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Bogense - Denmark - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands / Team Corendon - Circus) pictured during the World Championships cyclocross for elite men in Bogense, Denmark - photo NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2019

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Mathieu van der Poel took back the cross rainbow jersey – All the results from Denmark. Froome pushes Thomas to Italy – Top Story. Lots of race news from San Juan, Jayco Herald Sun Tour and Mallorca and we look forward to the Volta a Valencia. Other news: Two more years for Alvaro Hodeg, Richard Groenendaal works for SEG, Amgen Tour of California 2019 Route, Giro del Belvedere, Women’s Strade Bianche, Tour of Britain, TSG Cycling Team and Max Richeze’s San Juan video. Big Monday EuroTrash coffee time.

TOP STORY: “Geraint, ride the Giro” says Chris
Chris Froome should become a diplomat. In an interview with the Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, the four time Tour and one time Giro and Vuelta winner suggested that the 2018 Tour de France winner and Sky teammate, Geraint Thomas, should ride the Italian Grand Tour. “The route is perfect for him.” As Froome rode the 2018 Giro and then couldn’t/didn’t win the Tour, he might just be hoping for the same for Thomas. That fifth Tour win must be very important. “Geraint’s victory at the Tour made me really happy”, I’m sure it did, but winning his fifth Tour would have made him even happier.

Of course there will be other riders at all these races, we shouldn’t just expect Sky riders to be fighting over the spoils.

‘Who’s the Daddy!’

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships – Bogense 2019
After dominating the last two cyclo-cross seasons, Mathieu van der Poel took the rainbow jersey for the second time in his career on Sunday in Bogense, Denmark. The Dutchman had the company of Wout van Aert for half of the race, but rode away from the Belgian for the win.

The tactics of the Belgian team was clear: They would try to prevented top favorite Van der Poel from escaping in a fast move off the front. Van der Poel did not take any notice and shot out of the starting blocks and was the first to onto the course, ahead of a keen looking Wout van Aert. Toon Aerts had a bad start, but like the others, he managed to return to the lead when the Big Two hit the asphalt towards the finish.

On lap two Van der Poel took another chance leave the opposition. It was the Belgians who took matters into their own hands. Van Aert let his countryman Aerts escape, but Van der Poel did not hesitate and pulled Aerts back. The European champion displayed his technical mastery on the adverse camber section, while Aerts had to go by foot and got in the way of Van Aert. This allowed Van der Poel to take a six second lead.

On the straight sections Aerts rode hard to rectify his mistake, but only when Van Aert put in an effort on the technical section did the chase get any closer. 6 seconds became 4, and eventually he closed the gap on Van der Poel. Van Aert did what no one else has managed to do this season – Catch Van der Poel. No one else could go with the Belgian and within two laps they had 2 minutes.

Van Aert took control, but just before the notorious camber, Van der Poel came to the front. Again his technical ability gave him a perfect line. Van Aert was on foot again and was and lost the wheel, this time he wouldn’t be able to pull back the Dutchman. Van Aert had used up his strength on that first chase.

In the second half of the race; Van der Poel built his lead to a reassuring 30 seconds. Van Aert didn’t seem to be able to recover from his efforts and Toon Aerts managed to get up to him. On the final lap, the two Belgians made a good battle for the lower steps of the podium, until Aerts crashed and had to content himself with bronze. Van der Poel finished in tears and lifted his bike above his head as he crossed the finish line.

Click on the photo to see the attack of Van der Poel on Sporza

World Cyclo-Cross champion 2019, Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands): “A lot of weight fell off my shoulders when I crossed the finish line, it was a very long course for me, but at last everything fell together, the race was tough, we rode on rhino tubes and it was kind of hard to make some speed. But I felt they were good. Wout rode a strong first half. When he came back I had to be mentally strong I’m glad I could finish it I had a great season and started today with a lot of confidence. But it’s still a World championships and it’s always hard to win, I’m glad to be allowed to ride in the rainbow jersey again, that’s too long ago.”

2nd, Wout van Aert (Belgium): “Mathieu van der Poel deserves it. Based on his season, but also based on his race today. I give everything today. I have been able to make it difficult for Mathieu – half an hour – to get the highest place possible. A race must always be driven. And yes, I felt good, also the last days, building for here. But Mathieu did a flawless course today. Even when I connected back and could make him nervous, he kept doing his own thing. Until you get in the race with tired legs and then you start making mistakes. That part simply shows who the better is. In any case, I have the feeling that I have made a new start. I took silver here at the World championships and you cannot do that if you’re bad. I have a very good foundation to build on. If I am free in the head, the click can come quickly. Now let me just do it. I’ll be back in the circus within a month.”

3rd, Toon Aerts (Belgium): “I quickly made the decision to go after Mathieu and close the gap instead of waiting for Wout to try again. We talked about it and I think it was also the best decision. Wout said that too. I wanted to get Mathieu. When you return to him, the race is open again. But we have to admit that we saw that Mathieu had a very good day again. That he did not have the World championship stress we were hoping for. So chapeau for Mathieu and his season. I have to admit that I found myself that I also had better legs in the second half than in the first. That has been the World championship stress for me. I felt that I was getting closer to Wout and that gave me wings to try to go for the silver. I got my first medal at a World Cup today, I never could have done that with the youth. So I am proud “

6th, Lars van der Haar (Netherlands): “I think I was in fourth or fifth place, but at a certain point I was in a difficult group and then I had to ride a few times, then Corné (van Kessel) made a mistake on the adverse camber, just at the moment I had a problem. That was a shame, because he was one that I hoped to be able to follow, that could have given me a fourth or fifth place. It was our intention to entice Wout (van Aert) out and that succeeded, I think that the effort he had to make then gave Mathieu the victory.”

UCI Elite Men’s Cyclo-Cross World Championship Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) in 1:09:20
2. Wout van Aert (Belgium) at 0:16
3. Toon Aerts (Belgium) at 0:25
4. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) at 0:50
5. Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) at 1:01
6. Lars van der Haar (Netherlands) at 1:10
7. Quinten Hermans (Belgium) at 1:24
8. Marcel Meisen (Germany) at 1:29
9. Jens Adams (Belgium) at 1:31
10. Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) at 1:33.

World men’s podium:

The finish:

UCI Elite Women’s Cyclo-Cross World Championship Result:
1. Sanne Cant (Belgium) in 47:53
2. Lucinda Brand (Netherlands) at 0:09
3. Marianne Vos (Netherlands) at 0:15.


UCI U23 Women’s Cyclo-Cross World Championship Result:
1. Inge Van Der Heijden (Netherlands) in 42:09
2. Fleur Nagengast (Netherlands) at 0:03
3. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado (Netherlands) at 0:08.

Van der Heijden:

UCI U23 Men’s Cyclo-Cross World Championship Result:
1. Thomas Pidcock (Great Britain) in 47:42
2. Eli Iserbyt (Belgium) at 0:15
3. Antoine Benoist (France) at 0:23.


UCI Junior Men’s Cyclo-Cross World Championship Result:
1. Ben Tulett (Great Britain) in 42:29
2. Witse Meeussen (Belgium) at 0:20
3. Ryan Cortjens (Belgium) at 0:27.


Vuelta a San Juan Internacional 2019
Winner Anacona (Movistar) won Stage 5 of the Vuelta a San Juan and took over the GC lead fromJulian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) by 41 seconds. On the final climb of the Alto del Colorado Anacona attacked with César Paredes (Medellin) to catch Cristhian Montoya (Medellin). Anacona then out-sprinted the other two for the win.

Nine riders escaped early in the race: Rasmus Tiller, Nelson Soto, Ottavio Dotti, Matúš Štoček, Adrián Richeze, Gerardo Tivani, Iginio Lucero, José Martínez and Maxi Navarrete. Another six riders joined them some time later: Cristhian Montoya, Damiano Cima, Giovanni Pedretti, Kevin Castro, Facundo Cattapán and Orlando Garibay.

Lucera was the first over the top of the Alto de Villicum, the first climb of the day. On the Baños de Talacasto, the second climb, Cattapán crossed the line first. The Argentinian decided not to wait for his fellow escapees and crossed the Alto de la Crucecita, the third climb of the day, solo and then sat up.

The chase group of Cristhian Montoya, Gerardo Tivani and Orlando Garibay were on the final climb of Alto del Colorado when the peloton exploded under the impetus of the Movistar team. Anacona who lit the fuse at the foot of the climb and attacked.

Anacona had César Paredes with him and at 4 kilometers from the finish they caught Montoya, the last man fo the break. The two Medellín riders didn’t help the Movistar man, but it was Anacona who took the win.

The Deceuninck – Quick-Step team of Alaphilippe, with teammates Petr Vakoč and Remco Evenepoel, could not stop Anacona from taking the overall lead. The Frenchman tried to escape twice with Nairo and Dayer Quintana, but each time they were pulled in by the other favorites. Alaphilippe crossed the line in 14th place at 57 seconds from Anacona and is now in second place with two stages remaining.

Winner Anacona: “I feel so happy about this victory. It’s been four years since the last time I won, and this is a big moment for me. This was one of my main goals for 2019 – claiming a victory – and I’m so glad to have achieved it so early. I feel at ease when I work for my team-mates, both Nairo and the rest of the team, but I can’t deny this was an aspiration of mine, and it should give me confidence to move forward and become a better rider. And indeed, this win was a consequence of perfect teamwork. They protected me well, they gave me the confidence I needed, and I can’t thank them enough for their work for me. This was a stage we had to take advantage from – the only mountain-top finish, the last chance. My attack was our plan to test the waters, to see how our rivals were doing, and I didn’t think I could reach too far. However, and once I built a decent gap, everything just went like we wanted to. Nairo was telling me through the earpiece: ‘Go on, everything’s all right here, everything’s under control, no one is really chasing behind.’ He looked after me, he covered the attacks, added problems to our rivals’ work. I was feeling great, even if the long attack made for a very hard final kilometers. It’s not a really steep climb, you’re always at nearly 30kph, yet there’s not much shelter, and the winds become a crucial enemy. In that situation, I was only thinking about aiming at the GC lead, I was thinking one of the two Medellín riders would beat me into the sprint – but I had good legs in the end and took what’s also a surprise victory for me. I’m so happy to have claimed both the stage and the lead. Now we’ve got to defend this jersey. There’s nothing sealed before we cross the last finish line, though the stages remaining are not too complicated, rather than sprinter-suited ones. I think we’ve got a strong team to defend ourselves. We must stay near the front and avoid any incidents through Sunday. For the time being, I’m just thinking about enjoying this victory and thanking everybody who roots for me, especially my team and my family, my wife and my kids, for always being by my side.”

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Stage 5 Result:
1. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar in 4:25:10
2. Cesar Paredes (Col) Medellin
3. Cristhian Montoya (Col) Medellin
4. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 0:32
5. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin
6. Efren Santos (Mex) Mexico at 0:45
7. Alejandro Osorio (Col) Nippo Vinia-Fantini-Faiz at 0:55
8. Dayer Quintana (Col) Neri-Sottoli-Selle Italia-KTM
9. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Gino Mader (Sui) Dimension Data at 0:57.

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Overall After Stage 5:
1. Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar in 16:01:08
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:41
3. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Medellin at 0:57
4. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:03
5. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:13
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:20
7. Cesar Paredes (Col) Medellin at 1:24
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:29
9. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:36
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:38.

San Juan’19 stage 5:

Home Argentinian, Germán Tivani (A.C.A Virgen de Fatima) won Stage 6 of the Vuelta a San Juan from a small break-away group. Tivani, together with Daniel Diaz (Municipalidad de Pocito) and Daniel Zamora managed to stay away from an early escape. After a lead-out from teammate Zamora, Tivani sprinted convincingly to the victory in the Autódromo El Villicúm. Movistar’s Winner Anacona kept the overall lead.

The penultimate stage of the Vuelta a San Juan looked to be perfect for the sprinters due to the almost flat course based on the Autódromo el Villicúm.

Diaz, Zamora, Tivani, Leonardo Rodriguez, Gabriel Juarez, Daniel Lucero and Dayer Quintana had a 3 minute lead on the motor circuit. The peloton thought it was easy to pull them back, but they were wrong as the group cooperated excellently. Quintana, Diaz, Zamora and Tivani split from the others and had a 2 minute lead with 15 kilometers to go. Quintana punctured in the last kilometers, leaving it for the three Argentinians to battle it out.

Zamora led-out his A.C.A Virgen de Fatima teammate, Tivani for the win ahead of Diaz. The peloton tried to pull them back, but could only get within 12 seconds at the finish where Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the sprint for 4th. Anacona held the lead going into the final stage.

Overall leader, Winner Anacona (Movistar): “We knew it was going to be a very difficult day, with strong winds and rain – actually, it seemed like a harder stage for me than yesterday’s. It was a fast-paced one, and a very tense day. Many teams had plans to try and open gaps into the crosswinds, yet our team stayed composed and well together pretty much all day, trying to stay near the front. I was lucky and confident to have the guys by my side. Everything turned out well today, but there’s another tough stage ahead tomorrow – we’ll do our very best to try and defend this jersey.”

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Stage 6 Result:
1. German Tivani (Arg) A.C.A Virgen de Fatima in 3:13:29
2. Daniel Diaz (Arg) Municipalidad de Pocito
3. Daniel Zamora (Arg) A.C.A Virgen de Fatima
4. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:12
5. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
6. Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Stan Dewulf (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:16.

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Overall After Stage 6:
1. Winner Andrew Anacona (Col) Movistar in 19:14:55
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:35
3. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera (Spa) Medellin at 0:57
4. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:03
5. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:13
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:20
7. Cesar Nicolas Paredes Avellaneda (Col) Medellin at 1:24
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:29
9. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:36
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:38.

San Juan’19 stage 6:

Saving the best until last, after a hectic Final Stage 7 where the breakaway was barely allowed a minute’s advantage, it all came down to the final 10km on the San Juan City circuit, where the pace ramped up high and the Bora-Hansgrohe sprint train came to life to protect Sam Bennett and bring him to the line. With Erik Baška and Peter Sagan on lead-out duty, the Irish rider surged ahead to take the Vuelta a San Juan’s final stage with a commanding effort that saw him finish a bike length ahead of second place.

Returning to where it all began, the Vuelta a San Juan would come to a close in San Juan City with a circular nine-lap street circuit, totaling 141.3km. Each 16km lap of the route would bring the riders closer to the end of what had been a thrilling race, but the Vuelta wasn’t over until the final stage was won – and with a pan flat finish, the sprinters were guaranteed not to let this go one by without a fight. With the breakaway having frustrated the bunch on yesterday’s stage, the early attempts to escape were quickly shut down and several more attacks ended the same way. With the race hitting the 100km to go point, there was still no break in sight, and it was only with 75km to go that something finally stuck. A group of five built a lead of a minute, but almost as though they were on a piece of elastic, the peloton brought them back in to within thirty seconds. This group was working together well though, and the bunch was held at bay until the final 20km, when the bunch jumped into action and started pushing to make the catch – the result of today deciding both the stage and the overall standings would make sure those with their eye on a victory would take every chance they could – easily sweeping up the lead group and then ramping up the pace for the finale. While there were plenty of attacks in the final 5km, the Bora-Hansgrohe riders were vigilant on the front with Poljański, Baška and Sagan keeping the pace high for Sam Bennett. Coming out of nowhere when it looked like the race was over, Sam streaked ahead and decisively snatched the victory.

Stage winner, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m really happy. We came here looking for a stage win and it was good for the morale to start the season by taking a win in my first stage race. I just want to thank the team again – they did an awesome job. The hardest part was in the finale. The guys were doing a perfect lead-out and I think Quick Step’s focus was on me, and they tried to hold me out in the wind really early so, in the end, I decided to hang back a bit and try and come a bit later in the sprint. I probably went a little too late, but I had enough power and managed to get the win. Still, the last 300m were definitely the most difficult part for me. The crowds were like something you see at the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia – great atmosphere – they were really amazing.”

Overall winner, Winner Anacona (Movistar): “We could not celebrate before the last finish line, and now that’s it’s over, I feel so happy as much as relieved I could finish it off. It’s my first stage race victory, and I hope it won’t be the last. It’s a magnificent way to confirm all preparations we did for this season were right – and claiming a victory in 2019 was also a hidden goal for me this season. I could achieve it atop the Colorado on Friday and sealing this overall success brings me massive joy. My most important win? I think the Vuelta a España stage and this success are both important in different ways. The former was my first Grand Tour stage win, but this stagerace had very talented contenders, and everyone is ambitious at the start of the season. All in all, this is a boost of confidence for what’s to come during this season. Once we got to the top of the standings, we had to tackle the remainder of the race in a calm, focused way, one stage at a time. We were able to get through yesterday’s stage safely after a really hard day – it felt harder than the Colorado ascent for me. The weather was awful, winds were strong, and many teams tried to make things difficult for us, yet we were able to defend ourselves well. We thought it could be easier today, because those squads with sprinters, which were too late for the win yesterday, wouldn’t let another chance go this time. The pace was again really strong today, so I couldn’t enjoy this jersey much before the finish. I’m super thankful for everything my team-mates did to protect me: Nairo, Richard, Jorge, Eduardo, Carlos. This excellent team made possible for me to win this race.

2nd overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was my first time here and it turned out to be a nice experience. I am happy with my wins and the atmosphere the fans made this past week. It gives me great pleasure to start my season in this manner, with two victories and an overall podium. I don’t have regrets after this race, because I gave my best here together with the team.”

Best Young Rider, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We did a great job as a team this week, it’s been a beautiful race for us and we can be happy with what we have achieved. I started here without any expectations, as I wasn’t in the best shape, so to get the green jersey, a stage podium and ninth in the GC is really great. I am proud of what I’ve done here and of what I have learned, it’s been an excellent start to the season and I hope that from here I will only continue my upward trajectory.”

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Stage 7 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 2:54:26
2. Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Cycling Academy
7. Imerio Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane
8. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
9. Ricardo Escuela (Arg) A.C.A Virgen de Fatima
10. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

Vuelta a San Juan Internacional Final Overall Result:
1. Winner Andrew Anacona (Col) Movistar in 22:09:21
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:35
3. Oscar Miguel Sevilla Rivera (Spa) Medellin at 0:57
4. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:03
5. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:13
6. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar at 1:20
7. Cesar Nicolas Paredes Avellaneda (Col) Medellin at 1:24
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:29
9. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:36
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:38.

San Juan’19 stage 7:

Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2019
Mike Woods made it two for two for EF Education First Pro Cycling Team at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The Canadian out-climbed and then out-sprinted Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) to take the Stage 2 win. Woods will start stage three in the race leader’s jersey worn by his teammate Dan McLay during Thursday’s stage.

“We have been riding so well as a team here in Australia,” said Woods. “It had been frustrating that I hadn’t been able to finish it off. Dan felt the same way. Everyone was doing his part, executing on his part, but the results weren’t reflecting that. This race. Today. It was a continuation of the great teamwork. Having Dan win yesterday was a bit of a release. Everyone was excited and rode out of their skin again today,” Woods added. “Mitch [Docker] and Scud [Tom Scully] were on the front all day controlling and still managed to make the front split in the wind. Dan McLay was in yellow and getting bottles and protecting me. Lachy was there in the end. Everyone was working so hard for me, and I wanted to honor their hard work.”

A six-rider breakaway escaped early into the 127 kilometer stage between Wonthaggi and Churchill. The leaders managed only a three-minute maximum advantage ahead of the bunch paced by Docker and Scully. Just inside the final 40 kilometers, first a crash and then an uptick in speed due to winds split the peloton. The stage came to a climax up Jeeralang, the category one climb that topped out 12-kilometers from the finish and included a 1.1-kilometer dirt-road section near the summit.

Team Sky’s Pavel Sivakov and Bridgestone’s Chris Harper were the first to attack. Kenny Elissonde (Sky) bridged the gap, giving Sky two up front. Behind the leaders, an elite chase group formed that included Woods, Porte, Dylan van Baarle (Sky) and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s trio of Lucas Hamilton, Damien Howson and Nick Schultz. As the chase group made grounds on the leaders, Woods attacked and only Porte could follow. The pair reached the gravel sector alone with Woods leading Porte across the summit.

“We reconned this stage three days ago,” said Woods. “Southam spent over five hours in the car, driving to the course, driving behind me, to make it happen. We had a long talk about the stage, and we executed exactly as we had planned. It was a huge advantage, and it paid off. It couldn’t have gone better today.”

Although Woods slightly distanced Porte uphill, the pair agreed to work together on the descent to keep their chasers at bay. They reached the line together with Woods besting Porte in the sprint. Their efforts netted them a 17-second advantage on Elissonde and 19 seconds on both van Baarle and Hamilton. Having picked up a 10-second bonus for the stage win, compared to Porte’s six seconds for second place, Woods holds yellow by four seconds over Porte heading into stage three.

“We’ve got such a strong team right now and have been riding so well together,” said Woods. “I’m confident in our abilities to defend. That said, four seconds over one of the best climbers in the world is not a margin you can rest on. We’re gong to have to be smart, and I’m going to have to lean on my teammates heavily.” Woods has grown increasingly comfortable with the leaning that leads to winning. “I’ve learned so much over the last three years,” said Woods. “Every year I’m progressing. Last year I took a big step in terms of finding the front of a race on a regular basis, but I hadn’t yet figure out how to win. It’s only been in the last six months that I’m starting to figure out that part. And I’m enjoying that quite a bit. It’s a lot more fun to be at the front of the race, having expectations and living up to them on occasion. To be 32 and feel like you have this whole world to still learn and understand and explore, it’s really exciting.”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First in 2:55:44
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
3. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 0:17
4. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky at 0:19
5. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 0:43
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane
8. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:54.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First in 5:12:32
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:04
3. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 0:27
4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:29
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky at 0:33
6. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 0:53
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 0:57
8. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:04.

Michael Woods wins stage 2:

Owain Doull led home a Team Sky 1-2 with Luke Rowe on Stage 3 of the Herald Sun Tour to secure his first professional victory. The pair were part of a nine-man break that led the bunch for the majority of the day, until the pair attacked their fellow escapees in the closing five kilometers. They were joined briefly by Nathan Elliott, but the Australian national rider was unable to match the pace of the Welsh duo and Rowe and Doull crossed the line, arms aloft to record Team Sky’s first win of the season.

Kristoffer Halvorsen then sprinted for the line to secure 10th to make it three riders in the top 10 for a second successive stage and maintain Team Sky’s advantage atop the Best Team classification. There was no change in the general classification, with Kenny Elissonde third behind leader Michael Woods (EF Education First) while Pavel Sivakov still tops the Best Young Rider.

Stage winner, Owain Doull (Sky): “We thought it could be a day for the breakaway as a few teams might let it go. Me and Luke kind of purposefully lost a bit of time yesterday to give us a bit of rope in the break. At one stage I thought it was going to come back together when Mitchelton-Scott getting involved, but the whole group worked really well today and we held off. There was the big crash and I think everyone sat up and waited, I think [race leader] Michael Woods was involved so we all sat up and waited for him, but then the break went away and after about 10km I was able to jump away and get across solo and it was a solid day out in front.”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Owain Doull (GB) Sky in 3:28:47
2. Luke Rowe (GB) Sky
3. Liam White (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic at 0:29
4. Luke Mudgway (Aus) EvoPro Racing at 0:36
5. Ryan Cavanagh (Aus) St George Continental
6. Conor Murtagh (Aus) Oliver’s Real Food Racing
7. Neil Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 0:39
8. William Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
9. Nathan Elliot (Aus) KordaMentha Australia at 0:42
10. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Sky at 1:19.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First in 5:12:32
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:04
3. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 0:27
4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:29
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky at 0:31
6. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 0:53
7. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 0:54
8. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:57
9. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:04.

Owain Doull wins stage 3:

Dylan van Baarle finished off a Team Sky attacking masterclass on the Queen Stage 4 of Herald Sun Tour as he rode into the race lead. The Dutchman finished second after four ascents of the tough Arthurs Seat climb, moving into a 24-second race lead with one day to go after spending the entire stage off the front.

Team Sky opted to take the race by the scruff of the neck early and placed no less than three riders in the day’s eight-man break. Luke Rowe and Christian Knees buried themselves in service of Van Baarle, opening up an unassailable advantage for the move as the peloton imploded behind.

With Van Baarle driving the break onwards on the penultimate lap, the gap sat at a healthy 1:50 as the riders took the bell. That led to the peloton sitting up, with top contenders Michael Woods (EF Education First) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) isolated and without teammates.

On the final ascent it was Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) who pushed the pace and took the stage victory, with Van Baarle digging deep to hang on to the Australian’s wheel. Kenny Elissonde came home fifth as the peloton arrived 2:14 down. Pavel Sivakov was also present, remaining in the top 10 overall and leader of the young rider classification.

Overall leader, Dylan van Baarle (Sky): “It wasn’t actually the plan that I would be in the break. It had been the plan that Luke and Christian would be up there. But when I saw that EF was struggling to close the gap – I saw Christian and Luke going and that was the moment to attack. I have to thank Luke and Christian for the amazing job they did. They were absolutely flying and they did everything they could for me. It was really nice to see. Nick (Schultz) did an amazing last climb. He went from the bottom full gas to the finish. At one moment with 150 meters to go I thought he was dying but he kept going. At the end I was totally empty!”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 2:45:42
2. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky
3. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 1:45
4. Alistair Donohoe (Aus) Pro Racing Sunshine Coast at 2:14
5. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky
6. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
7. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 2:27
9. Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 2:39
10. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky in 11:28:42
2. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:24
3. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 1:52
4. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 2:09
5. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 2:13
6. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 2:19
7. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:21
8. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 3:10
9. Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 4:25
10. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 4:44.

Dylan van Baarle took over the lead on GC:

Dylan van Baarle (Sky) claimed a popular overall victory at Herald Sun Tour on the day Kristoffer Halvorsen took his first win for the team. Protected by his Team Sky teammates throughout 21 laps of Stage 5 around the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens, Van Baarle played a key role in the final lead-out, dragging Halvorsen and final man Owain Doull into position heading into the final kilometer.

The win perfectly capped off a dominant week for Team Sky, with Van Baarle making sure of a 24-second race win – the Dutchman’s first overall stage race victory since the 2014 Tour of Britain.

Team Sky set the pace for much of the final stage, keeping the day’s breakaway in check. Kenny Elissonde got through a lot of work and was rewarded with seventh place overall. One place further back, Pavel Sivakov cemented another top-10 finish, and with it the young riders’ jersey. With Team Sky also taking the team prize and Christian Knees winning the climbs classification, it represented a superb group performance and a great end to our time Down Under.

Stage winner, Kristoffer Halvorsen (Sky): “It was really good to get the win. We’ve got a strong team here and today they showed how strong they are. It’s just unbelievable. We weren’t worried about the break because we have guys like Luke and Kneesy in the team. They know exactly what to do and they are really strong. Luke knows everything. You just need to follow him and you know you are in the best place in the peloton at the right time. It’s been a good day!”

Overall winner, Dylan van Baarle (Sky): “I’m really happy I could win here. I have to thank the whole team. They did a really, really good job today and also with Kristoffer winning the stage it’s incredible. It’s been a great trip down to Australia and I’m happy it finished off this way. Of course you think about it but when a plan comes together it’s super nice. This is a really fantastic race at Herald Sun Tour and I enjoy it here a lot. I’m looking forward to coming back!”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Sky in 1:55:56
2. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Brenton Jones (Aus) KordaMentha Australia
4. Alex Frame (NZ) Trek-Segafredo
5. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education First
6. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Wouter Wippert (Aus) EvoPro Racing
8. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First
9. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky
10. Theodore Yates (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic.

Jayco Herald Sun Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky in 13:24:38
2. Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:24
3. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First at 1:52
4. Chris Harper (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 2:13
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
6. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:25
7. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Sky at 2:30
8. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Sky at 3:21
9. Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Bridgelane at 4:29
10. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 4:55.

Herald Sun Tour final podium:

Challenge Mallorca 2019

Trofeo Ses Salines-Campos-Porreres-Felanitx 2019
Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) won the first European race of 2019. The Spaniard took the Trofeo Ses Salines-Felanitx at the summit of the Puig San Salvador ahead of Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

The First of Four Spanish one-day races on Mallorca had World champion Alejandro Valverde, Mikel Landa, Rafal Majka, Fabio Aru and Tim Wellens on the start line.

The break of the day escaped early: Rasmus Byriel Iversen, Antonio Jesús Soto and Jacob Hennessy, they had a maximum lead of 5 minutes, but with 50 kilometers to go, the gap had shrunk to just over one minute. Lars Boom and Pim Ligthart launched an attack to try and cross, but were caught. Not long after the break was caught before the finalé. Movistar controlled the peloton for World champion Valverde.

At the foot of the 5 kilometer final climb; José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin) broke away with Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert) and had 15 seconds with 2 kilometers to go. The lead was not enough as Herrada caught them and jumped away for the win. Martin held on for 2nd as Mollema took 3rd. World champion Valverde was 4th.

Race winner, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis): “I could not have started the season better! I knew I was in good shape, last year I always took the win, but I felt the shape was good, the team really did a great job. enjoying the moment, and so on, everyone looked at Alejandro Valverde: I had to take advantage of that, it was hard to attack because of the wind, but I still managed to stay away. after which it was important to keep the lead.”

2nd, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert): “It is good for the team to enter 2019 with this result. It shows that we have worked well on team training over the past weeks. The team gave me good support today, the wind made it a nervous day. Thus we stayed with our seven riders grouped in the peloton. I would like to give a shout-out to Boris Vallée who protected me during the day, and also Backy (Frederik Backaert) piloted me very well in the final. Unfortunately the other teammates were held up by a crash. On the final climb I chose to attack at the foot. With riders as world champion Valverde present I did not want to wait for the final kilometer. I already accelerated with 4 kilometers to go. Herrada joined me under la flamme rouge and was therefore more fresh in the steep final kilometer. But I do not regret my early attack. Also last year we started the season with a 2nd place for Odd Eiking in Grand Prix La Marseillaise. But the week is not over yet! This performance gives hope and maybe we can still score a victory in the upcoming days. With this achievement we anyhow show that Wanty-Gobert can compete with the strongest teams.”

Trofeo Ses Salines-Campos-Porreres-Felanitx Result:
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis in 4:12:29
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert at 0:11
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
5. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:13
6. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) Euskadi
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:16
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Trofeo Ses Salines:

Trofeo Andratx-Lloseta 2019
The Second Race of the Mallorca Challenge was also one for the true climbers. A parcours packed with up and downs on twisty, narrow roads promised another exciting day in the saddle, while the rainy weather conditions in the beginning made it even more difficult for the riders.

The race start in Andratx was followed by the first uphill sections, where the first riders tried to break away from the bunch. However, it took more than 20 kilometers until a group of four was finally able to break away from the peloton. Movistar took control of the bunch and the gap to the escapees was controlled at around 3 minutes. Until that stage of the race, Bora-Hansgrohe took it relatively easy, trying to save as much energy as possible for the hardest part of the day.

The Puig Major awaited the riders, and Bora-Hansgrohe had even more cards to play, as Patrick Konrad and Rafal Majka were joined by another two strong climbers in Emanuel Buchmann and Pete Kennaugh. The bunch accelerated on the climb, and three of the escapees were able to hang onto a 40 second lead. Movistar kept the pace high on the downhill and with 25k to go, the break was finally caught. When the bunch settled, Emanuel Buchmann took the opportunity to launch another attack. Giving it his all, the German was able to open a 40 second gap. With 10 kilometers to go, a strong chasing group of six tried to catch up with Emu, but Buchmann kept his focus and defended his lead in superior style. In the end he took an invaluable victory in Lloseta after soloing the last 20 kilometers.

Race winner, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “What a start to the season! One of my goals for 2019 was to improve my ability to win races. But I didn’t expect to already win my first one. Normally I use these first races more as intense training sessions under race conditions. That’s why I wanted to go deep today and attacked when I got the opportunity. I think I improved overall during the winter, even though it may be too early in the season to say that. But so far I can definitely be really happy!”

Trofeo Andratx-Lloseta Result:
1. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:39:03
2. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:16
3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:19
4. Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Charles at 0:21
5. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:35
6. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
7. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert at 0:37
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar at 0:41
9. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:45
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:51.

Trofeo Andratx-Lloseta’19:

Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana 2019
After a fifth and second place in the past two Trofeos, Tim Wellens now took his first victory of the season on Saturday in the Third Race in Mallorca. For the third consecutive year, Wellens won the Trofeo de Tramuntana the . The Lotto Soudal rider finished solo in Deiá, ahead of Emanuel Buchmann and world champion Alejandro Valverde.

From the start, Lotto Soudal wanted to light up the race and make it a long and tough day in the saddle. Still early in the race, the bunch was split to pieces but eventually – for a moment at least – calm restored in the peloton. Three riders managed to take some advantage, with the peloton chasing behind. During the finale, Emanuel Buchmann – just like yesterday – reached out his hand to a solo victory but Hermans, Higuita and Lotto Soudal rider Tim Wellens did not let that happen again. They set up a chase and somewhat later, Wellens joined Buchmann at the font of the race. Around five kilometers from the line, Wellens attacked, distanced Buchmann and rode solo to his third consecutive victory in Deiá.

Race winner, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal): “Immediately after the start, the roads started to rise. We decided to take the initiative ourselves in order to make it a tough day. There were quite a few crucial moments today, but the team always neutralized the danger as they rode at the front of the bunch and as such taking matters into our own hands. At a certain point on the course, we decided to go full gas with the whole team, which caused the peloton to split to pieces. However, it was still reasonably long till the ultimate climb so we decided to wait for a moment and let everybody return. I attacked on the last climb of the day, looking for head of the race Buchmann. Initially, I chased Buchmann together with two other riders but as I took some risks in the wet descent, only one rider was able to follow. I knew the course all too well and that really did help me a lot today. Later, I could join Buchmann at the front and at around five kilometers to go, I left him behind during a technical descent. He told me that he was cramping up so I took full advantage of that. My next race will be my first participation in Etoile de Besseges, where I want to pursue a good overall classification. The final time trial will be crucial. Besseges is mostly a nervous race due to the increased chance of echelons, so we really have to pay attention there.”

2nd, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The race was really fast the whole day. Our plan was to wait until the Puig and save as much energy as possible before. But there were so many attacks, it was crazy. My team mates did an incredible job to control these situations and at the foot of the Puig all was back together. It was extremely cold on the climb. I didn’t feel really good, but decided to give it a try. I also wanted to avoid any risk in the downhill, it was an advantage to be in front by then. When Wellens bridged the gap, I knew it would be difficult to take a second win. But I am super happy with my performance. My shape is really good, and I gained lots of confidence during the last two days.”

Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana Result:
1. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:50:40
2. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:14
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:02
4. Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) Equipo Euskadi at 1:19
5. Simon Špilak (Slo) Katusha Alpecin at 1:33
6. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 1:46
7. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Gobert
8. Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot-Charles
9. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar at 1:49
10. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.

Serra de Tramuntana’19:

Trofeo Palma 2019
With two training camps behind him on Mallorca, Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) raced to victory in the Trofeo Palma on Sunday’s Fourth Race, securing his first win of the season and giving the German sprinter a much-needed boost of confidence.

“I am very, very happy. This is more than just winning a stage here, it is also a little comeback after last year”, said Marcel Kittel. “In the last few days I could feel that my legs were good and I’m very happy that I could give this victory to my teammates as well as the confidence it gives to me at the start of the season. It’s very important. The team protected me so well. They all stayed with me during the difficult climb and I’m very happy.”

The series of four one-day races came to an end today with the Trofeo Palma, 159.6k from Playa de Palma to Palma. A challenging climb with 40k to go saw teamwork play into the tactics and set up Kittel for success. Erik Zabel, team performance manager, explained the strategy behinds today’s victory. “During the training camp we did this climb and then Marcel came alone four days ago to do it again. I think it was important that he had the confidence that he could do it. Before dinner last night we had a short meeting and asked him how he felt. He was very optimistic, and this morning too. So we asked the climbers to stay close to him on the climb to protect him and bring him over the climb. The team worked so well together, and in the end, he did a great sprint.”

Joining Kittel on the podium for second and third places were Timothy Dupont of Wanty-Groupe Gobert 85 and Hugo Hofstetter of Cofidis, all on the same time of 3:45:23 (42.49 km/h).

Sports director Claudio Cozzi brimmed with pride from the day’s efforts: “We saw during training camp that Kittel was in good condition and that today’s shorter stage would be a good opportunity for him. It wasn’t simple because of the climb with 40k to go, so we dedicated the full team to him. Even the climbers stayed with him to help pass the climb and we came down in good position.”

Erik Zabel concluded: “I’ve been working closely with Marcel for 3 months now and I’ve liked everything I’ve seen so far. Since the first of December we have been training and focused on this new season, not looking back, and today was a nice moment to see the results of everyone’s efforts.”

2nd, Timothy Dupont (Wanty-Gobert): “In the final of the race there was a tricky climb on the course. But I was able to survive it quite well. The race was followed by a pretty quiet final for me. I was kept well out of the wind and the nervousness by my teammates. With 2 kilometers to go they guided me to the front and in the wheel of the Katusha train of Marcel Kittel. ”

“The sprint was launched and at about 300 meters from the finish I saw a gap to start my sprint. Thus I came to ride next to Kittel, but he still had to accelerate. I could put myself in the wheel of the German and sprinted to a great 2nd place. It feels nice to perform well in my season debut, especially if you look at who finishes behind me. My next races will be the Vuelta Murcia and Clasica Almeria in Spain. In the latter I finished already on the podium last year.”

Trofeo Palma Result:
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin in 3:45:23
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
3. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis
4. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. André Greipel (Ger) Arkea-Samsic
6. Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Maxence Moncassin (Fra) Amore e Vita-Prodir
8. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
9. Boris Vallee (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
10. José Rojas (Spa) Movistar.

Trofeo Palma’19:

VCV 2019 is Here
Are just two days to start the 70th edition of the Volta Ciclista a Valencia Gran Premi Banc Sabadell, a race that is establishing itself as one of the largest in the international arena and all thanks to the tremendous work employed by Angel Casero to front of his team for four years.

One of the goals of the organization has always been to bring the event to all cycling enthusiasts and, especially, the Valencians. Since 2016 reactivated again Valencia round, after eight years of absence, thousands of fans of this wonderful sport have been able to follow the VCV through Eurosport 1, one year is the official television. This year the organization was intended that all Valencians could also live from their homes, the excitement of the CV Vuelta. Finally, it has not been possible to other media relayed the Valencia round to our territory.

Each year the event generates more informative expectation, and journalists from around the world are interested in covering the competition. Back in 2019 the CV and CV Féminas Vuelta will be broadcast live in 121 countries of which 54 are European; Asia and Oceania 11 well in the US, Canada, Colombia and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This figure could still increase in the coming days. In addition, CV Radio is the official radio station of the test one more year.

In the last edition a media impact of 13,188,292 euros with a worldwide audience of potential viewers 116,449,670, data obtained through Kantar Media was obtained. This year is expected to return media is greater with the involvement of Alejandro Valverde, World Champion and winner of the 2018 VCV and Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de France last year.

2019 CV back
Wednesday from Orihuela will kick off with 168 runners from 24 teams. Spanish cycling has six teams in the VCV: Movistar, the most powerful squad of our country, Caja Rural, Burgos BH, the Basque group Euskadi Basque Country-Murias, Kometa Cycling Team which, origin is Alberto Contador Foundation, Team and Euskadi.

The remaining 19 teams are: Sky, CCC, Mitchelton Scott, Astana, Bahrain Merida, Jumbo, AG2R La Mondiale, UAE Team Emirates, Katusha, Dimension Data, Cofidis, Direct Energie, Israel Cycling Academy, Sport Vlaanderen Baloise, Nippo Vini Fantini, Gazprom, W52 FC Porto, UHC Cycling Rally.

As for riders include Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Geraint Thomas (Sky); Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie); Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton Scott); Matteo Trentin (Midchelton Scott); Adam Yates (Midchelton Scott); Daniel Martin (UAE Emirates) and Rui Costa (UAE Emirates), among others.

CV back Féminas
This year the organization of the Tour of Valencia opens with the first edition of the Vuelta CV Féminas, on 10 February, with a distance of 88.5 km starting in Paterna, arrival in Valencia, the same circuit the fifth and final stage of the VCV.

CV Féminas Vuelta has started very strongly and notable for being the first race that promotes equality by equating the prize. 2,435 euros awarded to the rider who is winning, the same amount is given in a men’s event.

In this first edition will involve 20 teams each six runners from various countries and the presence of some prominent figures in the international peloton. Movistar highlights the debut of riojana Sheyla Gutiérrez and among foreign brokerages deserves recognition Olympic medalist Tatiana Guderzo with a brilliant record in the World Championship.

Valverde again in Valencia?
Albuixech - Spain - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE (Spain / Team Movistar) pictured during stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana from Bétera to Albuixech (153.9KM) - photo Luis Gomez/Cor Vos © 2018

Van Avermaet to Open 2019 Season at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Greg Van Avermaet will line up for the first time in CCC Team colors next week when he opens his 2019 season by headlining the team’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana roster.

Sports Director Piotr Wadecki said CCC Team will head to the start line of the five-day race with a strong team that will be targeting stage wins.

“After the fantastic start for our team at the Santos Tour Down Under, we’re heading to our first race in Europe with a great group of riders around Greg Van Avermaet. Everyone is very motivated to get their season underway and we want to continue the team’s early success in Spain. The main objective for this race will be to go for stage wins before seeing what we can do on the General Classification. It would be good to be up there at the end of the five days,” Wadecki explained. “We’re heading to the race from our final training camp and for the guys lining up here, I think it has been important that they have all been able to train as a group especially as many of them have never raced together. Everyone has been able to get to know one another more and they have been putting in some good efforts which I think will really help us going into the race. I am confident that we will be able to make a nice result next week.”

Van Avermaet is looking to test his early season form at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana as he did in both 2017 and 2018. “This race is a great way to kick off the season. It’s close to where we have our training camps and this last one leads perfectly into the race. This year there will be a lot of firsts for me here and that’s exciting. It will be the first time racing as CCC Team, the first time I race on my new Giant bike and in my Etxeondo clothing and finally, it will be the first time I race with some of my new teammates. There are some riders in this group who will play a part in my Classics campaign and as we are new to one another, it will be good to see how everyone reacts when we move from training together to racing together. I think it is important to have the confidence of all of the riders going into a race and before the Classics start it will be good to learn more about each other. This will be the perfect exercise for us all,” Van Avermaet said. “Of course, this race isn’t one of my biggest goals of the year but I want to get my season off to a good start just like we saw the guys do in Australia. We will take the race day by day but the ambition is always to try to win races and that won’t be different here. My main goal is to keep building my shape and I think stage three and four will be super hard so, that will be the first big test for us and hopefully I can be up there on one day.”

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (6 – 10 February)
Rider roster:

Amaro Antunes (POR), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Directors: Piotr Wadecki (POL), Valerio Piva (ITA)

Greg Van Avermaet’s 2019 season starts in Valencia:

Lineup of TBM for the First European Race in the Season 2019
70th edition of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, or Tour of Valencia, will start with an ITT on February 6th and finish with a flat race in Valencia on Sunday, February 10th. The Queen Stage includes four intermediate ascents before a short and sharp final climb to a hermitage on a mountain ridge overlooking the Mediterranean.

The opener is an individual time trial from Orihuela to Seminario Diocesano de San Miguel. The 10.2 kilometers route concludes with a zigzagging climb of 600 meters at 9%. The 2nd stage should be perfect for the sprinters where Sonny Colbrelli will attack with the help of his team-mates. Tour of Valencia’s Queen Stage will be held on the fourth day of action. After three intermediate climbs, the final haul up leads to the Ermita de Santa Lucía y Sant Benet on a mountain ridge above seaside village Alcossebre with last 3.4 kilometers climb at 9.7%. At 88 kilometers, the 5th stage is a copy of last year’s last stage where the sprinters will face off. The riders travel from Paterna to a likely fast finishers showdown in Valencia.

Sports Director Vladimir Miholjević said before the race: “Due to Vuelta being the first European race in 2019, we are really excited. It will be a multi-field test for our cyclist. In the 1st stage’s ITT we are counting on Jan Tratnik, who debuts in the team. Another young debutant is a Belgian Dylan Teuns as GC leader.”

Colbrelli Sonny, Cortina Ivan Garcia, Koren Kristijan, Mohoric Matej, Pernsteiner Hermann, Teuns Dylan – leader and Tratnik Jan.

Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè Ready for Valencia
The season European debut of the team is coming soon, in Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana at the start this Wednesday, February 6th. Immediately at the start the 3 leaders: Canola, Lobato and Moser in his official debut in #OrangeBlue. In Argentina the Vuelta in San Juan has finished with 4 top 10 reached by the team.

The Vuelta San Juan has just finished, with good performances of the #OrangeBlue that collected 4 top10 in 7 stages, highlighting all the stages with good performances, and it is already time to think about the European debut of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Faizanè team.

Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana
The 2019 European debut will be in Spain, at the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the #OrangeBlue will line the 3 announced leaders of the season: Marco Canola, Juan Josè Lobato and Moreno Moser in his official debut also with the #OrangeBlue jersey. Debut with the new colors and among the professionals also for the young sprinter Giovanni Lonardi. Completing the roster 3 important team confirmations as Nicola Bagioli, in his third year among the PROs, the Japanese Sho Hatsuyama and the Spanish Joan Bou.

Complete line-up: Marco Canola, Moreno Moser, Juan Jose Lobato, Nicola Bagioli, Sho Hatsuyama, Giovanni Lonardi, Joan Bou.

The #OrangeBlue lineup will be led in the team-car by the Sports Directors Mario Manzoni and Takehiro Mizutani. These are the words of the Italian Sports Director: “For all #OrangeBlue riders at the start it is the first race of the season, so we are curious to compare our condition with the one of our competitors to understand our level with the athletic preparation. The riders have trained well, Marco Canola and Juan Josè Lobato have already a good condition, while Moreno Moser we are happy to have recovered at the last minute from a flue virus, will be able to put important kilometers of race pace in the legs ahead of the upcoming events. The most important thing will be to work as a team all together, because it is the only way we can be competitive at a high level and take good results in this season.”

Volta a la Comunità Valenciana: UAE Team Emirates’s 7 Men
Rui Costa debuts in the 2019 season, Kristoff and Martin race too

The UAE Team Emirates remains in Spain for its second appointment in Europe, participating in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, February 6 to 10.

The sports directors Neil Stephens (Aus) and Bruno Vicino (Ita), supported by Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) will guide these seven riders:
Rui Costa (Por)
Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
Marco Marcato (Ita)
Daniel Martin (Irl)
Manuele Mori (Ita)
Edward Ravasi (Ita)
Aleksandr Riabushenko (Bel).

On his season debut, Rui Costa said, “I’m really happy to start another season as a cyclist. I worked hard over the winter, with renewed enthusiasm and high morale after I found some good form in the final of 2018. In the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, I will have the chance to see how my legs respond to the race’s rhythm and find that spark needed for the following races.”

The Spanish race unfolds over five stages: the starting stage will be a 10.2km time trial, the following three days will be undulating and the final stage suits sprinters.

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana: Lineup
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will once again get another season of European racing underway at the Spanish UCI 2.1 event, Volta a la Communitat Valenciana.

Starting on Wednesday, the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana will consist of 5 stages, including an opening individual time trial, before a winner is crowned on Sunday in Valencia.

Our Riders to Watch
Roman Kreuziger – As one of our marquee signings for the 2019 season, the Czech superstar is accustomed to starting his season on the front foot, just as he did last year with a top 10 GC result at Valenciana.

Giacomo Nizzolo – While on paper it looks like there may only be 2 sprints at Volta a la Valenciana, our Italian sprinter will be looking to get the season off to a fast start in our African Team colours, this after successful knee surgery in December.

“Valenciana will be my season debut, and I am glad to kick it off here. After undergoing knee surgery in December my shape won’t be at the top of course, but I never take in a race without ambitions. I will do my best to take any chance, while improving my race feelings day by day”Giacomo Nizzolo.

Key Stages
Stage 1 – While the Volta a la Valenciana won’t be won during the 10.2km ITT, a strong ride against the clock will certainly go a long way to ensure a high placing on the overall leaderboard come Valencia.

Stage 4 – With a category 1 summit finish, this stage from Vila-Real to Alcala-Alcocebre will most certainly decide who rides away with the overall race honours.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Adds Two More Years to Alvaro Hodeg’s contract
The young Colombian will continue with the most successful team of the last decade.

One of the standout neo-pros of the 2018 season, Alvaro Hodeg has agreed on a new contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which will see him ride for the current World Tour Champions until the end of the 2021 season.

In 2018, Alvaro made the step to the World Tour and didn’t waste any time in showcasing his qualities, getting off the mark at Handzame Classic – which he won with a powerful and impressive sprint – before going on to pick four more victories, three of which came at World Tour level, in the Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Poland and Tour of Turkey.

“I am very happy to have extended my contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step. I am proud to be part of this team which gave me the opportunity to turn pro and who put their trust in me. It’s a dream to stay here and continue my development and I hope to be able to repay the confidence of the team with victories and help them remain one of the best in the world. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is the perfect team for a rider like me, because sprinting is in their DNA and they know how to help me become better”, 22-year-old Alvaro said after putting pen to paper.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was happy with retaining the services of Alvaro, who is currently riding Vuelta a San Juan, where three days ago he notched up his first podium of the season: “When Alvaro came into the team, we knew we had a real talent on our hands, a rider who had what it takes to make a name for himself and become one of the best sprinters in the peloton. He is still learning and needs to improve, but the results he’s got so far serve as proof of his undeniable qualities, which we will continue to carefully nurture over the next years.”

Alvaro Hodeg:

Two Jobs for Groenendaal
Former rider Richard Groenendaal will assist Maarten Tjallingii next season as sports director at SEG Racing Academy. The 47-year old from Brabant will combine his work with the continental formation with his part-time job as a directeur sportif at Boels-Dolmans.

After he stopped racing, Groenendaal went to work for the Rabobank Continental team, where he prepared young talents for a step up to the pro peloton. The same goal that SEG Racing has. “I am looking forward to working with these young talents”, said the 2000 cyclocross world champion in a press release. “I am very enthusiastic and positive about the philosophy of the academy and I know that the interaction between riders and coaching staff is really good”. The cyclo-cross co-commentator with NOS wants the riders of SEG to learn to win races. “It is important to create an atmosphere in which riders feel at ease, have fun and get the most out of their capacities”, Groenendaal concluded.

Richard Groenendaal:

Amgen Tour of California 2019 Route Revealed
“The Amgen Tour of California is the pinnacle of cycling in America. The 2019 race course is incredibly demanding – there’s more climbing and more long road days than ever before. With the best of the best in cycling coming to California to contest it, we are in for another memorable race,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Amgen Tour of California and executive vice president of AEG Sports. “We look forward to shining a spotlight on the beauty of California and the dedication of these athletes for fans, in person and via the worldwide broadcast, in what will be one of the most exciting sporting events in the country this year.”

2019 Amgen Tour of California Route Announcement Presented by Visit California

Sunday, May 12th, stage 1 presented by Amgen: Sacramento – Sacramento = 143km

Sacramento is known as one of the most sports-friendly cities in the country, and this year will mark its 10th time hosting the race. Stage 1 will begin with the men rolling out of Sacramento across the iconic Tower Bridge, passing through West Sacramento, then hugging the Sacramento River into the city of Woodland. From there, the race will travel across several rural roads in Yolo County. A quick dash and sprint in the Town of Winters will see the race turn east and heading back downtown for the fast finish.

Monday, May, 13th, stage 2 presented by Visit California: Rancho Cordova – South Lake Tahoe = 194,5km

The ATOC welcomes the City of Rancho Cordova as a new stage host. The stage will start at sea level. Heading east from the start, the route will follow White Rock Road through El Dorado Hills. Once again, racers will enjoy the huge crowds and warm hospitality in Placerville before heading onto the picturesque Mormon Emigrant Trail and Hwy 88, where the peloton will zip through lush forests and past bass-laden lakes.

They will also encounter some serious elevation. The KOM at Carson pass tops out at 2627m, the highest point the race has ever reached in its 14 years. A long descent will allow the riders a short rest, but a left turn onto Hwy 89 will take them to the top of Luther Pass and into South Lake Tahoe. For those that have raced to South Lake Tahoe in previous years, they know that a brutal finish up the steep roads to the Heavenly ski area finish looms ahead.

Tuesday, May, 14th, stage 3 presented by TAG Heuer: Stockton – Morgan Hill = 207km

The City of Stockton returns for its third stage start, near the waterfront and Stockton Arena. The race route will wend its way through the city as it heads southwest toward Morgan Hill. Heading east of Livermore, the riders will turn onto Mines Road and toward the HC climb up Mt. Hamilton. Over the next 35km of climbing and descending, the racers will encounter two climbs with a total of 25 switchbacks and two very technical descents with another 25 hairpin turns. The race will then return to the eastern slopes of San Jose and into Morgan Hill, site of the 2018 time trial stage. Spectators will line the streets as they await the teams to tee up their sprinters for a classic field sprint to finish near the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center.

Wednesday, May, 15th, stage 4 presented by Lexus: Raceway Laguna Seca – Morro Bay = 212,5km

This stage will be a celebration of a massive achievement by Caltrans to reopen the iconic coastal stretch.

After a short climb out of the start at Laguna Seca, the race will pass through Seaside, Monterey and Carmel. Hwy 1 typifies the beauty of the state and features a gentle rolling landscape that drivers may not register, but the cyclists will certainly feel the 3584m of climbing on this stage. A fan-favorite, the Morro Bay finish will follow the route from 2017, where Peter Sagan won the sprint finish. After passing through Morro Bay State Park, riders will get their first glimpse of the iconic Morro Rock. A right turn off the Embarcadero, with Morro Rock over their shoulders, will put the racers onto a steep sprint to the finish on Harbor Street.

Thursday, May 16th, stage 5 presented by Lexus: Pismo Beach – Ventura = 218,5km
stage 1 women’s race presented by Lexus: Ventura – Ventura = 96.5km

This stage will highlight the best of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, which have long been the cornerstone of the Amgen Tour of California. Within a few kilometers, the race will reach Foxen Canyon and the home of countless world-class vineyards and wineries. As the race leaves the vineyards and jumps onto Hwy 154 in Los Olivos, the riders will enter the feed zone to replenish some calories. Ahead lays the grueling category climb up San Marcos Pass. After leaving Hwy 192, the stage’s final two categorized climbs lie ahead on Casitas Pass. The finish will be within a few miles once the cyclist enter Ventura, which hosted its first stage last year. Riders will contest the final sprint at the summit of a short 12% climb up Fero Drive. The final kilometers to the Ventura finish line will be intense as the teams set up their sprinters for a field sprint along the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, the women will contest a punchy day of racing with five QOMs. The out and back course starts and finishes in Ventura. The final 56km of the route is the same the men will use coming into Ventura for their Stage 5 finish later in the day.

Friday, May, 17th, stage 6 presented by Visit California: Ontario – Mt. Baldy = 127,5km
stage 2 women’s race presented by Visit California: Ontario – Mt. Baldy = 74km

This “Queen Stage” has seen legends made and winners decided. A return to the Mt. Baldy a finish that thrilled so many fans in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017, this is the top training ground for many Southern California racers.

This will be the fourth time the City of Ontario has hosted the men’s Mt. Baldy stage, and the first time the women will contest it. Because of the complexities of men’s and women’s races sharing an “out and back” course, the women will use a slightly different route to Mt. Baldy. The final 20.5 miles of their course is the same to reach the common finish.

This year’s route will head north into the cities of Rancho Cucamonga and Upland. From there, the riders will start an 11-mile climb to the Village of Mt. Baldy. They will cover 33km of narrow and twisting roads that lead to a fast and technical descent down the backside of Glendora Mountain Road. At Ice House Canyon, the route will make a hard left turn where the sign to the ski area points. With 1.6km to go, the road will straighten out but still climb at 15%. At 400m to go, the route will make a hard left and the racers will face the final five switchbacks to the finish line.

Saturday, May 18th, stage 7 presented by AMGEN: Santa Clarita – Pasadena: 141km
stage 3 presented by AMGEN: Santa Clarita – Pasadena: 115,5km

Santa Clarita and Pasadena have a storied tradition of hosting the ATOC grand conclusion. There will be challenges from start to finish as teams protect their GC riders from attacks and set up their sprinters to win the stage. The race’s traditional start in Santa Clarita will be at the Town Center Mall. The first climb will come at Mill Creek Summit, then downhill and left onto Upper Big Tujunga to the final climb of the race at the intersection with Angeles Crest Highway. A quick dash through La Canada Flintridge will take the race down Rosemont Avenue to the famed Rose Bowl for the ultimate race finish.

This stage shares a common start and finish for the women and men, with two slight differences. Whereas the women will come straight up Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest Highway, the men will turn on Upper Tujunga to add mileage and one final climb. The women conclude the day first, coming to the finish line and completing one lap. Just as they began the week with three Capitol circuits during Stage 1 in Sacramento, the men will blaze through three circuits of the Rose Bowl to conclude the race.

Key points:
Throughout 7 stages over 7 days (May 12-18), the world’s elite professional cyclists will contest mountain roads, highways and coastlines from Sacramento to Pasadena. The 1251km course through 13 Host Cities will ante up 14 Sprints, 25 King of the Mountain climbs, the most in race history, and a fan-favorite Mt. Baldy summit finish.
Ø With 7 new courses between them, the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race empowered with SRAM will run concurrently May 16-18, using many of the same routes as the men’s course. Also the longest women’s race in event history, the 285km, three-stage road race course will see the athletes climb eight Queen of the Mountain.

Introducing the 2019 Host Cities – Amgen Tour of California:

Giro del Belvedere draws up its Easter Monday’s show
Italian organizers are working hard in view of the 81st edition of the international U23 race, scheduled in Villa di Cordignano (Veneto, Northern Italy), on April 22nd.

80 editions for almost a century of history made Giro del Belvedere one of the most prominent event of the U23 International cycling season, due to the tradition and technical depth the organizing committee nurtured over the years, always bearing the riders’ safety in mind.

That’s why the “Easter Monday Classic” 81st edition – to be held on Monday, April 22nd in Villa di Cordignano (Treviso, Northern Italy) – has a few changes in the first circuit of the course, suited to host the exciting challenge among the best world’s international prospects.

Indeed, the circuit in which the early course unfolds with 12 laps will bypass the twisty road to Sarmede while climbing again on the Conche hill, the ascent characterizing the first half of the race, including an intermediate sprint near the headquarter of Bit Costruzioni, the company turning its 40 years as Giro del Belvedere partner.

The finale remains unchanged with two laps of another 17,3-Km circuit. The classic Montaner climb, in Borgo Canalet (1,7 Km at 12% average gradient with peak at 20%), and the Via delle Longhe hill (0,5 km at 12% average gradient with peak at 17%) with 9 Km to go will likely settle the race after a 163-km overall distance.

Aussie Robert Stannard won Giro del Belvedere’s last edition, preceding Italy’s Matteo Sobrero and Samuele Battistella.

Giro del Belvedere 2018:

Strade Bianche Women Elite: 21 Teams at the Start
The teams that will participate at the Strade Bianche Women Elite on 9 March are announced today. The first race of the UCI Women’s WorldTour will have 21 teams of six riders each at the start, ready to match the performance of last year’s winner, current Road World Champion Anna van der Breggen.

The Strade Bianche Women Elite, organized by RCS Sport/La Gazzetta dello Sport, will be held in Siena, Italy on 9 March, a few hours before the start of the Men’s race.

The first race of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, it’s expected to be one of the most spectacular of the year, a unique event on the global cycling scene thanks to its special course character on Tuscany’s gravel roads, and to the high level of participants: last year’s winner was Anna van der Breggen, who then went to win the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.

Participating at the race will be 14 out of the 15 teams that must receive an invite according to the UCI rules, plus seven more teams who have received a wild card from the organizers. Each team will be comprised of six riders.

14 Teams Invited by UCI Rules:

7 Wild Cards:

Anna van der Breggen won the 2018 Strade Bianche Women Elite in Piazza del Campo, Siena:

Wirral to Host OVO Energy Tour Series and OVO Energy Tour of Britain in 2019
The OVO Energy Tour Series and OVO Energy Tour of Britain will both head to Wirral this year as a part of the area’s celebrations as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2019. It will be the first time that Wirral has hosted either of the events.

This year’s OVO Energy Tour Series round will take place in Birkenhead on Tuesday 21 May, using a circuit based around Hamilton Square and featuring both men’s and women’s races. It will be the first time since 2010 that a round of the unique, team-based series has taken place on Merseyside.

Wirral will also host the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the UK’s most prestigious professional cycle race, this September.

Details of the stage, one that will see the world’s top teams and riders heading to the peninsula, and the exact date for the race, will be announced as part of the full national launch in the spring. This stage will mark a return for the OVO Energy Tour of Britain to Merseyside for the first time since 2014.

Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, said: “This is incredibly exciting news. We can’t wait to welcome the Tour of Britain to Wirral. To get the chance to play host to a global sporting event, in the middle of our Borough of Culture year, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which we just could not miss. I am delighted we’ve been able to make it happen.

“The Tour of Britain is broadcast around the world and to have Wirral and Birkenhead centre stage is a huge honor. I know Wirral residents will share my excitement and I am just thrilled they will have the chance to see this event for themselves and make memories with their families which will stay with them forever.”

Both organized and promoted by SweetSpot Group, the OVO Energy Tour Series and Tour of Britain are broadcast on ITV4 and around the world, and will attract a six-figure spectator attendance across the two days of activities.

“We are delighted to be working with our partners at Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council and are excited to have the opportunity to be a part of their plans for the year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture,” said Race Director Mick Bennett.

“The OVO Energy Tour Series and Tour of Britain will give cycling fans from across the North West of England and North Wales the chance to see two, action packed days of cycling free of charge. We hope that the opportunity to witness first hand these events in Wirral will inspire many more people to get on their bikes and be more active, but also to celebrate the culture of their home area.”

As well as being an unticketed, free-to-attend event, the OVO Energy Tour Series is unique in the world of cycling, as the focus in both the men’s and women’s competition is on the teams, who battle for the overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each round. The series celebrated its 10-year anniversary and 100th event in Salisbury in May 2018.

Highlights of the OVO Energy Tour Series are screened on ITV4 and broadcast around the world, while event day will provide the opportunity for a range of community and cycling activities to take place on the closed road circuit at the heart of Birkenhead.

Further details of the OVO Energy Tour Series for 2019, including the participating teams and riders, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team Statement
“The Team would like to make a sincere apology for the events of the past few days, firstly to the woman involved in this regrettable incident, and additionally to all women, fans, and sponsors. We don’t condone this type of behavior. Our team’s core values include mutual respect, and that was not upheld in this situation. Iljo also personally acknowledges his mistake and takes full responsibility for his actions.

As a team, we are aware that one of our main roles is to educate the riders and make sure they demonstrate respect for everyone. The events of these past days are something which we can – and already have – learned from, and for that very reason we have decided to implement in the near future specific conduct training protocols for all riders and staff to ensure our values and make sure this kind of thing won’t happen again.

Again, we are very sorry to everyone affected by this regrettable incident.”

Thank you,
Patrick Lefevere and the entire team.

TSG Prepares for an Exciting 2019 with the Addition of Former World tour Rider Reguigui
Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team (TSG) is ready to mount another strong challenge in 2019 with the addition of former Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) winner Youcef Reguigui of Algeria to the team.

The winner of the 2015 edition of LTdL, Reguigui becomes the second champion of the race to sign with the TSG alongside with current defending 2018 LTDL champion Artem Ovechkin of Russia.

TSG made history in the 2018 LTdL by becoming the first Malaysia and South East Asia team to win the General Classification (GC) after Ovechkin reigned supreme in the Queen stage from Bentong to Cameron Highlands.

The 29-year-old Reguigui, a former World Tour rider with Team Dimension Data, will bring his wealth of experience to help TSG stay as top ranked team in the UCI Asia Tour.

Reguigui is a strong sprinter who can also roll with the punches on undulating terrain – just as he demonstrated in his stage win atop Fraser’s Hill to claim the yellow jersey in the 2015 LTdL. He will be an excellent addition to the team that also boasts multiple UCI Asia Tour stage winner Mohd Harrif Saleh.

Sporting Director Jeremy Hunt said Reguigui would bring a lot to the team as they aim to finish the season as the No. 1 team in Asia.

“He’s a good sprinter, and also a good all-around rider in general,” said the former Team Sky rider Hunt at the team launch at the Primula Beach Hotel in Kuala Terengganu.

The team was launched by Terengganu Menteri Besar, Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

“With another top sprinter in our stable (Harrif), to have Youcef with us is definitely good for the team as we try to go for stage wins as well as defend overall victory. He will add a bit more depth to our team prowess.”

“He has been up there racing with the big boys during his time with Dimension Data, and there’s a lot that the Malaysian guys in the team could learn from him,” added Hunt.

Three-time Algerian champion Reguigui has shown that he is shaping up well for the season with several podium finishes in the just concluded La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. He finished three times in second place and once in third in the presence of top sprinters like Andre Greipel (Arkea Samsic) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Direct Energie).

After making history as the first Malaysian team to win the GC in LTdL last year, the team from the East Coast of Malaysia aims to continue making big waves in the UCI Asia Tour.

Besides Reguigui, Harrif and Ovechkin, TSG also has GC prospect Drew Morey of Australia, Metkel Eyob of Eritrea, Maral-Erdene Batmunkh of Mongolia, Goh Choon Huat of Singapore, Muhammad Zulhilmie Afif Ahmad Zamri, Irwandie Lakasek, Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin, Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, Muhamad Afiq Huznie Othman, Mohd Nor Umardi Rosdi, Zuladri Amin Zulkurnain and Mohd Zamri Saleh as the team captain.

“The target for us this year is to have more GC wins. We had Artem winning it for us last year which was a big deal, and we want to stay on top of the UCI standings this year,” said Hunt. “But with Youcef around, he will add more bite to our challenge in winning stages together with Harrif and the rest of the team.”

The team’s immediate target will be the Ronda Philipinas (8-12 Feb) in the Philippines before they head on to tackle their most significant objective of the year, the LTdL (24-31 March).

“We’re sending a mix of GC riders and sprinters to the Philippines to get them ready for LTdL,” said Hunt. “If we could win the LTdL again, that would be a dream. It will be a difficult feat to do (retaining the title), but we will give our best.”

“Also, with such a strong squad, we will use this year to develop our young Malaysian riders in the team so that they can take over the seniors in the future. This is the perfect opportunity for the young ones to learn from the more experienced riders,” added Hunt.
2019 sponsors were also presented during the team launch, TSG is pleased to have the continuing financial support from Terengganu State Government, Terengganu Inc and UZLand. TSG is also very pleased to continue receiving the support of Shimano Singapore and welcomes new sponsor from Argon 18 bicycles equipped with Shimano and PRO components and wheels, OGK Kabuto for eye, head protection and CCN for cycling apparels.

Other team sponsors include Bryton GPS, NA Advance Nutrition, Inno Rack, EXA Marketing, CVE Sports, Primula Beach Hotel, KHR Audit Firm, Klinik RAFA, ARCA Imej Optometris Sdn Bhd, Big Screed Enterprise, TT Idea, Cycling Malaysia and Kuala Terengganu Cycling Community.

Max Richeze: “Racing in Argentina is always special”
One of the best and most respected lead-out men in the business, “El Atomico” talks of his love for cycling, racing in front of his countrymen in San Juan – where his career started many years ago – and being part of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team.

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