Looks like we will be seeing Mathieu van der Poel on the road next year, Amstel Gold Race beckons – Top Story. EUROTRASH Thursday packed with cycling news: Philip Deignan retires, Richie Porte in Australia, Alejandro Valverde for Flanders, no Lotto for Tommeke, Juan José Lobato wants the WorldTour, no Giro for Romain Bardet, Ruta del Sol’19, Iván Sosa to Sky, Mathijs Paasschens turns pro, Jaako Hanninen for AG2R-La Mondiale, Cofidis 2019, Fortuneo-Samsic now Arkéa-Samsic, Kometa Cycling Team, Dimension Data to wear Assos and BEAT at the Berlin World Cup.
TOP STORY: Mathieu Van Der Poel to ride the Amstel Gold Race?
Amstel Gold Race organized, Leo van Vliet, has indicated that the Amstel Gold Race has a wildcard ready for the Corendon-Circus team. The Dutch race director told AD that the Dutch road champion is more than welcome: “If Mathieu really wants to ride, I invite him. And if Mathieu rides, he will be full of it. He is not coming to look around.”
Corendon-Circus thinks that the Amstel Gold Race is better for Van der Poel than a race like Paris-Roubaix. “A race like Paris-Roubaix is for the heavy engines. We think that the Amstel Gold Race would be better for Mathieu at this moment. We also talked to him about that”, said team manager Philip Roodhooft.
Cyclocross domination, mountain bike Olympian and road champion! When will he take to the boards of the velodrome?
Philip Deignan Announces his Retirement
Philip Deignan has announced in an open letter on Twitter that he will end his career as a professional cyclist. The 35-year-old Irishman did not have his contract with Sky renewed, and has decided to call it a day. “With sadness and pride at the same time I want to announce that I will say goodbye to cycling.”
“As a fifteen-year-old on the Donegal roads, I never dreamed that I would make it in sport and would make it for fourteen years. I appreciate all the opportunities I have received and I want to thank everyone who helped me during my career,” Deignan wrote.
The Sky rider became father of a daughter in September this year with his wife Lizzie Deignan, who will make her return with the women’s Trek-Segafredo team in 2019.
“It was years with a lot of ups and downs, but the fact that I end my career in good health and with the best team in the world makes me proud and happy,” continues the Irishman. “On to the next challenge!”
1st Tour du Doubs
5th Road race, UEC European Under–23 Road Championships
7th Overall Tour de Wallonie
9th Road race, UCI Road World Under–23 Championships
7th Overall Vuelta a Castilla y León
8th Giro del Mendrisiotto
9th Overall Vuelta a España and Stage 18 win
10th Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Overall Tour of the Gila and Mountains classification
2nd Overall Tour de Beauce
6th Overall Tour of Utah
9th Overall Tour of California
10th Overall USA Pro Cycling Challenge
7th Overall Tour de Pologne
5th Overall Tour de Yorkshire.
Porte to start 2019 Season in Australia, as Usual
Even though Richie Porte has changed teams, he will starts his 2019 season in the same way as he usually does, in Australia. The 33-year-old rider, now with Trek-Segafredo, has chosen to spent more time at home and adds the Herald Sun Tour to his early race season.
Porte starts with the Australian National championships, from 5th to 8th January. Then the Tour Down Under (15th-20th January), before the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (January 27th) and the Herald Sun Tour (January 30th-February 3rd). This will be Porte’s eighth start in the Tour Down Under. He won the TDU in 2017, and has taken six stage wins, four on Willunga Hill. Porte last raced in the Herald Sun Tour in 2011.
“I wanted to ride the Herald Sun Tour again, but always it did not fit into my program, or it did not work out well, or the team had no interest in riding there. Now, however, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. It is a race with prestige, and I will start to win,” Porte commented.
Porte on the attack on Willunga Hill – TDU’18:
Valverde to ride in Flanders in 2019
World champion Alejandro Valverde will be on the start line of the Tour of Flanders next year and will also start in the Dwars door Vlaanderen. The race organizers announced during the course presentation on Monday.
The course has few changes, but there is the addition of the Berg ten Houte in Schorisse. The climb, with its steepest ramp of 21%, has appeared in the Tour of Flanders. The climb has been recently reconstructed and now has more than three hundred meters of cobblestones. “A nice climb where the selection can be made”, says Yves Lampaert.
Valverde was 11th in the 2018 Dwars door Vlaanderen.
No Job for Tom Boonen with Lotto Soudal
Tom Boonen is currently not in the plans of the new Lotto Soudal team manager John Lelangue. On Tuesday he organized a coaching day for all staff, but ex-World champion Tom Boonen was not present, reports Het Nieuwsblad. Last year Boonen was appointed by Lelangue’s predecessor Paul de Geyter as a technological adviser and ambassador.
De Geyter was Boonen’s agent for most of his career and last year De Geyter put ‘Tommeke’ on the pay-role at Lotto Soudal, although Boonen had raced for the arch-rival Quick-Step Floors team during the majority of his career. Lelangue does not yet know how he can fit Boonen into his team.
“At the moment Tom is not part of my plans”, said Lelangue. “I will definitely talk to him. With his palmarés and personality, Tom is definitely an added value for the team. Only he must have a full function for this and at the moment it is not clear to me how exactly we can fill it.”
No work at Lotto Soudal for ‘Tommeke’
Lobato Wants to Return to the WorldTour
Juan José Lobato had several offers to ride for a new team in 2019, but he remained loyal to Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini. “Ten or fifteen thousand euros no longer makes the difference. And I wanted to stay because this team believed in me when nobody else did,” he told Italian website Cicloweb.
Slightly less than a year ago the sleep-drug affair of LottoNL-Jumbo came to light, involving Lobato, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Antwan Tolhoek. The last two received an internal suspension and a firm warning, while Lobato and the Dutch team split up after mutual consultation. With that, the fast Spaniard dropped from WorldTour level to ProContinental with the Japanese/Italian team. Lobato won the Coppa Sabatini ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Gianni Moscon (Sky).
In 2019 Lobato wants to show itself again and again, as now sleepless nights are a thing of the past. “I especially want to get back the form I had two years ago in my last year with Movistar,” the sprinter hopes. “If I have a winter without problems, I am convinced that I have the level to compete with the best riders in the WorldTour. I also want to prove that I belong at that level, because I did not leave how I wanted to go. I still have unfinished business.”
JJ Lobato winning the Coppa Sabatini’18:
Tour de France, But no Giro for Romain Bardet
Since Monday, the AG2R-La Mondiale team has been training in Vaujany (Isère), which is in the heart of the mountainous Oisans region in France. They will be there until Thursday. The goal of this “no bikes” training camp is to take part in alternative activities such as cross-country skiing, as well as to hold numerous meetings for the riders, the staff and the technical partners of the team. This gives them the chance to refine the program for every rider.
As a result, the main structure of Romain Bardet’s program has now been established. He will definitely take part in the Tour de France, but will not be at the Giro d’Italia, the possibility of which had been under consideration for some time now.
“It’s always great to meet at this training camp for the first time in the new season,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team, explained. “This is the fourth year we have come to Vaujany in the heart of the mountains of Oisans. The conditions are ideal to kick off operations for another year. Our team is growing every year, and we have big ambitions both for the stage races and the classics.”
“After having conscientiously studied and considered the different possibilities, Romain Bardet will not double up on the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. It would have been an exciting challenge but the Tour de France parcours is more favorable for him than the Giro, and it seemed more appropriate to focus on the Grande Boucle.”
Romain Bardet: “A rational decision”
“Now that we are resuming serious training, I am happy to announce what will constitute the framework of my objectives for next season. In 2019 I will participate in the Tour de France as my main goal. I have for some time wanted to compete at the Giro as well, and there was a real, sincere and constructive discussion with the staff of the team about the goals that we have shared now over many seasons. But in the final analysis of the course for the Tour de France and that of the Giro, it led us to the conclusion that I will have more opportunities to shine at the Tour. In addition to that, the prospect of having a stage in my hometown of Brioude counted for a lot as well. But above all, this is a rational decision guided by sporting necessities and choices. We have built a balanced and interesting program to ramp up to form in July, including Paris-Nice, the Tour of Catalonia and the Critérium du Dauphiné. As for the Giro, this is really only a postponement because I definitely want to race there soon and with high ambitions.”
Expected program for the beginning of the season:
Tour du Haut Var (February 22nd-24th)
Faun Environnement Classic de l’Ardèche (March 2nd)
Paris-Nice (March 10th-17th)
Tour of Catalonia (March 25th-31st).
Romain Bardet on the Tour 2018 stage 9:
Agreement between the Government of Andalusia and Deporinter to boost the Ruta del Sol 2019
The Tour of Andalucia, to be held from 20 to 24 February, will involve the collaboration of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The Junta de Andalucía, through the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, has reached an agreement with Deporinter, organizer of the Tour of Andalucia ‘Ruta del Sol’, to promote the next edition which will be held on 20th February 2019 from the Cadiz town of Sanlucar de Barrameda to the 24th February in Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga.
The CEO of Deporinter, Joaquín Cuevas, commented that “we are satisfied with the momentum of the regional government for this 65th edition of the Ruta del Sol, where you will visit six of the eight Andalusian provinces; and it is important to put this in value since Andalusia is the second largest community of Spain and the Andalusian round only covers five days of competition UCI international standards.”
And precisely because of the importance of these competitions for the community and its image abroad, and had spoken a few days ago the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Javier Fernández, giving utmost importance to sporting events and its platform to bring the image of the community beyond our borders.
Similarly, with regard to the relationship of the Tour of Andalusia Sanlucar de Barrameda, it would have to go back to February 4, 1955 where there was a stage start and finish, both the same day. In the morning a stage was held, starting in Sevilla, finish in Sanlúcar, 121 kilometers, which was won by Francisco Masip (Peña Solera), finishing ahead of his teammate Jaime Alomar and independent José Gomez moral, who kept the overall lead of the race and after much effort managed to hold it till the end of the race, the first Andalusian to win the Tour de Andalucía.
On the same day, and evening, a new stage was disputed, starting in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, finishing in Cádiz after 72 kilometers. This time the victory went to Antonio Ferraz (Gamma) ahead of Oscar Elguezabal (Gamma) and José Segú (Peña Solera). José Gómez del Moral held the lead to be the winner of the second edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía.
On the other hand, as the ideal profile that favors the route, Cuevas stressed that “it is for a complete rider, because in this edition we do not have a summit finish, but there will be stages with hard a finish, for sprinters, time trialists and a short, but very explosive stage. We hope that the race is open until the end, and that riders and fans enjoy the beautiful landscapes and area through which it will pass this year.”
Tim Wellens after taking the leader’s jersey in Alcalá de los Gazules (Cádiz) in 2018:
Iván Sosa Signs a Three-Year Contract with Sky
Iván Ramiro Sosa signs a three-year contract with Sky this week. The Colombian climber had earlier said he would ride for Trek-Segafredo in 2019, but that contract was never signed. After a change of personal management, Sky suddenly had the best offer.
Sosa will meet his new teammates for the first time at the team training camp on December the 10th in Mallorca. Rumor has it that the 21-year old climber will ride the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
Sosa will be reunited with his fellow Colombian Egan Arley Bernal, both riders rode for Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec in 2017. Androni team manager Gianni Savio will receive compensation for Sosa, who won the Adriatica Ionica and held the leader’s jersey in the Tour of the Alps. He also won stages in the Vuelta a Burgos and the Tour de l’Avenir.
Iván Ramiro Sosa – Adriatica Ionica Race 2018 stage 3:
Mathijs Paasschens to ride for WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic in 2019
Dutchman Mathijs Paasschens has signed a professional contract with the Walloon ProContinental WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic team for 2019. The 22-year-old Dutchman comes from the Belgian club team Home Solutions-Soenens. WB-Aqua Protect-Veranclassic announced on their website.
The Dutchman from Heverlee impressed in Belgium and France in a number of UCI races during 2018. Fifth in the Ardennes, second place in the Grand Prand Albert Fauville-Baulet and a third place in the Grand Prix des Marbriers (all UCI 1.2). Also 4th place in the U23 Paris-Tours.
Jaako Hanninen Will Join AG2R-La Mondiale on August 1st
The young Finnish rider Jaako Hanninen, 21, will be wearing the AG2R-La Mondiale team kit beginning on August 1, 2019. Having taken 3rd in the 2018 U23 World Championships, he has committed to the team until 2021.
“He already demonstrated his talent at the World Championships as well as in the important races in France riding in the colors of EC Saint-Etienne Loire. He is a true climber who has good qualities. We are happy that he has chosen our team because he was very much sought after by other teams,” Vincent Lavenu, general manager of the AG2R-La Mondiale team, explained.
Jaako Hanninen: “Want to become one of the best climbers”
“I am proud to join the AG2R-La Mondiale team. There have not been many Finnish riders in the UCI World Tour in recent years. I chose this team because it knows how to give the climbers a chance. My goal is to become one of the best climbers in the world and win races.”
Jaako Hanninen in brief
Born April 16, 1997
Raced with EC Saint Etienne Loire
Best results 2018: 3rd at the World Hopes Championships , Winner of the Tour du Gévaud an Occitanie.
Worlds’18 U23 Podium: Bjorg Lambrecht, Marc Hirsch and Jaako Hanninen;
Cofidis Team Line-Up for 2019
The French ProContinental Cofidis team has completed its selection for 2019. The team will have 28 riders, this is more than many WorldTour teams, like Sunweb and Katusha-Alpecin, adding two riders to this year.
The team has Nacer Bouhanni, Christophe Laporte and Hugo Hofstetter for the sprints, plus Jesus Herrada, Jesper Hansen and Darwin Atapuma for the shorter stage races and the mountains. Natnael Berhane, Filippo Fortin, Marco Mathis, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Zico Waeytens and Damien Touze also strengthen the team for 2019. Stagieire Emmanuel Morin has stayed on from the end of this year.
Seven riders left: Guillaume Bonnafond (retired), Dorian Godon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Daniel Navarro (Katusha-Alpecin), Anthony Turgis (Direct Energy), Jimmy Turgis (Vital Concept), Daniel Teklehaimanot (?) and Michael Van Staeyen (Roompot-Charles).
Cofidis Team for 2019:
Darwin Atapuma (Col), Natnael Berhane (Ert),nNacer Bouhanni (Fra), Rayane Bouhanni (Fra), Loic Chetout (Fra), Dimitri Claeys (Bel), Nicolas Edet (Fra), Filippo Fortin (Ita), Jespen Hansen (Den), Jesus Herrada (Spa), José Herrada (Spa), Hugo Hofstetter (Fra),nVictor Lafay (Fra), Christophe Laporte (Fra), Mathias Le Turnier (Fra), Cyril Lemoine (Fra), Luis Angel Maté (Spa), Marco Mathis (Ger), Emmanuel Morin (Fra), Anthony Perez (Fra), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra), Stephane Rossetto (Fra), Julien Simon (Fra), Geoffrey Soupe (Fra), Damien Touze (Fra), Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel), Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel), Zico Waeytens (Bel).
Jesus Herrada held the overall lead at La Vuelta for two stages:
Fortuneo-Samsic Continues as Arkéa-Samsic
Fortuneo-Samsic will be known as Arkéa-Samsic in 2019, according to the team website. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa is a banking assurance group from Brittany, which has included the Fortuneo Banque. “Fortuneo now has a well-established reputation, so it’s time for Arkéa to step in. Arkéa has been developing strongly in recent years in Europe and France, and now it’s time to show that with sponsorship,” said Ronan Le Moal, director of Arkéa.
There had been rumors of a link between Arkéa and the French ProContinental team as riders and staff had been using the hashtag #WeAreArkea on their Twitter accounts.
Warren Barguil will be hoping for a better 2019 season:
Kometa Cycling Team, New Name for the Fundación Alberto Contador Teams
Kometa takes a step forward in 2019 and will be the main sponsor of the Fundación Alberto Contador sports projects. From January 1, the name of the continental squad that debuted this season on the roads with ten victories will be Kometa Cycling Team.
The squad, which will continue to count on the support of companies such as Valtellina Tourism or Trek bikes, will be joined by new and important sponsors who will come to reinforce a project that continues to work with the idea of a future leap to the professional continental category. In this way Kometa, the agri-food company presided over by Giacomo Pedranzini, deepens its presence in a cycling sport in which it disembarked with the Giro d’Italia 2017, next to the Trek-Segafredo.
“For me it is a reason of great personal satisfaction that Kometa has witnessed year after year the potential of the global cycling project linked to the Alberto Contador Foundation, starting from the cycling school, the junior team, the U23 team, the professional team, the Bicis para la Vida project… It is a progression based on the common values of honesty, commitment, responsibility and the desire to promote them”, considers Giacomo Pedranzini.
Ivan Basso, sports manager of the continental team: “I am very grateful to the Pedranzini and Ruffini families, to the municipality of Kaposvar and to the management of Kometa, who have always believed in us and in the social, sports and professional message of our structure.”
“We are happy and grateful to Kometa for their trust and also, aware of the responsibility this implies, proud to carry their brand all over the world. Behind this company there are families and people who work very hard and do so with enthusiasm and values such as honesty, sacrifice and perseverance,” said Francisco Javier Contador, general manager of the Foundation.
For Alberto Contador, alma mater of the project: “That Kometa is our sponsor is great news. We feel very identified with his values and they will allow us to continue growing always with a way of working in which we go hand in hand. This announcement consolidates the project and makes us see the future with a lot of optimism and also with a healthy ambition.”
Kometa is a leading company in Central Europe and Italy in the food sector, where it stands out as a producer of high quality meats and cold cuts, for its commitment to healthy eating and respect for the environment. “Good nutrition in our common responsibility,” says one of its slogans.
ASSOS of Switzerland confirmed as technical cycling apparel partner of Team Dimension Data
ASSOS of Switzerland has entered into a three-year partnership with Team Dimension Data as the team’s technical cycling apparel supplier.
Effective from 1st January 2019, ASSOS will outfit both Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka WorldTour licensed team and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental team, assisting them in winning the world’s most important races.
ASSOS will be working closely alongside the riders to gather technical feedback on the products as they are raced in the most testing of environments. The riders will also be collaborating with ASSOS to assist in R&D for product innovation at the most elite level and to promote the #EquipmentNotClothing and #SponsorYourself brand ethos. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental team will form an extension of the ASSOS Werksmannschaft—the ASSOS internal test team—and through collating product feedback, ASSOS will continue to push the limits of cycling apparel.
Douglas Ryder, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka Team Principal said: “To have ASSOS partner with Team Dimension Data is a major coup for our organization. The quality of their products is without peer and means that our riders will be kitted in the most technologically advanced products in the peloton. Our partnership will go beyond just the supply of apparel though; as we will work closely with ASSOS in the research and development of new items while they deeply share our teams values through the association we have with the Qhubeka charity, in changing lives through bicycles. The passion which the ASSOS team have already displayed with us is infectious and this mix will undoubtedly see us share many successes in the years to come.”
Phil Duff, ASSOS Chairman and CEO said: “The mission and ethos of Team Dimension Data pairs exceptionally well with our “Sponsor Yourself” revolution and the spirit within the team is outstanding. Of course, ASSOS will use all its resources to support the athletic goals of Team Dimension Data—we want to win races—but, in addition, our missions are aligned with regards to making the world a better place by getting more people on bikes.”
Roche Maier, Créateur, Brand and Product Chief at ASSOS said: “Racing at the top level has been in our DNA since the birth of the brand in the late ’70s and is our raison d’être. Our main reason to partner with Data Dimension is not primarily the marketing exposure but the opportunity to integrate ASSOS Werksmannschaft test protocols inside the team and provide us with an ideal platform to stress test new technology & components. With Team Dimension Data we have a WorldTour partner who not only shares an appetite for winning but developing future cycling technology.”
ASSOS will produce both authentic and replica Team Dimension Data apparel kits based on the brand new S9 shorts platform. ASSOS will also produce products to support the mission of Qhubeka. Available from 2019.
After more than 40 years making apparel for the most passionate cyclists, ASSOS places great emphasis on delighting the rider who lives to push the limits. In 1976, ASSOS of Switzerland was founded by Toni Maier with an unlikely advancement, the first carbon fiber bicycle frame. While endlessly researching aerodynamics on the bike in the wind tunnel, Toni soon came to realize that the clothing the riders were wearing was in fact the main cause of drag. At this point, Toni turned his attention to clothing and invented the first Lycra® cycling shorts. This invention led to pro teams paying to wear ASSOS shorts during the Tour de France and to date, ASSOS is proud to have played a role in more than 350 gold medals at world championships and Olympic games.
ASSOS works side by side with suppliers and gathers feedback from its internal test team to produce fabrics that offer optimum comfort for the rider. As a result of its continual investment in R&D, the pioneering company is behind additional key innovations that have shaped the evolution of the cycling world and have now become industry standards. These include the first sublimation of a cycling jersey in 1980, the first elastic interface cycling short insert in 2001 and the creation of the fastest bodysuit on earth in 2004.
Today, ASSOS prides itself on supplying total cycling comfort to the top level within competitive cycling through multiple sponsorships of World Tour teams and riders. But away from the medal haul, passionate and ambitious cyclists in more than 30 countries across the globe glean the same benefits from the ASSOS innovation, thanks to the brand’s worldwide distribution via 1,000 independent top bike stores as well as its own boutiques and corporate online store.
Race Preview: Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup Berlin, Germany
After defending their Dutch national team sprint championship title last Sunday, the BEAT Cycling Club track team is quickly switching focus to the next big challenge: the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Berlin. This World Cup is one of the main targets of the season for the track team and staff, and the team will fight for the podium in the team sprint, sprint, keirin and kilometer time trial. Matthijs Büchli, Roy van den Berg, Theo Bos and Laurine van Riessen will participate for BEAT.
After taking several medals at the first two World Cups and gold at the Dutch national team sprint championships, the track team is keen to continue their successful run in Berlin.
Tim Veldt, coach of the BEAT track team, said: “The World Cup in Berlin is a big goal for us, especially the team sprint. We are putting the most focus on Berlin and London before we start our preparation for the world championships. The objective is to perform even better than we already did in Canada. Given the way the training has turned out, this certainly seems possible.”
“Matthijs is racing the team sprint, the individual sprint and the keirin. In the first two World Cups he participated in one and two disciplines, respectively. This time he’ll participate in three disciplines across the weekend and will therefore be competing throughout all three days. That is a more difficult program than normal, but it can help him get used to a week at the world championships, now that he might be participating in all three of these disciplines at the worlds.”
“Theo is adding the kilometer time trial to his World Cup program. This is the discipline in which he won world championship bronze in Apeldoorn this year, but since then he has not raced any kilometer time trials competitively. He hasn’t been training specifically for the kilometer, but with his strong team sprint form, where he already races over 750 meters from a standing start, he can undoubtedly still perform well over 1,000 meters, especially because he is naturally strong in the final 250 meters.”
“Roy will race only the team sprint, which has always been his main goal for this season. This weekend, the focus is on putting in very fast opening laps from the qualifying round to the final. This season, Roy has already shown that he is in top shape in the first lap, so if he equals his performance in Canada that’s good enough, because in Canada he got close to his personal record every single race.”
“Laurine will again race the sprint and keirin. For her, the World Cup team sprint season finished after the Paris World Cup, but that means she will be able to fully focus on the sprint and keirin, the disciplines she’s aiming to impress in at the world championships next year. She shares our goal of riding faster than we did in Milton, and she will definitely be able to fight for the medals this World Cup.”
Men’s team sprint: Roy van den Berg, Theo Bos and Matthijs Büchli
Women’s sprint: Laurine van Riessen
Men’s Keirin: Matthijs Büchli
Men’s kilometer time trial: Theo Bos
Women’s Keirin: Laurine van Riessen
Men’s sprint: Matthijs Büchli
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