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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

All the weekend cycling news

An unbelievable Amstel Gold Race was the high-point of the weekend, but we also have the Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana and the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey – Reports, results and video. Alexandar Richardson disqualified for ‘Puppy Dogs’ – TOP STORY. Race news: 2021 Tour of America’s Dairyland in June, Androni replace Vini Zabù in the Giro d’Italia, Ladies Tour of Norway and ZLM Tour routes and no 4 Jours de Dunkerque. UCI team rankings update. Rider news from Zdenek Stybar, Carlos Betancur, Petr Vakoc and Andrea Bagioli. Another big cup of EUROTRASH coffee.

top story
TOP STORY: Richardson Disqualified for ‘Puppy Dogs’
On Wednesday the Alpecin-Fenix team ​​started the fourth stage of the Tour of Turkey with seven men, on Thursday there were only four left. Sacha Modolo did not make it to the finish, Alexander Krieger crashed in the sprint, but the most surprising was the disqualification of Alexandar Richardson.

Richardson was still in the official result of the stage to Kemer, won by Mark Cavendish. Richardson finished 125th. But after the stage, the team was informed that Richardson had been taken off result by the UCI race jury. The disqualification was due to an ‘incorrect cycling posture’, which has been prohibited since April 1. Richardson is accused of using the so-called ‘puppy dog’ position with his arm resting on the handle bars, which he used at the front of the peloton. “The use of the forearms as a support point on the handlebars is prohibited, except in time trials,” the new regulations states.

Gijs Leemreize of Jumbo-Visma was also disqualified in the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday for the same offence.

No more ‘Puppy Dogs’ Alexandar:
richardson

 

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Amstel Gold Race 2021
A close photo-finish decided the 2021 Amstel Gold Race. A sprint from the best three riders of the day, Wout Van Aert and Tom Pidcock fought for victory to the last millimetre. Maximilian Schachmann finished in third position. After a long wait for the decision of the race jury, the Jumbo-Visma rider got his revenge for Brabantse Pijl. Michael Matthews (BikeExchange), finished fourth, leading the sprint from the chasing group followed by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who finished fifth.

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Maurits Lammertink, Loic Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Edward Theuns, Julian Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Sébastien Grignard (Lotto Soudal), Chad Haga (DSM), Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Molly (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X) made up the early break. They had a maximum 5 minute lead on the peloton, where Movistar, Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Astana-Premier Tech were in control. For a long time their advantage fluctuated around 4 minutes. The first attacks took place with 75 kilometres to go, but both attempts failed. However, the pace increased in the peloton.

A group of ten with Rémi Cavagna, Vingegaard and Wilco Kelderman were pulled back by INEOS Grenadiers. In the peloton there was one attacks after another, Primož Roglič was amongst the action, but no group succeeded. 42 kilometres from the finish another group formed with Dylan van Baarle, Simon Clarke, Florian Sénéchal, Rui Costa, Sonny Colbrelli and Tosh Van der Sande, they managed to take a serious gap. Jumbo-Visma had to chase. On the penultimate climb of the Cauberg, 35 kilometres before the finish, the remainder of the early break was caught by the Van Baarle group. The peloton was at 30 seconds, but Roglič closed the gap at the top of the Cauberg. The only rider left out front was Loic Vliegen. Ide Schelling caught Vliegen at 25 kilometres from the finish on the Bemelerberg. UAE Team Emirates came to the front of the peloton, but Schelling started the last time up the Cauberg with a small lead. He did not last long, because on the climb Wout van Aert made his move. All the favourites had to go with him, but Roglič had a mechanical problem.

Maximilian Schachmann, Tom Pidcock, Michal Kwiatkowski, Richard Carapaz, Alejandro Valverde, Julian Alaphilippe, Jakob Fuglsang, Michael Matthews and Guillaume Martin were able to join Van Aert. INEOS Grenadiers sent former winner Kwiatkowski off the front. The Pole was caught on the narrow roads in Limburg, after which Pidcock rode away with Van Aert and Schachmann. The three took more than 20 seconds on a strong elite group. The last time up the Bemelerberg, 6 kilometres before the finish, the three kept the pace high. The difference remained around 20 seconds. Due to the work by Israel Start-Up Nation, the gap was reduced. The three up front entered the last 2 kilometres with a 15 second lead. Schachmann tried to play a surprise, but Van Aert and Pidcock were on him. Van Aert was in-front Pidcock, who beat him in the Brabantse Pijl sprint, with Schachmann following. The Belgian eased off the speed which allowed the pursuers to close, but started the sprint at 150 meters. Pidcock came next to his rival as the two riders crossed the line with no visible difference. The photo had to be used to determine the winner; Wout van Aert got the win by a millimetre.

*** See the full PEZ Race Report with photo gallery HERE. ***

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2021 Amstel winner, Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma): “I didn’t dare believe it. I sprinted the last few meters with my eyes closed. The jury only told me just before the podium ceremony that I had won. It was very difficult to say, that was clear from the time the jury needed to make it final. I have never experienced this before. I could always count on Jonas, Sam and Primoz just before the final. They jumped well with almost all the attacks. It was a shame that Primoz had a mechanical problem in the final. The team really rode for the win today. I am very proud of this victory and my performances in the classics. I have competed for this victory in almost every race and have always been in top shape. I am very happy to go into the holidays with this victory. The bike will be put aside for a while now.”

2nd by 0.004 of a second, Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers): “I should have started first because I was faster. That is a great learning moment. I gave Wout a small gap for the sprint, but we were too close to the finish. I was too far behind him and should have stayed in his wheel. I did ride a good race. I think I was the strongest in the race and I am happy with that feeling. But it’s frustrating that the difference is so small.”

3rd, Max Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe): “I knew that it would be very difficult in that group, because we were quite far out from the finish. I wanted to try something, of course, and I gave it a go with 1500m to the finish, because I believed that I had the best chance at that point. But unfortunately it didn’t quite work out, because Van Aert immediately latched onto my rear wheel. Nevertheless, it was a very nice race, although it was a different feeling without spectators on the road. But I’m glad and grateful that we were able to race.”

4th, Michael Matthews (BikeExchange): “The race opened up a lot later than we thought. We thought it would be an aggressive race throughout, but with such a big breakaway group up the road there was no point opening it up too early. They were playing games and with three Ineos in the front it was hard to see which move was going to go, but then on the top of the second to last climb the three of them got away. We all kept believing it would come back, a fair few team missed it. It was up to us and a couple of other teams to try and bring it back, but we just fell short in the end. I gave it my best and I was fourth in the end and I think after crashing quite badly on Wednesday, this is not a bad result. We brought a strong team in with riders like Esteban to make sure we could cover those hard moves in the final there and he did a great job, the whole team did a great job today. They positioned me really well all day and gave me the best opportunity to win the race. I come here with a smile on my face every year and it is my dream to be on the top of the podium. I will continue to fight to try and get there and it will be even sweeter if I get there eventually.”

15th, Tiesj Benoot (DSM): “I wasn’t great. It probably didn’t look that difficult on TV, but it was a fast pace all day long. The last 40 kilometres make the difference. We were with a large group, but I had to undergo the race myself because I was not great. The last time Cauberg I felt that I was not among the best riders. I was on the wheel of Hirschi, but that was already on a gap at the top. I was hopeful that we would come back, because there were a number of teams for that reason. So there was some cooperation, but the best three were gone.”

Attacker, Ide Schelling (BORA-hansgrohe): “I did have a good ride. It was a great race and I’m glad that as a Dutchman I was able to colour the race, I knew I had to go for it. I was hoping to get a larger group, but that was not the case. I was alone because of that and enjoyed it and sang it out for as long as possible. In that descent, at least 15 seconds went off. You cannot do that on your own, especially if you are not allowed to use the super tuck. I turned up the Cauberg and saw them coming then, of course you are already screwed. I was still hoping to join, but ended up in the second peloton. But it is great that Maximilian Schachmann finished it off with a third place. I wanted to start something in the early final. Then I got out of the escape with those guys, but they weren’t worth much more. That’s why I chose to continue alone. I am doing very well these weeks. I continue to amaze myself, even here. I race among the great men and that is great fun.”

Break rider, Loïc Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Given my condition, we initially defined that it would be appropriate for me to anticipate. It wasn’t my best day on the bike because I’m still annoyed by my allergies, but I fought to the end and managed to extricate myself from the strong breakaway to be alone in the lead. I wanted to get a bit ahead of the Cauberg, hoping to get over it with a chase group. But in the end, it was a rather large peloton that made the connection. I am satisfied with my day with Maurits in front, because we gave everything with our strengths of the moment.”

Unlucky, but impressive, Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I had bad luck with that mechanical, something from which it’s always difficult to come back, but I managed to return to the bunch only to hit the deck. I remounted and chased hard only to face another problem at the start of the Cauberg, which is never pleasant, as there it’s always nervous. I lost time and was quite far, but that didn’t discourage me, as I felt that the legs were good and I could do something on this parcours, which normally doesn’t suit me. I had to produce a big effort to make it back into the group, but I was motivated by joining him and giving it my best in the chase. As soon as I bridged across, I didn’t hesitate for one second and took the front, trying to close the gap to the leaders, but in the end I just ran out of energy. It was my first presence here and I came to the start without any expectations, but I come out of it with a lot of confidence for the next races.”

Amstel Gold Race 2021
1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma in 5:03:27
2. Tom Pidcock (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
3. Max Schachmann (Ger) BORA-hansgrohe at 0:02
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
8. Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
9. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal.

Amstel’21

 

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Women’s Amstel Gold Race 2021
Marianne Vos won the Amstel Gold Race for the first time in her career. The Jumbo-Visma rider was the faster in the sprint from an elite group ahead of Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).

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The 16.9 kilometre long, public-free circuit, to be completed seven times, climbing the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg

It didn’t take long before the first escape attempt by two riders. Quinty Ton (GT Krush Tunap) was joined by the German Kat Hammes (Ceratizit-WNT). The lead increased to 30 seconds as the started the Cauberg for the first time. The peloton was not interested as Van Vleuten and Van der Breggen rode at the back. After the Cauberg a lot of riders tried to cross to the two in the early break. On the Bemelerberg, a large group of almost twenty riders managed to escape from the peloton. There was no real top favourites, but almost all the major teams were represented. Movistar, Van Vleuten’s team, Katrine Aalerud, Jelena Erić and Sara Martín at the front, SD Worx had Niamh Fisher-Black, DSM with Leah Kirchmann and Franziska Koch, Trek-Segafredo – Lucinda Brand and Lauretta Hanson, Liv Racing – Alison Jackson, Canyon-SRAM – Mikayla Harvey and Elise Chabbey, Jumbo-Visma – Teuntje Beekhuis and BikeExchange had Lucy Kennedy). Also there was: Amelia Sharpe (NXTG Racing), Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine), Marta Lach and Julie Leth (Ceratizit WNT), Federica Piergiovanni (Valcar-Travel & Service), Maria Novolodskaia and Katia Ragusa from A.R. Monex. The lead on the peloton quickly increased to almost 2 minutes and so the chase started from behind. SD Worx, which had the wrong rider in front with Fisher-Black, decided to increase the pace.

On the next passage of the Cauberg, it was World champion Van der Breggen who made a first selection and narrow the lead. SD Worx did not intend to let the pace drop, so there were several splits in the peloton. Van Vleuten ended up in a second group. The European champion had a hard chase to get back to the other favourites. Van der Breggen with Grace Brown jumped to the leading group. With 70 kilometres to go there was a regrouping, but the top riders were ready for more action. The fourth time up the Cauberg, Van Vleuten made her fist more. The winner of the last Tour of Flanders put in a strong effort that was too much for Van der Breggen, who was dropped. Van Vleuten didn’t manage to get away alone. On the Rijksweg, Brand benefited from a moment of calm from the favourite riders. The Trek-Segafredo rider soon had a nice gap, although Brown managed to cross to her in one jump. On the Geulhemmerberg, Brand and Brown were caught by the first chasers, so we had a group of just under 20 riders in the lead. In the second group was Van der Breggen and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, two former winners, but they both climbed off with 30 kilometres to go.

The difference between the two groups quickly increased to 0:45, the winner of the 2021 Amstel Gold Race would come from this front group. In the run-up to the penultimate passage of the Cauberg, Brown and Pauliena Rooijakkers rode away to a lead of 30 seconds. The difference increased, so Van Vleuten had to try something on the steepest part of the Cauberg. Van Vleuten accelerated twice, but failed to drop the others. The pace slowed which was in favour of the leaders Brown and Rooijakkers who started the final lap with 20 seconds lead. On the descent towards the Geulhemmerberg, Brown dropped Rooijakkers who was swallowed up by the pursuers. Brown was still in the lead and was not going to give up.

On the Bemelerberg, Brown still set a strong pace and towards the Cauberg she managed to maintain a limited lead, but it turned out not to be enough for the victory. Just after turning up the Cauberg, Brown was passed by Van Vleuten, who tried it one last time with an all-or-nothing attack. Van Vleuten managed to completely split the group with a long acceleration, but she turned out not to be the strongest on the last climb. It was Katarzyna Niewiadoma who went over Van Vleuten, also Vos couldn’t go with the attack, but Longo Borghini was able to close the last gap on Niewiadoma. Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma came over the top together and into the last kilometre, but they were caught in the last hundreds of meters by a chasing group with Vos, Vollering and Van Vleuten. Vos turned out to be the fastest in the sprint, but she did put her hands in the air a little early. Vollering finished in second place, ahead of Van Vleuten.

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Race winner, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a really tough race. Even tougher than I expected. That is always the case when you have to complete local circuits. We rode at a fast pace throughout the race. I was breathless throughout the final, but you always have a little energy for a sprint. Demi (Vollering) came very close, but I felt confident. It is only wise to never cheer too soon. It is a competition of name and fame. Of course you would like to win that race once. It’s cool that I get it now. Of course it feels different, without an audience, but you still feel a lot of warmth from the Limburg audience. They may not be on the sidelines, but you can feel that it is alive.”

2nd, Demi Vollering (SD Worx): “It was exciting, I saw Marianne startled. Then I thought for a moment: do I have it or not? I was a little bit trapped, but Marianne is also a bit more of a pure sprinter. She has a little more speed. I did get close, but it was just very well done by Marianne. The team was very strong and I am very grateful. I hope for the last push on Wednesday (Flèche Wallonne) and otherwise next Sunday (Liège-Bastogne-Liège). That would be great, but otherwise that big victory will probably come some time.”

3rd, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar): “I already felt at the start of the race that I was not having my very best day, I was struggling a bit. I have had better days, then third is a very good result. It comes not often that I don’t feel good during a race, but it was also a tough race. It was really gruelling. The fact that I am still quick to third place here, also indicates that it was a tough day. It was a great race.”

4th, Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange): “The whole race was just an amazing team effort! We came in with a plan and I have to say that Lucy Kennedy in particular was really awesome, she was on fire, making it so hard and she was always in the moves early to take the pressure off for us. The girls did such a good job of looking after me all day, it was really good in the final to have Grace away and I thought for a while that she might actually pull it off, but again I could sit back and watch other people panic basically. It just came down to the last time up the Cauberg and it never feels nice the last time up the Cauberg. I was happy to be in that front group and fourth is a good result, but I’m mostly proud of the teamwork today. I know that I can have a good sprint in that situation, and I was trying to position myself of Vos’ wheel. I probably made a mistake in the final, I lost it a little a bit, so I’m a little bit disappointed with that, but it’s a great way to start the week.”

Women’s Amstel Gold Race Result:
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma Women in 3:00:20
2. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Movistar
4. Amanda Spratt (Aus) BikeExchange
5. Soraya Paladin (Ita) Liv Racing
6. Mavi Garcia (Spa) Ale BTC Ljubljana
7. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon SRAM.

Amstel’21 by BikeExchange

 

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Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana 2021
Arnaud Démare added his first victory in Spain to his nearly 80 wins in his career on Thursday. The French champion of Groupama-FDJ crossed the line first in Stage 2 of the Tour of Valencia, with start and finish in Alicante. Démare was brought to the finish line perfectly by his Groupama-FDJ teammates.

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Stage winner, Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ): “The team did a really great job today, by first including the early breakaway and then riding a good final. We were prepared for a nervous finish, given the wet roads and the lightning-fast final. It’s really great that we win the stage here. In addition, Miles (Scotson) has managed to keep the leader’s jersey. It is my first victory on Spanish soil, but at the same time this is only my second race in Spain. I haven’t been able to race much in Spain yet.”

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Stage 2 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 4:09:23
2. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal WB
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
5. Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Movistar
6. Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
7. Edwin Avila Vanegas (Col) Burgos-BH
8. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
9. Felipe Orts Lloret (Spa) Burgos-BH
10. Gil D’Heygere (Bel) Tarteletto-Isorex.

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 2:
1. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ in 8:24:10
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:32
3. Alan Riou (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:34
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 0:35
5. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:36
6. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:37
7. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis at 0:38
8. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
9. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
10. Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM.

Stage 2:

 

Enric Mas won the mountain Stage 3 to Alto de la Reina in the Tour of Valencia on Friday. On the final climb he was the strongest of an elite group. The Spanish Movistar rider also took the overall leader’s jersey from Miles Scotson, who lost a lot of time.

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The third day of the Tour of Valencia was the Queen Stage finishing on the Alto de la Reina. After two rainy days, Friday’s stage was run in sunny conditions. On the mountainous course there were many attackers. After 65 kilometres, an escape with sixteen men managed to get away, including Caleb Ewan, Jelle Vanendert and the Dutchman Mathijs Paasschens. However, the group got little space and was caught after some time. Alex Molenaar (Burgos-BH) got together with Euskaltel rider Txomin Juaristi at Otonel, this would be the proper race start. Movistar made the race hard for the yellow jersey, Miles Scotson and time trial specialist Stefan Küng. On the steep climb Alejandro Osorio, sixth in the 2018 U23 Giro, jumped up to the front riders, but the differences were only very small. With 27 kilometres to go, Enric Mas lifted the speed as Scotson went backwards. Then an elite group of nine men formed.

Movistar riders Mas and Nelson Oliveira took the lead with Küng, the Cofidis couple Victor Lafay and Rémy Rochas, Élie Gesbert, Rémy Mertz and the Euskaltel duo Gotzon Martín and Luis Ángel Maté, Scotson managed catch up. Of the attackers, Mas was in the best position, 35 seconds from the yellow jersey, but the differences with almost everyone else were almost negligible. The leading group started the final climb 7 kilometres from the finish. Oliveira worked in the service of his leader Mas, for whom Küng was the most dangerous customer in the battle for the final classification. With 4 kilometres to go, the tandems of Cofidis and Euskaltel started to attack, and a kilometre further Mas, Lafay and Gesbert rode away. While Maté managed to jump up to them, Küng kept his own pace on the Alto de la Reina with the four others on the wheel. Maté eventually had to let go, after which Mas, Lafay and Gesbert were allowed to sprinted for the stage victory. At a hundred metres Mas attacked and outwit Lafay and Gesbert. Maté was fourth, just before the group with Küng. The Swiss rider lost 38 seconds to Mas at the line.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Enric Mas (Movistar): “This victory really feels great – my first win with these colours! I’m super proud of how the team has worked today; they all really were on top of their game today, just like over the whole Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana, always Trying to give their best. We’ve been able to finish this off and it’s been in great part because of them. We played both cards, not just mine – together with Nelson, we took all chances we could, and he did an awesome job, also trying to stay clear of the front group. He wasn’t lucky enough to escape, and in the end it was up to me to create that decisive gap after his earlier moves. It’s a short, flat TT tomorrow – we’ll have to give our best; being honest, it doesn’t suit me that well, but I’m really motivated to try and keep the jersey.”

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Stage 3 Result:
1. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar in 4:11:47
2. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:02
3. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:08
4. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:29
5. Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:31
6. Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal WB
7. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:35
8. Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis at 0:38
9. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
10. Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:33.

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 3:
1. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar in 12:36:22
2. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:08
3. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:17
4. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:42
5. Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal WB at 0:44
6. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:46
7. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 0:51
8. Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
9. Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 1:48
10. Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:55.

Stage 3:

 

Stefan Küng, the European time trial champion, won the time trial Stage 4 of the Tour of Valencia on Saturday and took over the leader’s jersey from Enric Mas. Unlucky Mas lost his chances for the overall victory due to a puncture in the final part of his time trial.

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A day after his double on the Alto de la Reina, Mas had the tough task of defending his leader’s jersey in the time trial to Playa Almenara. With Victor Lafay, Elie Gesbert, Stefan Küng and Nelson Oliveira on his tail, the Spaniard would have his work cut out for him to have a chance of winning the overall victory. At the start of the day, Arnaud Démare recorded the first top time. The Groupama-FDJ sprinter finished the 14.3 kilometres in 17:16 seconds. He was knocked off the hot-seat by a fellow countryman Thibault Guernalec who finished with a time of 16:52, he was the first rider under 17 minutes. Miles Scotson got within 1 second of the time of the Arkea-Samsic rider, but the real time trial top guns, like Oliveira and Küng were yet to finish. They both got under the time of the Frenchman. With a time of 16:13, the European champion was well below that of Guernalec. Oliveira was also faster with 16:24.

In the Movistar team, there were serious fears for the leader’s jersey. Mas seemed on his way to holding the lad for a long time. He lost only 19 seconds at the first intermediate point. In the final kilometre it all went wrong. After a flat front tyre, Mas knew that overall victory in the Tour of Valencia was no longer possible for him. He crossed the finish line with his head down. He had to give the leader’s jersey to the winning Küng, Oliveira also jumped over Mas into second place. Victor Lafay is now fourth overall.

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Stage winner and overall leader, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “I am very happy with this result, but I saw on TV that he was already slowing down after the first intermediate point, so maybe he started too hard. I would rather have taken the jersey from him without getting a flat tire, but that is also sport. Before the time trial, I already knew that if I had a good day, I could take a shot at the overall victory. The past few days I felt good, so it was up to me to let the legs speak as well. Everything went perfectly. The collective performance of our team shows once again how well we are doing. It’s a team effort, that’s really cool.”

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Stage 4 Result:
1. Stefan Kung (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 16:12
2. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:10
3. Thibault Guernalec (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 0:39
4. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 0:40
5. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 1:02
6. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:07
7. Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spa) Movistar at 1:09
8. Alan Riou (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:11
9. Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:12
10. Diego Lopez Fuentes (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma at 1:13.

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Overall After Stage 4:
1. Stefan Kung (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 12:53:25
2. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:06
3. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 0:36
4. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:45
5. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:01
6. Luis Angel Mate Madones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:37
7. Remy Metz (Bel) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB at 1:53
8. Remy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis at 2:03
9. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 2:26
10. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 2:43.

Stage 4:

 

The Groupama-FDJ team was the big winner of the Tour of Valencia. The French team managed to secure Stefan Küng’s overall victory on the final day, in a 91 kilometre Final Stage 5 to the centre of Valencia city. Küng’s teammate, French champion Arnaud Démare, won the bunch sprint.

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The short final stage was bound to end in a bunch sprint. The Groupama-FDJ riders, for Arnaud Démare and overall leader Stefan Küng, made sure of it and provided an ideal lead-out for the French champion. Démare was dropped off just before the finish line in time to put his hands in the air, although Jon Aberasturi was very close. The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA rider was a close second and Timothy Dupont gave Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB a third place.

In the general classification, Küng’s lead was no in danger. The Swiss champion, who took control in Saturday’s time trial partly due to a puncture for Enric Mas, crossed the line in the peloton. He had Movistar riders Nelson Oliveira (second) and Mas (third) with him on the podium.

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Stage winner, Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ): “It has been a great week for Groupama FDJ. Four wins and the general classification for Stefan Küng, so we could not be happier with our passage through VCV 2021. We did great teamwork for the sprint finish. We knew it was going to be faster than normal because the stage was short, although at the end on the finish line we had a headwind. We didn’t want anything to happen for Küng’s general, so in the end everything was perfect.”

Final overall winner, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): “It feels very good to be the winner of the VCV 2021. If someone had told me a week ago I would have told him that he was crazy. A week ago, I felt terrible training. I even thought about taking a break after some very demanding classics. But I don’t know how, I found the motivation to keep going, the legs started to respond and, once you find that ‘mommentum’, it’s much easier to keep going. That is what the whole team demonstrated this week. When things go well, everything tends to go better. It was a pleasure to complete such a good week and finish it with the yellow jersey. The first day I already felt good on the climbs, although it was raining, and I always respond well when it rains. The real test was the queen stage, all day going up and down, narrow roads. I knew that Movistar had to try something to leave me behind, but I held on and was able to limit the damage. In the end 51 seconds lost seemed like a lot, but in the time trial, when you start everything is possible. I told myself that I had to do one of the best time trials of my life, and luckily I was able to do it and wear yellow. Until the end, a thousand scenarios go through your head, but crossing the finish line in yellow is amazing, and adding a race like the VCV to my palmarès is incredible. To be honest, I always sleep well before a stage. I remember talking to Thibaut Pinot and he told me that when he fights for a general, he never sleeps well, more than 6 hours. I told him that he was crazy, but this time he had to live it up to me and boy was he right. When you go to sleep, you always think about what you have done that day and what awaits you. This time, the hard work was done, but then you start to think about what would happen if you punctured or anything happened. I didn’t sleep well, to be honest. But here I am dressed in yellow and tonight I am going to sleep. And from now on, if I am in this position again, I will have more confidence. I have been a professional for 7 years, but this was a completely new experience for me. I don’t want to imagine how the cyclists will be with the general at stake the day before racing on the Champs Elysees.”

“I am very happy that this race has been held. It had to be postponed in February and I must thank the organisation for the tremendous effort and for giving us the opportunity to ride this race and show the world what we are capable of. I can’t ask for more, the truth. We had different objectives in this race. We wanted to win the sprints with Démare, the time trial with me, but the rest was up in the air. On the first day, Miles Scotson’s attack was perfect and then the rest went smoothly as well. We found the ‘mommentum’ and let it take us to the finish line. We had a great group, even with two youngsters who have learned a lot this week. Until the end, we showed that we were a great team. Even on the mountain day the sprinters helped us as long as they could. You need a great group behind you for a success like this and I can’t ask for more. I had already come to the VCV twice before with BMC and I love this race, because we usually train in the area. When I knew we were coming I thought, ‘well, it will be sunny for sure,’ but then we had rain the first two days, as almost always when I come. I like the rain, but also a day like today, very sunny, very Valencian. I know I will return and I hope to do so next year.”

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Stage 5 Result:
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ in 1:56:25
2. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
3. Timothy Dupont (Bel) Bingoal WB
4. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
5. Colin Joyce (USA) Rally Cycling
6. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
7. Alex Molenaar (Ned) Burgos-BH
8. Bram Welton (Ned) Arkéa-Samic
9. Gerben Thijssen (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10. Francesco Di Felice (Ita) Mg.k Vis VPM.

Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana Final Overall Result:
1. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ in 14:49:50
2. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar at 0:06
3. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 0:36
4. Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis at 0:45
5. Elie Gesbert (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 1:01
6. Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:37
7. Remy Mertz (Bel) Bingoal WB at 1:53
8. Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis at 2:03
9. Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ at 2:26
10. Matis Louvel (Fra) Arkea-Samsic at 2:43.

Stage 5:

 

turkey
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2021
José Manuel Díaz won the mountainous Stage 6 of the Tour of Turkey. Delko’s Spaniard was the best on the final climb of the Göğübeli Pass after160 kilometres to Elmali. He was the best of an elite group, beating Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) and Eduardo Sepúlveda (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) in a sprint.

A breakaway of seven with Matthias Brändle (Israel Start-Up Nation), Ziga Jerman (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Joel Suter (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Nils Sinschek (ABLOC CT), Vitaly Buts (Salcano Sakarya BB) and Cormac McGeough (Wildlife Generation) got a 4 minute lead. Buts was the last to join and strengthened his leading position in the mountains classification along the way. Astana-Premier Tech was serious about the pursuit for Merhawi Kudus and Javier Romo, but chose not to bring back the breakaway too early. They also received help from Pierre Rolland’s B&B Hotels in the chase. They gave the seven up front a lead of just under 2 minutes at the foot of the final climb to Elmali. That climb, also known as the Göğübeli Pass (12.1km at 6.4%), was devastating to the race in the last 3 kilometres. 10 kilometres from the top was also the end of the story for Mark Cavendish who had to give up his leader’s jersey. In the lead, Suter was the one who broke up the leading group and went on his way solo.

In the peloton Ibai Azurmendi of Euskaltel-Euskadi attacked and picked up all the pursuers, but was caught with 6 kilometres to go by the thinned elite group. There, Rodrigo Contreras attacked on behalf of Astana-Premier Tech, and caught Suter at 3.3 kilometres out. Fifteen riders were still together. On the steepest 3 kilometres of the climb, Uno-X’s first attack came from Anders Halland Johannessen, but he did not get away. At one and a half kilometres from the finish, Anthon Charmig made a strong breakaway. Uno-X’s Danish talent rode Merhawi Kudus (Astana-Premier Tech) and Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) off his wheel. At the start of the last kilometre, Kudus and Vine were more than ten seconds behind Charmig. Eduardo Sepúlveda and José Diaz joined the pursuers, after which Vine caught up with Charmig on a very steep stretch. Five riders entered the last 300 metres, after which Díaz won in a sprint. The Spaniard beat Vine and Sepúlveda. Kudus and Charmig came to a halt in the last steep metres. Due to his stage victory, Díaz is also the new overall leader. Vine is at four seconds and Sepúlveda at six.

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Stage winner and overall leader, José Manuel Díaz (Delko): “I had confidence in a good result, but I did not really believe in the win until 50 meters from the finish. This is a very important victory, as it is the first victory of the season for Delko. We are now going to try to conquer the overall victory.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix): “Today I could count on the full confidence of the team. We came here to win a stage and we were a few times closer with Jasper (Philipsen) in the first four stages. I think it’s really unbelievable how we have grown together. For a lot of riders it is only the first race of the season. We are now second four times and that is very good. It is only a disappointment that we again miss the stage victory. I do think we have a very good group here. I was put in position for the final climb by Jasper. That was pretty cool!”

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Stage 5 Result:
1. Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Delko in 4:25:25
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
4. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:15
5. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:18
7. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:20
8. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko at 0:23
9. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:38
10. Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:42.

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 5:
1. Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Delko in 18:38:27
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:04
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:06
4. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:25
5. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:28
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:30
7. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko at 0:33
8. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:48
9. Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:52
10. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:55.

Stage 5:

 

After coming close on four occasions, Jasper Philipsen finally took his stage victory in the Tour of Turkey. The Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider defeated André Greipel in the seaside resort of Marmaris by a very small amount. Mark Cavendish took fourth place.

The riders had the shortest stage of the eight on Friday, but it was not an easy day. The stage went from Fethiye in Muğla province to another well-known seaside resort, Marmaris. Because this stage was not entirely along the coastline, it went up and down a lot and so it was not a guaranteed sprint finish. The break of the day was formed by Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Tom Paquot (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa) and Ivar Slik in the shirt of ABLOC CT. These five had a 2 minute lead at one point, but in the peloton the men from Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Delko rode a tight pace. The Belgian team played its part for three-time stage winner Mark Cavendish, who was clearly keen on a fourth stage victory. Delko had a man in the lead for José Manuel Díaz, the leader in the race after Thursday’s queen stage. In the last 30 kilometres Fabio Jakobsen worked on behalf of his teammate Cavendish. With a good 12 kilometres to go, the last survivors of the early break were caught and we had to look for new attacks, especially on the last climb with ramps up to 10% towards the finish. On this climb, Astana-Premier Tech decided to keep it going, but it was Quentin Pacher who put in an attack. The Frenchman took a small gap, but was soon brought back.

Jhojan García, fourth on general classification, decided to shake things up. The Colombian didn’t get any space from Jay Vine and overall leader Díaz. Vine tried to make a break, but he was not strong enough to get free of his rivals. The peloton was thinned out considerably and the sprinters were in trouble. Cavendish managed to survive the first, second and third selection well and in the descending kilometres several fast men managed to rejoin. André Greipel could count on an ideal lead-out from his teammates from Israel Start-Up Nation in the last kilometres and the German started the sprint first. Greipel was pulled back by Philipsen, although it was close to the finish line. For Philipsen, after three second places and a fifth place in the opening stage, it is the first victory in the Tour of Turkey. After Philipsen and Greipel, Kristoffer Halvorsen crossed the line third, ahead of Cavendish and Stanisław Aniołkowski. Díaz remains overall leader with two stages to go.

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Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “Of course I was disappointed with three second places. If I don’t make any mistakes in the sprint, everything still has to fall in the right place. I am very happy that I have finally won here in Turkey. I had to rely more on the other teams. In the last five kilometres my chain fell off, so I had to push a lot more power to keep up the speed. I was almost certain that I would not win the sprint, but I kept following the right wheel and was able to sprint in the end. I was glad that Greipel left some room. Otherwise it would have been impossible. To win a stage here after the Scheldeprijs is also very good. Hopefully, in the next two days, we can make this week even better. We all knew that our new teammate Jay Vine has the qualities to climb, but the real racing is a bit different. He showed his real potential yesterday. Maybe we can help him with a few seconds on the way to win the overall.”

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Stage 6 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 2:55:50
2. André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
5. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal WB
6. Luca Mozzato (Ita) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
7. Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane
8. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa
9. Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo
10. Martin Pluto (Lat) Abloc CT.

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 6:
1. Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Delko in 21:34:17
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:04
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec at 0:06
4. Jhojan Orlando Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:25
5. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:28
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:30
7. Delio Fernandez Cruz (Spa) Delko at 0:33
8. Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM at 0:48
9. Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:52
10. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:55.

Stage 6:

 

Jasper Philipsen took his second stage victory in the Tour of Turkey. In Turgutreis, the Alpecin-Fenix ​​rider beat André Greipel and Mark Cavendish in the bunch sprint, after a day in which the peloton split into echelons several times.

From the start the road went straight up and the peloton had to deal with a strong tailwind. After a barrage of attacks, a leading group of four men was formed. Three Italians: Alessandro Tonelli, Francesco Gavazzi and Danilo Celano joined forces with Basque rider Julen Irizar and they managed get more than 4 minutes on the peloton. Due to Astana’s fast pace on the first category climb, several riders were in trouble. Mark Cavendish, among others, fell back. The peloton thinned to just twenty riders, with Jay Vine, second overall, and Quentin Pacher, eighth overall, missing. Pacher had crashed early in the stage and had to abandon. The peloton regrouped behind the four leaders on the descent, while the wind was still strong. On the second category climb, with more than 80 kilometres to go, the breakaway still had about 2 minutes on the big peloton. After that climb, the race had to deal with a lot of crosswind and the peloton split into echelons. As a result, the lead of the four-man group also disappeared and at 53 kilometres from the finish, the escape was caught.

Israel Start-Up Nation and Deceuninck – Quick-Step in particular were the instigators of the chaos in the peloton. Everywhere there were groups of riders on the long roads to Bodrum. Just before the intermediate sprint, the first echelons came together and it was Jay Vine who took important time in the sprint; he is now only 1 second behind José Manuel Díaz on the overall. There was peace in the race, but that was short-lived. Several riders tried to get away, but Willie Smit was the most successful. His attack at 33 kilometres from the finish gave him a nice gap, while the peloton reorganised. Deceuninck – Quick-Step, which already won three stages with Mark Cavendish, took control. The South African rode solo for some time, but with 23 kilometres to go he was caught, but the race was not over.

Stanislau Bazhkou and Michel Giesselmann and some others, tried to get away in the last 20 kilometres. The German from the Continental SKS Sauerland NRW team managed to grab a lead and a little later saw Jokin Aranburu from Euskaltel join him. After that, the Basque rode solo for a while, but was unable to cope with the speed of the peloton behind. On the climb 7 kilometres from the finish, a few riders attacked, including Mirko Maestri. Shane Archbold of Deceuninck – Quick-Step jumped, and so other teams had to start the chase. The New Zealander was the strongest attacker and went solo, but there were still 4 kilometre to go. Israel Start-Up Nation pulled themselves inside-out to catch him, which eventually succeeded. With just over a kilometre from the finish, the sprinter’s teams rode to the finish at high speed. Israel Start-Up Nation led the sprint for André Greipel, after which Alpecin-Fenix ​​pushed forward at 300 meters. With 150 metres to go, Jasper Philipsen started the sprint from the front. Greipel couldn’t get past him and had to give up. He was narrowly ahead of Mark Cavendish for second place.

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Stage winner, Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix): “It was a tough day. On the first climb, Astana tried to make the race hard. There were many fractures, but in the end everything came together again. When everything was back together, we had to deal with the crosswind. So it was never really easy today. I don’t understand why they put this finish in the course. There was already so much to about downhill finishes. I still have to check my speed, but with such risks anything can really happen, resulting in ugly crashes. We sat the way we wanted. At such speeds you have to come hard from behind and start at the right time. Once you get the head it becomes very difficult for the others to get past. It does not come down to the strength, but to the speed of the legs. We wanted to grab those bonuses. It could be a good day tomorrow to compete for the GC. We only have four boys, but we will do our best.”

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Stage 7 Result:
1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix in 4:20:45
2. Andre Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
3. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
5. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa
6. Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
7. Luca Wackermann (Ita) Eolo-Kometa
8. Gleb Brussenskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
9. Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
10. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Team Sapura Cycling.

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Overall After Stage 7:
1. Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Delko in 25:55:02
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:01
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni-Sidermec at 0:06
4. Jhojan Garcia (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:25
5. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:28
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:30
7. Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko at 0:33
8. Atem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:52
9. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:55
10. Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:01.

Stage 7:

 

José Manuel Díaz (Delko) is the overall winner of the 2021 Tour of Turkey. Delko’s Spaniard managed to survive a chaotic stage. The Final Stage 8 was won by Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), for his fourth win of the race.

There was no question of an early break in the first kilometres, as after 20 kilometres there was an intermediate sprint with bonus seconds which were very important to the leader Díaz and second placed Vine. It was Mauro Finetto, Jasper Philipsen ​​and Jetse Bol who took the time bonus. Ten riders managed to build up a gap: Stijn Steels, Davide Cimolai, Mirco Maestri, Alessandro Tonelli, Sean De Bie, Willie Smit, Delio Fernandez, Samuele Rivi, Erik Nordsaeter Resell and Serghei Țvetcov. The lead of the ten increased to just over 2 minutes, but in the peloton the men of Israel Start-Up Nation for sprinter André Greipel and Alpecin-Fenix ​​for Jasper Philipsen and Vine were in control. The difference was reduced towards the finish and with 30 kilometres to go there was a regrouping. This was the signal for a new attack.

Javier Romo, Danilo Celano and Jhohan García tried to surprise the peloton. The presence of García, fourth overall at 25 seconds from Díaz, was dangerous. The difference to the peloton increased to 30 seconds, but with a few kilometres to go, everything was together again. Before that, there was a crash in the peloton including second placed Vine, but luckily it was within the final 3 kilometres. Without the Australian, a compact peloton started the very dangerous last kilometre. Cavendish, previously winner of the stages in Konya, Alanya and Kemer, turned out to be the best sprinter in Turkey after a hectic last kilometre. Philipsen had to settle for second place after two consecutive victories, Kristoffer Halvorsen was third. In the final GC, the difference between first and second after eight stages was 1 second. Díaz is the overall winner of the Tour of Turkey, ahead of Vine and Eduardo Sepúlveda.

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Stage winner, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I am very happy with this. Four victories is much more than I expected prior to this Tour of Turkey. In the run-up to the sprint I chose the Israel Start-Up Nation train, because I saw that they were in the front with several riders. In the end, Uno-X came out hard and I moved with them. I was in a good position from the front and that all went well.”

Overall winner, José Manuel Díaz (Delko): “I am very happy with this. It was a pretty difficult stage, but we did well tactically. It is very important to win this tour. Turkey is a fantastic country and this race is very well organised.”

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Stage 8 Result:
1. Mark Cavendish (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 3:24:38
2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
3. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Uno-X Pro
4. Andre Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
5. Giovanni Lonardi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
6. Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa
7. Stanislaw Aniolkowski (Pol) Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB
8. Damiano Cima (Ita) Gazprom-RusVelo
9. Jokin Aranburu Arruti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10. Ahmet Orken (Tur) Team Sapura.

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey Final Overall Result:
1. Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Delko in 29:19:40
2. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix at 0:01
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni-Sidermec at 0:06
4. Jhojan Garcia (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 0:25
5. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana-Premier Tech at 0:28
6. Anthon Charmig (Den) Uno-X Pro at 0:30
7. Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko at 0:33
8. Atem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-RusVelo at 0:52
9. Anders Halland Johannessen (Nor) Uno-X Pro at 0:55
10. Garikoitz Bravo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 1:01.

Stage 8:

 

toad
Tour of America’s Dairyland 12th Edition is Finally Here This June!
We are extremely excited to let you know that ToAD 2021 is ON!

Our extensive and ongoing preparations focus on safely staging the 2021 edition of Tour of America’s Dairyland between June 16th & 27th, 2021. While the final schedule of dates and locations is still coming together, we feel we can present a safe and fun event for all. This will only happen though, if we each do our part to continue the positive momentum in trends in and around Wisconsin.

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Will ToAD look different in 2021? You bet! Never the less, working together, whether you are a racer, fan, community organiser, media partner, or sponsor, WE cannot only pull this off, but create a successful and positive series in a way we all have become accustomed to these last 12 years.
The 2021 edition will be an affirmation of our host communities and our sponsors and their commitment to physical activity, outdoor enjoyment, and fun!

toad

As would be expected, we continue to closely monitor case count trends, impacts of pandemic fatigue, and new variants that could swing todays’ green light to yellow or worse yet red. With some permits still pending, we ask that everyone continue to do their part in terms of responsible behaviour leading up to race day. Then come June, our ask will be that you adhere to the guidelines we will issue in collaboration with our host communities and under the best advice of the CDC. This will enable us all to enjoy ToAD’s return to the FUNtastic entertainment bike racing provides to our host communities and the racing that is longed for by our riders!

In the coming weeks, we will begin releasing venue and series information related to safety protocols and guidance.
We are ALL anticipating the safe return of events and are so proud that ToAD can be one of the first, but we truly need YOUR help to make it all happen!

Until June,

toad

 

zabu ktm
Vini Zabù Returns Giro d’Italia Wild Card
No Vini Zabù in the Giro d’Italia this year. The Italian ProTeam squad is withdrawing the wildcard the team received from race organiser RCS. Vini Zabù risks a suspension from the UCI because of two doping cases in the last twelve months. According to the team and main sponsor Vini Zabù, it is a decision “to send an important message to the cycling world. Let this be a lesson to all athletes who are still trying to cheat,” the said in a press release.

Vini Zabù has decided to stay on the side-lines as long as the investigation continues. The team is also working on an internal investigation into the most recent doping case of Matteo De Bonis. At the end of March it was announced that De Bonis had been caught with EPO. Because Matteo Spreafico was also caught in the last Giro d’Italia with a positive for enobosarm, also known as ostarine, Vini Zabù will now possibly receive a team suspension. The team didn’t wait for a suspension and returned the Giro wildcard to RCS on its own initiative.

De Bonis has been asked to cooperate with the investigation of the relevant authorities, so that the fight against the trade in illegal substances can be continued. Vini Zabù may also take legal action to claim the financial damage suffered. However, the main sponsor has announced that he will continue the sponsorship until the end of the season.

“Our choice not to participate in the Giro d’Italia should make it clear that the action of one cyclist can have a devastating effect on the people who make the maximum effort to allow a team to race. Our withdrawal from the most important race of Italian cycling is an act of love for the sport,” said Vini Zabù.

No Giro for Visconti:
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androni
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec Receives Wild Card for Giro d’Italia
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will start the Giro d’Italia this year. The team of Gianni Savio was initially not invited to the next edition of the Italian Tour, but will now be competing due to the withdrawal of Vini Zabù.

The wild cards went to Alpecin-Fenix, Bardiani CSF Faizanè, EOLO-Kometa and Vini Zabù. At the end of March it was announced that Matteo De Bonis had been caught positive with EPO, a few months after a positive test by Matteo Spreafico during the last Giro d’Italia. So, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec came back into the picture for the final wild card for the Giro. Team boss Savio can now breathe a sigh of relief. Simon Pellaud was the winner of the intermediate sprint classification, and his teammate Mattia Bais won the Fuga Bianchi for the best breakaway.

A happy Savio:
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bb hotel
B&B Hotels Leave Tour of Turkey After a Positive Corona Test
B&B Hotels p/b KTM were not at the start of the final stage of the Tour of Turkey on Sunday. The French team decided to leave the tour after a positive corona test within the team.

Last Friday, Rally Cycling also decided to withdraw from the Tour of Turkey after a covid infection. For privacy reasons, B&B Hotels does not disclose who is infected with the corona virus. “We wish all riders and staff members who are still in the Tour of Turkey good luck,” the team wrote on Twitter.

Maxime Chevalier, Cyril Gautier, Luca Mozzato, Quentin Pacher, Kévin Reza, Pierre Rolland and Sebastian Schönberger started in the Tour of Turkey for the B&B Hotels p/b KTM team. Pacher looked to be on his way to a top 10 place on GC, but had to abandon after a crash on the penultimate stage to Turgutreis.

Quentin Pacher had to stop before the team left the race:
pacher

 

norway tour
Ladies Tour of Norway has an Uphill Finish
This year’s Ladies Tour of Norway has a real mountain stage to the ski hotel in Norefjell. The organisers of the multi-day events announced at the presentation of the course. The Tour of Norway has a total of four stages. The race starts on Thursday 12 August with a relatively flat stage between Halden and Sarpsborg. After three local circuits there should be a sprint in Sarpsborg, the last kilometre is slightly uphill. Stage two has a hilly course and via a local circuit with a climb as a possible decider, finishes in Mysen. On stage three, the decision should come for the battle for the overall victory, as there is a real mountain stage of 2,746 vertical metres with the climb to the ski hotel Norefjell Ski & Spa in the final. This is an 11 kilometre climb with ramps of up to 10%, going from sea level to an altitude of 800 metres. The final stage is between Drøbak and Halden where they cover some of the same roads as stage two too Mysen. After three technical and rather difficult local laps the finish is in Halden.

Last year, the race was canceled due to the corona pandemic, in 2019, 2018 and 2017 the overall victory went to Marianne Vos.

Ladies Tour of Norway 2021 Stages (12-15 August):
12/08 – Stage 1: Halden – Sarpsborg (138.1 km)
13/08 – Stage 2: Askim – Mysen (141.6 km)
14/08 – Stage 3: Drammen – Norefjell (151.3 km)
15/08 – Stage 4: Drøbak – Halden (150.4 km).

The last winner, Marianne Vos:
wevelgem

 


ZLM Tour 2021 has a Stage Finish on the Cauberg
The ZLM Tour has a stage finish on the Cauberg this year. The organisers announced the full route for the next edition of the Dutch stage race on Thursday. We have known for a while that the ZLM Tour (9-13 June) will start this year in Kapelle. The centre of Kapelle will be the setting for a real sprint stage in the evening on Wednesday 9 June, in which the village centre of Wemeldinge is also included in the route. Stage two also takes place in the province of Zeeland, between Veere and Goes.

The third stage is scheduled for Friday 11 June. The start is in Eindhoven and the finish is located in Buchten. A day later it is time for the toughest stage of the tour. The Saturday stage is traditionally held in the hills of Limburg, with the start at the Shimano Experience Center in Valkenburg and the finish on the iconic Cauberg.

The final stage on Sunday 13 June starts with a stage on the route of the Profronde in Made and ends on the wide new road in front of the town hall of Rucphen. “The five stages offer many opportunities for the sprinters, but you never know in advance exactly how the race will go,” said race director Jean-Paul van Poppel.

The ZLM Tour (2.PRO) was to be held for the 33rd time last year, but the multi-day stage race through the south of the Netherlands was canceled due to the tightened measures regarding the corona virus. In 2019 the overall victory went to Mike Teunissen.

ZLM Tour 2021 Stages (9-13 June):
09/06 – Stage 1: Kapelle – Kapelle (100.9 km)
10/06 – Stage 2: Veere – Goes (195.4 km)
11/06 – Stage 3: Eindhoven – Buchten (175.3 km)
12/06 – Stage 4: Valkenburg – Valkenburg/Cauberg (178.6 km)
13/06 – Stage 5: Made – Rucphen (159.3 km).

Mike Teunissen in 2019:
Mike Teunissen

 


Local Authorities Ban the 4 Jours de Dunkerque/GP des Hauts-de-France
The Four Days of Dunkirk again cannot take place this year. The local authorities have issued a negative advice due to the current corona figures. The organising committee has not accepted the decision and has lodged an appeal.

The Four Days of Dunkirk is on the calendar for May 4-9.

Maybe not on 2021:
dunkerque

 

uci
UCI Team Ranking
The UCI has released a new update to the 2021 Team Ranking last week, before Amstel Gold and the finish of the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Valencia. Little has changed at the top of the standings, with Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s strong leading position. Jumbo-Visma remains third, but is about 500 points closer to second placed INEOS-Grenadiers due to the successful Tour of the Basque Country.

Fourth place in the ranking is still Alpecin-Fenix, but the Belgian ProTeam has UAE Team Emirates getting closer, taking fifth place from Trek-Segafredo, at only 5 points. Bahrain Victorious also made a jump, passing AG2R Citroën and BORA-hansgrohe and is now seventh. Outside the top 10, there are also some changes to the standings. Israel Start-Up Nation drops from eleventh to thirteenth place, meaning BikeExchange and Qhubeka ASSOS move up. Groupama-FDJ and Lotto Soudal also change places 14 and 15.

UCI Team Ranking (on April 13, 2021):
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 5,330 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 3,924 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 3,850 points
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,109 points
5. UAE Team Emirates – 3,104 points
6. Trek-Segafredo – 2,827 points
7. Bahrain Victorious – 2,506 points
8. AG2R Citroën – 2,472 points
9. BORA-hansgrohe – 2,470 points
10. Astana-Premier Tech – 2,081 points
11. BikeExchange – 1,832 points
12. Qhubeka ASSOS – 1,816 points
13. Israel Start-Up Nation – 1,761 points
14. Groupama-FDJ – 1,751 points
15. Lotto Soudal – 1,555 points
16. Cofidis – 1,291 points
17. Total Direct Energy – 1,278 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,222 points
19. Movistar – 1,218 points
20. Team DSM – 938 points
21. Education-Nippo – 890 points
23. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – 713 points

Alpecin-Fenix ​​remains the top ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking. The Belgian team has reached the 3,000 point mark and has a gap of almost 2,000 points on Total Direct Energie and Arkéa-Samsic. The question is how many points Alpecin-Fenix ​​can gather in the coming weeks now that leader Van der Poel taking a break from road cycling. The best ProTeam in the UCI Team Ranking 2021 must, according to UCI rules, be given a wildcard for every WorldTour event in 2022, including the three Grand Tours. The team that finishes second will receive an invitation for all WorldTour one-day races.

Top five ProTeams in the UCI Team Ranking (on April 13, 2021):
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​- 3,109 points
17. Total Direct Energy – 1,278 points
18. Arkéa-Samsic – 1,222 points
22. Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB – 857 points
24. B&B Hotels p/b KTM – 674 points.

More points for Deceuninck – Quick-Step:
cavendish

 

deceuninck
Zdenek Stybar May be Back at the End of May
Zdeněk Štybar hopes to be able to race again in a month. The Czech Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider had to stop after a strong spring campaign due the discovery of cardiac arrhythmia. As a result, a successful ablation was performed. Štybar does not yet know exactly when he will return.

“Next week’s team meeting will have to clarify that. Somewhere at the end of May, I estimate,” said Štybar about his return in an extensive interview with Het Laatste Nieuws. “Normally I would have continued up to and including the Amstel Gold Race. And I might have included the Brabantse Pijl. It could have been a great introduction to the World championship course. I am now trying to peak again for the Games, the World champs and Paris-Roubaix.”

The Classics rider has also not resumed training since the operation. “I could, but it has been a long time since I was able to insert such a large recovery block. So I seize this moment. So that I can start the second part of the season well rested. I still see great goals,” he said. “Nothing to stop me. The only problem with racing would be falling. Because I take blood thinners. On Thursday, after a new check-up, I can, in principle, stop doing so.”

Štybar said he was very shocked by his heart problems. “Never before have I been confronted with heart problems. I didn’t feel anything coming either. It’s every athlete’s nightmare. Riders have already succumbed to it in recent years. So, yes: I was scared. It was strange,” said the Czech.

“The Tuesday after Gent-Wevelgem, the day before my surgery, I went cycling with Mathieu van der Poel. On the way back home, the thought suddenly struck me, ‘Shit, this may have been my last workout ever’. The next day I went to the hospital with a small heart. ‘It could go in three directions,’ I realised. ‘Or there is nothing wrong and I will ride the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. Or they operate on me and I can continue afterwards. Or… this is the end of my career’. The night from Tuesday to Wednesday was very short, I was constantly worrying.”

“It turned out not to be a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder. In principle I could have raced even further with it. But who takes that risk? Imagine passing out at such an extremely high heart rate. In a descent. Or in full sprint. Then it can of course have fatal consequences.” Štybar finished.

Zdeněk Štybar, back soon:
stybar

 

colombia
Teamless Carlos Betancur Takes a Break
Carlos Betancur was thought of as one of the greatest talents of his generation, but his career has been less than stable. However, the Colombian climber has not yet put an end to his career, he said on Twitter. Betancur has decided to take a race break. “Cycling friends, I’m not saying goodbye to the bike for the time being. And if I do one day, I’ll tell you. We all have the right to take a break,” was his message via social media.

At the end of 2010, Betancur turned pro and took some top wins such as the Giro dell’Emilia and Paris-Nice. He also finished 5th in the Giro d’Italia in 2013. However, Betancur also proved difficult to manage. For example, he sometimes disappeared for long periods and was overweight during the season. Betancur quietly left the Spanish Movistar team last year and returned to Colombia. It looked like he was going to race with Colombia Tierra de Atletas, a continental cycling team from Colombia, but in the end both parties did not reach an agreement.

The last sight of Carlos Betancur:
betancur

 

alpecin fenix
Petr Vakoc Injured with Broken Finger
Alpecin-Fenix will have to do without Petr Vakoč for several weeks. The Czech rider suffered a fracture in his finger after a crash in the Brabantse Pijl, a race he won in 2016. On Thursday, Vakoč underwent surgery to stabilise the broken finger. After that, the one-day specialist will not be able to race for a while. In any case, he misses the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, for which he was scheduled.

28-year-old Vakoč has been in action for 16 days so far this year. His best result was in the Drôme Classic in France, where he finished tenth.

Petr Vakoč:
vakoc

 

deceuninck
Bagioli Off the Bike in the Coming Weeks
Following his crash at the Trofeo Laigueglia, Andrea Bagioli developed pain in his left knee. After examination and consultation with the Deceuninck – Quick-Step medical team, it was decided he would undergo a small knee operation, which has successfully resolved the issue.

Winner this season at the Drôme Classic, 22-year-old Andrea will now take three weeks of complete rest, after which he can start to train on his rollers, with a view to building his fitness and hopefully returning to competition towards the end of July or early August.

Andrea Bagioli crashed in the Trofeo Laigueglia:
baglioli

 

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