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EUROTRASH Monday: Racing on 3 Continents, Wolfpack Podcast, Dope Tracking in Spain & More

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There were so many races at the weekend in this Monday’s EUROTRASH, there is hardly any room for any other news! All the reports, results, video and rider quotes from the Muscat Classic, Figueira Champions Classic, Clásica de Almería, Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia Costa Calida, Tour of Oman, Tour Colombia, Women’s UAE Tour and the Tour de la Provence. Don’t forget the cyclo-cross: Super Prestige in Middlekerke and the X2O Trofee in Lille.

Spanish report suggests that dopers are still circumventing the system – TOP STORY.

Rider news: Primoz Roglic’s 2024 race program to the Tour, Alberto Dainese out due to training crash, Óscar Sevilla had to abandon Tour Colombia, Fabio Jakobsen abandoned the Muscat race, no spring for Florian Vermeersch due to a broken femur in Murcia and Greg Van Avermaet to ride Unbound Gravel.

Team news: Listen in to ‘The Wolfpack Howls’ podcast, Wanty-ReUz-Technord medical update and Ridley and Eddy Merckx to sell old team bikes.

Race News: Derbywheel successfully completes the first phase of launch plan, top riders for the O Gran Camiño and teams for the Scheldeprijs.

Monday EUROTRASH coffee time!

 

top story
TOP STORY: Spanish Report Suggests that Dopers are Still Circumventing the System
Professional cyclists can still use the same techniques that Lance Armstrong used to avoid a positive doping test, according to Marca. The Spanish newspaper bases itself on a report from ‘Operation Ilex’.

Operation Ilex was an investigation into doctor Marcos Maynar, who is suspected of prescribing banned substances to cyclists, including Miguel Ángel López. The report, prepared by the Guardia Civil and investigative body UCO, suggests that cyclists know they have a window in which they can get doping substances out of their bodies before inspectors show up, as there is no testing in the evenings and on weekends.

In Spain, due to privacy legislation, it is prohibited to check riders at home between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period would be enough to get certain doping substances out of the system. “There are studies that show how long a drug stays in the body. This means, for example, that a doctor can prescribe a drug at 11:01 p.m., so that no traces can be found in the body at 6 a.m.,” an anti-doping expert who has not been named told Marca. Lance Armstrong recently admitted that he similarly “gamed the system” during his career.

But there are more reasons why the system is fallible. Tests must be delivered for analysis within 48 hours of being taken, but some continents don’t have many certified laboratories. South America has only one lab with WADA accreditation. The same applies to Africa. In Europe, this also means that in some cases inspectors can only administer tests before Thursday afternoon, because otherwise these tests would only arrive at the labs after the weekend.

doping sign

 

Muscat
Muscat Classic 2024
Finn Fisher-Black won the Muscat Classic in Oman on Friday. At the end of a race of 175 kilometres, he was first over the finish line in Al Bustan, after he broke away from a thinned-out peloton on the final climb. The New Zealander of UAE Team Emirates finished solo. Luke Lamperti and Amaury Capiot finished second and third.

Muscat 2024

Early in the race, three riders of Conti teams broke away: Indonesian Aiman Cahyadi, Malaysian Irwandie Lakasek (both Terengganu) and Japan’s Manabu Ishibashi (JCL Team UKYO). The peloton took it easy and gave the three more than 12 minutes lead.

It was Cofidis who started to work at the front of the peloton, to keep the chances alive for their leader Bryan Coquard. After the first big climb of the day, halfway through the race, the lead was halved because BORA-hansgrohe started to help. In the leading group, Ishibashi was the strongest, as he first dropped Lakasek and then Cahyadi. The Japanese rider started the last 50 kilometres with a 6 minute lead, which included four more climbs. The race decision would come on the Hamriyah (900 metres at 10.1%) and the Al Jissah (1.1km at 10%). After the summit of the last climb it was 5 kilometres to the finish.

BORA-hansgrohe made the race tough by putting Emil Herzog on the attack on the Al Jissah for the first time, more than 40 kilometres from the finish. The young German closed the gap to Ishibashi quite quickly and the two had 3 minutes when they started the last two climbs. Herzog went solo on the Hamriyah, while behind him the thinned peloton was under attack. No one could get away, but on the final climb of Al Jissah Herzog was caught. UAE Team Emirates took the initiative and launched Finn Fisher-Black just before the top. The New Zealander was solo on the fast descent to the finish and gained enough time to stay ahead of the chasing group. Bryan Coquard started the sprint behind too early and so he was beaten by Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step) and Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) for second and third places.

Muscat 2024

Race winner, Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates): “To get a win already today on our first day racing in Oman was really special.I had good form at the Tour Down Under and last week I felt good at Saudi Tour so I was hoping I could carry that form through to this week. On the last climb I started close to the front and Adam set a good pace and I just attacked over the top and pressed on to the line. We have a really strong team here for Oman with Yates, Ulissi and myself so we’ll aim to get some good results this week. It’s already started perfectly and I couldn’t be happier.”

3rd, Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-B&B Hotels): “It would have been very nice (to win), but today I can be satisfied with a podium. The first half was very quiet today, but then you know that the second half can be difficult. We rode the climbs quite a bit. The heat made them feel heavy. Then it all comes down to the last five kilometres with that one and a half kilometre incline. They rode really well through that. I still had teammates with me. They were more concerned with me than I could really be concerned with them. I didn’t see Fisher-Black ride away himself. I rode my own pace and tried to be there. When I reached the top I knew I could sprint. Then I saw that it was for second place and that was the maximum achievable today. If it is sprinting in the Tour of Oman, then it is pure sprinting. I don’t really like that. So there are few opportunities for me. That’s why I’m extra happy that I already have this third place. My knee problems from last year have not completely gone away, but if I can continue to perform as I did today, I will be more than satisfied.”

Muscat Classic Result:
1. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) UAE Team Emirates in 4:27:43
2. Luke Lamperti (USA) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
4. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
5. Francesco Busatto (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty
6. Warren Barguil (Fra) dsm-firmenich PostNL
7. William Blume Levy (Den) Uno-X Mobility
8. Arjen Livyns (Bel) Lotto Dstny
9. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Terengganu Cycling Team
10. Davide De Pretto (Ita) Jayco AlUla.

Muscat’24:

 

Figueira Champions
Figueira Champions Classic 2024
Remco Evenepoel won his first race of the season, the Figueira Champions Classic, after a solo of 55 kilometres. Vito Braet sprinted to second place nearly 2 minutes later, ahead of Simone Velasco.

Figueira 2024

The second edition of the Figueira Champions Classic was the 2024 season debut of Remco Evenepoel. The Belgian champion had not chosen an easy race to kick off, because the Portuguese one-day event contained a good amount of climbing. The final circuit, which had to be ridden three times, had two tough climbs: the Rua Parque Forestal (2.3km at 7.8%) and the Enforca Cães (2.3km at 7.9%). Marc Hirschi, Isaac Del Toro and Andrea Bagioli were also on the start line.

Before the difficult local circuit, six riders escaped. José Félix Parra (Equipo Kern Pharma), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), André Carvalho (Sabgal-Anicolar), Alfonso Eulálio (ABTF Betão-Feirense), Bruno Silva (Tavfer-Ovos Matinados-Mortágua), Luís Fernandes (Credibom-LA Alumínios-Marcos Car) and Hugo Nunes (Rádio Popular-Paredes-Boavista). They managed to build a 5 minute lead. In the peloton, Soudal Quick-Step, the team of top favourite Evenepoel, set the pace. The Belgian team caught the seven escapees 80 kilometres from the finish. During the first of the final laps, the peloton stayed together, but the second time up the Rua Parque Forestal, it was Evenepoel who put in an attack 55 kilometres from the finish.

No one could follow him, or even tried to. Hirschi was between Evenepoel and the peloton for a while, but he soon gave up the battle. Del Toro then tried to cross on a flat section, but it was impossible to get to the leader. The young Mexican continued to ride in front of the peloton. Going into the last lap he was 52 seconds behind The Belgian champion. The peloton, where EF Education-EasyPost and Movistar shared the chase work, followed around 1:30. Just before the final climb of the Rua Parque Forestal, Del Toro dropped back to the thinned peloton. Another young rider from UAE Team Emirates showed himself on the climb. Portuguese rider Antonio Morgado pushed hard, which led to 11 riders breaking away. This included Hirschi, Ruben Guerreiro, Mikkel Frølich Honoré, Quinten Hermans and Lars Boven. The group became larger, but they would be fighting for second place, far behind the solo Evenepoel. The Soudal Quick-Step star was able to celebrate his win well before the finish. The peloton came in 1:48 after he crossed the line. It was Vito Braet of Intermarché-Wanty who won the sprint. Simone Velasco was third, Lars Boven finished fourth and Marius Mayrhofer of Tudor was fifth.

Figuiera 2024

Race winner, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step): “I’m happy I could start the season with a victory just as I wanted, it’s good for my confidence and for my next race. I enjoyed the parcours here and I liked riding it alone for more than 50 kilometres. The original plan wasn’t to attack with two laps to go, but instead wait for the last climbs of the race. On the other hand, when I noticed the peloton was down to around 25 riders and many were struggling with the pace of my teammates, I just decided to go and see what would happen. Once I got news that I had 20 seconds at the top of the climb, and later 40 seconds as I entered the final lap, I kept going. I had the power to push in the headwind, which was no joke today, and I’m delighted with how things panned out and with this win.”

2nd, Vito Braet (Intermarché-Wanty): “Rune Herregodts and I could go our own chance today and therefore we could rely on a strong team. Our teammates did half of the work, positioning us each time very well at the foot of the climbs. Then it was our mission to survive as long as possible. The approach towards the sprint was on a large road, you could see the finish from far. So as usual I waited until the last moment to make my move towards the front and launch the sprint. It worked, I finished second behind Remco Evenepoel, which was probably the best possible result today. For the second time in less than one week I managed to reward the confidence of the team with a podium result, which makes me very happy. I’m now looking forward with great enthusiasm to using my good condition in the sprint train of Gerben in the Volta ao Algarve next week!”

Figueira Champions Classic Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step in 4:42:26
2. Vito Braet (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty at 1:48
3. Simone Velasco (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan
4. Lars Boven (Ned) Alpecin-Deceuninck
5. Marius Mayrhofer (Ger) Tudor
6. Marc Hirschi (Sui) UAE Team Emirates
7. Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
8. Christian Scaroni (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Movistar
10. Pelayo Sánchez (Spa) Movistar.

Figueira’24

 

almeria
Clásica de Almería 2024
Olav Kooij won the 39th edition of the Clásica de Almería on Sunday. The Dutch sprinter was the favourite and thanks to a perfect lead-out from his teammate Wout van Aert he took the victory. After a hectic final in the sprint, Kooij beat Matteo Moschetti, the 2023 winner into 2nd place. Matteo Trentin was 3rd.

Almería 2024

The Clásica de Almería is one of the few sprinters’ races in Spain. This year the one-day race had the participation of Visma | Lease a Bike, with Wout van Aert and Olav Kooij as leaders. Kooij was certainly the fastest finisher on paper at the start of the race. There was also Arnaud De Lie, last year’s winner Matteo Moschetti and Jordi Meeus.

The Clásica de Almería covered 192.3 kilometres from Puebla de Vicar to Roquetas de Mar, which is approximately 60 kilometres south of Almería. Six riders formed the break of the day and the peloton allowed the lead of Baptiste Vadic (TotalEnergies), Luis Ángel Maté (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Will Barta (Movistar), José María García and Alex Molenaar (Illes Balears Arabay Cycling) to take 5 minutes. There was a lot of climbing in the first half of the race. The Alto de Celín (7.1km at 4.6%), the Alto de La Alqueria (1.5km at 6.7%) and the Alto de Fuente Marbella (1.5km at 7.1%) all came in the first 100 kilometres. There was little enthusiasm in the peloton to chase. The climbs were completed at a fairly easy pace and so the sprinters didn’t have to worry. There was going to be a sprint in Roquetas de Mar.

The early escapees tried their hardest to hold off the sprinter’s teams for as long as possible, but they were caught 15 kilometres from the finish. The nervousness in the peloton increased on the way to the narrow and treacherous final circuit of 6 kilometres on the streets of Roquetas de Mar. The Visma | Lease a Bike men managed to maintain their position at the front of the peloton, as did Lotto Dstny for De Lie. In the hectic finale, there was a crash in the peloton, but fortunately the big favourites for victory avoided it. In the last 3 kilometres the sprint trains were battling it out, but no team really managed to gain the upper hand. Arkéa-B&B Hotels increased the pace with 2 kilometres to go for Arnaud Démare. Visma | Lease a Bike was nowhere to be seen, but Wout van Aert was yet to come to the front. The Belgian managed to take the lead with an impressive acceleration and then put in a strong lead-out. Kooij was perfectly positioned, he took over from Van Aert and jumped to victory. Matteo Moschetti came quite close in the final metres, but Kooij held on. Matteo Trentin was the third man over the line, De Lie and Gerben Thijssen were fourth and fifth. There was another crash in the finishing straight, involving several riders.

Almeria 2024

Race winner, Olav Kooij (Visma | Lease a Bike): “A good lesson for future races (He nearly celebrated too early). That’s a mistake you might make in your first race of the year. Things like that happen. I now know immediately for the next races that you just have to sprint to the end. With the headwind you also lose some speed. The team was very strong today, but with all the roundabouts you sometimes lose each other. We had some problems getting out in the last kilometre. I decided to start my move on the left side of the road before the last corner. This put me in a good position, but it cost me quite a lot of strength. Fortunately, Wout passed me. I rode my sprint after his lead-out, but I already felt my previous effort. Fortunately it was just enough for the win.”

2nd, Matteo Moschetti (Q36.5): “It was a good day! We helped control the breakaway with Filippo Conca and in the end the boys did a great job! I have to thank all my teammates, especially Parisini who was amazing! I was on the wheel of Kooij and when he launched the sprint I closed in fast but in the end he was still faster so congratulations to him. Maybe I should have launched a bit earlier but the speed was high. I gave my all until the last centimetre but today it was not enough! I’m disappointed because I would have loved to win, instead I go home with a second place which isn’t too bad.”

10th, Wout van Aert (Visma | Lease a Bike): “It was far from a flawless sprint, but we expected that. We controlled the entire race and finished it, so I’m happy. It was a good race to start with. In the final I was able to move up and sprint well for Olav. I felt very good today, so I’m curious about tomorrow. Then I will be a little wiser.”

Clásica de Almería 2024
1. Olav Kooij (Ned) Visma | Lease a Bike in 4:11:29
2. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) Tudor
4. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Dstny
5. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty
6. Milan Fretin (Bel) Cofidis
7. Jason Tesson (Fra) TotalEnergies
8. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Lewis Askey (GB) Groupama-FDJ
10. Wout van Aert (Bel) Visma | Lease a Bike.

Clásica de Almería’24

 

murcia
Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia Costa Calida 2024
The Vuelta a Murcia was won by Ben O’Connor. The Australian of Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale broke away with Tim Wellens in the finale and then dropped his fellow escapee on the last climb of the day. Jan Tratnik finished second, Wellens hung on for third.

Murcia 2024

The first part of the 198 kilometre Vuelta a Murcia was quite flat, but in the middle there was a difficult two-stage climb. First the Alto de Aledo (6.5km at 4.8%), followed by the Alto Collado Bermejo (7.2km at 7.1%). The final also included the Alto Cresta del Gallo (4.3km at 6.5%). From the top of the last climb, there was 13 kilometres to the finish in Murcia.

In the flat run-up, a leading group of 9 formed, including: Alex Molenaar (Illes Balears Arabay Cycling), Tosh Van der Sande (Visma | Lease a Bike), Arne Marit (Intermarché-Wanty), Ward Vanhoof (Flanders-Baloise), Thomas Gachignard (TotalEnergies), Paul Lapeira (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar). Five riders remained off the front after the Alto Collado Bermejo, they were Van der Sande, Marit, Gachignard, Lapeira and Norsgaard. Behind the leaders, there was an elite group on the Alto Collado Bermejo with Sepp Kuss, Tim Wellens, Daniel Felipe Martínez, Ben O’Connor, Nicolas Prodhomme and Jefferson Alveiro Cepeda. They caught the early break on the descent. The 11 riders at the front had 2 minutes, 80 kilometres from the finish. In the peloton it was INEOS Grenadiers, Groupama-FDJ and Movistar who led the chase. The chase was pushing hard, but the front runners were giving it everything they had. The pressure caused problems for Tosh Van der Sande. The peloton, which at times split into echelons, slowly got closer. The collaboration in the front group wasn’t good and Wellens and O’Connor attacked.

The other riders in the leading group dropped back to the peloton, the two got further away. At one point they had more than 1:30 on the peloton. At the foot of the Alto Cresta del Gallo the difference was down to 1:10. O’Connor still had something in the tank and on the steepest part of the climb he dropped Wellens. The Australian wanted to finish solo. The peloton split completely. Michal Kwiatkowski attacked, but the Pole was countered by Jan Tratnik. The Slovenian was the strongest of the pursuers and he crossed to Wellens. He tried to drop the Belgian, but he wouldn’t let him go. O’Connor was holding everyone off. The Australian soloed to the finish, to give his Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale team their first victory of the season. Tratnik won the battle with Wellens in the sprint for second place, almost 45 seconds behind O’Connor. Behind them, Valentin Madouas was the fastest of a group fighting for fourth place.

Murcia 2024

Race winner, Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale): “It’s the perfect way to start. It’s been a pretty tough day, there was a bit of everything: a crazy wind, but it started on the climb and it went well and in the end things turned out perfect for me. I’m happy to have been able to materialise it today, I felt good and I am proud to get my first victory of the year in my first race. The Visma | Lease a Bike set the pace, then Sepp Kuss took off. We had a man in the break, as did Sepp, so we formed a good group from that moment on and managed to keep the peloton at a distance. Today was one of those days when the pace never goes down, with a very strong wind and there was no time to disconnect. He was not going to cooperate with me, so I made the best possible pace, I was a little packed at the end, I could feel the wind and the fatigue, but I think that’s true for everyone. So I’m really glad it went well. And now we can return to our home, in Andorra.”

3rd, Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m pretty satisfied with how the race went. We knew that around the halfway mark that the race would be hard on the Cat 1 climb and there is where Visma pushed on. The stronger climbers moved away and I was among them so I was pleased with that. Unfortunately the cooperation was not so great when we caught the breakaway but that’s to be expected. I went solo with Ben O Connor who was a really good guy to have as he was strong and we worked well and I was thinking of the victory. On the climb I went over my limit and I exploded and was counting the kilometres to the finish, Ben had the better legs today. I’m happy looking forward to the next race in Jaen knowing the shape is good.”

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia Costa Calida Result:
1. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale in 4:50:12
2. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Visma | Lease a Bike at 0:42
3. Tim Wellens (Bel) UAE Team Emirates at 0:46
4. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:18
5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:48
6. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Steff Cras (Bel) TotalEnergies
9. Mick van Dijke (Ned) Visma | Lease a Bike
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team.

Murcia’24:

 

oman
Tour of Oman 2024
Caleb Ewan was the fastest in the bunch sprint at the end of Stage 1 of the Tour of Oman 2024, in front of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, where he took his first victory since his return to Jayco AlUla. On a slightly rising finishing straight, the Australian ‘Pocket Rocket’ got the better of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) in what could be the only opportunity for the sprinters this week in the Sultanate. Ewan will wear the leaders red jersey on Sunday.

Oman 2024

The sun illuminated the Oman Across the Ages Museum as the peloton set off towards Muscat for stage 1 of the Tour of Oman 2024. Attacks fly from the start and, after a few attempts, five riders got away from the bunch: Oscar Pelegri (Burgos-BH), Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki (Terengganu Cycling Team), Mohamed Al-Wahibi, Faisal Al-Mamari (Oman National Team) and Polychronis Tzortzakis (Roojai Insurance).

Fabio Jakobsen’s dsm-firmenich PostNL and Caleb Ewan’s Jayco AlUla teams quickly moved to the front of the bunch to control the break, who’s maximum lead was 3:15 at 36km. Al-Wahibi suffered a mechanical that forces him back to the bunch after 40 kilometres of racing. UAE Team Emirates also joined in the chase after Finn Fisher-Black’s success in the Muscat Classic. The gap dropped to under 2 minutes as the riders entered the final 70 kilometres. After he won the first intermediate sprint ahead of Tzortzakis, Pelegri was beaten by the Greek in the second one with 63.9km to go. The Spaniard then dropped back to the bunch. Their ranking in the overall standings will be the decider as to who takes the gold jersey as leader of the combativity ranking.

As the peloton closed in on the lead trio at 20 seconds with 20km to go, Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) was dropped from the bunch due to a mechanical, but the Norwegian who has 9 victories in previous editions of the Tour of Oman, quickly returned. The attackers are eventually caught by the bunch with 12 kilometres to go. A huge battle for the front positions ensue, with every team trying to position their sprinters and leaders. Jayco AlUla mastered the game and Max Walscheid launches Caleb Ewan to victory ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff.

Oman 2024

Stage winner and overall leader, Caleb Ewan (Jayco AlUla): “I’ve had a few opportunities so far this year and never managed to win, so the pressure was building, but now I’m finally happy to get another win for the year. There was a breakaway at the start and then one of my teammates, he really controlled it well with DSM and then it came back pretty easy in the end. There was quite a lot of wind so we thought maybe there was going to be some crosswinds, but in the end it was just a headwind most of the day. In general, the race was pretty easy, but the hard part of it was probably judging the finish line that was slightly uphill, so you just needed to time the sprint right. This was the only sprint of the race, so no more stage opportunities for me, but we have Davide [De Pretto] here who can do a good GC so we’ll be working for him from now on.”

Tour of Oman Stage 1 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Jayco AlUla in 4:23:28
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Uno-X Mobility
4. Gleb Syritsa (-) Astana Qazaqstan
5. Paul Magnier (Fra) Soudal Quick-Step
6. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
7. Dries De Pooter (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty
8. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) JCL Team UKYO
9. Marc Brustenga (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
10. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) dsm-firmenich PostNL.

Tour of Oman Overall After Stage 1:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Jayco AlUla in 4:23:18
2. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:04
3. Óscar Pelegrí (Spa) Burgos-BH at 0:05
4. Polychronis Tzortzakis (Gre) Roojai Insurance
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Uno-X Mobility at 0:06
6. Gleb Syritsa (-) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:10
7. Paul Magnier (Fra) Soudal Quick-Step
8. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
9. Dries De Pooter (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty
10. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) JCL Team UKYO.

Oman’24 stage 1:

 

A couple of days after he opened his palmarès for 2024, in the Muscat Classic, Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) punched his way to another victory on Stage 2 of the Tour of Oman 2024. The young New-Zealander proved again to be the strongest when the road rose on the final ascent of the day, in Qurayyat. Showered by the heavy rain, an unusual sight in the Sultanate to spice up the race, Fisher-Black got the better of Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step), runner-up on Friday, and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), who was 3rd last year in Qurayyat.

The rolling and windy start from As Sifah inspired aggressive riders. Attacks came from the start and Cesare Benedetti (BORA-hansgrohe) was the first rider to open a gap, after 8km. The Polish rider showed his power and his experience, but the battle was on behind him, with several counter-attacks. The bunch split and Benedetti was caught at 17km. Everyone was together 4 kilometres further into the race except for Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan (Terengganu Cycling Team), who was forced to abandon due to a crash.

Tegshbayar Batsaikhan (Roojai Insurance) initiated a new move at 23km. He is followed by Oscar Pelegri (Burgos-BH), wearing the golden jersey as leader of the combativity standings, and Nariyuki Masuda (JCL Team Ukyo). Pelegri dominated both the first intermediate sprint (Al Jissah, 28.4km) and the climbs of Al Jissah (32.2km) and Al Wadi Al Kabir (38.8km). As the gap reached 5 minutes after 46km, several teams move to the front of the bunch to control the race. UAE Team Emirates were the most involved. The break pushed their lead to a maximum of 5:40 halfway through the stage with 85km to go.

Pelegri also took the full points in the second intermediate sprint (58.7km to go) to bring his total up to 17 points. Batsaikhan has 8, and Tzortzakis follows with 5, after he was in the breakaway on stage 1. The gap to the bunch was down to 3:20. Into the final 50km, heavy rain showered the riders. Soudal Quick-Step joined UAE Team Emirates in the chase.The gap dropped to 1:45 with 30 kilometres to go and riders from Astana Qazaqstan also pull the bunch.The attackers were eventually caught with 8km to go. Arkéa-B&B Hôtels set a strong pace on the ascent (2.6km at 7%), but nobody can hold Fisher-Black when he attacks inside the last 500 metres and takes victory 2 seconds ahead of Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step). UAE Team Emirates show their collective strength with Diego Ulissi in 3rd place and Adam Yates in 6th.

Oman Tour 2024

Stage winner and overall leader, Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates): “The team did a top job today. To arrive here at the finish in these crazy wet conditions and be able to go for the win was something special. I had good feelings in the last days at the Muscat Classic so the team trusted me to go for the win again and believed in me. The weather made it very tough today which makes the win all the sweeter. Tomorrow we have a big stage with a longer climb which might suit Adam more than myself so we’ll see how it goes and try and take another win.”

Tour of Oman Stage 2 Result:
1. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) UAE Team Emirates in 4:04:04
2. Luke Lamperti (USA) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:02
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Anthon Charmig (Den) Astana Qazaqstan
5. Roger Adrià (Spa) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Adam Yates (GB) UAE Team Emirates
7. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step
8. Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Lotto Dstny
9. Alessandro Verre (Ita) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:06
10. Davide De Pretto (Ita) Jayco AlUla.

Tour of Oman Overall After Stage 2:
1. Finn Fisher-Black (NZ) UAE Team Emirates in 8:27:22
2. Luke Lamperti (USA) Soudal Quick-Step at 0:06
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:08
4. Roger Adrià (Spa) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:12
5. Anthon Charmig (Den) Astana Qazaqstan
6. Adam Yates (GB) UAE Team Emirates
7. Jenno Berckmoes (Bel) Lotto Dstny
8. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Soudal Quick-Step
9. Ben Zwiehoff (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
10. Thomas Pesenti (Ita) JCL Team UKYO

Oman’24 stage 2:

 

colombia
Tour Colombia 2024
Alejandro Osorio won Stage 3 of the Tour Colombia. The 25 year-old Colombian champion, was too fast for Rodrigo Contreras in a two-man sprint. The two had broken away from a leading group that included Egan Bernal and Rigoberto Urán.

Tour Colombia 2024

The stage was based on a local circuit of Tunja with two short, tough climbs one after the other. The circuit had to be ridden 11 times, for a total of 142 kilometres.

Early in the stage, two riders escaped: David Santiago Gómez (Sistecrédito) and Bernardo Suaza (Petrolike). The duo built a lead of more than 4 minutes, but it would be a hard job to stay away from the peloton, which had been thinned out considerably. Fernando Gaviria and Mark Cavendish, and other non climbers, had already been dropped before the final hour of racing. With about 35 kilometres to go, Gómez and Suaza still had a lead of 1:40 and Richard Carapaz attacked the peloton. The Ecuadorian of EF Education-EasyPost jumped just before the top of one of the climbs, but couldn’t get away. This started the finale. Several attacks followed and the peloton split with 20 kilometres to go. The early escape was caught.

Seven kilometres later, at the start of the final lap, Vinicius Rangel (Movistar), Richard Carapaz and Alexey Lutsenko tried to set up a break. A group of around 30 riders joined them. Third overall, Andrea Piccolo had a problem with his bike a lap earlier and missed the move. It was another EF Education-EasyPost rider, Rigoberto Urán who led the action on the penultimate climb. Nairo Quintana was on his wheel, but couldn’t hold his pace. The rest managed to follow Urán’s wheel, but at the top he accelerated again and took a small gap.

Four riders managed to join Urán: Colombian champion Alejandro Osorio (GW Erco Shimano), Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia), Iván Ramiro Sosa (Movistar) and Egan Bernal, who is racing for the Colombian National team. Jonathan Caicedo, Édgar Cadena (Petrolike) and Adrían Bustamante (GW Erco Shimano) managed to cross. A leading group of 8 started the last 3 kilometres off the front. Overall leader, Harold Tejada, had missed the move. In the last 2 kilometres Contreras attacked on his own, but Osorio got to him in the last meters and then sprint from his wheel for the win. Contreras had to settle for second place. Urán finished in third place in the same time as Osorio. Bernal finished fifth.

Tour Colombia 2024

Stage winner and 9th overall, Alejandro Osorio (GW Erco Shimano): “A complicated stage. A circuit like I like, there are many quality riders in this Tour of Colombia. It goes too fast. Super happy to be able to achieve a victory in such a tough and high-quality race. Goal accomplished, super happy and excited with this victory. It was fought for, it was achieved thanks to my team that has worked for me every day. Each one of them has given me their trust and thanks to the staff. The most important objectives were the National Championship and Tour Colombia has been a dream start to the season.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia): “A positive balance, a great victory for the team, the truth is that I am very happy and happy to take the lead today. I want to dedicate it to my sponsor Nu Colombia. At the end we withstood Rigoberto Urán’s attack with one lap remaining and the group was selected. Once inside I tried to surprise at the end because I am not very strong at sprinting. In the end Osorio took the opportunity to go ahead and achieve victory. We are growing as Colombian cycling, this is a very big window for everyone and I am happy to contribute this leadership to the fans and to my Nu team, to the technical team, to my racing companions, who have worked very hard for me.”

5th on the stage, Egan Bernal (Colombia): “Little by little I am regaining confidence. In a stage like this you must always be at the front, fighting all day for position to be present at the end. And that gives me confidence. Little by little I am recovering. We, with the national team, have to be intelligent and choose the moment, but we have a good team. I think the boys did a good job, then in the final Jhonatan Restrepo and Brandon Rivera and I were able to go through the motions. I didn’t win the stage, but I feel like I’m improving.”

Tour Colombia Stage 3 Result:
1. Alejandro Osorio (Col) GW Erco Shimano in 3:20:18
2. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia
3. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:01
4. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Colombia
6. Iván Ramiro Sosa (Col) Movistar
7. Adrián Bustamante (Col) GW Erco Shimano
8. Edgar David Cadena (Mex) Petrolike
9. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Team Corratec-Vini Fantini at 0:11
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) EF Education-EasyPost.

Tour Colombia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia in 10:33:58
2. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:06
3. Óscar Sevilla (Spa) Team Medellín at 0:07
4. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:11
5. Cesar David Guavita (Col) Colombia Potencia de la Vida-Strongman at 0:17
6. Yeison Sebastian Reyes (Col) Team Sistecredito
7. Edgar Andres Pinzon (Col) GW Erco Shimano
8. Robinson Chalapud (Col) Team Banco Guayaquil-Bianchi
9. Alejandro Osorio (Col) GW Erco Shimano at 0:19
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:26.

Tour Colombia’24 stage 3:

 

Mark Cavendish won the Fourth Stage of the Tour Colombia on Friday. After a lumpy stage, he was the fastest in the bunch sprint. His lead-out man Michael Mørkøv helped to place him perfectly for the win. Fernando Gaviaria had to settle for second place and Nelson Andrés Soto was third.

Tour Colombia 2024

The fourth day of the Tour Colombia was a 181.8 kilometre stage from Paipa to Zipaquirá. There were two Cat4 and one Cat3 climb. The last 50 kilometres were almost flat. Probably a day for the sprinters.

The stage also looked good for an escape, because of the early hilly route. Early in the stage 9 riders broke away, but the peloton was not too interested. In the first 60 kilometres the nine increase their lead to 4 minutes. Behind them an other group tried to cross, but they never manage to reach the leading group. In the hilly part of the stage the peloton wasn’t hanging about and the peloton was all together with 70 kilometres to go.

Movistar and Astana Qazaqstan were happy with the situation. Both teams had a potential winner with Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria, although there was an escape 30 kilometres from the finish. Julián Cardona (Team Medellin), Laureano Rosas (Swift Carbon Pro Cycling) and Alexander Gil (Orgulo Paisa) took their chance and built up a 50 second lead. In the final part of the stage the escape efforts came to nothing. Corratec-Vini Fantini and Bingoal WB also started to work for their sprinters. The peloton cut the lead within a few kilometres and now it was sure to be a bunch sprint. Mark Cavendish outpaced the competition. After a strong lead-out from Michael Mørkøv and Cees Bol, the British rider held all the others off. Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) was close, but had to settle for second place. Nelson Soto (Petrolike) took third.

Tour Colombia 2024

Stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan): “I’m speechless. I was lined up behind my boys in the final kilometre and knew I couldn’t let them down. They were phenomenal. Not just in the final, but the whole day. After a split in the peloton over a climb, they chased with ferocity and heart, along with Movistar Team for 70km to make sure we got our sprint. The belief and passion they showed for our team brings tears to my eyes. I’m so proud we could get another stage win here in Colombia. To sprint against Fernando Gaviria in his home country was special too. He was coming so fast, and after the work of both our teams, I was delighted to share the podium with him.”

Tour Colombia Stage 4 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Astana Qazaqstan in 4:03:34
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Movistar
3. Nelson Andrés Soto (Col) Petrolike
4. Cees Bol (Ned) Astana Qazaqstan
5. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Colombia
6. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Team Corratec-Vini Fantini
7. Norman Vahtra (Est) Estonia
8. Davide Persico (Ita) Bingoal WB
9. Jhojan García (Col) Colombia Potencia de la Vida-Strongman
10. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost.

Tour Colombia Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia in 14:37:32
2. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:04
3. Andrea Piccolo (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:11
4. Cesar David Guavita (Col) Colombia Potencia de la Vida-Strongman at 0:17
5. Yeison Sebastian Reyes (Col) Team Sistecredito
6. Edgar Andres Pinzon (Col) GW Erco Shimano
7. Robinson Chalapud (Col) Team Banco Guayaquil-Bianchi
8. Alejandro Osorio (Col) GW Erco Shimano at 0:19
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:26
10. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike at 0:30.

Tour Colombia’24 stage 4:

 

The Queen Stage 5 of the Tour Colombia was won by Richard Carapaz. The Ecuadorian made his move in the last 5 kilometres of the Alto del Vino, the very long final climb of the stage.

Tour Colombia 2024

Day five of the Tour Colombia was the Queen stage. The 138 kilometre race finished on the Alto del Vino, which was more than 30 kilometres of climbing at 5.7%. This climb was descended earlier in the stage, after a short approach from the starting point of Cota.

In the early part of the stage a leading group of 6 formed. Movistar’s Vinicius Rangel was joined by Rait Ärm (Estonia), Alexis Benjamin Quinteros (Banco Guayaquil-Bianchi), Brandon Alejandro Rojas (GW Erco Shimano), Bernardo Suaza (Petrolike), Franklin Archibold (Panamá es Cultura y Valores) and Wilmar Paredes (Team Medellín). The six had a lead of more than 5 minutes and at the foot of the final climb they still had just under 4 minutes. In the peloton, Nu Colombia, the team of overall leader Rodrigo Contreras, were in control. Later on the climb, Astana took over. The peloton thinned out considerably, especially due to the work of Alexey Lutsenko. Among the big names that were in trouble was Andrea Piccolo and Nairo Quintana. The Movistar climber dropped out when there were still about 25 riders in the group. This also included Esteban Chaves, who attacked 10 kilometres from the finish. He went up to and past Paredes, the last man of the escapee, and continued solo.

Chaves didn’t hold out for very long, but as he was caught, it was his teammate Richard Carapaz’s turn. The Ecudorean accelerated and opened a good gap. There was only one rider who managed to jump to him: yellow jersey wearer Contreras. Behind this duo, a group remained with Chaves, Harold Tejada, Jonathan Klever Caicedo, Ivan Ramiro Sosa, Jefferson Alexander Cepeda, Rigoberto Urán and Egan Bernal. After some attacks, they all rejoined the leaders one by one, but the connection was short-lived. Carapaz still had something left in his legs and took off again 4 kilometres from the finish. This time Contreras couldn’t follow. The first chaser was now Caicedo, followed only by Contreras. Slowly but surely, Carapaz took more time. With 1K to go it was clear that he would take his second victory of the season. Contreras defended himself well, crossing the line in third place behind Caicedo to retained his overall lead.

Tour Colombia 2024

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost): “This one is special for me, obviously it is special for the team as well. We are all climbers, and knew we only had one opportunity, so we had to take advantage of it as much as possible. We knew how hard the climb was. I’ve trained here. We studied the profile, the altitude, the road surface. It was a climb of one hour. I am very happy for myself, and for the team, because they collaborated to make this victory possible. The day went perfectly, e couldn’t have planned it any better. We had four strong guys who were able to attack, attack, attack the yellow jersey. We came away with the stage win and we are super happy about that and now we have one more chance tomorrow to take this thing home.”

Tour Colombia Stage 5 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) EF Education-EasyPost in 3:34:18
2. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike at 0:13
3. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia at 0:17
4. Egan Bernal (Col) Colombia at 0:33
5. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:35
6. Iván Ramiro Sosa (Col) Movistar at 0:37
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:02
8. Daniel Alejandro Mendez (Col) Nu Colombia at 1:25
9. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 1:36
10. Jose Ramon Muñiz (Mex) Petrolike at 1:54.

Tour Colombia Overall After Stage 5:
1. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) EF Education-EasyPost
3. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Colombia
6. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education – EasyPost
8. Iván Ramiro Sosa (Col) Movistar
9. Daniel Alejandro Mendez (Col) Nu Colombia
10. Jose Ramon Muñiz (Mex) Petrolike.

Tour Colombia’24 stage 5:

 

Rodrigo Contreras is the overall winner of the 2024 Tour Colombia. The rider from the continental Nu Colombia team was attacked continually in the final stage, but managed to hold on. The spectacular final stage finished in a sprint from an elite group. Jhonatan Restrepo had the fastest legs.

Tour Colombia 2024

The final stage took the riders to the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. The finish line was in the national park. It promised to be a tough finale, with the Alto de Patios, a climb of 2.6 kilometres at over 7%. The top of this slope was just over 10 kilometres from the finish.

The race split open much earlier, thanks to Egan Bernal. The INEOS Grenadiers climber, who is riding for the Colombian national team, was not satisfied with his 5th place on GC and attacked on the road to Bogotá. The winner of the 2019 Tour de France went with Javier Jamaica (Team Medellín) and managed to gain a maximum lead of 1 minute. The now thinned out peloton were not taking it easy and the hunt for Bernal started and there was a regrouping with just over 40 kilometres to go. The Bernal danger had passed, but things remained very restless in the group of favourites. There were accelerations from Richard Carapaz, Bernal again and Rigoberto Urán. EF Education-EasyPost, the team of Carapaz and Urán, tried to dislodge leader Rodrigo Contreras with several accelerations, but the Nu Colombia rider didn’t budge. A lot could still happen on the Alto de Patios. Carapaz had his teammates increase the pace, paving the way for his attack.

After preparatory work by Jefferson Alexander Cepeda, who destroyed the group, it was up to Carapaz to deliver the final blow. His impressive acceleration looked too powerful for Contreras. The man in yellow was fortunate that he had the help of his teammate Daniel Alejandro Mendez, who kept the difference with Carapaz manageable. Carapaz started the last 12, flat kilometres with a nice lead. The Ecuadorian was going for the stage and overall victory, but turned out not to be strong enough to stay ahead on the flat. Carapaz was caught by the first elite group of 12 riders, including all the key riders in this Tour Colombia. Contreras, Urán, Bernal, Jonathan Caicedo, Colombian champion Alejandro Osorio were all there. These riders would sprint for victory. The Colombian national team was well represented in the first group with three riders and decided to go all out for Jhonatan Restrepo. In the last kilometre, Bernal rode his lungs out for his teammate, who managed to complete the job. Restrepo took care of Carapaz and Caicedo. Contreras also in the first group and so was the final winner of his national tour.

Tour Colombia 2024

Stage winner, Jonathan Restrepo (Colombia): “Incredible. When I saw a champion of the Tour de France, of the Giro d’Italia, I said I couldn’t lose. I suffered a lot to get there. I pushed hard in the mountains and got here well. On the descent I saved my legs and the tactics worked for me, I arrived strong at the sprint. Now comes the Tour of Rwanda and Italy.”

Final overall winner and 8th on the stage, Rodrigo Contreras (Nu Colombia): “It was a difficult day. I had a sensational team. Daniel Méndez was key. I did not despair, and I told him to control. It is a very immense joy to take this title home. I could not give up, My family was here. It is a spectacular victory. Historic for me and for Colombia because we were able to beat the teams from outside so that they understand that there is also a high level in the national cycling.”

Tour Colombia Stage 6 Result:
1. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Colombia in 3:06:24
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) EF Education-EasyPost
3. Alejandro Osorio (Col) GW Erco Shimano
4. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike
5. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan
6. Harold Martín López (Ecu) Astana Qazaqstan
7. Yeison Sebastian Reyes (Col) Team Sistecredito
8. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
10. Daniel Alejandro Mendez (Col) Nu Colombia.

Tour Colombia Final Overall Result:
1. Rodrigo Contreras (Col) Nu Colombia in 21:18:26
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:06
3. Jonathan Klever Caicedo (Ecu) Petrolike at 0:26
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:50
5. Egan Bernal (Col) Colombia at 1:01
6. Harold Tejada (Col) Astana Qazaqstan at 1:26
7. Iván Ramiro Sosa (Col) Movistar at 1:33
8. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 1:46
9. Daniel Alejandro Mendez (Col) Nu Colombia at 1:54
10. Yeison Sebastian Reyes (Col) Team Sistecredito at 2:52.

Tour Colombia’24 stage 6:

 

uae
UAE Tour Women 2024
SD Worx-Protime’s first victory of 2024 went to Lorena Wiebes. The Dutch rider was paced perfectly by her teammates in Stage 1 of the UAE Tour and then sprinted to victory, ahead of Rachele Barbieri and Chiara Consonni.

UAE Tour Women 2024

The riders started the UAE Tour with a flat stage of just over 120 kilometres to the port of Dubai. Lorena Wiebes was the top favourite for the win, now that her rival Charlotte Kool is not there due to illness.

Due to the wind, there was nervousness in the peloton all day and echelons formed a few times. However, these attempts were nipped in the bud just as quickly. Due to nervousness, several riders crashed. With just over 60 kilometres to go, there was a crash, with Elisa Longo Borghini as the biggest casualty. Last year’s winner was able to continue and take her place in the peloton with a hand injury. Italian Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) was off the front, but was quickly brought back. Top Girls Fasso Bortolo then sent Gaia Segato of the front. The 19 year-old Italian rode solo for a while, but with less than 40 kilometres to go, she was joined by the Uzbek rider, Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent City). They gained a maximum lead of 1:30.

Twenty kilometres from the finish, Segato and Kuskova were caught and the peloton could prepare for a sprint. The pace increased and this resulted in another crash, but the fallen riders were able to continue. The peloton was at ‘full gas’ to the last kilometre. Various teams tried to get their lead-out trains organised, but Fenix-Deceuninck took a more attacking approach. Carina Schrempf jumped away from the peloton with 2 kilometres to go and had a gap, but she was no match for the UAE Team ADQ and SD Worx-Protime teams. The Dutch team took the lead late, but at the right time. Wiebes was ideally piloted by her teammates in the last metres. Lotte Kopecky did the main work with a powerful lead-out and Wiebes completed the job. The Italians, Rachele Barbieri and Chiara Consonni were well beaten by Wiebes, who also took the overall lead in the UAE Tour.

UAE Tour Women 2024

Stage winner and Red jersey, Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime): “It’s great to already have a win for the first time this season. It’s really important to be supported by a team like SD Worx for winning a race like today’s. It’s been a great feeling also to be celebrated on stage and I’m looking forward to wearing the leader’s jersey tomorrow. It’s quite fantastic to win in Dubai and to have the big buildings in the background. This time, I even came a bit earlier to do some sightseeing of the city. Some of my team-mates went sky diving and said they had a great experience. Maybe I’ll try next year. Tomorrow in the desert it could be windier so we can expect some echelons in the long straight road. There were some echelon attempts today and that made the average speed faster than last year’s, also because we went a bit more out of the city. The peloton was doing 44kph in the first hour as we started with tailwind. I want to win all the sprint stages and I hope Lotte [Kopecky] will do well up to Jebel Hafeet. We feel ready for winning all the stages as a team.”

White and Black jersey holder, Janina Kuskova (Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team): “My goal today was to break away to win the intermediate sprints and the time bonus that goes with it. I was successful on the first sprint but I worked too hard before the second sprint to completely reach my goal. Now my goal is to keep the white jersey till the end of the UAE Tour Women.”

UAE Tour Women Stage 1 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime in 2:59:11
2. Rachele Barbieri (Ita) dsm-firmenich PostNL
3. Chiara Consonni (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
4. Georgia Baker (Aus) Liv AlUla Jayco
5. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Can) Roland
6. Valentine Fortin (Fra) Cofidis
7. Laura Ruiz Pérez (Spa) Movistar
8. Sofia Collinelli (Ita) Roland
9. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime
10. Clara Copponi (Fra) Lidl-Trek.

UAE Tour Women Overall After Stage 1:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime in 2:59:01
2. Rachele Barbieri (Ita) dsm-firmenich PostNL at 0:04
3. Chiara Consonni (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:06
4. Yanina Kuskova (Uzb) Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team at 0:07
5. Alice Palazzi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
6. Loes Adegeest (Ned) FDJ-SUEZ at 0:08
7. Gaia Segato Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
8. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime at 0:09
9. Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) UAE Team ADQ
10. Georgia Baker (Aus) Liv AlUla Jayco 0:10.

UAE Tour’24 stage 1:

 

Stage 2 of the UAE Tour for women was won by Lorena Wiebes on Friday. The fast stage of 113 kilometres saw many echelons form, but it ended in a bunch sprint and it was the overall leader of SD Worx-Protime who took her second stage win in a row. Lotte Kopecky was a strong teammate for Wiebes. Chiara Consonni and Clara Copponi were second and third.

UAE Tour 2024

After 30 kilometres the peloton split into pieces due to the echelons, but that didn’t last for long. It became clear that leader Lorena Wiebes and World champion Lotte Kopecky were watching every move. SD Worx-Protime were in a small echelon of four riders, but after Kopecky’s puncture, the pace dropped and the peloton come back together.

At the start of the final hour, Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent City) attacked. No one joined the Uzbek rider and she struggled a bit ahead of the peloton and was eventually caught. At the second intermediate sprint, Lotte Kopecky was the first over the line, gaining 3 bonus seconds in the battle for the overall victory. There was a moment in the final when echelons could have formed, but no team was going to give everything and so there was going to be a bunch sprint again. SD Worx-Protime chose to move late. This was difficult, but Kopecky eventually managed to put Wiebes in an ideal position. She took a long sprint for the win, which was less convincing than on stage 1. Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) came off Wiebes’ wheel, but the Italian was just too late and ended in second place. Clara Copponi (Lidl-Trek) finished third.

UAE Tour 2024

Stage winner and overall leader, Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime): “I started going up in the peloton a bit earlier than I’d like because I saw the road narrowing a bit. I also knew that everybody would try to go on the left side and I saw an EF rider crash and I hope she’s OK. It’s always hectic in such finales before the sprint but I tried to stay as safe as possible. I’m happy that I stayed safe and the girls gave me another great lead out. To take two victories in a row is a confidence booster to start the season. We are a lot of strong Dutch riders so it’s not a surprise that we already have a significant number of stage victories in the UAE Tour Women although it’s a fairly new race. Tomorrow I’ll try to support Lotte [Kopecky] as much as possible. We’ll go all out for her stage victory. My other goal is to win the last stage. If it happens, I’ll finish the Tour with the green jersey.”

White jersey, Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team): “Today’s stage wasn’t more difficult than yesterday’s. But I switched my focus to the general classification so I didn’t break away for the intermediate sprints because I know that tomorrow is the hardest stage of the UAE Tour. I hope I will also have good legs in the mountains to bring this best young rider jersey till the end. I would like to make the top 5 overall but if I end up in the top 10, it will make it a successful Tour for me.”

Black jersey, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime): “I don’t think it would have been a different race hadn’t I punctured at the front in the echelons. We made the echelons at the very good moment. It was a very good group but the peloton was still big and chasing not far behind so I believe that even if I didn’t puncture, we would have stopped pulling just a few minutes later. I went for the intermediate sprints for the GC but I don’t how I’ll go tomorrow. If my shape is good enough, I wouldn’t like to lose the race for seconds I could have gained in the intermediate sprints so I went for it just in case. It was a really hectic sprint again today. Because there wasn’t any corner before the finish and a head wind, we had to time it very well. But at the end, we did a very good job again to lead Lorena Wiebes out.”

UAE Tour Women Stage 2 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime at 2:28:08
2. Chiara Consonni (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
3. Clara Copponi (Fra) Lidl-Trek
4. Georgia Baker (Aus) Liv AlUla Jayco
5. Martina Fidanza (Ita) CERATIZIT-WNT
6. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) FDJ-SUEZ
7. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Uno-X Mobility
8. Anniina Ahtosalo (Fin)Uno-X Mobility
9. Gladys Verhulst-Wild (Fra) FDJ-SUEZ
10. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health.

UAE Tour Women Overall After Stage 2:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime in 5:26:57
2. Chiara Consonni (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:12
3. Rachele Barbieri (Ita) dsm-firmenich PostNL at 0:16
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime at 0:17
5. Clara Copponi (Fra) Lidl-Trek at 0:18
6. Loes Adegeest (Ned) FDJ-SUEZ
7. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health at 0:19
8. Yanina Kuskova (Uzb) Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team
9. Alice Palazzi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
10. Flora Perkins (GB) Fenix-Deceuninck at 0:21.

UAE Tour’24 stage 2:

 

Lotte Kopecky won the Third Stage of the UAE Tour. On the Jebel Hafeet, the only climb of the day, the SD Worx-Protime rider made her move. On the steep sections she caught her closest opponent Neve Bradbury and took the win in the sprint. Neve Bradbury and Mavi García were second and third.

UAE Tour 2024

In the UAE Tour for women, the third stage was completely flat until the last 10 kilometres. On the Jebel Hafeet, a climb of about 9 kilometres at an average of 9%, the climbers would decide the third stage. The last kilometre was downhill to the finish.

It took a long time before anyone could get a gap on the peloton. Although most riders knew that the decision would come on the Jebel Hafeet, many still gave it a go. Anniina Athosalo (Uno-X Mobility), Marie Le Net (FDJ-Suez) and Cristina Tonetti (Laboral Kutxa-Fundacíon Esukadi) all tried. None of them managed to get away. The Frenchwoman Aude Biannic of Movistar managed to open a small gap of 10 seconds on the peloton for a while, but she couldn’t stay away.

The moment Biannic was caught, Idoia Eraso (Laboral Kutxa-Fundacíon Esukadi) and Linda Zannetti (Human Powered Health) broke away. They took a lead of more than 1 minute before the peloton started to chase them. Gladys Verhulst-Wild (FDJ-Suez) jumped across the the leading pair. The three managed to build a lead of 6 minutes. In the run-up to the final climb, SD Worx, Lidl-Trek and Fenix-Deceuninck took the lead in the peloton and the lead was slowly eaten away. At the foot of the climb the three had only 2 minutes left. Once on the steep sections, the favourites caught the escapees, thanks to good work from Lorena Wiebes. Eight kilometres from the finish it was Gaia Realini who really got the race going. The acceleration was too much for many riders. Only five could follow the Italian. These were her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini, Lotte Kopecky, Neve Bradbury, Marion Bunel and Mavi García. They would decide who would win the stage. Longo Borghini and Bunel were the first to be dropped from the front group. Three kilometers from the finish it was Bradbury who attacked. She opened a gap, but Lotte Kopecky managed to fight back 800 metres from the finish. The Belgian beat the Australian for the stage win and will wear the leader’s jersey on Sunday. She takes over the lead from her teammate Lorena Wiebes. Neve Bradbury finished second and Mavi García finished third.

UAE Tour 2024

Stage winner and Red jersey, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime): “This is my first mountain top finish victory. It’s crazy. I was very motivated for this stage. I dreamed of this and I hoped for it but I first had to see how deep I could go. I went kilometre by kilometre, knowing that legs would hurt on this climb. In a few seconds it could turn from having it into blowing up. I was in a little bit of panic when the Canyon girl (Neve Bradbury) attacked. But I found my rhythm. I came closer and I was confident I could make it. I came here for preparation for the Spring classics. It’s important for my confidence to get to know that the shape is already good enough for winning a stage race.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Neve Bradbury (Canyon//SRAM): “With around 3km to go, it pinched up a bit before it plateaued to the line. I was expecting Realini would go then because she was riding really strong at the bottom of the climb. When she never went, I attacked myself and looked back to see that no one followed. I tried to pave my effort to the finish line until Kopecky caught me. I thought I could try and get a run off her wheel to take the final corner first, so I made her take the lead, but she was too strong. To get second on the stage is a really nice confidence boost. I feel like I belong at the pointy end of the races now. The team did a really good job all day. My teammates were looking after Ricarda and me, getting bottles and helping us conserve energy where possible, but especially positioning us into the climb at the front. It’s also nice to see we lead the team classification after today’s stage. We still have one more stage to go, but hopefully, we can take home second place in the general classification. I’m really happy with how today went, and we’re looking to finish off tomorrow with a good result for the team.”

UAE Tour Women Stage 3 Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime in 3:22:15
2. Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon//SRAM at 0:03
3. Mavi García (Spa) Liv AlUla Jayco at 0:32
4. Gaia Realini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 0:43
5. Marion Bunel (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 WE at 1:00
6. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Fenix-Deceuninck at 1:04
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 1:09
8. Silvia Persico (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:29
9. Mareille Meijering (Ned) Movistar
10. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Ger) Canyon//SRAM at 1:32.

UAE Tour Women Overall After Stage 3:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime in 8:49:18
2. Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon//SRAM at 0:13
3. Mavi García (Spa) Liv AlUla Jayco at 0:44
4. Gaia Realini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 0:59
5. Marion Bunel (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 WE at 1:16
6. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Fenix-Deceuninck at 1:20
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 1:25
8. Silvia Persico (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:45
9. Mareille Meijering (Ned) Movistar
10. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Ger) Canyon//SRAM at 1:48.

UAE Tour’24 stage 3:

 

Lotte Kopecky won the final overall of the UAE Tour for women. The leader of SD Worx-ProTime had no problems in the Final Stage 4 to Abu Dhabi, which was surprisingly won by Amber Kraak (FDJ-Suez). Kraak was in the early break and narrowly held off Lorena Wiebes sprinting at the head of the peloton.

UAE Tour 2024

After Lotte Kopecky taking the overall lead in the mountain stage to Jebel Hafeet, nothing stood in the way of a final victory for the SD Worx-Protime leader. The route of the final stage to Abu Dhabi Breakwater was flat, so a bunch sprint was expected.

Four riders escaped early in the stage, which was run under light rain. Amber Kraak (FDJ-Suez), Sophie Wright (Fenix-Deceuninck), Monica Greenwood (Coop-Repsol) and Margarita Misyurina (Tashkent City) made up the front group. They had a lead of more than 3 minutes. In the peloton, the work was left to SD Worx-Protime, but the Dutch team couldn’t close the gap on its own. For a long time the lead fluctuated around 2 minutes. At the front, Misyurina was dropped 20 kilometres from the finish. Kraak, Wright and Greenwood were still working well together. The other sprinter’s teams started to help with the chase, causing the lead to quickly come down.

There was some disagreement in the leading group in the last 7 kilometres, because Kraak wanted to get rid of the others. With her first attack she got rid of Greenwood and with a second, Wright was gone. From that moment on, the Dutch woman defended a lead of 45 seconds in the last 5 kilometres. She didn’t slow and still had 15 seconds in the last kilometre. Thanks to a strong lead-out from Kopecky, Lorena Wiebes came very close, but Kraak, who was with Jumbo-Visma last season, narrowly held on to win the final stage for her new French team. Lotte Kopecky’s overall lead of 13 second lead over Neve Bradbury, was never in danger. This is only Kopecky’s fourth final overall victory, after the Lotto Belgium Tour, the Thuringia Ladies Tour and the Simac Ladies Tour. Australian Neve Bradbury and Spain’s Mavi Garcia were second and third.

UAE Tour women 2024

Stage winner, Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ): “In the radio I heard my team-mates shout “go, go, go”, so I understood it was really tight and I didn’t dare to look back. This is my first solo victory in the WorldTour. I’m not really used to that but next time I will maybe celebrate with my arms up in the air. Our plan was really to go for the attack. When we got three minutes lead I believed we could make it today. I actually wanted to go for the sprint but the others slowed down so I went solo. This is my first race for my new team FDJ-Suez. Yesterday I was supposed to go full gas on the climb and it didn’t really work out. I didn’t have a good day so it’s a really great feeling to make it up the day after.”

Final overall winner of the 2024 UAE Tour Women, Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime): “We expected a breakaway and this front group was really strong. They deserved to get the win today. We tried to close the gap but we didn’t succeed. But our priority today was to win the overall. I was hoping that it wouldn’t rain too hard so I could stay safe. To win the UAE Tour was something I was hoping for but not something I was expecting really. It’s very nice to win this race and I enjoyed my time here, sky diving before the race as much as cycling. Everything has been great.”

2nd on the stage and winner of the Green jersey, Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime): “The whole team did its best to try and close the gap for a bunch sprint finish today but this time it was not enough. I started my sprint a little bit early than I usually do. I think it was 200 metres if not a little bit before the finishing line. When I saw Amber [Kraak] I thought maybe it’s still possible to catch her. The other teams didn’t help us but that’s normal after we won three stages. Personally, with two stage wins and the points classification, I’m very satisfied. Now it’ll be important to keep the good shape ahead for the classics. And I hope I’ll be back at the UAE Tour next year.”

2nd overall and White jersey winner, Neve Bradbury (Canyon//SRAM): “I knew that if I had very good legs, I could expect to come second in the UAE Tour but I’m over the moon with this result. Today, I just wanted to stay safe in the bunch to preserve my second place overall. It’s been an incredible feeling to come on stage to receive the best young rider jersey and on top of that the UCI Women’s WorldTour leader jersey. It will be nice if I get to wear it in further races this year. Now I think I’m ready to take on the world’s best riders and the Tour de France Femmes is my dream.”

3rd overall, Mavi Garcia (Liv AlUla Jayco): “It’s a bit of a strange feeling now because on the one hand I’m happy because I’m on the podium and the team did great work for me today. On the other hand, it’s a bit of a pity because in the final 100 metres there was a crash and Letizia [Paternoster] and me crashed. We will see how Leti is, but I am ok. It’s a bit strange the situation but I’m happy. For me, it’s super important to get this podium because last year, I didn’t feel really well. Now, I trust myself again and I needed it. Now, I start again another season, a new season and I hope it will be better than last year. It’s the best start with the team to be on the podium overall in a WorldTour race. I only did it in the Giro d’Italia two years ago and now here.”

UAE Tour Women Stage 4 Result:
1. Amber Kraak (Ned) FDJ-SUEZ in 2:27:33
2. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) SD Worx-Protime
3. Daria Pikulik (Pol) Human Powered Health
4. Chiara Consonni (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
5. Valentine Fortin (Fra) Cofidis
6. Rachele Barbieri (Ita) dsm-firmenich PostNL
7. Anniina Ahtosalo (Fin) Uno-X Mobility
8. Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
9. Clara Copponi (Fra) Lidl-Trek
10. Laura Tomasi (Ita) Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi.

UAE Tour Women Final Overall Result:
1. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) SD Worx-Protime in 11:16:51
2. Neve Bradbury (Aus) Canyon//SRAM at 0:13
3. Mavi García (Spa) Liv AlUla Jayco at 0:44
4. Gaia Realini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 0:59
5. Marion Bunel (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 WE at 1:16
6. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Fenix-Deceuninck at 1:20
7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Lidl-Trek at 1:25
8. Silvia Persico (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:45
9. Mareille Meijering (Ned) Movistar
10. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Ger) Canyon//SRAM at 1:48.

UAE Tour’24 stage 4:

 

provence
Tour de la Provence 2024
Mads Pedersen took his third victory of the season. The Dane of Lidl-Trek, who won a stage and the final overall in the Etoile de Bèsseges, was the best in the prologue of the Tour de la Provence on Thursday. His young teammate Jakob Söderqvist was second. Third place went to Samuel Watson.

Provence 2024

The prologue of the Tour de la Provence took place in Marseille on the coast. The course was simple: 2 kilometres straight, a ‘U’ turn and straight back again for 3 kilometres. The course was straight apart from the mid race turn.

Jérémy Cabot (St Michel-Mavic-Auber93) was in the lead for a while with a time of 5:32, at an average of 54.3kph. Samuel Watson (Groupama-FDJ) then went 2 seconds faster, but the British rider soon had to give up the hot seat. Mads Pedersen, who started halfway down the field as one of the top favourites, took 11 seconds off Watson’s time. One rider after another couldn’t get to Pedersen’s time. 20 year-old Jakob Söderqvist, who is under contract with the Lidl-Trek training team, but will race for the WorldTeam this week, finished at 6 seconds. Watson dropped to 3rd place. Bruno Armirail (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), the last starter, rode to 4th place. His teammate, Irish sprinter, Sam Bennett finished in the top ten.

Provence 2024

Prologue winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek): “It went very well, this is a good start to the race. I think we can be happy with me in first place and Jakob in second. It’s a beautiful day. Tomorrow is another stage. It looks like it’s going to rain and it can get quite heavy, with a lot of uphill and downhill. Of course we are going for another victory. We have a strong team here and we must definitely go for the win. That’s why we’re here.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jakob Söderqvist (Lidl-Trek): “Right now my body is a bit empty so I don’t feel much at all, it’s a weird feeling but it’s also surreal. I think tonight it will settle a bit and I’m sure it’ll feel pretty good. It was a five-minute effort so it’s like an all-out test. There’s not much pacing to it, just trying not to blow up in the first minute and then just keep holding the power. Some corners could have been better but there’s not a lot to complain about. Today I just had a really good feeling.”

Tour de la Provence Prologue Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 5:20
2. Jakob Söderqvist (Swe) Lidl-Trek at 0:06
3. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
4. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:11
5. Jérémy Cabot (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 at 0:12
6. Damien Touzé (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
7. Sam Bennett (Irl) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
8. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Lidl-Trek
9. Ewen Costiou (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:13
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:14.

Tour de la Provence Overall After the Prologue:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 5:20
2. Jakob Söderqvist (Swe) Lidl-Trek at 0:06
3. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
4. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:11
5. Jérémy Cabot (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93 at 0:12
6. Damien Touzé (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
7. Sam Bennett (Irl) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
8. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Lidl-Trek
9. Ewen Costiou (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:13
10. Dorian Godon (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:14.

Provence’24 prologue:

 

Mads Pedersen won the First Stage of the Tour de la Provence. The stage was affected by difficult weather conditions, but at the finish, the Lidl-Trek rider was the best in the bunch sprint. The Dane won the prologue the previous day. Frenchman, Axel Zingle was second and Canadian Riley Pickrell was third.

Provence 2024

After Thursday’s prologue, Friday was the first road stage of the Tour de la Provence. In the stage from Aix-en-Provence to Martigues, the riders only had two obstacles: a Cat2 and a Cat3 climb. A bunch sprint after 157.2 kilometres looked to be expected, although the weather was going to be the biggest problem.

Before the start of the race, the organisers announced that the times for the overall would be taken 5 kilometres from the finish. The heavy rain and wind would make a sprint with a full peloton too risky. With this, the organisers hoped that the finish would be less hectic, as many riders could take it easy for the final 5 kilometres. The rain was coming down heavily. Most riders chose to stay together for the first 10 kilometres, before the first attacks. Alexis Gougeard (Cofidis), Thomas Bonnet (TotalEnergies), Kévin Avoine (Van Rysel-Roubaix) and Alexis Guerin (Philippe Wagner/Bazin) decided to make a race of it.

Canadian Robin Plamondon (CIC U Nantes Atlantique) was also in the leading group. This gave us a lead of five, to which Jonathan Couanon (Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur) joined later. The 6 men quickly managed to build up a 2 minute lead and the situation stayed that way for a long time. The rain continued to fall and the escapees kept their lead stable. The time difference fluctuated between 1 and 2 minutes. Halfway through the race, the sprinter’s teams started to chase. About 30 kilometres from the finish, the peloton had already halved the lead. Decathlon-AG2r La Mondiale and Lidl-Trek doing the work. The lead group also increased the pace and they were down to three men.

Alexis Guerin and Jonathan Couanon were the first to be dropped. Then it was Robin Plamondon who couldn’t hold on. The remaining trio had enough energy to hold on for a long time. With 10 kilometres to go, the peloton was still 40 seconds behind. In the last kilometres, more and more teams put a man on the front of the peloton, causing the lead to drop and so it would be a bunch sprint in Martigues. In the sprint it was Mads Pedersen who was the first over the line. Alex Zingle (Cofidis) and Samuel Watson (Groupama-FDJ) joined him on the peloton. The time measured 5 kilometres before the finish didn’t make any difference and Mads Pedersen held his lead.

Provence 2024

Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek): “It’s only when you cross the line that you realise that you’ve won. Of course, you’re dreaming to win every time you’re on the start line, but it’s only something you can only believe in the last meters. Especially today, with a hectic final, I only knew in the last meters. The plan will be similar tomorrow, we’ll have to control again, and I think the rain plays a bit in our favour so we will try to copy/paste today. The boys did a perfect job. In the last kilometre Alex [Kirsch] and Otto [Vergaerde] kept the peloton in one line and Ryan [Gibbons] kept me out of problems to make sure I could do a good sprint. In the end it was quite a long sprint because we opened a bit of a gap in the last corner but we managed it well and we have to get used to each other with the new sprint train. I don’t love the rain, I just put up with it better than most guys. It was a tough day. I think you’ll see some guys that had a hard time, and the rain and the cold doesn’t make it easier for anyone. Also there was a strong breakaway out there and they played the game really smart. Tim and Julien [Bernard] had to use some bullets today to pull the break back. In general, the Team did a super amazing job today and I’m really proud of them. We’ll try again tomorrow. We’re here to try and keep the jersey and that’s for sure our plan again tomorrow. I like to come to races like Bessèges and Provence for a few reasons. It’s nice to get the lead-out train dialled in and do a good job with the boys, but winning is also good for the self-confidence, plus they are well-organised races and I enjoy racing here.”

Tour de la Provence Stage 1 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 3:32:35
2. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
3. Riley Pickrell (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
4. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ
5. Enzo Boulet (Fra) CIC U Nantes Atlantique
6. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
7. Sandy Dujardin (Fra) TotalEnergies
8. David Dekker (Bel) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
9. Paul Hennequin (Fra) Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur
10. Jon Rye-Johnsen (Nor) CIC U Nantes Atlantique.

Tour de la Provence Overall After Stage 1:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 3:43:26
2. Jakob Söderqvist (Swe) Lidl-Trek at 0:06
3. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 0:10
4. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:11
5. Riley Sheehan (USA) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:12
6. Jérémy Cabot (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
7. Damien Touzé (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
8. Sam Bennett (Irl) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
9. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Lidl-Trek
10. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:13.

Provence’24 stage 1:

 

Mads Pedersen has won yet another stage of the Tour de la Provence. After the prologue and the first stage, the Dane won the Second Stage on Saturday. After early escapee Marco Frigo was caught late in the stage, Pedersen was the fastest of a lead group. Axel Zingle was second again and Clément Champoussin was third.

Tour de Provence 2024

The second road stage of the Tour de la Provence went from Forcalquier to Manosque. On paper it was the most difficult stage of the race. There were several climbs in the first section, after which the Col de l’Aire del Masco (6.6km at 4.8%) followed in the finale. The summit was 25 kilometres from the finish. The last kilometre went uphill at more than 4%. The heavy rain added an extra amount of difficulty.

The day’s break consisted of five riders. Thomas Bonnet, Emmanuel Morin, Kasper Saver, Scott McGill and Marco Frigo joined forces and had a lead of just over 2 minutes. Frigo, of Israel Premier-Tech, turned out to be the strongest at the front. His fellow escapees were dropped one by one, leaving the Italian alone in the lead with 45 kilometres to go. The difference to the peloton was still more than 1 minute while Lidl-Trek set the pace. Mads Pedersen’s men couldn’t easily close the gap. In the rainy conditions, the lone Frigo was not at a disadvantage, because at the top of the Col de l’Aire del Masco he still had almost 1:30. On this climb it was Arkéa-B&B Hotels who attacked. Pedersen tried to neutralise the attacks himself, but eventually allowed Ewen Costiou to go. The Frenchman went after Frigo, but couldn’t close the gap on his own.

After the last climb, about ten riders, including Pedersen, split off the front. They got to Costiou and came closer and closer to Frigo. This was mainly due to Pedersen, who as leader didn’t shy away from the chase work. Frigo reached the last kilometre with a small lead. However, about 400 metres from the finish, his escape was over. It would be a sprint finish. In the sprint, Pedersen had the most left in his legs and he sprinted to victory in hellish conditions. Axel Zingle was able to hold the wheel, the rest lost bike lengths. For Pedersen it was his third victory in a row.

Tour de Provence 2024

Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek): “One of the worst days ever on a bike. Sometimes you just have to go for it and today was one of those days. The boys worked so hard, but it became difficult to get back at the leader. He was, pardon my words, so fucking strong. It wasn’t easy to catch up with him, so I hoped it would be easier with a smaller group. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. That was the case today. In the end it was instinct. I did it by feeling and hoped for the best. It was a difficult situation we were in and the boys had been working very hard for a long time. I thought it would be better if we were in a smaller group where everyone could take their turn, but they didn’t want to cooperate. Not a fun day. I’m just happy to win and the boys got the win. I agree with Julien Bernard that it was one of the worst days ever on a bike. It wasn’t a nice day. We were often at an altitude of about 700 meters, which is not nice when it rains like today and it is two degrees. It was a tough day for everyone. And if you look at the guys who crossed the line, they didn’t look good.”

Tour de la Provence Stage 2 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 4:04:19
2. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
3. Clément Champoussin (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:02
4. Tyler Stites (USA) Project Echelon Racing
5. Alexandre Delettre (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
6. Riley Sheehan (USA) Israel-Premier Tech
7. Lorenzo Germani (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
8. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
9. Ewen Costiou (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
10. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Arkéa-B&B Hotels.

Tour de la Provence Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 7:42:02
2. Bruno Armirail (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 0:24
3. Ewen Costiou (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
4. Riley Sheehan (USA) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:25
5. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:26
6. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis at 0:30
7. Clément Champoussin (Fra) Arkéa-B&B Hotels at 0:32
8. Lorenzo Germani (Ita) Groupama-FDJ at 0:34
9. Marco Frigo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:35
10. Tyler Stites (USA) Project Echelon Racing.

Provence’24 stage 2:

 

No four out of four for Mads Pedersen in the Tour de la Provence. The Dane made a bid for another victory in the Final Stage 3, but was beaten by Tom Van Asbroeck in a slightly uphill sprint. Pedersen was the final overall winner of the French race.

Provence 2024

After a prologue and two road stages, Sunday saw the final stage of the Tour de la Provence. Stage 3 started in Rognac and ended 183 kilometres later in Arles, the home of Vincent Van Gough for some time. The predominantly flat stage would probably end in a sprint.

Mads Pedersen had won all the stages so far in the 2024 Tour de la Provence and on Sunday he had an excellent opportunity to make it a four out of four. The Dane first put his Lidl-Trek teammates to work to ensure an early break. Thibaut Bernard (Bingoal WB), Fabien Grellier (TotalEnergies), Kenny Molly, Kévin Avoine (Van Rysel-Roubaix) and Kasper Saver (Philippe Wagner-Bazin) were in the break. The lead of the five got to about 5 minutes, but they didn’t stay away. The peloton split before the start of the TV broadcast. Due to the wind, the peloton was in several pieces, leaving a first group of about 25 riders.

Mads Pedersen was of course part of that group, as were four of his teammates from Lidl-Trek: Jakob Söderqvist, Tim Declercq, Otto Vergaerde and Alex Kirsch. Some other important riders of the first stages were surprised and had to chase. An important victim was Ewen Costiou, 3rd overall. There was then a big chase form the other team all the way to Arles. The difference between the first echelon and that of Costiou quickly increased to more than 1 minute with just over 40 kilometres to go. The young Frenchman would not return and could forget his overall place. Due to the high pace, there was no more attacking in the final, everyone was ready for a sprint. Pedersen had an excellent opportunity to end the Tour de la Provence undefeated, but he still had to deal with Sam Bennett. The former Irish top sprinter, who hopes to relaunch his career with Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale, also managed to survive the splits and was perhaps the fastest rider in the first group. Pedersen and Bennett also played a leading role in the sprint, but both missed out on the victory.

Pedersen was the first to start the sprint, but was pulled in by Bennett. The Irishman seemed to be on his way to his first victory of 2024, but Bennett was in turn was passed by Tom Van Asbroeck. The 33 year-old Belgian of Israel-Premier Tech came off the wheels with a lot of speed and dealt with Bennett quite easily. It is Van Asbroeck’s first victory in more than four years. His previous victory was Binche-Chimay-Binche 2019. Axel Zingle crossed the line third, ahead of Hugo Hofstetter and Pedersen. The Lidl-Trek rider is the overall winner of the Tour de la Provence 2024. Zingle, 2nd and the Spaniard Raúl García Pierna was 3rd.

Provence 2024

Stage winner, Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel-Premier Tech): “It’s just incredible! I still felt good after two hard days of racing so I was really motivated for this one. We knew there could be echelons and echelons are one of my favourite things so we were ready. In the end, the plan was actually for me to do a lead out for Hugo but I had so much power in my legs so I just kept going and going and going. I can’t believe I won this stage. It’s amazing!”

Final overall winner, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek): “This week there has been a bit of everything and today we had cross winds, so it has definitely been a good week for us and we are happy. Today was a long sprint and I ran out of legs, and in the end the fastest ones beat me. They have done a great job, congratulations. It was logical that we had the entire team in the front group, here we are basically a classics team and I would say that 80% of them are crosswind specialists. It is always a matter of time and you are ready to compete, and you are happy with the outcome.”

3rd overall, Raúl García Pierna (Arkéa-B&B Hotels): “This last stage of the Tour de la Provence was very hard, we knew there would be some echelons on this route. Yes, it is exactly what happens. There were many clear roads and the wind was blowing strong. I was the last rider to enter the primer echelon. Thank you very much to Lukasz (Owsian) and we are very pleased. I have tried the best I could. I am happy with my first podium with my Arkéa jersey, thank you very much for your help and equipment.”

Tour de la Provence Stage 3 Result:
1. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Israel-Premier Tech in 4:10:37
2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
3. Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek
6. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
7. Paul Hennequin (Fra) Nice Métropole Côte d’Azur
8. Sandy Dujardin (Fra) TotalEnergies
9. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ
10. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Arkéa-B&B Hotels.

Tour de la Provence Final Overall Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Lidl-Trek in 11:52:36
2. Axel Zingle Cofidis at 0:29
3. Raúl García Pierna (Spa) Arkéa-B&B Hotels
4. Damien Touzé (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 1:36
5. Alex Kirsch (Lux) Lidl-Trek at 1:41
6. Pierre Gautherat (Fra) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 1:46
7. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) Cofidis at 2:02
8. Jakob Söderqvist (Swe) Lidl-Trek at 2:14
9. Sam Bennett (Irl) Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale at 2:38
10. Samuel Watson (GB) Groupama-FDJ at 3:45.

Provence’24 stage 3:

 

superprestige
Super Prestige Cyclo-Cross – Middlekerke Men 2024
Eli Iserbyt won the Superprestige Middelkerke. For a long time it looked like Joris Nieuwenhuis was on his way to victory, but the Dutch champion blew up in the closing laps. Iserbyt got faster through the race and managed to battle to victory. His teammate Michael Vanthourenhout finished second, ahead of Nieuwenhuis.

Middlekerke 2024

The last round of the Superprestige was on Saturday. Eli Iserbyt had already won the series overall, but he put the icing on the cake in Middelkerke. He had to beat Joris Nieuwenhuis, second in the World championship. Tábor’s third and fourth riders were also starting: Michael Vanthourenhout and Pim Ronhaar.

Vanthourenhout and Ronhaar, didn’t start well. The European champion also got into a fight with Ryan Kamp, after their bikes collided. Eli Iserbyt and Joris Nieuwenhuis avoided the problems. First Iserbyt took the lead, but then Nieuwenhuis took over. The Dutch champion opened a small gap in the opening lap.

Iserbyt couldn’t immediately close that gap, nor could Felipe Orts. As a result, Nieuwenhuis came through after one lap with a lead of 10 seconds over a group that, in addition to Iserbyt and Orts, also included Joran Wyseure, Niels Vandeputte and Jens Adams. Van der Haar was also behind, while Vanthourenhout was catching up a little further back. The last two moved up to third and fourth in the second of eight laps. Wyseure was still off the front, but was caught on the third lap and immediately suffered an equipment problem. It was the end of his race.

Vanthourenhout and Van der Haar, second and third in the race, were 25 seconds behind Nieuwenhuis halfway through the race. Iserbyt looked finished, but in the fifth and sixth laps the Belgian champion really got going. He first picked up Van der Haar, then Vanthourenhout and then also saw Nieuwenhuis. Just before the start of the seventh lap, the connection was made. We now had two front riders. Iserbyt soon left Nieuwenhuis behind. The Dutchman had blown up, because Vanthourenhout also passed Nieuwenhuis. The European champion now went hunting for the Belgian champion. The two teammates rode within seconds of each other. However, in the final lap Iserbyt got further ahead. He managed to secure his 10th victory of the season. Vanthourenhout came second, Nieuwenhuis third.

middlekerke 2024

Race winner, Eli Iserbyt (Bel): “I think Nieuwenhuis seriously came to a standstill. I knew from the start that it was going to be a long race here. I knew from last year that it will happen here in the final. It was super difficult, so I decided to ride at my own pace for the first 40 minutes. At one point I made a lot of mistakes. Then I thought: get that focus back, ride back towards Lars and Michael. I wanted to race to Nieuwenhuis via Michael. It worked. I then saw that I had a gap, but it was very difficult. In Tábor we also saw that Michael was getting closer to Nieuwenhuis. So I knew that he starts very quickly, but that he could have a dip. If his super form from last week was gone, I knew it was possible. Mentally it does a lot if 10 seconds go off immediately and then another 10 seconds. Then it’s a matter of going over and over, and breaking him completely. I think it turned out well. It was extremely tough. In the beginning it didn’t really work for me. Then I went to griffos and rode them for the entire race. That went a little better. I know that my last two or three laps are always good, that I still have something left. That was also the case today. I rode a nice pace until minute 35 or 40 and then tried to speed up. We succeeded today. Tomorrow is going to be difficult. I feel that I have gone deep, but we will do our best. There are still four races left for me, so I hope to win one more.”

2nd, Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel): “I think Ryan still has feelings of revenge after Maldegem. I don’t know what the purpose of that is either. It is frustrating that I lose the race because of this. I think he still finished thirteenth or fourteenth, so I don’t know what his intention is. Anyway, we’ll have to talk about it again. What am I referring to with those feelings of revenge after Maldegem? He also wanted to take the inside bend there. But of course I won’t just give up my place. I think that’s why he lost some places and that’s why he wanted some revenge. Today’s altercation was necessary. I don’t think anyone wants to give up their position at the start. If Ryan wants to play it that way, it’s his thing. I have done my best again and am back on the podium. He always kept those 15 to 20 seconds. I think we were pretty evenly matched. Of course I had to come from a bit further away. I think that will cost me the victory. I was a bit on the limit in that phase, I knew I had to find my own pace for a lap. But I saw that Lars and Eli were hanging on my wheel, so that was not a solution either. I then tried to go with Eli, but that didn’t work. I think I actually did most of the lead work, so I think it’s a bit of a shame that Eli doesn’t wait for me at the end. But hey, that’s how it is now. The race is over. I have to live with that.”

3rd, Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned): “I just didn’t have a very good day, I think. The circuit suited me very well, I just flew into it as I normally do. But halfway through it was just over. Then you can’t do much more on this course. After two or three laps I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to keep going this way until the end. But I heard that the times remained somewhat the same, so I held out hope that they also experienced a bit of decline. But I really couldn’t get through those last few laps. I couldn’t climb those climbs anymore. Then it was really over. This was a good lesson for me. In recent weeks I have moved all the appointments I have at home to after the World championships. I really try to keep the weeks before that empty in my planning. Maybe I’ve done a little too much in recent weeks and then the energy is just gone. I don’t like my birthday that much. I don’t worry about that much. And I have already had a birthday a few times during the Middelkerke cross, so in my head I had connected those two things. But that was not the case.”

Super Prestige Cyclo-Cross – Middlekerke Men Result:
1. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) in 1:01:54
2. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) at 0:23
3. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) at 0:40
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) at 1:05
5. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) at 2:16
6. Jens Adams (Bel) at 2:37
7. Felipe Orts (Spa) at 2:50
8. Pim Ronhaar (Ned) at 3:02
9. Witse Meeussen (Bel) at 3:08
10. Thijs Aerts (Bel) at 3:17.

Middlekerke’24:

 

superprestige
Super Prestige Cyclo-Cross – Middlekerke Women 2024
Lucinda Brand won the last round of the 2024 Superprestige series. The Dutch champion rode away from the competition in Middelkerke in the first lap and then soloed to victory. Second place went to Laura Verdonschot. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, who finished third, secured the overall victory in the Superprestige.

Middlekerke 2024

The final round of the Superprestige was held on Saturday in Middelkerke. Annemarie Worst could still take the overall victory from Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, but she was trailing by 7 points, which was almost an impossible task. In the absence of Fem van Empel, Lucinda Brand was the favourite for the victory.

Brand wasted no time. The best start was for Alvarado, but after the series leader fell, the Dutch champion immediately took over and made a big gap. Alvarado moved back up to second place after her slip. Her direct competitor for the overall victory, Worst, initially followed her lead. But at the start of the second lap, the Cyclocross Reds rider had to step aside. However, in the third of five laps, Alvarado was joined again, but not by Worst. It was Laura Verdonschot who made the crossing. More than that, she went up to and past Alvarado. That was well behind Brand, who would start the final lap with almost a 1 minute lead. In that final lap she was able to take it relatively easy and celebrate her victory. Second place went to Verdonschot, who got further and further ahead of Alvarado in the final laps. Alvarado had to settle for third place in Middelkerke, but only one thing counted for her on Saturday: the overall victory in the Superprestige. And she won it thanks to her podium finish. She extended her lead over Worst in the final lap and won the series by a wide margin.

Middlekerke 2024

Race winner, Lucinda Brand (Ned): “It is very nice to take another victory this season. It was very tough. It was just a very slow pace, there was no real momentum anywhere. Of course, that was also because I rode the entire cross on my own, at one steady pace. I was very happy with that, because there wasn’t much more to it. I saw her make that slip, so of course I didn’t hesitate to just keep going at my own pace. It’s nice if you have the space and you’re not in someone’s wheel on this lap. The power is still good. In any case, this is nicely on the honours list and who knows what will come next.”

2nd, Laura Verdonschot (Bel): “The ambition was to ride on the podium in one of the classification races and we succeeded here. I hope I will have even better legs tomorrow, or at least have recovered well. I’m preying on a duck from the X2O, for my sister’s children. I hope that’s in there. Lille is a home cross, with a lot of people. But when you race around like this, everyone is rooting for you. I have experienced it differently. The first round is often the problem for me. I had a good start, but in the first corner I made a wrong shift. I got myself stuck. Then they come from behind. I thought: just pass, I’ll see where I end up. I didn’t go too far and got into my rhythm, while the others fell back. So I was in second position fairly quickly. I think this is more highly regarded. If you can stand next to Lucinda and Alvarado on the podium, it is really a picture to take in. I’m proud of that. How important is the mental aspect? Very important. I think that’s the most important thing in a top athlete’s career. If I wasn’t mentally healthy at the start, I wouldn’t have performed here either.”

3rd, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned): “I am certainly happy with that. I am happy that today I managed to keep my leader’s jersey and become the final winner. I slipped, I was even surprised, it came out of the blue.I picked myself up, but Lucinda rode so fast in the first lap. My back was bothering me the whole race, so I tried to go at my own pace. In the end, that just resulted in a third place, because Marion (Norbert Riberolle) also came quite close. No, driving around like that is not fun. It is not fun mentally or physically. We decided together with the team that this is my last race. This is where it ends for me. I think my back is very happy with that. I won two series, so it was a great season. Without the back problems I would have continued to the end, but with my back that would not have been possible.”

Super Prestige Cyclo-Cross – Middlekerke Women Result:
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned)
2. Laura Verdonschot (Bel)
3. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Ned)
4. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel)
5. Annemarie Worst (Ned)
6. Leonie Bentveld (Ned)
7. Aniek van Alphen (Ned)
8. Alicia Franck (Bel)
9. Sanne Cant (Bel)
10. Julie Brouwers (bel).

Middlekerke’24:

 

badkamer
X2O Trofee Lille – Men 2024
Sunday was a special day for Niels Vandeputte. The Belgian of Alpecin-Deceuninck took his first victory in a cyclo-cross series in the X2O Trophy Lille. After an exciting final, Vandeputte beat Joris Nieuwenhuis and Joran Wyseure.

Lille 2024

A day after the last Superprestige race in Middelkerke, was the penultimate round of the X20 Bathrooms Trophy in Lille. The Krawatencross has been held in the Recreational area De Lilse Bergen for many years. In the men’s race, there was an to be an expected clash between Lars van der Haar, the leader in the X2O Trophy, Eli Iserbyt, Michael Vanthourenhout and Joris Nieuwenhuis. Pim Ronhaar wasn’t on the start line due to illness.

The best start was not for Iserbyt, Nieuwenhuis or Vanthourenhout, but Mees Hendrikx. The Dutchman hoped to get into the spotlight with a good start. Hendrikx was soon overtaken by the top riders. Nieuwenhuis, Van der Haar, Niels Vandeputte, Joran Wyseure, Felipe Orts and the strong Thijs Aerts formed the first lead group.

Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal pair of Iserbyt and Vanthourenhout had missed their start and had to chase. While Vanthourenhout continued to struggle a bit, Iserbyt slowly but surely gained power. The Belgian champion managed to pick up one rider after another, but after four laps he was still 15 seconds behind. Joris Nieuwenhuis pushed hard several times and managed to thin out the leading group. It was too fast for Aerts and the Spanish champion Orts. More surprising was Van der Haar, who was unable to keep up with the pace of his teammate Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis’s pace was exceptionally high, but this was disrupted in the 5th lap by a crash by the Dutchman. Nieuwenhuis made a somersault with his bike just before the pits. Wyseure and Vandeputte were now in the lead, but Nieuwenhuis managed to catch up again, just before the penultimate lap.

Nieuwenhuis, Vandeputte and Wyseure were in the lead with two laps to go. Van der Haar was fourth at about 15 seconds and seemed to be out of contention for the win, but Iserbyt was further back. Vandeputte, Nieuwenhuis and Wyseure would battle it out for the win. Wyseure had to drop out in the final lap. Most eyes were on Nieuwenhuis, but the Dutchman couldn’t match his Belgian opponent. Vandeputte attacked in front of the VIP tent, made a small gap and maintained his effort to the finish. The 23 year-old Belgian took his first victory in a cyclo-cross series race and the biggest victory of his cross career. Nieuwenhuis was second, Wyseurde third. Van der Haar crossed the line in fourth place, which was good for overall victory in the X2O Trophy. The Dutchman finished 17 seconds ahead of his only remaining rival, Iserbyt, and is now even further ahead in the standings. Van der Haar has a lead of two and a half minutes with the final round to go in Brussels.

gallery

Race winner, Niels Vandeputte (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “This is extremely important. It is really incredible. I have very few words for this. It was already in my head yesterday (Saturday). I like coming to Lille and have shown beautiful things here in the past. I knew where to do it and it went as I had imagined. I don’t really know what to say now… I chose to ride in third position, which of course entails risks. The second man can always make a mistake. I wanted to launch an attack in front of the VIP tent. No one appeared to be able to respond immediately. Afterwards I wanted to stay as clear as possible in the technical zone and I succeeded. In the last sandy strip I had a few metres to gain, although I only saw it when I turned onto the final straight. The feeling of winning a classification cross is truly incredible. I’m very happy that it worked out this season. This is extremely important. I have made progress in recent years, but it is less noticeable this year if you look at the development of Joris and Pim (Ronhaar). The fact that I am now winning here shows that I am on the right track.”

2nd, Joris Nieuwenhuis (Baloise Trek Lions): “I felt very good today. I got off to a good start. At the beginning of the cross I was actually in two minds. I had Lars’s ranking (Van der Haar is the leader of the X2O Trophy) in my head. Eli (Iserbyt) was behind us and so I wanted to push hard during the first two laps. I also felt good, until my crash. I fell badly on my head and neck. Afterwards I wasn’t really into it for a while, I lost my focus a bit. At one point I managed to get through again, but Niels (Vandeputte) rode a very strong last lap. Would I have won without that fall? No idea. Niels always drives well here. I expected him to compete for the win today. It’s nice to see.”

X2O Trofee Lille – Men Result:
1. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 59:25
2. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions 0:05
3. Joran Wyseure (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 0:15
4. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:23
5. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:40
6. Jens Adams (Bel) Athletes For Hope at 0:41
7. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal 0:43
8. Cameron Mason (GB) Cyclocross Reds at 0:54
9. Felipe Orts (Spa) La Vila Joiosa-Neteo at 1:18
10. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 1:35.

Lille’24:

 

badkamer
X2O Trofee Lille – Women 2024
Fem van Empel won her last cyclo-cross of the season. The World champion was clearly the strongest in the X2O Trophy of Lille and soloed to her nineteenth victory of the season. Lucinda Brand was second, Laura Verdonschot third.

Lille 2024

A day after the decisive Superprestige competition in Middelkerke, the penultimate round of the X20 Bathrooms Trophy was Lille. Recreational area De Lilse Bergen has been the setting for the Krawatencross for many years as it was again today. There was no tension in the overall, but there were still plenty of reasons for a good race. This would be Fem van Empel’s last race this cyclo-cross season.

The World champion still had the motivation to make something of the day, which was evident at the start. The Visma | Lease a Bike rider got off to a good start and was the first onto the grass. Her biggest rival for the victory, Lucinda Brand, was also alert and appeared to be the only one able to follow Van Empel’s opening pace. Laura Verdonschot had a poorer start, but the Belgian managed to advance very quickly. Verdonschot moved up to third position in no time, but was already about 10 seconds behind Van Empel. The latter had no intention of slowing down and already gave up quite a bit in the opening lap. Brand had to make every effort to catch up, but she succeeded. Third, fourth and fifth in the race: Verdonschot, Annemarie Worst and Leonie Bentveld followed within 15 seconds after one lap.

After just 7 minutes of racing, only two riders could take the victory: Van Empel and Brand. Van Empel decided to push on again in the second lap. The Dutch champion lost about 10 seconds and Van Empel managed to continue to expand her lead in the remainder of the race. The cross lost its excitement as Van Empel once again appeared to be unbeatable and the other podium places were also secured. At one point Verdonschot seemed to threaten Brand, but she still had something left in the tank and managed to keep the Belgian behind her. This all happened behind Fem van Empel, who rode comfortably to her 19th victory of the 2024 cyclo-cross season in the final round. Van Empel also won the X2O Trophy overall. There is the final round in Brussels next week, but her lead can’t be beaten.

Koksijde 2024

Race winner, Fem van Empel (Visma | Lease a Bike): “I am happy that I can end with a victory. I wanted to thank the supporters for the past season. That is sometimes forgotten. I’m happy to end the season with a win. It really flew by. On the one hand, it is a shame that I have already ridden my last cross, but it is also good to recharge the batteries.”

2nd, Lucinda Brand (Baloise Trek Lions): “Fem was clearly the best again. She can start a little faster after a bend and her top speed is also a little higher. I tried to get away from her for a moment, but that turn was over quickly. Laura has really picked up steam in recent weeks. She put good pressure in the background. It certainly wasn’t a smooth ride to the finish. But I knew I had to save something for the last lap. It is important to stay sharp, even though I did make a small mistake every now and then. But that was apparently also the case with Laura. I can look back on a good weekend. It’s always nice to win a cross. Second was the highest possible today.”

3rd, Laura Verdonschot (De Ceuster-Bonache): “It is a beautiful day today. My family is very happy with the duck I collected. My godchildren were already beaming in the tent. I got close to Lucinda, but at one point I had to deal with a slow puncture, or so it felt. I played it safe and decided to switch, but that didn’t go very smoothly. I also missed my start and by then the gap had actually already been made. We hung on to our positions, although Lucinda was also slightly stronger. I thought for a moment that I would have to ride to the finish with Annemarie. I already thought: fuck, there goes my duck. But in the end I was able to put enough pressure in the sand passages and I was able to ride away. I hope to continue racing with these legs in the coming weeks. Then there is still something beautiful in it.”

X2O Trofee Lille – Women Result:
1. Fem van Empel (Ned) Visma | Lease a Bike in 41:52
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:36
3. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache at 0:51
4. Annemarie Worst (Ned) Cyclocross Reds at 1:09
5. Leonie Bentveld (Ned) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:23
6. Sanne Cant (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 1:52
7. Manon Bakker (Ned) Crelan-Fristads at 1:56
8. Marion Norbert Riberolle (Bel) Crelan-Fristads at 2:15
9. Aniek van Alphen (Ned) Cyclocross Reds
10. Alicia Franck (Bel) De Ceuster-Bonache.

Lille’24:

 

BORA 2024
Primoz Roglic’s 2024 Race Program to the Tour
Primož Roglič is looking forward to success in the 2024 Tour de France and is building up to the French Grand Tour with few races and more training camps. He is one of the best all-round riders and can be the top performer in the time trials, climbing and attacking. This is his program up to the Tour.

Primož Roglič’s Race Schedule:
03-03 – 10-03 Paris-Nice
01-04 – 06-04 Itzulia Basque Country
02-06 – 09-06 Criterium du Dauphine
29-06 – 21-07 Tour de France.

Roglič sets out his early season:
bora 2024

 

tudor
Alberto Dainese Will Miss Spanish One-Day Races and Volta ao Algarve Due to Training Crash
Alberto Dainese will not be at the start of the Spanish races in Murcia and Almería this weekend. The Italian sprinter of the Tudor team crashed during training and injured his face and jaw, the Swiss team announced in a press release.

Alberto Dainese moved from dsm-firmenich PostNL to Tudor at the end of last season. With his new team, the Italian sprinted to second place in the Trofeo Ses Salines-Felanitx. But now, Dainese will not be able to continue showing his good form in Murcia, Almeriá and the Volta ao Algarve.

It is not yet known how long the sprinter will be out of action, but his team does say that he did not suffer any fractures in the fall during training. It is certain that the Italian will not be in action again in the next two weeks.

Alberto Dainese out for at least two weeks:
giro23st17

 

medellin
Óscar Sevilla had to Abandon Tour Colombia After a Crash
Óscar Sevilla was in a very good position after three days in the Tour Colombia, but the now 47 year-old Spaniard had to leave the race after a crash. Sevilla has suffered fractures to his left collarbone and in his costal arch.

The crash happened in the final of the difficult third stage to Tunja. The victory went to national champion Alejandro Osorio, but in a group behind Sevilla was compromised in the sprint. “With 500 metres to go, Óscar was involved in a fall with several riders, and came into contact with the fences,” his Medellín team said.

Because Sevilla crashed in the last three kilometres, he was put at the same time as the group he was in at that moment. In this way he lost only 11 seconds overall. As a result, he dropped to third place, but he could still competed for the overall victory. It turned out to be no longer necessary, because examination in the hospital revealed fractures in the collarbone and the costal arch. Stitches were also needed in his face and shoulder, but surgery was not necessary.

Sevilla out of the Tour Colombia:
San Juan - Argentina- wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Oscar Sevilla (Medellin) pictured during Vuelta a San Juan 2017 - 36th Edition - stage 3 - from San Juan to San Juan (14,4 KM) ITT - photo ilario Biondi/LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2018

 

dsm postal
Fabio Jakobsen Abandoned the Muscat Race After a Minor Crash
Fabio Jakobsen didn’t finish his first race for dsm-firmenich PostNL. The sprinter of the Dutch team crashed early in the Muscat Classic, a one-day race in the run-up to the Tour of Oman.

Jakobsen also suffered a puncture early in the Muscat Classic (UCI 1.1) and crashed. “Even though he got back on the bike and felt good, Fabio has now gotten off the bike,” dsm-firmenich PostNL wrote on social media.

The hilly finale of the Muscat Classic was certainly not suitable for Jakobsen. For him, the opening stage of the Tour of Oman, on Saturday, was more interesting. It is the only sprint opportunity in that stage race. “The combination of the Tour of Oman with the UAE Tour is attractive,” he said. “Because you can get used to the race here and you can start in UAE with competitive legs.”

Jakobsen abandoned Muscat:
Muscat 2024

 

lotto
Florian Vermeersch Out of Action for Six Months After a Serious Crash
Florian Vermeersch’s femur fracture, sustained in the Tour of Murcia, is a major blow to Lotto Dstny’s spring plans. Sports director Dirk Demol was the first to reach his rider, who crashed hard on a descent. “I immediately knew that we had lost him for a long time,” Demol told Het Nieuwsblad. “He was crying and groaning in pain.”

It is expected that Vermeersch, who underwent surgery on Saturday evening, will be out of action for approximately six months after a crash on the descent of the Bermejo climb. From the team car, Demol heard about the crash. “When I saw Florian lying two metres deeper along the other side of the wooden balustrade, I knew it immediately,” he said.

“He must have hit the wooden balustrade with his left thigh. I didn’t dare look much at his leg. I sat there for ten minutes. He was deeply involved in it,” said Demol. “In principle he is out of action for six months, but on the other hand he is an athlete and they can come back much faster than a normal mortal. But we will have lost him for a long time anyway.”

The team’s other leader, Arnaud De Lie, who had retired from the race, was also in the team car that stopped with Vermeersch. “It wasn’t a pretty sight,” he said. “Florian is not only a very good teammate, but also a leader. I hoped his fall wouldn’t be too bad, but when I saw him lying there I feared the worst. Obviously this changes our plans a bit. We still have a good team, but I would rather have Florian with me in the spring races.”

No spring for Florian Vermeersch due to a broken femur in Murcia:
Vermeersch 2023

 

belgium
Greg Van Avermaet Can Ride Unbound Gravel
Greg Van Avermaet will make his debut next summer in Unbound Gravel, one of the largest and most prestigious gravel events in the United States. The now retired Olympic champion had registered for a draw and, according to the organisers, he won a place.

“We are very happy to welcome Olympic champion and Paris-Roubaix winner Greg Van Avermaet to the starting line in June,” said the Unbound Gravel organisers. “Greg has pulled his lucky ticket in the lottery and will report to us in Gravel City to compete against the best gravel racers in North America. It’s time for this Belgian legend to see what the Flint Hills look like.”

In the comments under Unbound Gravel’s Instagram post, some followers question the draw from which Van Avermaet emerged as the winner of a participation ticket. They think it is no coincidence that the Olympic champion has received an invitation.

Last autumn, Van Avermaet won his first triathlon. Next year he will compete in more gravel races in addition to Unbound, especially in Europe.

This year, Unbound Gravel 200 will take place on June 1, 2024. Last year, the victory in Kansas after a 10-hour race, went to Keegan Swenson and former pro cyclist Laurens ten Dam finished fourth. The year before, Dutchman Ivar Slik won a tough edition of the gravel classic

Van Avermaet to Unbound?
strade bianche

 

soudal quick-step 2024
Listen in to The Wolfpack Howls
Brand new podcast gives insight into Soudal Quick-Step

The Wolfpack Howls, the brand-new official podcast from Soudal Quick-Step, is now available to listen to on Spotify. The show will be out several times a month, bringing you the latest news from within the team, as well as introducing the characters and giving some insight into what makes us one of the most successful squads in the history of cycling.

But as well as just hearing about it, we would like to you get involved. Every week we will have a special guest and we are inviting you to send in your questions. Make sure you keep an eye out on our social media channels for more details.

To hear the preview episode, see here.

Soudal 2024

 

intermarche wanty 2024
Medical update – Wout Geerinckx and Obie Vidts Progress in their Rehabilitation
A month and a half after being hit head-on by a car during the collective training camp of Wanty-ReUz-Technord in the province of Alicante, Wout Geerinckx and Obie Vidts have taken a new step forward in their rehabilitation in recent days.

As a result of the accident on 19th of December 2023, both riders of the Continental Development team suffered multiple injuries and fractures, impeding them to cycle on the road for several months. After the crash, Obie Vidts had surgery for the multiple fractures in both hands in the hospital of Herentals in Belgium and is now allowed to train outdoors.

As for Wout Geerinckx, who suffered a fractured right elbow, left knee, femur and arm and underwent surgery in the hospitals of Benidorm and Herentals, he was allowed to stand on his left leg for the first time.

Gerald Ackerl (Head doctor): “The recovery process of Wout Geerinckx and Obie Vidts is evolving in a good way. All wounds have completely healed and there are positive signs that also the recovery of their fractures is on a good way. After an X Ray examination on Monday 5th of February, Wout received green lights to start the next step of his rehabilitation. He is now allowed to move and to use half of his body weight on his left leg. We expect him to start riding on an ergonomic bike in two weeks, before his next appointment on 18th of March. If this evolution also shows further encouraging signs, he will be able to start strength training. As for Obie, he rode outside for the first time on Monday 5th of February. However, he still has to be careful with his hands for at least two weeks because of the pin in his little finger. After the removal of the pin on 20th of February it will take some time to recover the movement of the tendons. After the recent progress in the healing processes our U23 riders can look optimistic to the next steps in their rehabilitation.”

Wout Geerinckx: “Since I left hospital three weeks ago, I’ve been feeling progression every day. This Wednesday, the doctors confirmed this positive impression during a thorough check-up. They seemed rather surprised by the relatively rapid recovery process. I’ve been given a go to start rehabilitation and take my first steps on crutches. Every bit of progress, no matter how small, makes me very happy. Now I can look towards the future. Maybe in a few weeks time I’ll even be able to exercise on a hometrainer. On the long term, I can’t wait to return with the team to train and hopefully even participate in a few races at the end of the year. I wish Wanty-ReUz-Technord all the best for the start of the season and I’d like to thank everyone for the many messages of support that helped me through the toughest moments.”

Obie Vidts: “The first month after the accident was difficult, because I couldn’t do anything with my hands. But now I go to the physiotherapist every day for my rehabilitation and I can also train on the rollers. This week, we found an alternative to indoor training thanks to the cycling track in Borsbeke, where I can ride outdoors on good road surface and in safe circumstances without traffic. In two weeks time, the pin will be removed from my little finger, that’s the next step I’m looking forward to.”

Wout Geerinckx and Obie Vidts recovering:
Wanty 24

 

merckx ridley
Ridley and Eddy Merckx Put De Lie and Bardet Bikes on Sale
Because Belgian Cycling Factory no longer supplies bikes to the Lotto Dstny and Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale team, the Belgian company is putting the old racing bikes up for sale during a sales weekend. The bikes of the brands Ridley and Eddy Merckx are available on February 17 and 18.

The sponsorship contract between Belgian Cycling Factory and Lotto Dstny was terminated early after last season. This is the reason for the bicycle manufacturer from Belgium to sell the team’s Ridley bicycles to the wider public during a special sales weekend. The older Eddy Merckx bicycles from the collaboration with the then AG2R La Mondiale are also on offer.

The Belgian manufacturer has said that the old bikes of Caleb Ewan, Arnaud De Lie, Thomas De Gendt and Romain Bardet, and others, have been technically checked and approved. Each bike is in good condition and shows at most some paint damage.

The Ridley bicycles are offered from 3,500 euros, while the cycles from the former AG2R La Mondiale are available from 2,199 euros. All bikes are displayed in different sizes and with various equipment. Payment can be made in cash or by bank or credit card. The bikes are for sale on Saturday, February 17 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, and Sunday, February 18 between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM at Flanders’ Bike Valley, at Tervantstraat 2b in Beringen.

Buy Arnaud De Lie’s bike:
quebec23

 

derby
Derbywheel Successfully Completes the First Phase of Launch Plan
Inaugural Derbywheel Riders Will Now be Selected

DerbyWheel (DW), the pioneering new global Professional Keirin concept, has reached a significant milestone with the successful completion of the first phase of its launch plan.

With successful rider inductions completed in Manchester, UK, Melbourne, Australia and Seoul, Korea, attracting 343 riders from over 26 different countries worldwide, the inaugural DerbyWheel riders will now be selected.

During the induction process, riders underwent rigorous physical tests, including the flying 200m time trial and Wattbike 30-second sprint power test. These tests provided valuable data used to classify riders who met the minimum requirements into one of three categories: S Class, A Class, and B Class.

Additionally, a series of workshops were conducted to educate riders on DerbyWheel rules and procedures, including an Integrity workshop delivered by DerbyWheel’s integrity partner, Sportradar.

Looking ahead, the initial group of riders who meet the minimum requirements will be confirmed in the coming weeks and invited to become the inaugural DerbyWheel racers. Some of them will also participate in a test event scheduled for late April before the official commencement of the first full season in early June.

James Pope, CEO of DerbyWheel, said: “The UK induction marked a key milestone in our preparation to launch DerbyWheel. The induction process was a great success and we have been excited to see the calibre of riders who are interested in participating in Pro Keirin.

“As part of the process, we interviewed all the riders and asked what their main motivation was to participate in DerbyWheel. The overwhelming response was that riders want more racing opportunities either to gain more experience or to continue doing the sport they love.

“This reinforces our vision for DerbyWheel to complement the existing track cycling calendar to provide regular racing for riders of all levels. We are now excited to move to the next phase as we gear up to launch global Pro Keirin racing later this year.”

Speaking on DerbyWheel from a rider’s perspective, former Keirin World Champion Shane Perkins said: “Derby Wheel is a great initiative for track cycling’s future. It will create opportunities for athletes to race more than they ever have, attract more cyclists and retain them within the sport.

“I was very fortunate to have had a similar opportunity during my cycling career and race in Japanese keirin which provided me the means to continue on my cycling journey. I’m very excited about what is to come within DerbyWheel and the opportunities it will provide not only to myself as a rider but to all athletes within our sport to be professional keirin riders.”

Commonwealth Games Keirin silver medalist Lewis Oliva added: “I was so excited to be included in the recent DerbyWheel induction event in Manchester. It has inspired me to get back into the world of racing after five years away from the sport. It’s obvious to see how well run and professional Derby Wheel is and I can’t wait for the upcoming keirin season.”

Details of the DerbyWheel 2024 season will be announced later this year. More information can be found at www.derbywheel.com. With over 550 riders registered, additional inductions will be hosted later this year for the riders who couldn’t attend.

Derbywheels 2024

 

gran camiño
Vingegaard will have to deal with Quintana, Bernal, Rodriguez and Carapaz in O Gran Camiño
Jonas Vingegaard will not have it as easy this year in O Gran Camiño as last year. Back then, the Tour winner of Jumbo-Visma had to compete against Jesús Herrada and Ruben Guerreiro, but this year he will face Nairo Quintana and Iván Ramiro Sosa and others. These two will lead the Movistar team.

The organisers of O Gran Camiño, also known as the Tour of Galicia, shared Movistar’s seven-man selection on Thursday. Quintana will make his official return to Europe with Movistar. Last month he rode the national championship in Colombia and rode the Tour Colombia last week.

Quintana will be joined by Sosa, home rider Carlos Canal, Gregor Mühlberger, Will Barta, Jorge Arcas and Antonio Pedrero. With these seven, Movistar will compete with Visma | Lease a Bike, which, in addition to defending champion Jonas Vingegaard, also seems to be sending Wilco Kelderman and Cian Uijtdebroeks, Ben Tulett and Johannes Staune-Mittet.

The four-day stage race can count on even more interesting names, because also Egan Bernal, Carlos Rodriguez (both INEOS Grenadiers), Richard Carapaz, Rigoberto Urán, Hugh Carthy (all EF Education-EasyPost), David Gaudu and Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) are on the provisional start list. O Gran Camiño will be held from February 22-25.

Maybe not so easy for Vingegaard this year:
camino

 

scheldeprijs
Scheldeprijs Announces Teams for 2024
The Scheldprijs has announced the participating teams for the upcoming edition. The BEAT Cycling Club and Tarteletto-Isorex have been invited as a Continental teams. Tour de Tietema-Unibet, Tudor, Bingoal WB, Flanders-Baloise and Q36.5 are among others.

In addition to eleven WorldTeams and the three best ProTeams of 2023: Lotto Dstny, Israel-Premier Tech and Uno-X Mobility, eight other teams will be at the start of the Scheldeprijs in 2024. ProTeams Tour de Tietema-Unibet, Tudor, Bingoal WB, Flanders-Baloise, TotalEnergies and Q36.5 have all been invited. There are also two Continental teams: The Dutch BEAT Cycling Club and the Belgian Tarteletto-Isorex. Last year, BEAT was also at the start of the spring classic, but not Tarteletto-Isorex.

In the women’s race, there are sixteen continental teams to compete against the seven WorldTour teams, including SD Worx-Protime, Visma | Lease a Bike and Fenix-Deceuninck. This year the Scheldeprijs will be held on April 3rd.

Always echelons in the Scheldeprijs:
Scheldeprijs

 

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