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An exciting weekend of Tour de France action. New doping discovered during Operation Aderlass – TOP STORY. Video and results from the Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico. Other news: No fans in the Alps, different corona regulations for the Giro, Gianni Savio in contract complication, Gilbert, Degenkolb and Wellens racing again, AG2R-La Mondiale for the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg, Bauke Mollema ends season and Bjarne Riis not worried about a new sponsor. Tour coffee time.

top story
TOP STORY: Investigators Operation Aderlass Discover New Doping Substance
Researchers from Operation Aderlass have information about a new doping substance, Het Nieuwsblad reports. The product is called H7379 Human Hemoglobin and has the same effect as EPO. It is not yet available on the market, but it is said to have already been used in the peloton.

A month ago, the German-Austrian police investigating Operation Aderlass picked up the Croatian supplier of Mark Schmidt. The German doctor is seen as the key figure in this doping case, which also involved various cyclists. Via the dealer, who was arrested, the researchers discovered that Schmidt had worked with the drug H7379 Human Hemoglobin and that other riders were using this product.

The Operation Aderlass research team now has information that riders used the new doping substance in 2016 and 2017. Through interrogations, the team found names of riders who may have used the product. Just like the name of the new drug, the names of the riders have also been passed on to the UCI and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), with which the UCI cooperates.

The researchers question the progress of the research. In November 2019, the UCI was informed that in 2016 and 2017 a doping product was used by riders that was not yet detectable at the time. The UCI then asked anti-doping association CADF to re-examine all samples from those years, but results are not yet known. CADF informed Het Nieuwsblad that the investigation is still ongoing.

Something new?
doping sign


Tour de France 2020
After finishing second and third on stages in his first Tour de France, Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), 22, became the first Swiss rider to win a stage since his mentor Fabian Cancellara as he soloed to victory 30km before the finish of Stage 12 in the small town of Sarran in the Corrèze department. The 2018 U23 World champion took his first pro win in his first Grand Tour. Pierre Rolland and Soren Kragh Andersen rounded out the podium. Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey.

161 riders took the start of stage 12 in Chauvigny. World champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) was first in action. Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Max Walscheid (NTT), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) managed to ride away at kilometre 8. The peloton reacted strongly. Mathieu Burgaudeau (Total Direct Energie) and Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) managed to bridge the gap at 63km while BORA-hansgrohe set the pace at the head of the peloton to maintain the time difference under 2 minutes. It went up to 2:55 at the first categorised climb of St-Martin-de-Terressus (104.5km). The CCC Team was also involved in the chase behind the six leaders when they passed St-Léonard-de-Noblat (114km), the village of Raymond Poulidor at half way into the race.

Asgreen and Erviti forged on after passing the 50km to go mark while the peloton strongly led by BORA-hansgrohe, CCC and Sunweb was timed 25 seconds behind. After regrouping, a different front group of six riders was formed with Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe), Kragh Andersen, Tiesj Benoot and Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) and Marc Soler (Movistar). Hirschi countered Soler to take the lead by himself 30km before the line, as he was climbing to the Cat. 2 Suc au May. Hirschi crested first with an advantage of 18 seconds over Soler and Schachmann.

Hirschi extended his lead on the downhill, also over the yellow jersey group that was at 2 minutes. Soler and Schachmann battled 30 seconds behind him. With 10km to go, Soler and Schachmann were brought back by the chasing group including Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step). The Frenchman attacked from that group on two occasions, the last one with 4km to go but there was nothing they could do to catch the Swiss debutant who came second to him on stage 2 in Nice. But another Frenchman managed to go clear of the group to finish second: Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept). Peter Sagan won the sprint from the peloton, including the yellow jersey Primoz Roglic who came home safely.

See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 12 Race Report’ HERE.


Stage winner, Marc Hirschi (Sunweb): “The plan for today was to go for the breakaway, we really wanted to be there. At the start we saw that CCC and Bora really controlled the race so we switched our tactics. Then we decided that Søren and Tiesj would go on the Category-3 climb and I would wait until the next climb. It was the plan that I followed Alaphilippe or the other big guys. Then at a moment I saw there was a lot more jumping from the bunch and just went for it and followed Jungels. The guys sat up ahead and brought me to the front and then the gap opened and we went full gas, before I then attacked on the last climb. I’m happy that I had the confidence to go there, because without the last few stages where we were so close to the win, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go for it today. I just went all out. I didn’t believe I would make it until the last kilometre; it is a dream come true.”

Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Tomorrow’s stage will be much more difficult than today’s. It will be tough, with the sequence of climbs and the mountaintop finish. I expect the necessary attacks and a fight for the GC on the final climb. The team is very strong and we have to keep riding like we have been doing the entire Tour. I am looking forward to it.”

2nd overall, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “Finally there weren’t attacks among the favourites. Most of us were thinking all day about the time bonus up for grabs [at the bonus point of Suc au Muy]. Others went to catch the escapees and we, the GC riders, could be quieter. We haven’t stopped all day. Bora-Hansgrohe pulled very strongly and made the race very hard. I think this stage will be felt in the legs in the coming days. Tomorrow I believe it’ll be a day to make differences, for sure. It’s a stage with a lot of elevation gain. It’s long as well, with almost 200km, and it comes after a 220km long stage. It’ll be more demanding than today with an explosive finale to finish. We’ve recced the stage and the last kilometres are very steep. We’ll have to approach them in the best position possible because there’ll be differences.”

6th on the stage, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “We didn’t have a very specific plan today, it was more about how the race would develop in the first kilometres. Actually, we expected a bigger breakaway group, maybe 20-25 riders, since it was one of the last chances the Classics guys have in this Tour de France. Suddenly, four riders were gone and the bunch already slowed down, so we decided to control the race for Peter. In the final kilometres, the race unfolded as a pretty hard one when Sunweb started to accelerate in the penultimate categorised climb. I followed and I fought till the finish. Peter had already told me that if it was going to be fast, I shouldn’t wait for him and just go for myself, and I knew how fast Peter can go in the climbs. We might have had some bad moments but this isn’t a reason to give up, it just makes us fight in order to have good moments again.”

11th on the stage, Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Today was very fast. I was thinking at the start that the breakaway would make it, but some teams had other plans, so they chased hard. When we arrived on the penultimate climb, I made my effort and had some help from Dries and Bob, who did the maximum, but we couldn’t catch Hirschi, who was the strongest today. I am a bit disappointed, but at the same time confident that other opportunities will come before we reach Paris next Sunday.”

Tour de France Stage 12 Result:
1. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb in 5:08:49
2. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM at 0:47
3. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb at 0:52
4. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&amp:B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM
5. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
6. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 2:52
7. Hugo Houle (Can) Astana at 0:52
8. Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
9. Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 0:56
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 12:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 51:26:46
2. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:21
3. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:28
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:30
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic at 0:32
6. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling
7. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE-Team Emirates at 0:44
8. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:02
9. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:15
10. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:42.

Stage 12:


Dani Martinez (EF Pro Cycling) sealed the first Colombian stage victory of the 2020 Tour de France as he managed to beat the BORA-hansgrohe duo of Maximilian Schachmann and Lennard Kämna on the summit of the spectacular finish of Puy Mary. He’s the 13th Colombian to win a Tour de France stage, the 21st for the country. Primoz Roglič extended his overall lead and Tadej Pogacar took over from Egan Bernal in second place. Roglič now has a lead of 57 seconds.

160 riders took the start of Stage 13 in Châtel-Guyon. Krists Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation) was first on the offensive, soon relayed by the enfant du pays Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) who passed his town of Riom in the lead as a front group was formed Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie), Simon Geschke (CCC), Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Tejay van Garderen (EF). Cavagna’s team-mate Julian Alaphilippe who is also from the Auvergne region came across. It was a very eventful stage beginning with Peter Sagan failing to hold the pace of a chasing group and Thomas De Gendt failing to bridge a gap. Rémi Cavagna and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Simon Geschke (CCC), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Marc Soler (Movistar) composed the front group atop the cat. 1 col de Ceyssat (36km).

Two kilometres before the col de Guéry, 63.5km, 17 riders were reunited at the front after many fierce battles: Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers), Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Hugh Carthy, Daniel Martínez and Neilson Powless (EF Education First), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Max Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe), Romain Sicard (Total Direct Energie) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) are reunited and coming across to Rémi Cavagna and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Simon Geschke (CCC), Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Marc Soler (Movistar). Two riders attacked with 112km go: Carthy and Madouas. Madouas continued on his own and crested the col de la Stèle in the lead. After 18km solo at the front, the young Frenchman sat up and the 16-man group was reunited. Their advantage over the peloton was 8:15 on the line of the intermediate sprint, 80km before the finish, while Romain Bardet and Nairo Quintana were victims of a crash. They came out fairly unscathed, but Bauke Mollema was forced to abandon.

The maximum deficit to the bunch was 10:40 with 50km to go. Powless rode away from the 17-man front group in a downhill with 40km to go. Schachmann was first to try and catch the American. They formed a leading duo 29km out. They started climbing to col de Néronne with an advantage of 50 seconds. With 18km to go, Schachmann went solo. Soler launched a counter-attack but couldn’t hold the pace of Martinez who chased the lone leader with Kämna on his back wheel. Martinez and Kämna came across to Schachmann with 1.8km to go. Kämna jumped with 650m to go. Martinez managed to hold on. Kämna launched the uphill sprint but Martinez beat him. In the yellow jersey group, the Slovenian duo Roglič/Pogačar managed to drop arch-rival and defending champion Egan Bernal who lost some time.

See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 13 Race Report’ HERE.


Stage winner, Daniel Martínez (EF Pro Cycling): “I haven’t had the easiest of weeks. I didn’t have great sensations in the legs, I was a little shaken after my crash, but I knew I could win a stage and I did just that. After my win at the Critérium du Dauphiné, of course I was feeling great. After the Dauphiné I recovered pretty well, and had good sensations at the beginning of the Tour. But after the crash and after losing quite a bit of time I wasn’t there mentally. But then I told myself I had to move on and I will fight for a stage win. I was looking for stages I could win and I just won this one. Of course, yes, I was scared when I was along against the two Bora Riders. At the end of the stage when they were the only ones left with me and I saw they were close, I tried to follow for a bit. But then I worked and worked and gave everything on the climb. With 5km to go, I saw they were both struggling, and I could see that Kämna couldn’t hold his sprint and I knew that I could beat him. When we knew that Neilson Powless was with Schachmann, I kind of relaxed. But then he got dropped and I had work hard to bring him back along with the other riders in the breakaway. Once I was alone with Kämna I decided to set my pace and go full gas until the very end. I felt like Max Schachmann would be quite a bit stronger than me in the flat and downhill sections, but I managed to bridge back to him with 2km to go. The team strategy was actually to support Rigoberto Urán until the very end but the circumstances changed early on. I saw that I had good legs and I saw a possibility to get into the breakaway and look for the stage victory. We are living a great moment for Colombian cycling. We have four riders in the top ten of the GC which is the most of any country in history, and everyone has a chance to contend for the win. There are many hard stages ahead and I, for one, will support Rigoberto Urán fully who is in great shape at the moment. I think that we, the Colombian riders at the Tour de France, but also the riders in the youth ranks and at all the races, are showing everyday how deep the talent is.”

Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy with how it went today”, Roglic said. “I took valuable time on my rivals, except for Pogačar. He is very strong and he is a tough opponent. It’s no surprise to us that he’s doing so well. We saw that in the Vuelta last year. But all in all it was a good day. As long as you gain time, it’s okay and to my advantage. Every second counts. The team was again very strong today. This is not only my performance, but that of the whole team. After all, we do this together. It was a tough day and the final climb, above all the last two kilometres, was very steep. It was tough and everyone was riding at their limit. This has been a good day, but we are not there yet. The Tour is still long and a lot can still happen. We will continue to focus on our plan and then we will see where it takes us.”

2nd overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a great day, and now I find myself in the white jersey again. I am also happy to have reached the finish line with Roglic: peddling uphill with Primoz reminded me of the sensations I experienced in last year’s Vuelta, it was an experience similar to that of the 13th stage of the Spanish race, when we arrived in Los Machucos. In the overall standings, I gained seconds on all the other riders, except Roglic, so I’m satisfied and I’d like to thank the team for giving me great support during the stage, I’m proud of my teammates.”

2nd on the stage, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “I wanted to drop Martinez in the finale because I know I’m not a very fast sprinter but he showed he was also strong and had a good acceleration in the final metres while I was nearly standing still. I felt in good shape in the final climb and launched a few attacks but he stayed on my wheel. I was able to save some energy in the valley but also afterwards because Martinez was pulling and I was on his wheel since I didn’t have to take any turns. I would have liked to finish this effort off but it is what it is, I can’t change anything now. There are a few more stages coming up where I hope I can get a win.”

3rd on the stage, Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Of course, we wanted to win today. I knew that the two last climbs weren’t the best ones for me so I tried to go earlier. On the way, I thought I could have a good chance at stage win but Martinez showed a strong performance and won the sprint. Earlier in the stage, we devised a plan for the finale and I knew Lennard was approaching from behind. I thought he had a good chance at stage win and in fact, he showed it and the finish was very close. I’m getting better and better and I’m happy that part of my old shape, before my crash at the Lombardia, is coming back. I think I would need two to three rest days and we’ll see how my legs feel in the final week.”

13th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma): “Primoz indicated that he was feeling good and that he wanted to try something in the last two kilometres. He was dominant and the team did very well. It is the first day that differences have been made in the GC. We had hoped to gain time on Egan, but we didn’t expect it. Especially not when Ineos took over on the penultimate climb. They were going really fast. They really went full throttle. After that, Sepp and I took over. Sepp was really strong. It’s still a long way to go in this Tour and there is a very tough third week ahead of us. So far it is going well and today was a good day.”

Crash victim, Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale): “This stage on my home roads was the complete opposite of what I had hoped for. The crash was severe, downhill at high speed, and I struggled all the rest of the day. The medical examinations confirmed what I already suspected, and I am not able to continue in the race. I know that my teammates will give their best to finish the Tour de France with strong performances.”

Tour de France Stage 13 Result:
1. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) EF Pro Cycling in 5:01:47
2. Lennard Kämna (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:04
3. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:51
4. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:33
5. Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM at 1:42
6. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis at 1:53
7. Simon Geschke (Ger) CCC at 2:35
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 2:43
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Pro Cycling at 3:18
10. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 3:52

Tour de France Overall After Stage 13:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 56:34:35
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:44
3. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:59
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling at 1:10
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic at 1:12
6. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:31
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:42
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:55
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 2:06
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:54.

Stage 13:


Soren Kragh Andersen became the first Danish stage winner of the Tour de France since Magnus Cort two years ago. He also delivered Sunweb their second stage victory after Marc Hirschi on stage 12. Tiesj Benoot paved the way for his attack at the 3km to go mark. It’s the first Tour de France stage victory for the 26 year old winner of the 2018 Paris-Tours.

158 riders took the start of Stage 14 in Clermont-Ferrand. Cees Bol (Sunweb) and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) rode away after 2 kilometres, to be joined by Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) at 9km. Bol waited for his team-mate Casper Pedersen who counter attacked but the two Sunweb riders were called back to the pack by their sport director. The peloton was in no hurry until BORA-hansgrohe team put the hammer down on the climb to Aulteribe at 32km, only 6 kilometres before the intermediate sprint at Courpière. Maximilian Schachmann and Peter Sagan managed to ride Sam Bennett and Matteo Trentin off. They forged on so the seven time winner of the green jersey could gain five points more than the Irish leader of the points classification. It was all together again. A time gap of 5:45 at the bottom of cat. 2 col du Béal (68.5km) crested by Küng in first position. Bora-hansgrohe had reduced the deficit to 3 minutes as the German outfit looked at putting the sprinters in difficulty.

Up the côte de Courreau (93km), CCC helped BORA-hansgrohe to stop the return of Bennett. It was a fierce battle for the green jersey with the second half of stage 14 yet to be contested. After Küng was caught with 80km to go, after a 105-km solo effort, Deceuninck – Quick-Step gave up the chase to bring Bennett back to the Sagan-Trentin peloton. BORA-hansgrohe and CCC maintained a high tempo at the head of the bunch.

There was no moves from the 92-man peloton until Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) attacked with 11km to go. He was brought back after 3.5 kilometres. Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe) attacked. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was next to go. Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) then managed to go clear 3 kilometres before the finish. It was the decisive move. The Danish rider kept 15 seconds lead over the peloton and it was another defeat for Sagan who only managed to come fourth. Primoz Roglic retained the yellow jersey ahead of the gruelling climb to Grand Colombier on Sunday.

See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 14 Race Report’ HERE.


Stage winner, Søren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb): “It’s incredible, I didn’t really believe this morning when I woke up that this would happen. I’m really happy with the team effort from the guys today, they made it hard enough that I could find the perfect moment to attack. I saw when I went that everybody was tired and they started to look at each other; I knew then that it was the right moment. I had good legs and could go full gas all the way to the line. We’re taking the race in our hands, maybe we don’t realise it’s the Tour de France – but we’re just racing and it happens to be on the biggest stage in the world.”

Overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I thought and I had hoped the stage would be a lot easier today”, Roglic said. “It was full throttle from the start due to the work of Bora and CCC. It’s true that we didn’t have to pull, but we still had to stay focused and we had to keep riding in the front. Especially in the technical final. The team was very strong again. It was incredible what the boys did and how quickly they responded to Bernal’s attack. The Tour is the Tour and anything can happen every day. We cannot falter.”

2nd overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It was very stressful out there today. We knew, when Bora began to set the pace, that the stage was going to be hard. I tried to be on a good position the whole day, trying to save my legs and recover a bit. The final section was quite dangerous, with many corners, some climbs, and the downhill sections. I managed to survive, so I’m happy. Today I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow. I was just thinking of the final kilometres in Lyon. It’s now that we begin to think of recovering as much as possible so my legs are good tomorrow. The climbs are very long ones, but if there is a chance I’ll try to attack Primoz Roglic.”

4th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “We wanted to make the stage tough today and drop the sprinters. We worked hard all day for that, until the finish. I took fourth and got more points in the fight for the green jersey. The goal was to take more, but in the end, this is the best we could do. This is a very hard Tour de France and I’d like to thank my teammates for their fantastic job, not only today, but every day since the start in Nice.”

8th on the stage, Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale): “In the road book for today, it was marked “flat”. But only in the road book. Like every day, we raced very quickly. At the Tour de France, there are never any easy stages. The sprint was played out by the strongest, à la jambe. It was very fast; you couldn’t touch the brakes. I’m sorry that Pierre is leaving us, but he has been in pain for days. We will continue to fight as we have done from the start.”

Late attacker, Lennard Kämna (BORA-hansgrohe): “Of course, our goal was to get more than 23 points back. We rode a strong race again but in the finale we missed one extra rider to control the race. Still, even one rider more wouldn’t have been enough, but our chances in controlling could have been a lot higher. Without that additional rider, it was an open race with lots of attacks. I pulled to catch one rider that attacked, when I saw the gap I gave it a go. This wasn’t planned, but it felt quite good to be at the front in that last climb with lots of spectators.”

Points leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a hard day, but quite ok in the end. On the climb before the intermediate sprint they tried to hurt the legs, but I gave it my all, and even though I got dropped, I soldiered on and was happy to take some valuable points”, explained Sam, who has a 43-point buffer in the classification. “The team did a great job for me and tried to get me back, but it wasn’t possible, so we decided to ease up after the third climb as there was no point in chasing hard. I can call myself fortunate to have such amazing teammates around me, guys who embody this unique and incredible Wolfpack spirit and help me get over the daily challenges of the Tour. It’s still a long way to go to Paris and we know it won’t be easy, but we will keep fighting.”

Tour de France Stage 14 Result:
1. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb in 4:28:10
2. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:15
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
4. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
5. Casper Pedersen (Den) Sunweb
6. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7. Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC
8. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
9. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Marc Hirschi (Swi) Sunweb.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 14:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 61:03:00
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:44
3. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:59
4. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling at 1:10
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic at 1:12
6. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:31
7. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:42
8. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:55
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 2:06
10. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 2:54.

Stage 14:


Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) claimed his second mountain stage victory in another 1-2 for Slovenia at the top of the Grand Colombier. Defending champion Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) said goodbye to his ambitions of a Tour double. Meanwhile Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) extended his overall lead on all his rivals except for his compatriot who is definitely the best young rider of this Tour de France.

157 riders took the start of Stage 15 in Lyon. After an extremely fast start and a crash caused by Bob Jungels (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) that forced Colombian national champion Sergio Higuita (EF) to abandon, eight riders managed to go clear at 28km: Kévin Ledanois (Arkéa-Samsic), Simon Geschke and Matteo Trentin (CCC), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Niccolo Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie), Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling) and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept). Trentin won the intermediate sprint at Le Bouchage, 58km, while Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) extended his lead by two points over Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), after 53.5km had been covered in the first hour of racing. The advantage of the eight leaders was 4 minutes with 100km to go.

5km before the top of Montée de la Selle de Fromentel (cat. 1, 111km), Trentin finished his hard work in the service of Geschke who was first to attack from the front group. Rolland, Herrada and Gogl successively came across to him while the maximum deficit of the peloton was 4:35. Herrada crested the Montée de la Selle de Fromentel in first position before Rolland. Gogl rode away by himself on the downhill. Rolland came across to the Austrian 2km before the top of the col de la Biche. The Frenchman crested in first position. After Herrada reunited the leading trio, Gogl rode away solo on the downhill again meanwhile the peloton led by Jumbo-Visma had reduced their deficit to 2 minutes.

Gogl and Rolland started climbing to Grand Colombier together but the NTT rider couldn’t hold the pace of his rival with 15km to go. Rolland continued until he was caught by the pack strongly led by Wout van Aert and the rest of the Jumbo-Visma team 13km before the finish. At the same time, Egan Bernal (INEOS) was dropped for good, so was his compatriot Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic). Once Van Aert finished his demolition work with 10km to go, the front group comprised Roglic, George Bennett, Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-McLaren), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First), Enric Mas, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Ángel López, Harold Tejada (Astana) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). The latter attacked with 7km to go. Jumbo-Visma caught him 1.5km further on. Dumoulin continued pulling to avoid more attacks. Roglic himself was the one to attack in the last few hundred metres. Porte tried to go for the stage victory but it was another 1-2 for Slovenia with Pogacar taking his second Tour de France stage win in the mountains.

See more photos in the ‘PEZ Stage 15 Race Report’ HERE.


Stage winner and 2nd overall, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “The race started at great speed until the breakaway went, and we had Marco Marcato there to cover it. Jumbo-Visma set a very high pace and maintained it throughout the stage, which along with the heat meant it was better not to attack. In the final, I waited for the sprint and took another beautiful victory. Some of the GC guys were dropped and this was due the effect of the pace set by Jumbo-Visma. Tomorrow we’ll have the rest day, then I’ll try to give my best again: at the moment, Roglic seems unbeatable, but anything can happen, anyone can have a bad day, as happened today to Bernal or as can happen to me or to Primoz.”

Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I came just a little short to win”, Roglic said. “Pogacar was a bit faster. I would have liked to win to reward the guys for their work, but that didn’t work out, unfortunately. I compliment my teammates. They were very, very strong. Impressive even. The pace was really high. It was a tough, but all in all good day for us. So far everything is going according to plan, but we are not there yet.”

3rd on the stage and 6th overall, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo): “I knew from doing Tour de l’Ain where I attacked with 2kms to go, and I didn’t really know the finish, so today my plan was always to sit in as long as I could. When it got to [600m] to go and Roglic attacked, and I had to go to the front and do my pace since I am never going to beat guys like Pogacar and Roglic on a finish like that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it was good to put time into some other GC guys. It was a good day for the team, and I am happy with today. The big guys did a great job looking after me for the first 100kms, and Mads (Pedersen) and Jasper (Stuyven) put me in a perfect position for the first climb. And then I had Kenny (Elissonde) there with me. I am motivated for the last week. Now I am looking forward to the rest day and recover a bit and hopefully have a good final week of the Tour.”

4th overall and on the stage, Miguel Ángel López (Astana): “I am very happy with this stage, the first day in big mountains. I think it was a good one for me as I was able to stay with the best riders and also to follow their attack in the end. The team did a great job for me during the day. We had a good plan for this stage, we did not do any mistake and everything went quite well from start to finish. In the end I still had Harold Tejada next to me at the final climb and he provided me a great support. But also all other guys were amazing today. The climb was a tough one, but I felt well and did all I could today. So, fourth place today, that’s not bad. Still a full third week ahead and we will do it day by day, working together as a team. Tomorrow is a rest day and I want to use it to rest a bit and to recover after these demanding two weeks of hard racing.”

8th on the stage and 5th overall, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I wanted to try something just before the rest day, and as I was saying I am getting better day-by-day and I didn’t want it to come down to the last kilometre or two. The previous days I’ve waited and really suffered just to hold the wheel so I went and tried to get over the steep bit and onto the flatter section to get a bit of a rest, but Jumbo-Visma weren’t happy with me trying anything so they just brought me back. I think all-in-all the sensations are good, we will have a good rest day and hopefully we will have some good stages in the Alps.”

Break rider, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept): “It’s been a big fight to catch the breakaway. Many riders wanted to be part of it. After this tussle, we didn’t have much of an advantage. I would have needed four or five minutes lead at the bottom of the Grand Colombier to have a chance to win the stage. I fought for the honour because this is the Tour de France. This race always gives me a strong desire to perform. I really wanted to come back and shine. One of my biggest regrets was to lose the polka dot jersey one the eve of the stage last stage in 2013. I rode for the KOM points today because we never know. As long as my legs will allow, I’ll go on the offensive because that’s my style, but I’ve left a lot of energy on the road today.”

Points leader, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was another hard day and I used a lot of energy for the intermediate sprint, but overall I felt pretty good compared to other stages. Everything was under control today. I could count again on this fantastic team, to whom I am grateful, and I’m happy that I will now start the final week of the Tour clad in the green jersey.”

Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was another very hard stage, from the start, and we did our best in the intermediate sprint. With three tough climbs after that, I stayed in the gruppetto to save as much energy as I could. Tomorrow, we have a well-deserved rest day and then, I look forward to the final tough week of the Tour de France.”

Tour de France Stage 15 Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates in 4:34:13
2. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 0:05
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 0:08
5. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:15
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
8. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
9. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling at 0:18
10. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:24.

Tour de France Overall After Stage 15:
1. Primož Roglič (Slov) Jumbo-Visma in 65:37:07
2. Tadej Pogačar (Slov) UAE Team Emirates at 0:40
3. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Pro Cycling at 1:34
4. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana at 1:45
5. Adam Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:03
6. Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 2:13
7. Mikel Landa (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 2:16
8. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 3:15
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa Samsic at 5:08
10. Tom Dumoulin (Col) Jumbo-Visma at 5:12.

Stage 15:


Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO 2020
The Australian rider Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott) won Stage 4 of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO; the first day in the mountains at the ‘Corsa dei Due Mari’. In a sprint finish to the line in Cascia, he beat Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), with whom he went on the attack in the final kilometres while descending the other side of the Ospedaletto climb.

The Maglia Azzurra Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling), arrived 10 seconds behind, together with Geraint Thomas (INEOS-Grenadiers), Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe), Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Pro Team), Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), James Knox (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott).


Stage winner, Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a hard stage but the outcome was very good for us. I won the stage and Simon [Yates] did well for the GC, he is our leader for this race. I think we rode well, Simon looked good. Tomorrow we’ve got another difficult stage, probably even tougher because of the summit finish. We will try to attack and take the Maglia Azzurra.”

Maglia Azzurra Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling): “I am happy with the way we rode today, I am confident for tomorrow because my teammates are strong. If I have good legs I will attack to gain more time in the GC. I don’t think I’m the favourite for the final GC, like I’ve said, there are other riders who will be stronger than me in the ITT. I think the favourites for this Tirreno-Adriatico are Rafal Majka, Simon Yates, Aleksandr Vlasov and Geraint Thomas, they all looked very strong today.”

2nd overall and 8th overall, Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe): “We rode in the peloton in an energy-saving way for much of the day, and in the end I was able to follow the first attacks. But when Masnada and Hamilton went, I couldn’t quite keep up, yet still managed to finish 8th and kept my second place in the overall standings. This is a good starting position for the next few days, where I’ll concentrate on the hard mountain stages that are coming up, and will try to do something there.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4 Result:
1. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott in 4:46:22
2. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling at 0:10
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
5. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
7. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe
9. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 4:
1. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling in 18:05:52
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:09
3. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:18
4. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:27
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:30
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:34
7. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
9. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:47
10. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Stage 4:


Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won Stage 5 of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO. After forcing the pace in the final kilometres of the Sassotetto climb with a select group of riders that included Geraint Thomas (INEOS), Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), the Briton then attacked again and soloed to win, taking the Maglia Azzurra in the process.

tirreno 20 yates

Stage winner and Maglia Azzurra, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “Today was an important test to see where I am with my form. After having already tried yesterday, I wanted to capitalise on any opportunity that came today. I’m now wearing the Maglia Azzurra but this race is not over yet and Geraint Thomas and Rafal Majka are the main contenders, especially for the time trial on the last day. Riding the Tirreno-Adriatico, I am building up for the Giro d’Italia, and I’m happy with my current form so far. I’ve developed a lot in the last 2 years, not just as a rider but as a person, so I’m very aware that it takes a calm attitude and patience to win the Giro d’Italia coming up.”

2nd on the stage and 3rd overall, Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers): “In the last climb I was feeling good, but when the attacks started, I waited for Woods to close the gaps at first. Then, he didn’t seem to have the legs so I had to close things down myself; probably not ideal. With the other three riders at the front we were messing around a bit, attacking each other, but that’s just how it goes in cycling. I am pretty happy with my performance, it shows the work that I’ve been doing has been worth it, it’s encouraging.”

3rd on the stage and 2nd overall, Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a difficult stage, but the course suited me and I think I rode a good race. I was able to save a lot of energy during the race and in the end I still had good legs. On the final climb I rode in the first group and was able to keep up with Woods and Yates at first. But when Yates made his decisive attack I had to let him go. I tried together with Thomas to catch up to him, but we didn’t manage it. In the end I took 3rd place, which is not bad at all.”

Maglia Bianca, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana): “It was a hard day, with a lot of ups and down. When Simon Yates attacked I would have followed him but he was climbing too fast, he was the strongest today. The Tirreno-Adriatico is not over yet for me, on Sunday there is another hard stage with many short but steep hills and anything can happen. Then on Monday in the final ITT, the GC might change even more. It will be the first ITT for me this year so I’m looking forward to it.”

Maglia Verde, Hector Carretero (Movistar): “Today was a very hard stage, I went in the breakaway but once I got the points I needed for the jersey I decided to slow down and rejoin the peloton. From there, I only thought about arriving at the finish. I will try to keep the jersey, luckily tomorrow looks like it’s going to be an easier day.”

Maglia Arancio, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I feel happy and my legs were good today, I was surprised how well I was climbing. Now we look forward to tomorrow where we will have an opportunity to sprint. I won’t have as much support as before in the lead out but I am sure the team will work hard as always and then I will try to get the win.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 5 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 5:30:43
2. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:35
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:39
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:54
6. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:58
7. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:00
8. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb at 1:05
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:11
10. Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling at 1:46.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 5:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 23:36:59
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:49
5. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:54
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:00
7. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:21
8. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling at 1:22
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:28
10. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:44.

Stage 5:


Having not contested the sprint in stage 1 due to a crash and finishing fifth in stage 2, the Belgian champion, Tim Merlier, dominated the sprint on Stage 6 against Ackermann (winner of the first two stages) and Cort Nielsen. Finishing safe in the group, Simon Yates retains the lead of the General Classification.

Belgian champion Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) won the sixth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO in a bunch sprint, beating the Maglia Arancio Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Pro Cycling).

The Maglia Azzurra Simon Yates retains the lead of the General Classification as the race heads to Stage 7, before the riders tackle the final ITT on Monday.

tirreno20 merlier

Stage winner, Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix): “I am very happy with this win, we came close before on the second stage and today we can finally celebrate a victory! This result gives the whole team a lot of confidence and motivation. My teammates did a perfect job today, we took a small risk that paid off in choosing the left side of the road for the sprint; the part that was most exposed to the wind. Luckily it proved to be the right choice.”

Maglia Azzurra, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “Today was a good day for the team. The break went clear straight away after the start, then the sprinters’ teams worked flat-out until the finish. Tomorrow will be different of course, a much more challenging stage – very hard, very difficult to control. I’m expecting some riders to try to attack and gain a few seconds. I can’t say yet if I will try to control things or attack, but I’m sure that if I see an opportunity, I’ll go for it.”

2nd on the stage, Maglia Arancio Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The sprint didn’t go to plan today, I didn’t find the gap until it was too late, but that’s cycling. You can’t win every time and I’m still pleased with how I did on this stage and my performance in the race so far. Now we have to see how I can support my teammate Rafal for the GC, hopefully he can put in a good performance tomorrow and on Monday.”

Maglia Bianca, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana): “Today was a normal day really, not too stressful until the last few kilometres when things became fast. Tomorrow is a day to attack though, we don’t have anything to lose. We’ll try to win the stage and move up in the general classification.”

Maglia Verde, Hector Carretero (Movistar): “This stage wasn’t a very hard day for me. The next stage is much more important. I’ll definitely try to do something tomorrow of course! I’ll need to pay attention to how my rivals ride, especially early in the race. If they go in the breakaway then I will need to react.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 6 Result:
1. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:59:30
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) EF Pro Cycling
4. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
8. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
9. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 6:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 27:36:29
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:49
5. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:54
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:00
7. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:21
8. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling at 1:22
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:28
10. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:44.

Stage 6:


Catching and overtaking Matteo Fabbro with 300m to go to the line, Van der Poel took a stunning victory to end a hectic day of racing. Simon Yates, finishing just seconds behind in the peloton, retains the lead of the GC ahead of the final ITT.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won Stage 7 of the Tirreno-Adriatico EOLO, seizing his first victory at the ‘Corsa dei Due Mari’ in style. The stage was characterised by a large breakaway of 14 riders. Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe), one of the fourteen to escape, went solo in the closing kilometres before being caught and overtaken by Van der Poel (also in the original breakaway) just 300 meters from the finish line in a thrilling conclusion to the stage. Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling) finished second ahead of Matteo Fabbro.

In the general classification, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) retains the Maglia Azzurra on the eve of the final individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto with a lead of 16 seconds on Rafal Majka (BORA-hansgrohe) and 39 on Geraint Thomas (INEOS).

van der poel

Stage winner, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was an incredibly hard stage, we went full gas from the start. I had not planned to go in the breakaway but after an hour of racing, I saw some very strong riders attack and I followed them. The stage proved to be harder than we thought; so many steep climbs! We did a perfect job, particularly my teammate Dries De Bondt who was in the break with me. I am very happy about this victory because I was not feeling great at the beginning of the week, then my legs got better and better. Yesterday’s win by Tim Merlier gave a great boost of confidence to the whole team, we proved we deserved the invitation to this race – we didn’t come here to just ride but to win stages!”

Maglia Azzurra, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “It was a very fast start and really hard to control. If we’d have had an easier day, we could have tried to go for the win, but with such a chaotic stage, we decided to defend and stay calm. Now I know that I’ll have 16 and 39 seconds over Majka and Thomas for tomorrow’s final ITT. I would have preferred a bigger gap because they are both very good against the clock and in good form. Whatever happens tomorrow, it will be a close finish, the race is not over yet! I’ll do my best to win this Tirreno-Adriatico.”

Maglia Bianca, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana): “It’s a big shame that Jakob [Fuglsang] didn’t win today. There were 14 riders in the breakaway and we didn’t have anyone, so we worked hard to close the gap to give Jakob a chance to win. He was very strong, but things didn’t go to plan unfortunately. I’ll try to do my best in the time trial tomorrow, it’ll be a big test of my ability. I’m going against riders like Thomas, which is hard, but I’m hoping to finish on the podium in the GC. After tomorrow, I’ll be preparing for the Giro d’Italia, I don’t know what to expect because it will be my first Grand Tour but I’m looking forward to it.”

Maglia Arancio, Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was tough. It was a crazy stage, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this hard. I’m just glad that I made it to the finish and I’m looking forward to having a shower! Matteo [Fabbro] did a great job, he came so close! I feel sorry for him because he deserved the win with that ride. Tomorrow is a day for Rafal [Majka], hopefully he can put in a good performance and take the Maglia Azzurra from Yates.”

Maglia Verde, Hector Carretero (Movistar): “Today was the last big day for me in the race. I was too tired to try anything on this stage but I have kept the jersey in the end so I’m very pleased. I would have liked to have won a stage this year but it’s still very special to have the Maglia Verde! There are lots of positives for me and I’m excited for the Giro.”

3rd on the stage, Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today was a very hard stage. We tried to get into the breakaway and I managed to be part of a larger group of escapees. I attacked out of the remaining leading group because I knew the rest of the course would be hard. Although I got away and rode solo for quite some time, in the end with only 300m to go, two riders passed me and I ended up having to settle for third place. Of course, I’m disappointed after the huge effort that I put in today, but nevertheless it gave me confidence that I can make it to the end the next time I try.”

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 7 Result:
1. Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:19:23
2. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling at 0:04
3. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:09
5. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana at 0:10
6. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
9. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana
10. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Tirreno-Adriatico Overall After Stage 7:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 31:56:02
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:39
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana at 0:49
5. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:57
6. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:59
7. Michael Woods (Can) EF Pro Cycling at 1:22
8. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:26
9. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 2:33
10. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 2:47.

Stage 7:


ASO Bans Fans Access to Upcoming Stage Finishes
No spectators are welcome around the finish location of the Tour de France in the coming stages. In the next days, the peleton will race through areas marked “code red” by the French government. The same measure was taken at the beginning of March during Paris-Nice.

ASO announced the restrictions surrounding the corona virus on Friday evening. It is not clear whether an audience may be present on the mountains. Last weekend, fans were present in large numbers on the Col de Peyresourde in the Pyrenees.

It is not clear whether the public will be allowed in the Alps after the rest day. The regions around the mountains are not marked as “code red”. Paris – where the Tour de France traditionally finishes is. On Monday, corona tests will take place again during the second rest day. Last test all riders tested negative, although race director Cristian Prudhomme did contract the virus.

No fans in the Alps?
tour20 st8


Teams Will Not Go Home with Two Corona Cases
According to current corona regulations for Grand Tours, a team can be removed from the race with two corona infections within the “team bubble”, but Giro d’Italia boss, Mauro Vegni, does not want to go that far. “I am also thinking of the riders who are just healthy and then fall victim.”

Vegni told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the Giro d’Italia will use different corona rules. “I do not agree with the rule that a team has to leave the race in the case of two corona cases in one week. We will therefore not work with this rule. If a rider tests positive, he will be isolated according to the current protocol.”

“We will then test every day, starting with the rider’s team. We will continue to test the riders and staff of this team for three to four days. But we will not remove the team from the Giro. That does not seem fair for the riders within a team who are just healthy. Moreover, the infected riders are not crooks.”

“We will of course do everything we can to make the Giro d’Italia as safe and healthy as possible, but I am also thinking of the teams who take a year to prepare for such a big event. With a bit of bad luck there have been two corona cases and then a team has to go home… No, I don’t agree with that.”

It was previously announced that the Giro d’Italia plans to make spectators, at the start and finish areas, to wear wristbands that make a sound when they do not keep sufficient distance. “We are working on a protocol,” said Vegni. “We will divide areas into different sectors. We cannot keep everything under control along the way.”

“We have to rely on people’s good behaviour. We will probably give the audience a wristband that makes a sound when people do not distance themselves enough. We register with whom they come into contact. Serious investments will be made to ensure the mutual distance.”

Mauro Vegni:
Mauro Vegni


Gianni Savio Amazed at the Conca Contract with Lotto Soudal
The transfer from Filippo Conca to Lotto Soudal, which was announced on Monday, may be a little complicated. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec is surprised at the news, because the young rider is said to have already signed a valid contract with the Italian ProTeam.

Lotto Soudal announced on Monday the arrival of the 21 year-old Conca, who was fifth in the U23 Giro d’Italia. Biesse Arvedi’s talented climber is part of a larger rejuvenation plan for the Belgian team, team manager John Lelangue said in a press release. “Filippo is more than a good rider. He has absolutely the right attitude.”

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, however, was surprised. “We are aware of this situation and are very surprised. The rider had already signed a two-year contract with us in 2019, which would start in the 2021 season,” team boss Gianni Savio said the day after the news.

The team also said that Conca had praised his new team in interviews in December and that he had attended the winter training camp in Benidorm, where he also participated in the training sessions. “The rider had entered into a commitment with us and we with him. At the moment we do not understand how it is possible that he has signed another contract.” Androni has submitted the case to the law firm Rödl & Partner.

According to Manuel Quinziato, Conca’s manager, Savio is not telling the truth. In a statement he said: “While I am convinced that the media is not the right place for this, the press release from Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec forced me to take a stand to defend my client Filippo Conca. First I want to clarify that what Savio said, which he only now knew about Filippo’s transfer to Lotto Soudal, is absolutely not true.”

According to Quinziato, Conca’s contract had ended a month ago. “By an official message, also sent to the UCI, in which the team was informed of the lifting of an option in the contract, an agreement, by the way, drawn up by Androni Giocattoli himself. Naturally, the letter followed numerous personal conversations with the team manager and other managers in the team, in which the motives were explained.”

“In addition, the reasons that led to this move, which the team is aware of, are attributable to the team. Although I do not think it appropriate to make it public, I read with even more astonishment the statements of Mr Gianni Savio,” said Quinziato.

Gianni Savio with Ed Hood – No contract, just a shake of the hand:

lotto soudal
Gilbert, Degenkolb and Wellens to Resume Racing in Tour de Luxembourg
Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb, who crashed out in stage 1 of the Tour de France, as well as Tim Wellens, who crashed while training one week prior to the Tour, will all start in the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg, a UCI 2.Pro stage race from September 15th to 19th.

John Degenkolb: “It was a big shock for me to leave the Tour after one stage with both knees heavily impacted. I suffered from a contusion at both sides. A re-check, two days later, in the hospital of Frankfurt, confirmed that there were no fractures. The first week was very painful, especially because of the road rash, but I’m training already five days. I am extremely happy that I can resume competition much earlier than initially expected. My good condition will not be gone. I am quite confident. That Tour de Luxembourg will be perfect for the preparation of the rest of the season, especially the BinckBank Tour and the classics.”

Philippe Gilbert: “In the end the patella fracture of my left knee was a re-opening of my old 2018 fracture. It’s a non-union fracture which didn’t cause much pain any more after a few days. That’s why I’ve started my training sessions quite early. Yesterday I did 4,5 hours. I really want to race. This season is already so short and I want to perform. The stage race in Luxembourg is ideal for me. Already in the Tour de Wallonie I saw that racing had such a fruitful effect on my condition. I aim for the same effect in Luxembourg. I missed the Tour, but there are still the classics. I am ambitious and very hungry.”

Tim Wellens, who was unable to start in Nice due to the serious injuries he sustained in a high-speed motor-pacing crash one week prior to the Tour: “I was off the bike for a week. But in the meantime I have been training for over a week. I am feeling good. Although of course I have to see how I will feel in competition. Luxembourg is ideal for that. I am preparing for the classics. After Luxembourg, first the Belgian Championship will follow and I am also motivated to do the Worlds in Imola.”

Lotto Soudal for the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg:
Philippe Gilbert,
John Degenkolb,
Tim Wellens,
Harm Vanhoucke,
Tosh Van der Sande,
Tomasz Marczyński.

Degenkolb and Gilbert racing again:
degenkolb gilbert


Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg (September 15-19th)
Ben Gastauer: “I returned to competition at the Tour du Doubs (September 6) and I had rather good feelings. I am happy to be at the start of the Tour de Luxembourg. I have been a professional since 2010, but I have only been able to take part in this event two times (2012-2013). So it will definitely be a pleasure to race on roads that I know so well. The third stage between Rosport and Schifflange will in particular be very special for me since the finish is in my village!”



trek segafredo
Bauke Mollema to End Season Early
Bauke Mollema was successfully operated on Friday night due to the injuries he sustained in his crash on stage 13 of the Tour de France. His Trek-Segafredo team does not expect the Dutch rider to return this season.

Mollema was one of the riders who crashed at the 90 kilometre mark on the stage. He immediately grabbed his wrist and it soon became clear that the Dutchman had to abandon the race. After a medical examination, several fractures to his left wrist and forearm were found, and would need surgery. He also had several minor injuries to his face that needed five stitches under his lip.

His Trek-Segafredo team announced that the operation had gone well. “It was technically perfect. Both the surgeon and the team doctor were very happy with the result,” the team said on social media. “Bauke travels home today (Saturday) to continue his recovery. The expected recovery time is six weeks, although we do not expect Bauke to race again this season.”

Mollema out for 2020
tour 20 quintana mollema martin


NTT team boss Riis: “I’ve been through this before”
The question is whether NTT Pro Cycling will be part of the WorldTour peloton next year. It had previously been reported that the South African team still doesn’t have a sponsor for 2021. Team manager Bjarne Riis remains optimistic, “I’ve been through this before.”

Bjarne Riis has been associated with the team as team manager since the start of this year. He and team principal Douglas Ryder – who holds the WorldTour license with his company Ryder Cycling – have the task of finding a new title sponsor for next season. The contract with NTT is coming to an end and at the moment the chance that the named sponsor will not renew is more than probable.

Sources confirm that the South African team is still looking for a sponsor for 2021. Riis, however, does not seem concerned yet. “I have faith in it,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “But it is not rocket science. This situation is not optimal. We hope to have news soon.”

At the moment, the NTT team has five riders who have a contract with the team next year. These are Domenico Pozzovivo, Victor Campenaerts and neo-pros Samuele Battistella (the Yorkshire U23 World Champion), Matteo Sobrero and Dylan Sunderland.

The Danish roof window manufacturer Velux was in the picture at the beginning of May to act as a new title sponsor, but that is no longer the case. Talks with NTT are still ongoing, but it is reported that this is difficult. In any case, Douglas Ryder is hoping for a quick breakthrough. More and more riders are now talking to other teams.

NTT’s Bjarne Riis:



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