EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

The excitement has been high in the Tour de France so far – We catch up with the last three stages with reports, results and video. Plus the Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria and the BC Superweek. Top Story – 2025 Grand Départ in Amsterdam. Other cycling news: No Katusha in 2020, contracts for Florian Sénéchal and Stijn Steels, Arctic Race at the Tour, EuroTrack 2019, Adriatica Ionica Race’19, BinckBank and BEAT and Wahoo and The Sufferfest. Also ‘Tastes of Le Tour’ with the CCC Team. Tour coffee time!

TOP STORY: Amsterdam Dreams of Tour Grand Départ in 2025
Amsterdam will be 750 years-old in 2025. ‘The anniversary must be honored with the start of the Tour de France.’ At least, that is the intention of the Amsterdam coalition parties GroenLinks, D66 and the PvdA. They want to bring the Tour de France Grand Départ to the Dutch capital, Het Parool reports.

GroenLinks councilor Dorrit de Jong submitted the initiative proposal to the city council. According to De Jong, there were already plans to bring a major sporting event to Amsterdam, but no event had yet been designated. “Cycling is a broad popular sport that many people in Amsterdam can enjoy”, De Jong argues for the Tour de France. “Moreover, we can put ourselves on the map again as a cycling city. Amsterdam was the cycling capital of the world, but we are now being overtaken by Utrecht and Copenhagen.”

Amsterdam is not the only Dutch city that is eager for the Tour start. Rotterdam is interested in organizing the Grand Départ in 2023, 2024 or 2025. De Jong expresses the hope in the Amsterdam newspaper to be able to work together. “It would be a shame if we didn’t work together, a joint scheme would be nice,” he says. “But because of the anniversary, another year is not an option for Amsterdam for me.”

The Tour de France started once before in Amsterdam. In 1954, the Netherlands organized the first foreign Tour start. In 2015, Utrecht was the last Dutch city to organize the Grand Départ. The Vuelta a España will start in that city next year.

The Tour de France in Holland 2015:

Tour de France 2019
World’s number 1 Julian Alaphilippe powered to victory in Stage 3 with a strong attack with 16km to go behind breakaway rider Tim Wellens in the hills of the Champagne area. A solo winner in Epernay, he took over from Mike Teunissen to become the first Frenchman in the lead of the Tour de France since Tony Gallopin in 2014.

Five riders in the lead
176 riders took the start of stage 3 in Binche. Yoann Offredo, a member of the Binche-based Wanty-Gobert team, was first to attack from the gun but he was reeled in by a very active peloton. Two kilometers further, the Frenchman rode away again with four other riders: Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Anthony Delaplace (Arkéa-Samsic), Paul Ourselin (Total Direct Energie) and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). They enjoyed a slightly downhill first part of the course and a nice tailwind to cover almost 47km in the first hour of racing. Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) led the bunch by himself until the maximum time gap was recorded while the leading quintet passed the 80th kilometer: 6:15. That was the moment chosen by Deceuninck-Quick Step to ask Kasper Asgreen to speed up. The time difference was stabilized around 3:30 with 100km to go.

Tim Wellens’ one-man-show
In front of the magnificent cathedral of Reims with 69km to go, the deficit of the peloton was below two minutes with Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step still at the helm. The breakaway riders swapped turns efficiently until Wellens attacked with 48km to go before the climb of Nanteuil-la-Forêt. 30km before the end, as the French quartet was brought back by the pack, the advantage of Wellens was 1:50. The Belgian secured the polka dot jersey at the côte de Champillon with 25km to go where a difference of 1:10 with the peloton was recorded.

Julian Alaphilippe on a classics mode
Wellens was caught by Alaphilippe at the top of the côte de Mutigny with 16km to go while he had a flat tyre so the Frenchman continued solo. Michael Woods (EF), third at the top, Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) went in between but got reeled in 9km before the end while Alaphilippe forged on. He forced Team Ineos to ride behind him and managed to stay away. The Frenchman crossed the line with an advantage of 26 seconds over Michael Matthews who out-sprinted the rest of the main peloton. He’s the new leader of the Tour de France.

Full ‘PEZ Stage 3 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – QuickStep): “It’s an incredible feeling. Before the Tour I was dreaming of this scenario, to take the win and the yellow jersey here, so I was really focused, although I knew it was going to be difficult. I rode full gas and gave everything, and to take also yellow together with this victory is definitely one of the best moments of my career. The team protected me throughout the day and I tried to save energy before the final kilometers. Then, on the Mutigny, I asked Dries to up the tempo so I could assert the situation on the climb, before going full gas and never looking behind. I didn’t plan to go solo, but I continued to push and stretched out my advantage to nearly one minute. I knew the finale, I knew that it suited me, but it’s always difficult to meet the expectations when you are the favorite. I am speechless, I am living a dream in this moment and all I want to do now is savor this unbelievable moment together with my team.”

2nd on the stage and 5th overall, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “On the categorized climb where Quick Step really pushed it and exploded the bunch I was almost dropped there. I had really good team mates around me who kept me motivated and brought me back to the front; to keep me in the race. It’s unfortunate that Alaphilippe stayed away because my sprint was really good and I really gave it everything I had to the finish. Today is a confidence booster for us going forwards.”

5th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a very, very hard stage today, 215km long, with very high speed from the start and four categorized climbs. The last two were really tough while the finishing ramp, although not categorized, was tough after a long and strenuous day in the saddle. I finished fifth, taking fourth place in the bunch sprint, and together with the points in the intermediate sprint, I now have the green jersey. I’m, obviously, happy to pull it on the podium and I look forward to the next stages.”

8th on the stage, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “This morning, I wanted either try to be part of the breakaway and win points for the mountains jersey, or contest the final. Finally, we decided to go for the second option, because the categorized climbs were in the final of the stage. I collected one point in the second climb, without spoiling a lot of energy, and didn’t leave this position in the front anymore. We were still two in the first group, with Guillaume Martin. This finish was perfect for me and permitted me to pretend a good result. Finally, we both finished in the top 15, with an 8th place for me. I’am very happy to start my first Tour de France with a top 10!”

KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “It wasn’t the initial plan for me to go on the attack. Thomas De Gendt would try to go in the breakaway, but he doesn’t get a lot of space. After all those years, the other teams of course have come to know him. I only had to move along once and I was already in the right breakaway of the day. The cooperation with my fellow escapees went very smoothly and we built up an advantage of six minutes quite easily, but when the peloton started accelerating, I noticed I had to attack because the tempo in the breakaway wasn’t high enough. So I attacked at 45 kilometers from the finish line, because I knew I was the strongest rider up front. Initially I attacked because I wanted to take the points for the polka dot jersey, but at one moment I started believing there could be more. Immediately thereafter, the peloton started picking up the pace and winning became a lot more difficult. At the foot of the last climb, I had a flat tyre, so I had to stop. Luckily, I was able to get those last two points for the polka dot jersey, but following Alaphilippe and going for a better result was no longer possible. Beating Alaphilippe would be very difficult, but you never know. Maybe I could keep up with him and get a better result. That being said, I am very happy with the polka dot jersey. There will be no danger of losing it tomorrow. On Wednesday and on Thursday, there are a lot more points to win and then it will depend on the shape of the day if I can be in the breakaway again and keep the jersey a bit longer.”

Break rider, Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert): “I announced it: I wanted to attack. But this wasn’t simple as many riders shared the same idea. I talked to Stéphane Rossetto, so we escaped together. Wellens was very strong and smart. I really thought we could go far if we still had six minutes leaving Reims. But Wellens was stronger and went solo, so there was nothing more to do.”

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “It was really fast in the start and also lumpy so that made it quite hard. It was also really hard in the final climbs but Michael and Roman did a good job. We were actually always positioned pretty well for the final but my legs were not so good today, we will try again the next time”

Tour de France Stage 3 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – QuickStep in 4:40:29
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:26
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
9. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 3:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – QuickStep in 9:32:19
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:20
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:25
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:40
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:45
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – QuickStep at 0:46
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:51
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb.

Elia Viviani kept a tradition alive as he scored the sixth Italian stage win in sixteen stage finishes in Nancy after Fausto Coppi, Aldo Parecchini, Lorenzo Bernucci and Matteo Trentin. He even received the help of race leader Julian Alaphilippe to win a bunch sprint of Stage 4 ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Caleb Ewan.

Schär, Backaert and Offredo in the lead
176 riders took the start of stage 4 in Reims. Michael Schär (CCC), Frederik Backaert and Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert) attacked from the gun. Their advantage of 3:10 after 10km of racing was established as a norm by the chasing teams of Lotto-Soudal, Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-Quick Step. They respectively designated Maxime Monfort, Tony Martin and Yves Lampaert to set the pace. The maximum time gap was 3:40 at côte des Rosières (km 121). Two crashes affected several riders including Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Gianni Moscon (Ineos) but everyone got back on.

Lilian Calmejane for 6km at the front
The deficit of the peloton decreased slightly with 2:35 being recorded 80km before the end. It remained all under control for the sprinters’ teams with a deficit of 1:30 with 50km to go. The gap was down to 40 seconds as 40km were yet to be covered. Schär attacked with 30km remaining. Backaert reacted and Offredo was reeled in. The sprinters’ teams were in no hurry to catch the leading duo. Schär dropped Backaert off up the côte de Maron but he was also brought back by the pack before the top with 16.5km to go. Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) attacked from the compact bunch with 11km to go. The Frenchman remained at the front with 6 seconds lead for 6km until the peloton led by Lotto Soudal brought him back.

Julian Alaphilippe positions Elia Viviani
White jersey holder Wout van Aert led the charge for Dylan Groenewegen with 1km to go but yellow jersey Julian Alaphilippe positioned the Deceuninck – Quick-Step train at the front and Elia Viviani made the most of his train formed of Max Richeze and Michael Mørkøv to overtake Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) at the very end. He completes his Grand Tour trilogy after he won stages at the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta previously. The last Italian stage winner at the Tour was Fabio Aru at La Planche des Belles Filles two years ago. In four stages, only two teams have won so far: Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Full ‘PEZ Stage 4 Report’ HERE.

Stage winner, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This victory means a lot to me. Actually, I can’t believe that I won today, it’s crazy. Notching up a stage here at the Tour de France was one of my season’s biggest goal, and having achieved it thanks to the team’s outstanding work makes me very, very happy. With one kilometer to go I felt that everything was going perfect and was really confident. Then, when Kristoff anticipated the sprint, I was ready to go, but Max’s experienced played again a huge role and so I waited a bit before opening my sprint close to the barriers. Julian’s win in Épernay motivated us and I’m glad I could keep the team’s streak going. I don’t have enough words to tell you how proud I am to have this incredible squad around me: Yves and Dries worked hard, Michael and Max provided a perfect lead and having yellow jersey Julian pulling for me in the final was truly special. It’s not my goal, but I’ll try to be in the mix at the intermediate sprints when the parcours favors me, just like I did today, and we’ll see what happens. One thing is certain: if all bunch finishes will be like the one of today, then I can hope of winning it.”

2nd on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “Today the team did a super job for me and put me in a perfect position. I didn’t have to use too much energy during the race so it was set up for me to win, but Viviani was just a little faster at the end. I was there fighting with him side by side and if I had a bit extra to give I would have made it. So, it was a bit disappointing but I am still proud of a second place and I will continue to work towards a stage win. Jasper (Philipsen) was the perfect lead out man for me. Today he showed how talented he is for such a young rider. He rides with passion and on feeling and has proved he is more than good enough to be at the Tour. This gives me confidence for the rest of the race.”

4th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “As expected, this stage was decided in a very fast sprint finish. Although a lot of strong sprinters were fighting for this win, it was a clean sprint. It was a close finish and I took fourth, which allows me to keep the green jersey but I said before, we will have to fight every day all the way to Paris.”

7th on the stage, Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data): “The team did an amazing job today, unfortunately I lost some position in the hectic final, so plans had to change because I was stuck behind some guys at 450m to go. I still had good legs, so I sprinted from behind, eventually finishing 7th. Okay, it’s not the result I was hoping for, but the team did an amazing job and we were right there. So we look forward to the next stages and we will try again.”

25th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “I think we did what they expected of us. It wasn’t easy to be at the front, but Bystrøm is experienced in these situations so I followed his wheel. I gave it everything in the last 500m and then Alexander came around me fast and missed the win by just a little bit. I think we can be happy with the performance and maybe next time go one place better.”

Break rider, Yoann Offredo (Wanty-Gobert): “I didn’t plan to go in the breakaway, but I wanted to help Frederik Backaert in the front. Finally, everybody let us go and we were three in the front. I hesitated to let go, but I preferred to continue helping my breakaway companions. It is a pity that the peloton never gives us more than a three minute time gap in this kind of sprint stages. Of course, this reduces our chances to get to the finish, but we will have other opportunities with guys like Meurisse, Eiking and Martin. Personally, I really enjoyed the encouragements of the public during the day.”

Break rider, Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Gobert): “I was happy to be in the breakaway and to be in the front in this Tour de France. The wind promises a nervous day in the peloton. But also in the front it wasn’t easy, because of the majorly head wind and we were only three. Apparently not many riders were motivated to enjoy a day in the breakaway today. I was happy that Offredo stayed with us. I’m feeling good, so I will recover several days before going into the attack again.”

Tour de France Stage 4 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 5:09:20
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE-Team Emirates
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
10. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 4:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 14:41:39
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:20
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:25
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:40
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:45
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:46
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:51
10. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his 12th Tour de France stage win and mimicked The Incredible Hulk like on his first victory in 2012. In a sprint deprived of the pure sprinters after a few climbs in the Alsace region, the Slovakian beat Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) in Colmar. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) retained the yellow jersey.

Wellens, Clarke, Skujins and Würtz Schmidt at the front
176 riders started stage 5 in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. Strong attacks took place from the gun as many teams were motivated to make the breakaway. Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) rode away at km 15 but were kept on a leash by the peloton and eventually caught five kilometers further. At km 22, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), Simon Clarke (EF Education First) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) got the green light from the peloton. They reached a maximum advantage of 2:30 at km 97. Wellens was mainly targeting the KOM points. The Belgian secured his polka dot jersey atop the Haut-Koenigsbourg with 66km to go.

Rui Costa tries his luck
In the côte des Trois-Epis, Würtz Schmidt was dropped and Skujins rode away solo 2km before the top with 37km remaining into the stage. Skujins was reeled in up the hill to Cinq Châteaux 22km before the end in Colmar. Sunweb was the most active team at the head of the peloton with a lot of work being done by Lennard Kämna. Affected by a mechanical, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) chased for 25 minutes to make it back to the pack. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) attacked on his own with 7km to go. He got a 12 second gap and was reined in 2km before the finishing line. Another former world champion took over as Peter Sagan went to the front 300 meters before the line and didn’t give any chance to his rivals to pass. This is his eighth victory with the green jersey. He enters the top 15 of the stage wins tally of time at the Tour de France.

See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE.

Stage winner and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “As I said in the first four stages, you have to be patient and victory will come. A stage win in the Tour de France requires strong form, good tactics but also other things that have to come together. It isn’t that simple. I’d like to really thank my teammates today for their fantastic job. They were brilliant and controlled the race throughout the day. We controlled the flat parts, the climbs, all the way to finish. This victory is the result of great teamwork!”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The spirit within my team has always been special. We always fight together to get the victory. Yesterday I was happy to work for Elia Viviani, and today they all did their best for me. It was a nice stage although everyone is looking forward to tomorrow. Why not keeping the yellow jersey… I melt like ice under the sun but every day I spend in yellow is a bonus for me. Tomorrow I’ll have to suffer even more than usual. [About being presented the jersey by Roger Hassenforder] I didn’t know this gentleman. He’s whispered very kind words into my ears. I have a lot of respect for former riders and for the people in general. Even though I’m tired, I keep being thrilled by the encouragements.”

2nd on the stage, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I started my sprint a little too late, so the gap to Sagan was a bit too big already. He sprinted really strongly and losing from Sagan is no shame. I was in a good position, but perhaps it would have been better to be a few places closer. I probably should be satisfied with this, although I still have to learn a lot and gain more experience. I feel good, my shape is good and there are still opportunities to come. I know the area really well. It’s going to be too heavy for me, so I’ll probably lose the white jersey. But we have had a fantastic first few days of this Tour as a team.”

3rd on the stage, Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott): “Yeah for sure it was a hard stage for the pure sprinters, like the guys who were at the front yesterday, it was always going to be tough for them today. It was a good pace, we knew that and in the end it came down to a sprint between the sprinters who can climb. If you see the top five, it was kind of expected that these guys would be at the front. I have to say that Daryl was perfect today, he brought me into the perfect position around the roundabout, but Sagan was just quicker. Sagan was on my wheel, so I think he anticipated my kick and that was enough, then Van Aert came from behind and it was a matter of centimeters for second.”

4th on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “I came out of the last curve around the tenth position and then I reassembled but now the others were far away. I’m also sorry because there are not many occasions at the Tour and day by day fewer and fewer are left. Tomorrow we go uphill and I have to try to survive, but in the following stages I will definitely try again.”

5th on the stage and 10th overall, Greg Van Avermaet (CCC): “I was happy with my legs and my form today. I saw immediately that three teams were controlling the breakaway so they didn’t really have a chance. I thought more of a selection would have been made on the climbs but in the end, we were a big group fighting for the win in a bunch sprint. Against the sprinters, I think I did the best I could. I was especially happy with my positioning at the last roundabout in the finale. I will try again for sure and the rest of the team will too. We will keep fighting every day to try and win a stage.”

First over the last climb, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Gobert): “I was well positioned all day, which was important especially during the last 90 kilometers. I stayed in the front while climbing, in order to start the downhill in a good position. I collected some points for the mountains classification on top of the last two categorized climbs without spending a lot of energy. Knowing that it was not sufficient to become leader in this classification, I thought they might come in handy the next days. Guillaume Martin assisted me in the approach to the sprint, but we lost each other and I started the sprint too far back. But we did again a good job as non-sprinters. We have a good feeling and we understand each other very well. We are ready for the hard work since the Dauphiné, we are looking forward to tomorrow!”

Late puncture victim, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data): “I had to spend some energy there, but I managed to get back. I didn’t have too much left to sprint with but it’s nice to have at least finished with this group. We had Roman and Michael in the front but it was better they stayed there, the final was hectic and technical in the convoy and it wasn’t sure I could even make it back. I didn’t end with a good result but at least it shows I can be there, and we will try again when there are more climbs like this.”

Tour de France Stage 5 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:02:33
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
6. Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
8. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 5:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 18:44:12
2. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:14
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:25
4. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:40
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:45
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:46
9. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:50
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC at 0:51.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria 2019
This Monday in the Tour of Austria (2.1, 6-12/07), another bunch sprint was expected at the end of the 177 kilometer Stage 2 in Wiener Neustadt. In contrary to yesterday’s bad weather with rain, the riders suffered from the heat, combined with a hilly parcours. Tom Devriendt triumphed in the expected bunch sprint, ahead of prologue winner Steimle and Koch. Also Pieter Vanspeybrouck finished again within the top 10, on 7th place. The two Belgian riders are now 2nd and 5th in the provisional general classification. This Tuesday, climbing legs will be tested in a difficult stage from Kirchschlag to Frohnleiten.

Tom Devriendt (Wanty-Gobert): “Both Pieter Vanspeybrouck and me dispose of fast legs. He led me towards a 3rd place in the Eurometropole Tour in the autumn of 2017, and yesterday I finally got a chance to do him a favor in return for all his work for the team by guiding him towards a podium spot in the stage! Today we made the collective decision to sprint together, and our tactics worked out, resulting in a stage victory and 7th place! Just like Pieter yesterday, I miss out on the leader’s jersey, however, It wouldn’t have been a present for our five men team to control the hard mountain stage tomorrow. I was very motivated for this Tour of Austria, until knee pain emerged last Thursday. There were doubts about my participation, because the charges on my knees, operated in the past, are very demanding in this mountainous race. I enjoy this victory, and hope to finish this tour at the end of the week in an excellent shape. After a bad spring campaign, I’m ready to shine at the end of the season!”

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Stage 2 Result:
1. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert in 4:18:35
2. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Vorarlberg Santic
3. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
4. Emils Liepins (Aust) Wallonie-Bruxelles
5. August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Daniel Auer (Aust) Maloja Pushbikers
7. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
8. Romain Hardy (Fra) Arkea Samsic
9. Florain Gamper (Aust) Tirol KTM
10. Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Vorarlberg Santic in 7:37:19
2. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Wanty-Gobert at 0:01
3. Emils Liepins (Aust) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:04
4. Matthias Krizek (Aust) Team Felbermayr-Simplon Wels at 0:05
5. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
6. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar at 0:08
7. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
8. Tom Wirtgen (Lux) Wallonie-Bruxelles at 0:10
9. Sebastian Schonberger (Aust) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM at 0:11
10. Patrick Gamper (Aust) Tirol KTM at 0:12.

Tom Devriendt on the podium:

Jonas Koch claimed the first leader’s jersey of his career on stage three of the Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt-Tour of Austria after sprinting to third on the finish line in Frohnleiten on Stage 3.

Koch was in the second group on the road as the race headed into the final kilometers of the day but, with the first two groups coming back together on the fast downhill run into the finish, it provided Koch with the perfect opportunity to try his luck in the sprint. After finishing fourth on stage one and third on stage two, the German rider showed his consistency once again at the end of today’s 176.2-kilometer race, powering to third on the line, a result which saw him move into the red jersey as the new overall leader.

Earlier in the day a four-rider breakaway was allowed to extend its advantage out to over ten minutes but with CCC Team taking control behind, the gap began to fall and at the start of the first categorized climb, around three minutes had been shaved off the leaders’ advantage. By the time the CCC Team-led peloton reached the summit of the next category two climb, with just under 50 kilometers to go, the leaders had been pulled back even further with their advantage sitting at around the two-minute mark and riders ready to attack off the front of the main bunch.

The last rider from the original breakaway was eventually caught by a reduced group of General Classification contenders, which included Riccardo Zoidl, Łukasz Owsian, and Víctor de la Parte, who was driving the pace at the front before those riders looking to target the General Classification at the end of the week started to attack. Zoidl was able to follow the various bursts of acceleration on the 6.4-kilometer long category one climb, which had an average gradient of 8.5 percent and pitches of up to 11 percent in places.

However, in the end, despite one short and explosive uncategorized climb still to come, inside 20 kilometers to go, the race ultimately came back together to set the stage for the fast and furious finale.

Overall leader, Jonas Koch (CCC): “It feels great to win the leader’s jersey today. It is a very special feeling. This is the first leader’s jersey of my career. I’m really tired after today’s stage and I actually didn’t expect to make it to the line in the first group but I fought hard over the climbs to keep in contact and so I am really happy to be in this position now. It’s a totally new situation for me but it’s amazing and I am happy I could do it for the team here. Everybody did an amazing job today. At the beginning of the stage, we took control early with Laurens and Will pulling hard when the breakaway’s advantage went out to ten minutes and we managed to cover all of the moves in front with Zoidl still with the GC favorites right up until the reduced bunch came back together. For me, this was a good situation as it meant I could have another go at the sprint and while, I didn’t take the victory today, the jersey is a nice alternative.”

Riccardo Zoidl (CCC): “First of all, I want to say a big thanks to the team today. We started to control the race right from the beginning and even in the final, when the race came back together and it was a big fight to the finish, they were also there for me. I had a little bit of a problem near the top of the last uncategorized climb today but I was able to come back to the other GC riders on the downhill. In the end, it was a big group that went to the finish so thinking about the big goal at the end of the week, I am happy with how today went for me. The next climbing stages are better suited to me with longer climbs rather than explosive ones like today so I am feeling good. I also want to say congratulations to Jonas for taking the leader’s jersey. It’s great for him and for the team. It means we still have to do a lot of the work tomorrow but I am really happy for him.”

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Stage 3 Result:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM in 4:53:26
2. Colin Stussi (Swi) Vorarlberg Santic
3. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC
4. Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
5. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Tirol KTM
6. Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles
7. Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
9. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Arkea Samsic
10. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 3:
1. Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC in 12:30:49
2. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Delko-Marseille Provence at 0:01
3. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM
4. Sebastian Schonberger (Aust) Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM at 0:07
5. Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC at 0:08
6. Colin Stussi (Swi) Team Vorarlberg Santic
7. Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar at 0:09
8. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Lux) Team Dimension Data
9. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea Samsic
10. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Giovanni Visconti wins stage 3:

Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) won the mountain Stage 4 on the summit of Fuscher Törl in the Tour of Austria. The Belgian rider was the strongest rider on the 103.5 kilometers over the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße, the final climb.

Defending champion Hermans caught Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) in the final kilometer and promptly left the Australian behind. Hermans finished first with a 6 seconds lead. Winner Anacona (Movistar) finished third at a further 3 seconds. With his victory, Hermans takes over the lead in the general classification from the German Jonas Koch. His lead over O’Connor is 8 seconds. The final stage of the Tour of Austria is on Friday.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Stage 4 Result:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 3:01:32
2. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 0:06
3. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar at 0:09
4. Eduardo Sepúlveda (Arg) Movistar at 0:23
5. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:38
6. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) CCC at 1:02
7. Víctor de la Parte (Spa) CCC at 1:19
8. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Erit) Dimension Data at 1:25
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 1:39.

Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt – Tour of Austria Overall After Stage 4:
1. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy in 15:32:23
2. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data at 0:08
3. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar at 0:13
4. Eduardo Sepúlveda (Arg) Movistar at 0:34
5. Stefan de Bod (RSA) Dimension Data at 0:47
6. Riccardo Zoidl (Aust) CCC at 1:10
7. Víctor de la Parte (Spa) CCC at 1:33
8. Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Erit) Dimension Data at 1:35
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 1:40
10. José Manuel Díaz (Spa) Team Vorarlberg Santic at 1:56.

Ben Hermans – Stage 4 winner and overall leader:

Californian Samuel Bassetti Claims Tour De Delta White Spot | Delta Road Race
2015 Canadian Criterium Champion Alison Jackson Wins Women’s Race

In his biography on the Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling website, Samuel Bassetti lists his favorite quote as “No excuses, play like a champion”. And after two days of just missing the top step of the podium at BC Superweek and the Tour de Delta, the 28-year-old played like a champion to win the 2019 White Spot | Delta Road Race. Bassetti just managed to edge Langlois Brown rider Kaler Marshall to take the victory and the valuable UCI points to go along with it.

With eight laps to go in the 12-lap, 155.46 kilometer race, Team Canada rider Jack Burke and Evan Burtnik of XSpeed United Continental broke away from the group. The two built the gap up to 50 seconds with 7.5 laps remaining, but that’s when Burtnik crashed and Burke found himself caught by the peloton with seven to go. A strong group of seven riders broke away with 6.5 laps left before another seven caught up to them and the pack couldn’t bridge across – so with six to go and barring a catastrophe, it was clear who the top 15 riders would be.

“Travis McCabe, Pier-Andre Cote and I were all kind of at the back of the breakaway hanging out with each other,” said Bassetti. “The finish came up pretty fast, suddenly it was 200 meters to go and the guys up front hadn’t started sprinting. I started my sprint, weaved through the rest of the group and just nipped a couple guys at the line.”

The break had three riders from Floyd’s Pro Cycling, so it looked like they might pull out the win, but Bassetti had his teammate George Simpson with him putting in some work. “It was super good to have George there, but it was kind of up to the Floyd’s riders to make sure it was together for McCabe to sprint because he was definitely the favorite in the group,” he explained. “It was pretty cohesive for the most part, so we just rolled all day and closed it out there at the end.”

For Marshall, it’s the Walla Walla, Washington native’s second straight runner-up spot at the White Spot | Delta Road Race after he finished behind Adam deVos a year ago. “Normally I don’t like bunch sprints but with a diminished group I figured if I could go within 400 meters I could get a gap and surprise them, so that’s what I tried,” said the 33-year-old. “I could sense Bassetti coming up on my left side, I knew as long as I could get my bike in front of him, then maybe I could make it – but it was a little bit of a long shot in the end.”

In third was Florenz Knauer riding for the German National Team. Knauer has had multiple podiums at BC Superweek over the years but remarkably has never finished in the top three in the race in Tsawwassen – and he almost didn’t make it through the last 250 meters of the course this year. “I cramped up right away when I jumped for the sprint and didn’t have the power there that I would need to win, but it was a close one,” said Knauer, who was on the podium seven times at BC Superweek last year. “I didn’t see Sam or Kaler, they were behind me and I think they took my wheel. I focused on Campbell Stewart because I knew he was strong and then I saw Kaler going and saw 250 meters to go so I knew I had to go then.”

The 30-year-old kept expectations low coming into BC Superweek this year after dealing with illness and a nagging knee injury. “I’m just happy to be here, I had knee problems and was sick recently,” said Knauer. “I’ve been training for three weeks now and racing, so I’m doing better than expected and I’m just happy to be part of BC Superweek, it’s always been a pleasure for me to be here.”

Bassetti has struggled with injuries himself in the first half of 2019, and the win is a major redemption. “It’s huge for me, at the beginning of the year I didn’t get to train for two and a half months so to come back and get a really solid win like this is really big for me and really big for Elevate-KHS.”

Women’s Race
The White Spot | Delta Road Race has come down to a bunch sprint in recent years, but during Sunday’s women’s race, Olivia Baril from Team Macogep Tornatech Specialized p/b Mazda decided that she wanted to try and win the race early. The 21-year-old went away on the second half of the first lap and at one point had a 20 second gap but wound up being caught halfway through the third lap. However, it was that attack that caused a 12-rider break featuring some of the strongest riders in the field.

Among those riders was Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank’s Alison Jackson of Vermillion, Alberta, who won the eight lap, 103.6 kilometer race in two hours, 38 minutes and 15 seconds, sprinting ahead of fellow Canadian Marie-Soleil Blais and Portland, Oregon’s Starla Teddergreen. “This is my first win of the season and to win in Canada is special,” said Jackson, who finished third in the race in 2016. “I’ve wanted to win this race for several years now. I’ve been on the podium and my teammate Kendall Ryan won it last year, so we had to defend.”

Ryan was looking for a third straight win at the White Spot | Delta Road Race and ended up being tenth. Jackson knew that if the peloton caught the breakaway, Ryan would likely come out with the win. “For us, if the group came back together, Kendall was going to win it – we had 100 percent confidence in that,” explained the 30-year-old Jackson, who was the 2015 Canadian National Criterium Champion. “There were some other girls in the break who I think the odds for them were better if it stayed away… Hagens Berman had three people in it and they kept rolling to keep it away. We thought if it was going to stay away, we were going to keep me fresh for the final.”

The gap between the break and the peloton was as much as 70 seconds at one point during the race, a difference that ended up being too much to make up. Second place finisher Blais, who was riding for Team Canada, was part of the break the entire time. “In the beginning, we had two riders and Hagens Berman had four, so the responsibility was mostly on them to make it work. It wasn’t a bad situation in the sense that Kendall was in the bunch, so we had a good chance at the podium,” the Montreal native said. “We just rode it and the last kilometer got a bit chaotic, there was a crash, then someone attacked – so the sprint finish wasn’t as straightforward as I would have hoped, but that’s rarely the case anyway.”

Blais has raced the White Spot | Delta Road Race four times before, with this being her best result. “I think I’ve progressed every year and to finally be on the podium – even though I’m kind of bummed to not win – it’s still really nice,” she said, noting that she really likes the course. “There are a lot of turns, it’s never boring. The turns make it harder so you must always be conscious of your positioning because it can be kind of up and down like a yo-yo. I like that it’s very interesting – it’s a cool course.”

For Jackson, winning on home soil is big for the former elite cross-country star. “It’s hard winning a bike race, whether it’s in Europe or America or here… so whenever you get a win, you’ve got to savor it – that’s what this is for me,” added Jackson, who graduated from Langley’s Trinity Western University with a degree in kinesiology in 2014.

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $140,000 in prize money with nine races over ten days. BC Superweek runs from July 5 – 14 and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 5 – 7), New West Grand Prix (July 9), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 10), Giro di Burnaby presented by Appia Development (July 11), PoCo Grand Prix presented by Dominion Lending Centres (July 12), and Tour de White Rock presented by Landmark Premiere Properties (July 13 – 14).

No Katusha in 2020?
The Katusha-Alpecin riders have been informed by the team management that they are free to ride for another team next season. According to the French sports newspaper L’Équipe, the team has not register to be part of the WorldTour next year.

It is still possible that the name Katusha or co-sponsor Alpecin will appear with another existing team. When/if Katusha stops, a merger with Corendon-Circus would be possible. According to L’Équipe, Israel Cycling Academy also approached several WorldTour teams to possibly merge in 2020.

According to team boss, José Azevedo, the riders have been told that they cannot look forward to a replacement team, but they are working on trying to secure the future. Azevedo told Cycling Weekly. “It’s not true. There are many rumors and speculations. We have people working on the future of our team. If we have real news, we will announce it immediately.”

“We have no deadline and we are working on our future. We have a few options and everything is still open.” The team currently has only ten riders under contract for 2020 and the Portuguese team boss acknowledges that he needs more riders if the team wants to continue in the WorldTour. “First we have to make a decision about the future and then we go to work. We need a decision from the sponsors and we are currently working on it.”

Azevedo confirmed that co-sponsor Alpecin is leaving the team at the end of the season. It seems that the company will commit to the Corendon-Circus team of Mathieu van der Poel, along with Canyon bikes.

Sad news if Katusha stops:

Florian Sénéchal Signs New Contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step
The French rider, who turns 26 this week, has agreed to a two-year deal with our team.

Having joined us ahead of the 2018 season, Florian has matured into an important member of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad and has regularly been seen at the head of affairs during one-day races and Grand Tour stages, where he has proved himself a reliable member of numerous sprint trains. His consistency and impressive effort eventually paid dividends when he took his maiden pro victory at the hard Le Samyn earlier this year, followed by a solid sixth place finish at Paris-Roubaix.

In addition to this, Florian Sénéchal has ridden the Giro d’Italia during both of the years he has been with us so far, and his hard work, mentality and incredible selfless effort have now led to a new contract with the UCI World Team Ranking leader, which will see him don the Deceuninck – Quick-Step jersey until the end of 2021.

“It was a goal to sign a new contract with the team. I have spoken with Patrick and expressed my desire to win races and be stronger in the Classics. Since many years ago, when I was just a young rider, I wanted to be part of this amazing squad, the best in the world in my opinion, and finally arriving here two years ago gave me a lot of satisfaction. I want to thank Patrick and the sponsors for their trust. I feel great here and I hope to stay for a long time together with the Wolfpack.”

His delight at the deal was also echoed by Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere: “I am very happy to have come to an agreement with Florian. He has developed a lot in his time with us and is now a very strong rider. As well as his win at Samyn in March and his excellent results at Roubaix and Kuurne, he works hard for the team and is learning all the time, which is an important quality, that we really prize.”

Florian Sénéchal:

Stijn Steels Leaves Roompot-Charles for Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Stijn Steels has signed a two-year contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Tom’s cousin has been a DS for Patrick Lefevere’s team for years.

Steels moved from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise to Veranda’s Willems-Crelan in early 2018, where he signed a two-year contract. When he moved to West Flanders, the merger with Team Roompot made him switch teams.

At the age of 29, Steels can still make the move to the WorldTour. At Deceuninck – Quick-Step, he finds familiar faces with not only “Uncle Tom” but also his regular training partners Yves Lampaert and Tim Declercq. Like Declercq, Steels will be a domestique. Lefevere has given him a contract until the end of 2021.

Stijn Steels next to Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick Step):

An Air of Arctic Race of Norway on the Tour de France
The Arctic Race of Norway, a race inspired by the Tour de France, today has pride of place on the roads of the Grande Boucle. A Norwegian delegation was present on the third stage leading the peloton from Binche to Epernay. The most northerly race in the world will start in one month and will see the riders take in the islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen from 15th to 18th August with the high point of the race at the Storheia Summit (3.5 km at a gradient of 11.8%).

The crowds were able to enjoy the show put on for this Norwegian day on the roads of the Tour de France, especially the sprint challenge between two former champions, namely Thor Hushovd (a 10-time stage winner on the Tour) and Oddbjørn Hjelmeset (a cross-country skier and bronze medallist at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in 2002). The two Norwegians did battle in a race on skis with rollers, which was as spectacular as it promised to be, before Thor Hushovd returned to a more familiar environment by climbing back onto his bike for a second sprint. The race was a perfect illustration of that when an athlete has good legs, they do not simply disappear from one day to the next. The bicycle race also featured a distinguished guest, Dag Otto Lauritzen, who became the first Norwegian Tour de France stage winner in 1987 and now works as a consultant for TV2 Norway.

Thor Hushovd, a double green jersey winner on the Tour de France: “I’m happy to be back here, behind the scenes of a race like the Tour de France which I hold very dear to my heart. It’s also an opportunity for me to promote the Arctic Race of Norway, cycling’s most northerly race, which will begin in a little more than one month’s time”.

Oddbjørn Hjelmeseth, bronze medallist in the relay at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010: “It was thrilling to discover an event like the Tour de France and I couldn’t have hoped for a better tour guide than Thor! I look forward to finding this same level of enthusiasm on the roads of the Arctic Race of Norway”.

#EuroTrack2019, The Future of Track Visits Ghent
425 riders are registered to compete in the 2019 edition of the Junior and Under 23 Track European Championships that will be held in Ghent (Belgium) from 9 to 14 July.

This continental event that will be raced in the modern velodrome dedicated to Eddy Merckx will host riders from 25 countries, who for the six days of racing will be battling for the 44 titles on offer, divided equally between the categories: 22 for Men (Junior and Under 23) and 22 for Women (Junior and Under 23).

Among the most eagerly awaited and promising riders on the international scene include the Under 23 strong German sprinter, Lea Friederich, last year’s Junior winner in the World Championships sprint specialities: 500 meters, Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint. In the Men’s sprint events Jakub Šťastný (Czech Republic) who won the Keirin world title and the European title in the Junior Kilometer Time-Trial and is preparing to switch categories just like the French rider Florian Grengbo (2018 Junior Team Sprint World Champion) and the Pole Cezary Laczkowski, 2018 Junior Sprint World Championships gold medallist.

The host country, Belgium, will be able to count on certain riders who gave a good performance last year on a European and World level such as Fabio Van den Bossche, Nicolas Wernimont, Robbe Ghys, Arthur Senrame and Shari Bossuyt.

Italy, first in the 2018 medals table will be one of the countries to beat especially in the Women’s races with among others Vittoria Guazzini, Letizia Paternoster and Marta Cavalli.

Also worthy of note will be the Russian Yana Tyshenko, winner last year of the Junior sprint specialities: Sprint, 500 meters, Keirin and Team Sprint, the Briton Matthew Walls, who also had an excellent Road season, Yane Dorenbos, Sam Ligtlee, Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands), Lara Gillespie (Ireland) Olivija Baleišyte (Lithuania).

Last year in Aigle (Switzerland), Italy dominated in the final medals table with 21 medals (13 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze) ahead of Russia (9, 6 and 7) and Belgium (6, 4 and 3).

Rocco Cattaneo, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: “From 9 to 14 July, Ghent velodrome will welcome to its track young women and men preparing to take part in one of the first international experiences of their career, an experience that will undoubtedly be among their best memories.

In technical terms, we will witness six days of top level and unique racing bearing in mind that they are the only Championships where the Under 23s can compete against each other without being overshadowed by the Elite, for example like at the World Championships. In fact we believe that it is vital to give significant and targeted visibility to their National Federations and teams.

The passionate and knowledgable Belgian public will have the great and unique opportunity to get to know and admire these young riders who will without doubt be the future stars of the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

The record participation in these Championships is clear evidence that our federations strongly believe in Track cycling which is one of our strengths. This is why we have always supported this event by assisting organizers who have been entrusted this important task.

We can look forward to a unique and exciting event and I would like to thank the Belgian Cycling Federation for its cooperation and commitment, its President Tom Van Damme, organizers of the Vzw Cycling Vlaams Wielercentrum, the Team Manager Koen Beeckman and the City of Ghent.”

Info #EuroTrack19 – click here.

Euro Track Champs:

Adriatica Ionica Race 2019
From Venice to Trieste, the Adriatica Ionica Race (July 24-28) will come back with an intriguing course suited to all-around riders. From the sea to the Dolomites, through hills and dirty roads, the race promises a big show in Northern Italy.

History and culture. Five stages in Northern Italy, between Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The Adriatica Ionica Race (AIRace) is ready to jump back into the spotlight for its second edition (July 24-28). Five days of racing, each with a different hallmark, organized by the former World Champion Moreno Argentin.

Aiming to unite peoples and traditions, from North-Eastern Italy to the Balkans and the Greece on Venice-Athens track the Adriatica Ionica Race will offer days of great competition between Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, on the Serenissima routes, the domains of the historic Republic of Venice, while hoping to cross the borders in the coming years.

On Wednesday, July 24th in Mestre (Venice mainland) the opening stage gives a nod to the sprinters. A 2,7 Km-circuit, to be repeated 30 times, will characterize the opener, assigning the first overall leader jersey featuring intermediate sprints every five laps. A long battle to clinch the leader jersey is expected from the first to the last kilometer.

On day2, Thursday, July 25th, the AIRace will face the “Off-road stage” (Favaro Veneto – Grado, 189 Km), with six sections of dirt roads. Sun and dust or rain and mud: either way a tough challenge to shake-up the GC, although the “UNESCO Dolomites Stage” of Friday, July 26th, 204,6 Km from Palmanova to the Misurina Lake, in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo’s shadows, will be even harder. The stage 3 including four dolomitic peaks attracts the climbers: the finish line is placed in one of the most enchanting spots of the Alps, recognized as UNESCO world natural heritage site.

On Saturday, July 27th, the alpine climbs will give way to the “Gorizia’s Collio” hills, in the stage 4 (Padola – Cormons, Monte Quarin, 204,5 Km). A strong day for explosive riders promises a big show in view of the great finale to be held in Trieste, on Sunday, July 28th. In the last stage (Cormons-Trieste, 133,5 Km) a duel between sprinters and puncheurs I expected. A beautiful final act of a race likely to create great emotions until the last passage on the ascent in Trieste’s old town, where the Adriatica Ionica Race will choose its 2019 winner.

2019 Adriatica Ionica Race – Stages:
Wesnesday July 24th – Stage 1: Mestre – Mestre, 81 Km.
Thursday July 25th – Stage 2: Venezia (Favaro Veneto) – Grado, 189 Km.
Friday July 26th – Stage 3: Palmanova – Lago di Misurina/Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 204,6 Km.
Saturday July 27th – Stage 4: Padola – Cormòns/Monte Quarin, 204,5 Km.
Sunday July 28th – Stage 5: Cormòns – Trieste, 133,5 Km.

For the second edition in a row, Adriatica Ionica Race’s riders will face the dirty roads before crossing the finish line in Grado:

BinckBank Becomes Strategic Main Partner of BEAT Cycling Club
Online investment bank supports growth of innovative cycling club.

BinckBank, the largest independent Dutch online investment bank, has signed on as one of the main partners of BEAT Cycling Club. The strategic partnership will result in growth opportunities for the club, both sporting and organizational.

Geert Broekhuizen, managing director of BEAT Cycling Club, said: “What stood out during the positive negotiations with BinckBank was our shared ambitions. BinckBank thinks out of the box, has the ambition to grow in the world of cycling, and wants to reach every cycling fan and enthusiast. BEAT is also innovative and ambitious. Our goal is to continue to change the world of cycling with our innovative club structure, through which we focus on inspiring and involving cycling lovers of all kinds, from armchair cycling fans to amateur racers and from touring riders to world-class athletes.”

Jon Thissen, marketing and sales manager of BinckBank Netherlands, said: “BEAT is a club that dares to innovate and aligns perfectly with the BinckBank vision. After all, at BinckBank we have also been disruptive, thinking creatively and ambitiously in order to provide distinctive and innovative services since the bank was founded. We both believe in an innovative approach and a forward-looking vision. The unique character of BEAT fits perfectly with our values, since we also are slightly quirky. In addition, with our financial expertise we will be ideally positioned to support BEAT in further developing the sustainable structure of the club.”

Stijn Ceelen, Country Manager BinckBanck Belgium, said: “By collaborating with BEAT, we are joining forces with an ambitious cycling club with inspiring athletes and a community of both active cyclists and fans of the sport with enormous growth potential. This is our way of contributing to the development of cycling and making it more approachable both for the millions of cycling fans in Belgium and the Netherlands and for our own customers and business contacts.”

“Thanks to our club structure, we have been able to develop a partnership model in which we collaborate with a wide range of partners,” continued Broekhuizen. “Since the establishment of BEAT in 2016, we have built the largest cycling club in the Benelux, with more than 2,200 members and a professional track team with champions like Theo Bos, Matthijs Büchli and Roy van den Berg. We are working with these athletes on their path to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Our Continental-level road team has the ambition to grow and reach the highest level as well. In order to take the next step in the development of BEAT, we have created a main and co-partnership structure that enables us to involve a select group of strategic and leading partners in our club. BinckBank is the first main partner to express its confidence in and commitment to our club. Together with BinckBank and our other partners, we can build the future of BEAT Cycling Club as a club that is well known and highly visible and that makes cycling fans feel involved in the sport.”

Roy van der Berg, Jon Thissen (Marketing and Sales Manager of BinckBank Netherlands) and Piotr Havik:

Wahoo Announces Acquisition of The Sufferfest
Wahoo​, the leader in connected fitness devices, has today announced its intention to acquire ​The Sufferfest​, the most complete training platform for cyclists, triathletes and other endurance athletes.

The Sufferfest app provides subscribers access to a comprehensive library of structured cycling and running workouts designed by elite coaches, training plans, strength training, yoga for cyclists, and a mental training program.

Wahoo has rapidly established itself as a leader in smart training and already has an extensive suite of products and software focused on cycling and endurance sports.

Wahoo’s full ecosystem of sensors and devices help runners, cyclists and general fitness enthusiasts get the most out of their sport and active lifestyle. Wahoo’s award-winning line of products include the KICKR family of smart trainers and accessories, the ELEMNT family of bike computers, and the TICKR family of heart rate monitors.

The acquisition of The Sufferfest increases the brands’ combined capability to create training solutions for endurance athletes who want to get the most out of themselves.

Commenting on the announcement, Chip Hawkins, ​founder of Wahoo, said: “We are really pleased to bring together the Wahooligan and Sufferlandrian communities. We share a common passion for the performance of endurance athletes and our collective knowledge will provide additional benefits to athletes everywhere.”

He added: “Wahoo remains committed to the growth of the indoor training and fitness sectors and will continue to integrate and collaborate with as many leading software providers as possible.”

“This partnership brings together two companies with a strong history of innovation,” said David McQuillen, founder of The Sufferfest. “Our market-leading content and sports science—together with Wahoo’s ground-breaking engineering—will allow us to develop fantastic new concepts and training solutions for our customers.”

He added: “The strong sense of identity that has made The Sufferfest what it is today will remain, and we will continue to work closely with our existing hardware partners to ensure seamless compatibility across all platforms.”

There are no planned changes in The Sufferfest business offering or structure as a result of this acquisition.

For more information on The Sufferfest, please visit ​​.

Learn more about Wahoo’s full line of products at ​​.

Tastes of Le Tour with the CCC Team
Nutrition and performance go hand in hand at any race, especially Le Tour de France. We take you behind the scenes with our chef Mirko Sut, nutritionist Adam Plucinski, and soigneur Yuri Feijtel to see what our riders eat on an average day at #TDF2019.

Warning: Don’t watch if you’re hungry!

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