The Belgian road season closed on Tuesday in Putte-Kapellen with a strong showing from cross King Mathieu van der Poel – Race report and result. We catch up with all the cycling news: Steven de Jongh rescued, Tour of Taihu Lake, Wanty-Groupe Gobert tops UCI EuropeTour, Tour team prize sponsor, no 6 day for Cavendish, contract news and the big ride home for Thomas de Gendt and Tim Wellens. Thursday EUROTRASH time!
TOP STORY: Technology Helped Save Steven de Jongh
It looks like Trek-Segafredo DS, Steven de Jongh, was rescued with the help of Strava and Twitter when he went missing on Monday morning during a bike ride in the area of La Ganga (Girona), Spain. De Jongh had been missing from 10:30 am, his wife Tweeted:
Friends, the Mossos d’Esquadra, firefighters and the local police started to search for De Jongh in the area with help from Strava:
The exrider and Alberto Contador’s directeur sportif with the Tinkoff and Trek teams was found in the area of the Coll de La Ganga, Girona, by a helicopter of the Catalan fire department, unconscious but alive.
The extent of his injuries was not known and he was transferred to hospital in Girona. His wife confirmed in Tweet No. 3:
The cause of the accident is still unknown and the authorities are investigating the possible causes of his disappearance. It could have been the heavy rain in the area during the day, a vehicle, or De Jongh had some kind of medical problem before he fell.
De Jongh was released from hospital on Tuesday, his wife confirmed via Twitter:
Trek-Segafredo team press release:
DS Steven de Jongh sustains concussion after crash
Trek-Segafredo is relieved to announce that their DS, Steven de Jongh, did not sustain more serious injuries other than a concussion in the crash during his training ride today close to Girona, Spain.
Earlier today, Steven’s wife Renée posted a message on Twitter to ask for help in the search for her husband who went missing around noon. Strava records showed his ride had stopped abruptly in a descent close to La Ganga. The local police reacted promptly and started a search operation at that precise spot. Late afternoon a helicopter found Steven lying in a ravine, unconscious, but with a pulse and breathing.
De Jongh was brought to consciousness by the paramedics and transported to the hospital in Girona, where further examinations showed that he suffers from a severe concussion. He complains that “everything hurts right now” but thankfully no broken bones have been revealed.
As for now, the conditions of the accident still remain unclear.
We wish Steven a speedy and complete recovery.
Nationale Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen 2018
Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) won the Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen, the last road race of the Belgian season, from Piotr Havik (BEAT) and Cees Bol (SEG). There was also a remarkable ride from Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus), who despite his ankle injury and saying that he “would take it easy” was the first attacker of the day and was the hero of the race. He finished in sixth place.
Beforehand, Mathieu van der Poel had proclaimed that he was going to take it easy in the Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen, but at the start it sounded already combative: “The ankle is getting better and better by the day. I will not strain myself.” The Dutchman didn’t keep his word and the first attacker of the day was Mathieu van der Poel. The European cyclo-cross champion was out front for a long time, however, his flight did not last, but he did not just let the pack ride round.
Finally, nine escapees made their move: Frison, Van der Hoorn, De Bondt, Oostra, Bol, Stockman, De Pestel, Havik and Schulting. With five laps to go, Van der Poel closed the gap with the other chasers, and so he and the 21 leaders would be fighting it out for the win. The collaboration in the front grout was pretty good, and the lead quickly increased to two minutes and then to more than three minutes. It was game over for the peloton.
Just before the start of the last lap; a group of eight jumped away from the leaders and yes, Van der Poel was still in there. In the finalé; Havik made an attack with 2 kilometers to go, but Van der Hoorn jumped across and then went for the finish. Havik was second, Bol third.
Race winner, Taco van der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij): “At the start I seriously took into account that today it could be a race for escapees. We started with a large team and did not want a mass sprint at all, I had the impression that Lotto Soudal wanted to race, also a strong block, so I liked it, creating war and chaos. In the final lap with eight in front, I occasionally handed out a jab, but it was actually more fake attacks to create more chaos than to give it everything. I took my previous two victories by going 800 meters from the end, I wanted to do it differently today. I jumped after him (Havik), but I did not immediately shut the gap. If I were to join him, he would probably have sat on, I was afraid, but after the last turn I squeezed everything out and I could pass him fairly quickly. Mentally it was a very tough season, I’m glad I can finish with this beautiful victory and take some rest now. As a U23 rider, I was certainly not the most talented, but in recent months I have made great strides in my career development.” Van der Hoorn will ride for the WorldTour LottoNl-Jumbo team in 2019.
Nationale Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen Result:
1. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij in 3:25:50
2. Piotr Havik (Ned) BEAT Cycling Club at 0:02
3. Cees Bol (Ned) SEG Racing Academy at 0:04
4. Dries De Bondt (Bel) Vérandas Willems-Crelan
5. Sander De Pestel (Bel) Lotto Soudal U23 at 0:11
6. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus at 0:12
7. Michiel Stockman (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:18
8. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Cibel-Cebon at 0:19
9. Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto Soudal at 0:27
10. Milan Menten (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Boris Vallée Ensures Overall Victory in Final Stage of the Tour of Taihu Lake
Tour of Taihu Lake (2.1, 07-14/10) finished on Sunday on the shores of the Taihu Lake. The peloton had to cover 137.5 kilometers from Changxing to Huzhou. Wanty-Groupe Gobert stood to defend the leader’s jersey of Boris Vallée in the final stage. The advantage on the second placed rider was widened in the course of the previous stages. The mission was brilliantly executed by the five teammates by carefully controlling the breakaway. Boris Vallée was ideally launched in the sprint and finished third, good enough to ensure the overall victory. The Belgian team finishes its UCI road campaign with the final victory, its 1st on their debut on Chinese soil and 13th victory of the season for their Chinese clothing partner Santic.
Boris Vallée (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “The team controlled the race perfectly. Without this fantastic collective work I would never have been able to maintain the leader’s jersey. I lose the green jersey with two points, but that was not the main goal. My teammates gave me all their confidence and I want to thank Wesley, Marco, Mark, Kévin and Jasper warmly for that.”
“I deliberately saved myself for the final sprint. I wanted to save my energy and I could place myself well for the final sprint. At the moment we had three kilometers to go I felt relieved. Then I focused on the sprint. Our train mixed with Willier’s, but Mareczko was simply too fast.”
“I am happy to finish my season on a positive note. I have often put myself at the service of the team, but it feels good to win again. It is a pity that I narrowly missed the win in stage two. But I have no regrets. I can prepare myself serenely for my second season and start on a good basis. I want to show myself from the first races.”
Tour of Taihu Lake Final Overall Result:
1. Boris Vallée (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in 17:28:07
2. Benjamin Dyball (St George Continental Cycling Team) at 0:19
3. Alexander Cataford (UnitedHealthCare Professional Cycling Team)
4. Serghei Tvetcov (UnitedHealthCare Professional Cycling Team) at 0:23
5. Tyler Williams (Israel Cycling Academy) at 0:25.
Wanty-Groupe Gobert Triumphs for Third Consecutive Year in UCI Europe Tour
Wanty-Groupe Gobert wins the final classification of the 2018 UCI Europe Tour. The combination of 12 victories with a lot of podiums and places of honor ensures that the Belgian ProContinental formation of 21 riders is the final winner before the French team Cofidis and the Italian team Androni. After the overall victories in 2016 and 2017 it is the third consecutive win for our team.
WGG laid the foundation for the overall victory with 12 wins across whole Europe in the past year. Our Frenchman Guillaume Martin won a stage and the final GC of Circuit de la Sarthe. Andrea Pasqualon scored wins in two stages and the final GC of Tour du Luxembourg as well as GP Plumelec. Our Norwegian Odd Eiking won a stage in the Tour de Wallonie. But also the Belgians also contributed. Jérôme Baugnies won GP Stad Zottegem and IWT Oetingen. Furthermore, Xandro Meurisse won Druivenkoers in Overijse, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck the unpaved Antwerp Port Epic and our fast rider Timothy Dupont Schaal Sels.
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager):
“We are very proud of our new overall victory in the UCI Europe Tour team classification. Winning this overall ranking for the third consecutive year once again proves that WGG is the most regular team of the 2nd division. With our 14 wildcards for WorldTour races in 2018, we also show that the organizers trust us and that they appreciate our offensive way of racing.”
“At the end of this year we also discovered China and in what a way! Boris Vallée led us to the 13th UCI victory of the season by closing down the Tour of Taihu Lake (2.1) as the final winner. WGG also performs beyond the European borders. It is now time to rest before preparing the new season The planned reform of the UCI is interesting for us, but for that we have to stay part of the best ProContinental teams. That is our goal for the upcoming seasons.”
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
“I have been a sports director at Wanty-Groupe Gobert for five years now. After two close places of honor in 2014 and 2015, this is now our third consecutive victory. This is a relief and gives me a lot of satisfaction. I want to thank all my riders and staff for the good work in the last season. We know that ASO is looking at this ranking to hand out their wildcards, and if you score the final win here you’re well on your way to a lot of great races.”
“August was the key month for the final win, with our victories in the one day races in Zottegem, Overijse, Merksem and Antwerp. But we were able to continue our performance with places of honor in Binche, Paris-Tours and until the final race Tacx Pro Classic on Saturday.”
Benoit Soenen (Chief Executive Wanty SA):
“For our team and our company this third consecutive success in the UCI Europe Tour is something to be really proud of. We made a goal of it. This result promises for the future, especially in the context of the UCI reform, which will be implemented in 2020. This reform will motivate teams with our status to continue to battle. We prove to be capable to provide spectacle in Tour de France but also stay regular throughout the season.”
“As a partner, these prizes motivate us to continue investing in sports and cycling in particular. There is a real message here that we want to convey. Not only the WorldTour teams perform, but there are other solid projects behind them claiming a place.”
“I find many similarities between our company and the cycling team. As a Walloon economic actor we succeed in battling against multinationals. The recent acquisition of Ronveaux is good proof (450 employees, out of a total of 1,500 people at Wanty SA): the owners preferred maintaining the local roots instead of selling to large European mastodons. Our cycling team also manages to stay at the top of the UCI Europe Tour, which gives us a great communication boost.”
Ronald Gobert (Chief Executive Groupe Gobert):
“Groupe Gobert’s image is strongly linked to that of the cycling team. This new victory is a strong signal, a real success that crowns a good season. We will see what this success will bring us in the context of the UCI reform that will be introduced in 2020. But it is clearly a positive signal for the development of Wanty-Groupe Gobert.”
“Evolving at the top is a great satisfaction, but confirming for the third year in a row feels even better. We have also successfully completed our second Tour de France. This shows the seriousness of the team and the project. This motivates to continue the progress of this whole structure.”
Final Team Classification UCI Europe Tour 2018:
1. Wanty-Groupe Gobert
2. Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
3. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Direct Energie
5. Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij.
19-year-old Norsgaard Jørgensen Excels Once Again
Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen has continued her impressive end to the season by finishing second in the Chrono des Nations time trial on Sunday.
The result is an incredible one for the 19-year-old who is in her first year as a professional. This week the Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team announced her two-year contract extension, signaling the team’s strength in developing talent riders into world-class athletes. The Dane completed the 26.4 kilometer course in 36 minutes 6 seconds.
“It was so hard,” Norsgaard Jørgensen said. “I’ve never turned myself inside out like this. It was amazing. I tried to keep it steady the whole way and it went well. The course was fast which suited me. It was up and down all the time with a lot of wind. It was a really powerful course which was perfect for me.”
Asked about her expectation before the day, she said, “I was scared that I was pushing too hard in the beginning because [General Manager] Thomas Campana told me to keep it steady and not push it too hard. I could feel I was pushing hard but I was feeling super great. To be honest I didn’t expect this result, I always go for the win but today I was hoping for a top 5 and to win the u23, to get second is amazing.”
Cervélo Bigla leaves the French race with a visible impact with further results from Cecilie Utttrup Ludwig (4th), Ann-Sophie Duyck (6th) and Sophie Wright (12th). Norsgaard Jørgensen won the u23 category with Wright finishing second.
Tour de France Team Classification: Team-Work is the Watchword for NAMEDSPORT>
Aficionados are accustomed to pointing out that cycling is the most collective of individual sports. To this end, the team classification is of specific interest to NAMEDSPORT>, an Italian brand that develops and sells top-quality nutritional products specifically adapted to efforts required for endurance that are already an integral part of the daily program for some of the biggest cyclists including Vincenzo Nibali, (winner of the 2014’s Tour de France). Already involved for several years in the pack on many major races, NAMEDSPORT> has moved up a notch by becoming an official partner of the Tour de France.
“For us, it’s a dream come true,” explains Andrea Rosso, CEO and Co-Founder of NAMEDSPORT>. “Le Tour is a global event, a race that guarantees absolutely exceptional media exposure which is able to attract not just the best riders out there, due to the history and importance of the event, but also a wealth of top-tier sponsors. That is why today, we are even more proud to announce that until 2023, we will be the Official Partner of the Team Classification”
“Let us not forget, either, that since 2017 we have also been an Official Sponsor of the Vuelta a España and since 2018 of Volta a Catalunya and Tour de Yorkshire” Andrea continues. “All these occasions help us to enhance the prestige of our brand which, in a short space of time, has shown an incredible desire to achieve important goals and overcome every obstacle in its path.”
By sponsoring the team classification, the nutrition company’s logo will adorn the race numbers of the riders in the team in the lead on of each of the 21 stages and will also have a significant presence in the publicity caravan. From 2019, NAMEDSPORT> will be seizing the opportunity to present HydraFit>, the hydro-saline supplement that includes Magnesium, Potassium, Maltodextrin and 9 Vitamins, which will be available to refresh and rehydrate the crowd of die-hard fans at the start and finish lines.
In addition to its collaboration with the Tour de France, NAMEDSPORT> is also pleased to announce, for the first time in history, a partnership with the Great Classics: the extremely tough Paris–Roubaix, the historic Paris–Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Key points :
Ø From the 2019 edition, the Tour de France team classification will be sponsored by Italian nutrition company NAMEDSPORT>.
Ø Specialised in energy products for sports-people, NAMEDSPORT> has signed up for an initial period of five years, with the desire to play an active part in the provision of refreshments and on collection zones.
No London ‘6 Day’ for Cavendish
Mark Cavendish has been forced to retire for the Six Days of London. The British Dimension Data rider has only been back on the bike for four days and is not yet able to take part in the race which starts on Tuesday. His absence is a major loss for the organization who had announced Cavendish’s participation in March.
Cavendish Tweeted: “Disappointed to say, after just 4 days training since recovering from my illness, I won’t be riding @sixdaycycling London. Gutted. I’ll be there supporting though. Always a great party.”
The Manx man reiterated: “To my great disappointment, I have to report that I will not ride the Six Days of London. I’ve only been back on my bike for four days, I feel much better, but I’m not in a good condition to ride.”
Mark Cavendish with Bradley Wiggins riding the Gent ‘6 Day’:
No Contract for James Shaw, New Contract for Adam Hansen
James Shaw made the jump to the pros at the age of only 20 and since he broke his left clavicle he has not been able to show his full potential in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Shaw took 10th place at the U23 World championships in Innsbruck, but Lotto Soudal has not extend his contract.
Shaw is disappointed, but also sees the future as a challenge. Speaking to SpazioCiclismo he said: “Things are like that and it is mentally difficult. Let’s say it is not a big injection of trust. This can happen to anyone at some point in their career, but unfortunately it happens to me when I am only 22 years old.”
The Brit is regretting his choice of going directly to the professionals. “If I had to advise a young person in the same situation and with the same perspective, I would tell him to stay with the amateurs as long as possible. If I could go back, I would do it. Looking back, they were the best years of my life.”
James Shaw in the Sparkassen Munsterland Giro:
Another Year for Hansen
A continuation of Adam Hansen’s career at Lotto Soudal seems guaranteed. The future of the experienced Australian was uncertain last month, but Het Nieuwsblad reports that the Belgian WorldTour team has given him a new contract. As a result, he will start his ninth season with the team next year.
Hansen reported in early September that his future was uncertain. “I have a few ideas and half possibilities, but time will tell,” he said at the time. Hansen has ridden twenty Grand Tour in a row since the 2011 Vuelta a España. In the end, after the last Giro d’Italia, the remarkable series came to an end.
With the contract extension of Hansen Lotto Soudal has completed the selection for 2019, according to the Belgian newspaper. The team said goodbye to Lars Bak, Jens Debusschere, André Greipel, Moreno Hofland, James Shaw and Marcel Sieberg. Arrivals of Adam Blythe, Stan Dewulf, Caleb Ewan, Brian van Goethem, Carl Fredrik Hagen, Rasmus Byriel Iversen and Roger Kluge.
Joe Dombrowski re-signs with #PinkArgyle
Joe Dombrowski has re-signed with EF Pro Cycling for the upcoming season. The American finished fifth overall at the 2018 Colorado Classic and sixth overall at the 2018 Tour of Utah.
“It’s not a secret that the last couple of seasons have not been what I wanted results-wise,” said Dombrowski. “I’m focused on doing what I need to do to get back to the level that I know I’m capable of in races.”
“It’s great to have Joe back,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He knows our team and has been a great presence here over the years. Joe had a spectacular 2016 season where he was in multiple breaks at that year’s Giro and finished third in the hardest mountain stage. The last couple years have been a bit of a struggle for him, but in the end, talent doesn’t just go away. We want to give that talent an opportunity to rebuild.”
Dombrowski, 27, has raced four seasons in argyle following his move to the American-registered outfit from Team Sky, where he spent his neo-pro seasons.
“This team has a great environment, and having been here a while now, I knew that coming back I would be a part of that,” said Dombrowski. “I would consider my teammates as my friends, and I think that cohesion can go a long way in getting the most of out of a team and an individual.”
The team’s newly announced alternative race program appeals to Dombrowski, who is has been an occasional participant in non-road cycling events throughout his career.
“Joe was sort of our first index, the first rider we dipped into alternative races, at the 2016 Leadville 100,” said Vaughters. “He competes in some cyclocross, too. We felt like he would be a great fit for some of the alternative racing we’d be doing next season and beyond. We’re all pretty excited about that.”
“My first focus is, of course, on the traditional road calendar, but the alternative race program is also quite interesting. I got my start racing mountain bike and cyclocross. I still jump in the odd cyclocross race in the off-season and in 2016 I raced Leadville with this team,” said Dombrowski. “Cycling’s fan base, particularly in America, is a participatory one. It’s not the same as the traditional American sports in that sense. Professional road cycling can be quite insular and convoluted. With a participatory fan base, watching races is not what creates a feeling of engagement in the sport.
“My motivation to race in other events in the past has always been as a fun outlet, but I have also found that they develop a strong connection to the cycling community,” Dombrowski added. “It’s something I like to see as a way of giving back and engaging with the community that has allowed me to have a career in this sport. I think this project can be just that on a much larger scale, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.”
Like his teammates, Dombrowski has enjoyed the introduction of EF Education First into the team and the sport.
“EF has changed things for us in the sense that they feel less like a ‘partner’ or a ‘sponsor’ in a traditional sense. They feel more integrated. Almost as though we are truly co-workers,” said Dombrowski. “You get that feeling especially when they bring employees to races and we coordinate on events. It’s been an interesting change. I’ve never been in a team where there hasn’t been a separation between team and sponsor. It’s nice that as owners they’re invested in bringing in some of the positive aspects of a company their size and scope into our smaller team.”
Sunweb Welcome Asbjørn Kragh Andersen and Jan Bakelants
Team Sunweb are pleased to announce two new arrivals to their WorldTour program, as Jan Bakelants (BEL) and Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN) join the team for the 2019 season.
Jan Bakelants (BEL)
Team Sunweb are pleased to welcome 32-year-old Belgian Jan Bakelants to their men’s WorldTour program for the 2019 season. Bakelants brings versatile qualities and experience to the team. Throughout the 10-years as a pro rider he has completed 12 Grand Tours and added six victories to his palmarès. He is valuable across different terrains and complements the team’s ambitions for 2019.
Bakelants said: “I’m really happy to be joining Team Sunweb. From the conversations we’ve had since early 2018, it has become clear that Team Sunweb is a genuine team who use science to maximize the potential of its riders. It will be a new challenge that I will grasp with both hands, after a difficult 2018 season following my Lombardy crash at the end of last year. I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of the team, it feels like a new start to me.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: “Jan brings a wealth of experience to the team with his diverse capabilities. We believe that he will strengthen our program with a steady high level throughout the season and he will be able to share his experience with our younger guys. His team spirit is a characteristic that is extremely valued by us. With his qualities as a rider he will provide important support in the hilly classics and grand tours, and play a captain role in races.”
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
26-year-old Asbjørn Kragh Andersen joins Team Sunweb for the 2019 season. At Team Sunweb the talented Dane will be reunited with younger brother, Søren. He has taken two professional victories during his career, with stage wins at both Tour des Fjords and Szlakiem Grodòw Piastowskich. In 2018 he continued to thrive with top results with Tour du Loir, Circuit des Ardennes International, Tour de Normandie and the Croatian races early in the season. His capacities as a rider will bring value to the team in the spring classics and sprint preparation.
Kragh Andersen said: “I’m really looking forward to my WorldTour debut with Team Sunweb. The direction and the ways in which the team work are exactly the ways that I also like to work and I feel like I’ll fit into the team. Everything is in control but there is still enough room to try new things, to excel and make improvements across the board. I like the spring classics and also the short, punchy climbs. I can do a good sprint and lead out and hope to bring good value to that aspect of the team.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef (NED) said: “We’ve had Asbjørn on our radar for quite some time now and we’re pleased to welcome him to the team. He brings support for the classics and also adds value to our sprint train. We aim to develop these two qualities to enable him to reach top level. His mentality to perform as a team and the positive energy he brings are important values to us and will for sure make us stronger. We are looking forward to the new season with Asbjørn.”
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen:
Astana Pro Team signs trainee Jonas Gregaard Wilsly
Astana Pro Team signed a two-year agreement with the young Danish rider Jonas Gregaard Wilsly. Since August 1st, 2018 Wilsly has joined Astana as a trainee and together with the team he rode a few races: Vuelta a Burgos, Brussels Cycling Classic and GP de Fourmies.
“First of all I am super happy to be a trainee and to become a rider in such a strong team as Astana Pro Team and I think this is the best team to continue my development and to learn a lot from the whole team around. I am looking forward to the new season; it will be great to ride the races of the highest level and to help all the strong riders of the team. I am also super proud on starting my professional career with Astana Pro Team. This is a really big opportunity for me,” said Jonas Gregaard Wilsly.
In 2018 Jonas Gregaard Wilsly rode for the continental team Riwal CeramicSpeed Team. In 2017 and 2018 he has scored a number of strong results as, for example, 3rd place in the overall classification of the Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Mont Blanc, 1st place in the GC of the Kreiz Breizh Elites (2017), 3rd place in the overall of the Tour of Malopolska (2017) and 10th place in the Tour of Denmark (2017). At the Tour de l’Avenir together with his National Team he won the team time trial (4th stage) and took 13th position in the final classification.
“Jonas Wilsly did a few races with our team and he has got some good evaluations both from sports directors and his future teammates. Jonas is a talented, serious and hardworking rider, he is 100% dedicated to cycling. He fits well into our team, and I am happy that he will begin his professional career in Astana. He has everything he needs to become a strong and successful athlete of the highest level,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.
Jonas Gregaard Wilsly:
UAE Team Emirates have Signed the Oliveira twins
Ivo and Rui, a double boost in the speed department for the Emirati formation.
In the market for talent, UAE Team Emirates has struck a double bargain: Portuguese twins Ivo and Rui Oliveira, two of the most promising riders in international cycling, have signed on to the team with two-year contracts.
Strength, consistent pacing and speed are among the skills that make up the brothers’ cycling portfolios, along with a technical base forged by track events as well.
Ivo Emanuel Alves Oliveira (68 kg in 185 cm) and Rui Filipe Alves Oliveira (66 kg in 183 cm) were born in Vila Nova de Gaia on September 5, 1996 and in 2017 they debuted as pro riders with the Axeon-Hagens Berman jersey.
In road racing, Ivo was crowned Portuguese Under 23 time trial champion in 2018 and he won the 4th stage in the Circuit des Ardennes International, while Rui captured the National Under 23 title in the in-line race.
Ivo’s cache of track accomplishments centers on the silver medals he won in the 2018 European Championships and in the individual chase at the 2018 World Championships (he was the first Portuguese to capture a podium in a track World Championship, with a remarkable time of 4’12”365); meanwhile, Rui classified 3rd (2017) and 2nd (2018) in the elimination race.
Portuguese twins Ivo and Rui Oliveira:
13 Pro Riders Confirmed for the Ladies Team in 2019
The Lotto Soudal Ladies team can confirm the names of thirteen pro riders for 2019. Lotte Kopecky and Belgian champion Annelies Dom will keep on defending the team’s colors next season, together with seven other women of the current team. The four riders who leave the team will be replaced by four newcomers.
One of those newcomers is Thi That Nguyen (21) from Vietnam, who won Dwars door de Westhoek this year. The Belgian Marie Dessart (37), world champion Gran Fondo in the category 35 – 40 years, will also ride in the shirt of Lotto Soudal next year. The team also welcomes the Dutch rider Danique Braam (23), who finished on top ten of Omloop van de IJsseldelta and 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg the previous two editions. The British rider Dani Christmas (30) will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team too in 2019.
The four riders who leave the team are Isabelle Beckers, Valerie Demey, Anabelle Dréville and Marjolein van’t Geloof.
Lotto Soudal Ladies 2019:
Danique Braam, Alana Castrique, Dani Christmas, Demi de Jong, Marie Dessart, Annelies Dom, Chantal Hoffmann, Lotte Kopecky, Puck Moonen, Thi That Nguyen, Julie Van De Velde, Kelly Van den Steen and Fenna Vanhoutte.
There will be three riders in the development team: Emke De Keyser, Julie Roelandts and Cameron Vandenbroucke.
Lotto Soudal ladies:
World Champion Nicky Degrendele Strengthens BEAT Cycling Club Track Team
After the successful debut of the commercial UCI track team last season with Theo Bos, Matthijs Büchli and Roy van den Berg, and the recent arrival of Laurine van Riessen, BEAT Cycling Club is expanding further with the addition of Belgian world champion Nicky Degrendele.
Nicky Degrendele, 22, became world champion in the keirin in Apeldoorn earlier this year. In 2016 she won silver in the same discipline at the European Championships. Degrendele also was world champion in the keirin in the junior category in 2014. Last summer she was active in the Japanese keirin circuit, like Bos, Büchli and van Riessen.
Degrendele said: “I’m looking forward with great enthusiasm and ambition to the new track season with BEAT Cycling Club. This next season will be very important in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and at BEAT I will benefit from a structured, sprint-focused environment. This will allow me to take further steps in my development as a rider, together with experienced and driven teammates and staff. In addition to the support on the sporting side, I am looking forward to raising the profile of the sprint races on the track together with BEAT, so hopefully we can build a real sprint culture in Belgium.”
Tim Veldt, coach of the BEAT track team, said: “Nicky, as a sprinter from Belgium, is a welcome arrival on the track cycling scene. In a country without a sprint culture, she was able to achieve top performances at the international level very quickly. That shows her many special qualities. We look forward to working with her. We are going to offer her a place where she will meet like-minded athletes in an environment in which she can progress further.”
Geert Broekhuizen, co-founder of BEAT Cycling Club, said: “We are very happy to welcome Nicky to the club and take our first steps in Belgian track sprinting. In collaboration with Belgian Cycling and Cycling Vlaanderen, we are going to work to further develop track sprinting in Belgium and to generate excitement for this discipline. With this step we are also expressly showing that our ambitions for the track team are serious, and we’ve started this project with a view to achieving outstanding results.”
Four Development Riders Advance to Team Novo Nordisk’s Pro Squad
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, is bringing four of its best development team athletes—Swiss Oliver Behringer, Australians Declan Irvine and Sam Munday, and Uzbekistani Ulugbek Saidov onto the men’s pro squad for the 2019 season. Behringer and Irvine have been racing as stagiaires with the team since August.
“Since the team’s launch, our development program has always been a place where we’ve allocated significant resources because we know it is essential to invest in athletes with diabetes to help them develop so they can race at the professional level,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland said. “The riders that come out of this program arrive as influential ambassadors for the diabetes community with an unwavering drive and enthusiasm to be in the professional ranks. All four of these athletes serve as further proof on how we are changing diabetes, and I am particularly excited to have our first Uzbekistani rider, Ulugbek Saidov, move up to the pro ranks.”
All four riders have raced at least two seasons as part of Team Novo Nordisk’s development pipeline, and through hard work and dedication they’ve made significant progress and earned their spots on the pro squad. Team Novo Nordisk already announced Behringer and Irvine racing as stagiaires.
“Moving four riders up to the pro team proves the continued success of our pipeline. All year long we actively recruit new athletes and feel proud when their hard work pays off and earns them a professional contract,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “Ulugbek has solid climbing potential and Sam is an all-around rider. Initially, our goal is for them to work closely with our coaches and sports directors to continue improving their skills. We hope to start seeing results from them in two to three years from now.”
Australian Sam Munday began racing at 15, four years after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He grew up with supportive parents and an encouraging healthcare team that reassured him to continue leading an active childhood after his diagnosis. Munday discovered Team Novo Nordisk through a diabetes educator who put him in touch with former pro rider Justin Morris. Munday soon attended one of the team’s Talent ID programs in Atlanta, GA and earned a place on Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad where he has raced for the past two years.
“I am extremely honored, excited and proud to pull on the pro jersey next season. It means so much to me to represent the team at the highest level and pursue my career as a professional athlete, all while representing the millions of people with type 1 diabetes around the world,” the 19-year-old Munday said. “My goals for 2019 are to learn as much as possible from my teammates, improve my time trialing skills, and develop my physical strengths, positive mind and overall wellbeing while enjoying every exciting opportunity that gets thrown my way.”
The 22-year-old Ulugbek Saidov hails from Tashkent, Uzbekistan and will be Team Novo Nordisk first professional rider from Central Asia. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was nine years old. Tashkent is home to the Queen Sport Project, a cycling club designed for exclusively for youth with diabetes. Saidov joined the unique project when he was 15 and attended one of Team Novo Nordisk’s talent ID camps the following year. Initially, he raced for Team Novo Nordisk’s junior team. Through motivation and dedication, Saidov improved on both his diabetes management and bike handling skills and earned a spot on Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad in 2017.
“I’ve been striving to move up to the pro team and I am beyond proud to represent Team Novo Nordisk in the pro ranks which I recognize comes with a big responsibility,” Saidov said. “These past few years have played a significant role in helping me form a strong foundation in cycling and diabetes management. I know this first year won’t be easy, but I’m focused on every detail to learn and grow in pro cycling and my personal development.”
All athletes throughout Team Novo Nordisk’s pipeline race with type 1 diabetes. Since its launch in December 2012, the organization has focused heavily on identifying and developing athletes from around the world with diabetes through its talent ID camps, junior team, and development team.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed with Ulugbek’s development over the years; he serves as inspiration for everyone with diabetes in Uzbekistan and the effectiveness of the Queen Sport Project,” Southerland said. “Sam is mature beyond his years and genuinely is a great human being. He is a fighter in the races and I’m excited to see how he develops.”
Team Novo Nordisk will announce its full 2019 roster in a separate announcement.
Sam Munday and Ulugbek Saidov:
Klaas Lodewyck Joins Quick-Step Floors
The Belgian will be the team’s seventh sports director as of next year.
Quick-Step Floors and Klaas Lodewyck have reached an agreement that will see the 30-year-old be part of the current World Tour leader’s technical staff starting from 2019. A pro between 2009 and 2015, a period during which he has shown his skills especially in one-day races, posting top 10 results in Paris-Tours, Challenge Mallorca, Handzame Classic or Nokere Koerse, Klaas was forced to retire due to health problems three years ago, but has since forged another road in cycling, which ultimately led him to Quick-Step Floors.
“I am super excited to join the team, one of the best in the world, not only because of the success and many victories, but also because the mentality everybody has and the way they go through fire for each other and work together as a team. I am still quite young and very motivated for this role. I hope and believe I can add value to the group of experienced sports directors and be someone the riders can trust.”
Klaas, who got to ride four Grand Tours and ten Monuments before calling time on his pro career, can’t wait to get things started with the team as early as next week, when the riders and staff will meet in Belgium for the launch of “The Wolfpack: 365 days on the road” photo book.
“I’ve spent four years as a rider with BMC, then two as sports director for the development team and this year full-time sports director for the World Tour team. It has been an amazing ride that I am grateful for, but when the opportunity to join what will be Deceuninck – Quick-Step next year came me way, I simply had to grab it with both hands. I am looking forward to get started and plan out what will be an exciting 2019 season for the team”, concluded Lodewyck, who will join the existing group of sports directors, comprising Davide Bramati, Brian Holm, Wilfried Peeters, Tom Steels, Geert Van Bondt and Rik van Slycke.
“Klaas is someone we know well ever since his days as a pro and are glad to have on board as of next year. He is a young guy, but experienced despite his age, and I am confident he will fit well and play an important role in helping our team remain at the top next season”, said Quick-Step Floors CEO Patrick Lefevere.
Sunweb and Edward Theuns Part Ways
Team Sunweb and Edward Theuns (BEL) are set to part ways after the current 2018 season. With still one year remaining on the 27-year-old’s contract, both the team and Theuns came to the mutual decision to terminate their commitment from the end of this season due to their visions on the sport differing. Both sides go their separate ways on good terms.
Theuns said: “It has been a tough year for me, both physically and mentally with some crashes and bad luck. I tried to adapt to the team’s way of working, but it didn’t really work out for me. We differ in vision so we decided that it would be best to end the contract. I now look forward to a new chapter in my career.”
Team Sunweb’s head of coaching Rudi Kemna (NED) said: “Following extensive talks we realized that our visions differ too much and lack the common, strong foundation that is required to continue working together. Giving Edward the opportunity and freedom to continue his career elsewhere is the only right decision, for both the team and Edward himself. We end the contract on mutual terms and we want to thank Edward for his commitment and efforts, wishing him all the best in his future career.”
Edward Theuns in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2018:
Big Ride Home for De Gendt and Wellens
Thomas de Gendt and Tim Wellens left from Como after the Tour of Lombardy to ride home to Belgium (1,000 kilometers), friends together.
Thomas de Gendt: “We didn’t want to make a mental or physical challenge. We just want to go home. It’s just to do something other than training or competition, something fun with the bike… without pressure. We must get to our hotel before nightfall and that’s it. On the first day, we climb the Gothard Pass. It’s 44 kilometers long, which makes it the only big climb. On the third day, we’re gonna make the Grand Ballon, after which there’s not a big climb. The others are very small, like five or six kilometers”
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