We catch up with the Tour de Suisse and Geraint Thomas crashing out, plus the Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges with results and video. Directeur sportif, Nicolas Portal doesn’t see a problem with Thomas and Bernal at the Tour – Top Story. Loads of other cycling news: Alejandro Valverde and AG2R-La Mondiale ride the Route d’Occitanie, Marcel Kittel to return with Jumbo-Visma, Tom Dumoulin operation, Niki Terpstra to ride the Tour, Juan José Cobo not a Vuelta winner, no national championships for Romain Bardet, schedule for the US Pro championships, Vuelta’20 in Utrecht, Volta a Valencia’20, a day in yellow, Tour riders for Wanty-Gobert, La Cubilla. Lena climb for Vuelta’19, Cycling Canada website and the numbers of the Giro d’Italia 102. Get the coffee!
TOP STORY: Ineos DS, Portal – “No Problems Between Thomas and Bernal”
Team Ineos may not have Chris Froome in the upcoming Tour de France, but the British team has two possible winners with defending champion, Welshman Geraint Thomas and Colombian Egan Bernal. “I do not expect any problems between the two riders,” said team directeur sportif, Nicolas Portal in an interview with Ouest France.
Now that four-time winner Froome will not be present, Thomas and Bernal move up in the pecking order. “For me personally, little will change,” said Thomas. “I am still a protected rider. Egan and I will go for the best possible result.” Could this not lead to conflict?
“There was also a lot of speculation last year,” Portal refers to the situation between Thomas and Froome. “But we all managed it well. Behind the scenes we were busy keeping everyone happy. I don’t think there will be any problems between Geraint and Egan.”
Portal emphasizes that the team will not lead with anyone, despite the fact that Thomas is the title defender. “We just want to win the Tour in the end. We can count on two champions, who will give the maximum. I think that Thomas has the advantage, since he has the experience.”
Is Ineos hedging their bets? “But don’t forget that Egan already rode the Tour last year. He has seen what it is like to ride for a classification in the Tour. The idea is that we will support both riders. We really look at it day by day,” said the Frenchman.
Thomas and Bernal – Two heads better than three?
Tour de Suisse 2019
There’s no escaping the hills at the Tour de Suisse, even the easier stages feature a significant amount of climbing. While the flat finish suggested the sprinters would again have their eye on Stage 3, to get there they would first have to traverse 130km of undulating terrain of the 162.3km total. While there were only two categorized climbs over the course of the day – both third category – it would be the relentless climbing and descending that would be the biggest drain of the riders energy.
Clearly undaunted by the profile, a quartet boldly set off early on, becoming the day’s break and building an advantage. The moment they hit 4 minutes though, the peloton jumped into action to reduce this to a more manageable 2 minutes. It was clear the sprint teams weren’t going to let a break take a second stage in a row, but this didn’t stop the escapees pushing back and taking this lead back out to 3 minutes. As the kilometers passed, it was Bora-Hansgrohe that took to the front to reel them back in, and by the time 40 kilometers were left, it was back down to 2 minutes and falling quickly, knocking another 30 seconds off this time by the 30km to go mark. At this pace, it was down to 15 seconds with 10km remaining and it was clear the sprinters were going to take the stage.
The whole of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was there pushing the pace at the front – with Bodnar and Burghardt on the front and Lukas Pöstlberger and Daniel Oss keeping the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, protected in the bunch. A last attempt from the break to stay out came to nothing, and with just under 6km to go, it was all back together. The bunch looked nervous as the speeds ramped up for the sprint, with Peter staying safe mid-pack. The final stretch was winding, and it was here that Peter started his sprint early, catching his rivals completely unawares. With 75m to go there was no doubting who was going to take the win, the Slovak rider dominating the sprint and finishing with clean air between him and the rest of the bunch. Adding to his record tally of Tour de Suisse wins, Sagan also moved into the top spot in the GC to claim the race’s yellow jersey while also taking the lead in the points contest. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was 2nd ahead of John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in 3rd.
Stage winner and overall leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m happy with this stage win, my 17th at the Tour de Suisse, and the leader’s yellow jersey. I’d like to thank the whole team for their brilliant work, they controlled the race and placed me in a perfect spot for the victory. It was a very fast finale and quite hectic because everybody wanted to be in the front. When we crossed the finish line for the first time, it was clear to me that in order to have a chance at winning, I had to be in the first positions of the group before the last left turn. That’s what we did and I was able to attack in the final stretch to get the victory.”
4th on the stage, Ivan Garcia (Bahrain-Merida): “There was a bit of fight to take the best position in the last short climb and first I followed my teammate Matej Mohoric and after John Degenkolb. I entered into last corner in fifth position and then finish a place forward. I come from a training camp in the mountains and therefore I lack a bit of race pace, but day after day my feelings are improving. Today I wanted to try the sprint to see how I am and I can say that I’m happy with my result. Of course, I’m sure I can do better in the next stages.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:39:25
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
4. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
5. Ben Swift (GB) Ineos
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
7. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
8. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Switzerland
9. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Total Direct Energie
10. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Groupama-FDJ.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 3:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 7:51:31
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:10
3. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:11
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:16
6. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:20
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:27
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Ineos at 0:28
9. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Ineos at 0:29
10. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana.
Elia Viviani bounced back after finishing a frustrating second in Murten on stage 3 and captured his maiden win at the Tour de Suisse on Stage 4, which he is racing for the first time since 2012. For Elia, one of the best sprinters of the last two seasons, it was the 23rd success since joining Deceuninck – Quick-Step and came in the nick of time, in his last stage race before the Tour de France.
On paper, stage 4 was one for the peloton’s fast men, but a 3km-climb inside the last 20 kilometers and a fast descent threatened to derail the expected bunch gallop. Surrounded by a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad, Elia made it over the Hochwald ascent and remained well-positioned in the group, from where several riders tried to slip away, only to be overhauled. The last two kilometers were extremely technical, peppered by tricky corners and even cobbles, but the Wolfpack stormed to the head of the field and protected the Italian, as they continued to stretch out the bunch.
After best young rider Kasper Asgreen peeled off the front, Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert upped the tempo as they passed under the flamme rouge, before Michael Mørkøv pulled Elia into position for the sprint. The Italian Champion swung around the Dane and kicked out 200 meters from the line, unleashing an astonishing burst of sprint (71km/h maximum speed, according to Velon’s data) and holding off the charges of Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who rounded out the podium. Sagan held onto the overall lead.
Stage winner, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This victory is a real confidence booster, especially for the next couple of weeks! It’s always important to win a World Tour race and you can see that all my 2019 successes came in such races, which speaks a lot about my season, despite not matching the number of wins I had last year. We were hoping it will come down to a bunch sprint and were keen on trying again after finishing second yesterday. The guys were absolutely perfect, helping me get over the final climbs, and I was confident in them, because I know we have the best lead-out in the world. We took the responsibility in the last kilometers and made sure we were near the front going into the descent, because this was very important, Michael put me in a perfect position and I could finish off the job. Today’s victory means a lot to me and makes me extremely happy.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “It was another good team performance today from all the team, we were fully committed to sprint with me in the final. Everyone played a massive role in the whole stage and into the finish to position me really well and I was able to come up with a second place. It’s definitely a confidence booster from the last few days today and I’m looking forward to the coming stages.”
Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I wanted to win this stage but it wasn’t the day. The team did a perfect job, they pulled in the front almost all day and the stage was decided, as expected, in a fast bunch sprint. I did my best but today Viviani was the fastest. I feel well, my form is where it should be right now but it wasn’t my day. Thanks to my third place and the sprint bonus, I keep the yellow and black jerseys.”
Geraint Thomas has escaped relatively unscathed following today’s crash at the Tour de Suisse.
Thomas was taken straight to hospital having suffered abrasions on his shoulder and a cut above his right eye in the wake of the crash, but thankfully the 33 year old has not sustained any further injuries.
Speaking to TeamINEOS.com, Geraint Thomas, the reigning Tour de France champion explained how the incident occurred: “There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere. An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed and I had nowhere to go. I landed on my shoulder and my face and there was quite a bit of blood. You’ve always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out of the race.”
Thomas’ involvement in the Tour de France isn’t likely to be affected by today’s crash and he is already looking forward to being on the start line in Brussels on July 6th, adding: “Clearly it’s frustrating and a small setback for my Tour de France preparations, but there’s still plenty of time before we start in Brussels in a few weeks’ time. We will recalibrate and I’m sure my coach Tim (Kerrison) will have a plan in place to ensure I’m ready for July 6th.”
Team INEOS doctor Derick Macleod told TeamINEOS.com: “Geraint took a heavy fall. The main area of impact was to his head. He passed his initial concussion roadside test but with the nature and severity of the impact, it was felt unsafe for him to continue in the race. He was taken to hospital and thankfully all the X-rays and scans have come back clear. He’s now back in the Team hotel and in good spirits.” He added: “He’s been given the all clear which is great but we will continue to monitor him over the next few days. Knowing Geraint, it won’t take him long to get back on his bike but we’ll need to ensure he’s symptom free in the next few days before he does so. We’re optimistic he’ll make a full recovery over the coming days though and all being well he’ll be back on his bike very soon.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 4 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:46:02
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First
7. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
8. Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
9. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Switzerland.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 4:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 11:37:28
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 0:10
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:15
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:16
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:21
6. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:25
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:32
8. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:33
9. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Ineos at 0:34
10. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana.
Elia Viviani doubled his tally at the Tour de Suisse after a perfect lead-out, the Italian Champion out-sprinted all his rivals and coasted to another impressive win. Deceuninck – Quick-Step created a thing of sublime beauty again at the Tour de Suisse, absolutely bossing the Stage 5 finalé and rolling out the red carpet in the last 100 meters for Viviani, whose massive acceleration on the uphill drag to the line carried him to his sixth victory of the season.
Wednesday’s 177km-long stage was by no means a walk in the park from Münchenstein to Einsiedeln, which was welcoming the peloton for the first time in 16 years. A hilly route featuring a 13km second-category climb inside the last 40 kilometers tested the bunch and inspired three riders to break clear, but the field caught them with relative ease and the sprint teams began preparing for the finish.
With two kilometers to go, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step train – comprising best young rider Kasper Asgreen and national champions Yves Lampaert, Michael Mørkøv and Maximiliano Richeze – provided a masterful lead-out for Elia Viviani, who waited until the closing 100 meters to kick out, knowing that timing was key on the 4% gradients of Einsiedeln’s city center. The 30-year-old Italian powered like a locomotive and emerged again as the fastest man at the Tour de Suisse, beating Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), as he clocked up his sixth victory of the season. Peter Sagan now has a 14 second lead on Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and 21 on Kasper Asgreen.
Stage winner, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s always good to win a race, and getting to taste victory for the second day in a row feels great. The guys did a perfect job and I must say they make my life much easier. This success makes me happy also because it confirms I’m on track for the Tour de France. We all had tired legs, because the stage was really hard, and knowing that the uphill finish and the cobbles would make everything tactical, I asked the guys to move to the head of the bunch with only 1500 meters left. After Max dropped me off the front as we rounded the last corner, all I had to do was launch my sprint. The flat stages are over, but I will continue the race, help as much as possible Enric, who is our GC guy, and hopefully get to celebrate some more nice results with the team.”
Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today was the last stage of this year’s Tour de Suisse with a finish for the sprinters and we would have liked to win it. Once again, I’d like to thank all my teammates for the dedication and effort they put to control the race, protect me and place me for the sprint. I was right behind Viviani in the last left corner but he managed to stay ahead of me until the finish line. I think I can be satisfied with what I achieved so far in this Tour de Suisse and with the performance of our team.”
Tour de Suisse Stage 5 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:18:26
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
6. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
7. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Switzerland
8. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
10. Patrick Bevin (NZ) CCC.
Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 5:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 15:55:48
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:14
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:21
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida at 0:22
5. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:27
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:38
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:39
8. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Ineos at 0:40
9. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana
10. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar.
Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges 2019
Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) kept top favorite Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) from winning in the new Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge on Monday. The Spaniard managed to follow the Frenchman on the mythical mountain and raced him hard in the final meters. Rein Taaramae (Total Direct Energie) was third.
Five riders made the break of the day: Brice Feillu (Arkéa-Samsic), Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Rémy Rochas (Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM), Angelo Tulik (Total Direct Energy), Mario González (Euskadi-Murias). They took a maximum lead of 4 minutes. AG2R-La Mondiale took the lead for their favorite Romain Bardet, but they suddenly disappeared from the front. EF Education First put sprinter Moreno Hofland on the front for Joe Dombrowski, while Interpro and Cofidis also had men to the fore. With a lead of 1:30 the escapees hit the start of the Mont Ventoux, climbed from Bedoin side.
AG2R-La Mondiale reappeared at the head of the peloton to keep the pace high on the first kilometers of the climb. One by one the early attackers were caught, with Aranburu the last brave rider. Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias) tried to disrupt the Bardet train, but it came to nothing. The fast pace of Tony Gallopin was too much for Dombrowski, who saw the group race away with Bardet, Taaramae, Herrada and Elie Gesbert. The surprising Pierpaolo Ficara (Amore e Vita-Prodir) and Adrien Guillonnet (Interpro) also hung on for a long time.
At 8.6 kilometers from the finish, the attack came from Bardet, which was followed by Herrada. Taaramae held his own pace, but couldn’t get close to the two leaders. Bardet and Herrada worked well together on the “moonscape” climb. Various attacks came from Bardet that were countered by the Spaniard. The French favorite couldn’t get away from its competitor, after which Herrada managed to seize the win with an impressive jump 300 meters from the line. Bardet was unable to follow the acceleration and had to settle for second place.
2nd, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “I’m disappointed because I came here to go for the win. The team did a great job. The goal was to test myself on the last climb. Once we reached the Chalet Reynard, the issue was both tactical and physical. I was up against Jesus Herrada, who was more explosive than me. The last climb did not go exactly as I wanted. I have been suffering for three days because of the bad weather we faced at the Critérium du Dauphiné. That didn’t help at all, but I’m not looking for excuses. Herrada was just very strong. It’s a shame because it’s a great race.”
Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges Result:
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis in 5:02:05
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:09
3. Rein Taaramäe (Est) Total Direct Energie at 1:12
4. Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM at 1:38
5. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkéa-Samsic at 2:24
6. Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence-KTM at 2:29
7. Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Amore e Vita-Prodir at 2:40
8. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 2:43
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:52
10. Darwin Atapuma (Col) Cofidis at 2:58.
Mont Ventoux Denivele Challenges’19:
Valverde Ready for Return in the Route d’Occitanie – La Dépêche du Midi
Alejandro Valverde will finally return to the road on Thursday. The world champion makes his comeback in the French stage race La Route d’Occitania, the former Route du Sud. Valverde leads the seven-man Movistar team selection.
For Valverde, everything is now planned for the Tour de France, which will start in just under three weeks. In recent weeks, the Murcian has been in the Sierra Nevada, where he was preparing for the second half of the season and the Tour, the Vuelta a España and the World Championships in Yorkshire.
Starting on Thursday, Valverde will be joined by Giro revelation Antonio Pedrero, along with Eduard Prades, Jorge Arcas, Jaime Castrillo, Rafael Valls and José Joaquin Rojas. The course is perfect for the 39-year-old Spaniard as the riders will finish on a relatively short and steep climb on Thursday. The World champion will be joined by Pavel Sivakov, Rigoberto Urán and man-in-form Jesús Herrada. The home French fans will be looking for sprinter Arnaud Démare.
Movistar for La Route d’Occitanie – La Dépêche du Midi (20-23 June):
Jorge Arcas, Jaime Castrillo, Antonio Pedrero, Eduard Prades, José Joaquin Rojas, Rafael Valls, Alejandro Valverde,
World champion, Alejandro Valverde:
Marcel Kittel to go to Jumbo-Visma?
Marcel Kittel could once again become the top sprinter he was if he can rekindle the fire, Merijn Zeeman at Jumbo-Visma, is convinced of this. Zeeman has already put the word out to get the German to his team, but the big sprinter is still thinking about the future.
At the beginning of this month, Kittel was associated with Jumbo-Visma. According to De Telegraaf, the Dutch team already had discussions with the German to enlist him. Kittel has been without a team since the beginning of May, after early departure from Katusha-Alpecin. He decided to take a break and take time for himself.
Kittel and Zeeman worked together at Skil-Shimano and Argos-Shimano, where the German turned from time trialist to sprinter. Zeeman thinks that Kittel can still return to his old level, but motivation also plays a role. “He can certainly do that physically. That is beyond dispute. The question is whether he still has the same fire in him. Marcel himself is the only one who can answer that. I have no doubts that if he has that fire again, he can be the top sprinter he was again.” With Dylan Groenewegen, Jumbo-Visma already has a world-class printer in house, but according to Zeeman, Groenewegen and Kittel could certainly ride together in one team. “Dylan remains our sprinter for the biggest competitions, but if you look at the WorldTour there are still plenty of opportunities to ride nice races. Now we race too often without a sprinter, like the Tour of Switzerland. A big race, but we could certainly have used a sprinter there.”
Marcel Kittel in happier times:
AG2R-La Mondiale to the Route d’Occitanie (20th-23rd)
Having ridden 8,257 kilometers since the start of the season, Nans Peters is the rider who has covered the most kilometers in competition of all the AG2R-La Mondiale team members. With 52 days, he is also the one with the most days of racing.
Nans Peters: “I recovered well after the Giro. I had a light first week, then the second week was more full-throttle. I knew that returning to competition at the Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges would be complicated after two weeks without racing. It was a very good test. The Tour d’Occitanie looks hard, and I hope to race to win a stage. My stage win in the Giro did not change my way of seeing my life or my job. There are just more people who recognize me on the side of the road now.”
Part of the team’s Tour de France selection will be revealed on Thursday in Paris, Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team, will unveil the first members of the team who will be a part of the selection for the next Tour de France.
Dumoulin Delays Altitude Training
It will be a few days before Tom Dumoulin goes on an altitude training camp in the French Alps. Together with his Sunweb team, the rider has decided to give his knee a few extra days of rest. On Monday, the German WorldTour team announced that Dumoulin was ready to go to training camp.
On Monday Team Sunweb announced the good news that Dumoulin had successfully undergone a minor operation on his knee. A piece of gravel was removed, which caused a slight irritation. “He can now continue his preparations,” said team doctor Camiel Aldershof.
The plan was to go on an altitude training camp in La Plagne, but now it has been decided to postpone the trip for a few days. The Limburger will first rest for a few days, before moving on to the Alps for a final altitude training trip before the Tour de France.
On the way to France: “He turned the car around” Dumoulin was already on his way to France when he changed his mind. “He called me twice yesterday (Monday, ed.) on the way”, his personal trainer Hendrik Werner told NOS. “He asked himself the question: am I really ready? He then turned the car around.”
Werner understands that Dumoulin has doubts right now. “He has had many ups and downs. It has done more to him than we initially thought.” The big question is whether his rider will make it to the Tour at all. “Tom has had many setbacks, and he has often found an answer. I keep that in mind.”
Dumoulin’s Giro crash still a problem:
Tour’19: Niki Terpstra sure of Tour Place with Total-Direct Energy
Niki Terpstra will start his eighth Tour de France on Saturday July 6th in Brussels. He is one of the three riders of the Total-Direct Energie team who have already been selected by Team Director Jean René Bernaudeau for the Tour de France. Anthony Turgis and Lilian Calmejane are the other chosen ones.
That Terpstra will be in La Grande Boucle this summer cannot be called a big surprise. He has long since not made it a secret that the Tour is the main goal of the summer. A stage victory is the main goal for the hard rider from North Holland. Stage success in the Tour would complete his career, he said.
Terpstra made his Tour debut in 2008 with the Milram team. He also attended the three subsequent editions. In 2012, the Tour de France did not fit into his program, but in 2013 and 2014 he was there again. Terpstra, who has a love-hate relationship with the Tour, did not appear again until 2018.
Niki Terpstra will be at the Tour:
UCI Officially Deletes Cobo as Vuelta Winner
Juan José Cobo is no longer officially on the honors list of the Vuelta a España. The UCI has disqualified the Spanish ex-rider – who was recently suspended retroactively due to doping use – according to official documents from the International Cycling Union.
Last week it was announced that the UCI had caught Cobo violating doping rules. This was on the basis of abnormal values in his biological passport between 2009 and 2011. Now the former rider of Saunier Duval, Geox-TMC and Movistar has been removed from the results of the Vuelta’s of 2009 and 2011, the year he won.
The question is whether Chris Froome will now be declared the final winner of that Vuelta. UCI rule 12.3.004 stipulates that the place of the canceled rider is taken over by the next rider in the final classification. If the rules are followed, Froome will be the overall winner and Bradley Wiggins and Bauke Mollema move up the podium. Wout Poels will now be the winner on the Angliru. The UCI and the Vuelta organization may still make a statement.
Juan José Cobo:
Romain Bardet Will Not Participate in the French National Championships
After consultation among the general management, the technical staff and the rider himself,
it has been decided that Romain Bardet will not line up at the start of the Championships in order to allow him to complete his preparation for the Tour de France (July 6th-28th). A total of 18 riders from the AG2R-La Mondiale team will start the race for the national title.
Vincent Lavenu: “We made this decision with Romain and the staff by analyzing all the sporting, physical and emotional parameters that bind us to this race, which is a race we have always placed among our goals since the team’s inception in 1992. But coming just 6 days before the Grand Départ, it was more sensible and wise to let Romain refine his preparation for the Tour de France, which is his main goal for the season. This way he can finish his important reconnaissance of the mountain stages. It was wiser to forego a race which will take place on a sinuous circuit where he could complete only few training outings that will allow him to be in the best condition at start line in Brussels. And that’s where the AG2R-La Mondiale team of course has every intention to do its best to shine for French cycling.”
Romain Bardet: “I will not participate in the French Championships this year. I am very attached to French cycling and its values, but this decision has been taken in agreement with the management of the AG2R La Mondiale team, and is the most rational to make in view of my preparation for the Tour de France. I understand the importance for the organizers, the directors, and the public to have the best riders of our country take part in this event. I am very keen and take very seriously having the chance to participate in the events on the national calendar. The most recent example is my participation this week at the Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge. So too am I always honored and proud to wear and defend the French jersey every time that I am selected. Nevertheless, I have to take advantage of each day that brings me closer to the Tour de France by doing my final training sessions in the mountains. Unfortunately, the geographical distance and profile of the course for the 2019 French Championships would deprive me of these important preparation opportunities. My next racing rendezvous will be on the roads of Brussels and France starting on July 6th.”
Schedule Set for Four Days of Events in Knoxville for U.S. Pro and Para-cycling Road Championships June 27-30
The USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships will return to Knoxville for a third consecutive year, crowning titlists in Individual Time Trial (ITT), Criterium and Road Race disciplines. It will be the first year for Knoxville to also host U.S. Para-cycling Road National Championships. All championship events will award Stars-and-Stripes jerseys for the best professional cyclists and elite Para-cyclists in the nation.
There will be four days of racing and spectator activities for the championships. Thursday, June 27 will feature Individual Time Trial events in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Racing moves to downtown Knoxville for three full days – Criterium and Handcycle Relay events on Friday, June 28; Para-cycling Road Race events on Saturday, June 29; and U.S. Pro Road Race championships on Sunday, June 30.
Saturday also features an Olympic Day celebration in downtown Knoxville. An autograph session with Olympians, Paralympians and America’s Champions will take place from 10:30-11 a.m., followed by Kid’s Bike Races from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Children ages 2 to 12 can bring their own bicycles and helmets (waivers must be signed by parent or guardian), or they can demo complimentary Frog Bikes & Helmets equipment. Olympic Day celebrates the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1894, which included road cycling. Held around the world on June 23, it will be observed in Knoxville on June 29 to coincide with the national championship.
All championship races provide free admission for spectators. Hospitality experiences are available for U.S. Pro Road Championship events, with pricing ranging from $20 to $100 per person. For more information – www.visitknoxville.com/usa-cycle-knox/vip-passes/
Cycling fans across the U.S. and around the world will have free access to webcasts on Sunday via USA Cycling’s YouTube and Facebook channels, showcasing the elite men’s and women’s road races. WATE Six On Your Side will produce the broadcast and provide regional television programming.
Schedule of Events:
Thursday – Melton Lake Drive, Oak Ridge
7:30-10 a.m. U.S. Para-cycling Time Trial events (Awards 11 a.m.)
10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. U.S. Pro ITT Women (Awards to follow U23/Elite Women)
12:30-3 p.m. U.S. Pro ITT Men (Awards to follow)
Friday – Gay Street, Knoxville
Media Only – 10-11 a.m. Press Conference
4:45 p.m. U.S. Para-cycling Handcycle Relay
6 p.m. U.S. Pro Criterium Women (70 mins)
7:25 p.m. U.S. Pro Criterium Men (80 mins)
8:45 p.m. awards
Saturday – Gay Street/Riverside Drive, Knoxville
8-11 a.m. U.S. Para-cycling road races and awards – men’s and women’s Trikes and Handcycles
10:30-12 p.m. Olympic Day Celebration and Photo Op (S. Gay St. between Church & Cumberland Aves.)
10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. U.S. Para-cycling road races and awards – Bicycles
12-2 p.m. U.S. Para-cycling road races and awards – men’s and women’s Tandem, MC4-5
Sunday – Gay Street, Knoxville
9 a.m.-1 p.m. U.S. Pro Road Race Women (9 laps) and awards
1:15-6 p.m. U.S. Pro Road Race Men (15 laps) and awards
US Champs podium 2017:
Starting Date of La Vuelta’20 from Utrecht Known
Next year, La Vuelta will start in the city of Utrecht on Friday 14th of August 2020. The second and third stage will take place on the 15th and 16th of August, when the peloton will cycle through the provinces of Utrecht and Brabant. The organizer of La Vuelta, Unipublic, announced these dates today in coordination with the Road Cycling Committee of the UCI.
La Vuelta 20 will cross no less than 34 Dutch municipalities in three days. The organization is in the hands of the cities of Utrecht, ‘s Hertogenbosch and Breda and the provinces of Utrecht and Noord-Brabant. Mayor of Utrech, Jan van Zanen: “It’s great that there’s a concrete date now. We’re looking forward to making beautiful plans, for and by residents and visitors of the regions of Utrecht and Noord-Brabant”. An opinion shared by Javier Guillén, General Manager of La Vuelta: “La Vuelta Holanda will be the best way to celebrate our 75th edition. We’re very excited about the idea of organizing a new official start from abroad, and The Netherlands are definitely the best host we could wish for”.
Festivities for and by Residents
The festivities surrounding La Vuelta Holanda will start much earlier than on the 14th of August. Various activities will be organized in the municipalities to be crossed and at other locations in the province months in advance. “La Vuelta Holanda is much than three days of top-level cycling”, says Paul Depla – Mayor of Breda. “It will be a wonderful celebration for and by residents, entrepreneurs and our (international) guests. It strengthens the bond between Spain and The Netherlands even further”.
The organization of La Vuelta Holanda is now engaged in conversation with sport clubs, schools, cultural institutions and entrepreneurs through various brainstorm-evenings for the purpose of exploring the ideas these parties have for activities surrounding the international cycling event in 2020. In terms of themes, the focus will lie on the themes of celebration, healthy urban life and sustainability.
La Vuelta in Utrecht:
The 71st Volta a Valencia Gran Premi Banc Sabadell will be held from 5 to 9 February 2020
The 71st edition of the Volta Ciclista a Valencia Gran Premi Banc Sabadell will be held from 5 to 9 February 2020 and was confirmed by the director of the VCV, Angel Casero, in an informative breakfast held this morning with media in Space Banc Sabadell Enterprise HUB.
In 2020 the first stage of the race will start in the province of Castellón; the queen stage will be held in the province of Alicante, in this sense Angel Casero stressed that “we like it on Saturday so that everyone can come. And another of our desires is that the race will end with a street circuit in the city of Valencia since our purpose as an organization is to give the greatest possible visibility to the city,” the director of the VCV he said.
Regarding the towns through which the Vuelta Valencia will pass is currently unknown until governments are formed “from July 15 start working on them,” said Angel Casero. The purpose of the organization is to have a balanced route, in addition, the director of the VCV dreams that the 2020 edition would have a hilly time trial and the goal for 2021 is to have six days, so each province has two stages.
At a sporting level; one of the main objectives of the organization is to have the presence of Froome and Valverde. Notably, Chris Froome has suffered a crash that will keep him off the bike for several months. “Hopefully he can recover and finally decide to come to the CV as a come back,” said Angel Casero.
For his part, Alejandro Valverde won three times in Valencia, a record that no other rider has. The Murcian rider announced he would retire in 2020 and the race would be a perfect finalé for the Vuelta Valencia for him to end his career by participating in the oldest sporting event of Valencian Community.
A new feature for the next issue is that the CV Vuelta has asked the UCI inclusion in the new ProSeries category and thus have the possibility of having 70 percent of the participants from the WorldTour, compared to 50 percent in previous editions. In that sense Angel Casero said that “we will not know until September exactly the participating teams,” the director of the CV Vuelta said.
To date the assessment by the participating teams is very positive at the organizational level and many have already communicated to the organization of its intention to repeat their participation; Sky, Katusha and Movistar, who have all ridden in the event since 2016.
Balance very positive VCV 2019: greater impact and growth
During his speech Angel Casero mainly highlighted the sporting level of last year with the final triumph of Ion Izaguirre, stage victories for Boasson, Van Avermaet, Yates and the participation of Thomas and Valverde.
The television audience has increased by 18.85 percent with respect to the 2018 edition and was broadcast live by Eurosport in 130 countries and in 22 languages reaching 130 million homes. “In addition, we are in advanced talks to expand Eurosport linking negotiations,” he added Angel Casero.
VCV Féminas 2020
In 2020 there will be again the VCV Féminas on the same day with the same route as the men on February 9th. In this sense Angel Casero said “we pioneered with the podium assistants to also have children, and the VCV Féminas have done the same to promote equality and give as a prize the same sum of money as the man’s race.”
Silvia Tirado, director of this project, said he was very pleased with last year “was a very nice challenge and all parties gave congratulations. The most important thing was that the girl’s race felt like a men’s race, with the same infrastructure and economic means, we have teams who could not attend have already contacted us they want to be next year,” said Silvia Tirado.
At the end, the director of the CV Vuelta welcomed the involvement and support from title sponsor Banc Sabadell was represented by Fernando Canós, director salesperson east who thanked Angel Casero who had chosen this space to accommodate the summary breakfast.
Angel Casero, Fernando Canós and Silvia Tirado:
A Day in Yellow: Max Bulla
Light-years behind the records of Eddy Merckx and nowhere near as famous as the three other five-time winners of the Tour de France, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, a total of 67 riders have worn the yellow jersey for just one day (or even less) in their careers and exemplified the pursuit of excellence from a humble start. In the 1931 Tour, Max Bulla snatched the overall lead at the end of stage 2, becoming the first — and only — touriste-routier to get his hands on the coveted yellow jersey. A monster performance.
Back then, the Tour had “aces”… and touristes-routiers (“tourists of the road”). Just the names of these categories speak volumes about the low opinion people had of these unglamorous cyclists, who were only invited to the Grande Boucle to make up the numbers but still represented about half of the peloton at the start of the 1931 edition. As well as being excluded from national teams, these riders received no mechanical support and had to settle for participating in the Tour with little hope of shining at the front. While most of these “individual” competitors were indeed a step or two below the champions, the main reason Max Bulla had to race in this category was that his country, Austria, lacked enough riders to field a team capable of rubbing shoulders with the elite.
The rouleur from Vienna had already shown his talent in the 1930 Deutschland Tour, as well as proving to be a serious contender in the 1929 Worlds until an ill-fated choice of gear left him unable to follow Ronsse and Binda. Despite these top-notch performances, Bulla started the second stage of the 1931 Tour in Caen as part of the “shadow peloton”, which was furthermore required to start 10 minutes after the stars to avoid getting in the way of the big men. However, the three strongest and bravest touristes-routiers managed to come close enough to the first peloton to post the fastest times at the finish in Dinan. Their performance catapulted Max Bulla from Austria, René Bernard from Paris and Adrien Van Vierst from Reims to the top of the general classification, with Bulla clad in yellow at the end of the day.
The next day, Henri Desgrange, who again poured scorn on the prima donnas in his column in L’Auto, had nothing but praise for Bulla: “We had the opportunity to follow Bulla throughout his endeavor. This harmonious lad who stays balanced and well seated on his saddle without letting his effort spoil the beauty of his movements looks like a real class act. He may not speak a single word of French, but his lithe figure and eyes sparkling with ingenuity, if not intelligence, leave nothing to be said. His unwavering cordiality, with a cheerful demeanor like Leducq’s, completes the delightful appearance of the new wearer of the yellow jersey.” However, even the alluring maillot jaune did not save Bulla from having to start the next stage to Brest with the other touristes-routiers. The Austrian was unable to repeat the exploit of the previous day and slipped down the general classification. He went on to claim another two stages and finish the Tour in 15th place overall, first among the “individual” riders. 84 years later, Austria has yet to see another one of its cyclists in yellow in the Tour.
More information about Tour de France on www.letour.fr/en/
Tour de France: 5 First Names for Wanty-Gobert
The 106th Tour de France is approaching at a fast pace and Wanty-Gobert has chosen its first names for its definitive selection. The Belgian team will present a team built around Guillaume Martin for its third participation in a Grand Tour, as for its first two participations. The French climber, 26 years old, knows already four of his teammates. Norwegian Odd Eiking (24) will make his first appearance at the Tour de France, just like Belgians Aimé De Gendt (25) and Xandro Meurisse (27), while Italian Andrea Pasqualon (31) will bring his experience to the bunch sprints, in which he was successful last year with six top 10 finishes. The last three riders joining the squad for the Grand Départ in Brussels on 6th of July will be chosen among a list of eight riders.
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager): “We balanced our effective with an exhausting Tour de France in mind. The power of our team is increasing, we saw this on the roads of the Dauphiné, but also in the Tours of Belgium and Luxembourg and in the GP Canton Aargau. Guillaume Martin stays our asset for the mountains classification, as during our last two participations. Andrea Pasqualon, who claimed six top 10 places in last year’s Tour de France, will be our only sprinter.”
“Furthermore, we put an emphasis on the youth: Odd Eiking has shown several times that his talent can bring him to the top. He left the Dauphiné sick, but his performances during previous weeks convinced us that he has the caliber to shine in the Tour de France. Xandro Meurisse has proven in the Dauphiné that his condition is increasing. His top 10 in the last stage of the Dauphiné proves that he is able to show something in the mountains. Finally, Aimé De Gendt is a solid rouleur/baroudeur, who can assist our protected riders and take the offensive.”
“We have chosen to announce five names in order to relieve these riders. They can now fully devote themselves to their preparation for the next Tour de France. We will take one more week to reflect on the selection of the last three riders. These names will be the most difficult to choose, but we will rapidly take a decision with the sportive direction.”
The five selected riders:
Aimé De Gendt (Bel, 24)
Odd Eiking (Nor, 24)
Guillaume Martin (Fra, 26)
Xandro Meurisse (Bel, 27)
Andrea Pasqualon (Ita, 31).
The last three names will be chosen from:
Frederik Backaert (Bel, 29)
Fabien Doubey (Fra, 25)
Wesley Kreder (P-B, 28)
Marco Minnaard (P-B, 30)
Yoann Offredo (Fra, 32)
Kevin Van Melsen (Bel, 32)
Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel, 32)
Loïc Vliegen (Bel, 25).
La Cubilla. Lena is the Most Viral High-Altitude Finalé of La Vuelta’19 and Will be this Edition’s Alberto Fernández Summit
Cycling and La Vuelta fans have voted and have chosen La Cubilla. Lena as the “Most viral high-altitude finale” of La Vuelta 19. The Asturian peak, one of the great unprecedented locations of La Vuelta’s 74th edition, faced another unprecedented mountain pass in the final: Ares del Maestrat, in the Province of Castellón. A tough final battle in which over 3000 users voted through La Vuelta’s Facebook page.
Despite the countless Asturian summits La Vuelta has already climbed in the past, the Principality continues to offer the race – year after year – new unprecedented peaks. La Cubilla mountain pass is comparable to its Pyrenean counterparts due to its length, its characteristic winding twists and the unparalleled beauty found along its ascent. Over 20 km of continuous climbing with an average inclination of 5% and ramps featuring two-digit percentiles. This mountain pass, highly frequented and appreciated by cyclotourists, makes its debut in La Vuelta 19 on a high note.
The Most Viral Finalé will be the Alberto Fernández Summit
Located on the Leon border of the Las Ubiñas Natural Park, Biosphere Reserve, La Cubilla won a competition that began in March and which saw it beat seven of La Vuelta’s other high-altitude finales. In the face-offs, La Cubilla eliminated the infernal ramps of the Castellón mountain pass Mas de la Costa and those of another more recent discovery for La Vuelta: Los Machucos, Monumento a la Vaca Pasiega.
Throughout the three months of voting, over 13,000 users participated in the seven rounds of face-offs, doubling the number of voters since last year’s edition. The localities found near these mountain passes have, again, thrown their support behind the competition, encouraging fans to vote with the hope of being proclaimed winners.
Furthermore, with the aim of giving greater weight to the opinion of La Vuelta followers, the organization has decided to declare the competition winner the Alberto Fernández Summit, which corresponds to each edition’s toughest climb.
All the voters now aspire to win two VIP access bracelets to attend the 16th stage, whose finish-line will be at La Cubilla, on the 9th of September. The winner will be chosen through a raffle of all voters and his/her name will be announced next week through the La Vuelta Facebook page.
· The Asturian summit of La Cubilla has won the competition held by La Vuelta on its social media to decide on “The most viral high-altitude finale” of the 2019 edition, beating Ares del Maestrat in the final.
· This year, for the first time, the summit to bear the title of the Alberto Fernández Summit – which refers to the toughest climb of each edition of La Vuelta – will be the winner of the most viral high-altitude finale, chosen by La Vuelta followers as this edition’s most attractive climb.
· Two VIP access bracelets for the 16th stage of La Vuelta 19, held on the 9th of September, will be raffled among the participants.
More information about La Vuelta on www.lavuelta.com.
Cycling Canada Launches New Brand and Website
Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the launch of its new brand and website, the end result of a process which was initiated in 2018 through funding support from the Canadian Olympic Committee’s National Sport Federation Enhancement Initiative.
The development of a new brand and digital home for Canada’s national cycling federation marks another important milestone for an organization striving to modernize as it leads and develops a growing array of cycling disciplines and communities from coast-to-coast.
“While the sport of cycling is complex and continues to evolve, we are an organization whose mission and purpose remain rather simple – to inspire Canadians through cycling,” said Cycling Canada Executive Director Matthew Jeffries. “Our sport is unique in its ability to enrich lives and build a happier and healthier nation. Cycling is a journey that unites us all. It is our shared passion and we want our brand to reflect this passion as well as our dedication towards developing the sport holistically and collaboratively across the country.”
Originally founded in 1882 as the Canadian Wheelmen’s Association, Cycling Canada is among Canada’s oldest National Sport Organizations. “While a key objective with this project was to develop something modern and contemporary, we are proud of our rich history and we wanted to ensure that was reflected and acknowledged in the new brand,” noted Head of Performance Strategy Kevin Field.
The development of the new Cycling Canada brand and website was achieved in collaboration with Toronto-based consulting and advertising agency theturnlab, who are known for their work with the Mattamy National Cycling Centre, Adidas, Cannondale, as well as and many other high-profile sport and lifestyle brands. The website and logo were designed by Montreal-based Leonardo Studio, Cycling Canada’s agency of record for graphic design, while La Cursive assisted with the content creation in both official languages.
“Over the last few years, our marketing strategies have evolved to become more inclusive of all cycling disciplines and all levels of the sport,” said Cycling Canada Marketing & Communications Manager Karine Bedard. “With increasing focus on the development of consistent and quality content that reaches a broader audience, this new brand and website come at the right time.”
“I want to extend our most sincere thanks and gratitude to all the partners who contributed towards this project, and particularly the Canadian Olympic Committee for the resources and funding support to make it all happen,” added Jeffries.
While the new website is live as of today, the new brand will come to life gradually over the coming months across Cycling Canada event properties, programs, digital platforms and apparel.
For more information about the new brand please visit: https://www.cyclingcanada.ca/about/overview/.
Canada’s Hugo Houle at the Worlds:
The Numbers of the Giro d’Italia 102
An enthralling Giro d’Italia has just ended. Here’s the story of the 102nd edition, in numbers:
· 1 – The first Giro d’Italia won by an Ecuadorian rider
· 3 – The bib number of the winner, Richard Carapaz
· 39,291 – The average speed of this year’s Giro
· 59 – companies sponsored the Giro, including jerseys, rankings, advertising caravans and departure and arrival towns and villages
· 142 – riders finished the Giro
· 147 – stops made by the colorful Advertising Caravan during the Corsa Rosa
· 198 – countries, right around the world, broadcasted the race live
· 533 – cyclists participated in the GIRO E, the multi-stage event dedicated to electric-assisted bikes that took place on the same roads and on the same days as the Giro d’Italia
· 1,500 – articles were published in Ecuador, in print and web media, during the final week of the Giro
· 1,735 – accredited media from international, national and local publications attended the race
· 3,537.6 – kilometers raced in this edition
· 9,775 – spectators packed the Arena di Verona in the grand finale of the Giro (maximum capacity)
· 50,000 – children were involved in the BICISCUOLA educational project
· 73,078.68 – kilograms of waste were collected during the Giro, then recycled, through the Ride Green project (92.1% of the total was recycled)
· 2,800,000 – The social media community of the Corsa Rosa
· 3,700,000 – The peak audience on the Italian national TV channel RAI for the finale of the 20th stage
· 80,000,000 – page views on giroditalia.it during the three-week race
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.