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All the Giro d’Italia news from Sicily and the Tour of Hungary with video. Miguel Ángel López abandons the Giro – TOP STORY. Other news: Medical up-date on Miguel Ángel López, Vincenzo Nibali announces his retirement, Egan Bernal’s recovery, covid keeps Ben Hermans out, Dylan van Baarle to Jumbo-Visma? Thymen Arensman to INEOS Grenadiers? Marco Frigo turns pro with Israel-Premier Tech and Carlijn Achtereekte switches to cycling. Plus Bianchi: The ‘Giro Reflections’ Journey Starts in Hungary video. Coffee time, don’t forget Ukraine.


TOP STORY: Miguel Ángel López Out of the Giro
Miguel Ángel López abandoned the 2022 Giro d’Italia in the first hour of racing on stage 4. An injury to his left thigh prevented the 28-year-old Astana Qazaqstan rider from continuing. “Sad to have to leave the Giro like this.”

Astana Qazaqstan said in a press release that López had been suffering from his thigh for a few days. During the first stages in Hungary and on the rest and travel day, attempts were made to solve the problems, but that did not work, so the Colombian had to give up during the fourth stage. “Our initial diagnosis is quadriceps tendonitis due to suspected or old injury. In the coming days, he will undergo a thorough medical check-up to find the exact cause of the injury and initiate appropriate treatment.”

López himself is disappointed. “It is very sad to have to leave the Giro in this way. The team management did everything they could to help me recover, but it was impossible during the race. Day by day I was hoping that things would get better and that I could get through it, but today I just couldn’t pedal normally because of the pain in my thigh. Unfortunately I have to leave the race and my teammates. They were here to help me fight for the standings, but that’s cycling. I wish the boys and the team the best of luck.”

More on the story below.

López out of the Giro:

 


Giro d’Italia 2022


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Lennard Kämna won the Fourth Stage of the Giro d’Italia. On the Etna volcano, the German climber of BORA-hansgrohe crossed the line in front of Juan Pedro López, with whom he was part of the long breakaway. The Trek-Segafredo Spaniard took the pink jersey after the first serious mountain stage.

The battle for the break of the day broke out early, but they had to fight seriously for it. After the first kilometres there was a crash involving Simon Yates. Everyone was able to continue. There was another crash in the first hour when a moto fell over in the bunch. Meanwhile, the attack attempts continued, with Van der Poel and Biniam Girmay joining in.

A leading group of fourteen men was created: Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën), Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Fenix), Valerio Conti (Astana), Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe), Rémy Rochas & Davide Villella (Cofidis), Diego Andrés Camargo (EF-EasyPost), Erik Fetter (EOLO-Kometa), Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Alexander Cataford (Israel-Premier Tech), Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo). These fourteen took a maximum of 11 minutes, where Bahrain-Victorious and INEOS Grenadiers, the teams of Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao and Richard Carapaz, set the pace. In the leading group, Vansevenant was the best on GC at 43 seconds, putting the young Belgian in the virtual lead on the overall. Miguel Ángel López gave up the Giro in the first hour of racing due to struggling with an injury to his left hip. The leading group was allowed to go by the peloton, which kept the difference at between 7 and 8 minutes for a long time. With 47 kilometres to go, the peloton accelerated as INEOS Grenadiers, Trek-Segafredo and Bahrain Victorious came forward. Due to the wind from the east, several teams tried to split the bunch. However, the nervousness was short-lived because the large group didn’t break, but the lead of the break was reduced to 7 minutes.

At 25 kilometres from the finish, just before the foot of the final climb, Oldani broke away from the leading group and soon gained a 30 second lead. But it was still a long, hard road to the finish. He managed to extend his lead to 1 minute in the first kilometres of the climb. Van der Poel had to sit up in the peloton. While he had teammate off the front of the race, the Dutchman had to ride up Etna at his own pace and give up the pink jersey. After the first 5 kilometres of the climb, Oldani had lost some of his lead over the six strongest chasers; the experienced Kämna, Taaramäe and the young Leemreize, Moniquet, Vansevenant and López. With 12 kilometres to go, López broke away from the chase group and the Spaniard, 11th in the Tour of the Basque Country, crossed to Oldini. Within 2 kilometres he joined the Italian. This was only short-lived as López dropped his Italian companion.

Behind; the peloton was going too fast for Tom Dumoulin. While INEOS Grenadiers set the pace, the Dutchman had to let go. It was clear that the volcano Etna was too hard for the Giro winner. Dumoulin was designated by his team for the first Grand Tour of the season as one of the three leaders along with Sam Oomen and Tobias Foss, but now he will have to set other goals. Seven kilometres from the finish, Kämna broke away from Moniquet and Vansevenant and the German went after López. Oldani and Leemreize were going backwards fast, it also looked like Taaramäe was finished, but the Estonian climber fought back and even rode away from Moniquet and Vansevenant. Kämna appeared to have planned his climb well and joined López at 2 kilometres from the top. The two spoke, but there seemed to be no pre-arrangement and they rode together toward the finish. There, Kämna seized the stage win and López the pink jersey. Then the other break riders; Taaramäe, Moniquet, Vansevenant and Leemreize trickled in one by one. Two and a half minutes after winner Kämna, the favourites group crossed the line, led by Carapaz. There were no Jumbo-Visma men in the group; Foss and Oomen were 4:52 down, Dumoulin had lost more than 9 minutes. Vincenzo Nibali, Guillaume Martin, Domenico Pozzovivo, Jan Hirt and Bauke Mollema all lost time.

# For more photos go to the full PEZ ‘Stage 4 Race Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “I wanted to stay as long as possible in the biggest group of the breakaway riders. I was not confident in going with 10km to go because there was a headwind and this was not a steep climb. I had to catch the wheel of Lopez with 1km to go at the maximum. I’m happy it worked out. It was great to see how happy he was to know that he’d get the Maglia Rosa. We were happy for each other. I’m definitely not going to ride GC at this Giro but maybe in the future. I’ve already had two opportunities to go for stage wins. I also have to support my leaders. We have other goals.”

Maglia Rosa and 2nd on the stage, Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo): “I didn’t know the climb but my sport director did a very good job to inform me. He said: “try to go in the hardest part”, and I did. I felt strong when I was chasing Oldani down. We never know but I was confident. It took me a few minutes to realise that I was in the Maglia Rosa. Everyone tells me that Alberto Contador was the last Spaniard in the Maglia Rosa. I need to enjoy this moment.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I came well prepared to this Giro d’Italia and this stage was a perfect opportunity for a breakaway. I dreamed of repeating my stunt at the latest Tour of Spain and with today’s third place I was pretty close. It is thanks to my experience that I finished on the podium today, because my body didn’t want to cooperate today. I wasn’t feeling great and I had a difficult moment when López and Kämna accelerated. But I knew that it was possible to gain a second wind on such a long climb, so I didn’t panic. As other riders of the breakaway faced their limits, I maintained my own rhythm until the top. I gave the best of myself, hoping that the two leaders would start looking at each other but they cooperated well until the end. In each of the stages, there will be opportunities for our team. I take my sixteenth Grand Tour day by day. In the first stage I set the pace in the peloton in order to prepare the sprint for Biniam Girmay and today I was the first rider of the team to attack. I believe in the strategy of our sports directors Valerio Piva and Steven De Neef, who will make sure that I will perform in service of my leaders or in chase of a stage win until the difficult third week!”

4th on the stage, Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal): “Of course, I’m happy with this fourth place. The goal was to be in the breakaway today and that succeeded. At the end it was all about the 22 kilometres long climb of the Etna and all about having the legs. There weren’t any tactics involved, really. I could manage my effort in the last climb but the final three to four kilometres were a bit too much. It’s a pity to miss the podium spot but that’s life. This was only the first mountain stage and there are lots of opportunities to come. I hope the shape will improve day by day, I feel good and motivated to set some other great results. After two relatively flat stages, I will be ‘back in business’.”

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was difficult to keep the pink, that’s how realistic I am, and I decided to ride at my own pace from the foot (of the climb). I had never done this climb before. It was a nice climb, but also very difficult. I tried to jump in a breakaway group, but they wouldn’t let me. Stefano Oldani did well in the breakaway. Now I have my focus on the coming days. The main goal is stage wins. My goal is not the purple points jersey, but if I’m in good shape in the final week then I can go for it.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 4 Result:
1. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:32:11
2. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:34
4. Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:12
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Gijs Leemreize (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:31
7. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:37
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
10. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 4:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 14:17:07
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:39
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:58
4. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:42
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:47
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:55
7. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 2:00
8. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates
9. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:04
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 2:06.

Giro’22 stage 4:

 

Arnaud Démare won Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia. After Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan, on paper the fastest men in the peloton, were dropped on the only climb of the stage, the Frenchman was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Fernando Gaviria was second, Giacomo Nizzolo third. Juan Pedro López held the overall lead.

The day after the finish on Etna, where Juan Pedro López grabbed the pink jersey, Wednesday was not a difficult stage. It was expected that the 174 kilometre stage between Catania and Messina would end in a bunch sprint, although there was the question whether all the fast men would manage the Portella Mandrazzi (20 kilometres at 4%). After the summit there was still 100 kilometres to the finish.

Right after the start five riders broke away: Jaako Hanninen (AG2R-Citroën), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa) and, for the third time this Giro, the duo of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli: Filippo Tagliani and Mattia Bais. The five gained a maximum lead of just over 4 minutes. In the peloton, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Trek-Segafredo took the lead. Biniam Girmay went for the intermediate points that were still left to be collected. He moved 3 three points closer to Mathieu van der Poel in purple. Not long after, the Portella Mandrazzi climb started. In the peloton the pace went up, so that the gap to the escapees dropped. At first there was no riding at full throttle, after halfway up the climb did the men of Alpecin-Fenix, for Mathieu van der Poel, take over and lift the speed. Caleb Ewan was one of the first victims. Then Mark Cavendish also had to let go. Five Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders waited for ‘Cav’, hoping they could bring him back after the climb. Arnaud Démare, who was distanced 2 kilometres from the top, was immediately surrounded by his teammates. Once at the top, he was 1:20 behind the bunch. Cavendish was already almost 3 minutes back, while Ewan faced a gap of more than four. In the meantime, Maestri had taken the KOM points in the leading group. Mountain jersey wearer Lennard Kämna, the first of the peloton, also picked up 1 point.

On the descent Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert led the pack. The tight pace they maintained didn’t prevent Démare from returning, but ensured that the four remaining escapees, Tagliani had already been dropped on the descent, were caught at more than 65 kilometres from the finish. Israel-Premier Tech, Giacomo Nizzolo’s team, and Fernando Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates also contributed to the speed. They, too, would rather not have Cavendish and Ewan with them. In the end Cavendish and his teammates gave up the fight. Groupama-FDJ also started leading at the front and the Quick-Step men stopped chasing with about 50 kilometres to go. A bunch sprint was inevitable, but before that, there was another bonus sprint. Almeida took 2 seconds. Filippo Fiorelli abandoned. Alpecin-Fenix, Groupama-FDJ and Israel-Premier Tech in particular led the way into the final, when several trains were formed. Mathieu van der Poel was boxed-in in the final kilometre, but Arnaud Démare was brought perfectly to the front by his team. Ramon Sinkeldam, who had the role as last man because Jacopo Guarnieri had been dropped, started the sprint perfectly, after which his French leader finished it off. Fernando Gaviria was second, Giacomo Nizzolo third.

# For more photos go to the full PEZ ‘Stage 5 Race Report’ HERE. #

Stage winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “A sprinter loves winning and loves winning often. I hadn’t won since Paris-Tours last year. Physically I felt good but I wasn’t successful. Only five seconds after I raised my arms up in the air, I felt relieved. It was kind of the same stage I won in 2020 with the same climb. We knew some teams would try to put us in trouble but I didn’t explode. My whole team stayed with me so I was reassured and we rode really fast down the hill and very strongly on the flat, also after we came across because we wanted to keep Mark Cavendish, Caleb Ewan and others off side. In the sprint, I’ve feared that Ramon Sinkeldam would give me the way too early but as soon as I launched my sprint, my legs responded very well.”

Maglia Rosa, Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Trek-Segafredo): “I’m enjoying the Maglia Rosa very much. Even though I still don’t believe in this moment and I never did as many interviews as yesterday, I’m so happy with this. Vincenzo Nibali came to congratulate me in the bunch. It’s an honour for me with everything he achieved as a cyclist. I’ve had the pleasure to be his teammate. I have a good relationship with him. I wish him the best for the rest of this season and out of cycling when I’ll retire at the end of the year.”

2nd on the stage, Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “I felt really good today and I was looked after so well for the whole stage. I had problems with my derailleur in the end and I couldn’t get in the gear I needed. It was a hectic final and I think someones wheel may have touched me from behind. It’s really frustrating and I could not hide it on the line but these are things that can happen in races. Did it cost me the victory? I don’t know, because Démare was also very strong today. The main thing is the legs are good and we’re really motivated and focussed for another chance tomorrow.”

3rd on the stage, Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech): “I am not surprised that some sprinters had to let go on the climb. We went really fast and it was difficult to catch on. As a team we tried to work together to keep the gap, together with the teams that had caused the damage. From there we made it to the finish. The team followed the plan perfectly today and did exactly what I asked. We wait as long as possible and then, with two kilometres to go, I got the information that the wind was up in the final straight. So I decided to let myself down a few places after the last corner because I thought it was best to get out of the back. When you drop, you don’t fall back just three places, so I probably went back five or six places and had to come out in the last few meters. “We are on the right track, we just need to be patient and confident, just like today. Tomorrow is another good chance.”

2nd overall, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “Yesterday was without question a tough day and I was glad that today’s course wasn’t as strenuous. It was also really nice to spend my first day in the blue jersey. This is the first classification jersey that I’ve worn in my career and I’m quite proud of it. We’ll see how it goes from here. I’m not sure yet if the jersey will be a concrete goal, but there are a lot of possibilities over the next weeks after all, so we’ll take it day by day. Maybe I’ll end up pursuing it, or maybe I won’t.”

5th on the stage, Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “This is my third top five in only five stages so my Grand Tour debut has rather been good, however, I’m convinced that I had the legs to do better today. My teammates did a great job once more, but unfortunately I lost the slipstream of Loïc Vliegen in the last corner in the final kilometre. As a consequence my positioning in the approach to the sprint was not ideal, but I managed to move up a little. In the sprint I was driven towards the barriers and when this happened a second time, I didn’t want to take risks anymore. Although I had the capacities to do better, I’m happy that I can start the sixth stage unscathed and try again!”

Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “What can you do about it? You just have to try. If some little situations turn out differently, you’ll probably come back. For example, we were thirty seconds behind Groupama FDJ and Caleb Ewan was behind us. Ironically, if we’d all been sitting together, we’d probably all come back. You just have to give it your all and the guys gave it their all. I’m so proud of them. After all, what can you do? It’s okay, we tried. You are always disappointed. But we knew what was going to happen today, it had been an extra sprint day, but we had to try. And we will try again.”

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “I had to change my wheel at the foot of the Portella Mandrazzi. It was the worst possible moment. The team did what it could to bring me back but it was impossible against all the other teams.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Result:
1. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:03:56
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
5. Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
7. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
8. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
9. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 5:
1. Juan Pedro López (Spa) Trek-Segafredo in 18:21:03
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:39
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:58
4. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:42
5. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:47
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:55
7. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:58
8. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 2:00
9. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:04
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 2:06.

Giro’22 stage 5:

 


Tour of Hungary 2022
Olav Kooij won the opening Stage 1 of the Tour of Hungary. The Jumbo-Visma rider was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Elia Viviani and Matthew Walls were second and third. The Dutchman Kooij is the first leader overall.

The Giro d’Italia left Hungary on Monday morning, but the Tour of Hungary started on Wednesday. Stage 1 was 198 kilometres from Csákvár to Székesfehérvár with more than 1,600 metres of climbing, could the sprinters hang on to the finish?

Five riders escaped early. Aaron Van Poucke, Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Joey Rosskopf (Human Powered Health), Márton Dina (EOLO-Kometa) and Hungarian champion Viktor Filutás (Adria Mobil) took a lead of about 3 minutes. There was good cooperation and they divided the KOM and points prizes. A number of teams in the peloton had set their sights on a bunch sprint. At 60 kilometres from the finish, the leaders, who now had to do without Filutás, only had 1:30. Leading the work in the peloton was Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco, both teams had two fast men with Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen.

The four continued to work well, which ensured that their lead lingered around 1 minute for a long time. At 15 kilometres from the finish the lead was under the minute, partly thanks to the work of Nils Politt of BORA-hansgrohe. In the last 5 kilometres there was a new acceleration by the peloton, which was the final death blow for the four escapees. In the end, the break was caught only 1 kilometre from the finish. The sprint went without any real lead-outs. It was Dutchman Kooij who was the first to start the sprint, but he held on to his lead. Elia Viviani looked like he might come through, but the Italian couldn’t get his bike past Kooij. Third place went to Matthew Walls. Dylan Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen were not involved. Kooij is the first overall leader of the 2022 Tour of Hungary.

Stage winner and overall leader, Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma): “You always try to be the best in the sprint, but you know that a strong field starts here. To win the first stage then is nice. It was quite hectic. It was a pretty easy day, so you know it’s going to be fast and hectic in the final. When we were able to move forward, we took the initiative, with I think five kilometres to go. It was important to maintain a good position until the corner. From there I had one more man with me. Then I jumped to the wheel of a Trek-Segafredo rider and was able to start my sprint with two hundred meters to go. That was perfect. You just have to go all the way to the finish. I felt him coming, but I also felt that I had enough left to hold him off. It was a beautiful day. Good weather, nice roads. We knew it was going to be a bunch sprint, so it was just staying focused until the finish and I managed to finish it. We weren’t the ones controlling the race. That’s what Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco did, and later BORA-hansgrohe too. The gap was always quite stable, but of course you have to catch up in the end to be able to sprint for the win. They got pretty far.”

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Matthew Walls (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a good first stage for us here at the Tour de Hongrie and I’m happy with sprinting to third. It was a pretty hectic finale and honestly, it was a close call for the breakaway and of course for us. The boys did a great job to bring back the break before preparing the finale. My shape feels good, so I can’t wait for the upcoming days!”

Tour of Hungary Stage 1 Result:
1. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:34:46
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech
5. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
6. Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
8. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) DSM
10. Arvid de Kleijn (Ned) Human Powered Health.

Tour of Hungary Overall After Stage 1:
1. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 4:34:36
2. Jens Reynders (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:02
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:04
4. Matthew Walls (GB) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:06
5. Márton Dina (Hun) EOLO-Kometa
6. Viktor Filutás (Hun) Adria Mobil at 0:07
7. Joey Rosskopf (USA) Human Powered Health at 0:08
8. Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:09
9. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:10
10. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.

 


Miguel Angel López Leaves the Giro d’Italia Due to Hip Injury
Miguel Angel López abandoned the Giro d’Italia due to a hip injury. The Astana Qazaqstan Colombian climbed off on the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia, which finishes on the mythical volcano Etna. López has not finish the last four Grand Tours in which he has started.

López got into his team car during the fourth stage of the Giro. “During the last few days, López suffered from an injury to his left hip. We will be releasing more info soon as we learn more from the doctor.” The Colombian finished 39th in the opening stage of the Tour of Italy, in the same time as most of the GC riders. In the time trial on stage 2 he lost 42 seconds to winner Simon Yates and was in 37th place overall. Astana Qazaqstan still has team leader Vincenzo Nibali who won the Giro in 2013 and 2016.

Emilio Magni, team doctor: “Well, Miguel Angel has some thigh problems for a few days already. We tried to do our best to solve it during the first stages in Budapest and during the rest day, but it did not work. Today, unfortunately, he had to stop. Our first diagnosis is the tendon inflammation to the left quadriceps due probable overload or old injury. But, in the next days the rider will pass deep medical check up to find the exact cause of the injury to start the appropriate treatment.”

Giro’22 over for López:

 


Vincenzo Nibali Announced his Retirement in Messina
Vincenzo Nibali has announced his retirement as a cyclist. The Italian will stop at the end of 2022. He made the announcement at the end of the fifth stage in his home city of Messina.

An emotional Nibali spoke to RAI after the finish. “I have been waiting for this stage for a very long, many years,” said the Astana Qazaqstan rider. “I started racing and training here, so I want to confirm here that this will be my last Giro and my last year.”

The Shark of Messina will stop cycling at the age of 37. In this Giro d’Italia he wanted to show once again what he had to offer, but has already lost several minutes, which meant that he can forget the GC. “It’s time to stop. I have worked very long and very hard, but this season is the right time for me to end it.”

Nibali is one of seven riders to have won the three Grand Tours at least once. The Italian won the Tour in 2014, the Vuelta in 2010 and the Giro in 2013 as well as in 2016. Nibali also won Milan-Sanremo in 2018 and the Tour of Lombardy in 2015 and 2017.

2022, Vincenzo Nibali’s final season:

 


Egan Bernal Takes the Next Step in his Recovery
Egan Bernal has taken another step in his rehabilitation after he was seriously injured in a training accident at the end of January. “First time standing on the pedals,” wrote the 25-year-old Colombian on social media. Bernal has been riding on the road again since March.

Bernal was seriously injured at the end of January when he collided with a stationary bus during training. He broke several ribs, some vertebrae, a femur and a kneecap, and also suffered a perforated lung and was admitted to intensive care. He then underwent several operations in hospital. After two weeks he was allowed to leave the hospital and since then he has been making steps in his recovery.

After he was able to cycling on an exercise bike in mid-February, reports followed a month later that he was cycling on the road again. The INEOS Grenadiers rider has been back in Europe for a week to continue working on his recovery. He has been riding more and more on the bike. “First time standing on the pedals,” he wrote on social media on Sunday with a video showing him training.

At the end of April, Gustavo Uriza, neurosurgeon at the clinic where Bernal was treated after his crash, said that the winner of two Grand Tours would be able to race again within a month. Uriza called Bernal’s fractures “cured” in an online press conference.

 


Long Covid Keeps Ben Hermans Out of Competition
Ben Hermans will, despite previously announced, not start in the Tour of Hungary this week. The Israel-Premier Tech rider confirmed to WielerFlits. The Limburger is not thinking about competition for the time being.

Hermans is struggling with so-called ‘long covid’, a condition in which the corona virus leaves its traces in the body in the form of long-term, vague complaints for a few months after infection. Hermans has been dealing with it since February. After the Tour of Valencia he caught covid and since then he has not been the same. “It’s not that I’m still acutely ill, but I have had persistent fatigue for months since my corona infection.”

In mid-March, the Limburger tried to resume racing in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, but he had to stop on day two. Then his sights were set on the Tour of Hungary, the five-day stage race where he was second last year behind Damien Howson. “I’m still on the start list because the original plan was to race again in Hungary. But I can’t get rid of the fatigue I got after that infection.”

For the time being, after a few months of muddling through, the end is not yet in sight. “I can only do recovery training. Nothing of intensity. Until now I can’t even think about competition. All I can do is hope that the tide will turn sooner or later.”

Ben Hermans out:

 


Dylan van Baarle Close to Three-Year Contract with Jumbo-Visma
Dylan van Baarle is about to sign a three-year contract with Jumbo-Visma according to WielerFlits. Apparently there is an agreement between the two parties, only the content of the contract is still under discussion. With this Jumbo-Visma strengthens the classic core and, in addition to Wout van Aert, it also has a co-leader for the cobble races.

Van Baarle was in negotiations with Jumbo-Visma, INEOS Grenadiers and UAE Emirates this spring, but it believed that the Arab team dropped out in recent weeks. After his win in Paris-Roubaix, the price for Van Baarle has gone up considerably and will be well above two million euros per year.

Van Baarle, who is almost 30 years old, rode for the Rabobank development team for three years. He was then signed by Jonathan Vaughters in 2013 and spent four years with the American team. In 2018 he moved Sky, because he was convinced that he could step up again with the best team in the world. It was during the training camps with Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas towards the Tour de France that he saw how hard these classification riders were working to achieve their goal.

The classic core of Jumbo-Visma is now quite strong. In addition to Wout van Aert and Dylan van Baarle, Tiesj Benoot and Christophe Laporte also have multi-year contracts with the Dutch team. The contracts of Mike Teunissen and Nathan van Hooydonck will expire at the end of this season. It is unclear whether Teunissen will remain with Jumbo-Visma as several teams are interested in signing him.

Van Baarle to Jumbo:

 


Thymen Arensman to INEOS Grenadiers?
INEOS Grenadiers seems to be on the fence about recruiting Dutch talent Thymen Arensman. The management of the 22-year-old rider has already informed Jumbo-Visma that it will not accept the offer that the Dutch team has made to him. Arensman is currently riding for DSM in the Giro d’Italia, where he finished tenth in the time trial in Budapest.

Several sources have confirmed to WielerFlits that it is only a matter of time before Arensman will sign the contract with the British team. INEOS Grenadiers sees another Dutchman, Dylan van Baarle, leave for Jumbo-Visma at the end of this season.

Sports manager Merijn Zeeman of Jumbo-Visma previously confirmed that the Dutch team is also interested in Arensman. “If you look at how he is developing, he is an interesting rider for many teams,” said Zeeman.

INEOS Grenadiers is certainly interested in Arensman for the future. He came second in the 2018 Tour de l’Avenir behind Tadej Pogačar and is regarded as one of the most talented young riders in the peloton. He has developed well over the past two seasons with DSM. This spring he took another step with a sixth place in a tough Tirreno-Adriatico and a third place in Tour of the Alps. In the Giro d’Italia, Arensman is riding for Romain Bardet.

Where is Thymen Arensman going?

 


Marco Frigo Turns Pro with Israel-Premier Tech Next Year
Marco Frigo will make his debut as a professional cyclist next year. The 22-year-old Italian has signed a two-year contract with Israel-Premier Tech. Frigo is riding this season for Israel Cycling Academy, the continental development team for Israel-Premier Tech.

Team manager Kjell Carlström is impressed by the promising Italian, he said in a press release. “Marco immediately made an impression. He is clearly a talented rider and his strong performance in 2022 illustrates this. He has not only shown it at U23 level. Marco also rode for the main force of the team four times this year and we were told by riders and staff that he is a hardworking and determined rider. A perfect teammate.”

DS, Rik Verbrugghe is also full of praise for Frigo. “Marco has proven himself in stage races and one-day races. He is a good climber and a great all-rounder. We are very pleased to officially welcome Marco to Israel-Premier Tech. In the coming weeks we will announce even more young talented riders. Riders who will make the step from the Israel Cycling Academy to the main force.”

Frigo is of course overjoyed with his first professional contract. “I’m very excited, but at the same time I don’t feel like it’s a crazy move. It feels like a natural development. I am ready. The team already gave me the opportunity to complete a mixed program this year and that has certainly helped me grow to WorldTour level. I want to keep growing for the next two years and find my place within the team.”

“I know the results will come, be it on a personal level or with the team. In my heart I am a rider for the grand tours. I would like to become a cyclist. I think I have the qualities. My body is built for that kind of competition. I like gruelling races, as I have a good recovery capacity. I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my career.”

Marco Frigo (no relation to ex-pro Dario Frigo) will be racing for Israel Cycling Academy this season, he previously raced for SEG Racing Academy for two years, for them he won a stage in the Ronde de l’Isard and finished eleventh in the Tour de l’Avenir. This year he won the fourth stage of the Circuit des Ardennes and finished second in the U23 Trofeo Piva.

Marco Frigo pro in 2023:

 


Achtereekte Switches to Cycling and Signs Contract with Jumbo-Visma Women’s Team
As of 1 June 2022, the women’s team of Team Jumbo-Visma will be reinforced by Carlijn Achtereekte (32). An exceptional transfer because Achtereekte – who won gold in the 3000 metres during the 2018 Olympic Games – has been skating for Team Jumbo-Visma for the past five years.

Achtereekte has been under contract with Jac Orie’s skating team since 2017 and has achieved excellent results. In 2018 she became Olympic champion in the 3000 metres; in 2020, she was second during the World Championships (3000 metres) and in 2021, the long track skater finished third in the 5000 metres during the World Cup.

Last April, her Team Jumbo-Visma skating team contract expired. It forced Achtereekte to think about the future. Her conclusion: ‘I’m done with skating, but I am not yet done with top sport’. Achtereekte contacted sporting director Merijn Zeeman and presented her findings to him. The ball started to roll, and it moved quickly.

“I have always had a passion for cycling. I sometimes thought: why don’t I do that? But skating went well and that’s what I focused on”, Achtereekte says. “Now I get the chance to develop into a professional cyclist and I am very grateful for that. I am eager and ambitious.”

Esra Tromp, manager of Team Jumbo Visma Women, is happy with Overeekte’s arrival. “Within Team Jumbo-Visma, we always look at how we can make each other better. Carlijn misses the routine of cycling in a peloton, and there is work to be done on a technical and tactical level, but she also brings a lot to our team. A top sports mentality, for example, and experience with performing at the highest level. Carlijn dares to make choices; she sets priorities and knows what to do to achieve her goals. She breathes top sport. Her knowledge and attitude are valuable to our team.”

Robbert de Groot (head of development) and performance coach Marieke van Wanroij have been training Achtereekte since April.

“In the coming weeks we will focus on increasing endurance and technique training”, Tromp says. “Carlijn’s fitness is fine; her values have shown that. The biggest challenge lies in playing the game on the bike. Learning to position, being able to assess opportunities, riding assertively. We will pay a lot of attention to that in the coming period.”

Achtereekte: “It will be a matter of trial and error. As a skater, you ride in your own lane and you aren’t bothered by anyone. Now I have to learn to deal with the peloton’s nervousness and fight for my position. That will take some getting used to, but I assume that I will learn those skills quickly. I’m going to copy the art of my teammates and hope that I can play a role in the service of the team.”

Team Jumbo-Visma’s women’s team will go to training camp from 11 May. Achtereekte will also be present. Subsequently, she will compete in several smaller races and criteria. Based on her development in the training sessions and the race results, the team determines when Achtereekte will ride her first major race. Though, it has already been decided that Achtereekte will start in the Dutch National Championships on 25 June.

Achtereekte is not the first rider within Team Jumbo-Visma to exchange one top sport career for another. Primoz Roglič (former ski jumper) and Amber Kraak (former rower) preceded her. Achtereekte is the first athlete to make a switch within the same team.

Carlijn Achtereekte turns to cycling:

 


Bianchi: The ‘Giro Reflections’ Journey Starts in Hungary
The pink dream kicks off on the banks of the Danube.

Hungary hosted the Grand Depart of the 2022 Giro d’Italia for the first time, and Nicholas Roche went to immerse himself in the secrets of this land that lays between Budapest, Visegrád and Balantonfüred.

If the start of the Giro in Hungary thrilled you, get ready to relive it from a completely different perspective.

The first episode of “Giro Reflections” is online.

 


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