EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
The weekend cycling news
The season is in full swing: Strade Bianche, Paris-Nice stage 1, Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré and the GP Industria e Artigianato, all with reports, results and video. Strade Bianche, top race – TOP STORY. Rider news from Mathieu van der Poel, Fabio Jakobsen, Miguel Ángel López, Remco Evenepoel, Wilco Kelderman and Guillaume Martin. Race news from the Amstel Gold Race and the ZLM Tour. We finish with video from the Strade Bianche by UAE Team Emirates.
TOP STORY: How good was Strade Bianche!
A leading group of eight men hammered over the white roads and through the picturesque landscape of Tuscany on Saturday. It didn’t really matter who won, the race had been a spectacle for the eyes and a sporting triumph. Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogacar, Egan Bernal, Thomas Pidcock, Quinn Simmons and Michael Gogl, these eight riders represented the future of cycling, the new broom. Stars.
The Strade Bianche is a relatively new event, just fifteen editions, but there are calls to make it a Monument. Why not? Well, it’s too young: Liège 1892, Roubaix 1896, Lombardia 1905, Sanremo 1907 and Flanders 1913. It’s too short at 184 kilometres. All the monuments are over 200 kilometres long and in the case of Sanremo, it’s nearly 300K. But let’s face it, maybe the races should be shorter for more excitement, like the Vuelta a España has proven with shorter stages. This year’s Strade Bianche had those eight riders together coming into the finalé: The last two Tour de France winners, the current World road champion and the world’s three top cyclocross riders, it doesn’t get much better.
Is this the end of specialisation? Are we moving back to when riders rode everything? The cyclocross World champion beat the road World champion and two Tour winners in a classic. Pro cycling seems to be changing.
The top class break:
Strade Bianche Men 2021
Mathieu van der Poel won the Strade Bianche on Saturday form a group of the best. On the steep final kilometre, the Dutch champion rode away from Julian Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal.
Philipp Walsleben, Kevin Ledanois and Simone Bevillacqua made up the first break of the day. Tosh Van der Sande, Samuele Rivi and Filippo Tagliani crossed on the fourth gravel section. Samuele Zoccarato and Simone Petilli had already joined. The eight leaders build up a lead of 4 minutes. UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma started chasing. On the seventh gravel section the lead was only 1 minute. Rivi, Tagliani and Bevillacqua had been dropped. Loic Vliegen and Rudy Molard, then Gonzalo Serrano, Andreas Kron and Gianni Vermeersch took over the lead.
The new escape from Serrano, Kron and Vermeersch was more successful. The Spaniard, Dane and Belgian were joined by another group 57 kilometres from the finish: Kasper Asgreen, Quinn Simmons, Greg Van Avermaet were part of the group. Five kilometres later, the remainder of the peloton, led by Jumbo-Visma caught the break, leaving only thirty riders at the front. The race proper started at that point. On the 11.5 kilometre Monte Sante Marie, Wout van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe attacked. Nine riders remained: Kevin Geniets, Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock, Tadej Pogacar, Simmons, Egan Bernal and Michael Gogl. Pello Bilbao, Jakob Fuglsang, Robert Power, Simon Carr, Peter Vakoc, Simon Clarke, Tim Wellens and Vermeersch tried to return, but couldn’t.
Simmons and Geniets were dropped, leaving seven at the front at the start of the ninth section of the day: the 800 metre long Monteaperti. Alaphilippe put in an attack. The world champion saw Van der Poel, Bernal, Pogačar and Gogl join him, but Van Aert and Pidcock were in trouble. The Belgian and Briton rejoined on the penultimate sector of the day. With 18 kilometres to go, there was only the gravel of Le Tolfe left. On the steep last metres of the gravel, Van der Poel made a vicious attack. Nobody was able to follow the Dutch champion, but within a kilometre Bernal and Alaphilippe fought back to the Dutch champion. The three riders stayed together to the climb to the Piazza del Campo. The pursuers were following at more than 10 seconds. The steep final kilometre was going to decide the winner, as another attack by Van der Poel at five kilometres from the finish could not break Bernal and Alaphilippe. In the final kilometre Van der Poel made his winning move. Alaphilippe was second, Bernal third.
*** You can read the full PEZ Race Report HERE, with photo gallery. ***
Race winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “This is an iconic race and I really wanted to win it. I think Strade Bianche is one of the most difficult races to win because there are so many good riders, including strong climbers like Pogacar and Bernal. It does not happen often to find so many champions, including GC riders, fighting for the victory of a one-day race. Today I rode with confidence, I felt pretty good, and tried to save some energy for the finale and wait for the right moment. I knew there were some hard sections to come. As a team, today we showed how good we are. I have lots of confidence in my teammates; I trust that they are able to bring me to the right place in the key moments of the race. Next week I’ll be at Tirreno-Adriatico; I might try to go for the stages while I’ll try to get in the best shape for Milano-Sanremo.”
2nd, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I would have preferred to take the victory, but I can be content with this result, as I did my best today but it happened that one guys was stronger in the final. Strade Bianche is always spectacular and hard and today it was not different. The tempo was high in the peloton long before the Monte Sante Marie sector, so I knew it was going to be a tough day. When the strong leading group went clear, we all worked well together and managed to build a nice gap. Then, I put in a couple of attacks, Van der Poel did the same inside 20 kilometres to go, and I joined him together with Bernal and the three of us kept powering to the line. On the steep finish in Siena, I did everything I could do and this meant coming runner-up today. But I feel that the shape is getting where I want, so that’s good, it makes me look forward to the next races.”
3rd, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “To be honest, it’s a bit of a surprise for me to make the top three because I’m not a specialist of one-day races. To reach the podium with Mathieu van der Poel and the world champion [Julian Alaphilippe] is a big honour for me. It motivates me for the next goals and gives me confidence. Tom Pidcock and I tried to stay with the favourites because it was too hard to try and go away alone. Mathieu, [Wout] van Aert and the UAE Team Emirates riders were really strong. The finale was just a question of having the legs.”
4th, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “When Alaphilippe accelerated there, I ran into difficulties. Then I already knew it wouldn’t be for today. I have to be satisfied with this. I was at the appointment, but I just wasn’t good enough in the final. That gear was not there yet. I will be the first, but I was still fourth. So I took the maximum out of it. That my coach Marc Lamberts predicted this? That’s right. Marc is a smart person, hey! We rode a fantastic race as a team. A number of boys have even gone further than originally planned. That is a very pleasant observation. If I can get even better now, we will have a nice classic season. In this race the strongest always wins and that was Mathieu today. His acceleration on that last stretch said enough.”
7th, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a good day for us. We had a good race with the team. In the end I even ended up in the leading group. But when Van der Poel attacked, I had a moment of crisis. In the end we drove for fourth place, because we could not recover the leading group. In the final kilometre I did my best, but I was done. I think I should be satisfied with seventh place.”
Strade Bianche Men Result:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:40:29
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:05
3. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:20
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma at 0:51
5. Thomas Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:54
6. Michael Gogl (Aust) Qhubeka Assos
7. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
8. Simon Clarke (Aus) Qhubeka Assos at 2:25
9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 2:39.
Strade Bianche Women 2021
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak put Strade Bianche in her palmarès on Saturday. In Siena, the 31-year-old, who is in her last season, crossed the line solo after riding away from Elisa Longo Borghini on the steep final climb. Her SD Worx teammate, Anna van der Breggen, was third.
The Strade Bianche women’s race faced a 136 kilometre course with eight gravel sections, more than 30 kilometres. Under cloudy conditions, at a temperature of 7ºC, the race started just after 9am. The peloton took the first few gravel sections together. Elena Pirrone the first to make a gap after 35 kilometres. She managed to expand her lead to more than a minute on her own. Pirrone has a lot of good results. In 2017 she was junior World champion in both the time trial and the road race. The solo of the talented Italian eventually didn’t last and on the long fifth gravel sector of San Martino in Grania she was caught again, after almost 40 kilometres.
Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky and Niamh Fisher-Black rode away together on the same long fifth section. The duo had 45 seconds on the pursuers at the end of that section. For almost 40 kilometres to the last three sections of ‘white roads’, the two leaders managed to extend their lead to almost 1 minute, but with 43 kilometres to go, everything came together again. Sabrina Stultiens, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Ellen van Dijk joined forces with Jelena Erić, Mavi García, Alena Amialiusik, Elizabeth Banks and Brodie Chapman. Then Stultiens, Van den Broek-Blaak, Van Dijk and García continued together. With a small lead on the chasing group, they started at 19 kilometres from the finish, the penultimate section. There Marianne Vos and Kopecky crossed to the front, while Stultiens fell back. But with Van Vleuten, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Niewiadoma and Demi Vollering she returned to the front.
A leading group of nine riders were together after that penultimate gravel section. On the way to the last strip, Longo Borghini, Van der Breggen, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Marta Cavalli also joined them again. Fifteen kilometres from the finish, Van den Broek-Blaak attacked from the rear and Longo Borghini went with her. However, it did not get very far. With 13 kilometres to go they hit the last but of gravel. Van Vleuten attacked. At first Kopecky could hold on, but it was the end of her race.
Van Vleuten didn’t continue alone, as Marianne Vos was able to go with her. After the section the pursuers were able to return. At 6 kilometres from the finish, Van den Broek-Blaak pulled away and Longo Borghini jumped on her wheel. Van der Breggen disrupted the chase, allowing the two leaders to get a bigger lead. As the finish in Siena got closer, Van den Broek-Blaak let Longo Borghini do all the work. After all, she had already won the race once.
Van den Broek-Blaak and Longo Borghini stayed ahead until the steep last climb to the Piazza del Campo. The Dutch girl had something left in the tank and rode away in the narrow streets with a powerful attack. She then crossed the line with a safe margin. Longo Borghini finish second. Shortly afterwards, Anna van der Breggen took third place. Van Vleuten was fourth, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig fifth, Vollering sixth, Vos seventh.
Race winner, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx): “I’m surprised and extremely happy. This was not the plan but my win is due to team work. I had the instruction from the team to not ride at the front. I didn’t think I’d drop Elisa Longo Borghini in the final climb but I did. This is a very big day in my cycling career.”
2nd, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): “I wasn’t irritated nor frustrated when Chantal [Vandenbroek-Blaak] didn’t cooperate with me at the front. I just wanted to give her a go. Sometimes, you just have to try and get the other rider to work. I absolutely knew that she wouldn’t work with me because normally I’d drop her in a climb like this. But today she had something more in the legs. Therefore, I’m pretty satisfied with my race and my result. I made the podium thanks to my team Trek-Segafredo.”
3rd, Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx): “When I crossed the line it felt like a team victory as I knew Chantal had won. It’s a really great achievement because Elisa [Longo Borghini] is normally one of the strongest riders here. As for myself, I had kind of a bad day so I’m satisfied to finish on the podium. We had a strong team. It was a very tiring and exciting race. I’m glad it’s been a very good one as this was my last Strade Bianche as a rider.”
4th, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “I am proud to be part of Movistar. I had my teammates in front of me the whole time. I myself was well positioned and focused. I gave everything in the last two sectors. I escaped with Vos. It’s a shame my escape with her didn’t make it today. But I think we can draw confidence from this race.”
Strade Bianche Women Result:
1. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) Team SD Worx in 3:54:40
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:07
3. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Team SD Worx at 0:09
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar at 0:11
5. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Demi Vollering (Ned) Team SD Worx
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:23
8. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:27
9. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 0:30
10. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:32.
Sam Bennett won Stage 1 of Paris-Nice on Sunday. The Irish sprinter from the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team was the best in the bunch sprint in the streets of Saint-Cyr-L’École after more than 165 kilometres. He beat Arnaud Démare, Mads Pedersen and Jasper Philipsen. Bennett is also the overall leader on general classification.
Fabien Doubey (Total Direct Energy) was the first attacker of the day. The lone breakaway had a 5 minute lead in no time, while the sprinter teams kept control. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ took the lead in the peloton. More than fifty kilometres from the finish, Philippe Gilbert opened the finalé with his young Lotto Soudal teammate Stefano Oldani. Together with Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Chris Lawless (Total Direct Energie) they joined Doubey. After Lawless dropped back, four leaders were left. They had half a minute on the peloton. Richie Porte (INEOS Grenadiers) crashed and was in a lot of pain. He continued for a little distance, but gave up shortly after. 27 kilometres from the finish, the group of Gilbert was caught. That was the sign for Lotto Soudal to send Kobe Goossens on the attack. He took 20 seconds and was quickly caught. 15 kilometres from the finish was the short and steep Côte de Chateaufort. There Michael Matthews won the intermediate sprint ahead of Tiesj Benoot and Jasper Stuyven. Søren Kragh Andersen, Edward Theuns, Mattia Cattaneo, David De la Cruz, Pierre Latour, Cyril Gaurier and Kristian Sbaragli were next to try, but were given little space.
Trek-Segafredo and Groupama-FDJ took the initiative 5 kilometres from the finish in Saint-Cyr-L’École. In the busy centre of Versailles all the sprinter’s trains tried to form themselves. Jumbo-Visma were also present to keep leader Primož Roglič out of trouble. At the start of the final kilometre there was a crash at the front of the peloton, but most sprinters were well placed at the front. Pascal Ackermann was brought to the front perfectly, but was unable to finish the sprint. Sam Bennett had the fastest legs and crossed the finish line first. Behind; French champion Arnaud Démare managed to stay ahead of Mads Pedersen. Jasper Philipsen finished fourth for Alpecin-Fenix.
Stage winner and overall leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The guys did a fantastic job again today. I was a little blocked in the last 15 km and the nature of the sprint here made it a little chaotic. The narrowing in the last 500 metres made it even more tricky. But the guys delivered me on the wheel. Michael was always calm and he always seems to get me there the whole time. The team were amazing. I was a bit worried coming here and I spent the whole day until the last ten or 15 kilometres wondering whether the legs would be there in the sprint. In the last two kilometres I could not get to the front and then eventually we got there. I was put in Pedersen’s wheel and I waited to try to go and I was kind of blocked again at the 500 metres. It was nerve-racking. Then we cut the gap and I followed Ackermann when he tried to go and I gave it my all. I feel good now. I like to ride in France for sure. I suppose it’s where all the big races are. I’m delighted to be in yellow after Sean winning it so many times. I’m not going to win the overall but to lead the GC for a day or two is pretty special. It would be nice to do it again tomorrow. I will try.”
4th on the stage, 8th overall and white jersey wearer, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “It’s always nice to have a jersey. Hopefully I could keep it and we can try again tomorrow. It was a nice finish which could have suited me normally. I had confidence for the sprint but I was a little bit too far in positioning. I could not do what I wanted but that is part of sprinting. I hope I can learn from it. Tomorrow is another day, let’s try to go for it tomorrow. Today was a good opportunity, it was my first real bunch sprint of the year. I need to feel how to move and fight for position and I hope to do better and better.”
6th on the stage and 10th overall, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “That was a hectic sprint. The team worked really well together to bring me into a good position ahead of the finale. The morale in the squad was good and the legs were feeling good, but the finish line was just 30 metres too far for us today. However, more chances will definitely come and we will keep trying.”
Break rider and KOM, Fabien Doubey (Total Direct Energy): “I attacked after the small windy section and I thought someone would come along with me. When they didn’t, I really enjoyed giving some pleasure to the people cheering me up. It was a beautiful and sunny day on Paris-Nice. When I was a kid, I always wanted to hold the polka-dot jersey on the Tour de France, it’s a first glimpse of it. This is a distinctive jersey on a great race, and it’s already fantastic. It’s a way to thank the team for trusting me especially as Total Direct Energie have more ambitions on this Paris-Nice.”
Paris-Nice Stage 1 Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:51:38
2. Arnaud Demaré (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
4. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
5. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
6. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
8. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
9. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
10. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation.
Paris-Nice Overall After Stage 1:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:51:28
2. Arnaud Demaré (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:04
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:05
4. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:06
5. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) DSM at 0:08
6. Ben Swift (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:09
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:10
9. Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
10. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe.
Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré 2021
Tim Merlier won the GP Monseré 2021 on Sunday. After more than 200 kilometres, the leader of Alpecin-Fenix was the first in the second round of the Bingoal Cycling Cup. Merlier surprised the competition by jumping early. Mark Cavendish finished second at a few bike lengths, ahead of Timothy Dupont.
The escape of the day was given a maximum of 4 minutes. Nine riders enlivened the race: Clément Carisey (Delko), Syver Waersted (Uno-X), Stefano Museeuw (BEAT Cycling), Daniel Tullett (Canyon dhb), Jeroen Eyskens (EvoPro Racing), Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ U23), Rick Ottema (Metec-Solarwatt), Stan Van Tricht (SEG Racing Academy) and Jon Knolle (SKS Sauerland NRW).
In the peloton, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Alpecin-Fenix and Bingoal-WB led the chase. The Belgian teams were relying on their sprinters; Mark Cavendish, Tim Merlier (Le Samyn winner) and Timothy Dupont. The course consisted of ten local laps of 19.4 kilometres around Hooglede, Gits and Roeselare, including the Hoogledeberg and the Gitsberg. With two laps to go, the difference between the nine front runners and the peloton was about 50 seconds. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step train took control at that time. Due to the nervousness, there were also some crashes, but no big names involved. There was some disagreement in the leading group: Askey escaped and has Van Tricht, Carisey and Knolle with him.
On the penultimate passage of the Gitsberg at 26 kilometres from the finish, Askey was the only early breakaway left, but was being chased by the peloton. A group including Piotr Havik, Ludovic Robeet, Hartthijs de Vries, Daan Hoole and Lindsay De Vylder caught the young Brit, but 13 kilometres before the finish everything came together. Amaury Capiot attacked the last cobblestones of the Gitsberg, with 7 kilometres to go. The Arkéa-Samsic rider took 5 seconds, but it wasn’t enough. The Uno-X Capiot train was able to control the bunch on the wide roads to Roeselare. In the sprint preparation, Cavendish took Merlier’s wheel, although it was very chaotic. Merlier jumped in a quiet moment at 250 metres from the line; with impressive turn of speed he soon had a gap on the others. Mark Cavendish finished second, Timothy Dupont was in third place. This is Merlier second victory of the season. Last Tuesday he won Le Samyn, the first round of the Bingoal Cycling Cup.
Race winner, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “They almost crashed (Cavendish’s lead-out), so when they looked at each other I didn’t have any doubts anymore. I did not expect that I would get into position so easily. These kind of races are normally easier, if it is too nervous and many riders still have fresh legs. But I was in a good position and was able to defend my place. I saw that Cavendish’s lead-out almost went down, so when they looked at each other for a moment, I didn’t hesitate. I went on the inside, and luckily it was enough. I felt it was a bit quiet. I ended up sitting alone in the wind on the right, and I had no one in front of me. I know when I sprint from afar that I can maintain my wattage speed. Then I hope that nobody can come off the wheel. My next race is Tirreno-Adriatico. Hopefully my legs will be fast and I will have recovered well from today.”
2nd, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I saw him go (Merlier), but when I wanted to respond it was already too late. We used everyone in the team today, to be honest, I forgot what the whole process of a sprint was like. I no longer knew how it was going. I saw in the final that my lead-out man (Bert Van Lerberghe), was trapped and that Tim jumped away and immediately accelerated. If you have those legs, you also deserve to win. I am quite happy, but also a bit disappointed. We will keep trying, but the most important thing is the team’s success. We have fun and I will be racing again.”
Cavendish also spoke about Julien Vermote: “We trained together for three hours this week. He’s still pretty good. It’s a shame he doesn’t have a squad because he’s someone who deserves a contract. He is a professional, one of my best friends and one of the most valuable teammates I have ever had. That makes me sad.”
5th, Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The final of the race was very fast, but I was well surrounded by my teammates. I only lost Wesley and Pieter once during the last lap. They brought me into an ideal position in the last kilometre, so I could do a perfect sprint and achieve the best possible result. So I’m satisfied with my performance. I’m already looking forward to my next race, which is again in Flemish soil in Nokere!”
Grote Prijs Jean-Pierre Monseré Result:
1. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:34:44
2. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles
4. Pierre Barbier (Fra) DELKO
5. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Thomas Boudat (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Emiel Vermeulen (Bel) Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole
9. Arne Marit (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
10. Rait Ärm (Est) Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ.
GP Industria e Artigianato 2021
Mauri Vansevenant has won the GP Industria e Artigianato. It is the first pro win for the young Deceuninck – Quick-Step youngster. Vansevenant was the best sprinter of an elite group after a hilly race, beating Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic).
Maciej Bodnar was the biggest name in the leading group. The BORA-hansgrohe rider was accompanied by the young Italians Guido Draghi (Mg.k Vis VPM) and Lorenzo Balestra (Beltrami TSA-Tre Colli). Their maximum lead was no more than 3 minutes ahead of the peloton, when Trek-Segafredo took the lead. In the last 1000 kilometres, the riders had a hilly circuit of 27.5 kilometres to cover four times. In each lap there was the climb to Fornello, which continued all the way to San Baronto. In the second lap, Bodnar managed to shake off his fellow escapees. He was joined by Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Alejandro Ropero (EOLO Kometa) and Marco Fverslagi (Vini Zabù), but not much later there was a regrouping.
In the penultimate lap, Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, with others, put in an attack, but that attempt did not last. On the last climb the decisive leading group broke away: Nairo Quintana and Mauri Vansevenant were the instigators and were joined by Bauke Mollema and Mikel Landa. The four crossed the top of the climb with a lead of 30 seconds as they descended to the finish. Because the speed eased at the front, Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe) from a chasing group managed to make the crossing in the final kilometre. The Dutchman hoped to go over the leading group, but was pulled in by Landa. Mollema started the sprint first, but he was caught on the uphill finish by Vansevenant. Landa, Quintana and Schelling followed.
For the 21-year-old Vansevenant, it is the first professional victory of his young career. He joined Patrick Lefevere’s team halfway through last season and made an impression last autumn. On Wednesday, in the Trofeo Laigueglia that Mollema won, Vansevenant, son of former cyclist Wim Vansevenant, finished third.
Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck – Quick Step): “My team did a fantastic job for me today and this pumped up my confidence going into the last part of the race. Seeing they believed in me made me believe even more in myself and I’m extremely happy I could convert their work into a win, my first with the pros. It’s an amazing day, one that I will never forget. It was no surprise that the big attacks appeared on the last climb, so I was ready for them and felt good enough to follow them as soon as they came. Seeing I was in such a company, in a group with Grand Tour and Monument winners, gave me a lot of confidence and I just kept bringing my share of work at the front. We worked well together, rode full gas and in the last kilometre I knew I could rely on a good sprint, which I usually have after a hard race. I’m super happy with this victory, I love racing in Italy and I hope to continue my season, which so far has been very good, in the same vein.”
3rd, Mikel Landa (Bahrain Vctorious): “I am happy. It was a challenging climb. We worked well as a team. In the end us four riders we succeeded to split from the group for the finish. I feel better day by day.”
GP Industria e Artigianato Result:
1. Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step in 4:26:26
2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek – Segafredo
3. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic
5. Ide Schelling (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:03
6. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:05
7. Carlos Rodriguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
9. Eddie Dunbar (Irl) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo.
GP Industria e Artigianato’21
Van der Poel’s Spring Race Program
Alpecin-Fenix has announced which races Mathieu van der Poel will start up to Paris-Roubaix. The Dutch champion first takes part in an Italian program and then rides almost all the cobbled classics. Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem are missing from the list.
After the cross season, Van der Poel started his road campaign with the UAE Tour. He won the first stage, but a day later he and his team left the race after a positive corona test by a staff member. He then picked up the thread again in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and also started in Le Samyn.
In Strade Bianche he is among the favourites on Saturday. Last year he finished fifteenth. “It’s not like I’m coming back here to settle a bill,” said the Dutch champion the day before the white roads race. “I’m here to perform and hopefully I’ll do better than last year.”
Mathieu van der Poel early race program:
Strade Bianche – March 6 (Ita)
Tirreno-Adriatico – March 10-16 (Ita)
Milano-Sanremo – March 20 (Ita)
E3 Saxo Bank Classic – March 26 (Bel)
flag-be Across Flanders – 31 March (Be)
Tour of Flanders – April 4 (Bel)
Paris-Roubaix – April 11 (Fra).
A strange start to the season for Van der Poel:
Jakobsen: “Light at the end of the tunnel”
Fabio Jakobsen has spoke again on social media. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider is recovering from another operation on his teeth in recent weeks, but hopes to be back on the bike as soon as possible. “The healing process seems to be going well,” said Jakobsen.
Jakobsen was on liquid food in recent weeks, after another dental operation. “The surgeons have drilled implants in my upper and lower jaw and have been working on the scars in my mouth,” the sprinter said via Instagram. The medical procedure was successful.
The 24-year-old rider is now, three weeks after his operation, with a new update. “It’s almost time to reboot! The healing process seems to be going well. The past few weeks have been painful and I was struggling to eat and drink. The implants and screws have been placed and the scar tissue removal and reconstruction has been completed.”
“It will now take another four to five months for everything to heal and strengthen before I get my ‘new’ teeth. The stitches will be removed on Monday and I hope to resume training. I want to thank everyone who helped me get this far. There is light at the end of the tunnel and that’s what I’m going for!”
López Thought of Quitting Cycling
Miguel Ángel López wanted to take a temporary break from cycling. The Colombian climber admitted in conversation with El Tiempo. “Cycling is complicated and you start to think like Tom Dumoulin,” said López. The Dutchman decided to take unpaid leave for an indefinite period in January.
“Fair? I’ve been thinking about quitting cycling,” said López, who made the switch from Astana to Movistar last winter. “I wanted to step aside, because there are many complex situations. The pressure, the sacrifice, the fatigue, the injuries. That is all very difficult.”
“As a leader you are also responsible for an entire team. But there are also moments of despair and sometimes you start thinking about it. It is therefore also important to be well surrounded. Your family puts you back on the ground,” he explained.
Superman López sees his transfer to Movistar as a step forward. “As a result, the pressure disappears a bit. At Astana I was the only leader and the team always worked for me. Now I join a different team, with different leaders and then that pressure decreases.”
López is still waiting for his debut with Movistar. Due to a corona infection, he missed the first training camp with the team and had to postpone his planned start to the season. Team and rider now expect a return in the Tour of Romandie or the Tour of the Alps.
Evenepoel: “Nothing stands in the way of my preparation for the season”
For Remco Evenepoel, the preparation for his return to the peloton can now really begin. The young Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider announced his progress after an important week, which looked at whether everything in his recovery after his heavy fall last summer.
“After tests in the Bakala Academy in Leuven and an investigation with the medical staff, nothing stands in the way of me to start preparing for the season,” wrote Evenepoel on social media. “I would like to thank the team doctors, the hospital in Herentals, all employees of the team and especially my family and friends for all the support during those difficult times. I cannot thank you enough. Now I click my feet into the pedals again, I put my face in the wind again and I go in the right direction. There are still many goals to be achieved.”
Last month, the 21-year-old Belgian rider was given permission to train on the road again, after an investigation showed that the fracture of his pubic bone had healed sufficiently. “I still have a long way to go,” he told the media in a Zoom meeting at the end of February. “I normally ride up a short slope in the neighbourhood. Now it is gasping for breath. But that’s normal after you have been inactive for four months. I now have to work on my basis again.” The Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 8, will be his first race.
Remco Evenepoel back in the saddle:
Kelderman Ready to Return
Wilco Kelderman is close to returning after his training crash in January. Last month, third placed in the Giro d’Italia completed a training camp in the Sierra Nevada and was happy with the results. The Volta a Catalunya is likely to be his first race of the season.
“I am still a bit behind on my original schedule, but I don’t worry about that,” he told De Telegraaf after his altitude camp. “What I have been able to do in the Sierra Nevada in the past two and a half weeks, makes me very satisfied.”
He will probably be back in the peloton in two weeks. “I assume that I can go to the Volta a Catalunya (starts on March 22). If I can continue to build up like the past few weeks, I am ready to participate again, I think.”
Martin with Cofidis for Another Year
Guillaume Martin has renewed his contract with Cofidis for an extra year. The French climber is in his second season for Cofidis. “It was a very logical and simple decision for me,” Martin commented. “I wanted to enter into a longer partnership with Cofidis, especially since we are working on a long-term project. The team has recently joined the WorldTour and there are many changes in the pipeline. I would like to contribute.”
“I have full confidence in Cédric (Vasseur, team manager) And I feel that this is mutual.” Vasseur is also pleased with the latest developments. “This is great news! Guillaume was able to fully live up to expectations last season. We are sure he can get even better within our squad.”
27-year-old Martin decided to switch from Wanty-Gobert to Cofidis after the 2019 season. A transfer that did him no harm, as he finished third in the Critérium du Dauphiné last season and managed to take the mountain jersey in the Vuelta a España. In the Tour de France he finished eleventh for Cofidis. This year, Guillaume Martin had to postpone his start of the season by a week because he had a crash during the team training camp in January and suffered from knee and rib injuries. At the end of February, the climber started his season in the Ardèche Classic and the Drôme Classic. Martin will start on Sunday as the leader of Cofidis at Paris-Nice.
Guillaume Martin – Vuelta KOM:
Amstel Gold Race Will Probably Take Place
The Amstel Gold Race hopes to clarify whether the 2021 edition will run. Race director Leo van Vliet is more than hopeful. “We are very close. It is 80 to 90% certain that the race will continue,” he told radio station BNR.
The organisation is in talks with the South Limburg region about the safety requirements that the hilly classic must meet in order to be organised on Sunday 18 April. On behalf of the Amstel Gold Race, Leo van Vliet and Roy Packbier are conducting talks with the security of the region.
It is expected that an answer will be given to the question of whether the men’s and women’s races can be held early this week. “It’s very exciting. We still have to finish a few lines, but we are very close. I don’t really care well, as long as there is a yes. We hope for a quick go.”
The plan that Van Vliet and Packbier presented for the Amstel Gold Race in 2021 is one without an audience and with a local circuit of approximately 18 kilometres between Valkenburg and Maastricht. Last year, when the race was canceled twice, such a plan was also on the table. The region did not agree with that at the time.
Amstel, but no fans:
ZLM Tour 2021 Starts with a Sprint Stage in Kapelle
The ZLM Tour (June 9-13) will depart from the municipality of Kapelle this year. The centre of Kapelle will be the setting for a real sprint stage in the evening on Wednesday 9 June, in which the village centre of Wemeldinge is also included in the route.
In the past, the ZLM Tour always started with a prologue, but will start in 2021 with a stage for the fast men. “We want to be the ultimate preparation race for sprinters on the Tour de France,” explains Niels Geven, project leader of the ZLM Tour on behalf of organiser Libéma. “Then you also have to make sure you have a program that reflects this.”
“In the sprint stage we will ride a local lap of more than 12 kilometres eight times, with an intermediate sprint every two laps,” said Geven. “In this way we provide an extra experience for both the riders and the public.” The organisers will of course comply with all safety regulations applicable at that time.
Mayor Fons Naterop is happy that the ZLM Tour is heading to Kapelle. “In 2020 the municipality celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, but due to the corona virus, we were unable to celebrate as we envisioned.” Alderman Jon Herselman: “With the arrival of the ZLM Tour, we want to celebrate our 50th anniversary in a sporty way in 2021.”
The ZLM Tour (2.PRO) was to be held for the 33rd time last year, but the multi-day stage race through the south of the Netherlands was canceled due to the tightened measures regarding the corona virus.
In 2019, the overall victory went to Mike Teunissen:
Video: Strade Bianche 2021
The iconic white gravel roads and spectacular scenery, the racing was full gas yesterday at Strade Bianche. Relive some of the most exciting moments from the one-day classic in Tuscany.
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