EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!
Will we see racing in the Low-Countries before September? – Top Story. A ton of other cycling news: Astana win the Virtual Giro d’Italia, Copenhagen Tour ’21 start, no Vuelta in Portugal, Vuelta teams, no British Women’s Tour, Mavic in trouble, Van Avermaet on survival, Nibali misses the Giro, Bernal 100% Tour, Yates season unsure, Bardet to ride Classics, Tinkov ill, Van der Poel optimistic, Valverde 2020 season, Contador on Evenepoel, women’s Paris-Roubaix, Pogačar renews, Van der Breggen and Blaak Sport Directors, Visconti unhappy with drivers, Museeuw talks Boonen, Team Novo Nordisk returns to racing, Colorado Classic riders go solo and ‘You Are the Giro d’Italia’ video. Stay healthy.
TOP STORY: No Major Events in The Netherlands Without a Vaccine
It may take a while before major international cycling races can be organised in the Netherlands again. According to RTL News, major events will continue to be banned until a vaccine against the coronavirus is available. The cabinet thinks that without a vaccine, the risk of a massive spread of the new virus is too great. “We hope of course soon, but a year or more is very real,” Hugo de Jonge, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport said to the House of Representatives.
Quite a few strict measures against this spread are now slowly easing, but organisers of mass events such as music festivals and sports competitions have still to be patient. Races such as the Amstel Gold Race, BinckBank Tour and ZLM Tour are therefore again uncertain. Whether these measures also affect smaller and national competitions is not yet known. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister De Jonge announced yesterday at a press conference that sports competitions may resume from 1 September, but without an audience. One thing to remember is that not all cycling races are “major events”.
Meanwhile in Belgium: Flemish Minister of Sport has a Roadmap for Restarting the Competition
Minister of Sport Ben Weyts has a detailed plan ready for the restart of events in Flanders. He will submit this as advice to the National Security Council. In addition, events without the public would be possible from 1 August, with a public from 1 September.
“No sports competitions in Belgium until the end of July,” said Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès at the National Security Council. Flemish Minister for Sport, Weyts, has worked out an advice plan with the region and its provincial colleagues, as he explained in the radio program De morgen.
Sports activities for under 12s without spectators would be possible in the open air from 18 May. At the same time, adults in a limited group (up to 20 people) should be allowed to exercise outdoors, subject to distance measures.
The second step is before June 1. Individual indoor physical activities would then be possible with up to two partners. Two weeks later, a limited group can enter (maximum 20 people), excluding competitions outside training. For races (including cycling races), it is then a month longer to wait. From August 1, sporting events with a limited number of participants could be held. Events with audience from September 1.
“But we have to keep going,” Weyts added. “Because the experts are very reluctant. And it is also right that they are concerned, that is their job. They must protect us from ourselves.” The minister emphasises that this is only an advice for the time being: “It is a very step-by-step plan. This currently lies with the experts of the GEES (the strategy group). Apparently they weren’t sure whether they would go along with that yesterday.”
Will we see the peloton and the windmills this year?
Astana Pro Team wins the first edition of the Giro d’Italia Virtual 2020
The Kazakh team wins the first edition of the Giro d’Italia Virtual. After seven stages Astana Pro Team finished the race with two stage wins as well as three second and third places and a lead of 49:57 minutes. The Kazakh team got the virtual Maglia Rosa on day one and were able to retain it until the final stage.
From the 18th of April until the 9th of May, every Wednesday and Saturday, the riders fought virtually at the “Giro Virtual” for the Maglia Rosa. Every stage of the seven stages were the final parts of the original stages of the Corsa Rosa 2020.
The virtual race started with a stage finishing in Tortoreto followed by Cesenatico, San Daniele del Friuli further the race went up to the Madonna di Campiglio towards Laghi di Cancano up to Sestriere. And had its big showdown with a virtual time trial to Milano.
The opening stage covered 32,1km and Astana Pro Team rider Alexey Lutsenko put in the fastest time. He took the win with a time of 44 minutes and 41 seconds. Teammate Davide Martinelli finished in third place, after 50:23 minutes.
The second stage took the riders over 32,7 virtual kilometres through the city of Cesenatico. Omar Fraile was able to finish the course in 1:00:48, taking a strong second place and defended the Maglia Rosa for the Kazakh team. Hugo Houle finished the second race day in sixth place.
Day three of the Giro Virtual saw the riders climbing over the Monte di Ragogna on a 26.9km demanding course. The Italian Davide Martinelli crossed the virtual finish line in third place, with a time of 47:47, while teammate Yevgeniy Gidich came in tenth.
On Wednesday the 29th of April, the fourth race day of the Giro d’Italia Virtual saw the first virtual summit finish of the race. After 25,9km the riders headed up to the Madonna di Campiglio, where Gorka Izagirre took the second place after 59:03 minutes. Alex Aranburu finished the race in tenth place.
Jakob Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre started stage 5 to secure the Maglia Rosa for the team. The profile showed 30 kilometres from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano, which had an average of 6.8% on the last 8 kilometres. The Danish rider put in a strong performance, taking second, 39 seconds down on the stage winner. Ion Izagirre was able to finish in sixth place.
The penultimate stage of the Giro Virtual took the riders from Alba up to Sestriere over 31,5 kilometres. Alexey Lutsenko and Jakob Fuglsang were motivated to build up the advantage for the team in the overall ranking. With a time of 1:06:04 Jakob Fuglsang was the fastest and took the second stage win for the team, while Alexey Lutsenko completed the podium with a third place.
The final stage of the first edition of the Giro Virtual saw a 15-kilometre short but intense time trial. Manuele Boaro and Davide Martinelli gave it their all to secure the overall win for the team. Davide Martinelli finished the course 1:21 down on the stage winner in fourth place, teammate Manuele Boaro took fifth.
“We are really happy with the overall win, even if it was a virtual one. We got the virtual Maglia Rosa on day one and were able to retain it until the final stage, that is a nice feeling. Of course, it is completely different from to ride the Giro on the roads. The stages might have been short but super intense so it was a great training for me. For sure I will include that in my upcoming training schedule, but I still prefer riding and racing on the roads. However, it was the perfect opportunity to have a tough training and also to show our colours and sponsors, who are supporting us in these difficult times. We worked as a team together, had support from our teammates and coaches in our WhatsApp group, and motivated each other. All in all, it was a nice experience and the organisation did a great job and we are happy to bring this win to the main partner Samruk-Kazyna, all sponsors and our fans around the world.” – Jakob Fuglsang.
“It is nice to have won the Giro Virtual. It might have been a virtual race, nevertheless, it was not an easy one. The stages were on the paper short but intense. Our riders gave their all and we all worked together and took our participation seriously. Especially, for our sponsors we are happy to have been able to give them a platform to be seen. We are grateful to our main partner Samruk-Kazyna as well as all other sponsors, who are supporting us in this difficult time, we are all living right now. Therefore, the virtual race was a great opportunity to show our sponsors and our riders had a kind of race feeling again. But also, the organisation of the Giro d’Italia did a great race, the organisation was perfect.” – Dmitriy Fofonov, Team Manager.
Copenhagen Combine European Football and Grand Départ in 2021
At first it seemed an unfeasible choice; the combination of the European Football Championship and the start of the Tour de France. The Danish capital of Copenhagen had this dilemma, but the overlap should not cause any problems.
The Tour de France will be in Denmark from 2 to 4 July next year with an opening time trial in Copenhagen and two sprint stages. But the Danish capital is also host to the European Football Championship, postponed by the coronavirus to 2021 (June 11 to July 11). Copenhagen organises three group matches and an eighth final.
Putting the two events on at the same time was a cause for concern for local authorities, but in the end an agreement was found and the combination seems feasible. Jesper Møller, president of the Danish Football Association, estimated the chances of being fifty/fifty two weeks ago that both events would take place.
The Tour to Denmark:
La Vuelta 20 Will Not Go to Portugal
Due to the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 crisis and, due to the impossibility of ensuring the optimum conditions required to hold the race in the territory, the municipalities of Oporto, Matosinhos and Viseu, in agreement with Unipublic, organiser of La Vuelta, have decided that the route of La Vuelta 20 will not pass through Portugal.
This means that stage 15, with its finish-line located between the localities of Porto and Matosinhos, as well as stage 16, with its departure from the city of Viseu, will have their itineraries altered. The alternative host cities that will replace Porto, Matosinhos and Viseu have already been approved, but all the information regarding the new stages will be announced in the coming weeks, when their respective route and profiles have been finalised.
“In a situation as exceptional as the one we are currently living, we have to be flexible and understand these kinds of decisions and changes”, declared Javier Guillén, Director of La Vuelta. “It’s a shame not to be able to visit Portugal in 2020, but we don’t want this flame to be put out: we will keep this relationship alive, we will maintain and develop the links we have formed, so that we may return to this country that has treated us to well”, he added.
Following this new modification to the La Vuelta 20 route, no further changes are expected.
More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com.
La Vuelta 20: Teams Selection
Following the official announcement of the revised 2020 calendar for the UCI World Tour season, and having discussed with the world governing body of cycling the participation rules for UCI World Tour races; the organisers of La Vuelta have chosen the teams that will take part in the 75th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour. La Vuelta 20 will start on Tuesday the 20th of October and finish on Sunday the 8th of November, from Irún to Madrid.
In accordance with UCI rules, the following 19 UCI World Teams are automatically invited to the race:
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
Bahrain – McLaren (BHR)
Bora – Hansgrohe (GER)
CCC Team (POL)
Deceuninck – Quick – Step (BEL)
EF Pro Cycling (USA)
Groupama – FDJ (FRA)
Israel Start-Up Nation (ISR)
Lotto Soudal (BEL)
Mitchelton – Scott (AUS)
Movistar Team (ESP)
NTT Pro Cycling Team (RSA)
Team Ineos (GBR)
Team Jumbo – Visma (NED)
Team Sunweb (GER)
Trek – Segafredo (USA)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Furthermore, the Total Direct Energie Team, leader in the 2019 classification of UCI Pro Teams will take part by right in La Vuelta 20.
In addition to these 20 teams, the organisers have awarded the following wildcards:
Burgos – BH (ESP)
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP).
More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA to Ride La Vuelta a España 2020
Unipublic, the organising company of the most important cycling event that takes place in Spain, has announced this Friday the list of teams participating in this year’s edition of La Vuelta. Among the invited teams is once again Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, which will start its ninth consecutive participation in the Spanish Grand Tour.
As always, the team will try to restore this confidence on the road, showing its best image on a first-level race and seeking to repeat the good level of last year, with three second places that only lacked a stage win. La Vuelta 2020 will start on October 20th with an attractive stage between Irún and Arrate and will end, as most editions do, in Madrid on November 8th. Meanwhile, six flat stages, six mid-mountain, five mountain and an individual time trial, with special stages for Caja Rural-Seguros RGA such as the departure from Pamplona or the days of the first week.
Juan Manuel Hernández (manager): “It will be the ninth consecutive participation of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in La Vuelta, a wildcard of great value to the entire team and for which we are very grateful to Unipublic. It is the most unusual La Vuelta in many years, in which we will all have to adjust and take priority for health, so we will support the organisation in whatever it takes to prevent Covid-19.”
“Last year we were very close to a stage victory with three second places. This 2020 we had started the season in good shape, with a great win for Gonzalo Serrano in Vuelta a Andalucía, but we all had to adjust to this new situation. Our cyclists continue working with the focus on the return to the competition, and especially on October 20th in Irún. The objective is clear: to achieve a stage victory. The level will undoubtedly be very high, we will work hard and I know we have the level to get it. Of course, one more year we will give new opportunities to our young riders so that they can measure up to the best in the world”.
“Being in La Vuelta 2020 is the best news we could receive, it will be synonymous with the fact that we will all be better and face the future with maximum enthusiasm”.
No Vuelta ‘Wildcard for Fundación-Orbea
Now that the Vuelta a España is to start in the Basque Country, it was assumed that Fundación-Orbea would be set for a wildcard. However, the team was not invited.
The organisation of the Vuelta a España announced which teams will receive a wildcard for the Spanish Tour this year. In addition to the nineteen WorldTour teams; Burgos-BH, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and the French Total Direct Energie (the best ProTeam of 2019) can prepare to participate in the Vuelta. Fundación-Orbea is the only Spanish ProTeam not to receive an invitation. It was believed that the team had a good chance due to the start in the Basque Country.
Team manager Jesus Ezkurdia responded in the Spanish sports newspaper AS to the absence of his team: “It is a pity, but not a big disappointment either. When we started this project, we already said it was a long term project. We continue to do our job to grow and show our value. This is our first year as a ProTeam and although we got off to a good start, it was a possibility that we could miss the wildcards because they can only give away two.”
Ezkurdia added that cycling is in a phase of total uncertainty. “The conditions for the races have changed, and even the dates. A few weeks ago there was a Vuelta with 21 stages and now it’s at 18 and it has been announced that the municipality of Irún will be allocated la gran salida. The most important thing now is health and that we gradually work back to normal life.”
There will be no Vuelta for Euskadi:
Women’s Tour Rearranged to June 2021
SweetSpot Group, organisers of the Women’s Tour cycle race, have confirmed that the seventh edition of the UCI Women’s WorldTour event will now take place in June 2021, following the postponement of the 2020 race in mid-March.
Commenting on the decision, Hugh Roberts from SweetSpot Group, organisers of the Women’s Tour said; “Following discussions with stakeholders and sponsors, as well as British Cycling and the UCI, we have decided to work towards June 2021 for the next edition of the Women’s Tour, and will not seek to re-arrange the race later in 2020. We recognise the unprecedented nature of the current global situation and the challenges for the UCI calendar and so wanted to take an early decision not to look for an alternative 2020 date. With the extra time now available we look forward to making next year’s Women’s Tour even bigger and better than before and a fantastic celebration of cycling and Britain. We are now working with partners on our plans for the Women’s Tour to be live streamed for the first time in 2021 and are also exploring opportunities to bring the race closer to our fans than ever before in these challenging times, such as the opportunity to race and ride past stages on their home trainer.”
As planned for June this year, the 2021 Women’s Tour will begin in Bicester, Oxfordshire and finish with a sixth and final stage in Suffolk, between Haverhill and Felixstowe.
Organisers have applied to the UCI for dates from Monday 7 to Saturday 12 June 2021 with final confirmation of the dates and the 2021 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar due in the coming months.
Women’s Tour 2019 stage one highlights:
250 Jobs At Risk at Mavic
It does not look good for Mavic, the bicycle parts manufacturer and partner of the Tour de France for 40 years. The French company has been under administration since May 2 and is looking for a buyer.
“The commercial court in Grenoble declared Mavic under administration on May 2, with a six-month observation period,” Gérard Meunier, secretary of the Social and Economic Committee (staff council), told the AFP news agency. The news has been confirmed by management, but declined to explain.
Mavic, which specialises in wheels (road and mountain bike) and bicycle equipment (helmets, clothing), employs 250 people worldwide, including 200 in France in Annecy (Haute-Savoie) and Saint-Triviers-sur-Moignans (Ain). The brand was founded in 1889 and has been a partner of the Tour de France for 40 years.
No more yellow cars?
Van Avermaet About CCC’s Survival
Greg Van Avermaet’s CCC team is in trouble, however, the Olympic champion is hopeful that the season can be completed. “We are looking for a compromise to finish all the races this year and that would be going in the right direction,” said Van Avermaet.
Nothing is yet certain. “We are still negotiating,” he continues to tell Het Nieuwsblad. “It will never be an ideal situation, but it will be a solution. Hopefully, we can re-board the staff members who have been made redundant when we race again.”
Van Avermaet has been the spokesperson for the team. “It goes without saying that I am in daily contact with Jim Ochowicz. I have to say I haven’t slept well in a few nights. Yes, this is not a situation where you just crawl into your bed and close your eyes. Nobody wanted it that way and nobody is of bad will now. If we manage to compromise, we’ll see what happens next year. Hopefully we can start a new project, although it is not an obvious time to find sponsorship.”
If a compromise can be settled then Van Avermaet can prepare for a busy autumn where he will certainly ride the Tour de France and probably many Monuments. “If you want to compete at the highest level as a top rider, the Tour must be on your program. I have had the pleasure of winning two stages and wearing the yellow and there is little above that in cycling.”
“Obviously the sponsor wants his best riders in the Tour. We don’t have a wealth, no three or four men who can ride for general classification, like with Ineos. It makes sense that you also come to me before the Tour to keep the team straight. I will finish almost the entire calendar after the Tour de France, but will not start as quickly in a stage race as the Binckbank Tour. Also because there are always a few dangerous rides and sprint stages on the flat where I can’t do much. I would rather focus on a Monument like Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”
The biggest dilemma for Van Avermaet lies in the weekend of the Amstel Gold Race and Gent-Wevelgem. “Gent-Wevelgem suits me, but so does the Amstel. I’ve already thought about it, but maybe I’ll make that decision last minute. You can race them both, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. The calendar is packed: you run the risk of having nothing in both races and not having recovered for the Tour of Flanders the following week.”
Greg Van Avermaet – Hoping to have a team:
Vincenzo Nibali: “I miss the Giro d’Italia”
Vincenzo Nibali would have been at the start of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday with Trek-Segafredo, but the corona virus threw a spanner in the works. So it is a quiet month of May for the Italian. “I miss the Giro d’Italia very much.”
“Normally you have days of tension, doubt, adrenalin and fear, but you also have the ultimate focus and pay attention to every detail. You ask yourself whether you are well prepared,” Nibali told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But now I am calm and I can afford it myself. This has never happened in my fifteen years of professional existence.”
In addition to the Giro d’Italia, Nibali would also ride the Vuelta a España this year, but with the new calendar that is no longer possible. He does not yet know what the Shark of Messina will do next. “I don’t want to be involved with the program yet,” said Nibali. “I will not switch the button until later. Of course, I am a professional cyclist. But I am still very calm.”
There is still a chance that Nibali will choose the Giro, but that means that he will have to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Vuelta, among others. “The Giro is still in my head, but nothing has been decided yet. I think it is a pity that Liège-Bastogne-Liège coincides with the Giro. I’m not going to make a decision until the team has been spoken to.”
What races will Nibali ride in 2020:
Egan Bernal To Focus 100% on The Tour
Egan Bernal has no plans to do two Grand Tour this autumn. The winner of the Tour de France 2019 wants to focus on the Tour de France again.
Ineos has the luxury this year to be able to rely on three riders who have already won the French race. The competition for the leadership is therefore not insignificant. “For the team it can be interesting that Chris Froome wins his fifth Tour, or Geraint Thomas his second. Both are British, just like the team, so that makes sense,” the Colombian said to Eurosport. However, that is no reason for Bernal to set aside his own ambitions. “Even though I’m still young, I’m not going to waste an opportunity to win the Tour de France. But if we’re not 100%, we have to sacrifice ourselves.”
He expects a special edition of the race this year. “It will be a different race because we don’t know what level we will arrive at and we will have to prepare the course in a different way. But the motivation to go to the Champs-Élysées is there-“
The Tour is therefore his main goal this season. “I don’t think I can drive the Vuelta later. I want to focus 100% on the Tour. I don’t want to use it to prepare for other things. I’d rather do fewer race days and end the season as fresh as possible for the next season.”
Who will be the Ineos man in 2020?
Simon Yates With an Open Calendar
Simon Yates had mapped it all out nicely. The former Vuelta winner would ride the Giro d’Italia this year as the best preparation for the Olympic Games. Now that everything has been turned around, he can change his goals. “I am open to everything, but nothing has been decided yet.”
Earlier this week, Matthew White, team manager at Mitchelton-Scott, said that all teams would line up their strongest riders for the Tour de France. Perhaps an indication that both brothers would contest Yates the Tour de France, and then ride the Vuelta. But Simon Yates denies in a Zoom conference with various media that something has already been decided. “It is all still in the air. I have not yet had the discussion with White and the rest of the team. What I do know is that it will be an intense and stressful period with many competitions in a short time.”
Yates is, like his brother, at the end of the contract with Mitchelton-Scott. However, due to the pandemic there is currently no room for contract negotiations or discussions about improved conditions. The 27-year-old Briton is realistic about his future: “It is always nice to have certainty quickly, but due to the upcoming cuts, everyone is going through the same thing. These are simply unprecedented times.”
Simon Yates – Vuelta winner:
Romain Bardet To Ride Flanders and Roubaix
The new race calendar offers possibilities for Romaind Bardet that he hopes to take advantage of. The AG2R.La Mondiale rider sees the unique opportunity to start in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
The main goal on the new race calendar is again the Tour de France (August 29-September 20), followed by the hilly classics and then the Flemish classics (mid-October). For Bardet the perfect opportunity to race these races once again.
“With this race program, I can consider participating in cobbled classics,” he told Le Monde. “It is clear that I really want to ride the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix once. In a normal season that is not possible because then it is in the middle of the preparation for a Grand Tour.”
“Now it is during the Vuelta, so choices will have to be made. It remains to be seen what choices the team also makes. But it is clear to me: I prefer to start in this very beautiful campaign of classics. It promises to be epic, with a greasy and wet road at the end of October.”
Bardet likes a Classic:
Oleg Tinkov Suffers from Acute Leukemia
The Russian founder of investment bank Tinkoff and former owner of the cycling team has made public that he has leukemia, after he had not appeared in public for a while. The billionaire was diagnosed with the disease – his wealth is estimated at 2.5 billion – in October 2019. He emphasises that his business activities will not suffer as he has not been operational for several years, Vedomosti reported.
The eccentric Russian currently lives in London, where he is awaiting trial over his extradition to the United States. He is bailed for £20 million (€22.85 million) and must be in his apartment between 7:00pm and 7:00am. The United States authorities have issued a warrant for the businessman’s extradition. The Justice Department suspects that he has hidden an amount of $1 billion from the tax authorities.
Mathieu van der Poel Optimistic Despite Missing Tour
Mathieu van der Poel and his team Alpecin-Fenix have made no secret in recent weeks that they wanted to ride the Tour de France this year. That plan fell through earlier this week when Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme announced that he would not invite additional teams.
“I am disappointed that I am not allowed to ride the Tour. Normally I wouldn’t be,” Van der Poel told Sporza. “It looked like the Tour would be the only major event on the redesigned cycling calendar. But if the calendar stays as it is now, I think I have plenty of other great classics to show myself in.”
The 25-year-old rider will therefore not ride a Grand Tour this year. His team he will now focus on the Italian and Flemish classics and possibly also the Walloon races. “The Flemish and Italian races will always take precedence. I have not yet thought about the Walloon classics.”
“I think we can be very happy when it gets as busy as planned,” he said to Het Nieuwsblad. “I am also curious about the choice the riders will make. That can lead to nice situations. I fully agree that it is not possible to achieve a top result twice in the Amstel and Gent-Wevelgem in the same weekend. I choose the Amstel Gold Race, also because Wevelgem was not on my schedule this year. I don’t know if I drive Liège yet. In principle, that race is a bit too difficult for me, but if there are only thirty races on my schedule, so to speak, and the team wants me to do Liège too, then I will certainly be keen on that.”
Looking forward to the real racing:
Valverde chooses Tour and Vuelta
Alejandro Valverde has his schedule for the new 2020 calendar. According to Tuttobiciweb, the 40-year-old Spaniard is sticking to his intention to ride the Tour and the Vuelta this year.
Valverde will resumed his season on August 1 in Strade Bianche. Then follows Milan-San Remo and the Spanish National championships. He rides the Tour de France to prepare for the World championships in Martigny, Switzerland. After Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Amstel Gold Race, Gent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen follow in October. He will be at the start of the Vuelta a España in Irun in the Basque Country on October 20. Due to his participation in the Vuelta, he will have to miss the Tour of Lombardy.
Valverde’s race program for 2020:
Aug 1: Strade Bianche
Aug 8: Milan-San Remo
Aug 23: Spanish road championship
Aug 29 – Sep 20: Tour de France
Sep 27: World championships in Martigny
Sep 30: Flèche Wallonne
Oct 4: Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Oct 10: Amstel Gold Race
Oct 11: Gent-Wevelgem
Oct 14: Dwars Door Vlaanderen
Oct 20-Nov 8: Vuelta a España.
Contador on Evenepoel
Alberto Contador spoke about Remco Evenepoel in a Facebook live interview on Sporza. “A year and a half ago, he talked to me about his 20 minute test while drinking a coffee. If correct, he can win a Grand Tour. Yes, even this year, the Giro d’Italia.”
Contador is impressed by Evenepoel’s 20-minute test (FTP test). “It was a year and a half ago during the winter training camp with Deceuninck – Quick-Step – I was also there with my team – that we started talking with a coffee. He told me about the result of his 20 minute test. Well, if that result was correct, he can win a Grand Tour,” Contador said. Although he adds: “How he reacts in the third week, for example. Such a test does not say everything, because in a Grand Tour you do this for three weeks at a time, day after day. But he does kick the values you need to win such a Grand Tour. Or that this year is already possible in the Giro d’Italia? In my opinion, yes. Look, what he already performed at his age in the past year, I have not seen anything similar before.”
Contador also emphasised that the Giro is ideal for Evenepoel to immediately go for a win. “No, not because the participants would be less strong. Every Grand Tour is difficult to win. But because I expect it to be much more man-to-man fighting in the Giro than in the Tour. The teams will play their part in France. And Deceuninck – Quick-Step cannot compete uphill against Team Ineos or Jumbo-Visma.”
Contador should know:
Van Vleuten: “Paris-Roubaix is a milestone in the development of women’s cycling”
The unexpected announcement earlier this week that Paris-Roubaix is getting a women’s version has been met with approval by the peloton. World champion Annemiek van Vleuten is looking forward to the first edition, she said in an interview with VTM and Het Laatste Nieuws.
According to Van Vleuten, it was long thought that the hard cobblestone course is not suitable for women. She disagrees. “We would also like to provide the spectacle there. This is a milestone especially in the development of women’s cycling,” she pointed out. Although she has to admit that she is not a big fan of cobblestones. “Mmm, those boulders… I’m not so keen.” she said. “I would like to be at the start, but I will not be the biggest contender,” she predicts.
Van Vleuten compliments ASO with this step forward, but is critical of Giro organiser RCS Sport. As far as she is concerned, the Italians are catching up. “They are left behind. I would also like to see Milan-San Remo restored. And I advocate a Tour of Lombardy. We would also have our five classic Monuments. We are definitely ready for that.”
Annemiek van Vleuten:
Tadej Pogačar Renews with UAE Team Emirates Until 2024
UAE Team Emirates is pleased to announce that young Slovenian talent Tadej Pogačar has extended his contract which will keep him at the Emirati team until the end of 2024.
Tadej Pogačar: “I am happy to continue my relationship with UAE Team Emirates. I turned professional here and I feel very comfortable with everyone. I believe in the team and I want to be part of this ambitious project. The next five years will be fundamental for the team and for my career, with the hope that they will be fruitful years for both parties.”
Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri, president of the Emirati squad: “Our team has a long-term plan and we are happy that such a talented young man like Tadej has committed to our project.
We are a young but very ambitious team. The aim is not only to win the most important races in the world, but also to promote healthy lifestyles in the United Arab Emirates.Tadej will help us in both ways because in the UAE they have gone crazy for the team and its cyclists.”
Mauro Gianetti, Team Principal: “There was a willingness on both sides to extend the contract once again (it had been renewed for the first time until the end of 2022). Pogačar represents the type of rider that each team would like: talented with a strong will to learn every day. Values that will project him to the top of world cycling. Tadej won everyone over – not only with his results, but also with his attitude. The rest was just a matter of doing the paperwork.”
Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri (President), Tadej Pogačar, Mauro Gianetti (Team Principal and CEO):
Van der Breggen and Blaak Future Sport Directors of the SD Worx Cycling Team
Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and her colleague Chantal Blaak have extended their contract with the Boels-Dolmans cycling team and will therefore continue to part of the team with SD Worx as the new main sponsor. Van der Breggen will continue to be active as a rider in 2021 and will again focus on the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. In the three years that follow she will continue to be involved with the team as a sports director/coach. Blaak will be riding for the team that wears the colours of SD Worx until the spring of 2022, and will then also join the team leader’s car until the end of 2024.
Team Manager Erwin Janssen is pleased that both riders will continue to be part of the best women’s cycling team in the world: “It’s nice that we can report some positive news during these difficult times for top-level sports. With Van der Breggen and Blaak, who have helped form the DNA of the team these past years, we are signing two world-class riders to be part of the team for the long-term. With these two taking on a leadership role, our team will continue to grow.”
The current team leader Danny Stam will continue to advance as sports manager within the organisation, but the North-Holland native will also certainly be active in the team leader car during several major events. “As a team, we want to improve every year, and we must continue to take steps in the areas of coaching, nutrition, materials and training, among others. For women’s cycling, allowing two of our best riders to advance to coaching is a revolutionary step. We have all the confidence in the world that with their input as team leader/coach, we will be able to raise the bar again.”
Anna van der Breggen (30) wants to ride one more good year before ending her active career. “The Olympic Games in Tokyo are, of course, a great challenge and an important reason for continuing another year,” says the defending champion of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “I also want to end my career with a great, full season. Especially after this year, which was largely lost due to the corona pandemic, I am enormously motivated to continue for one more year. I’ve been thinking about a role as team leader/coach for some time. I was quickly excited about the team’s proposal. I had gradually come to realise that I was looking for a new challenge in my life. In 2021, I want to get the best out of myself on my bike for one more season. After that, I will focus on this new job. I look forward to helping our cyclists become even better. I hope I can provide more guidance in the areas of science, nutrition and mental support. I am certain we can improve in these areas.”
Chantal Blaak (30) was one of the road captains of the Boels-Dolmans formation. “It is a compliment for me to be seen as one of the mainstays of this team,” says the 2017 world champion of the road. “I’ve been riding for this team for six years and I feel completely at home here. I see it as a big opportunity that after spring 2021, I will be able to continue working with Anna as sport directors of the SD Worx cycling team. In women’s cycling, it is not common for cyclists to make this step into coaching after their active career. We know that we need to grow further as a team. The level of competition is constantly going up. I particularly like the direct approach to coaching, training and nutrition. After all, we want to continue to be the number one women’s cycling in the world.”
“We are very excited about this news,” says Kobe Verdonck, CEO of SD Worx. “With their years of high-level experience, Anna and Chantal are perfectly positioned to take in the near future on their new role with the SD Worx Cycling Team. They know racing like no other, and now they can pass on this expertise to the other cyclists as a leader and coach. We wish them lots of success with their career switch and are also very happy, of course, that we will still be able to see them race with the team in the coming period.”
About Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
The Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team was established in 2011, and has been ranked the best women’s team in the world in the UCI rankings since the end of 2015. In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the team won the individual world title, while it was crowned world champion in the team time trial in 2016. The team has an Olympic champion in its ranks in the form of Anna van der Breggen, and has won virtually all major women’s competitions in the past few years.
About SD Worx
In today’s new world of work, people want to be inspired by what they do and have the freedom to focus on what matters. Organisations need a dynamic, motivated workforce empowered by smart technology. As a leading European provider of people solutions, SD Worx turns HR into a source of value for their customers’ business and the people that work for them. SD Worx delivers people solutions across the entire employee lifecycle, from paying employees to attracting, rewarding and developing the talent who make businesses succeed. SD Worx powers performance through four core capabilities: technology, outsourcing, expertise and data-driven insights.
More than 70,000 small and large organisations across the globe place their trust in SD Worx and its 75 years’ worth of experience. SD Worx offers its people solutions in 130 countries, calculates the salaries of approximately 4 million employees and ranks among the top five worldwide. The more than 4,600 employees at SD Worx operate in eleven countries: Belgium (HQ), Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. In 2019, SD Worx achieved a consolidated turnover of EUR 767.6 million.
Van der Breggen and Blaak sign with SD Worx cycling team:
Giovanni Visconti: “There are still many people in Italy who behave uncivilised towards cyclists”
Although athletes are now allowed to train outside again in Italy, some riders choose not to go on the road. In an interview with Tuttobici, Giovanni Visconti says that he can sometimes count on little understanding from fellow road users.
Visconti, who lives in Tuscany, is currently riding on his mountain bike. “Although we have received the green light as professionals, this has not yet been accepted by everyone. I don’t want to risk anything, because there are too many people who behave uncivilized towards cyclists. At the beginning of March we had to stop training because there were cases where cyclists were attacked by motorists who did not understand why we were riding freely on the road.”
The 37-year-old rider of the Vini Zabù-KTM team wants to be part of the professional peloton for a few years. “I will definitely be riding next year. If all goes well, I even want to continue until 2023,” said Visconti. “There is still a lot of uncertainty about our program for this year, even though the UCI has put together a calendar. In 2021 I want to focus on the Giro d’Italia, the Italian Championship, the Olympic Games and the World championships. National coach Davide Cassani knows me well and I know what wearing the blue jersey of the Italian team requires of a rider.”
Visconti will remain loyal to his current team. He does not necessarily see a move to a WorldTour team as progress. “I raced for teams in this category and I must say that it is not all gold that shines. On the contrary, I understand that WorldTour teams are in danger of falling over. So I don’t regret choosing this team.”
Museeuw On the Boonen Comeback
Johan Museeuw does not think that Tom Boonen will make a comeback in the professional peloton, said the three-time winner of both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix during a Facebook Live session with Shimano. Boonen said in early March that he would not rule out a comeback, but Museeuw does not think it will come to that.
“It is not easy to quit. I myself continued until I was 38. Maybe that was even a year too long,” said Museeuw looking back on his own career. “There is an immense difference between a bit of recreational cycling and competing with boys aged 25, 30. Andrea Tafi also wanted to return to Paris-Roubaix last year. I immediately called him to tell him it was not a good idea. He had nothing to prove.”
According to Museeuw it is the same for Boonen. “Boonen also no longer has to prove anything to anyone. Maybe he misses cycling and is therefore thinking of a comeback. But I personally don’t think he will do this. He is a smart boy who has also filled in his life well after racing. Although I do see him returning to sport in the long term as manager or ambassador. But I don’t believe in a comeback on the bike.”
Of the current generation of riders, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel are often compared. Museeuw sees some differences between the two ‘cross riders who made the switch to the road. “They both belong to the category of extraordinary talents. Although they differ as riders and personality.”
“I think Van Aert might be more comfortable with wattages and Van der Poel is especially explosive and versatile. He can compete for victory in all types of competitions. It can be both difficult and flat for him. Although I think Van Aert will be more successful in Paris-Roubaix and Mathieu in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.”
Tom Boonen, Johan Museeuw and VTM-TV journalist Merijn Casteleyn at the presentation of a new Tom Boonen book:
Team Novo Nordisk Returns to Racing at the [email protected] Virtual Challenge
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, is excited to announce that the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Novo Nordisk’s 15-year signature [email protected] Run/Walk event is transitioning into a virtual challenge and all Team Novo Nordisk athletes, ambassadors, and staff will participate in the global event.
The diabetes community is resilient, COVID-19 won’t stop us from thriving. Together, we are connected for life. In support of the [email protected] Run/Walk, Team Novo Nordisk has officially added the event to its race calendar.
“The [email protected] Run/Walk has been dear to our hearts since its launch. Over the years, Team Novo Nordisk’s athletes have proudly been an instrumental part of the 5K in aspects from winning the event to serving as pacers embedded in the community because this event perfectly aligns with our mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes,” said Phil Southerland, Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder. “The [email protected] serves as the ideal representation of how Team Novo Nordisk and Novo Nordisk partner around the challenge to make the world a healthier place. This event allows our team and Novo Nordisk to lead by example, actively live our mission, and collectively participate in some good, healthy fun. Together, we are game changers in the diabetes field.”
For 15 years, the [email protected] has been an official event during ADA’s Scientific Sessions and has brought together over 13,400 participants. Through the continued support of Novo Nordisk, the 2020 [email protected] Virtual Challenge is free of charge to all participants. Everyone is encouraged to sign up, lace up and head out the door, right from their home over the weekend of June 12-14, coinciding with the ADA Virtual Scientific Sessions.
“While COVID-19 has stopped us from racing and prevented us from gathering together in Chicago, it doesn’t stop us from being ambassadors for the diabetes community and encouraging people to dream big and keep chasing their goals,” Southerland said. “Physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices are essential for everyone–both those living with and without diabetes–and the [email protected] Virtual Challenge is an ideal way to exercise together.”
To mark the 15th anniversary of Novo Nordisk’s support of the [email protected], the ADA published the [email protected] mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Complete with interactive experiences, including training plans for walking and running, a selfie station and social media integration, the [email protected] app has all the information to participate in the Virtual Challenge.
“Events like the [email protected] help us remain connected to members of our community, it also encourages regular physical activity which is an important part of better diabetes management,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “This is a big year for us at the ADA. We are celebrating several milestones: our 80th Scientific Sessions and the 15th anniversary of Novo Nordisk’s [email protected] run/walk event. I challenge the ADA Scientific Sessions community and all ADA members to participate in the [email protected] Virtual Challenge.”
“Together with ADA, we are pleased to announce the [email protected] Virtual Challenge. We had hoped to gather in Chicago and celebrate several milestones with ADA: the 80th Scientific Sessions and the 15th anniversary of Novo Nordisk’s partnership with the [email protected],” said Thomas Thestrup-Terp, VP of Commercial Operation, Novo Nordisk. “While we won’t be gathering in person, I know that we will gather in spirit.”
Physical activity, including walking, is an important tool in diabetes management, which helps people living with diabetes lead healthier lives. For the more than 122 million Americans with diabetes and prediabetes, it takes perseverance to live with and manage their health on a daily basis. The [email protected] Virtual Challenge brings together people across the globe to emphasise the need for increased physical activity to help prevent diabetes and diabetes complications. This awareness activity provides participants with the opportunity to raise public awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle in preventing and managing diabetes.
All Team Novo Nordisk athletes, ambassadors, and staff will participate in the global event to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes:
Professional Bike Racers Commit to Riding Solo During the COVID Pandemic
New compilation video shows racers united in COVID-19 action
The Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation released a video today highlighting the realities of what life is currently like for professional bike racers. Athletes from the US, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, and England, delivered a united message, urging cyclists to ride solo, or with their household members, so we can all do our part in flattening the curve.
“As we support each other during this difficult time, we wanted to provide a compilation of messages from female cyclists and teams, urging people to connect virtually while staying focused on their goals,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of Colorado Classic. “Although these riders’ seasons have been postponed we are encouraged that they are doing their part in staying healthy and empowering one another to ride on.”
The racing season came to a grinding halt at the onset of the pandemic, and the UCI has suspended racing until July 1. The pro racers are urging the cycling community to its part in flattening the curve, slowing the spread of the Coronavirus and adhering to social distancing measures. This means riding alone and not taking unnecessary risks. The sooner this pandemic is over, the sooner we can all get back to normal and to bike racing!
Click here to learn more about the CDC social distancing guidelines.
To learn more about the Colorado Classic, visit www.coloradoclassic.com or follow @coloradoclassicpro on Instagram and Facebook.
You Are the Giro d’Italia
Saturday would have marked the beginning of the 103rd edition of the Corsa Rosa in Budapest. RCS Sport dedicates this video to every one of the Giro’s fans, as we hope to unite once again, to rejoice, scream, cheer, laugh, applaud, joke and revel in the Corsa Rosa from the 3rd to the 25th October.
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The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.