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As we build up to the Tour de France, the Critérium du Dauphiné kicks off, plus the Brussels Cycling Classic, the Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl and the Giro dell’Appennino all with video. Tom Dumoulin to retire – TOP STORY. Rider news: Davide Rebellin makes his comeback, Hindley praises Kelderman, Martínez behind Yates in INEOS Tour hierarchy, Miguel Ángel López training and Caleb Ewan at altitude. Team news: Quick-Step looking at Jan Hirt and Matteo Malucelli, Burgos-BH signs José Manuel Díaz, Thibau Nys with Trek-Segafredo, Alexandre Geniez and TotalEnergies split, surgery for Jonas Rickaert, Uno-X signs Johannes Kulset and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to Ronde van Limburg. Race news: CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta’22 route and 2023 European Road Championships in Drenthe. Sad news for EOLO’s Edward Ravasi. *** Stop the war in Ukraine. ***
TOP STORY: Tom Dumoulin Will Stop After 2022
2022 will be Tom Dumoulin’s final race season. The 31-year-old Limburger of Jumbo-Visma has announced that he will finish the current season, but that will be the end of his career in the peloton. Dumoulin was close to giving up the bike last year and the setbacks in the spring and the disappointing Giro d’Italia have made him decide to finally hang the wheels up after the 2022 season.
On the fifteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia, Dumoulin abandoned. This was one of the biggest disappointments of his career. Precisely because this Tour of Italy had to be his journey of discovery whether he could still compete with the best GC riders. “The body is finished, it is empty. This is a big disappointment,” he told the NOS at the time. “The problem is not with the back injury. But I also don’t know how it happened. I’m not moving forward. I get no power, no power on the pedals. It just isn’t there. At the moment I have no other answer.”
The real cause for his disappointing level in the Giro d’Italia was not found in the days after his return from Italy. Nothing has come to light from investigations. Dumoulin did state that he suffers a lot from various minor aches and pains, which hardly played a role in the past. And that he suffers a lot from this. In an interview two days before the Amstel Gold Race, Dumoulin said that he would only continue racing if he can still compete with the best. “I’m not going to be on the margins for five years,” he emphasised.
Various teams have shown in recent weeks that they are very interested in working with Dumoulin next season. These included BikeExchange-Jayco, Trek-Segafredo, Alpecin-Fenix, Intermarché-Wanty, BORA-hansgrohe and Israel-Premier Tech. With his overall victory in the Giro d’Italia, his world time trial title, stage victories in the three Grand Tours, second place in 2018 in both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin has built up a fine palmarès.
Statement by Tom Dumoulin (June 3, 2022):
“I have decided that 2022 will be my last year as a cyclist.”
“In 2020 I had a very difficult year where I was overtrained and burned out at the end of that year. At the end of 2020, beginning of 2021, I was a mere shadow of myself and decided to take a break from cycling and think about my future.”
“After a while I decided to continue as a cyclist. On the one hand because the Olympic Games in Tokyo attracted me, but also because of my love for the bicycle and passion for this special cycling world in which I am often amazed, but just as often feel very much at home. Since that autumn of 2020 I have occasionally shown very nice things on the bike. Last year’s silver medal in Tokyo as the absolute highlight. I am incredibly proud of that.”
“But as beautiful as it was sometimes, very often and certainly this year it has also been a frustrating path, where my body felt and still feels tired. When the load in training or competitions increases, I start to suffer from fatigue, aches and injuries instead of getting better. The efficiency of the training sessions too often did not lead to the desired performance in the past period.”
“The one hundred percent dedication, everything I do and don’t do for my sport, and what I get in return, has therefore been unbalanced for some time in my opinion.”
“With the necessary patience and a very careful (training) approach, I am convinced that in the long run I can recover and let my full potential speak on the bike. But that will be a long, patient road with no guarantees of success. I choose not to take this road, but instead to stop my active career and embark on a new, unknown path.”
“The team and I are now going to make a plan together to make it some very nice, fun and hopefully very successful last months. I am especially looking forward to the World Cup in Australia, where I hope to be able to do one last time in the time trial. I don’t know what I’m going to do after my career, and I don’t really want to know yet. But I do know that the love for the bicycle will always keep me involved in cycling in one way or another. I am very curious what the future will bring me. I am a happy person and I can already look back on my cycling career with great pride.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has lived, sympathised and helped me with this fantastic adventure over the past 11 years. Thanks to all teammates, team leaders, carers, mechanics, other staff and sponsors who have always been there for me in recent years. Thanks also to all cycling followers who have supported me so much all these years! Cycling has cost me blood, sweat and tears every now and then, but it was so beautiful and special!”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! Tom.”
Pizza and Giro overall for Tom Dumoulin, but no pineapple:
Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
Wout van Aert won Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2022. The Belgian champion of Jumbo-Visma was the fastest in Beauchastel in a bunch sprint, ahead of Ethan Hayter and Sean Quinn. Van Aert is also the overall leader in the French stage race.
The 74th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné started with a 192 kilometre stage through the Ardèche. From the start in La Voulte-sur Rhône it went over the Col de Leyrisse (9.9km at 4.2%) and the Côte des Baraques (3.3km at 6.6%), to a local circuit around the small town of Beauchastel, some 10 kilometres south-west of the city of Valence. With the Côte du Chambon de Bavas (4.7km at 5.2%) and the Col du Moulin à Vent (3.4km at 4.8%) before the finish.
Imanol Erviti crashed in the neutralised zone and needed medical attention. Due to the delay, the start was also briefly postponed. After some attacks, the break was formed by Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM), Laurens Huys (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Maxime Bouet (Arkéa-Samsic). The peloton let them go and the difference quickly rose to more than 3 minutes. Niklas Märkl (DSM), was unable to continue after a crash in the first kilometres. Soon after, Erviti also abandoned. At the front, Rolland was chasing the KOM jersey. The B&B Hotels-KTM rider took full points at the top of the Col de Leyrisse and also came first over the Côte des Baraques and Côte du Chambon de Bavas. The 35-year-old Rolland was sure of the mountain’s jersey after crossing the top of the Côte du Chambon de Bavas. The stage victory seemed a bridge too far for Rolland and his fellow escapees, as Jumbo-Visma and BikeExchange-Jayco continued to push in the peloton. The Dutch team had plans for a sprint finish with Wout van Aert, the Australian team was fighting for Dylan Groenewegen. This was bad news for the escape as the lead of Rolland, Huys and Bouet was getting smaller and smaller. With 80 kilometres to go, their advantage was only 2 minutes. The peloton let the escape struggle on a bit. The lead was still 2 minutes at the foot of the last passage of the Côte du Chambon de Bavas and Col du Moulin à Vent, but for the peloton this was the start of the real final. Trek-Segafredo and Jumbo-Visma increased the pace for their sprinters, but especially to try to drop Groenewegen and Phil Bauhaus. At the back of the peloton, the door was wide open.
The pace soon turned out to be too hot for Matthew Walls of BORA-hansgrohe, as Groenewegen and Bauhaus also attempted to survive. Groenewegen initially struggled, but had to let go 2 kilometres from the summit, followed not much later by Bauhaus, Luca Mozzato and Juan Sebastián Molano, this was woking well for Van Aert. In the meantime, Rolland and Huys were still in front and the Frenchman managed to grab some extra mountain points. The difference to the now considerably thinned peloton had shrunk to just over 20 seconds and Rolland and Huys’ adventure came to an end on the Col du Moulin à Vent. This turned out to be the signal for many riders to start attacking, but these escape attempts were nipped in the bud almost immediately. Mikkel Honoré then went to battle and the Danish rider of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was given some space by INEOS Grenadiers, which had taken control of the bunch. Groenewegen was behind with his teammates. The Dutch sprinter had not given up hope, but was stuck with his teammates at over 1 minute from the first group. This seemed like an unbridgeable gap as INEOS were not slowing down.
The British team saw an excellent opportunity for a sprint victory with Ethan Hayter and pulled ahead on the descent and this made sure Groenewegen wouldn’t return. BikeExchange-Jayco did receive some help from Bahrain Victorious and UAE Team Emirates. So the difference did became smaller and it looked hopeful for the Groenewegen group when entering the last 15 kilometres, but BikeExchange-Jayco was unable to close the last gap. Rémi Cavagna tried to surprise the sprinters with an attack in the final 2 kilometres, but the French rider couldn’t get away. A sprint would decide the stage winner. Hayter was the first to start, but the Briton was pulled back by Van Aert. The Belgian champion easily won the first stage ahead of Hayter and EF Education-EasyPost’s Sean Quinn.
Stage winner and overall leader, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Looking at the profile, we could expect a hard finale. There were lots of teams interested in dropping sprinters. I was able to hang on and I felt good for the sprint so that’s really nice. On stages like today, I can already feel the good legs and that’s a pleasure. But you still have to beat guys like [Ethan] Hayter, who is doing really great this season. It was tough to pass him but in the end I did it so I’m happy, furthermore since I’ve been working on my sprint recently because I didn’t have the best sensations in this area during the Spring. The coming stages suit me quite well so we’ll try to defend the jersey if possible, and hopefully I can hand it over to Primoz this week-end, but it’s a lot of hard stages coming, difficult to control.”
2nd on the stage and overall, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “With a slight headwind, maybe I could have gone a bit later but I think we can be happy with how the race went for us. It’s really nice to have the team commit for me, like they did all year and already last year, it means a lot. I haven’t done many races in the World Tour, and it really came close today, so hopefully I get more chances this week. There’s a lot of good days for me, even the time-trial could be good, so we keep trying. I went to Canada for the Track Nations Cup, and with the jet-lag and all, I was very tired in Norway, but today was a good day and I hope to keep it going.”
KOM and 6th overall, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM): “It’s very symbolic to have the polka dot jersey today, since I won it for my first participation in the Dauphiné, in 2008. When I went first atop the first climb, I started doing the math and I figured it was 14 years ago, that’s something! It wasn’t really planned, but we wanted to see if strong riders were going to make the break. When I saw riders like Cavagna and Geniets try to go, I thought it was worth going as well. In the end, it was just three of us at the front, so it wasn’t easy against a peloton quickly in control. Anyway, it’s a nice beginning, even though the chances of winning were quite small. You should never have regrets.”
Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “That was a pretty tough first stage here at the Dauphiné. We had hot weather, rain and a super fast finale, so there was a bit of everything. It was a very open race today and so we had to ride attentively and in a good position all the time. Even though we weren’t able to get our sprinter Jordi Meeus over the last climb, we all made it to the line safe and sound. I felt really good today and so I’m really looking forward to the next stages.”
Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 1 Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:37:31
2. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost
4. Hugo Page (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
8. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
10. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 1:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 4:37:21
2. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers 0:04
3. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:06
4. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:07
5. Laurens Huys (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:08
6. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM at 0:09
7. Hugo Page (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:10
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
9. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
10. Clément Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën.
Dauphiné’22 stage 1:
Brussels Cycling Classic 2022
The 102nd edition of the Brussels Cycling Classic was won by Taco van der Hoorn. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Dutchman was part of an early break, but managed to stay out of the grip of the peloton. Van der Hoorn was just too strong for Thimo Willems and Tobias Bayer in the sprint from the leading group.
The Brussels Cycling Classic, formerly known as Paris-Brussels, has in the past often been a sprinter’s race. The organisers gave the route a complete facelift last year, with the Muur van Geraardsbergen (1.2km at 7.8%) and the Bosberg (1.4km at 5%) as the centre of a difficult hilly zone, plus the Zavelstraat and the Congoberg, before and after. This was followed by the Brabantsebaan, the Rosweg and the Heiligekruiswegstraat in the 200 kilometres race
The peloton soon saw ten riders get away, but saw no danger in this early break and let it go. Taco van der Hoorn, Thimo Willems (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), Bram Welten (Groupama-FDJ), Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Axel Laurance (B&B Hotels-KTM), Arjen Livyns (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Gilles De Wilde & Runne Herregodts (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Gianni Marchand (Tarteletto-Isorex) soon took an 8 minute lead. There was no panic in the peloton, despite the presence of some recognised riders such as Van der Hoorn, Wallays and Herregodts. This turned out to be a mistake, as the lead going towards the first passage of the Muur, Bosberg and Congoberg kept fluctuating around 8 minutes. The first passage of the Muur van Geraardsbergen caused a significant change in the peloton, with Magnus Sheffield, Michael Matthews, Gianni Vermeersch and Quinten Hermans at the front. Victor Campenaerts was also very active for Lotto Soudal. The stronger riders tried to shape the race, but they couldn’t prevent a regrouping after the Bosberg. And so there was a fairly compact peloton going to the second passage of the Muur van Geraardsbergen. The young Sheffield, who managed a surprise win in the Brabantse Pijl in the spring, made an impression on the climb. The Brit accelerated and only Tim Wellens was able to go with him. Sheffield and Wellens took off together, but decided to wait for six pursuers after the Muur.
With Sheffield, Wellens, Piet Allegaert, Axel Zingle, Florian Vermeersch, Ben Turner, Matthews and Gianni Vermeersch in the chasing group, the hunt started for the early break. The attackers of the first hour still had a lead of more than 1:30, with good 40 kilometres to go. The lead group could still dream of victory. The eight pursuers couldn’t get any closer and after the last time over the Congoberg they were caught by a thinned out peloton. After the regrouping in the peloton, the work mainly had to come from Lotto Soudal. The Belgian team led the group and managed to reduce the difference to 1 minute. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Campenaerts took care of the lion’s share of the work and with more than 15 kilometres to go Florian Vermeersch also got involved in the chase. The race could have gone either way in the rain-soaked final towards Brussels. With about 15 kilometres to go, the riders had to face the difficult climb of the Heiligekruiswegstraat. This turned out to be too much for Laurence and Wallays, leaving only eight front riders. In the chasing group, Campenaerts was now making his last efforts, but it didn’t help much. The second group got stuck with a gap of 45 seconds in the last 10 kilometres. The pursuers didn’t get any closer in the last kilometres. With 3 kilometres to go, the break riders started to look at each other. Under the last kilometre banner, Van der Hoorn went full on, but Bayer was immediately on his wheel. Willems also managed to react in time, the others were beaten. Willems, who was suffering from cramps in the final, still had some left in the last kilometre and gave Van der Hoorn and Bayer a close battle. Willems jumped away from Van der Hoorn and Bayer, taking a small gap. However, Van der Hoorn didn’t give up and pulled past Willems. A disgruntled Willems ended up in second place, Bayer finished third.
Race winner, Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Gosh, I’d given up. I really had to come a long way. Thimo Willems went fast, he was really damn strong. It’s nice that I can finish it, because I wasn’t really sure. I felt really good at the beginning of the race, but after that I didn’t feel very good anymore. At one point I wanted to tell the team not to count on me, but my communication didn’t work. But the situation behind us wasn’t great either, so I had to try it anyway. I just wanted to go full for the last corner, otherwise I’d ride Bram Welten to the win and I didn’t want that either. My plan was to give it all and gamble. I had to try something and I did in the last corner. I went all the way through it, thinking that some guys might go through it a little softer because of the rain. Then it was a very tough sprint against Willems, and that also turned out well. Where do I place this victory? My victory in the Giro d’Italia is of course the most beautiful. I often try and sometimes it works. It’s nice to be able to confirm again. It is a really special season and the atmosphere within the team is great.”
Brussels Cycling Classic Result:
1. Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:45:03
2. Thimo Willems (Bel) Minerva Cycling
3. Tobias Bayer (Aust) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:07
5. Gilles De Wilde (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Arjen Livyns (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
7. Bram Welten (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
8. Gianni Marchand (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex at 0:10
9. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
10. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl 2022
Arnaud De Lie won the Heistse Pijl. In the difficult final, Lotto Soudal’s Belgian neopro was able to position himself well at the front to eventually beat Mark Cavendish and Giacomo Nizzolo in the bunch sprint.
Just like last year, the Kempen municipality of Vosselaar, near Turnhout, was the starting point of the Heistse Pijl. The peloton then passed through a large part of the Antwerp Kempen. After 85 kilometres, the final was in the Heist-op-den-Berg area. Then there were six circuits of 15.4 kilometres through the Heistse region with the Heistse Berg at 1.5 kilometres from the finish. The cobbled climb is not easy with its 500 metres at 5.8% with several bends. With Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Danny van Poppel, Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe), Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech), Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal), Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), Gerben Thijssen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Arvid de Kleijn (Human Powered Health) a lot of teams were in the province of Antwerp with a fast-finisher.
In the first hour there was a lead group of six men. Maurice Ballerstedt (Alpecin-Fenix), Adrien Lagrée (B&B Hotels-KTM), Oscar Onley (Development Team DSM), Jorre Debaele (Minerva), Thibau Verhofstadt (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Benjamin Perry (WiV SunGod). They took more than 5 minutes on the peloton, but the sprinters checked the time. When the six escapees started the first of the six circuits, their lead had dwindled to 4:30. In the laps after that, the difference kept getting smaller. After 3 laps, the difference was still 2 minutes. That remained stable for some time because the teams of the sprinters didn’t want to bring back the leading group too early. On the fourth lap, Ballerstedt and Lagrée were dropped, leaving Onley, Verhofstadt, Debaele and Perry with 1:30 and 2 laps to go. On the 5th lap Verhofstadt and Debaele were also dropped and only Onley and Perry remained. Just before going into the final lap, Perry dropped out due to bad luck. Onley had just under 1 minute on the peloton, which had split, at the last crossing of the finish line. Mick van Dijke tried to get away, but the Jumbo-Visma rider didn’t manage to stay away. Another attack from brother Tim, followed. Due to the various attacks, Onley’s lead was disappearing.
With 9 kilometres to go, Onley was caught. After that the peloton was restless. At 6 kilometres from the finish, the race was marred by a crash. Kooij and Van Poppel, among others, were involved. Then the trains of the sprinters were put into position for the last time in Heistse Berg. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Davide Ballerini accelerated on the climb, but the Italian was caught for the final kilometre. On the cobbled climb, it was important for the fast-men to sit close to the front. De Lie had made it through the difficult final. The neopro started a long sprint and held out against Giacomo Nizzolo and Mark Cavendish. For the 20-year-old sprinter it was his 5th victory of the year. He previously won the Trofeo Playa de Palma, the GP Monseré, the Volta Limburg Classic and the Marcel Kint Classic.
Race winner, Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal): “This is just incredible and feels like a new step in my career. The team executed the plan just perfectly. I was perfectly positioned on the final climb of the Heistseberg. I just followed the attacks and took my responsibility to hold the pace towards the finish. When Nizzolo launched his sprint, I got on his wheel, was able to pass him and so I won. Following the GP Marcel Kint last Sunday, it’s great to have the Heistse Pijl on my palmarès. For me, every race is important and I’m always at the start with the ambition to win. I know it’s not easy to win a race and that is why I am really happy that I can add Heistse Pijl to my list of victories. The fact that I am on the podium with world-class sprinters like Nizzolo and Cavendish is just incredible.”
3rd, Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “It’s a bit disappointing after the guys worked so hard all day. You saw on the last lap that we were on the cobblestone climb the place we wanted to be. My chain came off on the descent. It wasn’t the first time this year that it happened. I lost positions trying to put it back on. I had to try because you never know in the sprint. But to guys like De Lie, De Bie… What’s his name? That one was really fast. I had to come from far, it’s a shame. I came through the last corner in the first five and that was really perfect. The gap I had to leave because of my chain problems was disappointing after what the guys did.”
Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl Result:
1. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 4:08:54
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
4. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
5. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal
6. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
9. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Timo Kielich (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.
Giro dell’Appennino 2022
Last Thursday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was on the podium again, this time in Genova, at the finish of the Giro dell’Appennino (1.1). Two weeks after the second place of Lorenzo Rota in the twelfth stage of the Giro, the World Team left the city this time with the victory and third place.
The 83rd edition of the classic, presented a course of 192 kilometres with five categorised climbs through the Lugurian Appenines. The team directed by Valerio Piva and Bart Wellens showed its collective strength from the start of the race, by setting the pace in the peloton and catching the early break of eight riders in the second half of the race. They led the bunch until the slopes of Pietralavezzara (6.2km at 7.7%).
It was on this penultimate climb that the peloton split, with only twelve riders remaining in the lead at the top. Quinten Hermans, Louis Meintjes, Lorenzo Rota and Georg Zimmermann were in this group and worked hard immediately after the descent, in a succession of attacks on the Madonna della Guardia (6.9 km at 7.9%). Thanks to Meintjes and Zimmermann, the Belgian team continued to outnumber the competition in a group of five riders at the summit of the last climb.
In the end, eight riders battled for the victory in the final 15 kilometres towards Genova. After a first attempt of Georg Zimmermann, Meintjes attacked and managed to create a decisive gap. Thanks to the support of the German rider in the chasing group, the South-African climber began the final kilometre with an advantage of more than 1 minute on his chasers. At the end of a solo of more than 8 kilometres, Meintjes lifted his arms for the first time since 2015, giving his team its twelfth victory of the season. Just behind, Georg Zimmermann sprinted to third place, joining his teammate on the podium.
Race winner, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “It is an unbelievable feeling to be a part of such a strong team! From the start, Kobe Goossens and Simone Petilli controlled the race until I took over on the penultimate climb in order to make the final hard. The course suited Quinten Hermans and Lorenzo Rota really well and our initial goal was to give them the opportunity to start the last flat part towards the centre of Genova in a select group. But in the end, it turned out different, I was in the lead of the race with three other riders. I slowed down a little to enable Georg Zimmermann to join us. I still had good legs and his presence would make it easier to slip away. When he made the junction, we both noticed that our competitors hesitated. Georg motivated me to commit 100% and that’s how I rode solo towards my first victory in seven years! This victory came a little unexpected and that’s why it tastes so sweet! I made a lot of efforts these last couple of weeks to build my form, for example during a team altitude camp in Andorra. It pleased me to see how motivated everyone was to work hard. I was rewarded with nice results this week and I hope that my current condition will bring me more nice moments. I’m traveling to the Critérium du Dauphiné with a reinforced confidence!”
Giro dell’Appennino 2022
1. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 4:56:30
2. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli at 1:37
3. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Simon Clarke (Aus) Israel-Premier Tech
5. Alessandro Verre (Ita) Arkéa Samsic
6. Paul Double (GB) Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM
7. Alessio Martinelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
8. Iván Moreno (Spa) Kern Pharma
9. Michel Ries (Lux) Arkéa Samsic
10. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 4:42.
Davide Rebellin Makes Comeback After Double Leg Fracture
Davide Rebellin was at the start of the Giro dell’Appennino on Thursday. The 50-year-old rider suffered a double leg fracture during the Memorial Marco Pantani in September 2021, but has now returned to the peloton. “I don’t know for how long, for how many races, but the most important thing is to start over and always believe in your dreams,” Rebellin said on his social media.
“I’ve spent a long period of rehabilitation after my tibia and fibula injury that I sustained September 18 last year,” said Rebellin, who now rides for the continental Work Service Marchiol Vega team. “But my wish has always been to come back, to once again pin a number on my back and relive the special emotions that competitions still manage to convey to me: a mix of adrenaline, fun and passion.”
Rebellin debuted as a professional cyclist in 1992 and is now entering his 31st season. Last year he took some good placings. He finished tenth in the Sibiu Cycling Tour and seventh in the Tour of Romania. In the Giro dell’Appennino, where he is making his comeback today, he finished 12th.
Rebellin back in the peloton at 50:
Giro Winner Hindley Praises Kelderman
Jai Hindley was the first Australian winner of the Giro d’Italia last Sunday. In conversation with VeloNews, the BORA-hansgrohe rider looked back on three weeks of racing. He praises his teammate Wilco Kelderman.
“It’s not always easy with three protected leaders in a Grand Tour,” said Hindley, referring to himself, Kelderman and Emanuel Buchmann. “It also really depends on who those other riders are, and the good thing is the other two guys aren’t guys with big egos. They are dedicated and fantastic teammates. When Wilco had mechanical bad luck and saw his GC chances go up in smoke, he was of course devastated, but for the rest of the race he was very motivated to help me.”
“Everyone could see that in the stage to Turin, where he was doing fantastic,” Hindley looks back on the fourteenth stage, in which Kelderman emptied himself for the Australian. “Wilco was more than happy to help me, and when someone has taken that podium in a Grand Tour thanks to your domestique… You don’t get that very often.”
Another important moment that Hindley mentions is his flat tyre in the final kilometres of Dries De Bondt’s stage win to Treviso. “I had to do a wheel change. That was very stressful, and the race itself had become very stressful. In the last kilometres of that stage I had the feeling that I could lose the entire race because of this puncture,” said the 26-year-old rider. In the end he was given the same time as the peloton on the stage, because the bad luck had taken place in the last 3 kilometres.
“That was the one really crazy day, apart from that we had everything under control,” said Hindley, who decided the race on the Passo Fedaia, on the penultimate day. He did that with the help of teammate Lennard Kämna. “It wasn’t the plan for it to finish that day, but it turned out that way. In the end it was great team play.”
“I always feel my best when we get into the third week, that’s my strength. It gives me a lot of confidence to know that I can still ride consistently. I felt pretty good in the finals. Before the penultimate stage I was quite nervous because you either have it or you don’t, and we knew whoever had the jersey at the end of the day would probably win the Giro too.”
Wilco Kelderman and Hindley at the Giro:
Martínez Behind Yates in INEOS Tour Hierarchy
INEOS Grenadiers does not have one of the top favourites in this year’s Tour de France, but does have several contenders with Adam Yates, Geraint Thomas and Daniel Felipe Martínez. In conversation with France24, Martínez makes it clear which of them will start as leader in Copenhagen. “At the moment Adam Yates is the leader for the Tour,” said the Colombian.
“I’m number two,” continued Martínez, pointing out that the race will determine the final pecking order. “Within the team we will see how we play our cards. There is also Geraint Thomas, who has already won the race and knows the race well. Those are our three cards.”
Martínez is having a strong season. He finished third in both the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice, after which he won the Tour of the Basque Country. He then also finished fifth in the Flèche Wallonne and fourth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “It is without a doubt my best year,” said the 26-year-old rider, who is looking forward to the Tour with confidence.
“If I go to the Tour de France in good shape, I can compete with the Slovenians,” he refers to Primoz Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, the winner of the two previous editions. “The superiority of Roglič and Pogačar in the time trials is clear, I have to look for it in the mountains, and use the strength of the team on the cobblestones.”
Daniel Felipe Martínez:
Miguel Ángel López Training After Recovery from Hip Injury
Miguel Angel López is back in training, Astana Qazaqstan reports. The Colombian had to abandon during the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia due to a hip injury, but his team says that the 28 year-old rider has recovered well from his injury, according to his latest medical test. With the Tour de France on the horizon, that is good news for both López and Astana.
In the Giro, the 28-year-old Colombian had suffered from his hip from the start in Hungary, so that he could not go for the general classification in Italy and had to abandon in the fourth stage going to Etna. López should ride the Tour in July, but his team is not saying anything about this yet. In France, he could fight for yellow with teammate Alexey Lutsenko.
Astana Qazaqstan’s last victory was that of López in the fourth stage of the Tour of the Alps. He was no longer a threat overall there, which gave him the chance to get away from the pack. The Colombian won the stage 15 seconds ahead of Frenchman Thibaut Pinot.
The leaders of Astana Qazaqstan don’t have luck on their side at the moment, Lutsenko had to cancel his spring classics in March after a crash during his altitude training camp. In the Tour of Hungary, the Kazakh resumed his preparation for the Tour. The highlight for the squad so far has come from 37-year-old Vincenzo Nibali, who recently finished fourth in his final Giro d’Italia.
López training again:
Caleb Ewan Not in Belgium Tour – Preparing at Altitude for the Tour de France
Contrary to expectations, Caleb Ewan misses the Baloise Belgium Tour. Instead, the Australian sprinter of Lotto Soudal goes on an altitude training camp in the run-up to the Tour de France.
Lotto Soudal is currently fighting against relegation from the WorldTour, but it has been decided not to use Ewan in the Belgian stage race, but to have him prepare for the Tour via an altitude camp. The decision to use the Australian in the hunt for UCI points has not been made, sports director Allan Davis told Het Laatste Nieuws. “We want the best Caleb in the Tour in the future and then an altitude camp is the best preparation. This decision was made in consultation with the rider and his coach.”
The sprinter had a disappointing Giro and crashed in the opening stage. He was able to continue, but the Italian tour didn’t turn out as he expected. He retired early in the second week. The team is not concerned about the rider. The extra training camp is a form of perfectionism. “Caleb wants to be top in the Tour. He’s not 23 anymore, knows exactly what he needs today. He is getting stronger in climbing. That altitude camp will help him with that again soon,” explains Davis.
Ewan won’t start the Baloise Belgium Tour (15-19 June), but he is normally at the start of the Bruges Eleven Cities Tour (12 June). The Australian will race there alongside his sprint lead-out man, Jasper De Buyst, who is returning after his collarbone fracture from the Tour of Turkey.
Ewan training for the Tour:
Quick-Step Looking at Jan Hirt and Matteo Malucelli
Quick-Step Alph Vinyl is interested in Jan Hirt and Matteo Malucelli according to TuttoBiciWeb. 31-year-old climber Hirt is having an excellent season with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, sprinter Malucelli (28) is currently out of work after the UCI decided to revoke the license of the former Gazprom-RusVelo team.
According to the Italian site, Hirt and Malucelli are on the wish list of Patrick Lefevere. Hirt has had a successful season so far, the Czech climber won the Tour of Oman in February and was recently one of the standout figures in the Giro d’Italia. Hirt finished sixth overall, but also won the mountain stage finishing in Aprica. Hirt should strengthen the climbing core of the Belgian team.
Malucelli is a fast-man who has ridden for Androni Giocattoli and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in the past. This year he started the season as a rider with Gazprom-RusVelo, but the team no longer had a license after it was revoked by the UCI due to the war that Russia started in Ukraine. Malucelli was successful this year in the Tour de Antalya and the Giro di Sicilia, where he raced for the Italian national team.
Jan Hirt off to Quick-Step?
Burgos-BH Picks Up José Manuel Díaz from Gazprom-RusVelo
José Manuel Díaz is still a professional cyclist. After his Gazprom-RusVelo team was unlicensed due to the war in Ukraine, the experienced Spaniard was out of work. He has now signed a contract with Burgos-BH until the end of 2023.
The 27-year-old Díaz only raced two stage races for Gazprom-RusVelo this season, the Tour of Valencia and the Ruta del Sol. In that last race he got off after two stages. After that, Díaz stopped racing. A hard blow for the climber, who last year won the Tour of Turkey with Delko and took top-10 places in the Tour de l’Ain and the Tour du Limousin.
“I never lost hope and continued training, hoping to get back to racing as soon as possible,” said Díaz. “I am very happy to have had the opportunity at Burgos-BH. It’s a team where I know everyone, and that’s important to join in the middle of the season. I also think they have a nice competition calendar, which few teams can offer. I hope to win a race and play a leading role in the Vuelta a España.”
José Manuel Díaz saved by Burgos-BH:
Thibau Nys With Trek-Segafredo Until the End of 2024
Trek-Segafredo has confirmed the signing of Thibau Nys. The 19 year-old Belgian will join the American WorldTeam this Autumn as a stagiere, to be officially part of the team from 2023. He will sign a contract with Trek-Segafredo until the end of 2024.
Nys junior, the reigning European U23 road champion, will continue to combine road riding at Trek-Segafredo with cyclo-cross with Baloise Trek Lions in the coming years. This is the cyclo-cross team of his father Sven Nys. “I am honoured to be part of Trek-Segafredo,” said Thibau Nys. “I think this is the right step at the right time, to take the step to the highest level.”
“Riding the WorldTour has always been a dream, being able to do that at Trek makes it extra special. This way I can combine racing on the road with cyclo-cross at the highest level,” said Nys. According to team manager Luca Guercilena, the talent of the 19-year-old is beyond question. “His cyclo-cross results speak for themselves, but after his European road title he became even more interesting for us. This year he has already achieved great results on the road.”
Nys is not the only part road/cyclo-cross racer with Trek-Segafredo. “We have good experience in that balance with Lucinda Brand and Shirin van Anrooij at Baloise Trek Lions,” said Guercilena. “We look forward to taking him one step further in his career.”
Trek-Segafredo will try to calm Nys. “His introduction to the WorldTour should be as relaxed as possible, given the high expectations of the media and fans,” said Markel Irizar. The former rider is now a Talent Scout with the team. “We will be working with Baloise Trek Lions and the current team around Thibau to create the perfect environment for him. He can thus focus on his development, without stress and without haste.”
Euro champ, Thibau Nys to Trek-Segafredo:
Alexandre Geniez and TotalEnergies Split
Alexandre Geniez is no longer part of the TotalEnergies team with immediate effect. The 34 year-old Frenchman’s contract has been terminated in consultation, according to the French ProTeam. Geniez was convicted in March of domestic violence. TotalEnergies doesn’t say whether the break has anything to do with this. Geniez was to retire at the end of this year.
Geniez was convicted of domestic violence by the Rodez court in March, but was not jailed. The three-time stage winner in the Vuelta a España was given a four-month suspended prison sentence. He also has to pay a symbolic compensation of one euro. The prosecutor had previously demanded a six-month suspended prison sentence.
TotalEnergies condemned Geniez’s action shortly after the conviction, but retained the rider. “Respect for people and taking responsibility are cardinal values that are supported by TotalEnergies and shared within the team. The team is closely monitoring any situation that could violate these principles and reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary action in the event of proven misconduct,” the team said in a statement.
The UCI also announced that it would follow up on the events. The union indicated that the matter will be passed on to the ethics committee, which may start disciplinary proceedings against the rider.
Alexandre Geniez gone from TotalEnergies:
Jonas Rickaert Waiting for Surgery, Probably won’t Race in 2022
For Jonas Rickaert, the 2022 season is probably over. The 28-year-old Belgian of Alpecin-Fenix has been struggling with a kink in his left femoral artery for a while and the sprinter now has to go under the knife. At the end of June, he will be on the operating table in Eindhoven, the Belgian said via Instagram. He hasn’t raced since Gent-Wevelgem.
“After that a long rehabilitation awaits me,” Rickaert announced. “I probably won’t race again this year. But I’m going to work hard to come back stronger. I want to wish my teammates at Alpecin-Fenix good luck for the rest of the season; just carry on as you did the first half of the season. See you all soon!” Because of that kink in his femoral artery, the lead-out man of Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen always got a ‘weird feeling’ in his left leg.
Jonas Rickaert out for 2022:
Uno-X Secures Junior Johannes Kulset Until the End of 2027
Uno-X has been watching Johannes Kulset for several years. Only 18-year-old, the Norwegian will be part of the Norwegian squad from next season and he will sign a five-year contract until the end of 2027.
Kulset still rides for the junior team, Ringerike SK. Uno-X supports many talent projects in its own country and has all good youth riders in its sights. Kulset already stood out this year with a second place in Pays de Vaud in Switzerland (behind future UAE rider Jan Christen) and a third place in the classification of the Trophée Morbihan. He also finished 17th in the Peace Race for juniors.
Kulset will join Uno-X next year. First via their own continental-level training team, the Uno-X Dare Development Team. At the beginning of 2024, he will transfer to the ProTeam.
Johannes Kulset is part of a real cycling family. His brothers Sindre (23) and Kristian (26) ride for the professional Uno-X team, while brother Magnus (21) races for the training team of Uno-X. Father Vegar Kulset is behind the company Uno-X, which focuses on unmanned filling stations in Norway and Denmark.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to Ronde van Limburg
Mark Cavendish headlines our team for the Belgian one-day race
Monday afternoon, as they will line out for the 68th edition of the Ronde van Limburg, the riders will do it knowing they’ll face a total of 18 climbs stacked between Hasselt and Tongeren, the oldest town in Belgium. With the last of these hurdles – Colenberg and Koltmenberg – coming in the final ten kilometres, those vying for victory will have the opportunity to make the difference and prevent the race from coming down to a mass gallop.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, a winner of 26 races so far this season, comes at the start of the 202.6km one-day race with an experienced seven-man squad featuring the likes of Mark Cavendish – a third-place finisher recently in Heistse Pijl – Iljo Keisse, Michael Mørkøv, Stijn Steels, Bert Van Lerberghe, Stan Van Tricht and Louis Vervaeke.
“There is a chance of the bunch sprinting for the win at the end of the day, but we could very well have also a small group arriving at the finish, so it will all depend on how it will be raced. We have a strong team, riders who can be there once the race opens up and try to bring a good result for the Wolfpack,” said sports director Brian Holm.
Cavendish to ride the Ronde van Limburg:
CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta’22 – 5 Stages and the Toughest Route Yet
The route of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 22 was presented at the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, in Santander, this Tuesday. The race’s 8th edition will take off from Marina de Cudeyo, Cantabria, on the 7th of September with a team time trial and will conclude on the 11th of September in Madrid. It will include another day of competition, making a total of 5 stages, and will feature its toughest route yet.
The CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 22 will commence on the 7th of September in Cantabria with a team time trial. The race will visit the Cantabrian territory for the first time and will hold the entire two first stages and part of the third there. As it was already the case in 2021, the race will add another day of competition to its current duration, making it a total of 5 stages.
The route’s official presentation took place at the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, in Santander, and featured the distinguished presence of the Vice-President of the Government of Cantabria, Pablo Zuloaga, and the General Manager of Unipublic, Javier Guillén.
In total, there will be five very different stages: an inaugural team time trial, mid-mountain stages, an explosive finale and an opportunity for the sprinters in the traditional final circuit in Madrid, which will coincide with the last stage of La Vuelta 22.
Its Toughest Route Yet
The race will begin with a team time trial spanning over almost 20 km in the municipality of Marina de Cudeyo. This winding route will determine who wears La Roja first.
The second stage will continue to travel through Cantabria with its departure and arrival in Colindres. The riders will have to face a challenging series of mountain passes, with up to five point-incurring climbs, two of them 1st category climbs. It will undoubtedly be a stage for climbers as they overcome the steep ramps of Campo la Cruz (3.2 km at an inclination of 8%) in the final part of the stage.
Just 17 days after hosting the departure of the 7th stage of La Vuelta 22, Camargo will host the departure of the 3rd stage of the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 22. The peloton will head to Aguilar de Campoo in a stage filled with many uphill stretches. Hoces de Bárcena (16 km at an inclination of 3.4%) will be the day’s main obstacle, with the stage’s final third consisting of constant climbs and descents.
The fourth stage, which will depart from Palencia, will mark a new milestone for the race as it will be the longest stage in the race’s history thus far. 160 km long with a leg-breaker first half and a second flatter stretch with several uphill kilometres at the end. The Segovia aqueduct will watch the cyclists ride past towards the historical city centre’s cobblestoned finale.
To conclude, the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta 22 will again hold a final stage entirely within Madrid’s traditional urban circuit, coinciding with the 21st stage of La Vuelta 22. It will be a great day for the peloton’s most powerful sprinters.
More information about the CERATIZIT Challenge by La Vuelta: www.challengebylavuelta.com
The 2023 European Road Championships will Take Place in Drenthe (Netherlands)
The contract between the Union Européenne de Cyclisme and Courage International Events BV was signed this morning in Drenthe (Netherlands) for the organisation of the 2023 Road European Championships that will be held in the Dutch province from 20 to 24 September 2023.
It will be one of the most eagerly awaited of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme’s events where a total of 13 titles will be awarded during the five-day competition: Road and Time-Trial Juniors, U23 and Elite (Men and Women), in addition to the Mixed Relay.
Enrico Della Casa, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme: “The Road European Championships are without doubt the pinnacle of cycling events on our continent and we are looking forward to a very important event in Drenthe in 2023. Sport in the Netherlands and especially in this province is synonymous with cycling. Its huge popularity and the organisation of major events in the past are already guarantee of success.”
“During the five-day competition more than 1,000 athletes from over 40 countries will be in Drenthe attracting huge crowds. The extensive media coverage guaranteed by Eurovision will be shown in fans homes all over Europe and showcase a region which is preparing for these five days of great sport. I wish to thank Drenthe Province, and Henk Brink, for his constant support and promotion of our sport, the Dutch Cycling Federation and its President Wouter Bos, and organisers of the Courage International Events BV, with the Director Thijs Rondhuis, a guarantee of top-level organisation as well as all the volunteers for their commitment and professionalism and the passion they have shown in preparing to organise these Championships.”
2023 Euro champs in Drenthe:
We are Close to Our Rider Edward Ravasi
Fran Contador, Ivan Basso, Alberto Contador and the entire EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team family would like to express their strongest condolences to Edward Ravasi and all his loved ones at this time of great sorrow for the death of his dearest father. Edward, we hug you tightly.
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