The build up to the Giro di Lombardia starts here! Three races: Milan-Torino, Tre Valli Varesine and Binche-Chimay-Binche point out who has the form for Saturday with reports and video. Legend Raymond Poulidor is unwell – Top Story. Lombardia, Gran Piemonte and Paris-Tours previews. Other cycling news: Hodeg goes home, rider contracts and Julian Alaphilippe finishes his season early. Cappuccino anyone?
You can see the ‘Lombardia’19 PEZ Preview’ HERE.
TOP STORY: Concerns about cycling legend Raymond Poulidor
The health condition of cycling legend Raymond Poulidor has been worrying since he was admitted to hospital due to fatigue. His wife Gisèle gave an update in the French media on Wednesday. “We must prepare for bad news.”
Poulidor, grandfather of Mathieu and David van der Poel, has been in the hospital in his hometown of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat for several days because of excessive fatigue. “Raymond has been very tired since the last Tour de France,” his wife Gisèle told the French press agency AFP yesterday, without revealing any further details about the state of health of the now 83-year-old Poupou.
What was considered a small problem of slight fatigue two weeks ago is now taking a more worrying turn. Initially, optimism prevailed and the family thought that Poulidor, who preferred standing at the back the podium at the Tour, only needed some rest and would able to return home soon. In conversation with the French newspaper Le Parisien, his wife was able to give more clarity, but not good news.
“The news is not good. The doctors told us they are going to perform tests, but they also said we should prepare ourselves for bad news,” she told French daily newspaper Le Parisien. “He has barely been able to talk for a few days. When asked if he ate or slept, he answers only with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I am very worried.”
Poulidor didn’t win as much as his big adversary, Jacques Anquetil, but ‘Poupou’ had the hearts of the French people. Let’s hope for some good news.
Michael Woods (EF Education First) won the 100th edition of Milan-Turin on Wednesday. On the steep final climb to the Basilica of Superga, the Canadian rode away from the group of favourites. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was second, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) third.
Primož Roglič and Sonny Colbrelli, winners earlier in the week, were missing from the 100th edition of the oldest cycling race, but with World champion Mads Pedersen, Tour winner Egan Bernal, Alejandro Valverde and Adam Yates, there were enough crowd pullers on the start list.
Five riders attacked early in the race: Daniel Savini, Joey Rosskopf, Rémi Cavagna, Joan Bou and Nicolas Dalla Valle joined forces and were allowed to take a maximum of 6 minutes. Despite their generous lead, the escape was always stayed within reach and on the first passage of the Superga they were as good as caught.
Cavagna tried to stay ahead on his own, but the Vuelta stage winner of Toledo was also caught 20 kilometres from the finish. Just before the top of the climb, Gianluca Brambilla accelerated from behind Tao Geoghegan Hart, who had set the pace for his Ineos team mates Diego Rosa and Egan Bernal. The Italian, who was 10th in the Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday, tried to take advantage of the descent, but he didn’t get much space.
10 kilometres from the finish, Philippe Gilbert tested the legs for the first time, maybe with the Tour of Lombardy in mind, which he will try to win for the third time on Saturday. The decision came on the final passage of the Superga. Jakob Fuglsang opened up the race 4 kilometres from the finish, followed by a counterattack by Michael Woods, Jack Haig and Gorka Izagirre.
Woods turned out to be the strongest at the front and attacked Haig and Izagirre as Gaudu crossed. Gaudu when on to join Woods. Egan Bernal, Alejandro Valverde and Adam Yates also got involved in the battle, and together with Haig and Izagirre they also joined the front to give us seven leaders.
Haig and Izagirre were in trouble, while Gaudu tried twice to get away. With Woods in his wheel, the Frenchman entered the final kilometre. There was only a small differences and just after the red flag, Bernal, Valverde and Yates joined. From behind Mollema and Benoot also joined the front riders.
Gaudu, Valverde and Woods took a small gap on the other favourites, who were not far away. Woods started his sprint at 300 meters and although Valverde was still fighting for the win, the Canadian held on. For the Spanish champion it was second place, and Yates came third. Benoot, Gaudu, Tour winner Bernal and Mollema completed the top seven.
Race winner, Michael Woods (EF Education First): “I was questioning whether or not I should go hard, considering the weather conditions and Il Lombardia being a big goal of mine on Saturday, but at the same time, the finish suited me so well that it was hard to pass on the opportunity to go for the win today. I knew I was on a really good day, this climb favours somebody who attacks and is really offensive. That was the way to put everyone else under pressure and try to discourage them, and I think it really worked out. After what I achieved here, I’ll be considered a favourite for Il Lombardia but I haven’t made the top 10 in that race yet, so my first goal will be to make the podium and win it later in my career.”
2nd, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “Michael Woods is a worthy winner but I also want to thank my team for the great work they’ve done. I’ve waited for my time to produce my effort. I would have liked to win. But we’re quite happy with the second place. I’ve missed the win by very little. I’ve lacked a bit of confidence. If we analyse the week of racing with a fifth place, a second place, yesterday’s bad luck and today’s second place again, it means I’m ready for Il Lombardia on Saturday.”
3rd, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It would have been better to be on the top step but I tried my best and the team was really good today, especially Jack Haig. Heading to the final climb, he did a massive pull to position me and I always had the guys around me to keep me safe for the final. Everyone knew Michael Woods would be one of the guys to beat today. He showed he has the best legs, especially for this climb. I congratulate him. He played it perfectly. Il Lombardia on Saturday will be a complete different race than today. Today was pretty pan flat before the final. On Saturday it’ll be a more tiring race from start to finish. I’ll give my best and I hope I’ll pull off a result.”
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First in 4:03:48
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:05
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:10
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 0:33
9. Kevin Rivera Serrano (CRc) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:38.
Tre Valli Varesine 2019
Three days after the Giro dell’Emilia, Primož Roglič won the 99th edition of Tre Valli Varesine. The Jumbo-Visma Slovenian kept himself well hidden throughout the entire race, but jumped away in the final kilometre. There was also the problem of a misdirected chase group.
Primož Roglič impressively won the Giro dell’Emilia, Sonny Colbrelli turned out to be the fastest in the GP Bruno Beghelli. On Tuesday a number of world class riders competed for the victory in Tre Valli Varesine: Roglič, Valverde, Michael Woods, Diego Ulissi and Bauke Mollema all wanted to be the successor to Toms Skujiņš, last year’s winner.
Jumbo-Visma and Movistar on the front
Michael Gogl, Umberto Marengo, Valerio Agnoli, José Herrada, Davide Ballerini and Mattia Frapporti managed to break away from the peloton after a fast start and soon took 3 minutes. Jumbo-Visma and Movistar – for Roglič and Valverde – managed to keep the gap under control.
On the local circuits in and around Varese, Gogl, Herrada and Ballerini were out front as Agnoli, Marengo and Frapporti were no longer able to hold on, and the lead had fallen to just over one minute. Herrada was also dropped leaving Gogl and Ballerini to start the last 50 kilometres. The peloton was not going to let anyone get away and chased down Tim Wellens and David Gaudu. The Frenchman was the instigator of a very interesting lead group: Valverde, Woods, Daniel Martin, Italian champion Davide Formolo, Eddie Dunbar, Luis León Sánchez, Diego Ulissi, Wilco Kelderman, Valentin Madouas, François Bidard, George Bennett, Mathias Frank and Dylan Teuns.
Ballerini and Gogl had long been caught. In the chase group, Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM were working for Giovanni Visconti, but the difference was more than 20 seconds. The big favourite of the day had missed the move, so Roglič was in the next group along with former winner Vincenzo Nibali. Both riders did not stand much of a chance for the win, as the front riders looked to have the race in their hands, even when Sánchez put in his attack. The shrewd Spaniard of the Astana team managed to extend his lead. The chasing group grew bigger and bigger and Nibali managed to jump from group to group. Sánchez had 30 seconds with 15 kilometres to go.
Sánchez didn’t look safe for the win, until the chasers followed a moto that took a wrong turn. The group turned around in the road, but had lost nearly a minute and the second group had already passed. As a result, Valverde, Woods, Kelderman and Teuns had no chance of the win. Sánchez now seemed to be on the way to his fourth victory of the season.
The chase group managed to take more and more time from Sánchez and his lead of 40 seconds dropped to 15 seconds and with 3 kilometres to go, the difference was only 5 seconds, and the peloton could see the Spaniard up ahead, but Sánchez kept pushing on.
Sanchez did not make it and was caught in the last kilometre by the first of the pursuers, including Roglič. The leader of Jumbo-Visma had managed to tuck himself away the entire race. With perfect timing the Slovenien accelerated with a few hundred metres to go and no one was able to close the gap, and the rest is history. The winner, Roglič, was accompanied on the podium by Visconti and Skujiņš, last year’s winner.
Race winner, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “In the end I was lucky that the leading group took the wrong turn. Otherwise I would not have been able win. It was a difficult race and a tough final. I have to compliment the whole team again. We controlled the race all day and took the initiative in the final. When Sánchez was reeled in, I attacked and gave all I had. Luckily, it was enough to take the win. This is a great season for me and the team and we hope to take our form into the Giro di Lombardia.”
Tre Valli Varesine Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4:40:46
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia at 0:03
3. Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
4. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Sergio Andres Higuita (Col) EF Education First
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Kristian Sbaragli (ita) Israel Cycling Academy
8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal.
Binche-Chimay-Binche – Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke 2019
Binche-Chimay-Binche one-day race on Tuesday was won by Tom Van Asbroeck. The Israel Cycling Academy rider sprinted just that little bit faster than his Belgian countryman Oliver Naesen after a fiercely contested race. Jumbo-Visma grabbed third and fourth with Jos van Emden and Timo Roosen.
Binche-Chimay-Binche is the final race of the Walloon cycling season and it greeted the riders with bad weather, cobblestones and a difficult finish on the uphill cobbles of Pépinière. Danny van Poppel won last year and the Dutch sprinter was again on the start line, in one of his last races for Jumbo-Visma. Van Poppel will be riding for Wanty-Gobert in 2020.
The seven WorldTour, ten ProContinental and four Continental teams started in the Grand Place of Binche, for a race of just under 200 kilometres between the towns of Binche and Chimay. The first attack came from Damien Gaudin, but the Total Direct Energie rider was not in the right break, which consisted of Connor Dunne, Lasse Norman Hansen, Nils Politt and Gianni Marchand. The lead of these four went up to a maximum of 4 minutes.
Dunne, Hansen, Politt and Marchand were caught by the sprinter’s teams, but there was no question of a pure sprint in Binche as the route was too hard and the weather conditions too bad. 60 kilometres from the finish line and the last escapee was caught, but we soon got a new leading group again. It started with an attack from Pieter Serry, Jenthe Biermans and Dries De Bondt, they were joined by nine more riders, to give us a leading group of twelve men.
Van Asbroeck, Naesen, Van Emden, Roosen, Biermans, Jens Keukeleire, Victor Campenaerts, Jasper Stuyven, Florian Sénéchal, Damien Touze, Stefan Küng, Kevin Géniets and Dries De Bondt would decide the win in Binche. The thinned peloton had little manpower to recapture the leader. In the end it was Campenaerts who managed to build a nice lead over the others.
The ‘World Hour Record’ holder appeared at one point to be on his way to victory, but he was caught by the pursuers just 7 kilometres from the finish. Despite some late accelerations, there was going to be sprint in Binche. Jumbo-Visma was ideally placed with Van Emden and Roosen, but it was Naesen who managed to dive through a non-existent space in the final metres. It seemed like the winning move, but it was his fellow countryman, Van Asbroeck who crossed the line first.
Race winner, Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Cycling Academy): “Nice to end my season like this. This was my fourth participation here, but I especially remember the one from 2015, when Ramon Sinkeldam won. I was third and learned that the ideal line for sprinting lay against the crush barriers on the left. I tried to do the same as then and that went well. It was narrowly against Oliver (Naesen), but I kept it off. Of course I am very satisfied with this first victory of the season. It is nice to end 2019 in this way.”
2nd, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “The conditions were not great, it rained a lot, but it was not nearly as bad as the World Championships! I like this race, it is my second consecutive podium (3rd last year). I am still motivated at this time of the year, and that sometimes makes the difference compared to the others. I was not missing much in order to take the victory. It was a photo finish. At this race, it is important to manage yourself well on the climb so as not to burn your legs for the sprint, which is what I managed to do. But unfortunately, I found myself blocked in. Now heading to Paris-Tours to finish off the season.”
Binche-Chimay-Binche – Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke Result:
1. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 4:32:37
2. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
3. Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
4. Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Damien Touze (Fra) Cofidis
9. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
10. Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin.
Binche’19 – Click for big screen:
More Italian Racing at the Gran Piemonte
UAE Team Emirates will face the Gran Piemonte on Thursday 10th. The UAE team will be led by Sports Director Marco Marzano (Ita), who will guide the following riders:
Gran Piemonte (1.HC, 185 km):
– Nicolas Dalla Valle (Ita)
– Daniel Martin (Irl)
– Manuele Mori (Ita)
– Jan Polanc (Slo)
– Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
– Rory Sutherland (Aus)
– Oliviero Troia (Ita)
Aleksandr Riabushenko: “In the second half of the season I was able to perform well and took advantage of my very good condition. I think I have held on to my form and legs are still good so I aim to be up in the mix and be one of our main guys, but knowing we have other strong options within the team for a result always helps too.”
Il Lombardia 2019: The Special Jersey Dedicated to Gimondi Unveiled
Unveiled in the Lombardy Region headquarters, the jersey dedicated to Gimondi that will be awarded to the winner of the season’s last Classic Monument. Il Lombardia NamedSport runs 243km from Bergamo to Como with the historic climbs of Ghisallo and Sormano before the grand finale with Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia.
From left: the President of Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana and Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport
The jersey dedicated to the unforgettable Felice Gimondi, designed and produced by Castelli, was unveiled in the Lombardy Region headquarters, and will be awarded to the winner of the end-of-season Classic Monument on Saturday 12 October. Il Lombardia NamedSport 2019 features many of the Lombardy Region’s iconic cycling places on its route and promises to be spectacular, with many champions at the start.
Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, said: “This edition of the race has given us a great opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with the Lombardy Region. We wanted to pay tribute to Felice Gimondi and we will do so by dedicating to him this symbolic race, which he has won twice, and which will start from his Bergamo. Furthermore, the winner of this 113th edition will be awarded a special jersey in memory of the great champion. The live images of this edition will be broadcasted on the five continents and I am sure it will be an exciting race to watch for all cycling fans around the world.”
Antonio Rossi, Counselor for Major Sporting Events of Lombardy Region said: “Il Lombardia is one of the great events of our Region, that is rich in history of cycling. Il Lombardia includes the most symbolic climbs such as the Ghisallo, the Muro di Sormano and the Civiglio. This year it is very special for me to be able to pay tribute to Gimondi with this race. I really like the idea of seeing the pros on Saturday and being able to ride part of the route the next day with the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia. It is a spectacular race, my congratulations to those who designed it.”
“Felice Gimondi was one of the most important and prestigious personalities in the last six decades of Lombardy sport. For this reason, the idea to dedicate a jersey to his memory during ‘Il Lombardia’ could only have found the full support of the Lombardy Region. It’s a recognition of a sportsman, allowing us an opportunity to remember him a few weeks after his death, as an international icon of international cycling,” added Martina Cambiaghi, Councilor for Sport and Youth Lombardy Region.
From left: the President of Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, Antonio Rossi, Counselor for Major Sporting Events of Lombardy Region and Stefano Allocchio, Race Director RCS Sport
The beautiful, challenging 243km route from Bergamo to Como, featuring 4,000m of total elevation, culminates with a final section that places a series of steep climbs – including Muro di Sormano, Ghisallo, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia – between the riders and final victory.
CCC Team Announces Il Lombardia Rider Roster
CCC Team has announced its rider roster for Il Lombardia (12 October), the final Monument of the year, with the Polish team heading to the start line of the Italian one-day race with a strong group of riders.
Sports Directors Gabriele Missaglia and Fabio Baldato explained that CCC Team will be looking to race aggressively at the team’s final outings in Europe this season.
“Overall, we have a good group of riders. I think we have a few riders who we can look to do something with here, including Víctor de la Parte, who has come back into some strong form at CRO Tour. Depending on how Amaro Antunes is after his crash in Croatia, he could also be a protected rider plus, I think Simon Geschke will be in good shape after a tough World Championships. We will also look to cover the early moves and represent CCC Team in any early breakaways. It’s the end of the season so while, everyone is tired, we must try to race aggressively and do the best we can for a good result,” Missaglia said.
“We are always motivated to race well at the Monuments and Il Lombardia is no exception. With the way Víctor de la Parte raced in Croatia, he will definitely be one of our protected riders. Simon Geschke is also coming to the race in good shape and we will see how Amaro Antunes is after his crash in Croatia. The rest of the team are all coming out of CRO Race and we saw Serge Pauwels, Joey Rosskopf, Laurens ten Dam, and Riccardo Zoidl with good legs and ready to work hard for the team. Of course, we are not lining up with a top favourite but, we have multiple cards to play which will give us the freedom to race aggressively and try to be in the different moves. I would like to see us have a rider in the top ten and finish the season well,” Baldato added.
De la Parte is motivated for the challenging races ahead after a good performance at CRO Tour. “I am really happy with my shape right now and it was great to go to Croatia and race well after my Vuelta a España crash. Nobody but me knew the extent of the hard work I did to recover because I really wanted to finish the season on the bike and this will be a fantastic way to end the year. Milano – Torino and Il Lombardia are two of the most beautiful races of the year and you can definitely enjoy them when you have the legs so, the objective is to keep the good line the team has taken again,” de la Parte explained.
Laurens ten Dam will be lining up for his final races as a professional cyclist in Italy. “I always love to race in Italy and I’m really happy to finish my career with Milano – Torino, the oldest of the Italian classic races, and Il Lombardia. It will be really nice and I think we have a good team for both races. Most of us are heading to Italy from Croatia and, personally, I felt good at CRO Tour. We raced really well together and I think the last six days of hard racing was the perfect preparation for the final races of the season. I have only finished Lombardia once before but, I think I am in the right shape to go for another finish and to start celebrating my retirement. I’m looking forward to it and I hope to finish my career on a high note with the team,” ten Dam said.
Il Lombardia (12 October)
Amaro Antunes (POR), Víctor de la Parte (ESP), Simon Geschke (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Laurens ten Dam (NED), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Gabriele Missaglia (ITA).
Laurens ten Dam:
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Il Lombardia
Two-time winner Philippe Gilbert headlines our squad for the season’s final Monument.
One of the few foreign riders to have triumphed at Il Lombardia multiple times (2009 and 2010), Philippe Gilbert will end his season at “The Race of the Falling Leaves”, which the Paris-Roubaix reigning champion is set to race for the 11th time in his career on Saturday, when the peloton will travel from Bergamo to Como, the picturesque town that gets to host the finish of the year’s fifth Monument for the 35th time in history.
Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo, Colma di Sormano – with its excruciating 27% gradients – Civiglio, and San Fermo della Battaglia (which returns after two years) are the six climbs dotting the 243km-long course that will gradually thin out the peloton and provide the terrain for attacks at the 113th running of the race, which the Wolfpack will once again start as leader of the UCI World Team Classification.
Tenth at Milano-Torino on Wednesday, a strong and morale-boosting result that came one month after his last race, Enric Mas will be another rider who could play an important role on Saturday, part of a solid Deceuninck – Quick-Step line-up which will include also Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, James Knox – who is making his debut in a Monument – and Petr Vakoc.
“We won two Monuments this year – Sanremo and Roubaix – and we are very motivated to end our European season with another strong performance in Lombardia, a beautiful race where we’ve tasted success several times”, said sports director Davide Bramati. “The route doesn’t bring anything new, which means it’s the same tough parcours that will end up making a serious selection by the time we’ll approach the last climb, the Battaglia, which should be decisive, as was the case so many times in the past.”
12.10 Il Lombardia (ITA) 1.UWT
Eros Capecchi (ITA), Rémi Cavagna (FRA), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Bob Jungels (LUX), James Knox (GBR), Enric Mas (ESP), Petr Vakoc (CZE).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL).
Philippe Gilbert’s 11th Lombardia:
UAE Team Emirates Tackles Final Monument of the Season as the Leaves Start to Fall
Il Lombardia, the fifth and final ‘monument’ of the season, is finally upon the riders of UAE Team Emirates – as a squad of seven head to Italy to take on the iconic 243km race from Bergamo to Como (12 October).
Known as the ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’, due to its autumnal placing on the calendar, Il Lombaria is considered as one of the toughest one-day challenges on the WorldTour. Winning this spectacular race, which skirts the shores of lake Como etches a rider’s name in the history books – as UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin can attest to after he took the victory in 2014.
This year he will ride alongside Diego Ulissi and Rui Costa – who are both in great form – providing a triple threat for the Emirati formation.
Marco Marzano, Neil Stephens and Bruno Vicino will guide the squad:
Rui Costa, who finished third in 2014 behind Dan Martin said: “After a very tough World Championship, I’m now gearing up for what will be a very tough and challenging race in Lombardy. This route isn’t exactly suited to my characteristics, but I’ll try and play my cards smartly and put in a good performance.”
Il Lombardia – OCT 12
Arthur van Dongen – Team Sunweb coach: “It’s the last Monument of the year and the last race of the season for most of the guys so everyone is really motivated to end with a good performance. Wilco is in good shape after the Vuelta and we aim to be active in the finale with him, once the race reaches the tougher climbs towards the end of the day. Last year we also had Michael in the break so if there are any large groups that go then we want to be present in them too. The team are motivated to deliver a good team performance and hopefully achieve a nice result to go with it.”
Jan Bakelants (BEL), Chris Hamilton (AUS), Jai Hindley (AUS), Marc Hirschi (SWI), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Robert Power (AUS), Michael Storer (AUS).
Final Sprinters Classic of the Year Awaits UAE Team Emirates with Paris-Tours
Paris-Tours, which dates back to 1896, is one of the oldest cycling races on the UCI WorldTour. The modern day version, which is considered the final sprinter’s classic of the season, will take place on Sunday 13th October. UAE Team Emirates mixes youth and experience in a five man squad that will rally behind the emerging Portuguese talent Rui Oliveria, as they take on the 217km flat route from Chartres on the outskirts of Paris to the cathedral city of Tours.
A team of Rouleurs including Tom Bohli (Switzerland), Vegard Stake Laengen (Norway) and Rory Sutherland (Australia), along with new signing Nicolas Dalla Valle (Italy) will support Oliveira and be guided by Swiss Sports Director, Simone Pedrazzini.
Oliveria said: “This is the final hurdle this season in what has been my first year with UAE Team Emirates. As always, I’d love to be competitive and take advantage of my condition which is good at the moment, and Paris Tours is a course that suits my characteristics. This season I learned a lot, every race was an opportunity to improve and learn something new from my teammates and the staff.”
Paris-Tours Elite – OCT 13
Michiel Elijzen – Team Sunweb coach: “We arrive here with good memories from last year’s thrilling edition of the race which Søren won. Once again, the riders will be faced with lots of gravel sections and the tricky climb near the end, which will make for a spectacular finale. Søren will be our leader for a good result, but we also have other options to play with Cees and the rest of the guys arriving in good shape.”
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN), Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN), Cees Bol (NED), Roy Curvers (NED), Nils Eekhoff (NED), Casper Pedersen (DEN), Max Walscheid (GER).
Nils Eekhoff, the non-winner of the U23 Worlds will be riding:
Hodeg to Return to Colombia
The 23-year-old ends season earlier than scheduled.
Two days after undergoing surgery in Roeselare to fix a fracture he suffered on his right shoulder as consequence of a hard crash on the finishing straight of the Tour de l’Eurometropole, Alvaro Hodeg left the hospital, after further examinations showed no rupture of the bicep tendon.
The Colombian sprinter, a winner of seven races in his second season with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, will stay a few more days in Belgium to recover before flying to Colombia after the weekend, where he’ll spend three weeks in a cast and three more weeks off the bike before restarting his training.
“It’s not easy, but what hurts me the most is to finish my season in this way, especially as there were a few more opportunities to add to my 2019 tally. On the other hand, I am grateful that it wasn’t anything worse and want to thank to everyone – team, doctors and fans – for their help and well wishes”, Alvaro said. “I will now rest and count the days until I can return on the bike and start my preparations for what I hope to be an even more successful season with the Wolfpack.”
Craddock to Continue Progression with EF Education First Pro Cycling
EF Education First Pro Cycling is proud to announce the re-signing of Lawson Craddock. The American has played an integral role in the team’s successes during the 2019 season.
“EF is a great place for me to continue to grow,” said Craddock. “I feel like I’m in a really good spot in terms of my role in the team. I stepped into the domestique role a bit more than I have in the past, and I discovered it’s actually something I really quite enjoy, being there and helping our leaders as much as possible to deliver them to success. In the second half of the season, I also had a few opportunities to race for myself, for my own results.”
Craddock is best known for one of his worst, on paper, results. The American sustained a high profile scapular fracture on the opening stage of the 2018 Tour de France and captivated audiences worldwide as he raced all the way to the Tour’s conclusion in Paris as the race’s Laterne Rouge, the rider the occupies the final spot on the overall classification En route to Paris, Craddock raised nearly $400,000 for Houston’s Hurricane Harvey battered Alkek Velodrome, where he first learned to race.
Craddock came to the team in 2016 as a rider tapped for the longer stage races. The past two seasons, he’s shifted his focus.
“Lawson had a year where he was really under-performing,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “I thought he could grow into a top ten three week Grand Tour rider, not necessarily a contender but a guy that could finish in the top 10. I was training him for that, and I don’t think that was the right decision for him, formula for him. Now he’s more focused on getting into breakaways, his time trial, helping his teammates. He’s where he should be in the sport now.
“Lawson has been a great part of this program since he came to us, and we’re happy to have him for another two years,” Vaughters added. “You know, he didn’t make the Tour team this year, and he showed a lot of grit and gumption to come back in the second part of the season to do a great Vuelta, a great World Championships. I was really proud of the attitude he showed surrounding that. That’s the kind of thing we really appreciate on this team — someone that takes a hard decision and comes back stronger from it.”
The time trial has been an obvious area of development for Craddock. He finished sixth at the 2019 Road World Championships in Yorkshire last month, fourth in the stage 10 time trial at the Vuelta a España in mid-September, sixth in the Tour de Suisse opening stage time trial in June and seventh in the time trial at Paris-Nice in March.
“I’ve had the ability to do a lot of work on my time trialling, and that’s shown this year, and there’s still a lot of room for improvements in terms of overall strength on the bike and my position on the bike,” said Craddock. “I look forward to putting in the effort to see what I’m capable of in the TT.”
“In terms of other ambitions next year, I’m well-suited towards races like Amstel Gold Race,” noted Craddock. “I had a good race there this year, helping Clarkely get second, and next year I’d love to have another crack at that, whether that’s helping the team or getting a chance to go for it for myself. I also really want to make the Olympics team for the USA.”
Craddock’s evolution has coincided with the evolution of the team
“The team nearly folding in 2017 actually ended up being the thing that saved us all,” said Craddock. “EF learned about the team because of the #SaveArgyle campaign we launched as a last ditch effort to keep the team afloat. They’ve come on board and changed how we all operate, given us a clear goal to all work towards. And while they do want us all to best that we can be on the bike, they recognise that there are other aspects of life out there that we can all focus on together, other goals we can strive to reach together.”
For Craddock, his daughter has provided a new focal point
“Having Sweet Caroline around at the races, just around all together, it has changed my life completely,” said Craddock. “She’s given me more patience, and she’s also helped me recognise what’s really important – which is being the best father and husband that I can possibly be. And that realisation has helped me come into races a bit more relaxed, to not stress about racing so much.
“This sport is so hard,” Craddock added. “I’d argue that it’s the hardest sport in the world mentally and physically. To have something to come home to that has nothing to do with that hard, to step away and look at my daughter and say: ‘This is why I do it. This is why I do everything. This is what’s important to me.’, its removed some of the pressure on the bike, and I think that’s why I’ve progressed in the way I have this year, why I’m hopeful and excited about my future progression.”
Lawson Craddock in La Vuelta’19:
CCC Team Signs Pavel Kochetkov for 2020-21
Pavel Kochetkov will join up with compatriot Ilnur Zakarin at CCC Team in 2020 with the Russian rider signing a two-year contract until 2021.
Kochetkov, the former Russian road race champion in 2016, will add experience to the team’s 2020 roster with eight Grand Tour participations to his name since turning professional in 2013.
“We are in the stages of finalising our roster for the 2020 season and we are very happy to announce that Pavel Kochetkov will race for CCC Team in 2020 and 2021. Pavel will be an asset for the team in a team support role, especially in terms of racing with Ilnur Zakarin as the two have raced together for the last five years. Given Russia is a key market for our title sponsor CCC, we are also excited to be developing more of a presence in Russia and increase exposure for CCC Team and CCC,” Ochowicz explained.
“Pavel will also have the opportunity to have more freedom at races and with his experience at the Grand Tours, he will be an important rider in our Grand Tour teams. I think we will provide a good environment for Pavel to reach his potential as a rider, especially as we continue to grow as a team. With our additions to the roster for 2020, it is shaping up to be an exciting year for CCC Team.”
33-year-old Pavel Kochetkov is excited to join the Polish WorldTour team in a move he sees as a fresh start in his career. “CCC Team is an ambitious project and I like the look of the team and the organisation, so this was what attracted me to CCC Team. I have raced a lot with Ilnur Zakarin so this was also a big reason to join him in moving to the team. I will support him and he trusts me so, I hope to help Ilnur race well in the next years, as well as working hard for the whole team. I’m really looking forward to starting the next season with CCC Team,” Kochetkov said.
“After six years at Katusha-Alpecin, I want to thank Igor Makarov for his passion, for everything he did for me personally, and allowing me to be part of the team, and for cycling in general. Personally, I see this as a chance to re-start my career. I think a change will be good for me as I want to continue to grow as a cyclist and be better than I have been in the last years, especially as I have had some bad crashes during this time. I am motivated and I will do my maximum for the team.”
Kochetkov is the seventh new rider to sign for CCC Team in 2020, joining Zakarin, Matteo Trentin, Fausto Masnada, Michał Paluta, Jan Hirt, and Georg Zimmermann.
Team Sunweb Strengthen with the Signing of Alison Jackson and Wilma Olausson
Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the signings of Canadian all-rounder Alison Jackson and the young talent Wilma Olausson, strengthening their Women’s program for next year. Jackson will ride in the team’s colours for 2020 while Olausson will stay with the team until the end of 2021.
Alison Jackson (CAN)
A solid all-round rider, Jackson is capable of surviving a tough day in the saddle before delivering a punchy and strong sprint to the line. This year she’s highlighted those qualities with success at the White Spot Delta Road Race, alongside being crowned the first ever stage winner at the Women’s Tour of Scotland. Furthermore, Jackson has shown ability in the tricky spring classics and will add more depth to the team’s block of classics riders. Jackson will also add her experience of riding both in the European and North American circuit to the team, while also continuing her development as a rider too.
“I am really excited to be joining Team Sunweb for 2020,” said Jackson. “It is the next step in my career that I needed to bring myself to the next level and keep growing as an athlete. I am looking forward to playing the tactical game with Team Sunweb and to contribute to team wins throughout the year. I race with a lot of heart and I think it will balance well with the resources and expertise available within the team. I think we can accomplish a lot together next year.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “With Alison we strengthen the core of our team and she brings a good balance. She is an all-round rider with a strong sprint, but she can also survive the harder classic races, with several top ten results the Women’s WorldTour. Alison will be one of our more experienced riders but it will be new for her to work in a team like ours; because of that we are confident that she can make another step in her development. We are very much looking forward to working together.”
Wilma Olausson (SWE)
A talented youngster, Olausson has had two good seasons riding in the junior ranks, picking up several strong results throughout both years. In 2019 she has taken numerous top tens and podium places, with the highlight of her season being winning both the road race and time trial at the Swedish national championships, alongside the overall title at the Watersley Ladies Challenge. A good all-round rider, Olausson has performed well in time trials but also has shown the ability to pack a good sprint after a tough day of racing. Looking to the future, Olausson hopes to continue her development as a rider with the team, building on her strong years as a junior.
“I’m really excited to be joining Team Sunweb next year and I can’t wait to make the step up to racing in the pro peloton,” explained Olausson. “The team has a very good development plan for me and that appealed to me a lot. All of the younger riders that have joined the team get stronger every year and I’m looking forward to learning from both them and the coaches so I can do that too. Coming out of the juniors I still have a lot to improve on and I think this is the right place for me to do that.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “Wilma is one of the biggest talents in the junior women’s peloton. She is an excellent climber and she’s also strong in the time trials which she showed with a third place at the European championships earlier in the year. Building on that she confirmed her talent at the Watersley Ladies Challenge Nation Cup race in Sittard where she won the GC in a very impressive manner. Of course as a youngster she still has a lot to learn and we are looking forward to helping her with that and to watch her grow as a cyclist with us.”
De Winter and Degand Stay with Wanty-Gobert
Ludwig De Winter and Thomas Degand extended their contract with Wanty-Gobert for two years and one year respectively.
De Winter, who will be celebrating his 27th birthday at the end of the year, plays a role as helper within Wanty-Gobert. The baroudeur showed himself in the spring in the early breakaway in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and in the E3 BinckBank Classic. The inhabitant of Binche signed a contract with Wanty Gobert – Tormans until the end of 2021.
Also Degand, part of Wanty-Gobert since the start of the team, except for 2015, will be in the ranks of the Belgian formation next season. The 33-year-old won the Tour du Jura in 2017. This season, he finished in the top 20 in the general classification of the Tour du Limousin (13th) and of the Circuit de la Sarthe (17th). The inhabitant of Isières hopes at least to equal these results in 2020 with Wanty Gobert – Tormans.
Ludwig De Winter: “This season I flourished in the hands of Wanty-Gobert, so I’m very happy to receive the opportunity to continue this evolution for two more years. This act of faith shows that my work in the shadow is appreciated. I grew as a rider during the season and gained valuable experience as a helper, which steadily increased my added value to the team. This two year extension is a fantastic reward! Moreover, as an inhabitant of Binche, I’m very proud to represent the colours of our main sponsor Wanty! I hope to do this again in the spring classics next season, in order to show my baroudeur temperament in my favourite races!”
Thomas Degand: “I’m a member of Wanty-Gobert since the start and grew with the team. Thanks to my interlude in the World Tour with IAM in 2015, I appreciate the familiar atmosphere even more. There’s a good chance now that I’ll finish my career in this habitat. So I’m happy to represent the colours of Wanty Gobert – Tormans for one more year. My role in the team changed gradually towards assisting Guillaume Martin. I like this role of team captain, but I’m also motivated to grab some chances to realise my personal ambitions next year. On to a good winter!”
Hilaire Van der Schueren: “We can always rely on Ludwig De Winter. No matter the demand, he’s always ready to fulfil his task, to the extent possible. I’m very satisfied about his contribution to the team, so I’m happy to welcome him within Wanty Gobert-Tormans again for the next two years! Thomas Degand is a member of the Wanty-Gobert family since the start. Just like Ludwig De Winter, he completes his tasks as a helper with verve. The amplitude of his tasks will become more important next year, because we expect him to take more responsibility in order to become a road captain. The bar will be raised a little higher, so I’m already looking forward to a new season with Thomas Degand.”
Team Adds Chloe Hosking to 2020 roster
World-class Australian sprinter seeks a fresh start.
11 seasons. 33 professional wins. 100 podiums. What more is there to achieve in cycling for Australian Chloe Hosking? Rally UHC Cycling is about to find out.
In a bold move, one of the only all-North American professional cycling teams in the world is opening its doors to a rider from down under, signing 29-year-old sprinting sensation Chloe Hosking for the 2020 season.
“Rally UHC Cycling offers me a new environment filled with new challenges,” said Hosking. “After 11 seasons in Europe, I felt I needed a big change if I wanted to continue to enjoy and succeed in this sport. The team gives me the opportunity to achieve all of these things.”
Hosking is one of the sport’s premier sprinters, whose victories include WorldTour wins in La Course by Le Tour de France (2016) and stage two of the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (2019) as well as a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games Road Race (2018).
“I feel so fortunate to be able to do this for a living,” said Hosking. “My dad once said to me, “Chloe, you have the rest of your life to work in an office.” And it’s so true. I will only be young once and my body and my mind are allowing me to race my bike at the highest level in the world.”
After spending the last three seasons competing for the Italian Alé Cipollini team, Hosking will spend more time stateside than ever before in her career.
“I’m ready to challenge myself not just from a physical perspective but also a mental and social one,” said Hosking. “I will have an important role in developing some of the best North American talent and I’m looking forward to helping Rally UHC Cycling make that next step as a team.”
Team director Zach Bell was looking to complete the 2020 roster with a rider capable of leading his young squad in the world’s biggest events. With Hosking, he found the perfect combination of someone who was looking for a mentorship role and still capable of leading by example.
“As the program has grown, it became clear we needed someone knowledgeable who could guide the riders in Europe,” said Bell. “With Chloe, I believe we’ve found that person.”
There is more to success than a rider’s strength and determination, they must learn how to read a race and develop the bike handling skills to put themselves in the right position at the right time.
“With riders like Emma White and Megan Jastrab both on the cusp of becoming great, high-level sprinters, Chloe is someone who can really contribute the intangibles in their skill development,” added Bell.
Hosking is the third and final new signing for Rally UHC Cycling’s 2020 roster after the announcement of Leigh-Ann Ganzar and Lily Williams in early September.
Returning riders include three-time junior world champion Megan Jastrab, 2019 US crit champ Emma White, 2019 Redlands Bicycle Classic stage winner Krista Doebel-Hickok, 2017 Colorado Classic champion Sara Poidevin, 2017 Canadian road champ Allison Beveridge, 2019 Tour of the Gila stage winner Heidi Franz, and 2018 Canadian crit champ Sara Bergen.
The team will assemble for the first time in Minneapolis, MN for their official launch party on December 6. Riders then return home to prepare for camp in early January heading into the season opener in Australia.
2020 women’s roster:
Sara Bergen, Allison Beveridge, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Chloe Hosking, Heidi Franz, Leigh Ann Ganzar, Megan Jastrab*, Sara Poidevin, Emma White, Lily Williams.
*junior/development rider in 2020.
2016 La Course podium. Lotta Lopistö, Chloe Hosking, Marianne Vos:
Team Sunweb Sign Promising Youngster Ilan Van Wilder
Team Sunweb are delighted to announce the signing of young Belgian rider Ilan Van Wilder from 2020. The talented 19-year-old makes the step up to WorldTour and will race in the team’s colours until the end of 2022.
After a strong final year in the juniors, 2019 saw Ilan Van Wilder begin his career as an U23 rider. A string of impressive results in the opening Spring races included top 15 finishes at both Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liége-Bastogne-Liége, highlighting his ability over the most demanding terrain. Van Wilder’s first win of the year would come on the queen stage of Course de la Paix, beating some strong opposition before ultimately finishing fourth on GC. Arguably his standout performance of the year came at the Tour de l’Avenir where he ended the race in third place overall, claiming seven top-ten stage finishes throughout the ten days, proving his worth as an exciting GC prospect. Looking ahead, 19-year-old Van Wilder will continue his development as a rider with Team Sunweb in the coming years.
Van Wilder explained: “I’m looking forward to joining the team to develop my abilities and make the best out of my career on the long term. My goal is to learn as much as possible and really work towards reaching my full potential – I believe this is a great place for me to do that. Stage racing suits me well, and I am really looking forward to gaining more experience in that field together with Team Sunweb. I like the long term vision that the team has with me, and the fact they won’t skip any steps along the way. I can’t wait to join and would like to thank my current team Lotto-Soudal for the opportunities they have given me.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “We’re proud and delighted to add Ilan to our roster for the upcoming three years. We’ve been watching his progress since the beginning of 2018 and he continues to impress as one of the most exciting talents of his generation. This year he has made another step up and taken big GC results at various races such as Tour de l’Avenir, Course de la Paix and Ronde de l’Isard. In the next three years we will work together to gradually work on Ilan’s development as a rider. We plan to ride different types of races with him, but the main focus will be on developing his climbing and time trial abilities in the future.”
Ilan Van Wilder:
Julian Alaphilippe Calls it a Season
2019 has been a hugely successful season for the 27-year-old, one of the finest campaigns a rider has enjoyed this century.
After kicking off the year brilliantly in South America, Julian Alaphilippe returned to Europe, where in the space of just three weeks he claimed four victories on Italian soil – one more impressive than the other – including his first ever Monument, Milano-Sanremo. Then, in April, not even a crash in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco could stop him from being a top protagonist in the Ardennes and repeating his 2018 Flèche Wallonne success, thus adding another notch to his belt.
His stellar season continued apace in July, as Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s pocket-rocket climber captured the imagination of an entire nation in the biggest race on earth, the Tour de France, where a brace of stage wins and an unforgettable 14-day spell in the iconic yellow jersey, during which he displayed endless panache, took him to new heights and turned him into the new hero of the French public.
“I am really sad to tell you that I will not be racing Milano-Torino and Il Lombardia this week and that my incredible 2019 season has come to an end. You know that I always give everything and have done ever since my year started in Argentina. I’ve worked really hard to try and be at my peak for a third time this year, having raced hard at the Classics and Le Tour, but I knew at the Worlds that my form is short of where I would like it to be. I really wanted to be with the guys in Italy and give my all for the team, but as I can’t do that, it makes sense that I start my post-season recovery now, in order to be in the best possible shape for the start of next year.”
Julian, whose 12 victories and extraordinary feats have put him on the prestigious Velo d’Or nominees list, continued: “2019 is a year that I will never forget, and I want to thank my team, the management, the staff, my family and everyone who has supported me throughout this truly spectacular season. I can’t put into words how special it was to share all these beautiful moments with you all!”
Not a bad season for Julian Alaphilippe:
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