Happy birthday to the greatest cyclist of all time. Eddy Merckx turned 75 years-old on Wednesday – Top Story. A full EUROTRASH Thursday: New name for Ineos? Crash for Niki Terpstra and Damiano Cunego recovering. Tour talk from Mollema, Voeckler and Dumoulin. Race news: Italian, Slovenian and French champs, Milan-Turin new finish and Vendée canceled. Deceuninck – Quick-Step and AG2R-La Mondial training camps. More Tour news: 5,000 fans roadside, Tour teams announced by Jumbo-Visma, Bora-Hansgrohe and Arkea-Samsic. Poels for the Ardennes, Zakarin wins in Cyprus, Hinault with Mavic, Ganna dreams of Roubaix, two more years for Greipel and Mollema, cyclo-cross World Cup in Rome, D’Hoore and Majerus extend, new sponsor for Bigla-Katusha and Madiot to take legal action against Bruyneel. Coffee time!
TOP STORY: Happy 75th Birthday to Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx can be considered the best cyclist of all time. He won the big three Tours, Worlds and almost all the classics on the calendar. There has been no other rider like him. The Cannibal had an insatiable hunger that made him start every race as the main favourite. Merckx left nothing for the others. He raced from the beginning to the end to the year, like no riders do now.
Born into a middle-class family, at 16 he obtained his first race license, and four months later he took his first victory. He left his studies and at 20 years-old he had already turned professional and won Milan-San Remo with the Peugeot team. He started in a total of 1,800 races during his life, of which he won 535 (445 as a professional).
The Belgian conquered the Tour de France five times (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974), the same number of times in the Giro d’Italia. The pink jersey was his in 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974. “My determination and willingness to work hard came from my father. He worked tirelessly to build his business. He was strict with discipline, but he was also a bit of a philosopher. I have always been reminded of his words throughout my life. From my mother, I have a softer side. An example of this is the fact that I often find it difficult to say no to people,” said the champion after retiring.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) would distinguish him as the best cyclist of the 20th century. In 1972 he was encouraged to go for the Hour Record. He wanted to match the best riders on the planet who had already conquered the Hour before, such as Coppi and Anquetil. He took it in Mexico with a record that remained until 1984, when Francesco Moser would lower it with modern equipment. In 1975 he began the twilight of his career. For the first time, Thévenet defeated him and he was second on the podium in Paris. He was no longer the strongest, although a year later he would achieve his seventh victory in the Classicisima in a record that no one has yet equaled to date.
After having achieved everything, on May 18, 1978 he announced the end of his reign. Today, Eddy is still linked to cycling and there is a bicycle company that bears his name, admired and congratulated by today’s greatest cyclists: Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Tom Boonen, plus Belgian sports stars like Eden Hazard, Kim Clijsters or Vincent Kompany congratulated the best rider.
“I just want to tell you how much I respect everything you have accomplished, on and off the bike. It is admirable. Have a great day and enjoy it,” British cyclist Chris Froome, who dreams of achieving the fifth title, like Merckx. Froome congratulated Merckx through the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
Other Belgian sports stars joined in wishing Merckx well on his birthday: player-coach Vincent Kompany, cyclist Tom Boonen, tennis player Kim Clijsters and the Belgian striker for Real Madrid Eden Hazard, who defined Merckx as “the greatest of the greatest.” 2012 Tour winner, Bradley Wiggins said: “You are our hero, you are a hero to so many. You are an icon of sport and, above all, you are an absolute gentleman. Have a great day.”
Team Ineos is Considering a Name Change for the Tour de France
Will Team Ineos start in the Tour de France under the name Grenadier at the end of August? The team of defending champion Egan Bernal is considering the change to market the new terrain car of Ineos Automotive, a subsidiary of the main sponsor.
Jim Ratcliffe, the top boss of chemical company Ineos, is known to be a car enthusiast. A few months after the last classic Land Rover Defender was produced, the businessman announced that he wanted to keep the all-terrain vehicle alive. Three years ago, he set up Ineos Automotive as a subsidiary to develop a replacement for the classic Land Rover Defender: The Grenadier.
According to Italy’s TuttobiciWeb, Ineos think the Tour de France is the ideal stage to showcase its new all-terrain vehicle before it hits the market in 2021. The idea would be to start Bernal, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and their teammates in the French three-week race in new colours and under a new name.
Will we see Ineos at the Tour?
Niki Terpstra In Intensive Care After Serious Crash
Niki Terpstra is in hospital after a heavy fall in training. “He is not in mortal danger, but will need time to recover from this,” his wife Ramona said via Instagram.
It is not yet known exactly how bad the 36-year-old rider is. “Niki fell hard today during training,” said his wife. “He’s in the hospital and will have to stay here for a few days. He is not in mortal danger, but it will take time to recover.”
Terpstra crashed on a dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad and was transported to hospital by trauma helicopter. There he would be in intensive care with a collapsed lung, a concussion, broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
The winner of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders had bad luck in the past seasons. As defending champion he crashed heavily in the Tour of Flanders last year, so had to miss Paris-Roubaix a week later. He also sustained a shoulder injury in the Tour de France after another crash.
Terpstra’s wife informed Het Nieuwsblad that the accident happened during a training ride behind the scooter, together with two more riders. Geese suddenly crossed the road. “In an effort to avoid a collision, he dived at high speed, got off the road and flew into a deep ditch through the embankment where he ended up with his chest full against a boulder,” said Ramona. “Fortunately, they are all things that are not irreparable. He was ventilated to allow the collapsed lung to recover.”
Not had much luck since he left Lefevere:
Damiano Cunego Recovers from Meningitis
Former Giro winner Damiano Cunego (38) has been hospitalised with meningitis. The Italian explained on his Instagram page.
“Good evening everyone, after a long week in hospital i decided to post my first smiling (finally) photo. I had an infection in the cerebral ventricle that at the moment stopped me from my activities. The magnificent Staff of Verona neurosurgery And especially Doctor Soda are following me in the daily antibiotic therapy that I will have to do for 3/4 next weeks. Fortunately everything will be fine but I need a long period of theraphy in hospital and return to the best Damiano ever. I will be back soon…in bike obviously.” Cunego retired from cycling two years ago.
Bauke Mollema: “It can be an unpredictable Tour”
Bauke Mollema expects an unpredictable Tour de France this autumn according to the Trek-Segafredo leader speaking to Bureau Sport. “Everyone has had different preparations and there are very few race days for the Tour.”
Mollema says that the opening stages in and around Nice will have no secrets for him, since as a resident of Monaco he lives near the French coastal town and therefore trains there a lot. “I am also going to explore the other stages, at the beginning of August around the Tour de l’Ain and other races,” said the winner of last year’s Tour of Lombardy.
“I am busy preparing to ride for a classification in the Tour. I’m looking forward to it. The Tour has always been a special race for me and it will be difficult, because the field of participants is going to be super strong. It can also be an unpredictable Tour. Everyone has had a different preparation and it is difficult to compare with other years, there are also very few competition days for the Tour. It does have something,” said Mollema, who is also planning for the Vuelta a España.
“It is difficult to estimate whether that is positive or negative for me. In general, I am in good shape in Autumn, but then you have many races in your legs. I don’t know if that makes a difference. That uncertainty is there. I do have confidence in the season. I think it looks good how the situation has changed compared to two months ago. Everywhere measures are being relaxed and people are thinking ahead.”
Mollema goes well in the autumn:
Thomas Voeckler: “Strength of Ineos and Jumbo-Visma scares other teams”
Thomas Voeckler is less than happy that Ineos and Jumbo-Visma are going to the Tour de France with several leaders this year. “The fact that two teams protrude above the field frightens other teams,” the French national team coach told France TV Sport.
“Team Ineos has four potential winners and Jumbo-Visma has three,” said Voeckler, who expects the battle between the British and Dutch teams to have consequences for the tension in the Tour. “It can keep the Tour close until deep in the final.”
The former cyclist also expects a lot from the French this year. “Who says that Thibaut Pinot cannot win is not objective. If we look at his level last year… Thibaut is not the favourite, but he belongs to the group of favourites,” according to Voeckler. “And the fact that Romain Bardet had a bad year does not mean that he is not ready. He is only 29 years old and has a good team in his service. Julian Alaphilippe will not go for the rankings, even though I think he can.”
Thomas Voeckler in Tour yellow:
Dilemma for Tom Dumoulin: Vuelta or Amstel Gold Race?
The Vuelta or the Ardennes classics? Jumbo-Visma and Tom Dumoulin have not yet made the decision. “Focus on the Tour first. We’ll see after that,” says Merijn Zeeman in a podcast on the team website.
“Whether Tom Dumoulin and Primož Roglič race the Vuelta? We will keep that option open,” Merijn Zeeman, sports director at Jumbo-Visma, broaches the subject. “As far as Tom is concerned, it is a consideration – after his injury – to opt for extra competition kilometres. That could certainly be an option. On the other hand, he also has a lot of feeling for Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”
Jumbo-Visma also wanted Roglič to ride the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the first time this year. “But now that the program has been rearranged and he will have far fewer race kilometres than planned, we would also like to wait and see how we approach it. But initially all attention will go to the Tour and we will postpone the decision whether or not to drive the Vuelta.”
We’ve not seen much of Tom Dumoulin in the Jumbo-Visma kit:
Italian Road Championship on August 23
The Italian Cycling Federation has set the date of the National road championship on Sunday 23 August. In recent weeks, much has been said about the Italian autumn calendar, but the UCI stuck to the weekend of August 22-23 for the national championships.
Especially for Milan-San Remo, there was a lot of lobbying to organise it on August 22, but the UCI did not go along with the idea. La Primavera will now be held on August 8, followed by the Tour of Lombardy on August 15. The road championships are now scheduled a week later: the time trial on Friday 21 August and the road race on Sunday the 23rd.
The race through the provinces of Vicenza and Padua is co-organised by Filippo Pozzato. Bassano del Grappa is the start of the time trial (38.8 km) and the road race (254 km), while Cittadella receives the finish both times. The climb of the Rosina is the forerunner in both championships. The Rosina must be climbed no less than eleven times in the road race, in total that course is good for 2,700 altimeters.
Davide Formolo is the current Italian road champion, while Filippo Ganna holds the time trial title.
2019 champ Davide Formolo:
Roglič Vs Pogačar in Slovenian Championship
It was expected, but Jumbo-Visma has officially confirmed that Primož Roglič will start along side Tadej Pogačar in the national Slovenian championship on Sunday.
The early time of the Slovenian championship is remarkable, because the UCI originally only allowed races from 1 July. The first WorldTour races will only be completed in August. But the Slovenian cycling federation insisted on organising its national championship in June, now that all the top riders are in the country. The UCI gave its approval.
The top riders will be there on Sunday. Pogačar previously confirmed his participation, and now Roglič has also announced his participation through his team Jumbo-Visma team. The two can really make a fight of it, because the 146-kilometre title battle ends with a final climb of five kilometres with an average gradient of 8%.
Roglič and Pogačar will be in battle on Sunday:
Plumelec Says No to French Championship in 2020
The French championships will not take place this year in Plumelec. The mayor previously questioned such an event in his city, but now the city council has made the decision and decided that there will definitely not be a French championship in Plumelec.
Mayor Hamon thought it was too premature to set a date for the French road championship. “So far, concerns and priorities have been in managing the health crisis. Their future is uncertain for many companies and measures are being extended further for the elderly.” Hamon called for the championship to be postponed.
“It is forbidden until 1 September to organise events with more than 5,000 spectators. The French Championship is an event with more than five thousand spectators. So the title battle cannot take place in August, so don’t be mistaken about that.” The city council is also not looking forward to a cycling event from August 20-23.
The city councillors see too many economic and organisational objections, while they are also afraid of a new outbreak of the corona virus. However, the French cycling union refuses to throw in the towel and is already looking for an alternative location for the national championships. The federation wants to remain in the Morbihan region. “We are working on an alternative plan to organise the cycling event from 20 to 23 August,” they said in a press release. The French cycling federation expects to get clarity this weekend.
The French championships may take place in Sarzeau, Ouest France reports. The mayor of the Bay of Biscay village is none other than UCI President David Lappartient. A final decision is likely to be made by Saturday, June 20.
2019 champ Barguil:
Milan-Turin Change Finish
Milan-Turin will probably not end with the climb of the Superga this year. The final phase is said to be flat and the finish line will be just outside Turin, this is in preparation for Milan-San Remo, three days later.
According to the Italian newspaper L’Eco del Chisone, Milan-Turin finishes in the suburb of Stupinigi, at the Palazzina di Caccia hunting lodge, ten kilometres outside Turin. It is alleged that it has been leaked in recent days by the organiser, RCS Sport, that the finish this season is not on the Superga climb. By giving the final to the sprinters, the ancient race will be important preparation for Milan-San Remo.
The Gran Piemonte finished in Stupinigi two years ago. In a rainy edition, Sonny Colbrelli put the semi-Classic to his name. The Italian settled the sprint with Florian Sénéchal and Davide Ballerini. Michael Woods won the hundredth edition of Milan-Turin last year. On the steep final climb to the Basilica of Superga, the Canadian attacked impressively from the group of favourites. Alejandro Valverde was in second, Adam Yates third.
Milan-Turin is on the calendar for Wednesday, August 5.
Woods won in 2019:
Tour de Vendée 2020 Canceled
The 49th Tour de Vendée, the French semi-classic 1.1 on the UCI calendar, will be postponed to next year. The one-day race, which normally forms part of the Coupe de France, was on the agenda for Sunday 4 October.
The organising committee announced the decision via social media. “An extraordinary decision, but one that can be justified. From an economic point of view: our partners have been hit by the crisis. We are in solidarity with them, hoping to have them by our side again next year.”
“Not unimportant either: in the context of the continuation of our competition, we wanted to make this decision before the summer. Then it is still too early today to judge whether we can guarantee the safety of riders, volunteers and the public in October. Next year we will make an appointment for the 49th edition and in 2022 we will celebrate the 50th Tour de Vendée.”
Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ) beat Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) in Vendee’19:
Deceuninck – Quick-Step Venture Out to Recon Gent-Wevelgem
The Wolfpack meet in the Flemish Ardennes to plan the second part of the year.
Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, Davide Ballerini, Sam Bennett, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Remco Evenepoel, Fabio Jakobsen, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Michael Mørkøv, Florian Sénéchal, Pieter Serry, Stijn Steels, Jannik Steimle, Zdenek Stybar, and Bert Van Lerberghe, together with several staff members, have all gathered in Belgium this week to prepare the Classics.
Before attending the training camp, everyone was tested by Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s medical team for COVID-19, as part of the team’s highly structured internal protocol, which will be in place throughout the week and see everyone respect the health rules that will be implemented for the remaining of the season.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been together. It’s going to be strange, but it was time to start again. Every rider followed his individual program, some outside, some on their Tacx, but now the time has come to work together and get again that team feeling”, explained sports director Tom Steels. “It’s good that the guys are back together and they get to see each other, they needed to be with the group, as it’s good for their morale. It also gives us an opportunity to see some of the measures that will be implemented once the season resumes, but also to do a recon of the cobbled Classics parcours, which will be a bit strange to do in the summer.”
The team’s last outing in a classic before the season was stopped came at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where 25-year-old Kasper Asgreen rode to glory after an astonishing show of strength and mental power. The Danish powerhouse was the first to arrive in Belgium on Monday and he didn’t waste any time.
“These last few months have been quite boring, so I was looking forward to this training camp and seeing everybody again. As soon as I came, I went for a spin and rode up the Oude Kwaremont. It was really fun to be there and it brought back memories of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, where we split the field on that great day.”
“You know, after this long break, it feels like going into a new season. It’s nice to be with the guys and work towards August, although I don’t like the rain which welcomed us here upon arrival, as I had the same weather back in Denmark. The calendar is very crowded now, so it will be about timing your shape to be good in general, not just for a couple of races”, concluded Kasper Asgreen.
Tuesday was the first day that the large Deceuninck – Quick-Step contingent in Belgium hit the roads for a 210km recon of Gent-Wevelgem, the prestigious cobbled Classics which is set to take place on October 11. Divided into two groups, the riders took on the famous plugstreets and the iconic Kemmelberg, although there were also some unfamiliar roads, as Yves Lampaert pointed out.
“A lot of things have changed in the parcours and getting to know these new roads should help us in October. It felt a bit strange to go out on this route in June, but I must say I enjoyed it, especially as I did it with my teammates, whom I missed so much.”
“As Yves said, on the day of the race knowing the roads can make a big difference, so we can be happy with our day out on the bike. It was both tough, but also fun, because we got to take our Specialized bikes for a nice spin, test ourselves and just spend some relaxing time together. Gent-Wevelgem is a beautiful race that I like a lot – when I have good legs – and I am glad I could do this test”, added Irish Champion Sam Bennett.
AG2R-La Mondiale Pro Cycling Team Training camps
The AG2R-La Mondiale Pro Cycling Team is preparing to resume the season on August 1st. Over the next few weeks, five camps are scheduled to take place. We will hold a training camp at Chambon-sur-Lignon for the 12 riders preselected to take part in the Tour de France. Then at Vaujany, in Oisans, which has been our partner since 2016, and then finally we will have camps at Lautaret and Val d ‘Isère, in order to prepare properly at altitude. These camps will comply completely with the sanitary regulations and precautions that have been validated by the head of our medical personnel, Dr. Eric Bouvat. The dates for when our riders will return to competition will be finalised at the end of the week.
June 23-29 Chambon sur Lignon. Team building camp for Tour de France pre-selected:
Romain BARDET, François BIDARD, Mikaël CHEREL, Benoit COSNEFROY, Tony GALLOPIN, Alexis GOUGEARD, Pierre LATOUR, Oliver NAESEN, Aurélien PARET-PEINTRE, Nans PETERS, Clément VENTURINI, Alexis VUILLERMOZ.
July 1-10 Vaujany (Oisans). Training camp for the classics team:
Silvan DILLIER, Julien DUVAL, Dorian GODON, Alexis GOUGEARD, Lawrence NAESEN, Oliver NAESEN, Harry TANFIELD, Stijn VANDENBERGH
July 13-23 Vaujany (Oisans):
Clément CHAMPOUSSIN, Clément CHEVRIER, Axel DOMONT, Mathias FRANK, Ben GASTAUER, Alexandre GENIEZ, Quentin JAUREGUI, Andréa VENDRAME, Larry WARBASSE
July 8-23 Lautaret. Altitude:
François BIDARD, Geoffrey BOUCHARD, Tony GALLOPIN, Jaako HANNINEN, Aurélien PARET-PEINTRE, Clément VENTURINI
July 12-26 Val d’Isère. Altitude:
Romain BARDET, Mikaël CHEREL, Benoit COSNEFROY, Pierre LATOUR, Nans PETERS, Alexis VUILLERMOZ
Vincent Lavenu: “We are pleased, for the general public and for our sport, to see that the infection numbers of the Covid-19 epidemic continue to decrease. Today we can set up a coherent training schedule and competition program even if uncertainties are still hanging over some races and whether they can take place. The riders and staff of the AG2R-LA MONDIALE team have continuously managed to adapt to the situation during this complicated period. They have all remained focused with an impeccable civic and professional attitude. We are going to attack the restarting of this unusual season with big sporting ambitions and a lot of enthusiasm. Our training camp program will give us the chance to rediscover the group life and the team spirit that we have missed, while still respecting all health guidelines. We are now impatiently awaiting the first camp that will be with the 12 riders pre-selected to participate in the Tour.”
Jean-Baptiste Quiclet, Performance director: “During the health crisis, the riders trained, but without any real focus, due to the lack of competition. They invested a lot of effort. With the month of July approaching, and the organisation of races being announced, we are getting closer to the usual targeted preparations according to each racer’s objectives and profiles. The goal is to be ready on August 1 with a level fairly close to optimal form where any minor adjustments can still be made, except for the group that will compete in the Giro.
The three and a half months of competition will be special with little time for recovery until October 25th. It will be necessary for the riders to surf their form and to string together the events with good motivation.”
In recent weeks, the AG2R LA MONDIALE team has extended the contracts of 6 riders :
– Geoffrey BOUCHARD (2 years)
– Benoit COSNEFROY (3 years)
– Dorian GODON (2 years)
– Oliver NAESEN (3 years)
– Aurélien PARET-PEINTRE (2 years)
– Alexis VUILLERMOZ (1 year).
Training camps for AG2R-La Mondiale:
France Wants to Admit 5,000 Fans in August
French Sport Minister Roxana Maracineanu has spoken out about admitting spectators to sports competitions and other major events. The government has yet set a limit of 5,000 people. That should be possible from August 22, when the French football season starts again. The Tour de France starts a week later.
Maracineanu says the number of 5,000 spectators can still be adjusted once it is known how the development of the coronavirus continues. “We will ensure that, if the health situation permits, those numbers can increase,” said the minister.
“We are mainly concerned with the way in which supporters reach the stadium, with which means of transport,” Maracineanu said to AFP news agency. She especially wants to avoid busy (traffic) flows in public transport and other public areas.
The extent to which these relaxed measures have consequences for the Tour de France and the admission of visitors at the start, finish and en route is not specified. Still, the plan to allow spectators back can be seen as a good signal for the followers of the Tour.
Fans at the Tour:
George Bennett Replaces Laurens De Plus in Jumbo-Visma Tour Team
Jumbo-Visma has changed the selection for the Tour de France. George Bennett will replace the still not fully fit Laurens de Plus, CyclingOpinions reported.
Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk, Wout van Aert, Robert Gesink, Sepp Kuss, Tony Martin and George Bennett will start in the Tour de France. Mike Teunissen is currently the first reserve.
Laurens de Plus has not yet sufficiently recovered from stomach problems. The Belgian had to give up during the UAE Tour due to stomach complaints. He will now focus on the Giro d’Italia, where sprinter Dylan Groenewegen is the leader. De Plus and Antwan Tolhoek will get a free role in the Giro team.
Tour for George Bennett:
Bora-Hansgrohe Tour 2020 Team
Bora-Hansgrohe has already finished its homework for the upcoming Tour de France. The German team starts with two leaders. Emanuel Buchmann has to ensure a good overall classification after his fourth place last year, Peter Sagan hopes to win his eighth green jersey.
Team DS Enrico Poitschke is looking forward to the upcoming edition of the Tour de France. “We start with a strong team. Emanuel is our man for the rankings. The goal is to be on the final podium with him. With Peter we want to make a bid for a new green jersey.”
Buchmann and Sagan must ensure the results, but it is also looking forward to someone like Maximilian Schachmann. The German all-rounder won Paris-Nice earlier this year and came second in the Volta ao Algarve. In the mountains, Buchmann can count on the support of Schachmann, Gregor Mühlberger, Felix Großschartner and the promising Lennard Kämna.
The selection also includes Lukas Pöstlberger and Daniel Oss. Both riders must be able to guide Peter Sagan through the hectic sprint finals and keep classification leader Buchmann out of trouble on the flat stages.
Bora-Hansgrohe for Tour de France (29 August-20 September)
Emanuel Buchmann (Ger)
Peter Sagan (Sk)
Gregor Mühlberger (Aust)
Lennard Kämna Ger)
Maximilian Schachmann (Ger)
Lukas Pöstlberger (Aust)
Felix Großschartner (Aust)
Daniel Oss (Ita).
Green again for Sagan?
Arkéa-Samsic Presents Tour Preselection
Arkéa-Samsic has announced its preselection for the Tour de France. In addition to leaders Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil, eleven other riders are included. Five of them still have to be lost to reach the final eight names.
A few weeks before the resumption of the season, Arkéa-Samsic have made a preselection for the Tour de France. The team currently has thirteen riders, from which five riders have to go. “Around our leaders Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil, we chose experienced riders and three young talents who can make their Tour debut: Clément Russo, Thibault Guernalec and Connor Swift,” said team manager Emmanuel Hubert.
Arkéa-Samsic had a good season start, as the team already won eight times in February and March. Leader Nairo Quintana put the final wins in both the Tour de La Provence and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. He also won a stage in both tours, just like in Paris-Nice. Nacer Bouhanni was also successful for the team, but will not go to the Tour. He thinks the course is too mountainous and will focus on other goals in 2020.
Arkéa Samsic preselection for the Tour de France 2020
Winner Anacona (Col)
Warren Barguil (Fra)
Maxime Bouet (Fra)
Anthony Delaplace (Fra)
Thibault Guernalec (Fra)
Romain Hardy (Fra)
Kévin Ledanois (Fra)
Łukasz Owsian (Pol)
Dayer Quintana (Col)
Nairo Quintana (Col)
Diego Rosa (Ita)
Clément Russo (Fra)
Connor Swift (GB).
A good start for Quintana:
After the Tour, Wout Poels Focuses on Climbers Classics
Wout Poels will ride Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Amstel Gold Race after the Tour de France (August 29-September 20), the 32-year-old climber of Bahrain McLaren told De Limburger.
Poels has good memories of the Ardennes Classics, especially Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He won an ice-cold edition of “La Doyenne” four years ago, by winning in a sprint with Michael Albasini and Rui Costa. The Dutchman will be at the start of the Tour de France first.
Poels hopes to complete an altitude training camp in Andorra before the Tour start in Nice. The Bahrain-McLaren rider will not be the main leader at the Tour, as the team will count on Mikel Landa, who has already managed top 10 in the Tour.
Ilnur Zakarin Best in Cyprus
Ilnur Zakarin raced last weekend in the ‘0-2000’ Cycling Challenge, a local climbing race in Cyprus. On the flanks of Mount Olympus, the CCC rider was more than a minute ahead of Andreas Miltiadis.
For Zakarin it was his first introduction to local competitions in Cyprus, he said on social media. “This ‘0-2000’ climbing race was really beautiful. An excellent organisation, many marshals and security personnel, bananas and water everywhere, spectators and great weather. I enjoyed it.”
Andreas Miltiadis, the current Cypriot road champion, ended up closest to the WorldTour rider. In the result he was 1:15 short. Zakarin: “A lot of respect for Andreas. It really was a competition, thanks for the fight. Moreover, it was my first race with my children as spectators.”
It was the ninth edition of the “0-2000” Cycling Challenge, the toughest and most challenging road race in Cyprus, according to the organisation. It starts from the seaside resort of Limassol, from there they race 63km from sea level to the top of Mount Olympus, which is 1,952 meters high.
Bernard Hinault Adviser on Mavic Rescue Plan
Bernard Hinault is making a significant contribution to saving Mavic, the bicycle parts manufacturer and partner of the Tour de France for 40 years, from destruction. The five-time Tour winner joined a group in early June that wants to take over the ailing company.
Hinault is part of the acquisition with Ronan Le Moal (former Arkéa CEO and several years involved with Arkéa-Samsic) and attorney Didier Poulmaire, according to L’Equipe. The Mavic takeover file has meanwhile been submitted and talks are ongoing, the parties involved report.
Hinault, 65, says he is happy to save Mavic. “It is a brand that has accompanied me all my career. Mavic is inseparable from cycling. They were always at the service of the riders in trouble, and now it’s my turn to put myself at the service of Mavic’s men and women,” said Hinault, who is a consultant on the rescue plan.
Hinault in the old days:
Filippo Ganna Dreams of winning in Paris-Roubaix
Winning Paris-Roubaix is high on Filippo Ganna’s wish list. The Ineos rider already won the U23 version of the cobblestone classic four years ago, but hopes to be the best among the pros eventually.
Despite all his successes against the clock, both on the track and on the road, Ganna’s heart is with the Classics, he said in an interview with Cycling Weekly. His childhood hero was Tom Boonen. But now that he rides in the pro peloton himself, he wants to write his own Classic story, by winning Paris-Roubaix.
In 2016, the Italian was already the best in the Under 23 version. At the time, he dropped a leading group in the final with a strong attack. With his time-trial skills, he took a half-minute lead. That turned out to be the decisive move, because no one could pull him back.
“I want to try it,” said Ganna about Paris-Roubaix. “I like the classics, but it is really difficult. You have to have a lot of experience, have the right legs and good luck, because with the cobblestones you can puncture or break your bike.”
Given his performance in the pursuit and against the clock, he has many possibilities. However, ambitions for the Grand Tours are still on the back burner. “The Tours are really tough. After a week-long stage-race like the Tirreno, I think, ‘Woah! How can the big boys keep racing for two weeks and get better and better?’ It seems impossible.”
If he still wants to focus on the Grand Tours, he seems to be in the right place with Team Ineos. Wiggins started on the track and adjusted his body to eventually win the Tour. The same goes for Thomas. “I don’t know if I can change, but next year I want to get better and make my body stronger. And if I’m done with that and the team asks, why not?”
Filippo Ganna in the Classics:
Two More Years for André Greipel
André Greipel may be 38 years-old this year, the experienced sprinter is not yet finished with cycling. Israel Start-Up Nation will have the German for another two years, he will sign a new contract with the WorldTour team until the end of 2022. This means that Greipel will continue until he is 40.
“To be honest, I expected the team to offer me a one-year contract extension,” said Greipel. “Of course I was very flattered and happy with the confidence of the team management. It was an easy decision to accept this offer. I am ready to continue my career and help the team grow.”
Team manager Kjell Carlström praises the experience and leadership qualities of Greipel, who came from Arkéa-Samsic last winter. “We appreciate the experience he adds to the team in terms of performance and guiding others. We would like to have him with us during the last years of his career. Hopefully we can still achieve many successes.”
Greipel is not afraid that he has lost the way to win as his last victory was in January 2019. Greipel says he has passed the corona break well and is looking forward to the restart of the season. Nothing is wrong with his confidence. “Of course I can still win! I am still able to achieve good results, but we all share that responsibility in this team.”
Two years more:
Bauke Mollema Extends Until the End of 2022 with Trek-Segafredo
Bauke Mollema (33) has a new contract with Trek-Segafredo and extended it for two years. The Dutch leader, who won the Tour of Lombardy last year, will remain with the American team until the end of the 2022 season. He joined the team in 2015.
“My biggest priority was renewing at Trek-Segafredo,” Mollema said. “Fortunately, the team felt exactly the same. I feel a lot of confidence from the team and the sponsors. We enjoyed great moments, but I still have great ambitions. The current structure gives me the confidence that I can continue to develop and continue to challenge as a rider.”
Team manager Luca Guercilena calls Mollema a valued and experienced leader. “He is a mainstay for Trek-Segafredo,” said the Italian. “He’s continuously achieves good results and his victory in the Tour of Lombardy was the icing on the cake. Bauke’s racing style suits our team, because he always keeps fighting. That is one of the reasons why we want to keep him with us in the coming years. To perform, to win and as a role model for our young riders.”
The autumn of 2020 promises to be a busy time for the man from Groningen. He will starts as a leader in the Tour de France, a role that he shares with Richie Porte. Then he focuses on the hilly classics and will also starts in the Vuelta a España.
Mollema has had ten victories with Trek-Segafredo in recent years, including impressive victories in the Clásica San Sebastián (2016), a stage in the Tour de France (2017) and the Giro di Lombardia (2019).
Mollema in Montreal:
Will the Cyclo-Cross World Cup Go to Rome?
Rome wants to organise a round of the cyclocross World Cup in the near future. According to Renato Di Rocco, the president of the Italian cycling federation, in Il Messaggero.
“Italy would like to host a World Cup cyclocross competition, and Rome is likely to host the event,” said Di Rocco. It is one of the ways for the Italian federation to further promote off-road cycling in the country. Di Rocco also points to major mountain bike and BMX competitions that the country hopes to host in the near future.
The last time the Cyclo-Cross World Cup took place in Italy was in the 2016-2017 season, when Fiuggi (an hour east of Rome) was the setting. At the time, Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos won on a slippery and muddy course.
Vam Aert in Fiuggi 2017:
D’Hoore and Majerus Extend Contracts with the SD Worx Cycling Team
Olympic champion Jolien D’Hoore has extended her contract with the current Boels-Dolmans team by one year. This means she will be riding for the new main sponsor SD Worx in the new Olympic year of 2021. Ten-time road champion Christine Majerus from Luxembourg is also staying with the team. Majerus is extending her contract by two years. Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen, European champion Amy Pieters, former world champion Chantal Blaak and Dutch talent Lonneke Uneken also previously extended their contracts with the best women’s cycling team in the world. They have all set the tone for what is to come.
Sporting Director Danny Stam has high expectations of D’Hoore. The 30-year-old rider from Ghent has already achieved 46 wins at the highest level: “Last year, Jolien suffered a broken collarbone and elbow, and this season she has not been able to prove herself yet because of the coronavirus pandemic. I know for sure that she is eager to excel next year in the colours of our main sponsor, SD Worx from Belgium. I am expecting a number of great wins from her on the road. She will focus on the Flemish events in the spring, and after April she will start working towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
“I didn’t hesitate when the team offered me a new contract,” Jolien D’Hoore says. “Even though I’m the only Belgian in this Dutch team, I have always felt right at home. I am proud that SD Worx will be our new main sponsor in the coming years. It is a large, well-known company that has Belgian roots like me. As a Belgian cyclist, I am hoping to put this sponsor in the spotlight. After the setbacks of 2019, I’m preparing to put in a good performance in the second half of 2020. I hope the races that were postponed due to the coronavirus can still go ahead this year. Of course, I’m now focusing on the Flemish events. They’re where I’m at my best. The classics feel like home to me.”
Jolien D’Hoore won the bronze medal for the omnium race event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. D’Hoore has also been very successful in the madison discipline with Lotte Kopecky in recent years. Together, they became European champions (2016) and world champions (2017) in this event. Stam would also like to see her compete in the omnium race event in Tokyo. “Now that the short, explosive parts have been removed from omnium racing, D’Hoore stands a very good chance of securing a medal. It has made it easier to transition from road racing to the track,” explains Stam.
D’Hoore herself says that her full focus will be on the madison: “My chances of a medal are greatest in the madison, so that discipline is my absolute priority. At the Olympics, we will see who is the strongest at that particular time – Lotte or myself – to compete in the omnium.”
Danny Stam is also pleased to keep Majerus (33) in the team. “Christine has been an invaluable asset to the team since 2014. She is an excellent team player and a true professional who is always willing to support others. And when she’s in a situation where she has a chance of winning, she’ll make that happen, too. Her victory at the Boels Ladies Tour last year is a perfect example of this. There’s also the fact that every winter, she finishes as one of the best in a large number of cyclo-cross events.”
Paule Ka to Become the Main Sponsor of the Team Until December 2024
We are extremely pleased to announce a long-term partnership with new main sponsor Paule Ka until the end of the 2024 season. The emblematic independent French fashion house will officially commence with us on 1 July 2020.
Paule Ka was founded in Paris in 1987, and will this year be a first-time supporter of professional women’s cycling. The brand’s premium pret-a-porter styles reach a global and loyal audience, thanks to its elegant designs and high quality of workmanship.
Paule Ka expects to expand its reach to a younger audience with the launch of its new line “Mademoiselle by Paule Ka” in early 2021.
The team will seek WorldTour status for the 2021 season onwards. It remains committed to continuing along its highly successful path of developing talent and establishing world-class riders within its ranks.
At the beginning of the 2020 season, the team announced itself as a force to be reckoned with in the peloton. In only 10 days of racing, it took no less than 4 wins and 18 top-tens in stages and races combined. We look forward to rewarding the trust and enthusiasm of Paule Ka, by not only continuing these formidable results, but also by embracing the daring and exciting racing style for which we have become renowned in the peloton.
“We are happy to support the team and its talented women in their pursuit of athletic achievements. Paule Ka, as a timeless yet modern brand, matches the Équipe’s continuity and dynamism as a competitor in the peloton.” – Matthias Thoma, Owner of Paule Ka.
“We are very excited to welcome Paule Ka as the new main partner of our team. This will be the first time that a fashion house will enter into women’s cycling, and as such, this is a ground-breaking event. It will provide our sport with a platform to showcase the beauty of cycling in a unique and modern way. With this partnership, the team will also be opening a new chapter. We are seeking a WorldTour license, and will be developing a masterclass project, in which we will be able to keep furthering the potential of the athletes that have gone through our development program. Overall, this is a good day not just for our team, but also for women’s cycling in general, and we are pleased that this venture will open up several new opportunities for our sport.” – Priska Doppmann Campana, Team CEO.
Marc Madiot to Take Legal Action After Statements by Johan Bruyneel
Marc Madiot plans to file charges against Johan Bruyneel. This is because of slander, after Bruyneel told an anecdote in HUMO last week about a race in which he saw the Frenchman receive a doping injection during a race.
Madiot, currently team boss at Groupama-FDJ, is not fond of that story, which was evident when France Bleu inquired about it with the two-time winner of Paris-Roubaix. Madiot has hired lawyers to prepare charges. The Frenchman did not want to respond.
The following passage is from Bruyneel’s interview: “I was a neopro and did a foreign tour. I was between the cars trying to get back to the peloton. At that time, the doping control was done through drawing lots that they announced the numbers halfway through the stage via RadioTour. Madiot went down to the car of Cyrille Guimard, heard that he was not being called (to the control), rolled up his sleeve and sat ‘une flechette’, as they said so beautifully, in his upper arm. He rode on and never batted an eye-lid. Those are the men who condemn me and Lance.”
The conversation in question, Bruyneel not only lashes out at Madiot, but also at his fellow countrymen Vincent Lavenu (current manager AG2R-La Mondiale) and Jean-René Bernaudeau (current manager Total Direct Energie). “When I hear them busy I think: do what you want, but be silent about doping. They continue to judge me on my past, but what they have been up to is forgiven, so to speak.” Bruyneel is banned for life.
Madiot might want to stop reading the papers:
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