There has been fireworks at the Tour de France and we catch-up with all the action with results, reports and video. Is Ineos playing a new game? – Top Story. Its not all Le Grande Boucle: News from the Adriatica Ionica Race, Juan Sebastian Molano returns, Deutschland Tour teams, La Course by Le Tour de France, Certizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, OVO Energy Tour of Britain time trial, Lotto Soudal altitude training, Deceuninck – Quick-Step sign Andrea Bagioli, Marco Minnaard retires, AG2R-La Mondiale contracts, two years for Odd Eiking, new riders for Dimension Data, Théo Delacroix stagiaire for Wanty-Gobert and Peter Sagan on TV. Big coffee time.
TOP STORY: Ineos Keeping Their Powder Dry?
Is it just me or are Sky…. er, Ineos not dominating the Tour de France in the way they used to? So far the Ineos team is in an excellent position at the halfway point of the 2019 Tour de France. The British formation may not have the yellow jersey, but leaders Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal are in second and third places overall without doing very much. “This is the best scenario for us,” said team manager Dave Brailsford at the rest day press conference.
Normally, Sky (Ineos) would have had their top man put in a big attack and then the team would defend the lead which would be consolidated in the individual time trial, but this year the team has not been seen on the front of the peloton that much. Both Thomas and Bernal came out of the first week intact. After ten stages, the Briton is in second place at 1:12 to overall leader Julian Alaphilippe. The young Colombian, Bernal, follows at four seconds to his teammate. Both riders managed to grab time on the echelon stage 10 to Albi.
“At the moment we only have Alaphilippe in front of us in the rankings,” concludes Brailsford. “This reduces the need to attack. That is something to take into account in the continuation of the Tour.” The team boss hints at a defensive race tactic. “We can race a little more conservatively.” So a change in tactics?
How does the reigning Tour winner, Thomas, look at the rest of the Tour? “It is now a good idea to hold onto the lead,” he said. “We only have one goal: to win the Tour. Other teams are also busy sprinting and attacking. That’s a big difference.” So maybe no change then.
Geraint Thomas did make a move on stage 6, but was that to sort the team pecking order?
Tour de France 2019
Wout van Aert claimed his first Tour de France stage victory in Albi, the fourth for Jumbo-Visma and the third for Belgian riders, at the end of an eventful Stage 10 to Albi. A lot of damage was done by Team Ineos as they managed to split the bunch into pieces in the crosswinds and gained a lot of time on Thibaut Pinot, Jakob Fuglsang, Richie Porte and Mikel Landa, considering that it was a fairly flat stage. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey.
Six riders in the lead
171 riders took the start of stage 10 in Saint-Flour. Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) was first to attack right after the flag off as he was determined to win in his hometown of Albi but he was reined in and another group managed to take off, composed of five riders: Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Natnael Berhane (Cofidis), Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) and Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Gobert). Michael Schär (CCC), the most aggressive rider of stage 4, bridged the gap at km 12 to make it a six-man breakaway that satisfied the peloton. Sprinters teams, namely Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Lotto Soudal and Jumbo-Visma maintained the time difference below three minutes until it reached 3:05 with 140km to go.
Action in the crosswind
73km before the end, Team Ineos and Bora-Hansgrohe profited from a strong side wind to put the hammer down. It brought the gap down quickly. The time difference was only 25 seconds at the bottom of the Côte de La Malric (km 164.5) but the peloton slowed down up the hill and the advantage of the six leaders was back to two minutes with 50km to go. As a consequence of this hard racing, Calmejane was among the riders in difficulty as the Tour de France entered the Tarn province he hails from. Another strong action 33km before the finish split the peloton in three with George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma), fourth on GC, trapped in the third part.
Pinot and Fuglsang lose 1:40, Landa 2:08
25km before the end, the six escapees got swallowed by the yellow jersey group led by riders from Ineos and Movistar while Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Richie Porte and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) were trapped in a second group and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) in the third peloton. The Pinot-Fuglsang group was 20 seconds behind with 20km to go and 15 seconds behind with 15km to go. Mikel Landa (Movistar) was hampered by a mechanical. Ineos and Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept pulling at the front and the gap increased significantly in the last 15km. On the finishing line, after Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) pipped Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) on the line with Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) in third place, the deficit of the Pinot-Fuglsang group was 1:40 and Landa completed the stage 2:08 after the yellow jersey peloton that included defending champion Geraint Thomas and his team-mate Egan Bernal.
See more photos and the full ‘PEZ Race Report’ HERE.
Stage winner, Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I can’t believe it. It’s not easy to win here. Over the past ten days I have experienced how great this race is. To win during my Tour debut is great. Today, everything falls into place for me. The fact that echelons were created, was not ideal for us. Both Dylan and George were not with us. Though it gave me an opportunity and I took it. I started the sprint from afar. Viviani came up strong, but in the end I could take the win. This shows how strong we are as a team. In addition to the team time trial, we’ve also won three sprints with three different riders. I hope it also gives Steven, our leader for the GC, a boost.”
Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The crosswinds made everything really nervous, but we knew we had to stay alert and did a great job together. The entire team was at the front and went full gas to try to win the stage with Elia. We didn’t take the victory, but we rode like a great squad today and we can be proud of that. On the other hand, I kept my lead in the classification and Enric moved up several places, so we can be pretty satisfied with the outcome. It was an interesting, action-packed stage, but now I’m glad we’ll finally have a rest day.”
5th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a very nervous day with lots of crosswinds and continuous attacks. You had to stay focused and alert every single kilometer of the stage. I think we did a good job, Emu and Patrick finished in the leading bunch and gained some time. As expected, we had a fast sprint finish. It was a bit tense but still, my fifth place and the points in the intermediate sprint maintain my lead in the points classification.”
6th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “Sven helped me in the sprint to put me in a good position, but it was difficult to break into the trains of the other teams. I was a little bit far behind and they launched the sprint from far back, but I was just missing that bit of power to be that little bit closer.”
9th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “When the echelons hit, there were three of us, Romain, Mika, and me. We stayed alert. It would have been a mistake to push at the front because we would not have taken more time. We just kept a watch on Romain’s placement. Finally, everything was cool. There were lots of guys in front so we had to keep it in perspective. What happened today was not an extraordinary feat. And my 9th place is just anecdotal.”
5th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Big thanks to all my teammates, they did a tremendous job today. They always kept an eye on me and Patrick and made sure to place us to the front before they made an important move. Everything turned out splendidly and I’m very happy I was able to gain some time on a number of the main GC contenders. Still, we have to be very cautious, the real GC battle will start at the end of this week and nothing has been decided yet. It is, certainly, good to start with an advantage and I look forward to the first mountain stages on the Pyrenees.”
9th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “Even from the first kilometer it was stressful. Everybody knew with the wind it was dangerous and when you have over 200km when it can happen at any moment, you always need a bit of good luck to be in the front. I was always in the top-20 and it was a fight to be there. When Deceuninck and Ineos made the move, Sven came up to me and worked in the wind and brought me to the front. Jasper was there too which was perfect for the sprint. Anything can happen on any day of the Tour and today for us was a good day. We were really focused to make the splits so it’s a really nice way to go into the rest day.”
15th overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We knew that the conditions could be tricky because this is not the type of stage you expect to start making big differences. The stage was nervous all day but I knew how to stay relaxed. The team was very close. When the echelons hit, I was with Oliver and Mika, and it went very well. I was the worst placed of the favorites at the start, and I simply followed the flow. These kind of stages can sometimes make big differences. This is why the Tour de France is so difficult. There are 21 stages and it is hard to target one when shooting for the overall standings.”
KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “Had I been told before the Tour de France that I’d be wearing a distinctive jersey at the time of the first rest, I would have signed up for it. It’s a very nice feeling. In the past I struggled when it was very hot, that’s why I went to Dubai to test some equipment, drinks and supplements. It helps me really. I hope to have the legs to go in breakaways in the Pyrenees and score more points.”
Michael Valgren (Dimension Data): “It was good for us to have Roman up there in the front group. He has been consistent and riding well all week and now he is in the top 20 overall. That’s a nice little boost of confidence heading into the rest day.”
Tour de France Stage 10 Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:49:39
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
7. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
8. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 10:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 43:27:15
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:12
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:46
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:47
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:04
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 2:09
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:33.
First Rest Day:
Julian Alaphilippe: “It’s special to wear yellow after the first rest day”
Eight years have passed since the last time a Frenchman went into Le Tour’s first rest day with the yellow jersey on his shoulders. At that time, Julian Alaphilippe was only 19, still into cyclo-cross and more than two years away from starting his pro career with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which has now taken him to the top of the Tour de France general classification.
Ten days into the race, where he is making just his third appearance, Julian is unquestionably the star of this edition, having caught everyone’s attention with his swashbuckling style, huge display of panache and excellent results. Each day, hundreds of fans come to see Loulou before and after the stage, having found in him the new hero of the French public, and for good reason, as Alaphilippe has been so far the standout rider of the season.
Not only supporters, but also journalists showed their enormous interest in Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s rider, dozens of members of the media attending the rest day press conference at the team’s hotel in Albi, where Specialized launched the new Creo electric road bike, which the riders used to go for a coffee ride on Tuesday.
“It has been a very good start to the Tour and having yellow after the first half of the race gives me a unique feeling. This is a special moment of my career and I’m motivated on honoring it on every stage. At the same time, I want to remain with my feet on the ground, because I’m aware that the hardest part is still to come”, said Alaphilippe, who commands a one-minute lead in the general classification over his closest opponents.
Asked about his chances of keeping the jersey until the Pyrenees, Julian was confident he can carry the prestigious garment for a few more days, but refuted the idea that he’s got a chance of arriving with it on the Champs-Élysées: “Everything is possible and I hope to surprise myself on the tough stages. I feel good, am confident, and would be really nice to have yellow for a couple of more days, but at this point, everything that comes will be a bonus and I want to enjoy every single moment in yellow. Of course, it’s one thing to wear the maillot jaune for a week, and another to ride into Paris with it. No matter what, I won’t change my approach and way of racing, because this is what gives me joy and brings a lot of pleasure to fans.”
How long can Alaphilippe hold the yellow?
UAE Team Emirates: The First 10 stages of the Tour de France
Intense first 10 stages for UAE Team Emirates in what has been a compelling Tour de France so far. Experience the sensations and emotions of the Grande Boucle alongside the Emirati squad.
Caleb Ewan claimed his first Tour de France victory on Stage 11 in Toulouse, making it ten different winners of the first ten individual stages this year. The Australian pocket rocket outclassed Dylan Groenewegen in a very tight finish. Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey ahead of the Pyrenean stages.
Calmejane, Perez, Rosseto and Aimé De Gendt at the front
170 riders took the start of stage 11 in Albi. One non-starter: Rick Zabel (Katusha-Alpecin). Four riders took off from the gun: Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie), Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Anthony Perez and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis). It was highly expected that Albi native Calmejane and Toulouse native Perez would be part of the move from Albi to Toulouse. The sprinters’ teams put Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal), Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) at the head of the peloton to maintain the time difference under three minutes. It was 2:55 at the Côte de Tonnac (km 32) where Perez passed first ahead of De Gendt and the maximum time difference was recorded at Côte de Castelnau-de-Montmiral (km 77) where Perez was first as well.
Quintana and Porte in a crash
Perez also won the intermediate sprint at Gaillac (km 87). The gap was down to one minute with 50km to go. 30km before the end, a crash took Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Richie Porte and former yellow jersey Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), among others, to the ground. Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) was forced to pull out. The GC riders involved in the accident made it back to the pack. It was bunched up again at the front when De Gendt, the most aggressive rider of the day, was the last breakaway rider swallowed by the peloton with 4.5km to go.
Grand Tour trilogy for Ewan
Jumbo-Visma took the command of the peloton in the last 4km of racing, with Wout van Aert and Amund Groendahl Jansen pulling hard. Katusha-Alpecin and Bora-Hansgrohe took over before the Dutch team went to the front again. Despite missing his lead out man Jasper De Buyst who got caught in a crash with 10km to go, Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal perfectly positioned himself behind Dylan Groenewegen and pipped him on the line to become the sixth rider taking his first ever Tour de France victory this year. Like Elia Viviani in Nancy, he completed his Grand Tour trilogy at the age of 25 after winning one stage at La Vuelta and three at the Giro. He had four top 3 before he managed to reach his goal in his first participation to the Tour de France.
Full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ HERE.
Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “My first dream was to become a professional cyclist, the second one to ride the Tour de France and the ultimate wish was of course to win a stage. To this day, I was able to do all bunch sprints but I just missed the victory a couple of times. If you’re able to take the victory at the fifth attempt, the joy, relief and all the other different words I can come up with are immense and very intense. The team always kept believing in me and I also never stopped believing in the team and in my own speed. Everything – like my timing and positioning – just needed to fall into place one day and that was the case today. The final part of the race was quite chaotic, but only the final result is what matters. What didn’t succeed the past sprints, happened today. I can’t describe how happy I am.”
“It takes a lot of character to – as a rider – travel from Australia to Europe and to cover that entire path with the ultimate goal of reaching the absolute top of cycling. With this stage win, I think I made that step. I have to thank a lot of people within my entourage. Leaving for the Tour de France when your new-born daughter is still at the hospital really wasn’t an easy moment but the team supported me as good as possible. The team kept the pressure away but as a sprinter, you are of course not satisfied with only second and third places. It is true that I had a long conversation with sports manager Marc Sergeant yesterday. He – better than anyone – understands the art of keeping the pressure off someone and giving you the feeling to keep the faith until the very last day.”
2nd on the stage, Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma): “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Today I lost. Last time, I won by half a wheel, now I lose by half a wheel. We took the initiative early. I wanted to. I was in an ideal position, but I felt that Mike could no longer continue to pull a bit more, so I started my sprint. There was a lot of headwind. It is a pity that I came a few millimeters short, but that is also part of sprinting. I knew that when I started the sprint it went a little early. I couldn’t wait any longer either, because then they would be all over me. This is disappointing because I really wanted to win.”
3rd on the stage, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I would have loved to win again, but it just wasn’t meant to be. On the other hand, Caleb was the only sprinter without a victory until today, which says a lot about the level of this Tour de France. Now we will go into the mountains and it will be important to stay focused, take it day by day and think of the next opportunity, which comes on Tuesday’s stage 16.”
Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Maybe Egan Bernal is right when he says that GC favorites will save their legs tomorrow for the time trial the following day, but I prepare myself mentally for attacks to take place, whether it comes from the favorites or other riders who want to gain time. I’m just happy to have the yellow jersey for one more day and I expect anything.”
3rd overall, Egan Bernal (Ineos): “Tomorrow’s stage will be the first one in the mountains and I don’t know what to expect. I just hope to feel good. I think it’s to early to go on the offensive, especially as an ITT and another difficult mountain stage come right after. But, in any case, I’m sure there will be some attackers tomorrow.”
4th on the stage and points leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a day for the sprinters and our team did again a very good job. I was in a good position in the final straight to the finish and I was powering ahead. At about 100 meters from the line, I had to abruptly change my course in order to avoid a rider in front of me. That meant I lost contact with the riders ahead of me and when they sprinted, I tried to close the gap but it was impossible. Despite this, I’m satisfied I was still able to finish fourth and maintain my lead in the green jersey.”
7th on the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “In the final kilometer Alexander had a mechanical problem. It happened at a really bad moment. I tried to support him, but the line was coming up fast. I was ready to launch the sprint but on my left another rider dropped his chain which was pretty frustrating. So, between the mechanicals and the positioning it wasn’t exactly the perfect scenario for us.”
9th on the stage, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “I dropped my chain with just over a kilometer to go. Just as the team trains were moving up I tried to jump on their wheel and it dropped on the inside. Jasper tried to help me but it was too late so I told him to give it a go himself. By the time I got back up it was too late.”
KOM, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “I wasn’t really stressed today, as I knew there weren’t many points up for grabs and I couldn’t lose the polka dot jersey. Tomorrow it’s different and I will try to be in the breakaway. It’s going to be important to take points tomorrow. For that, it’s necessary to be in the break. Luckily my teammate Thomas de Gendt is second on the Mountains classification, so if either of us makes it to the breakaway it’s fine. Hopefully both of us will be there, as I want to keep this jersey for as long as possible. We are very happy of Caleb Ewan’s victory. We’ve worked hard for it and he deserves it.”
Last man from the break, Aimé De Gendt (Wanty-Gobert): “It is nice to conclude my first breakaway in my first Tour de France with a moment on the podium for the combativity prize. I enjoyed the atmosphere and many Belgian encouragements during the first 120-130 kilometer, afterwards we rode full in order to stay ahead of the bunch as long as possible. I felt strong in the breakaway and left my three French companions behind in the final, in order to make a stab at the combativity prize. My 30 second advantage on the peloton gave me hope for the stage victory, until I arrived on a sloping section. I couldn’t see the end of it, my legs were empty, and I realized I would finish behind the peloton rather than in front. It was nice to show my worth in the Tour de France!”
Tour de France Stage 11 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 3:51:26
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Jens Debusschere (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
8. Cees Bol (Ned) Sunweb
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
10. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic.
Tour de France Overall After Stage 11:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 47:18:41
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 1:12
3. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 1:16
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
5. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:45
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:46
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:47
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 2:04
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 2:09
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:33
Tour’19 stage 11:
Gilbert and Evenepoel, Present and Future at AIRace
A strong Deceuninck-Quick Step line-up announced in view of Adriatica Ionica Race (July 24-28), with Paris-Roubaix latest winner and Belgian “golden boy” in the frontline.
With a week to go to the Adriatica Ionica Race (July 24-28), the entry list of the second edition is shaping up. A mixture of World cycling’s present and future will characterize the 5-day stage race organized by the former World Champion Moreno Argentin.
Indeed, the most winning team so far in 2019, Belgian Deceuninck-Quick Step, announced a superb line-up with the Paris-Roubaix winner Philippe Gilbert and the “golden boy” Remco Evenepoel in the frontline. In his first season in the pro’ category, the 19-year-old Belgian prospect won his home race, the Baloise Belgium Tour, last June. Now he tackles the Italian event moving from Mestre, in Venice mainland, on Wednesday July 24th.
Alongside Gilbert and Evenepoel, the team under the guidance of Patrick Lefevere will rely on the Colombian sprinter Alvaro Hodeg, Giro d’Italia’s revelation Mikkel Honore and two Italian riders, Eros Capecchi and Davide Martinelli.
Many top-level athletes are expected in the other World Teams (eight overall). The EF-Education First vows to try to be competitive in all stages: Hugh Carthy and Joe Dombrowski are the two options for the overall win, while Sacha Modolo and Sep Vanmarcke are the front-men for the first two days, the “Sprinter Stage” in Mestre and the “Off-Road Stage” in Grado, respectively.
With six sections of dirty roads, the stage 2 will call the cobbles specialists to light, the European Games champion, Italian Davide Ballerini (Astana Pro Team), and Dane Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) among the others.
Instead, climbers like Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), Fausto Masnada (Androni Sidermec) and Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo) will try to shake-up the GC in the “Dolomites Stage”, finishing at Misurina lake on Friday July 26th.
Climbers, puncheurs and sprinters, the Adriatica Ionica Race (AIRace) looks suitable for all. In view of the first challenge, the event program will start on Tuesday July 23rd in Mestre with the preliminary operations and the Teams Presentation, to be held in Piazza Ferretto at 6:00 pm CET.
Adriatica Ionica Race Teams Lis:
UCI World Tour: Education First, UAE Team Emirates, Bahrain-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Trek-Segafredo, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Team Dimension Data, Movistar Team.
UCI Professional: Androni Giocattoli Sidermec, Bardiani CSF, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizané, Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM, Rompoot-Charles, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Caja Rural Seguros RGA, Israel Cycling Academy, Team Novo Nordisk.
UCI Continental: Cycling Team Friuli.
National Teams: Italy.
Adriatica Ionica Race – Stages:
Wesnesday July 24th – Stage 1: Mestre – Mestre, 81 Km.
Thursday July 25th – Stage 2: Venezia (Favaro Veneto) – Grado, 189 Km.
Friday July 26th – Stage 3: Palmanova – Lago di Misurina/Tre Cime di Lavaredo, 204,6 Km.
Saturday July 27th – Stage 4: Padola – Cormòns/Monte Quarin, 204,5 Km.
Sunday July 28th – Stage 5: Cormòns – Trieste, 133,5 Km.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Adriatica Ionica Race
Remco Evenepoel and Philippe Gilbert will return to action at the five-day Italian race.
The second edition of Adriatica Ionica kicks off next week in Mestre, opening with a flat circuit suited to the sprinters, who will fight for the first leader’s jersey before a trip to Grado, peppered with six dirt road sectors that could have an important impact on the general classification.
Palmanova, the unique nine-sided star-shaped former medieval fortress, will be the start town of the queen stage, which will take the riders up the mythical Tre Cime di Lavaredo, expected to play a decisive role in shaping the overall classification. On Saturday, around Gorizia’s hills, the puncheurs will come to the fore as the peloton will travel to Cormons, with the sprinters set to return in the spotlight on the final day, in Trieste.
Winner of four stages at the inaugural edition, Deceuninck – Quick-Step will come to the start with a strong seven-man squad, comprising Remco Evenepoel, Paris-Roubaix champion Philippe Gilbert, Colombian speedster Alvaro Hodeg, neo-pro Mikkel Honoré, Davide Martinelli, James Knox and Florian Sénéchal, the last two making their first outing since retiring from the Giro d’Italia through injury.
“It’s my first stage race in Italy in more than a year and it will be a nice way to get back on track for the second part of the season. Some of my biggest career wins came in Italy and I’m happy to be racing there, help the team and see how my condition is”, Philippe said ahead of the five-day event taking place between 24-28 July.
Youngest ever rider to triumph at the Belgium Tour, neo-pro Remco Evenepoel is also looking forward to Adriatica Ionica Race, which he’ll start after an altitude training camp: “I am excited to get things underway, as it’s been quite some time since my last race. I come down from training in Livigno, and although I don’t know what my form will be, I go there motivated, and hopefully our team will get some nice results.”
“We have a strong line-up. Alvaro can be a protagonist on the first day, maybe even on the second one, depending on how the bunch will race it, Philippe carries a wealth of experience and his presence will be instrumental, while Remco and James will test their legs on Tre Cime di Lavaredo. It is a tough climb, so we’re not putting any pressure on them, we’ll just take it easy and see how things go”, said sports director Klaas Lodewyck.
24.07–28.07 Adriatica Ionica Race / Sulle Rotte della Sereniss (ITA) 2.1
Remco Evenepoel (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL), Mikkel Honoré (DEN), James Knox (GBR), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Florian Sénéchal (FRA).
Sports Director: Klaas Lodewyck (BEL) and Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
Remco and Philippe:
Juan Sebastian Molano Will return to Competition for the Adriatica Ionica Race
The athlete had been suspended from competition on May 13, 2019, following the team’s internal policy prioritizing their athletes’ medical health, after a routine monitoring program conducted by UAE Team Emirates revealed some potentially unusual values in the rider’s physiological parameters. This was a completely independent decision, and the team made it their priority to keep the International Cycling Union constantly updated on the causes and subsequent initiatives taken to verify the nature of said results.
These potentially unusual values can be traced back to the Colombian rider being highly sensitive to altitude changes, as explained by Doctor Jeroen Swart, medical director of the UAE Team Emirates’ Medical staff: “Molano has always lived in Paipa, Colombia, at an altitude of 2525 meters above sea level. Before coming to Italy in May, he spent several weeks training in Paipa, pedaling to summits located close to 3000 meters.
During the monitoring period, we implemented observational studies on Molano, in which we reproduced the circumstances leading up to the appearance of the unusual values; that is to say, the same altitudes, the same environmental conditions and the same physical activities. The results of the extensive data collected were evaluated by the team’s doctors as well as an outside expert, Professor Robert Roach, Director from the University of Colorado Altitude Research Center and one of the world’s leading experts in altitude physiology.
The results showed that the physiological parameters in question strongly indicate that Molano is highly sensitive to altitude changes.
In light of these results, the UAE Team Emirates’ medical staff has declared the study concluded and has given the go-ahead for Molano to compete in up-coming events.”
Juan Sebastian Molano:
Deutschland Tour Welcomes Record Number of 15 WorldTour Teams
The top-class peloton will be spearheaded by both German WorldTour outfits, Bora-Hansgrohe and Sunweb, racing on home turf. While Bora-Hansgrohe is serving up a German fan special, lining up sprint sensation Pascal Ackermann, the German champion, Max Schachmann, and Tour de France contender Emanuel Buchmann for the Deutschland Tour, Katusha Alpecin is fielding a strong team built around Rick Zabel and Nils Politt, who won a stage and finished second overall in last year’s Deutschland Tour.
Bahrain-Merida will be looking to defend the title after Matej Mohoric won the first edition of the Deutschland Tour, and has added three solid German riders to its roster including Marcel Sieberg and Phil Bauhaus. With Jumbo-Visma, Trek-Segafredo, CCC Team, AG2R La Mondiale, Lotto Soudal and Team Ineos, many more teams with German riders in their ranks will participate this year. Astana Pro Team, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Education First, Team Dimension Data and UAE Team Emirates complete the star-studded team list.
Claude Rach, Managing Director of the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Radsports: “Already in our second year we have the maximum number of WorldTour Teams racing the Deutschland Tour. That’s a record! This enormous interest of the best teams shows the significance that the Deutschland Tour achieved after its premiere. Fans can look forward to world-class sports at Germany’s biggest cycling festival.”
Two Tour de France teams, Wanty-Gobert and experience sprinter André Greipel’s Arkéa-Samsic, as well as Gazprom-RusVelo are the selected international teams from the Pro Continental division. Besides, four German Continental teams (Bike Aid, Dauner-Akkon, Lotto-Kern Haus, P&S Metalltechnik) qualified to rub elbows with the world’s best, in line with the Deutschland Tour’s focus on the sustainable promotion of cycling in Germany.
Ø The Deutschland Tour is heading into its second edition with a record-breaking WorldTour teams. The world elite will again be at the start of the four-day stage race, which will take place from August 29 to September 1 on a route from Hannover to Erfurt.
Ø Three Pro Continental teams and four German teams from the Continental division will complete the starting list.
2019 Deutschland Tour teams
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA), Astana Pro Team (KAZ), Bahrain – Merida (BRN), Bora – Hansgrohe (GER), CCC Team (USA), Deceuninck – Quick-Step (BEL), Education First (USA), Lotto Soudal (BEL), Team Dimension Data (RSA), Team Ineos (GBR), Team Jumbo – Visma (NED), Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI), Team Sunweb (GER), Trek – Segafredo (USA), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
UCI Pro Continental:
Gazprom-RusVelo (RUS), Team Arkéa – Samsic (FRA), Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team (BEL)
Bike Aid (GER), P&S Metalltechnik (GER), Team Dauner – Akkon (GER), Team Lotto – Kern Haus (GER)
Route of 2019 Deutschland Tour:
2019 La Course by Le Tour de France: Latest News With 3 Days to Go
Stars of women’s cycling have confirmed their participation in the sixth edition of La Course by le Tour de France. Although the hegemon of the last decade, Marianne Vos, stands out as the big favorite to win in Pau, the race looks more open than ever. CCC Liv’s Dutch rider is back after skipping last year’s edition with her sights set on what would be her second triumph in La Course by le Tour, five years after taking the inaugural edition on the Champs-Élysées. World champion Anna van der Breggen (2015) and American Chloe Hosking (2017) are another two former winners on the start line. Two-time winner Annemiek van Vleuten, on the other hand, is currently racing in the Giro Rosa and will decide whether to take part in the coming days. For now, Mitchelton–Scott has pencilled in the Dutch rider as a substitute. At any rate, the team from Down Under has a plan B in the shape of Aussie Amanda Spratt, who finished sixth last year. Other big names on the start line include the British 2015 world champion, Lizzie Deignan, the third-placed rider in the 2017 La Course by le Tour, Elisa Longo Borghini from Italy, and Amstel Gold Race winner Katarzyna Niewiadoma from Poland. The home girls are outsiders but eager to surprise, with riders such as Juliette Labous (Sunweb), Audrey-Cordon Ragot (Trek–Segafredo), who finished sixth in the Amstel Gold Race, and Aude Biannic (Movistar), who is in her element in circuit races. The French FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope outfit will be banking on Aussie veteran Shara Gillow (fifth in 2017) as well as the home-grown talent of 20-year-old Evita Muzic and 19-year-old Jade Wiel, who will be taking part in her first race in the French champion’s jersey. Charente-Maritime Women Cycling is the other French team invited to La Course. A total of 21 six-woman teams will start the race in Pau in the morning of Friday, 19 July.
Ø The sixth edition of La Course by Le Tour de France will be held in Pau on Friday, 19 July, just a few hours before the Tour de France stage 13 time trial takes place on the same course.
Ø La Course’s first ever foray into hilly terrain will make it an even more thrilling and suspenseful race, with punchers, climbers and sprinters in with a shot at getting their hands on the trophy. The riders will have to complete five laps of the circuit for a total of 121 kilometers.
La Course by Le Tour de France
Hans Timmermans – Team Sunweb coach: “The parcours are super hard at La Course and we take a really strong team to tackle them. We hope for an aggressive and attacking race from the start so we can show ourselves. We’re all motivated after a great Giro Rosa where the team helped Lucinda and Juliette to finish 6th on GC and win the white jersey. With their good shape confirmed in Italy we will also look to them for this race. Leah was climbing very well in a support role at the Giro and she will be important for us in La Course. With a solid team, we’re all looking forward to the race as it is really popular with the fans along the parcours but also the fans watching on television too.”
Lucinda Brand (NED), Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR), Leah Kirchmann (CAN), Juliette Labous (FRA), Liane Lippert (GER), Floortje Mackaij (NED).
Teams Selection for the Certizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta 2019
The organizers of the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 5th edition of the Spanish women’s race, that will take place over two stages on the 14th and 15th of September 2019.
Boadilla del Monte will host the first stage: a 9.3 km I.T.T in a closed circuit around the historical monument of the Palacio del Infante Don Luis. On Sunday the 15th, the traditional linear stage along the circuit that runs through the center of Madrid will host the second journey a few hours before the 21st stage of La Vuelta 19. The women’s peloton will fight over 98,6 km through some of the most iconic streets and squares of Madrid: Paseo del Prado, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo de la Castellana, Plaza de Colón, Gran Vía and Glorieta de Carlos V, in front of the railway station of Atocha.
19 UCI WorldTeams are invited to the race:
Ale Cipollini (ITA), Bepink (ITA), Bigla (DEN), Bizkaia – Durango (ESP), Boels Dolman Cyclingteam (NED), BTC city Ljunljana (SLO), Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (RUS), Eneicue Cycling Team (ESP), FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (FRA), Hitec Products – BIRK SPORT (NOR), Massi – Tactic Women team (ESP), Mitchelton Scott (AUS), Movistar Team Women (ESP), Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED), Sopela women’s team (ESP), Team Sunweb (NED), Trek Segafredo (USA), Valcar Cylance Cycling (ITA), WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team (GER).
In addition to these 19 teams, the organizers have awarded with a wildcard the Spanish Women’s Cycling Team.
More information about Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta: www.madridchallengebylavuelta.com
Worcestershire individual time trial stage unveiled for 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Worcestershire will be the scene of a potentially race-deciding stage when it hosts an individual time trial on day six (Thursday 12 September) of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
The world’s best riders will tackle a 14.5-kilometer (nine mile) individual time trial that starts and finishes in the market town of Pershore, and passes through Little Comberton and Bricklehampton during a scenic anti-clockwise loop.
This spectator-friendly day of racing will allow fans to see world-class riders competing up close as they tackle the course individually. The stage is the third of its kind to be held in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain since 2016, following equivalent stages in Bristol and Clacton-on-Sea.
“Britain’s cycling heritage is built on time trialling, so we’re delighted that the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will feature such a stage,” said Race Director Mick Bennett. “Time trials are the purest form of cycling: it is man and machine versus the clock – the strongest rider on the day in Worcestershire will be victorious!
“Our Pershore Individual Time Trial may be the shortest stage of this year’s race, but it will go some way to deciding who is crowned our overall champion in Manchester 48 hours later.”
Cllr. Rob Adams, Community engagement, culture and sport portfolio holder for Wychavon, added: “It’s absolutely brilliant that we have the Tour of Britain back in our district. Having a time trial means people have greater opportunities to enjoy the excitement and prestige of the race. We look forward to welcoming the teams to the area.”
The stage will suit reigning British time trial champion Alex Dowsett, a former race leader and stage winner in the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, whose Katusha-Alpecin team will be among the 20 world-class squads competing in the event.
Residents along the route can support the event in a number of ways, from simply lining the course to decorating their homes or entering the OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s National Land Art competition. Full stage timings will be released in August.
The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their doorstep and helping to build a great cycling nation.
ITV4 will once again screen live free-to-air coverage flag-to-flag of each stage in the UK, along with a nightly highlights program of the best of the action.
2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain Route:
Stage 1: Saturday 7 September – Glasgow to Kirkcudbright 201.5km
Stage 2: Sunday 8 September – The Scottish Borders Stage 166.4km
Stage 3: Monday 9 September – Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne 182.2km
Stage 4: Tuesday 10 September – Gateshead to Kendal 171.5km
Stage 5: Wednesday 11 September – The Wirral Stage 174km
Stage 6: Thursday 12 September – Pershore Individual Time Trial 14.5km
Stage 7: Friday 13 September – Warwick to Burton Dassett Country Park 186.5km
Stage 8: Saturday 14 September – Altrincham to Manchester 165km.
OVO Energy Tour’19 TT route:
Meanwhile in Livigno – Lotto Soudal at Altitude Training Camp
Also during this year’s month of July, a part of the Lotto Soudal team stays in Livigno for an altitude training camp. While one team is giving their all in the Tour de France, another part is in the popular ski resort Livigno – located in northern Italy – to prepare for the rest of the season. Sports director Mario Aerts talks about how things are going there.
Mario Aerts: “First of all, Livigno is not too far away. We are at altitude all day long and we rarely go below 1,000 meters. Besides, the training roads are fantastic. For the time being, everybody is training together and it will mainly remain like that. Of course, each rider has his own pace. Climbers, for instance, will cycle faster uphill than sprinters or the somewhat heavier riders.”
“Apart from myself, there is also a soigneur, a mechanic and a physiotherapist with us. There is no kitchen team needed, because the hotel where we are staying provides the right diet for us.”
“Something we always do, is climbing the Stelvio on our last day. Apart from that, we also climb some lesser known mountains, all with the purpose of stimulating the production of red blood cells. We’re doing all of that to help our riders perform even better.”
“The first three days, we took it easy to give the body the chance to adapt to the altitude, but now we twice did a four-hour training ride. We will also pay attention to time trialing.”
“Some riders stay a little longer in Livigno than others. Victor Campenaerts, for example, trains one week extra. He has taken it easy for now because he will also restart later with the European championship and the BinckBank Tour.”
“Also here in Livigno, we are closely following the Tour de France. Around three o’clock in the afternoon, everybody goes to his room to be at ease, while cheering for Lotto Soudal. The riders who are here in Livigno focus on fall season.”
Victor Campenaerts has been training at altitude:
Deceuninck – Quick-Step Sign Andrea Bagioli
One of the most promising riders on the U23 scene, the Italian is our squad’s first transfer for next season
Victorious this season at the prestigious Ronde de l’Isard, where he captured two back-to-back stage wins on his way to overall glory, Andrea Bagioli will turn pro in 2020 after agreeing on a two-year contract with the UCI World Team Classification leader.
Hailing from the province of Sondrio, the now 20-year-old has shown early inklings of his climbing prowess, finishing in the top 10 at the Course de la Paix and Giro della Lunigiana, before making the step to the U23 ranks, where he enjoyed a consistent 2018 season, winning Toscana Terra di Ciclismo (plus one stage and two auxiliary classifications) and finishing runner-up at both Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Piccolo Lombardia.
This year, as part of Team Colpack, he kept hitting new heights, his resounding triumph at the Ronde de l’Isard and convincing solo win at the 59th edition of the Trofeo Città di San Vendemiano serving as confirmation of the beyond his years maturity and qualities he possesses whenever the road starts to rise.
“I’m over the moon, it’s a dream come true! It was my goal to be a professional rider and knowing that I will be part of the Wolfpack is fantastic. I can’t wait to meet the team at the end of the season and have a first contact with the riders and staff. I am extremely motivated to start my pro career and do my best next year to repay the confidence that Mister Lefevere and the team have put in me”, said a delighted Andrea, who was full of praise also for those who have supported him in his career. “I would like to thank my family for always being there for me, to Team Colpack, the staff and the president, Mister Beppe Colleoni. I had a great time with them and grew a lot as a rider with their help.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere talked of how this transfer is in line with the squad’s long and successful tradition of putting its trust in the young prospects: “When we spot a rider whose innate qualities and mentality catch our eye, we do everything that we can to sign him. This was the case also with Andrea, who we have been monitoring for some time now and whose results – especially on the climbs, where he has excelled – we’ve found to be extremely impressive. As you know, we always look to promote young and promising talents and give them a chance. Just look over our current roster, eleven riders have turned pro with this structure. We believe in them, but more importantly, we offer them the perfect environment to develop and find their place in the rigorous pro world, and Andrea is the latest example of this tradition that we have built over the years.”
Marco Minnaard Announces the End of his Sportive Career
Marco Minnaard will end his cycling career after the 2019 season. The 30 year old Dutch rider defends the Wanty-Gobert colors since 2014. He won the Rhône Alpes Isère Tour 2017, and participated in the Tour de France twice. The climber decided to make a career switch.
Marco Minnaard: “I want to let you know that I have decided to end my cycling career at the end of this year. After 6 beautiful years as a professional cyclist with Wanty – Groupe Gobert it is time for me to try to achieve my other ambitions. It has always been my goal to continue the family business of my parents and from next year I will try to do so. By making this decision now I will have some years to work together with my parents and learn a lot.”
“I am very grateful and proud to be a part of Wanty – Groupe Gobert and to work together with all of its members. I look back on the last years with a lot of joy and I want to thank everybody for the friendship, for the beautiful and special moments, for the good care and fantastic performances. Of course I will go for it for a 100% during the last part of the season and I hope to experience some beautiful months and to enjoy cycling!”
Jean-François Bourlart: “The end of Marco’s career is of course regrettable for the team, because he was always devoted for the collective. Marco lived for a 100% for his job, and I am persuaded he will continue until the end of the season. He was a key element for the last seasons, always ready to help his teammates, but also capable of winning. He offered a first overall UCI stage race victory to Wanty-Gobert in 2017 by winning the Rhône Alpes Isère Tour. He leaves our team and the cycling world, where he stood out thanks to his loyalty and kindness. I wish Marco a lot of success in his new career.”
Six Riders Receive Contract Extensions
Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of AG2R-La Mondiale Pro Cycling Team, officially extended the contracts of the following riders until 2021:
Stijn Vandenbergh’s contract has been extended for one year.
“It is important for the stability of the team to extend the contracts of the riders whose strength and talent are very important to us,” Vincent Lavenu said.
Odd Eiking for two more seasons with Wanty-Gobert
The Norwegian rider Odd Christian Eiking engaged for two more years with Wanty-Gobert. The Scandinavian puncher, in the picture in the breakaway during the tenth stage in the Tour de France, finished on the podium in the Ardèche Classic and the Plumelec-Morbihan GP this season. Last year, Eiking won the third stage in the Tour de Wallonie. The inhabitant from Bergen is associated to Wanty-Gobert until the end of 2021.
Odd Eiking: “I am very happy to stay with Wanty-Gobert, where I was welcomed as in a family. I receive many opportunities for personal development and to continue practicing my passion. The atmosphere is excellent, which is very important! I want to continue to go well in this Tour the France, hoping to achieve a result on my way to Paris. Afterwards, I want to continue my progress in order to be able more often to claim the victory.”
Jean-François Bourlart: “Odd is a key element in our team. I have high expectations from this talented riders for the next weeks and years. Odd is capable of showing himself on rugged terrain and to resist on the most demanding profiles. Aged 24, he is a perfect fit for our development politics. We showed this with Guillaume Martin or Xandro Meurisse: our talents can open up at their rhythm, without burning stages. I’m convinced that Odd will continue on this path by reaching, at the end of his first Tour de France, a new step in his career.”
Odd Eiking on the Tour’19 rest day:
Team Dimension Data look to the future with Sobrero and Battistella
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is delighted to announce that two of cycling’s hottest young u23 talents, Matteo Sobrero and Samuele Battistella, will be joining our World Tour team in 2020, and are the first two signings for our team that will be rebranded as Team NTT next season.
The Italian duo of Sobrero (22yrs) and Battistella (20yrs) have enjoyed a successful season with our Continental feeder team this year, where between them, they have already stood on the top step of a podium no less than on 9 occasions.
Some of their more prestigious scalps this season include victories at the u23 Strade Bianche, Giro del Belvedere and the u23 national TT champs for Sobrero. Battistella took top honors at the Tour de Limpopo and GP la Torre.
Their attacking racing style and obvious talent for when the road heads upward is undeniable. Sobrero even turned heads among the men’s elite pro peloton this year, when he claimed 3rd place at the hilly UCI 1.HC Trofeo Laigueglia, while racing for the Italian national team.
Sobrebro and Battistella become the 6th and 7th riders to graduate into the pro ranks from our feeder team in recent years, which is testament to the successful program that is being run at Dimension Data Continental.
“For me this professional contract is a dream come true after many years of hard work and dedication to the sport of cycling. At the same time though, this is also a great starting point and the next phase of my career. I’m happy to take these next steps with the Dimension Data team, who will become Team NTT next year, after already being two years on the continental team where I have learned and grown so much as a rider.” – Matteo Sobrero.
“When people have asked me, “what do you want to do when you grow up?”, every time my answer was I want to be a professional cyclist. Now, I can say that the dream has come true. I would like to thank every person that has made this possible for me, especially my family and the Dimension Data Continental Team. I’m so excited and motivated for next season and I will give everything in every race to help the team, to learn and honor the new NTT World Tour jersey.” – Samuele Battistella.
“Our Dimension Data Continental Team continues to offer incredible opportunities to young riders who have the desire and aspiration to become a part of the world tour peloton. As a team we understand how difficult it is to break into any sport at any level. This is the reason we are so passionate in what we do in this team and associate ourselves with the Zwift Academy, opening our doors to all who have big dreams. Matteo and Samuele have worked so hard, had amazing success, and are ready for what lies ahead, we look forward to having them be a part of Team NTT in 2020.” – Douglas Ryder, Team Principal.
Théo Delacroix (CC Etupes) Trainee for Wanty-Gobert
Wanty-Gobert welcomes a French trainee from August 1st. Théo Delacroix, 20 years old, is the first elected rider this summer. The inhabitant of the Franche-Comté region currently rides for team CC Etupes, a French development team with which Wanty-Gobert concluded a partnership last winter. Delacroix, second year U23, finished 9th in Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 this year. He also showed himself in Annemasse-Bellegarde et retour (9th), the Tour du Jura (14th in GC), or in Paris-Mantes en Yvelines (14th). Delacroix should make his debut in the Wanty-Gobert colors in the Vuelta a Burgos (2.HC, 13-17/08).
Théo Delacroix: “Becoming a trainee in a professional team represents a nice success in a season. I would never have imagined this opportunity a couple of years ago, but I gradually progressed up the ladder. I am very happy with the partnership between Wanty-Gobert and my club CC Etupes, which really brings us closer to the professionals. I will again reach a new level by discovering the professional environment, which will permit me to progress in the amateur category and why not claim a spot on the team one day. I consider myself as a complete rider, capable of climbing but also of riding on cobbles like in Paris-Roubaix where I finished 21th after three flat tires in the final. My goals are already mapped out: the Tour Alsace with Etupes, then la Vuelta a Burgos with the pros before the youth French championships at the end of August.”
Jean-François Bourlart: “We are very happy to welcome Théo Delacroix in our ranks this summer. I’m convinced that he will make use of the qualities he showed since the beginning of the season among the professionals. It is a nice opportunity for him to discover a new environment, prolonging the development from CC Etupes. We want to strengthen our relationship in the future, in order to discover and develop the future Guillaume Martin or Fabien Doubey. Development is written in our DNA, and the CC Etupes is part of our pyramid.”
Breaking News with Peter Sagan
You can trust what Peter says… he’s on TV. Peter Sagan stars as a newsreader in the new campaign promoting e-bikes by Specialized, with the Bora-Hansgrohe rider proclaiming “the world is now flat”.
Flatten Your World with a Turbo: http://bit.ly/flat-earth-turbo
The PEZ INSTAGRAM Take a look at our Instagram page for a live feed and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.