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EUROTRASH: Bernal Out Of Hospital & All the Other News

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Great news from Colombia – TOP STORY. Results and video form the Saudi Tour, Volta a la Communitat Valenciana, VCV Féminas Gran Premio Diputación de Valencia, Étoile de Bessèges and cross Maldegem and Lille. Rider news: David Dekker Valencia crash, covid positives, Tom Dumoulin in Colombia, Mads Pedersen to miss opening weekend, Chris Lawless wants to ride Classics, Amy Pieters up date, Natnael Berhane new team, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to retire and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak contract. Team news: Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to the Tour of Oman. Race news: Tour of Oman stages and Haute-Savoie wants the Super World Championship in 2027. EUROTRASH coffee time.

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TOP STORY: Egan Bernal Optimistic
Egan Bernal has announced on social media that his last major surgery is over. He says he is ready to recover. “I’m back”, Bernal said on his Instagram.

On Thursday, the good news came out that the Colombian had surgery on his cervical spine. “The patient is already recovering. The goals of the biomechanical stability of the cervical column (spine) have been achieved with excellent clinical results. There were no complications during the operation,” the hospital announced.

After his serious collision with a stationary bus at the end of January, things look to be on the way up for the INEOS Grenadiers. He himself knows the seriousness of his injuries. “Almost twenty broken bones. But I’m glad God let me go through this. This was really tough, but I had a great group of people around me.”

“Yesterday I had the last major surgery and everything seems to have gone well. So now it’s time to recover… I’m back!!! And let’s rock,” said a positive Bernal.

Saturday: Egan Bernal to Leave Intensive Care
Egan Bernal has been allowed to leave the Intensive Care Unit. The Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where the Colombian rider is treated, reported in a new communiqué. Bernal will now be transferred to a regular hospital ward.

“In light of his improvement and his constant evolution, Egan can leave the ICU,” the bulletin reads. “The response to pain management improved and there were no complications.” The climber suffered a fractured spine, right femur and right patella in the accident. Bernal, 25, also had multiple broken ribs, a perforated lung and chest trauma. He has since been operated on several times.

Sunday: Egan Bernal Released from Hospital After Two Weeks
Egan Bernal has been released after two weeks from the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, the hospital where he was admitted at the end of January after a serious training crash. The Colombian will continue to recover from his many injuries in a rehabilitation centre.

“Egan Bernal spent two weeks in our facility and managed to overcome a high-energy trauma (injury that occurs when a human body absorbs a lot of force in an accident, Personal Injury Specialist),” the hospital said in a statement. “Right now the patient is in the third stage of trauma. He is ready to begin his rehabilitation process. He has no complications and all his injuries are stable and recovering.”

Bernal will continue to recover in a rehabilitation centre affiliated with the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana. “With pride and hope, we are embarking on a new stage together with our athlete,” was the final sentence of the statement.

Bernal was admitted to the ICU with a broken spine, a broken right femur and a broken right kneecap. The 25-year-old INEOS Grenadiers rider also suffered multiple broken ribs, a perforated lung and chest trauma. He had to go under the knife several times and previously said he almost suffered a spinal cord injury.

Egan Bernal home (Instagram):
bernal

 

saudi
Saudi Tour 2022
Dylan Groenewegen took his first win for his new team, BikeExchange-Jayco. The Dutchman won Stage 3 of the Saudi Tour on Thursday, finishing in AlUla Old Town, ahead of Daniel McLay and Caleb Ewan. Santiago Buitrago held the overall by 3 seconds.

saudi22 st3

In contrast to Wednesday’s stage, there were no significant climbs on the route. On the 181.2 kilometre stage between Tayma Hadaj Well and Alula Old Town, it was more down hill than up, so a fast race could be expected and there was a fierce wind.

The wind proved to be favourable for echelons and so it came as no surprise that the peloton was quickly pulled into one long line. In the first hour there was a front group of 27 riders, leader Santiago Buitrago had missed the move. Buitrago was in a second group more than half a minute down on the first group. Sprinters Caleb Ewan, Dylan Groenewegen, Danny van Poppel, Simone Consonni and Fernando Gaviria were at the front. Top riders such as Rui Costa, Luka Mezgec and Daniel Oss were also in the front group. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was had six men at the front, only Iljo Keisse was not with the front echelon. The difference between the two groups fluctuated for a long time around 45 seconds, but with 90 kilometres to go there was a regrouping. With a front group of about 50 riders, part two of the stage started.

Three riders were able to take advantage of a moment of calm and decided to escape. Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) and Benjamin Declercq (Arkéa-Samsic) took a maximum lead of just over 3 minutes. With 70 kilometres to go Turgis went on a hopeless solo. The Frenchman had to deal with a strong headwind in the final, causing the average speed to drop considerably. This didn’t stop Turgis from extending his lead on the peloton to almost 5 minutes, but there was no panic among the sprinter’s teams, as it was still a long way to the finish.

It turned out to be an unequal battle, although Turgis was the first through the intermediate sprint 15 kilometres from the finish, for 3 bonus seconds. Jasha Sütterlin (Bahrain Victorious) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) also made an effort for a few bonus seconds. Two kilometres after the intermediate sprint, Turgis’ solo came to an end. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl tried a surprise move, but this attempt was short-lived. Niki Terpstra also tried to avoid a sprint in the last kilometres, but it didn’t work. The sprinter’s teams had their trains ready and they caught Terpstra again and rode hard to the last kilometre. Groenewegen was perfectly piloted by his team and in particular Luka Mezgec. The Dutchman started the sprint in a perfect position, jumped first and managed to hold off McLay and Ewan.

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Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco): “It’s really amazing to win in my first race. We tried something on the first day but it didn’t work well but everybody is really strong so today we made a new plan for today. The finish was really hard but in the end, everyone was there in the small group, we did a really good lead-out and I only sprinted for 100m so thanks to the team and it is incredible that I can give them the win for their help today. It was a really crazy stage but the guys put me in a really good position in the front and also Luka Mezgec was there, but then with the headwind everything came back but that was good for us to have everyone there in the final. We made a really good plan and the tactic was amazing and everybody did a really good job. It’s only the second sprint for me this year, but it feels like we are already working together for two years. For moral it is really nice if you can win in the first race. We were a little bit angry after the first day but we also learnt a lot so it was also a good day. Today it is really amazing and good for moral to take the victory in the first race, it is good for the team and for me.”

Saudi Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco in 5:11:22
2. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
6. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
7. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
10. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious in 13:36:55
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal at 0:03
3. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:13
4. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X
5. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
6. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:20
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis at 0:21
8. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Cyril Barthe (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
10. Rubén Fernández (Spa) Cofidis.

Saudi Tour’22 stage 3:

 

Maxim Van Gils won Stage 4 of the Saudi Tour. The Lotto Soudal Belgian was the first into Harrat Uwayrid after a tough final. Luka Mezgec and Tim Declercq joined him on the podium. Van Gils is also now the new overall leader.

saudi tour 22 st4

The largest part of the 149.3 kilometre stage consisted of two loops, followed by the first climb. The top of the last real climb was just under 10 kilometres from the finish. The maximum gradient was 22%.

The break of the day escaped immediately after the start. Polychronis Tzortzakis and Muhamad Othman quickly gained 2 minutes, the peloton rode at a leisurely pace. The first intermediate sprint of the day was won by Tzortzakis. With 60 kilometres to go, the wind started to pick up as did the pace in the peloton. The first group had 17 riders, including Niccolò Bonfiazio, Daniel Oss, Anthony Turgis (all TotalEnergies), Danny van Poppel (BORA-hansgrohe), Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange-Jayco), Maxim van Gils (Lotto Soudal), Simone Consonni (Cofidis) and Jérémy Lecroq (B&B Hotels-KTM). Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was represented by five riders: Andrea Bagioli, Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq, Jannik Steimle and Bert Van Lerberghe. Overall leader Santiago Buitrago had missed the move and was in the second group. Due to the pace in the peloton, the break of the day was quickly caught. The second group, with leader Buitrago, followed at 1:30. His Bahrain-Victorious team set the pace, but they didn’t really get any closer. Rui Costa, Lennard Kämna, Anthon Charming and Cijan Uijtdebroeks, among others, had also missed the boat. A larger group with stage winner Caleb Ewan followed at 4 minutes.

At 11 kilometres from the finish, the road started to rise. Simone Consonni was dropped due to a flat tyre. Ten kilometres from the finish, Bagioli put in an attack. He accelerated on a drag of 15%, Van Gils was the only one to join him. The Belgian was also the man best positioned on GC. At 9 kilometres from the finish, Bagioli unexpectedly cracked and Van Gils rode away alone. Van Gils started a time trial of about 8 kilometres to the finish. The Belgian took more time and rode solo to victory. Behind; Bagioli was caught by the chasing group. Mezgec won the sprint for second place, Declercq finished third. Van Gils is now the new overall leader.

saudi tour22 st4

Stage winner and overall leader, Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Soudal): “It feels very special to me. This is just my first professional win. Also, I’m not a rider who wins a lot. I had a really good day today. The team did a good job getting me into the first group. After that, it was important that I conserve my energy so that I could finish it at the end. Today was the perfect day for me. The plan for the Saudi Tour was to go for the general classification. The team believed in me and motivated me every day. Tomorrow is another day, we need to be focused. We will go for the stage win with Caleb. Of course I have to take home the green jersey (the general classification).”

2nd on the stage, Luka Mezgec (BikeExchange-Jayco): “These kind of climbs, 10 minutes, 12 minutes, they can suit me sometimes. But today, the race before we got to the climb was so hard, it was basically a breakaway, and nobody was fresh. Just before the race we actually went here to see the sights and we saw the climb, so I knew I would need really light gears for today, but still I was in 36-30 and I was zig-zagging all the way to the top. I couldn’t hold the first two guys over the climb, but I knew the guys from behind were coming so I tried to play with them, but in the end the Lotto-Soudal guy was just too strong for everyone. It was a good effort, I’m happy with the shape for the season and we go into the sprint tomorrow.”

5th on the stage and 3rd overall, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “The last two days the race has been made really hard with the wind. I gave everything on the stage, and my teammates worked perfectly to guide me in the wind. In the final I was marking the race leader a bit : I want to defend my podium spot at least and with the wind who knows what can happen tomorrow.”

Saudi Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 3:32:39
2. Luka Mezgec (Slov) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:40
3. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies
7. Alexis Renard (Fra) Cofidis
8. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:44
10. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:19.

Saudi Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 17:09:38
2. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:36
3. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
4. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:52
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:57
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies
7. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 1:29
8. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:36
9. Alexis Renard (Fra) Cofidis at 1:45
10. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis at 1:46.

Saudi Tour’22 stage 4:

 

Dylan Groenewegen won the Final Stage 5 of the Saudi Tour on Sunday. After Caleb Ewan punctured in the final, the Dutchman was faster than Daniel McLay and Davide Ballerini. The leader’s jersey of Maxim Van Gils was not in danger in the final stage.

saudi tour 22 st5

With Maxim Van Gils in the leader’s jersey, the peloton started from Alula Old Town for a fairly flat stage. As a bunch sprint was the most probable finish, there wasn’t any major GC changes expected.

Four riders eventually managed to escape. Martin Bugge Urianstad (Uno-X) and Polychronis Tzortzakis (Kuwait PCT), both of whom we had seen on the attack several times in the race, were joined by Jannik Steimle (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl) and Urianstad’s team-mate Anthon Charmig. Their lead never grew more than 2 minutes. This was mainly due to Jan Maas and Thomas De Gendt, who controlled the break from the peloton for their sprinters: top favourites Dylan Groenewegen and Caleb Ewan. Maas and De Gendt were also helped by overall leader Van Gils, who contributed in the service of Ewan. Thirty kilometres from the finish, the Greek rider couldn’t hold on to Tzortzakis at the front, 10 kilometres later, at the first of three crossings of the finish line Bugge Urianstad gave up his solo with 18 kilometres to go. Steimle tried to go solo and got 45 seconds on the peloton.

Steimle tried his best, but the peloton led by BORA-hansgrohe and Cofidis pulled the Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl rider back. This happened just before the start of the final lap, 10 kilometres from the finish, where Danny van Poppel was the first to go through to take 3 bonus seconds. Tim Declercq, fourth overall, tried to go on his own, but in no time the Belgian was already caught and a bunch sprint was inevitable. There would be no Caleb Ewan, who punctured 3 kilometres from the finish. Van Poppel started working early, too early, it turned out. Groenewegen managed to get over the slightly uphill finish. The BikeExchange-Jayco rider held off Daniel McLay and Davide Ballerini. The green leader’s jersey of Van Gils was no trouble during the stage and the 22-year-old Belgian was the final overall winner of the 2022 Saudi Tour.

saudi tour22 st5

Stage winner, Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco): “The boys did a really good job, they’ve learned really soon and have tried to do things as good as possible and now we have two victories. I think it’s two out of three, so it’s really nice. We lost each other a little bit, but in the final we found each other and Luka and me came together on the roundabout. It was a really good job from the team, they put me in a really good position in the end, I think maybe 200 metres before the finish, Luka put me in position, he made a really good move to go to the right and I had some space to go very well and very free, so it was a good sprint. It’s a really good start of the season, I was a little bit nervous before the start of the season in a new team, but everyone has learned so fast and everybody did a really good job today.”

Final overall winner, Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Soudal): “Yesterday I won my first professional bike race and today I already take home the leader’s jersey. This really gives me a special feeling. The past week really was a wonderful experience. That is why I want to thank the entire team for their support and helping me achieve this victory, without them this would not have been possible. The final stage definitely wasn’t an easy one, we had to exert force on the pedals the whole day long. Again Thomas De Gendt did an incredible job in keeping the early breakaway in check. Now it is time for some rest before I prepare the next races. We’ll see what they bring, but at Lotto Soudal we are of course always aiming for the victory.”

2nd overall, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious): “I’m super happy with the second place overall in the Saudi Tour and all the work made by the staff and my fellow riders. Now it’s time to prepare for the next races. Thanks to all the people that are supporting us.”

3rd overall, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “In general I’m pleased with the week. It was made very hard by the wind and tough conditions but overall it was a very good week of racing. My objective was to try for the win but I think we can also be happy with the podium. We’ll take a few days now to rest and prepare for our next objective in Oman next week and aim for a big result there.”

Saudi Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco in 2:56:10
2. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
3. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
4. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies
7. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
8. Jérémy Lecroq (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
9. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X
10. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM.

Saudi Tour Final Overall Result::
1. Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal in 20:05:48
2. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:36
3. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 0:48
4. Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:52
5. Danny van Poppel (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:54
6. Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies at 0:57
7. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 1:29
8. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:36
9. Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Arkéa Samsic at 1:45
10. Alexis Renard (Fra) Cofidis.

Saudi Tour’22 stage 5:

 

valencia
Volta a la Communitat Valenciana 2022
Fabio Jakobsen won Stage 2 of the Tour of Valencia. The Dutch Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sprinter turned out to be by far the fastest in the final sprint in the streets of Torrent on Thursday.

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There were some climbs on the route, but the final was relatively flat and this gave the sprinter’s teams the opportunity to control things for a possible sprint. For fast men like Fabio Jakobsen, Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani, it was important to survive the Calicanto (4.3km at 2.6%), the last climb of the day, in the last 20 kilometres. Ben King was on the attack in the first stage and again formed the break with Mathijs Paasschens (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Sergio Román Martín (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Joey Rosskopf (teammate of King at Human Powered Health), Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Iván Cobo (Kern Pharma). The peloton let them go and the lead rose to 4 minutes. It was up to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and Israel-Premier Tech, for Nizzolo, to do the work in the peloton. The lead of the front riders was reduced. At 25 kilometres out the difference was only 30 seconds and it looked like a bunch sprint, but there was still the Calicanto climb. Dylan Teuns took the lead over the top and then took to the fast descent. There was a crash in the peloton which caused David Dekker to go straight ahead on a bend, he escaped unscathed.

Teuns started the last flat kilometres to Torrent with a limited lead. The sprinter’s teams were able to organise themselves for the final sprint. With 4 kilometres to go there was another crash in the peloton, but most of the sprinters were ahead of the crash. Evenepoel also came through the final unscathed and helped with Jakobsen’s sprint preparation. The yellow jersey wearer took the lead just before the start of the last kilometre, but it was Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert who was the first to start the sprint for Alexander Kristoff. No one was able to threaten Jakobsen in Torrent. The Dutchman out-sprinted his competitors with a powerful effort, his first win of 2022. Juan Sebastián Molano was second, Viviani finished third. Evenepoel was seventh and kept the overall leader.

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Stage winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I came here after a normal winter, with no bad luck or setbacks, a winter where I just enjoyed being with the guys and training together on the roads of Spain. Being here with them again, this time in a race, and getting my first win of the season, feels great. Everybody pulled today, all my teammates did a top job and I want to thank them for that. I was where I needed to be for the final 700 meters, which were uphill, and even though I had some small cramps – which is normal, considering how hot it was but also that it’s my first race of the year – I could bring it home. It’s the perfect way to start the season. Two victories in two days – that really is remarkable, but even more remarkable is that we hit 850 victories, which shows what a great team we are. Every win is special and I would like to be here also when the Wolfpack will get its 1000th victory.”

2nd on the stage, Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a good sprint and I’m really happy and thankful for the work the guys did to put me in a good position. Unfortunately we lost Gibbons to a crash in the final kilometres so we missed a man, but we did what we could. Jakobsen was just that bit faster than everyone else today but the legs are very good and I hope to find a win very soon.”

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 2 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 4:09:51
2. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
3. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM
7. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Laurenz Rex (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
10. Jesús Ezquerra (Spa) Burgos-BH.

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 2:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 8:26:13
2. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:19
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:37
4. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:42
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech
8. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:48
10. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:14.

Valenciana’22 stage 2:

 

Aleksandr Vlasov won the Stage 3 of the Tour of Valencia. The Russian broke away from the favourites group on the unpaved roads of the Alto Antenas del Maigmó, after which he took the victory solo. Vlasov also took over the yellow leader’s jersey from Remco Evenepoel, who crossed the line 41 seconds behind him.

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The peloton faced a tough third stage of the Tour of Valencia: with more than 3,600 metres of climbing, two second cat and two third cat climbs, and an uphill finish on the partially unpaved Alto Antenas del Maigmó. A few riders didn’t appeared at the start, including Wilco Kelderman and Ryan Gibbons. The BikeExchange team had to deal with two corona cases and decided to withdraw.

On the long run to the first climb several riders tried to get away, but the speed was high and it took a long time before a leading group actually broke free. In the end, an 11 man break came about, with Lars van den Berg, Attila Valter, Jan Polanc, Jan Tratnik, Nicolas Prodhomme, Valentin Paret-Peintre, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Dimitri Claeys, Fernando Barceló, Daniel Navarro and Kenny Molly. Of these eleven, Van den Berg and Bystrøm were the best placed overall at 1:52 from leader Remco Evenepoel. In Fageca, after 81 kilometres, the leading group was 2 minutes ahead of the peloton. The breakaway’s lead remained stable for a long time, until the peloton started to accelerate towards the finish in Tibi. Tratnik attacked and the Bahrain rider initially had Valter, Bystrøm and Barceló with him. However, Trantik was the strongest at the front and rode alone towards the final climb.

UAE Team Emirates and Movistar ensured that the peloton was thinned on the Alto Antenas del Maigmó and picked up the remaining escapees one by one. At 2.8 kilometres from the finish, on the gravel section, Tratnik was caught. Jakob Fuglsang initially led the group of favourites, with the Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas, Aleksandr Vlasov, Remco Evenepoel and Giulio Ciccone in his wheel. With 1.5 kilometres to go, Vlasov attacked and the Russian opened up a gap. Vlasov turned first off the dirt roads, with Mas, Evenepoel and Carlos Rodriguez behind him. Vlasov didn’t ease on the steep climb to take the victory. Fourteen seconds later, Rodriguez finished second, Mas was third. Evenepoel crossed the line 41 seconds behind and lost the yellow jersey.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “I knew it wasn’t my type of climb. In the last kilometres I went for it. It was very tough and there were large stones on some parts. That’s why I decided to try to make a difference there. It’s my first races with this team and it’s going well, I really feel part of the team already. Hopefully we can achieve even more great goals together.”

8th on the stage and 2nd overall, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “The best guy won today, I think that’s quite clear. Aleksandr was strong not just today, but also on the first stage. The race was beautiful, with a nice course, so chapeau to the organisers for that. But then they decided to send the riders on those small roads, where there were a lot of loose stones, despite them saying before the race that these were gone. The stage and the final climb were so hard that they didn’t need this gravel sector. It resembled a mountain bike sector, but I can’t say that’s the reason for me losing that much time, it’s just that Aleksandr was stronger. I felt good today, but then, towards the end of the gravel sector, I began feeling the legs getting tired. For me, the stage was one kilometre too long. Being second in the GC is still a good result. Now, I look forward to helping Fabio on the remaining flat stages.”

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 3 Result:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:02:17
2. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:14
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:21
4. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:29
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech at 0:32
7. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:35
8. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:41
9. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 0:50.

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 3:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe in 12:28:39
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:32
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:36
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:02
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech at 1:05
7. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:14
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:00
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:05
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:28.

Valenciana’22 stage 3:

 

Matteo Moschetti won Stage 4 of the Tour of Valencia. The stage finished with a bunch sprint, the Trek-Segafredo rider was the fastest. Manuel Peñalver and Alexander Kristoff finished second and third.

valencia22 st4

After the tough stage on Friday, it was back to the sprinters in the Tour of Valencia on Saturday. After 63 kilometres there was the only climb of the day, the Campules (6.2km at 1.8%). Once at the top, there was a bit of a plateau, the real descent followed after 110 kilometres, after which the riders rode towards Torrevieja and the finish. With 158 kilometres in the legs, the line was crossed for the first time, then there was a local lap of 34 kilometres.

The break of the day featured five riders: Manuele Boaro (Astana Qazaqstan), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Antonio Jesús Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Urko Berrade (Kern Pharma) and Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB). The four Spaniards and the Belgian quickly gained a 3 minute lead. In the peloton, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and BORA-hansgrohe set the pace. The latter for overall leader Aleksandr Vlasov, the Belgian team for sprinter Fabio Jakobsen. With 70 kilometres to go, the break still had 3 minutes as there was good cooperation in the group.

The peloton gradually started to eat away the break’s lead and it soon became clear that there would be a bunch sprint. With just under 20 kilometres to go, the escape was caught and the preparation for the sprint could start. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl led the pack in the last kilometres. Remco Evenepoel took control with 2 kilometres to go and rode on the front for more than a kilometre, although Jakobsen was not on his wheel. The Dutchman was too far back and could not go for the win. It was a chaotic sprint and in the end it was the Italian Matteo Moschetti who was the fastest. Spanish rider Manuel Peñalver was a close second and Alexander Kristoff was third. Aleksandr Vlasov held his lead.

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Stage winner, Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo): “My teammates crashed about a kilometre and a half from the finish. I just managed to turn right and follow the other trains. In the last corner I saw a gap on the left, so I jumped in and tried to hold on to that line. It was a pretty chaotic last kilometre. We were all expecting a bit of Jakobsen and Viviani, but on the bus this morning we knew this could be a good sprint for me. The boys did a great job and I thank them very much. For me this is an important victory.” Moschetti dedicated the win to Pepinho (José Eduardo Santos), the late Trek-Segafredo mechanic. “I’m sure he would be proud of the whole team today.”

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 4 Result:
1. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 4:32:17
2. Manuel Peñalver (Spa) Burgos-BH
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
6. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
7. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
9. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels-KTM.

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Overall after Stage 4:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe in 17:00:56
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:32
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:36
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:02
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech at 1:05
7. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:14
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:00
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:05
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:28.

Valenciana’22 stage 4:

 

The Final Stage 5 of the Tour of Valencia was won by Fabio Jakobsen. After a stage of 92 kilometres between Paterna and Valencia, the Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl Dutchman was the best in a bunch sprint, his second victory of the year. Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe) was the final overall winner.

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The break of the day included Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian, 16th overall, escaped with teammate Manuele Boaro, Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Gotzon Martín (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They got a maximum of 2 minutes on the peloton.

Sprinter’s teams; Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and Trek-Segafredo took the lead in the peloton, while the BORA-hansgrohe of overall leader Aleksandr Vlasov also lent a hand. The difference was kept just under 1 minute in the last hour in the short stage of only 92 kilometres. The peloton caught the leading group 13 kilometres from the finish. With a long turn on the front, Remco Evenepoel started the train for his sprint-leader Fabio Jakobsen. Only after the red flag (1K to go) did he come off the front of the peloton. The train then worked excellently, as Michael Mørkøv dropped Jakobsen off 150 metres from the finish. The Dutchman then rounded it off nicely, ahead of Elia Viviani and Alexander Kristoff. Vlasov’s leading place in the overall standings was in no danger in the final. The Russian gave his new BORA-hansgrohe team the overall victory, ahead of Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and home rider Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers).

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Stage winner and final overall points winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “This second win tasted even better than the first one. I am happy and want to thank all the guys for helping me have such a strong start to the season. It feels extraordinary to be part of this team and have such great riders work hard for you and believe in you. These two victories give me a lot of confidence for my next race, the Volta ao Algarve.”

Final overall winner, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe): “I’m super happy to take home the overall win, we’ve had perfect five days here! We’ve worked very well together as a team and I really want to thank my team mates for the hard work they’ve done here day in day out. I’m happy with my shape and I think we have a good base to build on for the next goals.”

3rd overall, Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers): “My goals are to keep improving and enjoying racing my bike. If the team want me to be up on GC in another race I’ll be happy to do my best. My main goal is to keep learning and keep improving. I’ve been happy with the results on some key stages, I’ve found myself in pretty good shape and I’m happy with the work we’ve done in the last few months of pre-season. I’m thankful for the whole team for believing in me and supporting me.”

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Stage 5 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 1:55:49
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
5. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
6. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
7. Manuel Peñalver (Spa) Burgos-BH
8. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates
9. Fernando Barceló (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

Volta a la Communitat Valenciana Final Overall Result:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) BORA-hansgrohe in 18:56:45
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:32
3. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:36
4. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:50
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:02
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Israel-Premier Tech at 1:05
7. Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:14
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:00
9. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:05
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) Astana Qazaqstan at 2:28.

Valenciana’22 stage 5:

 

valencia fem22
VCV Féminas Gran Premio Diputación de Valencia 2022
Marta Bastianelli achieved her second victory in the VCV Féminas. The Italian from the UAE team prevailed in a rough sprint in Valencia and Sandra Alonso repeats as the best Valencian at the finish line

The VCV Féminas Gran Premio Diputación de Valencia was once again a festival of women’s cycling this Sunday in Valencia. In the fourth edition of this prestigious race, the Italian from UAE, Marta Bastianelli won on the finish line on Avenida Maestro Rodrigo in Valencia; she was ahead of her compatriot Ilaria Sanguinetti and the Austrian Kathrin Schweinberger. Sandra Alonso, from the Ceratizit-WNT Pro team, has repeated as the best Valencian at the finish line after reaching the podium in the 2021 edition.

The race started in Paterna at 9:15 and the peloton followed the same route as the men’s event. In a stage designed for a sprint finish, the different attempts to consolidate a breakaway were quickly neutralised by the peloton, where the teams of the favourites worked to ensure a bunch finish.

The pace of the race was very fast, above 40 km/h, so the peloton arrived in Valencia earlier than expected. Just before entering the capital of the Turia, a crash caused a small break in the peloton, but the favourites were in the lead at the sprint on Avenida Maestro Rodrigo.

Unfortunately, a hitch a few metres from the finish line caused a crash of the winner of the last edition and big favourite for victory, Chiara Consonni. This cleared the way for another of the favourites, the veteran Marta Bastianell, from UAE, who won her second victory in the VCV Féminas after the one in 2020. The third favourite, the Italian Barbara Guarischi, was disqualified shortly after the race by the stewards for an incident a few metres from the finish line. Sandra Alonso won the Comunitat de l’Esport jersey for the best Valencian finisher, repeating her achievement of last year.

In short, a true festival of women’s cycling, thanks to a VCV Féminas pioneer in sharing the route and prizes with the men’s event. In addition, it should be noted that the race was broadcast live on television (Teledeporte, Eurosport Player and GCN), a very important step in the commitment of the organisation of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Gran Premi Banc Sabadell for women’s cycling.

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VCV Féminas Gran Premio Diputación de Valencia Result:
1. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) UAE Team ADQ in 2:11:32
2. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
3. Kathrin Schweinberger (Aust) Ceratizit-WNT
4. Susanne Andersen (Nor) Uno-X
5. Sandra Alonso (Spa) Ceratizit-WNT
6. Anniina Ahtosalo (Fin) Uno-X
7. Anna Trevisi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
8. Tania Calvo (Spa) Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi
9. Mylène de Zoete (Ned) NXTG by Experza
10. Alice Sharpe (Ira) IBCT.

VCV Féminas Gran Premio Diputación de Valencia’22:
valencia fem

 

besseges
Étoile de Bessèges 2022
Bryan Coquard won Stage 2 of the Étoile de Bessèges. The French Cofidis sprinter turned out to be stronger on the final climb in Rousson than leader Mads Pedersen. Norwegian Tobias Halland Johannessen was third.

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After the spectacular opening stage, won by Mads Pedersen, the Étoile de Bessèges continued with another interesting stage. On day two there was still more climbing. The 156 kilometre stage took the peloton from Saint-Christol-lèz-Alès to Rousson, with the Côte de Lasalle (4.3km at 5.5%) and the Côte du Pradel (6.4km at 4.5%) as possible decisive points. The finish line was on the top of the final climb in Rousson (1.6km at 6.3%). Four riders escaped in an early break. Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole had Thomas Denis, Jens Reynders of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, B&B Hotels-KTM sent Alexis Gougeard and Martí Marquez Roman for Equipo Kern Pharma all got away. The lead of the four increased to 4 minutes.

In the leading group there was a fierce battle for the mountain jersey, but Denis, Marquez Roman, Gougeard and Reynders would not be fighting for the stage victory. With just more than 20 kilometres to go, the early break came to an end, but the peloton became restless. Rémy Rochas, who recently sign a new contract with Cofidis, got away with Sébastien Reichenbach. However, both riders were soon caught. A compact peloton hit the last kilometres to Rousson. Leader Pedersen and Coquard proved to have the strongest legs and fought a fierce duel on the steepest sections of the final slope. The victory eventually went to the Frenchman, who won his first race since 2020.

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Stage winner, Bryan Coquard (Cofidis): “It was a really difficult finish. I thought I would never pass him (Pedersen). He just kept standing on the pedals. I am very proud that I can now put my arms in the air again in this new jersey. I hope this is the start of a good start for the team.”

Étoile de Bessèges Stage 2 Result:
1. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis in 3:41:46
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X
4. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies
5. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:04
6. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis
7. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa Samsic
8. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
9. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
10. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies.

Étoile de Bessèges Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 7:14:17
2. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:17
3. Alberto Bettiol Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:21
4. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:27
5. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa Samsic at 0:33
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies at 0:35
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:38
8. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:44
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:47
10. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:51.

Bessèges’22 stage 2:

 

Benjamin Thomas won Stage 3 of the Étoile de Bessèges on Friday. The French rider of Cofidis broke away from a leading group that had formed in the last 3 kilometres and then took the victory solo with a small lead.

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The first 40 kilometres included the climbs of the Côte d’Aubrias, the Côte de Dieusses and the Col de Portes – not to be confused with the Alpine pass of the same name. The stage mostly kept going up and down, including over the Côte de Tharaux and the Côte du Riboulet. The Col des Brousses and the Col de Trélis, at 17 and 9 kilometres from the finish, were the last big hurdles before the finish in Bessèges.

On the uphill first kilometres it was immediately a race and several riders tried to get away, with even leader Mads Pedersen getting away for a while. In the first 30 kilometres a leading group was formed with Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels), Jérémy Cabot (TotalEnergies), Thibault Guernalec (Arkea Samsic) and Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani). Of these seven, Houle and Guernalec were the best overall, both 1:14 behind Pedersen. The break had more than 4 minutes, where Trek-Segafredo and EF Education-EasyPost initially set the pace. In the second half of the race, UAE Team Emirates took the lead and the escapees lead slowly but surely decreased. On the climb of the Brousses the difference had shrunk to less than 1 minute and the attacks started from the leading group.

Guernalec tried twice on the Brousses, but he couldn’t get away. On the Trélis, the last climb of the day, Sheffield accelerated but the peloton was already close behind. Several attackers then tried to get away and they chased the INEOS rider. Mads Pedersen missed the move and went on to lose his leader’s jersey. Benjamin Thomas, Tobias Halland Johannessen and Alberto Bettiol got together and started the closing kilometres with a small lead. With 3 kilometres to go, Thomas attacked and got a gap. Johannessen tried to pull the Frenchman back, but the difference had been made. Thomas took the stage victory and Bettiol came back to Johannessen, and managed to keep the young Norwegian from second place.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis): “Since his victory yesterday we feel really liberated! We did a great job with the team, who surrounded me well on the last climb. From then on it was an individual pursuit to the finish. I’m very content. It is a reward for the work of the team.”

Étoile de Bessèges Stage 3 Result:
1. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis in 3:38:31
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:09
3. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X
4. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X at 0:15
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
7. Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
8. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Étoile de Bessèges Overall After Stage 3:
1. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis in 10:53:05
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:07
3. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:15
4. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa Samsic at 0:31
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies at 0:33
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:36
7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:41
8. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:42
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:45
10. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:51.

Bessèges’22 stage 3:

 

Tobias Halland Johannessen won Stage 4 of the Étoile de Bessèges. The Queen stage had a difficult final climb. The Norwegian was the first over the line. Jay Vine and Antonio Tiberi took second and third. Benjamin Thomas held his 7 second lead over Alberto Bettiol.

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The fourth stage covered 146.5 kilometres with a very long flat run-up. Thirty kilometres from the finish there was the Cat 1 Côte des Concluses (5.8km at 2.6%). Then there was the final climb of Le Mont Bouquet, 4.6 kilometres long with an average gradient of 9.1%.

Joel Suter (UAE Team Emirates), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Alexis Gougeard (B&B Hôtels-KTM), Flavien Maurelet (St-Michel-Auber 93) and Samuel Leroux (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole) made up the early break. They didn’t get a big lead and other riders tried to cross. In the end Tony Gallopin (Trek-Segafredo), Antoine Raugel (AG2R Citroën) and Emmanuel Morin (Team U Nantes Atlantique) got over to them. The peloton was satisfied with the nine leaders and let it go. The escapees quickly gained a lead of more than 2 minutes. Seventy-two kilometres from the finish, the riders crossed the top of the Côte de Saint-Siffret. Frenchman Leroux was the first to reach the top, although he later had a mechanical problem, but he was able to rejoin the leading group.

The lead had been reduced to 1:30. Uno-X, Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Groupama-FDJ, led the peloton. With 35 kilometres the peloton was getting faster and faster as they got nearer to Le Mont Bouquet. Up front, Zimmermann decided to accelerate on the Côte des Concluses, only Suter and Gougeard could follow. In the peloton it was a battle to be at the front at the foot of Le Mont Bouquet. The escapees were caught approaching the final climb. Leader Benjamin Thomas quickly moved to the front on the wheel of Rémy Rochas. Alberto Bettiol, Tobias Halland Johannessen and Jay Vine were also to the fore. It was Vine who launched the first attack on the final climb. At 1.9 kilometres from the finish he chose his moment, Johannessen was the only one who could follow. The two looked set to compete for the win, but Clément Champoussin and Antonio Tiberi accelerated from behind. They joined the leaders and the foursome sprinted for the win. Tobias Halland Johannessen won the sprint. Jay Vine was second and Antonio Tiberi third. Thomas remains leader.

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Overall leader, Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis): “My teammates did an exceptional job, especially Rémy who was my guardian angel. I was expecting the attack from Johannessen. I rose to my level without panicking.”

Étoile de Bessèges Stage 4 Result:
1. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X in 3:30:22
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek – Segafredo
4. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:12
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:20
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
8. Alessandro Verre (Ita) Arkéa Samsic at 0:21
9. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
10. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:23.

Étoile de Bessèges Overall After Stage 4:
1. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis in 0:53:05
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:07
3. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:15
4. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa Samsic at 0:31
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies at 0:33
6. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:36
7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:41
8. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 0:42
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis at 0:45
10. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:51.

Bessèges’22 stage 4:

 

Filippo Ganna took his first win of 2022. INEOS Grenadiers’ Italian time trial specialist was the best in the tricky 11km Final Stage 5 time trial of the Étoile de Bessèges. The final overall victory went to Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis), who finished third in the stage result.

besseges22 st5

All eyes were on the TT World champion, Filippo Ganna, who competed in his first time trial of the year. The Italian clocked a time of 15:32 for the 11 kilometres with a final climb of 2.6 kilometres at 5.8% in Alès, setting the bar high for the competition.

Bauke Mollema was one of the first to get close to Ganna. After the effort of eleven kilometres, the Dutchman of Trek-Segafredo was 11 seconds short. His teammate Mads Pedersen did even better, with a time of 15:39 minutes. The Dane, who won the opening stage in the south of France, would finish in second position, but the favourites for the final classification had yet to start. The tension was high at the top, with general classification leader and reigning French time trial champion, Benjamin Thomas defending a 7 second lead over Alberto Bettiol and an 8 second lead over Tobias Halland Johannessen. Fourth, Pierre Latour, was 25 seconds behind the leader.

Latour clocked 15:52, but that was not enough to pass the young Johannessen (16:06) in the standings. Bettiol also didn’t get close Ganna’s time, but with his finishing time of 15:51 he did set a good time. But Thomas was not going to loose his overall victory. The Franch rider put a time of 15:42 on the board and was the fastest of the GC riders. Thomas finished third in the stage results, behind winner Filippo Ganna and Mads Pedersen, and just ahead of Bauke Mollema. Thibault Guernalec completed the top 5.

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Stage winner, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers): “It went well until the final climb. It wasn’t made for my weight, but it’s about the result. It was a great stage race and now we’re moving on. I don’t see the Étoile de Bessèges just as a preparation race. Every race is important. That’s why I give everything, for myself and for the team. I do know that I’m riding the UAE Tour. Perfect start to the season; I came here for a podium finish in the standings, but I was totally in my element today. I knew I was still in front at the bottom of the climb. This allowed me to get the best out of myself.”

Final overall winner, Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis): “This is really the perfect start to the season. I mainly wanted to get the general classification and the overall victory. And in WorldTour races I have to try to confirm that status. We’re already going to see that in Tirreno-Adriatico, where I want to support Guillaume Martin and I’ll try to get good results.”

Cofidis manager, Cedric Vasseur: “I’m happy for Benjamin Thomas and the whole team. There has been a lot of work all winter. Yesterday he suffered a lot but rode smart. Today he finished it off.”

Étoile de Bessèges Stage 5 Result:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 15:32
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:06
3. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:09
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:11
5. Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:17
6. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:18
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:19
8. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:21
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:22
10. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23.

Étoile de Bessèges Final Overall Result:
1. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Cofidis in 14:39:32
2. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:16
3. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:32
4. Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:34
5. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) TotalEnergies at 1:02
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:09
7. Connor Swift (GB) Arkéa Samsic at 1:13
8. Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 1:22
9. Toms Skujiņš (Lat) Trek-Segafredo at 1:48
10. Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:56.

Bessèges’22 stage 5:

 

ethias
Ethias Cross – Parkcross Maldegem 2022
The Parkcross in Maldegem 2022 was won by Laurens Sweeck. The 28 year-old Belgian was the best in the fast Ethias Cross. He dropped Eli Iserbyt and Lars van der Haar. It is Sweeck’s second Ethias Cross win this season as he took the victory in Leuven.

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The best start came from Corné van Kessel, who took his teammate and Swiss champion Kevin Kuhn with him. Lars van der Haar was also good, but the European champion made a mistake. He lost balance after the first bar and hit the second bar, causing him to go over the top. Everyone else managed to go round him, after which Sweeck took the lead and rode away.

His Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal teammates left it to Van Kessel, but this allowed Sweeck to slowly take a gap. In the sand on the second lap, Michael Vanthourenhout went past the Dutchman and closed the gap to Sweeck, Daan Soete had taken up the chase behind. The duo at the front kept up the pace and sand specialist Sweeck crossed the sand section better than Vanthourenhout every lap. The latter always had to close a gap, but always succeeded. Toon Vandenbosch did the chase work in the group behind, which followed at about 12 seconds, which was strange as he is a teammate of the two leaders. Sweeck shouted at the Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal team manager, Richard Groenendaal. However, he did not know what the Belgian was referring to. “Everyone drives for their prize,” said the Dutchman. “Just make sure you win,” he added.

With Vandenbosch was; Eli Iserbyt, Felipe Orts and Niels Vandeputte. Shortly after halfway, Lars van der Haar also rejoined the pursuers, after a long chase. He took a few others with him, but jumped to third place in the race fairly quickly. He started to eat into the lead of Sweeck and Vanthourenhout. With three laps to go, Vanthourenhout had suddenly disappeared at the front. It turned out that he had crashed and wouldn’t be seen again. Sweeck continued solo and stretched his lead to about 20 seconds. The pursuers didn’t get any closer in the final laps. Finally, Iserbyt woke up in the last lap and took advantage of another small mistake by Van der Haar on the bars. Iserbyt came second and Van der Haar finished third.

maldegem

Race winner, Laurens Sweeck (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal): “It actually went well in the second lap. I had a gap but it was quite difficult with the wind. He was really there, it was a fight. I was happy when Michael was able to join in. I thought the team behind rather kept things going. It actually worked against us. It was a pretty fast corner. I was already riding full at that time because Lars was fast behind. It’s nice that I was able to finish this.”

Ethias Cross – Parkcross Maldegem Result:
1. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal in 57:40
2. Eli Iserbyt (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:08
3. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions
4. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:10
5. Toon Vandebosch (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 0:12
6. Felipe Orts (Spa) Burgos-BH at 0:13
7. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers at 0:28
8. Thomas Ruëgg (Swi) Cross Team Legendre at 0:29
9. Daan Soete (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers at 0:33
10. Thibau Nys (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 0:53.

Maldegem’22:

 

x2o
X2O Badkamers Trofee Krawatencross – Lille 2022
A double for Toon Aerts in the X2O Badkamers Trofee in Lille. The leader of Baloise Trek Lions was in front from start to finish and, with one cross to go, he has already claimed the overall victory. Niels Vandeputte finished second behind Aerts. In the sprint for third place, Lars van der Haar was faster than Tom Meeusen.

krawatencross22

Toon Aerts had a top start in the mud of Lille. The leader of the X2O Trophy was followed by sand specialist Laurens Sweeck, while Thijs Aerts also had a good start. Toon Aerts, however, did not allow Sweeck and his brother to catch him and continued to widen the gap. Michael Vanthourenhout was able to make the crossing to Sweeck on the tough section, and he went straight up and past his teammate from Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal. Vanthourenhout and Sweeck followed at just under half a minute, but halfway through the cross, after 3 of the 6 laps, they were 36 seconds down. Not long after, it was Niels Vandeputte who joined the two chasers.

Alpecin-Fenix’s Vandeputte continued and only Vanthourenhout was behind him. Sweeck couldn’t keep up with the pace and seemed to have to settle for fourth place. On the 5th lap a strong Vandeputte also dropped Vanthourenhout. He immediately had a gap of 7 seconds and deepened that difference further and further. On the final lap Vanthourenhout made even more mistakes and as a result Lars van der Haar and Tom Meeusen, who had to chase the entire race, saw their chance. They caught Vanthourenhout and sprinted for third place. Meeusen started sprinting in the lead, but with a last jump the European champion took third.

Krawatencross

Race winner, Toon Aerts in Lille (Baloise Trek Lions): “That was very important to me. It was a goal on my bucket list to win all the classifications, and I can now tick off the X2O Badkamers Trofee. We still have a race to go. It is also important that I win, because X2O Badkamers is one of our sponsors. Thijs (Toon’s brother) has not had an easy year. He has had a lot of misery and was disappointed with his 26th place yesterday, but today he proves that he is a cross rider. I hope Thijs will still be a professional next season. We train here very often, it is our region, but it is the first time that I can win in my own region. That makes me very happy.”

3rd, Lars van der Haar “It’s a shame for Michael Vanthourenhout (who had bad luck), but a great opportunity for me to go for third place. I really didn’t feel good in the beginning. I was a bit bothered by the course. It didn’t go well, but I did get good legs along the way. Thijs Aerts was still riding ahead of me at the time, so I didn’t want to take my group with me, but in the end the gap was closed. A sprint against Tom is something else. He did great. I knew I shouldn’t start in the lead, but I shot out of my pedal and thought it was over, but Tom still fell silent. After that, he succeeded with a jump. Normally Michael (Vanthourenhout) would have finished on the podium, but if the opportunity is there, you have to go for it.”

X2O Badkamers Trofee Krawatencross – Lille Result:
1. Toon Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions in 58:08
2. Niels Vandeputte (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:48
3. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:00
4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers
5. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) at 1:11
6. Jens Adams (Bel) at 1:19
7. Thijs Aerts (Bel) Baloise Trek Lions at 1:34
8. Daan Soete (Bel) Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers at 1:35
9. Kevin Kuhn (Swi) Tormans Circus at 1:36
10. Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal at 1:39.

Krawatencross’22:

 

jumbo-visma
Scrapes and Bruises for David Dekker After Crash in Valencia
David Dekker got a big fright in the Tour of Valencia on Thursday. The Dutch sprinter from Jumbo-Visma estimated a corner at high speed on the descent of the Calicanto, the last climb of the day, and went straight. Fortunately for Dekker, who was unable to reach the finish in Torrent, the damage is not too bad.

Dekker seemed to be preparing for his first sprint chance in the Tour of Valencia today, but 13 kilometres from the finish on the descent of the Calicanto he shot into the trees. After a few minutes of uncertainty, Dekker climbed out. The 24-year-old rider, son of ex-pro Erik Dekker, turned out to be too injured to continue on his way. Dekker was unable to reach the finish in Torrent, but the damage turned out to be not too bad. The rider has no fractures or other serious injuries from his crash, but did suffer from several scrapes and bruises.

The Tour of Valencia was Dekker’s first race of 2022. On Wednesday he crossed the line in 94th place in the mountain stage to Torralba del Pinar.

 

bikeexchange jayco
BikeExchange-Jayco Leaves the Tour of Valencia After Positive Covid tests
The BikeExchange-Jayco team did not start stage 3 of the Tour of Valencia. The Australian team has left the race due to two positive covid tests. The team reported via Twitter.

BikeExchange-Jayco will not disclose who has tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier in the Tour of Valencia Chris Juul-Jensen had to stop due to an injury. “As a precautionary measure, in accordance with strict team regulations, it has been decided to withdraw the team, also because one rider has already had to dismount due to an injury,” they said on their website.

Lucas Hamilton, Damien Howson and Dion Smith were among the starters for BikeExchange-Jayco. “The safety of our riders and the staff, and everyone in the Tour of Valencia, is the most important. We made the right decision to leave the game,” said manager Brent Copeland.

Movistar announced on their Twitter on Thursday that Juri Hollmann and Einar Rubio had tested positive. The riders were placed in isolation and took no part in the second stage of the Tour of Valencia.

BikeExchange out of Valencia:
BikeExchange

 

jumbo-visma
Tom Dumoulin is Having a Good Time in Colombia
Tom Dumoulin is currently in South America, in Colombia. The Jumbo-Visma rider is preparing for the new season at altitude. Dumoulin does not regret his choice, he said in conversation with AS América. “I’m having a great time here. Cycling is really alive here.”

In the Medellín area, the Limburger hopes to prepare for the first race of 2022, the UAE Tour, together with teammate Koen Bouwman and a soigneur. The airport of Medellín is at an altitude of 2,142 metres and nobody would normally go below 2,000 metres. “I really wanted to go to Colombia. I have heard many stories about it, including from Annemiek van Vleuten,” said Dumoulin.

“I wanted to try something new. Normally I go to the Sierra Nevada or Tenerife for an altitude training camp, now I wanted to try something different. The team thought it was an excellent idea. I am now with Koen (Bouwman) and a soigneur in Colombia. I am having a great time.” Staying out of the limelight has not been an option for the 2017 Giro winner. “Apparently I am very popular here,” said a happy Dumoulin. “A lot of Colombians know who I am. They are really huge cycling fans. They are fans of me, but also of the team. That’s really cool and I was a bit surprised. Cycling is really alive here.” The 31 year-old Dumoulin, who will focus this season on the Tour of Italy, says he can prepare perfectly in Colombia. “I like the region, the roads are good here. For example, we went to Las Palmas this week to do some uphill training. There are a lot of possibilities here. That is normally not the case. We sleep at altitude, but we also train at sea level. That is almost impossible here. You also almost always train at altitude. That is heavy, but also fun to experience. I can combine a good training camp here with a touch of adventure.”

Dumoulin is very positive about his stay in Colombia, but he often has to watch out for dangerous situations in traffic. As we know Egan Bernal was seriously injured in a traffic accident two weeks ago. “That is very bad news for him and it does spark a discussion about road safety, but I have not yet experienced any dangerous moments myself,” said Dumoulin. After his altitude camp in Colombia, Dumoulin first rides the UAE Tour and then Strade Bianche, the Tour of Catalonia and the Amstel Gold Race, after which he prepares via an altitude camp in Tenerife for his main goal of 2022: the Giro d’Italia.

Tom Dumoulin loving Colombia:
dumoulin

 

trek segafredo
Mads Pedersen to Miss Belgian Opening Weekend
Mads Pedersen will not be on the start line in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year. The Dane, who won KBK last year, prefers a training camp in Mallorca to the opening weekend in Belgium, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

Pedersen wants to prepare for Paris-Nice and the other Flemish classics. The ex-World champion will contest the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, the E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Pedersen is currently riding the Étoile de Bessèges, where he won the opening stage and wore the leader’s jersey for two days.

Jasper Stuyven, who is currently on Tenerife, will be the only leader for Trek-Segafredo in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne due to the absence of Pedersen. Stuyven won Kuurne in 2016 and the Omloop in 2020.

Mads Pedersen:
besseges22st1

 

total
Chris Lawless: “I Want to Ride Classics with Peter Sagan”
Chris Lawless announced in conversation with DirectVelo that he would like to ride some Classics with Peter Sagan. The British rider of TotalEnergies also wants to ride a more constant season in 2022. “Hopefully the results will come then.”

Lawless has started the season well. He finished third in the Classica Comunitat Valenciana and sixth in the opening stage of the Étoile de Bessèges. “It’s a completely different start than last year. I had a long winter, my last race was at the end of August. So I had a long preparation for this new season, I started training early. This seems to have worked at the start of the season.”

The winner of the Tour de Yorkshire 2019 also talked about the past two seasons. “It has been difficult with the lack of races. I continued to believe in myself and I am happy that I am back to my good level,” said Lawless. “Now I hope I can keep this up for a whole year. I want to be consistent throughout the season, hopefully the results will come then.”

The Briton also has ambitions in the 2022 Classics. “I would like to ride a few with Peter (Sagan). It’s a big goal for me, I hope it will succeed. It’s in there,” he concluded.

Chris Lawless on the Valencia podium:
valencia classic 22

 

sd
SD Worx Manager on Amy Pieters’ Situation
The SD Worx team presentation took place last Thursday. Of course there was much discussion about Amy Pieters, who is still in a coma after a crash at the end of December. “Stable, but very worrying,” Danny Stam, SD Worx’s team manager, told NOS about Pieters’ situation.

“As long as Amy doesn’t wake up herself, we don’t know what to expect,” Stam continues. “All we can do is hope it ends the right way and that we can meet Amy in a normal, dignified life. We are in daily contact with her parents and her boyfriend, and we try to support them as best we can.”

Stam is also asked if there are any encouraging signs. “What are ‘encouraging signs’? The doctors say they can’t make statements until there is something conscious. We see encouraging things and feel that Amy is fighting incredibly hard. But there is not yet something definitive that makes us very happy.”

“There are reflexes but not on command, as long as Amy doesn’t do things on command there is no direction of recovery,” explains Stam. “She’s still in a deep coma, a deep sleep, which makes it very surreal.”

Hoping for Amy:
nokere koerse

 

al shafer jumeirah
Natnael Berhane Signs with Al Shafar Jumeirah
Natnael Berhane has found a new team. The Eritrean, who raced for Cofidis in the past three years, will ride for Al Shafar Jumeirah Cycling Team next year. Berhane announced via his social media.

Al Shafar Jumeirah is a team from Dubai. It has official ‘club’ status, but does participate in UCI competitions in the region. For example, last week one of their drivers, former UAE rider Anass Aït El Abdia, won a stage in the Tour of Sharjah (2.2).

Berhane is now 31 years old. His palmarès includes final victories in the Tour of Turkey (2013) and La Tropicale Amissa Bongo (2014). He was also twice champion of Eritrea and the continent of Africa. Last season, partly due to a crash in the Tour of Italy, the results failed to materialise.

New team for Natnael Berhane:
berhane

 

sd
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to Retire After 2022
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is starting her final season as a professional cyclist. The South African rider, who started her career in 2010 with Lotto Soudal, announced on Thursday at the team presentation of her team SD Worx.

Moolman-Pasio says it was a difficult decision to stop. “Although I am the oldest rider on the team and I am getting older, it was extra difficult for me to find the right time for my cycling retirement, because I am still very young in cycling. I didn’t start racing until later in life, after I had studied.”

“It’s very difficult to hang up your bike when you can still make progress. But I feel I’ve had a great journey as a cyclist. I’ve grown as a person and I think now is the time to take the next step, to look at the business side of things,” said the six-time African road champion.

Moolman-Pasio, who has been riding for SD Worx since last year, has been champion of South Africa a total of eleven times – five times in the time trial, six times in the road race. In 2021 she won another stage in the Giro Rosa.

Moolman-Pasio to retire:
moolman

 

sd
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak to Continue Until 2024
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has reconsidered her earlier decision to stop cycling after the spring of 2022. The 32-year-old former world champion has now decided that she will continue as a rider until the end of 2024. She did also indicate that she may have to take a break at some point as she is planning to have children. The Team SD Worx management welcomes Blaak’s proposal and is looking forward to keeping her on the team.

“Initially, we had hoped that Chantal would still ride the Tour de France this year,” Team SD Worx sports director Danny Stam says. “So we were surprised, but also delighted to hear her proposal to continue until the end of 2024. She is of great value to the team. There are not many riders of her stature around. She also always considers the team’s best interests, which makes her extremely valuable. Last year she had a beautiful win in the Strade Bianche, which shows at what a high level she is still performing. Of course, we respect Chantal’s desire to have children and we will take on the challenge to get her performing at the right level again afterwards.”

Chantal Blaak chose to stop cycling during the first Covid wave in 2020. “My life looked very different back then,” she says. “My husband Lars was suffering from burnout. It was a difficult time, because I wanted to be there for him and at the same time keep training and racing as well as I could. I realised that family and health are what matter most. Everything else, even my sport, pales in comparison. I had also been cycling for a long time and some races didn’t feel like challenges or new experiences anymore. So I decided to end my cycling career.”

“But now, almost two years later, Lars has fully recovered and our life looks ‘normal’ again. And I have noticed that I am not done yet with the sport. I love sport, I still love cycling, I still feel the necessary enthusiasm and my performance is still good.
So I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision.”

“When Blaak talked to the team about staying on until after the Tour de France Femmes, everyone immediately agreed.” Blaak: “My first Tour will be a special experience that I am very much looking forward to. But I increasingly felt that I wasn’t sure yet. And the people closest to me also started to notice.”

Blaak also underlines that her desire to have children was a reason for her to hesitate. “My husband Lars said that nowadays many elite athletes continue to compete when trying to get pregnant. After giving it a lot of thought – the decision was certainly not made overnight – we told the team openly and honestly how we felt about it.”

Team SD Worx managers Erwin Janssen and Danny Stam immediately responded with enthusiasm. Blaak: “They expressed their confidence in me and they gave us their immediate support without a shadow of a doubt. We’ll see how things go, because nothing is certain. But if we are blessed with pregnancy, the team will support me 100%. So I’ve signed as a rider until 31 December 2024.”

“Initially, we had hoped that Chantal would still ride the Tour de France this year,” Team SD Worx sports director Danny Stam says. “So we were surprised, but also delighted to hear her proposal to continue until the end of 2024. She is of great value to the team. There are not many riders of her stature around. She also always considers the team’s best interests, which makes her extremely valuable. Last year she had a beautiful win in the Strade Bianche, which shows at what a high level she is still performing. Of course, we respect Chantal’s desire to have children and we will take on the challenge to get her performing at the right level again afterwards.”

Chantal Blaak chose to stop cycling during the first Covid wave in 2020. “My life looked very different back then,” she says. “My husband Lars was suffering from burnout. It was a difficult time, because I wanted to be there for him and at the same time keep training and racing as well as I could. I realised that family and health are what matter most. Everything else, even my sport, pales in comparison. I had also been cycling for a long time and some races didn’t feel like challenges or new experiences anymore. So I decided to end my cycling career.”

“But now, almost two years later, Lars has fully recovered and our life looks ‘normal’ again. And I have noticed that I am not done yet with the sport. I love sport, I still love cycling, I still feel the necessary enthusiasm and my performance is still good.
So I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision.”

“When Blaak talked to the team about staying on until after the Tour de France Femmes, everyone immediately agreed.” Blaak: “My first Tour will be a special experience that I am very much looking forward to. But I increasingly felt that I wasn’t sure yet. And the people closest to me also started to notice.”

Blaak also underlines that her desire to have children was a reason for her to hesitate. “My husband Lars said that nowadays many elite athletes continue to compete when trying to get pregnant. After giving it a lot of thought – the decision was certainly not made overnight – we told the team openly and honestly how we felt about it.”

Team SD Worx managers Erwin Janssen and Danny Stam immediately responded with enthusiasm. Blaak: “They expressed their confidence in me and they gave us their immediate support without a shadow of a doubt. We’ll see how things go, because nothing is certain. But if we are blessed with pregnancy, the team will support me 100%. So I’ve signed as a rider until 31 December 2024.”

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak:
Hageland

 

quick-step-alpha
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl to the Tour of Oman
Mark Cavendish will make his first appearance of the year at the 11th edition of the race.

Our stint in the Middle East continues between 10-15 February with the Tour of Oman, which is back on the calendar after a two-year hiatus. Created in 2012, the race offers a mixed terrain, with a bit of everything for everyone, although the return of the gruelling Jabal al Akhdar (5.7km, 10.5%) ascent together with the punchy finish of Qurayyat (2.8, 6.5%) means that the general classification will be again an affair between climbers.

The most successful active rider in the peloton, with 156 wins to his name, Mark Cavendish will start his fifth season with the Wolfpack at the Tour of Oman, where back in 2011 he took a victory, on the Matrah Seafront, which will now host the finish of the last stage. It will be the Manxman’s first outing for the Wolfpack since last October’s Münsterland Giro, where he notched up the win that put him into double-digits at the end of a remarkable season.

Joining him for the team’s second outing of the year in the Middle East will be the experienced Iljo Keisse, Il Lombardia runner-up Fausto Masnada, Mauro Schmid, Stijn Steels, as well as neo-pros Stan Van Tricht and Ethan Vernon.

“The Tour of Oman is back and comes with a nice course, with many stage finishes already used at many of the previous editions. We will try to be in the mix with Mark in the bunch sprints, and if possible, do something with Fausto in the general classification. He has just returned from a training camp and is motivated to kick off his season. Overall, we go there with a solid team, capable of getting some good results,” said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Klaas Lodewyck.

First race of 2022 for Mark Cavendish:
quick-step

 

oman
From Muscat to Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman’s Diversity to Captivate the World Once Again
The return of the Tour of Oman brings both familiar horizons and new opportunities to further explore the Jewel of Arabia. The 11th edition of the race will see an international peloton of 18 teams battle over 891km, with six varied stages covering both coastline and mountains, including the iconic Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain).

The action will begin in Al Rustaq, a former capital of Oman, whose historic fort will welcome the start of stage 1. From there, the peloton will head to the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat. The mostly flat route (138km) could favour explosive riders such as Sonny Colbrelli, winner in the same place in 2019.

Stage 2 will bring fast racing as well, as the peloton heads from Naseem Park to Suhar, one of the most important ports in the history of the area. Sprinters can eye another opportunity to shine, but with 167.5km to cover along the coast, everyone will be wary of echelons en route to the Suhar Corniche!

More intense racing is expected on days 3 and 4, with punchy routes to open up the battle for the final victory. On stage 3, the peloton will start from the Sultan Qaboos University and chase glory on the uphill finish of Qurayyat (2.8km at 6.5%), where Alexey Lutsenko took the leader’s jersey in 2019. Stage 4 promises a thriller between Al Sifah and the Royal Opera House Muscat (119.5km) with a punchy circuit around the climb of Boushar Al Amerat (Jabal Street) following the ascents of Al Jissah and Wadi Al Kabir.

Intensity will keep rising as the race gets closer to its conclusion, with a climax expected on the slopes of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain). The gruelling ascent (5.7km, 10.5%) is set to welcome the queen stage (150.5km from Samail) for the 10th time in the history of the Tour of Oman. Climbers will attempt to follow in the footsteps of winners such as Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome and Miguel Angel Lopez.

The final stage brings the peloton back to Muscat, with a start in the prestigious district of Al Mouj and a traditional finish on the Matrah Corniche. Fast men such as Alexander Kristoff and Mark Cavendish are used to shining in these spectacular settings where the overall winners of the Tour of Oman have been crowned since Fabian Cancellara won the inaugural edition in 2010.

Key points:
Ø
From February 10th to 15th, the peloton of the 11th Tour of Oman will battle over six stages totalling 891km.
Ø For the 10th time in the history of the race, the famous climb of Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) is set to welcome the queen stage on its steep slopes.
Ø Sprinters and puncheurs with also have opportunities to shine with a balanced route exploring the surroundings of Muscat, mountainous inland areas and the shores of the Sea of Oman.

Oman’22:
oman

 

uci
Haute-Savoie Wants the Super World Cycling Championship in 2027
The French department of Haute-Savoie has applied for the Super World Cycling Championship in 2027. The Super World Championship, includes all cycling disciplines of the UCI over a period of two weeks. The first edition will take place next year in Glasgow, Scotland.

At a press conference in Domancy, the local organisers in Haute-Savoie and the French Cycling Federation confirmed the candidacy. For the last World championships in France we have to go back to 2000. More than twenty years ago, Plouay had the honour of organising a cycling World championship. Before that, it was Chambéry (1989) and Sallanches (1980).

The International Cycling Union (UCI) have the final say on the decision. The Netherlands also planned to apply for the Super World Cycling Championship in 2027. However, the KNWU decided to unsubscribe as a candidate. The cycling union had still offered a bid to bring the World championship to the Netherlands, but there are too many doubts, especially financially.

A Super World Championships is to take place every four years, covering from road cycling and track cycling to para-cycling. The first Super World Cycling Championships are in Glasgow in 2023.

Super Worlds for France in 2027:
course 21

 


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