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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The EUROTRASH bag is overflowing this Monday. The race excitement keeps coming – All the news, results and video from the Vuelta a España, Tour of Britain, and the Canadian WorldTour races. David Millar for CPA President – Top Story. More rider contracts: Geraint Thomas to stay with Sky, plus Lotto Soudal, Astana, Trek, UAE Team Emirates and behind the scenes on Vuelta stage 15 with Mitchelton-Scott. Cycling news coffee time.

TOP STORY: David Millar for CPA President?
Ex rider, ex National champion, ex Tour, Giro and Vuelta leader and ex doper. David Millar knows the sport of cycling from the dark side and the good times and he sounds like the perfect man for the job of President of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (Professional Cyclists Union or CPA). You can read his announcement below the race reports.

The CPA is recognized by the UCI and has a riders representative at all the big races, when there has been cases of ‘Extreme weather Protocol’ the Union Rep is the man to go to. The CPA is the rider’s link between the UCI, race organizers and the teams. In the past the CPA have been accused of being toothless and not bringing the riders together, maybe Millar can?

Millar wants to “make the CPA a vibrant, positive force going forwards. My mission is to make the peloton the most solid and respected part of professional cycling because it’s the racers that matter. They deserve to be looked after and protected and, above all, educated.”

The election will take place at the World road championships in Innsbruck CPA on 27 September, although the procedure for voting for the next President isn’t clear as this is the first time that there will be more than one person standing for the post. Millar has put forward that riders should be able to make an internet vote as normally only the competing riders would be available.

There have been some detractors; that Millar is cashing in on his past misdemeanors. Maybe so, but that experience must give Millar an understanding of the situation a rider can find himself.

More information: www.millarforcpa.com

David Millar – Not a big friend of Armstrong anymore:

Vuelta a España 2018
Stage 12 was won by Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) as Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) took the overall lead, both were part of the break of the day that finished well ahead of the peloton including all the top GC riders.

An 18 rider group escaped on the climb of the Alto de Cadeira. Vincenzo Nibali and Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (BMC), Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe), Victor Campenaerts and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors), Amanuel Gebregziabher (Dimension Data), Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin), Dylan Van Baarle (Sky), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Pablo Torres (Burgos-BH), Jonathan Lastra and Lluis Mas (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murias) made up the escape.

Movistar took over the chase duties from Mitchelton-Scott after the lead had gone up to 11 minutes, but they could only pull back just over a minute on the winners.

The break split to eight riders with 25 kilometers to go, there were many attacks in the final 10 kilometers, but the group was together on the last tricky rise to the finish line where Geniez got the better of Van Baarle and Padun.

Herrada missed the split in the break to finish 2:32 behind the Geniez group but still 9:05 ahead of the peloton including the overall leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and all the other GC riders. Herrada now leads Yates by 3:22 and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 3:23. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is 4th at 3:36 and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) 5th at 3:39.

Stage 12 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner, Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale): “It was a difficult day to handle. We did not think it would be a stage for the breakaway.
 We all got along well until the classified climb, then we took turns taking attacking each other. It was a bit like a game of poker. It was necessary to manage your resources well. You couldn’t invest too much energy before the right moment. And I had to watch out for the really dangerous riders. In the end, I did not know what to expect on this narrow road. We did not even see the finish line before the 300 meters mark, so we were searching for the signs in order to know when to start the sprint.
 After a good start to my season, it has now been six months since I last raised my arms in victory. This win is a great reward for all the work I did this summer. The Vuelta has been good to me. This is my third victory here. At this race, things work a little differently. Breakaways can often play for the stage win. And now after Tony won a stage, the whole team is working really well. It’s motivating for the future.”

Overall leader, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis): “As you can imagine, I am very, very happy. This is a wonderful gift for me of course but also for the whole team. We will try to keep this jersey as long as possible. I’m in a cloud and I cannot believe it yet. I never imagined wearing La Vuelta’s leader’s jersey one day. Of course, I have worn the jersey of champion of Spain, but it is different and you wear it all the year. This one, I will defend by giving the maximum tomorrow in Asturias with the finish at the top of La Camperona.”

2nd overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “We rode to try and keep the breakaway at a reasonable gap and the guys did a really good job, but now we’re looking forward to the race starting for real, which is tomorrow. I am feeling good so now I’ve just got to try and recover before then. We couldn’t control everything again. There was a lot of tired guys in the peloton today so sometimes you have to take a bit of a risk but that’s how it is. We decided not to really chase anyone today, we were just going to ride to keep it at a decent gap and that’s what we did. Now we don’t have to control anything before the weekend, it’s a really important part of the race.”

3rd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “Mitchelton pushed to try and control the break, but it was a big one and that task was soon evident to be difficult. We took to the front only into the final third of the stage, to try and get as close as possible. Having Jesús in the lead makes us all happy. We knew he was up there, and only pushed near the finish. We didn’t really set a pace so as to take him out of that virtual lead – we did just to keep the race under control. He’s always going to be a threat, because Jesús is a great rider, but there’s still so much left in this race, so many tough stages, he’s also spent a lot trying to get into the breakaways. Still, I think he can retain the race lead for long. He’s a very talented rider, and having the red jersey on your shoulders is always a boost of morale. I’m so happy to see him in the lead. Tomorrow? Let’s see. Anything can happen. Getting to the race lead tomorrow doesn’t look feasible. I don’t think Jesús will lose much time. I don’t feel like there should be huge time gaps tomorrow – but if they are, I hope we can put those on our rivals (smiles).”

3rd on the stage, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): “We started immediately on the first climb and we’ve always got along very well that we also have an advantage of 11 minutes. At about 10km from the finish line, we attacked in 8 and then we played the victory. I’m very happy because in the first week he did so much effort but now I feel really good. I didn’t win, but today but today I understood that I can be competitive, I still have to learn a lot but I’m on the right track.”

6th on the stage, Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe): “As some riders tried to attack, I thought I would try as well and it worked out. Together we worked really well and opened up a gap of more than ten minutes. Soon we knew we would be fighting for the stage victory. I stayed at the front to make my opponents tired. The last kilometers hurt and when some riders launched an attack, I couldn’t follow and took sixth. There was a crash right after the finish line but, fortunately, I was able to avoid it.”

10th on the stage, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates): “On today’s stage I had another good opportunity, but unfortunately I could not exploit it, I was not at my best. I succeeded in being in the main breakaway, but I missed out on the winning counter attack at more or less 30km. I remained calm after we had climbed two hills, but I just could not react quickly. However, I’m confident for the next few stages to be able to give my contribution to the team’s main goal, which is to support Aru, or to be ready to join breakaways when I will be asked to do so.”

Vuelta a España Stage 12 Result:
1. Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale in 4:22:59
2. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Sky
3. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
4. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC
5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:02
6. Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:05
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:24
8. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:48
9. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:27
10. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 2:29.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 12:
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis in 50:28:56
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 3:22
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 3:23
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 3:36
5. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 3:39
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:46
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 3:49
9. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 3:54
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 4:05.

Stage 12:

The mighty climb up La Camperona saw the young Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias) ride to a spectacular win, on Friday’s Stage 13. The 23 year-old Spaniard made the most of slopes up to 19.5% to dominate renowned riders such as Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dylan Teuns (BMC) after spending the whole stage at the front of the race. This is the first victory for a Basque team since Euskatltel-Euskadi left the professional pelotons in 2013. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was the strongest of the GC contenders in the final climb, ahead of Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) stays in red but he lost almost two minutes to Quintana.

With the race heading to the mountains, attackers felt it was another day for them to try and win the stage. The battle was hard from the beginning and no less than 32 riders broke away after 15km of aggressive racing: Gorka Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida), Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Joseph Rosskopf and Dylan Teuns (BMC), Marcus Burghardt, Rafal Majka and Jay Mc Carthy (Bora-Hansgrohe), Sander Armee, Thomas De Gendt, Bjorg Lambrecht, Maxime Monfort and Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Laurens De Plus, Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors), Ben King, Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data), Ilnur Zakarin, Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin), Sergio Henao (Sky), Jai Hindley (Sunweb), Bauke Mollema, Nicola Conci and Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Alex Aranburu, Cristian Rodriguez (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), Eduard Prades, Garikoitz Bravo and Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias).

The red jersey Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) went with the move before dropping back to the bunch where his team set a moderate pace. The gap rose to 9:30, 75km into the stage. Ben King (Dimension Data) was the virtual leader of the race as he was trailing by 7:04 on GC before the stage. Movistar, Mitchelton-Scott, LottoNL-Jumbo and Education First-Drapac all sent a man to the front to bring the gap down around 8 minutes at the bottom of the cat-1 Puerto de Tarna (13km, 5.8%). Astana also pulled on the climb and the gap was down to 6:22 at the summit, with 70km to go.

The battle between the pack and the attackers kept going in the valley leading to the final climb. The gap was at 3:45 at the bottom of the final climb up La Camperona (8.3km, 7.5%). Rafal Majka and Dylan Teuns enjoyed the steepest parts of the climb (19.5%) to get away from their companions. But Oscar Rodriguez joined them and soloed away in the final kilometer.

Among the favorites, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) accelerated in the final 2 kilometers, as he did two years ago. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) went with him while Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) suffered a mechanical. A final dig from Quintana gave him 6 seconds on Yates, 18 on Lopez, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and 1:46 on Jesus Herrada, who was dropped earlier.

The PEZ Stage 13 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner, Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias): “I can’t believe I’ve taken a professional win, let alone a stage at the Vuelta. I didn’t believe I was going to win until the very end, and I still can’t believe it.”

Overall leader, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis): “I managed to sleep even though I had the shirt in front of my eyes. And before the start, many runners spontaneously came to congratulate me. We really did the maximum for the defense. I am very proud to have achieved my goals with the help of incredible teammates. And tomorrow is another day…”

2nd on the stage, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “My form was very good today, I felt very well and the team did a brilliant job in helping me. I’m proud of that. I gave it my all in the harsh final climb to La Camperona but it wasn’t enough to take the stage. I’m disappointed because we did everything we had planned but the victory didn’t come.”

3rd on the stage, Dylan Teuns (BMC): “I didn’t know who Rodriguez was before today, but he came back to us. I didn’t see him from behind but the moment he passed, it was really impressive and with a lot of speed on a steep climb like this. I, and I think Majka as well, didn’t have an answer to this and in the end, I’ve had too many top ten results but no win. The climb suited me but after the third day in the breakaway, it’s not always easy. Actually, it wasn’t my plan to go in the breakaway but I was there because it was really chaotic in the beginning. If you go in a big group like this then you know you go in without spending too much energy. I sat there and did my job and I made it at the front on the final climb. In the end, it’s disappointing to have another good result but no win, because I really want a stage win.”

6th on the stage, Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data): “We knew the break had a good chance to arrive today so our plan was to have 2 or 3 guys in the move. I followed the first moves and everyone was just jumping too so we became 32 guys in the front. It was pretty hard and fast for me, being in such a big group so I was spending a lot of energy in the break. I was really motivated to try and win the stage and I knew the last climb, having done it twice already. I just got a bit too nervous and then over excited as we hit the steep part and I closed the gap to Rafa with a big acceleration. I couldn’t keep that pace and I had a bit of an explosion. I tried to just keep going at a constant pace but in the end I came 6th. Ben was 10th as well so I am happy for the team but I will keep fighting for a stage.”

9th on the stage, Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates): “I would like to thank the team for the opportunity. I would have liked to have achieved a top five result, but top 10 is a good result considering the climbers in the group. It was not easy in the break and it was very difficult to manage the approach to the climb because some teams were represented by more than one rider. It was necessary to close the gap, this cost a lot of energy.”

Vuelta a España Stage 13 Result:
1. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias in 4:17:05
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:19
3. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 0:30
4. Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:38
5. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:43
6. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data at 1:00
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:12
8. Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 1:21
9. Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:25
10. Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data at 1:27.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 13:
1. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis in 54:50:19
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:42
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 1:50
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1:54
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 2:23
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 2:33
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 2:35
8. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:40
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 2:44
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:47.

Stage 13:

Three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) added a Vuelta a España stage win to his successful 2018 season with a perfectly managed effort and attack on the final ascent of Stage 14.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider remained calm on the steep final climb, despite being outnumbered and constantly attacked, before he attacked with 650m to go to claim the stage ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) to take the overall lead once again.

At just five minutes down on general classification, Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) gave the peloton something to chase when he initiated the breakaway of stage 14. Thankfully for the bunch, he had just five riders for company and Cofidis, with the help of Movistar, kept them on a tight leash for the entire day. At a maximum, the group has almost four minute’s advantage, but by 50km to go it was down to just two minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Kwiatkowski was the strongest rider of the move and the last to survive before he was caught with five kilometers to go after Bahrain-Merida put pressure on the bunch on the final descent to shrink the main group.

Groupama-FDJ set the initial pace on the final climb before Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) attacked and Movistar Team set off in pursuit. Yates stayed calm and picked his moments to close any gaps that appeared, including a move by Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Lopez in the final two kilometers. With half a dozen main contenders back together heading into the final kilometer Yates judged the time to attack perfectly. The 26-year-old hung on to win by two seconds to Lopez and Valverde and leads Valverde by 20seconds on the general classification.

You can seen the PEZ Stage 14 Race Report HERE

Stage winner and overall leader, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I chose my moment really well there in the final. I didn’t look back until it flattened off a little bit and I had a bit of a gap so just gave it everything to the line. I feel a bit more like I deserve it (the red jersey) this time , I gave it everything I could today in the very end and I am very happy. I chose my own pace, I can’t respond to everything but I managed it well and chose my moment well. I didn’t know the climb, I didn’t know if it was going to get steeper or easier, so I was really managing and controlling my effort and went at my own tempo. Movistar had three guys at one point and I was alone, not to say the team did a bad job because they did a fantastic job, just I was alone at that moment and I can’t control everything so I just tried to stay calm and that’s what it was really. I remember tomorrow’s stage from 2016, that is the only time I have ridden the climb, it is a very difficult climb and I hope to have the same legs as today. I expect Movistar to be very active again.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “Today I had a good opportunity to win the stage, but from the other hand, on the final climb I did my best and in that situation inside the last kilometer it was difficult to do something more. I felt really good and I can say this climb suited me perfectly. But, also, my rivals were strong. There were many attacks in our group and I tried to control it. For a few times I closed the gap, but, for sure, it was impossible to catch all moves. In the end I counterattacked to try to reach Yates, but was able to finish second. Anyway, I can be happy with this day and with the way our team did it. I am happy I was up there in front with the other contenders. Tomorrow will be another day and another hard race. I hope to continue improving heading into the third week of the Vuelta.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “If I’m honest, I’m a bit sad because I’ve got the impression I could have won this one. I was going really well, but it ran off my control. Sometimes you’re doubtful about your own chances, about being able to keep up with the others’ pace to win. It was hard for me to know I did a mistake today, because I had the energy to go for it yet mistimed my final efforts. I didn’t know the climb well, I thought the final slopes were going to be harder — don’t get me wrong, full credit has to go to Simon, who deserved this victory. It was just that I waited for too long, thinking those slopes were going to be more difficult, but when I wanted to pick up the pace into that ‘sprint’, I was already too far. As I saw López coming from behind, it was all the same if I finished second or third – I just didn’t win. After all that, I must say I loved the climb – but that might have been because it went well for me. For me, though, this is less tough than La Camperona. At the initial slopes I went off the front, trying to push and set a good pace, gain some sort of ground so I could help Nairo if he decided to attack. The truth is, these slopes really don’t suit him well at all, he just did everything he could. All main rivals are still pretty much close. Considering it’s going to be a really tough stage tomorrow, with such a different finishing climb – Los Lagos – and it being the third consecutive day in the mountains, anything can happen. Giving the race a deep blow? I don’t know if I’ll be hit by the race instead tomorrow (laughs).”

10th on the stage, Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates): “Today I had better feelings, so I’m happy and satisfied and it has been a better day than in the previous stages. Being at the head of the race will give me a boost in confidence for the coming days.”

10th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Once again, the team did a great job. I am so grateful to them, they gave everything for me. Today, a smaller group attacked, so we stayed in the peloton and took control of the pace. The finale was brutal, small gravel roads and thousands of people. Rafał stayed at the front and Davide supported me. The final kilometer was too steep for me, so I rode at my pace and finished some seconds behind Yates who was the strongest today. In the GC I am still tenth but, of course, the goal is to climb up some positions.”

Vuelta a España Stage 14 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:19:27
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:02
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
4. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:05
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:07
6. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:11
7. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:19
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:27
9. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:37
10. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:39.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 14:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 59:11:18
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:20
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:25
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:47
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:23
6. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:28
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:40
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:47
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:55
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:08.

Stage 14:

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) made the most of the iconic climb to the Lagos de Covadonga with a solo victory on Sunday’s Stage 15. The French climber attacked with 6km to go and managed to hold off Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) in the last part of the climb to claim his first Vuelta stage win after victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished third to retain the red jersey and even gain a few seconds on the Movistar duo; Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.

The battle for the breakaway once again proved to be a hard one. Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hnansgrohe) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) tried to escape on the Alto de San Emiliano, unsuccessfully. A group of 12 strong riders eventually managed to open a gap after 35 kilometers: Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), Nicolas Roche (BMC), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Ben King (Dimension Data), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac), George Bennett and Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo), Tao Geoghegan Hart (Sky), Bauke Mollema and Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) and Nick Schultz (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

Simon Yates’ Mitchelton-Scott controlled the gap until Astana decided to up the tempo on the first ascent to the Mirador del Fito (Cat 1). Within 7km of climbing, the gap went from 5:30 to 3:40. Bauke Mollema took the points ahead of Ben King. The duo fought again in the second ascent to the Mirador del Fito and this time the American rider summited first. The gap to the peloton was down to 2:58 with 40.6km to go.

Ivan Garcia Cortina went solo with 20km to go. He reached the bottom of the final climb up to the Lagos de Covadonga (11.7km, 7.2%) with a 1 minute lead over the first chase group. The pack was at 2:14. But the hard pace set by Astana quickly changed the race situation: Garcia Cortina was caught 8km away from the summit while Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) and Tony Gallopin (AG2R-La Mondiale) were already dropped off the back.

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) immediately went for the first attack. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) followed him but Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) got back. The main GC contenders kept attacking each other and then slowing down. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) enjoyed the opportunity to jump ahead with 6km to go. He held on until the summit while Miguel Angel Lopez accelerated in the final 2km. The Colombian finished 28 seconds behind the Frenchman and only 2 seconds ahead of Simon Yates while Nairo Quintana lost 6 seconds.

Stage winner and 7th overall, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ): “It was my plan to attack about six kilometers from the finish. With the form I had I knew I could do it and I knew I was not a direct threat in the overall classification, so I had a great chance. It’s great to win here, it’s good for my career, I know this climb is considered the L’Alpe d’Huez of Spain, where I’ve won at the Tour de France. This adds something special to my palmarès. Now I’m going to give my very best all the way to Madrid and then I’ll think about the world championships.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a very strong attack by Thibaut on the climb, he came from behind, went with speed and gained time. I can only congratulate him. It was difficult within the chase group, because there was almost zero co-operation and it was very difficult to do anything. There was a bit of a head wind so if you did gain a gap it became very hard to maintain. Nothing much really happened in the end, my legs felt good and if I could hold the same form and the same legs then I will be happy. I am looking forward to the rest day now, we will prepare for the time trial and the rest of the race from there.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “I want to thank my team for a great day at La Vuelta. My teammates did an amazing stage, we proved to be one of the best teams here. I think we deserved to win today. So, I tried to attack far from the finish. I like this kind of attacks, it helps you to understand who are your rivals in the race. The team was keeping so high pace, so I think, it was a right moment to try. In the end, I did all I could today and I don’t have anything to regret about. Of course, I am a bit disappointed because we had a clear goal to win the stage and we did our best for that. But, the strongest won today. I counterattacked with something 1,5 km to go, wanted to get some time, but the last 200 meters were really tough. In the end of the day I have another second place. But, I will keep on fighting in this Vuelta. We still have a full third week and I am happy I am in a good shape ahead of it. All the favorites are close in the classification and the race is still open.”

4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): “It was another tremendously difficult day. I finished again with the top contenders, happily I’m still there. Astana set a really fast pace from way before the foot of the climb, and made things really difficult for the rest. Miguel Ángel launched a strong attack from near the bottom of the ascent and added some extra pain – which I sort of enjoyed, despite the pressure. It was a beautiful day, all things considered. It’s the fastest climb I’ve done to this climb in my career, no doubt. I tried to keep a steady pace, push at the front for Nairo when I was keeping the group’s pace, then also attempting to lose not too much time. I also tried to close the gaps when they attacked, just like I did when Yates. Nairo told me: ‘Go for him! Go for him!’. I tried to have some air, went after Yates, but then struggled a bit more. As I once again got dropped, they continued to attack, but they stopped afterwards. I tried to continue going as steady as possible, and knowing the final part was less steep, made a final effort to bridge back. We lost basically no time, neither myself nor Nairo. The wear and tear, I think it was the same for everybody, though you all could see that Yates is the biggest contender, the strongest man on course. Enric Mas continues to improve with every day passing and it makes me so happy to see him up there. Nairo is doing well, Pinot is also doing well even if he’s got more time to recover… It’s a really tight race at the moment. We’ll continue to go day-by-day, without getting too obsessed about the GC lead. The red jersey is not an aspiration ‘per se’, though I’m feeling strong and close to the top guys. Tuesday’s route shouldn’t be bad for me; hopefully I can have a good day. I still think it will be tough for anyone to make a real gap in the GC to win this one.”

9th on the stage and 10th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “Today’s stage suited me more than yesterday’s. Again, my team was amazing, they contributed to the effort to close the gap and in the finale, Rafał and Davide supported me perfectly. Rafał and I went with the first group and I rode at my own pace, finishing 9th and holding on to 10th in the GC. Tomorrow is a rest day and I really look forward to it. I will relax so that I am ready for the final stages of the Vuelta.”

Vuelta a España Stage 15 Result:
1. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 5:01:49
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:28
3. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:30
4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:32
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 0:34
7. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 1:25
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:33
10. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 1:49.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 15:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 64:13:33
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:26
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:33
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:43
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Spa) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:29
6. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:55
7. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:10
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 2:27
9. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 3:03
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:15.

Stage 15:

OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2018
Slovenian Primoz Roglic moved into the lead of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain after Team LottoNL-Jumbo took victory in the race’s first-ever team time trial Stage 5, held between Cockermouth and Whinlatter in Cumbria. The Dutch squad completed the 14-kilometer course, which included the climb of Whinlatter from its western approach, in 19:37, 16 seconds faster than nearest challengers Quick-Step Floors.

Roglic – who placed fourth in this year’s Tour de France – started the day just 16 seconds behind former race leader Patrick Bevin, whose BMC Racing Team could only place fifth on the stage. Roglic leads Quick-Step Floors duo Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels by six and 16 seconds respectively, with Bevin dropping to fourth, 24 seconds in arrears.

Team Sky finished fourth on the day, which leaves Dutchman and three-time stage winner in the race Wout Poels fifth overall, 26 seconds down. Roglic is seeking to become the second Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider in as many years to win the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, after team-mate Lars Boom claimed the overall title in 2017. With no primes along the route, André Griepel (Lotto Soudal), Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Matt Holmes (Madison Genesis) retain their leads in the Wahoo Points, SKODA King of the Mountains and Eisberg Sprints competitions respectively. Welshman Scott Davies has overtaken Hugh Carthy (EF Education First-Drapac) atop the Adnams Best British Rider classification after Team Dimension Data beat the American-registered team by 22 seconds.

Overall leader, Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo): “We are all very happy. It is a very special moment for us as a team. Taking the overall lead was not the goal. We wanted to do a very good team time trial. We never thought we could win, but we succeeded. Now that we have the jersey, we are definitely going to defend it. The team is very strong. And this is a very nice victory.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 5 Result:
1. LottoNl-Jumbo in 19:37
2. Quick-Step Floors at 0:16
3. Katusha-Alpecin at 0:20
4. Sky at 0:26
5. Movistar at 0:36
6. BMC at 0:38
7. Mitchelton-Scott at 0:54
8. Sunweb at 1:06
9. Direct Énergie at 1:10
10. Great Britain at 1:18.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 5:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo in 15:45:04
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:06
3. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:16
4. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC at 0:24
5. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:26
6. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:34
7. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:36
8. Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:37
9. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo
10. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:42.

Stage 5:

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) moved into the OVO Energy Tour of Britain race lead with two stages remaining after finishing second behind Sky’s Wout Poels at Whinlatter on Friday’s Stage 6.

The Quick-Step Floors rider, making his debut in the race, produced an aggressive display on the climb up to the Forestry Commission’s Visitor Centre in Cumbria to distance overnight leader Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and edge closer to the overall victory.

Dutchman Poels, who had earlier been distanced on the lower slopes of the climb after Alaphilippe’s team-mate Bob Jungels sacrificed his GC chances by kick-starting a flurry of attacks, has now the OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s last three hill-top finishes (Hartside Pass in 2015 and Haytor two years ago).

The race’s second day in Cumbria, presented by BAE Systems, was dramatic from the off as crosswinds split the peloton on the roads leaving the stage start in Barrow-in-Furness.

Although the majority of GC contenders made it into the front group, Stage Two winner Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) and SKODA King of the Mountains leader Nic Dlamini (Dimension Data) were among those caught out on the wrong side of the split before the groups rejoined after the day’s first Eisberg Sprint at Ulverston.

Quick-Step Floors’ desire to dislodge Roglic from the OVO Energy Green Jersey was evident here, as Alaphilippe and Jungels were first across the line at the prime, cutting their overnight deficits to the LottoNL-Jumbo rider to three and 14 seconds respectively.

A four-man breakaway, including former world time trial champions Tony Martin (Katusha-Merida) and Vasil Kiryienka (Sky), went clear shortly after and were only caught at the start of the second ascent of Whinlatter with 3.5 kilometers remaining.

British champion Connor Swift was also among the quartet (he claimed the day’s bonus MacRebur Prime in Broughton Moor) as British team Madison Genesis went on the offensive. His team-mate Matt Holmes, the current Eisberg Sprints competition leader, tried to dislodge Dlamini from the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey but was followed across the line at the first four summits by the South African.

As soon as the peloton reeled in the quartet on the lower slopes of Whinlatter, Jungels immediately went on the attack, producing an acceleration that only a handful of riders could follow.

Briton Hugh Carthy (EF Education First-Drapac) was among them and successive attacks from him and Alaphilippe resulted in Roglic being dramatically distanced.

While the race leader was going backwards, Poels managed to bridge across to the two up front before sprinting to take the win. Alaphilippe crossed the line two seconds down, with Carthy securing third.

Roglic finished almost half a minute behind the stage winner, but sits third overall behind Alaphilippe and Poels.

Former race leader Patrick Bevin (BMC) continues to lead the Wahoo Points Jersey, while Dlamini is close to securing the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey, with only a maximum of nine points up for grabs. Holmes will wear the Eisberg Sprints Jersey during Stage Seven on Saturday.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Wout Poels (Sky): “I’m really happy with that victory. I’ve done the Tour of Britain four times and each time I’ve won a stage, with three of them uphill. That’s not a bad average! [Positioning] was really important as it was getting quite narrow there and the team did a very good job of putting me in the front, and it’s especially good if you can finish it off. Jungels went really fast which was a little bit fast too for me. I couldn’t do that the whole climb, so I had to pace myself a bit and try to take him back at the end and do a good sprint. It’s really nice to [move up on GC]. It’s going to be a hard fight now, with no more finishes uphill – everything is flat, but you never know so we’ll keep trying.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step floors): “First of all, I want to thank to all my teammates, who were once again fantastic and fought hard for me! They protected me today and did a great job on what was a very tough and hectic stage right from the start. The plan was to take the green jersey and having succeeded gives me immense joy. I knew the final climb was the only place where I could make the difference, and that’s why we had Bob – who is like a brother to me – take the front and set that fierce tempo which immediately created some significant gaps. I was thinking only of the GC, so I gave everything on this hard finale until the last meter, and seeing that our tactic and amazing job paid dividends makes me proud of the entire team.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 6 Result:
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky in 4:01:51
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:02
3. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:12
4. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie at 0:21
5. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC
6. Tom Pidcock (GB) Team Wiggins
7. Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Max Stedman (GB) Canyon-Eisberg
10. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 6:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 19:46:54
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:17
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:33
4. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC at 0:46
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:51
6. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:58
7. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:10
8. Dmitry Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:24
9. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb at 1:28
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:35.

Stage 6:

After team-mate Wout Poels won atop Whinlatter on Friday, Sky’s Ian Stannard produced a brilliant individual performance to solo to victory in Mansfield during the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain’s Stage 7 in Nottinghamshire on Saturday.

Stannard instigated the day’s five-man breakaway, which went clear after the first SKODA King of the Mountains climb at Keyworth – located 20 kilometers after the race’s longest stage departed from West Bridgford – before eventually going solo with 16 kilometers remaining.

The 31-year-old Briton last won a stage of the race in 2016, when he also soloed to glory in Tatton Park, Knutsford. This time he was time chased hard by Katusha-Alpecin’s Nils Politt, who kept him at arm’s length until the final run in to the line.

Quick-Step Floors rider Julian Alaphilippe finished safely within the peloton to all-but claim the overall title with a largely ceremonial stage in London awaiting the peloton on Sunday.

Undeterred by the 215.6km that comprised this year’s Nottinghamshire stage, on a route that took in all seven districts and boroughs in the county, the attacks went from the gun once again – including four from Politt in the opening 10 kilometers.

The day’s winning break proved to be fruitful for more than just Stannard, as Canyon Eisberg’s Alex Paton was able to claim maximum points at all three Eisberg Sprints – located in Retford, Worksop and Bilsthorpe – to take over the lead in that classification from Madison Genesis rider Matt Holmes. Paton has a four-point gap over Holmes with a maximum of nine up for grabs in London on Sunday.

Furthermore, with Stannard, Politt, Holmes, fellow Briton Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Bardiani-CSF’s Giovanni Carboni not figuring in the SKODA King of the Mountains competition, all Team Dimension Data’s Nic Dlamini needs to do now to win that jersey in complete the race in the capital on Sunday.

The break gained a maximum advantage of nearly nine minutes, a gap that reduced to around four as the race passed through Newstead Abbey with 40 kilometers remaining. Yet the decision of Alaphilippe’s Quick-Step Floors team to end the chase effectively decided the outcome of the stage.

Paton dropped back after the final Eisberg Sprint to conserve energy, and McNally began to struggle as Stannard launched his first big attack approaching Ashfield. Politt managed to follow this acceleration, and several others, before the Briton broke the German rider’s resistance in Kirkby in Ashfield. The Team Sky rider then stayed clear until the finish, notably increasing his gap in the final kilometers from 10 seconds to nearly a minute, to claim a memorable victory.

Behind, ONE Pro Cycling’s Emils Liepins won the bunch sprint for fifth, just over four minutes after Stannard crossed the line on Chesterfield Road South. Kiwi Patrick Bevin (BMC) placed sixth to mean he’s now uncatchable in the Wahoo Points Jersey.

Stage winner, Ian Stannard (Sky): “It was always pretty close with Pollit, seven or eight seconds or so, and it was getting tough. Luckily there were a few little kicks towards the end so I managed to put a bit more into the gap. When I got into the break today I was pretty confident – I looked at the other guys, how they were riding all day and I knew that I had the edge.”

Overall leader, Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors): “I can’t say the race is won, not until we reach the finish in London. I’m glad this is over. It was a long and difficult day, and the team had to work hard through the whole day to keep a lid on things.”

Scott Davies (Dimension Data): “Today was the longest day of the tour so far and we just had to be sure of the KoM jersey, we played that one well tactically and Nic (Dlamini) secured that win which we did, which was great. It was quite a long day and obviously the weather wasn’t that great. There was quite a strong break up the road there and Quick-Step Floors let the break go to the finish and I’ve retained my 12th place on GC and remain best British rider.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 7 Result:
1. Ian Stannard (GB) Sky in 4:56:27
2. Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:59
3. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 3:09
4. Mark McNally (GB) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 3:54
5. Emils Liepins (Lat) ONE Pro Cycling at 4:04
6. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC
7. Ethan Hayter (GB) Great Britain
8. Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
9. Andrew Tennant (GB) Canyon-Eisberg
10. Nils Eekhoff (Ned) Sunweb.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Overall After Stage 7:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 24:47:25
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:17
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:33
4. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC at 0:46
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:51
6. Jasha Sutterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:58
7. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:10
8. Dmitry Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:24
9. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb at 1:28
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:35.

Stage 7:

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) was crowned the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain in London on Sunday as Mitchelton-Scott’s Caleb Ewan won the Final Stage 8 on Regent Street St James. Ewan, who claimed the stage victory in Central London the last time the race finished there in 2016, out-sprinted Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) and André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) at the end of a frantic 77-kilometer stage.

Alaphilippe finished safely in the peloton to win the race and crown a memorable OVO Energy Tour of Britain debut. Team Sky’s Wout Poels, winner of Friday’s Queen stage from Barrow-in-Furness to Whinlatter in Cumbria, finished second overall, with former OVO Energy Green Jersey leader Primoz Roglic completing the podium in third.

Patrick Bevin (BMC), who placed fourth overall, won the Wahoo Points Jersey, while Team Dimension Data’s Nic Dlamini finished the stage untroubled to secure the SKODA King of the Mountains Jersey. The one competition left unresolved at the start of the day, the Eisberg Sprints Jersey, contributed to a thrilling subplot to Stage Eight. Overnight leader Canyon Eisberg’s Alex Paton claimed the jersey after a thrilling battle with nearest challenger Matt Holmes.

Holmes’ Madison Genesis team were continuously on the attack in an attempt to dislodge Paton. The opening lap saw British road race champion Connor Swift break clear with American Taylor Phinney (EF Education First-Drapac), a move that Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas bridged across to before it was shut down. His team-mate and six-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome also got involved in the action, forming part of a short-lived escape with Holmes, Swift and decorated Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie).

The longest breakaway attempt of the day saw another Sky rider, Belarusian and former world time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka ride solo around Piccadilly, Haymarket, the Strand and Whitehall for around 25 kilometers. By that point, Holmes had reduced the gap in the Eisberg Sprints competition to just three points approaching the final prime with 12 kilometers to go, and attacked from the peloton in pursuit on crossing the line first to level the scores, a move that ended Kiryienka’s time out front. However Paton managed to shut down this attack down and went past him to take maximum points; an acceleration that was followed by a sporting handshake between the pair.

The sprinters’ teams then successfully controlled the closing kilometers to set up the much-anticipated bunch sprint on the uphill finish line on Regent Street. Ewan rounded the final corner in the wheel of André Greipel, winner of Stages One and Four already this week, and got the better of all of his rivals to claim an emotional victory. The 24-year-old Australian will not race again for Mitchelton-SCOTT, the team he turned professional with in 2015, before leaving for the Belgian Lotto Soudal squad next season.

Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott): “This year hasn’t been great for me so I really wanted to finish off with a good result. I was so motivated to win this stage and I am just happy I had the strength and legs in the end. It was really hectic in the end and I was just lucky my team put me in perfect position. Not many guys had lead-outs in the end, I could pick the wheels that I wanted to be on and I had a really good run to the line and I felt really good as well. To finish off with a win means a lot to me and it gives me a bit of confidence.”

Overall winner, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “It’s always a nice feeling to win a race, especially the overall. This season has been fantastic so far and I’m happy to add one more success to my palmarès, a victory which wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates’ fantastic support. I am proud of them and I want to say a big thank you for their help and the way they protected me throughout the week. To be quite sincere, I was surprised by my shape, because after the Tour de France I rode only San Sebastian and a couple of criteriums, so to see that I have such a good condition gives me a big boost of confidence for the remaining of the season and the next important races on my calendar: Tour de Slovaquie, the World Championships and Il Lombardia.”

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Stage 8:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 1:38:33
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
5. Ethan Hayter (GB) Great Britian
6. Dion Smith (NZ) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC
8. Nils Eekhoff (Lux) Sunweb
9. Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
10. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC.

OVO Energy Tour of Britain Final Overall Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 26:25:58
2. Wout Poels (Ned) Sky at 0:17
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:33
4. Patrick Bevin (NZ) BMC at 0:42
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 0:51
6. Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar at 0:58
7. Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:10
8. Dmitry Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 1:21
9. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Sunweb at 1:28
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 1:34.

Final stage 8:

Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec 2018
Sunweb’s Michael Matthews has taken his first one-day WorldTour victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, timing his finishing sprint to perfection after a strong display of teamwork in Canada.

Almost immediately after the drop of the start flag, a five-man group managed to form a breakaway, and after only 25km of racing, they had build up an advantage of over 6:30. The break included Rob Britton (Rally), Bruno Langlois and Alex Cataford (Team Canada), Guy Sagiv (Isreal Cycling Academy) and Nicolas Dougall (Dimension Data). The peloton, which was predominantly led by BMC and Sunweb, set a moderate tempo and was not in any particular hurry to reel the quintet back in. The main field gave the break considerable distance, and so the gap remained quite steady during the first eight laps. As the teams of the favorites took an increased interest in closing the gap, the advantage of the break began to sink. With about 30km left, the race saw a series of attacks, at which point Peter Kennaugh attempted to bridge to the breakaway, which had been reduced to two riders. He was eventually able to make the junction on the penultimate lap. After a few kilometers he distanced himself from his two breakaway companions, and managed to carve out an advantage of 20 seconds with 15km remaining. Back in the main field, several riders took up the chase. Ultimately with around 400m to the finish he was caught by the chasing field. It all came down to a mass sprint, which was taken out by Matthews. As a result of his efforts and impressive solo attack, Peter Kennaugh also took home the mountains classification.

Race winner, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “Wow, I’m super happy with the day I had, it really was a good day out today. The boys supported me really well throughout the day, and I’m just super happy that I could finish it off for them with a really strong sprint at the end.”

2nd, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “It’s frustrating to get second again, especially because I was second to Peter Sagan the last two years and last year I beat Michael Matthews so this year, I was hoping to win. Matthews was really strong in the sprint. It’s always frustrating to get second because you come here to win and when you are second three times in a row, you can’t be really satisfied. The positive is that the parcours suits me and I’m always good at the race, but there always seems to be someone who is a bit faster than me in this finish. It was a long sprint but on this kind of sprint, it’s more about the legs than the timing. There was a headwind but if you are waiting too late, you can be boxed in. So sometimes it’s better to give it a go earlier. It’s always super hard. Matthews came over me pretty fast and kept the speed until the end so he deserves it. I’m happy with my legs. I had good feelings. You always need to get into the rhythm after a period of not racing, but I was really happy with how my legs were responding the whole day and I felt pretty fresh in the last few laps. The race has changed in the last few years. There is less attacking and everyone is more focused on the sprint which suits me. I’m looking forward to Sunday’s race in Montreal. It is a harder parcours but it’s also one that suits me. The climbers are more favored there and there is definitely the possibility to avoid a bunch sprint. It’s a really hard climb and a very different race to the race here in Quebec. I’m hoping for a more open race. I think here in Quebec there are only about five riders who have a good shot at winning, but in Montreal there are many more.”

KOM, Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe): “On the penultimate lap, I launched an attack with a few other riders and I managed to bridge the gap to the leading group. I didn’t think I had a very strong chance against riders like Matthews and Van Avermaet in the sprint, so I decided to put in a solo attack. I was actually a bit surprised how long I lasted at the front of the race. But this also shows me that I have good legs and that gives me confidence for the race on Sunday. We pulled off some good teamwork today. Christoph [Pfingsten] and Felix [Großschartner] supported me the whole day and in the end Patrick [Konrad] took fifth place, which is a solid achievement.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 5:04:17
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
4. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
6. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
7. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Michael Valgren (Den) Astana
10. Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ.


Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal 2018
Having finished fourth in 2016, and eighth last season, and following Friday’s win, Michael went into the race in Montréal again as one of the favorites. Thanks to hard work throughout the race by his Team Sunweb teammates, Michael was able to finish off the job with another big sprint.

The race got underway with a five rider break moving clear to spend much of the race out front. Their escape grew to 5:45 at most, under the close watch of the peloton lead by Team Sunweb, and firstly Tom Stamsnijder.

The team continued to pick up the chase, shouldering the work of the peloton for much of the day in an effort to once again set Michael up for the finish. Their work paid off and in the final 20km the break was in touching distance, sparking attacks from the bunch.

As the kms ticked past, riders tried their luck off the front by with just four kilometers to race all was back together at the front. From here it was about positioning Michael and keeping the attacks at bay, and come the finishing straight Michael opened up his sprint and once again took a convincing win, his second WorldTour win in three days.

Race winner, Michael Matthews (Sunweb): “Wow! What can I say, I really have no words. I just can’t thank the team enough for believing in me though out this really hard year, and again the boys today were amazing. It wouldn’t have been possible without such a strong team around me, so I can’t thank them enough.”

2nd, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida): “Too bad that Matthews overcame me with only 20 meters to go. I speeded up from far away. Let me thank to all guys of my team, the boys were very strong today. Anyway it’s a good second place.”

3rd, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC): “The team did great work so I’m just a bit frustrated that I had to stop my sprint with 100 meters to go because Matthews came from the right side to the left to get into the slipstream of Colbrelli, where I was, so I had to stop my sprint. I gave everything and Colbrelli went from far so he slowed down, so I think if I could have kept on sprinting then I could have also been second or first. That’s frustrating because you do the whole race waiting for the sprint and when you can’t give it all then it’s disappointing. It was a super hard race and I think we did a good job to control the race and make it favorable for a sprint. Everything was basically perfect until the last hundred meters. I’m not going to say I would have definitely won but I think second was possible and maybe the win. I can have a long sprint and with the headwind I think it would have been possible to pass Colbrelli, like Matthews did. I still need to do some work to get ready for the Worlds because the parcours is different. My head was in these races so from tomorrow I start to think about the worlds.”

4th, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “The team was super strong and I felt good too, I thought it was going to be a sprint and I focused on that. Alexis Vuillermoz put me a great position going into the corner. I took Colbrelli’s wheel. I hoped he was going to die before the line but he ended up being very strong. So I was beaten by the top three riders in the race. I am satisfied with my performance. For me, the season is now practically over.”

9th, Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This year, with an additional climb ahead of the finish, the course was harder than in previous years, and that suited us. We tried to make the race hard with an earlier attack by Gregor Mühlberger. In the end, a larger group than expected came to the sprint finish. The 180 degree turn 500m ahead of the finish meant that the riders had to take some risks to get into a good position for the sprint. I was almost able to achieve this, but in the end didn’t quite have an optimal position. I was too far back and ended up finishing in ninth position.”

Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb in 5:19:27
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
4. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Timo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
6. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
8. Michael Valgren (Den) Astana
9. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data.


David Millar Stands for Pro Riders’ Union President
Promises ‘Peloton First’ approach as CPA President to give riders a powerful voice in the sport.

Former professional cyclist and respected media figure David Millar announced today that he will run for election to the Presidency of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the international pro riders’ union recognized by the UCI.

Millar’s objective is to ensure that professional riders – the most important people in the sport – have the voice they deserve. A decorated rider who wore the Leader’s Jersey in all three Grand Tours, Millar understands the peloton better than most. His 18-year career in the saddle returned an enviable palmarès, and a transformative learning experience during and following his ban; a depth of experience that can benefit today’s and tomorrow’s riders.

While cycling is growing and evolving, Millar is concerned that it’s the riders whose wellbeing and rights aren’t always keeping pace with the commercial development of the sport he loves. Millar feels he can represent riders best as the head of their only officially recognized union, following the election in late September.

“Cycling is the most beautiful sport in the world, and the racers are the most important part of all,” says Millar. “Since 1999 the CPA has represented riders’ rights – it is recognized by the UCI and the teams association, the AIGCP. Its role in the sport is crucial, but there is clearly much more it can do for the benefit of its constituents. It is time for riders to take their rightful seat at the governance table and play a meaningful role in deciding the rules of their game, and how their sport grows.”

“During my career and since my retirement as a rider, I have represented athletes at WADA, national anti-doping organizations, the UCI, and at CPA meetings. After discussions with riders of all nationalities in the peloton I know there is a demand – and now an opportunity – to make the CPA a vibrant, positive force going forwards,” continues Millar. “My mission is to make the peloton the most solid and respected part of professional cycling because it’s the racers that matter. They deserve to be looked after and protected and, above all, educated.”

The election will take place at the CPA General Assembly meeting on 27 September, in Innsbruck during the UCI Road World Championships. While the CPA is yet to make public the procedure for voting to elect the next President, creating a transparency of process and atmosphere of fairness throughout the CPA is part of David Millar’s vision for the union’s future.

For more information on Millar’s manifesto and reasons for standing, visit www.millarforcpa.com

Geraint Thomas Agrees New Team Sky Deal
Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has agreed a new deal with Team Sky. The 32-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Team, extending his stay until the end of the 2021 season.

Speaking exclusively to TeamSky.com in the wake of agreeing his new deal, a delighted Thomas said: “I’m pleased it’s sorted – and delighted to be staying with the team. It’s been a great journey for me with Team Sky and obviously the last few months have been crazy. It’s working really well for me here and I’m excited about what’s still to come.”

Having joined the Team in 2010, Thomas has been a mainstay ever since, and admits he ‘feels at home’ with Team Sky. “It really is one big happy family where my relationship with Team Sky is concerned, so I couldn’t be more delighted,” he said. “I feel at home with the Team. I’ve known Dave (Brailsford), Rod (Ellingworth) and Fran (Millar) for years, since I was 17, so it’s great that I’ll be continuing to work alongside those guys and the rest of the Team.”

Upon signing his new deal, Thomas was keen to pay tribute to the Team Sky fans, who have backed him ‘every step of the way’ in his time with the Team. “From when I first started this journey in 2010, the Team Sky fans have been amazing with me,” he said. “Their support has been phenomenal and grows year by year – they’re the best supporters around. I can’t speak highly enough of them – both in terms of their support when we’re on the road and via social media. They’ve backed me every step of the way and it’s massively appreciated.”

2018 has been Thomas’ finest season to date – winning the prestigious Critérium du Dauphiné in June, and then taking the victory in the Tour de France. In doing so he became the first Welshman to win the event and only the third British rider after Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

Team Sky Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, believes Thomas will continue to go from strength-to-strength with the Team over the coming years, adding: “What Geraint has achieved with this team is nothing short of remarkable. It’s a brilliant story. He’s been with us since the start of our journey and he’s continued to develop and improve year-after-year. He’s worked tirelessly for such a long time to improve. He’s made sacrifices to get to the top of the sport – and it’s all proved to be worth it. He’s never looked too far ahead. He’s always had his goals. His first road goals were geared towards the Classics, where he performed very well and got some great results. Then he decided to shift towards being a Grand Tour rider. He did the week-long stage races and then stepped up towards Grand Tours in support of the other guys. Winning the Dauphiné earlier this year gave him the belief and determination that he could win the Tour de France and it’s all credit to him. He just keeps on improving through commitment and hard work and now he’s at the very top table as a Tour de France winner. He’s achieved his dream of winning the Tour, but there’s so much more ahead for him. He has the pride, passion and commitment to continue to go from strength-to-strength and we’re delighted that it’ll be with us.”

Tour winner Geraint Thomas:

Lotto Soudal Welcomes Scandinavian Talents Iversen and Hagen
The Dane Rasmus Byriel Iversen and Norwegian Carl Fredrik Hagen will join the Lotto Soudal WorldTour team in 2019. The 20-year-old Iversen moves from the U23 team of General Store Bottoli and was able to win no less than seven races this season. The 26-year-old Hagen started out as a professional road cyclist at a later age, but already set some big steps forward over the past four years. The two talented Scandinavians are delighted to reinforce the Lotto Soudal team in the next seasons and are looking forward to chasing their dreams.

Rasmus Byriel Iversen (20): “I’m very happy to become part of Lotto Soudal! Every cyclist hopes to join a WorldTour team someday and now, this dream has become a reality for me. During my first year as a U23 rider I was part of the Danish development team Giant-Castelli. When the team quit in 2017, I moved to Italy, where I was able to break through as a young rider. This season I won seven races, of which two time trials. I’m a good time trialist, but it’s definitely not my specialization. If you have a lot of power, you’re most likely to be good at TT’s. Though, the more Classic races suit me better. I once finished in the top ten in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne as a junior. Belgium is definitely a special place for every cyclist and I love riding there. The way of racing appeals to me, just like the typical weather conditions do: I really enjoy racing in the rain.”

“I already won a race in 2017, but that wasn’t comparable to my victories of this year. The biggest race I’ve won so far, is probably the one in Tuscany. It’s a smaller version of the Strade Bianche, which Tiesj Benoot won this year. In Denmark, we have many gravel roads, so I used to train on them quite often. During the race, I attacked on such a road near Siena and did a solo of 60 kilometers till the finish line. Gravel roads have always been special to me, so I had been dreaming of this victory for quite some time. It’s also nice to know that many cyclists who now ride for WorldTour teams, like Gianni Moscon, also won the exact same race in the past. It’s a dream to one day win the Strade Bianche myself, so I’m looking forward to learning a lot from Tiesj Benoot.”

“I don’t know yet which role I’ll have within the team, but of course, I’ll do as I’m told: if I can help the team by pulling at the front for 100 kilometers, I’ll be happy to do so. Will I get the opportunity to take my chance in the future? Then I’ll do my very best to achieve the best result possible. Right now, the most important thing for me is to help the team and gain a lot of experience. It will be a whole new chapter and an entire new way of racing. It’s very exciting and I’m really looking forward to next season.”

Carl Fredrik Hagen (26): “It all went pretty fast for me. Four years ago, I was able to start at Team Sparebanken Sør and now I’m riding my second season with Joker Icopal. The two seasons before I started out on the road, I was a mountain biker, but the possibilities to practice this discipline of cycling at a high level are limited in Norway. Besides, I’ve always dreamt of becoming a professional road cyclist. At the age of 22 I switched to the road and improved myself quickly. Four years ago, I never would’ve dreamt to join a WorldTour team like Lotto Soudal!”

“In 2017, I was able to win the queen stage of the Tour Alsace and this season I achieved some solid results with, amongst other, the overall victory in the Tour du Jura – the first time I’ve ever concluded a stage race ending first in the GC. This year’s Tour of Norway was also very special for me as the level was really high. There were many WorldTour teams at the start and I still managed to secure a top 5-place in the overall standings at the end. I like the somewhat harder races with tough ascents, short as well as longer ones. Stage races with a difficult course are races suited to my capabilities as a puncher. It’s my dream to become a rider at a high level in stage races and I hope to be at the start of one of the three Grand Tours someday.”

“But right now, I want to help the other riders at Lotto Soudal as much as I can and help the team in achieving solid results. I’m really grateful to be given this opportunity, so I will give my all for the team. I realize that I still need to learn a lot, but I’m a quick learner and I hope to keep making progression. This month I’ll be riding some races in Belgium before my seasons ends. A while ago, I participated in a 1.1 race in Overijse and I really liked it! After this month I’ll take some time off, maybe do some trails with my mountain bike and then return to riding my road bike quite fast to maintain the strength in my legs. I’m probably one of the riders who trains the most in Norway, which might explain my fast progression. I’m just really motivated to challenge and push myself. Of course, I’ll be taking it one step at a time, but I can’t wait till the start of next season. I really want to start 2019 in the best shape I’ve ever had!”

Rasmus Byriel Iversen:

Kazakhstan ITT Champion Daniil Fominykh stays with Astana
The current National ITT Champion of Kazakhstan Daniil Fominykh renewed his contract with Astana Pro Team for the next 2019 season.

“I want to thank the whole Astana Team management and, in particular, our GM Alexandr Vinokurov for a new proposal and the trust in me. I am so happy to extend my contract with such a friendly and purposeful team as Astana is. In the new season I will keep on developing as a rider and will do my best to help the team to reach new big victories and to continue considering one of the strongest cycling teams around the world,” said Daniil Fominykh.

Daniil Fominykh (27) is spending his fifth season for Astana Pro Team. This year for the second time in his career he won the individual time trial title at the Kazakhstan National Championships. As a strong helper to team’s leaders, Daniil did a set of very strong races as the Dubai Tour, Tour of Croatia, Tour of Austria and the Arctic Race of Norway. Recently, as a member of the National Team of Kazakhstan Fominykh helped Alexey Lutsenko to win the gold medal at the Asian Games.

“Daniil Fominykh is demonstrating some good progress during the current season, both, in time trials and in the mountains. If we talk on the last few months, besides the Kazakhstan Championships, Daniil on a high level did the races in Austria and Norway, successful for our team. Besides, he made a great contribution to a big success of the whole team – the gold medal of Alexey Lutsenko at the Asian Games. In Astana Fominykh is doing an important team’s work, but I think, in the upcoming season he could put some personal goals ahead of him and to try to reach it,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

Daniil Fominykh:

Abi Van Twisk Signs With Trek
Trek has added British cyclist Abi Van Twisk, 21, to its roster for 2019, a young up-and-coming talent that moves over from the Trek-Drops team. Abi has been part of the Drops program since 2016, and after spending three years with the UK-based squad is ready to make the next big step in her development by joining the new Trek outfit – a team that has already signed Lizzie Deignan, Elisa Longo Borghini, Ruth Winder, and Lotta Lepistö and, as directors, Ina Teutenberg and Giorgia Bronzini, with more exciting announcements yet to come.

Abi’s palmarès is still a blank slate. She has yet to reveal her talent in results, a fourth place, albeit against some big-named sprinters, her only placing this year, coming in stage four at the Santos Tour Down Under. After a strong start to the year, Abi endured a rough spell with a few crashes upending her season, the worst when she fell hard in the Tour of Britain and sustained a severe concussion.

She is a savvy rider for her young years with a quick jump and exceptional bike handling skills. For now, Abi is paying her dues in the pro peloton, working in domestique duties as she further develops, but with such raw, untapped potential, she is destined to be a top rider in the future.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Trek Factory Racing in 2019 and working with some of the best women in the sport,” said Van Twisk. “I have ridden Trek bikes over the past three years, and I am thrilled to continue my involvement with the brand and make the step up to a fully-owned Trek women’s team.”

“With such an impressive, highly professional, and ambitious setup, I know it will be the best environment for me to develop and learn more from the world-class athletes and staff surrounding me. I cannot wait for this team to hit the scene with a bang and to see what we can achieve!”

In June, Abi was part of Trek’s global marketing campaign for the all-new Trek Madone that also featured Trek-Segafredo rider Tsgabu Grmay. While she may not have any podiums to her name – yet – Abi is already highlighted in Trek stores worldwide!

Abi Van Twisk:

Muñoz Joins UAE Team Emirates, Also Confirms the Valuable Troia
There has been an acquisition and a renewal at UAE Team Emirates; both moves are intended to emphasize talent and youth.

The Emirati team announces the hiring of Colombian rider Cristian Camilo Muñoz Lancheros, a climber born in Ventaquemada in 1996.

Cristian Munoz

Muñoz stepped into the limelight by giving consistent performances in international competitions, winning a stage in the Giro d’Italia Under 23 (8th stage, Levico Terme-Asiago) and maintaining the lead positions in the peloton along the climbs in the Tour de l’Avenir, à race that was won by his future team mate, Pogacar.

After signing a two year contract, Muñoz expressed his satisfaction. “I’m very happy for this chance to take a next step that will be essential for my career and I am even prouder that I get to do this thanks to UAE Team Emirates, one of the best teams in the world. 
I’ve been dreaming of becoming a pro since I was a kid; now I have the chance to enjoy the results of all the work I’ve done to make that dream come true. 
I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout these years and I say thank you to UAE Team Emirates for the faith they’ve shown and the opportunity they’ve given me.”

Oliviero Troia has spent his first two years as a professional with UAE Team Emirates, making a good impression for his strength, commitment and a great attitude when it comes to supporting the team, as well as a certain enterprising attitude. Now he has reached a deal with UAE Team Emirates to renew his contract for the 2019 and 2020 seasons as well.

The twenty four year old Italian can still grow competitively, also fine tuning his skills in the Northern Classics.

“Thanks to the entire team and staff for this renewal; it’s nice to know that I can count on you having faith in me,” said Troia. “The first two years as a pro have been fantastic. I hope I can still give my all in support of the team and – why not? – score some wins.”

Oliviero Troia with Giuseppe Saronni:

Tayler Wiles Moves from Trek-Drops to Trek Factory Racing
American Tayler Wiles is moving across to the UCI Trek Factory Racing women’s road team after one season with Trek-Drops, adding more depth to the new team that is shaping up to be a great mixture of youth and experience.

Tayler, 29, began her professional career in 2011 with Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12, and since has ridden for Specialized Lululemon (2013-2014), Velocio-SRAM (2015), Orica-AIS (2016), and UnitedHealthcare (2017) before joining Trek-Drops this year.

A strong all-rounder, Tayler is especially adept in the time trial, which has helped net her overall victories in the Tour of New Zealand (2015), Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche (2015), and the Tour of the Gila (2017) as well as finishing second in La Route de France (2016). She won stage five and the mountains classification at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour last year, finishing up in a respectable fifth place overall.

This season Tayler led the young Trek-Drops team and finished second overall at the Tour of California and narrowly missed taking a stage win in Giro d’Italia Femminile, beaten to the line in a three-up sprint by compatriot and former teammate Ruth Winder (Sunweb), who will also be joining Tayler next year on Trek Factory Racing.

And recently Tayler raced to a solid fourth overall in the Boels Ladies Tour after a strong time trial in the final stage launched her in the standings from 16th place.

While Tayler’s palmarès are already impressive, she has even bigger goals set, including making the USA Olympic team in 2020.

Wiles: “I am incredibly excited about signing with Trek Factory Racing for 2019-2020! I loved working closely with Trek this year because it truly feels like a close-knit community and that is something very unique and special about the company. The huge steps they continue to take to support women’s cycling I believe will pave the way for the future of our sport. I am really proud to be a part of that movement and a member of such a power-packed team. We have an amazing roster and will be directed by two absolute legends of the sport, so I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!”

Tayler Wiles joins Lizzie Deignan, 29, (GBR), Elisa Longo Borghini, 26,( ITA), Lotta Lepistö, 29, (FIN), Ruth Winder, 25, (USA), Lauretta Hanson, 23, (AUS), Abi Van Twisk, 21, (GBR), and sport directors Ina Teutenberg (GER) and Giorgia Bronzini (ITA).

Additional members of the roster will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Tayler Wiles:

Mitchelton-Scott – Vuelta Stage 15
“We had one last mountain stage to conquer before enjoying the second rest day tomorrow. Take a look back at the showdown between the main favorites on the final climb of stage 15.”

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