end today, but we have a few more difficult climbing stages ahead of us, so we’ll still have some more chances here. My form is good and I think that we’ll be able to do something over the next few days.”
Maglia Bianca Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana): “Today was a hard day, long and hot, so overall I’m pleased with the result and the shape I’m in. We’ll try again tomorrow, there’s a long way to go and a lot can happen. I came into this as preparation for the Giro d’Italia, but we obviously want a good result as a team.”
Maglia Arancio, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “As a team, today went well. Now we have another goal with Rafal going for the GC and I think he’s in a great position. We’ll of course focus on that and then, when I have a chance to sprint on Saturday, for sure I’ll try to win. My aim was to take one stage here and come out of this in a winning mood, I’m really surprised with my shape after I took a week off and I hope I can make it three.”
The Maglia Verde, Nathan Haas (Cofidis): “On paper, I thought today would be one for the punchy rouleurs like Van der Poel and Matthews and I’d put myself in a similar category. The climb was just so steep though, and with 500m to go, I was dropped. I’d have to do an exceptional ride to be there to take the KOM points tomorrow. But there are lots of chances this week to be sneaky and if the opportunity comes I’ll take it. I’m really enjoying this race though, it’s been awesome so far.”
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Result:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling in 5:19:46
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:01
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:20
4. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
6. Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
7. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
8. Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos Grenadiers.
Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 3:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling in 13:19:24
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:05
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:26
4. Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:30
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos Grenadiers
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC
8. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
9. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana.
Philippe Gilbert Resumes Training
Philippe Gilbert got back on the bike last weekend for the first time since his crash in the Tour de France. The experienced Lotto Soudal rider suffered a cracked kneecap on the opening stage of the Tour. “It is a vertical fracture, less serious than in 2018, so I can ride the bike,” he said to the radio station France 1.
“I started again on Saturday,” says Gilbert, from his home in Monaco. “I’m trying to regain my fitness. I made a ride of an hour and a half to the Col d’Eze. And on Sunday I was on the bike for 2 hours and 45 minutes, also with a climb on the way, taking it easy with little pain actually.”
“The goal now is to slowly build up to rides of five, six hours,” he explains. “If the pain is tolerable after six hours and my knee does not double in volume of the effort, then I can start thinking about competition again. But I look at it day by day and cannot say when that will be.”
Last week Gilbert told WielerFlits – despite his injury – that he was looking forward to the autumn. “That is certainly not lost yet. It will undoubtedly be narrow for the Walloon classics, but I firmly believe that I can get those Flemish classics in good condition. I am highly motivated and I will work very hard for it. I still want to perform in 2020!”
Gilbert and Degenkolb both out of the Tour:
Patrick Lefevere is Convinced that Jakobsen Will Race Again in March
Deceuninck – Quick-Step team manager Patrick Lefevere is optimistic about the recovery of his rider Fabio Jakobsen. He expects the sprinter to make his comeback in the peloton in March next year.
Jakobsen crashed in the first stage of the Tour of Poland in a sprint duel with Dylan Groenewegen. He was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Lefevere now says, five weeks later, in an interview with the Walloon newspaper La Capitale: “I will remember the phone call from team doctor Yvan Vanmol until my death. He was in Poland, he cried and told me Fabio was going to die.”
In the crash, Jakobsen suffered a serious concussion and injuries to his face. After a few days of an artificial coma, the Dutchman was able to breathe independently. He has been back in his home country for several weeks to continue his recovery. Lefevere is now looking forward again and is optimistic about his fast man. “I am convinced that he will put on a shirt number again around March.”
Fabio Jakobsen terrible crash:
Mathieu van der Poel Unsure About the World Championships
Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel is still in doubt about participating in the World Champs in Imola, in three weeks. The 25-year-old Alpecin-Fenix rider didn’t have the original World Championships in Switzerland on his schedule.
“The World championships is not on the agenda for the time being,” said spokesman Thomas Sneyers of the Belgian ProTeam. “We are waiting for more feedback from the national coach after the reconnaissance and will then look at it together with Mathieu and decide whether or not the World championships can be an option.”
National coach Koos Moerenhout had a look at the World championships course on Sunday and has already had initial contact with Van der Poel in recent days. A deeper evaluation will follow in the coming days.
World road champs for MVDP:
Tom Pidcock Want to Ride the World Cup in Imola
Tom Pidcock, who dominated the U23 Giro d’Italia last week, hopes to be selected for the World championships in Imola on September 27th. Then he swaps the road bike for a mountain bike before starting the cyclocross season.
In the Baby Giro, Pidcock won three stages, the mountains and the final classification, and since there will be no World Championships for U23 and juniors this year, the 21-year-old Briton is now hoping to be selected for the Elite World Championship in Imola, although the competition within the British team will be tough.
After the World championships, Pidcock exchanges the road bike for the mountain bike. “If everything goes to plan,” says his sports director Kurt Bogaerts. “The aim is to ride the mountain bike World championships in Nove Mesto. This is followed by a short break before the start of his cyclocross season in the first half of November.”
Pidcock secretly dreams of participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “It is not immediately a goal in itself, but he has already gathered some points in recent months. Provided a good World championships, he might qualify for a wild card. We’ll see. For the time being, we are looking at it day by day,” Bogaerts concluded.
Worlds for Pidcock:
No World Championships in Imola for Chris Froome
Chris Froome will not participate in the UCI Road World Championships in Imola. The Briton may prefer a longer altitude training camp. Froome is currently in Italy for Tirreno-Adriatico.
The INEOS Grenadiers rider, who was not selected for the Tour de France, will focus on the Vuelta a España. Froome grinds away the necessary race kilometres in Tirreno-Adriatico this week, but will not participate in the World Championships in about three weeks.
“After the Tirreno I will probably try to do an altitude training of a few weeks. I therefore won’t ride the World Championships. I will now just focus on the Vuelta. I will probably contest another classic in the run-up to the Vuelta, thinking of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”
Froome not riding is also good news for Tom Pidcock, who hopes for selection for the World championships in Imola. The young Briton dominated the U23 Giro d’Italia and hopes to shine among the pros on September 27, now that there is no World champs for the Under 23 this year.
Matteo Trentin signs for UAE Team Emirates
World Championship runner-up joins Emirati team with sights set on the rainbow bands.
Matteo Trentin has put pen to paper on a deal which will see him in the colours of UAE Team Emirates for the next two years. “I am very happy to join UAE, it’s an ambitious team that is doing very well and where I hope to be able to contribute with some good results. Finding a team that has a long and ambitious project is not easy in this period and I am proud that they have trusted me to be part of that. Another factor is that I already know many riders and many staff members and therefore it will be an easier integration from this point of view.”
“The objectives of the coming years? Well, first of all I have unfinished business at the World Championships and I would like to go one better there than last year. Then there’s Milan Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. I would also like to aim for the green jersey of the Tour de France, obviously while still working towards the overall classification objectives of the Team.”
Mauro Gianetti, Team Principal, UAE Team Emirates: “Matteo is a strong reinforcement for our team, particularly in view of our classics roster. He has proven that he is a very versatile rider across many types of races, and has a great turn of speed. We like his way of racing and his winning mentality. I am convinced that he will integrate very well into the team.”
BORA – hansgrohe Signs Wilco Kelderman and Mountain Biker Ben Zwiehoff
Over the coming two years, Kelderman will strengthen our stage racing roster, concentrating predominantly on Grand Tours. Zwiehoff will be taking the step from MTB to the road, and is considered a very strong climber.
“Wilco is a rider with enormous potential. Our task over the next few years will be to consistently bring out this potential on the road. He is the ideal age for this, and will certainly be a real asset.”
“Ben has been part of the German MTB national team for several years. He has always been successful in this respect, but may be lacking that little extra explosiveness. On the road, particularly in the mountains, we see vast possibilities. I have always said that we are also searching for talent in other disciplines and sports. And so, with Ben, we’re happy to guide this type of athlete along his way.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager
“I am really looking forward to this new challenge. After the first few meetings with the coaches and management team, it became clear to me that this is exactly the right step for me. I quickly gained the confidence that a partnership with BORA – hansgrohe would provide me with new incentives at this stage of my career. The entire group – riders, performance team and management – provides the perfect environment for me to put on my best performances, and I’m happy to support the team in its future journeys.” – Wilco Kelderman.
“My previous career goal as a mountain biker was always to participate in the Olympic Games. But at some point. I realised that with my climbing talent, I may be able to achieve more on the road. That’s why I am incredibly grateful to BORA – hansgrohe for providing me with this chance. I was already able to meet some of the guys last December in Mallorca. Now I can hardly wait to learn from the team’s vast experience and to develop myself further. I am highly motivated to be able to contribute to the team’s success as a helper in the mountains. As the biggest bike race in the world, the Tour de France has always been a dream of mine, so let’s see if I can one day be a part of it.” – Ben Zwiehoff.
Rein Taaramae Engages for Two Years with Circus-Wanty Gobert
Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans announces its first recruitment for next season 2021. Rein Taaramäe committed himself for two years to the Belgian team. The multiple Estonian champion has proven himself in the mountains by winning the Tour de l’Ain (2009), the Tour of Burgos (2015) and the Tour of Slovenia (2016). The rider from Tartu, who also lives in Monaco, also won stages in grand tours, in the Vuelta (2011) and in the Giro (2016). The Estonian climber who currently defends the colours of Total Direct Energie took 3rd places in 2019 in the Tour de l’Ain and at the Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges.
Rein Taaramäe: “I’ve ridden in a World Tour Team for three years, with Astana and with Katusha, but my best years were in Pro Continental teams, because the programmes suit me better. I know the French, Russian, Kazakh, … teams very well, but I was never part of a Belgian team. I’m eager to discover this magic environment with a true cycling culture, between classics and grand champions. I’m also looking forward to do my first pedal strokes with the Cube Litening C:68X, a bike in the peloton which I’ve always admired.”
“The choice for Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans was quickly made and obvious. The programme is perfect for me, with a combination of World Tour races in which I aim for stage victories or good results and Europe Tour events in which I target the final victory. I’m already 33 years old, but I’m motivated like never before. I will also join a group with a lot of young climbers with who I want to share my experience. I’ve always loved to guide young riders and to help them progress, so I’m happy to arrive in this group full of talents who still need to flourish. Also, I’m ready to help Odd Eiking and Simone Petilli when the road goes up.”
Jean-François Bourlart (Manager général): “Rein Taaramäe is an important reinforcing for our group of climbers. At the age of 33 he can bring his experience to the group of young riders, like Alexander Evans, Jérémy Bellicaud and Théo Delacroix. But next to his role as a captain, Rein is still able to achieve nice results in mountainous races. So he is a new asset in our team.”
Filippo Conca Signs with Lotto Soudal
Team Lotto Soudal has reached an agreement with 21-year-old Filippo Conca. The Italian talent will ride the coming two years for the Belgian WorldTour team. Conca currently rides for UCI Continental Team Biesse Arvedi and just finished 5th in the U23 Giro d’Italia. Earlier this season he won in Imola his first race after the lockdown.
“I am so happy to be able to make this big step. Of course, I will do everything to show Lotto Soudal that they’ve made the right choice,” said Filippo Conca. “My ultimate dream is to win a stage in a Grand Tour, but that’s for later. First, I will need to find my place in the team and help the others. With Stefano Oldani, I have an Italian friend in the team. We know each other already for many years. That will help my integration in the team.”
Despite his length (1.90 m), Filippo Conca is an excellent climber. Two years in a row he finished 5th in the U23 Giro d’Italia. Last year he won the Giro del Valdarno and finished 7th overall in the Giro delle Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc.
“Filippo is more than a good rider,” said Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue. “He has the right spirit and we believe in him. While this is a big step, we as a team will provide him with the best possible support to continue his positive development. We are constantly working on the team’s future and contracted already some more young riders. We will give them all the necessary time to improve, but we have a plan with them.”
Development Team Sunweb recruit talents Pavel Bittner and Pepijn Reinderink
Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the signing of two young talented riders, Pavel Bittner and Pepijn Reinderink, to their Development program from 2021 with both riding in the team’s colours until the end of 2022.
Pavel Bittner (CZE)
After slowly building into his first year as a junior in 2019 with solid results in his opening races, Bittner took a step forward in the month of June at the LVM Saarland Trofeo where he picked up two impressive stage wins in the last two days of racing. Carrying that momentum through to his national championships he came second in the time trial and won the road race. 2020 has seen Bittner start his season restart in great form, winning two stages and the GC by a comfortable margin at a junior race in his native Czechia, before imitating last year’s results at nationals. Showing his prowess as a strong rider with a fast finish, Bittner claimed a silver medal in the European championships road race against some of the best riders in his age category.
Bittner said: “I’m really happy because this is a massive opportunity for me. I really like Team Sunweb’s approach. Their Development program has helped many of today’s WorldTour riders reach their potential. My dream is to become a professional cyclist one day and I know that Team Sunweb’s Development program is the best way to do that. I’m also still a student in my home country, the Czech Republic, and it’s great that the team can help me with being able to complete my studies while also being a high-level cyclist; that’s important to me.”
Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Pavel is a pretty complete rider; he can climb quite well and he packs a fast finish. He’s a classics style sprinter who can make it to the finish after a hard day in the saddle and be able to compete for a good result in the sprint finish. Pavel has started the season restart in great form and has picked up a series of good results, which shows that he is willing to put the hard work in during training. In the tests we’ve done with him his numbers on the bike have been very impressive and we’ll aim to continue to develop him as a rider and see where his talents take him.”
Pepijn Reinderink (NED)
A punchy rider who can go well on the short climbs, Reinderink had a successful first year in the junior ranks in 2019 where he claimed a stage win at the Ain Bugey Valromey Tour. Alongside that victory, he produced several impressive performances throughout the season, finishing in fifth place on GC at the famously tough Oberösterreich Juniorenrundfahrt and third at the hilly La Philippe Gilbert juniors. Reinderink started 2020 on the front foot, finishing in second place behind his teammate at Kuurne-Brussles-Kuurne, highlighting his versatility.
Reinderink said: “Team Sunweb is a highly regarded team and one that I have always dreamed of riding for. I like their way of working and I think I can develop myself really well with them. I think teamwork is one of the most important things and that is something Team Sunweb really focus on. The vision and the story behind the team also appealed to me; developing riders as an individual and as a collective is the number one priority. I’m really looking forward to the coming years with Development Team Sunweb.”
Team Sunweb head of coaching Rudi Kemna said: “Pepijn is one of the biggest young Dutch talents in the junior category, He’s a good climber, is quite punchy and can hold his own on the longer ascents too. Tactically, Pepijn is also a very smart rider which is an impressive quality for someone of his age, and he knows what to do at certain moments during races. In the coming years we want to continue his development and build on that talent that he has shown, focusing on his progress as a rider.”
Movistar Team Towards Third Giro Rosa Appearance
Aalerud, Patiño to chase GC result as part of young, yet reliable roster in Italian event (September 11-19), with Biannic, Guarischi, Rodríguez, Erić all carrying years of experience in the race.
For the third year on a row, the Movistar Team will be lining up, Friday 11th – Saturday 19th September, in the longest, most demanding stage race in women’s cycling, the Giro Rosa (UCI WWT).
Pablo Lastras will conduct an international, six-woman roster that combines up-and-coming talents with much-respected stalwarts. Katrine Aalerud (NOR, 25), Aude Biannic (FRA, 29), Jelena Erić (SRB, 24), Barbara Guarischi (ITA, 29), Paula Patiño (COL, 23) and Gloria Rodríguez (ESP, 28) will represent the Blues in Italy.
“It’s *the* race of the season for most of them,” underlines Lastras. “I think the route is more balanced in 2020 – with the big mountains in previous years’ routes, the difference between Van Vleuten, Van der Breggen and their rivals was huge. The strategic aspect of the race, the work by the sports directors and how the riders act at certain points of the stages, will be even more important than before. And those who are able to follow the race will find it more interesting.”
“We’re in this Giro Rosa with an aim of getting close to the top GC contenders with Paula and Katrine; considering how young they are, getting a top-ten finish would be fantastic for any of them. However, we won’t lose sight of the chances we have with Barbara, who will be our ‘road captain’, and Aude, whose class could shine in the routes we will find during the race, many tricky finishes that could see her battling for stage wins.”
“It’s my third Giro Rosa alongside the Movistar Team, and it’s always a pleasure to support our women and help them with my experience. My goal has always been to help them feel safer on the road, which is crucial for them to go faster and chase for any result they hope for.”
Devon Unveil Sherford to Exeter Route for the Tour of Britain
Devon County Council and organisers of the Tour of Britain have today (Monday 7 September) announced more details of the Devon stage of the race to mark one year to go until Britain’s biggest professional cycle race returns to the county.
Devon will host Stage Two of the 2021 Tour of Britain on Monday 6 September with a 185 kilometre (115 mile) route between Sherford and Exeter, the twelfth stage to have been hosted by Devon since 2008.
A typically hilly Devon stage including 3,500 metres of ascent will visit the South Hams for the first time since 2012, combining the beautiful south Devon coast with the testing climbs of Dartmoor, before a finish on Queen Street in Exeter city centre.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “We’ve got a year to prepare for the Devon stage of the 2021 Tour of Britain so we want to make it the biggest and best ever and try to inspire even more people to take to two wheels.
“Next year’s stage should be a good challenge for the world’s best riders. It would be fantastic to see the likes of the Yates brothers racing on Devon’s roads once again and it will provide a very welcome boost for our local economy. We always try to make it a special occasion when The Tour of Britain comes to Devon and it’s great to hear that one of our local professional riders, Freddie Scheske, was inspired by watching one of the Devon Stages on Dartmoor a few years ago – hopefully next year he will have the opportunity to compete in The Tour of Britain.”
The route will feature three intermediate Sprints, the first of which will come at Torcross as the route crosses the road along the narrow shingle bar that separates Slapton Ley from the sea, with the remaining Sprints in Kingsbridge and Tavistock.
Three ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs will also feature, the first on the coast at Strete at the end of a two kilometre climb from Blackpool Sands
The second and third ŠKODA King of the Mountains climbs both come in the Dartmoor National Park, the first the 8.7 kilometre climb of Rundlestone above Tavistock, which has been used by the Tour of Britain twice before (2010 and 2012).
The final categorised climb will be between Postbridge and the famous Warren House Inn, one of the most famous locations on Dartmoor and at 434m (1,425ft) above sea level the highest inn in southern England, where the pub’s fire has famously been burning since 1845.
It will be the eleventh year that Devon has featured in the Tour of Britain, with more than 1.7 million people having lined the routes in Devon to watch the stages, generating over £41 million in net economic impact for the local economy.
“We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Devon County Council and being back here with the Tour of Britain in September 2021,” said Hugh Roberts, Managing Director of organisers SweetSpot.
“As always the Devon stage looks set to be an incredibly tough challenge. Coming the day after our first visit to Cornwall what better for cycling fans to look forward to than the opportunity to watch two days of tough racing in the beautiful south west of England.”
Present at the event on the quayside in Exeter were Devon based professional cyclists were Natasha Reddy (Bianchi Dama) and Freddie Scheske (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK), who are both studying at Exeter University.
“It’s the biggest race in Britain and would be a dream come true to race in it,” said Freddie Scheske. “If I could ride the 2021 Tour of Britain it would be the biggest cycling achievement of my life, the run in goes past my university halls, so I know that road very well. It’s very inspirational and very motivational for me to keep training knowing that there will be a race here and I could be riding it. I looked at the profile and thought not too bad, but it’s going to be absolutely savage and relentless. There’s no flat to recover or freewheel on, you’re either going up full gas or you’re trying to make up gaps on the descent, so you never get into a rhythm.”
Speaking about having the Tour of Britain come to Devon and Exeter, Bianchi Dama’s Natasha Reddy said; “I know the route coming back into Exeter like the back of my hands. The route is my training roads and one of my favourite bits of Devon to ride, so I’ll definitely be riding round on the day trying to watch in as many places as I can! From Tavistock back to Exeter it will be fast, it’s usually a tailwind across the moor but then there are some short, sharp climbs at Doccombe and Dunsford and they’re not to be overlooked.”
Commenting on the announcement, British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said: “I know just how much teams, riders and spectators have missed the Tour of Britain this year, and so it is fitting that the second stage of the 2021 race will depart from Devon, which has welcomed the event so often and so warmly over recent years. I have no doubt that the route and the raucous reception will be more than worth the wait!”
The 2021 Tour of Britain is due to take place between Sunday 5 and Sunday 13 September 2021, starting from Penzance in Cornwall and finishing in the city of Aberdeen.
Full details of the 2021 Tour of Britain race route will be announced later in the year while detailed timings for the Devon stage will be announced in the spring of 2021.
The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.
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