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So much racing to cover this week in EUROTRASH. The Critérium du Dauphiné and the Women’s Tour wind-up and the Tour de Suisse starts, plus the Euro Shop Elfstdenronde, Dwars door het Hageland and the GP Kanton Aargau – GP Canton d’Argovie all with reports, results and video. TOP STORY: Who will Patrick Lefevere pick for the Tour de France? Rider news: Egan Bernal has been sprint training, Alexander Kristoff wants to stay with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Tim Wellens to UAE Team Emirates, Aude Biannic extends Movistar and Ilnur Zakarin retires. The Vuelta a España announces its official song for 2022. And the war in Ukraine still goes on.

top story
TOP STORY: Lefevere’s Tour Selection Puzzle
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl selection for the Tour de France has not yet been finalised, but in his column for Het Nieuwsblad Patrick Lefevere gave his readers an insight into his Tour problem. For example, he says that a lack of race rhythm will not be a reason to leave Julian Alaphilippe at home. “If Alaphilippe gets fit, he will come,” wrote the boss of the Belgian team.

“We always work with a long list: a team of riders already know from the first training camp that we are looking at them for the Tour. After Switzerland we will go from eleven to the final eight names,” said Lefevere about the selection process at Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. “Usually we arrive at our eight names fairly unanimously. It’s not rocket science either, of course. If Julian Alaphilippe gets fit, he’ll come along. We’re not going to be secretive about that. He is making good progress on altitude training in the Sierra Nevada, but with all due respect: there is a big difference between training uphill with Yves Lampaert or Tim Declercq and effectively participating in the race.”

Another strong candidate for the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Tour team is Fabio Jakobsen. “It is no secret that we are going to sprint in the Tour with Fabio Jakobsen. Although I will continue to speak with two words until ad nauseam. Last year, Sam Bennett was also a certainty, so to speak, but in the end Cavendish went to the Tour. I talked to him on the last weekend of the Giro. Mark said there: I’m a pro, I’ll be ready until the last day.”

Lefevere also has his ideas about Jakobsen’s sprint train. “Obviously, if you’re going with a sprinter, you also need a lead-out. Until further notice, Michael Mørkøv is the best in the world in that role. Yves Lampaert and/or Florian Sénéchal have their place on the train. And because as a sprinter team you have to control the race, you also need a profile like Tim Declercq or Josef Cerny. Unfortunately, the latter fell ill again in the Dauphiné.”

Although Lefevere realises that it will be difficult to win the opening time trial in Copenhagen, with, for example, Filippo Ganna and Wout van Aert at the start, he does want to bet on the ride against the clock. “If you give up the time trial, you also give up the classification and you drive in the support car in position twenty behind the peloton. You don’t want to experience that in the planned cobblestone stage to Arenberg on Wednesday. We are counting on Kasper Asgreen for the time trial. Remi Cavagna is also an option.”

“We will not go to the Tour with an outspoken classification man – even without his difficult preparation we would not finish Alaphilippe like this. Mattia Cattaneo is someone who, together with Dries Devenyns, can be used anywhere and at the same time can ride a classification. Last year he finished twelfth for us in the Tour.”

Who will Patrick pick for the Tour?
lefevere

 

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took Stage 5 on Thursday, after a thrilling finalé taken at top speed. The Belgian star out-sprinted Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) by a small margin after the attackers were caught inside the last 100 metres. Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) joined them on the podium. The 10 bonus seconds see Van Aert increase his lead in the overall standings ahead of the final three stages.

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The start from Thizy-les-Bourgs sees 148 riders set off towards Chaintré, with 162.5 rolling kilometres on the menu. The battle for the breakaway was very intense, with 46.2km covered in the first hour. After many attempts, the first climb of the day, Col des Escorbans (Cat.3, summit at 27.9km), served as a springboard for three riders to launch themselves off the front of the race: Fabien Doubey (TotalEnergies), followed by Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis). Two more attackers set off in pursuit, the polka-dot jersey Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis). They bridged the gap to the leaders at the bottom of the 2nd ascent of the day, Côte de Dun (Cat.2, 52.3km). Jumbo-Visma controled the gap to under 3 minutes.

Rolland took the 5 KOM points at the summit and then dropped back to the peloton while Dylan Groenewegen’s BikeExchange-Jayco started to pull behind the four attackers remaining at the front. They brought the gap down to 1:15 with 70km to go. The attackers accelerated and their lead went back up to 2 minute with 30km to go. The race covered 47.1km in the third hour. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) set the pace in the bunch as they faced the penultimate climb of the day, Col du Bois Clair (Cat.4). The Italian star cut the gap down to 1:25 at the summit (138.2km). INEOS maintained a hard pace on the final climb, Côte de Vergisson (Cat.4, 149.6km). Groenewegen was dropped in the last km of the climb. At the summit, the peloton trailed by 35 seconds and the Dutch sprinter was 35 seconds further behind. Thomas, Doubey, Bakelants and Schönberger were still 10 seconds ahead as they entered the final kilometre. Even Primoz Roglič had to take a turn on the front of the bunch. The attackers were eventually caught inside the last 100 metres, where Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) powered to victory just ahead of Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe).

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Stage winner, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “Until the last kilometre, I was focused on catching the break and then I quickly shifted to trying to do a good sprint. Luckily Christophe [Laporte] did a master pull in the end and before I asked the boys to do everything they could. If even GC guys with 60kg pull in the front, you know you have to finish it off. It’s huge to win again on the Dauphiné. Today it was really hard again to catch the break. I needed all my teammates to bridge the gap and it worked out in the end. I’m really proud of my teammates.”

2nd on the stage, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “Before the finale, it was all about surviving the short and steep climbs for me. I really have to thank my teammates for the amazing job they did today and particularly Nils Politt for the perfect lead-out in the finale. Even though I haven’t ridden a sprint for quite a long time, the goal for today was definitely to go for the stage win. It was super close in the end but I’m really happy to take home 2nd today.”

KOM, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM): “I took a few points, it didn’t cost me a lot of energy so it’s pretty good. But the feelings are mixed, with Sebastian Schönberger and the breakaway getting caught. It was tight with the peloton, and Wout van Aert wins again… It feels like it’s always the same. Tomorrow is still not too hard, but I think that on Saturday with the Galibier and the Croix-de-Fer, the “small points” that I have scored so far won’t mean much.”

3rd on the stage and 4th overall, Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers): “It would be nice to take a win actually. I think maybe there was a moment of hesitation in the sprint. But my team were amazing today with what they did in the final, it was really incredible. My performances are good, but being three times on the podium. Tomorrow might be easier than today in the finish. Probably BikeExchange will try to control again and we’ll see how it goes.”

Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers): “We maintained suspense. 70 kilometres from the finish, there were not many people betting on us. I wanted to save some for the sprint, I don’t know if it was risky but in the end we are 5 seconds short. It was not a trivial breakaway, we almost escaped the scenario everyone was expecting with a mass sprint. There is nothing to regret”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Result:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 3:38:35
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies
5. Hugo Page (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
8. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
10. Juan Sebastián Molano (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 5:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 17:04:31
2. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:03
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:06
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:32
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:49
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:55
8. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:58
9. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 2:00
10. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 2:10.

Dauphiné’22 stage 5:

 

Valentin Ferron outwitted his breakaway companions in the finalé of Stage 6 on Friday, surging under the red flag to clinch his first WorldTour victory. Emulating Total Energies team-mate Alexis Vuillermoz a few days earlier, the 24-year-old Frenchman won ahead of Pierre Rolland, who strengthened his KOM lead, and a third Frenchman, Warren Barguil. It was the third French victory in the 2022 Dauphiné, the two other stages having been won by Wout van Aert, who retained his yellow jersey ahead of a mountainous final weekend.

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The peloton left Rives without white jersey contender Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), who felt unwell and was unfit to start. The peloton was nervous from the gun, but eventually a group of three finally broke clear: Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Lukasz Owsian (Arkea Samsic). But the trio was reined in after 36 kilometre. The first climb of the day, Cote de Ste Eulalie en Royans (Cat. 4), was an opportunity for former race leader Alexis Vuillermoz to attack with Kevin Geniets, Mikkel Honoré and Samuele Battistella, but they were quickly reeled in. As Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) abandoned, the break of the day took shape on the second climb, the Cat 3 Cote des Grands-Goulets, where KOM leader Pierre Rolland led the way, followed by six other riders. The seven escapees were Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R-Citroen), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Andrea Bagioli (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Valentin Ferron (Total Energies), Warren Barguil (Arkea Samsic) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels) and the pack seemed content to let them go as the gap steadily increased.

While the lead settled at around 4 minutes, reaching a maximum of 4:25, Pierre Rolland kept collecting points for his KOM jersey by finishing first on the second category climbs of the day, Col de Rousset (74.3km) and Col de Cabre (138.7km). The Frenchman took 12 points to take his overall tally to 29. In this last climb, Armirail lost ground and was dropped by his former breakaway companions. The sprint of the day went to Warren Barguil, who collected 10 seconds and 3 points ahead of Ferron and Bouchard. Dylan Groenewegen also struggled on the final climb, but still had plenty of time to chase before the finish. Jumbo-Visma passed the baton to Trek-Segafredo to lead the bunch but no team seemed determined to chase the break and the lead was still 3 minutes with 30km to go. Wout Van Aert’s teammates looked content maintaining a small enough gap not to lose the yellow jersey, Bagioli was at 3:02 at the start, leaving the six escapees to battle it out for the stage laurels. The gap was down to 1 minute with 5 km to go, when Bouchard attacked to try to drop his companions. The six kept working together until 1K to go. It was then that Ferron, who had only won a stage in the Tour du Rwanda before this, decided to go for it. He took the five others by surprise and Rolland and Barguil were left to settle for a podium place.

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Stage winner, Valentin Ferron (TotalEnergies): “It’s huge. It’s the result of a lot of work. Every day you hope to win but you have to enjoy a World Tour victory because there won’t be a lot in a career. It’s an achievement, a great satisfaction in a sports career. It was a great breakaway group, with strong guys in the front. I was not the fastest so when I saw that there was a lull I decide to surge and go for it and it worked. It’s great. It’s a special feeling to win here. We’ll celebrate tonight and maybe it will sink in then. This year, you can tell that the dynamics are good in the team, everybody is involved and it’s fine. A lot of riders have already won a race this season.”

Overall leader, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma): “The plan was to defend our position in GC. It was a long day and we had been pulling at the front already the whole week. We wanted to have a good beak-away and take it a bit more easy in the end. But it was a really hectic start with a lot of attacks. And in the end, some teams still tried to go for the stage but it was too late.For us everything went according to plan. My climbing legs are not too bad, it’s been up and down already the whole week but for sure it will be different tomorrow. Of course we have Primoz who is doing really well and tomorrow a new race starts.”

KOM and 2nd on the stage, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM): “I decided not to move in the last bump because I really thought I could do well in a sprint. After 200 km, in spite of what people think, I can be quite fast in a group. Valentin surged at the right time, we were not really watching him because he looked the most worn out of the guys in front. Second is second. I was disappointed yesterday, I’m disappointed today. It’s the story of my career that I need time to win a big one. It’s frustrating but I hope to still have good legs tomorrow to take the KOM jersey all the way.”

5th on the stage, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “We managed to break away on top of the climb after an hour of racing. All the guys in the break worked well together and we were going very fast. On the last climbs, I tried to attack but I was very tired and the headwind did not favour a solo rider. In the last few hundred meters, we looked at each other a bit, luckily we had some leeway. It’s a shame to miss out on a great victory. As in Paris-Camembert (4th), the one who attacked under the flame rouge went to the end, so it’s a bit frustrating.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 6 Result:
1. Valentin Ferron (Fra) TotalEnergies in 4:22:17
2. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM at 0:03
3. Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
4. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
5. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën
6. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
7. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies at 0:32
8. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
10. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 6:
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 21:27:20
2. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 1:03
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:06
4. Ethan Hayter (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:32
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:49
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:55
8. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 2:00
9. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 2:10
10. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:12.

Dauphiné’22 stage 6:

 

The first Alpine stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2022 brought an all-out battle in the mountains for Carlos Verona (Movistar) to take the win in Vaujany and Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) to move into yellow and blue jersey. The Spanish climber was the strongest on Stage 7 from an impressive group that went away on the first climb of the day, the Col du Galibier. He maintained a gap of 13 seconds on Roglič, who finished 2nd on the stage ahead of his teammate Jonas Vingegaard. Wout van Aert was dropped on the climb to Col de la Croix-de-Fer but Jumbo-Visma still smashed final ascent of the day to dominate the overall standings ahead of the final stage: Roglic is the new leader, 44 seconds ahead of Vingegaard. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) is third at 1:24.

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The race set off into the Alps with 138 riders, three non-starters: Meeus, Froome and Groenewegen, with countless candidates for the breakaway. The start was up hill leading to the Col du Galibier (Cat. HC, summit at 26.5km), attacks went left and right, with Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) among the most active rider to defend his polka-dot jersey. The French climber was the first over the top, alongside Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe). Chasers are all over the road, and 16 bridge the gap on the downhill towards Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne: Andrey Amador (INEOS Grenadiers), Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious), Gregor Muhlberger & Carlos Verona (Movistar), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Omer Goldstein (Israel Premier Tech), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Andres Ardila (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Elissonde, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea-Samsic), Laurens Huys (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Mark Donovan & Kevin Vermaerke (DSM).

Jumbo-Visma drive the bunch and the gap increases to 2:30 on the valley leading to the second HC-climb of the day, towards the Col de La-Croix-de-Fer. Mark Donovan attacked on the first slopes. Into the last 50km of the stage, he has a 30 second lead on his chasers, and the peloton trail by 3:30. Luis Leon Sanchez leads the virtual standings as he was trailing by 2:47 on GC at the start of the day. Halfway through the 29km climb, the gap between Donovan and his chasers was up to 1:05 and the peloton trailed by 4:05. Jasper Stuyven led the chase behind Donovan and Uno-X up the pace in the bunch. Donovan was caught with 7km of the climb remaining, and the gap to the bunch was down to 2:50.

Five riders emerged at the front on the final kilometres of the climb: Rolland, who takes the 15 KOM points at the summit, Muhlberger, Verona, Lafay and Elissonde. In the bunch, Groupama-FDJ and then Bahrain Victorious increase the pressure and Wout van Aert is dropped inside the last 3km. Cattaneo also struggles, and Primoz Roglič was the virtual leader as he summits with a gap of 1:50 to the front of the race. Verona and Elissonde accelerate on the descent, while stragglers return to the chase group. At the bottom of the final climb to Vaujany (5.7km at 7.2%), Guglielmi, Vermaerke, Skujins and Muhlberger are 25 seconds behind the lead duo. The peloton trail by 1:30. Verona attacked and dropped Elissonde. In the GC group, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) sets a brutal pace for Primoz Roglič, who then attacked in the final 2km of the climb. Verona could feel the pressure behind him, but the Spaniard maintained a lead of 13 seconds to the line. Vingegaard finished 3rd at 25 seconds, ahead of Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) at 27 seconds and Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X) at 39.

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Stage winner, Carlos Verona (Movistar): “This is just incredible. It’s been 12 years as a pro for me, already; I think I always performed decently, improving constantly, but I always lacked a victory, I was never the winning kind of rider. I’ve gained confidence over the last few years, I came close quite a few times, twice 3rd in TDF stages, 2nd at La Vuelta last year, and when I was into the breakaway today, I said: ‘It has to be today!’. I knew the finish, because we came to the Alps to recon Tour stages and we took advantage to check this course with the team. I’ve got so much to thank for to Gregor Mühlberger, because he worked so hard for me into the escape. We made the right moves, the legs were great, and in the end, opening my victory account – I’m just so happy. In the finale, I was thinking: ‘You’ll see, I’m always so unlucky, Roglic will come past like a jet and will take it away from me.’ I just rode like a TT – I had Patxi Vila, who is also my coach, giving me support and time gaps at the team car. I just struggled, like a dog, and only with 200 meters to go I looked behind to make sure, because I was at unbearable levels of agony, and enjoyed it, so much. I thought about my wife and the kids, because it’s always so much time away from them, in altitude training, competing – they’re my motivation. This victory is for them and the team. It’s not an easy era for us, and we deserve this. Lots of work behind, many months of sacrifice – a big weight off our shoulders. Having this picture for me is so beautiful and big motivation, to never settle and continue improving.”

Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I enjoyed this stage. In this region, I won my first Tour stage a few years ago. Today it went well too. Winning the stage was not the main priority, but it’s a shame I missed the victory by a hair. Carlos deserved the stage win the most. The team did an excellent job and Jonas rode an impressive stage. I regard tomorrow’s stage as the queen stage. Of course I want to defend my leader’s jersey. It is certainly not a done deal yet, so we must be on our guard. I came to this Dauphiné to get a good feeling. We are on the right track with the team towards the upcoming goals. I still improve every day and feel my legs are getting stronger. That is a good sign.”

4th on the stage and 3rd overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I got foiled because I got jumped by Roglic. It’s a bit frustrating because in the finish I didn’t actually lose much. It was the jump that he got me on. I mean, he was definitely the strongest here! There’s not much else I can say, but I’m pretty happy. That’s probably the closest I have gotten to him, so it’s an improvement. There’s still one more day to go, so hopefully I can pull it off and get a finish on the podium. I’m just happy to be racing with the best guys, and it bodes well for the Tour de France as well.”

Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe): “At the Croix de Fer we’ve already seen the pre-final today. Some teams pulled really hard to bring back the breakaway but also reduce the group of the GC contenders. On the final climb attacks were flying and I’d have liked to stay with the front group of course. But eventually we still have one more stage here and the top-10 are still possible for me.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 Result:
1. Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar in 3:53:35
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 0:13
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:25
4. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:27
5. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 0:39
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:40
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:48
10. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:56

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 7:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 25:22:08
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:44
3. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 1:24
4. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:30
5. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 1:32
6. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:40
7. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 2:05
8. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar at 2:06
9. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain-Victorious at 2:12
10. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 2:16.

Dauphiné’22 stage 7:

 

Jonas Vingegaard powered to an impressive Final Stage 8 win at the Plateau de Solaison ahead of Primoz Roglič, who sealed his overall victory on the final summit of the 74th Critérium du Dauphiné. The Jumbo-Visma collective had already taken a significant advantage ahead of the final stage, with the Slovenian leader wearing the yellow and blue jersey ahead of his Danish lieutenant. They put even more emphasis on their domination with the support of the whole black and yellow train and especially Steven Kruijswijk, who smashed the GC group to pieces on the final climb. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) was the last rival to resist, but he couldn’t keep up with Vingegaard’s decisive acceleration 5km from the finish. The Australian climber rounded out the podium of the stage and the final overall.

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The final summit of the Critérium du Dauphiné was almost in sight, as the 134 riders (1 non-starter: Enric Mas) rolled out from Saint-Alban-Leysse towards Plateau de Solaison. They immediately faced the climb to Col de Plainpalais (Cat.1, summit at 8.8km), the battle for the break started early.

After many attacks and counter-attacks, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) was first over the top with the polka-dot jersey on his shoulders, 13 riders were with him: Eddie Dunbar & Laurens De Plus (INEOS Grenadiers), Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe), Bruno Armirail & Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates), Antonio Tiberi, Kenny Elissonde & Antwan Tolhoek (Trek-Segafredo), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM). Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) made it 15 riders at the front as he bridged the gap towards the second climb of the day, Col de Leschaux (Cat.3, 30.8km), Rolland was first to the top again. Primoz Roglič’s Jumbo-Visma controlled the gap between 2:00 and 2:30 in the valley leading to the final challenges. The gap was down to 1:35 at the bottom of the climb to the Col de la Colombière (Cat.1, 100.5km). Armirail and Storer accelerate and only three riders follow the Groupama-FDJ duo at the front: Dunbar, Bennett and Elissonde. The gap increased to 2:15 with 6km to go to the summit, but Jumbo-Visma also pick up the pace. They trailed by 2 minutes when Armirail cracked with 3km to go to the summit.

De Plus and Hirt join the front of the race in the last kilometre of the climb. The gap to the bunch was down to 1:35 again as they dive into the downhill towards the final climb of the day. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) pulled the bunch on the downhill and the valley. At the bottom of the climb to Plateau de Solaison, the gap was down to 1:05. Steven Kruijswijk set a brutal pace for the bunch. Bennett is the last of the break to be caught, 6.5km from the finish. By that time, only 6 riders remain at the front: Kruijswijk, Vingegaard and Roglič for Jumbo-Visma, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën), Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) and Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious). Kruijswijk kept pushing until Vingegaard accelerated with 5.3km to go. O’Connor tried to resist but he couldn’t keep up with the Jumbo-Visma duo, who collaborate at the front. The stage win for Vingegaard and the overall victory for Roglič. O’Connor finished third at 15 seconds.

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Stage winner and 2nd overall, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma): “It was quite incredible. We had planned to attack and that [Primoz Roglic] should follow me because we wanted to see if we could drop everyone. We succeeded with that so I think we can be very happy and proud of what we did. In the Ardennes classic, I didn’t have the best period but now I’m back at a really high level and for sure I’m really happy about it. It’s one of the biggest races in the world. To win a stage and to be second overall is great for me. To be honest, it would be hard to be 1-2 in the Tour because there will be many GC contenders. But we aim to at least have one of us win the Tour.”

Final overall winner and 2nd on the stage, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “This is certainly very beautiful. Finally I win a race in France!” “That is very nice. Not only Jonas (Vingegaard, ed.) was very strong. As a team, we were in control of the race from the start.” “It was a difficult opening phase, but we were in control and the guys drove really great. Jonas was really strong on the final climb. It’s crazy hey““It’s a beautiful day for the team. Everything is going in the right direction.” “We can go to the Tour with confidence, but there is still some time and work to do.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën): “I thought maybe I’d get back to them. I still had legs. I never exploded. It’s just that I couldn’t go with the first accelerations. But I can be super proud. Jonas Vingegaard was second in the Tour last year, Primoz won the Vuelta a couple of times; he’s won pretty much every other stage race, so it just means you are there fighting with the best guys. I can be really proud today. It’s a race, you just go all in. You have to race with your heart and just go all in. I think if you try to keep something in reserve, you’re never going to find that absolute form to find the best result. You definitely can’t hold anything back. It’s everything that we’ve done as a team. All the preparation and all the confidence that the boys have shown in me has paid off, and I think we’re really not that far away from fighting with the actually very best in the world. And that’s something we can be proud of all together.”

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 8 Result:
1. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma in 3:49:20
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
3. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 0:15
4. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 0:53
5. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 0:55
7. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain-Victorious
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:20
10. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 1:40

Critérium du Dauphiné Final Overall Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 29:11:22
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma at 0:40
3. Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën at 1:41
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Victorious at 2:33
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain-Victorious at 3:13
6. Louis Meintjes (SA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 3:17
7. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost at 3:18
8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 3:44
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-EasyPost at 3:48
10. Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X at 3:51.

Dauphiné’22 stage 8:

 

suisse
Tour de Suisse 2022
The First Stage of the Tour of Switzerland, finishing in Küsnacht, was won by Stephen Williams. The 26-year-old Welshman of Bahrain-Victorious won the sprint from an elite group after an exciting final, ahead of Maximilian Schachmann and Andreas Kron. Williams is also the overall leader.

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In the opening stage of the Tour of Switzerland it was immediately all hands on deck for the riders with GC ambitions. With a lot of climbing on the menu, it was difficult enough to get rid of the sprinters. The climbs of the Pfannenstiel (4.1km at 4.6%) and the Küsnachter Berg (2.8km at 7.3%) had to be overcome.

The early break was formed by seven riders, who had jump away from the start. The lead of home rider Simon Vitzthum (Swiss National Team), Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Lewis Askey (Groupama-FDJ), Casper Pedersen, Chad Haga (Team DSM) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) quickly rose and after about 25 kilometres the difference to the peloton was 4 minutes. Brent Van Moer tried to cross to the front riders, but didn’t succeed and was caught again. The seven riders who were part of the early break took a maximum lead of 4 minutes. This was the signal for BORA-hansgrohe to accelerate in the peloton and take control of the race. The German team apparently had plans for Aleksandr Vlasov, Sergio Higuita and Maximilian Schachmann. After a while Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl also decided to lend a hand in the pursuit. With Tim Declercq as a fresh force, the difference became smaller and smaller. At the foot of the penultimate climb of the day, the leading group only had 30 seconds. This turned out not to be enough and the leading group was caught before the foot of the last climb of the Küsnachter Berg. The Küsnachter Berg was only about 3 kilometres long, but was quite steep and this turned out to be an excellent opportunity for the top riders to split the race. Alessandro Covi, Andreas Kron and Stefan Küng tried but failed to get away.

Just before the summit, Jakob Fuglsang pushed on and the experienced Dane was countered by Remco Evenepoel. Fuglsang didn’t get away, but managed to split the main group with his accelerations. An elite group of about fifteen riders remained over the Küsnachter Berg. The main favourites looked to be there, although Daniel Felipe Martínez and Gino Mäder were in trouble. Once at the top of the Küsnachter, it was still 5 kilometres to the finish. In the final kilometres there was a barrage of attacks, but these accelerations were nipped in the bud. In the penultimate kilometre Aleksandr Vlasov attacked and the BORA-hansgrohe rider had Evenepoel with him. Vlasov and Evenepoel looked like they were going for the win, but INEOS Grenadiers closed the gap and there was going to be a sprint with about 20 riders for the win. In the chaotic sprint, Stephen Williams surprisingly won. Schachmann was second and Kron third. For the 26-year-old Williams, who has only had eleven race days this year, it is his first victory of 2022. The British climber switched to the pros a few years ago, but has suffered many injuries in recent seasons. Last year he showed his class by taking the overall victory in the CRO Race. Most of the top riders for the GC finished in the first group and lost no time, but for Martínez, Rigoberto Urán, Thibaut Pinot and Gino Mäder, there is already work to be done after one stage as they crossed the line in a second group, 51 seconds behind stage winner Williams.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Stephen Williams (Bahrain-Victorious): “I guess I don’t really realise it yet. It’s been a strange couple of years. To get here and win the stage is… I’m in the clouds. It’s my first big race since the Tour de Romandie. I’ve had a good month of training but was unsure how my form would be. I knew I had worked hard. To win the first stage, from a group like this, is very special.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was actually quite a tough stage today. Initially, I didn’t feel so great due to the heat, but I saw that a lot of other riders were also suffering. On the last climb, the pace picked up and a selection was then made there. Everyone went full gas and no one was quite able to get away. It ended up being a bit of a poker game, but as a team we played it well. It’s always nice to race as part of a successful team and the spirit in the squad is really good here this week. In terms of the final result, it was very close in the end, but Williams was simply stronger today.”

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result:
1. Stephen Williams (GB) Bahrain-Victorious in 4:16:51
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
4. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan
6. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
8. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Tour de Suisse Overall After Stage 1:
1. Stephen Williams (GB) Bahrain-Victorious in 4:16:41
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal at 0:06
4. Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
5. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan
6. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
8. Sergio Higuita (Col) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Suisse’22 stage 1:

 

header women's tour
The Women’s Tour 2022
The Fourth Stage of the Women’s Tour, finishing in Welshpool, was won by Grace Brown. The Australian was too fast for her fellow escapees Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini after a stage of over 145 kilometres in a sprint. Brown also took over the leader’s jersey from Lorena Wiebes.

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The route was quite up and down in the fourth stage of the Women’s Tour and this offered attackers the opportunity to take action, although a bunch sprint was also an option at the end of the 145 kilometres from Wrexham to Welshpool. There were two categorised climbs: the Hirnant Pass (1km at 7.6%) and Bryn-y-Fedwen (1.7km at 6.2%), but there was plenty of other climbs as well. Never extremely long, but tough, especially for the sprinters in the peloton.

Four women managed to form the early break: Teuntje Beekhuis (Jumbo-Visma), Mikayla Harvey (Canyon//SRAM), Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) and Maaike Boogaard (UAE Team ADQ), they took a maximum lead of more than 1:30. The peloton didn’t give the four escapees an easy day and with 60 kilometres to go, the front runners were caught. A new breakaway group of 10 very strong riders soon emerged. World Hour Record holder Ellen van Dijk, Paris-Roubaix winner Elisa Longo Borghini, Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Grace Brown, Elise Chabbey, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Kristen Faulkner, Alexandra Manly, Veronica Ewers and Riejanne Markus joined forces to break away from the peloton to take a lead of 30 second. In the large group, it was up to the teammates of leader Wiebes to sort out the precarious situation. However, this turned out to be no easy task, as the front group were riding hard.

With fast riders like Van Dijk, Brown, Longo Borghini and Manly in the break, they seemed to have a chance of success. At 15 kilometres from the finish, the lead was still just under half a minute and in the peloton DSM was using their strength, but not getting any closer, the winner was in the front group. Brown decided to throw her cards on the table. The Australian had to do something, as she doesn’t have a strong sprint. Brown accelerated with three kilometres to go and managed to rip the leading group apart. Two riders crossed to Brown. Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma caught the Australian, the other riders looked at each other for too long. Brown, Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma pushed on and started the last kilometre together. In the sprint, Brown took the win, somewhat surprisingly. The difference with Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini was clear for Brown to recorded her second victory of the season.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “I had planned before today that I wanted to be aggressive in the final. It’s cool when you play out your plan and it comes off so I was excited, and also I guess a bit of relief because this is my first win of the year and I’ve been wanting it for a little while. We were working consistently most of the time. I guess there was some points where we took the gas off a little bit, but any time that we heard that the gap come down, we notched it up a little. I think when the roads were more climby we got a bit more time, obviously around the lake, where it was flat, the time started coming down quite a bit. I wasn’t too concerned [on being joined by Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini], it was actually quite good because you’re more likely to stay away if you’ve got three. Out of everyone there I think I can beat those two in a sprint, so I was quite happy about it actually. It was nice to have them in the final. Obviously I want to be up there on the final climb [tomorrow], I think that’s what it’s going to come down to. I’m happy now that I’ve got a little bit of buffer and time, then if I finish with the top climbers then I can hopefully retain the jersey.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): “It was a really lumpy stage, there were some really hard [ŠKODA] QoMs in the middle of the stage and then some more, let’s say flat parts in the end, but still uncategorised hilly parts. It was really really hard. I like the stage here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. With the team we chased back the breakaway. It was away and then the team director told me to go on the first [ŠKODA] QoM, and there we set up a breakaway that stayed away until the end. It was always really close to the bunch but we managed to stay away. I’m excited about tomorrow. It’s going to be nice to finish up on the Black Mountain.”

Women’s Tour Stage 4 Result:
1. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 3:48:34
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM Racing
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:10
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM
6. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
7. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx
8. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:36
9. Veronica Ewers (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
10. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM at 1:16.

Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 4:
1. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 12:39:11
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM Racing at 0:04
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:06
4. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:13
5. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM at 0:17
6. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx at 0:18
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:46
8. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM at 1:06
9. Veronica Ewers (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB at 1:18
10. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:19.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 4:

 

The Fifth Stage of the Women’s Tour was won on by Elisa Longo Borghini. The Italian Trek-Segafredo rider was the best on the final climb to Black Mountain. She was ahead of Katerzyna Niewiadoma and overall leader Grace Brown.

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A large break was the order of the day. Joscelin Lowden (Uno-X) was the instigator and she was joined by Christine Majerus (SD Worx), Sheyla Gutierrez (Movistar), Shari Bossuyt, Mikayla Harvey (Canyon-SRAM), Georgia Williams (BikeExchange-Jayco), Krista Doebel-Hickock (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB), Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ), Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo), Thalita de Jong (Liv Racing Xstra), Romy Kasper (Jumbo-Visma) and Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT).

In the peloton, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope took the front for leader Grace Brown. As a result, the leading group didn’t ever have more than 2 minutes. More than 20 kilometres from the finish, the break with Van Dijk, De Jong and Bossuyt came to an end. All the action would come on the final climb to Black Mountain (7.2km at 5.3%, max. 21%). Elisa Longo Borghini made an attack 2.5 kilometres from the finish and she split the favourites group. The headwind didn’t favour the attackers.

A second attack from Longo Borghini was countered by leader Grace Brown, but again a large group came back together. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio tried again, but she couldn’t get away either. BikeExchange-Jayco then took control. Kristen Faulkner kept the pace up, but her teammate Alexandra Manly was unable to sprint. On the steep final sections it was Longo Borghini who managed to beat Kasia Niewiadoma in the sprint. Leader Brown crossed the finish line in third place shortly after.

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Stage winner and 2nd overall, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): “I feel like I won already a stage when we won in 2019 with Lizzie [Deignan] so it’s a very nice feeling. It was very windy up the climb and mostly a head wind so really hard to make the selection. In the end, I just trusted my sprint and I went at 150 to go full gas. I just wanted to win because I wanted to pay off all the teamwork that my team did. We were really committed from the very beginning of the race. At the moment I want to relax and enjoy the victory, and then tomorrow is tomorrow. We think about it tomorrow.”

Overall leader and 3rd on the stage, Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope): “It was quite a race into the bottom of it, all the GC riders had the lead outs from their teams. My team had done a lot of work all day so we were down to one rider in the end, but I managed to stay at the front. Then the wind neutralised the climb a little bit from too many attacks but it was still hard, really hard in the last kilometre. There was a bit of doubt because I knew that if I wanted to stay ahead in time then I needed to come second on Elisa’s wheel with no gap, but then it worked out that if I came third we were equal. I didn’t know how it worked in terms of count-back, but I retained the jersey. It will be really cool, the Cotswolds are almost a second home, because my husband’s family are from the area, so I’m going to have a lot of support out on the road and it will be special to be in the leader’s jersey for tomorrow’s race. I’m not quite sure how we are going to approach tomorrow yet, whether we go for the sprint bonuses. I also have a really strong sprinter teammate in Clara [Copponi], who won the first stage, so she might be able to take the sprint bonuses for me, which takes a little bit of stress off my shoulders.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM): “On the final climb, I knew it would be impossible to ride away because of the headwind where those behind you could benefit so much from being on the wheel. I was waiting for the final kilometre. Unfortunately, I had some issues in the final which made it more challenging but I just had to adapt and do my best. I’m a bit sad not to get the stage win but it’s even closer now on GC so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

6th overall, Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM): “At the start, I was a little worried when [Christine] Majerus was in the early move, but the team helped close the gap and I could jump to her on the top of the first climb. I got a good number of points on the second one and it’s nice I secured the jersey.”

Women’s Tour Stage 5 Result:
1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 3:01:49
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM
3. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
4. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco
5. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco
6. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx at 0:06
7. Riejanne Markus (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:19
8. Veronica Ewers (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
9. Becky Storrie (GB) CAMS-Basso at 0:21
10. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 0:23.

Women’s Tour Overall After Stage 5:
1. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope in 15:40:56
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 0:02
4. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:20
5. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx at 0:28
6. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM at 0:45
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:50
8. Veronica Ewers (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB at 1:41
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:46
10. Mikayla Harvey (NZ) Canyon//SRAM at 1:52.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 5:

 

Lorena Wiebes won the Final Stage 6 in the Women’s Tour. The DSM rider turned out to be the fastest of the bunch again in Oxford. Grace Brown looked like she would take the overall victory on Saturday, until Elisa Longo Borghini grabbed a few bonus seconds. With that, the Italian was the final overall winner.

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With Brown in the leader’s jersey, the Women’s Tour started the final stage on Saturday. On a flat stage between Chipping Norton and Oxford, the Australian did not want any problems. Only in the final sprint did Brown have to watch out for Longo Borghini, who started the final stage on the same time.

A big break with Ellen van Dijk, Georgi Pfeiffer, Marit Raaijmakers, Maaike Boogaard, Georgia Williams, Elena Cecchini, Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Romy Kasper, and others, escaped the peloton, but no one posed any real danger for the overall. Ane Iversen, Alessia Patuelli, and Mieke Kroger managed to stay out front the longest. With 20 kilometres to go they had a lead of about 40 seconds. In the peloton, DSM was chasing the break for Lorena Wiebes, who wanted to win another stage. The flight was brought back, after which Wiebes won. The battle for the overall victory was more exciting. There didn’t seem to be a problem for Brown, but Longo Borghini threw her bike over the finish line of the stage, taking a precious 1 second bonus over Brown and adding the Women’s Tour to her palmarès.

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Stage winner, Lorena Wiebes (DSM): “I think we did again a really good job with controlling the race today with Megan and Leah controlling it when the three were in front. We tried to use other teams with the lead-out and made some mistakes. The plan was actually to sprint with Charlotte so I have double feelings with this result, this is not quite how we want it to turn out. So I can learn from this and take it to the next one.”

Final overall winner, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): “This is a big relief to win this race because it has been a strange spring for me. Now I am back to my normal level. It’s nice to win an overall classification, this has not happened to me many times in my life. It’s only the third tour I have won; this one is up there as one that ranks high. We decided to go for the intermediate sprint, and I was fourth so I was like okay, that’s the second place and that’s it. But then all my team-mates kept my morale up, and said we try at the finish and we’ll do the lead-out for you. I was really doubting, but when you see such a team that is motivated and they are really believing in you, just want to give them back everything. In the end, they all did a perfect job and Audrey [Cordon-Ragot] led me into the final 500m. I know that in corners I am good, and I let some riders in front of me to take their draft, and I made my own sprint. We knew the finale was pretty technical and we studied it this morning with [director] Ina Teutenberg. This is also why in the end I think they all believed I could do it because of the corners. But again, I have to give big thanks to my team Trek – Segafredo. Lizzie [Deignan] sent me a nice message yesterday and said remember my sprint in 2019. That was such a close battle again with Kasia Niewiadoma and she made it, so yeah it was nice to hear from her about that.”

KOM: Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM Racing): “It’s really nice to finish the tour with the GC podium and the mountain jersey. The whole team was committed and so motivated every day to achieve the best. When the atmosphere is like that it’s easy to give our best. Our teamwork and spirit were rewarded with the best team classification. We also know where we can improve, especially in the lead out, but we take a lot of positives from this tour!”

Women’s Tour Stage 6 Result:
1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 3:38:15
2. Clara Copponi (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek – Segafredo
4. Tereza Neumanova (CZ) Liv Racing Xstra
5. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Movistar
6. Charlotte Kool (Ned) DSM
7. Maike van der Duin (Ned) Le Col-Wahoo
8. Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco
9. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT
10. Christine Majerus (Lux) SD Worx.

Women’s Tour Final Overall Result:
1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo in 19:19:07
2. Grace Brown (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope at 0:01
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon//SRAM at 0:05
4. Alexandra Manly (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:24
5. Ashleigh Moolman (SA) SD Worx at 0:32
6. Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon//SRAM at 0:49
7. Kristen Faulkner (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco at 0:54
8. Veronica Ewers (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB at 1:45
9. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ at 1:50
10. Mikayla Harvey (NZ) Canyon//SRAM at 1:56.

Woman’s Tour’22 stage 6:

 

elfstedenronde22
Euro Shop Elfstdenronde 2022
Fabio Jakobsen has won the 2022 Elfstdenronde. The Dutch sprinter of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was too fast for Caleb Ewan and Tim Merlier after a race of more than 190 kilometres.

alfstdenronde22

The Exterioo Cup continued on Sunday with the Elfstdenronde, the ninth round in the series. This would be a day for the sprinters, starting and finishing in Bruges. The riders had to cover more than 190 kilometres in and around Bruges. The race consisted of a long loop, followed by six passes on a local 16 kilometre circuit with cobbled sections.

Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Kobe Vanoverschelde (Tarteletto-Isorex) and Reece Wood (WiV SunGod) were the ‘Break of the Day’ and were off the front for a long time. However, the four were caught halfway through the race, as the pace in the peloton was high. This caused nervousness with splits in the peloton and a few crashes, but after a while calm returned, resulting in a regrouping. Several riders tried to get away, including Taco van der Hoorn, the winner of the Brussels Cycling Classic. However, the Dutch rider of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert was given little space and was soon pulled back by the big bunch, as were Lionel Taminiaux and Robert Scott. This happened at about 20 kilometres from the finish and everything seemed to point to a bunch sprint. In the last 20 kilometres there was some attack attempts, but the control by the sprinter’s teams turned out to be too strong.

The sprint trains could now prepare for the bunch sprint, because the difference was not made on the cobbles of the Brieversweg either. Sven Erik Bystrøm was out to thwart the sprinters’ plans in the final kilometres, but the attack by the Norwegian of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert didn’t come to much. With more than 2 kilometres to go, Bystrøm was caught again and the preparation for the sprint could really start. Due to the high tempo in the finalé, the peloton was in a long line. Israel-Premier Tech tried to pilot Giacomo Nizzolo as best they could. However, the Israeli team took the lead too early and was outflanked by the other sprint teams. No team really managed to keep the upper hand in the last kilometre, which resulted in a chaotic sprint. Jakobsen didn’t get the lead-out he wanted on the Buiten Kruisvest, but he started the sprint in an ideal position. The Dutchman managed to break free with a few powerful pedal strokes and in the last metres he managed to hold Ewan and Merlier off.

Elfstdenronde22

Race winner, Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “Winning is never easy. I sort of started again in the Tour of Hungary and then went to a training camp in Spain with part of the Tour core. The legs there were good, but a competition is different from training. It is good to stimulate the body again today. I could feel my legs. There was a chicane two kilometres from the finish. There the speed went completely off and you have to be among the first ten to fifteen riders. Lampy (Yves Lampaert) brought me to the front and Florian (Sénéchal) also managed to move up and pick up the sprint. That went a bit messy, but the speed was high enough. It was a headwind. Timing is very important then. I started at 200 metres from the finish. That’s always a bit of a gamble, but I know I’m up to it. I still felt Ewan coming on the left, but at a certain moment he also feels the wind on his head. The pace between us was the same, but I started my sprint a little earlier and that’s why I won.”

Euro Shop Elfstdenronde Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel-Premier Tech
6. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech
7. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
8. Matthew Bostock (GB) WiV SunGod
9. Erlend Blikra (Nor) Uno-X
10. Christophe Noppe (Bel) Arkéa Samsic.

Euro Shop Elfstdenronde’22:

 

hageland
Dwars door het Hageland 2022
Oscar Riesebeek won Dwars door het Hageland. The Dutchman of Alpecin-Fenix attacked 10 kilometres from the finish and held on up the citadel. His teammate Gianni Vermeersch finished second ahead of Florian Sénéchal of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.

hageland22

On Saturday, the Dwars door het Hageland was a tough race over 177 kilometres. There was no early break in the Hageland, despite several attempts. It wasn’t until 70 kilometres from the finish that things really got serious when Tim Wellens attacked. However, the Belgian did not get away. The same was true for Tom Devriendt and Connor Swift. Wellens stayed active and after a new attempt was neutralised at 55 kilometres from the finish, the Lotto Soudal rider got away at 45 kilometres from the finish.

Wellens, Florian Vermeersch, Fabio Van den Bossche and Taco van der Hoorn were part of the first group, which had a lead of around 30 seconds towards the finish in Aalst. For a while the race seemed over, until a regrouping in the final lap followed. Several riders attacked, but there was no real power behind the moves. Benjamin Declercq escaped for a while, as did Victor Campenaerts, but it was Riesebeek who had something left in the tank. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​rode away with 10 kilometres to go and quickly expanded his lead. He held out on the last climb and had tome to celebrate the biggest victory of his career in Aalst. Gianni Vermeersch sprinted to second place a few seconds later, ahead of Florian Sénéchal.

hageland22

Race winner, Oscar Riesebeek (Alpecin-Fenix): “That I am a surprising winner? You can say yes. Gianni Vermeersch was our man before the start and he was also targeted. But with the team there were still enough riders in the final to play the tactical game. However, not obvious, because from the first sections it was hectic and more and more riders were ridden off. That was to the advantage of the attackers. That’s right, I had already been attacked just before. They immediately jumped on my wheel, leaving us with a group. But everything was closed up and the moment we were swallowed up, all the boys were riding on the left and I on the right. Then I thought: I’ll try it. I also got some space and then I thought: now I’m going full. It didn’t matter much to me in itself. As long as we ride for the win and don’t lose ourselves, there is no problem for me. Of course a first professional win is special. I don’t win that much, but I like this feeling. I hope it won’t be my last. But you don’t think about that in the final. No, I actually think mainly positively. I focus on what I have to do and don’t want to look back too much on things that weren’t perfect. I definitely see opportunities in the championship. It is always a difficult course to read, because you have a surplus of Jumbo-Visma. But if you’re in good shape, a lot is possible.”

Dwars door het Hageland Result:
1. Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:06:59
2. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:01
3. Florian Sénéchal (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:03
4. Stan Van Tricht (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:06
5. Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Arnaud De Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
9. Clément Russo (Fra) Arkéa Samsic at 0:09
10. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X.

Hageland’22:

 

aargau
GP Kanton Aargau – GP Canton d’Argovie 2022
Marc Hirschi was the winner of the GP Kanton Aargau, also known as GP Gippingen. The home rider of UAE Team Emirates was the first over the finish-line in Leuggern, Switzerland after a hilly course of almost 174 kilometres. Hirschi won the sprint from a group of seven that had broken away in the finalé. Maximilian Schachmann and Andreas Kron were second and third.

GP Kanton Aargau

The semi-classic was held on a hilly course around Leuggern. Seven laps of 20.2 kilometres, each time including the Rotberg (7.1km at 3.7%, last 2 km at 5.4%). The early break was formed by home riders Simon Pellaud (Trek-Segafredo), Claudio Imhof (Swiss Cycling) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal). They had a lead of almost 8 minutes, but work by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, BikeExchange-Jayco, UAE Team Emirates and Bahrain Victorious slowly closed that gap. Pellaud remained in the lead the longest, but he was also caught more than 40 kilometres from the finish. A thinned-out peloton started the penultimate time up the Rotberg, where there many attacks. Andreas Kron and Georg Zimmermann and others, got away, but Matteo Trentin pulled them back. This elite group started the last local lap around Leuggern together.

Clément Champoussin took advantage of a quiet moment to jump away. The Frenchman of AG2R Citroën quickly took 30 seconds. Behind him, Cofidis tried to close the gap, while Damien Howson also counter-attacked. Benoît Cosnefroy managed to counter that attack for Champoussin. The French leader held up well on the final climb, but his lead over the first chasing group was getting smaller and smaller. On a difficult section, 6 kilometres from the finish, Zimmermann and Sylvain Moniquet crossed to Champoussin. A foursome, consisting of Marc Hirschi, Maximilian Schachmann, Lorenzo Rota and Kron, also made the crossing, resulting in seven leaders. Lotto Soudal and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert both had numbers of riders and kept the pace high. It eventually became a sprint, in which Hirschi started early and kept that effort to the finish. He is the successor to Ide Schelling, who won last year. Schachmann was in second place, ahead of Kron.

aargua22

Race winner, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a really hard race and I’m really delighted to win it. It was a hectic race and very fast all day. Race craft was important to set-up the finale and timing in the sprint in the end was crucial. With just over 200m to go I went and had a bit of a tailwind and managed to win. It felt so good also because I am racing here in Switzerland and it’s nice to be here in front of family and friends. It’s a good sign for the team ahead of the Tour du Suisse.”

2nd, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was my first race after a difficult first part of the season so far and after a training camp and I tried to ride actively for Marco today. I jumped in quite early and was then at the front of the group. It wasn’t quite my best day, but still the outcome wasn’t bad. In the end I couldn’t get past Hirschi in the final sprint and so finished second.”

GP Kanton Aargau – GP Canton d’Argovie Result:
1. Marc Hirschi (Sw) UAE Team Emirates in 4:14:05
2. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Andreas Kron (Dan) Lotto Soudal
4. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
5. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 0:02
7. Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:10
8. Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies at 0:21
9. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:23
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates.

Aargau’22:

 

ineos
Egan Bernal Sprint Training
A new milestone in Egan Bernal’s rehabilitation process: the Colombian was able to do some sprint training. This was the first time since he was seriously injured in a training accident at the end of January. The INEOS Grenadiers’ rider was filmed training on his social media.

Bernal was seriously injured at the end of January when he collided with a stationary bus during a training ride. He broke several ribs, some vertebrae, a femur and a kneecap, and also suffered a perforated lung and was admitted to intensive care. He then underwent several operations in hospital. After two weeks he left hospital and since then he has been making big steps in his recovery. First Bernal was able to ride on an exercise bike, then he was able to cycle outside and in early May he showed that he is able to stand on the pedals again. Now he has taken his first sprint training since the accident. “Difficult does not mean impossible. It means you have to work hard,” Bernal wrote with the images, which show him accelerating with his hands on the drops of the handlebars. His peak power for the day was 787 watts, according to Finnish cycling tweeter @ammattipyoraily.

It is not yet clear when Bernal will make his return. At the end of April, Gustavo Uriza, neurosurgeon at the clinic where Bernal was treated after his crash, thought that the winner of two Grand Tours would be able to race again within a month. Uriza called Bernal’s fractures “cured” in an online press conference. However, the 2019 Tour winner himself spoke of patience at the end of May and said he was mainly looking at 2023. “I want to race all the races next year that I haven’t been able to do this year.”

Bernal now sprint training:
bernal

 

wanty
Alexander Kristoff would like a Contract Extension with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert
Alexander Kristoff is open to a longer stay at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. The 33-year-old Norwegian, who soloed to victory in the Scheldeprijs this spring, prefers a new contract for at least two years, according to Het Nieuwsblad. In addition, there are also other team who want Kristoff.

Last winter, Kristoff made the move from UAE Team Emirates to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert. He signed a one-year contract, as both the team and himself wanted to find out if they were a good match. As far as the results are concerned, that seems to be the case for now. Kristoff won three races in the first part of 2022. Before he won the Scheldeprijs, he was the best in the Clasica Almería and he also took the final stage in the Tour of Norway.

Kristoff also has other options. According to Het Nieuwsblad, various French teams, including Cofidis, are chasing the signature of the four-time stage winner in the Tour de France. The Norwegian Sykkelmagasinet also wrote earlier that Uno-X is interested in Kristoff.

Kristoff solo victory in the Scheldeprijs:
scheldeprijs22

 

uae team
Tim Wellens On his Way to UAE Team Emirates
It looks like Tim Wellens will continue his career with UAE Team Emirates, the team of two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar. Reportedly, that team is on pole position to sign the Belgian from Lotto Soudal.

Wellens’ contract with Lotto Soudal expires at the end of the season and a month ago Het Laatste Nieuws reported that the 31-year-old rider would like to give his career a new impulse. Now the newspaper reports that he is on his way to become a teammate of Tour winner Pogačar. The signature has not yet been put on the contract, but UAE Team Emirates is the first candidate.

The WorldTeam does not want to confirm the arrival of Wellens yet. According to the UCI regulations, transfers may not be announced until August 1. Team manager Matxin already called him a ‘super super rider’. With the Emirates team he will mainly be used as a luxury road captain in the classics and the tours.

Tim Wellens to UAE?
wellens

 

alpecin fenix
Kaden Groves on his way to Alpecin-Fenix
According to sources, 23-year-old Australian Kaden Groves is on his way to Alpecin-Fenix, soon to be Alpecin-Deceuninck. After Tim Merlier’s departure, the Roodhooft brothers need a extra top sprinter. Groves has already won stages in Turkey and Catalonia this year.

Groves, who has been part of BikeExchange for the past few years, is one of the up and coming talents when it comes to sprinting. After a number of successes in races of a slightly more modest level, he seems to have made a big improvement this year.

The Australian sprinted to podium places in both the Tour of Oman and Tirreno Adriatico (twice third). In the Tour of Catalonia he recorded his first win of the season and won the points classification. He also grabbed a stage in the Tour of Turkey. There he beat Philipsen, Bennett and Ewan in the second stage. At Alpecin-Fenix, Groves should follow in the footsteps of Tim Merlier (who it is rumoured will go to Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl). There will of course be no confirmation before August 1. Only then does the transfer season officially open.

Kaden Groves off to Alpecin?
catalunya22 st2

 

movistar
Aude Biannic Extends Movistar Team Career with 2024 Contract
Experienced talent from Brittany one of only four riders to have been part of Telefónica-backed squad since its inception in 2018; will stay in Blue colours for at least seven seasons.

movistar

Willing to retain one of their most consistent, reliable assets for the foreseeable feature, the Movistar Team are delighted to announce a contract extension for Aude Biannic (Landerneau, FRA; 1991) for the next two years, 2023 and 2024.

The French rider’s value has been visible both as an individual and team player. She’s been one of the main pieces of support for the Telefónica-backed squad’s leaders in recent years, most notably Emma Norsgaard, Biannic her guide at sprints or big classics, and Annemiek van Vleuten. She’s also shone with strong individual performances in WorldTour events like The Women’s Tour (5th overall in 2021), Paris-Roubaix, in the mix until the very end in last year’s inaugural edition, or the Tour of Norway (6th in the 2018 GC). She captured the Movistar Team’s first UCI success, the 2018 Lotto Belgium Tour prologue, wore the national champion jersey and represented the French national team at several World and European Championships.

movistar

Biannic is one of only four members to have been part of every single Movistar Team women’s roster since the squad was created in 2018. This contract extension means the rider from Brittany will be part of the Abarca Sports organisation for at least seven years.

Aude Biannic: “I’m so proud to be able to continue with this team, who have already become a true family for me, feeling so at ease with every single member. It’s going to be already seven years with the team, and I see everyone growing every season, both the individuals and the team as a whole improving every year, which is so motivating. The choice to stay was easy to take, because of the confidence everyone puts on me. I’m heading into the upcoming few months with great excitement – our goal is to do our best the Giro Donne + Tour Femmes, with such a great team and our ambition to go for GC success at both, and the morale is really high at the moment. It’s going to be a really special month of July for me, with that first Tour Femmes for me, in my country, with my home crowds. I just hope I can get there in my best condition to give my maximum and hopefully offer the Movistar Team fans some great joy.”

Sebastián Unzué: “I’m so, so happy about this contract extension. Aude is one of the riders who have stayed with us since the very first year of this project, and she’s turned into one of the key factors for this organisation’s success. She’s earned the confidence of all of our leaders, and rightfully so, because her work is impeccable and, when she’s enjoyed the chance to also fight for results for herself, she’s performed at a very high level. It was so important for us to confirm her inside the team for the future and make this two-year extension happen, because having her with us through 2024 means extending through to the Paris Olympics, which makes it so special. We’re excited to be working together for the remainder of 2022 – looking very much forward to the Giro + Tour, where she should be essential for our ambitions goals – and continue to see her growing in 2023-24, as one of the strongest allrounders in the peloton. I’m really thankful for the confidence she’s shown us – it’s been a long time with her in, and her commitment to this project has been excellent.”

movistar

 

gazprom
Ilnur Zakarin Retires
Ilnur Zakarin has decided to end his career as a professional cyclist. The Russian, who finished third in the 2017 Vuelta a España, announced his retirement via Instagram. This year Zakarin was under contract with Gazprom-RusVelo, which lost its license after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“I officially announce the end of my cycling career,” wrote Zakarin. “I’ve had over twenty years of various competitions, successes and obstacles, achievements and failures. Now I’m ready to move on. This is a new phase and a new start. I’m starting a new chapter in my life and it’s still connected to sports.”

Zakarin starts working at INEX Club. Based in Cyprus, this company organises sporting events, but as a club also assists athletes in participating in other events. “This is something I really like and will be completely absorbed in,” said the former rider of RusVelo, Katusha and CCC.

The first time Zakarin stood out was at the European Junior Time Trial championships in 2007, the Russian took the gold medal. Two years later he was suspended for using anabolic steroids, before returning to the peloton in 2011. In 2012, he rode for Katusha as a stagiere before he had a full contract. In the ten-year career that followed, Zakarin won two stages in the Giro d’Italia, a stage in the Tour de France and the final classification of the Tour de Romandie.

End of the road for Ilnur:
zakarin

 

vuelta22
C’mon C’mon” by Lorena Medina, The Inner Kids & Sophie Francis is the official song of La Vuelta 22
The song C’Mon C’Mon, by Lorena Medina, The Inner Kids & Sophie Francis will be the official song of La Vuelta 22. It is the first time in the history of the race that several artists come together to perform the official song.

vuelta22

For the second time in the race’s history, a Mexican singer will sing the song that will accompany the peloton from their departure in Utrecht on the 19th of August to their arrival in Madrid on the 11th of September. It will also be the second time that Dutch artists provide the beat – The Inner Kids, Sophie Francis for the song and Dannic for the remix.

Originally from Mexico City, Lorena Medina takes the baton from Patricia Manterola who, with her Que el ritmo no pare, was the only Mexican artist until now to sing La Vuelta’s official song. Carlos Baute (Como un atleta, in 2020) was the last Latino artist to sing it. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has not formed part of this tradition since the Vengaboys in 1998, with their song Up and down.

C’Mon C’Mon is a song that is full of rhythm and is easy to dance to – one that reflects the joy and enthusiasm that the artists have put into this project. “To come together and create this song for La Vuelta has been an incredible experience. We are thrilled to be a part of this family and eager to start celebrating with you all.”

The song will feature an official remix, with a more techno feel, thanks to Dannic, a Dutch DJ who has been among the world’s Top 20 for five consecutive years. Dannic, born in Breda, along with The Inner Kids (Utrecht) and Sophie Francis (‘s-Hertogenbosch) will represent the three Dutch cities that will host the first three stages of La Vuelta 22.

For Javier Guillén, Director of La Vuelta, the song C’Mon C’Mon perfectly represents the unique character of the official departure of La Vuelta 22 from the Netherlands. “Lorena Medina is the happy, Latin character that represents Spain and La Vuelta, while the participation of The Inner Kids and Sophie Francis, along with Dannic’s remix, reflect Holland’s enthusiasm for this project. It’s a celebration made into a song”, he concluded.

The song will be revealed in its entirety at the end of this month, during the presentation of the official video. This promotional clip will begin to be aired on the different RTVE channels, coinciding with the start of the Tour de France 2022.

Key points:

  • C’Mon C’Mon by Lorena Medina, The Inner Kids & Sophie Francis is the song that will accompany the peloton of La Vuelta 22 from its official departure in Utrecht (the Netherlands) until the finish-line in Madrid.
  • The song combines Lorena Medina’s Latin style with the electronic beats of renowned Dutch DJs The Inner Kids and Sophie Francis.
  • The song will also feature an official remix thanks to another Dutch DJ, Dannic. Along with The Inner Kids and Sophie Francis, they represent the cities that will host the first three stages of La Vuelta 22 – Breda, Utrecht and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, respectively.

C’MON C’MON
CHECK OUT THE TEASER

vuelta22

More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com

 


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