What's Cool In Road Cycling

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news.

Loads of race news from the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse, Elfstedenronde, GP Kantons Aargau – GP Gippingen and the men’s and women’s Dwars door het Hageland all with video. Olympics not in danger for Pidcock – TOP STORY. Rider news: Bernal and Israel Start-Up Nation positive for covid, two more years for Van Moer at Lotto Soudal, Geschke, Perichon and O’Connor renew. Team news: No Tour for Cavendish and Lotto Soudal has their say. Race news: GP Jef Scherens brought forward and the 2021 World track championships now in Glasgow. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Olympics not in danger for Pidcock: “Now just another way”
Tom Pidcock broke his collarbone in an accident during training last Monday, forcing him to miss the Tour de Suisse. However, Kurt Bogaerts, Pidcock’s mentor and coach, is not concerned about the Tokyo Olympics.

Pidcock was training near Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, a spot in the French Pyrenees, last Monday when he was hit by a car. According to Bogaerts, the young Briton has been lucky. “He was riding at a fairly high speed at the start of a descent. We don’t know exactly what happened, but Tom was hit from the side by a car,” he said in conversation with Sporza.

“The impact sent him catapulted over the car. His bike partially took the hit and broke into two pieces. The main thing was to get him to a hospital right away. In the meantime, he has already had surgery on his collarbone in Girona and has already left the hospital,” said Bogaerts. “All in all, he’s been lucky. But Tom is positive and is already looking ahead.”

The Tour de Suisse is now not an option for Pidcock, but Bogaerts is hopeful that the Briton will be at the start of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Les Gets in France in a month, the 4th of July. This also means that the Olympic cross-country race on the 26th of July must be feasible. Bogaerts: “With normal training he will get ready for the Olympics, just as well. It’s just another way to Tokyo now.”

“We have to try to preserve the condition he is in and we have to be attentive to inflammation on the wound or other complications. We have been in this situation before, when Tom injured his knee in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2019. The situation was much more complex then, but he still finished third in the U23 World Cup. That gives us confidence that it is now feasible.”

Tom Pidcock still going to the Olympics:


Critérium du Dauphiné 2021
Only 24 hours after a disappointing time trial, Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) surprised everyone to snatch the Stage 5 win millimetres ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious). The Italian sprinter claimed his third 2nd place in five stages, Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) was 3rd. There was a full-on battle from the start. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), 3rd overall, attacked as soon as the flag dropped and the pace was relentless until the finish in Saint-Vallier, where Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe) held on to the yellow and blue jersey 1 second ahead of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech).


Geraint Thomas claims his first victory in France since the 2018 Tour de France and moved up to 6th place in the general classification ahead of the next three mountain stages. The Danish winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen was caught by the bunch, Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) took the 2 KOM points at the summit (km 9.8) and the battle for the break went on until five attackers got together at km 20: Tim Wellens, Kasper Asgreen, Tsgabu Grmay (BikeExchange), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) and Cyril Gautier (BORA-hansgrohe). With Asgreen threatening the yellow and blue jersey, Lukas Pöstlberger’s BORA-hansgrohe control the gap around 1:40 in the first part of the stage. It was till enough time for Asgreen to grab 3 bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint (km 52.4) but the peloton lifted the tempo and quickly brought the gap down under 1 minute. Trek-Segafredo sent more men to the front: Jasper Stuyven attacked with Ryan Mullen. Josef Cerny (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) followed their move and the three chasers join the five leaders at km 68. With that support and with a crash in the bunch involving the white jersey Ilan Van Wilder, the gap reached a maximum of 1:55 at the bottom of the third categorised climb of the day, Côte de la Sizeranne (km 94).

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) put a teammate at the front to help control the break. The leading group split ahead of the last 60km. Josef Cerny and Ryan Mullen dropped their companions, who don’t work well together and were caught by the bunch with 51km to go. Cerny was the last rider to be reeled in, 43km from the finish, as INEOS Grenadiers up the ante on wind-exposed roads. The pace dropped slightly and Sven Eryk Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates) attacked with 36km to go. He opened a 1:10 gap before Bahrain Victorious reacted. The Norwegian attacker held a 55 second advantage at the top of the cat-3 Col de Barbe Bleue. Bystrøm was reeled in at the bottom of the last climb of the day, the super steep Côte de Montrebut (1.3km at 12%). Kwiatkowski set the pace and Lawson Craddock (EF Education First-Nippo) accelerated. At the summit, 12km to go, he was 10 seconds ahead of Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels p/b KTM) and the peloton was right on the Frenchman’s wheel. Dylan Teuns gives his all for Colbrelli and Craddock was caught with 2.2km to go, but nobody could react to the acceleration of Geraint Thomas in a tight curve with 1km to go. Colbrelli produced an impressive sprint but Thomas held onto for a very narrow win. The 10 bonus seconds on the line also moved him up to 6th place overall, 14 seconds behind the leader Lukas Pöstlberger.


Stage winner and 6th overall, Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers): “It wasn’t planned. I knew that Bahrain Victorious didn’t have many guys left. I heard on the radio there was a gap and I went all in. I didn’t think I had it on the line. Poor man, Colbrelli went past so fast. It’s great to get that win for sure. Yesterday, I probably didn’t have great legs and I died in the second half. It’s nice to bounce back. It was a tense stage with the wind. And it’s good to get that win. This week-end will be a real test and we’ll see how it goes.”

Overall leader, Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe): “The day was very hard like we expected it to be. I followed some moves in the beginning but then Asgreen was in the break. Our initial plan was to go for Patrick and a stage result, but then our guys did an incredible job to keep control of the race. I felt really good in the end but unfortunately, we messed it up in the final. But of course, it is great to keep the jersey one more day. Tomorrow is a GC day and I will work for Wilco and Patrick, so I don’t think we’ll see at the podium tomorrow.”

2nd on the stage, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious): “I was so close to the chance for another win. Thanks to my team, who put in super work today and also in the final. But, last 800 meters Thomas attacked, and Jack was pulling and I followed, but it’s normal to be on the limit after the hard work. I started the sprint with 300 meters left, but I just finished second.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:02:15
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
3. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Carlos Barbero (Spa) Qhubeka Assos
5. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel Start-up Nation
6. Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
9. Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe in 16:59:22
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:01
3. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:06
4. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:09
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:13
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:14
7. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) DSM
8. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:32
10. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:34.

Dauphiné’21 stage 5:


Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) mastered the uphill finish of Stage 6 in Le Sapey-en-Chartreuse to claim his third stage win on the roads of the Dauphiné, thirteen years after the last one! The pace was relentless for the whole stage, with tailwinds pushing the peloton towards the hilly challenges of the demanding final 50km. INEOS Grenadiers tried to outsmart their rivals like they did in Saint-Vallier, this time with Tao Geoghegan Hart at the front, but Valverde perfectly paced himself in the final 400m to overtake the winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia on the line. Already dropped on the climb of the Col de Porte, Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-hansgrohe) lost the yellow and blue jersey to Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) ahead of a gruelling week-end in the Alps.


A 137-man peloton started from Loriol-sur-Drôme, heading north enjoying tailwinds in the first part of the stage. In these conditions, many riders wanted to break away from the bunch, but it was hard for the attackers to open and hold a gap. After many unsuccessful attempts, nine riders manage to open a gap at km 43. They were soon joined by five more riders to establish the break of the day: Lawson Craddock (EF Education First-Nippo), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Laurent Pichon (Arkéa Samsic), Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal), Sven-Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Barnabas Peak (BikeExchange), Martin Salmon (DSM), Franck Bonnamour (B&amp,B Hotels-KTM) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert). The race covered 50.3km in the first hour and again in the second hour. But Lukas Pöstlberger’s BORA-hansgrohe team didn’t give them much breathing room. The gap never got higher than 3:05 at km 97. And it quickly came down as the riders hit the first climbs of the day, after 115km.

With the polka-dot jersey already on his shoulders, Matthew Holmes took 5 KOM points at the top of the Col de la Placette. Julien Bernard opened the battle on the slopes of the Col de Porte, but nobody can keep up with Lawson Craddock when he attacked in the final 2km of climb. In the bunch, Tony Martin lifted the pace on the road to the Col de Porte. Astana-Premier Tech took over and the overall leader, Lukas Pöstlberger, was dropped with 22km to go. Movistar kept the pace high on the final slopes and keep pushing on the descent towards the final 10 kilometres of the stage, bringing the gap down to 30 seconds. Craddock was eventually passed by Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) who attacks at the bottom of the final climb (3.3km at 6.2%). INEOS Grenadiers set the pace and the South-African climber didn’t get very far. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) also try to go, but INEOS control all the moves. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) led the bunch inside the last kilometre, but INEOS move past him again, and Geraint Thomas opens a split in favour of Geoghegan Hart. That move didn’t fool Alejandro Valverde, who paced himself perfectly to overtake the winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia right on the line.


Stage winner; Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “I’m so, so happy. Before anything, I have to mention, and congratulate and thank my team-mates, for all the work they’ve done for the past few days, ever since the start of the race and even more so today. Close to the Line, López told me on the radio: ‘Should I push, so no one can attack?’ I told him to go ahead – and I have to thank him especially for that, because he was incredible. INEOS put on a big pace before the sprint, but as soon as Geraint Thomas stopped pushing, I knew I couldn’t hesitate: I had to go full-gas to cover that move from Tao. I tried to keep him close, and as soon as I saw the finishing banner, I well on full steam. A special victory? Every single one I get is special, even more so now – being up there with the best, contesting these victory, is even more beautiful after everything I’ve done as a pro. The GC? Well, we’ve got Miguel Ángel and Enric, who have shown to be really strong so far, and there’s two big mountain stages ahead where any of them can aim at the top spots.”

Overall leader and 7th on the stage, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech): “For me, this is really special. Today was a really hard stage but we fought for the yellow jersey. I’m really happy to take the yellow jersey as that was the goal today. Today was hard for everybody, not just for me. I didn’t have a plan to attack, my plan was to follow and take the wheels of Movistar and Ineos. In the last kilometres, I was following Valverde’s wheel but I wasn’t able to stay with him. Day by day, I am feeling good but the most important thing before tomorrow is recovery and seeing how the lags are tomorrow on the climbs. I have worked a lot so far and tomorrow is another hard day. The climbs are longer but I will fight to keep the yellow jersey and we also have Ion Izagirre just behind me so we have good cards to play.”

3rd on the stage and 7th overall, Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “This was a first real test today. Our team was really strong once again pulling in the flat part to keep our chance for a stage win alive. In the climbs Astana and Movistar pushed the pace and unfortunately Pösti dropped. In the end Wilco and I were still there. I had a good speed and with 150m to go I thought I can win, but in the end I had to settle for 3rd. But this is still a strong result and makes me feel comfortable ahead of the weekend.”

4th on the stage and 3rd overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a super-fast stage and another good day for us. My legs get better and better and I already look forward to tomorrow. It’s a pity we lost Yellow, but it was already a successful Dauphiné with the stage win from Lukas and four days in Yellow. Therefore there is also no pressure anymore. Ineos and Movistar look strong and will make the race the next days, so we just need to stay on their wheel.”

5th overall, Ilan Van Wilder (DSM): “In the beginning, I needed some time to come into the race but then I felt better and better. It was not my best day on a bike but it was ok. I will just give all I have in the next days. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow, and even better the day after. I did my own race today to get the highest result possible.”

Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “A group of 9 riders went away after fifty kilometres, and I absolutely wanted to join them. This chase cost a lot of energy, but the riders the peloton had already spent a lot in the first hour as well. The stage never had a moment of lull, adding to that the heat. On paper, this stage was not the most demanding, but we saw that it is ultimately the riders who make it difficult or not. This was clearly the case today. I did an altitude training camp in Livigno last month, and I was keen to know where I was on this Dauphiné. My performance today shows that I am in good shape. The first few days here were difficult due to the heat. It was much colder in Livigno and my body took a while to acclimatise. But since then, I feel better every day. Louis Meintjes can count on me this weekend!”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar in 3:52:53
2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech in 20:52:16
2. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:08
3. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:12
4. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:13
5. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) DSM
6. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:15
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:27
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:34
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:39
10. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:42.

Dauphiné’21 stage 6:


Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) was the strongest on the climb to La Plagne, where he won Stage 7 of the 73rd Critérium du Dauphiné. The young Ukrainian climber followed an acceleration from Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) with 8.5km to go and went solo in the last 5km to claim his first WorldTour success. Porte finished 2nd on the stage to take the yellow and blue jersey on the eve of the final stage to Les Gets. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) now trails by 17 seconds while Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) moved up to 6th overall at 0:38.


Porte is in prime position but he led the race after the penultimate stage, in 2017 and it wasn’t enough to take the overall victory. The mountainous challenges of stage 7 motivated the attackers. There was 135 riders on the start line, due to the abandonment of Andrey Zeits (BikeExchange) and many of them tried to jump away as soon as the flag was dropped. It took 67km of battle for a group to finally open a gap. Alexis Renard (Israel Start-Up Nation), Marco Haller (Bahrain Victorious), Martin Salmon (DSM), Pierre Rolland and Franck Bonnamour (B&amp,B p/b KTM) were 1:40 ahead of the peloton as they reached the bottom of the first climb of the day, the Côte de Venthon (summit at km 81.2). The battle kept going and Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) was determined to be part of the breakaway to defend his polka-dot jersey. Nine riders join him in pursuit: Michael Valgren, Lawson Craddock (EF Nippo), Warren Barguil (Arkéa Samsic), Steff Cras (Lotto Soudal), Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Martijn Tusveld (DSM). Nils Politt (BORA-hansgrohe) and Jorge Arcas (Movistar).

The chasers trailed by 30 seconds at the bottom of the Col de Pré (12.6km at 7.7%). The gap to the bunch was up to 3:10. It even increases to 3:40 on the climb, with a hard battle at the front, and Movistar decide to take over from Astana-Premier Tech in the peloton. A new leading group emerge on the final slopes and Lawson Craddock took 15 KOM points at the summit ahead of seven riders: Valgren, Tusveld, Rolland, Elissonde, Bjerg, Arcas and Haller. The gap to the bunch slightly decreased on the climb but was soon back up to 3:45 at the bottom of the climb to Cormet de Roselend (km 117). Craddock takes 5 more points at the summit, but the gap to the bunch was down to 2:45. Haller and Valgren accelerated on the downhill. Tusveld, Arcas and Bjerg joined them in Albertville (25km to go). Valgren attacked again just ahead of the final climb to La Plagne, 17.1km with an average gradient of 7.5%. Movistar accelerated in the valley and the gap came down to 1:45 at the bottom.

The Danish all-rounder was caught by Rolland and Elissonde on the climb. The two French climbers accelerated with 12km to go but they were caught 1.5km later, with Carlos Verona setting a high pace for Movistar. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) was already dropped. Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) launches the first attack, 8.5km from the summit. Enric Mas (Movistar), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) followed his move. And the Ukrainian youngster quickly counter-attacked. Only Kuss follows him while Porte and Mas stay together. Padun drops Kuss with 4.7km to go and open serious gaps to the chasers. Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) pulls to try and defend Alexey Lutsenko’s yellow and blue jersey but they can’t react when Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) and Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) join the chasing group. Porte attacked again inside the last 2km, dropping everyone to claim the yellow and blue jersey on the eve of the final stage to Les Gets. Miguel Angel Lopez finishes 3rd and Alexey Lutsenko crosses the line in 10th position, 26 seconds behind Porte.


Stage winner, Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious): “It’s incredible and an incredible moment for me. First of all, it’s my first WorldTour victory and on one of the hardest stages of Dauphine when everyone is going so fast. Also, in the last six stages, I felt so bad on the bike during the race, and I thought it would be impossible for me to finish the race, and today I arrived first. When I crossed the finish line, I had the feeling like I need to wake up now, but it’s not a dream. I thought I might arrive with the top 20 guys, and when Richie Porte attacked, I tried to close the gap as I had our leader Jack Haig in the group. I saw we had a gap with four riders, and I thought, why not, maybe they will show me on TV for my mother, and I attacked. Then it was just me and Seb Kuss, and when I saw him drop, I just decided to go full gas to the finish and hope no one would catch me. Thanks to my team that believed in me.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’ve been here before on the penultimate with the yellow jersey. I’m under no illusion it will be easy tomorrow. Joux-Plane is a nightmare of a climb, one of the most solid climbs in the world of cycling. Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ll give our all and I’m very motivated to bring this jersey home. I’m over the moon. I think when Movistar set the pace, they didn’t have many guys left. Geraint [Thomas] said: ‘off you go’. It was the plan this morning. We have the numbers. It’s great to be back in his team. I’m enjoying riding my bike.”

4th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “The pace was really high right from the foot of the climb. When Porte attacked, I couldn’t react at that moment, but then I felt actually really good. I tried it a few times, but it was hard to get a gap and the others just followed my wheel. Then I waited for Astana to pull. The feeling was good, and I look forward to tomorrow. Probably Ineos will control the race and you just have to stay there and maybe try something on the last kick if the legs are good.”

5th on the stage and 8th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “Since doing the Tour de Romandie, I know that long climbs are really a strong suit of mine. I like this kind of effort. I am very happy. I exploded when Mas accelerated and Lopez took off. Everyone was very tired so it was impossible to make any big differences. Tomorrow is another difficult mountain stage where there may be some more excellent opportunities.”

7th on the stage and 9th overall, David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ): “I’m satisfied with my day, I did a good climb. I hesitated when Richie Porte attacked. I was afraid I would crumble later, it was still a long way to the finish. It was hard to get away then. I tried several times and I burned some matches. But I’m happy with how I climbed. The legs are here. The point is to up the ante towards the Tour de France. Tomorrow, we have a great stage with Joux-Plane. So far, the Dauphiné is a success. I came here to find the rhythm of competition. I didn’t know how I was after my crash in training. Let’s not lose everything tomorrow, and if I can gain some places in the general classification, I won’t miss on that.”

19th on the stage and 18th overall, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The course was really difficult today, all the climbs were intensely done. It was not the result I was hoping for, but I am moving up the standings so today’s results are positive. I had digested the first climbs quite well and I arrived at the foot of La Plagne with good sensations. Tactically, there was no need to think too much: it was about surviving and staying with the best as long as possible. Physically, it was different. I was dropped 4 kilometres from the end but fought until the finish line. I cannot complain but I would like to be a little better tomorrow. It will be another difficult stage with a new summit finish. The differences in the overall standings have widened a little, so I will be able to obtain more freedom from the teams who are in control. I’d like to attack and see where it can lead me.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious in 4:35:07
2. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:34
3. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:43
4. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
5. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:47
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 0:52
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:56
8. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar
9. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:59
10. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 1:00.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers in 25:28:06
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:17
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:29
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:33
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:34
6. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:38
7. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 1:00
9. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:12
10. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:17.

Dauphiné’21 stage 7:


Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) held on to his yellow and blue jersey after a Final Stage 8 dominated by Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), who claimed his second victory in a row in Les Gets. The Ukrainian climber impressed again on the Col de Joux-Plane, 24 hours after dominating the climb to La Plagne. This time, he spent the whole day in the breakaway, also claiming the polka-dot jersey, and dropped all his companions with 27.5km to go. In the GC battle, Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) attacked Richie Porte on the final climb of the day, but they couldn’t shake up the strength of the INEOS Grenadiers team. The descent was much more complicated for the British squad, with Alexey Lutsenko and Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) attacking and Geraint Thomas crashing. But Porte managed to keep things under control to be the second Australian winner of the Dauphiné, after Phil Anderson in 1985, the year Porte was born. Porte is also the oldest winner in the history of the race.


The final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné is often hard fought and many attackers decided to set the race on fire. Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) attacked on the slopes of the Côte d’Esserts-Blay and 17 riders managed to get away over the top: Madouas (Groupama-FDJ), Martin (Cofidis), Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), Arcas, Erviti (Movistar), Konrad, Politt, Schwarzmann (BORA-hansgrohe), Godon (AG2R-Citroën), Barguil (Arkea-Samsic), Sweeny (Lotto Soudal), Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Bernard, Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Rolland, Bonnamour (B&B-KTM) and Armée (Qhubeka Assos). There were many chasers, but only Michael Valgren (EF Education First-Nippo), Martijn Tusveld (DSM) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) managed to cross on the first slopes up the Col des Aravis, after 47km. The gap to the bunch had increased to 5 minutes, Mark Padun took 5 KOM points at the top of the Côte d’Héry-sur-Ugine and Michael Schwarzmann had already been dropped from the leading group, after working hard to put Patrick Konrad in the best position possible. The Austrian was the main GC threat at the front: 20th at the start at 2:51.

Israel Start-Up Nation brought the gap down to 4:05 at the Col des Aravis (km 52). They keep pressing on the downhill and on the first slopes leading to the Col de la Colombière. The gap came down to 2:30 when Richie Porte’s INEOS Grenadiers took over at the front of the bunch. Mark Padun was first at the summit again, taking 10 more points to lead the virtual KOM standings. The pace dropped slightly in the valley leading to the final challenges of the day as Richie Porte changed his bike with 50km to go. The gap went up to 3:10 at the summit of the Côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses (km 104.1). And down to 2:30 at the bottom of the climb of Joux-Plane (11.6km at 8.5%). Padun dropped his breakaway companions. Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic) were the first attackers in the bunch, with 10km to go to the summit. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) counter-attacked and quickly dropped them.

The Ukrainian climber opened a major gap on his former break companions on the climb. Movistar up the pace in the bunch. Kruijswijk is caught and Miguel Angel Lopez attacks inside the last 2km of the climb. Tao Geoghegan Hart controls for Richie Porte. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) counter-attacked just before the summit. Padun goes over the top with a lead of 1:40 on Vingegaard and Konrad. Then, Haig follows at 2:50 and Geraint Thomas leads the GC group 10 seconds behind. Astana-Premier Tech increased the pressure on the descent with Alexey Lutsenko and Ion Izagirre. Geraint Thomas follows but he crashes. Richie Porte managed to bridge the gap with O’Connor, Kelderman, Lopez and Gaudu. Mark Padun avoids any trouble to take the win in Les Gets. Porte enjoys the support of Thomas in the last 4km to control several unsuccessful attempts from his rivals. Ben O’Connor finished just ahead of his rivals, but his Australian compatriot is the winner of the 73rd Critérium du Dauphiné, ahead of Lutsenko and Thomas.


Stage winner, Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious): “I’m living a dream, it’s something really incredible because, after yesterday’s victory, it was already unbelievable. This morning I woke up with so much stress because there was so much happiness in me. I tried to forget about yesterday and focus on today. The plan was to go in the breakaway, and if I was going to the last climb, I’d help Jack in GC. Then I heard from the car to go for the KOM jersey, and then I had it. Then when I had two minutes on the last climb, maybe I can go for it, and everything went by so easy today, and it was something incredible.”

Final overall winner and 8th on the stage, Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers): “I’ve been second here twice and then I also lost second place one year in the last kilometre as well. To finally win it I’m just over the moon. For all the sacrifices and the time away from my wife and two kids, this makes it worth it. This team INEOS Grenadiers were just absolutely brilliant today. I know the descent of the Joux-Plane well. We’ve done it many, many times. I decided to do my own pace, then when I saw G crash obviously it wasn’t ideal for the last six kilometres. But he came back, he’s got some pretty bad road rash but he’ll be tip top for the Tour. I’m under no illusions as to what my job is at the Tour. To win this race just means so, so much to me. It’s a race I’ve always enjoyed, and to finally win it at 36 years old is a sweet moment.”

2nd overall and 7th on the stage, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech): “I am really happy to be on the podium. To finish second overall and win a stage is a really good result for me so I can be happy. As I said yesterday, there are a lot of big champions here at the race so to be on the podium with two of them; Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas is something special. The team did great work all week and I really have to thank them, especially Ion in the last two days as he helped me a lot to stay on the podium. Today was a really hard stage and it was a big fight until the end so I am really happy that I could stay up there and finish it off today. Now I will rest and recover and then it’s all in for the Tour de France.”

3rd on the stage, Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “Schwarzi and Nils did a tremendous job today. He had a good lead coming into the final climb. I tried to follow Padun but he was too strong. Unfortunately, Vingegaard did not really push in the end and I had to ride most of the time. Still, I am happy with my performance after my bad day yesterday.”

4th overall, Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe): “I had in mind to try something on the Joux Plane but the pace was simply too high. I was able to stay with the yellow jersey group and there was nothing more I could have done. I am very happy with the race and how I performed this week. Actually, I was stronger than expected. I proved I am on track for the Tour and now the final preparations start.”

9th on the stage and 5th overall, Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious): “It was a super good week, and the team worked really well together. We had a bit of bad luck with Eros going home on stage one, but everyone came together and did a really good job. It would have been nice to get Sonny a couple more stage wins, but I think one stage win from him and two from Padun, the green jersey, the mountain jersey, and the fifth in GC is not such a bad week. I go home now, take a bit of recovery and a bit more training, but I’m super excited for the Tour. A lot of the hard work has been done, and now it’s about resting up and coming to the Tour de France fresh.”

7th overall, Ion Izagirre Insausti (Astana-Premier Tech): “In the end I think we can be happy with the work done by all of us, really. There are a lot of positives to take away from the race. We won a stage with Lutsenko, we finished other stages with second place and third place with me and Alex. The team worked well and in the end we finished it off with the podium with Lutsenko. So we can leave this race happy and look forward to the Tour.”

4th on the stage and 8th overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I attacked in the final to try to get the best final ranking possible. It was the last day and the gaps weren’t that big. I had fun this week. I like the competition. It’s a great feeling to fight with the best up front. Unless you’re a superstar, you can’t be ahead in every race, so I take advantage of those moments when I can. The duet with Aurélien Paret Peintre is consistent.”

Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I am satisfied with my result, both on the stage and in the general classification. Every day I tried to make the most of it, so I have no regrets. This last stage was particularly demanding. I knew the Joux Plane fairly well but no matter how many times you climb it, it is still a tough ask. We made the descent with our eyes closed, so to speak, because at the end of a stage race you have to take risks if you don’t want to come back empty-handed. In addition, the descent from Joux Plane is quite delicate, and you had to be at your highest level of concentration. The last six kilometres to Les Gets, I gave everything I had. I must thank my teammates who surrounded me all week and greatly supported me on the way to a good final GC. Thanks guys!”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 8 Result:
1. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious in 4:06:49
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
3. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 1:57
5. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:10
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
8. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Richie Porte (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers in 29:37:05
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:17
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:29
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:33
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 0:34
6. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar at 0:38
7. Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
8. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:47
9. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:12
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:57.

Dauphiné’21 final stage 8:


Tour de Suisse 2021
Stefan Küng won the opening time trial Stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse. The European champion of the Groupama-FDJ team defeated countryman Stefan Bissegger and Mattia Cattaneo on the 10.9 kilometre course in Frauenfeld. Tom Dumoulin was sixteenth on his return to racing.


In rainy conditions, Tom Dumoulin made his long-awaited comeback. The time trial specialist from Jumbo-Visma, who is doing everything in preparation for the Olympic Games, achieved a time of 12.32 minutes in Frauenfeld. That was good for third fastest time for a while, but he would eventually drop to sixteenth place. The fastest time was early on for home rider Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) in a time of 12:04. Rohan Dennis and Søren Kragh Andersen also couldn’t beat Bissegger’s time. They conceded about 20 seconds. Stefan Küng was keen to get the fastest time. The European time trial champion was 3 seconds faster than Bissegger at the intermediate point and was also faster in the second part. Küng put 12 minutes on the score board, 4 seconds faster than Bissegger. It turned out to be enough for the stage win.

Julian Alaphilippe had a good time. The Frenchman lost only 18 seconds on Küng and managed to eventually finished fifth. His teammate Mattia Cattaneo of Deceuninck – Quick-Step was also on a good ride, he conceded only 13 seconds to Küng at the finish to take third place. Florian Vermeersch finished 22 seconds behind Küng for eighth. The Lotto Soudal rider was the best Belgian. Dumoulin was the best Dutchman with his sixteenth place.


Stage winner and overall leader, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “This is a real home win, I live a kilometre away from here. I am very happy to win here. The course was on my training roads. I had a special preparation for this Tour. Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought this, as I was still building my form. But I was getting better every day and so I was confident at the start. I knew what to do and it worked perfectly today. But this one is more beautiful. I always have the impression that the first victory is easier than the second. Once you’ve won, the expectations get higher and this win is really at home with me. I know everyone here from the organisation. That makes it special. And I took the yellow jersey, which is also very nice. It will be difficult tomorrow, with a steep climb at the end. Especially if it explodes there in the peloton, but I’ll try to stick with it. I want to see how my form is in the coming days. The stage win was the most important today. The yellow jersey is nice, even if it’s just for a day, but I’ll do my best to defend it.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “This time trial makes me really happy, as it shows that the work from the Sierra Nevada altitude training camp is already paying off. To get a podium in a World Tour race is the kind of result that gives you a lot of confidence, and coming on the first day of the race augurs well for the rest of the week. We came here with the ambition of taking a stage victory and we’re determined to give our best to achieve this goal.”

5th on the stage and overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a nice ITT and I’m happy. The first part was more technical and I did well there, while on the second one I lost some time as it was more suited to the power riders. But, as I said, I am satisfied and confident, because the legs felt good and I did my best. I came here after a training camp and it would be nice if I could be in the position to fight for a stage win at some point next week.”

12th on the stage, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I went full out today but having said that, I didn’t risk anything in the first part of the race because it was raining and the road was quite slippery. Unfortunately, the weather situation unfolded differently than predicted. There are still several tough stages ahead of us here, which we’ll now set our sights on.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 12:00
2. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo at 0:04
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
4. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education-Nippo at 0:15
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:19
6. Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo at 0:22
7. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM
10. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:23.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 12:00
2. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo at 0:04
3. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
4. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education-Nippo at 0:15
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:19
6. Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-Nippo at 0:22
7. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
8. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM
10. Rohan Dennis (Aus) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:23.

Suisse’21 stage 1:


Elfstedenronde 2021
This year’s Euroshop Elfstedenronde was won by Tim Merlier. After a race of 193 kilometres, starting and finishing in Bruges, he was the fastest in a bunch sprint. The photo finish showed that he crossed the finish line a tire thickness before Mark Cavendish, who finished second. Sacha Weemaes finished third.


Seven riders made up the early break of the day. With Lars Loohuis (ABLOC CT), Sven Burger (BEAT Cycling) and Elmar Reinders (Riwal), Nathan Vandepitte (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Alex Colman (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), James Fouché (Black Spoke) and Thomas Denis (Xellis-Roubaix Lille Métropole) completed the leading group. In the peloton, control was maintained by Alpecin-Fenix, Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Those teams had three big contenders with Tim Merlier, Dylan Groenewegen and Mark Cavendish. Sixty kilometres before the finish, the leading group was reduced to six, as Burger was unable to follow the pace due to cramps. Not much later Lotto Soudal tried to make the race hard on the cobblestones of the Brieversweg. It caused a split in the peloton. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Lotto Soudal and Jumbo-Visma were on the right side of the break, went full throttle and took the early break back at 42 kilometres from the finish. Alpecin-Fenix ​​was not happy and had to chase. After a fight of more than 10 kilometres the merger was made, but again the Brieversweg caused a split. Remco Evenepoel, who was back to racing after his Giro retirement, also showed his strength.

With 30 kilometres to go, and two circuits through Bruges, Nick van der Ligte (Riwal) and Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) broke free. However, it turned out to be a hopeless escape attempt against the chasing peloton. The Dutch/Belgian combine was caught 11 kilometres before the finish. The sprinter’s teams came to the front in the peloton. On the last stretch of Brieversweg everything stayed together. BEAT Cycling showed themselves at the front, but all the big men were still there. All sprinter trains came to the front in the last 3 kilometres. In the last straight all eyes were on Alpecin-Fenix. Jasper Philipsen started the sprint for Tim Merlier, who went early. The Giro stage winner seemed to slow down in the last metres and Mark Cavendish come dangerously close. The two crossed the line almost together, but there was a tyre thickness difference for Merlier to claim the victory. A photo finish was needed, as even Merlier himself visibly doubted he had won. Third place went to Sacha Weemaes of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise. Dylan Groenewegen finished in 10th place.


Race winner, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “I thought Cav was passing me, but apparently I still had some left. I was on the wrong side. We had agreed to stay as far left as possible, but we were caught in the wind a bit early. In the end, I’m glad I can finish it and have the team for it. David van der Poel brought us perfectly to the last corner. We were still in between with three men, but I didn’t want to panic, but luckily we were able to close the gap. It did take some effort, although I don’t mind if there is some race. Other riders are then tired and then I know they don’t have such fresh legs anymore. It’s not a great weekend for me, even if I win and finish ninth (in the Dwars door het Hageland). I don’t think it was like the previous weeks.”

2nd, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The last kilometres were really chaotic. One guy from another team tried to get me out of position, even though he wasn’t anywhere near his sprinter, and I lost Michael going into the last corner. Then I saw Ackermann with Selig, so I decided to use that wheel, but had to wait for Selig to jump, because otherwise I would have been in the wind. Unfortunately, it was a bit late. I kind of knew I was second, and to tell you the truth, it’s no shame, as Tim is one of the best sprinters in the field. I did a good sprint and I am on the podium after a great race of the team. It was an absolute dream to be with these guys today, they controlled the race and were perfect. I even had the honour of having Remco working for me at the front. Even at my age, it’s something I can be proud of. All this motivated me to give everything today.”

Elfstedenronde Result:
1. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:16:30
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkea-Samsic
8. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
9. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma.



GP Kantons Aargau – GP Gippingen 2021
Ide Schelling took his first professional victory in the GP des Kantons Aargau. The BORA-hansgrohe rider beat Rui Costa and Esteban Chaves into second and third places in the final.


In the GP des Kantons Aargau the riders had a number of hilly circuits, with the climb to Schlatt (2.2 kilometres at 6.7%) and in the final also to Rothberg (6.8kilometres at 3.8%). An early break with Alexis Guerin, Simon Vitzthum and Damian Luscher escaped from the peloton in the opening section of the stage, but as the stage progressed they realised that they would have no chance of victory. BikeExchange controlled the escapees’ lead as they wanted to make the race hard in the final, first with Amund Groendahl Jansen and then with Esteban Chaves, but they couldn’t get away.

Only on the last climb of the Rothberg BikeExchange succeeded. After another attack by Chaves, he escaped off the front with Rui Costa and Ide Schelling. The lead on the peloton, where there was still a number of sprinters, never grew more than 20 seconds in the final of the race. The three riders managed to stay out of the hands of the peloton. Schelling started the sprint first, with Costa coming back at the Dutchman. After a new acceleration, the young rider took the win. 15 seconds later, Nizzolo and Ackermann came in fourth and fifth.


Race winner, Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today I had really strong legs. The guys kept me in a good position and towards the end I had to counter the important attacks together with Acki and Toni. That wasn’t necessarily easy, but we still managed to do it. On the last lap, I took my chances between the two climbs and Costa and Chavez followed me. It ultimately came down to a sprint and luckily, I was the fastest! I’m really happy to take my first pro win in this way.”

2nd, Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): “I’ve being preparing well over the last months with this block of racing in Switzerland in my mind: this race is very important to see the condition ahead of the Tour de Suisse. Today was confirmation that the legs are good and we had big numbers in the final so the team is good also. We had Molano behind in case it came back for a sprint but in the end it was the right decision to attack. Obviously I would have loved to finish off with a win, but I know the condition is there for a big week of racing ahead.”

3rd, Esteban Chaves (BikeExchange): “The result was really nice, after a training block at altitude and then coming down, you miss at bit of the speed of the race, you can feel it in the first two hours of racing but after that then it is quickly getting better. Obviously you always want to win, especially when it is on the table but today they were stronger than me. We raced really well as a team, we took control, we raced from the beginning, we raced at the front and attacking all the time. It is really nice to race in a group like this and it gives us a lot of confidence for the races coming up, like the Tour of Swiss starting very soon.”

GP Kantons Aargau – GP Gippingen Result:
1. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:05:45
2. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
3. Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) BikeExchange
4. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka Assos at 0:15
5. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
7. Marco Tizza (Ita) Amore e Vita
8. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) AG2R Citroën
10. Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie.



Women’s Dwars door het Hageland 2021
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has won the woman’s Dwars door het Hageland on Saturday. After 120 kilometres of dust, the SD Worx rider was the first to cross the finish line at the Citadel of Diest after a long solo.


There were fourteen sections of dust and stones, 36 kilometres, on the menu for the riders in the first women’s Dwars door het Hageland. The gravel sections of Prinsenbos (1800m), Demerdijk Zichem (4000m) and the Citadel van Diest (1000m) were on the final circuit. The famous Poggio van Diest was added as an extra obstacle.

Abby Mae Parkinson (Lotto Soudal) provided the first significant escape of the day. The British rider was ahead of the peloton for quite a time, but she had no chance for victory. At about 45 kilometres from the finish, Van den Broek-Blaak attacked on the Citadel, this was not her intention, but she rode on. Thanks to strong blocking work, the race was hers. The 2017 world champion quickly took a reassuring lead of about 1:30. The group of pursuers were still chasing, but to no avail. Various attacks from the group failed to make any difference. Van den Broek-Blaak’s legs held up well in the finalé, so that she was assured of victory before the last climb of the Citadel.

For Van den Broek-Blaak it is her second victory of the season. At the beginning of March she also won the Strade Bianche, also on unpaved roads. Behind; Christine Majerus, also SD Worx, finished second. The entire SD Worx team finished in the top ten. Lorena Wiebes passed Lotte Kopecky in the last meters for third.


Race winner, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx): “I was a bit tired of it in the peloton, I wanted to race and so I did. I hadn’t thought about it at all at first. It wasn’t until Jolien (D’hoore) told me that they call this race in Belgium a ‘little Strade Bianche’ that I thought: ‘Ahh, then maybe it’s for me,’ I joked. But fair? No, I didn’t start here with a special feeling. I just wanted to burn and I succeeded. The early attack was not planned at all. But the beginning was very hectic and I don’t like that. I like gravel and tough races, but it wasn’t hard at all in the first half of the race. Lots of crashes, pushing and pulling too. When we passed the finish line for the first time, I was a bit tired and I told my teammates that I wanted to opt for the attack. But that was not the plan at the meeting yesterday, no. Making the race tough in the first place and have some of our other girls open. I would wait longer. But once I went forward, there was of course no turning back. Then you can do nothing but keep racing. My teammates did excellent blocking work behind and controlled the race. So it is nice to race. In addition, Christine (Majerus) and Jolien (D’hoore) are second and fifth. Then you know that we still had opportunities, if I was caught.”

Women’s Dwars door het Hageland Result:
1. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx in 3:14:12
2. Christine Majerus (Ned) SD Worx at 0:36
3. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM
4. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Belgium
5. Jolien d’Hoore (Bel) SD Worx at 0:37
6. Lonneke Uneken (Ned) SD Worx
7. Anna Henderson (GB) Jumbo-Visma
8. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
9. Amber van der Hulst (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
10. Roxane Fournier (Fra) SD Worx.



Dwars door het Hageland 2021
Rasmus Tiller won the Dwars door het Hageland. The Uno-X rider turned out to be the best rider out of a leading group of eight on the Citadel of Diest. Danny van Poppel and Yves Lampaert finished in second and third place.


Dwars door het Hageland is a race referred to as a mini-Strade Bianche. With thirteen gravel sections on the parcourse, so it’s easy to guess where that nickname comes from. On Saturday, these gravel sections again played a major role in this Flemish semi-classic. An early escape never got a gap on the peloton. Only in the last 100 kilometres did a few riders now and then escape, including Taco van der Hoorn and Jan-Willem van Schip, who opened the final with their attack in a group of seven riders. This leading group rode ahead for a while, but was also quickly pulled back. After that there were some other riders attacked, but they never took a serious gap. At 50 kilometres from the finish a group with Boy van Poppel, Danny van Poppel, Jonas Rickaert, Yves Lampaert, Dries Van Gestel, Rasmus Tiller, Piet Allegaert and Connor Swift attacked, it became clear that this was the race winning move

The eight front riders would be competing for victory as the peloton was soon at over 1 minute. The only threat came from Nils Eekhoff, Davide Ballerini and Wesley Kreder, who counter-attacked, however they were unable to cross and were swallowed up again at 15 kilometres from the finish by the peloton, which started too late to chase the leading group. In the last 10 kilometres Boy van Poppel was the first rider to attack the last gravel section of the day. Van Gestel briefly dropped, but the Dutchman’s attack didn’t cause more damage. Swift was next to try. Because of his attack, only Tiller, Rickaert, Danny van Poppel and Allegaert remained. Surprisingly, Lampaert couldn’t hang on, but he did come back before the Citadel of Diest, where the race would be decided. Tiller started his winning move early, sat solidly on his bike on the cobblestones and took the victory in Diest. Van Poppel gave everything to keep the Norwegian from winning, but did not get further than second place.


Race winner, Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X): “I tried to copy last year’s final, when Rickaert accelerated on two corners before the finish. I felt really good today, I’m glad I was able to finish it up. At the end everyone was very tired and with the cobblestones on the Citadel it was difficult to sprint. If you’re in the lead then it’s hard to get passed. Here I get the chance to develop myself further over the next three years. The team is also very good. I’m always impressed by my teammates. Everyone strives to ride in the WorldTour, but for now it’s also important to have confidence in my team and ride for your own chances. In a WorldTour team you can develop less well with the big stars in the team. They really believe in me in this team. The Flemish classics are really my dream in the long term. Those are real races, which are much more about tactics and attacking.”

2nd, Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Satisfaction predominates after this fine second place, but I am and will remain someone who prefers to win. The victory would have been a fair reward for my teammates because they put in a great performance. Starting with my brother Boy, who was very strong with me in front and maintained a pace so high that no one wanted to attack. I was ideally placed in his wheel, while others had to constantly fight for mine. This way I saved energy where they were spending it. We did everything perfectly and at the end we fell against Rasmus Tiller, who was simply stronger. Either way, this performance is good for confidence. I’m not at my peak yet, but everyone could see today that I’m on the right track!”

4th, Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix): “When I turned up that right angle on the cobblestones of the Citadel, I knew I wasn’t in it. I felt good, I believed for a long time that I could finish. But when I turned up at the Citadel, I knew what time it was. It was gone. Tiller started at the same time, he could do with a split. That he wins indicates that that is still the best tactic. But I wasn’t good enough today. Instead of sprinting up the Citadel, I rode from stone to stone. All races in which we hope to win as a team. Also at the Belgian Championships we do not intend to hand over our title (Merlier in 2019, De Bondt, in 2020) just like that. Do I have ambition in my own region? That will depend on the team tactics. There is no official selection yet, but in principle that is the intention, yes.”

Dwars door het Hageland Result:
1. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X in 3:58:27
2. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:01
3. Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:02
4. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
6. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic at 0:05
7. Boy van Poppel (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:16
8. Dries Van Gestel (Bel) Total Direct Energie at 0:47
9. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:51
10. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X.



ineos grenadier
Egan Bernal Tests Positive for Covid-19
Egan Bernal has tested positive for the corona virus. The Colombian Giro winner should have flown back to his native country this week, but now has to be quarantined. Spokesperson for the INEOS Grenadiers rider made the announcement in a press release.

Bernal is said to be experiencing mild symptoms of the virus. His girlfriend has also tested positive. It is not known where and when the Colombian contracted the virus.

Bernal can’t go home:


Israel Start-Up Nation Cancel Some Races After Positive Covid Tests
Israel Start-Up Nation has decided to cancel some races in the month of June due to a new series of tests within the team, three staff members appear to be infected with the corona virus.

The team has decided to withdraw from the GP Canton Aargau (June 4), Dwars door het Hageland (June 5), the Elfstedenronde (June 11), the Baloise Belgium Tour (June 9-13) and the Adriatica Ionica Race (June 14-18). The team will start the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday (6-13 June) and continue racing in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Israel Start-Up Nation is participating in the Tour of Switzerland, since the riders and staff members within the ‘Switzerland bubble’ have had no contact with the infected employees. Golazo, the organiser of the Elfstedenronde and the Baloise Belgium Tour, informed WielerFlits that they are not looking for a replacement team for Israel Start-Up Nation.

“Of course we would have loved to participate in these fantastic races, as the riders have trained hard to perform well. However, the health of our riders and staff, as well as of the other teams in the peloton, is paramount. We don’t want to take any risks and in such a situation it is better to be careful.”

ISUN to miss some races in June:
tour20 martin


lotto soudal
Brent Van Moer Two More Years at Lotto Soudal
Good news for both Brent Van Moer and Lotto Soudal. At least till the end of 2023, both parties continue to work together. Brent Van Moer extended his contract at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he won the opening stage. Brent still is 23 years old but already a familiar face at Lotto Soudal. In June 2019, the young Belgian turned pro from the Lotto Soudal U23 team.

“I received a nice offer and didn’t need much time to think about it, despite several other teams being interested.” says Brent Van Moer. “I feel really good within the team, have an excellent relationship with all of my teammates and also with the team staff. I love to be on the races with this group. And maybe even more important, at Lotto Soudal I get the chance to develop into a really strong rider. I can also still explore where the best of my abilities are. At the shorter stage races? Or at the Classics? Next year, I already want to fight for the victory at the semi-classics. I am really ambitious.”

In 2018, Brent Van Moer conquered the silver medal at the U23 time trial world championships. Also in that discipline, Brent Van Moer wants to see how far he can get.

“Step by step”, adds Lotto Soudal General Manager John Lelangue. “Brent is the perfect example of a rider who is trained at Lotto Soudal and keeps making progress. Into a winner. And there are also others like Brent in the team. And we keep on following the road we’ve chosen. The young guys are our future. Already in March, after Brent’s second place in a Tirreno-Adriatico stage, several other teams were interested. Brent would make an excellent domestique. At Lotto Soudal however, he gets more opportunities. We absolutely believe in Brent and vice versa.”

“And the team can continue to rely on me to work for the other guys”, concludes Brent Van Moer. “Nothing beats the feeling of giving it all for a winner like Caleb Ewan. Winning, that is why we became professional athletes in the first place.”

Stage 1 Win in the Dauphiné for Brent Van Moer:


Simon Geschke and Pierre-Luc Perichon Renew With Cofidis
Simon Geschke (35) and Pierre-Luc Perichon (34) have extended their contracts with Cofidis for two years. The cycling veterans are in their first and third years with the French WorldTour team this year.

It is the intention that the German and Frenchman will assist leader Guillaume Martin in the coming years, according general manager Cedric Vasseur. “This is excellent news,” he said. “Pierre-Luc and Simon share the same values as the team and are one of the most important riders in the team. In the upcoming Tour de France they will help Martin to achieve the best possible result.”

Pierre-Luc Perichon working hard:


ag2r cirtoen
Ben O’Connor active in the colours of AG2R Citroën until the end of 2024
Ben O’Connor is assured of a long-term stay in the WorldTour peloton. The Australian extended his contract with AG2R Citroën for three seasons.

Ben O’Connor was offered a contract at the last minute with Vincent Lavenu’s team last year. Two days after he won the Giro stage to Madonna di Campiglio in the NTT jersey, the one-year contract was announced. The collaboration is so good that it has been decided to extend it.

“Ben is a talented rider who has quickly adapted to the spirit of the team,” said Lavenu. “He is an asset to stage races and he still has a lot of room to grow and progress.”

O’Connor made his WorldTour-level debut in 2017. For Dimension Data/NTT, his stage win in the Giro was his greatest success. He also won stages in the Tour of Austria (2017), the Tour of the Alps (2018) and the Etoile of Bessèges (2020). This year he was also on the podium in the Tour du Var and the Tour de Romandie.

Ben O’Connor:
Ben O'Connor


Lefevere Doesn’t Count on Cavendish for the Tour de France
Deceuninck – Quick-Step will go to the Tour de France without Mark Cavendish. Team manager Patrick Lefevere thinks the British sprinter, who won four stages in the Tour of Turkey, is not physically ready. “The Tour is probably too hard for him now,” Lefevere told Bici.pro.

“Mark has raced a few races, but he also had bad luck because some races he was supposed to ride were cancelled,” Lefevere said. “He also got off in the third stage of the Ruta del Sol, arguing that it was not a race for sprinters. And the next day André Greipel won.”

For the sprint stages in the Tour de France, Deceuninck – Quick-Step chooses Sam Bennett, who will leave the Belgian team after this season. “Bennett and his train will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders, which will give Julian Alaphilippe more freedom. It will be Sam’s last year with us. For next year we are counting on Fabio Jakobsen’s sprints, because I am sure that his comeback will be a success,” said the manager.

No Tour for Cavendish:


lotto soudal
We, Lotto Soudal
Respect has to be earned. It is something you have to work for, every single day. Racing offensively is what defines our team. Attacking in the race, but not outside of it. The team has been racing offensively for 37 years, year after year. Our team undoubtedly deserves more respect than it gets.

What I read about our team after the Giro, in a column written by Jan Segers – an important ‘influencer-journalist’ in Flanders – in Het Laatste Nieuws makes me very sad. I was in shock for a while, I needed almost a week to think and consult with friends, staff, riders,… But “State team”? “Sheltered workshop” for riders, staff and management?

It wasn’t immediately the plan to finish the Giro d’Italia with two riders, Stefano Oldani and Harm Vanhoucke. If Harm didn’t crash, he probably would have won the Strade Bianche stage and made it three stage wins for the team. There are several teams that had to go home without a victory… Without Caleb Ewan’s abandon, even more would have been possible. His abandon during stage 8 definitely wasn’t planned. Caleb would and wanted to continue at least until stage 13 and target two more sprint stages. You have to take knee pain seriously. It is disrespectful that this was being questioned. We still need Caleb and he paves the way for our attackers, for those who make the race more attractive…

That at Lotto Soudal everything is justified, that everything is allowed? Riders and staff almost choked up on their coffee when reading this. Sometimes harsh words are spoken with us, too. Behind closed doors. It is our job to perform and this often requires a firm hand and an iron discipline. We do this on good terms and with mutual respect.

But perhaps it is like that, Lotto Soudal has a sympathetic image, surrounds riders and entourage with great care and respect. Attacking is part of the race and the race only.

I also wonder how our sponsors feel with such unjustified criticism. Lotto, Soudal and the other sponsors won’t stay on board that long if they wouldn’t support our vision. All our sponsors deserve more respect. Without Lotto, there wouldn’t be much left of the Belgian cycling sport. It isn’t just about our team, it is also about sponsoring cycling races, development teams, signallers and so on. It is just a fraction of the support in social projects by our sponsor Lotto. State money? Really? The Nationale Loterij isn’t subsidised by the government and so neither is the team. Also, it is not just out of love for cycling that Soudal and the other sponsors support us. They realise that, through the team, they make themselves known to the world. And they also feel at home with us.

Every day, we try to be a part of cycling in a positive and constructive way and of course, we can deal with criticism and try to learn something from it. Unfortunately, nobody gains from hollow claims and accusations that don’t have anything to do with our beautiful sport.

In any case, we continue to invest in cycling, in a sustainable and constructive manner.

We, Lotto Soudal.

John Lelangue
General Manager Lotto Soudal



GP Jef Scherens Brought Forward by Two Weeks
The Grand Prix Jef Scherens will not be held on Sunday 29 this year, but on Sunday 15 August. According to DirectVelo, this is done to secure a TV coverage. On August 29, the race has competition from the Tour of Spain and the Belgian Formula 1, so it has been decided to organise the one-day race two weeks earlier.

The Grand Prix Jef Scherens would have take place this year exactly four weeks before the elite men’s World road race championships, but that is now six weeks. The 1.1 race is a great opportunity to re-explore the World champs circuit. The final of the road race runs on the traditional course of the GP Jef Scherens, with climbs of the Keizersberg and the Wijnpers and with finish on the Bondgenotenlaan.

Since 1963, the race has been named after local hero Jef ‘Poeske’ Scherens, who became World champion seven times before and after the Second World War in the track sprint. Since 2005 GP Jef Scherens has been part of the UCI Europe Tour in the 1.1 category.

Jasper Stuyven won the GP Jef Scherens in 2018:
GP Jef Scherens


2021 World Track Championships Now in Glasgow
The World Track Championships will not take place in Turkmenistan this year. The UCI announced on Thursday. The event will now be held in Glasgow, Scotland. The UCI will provide more details later.

The 2021 Track World Championships were previously assigned to the controversial Turkmenistan. The champs had to take place in the capital Achgabat, in the Sports Complex Velodrome. After Maebashi (1990) and Hong Kong (2017), a third World Championships had to be held in Asia, but the event is now cancelled. There has been much criticism of a World Cup in Turkmenistan before and the discussion become increasingly heated in recent weeks after the recent political developments in Belarus. This year’s European Track Cycling Championships were to be held in Minsk, but the UEC decided to look for an alternative venue after the arrest of journalist and blogger Roman Protasevich.

The UCI is now realising that a World Championships in Turkmenistan is not an option and has designated Glasgow as an alternative venue. The UCI Track World Championships were scheduled for October 13-17, a few months after the Olympic Games. The European Championship has already been moved to the first week of October.

Apeldoorn - Netherlands - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during World Championships track - baan - bahn - piste - foto: Marc van Hecke/Cor Vos ©2018


See our Instagram page for a quick fix on your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the PEZ Shop section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And check the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Page.


Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.