EUROTRASH News Round Up Thursday!

Paris looms on the horizon as the 2020 Tour de France gets ready to depart from Nice on Saturday. Will Primoz Roglič be amongst them – TOP STORY. All the Tour news, plus the European championships, Bretagne Classic and the GP de Plouay. Teams look at safety, Remco Evenepoel out of hospital, Fabio Jakobsen not so good, Covid false positives, contract news from Tony Martin, Baptiste Planckaert, Sam Oomen and BORA-hansgrohe. McLaren pulls out and INEOS introduce Grenadiers and BORA – hansgrohe Tour jersey. A fun-packed Tour EUROTRASH Thursday.

TOP STORY: Will Primoz Roglic Start the Tour?
It is not entirely certain whether Primož Roglič will be at the start of the Tour de France on Saturday. His partner Lora Klinc told Slovenian media that the intended leader of Jumbo-Visma has not yet recovered one hundred percent from his crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

“The crash put everything on hold for a while,” she told RTV Slo. “On the other hand, it could also turn out much worse. But why did it have to happen so close to the start of the Tour de France? I am eagerly awaiting what will happen next.”

Roglič would be anything but top fit. According to Klinc, it is unclear whether the winner of the Tour de l’Ain can start in Nice on Saturday. “The most important question at the moment is whether Primož will really start. We all want that, but we are waiting for confirmation.”

Roglič had to give up the lead in the Critérium du Dauphiné after a crash in the penultimate stage. He was taken off the race as a precaution to have his scrapes and hip injury treated. At the weekend, the leader of Jumbo-Visma team spoke about his fitness: “I actually thought that I would feel better at the moment.”

Will Roglic be in Nice on Saturday?

European Men’s Road Championships 2020
Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo is the new European road champion. In the final sprint in Plouay, he pushed his wheel over the line ahead of Arnaud Démare (France) and Pascal Ackermann (Germany). Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) was fourth.

On the first lap four riders broke away: Dusan Rajovic, Paweł Bernas, Andreas Miltiadis and Emil Dima, all are Continental team riders. The escape got a maximum of 2:30 on the peloton, which was led by Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. Before half way; the leading group’s advantage started to drop. On the seventh lap they were down to about a minute, first Koen de Kort and a little later Oscar Riesebeek tried to get away from the peloton, the Netherlands were trying to control the race. This helped to reduce the difference with the early break to 30 seconds, Rajovic was the first to drop out one lap later.

Just before the start of lap 9 there was a big crash in the middle of the peloton on the descent to the finish. The bunch made a wave to the left of the road, causing at least fifteen riders to come down. Belgians Jasper Philipsen and Xandro Meurisse, among others, were involved and had to abandon. France and Italy took on the chase and the lead disappeared. Bernas went solo on the climb of the Côte du Pont-Neuf, the last climb on the circuit around Plouay, and tried it alone for a while.

On the tenth lap, Bernas was caught. Sep Vanmarcke held the speed at the front of the peloton on the climb of the Côte du Lézot, then it was the turn of the Belgians. This caused the bunch to split to pieces. At 51 kilometres from the finish, Mathieu van der Poel tried his hand, but the rest was on the wheel. When one Van der Poel was caught, the other, David, jumped in a new escape attempt with Diego Rubio, early break rider Bernas and Rúben Guerreiro. Behind; the French and Italians continued to set the pace. With a lead of 21 seconds, the attackers entered the last three laps.

Vanmarcke pulled hard on the Côte du Lézot, after which fellow countryman Greg Van Avermaet gave it a try, but everything stayed together. Jasper Stuyven was also busy and the fast Belgian jumped to the four front riders in one move. A few kilometres later, the winner of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad went solo. Guerreiro crossed from behind, but the duo don’t stay ahead for long.

29 kilometres from the finish, Mathieu van der Poel gave it a second shot and so small group started the penultimate lap with a small lead. In the run-up to the Côte du Lézot the work stopped at the front, and the race regrouped. Van der Poel tried again, but didn’t get anywhere.

Matteo Trentin and Sven Erik Bystrøm took a bit of a lead. But this was also shut down, again by Mathieu van der Poel. Johan Jacobs was the next to attempt solo in vain. The race was all together with one 13.65 kilometre lap to go.

Vanmarcke tried again on the Côte du Lézot for the third lap in a row, but the winner of the Bretagne Classic in 2019 didn’t get away (again). The peloton looked at each other, after which Markus Hoelgaard took a small lead. In the peloton there was a stalemate with the last climb of the Côte du Pont-Neuf ahead. Nick van der Lijke and Pieter Weening led the peloton to the final kilometres.

Then the Italians took over from the men in orange. It was Sebastian Schönberger who closed the last gap to Hoelgaard with a jump. Tom Pidcock went up and over from behind just before the top of the Côte du Pont-Neuf, but the Briton received no support and so the race would be decided in a bunch sprint. Giacomo Nizzolo was led-out perfectly by Davide Ballerini and finished the sprint off ahead of Démare and Ackermann.

2020 European champion, Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy and NTT Pro Cycling): “Today was incredible. Italy road all day in the front, from the first kilometre and controlled the race. I had good feelings throughout the race and in the end could do a great sprint. I am so happy, and I can’t wait to see the team tonight and to celebrate with them.”

European Women’s Road Championships 2020
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy) in 4:12:23
2. Arnaud Démare (France)
3. Pascal Ackermann (Germany)
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands)
5. Jasper Stuyven (Belgium)
6. Davide Ballerini (Italy)
7. Maciej Paterski (Poland)
8. Iván García Cortina (Spain)
9. Adam Ťoupalík (Czech Republic)
10. Benoît Cosnefroy (France).

European U23 Women’s Road Championships 2020
Italy’s Elisa Balsamo is the new U23 women’s European road champion. The Italian rider kept Lonneke Uneken (Netherlands) and Emma Norsgaard (Denmark) at bay in Plouay.

On the hilly course, there were several attack attempts, but no one managed to get away from the peloton permanently. A sprint of a large group was then the logical end of the race. Balsamo managed to control the race in the sprint. The 22-year-old rider, who normally races for Valcar-Travel and Service, beat Uneken and Norsgaard to the lower podium places.

European U23 Women’s Road Championships result:
1. Elisa Balsamo (Italy) in 2:15:27
2. Lonneke Uneken (Netherlands)
3. Emma Cecilie Norsgaard (Denmark)
4. Franziska Koch (Germany)
5. Wilma Olausson (Sweden)
6. Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary)
7. Shari Bossuyt (Belgium)
8. Silke Smulders (Netherlands)
9. Évita Muzic (France)
10. Chiara Consonni (Italy).

2020 Euro U 23 women’s champion – Elisa Balsamo:

Bretagne Classic 2020
Michael Matthews (Sunweb) won the 2020 Bretagne Classic. The Australian sprinter of Team Sunweb managed to stay aloof throughout the race, but came forward at the right time and could count on a very strong Nils Eekhoff in the final.

Plouay is this week the epicenter of the race with the European Cycling Championships, but also with the Bretagne Classic-Ouest France. Incidentally, there was not much enthusiasm for this hilly one-day race. For example, Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma even opted not to send a selection at all, with a fine of between 10,000 and 20,000 Swiss francs as a result.

BORA-hansgrohe also did not start in the Brittany Classic after a positive COVID-19 test by one of their participating riders. Zhandos Bizhigitov, Floris De Tier, Joey Rosskopf, Alexander Cataford, Will Clarke and Rémi Cavagna were just about to leave and soon decided to set up an early flight. However, the six attackers did not get much space from the peloton.

The men from EF Pro Cycling and UAE Emirates tried to keep the difference as small as possible towards the finish in Plouay, in order to keep man-in-form Cavagna (who won silver at the European Time Trial Championships yesterday) within range. The speeder of Deceuninck-Quick-Step had to defend a lead of only two minutes in the last eighty kilometres, together with his fellow escapees.

The energy was gone by the front runners and so Cavagna decided to go with another 74 kilometres to continue alone. Clarke, Rosskopf and De Tier tried to close the gap, but broke their teeth in the chase on the French TGV. Cavagna was alone and managed to deepen his lead over the large group. Were we watching a successful solo from the Frenchman?

No, because Cavagna was caught twenty kilometres later by the peloton, which had now been considerably thinned out. Harm Vanhoucke, Fernando Barceló and Robert Stannard were the next attackers with more than forty kilometres on the clock. These riders quickly managed to finish half a minute and at one point finished 45 seconds ahead of the peloton.

In the group of favourites it remained restless, so there was no organised pursuit of Vanhoucke, Stannard and Barceló. Yet it went fast enough in the thinned peloton to get the three attackers back by the neck. In the final phase of the Bretagne Classic, the Belgians (with Jan Bakelants and Aimé De Gendt) showed themselves well, but no one was able to really drive away from the peloton.

With 13 kilometres to go, the riders started the umpteenth climb of the day: the Côte du Lézot (1.4 km at 3.9%). This turned out to be the perfect moment for a group of seven to try it, but this flight was also short-lived. Victor Lafay was given the space of the men of UAE Emirates, who drove full in front of sprinter and man-in-form Jasper Philipsen.

Lafay’s lead, ahead of Cofidis, was up to fifteen-seconds. The Frenchman only had to survive the last climb of the day, the Côte du Pont-Neuf (1.5 km at 4.2%). That did not work and so Lafay was thanked for his services. A group of seven riders managed to make a small hole at the top of the Côte du Pont-Neuf and these drivers started with a limited lead at the last kilometre.

A fantastic Nils Eekhoff, who already impressed with silver at the National Cycling Championships last Sunday, decided to sacrifice himself completely in the service of Matthews, who was at his wits’ end after the climb of the Côte du Pont-Neuf. Luka Mezgec was the first to start the sprint, but the Slovenian was not up to Matthews. It is his first season victory for the Australian, who has not been selected for the Tour.

Bretagne Classic winner, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “This is an amazing day. We’ve tried a lot of times to win this and today we came with a super strong team to try again. After Milano-Sanremo’s podium I was confident that I could finish it off if I got the opportunity today. Felix did a great job during the race to make sure the breakaway didn’t get too far and the rest of us could relax in the peloton. In the final there was a big headwind so there was not too much excitement, but we just played it cool and put it all into the final. There were a lot of attacks throughout the race and we had all of them covered which was great, there was always someone there. In the final Nils did a great job to start pulling and then he got a split with one other guy and I could sit on behind. Mezgec then closed the gap and I was able to do a really good sprint at the finish. It’s amazing to come here and win after so many tries and I just really want to thank the team for their amazing support today.”

2nd, Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott): “I am a bit disappointed with this second place. I was well in front after the last climb, but two riders managed to get away. One of those riders rode for Team Sunweb. As a result, Matthews didn’t have to do the dirty work. I had to close the gap to that Team Sunweb rider and then start the sprint with 350 meters to go. Second, it is what it is. I am very satisfied with the condition and that is only good just before the Tour de France.”

3rd, Florian Senechal (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I felt very strong and ready to really fight for the win. The team drove a fantastic race. I was kept in the front for the entire race. I actually wanted to attack on the last climb and then pull it all the way through, but unfortunately there was a headwind. Because of this I had to change my plans. I started my sprint at 200 meters from the line and therefore finish third.”

4th, Aimé De Gendt (Circus-Wanty Gobert): “Finishing next to the podium is always a pity. Simmons dropped in the sprint, forcing me to close a gap. But I’m very satisfied about my performance. Jan and I rode a good final. Loïc wasn’t feeling good today and brought us into a good position for the final. With Boy and Fabien being involved in crashes, we lost several teammates. But we were still present at the front. On the last climb I followed the forefront of the peloton, distancing the group, and sprinting for the victory.”

Bretagne Classic Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 6:01:14
2. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:01
3. Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Aime De Gendt (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
5. Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Nippo Delko Provence
6. Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
7. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Sunweb at 0:03
8. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkea-Samsic at 0:05
9. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren.

GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglo 2020
Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) won the women’s GP de Plouay for the third time. In a wet edition with a lot of rain and a number of crashes, Deignan beat her county-woman Elizabeth Banks (Equipe Paule Ka) in a two-up sprint. Chiara Consonni (Valcar-Travel and Service) won the peloton sprint for third place.

The GP de Plouay split 40 kilometres from the finish, just as Dutch champion Anna van der Breggen dropped out, although she had won the European time trial championship the previous day. With more than an hour of racing to go: Jip van den Bos and the two British woman Lizzie Deignan and Elizabeth Banks joined forces, just after a crash in the peloton. Van den Bos tried to stay with them, but the Boels-Dolmans rider slipped on a corner and was caught by the peloton.

While the peloton regrouped, the duo of Deignan and Banks took a minutes lead. With two local circuits to go a group of nine counter-attackers started a chase: Demi Vollering, Annemiek van Vleuten, Amy Pieters, Grace Brown, Mikayla Harvey, Mavi Garcia, Tanja Erath, Elisa Longo Berghini, Cécile Utrupp Ludwig and Liane Lippert.

When Annemiek van Vleuten pressed harder on the climbs, the gap to the duo was narrowed. The world champion on her own ensured that the minute came down to 30 seconds. But when Van Vleuten sat up, it quickly went back to a minute. With half a lap to go it became clear that Deignan and Banks would decide the victory.

In the sprint Banks was no match for Deignan. The chase group were caught by the peloton in the final and the Italian ridder, Consonni, won the sprint for third place, ahead of Marta Bastianelli (Ale BTC Ljubljana).

2020 GP de Plouay winner, Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo): I’m delighted, it’s been a difficult season for everybody so far and we’ve had a lot of bad luck in the first few races. It’s been clear to me that we’ve had the strongest team in all the races and finally the luck was on our side. We had the numbers and used that advantage early. I attacked off the back of some attacks from the other girls, and I was able to get some space and I knew the rest of the team was backing me up behind. All I had to do was put my head down and try to get to the finish line first, and we did, so I’m really happy. Plouay is a really nice race and I always seem to do well here. The rain came which was an extra bonus for me, finally no more sweating in the heat for me! I’m really, really happy and grateful to the whole team for their effort.”

2nd, Elizabeth Banks (Equipe Paule Ka): “I’m thrilled with today’s result. Since Paule Ka has come on board as our title partner, the team has shown such great potential, with two podiums in the past two WorldTour races. Performances such as these show that this squad of quite young riders has very exciting potential. What today demonstrates is that everyone in the team gets their chance, that we’re fighters, and that we deserve to be in the WorldTour. We raced aggressively today, and the weather conditions were favourable, because I really like riding in the rain. In terms of the key moves, Marlen put in a strong attack, and when she came back, I countered it. Jip van den Bos and Lizzie Deignan followed. Eventually it was just me and Lizzie, and we worked really well together. I’m delighted about her win, although of course I would have liked to win myself! But I’m really happy with this second place. All in all, it was a great day out for the team, we worked well together and I’m really grateful to all the riders and staff for their efforts.”

GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglo Result:
1. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Trek-Segafredo in 2:43:40
2. Elizabeth Banks (GB) Equipe Paule Ka
3. Chiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar-Travel and Service at 1:13
4. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale BTC Ljubljana
5. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM Racing
6. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Lotto Soudal
7. Marta Lach (Pol) CCC-Liv
8. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
9. Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Movistar
10. Stine Borgli (Nor) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.

Anna van der Breggen and Stefan Kung are the New Individual Time-Trial European Champions
The Dutch and the Swiss riders won the continental titles in Plouay (France) on the first day of the European event which will finish on Friday 28 August.

Stefan Kung, Road world bronze medallist in 2019 won the race in 30:18 (25.6 kilometres) at an average speed of 50.690 km/h, beating by 0:18 the French rider Rémi Cavagna and the double European Champion and hour record holder, the Belgian Victor Campenaerts, third at 0:22.

Anna van der Breggen, Olympic gold medallist in the Road race at Rio de Janiero 2016, took the title after an impressive performance riding 25.6 kilometres of the difficult circuit in 34:03 with an average speed of 45 kilometres, ahead by 0:31 of the current European Champion, her compatriot Ellen van Dijk. Third place went to the Swiss Marlen Reusser in 35:02. This was Anna van der Breggen’s second European title after the one won on the Road in Plumelec, Britanny in 2016.

The day began with the Women Juniors race, with a win by Elise Uijen (Netherlands) who rode the 25.6 km in 37:24, beating the French rider Maeva Squiban, second at 1:01, and the Italian Carlotta Cipressi who finished third in a time of 38:52, 1:28 behind the champion.

In the Men Juniors, the gold medal was won by the Czech Republic representative, Mathias Vacek in 32:39, ahead by 0:04 of the German Marco Brenner and the Italian Lorenzo Milesi, third at 0:18.

Two Germans were on the podium for the Women’s Under 23 races with Hanna Ludwig taking the number one position (35:53) and Franziska Koch second at 0:25. Third place went to the Pole Marta Jaskulska with a time of 37:11.

The Men’s Under 23 title was won by the Norwegian Andreas Leknessund in 30:58 beating Stefan Bisseger (Switzerland), second at 0:23, and the Belgian Ilan van Wilder who finished 0:28 behind the winner.

The men’s TT podium:

2020 Tour de France News

You can see the PEZ Tour Preview HERE.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de France
Julian Alaphilippe and Sam Bennett will lead the team at the season’s first Grand Tour.

Two months later than scheduled, the Tour de France is set to start from Nice, the sun-soaked French Riviera city which will host the Grand Depart for the second time in history, after 1981. This 107th edition is widely regarded as one of the toughest in recent memory, with the summit finishes to Orcières-Merlette, Grand Colombier, Villard-de-Lans, Méribel and La Planche des Belles Filles (where the race’s sole individual time trial will take place on the penultimate day) being just some of the highlights.

The man who lit up last year’s edition with two memorable stage wins and a superb 14-day spell in the prestigious yellow jersey, Julian Alaphilippe returns to the race, having shown some strong form in his last appearance before travelling to Nice – the French Championships held in Grand-Champs.

Having raced the Tour de France twice, in 2015 and 2016, Sam Bennett will be back on cycling’s biggest stage after four years with the goal of taking at least one win and completing a set of Grand Tour stage victories. The Irish Champion will rely on the services of Michael Mørkøv, one of the most experienced and valuable lead-out men in the peloton, who will be making his 11th Grand Tour appearance.

Newly-crowned Danish Champion Kasper Asgreen, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Bob Jungels – who two years ago came just outside the top 10 overall – and 2015 Le Havre stage winner Zdenek Stybar will round out Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s roster for what will be the season’s first Grand Tour.

“For Julian it will be very difficult to repeat last year’s Tour, but at the same time, it’s not necessary to do it. We will take it with him day by day and see what happens. There are some nice opportunities for him, but I can tell you we aren’t thinking of a scenario similar to that of the previous Tour. In Sam, we have a contender for the bunch sprints, which won’t be so straightforward as in the past, the route being one of the toughest in recent memory. I think there are maximum four clear stages for sprinters spread over the three weeks.”

“Michael will be Sam’s last man and will guide him through those hectic final kilometres, but also Kasper and Styby will play an important role in his lead-out train, while at the same time keeping an eye on breakaway opportunities. Bob and Dries are both riders who can support Julian, they have a lot of experience and can help him in the finale. Last but not least, Tim will do what he does best: control the race. He is a world-class domestique and has the power and knowledge to do it”, concluded Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels.

29.08–20.09 Tour de France (FRA) 2.UWT

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Sam Bennett (IRL)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Bob Jungels (LUX)
Michael Mørkøv (DEN)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE).
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL), Tom Steels (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

UAE Team Emirates Set Sights on Tour de France
Emirati team announce squad for La Grande Boucle

UAE Team Emirates have named their 8-man team for the pinnacle of the world cycling calendar, the Tour de France, which sets off from Nice on August 29 before arriving in Paris on 20 September.

After a very promising start to the season, in which the team has claimed 18 victories, the squad will be hopeful of building on that success.

The team will call on the experience of Fabio Aru who will go into the race as co-leader along with Tadej Pogačar who will make his Tour de France debut. Aru comes into the race with growing form and with a previous win at the Tour to his palmarès. While Pogačar will head in with confidence after a strong showing in his Grand Tour debut in 2019 at the Vuelta España where he won 3 stages and finished 3rd overall.

The pair will be supported in the hills by the experienced climbing trio of Davide Formolo, Jan Polanc and David De La Cruz. Kristoff will look for opportunities in the sprints, while road captain Marco Marcato and Vegard Stake Laengen will prove vital on the flatter roads.

-Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
-Fabio Aru (Ita)
-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Jan Polanc (Slo)
-Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
-Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
-David De La Cruz (Spa)
-Marco Marcato (Ita)

The team will be led by Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) along with Sports Directors Allan Peiper (Aus), Simone Pedrazzini (Swi) and John Wakefield (RSA).

Allan Peiper (Sports Director): “We are confident at UAE Team Emirates that we have selected the best possible team for the Tour de France 2020 to support our leaders for the General Classification, Tadej Pogačar and Fabio Aru. Alexander Kristoff will have opportunities in the sprints but is prepared to change roles and support our GC leaders if necessary. We are all excited and motivated to be able to participate in this years Tour de France.”

Tadej Pogačar: “I’m a little nervous but mostly excited for my first Tour. At the Dauphine we showed what we could do as a team. We were consistently strong all week: Formolo won a stage, De La Cruz took the mountains jersey and I was high on GC. It was really good preparation for the Tour de France and a sign of what we can do. We know that the Tour will be another step-up but we are confident if all goes well that we can do good things.”

Matxin Fernandez (Manager): “The Tour de France is vital for everybody this year. After the season was re-scheduled and the confinement period, the Tour has grown to be a key event – for riders, teams, sponsors and organisers. We’ve had some races on the run-in to the Tour and are privileged to have had a number of wins and successes during that preparation period.”

“For this Tour we have a well-balanced team. Fabio Aru goes in with the responsibility as joint leader along with Tadej Pogačar. Tadej will take it day by day and though we have a lot of confidence in him he will go in without any big pressure on his shoulders. It’s his first Tour and it will be a big experience for him. Between the leaders along with Polanc, Formolo and De La Cruz we have five riders who can do very well in the hills. For the flatter days we have Laengen, Kristoff and Marcato who will add strength and experience in the hectic moments that arise during any Tour de France. Kristoff will play a versatile role but will have his chances in the sprints, starting with stage 1.”

Astana Team Built Around Miguel Ángel López
Astana has presented the eight-man squad for the Tour de France. All eyes are on leader Miguel Ángel López, who is making his debut in the Tour. The Colombian climber is supported by; Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagirre and new Spanish champion Luis Léon Sánchez.

Alexey Lutsenko is the only Kazack rider in the Tour team of the Kazakh team. The Spaniards Omar Fraile, Harold Tejeda from Colombia and the Canadian Hugo Houle complete Astana’s eight-man team. Houle has been in quarantine in recent weeks due to a positive corona test before Il Lombardia. The experienced rider announced that he has not been infected with the corona virus at all. This has been shown by several tests. After that news, Alexander Vinokourov decided to include Houle in the Tour team.

Astana team for the Tour de France 2020:
Miguel Ángel López,
Omar Fraile,
Hugo Houle,
Gorka Izagirre,
Ion Izagirre,
Alexey Lutsenko,
Luis Léon Sánchez,
Harold Tejeda.

Miguel Ángel López:

BORA – hansgrohe’s Tour de France team remains unchanged
Despite the injuries they recently sustained in France and Italy, Buchmann, Schachmann and Mühlberger will take on the Tour de France, albeit under different conditions than originally planned.

“Emanuel’s bruises and hematomas have proven to be quite persistent. He had to take a complete break for a few days and thereby lost crucial training time. From a medical perspective, his injuries are following a normal time progression, so if this continues in a similar manner, we’ll be on the right track ahead of the Tour. Physically, however, he will certainly not be in optimal shape at this point.”

“The fracture to Max’s collarbone has developed very well over the last few days. We have the necessary stability to at least give it a try with him. He has been training on the road again for a few days now, and everything is proceeding according to our expectations. However, Max’s preparations were undoubtedly interrupted by this injury. Cycling is not only about having the legs – the rest of the body must also be in good shape.”

“Gregor likely emerged the least affected. We were able to exclude a severe injury of the wrist, which would have required extended immobilisation or even surgery. He is still experiencing pain, however, he is able to train again, with a special splint. All three riders have done a superb job with the intensive rehabilitation measures we have implemented over the last few days – this is, after all, also what makes a world-class athlete.”Jan-Niklas Droste, Medical Team

“This has been a bitter setback. I actually thought that the Tour was over when I couldn’t get up on my own after the fall. But luckily nothing was broken. I concentrated on therapy last week and could only get back on the bike at the end of the week. Over the weekend, training didn’t go as I would have liked. This entire incident has really set me back. To suffer a fall like that was such a shame because I was in really good shape. At the Dauphiné, I was the strongest on the mountain behind Roglic, together with Pinot. Now there are a few question marks hanging over my head, especially since the race is about to kick off in earnest so soon. There’s no time for a transition, because on the second stage, we’ll already be heading into the mountains. We’ll just have to wait and see how far I can make it up there. I can only tackle the Tour from day to day now.”Emanuel Buchmann.

“Of course I would have liked different conditions. But I’m still happy that the team has confidence in me despite my injury, and has given me the opportunity to race the Tour. I’ve been training as well as possible over the last few days and I hope I’ll be able to really take on the race and deal with the pain.”Maximilian Schachmann.

AG2R-La Mondiale with Bardet and Naesen
AG2R-La Mondiale’s Tour de France selection: Climber Romain Bardet will start without real classification ambitions, but goes for “the highest possible” placing, according to team manager Vincent Lavenu. Oliver Naesen will be looking for stage victories together with Alexis Vuillermoz and Benoît Cosnefroy.

“We are going to this Tour with ambition, but modestly and without pressure,” emphasised Lavenu. “Our leader Romain Bardet has shown that he can compete with the best. That is why we approach this competition with serenity. We go in the rankings for the highest possible. Nothing is impossible.” Pierre Latour is another rider who can show off the AG2R kit in the mountain stages.

Oliver Naesen said that he will get more chances in this Tour. The focus is less on the GC for Bardet, who will be riding for Sunweb next year. Manager Lavenu agrees. “With riders like Oliver, Vuillermoz and Cosnefroy we can aim for stage victories. Clément Venturini and Nans Peters will ride the Tour for the first time, but are capable of great things.”

AG2R-La Mondiale Tour team:
Romain Bardet,
Mikael Chérel,
Benoît Cosnefroy,
Pierre Latour,
Oliver Naesen,
Nans Peters,
Clément Venturini,
Alexis Vuillermoz.

Stage wins for Naesen:

Total Direct Energie Going for Stage wins with Calmejane and Bonifazio
Total Direct Energie announced the eight riders who will start in the Tour de France on Saturday in Nice. The French wildcard team, will start without Niki Terpstra, who is not yet fully fit, has no GC rider and is therefore going for stage victories. The team sprinter is Niccolò Bonifazio.

In addition to the fast Italian, manager Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team only sends French riders to Nice. Lilian Calmejane is a stage winner. Jérôme Cousin, Romain Sicard, Geoffrey Soupe, Fabien Grellier, Anthony Turgis and 21-year-old debutant Mathieu Burgaudeau complete the selection.

Rein Taaramäe and Dries Van Gestel were in the pre-selection of the Total Direct Energie Tour team. The experienced Estonian will leave the French team at the end of this year for Circus-Wanty Gobert.

Total Direct Energy Tour de France team:
Niccolò Bonifazio,
Mathieu Burgaudeau,
Lilian Calmejane,
Jérôme Cousin,
Fabien Grellier,
Romain Sicard,
Geoffrey Soupe,
Anthony Turgis.

Stage wins for Bonifazio:

Movistar Team Confirms 2020 TDF Line-Up
Alejandro Valverde, Enric Mas, Marc Soler part of Blues’ eight-man roster; Telefónica-backed squad together in Courchevel last week, arrived in Nice last Sunday.

Three days before the start of the 2020 Tour de France, in the 38th appearance of the organisation currently known as Movistar Team in the most famous stage-race in the world, the Eusebio Unzué-led squad announced its eight-man lineup for the 10th edition of the ‘Grande Boucle’.

The Blues’ roster on French soil is composed by Dario Cataldo, Imanol Erviti, Enric Mas, Nelson Oliveira, José Joaquín Rojas, Marc Soler, Alejandro Valverde and Carlos Verona, with Antonio Pedrero and Jürgen Roelandts as reserves for any eventuality. José Luis Arrieta, Patxi Vila and Pablo Lastras will be the Movistar Team’s sports directors during the 2020 TDF.

The Telefónica-backed squad, which has stayed for the last week in Coutchevel, doing a recon of this year’s Alpine stages, travelled to Nice last Sunday to complete their preparations for the event, which starts on Saturday 29th August and will end in Paris on Sunday 20th September (Guide).

Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte Lead Trek-Segafredo
Trek-Segafredo’s Tour de France squad contains no surprises. The American formation announced that Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte are the leaders for the general classification. World champion Mads Pedersen will also start in Nice.

“The goal of the team is to go for a good classification with Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte,” sports director Kim Andersen says. “But the other big goal is to win one or more stages. We will try to keep at least one of our GC riders high in the rankings. Otherwise we will go all out for stage victories.”

Andersen also sees opportunities for the two Belgians in the team, Jasper Stuyven and Edward Theuns. “I think there are many stages in which the breakaway can win. We will try to get them, like Mads Pedersen, into those escapes. They can also support our leaders well. In the second week, the classic types get more freedom.”

Leader Bauke Mollema is very much looking forward to the start of the Tour in Nice. “Hopefully I can compete in the rankings and hunt for stage victories. The first week already has some mountain stages, so if I feel good I think there are chances to go for a stage win. In this crazy year, we must seize every opportunity.”

Climbers Niklas Eg and Kenny Elissonde can support Mollema and Porte in the mountain stages. Toms Skujins is an attacker who can go for his chances on the transition stages.

Trek-Segafredo team for the 2020 Tour de France:
Niklas Eg,
Kenny Elissonde,
Bauke Mollema,
Mads Pedersen,
Richie Porte,
Toms Skujins,
Jasper Stuyven,
Edward Theuns.

Porte for GC:

Coquard Sprint Leader for B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Bryan Coquard is the main man for B&B Hotels-Vital Concept in the 2020 Tour de France. The 28-year-old sprinter, who is riding the Tour for the fourth time, is still waiting for his first stage victory in La Grande Boucle.

Coquard has some strong helpers for the finals of the sprint stages, including his fellow countryman Kévin Reza and the Belgian Jens Debusschere. Maxime Chevalier, Cyril Barthe and Quentin Pacher will also be there in the lead-out.

In the mountains the Tour ‘Wild Card’ team will have the experienced Pierre Rolland. The climber has ridden the Tour ten times and won two stages. Rolland’s last stage victory dates back to 2012 when he won a mountain stage to Les Sybelles. Cyril Gautier can also show himself in the more difficult stages.

For B&B Hotels-Vital Concept it will be their first participation in the Tour de France. The French team debuted in 2018 as a ProContinental team.

Selection B&B Hotels-Vital Concept for the Tour de France 2020 (29 August-20 September)
Bryan Coquard,
Cyril Barthe,
Maxime Chevalier,
Jens Debusschere,
Cyril Gautier,
Quentin Pacher,
Kévin Reza,
Pierre Rolland.

Sprint wins for Coquard:

Arkéa-Samsic: All For Quintana
Nairo Quintana is the absolute leader of the Arkéa-Samsic team in the Tour de France. The Colombian climber came from Movistar last winter to hunt for a Tour victory with the French ProTeam. Quintana abandoned the Dauphine last week with knee problems and will start with some doubts.

Quintana will be accompanied by two fellow countrymen, his brother Dayer and Winner Anacona. There will also be Warren Barguil, who lost his French title to Arnaud Démare last weekend, and the Italian Diego Rosa, who should be able to assist Quintana in the mountains.

Maxime Bouet, Clément Russo and the former British champion Connor Swift complete the selection. Last year Arkéa-Samsic managed to take 10th place in the final classification of the Tour with Warren Barguil. The best stage result for the team was a sixth place for the now departed André Greipel in the final stage in Paris.

Arkéa-Samsic Tour de France team:
Nairo Quintana
Winner Anacona
Warren Barguil
Maxime Bouet
Dayer Quintana
Diego Rosa
Clément Russo
Connor Swift.

Can Nairo will the Tour?

Cofidis in Nice with Viviani and Martin
Cofidis has presented a Tour de France selection built around GC rider Guillaume Martin and sprinter Elia Viviani.

Elia Viviani, who couldn’t defend his European road title, has two helpers with Simone Consonni and Christophe Laporte on the sprint stages. Guillaume Martin, third in the Dauphiné, heads into the mountains with Jesús Herrada, Nicolas Edet and Anthony Perez in support. Pierre Luc Périchon completes the eight for Cofidis. The 33-year-old Frenchman, who already rode the Tour four times, was initially not on the provisional start list. Kevin Vanbilsen was, but he has been replaced.

Cofidis for the Tour de France:
Elia Viviani,
Simone Consonni,
Nicolas Edet,
Jesús Herrada,
Christophe Laporte,
Guillaume Martin,
Anthony Perez,
Pierre Luc Périchon.

Not many chances for Viviani:

Our Tour de France Roster
Rigoberto Urán, Sergio Higuita, Dani Martínez, Jens Keukeleire, Tejay van Garderen, Neilson Powless, Hugh Carthy, and Alberto Bettiol.

The EF Pro Cycling team for the 2020 Tour de France is as dynamic as it is charismatic. We bring a strong group with general classification ambitions as well as riders who can look at stages opportunistically, given race situations. We travel to Nice with seasoned Tour riders and several Tour rookies. We’re a balance of experience and opportunity. And we’re absolutely ready to go.

Rigoberto Urán: “I’m super happy to be in the team for the Tour de France. It gives you a lot of motivation because it’s always a race that has something really special about it, especially when you have stood on the podium before. There’s always a part of you that wants to do your best there, to try and get a good result, to be up there with the best. “To be there with the team also really motivates me, working alongside those guys is something really special, to work hard together. We are all together now, waiting for the race to start, but you know me, it’s all about taking it day-by-day, and hoping that we’re going to have a good one.”

Sergio Higuita, First Tour de France: “This is going to be my first Tour de France and I can honestly say I’ve never been so excited to be racing. To be going to the Tour is a huge goal for many cyclists and for me it’s incredible to think that in a few days I’ll be there achieving one of my biggest life goals, to line up on that start-line. Also to be doing it wearing the Colombian national champion jersey makes it all the more special. To be lining up alongside riders who for many years I’ve watched race on the television also makes it really special. I am really pumped to be going, and want to have the best race possible, going out there fighting every day. There will be great moments and there will be hard moments, but just facing them and enjoying being there — I can’t wait.”

Dani Martínez: “For me it’s another proud moment to be chosen for the Tour de France team. It’s one of the most beautiful races that I absolutely love, it’s a race that I’ve always wanted to do. We have a really great team with a high level and to line up alongside them and be a part of it is something really huge for me.”

Tejay van Garderen: “It’s a huge honour to have been selected for the 2020 Tour de France, it’ll be my 9th start in the Tour, and every time I line up it always brings such huge satisfaction, it’s living the childhood dream from when I used to watch the Tour. Especially with the team we’re bringing this year, we’ve just had such huge success in the Dauphiné with Martínez, and then having a young guy like Higuita who can really shine in his first Tour as well. There’s another young American, Neilson Powless, who is racing his first Tour, and Hugh Carthy is another young talent who is racing his first Tour. Hopefully I can give a little bit of my experience and help these guys along and just do whatever I can to help the team. Hopefully we can make this 2020 Tour a huge success.”

Hugh Carthy, First Tour de France: “I’m really excited to do my first Tour, it’s the biggest cycling event and one of the biggest sporting events in the world so it’s a big, big deal. Ahead of my first one, I’m feeling nervous and excited in equal measure. I’m going to try and enjoy it, and hopefully get something out of it and help us put in the best team performance we can.”

Jens Keukeleire: “This will be my fifth Tour de France, so I think I know a little bit about what I’m in for, but still in this season I think it’s going to feel a little different to other years. It’s the biggest race of the year. It’s something you remember from when you were a little kid, especially for me as we always used to go to the Tour and watch a stage, maybe even multiple stages in the Alps when we were on holiday with the family, so being able to do it one day, that was a dream that already came true, and now I’m here for the fifth one — it’s still something that is really special. I’m really looking forward to doing it with this team. Though I’m new on the team, I’m super excited to be able to do the biggest race of the year. I’ve had some experience now at the Dauphiné of racing with the Colombians, I hadn’t raced with them before, but I think it all went well, especially if you look at the result, but also for me I think we had a good feeling during the race between us all, and we hope to do something similar at the Tour.”

Alberto Bettiol: “The Tour de France of course is the most important race in the whole calendar, and this is going to be my third Tour de France and every time it’s a huge emotion; it’s a goal for every cyclist to be selected for the Tour. It’s a unique race, it’s one of the biggest events in the world, and for me it means to have reached one goal of the season and it’s a big motivation to help the team to do its best. So to have the opportunity to show this jersey to the whole of the world and to spend a month with my second family is a huge privilege. I’m super happy to have been selected and I am looking forward to doing my best to help the team and hopefully celebrate with them.”

Neilson Powless, First Tour de France: “Right now I have feelings of excitement and motivation to perform in the Tour, but I think that for every cyclist the Tour de France is their dream and for most people it’s the reason why they get involved in cycling, with the hope to one day race in this race. I couldn’t be more thankful to the team for this incredible opportunity, that I finally get the chance to realise my dream and race the Tour de France, and racing the Tour de France on an American team is a super special feeling. I think that we’re also bringing a really strong team and that too is really motivating. With Dani just coming off of the Dauphiné win that’s incredibly motivating for me and the rest of the team. I think that everyone is really ready to race for 21 days and I’m certainly prepared to do whatever I can to help the team. It’s a pretty surreal feeling right now to be finally realising my dream. I can’t wait to see what these next 21 days bring.”

Big chance for Dani Martínez:

Tour de France
Matt Winston
– Team Sunweb coach: “We head to the Tour de France with a really strong team that have solid qualities across the board. Motivation and ambition is super high in the team after a good season restart – both through the riders and staff. Looking for day results, we’ll target the strong breakaway days with guys like Tiesj, Søren and Marc and the sprint stages with Cees, who has a strong lead-out to bring him to the finish. The squad has gelled well so far this season with some good team camps in Kühtai and strong showings while we’ve raced as the same block. We hope that the great dynamics and solid foundations that the team have built over the last period, will increase our chances of success as we take on the first Grand Tour of the year.”

Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN),
Nikias Arndt (GER),
Tiesj Benoot (BEL),
Cees Bol (NED),
Marc Hirschi (SWI),
Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED),
Casper Pedersen (DEN),
Nicholas Roche (IRL).

Sprint wins for Cees Bol:

No Tour de France for Tim Wellens
Tim Wellens will not be able to start next Saturday in the Tour de France due to the serious injuries he sustained in a motor-pacing crash last Friday. Wellens suffers from road rash and deep wounds all over the body, especially on right shoulder, elbow and knee. No fractures were diagnosed but, for the Tour, there is not enough time left to recover from the high-speed crash. Wellens will be replaced by Frederik Frison.

“It is hard to describe how disappointed I am. This is one of the worst crashes I’ve ever experienced on the bike,” said Tim Wellens. “I was training behind the scooter when both motor bike and I were surprised by a bump on the road. The scooter managed to avoid the crash. I couldn’t. I was so surprised that I had no time to brake. The road rash is so deep because of our high speed. As I have injuries on big parts of my body, I have a higher body temperature and I cannot sleep well. This can never be healed in less than a week. Moreover, further recovery in the Tour de France is really impossible. In that race every stage is like a world championship.”

“This feels so bad. I was ready for the Tour. My goal was to win a stage. Especially the first stages suited me – tough stages in a region that I know so well. I did many times a recon of the stages to Nice, Sisteron and Orcières-Merlette.”

Last year Tim Wellens wore 15 days the polka-dot jersey in the Tour de France.

The Tour de France squad:
Steff Cras,
Jasper De Buyst,
Thomas De Gendt,
John Degenkolb,
Caleb Ewan,
Frederik Frison,
Philippe Gilbert,
Roger Kluge.

No Wellens in the Tour:

La Course by Le Tour de France
Nicolas Marche – Team Sunweb coach: “We bring a very competitive and strong team to La Course that gives us multiple options and different tactics to play depending on the race scenario. The route is interesting and should make for a really open race where the best climbers could stay away to fight for the win, or we might see a reduced bunch sprint finish. Liane will be our main card to play if we get a hard race, as she’s started the year in great form and has shown she can handle the climbs. Leah can also survive the climbs here and she’ll be our option if things regroup for a reduced bunch sprint finish, with the rest of the team supporting them throughout the day.”

Anna Henderson (GBR),
Alison Jackson (CAN),
Leah Kirchmann (CAN),
Juliette Labous (FRA),
Liane Lippert (GER),
Floortje Mackaij (NED).

Canada’s Leah Kirchmann:

Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step To Establish Safety Organisation
The Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step teams are in the process of setting up a safety organisation that will ensure that riders are exposed to fewer dangers during races.

Richard Plugge (Jumbo-Visma) and Patrick Lefevere (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) are the main initiators of this new movement, which has yet to be officially established. Team Sunweb are also working behind the scenes.

“There must be an independent party that does more than just say what is wrong, that lifts the safety of our sport to a more professional level,” Plugge explained to EenVandaag. “In Formula 1 and in motorsport, safety is in the hands of professionals. When it comes to cycling, the UCI is in charge, but they don’t have the capacity and expertise.”

The safety organisation must provide a new standard in contemporary cycling. Safer, therefore, with fewer (harmful) crashes. “We are no longer allowed to work with the 1980 standard, it is 2020 and many traffic obstacles have been added. Cycling is reasonably safe, but that is not good enough.”

Lefevere, Deceuninck – Quick-Step boss, is keen to put some speed behind this new project. “I hear that the UCI is reviewing safety. But we are not going to wait until March. That is why we are going to set up a safety committee with our own money to take the necessary steps,” he told VRT.

The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday in Nice. Representatives of various cycling teams, Tour de France organiser ASO and the UCI are invited to discuss this safety organisation.

Patrick Lefevere and Richard Plugge:

Recovering Remco Evenepoel Leaves the Hospital
Remco Evenepoel couldn’t defend his European time trial title this week. But the fact that he is allowed to leave the hospital in Herentals to further recover at home from the consequences of his crash in the Tour of Lombardy, is a victory in itself.

On August 15, Evenepoel crashed hard in Il Lombardia. On the descent of the Muro di Sormano, the leader of Deceuninck – Quick Step was launched over a wall of a bridge and suffered a pelvic fracture and a bruised lung. Two days later he was flown to Belgium to recover initially in the AZ Sint-Elisabeth hospital in Herentals.

In that hospital the Belgian rider was examined again, but that did not reveal any new injuries. That meant surgery was not necessary, according to his Deceuninck – Quick Step team.

Now, a week later, his father Patrick, who was also a professional cyclist in the 1990s, announced that his son could leave the hospital. “A day to look forward to, home sweet home! Together, we will come back together,” he wrote on social media. “I am coming home.”

I’m coming home:

Patrick Lefevere: “Fabio is much worse off than Remco”
Patrick Lefevere, team manager of Deceuninck – Quick-Step was very shocked by the condition of Fabio Jakobsen, whom he visited on Tuesday. His rider crashed hard in the Tour of Poland and was seriously injured.

According to Lefevere, Jakobsen is much worse off than Remco Evenepoel, who plunged into a ravine over a wall of a bridge in Il Lombardia. “His fractures can heal. If he follows rehabilitation, six weeks will suffice,” Lefevere told VTM Nieuws. “I’m afraid it will be a monthly plan for Fabio. I am very shocked. He has had 130 stitches removed from his face, he still has one tooth, his palate has to heal, his vocal cord is paralysed at the moment. That was anything but positive news. A terrible sight.”

Today it was announced that Deceuninck – Quick-Step is working with Jumbo-Visma on a safety organisation that should ensure that riders are exposed to fewer dangers during races. Team Sunweb is also working behind the scenes.

Fabio Jakobsen winning stage 1 in Algarve:

Astana’s Houle Didn’t Have Corona
Good news for Hugo Houle. The Canadian Astana rider announced via his Instagram that he has tested negative twice since his positive corona test, which meant he missed the Tour of Lombardy, among other races.

Houle is happy with his two negative tests. “In addition to these tests, we also conducted other studies, which confirmed that I have not had the coronavirus at all. I am happy that I can now race again and I look forward to the upcoming races.”

On Thursday it was announced that the Canadian rider had tested positive for corona a week earlier. However, he had no symptoms of the virus. Due to his positive test, the Astana rider had to be quarantined and missed the Tour of Lombardy and the Giro dell’Emilia.

“I’m happy to announce that after my positive COVID-19 test before I should have gone to Il Lombardia, I have now tested negative, twice. Next to these tests we also did other tests that confirmed I didn’t had COVID-19 at all. I’m happy I can return back to racing and I’m looking forward to the upcoming races!”

Hugo Houle back to racing:

BORA – hansgrohe Withdraws Team from the Bretagne Classic due to Positive COVID-19 Test

One of the team’s riders received a positive result from the 3-day test after a negative 6-day test. As a result, BORA – hansgrohe withdrew the entire team from the race. All necessary measures for contact tracing have been initiated immediately.

“We received the positive result this morning and reacted immediately. The team cannot participate in the race. All team members who have been in direct contact with the rider will go into self-isolation according to official regulations. The affected rider is asymptomatic and displays no signs of illness.”Jan-Niklas Droste, Medical Team.

Likely false positive test before Bretagne Classic: Ralph Denk expresses doubts about the UCI COVID test strategy
Following a positive result returned by one rider today after a COVID test, the entire BORA – hansgrohe team was withdrawn ahead of the start of the Bretagne Classic. This rider was since tested again during the day and (as was the case with his 6-day test) it came back negative. All other riders and staff were also immediately tested again, and all results were negative. It is reasonable to conclude that this was a false positive test result.

“It looks like my concerns are being confirmed. It is known that PCR tests have a certain rate of error and thus produce false positive results. This in itself would not be a problem, if there were the possibility to check the results immediately in the case of a positive finding. In the anti-doping regulations, an A Sample and a B Sample are provided, precisely for this reason. If the A Sample is positive, the result is checked with the B Sample. In the UCI’s current testing strategy, this verification is not present. Anti-doping labs are also accredited, which means that certain standards are set and checked. That would be one approach. A central lab or certain certified labs. We are talking about athletes who have prepared for a race for weeks or months and then might not be allowed to start the event due to a false finding. Today we withdrew our entire team from a WordTour race. It’s all about points, but it’s also about presence in the media, in other words, the advertising value upon which the commitments of our sponsors are based. Today, these benefits were unable to be gained. Of course, the health of everyone involved should and must always take priority, however, it is still unsatisfactory that consideration is not given to all other aspects. I think adjustments must be immediately made here. We also require certainty regarding testing procedures and strategy. If we don’t have this, we will soon have serious issues, because who wants to invest in a lottery game as a serious company?” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

BORA-hansgrohe probably false positive:

Tony Martin Extends Contract with Jumbo-Visma for Two More Years
Tony Martin has extended his contract with Jumbo-Visma for two years. This means that the 35-year-old German will continue to ride with the Dutch team until 2022.

Martin wanted to make a decision about his future in early 2020, but the corona crisis then threw a spanner in the works. ‘Der Panzerwagen’ has now made a decision. “I feel very good in this team and I feel a lot of confidence,” Martin said. “I also enjoy my role in this team. Our leaders give back so much and that is pleasant. I realise how much I love cycling, this team and fighting for this team.”

“That’s why I and my team have decided to continue. You will also see me in the Jumbo-Visma team in the coming years.”

The yellow and black Panzerwagen:

Baptiste Planckaert Moves to Circus-Wanty Gobert
Baptiste Planckaert will leave Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles at the end of this season to transfer to the Circus-Wanty Gobert team according to WielerFlits. For the 31-year-old from West Flanders, Hilaire Van Der Schueren’s team will be his fifth team in twelve years of professional cycling.

In 2010, the eldest of the Planckaert brothers became a professor at Landbouwkrediet. After four years with the ProContinentale team, Baptiste dropped to the Continental Roubaix Lille Métropole. In 2016 he had a one-year contract with Wallonie Bruxelles. Planckaert won five times that year, with the French semi-classics Tour du Finistère and La Poly Normande and stage and overall wins in the Tour of Normandy. This earned him a place in the WorldTour. After two years at Katusha, he returned to the Walloon team last season. A win in Rund um Köln was one of his best successes last year.

Another loss for Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles, as earlier it was also announced that with Lionel Taminiaux was going to Alpecin-Fenix. For Circus-Wanty Gobert, Planckaert is the second acquisition for 2021, after previously signing Rein Taaramaë.

Baptiste Planckaert wins in Köln:

Kooij Will Transfer to Professional Jumbo-Visma Team Mid-2021

Olav Kooij will race for the professional team of Team Jumbo-Visma from 1 July 2021. The 18-year-old rider will signs a contract with the Dutch World Tour team until 2023.

Kooij has been wearing the Jumbo-Visma Development Team jersey from the beginning of this year. In his first season with the U23 riders he managed to win three races so far. The rider from Numansdorp, The Netherlands is the second talent after Gijs Leemreize to make the switch from the Development Team to the World Tour team of Team Jumbo-Visma.

“It went faster than I ever dreamed possible”, Kooij says. “Last year I was super happy to sign with the Development Team. That was already a very nice step. The fact that I can sign a professional contract so quickly is very special and really is a dream come true. I feel at home with this team. In the coming years I hope to develop myself further in sprinting. That is going very well at the moment and it is my weapon in my attempts to win races. I will continue to focus on that.”

“Olav is a very big talent”, sportive director Merijn Zeeman says. “In the few races he raced this year, he showed that he is incredibly fast and that he can win. That’s great for a first-year U23 rider. It is good for his development that he will compete at a higher level from next season on. This is also a great transfer for our Academy. This step confirms that Robbert de Groot and his staff are doing a good job.”

Olav Kooij:

BORA – hansgrohe signs neo-pros Matthew Walls and Frederik Wandahl
In recent years, Walls has been concentrating his efforts on the track and, among other achievements, took bronze in the Omnium at the 2020 World Championships. Wandahl is regarded as an all-rounder with solid climbing capabilities. Both riders have signed three-year contracts.

“Matthew completed British Cycling’s talent development program on the track. We are confident that this foundation will enable him to cope well with the jump to the WorldTour. We will endeavour to bring him up to the necessary level in the next few years and build him up as a sprinter. With his speed, we believe that he possesses a strong basis for this.
Frederik is a very young athlete, however, he possesses a lot of talent for various tasks. At the junior level, he showed himself to be a complete rider, whether in one-day or stage races. His path is not yet as clearly defined as that of Matthew. We will therefore provide him with the time he needs to discover where his greatest strengths lie and where he will eventually find his place in the peloton.”
Christian Schrot, Sports Director & Scout

“This is of course a great opportunity for me, and the team has developed immensely over the last few years. In the past, I have ridden both track and road, and I think the track has given me the necessary top end speed to be successful in sprinting on the road. Tokyo remains a goal, but my priorities now lie on the road. BORA – hansgrohe has developed many top sprinters, and that gives me a lot of confidence. Thanks to the team for this opportunity, I can’t wait to contribute to their success.”Matthew Walls.

“I am very pleased to be able to continue my development at BORA – hansgrohe. During our discussions, this was a significant reason for me choosing this team. They have the right people to guarantee optimal development. Neither of us knows at the moment where our common path will lead us. I’m a good climber, but I also have a strong finish, so that could suit races such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I also want to thank my current squad, Team Coloquick. It is thanks to their support in my first U23 year that I’m now able to have this chance.”Frederik Wandahl.

Matthew Walls:

Sam Oomen Takes Next Step in Career at Team Jumbo-Visma
Team Jumbo-Visma has contracted Sam Oomen for three seasons. The 25-year-old stage race talent was ready for the next step in his career and from both sides there is the conviction that he can reach his full potential at Team Jumbo-Visma.

“I had five good and joyful years at Team Sunweb. Thinking about my future, it feels like the right moment to move on. It’s great that I can take this new step at Team Jumbo-Visma. The knowledge, the philosophy, the love for the sport and the trust I feel in this team have convinced me that Team Jumbo-Visma is the right team for me. I am really looking forward to working in a new environment, with many new faces but also with some old acquaintances. I’m really happy with that”, Oomen explains.

That joy is mutual, confirms Merijn Zeeman, sportive director at Team Jumbo-Visma. “Sam is the biggest young Dutch stage race talent. We followed him for several years with great interest. We are very happy that he has now chosen us. We are convinced that, with the right guidance, Sam can become even better. We want to gradually guide him towards the world top”, Zeeman says.

Bahrain WorldTour Cycling Team Starting a New Chapter
McLaren returns its focus to four-wheeled racing.

Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team and McLaren, the British super car maker and F1 team, today confirm that McLaren will conclude its title partnership of Team Bahrain McLaren at the end of the 2020 season.

Team Bahrain McLaren has worked together with the team’s partners to maintain the team at the top level of pro cycling – both on and off the bike. The distinctive Team Bahrain McLaren colours have been ridden to a number of memorable victories so far in this Covid-19 interrupted season, including at the Saudi Tour, Paris-Nice, Circuito de Getxo and Route d’Occitanie.The team thanks McLaren for its contribution to the partnership, and wishes it well as it returns its focus to four wheeled racing.

No McLaren in 2021:

INEOS Grenadiers Launch Ahead of Tour de France
Team INEOS has officially switched to being the INEOS Grenadiers at a launch event in Nice, ahead of the start of the Tour de France this weekend.

The team’s four Grand Tour winning champions, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz, unveiled the new team kit from Castelli and newly branded Pinarello DOGMA F12 at the Allianz Riviera, alongside two prototypes of the Grenadier vehicle which gives the team its new name. The Grenadier is the rugged 4×4 utility vehicle engineered and manufactured by INEOS Automotive, designed on purpose to be a highly capable, go-anywhere, hard-working vehicle.

The riders were introduced by Gabby Logan alongside other famous faces from the wider INEOS Sport family including Sir Ben Ainslie, Patrick Vieira, Valtteri Bottas and Eliud Kipchoge.

INEOS Grenadiers Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “The INEOS Grenadiers is a new name but one that sums up who we have always been. It is a new partnership but one that epitomises our existing team values – ambition, grit, determination, resourcefulness, tenacity and passion.

“This is a deepening of our relationship with INEOS and a brilliant example of how being a part of the INEOS group presents so many opportunities for us to be greater together.

“Just like the Grenadier, we are a team built on purpose. We know what we need to do and have the right team to get the job done. We are here with a clear ambition and are going all in to make it happen.”

Chris Froome, 4-time Tour de France winner, 2-time Vuelta a Espana winner and Giro d’Italia winner said: “It is fantastic to see a partnership which feels such a natural fit with a shared vision and outlook. Cycling is all about grit and resilience and I’ve learnt that more than ever over the last year. I can’t wait to lead the INEOS Grenadiers in Spain later this year.”

Geraint Thomas, 2018 Tour de France winner, said: “I still remember being at the original team launch in London in 2010, so to be here a decade later, at the start of a new era for the team, is really special. I am looking forward to racing in the new INEOS Grenadiers colours at the Giro d’Italia and trying to secure another Grand Tour title for the team.”

Egan Bernal, the reigning Tour de France champion, said: “It is special to be riding the Tour de France as the INEOS Grenadiers for the first time. As the reigning champion, it will be different for me this year but I am really excited to be putting the number one on my jersey. We have a really strong team with a good combination of young riders and riders who have a lot of experience, and that is a really important thing for the Tour de France. We all have the same motivation and are ready to give it our all and go full gas.”

Richard Carapaz, the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner said: “It’s emotional for me to be at the start of this Grand Tour. It’s going to be a great experience and I’m also so proud to be the first Ecuadorian to participate in the Tour de France. Last year’s win at the Giro d’Italia was very special for me personally but it was also special for my country. Cycling has never been popular in Ecuador and now this has all changed.”

As part of the Grenadier’s ‘testing in plain sight’ program, the prototype has been brought to the Tour de France to launch the partnership with the INEOS Grenadiers and will now follow the team around the world as it completes the rigorous testing and development phase that needs to accumulate 1.8 million kilometres on and off-road over the coming year.

Mark Tennant, Commercial Director of INEOS Automotive said: “We’re delighted to announce this partnership, just like the Grenadier, the team is built on purpose. They know exactly what to do and have the right team to get the job done. We’re very proud to see Egan, Chris, Geraint, Richard and all the INEOS Grenadiers in the colours of Grenadier and wish them all the best in the upcoming races.”

BORA – hansgrohe Presents Special-Edition Tour de France Jersey
In addition to the colour change to a more prominent white, the Ötztal logo occupies an even more noticeable position on the special-edition jersey, designed by Sportful, for the 2020 Tour de France 2020.

“I am pleased that Ötztal Tourism’s commitment is already flourishing here. From a tourism perspective, the Tour is of course THE platform in professional cycling. I hope that our successes and riding style will make viewers around the globe more aware of the beautiful Ötztal Valley. The white jersey was already a great success last year and very popular with fans. We hope that with this, we can offer an attractive alternative to our black kit this year as well.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager.

“Since the first of January this year, we have been partners of BORA – hansgrohe, and we are accordingly represented through our Bike-Ötztal logo on the team’s jerseys. This commitment has had an immediate effect, and the response has been consistently a positive one. That is why we have decided to appear even more prominently at the Tour de France, the highlight sports event of the year, and also with our core brand Ötztal, in order to place the destination’s unique cycling culture on “international display.” We wish all the best to the eight riders who will be pursuing sporting success on their upcoming journey.”Oliver Schwarz, CEO Ötztal Tourism.


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