We may be in that pre-Tour race lull, but there is still a lot of cycling news out there to get through, including the retirement of Tejay van Garderen. Mark Cavendish talks Remco Evenepoel – TOP STORY. Results and video from the Adriatica Ionica, Paris-Camembert and the time trial championships from the Netherlands and Belgium. Tour news from BORA-hansgrohe, Israel Start-Up Nation and Groupama-FDJ. Rider news from Egan Bernal, Julian Alaphilippe, Giacomo Nizzolo, Emma Norsgaard, Tejay van Garderen and Simone Consonni. Team news: TotalEnergies, UCI Team Ranking, Tour de l’Ain, Binche, World Press Cycling Championship and the Giro d’Italia. AG2R Citroën joins the Tour caravan. Big EUROTRASH Thursday!
TOP STORY: Mark Cavendish on Remco Evenepoel
After their joint adventure in the Baloise Belgium Tour, Mark Cavendish has expressed his appreciation for his teammate Remco Evenepoel on social media. The Briton is impressed by the young Belgian, who, despite his interests for overall, helped in the build-up to the bunch sprint where Cavendish won the final stage, Evenepoel the final classification.
“Love this kid,” Cavendish began his praise to Evenepoel. “As a sprinter you don’t often ride a race with a serious classification rider as a teammate. Even less often, he treats you with respect and dignity like a sprinter. If they appreciate the little work you can do for them, it’s incredibly rewarding. But if they also venture into the chaos of the sprint and they want to show their confidence in you by taking risks themselves, that is very special.”
For example, the Brit could not have wished for a better teammate in the final stage of the Tour de France in 2012, when the yellow jersey Bradley Wiggins paved the way for him in the run-up to the sprint on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. “Having Bradley Wiggins doing that is still one of the greatest memories I have of this sport. Remco Evenepoel does the same. Only a few riders are born leaders and these two are the great examples in my career.”
“The quality of working towards something with full focus while each moment of them on the bike is magnified and each word weighed, allows them to reach heights that only a few can achieve,” Cavendish continues. To address Evenepoel: “With a smile on your face you take everything that comes your way, with such a weight on your shoulders at such an age. It’s a real honour to ride with you, kiddo. Never change.”
Adriatica Ionica 2021
The third edition of the Adriatica Ionica Race started with a stage win for Elia Viviani. As part of the Italian national team, the fast finisher won the bunch sprint ahead of Davide Persico (Colpack Ballan) and Vincenzo Albanese (eolo-Kometa).
The 2.1 race started in beautiful Trieste. There, 110 riders started the stage in a northwesterly direction. On the 185 kilometre route that the riders had to cover, four men quickly went on the attack: Diego Sevilla (eolo-Kometa), Luca Rastelli (Colpack Ballan), Matteo Donegà (Friuli ASD) and Davide Cattelan (Zalf Euromobil Fior). Just past the halfway mark, the breakaway’s lead was 5 minutes, but that was the signal for the teams with sprinters to start a serious chase. The quartet reached the finish line with a lead of just under a minute, but there was still one local circuit to be completed and the escape was caught. In the last 5 kilometres the sprinter’s teams were in control and the stage had to end in a bunch sprint. Viviani shot himself to the stage victory and the leader’s jersey. Viviani is unlikely to keep leader’s jersey after the second stage as the finish is on the Monte Grappa.
Stage winner and overall leader, Elia Viviani (Italy): “I always come out of a Grand Tour in good shape and this year was no different. This is an important stopover on the way to the Olympic Games. After the Giro I rode the road bike three times to be able to fully focus on the track, we also needed a block on the road and that makes this race with the national team ideal. If you can wear the national team kit, that’s something special. You know that every rider in that jersey will give the maximum and that is no different for me. And of course you don’t just come to a race like this to train. If you’re at the start somewhere, you want you win too. And today it turned out very well. For morale this is of course excellent. I will probably wear the national jersey again in October for the World track championship. Whether I also ride the European Championship and the World Cup on the road? That depends on my form in Hamburg and Plouay. If I’m good there, why not, although Italy already has a very strong squad for those races with Trentin, Nizzolo and Colbrelli. But first, my sights are completely on Tokyo. Then we’ll see.”
Adriatica Ionica Stage 1 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy in 4:02:02
2. Davide Persico (Ita) Colpack Ballan
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa
4. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM
5. Enrico Zanoncello (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
6. Andrea D’Amato (Ita) Iseo-Rime-Carnovali
7. Davide Boscaro (Ita) Colpack Ballan
8. Edgar Andres Pinzon Villalba (Col) Colombia
9. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Stefano Di Benedetto (Ita) IWD.
Adriatica Ionica Overall After Stage 1:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Italy in 4:01:52
2. Davide Persico (Ita) Colpack Ballan at 0:04
3. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa at 0:06
4. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù Brado KTM at 0:10
5. Enrico Zanoncello (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè
6. Andrea D’Amato (Ita) Iseo-Rime-Carnovali
7. Davide Boscaro (Ita) Colpack Ballan
8. Edgar Andres Pinzon Villalba (Col) Colombia
9. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Stefano Di Benedetto (Ita) IWD.
Three weeks after his stage win on the Monte Zoncolan in the Giro d’Italia, Lorenzo Fortunato struck again in the Adriatica Ionica Race. The Italian rider of eolo-Kometa was the first to cross the line in the Queen stage to Monte Grappa.
From Vittorio Veneto, the peloton headed over hilly terrain to Monte Grappa, where after 148 kilometres the finish line was on the summit of the 19 kilometre climb. After the break of the day had been caught up, the battle for the stage win and the general classification could begin on the final climb. In the end it was Lorenzo Fortunato who took the stage and the overall lead. The Italian from eolo-Kometa managed to catch Vadim Pronskiy in the last metres of the climb and take the victory. Merhawi Kudus also passed Pronskiy and finished second. Thanks to his victory, Fortunato is the new leader.
Stage winner and overall leader, Lorenzo Fortunato (eolo-Kometa): “This is the fourth week of Giro d’Italia for me. I said it and I repeat it: I came here to continue on the path started at the Giro, with a good condition and a clear head. I had this stage in my head, I wanted to win and it wasn’t easy: it was harder here than on the Zoncolan. A kilometre from the end I was 15 seconds behind, I realised that I had to sprint: so I put down the ratio, and went all out. Really, it was beautiful. This season is becoming wonderful, but I’m still the same as before. Now, the head goes to tomorrow’s stage: we want to defend the leader’s jersey, and we’ll do everything. Meanwhile, thanks to the team that also today supported and protected me in the best way.”
Adriatica Ionica Stage 2 Result:
1. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa in 3:58:38
2. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:01
3. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:03
4. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:07
5. Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:35
6. Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:40
7. Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:07
8. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 1:19
9. Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:27
10. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Work Service-Marchiol-Dynatek at 1:32.
Adriatica Ionica Overall After Stage 2:
1. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa in 8:00:30
2. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:05
3. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:09
4. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:17
5. Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:45
6. Alessandro Monaco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 0:50
7. Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:17
8. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 1:29
9. Andrea Garosio (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizanè at 1:37
10. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Work Service-Marchiol-Dynatek at 1:42.
Dorian Godon won Paris-Camembert for the second year in the row. In the sixth round of the Coupe de France, the AG2R Citroën rider out-sprinted Pierre-Luc Périchon at the finish. Lars van den Berg was going for the victory, but he had to deal with bad luck and lost to Geoffrey Bouchard in the sprint for third place.
Two Belgian riders attack almost immediately after the start. Elias Van Breussegem (Tarteletto-Isorex), Boris Vallée (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) were joined at the front by Julien Morice (B&B Hotels p/b KTM). Later, Pierre Rolland and Thibault Ferasse, teammates of Morice also joined them. However, it was not successful. Just after the second crossing of the finish everything was back together, after which the peloton exploded on the hilly course. An AG2R Citroën duo consisting of Geoffrey Bouchard and defending champion Dorian Godon would compete for the win with Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) and the Dutchman Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ).
Bouchard saw his winning chances evaporate in the last 5 kilometres due to a flat front tyre. The two former winners of the race (Périchon won in 2012) would sprint for the victory in the 1.1 race. Godon took the win for the second year in a row. The Frenchman also took home 73 kilos of cheese, as the winner of Paris-Camembert takes home his body weight in Camembert.
Race winner, Dorian Godon (AG2R Citroën): “We couldn’t have asked for better. The objective of the day was to win for the AG2R Citroën tam. A few attacks got the race going but I knew you had to be patient. With my victory last year on these roads, I knew how to play it, and that it would be important to be ahead in the final with those small winding roads. I was confident that I could win the sprint, I had good legs. With the 3rd place for Geoffrey Bouchard, we had a really strong collective performance. It is a great satisfaction to win, and now it’s time to head to the French Championships.”
3rd, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “The AG2R Citroën team was the favourite today, and we were there throughout the day, including Greg Van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen. Dorian Godon finished it off superbly, it’s nice to share this podium with him.”
4th, Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ) “I felt really good, I attacked several times in the final and eventually managed to escape with three other riders. On the last climb I had a hard time, but I was able to keep it up. I felt ready to sprint for the win. After the flat tyre my chances were gone. After that I gave everything to stay ahead of the pack. I’m happy with my form and fourth is obviously a good result, but when you feel you can win it’s disappointing.”
1. Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën in 5:19:08
2. Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis
3. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:46
4. Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
5. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie at 0:55
6. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkea-Samsic
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën
9. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis.
Belgian Time Trial Championships 2021
Yves Lampaert is the new Belgian ITT Champion, The Ingelmunster native won in front of his home crowds, scoring Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 60th national title.
Yves Lampaert delivered a flawless performance at the Belgian Time Trial Championships and captured a second victory in the discipline, leading home a superb Deceuninck – Quick-Step 1-2 at the end of the day. The 30-year-old was the only rider to average more than 50km/h over the 37.6 kilometres of the flat and fast course in Ingelmunster, putting 20 seconds into his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammate Remco Evenepoel, who took the silver medal for the second time in his career.
Runner-up last week at the Belgium Tour, where he missed out on the win in the stage against the clock for just two seconds, Lampaert was a man on a mission Wednesday afternoon, when he was pumped up by riding in front of his family and friends in Ingelmunster. The penultimate rider to roll down the start ramp, Yves went fastest through both intermediate checkpoints before stopping the clock in 44:48 – a time that brought him his first victory of the year.
Despite finishing runner-up for the second time in three years, Remco Evenepoel made an honest assessment of his outing while looking on the bright side of things after Wednesday’s ITT, at the same time underlining that the result will only add more fuel to his desire of performing well in a couple of days’ time, when he will line out at the start of the road race.
2022 Belgian TT champion, Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s unbelievable! To win in my hometown, in front of this amazing crowd, is just insane, is a dream come true! I never thought I would be able to finish first, but I did it and I’m over the moon now. I can’t tell you how proud I am. It was a tough race and I fought hard, and at the end of the day, I am happy I could repay these incredible fans. At the same time, I’m delighted to be on the podium together with Remco. Our team’s goal was to win today and gold and silver make for a great outcome.”
2nd, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I rode as fast as I could in this hot weather and gave everything, but Yves was just better. I wanted to win today, but made a mistake and almost crashed in the centre of Izegem, before another error in a corner on the second lap. My goal was to take the victory and I’m disappointed that this didn’t happen, but what makes this defeat a bit easier to digest is that a teammate won and I’m happy for Yves. On Sunday there’s another chance and I am keen on doing a good race for the team.”
Belgian Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 44:48
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:20
3. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka Assos at 0:41
4. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) DSM at 1:01
5. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:06
6. Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 1:13
7. Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:17
8. Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:55
9. Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën at 2:05
10. Gilles De Wilde (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 2:13.
Dutch time trial Championships 2021
Tom Dumoulin has seized the national time trial title at the Dutch championships for the fourth time in his career. In tropical conditions, the Limburger of Team Jumbo-Visma rushed to victory in the province of Drenthe.
Along the way, Dumoulin recorded the fastest intermediate time. During the second lap on the local course the new champion assured himself of the victory. Alongside Dumoulin, teammate Koen Bouwman also appeared at the start of the race against the clock. Bouwman rode to bronze behind Dumoulin and Sebastian Langeveld of EF Education First-Nippo.
2021 Dutch TT champion, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): “In the second part the heat started to play a role. My legs became slightly tired. It was hard work, but I have recovered well after a week of racing in Switzerland. I rode a very good time trial. If I had ridden this time trial a few years ago, I would have been very happy too. I am close to my good form. In Switzerland it went a little bit better every day. I started to like racing more and more. I have continued that feeling. I am very happy with the title today. This is really a victory over myself. It’s not easy to return to my old level, but gradually things are improving. These kilometres on the time trial bike are very important towards the Olympics. My base just needs to be a little more stable. I have every confidence that it will work out. I am so happy with this victory. It had been a long time since I had won a race. Of the four time trial titles won at the Dutch championships, this one feels the most special. I can say that I am proud of myself.
Dutch Time Trial Championships Result:
1. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma in 36:06
2. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Nippo at 0:27
3. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:24
4. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:30
5. Julius Van den Berg (Ned) EF Education First-Nippo at 1:33
6. Elmar Reinders (Ned) Riwal Cycling Team at 1:34
7. Marien Bogerd (Ned) at 1:55
8. Bart Lemmen (Ned) at 1:57
9. Danny Van der Tuuk (Ned) Kern Pharma at 2:15
10. Nils Sinschek (Ned) ABLOC CT.
Dutch TT champs’21 podium:
Kelderman and Sagan Lead BORA-hansgrohe at Tour de France 2021
With Buchmann and Konrad, the German squad is aiming to ride offensively in the mountains. Daniel Oss will yet again be the last man for Peter Sagan, while Politt, Pöstlberger and Tour debutant Schelling will be allrounders for the team.
“This year it was not an easy decision by any means. Emu became an option only last week and we also thought about bringing two sprinters with Ackermann and Sagan. Ultimately, we believed that Pascal is not at the necessary level to make a successful Tour premiere and therefore he didn’t make it into the squad. Our goals are a stage win and a top five in the final GC. Of course, we also have the green jersey in our sights, but it will be a tough battle. With those goals in mind, our leaders will be Wilco for GC and Peter for the sprints and undulating stages. At his side will be Daniel Oss yet again. Regarding Emu, I have already stated that he will be free to take his chances if the moment comes, however, Patrick will also receive his own opportunities. Of course, he will be important to Wilco in the mountains. Overall, we want to ride offensively at the Tour and with Nils, Lukas and Ide we have riders who can do well on almost all terrain, yet also have the class to take a stage from a break. I am very happy that one of our young guns, Ide, who only turned pro with us last year, is already lining up for the Tour. He has developed really well over the last month and put himself into that position with strong results.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager.
BORA – hansgrohe at the Tour de France 2021:
Emanuel Buchmann (Ger), Wilco Kelderman (Ned), Patrick Konrad (Aut), Daniel Oss (Ita), Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut), Nils Politt (Ger), Peter Sagan (Svk), Ide Schelling (Ned).
Winning ways for Peter Sagan:
Michael Woods Leads Israel Start-Up Nation in Tour de France
Michael Woods is Israel Start-Up Nation’s first confirmed rider for the Tour de France. As the leader of the WorldTour team, the Canadian is going for stage victories and a GC position.
Sports director Rik Verbrugghe explains Woods’ leadership on the team’s website: “He has shown natural leadership for us. His successes in the classics, the Tour de Romandie and Tour de Suisse have given him the confidence that he can play a part in the greatest cycling race of all. I expect him to fight for stage wins and compete for the standings, just like he did in Switzerland. The main focus of the team is on protecting Woods and supporting him where needed.”
“I’m very happy with my selection,” Michael Woods said. “I’ve been the leader in a Grand Tour before, but never in the Tour de France. We want to do well in the standings, but for me the stage wins are really the most important. The team we have here has to be taken seriously.”
In the coming days, the team will present the other seven riders for the Tour de France. The biggest question mark in that selection seems to be Chris Froome.
Woods in Suisse:
Chris Froome to be Road Captain at the Tour de France
Chris Froome will be racing the Tour de France this year. The quadruple tour winner will not be going for the GC this year, but he will act as a road captain in the service of leader Michael Woods, Israel Start-up Nation said in a communiqué.
Just over two years ago in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Froome crashed heavily during the recon of the individual time trial. Since then, Froome has been trying to reach its old level again, but the Brit, so far, has not succeeded. However, according to Manager Rik Verbrugghe, Froome has done enough to be selected. “Chris will be the coming to the Tour de France our road captain,” says the Belgian. “As a quadruple winner, his experience cannot be underestimated, the team can use that during the race.”
During the Tour of France, Verbrugghe mainly hopes to see progress from Froome. “I hope for a new improvement over the Dauphiné. We hope that it goes better every stage with Chris.”
Froome himself says it feels like it is payment for his work to appear at the departure of the Tour after two missed editions. “I have worked very hard for it to stand where I am now. I don’t start as a leader, but I want to support the team as well as possible. With Michael Woods we have a strong leader and I look forward to giving everything to him and fight in Paris.”
Froome will be at the Tour:
Madiot: “We should have stopped Pinot from racing sooner”
Marc Madiot partly blames himself for Thibaut Pinot’s injury. The manager of the Groupama-FDJ said he should have taken his leader from Tour de France earlier last year. “We wouldn’t be in this situation then,” he told Ouest-France.
Pinot has been struggling with his health since his crash in the opening stage of Tour. The 31-year-old rider still finished the Tour de France, but in retrospect that turned out not to be the right choice. “Not afterwards, no. But on the first rest day, we couldn’t really determine what was going on. We saw bruises, but that was all. If we had been able to investigate further, we would have forced him to stop.”
“It is what it is,” he continues. “Let’s try to make a new start and build on the future with fresh courage. We’re in the process of getting Pinot back on track, but it’s a long process. We should never have let him get to this condition. I hope he can function normally in the coming weeks.”
Only when that has been achieved does Madiot want to look forward to new goals. “It is not yet certain that he will be fully fit again, but I don’t doubt his ability to return. People have often said that Pinot isn’t the strongest mentally, but I’d like to take my hat off to him. He shows things I’ve never seen before…”
Egan Bernal Meets Pope Francis and Gifts a Custom Painted Pinarello Dogma F12 Bike
At 8am on Wednesday 16th June, Egan Bernal met with Pope Francis, at the Vatican in Rome.
The meeting was organised by the Colombian Embassy as a way of celebrating Bernal’s recent win of the Giro d’Italia, where he held the leader’s jersey for a total of 12 stages, after taking the race lead with an impressive win on stage nine. He led the race for the subsequent 12 stages, completing the race with the final time-trial in Milan. Bernal’s victory at the Giro d’Italia marked the INEOS Grenadiers’ twelfth Grand Tour win.
To show his gratitude to Pope Francis, and following customary protocol of offering a gift, Bernal takes his Maglia Rosa and a custom painted Pinarello Dogma F12 bike as a symbolic gesture to the man who is head of the Catholic church.
Here is what Bernal had to say regarding his meeting with Pope Francis: “It fills my heart with so much happiness to be able to meet Pope Francis in person, because I grew up in a catholic family. For me he is of the highest authority in religion and to receive his blessing is so rewarding.”
“I hope his blessing not only touches me, but to all those who need it. As is customary, everyone who meets the Pope offers a gift, mine to him will be the Maglia Rosa and a Pinarello bicycle, which has been custom painted for him by Fausto Pinarello. A symbolic gesture of what we do as cyclists and as a team.”
Egan Bernal gave Pope Francis a custom Pinarello Dogma F12:
Julian Alaphilippe Father of Son Nino
Julian Alaphilippe has become a father for the first time. He and his girlfriend Marion Rousse were delighted with the arrival of their son Nino on Monday.
On Instagram, Alaphilippe shared a photo of his newborn child: “I love you so much.” Ex-rider and presenter Rousse shared the same message on social media. “And suddenly there was a tsunami of love,” she added. Alaphilippe’s upcoming fatherhood has been in the news several times in recent days. Last Saturday, the World champion left the Tour de Suisse to be able to attend the birth of his child.
Nizzolo Fixes Sights on World Championships as Next Major Goal
The current European and Italian champion, Giacomo Nizzolo, will begin his preparations for the second-half of his season with his sights now firmly fixed on the UCI Road World Championships in Flanders in September.
The 32-year-old Team Qhubeka ASSOS sprinter recently took his maiden Grand Tour stage win at the Giro d’Italia, a victory he described as an “explosion of emotion” after 11 second-place stage finishes.
The Italian has netted 15 top-10 finishes this year across 46 race days; only Kilian Frankiny and Bert-Jan Lindeman have raced more than him in our team this season. 2021 has seen him race at Etoile de Besseges, UAE Tour, the cobbled Classics, Paris-Nice, Milan-Sanremo, Giro d’Italia and the Baloise Belgium Tour, among others.
“Of course it’s been an intense first part of the season, especially with the Classics and then focusing on the Giro where I was looking to be in the best possible shape for the flat sprints, I worked really hard for that. After the Giro I had a few days of rest and then it was full focus for Gippingen where I felt really good (Nizzolo placed 4th) and then to the Tour of Belgium, which was an intense race.”
“The goal for the second part of the season now is the World Championships, to be in top shape for this event. It’s going to take a lot of work but I’m confident I can do it. In terms of preparation I know that I need to be there without any regrets, working as best as I can, and then once I’m at the race at we can give it everything.”
The 2021 Road World Championships in Flanders will be raced over 268.3km, starting in Antwerp and finishing in Leuven on 26 September.
“I’ve raced a lot in Belgium and I really like to race here. It’s always very intense, it’s always very hard (racing) but very exciting. The Belgians are incredibly passionate about cycling and you feel that the atmosphere is so incredibly unique. For my profile as a rider these roads and the course suit me so that’s why I like it.”
Team Qhubeka ASSOS will next be heading to the Tour de France, where Giacomo will be supporting his teammates from home as his preparations take shape.
“We had a great Giro this year with a great atmosphere in the team, working for each other in the true spirit of Ubuntu and that’s what saw us achieve the results that we did. I really hope that at the Tour the group there will be able to replicate that and they can achieve similar successes. I’ll be cheering and supporting them, staying in contact like we always do with one another in the team and lending them all of my support.”
“The next steps in my programme will see me at altitude camp for some time and after which we’ll asses the plans beyond that. Those of course will be looking towards the European Championships, where I want to defend my title to the best of my ability, and then on to the World Championships.”
Nizzolo is also the most recent guest on the ‘Unclipped’ podcast; Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ unique content offering that provides greater insights into the characters within our team.
All previous episodes of the podcast can be found here while the series is also available via all podcasting platforms including:
Emma Norsgaard with Movistar Team thru 2024
Brilliant Danish youngster, 21, hopes to cover the best years in her career with the Telefónica-backed squad as she starts new contract for next three years.
The most phenomenal breakthrough in the WorldTour peloton for 2021 will remain a Movistar Team member in the upcoming years. The Telefónica-backed squad announced on Tuesday the contract renewal of Emma Norsgaard (DEN, 1999) through the end of the 2024 season, thus extending a relationship that expired at the end of next season. This extension further reinforces the Blues’ potential for the foreseeable future and the Spanish outfit’s confidence on the Dane following a sensational first half of the year.
Norsgaard has truly become one of the best riders in the world with her talent for either sprints, one-day races or time trials. She has already scored four victories in 2021, all in less than a month between the Festival Elsy Jacobs (which she dominated, with two stage wins + the overall classification) and the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour (stage win + three days in the GC lead). Emma has also collected nine other podiums, in races as different as Germany, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, De Panne or the Healthy Ageing Tour. The ‘Danish Rocket’ will seek to defend her national road title this weekend, then head into the Giro Donne in July as one of the Movistar Team’s main hopes for success.
Emma Norsgaard: “It’s been such an amazing year for me so far, and the Movistar Team have put so much confidence on what I can do. I really trust this project, and that’s what has moved me to sign for another two years with this team. I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for us together. Vamos!”
Sebastián Unzué: “Emma’s contract extension was crucial to our team’s future. She’s quickly built a reputation as one of the best riders in the world, as shown in both one-day races, where she’s fought for victories against the top contenders in the peloton, and stage races. She’s also rose as one of the best sprinters in the world, another reason why it was so important for us to have her aboard mid / long-term, so we could build a strong team around her. She’s a rider we expect – and she’s already taking on that role – to be one of our leaders in the future. We’re sure she’ll be a reference for this organisation in the upcoming years.”
Former Rower Amber Kraak Joins Team Jumbo-Visma
Amber Kraak has joined the women’s team of Team Jumbo-Visma at least until the end of 2021. The former rower will make her debut in the black and yellow jersey during the Dutch Championships.
Together with Anne-Marie Schonk, Kraak became world champion U23 lightweight ladies double and was part of the Dutch selection for the Olympic Games in Tokyo until 2019. “As a reserve for the Olympic selection I ended up being alone in the boat a lot and where I lost the fun. Then I started to focus on cycling. Rowing is very taxing on your back and I already cycled a lot to still take the load on my legs. It wasn’t until I stopped rowing in 2019 that I started racing. That went really well and I got a lot of pleasure out of that.”
The 26-year-old athlete is looking forward to a great adventure at Team Jumbo-Visma. “In the coming months I want to see if I can contribute to the team. I can also learn a lot about cycling. Not only about the physical, but also about the tactical aspect. I expect that especially the multi-day races will suit me. I recover quickly, so the more days the better. I also like climbing, so I expect to develop more into a climber.”
Team manager Esra Tromp is very enthusiastic about the new addition. “I expect Amber to be a good addition to the team. Coming from rowing, she has tremendous capacity. She has a little less experience in riding races so the coming half year we will mainly use as a trial period to get to know Amber and to see how she develops further as a cyclist. She was able to train with us for a few days before and we are happy that she is coming to support the team already this season.”
Corona-free Egan Bernal Out of Quarantine
Egan Bernal tested positive for covid-19 more than a week ago and was subsequently quarantined, but the Colombian is now corona-free again, the Giro winner announced via Instagram. Bernal can now prepare for a return trip to his home country of Colombia.
The INEOS Grenadiers rider was supposed to fly back to his native country last week, but had to quarantine after a positive corona test. His girlfriend Maria Fernanda also tested positive. After more than a week in self-isolation, Bernal and his friends have been declared corona free and so they will soon be allowed to fly to Colombia.
Bernal suffered only mild symptoms in the past week. “Of course we went into quarantine until the symptoms passed and we got a negative test. Only then can we go back to Colombia. We can’t wait to get back on the bike!”
Two weeks ago, 24-year-old Bernal was the overall winner of the Giro d’Italia, ahead of Damiano Caruso and Simon Yates. The Colombian will soon be honoured in his home country of Colombia for his Giro win.
Bernal out of quarantine:
Tejay van Garderen to Retire After USA Nationals
Tejay van Garderen’s jerseys decorate the walls of his garage in California. His wife Jessica has framed his white one from the Tour de France—where he won best young rider—his winner’s shirts from the Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge, and his American Olympic team kit. Few Americans have ever amassed such a collection. There is no trophy for what matters most to Tejay, though. He has won the respect of his teammates and rivals over the years, and he has been an incredible part of our team.
Now 32, Tejay’s time as a professional rider in the sport is about to come to a close. He has decided to retire after this year’s National Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee. Adding a stars-and-stripes shirt to his collection would be a fitting end to his career. In any case, he will be remembered as one of America’s greatest cyclists.
Tejay made his reputation in the peloton as a formidable competitor in races that rarely get much mass media attention in America. Yes, he won the white jersey and twice finished fifth at the Tour de France, but it was in races such as the Critérium du Dauphiné, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Tour de Suisse, Paris-Nice, and Giro d’Italia where he really made his name. Those events might not feature very often in American papers, but in cycling’s European heartland they are prestigious races in their own right that are feared and respected by the men who race them.
“Some of the results I had, you had to know how to handle yourself as a real bike racer,” Tejay says, “be it with narrow roads, the weather, cross winds. I’m proud that I was able to be a complete cyclist.”
That he certainly was. Tejay insists that he is not a Hall of Famer, but very few Americans have ever been so consistently competitive in world-class cycling events.
“I can understand why a lot of people are probably going to be left wanting more,” he says, “because they saw the results I achieved at a really young age. I stayed consistent for a number of years at a high level, but I never really broke through to that next level. That’s what people wanted to see. I understand that. That’s okay for them to want because people like their winners.”
Tejay was more than a winner. He was a good teammate too. For the past three seasons, he has been an invaluable member of EF Education-NIPPO, both on the bike and off it. He earned some great results in his pink EF jersey, but he also contributed to many of the team’s successes, most notably Hugh Carthy’s overall podium finish at the 2020 Vuelta, where his GC experience was crucial.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Hugh, and I think he has a really bright future,” Tejay says. “He knows if there’s ever any kind of question he has about time trialing, or just in general, he can always reach out, or call, or whatever. My door’s always open, and that goes to anyone on the team.”
Still, being a professional bike racer is a very tough business. Racing up and down alpine cols in the harshest conditions that nature can throw at you is one of the most physically and mentally challenging pursuits an athlete can do. Cycling is dangerous and all-consuming. To be competitive, riders have to ignore the risks and lead a highly disciplined existence. And there is so much uncertainty involved that there is never any guarantee of success. With a young family at home, Tejay has reached a point where he no longer feels he can do it well. He doesn’t want to take chances away from his teammates. He respects them as much as they respect him.
“The honest truth is that I don’t feel super effective as a bike racer anymore,” he says. “Once your ability starts to be less than it was, you have to find a way to make yourself effective. I was really motivated by the rise of Hugh Carthy, and I wanted to be able to mentor him and help him. I said, ‘Okay, I’m still a good climber. Maybe I can stay with him in the high mountains and give him support.’ I’m not skilled enough to be like those cobbled classics guys who are able to shepherd their leader through all the tricky sections. We have guys like Jens Keukeleire and Alberto Bettiol who are much more effective at that than I could ever be. But the truth is I wasn’t able to just climb into a group of the 20 best anymore, to be able to give a leader like Hugh support in the high mountains. So I was riding around thinking, well, what do I do? How am I effective in the race? And if I really took a good, honest look in the mirror, I said, “Well, if you have eight people to fill a roster, I could name eight people that would serve a purpose better than I could serve that purpose.”
Now, he is looking forward to riding his bike for fun and to stay healthy. He will be spending a lot more quality time with his wife and girls. He doesn’t have many regrets.
“I feel like it’s time. I’m okay. I’m ready,” he says. “I’m extremely proud of everything I accomplished in my career. I know personally how hard I worked to achieve what I’ve achieved, and I know what level I was able to hit. Results aside, I know that I got the best out of myself. I wish there were times that I had got to that level just a bit more often or more frequently. But, I know what level I was able to hit. I’m certainly happy with what I’ve done.”
Tejay’s racing career will be over after he has ridden his last National Championship on the 20th of June. We are very proud of everything that he has done in cycling. Tejay van Garderen is one of America’s all-time great bike racers. He is the real thing and an awesome teammate. More importantly, he is one of our great friends. Tejay, we can’t wait to see where life takes you next.
Tejay winning in Catalunya 2015:
Simone Consonni Extends with Cofidis
Simone Consonni will continue to race in a Cofidis jersey for the next two years. The team made the contract extension of the Italian public on Wednesday. Consonni is still waiting for his first major professional victory, the 26-year-old has come close on a number of occasions. Third place in the Tour stage to Lyon last year, and a second place in the 18th stage of the last Giro d’Italia. This was enough for an extension with the French WorldTour team.
“This is a very important step in my career,” Consonni said in the press release. “For two seasons in the Cofidis colours I continued to make progress and I will do everything I can to continue on this foot.”
Team manager Cédric Vasseur sees the development Consonni is going through: “Since he joined us, he has only grown. He is a loyal, devoted and very talented boy. We want to give him more freedom in sprints and classics. His latest achievements prove that he is ready to look for big wins. We will do everything we can to support him in that.”
Simone Consonni on stage 15 of the 2021 Giro:
New Kit and Name for Total Direct Energie – TotalEnergies
Team Total Direct Energie has undergone a name change. The team of Niki Terpstra and Dries Van Gestel will continue as Team TotalEnergies and have new jerseys. During the Tour de France, the riders will race in the new kit for the first time.
The new name of the formation has everything to do with the identity change that Total recently made. The kit features the company’s new logo prominently on both the front and back. It is a significant change in style. The previous outfit was predominantly blue and red, now it is mostly white. The shorts are almost red. According to Jean-René Bernaudau, manager of the team sponsored by the oil giant, the kit represents the World of tomorrow.
Niki Terpstra and Dries Van Gestel:
UCI Team Ranking Up-Date
The UCI has made a new update this week in the team ranking. Looking at the top 10, we see that Alpecin-Fenix has dropped two places and is now in eighth place. The Spanish Movistar team is the biggest riser.
Alpecin-Fenix had a successful Tour of Switzerland, as Mathieu van der Poel won two stages to in the WorldTour race. Yet the Belgian team fell in the Rankings BORA-hansgrohe also drop from seventh to sixth and Astana Premier Tech up from eighth to seventh. Movistar was eleventh last week, but comes into the top 10 with ninth. Israel Start-up Nation moved from fourteen to thirteen at the expense of Groupama-FDJ. AG2R Citroën also dropped a little and is now eleventh. After a few good performances in the Tour of Switzerland, EF Education-Nippo is now the new number nineteen.
INEOS Grenadiers are still at the top of the UCI team ranking. After the final victory of Richard Carapaz, the British formation runs into the Tour of Switzerland. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Jumbo-Visma are second and third.
UCI Team Ranking (on June 15, 2021):
1. INEOS Grenadiers – 9,366 points
2. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 7.474 Points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 5,647 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 5.257 Points
5. Bahrain Victorious – 4.789 Points
6. BORA-hansgrohe – 4,702 points
7. Astana-Premier Tech – 4,529 points
8. Alpecin-Fenix - 4,483 points
9. Movistar – 3,924 points
10. BikeExchange – 3,876 Points
11. AG2R Citroën – 3.721 Points
12. Trek-Segafredo – 3,486 Points
13. Israel Start-up Nation – 3.417 Points
14. Groupama-FDJ – 3.328 points
15. Cofidis – 2,689 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 2,595 Points
17. Qhubeka Assos – 2,554 Points
18. Lotto Soudal – 2.408 Points
19. EF Education Nippo – 2.178 Points
20. Total Direct Energy – 2,080 Points
21. DSM team – 1,832 points
22. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 1,461 points
Alpecin-Fenix has been the best ProTeam in the UCI team ranking for along time. The Belgian team is now at 4,483 points. The difference to second placed Arkéa-Samsic is still more than 1,700 points. Total direct energy, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA fill the Top 5.
Top Five ProTeams on the UCI Team Ranking (on June 15, 2021):
8. Alpecin-Fenix - 4,483 points
16. Arkéa-Samsic – 2,595 Points
20. Total Direct Energy – 2,080 Points
23. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 1,307 points
24. Caja Rural-Seguros RGA – 1,260 points.
Carapaz helping INEOS stay top of the UCI team rankings:
Tour de l’Ain has Nine WorldTeams for 2021
The organisers of the Tour de l’Ain is counting on the presence of nine WorldTeams this year. There will be a total of 21 teams on the start line of the French stage race. The Tour de l’Ain (29-31 July) will take place this year after the Tour de France.
Last year the Tour de l’Ain was one of the preparation races for the Tour de France. With Primož Roglič the final overall winner. The Jumbo-Visma rider won ahead of Egan Bernal and Nairo Quintana. Now that the Tour de l’Ain will take place this year after the Tour, the organisers will have a different situation. There is still a lot of interest from the WorldTeams with AG2R Citroën, Cofidis, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, DSM, Groupama-FDJ, INEOS Grenadiers, Lotto Soudal, Trek-Segafredo and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert all riding.
Alpecin-Fenix, Arkéa-Samsic, B&B hotels p/b KTM, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, DELKO, Gazprom-RusVelo and Total Direct Energy are the ProTeams with an invitation. With Hagens Berman Axeon, St Michel-Auber93 and Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole, the three continental teams. The German and French national teams will also ride.
2020 Tour de l’Ain winner – Primož Roglič:
Binche Will Host the Belgian Championships Four Times in the Coming Years
Until 2030, the Hainaut municipality of Binche will host the Belgian Cycling Championships four times. In 2024 and 2029, the Belgian city will be responsible for the Belgian Championship time trial, in 2025 and 2030 the Belgian road Championship. The municipality will contribute 30,000 euros per time trial championship and 250,000 euros per road championship for the organisation of the event.
In recent decades Binche has increasingly profiled itself as a cycling community. For example, the city is the permanent start and finish of the one-day race Binche-Chimay-Binche, but it was also the start of the Flèche Wallonne in 2013 and 2017 and of the third stage in the Tour de France in 2019.
“We are very pleased that we have signed an agreement with Belgian Cycling for four Belgian elite championships,” said Mayor Laurent Devin. “We are proud of our cycling city. We have also submitted our application to the ASO for a new start of the Waalse Pijl. We will do the same for the start of a stage of the Tour de Wallonia within ten years and we hope to have the Tour de France start here by 2030.”
In 2018 Binche also had the honour of organising the Belgian Cycling Championships. Annelies Dom and Yves Lampaert took the champion jerseys at the time on a sloping course with a few cobblestone sections. It is not yet known what the course will look like in the coming years. What is certain is that the Grote Markt will once again be the starting and finishing place.
Tour’19 start in Binche:
The Danish organisation of the World Cycling Championships reserved for journalists continues to work at full capacity and the city of Vejle is preparing to host competitors from all over the world. The health situation is improving and covid is regressing across Europe, however normal precautions must also be observed at the WPCC. While waiting for Europe to complete the regulation for the GreenPass, with this link you can get more information for access in Denmark
The 21st edition of the World Press Cycling Championship will take place from August 19th – 22nd in Vejle, Denmark, the location that will host one of the stages of the Grand Départ for Tour de France 2022. The event will be organised as in previous editions on three competitions: sprint, time trial and road race.
Register for the championship at https://wpcc2021.dk/, where you will also find all the information on competitions and how to organise your stay.
Looking forward to seeing you in Vejle in August!
Giro d’Italia Awards: ‘The Oscars of the 2021 Corsa Rosa’
Two weeks after the finale of the Giro d’Italia’s 104th edition, RCS Sport launches the Giro d’Italia Awards to choose, together with all the fans, the best moments of the 2021 Corsa Rosa.
Starting from 11.00 CEST Wednesday, 15 June, the Giro d’Italia community will be able to vote on the official Instagram channel of the Giro d’Italia, via stories. Over a 24 hour period, fans will be able to place their votes across 12 categories, with 4 nominees to choose from in each. Following this first vote, the two finalists in each category will be announced. From Wednesday 16 until 23 June, voting for finalist nominees will then take place. The winners will be revealed on 24 June in a celebration of the very best of the toughest race in the world’s most beautiful place.
The 12 Categories and the 4 Nominees:
Best Protagonist Rider
Egan Bernal, Simon Yates, Damiano Caruso, Peter Sagan
Daniel Martinez, Pello Bilbao, Daniel Oss, Mikel Nieve
Ineos Grenadiers, Team Qhubeka Assos, Israel Start-Up Nation, Bahrain Victorious
Alberto Bettiol, Daniel Martin, Taco van der Horn, Gino Mader
Best Summit Finish
Zoncolan, Sega di Ala, Alpe di Mera, Alpe Motta
Novara (Tim Merlier), Termoli (Caleb Ewan), Foligno (Peter Sagan), Verona (Giacomo Nizzolo)
Best 2021 Revelation Rider
Victor Lafay, Attila Valter, Tobias Foss, Lorenzo Fortunato
Edoardo Affini (Stage 13), Egan Bernal (Stage 16), Simon Yates (Stage 19), Damiano Caruso (Stage 20)
Best Team Spirit
Damiano Caruso thanks Pello Bilbao on Stage 20, Daniel Martinez encourages Egan Bernal on the climb of Sega di Ala, Vincenzo Albanese stops at 3km from the finish to watch his teammate Fortunato win on the Zoncolan, Joao Almeida stops to wait for Remco Evenepoel in difficulty on the dirt road of the Brunello di Montalcino Wine Stage
Amore Infinito Prize
Vincenzo Nibali starts and finishes the entire Giro despite his wrist injury, Attila Walter loses and kisses the Maglia Rosa in Campo Felice, Alessandro De Marchi wears his first Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal takes off his rain jacket to win in the Maglia Rosa in Cortina
The Most Spectacular Stage
The dirt road of Campo Felice, the gravel roads of the Brunello di Montalcino Wine Stage, the climb of Sega di Ala, the climb to Alpe Motta
Best Host City Dressing
Notaresco and the sky of pink umbrellas, Canazei and the big Trofeo Senza Fine, Milan and its “90 Anni Maglia Rosa” projections, Bagno di Romagna with its 103 front pages of the Gazzetta dello Sport display
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM Joins the Tour de France Caravan
The AG2R CITROËN TEAM will be present in the publicity caravan for the first time during this 108th edition of the Tour de France. This project, born from the common will of the team and its title partners, aims to promote the new identity and strengthen the link between the AG2R CITROËN TEAM and the fans of the Tour de France. This 2021 edition will be special because it will mark the return of the Grande Boucle to its more usual summer dates and also because once again there will be spectators on the roadside. Consequently, the team would like to participate in the celebrations generated by the promotional caravan.
Two vehicles: a Citroën C5 Aircross PHEV and a Jumper equipped with a Caselani Type H kit in the team’s colors will travel the roads of France. Accompanying the cars will be five caravanners who will bring the values and friendliness of the team loud and clear to the spectators.
The number: 100,000
This is the number of sponge bracelets that our five caravanners will distribute to spectators throughout the 3,414 kilometres of the Tour de France. AG2R CITROËN TEAM has chosen to offer a useful object, reusable by everyone and for all activities. This sponge bracelet has a small pocket with a zipper, ideal for securing your keys while hiking, cycling or any other activity. In addition to these bracelets, 5,000 replica team jerseys will be distributed.
A team close to the fans
We have a varied, dynamic, and expert team that will meet the spectators on the side of the roads. Several French territories will be represented: the experienced Nicolas, 31, caravan leader comes from Paris, two animators, Adrien, 32, and Maylis, 25, come from Isère and Savoie. They will be the voices of this caravan. And finally, Xavier, 39, from Île-de-France and Laurie, 36, from Isère, each with several Tours de France to their credit, will complete this first AG2R CITROËN TEAM caravan.
“We are very proud to participate in this project, the result of joint work between the team, CITROËN and AG2R LA MONDIALE. It’s true, the caravan is the travelling emblem of the Tour de France, but our brand had never been present there. This is a great opportunity to strengthen the proximity of the team and our brand to the public,” explained Emmanuel Chazalet, Deputy Director of Communications
at AG2R LA MONDIALE.
“For our first participation in the Tour de France, it seems essential to us to forge strong links with all the enthusiasts who follow the race throughout its course. Also, participating in the caravan in the colors of the AG2R CITROËN TEAM is a great opportunity to bring the team closer to the public and hold high our colours and Citroën’s values”, says Laurent Barria, CITROËN Marketing and Communication Director.
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