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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news

The Giro d’Italia exploded on the gravel of Campo Felice on Sunday, all the reports and video. Loads of other races: Tour de Hongrie, Tro-Bro Léon, Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, Navarra Women’s Elite Classics, Circuit de Wallonie, Grote Prijs Vermarc, Trofeo Calvia, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana and the Trofeo Andratx. Richard Plugge talks about the return of Tom Dumoulin – TOP STORY. Other news: Lefevere not looking for a new sprinter, Uno-X out of Tour of Hungary, no Dauphiné for Wout van Aert and no Olympic Games for Julian Alaphilippe. Plus music for the 2021 Vuelta a España. Monday EUROTRASH coffee time!

top story
TOP STORY: Plugge on Dumoulin’s Return
It was probably the biggest news of this week, the return of Tom Dumoulin to the peloton. According to team manager Richard Plugge, the Dutch rider is eager to start his route to the Olympic Games.

“In the past few weeks I have been in contact with Tom very often,” Plugge told the TV program Kop over Kop from the Giro. “In those conversations he indicated that something is coming towards a new start. Last week we spoke to a few more people with Tom and then we actually took the plunge. So this week we said we’re going for it.”

According to Plugge, Dumoulin indicated that he is very excited to go for the Olympic Games. We said, “It’s your project, as we say with any rider. We really want a rider to take control of his life and his career. In this case he can do that towards the Games and we will support him, as we do with all our riders, to be able to put down the best version of himself.”

That his rider has a fresh head again, the 51-year-old team manager continued. “We also talked a lot with each other last year. He’s really having fun now. He will shine when he talks about cycling and riding the Amstel Gold Race again, but especially now that he will be riding that time trial in Tokyo later.”

The eight-day Tour of Switzerland, which starts on Sunday 6 June, will be the first race that Dumoulin will ride. He will then ride both the National Time Trial Championship (on June 16) and the National Road Championship (June 20). Then he goes on altitude training and to Japan for the Olympic road race (July 24) and the individual time trial (July 28). What the plans will be afterwards is as yet uncertain. Plugge: “We will also calmly start this process together with him. And we give him peace of mind again. Then we will look together again.”

Dumoulin on the way back:


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Giro d’Italia 2021
Gino Mäder won Stage 6 for the leaderless Bahrain Victorious team, but INEOS Grenadiers split the race for Egan Bernal. Alessandro De Marchi was blown out of the pink jersey to be replaced by Attila Valter of Groupama-FDJ as Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) moved into second overall.


The stage started without Mikel Landa, Joe Dombrowski, Pavel Sivakov and François Bidard, all victims of the chaotic and dangerous final of stage 5 to Cattolica. After 10 kilometres there was a first escape attempt by Peter Sagan, Filippo Ganna, Harm Vanhoucke, Bauke Mollema and Alberto Bettiol (8th at 1:37) as part of a large leading group, but Israel Start-Up Nation pulled them back. The pace remained high and after 25 kilometres there was a new attempt by Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Matej Mohoric and Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious), Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Simon Guglielmi (Groupama-FDJ) and Dario Cataldo (Movistar). They gained half a minute on the peloton and Mollema decided to cross with Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), but the difference remained around twenty to thirty seconds for a long time. The peloton, led by Israel Start-Up Nation, were now 4 minutes down on the leaders.

Mollema and Bouchard refused to give up and after 30 kilometres they made contact. No move was made from the peloton to close the gap and the difference went up to more than 5 minutes. Gino Mäder became the virtual leader at one point, as the Bahrain Victorious rider started the day 3:58 down on De Marchi. On the Forca di Gualdo, Bouchard was the first over the top, taking 15 KOM points. INEOS Grenadiers decided to continue on the descent and managed to completely split the peloton. Several groups tried to return, but the British team didn’t intend on easing off the pressure. One of the victims was the pink jersey De Marchi. The Italian was too far from the front when INEOS Grenadiers increased the pace and was forced to chase. Evenepoel, Carthy, Vlasov, Yates, Bardet and the other top men managed to survive the first selection. The lead of the break had now shrunk to about 2 minutes.

The speed was very fast to the foot of the 15 kilometre long final climb. At the front of the race, Mohoric together with Mäder, managed to ride away from the other escapees, although Cataldo and Mollema eventually caught them. Bettiol, Bardet and Giulio Ciccone attacked the INEOS led group. Mohoric rode himself into the ground for teammate and better climber Mäder and due to the hard work of the Slovenian, the Bernal group was not getting closer. The chasing group with Bardet, Bettiol and Ciccone were stuck at 2 minutes due to them not working and were caught by the second group with all the favourites before the final climb. Mohoric, Mäder, Mollema and Cataldo started the climb of San Giacomo with 3 minutes in hand. On the final climb of 15.5km at 6.1%, Mohoric eventually ran out of fuel. 5 kilometres from the top, the three started the steep ramps of the climb and the battle for the stage victory started. Mäder was the first rider to make a move. The promising Swiss rider attacked 3.3 kilometres from the top and dropped Mollema and Cataldo. Mäder managed to hold out in the last kilometre to take his first major victory.

In the favourites group, the pace accelerated again by the INEOS Grenadiers men. Filippo Ganna took care of the first kilometres. With more than 10 kilometres to climb, George Bennett was the first GC rider in trouble, but the Jumbo-Visma team leader managed to return with the help of Tobias Foss. On the steeper sections, the INEOS Grenadiers men were relieved by Deceuninck – Quick-Step. The Belgian team clearly had plans for Remco Evenepoel and so it was up to Masnada to set a high pace. Daniel Felipe Martínez rode away from the favourites group, possibly a springboard for his leader Bernal. It was up to Almeida to thin the group a bit further and his pace proved disastrous for Jai Hindley who cracked. Bernal decided to throw down the gauntlet taking Ciccone and Evenepoel with him, but the other favourites were able to reconnect after a chase. Bernal continued his impetus and only Evenepoel, Ciccone and Dan Martin were able to follow. The four came very close to Mäder in the last kilometre, but were not able to pull in the Swiss rider. Bernal finished second, ahead of Martin and Evenepoel, Behind; Attila Valter, the young Hungarian of Groupama-FDJ, managed to limit the damage and take the pink jersey from De Marchi. Evenepoel is now second overall at 11 seconds from Valter. Bernal is third, Vlasov and Louis Vervaeke are fourth and fifth.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner, Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious): “Yesterday was a really sad day to lose Mikel due to the crash. We had some new goals today, as we do not have to protect Mikel anymore. So we wanted to race aggressively. We wanted to take part in the race differently and go for a breakaway, and I had Matej with me in the day’s breakaway. He did incredible work, and he believed in me. He already believed in me yesterday and told me this is your stage to win. I’m just really happy that it paid off and that we could finish it like this today. Actually, what I learned from my past races is if you’re not the strongest, you have to go in a breakaway to have a chance to do something. You can’t influence the way the other guys are racing, so as soon as you have an opportunity to go for a victory, you have to play your cards, and you have to go all the way to the finish line. The only thing you can influence is your power, speed, and so on, be focused, and not lose any energy thinking about the other guys. Regarding our following stages on Giro, we had a discussion today in the bus. My humble opinion is that we keep on racing aggressively, we keep on taking the opportunities that we get, and if it is that I can join a breakaway again, I’m surely going to try for it. If I have to work for somebody else, I’m pleased to do so and enjoy the Giro, which is the most beautiful race in the world for me, and it’s the race I always dreamed of. I can enjoy this great opportunity and make the best out of it and achieve for Team Bahrain Victorious.”

Maglia Rosa Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ): “I’m sorry to disappoint Remco [Evenepoel] and [Egan] Bernal but they will have their chances. I managed to stick with them today. The closer I stayed nearing the finish, the more I believed I’d wear the Maglia Rosa. I was fighting my life for this jersey. I’m super happy it happened. I have good legs these days, I’m already happy with what we have achieved here but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other surprises later on. I’m hoping to ‘do an Almeida’ and keep the lead for a long time. It gives me a lot of confidence. In the future I want to come back to win the Maglia Rosa on the last day. I still hope for a majestic grande partenza of the Giro in Budapest, and to be part of the race.”

13th on the stage and 16th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was an extremely tough stage under harsh conditions, very wet and cold. The team put in a strong effort to help me and in particular, Felix and Matteo provided solid support in the final kilometres. Unfortunately, Felix wasn’t able to come back after he crashed but Matteo was with me in the final, decisive, climb. I did my absolute best to stay as long as I could with the group of favourites in the last climb and try to limit any time losses as much as possible. We’ve had some awful weather in this first part of the Giro and I hope it improves from here on.”

23rd on the stage and 15th overall, Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The pace was very high all day. The start of the stage was particularly difficult for me, because of the numerous attacks to make the breakaway. But as the kilometres went on, I felt better and better. I fed well all day and wore enough layers to fight the rain and cold. In the final climb, I did my best to follow the favourites as long as possible. If they hadn’t fought for the stage victory, I might have been able to finish on their heels. But the pace was very intense, attacking was not an option either. This is an encouraging result for me, because usually my best form comes in the third week.”

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious): “After all that happened with Mikel yesterday, we were super determined today to prove our point that we are going strong. We are going well for this Giro. Today was Gino’s turn to go in the breakaway and try to win the stage, and I was there to help him out. I worked as hard as I could to keep the advantage as big as possible. Even with the Team Ineos working in the back, we managed to get a big enough advantage that Gino could finish the work off. We are super proud of this. It was perfect teamwork today, and I’m sure we will have more success in this Giro, and we also look forward to the following stages.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 6 Result:
1. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious in 4:17:52
2. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:12
3. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
4. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:14
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:25
7. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar at 0:27
9. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:29
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 6:
1. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ in 22:17:06
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:11
3. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:24
5. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:25
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:38
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:39
8. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41
9. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:47
10. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:49.

Giro’21 stage 6:


Caleb Ewan who (Lotto Soudal) won Stage 7 by a bike length from David Cimolai (Israel Start-up Nation) and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix). The sprint had been opened up by UAE Team Emirates’ Fernando Gaviria who went for a long attack, but the Australian had speed on his side. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) held the overall lead.


The first attack was not long in coming. Mark Christian (eolo-Kometa) was joined by Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) and Umberto Marengo (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè). Behind them the peloton was quite happy to let then go. The lead of the three remained between 3 and 4 minutes. The only KOM of the day was in Chieti. Pellaud took the three points. After 93 kilometres the breakaway hit the intermediate sprint in Crecchio. Marengo went for a long sprint and took full points. Their lead was only 1 minute, as the peloton had started to chase. Peter Sagan wanted to go for the Maglia Ciclamino points and jumped away with his teammate Daniel Oss, Filippo Fiorelli and Mauro Schmid. The Slovakian multi-World champion took fourth and five points.

After the sprint, peace returned, allowing the three escapees to grab a little more time. Behind them, Lotto Soudal, Alpecin-Fenix, UAE Team Emirates and Qhubeka Assos set the pace. After 125 kilometres, Marengo beat Pellaud in the bonus sprint. There was still 55 kilometres to the finish and the peloton started to accelerate and with 17 kilometres to go everything was together. With less than 2 kilometres to go, the peloton turned off the coast and into the centre of Termoli. There the road ramped up at 12% over 200 metres. Albanese attacked with Vincenzo, but Daniel Oss jumped on the wheel. Oss then started the sprint, after which Fernando Gaviria went for a very early jump. Caleb Ewan was not surprised and crossed to the Colombian with others on his wheel. The Australian had power left in his legs to leave everyone behind for his second stage victory.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner, Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): “It was not easier than expected, I’d rather say it was maybe harder than expected, as we needed a full lead out until the corner with 1km to go and it went full gas from that hill. It was a hard one to win. My victory has a lot to do with the work of my teammates. Being a leader isn’t natural for me, I didn’t have any mentors to achieve the role, it came from losing races. I’m a little bit demanding sometimes but I don’t want to be the guy who makes the others uncomfortable when they come to a race.”

Maglia Rosa, Attila Valter (Groupama-FJD): “Mostly, today, I enjoyed myself. I was lucky with the weather and the wind. I’m happy it was not a nervous stage. I heard people shouting my name or ‘Maglia Rosa’. It’s been an incredible reaction from Hungary, more than I could expect. Many non-cycling media wrote about me getting the Maglia Rosa, so people can start to learn about cycling in my country. Yesterday, I didn’t load the race data on my computer but it went well anyway. Tomorrow I’ll listen carefully to what the course is like but the most important thing is that my mind goes well, rather than stressing about the route. It’ll be more demanding tomorrow than today. I think I just need a good sleep to have good legs.”

5th on the stage, Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “The team was perfect in preparing for the sprint. The short climb two kilometres from the finish was the crucial point, and we were ideally position in the front of the peloton. The climb was done at full gas, then Gaviria attacked in the last two corners, which surprised me. I took the wheel of Cimolai’s as he was closing the gap, but like everyone else I was at the limit in the last 200 meters. I finally finished fifth, which is a great result for me, for the team. Against the best teams in the world, we have once again showed that we are here.”

14th on the stage, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “I would say it was a bittersweet stage today. I had strong legs, I was feeling well and the squad was fantastic. They worked perfectly to keep me safe and position me, especially in the difficult final kilometres. I was in a good position for the sprint finish but a rider in front of me closed me into the barriers and there was little I could do.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 7 Result:
1. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal in 4:42:12
2. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
3. Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
4. Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
6. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
7. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8. Max Kanter (Ger) DSM
9. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané
10. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 7:
1. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ in 26:59:18
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick Step at 0:11
3. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:24
5. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:25
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:39
7. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41
8. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:47
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:49
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:55.

Giro’21 stage 7:


A group of nine held the peloton at 5 minutes to the base of the final climb. The attacks soon came, but it was Victor Lafay who won Stage 8 for the Cofidis team. Francesco Gavazzi (eolo-Kometa) was second. Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) kept his pink jersey as the favourites kept their powder dry.

giro21 st8

The strong cross-wind created echelons in the first hour of racing. Attila Valter and Deceuninck – Quick-Step were in the wrong group for a short time, but in the end they were able to quickly get the race back together. Due to the action, the ‘break of the day’ took time to form. Only after 60 kilometres did nine riders escape the grip of the peloton: Giovanni Carboni, Victor Lafay, Francesco Gavazzi, Kobe Goossens, Nelson Oliveira, Nikias Arndt, Alexis Gougeard, Fernando Gaviria and Victor Campenaerts. Meanwhile, Caleb Ewan abandoned. The Australian was dropped from the peloton and decided not to continue. The outlook for the break started to look better. Even when Groupama-FDJ started to chase, the lead of the eight at the front continued to grow. With 70 kilometres to go they had 7 minutes.

The break started the toughest climb of the day, the Bocca della Selva (19.4 kilometres at 5%). No one was dropped and it became clear that the break would start the final climb together. Anticipating the final climb, the lesser climbers had to try to reach the foot of the Guardia Sanframondi with a lead over climbers like Goossens and Lafay. First Oliveira rode away on the descent, but the others didn’t just let the Portuguese rider go. A little later, Arndt and Campenaerts tried the same trick. Gaviria had crashed on the descent of the Bocca della Selva and had a hard chase to catch the leaders. At 10 kilometres from the finish, Goossens, one of the better climbers in the leading group, made a serious attack. The Belgian had fellow countryman, Campenaerts, for company, but as with all previous attacks, the attempt also failed.

Campenaerts jumped after Goossens’ attack, this time with Carboni. Behind him the only response was from Gougeard, but he was unable to close the gap. They started the final climb with a 12 second lead. Within a short distance, Lafay wiped out that lead. The Frenchman first swept up the Belgian and then the Italian. In the final kilometre, the 25-year-old was comfortably ahead of Gavazzi and Arndt for victory. João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) brought in the favourites group 4:48 later.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #

giro21 st8 lafay

Stage winner, Victor Lafay (Cofidis): “All day in the breakaway, it was about recovering before the climb. With 25km to go, attacks began and I had to be careful of Nelson Oliveira and the others. I had to make sure they wouldn’t go too far. I managed that very well. With 3km to go, it was the right time to isolate myself at the front. Yesterday I was working for Elia Viviani. He’s our leader. I believe he can win a stage. He takes the pressure off the team and we won today because he has let us do what we want in the stages with climbs.”

Maglia Rosa, Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ): “Early in today’s stage, I found myself in a second group when the peloton split in two. It was my mistake but I remained relaxed because riders like Bardet and Nibali were around me and it was super far away from the finish. Coming a bit late to road cycling, positioning is still something I have to learn but wearing the Maglia Rosa helps a lot. This jersey is my responsibility now. Egan Bernal is doing very well in that sense. He’s never outside of the top 10 in the bunch. I hope tomorrow I’ll be doing even better in terms of riding at the front. I have the motivation to retain the Maglia Rosa. With a gravel section, the profile of the stage could make it a good one for me.”

7th on the stage, Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka Assos): “[On bridging the gap] It was terrible, really really terrible. I tried a few times to get in before we had a small climb and then I suffered a lot to get over the climb and then the breakaway went for free in the downhill. I was not so happy to see that so I thought to let’s try and get there but they didn’t wait for me and the peloton was also chasing at that point with BORA. So that was my time trial of the day, early on in the stage when nobody was watching television! I knew it would be very, very hard to win the stage with an uphill finish because I am not really a climber but I managed to get into a successful break and I also tried to do some sort of a final to try and escape before we hit the climb, I put a lot of effort into that for only 10 seconds.”

8th on the stage, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën): “I knew that the final climb was going to be difficult for me, so I wanted to anticipate the others. I was a little fried by the end, which is a shame. But I’m feeling better and better. I gave everything. Since the beginning of the Giro, I have been trying to make things happen. One day it’s going to work. The race was strategic; I know it’s the game and I have to learn. The stage took a long time to open up. It was not the plan for me to go in the breakaway, but I did well to go.”

22nd on the stage and 15th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “It was a hectic stage with lots of crosswinds from the start but we were always safe in the front and once the break was gone it was a controlled race. I had pretty good support from the team, they put me in a very good position before the last climb and I finished with the group of favourites. I’m also happy with the way I feel today, much better in good weather. We’ll now have to see what happens in the next days.”

17th overall, Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Today’s stage was very difficult, at the start the pace was intense and quick because of the attempts to create the breakaway. Then Simone Petilli, an important rider in a stage like today, crashed hard. In the final climb, we were in a comfortable situation, with very good teamwork to get me to the front of the group. A little over a kilometre from the finish, a crash occurs in front of me and I have to concede 18 seconds. It is not the end of the world, because tomorrow will truly decide whether I will compete for the GC or not. Whatever happens, I came on this Giro to fight until the end.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 8 Result:
1. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis in 4:06:47
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 0:36
3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) DSM at 0:37
4. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:41
5. Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizané at 0:44
6. Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:58
7. Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Qhubeka Assos at 1:00
8. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 1:54
9. Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates at 3:04
10. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 4:48

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 8:
1. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ in 26:59:18
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:11
3. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:16
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:24
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:38
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:39
7. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:41
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:47
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:49
10. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:50.

Giro’21 stage 8:


INEOS Grenadiers’ Egan Bernal shot from the peloton to pass the break of the day to take the victory on the gravel of Campo Felice on Stage 9. The Colombian also took the pink jersey with 15 seconds on Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step).


KOM Gino Mäder, Bauke Mollema, Ruben Guerreiro, Quinten Hermans and Koen Bouwman went on the attack. They escaped just before the top of the Godi. A group with Daniel Felipe Mártinez, Damiano Caruso, Diego Ulissi and Luis Léon Sánchez made the jump to the leading group to make 22 men off the front. There was a nasty crash in the leading group on the descent of the Passo Godi, Matej Mohoric went over the handlebars, landing on his head and had to be taken away in an ambulance. The rest avoided the crash, but were only at 40 seconds. Due to the chase work by UAE Team Emirates, everything came back together. Towards the foot of the next climb, there was again plenty of attacks, but those attempts were also reeled back.

A subsequent attempt with sixteen men got a gap at 85 kilometres from the finish. Tony Gallopin, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën), Luis Léon Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), Giovanni Visconti, Filippo Zana (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Simon Carr, Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo), George Bennett, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Einer Rubio (Movistar), Tanel Kangert (BikeExchange), Michael Storer (DSM), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Diego Ulissi (UAE team Emirates) made up the escape. Eduardo Sepúlveda for Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec managed to join them.

Groupama-FDJ controlled the peloton behind for Attila Valter. They let the front group take more than 3 minutes. At the top of the Forca Caruso, it was Bouchard who took the mountain points from Mollema. On the Ovindoli climb, George Bennett attacked from the leading group, but the New Zealand champion couldn’t get away. Then it was Carr and Bouchard who hit the front. The Frenchman took the mountain points on the second category climb and took the virtual mountain’s jersey. A group with Mollema, Bouwman and Storer then went on the counterattack. 10 kilometres from the finish they were 10 seconds from the leading duo. Meanwhile, INEOS Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious had taken up the chase from Groupama-FDJ in the peloton, but they were at 2:30. On the Rocca di Cambio, Bouchard dropped Carr. The aggressive Frenchman went solo and kept Mollema, Bouwman and co. at 20 seconds. In the last 5 kilometres Bouwman had shaken off his fellow escapees and Bouchard’s lead started to come down.

The chase group of favourites was getting closer led by INEOS Grenadiers into the last 5 kilometres. Entering the tunnel, the difference was just under 1 minute. Bouwman had managed to close the gap considerably in the tunnel. Coming to the finish the difference was about 5 seconds between Bouchard and Bouwman. After powering up the 1.6 kilometre gravel stretch at the top of Campo Felice, Bouwman managed to connect with Bouchard, while the GC men, led by Gianni Moscon, were at 15 seconds. Egan Bernal attacked and shot past the escapees 400 metres from the finish. As Valter and later Evenepoel couldn’t follow, Bernal also took the overall lead. Giulio Ciccone and Aleksandr Vlasov finished second and third. Remco Evenepoel finished fourth at ten seconds and limited the damage. Egan Bernal is the new wearer of the pink jersey with a lead over Evenepoel of 15 seconds. Vlasov is at 21 seconds and Ciccone is fourth at 36 seconds.

# See the full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ and photo gallery HERE. #


Stage winner and Maglia Rosa, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers): “It’s been two difficult years for me, mentally and physically. To win again is important for me and for the team. I thought there were still riders ahead. I was completely focused. I was in my own world. I became very emotional when I was told I had won. The last 1.5km on the gravel road was four minutes of pure suffering, without looking at the other riders. I still have some doubts about my back. I undergo physio treatment before and after each stage. For now, I just want to enjoy this win and the Maglia Rosa.”

2nd on the stage and 4th overall, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “I tried to follow him in the sprint, but he was very strong. It was a tough stage, with the first 70 kilometres full throttle. I am happy with my form and my result, because I was there and competed well among the other classification riders. So it was a good day for us, because we also had Bauke Mollema in the break. I was in his wheel and tried to follow him, but he was very strong. When I saw him switch to 53, I tried to keep up with his pace, but he was on a different level. Bernal is the best rider on the road right now. It will be difficult to compete against him in the coming days. There are still many riders within a minute, but the Giro still has a long way to go. I think today was an important stage to not lose time, and to get in shape to show.”

3rd on the stage and overall, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech): “It was a great experience for me on this kind of final. It was a very tough summit especially because of the gravel section. I tried to attack in the final and I think it was a good move, but it was a bit difficult for me to hold the bike stable on this surface. My legs worked really well and I felt good, but the gravel was a hard challenge anyway. I am happy with my performance and I did all I could on this type of finish. So, I am happy so far and let’s see how it will be tomorrow and after the first rest day.”

4th on the stage and 2nd overall, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “The start of the day was very hard, but the toughest moment of the day came on the white gravel roads. I was in a good position in the tunnel, when a teammate of Bernal almost touched his wheel and because of that I lost some places. It’s racing and it happens, but the good thing is that I could gain a couple of positions by the time I arrived at the finish, where I just missed out on the bonus seconds. Fortunately, I didn’t concede that much time, which is good ahead of next week. We can be proud of our work and of how the team rode today.”

KOM, Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën): “I was missing some energy at the end, but sometimes it’s like that. To win, you need good legs, and a little luck. I worked my way to being alone at the front in the finale, but unfortunately the favourites caught up. That’s how it goes. Since the beginning of the Giro, I have been trying different things, but nothing has really worked. And today, I was missing a little something again for the stage win. There are still two weeks to race, and I will try again. I have taken the jersey as the King of the Mountains again, after having won it in the 2019 Vuelta. But the goal today was clearly the stage win. I really thank the whole team and staff who were at the top of this climb today. Tony Gallopin especially was essential to my escape, as the excellent road captain that he is. I definitely have to thank everyone on the team.”

13th on the stage and 15th overall, Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “The first part of the stage was marked by the really hard fight for the breakaway to go away. When the definite group was formed, we had Matteo in and the team was happy all day long. Felix brought me into a perfect position for the important gravel sector in the finale. From there on it was up to each rider’s legs and I think I can be happy with the day.”

17th on the stage and overall, Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “I feel better and better in the final of the stages. Maybe it’s because I’m 34 years old, and I’ve been riding at this level for 15 years. In any case, I felt just as good in the last 50 kilometres as I did the start of the stage, compared to my opponents. On the last climb, Jan Hirt accompanied me and ideally positioned me 1.5 km from the finish, just before the gravel section. We did the final part full gas, and when I saw riders like Nibali pull away in front of me, it gave me a lot of motivation. My 23rd place in Ascoli Piceno had already encouraged me. Today, I am 17th at the end of a big mountain stage and I have more and more the conviction that I can deliver a good general classification for the team.”

Break rider, Matteo Fabbro (BORA-hansgrohe): “Today, we tried to be in the breakaway. We gave our best and it was an absolutely hard fight to finally make it. I was feeling good in there but, unfortunately, the peloton didn’t give us much space and we were caught in the final gravel sector. We’ll try again another day.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Result:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 4:08:23
2. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:07
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
4. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:10
5. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
6. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:12
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
8. Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar
9. Daniel Felipe Martínez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers
10. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 9:
1. Egan Bernal (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 35:19:22
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:15
3. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:21
4. Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:36
5. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 0:43
6. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 0:44
7. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain – Victorious at 0:45
8. Dan Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:51
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 0:55
10. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:01.

Giro’21 stage 9:


Tour de Hongrie 2021
On a momentous day for Hungarian cycling that saw Attila Valter, the reigning champion of his national tour, take over the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) scored a double whammy in Stage 2 of the Tour de Hongrie by claiming the bunch sprint and seizing the yellow jersey in Nagykanizsa.


As in the opening stage, the first drops of rain began to fall on the northern shore of Lake Balaton just as the 130-strong peloton took the neutralised start in the lakeside town of Balatonfüred. Following the 7.7 km parade, the 183 km stage 2 of the Tour de Hongrie got under way at the exit from Aszófő, nestled at the foot of the verdant Balaton-felvidék, or Balaton Uplands. The Hungarian national champion, Viktor Filutás (Giotti Victoria–Savini Due), hit the tarmac in the early moments of the stage. The rolling terrain of the first part of the course was perfect for the formation of a strong breakaway, and a seven-man group detached from the peloton shortly before the top of the Balatonszőlős climb, which came after 13 kilometres of racing and, at 384 metres, was the highest point of the stage.

Pole Maciej Paterski (Voster ATS Team) covered for his teammate Patryk Stosz, who started the day in the best climber’s red jersey, and grabbed top points on the category 3 climb, ahead of Sergio Román Martín (Caja Rural–Seguros RGA) and another Spaniard, Diego Pablo Sevilla (eolo–Kometa), who was in his second breakaway in as many days. Their companions on the road were another Pole, Paweł Bernas (Mazowsze–Serce Polski), Italian Emanuele Onesti (Giotti Victoria–Savini Due), Dane Alexander Kamp (Trek–Segafredo) and Hungarian János Zsombor Pelikán (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec).

The difference surged to 3:45 after 25 kilometres of racing. The order at the top of the second and final categorised climb of the day, the category 3 Vigántpetend, was the same as on the previous ascent, as Paterski out-climbed Martín and Sevilla once more to take over the lead in the mountains classification from his teammate Stosz.

Shortly after, their advantage over the peloton peaked at 6:25 after covering 42.5 km in the first hour of racing, leading a coalition of sprinters’ teams to contribute one rider each to pacing duties. This cut the difference to 5:40 near Badacsony, a dormant volcano whose region is known for its dry white wine, and further to 4:10 at the halfway point in Tapolca, where Paterski took the first intermediate sprint ahead of Kamp and Pelikán.

The gap decreased to just three minutes with 76 kilometres to go, near the 13th-century Sümeg Castle, and crashed through the two-minute barrier 55 kilometres before the line. Wary of a premature neutralisation, the peloton eased up a bit and the gap bounced back to 2:30 at the second intermediate sprint in Hévíz, where Pelikán beat Paterski and Sevilla for the top spot. 31 kilometres before the finish line, as the race went through the Little Balaton, a nature reserve home to over 250 species of birds, the peloton spotted its prey again and cut its deficit to just 1:50. The third intermediate sprint, taken by Paterski ahead of Bernas in Zalakaros, heralded the disintegration of the escape group, leaving Kamp, Paterski, Bernas and Pelikán alone at the front. The quartet reached the 10 km to go mark with a slim 35-second margin. A wave of euphoria swept through the crowd in the finish area and boosted the morale of the breakaway when the speaker announced that local hero and reigning Tour de Hongrie champion Attila Valter had taken pink in the Giro d’Italia. The thought of capping this historic day for his country with a stage win to his name must have surely crossed Pelikán’s mind, but it was not to be. He and his three remaining companions were swallowed up by the peloton with 1.7 km to go despite two consecutive crashes in the main group a few seconds earlier.

Once again, it all came down to a mass sprint, but unlike yesterday, the final kilometre had an average gradient of 2% that only got worse in the last 200 metres. 22-year-old Belgian Jordi Meeus, third in the opening stage, dug deep to beat Italian Alberto Dainese (DSM) and yellow jersey Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) by a nose and pick up his maiden win in the colours of BORA–hansgrohe, which he joined this year. Meeus is also the new overall leader, tied on time with Bauhaus. The rules state that if multiple riders are tied on time and have the same total of classifications obtained in each stage, as happened today, the lead goes to the top-placed rider in the stage of the day. However, revenge need not be a dish best served cold for Bauhaus, as tomorrow’s stage 3 to Tata is also likely to end in a bunch sprint.


Stage winner and overall leader, Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe): “Big thank you to the whole team! The guys did an amazing job and had a lot of confidence in me. Today our timing was a bit better than yesterday and I could ride a next to perfect sprint. I am super happy that I could finish it off and to win today. As we hope there are some more sprints coming up we really want to win a second time here in Hungary.”

Tour de Hongrie Stage 2 Result:
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe in 4:03:55
2. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
3. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
4. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Kaden Groves (Aus) BikeExchange
6. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
9. David González (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
10. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Tour de Hongrie Overall After Stage 2:
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe in 7:58:03
2. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
3. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Voster ATS Team at 0:06
4. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM at 0:08
5. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabù
6. Patryk Stosz Voster (Pol) ATS Team
7. Diego Pablo Sevilla (Spa) eolo-Kometa
8. János Pelikán (Hun) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:10
9. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo at 0:11
10. Fabio Van Den Bossche (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:12.

Hungary’21 stage 2:


Shortly after a mass pile-up brought down yellow jersey Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) won the bunch sprint that decided Stage 3 of the Tour de Hongrie in a tumultuous finish in Tata. The German surged in the closing metres to pip Mike Teunissen (Jumbo–Visma) on the line and reclaim the overall lead.


As the bunch revved up for stage 3 of the Tour de Hongrie, rays of sunshine pierced the clouds above the cobbled streets of Veszprém, the City of Queens, which is set to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023. German Ben Zwiehoff (BORA-hansgrohe) and Italian Leonardo Marchiori (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec) missed the roll call and became the first riders to drop out of this edition of the Tour de Hongrie. The 128-strong peloton tucked into the shortest stage of the race, which stretched for 140 kilometres and featured two category 3 climbs in the first half of the course. Maciej Paterski (Voster ATS Team) padded his lead in the mountains classification after 17 kilometres of racing, snapping up the maximum points on offer at the summit of the Hárskút climb (at 584 metres, the highest point of the stage) ahead of his teammate and first man to wear the red jersey, Patryk Stosz, and Spaniard Sergio Martín Galán (Caja Rural–Seguros RGA).

Local fans turned out in force along the course, gripped by Attila Valter-mania after the reigning champion of the Tour de Hongrie took over the pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia yesterday.

Five men jumped from the peloton before the first intermediate sprint in Zirc, 28 kilometres into the stage, where Stosz claimed first place ahead of fellow Pole Norbert Banaszek (Mazowsze–Serce Polski) and Ferenc Szöllősi (Hungarian national team), with Spaniard David Riba Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) and Slovenian Aljaž Jarc (Adria Mobil) in tow.

Their advantage peaked at three minutes after one hour of racing, at kilometre 41, while back in the main group Juraj Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) set the pace for his teammate and yellow jersey Jordi Meeus with the help of DSM.

At kilometre 68, the riders tackled the short but brutal slope leading to the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, perched at the top of the village. Stosz went over the category 3 climb in first place despite Lozano putting in a long-range attack in a failed bid to pre-empt the sprint. Now trailing his teammate Paterski by just 2 points in the mountains classification, Stosz bade farewell to his four breakaway companions and left them with a margin of 2:25.

52 kilometres into the stage, alarm bells started ringing in the peloton as Israel Start-Up Nation hit the front to form echelons, soon to be joined by BORA-hansgrohe, Bahrain Victorious and BikeExchange, but the move petered out after a few hundred metres with the main group still intact.

The final intermediate sprint of the day, coming 20 kilometres before the line in Oroszlány, sparked a fierce battle among the escapees. Banaszek out-sprinted Jarc and Lozano, while Szöllősi was ejected from the back of the group. The leading trio was reeled in too with 10 kilometres to go. Yellow jersey Jordi Meeus, inexplicably drifting near the back of the peloton at this late time, saw his woes compounded when teammate Rüdiger Selig suffered a puncture.

The Belgian started to move up, but it was to no avail, as he got caught up in the mass pile-up that split the peloton on a curve 1.5 kilometres from the finish and whittled down the contenders for the stage win to just a dozen. Bahrain Victorious pounced on the opportunity to try and force a split for Fred Wright, but the Englishman faltered as Mike Teunissen (Jumbo–Visma) launched the sprint from afar. The Dutchman seemed to have his first win since the opening stage of the 2019 Tour de France in the bag, only to be denied on the line by Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious). The German clawed back one metre at a time before lunging forward at the last possible moment, leaving Teunissen with the impression that he had won the stage. However, the slow-motion replay dispelled any remaining doubts and crowned Bauhaus as the victor 48 hours after his first triumph in Kaposvár. He also took back the golden fleece from Meeus ahead of the queen stage of the Tour de Hongrie, which will be decided on the slopes of Kékestető on Saturday.


Stage winner and overall leader, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious): “We had a really good tactic and were able to stay calm in the last corners. With 1km to go, Haussler was amazingly strong. There was one guy from Jumbo between us, and I let Fred go, but I could go and get the win. Tomorrow we have Santiago here, and he is super strong on the climbs, so we hope he can go for the podium.”

Tour de Hongrie Stage 3 Result:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 3:17:30
2. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious
4. Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
5. Mihkel Räim (Est) Mazowsze Serce Polski
6. Jordi Warlop (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
7. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal WB
8. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X
9. Luca Pacioni (Ita) eolo-Kometa
10. Taj Jones (Aus) Israel Start-up Nation.

Tour de Hongrie Overall After Stage 3:
1. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious in 11:15:23
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:10
3. Patryk Stosz (Pol) Voster ATS at 0:15
4. Maciej Paterski (Pol) Voster ATS at 0:16
5. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 0:18
6. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Vini Zabú Brado KTM
7. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
8. Norbert Banaszek (Pol) Mazowsze Serce Polski at 0:19
9. Fred Wright (GB) Bahrain Victorious at 0:20
10. János Zsombor Pelikán (Hun) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec.

Hungary’21 stage 3:


Third on the slopes of Kékestető last year, Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) conquered the “Bluish Mountain” today and claimed victory in Stage 4. The Australian now sits in the pole position to take the 42nd Tour de Hongrie, which is coming to an end in the streets of Budapest tomorrow.


The first three stages were a real treat for sprinters and failed to make much of an impact on the general classification, with a mere 24 seconds separating overall leader Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) from the 100th-placed rider. It was but a mirage, as stage 4 of the race, a 202 kilometre romp to the summit of Kékestető —the highest point of Hungary and the Mátra mountain range, with an altitude gain of 3,221 metres, was always going to play into the hands of the climbers. The current maglia rosa of the Giro d’Italia, Attila Valter, took the spoils here last year.

Seven men missed the roll call at the start in Balassagyarmat, the City of the Brave, on the border with Slovakia, including the four riders of the Uno-X team, who were forced to withdraw after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The other three were Norwegian Asbjørn Andersen (Team DSM), Frenchman Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk) and Hungarian Gergely Szarka (Giotti Victoria–Savini Due), leaving the peloton with 119riders.

Bauhaus padded his lead in the points classification at the intermediate sprint in Szécsény after 16 kilometres of racing, edging out Mike Teunissen (Jumbo–Visma), runner-up to the German in stage 3 yesterday, and Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Start-Up Nation).

It took 30 kilometres for the break of the day to be established. Pole Adrian Kurek (Mazowsze–Serce Polski) was soon joined by Belgian Gilles De Wilde (Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise), fellow Pole Maciej Paterski (Voster ATS Team) and Russian Petr Rikunov (Gazprom–RusVelo). The four men’s advantage peaked at 3:30 at kilometre 50, with Kékestető already looming on the horizon. The finish line on the “Bluish Mountain”, the highest point in Hungary at 1,014 metres above sea level, was set up just 20 metres below its peak.

Both the escapees and the peloton got their first taste of the final climb, except for the last three kilometres, the steepest part of the ascent at an average gradient of 8%. Clad in the red jersey, Paterski wrapped up the mountains classification by taking maximum points at the top of the category 2 Mátraháza climb, 70 kilometres before the finish, while the main group, led by Bahrain Victorious, trailed by 2:30.

As the peloton closed to within half a minute of the leading quartet with 15 kilometres to go, Bauhaus eased up, aware that retaining the yellow jersey on such a tough climb was well beyond the capabilities of a rider of his characteristics. Meanwhile, at the front, De Wilde went for broke with a solo move. It was all for naught, as he too was brought back into the fold at the foot of the final climb, a 12 km drag with an average gradient of 5.6%. Damien Howson (BikeExchange) fired a warning shot by grabbing three bonus seconds at the last intermediate sprint in Mátrafüred, 11 kilometres from the line, followed by two DSM riders, Italian Alberto Dainese (2seconds) and Frenchman Romain Combaud. Team BikeExchange brought down the hammer for Howson, whose third place on Kékestető last year made him Valter’s heir presumptive.

By the time Caja Rural–Seguros RGA took the right turn coming with 3.5 kilometres to go at the helm of the lead group, there were only about 50 men left in it. The Spanish Armada wrought havoc on the group and set the stage for 23-year-old Jhojan García to jump with 2 kilometres to go. The Colombian’s searing attack put him 15 seconds clear of the chasers going into the final kilometre, only for Howson to counter-attack with 800 metres to go, overtaking García 300 metres later to claim stage 4 and seize the yellow jersey.

Veteran Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) finished second at 9 seconds, while García had to settle for fourth place, 19 seconds back and four seconds behind 19-year-old Italian Antonio Tiberi (Trek–Segafredo) in third. It was the fifth career win for the 28-year-old Australian. Barring any surprises, he will not have to wait for long to pick up the sixth, as the fifth and final stage, held in the streets of Budapest on Sunday, is tailored to sprinters and unlikely to shake up the general classification. The man from Down Under is now poised to take the 42nd Tour de Hongrie and succeed Attila Valter as the winner of the race.


Stage winner and overall leader, Damien Howson (BikeExchange): “I feel bad for the Caja Rural rider, he did exactly the move I did last year, and I knew if a team still has more than one rider it’s virtually impossible to stay away. From the beginning of the race, from the first 30 kilometres until the break went, the team was flawless, the communication was fantastic, they marked every move that we knew was dangerous and we didn’t have to commit anyone to the front until the final climb. It was quite an easy stage until the final climb, but I needed to make the race as hard as possible to get rid of some of those faster guys. So, we took it up from the bottom and once the solo rider attacked with two kilometres to go, I was lucky to have Kevin Colleoni there. He just rode a really hard tempo, I think everyone was uncomfortable on the wheels and I was able to time my move to perfection and essentially copy last year’s stage winner and the way he won, so I couldn’t be happier!”

Tour de Hongrie Stage 4 Result:
1. Damien Howson (Aus) BikeExchange in 4:55:50
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:09
3. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:15
4. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:19
5. Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:32
6. Laurens Huys (Bel) Bingoal WB at 0:38
7. Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Voster ATS Team at 0:41
8. Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Kevin Colleoni (Ita) BikeExchange at 0:44
10. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious at 0:46.

Tour de Hongrie Overall After Stage 4:
1. Damien Howson (Aus) BikeExchange in 16:11:24
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:16
3. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:24
4. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:32
5. Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:45
6. Laurens Huys (Bel) Bingoal WB at 0:51
7. Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Voster ATS Team at 0:54
8. Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Kevin Colleoni (Ita) BikeExchange at 0:57
10. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious at 0:59.

Hungary’21 stage 4:


Edward Theuns (Trek–Segafredo) grabbed the Final Stage 5 of the Tour de Hongrie on Budapest’s iconic Andrássy Avenue, leading home a whitewash for the WorldTour teams, which captured every single stage as well the general classification of the 42nd edition. The winner of yesterday’s queen stage to Kékestető, yellow jersey Damien Howson (BikeExchange), sealed the overall victory ahead of Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Antonio Tiberi (Trek–Segafredo).


117 riders took the start of the fifth and final stage on Budapest’s monumental Hősök tere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ready to tackle a 92 km pancake-flat course in the streets of the Hungarian capital, which was hosting the finale of the Tour for the first time in four years. The road had already dried up after some morning showers. As soon as the flag dropped, the attacks came thick and fast. Riding alone, Erik Fetter (Eolo–Kometa) was the first man to cross the line on Andrássy Avenue, the most famous thoroughfare in Budapest, at the end of the first of twelve laps of the circuit. The 21-year-old Hungarian, who recovered from a nasty crash on Friday to finish eleventh on Kékestető on Saturday, was soon joined by Italian Manuele Boaro (Astana–Premier Tech), Belgian Jordi Warlop (Sport Vlaanderen–Baloise) and Pole Mateusz Grabis (Voster ATS Team), and together they expanded their lead to 40 seconds by the start of the third lap.

Hungarian national champion Viktor Filutas (Giotti Victoria–Savini Due), his fellow countryman Gergő Orosz (Hungarian national team), Italian Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec) and Pole Piotr Brożyna (Mazowsze–Serce Polski) jumped from the peloton in an attempt to bridge the gap. The chase group trailed the break by 48 seconds with eight laps to go, followed by the peloton a further 27 seconds back. Jordi Meeus’s BORA-hansgrohe and Phil Bauhaus’s Bahrain Victorious set the pace at the front of the main group for their leaders, who had already won one and two stages of this year’s Tour de Hongrie, respectively, as did overall leader Damien Howson’s BikeExchange, with the Australian determined to defend the yellow jersey he had seized the day before at the top of Kékestető.

Around the halfway point, Warlop claimed the second intermediate sprint ahead of Grabis and Fetter, repeating his exploit from earlier, when he had out-sprinted Grabis and Boaro at the first intermediate sprint, 23 km into the stage. The peloton picked up steam and reeled in the chase group with 44 kilometres to go. The Hungarian national squad threw in its lot with the teams toiling away at the front of the bunch, helping to cut the gap to just 20 seconds with four laps to go, at which point the peloton decided to let the breakaway dangle out in front for a bit longer to deter any would-be attackers.

34-year-old Boaro, the most experienced rider in the escape, with 11 Grand Tour starts under his belt, went on the offensive before the ninth passage of the finish line, taking the third and final intermediate sprint ahead of Warlop and Grabis. The leading quartet nursed a 40-second lead with 20 kilometres to go. However, four kilometres later, as the race went over the finish line for the penultimate time, the peloton surged to within 9 seconds of the breakaway thanks Vini Zabù, who were fighting to propel Jakub Mareczko to his first stage win in this year’s edition nine months after scoring a treble in the same race.

Boaro put in yet another acceleration in a bid to keep the escapees’ hopes alive, but they were finally snuffed out by the peloton with 11 kilometres to go. The Italian’s 20-year-old teammate, Kazakh Yevgeniy Fedorov, rolled the dice next. Although the runner-up in last year’s UCI Asia Tour never got more than 5 seconds clear of the peloton, it did earn him the privilege of starting the final lap alone at the front. His gallant effort came to an end 4 kilometres before the line, setting the stage for the expected bunch sprint. Edward Theuns, eighth in the 2017 Paris–Roubaix, came out on top. Trek–Segafredo’s 30-year-old Belgian picked up his ninth career victory, the first in almost two years, ahead of Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo–Visma), a decade younger than him, and fellow countryman Timothy Dupont (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces). Green jersey Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) faltered in fourth place but sealed his victory in the points classification by a wide margin.

The top of the general classification remained unchanged after the final parade, modelled on the Champs-Élysées stage of the Tour de France. Damien Howson (BikeExchange) wrapped up the 42nd edition of the Tour de Hongrie, standing at the pinnacle of the most competitive field in the history of the race, with no fewer than eight WorldTour teams, which took all five stages as well as the three steps of the podium.

Howson, third overall last year, claimed his sixth career win and his second overall title, after the 2017 Herald Sun Tour in his home country, Australia. Belgian Ben Hermans (Israel Start- Up Nation) came in second at 16 seconds back. Third at 24 seconds back, 19-year-old Italian Antonio Tiberi (Trek–Segafredo) posted a breakthrough performance with his first stage race podium finish as a pro rider. Finally, the white jersey for the best Hungarian rider went to 26-year-old János Zsombor Pelikán (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec) in 23rd place overall.


Stage winner, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo): “Things were not really going right for us apart from yesterday. We didn’t have luck on our side, we made some mistakes, and it was frustrating me a bit. The team did a great job all week, and it was sad that I could not get a result for them. So yeah, today it was all or nothing. It’s great to throw the arms in the air and give this reward to the team. Not so much changed today from the first stages, maybe getting into the rhythm a bit. I had a rest period after the Classics and only around one and a half weeks of training before coming here, and I could feel in the first days that the legs were not awake yet. Yesterday, Tiberi finished 3rd – he’s a big talent and one of the best climbers here, I think – and I am happy for him that he did a great race. And the win today is the cherry on the cake. It was not an easy circuit – a lot of corners, and it was very fast. It was a fight to be in the front with 1.5 kilometres to go and we did a perfect fight there. Alex Kamp brought me to Emils’ wheel in perfect position, and Emils did a great job towards the last two corners. Then I could just lose some spots in the last corner, which was actually good to take a wheel, and then Teunissen launched from far. That was actually perfect so I could go into his wheel, and I felt that I still had power left. The guys today again did great work. Emils was the whole day in front of me, he did a perfect job. Also, Alex Kamp in the final. It was super teamwork, and I am really happy. I know I have fast legs, but it’s not easy to always show it. I don’t always get the opportunities and this week I did, so I wanted to make it count. So I am happy today that I could make it count.”

Final overall winner, Damien Howson (BikeExchange): “Bike racing is never over until it’s over, so particularly until three kilometres to go I definitely had to be very attentive and have a little bit of luck go my way, no misfortune and at the end of the day I got around the course safely. The team rode well and I’m happy to come away with the victory at the end of the week. It’s nice to see people at the side of the road again supporting bike racing and it was a nice day supporting the yellow jersey, I enjoyed it out there. I think last year after winning the Czech Tour I had the desire to get a few more wins and it’s something I’ve put focus on and this race, I came close last year, so I knew it was in my grasp if I played it smart.”

Tour de Hongrie Stage 5 Result:
1. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo in 1:55:46
2. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal WB
4. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
5. Matteo Malucelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
6. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Sasha Weemaes (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
9. Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
10. Orluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.

Tour de Hongrie Final Overall Result:
1. Damien Howson (Aus) BikeExchange in 18:07:10
2. Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:16
3. Antonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:24
4. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:32
5. Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:45
6. Laurens Huys (Bel) Bingoal WB at 0:51
7. Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Voster ATS Team at 0:54
8. Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Kevin Colleoni (Ita) BikeExchange at 0:57
10. Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious at 0:59.

Hungary’21 stage 5:


Tro-Bro Léon 2021
Connor Swift won the French classic Tro-Bro Léon on Sunday. The Great Britain champion was the best of a leading group of four, although it took a photo finish camera to split the Arkea-Samsic rider from Piet Allegaert (Cofidis). Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) was third.

A leading group of nine riders formed early in the race, with Luuc Bugter (BEAT), Tom Paquot (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Alexys Brunel (Groupama-FDJ), Maxime Cam (B&B Hotels), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Delko), Mikel Aristi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Pier-André Coté (Rally), Syves Waersted (Uno-X) and Dylan Kowalski (Xelliss-Roubaix Lille Métropole). In the peloton, AG2R Citroën and Lotto Soudal took the initiative. At the start of the last hour of racing, five more riders were at the front: Bugter, Brunel, Grosu, Coté and Kowalski. They had less than a minute ahead of the thinned peloton, from which Kévin Van Melsen escaped and made the crossing. Van Melsen went on and over the leading group. The only one who could follow him was Brunel. Eventually another group managed to make the crossing from the peloton, after which Piet Allegaert (Cofidis), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Connor Swift (Arkéa-Samsic) and Damien Touzé (AG2R Citroën) had the last lap to cover.

Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) then jumped to the leading group, 10 kilometres from the finish, while the peloton followed at 30 seconds. John Degenkolb made an all-or-nothing attempt on one of the gravel sections, but the leader of Lotto Soudal did not get away. At the front, Touzé had to let go of Le Gac, Swift, Planckaert and Allegaert in the final, which left four off the front. On the last gravel sector, Swift attacked again, but he couldn’t get away and so it would be a sprint of four. Well, actually five, as Rasmus Tiller crossed with a late attack with the peloton on his heels. Swift started the sprint first and crossed the line with his arms in the air, but Allegaert and Planckaert came dangerously close. A photo finish had to decide. Swift won by a very small gap from Allegaert. Planckaert finished in third place.


3rd, Baptiste Planckaert (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “You can write it down: Tro Bro Léon is one of the most beautiful races of the year. Of course I am very happy with my third place, but if you end up finishing half a wheel from victory, you will always be a little disappointed. But this morning I had definitely signed up for a podium, you know. When almost every strong team was represented in the leading group, I knew the peloton would stop riding. I hoped to get a few riders with me, but when no one followed so I closed the gap with the front group on my own. When I joined them, we were riding towards the final tough gravel section and I tried to anticipate to ride it at my own pace. When I started sprinting I felt the fatigue in my legs after a tough race. My shape is good, but I’m not at my best yet. I could compensate that with my driving skills, experience and love for this race though! You have to be able to fight for your position here and that is one of my specialties!”

Tro-Bro Léon Result:
1. Connor Swift (GB) Arkea-Samsic in 5:18:38
2. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
3. Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4. Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Rasmus Tiller (Nor) Uno-X
6. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
7. Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën
8. Bram Welten (Ned) Arkea-Samsic
9. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis
10. Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ.

Tro-Bro Léon’21


Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa en Lekunberri 2021
Annemiek van Vleuten used every opportunity to go on the attack, to take Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa en Lekunberri after a lot of hard work from the Movistar team.

There’s very few things which taste better than winning at home. The Movistar Team increased to 12 their victory account of the 2021 season thanks to an eighth win for the women’s squad, with Annemiek van Vleuten, at no less than the first of the Navarra Classics, their home region in northern Spain. A gruelling parcours – eight categorised climbs and 2,600 metres of elevation gain in just 125km from Zudaire to Lekunberri – with foul weather conditions and a Telefónica-backed squad unleashing their full potential at their best known roads.

Paula Patiño, Lourdes Oyarbide and Sheyla Gutiérrez, covering their leaders, and an extraordinary Katrine Aalerud (7th) and Sara Martín, doing everything in the finale, once again helped Van Vleuten massively en route to another success for the ‘queen’ of cycling in 2021. Both Sara and Katrine made outstanding circumstances further heighten their quality: the Spaniard, having only turned 22 in March, went after every single attack all the way to the decisive climb of Zuarrarrate, against some of the best names in the WorldTour, while the Norwegian, who crashed early on and was close to DNF, bounced back and was Miek’s last piece of support.

Van Vleuten never stopped attacking: she tried it at the steep, small Ulzurrun, with about 30km to go; twice at the Zuarrarrate ascent, even going alone with Vollering (SDW) to later be caught again; and finally, with 5km to go, another attack at the final climb of Mugiro allowed her taking a few seconds, enough to notch up her fifth win this year. One with a really special taste.


Race winner, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “It was a tough day in the rain, yes, but not that much of a cold day. And I think I was able to put those circumstances into my advantage, and make that difficulty become something that favoured me. Ever since I was a youth rider, Dutch coaches have always told us that these circumstances made us stronger, and in days like today, I try to profit from that. In the finale, I knew I had to leave Vollering behind – she was faster than me at the sprints of Amstel and Liège – but it wasn’t only her – I had to get ahead of everyone. It was a final selection difficult to manage, because, at the final, six-woman split, the strength in numbers was in SD Worx’s hands, with Vollering and Ashleigh Moolman in. Being able to leave them all behind and beat their superiority makes this success taste even better. My two victories here are different and special all the same. The 2020 one came right after the pandemic stop, in really difficult circumstances for everyone, and the 2021 was beautiful and singular because I was able to offer it to the whole team, racing at their home region, after so much support from them in the last few months. I might be repeating myself a lot lately, but I’m really that much proud about the work they do at every race, and even more so in days like today. Sara was really fantastic today. Aged just 22 years old, doing what she’s done today – it’s not only a reason to celebrate for Spanish cycling, it’s also a reason for the whole team to feel proud, also for me. Big things are coming for her. Same goes for Katrine, who has been able to push on after her crash, come back and an immense job. And the whole group: Paula, Sheyla, Lourdes, Jorge (Sanz) and the whole staff.”

Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa en Lekunberri Result:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar in 3:44:33
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 0:05
4. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 0:16
5. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Mikayla Harvey (Aus) Canyon//SRAM
7. Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar at 1:41
8. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Liv Racing
9. Ane Santesteban (Spa) BikeExchange
10. Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo.

Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa en Lekunberri’21:


Navarra Women’s Elite Classics 2021
In Pamplona, ​​Arlenis Sierra won the Women’s Elite Classics. The A.R. Monex rider crossed in the final kilometre with Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) to Annemiek van Vleuten who escaped in the finalé. The Cuban then finished the race off in the final sprint, ahead of Winder (second) and Van Vleuten (third).

The second part of the one-day races organised by the Vuelta a Navarra, with the start and finish in Pamplona. There were some nasty climbs on the routs. In the middle of the race were the Muro de Olaverri (1.5km at 7.2%), Muro de Tiebas (800 meters at 7.6%), the Muro de Blurrun (600 meters at 9.3%) and the Muro de Tirapu (2km at 7.9%). The final was spiced up by three more climbs with El Perdon (2.8km at 6.6%), the Muro de Zariquiegui (0.6 km at 9.3%) and the Muro de Galar, a steep ramp little more than 10 kilometres from the finish. Anastasiia Chursina decided not to wait and went for an early escape, but it didn’t last long. Soraya Paladin’s (Liv Racing) attack was a bit more serious. She initially took off alone 40 kilometres from the finish, the Italian was later joined by Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) and Rachel Langdon of InstaFund Racing. This trio could not survive until the finish and were caught before entering the last 20 kilometres, after which Grace Brown attacked.

Just like with Paladin, the BikeExchange rider was joined by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) and Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx). The winner would not be with this trio either. On the Muro de Zariquiegui, Van Vleuten accelerated on this steep slope. She put in a hard attack and behind her the field exploded. Only Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx) go hold her. The chasing peloton kept pushing and on the Muro de Galar a few riders were able to make the crossing.

Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini tried again the moment she was caught, but even with the support of Mavi García she could not make it to the finish. Van Vleuten timed her ultimate attempt better. She decided to launch a last attack before the start of the final kilometre. For a moment she seemed to be able to double in Navarre for the second year, but Ruth Winder managed to close the gap. On the wheel of the rider in the Stars and Stripes jersey was an even greater danger, the lightning-fast Arlenis Sierra. In the finishing straight, the sprint went to the Cuban champion. She gave herself and her team their first victory of the season.


Navarra Women’s Elite Classics Result:
1. Arlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) A.R. Monex in 3:16:59
2. Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar Team Women
4. Grace Brown (Aus) BikeExchange at 0:06
5. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
6. Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Emilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
9. Hannah Barnes (GB) Canyon-SRAM
10. Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) Rally Cycling.



Circuit de Wallonie 2021
Christophe Laporte won the Circuit de Wallonie on Thursday. The Cofidis rider triumphed in Charleroi after a race of 194 kilometres by winning the bunch sprint by a bike length. His fellow countryman Marc Sarreau (AG2R Citroën) finished second.

During the third race in the Bingoal Cycling Cup, it took a while before a leading group was formed. Several riders made an attempt, but it took more than two hours before five riders managed to escape. However, the leading group with Yves Coolen (BEAT Cycling), Theo Delacroix (Intermarché-Wanty), Maxime De Poorter (Tarteletto-Isorex), Lorenzo Germani (Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ) and Lionel Taminiaux (Alpecin-Fenix) did not last long.

With about 60 kilometres to go, an elite leading group of fourteen riders was formed, including the Belgians Oliver Naesen, Tim Wellens, Jelle Wallays, Floris De Tier and Henri Vandenabeele. However, the peloton kept the leaders close, after which a regrouping soon followed. Then a group of three riders attacked. Vandenabeele was present again. This time the DSM rider was joined by fellow countryman Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal) and Frenchman Hugo Page (Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ). In the final, the riders had three laps of 10.8 kilometres. Vandenabeele had problems with his gears, but able to hang on. Moniquet was dropped on the penultimate climb and was caught by the peloton. At 11 kilometres from the finish it was also the end of the story for Vandenabeele and Page.

In the finale, riders from SEG and the Groupama-FDJ development team tried to get away, but the peloton, led by Lotto Soudal, kept the pace high. The race would be decided in a sprint. AG2R Citroën delivered its leader Sarreau perfectly at the finish, but in the battle for victory there was no measure on Laporte. The Cofidis rider won fairly easily, taking his second win of the season. In the battle for the Belgian Cycling Cup, Laporte took 14 points. Tim Merlier remains in the lead after his victories in Le Samyn and GP Monseré. The next round is scheduled for 5 June with Dwars door het Hageland.


Race winner, Christophe Laporte (Cofidis): “I’m really happy. It was a quick day, there weren’t too many breakaways. It was quite a difficult course in the last 100 kilometres. We followed the attacks a lot, we raced so as not to have all the weight on our shoulders. We always had guys at the front, we rode really well. In the final we drove behind to control the 3 riders in the escape, it was ideal for us. After that was played in the sprint, the team knew how to place me very well, I was on the wheel of the team which launched (the sprint), I just had to pass in the last 100 metres. The team did a great job all day helping me so I’m happy I was able to make it happen for them.”

2nd, Marc Sarreau (AG2R Citroën): “It was not an easy day; we knew that the course would be very tiring and the race would never offer a respite. The start of the season had been difficult for me, but then I feel since the Volta ao Algarve I have been going better. Today, just like in Portugal, we had a super team effort and I see that I am not very far from the victory. That makes it more fun. I will head now on Sunday to the Tro Bro Leon and then the Boucles de la Mayenne with pretty much the same group of teammates. It makes you want to do better!”

Circuit de Wallonie Result:
1. Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis in 4:18:42
2. Marc Sarreau (Fra) AG2R Citroën
3. Laurence Pithie (NZ) Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ
4. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
5. Søren Wærenskjold (Nor) Uno-X
6. Martijn Budding (Ned) BEAT Cycling
7. Stan Van Tricht (Bel) SEG Racing Academy
8. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Daniel McLay (GB) Arkéa Samsic
10. Matthew Bostock (GB) Canyon dhb SunGod.



Grote Prijs Vermarc 2021
Deceuninck – Quick-Step celebrated a second consecutive success at the Grote Prijs Vermarc won by Alvaro Hodeg. After Florian Sénéchal soloed to victory at the inaugural edition in 2020, now Alvaro Hodeg put his hands up in the air as he crossed the finish line in the small town of Wezemaal, after prevailing in a two-man sprint.

The Belgian team came to the start with five riders, and following several skirmishes, Alvaro joined a small group that got away on the second lap. The one-minute gap was quickly erased some twenty kilometres later by a large chasing group, giving Deceuninck – Quick-Step several cards to play, as Mark Cavendish and the defending champion Sénéchal joined the 24-year-old Colombian. The spitting rain and low temperatures made for an attritional day, but that didn’t bother Hodeg, who rode away on the penultimate lap, this time together with five other men.

While many were expecting Alvaro to gamble all his cards on a sprint, he surprised his opponents by attacking on the last climb of the race, taking just Bert Cle (Stageco) with him. The duo powered away from their companions and had enough of a gap by the time they arrived in the final kilometre, where Alvaro Hodeg unleashed a powerful sprint with 200 meters to go, comfortably beating his opponent.


Race winner, Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “It feels great to win again and I am very happy. The team did a great race today and I am really grateful to them. We wanted to do a hard race, so we attacked early and tried to shape things. Then, when I found myself in a small group for the second time during the day, I just decided to go, as I felt good and knew the others would soon attack to prevent the race from coming down to a sprint. We worked well together and in the end I was just faster. I’m delighted with this victory, as it gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the next appointments of the season.”

Grote Prijs Vermarc Result:
1. Alvaro Hodeg Chagui (Col) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:39:47
2. Brent Clé (Ned) Stageco CT
3. Arnaud de Lie (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:12
4. Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Rutger Wouters (Bel) Team Thielemans-de Hauwerè
6. Wessel Krul (Ned) SEG Racing Academy
7. Tim Marsman (Ned) Metec-Solarwatt p/b Mantel
8. Kenneth Van Rooy (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Jason van Dalen (Ned) Metec-Solarwatt p/b Mantel at 0:22
10. Lennert van Eetvelt (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:24.

GP Vermarc’21


Challenge Mallorca 2021 – Trofeo Calvia
After a difficult day for UAE Team Emirates at the Giro d’Italia, Ryan Gibbons boosted the squad’s morale by clinching victory at Trofeo Calvia, part of the four-day Challenge Mallorca series. Gibbons put in a heroic effort with a long-range attack that ended with him holding on to win a two-man sprint after 168.7km in the saddle.

In what was a tough day featuring 3,400 metres of climbing, Gibbons set out on the attack with 70km to go in a group of seven riders, which was whittled down to just two, with Anthony Delaplace (Arkea-Samsic) the other member of the remaining breakaway. The African Continental Champion outpaced the Frenchman in the final dash to the line, lifting his arms in celebration, with the main group a further 41’’ behind the pair.

The win marks the 11th triumph of the year for UAE Team Emirates and Gibbons’ first road race victory since becoming African Continental Champion.


Race winner Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates): “I’m really thrilled with this victory. I started the race very aggressively and made sure I got in the move along with Sven Erik Bystrøm who was also attacking all day. After about 70-80km I slipped away in a group of seven riders and then two of us. It was a really tough day and I was definitely feeling it in the legs at the end, but I knew when it came down to a two-up sprint I had a good chance. I’m very grateful to get the win. We have three more races here in Mallorca this week, so we’re really motivated to do well in them all.”

Trofeo Calvia Result:
1. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE-Team Emirates in 4:21:04
2. Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
3. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise at 0:41
4. Eliot Lietaer (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:44
5. Jordi López (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
6. Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
7. Juan José Lobato (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Kévin Ledanois (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
9. Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Willie Smit (RSA) Burgos-BH.



Challenge Mallorca 2021 – Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana
Jesús Herrada won the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana 2021 on Friday. The 30-year-old Spaniard from Cofidis was the fastest in a two-up sprint after a hilly race in Mallorca. He beat Jonathan Lastra by a bike length. Hector Carretero was third.

This race takes place on the northern part of the largest Balearic island. The Coll de Puig Major is the toughest climb of the day after 135 kilometres. After a technical descent there is a small climb five kilometres before the finish in the coastal town of Deià. On the Coll de Orient several riders tried to start the action. Ultimately, seven men managed to take a lead: Alan Boileau (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Mikel Iturria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Cypriot champion Andreas Miltiadis (Gios), Alejandro Osorio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Mathias Reutimann (Swiss Cycling) and Pelayo Sánchez (Burgos-BH). In the peloton, Movistar were in control. The Spanish team had several possible winners and took responsibility. The lead continued to fluctuate around 3 minutes, the breakaway knew it wouldn’t be for them today. Boileau punctured and never saw the front again. In the peloton, Movistar was helped by Cofidis, one of the other six WorldTour teams at the start in Mallorca. From that moment on, the lead steadily declined.

At 30 kilometres from the finish, Movistar managed to catch the break. Shortly afterwards, the peloton broke up into various groups. Then five riders jumped away: Carretero and Miguel Ángel López from Movistar, Herrada for Cofidis, Lastra for Caja Rural-RGA Seguros and Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert). The five came together at the top of Puig Major, where their lead was 30 seconds on the first group. It included Alexander Kristoff and Thursday’s winner Ryan Gibbons. On the Coll de Blenda, 5 kilometres from the finish, Carretero tried to get away. That cost his leader López as he had to drop out from the front. Eventually Herrada and Lastra managed to cross to Carretero. He was tired and had to watch his two countrymen battled for victory in the narrow streets of Deià. Ultimately, Herrada was the faster of the two. Mads Würtz Schmidt beat Kristoff 20 seconds later for fourth place.


Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana Result:
1. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis in 3:52:21
2. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar at 0:11
4. Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation at 0:20
5. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
6. Romain Hardy (Fra) Arkéa Samsic
7. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar
9. Cristian Scaroni (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana’21:


Challenge Mallorca 2021 – Trofeo Andratx
Winner Anacona won the Trofeo Andratx on Mallorca on Saturday. The Colombian finished ahead of his fellow escapees Vegard Stake Laengen and Mikel Iturria on the final climb to Mirador des Colomer.

The Trofeo Andratx is the third race of the Challenge Mallorca. With the Coll de Puig Major and the Mirador del Colomer in the finalé, the climbers were able to enjoy themselves again the day after the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. Four riders escaped early in the day. It was Dylan Sunderland, Mads Wurtz Schmidt and Tour du Rwanda sensation Alan Boileau who combined a maximum lead of 2:30. At the Coll de Puig Major, the ambitions of these riders quickly came to an end. The fight between the favourites could then begin. Mikel Bizkarra and Sean Bennett were the first riders to attack, but a group of about twenty riders kept a close eye on the gap behind them.

Jesus Herrada, winner on Friday, was able to cross a little later. The Basque rider then had to drop out. In the end it turned out not to be the decisive escape, as a regrouping followed just before the top. The race was decided on the next climb. Winner Anacona, Vegard Stake Laengen and Mikel Iturria took a handful of seconds on the chasing group, which didn’t work well together. With more than a minute lead, the front runners started the 3 kilometre long final climb. That lead turned out to be too great for the pursuers to catch them. Winner Anacona took the victory on the Mirador del Colomer.


2nd, Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates): “It was a hard race again today from the start, there was a lot of attacks since the moment the flag dropped. I waiting a long time to make my move but eventually picked the right one. I managed to link up with three guys in the last kilometres. I felt really strong today but just missed out on the win, but I’m still pleased with the podium.”

Challenge Mallorca 2021 – Trofeo Andratx Result:
1. Winner Anacona (Col) Arkéa Samsic in 4:04:30
2. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 0:10
3. Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:13
4. Jesús Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 1:34
5. Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 1:39
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally Cycling
7. Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
8. Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
10. Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka Assos at 1:44.

Trofeo Andratx’21:


Lefevere Not Looking for a New Sprinter in a Hurry
Patrick Lefevere returns to the Giro d’Italia on the rest day on Tuesday, but he will ignore the tradition of talking to rider agents. “I don’t need them at the moment,” wrote the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team manager in his column in Het Nieuwsblad. “I’m still working on my budget for the coming years and it will be higher than now. But for the time being I have not yet made a proposal to any rider from another team,” Lefevere said. Sam Bennett leaves at the end of the year as both parties are unable to reach an agreement financially and the Irish sprinter will probably return to BORA-hansgrohe.

“Bennett has informed me by phone that he is leaving the team, but I am not going to look for a new sprinter in a hurry. This week I talk to Fabio Jakobsen, who I expect to find his best level again. And Mark Cavendish has just paid for a ten-day training camp in Athens out of his own pocket. I hear that he achieves even better values ​​than in Turkey.”

Lefevere does not have to enter the transfer market, he wrote. “For the time being I will focus on the riders I already have in the team. I don’t see much better riding around.”

No new sprinter for Patrick:


uno x
Uno-X Out of Tour of Hungary Due to Corona Case
The riders of the Uno-X team could not start Saturday’s Tour of Hungary stage 4. An external staff member of the team in the team bubble tested positive for covid-19, forcing the Norwegian team to leave the race.

Uno-X reported the news itself via social media. Although all riders tested negative, the team was not allowed to continue. “Let’s just say we are quite disappointed,” the team wrote.

After three days Erlend Blikra and Torstein Træen were in the best position in the standings, 24 seconds behind leader Phil Bauhaus. Blikra was eighth in the opening stage. Niklas Larsen and Kristoffer Halvorsen also finished in the top ten.

Uno-X out of the Tour of Hungary:


No Dauphiné for Van Aert, but Adds Belgian Time Trial Championships
Wout van Aert skips the Critérium du Dauphiné, according to WielerFlits. The Belgian Jumbo-Visma rider underwent surgery for appendicitis last week and will not have recovered enough to play a leading role in the Dauphiné stage race. He will go on two altitude training camps and adds the Belgian time trial championships to his program.

Van Aert is expected to go to the Sierra Nevada in Spain early this week, where he will join his Tour teammates. A second training camp at altitude in Tignes, France, awaits the winner of Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race, in preparation for the Tour de France that starts on 26 June. Van Aert will not go to the Tour de France without any race kilometres. After the training camps he will ride both the Belgian time trial championship (June 16) and the Belgian Road Race Championship (June 20). The Belgian time trial was not on Van Aert’s program. The leader of Jumbo-Visma won the past two editions of the national time trial championship in Middelkerke and in Koksijde.

Van Aert Back After Operation:


No Olympic Games for Alaphilippe
National coach Thomas Voeckler will not have Julian Alaphilippe in his French team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The reigning world champion, in consultation with Voeckler and his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team, has decided to miss the Games.

“Hello everyone, after much thought and in consultation with the national coach of the French selection and my team Deceuninck – Quick-Step, I have decided not to ride the next Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Alaphilippe said on Twitter. “It’s a personal and well-considered decision.”

“We have the goals for the end of the season on paper, so choices have to be made. I would like to proudly wear the national squad jersey at the upcoming World championships. Of course I wish the Tokyo team all the best. See you soon!”

Alaphilippe would be the leader of the French national team in Tokyo, but now national coach Voeckler will have to make a new selection. The 28-year-old Alaphilippe did participate in the previous Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and finished fifth in the road race.

No Tokyo for Alaphilippe:


vuelta 21
‘1932’, From Burgos Band La M.O.D.A is the Official Song of La Vuelta 21


Key points:
● ‘1932’, from the Burgos band La M.O.D.A, is the song that will accompany the peloton of La Vuelta 21 from its departure in Burgos to the final finish-line in Santiago de Compostela.
● For the first time in La Vuelta’s history, a group from Burgos will put its stamp on the race’s official song.
● La Vuelta has not had a band sing the race’s song since Maldita Nerea (2017). In the past three editions, the songs were performed by solo artists.

The song ‘1932’, from the Burgos band La M.O.D.A, will be the official song of La Vuelta 21. For the first time in the race’s history, a group from Burgos will sing the song that will accompany the race all the way from its departure from the Burgos Cathedral on the 14th of August, to its arrival in Santiago de Compostela on the 5th of September.

La M.O.D.A is the first group to sing the official song since 2017, when Maldita Nerea accompanied the peloton with ‘Bailarina’. During the last 3 editions, only solo artists have performed the official La Vuelta songs: Nuria Fergó (‘La vida son sólo dos días’), Arkano (‘Otro intento más’) and Carlos Baute (‘Como un atleta’).

‘1932’ is a very special song, with a very particular instrumentation that characterises the band and includes, among others, accordions, saxophones and mandolins. Evoking an air of nostalgia, the music and lyrics transport us to the early 1930s (where the first edition of La Vuelta was conceived – in 1935) with a touch of melancholy dedicated to the memory of our elders.

Difficult to classify, La M.O.D.A employs styles ranging from indie to rock, with arrangements more reminiscent of folk and punk. Born at the start of the last decade, the band’s 7 members have been together for 10 years. They began their journey in Burgos and have, since, become a reference among the nation’s youth.

For the General Manager of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, the election of ‘1932’ is a “turning point” in the history of the race’s songs. “It speaks to a young audience, in a style we haven’t used very much until now. It’s a mature song, that deals with memories and reflections, and speaks of a tough period but also a special one for us because it’s the decade that saw the birth of our race”, he explained. For the group La M.O.D.A, “It’s an honour to be the ones in charge of providing the music for La Vuelta 21. We’re thrilled that they thought of us for this very special La Vuelta tradition”.

More information about La Vuelta: www.lavuelta.com

Listen to ‘1932’ and Enjoy Other Official Songs of La Vuelta on Spotify vuelta

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