The Olympic road events culminated in time trial gold medals for Annemiek van Vleuten and Primož Roglič – All the reports and video from Tokyo. Bad luck or… for the Netherlands team – TOP STORY. Other news: DSM and BikeExchange Vuelta a España riders, riders for the Tour de l’Ain and Clásica San Sebastián. Rider news: Tom Pidcock to ride cyclocross after la Vuelta, Tom Dumoulin to continue, Patrick Lefevere didn’t think Remco Evenepoel was good enough, Philippe Gilbert to restart his season, Dillier, Konrad, Schelling, Fabbro and Blouwe contracts. Canada wraps up in Tokyo and from Brest to the Champs-Elysées with UAE Team Emirates video.
TOP STORY: The Dutch team Olympic Bad Luck
First there was Annemiek van Vleuten who thought she had won the Olympic road race title, but didn’t realise that the Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer had not been caught, this after some strange tactics from the Dutch team. Mathieu van der Poel then did not know that on the highest drop of the mountain bike race that the ramp had been removed, which was followed by accusations and recriminations. Then the Dutch BMX rider Niek Kimmann cracked his kneecap after colliding with an official who suddenly crossed the track during a training session.
Next Anna van der Breggen was pushed off her bike on the Fuji Speedway circuit by Japanese officials when she and Annemiek van Vleuten wanted to do a final training session for Wednesday’s time trial. Van der Breggen was knocked off balance by the confrontation, but could continue her training.
The official probably did not realise that the Dutch women are participants in the Olympic time trial. The Japanese officials then offered their apologies to the Dutch dozens of times. Fortunately, the incident has not affected Van der Breggen’s preparation. The Japanese cycling coach Kyosuke Takei told WielerFlits: “Everyone had to stop due to a mistake by the organiser. And in the tumult with the guards, Anna was threatened and pushed over…”
Van der Breggen is the reigning World time trial champion and took bronze medal in the time trial five years ago at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Five years of preparation wasted:
2020-1 Olympic Games – Men’s Time Trial
Primož Roglič won the Olympic gold medal in the time trial on Wednesday. After 44.2 hilly kilometres around the Fuji Speedway circuit, he was the fastest after a hard battle between a close top 5. Tom Dumoulin grabbed the silver medal behind the Slovenian. Rohan Dennis took the bronze medal.
The first fast time was set by Hugo Houle with 57:56. The Canadian was the fastest rider of the first block. From the second block it was Evenepoel and Urán who managed to put time into Houle. The Belgian set a final time of 57:21. Urán had a big lead on Evenepoel out on the course, but he slowed in the final kilometres, but still came in 3 seconds faster than Evenepoel’s time with 57:18. The big favourites started in the third and final block. Tom Dumoulin set a new top time at the first intermediate point, but Primoz Roglič was 2 seconds faster. The other favourites: Rohan Dennis, Rémi Cavagna, Stefan Küng, Geraint Thomas and Kasper Asgreen were behind after 9 kilometres. Wout van Aert also lost time, he followed 4 seconds from Roglič. The only one who was faster than the Slovenian was Filippo Ganna, although by less than a second. The first seven rider were within 10 seconds of each other.
After one lap of 22.1 kilometres Primož Roglič was the fastest, but the differences were small. Successively Dumoulin, Ganna, Dennis, Van Aert and Küng were within 15 seconds of the Slovenian. The French TGV Cavagna had slowed. On the second lap Roglič put everyone in their place in the tough first section. He put Dennis, Dumoulin and Ganna at over half a minute and Van Aert at over 1 minute at the first time point after 29 kilometres. Küng was between them. At the second time point of the second lap, after 37 kilometres, Roglič put more time into his competitors. Dumoulin, Ganna, Küng and Dennis still had a chance to win the silver and bronze medals. The difference between the four was only 7 seconds, so the hard closing kilometres towards the circuit became decisive. At the finish, Tom Dumoulin was the first of the medal candidates with a time of 56:06, but he had to leave the hot seat for a very strong Primoz Roglič, with 55:04, more than a minute faster. Rohan Dennis eventually lost two seconds to Dumoulin. Küng, who was still strong in the finalé, just missed out on bronze to Dennis. World champion Ganna was also unable to beat the Dutchman. The Italian finished in fifth place. For Van Aert, in sixth place, he was more than a minute and a half from the winner.
# You can see the full PEZ Race report and Photo Gallery HERE. #
Gold medalist, Primoz Roglič (Slovenia): “For me it is very nice to win this race after such a difficult period. It was difficult to keep my head calm during difficult moments. Hard work, the support of my family and other close people, and believing in myself have dragged me through. That is now paying off with this medal. From the start I went full speed ahead and fought for every kilometre. I had nothing to lose. Anything is possible, any day. I gave everything and had nothing to lose. The medal is beautiful and also quite heavy. In cycling it’s stupid to compare all the races. It’s super hard to win, even your home race around the corner. But every achievement is special. This one is for me super, super special and that’s why I’m very happy.”
Silver medalist, Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands): “It was my goal to get a medal today. The past months I really had no idea if that would be possible or not. I tried to enjoy the process as much as possible and it worked out really well. The time trial itself went really well. In the first lap I felt very strong. In the second, I felt the energy slowly draining away. In the last ten kilometres I was able to regain that power. Silver was the highest achievable today and for me this is a medal with a golden edge. I decided to return, especially for this day. It was a difficult road to get here. I was overtrained in the winter and done cycling. But I decided to return, especially for this day. I had a goal and I am proud. Primož was from another planet today. I know he’s a special guy. And it’s very nice to be on the podium. This is great for me.”
Bronze medalist, Rohan Dennis (Australia): “It feels very good. I gave it everything. Everything was left out there and everything was left out there in training. The form was good but I was beaten by two better guys on the day. I’m just glad I got that medal in the end and I’m proud, I’m very proud. The first lap was quite easy and then on that second lap it took a long time to catch G (Geraint Thomas). That second lap out the back was brutal and that’s where I think Primoz absolutely destroyed all of us and that’s where he definitely won it. It was just a dogfight between the rest of us. I was lucky to be on the positive side of that. There’s a lot of joy but it’s been an extra 12 months and obviously there’s a lot of stuff gone on in the world. It probably did help me to settle into the team for a bit longer to get used to the equipment. Obviously I would have liked it to be at the end of 2019 but I’m very happy with the result. Congrats to Primoz and Tom.”
4th, Stefan Küng (Switzerland)): “I can look for that difference everywhere. After an hour I am three seconds off the silver today. Everything was so close together. Actually I didn’t have Primož Roglič and Tom Dumoulin at the top of my favourites list. But in this time trial I stay in the same position every time and the others revolve around. He (Roglic) delivered a top performance. It was really medal worthy. If you organise the time trial correctly, you have the feeling that you are not at your limit. Although I was of course. There are still three years until the next Olympic Games in Paris. And the Olympics are still the Olympics I’m not going to give up yet. Otherwise I won’t be able to sleep for a week.”
6th, Wout van Aert (Belgium): “I’m going home with a medal. You have to be satisfied with that. Of course I started for a lot more in the time trial, but I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t keep up the pace I started with in the second lap. And that was necessary to win. On the long stretch uphill I fell completely silent, to the point of cramping. In the descent towards the circuit I was able to pick myself up again, but that was absolutely not enough. Whether the effort of the road race was too much? I haven’t thought about that yet. I don’t regret it anyway. Today I was able to start relaxed in the knowledge that I already had a medal in my pocket. We will analyse this, but I can already see that I have not reached the level that I should be able to achieve. Maybe this was indeed the race too much. That could have been an advantage. Theoretically, this can make you fresher, also mentally. In the past few days I felt that I increasingly needed to be home again and that may not be the best preparation. I wasn’t good enough and that’s it. If you come to the Olympics and you go home with a medal, that’s the max. At the moment I’m a bit disappointed, but it would be really stupid to say I’m not happy with a medal. Tom in particular surprised us, especially after what he has endured this year.”
Olympic Games – Men’s Time Trial Result:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slovenia) in 55:04
2. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) at 1:01
3. Rohan Dennis (Australia) at 1:04
4. Stefan Kung (Switzerland)
5. Filippo Ganna (Italy) at 1:05
6. Wout van Aert (Belgium) at 1:40
7. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) at 1:48
8. Rigobert Urán (Colombia) at 2:14
9. Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) at 2:17
10. Patrik Bevin (New Zealand) at 2:20.
2020-1 Olympic Games – Women’s Time Trial
Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Olympic time trial gold medal. The Dutch rider was by far the best against the clock around the Fuji Speedway on Wednesday. Silver went to Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser and Van Vleuten’s teammate, Anna van der Breggen, took the bronze medal.
Belgian Julie Van de Velde, started second, but crossed the finish line first in a time of 34:23.49. She passed the Somalian Masomah Alizada who had started first. The first serious target time was set by the Frenchwoman Juliette Labous with 32:42.14. Van Vleuten had already started her race and was 40 seconds faster than Amber Neben at the first intermediate point. Chloe Dygert, one the favourites, had a disappointing ride. The 2019 World time trial champion could not match Van Vleuten’s time. After 9.7 kilometres the gap of the American was 52 seconds. The Australian Grace Brown clocked the second time at the intermediate point. Van der Breggen, who had started last, recorded the third time and had lost 19 seconds.
The differences then only increased. At the second intermediate point, the difference rose to half a minute, the others never came close. At the finish line Van Vleuten stopped the clock at 30:13.49, with an average speed of 43.9kph. After that it was just a matter of waiting for someone to threaten her gold medal, but that wasn’t going to happen. Just like at the previous Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Anna van der Breggen took the bronze. At the finish, the Swiss rider, Reusser, was a few seconds faster than Van der Breggen who will retire at the end of this season.
# You can see the full PEZ Race report and Photo Gallery HERE. #
Gold medalist, Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands): “Oh, this is great, so beautiful that it works. I sacrificed so much for this, this is the ultimate reward. The realisation may come tonight. My story started in Rio. And although it doesn’t end here, because I’m not going to stop, it is now complete. After the road race it was only about the miscommunication, not about my performance, but I knew I was good. Then things can still go wrong in the time trial because you start thinking about mistakes, but I was in a good flow today and didn’t think about what could go wrong.”
Bronze medalist, Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands): “It’s my third Olympic medal and I’m happy with it, but I had hoped for more. I went for gold, but I soon felt that was not like in the last time trials. I didn’t kick the wattages either. I do worry about that. But I did everything I could and fought to the end. It didn’t go very well in my opinion, so I’m still happy with a medal. I couldn’t go any faster, that sounds really stupid. You hope for your best day, and I didn’t have one. Of course it could be anything, but the preparation was good, I felt good and everything ran smoothly. But I just couldn’t ride any faster. I’m going home and enjoying it a bit. It has been a period from race to race. Maybe I’ll go on vacation and enjoy this medal, but I haven’t planned that yet. I see how I’m going to feel and what I’m going to do next. There is indeed a nice World championships coming up in Belgium.”
Olympic Games – Women’s Time Trial Result:
1. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) in 30:13.49
2. Marlen Reusser (Swi) at 56.47
3. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) at 1:01.63
4. Grace Brown (Aus) at 1:08.73
5. Amber Neben (USA) at 1:12.64
6. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) at 1:57.22
7. Chloe Dygert (USA) at 2:16.40
8. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) at 2:24.11
9. Juliette Labous (Fra) at 2:28.65
10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) at 2:47.40.
Team DSM Present Vuelta a España Roster
With the start of the Vuelta a España less than three weeks away, Team DSM confirm their eight-rider strong roster that will line up in Burgos for the start of La Vuelta.
The Vuelta is known for its leg sapping gradients and brutally difficult climbs and this year’s edition of the race looks set to be no different, with several challenging mountain top finishes, including a brand-new climb for the race on stage 18; Altu d’El Gamoniteiru which averages an almost brutal ten percent for 15 kilometres. It’s not just the climbs that will excite the peloton as there are bunch sprint chances for the fast-men, plus hilly stages for the opportunists, while the race is sandwiched between two efforts against the clock.
After an attacking edition of the race in 2020 where every rider on the squad took a top five finish on a stage, which included four podium finishes, the team will look to race offensively once again throughout the 21 days over the challenging terrain in their quest for a solid result.
With good foundations laid through well-planned training programs and high-altitude camps, Team DSM’s Vuelta a España block will be ready to go racing when they roll out in Burgos, showcasing their distinctive two Keep Challenging stripes for the final Grand Tour of the season.
Team DSM’s Vuelta a España coach Matt Winston said: “We bring a strong team to the Vuelta once again this year, who are very motivated to end Team DSM’s year on a high note and bring home some top results. The team have gelled really well together at altitude camp with some good workshops, as we ironed out and pre-discussed our tactical plans for the race. We’ll take an offensive approach with the team, first focusing on stages and seeing where that brings us, moulding our approach to the race as we head towards Santiago de Compostela. Jai is still recovering from his injury sustained at the Giro d’Italia. There have been some ups and downs in the last period for him, so we will make the final call on whether he will take the start after as the race draws closer. After the final races that we have coming up to put the finishing touches to our hard work, we look forward to bringing our Grand Tour season to a close in Spain next month.”
BikeExchange Pushes Hamilton and Matthews for la Vuelta
Lucas Hamilton gets the chance to show himself as leader in the 2021 Vuelta a España. So says Brent Copeland, the general manager of Team BikeExchange. The Australian, who moved up in the hierarchy of the Australian team after the departure of Adam Yates, had to abandon the Tour de France on stage 13.
“We hope for a nice Vuelta a España,” Copeland said in conversation with Tuttobiciweb. “We will pay close attention to Lucas. He is a great talent and wants to take revenge after an unfortunate Tour. In addition, we aim for stage victories with Michael Matthews. We still have to see if Esteban Chaves starts, before that we will first see how he comes back from the Olympics.”
Copeland says that talented Italian riders such as Alexander Konychev and Kevin Colleoni are not on the schedule for the Vuelta. “For Colleoni, we think it’s too early to let him do a three-week tour,” said the manager. “He does have a great engine, but it has to be calmed down. Both riders will make their Grand Tour debut next year.”
BikeExchange has been disappointing so far this season, admitted Copeland. He sees Simon Yates’ stage win in the Giro d’Italia as the highlight, but believes that a big victory is still missing. The Tour was not easy either. “We made a mistake there, to be honest. We will investigate what went wrong, but we have to admit that both June and July were negative months.”
“We took second, third and fourth in the stage results, and we were second in the points standings with Matthews. But we started with a team that was capable of more. Our goal was to win two stages,” said Copeland.
Lucas Hamilton leader for the Vuelta?
Tour de l’Ain (July 29-31)
Aurélien Paret-Peintre (25) and Nans Peters (27) are regulars at the Tour de l’Ain. Between them, they total ten participations in the event, either wearing our jersey or racing under the colours of the French U23 team. Aurélien finished in 11th place in 2019 while Nans finished the 2015 edition in 4th place and in 5th place in 2018.
Nans Peters: “I’m happy to pin on a bib number for an event that I know well (more on that below). After having had to abandon the Tour de France * (on July 4th during the 9th stage), I admit that getting back on the bike was a bit complicated. Now things are a little better. The Tour de l’Ain is a great race, always lively and there are opportunities to do great things. For my part, this will allow me to get back into the rhythm of racing again. I don’t have too many illusions about getting a personal result, but I’m here to help the team as much as possible.”
* He suffered from a small incomplete fracture of a transverse lumbar apophyses.
Fifty-six days after his crash during the 4th stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, Clément Venturini will be making his return to competition at the Tour de l’Ain.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Tour de l’Ain
The 33rd edition takes place between 29-31 July
Last season, the Tour de l’Ain was one of our team’s first races after the lockdown, and the Wolfpack picked up where they left off in the spring, Andrea Bagioli out-sprinting a host of more experienced riders on the uphill finish of Ceyzeriat en route to his first pro victory.
The 22-year-old Italian, who recently returned to racing at the Tour de Wallonie, will be again at the start, part of a six-man squad that will also include former New Zealand Champion Shane Archbold, Ian Garrison, Alvaro Hodeg, Stijn Steels and Jannik Steimle.
Unlike last year, the Tour de l’Ain will give the pure sprinters a proper opportunity to shine on the opening day, before bringing the puncheurs to the fore on stage two, when the peloton will tackle four classified climbs followed by a fast descent to Saint-Vulbas. However, the GC will not be set in stone there, as the third and final stage is set to feature five ranked ascents, including the 9.1km Col de Menthières, which makes its fifth appearance at the race in the last eleven years.
“Three stages, all short, means we’ll have some fast and full gas racing every day at the Tour de l’Ain. The parcours is not as mountainous as last year, but the final day of the race should be a very hard one. As always, we start with a lot of motivation, especially as at the previous edition we did well. Many of our riders come here after an altitude training camp and we are motivated to show ourselves this week”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati.
29.07–31.07 Tour de l’Ain (FRA) 2.1
Shane Archbold (NZL)
Andrea Bagioli (ITA)
Ian Garrison (USA)
Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (COL)
Stijn Steels (BEL)
Jannik Steimle (GER)
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA) & Brian Holm (DEN).
Preview Tour de l’Ain: “An important start of the final part of the season”
At the end of this week, the Tour de l’Ain (2.1, 29-31/07) heralds a very busy period for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, together with the Clasica San Sebastian (1.WT, 31/07) and the Heistse Pijl (1.1, 31/07). The Belgian team is one of the eight World Teams at the start of the French stage race, which compromises three stages since 2018. Thanks to the geographical diversity of the region, the Tour de l’Ain offers varied courses. The tour starts on Thursday with the longest stage of 139 kilometre between Villars les Dombes and Bourg-en-Bresse. A short hill with 20 kilometre to go will probably not influence the sprinter’s chances on the win. The following stage with start in Lagnieu compromises four categorised climbs. The top of the Col de Portes surpasses an altitude of 1000 meter, 32 kilometre before the finish in Saint-Vulbas. Also the final stage will be ridden between traditional start and finish villages. With its five categorised climbs, this 124 kilometre race between Izernore and Lélex Mont-Jura is an uninterrupted succession of climbing and descending. The Tour de l’Ain will be in search of a successor for Primoz Roglic from Thursday to Saturday.
Many riders prepared the final part of the season during this first summer month. Except for German rider Georg Zimmermann, who finished the Tour de France, the five other riders from the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux line up return into competition for the first time since their national championships. Théo Delacroix comes back into competition in his home region, accompanied by his compatriote Jérémy Bellicaud. Pieter Vanspeybrouck, who recently became father for the second time, is the Belgian rider in the selection. Riccardo Minali finalised his preparation for this three day race by racing on the track in Italy. Finally, Jan Hirt is the only rider of the sextet who’s raced the Tour de l’Ain before. Last year, the Czech climber finished 15th in the final classification of an edition with a strong field. These six riders will travel to the East of France under the sportive direction of Jean-Marc Rossignon.
Théo Delacroix: “This Wednesday I only have to travel 80 kilometre to the team hotel, so we can say that I’m a local rider. I especially know the last stage well, since I participate to the youth Tour de l’Ain in the U17 category. Our team victory in this collective stage race is a nice memory. I took advantage of this long month without competition to build my base at our team altitude training camp. My good feeling in La Toussuire continued at home, so I’m eager to get back to racing, show myself and hopefully continue until my first Grand Tour. The short race distances will probably affect the racing. Especially the final stage with a long succession of climbs will be very interesting. I’m expecting attractive races, we’ll have to be attentive for early breakaway attempts!”
Jean-Marc Rossignon (Sport directeur): “Contrary to last season, the biggest names from the international peloton won’t be present, so the race might be more open. Although we stay in the middle mountains, this three day stage race promises to be difficult. After this long period without races for most riders, we’re uncertain about their form. Also, I’m curious to discover how well Georg Zimmermann recovered from the Tour de France. Together with Jan Hirt, he aims for a good final classification. For our Czech climber, this Tour de l’Ain is an important start of the final part of the season which will bring him to his national tour and maybe also the Tour of Spain. We’ve seen at the Giro d’Italia that Hirt reached his best form during the third week, so I expect him to go full this weekend. Riccardo Minali will receive our full support in the flat opening stage. Bellicaud, Delacroix and Vanspeybrouck will support their leaders in their chase of top 3 and top 5 places. I expect the riders to confirm their good preparation of the final part of the season.”
Tour de l’Ain – JUL 29-31
Wilbert Broekhuizen – Team DSM coach: “Tour de l’Ain is an exciting race with a mixed parcours; featuring a flatter opening day before two stages in the hills and mountains. We arrive at the race with a young climber group, where we will aim to ride aggressively over the three days, looking for the best possible strategy to go for day results. It’s a good opportunity for the guys to gain more experience, and a race where we can work together to try and achieve those results. We are also happy to see Florian make his return to racing for us after his injury earlier in the year.”
Marco Brenner (GER)
Felix Gall (AUT)
Gianmarco Garofoli (ITA)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)
Henri Vandenabeele (BEL).
Short stages and a varied route without the big Jura mountain, the menu in L’Ain for eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
A flat opening stage, a more hilly second stage and a mountainous third stage, although without a ‘high mountain’, make up the menu proposed for the 2021 edition of the Tour de l’Ain, another of the classic races within the summer competitions of the professional structure of the Contador Foundation. Three varied days, all of them with the common point of being run over moderate distances.
Spaniard Sergio García and Hungarian Erik Fetter are the only riders who took part in this race last year, still as a continental squad. Fetter enjoyed one of his greatest days as a professional in the Gallic race, with a formidable fifth place on the first day. Given the diversity of the route, the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team goes with a fighting team that completes the British Mark Christian and the Italians Mattia Frapporti, Edward Ravasi and Luca Wackermann.
Erik Fetter: “I have a lot of great memory from that race. I had almost the same preparation for this race like in 2020, with a long and hard high altitude training camp. This will be my “first race” in the second part of my season, so I really want to start it with a good result and a lot of good feelings. This years edition suits my better than last year, so I am really looking forward to face this nice challenge”.
Mark Christian: “I am excited and ready to be racing again my first race since the Giro, which feels like a long time ago now. After some good recovery after the Giro, training has been going really well the past few weeks. It will be my first time at Tour de l’Ain. It looks like an exciting race, the stages are not especially long, shorter than what we are used to, but it looks like a demanding route – especially stages 2 & 3. It will be the start of a busy period of racing for me over July and August, so hopefully it will be a positive return to racing. I am looking forward to the next part of the season”.
Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa – JUL 31
Michiel Elijzen – Team DSM coach “San Sebastian is a hard one day race with a tough parcours, where the level of competition is normally really high with riders coming from the Tour de France. For a lot of our team, it will be their first race back after a period of training or rest, so our goal is to be present in the race on all fronts, by anticipating the action and getting as many riders as possible into the final. We have a strong group here who are ready to fight for it, and we will give it our best on the tough terrain.”
Romain Combaud (FRA)
Chad Haga (USA)
Chris Hamilton (AUS)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Nicholas Roche (IRL)
Kevin Vermaerke (USA)
Ilan Van Wilder (BEL).
Astana – Premier Tech Brings a Versatile Team to Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa
The 2021 UCI WorldTour calendar resumes with the famous one-day race Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, where Astana – Premier Tech is bringing a strong and versatile team to the race, this Saturday, July 31st.
Riders will tackle a 223.5-km-long race route, featuring six categorised climbs, the last one Murgil-Tontorra (2.1 km, 10.1%) placed just eight kilometres from the finish line.
“As usual, this race will have a very strong line-up with many big riders who will fight for a glory on the streets of San Sebastian. Our team is also among the favourites here and we will aim to do our own race but, at the same time, we will try to follow other teams and to look for opportunities in the final. The team will be racing for two leaders, Luis Leon Sanchez, who proved to be in a good form after his win in Ordizia, and Gorka Izagirre, who is always looking strong in the races like Clasica San Sebastian. But I think that Oscar Rodriguez can fight for something important in this race as in Ordizia he showed himself really strong and the route suits him quite perfectly. Well, we have a few options for the first WorldTour race of the second half of the season and we will try to do a good race there”, – says Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana – Premier Tech.
At Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa the Kazakh-Canadian team will be represented by Yevgeniy Fedorov, Yuriy Natarov, Oscar Rodriguez, Javier Romo, Luis Leon Sanchez, Nikita Stalnov and Gorka Izagirre.
Classica San Sebastian (July 31)
Mikaël Cherel will return to competition at the Classica San Sebastian, 300 days after Liège-Bastogne-Liège on October 4, 2020, which was his last appearance in a race.
The return of François Bidard: 80 days after fracturing his collarbone on March 12 during the 5th stage of the Giro d’Italia, François Bidard will be back to racing as well at the Classica San Sebastien.
Mikaël Cherel: “It’s been months since I pinned on a bib number and I’m impatient. There are bound to be some misgivings, but the bottom line is that the story starts afresh. I am really motivated like it’s my first race. After my crash (on November 24 which resulted in a double broken collarbone), I was only able to rejoin the team recently during a training camp in July at La Toussuire. I approached this camp like it was a race where I wanted to accumulate fatigue hoping to overcompensate. In training, I see that the numbers are good, the lights are green. The Classica San Sebastien, a UCI WorldTour event, is a difficult race and this will allow me to see my level very quickly. After that, I will continue with the Vuelta a Burgos (August 3 – 7). This will give me a good block of races, and that’s what I need. I want to participate in the Vuelta a Espana (14 / 08-05 / 09), but I still have to earn my place.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Clásica San Sebastián
The rainbow jersey leads the line for our team at the 22nd World Tour event of the year
Julian Alaphilippe will make this weekend his first appearance since concluding another successful Tour de France, with a stage win and a spell in the yellow jersey in the bag. The World Champion – who so far this season has racked up three victories, all in the World Tour – is set to pin on a number for Clasica San Sebastian, a race he won from a two-man sprint in 2018.
The Frenchman will be supported Saturday afternoon by a very strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step squad, comprising the best placed Italian rider in the general classification of Le Tour, Mattia Cattaneo, Dries Devenyns, Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage winner Mikkel Honoré, James Knox, Pieter Serry and Zdenek Stybar.
The 223.5km one-day race will take in seven climbs, with the last of these being expected to play again a major role in the outcome. Murgil-Tontorra averages a leg-sapping 10.1% over just 2100 meters, and tops out only eight kilometres from the finish line on the famous Boulevard, acting as a springboard for those tempted to roll the dice there and on the technical descent that follows instead of betting everything on the sprint.
“San Sebastian is always a hard race, everybody knows that. You’ve got a lot of climbing and an extremely tough ascent inside the last ten kilometres, which since it has been added to the course, it’s been decisive almost every single time. But we have a solid team, built around a former winner of the race, and we go there with the confidence that we can get a good result at the end of the day”, said Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters.
31.07 Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (ESP) 1.UWT
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Mattia Cattaneo (ITA)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
James Knox (GBR)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE)
Sports Director: Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
San Sebastian Classic Headlines Trio of Spanish Races
Talented line-ups for one day tests
UAE Team Emirates will take on three one-day classics races in the northern provinces of Spain this week, with the Emirati squad set for Vuelta Castilla y Leon (29 July), Clasica San Sebastian (31 July) and Circuito de Getxo (1 August).
The squads will strike a balance of both youth and experience with various riders capable of achieving a good result.
Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “We have a good balance of both youth and experience for San Sebastian. Some riders are coming here with great form and recent good results and others are building towards the Vuelta España so the level of the team is very high. Experienced campaigners like Ulissi, De La Cruz and Trentin are very familiar with this race and know how to perform well there. We also have a very exciting young prospect in Juan Ayuso who will be making his World Tour debut and has already shown glimpses of what he can do in the professional ranks. I think we have many cards to play for Saturday.”
Matxin will be joined by Sports Directors Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) and Aurelio Corral (Spa) for San Sebastian and Circuit de Getxo while John Wakefield (RSA) will join Corral for Vuelta Castilla y Leon:
Vuelta a Castilla y Leon [1.1] – 29-Jul-2021:
Camilo Ardila (Col)
Valerio Conti (Ita)
Joe Dombrowski (USA)
Yousif Mirza (UAE)
Cristian Muñoz (Col)
Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
Matteo Trentin (Ita).
Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa [1.UWT] – 31-Jul-2021:
Juan Ayuso (Spa)
Valerio Conti (Ita)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
David De La Cruz (Spa)
Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Circuito de Getxo – Memorial Hermanos Otxoa [1.1] – 01-Aug-2021:
Juan Ayuso (Spa)
Valerio Conti (Ita)
Alessandro Covi (Ita)
Yousif Mirza (UAE)
Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr)
Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Diego Ulissi (Ita)
Tom Pidcock to Ride Cyclocross After la Vuelta and the World Championships
Tom Pidcock intends to ride cyclocross after the la Vuelta and the World road championship in Leuven. The Olympic MTB champion wants to ride the US cross races in Waterloo, Fayetteville, Iowa and possibly other events.
“That is a provisional program,” emphasised his coach Kurt Bogaerts. “Right now we’re looking at it a little bit day by day. But the intention is indeed that he will soon make his Grand Tour debut with the Vuelta and then ride the World championships in Leuven.”
The Vuelta will take place from August 14 to September 5. The World champs are scheduled for the end of September. After that, Pidcock exchanges his road bike for his cross bike and heads to the States for the Waterloo – Fayetteville – Iowa three races, on October 10, 13 and 17, respectively. In Fayetteville, the British talent can get acquainted with the World cross championships course. The title fight is a goal again.
Pidcock will continue racing in Belgium until the end of November. Only then will he take a break, and start racing again from the Christmas period up to and including the World cross championship. Then follows another short break on the run-up to the spring classics.
Tom Pidcock – MTB Olympic champion:
Tom Dumoulin Continues Cycling
The Olympics were not the last stand in cycling for Tom Dumoulin. The Dutchman, who won silver in the time trial in Tokyo, confirmed to NOS after the individual time trial that he will still be in action for Jumbo-Visma this season.
“I will continue. I’ve decided over the past few weeks that I really like it this way. I discussed my own path with the squad. How are we going to shape this towards Tokyo and towards the future? I like it very much in this way,” says Dumoulin, who took a few months of unpaid leave from cycling this spring and returned in June.
“We’re going to have a good time together about everything, which races I’m going to ride. That hasn’t been completed yet. But I do notice that I think cycling is a very cool sport and that I want to set the highest goals. I feel a lot of support from the people around me,” he explained. Dumoulin will not ride the Vuelta a España. However, he hopes to contest the World championships in Flanders at the end of this season.
Merijn Zeeman, the sporting manager of Jumbo-Visma, already announced that he was hopeful that Dumoulin would continue. “The omens look good. I have high hopes that he will continue, but Tom first has to say the hard word himself,” Zeeman told WielerFlits.
Tom Dumoulin wants to keep racing:
Lefevere Didn’t Think Evenepoel was Good Enough
Patrick Lefevere has reacted to the performance of his young rider Remco Evenepoel at the Olympic Games. For the co-leader of the Belgian team, who put in an attack before the final erupted, and remained in a supporting role. “It wasn’t good. It was not good enough,” Lefevere said in Het Laatste Nieuws.
“Remco told Klaas Lodewyck that he had good legs at first, but that after five hours he could no longer push the wattages he normally pushes. With that the race was over. If it doesn’t work, it won’t work,” says the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team boss. “It comes down to the bad weather that winter. Remco was not able to lay the foundation that is necessary and he is therefore running behind.”
The fact that Evenepoel has put everything on the Olympic road race after the Giro d’Italia makes it painful according to Lefevere. “I can’t deny that. This is another blow to the head. Mentally this is not pleasant, because he had imagined a lot of this season and these Games,” said the manager. “There’s no point in being strict. It would be different if Remco was ill-willed, if he wiped his feet on it. But the reverse is the case. He takes it all very seriously.”
The 21-year-old talent will not ride the Vuelta a España this autumn. However, the Druivenkoers and the Brussels Cycling Classic are on his schedule. “And perhaps the Benelux Tour,” says Lefevere. “I’m afraid we have to be realistic. He will have to struggle for the rest of the season. We’re going to try to make the best of it, maybe we’ll get a nice win after all, but then we’ll make a full restart. In the winter we will start all over again. Build up from scratch.”
Remco Evenepoel in Tokyo:
Gilbert Restarts Season in Hamburg
Philippe Gilbert will pin on a race number again in August. The experienced leader of Lotto Soudal, who finished the Tour de France in Paris last week, will resume competition at the end of the month in the Cyclassics Hamburg.
On August 22, the now 39-year-old Gilbert will ride the German one-day classic. Two days later, he will make an appearance in his own country in the Druivenkoers-Overijse. The course of that race largely follows the route of the 2021 World championships that will take place in Flanders.
A week later Gilbert starts in the Benelux Tour, as the Binck Bank Tour is called this year. It will be his tenth participation in the Dutch-Belgian stage race, which will be held from August 30 to September 5. In 2011 he finished second in the general classification and in 2006 and 2011 he win a stage.
Philippe Gilbert back racing:
Two More Years for Dillier with Alpecin-Fenix
Silvan Dillier has extended his contract with Alpecin-Fenix for two seasons. The Swiss champion is will be under contract with the Belgian ProTeam until the end of 2023.
“The first few months have exceeded my expectations,” said Dillier. “The team works very professionally and helps the riders in their development. I feel like I haven’t reached my peak yet. It’s nice to be a part of that and I appreciate the trust. The team’s competition calendar also suits me well. I have great goals, especially in a helper role, but I also get opportunities for myself.”
In the Tour de France, the Swiss national champion was part of the successful formation that won two stages and wore the yellow jersey for six days. “That experience was great. I mean, other riders dream their whole lives of having the yellow jersey in the squad. And we just did that, that was great,” the 30-year-old rider looks back.
Dillier is in his first season with Alpecin-Fenix, where he is an important helper of leader Mathieu van der Poel. He previously rode for BMC (2014-2017) and AG2R La Mondiale (2018-2020).
Konrad, Schelling and Fabbro Extend Contracts with BORA – hansgrohe
Tour de France stage winner Konrad is to continue with a free role in the team, while Schelling and Fabbro will continue their development, in the direction of one-day races and stage races respectively. All three riders have extended their contracts with the German WorldTeam for two years.
“Firstly, I’m happy that we were able to agree on contract extensions with these three riders, who are very important for us. Patrick belongs with us, our connection over the many years together goes far beyond just sports. He is an extremely versatile rider and perhaps that is why it was at times difficult for us to get the best out of him in the last few years. But I think we have found a very good role for him now and we will continue to try to win more races with him in the future and place less emphasis on the general classification.
Ide has progressed through an impressive development. One can’t forget that he only turned pro with us last year, the first year of the pandemic, which was a very difficult season. However, he made a big step this year, was strong in the spring Classics, took his first win, and made it to the Tour de France. It was there in particular where one could see why we like having him so much at BORA – hansgrohe. This passion with which he fought for the mountains jersey, that probably describes Ide best. He has character, is an extraordinary person and we are confident that much is still possible and that we will continue to enjoy our path together with him. Matteo has also improved a lot. He has shown this year that he is not only a good helper in the mountains, but can also ride for results. He will certainly receive some chances in the future. We also see potential in him, because he is a hard worker and is very methodical in his progress. That fits in very well with the approach within the team of gradually bringing riders up to the top.” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager.
“BORA – hansgrohe has essentially become my home. I feel comfortable here and racing with the guys is very enjoyable. I have been with the team since 2014, back then as a stagiaire, and since then I have continuously developed as a rider. Winning a stage of the Tour de France gave me a lot of confidence and I’m eager to achieve more. I want to continue to ride offensively, support the team and win races in the future. There is still potential to improve, I am convinced of that, and I want to follow this path together with BORA – hansgrohe. I’m really looking forward to my upcoming years with the team.” – Patrick Konrad.
“I’ve found my place at BORA – hansgrohe and that’s why I am very happy to be able to extend my contract for two years. The curve of my development over the past two years has been quite steep, which is the result of hard work, a professional environment, but above all individual cooperation. For me, this individual approach is very important, it shows that there’s an element of trust between us. We’ve already achieved a lot together, including my first win and first Tour de France participation, but we still have a lot to do together.” – Ide Schelling.
“Two years ago, I became part of the Band of Brothers and found it to be a very professional environment. The two years prior, I wasn’t really able get a foothold in the peloton due to injuries, but at BORA – hansgrohe, all of that changed. Ralph Denk and the entire team had a lot of confidence in me, which gave me the strength and motivation to work hard towards our goals. I think my development speaks for itself and is the result of a highly successful collaboration, which is why I really wanted to continue here. Our goal is to progress on our common path with as much determination as ever, and I will do everything I can to continue to reward the trust that has been placed in me.” – Matteo Fabbro.
Patrick Konrad – Tour stage winner:
Louis Blouwe Joins the Professionals with Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
Louis Blouwe signed a two-year contract with the professional team Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB. The contract will take effect on January 1, 2022. Louis Blouwe (21) joined the ranks of Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB Développement on January 1, 2021, from the EFC-L & R-Vuksteke team. The Izegem rider wrote some nice lines in his prize list in 2021: he notably won at the GP Rik van Loy and GP Stad Sint-Niklaas, he finished 2nd, as in 2019, in the GP Color Code or still 9th in the Tour de la Mirabelle. He also had the opportunity to join our professional group, notably for Paris-Camembert (25th), the Tour du Finistère and the Tour of Hungary.
Louis Blouwe: “I am very happy to sign my first professional contract with Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB. Racing with the pros is the dream of every young cyclist. I never thought, when I was young, that I would one day join the professional ranks. I started at the beginners and it was difficult for me to finish my races at the beginning. But I progressed step by step. So I will write a new chapter in the young career starting on January 1. Lots of things will change for me but I am ready and motivated. Today, I am a leader in the U23 group but I know that, once in the pro core, my primary role will be to be a team member, to serve my leaders. I’m going to learn a lot to evolve. I’m ready to give my all on all terrains, in Flandrian races, in Wallonia, in stage races. I still have one goal to achieve this summer: a selection for the U23 Worlds. My next appointments are Heistse Pijl (07/31) and the Tour de Namur (4-8 / 08).”
Team Canada Wraps Up Road Races in Tokyo with Three Top-15 Performances
Canada’s road cycling squad concluded their final day of racing on Wednesday at the Fuji International Speedway with the Individual Time Trial for both women and men. While part of the road team flew out following the road races, Leah Kirchmann, Karol-Ann Canuel and Hugo Houle stayed behind to give the Olympic podium one last shot.
Two-time Team Time Trial world champion, Canuel, kicked off the women’s 22.1-kilometre time trial, followed closely by three-time national ITT champion Kirchmann. Both women clocked a time of 33 minutes, with Kirchmann finishing in 12th with a time of 33:01.64, while Canuel crossed the finish line in 33:07.97, earning her a 14th place.
“I wanted to see how well I could prepare for this time trial and how I could execute on the day,” said Kirchmann. “I’m really happy with my effort, I think I rode technically really well, and I could take the corners and the technical parts of the course quite fast. I could mostly stick to the pacing plan that I wanted and really push to get the most out of myself. I wasn’t thinking about the end result, I really just wanted to execute my best race so overall I’m happy with how the day went.”
Houle was the last Canadian to compete, completing the 44.2-kilometre course in a time of 57:56.46 which kept him in the hot seat for well over 30 minutes. He eventually finished 13th, less than three minutes down gold medallist Primoz Roglic of Slovenia.
“It was a good day; I started with a good pace and went really fast on the first lap, but I was surprised by the heat and struggled a bit in the second one,” said Houle. “When I crossed the line I was first of my wave which is pretty good because there were some strong guys. I was saying this morning if I can beat top-15 that would be awesome so I’m really happy with my ride.”
From Brest to the Champs-Elysées
From Brest to the Champs-Elysées.
From pain to glory.
What an incredible three weeks of racing that was at Le Tour de France.
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