At last we have racing in the ‘New Normal’ World. Covid-19 cases in Burgos – Top Story. Race action from the Vuelta a Burgos with the first two stages. We look forward to the Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo with race and team news. Rider news from Mike Teunissen, Vincenzo Nibali and Wilco Kelderman. Race news from La Course by Le Tour de France, Boels Ladies Tour, Critérium du Dauphiné, Rochester cyclocross and the Tour de Pologne. Team news from Sunweb, AG2R-La Mondiale, Bora-Hansgrohe, Jumbo-Visma, Israel Start-Up Nation and Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. Racing is back!
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You can read the PEZ Preview of the 2020 Strade Bianche HERE.
TOP STORY: Omer Goldstein tests positive for Covid-19, Einhorn pulled from Burgos
Bad news for 23-year-old Omer Goldstein of Israel Start-Up Nation. The young Israeli tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday morning and was immediately quarantined. As a precaution, his teammate and countryman Itamar Einhorn was withdrawn from the Tour of Burgos.
Israel Start-Up Nation emphasises that it operates under the full supervision of its team physicians and according to strict internal protocols, UCI guidelines and UCI protocols that it will take every precaution to ensure the health of its riders, personnel and the public are protected. The team said in a statement: “all members of staff of the team who came near Omer Goldstein in the past period, are tested and closely monitored.”
At the moment not all results are in yet, but as a precaution Goldstein’s teammate Itamar Einhorn has been recalled from the Tour of Burgos. “Itamar and Omer were both in Girona, where they dined together on Saturday,” the team’s spokesperson told WielerFlits. “That’s why we don’t take risks and not start Einhorn, even if we don’t have a result of his test yet.” Goldstein was not on the team for Burgos. “And Itamar Einhorn will no longer be replaced, it is too late for that.” The Israel Start-Up Nation team will start with six riders instead of seven riders.
Since that announcement it transpired that British rider, Alex Dowsett had been in contact with Itamar Einhorn before coming to Burgos and after he has contact with Goldstein. Einhorn’s test came back negative, but it was thought better that Dowsett would also not start as he waited for his test results.
Team Israel Start-Up Nation statement:
Team ISN have incorporated strict guidelines and protocols for the current pandemic and respects the guidelines of local authorities and the UCI for returning to racing. We consider it our professional and personal duty to protect the health of all around us.
The riders’ and staff’s health situation is monitored continuously by the team and includes a series of COVID 19 tests conducted in recent weeks before the return to competition. Most returned negative so far.
However, this morning (Monday) Omer Goldstein returned positive for COVID 19. Upon learning this, the Israeli rider, who was scheduled to compete next week and so far was asymptomatic, was quarantined.
The team and Goldstein have cautioned people who were in his close vicinity in recent days and immediately sent those staff members and riders to do new PCR tests.
Among the riders and staff sent for immediate additional COVID 19 tests (The tests are so far negative which demonstrate that the internal measures first allow to detect infected people, then prevent these infected people to spread the virus inside and outside the team.) were some who had already arrived at the team hotel in Burgos to prepare for the Vuelta a Burgos, starting Tuesday. This group included ISN rider Itamar Einhorn, who was the only rider who had been in direct contact with his COVID 19 positive teammate before his arrival to Burgos.
Although the additional test results have not been returned yet, the team doctors have decided to remove Einhorn from the team squad in Burgos as a precautionary measure and continue to monitor the situation.
Team ISN operates under the full supervision of its team doctors, following strict internal protocols, the UCI guidelines and UCI protocols and will take every precautionary measure to make sure the health of its members as well as the public is safeguarded.
Movistar wanted all of the Israel Start-Up Nation team to leave the race
In Burgos there was a dispute before the race started. Two riders from Israel Start-Up Nation did not start because they had been in contact with an infected teammate. The team followed the corona protocols, but the Movistar team thought that was insufficient and wanted the whole team to leave.
“The two sat at the table together and that could be enough,” said teammate Tom Van Asbroeck. “The rider who transported them has also gone home.” Israel Start-Up Nation started with five instead of seven riders. Even though those two did not yet know whether or not they had tested positive. The team garnered praise for its behaviour and transparency. Only Movistar thought the measures did not go far enough: the Spanish team put pressure on their Israeli colleagues to collectively leave the race. They were not even subtle, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. Team DS Oscar Guerrero, a Spaniard, was explicitly asked to convince his colleagues and riders not to start. But the team refused. “Because we stick to the rules,” said Van Asbroeck. “We didn’t create an incident, we just managed to avoid one.” Later in the day, news came that Einhorn is not infected. Unfortunately for him and Dowsett, the peloton had long since gone. “We sent two perfectly healthy riders home,” said Guerrero. “That is very unfortunate, but we did not want to take any risks. We did the right thing.”
Molano, Munoz and Ardila did not start the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos
Sebastian Molano, Cristian Munoz and Camilo Ardila were not at the start the second stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. The three Colombian athletes had been in recent contact with a person who turned out to be positive for COVID-19 in a test on yesterday. Following the protocol of the Team and the UCI, the three riders were isolated, sent home and will all undergo another test. All three riders returned 2 negative tests in the days prior to the race.
No racing for Omer Goldstein for a while:
Vuelta a Burgos 2020
Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) won Stage 1 of the Tour of Burgos. He was the strongest on the summit finish Alto de Castillo. The Austrian also took the overall lead. João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was second at 8 seconds with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third and Alex Aranburu (Astana) fourth. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren) was at the head of then main group at 10 seconds.
The Burgos Cathedral was the setting for the start of the 42nd edition of the Spanish five-day race. The course headed northeast and then west to the first category climb of the Alto de Altotero. The route then crossed relatively flat roads back to the city of Burgos, where the finish was just outside the town centre on the Alto del Castillo.
A leading group of four riders emerged, with Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) joining forces with the Spaniards Gotzon Martin (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Diego Pablo Sevilla (Kometa Xstra) and Francisco Galvan (Kern Pharma). They had a maximum lead of 5 minutes from the peloton, in which Groupama-FDJ, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and NTT Pro Cycling led the peloton. Around half-way, Martin was the first to cross the summit of the Altotero, ahead of Seville, Bol and Galvan. Their lead was steadily reduced by the bunch. The time difference when entering the last fifty kilometres was only 1:46.
43 kilometres from the finish Trek-Segafredo and Deceuninck – Quick-Step took on the chase work. The race split into echelons and it was soon over for the leading group. Remco Evenepoel went on an escape 35 kilometres from the finish. While the peloton recovered after the echelons, the Belgian tested his legs and took 40 seconds.
Evenepoel rode 12 kilometres solo before he dropped back. Once the winner of the San Juan and Algarve tours was caught, Willie Smit (Burgos-BH). But also Jetse Bol’s teammate would not make it to the end and was caught in for the first climb of the Alto del Castillo. On the climb, Team Ineos led the pack up through the narrow passage. Filippo Ganna was the first over the top, ahead of Richard Carapaz and Ivan Sosa. There was still 12 kilometres to the finish, after which the CCC team for Matteo Trentin took the lead. Two team mates guided the Italian to the foot of the final climb. Felix Großschartner shot off the front, 800 meters from the finish as the others seemed to be waiting, but the Bora-Hansgrohe rider was gone. The Austrian never stopped to take his third professional victory. Almeida was second, Alejandro Valverde third.
Großschartner will wear the first purple leader’s jersey on Wednesday’s stage 2. He has an 8 second lead over Almeida, Valverde and Alex Aranburu. Most favourites for final victory are within 16 seconds of the winner, apart from Simon Yates and his teammate Jack Haig who both lost 3:12.
A bad crash say Gijs Leemreize (Jumbo-Visma) and Sebastian Henao (Ineos) abandon the Tour of Burgos on the opening stage. 54 kilometres from the finish there was a crash in the middle of the peloton. Most riders managed ride on, but Leemreize and Henao remained on the right side of the road and needed medical attention. According to Spanish television, Leemreize could have lost a finger in the crash. There was damage to the tip of one finger which was operated on by a plastic surgeon and was reported to be successful by the Jumbo-Visma team. Henao suffered a dislocated right shoulder.
Stage winner and overall leader, Felix Großschartner Bora-Hansgrohe: “I’m very happy about this victory. During yesterday’s training ride we did a recon on the race course, that’s why I already knew before the start that the finish would be a good one for me. The team brought me into a perfect position during the final kilometres and when the other riders reduced their speed a little bit at the final kilometre mark, I took my chance and attacked. From then on, it was just going all in. Luckily, no one caught me and I could cross the finish line even a few seconds ahead of the chasers.”
10th on the stage and overall, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick Step): “It was not the plan to go alone. We were in the front with a very strong group. With myself and Valverde, there were also only two big favourites for the final classification. I thought we could go to the finish with that group, but the Trek-Segafredo boys all exploded at the same point. If it hadn’t happened, we would have made it to the finish. But then we reached the climb thirty kilometres from the finish. I wanted to attack and grab two or three men that way to the end. If I get those men, it might have been lucky. But I was unlucky, you can sometimes have that in the race. Then I decided to keep my feet still which the final climb was still difficult and there are still difficult days.”
Vuelta a Burgos Stage 1 Result:
1. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:40:21
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:08
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana
5. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:10
6. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
10. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Vuelta a Burgos Overall After Stage 1:
1. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:40:21
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:08
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana
5. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren at 0:10
6. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
8. Jay Mc Carthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
10. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) won Stage 2 of the Tour of Burgos on Wednesday in Villadiego, the Colombian was the fastest in the expected final bunch sprint. He was too fast for Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), second and Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step in third.
The second stage took the riders north from the town of Castrojeriz to Villadiego on mostly flat roads, although the final phase to the finish was and up and down, on paper it was a day for the sprinters.
A leading group of five riders escaped early. The Spaniards Joel Nicolau, Angel Fuentes and Francisco Galvan had teamed up with the Italians Alessandro Fedeli and Riccardo Verza, they had a lead of almost 4 minutes after 25 kilometres. In the peloton, Bora-Hansgrohe made the pace for overall leader Felix Großschartner.
For a long time, the lead of the five escapees was kept at around four minutes, but at the start of the last 70 kilometres the peloton sped up when NTT Pro Cycling started to work. The South African team had traveled to Burgos with Giacomo Nizzolo and Max Walscheid and was eager for a sprint. Four minutes then became three and three minutes became two at 45 kilometres from the finish.
Deceuninck – Quick Step and Groupama-FDJ also put a man on the front. At 30 kilometres from the finish, the leading group stopped working together and started to mess around and get annoyed with each other. Entering the last 23 kilometres, the riders passed through the finish for the first time. The difference to the leading group was only 45 seconds. Joel Nicolau then tried to go solo, but 15 kilometres from the finish the peloton caught the last man standing.
The sprinters teams started to get their trains working. Initially, it was mainly Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Mitchelton-Scott and Bora-Hansgrohe on the front. Three kilometres from the finish, Matteo Trentin led the way with three CCC teammates and the speed shot up to 70 kph in the last kilometre.
A crash on the last corner caused some problems. Enrique Sanz was the main victim, but the Spaniard escaped with some scrapes. At the same time Fernando Gaviria took a few meters, which was sufficient for the stage victory. Arnaud Démare took second place, Irish champion Sam Bennett was third.
Felix Großschartner remained in the lead on the general classification. The Austrian has an eight-second lead over Jon Aberasturi, Matteo Trentin, Jasper Stuyven and Giacomo Nizzolo, who moved up into the top five based on the first two day results.
Stage winner, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “The compactness of the team was exceptional: we had to do without three riders, therefore not being able to work to keep the escape at bay, but we counted in the final on our good legs and a little luck to finish off a good sprint. I thank my teammates, who looked after me the whole stage and delivered me for the win.”
Vuelta a Burgos Stage 2 Result:
1. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates in 3:55:38
2. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
5. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Mikel Aristi Gardoki (Spa) Fundacion-Orbea.
Vuelta a Burgos Overall After Stage 2:
1. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe in 7:35:59
2. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:08
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
7. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
8. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos.
EOLO Becomes Title Sponsor of Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico, and Presenting Sponsor of Milano-Torino and Grandpiemonte
Sponsorship agreement signed for the races organised by RCS Sport.
EOLO, a leading provider of fixed-wireless ultra-wideband connectivity for business and homes, has signed a partnership agreement to sponsor the classic cycling races organised in Italy by RCS Sport.
With this agreement EOLO becomes title sponsor of Strade Bianche (1 August) and Tirreno-Adriatico (7-14 September) as well as Presenting Sponsor for Milano-Torino (5 August) and GranPiemonte (12 August). These races, included in the new UCI calendar, in this exceptional year, will precede the Corsa Rosa which starts in October.
This partnership with RCS Sport is representative of EOLO’s desire to share its values of teamwork and pride with the community, and the sporting ethos of the cycling community in particular.
“It is with great pleasure that we will be at RCS Sport’s side in the next Classic cycling races,” says Luca Spada, President and Founder of EOLO. “We are very close to the world of sport, not only because we share with it the fundamental values of teamwork and the tireless commitment to achieving the objectives, but also for the link with the other values that it expresses.”
“Cycling, in particular, unifies our country – but also showcases and shares the wonders of our country with the whole world. The unique network which EOLO creates throughout Italy, involving both large cities and smaller towns, shares the moments the most celebrated cycling champions visit every region, and also connects the images and experience of the world’s greatest riders competing in our territories with the global cycling community – just as we at EOLO commit ourselves to bringing the best connectivity to even the smallest municipalities, and sharing the events that matter.”
“The union between RCS Sport and EOLO is perfect,” says Paolo Bellino, CEO and General Manager of RCS Sport.
“It best expresses the link with the territory that we both have. Our Classics, in addition to going through the history of cycling, narrates Italy like few other events can do. They have grown exponentially thanks to the presence of important riders, the attention of the media and the involvement of many partners. A brand like EOLO, one of the most active companies in Italy, through this agreement consolidates its strategic choice.”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Strade Bianche
Julian Alaphilippe and Zdenek Stybar headline our squad for the first event of August.
Strade Bianche is a race that is barely 13 years old, yet if you ask riders, fans and journalists, they’ll all give the same answer: it feels like it’s been with us forever, that’s how much of an impact its peerless beauty has had since its creation. Just 184km-long in length, the race which in 2017 was made part of the World Tour calendar contains 63 kilometres of white gravel roads divided across 11 scenic sectors that will test the riders’ handling skills and climbing ability alike at this 14th edition.
The particular and quite unique nature of the course will bring classics specialists, puncheurs and even climbers to the fore on Tuscany’s picturesque roads, and favours both a long-range attack or a powerful surge on the uphill finish to Siena’s stunning shall-shaped Piazza del Campo, where last season Julian Alaphilippe emphatically captured our team’s third Strade Bianche victory in six years.
The Frenchman will be again at the start and will lead the charge for the Wolfpack, together with another former winner – Zdenek Stybar – who finished the race five out of five times in the top 10. Kasper Asgreen, whose display of formidable strength carried him to a resounding victory at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne five months ago, Davide Ballerini, Mikkel Honoré, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels and Pieter Serry will also line out in Siena’s Fortezza Medicea, ready to take on the Italian World Tour race.
“We’ve had many good results here in the past, three wins with as many different riders, and we want to be again up there and feature in the fight for victory, especially as it is a race we like a lot. It’s going to be a completely different race than we are used to, with temperatures of 35 degrees and even more dust than usual, but we are going there with a huge motivation after our excellent Val di Fassa training camp and prepared for every type of scenario,” said sports director Davide Bramati.
01.08 Strade Bianche (ITA) 1.UWT
Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Davide Ballerini (ITA)
Mikkel Honoré (DEN)
Bob Jungels (LUX)
Pieter Serry (BEL)
Zdenek Stybar (CZE).
Sports Director: Davide Bramati (ITA) and Wilfried Peeters (BEL).
Van Avermaet restarts season eyeing return to Strade Bianche podium
Greg Van Avermaet will return to the start line at Strade Bianche this Saturday, 1 August, where he is hoping to restart the season with success on Italian soil.
Sports Director Fabio Baldato said the team is motivated and confident ahead of the Italian racing block. “Greg Van Avermaet is our undisputed leader for Strade Bianche, where he has previously finished in the top ten on seven occasions, two of which were on the podium. Strade Bianche is a tough race in the normal racing calendar but this year, I think we’re in for a big shock with the heat and after so many months without racing. It’s hard to predict what will happen when this will be the first race back for all of our riders, but we are going into the race confident. Greg and the Classics team have just completed a block at altitude and their shape is good. Ultimately, we are just happy to be back racing and thankful to be able to do so,” Baldato said. “Later in the week we will line up at Milano – Torino which, unlike last year, has a flat parcours. For this reason, we are lining up with Jakub Mareczko as our leader for what we predict will be a sprint finish. For half of the team, this will be a good last test before Milano – San Remo.”
In between Strade Bianche and Milano – Torino in the calendar is the inaugural edition of Gran Trittico Lombardo where Van Avermaet will co-lead with Alessandro De Marchi, Sports Director Valerio Piva explained. “We are looking forward to lining up at the inaugural edition of Gran Trittico Lombardo. It’s going to be a difficult race so early in this revised season but it will be a good test of the legs. The punchy second half of the race should be good for Greg and we also have Alessandro De Marchi there should it become more of a race for the pure climbers. I think it will be a beautiful race to watch and one we are looking to animate as much as possible.”
Greg Van Avermaet is eager to get back to racing and is looking to repeat his previous success at Strade Bianche. “Strade Bianche is one of my favourite races so it is special to have this as my first race back. I’ve normally always raced well there so I am hoping to do the same again. I was able to stay motivated throughout lockdown and now after our training camp in Livigno, I feel like my shape is where it needs to be. Of course, the circumstances will be a little different than normal and the heat will be a big factor so I hope I am ready for that. Then I am excited to race Gran Trittico Lombardo. It will be interesting to discover a new race and I think it will suit me well. I’ll enjoy every moment regardless because I can’t wait to race again,” Van Avermaet said.
For Alessandro De Marchi, the revamped season starting with Strade Bianche is a chance to bounce back after missing half of the 2019 season. “I had two really good weeks at altitude and now I feel focused and prepared for the races. This first week of racing has a special meaning for me because I didn’t really re-start the season at the beginning of the year after my injuries last year. So to start with Strade Bianche next Saturday is something really special and emotional for me. I’m really looking forward to this because I know I can train as much as I want, but nothing is like racing and I really miss this; the bunch, the atmosphere, everything. I’m motivated to show that I am back with the same shape and mentality of 2019 so it will be important for me to start well,” De Marchi added.
Strade Bianche – 01 August
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Simon Geschke (GER), Jonas Koch (GER), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL).
Gran Trittico Lombardo – 03 August
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jonas Koch (GER), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP).
Milano – Torino – 05 August
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Jakub Mareczko (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP)
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Valerio Piva (ITA).
Greg Van Avermaet can’t wait to race again:
AG2R-La Mondiale for Strade Bianche
Oliver Naesen: “I am very happy to race Stade Bianche for the first time. This is the perfect opportunity. Usually the race takes place the day before Paris-Nice and I just watch it on TV. I have incredible memories of the 2018 edition, when Tiejs Benoot won ahead of Romain Bardet. Sitting in front of my TV, I was super excited, and I would have liked to have been in the race. I’m happy with the way I was able to handle this long break. I was lucky, I was able to train on the roads normally, which means I have 20,000 kilometres on the clock since the beginning of January. With the health crisis in mind, I prepared conscientiously, without the string of races. I have good feelings but there are a lot of uncertainties. For example, I do not know how fit my opponents are, in particular. The racing calendar as it is constructed suits me perfectly even though I know that the coming months will be special and that the situation can still evolve.”
Sunweb Team for 2020 Strade Bianche
The Strade Bianche is the first race for Team Sunweb on Saturday since the outbreak of the corona virus. The German WorldTour team is backing Søren Kragh Andersen and former winner Tiesj Benoot on the Tuscan gravel roads.
Team Sunweb has been preparing in recent weeks in Austria, where they had a complete hotel at their disposal. Team manager Marc Reef says his team is ready to race again after the training camp. “It’s going to be a special edition of this competition now that it’s taking place in the summer. High temperatures are predicted and the gravel sections will be dusty. That will affect the race.”
Reef predicts that the course will erupt from the seventh gravel strip. “We need to be on the ball and take the initiative when we feel that the moment is there. With Tiesj we have a former winner and on the starting line and next to him is Søren. The rest of the team aims to assist the leaders deep into the race.”
Sunweb team for Strade Bianche 2020:
Søren Kragh Andersen (Den)
Nikias Arndt (Ger)
Tiesj Benoot (Bel)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned)
Nicholas Roche (Ire)
Jasha Sütterlin (Ger).
Tiesj Benoot, 2014 winner:
Tadej Pogačar Sets His Sights on Sienna as UCI World Tour Rastarts with Iconic Strade Bianche Race
Few races on the cycling calendar are as iconic as Strade Bianche, a one day event which takes place on the white gravel roads of the stunning Tuscan landscape. Despite this only being its 14th edition, the Italian ‘Spring Classic’ has quickly captured the imagination of cycling fans from around the world and this year its significance is greater than ever as it signals the restart of the WorldTour season.
The 2020 edition, which was postponed in March due to the global pandemic, returns on Saturday 1st August and UAE Team Emirates has assembled an all star cast to take on the 184km route, which starts and finishes in Sienna.
Tadej Pogačar, whose last WorldTour race saw him win on top of Jebel Hafeet at the UAE Tour in February, joins a team of seven that includes his fellow countryman Jan Polanc, the Italian trio of Diego Ulissi, Valerio Conti and Davide Formolo as well as Sergio Henao and the 2013 World Road Race Champion, Rui Costa.
Diego Ulissi said: “It will be unusual racing on the white roads in August rather than March but regardless of that I’m sure it will be a beautiful race. It will be a little unpredictable for sure, because it is several months since we last raced, but I know me and my teammates have been preparing well. We are all just really happy and motivated to be pinning on a race number again.”
The team will be guided by Sports Director Marco Marzano, who added: “It will be a big moment to finally return to competition after the long period away. It has been a challenging time but the riders have stayed positive throughout the break and managed to prepare very well for these first races. It could be an unpredictable race, but we have a number of cards to play.”
The races come in quick succession for UAE Team Emirates following Strade Bianche with two different squads heading to back to back one day events in Italy with the Gran Trittico Lombardo (199.7km, Legnano – Varese) and Milano Torino (198km, Mesero – Stupinigi) taking place on August 3rd and August 5th respectively.
Gran Trittico Lombardo:
Tom BOHLI (Switzerland)
Valerio CONTI (Italy)
Marco MARCATO (Italy)
Edward RAVASI (Italy)
Alexandr RIABUSHENKO (Belarus)
Alessandro COVI (Italy)
Jan POLANC (Slovenia).
Tom BOHLI (Switzerland)
Sven Erik BYSTROM (Norway)
Fernando GAVIRIA (Italy)
Alexander KRISTOFF (Norway)
Marco MARCATO (Italy)
Maximilano RICHEZE (Argentina)
Oliviero TROIA (Italy)
Mike Teunissen To Miss Italian Classics due to Knee Injury
Mike Teunissen has had to postpone the resumption of his cycling season. The Jumbo-Visma rider suffered a knee injury in a fall during a training ride in Tignes and will now have to miss the Italian classics.
Teunissen should have resumed the season with the Strade Bianche on Saturday and then start in Milan-Turin and Milan-San Remo, but now a line has been put through his name on the start sheets, reported NOS. The Dutchman fell during a training ride in Tignes and although it was not a heavy fall, he has to rest his knee.
“It is very frustrating,” said Teunissen. “I worked hard for months and was ready to race again. At first it seemed like an innocent crash, but I have a sore left knee. We decided to skip the Italian races as a precaution. Hopefully I’ll be back soon after Milan-San Remo.”
Teunissen is replaced in Strade Bianche by Koen Bouwman. The 26-year-old rider was already registered as a reserve and, like the rest of the team, was tested for the corona virus.
Bad luck for Mike Teunissen:
Milano-Sanremo: An Unprecedented Route but the Last 36 Kilometres Unchanged with Cipressa and Poggio
The Classicissima will be 299km long. After leaving Milan it will head towards Lomellina and Alessandria then take in the Monferrato, the Langhe and pass the Colle di Nava (70km to the finish line) before descending on the Aurelia to face the final classic 36km including the Cipressa and the Poggio.
Milano-Sanremo by Vittoria changes its route. On Saturday 8 August the protagonists of the Classicissima will face an unprecedented route that will move from Milan, with km0 set on the Nuova Vigevanese in the municipality of Trezzano sul Naviglio, to continue towards Lomellina, Alessandria, Monferrato and the Langhe before tackling the climb of Colle Nava, 70km from the finish line in Sanremo. In Imperia the race returns to its classic route to face the Cipressa (first climbed in 1982) from San Lorenzo al Mare then soon afterwards the Poggio di Sanremo (first climbed in 1961).
After 110 years the Milano-Sanremo by Vittoria changes route and meets the sea only in Imperia after crossing the Po Valley and the Apennines further west than usual. After leaving Milan, it crosses the Lomellina on flat, wide and straight roads. After Alessandria, the race crosses the Monferrato and then passes through the Langhe before facing the first long challenge of the day, the ascent of Niella Belbo. The slopes are gentle, but there are, especially in the initial part of the climb, steep sections and the ascent is almost 20km long (average gradient of 3%). After Ceva begins the long and easy ascent to Colle di Nava (3.9km and a gradient of 3% in the final part of the climb), followed by the fast dive on Pieve di Teco, then on to reach Imperia. The ascent and descent are both on wide roads while the crossing of Langhe and Monferrato has narrow sections. In Imperia the race returns to the classic route to tackle the Cipressa (first climbed in 1982) from San Lorenzo al Mare and shortly afterwards, the Poggio di Sanremo (first climbed in 1961).
Cipressa and Poggio
Following the Cipressa (5.6km with an average gradient of 4.1%) is a very fast and challenging descent which takes riders back to the SS 1 Aurelia. At 9km from the finish, the ascent of Poggio di Sanremo begins (3.7km long with an average gradient of less than 4% and a maximum of 8% in the segment shortly before the crest of the climb). The road is slightly narrower, with four hairpin turns in the first 2km. The descent is extremely technical, on asphalt roads, narrow at points and with a succession of hairpins, twists and turns as far as the junctions with the SS 1 Aurelia. The final part of the descent enters urban Sanremo. The last bend, leading into the home straight, is 750m from the finish line.
Milano-Sanremo: 27 Teams of 6 Riders Each to Start
The 111th edition of the Milano-Sanremo by Vittoria, organised by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport and scheduled for Saturday 8 August, will see two more teams at the start in addition to those that have previously been announced. They are two more Italian UCI ProTeams: Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec and Bardiani CSF Faizanè.
In total 27 teams will cover the 299km from Milan to Sanremo, each comprising six riders.
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director, underlined how: “The organisation had already asked the UCI, at this particular moment where there is a need to have as many teams and riders as possible participating, to be able to invite two other teams without reducing the number of riders per team. The UCI rejected the request because this would have meant exceeding the maximum limit of riders in the race allowed by the regulation (176).”
“In the absence of a derogation, we made a request to the UCI, through the PCC – Professional Cycling Council, composed of representatives of teams, athletes, organisers and members appointed by the UCI – to reduce the number of riders per team to six in order to allow space for the other two teams. The PCC approved our request and in this way we were able, once again, to support the Italian movement and get all three Italian ProTeams at the start.”
MILANO-SANREMO (8 August) – 19 UCI WorldTeams, 2 qualified by ranking position and 6 wild cards (27 teams of 6 riders each):
UCI WORLDTEAMS – 19
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BAHRAIN – MCLAREN (BRN)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CCC TEAM (POL)
DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (BEL)
EF PRO CYCLING (USA)
GROUPAMA – FDJ (FRA)
ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISR)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MITCHELTON – SCOTT (AUS)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM (RSA)
TEAM INEOS (GBR)
TEAM JUMBO – VISMA (NED)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK – SEGAFREDO (USA)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAE).
QUALIFIED BY RANKING – 2
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA)
CIRCUS – WANTY GOBERT (BEL).
WILD CARDS – 6
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI – SIDERMEC
ALPECIN – FENIX (BEL)
BARDIANI CSF FAIZANÈ.
GAZPROM – RUSVELO (RUS)
TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC (FRA)
VINI ZABÙ KTM (ITA).
2019 winners podium:
La Course by Le Tour de France 2020 with FDJ: Ladies in the Sporlight
The women’s peloton was welcomed for the first time on the Tour de France at the conclusion of the 2014 edition and started to make the Champs-Elysées their stomping ground. They then discovered the high mountains with a finish at the Col d’Izoard in 2017, followed in Marseille by an atypical pursuit race on the time trial course. At the Grand-Bornand in 2018, then on a “championship” type circuit format around Pau last year, the women’ race then experimented with different scenarios. In 2020, it is in Nice where the world’s elite female racers will come together this time with the honour of starting the competition even before the men set off on their Tour de France.
On the 96-kilometre course, which will use part of the route prepared for the men’s race, the women will probably not be expected to compete in a large group sprint, according to Jean-Marc Marino, the event’s sporting director. “The race will consist of a loop to be completed twice. The côte de Rimiez will allow for a solid group to break away. All the more so as after reaching the line drawn for the mountain points, there will actually be several kilometres of climb left to the village of Aspremont. This springboard is perfect for really strong girls who get along well, especially since the descent is technical and not very conducive to organising a chase”. The four champions who have already put their names on the list of winners, namely Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Chloé Hosking and Annemiek van Vleuten, can now start to fine-tune their strategy.
Amel Bouzoura, FDJ Director of Sponsoring and Partnerships: “with a considerable presence in French sport and as a sponsor of a men’s cycling team for over 20 years, FDJ is proud to continue its support of elite women’s cycling. Since 2017, the Group has been supporting the women’s cycling team FDJ – Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Futuroscope, and has strengthened its commitment to ensure the team’s UCI World Tour license in 2020. The team will participate in “La Course by Le Tour”, of which FDJ has been a “Major Sponsor” since 2016. The company is committed to the promotion and encouragement of women’s sport with its “Sport pour Elles” programme. In addition to professional cycling, FDJ supports the French Cycling Federation in the development of amateur cycling for all.”
23 teams, the leading participants (as of 29/07/2020) in alphabetical order:
ALE’ BTC Ljubljana (ita)
Aromitalia – basso Bikes – Vaiano (Ita)
Astana Women’s Team (Kaz)
Bizkaia – Durango (Esp)
Boels Dolmans CyclingTeam (Nld)
Canyon / /Sram Racing (Ger)
CCC – Liv (Pol)
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
Charente – Maritime Women Cycling (Fra)
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling Team (Rus)
FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
Hitec Products – Birk Sport (Nor)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (Bel)
Mitchelton Scott (Aus)
Movistar Team Women (Esp)
Parkhotel Valkenburg (Nld)
Paule Ka (Che)
Rally Cycling (Usa)
Team Arkéa (Fra)
Team Sunweb (Ger)
Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank (Usa)
Trek – Segafredo (Usa)
Valcar – Travel & Service (Ita).
Ø The 7th edition of La Course by Le Tour de France avec FDJ will take place next month on a 96-kilometre course with the start and finish in Nice, for the first time before the Tour de France riders head into action.
Ø While the sprinters cannot be ruled out, the route chosen for the ladies also offers opportunities for punchers capable of breaking away and resisting the return of the peloton just until the Promenade des Anglais.
Ø The most prominent champions in the peloton have already circled 29 August on their calendar, starting with the four winners of La Course by Le Tour de France avec FDJ, Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Chloé Hosking and Annemiek van Vleuten, who will have to contend with the likes of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio et Marta Bastianelli.
All information about La Course by Le Tour de France with FDJ on: www.lacoursebyletourdefrance.com/en/
No Boels Ladies Tour Due to Corona Virus
The Boels Ladies Tour 2020 has been canceled. In consultation with the intended stage locations, the organisation has decided to cancel the only stage race for women in the UCI Women’s WorldTour in the Benelux. The organisational and financial risks posed by the corona virus have proven to be too great.
The race was initially scheduled for August and had a new date from 1 to 6 September on the renewed UCI calendar. The organisation has proved impossible to guarantee the responsible continuation of this event.
Organisers, Courage Events, has in recent months together with all parties involved (municipalities, sponsors, teams, riders and unions) looked into the possibility of continuing the 2020 edition in an adapted form. More than a month of the intended start date of 1 September, the main parties concluded that this is impossible under the current circumstances.
“The main stumbling block to organising a sporting event like the Boels Ladies Tour is the emergency regulation that an organisation is responsible for the entire area of its event,” says organiser Thijs Rondhuis. “For us, that is the entire course over several days. This law is clear, as a result of this a number of municipalities have announced that they will not grant a permit on the basis of this rule.”
But there are also other uncertainties involved. “The recent flare-up of the virus in various places in Europe. The figures in the Netherlands also have a negative line. This will increase the uncertainty in the next four weeks and the financial risks will increase considerably. After all, the measures to be taken would have weighed heavily on the profile of our competition. With keeping the audience out and having to cancel many of the planned side events, there are not enough arguments to speak of a Boels Ladies Tour that we stand for.”
No Boels Ladies Tour in 2020:
Critérium du Dauphiné Makes a Request for Spectators: ‘No Selfies’
The organisers of the Critérium du Dauphiné points out to its spectators some corona measures, which must protect themselves and the riders.
“Protect yourself and the riders in 2020,” the organisation wrote on social media. Spectators are requested to keep two meters away from the riders, not to ask for autographs, to carry two types of protective equipment (face mask and hand gel) and not to take selfies.
The shortened edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné was presented last week. The French event will start on Wednesday, August 12 in Clermont-Ferrand. The race ends in Megève four days later. Unlike previous years, the time trial is missing. Last year, the overall victory went to Jakob Fuglsang.
Rochester Cyclocross – Cancelled for 2020
Rochester Cyclocross, originally scheduled for September 26th and 27th, will be postponed until 2021 due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport, Monroe County and the City of Rochester are looking forward to welcoming the world’s best cyclists back to New York State next year.
“In the interest of safety for the athletes, spectators and staff, we had no choice but to cancel for 2020,” said Rochester Cyclocross executive director, Scott Page. “Hopefully the Covid-19 pandemic will be well behind us all in 2021 and we can get back to racing!”
Rochester Cyclocross was started in 2008 and has been a UCI Class 1 event since 2014. Past Rochester Cyclocross events have featured some of the world’s top male and female racers. Not only American stars, but athletes from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have traveled to Rochester, N.Y. to compete.
Full Moon Vista Productions and the entire Rochester Cyclocross crew looks forward to welcoming the cycling world back to Rochester in 2021.
For more details, please visit www.rochestercyclocross.com.
Vittoria is the New Official Partner of the 2020 Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour
René Timmermans, EMEA/LATAM Sales Director, describes Vittoria’s long tradition in the racing world.
Vittoria tires have recently returned to Italy thanks to Wise Equity, a Milanese investment fund, which will guide the company into the future, while the racing department is raising the bar with important new World Tour partnerships. Formerly the official sponsor of Milano-Sanremo, the European Championships and the Italian Championships, this year the company will be the technical partner of the 77th edition of the Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour for the first time.
The EMEA/LATAM Sales Director René Timmermans talks about the Italian brand’s ambitious new plans to be protagonist in an increasingly bike-friendly and sustainable world. “Vittoria will be the technical partner of the Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour for the first time” he explained, “and we are happy to be part of a historic competition. The company is expanding the racing service calendar to increase brand awareness, and this it is a great opportunity for us to grow. The Polish race has always been a point of reference in the second part of the season and, although world cycling has undergone significant changes in this 2020, we are convinced that its role won’t change.”
Timmermans said that the neutral service team attending the Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour, will consist of three cars, a motorbike and about ten high-level professionals, including drivers and mechanics, all used to moving in the race caravan and supporting the riders. “Vittoria has been in the racing world since the 1980s. In our team there are former professionals and mechanics who know the world of cycling thoroughly and give that essential added value to be able to achieve the highest standards.”
“In more than ten years, many things have happened,” said the EMEA/LATAM Sales Director. “I remember very well when Kruiswijk fell in the snow on the Colle dell’Agnello. It was the 2016 Giro d’Italia and the Dutch rider wore the pink jersey. He had had a mechanical and his team car was far back. Luckily, we were there and we did everything to help him and enable him recover his position. Another adventure was in 2018 at Strade Bianche. There was heavy rain and a lot of mud. Assistance is never easy in those conditions. That’s also the thrill of cycling.”
Timmermans also mentioned the company’s recent ownership change and his excitement about the outlooks. “Rudie Campagne, Vittoria’s outgoing president and now adviser to the new CEO Stijn Vriends, has a great vision for the future. The project he has in mind for Vittoria is ambitious and forward-looking. We are going through a very particular and delicate time worldwide, but cycling is involving more and more amateurs, and this change in management is an extra thrust to invest in smart solutions for mobility problems.”
The Tour de Pologne UCI WorldTour is getting closer, August the 5th, only 7 days left until the start of the 2020 edition. The organisation is facing the last days of a more than ever delicate preparation, due to the particular historical moment. The patron of the Polish race, Czeslaw Lang, says: “We are very happy to have a partner like Vittoria by our side. We know the company and know how their job is precious and professional. The years of experience they boast certainly show that the team is well tested and their knowledge of this fascinating, yet complicated sport adds priceless value to the whole project. I am really happy that an agreement has been found between our two companies.”
Vittoria in Pologne:
Vincenzo Nibali: “Evenepoel may be the surprise of the Giro”
Vincenzo Nibali returned from a two-week training camp in the Dolomites on Friday. In the coming months, he wants to grow into his best form for the Giro d’Italia, in which he aims for a third overall victory.
It was recently announced that the Tour of Italy will start with a four-day stay in Sicily, the birth place of Nibali. The start is a 16 kilometre time trial from Monreale to Palermo. This is followed by two difficult stages, including one with the finish on Mount Etna, which can further shack up the rankings. The last stage on the island is one for the sprinters.
“The warmth of my home country provides a beautiful and emotional context, but I can’t afford to be distracted,” said Trek-Segafredo leader. “The time trial and the finish on Etna two days later require that I have to be prepared from the start. I think the third week will be the deciding factor. The time trial specialists have an advantage in the opening phase, but after two weeks everyone’s physical and mental strength will be different.”
In the battle for the pink jersey, Nibali expects a hard confrontation with defending champion Richard Carapaz, Jakob Fuglsang and Simon Yates. “And someone who could be the big surprise, Remco Evenepoel,” the Italian adds to the list. “He is strong and approaches cycling with personality. I like him. Only the road can tell how well he can perform in a Grand Tour of three weeks.”
The two-time Giro winner takes into account a good Evenepoel, but at the same time does not want to underestimate anyone. “The history of the Giro shows that someone gets up every year.”
Pink again for Vincenzo Nibali:
Wilco Kelderman to BORA-hansgrohe
Wilco Kelderman will make the switch to BORA-hansgrohe. It was already clear that the 29-year-old Dutchman would leave Team Sunweb and now his new team has been leaked, according to De Telegraaf.
With his new team, Kelderman becomes a teammate of three-time world champion Peter Sagan, GC rider Emanuel Buchmann and top sprinter Pascal Ackermann. Kelderman has been under contract with Team Sunweb since 2017, before that he had been working with LottoNL-Jumbo and its predecessors since his professional debut in 2012.
Besides Sam Oomen, who is leaving for Jumbo-Visma, Kelderman is the second rider to leave Team Sunweb this year. The French rider Romain Bardet, is mentioned as a new addition.
Team Sunweb Extend Contracts with Pfeiffer Georgi and Coryn Rivera
Team Sunweb are delighted to extend contracts with Pfeiffer Georgi and Coryn Rivera, with both talented riders staying with Team Sunweb until the end of 2021.
Pfeiffer Georgi (GBR): After joining the team in 2019 and making the step up from juniors where she claimed several titles, Georgi impressed with strong performances across a multitude of terrain – helping the team to impressive results throughout the season. Her personal highlight came with a bronze medal in the British U23 national time trial championships and a top ten at the European championships. Georgi began her 2020 campaign in Australia and was an important member of the team’s successful start to the year. Still in her late teens, age is very much on Georgi’s side and she is looking forward to continuing her journey with the team.
On extending with the team Georgi said: “I’m really excited to extend my contract with the team and I’m grateful for their continued support, especially with the current situation in the world. I think it’s the best place to continue my development as a young rider – improving and learning from the coaches, experts and other riders on the team. We started off 2020 really well and I’m looking forward to winning more races as a team together this year and in the future.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans added: “Pfeiffer had a very unlucky first season in 2019, but started 2020 on a high-note where she was an important member of the team’s success in the Australian races. We think her talents lie as a classics rider in the future and we want to help develop her abilities in those races whilst also focusing on strengthening her overall ability. Pfeiffer really understands the game of cycling, which is impressive for someone of her age, and it is a very important quality for someone to progress into a top rider.”
Coryn Rivera (USA): Rivera made the move across the pond in 2017, joining Team Sunweb to make an immediate impact with wins at Trofeo Binda and the Tour of Flanders – becoming the first ever US rider to win the latter. Since 2017 she’s taken a total of 11 victories alongside numerous podiums and top tens at WorldTour level, cementing her place as one of the most consistent riders in the women’s peloton. A punchy and versatile rider, Rivera can compete in the sprints, hilly terrain and her favoured spring classics races.
Rivera expressed: “I think it is only natural to extend my contract with Team Sunweb. We have worked well together over the last four years: learning and achieving a lot together. There is a very promising group of young girls here and I’m excited to help them develop in the WorldTour. 2021 will feel like somewhat of a do over of 2020, so I am hoping for a healthy and normal schedule of the spring classics and a focus on the Olympics and summer one-day races later in the year.”
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans continued: “Next year Coryn will start her fifth year with the team and every season she has picked up plenty of top results for us. Coryn is also a strong and dedicated team player and has become an important culture carrier within the team as one of the more experienced riders. On the bike she keeps developing and is becoming more and more diverse with her qualities – she is a dangerous rider on a lot of different parcours.”
Contract Extensions for Chérel, Gastauer and Warbasse
Mikael Chérel, Ben Gastauer and Larry Warbasse have all extended their contracts with
the AG2R-La Mondiale team.
Mikaël Chérel has signed for 2 years. He has been wearing our colours since 2011. Ben Gastauer extends for a season. He became a professional with our team in 2010 after being a member of the Chambéry Cyclisme Formation. Larry Warbasse joined the squad in 2019 and has signed for two more seasons.
“We are delighted to continue the adventure with Mikaël, Ben, and Larry, three important riders in our squad who are all excellent at giving everything they can for the collective success of the team. Mikaël is a talented rider, especially in the mountains, and a respected road captain. Ben has been wearing our colours for 10 years and is one of our most valued team members. Larry, since joining the team, has proven his personal and athletic qualities,” said Vincent Lavenu, General Manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team.
Contract extensions at AG2R-La Mondiale:
Schachmann, Pöstlberger and Benedetti Extend with BORA – hansgrohe
The current German Champion has extended his contract with the team from Raubling for four years. Lukas Pöstlberger and Cesare Benedetti will also ride in the colours of BORA – hansgrohe for the following two years.
“I have always said that with Max, we’re planning for the long term. He’s a perfect fit for us and I think he sees it the same way. With his overall win at Paris-Nice, he has also established himself as a stage racer. It remains to be seen how far he can be developed further along this path, but Max definitely has a number of other qualities. We want to help him find his place over the next coming years.
Cesare has certainly already found this place. He has become one of our most important helpers and is a very good all-rounder. With his stage win in the Giro last year, he not only gave us a fantastic gift, but he also rewarded himself for his endless commitment to the team. CeCe is a real pillar of strength at BORA – hansgrohe.
Lukas is also a complete rider. He’s able to support a sprint train on flat terrain or in echelons, but is also very strong on medium mountain stages. That makes him very valuable as a team player. In the Northern Classics, he also has his chances to take on a leading role from time to time. At races such as E3 and Dwars Door, for instance, he has already demonstrated his potential on such parcours. However, I think he still has more to offer us yet,” – Ralph Denk, Team Manager.
“I’ve been able to progress very well within this team and feel very much at home here. So it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to our future together and also to the trust that has been placed in me with this new long-term contract. At the moment, I am quite versatile as a rider, and we want to find out together over the coming few years in which races I have the greatest potential. That will be an exciting endeavour, and at BORA – hansgrohe, I feel that I will be perfectly supported on this journey,” – Maximilian Schachmann.
“Over the last few years since we’ve been riding at WorldTour level, I think that I have really found my role within the team. I feel very comfortable there, and together with BORA – hansgrohe, I still have a lot of plans to fulfil. I am very grateful for the trust that the team has placed in me. Especially during these difficult times, I am glad that I already know what I can concentrate on in the forthcoming years,” – Cesare Benedetti.
“I feel very much at home at BORA – hansgrohe, and so I’m pleased that we’re able to continue on a common path together. With my versatile riding style, I can certainly contribute a lot to the team. In return, however, I’ll also receive the opportunity to ride for myself whenever the chance arises. Of course I’m looking forward to rewarding the team’s trust in me. My heart is set on the Belgian classics, and I now have the requisite routine to perhaps pull out a surprise or two there in the future,” – Lukas Pöstlberger.
Maximilian Schachmann staying with Bora-Hansgrohe:
Team Jumbo-Visma signs Dutch U23 champion Dekker
David Dekker will join the 2021 squad of Team Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch U23 champion is coming over from SEG Racing Academy and signs for two years with the World Tour team of manager Richard Plugge.
Twenty-two-year-old Dekker conquered the red-white-blue Dutch champion jersey in the U23 category last year. Earlier this year he managed to win the Dorpenomloop Rucphen and the Ster van Zwolle.
This is the transfer that Dekker had in mind. “I am very happy that I signed with Team Jumbo-Visma. Besides the fact that it is a Dutch team, the team is growing tremendously. Currently, this team is one of the best teams in the World Tour. I think I can make optimal use of the facilities that Team Jumbo-Visma offers to become the best cyclist within my capabilities.”
“If you look at the past few years, I think this is a logical step in my career,” Dekker continues. “I have made great strides in my development. With that I enforced this transfer. I hope to focus on sprinting in the coming years. I can learn a lot from a big sprinter like Dylan Groenewegen.”
Team Jumbo-Visma’s sportive director Merijn Zeeman is looking forward to the see Dekker in his new jersey. “David has developed well at Metec in recent years. This spring, he finally broke through at SEG Racing Academy with good performances in the few races that were held. We think he is a talented sprinter, who can continue to grow in our structure. He is going to have many opportunities. In recent years, we as a team have learned a lot from training Dylan. David can take advantage of that.”
James Piccoli Extends Contract with Israel Start-Up Nation
James Piccoli will be riding at Israel Start-Up Nation for the next two years. The Canadian put his signature on a new contract that will keep him at the WorldTeam until the end of 2022.
Piccoli (28) is in his first season with Israel Start-Up Nation after coming over from continental Elevate-KHS in the winter. He piqued the team’s interest with second place in the Tour of Utah. Early in the current cycling year, he completed an Australian program with the Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour, but the corona break has kept him on the sidelines ever since.
The Canadian is happy that his contract has now been extended by two years. “I have a number of goals with this team. First of all, that is having fun and enjoying what I love doing most. In addition, I want to be a good cyclist, further develop myself, help my teammates in competitions and ultimately do what they can, namely win the biggest races. And, that is also the main reason I race, I want to make my parents proud.”
Team manager Kjell Carlström is convinced that Piccoli can develop further. “He can really prove himself as a great supportive rider in the Grand Tours or ride his own chances in hilly or mountainous races.”
Théo Delacroix: “Eager to pin my first bib numbers with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans”
Théo Delacroix will make his debut with the professionals next Saturday. The French U23 champion will pin his first bib numbers on his new Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans jersey on the 1st of August, the first day of his professional contract. The 21 year old is eager to join the pro peloton, which he discovered last summer during his period as a trainee. At this moment, the French rider is in the Alps for the recon of the Tour de l’Avenir, a race in which he will participate with the national team.
The rider from the Jura region met his new teammates during two training camps in Belgium, before heading towards the foot of the Pyrenees for his debut at the Route d’Occitanie (1-4/08), with Jérémy Bellicaud, Aimé De Gendt, Odd Eiking, Alexander Evans, Andrea Pasqualon and Simone Petilli.
The resident from Franche-Compté and member of our development team CC Etupes will continue the racing at the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge (6/08), before joining the French national team for the Tour de l’Avenir (14-19/08) and the European Championships.
Théo Delacroix: “I’m looking forward to make my debut with the team, although I’m no stranger to the environment since I joined the team last summer as a trainee and this season for all collective training camps. This season will be short and intense, but I’m ready. Certainly, In France we had to train on the rollers for two months, but three months ago we were allowed to go out again and this should be sufficient.”
“During the training camps in Belgium, in the Ardennes in particular, I learned that my shape was good. We did a lot of qualitative work on the steep relief and in a pleasant environment, which I only knew from Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23. I’m eager to pin my first bib numbers on Saturday!”
“The level of this Route d’Occitanie will be very high, I will learn immediately where I’m situated. I’m ready to work for my leaders, so the team can achieve good results from the restart. I also want to sharpen my condition, why not by joining a breakaway? The succession of five race days, with the Mont Ventoux, will enable me to get the race rhythm back soon!”
“The frustration about not being able to enjoy my U23 champion’s jersey is already processed. It’s an extra motivation to shine at the Tour de l’Avenir, with the names of the partners of Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans on my chest. Each rider of our collective will have the permission to play his own cards, without having to work for a leader. The stages in the Jura might suit me, but I’ll try to grab each opportunity on my path.”
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