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Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - THOMAS Geraint (GBR) of Team SKY pictured during 70th Critérium du Dauphiné (2.UWT) - stage-7 - from Moûtiers to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc 129 KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

Sky’s Geraint Thomas took the overall prize at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Welshman – Top Story. In a packed EUROTRASH we have all the race reports and video from the Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse, Rund um Köln and the GP Gippingen. The trash-bag also has news from Cervelo-Bigla, Sven Tuft, Tour of Britain, ‘New’ Lotto, Lotte Kopecky, Damiano Cunego, Fondo Fabio Casartelli, Worlds’18 details, Asturias PRO-AM 2018, Jakob Fuglsang’s new bike and Adriano Malori’s Video. Big Monday coffee time.

TOP STORY: To Wait or Not To Wait?
The old argument about attacking when the overall leader punctures or crashes raised its head again on stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Sunday. Sky’s race leader, Geraint Thomas, suffered two punctures on the final stage of the French race, the most dangerous for the Welshman came on the descent of the Col des Saisies with 40 kilometers to go. Thomas had to take a wheel from teammate Gianni Moscon and was over a minute down on the AG2R-La Mondiale powered front group. The chase took nearly 15 kilometers before the leader was back in the fold.

At this point words were exchanged between Thomas and AG2R-La Mondiale team leader Romain Bardet, Thomas recounted later that he “just went up to them and said thanks for that.” The Sky-man also pointed out that he was not one to hold a grudge, “but I also certainly won’t forget it.”

For their part, AG2R-La Mondiale said they did nothing wrong. DS Vincent Lavenu pointed out that “we had already been riding for 10 kilometers, we weren’t going to stop and wait for them. That’s only logical.”

Team leader, Romain Bardet said: “that’s racing” and clarified by adding that “we didn’t accelerate, we maintained the same pace, we’re riding hard to win the stage.”

The unwritten rules of racing, maybe someone should write them down.

Geraint Thomas with his first puncture of stage 7:
Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - mechanical problems THOMAS Geraint (GBR)  of Team SKY  pictured during 70th Critérium du Dauphiné (2.UWT) - stage-7 - from Moûtiers to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc 129 KM - photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2018

Critérium du Dauphiné 2018
Following a long-lasting breakaway by Dario Cataldo (Astana) who was caught only 300 meters before the line, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) won an uphill sprint against Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) in Lans-en-Vercors at the end of Stage 4. Gianni Moscon took over from teammate Michal Kwiatkowski in the lead of the overall ranking but Team Sky retained the first three positions.

The day packed three classified climbs, including the tough Col du Mont Noir (17.5 kilometers, 6.9%), and got off to a rapid start, with the riders covering a staggering 52 kilometers in the first hour. Despite several attempts, it was only after 70 kilometers that a group got clear, and when it did, the eight men at the front opened a five-minute lead on the peloton.

On Mont Noir, the group split and Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) made the first move, which was countered by Dario Cataldo (Astana), who dropped the Norwegian and crested in the lead the top of the ascent with three minutes in hand. The heavy rain on the descent slowed down the bunch a bit, but the pack picked up the chase with 20 kilometers to go and by the time they arrived at the bottom of Lars-en-Vecors (4.8 kilometers, 7.7%), the leader’s advantage had dropped to under two minutes.

Inside the final kilometer, Cataldo was within sight of the whittled down peloton, just as an acceleration of Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) sparked a response from Julian Alaphilippe, Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale). The quartet sailed past the Italian with 300 meters to go, putting some daylight between them and the chasers, and with the finish line drawing closer and closer, Alaphilippe expertly bided his time on the 7.7% average gradient before surging clear from third wheel to claim his 11th pro victory.

More photos from stage 4 HERE.

Stage winner and 4th overall, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): “I am super happy, because this is a high-level race and all the riders are in very good shape. I knew this was the only day I could go for the win and told my teammates since the morning that I wanted to do something. Coming off an altitude training camp I didn’t have the best feelings, but I was extremely motivated to get a win in my home race, and having accomplished my goal gives me a lot of confidence with the start of the Tour de France just weeks away. My first goal of the day was to survive on Mont Noir, which was a demanding climb. Then, on the downhill, I remained focus and in a good position together with Bob. Everybody was tired and the tempo was really high on the last climb, which I knew suited me. I didn’t have the best feeling in the group, but as the kilometers ticked down, I became more and more confident. We will go into the high mountains this weekend and I know very well that this kind of terrain doesn’t suit me, as I’m more of a puncheur. However, this doesn’t mean I won’t fight. I’ll try to be up there and help Bob make a good GC.”

Overall leader, Gianni Moscon (Sky): “I didn’t expect to lead the race! I will enjoy wearing this jersey tomorrow but G and Kwiato are our two guys who can win the Dauphine. My role will not change despite having the jersey. My role here is to try and help Kwiato and G [Geraint Thomas]. Alaphilippe was the strongest for winning the stage in this relatively short finale but I think Geraint is the strongest for winning the overall.”

2nd on the stage, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “I feel good, I came into the race without expectations. Just race with a smile on my face, I knew I was in good condition. I’m still waiting for the Tour de France, I’m not in top condition, but this is a good sign for July.”

4th on the stage and 9th overall Romain bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “This was a very difficult stage. It took a while for the break to get away. We were riding very fast. This was not a stage you could work your way into. Everyone did some good work. The finishing climb was pretty short, for punchy riders. When Julian made his move, I knew it would be hard to overtake him for the win. The Sky riders are well placed, but we will take on our responsibilities. Pierre is also in a good position, and is on fire. That gives us two very strong cards to play. And with a strong team, we can make things happen. If the race in the next few days is off the hook like today was, then it will be quite a show.”

5th for the stage and 11th overall Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale): “The team placed us well over the top of the Mont Noir climb, and then Oliver still came back to help us at the bottom of the last climb. We were royally placed. I did not feel crazy good, but I braved the day. I’m happy with the job we did for Romain. I did not get dropped, and then I “jumped” my opponents at the line to get a good place on the stage.”

7th on the stage, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I felt really good today. Jay brought me perfectly into the last climb of the day and at the end it was more or less a sprint finish. The upcoming stages will be tough but I think I trained good and I am in good shape.”

8th on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “The start was very fast, but I was able to save some energy. I simply followed on the first climb, because the favorites stood out. It gave me a first indication of my feelings. Odd then was in front, which reinforced the position of the team. We then entered the real mountains with Mont Noir. I had good feelings, which reassured me for the final. On the last climb everyone was looking at each other, probably because it was the first summit finish. I weighed the pros and cons, but my offensive temper prevailed. I should have waited because AG2R rode behind me. I probably had legs to follow the other top riders. But if AG2R does not react, everyone would tell me that I made the right choice. The gaps are minimal at the finish, and despite a gap of almost four minutes after the time trials, I can still aim for a good general. I still want to be regular, especially to see what I can do on consecutive difficult stages with an eye on Le Tour. But I prefer a stage win to a 10th place overall.”

Break rider, Odd Eiking (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “It took more than 60 kilometers before the breakaway was formed. I was in front at the right time, and I could close the gap with the front group. It was hard to be present in the good group because it was going very fast. As Hilaire insisted on being represented in the breakaway, I attacked. On the climb I accelerated because I felt that the pace was not high enough in the group. Cataldo took me back and I struggled to follow him. I did not miss a lot to hang on to his wheel on the steepest section, because the final was more rolling. I missed about ten watts. But my condition is improving. Maybe with accompanying Cataldo we could have gone to the end, but he was very strong. I will see how my legs evolve in the following days.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 Result:
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors in 4:26:58
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:05
6. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:08
9. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
10. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 4:
1. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky in 13:55:30
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 0:06
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 0:48
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:49
6. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 1:05
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:11
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:13
9. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:41
10. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 1:48.

Stage 4:

An attack by Dan Martin with 3km to go to the finish of Stage 5 in Valmorel earned him his first victory for UAE Team Emirates. Geraint Thomas reacted to the Irishman’s attack to finish 4 seconds down and become the third Team Sky rider to lead the Critérium du Dauphiné. Thomas took over the overall lead from his teammate Gianni Moscon with two stages to go.

Eight riders escaped early and after some kilometers the advantage increased to around two minutes. The breakaway was gone for most of the stage but shortly before the final climb the escapees were caught. On the final ascent the reduced bunch fell apart and some riders lost contact. In the finish, it was Dan Martin, who took the win 4 seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas with Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) at 15 seconds. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann crossed the line in fourth place at a further second.

More photos from stage 5 in PeloPics HERE.

Stage winner, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “Yesterday I attacked but couldn’t win, today it worked. I thought if I attacked, they’d let me go. I’m a little further back in the overall. I took the opportunity, everyone seemed to be in the red after Adam Yates attacked. This success brings fantastic feelings, after second yesterday and a period of adjustment with the new team, where we all are getting familiar with each other. The team was perfect, even when the wins don’t arrive, we are always a united group and I received constant support. That makes it all the better to add a victory as payback for everyone’s work. I’m surprised, my training went perfectly over the past few weeks. I didn’t expect to be in top form yet, I’d rather be in this position than in difficulty for the Tour de France.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “The boys rode really well at the start, we controlled that nicely then Bora wanted to ride, so that was good for us. On the final climb the guys rode really well and we controlled it. Obviously Yates and Mitchelton put the hammer down a bit and it was hard going but we stuck together and Tao did an exceptional ride. In the last kilometer I went to close as much down as possible. I took it quite steady on that last corner – I didn’t want a repeat of the prologue! A really good day. Most definitely. These four days are the hardest four days I would have raced in a one-week stage race. They’re super hard climbing stages, even harder on the weekend now. I’ll try to enjoy tomorrow in the jersey and try to defend it. But it’s super hard and anything can happen. So far so good. There’s a lot of climbing tomorrow. It might be a short stage but there’s three big climbs and a little one as well. It’s certainly a big test.”

4th on the stage and 10th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I am really satisfied with today’s result, of course a podium spot would have been nice but I am now 10th in the GC. We missed the breakaway, so we had to took the control over the peloton and tried to close the gap. My teammates did a great job and brought me into a perfect position. Tomorrow will be another tough stage and I will try to enhance my top ten spot.”

9th on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “I did not perform bad again today. I climbed between the strongest and finish top 10. However, it was not the kind of stage I prefer: short, with a smooth climb and at the end a slightly flatter final. I prefer the steeper climbs. In addition my legs were a little less strong than yesterday. But I still have to be satisfied! It is encouraging to see the riders in whose company I finish. This Saturday will be a special day for me for two reasons: on the one hand because the stage is similar to a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir which I won in the U23 category. And it is my birthday tomorrow, so I have two good reasons to get a good result. Although I do not need to motivate myself! The best gift would obviously be a stage win, but the competition is big.”

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis): “I’m getting tired but I still hope once I reach my goals. We ran away from the first kilometers in the climb and it’s easier for me. Then we drove well with guys like De Gendt, Gougeard and Co. But it is the peloton that decides and as Bora was absent from the break, they rolled. In the final climb, I fought and I wanted to give the maximum until the end. You never know … “

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates in 3:21:19
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 0:04
3. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:15
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:16
5. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:24
8. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
9. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:26
10. Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 17:16:53
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 1:09
3. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors at 1:10
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 1:15
6. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:18
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:53
8. Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors at 2:03
9. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 2:10
10. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 2:23.

Stage 5:

Basque rider Pello Bilbao of Astana was the last survivor of the early breakaway and fended off the GC contenders who fought till the end in the short but very competitive Stage 6 to La Rosière on the course of stage 11 of the coming Tour de France. Second again, Geraint Thomas (Sky) extended his lead while Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) moved up to the top 3 overall.

Right after the start a big group of 27 riders went up the road and built the days breakaway which had 2 minutes with 77km to go. As the race faced the second climb of the day, many riders were dropped. As expected, the race fell apart shortly before the final climb, only one rider managed to be at the front – Pello Bilbao. The yellow jersey group tried to chase down the lone leader and the race came alive with 4km remaining. Bilbao hung on for the win by 21 seconds over Geraint Thomas with Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Romain Bardet at 23 seconds.

Stage 6 photos in PeloPics.

Stage winner, Pello Bilbao (Astana): “I’m really happy with this win, it’s very special for me and it’s a present for my team, all the fans and of course my girlfriend. It was a very hard day today, and our main goal was to get Dario Cataldo another day in the polka dot jersey. The team helped me to save some energy for today’s final, but at that point I was not thinking about a stage victory yet, as the time gap was a small one. But when we got closer to the finish and I was still riding in the front, I started to believe. Yesterday I had a difficult day and I was disappointed, today I really wanted to give something in returning to my team that supported me so well during this week. I gave all I had on the final climb, and in the final 5 kilometer I knew there was a chance I could stay clear from the chasers. In the final 3 kilometers I knew I would win, I was feeling very strong at that point. It was a special day and a special way to finish my first part of the season.”

2nd on the stage and overall leader, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It wasn’t ideal but AG2R rode really well today, they really took the race on and put us under pressure. Fortunately we’ve got such a strong team that if one guy’s not so good, another guy steps up. Tao and Castro were really good today and fortunately we were always just in control. We never panicked – but fair play to AG2R for taking the race on. I always felt in control, I always felt pretty good, but I didn’t want to get too carried away [on the final climb]. It’s easy to underestimate how far there is to go and I didn’t want to go too early, die off, and lose time. Obviously there’s a big day tomorrow as well so I tried to do the minimum and then at the end, I just thought ‘I’ll go for it and see what happens’. I managed to get a few more bonus seconds which is good. I think the way we rode today was really good. Always in control and not getting carried away. Riding well as a team – that’s our strength, the way we ride together and communicate. We’ve done it for so many years now at the Tour.”

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “I wanted to take advantage of the good legs that I have, but it truly was a hard day. The final was very tactical, maybe that’s because the classification men are a little tired, and we weren’t able to pull in Bilbao like I would’ve wanted. Let’s see tomorrow how I am, but I’ll try to do well in the final stage, and my overall classification will benefit as a result.”

4th for the stage and 3rd overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We imposed our tempo, we tried to make our race, and it paid off. I’m back on the podium tonight and I’m getting closer to the top step even if Geraint Thomas has enough lead to manage things. I take my hat off to my teammates who gave 100% of their energy. My form is improving day by day and I feel that the efforts are paying off.”

6th on the stage and 6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “On the final climb I tried to attack but of course the other GC contenders followed my attack. Bilbao was the fastest today and 4km before the finish, I couldn’t follow Yates but rode my own rhythm and finished sixth. In the overall ranking I moved up to 6th place, which makes me really happy. Tomorrow will be a tough finale, but I think it suits me.”

14th on the stage, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “Another good day! The stage was complicated, but I expected it. AG2R opted for a tough race, by exploding the stage from Col du Pré. I did not feel bad,.I hung on and I was able to stay with the main group. Then I tried to stay fresh, to keep as much energy as possible for the final climb. I was able to stay with the better ones for quite a long time. I missed a little to hang on. That is rather pleasant. Tomorrow we will find a stage in similar format. It may be faster and with more movements. In a last stage we do not have to think about the next day. So everyone will go full gas: that means a great battle is in sight! As usual, I will improvise according to the instructions of the briefing and see how the race will run.”

Daniel Navarro (Cofidis): “It will be everything for the win, with the added bonus of a jump in the overall standings. Today, I was not in my best day. I had to really hang in the climb final and I did not get to hang the wagon of the leaders. So I preferred to stay with a group to manage my efforts for the latest efforts.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana in 3:34:11
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:21
3. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:23
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
5. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:26
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 1:02
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at1:20
8. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:40
9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Sky at 1:45
10. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 20:51:19
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:29
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 2:01
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 2:30
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 2:39
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:10
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 3:29
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 3:40
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 3:49
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 4:00.

Stage 6:

Geraint Thomas concluded the 70th Critérium du Dauphiné with the final overall win after a crash-marred start as he went down during the prologue in Valence. The team time trial reinstated him as a favorite, although his Team Sky team-mates Michal Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon anticipated his reign in the yellow-blue jersey. Time bonus collected at all mountain stage finishes before the conclusive rush to Saint-Gervais/Le Bettex put him in the ideal situation to claim his second WorldTour stage race overall after Paris-Nice 2016 at the age of 32. Despite two punctures, he kept the last stage under his control but couldn’t follow Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who went for the Final Stage 7 win in the last kilometer in a cruel move for early breakaway rider Dani Navarro (Cofidis).

Approaching the first climb of the day, after 40km of racing, a breakaway of four riders pulled away. With 68km remaining the escapees had two minutes advantage over the peloton, where Team Sky set the pace. As the race headed into the last climb of the day, the escapees were caught by the reduced bunch. In the final climb the race exploded and saw several attacks. In the final meters Adam Yates increased his pace and took the stage win ahead of Navarro who had made an earlier attack.

Stage winner and 2nd overall, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It’s been two back to back hard stages. The past four days, I’ve always been the one to initiate the attacks. So today I decided to wait. I just made that final move towards the end. I could take the stage win on the last corner. Romain Bardet was trying to overtake me in the GC but every time I responded. The Tour de France has been my main goal for the whole season. We’re getting closer and closer so I’m happy to get confidence from this race. I look forward to the Tour now.”

5th on the stage and overall winner, Geraint Thomas (Sky): “It’s incredible, it hasn’t sunk in yet! The guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me. I was always thinking of the next stage, the next climb and it’s an amazing feeling [to win] and I think it will really start to sink in tonight. It’s a massive race and it’s an incredible feeling. The puncture didn’t really help and having to chase back on, but the guys were just incredible, they rode really well for me and I had the legs to get back. I was just counting down the kilometers on the last climb and knew I had about 1:20 to lose on [Adam] Yates so as each kilometer went by I was more confident and happy [with each passing kilometer]. When they started sprinting with 300m to go I was like, it’s done – finally. I’m just going to enjoy this win now, rest up and recover and look forward to July.”

2nd on the stage and 9th overall, Daniel Navarro (Cofidis): “If the percentages were a bit lower, I could have won. But there in front of this wall more than 10% just 100 m from the line, I found myself glued. Today, I decided to play everything for the win by staying quietly with my companions. I booked myself and I tried everything for the whole in the end. It has almost succeeded and it is also the harsh reality of our sport. Today, my only satisfaction is to get into the top-10 overall final ranking.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “We would always like to have more, to win a stage or to be closer to the yellow jersey, but in the end, the final result is good. I am happy with how I feel, I was gaining momentum over the week. The team was remarkable. We took our responsibilities, and we will look for the results together. I am proud of my troops. I’m now ready to attack the block of training that will take me to the Tour de France.”

4th on the stage and 6th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a tough stage and the final saw a lot of attacks. I could follow the pace but on the final meters Bardet overtook me and therefore I missed the podium. In the general classification I finished this year’s Criterium du Dauphine in 6th place, I am satisfied with my performance here.”

6th on the stage and 4th overall, Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates): “I felt good the entire stage, but in the final, my legs didn’t respond how I thought they would. I’m still happy with the overall results in this race. I’m at a physical level I didn’t really expect. I won a beautiful stage, I took fourth overall. The team, very young here, rode well at my side and was working strongly the entire week. They were incredible. We paid in the team time trial, but in the mountain stages, my teammates were always there, first in the escapes and then with support. Now, I’m going to recover for a few days and then build towards the Tour de France.”

8th on the stage and 12th overall, Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert): “Last year I had a hard time in successive mountain stages. In this sense this Dauphiné was a good test with an eye on Le Tour. I took a step and felt better every day. Even today I could follow the favorites for a long time. That is fun. I already won races with steep uphill finishes. Here we had to survive four heavy mountain stages. And I was able to hold on! In the time trials I lost time, but there are more positive than negative points to remember. In the Tour those time trials will be decisive, especially the team time trial. But the team has received new time trial bikes from Cube, which are more aerodynamic and with which we will perform better. That will be an improvement. But I will never become a Tony Martin. I weigh 55 kilos, so I have other qualities.”

18th on the stage, Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe-Gobert): “I had some doubts after a hard day on Saturday. But thanks to the osteopath my back was good again today. I could do a strong job for Guillaume. In the last descent he asked me to bring him forward. I had to take some risks, but could put him in a good position at the foot of the final climb. My work was done, but I still managed to hang on for some time. I am not a pure climber, but I can still perform decently in the mountains. I am satisfied that I have been able to play my role, and I also get motivation from that. I am glad because yesterday I was disappointed that I was not present in front. In the first stage I finish top 10 and also in the second stage I was not far back. This is not bad at WorldTour level. I return home satisfied. Now I want to recover for three days before starting the Route d’Occitanie. On paper, the opposition should be slightly less, but I still expect a strong peloton. I hope to achieve a nice final classification. Unfortunately I cannot start in Tour de France. The birth of a first child is something special, so I cannot participate. That is a shame, because I could be at the start in top form. But I do not want to take a place from a team mate and then leave the Tour after two weeks. I absolutely want to be present at the birth. But I am convinced that the team will send a nice collective to the Tour. I hope that I can follow the last week of the Tour on television with a child in my arms.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 3:51:34
2. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 0:04
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:09
4. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:14
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:19
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 0:24
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 0:28
9. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:35
10. Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:41.

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky in 24:43:12
2. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:00
3. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:47
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates at 2:35
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 2:44
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe at 3:05
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:05
8. Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 4:22
9. Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis at 4:31
10. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin at 4:45.

Stage 7:

Tour de Suisse 2018
BMC Racing Team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Tour de Suisse with a dominant performance in the Stage 1 team time trial to secure the win, which was dedicated to late team owner, Andy Rihs.

Stefan Küng was the first rider across the line in Frauenfeld to claim the first leader’s jersey of the race, after also wearing the jersey in 2018. As the second to last team to roll down the ramp, BMC Racing Team was chasing the provisional best time of 20:38 set by Team Sunweb, and from the start the team formed a perfect train and powered along the 18.3km course.

After 10km, the team posted the best time by seven seconds and continued their perfect run into the line to stop the clock in 20:18, to win by a commanding 20 seconds. The team time trial was the first in almost three years, and first with BMC Racing Team, for Richie Porte, who is making his debut at the Tour de Suisse, which made for a solid start to his General Classification ambitions.

Frauenfeld - Swiss - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - Stefan KUNG (Swiss / BMC Racing Team) is leading his team  pictured during Tour de Suisse 2018 stage 1 TTT from Frauenfeld to Frauenfeld 18KM - photo Heinz Zwicky/Cor Vos © 2018

Winning team and overall leader, Stefan Küng (BMC): “The guys were fantastic. We showed once more why we are one of the best, if not the best, team in this discipline in the world. We took it really seriously. We had a good look at the parcours two days ago and this morning and everyone was fully focussed. Everyone was ready for the challenge and with such a good team in the background it set the stage for us. It was set up to win today and we can be really proud of our performance today. It’s really special to be the leader of this race. Thanks to the guys for that because everybody did their job and I was the one chosen to go first over the line. It means a lot to me. It’s my home. It’s where I grew up and it’s where I competed in my first cycling race ever 14 years ago so the circle is closing. To wear the yellow jersey in my home race is a dream and I am going to enjoy it for sure.”

Winning team and 2nd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “That was my first team time trial since 2015 when I was with Team Sky and they were beaten by BMC Racing Team. It was absolutely incredible. You really have to tip your cap today to Stefan Küng. He was like ten men. He was absolutely flying so, it was very impressive. I don’t think you are meant to feel good in a race like that. It’s been a while since I raced so I don’t really know where I am at but I mean it was just fantastic to come to the Tour de Suisse, the home of Andy Rihs, and be able to win the stage. I think we dedicate the win to Andy.”

2nd team, Sunweb coach Marc Reef: “The goal was to come over the two climbs in the beginning with a minimum of six riders and do a technically good TTT overall. As it worked out, we had already lost three riders before the top of the second climb and as a result we had to do the last 12km with just four riders. In the end we finished second which is still a good start to the race.”

3rd team, Quick-Step Floors DS Tom Steels: “With the first half of the stage packing two climbs, we decided to ride full gas from the start, because we knew it was there that we could gain time, as the second part, which contained a fast descent and flat roads, didn’t present any opportunities to take an advantage. Unfortunately, we lost Iljo quite early, then Fernando tried to close the gap but it wasn’t easy, while Tim had an untimely mechanical. For that reason, we were down to four riders inside the last kilometers and we lost important time there. Considering all these factors, I thing we can be satisfied with our time trial; third in this company is a good result.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. BMC in 20:18
2. Sunweb at 0:20
3. Quick-Step Floors at 0:27
4. Bora-Hansgrohe
5. Mitchelton-Scott at 0:29
6. Movistar at 0:33
7. Bahrain-Merida at 0:36
8. Groupama-FDJ at 0:45
9. Katusha-Alpecin at 0:46
10. UAE Team Emirates at 0:50.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC in 20:18
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:20
6. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
7. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
9. Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC at 0:25
10. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 0:27.

Suisse stage 1:

Stefan Küng (BMC) made the most of racing on home roads on his first day in the leader’s jersey to consolidate his lead by taking three bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint before crossing the line safely to retain the overall lead. World champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won Stage 2 beating Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) to the finish line.

The 155km stage was made up of four laps of a 38km circuit, featuring a category 3 climb, and saw an early breakaway of three riders gain a three-minute advantage. Küng’s BMC Racing Team teammates, Alessandro De Marchi and Michael Schär, controlled the race and kept the breakaway’s advantage to less than three minutes until the halfway mark, when the sprinters’ teams started to help with the chase with the expected bunch sprint in mind. Michael Albasini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) bridged to the three leaders with 50km to go, by which time the peloton, led by BMC Racing Team, was 1:30 back.

The breakaway was eventually caught with 26km to go on the final lap, which allowed Küng to win the final intermediate sprint and claim three bonus seconds, before the stage was set for an aggressive finale. Bora-hansgrohe set a fast pace on the climb to force a split in the peloton while up ahead, Richie Porte (BMC) tested his legs with an attack with 19km to go.

Porte’s attack was neutralized with 18km remaining before seven riders gained a small advantage in the final 10km. They were brought back with 5km to go and from there, the sprint trains were formed. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the win in Frauenfeld ahead of Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb). Overall leader Küng crossed the line in the peloton. Küng sits three seconds ahead of teammates Van Avermaet, Porte, and van Garderen in the top four of the General Classification.

Stage winner and 5th overall, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “I’m very happy about this, and have to thank all my BORA-hansgrohe teammates for their support today. They trust me enough to work so hard through the day and it means I can go for the win. I was thinking about the team’s tactics and in the end it worked out exactly as we’d planned. I’m very happy to have won the stage. All my preparation has been good and I’m feeling a bit more relaxed about the rest of the race now. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into these wins behind the scenes. My legs aren’t at their best yet and I still have some work to do before the Tour de France, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the race.”

Overall leader, Stefan Küng (BMC): “It was great today. I think I knew half of the public on the side of the road. It was really cool beforehand because a lot of people told me that they were going to be there. It was a pretty easy start and I had time to look around and say hello to the people so that was really nice. Once the racing started, I felt good immediately so I took the chance to take the bonus seconds in the sprint because everything came back together. Then, we just wanted to be up there and attempted to cover the moves. Richie said ‘I think I should attack’ and I said ‘why not’ so, he gave it a go. It is always better to be on the offense than on the defense so I think we did a good job. In the end, it came down to a sprint but I think Greg was up there so overall it was a good day for us. I had a look at this parcours for the first time about two months ago and I thought then that it probably wouldn’t do that much damage but then when you race it and it has small roads and it’s up and down, left and right, if you’re in position 100, the guys in front of you are already 200m ahead. I think that was what caused the split plus the really hard racing from the intermediate sprint. So for us, it was perfect because going as hard as possible, we could drop some sprinters and then it is less dangerous. For sure, it is hectic but for us it makes it a lot easier. We have such a strong team here and I think we were up there present with five guys and two guys were riding in the beginning. I think we should we showed we are ready for it.”

3rd overall, Richie Porte (BMC): “There was not really any intent behind the attack but seeing as I was there and the sprinters’ teams were either missing their sprinter or didn’t have any guys left, I gave it a go. It was an aggressive final which I didn’t really expect. I think our guys were good. Stefan took a time bonus as well so I think everything today was good. It was quite hard but the guys put me in a pretty good position with Simon especially looking after me all day. I think the signs are good. I felt a little bit blocked today but I think that’s the same for most of the bunch especially as we came in a bit early and have done a lot of sitting around in hotels as well. It’s not ideal but it’s to be expected. I think today was not super hard but not so easy. I think the crucial stages are later on in the week so hopefully I could get the bad feelings out of the legs today.”

5th on the stage, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida): “Most of the race we were looking out for our leader, Ion Izaguirre, but after the last climb when I realized that Sonny isn7t at the good position, I tried to attack and before last few kilometers to the finish I got into a good position for a sprint.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 2 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:50:09
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb
5. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida
6. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
7. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
8. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC
9. Arthur Vichot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
10. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 2:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC in 4:10:24
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:03
3. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:20
6. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:23
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
8. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb
9. Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC at 0:28
10. Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:30.

Suisse’18 stage 2:

Rund um Köln 2018
In a gripping sprint final on the streets of the inner city of Cologne, Sam Bennett was able to keep his rivals at bay to win the oldest German road race on the calendar. As expected, it all ended in a bunch sprint, and after a long day in the saddle, the Irish rider emerged victorious ahead of Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin).

Initial attempts to form the break of the day remained in vain and were quickly reeled back in by the peloton. After approximately 15km of racing, seven riders were able to distance themselves from the main field and solidified a lead of more than 4 minutes on the bunch. They sat at the head of affairs for quite some time. On the first climb of the day, 55km into the race, some riders in the peloton already found themselves in difficulty on the 27 per cent steep slopes of the Agathaberg. Shortly thereafter, a few riders attempted to set chase after the breakaway to bridge the gap, however their endeavors were ultimately in vain. During the second half of the course, the peloton put down the hammer, and under an increased tempo, the advantage of the break began to be whittled away. It was only a question of time as to when the escapees would be caught. Although they worked well together, the leading seven riders were unable to forestall the impending catch with 50km to the finish line. Under the tempo that was being meted out by Bora-Hansgrohe, they were ultimately caught before the final two climbs of the day. Under this high pace, the peloton split into three groups, but calm was soon restored to the field, with everything coming together again and the riders traveling towards the inner city of Cologne in one main group. The teams that were tipped to have a good chance of taking the win, Bora-Hansgrohe and Katusha-Alpecin, led the peloton onto the circuit in a high-paced finish and attempted to negate any attacks on the last laps. In a fast finish, Sam Bennett opened up an impressive sprint and took the honors on the line ahead of Raim and Kittel.

Race winner, Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was a tough almost 208km-long race, but the guys did an unbelievable job. They controlled the race the whole day. We planned to make the race as hard as possible for sprinters such as Marcel Kittel, and the guys executed our plan perfectly. In the finale, my lead-out was seamless and the team brought me into an excellent position. I followed the wheel of Kittel and was able to then launch my sprint at the right time. Our whole team worked very well together and achieved an excellent result today.”

Rund um Köln Result:
1. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:53:17
2. Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy
3. Szymon Sajnok (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
4. Brenton Jones (Aus) Delko-Marseille Provence-KTM
5. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
6. Aaron Grosser (Ger) Team Sauerland NRW p/b SKS Germany
7. Fabian Lienhard (Swi) Swiss National Team
8. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Team Vorarlberg Santic
9. Alexander Krieger (Ger) Leopard Pro Cycling
10. Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda’s Willems-Crelan.


GP du Canton d’Argovie – GP Gippingen 2018
Norwegian Alexander Kristoff sprinted to victory in the GP du canton d’Argovie in Switzerland on Thursday and brought his 2018 tally to four.

UAE Team Emirates’s European champion could unleash his powerful surge thanks to his companions. He gapped his nearest rivals Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Marco Canola (Nippo Vini Fantini).

Race winner, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates): “This is my fourth win of the season, but normally I’d have more already at this point so I put a lot of weight behind this race. For me and the entire team it’s important to show our jersey and promote cycling in the UAE – there’s no better way than to win. Thanks to the team for controlling the race and taking me to the final kilometers in the best position for the sprint. And I remembered this final, it was the same as the Tour de Suisse sprint finish in 2013, a WorldTour race. The Tour de Suisse is next for me, and so I’m heading there motivated. The race will be hard and with a high-level of rivals, but the goal is to do well like I did in 2013 and 2015.”

3rd, Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini): “I’m happy for the result and for the work that the team has done to put me in the best conditions. In the final I felt good and I decided to try to anticipate the sprint to gain meters. Kristoff does not need presentation, he was good to follow me and overcome me in the decisive meters. My physical condition is growing a lot and this makes me well hope for the national championships.”

GP du Canton d’Argovie – GP Gippingen Result:
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates in 4:18:24
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
3. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
4. Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda’s Willems-Crelan
5. Kevin Deltombe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
7. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Luca Pacioni (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
9. Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R-La Mondiale
10. Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe.

GP du Canton d’Argovie:

Koppenburg 9 seconds off podium in Ljubljana time trial
Clara Koppenburg continued her impressive trajectory this season by placing fourth in Ljubljana-Domzale-Ljubljana time trial today. The 22-year-old blazed through the 23.5 kilometer course, 45 seconds slower than the winner and only nine seconds away from third place.

Belgian national time trial champion Ann-Sophie Duyck placed fifth. Koppenburg who has had some impressive results this year after achieving her first World Tour podium in Emakumeen Bira was satisfied with her performance.

“It was quite a smooth run,” she said. “Everything went perfectly. Of course, I’m happy with my performance but 4th is always a bit tricky because you’re so close to the podium. I crossed the line and had the fastest time at this moment so I’m making progress. It went really well and I’m happy how my TT performance is increasing. I think I’m on a good way and this was the perfect test for nationals. My fighting spirit is getting stronger. With Thomas [Campana] behind in the car, it’s always smooth and easier for me because he’s leading me through the perfect lines and keeps on telling me that’s it’s good. I’m looking forward to the next races.”

The racing calendar for Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team continues next week in the World Tour when the team travels to the UK for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. The race will take place from 13-17 June.

Sven Tuft Heads Team Canada at the Tour de Beauce
Cycling Canada has selected a team of both experienced professionals and future stars to represent Canada at the Tour de Beauce on June 13-17, headed by WorldTour Mitchelton-Scott rider Svein Tuft. The Tour de Beauce, now in its 33rd year, is Canada’s oldest and most prestigious UCI sanctioned men’s stage race.

Tuft, who has just finished the Giro d’Italia, is one of Canada’s most decorated professionals, and the last Canadian rider to win the Tour de Beauce, in 2008. He has announced that this will be his final year of racing, and it is fitting that it includes the Tour de Beauce.

He will be joined by Ben Perry, who rides for the Israel Cycling Academy pro continental team, and recently finished sixth in the Tour of Korea. Other professionals on the team include Jordan Cheyne, who was third overall at Beauce last year, and James Piccoli, who was tenth at the Tour of Utah last year. Both Cheyne and Piccoli ride for the UCI Continental level Team Elevate-KHS.

Rounding out the team are three members of Canada’s track program, who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in April. Jay Lamoureux, Michael Foley and Derek Gee, who usually ride for Team RaceClean, will have the opportunity to learn from Tuft and the rest of the pros as they compete in the six stage, 634 kilometer race through the rolling countryside south of Quebec City.

“I like – whenever possible – to create blended projects where we include our emerging Under-23/25 athletes with our more experienced pros,” explains Kevin Field, Road Program Manager at Cycling Canada. “I’m excited we have the chance to work with Ben and Svein on this project. Ben is still an emerging young fella himself, now in his second season Pro Conti; and brings lots of European pro bike experience to bring to our game. And, of course Svein, our most seasoned WorldTour rider.”

“Jay, Michael and Derek join us from our men’s Track Endurance program and it’s in great part thanks to our Men’s Track Endurance coach Jono Hailstone that this project is happening. We have a strong team and I’m excited to work with everyone.”

Svein Tuft – Langley, BC
Ben Perry – St Catherines, Ontario
Jordan Cheyne – Kelowna, BC
James Piccoli – Montreal, Quebec
Jay Lamoureux – Victoria, BC
Michael Foley – Milton, Ontario
Derek Gee – Ottawa, Ontario.

Sven Tuft:

Le Col Jerseys for 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour Unveiled
With just six days to go until racing begins, the 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour leaders’ jerseys designed by British cycle apparel company Le Col have been unveiled.

Having ridden in some of cycling’s biggest races, including the Tour of Britain and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, Le Col founder Yanto Barker knows what the world’s best teams and riders look for in leaders’ jerseys: unparalleled performance.

Importantly, Le Col’s jerseys are made from 100% recycled fabric, a first for any professional UCI Women’s WorldTour race. Barker said: “I know how important it is that the leaders’ jerseys perform to the highest level, and developing a sustainable and recycled fabric for the jerseys has been a long-term project for Le Col.

“Owning our production facility in Italy means we are in full control of the sourcing and manufacturing process from beginning to end, with a team of specialists to ensure that the recycled fabric delivers on the performance requirements of professional athletes.”

The Green Leader’s Jersey, redesigned this year as part of our partnership with OVO Energy, will be worn across the country by the rider who has completed the previous stages in the shortest cumulative time.

We’re delighted to welcome Breast Cancer Care, the Official Charity Partner of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, on board as the Points Jersey sponsor.

“Breast Cancer Care are delighted to be the official charity partner for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour for the second year running, and the official sponsor for the Points Jersey,” said Claire Pulford, Head of Events at Breast Cancer Care.

“To be the sponsor of the Points Jersey is very fitting as it reflects the determination of the women cyclists taking on this grueling challenge to show their support for women and men going through one of the toughest challenges they’ll ever face – breast cancer. The money raised from the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will help us be there for anyone living with, through and beyond breast cancer in the UK.”

The SKODA Queen of the Mountains Jersey has undergone a stunning redesign thanks to our partners at Le Col, with the 2018 model cleverly integrating topographic contours that reflect elevation on maps.

Eisberg once again sponsor the Sprints Jersey, the design of which is in keeping with that which Britain’s leading riders loved during the OVO Energy Tour Series in May.

The battle between siblings Hannah and Alice Barnes for the Adnams Best British Rider jersey was one of the most thrilling in the 2017 OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Its sharp, sleek design, combined with the national pride it generates, will again make it one home riders desperately want to wear this June.

Adapted ‘New Lotto’ Soudal shirt during Tour de France
Just like during the Giro d’Italia the Lotto Soudal riders won’t be riding the Tour de France in the regular team shirt. Lotto Soudal becomes New Lotto Soudal on the occasion of the 105th Tour de France.

The Belgian National Lottery has rebranded Lotto – for the fortieth anniversary – therefore ‘New Lotto’ as name of the campaign. With this slogan: “You’re 2 times as likely to win.” The odds have risen from 1 out of 25 to 1 out of 11.

More info about New Lotto: https://www.nationale-loterij.be/nl/onze-spelen/lotto

Lotte Kopecky: The Missed Spring, Her Altitude Training Camp in Colorado and the First Races
Lotte Kopecky has ridden her first two road races of the season after an elbow injury forced her to skip the spring races. At Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik Lotte crossed the finish line as 55th, past Sunday she got seventh at Dwars door de Westhoek.

Lotte Kopecky: “I didn’t have a good feeling during Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik. When riders attacked on the Muur van Geraardsbergen I was unable to follow. After the race I was disappointed at first. I had thought I would be able to follow thanks to the trainings I had done, but that wasn’t the case. Although I had kept in mind that it could be difficult after all that time without competition, and it turned out to be so. A week later, at Dwars door de Westhoek, I already felt much better. Apparently I had to adjust to the race rhythm.”

“At Dwars door de Westhoek, we needed to do three ascents of the Rodeberg. That isn’t a tough climb as such, but after the top the pace is always raised which can cause the peloton to split. After the last ascent of the Rodeberg I got in a front group of about thirty riders, together with Demi de Jong and Julie Van De Velde. Demi took me to the front for the sprint at the end. There was a lot of pushing because everyone wanted to ride on the small piece of road next to the cobbles. I got too early in the wind, which was a headwind. I did go full, but I lost speed. Afterwards I was satisfied, because I had had a much better feeling during the race than the week before.”

Lotte chose to go to Colorado for an altitude training camp to prepare for her return to competition. One of the upcoming races is of course the road race of the Belgian Championships on Sunday 24 June. The past four editions Lotte got second each time.

Lotte Kopecky: “It turned out to be a wise choice to take rest after I had incurred my elbow injury. I needed that rest, both physically and mentally. I had planned a break anyway, because of the injury that break just began earlier. The rest did me good. It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t ride the spring races, but I’m sure this rest will have positive effects in the near and far future. Of course I have closely followed the performances of the team and I am happy they did well.”

“In the second half of April I travelled to the US. First, for a holiday to visit among other Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Afterwards, I headed to Colorado for an altitude training camp of three weeks. This was the first time ever that I did an altitude training camp. I had hardly any problems with staying on altitude. Now we have to see what the effect will be on my body and my performances.”

“I’m really eager to race, but I won’t rush anything. The Belgian Championships are coming, but I am pretty relaxed. At the beginning of the season, I did mark that day in red of course, but I won’t put any pressure on myself because that doesn’t help. The course should suit me, but with among other Valerie Demey, Annelies Dom and Kelly Van den Steen we have several cards to play.”

Lotte Kopecky winning the Trofee Maarten Wijnants:
Houthalen - Helchteren - Belgium - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Kopecky Lotte (Belgium / Lotto Soudal Ladies) - Kitchen Lauren (Australia / Hitec Products) Druyts Kelly (Belgium / Topsport Vlaanderen - Etixx) Tuslaite Daiva (Lithuania / INPA Bianchi) pictured during Trofee Maarten Wijnants in Houthalen Helchteren - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2016

Damiano Cunego: A Special Edition of Vini Fantini to Celebrate his Career
With the occasion of the last World Tour race of Damiano Cunego many celebrations have been organized for Damiano Cunego. A special one is coming from Vini Fantini, with a special edition bottle, not for sale, only to celebrate his great career. These the words of Valentino Sciotti: “A due dedication. We will not commercialize this product because for us it is only a real and great recognition to the man and to the athlete”. In Tour de Suisse Damiano Cunego and all his teammates will also wear a special edition jersey made by Santini to celebrate the last World Tour race of the Italian Champion.

The Tour de Suisse will be the last big World Tour race of Damiano Cunego. To celebrate not only this occasion, but his whole career Vini Fantini realized a special edition bottle with the label representing his Giro 2004 victory. The Italian Wine brand is linked to the rider as main sponsor of the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team in the last 4 years, but also in previous moments of his career with the Lampre – Farnese Vini.

The Wine of Champions
The Italian brand chose the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo doc 2017 to celebrate Damiano Cunego. The label has been realized thanks to the picture made by Bettini Photo, that gives the opportunity to Vini Fantini to celebrate Cunego with this special remind of the Giro 2004. The bottle will not be for sale, but only a very special gift reserved to Damiano Cunego’s top friends.

The wine that can be appreciated inside is very close to the personality of Damiano Cunego. Shy at first approach, as if there was a seething mass ready to explode. But with patience it releases all its freshness and power. Its fruit is “marmalade” in addition to hints of cocoa. In the mouth demands respect, there is a wild note that makes it unique, the acidity well integrated in the body and gives persistence. Designed for a demanding consumer but able to marry very well with all the richest dishes of Italian cuisine.

The idea comes from Valentino Sciotti, CEO of Farnese Vini and strongly linked to the Italian rider. here the words of Valentino Sciotti: “I have a strong link and respect for Damiano Cunego, symbol of our team in the last 4 years, but also linked to our company in the past. I have a profound respect for him as a symbol of honesty and transparency. We decided to make this tribute as a recognition to the man and the athlete. Also for this reason the product will not be commercialized, but only a precious gift distributed to the friends of this great champion.”

Damiano Cunego received this surprise in Switzerland, few days before the Tour de Suisse: “A wonderful gift, that demonstrates again that there is a big respect between me and Valentino Sciotti that is not only a great entrepreneur but also a big and true fan of cycling. To have a special label dedicated to my career, in few and limited edition bottles is something special. I’m looking forward to taste this wine and to enjoy it as soon as I will finish my competitions.”

Tour de Suisse with a Special Jersey, Made by Santini
Damiano Cunego, as his teammates, will be riding the Tour de Suisse with a special jersey, with a strong #Orange fluo made by Santini. Already presented in the Tour of Japan, thanks to a special derogation of UCI, the special jersey realized by Santini will be used by the NIPPO Vini Fantini Europa Ovini team in the most important Tour of the season: the Tour de Suisse.

Road Safety and Charity to Honor Fabio’s Memory
Albese con Cassano (Como, Italy) will host the Mediofondo and the Randonnee on July 15th, 2018. “To commit ourselves in road safety is a must”, Fabio Casartelli Foundation’s President Pierluigi Marzorati said.

The “Fabio Casartelli” Foundation is looking forward to July 15th, 2018 when Albese con Cassano (Como, Italy) will host athletes and families from Italy and elsewhere taking part to Mediofondo – that reserves for the competitive riders the Bellagio-Ghisallo and the Wall of Sormano uphill time trial – and the Randonnee to honor the Olympic champ died during the Tour de France 1995 because of a fatal crash.

One of the “Fabio Casartelli” Foundation’s main purposes have always been road safety and charity. The President since 2002 Pierluigi Marzorati and the Foundation’s members and friends have donated a medical car to the First Aid, offered a contribution to implementation of a school with dorm in Kenya and organized school contests about the road safety, among the various initiatives.

“We’ve done plenty of things” – explained Pierluigi Marzorati, Italian former professional basketball player – “but we still have a lot to do to keep the memory of a valuable champion and person like Fabio Casartelli alive: taking his experience as a basis, the friends of the Foundation deal with the prevention and the safety.”

Meanwhile the registrations are open. The Mediofondo’s registration fee is 35 € from June 1st to June 30th, 2018; 40 € from July 1st to July 14th, 2018; 50 € on July 15th, 2018 (click here). The Randonnee’s registration fee is 30 € from June 1st to June 30th, 2018; 40 € from July 1st to July 14th, 2018; 50 € on the day of the event (click here).

Visit the new website HERE.

The “Fabio Casartelli” Foundation’s President Pierluigi Marzorati:

Asturias Hosts Successful PRO-AM 2018
Unipublic has organized, once again, its traditional PRO-AM, a day of cycling in which the whole family participates La Vuelta: the organization, its sponsors and alignment luxury of former professional cyclists. The event takes place since 2011 and this year – its eighth edition – Asturias has chosen as a unique setting for your celebration.

The event was attended by former riders of the caliber of Miguel Indurain, Oscar Pereiro, Joseba Beloki, Fernando Escartín, Haimar Zubeldia, Miguel Ángel Martín Perdiguero or Dori Ruano, among others. They have all captained the teams that formed the squad PRO-AM 2018.

The Principality of Asturias, which every year is dedicated as an unavoidable destination for La Vuelta, has again proved his worth as a host. The output of the PRO-AM was held at the airfield Morgal, in the municipality of Llanera, a center dedicated to sport aviation and training of future pilots. From that point, the platoon has traveled a total of 65 km, with 878 meters accumulated slope to the finish line, located at the Museum and Circuit Fernando Alonso, dedicated to the famous Spaniard. Along the way they have gone through the towns of La Bervola, Panizales, Santullano, Granda, Santa Cruz de la Llanera, Guyame, Lineres, Portiella and Ables.

Although the outcome of this race is the least and the goal is to strengthen ties between all parties involved in the Vuelta, it is fair to point out that the victory has been for a winner of the Tour de France. Oscar Pereiro has again demonstrated his talent raising his arms and waving the checkered flag under an unexpected sun has accompanied the squad PRO-AM throughout the day.

More information about La Vuelta at www.lavuelta.com

Tickets for 2018 UCI Road World Championships Now Available!
From 22 to 30 September, the 2018 UCI Road World Championships will take place in Innsbruck-Tirol (Austria). Over eight days of competition, more than 1,000 athletes will battle it out in the Team Time Trial, Individual Time Trial and Road Race for the right to wear the coveted UCI Rainbow Jersey. The races will lead along a range of different courses before finishing in the centre of Innsbruck. Cycling fans keen to follow the action can book tickets for the finish area now and benefit from exclusive Worlds holiday offers.

Cycling fever throughout Tirol
Visitors to the four start regions which will feature at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships can look forward to world-class action in front of a stunning mountain panorama. The first races of the Worlds will begin in the Ötztal Valley at Area 47 – Austria’s largest outdoor adventurecentre. Just as impressive is the setting in Wattens, where the riders will set off from the Swarovski Crystal Worlds on their way towards the finish in front of the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Innsbruck. Picturesque Rattenberg with its narrow medieval streets will also host the start of races during the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, while the fourth and final start location is the fortress town of Kufstein surrounded by the breathtaking Kaiser Mountains. In short, the whole of Tirol has been seized by cycling fever!

Races and courses: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/races-courses/races-courses/
Schedule: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/programme/programme/

Ticket catagories
The finish area in front of the Hofburg imperial palace will be a hotspot for action and celebrations throughout the 2018 UCI Road World Championships. Two categories of tickets are available for this area: VIP Tickets and Fan Tickets. Fan Tickets start at just €9.90, while VIP Tickets start from €180.

Ticket holders will enjoy a front-row view of the sporting action and direct access to all the parties and concerts going on during the event. VIP guests also have access to the outdoor VIP area next to the finish line as well access as to the exclusive 3,000m2 indoor VIP zone with its lounge area and all-inclusive catering.

Furthermore, holders of tickets can use the public transport network within the city of Innsbruck (IVB) and across the Tirol region (VVT) free of charge on the day of the event. A range of special deals and discounts are also available for ticket holders on the online fan shop, at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds and on the funicular railway and cable cars, which transport passengers from the city centre up to the Nordkette mountains at over 2,000 meters in just 20 minutes. Why not travel into the Alps, enjoy the majestic views and then head back down into the city in time to see the new UCI World Champions crowned?

Tickets are available at: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/visitors-locals/visitors/tickets/

Unbeatable travel offers
Visitors to all the start regions in Innsbruck can choose from many great travel offers. A trip to the 2018 UCI Road World Championships can be easily combined with a few days of sport and relaxation in the beautiful region of Tirol. There are plenty of deals catering for all tastes and wishes – and each one includes Worlds tickets. Eurotours are also offering special packages for cycling fans, for example a six-day stay in Tirol including Worlds tickets and leisure activities. Package deals are also available for groups; the perfect solution for cycling clubs and fan clubs.

Holiday offers: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/accommodation/
Six-day package for groups or clubs: https://www.eurotours-gruppenreisen.at/en/destinationen/uci-road-world-championship

For details on further packages please e-mail: [email protected]

Innsbruck in the heart of Europe
Car, bus, train or plane – there are many ways to get to Innsbruck-Tirol. Innsbruck Airport has regular connections to major cities throughout Europe and beyond, while Munich Airport is just a two-hour drive and Zurich Airport just a three-hour drive away. Rail travel is another quick, comfortable and affordable option, with Innsbruck main train station serving as an international hub for trains arriving from the north, south, east and west.

Innsbruck Airport: https://www.innsbruck-airport.com/en
Austrian Federal Railways: https://www.oebb.at/en/

Volunteering: see the 2018 UCI Road World Championships from a new perspective
Cycling enthusiasts keen to follow the action at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships from a different perspective should sign up to volunteer at the event. Be quick – there are just a few places left. The volunteer teamtirol, which will be responsible for organizing and coordinating volunteers during the Worlds, has grown in recent years to more than 3,200 registered members from over 40 countries, speaking almost 30 different languages. An unforgettable experience and a great way to make new friends!

For information and to sign up please visit: https://www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com/en/volunteers/

Jakob Fuglsang’s new bike: TriColor Hits Suisse Roads, Ready for France
The Astana Pro team leader Jakob Fuglsang will ride the 82nd edition of the Tour de Suisse on his new-of-a-kind custom painted Gallium Pro TriColor bike of Argon 18. In Switzerland Fuglsang is finalizing his preparation for the Tour de France, and the TriColor bike will be his new weapon in pursuit of glory at the Grande Boucle.

“I am impressed with my new bike. That’s so cool to get a personalized bike, special created for me. Nice feeling. I have a huge motivation ahead of the Tour de France, but this TriColor bike motivates me even more. Now we are here at the Tour de Suisse and I am delighted to try my new bike in this race. The Tour de Suisse is an important step towards the Tour de France and I will try to get a good result here. Happy to have this new Argon 18 Gallium Pro next to me, together we could reach something really nice,” – said Jakob Fuglsang.

Inspiration behind the design of TriColor-ParticuleR 03

Argon 18 latest Custom Paint Gallium Pro 2018

As the bike partner of Astana Pro Team and supporter of Jakob Fuglsang, Argon 18 wanted to graphically express his roots and character.

The concept graphically represents the multi-talented aspects of Fuglsang’s cycling past, present and future by giving the impression of three different bikes. This design was created to appear different from various views — front, the left-side and the right-side. Each angle showcases a dynamic of Fuglsang’s racing, interwoven together to a complementary overall design.

From the front, the bike appears a complete static red, making it easy to spot the powerful Dane in the peloton. In terms of details, a special super hero Ironman Fuglsang emblem decorates the top tube. Outside of the superhero genre, the emblems embody more than explosions and effects, it represents his resilient attitude and his will to push the limits.

“This project reflects our concept behind our ParticuleR program, we break away from the norms with challenging production processes. This design with several gradients was particularly labor intensive, with production steps multiplied by three. We were able to accomplish this custom paint scheme with the active participation of Colourburn Studio,” – said Alexandre Saint-Jalm, art director who worked alongside the Astana Pro Team management to elaborate the unique design of Fuglsang’s ParticuleR Gallium Pro.

“We are happy to surprise Fuglsang with his custom TriColor Gallium Pro – ParticuleR. With the Tour de France set by Fuglsang as his target for the season, we wanted to give him some extra motivation in his final build up,” – explained Gervais Rioux, CEO and Founder of Argon 18.


Nalini Announces Adriano Malori’s Video Release, All About Passion
The brave Italian champion is starring in a touching video taken in the region he comes from telling how to emerge stronger than ever out of darkness after a dramatic crash.

Recently appointed as “ambassador” of Nalini, one of the most world famous firms in cycling sportwear, Adriano Malori chose to report all about his recent life in an emotional video powered by the Italian company and now available on Nalini Cyclewear official YouTube channel (click here).

The rider and the brand’s paths cross each other though-out the video as a whole storytelling around passion for cycling, the sport Nalini wrote a great deal with unlike Adriano Malori’s career early halted by the awfull crash in Argentina that could cost him life on January 2016.

Malori proudly emerged out of darkness with the heart of a lion that never gives up. His passion eventually brought him back on saddle while discovering a new person looking around in a different way.

The plot of Malori’s mishap, as much traumatic as happy endings, takes shape in the video from a boxing metaphor inspired by Mohammed Alì sentence about the human capacity of getting up after the fall. By his own voice, Malori explained how he was struggling but never fishing for sympathy, keeping his focus on the bright side of things.

The video was taken in Traversetolo neighborhood, over Parma hills, where Malori has born and still lives surrounded by anyone’s esteem and friendship. Malori was also the subject of a cool Nalini’s photo shooting lately in the Lake Garda area, dressing the new clothes of SS19 collection. “Nalini embodies the history of cycling and and I’m proud to wear their apparel”, Adriano explained.

Adriano Malori on the set of Nalini new corporate video (Credits: Stefano Bellumat):

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