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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend race news

The Vuelta a España is underway and we have the first two stages with video. Plus the Tour de Pologne and the PostNord Tour of Denmark. Philippe Gilbert talks of problems at Lotto Soudal. Other news: Lefevere to work on Evenepoel. Contracts for Miguel Ángel López, Bryan Coquard, DSM Development Team, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, Lotto Soudal and Jumbo-Visma. Monday coffee time.

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TOP STORY: Gilbert on Frison and Sergeant Leaving Lotto Soudal
Philippe Gilbert has not yet managed to win this season, but he hopes to put an end to that drought in the latter part of the year. His last victory dates back to the Vuelta in 2019, when he won stage 17 in Guadalajara.

Gilbert will return to competition for the first time after the Tour de France in the Druivenkoers Overijse (August 26). He was meant to ride the Cyclassics Hamburg, but that race was cancelled. Four days later he rides the Benelux Tour. This is followed by Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours. “Of course I want to win again this season,” Gilbert told Het Nieuwsblad. “So far it hasn’t worked out and to be honest, I haven’t even come close yet. Fortunately, the feeling is much better at the moment. After the Tour I continued to train hard.”

According to the ex-World champion, his difficult second season with Lotto Soudal can be traced back to everything that happened last year. The calendar was messed up by corona and he had to leave the Tour de France after a day with a broken kneecap. “At first a lot of races were canceled, while I am someone who always likes to race a lot. I need that rhythm. Afterwards I crashed on my knee again in the Tour and that new rehabilitation cost a lot of energy.”

He also does not find the sporting unrest in his team easy. At the beginning of this month it was announced that well-known Herman Frison and Marc Sergeant would leave Lotto Soudal as team directors. “With them, in my first passage at Lotto (from 2009 to 2011) I naturally won some nice victories. Herman had already told me in the Tour that he felt that the wind was turning. But it’s hard for me to speak out about that. Team leaders disappear in all teams, but here you have two people who have been employed for a long time. I have agreed with them: in the rest of the season I will do everything I can to give them the best possible ending.”

Things not great at Lotto for Philippe Gilbert:
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Vuelta a España 2021
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) won Stage 1 of La Vuelta 21, a 7.1km time-trial around Burgos cathedral, to take the leader’s jersey, just like he did in 2020. The ITT Olympic Champion remains unbeaten against the clock on the roads of the Spanish Grand Tour and already has an advantage on his rivals. The two-time winner of La Vuelta beat Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech), who was on the hot seat for most of the stage, and his Slovenian compatriot Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious).

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The 76th edition of La Vuelta started on Saturday afternoon in the spectacular settings of Burgos. Young Spanish rider, Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH), was first to leave from the Plaza Santa Maria, right in front of the cathedral. He is the first to reach the finish, with a time of 9:30. Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech) set a strong reference: 8:55. But Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers), who chose to be among the early starters, narrowly edged the Spaniard out with 8:52. The first man to beat Yates was his teammate Dylan van Baarle, in 8:52. The Dutchman, who led the opening time-trial in Malaga in 2018, was on the hot seat for more than half an hour before another Spaniard from Astana-Premier Tech took the provisional lead. Although Alex Aranburu was trailing at the top of the Alto del Castillo (cat 3, km 2.5), he flew on the downhill and the remaining flat section to clock a time of 8:38 (49,3km/h).

More riders beat Aranburu’s time at the intermediate point, as they chase the first polka-dot jersey of La Vuelta 21. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) took the lead up the Alto del Castillo before setting a time of 8:47. The excitement rose as the last riders took the start. Among them, Richard Carapaz (INOES Grenadiers) took the 27th best time at 19 seconds, moments after Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) finished 14th at 15 seconds. Slovenian ITT Champion Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) comes very close to beating Aranburu’s time but he has to settle for 2nd at 2 seconds. Roglic, the last man on the road as the two-time defending champion, covers the 7.1km in 8:32 (49.9kph) and gained 27 seconds on Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), who started 1 minute in front of him.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

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Stage winner and overall leader, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “I am very happy to have achieved this result today. Although the time trial was only seven kilometres, it was still very tough. I rode full speed from start to finish. Fortunately, it was enough. I don’t know exactly where I made the difference. We had to go straight up and then get through the corners well. I started a little slower and then picked up the pace. On the flat it was mainly about keeping pedalling hard. We’ll see if I can keep the red jersey for three weeks. It’s a great start to this race. Hopefully we can enjoy this with the team in the coming days.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech): “Well, of course I feel a bit of disappointment after I was so close to a stage win, but honestly, it was expected that Primoz Roglic would be the biggest favourite today. I did a good time trial, and I can say I liked it very much. I love these kind of short and explosive races and I was motivated to do a good race today. I tried to do my best on the climb, but also in the final part, which I think was crucial for the stage result. It was not easy to keep a high pace in the last few kilometres, but I succeeded, and I finished with the best provisional time. Well, I had to wait quite long on the hot seat and at the end of the day I just missed the win. However, I can be proud of my performance today and I think this is a good start to the race for me.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious): “Today I knew that it’s a good parcour for me, and I wanted to give it my all and prepare to be 100%. I had super support from the team to focus just on my ride. About my performance today, I felt like I gave everything, and I did my pacing perfectly throughout the day. I think I can be satisfied with that. I didn’t make a mistake, I went really fast on the climb and suffered a little bit in the last kilometre, but that is normal as you need to come to the finish totally empty.”

7th on the stage and ‘Best Young Rider’, Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s an incredible start for me, after what was just the second time trial I rode since turning pro. I did a recon on Friday and I felt good, so I gave everything. To start the Vuelta with a top 10 and the white jersey is incredible, especially as it comes after a tough couple of months without any races whatsoever until recently following that Laigueglia crash. It feels great to have the white jersey on my shoulders, and although it will be difficult, I will try to keep it for as long as possible.”

18th, Felix Großschartner (BORA-hansgrohe): “I felt quite good today and it was a pretty solid start to the race. It was important to get through the course well and not take too big a risk that I would crash somewhere. But on the whole I got through well and so I’m looking forward to the upcoming days.”

Vuelta a España Stage 1 Result:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 8:32
2. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:06
3. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:08
4. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education-Nippo at 0:10
5. Josef Černý (Cz) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
7. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
8. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:13
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:14
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 1:
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 8:32
2. Alex Aranburu (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:06
3. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:08
4. Tom Scully (NZ) EF Education-Nippo at 0:10
5. Josef Černý (Cz) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
7. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
8. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo at 0:13
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:14
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech.

Vuelta’21 stage 1:

 

Jasper Philipsen narrowly edged out Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) on Stage 2 in Burgos, on Sunday, to add another Grand Tour success to Alpecin-Fenix’s tally in 2021. The Belgian team had already won the first sprint of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France with Tim Merlier. This time, it was Philipsen’s turn to shine, claiming his 2nd Grand Tour stage win, a year after he took the first one on Spanish roads. Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) went safely through a windy stage to retain La Roja on the eve of the first summit finish while Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) was chasing bonus seconds.

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The Sun and the wind were up as the peloton left Caleruega early in the afternoon and head for Gamonal, a neighbourhood of Burgos where sprinters are used to shining unless echelons turn the race upside down. The break of the day went from KM 0: Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Sergio Martin (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They quickly opened a gap of 4 minutes before Arnaud Démare’s Groupama-FDJ team react. Fabio Jakobsen’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step join the French team at the helm of the bunch and the gap came down to 3:25 at km 18, and under 2 minutes after 50km of racing. With the peloton riding cautiously through the wind, the gap went up and down all day long: 1:15 with 76km to go, 30 seconds 16km further, 1:20 as they enter the last 50km. The peloton only trail by 35 seconds when Rubio drops his companions with 31km to go. The Spaniard increased his lead to 1:05 before he is reeled in with 20.5km to go.

Astana accelerated ahead of the newly introduced bonus sprint, with 3, 2 and 1 seconds up for grabs in Tardajos (km 150). Jakobsen was first over the line ahead Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech). He now trails by 4 seconds on GC while Jumbo-Visma take care of Primoz Roglič in the bunch. The final sprint is extremely tight and, although Jakobsen looked to have the advantage, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) took the win right on the line. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) was 3rd and also moved to 3rd on GC, while Roglič awaits the first summit finish on Monday, at Picon Blanco.

# You can read the full ‘PEZ Stage Report and Photo Gallery’ HERE. #

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Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “It’s incredible. Yesterday I wrote it in our team chat that for sure it would be a dream. I think this is a real team effort and it’s great to win the first sprint of the three Grand Tours. It was amazing to see all my teammates there and everybody was on the frontline. I trusted the team an I think we did a really good job. We can be happy tonight. For sure I’m really happy that it worked out in the first sprint and now we can go on and try for more.”

Overall leader, Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma): “Fortunately, in hindsight, we can conclude that we got through this stage without any problems. In stages like this you always have to be careful not to run into damage. We can now focus on tomorrow’s stage. There is a chance that the approach, like today, will be nervous. I don’t know the final climb. It will soon become clear whether the climb suits me.”

2nd on the stage, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am disappointed. The sprint wasn’t perfect, because I had to do a lot of effort to pass the guy in front of me with 200 meters to go and for a split second there I lost some speed. But I can’t complain, to be in the top 3 here is still a good result which makes me confident that a win is possible in the next days.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange): “There’s not a massive sprint field here, but the sprinters that are here are fast, so my goal was a top-three, top-five today, so we achieved that. We expected a harder day, we thought some of the pure sprinters might have been more tired but it ended up being a super easy day, averaging 100bpm heart-rate all day. It was a pretty stock-standard sprint day, so I am happy with the podium and tomorrow is another day. I think where the boys delivered me today, we can be really confident in our lead-out here. There’s not a massive field of sprint trains here so that makes it a bit easier for us not having a large sprint train so we can just mix it up, take confidence from yesterday’s TT and today’s sprint stage.”

6th overall and ‘Best Young Rider’, Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It’s a positive outcome. The goal was to retain the white jersey and to win the stage with Fabio [Jakobsen]. He has been very close but he didn’t make it. But it’s no big deal. There will be other occasions for him for sure. As per myself, I will try to retain the white jersey again tomorrow but I know it will be a hard task. In such a climb [Picon Blanco], Vlasov or Bernal can do better than me but I will try. If the GC contenders look at each other, I can go away maybe. It would be the dream scenario.”

7th on the stage, Martin Laas (BORA-hansgrohe): “Unfortunately, three of our riders went down today, including our sprinter Jordi Meeus, so I had to try it alone in the sprint. Over the last 2km I was without any teammates to assist, and tried to find a good wheel to follow. However, in the end I was simply too far behind to get a top result.”

8th on the stage, Riccardo Minali (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I’m happy to start this Vuelta with a top 10, because this sprint was not in our favour. The teams with a big train did most of the work, while Kévin Van Melsen and Wesley Kreder brought me in a perfect position in the approach to the sprint. The team delivered a perfect job before the final kilometre. Unfortunately, I made a mistake with 400 meter to go, causing me to go through the with 350 meter before the line. It was early to start my sprint and I lost quite some energy so I’m happy to finish in the top 10 in the end. My feeling is good and there are still numerous opportunities at this Vuelta, so we’ll try again!”

Vuelta a España Stage 2 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 3:58:57
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
4. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Martin Laas (Est) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis.

Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 2:
1. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4:07:29
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:04
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:10
4. Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:11
6. Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:12
7. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:14
8. Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates at 0:15
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10. Chad Haga (USA) DSM at 0:17.

Vuelta’21 stage 2:

 

pologne
Tour de Pologne 2021
Joao Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) won the Queen Stage 4, crossing the finish line in Bukovina in the yellow jersey. The young talented Portuguese rider extended his GC leadership. The 23-year-old Portuguese rider emerged from the small group that was sprinting at the end of the 160km race beating Mathej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious), second, and Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën) showing excellent form in third.

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The fourth stage of the 78th Tour de Pologne was a tough one starting in Tarnòw in front of the headquarters of Grupa Azoty, one of the sponsors of the race, and finishing in Bukovina Resort in the heart of the Tatra Mountains.

A four-man breakaway including Lawrence Warbasse, Attila Valter, Edward Theuns and Marco Canola set off immediately and during the stage it reached a considerable gap of 3.30 minutes to then be slowly absorbed by the peloton with less than 20km to go. Once also the last two fugitives, Attila Valter and Marco Canola, had been caught with just a few kilometres to go, the peloton got organised for a pretty well-known finish of the seven-day Polish race. This is when a number of attacks took place, including the one that saw Remi Cavagna go off on his own, followed shortly by Paterski who was unable to keep up. At that point it was another Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider, Mikkel Honoré, who tried to go clear and continued his run towards the finish line until the peloton caught up with him and the sprint took shape.

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Stage winner and overall leader, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a hard stage, with a lot of up-and-down roads, but the team helped me a lot and I want to thank them for their huge amount of work. On the last climb, Rémi and Mikkel made a good move, forcing the others to chase hard and close the gap. That helped me a lot, as I could remain calm in the group before launching my acceleration off the slipstream of Mohoric and passing him”, said the first Portuguese in the history of the race to notch up two stages at the same edition. “Friday we will have another hard stage, with a demanding final circuit, but we’ll do our best and show the same team spirit and motivation.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “Today was another opportunity for us to go for a stage win. The team did a great job controlling the breakaway, pulling in front the whole day and working for us. Dylan Teuns, in the final, managed to close the gap to Honoré, who attacked in the last 2km. If he didn’t help me, Honoré would be close to stealing the stage win, so thanks to Dylan, we got back, and I could make the sprint. Joao Almeida attacked quite far out, so I thought it would be a perfect lead-out, but then he stopped when he saw me following; I had no other choice but to open up my sprint. Unfortunately, Almeida was strong enough to get on my tail and pass me just before the finish line. Hats off to him. I hope I can finally win a stage tomorrow.”

3rd on the stage, Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroën): “It was a complicated sprint, but I was still able to be up there. This is a good sign after a 15-day altitude training camp on the Pordoi pass. My fitness is not yet optimal, but the sensations are improving every day. This is great for morale and validates the work done over the past few weeks. Tomorrow there is one more stage that can be favourable for my abilities. I have some important goals near the end of the season such as the European Championships, with the Italian team, in Trento, two hours from my home (September 12), the Bretagne Classic (August 29), and the Tre Valli Varesine (October 6).”

4th on the stage and overall, Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers): “It was a very tough final and I was hoping for much more, especially if you look at the last 500m when I was in the perfect position to win the stage but, at the end of the day, Almeida was the strongest guy again. It was hard to follow him in the final sprint, and also Matej Mohoric really had a kick in the end. I am not saying it’s not happening, I am always in the game, I lost some seconds because of the bonifications but I came here to win the overall and I’ll keep fighting for it and it’ll happen hopefully.”

8th overall, Giovanni Aleotti (BORA-hansgrohe): “The team did once again a fabulous job. We are down to only four riders, but everyone is fighting very hard to achieve our goals. I really have to thank the boys today for their effort. It was important to still have Pösti with me before the last uphill stretch, he helped me to stay in position. In the end I didn’t have the power to sprint for the victory today, but I lost no seconds, and this is very important. From that point of view, I can be happy with the day.”

10th on the stage, Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The start was fast and no teams took control immediately. So I stayed attentively in the front, hoping to join an interesting breakaway. But in the end I was part of a leading group of five and thought we didn’t have a great chance on making it to the finish. That’s why I decided to wait for the peloton after the intermediate sprint. By winning this sprint, we knew that Taco conserved the jersey and those three seconds were a bonus. I once lost the Tour de Wallonie for one second. In the final we had the plan to anticipate, but in the end the pace was too high and also the headwind didn’t inspire us to attack. The leaders in the classification were determined to finish the stage in a sprint. We are on fire since the beginning of the week and we want to continue until Sunday.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 4 Result:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:51:32
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Dion Smith (NZ) BikeExchange
6. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM
7. Ben Tulett (GB) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
10. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 4:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – QuickStep in 18:52:24
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:08
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:14
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:21
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 0:32
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
7. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
9. Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar at 0:36
10. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Pologne’21 stage 4:

 

Nikias Arndt (DSM) sprinted to his first victory of the season in Bielsko-Biała. Joao Almeida maintained the leader jersey ahead of the decisive Individual TIme Trial. Stage 5 of the Tour de Pologne ended with Arndt beating a group of around 20 riders in a thrilling finalé after 172.8km at an average speed of 42.784kph beating in a close sprint Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) and Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal).

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It all started in Chochołów at a high pace when the peloton lined up heading to Bielsko-Biała, the last chance for the GC leaders, that are not time-trial specialists, to gain good positions in the overall ranking. Several attacks took place, with a 6-man breakaway not being allowed much time. Shortly afterwards a new group of six riders broke away, including Evgeniy Fedorov, Daniel Arroyave, Robert Power, Emils Liepins, Jonas Rickaert and Łukasz Owsian. This time it was allowed go and reach a maximum lead of 4:20. INEOS Grenadiers, Movistar, Bahrain Victorious, Astana-Premier Tech and Deceuninck – Quick-Step set the pace in the peloton.

With just under 40km to go another small group counter-attacked while Arroyave was dropped from the front group and Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Fenix) went off on his own, gaining 10 seconds from his previous breakaway companions. More attacks took place in the bunch. Larry Warbasse, Tomasz Marczyński, Sean Bennett bridged to Rickaert maintaining a 40 second gap from the peloton led by INEOS Grenadier as they entered the circuit. The four riders entered the final lap with a 10 second gap, working together until less than 5.5km from the finish, but the peloton was working hard behind. However, Jonas Rickaert went off on his own again. INEOS set the pace, catching Jonas at the 3.5km mark.

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Stage winner, Nikias Arndt (DSM): “It was a really hard sprint, I felt really good on the last laps and for the whole day actually, but it was a hard and fast final. The team put me in a really good position on the last lap and I could benefit from that in the finish. Riders came from the left and right but I managed to push again. It was a long, long sprint for me and in the end Mohoric came pretty close and we weren’t sure who actually won to start with, but in the end it was enough for me. I’m super happy I could take it for the team. They believed in me all day and worked hard to put me in a really good position which saved me a lot of energy, which was enough to win it in the end. We have some really good guys in the team and I enjoy my support role, but I’m super happy that I got the chance from the team today to go for it and that they believed in me 100 percent. I’m happy to have finished it off for them.”

Overall leader, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I was boxed in at 350 to go I was feeling good, I had a good sprint but I started too late, but it was good as I was looking for some seconds because Mohoric could grab the jersey with a victory. In the end I kept the jersey another day and tomorrow it just depends on me.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious): “Today was another good stage result for us, but I’m not happy with second place. It’s a bit frustrating with all the second and third places that I got in last periods, but on the other hand, it could also be worse; it’s still an excellent result. I’m looking forward to the time trial tomorrow. There is no chance to be boxed out like today; everybody is on their own against the clock, no hiding there. I think Joao Almeida is a big favourite to win it, but I will do my best to try and get a podium on GC, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m really looking forward to it.”

3rd on the stage, Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal): “My team has been working great since the beginning of the Tour de Pologne. We were actually working for John Degenkolb but just like Champs do, he was honest and said he didn’t feel quite good. He told me to trust in myself and then helped me to get the right mood so I could fight for the sprint. I really have to thank him and the entire team for the trust. I was in a good position when Wellens went for the sprint. I followed him and did my move, maybe a bit too early and in the last 20mt I was a block, I sat on the saddle pushing on all my energy and the 2 guys passed me.”

4th overall, Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers): “I didn’t win this year and it’s a real pity. I was trying hard, we chased the breakaway the whole day but they were pretty strong. Moscon and Golas controlled the gap, I had a perfect position for the sprint but I didn’t have the legs. That’s sport, we’ll see tomorrow. I’ll go full on and see.”

6th overall, Giovanni Aleotti (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was yet again a challenging day and the whole team did a great job to protect me during the stage. In the end we wanted to go for Schwarzi. I was in a good position and wanted to lead him out, but then he crashed, which was a pity. With 300m to go there was a hole and I tried to use this opportunity, but it turned out to be a little early. On the last 50m I couldn’t keep up the pace and lost some positions. But personally, I can be happy with the day as I am still in a promising position in the GC. I just feel sorry for Schwarzi, because today I wanted to give something back for the great support the last days.”

6th on the stage and 11th overall, Quinten Hermans (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “We had a nice sprint train for Biniam, but unfortunately we didn’t immediately realise that he crashed. It’s a pity, because with his fast legs this was a nice opportunity to win. It slowed down a little in the approach of the sprint, that’s when Lorenzo and I lost each other. So I chose the slipstream of Tim Wellens. He went from far and consequently, I had to start my sprint early. Or, I wasn’t strong enough, or, I sprinted too early. The competition is high and that won’t be different for the time trial. We’ll give everything tomorrow at the time trial to stay as high as possible in the general classification!”

Tour de Pologne Stage 5 Result:
1. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM in 4:02:20
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
4. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
6. Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
7. David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Jake Stewart (GB) Groupama-FDJ
9. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën
10. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 5:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 22:54:44
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:02
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:14
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:21
5. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 0:32
6. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
8. Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar at 0:36
9. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:37.

Pologne’21 stage 5:

 

Unbeatable Rémi Cavagna flew on the roads of the Katowice ITT. The Frenchman won Stage 6 and Almeida strengthened his leadership of GC. The penultimate stage of the 2021 Tour de Pologne confirmed the supremacy of the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team at the Polish race. Rémi Cavagna rode the 19km Individual Time Trial at an average speed of 51.6kph, claiming the win with a time of 22:11. The Frenchman beat his teammate and GC leader Joao Almeida by just 13 seconds while Maciej Bodnar took third place 16 seconds behind the stage winner.

pologne 21 st6

Almeida kept the overall lead after an impressive time trial, distancing his direct rival Matej Mohoric by 20 seconds while Michal Kwiatkowski is third overall at 27 seconds after passing Diego Ulissi in the general classification. The time trial started in the city of Katowice with a technical route entirely designed for the specialists including a large number of straight sections through the city centre, in addition to a short stretch of cobblestones. The first to start was Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal) who set a time of 24:21. The hot seat passed from Max Walscheid (Qhubeka NextHash) with his 22:31 to Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) who beat the German by just 3 seconds. It was then Maciej Bodnar who set his best time, but he would soon give up the chair to Cavagna who clocked a stunning time of 22:10 to win the stage.

pologne21 st6 tt

Stage winner, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am super happy about this win, as victories are super important and this one is even more special as it’s my specialty and I worked really hard at home. There’s still some work to do. My ITT wasn’t perfect and I have to keep working to improve and be the best. The European Championships are my next goal, and I still have some training to do. Today, I have to be honest, I actually thought Joao could pass me, as he’s really fast and strong. Luckily it didn’t happen and I am super happy we shared the podium and he still wears the yellow jersey.”

Second on the stage and overall leader, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I’m happy for both myself and Remi. He rode at another level. We kept the jersey, we increased the gap further. The course was a bit technical, I didn’t want to take risks, of course. There were maybe one or two corners where I could have done better but, to be honest, I was a little nervous. I knew I had good legs and I thought: ‘if I have good legs, I can even deliver a good time. After the finish line Remi told me he was afraid that I beat him but, as I said, he just rode at another level, congrats to him.”

3rd on the stage, Maciej Bodnar (BORA-hansgrohe): “It is always nice to wear the national champions jersey in your home country. I am proud I was able to represent it in a good way today. I wasn’t too sure about my form after the TT in Tokyo, but I felt better and better during the race. I judged my pace well I think and could push until the line. I am happy with this third place today.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 6 Result:
1. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 22:10
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:13
3. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:16
4. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates at 0:18
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:19
6. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka NextHash at 0:21
7. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM at 0:28
8. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:29
9. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:31
10. Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:32.

Tour de Pologne Overall After Stage 6:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 23:17:01
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:26
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:33
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:43
5. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:59
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:03
7. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 1:31
8. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious
9. Ben Tulett (GB) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:34
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36.

Pologne’21 stage 6:

 

Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Nippo) won the Final Stage 7 of the Tour of Poland. The Dutchman was the best rider of the early break in Krakow, who managed to hold off the peloton. João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) secured his overall victory.

pologne 21 st7

The final stage covered 145 kilometres from Zabrze to Krakow. The riders were faced with a classified climb on the last day, but after the Łaziska there were still 125 kilometres to go. The final was on a local lap of 5 kilometres, which had to be completed three times. The finish was made for the sprinters. After the starting signal was given, a group of five escaped, including Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Nippo), Gianni Moscon (INEOS Grenadiers), Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Alexis Renard (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar). Deceuninck – Quick-Step kept them in check.

The difference kept fluctuating between 1 and 2 minutes for a long time and the sprinters’ teams wanted to prevent the leading group from getting too far ahead. Vanspeybrouck was dropped, but the others kept working well, but they were waiting for the peloton to hit the accelerator and close the gap for the sprint. The difference did not diminish and the escapees’ chances increased as the finish approached. It was a close call, but in the end it was the early attackers who made it. Van den Berg took a long sprint and was just ahead of Renard, Jorgenson and Moscon at the finish. Álvaro José Hodeg came just too late and finished fifth. Fernando Gaviria and Olav Kooij crossed the line in sixth and seventh. For Van den Berg it was his first professional victory since he took the step to the WorldTour in 2018. For his EF Education-Nippo team it was the 10th victory of the season after Alberto Bettiol’s stage win in the Giro and Neilson Powless’s win in the Clásica San Sebastián. João Almeida crossed the line in the beaten peloton and thus assured himself of the win in the final classification.

pologne21 st7

Stage winner, Julius van den Berg (EF Education-Nippo): “It was a really nice win today. All week we’ve been telling the team to take their chances because one day it will work out.”

Overall winner, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am extremely happy, it’s a dream come true to be at the top of the podium in a stage race, something for which I worked so hard. To win the GC, two stages – one in the yellow jersey, something quite special – and the white jersey, which came as a bonus, is something incredible that I couldn’t have dreamed of at the start of the race. We also took the team classification, which is really beautiful, as it gives you a wonderful feeling to be on the podium with all your teammates who worked so hard for you. We were there on every stage, we fought hard, we showed the Wolfpack spirit, so we can be proud of ourselves. I will draw a lot of confidence from Poland and aim for more good results until the end of the season.”

2nd overall, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious): “We came here to the Tour de Pologne with a mission to be good in GC and win sprint stages. Phil took the pressure off us when he took a win on the first stage. The atmosphere was good throughout the race, the teamwork was incredible, and I must thanks all the riders and staff of Team Bahrain Victorious for the great work during the race. Second place in GC is a very good result. It’s been a lot of second and third places lately, but hopefully, we see some victories coming in the future, the season is not quite finished yet, and there are some important races coming up and I’m already looking up to them.”

4th overall, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a good week for the team. Ideally I’d have preferred to be on the podium and taken a stage, but we rode well and had a great stage win with Fernando to celebrate, and he also showed good form this week so we can be happy. We aim to continue this way until the end of the year.”

Bahrain Victorious DS, Tim Harris: “We can go home quite satisfied from Tour of Poland. We had a stage win and a yellow jersey on the first day with Phil Bauhaus, and he had second overall with Matej Mohorič. We also had very good stage placing with Matej twice being second and once third. It’s slightly frustrating he didn’t win the stage, but we’ll have to accept that. All the team rode well every day, we tried to control the races as much as we could. In the end, it came down to the time trial battle, where Matej did a very good time. In general, we should be content with second place overall.”

Tour de Pologne Stage 7 Result:
1. Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo in 2:58:46
2. Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
3. Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar
4. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Alvaro Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
7. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
10. Lionel Taminiaux (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix.

Tour de Pologne Final Overall Result:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 26:15:53
2. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious at 0:20
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:27
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:37
5. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:53
6. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:57
7. Jai Hindley (Aus) DSM at 1:06
8. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious at 1:25
9. Ben Tulett (GB) Alpecin-Fenix at 1:28
10. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:30.

Pologne’21 stage 7:

 

denmark
PostNord Tour of Denmark 2021
Belgian youngster Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) rode into the leader’s jersey at the Danmark Rundt after dominant Stage 3 victory.

denmark21 st3

Evenepoel delivered another massive show of strength on the demanding roads to Vejle, which once again took in a series of short but hard climbs, pitching up to 15%, that reduced the peloton to 30 riders with 50 kilometres to go. Deceuninck – Quick-Step had Evenepoel, Olympic Champion Michael Mørkøv and Jannik Steimle in the group, and it was the 21-year-old winner of the Belgium Tour that attacked, drawing with him four other riders. It was a short-lived action, due to the lack of collaboration, but Remco kept on trying and his powerful accelerations further reduced the group, before he went clear again, this time with three men for company. It looked like that would be the winning move, but things changed in just a few seconds, after Evenepoel misjudged a corner which saw him lose contact with the other attackers and return to the peloton.

The Wolfpack stayed true to its spirit and didn’t give up, Mørkøv and Steimle exchanging turns at the front of the group as they began chewing into the leaders’ advantage. The amazing effort paid dividends when the trio were caught inside 20 kilometres to go, but Evenepoel wasn’t content with just being part of that group and soon attacked again, this time in an all-or-nothing move that came on the uphill marking the start of the three local circuits. Riding everyone else off his wheel, Remco went into time trial mode and increased his margin over the chasers, unfazed by the hard hills that made for a demanding finish. By the time he arrived at the line, after lapping the whole peloton, Evenepoel managed to put one minute and a half between him and his nearest opponents, a result that brought the leader’s jersey.

denmark21 st3

Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “We knew it was going to be a hard race, so we remained attentive and always at the front, as the peloton was expected to split at some point. As you could see, I tried several times, and after one of these attacks I made that small mistake, but luckily, I had an amazing team around me, with Jannik and Michael burying themselves for me in order to catch the breakaway. In the final kilometres, I knew from Michael that a steep part was about to come and that’s where I attacked and made the difference. The GC fight is not over yet, but I hope to have the feeling of today also in the remaining stages and take the jersey home. I was extremely motivated to win seeing how much the team worked for me and I’m glad of the way it panned out. At the same time, this first victory in a road stage after a very hard period means a lot to me. I had a lot of ups and downs, but I remained patient and confident, and the reward came today.”

PostNord Tour of Denmark Stage 3 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 4:54:44
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:29
3. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Riwal at 1:32
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 1:41
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 1:54
7. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 3:21
8. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB
9. Mads Rahbek (Den) BHS-PL Beton Bornholm at 3:23
10. Jeppe Aaskov Pallesen (Den) Team Coloquick.

PostNord Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 3:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 12:44:14
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:33
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 1:36
4. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Riwal at 1:38
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:40
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 2:04
7. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB at 3:31
8. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo
9. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X at 3:33
10. Lucas Eriksson (Swe) Riwal.

Denmark’21 stage 3:

 

Colin Joyce won Stage 4 of the PostNord Danmark Rundt. The American from Rally Cycling was the best of a leading group that held out until the finish in Kalundborg. He beat Sebastian Nielsen and Martin Salmon. The peloton containing all the favourites fell short in the final and sprinted 6 seconds behind. Remco Evenepoel remains overall leader.

denmark21 st4

After 10 kilometres the race of the day already started, with Aaron Van Poucke from Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise. He had seven riders with him: Martin Salmon (DSM), Colin Joyce, Nickolas Zukowsky (Rally), Mads Kristensen (ColoQuick), Sebastian Nielsen (Restaurant Suri-Carl Ras), Emil Toudal (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm ) and Anders Foldager (Denmark). The eight got about 3 minutes ahead of the peloton, where there were failed counterattack by Sam Brand (Novo Nordisk) and Fabio Mazzucco (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè). Magnus Bak Klaris successfully attacked later in the stage. The rider of the Danish selection joined the leading group with sixty kilometres from the finish. It was a bit restless in the peloton, partly due to a serious crash involving Timo Roosen, Mike Teunissen and Matteo Moschetti, and others. They were all able continue. Deceuninck – Quick-Step continued to set the pace. The difference with the leading group fluctuated around 2 minutes. Foldager, who was dropped from the leading group, counter-attacked with the still fresh Pawel Bernas, but failed. Remco Evenepoel’s troops still set the pace in the peloton, which had been severely thinned by the wind. Twelve kilometres from the finish, Søren Kragh Andersen made an attack. His effort narrowed the gap to the leading group, but it then came to a halt in the peloton, which helped the leading group.

Mads Pedersen tried to jump away on the last hill 5 kilometres from the finish, but that was not enough to pass the front runners. Martin Salmon and Colin Joyce tried to split the leading group in the final, but they were unsuccessful. With a lead of 18 seconds, the escapees entered the last 2 kilometres, which they held on to. Mads Kristensen started the sprint early in the last straight, but had to deal with bad luck. He was outflanked by Joyce, who managed to stay ahead of the rest of his fellow escapees with a strong sprint. Nielsen came in second, ahead of Salmon. The favourites group fell short and had to sprint for 7th place 6 seconds later: Giacomo Nizzolo was ahead of Mads Pedersen and Mark Cavendish. Remco Evenepoel remained the leader.

denmark21 stage 4

Stage winner, Colin Joyce (Rally Cycling): “This win is huge! They don’t come often in this sport, so definitely need to enjoy it. I’m really happy. This one definitely wouldn’t have happened without Zuke, he was absolutely ripping. I hope he realises how crucial he was for this one. Break wouldn’t have stuck without his strong pulls near the end. I trusted my sprint, so I really just wanted to make sure it stayed together so I could give it a shot. Just needed to make sure I was in a decent spot and didn’t get boxed in. I’m glad it worked. The whole team has been killing it and it’s nice to get a win for everyone. We have such a great atmosphere and they’re all stand-up dudes, which makes it less difficult to be away from our loved ones back home.”

Overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It was a nervous stage from start to finish, because of all those small roads, but the team did a great job, for which I am grateful. Our goal from the beginning was to keep the leader’s jersey and that worked out really well, as the entire team remained focused and gave their best for this. Concerning Saturday’s ITT, it will be special to start with the jersey on my shoulders and I will ride as fast as possible to retain it.”

PostNord Tour of Denmark Stage 4 Result:
1. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling in 4:22:44
2. Sebastian Nielsen (Den) Restaurant Suri Carl Ras
3. Martin Salmon (Ger) DSM
4. Magnus Bak Klaris (Den) Denmark
5. Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Mads Kristensen (Den) Team Coloquick at 0:02
7. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash at 0:06
8. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
9. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
10. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

PostNord Tour of Denmark Overall After Stage 4:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 17:07:04
2. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:33
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 1:36
4. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Riwal at 1:38
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:40
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 2:16
7. Milan Menten (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB at 3:31
8. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X at 3:33
9. Lucas Eriksson (Swe) Riwal
10. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 3:43.

Denmark’21 stage 4:

 

Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Belgian adds a seventh stage race triumph to his palmarés. Remco Evenepoel became the youngest rider to win the Danmark Rundt to win the race, capping off a dominant week with a solid ride in the flat and technical 10.8km individual time trial, despite the wet roads that made for not such a straightforward final day in Frederiksberg.

denmark21 st5tt

Leader in the rankings by a huge margin, Evenepoel found his rhythm as soon as he left the start house, navigating the course handsomely and producing an impressive turn of legs that showed he was on track for a good result. Coming onto the finishing straight, the 21-year-old looked poised to beat the provisional time, which in the end he did for just a second after an out-of-the-saddle sprint in the last 200 metres. An average speed of 53kph saw Remco clock 12:13 at the finish, a result that helped him secure the overall standings, his second GC success of the year after the one at the Tour of Belgium, back in June.

Stage winner and overall leader, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “In a time trial you always go deep, and that’s what I did today. I didn’t see myself as the main favourite for the win, but getting it makes me happy, especially as it came on a short and technical ITT, with a lot of turns, that normally doesn’t suit me. I didn’t take any risks, as the main goal was to come home safely and wrap up the GC, but I’m delighted with the victory, because it’s always nice to get one in the leader’s jersey. It was the cherry on the cake at the end of a beautiful week. The victory is also a sign of things heading in the right direction, as I could feel better than in the previous races against the clock. My hard work and patience are starting to pay off, which is good for my confidence. The GC is my fifth win of the season, which I want to celebrate with this amazing team before returning to work again for the next races.”

PostNord Tour of Denmark Stage 5 Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 12:13
2. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 0:01
3. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:06
4. Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma at 0:07
5. Jannik Steimle (Ger) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:14
6. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:20
7. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 0:23
8. Morten Hulgaard (Den) Uno-X at 0:28
9. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:31
10. Adam Holm Jørgensen (Den) BHS-PL Beton Bornholm at 0:33.

PostNord Tour of Denmark Final Overall Result:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 17:19:17
2. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 1:42
3. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 2:00
4. Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Riwal at 2:14
5. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:30
6. Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) DSM at 3:46
7. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X at 3:51
8. Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo at 4:06
9. Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo at 4:42
10. Lucas Eriksson (Swe) Riwal.

Denmark’21 stage 5:

 

deceuninck
Lefevere: “We will do everything we can to make Remco more comfortable on the bike”
Deceuninck – Quick-Step will do everything it can to make Remco Evenepoel more comfortable on the bike. The team also wants to make use of expertise outside of cycling. That is what the team boss of Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Patrick Lefevere, wrote in his column in Het Nieuwsblad.

Motorcycle racer Cal Crutchlow, a good friend of Mark Cavendish, has previously shown willingness to help Evenepoel where possible. “The plan is still for MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow to give him a crash course after the season and Tom Boonen has already suggested taking Remco in the rally car. The ideal lines you ride there are no different from those on a bicycle. The timing when braking is also the same,” Lefevere writes.

After his ugly tumble in the Tour of Lombardy a year ago and his fall in the seventeenth stage of the Giro d’Italia, Evenepoel’s steering skills are much discussed. Lefevere acknowledges that the young Belgian rider is “a lesser rider than colleagues who have been in the race for much longer” and is open to anything. “Except for the suggestion of Roger De Vlaeminck. Remco should not go cyclo-cross.”

“You will learn something from it, but the level is too high to just race in between. That is entertaining for the spectators, but a road racer who is dropped after four laps makes himself especially ridiculous,” said the team manager. Evenepoel has just won the PostNord Danmark Rundt.

Remco Evenepoel needs to improve his bike handling:
giro21

 

movistar
López Signs New Two-Year Contract with Movistar Team
Colombian – part of Blues’ La Vuelta lineup, author of three wins so far in 2021 – will continue seeking for new success with Telefónica-backed outfit until the end of 2023.

Few days before the start of the 2021 La Vuelta, the Movistar Team and Miguel Ángel López are announcing the extension of the contract currently linking them until the end of this season. The Colombian will remain a member of the Telefónica-backed squad for the next two years, 2022 and 2023.

Despite physical problems that delayed his debut and crashes that severely hampered his performance in the Tour de France, the Pesca, Boyacá rider – a podium finisher in the Giro and La Vuelta – has already offered the Movistar Team some resounding success. He notched up a stage win + the GC of the Vuelta a Andalucía; a 6th spot overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné, as one of the most active riders in the mountains; and a spectacular victory in the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges, just before the ‘Grande Boucle’.

Miguel Ángel López: “I’m so happy about this two-year extension. I’m really motivated for what’s coming up. Hoping I can get some important victories in this new term and hopefully fight for a victory in one of the Grand Tours, which has always been my big dream in cycling.”

Eusebio Unzué: “The year has been really difficult for Miguel Ángel, partly due to the covid he contracted before what would have been his first meeting with the team at our Almería training camp. Fortunately, with the Tour still far away, he could recover in time from both the illness and his 2020 injury, and in that road leading up to the TDF, he was able to share his winning quality with the team, both in Andalucía and, more importantly, his resounding success at the Mont Ventoux classic. He wasn’t fortunate enough at the Tour de France and the race soon saw him out of contention. Having him with us for the next few years is a significant reinforcement to the future of this team. Obviously, he’s one who will always be aiming at great results at three-week Grand Tours, but surely he’ll be able to also excel at some one-week races, most of which suit his characteristics really well. His abilities and Enric’s should allow us be up there within the top names at many moments of the season.”

Miguel Ángel López:
lopez

 

b&b
Bryan Coquard Leaves B&B Hotels for Cofidis
Bryan Coquard (29) will ride for Cofidis in 2022. The French sprinter leaves B&B Hotels p/b KTM after four seasons. Coquard, who was linked to Cofidis a few weeks ago, should become the new sprinter for the team of manager Cédric Vasseur.

Jérôme Pineau, the general manager of the ProTeam B&B Hotels p/b KTM, already confirmed a month ago that Coquard would leave at the end of the season. Coquard has been riding for the Pineau team since 2018 and has taken twelve victories. This year the fast Frenchman hasn’t had any wins, but he has managed to collect a lot of places of honour in recent months. Coquard, who had his baptism of fire as a professional cyclist with Team Europcar in 2013, should become one of the new spearheads in the sprints at Cofidis. He will have to help Cofidis forget Christophe Laporte and Elia Viviani. Laporte leaves for Jumbo-Visma, while Viviani has been associated with eolo-Kometa, the team of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.

Cofidis has been busy in the transfer market in recent weeks and months. The French formation is also said to be in talks with sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo, currently competing for Qhubeka NextHash, and climber Daniel Martin is also on team boss Cédric Vasseur’s wish list.

Bryan Coquard:
coquard

 

dsm
Development Team DSM’s Leon Heinschke and Marius Mayrhofer Promoted to the WorldTour in 2022
After steady progress year-on-year with their Development program, Team DSM are thrilled to announce that Leon Heinschke and Marius Mayrhofer will be promoted to the Men’s program in 2022, with both riders signing a contract that will see them ride with the team until at least the end of 2023. The German duo will mark ten riders to be have been delivered to the WorldTour through Team DSM’s Development program since its realisation in 2017.

Leon Heinschke (GER)
Now set to make his WorldTour debut in 2022, Heinschke has matured with his physical and personal capabilities in his four years with the team. A punchy rider who can ride the hills and climbs, Heinschke took a memorable win at the 2019 U23 German national championships, claiming a magnificent victory in the road race. A real team player, Heinschke is also one to give his all for the team’s goals, and has reaped the benefits of mixing with the team’s Men’s program on selected races in the last two seasons. That extra experience paid off at the Tour Alsace this year, where he took an impressive second place on the tough finish to Lac Blanc, securing third place on GC in the process.

Heinschke said: “I’ve spent four really good years with Team DSM so far. It was always a dream of mine to become a professional rider and the team has put a lot of trust in me over the years, so it feels good to make that next step in my development here. It’s been nice working with everyone within the team so far, both riders and staff – it’s a good fit for me here. I’ve learned a lot in the last four years, both sportive wise but also personally where I think I’ve developed well. Training wise the team has helped me to build a nice base level which I feel is the perfect step up to the new level that I will have in 2022. The professional peloton will take a little getting used to, but I’ve done a few pro races with the team already, and I really feel that will make a big difference with the transition. I just want to keep learning and developing as much as I possibly can, while helping the team to achieve our goals; whatever the race or terrain is.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “Leon is now into his fourth year with us as part of our Development program and year-on-year we’ve seen him progress as a person and an athlete. Leon has grown more in confidence and has put that into effect by helping guide our younger Development program riders. On the bike, we’ve achieved some good results together such as his German national championships win or his recent exceptional performance at Tour Alsace. We think it’s now time for Leon to make the step up to our Men’s program, where we’ll focus on his general development as he makes the transition to the WorldTour, before seeing where his speciality is.”

Leon Heinschke:
Leon Heinschke

Marius Mayrhofer (GER)
Joining Team DSM in 2019 after two successful years in the junior ranks which saw him claim silver at the World Championships alongside other numerous strong results, Mayrhofer has continued his upwards trajectory within Team DSM’s Development program. His first race with the team saw him take second place in the Istrian Spring Trophy prologue, before working hard for the team at other races; showing his strong team mentality. Adept over hilly terrain and packing a strong finish sprint, Mayrhofer took a very impressive fifth place at the elite German national championships in 2020, aged only 19. This year has seen Mayrhofer continue to build on those good performances with a podium in the opening day at Coppi e Bartali and securing ninth on GC at the tough Kreiz Breizh.

Mayrhofer said: “I’ve been in Team DSM’s Development program for three years already, so I know the team in a really good way, and we trust each other a lot. In my time here I’ve met a lot of nice people that I am excited to continue working with in the future. I think these relationships and this structure gives us a good base to build on in the coming years together. I’m really looking forward to making the step up and racing with my new teammates next year; some of them I’ve raced with already in our mixed races, or they have also been promoted from the Development program too. As a rider and a person, I want to keep pushing myself as much as possible in the next years and be a valuable member that the team can count on.”

Team DSM head of coaching Rudi Kemna added: “We’ve spent a good three years together with Marius already in our Development program, and it’s really nice to see him in the place that he is ready to be promoted to our Men’s program next year. As Marius is still young, we want to keep his development as broad as possible so he can develop into a well-rounded athlete. We will continue to take it step-by-step with no pressure, and then in the coming years look more specifically to where his speciality lies. Given his results so far we’ll look to integrate him into our sprint group and reassess as he continues to mature on the bike.”

Marius Mayrhofer:
Marius Mayrhofer

 

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Young Belgian Talents Join the Team in 2022
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be expanded with three young Belgian talents in 2022. Kobe Goossens and Gerben Thijssen quit Lotto-Soudal, Laurens Huys was formed with Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB. The three riders know each other well, as they were already teammates in the U23 category. The Belgian team can count on two young climbers and an ambitious sprinter for the two next seasons.

The 23 year old Gerben Thijssen accumulated the victories in the youth categories (Belgian U23 champion and 6th at the U23 European championships), but his development as a professional has been slowed down by a heavy crash at the Ghent Six Days at the end of 2019. At this first Grand Tour, eleven months after suffering from three cerebral haemorrhages, the rider from Limburg sprinted to a 2nd place in a bunch sprint. Just before this performance at the Tour of Spain, he also took 2nd at the Gooikse Pijl behind Danny van Poppel. Thijssen has also a history on the track. He won medals at Worlds in the youth categories and became Elite European Champion in the elimination. The rider living near Kortijk now signed a contract until the end of 2023.

Kobe Goossens is an offensive and combative climber, which he showed by winning the mountain jersey at the Tour de Romandie. His numerous kilometres in breakaways were also rewarded with a 6th place at the Giro in Guardia Sanframondi. The 25 year old also showed his climbing capabilities in the latest Tour of Spain by finishing 24th. In the U23 category, Goossens won a stage and the general classification of the Tour du Jura and he performed well in difficult classics. The ex-cyclocross racer from Vlaams-Brabant will continue his development with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux until the end of 2023.

The 22 year old Laurens Huys also feels good on hilly parcours and in stage races when the road goes up. He was one of the last survivors of the early breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège with Lorenzo Rota and Loïc Vliegen and also impressed between world’s best riders at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var by finishing 10th on top of the Col d’Eze. This spring, he finished 5th in the general classification of the Alpes Isère Tour and 6th in the general classification of the Tour of Hungary. The offensive spirit of the rider from Buggenhout will be appreciated by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux during the two next seasons.

Gerben Thijssen: “Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert immediately offered me a clear vision for my future. I’ll receive nice opportunities, for example thanks to a lead out train. This shows that the team has confidence in me and that I can prove myself in both the biggest and the less known races. It is a dream for each sprinter or young rider to receive this support! I’m not only talking about teammates, but also about the structure, which is very professional, for example for preparation at altitude. I consider Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux as an emerging team and it motivates me to write a couple of lines in this story!”

Kobe Goossens: “The first contacts with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux immediately felt comfortably familiar. This nice forward-looking project seduced me. The team knows where it’s heading and included a place for me on this path. In addition, their vision about my future corresponds with mine. I want to perform in one week stage races like Paris-Nice or the Tour de Pologne and win Grand Tour stages thanks to my offensive mindset. I’m looking forward to start this new chapter in my career with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux!”

Laurens Huys: “I can’t wait to join Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux! The team follows me for a long time already and finally there we are! Until now, my career followed a gradual development and I feel ready to continue my progression on a superior level. I want to improve my results in stage races and help the team as good as possible in new races on the highest level. The programme of the team seduces me. I’m looking forward to discover new races in the World Tour. Maybe I’ll be able to surpass myself again like in the early breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège or at the Col d’Eze. Anyway, the team will support me to prepare my goals, for example with altitude camps. This professional approach will improve my level!”

Jean-François Bourlart (General Manager): “As a Belgian team with a French title partner, we want to focus on the reinforcement of our Franco-Belgian rider group. We’re convinced that these three young riders will enable a good alchemy with our experimented Belgian riders like Jan Bakelants or Pieter Vanspeybrouck. In order to become an important player in the World Tour, it is important to add young talents and stage race specialists to our team. There aren’t many climbers in Belgium, so we’re happy to welcome riders like Kobe Goossens and Laurens Huys in our team. Both have the ability to attack in difficult races, a potential we want to reinforce. In the youth categories, Gerben Thijssen was a serious contender of Jasper Philipsen and Jordi Meeus, but because of a lot of bad luck the past years he didn’t achieve the success which was necessary to enable him to emerge as a leader. We want to give him the opportunity to develop by offering him responsibilities and a sprint train.”

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager): “I’m looking forward to reinforce the team with this talented trio. Performance, development and opportunities are key in the structure we are building. This season, Quinten Hermans, Lorenzo Rota and Georg Zimmermann made a breakthrough on the World Tour level in our colours. Our three new additions are ready to follow in their footsteps and make a new step in their careers. Gerben Thijssen has already shown in the Tour of Spain that he’s able to contest with the best sprinters in the world. Thanks to a sprint specific coaching and a sprint train, we want to enable him to become more regular in his performances. The rider from Limburg is ambitious and knows what he wants. His sprinter character and focus on details are important to build a sprint train with us. We offer him the possibility to progress with our structure. After his bad luck the past two years, we’re convinced that we can bring him to a superior level!”

“Kobe Goossens and Laurens Huys are good climbers with an offensive mentality, we like this mindset. Huys is coming from the Pro Continental level and stood out thanks to this combative spirit in difficult races. The same counts for Kobe Goossens. He especially impressed at the Tour de Romandie, but in the past he also showed nice performances in difficult classics. We want to work with him so he can also express these qualities in the pro ranks. Just like for Laurens Huys, we see a progression margin. Goossens will also have an important role in stage races. We’ve already been planning for these three young riders!”

wanty

 

lotto soudal
Six new Talents Added to Lotto Soudal Ladies and Development Team
Katrijn De Clercq and Sterre Vervloet will join the Lotto Soudal Ladies team in 2022. Branko Huys, Milan Paulus, Matthew Rice and Cédric Van Raemdonck will be added to the Lotto Soudal Development roster.

Katrijn De Clercq (19) from Oosterzele won bronze at the 2020 junior European road race Championships in Plouay. She also took home a silver medal at the European track championships and became Belgian champion no less than 18 times in various track disciplines.

Sterre Vervloet (17, Vosselaar) became Belgian cyclocross champion as a novice. In her second season as a junior, she couldn’t participate in many cyclocross races due to Covid. Although, she immediately showed her talent on the road by becoming provincial time trial champion. One month ago, she also powered to bronze at the junior Belgian time trial championships.

“Katrijn and Sterre are both young talents and they will get the time to develop within our team”, says team manager Kurt Van de Wouwer. “That also applies to our U23 riders. I believe in the four riders we have already signed so far: two climbers, a sprinter and a time trialist.”

Branko Huys (20, Waasmunster) finished fourth at the Belgian U23 time trial championships in Koksijde last month, where Lotto Soudal rider Lennert Van Eetvelt took the title. As a novice, Branko already became national champion against the clock and has already been selected for two world championships.

Climber Milan Paulus (19, Sint-Truiden) finished inside the top ten of the junior world championships in Harrogate two years ago and is also strong at riding against the clock (Milan became 2nd on the Belgian TT championships that year). The past season, he showed himself during races where he competed together with pro riders.

Australian Matthew Rice (21, Canberra) is a pure sprinter. This season, he won the U23 national criterium championships. As an U23 rider he already won the Tour of America’s Dairylands and also took a stage win at the Chinese Tour of Quanzhou Bay (UCI 2.2).

Cédric Van Raemdonck (18, Sint-Niklaas) is still a junior, but will be stepping up to the U23 category at Lotto Soudal. His seventh place at La Classique des Alpes this season confirms his climbing talent which he has already shown at the Topcompetitie and Radjugendtour Oststeiermark.

“With these four riders, we already have some good reinforcements”, Kurt Van de Wouwer adds. “2020 and 2021 were very difficult scouting years due to the lack of youth races. Some of the guys didn’t race much but these four have already proven a thing or two. There is no doubt that their talent will develop even more within our team and I’m sure they will take another step forward. They can already motivate themselves by what riders like Harm Vanhoucke, Florian Vermeersch, Harry Sweeny, Brent Van Moer and many others have done.”

lotto

 

jumbo-visma
Team Jumbo-Visma Women Extends with Beekhuis and Kasper
Teuntje Beekhuis and Romy Kasper will stay on as riders of Team Jumbo-Visma Women next year. Kasper extends her contract until 2022 and Beekhuis commits to the black-and-yellow formation until the end of 2023.

The 25-year-old Beekhuis looks back on her first year with the team with satisfaction. “I already learned a lot this season, especially on a tactical level and how you approach a race as a team. I certainly enjoy that. The atmosphere within the team is also very good. I am very happy that I have extended my contract and that I can add two more years. I hope to grow more in the uphill races and to become better tactically.”

According to Performance Coach Marieke van Wanroij, there was no doubt about the extension of Beekhuis’ contract. “In terms of performance, Teuntje has proven that she has continued to develop in the tougher races. Moreover, Teuntje is very driven. If you give her the task, for example, to be among the first fifteen, she will always make sure she will be there. I think her drive and curiosity have brought her a long way. Teuntje is a real team player and will play a crucial role in the tougher races more often.”

German Kasper is also pleased with her contract extension. “I am very happy that I can stay with the team for another year. I still very much enjoy riding for the team and the team spirit is good. It is incredible how fast we have grown together. We have really become a team in such a short time.”

The 33-year-old rider is clear about her role for next year. “If I can continue to share my experience to help the younger riders, why not? My role won’t change that much next year, I’ll still be ‘captain’, between the riders and the team leaders during the race. Moreover, next year the European cycling championships will be held in my homeland Germany. That is a nice goal for me. I’ve been able to make progress this season, so I’m curious what else is possible.”

“Romy has proven her worth within the team”, Van Wanroij says. “During this year’s races, she has shown a high level by default. Romy is a great team player and brings a lot of experience with her. In addition, she is a super captain for the team. Romy does a lot of useful work behind the scenes, which makes it possible to ride good finals. That is Romy’s strength and this has been rewarded with a contract extension.”

jumbo

 


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