Racing very soon! Sunweb rider sent home from training camp – Top Story. So much news this EUROTRASH Thursday: De Vlaeminck on Evenepoel and Colombian’s fly. Race news from Lombardia, Getxo, Troféu Joaquim Agostinho, Tour of Wallonie, Burgos and the Tour of the Alps. Rider news from Valverde, Alaphilippe, Roglič, Küng, Quintana, Aru, Buchmann and Gesink. Team news from Ineos, Mitchelton-Scott, Boels-Dolmans, CCC, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Bahrain-McLaren. We finish with a song and a new poster for the 2020 Giro d’Italia. Coffee time.
TOP STORY: Storer Expelled from Sunweb Training Camp
Team Sunweb’s team management has sent Michael Storer away from the training camp in Austria, reports Dutch website WielerFlits. The 23-year-old Australian did not follow the internal precautions and, according to the team management, endangered the health of his teammates.
Team Sunweb is currently running a training camp in Kühtai, Austria. There, the riders are divided into three so-called bubbles to limit the risk of corona contamination. Each bubble has its own permanent coach and soigneur.
No other guests are currently welcome at the hotel where the team is staying. The riders and staff are requested not to have physical contact with the outside world. This is were Storer made a mistake. The young Australian is said to have left the hotel last week to reportedly do some shopping. This was enough to send him home.
“We apply very strict precautions during our training camp in Kühtai, Austria,” the team said to WielerFlits. “We want to limit interaction with the outside world as much as possible to minimise the risk of infection of the various bubbles. Not only not to get infected ourselves, but also to minimise the risks of bringing the virus into the pack when we return to competition on August 1.”
Team Sunweb emphasises that sending Storer away is not a punitive measure, but a decision to monitor security. “It is purely as a precaution and Michael himself fully understands it. Top sport in corona times is a new situation for everyone. A lot is demanded of people and of course we also understand that riders and staff have to get used to this.”
Michael Storer leading the Vuelta peloton:
Alpecin Reacts to News of Michael Storer
Storer decided to buy a bottle of shampoo between training sessions and that is not allowed according to the internal corona guidelines of Team Sunweb. “Top sport in corona times is a new situation for everyone. A lot is demanded of people and of course we also understand that riders and staff have to get used to this.” Should Storer need a bottle of shampoo again in the future, he can contact Alpecin Cycling. “We’ll send it for free.”
Alpecin Tweeted: “These are crazy times, causing difficult situations for everybody involved. If you are a worldtour/pro conti cyclist or team and in need of shampoo, hairliquid or antibacterial handgel we will support and send this for free. Just contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org”
De Vlaeminck Thinks Evenepoel Should Ride Cyclo-Cross
According to Roger De Vlaeminck, Remco Evenepoel would do well to ride cyclo-cross. The 72 year-old former rider said in an interview with Knack. “Remco Evenepoel, who is now being praised everywhere, is a good one. You can see that. If he wants to move forward, he will best become a cyclo-cross rider,” said De Vlaeminck.
He must be thinking of Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, who in addition to their natural talent also owe a lot to ‘cross. “Because they also cross, they have a serious lead over the rest. Every road cyclist should ride at least a cyclo-cross race: preferably the heavy, real crosses, such as Zonhoven or Overijse. Perfect for opening the lungs.”
He sees cyclo-cross experience as a valuable addition to road cyclists. “Crossers are much more skilful. I have never fallen in my entire career: learned in cyclocross. The champions of the past knew all that. Eddy Merckx has also crossed, just like Frans Verbeeck and Walter Godefroot. There is no better way to get through winter.”
The Giro d’Italia will be the first event for Evenepoel this autumn. “He beats the best in time trial, but does he consume the mountains?” De Vlaeminck wonders. “Evenepoel is certainly not too young to win. It never depends on that, remember that. You have to be good: it’s that simple. You have to be Messi, but on a bicycle.”
De Vlaeminck in the Giro:
Colombian Riders Can Fly to Europe
Colombian riders can breathe a sigh of relief as they have received permission from the Ministry of Sports to leave. This Sunday, approximately 150 Colombian athletes will fly from Bogota to the Spanish capital of Madrid, to participate in European sports competitions this year.
Many Colombian riders – including Egan Bernal, Miguel Ángel López and Nairo Quintana – are currently still in Colombia. They have had no competition there for four months. Now they can race in July and August.
The athletes have already been tested on corona. This gives them a certificate allowing them to enter Spain without having to quarantine for fourteen days. In this way, Colombian riders can, for example, participate in the Tour of Burgos, which should start on July 28.
The riders fly in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. According to airline Avianca, this plane filters 99.97% of the bacteria, giving it a biosafety level comparable to an operating room.
Il Lombardia 2020: From Bergamo to Como, A Day of Great Cycling on the Day of Ferragosto. UBI Banca is the New Presenting Sponsor
The route follows that of past editions, taking in Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo, Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia before the legendary arrival on the Como Lake waterfront after 243 kilometres. The President of RCS Mediagroup, Urbano Cairo, UBI Banca CEO Victor Massiah and RCS Sport Cycling Area Director Mauro Vegni attended the presentation event, together with Giorgio Gori and Loredana Poli, Mayor and Councilor for Sport of Bergamo (the city where Il Lombardia will start), respectively, and Marco Galli, Councillor for Sport of Como (the city where Il Lombardia will finish).
From left: the Mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori, Victor Massiah, UBI Banca CEO, Urbano Cairo, President of RCS Mediagroup, RCS Sport Cycling Director Mauro Vegni and Marco Galli, Councilor for Sport of Como
Bergamo, 15 July 2020 – The 114th edition of Il Lombardia was presented today at the UBI Banca headquarters. UBI Banca is the main sponsor of this one-day Monument. The race, organised by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport, is scheduled for 15 August. The route follows in its entirety the parcours of the 2019 edition, won by the Dutch rider Bauke Mollema and dedicated to the memory of the great champion of Sedrina, Felice Gimondi.
Urbano Cairo, President of RCS Mediagroup and Victor Massiah, UBI Banca CEO
Urbano Cairo, President of RCS Mediagroup, said: “Being here today in Bergamo, where Il Lombardia will start on 15 August, is an important moment. We would like to bring back a little bit of normality both in everyday life and in a sport like cycling that lives on the streets and among the people. We will host it safely and in collaboration with our partners. This new agreement with an important company such as UBI Banca demonstrates once again the appeal and international reputation of Il Lombardia, and highlights the desire for all parties to restart the season.”
“Presence in the territories, of which we are an integral part, and sharing of a fundamental value of life such as healthy competition are the reasons for our support for one of the most important cycling events in Italy,” says Victor Massiah, UBI Banca CEO. “UBI Banca is an historic partner of the communities crossed by Il Lombardy, places where families and businesses reside, which we have served for decades and who can count on the trust that the Bank has been able to gain by supporting their growth and social development projects. The race, starting from Bergamo and arriving in Como, runs through some of the communities most affected by the Covid-19 emergency. This year, we’ll also see a sign of resilience and recovery in areas of the country that are facing a particularly difficult time.”
RCS Sport Cycling Area Director Mauro Vegni said: “It will be a particularly poignant Il Lombardia as it happens on the day of Ferragosto [an Italian public holiday]. I believe this year’s race can be a great opportunity for us, for the territories that host Il Lombardia and for all the fans. After this difficult period, we are convinced that helping riders back onto the roads is vitally important.
“We have decided to keep the route unchanged. Starting from Bergamo and arriving in Como has grown into a beautiful tradition that everyone appreciates. We will have great international athletes at the start and I am confident that this edition of Il Lombardia will be the occasion for a relaunch for cycling and beyond.”
For the Municipality of Bergamo, the Mayor Giorgio Gori and the Councilor for Sport and Youth Loredana Poli said: “Even in the crazy year of 2020, Il Lombardia returns to the streets of the city of Bergamo – a departure that’s filled with symbolism after the Covid-19 emergency that befell our city. In an unusual summer for cycling, the great Classic Monument of Il Lombardia – which will lose its ‘dead leaves’ moniker for this year only – falls only one week after Milano-Sanremo and exchanges its place on the calendar with the Giro d’Italia, in this cycling season distorted by the coronavirus.
“Since 2012 our city has hosted the departure or arrival of Il Lombardia on a route that appeals very much to cycling enthusiasts and which guarantees exciting racing. Highlights include the double passage in Bergamo, and the climbs of Colle Gallo, Madonna of Ghisallo and the Muro di Sormano. Our city and our territory leaves behind the painful events of last spring and re-launches themselves to the world for what they are – places of art, culture, charm and great sport, even more beautiful and stronger than before. Happy Il Lombardia to all.”
The Councilor for Sport of the Municipality of Como Marco Galli said: “In my name and on behalf of the whole municipal administration, I express the greatest satisfaction in proposing sport as a symbol to relaunch our city. The arrival of the Il Lombardia on Saturday 15 August is an unparalleled opportunity for Como and the entire province. The 114th edition returns with its finale in the Como Piazza Cavour, almost a year after the last edition and featuring a start list of great athletes. It will be one of the first races after the long break caused by the pandemic, and so will provide an injection of confidence for those who love sport and, in particular, cycling lovers.
“The route, with some of the most arduous and spectacular climbs in European cycling, will be hard, especially if you take into account that it will be tackled on a day that’s usually hot. I am sure the reception will be memorable, both from the enthusiastic cycling fan and the many tourists who head to our city for the first-rate hospitality, incomparable landscapes, and many historical and artistic attractions. Il Lombardia represents an opportunity for sport that we will tackle with passion and professionalism, confirming once again the Lariano territory as a major player in international cycling.”
After departing Bergamo in a southerly direction, the route crosses the Bergamo plain in its first 40km to head up the Cavallina valley to Casazza where the Colle Gallo – the first ascent of the race – is tackled. Colle is followed by a fast descent returning from the Seriana valley to Bergamo, then the route re-enters lowland roads that lead to Brianza. There’s a short passage to Colle Brianza and a descent to Pescate heading towards Valmadrera and then towards Oggiono and, finally, through Pusiano, Asso and down the descent to Onno and on to Bellagio. This is where the Ghisallo ascent – with gradients of up to 14% on wide roads with hairpin bends – begins.
The following very fast descent is on long straights and ends at Maglio where, immediately after a right turn, the climb of the Colma di Sormano begins. After a few kilometres of medium slopes, and a few hundred meters after Sormano, the route heads up the Muro di Sormano on a narrow, very steep road – 2km long with a gradient up to 15%. It’s partly inside a small wood, with very narrow bends and slopes that, for around 1km, exceed 25% up to almost 30%.
Once past the Colma, the route follows the descent to Nesso, where the riders then take the coastal road to reach Como. Next they face the hard climb to Civiglio (614m) with slopes almost always around 10% – and with a marked narrowing of the roadway at the top of the climb – before going back down and through Como to hit the last climb of San Fermo della Battaglia (397m). There are two feed zones: the first at km 94-97 and the second at km 151-154.
The last 10km start inside the area of Como on wide avenues, up to the railway underpass where the final ascent of San Fermo della Battaglia begins. The slope is around 7% (max 10%). The route passes several hairpin bends up to the brow at around 5km from the finish. The descent, on a wide, well-paved road ends at the last kilometre.
Bauke Mollema wins in Como the 2019 Il Lombardia:
Circuito de Getxo Start List
The organisation of the Basque professional race, the Circuito de Getxo, has published a preliminary list of starters. Five WorldTour teams; Movistar, Bahrain-McLaren, NTT Pro Cycling, UAE Team Emirates and Trek-Segafredo.
The 1.1 event is one of the first on the UCI calendar on August 2. With the addition of the steep Pike Bidea (2 kilometres at 14 percent on average) in the final, it promises to be a tough race. One thing is certain: several top rider will start the one-day race.
UAE Team Emirates counts on no less than three fast-finishers with Fernando Gaviria, Alexander Kristoff and Juan Sebastián Molano. Mikel Landa, Mark Cavendish and Sonny Colbrelli will be there on behalf of Bahrain-McLaren. The organisation will also count on World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling).
Team Ineos eventually decided not to participate. Last year’s winner, Jon Aberasturi, will be on the line for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. A total of seven ProTeams will participate in the Basque competition, including Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles and Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.
Circuito de Getxo winner Jon Aberasturi:
Troféu Joaquim Agostinho Postponed
After the Tour of Portugal, the Portuguese .2 race Troféu Joaquim Agostinho has now also been postponed. The three-day event that was supposed to start on Saturday involved an infection with the coronavirus, which required several members of the organisation to be quarantined.
The Troféu Joaquim Agostinho (July 18-20) was seen as a test race for the Tour of Portugal, which would start nine days later. But the .1 race, which was won last year by João Rodrigues, was already postponed in late June due to complications surrounding the safe organisation of the event.
A new date for the Tour of Portugal has not yet been set, but the organisation of the Troféu Joaquim Agostinho has already done so. The race is one day shorter and will be held on September 19 and 20, after consultation between the organisation, the national cycling federation and the local authorities.
Troféu Joaquim Agostinho:
Ronde van Wallonië Not Going to Aat
The organisation of the Tour of Wallonie has to go back to the drawing board, now that the Walloon city of Aat has withdrawn as the finish of the opening stage. “I have to protect my people,” Mayor Bruno Lefebvre explained.
Lefebvre says that the city does not want to take any risks in corona times. “Covid-19 is not behind us yet, there are still too many infections.” According to the city council of Aat, the Tour of Wallonie, as one of the preparation races for the Tour de France, will attract additional people.
“In addition to many cycling figures and the usual two thousand spectators, hundreds of extra people would come to Aat. That creates an epidemiological risk that we don’t want to take for our residents.” The Tour of Wallonie starts on August 16 and ends three days later.
The mayor and the Councillor of Sport of Aat had a meeting with the organisation of the Tour of Wallonia, but they have not yet responded. The race was won last year by favourite Loïc Vliegen.
Ronde van Wallonië win for Loïc Vliegen:
Tour of Burgos: Limited Access for Fans in the Start and Finish Zone
The Tour of Burgos presented a corona protocol for the next edition of the stage race. Fans are welcome in the start and finish zone, but there is limited access.
The riders also operate during the Tour of Burgos (July 28-August 1) in so-called “bubbles”. In this way, the teams try to limit interaction with the outside world (and with other teams) as much as possible. This is the case, for example, when a team arrives at a hotel. The riders will be regularly checked for high temperature.
The organisation also asks participants to put on a mouth mask when signing on. The organisation also instructs the riders and staff members to wash their hands regularly, not to exchange material with fellow cyclists, staff members or team DS and to keep a distance of one and a half meters from journalists.
For safety reasons, it is not allowed to throw water bottles outside the designated waste zones during the competition. Spectators on the side of the road must also adhere to certain agreements, such as observing social distancing.
People who want to take a look at the start or finish zone must wear a mask. The organisation has therefore decided to allow public entry and exit zones, but does work with a maximum capacity (it is not known how many people are admitted) and will also strictly enforce the rules.
Burgos 2019 stage 4 win for Aranburu:
Tour of the Alps Confirms Course for 2021 Edition
All the stage cities planned for the 2020 edition, cancelled due to Coronavirus, confirmed their commitment. In April 2021, Brixen/Bressanone and South Tyrol will host for the first time the start of the euro-regional stage race. Final showdown in Riva del Garda.
The Tour of the Alps starts from where it left off. After the forswearing of the 2020 edition given the consequences of epidemic emergency, organising company GS Alto Garda and the territorial partners – Tirol Werbung, IDM Südtirol-Alto Adige and Trentino Marketing – immediately shifted the target to next season.
The road to 2021 begins with an important confirmation: the course for the next edition of the Tour of the Alps will mirror the one that the athletes should have faced last April, from the 20th to the 24th. The proposal of GS Alto Garda and the three partners met the enthusiasm and commitment of the stage locations, that confirmed their strong belief in the transnational project born in 2017 under the aegis of the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Euro-region.
“We confirmed the stage locations planned for the 2020 edition and we are proud of this,” GS Alto Garda’s President Giacomo Santini explained. “This is a testament to the appreciation of our race’s organisational quality, and its significant impact on territorial promotion. The relationships established with the stage locations will allow us to organise a beautiful edition of the Tour of the Alps. We wish thank the three territorial boards: thanks to their contribution, the Tour of the Alps will start from where it left off.”
In April 2021, Brixen/Bressanone will host the first South Tyrolean start in the history of the Tour of the Alps with preliminary operations in the beautiful Piazza Duomo, the press conference on the eve and the start of the first stage ending in Innsbruck.
The capital of Tyrol will be the starting point of the second stage, entirely Tyrolean, with the uphill finish in Feichten im Kaunertal. Imst and Tyrol will likewise host the start of the third stage which will lead the race back to South Tyrol, with the finish in Naturns/Naturno. From there the race moves to Trentino, precisely to Valle del Chiese and the town of Pieve di Bono.
The fifth and final stage, entirely held in Trentino, will lead the peloton from the Valle del Chiese, Idroland, to Riva del Garda. Garda Trentino will crown the winner of the 2021 Tour of the Alps.
The leitmotif is therefore the same: short but intense stages, faithful to the #LiveUphill payoff. The World cycling stars will ensure a unique event: the Tour of the Alps adds to its appeal year after year, and it was credited by the International Federation with the inclusion in the prestigious UCI Pro Series category.
The roll of honour of the race features some of the most prominent names in cycling. Geraint Thomas won in 2017, while in 2018 it was Thibaut Pinot’s time, with Chris Froome building his condition towards the Giro d’Italia triumph. In 2019 a young rider with a bright future emerged, Pavel Sivakov, the protagonist of an exceptional challenge with Vincenzo Nibali.
Stage 1 – Brixen/Bressanone – Innsbruck, 142,8 Km
Elevation gain: 1950 m. Difficulty: **
Stage 2 – Innsbruck – Feichten im Kaunertal, 121,5 Km
Elevation gain: 2640 m. Difficulty: ***
Stage 3 – Imst – Naturns/Naturno, 162 Km
Elevation gain: 2290 m. Difficulty: ***
Stage 4 – Naturns/Naturno – Valle del Chiese/Pieve di Bono, 168,6 Km
Elevation gain: 3880 m. Difficulty: ****
Stage 5 – Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda, 120,9 Km
Elevation gain: 2230 m. Difficulty: ***
Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali in action during 2019 Tour of the Alps:
Valverde May Miss Flèche Wallonne
Alejandro Valverde is the record holder in the Flèche Wallonne with five victories, but his team Movistar told Sporza that the classic is currently not on his program. The reason: Valverde mainly thinks of the World championships in Switzerland.
Valverde, 40, hopes to take a shot at a second World title on September 27. The 84th edition of the Flèche Wallonne is already on the agenda three days later. Valverde will be at the start of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Walloon cycling monument is on the program exactly one week after the World title fight.
Earlier, team manager Eusebio Unzué already announced that Valverde will normally start his season in his own country with the Tour of Burgos. The winner will then compete in the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Spanish championships in the province of Jaén, all leading up to the Tour de France.
After the World Cycling Championships and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it is time for the Vuelta a España. Valverde managed to finish second last year in his home Tour, only Primož Roglič proved stronger. It is unclear whether Valverde will still participate in the Amstel Gold Race and Gent-Wevelgem for the Vuelta.
Valverde in Belgium:
Alaphilippe to Resume Season at Strade Bianche
The Italian World Tour event will be the Frenchman’s first race in the second part of the year.
Julian Alaphilippe is set to defend his title at Strade Bianche, where last season he captured the victory at his very debut in the race and delivered France’s first ever victory at the race, following a powerful surge on the last uphill part, in the historic center of Siena.
“Winning last year was an amazing feeling, one of my best memories of the season. I came at the start with a great shape, was really focused and had a very strong team always around me until the race came to life inside the final hour. I love the parcours and the atmosphere of Strade Bianche and it will be interesting to restart the season there, especially as it comes after a different preparation than I had last year.”
The coronavirus pandemic meant that the Velo d’Or winner had to change his original schedule, leading to a return of the Tuscan one-day race on his calendar, together with another mainstream Italian race – Milano-Sanremo – the site of his maiden Monument win, which he captured after emerging from an elite ten-rider group on the famed Via Roma, in what was a nail-biting finish.
“Taking my first Monument on the Via Roma was incredible! I owe that victory to the Wolfpack, they were absolutely incredible on that day. Having great legs and being very confident also helped me claim what I still consider the biggest victory of my career. I’m happy to be back at the start this year and pin on number one on my jersey.”
The Critérium du Dauphiné (12-16 August) and the National Championships (23 August) will be Alaphilippe’s next appointments, ahead of a third consecutive participation at the Tour de France, the race whose main protagonist he was last year, when he scored a brace of stage wins and carried the yellow jersey for 14 days.
“The Dauphiné is the best preparation for the Tour de France. It will be a special edition with many hard stages, but that doesn’t scare me and I would love to win again a stage, like last year. As for the National Championships, I think it’s every rider’s dream to win the tricolour. I will give it my all, even though the parcours doesn’t really suit me like the old one in Plumelec”, added the 28-year-old Frenchman. “Anyway, I will take it one step at a time. At the moment, the preparation is going well, I’m happy to be here in Val di Fassa with the guys, I talked with the team about my goals and I’m really eager to restart the season to see how I feel and what I can do.”
Roglič: “Bernal will be strong again, Quintana difficult to stop”
Primoz Roglič is one of the riders who is expected to fight for victory in the 2019 Tour de France. The winner of the Vuelta a España gave the Colombian newspaper AS Colombia his opinion about some Colombian competitors.
Outgoing winner Egan Bernal already called Roglič his biggest competitor. “I appreciate that he says that,” said Roglic. “I hope what he says will come true. In any case, my goal is to finish as high as possible. I have no doubt that Egan will also be very strong.”
This spring, Bernal impressed his compatriot Nairo Quintana with victories in French stage races, including the final stage in Paris-Nice. “I think it will be difficult to stop in the Tour,” Roglic predicts. “But I am especially curious how some will start the restart of the season. That will determine a lot.”
Tour next for Roglič?
Küng Fourth Title
Stefan Küng was happy that he was able to pin a number on his back for the Swiss time trial championship, his first race since Paris-Nice. The Groupama-FDJ rider showed that he is in fine form and took his fourth national title in a row by a generous margin.
Küng’s mission was to defend his championship jersey and that’s what he did. “It’s great that I can wear it for another year in international matches,” he said. “I had already explored the route several times and knew what to do. I had a plan in mind and was able to execute it one hundred percent. It was also nice to be able to ride my new bicycle.”
Due to the corona virus, his preparation for the Swiss championship was different from usual. “Normally, the championships are just before the Tour, so we don’t prepare in the same way. I just got back from an altitude training camp and didn’t really work towards this event. I finished a lot of time trials but they were in my schedule anyway.”
He felt that he had not yet made intensive efforts. “It was a course with a lot of height difference. It hurt, but it felt good to have these incentives to race. During a workout you always have a margin, you adjust the pace and you can choose a route with fewer turns. In any case, it feels good to race again.”
During the corona break, it was announced that Küng had signed a contract that would keep him with Groupama-FDJ until the end of 2023. The Swiss time trialist resumes the WorldTour season on August 1 with Strade Bianche. After that, Milan-San Remo, the Tour de France, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are on his program.
Quintana Training Again
Nairo Quintana is back on the bike after his training accident, a week and a half ago, which is earlier than expected, the Arkéa Samsic team leader was told to rest for two weeks.
Quintana crashed on July 3 when he was hit by a car while training near Motavita. His knee was hit hard, and the Colombian had X-rays taken in the hospital, there were no fractures. However, there was injury to his right knee, for which he had to rest for two weeks.
On Saturday the climber was training again in the mountainous province of Boyacá, reports Ciclismo Internacional. That was only eight days after his training accident. Quintana was seen training with José Leonel Diaz and Arkéa teammate Winner Anacona.
Quintana should resume the season with the Tour de l’Ain, which starts on August 7. Then he works towards the Tour de France via the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Could have been worse:
Aru UAE Team Emirates Tour Leader?
UAE Team Emirates names Fabio Aru as leader in the 2020 Tour de France. According to team manager José Antonio ‘Matxin’ Fernández, top talent Tadej Pogačar will race without pressure in France. “His goal is to learn and see how far he can go without any obligation,” Fernández told Biciciclismo.
The UAE Emirates climbing team consists of four men in the Tour. Besides Aru and Pogačar, there is also David De la Cruz and Davide Formolo. “An important quartet, in which everyone has their responsibility and their interests,” said the manager. “Fabio Aru will be the main leader because he is the one with the most experience.”
“Pogačar is going to a race he doesn’t know. He is absolutely different from the rest, but his goal is to learn and see how far he can go without any obligation,” says Fernández. Many people see the young Slovenian, who finished third in the Vuelta a España on his debut in a Grand Tour last year, as a contender for the Tour win.
Allan Peiper, sports director of UAE Team Emirates, contradicts “Matxin”. He says Pogačar has the squad built around him. “Without wanting to put a lot of pressure on him, I tend to add him to the favourites right now. Certainly for a nice ranking,” according to Peiper in Het Laatste Nieuws. “We therefore leave nothing to chance, build a strong team around him and make sure he is prepared for every possible scenario.”
Aru Tour leader for UAE?
Buchmann Opts for Tour/Vuelta
Emanuel Buchmann has already indicated several times that he will focus on the Tour de France, but the German GC rider will also be at the start of the Vuelta a España according to various media.
27-year-old Buchmann has already ridden the Tour of Spain twice. Three years ago, he finished 65th in the general classification, after having already participated in the Tour in the summer. In 2018 he tried to ride a good classification in Spain as leader of Bora-Hansgrohe. Buchmann eventually had to settle for a twelfth place.
Buchmann will not start as the leader in the Spanish stage race, since Felix Großschartner will have the opportunity to prove himself as leader in the Vuelta. “And that is a huge honour,” the Austrian climber told Oberösterreichische Nachrichten in early July.
Buchmann therefore focuses first on the Tour de France, certainly after his fourth place last year. The rider hopes to participate in the World championships in Switzerland this year. On September 27.
Emanuel Buchmann on the front of the 2019 Tour stage 20:
Gesink Wants to Race for at Least Three More Years
Robert Gesink is not planning to quit yet. The experienced Jumbo-Visma climber, now 34 years old, wants to race for at least three more years, he said to Bureau Sport. “If I keep my level, I just keep going.”
Gesink’s current contract with Jumbo-Visma expires at the end of 2021. “And then I want to sign for another two years,” he explains. He does not yet know whether he will continue afterwards. “We’ll see, but if I keep my level, I’ll just keep going.” Gesink is currently preparing for the Tour de France in Tignes, where he will ride in support of leaders Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk. “We have a lot of power at home and three boys who have shown that they can ride the podium, so I am really looking forward to it.”
“Last year I experienced with Roglic that I succeeded in the Vuelta and I was able to do my bit for that. I hope I’m as good as there,” said the Gesink, who knows that Roglic has an edge after last year. “The Tour will already show who is the strongest of the three.”
Gesink, meanwhile has got used to his role as a helper, after years of going for a good classification in a Grand Tour. “I actually wanted to win a race every now and then, because I know my place in the rankings.”
“But now the other men are a lot better than me. I thought it would be a bit more relaxed, but now that you race those men for a general classification, it is full again. That’s nice too. If I could bring that yellow jersey to Paris, it could also be a career crown for me.”
After the Tour, if all circumstances allow, the Vuelta a España is also on the program for 34-year-old Gesink.
Team Ineos Interested in Teuns
Which team Dylan Teuns will race for next season is a big questions at the moment. The Bahrain McLaren rider seems to have sparked the interest of Team Ineos.
Teuns was previously linked to Israel Start-Up Nation, the new team of four-time Tour winner Chris Froome in 2021. But now he is also on the shopping list of Team Ineos, writes Het Nieuwsblad. The winner of the Tour stage to La Planche des Belles Filles in 2019 is expected to make an announcement about his plans for the future in a couple of weeks.
Teuns’ contract ends with Bahrain McLaren this year. With his current squad, he was close to a new two-year commitment with an option for a third year. However, the team is in dire straits, as it may lose support from co-sponsor McLaren at the end of the year. The car maker, an illustrious name in car racing, has been hit hard financially by the corona crisis and is doing everything it can to keep its head above water.
Mitchelton-Scott Sends Adam Yates to the Tour – Simon to the Giro
Mitchelton-Scott has announced its preselections for the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. The Yates brothers will separate for the two grand Tours. Adam goes for stage wins in the Tour de France, while Simon focuses on the final victory in the Giro d’Italia.
Mitchelton-Scott had a successful Tour de France with four stage victories last year. Day success is again the main goal this year. In October, the Australians want to help Simon Yates to the Giro victory. Yates wore pink for thirteen days in 2018 and finished eighth last year in the final classification of the Giro.
Mitchelton-Scott preselection for Tour de France:
Jack Bauer (NZ)
Sam Bewley (NZ)
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Esteban Chaves (Col)
Alex Edmondson (Aus)
Tsgabu Grmay (Eth)
Daryl Impey (SA)
Chris Juul-Jensen (Den)
Luka Mezgec (Slo)
Mikel Nieve (Spa)
Adam Yates (GB).
Mitchelton-Scott preselection for Giro d’Italia:
Edoardo Affini (Ita)
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Jack Haig (Aus)
Lucas Hamilton (Aus)
Michael Hepburn (Aus)
Damien Howson (Aus)
Chris Juul-Jensen (Den)
Cameron Meyer (Aus)
Nick Schultz (Aus)
Simon Yates (GB)
Andrey Zeits (Kaz).
Yates Brothers: One to France and the other to Italy:
Boels-Dolmans Resumes Season in the Basque Country
Boels-Dolmans resumes the cycling season on Thursday. The team is in the Basque Country at the start of the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, after which several Basque races follow.
The ladies team – with the exception of the overseas riders – came together in recent days for a training camp in Valkenburg. On Sunday, sports director Danny Stam gets into the car with a few colleagues for a journey of more than 1,300 kilometres to bring the equipment to the Basque Country. A day later, six riders follow by plane.
“We just have to hope that it stays that way and that we will cycle again,” Stam told ANP. “We are aware that things can also go wrong and that we have to be quarantined, for example. You cannot rule out a doomsday scenario, but we must be positive. By the way, I think that if everything is canceled now, there will be no cycling at all this season.”
After participating in the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa (July 23), the team will start in the Clasica Femenina Navarra (July 24) and the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria (July 26).
CCC Team Confirms Calendar Ahead of Return to Racing
CCC Team today confirmed its revised race calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season starting with Vuelta a Burgos and featuring a triple race program in August.
A busy schedule in early August will be key for CCC Team’s riders to put the finishing touches on their extended training block, Sporting Manager Steven Bauer said.
“We are now two weeks out from Vuelta a Burgos so we are very much at the business end of our race preparations. We have 16 riders currently training at altitude in Livigno ahead of our return to racing at the end of the month. Our goal when creating our calendar for the remainder of the season was to maximise the number of races in early August and give all of our riders the opportunity to get back to the start line as quickly as possible. For this reason, we have locked in races such as Vuelta a Burgos, La Route d’Occitanie, and Tour de l’Ain to build up to the key WorldTour stage races in August and to ensure none of our riders are left sitting on the sidelines,” Bauer explained. “All 28 of our riders will return to racing by the end of the first week of August in what will essentially feel like the start of a new season. Running a triple race program will stretch our resources but our goal is to get back to business and start winning some races. At this stage, our calendar is comprised of 130 race days which will see most of our riders race an average of 35 days in the condensed four month season.”
Matteo Trentin will headline CCC Team’s roster at Vuelta a Burgos, while Greg Van Avermaet will line up at Strade Bianche, and Ilnur Zakarin will return to the start line at the Tour of Poland.
The Grand Tours
CCC Team President Jim Ochowicz outlined the team’s Grand Tour plans which include both General Classification and stage win aspirations.
“We currently have a long list of 14 riders for the Tour de France so we will finalise our selection after the early August races once we can gauge rider form after such a long break. We will be lining up with three clear leaders in Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin for stage wins, and Ilnur Zakarin will provide an option for the General Classification and climbing stages,” Ochowicz confirmed.
“Patrick Bevin will line up at the Giro d’Italia this year with his eyes on the time trials, as well as the UCI world championship time trial which will mean forgoing the Tour de France. Bevin will be joined by Jakub Mareczko who will be our card to play in the multiple sprint stages, and Alessandro De Marchi plans to complete an ambitious Tour de France and Giro d’Italia double. After his Tour de France debut with CCC Team, Zakarin will return to the Vuelta a España, where he was third overall in 2017, and will be joined by Víctor de la Parte.”
Having raced just five days with CCC Team at the UAE Tour, Zakarin is looking forward to getting back into racing and lining up at the team’s ‘home race’, the Tour of Poland.
“I’m excited to restart the season properly and get back to the start line, particularly at the Tour of Poland which is, of course, a really important race for CCC Team. Then my focus will be on the Tour de France. With eight or so mountain stages, I think there are some good opportunities for me and as a team, we will have multiple cards to play in the different terrain. Then, if everything goes to plan, I will line up at the Vuelta a España which is, of course, a special race for me after my podium result in 2017. We have to be thankful to have every race day this year so I will take every day as an opportunity and hope to achieve some nice results for the team,” Zakarin said.
The Classics Team
After racing together at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne, Van Avermaet and Trentin will re-unite at Milano – San Remo.
“Despite the changes in the race calendar, all of my goals remain largely the same and I will focus on the Classics and the Tour de France. I will restart my season with Strade Bianche, a race I still hope to win, before continuing the Italian block with Gran Trittico Lombardo and Milano – Torino and then Milano – San Remo. Then it will be nice to race on home soil at the Tour de Wallonie before lining up at Bretagne Classic and the Tour de France. I think these races will give me a good preparation before the Tour and help me to get to my top shape. It’s going to be strange to line up with not many races in the legs but at the end of the day, it’s the same for everyone. After the Tour de France, I’ll be turning my attention back to the Classics with Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Gent Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, and Paris-Roubaix on my program. For me, it doesn’t matter what time of the year we race the Classics, I know I’ll be just as hungry to win in October,” Van Avermaet said.
Trentin will join Van Avermaet at the Tour de Wallonie and Bretagne Classic in preparation for the Tour de France.
“It’s finally time to race and I’m really looking forward to it. At the end of the day, lockdown in Monaco allowed me to rest mentally so I was really ready to restart training properly and now I’ve been back on the bike for a couple of months. My shape is good and it’s getting better at altitude. My focus in the first part of the season will be Milano – San Remo and the Tour de France and then the second block will be all about the Classics. But I think there will not be much of a moment to breathe. It will be full gas from start to finish and I’m really looking forward to that and getting together with the guys again,” Trentin added.
2020 Race Calendar:
Vuelta a Burgos 28 July – 01 August
La Route d’Occitanie – La Dépêche du Midi 01 – 04 August
Strade Bianche 01 August
Gran Trittico Lombardo 03 August
Milano – Torino 05 August
Tour de Pologne 05 – 09 August
Tour de L’Ain 07 – 09 August
Milano – San Remo – 08 August
Gran Piemonte – 12 August
Critérium du Dauphiné – 12 – 16 August
Il Lombardia – 15 August
VOO Tour de Wallonie – 16 – 19 August
Bretagne Classic – Ouest France – 25 August
Tour Poitou – Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine 27 – 30 August
Tour de France 29 August – 20 September
Tour de Hongrie 29 August – 02 September
Tirreno – Adriatico – 07 – 13 September
GP Cycliste de Quebec – 11 September
GP Cycliste de Montreal – 13 September
Tour de Slovaquie – 16 – 19 September
BinckBank Tour 29 September – 03 October
La Flèche Wallonne – 30 September
Giro d’Italia – 03 – 25 October
Liège-Bastogne-Liège – 04 October
Binche – Chimay – Binche 06 October
Brabantse Pijl – 07 October
Amstel Gold Race – 10 October
Gent Wevelgem – In Flanders Fields – 11 October
Scheldeprijs – 14 October
Ronde van Vlaanderen – 18 October
Vuelta a España – 20 October – 08 November
AG Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne – 21 October
Paris – Roubaix – 25 October.
Tour/Vuelta for Zakarin:
Evenepoel Recons Giro d’Italia Stages
The European ITT Champion wasted no time in scouting some of the roads of the season’s second Grand Tour.
The penultimate weekend of the Giro d’Italia is expected to play an important role in the final outcome, as it features two stages that are very likely to create some important gaps in the general classification: the hilly Valdobbiadene individual time trial and the Piancavallo mountain top finish – a leg-sapping 14.5km-long ascent averaging 7.8% that will come at the end of a tough day containing four classified climbs.
Slated to make his Grand Tour debut at the 103rd Corsa Rosa, which was pushed back to October due to the pandemic, Remco Evenepoel took advantage of his presence in Val di Fassa – where he came together with the rest of the Wolfpack at the beginning of the week for an 18-day training camp – to carry out a detailed reconnaissance ride of stages 14 and 15. Despite the rain that impeded his training, the 20-year-old Belgian completed the task and took a lot of confidence and motivation from this.
“It was great to be on the roads of two important stages of the race, both for me and the team, and to have an early look on what will be on the menu of the race’s third weekend. I’m not going to lie, the route is difficult, but now we know it better and this info will be useful in October. Even with bad weather, the roads are really good and being back on my Specialized Shiv felt great, especially as this year I rode only two stages against the clock before the season was stopped,” said the European ITT Champion, whose first race after the enforced break will be the Vuelta a Burgos.
“On Friday we rode the Piancavallo stage, followed one day later by the time trial between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which is almost identical to the one of 2015 – albeit much shorter – and will be very important three months from now. We recognised many of the roads and the tricky descents of five years ago, elements that can make it very difficult. It was a useful test for Remco, as he got to see the course and discover what the main obstacles will be,” added Deceuninck – Quick-Step trainer Koen Pelgrim.
Giro training for Evenepoel:
Partnered to Perform
After three years of success including victories, like the 2018 Milano-Sanremo and many stages at Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España, Full Speed Ahead & Vision are ready for a new exciting season with Team Bahrain McLaren.
From the beginning of our partnership, FSA and Vision have provided the team with premium components, including the Metron 5D Integrated handlebar – the choice of team’s riders for flat stages and a best seller. For Mark Cavendish, one of the world’s best sprinters, FSA and Vision went one step further by modifying a Metron 5D handlebar to suit his specific needs without losing its core benefits. Metron 5D is one the stiffest and most aerodynamic integrated handlebars available. The design offers both aero performance and ergonomic comfort, making it the choice of UCI WorldTour sprinters and those who also like to climb!
The Power of the Partnership
Over the last few seasons, FSA and Vision have worked extremely closely with the team and its top-riders using their insight and expertise to develop their next generation of products, like the Metron 6D Integrated Handlebar and the Metron TFA Aerobar, an important weapon during the time trial stages. “We are proud to be on board and supporting such a high-level pro team like Team Bahrain McLaren,” said Maurizio Bellin, General Manager of FULL SPEED AHEAD and VISION Europe. “We have always believed in the importance of partnering with UCI WorldTour teams and supporting them with the technical quality they need to perform at the highest level of the sport. For this reason, we have increased our partnership with Team Bahrain McLaren, providing additional handlebars, stem and seatposts plus our top-of-the-line wheels from the Metron range.”
2020 Giro d’Italia: A Song and a New Poster for the Corsa Rosa
Extraliscio have created the new soundtrack. Franco Matticchio’s Giro 103 illustration becomes the single cover design.
RCS Sport has entrusted the official song of the Giro d’Italia 103 to Extraliscio – edited by Betty Wrong by Elisabetta Sgarbi and distributed by Universal. After the great success of the song “Merendine blu”, edited by Garrincha edizioni, the band – Mirco Mariani, Moreno “il Biondo” Conficconi and Mauro Ferrara – returns with another masterpiece driven by relentless rhythm that mixes tradition with the sounds of punk.
The lyrics to the new song, ‘GiraGiroGiraGi’, come from a collaboration between the writer Pacifico (Gino de Crescenzo), the composer Mirco Mariani, and the publisher and director Elisabetta Sgarbi. The video clip of ‘GiraGiroGiraGi’ is available at this link.
The unique and unmistakable voice of Antonio Rezza, winner of the “Leone d’oro alla carriera” in 2018, is grafted between the notes and words of the song, with his very personal interpretation of a sports commentary. The song will be accompanied by a video made by Michele Bernardi with the collaboration of Davide Toffolo.
The cover image of the song – and poster of the Giro d’Italia 103 – is a drawing made by Franco Matticchio, who was commissioned by the Elisabetta Sgarbi Foundation. Franco Matticchio is an artist born in 1957 in Varese, gifted in enriching illustrations with empathetic features. He made his debut in 1979 drawing for the pages of the Corriere della Sera. Over the years he has created illustrations for numerous magazines and newspapers. His works have been presented in exhibitions in public and private spaces, such as the Nuages gallery in Milan and the Incision gallery in Brescia. In 2017 the Galerie Martel in Paris dedicated a solo show to him.
Extraliscio’s existence is thanks to an idea by Riccarda, the daughter of the musician Secondo Casadei, who, at the beginning of the 20th century, pioneered the Romagna swing style, singing timeless masterpieces. The band have celebrated Secondo’s legacy, reinvigorating it to restore lifeblood to a genre that risked being neglected. It’s a musical, human and social experience for the outfit that has its roots in Romagna and continues the tradition of folk music, simultaneously respecting its fundamental rules and subverting them with today’s distinct smooth style, incorporating elements of punk.
Roberto Salamini, RCS Sport Head of Marketing & Communication said: “The Giro d’Italia is tradition, history, tales of great sports and culture personalities. But the Giro d’Italia is also innovation: a platform capable of communicating on all media using different languages to reach fans on 5 continents. Tradition therefore always coexists with innovation and together they become even stronger. The project with Extraliscio goes in this direction because as we do for the Giro, we started from the popular musical tradition by reviewing it in a modern key. For this reason I believe that the song represents very well the spirit of our Corsa Rosa with all the stories it always gives to its fans. The illustration of the cover created by the international artist Franco Matticchio gives even more value to this project and poetically tells about the uniqueness of the next edition of the Giro d’Italia which will be raced for the first time in October.”
Elisabetta Sgarbi, President and Artistic Director Betty Wrong Edizioni Musical said: “GiraGiroGiraGi by Extraliscio was born to tell the timeless epicity of the Giro d’Italia: a little boy who crowns the dream of becoming a man, to wear the Maglia Rosa. In this passage there are the dreams, the desires, the defeats, the sacrifice, the sense of solidarity that characterise not only the Giro d’Italia but also the life of the Extraliscio, musical nomads, musicians for the people, to make people dance, out of commercial logic, for the pure fun of playing and dancing, to celebrate the popular musical tradition always with a touch of punk. The video of the piece of music, created by Michele Bernardi, with the collaboration of Davide Toffolo expresses, in the animated drawing, the freedom of this group, its visionary nature.”
Extraliscio commented: “A country band plays on the streets of Italy and anticipates the arrival of the stage, the sound of the wheels warns the people the Giro is coming! It’s a romantic rhythm, it is a rhythm that GiraGiroGiraGi. Then a megaphone voice announces the passage of the first hero on the breakaway among vineyards, climbs, descents, chimes of bells, shouts of joy and trumpets! Because it is a great party, it is a great joy for all of Italy and its champion!”
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