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Another phenomenal weekend of racing, but first some good news for Fabio Jakobsen – TOP STORY. Race action from Milano-Sanremo, Tour de Pologne, Tour de l’Ain, Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge and the Czech Tour with video. Race preview of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Contract news from Total Direct Energie, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Movistar and Équipe Paule Ka. Sick-bay news from Damiano Cunego and Serge Pauwels. We finish with Sanremo video by the Jumbo-Visma team. Monday EUROTRASH time.

top story
TOP STORY: Team Doctor: “Fabio Jakobsen will be a rider again”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step ended the Tour of Poland on a positive note with Davide Ballerini winning the final stage and Remco Evenepoel taking final overall classification. The team doctor Yvan Van Mol also had optimistic news about Fabio Jakobsen.

“Given the seriousness of the accident, he is doing very well,” Van Mol told Sporza. The famous Belgian doctor visited the Dutch champion in the hospital on Sunday. He can see the Dutch sprinter on a racing bike again in the future. “But I don’t dare to stick to it.”

“He is fully conscious. He can’t talk yet, but communicating via text messages is fine. I think he will be ready to be transferred to the Netherlands at the end of next week. What we are still concerned about is the aesthetic damage and possibly the muscle group around his mouth.”

“When no vital organs have been affected, we hope for the best. We assume that Fabio will be a rider again. We certainly share positive messages with him. That way he has hope of recovery. I communicated with a very skilled doctor who also speaks English. The intervention team’s doctor also performed his job perfectly. He did not resuscitate him, but intubated him (artificial respirator).”

Fabio Jakobsen winning in Algarve:
Fabio Jakobsen

sanremo
Milano-Sanremo 2020
Strade Bianche last week, Milano-Sanremo this week, Wout Van Aert is having a storming ‘spring’ season in August. The finalé was as action-packed as last week’s Strade Bianche and the winner had the same name. Wout Van Aert may have been a top cyclocross rider, but now he’s a big road star.

Milan-San Remo had some big changes from the normal route: No Turchino, or the three Capi and no long ride down the coast, but there was still the Cipressa and the Poggio.

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The early break consisted of: Mattia Bais, Manuele Boaro, Alessandro Tonelli, Damiano Cima, Fabio Mazzucco, Marco Fverslagi and Héctor Carretero, they built up a maximum lead of around 6 minutes. Lotto Soudal were doing the work in the peloton. Jumbo-Visma and Groupama-FDJ had a man each at the front.

On the Colle di Nava, the top men held back as it was too soon for attacks, although the pace was quite high and the leaders now only had 1 minute. They were caught before the Cipressa. Coming to the Cipressa all the favourites wanted to be in a good position. Just before the start of the decisive climb, Julian Alaphilippe punctured, but was towed back to the peloton by Declerqc. Soon after Danny van Poppel crashed.

On the Cipressa Loïc Vliegen attacked and was joined by Jacopo Mosca, as sprinters Caleb Ewan and Fernando Gaviria were dropped. Vliegen and Mosca still had 10 seconds, but were soon caught. Daniel Oss took his chance on the descent and had a lead of 15 seconds on what was left of the peloton. Oss gave it a good try, but was pulled back before the start of the Poggio with all the top men in attendance.

Gianluca Brambilla tried a move at the start of the Poggio, but he wasn’t allowed any space, at the back Sam Bennett was trying not to be dropped. 6.5 kilometres to go and Alaphilippe attacked and dropped everyone. The Frenchman was the first over the summit of the Poggio, but Van Aert was only 3 seconds behind and caught Alaphilippe on the descent. The pair had a good lead on the chasers, but the win was far from guaranteed. They worked well together, but only had 8 seconds and looked like they might be caught.

Van Aert and Alaphilippe started to look at each other in the last hundreds metres, but it was too late for the chase group and it would be a man against man sprint finish. Van Aert was the stronger and he took his second big win of the new season, after Strade Bianche last week. Alaphilippe second, Michael Matthews won the bunch sprint.

See the full PEZ Race Report with lots of photos HERE.

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2020 Milano-Sanremo winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “I am super happy. I can’t believe I won Milan-Sanremo and Strade Bianche. I have no words for it. To restart the season like this is crazy and really nice. I had a good feeling from the start. It is of course a very long course. In the beginning I focused on eating, drinking and staying cool. We were on a mission with the whole team. Antwan worked hard in the peloton. Bert-Jan Lindeman and Paul Martens kept me well in front. Then Timo Roosen stayed with me towards the Cipressa and Amund Jansen did a fantastic job on the Poggio. They were beyond themselves. That was very nice to see.”

2nd, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I knew it was going to be difficult and that Wout would be very strong, after all he was the main favourite, but I gave it my all and went full gas on the Poggio. On the downhill I couldn’t make the difference and that allowed him to join me, but we shared the workload and played it out in the sprint. I would have loved to win, but it is as it is. The guys did a fantastic job for me, I did the best sprint I was capable of after 300 kilometres and at the end of the day I am satisfied with this result, because a podium in a Monument is still important. This is just my second day of racing after five months, so I can be content with it and draw a lot of confidence from my showing today.”

3rd, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “Other guys were just in front of me attacking and I also wanted to go and follow them. The door then closed in front of me against the wall, and I scraped my shoulder and hand against the wall. From that point I couldn’t actually hold my handlebar properly with my hand, but I knew the team did such a great job today so I didn’t want to give up. Obviously I wanted to win and I think I had the legs to do it but this is racing; sometimes you win sometimes you lose. In the sprint at the end it was all or nothing to see what I could get out of the race after the crash – I think being on the podium is nice.”

4th, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “This year’s Milano-Sanremo was the longest one but I’d say it was less stressful than the previous editions. The climbs weren’t as difficult and the peloton started being nervous after topping the Colle di Nava. As for me, I don’t have yet the condition I had at this race in the past. My form is steadily getting better, after the Strade Bianche I have definitely improved but I’m not in a position yet where I could have responded to Van Aert and Alaphilippe on the Poggio. I think my season starts at the Tour de France this year and, in my view, I’m on the right track. Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank all my teammates for their effort and dedication today.”

7th, Alex Aranburu (Astana): “It is my debut at the Milan-Sanremo, I did not know what to expect from myself in this long race with such a hot weather during the entire day. I never raced over 300 km before, but in the end, I can be proud with my performance. It was a very hard day, but I managed to stay in the first group and to make a good sprint. I started it a bit from behind, but I finished in the Top-10 and I think this is a very nice result for me. I think, that it was a very valuable experience for me, it will help me to keep on progressing in my development as a rider. For sure, I would like to come back to this race one more time and to try to improve my result. It is not easy to win here, but it is a goal worth to be aiming for.”

12th, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a long and hot day, but it was a good experience. I had good condition, which allowed me to follow an attack on the Cipressa, but I missed the move. I then tried to put myself at the service of the team, unfortunately Gaviria suffered and Kristoff also did not stay in the front. On the Poggio Formolo and I organised ourselves to work together and we narrowly missed the right attack. Then in the sprint I didn’t have the legs. It was my first Milan-Sanremo, I liked it: I can’t say if one day I will be able to win it, it’s such a special race, each edition is a story in itself, but I know for sure that I’ll come back to try and get the most out of it.”

Late attacker, Loïc Vliegen (Circus-Wanty Gobert): “I felt very good, and I maybe showed it a little too early. With only six riders per team, I expected others daring to attack as well. But unfortunately we were only two and couldn’t form a nice group on the Cipressa, so we were caught at the top. I’m very happy about my discovery of this monument, and I want to come back next season with this experience at this 300 kilometre race to do better, and attack on the Poggio!”

Milano-Sanremo Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 7:16:09
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:02
4. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
6. Dion Smith (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Astana
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Matej Mohorič (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren.

Sanremo’20:

pologne
Tour de Pologne 2020
Stage 2 of the Tour of Poland was won by World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo). The Dane was the fastest at the finish in Zabrze to take his first victory in the rainbow jersey.

Julius van den Berg made the first attack and was joined by Maciej Paterski and their lead went to a maximum of 6 minutes. Van den Berg was the first on the only climb of the day, Góra Świętej Anny, while Paterski took the intermediate sprints. The escape soon knew that they would be caught well before the finish, with 17 kilometres to go, it was all over.

Piotr Brożyna tried a late solo, but the Pole was soon caught. The men from Trek-Segafredo and BORA-hansgrohe did everything they could to guide their sprinters to a stage victory. Most eyes were on Pascal Ackermann, but the victory went to World champion Pedersen. The Trek-Segafredo rider turned out to be faster than the German top sprinter. Davide Ballerini finished third on behalf of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, ahead of Rudy Barbier and Alberto Dainese. Pedersen also took the overall lead.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo): “It’s super nice to win and I want to dedicate this victory to Fabio after the horrible crash of yesterday; he deserves a speedy recovery and a quick return to life and cycling, so this victory is definitely for him. On a personal side it’s super nice to come back to racing, starting with a victory, showing off the jersey. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to show the stripes so I think it was nice to do it today. It’s really horrible what happened yesterday, no one deserved it; of course it touched the whole peloton but we have to keep racing and doing our best. I hope for the best for Fabio and now I’ll return to the guys to enjoy the victory and we’ll see what happens in the next days. It’s getting harder and harder, there will be more climbs and that’s definitely not a thing for me. I’ll just enjoy the victory and the yellow jersey tomorrow.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “We controlled the race all day quite well, with my teammates finishing this off by doing an excellent job in the finale. They brought me into a perfect position in the finishing straight, and I thank them for the strong display of teamwork. I gave it my all in the sprint, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough to take the win. It was a very tight sprint in the end, so chapeau to Pedersen for getting to the line first.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 2 Result:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 3:26:02
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Sunweb
6. Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar
7. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
8. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
9. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
10. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Movistar.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo in 7:57:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
5. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:09
7. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
8. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
9. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Sunweb
10. Mark Cavendish (GB) Bahrain McLaren.

Pologne’20 stage 2:

Stage 3 of the Tour of Poland was won by Richard Carapaz, the Ineos rider also took overall lead. The Giro winner started the sprint in Bielsko-Biała from very far out and managed to hold off the fast moving Diego Ulissi. Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) was third and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) took fourth place.

Taco van der Hoorn attacked early. The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma was joined by Quentin Jauregui, Kamil Gradek and Patryk Stosz, these four managed to take more than 3 minutes from the peloton in sweltering heat. In the peloton Trek-Segafredo were in control the race, so the lead continued to fluctuate around the 3 minute mark.

At the front Jauregui was not strong enough to follow, but Van der Hoorn, Gradek and Stosz were not going to give in to Trek-Segafredo and now Deceuninck – Quick-Step. In the end they had to, Van der Hoorn was the last to be caught. More than 40 kilometres from the finish, the riders started the climb of Przegibek, the toughest climb of the day and the possible decider on the stage.

The favourites were holding back, only Remco Evenepoel showed himself just before the top. The men for the final classification had apparently already thought it would be a sprinters stage, but Nathan Haas had other ideas. The Australian from Cofidis took off alone, managed a 1 minute lead, but was caught before the final local circuit.

In the final kilometres, all the sprint trains were out for the sprint. The UAE Team Emirates men took the initiative in the last K, as Diego Ulissi was still in the first group and was ready for the uphill finish. It was Richard Carapaz who shot off the front and took a lot of distance on Ulissi and the others for his first victory of the season. Ulissi was second, ahead of Molard. Carapaz also took over the leader’s jersey from World champion Mads Pedersen. His lead over Ulissi and Kamil Małecki is now 4 seconds.

carapaz

Stage winner and overall leader, Richard Carapaz (Ineos): “I am super happy and it’s been a very special victory today. It’s been tense, and also coming back to racing after the uncertain moments the whole world has experienced makes it even more important. My team did an incredible job. We started pretty easy, as we knew it would be a challenging stage, and in the end, we started really working to get the result. I have to say the guys did a fantastic job so I could finish the best way possible. Tomorrow it’s going to be another important stage that will mark the final section of the Tour de Pologne, and probably decide the winner. To keep the leadership position will be important for sure.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “My condition is good even though we are in the first races after the long layoff, which is pleasing as it means a lot of good work has been done. I hope to win soon. It was a nervous stage and it was hard. In this kind of finish I usually go well and I think I did a really good sprint. Tomorrow is another hard stage, so I hope to recover well and give it another go.”

10th on the stage and 8th overall, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “The guys were very active in the race today. Maciej got into a chase group, and then in the last third of the race we took control and concentrated on the upcoming finale, where we wanted to put in a strong team performance. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out in the end. We had three riders in the front on the finishing straight, but Max and Patrick were a bit blocked on the road, and couldn’t quite make it to the front. I still finished 10th and was able to move up in the overall standings. As it is at the moment in the GC, Max, Patrick and I are all 10 seconds behind Carapaz. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 3 Result:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos in 5:04:54
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
6. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
9. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 3:
1. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos in 13:02:36
2. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:04
3. Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:06
5. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling at 0:10
7. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Pro Cycling
10. Edward Dunbar (Irl) Ineos.

Pologne’20 stage 3:

Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the Queen Stage 4 of the Tour of Poland on Saturday with a 50 kilometre solo to the ski resort finish. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos) lost a lot of time to the Belgian.

A showdown was expected, between Jakob Fuglsang, Richard Carapaz and Remco Evenepoel. The 152.9 kilometre stage to the ski resort of Bukowina Tatrzańska had five riders in the early break, they managed to take a lead of 5 minutes. Chris Harper, Nathan Haas, Kamil Malecki, Jimmy Whelan and Patryk Stosz were the leaders.

They did not stay off the front for long. The favourites wanted to start the action early on Saturday and so Ineos, Lotto Soudal and Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept the leaders close. Carapaz crashed at 60 kilometres from the finish, but was able to continue with some scrapes. A few kilometres later, the early breakaway was caught, thanks to Mitchelton-Scott.

This was the signal for Evenepoel to make his move. There was no reaction to the attack from the young Belgian, who was still a long way from the finish, on the Rzepiska, a Cat 1 climb. Behind him, the favourites started to get nervous. The pace picked up due to Ineos, but they could not get closer to Evenepoel. On the ascent of the Rzepiska he increased his lead to almost a minute with still 40 kilometres to go.

Fuglsang didn’t want to wait and counter-attacked from the group behind Evenepoel and was joined a little later by Quinn Simons, Patrick Konrad and Eddie Dunbar. This move didn’t last long. The peloton, including Carapaz, pulled them back 30 kilometres from the finish.

Rafal Majka, Yates and again Fuglsang were more successful in the next move. They rode away from the remaining peloton. The 1 minute gap to Evenepoel remained the same until they started the two final climbs.

On the two climbs it quickly became clear that Evenepoel was uncatchable. Fuglsang, who had attacked Majka and Yates, didn’t get any closer to the Belgian. In the end the Dane lost 1:48 to the victorious Evenepoel, who, barring accidents, will win the Tour de Pologne on Sunday.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We’ve had hard nights lately, the night of Fabio’s crash, nobody slept well actually. We had some really hard moments but stayed together. I think now the whole world sees how hard this team sticks together. Also, the guys that are not racing here actually live with us. The good news we had in the last couple of days and hours has really given us a boost. Yesterday we tried to go for a win with Ballerini and today it was my day. We had a plan: I had to attack a bit later but I thought that at 50km to go it was a good moment because I saw everyone was really suffering as yesterday has been quite a hard stage. Everybody believed in me and gave me confidence. The celebration was in my mind since yesterday. Today when I got the number I felt so much energy and wanted to go.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): “Yeah I am not so happy with my second place as of course I wanted to take the win. But unfortunately as Remco attacked, no one wanted to work together in the chasing group, so it was difficult to catch him alone. But Chapeau to Remco, he is a young strong guy. The plan was to wait until the last steep climb, but however I felt good today and tried it but got caught on the backfoot. All in all it’s good to be back racing, following Tour de Pologne I have some races before a small break.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It’s been a hard stage. A very strong Remco (Evenepoel) as he showed during the race, chapeau to him for a very good ride. We as a team tried to make it hard, and we did that and managed to come away with a good result. I am happy, I felt good in Burgos and here I made another step, and I’m happy with the result.”

4th on the stage and overall, Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe): “Patrick, Max and I managed to get into the reduced field in the last phase of the race and from there, I launched an attack to catch up with Evenepoel, who had managed to escape from this group. I had good legs and I tried to work together with Yates and then go for a podium finish. But in the end I just missed out on third place in the sprint against him. That was a pity, because my goal was to get on the podium and I think we could have achieved that. But chapeau to Evenepoel, he was incredibly strong, and he really deserved this victory.”

5th on the stage and overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “I gave it my best. It was a very tough stage, four riders arrived in front who, when the road goes upward, are among the best in the world. I did what I could and the sensations were also good, but they just had better legs in front. I’m still coming away happy.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 4 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:55:52
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:48
3. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:22
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:05
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
7. Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC at 3:08
8. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
10. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 3:09.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 4:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 16:58:28
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:52
3. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:28
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:32
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:09
6. Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC at 3:12
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 3:15
8. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 3:18
9. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 3:19.

Pologne’20 stage 4:

The Final Stage 5 of the Tour de Pologne was won by Davide Ballerini in a bunch sprint. The finish in Krakow saw the Deceuninck – Quick-Step fast-man beat Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) into second place and Alberto Dainese (Sunweb) took third. Remco Evenepoel’s overall lead was never in trouble.

Seven riders went from the gun, James Whelan managed to make it into the break of the day and was joined by Jos van Emden, Geoffrey Bouchard, Luke Rowe, Hugo Houle, Przemysław Kasperkiewicz and Alexis Gougeard. They had to work hard to stay ahead as the peloton, mainly led by BORA-hansgrohe, did not let the lead increase much more than 3 minutes.

With 30 kilometres to go, the peloton started to lift the speed. Maximilian Schachmann hit the front for teammate and top sprint favourite Ackermann. The German champion, 13th overall, worked hard with Quinn Simmons from Trek-Segafredo. During the first of three local 4 kilometre circuits, the peloton had the escape in its sights. They were caught one and a half laps from the finish. To minimise the chance of any late attacks, the sprinter teams put their trains on the front.

In the sprint, Ackermann seemed to be heading for a stage victory, but Ballerini managed to get through for the victory. The Italian had more speed than the others, he was able to finish first giving Deceuninck – Quick-Step another victory.

pologne20 Ballerini

Stage winner, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The podium I got in Zabrze gave me a lot of confidence for today. Thinking at all times of Fabio motivated us and we remained focused as we tried to rack up some more victories for him. The sprint was very fast, but I felt good today, I waited for the right time to go and I just sprinted with 100 meters to go. It’s the perfect way to bring to a conclusion what’s been a very emotional week for us. I’m happy with my first World Tour win, but even happier with the group I saw here, this big family called Deceuninck – Quick-Step, who stuck together in the difficult moments we faced.”

Final overall winner, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s an amazing way to end what started as a very hard week for us. Three stage wins and the general classification is incredible, but the best result is that Fabio is recovering. From the moment the news came from the hospital about his condition, we received a big boost and gave absolutely everything for him. Knowing how he fought there gave us a lot of strength. Our team dominated the race and it’s nice to leave Poland, which I really enjoyed, with so many victories. It’s the morale-boost I needed for Il Lombardia.”

2nd overall, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana): “In general, I am happy with my performance and results here. The only chance I had to win a stage was yesterday but there was one guy faster but yeah that happens. All in all, I am satisfied as it was my first participation at the Tour de Pologne and it is a nice race, maybe this year, there weren’t that much stages for me to go for a win, but it was a good training. Now I am on the way to Italy for Lombardia.”

2nd on the stage, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The team controlled the race well the entire day and didn’t let the leading group stretch the elastic too far. Although yesterday was a difficult day, today I had good legs and thought I had a good chance to win. On the last kilometres I had a good lead-out, but I put on my sprint a bit too early and then it wasn’t enough to win. It’s a pity that after I only just missed the victory on the second stage, I couldn’t win a stage this year.”

4th overall, Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe): “We started the race with a few options for the general classification, and we also wanted to win stages with Pascal. So all in all, I think we balanced these two ambitions quite well. Of course, I would have liked to have finished on the podium, but in the end, I finished four seconds behind Simon Yates, who took third in the GC. So we can see from the race that I’m in good form.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 5 Result:
1. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:31:22
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Sunweb
4. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-McLaren
9. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC
10. Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar.

Tour de Pologne Final Overall Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 21:29:50
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 1:52
3. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:28
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:32
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:09
6. Kamil Malecki (Pol) CCC at 3:12
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 3:15
8. Jonas Vingegaaerd (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:03:18
9. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott
10. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 3:19.

Pologne’20 stage 5:


Tour de l’Ain 2020
Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the opening Stage 1 of the Tour de l’Ain on Friday. The young Italian turned out to have the fastest sprint in Ceyzeriat after an exciting finalé. Primož Roglič finished second, his Jumbo-Visma teammate, Tom Dumoulin, finished fourth.

Despite competition from the Tour of Poland and Milan-San Remo, this year’s Tour de l’Ain organisation boasted its strongest field ever. Grand Tour winners such as Egan Bernal, Tom Dumoulin, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Primož Roglič gathered in Montréal-la-Cluse for the opening stage to Ceyzeriat.

The peloton chased four early attackers all day. Ivan Centrone, Martin Salmon, Michał Paluta and Alexys Brunel managed to gain a maximum lead of 2 minutes, but were caught in plenty of time by the sprinter teams.

With 17 kilometres to go, the four were caught and the race could prepare for a bunch sprint. In the finalé it was teams like Ineos and Jumbo-Visma on the front, hoping to guide the leaders through the last kilometres. At 1.5 kilometres from the finish line, the riders faced a short climb and this was the signal for Roglič to test his legs.

The Slovenian champion managed to put in a long attack, but was unable to escape from his biggest rivals. Roglič also went for the sprint along with Dumoulin in his first race since the Critérium du Dauphiné of 2019. Roglič almost managed to win the stage, but Bagioli was slightly faster. For the 21-year-old neo-pro from Deceuninck – Quick-Step, it is his first victory as a professional cyclist. Bissegger finished third in the wake of Bagioli and Roglič. Dumoulin eventually finished fourth.

bagioli

Stage winner and overall leader, Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The stage was easy until the closing kilometres, when several teams ramped up the pace and went full gas. Our initial plan was to go with Alvaro today, but we had to change it in the final, after Roglic attacked on the final climb and made a selection at the front. The tempo was high going under the flamme rouge, but I stayed behind him and waited for the last 100 meters to make my move. It was only with 50 meters to go that I accelerated and I couldn’t believe when I saw that I was first over the line. This victory is for my team and for Fabio! We all hope he will feel better and better in the coming days and that he’ll recover quickly; he’s a real fighter and we want him to know that we wait him to return with the Wolfpack. It’s an incredible day for me. To take the leader’s jersey here with all the big names racing is special. I am very early in my career and still learning, so to be able to compete in a finish like that gives me massive confidence. Leading a race like this is big for me and I am looking forward to learning even more about working with the team in this position in the coming days. But, of course, I want to enjoy my first jersey as a leader at this level.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 1 Result:
1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:17:00
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) Switzerland
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
5. Erik Fetter (Hun) Kometa Xstra
6. Giacomo Garavaglia (Ita) Kometa Xstra
7. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-Quickstep
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de l’Ain Overall After Stage 1:
1. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:16:50
2. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:04
3. Stefan Bissegger (Swi) Switzerland at 0:06
4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
5. Erik Fetter (Hun) Kometa Xstra
6. Giacomo Garavaglia (Ita) Kometa Xstra
7. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
10. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Tour de l’Ain’20 Stage 1:

Stage 2 of the Tour de l’Ain was won by Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma). The Slovenian won the sprint from an elite group after a spectacular stage over several tough climbs. Roglič also wears the overall leader’s jersey.

Five riders escaped quite early in the stage. Nils Politt, Simon Gugliemi, Joey Rosskopf, Julien Bernard and Jaakko Hänninen, all WorldTour riders. Gugliemi, Hänninen and Rosskopf were all only 10 seconds behind Bagioli on the overall standings. Politt and Bernard had lost several minutes in the opening stage.

The lead of the five leaders was up to 4 minutes, but in the peloton the team’s of the top men were getting organised. On the penultimate climb of the day, the Côte de Giron (7.6 km at 6.2%), Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the peloton. The leaders only had 2 minutes with just over 40 kilometres to go, partly due to the work of the Dutch team.

Bernard was the first to the top of the Côte de Giron. The Frenchman from Trek-Segafredo was doing excellent business in the battle for the KOM jersey, but Bernard failed to score any points on the last climb of the day. The escape was caught one by one on the Col de Menthières, this started the fireworks among the favourites.

Jumbo-Visma set a high speed on the Menthières, which thinned out the front group. Robert Gesink rode ‘full gas’ for his leaders and then it was up to Tom Dumoulin to increase the pace for Roglič and Steven Kruijswijk. The 2017 Giro winner didn’t work for long and so a strong George Bennett had to hit the front on behalf of Jumbo-Visma.

The Dutch team saw one top rider after another drop out. Fabio Aru and Guillaume Martin couldn’t hold on and not much later Geraint Thomas also had to let go. With 23 kilometres to go, the front group consisted of only six riders: Bennett, Roglič, Kruijswijk, Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana and Bauke Mollema.

On the descent of the Col de Menthières, Valerio Conti and Jonathan Castroviejo managed to return from the behind. The Spaniard rode for his teammate and leader Bernal, but Kruijswijk decided to attack 12 kilometres from the finish. The 33-year-old quickly had 15 seconds on the chasing group, where Ineos would have to do the chase work.

Castroviejo managed to keep Kruijswijk within range and it was Bernal who closed the last gap with a big effort. Bennett and Conti looked to be victims of Bernal’s acceleration, but both managed to return to the front group. Bennett went straight to the front again to work for Kruijswijk and a strong-looking Roglič.

With 3 kilometres to go, seven leaders had 15 seconds on a chasing group. In this group was Aru, Jesús Herrada and João Almeida hoping for a very late regrouping. That didn’t happen and so we had a sprint for the victory by six riders (Bennett had done his job).

Mollema and Quintana had not yet done much and could have a chance for the win, but the Dutchman had to deal with shoe problems in the sprint. The stage victory eventually went to Roglič, who turned out to be much faster than Bernal and Conti. The Slovenian is also the new leader with one more stage to go.

l'ain20 roglic

Stage winner and overall leader, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “This was a great team performance. All the boys showed how strong they were. George did a lot of work. Steven attacked. I wanted to wait for the sprint myself. It was nice that I could finish it off today better than yesterday. I am very happy that I can finally ride again and do my job. I enjoy it so much.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 2 Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 3:58:14
2. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos
3. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:15
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:16
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
9. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos at 0:20
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC.

Tour de l’Ain Overall After Stage 2:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 7:14:58
2. Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos at 0:10
3. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:12
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:16
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:23
7. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 0:31
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:32
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10. Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC at 0:36.

Tour de l’Ain’20 Stage 2:

Primoz Roglic rounded off Jumbo-Visma’s teamwork by riding away from Egan Bernal (Ineos) in the final metres of the Grand Colombier at the end of the Final Stage 3 of the Tour de l’Ain on Sunday.

Twelve riders went on the attack after 45 kilometres, including Andrea Bagioli. From the early escape only Bagioli and Julien Bernard managed to survive. The duo managed to stay out front for quite a time, but under the leadership of Ineos, the lead was slowly reduced. At about 30 kilometres from the finish it was about a minute and a half.

On Saturday the pace was set by Jumbo-Visma, today it was Ineos who took the lead. The route of this final stage of the Tour de l’Ain is the same as the 15th stage of this year’s Tour de France. The last 110 kilometres of the stage are identical.

Twenty kilometres from the finish, former Tour winner Geraint Thomas took over the lead. At that time, the ratio of Jumbo-Visma and Team Ineos riders was four to four. For Thomas it was over after a few kilometres on the Grand Colombier. He was relieved by Andrey Amador, who increased the pace a little further. It was all too fast for Fabio Aru and the UAE Team Emirates rider had to let go at 15 kilometres from the end.

After Amador, it was four-time Tour winner Chris Froome who took on the lead work. The Briton rode almost four kilometres at the head of the peloton, but was unable to shake the group of favourites, including the four riders from Jumbo-Visma: Roglic, Dumoulin, Kruijswijk and Bennett.

After Froome had run out of power with 8.5 kilometres to go, Jonathan Castroviejo took over. That was short-lived, but it ensured that Bauke Mollema and Joao Almeida were dropped. Bernal was the only remaining Ineos rider, and Tom Dumoulin took over. Richie Porte launched a first attack at 2.5 kilometres out. Due to his move, the group was further reduced to a group consisting of Porte, Roglic, Bennett, Bernal, Quintana and Guillaume Martin.

Under the last kilometre banner and it was Porte again with a series of jumps, but the Trek-Segafredo leader could not make any difference and his attack was answered with a breakaway from Bernal. Only Roglic had the legs to answer. In the steep closing meters, it was the overall leader who put in the all-deciding attack. Bernal faltered, allowing Roglic to put the icing on the cake crossing the finish line in the yellow leader’s jersey, a repeat of yesterday.

l'ain roglic

Stage and overall winner, Primož Roglic: “Today was a tough day because of the high pace and the long climbs. But the whole team once again did a fantastic job and showed how strong we are. I’m glad I was able to finish it off again. We are positively surprised by how strong we already are as a team. You never know exactly where you stand after such a long break. As far as we can see now, we have already shown that we are at a reasonably high level. At the same time, this is only the first race in a long time, so we should certainly continue to do our best in this way. The results will then come naturally.”

Tour de l’Ain Stage 3 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4:06:24
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos at 0:04
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:06
4. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:08
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:15
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:23
7. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:31
8. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:44
9. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 1:16
10. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:58.

Tour de l’Ain Final Overall Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 11:21:12
2. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos at 0:18
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:28
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:56
5. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 1:27
6. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 2:24
7. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 2:40
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 2:45
9. Jesùs Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 3:39
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 4:26.

Tour de l’Ain’20 Stage 3:

ventoux
Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge 2020
The second edition of the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge was won by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana). The promising Russian had already made an impression in La Route d’Occitanie earlier this week and on Thursday proved to be the strongest climber on Mont Ventoux. Richie Porte finished second, Guillaume Martin third.

Nairo Quintana, Miguel Ángel López, Richie Porte and defending champion Herrada were in Vaison-la-Romaine for the start. After a relatively flat opening section, eight early escapees were the first to reach the foot of the first passage of Mont Ventoux. The difference to the peloton was 4 minutes.

Carmelo Urbano, Lewis Askey, Jose Gonçalves, Juan Felipe Osorio, Alessandro Monaco, Garikoitz Bravo, Marlon Gaillard and Robert Scott climbed the Ventoux in scorching heat (the average temperature rose to 36ºC). Bravo turned out to have the best climbing legs and he decided to continue racing alone towards Chalet Reynard.

In the peloton Astana were leading the way for López and Aleksandr Vlasov, the Russian who finished third in La Route d’Occitanie last Tuesday. The Kazakh team managed to catch most of the early attackers before the foot of the second and decisive climb of the Mont Ventoux. Bravo managed to hold on to a limited lead, but was pulled in at the foot of the climb.

The favourites group was severely thinned on the Giant of Provence. Taaramäe (3rd last year) and Valentin Madouas had been dropped quite early, while López had choosen his own pace 10 kilometres from the top. Astana had been in the lead all this time for Vlasov, while Trek-Segafredo had Toms Skujiņš work for Richie Porte.

The group of favourites had now been reduced to around fifteen men, but Pierre Latour attacked. The French climber, who will leave AG2R-La Mondiale at the end of the season, took a 15 second lead. Quintana, Porte, Vlasov and Fabio Aru waited for their moment and did not respond to an attack by Guillaume Martin.

Martin crossed to his fellow countryman Latour, who soon realised that Martin’s pace was way too fast. Martin’s lead was up to 20 seconds, but the chasing group was still waiting for an explosion from one of the favourites. With less than 5 kilometres to go, Vlasov was the first to throw his cards on the table, Porte and Quintana tried to react.

The Australian leader of Trek-Segafredo failed to close the gap to Vlasov and looked back hoping Quintana would take over. The Colombian was not on a great day and eventually finished nearly 2 minutes down. Vlasov caught Martin. The Frenchman tried to stay with the Russian, but he was too much for Martin. Porte was stuck at 15 seconds, the Tour Down Under winner was not strong enough to close the gap. At the finish the difference between the two leaders was 18 seconds.

Martin took third place, but he lost a minute at the line. After Martin’s finish, it was Latour and Aru next. Top favourite, Quintana, had to settle for 8th place, one place ahead of last year’s winner Herrada.

Aleksandr Vlasov

Ventoux winner, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana): “I’m very happy to win at this famous mountain! It was really fantastic! My team did a great job for me during the whole race, and at the final part, I gave my best, as well. When I saw that other riders started to look tired I decided to attack and tried by myself. Then, when I saw that there was nobody on my wheel, I was really motivated and managed to make this attack until the finish. It is a great victory for me! I’m happy with my shape now, I had a really good legs today. I want to thank all my teammates for impressive work and, of course, our main partner “Samruk – Kazyna” for a huge support!”

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge Result:
1. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana in 4:56:39
2. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:18
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:59
4. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:29
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:38
6. Harold Alfonso Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana at 1:43
7. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 1:51
8. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic at 1:57
9. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 2:15
10. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:32.

Ventoux Challenge’20:

czech
Czech Tour 2020
The Mitchelton-Scott team made an excellent start on the Czech Tour on Thursday. Lucas Hamilton, Damien Howson, Luke Durbridge, Jack Bauer, Kaden Groves, Michael Hepburn and Edoardo Affini managed to set the fastest time in the team time trial.

The seven Mitchelton-Scott riders managed to finish the 18.1 kilometre team time trial 25 seconds faster than the men of Sunweb on the same time as Uno-X team at 25 seconds. BORA-hansgrohe finished fifth, Jumbo-Visma had to settle for sixth place. Alpecin-Fenix (7th) and SEG Racing Academy (8th) pushed into the top 10 amongst the WorldTour teams.

czech tour

Overall leader, Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a fantastic team ride, obviously we were targeting the team time trial to try and get our GC guys the biggest buffer as possible, and we did that. It was a super, super fast course, but since the lockdown we haven’t done an effort like this, so it was bloody hard! We did a really, really great job, everyone was super strong, some really big turns from the TT guys and everyone else just did what they needed to do. A win is a win, to pull the yellow jersey on for the team is great. It wasn’t the plan for me to get it, it was just everyone go as hard as you can to the line and that’s just the way it was. So a fantastic start, but it’s just the beginning of the tour and we have a few days to try and hold onto the yellow jersey.”

Czech Tour Stage 1 Result:
1. Mitchelton-Scott in 19:49
2. Sunweb at 0:25
3. Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
4. Elkov-Kasper at 0:28
5. BORA-hansgrohe at 0:31
6. Jumbo-Visma at 0:34
7. Alpecin-Fenix at 0:39
8. Bahrain-McLaren at 0:43
9. SEG Racing Academy at 0:45
10. Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:59.

Czech Tour Overall After Stage 1:
1. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 19:49
2. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:25
7. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
8. Michael Storer (Aus) Sunweb
9. Nico Denz (Ger) Sunweb
10. Felix Gall (Aust) Sunweb.

Czech Tour’20 stage 1:

Jordi Meeus gave SEG Racing Academy a big victory on Friday. The fast Belgian won Stage 2 of the Czech Tour ahead of his fellow countryman Tim Merlier. The promising German Max Kanter finished third.

Koen Bouwman, Matteo Fabbro and Yannik Achterberg were off the front all day, hoping to surprise the sprinter’s teams. The lead of the three rose to almost 4 minutes, but in the peloton Edoardo Affini and Jack Bauer worked hard on behalf of leader Durbridge, and so the lead didn’t get too big.

With just under 20 kilometres to go, the escape was caught by the peloton and everyone got ready for the bunch sprint in Uničov. The 22-year-old Meeus produced the fastest sprint and beat Merlier and Kanter. Olav Kooij finished fourth for Jumbo-Visma. Luke Durbridge held the leader’s jersey.

meeus

Stage winner, Jordi Meeus (SEG Racing Academy): “I want to thank all my teammates for today’s win. It was a very fast start and there were a lot of attacks but the team covered the important ones and kept me safe all the way to the finish. We knew the finish, we had a clear plan and we executed it perfectly. I knew that my chances of winning came by going through the last corner first and going all out for the last 250 m and the team set me up perfectly to do so.”

Czech Tour Stage 2 Result:
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) SEG Racing Academy in 4:41:34
2. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
4. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:01
5. Sean De Bie (Bel) Bingoal WB
6. Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
7. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Erik Baska (Svk) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Dominik Neuman (Cze) Elkov-Kasper
10. Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott.

Czech Tour Overall After Stage 2:
1. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 5:01:23
2. Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Nico Denz (Ger) Sunweb at 0:22
7. Niklas Larsen (Den) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
8. Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Sunweb at 0:24
9. Anders Skaarseth (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
10. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team at 0:25.

Czech Tour’20 stage 2:

It was that man again, Jordi Meeus, on Stage 3 of the Czech Cycling Tour taking his second stage win. After a stage of more than 200 kilometres, the SEG Racing Academy rider turned out to be the fastest sprinter, ahead of WorldTour riders Max Kanter (Sunweb) and Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe).

There were five climbs for the peloton on the stage, but from the top of the last climb there was still more than 65 kilometres to the finish. The break of the day was made up of Lars Boven, Maikel Zijlaard, Vojtěch Řepa and Thimo Willems. They managed to hold off the peloton for a long time, but were eventually caught by the sprinter’s teams.

On Friday Jordi Meeus managed to surprise the opposition thanks to his positioning for the final corner, on Saturday he was also the strongest in a straight sprint. Kanter narrowly lost out to Meeus, Laas finished third.

czech tour20st3 meeus

Stage winner and 6th overall, Jordi Meeus (SEG Racing Academy): “I am very happy with being able to win again today. As yesterday, I want to give full credit to my teammates for the work they did and how the set me up perfectly again. It was a very different sprint than yesterday, but I was confident that I could do it all over again, and here we are today again. Also, the fact that as a team we are able to race the way that we do it against WorldTour and ProContinental teams, shows that we are on the right track.”

Czech Tour Stage 3 Result:
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) SEG Racing Academy in 5:18:38
2. Max Kanter (Ger) Sunweb
3. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Amaury Capiot (Bel) Sport Vlaandern-Baloise
6. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7. Sean De Bie (Bel) Bingoal-Wallonie Bruxelles
8. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
9. Thery Schir (Swi) Swiss Racing Academy
10. Tomas Barta (Cze) Czech Republic.

Czech Tour Overall After Stage 3:
1. Kaden Groves (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 10:20:01
2. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
4. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Nico Denz (Ger) Sunweb at 0:20
6. Jordi Meeus (Bel) SEG Racing Academy at 0:24
7. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team at 0:25
8. Chad Haga (USA) Sunweb
9. Torstein Træen (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team
10. Michael Storer (Aus) Sunweb.

Czech Tour’20 stage 3:

Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott) stole the race on the Final Stage 4 of the Czech Tour on Sunday. The 27-year-old Australian won the 179.2 kilometre stage to Šternberk and took over the leader’s jersey from his teammate Kaden Groves.

It was not an easy final stage. On the menu was five climbs, three of which with a summit of more than a 1,000 metres, but they were all in the middle of the stage. In the first half of the race several groups tried to get away, but each time there was a counter reaction from the peloton.

At more than seventy kilometres from the end, three managed to escape: Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Felix Gall (Sunweb) and Riccardo Zoidl (Felbermayr-Simplon Wels). At one point Zoidl needed a bike change and the other two waited. The three started the local laps with a slight lead, but they were soon caught, mainly by Sunweb and Mitchelton-Scott.

The tough course affected the leading peloton, which was now only about thirty riders. At the end of the stage it was Howson who had the legs for the stage win and to take the final overall victory. Markus Hoelgaard (Uno-X) was second at 1 second and home rider, Adam Ťoupalík (Elkov-Kasper) was third at 9 seconds.

czech tour 2020

Czech Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:24:44
2. Markus Hoelgaard (Den) Uno-X Norwegian Pro Cycling Team at 0:01
3. Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Elkov-Kasper at 0:09
4. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
5. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott
6. Mauro Schmid (Swi) Leopard Pro Cycling
7. Grega Bole (Slov) Bahrain-McLaren
8. Sjoerd Bax (Ned) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam p/b Mantel at 0:11
9. Petr Vakoč (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix
10. Fabio Van Den Bossche (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12.

Czech Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 14:44:35
2. Jack Bauer (NZ) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:19
3. Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Pro Norwegian Cycling Team at 0:29
4. Adam Ťoupalík (Cze) Elkov-Kasper at 0:43
5. Chad Haga (USA) Sunweb at 0:44
6. Jakub Otruba (Cze) Elkov-Kasper at 0:47
7. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:48
9. Petr Vakoč (Cze) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:55
10. Otto Vergaerde (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:58.

Overall winner, Damien Howson:
Howson


Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 – A Festival of Climbing

dauphine

Key points:
Ø
The rescheduled 72nd edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné, which will take place across five stages from 12 to 16 August, will see the majority of the favourites for this year’s Tour de France do battle in an epic mountain examination culminating on the slopes leading up to the ski resort of Megève.

Ø The last three winners of the Tour – Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome – will all compete together in the colours of Team Ineos for the first time since the 2018 edition of cycling’s most prestigious race, as part of a world-class peloton that also includes a Jumbo-Visma team led by Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk.

Ø French hopes rest on the shoulders of Thibaut Pinot, Warren Barguil, Romain Bardet and Julian Alaphilippe, who will have their work cut out against the other Colombians (including Quintana, Uran, Higuita and Lopez) and a strong Spanish contingent (Landa, Mas, Soler, Valverde), not to mention Tadej Pogacar, Emanuel Buchmann and Adam Yates.

Making predictions for the Tour de France has rarely been as much fun, or as difficult, as it is proving to be in 2020. Following its unprecedented postponement until September, the favourites will enter the race with little in the way of a form guide on their rivals, let alone any certainty over their own capacity to last the distance. Yet despite the uncertainty, most observers would happily bet their bottom dollar on the winner of the Yellow Jersey coming from the field of riders who will compete for the Critérium du Dauphiné. A quick analysis of recent podiums reveals that a total of 23 riders have finished in the top three of a Grand Tour on at least one occasion over the last five years. If we discount those who have since retired, or who have decided to set their sights on Italy later in the year, we are left with 16. Of that select bunch, no fewer than 14 will be present in Clermont-Ferrand for the start of the most intense of mountain challenges, held over a shortened five-day period and featuring four stages clearly aimed at the climbers. And while most sprinters quickly concluded that this week would not be for them (with the exception of Sagan, Van Aert and Colbrelli, who will be on hand try their luck and flex their thigh muscles), the peloton will contain no shortage of serious contenders for the mountain showdowns on the Col de Porte (Stage 2), in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (Stage 3) and up the climbs to Megève on the final weekend.

A glance at the recent winners of the Dauphiné and the Tour only heightens the intrigue surrounding the line-up selected by Team Ineos, who have chosen to field all three of their superstars: Egan Bernal (winner of the queen stage at the Tour d’Occitanie), Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. Another dream team has been confidently assembled under the Dutch flag, in the form of a Jumbo-Visma team led by Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk. And while other teams may not be blessed with quite the same depth of quality, the peloton will contain an array of talents and personalities who will be jostling for position and attacking in the mountains. The Colombians will be out in force, both at Education First (Uran, Higuita, Martinez) and in the familiar figure of Nairo Quintana, so dominant before the season was brought to a standstill in March. Meanwhile, the Spanish should be well represented by Mikel Landa, who displayed stronger form than compatriots Enric Mas and Marc Soler at the recent Vuelta a Burgos. The race could also serve as a springboard for French success: Thibaut Pinot and Warren Barguil have both laid down promising markers in the South-West, and the Dauphiné has often been known to smile upon Romain Bardet and Julian Alaphilippe. Lastly, if his early-season performances are anything to go by, there is no reason to believe that youngster Tadej Pogacar has lost any of the drive that took him to a podium finish at last year’s Vuelta. The Slovenian won in Valencia before finishing second in the UAE Tour, where he was edged out by Adam Yates. Speaking of whom, guess where the British rider will be next Wednesday?

23 Teams. The main contenders:
Australia
Mitchelton-Scott: A.Yates (GB), Impey (RSA)

Bahrain
Bahrain-McLaren: Landa (ESP), Colbrelli (ITA), Teuns (BEL)

Belgium
Deceuninck Quick Step: Alaphilippe (FRA), Asgreen (DEN), Jungels (LUX)
Lotto-Soudal: Wallays (BEL)
Circus-Wanty Gobert: Bakelants (BEL), Pasqualon (ITA)

France
AG2R La Mondiale: Bardet, Latour, Cosnefroy (FRA)
Groupama-FDJ: Pinot, Gaudu, Madouas (FRA), Küng (CH)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: G.Martin, Edet (FRA)
Total Direct Energie: Calmejane, Cousin (FRA)
Team Arkea-Samsic: Barguil (FRA), N.Quintana, Anacona (COL)
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept: Rolland, Gautier (FRA), Slagter (NLD)

Germany
Team Sunweb: Benoot (BEL), Kragh Andersen (DEN), Roche (IRL)
Bora-Hansgrohe: Sagan (SVK), Grossschartner (AUT), Buchmann (GER)

Great Britain
Team Ineos: Froome (GB), Bernal (COL), Thomas (GB), Sivakov (RUS)

Israel
Israel Start-Up Nation: D.Martin (IRL), Greipel, Politt (GER)

Kazakhstan
Astana Pro Team: Lopez (COL), G.Izagirre (ESP), Lutsenko (KAZ)

Netherlands
Team Jumbo-Visma: Dumoulin, Kruijswijk (NLD), Roglic (SVN), Van Aert (BEL)

Pologne
CCC Team: Pauwels (BEL), Masnada (ITA)

Spain
Movistar Team: Mas, Soler, Valverde (ESP)

South Africa
NTT Pro Cycling Team: Boasson Hagen (NOR), Meintjes (RSA), Pozzovivo (ITA)

United Arab Emirates
UAE Team Emirates: Pogacar (SVN), Formolo (ITA), Kristoff (NOR)

USA
EF Pro Cycling: Van Garderen (USA), Uran, Higuita, Martinez (COL)
Trek-Segafredo: Porte (AUS), Skujins (LVA), Elissonde (FRA)

More information about Critérium du Dauphiné on https://www.criterium-du-dauphine.fr/en/

ag2r
Critérium du Dauphiné (August 12th-16th)
Pierre Latour: “My return to racing at the Route d’Occitanie went well though I wasn’t really at my best. That was to be expected since I was just coming down from the altitude training camp in Val d’Isère. It’s been a good period of training on roads that I didn’t know very well, which allows you to break the routine. I hope that my form will improve at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The race has been shortened so it will be even harder. This is a big step in the preparation for the Tour, but if I feel good and I have a chance, I will not deny myself the opportunity to go for a win. It’s an important race in my region that I have always enjoyed very much.”

Originally from the Isère department, Nans Peters has on several occasions ridden up the ascent of the Col de Porte, where the second stage will finish. He even climbed it as part of a France Television shoot, while previewing the stage of the Tour de France La Tour du Pin – Villard de Lans in the company of the biathlon world champion Emilien Jacquelin, with whom he raced in the junior categories.

ag2r dauphine

total
Total Direct Energie for the Critérium du Dauphiné
total

deceuninck
Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Critérium du Dauphiné
Winner of the KOM jersey at the previous edition, Julian Alaphilippe will be back at the start of the World Tour race.

Taking place between 12-16 August, the shortened French race won’t include any stages against the clock, but instead will feature a series of demanding climbs, making it a perfect preparation for the Tour de France. Starting from Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of the Puy-de-Dôme department, with an undulating stage to Saint-Christo-en-Jerez, where a punchy finish awaits, the race will head into the mountains as early as the second day, when the riders will tackle the first summit finish, on the Col de Porte (17.5km, 6.2%).

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (14.8km, 6%) and Megève (twice) is where the fight between the overall contenders will continue until the end of the week, each of these demanding finishes coming at the end of short but intense stages punctuated by several brutal climbs, that are expected to seriously whittle down the bunch and make for some significant gaps in the GC.

One of the main protagonists of last year’s edition, when his aggressive riding helped him win a stage and take home the polka-dot jersey, Julian Alaphilippe will lead the team’s aspirations at the 71st Critérium du Dauphiné. Runner-up at Milano-Sanremo, where his attack on the Poggio sparked the key move of the race and brought him a fifth Monument podium, Alaphilippe will be joined at the start by Kasper Asgreen, Clermont-Ferrand native Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, James Knox, and neo-pro Mauri Vansevenant, who will be making his debut in a World Tour race.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Tom Steels previewed the French event: “Dauphiné will be a very hard race, maybe one of the toughest of this season: five stages, five uphill finishes, and with four of these stages being quite short, it means it will be full gas from the start. The weekend will be particularly hard, with each of the two days packing some 4000 meters of vertical meters, which could lead to some big gaps in the standings. We have a strong team and we hope for a stage win, but also for the riders to come out of the race with a good condition and feeling.”

12.08–16.08 Critérium du Dauphiné (FRA) 2.UWT
Riders:

Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
Kasper Asgreen (DEN)
Rémi Cavagna (FRA)
Tim Declercq (BEL)
Bob Jungels (LUX)
James Knox (GBR)
Mauri Vansevenant (BEL).
Sports Director: Tom Steels (BEL) and Rik van Slycke (BEL).

deceuninck

bahrain
Bahrain-McLaren Heading Climbs of Critérium du Dauphiné and Fine-Tuning Mission for Tour de France 2020
Critérium du Dauphiné and its 72nd edition with five hard mountain stages and 817 km of racing, with all stages finishing at the mountain tops and the extremely hard Stage 4, culminating on the slopes leading up to the famous ski resort of Megève. This will be the Grand Matinée and fine-tuning for the upcoming Tour de France 2020.

Five big mountain battles will be a big examination for all teams and their climber specialists.

Mikel Landa: “After taking 2nd place overall at Vuelta a Burgos, I believe that for Critérium du Dauphiné climbs I will be in even better and very good shape. These hard climbs of the French Alps are always very challenging for me. I’m looking forward to racing there and give my best and keep my good feeling of racing.”

Gorazd Štangelj, Sports Director: “We are heading Critérium du Dauphiné with a very strong roster and we are ready to set up the roles and upgrading confidence of each of our riders and team member ahead of the Tour de France 2020. Our GC and our “main violin” is Mikel Landa which is in the uprising form and after taking 2nd place overall at Vuelta a Burgos he looks better, day by day.”

“All our riders at Critérium du Dauphiné are here for Mikel and each one of them will have an important role for Mikel. As our team goals are very high, as always, we would be happy to take the GC podium place and continue the focus to the Tour de France 2020. Matej Mohorič and Sonny Colbrelli will always keep Mikel in a safe place. Damiano Caruso will be Mikels’ last man at the climbs and our road captain. Pello Bilbao and Rafa Valls will take a mountain engine role for Mikel and Dylan Teuns will always be there for the mountains and a team anchor for positioning.”

“Execution of team strategy at the maximum point, getting confidence in all performance areas, execution of Team Bahrain McLaren in a World-class way of working and a very important objective is to keep maximum attention on towards Covid-19 restrictions and keeping all our team members safe and healthy.”

Team Bahrain McLaren lineup for Critérium du Dauphiné 2020:
Pello Bilbao / Damiano Caruso / Sonny Colbrelli / Mikel Landa / Matej Mohorič / Dylan Teuns / Rafael Valls Ferri.

dauphine

ag2r
Geniez is the Next Addition to Total Direct Energy
Total Direct Energie is working hard to strengthen the team for the coming season. The French team signed Pierre Latour last Sunday, but now Alexandre Geniez has also signed a two-year contract with team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau.

The 32-year-old Geniez has been racing for AG2R-La Mondiale since 2017, having previously ridden for Skil-Shimano and FDJ. Three years ago he was successful with stage victories in the Tour Cycliste International La Provence and the Tour de l’Ain and a prestigious victory in Tre Valli Varesine. A year later he achieved success again with a win in the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise, the overall victory in the Tour Cycliste International La Provence and stage success in the Vuelta a España. His last victory dates back to last year, when he was the best in the second stage of the Tour de l’Ain.

Geniez feels it is time for a change, he said in a press release. “The fact that the team is interested in me is a sign of confidence. That’s fantastic. I know that I can add value with my experience. I am ready to assist the leaders, but I am also a rider who likes to race aggressively.”

Alexandre Geniez:
geniez

deceuninck
Sean Quinn joins Deceuninck – Quick-Step for Remainder of the Season
The 20-year-old US rider will compete as a stagiaire for the Wolfpack

Sean Quinn is set to race for UCI World Team Classification leaders Deceuninck – Quick-Step, with his debut coming in just a couple of days, at the Gran Piemonte. Hailing from Los Angeles, Sean has enjoyed a strong spell in the Junior ranks, which saw him earn a string of top 10 placings in some of the most important stage races on the calendar – Tour du Pays de Vaud, Course de la Paix, and the World Championships – before making the transition to the pro world with Hagens Berman Axeon.

In 2019, he came close to winning the youth classification at the prestigious Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux before repeating that result at the U23 Giro d’Italia, where a consistent ride netted him sixth place in the overall standings. Just a couple of months later, in January, he joined Deceuninck – Quick-Step for the Calpe training camp, and seven months later will get to sport the team’s jersey in several races, first of which will be next week’s Gran Piemonte.

“I grew up in Los Angeles. Cycling’s not very popular in the US, but luckily my parents are big fans of the sport and I began watching the Tour de France every summer. One year, it got me hooked, so I started watching it every day, and then, at the age of 9, I got my first road bike and began racing. The competition got harder and harder, but I was able to progress and ended up racing with the Junior US National team. From there, I signed with Hagens Berman Axeon, which is such a great team that has produced a high-quality number of riders, two of whom – Ian Garrison and João Almeida – now race for Deceuninck – Quick-Step”, said Sean when asked about his background in the sport.

“I can’t put myself in one box, but I’d like to consider myself a GC rider, the kind of guy who is strong in the mountains, but who can also make his way on the flat and in the time trials”, continued the 20-year-old before talking about the expectations he has for his stagiaire stint. “Having attended the team’s training camp in the winter, I have a good idea on how it runs, but watching them work at races will be a completely different thing, to which I look forward. I will see where I fit in, try to help out the team and just see what happens. It’s exciting and I can’t wait for it.”

“Sean is an interesting young rider who performs best on hilly races and in the mountains. He showed great potential last season at the Girobio as a first-year U23. When he joined us last winter for our training camp, he made a good impression both as a rider and as a person. We look forward to seeing him in action in the professional races with us and getting to know him better”, added Deceuninck – Quick-Step trainer Koen Pelgrim.

Sean Quinn:
sean quinn

movistar
Emma Norsgaard to strengthen Movistar Team in 2021
21-year-old Danish powerhouse – a talented sprinter, a top time trialist with great international experience – set to join brother Mathias as she becomes Blues’ first addition to 2021 roster.

The Movistar Team announced Thursday that Emma Norsgaard (Silkeborg, DEN; 1999), a current member of the Équipe Paule Ka, has signed a contract for the next two years (2021-22) with the WorldTour outfit led by Sebastián Unzué and Jorge Sanz. The Telefónica-backed squad thus adds one of the most promising sprinters and time trialists in the peloton to its future roster.

Norsgaard soon made big headlines as she won the Danish elite road race Championship in 2016, aged just 17, by beating the rider who would go on, just four months later, to win the pro World Champs’ road race in Doha, Amalie Dideriksen. Emma confirmed her class a year later (2017), claiming silver medals at both the European and World road race Championships. Her first good results as a fully-fledged elite did not take long to arrive, with second places in both the Chrono des Nations and the Giro della Toscana prologue in 2018, other than a silver medal in the road race Nationals.

Despite a knee injury that sidelined her for most of the 2019 season, Norsgaard had good chances to show her quality in the last 12 months, with arguably her best pro results. Last February, she won the bunch sprint at the end of the inaugural stage in the Setmana Valenciana. A month later, just before the ‘covid stop’, she came 3rd at the Omloop van het Hageland, only behind Lorena Wiebes and Marta Bastianelli. And in 2019, she was just three seconds short for a medal (5th place) at the U23 ITT European Championships in Alkmaar.

Sister of Mathias, who made his long-awaited debut in Italy earlier this week following an eight-month recovery process from a leg injury, the two are now becoming the first ever opposite-sex siblings to make part of the same UCI WorldTour/Women’s WorldTour structure.

Emma Norsgaard: “I’m super thrilled to join the Movistar Team family. I’m confident that I’ll fit right in, and that we as a team will achieve great things together. I’m excited to see myself develop into a top squad like the Movistar Team. It really gives me confidence that we’re so close together with the men’s team. It’s modern, and the fact that I’m in a unique situation to share the same team as my own brother is also pretty cool. I believe the setup of this team could be the future for women’s cycling, and I’m super proud to be part of a team that is progressive and who’s a part of helping define the future of women’s cycling.”

Sebastián Unzué: “Emma is an exciting addition to our roster and will soon become a key to this team. She’s someone we’ve been following since we started this project three years ago, and will surely help us take another step forward. It’s part of the gamble – which we started heading into the transfer market before the 2020 season – to strengthen the core of our team, which is the most realistic way to chase for great results in the long term. The future ahead of her is remarkable, yet she’s already shown to be perfectly capable to obtain good results from the get-go. She’s got the ability and talent to be able to take victories from big or small groups, something really uncommon in this sport, and strong legs against the clock, a crucial skill in modern cycling. I’m excited to see how she can grow in the classics and how she develops as an athlete in the upcoming years. Other than that, there’s an exciting project ahead on a personal standpoint, something which really moves us – that is, having Emma and Mathias sharing teams. Other than being a strong team, we’ve always wanted the Movistar Team to be a great family, a place where confidence is inspired, where every member feels at home, so we can make less complicated for them to chase their ultimate goals.”

Emma Norsgaard:
Emma Norsgaard

paule ka
Mikayla Harvey to Continue with Équipe Paule Ka
We are pleased to announce that Mikayla Harvey has extended her contract with us, which will see the New Zealand rider continue her impressive sportive development within the team.

The 21-year-old has made significant strides since joining us ahead of the 2019 season. So far, she has produced standout performances in races such as last year’s Tour de Bretagne Féminin, where she won the ITT stage, as well as this year’s New Zealand ITT championships, where she finished second. She was most recently the top-placed U23 rider at last weekend’s Strade Bianche, where she also finished 12th overall in a high-class field of riders.

Reflecting on her contract extension, Mikayla remarks: “I’m very excited to extend my time with Équipe Paule Ka. I’ve grown so much as a rider since I’ve joined, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds, as we continue our journey together. The entire team has played such a critical role in my development as a rider, and this squad is very special to me. It provides the perfect environment for me to continue to improve, while also having opportunities to perform. My goal is to continue along this path and also to have the chance to take on some leadership roles. To fight it out for a top placing on the finishing straight in events such as Strade Bianche or the Ardennes Classics is a dream, and I’m excited to work towards achieving this with the support of the team.”

Team Owner Thomas Campana explained the decision to re-sign the talented New Zealand rider: “We are very happy that Mikayla has decided to stay with the team. We are in the middle of an exciting process of progressing her sportive development and helping her to become a top-class rider. From the time that she joined us, it was clear that she possessed great ability, particularly in the time trial discipline. Over the last one and a half years, she has developed even stronger racing skills. However, she is not only a talented athlete, but is also able to keep focused on racing, while at the same time being a very balanced individual. Although she has a rather laidback character, when she’s on the bike, she is very motivated and displays a strong racing instinct and determination to achieve results. For us, it is exciting to continue working on the progress of such an individual, and to help bring her to the next level.”

Looking at Mikayla’s most recent results, he continues: “At this year’s Strade Bianche, an extremely hard parcours that was raced in difficult conditions, Mikayla was able to prove that she was the best rider in the U23 category, and she did that at only 21 years of age. As performances such as these demonstrate, she always strives to reach the most that she is capable of. However, at the same time, she is also always happy to fully support her teammates whenever required. It is this balanced character that makes her an ideal rider to work with. She takes whatever challenges that are presented with poise, and that is a character trait that is difficult to find in such a young athlete. Exciting times are ahead of us, and we are sure that we will see more great performances from her.”

Mikayla Harvey:
Mikayla Harvey

italy
Damiano Cunego is Home After Two Months in Hospital
Damiano Cunego has spent two months in hospital with meningitis, but the winner of the Giro d’Italia 2004 is finally back home. “I can now continue the antibiotic treatment at home,” he said on social media.

Cunego, who also won the Tour of Lombardy three times and the Amstel Gold Race as a professional cyclist, was hospitalised in early June because of a bacterial infection. “In the week before, I had a severe headache at night,” said the Italian earlier. “I decided to go to the emergency room.”

“The pain had become unbearable. The doctors did an MRI scan and found the problem.” Now, almost two months after his first day in the hospital, Cunego has good news. “I wanted to share this moment with you. After two months in the hospital, I am finally back home.”

“The doctors and infectious disease staff members now allow me to continue antibiotic therapy at home until 17 August. I hope for a further recovery at home.”

Damiano Cunego:
Praia a Mare - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Damiano Cunego (Nippo - Vini Fantini) pictured during stage 5 of the 99th Giro d'Italia 2016 from Praia a Mare to Benevento 233 km - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2016

ccc
Viral Infection Delays Pauwels’ Return to Racing
Serge Pauwels’ return to racing will be delayed due to a viral infection which will see the Belgian miss the upcoming French races.

Initially slated to line up at the Tour de l’Ain this Friday, Pauwels will instead rest while he recovers from the mild infection, CCC Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said.

“Serge was very much on track to restart his racing season this week however, he has recently been suffering from some unexplained fatigue which prompted us to investigate further. Test results indicated that Serge is suffering from a mild viral injection which fortunately is nothing to worry about but will require him to withdraw from the Tour de l’Ain and Critérium du Dauphiné until he has completely recovered. He has repeatedly tested negative for Covid-19 so that is not a concern but now more than ever, we need to ensure our riders are healthy before they can enter the racing environment. We will continue to monitor Serge’s recovery and see him back at the start line as soon as he is ready to do so,” Dr. Testa explained.

Serge Pauwels is looking forward to restarting the season as soon as possible.

“I had been feeling good training in Tuscany up until the last few days and I was looking forward to lining up this week at the Tour de l’Ain. Although it is disappointing to delay my first race, I am happy that it is nothing to worry about and after a short period of rest, I can resume training and finally race again,” Pauwels said.

CCC Team will provide updates on Pauwels’ recovery and communicate his revised race program when possible. Michał Paluta will replace Pauwels at Tour de l’Ain.

Serge Pauwels:
pauwels

jumbo-visma
Wout van Aert delivered Team Jumbo-Visma first monumental victory in Sanremo

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